Saturday, October 19, 2019
I am unsure how The Addams Family movies are considered by my own generation or succeeding generations. They tend to get play on basic cable and I think most people saw them at least once.
In 1991, a 16 year old me saw this movie and it checked off a whole lotta boxes. And, you know, over the years, that hasn't changed in the slightest - in fact, now I get a few more references, a few more gags, and as I don't watch it all that often - the movie hasn't ever gotten stale.
I almost used this movie and its sequel for my "What is Love?" podcast (which I guess I'm not going to do) - after all, who is more in love than Gomez and Morticia Addams? Years into a marriage that's produced two children and with their loving family all around them, that's some very public amore going on between our parental units.
And, of course, in 1991, I'm not sure what else was out there with quite as gleeful gallows humor for the whole family. I certainly found it a delight then, and I'd hope that folks are still sharing this movie with their kids.
Thursday, October 17, 2019
Watched: 09/13/2019, 09/0152019
Format: Amazon Streaming/ DVD
Viewing: Second/ First
Decade: 1970's/ 1990's
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SimonUK and I rise from the grave with two more takes on the Vampire Genre! In the first film, vampires make a killing running a circus while carrying a grudge and harassing a small European town. In the other, Italian mafia stereotypes collide with a French vampire in a 90's-tastic take on The City of Brotherly Love, and we can't figure out which sangria anyone is drinking. It's a Halloween vampire fest!
Vampire Circus Suite - David Whitaker, Vampire Circus OST
Night - Jackie Wilson, A Woman, a Lover, a Friend
Sunday, September 15, 2019
Thursday, August 15, 2019
Format: Amazon Streaming
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Just a couple of 40-something dudes, sitting around contemplating the nature of a woman's desire, the qualifications for feminist film, symbology and visual storytelling, and what's a woman to do when you find yourself in New Zealand in 1852 and married to a dud?
The Heart Asks Pleasure First - Michael Nyman, The Piano OST
Playlist - "What is Love?":
Sunday, June 9, 2019
I really didn't know what to expect when DC announced their second show in their DC Universe app exclusive line-up would be Doom Patrol. From the pictures shared, the comics would be roughly based on the late 1980's/ early-90's-era Grant Morrison-penned (with art by Richard Case, Doug Braithwaite, Scott Hanna, John Nyberg, Carlos Garzon) comics. But with a slightly different line-up, what with Rita Farr there front and center.
My initial exposure to Doom Patrol as a team was via issue #1 of this series - Morrison had come on in the mid-30's - written by Paul Kupperberg. Frankly, I'd been completely enamored with the first couple of issues (long since disappeared from my collection, even before The Purge). It was so weird and dark and uncomfortable - starting at a point where people were assembling, talking about a team that had preceded them had died. Badly. Somehow it felt more adult and frank than the way X-Men never seemed to quite exit high school.
Friday, May 10, 2019
PODCAST(s)! "Legend of Billie Jean" (1985) and "Pump Up the Volume" (1990) - Teens in Revolt! w/ Maxwell, Marshall and Ryan!
Format: LoBJ - Amazon Streaming, PUtV - DVD
Viewing: LoBJ - First!, PUtV - unknown
Decade: 1980's, 1990s
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*NSFW* Maxwell and Marshall come into the studio to talk TEENS IN REVOLT! It's "The Legend of Billie Jean" (1985) and "Pump the Volume" (1990), two movies where teens grab the airwaves and tap into the spirit of being a teen and find themselves on the wrong side of the law! We take a look at two classic teen movies for our generation and try to decide: what are these kids so dang grumpy about?
Invincible - Pat Benatar, Legend of Billie Jean OST
Rebel Yell - Billy Idol, Legend of Billie Jean OST
Everybody Know - Leonard Cohen, I'm Your Man
Titanium Exposé - Sonic Youth, Goo/ Pump Up the Volume OST
High School Movies
Friday, April 19, 2019
For prior blog post on this screening, click here.
SimonUK and Ryan delve into the 1991 sci-fi actioner and talk about the impact of the film on culture, on action film, and maybe ourselves. We also discuss the awesomeness of Linda Hamilton, CGI in 1991, violence then and now and a whole lot more.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day Theme - Brad Fiedel, T2 OST
You Could Be Mine - Guns N' Roses, T2 OST
SimonUK Cinema Series
Tuesday, April 2, 2019
Format: Alamo Ritz
Viewing: oh, god... who knows?
Decade: the 1990's, buddy
I saw Terminator 2: Judgment Day opening weekend in the theater with my girlfriend at the time, who, upon seeing a Terminator endoskeleton crush a human skull turned to me and said "that's a REAL man" (she was kidding), thereby hitting the nail on the head, in her own way, for what this movie was going to be on so many levels. Despite its fame as a CGI pioneer and predictor of Marvel's weirdly death & bloodless ultraviolence, there's an actual story about mothers and sons and overcoming juvenile distrust of your parents once their flaws are exposed, and how a cyborg learns to laugh and love. Indeed, the Judgment Day may be the friends we made along the way.
Also, so many gasoline-fueled fires making just huge, puffy blossoms of red and orange with lots of loud ka-booms.
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
PODCAST! "Captain Marvel" (2019) - Jamie, The Dug, K and Ryan and a Not Quite Chronological Countdown
Format: Alamo Slaughter Lane
Jamie's brother and sister-in-law were in town, and we all saw the screen debut of Marvel's cosmic-type Avenger. Join Jamie, The Dug, K and Ryan as we share our "first reaction" takes on what happens the 90's collide with aliens, space faring adventure, Annette Benning, and Marvel's first female lead (it's about time, y'all).
