Tag Archives: mediatrocities

Mediatrocities #16: Criterion Requests and Remembering Leonard Nimoy

RIP Leonard Nimoy

RIP Leonard Nimoy

by Legendary Lew

TyPi joins me in the latest installment of “Mediatrocities,” the podcast of unusual media.  In this episode, we make an open request to Criterion DVD, asking them to take on our choices of films deserving top notch releases. The second segment is our tribute to the late great Leonard Nimoy, centering on his media work that was not Star Trek.

Give a listen and as always, this podcast is NSFW.

Included in the podcast is the audio for a Priceline commercial, the video of which is here:

Mediatrocities #15: The Yearly Post-Razzie Award Show with Guest Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

Dominick Suzanne-Mayer of Consequence of Sound and The Kelly Affair

Dominick Suzanne-Mayer of Consequence of Sound and The Kelly Affair

by Legendary Lew

This week’s episode of Mediatrocities marks our 4th (and perhaps our last?) look at the Razzie Award winners! TyPi is on hand for commentaries, as is our very special guest, film analyst & writer Dominick Suzanne-Mayer, contributor to Consequence of Sound and The Kelly Affair.

Among the topics: What’s the deal with Saving Christmas, its unnecessary continued exposure for Kirk Cameron and the general inept storytelling of modern Christian-themed movies? Can Michael Bay get anything cinematic right? What was Lew’s choice of worst 2014 film. What’s the lasting effect of the Sony Hacks and is it affecting Hollywood and even Razzie voting?

Give a listen and share, but mind you, it’s NSFW:

Mediatrocities #14: The “Gravity” Screenplay Legal Case, J-Lo’s New Thriller and the Literature FAIL, and JCVD’s Valentine Gift to Media Makers

Teacher/Student Tutoring Sesh

Teacher/Student Tutoring Sesh

by Legendary Lew

We’re giving you fair warning. Mediatrocities #14 had just launched and we’ve got a fun one for you! First up, author Tess Gerritsen responds to a court throwing out her breach of contract case regarding the screenplay for the Oscar-winning movie Gravity. Next, Jennifer Lopez tries to revitalize her movie career with a movie that’s caused a lot of howling laughter via social media. We’ll tell you why. Finally, Jean Claude Van Damme lets everyone know why he’s one of the coolest actors using social media. Mountain Drew, TyPi and Legendary Lew give their insights.

The episode is NSFW but plenty safe for your sanity. Give a listen!

Mediatrocities #13: TyPi’s Top Films of 2014; Netflix as a Video Store; and the Lost Superstardom of TV’s Dagmar

Dig those crazy bumpers

Dig those crazy bumpers

by Legendary Lew

Here we are, at it again! TyPi, Mountain Drew and Legendary Lew get to yappin’ in the latest installment of Mediatrocities, the podcast of The Underground Multiplex.

TyPi comes forward with his list of what he felt were the best films of 2014. With the Razzies and Oscars winners about to be announced, it’s a good reminder of the movies we should find time for, especially with releases on DVD.

All three get into the next topic–what if Netflix was a brick-and-mortar video store. It doesn’t look good for the international internet giant from our eyes. Is Netflix exacerbating a movie drought for cinephiles already hit from the closing of Blockbuster Video and indie video stores?

Finally, Legendary Lew introduces viewers to TV’s first self-created female superstar, Dagmar. In the early 1950s, her popularity was greater than even Frank Sinatra’s, whose career was hampered by declining record sales, a tumultuous marriage to Ava Gardner, and a failed TV series. Listen in and find out all about this important, groundbreaking celebrity.

As always, this podcast is NSFW.

Oscar-Nominated Director Lexi Alexander Supports File-Sharing & Copyright Reform in One of the Best Damn Posts Ever Written on the Subject

lexialexander

by Legendary Lew

Oscar-nominated director Lexi Alexander came out swinging in a pro-file sharing post on her blog a couple of days ago, and man oh man, is it a doozy.

