Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Twilight Zone Diaries, episode 9

Perchance to Dream
originally aired: November 27, 1959
written by: Charles Beaumont
starring: Richard Conte, Suzanne Lloyd

"Twelve o'clock, noon. An ordinary scene in an ordinary city. Lunchtime for thousands of ordinary people, to most of them this hour will be a rest, a pleasant break in the day's routine. To most, but not all. To Edward Hall time is an enemy, and the hours to come are a matter of life and death."

classification: drama/thriller

story: A man tells his psychiatrist that he is afraid of being murdered in his dreams by a strange girl. He later dreams that he falls to his death, but in reality he has died on the psychiatrist's couch.

my summary: NOW THIS IS WHAT I'M TALKIN ABOUT!!! Nice and creepy. I have NEVER forgotten the bit about the mind playing tricks--making the picture move, seeing someone in your backseat, not being able to control your dreams, etc. Certain ideas like this just "get" me, much like the whole bit about coming through the TV on THE RING. Couldn't sleep for days afterwards, couldn't take a shower without looking around all creeped out and paranoid some kabuki freak was coming after me....yuck.
Great script. Conte plays it pretty well, I love his east-coast accent. Eerie music contributes nicely (Van Cleeve); Maya is very creepy and frightening (like Bemis's wife.)

"They say a dream takes only a second or so, and in that second, a man can live a lifetime. He can suffer and die. And who's to say which is the greater reality? The one we know or the one in dreams? Between heaven, the sky, the earth, in The Twilight Zone."

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Which 24 Character Am I?

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Twilight Zone Diaries, episode 8

Time Enough at Last

originally aired: November 20, 1959
written by: Rod Serling
starring: Burgess Meredith, Vaughn Taylor

"Witness Mr. Henry Bemis, a charter member in the fraternity of dreamers. A bookish little man whose passion is the printed page, but who is conspired against by a bank president and a wife and a world full of tongue cluckers and the unrelenting hands of a clock. But in just a moment Mr. Bemis will enter a world without bank presidents, or wives, or clocks, or anything else. He'll enter a world all to himself without anyone."

classification: drama

story: A myopic bank teller survives an atomic war and looks forward to a life or peaceful reading until he breaks his glasses.

my summary: This has got to be one of Serling's best plays, and definitely one of the series' most memorable episodes. Burgess Meredith is brilliant; the wife was extremely creepy and well-cast. She actually terrifies me. Great scenes of her stalking around that house humiliating him. That creepy smile while she rips up his poetry book? Ish. H BOMB CAPABLE OF TOTAL DESTRUCTION!! Great headline. You just want it to end differently, every time. Spare glasses.

"The best laid plans of mice and men and Henry Bemis. The small man in the glasses who wanted nothing but time. Henry Bemis, now just a part of a smashed landscape, just a piece of the rubble. Just a fragment of what man has deeded to himself. Mr. Henry Bemis in The Twilight Zone."

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Twilight Zone Diaries, episode 7

The Lonely

originally aired: November 11, 1959
written by: Rod Serling
starring: Jack Warden, Jean Marsh

"Witness, if you will, a dungeon made out of mountains, salt flats, and sand that stretch to infinity. The dungeon has an inmate: James A. Corry, and this is his residence, a metal shack. An old touring car that squats in the sun and goes no where for there is no where to go. For the record let it be known that James A. Corry is a convicted criminal placed in solitary confinement. Confinement in this case stretches as far as the eye can see because this particular dungeon is on an asteroid nine million miles from the earth. Now witness if you will a man's mind and body shivelling in the sun; a man dying of lonliness."

classification: drama

story: A lonely convict imprisoned on an asteroid falls in love with a woman android. When he is finally pardoned, he refuses to leave her behind.

my summary: A simple idea but pretty great story. These issues of lonliness are interesting and totally relevent in any generation. No one could deal if they had to be alone. Imagine not only being alone but having to be alone with no techology, only books or non-eletronical items (HENRY BEMIS?!?!?!) I would love it for about 2 days and then start talking to Spaulding the volleyball. Talk about the cruelest joke ever---oh here's a companion finally but in the end we'll just ASSASSINATE HER IN FRONT OF YOU because you think she's real (ANIMATRIX?----I"m REAL!) Great surprise appearance by TED KNIGHT!!! Way to go. Also, shooting the face off the robot is a lot creepier than anything I've seen on the show; maybe one of the most disturbing moments ever.....

