Monthly Archives: October 2012


I’m a big Star Wars fan. But when the animated series of The Clone Wars started on The Cartoon Network five years ago, I was skeptical. I figured the animated series would be dumbed down for kids. WRONG! Yes, there are elements added to the mix to attract and hold younger viewers (mostly younger characters and animals) but the storylines are clever and sophisticated. I’ve grown to like the pseudo-3D animatation, too. This just released set of three Blu-ray discs include some great stories set on exotic planets. There are 506 minutes of action and suspense here just waiting for you. A bargain! GRADE: A


As a sleep-apnea sufferer, I read David K. Randall’s new book about sleep research with great interest. Yes, there’s a chapter on sleep apnea here, but Randall also explores the latest research about sleepwalking, dreams, insomnia, and other sleep disorders. Randall says the U.S. is one of the most sleep-deprived countries in the world. And the health impacts of that fact is apparent in high rates of heart disease and cancer linked to sleep-deprivation. Our immune systems recharge themselves during sleep. But if sleep is fragmented or too short, the immune system is degraded. Illness can result from too little “real” sleep. Randall explains the different stages of sleep and the studies researchers are conducting to delve further into the secrets of sleep. There’s still a lot we don’t understand, but as Dreamland shows we’re learning more about how we spend a significant portion of our lives. GRADE: A


The hapless Buffalo Bills, with a losing record of 3-4, can’t lose this week because they’re on a bye. Last week’s loss in the waning moments of the game through ineptitude has fans around here howling for coaching firings and player trades. But, sadly, nothing will be done. This lame NFL franchise (12 years without a Playoff appearance) won’t be a consistent winner until the Buffalo Bills have a new owner who cares about winning. The current owner, 94-year-old Ralph Wilson, is in declining health. The team seems to be operating on Cruise Control. How is your favorite NFL team going to fare today?


I work in a germ factory called a college. Many of my students are coughing, sneezing, and wheezing on me. It’s the beginning of Flu Season here in Western NY. Time to get my annual flu shot. This is the 8th year in a row that I’ve gotten a flu shot. So far, no flu in all those years. I know the flu vaccine is a “likely mix” of flu strains. It’s a probability product. You can still get the flu even if you get the shot if you’re infected by a strain not in the mix. But, I’ll grasp at any opportunity to escape 10 days of illness. Have you gotten your flu shot yet?


From the Edward Gorey cover, you know immediately that Robert Aickman’s collection of strange stories, Cold Hand in Mine, is going to be creepy. With Halloween around the corner, I decided to reread Robert Aickman’s best book. Aickman’s other short story collections are excellent and highly recommended, but Cold Hand in Mine is something special. For those of you who haven’t read Aickman’s work, you’ll be in for a unique experience. Aickman is a master at suspense. The tension builds in his stories to produce surprising effects. These stories are the opposite of splatter-punk. Aickman’s stories are sinister and sophisticated. If you read some of Aickman’s stories, you’ll be right in the mood for Halloween!
The Swords”
“The Real Road to the Church”
“Pages from a Young Girl’s Journal”
“The Hospice”
“The Same Dog”
“Meeting Mr Millar”
“The Clock Watcher”


From the day I first saw Goldfinger as a kid, I’ve been a Bond fan. I’ve seen all the movies. Loved most of the music. Here is a 2-CD collection of some of the best Bond music. AMAZON is selling this for $19.95, a bargain for two discs full of mostly great music. The early songs like “Goldfinger” (my nostalgic favorite) have been remastered and sound wonderful. What’s your favorite Bond song?
1. James Bond Theme (From “Dr. No.”) John Barry Orchestra 1:47
2. From Russia With Love Matt Monro 2:33
3. Goldfinger Shirley Bassey 2:48
4. Thunderball Tom Jones 3:02
5. You Only Live Twice Nancy Sinatra 2:45
6. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service John Barry Orchestra 2:35
7. We Have All The Time In The World Louis Armstrong 3:13
8. Diamonds Are Forever Shirley Bassey 2:41
9. Live And Let Die Paul McCartney And Wings 3:13
10. The Man With the Golden Gun Lulu 2:34
11. Nobody Does It Better Carly Simon 3:28
12. Moonraker Shirley Bassey 3:08
13. For Your Eyes Only Sheena Easton 3:03
14. All Time High Rita Coolidge 3:02
15. A View to a Kill Duran Duran 3:34
16. The Living Daylights A-Ha 4:13
17. Licence to Kill Gladys Knight 4:11
18. Goldeneye Tina Turner 3:29
19. Tomorrow Never Dies Sheryl Crow 4:52
20. The World Is Not Enough Garbage 3:57
21. Die Another Day Madonna 4:36
22. You Know My Name Chris Cornell 4:01
23. Another Way to Die Jack White & Alicia Keys 4:23

