Want To Play Over 900 Classic Arcade Games For Free? Head Over To The Intenet Arcade!

ia1I’ve written about and/or mentioned the Internet Archive quite a bit over the years. The effort that they have put into preserving our pop- (and at times, not-so-pop-) culture deserves an incredible amount of commendation, as they serve as a repository for countless online books, films, radio shows, television shows, magazines, photographs, concerts, recordings, and so much more.

And now they’ve added a new collection to the site: The Internet Arcade!

Here’s the description, straight from the site:

The Internet Arcade is a web-based library of arcade (coin-operated) video games from the 1970s through to the 1990s, emulated in JSMAME, part of the JSMESS software package. Containing hundreds of games ranging through many different genres and styles, the Arcade provides research, comparison, and entertainment in the realm of the Video Game Arcade.

The game collection ranges from early “bronze-age” videogames, with black and white screens and simple sounds, through to large-scale games containing digitized voices, images and music. Most games are playable in some form, although some are useful more for verification of behavior or programming due to the intensity and requirements of their systems.

Yes, these are games that you can play, for free, directly in your browser. They appear to work best in Firefox, though any browser will, theoretically at least, work.

I haven’t had much of a chance to check these games out for myself, partly because of the “sinkhole effect”: I know once I start I might as well give up on getting anything else done for quite awhile. Nonetheless, it looks like a pretty amazing collection, and I can’t help but suggest that if you’re interested in spending some time playing these games or just seeing what they have to offer, you head right on over. All you’ve got to do is click here.

Once again, I simply have to say “kudos” to the folks over at the Internet Archives for really working hard at preserving so much of our shared cultural heritage alive online Thanks gang!

Hamlet Isn’t Dead: The Taming Of The Shrew – A Personal Kickstarter Appeal

396104_118740124967462_1551535702_nOk, you guys know that I usually try to keep the personal side of my life out of the blogging side, except for where it relates to movies and TV shows, but I hope you’ll forgive me taking just a moment here to promote something near and dear to my heart. Earlier this year, my son David and some of his friends who are actors in New York teamed up to create a new theater company called Hamlet Isn’t Dead.Their goal is not only to present the complete works of Shakespeare in chronological (as written) order, but also to provide educational resources, etc. on the playwright’s works. They also will be doing other shows along the way to help support their main goal. Along with being one of the co-founders of the company, David is also the Artistic and Educational Director of the troupe.

They’ve already staged their first show, Two Gentlemen of Verona, but it was unfortunately under less than optimal circumstances, and now they are hard at work on preparing their second, The Taming of the Shrew. And this is where you come in. In order to make this project come off, they’ve begun a Kickstarter campaign to raise the necessary funds. As I write this, they so far have raised $3,842 towards their $6,000 goal and have 40 backers. They’re on their way. But at the same time, I know that there are those of you out there in the New York area who understand just what taking on a project like this in The City can be like, and even if you’re not in the area, if you’re a theatre lover, a Shakespeare fan, or just someone who wants to help some deserving guys reach their dreams and goals, well, here’s your chance.

Plus, if I’ve entertained or informed you with some of my posts, or if you just want to support me by helping out my son, well, that would be appreciated, too.

Anyway, all I’m really asking you to do is to go, check out their Kickstarter page which can be found here, watch the video, and contribute if you can – even if it’s only a few dollars, every little bit helps. And even if you can’t (and hey, I understand, times are tight and all of that) then if you can just help by spreading the word -. on Facebook, by tweeting, however you can – then please do that, too. Because the more the word gets around, the more likely it is that the guys will be able to hit their goal.

Oh, and just to give you a taste of what the guys are like, here’s a promotional video that they put together for Two Gents:

Again, please excuse the personal/promotional nature of this post, but if you’d do what you can, I’d really appreciate it.

Hope You Got To Watch Them – Netflix Drops Almost 1800 Titles From Streaming

Sigh. After spending a large part of the afternoon writing a proper musing on this topic, it seems that due to an ill-timed automatic logout by WordPress I’ve lost about half of it. However I did at least want to share this info with you. According to this article from the Varge, as of yesterday, Netflix has dropped almost 1800 movies from their streaming site. The article quotes a Netflix spokesperson as saying

The vast majority of the titles that expire on Wednesday are older features that were aggregated by Epix. We recently added many great, more recent titles such as ParaNorman (Universal), Hunger Games (Epix), Safe (Epix) and Bachelorette (Weinstein). Tomorrow we will also add MI:2, among many other titles.

