Rogue One

Check Out The Rogue One…VHS Trailer?!

When Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hit theaters in December of 2016. It kind of became a big deal. Like over a billion dollars worth of a big deal in fact at the box office. Of course it was easy to see why, a likeable collection of rascals. As well as being an entertaining movie that helped to give a backstory to the events of 1977’s Star Wars.

[Via] Star Wars

Now for myself I absolutely enjoyed this different, grittier look at the Star Wars universe. Having said that I would certainly not want every single new film in the franchise to echo this type of tale. I found Rogue One to be not only thrilling but a moving story of hope. I would point out that in addition to its message of hope it included the awesome new character that is Admiral Raddus. Of course as I have demonstrated in past posts – I am rather partial to the Mon Calamari.
Rogue One - Admiral Raddus

Read: You Can’t Repel Cosplay Of That Magnitude!

Overall I felt that Rogue One managed to capture a little of the feel of the original Star Wars. That was helped and occasionally…hindered…by unexpected cameos. However with the film available right this minute on digital with DVD and Blu-Ray expected to hit shelves on April 4th. An enterprising artist, Damien Kazan, decided to put together a trailer.
Rogue One

A trailer I should add that looks like it was released in the early days of VHS trailers. If you have not seen the film for yourself yet, there are some things that might be considered SPOILERS!

I want to thank the one and only Daniel XIII, for the heads up on this fan trailer for Rogue One. After watching it I felt I needed to share it with you all – hopefully it will give your day a little boost.

How close was the Rogue One VHS trailer to the original Star Wars home trailer?


Thanks to Plains Video you can see for yourself. I can recall seeing a similar running announcement at a local video store of my youth!

VCR retirement

The Retirement of a Legend

It is with much praise and sadness that I announce the retirement of a legend.

Before you freak out about the possibility that something negative happened already in 2017 (and seriously, people, we don’t need to be so edgy!), this wonderful legend gave twenty years to entertaining and archiving for its owner. It is responsible for much of what that owner shares both here and on my blog. While it still worked somewhat, the best years were behind it, and it was time.

I’m talking about my prized VCR.

What did you think I was talking about?

Last Thursday, for the final time, I attempted a tape transfer using my first and only VCR. But the obvious tracking issues, diminished video quality, and the general incompatibility with my television (which I was remedying with a Hauppage PVR to some success) proved that the VCR was, in fact, old and tired.

But just as beautiful as the day I hooked it up, twenty years ago.

This lovely piece of equipment, the Sharp VC-A552, was a Christmas present in 1996. I remember asking for this very specific one. Mind you, this was before the internet was a big deal (and before we had it in my house), so any researching I did solely came from reading Beat Buy sales fliers and walking around electronics stores. I was fourteen years old, and specifically asked for a “Sharp VCR,” since I had a Sharp television at the time (a lovely 13″ set, a Christmas present in 1995). My middle school had these VCRs included in their A/V equipment, and I was fascinated with how it looked, especially that circular set of buttons. Forget 19 Micron Heads, I wanted the Rewind/Fast Forward Knob! And it was more than just a pretty package, it worked nicely too. Even at 14, I knew exactly what I wanted in A/V equipment.

When I got it, I had aspirations of not only watching movies in the comfort of my bedroom (the ones I wanted to watch!), but also of recording EVERYTHING. I set timers, bought VHS tapes, and for ten years, it was a wonderful relationship. I bought my lovely (but not as long-lasting) DVD recorder in 2006, effectively ending my VCR’s recording days, but it got a new lease on life of transferring recordings to blank DVDs. It was actually used fairly regularly until about five years ago, and I think I was just afraid to overuse it.

By the numbers, this VCR outlasted three televisions (including that Sharp TV), two DVD players (including the DVD recorder I semi-retired the VCR for), survived three house moves, and outlived the remote that came with it.

It was a great remote, folks.

Like all good things (and the great first family VCR we had that I unintentionally murdered in 1996), after seeing the obvious decline in quality (I’d noticed it while putting together the various VCR tests I did last year), I felt it was time to finally retire my VCR completely. It was a sad retirement, but one done out of necessity.

But, never you worry about it – my parents gave me their Panasonic VCR (which is twelve years old, and infrequently used), and I now have something to finish all of those ongoing projects I love having a VCR for.

It doesn’t have a Rewind/Fast Forward Knob, but it does rewind at lightning speed.

Which is a little too fast for its own good. And also has a remote that doesn’t work.

Oh well.

