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Showing posts from September, 2017

Planet Shark: Predator or Prey... The Experience | Boise, ID 2017-07-08

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The last thing that I ever expected in visiting my parents in Boise, Idaho during the first week of July this summer was sharks. Landlocked Idaho? I am sure the Syfy Channel could cook up some bull sharks invading the state's lakes and rivers, but here in the real world, I never thought that the laser shark focus that rules my life currently would follow me on my vacation.

But there my stepmother Jo Ann and I were, visiting a small bookstore in Meridian, when I had one of those moments that some chalk up to luck or kismet or fate or pure coincidence... and I will not rule out any of those things in this case (even if I don't believe in the first three of them). The store visit itself was pretty disappointing; the owners seemed pretty convinced they had a dandy little place, but when I asked to see their non-fiction section and it turned out to be a mere three bookcases with books piled in every direction in no discernible order at all, I knew that it wasn't likely that the …

Car-charo-toons: Plane Dumb (1932)

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Plane Dumb (1932, Van Beuren Studios)  Dir.: John Foster and George Rufle
TC4P Rating: 4/9

So, I spent some time years back on this site heaping light praise upon a much-neglected series like Van Beuren's Tom and Jerry shorts, and then I ran into the film Plane Dumb. The title Plane Dumb could very nearly describe the actions of the filmmakers as they contrived to create this wannabe Amos N' Andy homage. Apparently, donning blackface not only helped disguise the very white Tom and Jerry as they roamed about Africa in 1932, but it also lowered their IQs to the negative, changed your speech patterns automatically, and somehow also mad their disarrayed and lighter-colored hair instantly become short, dark and curly. Ah, the magical properties of a common makeup kit!
I read a couple of reviews for this cartoon short years ago where each of the writers complained that Tom and Jerry were traveling to Africa "for no good reason". Let me state this from the outset: Tom's pla…