We're a geek couple living in PA with our two boys -- Milo and Otis -- who are short, orange, and furry. Oh, and they're the cats we're bookended by! We love music, movies, TV, comics, books, and comic cons. And, from time to time, we'll share our thoughts on these nerdy things.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Nine Books

So, a recent social media thing has people sharing images of records, books, even movies that have impacted them. Usually, this is done in a string of daily posts, maybe 10 or so. Sometimes context is provided, or an anecdote shared, with the image. At least, that has been the Facebook variation on the theme.

I had to be different, of course. Instead of following the established convention, I instead made a single post with nine books. The only context I gave was that all the books were fiction. And I chose nine because a 3x3 arrangement was convenient.


The books shown in the above image:
  • A Wrinkle in Time (1962) by Madeleine L'Engle
  • American Gods (2001) by Neil Gaiman
  • Armor (1985) by John Steakley
  • The Dark Knight Returns (1986) by Frank Miller, Klaus Janson, and Lynn Varley
  • Neverwhere (1996) by Neil Gaiman
  • Screaming Hawk: Flying Eagle's Training of a Mystic Warrior (1994) by Patton L. Boyle
  • The Night Before Christmas -- A Whitman Giant Tell-A-Tale Book (1960) by Clement C. Moore and illustrated by Catherine Barnes
  • The Walking Drum (1984) by Louis L'Amour
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values (1974) by Robert M. Pirsig 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for July 13, 2018



[The Other Dead Pool] -- The Dead Pool was the fifth, last, and least profitable Dirty Harry film. It was released on July 13, 1988: 30 years ago this weekend! Not to be confused with the 2016 film named for a wisecracking and fast-healing mutant mercenary, this Dead Pool followed Clint Eastwood's Detective Harry Callahan as he tried to unravel a dead pool, a game in which high rollers are betting on deaths of celebrities (and a serial killer tries to rig the game). Liam Neeson, Patricia Clarkson, and Jim Carrey (in his first action/dramatic role) are also featured. On top of that, there's also a cameo with Slash of Guns N Roses fame shooting a harpoonLalo Schifrin composed the film's score, making him the main composer for four out of the five Dirty Harry films. However, there was initially no soundtrack album released to accompany this film. Fortunately for soundtrack fans, Schifrin released the music he recorded in 1988 on his own label in January of 2009. The "Main Title" is sufficiently 80s-themed, with keyboards and electronic percussion blended with orchestral instruments. The rest of the album is a coherent set of themes, but the compositions are played with serviceable jazz and pop arrangements. There's really nothing to distinguish the tracks from any other suspense or detective story of the time period. In fact, they would be right at home on films from a few decades earlier. But while the soundtrack breaks no new ground, it is a solid listen from a fine composer. You can check out a few tracks after the jump. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Dietland

Dangrdafne review:

This new show on AMC is absolutely incredible. I originally watched to see Julianna Marguiles and while she is incredible on the show I am now obsessed with Joy Nash as Plum.


The show is timely, harsh, awful, amazing, hilarious, depressing, empowering, and Joy Nash is spectacular.

I honestly have been wanting to write a review of this show since the first episode but I can’t form coherent thoughts when I try to think of what I want to say. I want to say it all and I want to say nothing and just let people watch and let it unfold for them. The episodes have left me speechless and in tears. In one of the episodes, there is a roar by Plum and I all I could think was how awesome some scream therapy could be.

I am sure there are many readers here who would not like this show or need this show but there are definitely people out there who would benefit from watching this show. Check it out and let me know your thoughts.

4 paws and a tail

Friday, July 6, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for July 6, 2018



[Back to Dreamland] -- I love Pat Benatar. In my opinion, she is one of the all-time great rock and roll singers. You won't get me to budge on that. This week, the Flashback revisits not her greatest record, but one that is a significant milestone in her career. In July 1988, Benatar released her seventh studio album, Wide Awake in Dreamland. Dreamland was not only Benatar's last album of the 80s, but her last guitar-driven rock record for a while. And, unfortunately, it marked the beginning of a decline in Benatar's popularity (outside of the faithful, like myself). The songs on this album seem more realized than those of previous efforts, relying less on fire and anger, more on message and mood. Is this growth? Sometimes an artist grows before her audience is ready. Now, as a total package, Dreamland does not match the chart-topping prowess of Benatar's earlier records. It does, however, boast memorable tracks like "Too Long a Soldier" and "Suffer the Little Children" as well as the hit single, "All Fired Up" ... which you can revisit along with two other key tracks after the jump.   

Sunday, July 1, 2018

The Gatehouse (Shadowman #3)


Shadowman holds the occult/horror niche in the Valiant universe. Issue #3 of the current run (Volume 5, launched March 2018) features the first appearance of The Gatehouse, a dimensional crossroads. This kind of concept, strikingly realized by artists Adam Pollina and Stephen Segovia, is another example of how this series' approach to the occult just gets better and better. Kudos to writer, @andydiggle, as well!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Friday 80s Flashback for June 29, 2018



[Telephone Calls] -- I heard Tommy Tutone's 1981 hit, “867-5309/Jenny,” in the cafeteria yesterday. Every time I hear a song about using the phone, I think about the fact that kids these days don't share an anxiety that was familiar to me and my classmates: The fear of calling someone, but accidentally reaching their parent or guardian instead. Of course, these days, kids use their phones -- cell phones -- to text, Tweet, email, and do just about anything other than making phone calls. Still, I got to thinking of all the great 70s and 80s songs about calling, or trying to call, someone on the phone. The aforementioned “867-5309/Jenny" and Blondie's "Call Me" are too obvious to make this week's playlist. But I did find three fine examples for you. So, if you want to know what three 80s tracks are worth calling home about this week, you can read and hear more after the jump. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

BARRIER by Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin, and Muntsa Vicente



Well, damn. I just read BARRIER by Brian K. Vaughan (script), Marcos Martin (art), and Muntsa Vicente (colors). All five issues.

I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it damn sure wasn't this.

That's not a complaint, mind you. I'm actually quite impressed. But if you ask me to explain this story, I'd have to say it's a dash of the movie Arrival (2016) blended with several helpings of current politicos about the US southern border, and then celestially colored with hints of awe and irony (tip of the hat to Muntsa Vicente).

This series gets an enthusiastic recommendation from me, especially if you're bilingual; the book is in English and Spanish (and alien, but I don't think you need to know that third language).