Thursday, May 10, 2012

Signal Watch Watches: High Anxiety (1977)

I had never seen Mel Brooks' High Anxiety (1977), but thought at first that I had when JeniferSF had been describing it to me.  Well, no.  I hadn't seen it, but I'm glad for the recommendation.

A loving tribute to the films of Alfred Hitchcock, High Anxiety is in the vein of other Brooks spoofs, which he made right up until just a few years ago.  Probably what you want to know is which of the Brooks 70's era stable of supporting players does he recruit?

The movie stars Brooks himself, Madeline Kahn, Harvey Korman, and features an amazingly hilarious and quotable performance by Cloris Leachman.  Seriously, I'm watching it again just to see if I can remember some of her dialog.

I don't really want to spoil it, so I'll just recommend it if you think you've seen Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles too many times and you're looking for something in a similar vein.  It doesn't quite reach those epic heights (no Gene Wilder, perhaps?), but it gets the job done.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Blog hiatus: The Dug is coming (and K)

The Dug is scheduled to arrive this evening, and this will seriously cut into Signal Watch time.

We're thrilled to have Dug with us, and very happy K had a change of plans and can make it out, too.

But of the many faces of Douglas, which will appear?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Signal Watch Watches: Manhattan (1979)

Hey, remember how we sometimes talk about how not everything works for everybody?

Woody Allen movies are one of those things for me.  Objectively, I can appreciate that there is punchy dialog, lovely cinematography, that nobody aside from Ghostbusters knows how to use New York as a character better.  I guess, I've only been there once for a few days 14 years ago.

I actually quite like Annie Hall and a few other Woody Allen movies.  But I think its fair to say that this was not a movie that was about anything I find terribly interesting.  But you're supposed to see it, so see it I have.

The movie has 30-odd years worth of folks who love it and who have gotten something out of it, and good on them.

That's probably enough on that.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

No Avengers Post, so, something else

1.  It's our Sunday night thing when Mad Men is on to have some pals over and watch the show and maybe have a cocktail or two.  I did so.  I also saw Avengers today, but don't want to write about it right now, so there.

2.  Mad Men is doing something it has not done before, and that's build toward a sense of dread and doom throughout the whole season.  Also, f-yeah, Revolver.  I am going to now open my iTunes and listen to that album.

3. And Peggy.  I can't tell you how much I loved Peggy Olson in this episode.

4.  I have been "reading" my FCBD comics, and its sort of... are your comics disappointing this year, or is it just me?  I mean, I guess I get that they have to do promo stuff of a sort, but it would have been nice to get a full story the way Atomic Robo did.  The rest of them I've had time to read barely give a feel for the comic.

5.  I found the FCBD offering for The Ride pretty terrible.  Basically a clumsy "here's what happened" sequence on any cops procedural, only with a complete lack of context, and I have no doubt this will be some half-baked, half-assed work by some comic creators trying to be edgy.  After reading The Green River Killer, I'm reminded of what can be in a comic, and this...  this is just CBS police show junk.

6.  Again, it makes no sense that I have not read all of Atomic Robo.  There is nothing not amazing about Dr. Dinosaur.

7.  That said, FCBD was incredibly well managed at my local shop.  Frankly, Austin Books does a great job every year improving the experience.  I've gotten some reports that other shops ran out of some or all of their comics.  Sorry about that.  If I can help, let me know.  I can put things in the mail.

8.  This week, The Dug and K shall arrive.

9.  I expect there shall be RiffTrax.  Perhaps even involving sparkly vampires.

10.  Hope you had a good weekend, and we'll rap tomorrow on Avengers.

11.  Late addition.  This is hilarious.  I as reading a quick preview of an upcoming comic (with toys attached), Jurassic Strike Force 5, and the Pterodactyl has boobs!

Oh, comics.  Sometimes you truly are the medium of awkward 13 year old boys.

75th Anniversary of the Hindenburg Disaster

On May 6th, 1937 the airship known as The Hindenburg burst into flames, killing 36 people.

In many ways it's utterly shocking that only 36 died.  

