Sunday, May 15, 2011

Noir Watch: Pushover

Pushover isn't a top-flight flick, but its a nice study in building drama and tension and a chance to see Kim Novak in not just one of her first credited performances, but as a leading lady. And, of course, the always weird sight of Fred MacMurray in a noir role.

The story is a small-scale pot boiler about temptation, moral gray areas and what a great idea we can all find Kim Novak.  Novak plays the kept-girl of an on-the-lam bank robber (Lona McLane), and MacMurray a cop (Paul Sheridan) who picks her up awhen he's supposed to charm some information out of her, and see if she can tell the cops where her boyfriend is hiding out.  The two fall hard for each other, and suddenly everything is up for grabs. The two scheme a bit, and figure there's a way to hang onto the dough the boyfriend picked up in his latest robbery.  The cops are particularly hot to find him as, during the last robbery, someone got shot.

...and that was Smallville - 10 final things

This is all spoilery, so if you're way, way behind on the series or actually like the series, I'd suggest you click off to some other place on the internet.  Here, this puppy is very cute.  Look at this.

So, this last Friday (the 13th, no less), Smallville did wrap up.  And we've already talked about our feelings on the program here.  

The show did some things I wasn't sure I'd ever see.  Apokolips, the actual, entire planet, made it to TV, floating in from behind Saturn (the show wrestled with scale with the planet, but... whatever).  We briefly saw a CGI Darkseid, so Darkseid has now made it onto live TV, in a way.  Most importantly, we saw Clark fly.  The FX weren't great, and the first thing Clark did was get some speed in the air and straight up blow up a guy with HIS FISTS*, but he flew.

But...  but...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

On the topic of Wonder Woman not getting picked up by NBC

There are many kinds of people in this world and these different people have different sets of tastes.  There are also many kinds of stories in this world, and many ways of telling stories.  Mass media, especially television and its model of "who is watching now (and please don't skip the ads)" doesn't deal with either of these facts particularly well.

don't fear, America.  You will never see the latex-clad Wonder Woman on your TV screens.
I am a fan of the Wonder Woman character (albeit, not as big a fan as some).  I am not a fan of much of the work of David E. Kelley, most famous for his role as the creator of Ally McBeal, but also creator of Boston Legal, Snoops, Girls Club, Boston Public, The Wedding Bells and a dozen other projects.  I will confess that I liked Lake Placid.  I always like movies about giant alligators.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Signal Watch Reads: Superman 711

Superman 711
Written by:  Chris Roberson (with nominal input via JMS)
Penciller:  Eddy Barrows
Inker:  JP Mayer
Colors:  Rod Reis
Letters:  John J Hill
Editors:  Wil Moss & Matt Idleson

insert "gets a real charge out of" or "finds this shocking" joke here

With each passing issue, you can only hope that DC realizes what they've got on their hands with Chris Roberson's Superman. I am certain editors Idleson and Moss know, and I can only cross my fingers and hope that after this Grounded storyline is in the rearview mirror, they have plans to let Roberson bring his magic back to Metropolis.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Fare thee well, O Smallville

Friday is the final episode of TV's Smallville.

What does one say about a show that's been on the air so long?  That's about 220 episodes of Superman-related broadcasts (and without commercials, I'd guess about 170 hours of Superman-ish material).  Moreover, what does one say when they are a die-hard Superman fan who has watched the program out of a mis-placed sense of obligation and stuck with it just to see it through to the end, like a pet goldfish you know is on his last legs so you need to keep feeding it...?

many, many episodes involved Clark talking at rocks

In truth, the show became so bad it, at some point it became hilarious.  Watching week after week, you can see that the production team simply could not get their @#$% right, no matter how hard they tried.  It's adorable, and it became part of why I tuned in: to see just exactly how this was going to go wrong this week.

Not a ringing endorsement, but it takes on a life of its own.*

One last FCBD pic - Comic Book Joy at Austin Books

Jason took this picture.

I thought I was photo-bombing a pic of Jamie, but Jason was actually just trying to get the front of the store and Jamie was just standing there.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Signal Watch Watches: THOR

There are going to be plenty of straight-up reviews out there of the first really big offering of the Summer Movie Season, so I'll spare you an attempt at all that.

1) Like many Marvel movies, I've only a cursory knowledge of Thor as he exists in comics. As a kid, the character just didn't work for me at all (I thought the same thing about Superman, so, natch), and never really grew interested in Thor. I'm not much of a swords'n'sorcery guy, and I just wasn't interested in the mix of faux-Shakespearean dialect and modern interpretation of myth. I would look at Thor in Avengers, and he always seemed oddly out of place, like seeing Chewbacca show up in an X-Files episode because it's all sci-fi.

2) I think my Kirby-adoration has given me a better understanding of Thor these days, and I've spoken some with CanadianSimon about Thor, and, frankly, I am trying to free up my budget to get my hands on some of the Walt Simonson Thor. It just sounds too good.

Happy Mother's Day - in song!

Happy Mother's Day to the Moms out there! This Mother's Day my own mom is in Kenya wrestling lions or something, and Jamie's mom is in Trinidad and Tobago. So, no formal Mother's Day business for us.

But, hey... I assume somebody out there who reads this might be a mom. So, you know, we tip our hat. Its the hardest job out there, and there's not a lot of room for screwing up.

Anyhow, let's celebrate the holiday... in song!

From our friends in Pink Floyd:

From Dumbo:

From our friend Glen:

FCBD 2011 at Austin Books

Hey! Today was Free Comic Book Day all 'round the world!

As has become tradition, Jason, Jamie and I headed down to Austin Books and Comics to see what was going down.

The line wrapped around the building from about 8:00 AM until sometime into the very late afternoon.

This goes on just all day long on FCBD at Austin Books
Jamie is a sport. I don't know that she actually likes FCBD too much, but she goes pretty much every year.

Jamie is cos-playing as Super-Jamie's alter-ego, Jamie