Brainiac On Banjo 042: This Joke’s On You

Brainiac On Banjo 042: This Joke’s On You

I just concluded a scientifically-ridiculous survey and the results are staggering. I still have not met a single person who is looking forward to WarnerMedia’s new Joker movie.

Reportedly, this latest incarnation of our favorite playing card-based villain has nothing to do with any other Joker in any version of the character in any manifestation of any of the overpopulated DCUs. The authenticity of that remains to be not seen. But it appears this DC-logoed movie has less in common with the comic book legend about to endure its 80th birthday than it does with James Bond playing baccarat at the Casino Royale.

That’s okay. The most overused character since Wolverine (who, I believe, showed up in a Planet Terry story arc), I can’t recognize The Joker from one bloated comic book story to the next. Great character, dumb character, confusing character… well, I never met the guy. And seeing that for the past 29 years Warners has been disinterested in making a Batman movie worthy of the cellulose acetate upon which it’s memorialized, I really don’t care. I’ve given up. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo 042: This Joke’s On You”

The Weed of Crime Bears Bitchin’ Fruit

The Weed of Crime Bears Bitchin’ Fruit

Earlier this month the Illinois legislature passed and sent to the governor a bill legalizing the sale and possession of marijuana. Within 24 hours, I had received a half-dozen emails and texts asking me when I was moving back home.

I’ve been gone a third of a century, but – like most obnoxious Chicago ex-pats – the city remains imbedded in my heart. The people, the traditions, music and the folklore, and the highly dangerous but totally fabulous junk food that is all such an integral part of the city’s culture remains remarkably seductive. Continue reading “The Weed of Crime Bears Bitchin’ Fruit”

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #036: Spoil the Spoilers

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #036: Spoil the Spoilers

Teenage angst has paid off well,
Now I’m bored and old.
Self-appointed spoilers spoil
More than they have told.

If they gatekeep online now,
Plot-holes that they found?
All to piss off and to troll
And needlessly expound…

Bonus points if you get the reference. No Googlin’ either, kiddos.

It seems now that spoiler culture is abound throughout social media. With the Russo’s (of Endgame fame, don’t-cha-know) declaring specific rules as to their accepted window of spoilativity… my feeds have been choked to the nines with needless repetition and condemnation of those who seek to ruin the experience of a piece of pop culture by virtue of their ability to consume it first.

To be clear to all who I am friends with? Not a single soul said a serendipitous spoiler in any sense of the word for Endgame, Game of Thrones, or even The Price is Right. And trust me, I was on high alert. Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #036: Spoil the Spoilers”

Brainiac On Banjo #036: Women Unite — But In Mongolia, Hold The Soda!

Brainiac On Banjo #036: Women Unite — But In Mongolia, Hold The Soda!

Avengers: Endgame passed the $2,100,000,000 mark ten days after release, so in honor of that momentous event, here is a photo of my all-time favorite superhero team-up, even though it has yet to happen on-screen.

Now that the Avengers movies have made about as much money as your average Wall Street cocaine dealer, I think we can say the “women heroes don’t sell movies” bullshit is behind us. It’s time to do the A-Force movie.

Seriously. It’s well past time, but before this weekend the banks might not have financed such a film. I think an A-Force movie will inspire more young girls than a woman president, though that is not an either/or proposition. And the prospect of women getting their boyfriends to take them to a big super-hero movie epic is the very meaning of “turnabout is fair play.” Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #036: Women Unite — But In Mongolia, Hold The Soda!”

Beat JENeration 33: Avengers: Endgame, Let’s Get Spoil-y

Beat JENeration 33: Avengers: Endgame, Let’s Get Spoil-y

As promised, I have a few thoughts.

Now, if this column’s title didn’t give you pause, let me reiterate that I’m not holding back. Onward ho to Spoiler City we go!

But also, c’mon, if you haven’t seen Avengers: Endgame by now, I have to wonder if you even care about spoilers.

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Continued After the Next Page #008: Happy Geek Day!!!

Continued After the Next Page #008: Happy Geek Day!!!

We are living in a golden age of fandom. Gone are the days of hiding your comic collection in the closet when school friends came over. The time when liking sci-fi books was cause for odd glances in the cafeteria is in the past. There are incredible things happening in the world today.

Let’s take for example the things we can point at that show the geek/nerd culture is popular in the mainstream;

Avengers

The best selling motion picture in the world is Avengers: Endgame. It is the epic conclusion to over ten years of movie storytelling. I was moved to tears of joy while watching it at the massive amount of comic book characters from my your being translated to the big screen. This move was highly anticipated and it shattered box office records left and right.