Allison is a firm believer of owning items until you run them in the ground. She has run two VCRs and numerous items of clothing into the ground as a result of that theory. If you like reading things in the vein of VCR retirement notices, you should check out her blog, Allison’s Written Words. You can also follow her blog on Facebook, and her on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.

Allison’s other most recent retirement? Stinky, her first space heater. 

Bonus content time! Allison wrote several VCR test articles (and made videos to accompany them!). Take a look, if you dare!

Video/VCR Test – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie

Video/VCR Test #2 – “The Land Before Time”

Video/VCR Test #3 – “The Albert Achievement Awards”

Video/VCR Test #2 – “The Land Before Time”

Previously, in an Allison Venezio-penned article:

Video/VCR Test – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie

So I logged onto my You Tube Channel, and was greeted by notifications. Now, for me, on a normal day, notifications on my You Tube Channel are usually someone +1’d a comment I made, a comment someone else made on a video I commented on, a comment someone else made within a conversation I also made a comment for, and in more rare cases, someone subscribed to me. I’m well aware that critics are around, especially among nitpickers on You Tube, so I’m always prepared for that. And spam comments. I’m always on the lookout for that. I remember having to put something about spammers on my old You Tube Channel.

But today, it was a comment, and an interesting one. It was from someone who also owed a 1990 print of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie, and how he had a different type of edit that ended the Pizza Hut commercial on his video. This type of error is always intriguing, and he said he thinks it was a mistake made on the production end when the VHS was made. I guess no two copies are alike, wouldn’t you say?

When I was in my basement a two weeks ago, doing the laundry (I promise, that’s really what I was doing), one of the other tapes I grabbed from the shelf was my 1989 print of The Land Before Time. Not one of those sequels, but the original film. This was another one of those “Mommy and Daddy Take the Kids to the Movies” things, except instead of turtles with mad ninja fighting skills, it was about little dinosaurs trying to reunite with their families in the face of tragedy. Ever want to upset my entire family into silence? Watch Littlefoot’s mom die. Boom. Quiet.

That actually happened – we were watching the movie for the second time (when we got it as a birthday present for our seventh birthday in 1989), and the death of Littlefoot’s mother put the hush-hush over our living room.

And if this was a spoiler to you…where have you been since 1988? We ’80s babies all know this was that other tragic animated death, the other being the death of Optimus Prime.

Wait…you didn’t know that either? Where have you been since 1986?!

I’m not sure what it is with Don Bluth movies, but apparently he likes children (even the anthropomorphic animal kind) to suffer some kind of harsh tragedy – remember how Fivel got separated from his family in An American Tale? How about all the tragedy that happened in The Secret of NIMH? The only thing that wasn’t tragic about that film was the fact that it was so well-done, and beautifully animated despite the story and dark nature of the film. Littlefoot’s mother dying wasn’t the first tragedy to befall a Don Bluth-animated anthropomorphic animal child.

This is slowly turning into a mucho depressing piece. And we’re also getting sidetracked – let’s get to the real reason you are here, which is not to read about all the times we were emotionally scarred by Don Bluth movies and Optimus Prime dying.

Let’s shift away from all of this, and look at something we all seem to love around here – old VHS tapes!

Yes, this is much better!

The video itself is one of the original prints, and much like my copy of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie, Pizza Hut ran a promotional campaign around the movie. Now, unlike that video, the Pizza Hut commercial on this one actually has tie-ins from this movie in the commercial.

That commercial was featured over on my blog as Throwback Thursday’s commercial pick for last week, and involves a birthday party and the practicing of good etiquette. But since this is Pizza Hut, we only have to proclaim that we used good manners, ‘cuz we’re gonna party!

Screenshot (193)

And don’t forget, “Share, share, use your silverware!”

Trust me, you read my articles for the educational value they provide!

The video reminds us to stay tuned after the feature for more previews. Which is proof that MCA Home Video was the Marvel of its time!

Then we see this…

Screenshot (194)

For a Universal-based home video label, the logo is pretty low budget…but starry! Which makes it somewhat pretty.

And if you followed the instructions and watched after the film, you were reminded of what we paid for a VHS tape back in 1989:

Screenshot (195)

I never complain about the cost of boxed sets on Blu-Ray when I know what my parents paid for me to have movies in the late 1980s-early 1990s.

So, it’s a video you want to see, is it?

Then press play, and relive 1980s home video glory!

