Posts Tagged ‘Kaelin O’Reilly’

PODCAST:

S4E9M – The Last Unicorn (movie)*

SHOW NOTES:

Wherein we visit and revisit this cult classic animated film directed by an iconic duo of americana animation (cultivated mainly in Japan), featuring a star-studded cast of voice talent, and spots of dated folksy music with vocals by members of the band “America.” Kaelin O’Reilly, a book reviewer (Kaelin Reads YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3r-oumDi_CsMoFH4-vTqSA) joins me again as we cover this important 80’s esque cartoon fairytale, that as of yet, doesn’t have anything to do with the Disney company.

We both enjoyed delving into the history of these directors and recounting their many and varied forays into animation which peppered our respective childhoods. The attention to detail that was paid to creating unique characters impressed us and contributed to making their efforts memorable along with the voice talent which was well cast. 

Neither of us were over the moon about the music and felt that the songs were done well enough to carry the movie, but lacked something that might have launched this film into the big leagues of all time classics (Kaelin, in particular, felt that sometimes these were done off-key). The book was preferred by both, but Kaelin expressed favorite parts in each while Ryan noted that the author, who served as the screenwriter, took out some noted bits of the book that had felt unnecessary without losing anything of the narrative. 

While Kaelin felt the movie was slow at times, overall she enjoyed the nostalgic revisit to this cartoon style. For Ryan this brought him back to the directors’ soulful versions of the Tolkien cannon which was equally nostalgic for him.

Enjoy this sometimes overlooked fantasy fairy tale of old school animation!

-Ryan

 

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

“The Last Unicorn (1982)” by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass (Mia Farrow) (animated film) 

Ryan: 3 Stars “…A folksy take on an american fantasy classic, which manages to capture the tone of the original work. Bonus: includes an all-star cast of voice talent who all seem to get it…

Kaelin: 3 1/2 Stars “…Fun and whimsical film that sticks closely to the novel, features many recognizable voices and good humor and adventure. The songs are cheesy and the singers off-key, but the animation is great…

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

During the episode we talked about Rick Goldschmidt who is dedicated to preserving the legacy of Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass. Here is an audio interview with the historian on YouTube: https://youtu.be/PsdwZk2uNRo. He has also established and collaborates on websites that sell collectibles from the beloved films which these two directors made their mark. There is http://miserbros.com/ which is “Home of merchandise related to the Animagic of RANKIN/BASS,” and also http://www.rankinbass.com/ which is “The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass: Preserving the history of Rankin/Bass Productions.”

Ryan also mentioned a video interview of Arthur Rankin, Jr. at the Museum of Television & Radio in 2003 hosted on the Miser Bros Press YouTube Channel which can be see here: 

 

We also briefly talked about the actor and comedian, Brother Theodore, who did the voice of Ruhk (Mommy Fortuna’s assistant and carnival barker) in the movie. Ryan recognized the voice and noted the he also played the infamous character Gollum in Rankin/Bass Productions foray into J.R.R Tolkien‘s world of Middle-earth for both “The Hobbit” and “The Return of the King.

Kaelin mentioned that he was a character in the 1989 comedy horror film “The ‘Burbs” which was directed by previously covered director Joe Dante and starred Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, and Carrie Fisher (among others). Here is an article by M.V. Moorhead for Topless Robot recounting some of Brother Theodore’s more memorable moments with video clips: https://www.toplessrobot.com/2013/10/top_ten_coolest_manifestations_of_brother_theodore.php. Below is the clip from “The ‘Burbs”:

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E9B – The Last Unicorn (book)*

SHOW NOTES:

Wherein we discuss a beloved classic of american fantasy literature as well as some unfortunate and lengthy legal travails undertaken by its author. I am joined again by my cousin, Kaelin O’Reilly, a book reviewer (Kaelin Reads YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3r-oumDi_CsMoFH4-vTqSA) for her second appearance on the podcast. This is our first recorded duo episode for NDIOS, but the second to be released (podcast time doesn’t adhere to the normal rules of the space time continuum). 

Both of us enjoyed the author’s noted lyrical quality of prose and appreciated the depth of dimension found in the main and secondary characters. The bumbling well intentioned wizard was a favorite. Kaelin brought out some quotes demonstrating the author’s writing as well as his skill in light-touch worldbuilding. He manages to create a secondary world that hints at our own but is very much different with an effective brand of low-magic based in wonder, and absurdist humor that is contrasted by real world consequence. 

