Monday, July 28, 2008

Born Under Punches

Glenn Erickson, the mind and voice of DVD Savant, recently posted his thoughts at on the lost art of the fight scene in modern-day movie making. I agree with most of his sentiments (while The Dark Knight has much to recommend it, the action sequences are confusing and impossible to follow - I dare anyone to keep up with the opening conflict in the parking deck upon a first viewing), and his six choices for classic movie "fights."

My addition to his list of classics comes from the obscure 1980 thriller Defiance, with Jan Michael-Vincent. I caught this at the Bright Leaf Drive-In on a double bill and recall little of the plot (something about a gang of hoods trying to drive Danny Aiello and other hapless cast members out of their apartment building), but vividly remember the climatic brutal battle between Vincent's ex-marine and the head of the gang.

My friends and myself were amazed at how "realistic" it seemed when compared to most movie fights. The two were bloodied, uncivilized, and used an array of unsporting-like and simply mean techniques as they bashed each other ... even staying entangled down a flight of stairs. To this day, I can't think of being impacted by any other filmed fight in such a manner. Highly recommended, and worth tracking down for a look (which sadly is not on DVD, but readily available via bootleg).

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Live Action Big Boy

Straight from the kitchens of Shoney's and the San Diego Con, I present to you ...

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Steve's Back!

Yay! Steve and "The Sneeze" is back after a long absence!
Click the link! Go! Read! Laugh!

Saturday, July 19, 2008


I fear I have long forgotten where I snagged this Silver-Age Justice League of America panel (my apologies to the online wit who discovered it first), but it is simply too funny not to share.
Be sure and click the image for maximum readability!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Winged Black Super-Hero!

Mego shout out this past week in the newest episode of The Venture Bros!

Doctor Orpheus shows off his new prototype action figures for "The Order of the Triad" to his teammates Jefferson Twilight and the Alchemist. Both are suitably impressed ("Merchandising! That's where the money's at!") until being told Hasbro turned down their proposal.

Still, Jefferson is impressed with the customization work: "Did you sculpt them yourself?"

Orpheus: "Oh, heavens no! Yours is an old repainted Mego Falcon."

The Alchemist figure was, amusingly, a "Spock with a bald spot."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bigfoot Entry of the Day

I'm currently researching everyone's favorite missing link for a book project, which is leading me to some interesting articles and features that I'll be sharing in upcoming weeks. The photo below of Lee Majors in an odd-choice of porn star mustache, an obviously embarrassed Lindsay Wagoner and Ted "Lurch" Cassidy in a ratty Grizzly Adams beard and matching bearskin rug, is my quintessential memory of Bigfoot in the 1970s.

If you click the photo, it will take you to an article about not only Sasquatch, but also bionics and real-world applications! The author even name checks In Search Of ...!

Fun fact: The bionic version of 'the Foot' is what my father used to terrorize my baby sister into going to bed or otherwise behaving in the mid-seventies! Amusingly, Bigfoot went on to become an almost mythical presence -- like a furry tooth fairy or monster under the bed in our household.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Selection of Books Finished in Recent Months

Soon I Will Be Invincible
Deconstructive super-heroism as recommended by Jackson Publick (co-creator of The Venture Bros.). I ended up coming away feeling about this book the same way I did about the movie Hancock. Amazing first half that addresses tried and true super-hero material in a new way, a middling second half that loses focus and, perhaps, tries too hard to make a ‘grand statement,’ and an ending that, while still shaky, still manages to ultimately redeem the material.

The Alchemist
A fife-affirming fable about finding what you think you really want, and how to respond when you do. Recommended.

Wally’s World
Depressing biography of comic book artist Wally Wood. Overwritten in several places, but well researched and done with love. Even with several (SEVERAL) chapters devoted to comic book history and filling-in-the-blanks of the industry for non-comics readers, this remains a “for fans only” tome.

Heartbreaking young adult novel based on a true story about the relationship between a troubled teen and an elderly man suffering from cerebral palsy. This one will make you cry (I did).

Batman: Hush Returns
A poorly written and drawn collection of Batman comic book stories centering on the villain Hush and his vendetta against the Dark Knight. The Joker subplot is the only thing that makes the volume redeemable, but even that uses chunks of Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s The Killing Joke as the basis. Everything that is "bad" about modern-day Batman comics.

Superman: Red Son Rising
Surprisingly effective Elseworlds take on the Superman saga as filtered through a Communist Russia lens.

The Boy Detective Fails
The most impressive novel I’ve read in several years. Deconstructs the notion of the “boy sleuth” by revealing his sad middle age, the fates of his foes, and the final mystery involving his mystery-solving sister. Being someone who adored the Three Investigators and Encyclopedia Brown, this book spoke to me on a series of levels.

And Then We Came To The End
An amusing and touching look at 90’s corporate America. Not as good as the hype would have you believe, but well worth reading if you have ever worked in a cube or dealt with middle-management types.

Born Standing Up
Steve Martin bears all in regards to his stand-up career, with time spent on his formative years as a child, and the rich career in movies and literature brought to him via hard work and focused applications of talent. Martin is amazing – find this in the audio book form if you can to fully appreciate how well written a bio this truly is.

DC Guide To Action Figures
Lots of photos, very little text, and a total waste of time.

Fargo Rock City
Heavy metal dreams as filtered through the twisted sensibility of the American Midwest’s own Chuck Klosterman.

Killing Yourself To Live
More Chuck Klosterman. A reflective journey across America searching out meaning from ‘death sites’ of famous musicians and how it applies to his own life.

A thought provoking look at human perception, information retrieval and retention of same … you’ll never “see” the world around you again in the same way.

I Am America (And So Can You)
Stephen Colbert and a horde of television writers bring his “message” to the masses. Amusing, but not as nearly good as The Daily Show’s take on the American History textbook America.

Wonderful non-fiction that actually makes economics and numbers a viable, living presence. A book that will truly "make you think." Witty and recommended