Captain Marvel Theme - Pinar Toprak, Captain Marvel OST
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Avengers Chronological Countdown
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
So, Luke Perry has passed and the internet is ablaze with remembrances. And on the face of it, it seems odd so much ink is getting spilled over a guy who had his peak of popularity in about 1993, never really landed any major roles in zeitgeisty Hollywood movies and has been a workman actor in mid-tier TV shows for most of the past twenty years.
I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that the state of shock you're seeing has less to do with a tremendous and still-massive Luke Perry fanbase as it has with two things:
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Format: TCM on DVR
I'd intended to see Devil in a Blue Dress (1995) during it's theatrical run, and I don't really know how I didn't. It was a wide release and ran for a bit. In the intervening years I've watched more noir of the original era, not necessarily watching what came out as noir and neo-noir at the theater.* The 90's and 00's saw a fair number of mid-century crime and costume dramas and glossy neo-noir films that I think a lot of folks today see in their mind's eye more than actual films of the original noir era. Some of the films were pretty good (I love LA Confidential), others were less so (I really struggled with The Black Dahlia).
There's a lot to recommend Devil in a Blue Dress, even if it feels like writer/ director Carl Franklin was more intent on establishing a string of movies based on the protagonist's exploits than he was in actually getting into the why's and wherefore's of the story's central mystery. It's one of the extremely rare Black-focused noir films, and does a phenomenal job of world building, leaning on familiar noir tropes and giving us new spin based on the Black experience of mid-Century LA.
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Format: a very, very old DVD
Viewing: 8th or 9th
In February 2019 I was about 9 months post-graduation and working in a very strange job for - what I figured out - was literally poverty wages (the job required a 4 year bachelor's degree, so... don't major in radio-TV-film, kids). This week marks not just the 20th anniversary of the release of Office Space (2019), but late 2018- early 2019 marks the start of my 20th year in the workforce as an FTE, I suppose.
Office Space was a product of Austinite Mike Judge, who had risen to fame first with Beavis & Butthead on MTV circa 1993, and brought Arlen, Texas to the small screen via King of the Hill. Upon arrival, the movie mostly flopped. Critics were relatively kind, but the film had no major stars except Jennifer Aniston in the era of Big Stars = Big Profits, and a workplace comedy about hating your job wasn't exactly groundbreaking. But at the time I felt a certain loyalty to the Texas film scene and Mike Judge, so we went to see it around opening weekend and... yeah.
As Jamie said when we were talking about the movie after: this was the first movie I saw that I may not have related to 100%, but it was the first movie I saw about adults that I could relate to as an adult.
Thursday, January 24, 2019
Format: Warner Archive BluRay
Decade: 1990's (oh, so 1990's)
Steel (1997) is not a good movie, but it's not exactly as terrible as memory of watching it on VHS at some point in the distant past had led me to believe. It's also a reminder of how *bad* many of the DC movies have been since this period, from Catwoman to Green Lantern, to Batman v Superman. This movie was filmed on a low budget with no faith in it, no major stars, and based on a C-List character who, really, is a carbon copy of Iron Man. And, still, beat for beat, this movie makes more sense and flows better than Aquaman.
Sunday, November 11, 2018
PODCAST: Dead White Girls in the Water - "Twin Peaks: Pilot" (1990) and "The River's Edge" (1986) - High School Movies with Laura and Ryan
Twin Peaks: Pilot
Format: Amazon Prime Streaming
Viewing: Unknown. 5th or so.
Format: Amazon Streaming
Viewing: 5th or so
Laura and Ryan's exploration of High School Movies takes a turn for the grim when they pick the topic of "Dead White Girls in the Water". Join us as we talk the pilot to Twin Peaks (1990) and seminal 80's flick River's Edge (1986). It's a look at two pieces of media where the death of a young woman means very different things, but maybe under the plastic, how and why they work means they have more in common than we think at first glance.
Here Come the Warm Jets - Brian Eno
River's Edge Theme - Jürgen Knieper - River's Edge Original Soundtrack
Laura Palmer's Theme - Angela Badalamenti - Twin Peaks Original Soundtrack
On Some Faraway Beach - Brian Eno
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High School Movies w/ Maxwell and Ryan Playlist
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Format: Amazon Streaming
Viewing: third or fourth
Decade: Oh, so 90's
Ah, the 1990's. A time when we were all intensely media saturated thanks to home video, cable and plenty of multiplexes, but had a minimum of internet. At the time, we were all very concerned with whether things were postmodern and metatextual, and, really, Scream (1996) may be the ideal example of what we were all on about. Can you tell a story by deconstructing the very genre you're working within?
"Why, yes! You can!" said Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson.
Thursday, October 4, 2018
Format: Amazon Streaming
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.
Wednesday, September 5, 2018
According to Slicing Up Eyeballs, today marks the 30th Anniversary of the release of Peepshow by Siouxsie and the Banshees.
Siouxsie and the Banshees | 'Peepshow' | Released 30 years ago today | @satb_official pic.twitter.com/FB48GBnqxQ— Slicing Up Eyeballs (@slicingeyeballs) September 5, 2018
Friday, August 17, 2018
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.
Sunday, June 24, 2018
Format: Amazon Prime
Viewing: I dunno. 4th?
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.