Thursday, October 16, 2014

Master Pancake, Pearl Forrester, Paul McCartney, Halloween Costume Warehouse and more! Article hodgepodge time!

Listen up, gang, because I have a lot to blabber about today, and I've decided to talk about a whole bunch of it in one post to cover as much as possible. I'll do my best to say all that I need to while still trying to keep everything down to the "ten peso version". Well, my ten peso version, anyway. Basically, here's a combo Halloween update/site update/What I've been doing lately report and review pile up. If you enjoy the articles on this site, you'll wanna read through this. No telling what you might miss! And I probably won't even get to every subject I've been wanting to talk about lately! This'll just be some super recent stuff! Still gotta play catch up with some other subjects I've been wanting to write about, but more on that later in this post! Let's get going with this!

First up, I made it to my first ever Master Pancake! Yep, the final one to feature special guest Mary Jo Pehl from Mystery Science Theater 3000!

If you're not familiar with "Master Pancake", it's one of the regular shows they do at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema here in Austin, TX, and it's basically a live version of what they did for years on MST3K, where Mary Jo Pehl played the character of mad scientist Pearl Forrester. I'm a pretty diehard Mystie, even if I discovered the show shortly after the fact. In Master Pancake, the riffing crew sits in the front row of the theater with the rest of the audience, riffing into microphones and stopping the film partway for a related bit of sketch comedy. Incidentally, movie riffing, a pretty commonly done thing now, refers to the act of cracking jokes about a film out loud as you watch it, originally but no longer exclusively done with  low budget, truly bad movies. The Master Pancake crew also do a bit of editing with the film, not only to trim the fat but also to insert some pretty hilarious moments here and there. For me, this was the high point of the show, because the editing choices were truly brilliant and well done! A bit of Benny Hill theme music added to a sped up chase scene, a perfectly integrated clip (two, actually) from Return of the Jedi, a hilarious blending of Disney's animated Robin Hood with the night's feature, "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" during the love scene... it was priceless! The riffing was great too though. Maybe not MST3K level, but I'd put it at Rifftrax level, which is still damn good. I still say I should be added to this riffing team though! I'm sure every Mystie feels the same, but I'm the correct one. 

Now, as I mentioned before, it recently came to my attention that MST3K's Pearl Forrester had joined the riffing team for a while, I have no idea how long (not very, I suspect), and I never knew about it till just before this, the final night of her participation! Man, to see a real MST3K-er riffing live! I HAD to be there! Luckily, I managed to get one of the last tickets! And, of all places, most of the remaining seats were in the front row! Let me tell ya, that was the place to be! I was just 3 seats away from Mary Jo as she riffed the movie. That was cool! Heck, I could have been sitting right beside her if I'd known the arrangement when selecting my seat, which you have to do in advance for the Drafthouse! Then, I could have snuck one epic photo of Pearl Forrester in action, ha, or snapped a selfie right next to her! Alas, all I got was this weak photo from before the film began. Yeah, that was the best of the many photos I snapped. Oh well, I'm just thrilled I made it! And I mean that doubly so, since I almost didn't get there in time! I don't know how it works, but according to the Drafthouse, if you are late you don't get in. Anyway, had a fantastic time at the show and I hope to attend more Master Pancake screenings when the ol' purse strings aren't quite so tight. Though at around 15 bucks give or take (not counting any food or drinks you may order and the corresponding tip), it's really not bad at all, especially when they have a special guest like this! And I'm not sure if it's always that price or just when they do have a special guest riffer. As I said, this was my first time for Master Pancake.

The only negative of the evening was that I'd forgotten going to the Drafthouse on a Friday night is awful when you're a lonely, single guy. Plus, this was over at the new South Lamar Drafthouse. That's one of the hottest areas in Austin when it comes to gorgeous girls (often in short shorts) being at every turn (I hear the UT campus is pretty incredible, but I haven't had the pleasure, or rather, the excuse, to hang around there). So, yeah, it's tough going to that Drafthouse when it's packed to the brim with gorgeous ladies all there snuggling with their uber happy dates. And me there with my cream of wheat. Obscure Grinch sdtk reference, don't worry about it. Anyway, point is, the Drafthouse is my favorite place to go in Austin, but it's a mixed bag. When your religion is movies and cartoons, you don't really encounter unattached women at your house of worship: the local movie theater. Just gorgeous, clearly unavailable women. Oh well, too awkward at starting conversations with strangers anyway. Moving on!


