Tuesday, December 31, 2019
Here's to a year where, hopefully, we all learned something, even if it was a hard-earned or hard-fought lesson. Here's to a year where the shadows seemed to grow darker, and where we found light, it shone brighter. Here's to knowing what the coming year can bring, and not being on our heels this time when it comes.
Every night has a morning, and the sun always comes up.
Let's get our game faces on and be those lights shining brighter.
Let's extend a hand and help others to their feet. Let's stand between those who are looking to strike and those who can't raise their hands. Let's do it because we know the right thing to do, even when it's hard.
I have a lot of improvements I want to make in 2020. Now, we're gonna try and make this work.
May we all be the people we want to be in 2020.
Wednesday, December 25, 2019
Tuesday, December 24, 2019
Monday, December 23, 2019
We've all seen this movie, and the weirdest part to me is still that they got Michael Caine to sing and (kinda?) dance.
I like it, too. It's probably as safe a bet as you've got for introducing your kids to the notion of A Christmas Carol, which they might as well get to know at some point. But it is genuinely a sweet movie, even if not my favorite adaptation of the book (the George C. Scott version is incredible, the Patrick Stewart version surprisingly moving, and I'm always in the bag for Scrooged).
But, hey, you get penguins ice skating, some great muppet-eering, and Paul Williams providing excellent musical numbers. The sets are absolutely mind-boggling, and the "let's put a ton of Muppets on the screen" approach totally pays off.
Anyhoo, I'm a fan.
Sunday, December 22, 2019
It's a Signal Watch Stocking Stuffer! SimonUK and Ryan watched the 2010 Finnish sorta-horror import "Rare Exports" (2010), all about Santa maybe not being the fun-loving fellow who drops down chimneys to drop off presents, and maybe more a bit of "hold my beer, Krampus".
Holiday 2019 Playlist
Format: Netflix streaming
I am pretty sure I've written up this movie a half-dozen times, because I watch it every year or two.
I will say this for this viewing - the last time I watched it, I was watching a restored version, and I don't think that's what Netflix has. And, it's weird. The cast looks way rougher with the tint in the film. Look for the restored version.
Saturday, December 21, 2019
Friday, December 20, 2019
Viewing: Unknown. 7th?
It's Christmas Noir! From a first-person-perspective! It's kinda weird, honestly! Join Jamie and Ryan as they discuss "Lady in the Lake", a movie about murder with a very twisty mystery, with a lot of the story taking place on Christmas! For some reason. And Ryan finally gets to talk about Audrey Totter, noir and whatnot.
Holidays 2019 Playlist:
Gallery of Ms. Totter in Lady in the Lake (1947)
Sunday, December 15, 2019
PODCAST: "Long Kiss Goodnight" (1996) w/ SimonUK, Jamie and Yours Truly! It's a Holiday Adjacent Special!
Format: Streaming - Amazon
The Signal Watch hearts Geena Davis. And here she is! In a movie that takes place at Christmas - because it's written by Shane Black. SimonUK, Jamie and Ryan talk this mid-90's actioner that predates Jason Bourne movies but post-dates the Bourne books about a secret assassin recovering her memory as the baddies movie in.
Long Kiss Goodnight Intro - Alan Silvestri, Long Kiss Goodnight OST
Signal Watch Holidays 2019:
Saturday, December 14, 2019
Format: Alamo Mueller Movie Party
I saw Gremlins (1984) during its original theatrical run back when I was a kid. I wasn't someone who watched any horror yet, so I do recall the movie scaring the crap out of me in one or two scenes, but as the same kid who thought Ewoks were *great*, I also loved me some Gizmo.
In fact, I started 4th grade with an official Gremlins backpack that had Gizmo screenprinted on the outside like I was Billy Peltzer chasing me down some Stripe with my little buddy.
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
|The amazing Elizabeth Mitchell, partially blocked by some guy|
Format: Hallmark Channel, baby!
Mostly I don't write up the Hallmark Christmas movies that I watch, because I don't really watch them. I put them on and do other things, how I'll sometimes watch a 4 hour baseball game on a Saturday or Sunday. You do some work or check email or talk on chat to someone while the movie is on. And when you do look up, it's mostly a game of Hallmark movie bingo, teasing out what the new formula themes are this year (military, servicepeople - mostly men, and veterans have been big the past two years).
But The Christmas Club (2019) was one of the more expensive version of the formula, where they'd hired actors you may have seen somewhere before rather than the usual "who is that?" stars of other than Hallmark movies, assembled from spare parts found in a vat of pumpkin spice, Coach purses, bedazzled iPhones, Lululemons and Uggs.
Monday, December 2, 2019
Jamie came out of right field and asked if I wanted to live-blog a Netflix Christmas movie with she and her pal, Angel. Well, of course I did, it looked terrible. But I figured this whole deal was more Jamie's thing than your usual Signal Watch programming, so she should also write up the movie. So, without further ado...
- your host, Ryan
Last weekend, to kick off the holidays, Ryan and I (mostly Ryan) Christmassed up the house and then capped it off with a viewing of the Netflix Hallmark-style movie, The Knight Before Christmas (2019). Joined by my overseas friend Angel (hi, Angel!), we took to Twitter and made it a three person live-blogging extravaganza.
Woof. I don’t know that my expectations for this film were sky high, but I was honestly disappointed in Netflix. I’ve seen some decent original content there recently, and they’re not bad with romantic comedies. With the Hallmark channel turning into a holiday movie factory churning out cookie cutter romantic fluff, I felt that Netflix should be able to take a slightly higher concept plot, more money and talent, and produce something at least slightly entertaining. Silly me. It felt exactly like they took a discarded Hallmark movie and threw in some time travel to attract attention, then did nothing with it.
