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Friday, October 31, 2008

More Halloween Quickies


The Little Girl who Lives Down the Lane ~ This is one of my favorite movie-of-the-week-style suspense thrillers from the 1970s. Very straightforward, only a few characters to worry about – heck it could be a stage play easily, and most importantly, it’s scary without being bloody or gory. Are you paying attention, Eli Roth? These things do not go hand in hand. Now I may have gone a bit hard on Jodie Foster earlier this month, but I really do like her. She is a talent powerhouse and here she shows just how good she was even at a young age. Also showing his superior acting chops is Martin Sheen, always a favorite of mine (pre-“West Wing” at least). He is the epitome of the creepy pedophile in this flick. Excellent fodder for a popcorn-filled Halloween Friday night.

The Batman Vs. Dracula ~ I was kinda put off by “The Batman” animated series when it began with its manga design, obsession with the telling of the early stories and its changes for the sake of change. This made-for-DVD movie pitting this new animated version of Batman against the real prince of darkness turned my head and got my attention. In my opinion, this movie was also the turning point for the TV series as well. Dracula is a real vital threat outside the safe constraints of ‘children’s programming’ and the creators take full advantage of it. This is a rare Halloween treat for genre and non-genre fans alike.


Invisible Enemies ~ This is what I get for stopping on one of the Christian broadcasting stations in the middle of the night. Actually this mini-movie with a lesson is pretty good. Like a “Twilight Zone” episode crossed with They Live with heavy evangelistic overtones poured on top, this is the tale of a young man who finds a pair of magical glasses that allow him to see demons in our world. As good as it could be to teach a lesson, and still hold your attention.

Kongo ~ This entry from 1932 is a talkie remake of the classic Tod Browning flick West of Zanzibar. It’s okay but it lacks the power of the original. Walter Huston is good, but he’s no Lon Chaney. But then again, no one is, and few approach him.

The Films of Harry Houdini


What better time to talk about master magician Harry Houdini than Halloween? It's actually eighty-two years ago to the day when he died.

Many folks know of Houdini's career as a magician, illusionist, escape artist and debunker of spiritualists, but did you know he was also a movie star? Yep, in the 1920s, Houdini embarked upon a career as a silent action star.

While he had appeared in some of the earliest films ever made in France performing parts of his act, his first real foray into Hollywood was the 15-part movie serial The Master Mystery in 1919. The cliffhanger format of the serial suited Houdini's skills to perfection as each episode ended with his character, the appropriately named secret agent Quentin Locke, in predicament after predicament that needed a 'magical' escape from.

Other films followed, including The Grim Game, notorious for its real life collision of two bi-planes 4000 feet in the air, and The Man from Beyond, about a man revived after a hundred years of being frozen in the Arctic. There was also Terror Island and Haldane of the Secret Service.

While none of these four were movie serials, they were rife with the cliffhanger formula allowing Houdini to do his thing. But that was part of the problem. On the screen audiences could not be sure whether the stunts were real or just Hollywood trickery. And the fact that Houdini was not the best dramatic actor around certainly didn't help the situation. So while the films were quite successful, these factors helped him decide, along with the fact he could make more money live on stage, that Hollywood was not for him.

These films, being made back in the 1920s, in an ever-growing age where more and more movies are considered lost, are not intact for us to see, but what remains has been restored and put into a DVD collection called Houdini - The Movie Star.

As complete as possible, restored here are Haldane, Terror Island and Master Mystery. Also included are intensive notes, clips and information about the other films as well as much about Houdini's life in Hollywood. You can see footage of the bi-planes from Grim Game, as well as actual escapes from his act. This is an excellent collection for any fans of Houdini or film in general. Recommended.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Who Is the Phantom Stranger?




Another darn fine blog from Rob Kelly, this one about The Phantom Stranger, is coming your way on October 31st. Check it out here.

Halloween Quickies


Premonition ~ When I heard the plot to this one, I thought that surely Sandra Bollock must have lost her mind – another freaky anti-logical time travel story? With the bad headache of The Lake House fresh in my mind I tentatively watched this one, and was pleasantly surprised. While traveling backwards and forwards in time, a young housewife and mother attempts to right her life which has become a tragedy. This is a smart thriller and worth seeing.

Mystery of the Wax Museum ~ Fay Wray is just a delight as fast-talking spunky reporter Charlotte Duncan in this two-strip Technicolor horror classic from 1933. Lots of fun and spookier than any of its rip-offs and remakes. This is the real deal.

