Announcing: Halloween and Christmas!

Happy Labor Day! Let’s talk about Halloween and Christmas.

The two biggest holidays for this blog are closer than you may realize. I recently announced my Halloween plans on the official Facebook page, so be sure to follow that if you aren’t already. It’s sometimes easier for me to push quick news there if I don’t have time to write an actual post.

In short, I’ve been busy with the book lately, so don’t worry…I haven’t stopped writing, even if this blog seems a bit slow lately. You’re going to get a really great, long, intensive piece in physical form, and it’s horror-related, so I know it’s something you’ll enjoy. Just be patient; I will make the official announcement as soon as I can.

To make up for my online absence, though, this year’s Trilogy of Terror feature will be getting a bonus entry in the form of the long-overdue return of Fiction Into Film.

Fiction Into Film is a series I deeply enjoy writing for, and one I truly love, but it’s also one that takes a massive amount of work, time, and focus. As such, I never quite get to it. There’s always something else I could (or should…) be doing.

Now, though, I’ve set aside the time. Not only because I want to give you something great to read, but because it fits perfectly into this year’s Trilogy of Terror theme.

The films I’m covering this year follow the theme of The Most Dangerous Games. That is to say, they each center upon competitions of life and death. And every one of them has a unique approach to that concept.

If you’d like to follow along this year, here are the films we’ll be covering, and the dates on which the features go live.

Oct. 10 – Fiction Into Film: The Running Man (1982/1987)
Oct. 17 – Trilogy of Terror: Deathrow Gameshow (1987)
Oct. 24 – Trilogy of Terror: Rollerball (1975)
Oct. 31 – Trilogy of Terror: Solarbabies (1986)

Each of these films should be fairly easy to find, and you might get lucky and see a few of them available for streaming. You’ve got time to look, if you’re interested in checking them out beforehand!

In addition, well…I may as well announce the date and time of this year’s Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash!

This will be the sixth time we all gather ’round the internet to enjoy five hours’ worth of forgotten Christmas specials, bizarre Christmas music, vintage commercials, and so much more.

All you have to do is visit this very website at the following time, and enjoy the Xmas Bashing.

The 6th Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash!
Saturday Dec. 8, 7 p.m. Eastern

What will we be watching? I can’t tell you yet! But I have been working on the stream as well as the book (and as well as the upcoming Halloween posts!) and I know you’re going to wish I never dragged any of this crap back up and made you witness it.

It will be great!

As a refresher, here are the holly jolly trainwrecks we enjoyed in the past five Bashes.

The 1st Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash! (2013):

  • ALF – “Oh, Tannerbaum”
  • Lassie – “The Christmas Story”
  • Sabrina, the Teenage Witch – “Sabrina Claus”
  • Major Dad – “The Gift of the Major”
  • Charles in Charge – “Home for the Holidays”
  • Lost in Space – “Return From Outer Space”
  • Family Ties – “A Keaton Christmas Carol”

The 2nd Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash (2014):

  • ALF – “ALF’s Special Christmas”
  • The Fat Albert Christmas Special
  • Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers – “Alpha’s Magical Christmas”
  • Christmas Comes to Pac-Land
  • The Partridge Family – “Don’t Bring Your Guns to Town, Santa”
  • Santa’s Magic Toy Bag
  • Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey

The 3rd Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash (2015):

  • ALF: The Animated Series – “A Mid-Goomer Night’s Dream”
  • The Bill Cosby Show – “A Christmas Ballad”
  • Full House – “Our Very First Christmas Show”
  • We Wish You a Turtle Christmas
  • Mr. Ed – “Ed’s Christmas Story”
  • Perfect Strangers – “A Christmas Story”
  • Walker: Texas Ranger – “A Ranger’s Christmas”

The 4th Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash (2016):

  • Family Matters – “Christmas is Where the Heart Is”
  • The Flying Nun – “Wailing in a Winter Wonderland”
  • The Monkees – “The Monkees’ Christmas Show”
  • Amos & Andy – “The Christmas Story”
  • Welcome Back, Kotter – “Hark, the Sweatkings”
  • The Super Mario Bros. Super Show – “Koopa Klaus”
  • Rapsittie Street Kids: Believe in Santa

The 5th Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash! (2017):

  • The Cosby Show – “Getting to Know You”
  • Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers – “I’m Dreaming of a White Ranger”
  • Inspector Gadget – “Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas”
  • Thunderbirds – “Give or Take a Million”
  • Dog With a Blog – “Twas the Fight Before Christmas”
  • Good Times – “The Traveling Christmas”
  • Kung Fu: The Legend Continues – “A Shaolin Christmas”

You may not see it here just now, but I’m working hard on getting some great things together.