"On a microscopic pice of sand that floats through space is a fragment of a man's life. Left to rust is the place he lived in and the machines he used, without use they will disintegrate from the wind and sand and the years that will act upon them. Mr. Corry's machines, including the one made in his image, kept alive by love but now obsolete, in The Twilight Zone."

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Twilight Zone Diaries, episode 6

Escape Clause

originally aired: November 6, 1959
written by: Rod Serling
starring: David Wayne, Thomas Gomez

"You're about to meet a hypochondriac. Witness Mr. Walter Bedecker, age forty-four, afraid of the following: death, disease, other people, germs, and everything else. He has one interest in life, and that's Walter Bedecker. One preoccupation: the life and well-being of Walter Bedecker. One abiding concern about society: that if Walter Bedecker should die, how will it survive without him?"

classification: drama

story: A hypochondriac makes a deal with the devil for immortality. However he is forced to involk the "escape clause" after being sentenced to life imprisonment after killing his wife.

my summary: A very humorous story, very good writing, especially the character of Walter---"YOU are a potato pancake, Ethel." What a clever idea. Good twist at the end. Nice Digger Barnes (later in life).

"There's a saying: Every man is put on earth condemned to die, time and method of execution unknown. Perhaps this is as it should be. Case in point, Walter Bedecker, lately deceased, a little man with such a yen to live, beaten by the devil, by his own boredom--and beaten by the scheme of things in this....The Twilight Zone."

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Twilight Zone Diaries, episode 5

Walking Distance

originally aired: October 30, 1959
written by: Rod Serling
starring: Gig Young, Frank Overton

"Martin Sloan, age 36, occupation vice president, ad agency. In charge of media. This is not just a Sunday drive for Martin Sloan. He perhaps doesn't know if at the time, but it's an exodus. Somewhere up the road he's looking for sanity, and somewhere up the road he'll find something else. A man can think a lot of thoughts and walk a lot of pavements between afternoon and night. And to a man like Martin Sloan, to whom memory has suddenly become reality, a resolve could come just as clearly and inexorably as stars on a summer night. Martin Sloan is back in time, and his resolve is to put in a claim to the past."

classification: drama

story: A weary ad agency vice-president travels back in time to his hometown, meets his father and himself as a boy, and returns to the present a wiser man.

my summary: A slow-moving rather dull "back in time" episode. Interesting to see Ronny Howard as a toddler, the story is not terribly interesting though. I think maturity factors into one's ability to enjoy this...the older you get the more the hometown fantasy is something that weighs on your mind. I wrote all this when I was 23. Now I'm almost 32. I can get behind M Sloan's eyes a whole lot easier today than I could then.....

"Martin Sloan, age 36. Vice President in charge of media. Successful in most things but not in the one effort that all men try at some time in their lives, trying to go home again. And also like all men, perhaps there will be an occasion, maybe a summer night sometime where he'll look up from what he's doing and listen to the distant music of kaliope and perhaps across his mind there will flit a little errant wish, that a man might not have to become old."

