Saturday, March 14, 2015

Happy 82nd, Michael Caine!

Alfredo reminds me it's the 82nd birthday of Michael Caine.  And if you don't love Michael Caine, well, I don't want to know you.

Here, on his birthday, I recommend remembering not Michael Caine, who is doing well, thank you, but remembering that is a great joy to do a Michael Caine impression by watching a reel of Michael Caine impressions.

Happy Birthday, Sir Michael Caine!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Franken-Watch: The Bride (1985)

Ever since I was a kid, I'd be meaning to watch the 1985 movie, The Bride, but was first told it was "too adult" or something, and later, "it's not very good".  And, you know, that second one is far more correct than the first rationale for skipping this film.  But between my interest in the Frankenstein story in general and because the movie Bride of Frankenstein is easily in my top 5 or 10 movies (especially when paired with Frankenstein itself, for a neat, under 3 hour package), I figured that if I could watch Christmas Vacation over and over, I could make time for a movie I hadn't seen.

If our trend this week is about failed marriages, we can twist that idea a bit to include how the doctor lost his lady friend, Jennifer Beals.

The movie features a fascinatingly 1980's cast, probably meaningless to the kids today, but you Gen X'ers and post Gen X'ers will probably at least raise an eyebrow.  Cast as Doctor Frankenstein (who I don't know ever receives a first name in this version) is former rocker/ current adult contemporary wunderkind, Sting, who was transitioning as the Police collapsed for the fifteenth time and as he made a stab at an acting career in some offbeat movies during the era (like Dune!).  As the titular Bride/ Eva, the movie casts Flashdance star Jennifer Beals, most likely as she and Elsa Lanchester are both the proud owners of gigantic, dark eyes, lots of hair and striking features.  Not too distant from his role in The Highlander as the Cossack, Clancy Brown plays Viktor/ The Monster (yeah, artistic license), but well before he became Mr. Crabs of SpongeBob fame.  And, David Rappaport, who you'll recognize from Time Bandits, plays a new character, Rinaldo the dwarf, a guy who befriends the monster as he wanders in the woods and helps him realize personhood.  And, a young Cary Elwes shows up, all fresh faced and prettier than everyone in the room.

In which we consider DC's June post "Convergence" shake-up and new costumes


I kind of want to be out of the business of thinking about DC's moves as a company, because it's equal parts equally unsatisfying and depressing.

In case you missed the interview with Co-Publishers Dan Didio and Jim Lee that was featured at places like Comic Book Resources yesterday, they're basically moving forward by going back to not tying every book in the DC line to superhero mainline continuity.  As comics were up through the 1980's, DC and Marvel surely put out Superman and Spider-Man, but we didn't need to worry how that fit in with Teen-Age Romance Comics or Katy Keene In Love or whatever made up title I just made-up.

And DC is going back to - maybe not putting out Teen-Age Romance Comics - but they are saying "not everything here is in the main DCU, so quit worrying about that".

Jim Lee, who I am pretty sure has no idea what an actual buyer of comics looks like or thinks, was quick to tell his core audience that we're mistaken for wanting continuity to work in an ongoing serial.  And we were also mistaken for expecting both the New 52 to make sense and the five year time jump to hold together after DC said "it all makes sense, we'll show you" and then absolutely did not do so.

Now, all of this is coming on the heels of Convergence, which is a munging of the DC Multiverse, and because it's been a few years, I think we all needed to expect Didio was going to once again reboot the DCU.  They're not saying that, but they are absolutely saying that the characters will have new, unheard of status quos.  So, practically speaking, a rejigger if not a reboot.

So, let's review the images for the solicitation copy, shall we?

SW Watches: The Odd Couple (1968)

I plan to catch up on a few episodes on the new Thomas Lennon/ Matthew Perry starring The Odd Couple TV series reboot*, and I realized that - while I'm familiar with the general idea, I have never seen the movie in its entirety (and I am not going to rewatch all of the Tony Randall/ Jack Klugman series).  The movie is currently streaming on Netflix, so I gave it a whirl.

Now, that's not to say I haven't seen large chunks of the movie, and, in fact, in 8th grade I actually did a fairly lengthy scene from the original play for my final in the drama class I took that semester.  I think I was Oscar, but I don't actually remember.  I mostly remember having to act like I was on a date at a time when talking to girls made me start sweating like a pig.

After just watching Love Crazy, I didn't really go out of my way to a watch a second movie about divorce a day later, but I guess I better watch Kramer v Kramer tomorrow.  But it is interesting to see that the social stigma around divorce was changed by the time The Odd Couple (1968) was playing theaters, versus the "oh, the shame!" aspect of it in Love Crazy from 27 years prior.

I'm doubly surprised that I hadn't seen the 1968 movie because I genuinely really enjoy both Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, and it's kind of like saying you like McCartney and Lennon's solo work, but you never listened to "Revolver".  Here, both are in top form, and swing between hilarious and maddening and pathetic in ways that I am sure community theater has been royally butchering for four decades now.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

SW Watches: Love Crazy (1941)

The relationship America had with movie stars was a bit different back in the day.  For actors like Myrna Loy and William Powell, I suspect the pair were considered a bit like to-flight sitcom talent from the 90's.  And as the concept of episodic stories at the time were confined to the radio and matinee serials, outside of the Thin Man series (which, if you've never watched them pour yourself a whiskey and enjoy), the two were paired repeatedly due to their chemistry, but as new characters in new settings.

Love Crazy (1941) was the fifth movie in a Loy/ Powell box set Paul gifted me a while back, and one I'd somehow just forgotten to watch.  It's comfort food from jump, a movie for folks who'd been fans of Loy and Powell since before The Thin Man would cement their place in cinema history.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Rocket Raccoon Trade: A Chasing Tale (hardcover collection of "Rocket Racoon" issues 1-6)

With the release of this summer's feature film, Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel has done a better job than usual of capitalizing on the potential product tie-in for the movie.  Sure, at the time of the movie's release a few things hit the shelf that were the typical "well, this is perfunctory" new material by C or Z-list talent, but they also got name talent on a few ongoing, sustainable projects.

Of these, the one I had the most natural interest in was the Skottie Young helmed Rocket Raccoon ongoing.

SFANTHOR opens in Austin: Sci-Fi/ Fantasy/ Horror museum and shop on South Congress

For reasons I cannot firmly recall other than fanboyishness, I follow Vincent Price on facebook.  So, I was a little surprised on Friday to see the folks managing the account - managers of the Price estate - be the ones who broke the news to me via a link to an Austin Chronicle article that the weird castle that's been under construction on touristy South Congress was not a hipster medieval bar, but a WAX MUSEUM AND HORROR-THEMED STORE.  

I had no Saturday plans, so I grabbed JuanD and he and I braved the usual Saturday traffic and crowds of South Congress (it's the kind of place where you stand in line for 45 minutes for a magical Austin ice cream - hint, it's just Marble Slab - or 2 hours for a @#$%ing cheeseburger.  G**damn this town), and went to check it out.

I was maybe two feet inside when I wished Stuart were here to see this.