Angel Heart ~ This flick made quite a bit of press when it came out because of the nude scenes featuring Lisa Bonet, at the time a co-star of the top ten “The Cosby Show.” If memory serves, it lost her the gig. Beyond that, we have Mickey Rourke, back when he could act and wasn’t quite so sleazy – pre-Barfly in other words, along with a phoned-in performance from Robert DeNiro in a film written and directed by Alan Parker. The trick to enjoying this movie is to not pay too much attention. If you do pay attention, it becomes predictable and very transparent, and it’s a long way to the end. Worth seeing once, but that’s about it.

The Happening ~ I’m a huge M. Night Shyamalan fan, but this 2008 film is nothing but a disappointment. I still think he’s one of the best writer/directors working in the business, just he maybe got lazy or perhaps was knocked in the head or something. The Happening, while showing off M. Night’s direction and cinematic skills, is nothing but a derivative rip-off/homage of Hitchcock’s The Birds only with plants enraged at man rather than our feather friends. The similarities are shockingly unoriginal and I have to admit I’ve lost more than a bit of respect for M. Night. He’s better than this, or at least I thought he was.

Near Dark ~ A very young Adrian Pasdar, Nathan Petrelli from “Heroes,” is the naïve lead in this 1987 vampire flick written and directed by Kathryn Bigelow – the woman behind Blue Steel, a film solidly in my bottom ten. Near Dark must have been quite innovative when it came out, but now it feels dated, and yes, a bit cliché.

Superman Vs. Raiden??



Above are preview scenes from the new Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe video game due out in November, available for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

I'm always intrigued by crossovers of any sort, but shouldn't they at least follow some sort of logic? Shouldn't Superman, Green Lantern and Captain Marvel be able to take any (or all) of those MK guys? And heaven forbid, superheroes should not have 'kill moves.'

Yeah, it might look cool, but count me out on this one.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Boo Who



For real this time, not a Sun rumour, David Tennant is leaving his role as The Doctor.

Tennant, the second Doctor of BBC's new "Doctor Who" series, brought the intensity and reality for folks new to the TARDIS while bringing the quirky fun and eccentricity that made the original version so cool for classic fans.

We'll still have him in the role for four movie-length specials throughout the year as well as in the annual Christmas special at the close of 2009, titled "The Next Doctor." Three guesses what that one will be about, and the first two don't count.

We'll miss you, David.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

High School Musical 3



High School Musical 3: Senior Year ~ What needs to be understood is that HSM is not just a movie, it’s a phenomenon. The theatre that we saw this in is one where I have never seen anyone younger than their twenties in attendance. The lobby and parking lot was packed. I had never seen so many folks there before, ever. And they were all under twenty.

Further evidence would be the origins of this flick – it was intended as a made-for-TV movie for the Disney Channel, and its just as popular sequel was made for straight-to-DVD, now, number three is the number one opener for this weekend’s box office. Thus is the power of HSM.

Yes, we know that Zac Efron has irresistible baby blues but that doesn’t mean he gets to look directly I to the camera whenever possible. Unlike the original, I found Vanessa Anne Hudgens about as charismatic as toast. She really didn’t want to be there for whatever reason. Ashley Tisdale makes every scene she’s in hers and hers alone. Her portrayal as Sharpay is a scene-devouring monster and it’s a delight. There should have been more. Lucas Grabeel is fun and also shines, but not as brightly as previously. The underclassmen are played simply for laughs – I certainly hope the powers that be don’t expect them to carry the franchise if it continues.

The finale, featuring songs from not only this flick but its predecessors, is a high point, but the real tour de force is “The Boys Are Back,” a song that is one of the only ones to showcase Corbin Bleu. He and Efron dance up a storm in a junkyard using moves reminiscent of the King of Pop in his heyday. Great sequence, really.



The biggest secret of HSM, and especially Senior Year, is that it’s actually good, and not just for kids. Yes, it’s a bit simplistic, and predictable, and suffers from the same faulty logic all musicals do – but it is very entertaining for kids of all ages. Recommended.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Coming Very Soon



Written and directed by one of my favorite folks on the planet, Kevin Smith, has been getting a bit of bad press. Apparently there are theatres that won’t put the title on the marquee because of the word, ‘porno.’ Wow. Aren’t you glad we all live in the oh-so-enlightened 21st century? Sarcasm mode off. Screw it, it’s Kevin Smith, I’m seeing it. He hasn’t let me down yet… even with his forever late Spider-Man and the Black Cat



2006’s Casino Royale was a fantastic action flick, and a serious return and restart for the James Bond franchise. If I had one nitpick about it, it would be that it was missing the wit and wry sense of humor the Bond films had developed over the years. While it’s true it wasn’t something that was a major part of Ian Fleming’s books, it was sorely missing in that film. I’m guessing that it will definitely be gone in this second installment, Quantum of Solace, a Fleming story in name only, with James out for revenge. So very unBond-like.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Too Much Free Time?



