Monday, May 27, 2019
Wednesday, May 8, 2019
The kids today will never *quite* appreciate what Marvel pulled off, starting with Iron Man and continuing on with this week's mega-release of Avengers: Endgame. But, more than that, they'll never really understand what it was like to go from an era where you'd stay home on a Friday night to see a TV movie of the week starring David Hasslehoff as Nick Fury. Truly, any crumb of a glimpse of a live-action version of the comics you enjoyed was like a signal beamed from weirdo space and invading the lowest-common-denominator normalcy of broadcast TV. Any cinematic appearance of anything even superhero adjacent was a reason to trek to the movies (a habit I am just now breaking, pretty unsuccessfully).
These days every basic jerk out there tries to claim nerd status for just *liking* something other than sports and *admitting* they have something they enjoy (heads up! you cannot be a wine-nerd. You can be a vintner, wine enthusiast, sommelier or lush. Pick one. But a "wine nerd" is not a thing.). But in an era before Bryan Singer turned the X-Men into a box office smash, and the internet gave us hidey-holes into which we all disappeared and Watchmen made the 100 Greatest Novels Since 1923 list... comics were for children. Or for nerds, losers, the mentally slow, the emotionally damaged, perverts and delinquents.
Movies might come out based on graphic novels or comics, and sometimes that source was acknowledged - but I grew up in the 1980's, and my comics habit made the adults around me visibly nervous.* Parents, teachers, etc... knew to be disapproving and angry about musical selections (thanks, Tipper!), but comics? What were we even doing?
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Format: Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
We've essentially not only just *not* made any progress on how we deal with our border with our Southern neighbor since the release of this film in 1949, but we're now actively and intentionally worse about how all of this works.
Border Incident (1949) follows law enforcement working together from both the Mexican and American governments, seeking not to punish the braceros crossing illegally so much as to stop the exploitation and criminal behavior of the coyotes, who use the undocumented status of their victims to exploit them for terribly low wages, awful living conditions and potentially violent treatment.
Monday, April 1, 2019
I'll be honest - after watching the Netflix doc The Inventor, I'm still stuck on the saga of Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes.
At Maxwell's recommendation, I turned to a multi-part podcast called The Dropout to see what wasn't in the Netflix doc, which seemed to just raise questions without ever really providing answers. Produced by ABC news, The Dropout covers much of the same territory and the same figures, gets more on-the-record interviews, details more of what occurred, giving specific stories, certainly revealing points that I'm surprised the Netflix doc left out, and generally does a good job of building a solid case for what - at least transactionally - happened at Theranos.
But... I'm still baffled by how this even got started in the first place.
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Format: Alamo South Lamar
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 spaceflight, during which Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins reached the moon and during which Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans to ever walk the surface of our satellite.
This evening, JuanD, Jamie and I hit the local cinema to take in the spectacle that is Apollo 11 (2019), and if you can tear yourself away from whatever new shows got dumped on Hulu and Netflix on Friday, I'm going to go ahead and recommend you give this movie a go.
Monday, February 18, 2019
Believe it or not, that is not a time-lost Alec Baldwin. That is the 13th President of the United States of America, Millard Fillmore.
I know pretty much nothing about Fillmore other than that he existed, and I guessed he was a Whig, and, indeed, he was. But that guess was based on my impression that he seemed old-timey.
So, what should we know about President Fillmore?
Friday, February 15, 2019
Format: TCM on DVR
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) rightfully won accolades and awards upon its release, telling the story of three returning GI's in terms that try not to gloss over the hardships and adjustments those who went to war in WWII must make as they come home and attempt to re-enter civilian life. Perhaps as much or more importantly, the movie doesn't ignore the adjustments and expectations of those who were safe at home, including arcs for the folks who didn't go, for whom life was not on pause as their loved ones - or even former coworkers - disappeared for a few years.
Sunday, February 10, 2019
Format: Amazon Streaming
Decade: 1970's (obvs)
It's too hard to unpack both the film All the President's Men (1976) and the actual events of the Watergate scandal without writing a full treastise, so I won't. But in 2019, the events of this movie have both an echo that sounds all too familiar, but one which it is difficult to believe would actually register with at least half the voting population. If the movie is *about* anything, it's showing how goddamn hard it is to build a newspaper story that will stick, the near-impossible job of the press, and, of course, the responsibility of the press in a free and open democratic society, something this blogger firmly believes in.