It may come to you as a surprise that I am NOT an expert in pre-WWII era airships or their design, so I really don't know much about the disaster other than that you really don't see people clamoring for blimp rides these days.

The Hindenburg was also supposed to be one of Nazi Germany's showcase Graf Zeppelins in America, so, you sort of have to have mixed feelings...

I'm not one to shy away from looking directly at a car crash scene, so if you want to see it, the footage from the disaster is up and online.  Learn where we got the phrase "Oh, the humanity!" that one declares when witnessing a disaster.

For more information, you can click here.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

FCBD2012 at Austin Books

Free Comic Book Day is still going on all over the place! I, however, am done for the year.

I met up with PaulT, we visited the comics tent at Austin Books and Comics on Lamar, then went into the shop. I picked up a back issue and an action figure I was missing from my line-up (I'd already been to the shop this week). Then headed next door to Guzu Gallery where Paul picked up a couple of prints and I bought something for Jamie.

Then we went to House Pizza, and it was totally great.

But, FCBD!

While waiting in line, I got to meet vintage Catwoman.  She looked purrr-fect.  Yes, I just did that.

this pic came out weird because I'm holding a water bottle in my hand and didn't make fists

Apparently I was having hair issues today.  Too much product.

You can't go to FCBD and not get the annual picture with Sidekick Girl

I don't even think this is in her job description.  I think its just what she DOES.

We were allowed 10 comics from the tent.  I picked up nine because I cannot count.

In group A, we see Donald Duck Family, Superman Family, Escapegoat (a leftover from last year), and Atomic Robo and Friends

And here we see the hardcover free comic (I know, I don't get it either) for Mouse Guard, Ride, Graphic Elvis (just nice pictures of Elvis.  How was I to say no to that?), Dinosaus vs. Aliens and oddball offering, Animal Planet's World's Most Dangerous Animals.

All in all, a really fun day!

Now get out there and find some comics!

Signal Watch Reads: Action Comics #9

Action Comics #9
The Curse of Superman
writer - Grant Morrison
artist - Gene Ha
colorist - Art Lyon
letterer - Patrick Brosseau
associate editor - Wil Moss
editor - Matt Idleson
Superman created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster

And now for something completely different...

It's no secret that at this point, of the New 52 relaunch, I may actually be down to just Action Comics.  This week, more out of knee-jerk loyalty than anything, I also checked out Levitz and Perez on World's Finest, but I don't think that book is going to be my thing, either.

What I am interested in is what Grant Morrison is saying and doing with his run on Action, a book that by issue 9 has already suffered two fill-in issues.  If readers were having doubts, what with the broken momentum of the first 8 issues and the seeming "well, here's the set-up" vibe of the book, Action Comics #9 is a remarkable comic, and, it seems, possibly Grant Morrison's line in the sand to the overlords at DC, to the readers, and to maybe very specific people.

Morrison has long said he tries to manage reality by working his will through comics, and for anyone paying attention, the allegories and symbols are riding on the surface level.  Not the least of which is Morrison's decision to put an entirely reimagined, African-American Superman on the cover of his book (with the help of Gene Ha).

Rude George Returns!

CarlaB was good enough to share some pics of the aforementioned Rude George!

Rude George is just going to stand really close in your personal space, if that's okay

Rude George does not care for your attitude

Rude George does not care to make amends, but he's willing to stare at you while you talk

Wise Ben is here to set things straight

Brought to you by CarlaB, David and, of course, Xander!

Friday, May 4, 2012

We Rewatched "The Muppets" - Movies 2012

As we plod on through talking about every movie we watched in 2012, I am obliged to mention that we spent this evening watching 2011's The Muppets.

We talked about the movie in passing back in Novemberish, and I stand by what I said back then. Its a great all ages film, and the sort of thing I hope parents are sharing with their kids.

I will note, on this go-round I noticed that within about twenty minutes of the same movie, the movie expressly makes a point about believing in yourself as a sign of understanding yourself, but then concludes the movie by having Kermit tell everyone he believes in them.  So, you know, whatever.  We all believe in everybody.  I guess that's okay.