Really, Bill? Come on, man, George's wedding was more than a few months ago. Why are you still fuming? Priceline and "Boston Legal" not keeping you busy enough?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dolemite Dies


The 'Disco Godfather' Rudy Ray Moore passed away from complications from diabetes this week.

He was one of the icons of the blaxploitation film genre as Dolemite, a black protagonist who was sort of a streetwise hustler of questionable yet good intentions. This was a role Moore returned to several times over the years starting with The Human Tornado. The character of Dolemite experienced something of a revival in recent years with Aries Spears portraying 'the son of Dolemite' on "MadTV." Rumor has it there is a Rudy Ray Moore Dolemite film yet to be released, as well as a remake in the works possibly starring Snoop Dogg in the title role.

The original Dolemite trailer is below. Not for the kids, nor is it work-safe. View at your own risk.



Rudy Ray Moore, over and beyond his legendary status as an actor, action hero and black film icon, was also a writer, stand-up comedian, rapper, musician and producer. The man will be missed.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bunnies and Book Burning

"If I can't have you, no one can."

How many times have we heard that sentence in those thrillers where some borderline psychotic can't have the person they love, who has refused to return that love? It's usually followed by some psychotic behavior. It's an example of extortion, and it doesn't just relate to love. It could also involve terrorism.

"If you don't believe as we believe, we'll kill thousands of innocent people."

A bit extreme, but it's in the same ball park. And then we have the case of Taffey Anderson, an Oregon parent who wants to burn books. Just like the Nazis did.

The book in question is "The Book of Bunny Suicides" by cartoonist (and television writer) Andy Riley. Incorrectly referred to as a graphic novel by the media (but when do they get anything right, or check their facts for that matter), it's a cartoon book of black humor about bunnies who want to end their lives. It's really no more harmful than anything by Gary Larson or Gahan Wilson, just tasteless is all, and depending on your sense of humor - hilarious. I think it's hilarious. But again, humor is like taste, everyone's is different.


Taffey Anderson doesn't have a sense of humor when it comes to the book however. She contends that "This book has absolutely no curriculum value to anybody." That point might be arguable. The book was purchased by her son's high school library as part of a program to encourage reluctant readers. But of course, this is America, and I'm sure there are many folks who don't want people to read. It makes them smarter, and a smart citizen is a smart voter... but that's a whole 'nother bag o' rats.

I would say personally that the curriculum value of "The Book of Bunny Suicides" is quite clear. It's about censorship and protecting the First Amendment.

Keep burning those books, Taffey. I'm sure Adolf Hitler would be proud.

Negadon

Negadon: The Monster from Mars ~ Also known as Wakusei Daikaijû Negadon, this is a loving homage to the great Japanese giant monster movies of the 1960s and 70s. Writer/director Jun Awazu utilizes computer models and animation to construct this kaiju eiga for the 21st century.



At just under a half-hour we get the full story of an anguished scientist, the terraforming of Mars, a giant monster destroying a city and the giant robot that saves the day. All the elements are there, done in wonderful detail. Well worth seeing for not only fans of the genre but anyone interested in special effects or computer animation. Excellent.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Best and Worst Dressed...?



Mr. Blackwell, a leading authority on fashion and a king of snark, who compiled the most quirky cool best and worst dressed lists for celebrities, passed away yesterday. The man's eye for fashion and way with words will be sorely missed.

Latitude Zero

Latitude Zero ~ The winning Toho combination of director Inoshiro Honda, composer Akira Ifukube and special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya made this scifi flick in 1969 for a million dollars. Besides Japanese superstar Akira Takarada (47 Ronin, Mothra Vs. Godzilla, Monster Zero and the original Godzilla just to name a few), this one also has, believe it or not, Joseph Cotton and Caesar Romero. This camp movie serial adventure, also known as Ido Zero Daisakusen featuring utopian underwater cities, super-submarines and even a monster or two is fun for the whole family with some amazing special effects for the time. Recommended.



