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Journal Archives from July 2007
 
Tf Movie 2007 Deluxe additions

Astute readers of the front page of the Preserve may have noticed the new Transformers 2007 Movie toy additions, namely Starscream and Swindle. Also posted is the information for Wreckage, which finally completes the Movie 2007 section for the first wave of Leader, Voyager and Deluxe items. I have yet to see any of the second wave figures, and fear that they might simply not arrive in my small town.
Posted by charlie on July 31st 2007
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willem dafoe oil painting

Thanks to the efforts of regular Preserve reader Chase, google (and others) now see fit to return the Preserve as the number one hit for "Willem Dafoe oil painting", which is exactly how it should be.

If any of our readers know where we might obtain a print or reproduction of this amazing piece, don't hesitate to write in!
Posted by charlie on July 30th 2007
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Monster Squad dvd

The monster convention that The Uncle and I attended some months ago, where we met the Monster Squad cast, had led me to believe that the 20th anniversary DVD release would be taking place later this fall. Having just now checked amazon for a future release date, I see that I was mistaken!

Available for sale this very instant is the two dvd, 20th anniversary, packed with extras, Monster Squad release! I advise everyone to check out this largely forgotten, up until now out of print and only on VHS, gem of '80s cinema.
Posted by charlie on July 29th 2007
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unclecast 12

UncleCast #12 is now available for the enjoyment of one and all! This is a very special uncleCast, as it is the first time that both myself and The Uncle have been geographically adjacent, thereby allowing the audio fidelity of the cast to be greatly improved! If I could only get a satellite uplink direct to Long Island, but still there's that killer delay - curses to the speed of light! As usual, the show notes will be up shortly, but the show is available now.
Posted by charlie on July 28th 2007
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the temple of failure

It is not often that I will talk about people in particular who surround, support, and influence the Preserve, unless of course it is around Botcon time and I have to discuss the adventures that The Uncle and I had with David Kaye, but in this case I will make an exception. A bittersweet living space called The Temple of Failure is disbanding this week, due to the inevitability of life. We managed to snap a group shot of the residents - real, alumni and honorary - of The Temple, which is included below:



That of course is your humble narrator on the upper right, looking like a cross between Leslie Vernon of Behind the Mask fame, and the T-800. Here's an extra large copy for the real masochists out there.
Posted by charlie on July 27th 2007
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Picture Pages lot

As some readers may remember, this past 4th of July was, by my standards, a patriotic home run, full of a morning of billable work, rum named after an American tattoo artist, and Bill Cosby's Picture Pages. It was as a result of having such great fun that, as if there were any room for doubt in the matter, Picture Pages has secured itself a place of fondest honor here at the Preserve.

While I remember watching and enjoying the shows as a little kid, even though I think I never had a single one of the activity books, the open mouthed delight that I find now being 'all grown up' and watching Bill Cosby be insane for 5 minute bursts is just solid gold. In keeping with this new theme, I have made sure to start building out a library of all released media I can find related to the show:



Pictured above are:
  • Numbers
  • Words & Letters
  • Shapes & Colors
  • Sights & Sounds
With luck I will shortly get my act together, and develop the facility for digitization of this nearly lost content, as well as Pryor's Place, and then we can all share the adventure.
Posted by charlie on July 26th 2007
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Hercules Goes Bananas

My time in the wilderness at Hollywood Video lately has turned up some really unexpected gems, but few hit me with the impact of such ludicrous fury as did the following:



After further research I have found that "Hercules Goes Bananas" is in fact Arnold's first, little known film, more commonly known as Hercules in New York. I can't wait to see Hercules and his Pretzel Vendor friend "Pretzy" have hilarious adventures in NYC in 1970 - I'm just delighted to have a copy with the absurd alternate title!
Posted by charlie on July 25th 2007
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Ultraman

Recently discovered on dvd is the 'series one volume one' box set of Ultraman episodes from 1966. I admit that, other than glimpses here and there, I had never gotten the chance to watch this show for real, or certainly not in order and from the top. This is such great original material for the 40 years worth of things that were to come in both live action and animated features in Japan, that it really is a thrill to be able to see these clear, Preserved copies of the old episodes.