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Twilight Zone Diaries, episode 4

The 16mm Shrine

originally aired: October 23, 1959
written by: Rod Serling
starring: Ida Lupino, Martin Balsam

"Picture of a woman looking at a picture. Movie grade of another time. A once-brilliant star that is no longer part of the sky. Eclipsed by the movement of earth and time. Barbara Jean Trenton, whose world is a projection room, whose dreams are made out of celluloid. Barbara Jean Trenton, struck down by hit and run years and lying on the unhappy pavement trying desperately to get the license number of fleeting fame."

classification: drama

story: An aging former movie queen escapes the horrors of old age by fleeing into the world of her own films.

my summary: Boy if this isn't what my life will someday be I don't know what is...! Great episode. How difficult it must be to get old and dried up when you are a movie star! How relevant to things today (britney, I wonder if Paris Hilton will sit around watching her old sex tapes when she's 60? Great lines with the "suit" at the studio..."You play a mother. But very vibrant, very much alive..." "COMAPRED TO WHAT? A CORPSE?!?!?!?!" Like a less creepy happier ending version of Sunset Boulevard. Very nice.

"To the wishes that come true, to the strange, mystic strengths of the human animal who can take a wishful dream and give it a dimension of its own. To Barbara Jean Trenton, movie queen of another era who has changed the blank tomb of an empty projection screen into another world, in The Twilight Zone."

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Twilight Zone Diaries, episode 3

Mr. Denton on Doomsday

originally aired: October 16, 1959
written by: Rod Serling
starring: Dan Duryea, Martin Landau

"Portrait of a town drunk named Al Denton. This is a man who has begun his dying early. A long, agonizing route through a maze of bottles. Al Denton, who would probably give an arm or a leg or part of his soul to have another chance. To be able to rise up and shake the dirt from his body and the bad dreams that infest his conciousness. In the parlance of the times, this is a peddler. A rather fancifull looking little man in a black frock coat. And this is the third principle characcter of our story: (close up on gun) its function, perhaps to give Mr. Al Denton his second chance."

classification: western

story: A magic potion enables a washed out gunslinger to face down a young rival but it also puts an end to his career in an ironic twist of fate.

my summary: This one is all right. I am usually bored out of my mind during the western episodes. Al Denton is pathetic and I feel sorry for him; he reminds me of an old-time Jerry Lundegaard. Martin Landau is an interesting element in this one. I might have a few more nice things to say about him if he didn't become such a crabby old codge later in life (referring to the Mission Impossible premier with Kennedy on MTV). Good Ending.

"Mr. Henry Fate, dealer in utensils, pots and pans, lintaments and potions. A fanciful little man in a black frock coat who can help a man in climbing out of a pit or keep a man from falling into one. Because you see fate can work that way in The Twilight Zone."

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sixx's Book

At first I was a little unimpressed by this; after reading The Dirt a few years back not even detailed diaries of Nikki's drug use could compare to the disgusting sexual stuff that went on in that band- (which was easily more disturbing than anything Nikki shot into his arm). But the more I read the more I admired him for writing it. He really must have been lonely even at the height of his fame. People were using him, he didn't have a wife or family, his parents completely failed him, etc., etc. I just feel so bad about all of it, thinking of him as a little kid wondering where his mother was or when she was coming back to him and not knowing anything about his dad. I just want to find that little kid and try to make it better or play with him or just give him a big hug......poor kid.
The best, most positive come-uppance I think is concerning his birthday---at the height of his drug use he wrote that it was his birthday (december sometime) and no one called him or even came by and that he was completely alone with his drugs and nothing else......later after he got sober and had all his kids he came back from being on tour during his birthday to be surprised with handmade birthday cards from his kids.....this is the sort of thing that breaks my heart, in a good way.

I know it's foolish to try to identify with celebrities, but sometimes we forget they were peoples' babies; many of them don't have happy memories of their childhoods. So Nikki, kudos for getting it off your chest and putting it out there for the world to read. You had a hard time--probably the hardest ever, but you picked yourself up and that's awesome. And if it would make any impact at all, I would sing you a thousand songs, bake you a thousand Christmas cookies, give you a thousand hugs, and color you one thousand birthday cards.

