Monthly Archives: November 2011

CHRISTMAS CAROL-A-THON 2011 BEGINS

TIME ONCE AGAIN FOR MY ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF THE ENORMOUS NUMBER OF VERSIONS OF A CHRISTMAS CAROL THAT ARE OUT THERE. I’LL BE PEPPERING IN SEVERAL THAT I DIDN’T HAVE TIME TO INCLUDE LAST YEAR (I have about five dozen different versions)BUT FIRST A REPOST OF MY FAVORITE VERSION, BAR NONE:

I’ll come right out and admit it – I’ve always been a sucker for any version of A Christmas Carol. Trouble is, most adaptations distort the story or are produced by people who don’t seem to “get” the story or treat it like it’s a children’s tale. Anyone who thinks that needs to read the novelette again. My love of mythology is partly why I love the story so much. A Christmas Carol is the closest thing to an Epic Myth the Industrial Age has produced. The language Dickens uses is very close to prose poetry but precious few adaptations of the story preserve enough of it.

That brings us to Patrick Stewart‘s one-man stage presentation of A Christmas Carol. (NOT the fairly lame made-for-tv movie he did on TNT) Stewart does all the voices and pretty much all the sound effects and his presentation is magnificent. It’s NOT a book-on-tape, it’s  Patrick Stewart acting out the story by himself, like he did on Broadway in the 1980’s. Stewart clearly “gets” the story and includes all the crucial parts that many adaptations omit, and since he’s taking the lines faithfully from the book, it’s also made clear, like in the book ,that MARLEY IS NOT JEWISH, he’s referred to in the book as a Christian, just like Scrooge is. If people Continue reading

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THE JERRY SANDUSKY/ JOE PATERNO SCANDAL: USING CHILDREN AS HUMAN SHIELDS

 Remember this scene from the movie The Dead Zone? Martin Sheen’s sleazy character holding up a child to use as a human shield against the bullets being fired at him? That was the overall impression I got from the sickening scenes of alleged pedophile enabler Joe Paterno seemingly trying to insulate himself from the scrutiny he deserves by surrounding himself with his grandchildren. Or great- grandchildren for all I know. Paterno’s old enough to have been Calvin Coolidge’s babysitter.

At any rate, watching that scene was enough to Continue reading

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF RESULTS FROM NOVEMBER 26TH

 NAIA FOOTBALL DOWN TO ITS FINAL FOUR TEAMS – The MARIAN UNIVERSITY KNIGHTS, who are the Top Ranked and Top Seeded team in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, completely annihilated the 11th seeded ST FRANCIS (IL) FIGHTING SAINTS by a score of 49-7. The Fighting Saints pulled off the upset of the 6 seeds from Morningside last Saturday, but the Knights would have none of it. Marian played focused on both sides of the ball and made St Francis’ trip to Indiana a nightmare for them.  

COUGARS CLAW THE PIONEERS – The SAINT XAVIER COUGARS, who were ranked at number one in the polls for the bulk of the 2011 season saw their one loss – to then- number 2 Marian in the next- to the last game of the regular season – drop them to a 5 seed in the playoffs. They rose above that bizarre snub and have taken care of business in the first 2 rounds, yesterday slapping around the 4th seeded MIDAMERICA NAZARENE UNIVERSITY PIONEERS by a score of 29- 14. Mike Feminis’ boys move on to the semi- finals and you can’t want to play this team with the roll they’re on.

NO, NOT THAT GEORGETOWN – The GEORGETOWN (KY) TIGERS clashed with their fellow NAIA football power the ST FRANCIS (IN) COUGARS in this quarterfinal matchup. Home standing Georgetown College came out on top 26- 14. 

TWO MINUTE DRILL – With barely two minutes left in regulation, the CC FIGHTING SAINTS, the defending champions of NAIA football, wrested the lead from the AZUSA PACIFIC UNIVERSITY COUGARS and won by a score of 17- 14. Just like last year an eventful season for APU was cut short by the Hellions from Helena.

