Blog Archives

Joining MST3K Fandom and a Bit About Joel and Mike

Joel and Mike

This is a follow up to my posts here, here, and here.  This one will be much shorter, and will be talking more about the show itself, and not so much about its archetypal meaning.

I’m a likely and yet improbable fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000.  Having been born at the cusp of the Boomer Generation and Generation X, I’m in the target age group.  As a male and a science fiction fan, I’m certainly in the target demographic.  Despite this, it took me a long time to become an MST3K fan.

I remember running across it a few times in the early 90’s while looking for something to watch.  I couldn’t figure out what it even was at first.  After watching a few snatches of it, I originally thought it was something like What’s Up, Tiger Lily?  This was an early movie by Woody Allen in which he took a standard-issue Japanese spy drama, and dubbed it in English with totally new dialogue that turned it into a farcical spoof about the search for a secret egg salad recipe.  I had seen that as a kid and liked it; and when I first saw MST3K, I thought the voices of Joel and the bots were an overdub as in Tiger Lily.

Read the rest of this entry

Movie Night: The Great Houdini

A somewhat fictionalized, but fun, biopic on Harry Houdini.

Movie Night: Battle of the Worlds

Movie Night: The Phantom from Space

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a movie, and what better night than New Year’s Eve for some good old-fashioned cheesy 50’s sci-fi?  Enjoy, and Happy New Year!

DAFOTV, part VII: By Your Command

891294-battlestar_galactica_cylon_centurion_1

Last time we looked at the changes in technology related to television in the 90’s and early 2000’s.  The sum total of these changes gave us much more control over what we watched.  This in turn had effects on the content itself.  How did this happen, exactly?  Read on.

The first increases in control were cable TV (more different channels serving more niche interests) and home video (VHS).  With the first, the content was still provider-driven–you had more channels, but each one decided what it was going to air.  The second gave more control–you could watch a video anywhere, anytime–but the content was even more limited.  This followed from the mechanism itself.

A VHS tape is relatively large and clunky.  It can record up to six hours of material, but at the speed that gives optimal picture quality and resolution, it can store only two hours.  This is the perfect length for most movies, but it is not good for TV series.  A VHS tape could hold two hour-long episodes (typical for dramas) or four half-hour episodes (as with sitcoms) at optimal resolution.  This means that a typical 22 episode season would require eleven tapes for an hour-long drama, or six for a half-hour sitcom.  A single season, therefore, would fill up nearly one entire row of a media center stand.  For long-running series, one’s available space would fill up rapidly.  Sufficiently avid videophiles could tape episodes themselves, but for most of us it’s not worth the effort.

Read the rest of this entry

Movie Night: Phantom of the Opera

 

The classic, silent Lon Cheney, Sr. version.

Sunday Matinee: The People

Friday Matinee: The Astral Factor

Movie Night: Immortal Beloved

A movie about Beethoven, starring Gary Oldman.

Movie Night: St. Francis of Assisi

 

Today is his feast day.