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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The Signal Watch blog - we also write essays and review movies and stuff
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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
For more from the Signal Watch PodCast, including playlists, where to listen, etc... Click Here
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.
Sunday, June 17, 2018
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Shortly after I graduated from high school, the first Jurassic Park movie hit theaters. As a bonafide blockbuster hit, it made everyone a pseudo-dino expert (there are worse things), packed folks into theaters, made Sam Neill a bankable actor who sort of shrugged that off and went off to be Sam Neill, taught us that young girls imprinted on Jeff Goldbum as a sex symbol, made us all wonder where cliffs begin and end in dinosaur paddocks, and convinced me khaki shorts were an excellent look on paleontologists.
It's now 25 years on. Yesterday, June 11, marked the release of Jurassic Park in the U.S.
Sunday, May 13, 2018
Format: Rifftrax on Amazon Prime Streaming
It's possible that Cynthia Rothrock movies aren't as good as I remember finding them in high school.
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Format: DVD sent by JimD
Decade: 1990's. So very early 1990's.
The trend so far for 2018 is me watching movies other people put in front of me. Whether it's watching whatever is served up on TCM's "Noir Alley" by Eddie Muller, what my collaborators want to watch for a podcast, or - in this case - The Hard Way from 1991.
A couple of weeks back I watched a movie from 1943 called The Hard Way, a backstage melodrama featuring Signal Watch favorite Ida Lupino. More than one of you asked me if I'd seen the 1991 Michael J Fox starring feature of the same name, and, no... I had not. I did look it up, and remembered the film from the posters and commercials and it wasn't too hard to pin down why I didn't see it back then. And before you ask - there is no connection whatsoever between the Lupino film and this thing.
Flashforward about a week and I get a package at my door, open it, and sure enough... once again Jim D has sent me a movie I had absolutely no intention of watching and told him several times I did not want to see. So, I'm now the proud owner of a copy of The Hard Way starring James Woods and Michael J. Fox.
So, let's talk about the movie, 1991, and why I didn't see it. Because I did watch this dumb movie and I have opinions.
Sunday, March 25, 2018
I work from home these days (yes, you are right, it is freakin' weird, man) and I generally take about 50 minutes for lunch each day. That's, it turns out, enough time to catch part of two episodes of The Nanny* or the 12:00 news/ ambulance chaser commercials.
Over the years, few shows have been as consistently recommended to me by trusted sources as much as Freaks and Geeks. The show was a primetime hour-long dramedy that aired for eighteen episodes around 99' - 00', which is why I didn't watch it at the time. I was just very busy and not watching much primetime TV during that era.
Well, I have now spent my lunch hour and a few evenings watching it, so stop telling me what to do.