- 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
Friday, June 27, 2014
Over and above the wonderful Beatles soundtrack, it's really quite a good film. Director Richard Lester allows the individual Beatles' personality shine through past the script of Alun Owen, and the charisma of the boys overpowers easily. The film supposedly depicts a day in the life of the Beatles, and feels very unscripted despite the facts. The charm of the boys, along with the music, rules the screen.
And don't forget, if you'd like to see this one on the big screen, this summer it will be re-released to theaters to celebrate its fiftieth anniversary. Bring a date!
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
One of the world's greatest character actors, Wallach easily stole the movies he appeared in. What would The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly be without him? Or The Magnificent Seven, or The Misfits. He was even good in The Godfather Part III.
All wonderful unique roles, but Wallach always commented he got more fan mail for his portrayal of Mister Freeze on the 1966 "Batman" TV series than anything else he had done.
We have truly lost a legend, and the stage and screen will be much sadder and far more empty for it. Rest in peace, Tuco.
Monday, June 23, 2014
This Is The End uses that logic in its own favor by having its stars - Seth Rogan, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, etc. - play themselves. Well, it's themselves as pot smoking partying losers, which may or may not be the truth, but at least you know who is who. As someone who stopped 'partying' quite some time ago, it made me think of most of these actors in a lesser light, fiction or not. Now get off my lawn.
Anyway, the pothead slob comedy brigade are at a party at James Franco's house when apparently The Rapture happens, followed by an apparent Hell on Earth. It vacillates between end of days satire and Exorcist parody and succeeds in neither. The movie tries really hard to be funny, but unlike old Cheech and Chong, which is funny whether you're high or not, I imagine only stoners would find this flick hilarious.
Friday, June 20, 2014
Literally, the penny dreadfuls were internet rumors like the Slender Man gone mad, but in cheap paper form. If Snopes were around then, charging per click, they'd be rich. The penny dreadfuls were the soaps, the internet, and the bedtime boogieman cautionary tales of the Victorian age, and the precursors of the American dime novels and pulps.
The spirit of the original penny dreadfuls is alive and well in the Showtime series as it tries to blend various Gothic tales of horror into one web of continuity a la Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Among those in for weaving are Shelley's "Frankenstein," Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and the one that ties them together, Stoker's "Dracula." All are public domain, and easily manipulated into a new tapestry. I was a bit surprised that Stevenson's "Hyde" was not pulled into the mix, but perhaps that's a tidbit for the second season coming in 2015.
"Penny Dreadful" is the creation of screenwriter John Logan, who has penned as many of my favorite recent films as well as some I'm not so fond of. A select few include The Last Samurai, Gladiator, Skyfall (as well as the next two James Bond films), the ill-conceived Tim Burton nightmare version of Sweeney Todd, and the absolutely wonderful RKO 281. He is definitely a get for Showtime, as is executive producer Sam Mendes, who Logan met on Skyfall.
His servant and confidant is sadly the stereotypical 'magical Negro,' but I like him. Sembene, played by Danny Sapani of UK's "Misfits," possesses a certain second sight and reminds me of a cross between Mandrake's Lothar and Nonso Anozie's Renfield from NBC's failed TV steampunk version of "Dracula."
Ives brings in American gunslinger Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett, one of my favorite actors, especially in Bunraku) as firepower in Malcolm quest. Fleeing the US and riding with a Wild West show, he seems to have his share of secrets as well, the least of which are his drunken blackouts, and viewers' suspicion that he may be the Ripper menacing London behind the scenes of the show's main monsters.
Gray is after any new experience he can find, including bedding half the cast, including Brona Croft, the prostitute dying of consumption who has hooked up with Ethan. It seems as though she may also be the target for the Frankenstein monster's mate sooner or later. Just as Carney is trying to break genre typecasting, Brona is played by Billie Piper, everyone's favorite "Doctor Who" companion, Rose Tyler. I find her forced accent here annoying, but I guess she's still trying to shake off that whole Defender of the Universe thing.
Nosferatu visual department, which when you go by the book is actually on mark. There are some wonderful homages and nods to the Stoker book, like the plague ship, and the way the flashback episode was done in an epistle, but by no means think this goes strictly by the book. The sudden and surprising death of David Warner's Van Helsing should cure you of that right quick.
Marie Gilbert's weekly impressions of the show over at Biff Bam Pop! for another view. You should check it out, "Penny Dreadful" is not for the squeamish or the prudish (lots of sex, violence, and gore), but it is some of the best television going on right now.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Sandler's character's occupation makes for many amusing sight gags. That and Aniston's kids are the funniest parts of the movie, lots of comedic talent here. The soundtrack, composed of more than a few 1980s Police songs and mashups, is also fun. It's just too bad that the actual soundtrack (at least as far as I can find) doesn't have any of the mashups.
The really bad part, other than it being a Adam Sandler movie (and quite honestly, he's not so bad in this), is that he and Jennifer Aniston have zero chemistry together. They try, they're desperate, but it never happens. And it's not the fault of the script, the dialogue would have worked with two other actors.
Just Go With It is a nice distraction if there's nothing else on. It's not great, but it's not horrible either, heh, just go with it.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
As a kid I knew his voice from Saturday morning cartoons - Casey was Robin, Alexander, and Shaggy, just to name the biggies. When I got older, and was obsessed with music and charts, I was a hardcore fan of "America's Top 40."