Now, what could be cooler than an evening of movie riffing with an MST3K alumnus?

How about a night in Dallas being entertained by one of the Beatles? 

Yep, I spent Monday night at the Paul McCartney concert in Dallas, and it was AWESOME! The man is every bit as amazing as ever! This is all thanks to my younger sis, who is a singer/actress/model and quite obsessed with the Beatles. She hooked us up with tickets and drove us over there and back in time for me to be back at work the next morning with a full 2 hour attempted-sleep! Ha. But it was well worth it! What an epic show!

Now, I'm not going to say too much on this, as I'm no music expert, but we all know that this guy is a legend and has given us some of the most incredible music in history, and we heard a ton of it that night, straight from the source. "Yesterday" is the one that really gets me, but wow, what an epic fireworks show he put on for "Live and Let Die," which is also one of the coolest songs ever! Amazing show and a truly unforgettable experience!

Here are some random highlights my sister caught from this amazing show. Sorry, they're just short clips and not full songs, ha. I'm sure someone's got it all up on YouTube somewhere though...








Okay, let's cool down and talk about Halloween a bit... starting with one of my favorite parts, the Halloween store!

While Austin has a nice selection of unique and fun little costume shops, like the popular "Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds" over on S. Congress which I definitely need to talk about here sometime (I think renting is their main thing), and while there are naturally a ton of Halloween Express stores and Spirit stores everywhere too (though Spirit seems a bit harder to find this year, but I did see one that I didn't have time to go into), the clear winner for me is definitely "Halloween Costume Warehouse" over on North I-35 among those stores near Parmer (Toys R Us, Hobby Lobby, Target and all that). This place is epic! Like Spirit and Halloween Express, I assume this is a seasonal chain. It is definitely seasonal at least, and every year they turn this sadly retired Best Buy (coulda used that Best Buy, but, oh well) into a Halloween wonderland of costumes, props, makeup and party supplies! You could seriously search these aisles forever! I could spend a ton of money here if I had a ton of money to spend! And, heck, I could spend days just ogling the images on the ladies' costume packages. There seems to be an infinite selection of them! Though, they disturbingly seem to be taking the "sexy" design style down another age-range every year. They might be doing sexy baby costumes at this point. I'm not sure, I didn't check on that. That's messed up if they are though.

Anywho, yeah, check out these sweet images I snapped with my camera! You definitely need to check this place out for yourself if you are in Austin or if you have one in your area! It's definitely the first place to go for all your Halloween needs! Or even just to get in the spirit of the season!

There are actually "Mad Monster Party" and Halloween 3 masks among the ones above!
And Sam from Trick or Treat! Jeez, I wonder if any will be around and half price after Halloween!
Wouldn't mind a Halloween 3 Jack O'Lantern mask!

It's getting harder and harder to be original! Above is the beginning of the
Steampunk section! Even that popular, underground subgenre can be store-bought now!
I remember being surprised to see that last year!

Ah, that employee above in the orange shirt, she was quite a hottie...
I swear, I was not TRYING to catch you in this pic, ma'am, just doin' my job!

Some great props! Alas, not what I was looking for...

Yeah, plenty of superhero costumes, as usual. I thought the feminine Captain America costume below was super cute. Actually, if I have a fetish for anything, it's costumes, and yeah, my two faves are naturally the superhero ladies and the fairytale ladies. Sailor Moon is a top fave by managing to be a bit of a combo of both. Hmm, forgot to see if they had any Sailor Moon costumes. I know they exist in a current, pre-packaged form, so they ought to.

Monster High and Frozen seemed to be popular with the shoppers there Saturday afternoon.
Though, in the case of anything Disney, I'd see what the Disney Store has to offer first.

If I'm able to do the costume I WANT to do, though it looks like I MAY be too broke this year (we'll see), I will have to go back for some of that liquid latex and those high-end Stage Frights pointy ears. Oh, fangs too! Jeez, the high-end stuff is pricey though...

