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Showing posts from 2021

X-Men #1

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It was 1991. The X-Men were a hot commodity, but as so often happens with comics there was so much continuity to deal with in the series that it was hard to pull in new readers. Marvel had two options, reboot the series or try to create a jumping on point for new readers. They went with the second option. It feels like they may have been trying to lure back old readers as well, since this book took old characters and put them back in familiar positions that they had strayed from. This series was running when the popular animated show started, and though the stories were taken from older books the team makeup and look was definitely influenced by this run. The story starts with some mutants who have hijacked a space shuttle being chased by agents in 3 other ships. The mutants are looking for Magneto, who has withdrawn from the world on his asteroid sanctuary. Even though he proclaims he wants nothing to do with world events, he is rather easily suckered into going down to earth to start

Magnum PI Season 1 Episode 1 Don't Eat the Snow in Hawaii part 1

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The first half of the pilot, originally broadcast as one long episode but now broken into 2 parts, starts off with Thomas Magnum narrating as he breaks into the estate of author Robin Masters to steal his Ferrari. Magnum explains that he is doing this at the behest of Masters, who has hired him to test his security. We get an explanation of Magnum's living arrangements and see his skills at getting past obstacles. We see his ring and the Vietnam flashback it triggers. Everyone in his unit had one of these rings. Cut to the title sequence. This is not the one I am familiar with. It had more of a 60's feel with a jazz inspired theme song and the emblem from his ring making a cutout into the credits sequence.  The rest of the first half of the episode is very 80's but also timeless in a way. It is obviously of it's time, the technology and vibe all scream 80's even though the decade had barely begun. Magnum and his friends were all Vietnam vets, just like in every othe

Favorite Friends

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  Who was the most popular Friend on Friends?  We don’t really know about the audience, but we can tell who was most popular with the writers by looking at who got the most screen time all to themselves.  Monica had 69 scenes with none of the other Friends present.  Chandler got 88 scenes to himself.  Rachel was in 105.  Pheobe had 117 scenes. Ross got 139 scenes to himself.  Joey is the king of popularity, with 151 scenes that didn’t involve anyone else from the main cast.

Dell Movie Classics Hercules Unchained

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The comic book adaptations of the 1959 Steve Reeves movie Hercules Unchained begins with Hercules parting ways with the Argonauts to take his new bride Iole back home to Thebes. He is bringing along young Ulysses to train him. Ulysses' father Laertes gives them some homing pigeons in case they run into trouble on their journey. Of course they run into nothing but trouble. The first problem they encounter is Antaeus, the son of the earth goddess. He wants to rob them, and he gains in strength every time he touches the ground. Hercules solves this by simply holding him over his head. One might expect this interlude to tie back in and play some part in the larger plot, but it does not. When they reach Thebes Hercules and company find that Eodipus' sons have convinced him to step down as king so they can take turns ruling Thebes every other year. Only it is now Polynices' turn to rule but his brother Eteocles will not give up the throne. Polynices has brought in a foreign army

Ghoulies

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Ghoulies is often represented as being one of the knockoff films inspired by Gremlins. It was actually in production at the same time as Gremlins. Unfortunately it didn't have the money or the talent behind it that Gremlins did. That's not to say that it isn't enjoyable, it is. But there were times when the combination of cheap production, cheesy dialogue and bad acting made it feel almost like one of the porno movies of the time. It has it's redeeming features. While the puppetry isn't great, the puppets themselves are pretty cool. It moves a little slowly, and for an 80's horror movie it's light on the gore. While I did enjoy it, I think the main reason it has lasted as long as it has is due a combination of being featured on USA Up All Night and the one image of the Ghoulie coming up from the toilet. The movie starts out with a ritual being led by Michael Des Barres' Malcolm. He is planning to sacrifice a baby. He is stopped by a woman who puts an amu

The Dukes Of Hazzard Season 1 Episode 1 One Armed Bandits

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 I'm going to start off with the proverbial elephant in the room. This show has a car named after a Confederate general that has a Confederate battle flag painted on it. My talking about the show is not in any way an endorsement or an excuse for using that symbol or romanticizing people who fought to preserve slavery. Slavery is the most shameful blemish on our country's history, and racism is a scourge which plagues us still. I wish the show hadn't included these tributes to such a terrible cause. As a southern kid watching the show I didn't understand the real meaning these things had. Now I do, and it almost kept me from even doing this show. But the show was not only a big part of my childhood, but was a big part of pop culture in the 80's and beyond. A lot of 20th century pop culture unfortunately has shameful and even detestable elements regarding race, gender and sexuality. I don't think that this should mean we just pretend they don't exist. I think

The Whistler Old Time Radio Broadcast

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  The Whistler was a radio show much in the same vein of The Shadow. Unlike The Shadow The Whistler never became a character in his own stories. He only narrated the stories of others. This is why he never moved on to comic books and feature films, and why he has been largely forgotten while The Shadow has lived on even with his limited popularity. The stories usually have a twist ending, and this one is no exception. So sit back and enjoy a good old fashioned audio drama.

