Sunday, October 21, 2018

Halloween Wacky Watch: Beetlejuice (1988)



Watched:  10/21/2018
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  Unknown.  Fifth?
Decade:  1980's

What to say about Beetlejuice (1988) thirty years on? 

I didn't actually see the movie until sometime after 1995 when Jamie and I started dating and she realized I'd never seen it.  Which, honestly, it was weird I hadn't.  I liked Tim Burton a lot, as well as Michael Keaton, Catherine O'Hara and other parts of the film that I knew about. 

But now I've seen it a few times, and every time I like it more.  It's just good, chaotic fun with some great ideas that all work well on screen, fun performances and terrific FX. 

Anyway, I don't have a ton to add here.  You've all seen the film, and if you haven't, it's a good family film (if the kids are a bit older).  So, sit back and enjoy Michael Keaton before he became respectable, early career Alec Baldwin, and the wonder that is Geena Davis.  PLUS terrific appearances from Robert Goulet, Dick Cavett, Susan Kellermann, Sylvia Sidney, of course Winona Ryder, Glenn Shadix and Jeffrey Jones and O'Hara. 

PODCAST! HALLOWEEN EDITION! "The Night of the Demon" (1957) and "The Haunting" (1963)


Watched:  Curse of the Demon 09/27/2018 & The Haunting 09/28/2018
Format:  Amazon Streaming/ BluRay
Decade:  1950's and 1960's
Viewing:  Second/ Seventh or so


SimonUK and Ryan wind up their Halloween movie discussions by taking on two movies about scientists (and friends) coming up against the supernatural - is it all in their minds, somehow? OR is it ghosts and demons?!! It's bone-chilling look into what works in two horror classics, and some discussion of stuff in other movies that's just annoying.



Music:

Bride of Frankenstein Theme - Franz Waxman
Blue Ghost Blues - Lonnie Johnson
Science Fiction Double Feature - Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack
Hounds of Love - Kate Bush
Stroker Ace - Charlie Daniels Band
Swan Lake - Act 2: No. 10 Scene - Tchaikovsky


Playlists:

Featured:  Signal Watch Halloween 2018




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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Hammer Horror Watch: Horror of Dracula (1958)




Watched:  10/20/2018
Format:  Filmstruck Streaming
Viewing:  Unknown.  Second?
Decade:  1950's

Hammer Horror Watch: Twins of Evil (1971)


Watched:  10/19/2018
Format:  Amazon Prime Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1970's

Twins of Evil (1971) is the third in the Karnstein Trilogy of vampire films from Hammer, the two previous films included The Vampire Lovers (which I really liked) and Lust For a Vampire (which I swore I'd rewatch more closely and haven't done, so...  I'll get on that).

Friday, October 19, 2018

Where Wolf? Watch: Wolfen (1981)


Watched:  10/19/2018
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's


Well, I finally managed to watch Wolfen (1981) instead of The Howling.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Out West for 11 Days

On Sunday the 7th I jumped an aeroplane and headed to Salt Lake City for a conference and meetings at the University of Utah Libraries.


If you've not been to SLC, it's kind of an amazing town. It's new, of course, and Mormons like to make sure things are nice for folks, so the whole place is well laid-out, clean as a whistle, full of friendly people and has things like public trains and buses and bike lanes.  I mean, it's all that Blue Velvet "if there's bad stuff here, you know it's super @#$%ing not-mundane bad"-bad, but aside from low-percentage booze beer, I found few quibbles with the city.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

PODCAST! HALLOWEEN WATCH! "Isolation" (2005) w/ SimonUK and Ryan


Watched:  09/15/2018
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2000's

A lonesome Irish farm.  A lot of rain.  A cow ready to drop a calf.  Ruth Negga for some reason.  SimonUK and Ryan watch a movie that isn't afraid to borrow, but manages to find a path unique to itself.





Music:

Bride of Frankenstein Theme - Franz Waxman
Milk Cow Blues - Bob Wills
Walking the Cow - Daniel Johnston
Swan Lake - Act 2: No. 10 Scene - Tchaikovsky

Playlists:

Featured:  Signal Watch Halloween 2018




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Halloween Watch: Vampire Circus (1972)


Watched:  10/12/2018
Format:  Amazon Prime Streaming in my hotel room
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1970's

Sunday, October 7, 2018

PODCAST! HALLOWEEN EDITION! "Ghostbusters" (1984) with SimonUK, Jamie and Ryan


Watched:  09/10/2018
Format:  Alamo Ritz in 70mm
Viewing:  500th?
Decade:  1980s


After all hitting the local cinema, Jamie, SimonUK and Ryan talk "Ghostbusters" (1984). At this point, what IS there left to say? Somehow we managed to fill 50-odd minutes answering that question while only barely talking over each other. Who doesn't like "Ghosbusters"? Nobody good, that's who.
Playlists:

Featured:  Signal Watch Halloween 2018




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Saturday, October 6, 2018

Real Life Information - I'm Outta Here For a Few Days



I may not have a life, but I do have a fulltime job.  I like it.  Good gig.  Sometimes it requires travel.

