October 31, 2014

SPECIAL BONUS! Uncovering the Bronze Age #5: In the Clutches of the Code

I was honored to be invited by Emily of Relatively Geeky to take part in this special Halloween episode, looking at one of the historical horrors of the comic book industry: Doctor Fredric Wertham. Emily sent me a few quotes of his to read, but I otherwise didn't know anything more about what they'd be used for, so imagine my delight when I first heard her excellent and thorough essay chronicling his theories and impact on the industry, with my readings peppered throughout. It came together wonderfully, and I can't recommend it highly enough!

Give it a listen here.

October 29, 2014

[Castle Rock Companion] A Good Marriage

"The film largely plays out exactly as the story does, with only an extra bit of evidence for Darcy thrown in as Bob gifts her the earrings of one his victims. Unfortunately, despite these similarities, the movie has none of the tension of the story. Things go by in a super quiet manner."

To read more, check out Angie's latest post.

October 26, 2014

[Short-Lived Showcase] Captain Power, episode 9 "The Intruder"

"The story is pretty pointless and doesn't tell us anything we don't already know. I like the brief hints of a moral dilemma, as our heroes wonder if they should kill Jackson just to keep the location of their base under wraps, but it doesn't go anywhere. Not only in their failing to resolve the setup with Tank, but that there's still no real reason to trust Jackson other than Power's just squeamish about having to make any tough choices."

To read more, check out our latest post.

October 25, 2014

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony, episode 16 "Sonic Rainboom"

"That's an incredibly complex psychology to explore in a children's show, and cudos to Mitch Larson for following up on the screwball classic that was 'Swarm of the Century' with such a rich character piece. Which isn't to say that was lacking in character, nor that this is lacking in hilarious antics and setpieces, but he's showing a great range and depth to himself as a writer that will not only spark my excitement every time his name hits these credits, but has me curious to start digging into his other work."

To read more, check out our latest post.

October 22, 2014

[Castle Rock Companion] Mercy

"The story of the movie in and of itself isn't really the problem as much as the execution of it all is. I lost count of the jump scares contained within the film, as they are practically constant, and become basically telegraphed after a while. If you see a character standing somewhere quietly for a moment, you can expect either a jarring jump cut to something else or a person grabbing them from off screen, or in the absolute worst of them, a car barreling down the road at full speed to kill them."

To read more, check out Angie's latest post.

October 20, 2014

[Short-Lived Showcase] Captain Power, episode 8 "And Study War No More"

"Blastarr also does a great job distinguishing himself from Soaron, as while the gliding bot will survey before a pinpoint attack, Blastarr is such a straight line tank that, if you send him in a direction, he'll blow up a mountain just because it's between him and his target. There's such a rage to him, which Lord Dread trumps up by constantly reminding Blastarr that Power is the one who interrupted his creation, who destroyed his brothers and sisters before they could come alive."

To read more, check out our latest episode.

[Masters of Carpentry] Monthly Feature #10: The Fog (1980)

Check out our latest episode.

October 19, 2014

[Midnight Movie Exchange] The Gods Must Be Crazy 4 (aka Crazy Hong Kong)

"Those are the only major fuck ups. There's smaller ones, but those three are what makes this film a horrible waste of everyone's time as it's now almost impenetrable and I only managed to keep my focus on the film through sheer force of will (and pausing now and then to text Jak how awful it is). Which is a shame, because there are other potentially interesting elements that we're not being allowed to enjoy."

To read more, check out our latest post.

October 18, 2014

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony, episode 15 "Feeling Pinkie Keen"

"This is probably the most straight up Looney Tunes episode we've had up to this point, complete with anvils dropping out of the sky, people slipping in and out from under boulders as though they were cardboard boxes, and someone continuing to bounce past the edge of a cliff until they look down and realize where they're no longer standing. It's fun, it's zany, it moves at a great clip, and it helps that a good chunk of it is centered on Pinkie Pie, who's pretty much that entire style of cartoon storytelling squished down into a single person with some stitching over the zippers to keep it tightly sealed within as it – nope, popped the seam again and she's pouring cartoon all over the place. Get a mop."

To read more, check out our latest post.

