Friday, July 15, 2011

Some "Friday Night Lights" links as we shut down the stadium one last time

On social media I saw a few links up about the end of Friday Night Lights.  Some from PaulT, some from elsewhere.  Some good stuff.  I thought I'd share. 

An Oral History of Friday Night Lights
Austin's Omar G says a quick good-bye
Generation FNL
Another movie?

Signal Watch Reads: Superman 713

Superman 713
Grounded: Part 11
Written by Chris Roberson
Art: pages 1, 4-10: Diogenes Neves @ Oclair Albert
pages 2 & 3: Eddy Barrows & JP Mayer
pages 11-20: Jamal Igle & Jon Sibal
Colorist: Marcello Maiolo
Letterer: John J. Hill
Cover: John Cassaday & David Baron (Jeff Smith, variant)
Editors: Wil Moss & Matt Idleson

Two notes before talk more about this issue: 
(1) This is the issue that follows the kitty/Muslim controversy that got Roberson's issue #712 frozen and replaced with an inventory story from Kurt Busiek's post-Infinite Crisis run on Superman
(2)  This is the penultimate issue of the Roberson run on Superman, and while we've got one more issue, I'm a little bummed that there's only 20 more pages of Roberson's work (for now).

Just as its annoying when networks show episodes of a TV show out of order, we could have been very, very lost with the release of this issue had Roberson not done so much to make each issue episodic.  We may have missed a few story and character beats, but we're not utterly lost as Superman wanders into Oregon.  We've just missed a leg of Superman's walk, and we can only hope that the division running collected editions will see fit to include the missing chapter in the collected run.

Its unfortunate that we have to keep an odd editorial decision in mind in approaching the story, but (as we say almost daily at my office) "it is what it is".  And what it is is a really fun issue, and an appropriate one to lead toward a conclusion of Grounded, but to put a bow on the conclusion of this volume of Superman

Thursday, July 14, 2011

FNL Wrap-Up: The Many "Y'all's" of Tami Taylor

Nobody fakes a Texas accent like Connie Britton. Maxwell posted this, and I'm stealing it.

I know "y'all" has taken off in the national lexicon thanks to the adoption in hip-hop, but it was a Southern thing. At that, when I was a kid and everyone was a transplant, we were being taught not to say "y'all" in school as it supposedly made us look a bit hill-billyish. It did not stick.

"Y'all" is a highly functional word, and anyone who lives in Texas knows the many, many meanings of the word (as demonstrated above by Ms. Tami Taylor). Yup, it's from "You all", which up north, I guess is "You guys". But it tends to pepper the conversation quite a bit more as a friendly, informal manner of address, and is used to warm up formal situations.

By the way, you hear people imitating Texans saying "y'all" to a single individual. This is incorrect. If "y'all" is said to an individual, say, over the phone, you should assume they have just asked about either everyone in your immediate vicinity ("Are y'all about to leave?") or your entire family or household ("what are y'all up to this weekend?"). It's a form of address to large crowds ("Y'all, I need your attention.") and a way of expressing despair ("Aw, y'all...").

A warning to those not from below the Mason-Dixon line: if you ever hear the phrase "f-bomb all y'all", something has gone very wrong, indeed, with the Texan with whom you are conversing. You can assume the famous Southern hospitality has just been dropped for that famous Southern hostility.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Netflix Price Hike and Why I'm Totally Okay With It

I saw the internet somewhat explode when NetFlix announced a serious price hike.  I actually received my email today, and it was about $2 more per month than I expected, but... 

In this age of modern technological miracles mostly aimed at instant gratification and self-satisfaction, there's pretty much nothing it seems we can't find to grouse about. Louis CK has a bit on how the world is now an absolutely amazing place, and nobody's happy.

I just want to point out: Netflix is a service that provides an enormous portion of American and International Cinema to either your mailbox or to your laptop for about the cost of two movie tickets per month. The sheer volume of choice and opportunity is... astounding. Its the library of Alexandria for movies. And, its been a semi-experimental operation, breaking old distribution models and assumptions left and right since its inception.

Friday Night Lights Wraps It Up

The saddest thing about Friday Night Lights will always be the millions of people who didn't tune in to FNL. and missed one of the last great hour-long dramas on network television.  And, of course, there were the many folks who quizzically pondered why they should care about a show about high school football.

