Friday, June 28, 2019
Watched: 06/17 and 06/20/2019
Viewing: Second and unknown
Format: DVD and BluRay
It's "Teens in Space"! We get far out with one kinda-grounded adventure featuring some kids on an unscheduled voyage and then find trouble in Rylos City as playing video games actually DOES turn out to be a life skill (if you want to murder anonymous aliens). Join MRSHL, Maxwell and Ryan as we keep our feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.
Last Starfighter Fanfare - Craig Safan, Last Starfighter OST
In Orbit - John Williams, Space Camp OST
High School Movies Playlist
Format: TCM on DVR
A fascinating oddball of a movie - part epic, part recreation, part disaster film, part meditation on the futility of war, Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) is an all-star retelling the of the real life events leading up to, and a recreation of, the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Originally this was supposed to be two separate movies, one Japanese and one American. And it almost is - the Japanese parts were directed by Japanese directors (Kurosawa was notoriously fired off the film!), and the American parts: an American director. I can only wonder how that would have worked in practice, perhaps better. Both sections reflect the mistakes made along the way - failure of diplomacy, duplicitous use of diplomatic formalities, bureaucratic loggerheads, etc... Each section reflects back the stance of the home country on what happened at Pearl Harbor in tone and approach, which can make for something of a split-personality to the film that doesn't always work, but probably informs the viewer in 2019 what was felt a generation after the war.
Sunday, June 23, 2019
The kids are never going to know that there is, literally, in the public consciousness, a world before Tim Burton's Batman from back in '89, and a world that came into being after that movie.
Today marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Batman, the Michael Keaton/ Kim Basinger/ Jack Nicholson-starring gothic caricature that changed the public's perception of superheroes in general. This isn't hyperbole - nothing was ever the same after this movie came out. You don't get an Iron Man or Avengers without Batman. You really don't get the idea out to the general public that comics have moved to a teens-and-up audience until you get breathless write-ups about the Batmania phenomenon. You also don't have piles of merchandise for adults with a superhero logo on it until Batman, or comics movie-related toys flying off the shelf.
But, mostly, you finally got people to stop thinking "Bam! Whap! Pow!" when they thought about superheroes.
Saturday, June 22, 2019
For some reason folks try to file this movie under "noir", and... maybe...? But I'm going to just go ahead and say "drama". I'm not willing to do mental the work to turn a Jack London story on a boat into a noir.
I actually broke one of my own rules and purchased this BluRay a couple of months ago having had never seen the movie. Honestly, I looked at the starring names, looked at the source material and the name of the director and figured "I've spent money on far worse films".
A wildly timely movie - perhaps depressingly so - as the original story by novelist Jack London was adapted to reflect the times. A man on the run played by John Garfield joins up with a ship (agreeing after almost getting shanghied). Meanwhile, an escaped convict (Lupino) is hiding on a ferry to San Francisco when it's struck by a steamship. She and a writer (Knox) are rescued by the crew of The Ghost, but with no intention of setting them back to land. The Ghost is a 1900-era pirate ship, and those aboard are a crew of the worst of society, who hate themselves almost as much as they hate each other (and assume the worst in everyone).
Friday, June 21, 2019
Help support The Signal Watch PodCast!
Become a Patron!
Format: Amazon Streaming
Jamie and Ryan get small with a hero of dynamic proportions. It's "Ant-Man" (2015), Marvel's post "Avengers: Ultron" tone reset. Part heist, part retro-sci-fi, part superhero - it's the Gen-X superhero with a whole lot of supporting cast and the best van in superherodom.
Plain Song - The Cure, Disintegration
Avengers Chronological Countdown Playlist
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
We covered some major territory in Part 1 of the Big Red Cake Taste Test. But here at League HQ, we understand that science needs to be double-checked, and so we've signed up our better half to help calibrate the testing of tastes.
Jamie is a far pickier eater than myself. She will decide well before she's seen, smelled or tasted a food that it is going to be "gross". This is an ongoing battle in our house and has been waged relentlessly since Clinton's first term.*
But she will do taste tests. I cannot imagine why, but she will. Or steal a drink of my beer if I mention that I liked it. She is a beer stealer.
She was the one who found the cake at HEB, but it was texted with a message like "barf!", to which I responded "BRING ME THE CAKE". And, so, here is Part 2 of The Big Red Taste Test, where Jamie goes ahead and gives something new a shot.
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
So, we moved to Arizona in 2002. And in 2003 I went to cook up some barbecue, and as part of that equation, I headed to the soda aisle. It's a bit old school, but it's kind of a Texas tradition to drink Big Red Soda with your BBQ. To my shock, they didn't have it. That would be grounds for dismissal in Texas - we always have Big Red in any soda selection of quality.
I started looking around at convenience stores and other groceries, then finally asked my co-workers, and none of them knew what I was talking about. Apparently Big Red is pretty regional.
So: Big Red is a "red cream soda". You can shorten that to "cream soda" and assume it's been colored red. It has nothing to do with Big Red the cinammon-flavored chewing gum, so get that our of your head right now. If you've had A&W Cream Soda or Dr. Brown's... something like that. Only... redder.
I don't really drink sugar soda or any soda other than soda water these days (love me some Topo Chico), but every once in a while I still sneak a Big Red. You don't need much... it's pure sugar.
HEB is a Texas-based grocery chain, and every once in a while they like to just mess with people and their weird Texas obsessiveness. And that's how, I think, we ended up with a Big Red Soda Cake.
In what will now be a series of "how are you allowed to cover this business? Do you know any actual humans?" responses to THR bone-picking articles and their "protect the industry!" take on news... I guess I'm gonna talk about why no one is going to see comedies in the theater.
THR is confused as to why people are not going to see comedies at the movies, and talks about the theories being floated in Hollywood in what's turning out to be a dreadful summer if you aren't Ant-Man or a talking raccoon.
Let me help:
It's because there's no reason to see a comedy on the big screen. It will be available via streaming within a couple of months, maybe for free.
There. Very simple.
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!
One of my earliest memories is being about three, hanging from the inside of the garage door and singing "We Will Rock You" and kicking the garage door to the beat. Who knew a 3 year old would have that kind of appreciation for a Brian May guitar lick?
It's hard to piece together what I knew about Queen and when. It doesn't help that time for kids is so distended, and what were minor hiatuses for the band were epic blocks of time to me back then. I do remember them coming back into my consciousness with "Radio Gaga". I remember a bit of Live Aid on playback (but not live). I remember Freddie passing.
And, of course, anyone around at the time remembers the post-mortem, Wayne's World supported explosion of "Bohemian Rhapsody", a song I can't say I'd heard before.