Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cap is a Write-In for President In a Comic Somewhere

As we head into election season, the online media looks for click-fodder, and Marvel and DC think up events that will get headlines rather than sell some damn comics...

Was I surprised to read on a mainstream news site that Captain America is going to become President of the United States in the "Ultimate" version of the Marvel Universe?  Well, yeah.  I mean, that's a pretty drastic idea.  Of course, I haven't followed the Ultimate universe in a while, and last I checked they'd also killed off Peter Parker, half the X-Men, and, I think, basically gone "dystopian" with their version of the world.  So, you know, whatever.

I mean, Cap over in the mainline Marvel U pondered a run circa 1980 (we got Reagan instead, who, while charming, couldn't have taken Batroc the Leaper).  And Superman was elected President in one of those "Imaginary Stories" back in the day, Lex won the election in 2000 as a third party candidate (with Superman's childhood pal, Pete Ross, as VP), and Morrison made a version of Superman President who appeared as recently as Action Comics #9 (Volume 2).  And, Superman has been the Prime Minister of Russia over in Red Son.  And that doesn't include the dozens of times Superman went crazy and declared himself either king of the gorillas, some locality or of all the Earth.

Back in the 1970's, Batgirl served in Congress for a number of years (it was insane).  And, of course, one must never forget DC oddball youth-culture-appeal character Prez Rickard.

and the President thought he'd really discovered something when he watched  his first Kubrick movie...
So, basically, comics are full of crazy-brained stunts and goofy ideas about our elected (and not-elected) leaders.  They always have been, and I guess they always will be.  I'm glad that superhero comics aren't above the sort of wacky story telling that leads to stuff like Batgirl running for office, but I'm an old reader and seeing Cap sworn in as President on a write-in vote doesn't exactly blow my mind.  I hope younger readers feel differently.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy Birthday to the great Cassandra Peterson

Today is the birthday of this person, Cassandra Peterson.

Today she is 61.

You probably know her better as:

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

Happy birthday, wherever you are, Ms. Peterson.

It's Jake's birthday

here's weird 1990's movie Cap played by the son of JD Salinger here to wish you a happy birthday, Jake.  I assume you're turning 87 or 13.  I'm not sure how old you are.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Opera Watch: The Ring Cycle Parts 1 & 2

Again - I know absolutely nothing about opera.  Nothing.  I'm also not particularly up on my Germanic/ Norse mythology, my Wagner, or basically anything to do with what I've committed upwards of 18 hours to watching.  And, you know...  it's nice to try something outside of my 21st Century comfort zone, especially when I can do it from the comfort of my living room using the power of DVR, HD TV and state-of-the-art, semi-avante-garde (by opera standards) production.

Musically, the show is familiar in part because it's been endlessly repurposed over the 20th century for cartoons, movies, commercials and television.  Most famous is the "Ride of the Valkyries" theme from the second opera in the cycle, which everyone knows at least in part because of the helicopter scene in Coppola's Apocalypse, Now.  Hell, this cycle of operas provides the reason behind the common imagery of the zaftig broad in the viking helmet with a spear belting out the high notes.

@#$% is gettin' real in Valkyrie town

The production shown on PBS last week was not the one recommended to me a few months back.  That was the 1992 production, also recorded at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.  While the production made it to DVD and the sound quality is excellent, the video suffers from the limitations of the time and an insistence by the videographers to shoot the opera more or less from an audience member's distant vantage.  I can't comment on the vocal performances knowledgeably, but the actual acting performances in this version are noticeably stronger and assisted by the camera's ability to get in much closer.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Signal Watch Call for Entries: What Spooky Movies Shall I Watch this October?

Hi y'all!

October is just around the corner.  I need to consider what spoooooky movies I can watch as we head into the haunted season.

let's blow the lid off this Halloween!
If you've hung around the past few years, you should know all about my love of Frankenstein movies and classic Universal Horror films.  And, of late, I've liked a lot of the Hammer films I've had a chance to see.  I'll check out a Vincent Price flick, and I'm pretty fond of stuff that rides the line between cheesy and scary.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Gotter DAMN erung! We're taking a break from blogging.

Y'all, I'm kind of not going to be posting this week.


Because Wagner's The Ring Cycle is going to be playing every night this week on PBS.

For some reason this opera keeps crossing my path of late, and I think it's all leading to something, man.

So I am going to take a break from blogging and I am going to get cultured.

Deborah Voigt in the role of Brünnhilde
Hey.  So.  Why not join in?  It's on all week!  It might be a nice break from the usual stuff on TV.

It's got mermaids and trolls and gods and valkyries and dragons and all kinds of crazy stuff.  It's the basis for half the fantasy, comics, sci-fi and bigger-than-life entertainment we enjoy today.

It's going to be a blast!

So, put on your viking helmet, dust off your love of Bugs Bunny cartoons, and we can all rock out to some old fashioned Wagner.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

No Post Sunday Night

Y'all, I was pretty pathetic this weekend.  I accidentally knocked myself out with Benadryl on Friday night and slept (more or less) from 8 PM until 8:30 AM.  I'm also still sick, but in this weird, pathetic way that just involves a dry, wheezing cough.

Because I can read the boxes on over the counter medications, after 5-7 days of persistent symptoms this being day 6, I have sought medical help, and I am now on an antibiotic, because that's what they do when "go home" doesn't sound very good.  The good news is that I don't have pneumonia, which I was glad I had not thought about until the doctor said "pneumonia, you don't have it".

Anyway, I have a very early meeting at work tomorrow, and I'm going to bed super early, and I didn't really do anything worth mentioning over the weekend, so, there you go.

this would be a meeting worth getting up for
Also, congrats to the UT Longhorns who waited for me not to watch them to win a game 45-0 against Los Lobos of New Mexico.

See our own NathanC talk about 20 films in record time

Plus he talks about film and filming in San Antonio.

Signal Watch Watches: Frankenstein Island (1981 - but you'd never know it from looking at the movie)

I don't really know where to start.


To explain, we watched the VOD version of this movie from RiffTrax with Doug, and he was right - the new VOD stuff RiffTrax is doing is every bit as good as the better MST3K stuff.

While the RiffTrax guys strayed from the world of punching-bag-bad movies and have stepped up to big budget Hollywood stuff in this format (and absolutely killed with it), it's still fun to see the old tools come out and see these guys at work.

So...  Frankenstein Island (1981).  

Oh, John Carradine, even your unused b-roll deserved better...

There are many things one could say about this movie, and among those things is the idea I find inescapable that director Jerry Warren, who had spent the mid-50's through the mid-60's creating the exact sort of movie that wound up on MST3K in the first place, was sitting around with his pals and said "Hey, let's do one more!  It'll be great.  Let's make a movie!" and this is what happened.  And so, in a way, I really hope those guys had fun making the movie, because it makes no sense and it's both mind-boggling and boring.