Friday, June 24, 2016

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


The original cast members of Mystery Science Theater 3000 are reuniting for a big reunion show this month! Coming to select theaters via Fathom Events on June 28th, the two-hour special celebrating MST3K and Rifftrax will include both hosts, Mike and Joel! From the press release: Fathom Events and® are excited celebrate their 20th RiffTrax Live event with an exclusive MST3K Reunion show LIVE in cinemas on Tuesday, June 28 at 8:00 p.m. ET/ 7:00 p.m. CT and tape-delayed to 7:00 p.m. MT/ 8:00 p.m. PT, followed by a special re-broadcast on Tuesday, July 12at 7:30 p.m. (local time). Get ready for a Satellite of Love-fest as Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett – the guys who make movies funny – celebrate 10 years of RiffTrax with an amazing night of riffing and comedy with most of the original Mystery Science Theater 3000 stars. Joining Mike, Kevin and Bill, LIVE from the State Theater in Minneapolis, will be none other than MST3K creator Joel Hodgson (Joel Robinson), Trace Beaulieu (Dr. Clayton Forrester, Crow T. Robot), Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank), Mary Jo Pehl (Pearl Forrester), Bridget Nelson (Nuveena, Mr. B Natural), and the host of the revived MST3K, Jonah Ray (Nerdist Podcast and The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail) and more! In various, hilarious permutations, the cast will riff on a cavalcade of goofy, educational short films and comic interludes before concluding the evening with a grand finale “SUPER RIFF-A-PALOOZA!” More info and tickets here.

Monday, June 13, 2016


The Transformers: The Movie (1986) is coming to a 30th anniversary Blu-ray edition! Shout Factory has announced they will be adding the classic animated feature to their Transformers line on September 13th. So far they have listed it as a 2-disc edition, but no word yet on bonus content. I'm hoping they will include the full-frame version of the film (as was done with the 20th anniversary DVDs). Although the movie had theatrical release in widescreen, much of the art and original compositions were cropped. Either way, I'm psyched to see the film in hi-def! It's a wonderful time capsule of the 1980s, complete with anthem-rock action, transforming robot battles, some tunes by Devo and Weird Al, and an amazing cast that included Orson Welles, Eric Idle, Leonard Nimoy, and Robert Stack. I showed it to my students this year and they really enjoyed it! Ok, they though parts were cheesy, but they still kept begging to see it to the end. So, what's the plot? The Autobots must stop a colossal planet consuming robot who goes after the Autobot Matrix of Leadership. At the same time, they must defend themselves against an all-out attack from the Decepticons. Pre-orders at Shout Factory can receive a free cover art poster (see below) while supplies last.  Sweet! Stay tuned for updates.

Saturday, June 11, 2016


The original Ghostbusters film is screening at select theaters on Sunday June 12th, 2016. Check local listings! I'm looking forward to seeing it again on the big screen and to sharing the event with some of my students. Enjoy!

Friday, June 3, 2016


Before the days of VHS, cable TV,  and video games, kids growing up in the 1970s and early 1980s could occupy their time with activity books such as Dynamite. Published by Scholastic, the magazine offered games, gags, puzzles, and a healthy dose of pop culture fluff. Kids in the UK had already enjoyed hardcover annuals based on popular TV shows for decades that featured similar content, and Dynamite was kind of a mass-market US version- albeit with no ties to a specific franchise or property. What caught my eye as a kid were the covers. Each issue (published between 1974 and 1992) featured a captivating image under the magazine's dynamic title. Here are a few fun examples that really serve as a time capsule. This was an era when variety shows still reigned as entertainment -even when the performers were puppets- and it seemed that new programs were constantly being fashioned around current chart-toppers. Stars made the constant rounds of shows like Love BoatFantasy Island, and Murder She Wrote. It was the time of cutting-edge comedians like Gilda Radner (SNL), Steve Martin, and Robin Williams, as well as cultural critique (All in the Family, Family Ties). My weekly viewing included programs that looked back (Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Sha Na Na), and looked ahead (Space 1999, Incredible Hulk, Logan's Run, Buck Rogers, Six-Million Dollar Man, Bionic Woman, Mork and Mindy, Battlestar Galactica). In many ways, we were our own variety show hosts as viewers, moving easily between genres as we tuned into an eclectic stream of shows on any typical night. The culture seemed less pigeonholed back then, perhaps because there were fewer channels and choices. These Dynamite covers capture it all so well! Enjoy!