Wednesday, December 27, 2023

AMT / Round 2 1:25 1953 Studebaker

In 1953, my father purchased this Studebaker. These cars were rather unique for the time. They are relatively small for one thing; a two door coupe. The car is also quite light weight, low to the ground and aerodynamic. It was very different from your typical early '50s American design.

At that time there was a well know modification commonly done to these cars. A more powerful Cadillac engine happened to be a perfectly fitting, drop in replacement. Given the Studebaker's sleek design and light weight, the result was one fast hot rod. Such modified cars been called "Studellacs".

The car my Dad bought was part way through this modification. He completed the job. 

My Dad never sold this car, his dream car, and his first "real" car. This car was part of my life growing up. It sat in the garage under a cover for many years. A couple times, my Dad got the urge to work on it. I badly needed paint and other work. But it never became an ongoing project, not until much later.

Keeping the car was a challenge over the decades, through devoice and moves. I even had it in a garage myself for awhile when I was in college and there was no place for it to go. 
When I found out this model existed I ordered it immediately.

I won't go into a lot of detail, but here's a few photos.

Here's the final cream colored top. The lower is still primer. 

I ended up cementing the hood down because it wasn't a perfect fit. Take one last look at the engine.

I was pleased with the red paint job, two-tone no less. That's something I usually do pretty badly.

These were the colors on my Dad's car.

The quality iof this kit is inline with others of this sale. There's enough detail to look good on the shelf. The fit and molding is fine, but just fine.

My only complaint about the model is that the Studebaker V-8 logos detailed on the body are completely wrong. It's an odd error. You'd think the designers would look up what the badges looked like on a vehicle so well known among car buffs.

The hub caps are also wrong. You can't have everything I guess.
The only after market detail I added was vintage Oregon license plates.

See the album for this project here:

Late in life, in the 1980s, my Dad finally restored his dream car. This last photo shows the Studebaker at that time.

After his death the car was sold to a collector. Someplace on YouTube, I've since lost the link, there is a video posted by the car's new owner about this Studellac. It's finally on the road again.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023


Oh, Melancholia, so dark and deep,
Your themes are heavy, your message steep.
You show us despair, depression's grip,
And the futility of human ship.

But your beauty shines, your shots are grand,
And your actors give us performances unplanned.
So thank you, Lars, for this work of art,
Even though it left our hearts so smart.

More reviews here on letterboxd:

Tuesday, October 24, 2023


In the culinary landscape of cinema, "Shaft" (1979) stands as a delectable treat, a film that satiates the appetite for action and intrigue while simultaneously serving up a smorgasbord of culinary metaphors.

John Shaft, the titular private detective, navigates the gritty streets of New York City with the finesse of a seasoned chef, expertly maneuvering through a world where danger and deception are as commonplace as a greasy spoon diner. Shaft's investigations take him from swanky uptown restaurants to dingy back-alley dives, exposing him to a diverse menu of characters and experiences.

While Shaft's primary focus is on solving crimes, food plays a significant role in his world. He's often seen indulging in hearty meals, whether it's a juicy steak at a high-end establishment or a simple sandwich from a street vendor. These culinary interludes serve as more than just sustenance; they provide moments of respite and reflection, allowing Shaft to gather his thoughts and prepare for the next course of action.

The film's culinary text extends beyond Shaft's personal dining habits. The criminal underworld he navigates is rife with food-related metaphors, from the "big cheese" at the top of the food chain to the "small fry" caught in the crossfire. Shaft's investigations often involve uncovering the "rotten apples" in society, exposing those who have spoiled the metaphorical pot of stew.

In a particularly memorable scene, Shaft confronts a corrupt businessman in a swanky restaurant, using the language of food to expose the man's nefarious dealings. He accuses the businessman of "cooking the books" and "serving up a raw deal," cleverly weaving culinary terms into his accusations.

The film's climax takes place in a bustling marketplace, where Shaft confronts the mastermind behind a drug trafficking ring. Amidst the cacophony of vendors hawking their wares, Shaft delivers a final blow to the criminal enterprise, effectively "shutting down the kitchen" and putting an end to their illicit activities.

"Shaft" (1979) is a culinary adventure, skillfully weaving food-related themes into its narrative, adding delectable layer to its gritty and action-packed storyline. Through its use of culinary metaphors and Shaft's own dining habits, the film serves up a unique blend of action and intrigue, leaving viewers both entertained and hungry for more.

More reviews here on letterboxd:

Monday, October 23, 2023

The Blues Brothers

Jake and Elwood Blues, on a mission from God,
To reunite their band and make some odd coin.
With sunglasses and black suits so cool,
They're the Blues Brothers, they're the real deal.

From Joliet Prison to Sister Mary Stigmata,
They're dodging the law, but they're having a blast-a!
With Carrie Fisher and Aretha Franklin too,
The Blues Brothers are a musical crew.

With their Bluesmobile, they're driving through the night,
Singing and dancing with all their might.
John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd at their best,
The Blues Brothers are the best dressed.

So if you're feeling down and need a pick-me-up,
Just watch the Blues Brothers and drink from your cup.
They'll make you laugh and get your toes tapping,
The Blues Brothers are simply captivating.

