Saturday, October 3, 2015

He-Man Watch: Masters of the Universe (1987)

Friday night we had our first organized Live Tweet event with The Signal Watch when we got together on Twitter and partook of Master of the Universe, the toyline/ cartoon turned into a feature film and probably Burger King glass ware.

I want to thank everyone who came out online and made the event so much fun!  That was pretty great.  I think we had a good time, had our say and I think nothing got broken we can't fix.

We'll do it again at some point, as soon as we find something on Netflix we all want to watch.  So, send your candidates our way.

Down to business:

I wasn't a He-Man kid.  The only one of the figures I spent my own allowance on was Mer-Man.  For some reason, I really liked the sculpt on ol' Mer-Man.  No idea why.

I confess, I just really identified with this guy

But I really liked underwater adventure toys as a kid, so that probably had something to do with it.  Who knows?

In the summer of '87, when the movie was released, I would have already been 12, and, as recently discussed with pals JuanD and PaulT, just past the age where you didn't really know how to play with an action figure anymore.  I might still watch the He-Man cartoon after school, but it was kind of that or stare at a wall until my mom got home from work (lord knows I wasn't going to read, do my homework, or get exercise).

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Ferrell Watch: Blades of Glory

There's no good reason to watch most Will Ferrell comedies more than once, but I've seen a good chunk of them, like, eight times.  Not the least of these is Blades of Glory, the 2007-era Jon Heder co-starring comedy that also features the always terrific Amy Poehler, then-husband Will Arnett, pretty darn good in this movie.  It also features Craig T. Nelson as their... coach.  Jenna Fischer trying out feature films.

And there's really no good reason to spend a lot of time writing about it.

So.  Smoke 'em if you got 'em.

Who Wants to Watch "Masters of the Universe: THE MOVIE"?

Well, technically, only Stuart.

What day:  Friday night, October 2nd, in the Year of Our Lord 2015
What time:  9:15 PM start (have your popcorn ready) Central Time
How:  Streaming on Netflix
Live Twitter:  look for me @melbotis
Hashtag:  #noorko (although we're taking better suggestions in the comments and to twitter)
Breaks:  whenever I have to pee
Pre-show:  we'll start rounding people up and talking He-Man around 9:00

Noir Watch: Pitfall (1948)

I've had this one sitting on the ol' DVR for months now.  It seems I overinundated Jamie with Noir over the summer, so I'm staggering the movies out a bit more so she won't seize the remotes and and hide them from me.

Starring Dick Powell and Lizabeth Scott (and the omnipresent Raymond Burr), Pitfall (1948) is another movie that proves you should just really not have sex with Lizabeth Scott.  It always leads to shenanigans.

Also, this is Film Noir #875 where Raymond Burr plays a total jerk.  How he landed the good-guy role in the American release of Godzilla is just beyond me.

But I have really come to like Dick Powell a lot.  As I was reading Farewell, My Lovely, he's the guy I had in mind as Chandler's Philip Marlowe (Bogart will always be Sam Spade to me, man) thanks to his turn in Murder, My Sweet.  And, of course, I love Cry Danger.

Phantom Watch: "Phantom of the Opera" Kino Lorber BluRay review is up at

Hey kids, I'll repost a version at some point, but for now, please go visit Texas Public Radio's website for my review of the Kino Lorber BluRay set of Phantom of the Opera.

Ann Miller and The Signal Watch wish you a happy October 1st

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Dead Watch: Evil Dead 2

What to even say about Evil Dead 2?

I assume a good chunk of the folks who come to this page routinely will have already seen it, and the folks strolling by looking for Evil Dead II info are already in.  It's not like we're talking about either a new or particularly obscure movie.  If you haven't seen it and you can tolerate some gore, it's a worthy entry for your Halloween watching.

For all of the rest of us - it holds up now as well as it ever did.  So, you know, depending on what you already think, your mileage is just going to vary.

This is the Evil Dead Sam Raimi and Co. made after the success of The Evil Dead and the failure of Crimewave (I've never the latter film, but I know it tanked at the box office).

It's a movie that's ridiculously simple, and, given a second go at the idea, the crew improves on the original by abandoning the horror tropes that made the first entry just one more movie where something happens to high schoolers in a cabin in the woods and, instead, throws strangers together against the evil that's been unleashed.  It's an odd mish-mash of genre, from horror to action to slapstick, but I'd argue that it works pretty well.

It's no secret this isn't a direct sequel to The Evil Dead so much as a replacement for that movie.  Evil Dead 2 cannibalizes portions of the first movie to establish Ash, but makes way for everything else the movie wants to do, creating an all new cast of victims characters.

I'll never say anything bad about the movie because I don't think there's anything wrong with the movie.  I've never really gotten over the first time I saw it, in a good way.  I won't say it inspired me to go to film school or any of that, but it's a reminder that in the middle of splatter-fest horror movie, you should be enjoying yourself, or else I don't even know what you're doing watching the movie.

The only downside to the movie is that it's absolutely at it's best when it's just Bruce Campbell fighting the Evil Dead on his lonesome.  You can't really do that for a whole movie, but while it lasts, it's maybe one of my top 20 favorite scenes in any movie.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Anyone up for a "Masters of the Universe: The Movie" Live Tweet-a-Thon?

A few weeks ago Stuart alerted me to the fact that the 1980's He-Man live action movie, Masters of the Universe, was coming to Netflix.  He pitched a joint tweet-a-thon/ live-blogging of the movie, and I'm inclined to jump on this idea.

Now, I am aware that He-Man is something a lot of people take seriously, and it is something that I absolutely do not take seriously, so I expect this will be an interesting mish-mash of an evening if we do it.

So, if anyone wants to think about doing this, maybe even this coming Friday, say something in the comments.

Rocky Watch: The Rocky Horror Picture Show

So, Spring, Texas, as suburb of Houston, is pretty well situated along the Bible Belt.  Having had grown up mostly in Austin, a lot of what was a bit more flexible in perspective was, shall we say, of a more singular perspective when I got picked up and moved back to Spring a couple weeks shy of my sophomore year of high school.  It was a bit of an odd transition, and I'm not sure it ever took.

1990 saw the 15th Anniversary of the release of Rocky Horror, not knowing what it really was other than that it had midnight showings, I slipped it in the stack.

Now, it's true that my freshman year I was supposed to go see the movie one night with some friends who had parents who were, I guess, willing to drive us to the midnight show and back.  Little known fact:  Austin was one of the original locations where the midnight screenings took off as early as 1976, so its likely someone a bit more plugged in may have suggested the KareBear's youngest was a bit too fragile for the film, and the whole thing fell apart.  Age 40, I've still never been to amidnight screening.

But on VHS, nobody cared what I was watching.  We'd crossed the Rated-R threshold by accident when my mom took me to see Beverly Hills Cop somewhat by accident when I was 10 and my folks were dropping us off for Rated-R movies at the Showplace 6 by the time I was in 7th grade.*

There's the Jessica Jones I know and love (teaser for Marvel's "Jessica Jones")