After an utterly epic book synopsis that went on far too long, Ryan noted that the ending was particularly unique and powerful and Kaelin identified aspects of feminism coming through. Ryan admitted to be influenced by the highly esteemed praise and love for this piece of literature, but found that there was simply nothing else he wanted from it that might cause it to fall short of a perfect rating. Kaelin said that the more she discussed the story the more she discovered new layers of meaning to enjoy, which pushed her rating higher than it was at the start of the show (an occurrence not so uncommon on NDIOS). 

All around a good book discussion was had by all.**

-Ryan

**CORRECTION: During the podcast Ryan incorrectly stated that Peter S. Beagle wrote the screenplay for the 1978 animated film “The Hobbit,” and possibly the 1980 animated film “The Return of the King,” which were both directed by Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass. The screenwriter for both of those films is credited as Romeo Muller who also worked on other famous screenplays for the duo directors. Kaelin had it right when she stated that Peter S. Beagle worked on the screenplay for the 1978 animated movie “The Lord of the Rings,” which was directed by Ralph Bakshi. In actuality, Beagle is given co-writing credit on that screenplay with Chris Conkling who is named first. (Updated 9/17/19)

 

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

“The Last Unicorn (1968)” by Peter S. Beagle (book) 

Ryan: 5 Stars “…Magical prose that flows in lyrical quality and somber notes in deft creation of a profound myth that is familiar and yet completely unique. Hope and regret and joy and sadness–a complete and wondrous tale…

Kaelin: 3.75 Stars “…it’s filled with pretty round characters that are interesting and very different, and it’s an adventure story but it also has a really good touch of humor in it as well…a really good fantasy fairy tale…

(Click the links to read full written reviews on Goodreads.com)

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

During the episode Ryan and Kaelin briefly mentioned working together on a short comedic film called “Shut-Eye” written and directed by her brother and past NDIOS guest Mike O’Reilly which is available on Mike’s YouTube Channel and can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxzJP1cjrjk. Kaelin has her own BookTube channel there where she has done some video blogs on books she has read: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3r-oumDi_CsMoFH4-vTqSA. She is currently more active with her bookish interests on Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/KaelinO.

The author for this book has influenced many other authors over the years including fantasy writer Patrick Rothfuss (The Kingkiller Chronicle) who interviewed Peter S. Beagle at the 2018 SFWA Nebula Award conference. That interview is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shesTIgpibc. On the podcast we discussed how this author wrote screenplays including co-writing the uniquely animated and story-stunted version of “The Lord of the Rings” released in 1978 and directed by Ralph Bakshi. On a side note, Peter S. Beagle’s absurdist humor and playful nod at classic fantasy and fairy tale tropes in this work reminded Ryan of Harvard Lampoon‘s parody effort at LOTR called: Bored of the Rings.

During the bio portion of the Podcast the author’s various legal struggles were talked about. There are a few websites tracking this over various blog posts including a Snopes article which were used for research. These can be found here:

 

We also stated that over the years the author has either wrote more tales set in the same universe as this story or about the subject of unicorns. There are at least two which can be found free online. If you want to read these check out the story “Two Hearts” which acts as a Coda to this book at: http://www.peterbeagle.com/works/shorts/two_hearts.htm; and a story about the bumbling wizard, Shmendrick, that was featured in Fantasy Magazine called “The Woman Who Married the Moon” here: http://www.fantasy-magazine.com/new/new-fiction/the-woman-who-married-the-man-in-the-moon/. Two more stories about the wizard (The Green-Eyed Boy” and Schmendrick Alone”) and three stories about different kinds of unicorns (Chinese in “The Story of Kao Yu,” Persian in “My Son Heydari and the Karkadann,” and North American in “Olfert Dapper’s Day”) unrelated to this narrative are collected in the author’s anthology “The Overneath,” which was reviewed by Gary K. Wolfe for science fiction industry magazine “Locus” here: https://locusmag.com/2018/01/gary-k-wolfe-reviews-the-overneath-by-peter-s-beagle/. In addition to these, we talked about the early manuscript version of this novel which was released at least a couple times in special editions with commentary from the author as “The Last Unicorn The Lost Version” or “The Last Unicorn The Lost Journey“.