Last year, my sis put together a very cool and original Peacock costume. This year, Halloween Costume Warehouse has this whole peacock section pictured above! Man, these places catch on fast! If they had this last year, we sure didn't notice it!

What is it about tutus, leg warmers, knee socks, stockings and the like (including rainbows, apparently) that we just find so sexy? I don't know, but we do, and boy, this place is loaded with 'em. A lot of people really hate how Halloween has become "dress slutty day" for so many. Of course, most of us guys have no problem with it. Honestly though, a legitimate costume can be just as sexy; sometimes even more so. I'd rather see an Alice in Wonderland and Red Riding Hood with a more traditional look than one designed cheap and sexy. Of course, all the better if the stockings are thigh-highs. It adds just one incredibly sexy aspect, whether it's readily visible or only for your partner later on. And, as cosplayers know, there are plenty of costumes that are extremely sexy without being made trashy in any generic way. That stuff is a lot sexier, really. Nevertheless, I'm unlikely to complain about seeing a flood of skimpy costumes on 6th street on Halloween weekend or any other time (though I am rarely on 6th street aside from Halloween weekend or a visit to the Ritz). Now, I will say this: I never really got the appeal of high heels. I mean, yeah, they can be appealing with just the right outfit, but for the most part, I find flat shoes (like Mary Janes, some types of tennies, and a variety of others) far sexier... Various types of boots can be pretty sexy too. Anyway, that's my two cents on the sexy outfits thing. No one has to dress sexy if they don't want to, but it shouldn't bug you if they do. 

Of course, they've got costumes for your pets and babies as well!

I freakin' love the Headless Horseman/Sleepy Hollow story, so I loved seeing THIS display right when I walked into the store! Lifesize phantom horse and horseman! A shame the horseman isn't riding the horse, but still very cool! I would totally have something similar in my yard, if I had a yard!

Now, that final pic, well, I just really dug that standee and took a shot of it. That is one HOT Snow White costume, and see, it's not totally traditional, but it's not really slutty looking. It's just a perfect combo of cute and sexy! Granted, it probably doesn't look THAT good out of the bag, but I do love that image anyway! Looks like this is an official Disney one! No wonder they didn't go overboard with the slutty! Nice job! Snow White doesn't even rank that high on my Disney princess dreamgirl list, but this version is pretty stunning, even if I'm not usually a heel man (this is the sorta case where they work for me).

That's it for that, but yeah, as you can see, Halloween Costume Warehouse has a lot to offer! I highly recommend checking it out if you're still trying to figure out what you're gonna do in roughly two weeks and two days. Myself, I don't know if my budget will allow it, but I wanna do something like this...

The problem I've run into is getting fewer hours at work, where I don't make enough as it is. Turns out even the simplest costume can be pretty expensive. Now, I'm not going for regular Eddie, but pajama Eddie with his Woof Woof in pajamas too. But, A: I gotta make a Woof Woof, B: I gotta find perfect pajamas in my size, and C. I want some high-end makeup, and that all adds up to expensive, expensive, expensive! Got some other expenses coming up at the same time, so whether or not I'll get this costume done THIS year is anybody's guess. I've already started early work on my Woof Woof though.  


Now, just a bit more Halloween talk and an update on the Site...

Well, we're at the halfway mark for Halloween, and as I said, money's being difficult this year, so I have my fingers crossed that I won't just be sitting at home eating candy and watching Halloween specials. If I do get this done, I'll let ya know, and you can look for Eddie Munster aimlessly wandering 6th St on Halloween night. If not, well, I have my Trick 'r Treat and Hocus Pocus Blu-Rays and Charlie Brown and Garfield DVDs, and a ton of versions of Sleepy Hollow and plenty of other stuff. I'll be stuffing my face and vegging out in front of the TV. If I DO get to make my costume, I'll do that vegging out on Saturday. Around my place, November 1st also goes by the name, "Halloween 2"!