Let's not remember the shame of his last few years and his family who seem even crazier by the minute, but let's remember the man who told us to 'keep our feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.' Casey Kasem will be missed.
Sunday, June 15, 2014
This chat will cover any and all Avengers comics as well as related titles, even the "Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes" animated series and the Marvel Comics Cinematic Universe.
COMICS: Avengers, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America Hawkeye, Black Widow, etc.
MOVIES: Avengers, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Ant-Man, etc.
TV: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Cage, Iron Fist, Daredevil, etc.
ANIMATION: Avengers, Iron Man, Hulk, Black Widow, etc.
When Sunday, June 15th
1st round - 8:00 PM EST
2nd round - 10:00 PM EST
Where Avengers International Chat Room http://avengersinternational.weebly.com/awr-chat-room.html
- Click on your random name to change it and select an avatar.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
The story itself is dark and surreal. A man on vacation in WDW gets a phone call from his boss that he's been laid off. Perhaps from worry and perhaps from drinking or 'cat flu,' he begins to hallucinate. As he crosses paths with other tourists he begins to think they know him or are in on some kind of conspiracy. As he begins to act on his paranoia, the hallucinations get progressively worse.
Escape from Tomorrow isn't all that bad, but it's not that good either. There are as many flaws as there are flashes of brilliance. It might have made a good half-hour "Twilight Zone" episode back in the day, or maybe a better "Outer Limits." For Disney fans however, it might be considered an attack or at best a conversation piece.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley ~ I know I must have seen her or heard her at some point, growing up in the late 1960s and 1970s, but the truth is I didn't really become aware of Moms Mabley until I was in college.
At the Community Center where the radio station was at Camden County College there was a very large but friendly security guard named Don. He was a good guy, but understand me, he did not need his uniform to intimidate someone. Don could have made an excellent living as a bodyguard or a professional wrestler. As far as the Center went, and the radio station, being a security guard, he came and went as he pleased.
I came in for a radio shift one night and found Don in the production studio laughing heartily at a record he was playing in there. He'd found it in the record library and had to hear it, rushing right in there to put it on the turntable. It was Moms Mabley, specifically Moms Mabley Live at Sing Sing, and Don told me as we listened for a bit that she was the funniest woman in the world.
I believed him. She was damned funny, and more than that, she was real - she was telling it like it is. As for Don, I had never heard a man laugh so hard and happily before, and rarely since. That was my introduction to Moms Mabley.
Despite (or some might say because of) her race, her age, and her sexuality, Moms Mabley made her way in a world against her, breaking down barriers that barred many in her time. She did it with humor and truth, a role model and inspiration for us all.
If I had any complaint about this doc, it's that it needed more footage and/or recordings of Moms. I'm going to go find some now, you should to, whether you see this terrific documentary or not. Recommended.
Friday, June 06, 2014
"Chopped" has four chefs preparing three meals from three mystery baskets of ingredients. It’s a competition that eliminates one contestant every round until there is a winner of a cash prize. I love it, it’s challenging, it's creative, and most of all it's fun. And yes, I know that "Chopped" itself is sort of a derivation of "Iron Chef" and that it has spun off a Canadian version. Those are okay, it's the other shows I'm talking about.
Thursday, June 05, 2014
Marie Gilbert is a dear friend, and one of the most beloved members of the South Jersey Writers' Group. She has been instrumental in the birth and maintenance of the South Jersey Writers' Group Blog, as well as being one of the biggest boosters and sellers of the SJWG anthology Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey, in which her craft is also featured.
You've also seen her work at Biff Bam Pop! every week. There the Steampunk Granny regularly reviews cool stuff like episode by episode recaps of "The Walking Dead," "Bates Motel," "True Blood," and "Orphan Black" among others.
Marie also writes for Go Jane News, her interviews and ghost investigations are top notch, and has aided me in several blog tours. Her enthusiasm is contagious and she is an inspiration to us all. Marie rocks, and we love her, but now we have an extra special reason to be proud of our Steampunk Granny - she's now a published novelist.
Let me tell you all about Roof Oasis. Marie Gilbert's first novel is the tale of twins Michael and Lucy caught in a world devastated by bio-warfare that has inadvertently created zombies. As the hordes of the seemingly undead close in, the twins find that their only salvation may lie within a Victorian mirror hidden in the attic of their family home. You can read more about the novel here.
Roof Oasis: An Apocalyptic Tale (Volume 1), by Marie Gilbert, is available as a paperback from Amazon here and also on Kindle. The cover design and illustration is by friend and fellow SJWG member Shelley Szajner. Details about the upcoming book release party in June can be found here. Check out this great new novel by this terrific author.
Wednesday, June 04, 2014
In the over the top 1995 movie based on the show, Alice was simply the comic relief, hysterical and absurd, but Ann B. Davis (not playing Alice this time in a guest role) was the heart, and more than the heart, the voice of reason in the end. For everyone who grew up on the show, and didn't laugh at the fashions because we were wearing them too, she was the best part.
Personal life aside, she was a television icon, and she will be missed, but will live on in syndication for generations to come. She died this past weekend after a fall in her home. Ann B. Davis was 88.