Sunday, August 19, 2018

PODCAST! SHARK-WATCH! "The Meg" (2018) viewed by SimonUK and Ryan


Watched:  08/16/2018
Format:  Alamo Village w/ SimonUK
Viewing: first
Decade:  2010's

SimonUK and Ryan venture out to the local cinema to go see a movie about a really big shark.  Opinions differ!  Points of view are considered!  Puking and laughing simultaneously is considered as a desirable outcome!  Who knew one toothy sea creature could create such discord with our reviewers?  But we can all agree - Jason Statham is in this movie.



For more options where to get your Signal Watch PodCast fix:

Friday, August 17, 2018

Happy Birthday, Madonna!



editor's note:  I thought I lost this post, but found an open tab with a draft still available I was able to copy and add to.  This isn't the original post that went out, but I - for the first time in years - accidentally erased that post when I clicked the wrong button.  

Apparently yesterday was the 60th Birthday of Madonna.

Here at The Signal Watch, we salute Madonna as the person who told us it is 100% okay to like pop music.  You will not lose your edge by enjoying Madonna.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Aretha Franklin, America's Queen, Has Merged With The Infinite



According to reports, Aretha Franklin, beloved Queen of Soul and American icon, has passed.

For more than 48 hours, news had circulated that she'd entered the hospital and was with loved ones, and thus I spent last night listening to a lengthy playlist of Franklin's "hits".  I hope that was a good way to keep her in our thoughts.

I can think of few other performers as universally beloved as Aretha Franklin.  Clearly she's one of the last performers multiple generations will have agreed upon and understood as emblematic of Soul, R&B and what the voice can bring and how it can have personality and tell a story.  Even when covering an already popular song, Franklin made it her own.

Audrey Watch! The Cockeyed Miracle (1946)


Watched:  08/16/2018
Format:  TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's
Audrey Quotient:  mid-range.  A tad low.  She plays "the daughter" in an ensemble comedy.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Christmas Shark Watch! SANTA JAWS (2018)


Watched:  08/14/2018
Format:  Watched live on SyFy
Viewing:  First!
Decade:  2010's

You know, every once in a while it feels like the universe says "hey, let's do Ryan a solid and just make something exactly the way he'd like it."

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Super Reading: Supergirl #21 (2018)


The Killers of Krypton: Part One


Script:  Marc Andreyko
Pencils:  Kevin Maguire
Inks:  Sean Parsons
Colors:  FCO Plascencia
Letters:  Tom Napolitano
Cover:  Terry and Rachel Dodson
Editor:  Jessica Chen
Group Editor:  Brian Cunningham

Well, thank goodness.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Super Reading: Superman #2 (2018)


The Unity Saga: Part 2

Script:  Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils:  Ivan Reis
Inks:  Joe Prado & Oclair Albert (pp 1-5, 15-19)
Colors:  Alex Sinclair
Letters:  Josh Reed
Cover:  Reis, Prado, Sinclair
Associate Editor:  Jessica Chen
Editor:  Michael Cotton
Group Editor:  Brian Cunningham

Great googledy moogeldy, the art in this thing.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

MARVELWATCH PODCAST! Avengers Countdown 03 - "Iron Man 2" w/ Jamie & Ryan!



Watched: 08/010/2018
Format: Amazon Streaming
Viewing: third or fourth
Decade: 2010's

Jamie and Ryan cover "Iron Man 2", where the pieces of the Marvel U move forward, plants are placed that will pay off movies down the line, Black Widow first appears, and Tony sits in a giant donut. We also say "interesting" entirely too much. Join us as we realize we discuss how "Iron Man 2" works better now as part of the Marvel puzzle than it did when we saw it as just a sequel Marvel rushed into theaters.



For the Avengers Chronological Countdown Playlist:

Friday, August 10, 2018

Sunday, August 5, 2018

MARVELWATCH PODCAST:! "Incredible Hulk" (2008) - #02 of Avengers Chronological Countdown



Watched: 08/03/2018
Format: BluRay
Viewing: unknown. 5th?
Decade: 2000's
Podcast runtime:  58 minutes

Jamie and Ryan buckle in for movie #2 - "The Incredible Hulk". Marvel grapples with the film world of 2008-ish as they adapt comics, movies and TV shows into one cinematic creature that Ryan likes, but didn't exactly take off at the time. We take a look at what Mr. Angry-Pants is all about and how it all fits in.
 