The Twilight Zone Diaries, episode 2

One For The Angels

originally aired: October 9, 1959
written by: Rod Serling
starring: Ed Wynn, Murray Hamilton

"Street scene, summer, the present. A man on the sidewalk named Lew Bookman, age: sixtyish, occupation: pitchman. Lew Bookman, a fixture of the summer. A rather minor componant to a hot July. A nondescript commonplace little man whose life is a treadmill built out of sidewalks, but in just a moment, Lew Bookman will have to concern himself with survival. Because, as of 3 o'clock this hot July afternoon, he'll by stalked by Mr. Death."

classification: drama/Mr. Death

story: After tricking Mr. Death out of taking his life, Lew Bookman must deliver the pitch of his life in order to save the life of an innocent neighborhood child.

my summary: A good story, one a family could probably enjoy. Mr. Death stories are always intriguing, this one is subtle and sly. Street scenes and 1950s New York apartments are pretty realistic, July heat seems to be portrayed effectively. My favorite parts were Death introducing himself by wilting the flower and Lew affirming his afterlife, "up there?" "Up there, Mr. Bookman, YOU MADE IT." Walking down the street with Death. Very nice.

"Lewis J. Bookman, age: sixtyish, occupation: pitchman. Formerly a fixture of the summer, formerly a rather minor componant to a hot July but throughout his life a man beloved by the children and therefore a most important man. Couldn't happen, you say? Probably not in most places, but it did the Twilight Zone.

Welcome Home Almeida on hold.....

Perez says Fox announced 24 wouldn't be back on until January 2009.
This is very disappointing. My Tony Almeida reunion party will have to wait I guess.....


Friday, February 15, 2008

The Twilight Zone Diaries, episode 1


Where is Everybody?

originally aired: October 2, 1959
written by: Rod Serling
starring: Earl Holliman, James Gregory

"the place is here, the time is now, and the journey into the shadows that we're about to watch could be our journey..."

**pilot episode**

classification: drama/fantasy

story: An astronaut wanders into a mysteriously empty town. He eventually discovers that he has been in an isolation tank and that the town is just a hallucination. Note: In Serling's own novelization, a further twist was added: after the astronaut is brought back to reality, in his pocket he finds a theater ticket stub which he had unconciously picked up in the town.

my summary: Excellent episode. Probably one of the finest in the series. Creepiest parts were the mannequin of course, just on principle, and dude almost getting locked in the jail cell (by nobody). I feel very sorry for Mr. Air Force; his lonliness saddens me.

"Up there, up there in the vastness of space in the void that is the sky. Up there is an enemy known as isolation. It sits there in the starts waiting, waiting with the patience of eons. Forever waiting, in the Twilight Zone."

Memories of our first betamax VCR tapes

The first two videos my father brought home were CHRISTINE and THE BLUES BROTHERS. I was ten years old, my brother would have been six during the summer of 1986. We had no idea what either of the two films were about but we were excited to finally have a VCR nontheless. We had seen many films by then, mostly on cable or satellite, and out of those, most were horror films like Pscyho, Pscycho 2, and Friday the Thirteenth (the final chapter, or so we thought then). When Dewey popped in Christine we were excited and scared because he told us it would be a film about a car that KILLS PEOPLE!!!!

I remember feeling a bit moved by many of the music selections in Christine, none of which would have been popular or current for the time (the film was released in 1983 and I believe to have taken place in the here and now): Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Ritchie Valens; along with some stuff that would have been current then, like Thorogood and The Rolling Stones. Really, has any other song been as well placed in a film as "Bad to the Bone?" That song alone was probably enough to win my father's approval, despite the fact that it's a scary Stephen King adaptation that was actually picked up by a cool director.....

