Restored T-MEN Streaming Free on Black Friday

When is an underrated classic movie restored in high definition available at no charge?

When ClassicFlix streams their restoration of the great film noir thriller T-MEN tomorrow night (November 24) on their YouTube channel.

Check it out:

ClassicFlix will also be selling their T-MEN Blu Ray Special Edition at an incredible price that night.

And, by the way, Happy Thanksgiving!

Making of ROBOT MONSTER Movie

For the better part of the past year, it’s been my privilege to be privy to a plan to make an independent movie about Phil Tucker’s making of ROBOT MONSTER. A filmmaker named Matthew Muhl has written a script and outlined a plan for making his film about the March 1953 event, and he has started a Kickstarter fund for this project. To be clear, this movie is not based on my book but is Matthew’s own project with his own script. Head on over, and check out a video he’s put together on the project with narration by original ROBOT MONSTER cast member and all around cool guy Gregory Moffett!

THE MECHANICAL UNIVERSE Unbound

After the Project: Universe astronomy telecourse, Orange County’s Coast Community College District outdid themselves. From astronomy to physics, from one Universe title to another, was The Mechanical Universe and its follow-up that added some Beyond to the title. P:U will always be my personal favorite, but MU kicked everything up so many notches that it’s the more obviously impressive show, especially with its innovations in computer graphics.

This show was once expensive to acquire and difficult to see if you didn’t catch a broadcast on PBS, but now Cal Tech has put the entire thing up on their YouTube channel for free. Amazing!

La-La Land Records Has Had Enough of Vinyl

I read over at Film Score Monthly this comment from M.V. Gerhard of soundtrack label La-La Land Records:

It’s not worth our time, space, resources or money.

[Star Trek: The Motion Picture] is our last vinyl. Don’t get me wrong — it did incredibly well (will most likely sell out by year’s end), but we would rather focus on many other cd, blu-ray and film projects.

It’s gratifying when someone in the know confirms one of your pet opinions. I’ve long believed that the decade-plus vinyl revival is a hipster affectation, motivated by the democratizing effect that high-bandwith Internet had on the availability of rare music.

To put it another way: when I was growing up, you had to pay $20 for that imported Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians CD single just to get a weird bonus track. Now those rare tracks are all over YouTube, and it’s very hard to be cooler than the other cool people. But thanks to vinyl, large amounts of money can be flushed on a cumbersome, expensive, and fragile format that takes dedication to collect.

Whatever, I still feel like it’s 1987 and visions of a large CD collection are dancing in my head.

And if you want to experience Jerry Goldsmith’s majestic and mysterious score for STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, get La-La Land’s magnificent 3-CD release.

Best Ever Advice

Rudyard Kipling’s “If” has been raked over many coals for supposedly reeking of class privilege, and for its associations with having an English stiff upper lip.  In truth, it is universal in its message and ignoring its advice would be a perfect way to fail in life.

My maternal grandfather was a rancher and a completely able man in all areas and, when I graduated from high school, I got a card from him with the text of “If.”  With a strong Irish background in his family, I can guarantee that he did not love the poem for its Englishness.  He loved the poem because Kipling distilled goodness and success down to its essence as few ever have.

 

If

by Rudyard Kipling

 

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make a heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

The Motorcycle Boy Reigns

I saw Rumble Fish back in 1994, was stunned, and was also stunned that hardly anyone had seen it or written about it in the decade after its release.  It’s a real love-it-or-hate-it experience, but it definitely clicked for me.  Amazing visuals and sounds, and some outright surrealism in what was ostensibly a Hollywood movie.  There’s nothing quite like it, and Criterion is bringing it to Blu-Ray in April.