Get your audio episodes at:


Saturday, August 4, 2018

Set Yer DVR's: Monday is Audrey Totter Day on TCM


As part of their Summer Under the Stars month-long programming event, TCM has blocked Monday, August 6th for a slate of films starring another patron saint of The Signal Watch, actress Audrey Totter.

There are several listed that I haven't seen yet and many I have. We think you should set your DVRs and watch an Audrey movie or three.

The schedule:

Happy Birthday Yesterday to Actress Jean Hagen


Born August 3, 1923 in Chicago.  Passed in 1977. 

You know her best as Lina Lamont in Singin' in the Rain, but she was also in noir films like Side Street, Asphalt Jungle and No Questions Asked

Myrna Watch: Double Wedding (1937)


Watched:  08/04/2018
Format:  TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1930's

Well, it's not often that even the most telegraphed of movies puts the twist finale in the title of the movie, but with Double Wedding (1937), we have the equivalent of "He Was a Ghost the Whole Time: The Movie".

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Happy Birthday, Myrna Loy


"There ought to be a law against any man who doesn’t want to marry Myrna Loy." -Jimmy Stewart


Happy Birthday to the late actress, Myrna Loy, who would have been 103 today.

Loy is highly popular in classic film circles, and when you start making your way through her filmography, it's not hard to see why.  She's strong as both a comedic and dramatic actor, is the force-to-be-reckoned-with up against powerhouse leading men from Cary Grant to Jimmy Stewart, and, most famously, William Powell.  She's unaffected and a natural in front of the lens, whether playing a society damsel in a romantic tangle or the daughter of Fun Manchu (where it is deeply, deeply complicated to talk about how sexy she is in the role*).  And her version of side-eye should be given a copyright all its own.

Loy's career extended beyond the usual ingenue lifespan.  Like her friend Joan Crawford, she worked her entire life, remaining relevant (and never lost her looks, which, I mean, come on.  I'm human.) and as strong an actress as you're like to see when she was shuffled into playing mothers The Best Years of Our Lives, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House instead of sloe-eyed, knowing girls.  Or especially the judge/ spinster sister in The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer.

Loy was deeply involved in American Red Cross and other ctivities in support of the fight against the Axis

For people who find "old movies" too stagey or unnatural, Loy is an excellent cure for what ails you.  She's style fits in neatly, and - I'll argue - informs a lot of what came after.  In her comedies, she's hysterical, and in any movie her tone and manner captures what other actors are still trying to pull off today when it comes to presence.  Pair her with a leading man worthy of her talents, and you've got a hell of a movie.   

Happy birthday, Ms. Loy!



*yellow-face.  She's in yellow face as an evil Manchurian.  The past (and a lot of the present) is super-racist.  Just FYI.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Super Reading: Action Comics #1001



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


You know, I liked this issue.  Quite a bit.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Super Watch: Superman - The Movie (1978) at Austin's Paramount Theatre


Watched:  07/29/2018
Format:  Paramount Theater Summer Classic Film Series
Viewing:  I believe we are northwards of 40 at this point.  Maybe the 50th.
Decade:  1970's


The past few years, I haven't had the wherewithal or ability to get downtown much for Austin's Classic Cinema Series at The Paramount Theatre.  This year's programming fit the bill for showing "classic film", and while I understand *some* grumbling from friends who don't love the line-up, if you're part of the TCM twitter crowd, as these things go and for the audience it's aimed at - honestly, it's one of their better years.  Have I made it down there?  No.

I wasn't sure I'd actually bother to go down and see Superman: The Movie (1978) as part of their family film sub-series, either, but Jamie cut me loose to go with PaulT, so I made an effort.  Unfortunately, I got my times wrong and I was buying my soda, thinking I had 30 minutes to leisurely find Paul and chat for a bit, they shut the doors.  I ran up to the balcony and got to my favorite seat in the theater.

I'm glad I did.

