I Shall Be Released from The Last Waltz

I Shall Be Released from The Last Waltz

By David Gans (originally posted to Flickr as The Last Waltz) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Band, Bob Dylan and others performing “I Shall Be Released” during The Last Waltz. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the concert, which was held on Thanksgiving, November 25, 1976, at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, Calif. A documentary of the event, directed by Martin Scorsese, was released on April 26, 1978.

Star Trek or Treat

Last night, I watched the Halloween-themed Star Trek episode, “Catspaw.” This is one of the few times in the Star Trek franchise that an Earth holiday is mentioned. Here are my viewing notes, with a little bit of trivia thrown in as well.

Star Trek: CatspawThe member of the first landing party who dies is refereed to as “Crewman Jackson.” However, he is wearing the rank of lieutenant. Usually on the show, the word “crewman” is used for enlisted personnel.

It’s not a Halloween episode without witches. After they warn the second landing party to leave by uttering a threatening spell, Kirk and Spock have one of the funniest exchanges in the series:

Kirk: Spock. Comment.

Spock: Very bad poetry, Captain.

Kirk: A more useful comment, Mr. Spock.

Although it didn’t air until October 27, 1967, “Catspaw” was actually the first episode filmed for the second season. It’s also the first episode filmed that featured the character of Ensign Chekov, who was added to the show to appeal to younger viewers. His mop-top hair style was influenced by the popularity of Davy Jones from another TV show, The Monkees. Chekov’s hair may be the most ridiculous looking thing in an episode full of ridiculous looking things.

When Kirk and the others are locked up in the dungeon, it’s a nice touch that Dr. McCoy, whose nickname is “Bones,” is shackled next to the skeleton.

That pendant of the Enterprise is very cool. I believe it was donated to the Smithsonian.

For some reason, there is an extreme close-up shot of Korob that is used a couple of times. It really stands out, not necessarily in a good way.

Antoinette Bower, who plays Sylvia, is fabulous.

The trick photography portraying the cat as a giant is pretty cheesy, but it fits the tone of the episode.

Regarding the actual physical appearance of the two aliens, the less said the better.

Until next time…

HesterFest Kicks Off with Underworld

The 2016 edition of HesterFest, my annual Halloween film festival, is now underway. Here are copies of my live tweets from Monday night’s (September 19) viewing of Underworld:

  • UnderworldI’m kicking off #HesterFest tonight at 6pm CT. First up is #Underworld, which was released on this date in 2003.
  • Welcome to #HesterFest. It’s time for #Underworld.
  • From Selene’s prologue: “… our orders remained the same: Hunt them down and kill them off, one by one.” #Underworld
  • These are not Bram Stoker’s vampires. #Underworld is very much an action/war movie: vampires vs. werewolves.
  • I’d love to get me one of those vampire tomb manhole covers. #Underworld
  • Kevin Grevioux, who plays Raze and is one of the writers of the movie, has the most awesome voice ever. #Underworld
  • It’s a shame Sophia Myles was not utilized in the sequels. She’s really good as Erika. #Underworld
  • Selene loves to kick in doors. #Underworld
  • As an aside, the Blu-ray of #Underworld looks amazing and is loaded with special features.
  • Hello Amelia. Goodbye Amelia. We barely knew you. #Underworld
  • It’s a shame about Kahn. He was one of the good guys. #Underworld
  • Viktor is such a bad-ass. He put Raze down without breaking a sweat. #Underworld
  • If Viktor is such a bad-ass, what does that make Selene after she slices him in two? #Underworld
  • There’s some killer music playing during the #Underworld closing credits. Join me tomorrow for more #HesterFest.

For this year’s festival, I will probably also watch Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. At this time, I don’t have plans to include the other two movies. Since Underworld: Blood Wars is coming out in January, however, I will probably have some special plans for all five movies next year. Those plans may include audio commentaries.

Until next time…