Months ago and far apart, I scheduled attendance at two different conferences, and - fun - they're on consecutive weeks.  Starting, like, now.

"Great," you're saying to yourself.  "So the @#$% what?"  

Well, first, why are you so angry?  Second: Things will slow down here for a short bit.  Most of you won't notice.  But, I like to keep you posted.  Makes me feel important.

But, that doesn't mean no content.  You will get Halloween PodCasts on Sundays through the end of the month, so keep checking in.  

Coming up:  
  • Ghostbusters
  • Isolation
  • Night of the Demon and The Haunting
and I think I can get The Thing edited for Halloween itself.  We'll see.


Halloween Watch: The Howling (1981)



Watched:  10/05/2018
Format:  Amazon Streaming/ Shudder Network Trial
Viewing:  Third
Decade:  1980's

Halloween Watch: Monster House (2006)



Watched:  10/05/2018
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2000's

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Halloween Watch: Hocus Pocus (1993)



Watched:  10/03/2018
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1990's

Millennials, I feel like we need to have a talk.  I understand that you were mostly raised by distracted parents who left you with a VCR or DVD player and no limit on the number of viewings you could take in of any movie, so long as you didn't interrupt whatever your parents were up to.  And, believe me, I understand the power of nostalgia and re-enjoying a movie that takes you back to your past, when things were simpler and life was all Capri Sun pouches and sugar cereals.  But right now, the two movies I keep seeing you defend - arguably unironically - are Space Jam and Hocus Pocus

In 1993 I was 18, adjusting to college, trying to land a date with the girl in the Italian class I was busy failing, and didn't make time to leave campus to see Hocus Pocus. The movie has appeared as a streaming option every year, and I've considered it.  Lately - as noted above - the kids have rallied around this movie, naming it a Halloween holiday classic.

The thing, tho, is that Hocus Pocus (1993), sux.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Super Reading! Action Comics #1003 (2018)


The Invisible Mafia - Part 3


Script - Brian Michael Bendis
Art - Yanick Paquette
Colors - Nathan Fairbank
Letters - Josh Reed
Cover (main) - Patrick Gleason & Brad Anderson/ Cover (variant) - Francis Manapul
Associate Editor - Jessica Chen
Editor - Michael Cotton
Group Editor -  Brian Cunningham

Sunday, September 30, 2018

PODCAST! SIgnal Watch Halloween Horror Watch: Horror Express and Death Line (both 1972)



Watched:  09/08/2018
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  First
Decade: 1970's

In the spoooookiest of all Halloween themes - SimonUK and Ryan settle on "Christopher Lee + trains + 1972".  Two wildly different takes on the horror genre from the same year, each with a lot to offer, but offering up chills - one featuring a drunk Donald Pleasance as a policeman, and one Telly Savalas as a vodka-swilling Cossack.  But, honestly, both well worth a viewing this Halloween season.




Music:
Bride of Frankenstein Theme by Franz Waxman
Crazy Train, Ozzy Osbourne
Bound for Hell, Love and Rockets
Swan Lake - Act 2: No. 10 Scene - Tchaikovsky

Playlists:

Featured:  Signal Watch Halloween 2018



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Saturday, September 29, 2018

A TL;DR SPECIAL - Mind-Blown Watch: The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982)



Watched:  09/26/2018
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's

People, for oh so many reasons, I am absolutely baffled and stunned by this movie.

Where to start...

Begin at the beginning, I suppose

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Noir Watch: Angel Face (1953)


Watched:  09/27/2018
Format:  Noir Alley on TCM/ DVR
Viewing:  Second
Decade: 1950's

Angel Face (1953) is a heck of a film - a dark, twisted noir about honey traps, stepping out on perfectly lovely receptionist girlfriends, cool cars, retaining your Robert Mitchum cool in crazy situations, and maybe not going along to get along.

Artist Norm Breyfogle Merges With the Infinite


Comics artist Norm Breyfogle has passed.  Reported here by The Washington Post

When I got into comics, like any 10 or eleven year-old, I didn't really know how they worked.  I had no guidance, and no one was around to explain them to me.  We had spinner racks at the grocery, shelves at drugs stores and 7-11, and however B. Dalton and Waldenbooks wrangled their comics that week.

