NSFA: The Simpsons Sing the Blues!

Debuting to the world in April 19th, 1987, thirty years later, The Simpsons has never been afraid to take a look back at their history and mock the absurdity of it all. While the show has been quite excellent in its formative years, back in 1990, the show reached the height of its popularity to where it had oodles of merchandise. There were dolls, shirts, comic books, books, video games, et al. and the show took the opportunity to mock that period back in the “Behind the Laughter” episode. In it the narrator looks at how obscene the merchandising for the show was to the point where the characters went so far as to release birth control and, yes, two cheesy hit novelty albums.

Hilariously enough in 1990, The Simpsons did release a “legitimate” music album named “The Simpsons Sing the Blues!”

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The PC Thug: “Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return” Proves Reboots Don’t Have to Suck

I think there was even some doubt by Joel Hodgson and company on whether or not fans wanted a reboot of MST3K. Sure, the merchandise sells well, but most reboots of nineties properties have either stunk or just failed to deliver, period. Plus it’s not like the show was around for a short time like “Firefly” or “Freaks and Geeks.” It was on ten years and even earned a movie of its own. Surprisingly enough fans proved that the show is just as special to them as it is to Joel Hodgson and his crew of brilliant creators that gave us the original series. Like all the other fans, “MST3K” has a very special place in my heart and I have such a deep bond with its characters and love for its formula. So naturally I was frightened the reboot would be stale.

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Donnie Darko: Meat Suits and Multiverses

Richard Kelly’s “Donnie Darko” has managed to become somewhat mythical among movie buffs, despite being so widely celebrated. It’s a movie with a fairly simplistic tale about time travel and paradoxes, but also has been interpreted by many people and injected with ideas that fit the general frame work of what “Donnie Darko” is. Some people call it a Christ allegory, some people call it a time travel movie, and Kelly himself has called the movieCatcher in the Rye” if it were written by Phillip K. Dick. There is a surefire hint of author Phillip K. Dick in the way that our main character Donnie Darko is stuck in this hazy world of suburban conformity and alarming aggression. It seeps in to the desperation to be accepted and act accordingly by just about everyone.

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Five Great Bill Paxton (1955-2017) Performances

Bill Paxton could play any character. He could play anyone, at any time, from anywhere. He was a cowboy in the old west, he was a soldier in the future fighting aliens, he was a tornado chaser, a leather clad vampire, a slimy car salesman, an obnoxious big brother, a dad burdened with the knowledge of demonic entities, a punk, et al. He could be anyone. I am one of the many kids who grew up watching Paxton give riveting performances on film, no matter how big or small the role was. Paxton was a man who could appear in any time period on film and you bought his performance and his place there.

By all accounts, Paxton was a very nice and warm man who loved his fans, and treated everyone with immense respect. I was born in 1983, so I was old enough to remember a time where Paxton was in a lot of movies, and was a constant face on film. He’d just pop up, and it was a pleasant surprise every single time. Paxton even helped invent a ton of imitators who would walk around screaming “Game over man! Game over!” over and over and over. It never got old.

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Fifteen Years Later, “Eight Legged Freaks” Deserves To Be Celebrated

Ellory Elkayem’s “Eight Legged Freaks” came out during a horrendous time. First it was a limited release, unleashed around the time another Spider oriented movie was breaking box office records, and it was released during a time where audiences were still bruised from 9/11 and weren’t too keen on welcoming horror comedies in to their lives quite yet. It’s a shame since “Eight Legged Freaks” is a pitch perfect horror comedy that celebrates everything from B movies, slasher movies, disaster movies, and the classic monster movies like “Them!” and “Mosquito.” Ellory Elkayem based a lot of “Eight Legged Freaks” on his short film “Larger Than Life,” which is very much in the spirit of what we see on the big screen. It is a black and white ode to the sixties monster movies with Elkayem conjuring up what’s so gross and icky about spiders. I originally saw “Larger than Life” on television in 2000 when it premiered on the short film television series “Exposure” on the Sci-Fi Channel here in America.

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The PC Thug: Five Reasons Why It’s Time for “The Big Bang Theory” To End

I am a big fan of “The Big Bang Theory.” I love the show, I think it’s hilarious, it consistently makes me laugh, and if I’m bored I’ll turn on cable and sit through a three hour marathon on TBS here in America. I’ve been watching it since season one and have found its ability to change its mold and renew itself entertaining, time and time again. The shift from a gimmicky sitcom about four geeky guys and the hot girl next door to four geeky guys learning to navigate actual relationships with three women has been fun to experience. That said, “The Big Bang Theory” really needs to end in season eleven.

With Season ten currently in progress here in America, it doesn’t look like the show is preparing to resolve all of its sub-plots, so I think it’s fair for the show to end on season eleven and go out on a high note. I mean, it would be great if the show ended on a high. It made its point and proved all its critics wrong. It lasted over a decade as one of the highest rated shows on TV, it has a massive following, and it’s so popular even the syndicated reruns on basic cable draw in so many viewers, they’ve managed to earn bigger ratings than original cable TV series’. It’s time for “The Big Bang Theory” to end, and here’s why.

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The PC Thug: I Still Love “Creepshow 2” a bit more than “Creepshow”

“Juvenile delinquency is the product of pent up frustrations, stored-up resentments and bottled-up fears. It is not the product of cartoons and captions. But the comics are a handy, obvious, uncomplicated scapegoat. If the adults who crusade against them would only get as steamed up over such basic causes of delinquency as parental ignorance, indifference, and cruelty, they might discover that comic books are no more a menace than Treasure Island or Jack the Giant Killer”.

I often describe “Creepshow 2” as a mean spirited sequel, but I think that’s why it stands apart from the original. And granted the original movie was also a bit mean spirited in and of itself, so I don’t know why I continuously give it such a label. The whole janitor and med student being eaten by the yeti in “Creepshow” just pour cruel, harsh deaths. Anyway, I love “Creepshow 2” and my re-watching it in its crisp restoration from Arrow Video confirmed that. There are a ton of movies I adored as a kid that just hasn’t held up very well, but “Creepshow 2” still maintains its inherent quality.

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The PC Thug: George Romero and The Blame Game

PCThug-logoI should preface this rant by saying that I avoided making this article for a few days if only because I am a big Romero fan. I think Night, Dawn and Day of the Dead are brilliant masterpieces that should be analyzed by film students everywhere, while films like “Knight Riders” and “Creepshow” are pretty fantastic in their own right. Hell I’ve even ardently defended Romero at every turn, cheering on his efforts to make a “Resident Evil” movie, “Dead Reckoning,” and I’ve even defended “Land,” “Diary,” and “Survival of the Dead” despite being his lesser movies. But lately I’ve managed to come across an interview with George Romero who has decided to bring the whole house down with him despite someone who has offered films with diminishing returns. And what’s worse is some media outlets are pretty much enabling him.

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