While the foolish folk on ebay are bidding these sets up to a significant premium, you should be able to swing by your favorite big box store or better still amazon and pick up a copy for a great price. It's great viewing for some wonderful classic special effects and rubber-suit-kung-fu, don't miss it!
Posted by charlie on July 24th 2007
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guitar hero retraction

When I first learned about guitar hero, I constantly proclaimed that it was lame for people to play such a thing when they could just learn the actual guitar. Only recently, when we got a copy for ourselves, complete with the white explorer model guitar which is a great smaller replica of the real guitar I own, did I revise my opinion. I found the game to be addictive, fun to play as well as to watch, and even more awesome in two player mode. I was able to handle the whole 48 song batch with little trouble on the 'Medium' setting, and beat the game with much enjoyment! At that point I had to retract my opinion of the thing, and was happy to admit my fault.

Interestingly, having now tried to move up to the next level of difficulty I am realizing that I'd have to spend a great deal of time practicing sections of even the intro-level songs! I guess I'm feeling too lazy to do that, so will probably just keep playing Thunderhorse at Stongehenge on medium!
Posted by charlie on July 23rd 2007
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Behind the Mask

At the danger of continuing the movie trend of the Preserve lately, which it could be argued drifts too far from the core mission (though I would counter is part and parcel of being 'something awesome that you can enjoy' which is, at the heart of things, the real mission around here) I have to bring to your attention a film called Behind the Mask.

It takes place in a world in which Freddy, Jason and Michael (from various horror franchises) are in fact very real, and follows the preparations (Blair Witch style) of a killer-to-be as he sets up the scene of his slaying which will make him a player in the 'business' of such things. As he explains it, he is providing the public service of being a counterpoint to that which is good in the world, to give meaning to the good, for without evil, it would be an empty concept. Well, hilarity ensues as you can imagine, and it is wonderfully done, and features some astonishingly awesome cameos - I can't recommend the film highly enough and hope that all fans of the genre can check it out.
Posted by charlie on July 22nd 2007
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bumblebee prop car

Well, it turns out that my prediction was about $5000 high, but the auction for the actual 1977 Camaro that was Bumblebee in the recent Transformers movie did end up closing right around $40k. Pretty impressive - I can only hope that some comfortable collector will put it in a giant glass bubble in the middle of his concrete reinforced toy showcase room. Or, better yet, that it went to someone who will drive it around to car shows and actually enjoy it!
Posted by charlie on July 21st 2007
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willem dafoe oil painting

On the heels of the Willem Dafoe oil painting fascination, here is an Internet Aneurysm that expresses the displeasure which I also share:


The fact that the google image search that it dispays was based on an entirely misspelled string, I feel, makes it even more amusing. I assure you that a search based on the correctly spelled name returns a similar lack of results.
Posted by charlie on July 20th 2007
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Spiderman 3

The big theater company in town has just constructed a new mega-stadium-plex and ran a special deal this week to both train up their staff (trial by serious fire) and get the townsfolk interested in the new facility. They were offering $1 movies, $1 soda and $1 popcorn, nearly all of which are probably terrible ideas but great fun. We caught 300 and Spiderman 3 last night, back to back, and got to experience the very front and the very rear of the new theatres due to the tremendous crowding.

While Spiderman 3 was, sadly, not that great a film, it did contain one amazing and redeeming factor, which was the oil painting of Willem Dafoe. Somehow getting a print of this image to hang up at home would be just the thing, but it seems that the internets know nothing about it!
Posted by charlie on July 19th 2007
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further sci-fighter tie ins

Not yet willing to abandon this deep and varied pool of links and cross-references that Sci-Fighter seems to have opened, there are two more amazing facts that link up with recent focuses of the Preserve:


So much madness - makes me want to go watch Terminal Rush again for the reunion movie. Now, if there is a movie with the Dragon, RothRock and Piper, well that will just be that.

Lastly, don't forget to act fast, as Great-Grand-Pappy Witwicky's Spectacles are going to end shortly, right around $3000!
Posted by charlie on July 18th 2007
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Vince DiCola

As is often the case around the Preserve, one absurd passion leads in directions that could not have been imagined at the begnning. Such is the case with the recent Don 'the Dragon' Wilson fascination, coupled with my new found appreciation of Cynthia RockRock!

I had exclaimed that a movie featuring the two of them would really be something, and that upon further research there is in fact such a film called Sci-Fighter (2004). I looked into this film a little more today, and not only does it feature my favorite action heroes of the month, but in a complete and total nod to absolute absurdity, as well as a solid tie-in to the core values of the Preserve, the original music for the film is by none other than Vince DiCola!

