Before They Were Stars: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on Star Trek: Voyager

The Rock had established himself as a wrestler by the time the year 2000 arrived, but he had yet to break into the world of professional acting. Before his extended cameo at the beginning of The Mummy Returns helped propel him to Hollywood stardom, one of The Rock’s first acting gigs outside of the wrestling ring was on Star Trek: Voyager as…an alien wrestler! Here you can see Dwayne Johnson as “The Champion” fighting Jeri Ryan’s Seven-of-Nine in a gladiatorial arena. I believe this appearance from The Rock was part of a cross-promotion where wrestlers were given bit parts on TV series. Little did everyone know at the time that they were dealing with a man who would become the highest paid actor in the world!

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Shouts From the Back Row – Episode 260 – Ghostbusters

ghostbustersposterAfter countless online arguments, months of advertising and discussion, the Ghostbusters reboot is finally here – and we’re going to review it! On this episode, Gill, Robin, and TK look at the entire Ghostbusters franchise, from the movies and cartoons of the 80’s to the recent controversial reboot. And they wrap up the discussion with their thoughts on Ghostheads, a documentary now on Netflix which profiles Ghostbusters fans and their experiences with the film series. Click here to download the episode!

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Before They Were Stars: Tom Green Raps on “Street Cents”

Street Cents was a TV series that aired on CBC in Canada in the early 90’s. The show was focused on such teen-centric topics as how to save your money, shop smart, which deodorants worked best, and stuff like that. Well, being a Canadian himself, a very young Tom Green appeared on Street Cents with his rap group Organized Rhyme. And it looks like he took it very seriously.

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Before They Were Stars: Jennifer Love Hewitt in a Barbie Workout Video

Before she found fame on Party of Five, Jennifer Love Hewitt had a truly hilarious gig as a backup dancer in this video titled Dance! Workout with Barbie. What better way to get in shape than by imitating the moves of a doll whose elbows and knees don’t bend? Regardless of how silly this video is, you can’t deny that Ms. Hewitt can cut a rug.

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Castor’s Underrated Gems- All That Jazz (1979)

Warts-and-all biopics are rarely given full breadth by the subject themselves but Bob Fosse defrocked himself of all aggrandizement and his gift of disclosure was All That Jazz. It’s a blazing crowning achievement from the Broadway director who channels his neuroses, peccadillos and egotism through the fictional theater impresario Joe Gideon (Roy Scheider).

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Shouts From the Back Row – Episode 259 – Swiss Army Man

SwissArmyManPosterShouts From the Back Row returns with the episode we’ve all been waiting for: the much-anticipated review of Swiss Army Man. This movie, starring Paul Dano as an unhinged castaway and Daniel Radcliffe as his flatulent corpse buddy with a compass-penis, has been a prime candidate to become 2016’s most batshit crazy film. But is it all fart and masturbation jokes? Or does this bizarre movie actually have something to say? Find out as Gill, Robin, and TK give their review.

Click here to download the episode!

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Castor’s Underrated Gems: Long Weekend (1978)

For those of you who thought the ecological terror that was promised in The Happening is worth another whirl, gaze your eyes backwards and discover the unsettling Australian chiller Long Weekend. The score is a discordant composition that could’ve been meant for a Wes Craven slasher. To note, the wildlife photography is sprawling and sumptuous (the ant-swarm footage is the best since Phase IV) and Vincent Monton’s lensing is a divine gloss over the nightmarish story.

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Great Cinematic Comic Book Adaptations (Part 1)

Comic books are a wonderful medium where dreams, fears, fantasies and desires are brought to life through illustrations and words. From superhero adventures and nightmarish tales, to hardboiled crime stories and existential slices of life, comics have enjoyed a large variety of stories through the ages, which have extended to the cinematic format.

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Watching From The Back Row

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I love the internet, media, and popular culture. I’ve been a movie buff my entire life, and I’ve loved TV and video games for at least as long. When social media had its boom in the mid-2000’s, I used Facebook to share all the weird and fun stuff that I found online. I’d post trailers, funny clips, and all manner of stuff, giving my thoughts on them as I did so. I can’t remember who said it first (I think it may have been Tom Lando), but along the way somebody suggested that I start a blog. And so I founded The Back Row.

My first post on The Back Row was in July of 2010, and at the time I had decided that if I was going to do this thing, I was going to do it for serious. I committed to posting multiple links every day, and actually stressed myself out quite a bit maintaining a regular schedule. But it paid off. Thanks to The Back Row, I’ve amassed a team of top notch writers who regularly contribute to the site, and it has become home to multiple podcast projects that I’m involved in – and I love every one of them.

Lately, though, my life outside the internet has started getting hectic, and as a result I’ve found myself unable to dedicate the time to The Back Row that I used to have. I guess it’s just a symptom of growing up and having a career. So after careful consideration, and discussion with Robin, who has become co-owner of the site over the years, I’m changing things up a bit. Here’s what The Back Row will look like from now on:

  • I won’t be posting every day. I’ll still post the occasional video or link when I have something to say about it, and maybe I’ll write more Sunday Short Reviews once in a while, but I’ll be stepping back from my daily writing.
  • All of the contributors to the site can continue to write their articles and reviews, and I will continue to post them. This means that while content will be a bit less frequent, it will also be almost entirely original material. I see this as a very good thing.
  • TBR will serve as a hub for the multiple podcast projects that it is already home to – and maybe more! Shouts From the Back Row, our movie discussion podcast, will continue on a weekly basis (when summer isn’t drawing us out into the sunlight). Fakelore will resume later this month, and hopefully What the Quimp?! will too, schedules providing. The Trail Went Cold has become Robin’s primary creative project these days, and so his focus will mostly be on that, although he may still write on TBR once in a while.

These changes aren’t major, but I wanted to make sure all you lovely readers know what’s going on, and why there’s suddenly a lot less content being posted on the main blog of the site. I encourage you to subscribe to our various podcasts, which are all on iTunes, and I hope you’ll still make regular visits to this site to see what our wonderful writers have been cooking up.

Thanks for taking the time to look at this site. What was once just an off-the-cuff blog project to share cool media has grown into something much bigger and more fun than I could have anticipated when I started The Back Row, and I couldn’t have done it without all of you.

All the best,
Gill

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Last Link of the Day: 7 billion

Thanks, Cyriak. I didn’t need to sleep tonight anyway.

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