Category Archives: Movies

The Washington Senators had an accordionist, Merv Conn

During yesterday’s Washington Nationals broadcast, Dave Jageler was lamenting that the strike zone was going back and forth like an accordion. A discussion about accordions with Charlie Slowes ensued. I don’t think they know that in the 1960s, the Senators hired Merv Conn to play the accordion during games (I mentioned it a couple of years ago). A brief demonstration and explanation from Conn himself:

That was from local filmmaker Jeff Krulik‘s The Legend of Merv Conn which is available here:

Conn was more than just a musician at RFK Stadium, he was a beloved music instructor and performer, even though “The Beatles killed the accordion.” Here’s a 2007 profile from John Kelly before the documentary came out – A Legend With Oomph — and Oompah

Conn died in 2011, his obituary is here.

As for Krulik, he has made many films but is best remembered for Heavy Metal Parking Lot. We talked about that several years ago during the 25th anniversary of HMPL. While all his work is enjoyable, I suspect that Charlie and Dave would enjoy this award-winning documentary.

MEANWHILE IN THIRD PLACE

So, don’t look at the standings until Memorial Day?

NL-standings-20140527

Maybe it’s supposed to be the actual Memorial Day, rather than Memorial Day Observed.

Between injuries and Matt Williams over-managing and love of bunts and sacrifices, the Nats are struggling. Thankfully, Chicken Man on the case:


After Memorial Day loss, fans plan chicken sacrifice Tuesday at Nationals Park
Let Teddy Win

What took so long?

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A new DC United home may be near (and not a moment too soon)

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but there may be a new stadium for D.C. United in our time:

Sources: D.C. United and District government finalizing stadium dealThe Post

And not a moment too soon:

Well done X-Men moviemakers, I guess. You just destroyed the most all-time beloved venue of sport in the nation’s capital. There’s no way RFK Stadium would have held up that well in real life too.

In all seriousness, I hope DCU finally gets a new home; I’m withholding any significant emotional investment until I know they’ll be here for the duration. I suppose the Baltimore/Washington/Chesapeake Bayhawks might be interested in that venue as well.

H/Ts

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Eddie Murphy to star in HBO Marion Barry biopic

Marion Barry biopic in development with Eddie Murphy as star – Reliable Source, The Post
Eddie Murphy is going to star in a HBO movie about Washington D.C.’s “mayor for life” Marion Barry. He’s not the first person I would have selected, but if Murphy wants a serious acting challenge, he just signed on for one. A comic actor portraying a caricature? Murphy is going to have to play it straight for it to work and that won’t be easy.

Local journalists Harry Jaffe and Tom Sherwood‘s book “Dream City” is part of the inspiration for the movie. Spike Lee will direct.

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25 years of Ferris Bueller

Saturday was the 25th anniversary of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, one of my favorite movies. I have been thinking about the movie lately, especially after I got ride around my dad’s classic Triumph ragtop the other day. The timing is merely coincidental.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is great escapism, whether you are a kid in school or an office drone. Like, well everybody, I’d have loved to have pulled off my own “Day Off” in high school, except I’d have gone to the Washington Monument, probably skipped the french restaurant, maybe hit the National Gallery and we didn’t have a baseball team (which I’m still bitter about) yet which probably is why I never seriously contemplated doing it. Further messing up the would-be narrative was that it was my dad’s classic ’60s convertible and not a friend’s dad. The odometer was already broken too. The principal probably wouldn’t be after me either. So, yes, I fell a little short of Ferris but if there was anybody half that clever, they were attending my high school. Perhaps I’ll have to make up for sometime, a few decades late.

Friday, the Celebritology blog on The Post had list of 25 contributions to pop culture lore from the movie. It is a bit silly in parts, but has lots of embedded videos.

Also, worth reading, this essay by a childhood friend of John Hughes who was partially an inspiration for the character.