It’s not in German (or Japanese for that matter), but the above trailer is.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Brave One


The Brave One ~ Revenge is always a vital plot for movies and in other media as well. From Batman to The Crow to Death Wish (all have elements borrowed for this flick), it grabs your attention and hints at the monster inside of all of us.

Jodie Foster grabs it here with a vicious, if preachy, intensity. After she is brutally beaten and her fiancée murdered, radio talk show host Erica Bain (Foster) goes vigilante – part Batman and part Bernie Getz she stalks the streets looking for payback. Terrence Howard, Rhodey from the first Iron Man movie, is very good as her love interest/detective friend.

The dialogue gets a bit silly in the quiet times but all in all a good flick – up until the last five minutes. And I’m surprised that Foster even let this happen. I really dislike movies where two hours are spent building a strong female protagonist only to have her saved at the last moment by the male lead. After all she’s just a woman. Sheesh! Where are we, in the 1950s?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Eminem's Relapse

Yesterday Eminem announced the details of his new album "Relapse" scheduled to drop sometime in early December. After a considerable break, he has re-emerged with an interestingly different sound. Time will tell if it hits or sells.

As with most of Eminem's material, the video presentation below is not for the kiddies nor work-safe.

Levi Stubbs RIP



Legendary Motown performer Levi Stubbs, former lead singer of the Four Tops, passed away earlier today. He'll be missed.

Cannibal Holocaust


Cannibal Holocaust ~ One of the most infamous films of all time. Four filmmakers take a journey to the ‘Green Inferno’ deep in the Amazon rain forest… their footage survives but they don’t. Sound familiar? That’s right, and it predates The Blair Witch Project by more than two decades. So much for originality.

There’s an amateurish quality to this Italian film, and I’m not sure if it’s on purpose. Whether it’s bad acting or just bad dubbing, there are still segments that are unwatchable, and not at all for the reasons you’re thinking of. And then there are the scenes that the movie is known for, also unwatchable, but for a completely different reason.

As a rescue team sets off in search of the filmmakers we learn of the mysterious natives of the Green Inferno. At times it’s part mock National Geographic documentary and equally gross-out slasher flick. When it tries to be reality television, of course decades before what we now know as the genre, it fails badly.

The side story here is of the professor, who finds the footage, fighting not to have it shown publicly is almost ludicrous in comparison to the rest of the flick. We know we’re going to see the footage, and we know it’s going to be horrific, why fight it?

As with any good horror film, the bad guys get what they deserve. This can only be recommended, if at all, as a curiosity, and definitely not for the squeamish or weak of heart. Just a side note, PETA would absolutely love this flick.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Edie Adams 1927-2008


Probably best known as the Muriel cigar lady and Ernie Kovacs' widow, television queen and Tony Award-winning actress Edie Adams has passed away.

She also gained fame bringing Daisy Mae to life in the Broadway musical production of "Li'l Abner," based on Al Capp's classic comic strip.

She appeared in dozens of television series up until a few years ago and also worked in film in the likes of Evil Roy Slade, The Honey Pot and even The Oscar.


New Crew, Same as the Old Crew


...almost.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Neal Hefti RIP




Composer Neal Hefti has passed away. Among his work were the scores to two of my faves, How to Murder Your Wife and Boeing Boeing, as well as Barefoot in the Park and of course the TV themes to "The Odd Couple" and "Batman."



“He told me he tore up more paper on 'Batman' than on any other work he ever did,” his son Paul told the New York Times. “He had to find something that worked with the lowest common denominator, so it would appeal to kids, yet wouldn’t sound stupid. What he came up with was a 12-bar blues with a guitar hook and one word.” It's a hook that will never be forgotten. This great composer will be missed.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Dumpstas Are Baaack!


After the summer break, folks have two chances to catch the Dumpsta Players -

Sunday October 12th at Outfest and Wednesday October 15th at Fluid!

DJ K-Tell & The Dumpsta Players present:
“LAST HOUSE ON THE RIGHT”
Wednesday, October 15th
10PM Doors & DJ Robert Drake (Sex Dwarf & WXPN)
11PM showtime -- sharp!
@ Fluid*
613 S 4th Street
Philadelphia, PA

Info: (215) 629-3686
$1.99 cover

http://www.dumpstaplayers.org/
http://www.fluidnightclub.com/

Please note: This show will not be held at the Dumpstas’ usual venue, Bob & Barbara's. When they re-open their second room, the Dumpsta Players will be happy to return there.

C*ntaleeza Rice vs. Siouxsie Sioux!
Rev. Allawaysus Wright vs. Dr. Mendrakis!
Alaskan "Barracuda" Hockey Mom and V.P. Nom Sadley Playin!