Pretty quickly I went from just grabbing random comics to gravitating to Uncanny X-Men and Batman comics, especially once I figured out that I could get two Batman comics every month with Batman and the oddly named Detective Comics

It was a hell of a time to get into comics.  What was okay to do in art was changing fast.




Wednesday, September 26, 2018

PODCAST: "Captain America: The First Avenger" (2011) - Part 5 of Avengers Chronological Countdown


Watched: 09/21/2018
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  unknown
Decade:  2010's

Ryan and Jamie talk about "Captain America: The First Avenger" - and it goes on way, way too long. We talk about why the movie felt like a risk, how it fits in with the Avengers overall mega-narrative, and how it compares to the comics. This may or may not be one of our favorite movies, so we may have shown up with multiple type-written pages of notes, ready to go.



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Super Reading: Supergirl #22 (2018)

variant cover by Amanda Conner, w/ colors by Paul Mounts

The Killers of Krypton - Part Two


Script:  Marc Andreyko
Pencils:  Kevin Maguire
Inks:  Sean Parsons
Colors:  FCO Plascencia
Letters:  Tom Napolitano
Cover: (main) Terry and Rachel Dodson/ (variant) Amanda Conner w/ Paul Mounts (colors)
Editor:  Jessica Chen
Group Editor:  Brian Cunningham

Monday, September 24, 2018

PODCAST! WEREWOLF WATCH! a Signal Wach Halloween! "Late Phases" (2014) and "Dog Soldiers" (2002)


Watched:  08/18/2018
Format:  DVD
Viewing:  First (both)
Decade:  2000's and 2010's

SimonUK and Ryan go to the dogs with two monstrously good films set to make anyone howl.  We talk the werewolf genre and the troubles which ail it, but also what goes right in two movies sure to transform you into the Halloween mood.  It's two modern-era movies doing something a bit different with an age-old idea, and maybe coming out the top of the pack?

And, of course, there's a detour into discussing Sean Connery for absolutely no reason.




Music:
Bride of Frankenstein Theme by Franz Waxman
Hungry Like the Wolf, Duran Duran
Wolves (radio edit), Wu-Tang Clan
Swan Lake - Act 2: No. 10 Scene - Tchaikovsky

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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

PODCAST! A SIGNAL WATCH HALLOWEEN! "Psychomania" (1973) w/ SimonUK and Ryan


Watched:  07/21/2018
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1970s

Watch ALL of Psychomania!

A Signal Watch Halloween BEGINS!

 SimonUK brings Ryan a spooooky film of his youth. The Easy Rider scene reaches the British suburbs as a crew of hooligans cause mischief, dabble in the occult and plan for world domination by generally making a nuisance of themselves. Frogs, the undead, shallow graves, lousy hippie music, motorbikes and locked rooms converge in a film that dares to ask: are you really going to watch all of this?




Music:
Bride of Frankenstein Theme by Franz Waxman
Psychomania Theme by John Cameron
Riding Free from Psychomania
Swan Lake - Act 2: No. 10 Scene - Tchaikovsky


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Monday, September 17, 2018

Super Reading: Superman #3 (2018)

\

The Unity Saga: Part 3

Script:  Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils:  Ivan Reis
Inks:  Joe Prado & Oclair Albert (pp 12 - 13, 16-18)
Colors:  Alex Sinclair
Letters:  Josh Reed
Cover:  Reis, Prado, Sinclair
Associate Editor:  Jessica Chen
Editor:  Michael Cotton
Group Editor:  Brian Cunningham

ANNOUNCEMENT! PODCAST SERIES! A Signal Watch Halloween 2018!

Coming Soon (like, this week) - The Signal Watch will begin a series of PodCasts for the Halloween Season!

Here's our 90 second promo!

     

I'm assuming some of these movies will be unfamiliar to viewers - they were to me.  But we hope you can find them and watch along with us!

In the can:

  • Psychomania!
  • Late Phases and Dog Soldiers
  • Horror Express and Death Line
  • Isolation
  • Ghostbusters (1984)


and more to come!

Music by Franz Waxman from The Bride of Frankenstein

Happy Birthday, Cassandra Peterson


Happy Birthday to Cassandra Peterson - our own Elvira, Mistress of the Dark!

These days, whether it's in full Elvira get-up or in her red-headed civvies, Ms. Peterson is doing great and seems like she's managed to make a career out of just being herself.  That ain't half-bad! 

Here's to our Queen of Halloween - whose birthday should really be considered the start of the Halloween season.


