Thursday, February 20, 2020
Noir Watch: Kiss of Death (1947)
Format: TCM on DVR
Kiss of Death (1947) was one of the first "noir" films I watched years back when I was trying to sort out "what... is noir?". It took a second viewing a couple of years later for me to get how it fit into the category, but I do feel it is a good example of a certain kind of noir. More importantly, it's got a great set-up that plays into a tight, engaging story, and has three fantastic performances. And Brian Donlevy.
I kid. Brian Donlevy is fine, but this film is famous for a ground-breaking psychotic performance by Richard Widmark as mad-dog criminal, Tommy Udo. Flat out, that's probably what the movie is best known for - and there's no question, it's the Joe Pesci-before-Joe Pesci performance of it's day. Maybe even the Heath Ledger-Joker performance of its day? He's a lit stick of sociopathic dynamite who thinks nothing of killing someone's kids just to make a point, and he'd have a good laugh about it.
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
PODCAST! "Teen Wolf" (1985) - w/ all-new co-contributor StuartW and, of course, me
Format: Amazon Streaming
From the great state of Missouri, StuartW joins us to talk about one of his favorites from the 1980's - and one you probably haven't seen in a long while - it's "Teen Wolf"! The movie that brought us Urban Surfin', a girl named "Boof" and a curiously blase attitude about a lycanthrope wandering the halls of a typical American high school.
There are three rules that I live by. 1) Never get less than twelve hours sleep 2) Never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city. And 3) never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body. Now you stick to that, and everything else is cream cheese.
-Coach Finstock, Teen Wolf, 1985
Big Bad Wolf - The Wolf Sisters, Teen Wolf OST
Win in the End - Mark Safan, Teen Wolf OST
Monday, February 17, 2020
100th Birthday of Curt Swan - comic book artist
Today marks the 100th birthday of the late, great Curt Swan. For those taking any kind of deep dive into Superman as a long-running comic book character, it doesn't take long before you start producing your list of giants associated with the character's creation and adventures - and Curt Swan is top of the list.
Siegel and Shuster created Superman, but eventually many of the art duties fell to first Wayne Boring, and then as we transitioned into the mid-Silver and Bronze Age, Swan became the primary pencil behind Superman. For about three decades Swan drew covers and interiors of Adventure Comics, Superman and Action Comics, and saw the end of his reign with the new era that began post COIE. In his tenure he created such characters as Supergirl, Titano, Lucy Lane and many more.
I became familiar with his work through a mish-mash of back-issues and collections of Silver Age comics, and he's very much locked in my mind as one of the best of the best. It's astounding to see the care put into every panel of his art and how his own style evolved to meet (and often exceed) the times.
More about Curt Swan from Comic Vine and Wikipedia.
Sunday, February 16, 2020
DC just canceled the "Supergirl" comic. Again.
The Supergirl TV show has run for five seasons on, first, the CBS network and now The CW. That's roughly 22 episodes (plus) per season with a cast that has shifted, story elements come and gone, and now survived a Crisis on Infinite Earths. It's a bit messy to explain how the events of Season 1 line up with what's happening now on the show, but one can if they're willing to experience nose bleeds and dizziness.
It's one of the shows I am probably watching now more out of habit than anything, but I don't *dislike* the show. Every season has an arc and gives the characters arcs of their own to work through.
DC Comics released their solicitations for May comic releases, and announced that issue 42 will be the final issue of this run of the Supergirl comic book series.
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