Batman Arkham Asylum Tales of Madness #1

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Greg is a new guard at Arkham Asylum. He is going to night school and has plans to be married soon. Life is good for Greg. Until his third night on his new job. They are in Killer Croc's cell when there is an earthquake. Steel shutters snap into place locking the facility down. Unfortunately Croc's door was still open. He kills a guard and is going for the other two when he hears the Joker calling to him. The power goes out and the two guards make a break for it. Croc releases Joker, who proceeds to release some of the other maniacs. Together they find the two guards and kill one of them. Greg is the lucky survivor. They argue over who will get to kill Greg. Joker decides they will have a contest. They will each tell a story and whoever scares Greg the most gets to kill him. Vox tells about her dysfunctional family and how they were so messed up they didn't notice that she was hearing voices until they told her to kill her little brother.  Riddler told a story about robbing

Return To The Planet Of The Apes Season 1 Episode 1

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Return to the Planet of the Apes is an animated series that spins off of the first two movies and ignores the latter three, sort of. We start with the familiar setup. A space capsule from Earth travels through time. This time the 3 astronauts are not in any kind of suspended animation or anything. They are awake and travelling through time due to the speed of their craft. They appear to hit some sort of phenomenon which shoots them much further ahead than they had been travelling before, about 2,000 years. They crash in the ocean and travel through the desert looking for food. Along the way a mysterious fire springs up and destroys their supplies. Then an earthquake hits and the female astronaut, Judy, is swallowed by the earth. The two remaining astronauts, Jeff and Bill, travel on and find the ape version of Mount Rushmore. They also discover a cave occupied by humans before passing out.  The humans rescue the two time travelers and nurse them back to health. They discover that a fem

Godley & Creme Birds of Prey

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I am going to be honest, I had never heard of Godley and Creme. This record came in a box of vinyl I bought and this was my first time listening to it. Doing some reading on them, apparently this was the wrong album to start with since it's not indicative of their work really. They are childhood friends and former members of 10cc. The album is sort of electronic synth pop, it's very 80's for sure. It came out in 1983. From looking at the cover I expected something a little sexier, maybe with a bit more funk to it. I didn't know it was 2 British white guys at the time. My Body the Car sounds like something you might hear from DaVinci's Notebook, which I guess might make this group ahead of their time. Worm and the Rattlesnake comes off like a 2nd rate Tears For Fears knockoff, but it's not awful. I did find myself wondering if it was supposed to be some kind of penis metaphor. Cats Eyes tried to be a bit more soulful, but doesn't quite make it. It's kind

Tales From The Darkside Season 1 Episode 1 The New Man

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 The first episode of the series proper (the  pilot  aired the year before) of Tales From the Darkside is definitely not it's strongest episode. Alan is a former drunk who is now doing great in real estate. Things go wrong when his young son Jerry shows up at his office. See, he doesn't have a young son Jerry. His wife Sharon and his son Petey seem to remember Jerry, but Alan does not. SHaron becomes convinced that Alan is drinking again. Days go by without his realizing it. His work suffers. Sharon decides to leave Alan. He comes home and hallucinates Sharon telling Jerry about what a disappointment Alan is. He goes in and begins trashing Alan's room. In the process he finds a bottle of whiskey hidden in a drawer. He gets drunk and wakes up with a greasepaint beard. There's a new guy working at his old job. His boss offers him a drink, like he did Alan at the beginning of the episode, and we discover that he is a recovering alcoholic. As the boss leaves Jerry shows up

The Rampaging Hulk #1

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 The Rampaging Hulk Started in 1977, as a black and white book. Apparently the thought was that being black and white would somehow appeal to a more adult audience, though there was little change in the content from the full color Hulk books apparently meant for kids. The book is split into two stories, the first featuring the Hulk and Rick Jones, and the second featuring Bloodstone.  The Krylorian Conspiracy is said to take place right after the initial run of Hulk books in the early 60's, though the writers apparently didn't bother to go back and read those books as several details about character and how the Hulk transforms were not consistent with those early books. Research isn't the only weakness the writers had. There are several instances of terrible grammar, misspelled words, and common phrases using the wrong words. The dialogue is clunky and the story itself is kind of dumb. The art, on the other hand, is kind of amazing. The way the Hulk is drawn is great, and t