Thursday, June 15, 2023

Ape Watch: King Kong (1933)

Watched:  06/11/2023
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Unknown
Director:  Merian C. Cooper / Ernest B. Schoedsack

So, last week Stuart sent me a link to a doc on YouTube to watch.  It was, roughly, a 3-part series on King Kong (1933) and the impact of the film over decades.  I texted him 15 minutes in to the first part and said "there's no way I don't wind up watching Kong this weekend", and, indeed, I'm a man of my word.

We all have our foundational films, and King Kong, in it's very roundabout way, is one of mine.  

Growing up in the 1970's and 80's, and in the wake of the 70's monster craze, Kong was more or less a household name, concept, etc...  Everyone had an idea of King Kong as a giant ape liberated from an island who winds up in Manhattan and wreaks havoc, winding up atop the Empire State Building.  

My first exposure to Kong's full story was in a hard-back book my dad read to me (and, I assume, my brother) when I was about 5.  Only later would I learn it was an official novelization worked on by no less than Merian C. Cooper, director of the film.  

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

PodCast 245: "Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse" (2023) a KTB episode w/ Dug, Jamie & Ryan

Watched:  06/03/2023
Format:  Theater
Viewing: First
Decade:  2020's
Director:  Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson

It's a leap across the Spider-Verse, and that means bringing the gang together from across space and time. Join Jamie, The Dug and Ryan as we ponder the latest installment in the adventures of Gwen and Miles. Join us as spin a web of conversation, and try to decide if this movie is Signal Watch Canon.



Annihilate - Swae Lee, Lil Wayne, and Offset 
Calling -   Swae Lee, Nav, A Boogie w/ a Hoodie 

Marvel Movies Playlist 

John Romita, Sr. Merges With the Infinite

Much as Carl Barks was "the Good Duck Artist" to a generation or three, Romita was, to me, THE Spider-Man artist.  Sure, he did plenty else, but his work on Spider-Man was so foundational to the character, his design and humanity brought to each panel, a key player in re-figuring the style at Marvel, and therefore the style of modern comics.  

The world of Spider-Man was surely full of colorful characters, but they weren't defined by their powers, they had unique personalities and character, and Romita brought it right to the surface.  

He was also the artist who brought classic moments we're still dealing with in comics.

Like, the intro of Mary Jane Watson.

and, of course, everything with the Stacy's.

And that's how everything ended up with Gwen and Captain Stacy.  Everyone cool and living happily ever after.

I love this era of Spidey.  It's the height of personal and super-hero drama, and has Spidey working in a milieu I think he operates in best.  And when I think of this era, sure I think the title is well written, but it's also the Marvel Method, which means Stan worked out a storyline with the artist and cut them loose, to come back and fill in dialog later.  So it's artistic storytelling, refusing to rely on text or words.

We'll miss knowing Romita Sr. was out there.  We lost a giant this week.