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Format: Fathom Events at Arbor Cinema
It's fascinating to see Peter Jackson turn his eye for detail and technical achievement to the discipline of documentary film-making. In many ways, They Shall Not Grow Old (2018) could herald a new era of popular documentary as important as the narrative innovations of Ken Burns, which have become the de facto mode for serious historical documentary for those of us who watch PBS. Frankly, from an historical/ accuracy perspective, I have a *lot* of quibbles with Jackson's approach - but we'll get to that after praising his achievements.
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Monday, December 10, 2018
Format: streaming on Prime, I think
Viewing: 7th or so
Holiday Inn (1942) is a terrific movie, except for the deeply problematic blackface sequence.
Friday, November 30, 2018
Former President George Herbert Walker Bush, our 41st President, has passed at the age of 94.
From the New York Times.
I genuinely always liked Mr. Bush as Vice President and then as President. When I think of the age in which you may not agree with policies and procedures of a politician, but respected the integrity of the person, I often think of G.H.W. Bush.
Thursday, November 29, 2018
I started reading All the Answers (2018) a couple of weeks ago, got ten pages in and realized that I wouldn't have time to read it cover to cover in one sitting, the way one generally wants to watch a film, and so I put away the book and picked it up again when I had uninterrupted time.
Written, researched, drawn and lived by Michael Kupperman, a cartoonist and artist I've followed for well over ten years at this point, the book is more than a minor pivot from a particular brand of humor comic that I would fail to capture here if I tried (and what is explaining a joke, anyway?) - this is also a biographical and autobiographical graphic novel. I believe Snake n' Bacon strips were my entree into Kupperman's work, followed by Tales Designed to Thrizzle - something that should be a staple in any comics-studies course. And, of course, Mark Twain's Autobiography, 1910-2010.
Sunday, November 4, 2018
Thursday, November 1, 2018
DISNEY HISTORY PODCAST: EPCOT - Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow! NathanC and Ryan talk about the park! Yesterday, today and tomorrow!
Walt Disney had a vision for an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, a city he'd build from scratch with businesses, living spaces, arts, science, universities, etc... And we got an amusement park. NathanC and Ryan delve into the history of EPCOT from concept to execution to today to tomorrow! Are we nostalgic for the future?
Here Come the Warm Jets - Brian Eno
Innoventions - Future World - EPCOT park soundtrack
The Universe of Energy - EPCOT park soundtrack
Promise - Leaving EPCOT song - EPCOT park soundtrack
On Some Faraway Beach - Brian Eno
Disney History with NathanC
Sunday, October 28, 2018
Saturday, September 29, 2018
Format: Amazon Streaming
People, for oh so many reasons, I am absolutely baffled and stunned by this movie.
Where to start...
Begin at the beginning, I suppose
Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Watched : 08/28/2018
Format: DVR/ TCM
Audrey Quotient: Nowhere near enough Audrey!
This isn't a noir film! Nope. This one is an historical drama about the creation of the atomic bomb. So, you know, fun stuff.
Friday, August 24, 2018
Format: Amazon Streaming
You guys, I @#$%ing loved this movie. Get a look inside my wheelhouse and what works for me in a movie with Southland Tales (2006). And, man, we really missed so much of what there was to say - enough so that I'm ready to make covering this movie an annual event.
AmyC returns with this overlooked, underseen sci-fi satire of a post 9/11 America. We struggle to convey the plot and all of the amazing things packed into this film - from one of the most astounding casts ever assembled, to musical choices, to transdimensional travel, to porn stars with rock solid business plans. Truly an unusual film that was never given a real shot at finding an audience - Ryan watches the film for the first time and is absolutely ready to push it to his list of recommendations.
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Tuesday, April 24, 2018
This weekend Jamie and I flew to New Orleans for the wedding of two folks I met via blogging and have become good pals with as we all lived in Austin for a few years before they departed for San Francisco and then NYC. On Saturday Steven H and Lauren R tied the knot in City Park with yours truly officiating.
|The Peristyle in City Park. This is from the internet, but it is where the wedding occurred.|
This was the third time I've officiated and every time it's no less nerve-wracking, and it is no less special as I've known all the couples well and know their stories. It's truly an honor and privilege to be asked, and to get to play that role is a truly memorable experience.
It's also the best seat in the house, if you're going to show up for a wedding, anyway. You want to see people having a moment as up close as it gets? That's where you want to be. You'll also see your friends looking as dashing and beautiful as they will ever be from, like, three feet away.
In short - I hope I didn't mess up the ceremony too much.