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Archives for: December 2005

The Real Ghostbusters: Manhattan Madness DVD

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Dec. 28, 2005 at 10:39 PM , Categories: Real Ghostbusters, Home Video
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(Amazon.com purchase links can be found in my store)

With the news of official RGB DVDs from Sony coming soon, I thought I'd write a little review of a non-official DVD that has just hit the marketplace.

This DVD contains the episodes: "The Spirit Of Aunt Lois," "Beneath These Streets," "Sea Fright," "Adventures In Slime And Space," "Ghostbusted," "Knock Knock," and "Venkman's Ghost Repellers." Product Details: 153 Minutes (exact), English, Color, Stereo, NTSC, Region 1, 2005, OS Films.

All indications are that this is a well produced bootleg (it's a professionally-replicated DVD, not a DVD-R) containing 7 of the 8 episodes that were released on PAL Region 2 DVD by Sony in 2004 ("Ragnarok & Roll" is the missing episode). The video quality is decent, but not as good as an official DVD from Sony from the original master tapes.

When you boot-up the DVD, after the copyright warning screen, you are treated to a beautiful comic book style menu introduction (though they misspell Egon and Winston's last names) using footage from the episodes and scans from The Real Ghostbusters comic books (either the NOW U.S. issues or the Marvel U.K. issues - I'd bet the latter). The problem is that it runs for two minutes, can't be skipped, and if you go back to the menu from viewing the program (by pressing the Menu button on your remote), you'll have to sit through the whole thing again (as you would every time you put the DVD in your player).

Since all of the video content is on Title 1 (there is no Title 2 or higher), for future viewings I suggest pressing the Stop button on your remote several times after you insert the DVD into your player to prevent it from auto-playing. That is, of course, if your player lets you do this. My player will let me do it with some DVDs (if I'm quick or persistent enough), but I couldn't do it with this DVD. If you can do it, all you have to do is then press 1 on your remote to go straight to the episodes on Title 1. All of the episodes are shown back-to-back on Title 1 (152.40 exact runtime - 2 hrs 32 min 40 sec).

Although each episode has it's own opening titles and end credits, the opening titles have been altered. The episode titles are on new text screens and are shown *before* the opening title sequence into which it now dissolves. When the ghost jumps towards the screen and becomes the No Ghost logo, the animated logo is replaced with a new deformed one. At the end, the title screen ("The Real Ghostbusters") has been redone with new deformed text in place of the original text. The episode starts right after the opening title sequence since, as previously stated, the title card screen is shown before it. The end credits are unaltered, except that they now end after the original DIC logo is shown. The Columbia Pictures Television logo screen is omitted.

It seems like OS Films had the rights to release the episodes (though again, this DVD reeks of being a bootleg), but couldn't use the original title logo texts and No Ghost logo. I have no other explanation as to why they would alter the episodes like they did. A bootlegger normally wouldn't have gone through so much trouble (nor would they have created such an elaborate menu intro). [NOTE: I haven't viewed the episodes themselves in their entirety, so I don't know if they made any alterations to them - though it appears that they're fine.]

The episodes are shown in a semi-letterbox format, and not entirely full screen as they should be. The black bars at the top and bottom of the screen are very slight, but they are there.

Chapter marks have been placed at the start of each episode. After the last episode, the video ends, and the DVD stops playing.
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Rugrats Holiday Songs

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Dec. 15, 2005 at 10:31 PM , Categories: Miscellaneous , Tags: holiday_songs
Unusual Holiday Songs

In the spirit of the holidays I have a little present for all of you: two MP3s I encoded of the two best songs from the Rugrats Holiday Classics! CD (2004), along with the lyrics as printed in the liner notes.

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Rugrats Chanukah (inspired by Chanukah, Oh Chanukah)
Twelve Days Of Rugrats (inspired by The Twelve Days Of Christmas)

These two songs feature RGB/EGB cast members Tara Strong as baby Dil, Kath Soucie as Phil & Lil, and E.G. Daily as Tommy.

The lyrics for Rugrats Chanukah can be found on page 2, and the lyrics for Twelve Days Of Rugrats can be found on page 3.

Enjoy!

For the complete list of Spook Central's holiday song posts from years past, click here. Thanks to Matthew Jordan for making the "Unusual Holiday Songs" title banner that appears at the top of this post.

Pages: 1 · 2 · 3

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To Scooter, Rest In Peace

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Dec. 8, 2005 at 10:29 PM , Categories: Personal, Tributes
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Today was a very sad day for me and my family. We had to put our beloved family dog, Scooter, to sleep. Since earlier this year, she has been getting rather vicious, showing her teeth and (occassionally) trying to bite anyone who pets her. She nipped my arm back in June, but things got worse last week. On Sunday, November 27th, she severely bit my father on the hand, requiring him to go to the hospital to get the wound stitched up. The photo you see above was taken minutes before Animal Control came to take her away today.

I had mentioned her abnormal behavior to her vet at the Oceanside Veterinary Hospital (in Oceanside, New York) when we brought Scooter in for her yearly vaccinations this past July/August. (Although she's been going to that clinic for years, this vet has only been seeing her since last year, I believe.) The vet didn't seem too interested in completely diagnosing these new symptoms, attributing it to poor eyesight (cataracts) and loss of hearing. Yes, it's true that Scooter was an old dog (fifteen years old), and that her health was failing her. She had arthritis in her back left thigh (which made it hard for her to get up off the floor, climb stairs, and walk) and a large benign lump on her left shoulder/side (and smaller lumps on her tail by the base and on her stomach). However, to say that she's getting vicious with us because she's having trouble recognizing us is asinine. I could stand across the room and look at her and she'd get vicious when my eyes met hers, but not if I looked elsewhere (though in the past month she'd gotten so worse that she'd get vicious to an area where no one was standing). Hard to attribute that (originally) to poor eyesight. Even more asinine is that the vet didn't do anything for Scooter to help her, and more importantly, help us in dealing with her. Surely there's some type of medicine to help in this case. There has to be a more sound reason for why a dog would, all of a sudden, get vicious with family members whom she has known and lived with for all fifteen years of her life. Some people we've spoken to have said it was Dementia. Not the vet of course, but friends and neighbors.

Scooter was born on my sister's eighth birthday. She was given to us in May 1990 by a then-client of my mother's, whose dog had a litter of puppies. My mom didn't want Scooter, as we already had a three-year-old female dog named Mickey (named after the Walt Disney creation Mickey Mouse). Although my mom kept saying no, eventually she relented, and carried little Scooter home with her in a box on the public buses. We decided to name her Scooter in honor of the then-recently-deceased Jim Henson, whose Muppet Show featured a character named Scooter.

Although they were fine at first, as Scooter got older, she started to get into fights with Mickey. In early-to-mid June 1999, it got so bad that Mickey was lying near-dead on our porch. In late June, Mickey was stolen from us by a friend who we had called to help us with her, seeing as how the Nassau County Police were absolutely useless when she was lying in a bloody mess on the porch. We never saw Mickey again after that, but we know that she's long since passed away by now.

Mickey and Scooter are now reunited up in Heaven, where I hope they are co-existing peacefully.

Scooter Rudoff
April 22, 1990 - December 8, 2005

[Edit, 12/15/2005: My sister's tribute page can be found here]
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In Loving Memory of Joel Richard Rudoff (July 28, 1944 - January 20, 2014)

In Loving Memory of Linda Joyce Rudoff (July 12, 1948 - November 29, 2015)

Doreen Mulman (May 22, 1961 - March 14, 2014)

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