Netflix gems: Death Tunnel and Axe

I hope this is the first in a con­tin­u­ing series. I am a Net­flix sub­scriber, for bet­ter or worse. But one of the things I love best about them is the RSS feed of new releas­es. Because they include a syn­op­sis of the movie in ques­tion. Some of them are delight­ful. Like this one, for Death Tun­nel:

When a creepy col­lege dare lands five coeds (Stef­fany Huck­a­by, Annie Burg­st­ede, Kristin Novak, Melanie Lewis and Yolan­da Pec­o­raro) in an aban­doned sana­to­ri­um — dubbed “the Scari­est Place in the World” — they’re forced to bunk with the spir­its of the build­ing’s tor­tured past. So, how could it get any worse? The only way out is the dread­ed Death Tun­nel, a 500-foot under­ground chute used to evac­u­ate dead patients.”

There’s a trail­er!

And from a movie called Axe, or Greed or some­thing:

Has­sled by a motor­cy­cle gang at a dusty tav­ern in the Cal­i­for­nia desert, resource­ful rock climbers Raven (Dar­lena Tejeiro) and Ash­ley (Andrea Bog­a­rt) make a fast exit — on the gang lead­er’s hog. But with the enraged bik­ers in pur­suit — not to men­tion an ax-wield­ing, escaped ser­i­al killer on the loose — the two ladies have their work cut out. The sup­port­ing cast includes Jason Lon­don, Joe Goodrich and Nathan Ander­son.”

Here’s a review of Axe from The Video Grave­yard.

I like that the pro­tag­o­nists are all girls. No attempt to make these any­thing but what they are. Except, of course, for poor Jason Lon­don.

Yo ho, yo ho

I just dis­cov­ered that Thurl Raven­scroft died last May, 2005. He has an exten­sive Wikipedia entry, if you’re inter­est­ed, but know that he was a singer and voice-over actor, most famous­ly for Tony the Tiger. I just dis­cov­ered, how­ev­er, that he is also the singing voice behind the theme of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Dis­ney­land, as well as fea­tured in many oth­er Dis­ney att­trac­tions.

So, long over­due, in his mem­o­ry: Yo ho, yo ho!


Getting Jobsed

I was look­ing through some old draft posts I nev­er man­aged to fin­ish, and came across one I intend­ed to pub­lish about Mac­world this past Jan­u­ary. The big news, of course, was the release of Mac­in­tosh com­put­ers run­ning the Intel chip instead of Motorola/IBM’s Pow­er­PC chip. Ful­ly six months ahead of the announced sched­ule.

The prob­lem was, the machine that was announced was the iMac, near­ly iden­ti­cal to the much slow­er G5 iMac announced not three months ear­li­er. Many peo­ple had bop­ught the brand new iMac just before Mac­world, nev­er dream­ing that Apple would so thor­ough­ly update that very com­put­er just three months lat­er.

But they did, imme­di­ate­ly ren­der­ing obso­lete (or at least 2–3x slow­er) the brand new iMacs of many Apple cus­tomers.

This gave rise to the term, “Get­ting Job­sed,” first heard (by me) on Matthew Haugh­ey’s web site. Also amus­ing was Jason Kot­tke’s let­ter seek­ing sup­port from Apple.

Ouch. It still stings.

Curling up with some good sports

Anoth­er entry in our con­tin­u­ing cov­er­age of the Win­ter Olympics from Tori­no. I am a curl­ing con­vert. Dur­ing the 2002 games in Salt Lake I did­n’t real­ly get to watch any curl­ing. I thought, intel­lec­tu­al­ly, that I might like it, but nev­er got around to it.

This year I set TiVo to curl­ing, and I haven’t looked back.

The sport (you know, shuf­fle­board on ice with 42-lb. rocks) is delight­ful­ly slow, intri­cate, and human. A lot like base­ball, which I love for those same rea­sons. I much pre­fer watch­ing base­ball live though, and I won­der if I would­n’t like curl­ing even bet­ter that way, too.

I’ve only watched wom­en’s curl­ing (TiVo is tap­ing some men’s stuff today, I think), so I am inter­est­ed to see what I think of the (more) macho ver­sion. One of the things I like best about the wom­en’s curl­ing I’ve watched is the inter­ac­tion among the play­ers. NBC has them all fit­ted with micro­phones, so you can hear them dis­cussing strat­e­gy, or com­mis­er­at­ing after fail­ure (the Amer­i­cans are so nice and grace­ful in defeat). I sus­pect it is a girl thing, like how watch­ing girls play soc­cer is a more life-affirm­ing endeav­or than watch­ing boys ultra-com­pete.

Notes from the audio track: Finnish is a weird lan­guage. There’s a lot of shout­ing (of instruc­tions) dur­ing this game. The unique vocab­u­lary of curl­ing is delight­ful. And all the Minnesota/North Dako­ta accents are fun(ny).

The wom­en’s semi­fi­nals start today, too, I think. I encour­age you to take a gan­der.

They ain’t no Torvill and Dean

Next in our con­tin­u­ing cov­er­age of the Olympics: ice danc­ing. Last night (Tues­day) we man­aged to watch the already tape-delayed Mon­day show­ing of the final ice danc­ing com­pe­ti­tion from Tori­no 2006.

I liked the skat­ing done by two of the cou­ples, the Bul­gar­i­ans (Albe­na Denko­va and Max­im Staviys­ki) and the Amer­i­cans (Tanith Bel­bin and Ben Agos­to). The Bul­gar­i­ans espe­cial­ly had a pret­ty skate. Well, and then the frosty-but-I-love-you-I’m-so-sor­ry-I-will-cry-now Ital­ians were enter­tain­ing too, though not for their ice danc­ing.

But they real­ly can’t hold a can­dle to Torvill and Dean’s per­for­mance from the 1984 Win­ter Olympics in Sara­je­vo. A video of that per­for­mance is out there on the Inter­nets (though not on the Web, if you know what I’m talk­ing about), and it still holds up, even twen­ty-two years lat­er. Don’t get hood­winked by their per­for­mances in 1996, when pro­fes­sion­als were allowed back into the Olympics. You’re look­ing for the 1984 video, com­plete with 80’s-era tele­vi­sion graph­ics.

Well worth the hunt, to see what real ice danc­ing was, and prob­a­bly won’t ever be again.