Friday, January 8, 2016

Happy Birthday, Roy Batty

The internet tells me that, according to the movie Blade Runner, today is Roy Batty's incept date.

Happy birthday, Roy.  You gave 13-year-old me a lot to think about when it came to my mortality.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Hunter Watch: Broadcast News (1987)

Who doesn't like Holly Hunter?  You?  To hell with you, then.

What a strange artifact of a movie.  This thing wouldn't make a ping on the cultural radar in 2015, but in 1987 it made, like, $50+ million, which was nothing to sneeze at back then and was lauded and honored.  It was nominated for, like, 10 Academy Awards, but seemingly won none of them.  You know what did win?  Harry and the Hendersons for make-up, and Innerspace for visual effects.  Makes you think.

And the entire credits last, like, 45 seconds because we didn't used to need 800 people making CGI coffee cups and digitally removing that one fly-away on Holly Hunters hair in one scene.

The 1980's were a weird time for movies.  I'm not sure if the kids today properly understand a world in which people's parents owned John Updike books whether they read them or not, divorce was a genteel activity for upper middle class white folks, people drank white wine un-selfconsciously, and there was a huge market for movies aimed at your parents to go see without their children, usually about people who read John Updike, drank white wine and got divorced in terribly civilized tones.

It all seems so impossible right now.

All Quiet on the Western Front: What We've Been Up To

Do as Peggy says

If it's been a little quiet around here, I apologize.

Sunday I wrapped a week-and-a-half off from work (sometimes working at a University has its privileges.  They just sent us home on the 22nd and said "don't come back til Monday the 4th"), and between writing those end of the year posts and no longer being under obligation to write about every movie I've watched, I've felt some sense of liberation and I'm enjoying it.

We also haven't watched all that many movies.  I'll still, at minimum, post the poster for whatever movie I just watched, but full write-ups won't come as often this year.  Yes, I probably should have written something about Hateful 8, but... nope.

A long while back I got Jamie the Season 1 Agent Carter BluRay set, but she's held off on watching it until now so we would get a refresher just before Season 2 arrives January 19th.

It's rare I feel so vindicated as I have about my instincts around Haley Atwell's kick-ass love interest for Cap in 2011's Captain America.  I won't lie:  Ms. Atwell is a striking lady, but I couldn't help but feel they'd found a lot of pieces in both script and actress I was interested in seeing expanded.  But the Marvel Cinematic U is pretty firmly planted in the 21st Century, so I didn't expect anything except for a lot of me saying "I wish they would have done more with Agent Carter".

Well, sometimes the universe surprises us, and not only did they make a short-seasoned TV show I thought was better than it was ever going to be, but Jamie - who liked Peggy as well in the Cap movie - was a HUGE fan.  I won major brownie points for getting her the Peggy carter Funko Pop, for example.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The 2015 Kryptos! We Talk the Best and Worst and What Made an Impression in 2015

Hey, everybuddy!

Welcome to the 2015 Signal Watch Awards, or, as we're calling them here - The Kryptos!  We've named the awards after everyone's favorite flying super dog.  We were going to call them The Jimmies, but that sounded like a crappy local pop-punk band, or some sort of speed the kids would be doing by crushing up their ADD meds, and we're not doing it.

So, welcome to the First Annual Kryptos - for 2015!

It's sepia for class

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Amy Schumer Watch: Trainwreck (2015)

This movie I liked.  Maybe formulaic and predictable, but everything around that was pretty good.  Although Colin Quinn as the Dad of Amy Schumer made me feel 1000 years old.

Here's to Amy Schumer having another good year in 2016.

Silent Watch: Tabu (1931)

I just watched the F.W. Murnau film Tabu: A Story of the South Seas (1931).   But the write-up will not be here.  More on that to come, I suppose.

Friday, January 1, 2016

JimD Returns to Blogging

I sense something.  A presence I've not felt since...

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a young attorney, fresh from law school, suggested I try my hand at blogging.

I know Jim from our days at the University of Texas when we were both studying Film in the College of Communications.  Jim sat near me in our first screenwriting class, and while I have no recollection of why and how we started chatting, it seems it had something to do with comic books.  But I can't remember how comics came up.

We had an intensive writing class together the next semester, and that's when we started talking a lot, and thanks to email, our chatting continued through the end of the 90's after graduation as Jim continued his education about 90 minutes up I-35 at the famed Baylor Law School.

In 2002 or so, Jim launched a "blog" and suggested I do same.  "I've nothing to say," I protested, but in 2003, I joined Jim in the blogosphere.

Tarantino Watch: Hateful Eight (2015)

In 2016 I am not blogging every movie I watch.  This seems like a pretty good one to start with, as I really don't feel like talking about the movie.  Let's just say it didn't need to be a three-hour movie, but it's great to see Jennifer Jason Leigh in something.  I like her a lot and she's not in much I see.

But it was a bit of a disappointment as a movie.  So I'm not going to write about it.

Books Read in 2015

Sometime about 10 years ago, I realized I'd only read, like, 2 books all year.  While that's still 200% more books than the average American, and I justified it all by telling myself I'd read a lot of comics (I had.  A LOT of comics.), I felt a bit bad about not reading books without pictures.  So, these days I
strive to read a bit more.

Here's the list of what I read in 2015.  It's only 23 books, but I figure that's about two a month, and that's not awful when you add in the numbers I presented yesterday when it came to movies.  Plus working and whatnot.

Happy New Year from The Signal Watch

Via the power of Ann Miller, The Signal Watch wishes you a very Happy New Year.

May 2016 bring you joy, fulfillment and monkeyshines.

Thanks for sticking with us.  You guys are the bestest.