Normally I do music on Saturday night’s, but normally Saturday is not Halloween. So this time around, a couple of classics in honor of the holiday. To make up for the schedule, music will be along very shortly, in honor of the new Abney Park album. The first Halloween video:

This is part of Disney’s Silly Symphonies series: The Skeleton Dance is a classic from 1929, not long after the Steamboat Willie era, and perfect for Halloween. In those days, this stuff was experimental state of the art, which tends to explain why Walt himself directed this one. The entire Silly Symphony collection was created from 1929 to 1939, and totaled out to 75 separate short animations, most of which were mini-masterpieces for their time. As evidence of this, the series won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film seven times, including the first 6 times that award was ever given out. It was also a Disney test bed for new technology, of which the single most important piece (to my mind, at least) was Technicolor, a technology nobody else in the industry would appreciate until decades later.

The second Halloween video is a more modern classic: The 8 Bit version of Army of Darkness. It may have been the third film in the Evil Dead franchise, but it became the definitive horror comedy film of its time very quickly. It didn’t have a serious contender for that title until Shaun Of The Dead hit the big screen quite a few years later. I do kind of wish I could have played the game instead of just watched it, though. These CineFix virtual remakes are quite the hoot.

Happy Halloween to all, the official holiday of Cosplay combined with a generous helping of candy-fueled extortion in the Trick Or Treat tradition. The first one is the Dragon Con 2014 COSPLAY Showcase put together by MLZ Studios, a group that covers a lot of Cosplay at events. The second video is the Best & Hottest Cosplay of San Diego Comic-Con 2014, which as you might expect features fewer Anime characters and more Comic/Manga folks (Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, etc.), plus the expected TV and movie tie-ins. That one was from Inside The Magic. The third video is from the UK, from the recent MCM Comic Con (London’s Comic Con amazing event), and that concludes the examples for this Halloween. Enjoy!

When I posted about new movies for this weekend, how the hell did I not mention A Winter’s Tale, this year’s perfect Valentine’s Fantasy? It opened today, do not miss it! Tonight I thought I would mention a short list of 5 of the best Science Fiction romantic comedies for Valentines Day from years gone by. I’m starting with a personal favorite, Earth Girls Are Easy, about a fuzzy alien (Jeff Goldblum) and a human girl (Geena Davis). The fact that they were wildly in love with each other at the time gives this film a chemistry that you almost never find on screen. Besides the Out Of This World romance, it is a wonderful musical comedy, featuring the songs of Julie Brown and the antics of the whole cast, who include some very funny people. Hopefully they will get the live stage version going sometime soon. Also in that vein, Blast From the Past has a boy raised in a fallout shelter going to the surface world for the first time, where a nuclear war never happened after all. The Princess Bride is a classic Fantasy that never gets old, and Warm Bodies is the best Zombie romance/comedy I think I have ever seen. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World rounds out the group with an Apocalypse setting for its story. If you have missed any of these, stream or rent a copy and watch it with your special someone; I am betting you will be glad you did.

In my book, it’s still the holidays until we hit New Years, so one more set of images is allowed. This time around it is the star at Seven Dials, and some more stars from just a few blocks away. Blocks is kind of a lose term in London, and any other city that is a thousand years old or better, I suspect. The place wasn’t exactly planed and designed, but just kind of grew there as people built stuff. So no two blocks are the same size, and roads rarely meet at 90 degree angles, which looks kind of strange to anyone who grew up in a city laid out on a grid. Seven Dials itself is a perfect example; 7 roads all intersect at a single circle, pretty much at the same angles as the points on that star, hence the name of the neighborhood.

SevenDials Star

More Stars

What Santa would leave Rudolph behind on Xmas Eve? You can see the building behind it to give it a sense of scale, but to make it more obvious I am including a daytime snap with people all around. Jenn took the night time shot, I took the daytime. Besides her having the better cameras, there wasn’t any fog at night. I had always thought the scenes of foggy London streets in TV and Movies was done for effect with dry ice; not so much, it turns out.

Rudolph

Rudolph Daytime