With Further Ado #055: So Bad It’s Good

With Further Ado #055: So Bad It’s Good

Every other Tuesday, I’ve been hosting the Screams & Screens movie series locally at Auburn Public Theater. We celebrate B-movies that are so bad they’re good. To be fair, some of the movies we show really are good, or actually have a few good parts to them.

We’re wrapping up our summer season with The Giant Claw. It’s a curious movie that epitomizes the whole “so bad it’s good” charm of these flicks.  Continue reading “With Further Ado #055: So Bad It’s Good”

Brainiac On Banjo #045: Prescient Murders

Brainiac On Banjo #045: Prescient Murders

You probably heard about the mass shootings in a El Paso Texas Walmart and in Northeast Ohio this weekend. Maybe not; these two were the third and fourth such slaughter this week, and we’re getting accustomed to it. As of this writing – Sunday evening – 29 bodies have been found and several dozen have been hospitalized. The alleged shooter in Texas is in custody., the alleged shooter in Ohio was killed at the scene.

Right now we have endured 2,191 mass shootings since the Sandy Hook Elementary School murders that happened on December 14, 2012. That was less than seven years ago. If that hasn’t provided us with sufficient warning, and even if they have, I would like to direct your attention to an amazingly prescient movie made in 1971, based upon a play that opened on Broadway four years earlier. Both were labelled as “black comedies” but that exposes the downside of prescience: what was black comedy a half-century ago has evolved into a documentary. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #045: Prescient Murders”

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #043: Top Gun Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #043: Top Gun Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Warning: the following article is about a piece of old pop culture that I have only recently absorbed for the first time. As such, much of this article will find you asking yourself “Wait, seriously, he’s never seen Top Gun before now?” and I’m making it clear from the get go:

I literally watched Top Gun for the first time, ever, a few days ago.

And I did it because, I kid you not, a would-be investor in Unshaven Comics outright refused to even be pitched to until I did. To be clear: it’s not that I wasn’t familiar with the movie. But when the movie came out, I was 5 years old. My family didn’t go to the movies, and I was never much into military stuff (Like G.I. Joe and the like). I knew Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer were in it. I know the soundtrack was Loggins heavy. And I recalled once asking Unshaven Kyle about the climax of the movie (when it happened to be on in our apartment at the time) and he told me “eh, the whole movie is just about fancy maneuvers.” Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #043: Top Gun Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #019: Into the Fishmanverse

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #019: Into the Fishmanverse

Note: This is a SPOILER-FREE column that celebrates Spider-Man: Intro the Spider-Verse

This past weekend I took my son (in conjunction with my brother-from-another-mother taking his son who is my son’s bff… you dig?) to see Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. It was, to sum up succinctly, all the things. It was a visual spectacle. It was deeply diverse in the on-screen cast. It was kinetic in its action sequences. It was heavy on emotional growth. It was a nearly perfect example of what a comic book film could truly be.

As comic book films have grown from niche to the mainstream, my fear has been a dulling of the medium in the macro. Look only to the house of Mouse and Marvel’s 4 phase plan that started with plucky films like Iron Man and period-pieces like Captain America: The First Avenger, all leading to the beautifully bloated Avengers: Infinity War — which itself relies on the eighteen feeder films before it. And with Spider-Man specifically… the Spider-Verse would be (to a degree) the fourth version of the brand in less than 16 years.

But my fears scattered like Thanos-born ashes mere seconds after the glitchy-twitchy introduction of Spider-Verse’s mix-n-match animated style. Brilliantly bright colors build a stylized version of New York that took 180 animators to build. And it absolutely shows. Each of the varied Spider-People that eventually populate the film are rendered hilariously in homage to the worlds that they hail from. Be it the Manga-inspired Peni Parker being animated within the confines of an anime-palette, or Nic Cage’s turn as the monochromatic Spider-Man Noir… there’s a serendipitous presentation here that boasts to the millennial set that style is only surface-deep. And that plays heavily into the story.  Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #019: Into the Fishmanverse”

Beat JENeration #005: John Corbett is the Ultimate Hot Dad

Beat JENeration #005: John Corbett is the Ultimate Hot Dad

With a horrifically long queue already in place, I hate when Netflix tries to shove their shows at me. I’m also a little embarrassed by the suggestions. It’s one thing to watch the crap I watch, but it’s another thing to have the algorithm so ruthlessly regurgitate my viewing patterns back at me. But this week, they nailed it with To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Based on the 2014 YA novel by Janny Han, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is your basic PG-rated High School rom com, or essentially a non-Disney Disney Channel Original Movie. And that is fine because, I love a good DCOM off-brand or not.  We can blame this on my exceptional parenting skills, but really it was more of a perk than a burden for me to watch these gems over and over with my kids.  They are the modern ABC Afterschool Specials without too heavy-handed a message. They are like Hallmark movies with younger, better looking actors. Don’t judge me!  Continue reading “Beat JENeration #005: John Corbett is the Ultimate Hot Dad”

Beat JENeration #003: Crazy About Crazy Rich Asians

Beat JENeration #003: Crazy About Crazy Rich Asians

It had been my intention to write this week’s column about how Christopher Robin had my teenage daughters sobbing for hours, but then we saw Crazy Rich Asians on Wednesday night and well, it’s all I can think about. It is, and I do not say this lightly, the best studio movie you will probably see in 2018.

Better than Black Panther, you say? Um, yes, I will say that — though I’m speaking to that specific audience base who is equally passionate about MCU offerings and Rom Coms. You know, MY PEOPLE!   Continue reading “Beat JENeration #003: Crazy About Crazy Rich Asians”

Beat JENeration #002: Washing down OITNB 6 with Mamma Mia 2

Beat JENeration #002: Washing down OITNB 6 with Mamma Mia 2

*** I tried not to be spoiler-y, but I don’t know how sensitive you are. So beware if you care.***

I started watching Orange Is The New Black Season 6 last Friday afternoon and made it through about nine episodes before falling asleep and then returned to finish the final four on Saturday. But I wasn’t happy about it. It wasn’t more than a  chore, and when I finished, I was mad at Jenji Kohan.

Continue reading “Beat JENeration #002: Washing down OITNB 6 with Mamma Mia 2”

A Maddy Minute Review: Ant-man and The Wasp

A Maddy Minute Review: Ant-man and The Wasp

Maddy has a lot of thoughts about Ant-man, the movie Ant-man And The Wasp, Evangeline Lilly and more!

Check out her Maddy Minute* Review

*A Maddy Minute tends to be up to 3 times longer than a “regular” minute

Ant-Man and The Wasp and Mighty Marvel Continuity

Ant-Man and The Wasp and Mighty Marvel Continuity

A review of sorts

As we were leaving the movie megaplex last night, Editor Adriane asked me to do up a piece about Ant-Man and the Wasp, informing me that others also will be reviewing the movie from their own unique perspectives and I should do the same. That’s fine by me: there’s some cute stuff pulled straight out of Marvel continuity lurking in the shadows of this flick, and as the Pop Culture Squad’s official old fart, I’m gonna pull back some of the covers.

But first, the mandatory SPOILER ALERT. I might be revealing some stuff that could possibly undermine your enjoyment of this very entertaining movie, presuming you haven’t seen it yet because, ya know, you might actually have a life. So if you haven’t seen the movie and you haven’t looked at the art we’re posting, proceed at your own risk.

Continue reading “Ant-Man and The Wasp and Mighty Marvel Continuity”