Friday, February 18, 2005
TV+TiVo ADD UP TO OVER 3MILLION NOW
|Phillip Swann, aka "Swanni Sez", reported the following today in his fine TV PREDICTIONS newsletter:|
TiVo announced this morning that it has passed the three million subscriber mark. Not only that, the Digital Video Recorder service accumulated approximately 250,000 non-DIRECTV subs. To learn more, click this link: TiVo Passes 3M Subscribers
Monday, February 07, 2005
MOOTER: LIKE GOOGLE BUT BETTER?
Read more about Mooter and other new fangled search engines in the Feb 2005 Scientific American.
Saturday, February 05, 2005
DVD BOXSET REVIEW: "JOHNNY CARSON: THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION" VOL.1-3
Johnny will be right back... any time you want. Thanks to this 3-DVD collection, you can revel in over 30 years of memories for many years to come.
Disc Three gives you the two final hour-long editions of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. The penultimate show features Robin Williams and Bette Midler (whose musical numbers and brief duet with JC will make your eyes moist), and the final show is a final overview and goodbye edition, complete with the opening sitdown (not standup!) monologue... a series of clips, choice moments, slo-mo overview of stars that graced the show over the three decades... a great behind the scenes mini-doc with Doc, Johnny, Ed and Fred (show producer DeCordova) that is a wonderful peek where no fan has gone before (very few, anyway, if any). I especially liked the shots from behind the Great Desk, and the POV shot of what Johnny saw when he walked out of That Curtain every night and faced his audience. There is also, of course, those final-show moments of Doc and Ed thanking Johnny personally, and Carson's emotion-packed final farewell moment.
Carson told his audience, in that last emotional show, that if he could magically go back and do it all over again, he would. Now you can. Get this boxset. You will treasure it, and go back to it again and again.
For more info, see www.johnnycarson.com .
DVD REVIEW: "CONCERT FOR GEORGE"
And then there's MONTY PYTHON. Harrison loved and supported this group (even financially, by backing some of their film work), and was friends with Eric Idle and Michael Palin (remember when George cameod in the Rutles film? that was a partially Python project). The Python parts of the film were well done, and the DVD extra feature showing them backstage is one of the highlights of the entire box. Michael Palin's brief onstage speeches, with his mock over the top pomposity, was just what a Harrison event needed, and it fit perfectly. The lumberjack song, okay, we have all heard it a million times before, but it is an Evergreen, so why not. (Did you know Harrison used to sometimes use the alias Jack Lumber? This disc taught me that!) Even Tom Hanks was there, "filling in" for missing John Cleese, playing one of the background chorus, one of the redcoated, um -- what are they, mounties? -- the Dudley Do Right types that back up Palin's lead vocal. More on Hanks below. And lead Rutle Neil Innes is there too, playing bouncy piano, and joining Terry Jones, Eric Idle and Palin in a rousing version of Sit On My Face --- also somehow a good deflator and antidote for an overall reverential tone you feel watching the Concert. (Remember, of course, that most of the stars that play on the disc are 60s icons in their 60s (or close to it), so you can't really expect too much crazy bouncy youthful sounds and silliness --- but the Python Boys do their best!)
Seeing Dhani, George's son, on stage does help bring a little injection of youth to the proceedings, and Dhani's uncanny resemblance to his famous dad makes it all the more like George is there. Ravi Shankar and his daughter also play on the disc, the Concert could not be complete without Ravi, the great sitarist who taught George a thing or two to expand his musical consciousness.
The only odd thing about the film, perhaps, was how underutilized, or unneeded, Tom Hanks was. I love Tom, but he kinda stuck out to me, not really blending in with the whole event, although of course it was nice of him to be part of it. Was he REALLY replacing John Cleese or filling his shoes? Nah... but my nitpicking here is perhaps symptomatic of how much is good about this DVD set, that this is the only (minor) fault!
So go get it already!
And, oh yeah, my favorite bits: the two uke tunes (ukelele being one of George's many passions): "I'll See You In My Dreams" (performed with touching charm by Joe Brown, a song that has now catapulted into the Top Two of Don's Can't Stop Singing Songs), and "Something" (done by Harrison mate Sir Paul, in an odd time signature at first, but changing slowly to a slow rocker by the end, well done all round).
Buy it now.
Have I made my point yet?