Alexander does a brilliant job calling out Hollywood for its faults, while also venting her frustration with pirates who belittle the art of filmmaking. I urge you to read her entire post on file-sharing, but I want to share with you this great passage from her post:

“We’re at the point where a studio consciously makes a shitty sequel, about which the filmmaker publicly states that he knows it’s shit (I don’t have to mention his name, you all know him) but that he couldn’t give two fucks…because all those stupid people out there will go buy a ticket anyway (and they did, as we now know)…File-sharers on the other hand don’t have a dog in this fight. They just care about good entertainment. That’s what I love about torrent sites, their illegal status has one huge advantage: No studio manipulation or propaganda. Go on any legal site and you’re instantly bombarded with “a-five-star-adventure” slogan pulled from reviews published in outlets whose main income is…you guessed it: Movie Studio advertisements. You know what it takes for an indie movie, which doesn’t get the reviews or the marketing budget, to stand out from all that crap? Word of mouth. Guess who can give you the strongest word of mouth campaign ever? That’s right, file sharers. Don’t believe me? Google UNTHINKABLE, MAN FROM EARTH, INK, etc.

Oh, Lexi, I love you!

Alexander points out that she’s one of the few vocal proponents of file-sharing (thank you, Lexi, for not calling it “piracy,” a term I thought was dumb to use from the beginning). The file-sharing fight will become a major irony in a few years, because 1) some Hollywood people support her views and are closeted about them so they already exist and share files, and 2) Hollywood will have to eventually deal with the existence of a fully-functioning torrent system that can evade all attempts to shut them all down. As I’ve mentioned in the past here on TUGM, most of Hollywood doesn’t understand they are missing out on PR opportunities supporting free torrent sites instead of their “cloud”streaming ripoffs. Alexander touches on this topic as well.

The Hollywood system of production and distribution sucks and is a reason to stop watching Hollywood movies.

Here’s a clip of director Lexi Alexander speaking to MSU students:

Is Comcast Trying to Kill Chicago’s Public Access TV Stations?

Comcast

by Legendary Lew

Comcast is Chicago’s largest cable provider and wants to renew a 10-year contract with the city. Part of the licensing renewal agreement, if agreeable to the city of Chicago, would be to provide air space on their spectrum for public access.

This has always been a pesky little matter for cable giants, because providing public access stations gets in the way of important things like profits from vital, universe-changing programming like Duck Dynasty or disputing reports of their incredibly low-ranking customer service ratings.

Well, negotiations for a renewal, including budgeting for CAN-TV (Chicago’s public access TV stations) have now been going on for over a year with no agreement. Seriously. Comcast can’t seem to get it together enough to promise to do right for Chicago with a guaranteed budget to keep CAN-TV operating. The current contract with Comcast was extended for three months and expires on June 15, 2014.

That means that, conceivably, Chicago could be without public access channels after that date. This would be a travesty and would totally undermine the original goals of serving the public interest promised by the cable companies.

Comcast made $6.82 billion last year. Current operating costs for CAN-TV run about $2.7 million dollars total. The cable companies don’t even provide all that money, some of it comes from fundraising and donations, etc.

Even if cable companies were to provide all the $2.7 million. That means in terms of just Comcast’s income alone from last year, it would amount to .04% of those earnings.  This is a pittance to ensure a great service for the community.

Forty-three Aldermen signed a petition to Comcast asking the cable company to stop dragging its feet and provide for the services Chicago needs to keep CAN-TV operating at its best potential.

In a time when the cable giant is willing to put up the bucks to purchase Time Warner for $45 billion for a super cable conglomerate, it’s ludicrous to believe Comcast can’t cough up enough to provide basic, vital community programming for its local viewers.

