Friday, October 20, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for September 20

CBS aired its "eye" logo on October 20, 1951.

CBS Has Its Eye on You

It was on this day in 1951 when CBS TV debuted “The Eye” logo for the first time. Designed by creative director Bill Golden, it was inspired by hex symbols resembling the human eye that were drawn on Shaker barns to ward off evil spirits. The finished logo was created by Kurt Weihs. In the 1950s, the logo’s center became a camera iris, but that idea was dropped early on. Though minor changes have been made to the eye, the logo pretty much has stayed the same and is considered one of the best trademark symbols ever created.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

'Goodbye Christopher Robin' is More Melancholy Than Sweet

Review of "Goodbye Christopher Robin"
Domhnall Gleeson and Wil Tilston in Goodbye Christopher Robin (20th Century Fox)


The trailers Goodbye Christopher Robin are a bit misleading presenting what looks to be happy history of the family behind the Winnie-the-Pooh books. Instead, the film is a lot more melancholy. Families might also think that this is a family film and while it is only rated PG, the storyline will probably make the younger set uncomfortable at best and bored at the worst. However, if you are a fan of the works of A.A. Milne, then you will probably find this Pooh story to be fascinating, if not as heartwarming as you would expect.

Before the World Wars, A.A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) was a successful author and playwright with a great wit. (I had the chance to see one of his plays, Mr. Pim Passes By and enjoy the same wit and whimsy that he so cleverly displayed in the Winnie-the-Pooh books.) This thrust him into the limelight which his socialite wife, Daphne (Margot Robbie) truly enjoyed. However, after returning home from the war, he found that he struggled with PTSD. At first, Daphne was supportive of his condition, but soon became frustrated that he wasn’t writing as much as he used to.

The movie paints the picture of their marriage in a very uncomfortable way. Neither showed much emotion to the other and always acted “proper” in public. Daphne especially would rather die than allow her husband to see her cry. However, the two are playful with one another from time to time as she calls him “Blue” for some reason that is never explained (or I might have missed the reason).
After the birth of their son, Christopher Robin (Will Tilston), it is clear that Milne doesn’t have a lot of interaction with his baby boy as he is shown not knowing how to hold Christopher. The couple soon hire a nanny to take care of Christopher so they can attend parties and whatnot. Eventually though, the PTSD bec0mes too much for Milne and moves his family to the countryside of East Sussex much to his wife’s dismay. Though happier, Milne still wasn’t writing. However, after re-learning how to play and interact with Christopher and his stuffed animals, Milne received the inspiration he needed to create his first Children’s book.

'Only the Brave' is a Beautiful Yet Flawed Tribute Movie

Miles Teller and Josh Brolin face off in Only the Brave (Black Label Media)


Director Joseph Konsinski makes a good point when he says, “In an age of superheroes, Only the Brave is a film about real heroes.” Truly we can afford to see more true-life adventures of the men and women who protect us. Only the Brave aims to bring tribute to the 20 men who battled the deadly Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona back in 2013, but sadly, the film falls on its own sword in its attempt.

Though beautifully shot, Only the Brave is a frustrating movie and proves that it can’t get by on looks alone. It begins with a rocky start of bad lines and finishes on a sour note. Though the trailers promise an exciting adventure about a forest fire, the movie is more of a drama with a fire in the backdrop. This in itself isn’t a bad idea, but as a tribute all of the men, the script chooses to only focus on two characters: Fire supervisor Eric Marsh and rookie firefighter, Brendan McDonough. The rest of the guys are given about two lines of dialogue each and often it’s in the form of locker room talk rather than the matter at hand. These men were heroes, but they are presented as sort of a good ‘ol boys club instead. The story moves at a snail’s pace and then suddenly, it’s over and it becomes apparent that we really didn’t learn much about any of these other characters. With that said, what the film gets right is the interaction between Marsh and McDonough played by Josh Brolin and Miles Teller respectively.

Only the Brave is based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots featured in Sean Flynn’s GQ article “No Exit: The Granite Mountain Yarnell Fire Investigation.” The Hotshots literally fight fire with fire, but even after watching the movie, I’m not exactly sure how. What is clear though is how tough the job is.