Sunday, September 16, 2018

PODCAST! A Burt Reynolds Tribute via "Hooper" (1978) w/ SimonUK and Ryan


Watched:  09/15/2018
Format:  BluRay
Viewing: First
Decade:  1970s


In honor of Burt Reynolds, who passed September 6, 2018, SimonUK and Ryan watch "Hooper", a 1978 Hal Needham directed action comedy about the life of a Hollywood stuntman. And Ryan learns... Simon knows *a lot* about Burt Reynolds.


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Friday, September 14, 2018

LOIS NEWS: We Have a New Lois Lane! (CW Superhero Shows News)



If you hang around these here parts, you know we're fans of the character Lois Lane in all her forms, be it comics, television, movies, what-have-you.  She's as big of a deal in our world, practically, as Big Blue himself.

Season 2 of the CW hour-long-drama Supergirl saw the arrival of Tyler Hoechlin as Superman, and while I wish his costume had a few tweaks, the man inside is really pretty great as Superman/ Clark Kent.  We saw him talking to Lois on the phone, and Season 1 featured Lois Lane's sister, Lucy, as a romantic rival for Jimmy Olsen (this is comics canon in a way, going back to the Silver Age, but it was nowhere near as goofy as anyone showing interest in Jimmy in the comics).

Season 4 of Supergirl started production a while back (and will begin airing in October?  Maybe?), and us Superman/ Lois fans were thrilled to hear that the CW was seeking a Lois Lane for their TV multiple TV series.

People - we have our Lois.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Burt Memorial Watch: Cannonball Run II (1984)

suddenly I know where the Marvel movie poster strategy came from

Watched:  09/13/2018
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  Oh, who knows?
Decade:  1980s

Cannonball Run II (1984) is not a good movie.  But it is a fascinating movie and an extraordinary time capsule of a certain era as an old guard is mixed with a new guard of Hollywood to make a giant Looney Tunes movie directed by Hal Needham.

You guys... simmer down - The Cavill News Sure Seemed Like Part of a Contract Negotiation



As a site that features content related to Superman, it seems that I should *probably* cover the confusion caused yesterday by The Hollywood Reporter's article that launched a million takes.

On 09/12/2018, The Hollywood Reporter posted an article saying that negotiations are going badly between Cavill and WB.  The article was retweeted and re-reported on by innumerable nerd sites, all saying "Cavill is out as Superman!"

Here's the thing: the article didn't say that.  It didn't have a quote from WB or Cavill saying that Cavill is no longer working for WB as Superman/ Clark Kent.  You saw a bunch of stuff cited that may or may not be pointing toward a direction for WB or Cavill, but... not really.

As of yesterday mid-day (US time) parties began walking back the notion that Cavill was out.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Noir Watch: The Locket (1946) - recommended


Watched:  09/11/2018
Format:  Noir Alley on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's

The Locket (1946) gets name dropped a lot in noir circles, but not always with a lot of context.  It starred no particular favorites aside from Mitchum, and didn't happen to cross my path til it aired on Noir Alley, so I'd not made a tremendous effort to watch it.  Turns out, The Locket is a hell of a movie with some terrific qualities, from the performances to the direction and cinematography, but it starts with a story and script that - while maybe a bit rudimentary in applying psychology as a science (a common trope of this era) - tells a unique, engaging, tragic story via unconventional techniques - and puts a new spin on the "femme fatale" (if that's accurate here, and I'll say it is) that's fascinating to watch unfold.

Monday, September 10, 2018

PODCAST! HIGH SCHOOL WATCH! John Hughes, no less! "Sixteen Candles" (1984) and "Pretty in Pink" (1986)



Watched:  Sixteen Candles 08/28/2018 & Pretty in Pink 08/31/2018
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  Unknown.  A lot for both.
Decade:  1980's.  Obviously.  Duh.

Laura and Ryan return to high school movies and grapple with some of the difficulties in the narratives of Gen-X staple, John Hughes. We take a look at two Molly Ringwald-starring films, and try to sort out what the hell was going on in the 1980's when these movies were made, and what the movies were trying to do and say.





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Sunday, September 9, 2018

Spy Watch: The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)


Watched:  09/09/2018
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

Sometimes you watch a movie and something about it just doesn't click with you.  On the heels of Mission: Impossible - Fallout, we decided to take in Henry Cavill's last outing as a spy, a movie I'd just not felt compelled to watch previously, The Man from U.N.C.L.E (2015).  And, yeah, that was absolutely a stylish spy movie directed by Guy Ritchie.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Burt Reynolds Has Merged With The Infinite


By now all the world knows that Burt Reynolds has passed beyond this veil of tears. 