CCCAA PLAYOFFS

INSERT YOUR OWN DUDLEY DO- RIGHT JOKE HERE – If the CCCAA was the NFL yesterday would have been the NFC and AFC championship games. The MT SAN ANTONIO COLLEGE MOUNTIES, the defending champs of BOTH the SCFA and the CCCAA, won an Instant Classic over the visiting CERRITOS  COLLEGE FALCONS. The Mounties won 17-14, notch another SCFA title and go on to play in the CCCAA championship game on December 10th.

RAM ON RAM VIOLENCE – The Continue reading

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF SCOREBOARDS FOR NOVEMBER 26TH

 Yes, newbies to Balladeer’s Blog, the divisions of college football covered here settle their seasons on the field. Today the CC Fighting Saints, the defending champions of NAIA football, welcome the Azusa Pacific Cougars to Helena, MT for quarter- final action. Will CC once again derail the Cougars’ post season run or will APU rise up and dethrone the champs? Watch and see.

Meanwhile the NAIA’s Top Seeded Marian University Knights will host the University of St Francis (IL) Fighting Saints and the St Xavier University Cougars, who spent most of the 2011 season ranked at number 1 in the polls, travel to take on the MidAmerica Nazarene Pioneers.

In SCFA college football the Mt San Antonio College Mounties, the defending SCFA champs as well as the defending CCCAA champs, welcome the Cerritos Falcons for the SCFA crown. The winner will play for the CCCAA title against the winner of the NCFA championship game today between the Fresno City College Rams and the defending NCFA title holders, the San Francisco Rams.

All this plus 2nd round playoff action in NCAA Divisions 2 and 3. Here are links to updating scoreboards for the divisions covered by Balladeer’s Blog:

NAIA – http://www.victorysportsnetwork.com/sport/0/14.php

D3 – Continue reading

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MOVIE HOSTS: CHRISTOPHER COFFIN (1961? – 1967)

 Christopher Coffin, AKA Reed Pasternak AKA Reed Farrell, deserves to be mentioned with the biggest names in the history of B- Movie Hosts. As you can see in the photo at left Coffin hosted his movies from a wheelchair and when you combine that with his wry, erudite sense of humor and his aristocratic manner I think the best way to describe him would be as a combination of Sheridan Whitehead in The Man Who Came To Dinner and Ghoulardi.  Or maybe I should  make that  a pre- Ghoulardi version of Ghoulardi, depending on what year you accept for CC’s premier.

I want to address the ongoing debate over exactly what year his program debuted. The advocates of a Continue reading

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THANKSGIVING COLLEGE FOOTBALL RIVALRY: TUSKEGEE VS ALABAMA STATE

 The HBCU gridiron rivalry between the TUSKEGEE GOLDEN TIGERS and the ALABAMA STATE HORNETS can’t help but be anything but flattering to Tuskegee. The Golden Tigers are, after all, Division 2 while the Hornets are 1AA (FCS if you’re a spineless conformist). In that respect it’s like the Continue reading

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THANKSGIVING DAY BAD MOVIE: SLASHER IN THE HOUSE

Happy Thanksgiving! In the spirit of holiday classics that get trotted out each year here’s a special Turkey Day encore of last year’s review of the laughably bad Thanksgiving Day themed slasher movie from the 1980’s. Until someone makes a horror film about a guy in a Pilgrim outfit slashing people this is what we’ve got.

SLASHER IN THE HOUSE (1981) – Category: Enjoyably campy bad movie  elevated by kitsch-value in the casting   The success of John Carpenter’s Halloween in the late 1970’s launched a frenzy of holiday-themed slasher movies trying to cash in on that film’s success. The most infamous, of course, was the Silent Night, Deadly Night series with the slasher dressed as Santa Claus (and its notorious tag line “You made it through Halloween, now try and survive Christmas!” ), but other holidays got a customized slasher flick, too, like New Year’s Eve (the hilariously bad New Year’s Evil), Valentine’s Day (the original My Bloody Valentine) and Mother’s Day (in a movie of the same name). It even got so Continue reading

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