Don’t ever complain about how much anything costs again – you saw

Allison’s videocassette collection isn’t a thing of beauty, but it sure is nostalgic. If you like what you’ve seen here, you can also find more like this on her blog, Allison’s Written Words. You can follow her blog on Facebook, and she’s on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.

She did not have An American Tale on VHS.

VHS

The First Movie I Ever Recorded on VHS

I can still picture the hard plastic case—the only one in our VHS tape collection—peeking out above the other paperboard covers. And I remember the feeling of permanence when writing those two timeless words in blue pen on the card insert: Weird Science

My family was not rich. My mom and dad worked hard and thankfully had the help of my grandmother and aunts in raising me and my three siblings—yep, four wild kids in one house. Suffice to say: the latest technology was NOT of utmost concern (at least to any of the adults). To be honest, it was not of much importance to us children either; tech fads were not a big thing just yet.

So, getting our first VCR was kind of an understated yet monumental moment in our lives. Until this landmark occasion, repeated viewings were left to the powers that be at broadcast television companies—unless you factor in HBO, who would replay any given movie about 30 or so times in as many days. (AND without commercials! What?!)

Read: 12 Movies My Little Brother Watched Over and Over When We Were Kids

The huge, almost-briefcase-sized VHS video cassette recording machine sat up on a shelf under the cable box with its enormous (by today’s standards) square-inch buttons for Play, Stop, Rew, Ffwd, Pause and Record. The first VHS tape we had, it may have come with the purchase, was equally epic. An actual hardcover plastic box (“heavy-duty” if you will) that had kind of a gray craquelure feel to it. The title card would slip into a clear plastic on the front.

We’d later switch to TDK or Sony or whatever cheaper brand was available. We’d also begin recording more than one movie to a tape with the discovery of what SP, LP and EP meant. But, for the very first cinematic gem we would immortalize to cassette, it would be one movie and that one movie only.

In my memory, I seem to recall kind of leading the charge on what we would record. I may have been the only one who really cared; my older sister was ahead of me and my two younger siblings by four years and arguably the most popular of all of us. I said arguably guys, don’t get mad at me.

To my point, she was probably too busy with an actual social life to care about television. And my younger siblings, sorry again guys, may have just been outvoted by me. Because I, of course, was older and arguably wiser.

In any case, the very first film we (or I, really) recorded on VHS was that bastion of motion pictures: Weird Science.

Generations after mine will never understand the concerns of “taping” a movie from TV:


• Making sure the VCR or TV is set to channel 3.
• Hitting BOTH play AND record buttons (why wasn’t the one button enough?).
• Pausing the tape for commercials if you weren’t recording a cable show.
• Remembering to un-pause when the show started again after the break.
• Making sure the tape head was clean.
• Specifying AM or PM if you were programming something to record.
• Having a blank tape (or enough space left to get the whole recording).
• Checking to be sure the copy protection tab was intact (or taped over).
• Staying awake through the whole movie to not get the next movie or interstitials.

All that aside, I’m fairly certain we recorded the ‘80s classic from HBO. The film written and directed by John Hughes, of course, featured Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith and Kelly LeBrock. Hughes was on a bit of a tear after writing and directing Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club (both of which also featured Hall).

Read: 100 Three-Name ‘80s Stars

Danny Elfman sang the Oingo Boingo theme song which somehow fit right in on 1980s’ pop radio. The story is a basic Frankenstein remake but, instead of the mad scientist, you have two pubescent geeky teens. And naturally instead of a monster, the unpopular mechanics use a (laughably “state-of-the-art”) computer to simulate a dream woman into being.

Looking back, recording Weird Science not only set the tone for my love of films. The film itself reflects my life experience. Nerdy, young, fun, interests in movies and music and comedy and science and the arts, with a love—and deep respect—for women. As well as a general happiness of just being alive.

ALIVE!

Also see: Weird Science Trailer

RCA SelectaVision VCR

2013-11-02 10.13.00

I ran across this beautiful behemoth over the weekend at my local Goodwill. The RCA SelectaVision was the first VHS VCR sold in the United States, back in 1977. The very first models had two large knobs on the front right of the unit for changing channels. The second version of the unit replaced those knobs with square silver buttons. You can see the buttons on this model, which makes it the 1979 model.

I left my thumb in the photo on purpose just to give you a sense of scale. This thing is gigantic. According to the documentation I found, it weighs around 40 pounds. When it debuted, RCA’s SelectaVision VCR sold for $999. In today’s market, that would be around $3,700.

vbt200[1]
Courtesy of CEDMagic.com

Here is a Youtube review I found by a fellow who owns this same model.