George Will
, who must have taken a few minutes away from “drinking deep the aura” of baseball, loved it and said it was the “moviest movie” of the post-war era. This time, George did see the forest for the trees, Sam. Well, sort of.

Oh and that Cubs game they were at? Somebody at Baseball Prospectus figured out it was supposed to be the June 5, 1985 game against the Atlanta Braves, but the filming was actually against the Montreal Expos on September 24, 1985.

Ferris
was the only John Hughes movie I really liked; a great contrast to his simplistic and annoying The Breakfast Club.

Lastly, I had to unfollow someone on twitter who said they didn’t like the movie.

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Can the Muppets be rebooted?

Dr. Teeth, sans Mayhem, with Kermit, Jim Henson, and Rolf
It’s Time for Your Face-Lift, Miss PiggyThe Times
A new Muppets movie is due this Christmas, but can Disney make the Muppets great again?

I am a big Muppets fan — the show and The Muppet Movie were fantastic, but efforts since then have seen diminishing returns both creatively and financially. The obvious reason is that several of the creators, including Jim Henson, but also Jerry Juhl died and I think Frank Oz spends about half an afternoon annually with the Muppets. There have also been several changes of ownership, with Disney now owning it — Henson tried to sell the Muppets to Disney 20 years ago. If the original spirit can’t be found, they ought to just end the franchise. If they get it right, how about getting The Muppet Show into production again?

H/T @kevin_reiss, I think

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Heavy Metal Parking Lot approaching 25th anniversary

So, I go to the NY Daily News Web site this morning and I see this:

‘Heavy Metal Parking Lot’ 25th anniversary celebrated at Found Footage Festival screening.

It is already almost 5 years since I interviewed Jeff Krulik and John Heyn about the 20th anniversary of Heavy Metal Parking Lot. The cult classic is a documentary about tailgaters prior to a 1986 Judas Priest concert at the old Capital Centre in PG County. It goes down exactly like you’d expect it too.

I heard from Krulik not that long ago about an appearance on Carson Daly’s Last Call:

Krulik and I have already discussed a follow-up interview, so look for it as we get closer to the anniversary. If there is any question you want me to ask him, let me know.

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Owen Wilson/Reese Witherspoon Nats movie trailer now out

Remember that movie starring Owen Wilson as a Washington Nationals relief pitcher? The trailer for How Do You Know? is now out:

I laughed twice during the trailer which would be two more times that I anticipated. I guess James L. Brooks still has it or something. He did okay in another movie set in D.C. — Broadcast News. I’ll probably skip it because three hours to myself/with my wife is better spent than watching romantic comedies in the theater.

The movie also stars Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd and Jack Nicholson.

Oh and good job making the bullpen sequence look totally life-like and not like a matte painting.

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Star Wars Robot Chicken III coming Dec. 12

I was just thinking about Star Wars Robot Chicken the other day, wondering if there would be more. The answer is yes — Adult Swim Hatches Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode IIIstarwars.com

“We’re telling more of a linear story this time that covers the series from start to finish,” says Green. Senreich says, “We wanted to take the Star Wars universe and see if through the eyes of our Robot Chicken: Star Wars Emperor Palpatine, Darth Vader, Boba Fett and Gary the Stormtrooper. We’ll still flip around the universe but we’ll get a unique perspective from the bad guy side, from people who just want to rule the universe.”

The premiere is December 12 on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.

I’m a big fan of these, they are so much funnier than the first Family Guy Star Wars special; I never saw the second.

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George Lucas considered David Lynch as Return of the Jedi director

Why David Lynch turned down Return of the Jedi! Sci Fi Wire
It is pretty hard to even comprehend David Lynch directing Return of the Jedi, yet George Lucas sought him out for it.

If there are any more Star Wars Robot Chicken episodes, they really need to do some Lynch-ian parodies.

H/T The Ewoks Are Not What They SeemThe Official Star Wars Blog

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