Saturday, March 26, 2011

Orlando's MegaCon features a nice "Dukes" presence

BRB is having a great time at MegaCon in Orlando right now, interviewing comic book industry professionals for the Comics Continuum website and accompanying Detroit TV show. What excitement 'twas just a few hours ago, when she got to chat with John Schneider, our own Bo Duke of "The Dukes of Hazzard" about his role on three of the remaining four episodes of the CW's "Smallville" in the coming weeks.

Look for a link to that interview soon, but for now, we'll share a shot from Friday at the event:

And while we're at it, how about a fresh shot of Mr. James Hampton, who played Sheriff Buster Moon on "The Dukes." We got to chat with Hampton a bit off camera about his time on our beloved classic show.

The Oklahoma City-born actor, who filled in as sheriff in Hazzard while Rosco P. Coltrane was out in 1980, has a long list of screen credits that include "F Troop," "The Doris Day Show" and "Gunsmoke," as well as a new project called "The Association."

Herb Jefferson Jr., who starred in the "Dukes" 1984 two-parter "Undercover Dukes," also is doing a meet-and-greet of fans at MegaCon this weekend.

Photos by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV
Copying with credit is OK; a link would be grand

Friday, March 25, 2011

TGIF: A little vintage Archie

We all know the characters of our beloved "Archie's Weird Mysteries" go back decades before this animated series ever debuted on PAX TV. Well, to add a smile to your Friday, BRBTV offers these shots of a collectible figure series from Dark Horse, snapped as we were browsing last week's C2E2 event in Chicago.

So beautiful, right? The figures were part of Dark Horse Comics' display at the convention. They sell for $49.95 each and are limited to 950 per character and are packaged in the tin box shown, with button and character booklet thrown in for good measure. They begin releasing in April with, of course, Arch himself.

Photos by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV

Saturday, March 19, 2011

John Schneider shooting "The Duke of Diesel" for CMT

John Schneider, our own Bo Duke of "The Dukes of Hazzard" updated fans via email this week that he was  in Texas shooting a show for CMT called "The Duke of Diesel." "And having a blast!" the actor added. "We are celebrating folks who work with heavy equipment and risk their lives for a living. Good stuff."

Schneider also said, "Next week I go back to Vancouver to finish up with the 10th season of 'Smallville.' Sad times but that's a good run no matter how you slice it." Indeed. BRBTV will be sad to see "Smallville" go.

Schneider also reminded fans, "Remember that 'Doonby' will be out in a few months and may be coming for a test screening near you. Check!"

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Movie version of John Jakes' "The Bastard" offers a dynamite classic cast

BRBTV likes to play this little game, when viewing a movie that is new to us, though it may be new, old, or older! We like to guess the year the movie was released based on fashions alone, and heck, we tend to get within a year or two, if we don't get it right on the button! (We are fashion mavens, after all -- just see BRB's My Mother's Clothing project!) John Jakes, however, throws us off a little, particularly with the movie adaptation of the first book in his Bicentennial series, "The Bastard." The costumes, of course, are period. Period!

Still, we just had to make a guess, as we lounged over it this past Sunday night (special thanks to BRBTV bud Tracy for the DVD!). We factored in the cherublike Andrew Stevens, the darker haired, pre-"Mannequin" Kim Catrall, the chunkiness of the production quality. We had to go with 1975 for this one, and really we hinged that mainly on William Shatner -- he seemed much more pre-"Star Trek: The Motion Picture" to us. Plus, we remember how big the country's 1976 Bicentennial was back then -- a hot-hot-hot topic for a juicy book series. We had to surmise this movie would be placed squarely in the midst of that heat.

But alas ... the year, it was ... 1978. And what a grand year it was for TV stars. Just as in Jakes' mid-'80s "North and South" miniseries, "The Bastard" makes no disappointment with its megawatt cast. Shatner, Catrall, Tom Bosley, Lorne Greene, Buddy Ebsen, Harry Morgan ... holy cow, is there anybody in there that's not a name, at least now if not then?! And most of all, the stars from the BRBTV shows are out in full force for this one.

Front and center is the aforementioned Stevens, a decade before he would take on J.R. Ewing's tutelage -- then rattle his cage a bit -- as Casey Denault on "Dallas." In this outing, he's oh-so young, so boyish and fluffy of hair, and he surely manages a certain degree of evenly progressing maturity through the four hours. We finished the 600-plus page book just days before watching the movie (see BRB's Amazon review), and Stevens filled the shoes of Phillipe Charboneau / Philip Kent believably and in keeping with Jakes' original prose, written just four years before the movie was released. You could even argue that Stevens resembles the artist's rendering of Philip on the original book cover above.

Joining Stevens is his fellow "Dallas" cast member Keenan Wynn as Johnny Malcolm, every bit as feisty as ole Digger Barnes was. Russell Johnson, also a "Dallas" refugee as Sheriff Mansfield, in addition to Roger Wainwright on "Santa Barbara" and Earl Thompson on "Dynasty," is Col. James Barrett, fighting valiantly for the rights of the American colonies. And how surprising to find Clint Ritchie -- known to us as Bud Morgan on "Dallas" but to the rest of the world as Clint Buchanan on "One Life to Live" -- as Dawes.

Herb Jefferson Jr., whom we remember fondly from "The Dukes of Hazzard," portrays Lucas, a man of color but not a slave -- he stands, gun in hand, as a free worker for a farm where the lead character takes refuge, and before that, he helps Philip dispatch some evil highwaymen. And omigoodness -- peeking out of a doorway in Colonial attire, that's Miss Peggy Rea, our beloved Lulu Hogg of "The Dukes"!

Added to all of that, we were enthralled by Ike Eisenmann of Disney's "Witch Mountain" movies -- his boyish, confident, privileged but right-thinking Gil, the Marquis, is captivating. And John De Lancie of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" is delightfully dastardly as a Redcoat lieutenant.

We can't wait to move on to the movie adaptations of "The Rebels" and "The Seekers," the next two books in the series.