Spend a Couple Hours »Jim Henson’s Fantastic World (and More)

3601 35th Avenue, Astoria

The Museum of Moving Image underwent a major renovation recently and looks great. Their current semi permanent exhibit is a fun look at movie making. It explores costumes, sound design, acting, editing and more with crowd pleasing artifacts (like Chewbaca’s mask, a Freddy Krueger prop and a large Blade Runner model) as well as fun hands on features.

Kids we having a great time doing voice over work and making special effects while Van and I made our own little video which we could and did buy as a flip book in the gift shop (pictured below).

It’s a family friendly environment and all ages will love the current Jim Henson’s Fantastic World exhibit. Just good to note: no strollers or photos allowed so bring that carrier for little little ones.

Many actual puppets are on display from Kermit the Frog, to Miss piggy, Fraggles to Bert and Ernie but Van was simply tickled with the Mahna Mahna and backup singer puppets – laughing and pointing when we got near them. He also found an old Kermit video about jazz absolutely hilarious.

Some of my personal favorites were early drawings of big bird, some wicked Skeksis jewelry from the Dark Crystal, and a delightful early film he made that plays on a loop on the middle level called time piece. Also be sure to watch the La Choy dragon commercial within the commercial video loop. It’s awesome.

On our way out we couldn’t resist the unique gift of a black and white Elmo doll, a strange Japanese product that van has taken a liking to wrestling with, hugging and eating it’s eyeballs.

Really look forward to taking him to future exhibits at this great new space.

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Posted on September 12, 2011

Web Sites »The Art of the Title Sequence

A Compendium and Leading Web Resource of Film and Television Title Design

Whether it’s for a work of genius or Inner Space, you can find a comprehensive exploration of title sequence at the aptly named website, Art of the Title Sequence.

They include collages and information from films old and new, television series domestic and foreign.

Not only is there lots of images and videos, but often they will really get into the hows and whys with the sequence creators.

I discovered the site while looking up the most excellent titles to the less than excellent Gentlemen Broncos and found an involved interview with the director and photos of how they made it. (A photo of the books used in the sequence is after the jump).

There’s lots to go through and browsing will be a joy for anyone equally obsessed with what is sometimes the best part about a show or movie.

Click here for the rest of The Art of the Title Sequence

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Posted on July 24, 2011

Laughs »Tallulah Bankhead as Robin

from The Batman TV Show, Caught In The Spider’s Web Episode

Man, I love the old Batman show. It’s probably one of the most entertaining comedies ever made.

Mike had it on the other evening and graced us with a showing of this gem.

Starring a slurry, gin soaked, and completely awesome Tallulah Bankhead as Black Widow, the episode features an ingenious plot.

In order to rob a bank, Black Widow has made a Batman robot and created an uncanny Robin disguise.

The result is… unbelievable.

The really good stuff starts at 3:01 in the clip (but it’s all good stuff).

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Posted on June 23, 2011

Web Sites »Winter is Coming

News and Rumors About HBO’s Game of Thrones

If you just can’t get enough Game of Thrones, Winter is Coming is a great site with interesting recaps, reviews, rumors and more. I was especially excited to read here that one of my favorites, Asia Argento is being considered for a role in season two. I love that the site is accessible to both readers and newbies with articles written specifically for each group to prevent spoilers.

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Posted on June 16, 2011

Web Sites »Retrospace

Fab Blog

Retrospace is a new discovery for me and a great, constantly updated treasure trove of all things retro: from long forgotten magazines, catalogues, found photographs, TV shows and books. There are also Podcasts that feature old radio ads, novelty songs and other intriguing oddities.

The archives go back three years, so I have only really scratched the surface but I am in love already. Any blog where you can find Mexican porno mags from the 70’s and a history of stewardess outfits through the decades is alright with me. Do set aside some real time to go through it all.

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Posted on April 18, 2011

Laughs »If TV’s LOST was a 1987 point-and-click computer game

by Penney Design

I am seriously kind of jealous of my friends that are watching LOST from the beginning for the first time (they are blissfully ignorant hug fest horror of the final scenes) and only just saw the numbers on the hatch (remember how cool that was?) But this Penney Design faux video game is a great, really well done inside joke fix for fans. Sadly, I can’t get the animated version to load, but the screen shots are priceless. Other modern films and shows the design team has worked up in faux 70’s and 80’s style video cartridges are Wall E, Snakes on a Plane, and Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.

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Posted on June 6, 2010

Laughs »Ghost Hunters Academy

Ghost Hunters AcademyAiring weekly on SYFY

Let me just start off by making it clear that Ghost Hunters is a show that, unless you’ve seen it, you really can’t believe it. If you’ve seen clips on the Soup where a traditionally good looking guy is, in the parlance of McHale’s writers, “taunting the air”, that show is not Ghost Hunters but the free-wheeling, tongue-in-cheek Zak Bagans of Ghost Adventures. Ghost Hunters, which airs on the newly branded SyFy, is a dour, sour, extremely self-serious program that follows the TAPS team (former RotoRooters – I kid you not, watch the animated intro) Jason and Grant as they travel the country proffering their special blend of dickish skepticism.

I’m not sure how to put this without sounding like a dick myself (I’d certainly like to suppose that I’m not without a base-level belief in the supernatural), but a television show about the (pseudo) science of ghost detection is, at its very core, problematic. I suppose what I have the biggest issue with is the way that a bunch of scowly douchebags have thoroughly stripped away the mystery and wonder of the spiritual realm and replaced it with a bunch of hard and fast rules they simply shat out over years and years of know-it-ally conversations. Ghost stories are always fundamentally people stories: once you’re dead, you can’t really do all that much – it’s the human element that makes tales of spookings and hauntings so compelling – and Ghost Hunters occasionally succeeds when it profiles individuals experiencing paranormal activity in their homes and places of business.

The interviews with the afflicted are always the most genuinely interesting parts of the show because, more often than not, the interview subjects cannot help but betray that the haunting is something that they’re kind of proud of, a fact that sparks a series of essential, and rather heavy, human experience questions: why do these people think they have ghosts in their lives, what’s going on psychologically? Why aren’t all of us affected by moving plates and dimming lights, bumps in the attic and visions of people not there? Ultimately: is there really an afterlife or are we doomed to haunt some tourist attraction for the rest of eternity?

After the interview and case history are established, a  bunch of DV cams, EMF detectors and rigid, jerky attitudes take center stage as the team tries to ‘scientifically’ establish whether or not the place is actually haunted. This ‘evidence gathering’ phase of the show is always tedious, once it’s completed the team studies the A/V record they’ve made and looks for pieces of the tape where they can almost detect a voice straining to say something like, ‘Help me”.

But I filed this under Brittany’s Laughs category for a reason: this show is hilarious.

Click here for the rest of Ghost Hunters Academy

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Posted on December 6, 2009