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Twelve-Nine-Three

Picture it! Scilly, 1922! OK, actually Andy Ross’s Childhood Bedroom 1993. I had been given as a gift the dream attachment for my beloved Sega Genesis, the amazing Sega CD. For those of you young children who have only grown up in the era of XBox and Playstation, it may seem strange that there was once a time when the idea of playing a video game off of a compact disc was mind blowing. But it was, and I was fully ready to have my mind blown. To use a slogan of Sega’s ads of the era, I was ready to enter “The Next Level.”

The Sega CD model I had was the second one, the smaller model designed to go with the slimmer Genesis that had been introduced to the market. I had the first Genesis, the larger one, but the Sega CD came with an extension block that allowed it to partner it on the original model. You attached the Sega CD to your Genesis by a special connector on the side of system. The Sega CD came with a game to get you going, as was the norm with gaming systems at the time. The game …
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Where The Blues Are

I come to you again this week with another pair of blu-rays from those master celluloid handlers at Warner Archive. First up we have 1960’s “Where The Boys Are,” a defining teen picture of the era by MGM, and the film largely responsible for kicking off the whole cycle of 1960s beach films. The other is 1955’s “Pete Kelly’s Blues” a film starring, produced, and directed by Jack Webb--TV’s Joe Friday. Part of a deal Webb had made with Warner Brothers when he was setting up the original big screen version of “Dragnet” in the ‘50s. 
“Where The Boys Are” was set for the screen before the book it was based on had been released. Producer Joe Pasternak snatched up the rights to the book by Glendon Swarthout, which was originally titled “Unholy Spring.” Pasternak, strongly feeling “Where The Boys Are” would be the better title, persuaded Swarthout to change the book’s title. Pasternak also felt he could use the film as a starring vehicle for one of the stars of MGM’s record label, Connie Franc…

Convincing Yourself You're Good.

I have Imposter Syndrome. Imposter Syndrome is that feeling that what you do isn't good enough, and that someone is gonna eventually figure out how woefully unqualified you are and kick you to the curb. One of the traits of my personality that I dislike is that I am way too hard on myself. Seriously, give my mind an inch and I will somehow figure out that I am the sole person responsible for the world's troubles.

Having Imposter Syndrome is kind of like playing the game Werewolf. My friends and I play a version of the game called One Night Ultimate Werewolf, in the game each player picks a card that gives them a specific role, either a villager or a werewolf, and the villagers all have distinct roles that they play on top of that--special abilities and the like. The object of the game is two fold, if you're a werewolf, you don't wanna be caught. If you're a village, you wanna catch the werewolves. Imposter Syndrome makes you feel like you're always in the role…

The State of The Andy

Greetings, Citizens.

I've been neglecting the "Hey There, Andy!" blog a little too much lately. It got a new design and I walked away like one of those spoiled couples on House Hunters. This blog started years ago as a way to give my work more of a "web presence," and to make individual columns easy to share. In the last year, "The Loafer--my main home for my word works--has gotten an incredible website redesign by the very talented people at Stellar Studios, and now I feel less motivated to double up on my columns being there and here as well.

So where does that leave "Hey There, Andy!?" Welp, this place needs more stuff on it. I'm going to from time to time share older Batteries Not Included columns that aren't archived on the web anywhere else, and maybe post some original work. Another reason in why this place hasn't seen much attention is that I've been overwhelmingly busy lately. At the end of the past three years I've …

The Film is Strong with This One

If you’ve read my column with any regularity, if you’ve even interacted with me in actual life, then you’re most likely aware that I like movies and music. A lot. They are two of the biggest sources of joy in my life. I’ve talked of my origins with music a lot in these pages before, but I’ve never talked much about how my taste in film formed. If there is a common link between the two it’s that they’ve both been so prominent in my life I can’t quite trace the moment I became all about them. 
What I do know with certainty is that it became clear at an early age that music and movies were things I was going to be into. I watched an old home movie a few months ago where I’m all of three and my mother can be heard remarking “When he gets up he doesn’t want to potty or anything, he wants to listen to music.” Now I don’t have any idea what the first movie I saw was. I do know that it would have been before I saw my first movie in a theater, I was not quite the first generation to grow up wit…

Breathless, Heaving Flames

Note: This column originally ran in The Loafer in December of 2015 to mark the 30th Anniversary of "Clue." I thought it had been uploaded here at the same time, and I recently found out it wasn't, nor was it archived on The Loafer's website. 
If there’s one thing about Hollywood you can still count on these days, it’s the axiom that the true test of movies is time. Films that were hits can become forgotten footnotes, and films that were flops can become cherished classics. A shining example of this would be Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo.” “Vertigo” wasn’t a hit at the box office, and critics hated it. Yet today “Vertigo” is not only considered to be Hitchcock’s masterpiece, it’s also considered by many to be finest film ever made. 
There’s a film which falls into that category, flop now beloved. The film in question happens to my favorite movie. A movie that I can almost recite word for word, and a movie which celebrates its 30th anniversary this coming Sunday. On Decemb…

The Boy Friend in the Afternoon

Sometimes I can surprise people when I tell them that I still haven’t seen every movie made by my favorite filmmakers. This is partially by circumstance and partially by choice--it’s nice to know there are still new to me Billy Wilder films out there in the world. There’s now one less new to me Wilder film as I’ve seen Wilder’s 1957 comedy “Love in The Afternoon”--which makes its blu-ray debut from those knights of the vault Warner Archive. 
“Love in The Afternoon” is a romantic comedy starring Gary Cooper, Audrey Hepburn, and Maurice Chevalier. The film is the first of twelve films Wilder would write with I.A.L. Diamond--one of the finest screenwriting partnerships in history. “Love in The Afternoon” centers around a French private eye (Chevalier) who is tracking down a lothario businessman (Cooper) and keeping an eye out on his numerous affairs. At the same time, our detective tries to keep all these torrid details away from his young daughter (Hepburn). 
When the husband of one of th…