My brother and I watched this film (along with the other one) at least once a day every day that summer. It would be a long time before quoting films in social settings would be cool but we seriously could have started at the beginning and performed it to the end if anyone would have posed such a challenge. Our favorite parts all had to do with the car. Killing Moochie and the close up on the tire squeal when Christine floors a good smoke show and starts chasing him, rebuilding herself while Arnie stands in front of her, watching, and the fire-y blaze that chases after Buddy Reperton down the highway after completely crashing into the gas pumps and his camaro (SOME SHIT HEAD IS FOLLOWING ME!!). We also really got into the character of Darnell, that guy definitely had the best lines of the film, which, if I remember correctly, stayed pretty true to King's novel. It would be a few years before I tackled THAT.

The Blues Brothers we loved mostly for the car chases but I think we actually (secretly) enjoyed the music in that as well. My mother HATED us watching that, probably because she hated the movie herself, but really, what's so bad about your elementary aged children getting a few curses in while absorbing ACTUAL music history? Aretha Franklin? Cab Calloway? Ray Charles? John Lee Hooker? I knew who all those people were way before anyone else my age. Double for my brother. I see that film as a cheesy exercise in music that probably shaped a lot of my tastes that would follow down the line. Plus, those car chases were ACTUAL DEMOLITION IN ACTION. You just don't see that anymore, not that we knew it at the time. I love it. Favorite scene, hands down though, is the bit with the penguin.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Can I say again how much I love this whole business?

Monday, February 4, 2008

the latest project in confusion.....

seriously, what in THE fuck?
i'm at a total loss.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

weekend occult media

i finished probably the greatest book i have ever read (after some random classics and the potter series) by JOE HILL. yes, i finally broke down and ordered it from barnes and noble dot com. HEART SHAPED BOX. i loved LOVED LOVED it.

somehow i knew i would. what wouldn't i love about something written by stephen king's son? the guy would just have to be cool. he was born in 1972, matt's year, so the pop culture and icons were so our generation. the guy is more than a little bit hung up on nirvana, obviously, but beyond that (beyond that, she's great) he really wrote a great book. i think when i first started it the first 100 pages gave me the creeps like nothing else i've ever read before. very descriptive and believable prose about GHOSTS and being haunted. chills. ended wonderfully.

3. together with this going on, we watched potter's order of the phoenix last night and this morning. I pronounce phoenix FO-NIX. much like foetus (fo-tuss) and chipotle (chi-pottle) i get a lovely thrill just doing it for the hell of it, daring anyone to assume i am doing it because i don't know any better.

i had such a deeper reaction to it this time around since i have finished the last novel and know how it all ends. seeing snape in any scene is almost too much for me to bear because i know all his secrets now and i seriously get teared up every time he's on. I LOVE SNAPE. dumbledore too. especially because he was so suspiciously unavailable and mysterious in this film but then CRASHES IN at the end to rescue potter and duel with "tom." bellatrix decides she better bug out once albus comes on the scene even though she is crazier than a shithouse rat. i love her too. come to think of it, i really love everyone they have cast in those films. the only one i wasn't crazy about was that id in chamber of secrets.......Kenneth Branaugh? the rest are all tops in my book, even L-malfoy, if you can imagine.

rock on.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Revised opinion on Incredibles

sometimes I change my mind. sometimes I am way off with my perception on things. I like to think I am good about admitting when I am wrong, even when it comes to personal opinion things that I blog about (i.e. Manolo Blahnik and spelling it incorrectly).

I think I like The Incredibles now, if for no other reason than Elasta-Girl's long stretchy arms. My brother and I had a funny discussion about the scene where she is trapped in the sliding doors and has to use her stretchy arms and legs to beat up guys from afar. I am laughing about it now, just remembering her feeling out that guy's face before she punches him in it.

I actually revise my opinions on films a lot, now that I think about it. I hated Apocolypse Now and All Quiet On the Western Front the first times I saw them. I think I was just too immature. Anyway, Incredibles is fast becoming one of my favorite films that my son likes to watch. He likes all the robots, rockets, and jets of course.