R.I.P. Michael Jackson

June 25th, 2009 | Comments Off on R.I.P. Michael Jackson
Posted by J.R. Bookwalter under Announcements, Random Thoughts, Seen & Heard

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Just about everybody is reporting the news this evening that Michael Jackson has died at age 50. If it’s indeed found to be true in the hours ahead, it caps off an already-sad day that began with Farrah Fawcett’s death at age 62. And, two more pieces of my childhood slip away, leaving behind their individual legacies of music, cinema and television.

I may have some more extensive thoughts on the matter later on, but suffice it to say that I grew up with Michael Jackson — from his early days with the Jackson 5 to the mind-blowing experience of hearing the Thriller album for the first time, and even up to his more recent work that was largely discarded by a fickle public weary of his personal dramas. And despite that whacky behavior and his alleged proclivities later in life, there’s no denying that he was a talented son of a bitch. Yes, I consider myself a fan.

I’m sort of horrified watching the assheads on Facebook distill the man’s life down to bad pedophilia jokes, but unfortunately, to the younger generation, all they really knew was The Michael Jackson Freakshow, day in and day out on their televisions.

Me, I had top-of-every-hour viewings of the THRILLER video on MTV… still one of the best music videos ever made. Or being exactly the right age to have seen that moonwalk dance and have your mind blown. That is the Michael Jackson that I am choosing to honor, respect and remember as he takes that last moonwalk into the great beyond.

AP Breaking News

FUN FACTS: I think I was too in shock last night when I wrote this to remember that M.J. came to the Hollywood & Vine offices of Full Moon during my tenure there (must have been 1999?) to meet with Charlie Band about a line of toys. We lowly worker drones on the 8th floor (where the production & post offices were) weren’t allowed upstairs for that block of time, although many of us snuck around trying to catch a peek. WITCHOUSE 3: DEMON FIRE starlet Tanya Dempsey tweeted last night: “6 years ago I had the honor of attending Michael Jackson’s birthday at Neverland Ranch. It was one of the most magical nights of my life.” Lucky wench!

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R.I.P. Circuit City

January 16th, 2009 | Comments Off on R.I.P. Circuit City
Posted by J.R. Bookwalter under Announcements, Complaint Department, Gadgets, Seen & Heard, Technology

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Another obit, this time to Circuit City, who today announced they’re giving up the good fight and liquidating the rest of their stores. Sad day for me… since moving back to Ohio from L.A., I’ve been frequenting CC far more than Best Buy, just because they offer some cool stuff the competition doesn’t (like the Archos 5 player). I’m in the market for another DVD storage unit, which I was about to buy for $10 cheaper at Best Buy anyway. Guess I’ll hold off until the bloodbath begins.

Sad days, especially for the 30k employees who will be collecting unemployment soon…

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R.I.P. Mr. Roarke, The Prisoner and… Apple?

January 15th, 2009 | Comments Off on R.I.P. Mr. Roarke, The Prisoner and… Apple?
Posted by J.R. Bookwalter under Apple Talk, Movies, Seen & Heard

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I guess Wednesday is the new Monday, because yesterday kind of sucked! In addition to Apple CEO Steve Jobs taking a medical leave of absence until late June, we’ve got the deaths of Ricardo Montalban and Patrick McGoohan to be depressed about.
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R.I.P. Forrest J. Ackerman

December 5th, 2008 | Comments Off on R.I.P. Forrest J. Ackerman
Posted by J.R. Bookwalter under Announcements, Movies, Random Thoughts, Seen & Heard

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Sumbitch. As I was sitting here blogging this afternoon, I happened to open my iPhone Facebook app and saw that Famous Monsters of Filmland founder Forrest J. Ackerman passed on yesterday. I’m bummed. Needless to say, I grew up reading that magazine and it inspired me to not only make movies, but even publish my own magazine years later. Dude, you will be missed.

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R.I.P. Paul Benedict

December 5th, 2008 | Comments Off on R.I.P. Paul Benedict
Posted by J.R. Bookwalter under Complaint Department, Random Thoughts, Seen & Heard

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Lest I post another obit like the one for Rudy Ray Moore and get accused of plagiarizing some other asshead who grew up with the guy, I’ll cut this one short: Mr. Bentley is dead.
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R.I.P. Michael Crichton

November 5th, 2008 | Comments Off on R.I.P. Michael Crichton
Posted by J.R. Bookwalter under Announcements, Movies, Seen & Heard

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Well that’s a bummer… first the death of America as we know it last night and now author/director Michael Crichton is dead at the age of 66.

Though I’ve never read a Crichton book since The Andromeda Strain as a kid, the guy directed two of my favorite childhood flicks, COMA (1978) and WESTWORLD (1973). And yeah, I totally dug the original THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN movie as well as his later cinematic contributions like TWISTER (co-written with his then-wife, SLEDGE HAMMER! actress Anne-Marie Martin!) and JURASSIC PARK (which was based on his book of the same name).

There’s a full obit at Yahoo News, so check it out. A tip of the hat to a true original!

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Dolemite is dead!

October 21st, 2008 | 2 Comments »
Posted by J.R. Bookwalter under Announcements, Complaint Department, Movies, Random Thoughts, Seen & Heard

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Rudy Ray Moore is dead.

For those who aren’t in the know, Rudy Ray was a raunchy ’60s & ’70s-era comic (known as “king of the party records” back in his day) with a style more rude and explicit than his more-popular peers like Redd Foxx and Richard Pryor. Despite his cult status, he was featured more recently in popular rap tunes from Big Daddy Kane and 2 Live Crew.
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R.I.P. Randy Rupp, 1959-2008

August 5th, 2008 | Comments Off on R.I.P. Randy Rupp, 1959-2008
Posted by J.R. Bookwalter under Announcements, Movies, Seen & Heard, Tempe Entertainment

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Very sad news today from the Cincinnati filmmaking community… BLOODLETTING and SATANIC YUPPIES star Randy Rupp passed away on July 30.

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R.I.P. Andy Sidaris…

March 9th, 2007 | Comments Off on R.I.P. Andy Sidaris…
Posted by J.R. Bookwalter under Announcements, Movies, Seen & Heard

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Man, I can’t believe I’m having to write another one of these!

Last night I got an e-mail from Arlene Sidaris, wife of one-of-a-kind filmmaker Andy Sidaris, that Andy had passed away on Wednesday. I actually had the good fortune to know Andy a little bit in the last 2 years, having been recommended to him by Fred Olen Ray as a guy who could author the DVDs for his last handful of films that hadn’t yet made it to release. He was a good-natured guy, honest and very dedicated to what he was doing… to first meet him one might have thought he had an almost arrogant pride in his work (which he did, and there’s nothing wrong with that)… but after spending enough time with Andy, you realized that he was kind of in on the joke. He knew what he was making wasn’t exactly high art, but he didn’t care and he was having fun with it all the way along. A refreshing attitude given all the bloated egos in Hollywood, this guy was just larger than life.
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R.I.P. Don Dohler…

December 5th, 2006 | Comments Off on R.I.P. Don Dohler…
Posted by J.R. Bookwalter under Announcements, Movies, Seen & Heard

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I guess from my now my blog will be mostly used to report the death of filmmakers. 🙁
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