Continue reading “Continued After the Next Page #008: Happy Geek Day!!!”

Brainiac On Banjo #035: Niles Caulder’s Doppelgängers

Brainiac On Banjo #035: Niles Caulder’s Doppelgängers

When it comes to the DC Universe streaming series Doom Patrol, the world can be divided up into three groups: those who have never seen it, those who have seen it and hate it, and those who have seen it and love it.

It’s exceptionally weird and based (self-referentially) more upon Grant Morrison’s work on the comics series than the original Arnold Drake / Bob Haney / Bruno Premiani creation. Why not? We’ve got plenty of straight-forward superhero dramas on television. On streaming. Whatever. It is clear to me that everybody gets paid by the number of times Brendan Fraser utters a curse word, and that might upset the uptights. After the pilot episode, there isn’t much nudity or on-screen sex. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #035: Niles Caulder’s Doppelgängers”

The Horrifying Implications of Avengers: Endgame’s Ending  (that you probably didn’t think about until just now)

The Horrifying Implications of Avengers: Endgame’s Ending (that you probably didn’t think about until just now)

This weekend, everyone is going to see Avengers: Endgame. That’s appropriate. It’s a great film, tons of fun, and an excellent capstone to the past eleven years of Marvel films. You should definitely go see it. In fact, go see it right now.

 

Welcome back. Did you enjoy the popcorn? Ok, now that we’re all on the same page, I’d like to address one big issue with the end of Endgame and the terrifying implications it leaves behind.

Spoilers ahead.  Continue reading “The Horrifying Implications of Avengers: Endgame’s Ending (that you probably didn’t think about until just now)”

Beat JENeration #032: Avengers: Endgame (No Spoilers)

Beat JENeration #032: Avengers: Endgame (No Spoilers)

Well, shit.

Um.

It’s currently 11:42pm Thursday night, PDT and I know the internet is full of all kinds of spoilers (because I already looked up some pressing issues), but it doesn’t feel right to say anything yet.

Even though I haven’t seen a theatre that crowded ever. Well, maybe in the 1980’s, on a holiday weekend. It was crazy. And I loved every second of it.

I think it’s safe to also note that I got a bucket of popcorn and a large drink and didn’t finish either for the first time in I can’t even tell you. I just got too caught up in the movie. That probably has never happened before.

I liked it very much. I will see it again tomorrow. Probably also another time within the next week.

It just doesn’t feel right to say anything else. Except maybe that I wish for you all to see it spoiler free.  Continue reading “Beat JENeration #032: Avengers: Endgame (No Spoilers)”

Beat JENeration #031: Is this Grease Prequel The One That I Want?

Beat JENeration #031: Is this Grease Prequel The One That I Want?

Obviously the big news of the week was the announcement of Summer Loving – the prequel to the 1978 musical Grease currently in development by Paramount Players.

So many feelings about this — some are actually hopeful. Many are weary. And others bitter —falling along the lines of “why now?” and “why this?” And then there’s also rage over how Grease 2 has been bitch-slapped around in all the coverage. 

Wholesome and pure, oh so scared and unsure

Grease is sacred it me. I cannot tell you how many times I saw it in the theater, but I feel like it played in theaters for years. I know I went to see it pretty much weekly for that first summer. It was the late-1970’s and my parents saw no reason why their six-year old daughter shouldn’t ride her bike almost a mile to the AMC Orange Mall 6 to spend the day memorizing every line in a movie about high school thugs, teen-age pregnancy, and succumbing to peer pressure. Of course, I only really saw John Travolta’s dimple, the 50’s fashions, and the choreography. It wasn’t until I was an adult (a full-fledged adult in her late-20’s all married and careered) that I would for the first time truly hear and understand the lyrics in “Greased Lighting” — so truly, no harm, no foul.

The soundtrack album to Grease is the one object that sums up my childhood. I still have it. I still treasure it. I would sit on the floor of my room studying the pictures in the middle fold out as I wore out the vinyl. Of course when I wasn’t dancing around my room and singing on the top of my lungs. This was the soundtrack to all of my hoping and dreaming for my future. It’s only real competition for turn-table time was the Annie Original Broadway Cast Album until 5th grade when The Go-Go’s and Duran Duran came into my life.  Continue reading “Beat JENeration #031: Is this Grease Prequel The One That I Want?”