As part of the production team of the Emmy-nominated Elephant and Worm TV show (my public disclosure), I’d like to call on others to join CAN-TV in contacting and thanking their Alderman for taking the right stance with Comcast. You can find the list of those who signed the petition here. (Find your Alderman here). If your Alderman did not sign, please ask him/her to do so.

Also, call CAN-TV and tell them you support their programming and ask how you can help. They need to hear from you, Chicago, if you value the true choices in programming that the cable lobby always promises the public.

Get This Banned Danish GOTV PSA on American Media **NOW**! (NSFW)

voteman-hed-2014

by Legendary Lew

I would love to shake the hand of the person who had the wild audacity to create this pants-pissing, hilarious cartoon urging young people to vote.  It touches on so many themes: hipster culture, superhero worship, incredible amounts of gratuitous sex and violence and even dolphins. However, it also makes the point that personal involvement matters. The GREATEST political Get-Out-the-Vote Ad ever created–bar NONE.

It was, of course, yanked immediately.

To those whimpering that this is too offensive: really? Been to the movies lately? Voter apathy in this country is way too high. Any means by which we can get more people to vote and continue to be a part of the law-making process can help.

http://bcove.me/zd5fpz0b

Anti-Porn Thief and Inspiration for TUGM’s “Sisters of No Mercy”, Charles Keating Jr., Dies

Keating

Hated porn but LOVED your money. (Photo courtesy: gazette.com)

by Legendary Lew

Charles Keating Jr., the central figure in the Savings and Loans Scandal of the 1980s (basically a warm-up for the Bush Depression of 2008) died on 3/31/2014 at age 90. Although he is known as the guy who bilked thousands of people out of their cash on useless junk bonds (with the preferential help of 5 US Senators), I will forever prefer to remember him for another colossal failure.

Keating, as part of a group called Citizens for Decent Literature, Inc., funded and distributed an anti-porn short film narrated by “outstanding news reporter” George Putnam in 1961. “Perversion for Profit” has been accurately described

Illustrated scene from "Perversion for Profit"

Illustrated scene from “Perversion for Profit”

as the Reefer Madness of porn. It’s a hyperbolic, homophobic ranting screed that uses similar tactics used by some porn-fighting churches, namely, showing an enormous amount of the offending material (with eyes blacked out).  This 30-minute short has more male and female sleaze ‘n’ tease as can be found in a dozen feature-length sexploitation films, which means, of course, that’s it has found a home with me as one of the best, most hilarious propaganda films ever made.

No doubt, I crowed about this movie so much that we had to include a remixed version of it as part of our feature film, Sisters of No Mercy. So as a testament to the double-misfired life of Charles Keating, Jr., I include in this post the amazing Perversion for Profit, presented by the indispensible Prelinger Archives:

And here is our feature, Sisters of No Mercy:

 

 

Mediatrocities #10– Free Media: The Manifesto of The Underground Multiplex

LewandSophie

Legendary Lew

by Legendary Lew

Joseph R. Lewis and I were very proud to give a presentation titled “Free Media: Mending Arts When All is Broke” Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at Chicago Filmmakers.

Around 90 people attended to listen to Joe and I discuss the history of how The Underground Multiplex got started and some of the basic ideas that keep this

joe-profile-pic

Joseph R. Lewis

organization going. This is an age where there’s very little money going around for the arts, so it’s imperative that artists learn a new paradigm by which they can have works created, published and distributed. It may seem daunting to be responsible for all these aspects but it can be done and we’ll tell you how to approach it.

Give a listen:

Mediatrocities #9: Rare Interview with 91 Year-Old Chicago Artist and Internet Sensation Gene “No Princess” Bowen

 

GeneBowen2

 

On March 17, 2014, I had the privilege of interviewing Gene Bowen, artist and sometime collaborator with Chicago legend Tristan Meinecke. Among the topics covered were her career in art and her remembrances of both Tristan Meinecke and Angel Casey. She was joined by Crystal Eidson, researcher and part of the Meinecke Studio team. Give a listen!