Name not sound familiar? Well he hasn't done very much work, but you should at the very least know a few of his songs by heart from the 1986 Transformers Movie (the 'score' bits). That's right - how awesome is that? He has done three major pictures ever, Transformers, Rocky IV and my new found treasure hunt of Sci-Fighter. With this sort of star power behind the film, how can you go wrong!!
Posted by charlie on July 17th 2007
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crispin karate kid a thon

The actual Tremors-a-Thon which went down this previous weekend included elements of both branches of the planned a-thon, but had the extra added amazing addition of the entire Karate Kid four-part series! Better still, we began that series around 11pm, after several other films and a pleasant though unwise long break for a leisurely bbq outside in the late afternoon of what was a nearly perfect day.

The actual a-thon schedule ended up looking like this:
Total tracked time: 641 min = 10.6 hours. (plus at least 1.5 hours of Pippi.)

After watching The Orkly Kid, with Crispin, we were all astonished. It was so good, we simply could not bring ourselves to watch another movie which we had scheduled due to Crispin-awesomeness, because it was clear that anything in that vein would be a letdown.

As an eBay watch for today, I feel compelled to post the currently-active auction for the actual 1977 Camero which was Bumblebee in the latest Transformers movie. It's sort of surprising how they have been selling so many of the movie items, and this one is, expectedly, already commanding a price in excesses of $30,000. It will end in about 2 days, and I predict $45,000 as a final price.
Posted by charlie on July 16th 2007
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Crispin-a-thon

After having seen Crispin Glover in person several months ago, and hearing from him about his personal favorite films on his long filmography, we had felt that we needed to see his top picks. He had mentioned in his talk that 'The Orkly Kid' was very difficult to obtain, but after chancing onto a certain internet path I was able to secure a dvd copy of the 'Beaver Trilogy' which features as the third part, the Crispin Film. Yesterday we planned a Tremors-a-Thon which was to consist of Crispin's Greatest Personal Hits as well as some crazy old-school 1970's Pippi Långstrump movies. In particular, the initial movie lineup looked like:

Crispin Glover's Proudest: Pippi Longstocking, Sweden style starring Inger Nilsson:
The reality of the evening took a slightly different form, so tune in tomorrow for the actual Tremors-a-Thon schedule, which is highly awesome and recommended for a mind-blowing evening.
Posted by charlie on July 15th 2007
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crispin-langstrump-a-thon

As a follow-up to yesterday, allow me to assure everyone that thanks to the Hollywood video $2 VHS tape sale, which extends throughout their entire massive library store, those videos, while appearing to be mere rentals, have in fact permanently been added to the library of the Preserve.

Today we are planning to hold the Crispin-Långstrump-a-thon, wherein we will watch several obscure Crispin Glover films, along with some of the 1970s original Swedish Pippi Longstocking movies, which are dubbed like a low budget kung fu flick. It promises to be, as billed, a 'Tour de Force of Irrationality'.

Also in ebay watch follow-up news, that Air Raiders auction blew through what I already felt was a crazy price, landing at an amazing final bid of $442. I still don't know why, but it will be interesting to see if this now brings more Air Raiders auctions out of the woodwork, and what sorts of prices they command.
Posted by charlie on July 14th 2007
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cybertracker 2

Less than 48 of our short short hours after my quest began, I am delighted to be able to feature the following awesome picture on the Preserve:



Not only was I fortunate enough to find Cyber-Tracker 2, again of course starring our buddy Don 'The Dragon' Wilson, but I was also able to find a copy of Guardian Angel, starring one Cynthia RothRock. (I think that anytime you have 'Rock' in your name it has to be capitalized.) The astute Preserve reader, or also one who can look back to yesterday, will see that Guardian Angel was one of the excellent films that was previewed before CyberTracker! To borrow a quote from a great '80s scifi-comedy, My Science Project (which I still need to obtain), "Footnotes, Latello", and another argument in favor of my assertion of the importance of context.