Travelogue: I was in Indiana - Plus, Frankenstein and whatnot in the special collections



The project I'm on at work is a joint partnership between Northwestern and Indiana Universities, and while I've been to Chicago plenty to get to NU (it's my institutional "home"), I'd not been to Bloomington, Indiana where a good chunk of my team lives and Indiana University resides.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Happy Birthday to Lynda Carter


Today is the birthday of Patron Saint to The Signal Watch, Ms. Lynda Carter.  She's busy performing again this year, and set to reprise her role as POTUS on CW's Supergirl.  If we're lucky, she'll also be in WW84.

Here's to Ms. Carter on another great year.

Monday, July 23, 2018

PODCAST: Iron Man (2008) - Avengers Chronological Countdown! w/ Jamie and Ryan


Watched:  07/21/2018
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  At least the fifth
Decade:  00's

Jamie and Ryan begin a re-watch of all the Marvel movies in order of release! (We call it Chronological Countdown, but we're not doing in some willy-nilly Marvel timeframe). Join us as we consider Iron Man (2008), what it meant then and now in the Marvel Cinematic U and how it looks in 2018 in general.




Noir Watch: Party Girl (1958)


Watched:  07/21/2018
Format:  Noir Alley TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1950's

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Horror? Watch: Psychomania (1971)


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

Watched for a podcast we're saving for the Halloween season

PODCAST! Bond Watch: Goldfinger (1964)



Watched:  07/21/2018
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Unknown - maybe 7th?
Decade:  1960's

It's a PODCAST!

(possibly NSFW) It's "Goldfinger", Ryan's favorite Bond movie. SimonUK is back to help Ryan sort out how much he can say Honor Blackman's character's name out loud whilst being recorded. Join us as we say a lot of nice things about this iconic/ seminal film in the Bond franchise, some of its oddities and how it is just super problematic in 2018.





Get your Signal Watch Podcast on the format of your choice!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Super Reading: Superman #1 (2018)


Superman #1 (2018)

Script:  Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils:  Ivan Reis
Inks:  Joe Prado
Colors:  Alex Sinclair
Letters:  Josh Reed
Associate Editor:  Jessica Chen
Editor:  Michael Cotton
Group Editor:  Brian Cunningham

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

PODCAST! Marvel Watch: Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018)


Watched:  07/15/2018
Format:  Alamo Slaughter Lane
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

It's a PODCAST!  Starring our own Jamie!  As the Ant-Man partners up with The Wasp, so we team up with our better half to talk big about getting small.  This one is a bit shorter than other podcasts at a trim 35 minutes, so jump right in to hear the good, the bad and the tiny of Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018).

Late 80's Watch: Fletch Lives (1989)



Watched:  07/15/2018
Format:  HBO on DVR
Viewing:  Unknown.  At least the 3rd.
Decade:  1980's

Monday, July 16, 2018

Super Reading: Man of Steel #6

Man of Steel 6

Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Artists:  Jason Fabok
Colors:  Alex Sinclair
Letters:  Josh Reed
Associate Editor:  Jessica Chen
Editor:  Michael Cotton
Group Editor:  Brian Cunningham
Cover:  Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and Alex Sinclair

Friday, July 13, 2018

Wrapping Up The Chicago Story: 3 trips in a Lyft, Superman on VHS

After the Fourth of July, Jamie, her dad and myself flew to Chicago to take in some Cubs games.  We talk a bit about the games and whatnot here

Sunday the 8th, we rose, cleaned up the AirBnB, and Jamie and her dad waited for a Lyft to O'Hare while I waited for my own, separate Lyft that I might be whisked northward to Evanston where I was scheduled to put in two days of facetime on campus at Northwestern.

We bid each other good-bye and I jumped in the Lyft, bidding our neighborhood, Chicago's Boystown, good-bye, and rode mostly up Lakeshore.

I mean, just look at this idyllic summertime BS


Television Watch: GLOW - Season 2


With Emmy nominations now announced (GLOW received a few, including Best Comedy) and a few weeks passed since the second season arrived, it feels fair to talk a bit - but in no way comprehensively - about the show.