Thursday, November 28, 2019
May your day be spent the way you'd wish, and may all of us take a moment to count the things for which we can be grateful.
It's no secret I prefer a classic take on the day, starting with the broadcast of the parade, then walking the dog on our little trail around the neighborhood, and then dinner with my family - many of whom live here in town, making things pretty easy, honestly.
I've a lot to be thankful for this year. A change of jobs/ careers that went well. Good health for me and my family. Friends near and far, and that includes all of y'all, as we'd say down here in Texas. Heck, I'm grateful for all the work and time my friends have put into this ridiculous podcast. And I'm grateful for the time to do it, and support I've received (thanks, Patrons!).
There are a million other little things that also make me happy, but which are the niceties, and don't fall super high in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, so I'll keep it short. But I do hope you know I'm grateful for all of y'all.
Happy Thanksgiving, every buddy!
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
To see a list of recommended comics and images of comics we talk about, visit: Kryptonian Thought-Beast!
Thursday, July 25, 2019
Format: Hallmark Channel's Christmas in July
I was suffering a fever and whatnot over the weekend, and that's part of why this happened.
Around July 1, The Hallmark Channel began running Christmas movies 24/7, and I guess that's the gameplan through the end of the month. It's clearly a trial balloon to see if they should just go ahead and launch a fulltime Christmas movies channel, as in - all year it's Christmas. Which would make Jamie snap, and, thus, I support this idea.
Sunday, June 16, 2019
|taken just this evening|
This Father's Day I was thinking a bit about the words of wisdom that can be passed from father to child, the knowledge that can be imparted, generation after generation as parents - maybe even without really realizing what they're offering, maybe just a thought in passing, or maybe when sharing a specific life lesson - use just the right words, and those messages stick with you. Become a part of you.
Not having any children, I'm the end of some part of the line. I don't regret it, exactly, but I am missing out on some things, and certainly one of those will be sharing the things with my hypothetical kid that my dad shared with me. And since I don't have any kids, I thought I'd share some things with you that I'd have passed down, that have become just how I think about things and see the world.
- Don't expect a reward for generosity, the reward is in the giving and knowing you've helped lift someone else up
- Wasting time is wasted time
- Graduation is just the beginning of your education. Learn something every day.
- Nixon's only mistake was that he got caught.
- Sometimes things don't work out. Sleep on it. Figure out how to do better tomorrow.
- An education is the greatest gift you can give yourself.
- In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.
- Always maintain at least two additional identities you can disappear into at the drop of a hat, complete with SSN's, passports, the whole shmear. But not one for your wife. She's on her own. She's part of a you that doesn't exist anymore.
- When God closes a door, he opens a window.
- All that stands between you and making a new friend is a handshake and learning a name.
- The Earth is hollow and populated by giants. They are waiting for the next age at which time they will emerge at the behest of the Freemasons to purge the Earth of the non-believers.
- An insult to the family name requires retribution in blood.
- Treat the CEO and the Sanitation Engineer no different, and you'll always treat people right.
- Eat right, exercise, do the crossword, and you're getting a great foundation every day.
- Gold is not actually a precious resource. You can make it from iron and brass cooked at just the right temperature. The Freemasons don't want anyone to know this so they can control the global economy. There is no such thing as aluminum.
- UFO's are real, but they are transdimensional echoes of ourselves, drawn to this side to guide us on The Path.
- No man with a dog is without friends.
- If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with.
- Garfield wasn't assassinated. That was a cover-up and he still lives in a complex beneath the National Archives that you can also enter if you take the elevator going down in the Washington Monument. He's been the architect behind every major event of the past 120 years. His lover is Amelia Earhart.
I know, pretty trite sorta stuff. I guess it always sounds that way when you read it back out loud. But my Dad said it, and it means a lot to me.
Happy Father's Day!
Monday, May 27, 2019
Sunday, April 21, 2019
|I dunno about this team-up, y'all|
Growing up, Easter was a pretty big deal in our house. My folks are good Lutherans, and until about high school we got together with family and friends - hosting them for the weekend, or they'd host us - and insert the sort of small riot that can occur when you've got four boys born within 27 months of each other. There was always shenanigans on Friday and Saturday, and then Sunday was Easter Eggs, church and then a substantial dinner. If we were out of town, then a 3 hour drive back.
The trick to Easter was that teachers didn't care about your long weekend (we often had Good Friday off from school), and the holiday rolled on through lunch and into the late afternoon, but that didn't mean I didn't have a book report or a test to deal with on Monday. So, good job, my teachers. That was super cool of you.*
Of course, school days are decades in the past. No one lets me participate in egg hunts, I haven't dyed eggs in 15 years (it's way more work than its worth as an adult), and I've realized the chocolate at Easter is weirdly, uniformly terrible even as its just as bad for you as good chocolate.
But, you *can* often land a solid brunch or dinner out of the deal.
Aside from Biblical epics (an early and overlooked part of film's history which faded in the 60's), the entertainment offerings for Easter are pretty few and far between. No one really wants to trample all over the Passion story or the religious import of the holiday to a lot of people quite as cavalierly as they're willing to do with Christmas. I did see Hallmark took a stab at recycling their Christmas movie formula to make an Easter movie or two this year (never stop being you, Hallmark Channel). And, of course, we've got Judy Garland and Fred Astaire in Easter Parade.
It's not the best movie - pretty standard romantic comedy stuff, and Garland and Astaire are typically great, but it does feature Ann Miller shaking the blues away. And to that, we tip our hat.
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?