It is another release from PM Entertainment Group, and I am growing to like that company more and more everyday - early reports about Cyber-Tracker 2 contain phrases like 'non-stop violence' and 'everything, even things which should not, explodes' so I have a great feeling that they are the company for me. As for Guardian Angel, it turns out that RothRock there is quite the talented martial artist, and has a devoted fan following of her own! There are even a few movies with both "The Dragon" and her, which are now high high up on the list!
Posted by charlie on July 13th 2007
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Cybertracker

Yesterday began with a 6:30am viewing of CyberTracker, starring none other than Don 'The Dragon' Wilson. This movie had been a part of the most recent Tremors-a-Thon, though I had unfortunately missed it while on apparently 91 minute pork chop duty. Various attendees of the event ranked it nearly the favorite movie of the day, so I had been determined to catch up with my viewing before too much time had passed.

From the several awesome previews before the movie (Guardian Angel and others - one reason I love VHS tapes) until the last tortured strains of the credit music, and with every airborne exploding car in between, this movie delivered the goods. An apparent mashup of Terminator and Robocop, it takes place in a near-future with mildly advanced tech in a mostly low-budget 1994 world. At least in the future, you can get your sexy-talking home computer drunk with you during those lonely evenings!

What I am absolutely delighted to have just this moment discovered, is that the runaway success of this movie in 1994 apparently warranted a sequel the very next year! In 1995 director Richard Pepin and our good buddy Don 'The Dragon' returned for Cyber-Tracker 2! You know there is a zero percent chance that I won't watch this as soon as I can find it.
Posted by charlie on July 12th 2007
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pryors place vol3

It is with great excitement and fanfare that I announce that the Preserve has been able to obtain Pryor's Place, Volume 3!

This is the volume that contains the episodes which, at least in description, sound like the crown jewels of the 13 episode run. As I excitedly described on a previous UncleCast:
  • "Sax Education" in which little Pryor looses Chill's magic sax, and learns the value of not losing things through lessons from Bummer and Robin Williams, the bums in the alley.
  • "Too Old Too Soon, Too Smart Too Late" in which little Pryor's uncle Moses, played by Scatman Crothers is, I kid you not, "More than meets the eye". Let us all remember that he was, of course, the voice of Jazz on the original Transformers cartoon, and have a moment of silence for the awesomeness that was Scatman.
While this tape contains only two episodes, they both sound amazing, and I look forward to them as if christmas has indeed come in July.

In eBay watch news, I am astonished at the $250+ price that this bunch of loose Air Raiders toys is commanding. There must be a very rare piece mixed in there, which some savvy dealer recognized, and with which I am not yet familiar.
Posted by charlie on July 11th 2007
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xbox repair

In the news lately has been a lot of talk about Microsoft and the huge xBox repair bills they are being hit with. Seems that these things self-destruct after a few months. I've got first-hand knowledge of this, as about 3 weeks ago, while in the middle of a "solo" in Guitar Hero II, the drive in our 360 started to sound like a cuisinart and, upon frantically rescuing the disc, it became unable to recognize anything further.

The one silver lining in all this is that they have apparently set up a repair procedure that is pretty user friendly, including free shipping in their box to and from, and repairs for free under a lengthy warrantee. I think that they are extending the protection times even further given all the trouble they've had lately. Well, after 3 weeks (and an estimate of 5 days) we got a package in the mail. It contained, a letter informed us, a brand new xBox 360, as I guess the other one was unrepairable. It's even likely that they are just sending out new machines if the problem is anything more than trivial, given the huge number that they have to fix, in order to try to salvage this PR nightmare. I haven't tried playing Guitar Hero again yet, but I guess I have until November to break the system again.

As an excellent side note - there really is nothing quite like starting your day at 6am by watching Blind Fury with Rutger. Even though the majorty of the rest of the day will be wasted at a desk in an office, at least you know you did something awesome that day before many people are even awake.
Posted by charlie on July 10th 2007
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quiltsryche

A long time Preserve reader has recently sent us this link to Quiltsryche which is, I believe, pretty metal. I must say that it reminds me in no small way of Tazina, the Metal Belly Dancer, which is also pretty hardcore in its own right.