So...  Every once in a while when I'm watching GLOW, the fictionalized show about a real women's wrestling show that aired in the 1980's, I think about the Coen Bros. film, Barton Fink.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Steve Ditko Merges With the Infinite



Comics creator Steve Ditko passed this weekend at the age of 90.  As you may know, Ditko co-created Spider-Man and was responsible for the art chores and certainly deserves co-writing credits with Lee on the early years of the wall-crawler's adventures.  He was behind some of my favorite Spidey villains like Sandman, The Lizard, Electro, Doctor Octopus, and - of course - Green Goblin.  Not bad. 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Where in the World is The Signal Watch? Chicago 2018

the coolest kids you know.  I am moping because my Cubbies just lost, 3-2 to the Reds.

This is our second year in a row to travel to The Windy City to take in some Cubs games (and rumor has it, we're doing it again next year).  It's no secret I don't just cheer for The Cubs, but quite like Chicago.  I also happen to work for a university in Chicago (from home), so I'm up here a lot.

Comics Culture Read: Marvel Comics - The Untold Story (2013)


Author:  Sean Howe
Release:  October, 2013

The manager at my Local Comic Shoppe, Brandon, suggested Marvel Comics: The Untold Story (2013) while we were discussing some minutia around the history of Marvel Comics. 

My knowledge of Marvel history is one mostly gathered patchwork from various interviews, articles, word-of-mouth stories, etc... so I knew some broad strokes, particularly around the infamous Kirby/ Lee creator debates and the Ditko/Lee broo-haha, but after Lee left Marvel, it's all bits and pieces gleaned from Bullpen Bulletins, credits on comics while certain things were happening, and trying to piece together what the hell, exactly, was going on at Marvel at any given time.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

B-Ball Watch: Uncle Drew (2018)



Watched:  July 3, 2018
Format:  Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

Super Reading: Supergirl - Being Super (trade, 2018)



Writer:  Mariko Tamaki
Artist:  JoĆ«lle Jones
Inks (Chapter One):  Sandu Florea
Colorist:  Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letterer:  Saida Temofonte
Editor:  Paul Kaminski

On this July the Fourth


and

First Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petitition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Noir Watch: The Man Who Cheated Himself (1950)


Watched:  07/02/2018
Format:  Noir Alley on TCM/ DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1950's

Superman Comics Read: Man of Steel 4 and 5 (2018)



Man of Steel 4 and 5

Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Artists:  Issue 4 - Kevin Maguire, Jason Fabok
              Issue 5 - Adam Hughes, Jason Fabok
Colors:  Alex Sinclair
Letters:  Josh Reed
Associate Editor:  Jessica Chen
Editor:  Michael Cotton
Group Editor:  Brian Cunningham
Cover:  Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and Alex Sinclair

Friday, June 29, 2018

Happy 50th Anniversary to The Admiral and The KareBear

what, you don't have cardboard cut-outs of important moments from your life?

Today marks the 50th Anniversary of my parents, The Admiral and The KareBear.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

90's Watch: The Brady Bunch Movie (1995)


Watched:  06/23/2018
Format:  Amazon Prime
Viewing:  I dunno.  4th?
Decade:  1990's

Huh.  So, the original Brady Bunch ran from 1969 - 1974 and then endlessly in reruns.

Here's the math:

  • End of show to release of the movie - 21 years
  • Release of the movie to now - 23 years

Yeah, Gen-X'ers, I know.

Oh Hai Watch: The Disaster Artist (2017)



Watched:  06/22/2018
Format:  Amazon Prime Video
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

Friday, June 22, 2018

Noir Watch: Pitfall (1948)


Watched:  06/21/2018
Format:  TCM Noir Alley on the DVR
Viewing:  Second
Decade:  1940's

This was the second time I'd watched Pitfall (1948), an indie produced noir starring Dick Powell, Raymond Burr and Lizabeth Scott.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Koko the Gorilla Merges With The Infinite



We are sad to report that Koko the Gorilla has passed.

I first learned about Koko the Gorilla back in Elementary School.  For some reason, my class read an article on Koko, the gorilla who was learning sign-language.  She'd been raised by Penny Patterson, who taught her sign-language, and she'd develop a 1000 word vocabulary.