The Space Invaders: In Search of Lost Time

We’ve seen a lot of arcade game documentaries over the past couple of years. King of Kong was one. Chasing Ghosts was another. Recently, I learned about a third. It’s called The Space Invaders: In Search of Lost Time.

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The hook of The Space Invaders is that it focuses specifically on individuals who not only play arcade games but collect them. The bulk of the film is interviews with several of these collectors. Intercut with these interviews is old footage of 80s video arcades and news stories about arcades. All this information is divided into three parts: 1) Time, which briefly covers the history of 80s arcade games, 2) Space, which covers the modern efforts of the collectors, and 3) Time Space, which covers the future of these games.

Most of us are going to going to feel some good-natured envy mixed with enjoyment while watching The Space Invaders. I know I did. But there are plenty of things we are going to enjoy in the movie. Seeing all the old machines, all of which look to be in great shape, is one. There is a segment which shows how one of the interviewees was on Starcade. There is another in which they make the connection between wanting to own an arcade game and Silver Spoons (Ricky Schroder’s arcade collection is one of the big reasons I want to own an arcade game today). There is yet another that discusses the California Extreme expo (I spent that time looking for blinddog and myself in the footage). Not only so, but the collector’s edition which I got had a dvd full of great extras (such as the collector’s thoughts on the Colecovision mini-arcade units), a blu-ray copy of the film, and a poster.

You can rent The Space Invaders on amazon.com or you can buy the collector’s edition here. I’m pretty sure the time you spend watching it won’t be “lost time”.

Automan Doc and Guest Spot

A couple days ago, we got a great pic of Automan by Sasa Bralic. I loved this show when it originally aired (I would have been 8?), and that picture encouraged me to look up some episodes. I couldn’t find any on YouTube (though there were some on Veoh, as Drahken told us). I did find the doc that Mizphit mentioned, though, and watched it last night.

One of the notable parts of the doc is the reference to the Laura Branigan guest spot. I had remembered the Branigan song “Self-Control” being on Knight Rider, but I hadn’t remembered this (if I had, I would have included it in my Promotional Cameos post). When I saw not only Branigan on the show but Automan playing guitar behind her and Thriller’s Ola Ray on backup, I was just overwhelmed with retro goodness. Things just seemed so fun back then, and they still look pretty fun today. You’re not only stopping crime but playing guitar behind Laura Branigan. At the same time! I’d be happy doing just one of those things!

By the way, not only did Automan have a car that could do 90 degree turns as well as a copter and a plane, but he was revealed to be an accomplished dancer in the doc, and my 2-year-old daughter just told me that Automan is “pretty”. So “Otto Mann” truly has everything, and TV is that much less to not have him.

A Peek at the Upcoming Documentary, Inside the Dragon’s Lair

nside the Dragon’s Lair is a feature length documentary film about the legendary arcade game Dragon’s Lair that is currently in development. With the success of other arcade game docs, I am happy to see that someone is turning the camera of one of the more technologically impressive games to roll out of the arcade in the 1980s. Here is a peak at what you can expect from the film.

For more information, you can follow the movie on Twitter and Facebook.

Candyman: The David Klein Story

Meet David Klein.

David Klein is the inventor of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans. In the 2010 documentary Candyman, we learn that David Klein is a nice man — perhaps a little too nice. As the inventor of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans, Klein often made public and television appearances as “Mr. Jelly Belly.” After being told his prices were too high, Klein launched a PR campaign to brand the Jelly Belly jelly beans as a “gourmet” product. The rest, as they say, is history.

Well, almost.

Remember when I said Klein may be a little too nice? When his father-in-law needed a job, Klein traded a percentage of the Jelly Belly empire for a business he could gift to him. When a former business partner filed an illegal trademark claim to the Jelly Belly logo, Klein quietly paid the man off rather than fight him in court. And when the candy company actually making the Jelly Belly jelly beans came knocking on Klein’s door … well, you’ll just have to watch the documentary to find out how the story ends. I’ll give you a hint though: David Klein’s name doesn’t appear anywhere in the book “Jelly Belly: The Official History.”

With a run time of just over an hour, Candyman is a quick documentary to watch, and should be required viewing for anyone considering going into business for themselves. If you have ever wondered where the term “nice guys finish last” came from … watch Candyman: The David Klein Story, available via Amazon and Netflix.