Posts from ‘Entertainment’
Few film genres employ characters more cookie-cutter and two-dimensional than do Westerns. Generally speaking, the whole good guy/bad guy, cowboys/Indians thing is the stuff of mediocre legend. Anyone who’s watched any Roy Rogers movie knows exactly what I’m talking about.
Shopping for friends and relatives can be something of a challenge—especially if that person is old enough to have acquired a certain amount of fun/frivolous/indulgent stuff for himself or herself.
The Citizens’ Band (CB) Radio goes back further than most people probably realize. In the late Forties, the U.S. government made space in the 27 MHz range available for radio enthusiasts and businesses to use, generally without a license. That frequency literally became the “citizens’ band.” By law, CB radios are limited to four watts of transmitter power, and thus have a useful range of about five miles. Many countries have allocated the 27 MHz range for similar purposes, so CB enthusiasm goes well beyond U.S. shores.
by Jack Stewart
For most of Seventies, NBC broadcast a group of mysteries under the umbrella title of The NBC Mystery Movie. Starting in 1971, the original series rotated Columbo, McMillan and Wife, and McCloud in the same weekly time slot. At the peak of the series, there were NBC Mystery Movies on both Sunday and Wednesday evenings. The three original mysteries were the most popular (Columbo in particular), but there were 14 shows associated with the series before it ended in 1977: Columbo, McCloud, McMillan and Wife, Banacek, Snoop Sisters, Cool Million, Hec Ramsey, Madigan, Faraday and Company, Tenafly, Amy Prentiss, McCoy, Lanigan’s Rabbi, and Quincy, M.E. A few of the shows prominently featured interesting cars. Here are our favorites:
by Jack Stewart
If you’re a car guy of a certain age, chances are you have fond memories of the original Adam 12 TV series. The half-hour police drama ran between 1968 and 1975, following veteran LAPD patrol officer Pete Malloy (played by Martin Milner) and junior partner Jim Reed (played by Kent McCord) as they went about their job to protect and serve the citizens of Los Angeles.
by Jack Stewart
The popular 1989 John Hughes film Uncle Buck has inspired its second TV spinoff this season on ABC. (There was a little remembered TV spinoff in 1990.) Proving the universal appeal of Uncle Buck, there was also a Bollywood movie version titled Uncle Bun.
By Jack Stewart
Abnormal was the norm for TV shows in the Sixties. The airwaves were full of Martians (My Favorite Martian), witches (Bewitched), genies (I Dream of Jeannie), costumed super heroes (Batman, The Green Hornet), and lovable mountain folk in luxury environs (The Beverly Hillbillies). Amidst this sea of wackiness, the dueling creep-show families of The Munsters and The Addams Family fit right in. However, The Munsters gets bonus points in our book for giving the family car a starring role. While the Addams’ 1930 Packard touring car was rarely seen, the Munster Koach was a regular costar. The wild stretched-wheelbase, Model-T hot rod/hearse hybrid made its debut in episode four (Rock-A-Bye Munster), when Lily goes to a used-car lot to buy a car for husband Herman’s birthday (she arrives in a 1937 Cadillac limo, by the way). She likes both a T-bucket hot rod and a 1920s hearse (a rare and expensive Cunningham V8), and asks to have a customizer combine the two.
What does it say about a movie if the best thing about it was a custom truck?
On the surface they may seem like slivers of a 50-year Hollywood career, but the two starring roles that Martin Milner landed in the 1960s put him in the car-buff-television hall of fame. Mr. Milner, who died September 6 at age 83 in California, sought adventure across America in a Corvette from 1960 to 1964 on Route 66, then protected and served Angelenos with a succession of Los Angeles Police Department “black-and-whites” between 1968 and 1975 on Adam-12.
The seventh installment of the ludicrous, ludicrously lucrative Fast and Furious movies hit the theaters last week, and it’s making mounds of money as you read this. As expected, Furious 7 is gleefully ridiculous—a live-action cartoon fantasy of awesome cars, glowering tough guys, bone-crunching fist fights, over-the-top stunts, wanton mayhem and destruction, leering shots of scantily clad babes, AND enough tear-jerking melodrama to shame the cheesiest soap opera. (Note that we’re not counting the movie’s ending among those melodramatic moments—Furious 7 closes with an understated, genuinely touching tribute to deceased star Paul Walker.)