This Day in Pop Culture for October 19

Colton Dixon was born on October 19, 1991

Colton Dixon is Born

It was on this day in 1991 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee that Michael Colton Dixon was born. During his high school years, Colton sang in the choir and played an extra in Hannah Montana: The Movie which came out in theaters in 2008. He and his sister, Schyler, auditioned for American Idol during the show’s tenth season but neither of them made it to the top 24 contestants. The following year, Colton went to the auditions for the show as a support for his sister with no intention of auditioning himself. He was encouraged to do so anyway. This time he made it through, but she did not. Making it to the top 25 that year, he was eliminated on April 19, 2012. However, in January 2013, Dixon released his first album, A Messenger with EMI-CMG/Sparrow Records. It sold 22,000 copies during the first week, made #15 on the Billboard 200 chart and #1 on the U.S. Christian Chart. In September 2015 was a busy month for Dixon as he released his second album, The Calm Before the Storm and he got engaged to Annie Coggeshall. The two were married on January 8, 2016. His third album, Identity, was released on March 24, 2017.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Black Panther to Prowl Soon - Video of the Day


New trailer for Marvel's upcoming Black Panther.

This Day in Pop Culture for October 18

"The Jungle Book" opened in theaters on October 18, 1967

‘The Jungle Book’ Opens in Theaters

Walt Disney created his 19th animated feature film inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s book, The Jungle Book. Directed by the appropriately named Wolfgang Reitherman, the movie tells the story about Mowgli, an orphan boy who is raised in the jungle by wolves and then later by Bagheera a black panther and Baloo the bear. The movie featured the voices of Phil Harris, Sebastian Cabot, George Sanders, Louis Prima, Sterling Holloway, J. Pat O'Malley and Verna Felton. Mowgli was voiced by Bruce Reitherman, the director’s son. Disney passed away before the film made it to theaters on this day in 1967, but the film was a big success becoming the fourth highest-grossing movie of that year. The film was re-released in 1978, 1984 and 1990. In 1994, Disney came up with a live-action make of the story as well as an animated sequel, The Jungle Book 2, in 2003. In 2016, Disney created yet another live-action version of the original film which was directed by Jon Favreau. A sequel to that production is currently in the works.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

You Call This 'Fun' Size?

Should "fun size" candy be re-labeled "skimpy size?"
Are these really the FUN size?


Guest Post by Ted Vail

Since Halloween is knocking at our door, let’s talk a little about candy, and notably, those little candies that say “Fun Size” on the wrapper. First of all, when it comes to candy, “Fun Size” means more candy not less. Apparently, someone replaced the word “skimpy” with the word “fun.” There is nothing fun about less candy. 

Have you ever used this phrase: “Sometimes less is more”? There are probably situations where that is true, but I suggest one situation where it is not true: Candy!  I’d like to be mindful of another phrase as it pertains to candy, “Most of the time, less is less”. 

Can we sue?  We could petition for truth in advertising, requesting that skimpy candy wrappers say one of the following:
  • “Not as Fun Size”
  • “Just Kid-ding Size”
  • “We Can’t Believe You were Duped into thinking this is Fun Size”
Or at least:
  • “Fun for Us Size" and then in small print: "Fun for us as Profiting Manufacturers to Sell Consumers Scrawnier Candy for the Same Amount of Money and Tell You it’s Fun (p.s. we got sued and have to say this)”. 
On a less cynical tone, there are three positives about “fun size” to encourage you with: 
  • Perhaps in a win for humanity, when it comes to candy, we’re not so focused on the exterior wrapper; we actually do judge for content on this one.
  • I was going to say, better health, but are we really going to put the word “health” anywhere on a candy bar?
  • Umm…ok I guess there’s only one positive, but I’ll keep thinking.
Here’s the reality; we’re not suing, it’s candy and we’re going to buy whatever they sell us. So let’s celebrate the Fun Size revolution as we take our young ones out in the neighborhood with some “fun size” candy baskets, then return to our "fun size" homes and celebrate the season by kicking back in our "fun size" chairs (capacity .5 people) and watch a 19” "fun size" TV while answering the door and handing out unhealthy portions of "fun size" candy.

Ted Vail is a longtime time friend of mine who has shared this rant with me and others many of times and I thought that it was time that it was shared with the masses.

Aaron Cole Sings 'Right on Time' - Video of the Day


New music video by Aaron Cole with TobyMac.