Have you ever noticed a big old house, up the street, on a hill and overgrown with weeds? Legend says creepy things happen there... People disappear and are never heard from again. Most people say it isn't true, but doesn't even a part of you wonder what really goes on?

It's 2008, and the Presidential Election is upon us! Can't think of a better way to celebrate the Halloween season then a trounce through the frightening houses of Right Wing America! War takes the front stage, as does poverty, racism and misogyny! Still not sold? How bout other scary things such as materialism and religious fanaticism?

Join The Dumpstas as we present Republican't puppet Cuntaleeza Rice, fire and brimstone preacher Rev. Allawaysus Wright, dour Goth kid Wrongly Accused, and a war spectacular with thousands of innocent lives taken! Play hockey with Pageant Queen and Hockey Mom Sadley Playin! Carve the Jack-O-Lantern, Trick Or Treat but never step to tha ... Last House On The Right!


The Dumpsta Players are a bi-monthly themed interactive improvisational theatre experience that parodies society's joys and ills in an irreverent and over-the-top style. Dumpsta was chosen as a name because the company recycles costumes, actors, characters, and comic bits month after month. Dumpsta also brings to mind the trashy nature of our performing -- drag queens, genderf*ck, and all walks of life come together and express joy, rage and general chaos through live mic and lip-synched sketches every other month!

Catch the old Dumpsta Players shows on DUTV (Channel 54, or 62, for Comcast subscribers) Thursdays at 11PM!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Attention Aussies! :-)

Here’s the quote, no, strike that, the entire paragraph from my review of NBC’s “Kath and Kim”:

”Surprisingly this is an American version of one of Australia’s most popular sitcoms. Now, either Australian television viewers have shockingly lower IQs than Americans, or NBC butchered this adaptation. Judging from the few Aussies I know, I would have to go for the second option. Way to go, NBC, now when are you bringing back “Manimal” and “Supertrain?””

Please understand first that this was a review of the absolutely dreadful American version of “Kath and Kim,” and understand second that this was not a comment on the IQs of Australians, but a comment on what idiots the folks at NBC are. And yes, I freely admit I’m more scared of Aussies than I am of bloodsucking network executives, who I think it has been proven, do in fact have smaller IQs than the rest of us. The American “Kath and Kim” would be proof of that I think.

It should be further noted that I have never seen the original, Australian, version of “Kath & Kim,” so I can’t comment on how good (or bad) it is. I believe I only said it was a “popular sitcom” – something I doubt you can fault me on. Honestly I can’t wait to see, and review, the original.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

DVD Shopping


This past Tuesday I made the trek to the local Best Buy, which is no longer a very good place to buy DVDs because a few years back they drastically reduced their selection, which previously had been amazing. But the store was adequate for what I was after. I wanted the new Iron Man double-disc set that came out that day and Speed Racer from the week before.

Unfortunately, Speed Racer will lose almost 90% of its cool on the small screen. I'm so glad I got to see it in IMAX. And of course, Iron Man is the best superhero movie of the year, if not the decade, and one of the best movies period of this year. Dark Knight? What's that?

The prize of this shopping expedition however was the three-disc special edition of The Maltese Falcon. What makes it so great, and made me buy it immediately was the fact that it not only included a "Warner Night at the Movies" (much like the one I described in my review of Black Legion), three radio adaptations and a new documentary about the film but also - the original two versions of the film, Dangerous Female and Satan Met a Lady. Love it, love it. Too cool.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Chat with Mighty Avengers Writer Dan Slott


CHAT WITH WRITER DAN SLOTT

WHO:
Dan Slott, writer of Avengers: The Initiative, She-Hulk, Amazing Spider-Man and the soon-to-be writer of Mighty Avengers

WHERE:
Avengers Forever Chat Room
http://www.avengersforever.org/chat/

WHEN:
Saturday, October 4, 2008

US Eastern Standard Time: 10:30 AM
US Central Standard Time: 9:30 AM
US Mountain Standard Time: 8:30 AM
US Pacific Standard Time: 7:30 AM

HOW:
The chat session will be in an organized format where in the first 30 minutes or so Dan will be interviewed/asked questions by the chat room host, which will then be followed by questions from the chat room so that you folks can ask him questions directly, one on one.

Hope to see you there!