Netflix is a dynamic service, we constantly update the TV shows and movies that are available to our members. We will add more than 500 titles May 1, but we also have titles expiring, this ebb and flow happens all the time.

What does this really mean and what implications may the statement actually have? Unfortunately a look at my schedule says it’ll probably be sometime Sunday before I can actually finish up the article I was working on, but I will share my own thoughts with you as soon as possible. In the meantime, do feel free to let me know your reactions in the comments below.

Roger Ebert’s Eulogy for Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert, american film critic.
Roger Ebert, american film critic. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are a lot of things that I could say about the passing of Roger Ebert, and there are many words that others will write. But perhaps in this case the most elegant and eloquent thing to do is to let the man speak for himself. This piece is taken from his book Life Itself: A Memoir. I’ve excerpted just a bit of it below, but I encourage you to click the link and read the entire piece.

One of these days I will encounter what Henry James called on his deathbed “the distinguished thing.” I will not be conscious of the moment of passing. In this life I have already been declared dead. It wasn’t so bad. After the first ruptured artery, the doctors thought I was finished. My wife, Chaz, said she sensed that I was still alive and was communicating to her that I wasn’t finished yet. She said our hearts were beating in unison, although my heartbeat couldn’t be discovered. She told the doctors I was alive, they did what doctors do, and here I am, alive.

Do I believe her? Absolutely. I believe her literally — not symbolically, figuratively or spiritually. I believe she was actually aware of my call and that she sensed my heartbeat. I believe she did it in the real, physical world I have described, the one that I share with my wristwatch. I see no reason why such communication could not take place. I’m not talking about telepathy, psychic phenomenon or a miracle. The only miracle is that she was there when it happened, as she was for many long days and nights. I’m talking about her standing there and knowing something. Haven’t many of us experienced that? Come on, haven’t you? What goes on happens at a level not accessible to scientists, theologians, mystics, physicists, philosophers or psychiatrists. It’s a human kind of a thing.

Someday I will no longer call out, and there will be no heartbeat. I will be dead. What happens then? From my point of view, nothing. Absolutely nothing. All the same, as I wrote to Monica Eng, whom I have known since she was six, “You’d better cry at my memorial service.”

Rest in peace, Mr. Ebert. Your eloquence and thoughtfulness will be missed.

A Few Housekeeping Notes

Man working with a projector in a movie theater
Unfortunately, this is no longer a common sight in today’s theaters. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just a couple of quick notes. As some of you may have noticed, the site has been under construction for awhile now, and there have been a few changes since I began it a couple of weeks ago. Most of them have been pretty subtle, but I wanted to call your attention to a few of them.

First off, there are a number of ways now to keep up with new posts as they are added. Over in the sidebar you’ll notice links to the RSS feed which allows you to get updates directly into your favorite reader, a “follow” option which will send you links to new content as emails directly to your inbox, and a link to the DMM Facebook page, which I try to update whenever I put up a new post.

You’ll also note in the sidebar that I’ve added a new poll section. The plan is to put up a new poll every week or so, in order to give you yet another feedback option, and to find out what you guys and gals think on different topics, so please take just a moment and vote.

I’ve also made a change to the way the feeds are sending out the new posts. Initially I had them set to send the entire post, but because I’d gotten some feedback that pictures and/or videos were either not coming through properly, or in some cases at all, I’ve changed the setting on that to “partial feed”. That way you’ll still get the update,

and the first part of the post to give you an idea of what it’s about, and all you have to do is click on the link provided to view the entire post here on the blog the way I intended.

I think that’s it for now, except to say thanks for reading, and for supporting the blog, and I hope you like what you see. If you do, let me know by commenting, clicking, and sharing (spread the word!). And if you don’t, let me know that, too. After all, if you don’t, then I can’t make it better.

Okay, I’ll be back tomorrow with my thoughts on either the original True Grit, or The Artist, and probably some other stuff, too. And, of course, until then…

Happy Viewing!

A Note on Spoilers

I decided it might be a good idea to make what’s known as a “sticky post” here on the front page for those coming in who might be concerned about spoilers. In these posts I’m going to be talking about varying aspects of movies that I’ve been watching, This may include writing about things that some would consider spoilers, including, at times, the endings of these movies. Those who are particularly spoiler averse may want to avoid reading these posts if they are planning to watch the movie in question. In certain circumstances where I will be discussing events towards the end of the movie, including the ending in at least a vague way, or when a movie contains a particular plot twist that might be considered major, I will try to post a more specific spoiler warning, because I do recognize that even though I may be writing about a movie that is decades old, it’s still going to be new to some people. Okay, with that out of the way, let’s get on with it, shall we?