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The White Seal (1975)
The Beaches of Lukannon
In the edition of The Jungle Book that I own - which collects the short stories like "The White Seal" and "Rikki Tikki Tavi" - almost every story is preceded or followed by a poem/song. The one for "The White Seal" is "The Beaches of Lukannon." William Pint and Felicia Dale (www.pintndale.com) have recorded a haunting version of the poem (I was fortunate enough to get a tape of their original concert version many years ago). You can read the poem at http://www.pintndale.com/ by looking under their "Songlist" at the "Round the Corner" album link...and you can catch a brief sound clip (Windows Media) at Amazon under a search for said album "Round the Corner" (link too long to post here).
Better than "Baretta"
I always thought this, the original undercover detective series, was the better as it was a) realistic and gritty, b) based on a true-life individual, and c) always had a cameo of the real Toma in each episode. It was always fun to try to spot David Toma in his background role before getting the "point-out" in the end credits.
OK, so I have to add enough lines for this to be posted. Well, while I wouldn't expend the money to purchase a DVD of the show, if it ever showed up in rerun heaven, I certainly would not be adverse to setting my VCR to pick up the first (and only) season. And I will say I enjoyed (and watched) Baretta, so I might even say the same for that show as well, though I still maintain that "Toma" is the better of the two.
Vanity Fair (1987)
The best version of all
Thank God I taped it way back in 1987...agonizingly editing out the commercials, so that I had a "pure" copy of the original. (Little did I know then how a "copy of a copy" would degrade so.) I'm re-watching it now, going through an ancient copy of the book as I do so, and am newly impressed with not only how faithful, but how entertaining the production is. I may get to watching the Reese Witherspoon version some day, but only as a light amusement - no one could get the full gist of this book in 2-1/2 hours. Sorry to say, my 18-year-old tape has rather more degraded...good enough for me, but not good enough to offer anyone a copy of a copy of a copy. Let's hope A&E chooses to rebroadcast it at some point.
I survived the first hour of this and came back for the last ten minutes, just to say I saw the end. If you want *real* mythology, flawlessly executed, look for Armand Assante's "The Odyssey." Great storytelling doesn't need to be tweaked - the stories are fantastic on their own. I only hope Sean Astin needed the money. And Sophocles and Ovid must be whirling in their graves - wherever those may be.
At least with Sorbo's version, the tongue was poked relentlessly in cheek - we knew it was mostly balderdash, but perhaps enough interest was generated in the backstory to send someone to the library.I'm surprised Halmi could turn out something so amusing (the TV series), and follow it with something so devoid of quality.
I have to thank CBC, actually, for making this movie. Before a visit to Halifax on the QE2, I had never heard of the Explosion (typical American - although, in fact, I'm Canadian-born). But even seeing the great memorial didn't really register the extent of the disaster until I saw the movie. Yes, characters were combined or fictionalized in some cases, but that is absolutely secondary to the portrayal of that horrific episode in Canadian history. The effects of the blast were particularly well done. I hope it plays again, as indeed it should every couple of years or so, to remind us all of both the losses and the bravery incurred that day.
It's immensely gratifying to see someone besides me remembers these two shows (including the companion "Hot Wheels")...no one I have ever spoken to does. I particularly liked Skyhawks because most of my immediate family are/were licensed pilots (Dad, Mom, me), and it was near unbelievable to see a kids' show devoted to our passion. 35 years later, the signature songs still rings clearly in my mind. If only cartoon Channel re-ran the REAL old classics...
And while we're at it, I'll throw in a comment about "Hot Wheels." Several have commented on that show's page that the makers of the toy saw a marketing opportunity in Saturday morning television. I may well be wrong in this, but I thought the show came before the toys. I certainly don't recall any companion set of toys coming out for "Skyhawks," and according to IMDb, that show stayed on the air longer.
Pale Male (2002)
Wonderful nature documentary!!
I had no clue, before seeing this by chance last night, that one of New York City's most famous residents is a red-tailed hawk. The story of Pale Male's exploits was so enjoyable that it inspired me to search all over the Web for the copious information I found on him. Hawks apparently live 12-13 years, but this fellow has been captivating otherwise jaded New Yorkers for well over a decade. Four wives, 26 chicks, and termed a "one-bird pigeon snuff squad" for his falcon-like hunting habits, Pale Male is something of an institution in Central Park. Almost enough of an inspiration to use my "air miles" for a trip to the Big Apple to see him while he's still around!
Sea Hunt (1958)
June 2003 - Sea Hunt on OLN Cable!
Check your local listings. In Seattle, it's on Comcast Cable on the OLN Network at 10 p.m. Enjoy! Tonight's episode, "Storm Drain," featured an incredibly young pre-pudge Beau Bridges in his first television appearance. Never mind little technical goofs (such as the fact that, in a supposedly vicious current in the storm drain, Mike Nelson's bubbles float straight up); It's still fun. And Lloyd Bridges' delivery of his lines reminds you why he was later cast in "Airplane!".
A unique opportunity for Shackleton buffs
While I am in complete agreement with the two prior reviewers as to the excellence of this documentary, there is a special treat contained therein for Shackleton buffs. Those who know of Hurley's doctoring of the negative of the James Caird *leaving* Elephant Island (on the great 800-mile journey), making it appear to be instead an approaching lifeboat in "the Rescue," may be floored as I was to see the photo in its original, untouched form - showing *two* boats, with the Stancomb Wills beside it. (It was actually the Caird which was scratched out and the Wills which remained in the doctored version.) When I asked the director about it, he said he had been able to obtain what was, to his knowledge, the only undamaged print of the original in existence. It is an unprecedented treat to be able to see this image as the men, hoping for rescue on that barren piece of ice-swept rock, originally saw it.
Outstanding flick for its time
I saw this film as part of Seattle's Paramount Theatre Silent Movie series (augmented by live Wurlitzer organ). Aspects of it (which you'll note if you can find it - I won't ruin it for you) were especially poignant in the light of the (at the time I saw it) Russian Kursk submarine tragedy. It lets you know exactly what the men of the Kursk were going through - no lie. Also notable were aspects of male/female relationships which have (publicly) changed greatly since this film was made (and come around again). If you can rent it, catch it on the telly, or see it in a theatre (best) - DO. Historically perspective drama at its finest.