While traipsing through the wilds of New Hampshire this weekend past, it was discovered that while the dealers' reach does indeed extend that far, it is not all-inclusive, and at an out of the way Burger King I was able to find a large quantity of the Optimus Prime and Starscream kid's meal toys! True to my beliefs, I bought one of each, and hoped that the remaining toys would go to kids (or maybe a few more to like-minded collectors) and not to the New England scumbag dealers. Now I've managed to find 6 out of 8 of these figures, and I highly suspect that the remaining 2 will be arriving in the Wednesday toy and food shipment that my regional Kings receive. Yeah, maybe I do know a little more about that than a non-BK-employee should, but those are the lengths we go to here at the Preserve to get you the latest information!
Posted by charlie on July 9th 2007
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unclecast 11

The latest UncleCast, our special 4th of July episode, is posted and available for your listening adventure! We give you the scoop on a great old Bill Cosby kids show, some timely info about Burger King, the lowdown on new Transformers figures soon to hit the shelves, and our continued hatred of dealers - don't miss it! Check out the show notes for a few additional pictures that accompany the broadcast.
Posted by charlie on July 6th 2007
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megatron 2007 found

Thanks to the whimsy of the local walmart, I have finally managed to find a Megatron Leader class figure from the new 2007 Movie toy line. This now completes the initial wave of figures in the Leader, Voyager and Deluxe classes, though from what we learned at Botcon Hasbro will soon be releasing yet futher waves to look into. Pictures should be up soon.

Drink recipe - the Picture Page:
- Sailor Jerry rum
- Cherry Coke
- Stirred with a marker (optional)
Posted by charlie on July 5th 2007
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botcon 3

At the end of one of the panels we attended, the Hasbro guys introduced a man who had been quietly sitting in the front row. His name is Shogo Hasui, and he works for Takara. He is responsible for designing the new movie toys of Starscream, Ratchet and Jazz, along with the Classic Starscream that came out a few months back. He has also, I'm sure, had a hand in a number of the recent products to come out of Takara! His english was not very good, (but it's a lot better than my Japanese!) so I really believe that he was a designer instead of some marketing or PR guy that they had sent over. He stood and said hello to the crowd, and after the panel we were fortuate enough to get this fantastic picture:



As usual we look pretty much like tools, while Hasui-san looks like a warrior hero, which is how it should be! We would continue to see him throughout the show, and he was very friendly and willing to say hello. A highlight for me was watching the Stan Bush concert standing right next to him, so we could rock out to 1986 tunes together. I think I need to move to Japan.

In case anyone was wondering - spending your 4th of July drinking Rum and watching Bill Cosby Picture Pages VHS tapes is an awesome and patriotic thing to do!
Posted by charlie on July 4th 2007
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botcon 2

An excellent and unannounced attraction at Botcon was a 1:1, actual size, badass Optimus Prime semi truck, flames and all!



It was parked in a cavernous room, clearly the location of many auto-shows past, sharing the space only with the Hasbro Store booth which was selling "Pepsi Optimus Prime" figures hand over fist, and also another equally ridiculously large black truck, looking like Outlaw from MASK. Apparently that jet black big rig was meant to be a 'Sector 7' vehicle, that being the 'bad guy' government group in the new movie.
Posted by charlie on July 3rd 2007
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botcon wrapup 1

The excitement from Botcon 2007 continues to be in the front of our minds here at the Preserve. We hope to record that uncleCast on Tuesday, so await it excitedly! In the meantime, I will provide an awesome Botcon 2007 picture everyday, in order to give some idea of the excellent experiences that were for the having last weekend.

There were a number of special guests at the show, and two in particular were great fun and we ended up chatting with them more than once over the weekend. Pictured below, from left to right are: Charlie (your humble narrator), Stan Bush, David Kaye, the Uncle.



Stan Bush you should know as the singer behind several of the awesome tracks on the original Transformers Movie Soundtrack (Dare, The Touch). David Kaye provided the voice of Megatron in Beast Wars, and has done hundreds and hundreds of other jobs, both large and small. They were both great guys, and extraordinarily friendly and easy going, especially considering the convention environment with hundreds of fans all clamoring for their attention.
Posted by charlie on July 2nd 2007
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Botcon return

It is now Sunday night, and the uncle and I have returned safely to our various places of habitation, though as usual not entirely without incident! The details of Botcon 2007 will hopefully be told in full though an article and upcoming uncleCasts in short order.

In the meantime, though, let me assure you that it was a heck of a time, full of more amusing stories than we could possibly ever recount, and of course an raft of items from the dealer room to fully discuss. There were so many wonderful pieces that we had to pass up, but which others hungrily devoured, and I'm sure that some day we will again have our chance.
Posted by charlie on July 1st 2007
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