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Music That Sucks / Re: #7: KISS
« Last post by metaldams on Today at 09:25:34 AM »

I've made 13, count 'em, 13 KISS bass covers on YouTube, linked above.  If you're going to watch only one (thank you if you do), check out "Sure Know Something."  It is my closest thing to a popular video.  Cool bassline there.

I should cover all the Music That Sucks artists.
Music That Sucks / Re: #1: Huey Lewis and the News
« Last post by Umbrella Sam on August 15, 2017, 04:46:45 PM »
I like "The Power of Love," although part of that may be influenced by the fact that I've seen Back to the Future so many times and have therefore listened to this song a lot.
General Discussion / Re: June Foray
« Last post by Randy Stone on August 14, 2017, 02:29:11 PM »
Where is Nancy Saunders these days ?

Her various interviews are fascinating.
Music That Sucks / Re: #1: Huey Lewis and the News
« Last post by stoogerascalfan62 on August 14, 2017, 01:46:17 PM »
One HLN song I admit to liking is Heart And Soul.
Weekly Episode Discussions / Re: The Blacksmith (1922) - Buster Keaton
« Last post by metaldams on August 13, 2017, 11:42:04 PM »
weird scene in the middle of the chase in which Keaton and Roberts watch a woman undressing through her window that comes off as a bit too creepy.

In real life, yes, creepy. In a comedy, I'm cool with it.
Weekly Episode Discussions / Re: The Blacksmith (1922) - Buster Keaton
« Last post by metaldams on August 13, 2017, 09:32:53 PM » 

      For the record, for a fresh viewing for this review, I watched the 2013 rediscovered version.  This new discovery is the sole reason why I bought the new shorts collection set linked above.  Keaton has been re-released several times since I've been a fan on DVD and Blu-Ray, and while some of these re-releases look enticing, it would take a huge discovery like this for me to double dip.  So these days, I watch the above collection for shorts, and my trusty ART OF BUSTER KEATON DVD set I bought in the early 2000's for the features.

      What a rediscovery this is because yes, the "new" stuff does make THE BLACKSMITH a better film.  Part of the problem with the preview print we for years thought was the real deal is that it plays too much like a Three Stooges film.  Now, what's that I say?  Aren't I the guy who reviewed every one of their main films for almost four years?  How can I say that?  A Three Stooges film works for The Three Stooges, but not Keaton.  The Three Stooges are great at incompetence because usually the incompetent Moe acts the leader and reprimands the other two Stooges for also being incompetent.  So, say, The Stooges making a mess of the horse, like in the preview print, would work great for them, but not for Keaton, a deadpan comedian who usually has more cleverness of gag than incompetence.  What is in the new print is a great mid short chase between Keaton and Joe Roberts (who is wonderful here).  Some fantastic stuff, like Keaton losing the wheel and running over Big Joe, locking Joe in the building, avoiding Joe on a pulley, and the absolute classic silhouetted girl getting dressed in the window.  Both Buster and Joe see a striking figure in the window, stop their chase, pull up a seat, sit down together, and admire the silhouetted female getting dressed.  The second the show is over, they resume their chase.  That's clever and funny, and much more suits Keaton than being a buffoon and getting oil on a horse.

      THE BLACKSMITH, even in it's release print, is not a perfect film.  After the initial proposal scene, things become suddenly episodic with the introduction of characters who would chase Keaton at the end, and the ruining of the car gag keeps some of the unnecessary Stooge humor, but there's still some cool stuff.  Always have loved the magnet gag in the beginning, a wonderful sight gag that has always stuck with me memory wise and defined this short in my mind.  I also dig Keaton using the kid's balloon to hold the car up as he puts on the tire and love the way Big Joe tries to hit Keaton with the car door yet misses as Keaton is under the open window portion of the car door.  A mini precursor to the more famous open window gag in STEAMBOAT BILL, JR.

      We're onto Keaton's "weak" shorts now and so many lesser comedians would kill to make films this good.  Keaton in the twenties is truly one of the mind blowingly awesome artistic runs in my world.  As far as better official versions showing up during a prime run, let's hope EVEN AS I.O.U. was a preview tease and they'll discover the real version soon.  I'm not holding my breath.

Weekly Episode Discussions / Re: My Wife's Relations (1922) - Buster Keaton
« Last post by metaldams on August 13, 2017, 06:06:38 PM »
      Probably the weakest Keaton silent short, and in a sense that's a compliment, because for an average comedian, this would be an above average, if not classic film.  For Keaton, it's fine entertainment, but hardly the genius we've come to expect from the guy.  It's basically a crazy in law comedy, the kind of thing done by a million comedians, and yeah, like Umbrella Sam mentioned, Edgar Kennedy being a good example.  You get stuff like the in-laws being quicker to grab the food at dinner, a bed that falls down, confusion over Keaton inheriting money, it all just seems like this stuff belongs on planet Earth while Keaton's great stuff is from another planet where only he lives.

      Still, some nice stuff.  The putting too much yeast in the beer, a gag I know I've seen somewhere else but can't quite remember where  [pie] is a wonderful sight gag when all those suds come out of the door.  I echo Big Chief's question on wondering what the heck it was all made out of.  I also have always had a soft spot for the meat on Friday gag, being because I was raised a Catholic and had an ex girlfriend who was raised in an even stricter Catholic family, an also shares the same name as the character in this short.  No similarity in looks, though. As a tribute to Keaton, when he gets found out the inheritance is not his and the family is eyeing him, the shot of just his face is marvelous.  He is still fairly stone faced, hardly overacting, yet still somehow manages to convey fear.  Keaton was a wonderful actor and that shot is a great example.

      As for the end, yes, I know the sudden end when he runs away and gets on the train makes more sense plot wise.  After all, why would a cop suddenly be chasing Keaton?  Personally, I don't care.  The ending where the cop gets involved adds more to the chase and has that wonderful gag of Keaton going down each awning like he's slowly tearing a napkin.  It's the best sight gag in this short, something this film needed and I'm glad the footage exists.

Thanks.  I knew about previews, they're still happening today, but I didn't know that story.
Weekly Episode Discussions / Re: The Blacksmith (1922) - Buster Keaton
« Last post by Umbrella Sam on August 13, 2017, 10:51:53 AM »
What's a preview print?  Why are there two different prints?

For many years, only one version of THE BLACKSMITH existed. This version was discovered at Keaton's home and was thought to have been the general release version until the discovery of a second print in 2013. After much research, it was determined that this second version was actually the general release version approved by Keaton while the previous print had been a failed preview print.

Back then, comedians were very reliant on the preview process. They would show the film to test audiences and edit out whatever did not get a good reaction. Sometimes they didn't change a thing, as was the case with Harold Lloyd's first feature, A SAILOR-MADE MAN. However, in the case of THE BLACKSMITH, audience reaction was apparently so bad that Keaton instead ordered a re-shoot, adding new sequences and replacing or shortening others. The print that was shown at this failed preview screening is the one that was thought for many years to have been the official version. Keaton sometimes edited his films at home, which may be the reason why he kept the preview print there.
What's a preview print?  Why are there two different prints?
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