Lastly, both Ryan and Kaelin mentioned being fans of the bumbling wizard character in the book. Ryan compared him to the likable and often perplexed superhero protagonist of the 1980’s science fiction comedy/drama series “The Greatest American Hero.” Watch the opening of that show to get a quick sense of how the two would compare:

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E9P – Preview Episode (The Last Unicorn)

SUBJECT MATTER:

“The Last Unicorn (1968)” by Peter S. Beagle (book)

“The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone. So she ventured out from the safety of the enchanted forest on a quest for others of her kind. Joined along the way by the bumbling magician Schmendrick and the indomitable Molly Grue, the unicorn learns all about the joys and sorrows of life and love before meeting her destiny in the castle of a despondent monarch—and confronting the creature that would drive her kind to extinction… (from Amazon.com)

*** * ***

“The Last Unicorn (1982)” by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass (Mia Farrow) (animated film)

“A brave unicorn and a magician fight an evil king who is obsessed with attempting to capture the world’s unicorns.” (from Amazon.com)

 

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E3M – Twlight Zone: select episodes (tv series)*

SHOW NOTES:

Wherein we discuss our mutual love and admiration for this iconic television anthology series and it’s notable host. I’m joined again by indie filmmaker Mike O’Reilly (YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheMoreilly318), oil painter Andres Sercovich (Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ahserco/, and book reviewer Kaelin O’Reilly (Kaelin Reads Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3r-oumDi_CsMoFH4-vTqSA) in Appleton, Wisconsin during our attendance of the annual Wildwood Film Festival (https://www.wildwoodfilmfestival.com/) where Mike was screening his short drama “Volatile” later that night.

As we got into some of the changes that marked the differences between these television episodes and their originating printed tales, Mike was quick to point out when he felt the main theme of was maintained. Kaelin expressed her general preference for the written word, but also felt these episodes were good representations of the short stories.

Andres liked seeing more visual details developed in the television versions, which added texture and flavor that was lacking in the descriptions of the written stories . In particular, Andrés enjoyed the episode “Passage on the Lady Anne” with its all-star cast of british actors and it’s exhibition of the eponymous ship which was so integral to the story. However, Andres mentioned a few of the more “dated” looking elements in the visual medium like the older practical effects and early special effects in “Perchance to Dream” or “The Howling Man.” Mike disagreed and noted these were things he liked about the show. Ryan and others felt deliberate directorial decisions in the visual medium (like in “In His Image”) made certain aspects of the stories clearer and for good or bad removed their ambiguous feel.

Overall the group enjoyed the thrill of watching or re-visiting these episodes and the genuine emotions they could still evoke for a modern audience.

-Ryan

 

Ryan, Kaelin, Andres, and Mike recording between panels and screenings at Wildwood Film Festival in Appleton, Wisconsin

 

WRITTEN MOVIE REVIEWS:

“Twilight Zone” by Rod Serling (TV show)

  • “Perchance to Dream” (S1E9 – November 27, 1959)
  • “The Howling Man” (S2E5 – November 4, 1960)
  • “The Jungle” (S3E12 – December 1, 1961)
  • “In His Image” (S4E1 – January 3, 1963)
  • “Passage on the Lady Anne” (S4E17 – May 9, 1963)
  • “Number 12 Looks Just Like You” (S5E16 – January 24, 1964)

Ryan: 4 Stars “…are these better than the stories–I’m not sure that they are better than the stories…but I don’t know they are all successful in my book so I’ll rate it the same…”

Mike: 4  Stars “…None of them really ranked in my like top five Twilight Zone episodes, but they’re still Twilight Zone episodes so I still like them…”

Kaelin: 3 3/4 Stars “…reading the [stories] and then seeing the episodes, and I had seen the episodes before, most of them except for this season four…I thought they were pretty good like comparisons to the book–I enjoyed them again…”

Andres: 3 Stars “….If I were to unglue the cultural icon part of it versus the straight story, say if I didn’t know anything about the Twilight Zone, I think I enjoy seeing…this icon…but as far as the stories they were interesting…”