Join me, won’t you? And thanks, as ever, for your patience and support. We’ll be together for the important holidays.

Update: Time Slips Away

Is it too soon to plan the rest of the year? When you’re someone who overstretches themselves at every opportunity…no!

For a while, even at my slowest, I was able to produce one new post here every two weeks. I thought that was a pace that was fair to both of us. But time makes fools of us all, as a wise man once observed, so I wanted to check in and let you know what to expect for the rest of 2018.

– For starters, I’m sorry. I know it stinks to keep visiting the page to find nothing new. I did know this was going to happen, and I tried to make sure I gave you a long, classic-style ALF review to remind you that I’m not going anywhere…but I have another large project that’s been dominating my time.

– That project, of course, is the book. I’m still not able to reveal much about it specifically, but I assure you that while I’m not pumping out blog content, I am still writing; you’ll just get it all in one shot when the book is released, possibly next year. I’m making great progress on it and I’m very happy with how it’s turning out. I’d say the draft is around 70% done. I’m excited to share more information with you, hopefully relatively soon.

– However, there are deadlines I need to adhere to. I owe my publisher a completed first draft by Dec. 1. That’s unquestionably a realistic target. But it does leave me with a lot less time for blog content. Why? Well, I’m glad you asked!

– October will of course see the return of Trilogy of Terror. This will be the fourth year for the series, and I’m looking forward to it. It’s been a highlight of my year since I’ve introduced it, and I love the opportunity it gives me to dig deeper into certain films than I ever would have otherwise thought to.

– That means September will be given over to watching the movies, researching them, writing about them, gathering screenshots, editing the writeups…you know. All that fun stuff that happens behind the scenes. It’s a lot of work, but I enjoy Trilogy of Terror and I know you guys do, too, so I always want to do it justice. In fact, to get you excited about it, this year’s theme is Games of Life and Death.

– Also, because I’m never happy without too much on my plate, I really want to do a Fiction into Film that complements that theme. That’s another project that requires a lot of work, but it’s also something I’d love to cover.

– I’d also really like to do another Xmas Bash! But those take a lot of work as well. If I’m going to have another group of Christmas specials / commercials / music videos ready to go in December, I need to get it finished (or nearly so) in November.

– That leaves August for me to get my draft done. Oh, except The Venture Bros. and Better Call Saul debut their new seasons in August. I plan on covering the latter, for sure. The former, I think I definitively have to pass on writing about. There’s simply not enough time.

– On top of all this, I have a job, a social life, the fallout from getting rear-ended at a stoplight in April…I’m a busy bee.

– So, yeah, don’t expect much in the way of frequent updates between now and the end of the year. I really, truly hate to say that. But do expect big, important, substantive things. What I do post is going to count, I can assure you of that much. You just might have to wait a while between posts. I’ll do my absolute best to make that wait worth it.

– I know I don’t need to post an update every time I’m going to focus elsewhere, but I respect your time as readers, and I appreciate it every time you’ve come back to see what exciting new topic I’m going to be thoroughly wrong about. I don’t want to waste your time or squander your attention. So, as a reward for being good, here’s one more bit of information about my upcoming book: it’s horror related.

– Lastly, if you’ve been visiting for more than a year or so, you probably remember that I had official Noiseless Chatter mugs for sale. They were great, but I sold out of them a while back. I’ve been wanting to get some kind of new merchandise made, for folks who want to support the site. I’m not a big fan of taking donations in exchange for nothing, and I don’t want to just get more mugs made because the shipping was prohibitively expensive for readers in other countries. So let me know what kind of things you’d like to see and would be willing to buy, and I’ll poke around!

Whew. Thanks for reading. Be patient. I’m sure I’ll have a few surprises for you along the way, but this is shaping up to be a very busy sprint to the end of the year. I thank you for your understanding, and I appreciate that you’re taking this journey with me.

As ever, stay tuned.

UPDATE: Boom

I don’t feel so bad that I’ve let these past few weeks pass without a new post. I’m proud of this year’s Rule of Three, and I’ve seen great discussion come from it both here and on social media. These articles deserve the room to breathe, and I thank you, sincerely, for reading my crap!

However, I didn’t intend to let the site languish. I have some other article ideas in mind, including one you might actually enjoy! The problem is that a few weeks ago, I was rear-ended at a traffic light. I was at a complete stop. Another vehicle hit me from behind, and the driver admitted his was using his cellphone and not paying attention to what he was doing.

Pretty cut and dry, but my brand new car is smashed up pretty good, and I sustained a neck injury that I hope is minor but which my doctor is reluctant to be so optimistic about.