Here's to you, sir.  I have spent more of my adult life re-watching Smokey and the Bandit than I really should mention, and once captivated/ hijacked a social event at a libraries conference by laying out the tale of that movie to a table full of people who admitted they'd never seen it (and detailed why it's important film making). 

All of us down on Earth always wished we could be as cool as you, and now you'll just have to enjoy the envy of every single person in the afterlife. 

We'll miss you, Burt.

Marx Bros. Watch: Room Service (1938)


Watched:  09/06/2018
Format:  TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1930's

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Today is the 30th Anniversary of Siouxsie and the Banshees' "Peepshow"

According to Slicing Up Eyeballs, today marks the 30th Anniversary of the release of Peepshow by Siouxsie and the Banshees.




IMPOSSIBLE WATCH: Mission Impossible - Fallout (2018)



Watched:  08/29/2018
Format:  Alamo Slaughter
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's


SimonUK and Ryan go to see a "Mission: Impossible". Spoiler: Simon is a fan of the franchise and Ryan's a bit cynical about the M:I flicks he'd previously seen. And probably Tom Cruise in general. But that doesn't stop them from talking stunts, action and whatnot, with the usual meandering side conversations.





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AMAZING WATCH: Streets of Fire (1984)



Watched:  09/04/2018
Format:  Austin Film Society screening with PaulT
Viewing:  Fifth?
Decade:  1980's

I think it's fair to say that Streets of Fire (1984) is one of those movies you either get behind or you do not.  Like, I'm not sure there's a lot of gray area in how people react to whatever it is this movie is serving up - but despite the fact that I am well aware that Streets of Fire is not a very good movie, I am also of the opinion that Streets of Fire is an amazing movie.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Saturday, September 1, 2018

PODCAST! MARVELWATCH: Thor (2011) - Jamie and Ryan welcome the god of hammers to the MCU!



Watched:  08/24/2018
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  I dunno.  Fifth?  Sixth?
Decade:  2010's


Jamie and Ryan watch the fourth Marvel Studios film, Thor! It's the first off-world excursion for Marvel, an introduction for a key Avenger, expansion of the MCU and a lot of set-ups for payoffs. And, of course, more handsome than any movie should be asked to handle. Some top flight talent joins some soon-to-be-household-names as adventure unfolds!






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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Super Reading: Action Comics #1002 (2018)


The Invisible Mafia - Part 2

Script: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Patrick Gleason
Colors: Alejandro Sanchez
Letters: Josh Reed
Cover: Gleason & Sanchez/ variant: Francis Manapul
Associate Editor: Jessica Chen
Editor: Michael Coen
Group Editor: Brian Cunningham

Team, I am fully onboard with what Gleason and Bendis are doing here in Action Comics.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

PODCAST! DISNEY WATCH! The Black Cauldron (1985)


Watched:  08/19/2018
Format:  DVD from San Antonio Public Library
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's


NathanC returns to discuss Disney in the 1980's! Ryan is kinda sick and grumpy! We talk Disney's 1985 misfire that "almost took down the studio". It's high fantasy adventure for the kiddies, but Disney's first foray into PG territory, all while Disney underwent corporate reshuffling!




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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Audrey Watch: The Beginning or The End (1947)



Watched :  08/28/2018
Format:  DVR/ TCM
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's
Audrey Quotient:  Nowhere near enough Audrey!

This isn't a noir film!  Nope.  This one is an historical drama about the creation of the atomic bomb.  So, you know, fun stuff.

Friday, August 24, 2018

PODCAST! RECOMMENDATION WATCH: Southland Tales (2006)


Watched:  08/19/2018
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2000's

You guys, I @#$%ing loved this movie.  Get a look inside my wheelhouse and what works for me in a movie with Southland Tales (2006).  And, man, we really missed so much of what there was to say - enough so that I'm ready to make covering this movie an annual event.

Official description:

AmyC returns with this overlooked, underseen sci-fi satire of a post 9/11 America. We struggle to convey the plot and all of the amazing things packed into this film - from one of the most astounding casts ever assembled, to musical choices, to transdimensional travel, to porn stars with rock solid business plans. Truly an unusual film that was never given a real shot at finding an audience - Ryan watches the film for the first time and is absolutely ready to push it to his list of recommendations.

 


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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Monday, August 20, 2018

Happy Birthday, Amy Adams


Today is the birthday of Amy Adams, one of the finest talents of our era.

And, hey, we were lucky enough to get her cast as Lois Lane, plus she turned up that time on Smallville before she broke big.  So, entirely relevant to this blog.

Happy birthday to Ms. Adams.  We promise to watch her HBO show eventually, but we do not have an HBO.