October Film Reviews


Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem ~ Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman, King Kong Vs. Godzilla, Freddy Vs. Jason, and even this movie’s predecessor – the monster team-up/fight is a staple of cinema horror fantasy, heck, Godzilla has even made a career of it. This type of event movie is almost a surefire hit, especially considering the combination of two blockbuster franchises like Alien and Predator. This sequel just goes to show it can miss, and miss bad. The special effects and built-in audience are already there, all that is needed is a good story and good characters – and that is where AVP: R fails. When the monsters are introduced before any human characters a precedent is set; the human cast is made secondary. And that secondary cast, rather than a strong team of adventure templates like in the first AVP, is typical slasher flick fodder, and that’s just not how it should be done with this specific facet of the genre. Even when this flick attempts to be what it should it fails in the attempt. As promising as it could have been, don’t bother with this one.

Swing Vote ~ What could have been a clever political satire or a touching father/daughter drama ends up simply being yet another preachy whiny Kevin Costner flick. Sigh. It has its moments, but wait for free TV for this one.

Black Legion ~ Infamously known as Humphrey Bogart vs. the Ku Klux Klan, this underrated flick is a period piece that’s very telling of the era in which it was made. Bogie is excellent as the anti-hero Frank Taylor in this one that got an Oscar nom for veteran screenwriter Robert Lord. The best part of this DVD package however is the inclusion of a full afternoon at the movies – trailers, a newsreel, a cartoon, and the main feature. Great stuff.

Zombie Honeymoon ~ All things considered, not all that bad for a Z-grade zombie flick. It has its unintentionally funny moments, which are much better than the scripted ones. And it seems to me that a lot of the trouble in this flick could have been avoided had the zombie husband not been such a sloppy eater.

The Proud Family Movie ~ I’ve never seen “The Proud Family” TV series, so this was my first exposure and I have to say I was impressed. Yes, it did take a bit for me to get my mind right with an evil Dr. Washington Carver and cloned-from-peanuts super-soldiers, but I made it through. It’s actually quite a bit of fun, and the soundtrack’s not bad either.

National Treasure: Book of Secrets ~ The only thing worse than conspiracy theories are conspiracy theories that don’t make sense. The Lincoln conspiracy equals Mount Rushmore equals the lost city of gold? Riiight. While it tries very hard to be clever it’s just as predictable as it is improbable. It’s also about an hour too long. Some shining moments but on the whole, so not worth it.

The Affair ~ This early Spelling/Goldberg television production from 1973 is proof positive that even an amazing cast – in this case, real life married couple Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood, along with Bruce Davison – can’t save a bad script with inept direction. The possibly adlibbed, music-less scenes between Wagner and Wood are almost unbearable, as was her singing voice. Avoid this like the plague.

A Final Adventure




On September 27th, the Adventurers Club on Pleasure Island (along with the rest of the island) at Walt Disney World, Orlando, closed. It was truly the end of an era. In my humble opinion, the Adventurers Club, an interactive theatre experience for Disney’s adult guests, was one of the best attractions and the highlight of any visit to the resort. That unfortunately ended a week ago.


The Bride and I got the opportunity for a final visit to the Club on our last trip to Disney. We got to the Club on Saturday the 13th, and it was packed, wall-to-wall people also there for a last chance to visit and interact with the Adventurers. It should be noted, both here and by the powers that be at Disney that have closed this club, that there was standing room only, and that every one of those people paid a highly unreasonable price (about thirty bucks) just to get in the door. If anything, that should tell them how much the AC is loved and cherished by those who were hip to its existence.


We managed to see three of the library shows that night. I’m so glad we got one last chance to join in on the fun. It was so worth it. And the attitude of the actors was upbeat. To quote Club President Pamilia Perkins, “We’re not sad it’s over, we’re happy it happened.”


Please, Disney, rethink this decision, and please reopen the Adventurers Club at another location. It’s one of the best things about any trip to your parks.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Colbert '08


Politics this election season are permeating every aspect of society, especially lately, the world of comics.

There have been comics featuring Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton and John McCain. Todd McFarlane's Savage Dragon endorsed Obama, as have a group of politically active comics creators called Comics Industry for Obama. But that's just the tip of the iceberg, just wait 'til you see what Marvel Comics is doing.

In the fictional Marvel Universe, Stephen Colbert, of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," is actually running for president. In a running gag running in the background of many Marvel Comics, you can see his presidential campaign and find the details here. Colbert even weighs in on problems that could only affect a world with super-heroes, like the alien Skrull invasion.

Stephen Colbert makes his first full Marvel Comics appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #573, featuring the special variant cover shown here. Hmmm... I wonder who Spidey's voting for?