Was Friday Night Lights about football?  Oh, most absolutely.  But for some reason that seems to be an issue where watching shows about cops and lawyers and doctors (folks none of us really want to deal with), are prime-time gold.  Maybe its telling that Glee cannot be stopped no matter how been at a dead sprint to reach far past mediocre since its initial brilliant pilot.

Heather Havrilesky writes about it better than I ever will over at the NYT

At Dillon High, no student ever had a single zit (well, maybe Landry)

I've said it before and I'll say it again:  Friday Night Lights had the single best pilot of a TV show I can think of.  It was also one of the best acted shows on TV for 4 of its 5 seasons (that second season they actually veered towards becoming a standard-issue prime-time soap, and it made the show mostly unwatchable).  I was in high school drama, not football*, but FNL always felt more like high school than anything I saw elsewhere.  And the characters- high schoolers, teachers, coaches and parents - always felt grounded and real enough, and not the absent parents of teen-shows, the cartoonish teachers of most high-school shows, etc...  When you guys were recommending me a thousand different shows, this was the one I was psychically recommending to you, but I figured if you weren't watching now, you weren't going to start.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Titano says its okay if I don't have a post today

Did you know Superman has a problem-ape named Titano that is several stories tall, superstrong and who shoots kryptonite beams out of his eyes? Well, he does. Ladies and Germs, Titano.

The Silver Age, people. Its where its at.

And, how much do you have to admire Mort Weisinger for going ahead and naming King Kong and then stating how their character differs RIGHT THERE ON THE COVER?  Mort, you were a weird dude, but you had MOXIE.

Also, no post for Tuesday.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Dark Knight Rises Poster is out!

Yup. That sure looks like a Chris Nolan movie poster.

Is it too early to say I'm excited?

Mondo Posters from Alamo Drafthouse to be added to the archives at The Academy

Wow! This is pretty amazing. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has taken notice of Austin's own Mondo posters and is going to begin officially adding them to their archives. Very cool!

Also, Mondo announced they'll be selling this limited edition Frankenstein poster, and when they do, it will be mine. Oh yes, it will.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

So, I agreed that I would rewatch all of the Harry Potter Movies before "The Deathly Hallows 2 - Assignment: Miami Beach" is Released

I'm not much of a Harry Potter fan.  I read the first book, then saw the first movie and decided "eh, the movies are good enough".  I get the Harry Potter fandom to an extent.  Trying to turn Quidditch into a playable sport, I maybe get less.  But, you know, whatever gets the kids to put down their X-Box controllers for ten minutes, I suppose.

Again, all comments are about the movie and not about the books.

Some things just never click with you, and for me, its Harry Potter.  I sort of enjoyed the wish-fulfillment inherent in the first book, but after that, I just never found a character in the series I actually liked.  And I particularly do not like Hagrid.  Why JK Rowling wrote a seven cycle series about why its cool to hang out with the weird maintenance guy at your school everybody else steers clear of, I will never know.  (rule of school #1, kids:  do not ever go alone into the maintenance shack behind the school with that dude.  That's never gone well for anybody.)

Signal Watch Reads: Superboy 9

Superboy #9
Rise of the Hollow Men, Part Two:  In the Underworld
Written by:  Jeff Lemire
Artist:  Pier Gallo
Colorist:  Jamie Grant & Dom Regan
Letterer:  Carlos M. Mangual
Cover Artist:  Karl Kerschl
Editors:  Wil Moss and Matt Idleson

I realized I'd been doing a terrible job of covering Jeff Lemire's Superboy in my reviews (because you people care), and I know I missed issues 7 and 8, so I'll just say - we're reaching the third act of the storyline that Lemire began establishing in issue #1, and plot threads are coming together. Simon Valentine's future is exposed, we learn a lot more about Psionic Lad, Laurie Luthor gets involved, and we find out what's been going on in the "broken silo".

But I'm not so sure about all this.

Signal Watch Watches: Aliens (1986) at the Paramount!

The first time I saw the film Aliens, I was in a middle-school academic writing competition.

Somebody anticipated that a bunch of bored kids were going to destroy the school unless properly amused between events, and so they set up a bunch of chairs in a tiered music room, and a few big TV's all playing the same movie.  And some genius put in Jim Cameron's Aliens and then turned off the lights.

Now, Aliens is an R-Rated movie, which used to kind of mean something, especially to a herd of middle school students, and I believe we silently agreed, as kids do, that we all wanted to watch this movie and the only way to do that was if absolutely nobody said one word to the adults and teachers running the event that we all knew perfectly well we weren't supposed to see this movie.