Up to this point, I'm down to one box of monster cereal I'll be opening soon (Boo Berry). I haven't watched many horror movies or Halloween specials. Been busy doing a lot of stuff, obviously, but I've worked in a few here and there. Also been very busy trying to clear the comp though, since I still have to do that big System Restore I planned to do last weekend. Should get it done this weekend though. I'm hoping Monday at the latest. Until then though, I hope to get a couple more posts in, and I hope things will be back to normal without interruption right after that, but I can't say for sure. Don't know if the cable company will have to come over and reprogramming anything or what. But, yeah, I hope to get things back to normal quick and also start getting some new comic strips up over here. As for movie reviews, I did wanna see The BoxTrolls and there's other stuff too, but I'm afraid I don't have the funds for any this month. I may have to wait till Blu-Ray for BoxTrolls. As for Halloween theatrical screenings, I'll just be going to any that strike my sister's fancy. I know she's got some Drive-In screenings lined up. Oh, I don't think I've talked about the Blue Starlite Drive-In yet. I'll have to write about that one soon (tomorrow, if possible). They're showing a lot of great stuff for Halloween every week! Look into it!

Sadly, from what I hear, the Paramount doesn't have anything going for Halloween this year. I've enjoyed some of their Halloween screenings before but never got to when they were doing the thing with all the pumpkins that I think they've done twice in a row now. I assume Boo at the Zoo is going on though. I went a couple years back with Kiki, and I thought the train ride was cute and fun, though the haunted house was pretty much for little ones. Speaking of, I've been to the House of Torment haunted house a couple of times, and that's a pretty cool thing to check out. Kinda sucked because I always went alone, but it was still fun to some degree, ha. Check out the trailer on their website. It looks like they're still in the Highland Mall parking lot after all. I used to work right across the street from their spot before we changed office locations. I guess that's the extent of Halloween activities I've experienced since coming to Austin, aside from various Drafthouse stuff. I'm sure there are more though. I'm just so busy this year though, and so tight. If I get to check out 6th St in a costume though, I have a lot of fun doing that. And, as I said, Saturday night will be my more relaxing celebration.

Anyways, oh, I wanted to mention two more things tonight. One is about some DVD/Blu-Rays currently out for Halloween, the other is about the big trips I took over the past 12 months to New York and Florida. Let me start with the second first. I really wanna get this bit out there, though I should have probably started this article with it. Not sure how many of you are still reading such a looong post, ha. Well, as you know, I went to Disney World with family last December, and I intended to post many separate posts about it, but it kept getting postponed. I finally managed to write about our first day of the trip, which took a few posts just to do that, a few months ago. Never got around to Day 2 though, which was out first day in the parks. What I wanna say right now is, as overdue as it is, I am going to pick up where I left off AFTER Halloween. Why AFTER? Because the trip took place during Christmas, and I hate to get my wires crossed like that. Do you really wanna read about Christmas during Halloween? I'll do my best to really get after it so it'll all be posted BEFORE Christmas is actually here, ha. As for this month, besides more Halloween centric stuff, including my themed Crush of the Week, I do wanna at least do my post on my more recent trip, last month's visit to New York City. That post, I'm hoping, will be a one post thing. Maybe two. I can't say for sure, but the reason I'm hopeful is that, as much as we did on that trip, the sheer number of things to talk about is far less than a Disney trip, in which one rides of ton of rides and sees a not of shows, and does a bunch of other stuff in a single day. It's A LOT to talk about. New York is too, but still, I mean, we're talking about much fewer things each day. A huge amount of time is spent just getting from point A to point B in New York, ha. More on that later though.

Now, back to that other thing, a couple of DVDs I wanted to talk about, and a Blu-Ray. Let me throw some images at ya first, and then I'll say what I wanna say about 'em...

Okay, that group of images surely makes you go, "Huh?" Well, here's what's up. I'm gonna try and be simple and concise, but you and I both know how that usually goes.

