Friday, November 29, 2019

Whodunnit Watch: Knives Out (2019)



Watched:  11/29/2019
Format:  Alamo S. Lamar
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

I have a feeling Rian Johnson is going to be, with this movie, one of those directors twitter decides they need to prove they think is overrated.  He hasn't made that many movies, seems pretty lucky to have done what he's been able to do (if you ignore how he scraped to get Brick made), and hasn't ever delivered exactly what people are expecting when they show up at the theater - up to and including The Last Jedi.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thanksgiving 2019


May your day be spent the way you'd wish, and may all of us take a moment to count the things for which we can be grateful. 

It's no secret I prefer a classic take on the day, starting with the broadcast of the parade, then walking the dog on our little trail around the neighborhood, and then dinner with my family - many of whom live here in town, making things pretty easy, honestly. 

I've a lot to be thankful for this year.  A change of jobs/ careers that went well.  Good health for me and my family.  Friends near and far, and that includes all of y'all, as we'd say down here in Texas.  Heck, I'm grateful for all the work and time my friends have put into this ridiculous podcast.  And I'm grateful for the time to do it, and support I've received (thanks, Patrons!). 

There are a million other little things that also make me happy, but which are the niceties, and don't fall super high in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, so I'll keep it short.  But I do hope you know I'm grateful for all of y'all. 

And Turkey.

And Rockettes.




Happy Thanksgiving, every buddy!

Noir Watch: Kansas CIty Confidential (1952)


Watched:  11/27/2019
Format:  Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1950's

Somehow I'd never seen Kansas City Confidential (1952), but if I'd known it starred John Payne, Coleen Gray, Lee Van Cleef and Jack Elam, I would have tried a lot harder to see it sooner.

A windy, twisty heist caper - this one is told from the outside as John Payne plays an ex-con who is accidentally/ sorta framed for a bank heist when masked robbers pull a job worth $1.2 million (that's about $11.6 million now), using a duplicate of his flower delivery van.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

PODCAST! Christmas with Kryptonian Thought-Beast!




Brandon Z and Ryan talk about how comics have embraced Christmas over the years, from the cute to the weird and everything in-between. We also make some practical recommendations for folks who want to gift some comics this holiday season.

To see a list of recommended comics and images of comics we talk about, visit:  Kryptonian Thought-Beast!






Monday, November 25, 2019

Murphy Watch: Dolemite Is My Name (2019)


Watched:  11/24/2019
Format:  Netflix Original
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

Back in college my pal Shoemaker would wait til we were about four drinks in and then I'd turn around he'd have put Dolemite movies on, and so I vaguely remembered them from the heyday of the mid 1990's.  Between being four drinks in, not focusing on the movies and the passage of 2.5 decades, sadly, my memory of the movies was vague at best.

Bad kung-fu, stilted acting and gratuitous nudity were more or less what registered and stuck with me.  And, I never did listen to any Rudy Ray Moore records, just saw images of the covers.  I like blue humor as much as the next guy, I just never made the time.

When I heard Dolemite Is My Name (2019) was coming out, I decided to revisit the original film.  And, if you follow this blog closely, you'll note that there's no post for Dolemite from this year.  Because, honestly, it's a movie you should be watching with other people.  Watching it by yourself just feels kinda weird.  It is a *bad* movie, but it is a fun bad movie that asks to be talked over and discussed as it goes along.    And, yeah, my memories of bad kung-fu, stilted acting and gratuitous nudity were verified.  Way to go, 1990's brain cells!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Disney Watch: Frozen 2 (2019)


Watched:  11/23/2019
Format:  Alamo Slaughter Lane
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

I liked it a great deal.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Disney Watch: Frozen (2013)



Watched:  11/20/2019
Format:  Disney+
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  2010's

I was on hiatus with The Signal Watch when I saw Frozen (2013) the first time, so there's no record here of what I thought at the time.  I do regret not having any of my reaction caught, because it was the most I'd loved a new Disney movie since Lion King, and, now, Frozen and Moana are probably my two favorite Disney animated features produced post Walt's passing.

Frozen became a smash in a way even Disney hadn't anticipated, becoming the soundtrack of choice for kids for a two year stint there, with merchandise everywhere, and with BluRays on repeat.  I know it became one of those things that a lot of people turned on, simply burnt out on a thing they'd initially liked.  It got so crazy, I recall Mommy Blogs ranting about how Disney was ruining their lives by way of under-producing Anna and Elsa dolls (btw, not Disney's fault there, moms...  That's a toy company's issue, or a sudden case of supply and demand not meeting.).

Thursday, November 21, 2019

PODCAST: "WKRP in Cincinnati" A Thanksgiving Special, w/ Maxwell, Motolove and Ryan!


Watched:  11/1/2019
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing: Unknown
Decade:  1970's

We welcome special guest, Eric S, as Maxwell and I discuss one of the greatest episodes of TV of all time, from one of the greatest sitcoms of all time! It's a 2019 Thanksgiving edition of The Signal Watch! We talk about the series in general, but all through the lens of one turkey of an episode. Oh, the humanity! (We recommend watching S1: Episode 7 of "WKRP in Cincinnati" before listening)





My entries for The Signal Watch Challenge!





Monday, November 18, 2019

Doc Watch: Image Makers - The Adventures of America's Pioneer Cinematographers



Watched:  11/16/2019
Format:  TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

It's odd how little we talk about cinematography.  Of course we discuss actors and dialog.  FX are a big topic.  We talk about soundtracks and directors.  When we're feeling like showing some insidery-type knowledge about film, we'll talk editors.  But I'm not sure we always notice the names of the people who actually sit behind the camera, working out the actual look of a movie, which, as we're not listening to radio or watching a play, seems kinda key.

From composition to placement to depth of focus to lighting to movement of perspective... and probably 9 or 10 other factors I'm not thinking of, what we see in a movie is defined by someone who thought about every shot (in theory).  Sometimes it draws attention to itself, but more than 95% of the time, when we talk about a movie, we seamlessly discuss story and how we felt, basing it on any of those factors above, but how often do we discuss what the camera did?  Or where it was placed?