Tuesday, July 25, 2017

'DuckTales' Reboot Begins Airing with 24-Hour Marathon

Uncle Scrooge meet his three great nephews in the series premiere of DuckTales
(Disney Channel)

TV

After months of speculation, fans old and new will be able to experience Disney’s new version of DuckTales when the show premieres on August 12 on the Disney Channel.

For those sleeping under a rock, DuckTales chronicles the adventures of Duckburg’s trillionaire, Scrooge McDuck, his nephew Donald Duck and Donald’s nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie. Along for the ride is McDuck’s staff: Lauchpad McQuack, housekeeper Mrs. Beakley and her granddaughter, Webby Vanderquack.

The premiere episode of DuckTales tells how Donald Duck reluctantly takes his nephews to meet the reclusive great-uncle Scrooge McDuck. While at McDuck Manor, they learn of long-kept family secrets and unleash totems from Scrooge’s epic past, sending the family to the Lost City of Atlantis.

This series is a reboot of the popular series of the same name that used to air from the 80’s and 90’s and features a new look that more closely resembles the classic Carl Barks’ come book designs. Each 22-minute episode follows the ducks on thrilling explorations as they embrace courage, creativity and the rewards of stepping outside your comfort zone. Disney says that the new series is for kids and kids-at-heart and will feature several nostalgic nods to the original show including special appearances from other beloved characters including Flintheart Glomgold, superhero Gizmoduck, mad scientist Gyro Gearloose, lucky duck Gladstone Gander, the ruthless Ma Beagle and the mask-wearing Beagle Boys, scientist Ludwig Von Drake and Scrooge’s old flame Goldie O’Gilt.

Michael Phelps Races Shark - Sort of - Video of the Day

VIDEO OF THE DAY

Discovery Channel's latest stunt to promote Shark Week was to have Michael Phelps race a great white shark. And he did. Sort of.

This Day in Pop Culture for July 25

"The Black Cauldron" was released on July 25, 1985.

‘The Black Cauldron’ Scary Opening

Originally set to open during Christmas of 1984, Disney’s animated, The Black Cauldron, didn’t open in theaters until this day in 1985. Known as Disney’s first animated film to receive a PG rating, the movie was delayed due to a disastrous test screening where young children were running out of the theater scared to death. The scenes included headings and other gruesome images. Hardly family-friendly. Disney’s studio chairman at the time, Jeffrey Katzenberg, was so incensed, he ordered that certain scenes be dropped from the final film. When producer Joe Hale objected, Katzenberg edited the film on his own and only stopped when CEO Michael Eisner asked him to. However, with so many scenes now missing from the film, new scenes needed to be animated and the film was delayed. Unfortunately, the fixes were not enough to fix the film’s troubles. The film had originally been budgeted at $25 million, but about $44 million was spent by the time the film was finished and the movie only grossed $21.3 million domestically. The movie received mixed reviews from audiences and critics alike. Unlike other Disney films, the movie wasn’t released onto video until 1998. While the Black Cauldron does have its fans, it is one of the least successful Disney films of all time.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Ten Christian Character Icons We Grew Up With


MUSINGS

Once upon a time, around 1960, Christian leaders began to question if moral-building characters could be used to help spread the gospel. Could they ever. Here is a list of ten familiar icons many of us grew up with. Surprisingly, most are still going strong and feature official websites.

Davey and Goliath
Davey and Goliath was a stop-motion animated television show produced by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The was first show in 1960 and featured Davey Hansen and his talking dog, Goliath, who acted as Davey's conscience. Art and Ruth Clokey, creators of Gumby and Pokey, created 65 15-minute episodes.

In 2001, The ELCA began making plans to return Davey to television. The effort began with a contract with PepsiCo, allowing them to use the characters in a Mountain Dew commercial in hopes of raising funds for new episodes. The commercial ran in 2002 and featured an uncharacteristic line from Davey, “We got hosed Tommy” when Davy’s father drinks the can of Mountain Dew that he and Tommy were fighting over. The commercial won Advertising Age’s Best Award for non-alcoholic beverage commercials in 2003. This led to Davey and Goliath’s Snowboard Christmas, a one-hour special that aired on the Hallmark channel in December 2004 and was the first new D & G production in over 30 years.

‘Midnight, Texas’ is a Strange Place to Visit

Review of "Midnight, Texas."
 (l-r) Peter Mensah as Lemuel, Arielle Kebbel as Olivia, Parisa Fitz-Henley as Fiji
(Photo by: Cathy Kanavy/NBC)

TV SHOW REVIEW

Among NBC’s other summer fare of America’s Got Talent, World of Dance and American Ninja Warrior, the new scripted series, Midnight, Texas, looks out of place. Yes, the special effects are very impressive for a TV show, but like the residents who live there, this show is probably best suited for a unique audience.

Based on the book series by Charlaine Harris (who’s other book series inspired the True Blood TV series) the show is a mishmash of genres including horror, sci-fi, fantasy, mystery and some soap opera thrown in for good measure. Sort of like if you put The Sixth Sense, X-Men, Dracula and Days of Our Lives in a blender, Midnight Texas is what you would get.

The pilot opens with Manfred (Francois Arnaud) opening the door to his faithful client. He tells her that he has to raise his fees and she assures him that he is worth every penny. The camera then shows the door of his bedroom leading the viewer to believe that he works as a gigolo, but in fact, he actually works as a physic and good one at that. In the middle of their session, the woman’s dead husband appears not too happy to hear about her new dating life, possesses Manfred and all hell breaks loose. This is your first clue that the viewer is in for a wild ride and a huge warning to people like myself that this is not your kind of show.

So, apparently, Manfred likes to think of himself as a fraud but he clearly isn’t. He has a knack for communicating with dead people. When he packs up his belongings in his RV to skip town, his dead grandmother Xylda (Joanne Camp) hitches a ride. She tells him about the town of Midnight Texas and how it would be a good place for her grandson to lay low for a while. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

The 'Lego Ninjago Movie' Looks Awesome - Video of the Day

VIDEO OF THE DAY

So, I'm probably not the target audience for this movie - but I love this trailer. How about you?

This Day in Pop Culture for July 24

Steven Spielberg released the movie, "Saving Private Ryan" to theaters on July 24, 1998.

'Saving Private Ryan' is Released

Director Steven Spielberg released the movie, Saving Private Ryan on this day in 1998 telling a story set during the invasion of Normandy during World War II. Loosely based on a true story, the film received much applause for its realistic and often gruesome portrayal of the war. The film starred Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper and Vin Diesel. Private Ryan was portrayed by Matt Damon. The movie made over $481 million worldwide and won various awards including the Oscar for Best Director.”

Sunday, July 23, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for July 23

The Ford Motor Company sold it's first car, the Model A, on July 23, 1903.

The Ford Motor Company Sells its First Car

Henry Ford was 39 years old when the Ford Motor Company was launched in a converted factory in Detroit, Michigan in 1903. The Model A was the first car produced using pairs or trios of men working on each car. The very first car was sold on this day in 1903. Between 1903 and 1904, 1,750 cars were made. The two-seater weighed 1,240 lbs. and could reach a top speed of 28 mph. Though Ford was and is known as the "most reliable machine in the world” the Model A had plenty of performance problems. Initially it was only sold in the color red.