Movie Time: The Banana Splits

The Banana Splits Cut Up Again
 

 

Warner Brother Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-Ray I reviewed in this blog post. The opinions I share are my own.

Back in February, there was a news item on various TV and cartoon oriented boards that a movie was in the works featuring the Banana Splits. For anybody under the age of 55, these were four live-action costumed characters who hosted a “Laugh-In” comedy and cartoon show on Saturday mornings, starting in 1968. Only there would be a twist: the Banana Splits movie would be a “made-for-TV splasher flick!”

This provoked the usual comment section outrage. Mostly along the lines of “How dare they do this to my cherished childhood memories!” Well, yeah, I liked the show too, when I was a kid. But like a lot of these people, I rarely gave a second thought to my “cherished childhood memory” over the intervening 50 years. Besides, it seemed like a waste of effort to put Bingo, Fleegle, et al, in a pedestrian slasher movie. Maybe it would have a twist that would turn the genre on its ear, like the reimagined “Flinstones” and other Hanna-Barbera comic books DC Comics put out a while back.

When I was offered a preview copy of the movie, I said “send it on,” hoping to find a surprising new twist on a couple of tired genres.

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Woodstock 50: The “Woodstock” Song

So as it turns out, there is no “Woodstock 50” concert. The fact that its last gasp involved moving it to Maryland from upstate New York should have been the last nail in the coffin, but it kept on for a little while before the plug was pulled.

As I’m writing this, though, I’m listening to Bert Sommer’s set from Woodstock — As It Happened — 50 Years On, a streaming presentation from Philadelphia radio station WXPN. It’s running all of the archived music and announcements available, mostly from the 38-CD box set from Rhino Records.

But my Musical Cheese article is about a song that wasn’t performed at Woodstock, by an act that wasn’t there.

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One-Hit Wonder LP Parade: Sailcat – Motorcycle Mama

One-Hit Wonder LP Parade:
Sailcat – Motorcycle Mama

I’m starting what I hope will become a series of posts, which I think few people have done before. You can always find people looking over obscure LPs, but this series focuses on the LPs from which that wondrous category “One-Hit Wonders” can be drawn. Does the rest of the album explain why some of these bands dropped out of the record charts? Does the LP stand up to the single’s “One-Hit Wondrous-ness?”

Motorcycle Mama by Sailcat (Elektra) is one of those records that never seems to drop out of oldies playlists. The single was such a mishmash of laconic southern rock, with echoes of the “Singer-Songwriter” era, that automatically dates itself back to 1972, when it hit #12 on the Billboard “Hot 100” chart.

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Who’s Still Around for Woodstock 50?

A couple embraces at the Woodstock music festival.

Who Might Still Be Able to Unite for Woodstock’s 50th Anniversary?

Updated to note the death of Canned Heat bassist Larry Taylor on August 19, 50 years and a day after his Woodstock appearance.

I asked this question on Quora: What acts from the original Woodstock might still be available for the 50th Anniversary festival, in their 1969 lineups?”

I got a lot of answers that missed the mark, like “The Who,” who are only half the Who they once were. So I decided to look into this myself.

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Movie Time: Untogether

Jamie Dorman and Jemima Kirke in "Untogether." Source: Freestyle Digital Media
Jamie Dorman and Jemima Kirke in “Untogether.”

Once more, I get to expand my “influencer” tag by reviewing a movie.

“Untogether” marks the directorial debut of writer Emma Forrest. It opens February 8 at the AMC South Barrington 30, following its premiere at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.

The romance follows a couple who fall into bed together, then try to decide whether they want to be a couple. Nick (Jamie Dornan [50 Shades of Grey]) admits he broke up with his previous girlfriend only upon meeting Andrea (Jemima Kirke [Girls]), at a party. Despite not wanting not to commit too soon, Andrea takes one of Nick’s shirts home with her, and Nick starts deleting other women from his phone’s contacts.

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Movie Time: American Street Kid

Today I am adding a “Movie Reviewer” hat to my rack. It seems my social media profile somewhere qualified me for this, so I have had the occasional offer of screeners for upcoming films. 

“American Street Kid” had a showing December 11 at Chicago’s Regal Webster Place, in advance of a wider run later. It’s a documentary that takes the often ignored subject of homeless children, here living in the streets of Los Angeles, around Hollywood and the Venice beach area.

Director Michael Leoni himself was rescued from a life on the street by friends and a girlfriend. He wrote a play based on his experiences, “Playground.” During its run, he discovered some homeless girls had been coming to see the play several times, telling him its was a realistic reflection of their own lives. But shortly after meeting Leoni, each girl was found dead on the streets.

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Musical Cheese Archive: 28 February 2012

I guess this has been pretty low on my list of priorities, but I do slog along with it. In 2012, while attending an evening computer class at Illinois Institute of Technology, I was able to host a radio shift on the campus station, WIIT. For the first time in nearly 30 years, I was back on the radio, with “Musical Cheese”.

Last time I was on the air, everything was still turntable based. There were CD decks, but not a lot of discs to play them on. Now music came not only from CD’s but I could play music from my laptop, or from a memory card. As much as I was intrigued by the idea of replacing my heavy crates with a memory chip the size of a postage stamp, that I carried in my cell phone, the only drawback was that I couldn’t crossfade songs if they were both on the SD card. And I wanted to improvise by keeping a larger music collection on my laptop, and a big crate of CDs. I even brought in a few tunes from Spotify, and managed not to let any of their ads on. Continue reading “Musical Cheese Archive: 28 February 2012”

Can You Tame Wild Wimmen: Gotham by Gaslight

Just as I finally decided to get my dormant musicalcheese.com url to point to this section, I also got approved as an iTunes affiliate. So, If I can offer some musical cheese stories good enough to get you to click on and buy the music indicated, I might get a nickel or so.

Gotham by Gaslight

While the latest movies adapted from DC Comics have been somewhat hit or miss, they have had several animated videos produced for the home market. Many of these are adaptations of some of the comics’ graphic novels, like “The Killing Joke” or best-known storylines. But rather than being straight adaptations, they twist away from the source material in interesting ways. Continue reading “Can You Tame Wild Wimmen: Gotham by Gaslight”