Oh, the Blues Brothers, they're the best,
They're better than all the rest.
So put on the movie and have some fun,
The Blues Brothers are second to none!

Forbidden Planet

Forbidden Planet is a sci-fi movie about a bunch of space cadets who land on a planet formally inhabited by a super-advanced civilization. The aliens were so advanced, they have robots that can do everything for them, including cooking, cleaning, and giving massages.

But there's a dark secret: a giant monster locked up in the basement. And when the space cadets release the monster, all hell breaks loose.

Roughly... You get the idea.

More reviews here on letterboxd:

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Raging Bull

Raging Bull is a film about a boxer who really, really likes steak. I mean, he really likes steak. He loves steak. He dreams about steak. He's obsessed with steak.

In fact, the film opens with a scene of Jake LaMotta (Robert De Niro) eating a steak. He eats it with such gusto, such passion, that you can't help but be drawn into the film.

From there, Raging Bull follows LaMotta's career as a boxer, from his early days as a rising star to his later years as a self-destructive wreck. But through it all, one thing remains constant: his love of steak.

LaMotta eats steak before fights, after fights, and even in the middle of fights. He eats steak when he's happy, when he's sad, and when he's angry. He eats steak for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

And that's what makes Raging Bull such a great film. It's a film about a man who is so passionate about something, even if that thing is just steak.

Of course, the film is more than just about steak. It's also about fame, self-destruction, and the dark side of human nature. But it's also a film about a man who loves steak more than anything in the world.

So if you're looking for a film that is both entertaining and thought-provoking, I highly recommend Raging Bull. But be warned: it may make you hungry for steak.

More reviews here on letterboxd:

Saturday, October 21, 2023

After Hours

After Hours is a film about a man who gets lost in SoHo and finds himself trapped in a nightmarish world of weirdos and lunatics. It's like a fever dream, but instead of waking up, the protagonist just keeps getting deeper and deeper into trouble.

Griffin Dunne is perfect as the hapless Paul Hackett. He's the kind of guy who always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. And in this film, that's really bad news.

The supporting cast is a who's who of 80s character actors, including Rosanna Arquette, Catherine O'Hara, Cheech Marin, and John Heard. They all give memorable performances, and their interactions with Paul are often hilarious.

After Hours is a dark comedy, but it's also suspenseful. Scorsese does a great job of creating a sense of dread and paranoia as Paul's night spirals out of control.

More reviews here on letterboxd:

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol is the fourth film in the franchise, and it's the one where Tom Cruise finally loses his mind.

The film opens with Hunt and his team breaking into the Kremlin to steal a nuclear launch code. Of course, things go wrong, and they're forced to flee to the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building.

Hunt then proceeds to scale the outside of the building without any safety gear. It's a truly impressive stunt, but it's also completely ridiculous.

The rest of the film is a blur of action sequences, all of which involve Cruise doing something incredibly dangerous. He jumps out of airplanes, fights off dozens of bad guys, and drives a car through the streets of Moscow at high speed.

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol is a fun movie. The action is exciting, the cast is good, and the film has a nice sense of humor.

Check out Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. Just don't expect it to make any sense.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Cop Land

Cop Land is a crime thriller film directed by James Mangold and written by Mangold and Michael Mann. It stars Sylvester Stallone as Freddy Heflin, the sheriff of a small New Jersey town that is home to many corrupt New York City police officers. When Freddy investigates the death of a fellow officer, he uncovers a web of corruption and must decide whether to stay silent or stand up for what is right.

The film is notable for its strong performances, particularly from Stallone, Robert De Niro, and Harvey Keitel. Stallone gives a career-best performance as Freddy Heflin, a complex and flawed character who is ultimately forced to make a difficult choice. De Niro is also excellent as Moe Tilden, an Internal Affairs officer who is determined to expose the corruption in Cop Land. Keitel is also strong as Ray Donlan, a corrupt police officer who is Freddy's childhood friend.

Cop Land is a well-made and suspenseful film that explores themes of corruption, loyalty, and the cost of standing up for what is right.

While the film was not a box office success, it has since been recognized as a cult classic and is praised for its strong performances, complex characters, and gritty realism.

More reviews here on letterboxd:

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Spirits of the Air • Gremlins of the Clouds

Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds (1989) is a low-budget Australian post-apocalyptic sci-fi adventure film directed by Alex Proyas in his feature debut. The film follows a brother and sister living in a desolate desert landscape who are visited by a mysterious stranger who helps them build a crude plane to escape.

The film is visually stunning, with Proyas creating a unique and atmospheric world using limited resources. The production design and special effects are particularly impressive, given the film's budget. The performances are also solid, with Michael Lake, Rhys Davis, and Norman Boyd delivering memorable turns.

Overall, Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds is a flawed but interesting film that is worth watching for its unique visuals and atmosphere. It is a clear precursor to Proyas' later and more successful films, such as The Crow and Dark City.

If you are a fan of low-budget sci-fi films with unique visuals and atmosphere, then you may enjoy Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds. However, if you are looking for a fast-paced or tightly plotted film, then you may be disappointed.

More reviews here on letterboxd:

Jeff Sexton

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