1. Dr No’s Fantasy Monty Norman Orchestra 1:41
2. Under the Mango Tree Diana Coupland 2:23
3. 007 John Barry Orchestra 2:45
4. Opening Titles (Medley): James Bond Is Back/From Russia With Love/James Bond Theme John Barry Orchestra 2:28
5. Into Miami John Barry Orchestra 0:57
6. The Laser Beam John Barry Orchestra 2:53
7. Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Shirley Bassey 2:15
8. Switching the Body John Barry Orchestra 2:48
9. Capsule in Space John Barry Orchestra 2:40
10. Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown Nina 3:21
11. Bond Smells a Rat John Barry Orchestra 1:53
12. Fillet of Soul-New Orleans/ Live and Let Die/ Fillet of Soul-Harlem (Medley) (feat. B.J. Arnau) George Martin Orchestra 3:21
13. Underground Lair John Barry Orchestra 4:17
14. Hip’s Trip John Barry Orchestra 3:19
15. The Pyramids Marvin Hamlisch 1:30
16. Cable Car and Snake Fight John Barry Orchestra 3:07
17. Make It Last All Night (feat. Rage) Bill Conti 3:30
18. The Chase Bomb Theme John Barry Orchestra 1:57
19. Snow Job John Barry Orchestra 2:29
20. Where Has Everybody Gone The Pretenders 3:36
21. If There Was a Man The Pretenders 2:50
22. The Experience of Love Eric Serra 5:54
23. James Bond Theme (Moby’s Re-version) Moby 3:23
24. Surrender K. D. Lang 3:56
25. Only Myself to Blame Scott Walker 3:37
26. Vesper David Arnold 1:45
27. Time to Get Out David Arnold 3:28


When I was a kid, I loved reading Green Arrow comic books. Green Arrow had no superpowers. But he had these tricky arrows and he was intelligent. Like Batman, Green Arrow solved crimes more with brains than brawn. Now, the CW Network has brought Green Arrow to cable TV in an action-drama. Oliver Green, a slacker billionaire’s son, survives a shipwreck and finds himself stranded on a remote island for five years. That experience changes him. When he’s finally rescued, Oliver Green decides he will devote himself to stopping crime in his home city. After just two episodes, Green Arrow is referred to as “The Vigilante” by the media. This is run-of-the-mill DC Comics storytelling: Oliver pretends to be the frivolous playboy he was by day, but at night he fights crime as Green Arrow. Mildly entertaining. Check out the trailer below. GRADE: B


Here’s the Blu-ray set I want for Christmas which includes 15 classic Hitchock films (loaded with extras): Saboteur / Shadow Of A Doubt / Rope / Rear Window / The Trouble With Harry / The Man Who Knew Too Much / Vertigo / North By Northwest / Psycho / The Birds / Marnie / Torn Curtain / Topaz / Frenzy / Family Plot. Many of these Hitchcock flims have never been released in Blu-ray format before this set is released. I have most of these movies in DVD, but now I want them in Hi-Def.


Few TV dramas have given me so much pleasure as watching Copper on BBC America this Fall. Tom Fontana (St. Elsewhere, Homicide, OZ, is one of the producers and writers of BBC America’s first original scripted series. Copper is set in 1860s New York City. The 10-part drama centers on Kevin Corcoran (Tom Weston-Jones), an intelligent but ruthless Irish-American cop working the city’s notorious Five Points neighborhood. Corcoran is obsessed to learn the truth about the disappearance of his wife and the death of his daughter while he was fighting in the Civil War. Tom Fontana provides a compelling story arc the builds suspense. The cast is excellent. Other story-lines concern a young girl named Annie who was sexually abused. There’s also a Confederate conspiracy to burn down New York City. Plenty of plot twists and turns pop up in this fine series. If you missed it, BBC America will be rebroadcasting the series. Or, you can obtain this great Blu-ray set that goes on sale tomorrow. GRADE: A