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

This episode was also recorded while in attendance at Wildwood Film Festival in Appleton, Wisconsin. This is an excellent regional film festival that’s been going on for 18 years with a great mission: “The Wildwood Film Festival’s purpose is to promote Wisconsin film talent (actors, directors, writers, composers, editors, etc.). We also strive to educate high school students and adults in film basics-script writing, story boarding, filming, lighting, sound, editing and marketing.” (from https://www.wildwoodfilmfestival.com/)

On this episode Ryan mentioned listening to an American mathcore band out of New Jersey that took its name from one of the more famous episodes we discussed: The Number Twelve Looks Like You (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Number_Twelve_Looks_Like_You)

In our research for this episode we came across a documentary on the television series host. Check it out if you want to know more about him: American Masters Rod Serling: Submitted for Your Approval: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4ALNnImsmU.

It’s also worthwhile to note that comedian and horror director, Jordan Peele, will host, narrate and produce a rebooted version of The Twilight Zone, which is set to be released in April of 2019: https://consequenceofsound.net/2019/02/the-twilight-zone-first-trailer-watch/

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E3B – Perchance to Dream (book)*

SHOW NOTES:

Wherein we discuss classic Twilight Zone writer Charles Beaumont and six stories of his turned into memorable episodes. I’m joined by returning guest, indie filmmaker, Mike O’Reilly (YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheMoreilly318); oil painter, Andres Sercovich (Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ahserco/); and book reviewer, Kaelin O’Reilly (Kaelin Reads YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3r-oumDi_CsMoFH4-vTqSA). We recorded this podcast in-between attending lectures and film viewings at the annual Wildwood Film Festival (https://www.wildwoodfilmfestival.com/) that takes place in Appleton, Wisconsin where Mike was screening his short film drama “Volatile” later that night.

During our recording Andres talked about his interests in artificial intelligence themes and the consciousness of mankind which come up in “In His Image,” or the touching reflections of a life-lived found in “Song for a Lady.” Kaelin felt the social commentary on society in “The Beautiful People” both intriguing and disturbing and exemplary of typical Twilight Zone themes. She also noted how these tales aged well and felt relevant even today. Mike discussed how he appreciated that these stories were generally just good yarns, whatever deeper aspects might have been present within such tales as “Perchance to Dream,” “The Jungle,” or cult favorite: “The Howling Man.”

We also observed the wide variety of elements and genres explored in these stories as well as others in this collection. Highlights of our show include Andres quoting “The Big Lebowski” and Mike’s grin-worthy impressions of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Listen in!

-Ryan

 

Ryan, Kaelin, Andres, and Mike recording before attending film screenings at Wildwood Film Festival in Appleton, Wisconsin

 

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

“Perchance to Dream: Selected Stories (1952-1960)” by Charles Beaumont a/k/a Charles Leroy Nutt (select short stories)

Ryan: 4 Stars “…I know there’s going to be a twist, and I wonder how he’s going to flip this at the end…

Mike: 4 Stars “…don’t get me wrong, when I say escapism and yarn I mean that as complimentary toward the writer because I loved it…”

Kaelin 4 1/2 Stars “...something that you could go back to and re-read and [it] really make[s] me take something more out of it and wanna keep reading other works by him

Andres 3 1/2 Stars “…there was a lot of like thrill…not knowing until you know, then once you know there was not a lot more there–at least what I could see…more perhaps entertainment…”

(Click the links to read full written reviews on Goodreads.com)

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

As mentioned above, our episodes were recorded while in attendance at Wildwood Film Festival in Appleton, Wisconsin. We had an excellent time at this regional film festival whose mission is “The Wildwood Film Festival’s purpose is to promote Wisconsin film talent (actors, directors, writers, composers, editors, etc.). We also strive to educate high school students and adults in film basics-script writing, story boarding, filming, lighting, sound, editing and marketing.” (from https://www.wildwoodfilmfestival.com/)

 

In preparing for the episode and to research the author some of us watched an indie documentary about his rather short, but amazing career as well as his untimely and strange demise. That film was directed by Jason V. Brock and is called: Charles Beaumont: The Short Life of Twilight Zone’s Magic Man (the documentary can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/Charles-Beaumont-Short-Twilight-Zones/dp/B004HKIVCS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1517340570&sr=8-1&keywords=Charles+Beaumont+documentary). For more insight into this author, check out an reprinted interview with his son: https://www.rodserling.com/wsimmons/Chris_Beaumont.htm.