Smurfs: The Legend of Smurfy Hollow - This DVD is on sale this week at Target, along with some others that I either already owned, don't want or would rather get on Blu. It's a great price, only 4...something. I forget exactly how much. Why would I want it? I saw it somewhere, I forget where, and saw that it is mostly lovely, traditional animation. Refreshing. At least, that's how I remember it. My bad if it turns out it was Flash animation, ha. Point is, if you don't like the modern, CGI Smurfs, they are just in the bookend part. Now, the problem with this release, and the reason I may return the copy I picked up for a refund tomorrow, is that a little research uncovered for me that this special is actually a bonus feature on the Smurfs 2 Blu-Ray. Also found out the similar Christmas special is likewise a bonus feature on the Blu-Ray of the first Smurfs film. Now, I grew up with the Smurfs, and I actually don't hate these movies as much as everyone else. I thought I would, but after seeing them, like most films, they have good AND bad about them. For example, Gargamel and Azreal are funny, and I enjoy looking at Jayma Mays. So, yeah, if I'm gonna eventually end up getting those films on Blu (probably for just 5 bucks more than getting this special on its own), I might as well not buy the special by itself. Any of you considering the purchase might find that useful info too. Maybe you already have it! And, yeah, I DO enjoy live-action, CGI versions of cartoons. They usually have a few poorly translated characters, but sometimes they're great movies anyway, like the first Alvin and the Chipmunks flick or Yogi Bear. That's right, I said that.

Teen Wolf - Now, that's the original Teen Wolf movie, folks. I LOVED that movie ever since it came out. It defined my junior high years. I was obsessed with the animated series too (when are we getting a U.S. DVD release of that?!!!), and I saw the sequel in theaters. That's all I'll say about the sequel. Nah, it has its good moments too, ha. But sometimes it's really bad. But, this movie, the original, I LOVE IT! And I FINALLY got it on Blu! And, why did I finally get around to getting it (though I always intended to)? Well, that new art made it too difficult to resist. Plus, it's only 7.99 right now at Best Buy. Unfortunately, that cool new art is not a cover, it's a card attached to the front of the movie. It is actually too big to be used as a cover for the Blu in a perfect sense. I still am using it as such, but it sticks out of the plastic sleeving one slides it into. I suspect though (and I haven't tested this) that it probably fits well as a DVD cover, and they just didn't bother to resize it for the Blu-Rays, so they marketed it as a new collectible card (right; what the heck is a giant collectible card good for?). At any rate, it is really cool, and even if it sticks out of the clear plastic part, it still looks cool as my Blu-Ray cover, and it's cool to finally have this on Blu, even if it doesn't come with part 2, as my standard def DVD does... Now, give us the complete animated series!!!

Gargoyles s.2 p.2, Talespin v. 3, Goof Troop v. 1 and 2, DuckTales the Movie and A Goof Troop Christmas - I haven't bought these yet, but I'm just passing on some great news for Disney fanatics, and specifically Disney Afternoon fanatics, like myself! Yes, we are finally getting wide releases of these formerly Disney Movie Club Exclusive DVDs! And, apparently, they are already available as Wal-Mart exclusives! And only 10 bucks a pop, I hear!!!! I, of course, am too broke right now, but I'll be picking these up as soon as I can! I already have DuckTales the Movie, so I'm good there, but I definitely want all the others! Here's hoping this is just the beginning! And I hope they remember they have a few other Disney animated series releases that have gone DMC only in the past, before this bunch, I believe. Titles like Kim Possible, the Weekenders, and Doug's First Movie! Man, I can't wait to add these to my collection! Keep 'em coming!

Dear Dracula - This is a Halloween special I have never seen, but it has some pretty good reviews on Amazon and places like that. I first saw it at Wal-Mart last Halloween for 5 bucks, and though I didn't get it, this year I discovered it at Big Lots for the same price. I just thought I'd mention that, since, like I said, the reviews are positive. I don't know if I'll be able to snag any other DVDs or blus before Halloween (believe me, I'm itchin' for that X-Men Days of Future Past MetalPak at Target), but at only 5 bucks, this one I still am not counting out. Who knows, I might sell some toys online this week or something. That has come through for me in a pinch before. I've also got my heart set on that Witch's Night Out DVD I mentioned in a previous article though, but that one's twice the price, so it might have to wait till next year, ha. We'll just have to see what happens in the rest of October. Should be interesting.

And, I guess that's about it for this big hodgepodge article for now. Seriously, I could have made it longer. I do wanna talk about that Drive-In I go to sometimes here in Austin, and I also wanted to talk about the action figures I've been obsessing over lately, when I'm not broke. Man, some great stuff has been coming out in that department lately. Been flooding Facebook with the pics of the ones I've managed to get so far. But, save some of the fun for later, I suppose! So, that's all for now, gang! Get ready for Halloween and I'll check back in with ya real soon!

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