I do intend to post more stuff. Great stuff! And soon! But I wanted to apologize for the unexpected downtime. I spend 8-10 hours each day sitting and writing at work, and while I never mind coming home to write for another few hours, my neck feels far better when I lie down, so I’ve spent most of my free time doing that.

My goal, however, is to have a new post ready for Monday. It’s one I’ve been passively working on for over a month now, so it’s certainly a reasonable goal. I just apologize that for the past few weeks, my car, my neck, and all of the related insurance kerfuffle has taken precedence.

I’m not dead. Ghostbusters ’16 didn’t kill me. I will be back. And when I am back, I solemnly swear to keep writing about things nobody on the face of the planet could possibly care about.

Thank you for your patience.

Rule of Three returns April 1 with Ghostbusters

Well hello! I’ve been working for the past couple of weeks on the big, annual April feature, Rule of Three. That’s my series in which I take a look at three related comedy films, beginning on April Fool’s Day. The second and third entries will post on April 8 and April 15, giving each of them a solid week to breathe and be discussed.

This time around, I’ll be focusing on the three Ghostbusters films. I’ve even added the schedule to the Trilogy of Terror page. (I guess I really should give Rule of Three its own page soon, huh?) While there, you can check out the previous features on Muppet films and Pee-wee films. They’re great articles. I should know, because I wrote them.

We’ll get into Ghostbusters pretty extensively over the next few weeks, so I won’t say much now except that the first two films are quite important to me, and revisiting them through a critical lens was damned interesting. I’m glad I took the opportunity to do so.

The third film, obviously, is a minefield. I don’t know quite what to expect in terms of reaction to my article, but we’ll find out together, I guess. (When a friend of mine learned I was covering the Ghostbusters films, he just said, “Good luck.”) I do get the sense the controversy around that movie has died down to the point that adults are now allowed to discuss it, and I hope that’s the case, because it’s worth discussing. Just not for any of the reasons the film makers — or the film’s detractors — seem to think.

I do have a question regarding this type of feature, though: Do you like knowing ahead of time what I will cover?

In the past, I’ve kept those cards close to my chest. I work on these features in secret, and then blast them out without any prior indication of what they’ll be.

I’ve done this for a few reasons. For instance, I might think I want to cover something, and then realize I don’t have much to say and need to switch topics. Or posting about a topic in advance might stir up some conversation that will then affect the things I do or don’t write about, feeling the need to address what folks have already brought up as opposed to what I’d personally like to say.

Then again, letting readers know ahead of time what to expect means they can seek out the movies to watch for themselves, turning this into more of a communal event. And it gives them a chance to get their thoughts together ahead of time, so that they can leave comments and participate in the discussion without relying on hazy memory.

So, hey, you’ve got a week. Dig out your copy of Ghostbusters. It’s worth it.

This time around, I revealed the Rule of Three topic (or rather posted a very obvious hint) to the Noiseless Chatter Facebook page. Now I’m announcing it here, just shy of a week in advance. The world kept spinning, so I’m considering doing that for future features.

What do you think? Do you prefer the surprise of showing up on April 1 to find a new post on an unknown topic? Would you rather know in advance? Or do you literally have no opinion one way or the other? (UNTHINKABLE)

Let me know. I’m curious. This is one of those situations in which I don’t think I can come to the “best” answer on my own. I need to hear what you guys and gals prefer, and I can easily make my own arrangements from there.

Anyway, enjoy your week. I’m getting these three features edited and formatted, and I’ll see you here on Sunday, April 1, for the extensive writeup on 1984’s Ghostbusters.

It will be the only film in the series we’ll all agree on.

See you then.

Update: Prostrate

I was off to such a good start this year with regular posts! Oh well. Nothing lasts forever, least of all a consistent upload schedule at Noiseless Chatter.

I’m not dead, though that becomes a bit more appealing a prospect by the day! I’ve been struck with a particularly nasty flu, for the second time this season. (The first was right around Christmas.) It’s not pleasant. I have indeed been working on a couple of posts, one of which is the final installment of Fight, Megaman!, but I certainly don’t have anything in a publishable format quite yet.

That will change. I’m much better today than I was yesterday, and so on down the line. I’m just not totally recovered yet.

Do stick around. There’s lots of fun stuff to come, including this year’s Rule of Three, in which I’ll take extended looks at three related comedy films. So far I’ve covered two series of films that were very important to me growing up, and this time around will be no different in that regard. I look forward to writing them, sharing them, and reading your comments. Especially when it comes to the third film in the series, but…we’ll get there soon enough.

So, yes, I’ve been doing far more hallucinating than writing lately, but you ain’t rid of me yet.

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