- Lost Hits of the New Wave
- The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast
- The Cape
- The Following
- Bionic Nostalgia
- True Blood
- Doctor Who
- The Flash
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Agent Carter
- Avengers Assemble
- Age of Ultron
- Legion of Super-Heroes
- Jessica Jones
- Young Justice
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Legends of Tomorrow
- Civil War II
- Luke Cage
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Sharknado ended, we all knew that Sharknado 2: The Second One was coming. What the real trick is is how SyFy was able to muster the same if not bigger flurry of hype as the original. Forget the live "Sound of Music" with Carrie Underwood, this is real event television.
It still has the same plot, a tornado made of sharks, only this time it hits New York City. Ian Ziering is our almost indestructible action hero versus an army of wind propelled sharks. It's madness as only The Asylum can deliver. From the opening that rifts on Airplane! (with Robert Hays!) and "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" the guest stars come fast and furious. It's almost as much fun figuring out who's who as it is to watch this campy cool classic.
1941, Army of Darkness, and Cloverfield. Most of all, written by Thunder Levin who wrote the original, the flick never loses its sense of humor about itself.
SyFy has fun with it as well, promoting live Tweeting of the movie, keeping a running body count, and when they could have saturated this with commercials made breaks swift and painless. Sharknado 3 is planned for next year with SyFy thinking it will be a yearly event, as long as it doesn't jump the shark, that is. This is mindless fun, jump in!
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
We learned new details about the upcoming season of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." including what role Lucy Lawless will play, and who the next big bad will be. Details are here at Biff Bam Pop!. On the "Agent Carter" front, Avengers fans will be pleased as Edwin Jarvis will be in the show, in his youthful prime, hopefully kicking ass and cleaning up. Sorry, butler joke, couldn't help it.
Other Marvel news included the official announcement the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel and animated series, an entertaining Avengers: Age of Ultron panel seen here, and a movie poster and details on the Ant-Man movie. Apparently we will have some kind of Wasp-ish character, and surprisingly, Yellowjacket, who's not Hank Pym, is the villain of the piece.
On the other side of the street at DC Comics, we finally got our first look at Wonder Woman from Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, for a full view, Biff Bam Pop! has it here. There was lots of TV news about "Constantine" and "Gotham," but the real stuff was all about Green Arrow and the Flash. Con goers got to see the pilot for the CW's "The Flash" which I reviewed here, and Ras Al Ghul was announced as the big bad on this season of "Arrow." And that's not even mentioning date night with Felicity or former movie Superman Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer. It's gonna be good.
Other news at the Comic-Con included Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah being in the Godzilla sequel, a King Kong prequel called Skull Island, and the trailer for the new season of "The Walking Dead." It was a good con, shame I missed it.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
My first thought when hearing del Toro was coming to the small screen was that TV would be too small for him. I was wrong. Downsizing the environment has only made the big horror that much more terrifying. The first two episodes have already aired and they were so tense and tight, I think in the future this might be a huge hit for binge watching. Each time the credits rolled, I wanted more.
I also have to give FX props for not structuring this series as an ongoing TV series, but as a close-ended story. For more on "The Strain," check out Biff Bam Pop!'s Marie Gilbert's reviews of the books here and here, and her recaps of episodes one and two. Check them out.
Monday, July 21, 2014
Sunday, July 20, 2014
The award-winning actor was one of the few who had successful careers in both film and television. He was in The Great Escape, The Americanization of Emily, Tank, The Children's Hour, Support Your Local Sheriff, and Murphy's Romance for which he was nominated for an Oscar, just to name a few.
My favorite roles of Garner's were both geeky and intellectual. I really dug that he played the wizard Shazam in a recent DC Comics animated feature, but my favorite flick of his, a great movie, and in my opinion, his best performance was in 36 Hours. Seek it out, it's worth it.
James Garner will be missed. We've lost another Hollywood legend, one of the good guys.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Ray Cornwall, that is also featured at Biff Bam Pop!, called The GAR! Podcast. It's a nerd exploration of a nerd world, completely unrehearsed, and we end up talking about anything under the sun, but usually it includes comics, wrestling, French fries, Prince, and "Breaking Bad."
But did you know I also do a podcast with The Bride as well? Every week we take on one or more topics dealing with one of our favorite obsessions - Disney! Sometimes we're talking about attractions at the parks, movies coming out, travel advice, or favorite characters. As long as it's Disney, it's fair game.
Recent episodes include topics like the American Idol Experience, Disney Villains, more villains, and Figment! You can find The Make Mine Magic Podcast here, and it's also on iTunes and Facebook. You can contact Jennifer on Twitter here, and me here. Enjoy, and Make Mine Magic!
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Ostensibly a Bill Murray vehicle, it stars the immediately post-Gremlins Zach Galligan as a young man, Adam, who returns to New York from Europe with dreams of becoming an artist. The trouble is that America has been through hard times and some things have changed. A transit strike has put the Port Authority in control of New York City in an almost fascist state. Artists are frowned upon and Adam is put to work at the Holland Tunnel for a wacky boss played by Dan Aykroyd.