We mentioned briefly how one of the short stories mentioned a show from the golden age of radio known as “The Hermit’s Cave.” Mike and Ryan in particular are fans of Old Time Radio and many of those classic programs can be found archived free on the internet. Here’s a select collection from that radio horror series housed at Archive.org: https://archive.org/details/The_Hermits_Cave.

All of the Beaumont stories we officially covered in this episode were originally published in magazines before being adapted as Twilight Zone episodes. Check out the original covers for these magazines below:

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* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E3P – Preview Episode (Perchance to Dream)*

SUBJECT MATTER:

“Perchance to Dream: Selected Stories (1952-1960)” by Charles Beaumont a/k/a Charles Leroy Nutt (select short stories)

The profoundly original and wildly entertaining short stories of a legendary Twilight Zone writer, with a foreword by Ray Bradbury and an afterword by William Shatner

It is only natural that Charles Beaumont would make a name for himself crafting scripts for The Twilight Zone—for his was an imagination so limitless it must have emerged from some other dimension. Perchance to Dream contains a selection of Beaumont’s finest stories, including seven that he later adapted for Twilight Zone episodes.

Beaumont dreamed up fantasies so vast and varied they burst through the walls of whatever box might contain them. Supernatural, horror, noir, science fiction, fantasy, pulp, and more: all were equally at home in his wondrous mind. These are stories where lions stalk the plains, classic cars rove the streets, and spacecraft hover just overhead. Here roam musicians, magicians, vampires, monsters, toreros, extraterrestrials, androids, and perhaps even the Devil himself. With dizzying feats of master storytelling and joyously eccentric humor, Beaumont transformed his nightmares and reveries into impeccably crafted stories that leave themselves indelibly stamped upon the walls of the mind. In Beaumont’s hands, nothing is impossible: it all seems plausible, even likely. (from Amazon.com)

*** * ***

“Twilight Zone” by Rod Serling (TV show)

“Rod Serling’s seminal anthology series focused on ordinary folks who suddenly found themselves in extraordinary, usually supernatural, situations.” (from Amazon.com)

 

  • “Perchance to Dream” (The Twilight Zone – S1E9 – November 27, 1959) – “A man is terrified of falling asleep for fear he might die.” (from Amazon.com)
  • “The Howling Man” (The Twilight Zone – S2E5 – November 4, 1960) – “A man on a walking trip of post-World War I Europe gets caught in a storm. He comes across a remote monastery with a mysterious prisoner.” (from Amazon.com)
  • “The Jungle” (alt title “The Man Who Made Himself”) (The Twilight Zone – S3E12 – December 1, 1961) – “lan Richards plans to build a dam in Africa on a tribe’s ancestral land. The tribe’s witch doctor puts a curse on him.” (from Amazon.com)
  • “In His Image” (The Twilight Zone – S4E1 – January 3, 1963) – “A scientist creates an android that has the qualities which he feels he’s lacking.” (from Amazon.com)
  • “Passage on the Lady Anne” (alt title “Song for a Lady”) (The Twilight Zone – S4E17 – May 9, 1963) – “A husband and wife take a cruise they will never forget.” (from Amazon.com)
  • “Number 12 Looks Just Like You” (alt title “The Beautiful People”) (The Twilight Zone – S5E16 – January 24, 1964) – “In a future society everyone must undergo an operation at age 19 to become beautiful and conform to society. One young woman desperately wants to hold onto her own identity.” (from Amazon.com)

 

 

SHOW NOTES:

Mike and Ryan mentioned how these upcoming episodes were recorded during our attendance at the 17th annual Wildwood Film Festival in Appleton, Wisconsin which is held every year in March. Mike’s film “Volatile” was screened there and won the very generous “Judge’s Choice” award. Although not in a genre which we cover on the podcast, that short film drama is now available to be viewed on Mike’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheMoreilly318.  We had an excellent time at the event and highly recommend checking it out–it’s very well run! Mike is screening a new comedic short at the film festival on March 23, 2019 called “Shut-Eye.” I have a role in this one and look forward to the screening.  You can find out more about this fantastic film festival at: https://www.wildwoodfilmfestival.com/.

-Ryan

 

 

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.