Views & Reviews From Writer Steve Miller
Formerly Reviews and Stuff at Rotten Tomatoes, 2005 - 2009.

Currently Showing at Cinema Steve

Friday, February 5, 2021

Russian Collusion?!?

That Leo Moracchioli always seemed like a suspicious sort, what with his puppets and hats and fake beards and Italian-sounding name although he's allegedly a Norwegian... but does he reveal himself as a Russian asset with this song? SIGNS POINT TO YES!!11!!!!!111

What other explanation could there be for it being so great!?!

Here's the original version, so you have something to compare it to...

Friday, January 8, 2021

Happy Birthday, Kim Jung-un!

We're celebrating L'il Kim's 37th birthday with a love song and a video from Little Big!

Monday, December 28, 2020

Catching up with Mr. Belmer

Back in 2004 and 2005, I reported on Jason Belmer, a slightly dumb drug dealer. You can read about him (and other criminal relatives of his) here

I thought the end of the Jason Belmer saga came with his 13-year prison sentence... but no. He did his time, got out... and went right back to working in the family business of cocaine-running/dealing. And being dumb.

I'm more than a year late with this update, but here it is:

Jason Belmer, 30, of Haverhill, Massachusetts pleaded guilty in federal court to possession with intent to distribute cocaine, United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced today.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on August 31, 2017, the defendant was stopped by a member of the Salem Police Department after running a red light. The officer observed various signs that the defendant was driving while impaired. Another officer arrived on scene and observed drug paraphernalia in plain view in the front seat of the car. This observation prompted officers to ask the defendant for consent to search the car, at which time the defendant attempted to flee the traffic stop. A struggle ensued and the defendant fought with police. After the defendant was taken into custody, officers received a search warrant for the car and recovered approximately 1,191 grams of cocaine and approximately $59,775 dollars in cash. 

Belmer is scheduled to be sentenced on January 16, 2019.   The cash has been administratively forfeited to the United States.

Additional details of the arrest are that Belmer was ALSO charged with DUI, resisting arrest, and driving without a license.

Jason Belmer, Jail Bird

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Grampy Saves Christmas!

By the mid-1930s, the popularity of Fleischer Stuidos' animated wild child, Betty Boop, was waning, partly due to shifts in audience tastes but mostly because the Motion Picture Production Code put the kibosh on the edgy humor that had made her adventures so much fun. The creatives on the Fleischer team took several runs at finding a character that could replace Betty, using her cartoons as launching points. One such character was Professor Grampy, a white-bearded mechanical engineering genius with a talent for turning every day objects into one or more device serving a different purpose. The studio had such faith in him that he got top billing over Better in several of the cartoons they shared, and actually did relegate her to a supporting role in a few.

In the end, Betty's time in the limelight had passed, and Grampy was not fated to take over her role as cash cow; he appeared in ten shorts. All but one he shared the marquee with Betty Boop--and you can watch them, and read reviews of them, here, at Shades of Gray. However that one solo cartoon for Grampy was also his only color appearance--a Christmas Special, which I review below.. and which you can watch from this very post, also below.

Christmas Comes But Once a Year (1936)
Starring: Jack Mercer (as the voice of Grampy) and Mae Questel (as the voices of Orphans)
Directors: Dave Fleisher and Seymour Kneitel
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

Grampy saves Christmas by swiftly creating high-quality toys for orphans who had been gifted second-hand or shoddily made ones.

"Christmas Comes But Once a Year" is peak Grampy--which I suppose is logical seeing that it was the fifth cartoon to feature him and came right in the middle of the series. The cartoon is driven by a catchy tune ("Christmas Comes But Once a Year") and Grampy's cartoon MacGyverism ability to turn debris and random household items into fantastic devices.

From Grampy's bizarre fan-propelled sleigh (with built-in tubular bells/chimes that would make Mike Oldfield jealous through the saving of Christmas, this is a joy-filled, tour-de-force of whacky fun. Check it out, embedded below, and feel your Christmas Spirit grow!

Monday, December 21, 2020

The War on Christmas

Remember the War on Christmas that was all the rage a while back? Cinema Steve does...