October 15, 2014

[Castle Rock Companion] Storm of the Century

"But it still works for me as this is another of King's tragedies, where even foregone conclusions can't be evaded and all the survivors can do afterward is try to figure out how to live with the choices they've made. I actually love that we get an extended epilogue, showing the fates of many of the main townsfolk as some fall apart and others pull together, and Michael gets as far away from them all as he can, only to run straight into Linoge and a now teenaged Ralphie, already sporting the canine fangs of his adopted wizard."

To read more, check out our latest post.

October 11, 2014

[Midnight Movie Exchange] The Gods Must Be Crazy 3 (aka Crazy Safari)

"I was very skeptical of how they'd blend this horror/action/comedy about hopping vampires with the adventures of N!xau in the Kalahari plains, but they do a pretty decent of job working those outside elements into the structure of the established Gods Must Be Crazy franchise. The vampire (Chan Lung, in a pantomime part that grew on me) is now himself the mysterious object who falls from the sky and, after discovering the paper is what keeps him from going on violent rampages and that he can be led around by a bell, N!xau (just referred to now by the actor's name instead of the character Xi) and his people put the vampire to use as a golem beast of burden, carrying heavy loads and having him smash head-first into trees so as to knock loose their fruit, and the children come to adore playing with him in the fields as they toss bells back and forth and watch him fly."

To read more, check out our latest post.

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony, episode 14 "Suited for Success"

"I absolutely love this one. The songs are well used, with great characterization and flow, perfectly evolving from a Disney-esque 'this is what I love' to a more frantic 'this is what I must do' to the piling of 'MUST MUST MUST WHY MUST'. I love that every pony is unique in expressing the issues they have with the costumes, with Twilight's representational accuracy, Fluttershy's wonderfully unexpected oppositional views on fashion design and stitch technique, Applejack's desire for practical application, Pinkie being all Pinkie (love that we get one of those jutting closeup 'Huh huh HUH?'), and the nice lull between the demands with Rainbow's equally frustrating '... Just make it cooler.' "

To read more, check out our latest post.

October 8, 2014

[Castle Rock Companion] The X-Files "Chinga"

"It's a very typical King story, with everyday small town affairs and suspicions and people just trying to get by pleasantly enough, all coming to a head as a supernatural item swoops in. The doll is very spookily done for the most part, with some nicely constructed King sequences of people being driven to self harm and suicide. The attack on the teacher is especially straight out of King with the use of 'Hokey Pokey' on the record player, and I like that their use of an actor dressed as the doll is never over-played or shown full on."

To read more, check out our latest post.

October 5, 2014

[Short-Lived Showcase] Captain Power, episode 7 "The Ferryman"

"I haven't been clear on whether Lord Dread oversees the Overmind or if it's the dominant force he's in servitude to. It seems to be a bit of both, as Dread is clearly the mastermind behind much of everything, and the giver of orders, and yet there's the moment where Overmind chides him for expression emotion, followed by a quick flash of fear Lord Dread is quick to bury."

To read more, check out our latest post.

October 4, 2014

[Deconstruction is Magic] My Little Pony, episode 13 "Fall Weather Friends"

"The initial competition is still staged really well, with the great development of more and more ponies showing up to watch as it goes from some friends pitting themselves against one another for laughs to a sprawling event that carries over into the Running of the Leaves. Which is itself a wonderful bit of wold-building and further explores this as a wondrous land the inhabitants have learned to control and manipulate, though in a way that still needs to be routinely maintained, and how they’ve taken this mechanical environmental reforming and made a fun, annual game out of it."

To read more, check out our latest post.

[Midnight Movie Exchange] Episode 9: The Gods Must Be Crazy 2 (1989)

Check it out here.

October 1, 2014

[Castle Rock Companion] Sleepwalkers

"And yet, that doesn't bother me all that much, as it's a simple story that, once it tips the hand of what's really going on, doesn't dance around issues any more and just runs with them, going from a son trying to feed his mom to a mom trying to keep her son alive, while everyone else lives long enough to wonder just what in the fuck it is that's suddenly exploded on their lives. Moments are drawn out, but don't feel padded. Characters have distinction, but don't have it spelled out in detail. It all comes in at a lean 91 minutes, and while there isn't a huge amount of depth to the writing, I'll gladly take this over what I usually get from King."

To read more, check out our latest post.