This New York City is like a cross between Fellini Paris and Hell here, and in that way, the black and white is used to good effect, very German Expressionist, with just a touch of Val Lewton and David Lynch. The tour of the NY art scene is both surreal and far too real, imagine Andy Warhol in 1920s Germany, bizarre. There are many bits lifted from old movies that may have had something to do with its non-release, rights problems, perhaps?
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Friday, July 11, 2014
Also on tap for performances were the Animals, the Spencer Davis Group, the Nashville Teens, Peter and Gordon, Billie Davis, and Herman's Hermits, among others too obscure to mention. The whole shindig was emceed by the now notorious Jimmy Savile, deejay and then host of "Top of the Pops." Years later, after his death, hundreds of charges of child sexual abuse and rape would emerge, soiling his reputation for the ages.
Throw in some odd dance numbers, out of place crooner Matt Munro, and more newsreel footage of the Beatles, and that's the movie. Worth watching for nostalgia and some of the great bits mentioned above.
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Mad Writer Publishing. Zhäriya' Amani is a very talented tenth grader who has been writing for three years. She's been published in Stars in Our Heart: Symbols by Word Poetry Movement, and is a resident of Camden NJ. The book, Words in My Head, is a compilation of eighteen select pieces from the poet. Cover design by Kahlil Weston and Eric Jackson. It can be purchased at Amazon here.
A launch party for the book will be held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Camden NJ on Saturday, July 12th, from 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM. Come out and show your support! $10 for admission and food, $15 for admission, food, and an autographed book. There will be food, drinks, great music, raffles, special performances, a sneak-peak, and plenty of copies there to buy. Come out and meet this bright young talent!
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Here we have another example of a rocker trying to climb on board the New Wave sound and ride it to a top charting hit. Billy Squier was always a hard rocker, probably best known for his hit "The Stroke" with its unique use of certain synth drumbeats. In his day, he was a rock god, notably opening for both Queen and Pat Benatar for two of the greatest concerts of my high school days.
I first got into him with his early AOR hit "The Big Beat" (you might not know it, but trust me, if you're a hip hop fan, you've heard it sampled hundreds of times), and rode along happily when "The Stroke" carried through to two hit albums with a string of hits from each. He was even one of those artists savvy enough to record a holiday song so he'd get played at least once a year. Then came "Rock Me Tonite," and it was all over.
Previously Billy had done only performance videos, him and the band on stage rocking out, now he decided to make a more traditional -or as luck would have it- a more bizarre video, to go along with his more pop new wave sound. The video featured Billy dancing and prancing in a pink Flashdance shirt and sliding through silk sheets. His dance, his affectations, and his gestures could at best be described as 'flamboyant.'
Here, take a peek…
Billy Squier continues to record and to perform today, including a stint with Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band. He does a lot of blues, jazz, and charity work, and on occasion, he does still rock. Just don't rock him tonite…
Monday, July 07, 2014
Thunderstorm. Yeah, I know, I'm a masochist to watch this. This was pretty bad, it was no Thunderstorm, mind you, but pretty bad. It's about on par with the 1966 "Batman" TV series (without the humor or sensibility) crossed with the terrible Marvel movies of the 1970s. The problem? It's 2014. Pass.
Quick ~ At first glance, it's Speed, on a motorcycle, made in South Korea. Based on those three things, I thought this would just be derivative drivel, but I was sooo wrong. I was pleasantly surprised by the opening sequence that reminded me very much of the beginning of Akira. The terrific score only helped to pull me in. This fast furious and fun flick has a motorcycle messenger racing to destinations before the bomb in his helmet explodes, and it rocks.
World Without End ~ This 1956 scifi B-movie used footage and sets from 1951's Flight to Mars, and at first seems to be a precursor in plot and theme to both The Time Machine and Planet of the Apes (and its sequel Beneath… for that matter) but it soon falls apart into an uninteresting cross between a town meeting and a frontier western. Worth watching for the 1950s scifi nostalgia.
Thursday, July 03, 2014
Astronauts are on a Space Shuttle mission to repair the Hubble Telescope when debris from a destroyed Russian satellite scrag the mission and the shuttle. Untethered and lost, two of them, Kowalski (Clooney) and Stone (Bullock), try to get to the International Space Station after the debris hit. Only a preliminary knowledge of gravity and physics is needed to know how truly and totally screwed they are.
Kowalski is the voice of reason and experience in contrast to Stone's inexperience and panic. Their audio interaction when we really can't see facial expression is testament to these two actors' superior ability. These are two professionals, two artists in the field. Once separated, with only Clooney's voice, he proves what real acting is. Bullock substantially carries the film solo after that. No Oscars, Academy? Really?
I dug Gravity a lot. Despite its space trappings and apparent scientific inaccuracies, it explores the truly horrific themes of loneliness and helplessness in a very real way. Highly recommended.