Bookended by Cats was named after Milo and Otis. They are the short, orange, and furry brothers who, upon entering our lives in 2003, often bookended us on our couch. And who are we? We're a geek couple living in PA. We love music, movies, TV, comics, books, and comic cons. And, from time to time, we'll share our thoughts on these nerdy things.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Godzilla vs Kong - HBO Max

 Dangrdafne review:

Let me start with I LOVE Godzilla. I have been watching Godzilla since I was a child. My paternal grandparents watched Godzilla all the time and always included me if I was visiting. So not only do I love Godzilla but he brings back such amazing memories for me.

That said this was not a Godzilla movie to me... this was a King Kong movie. I don’t dislike King Kong but I definitely prefer Godzilla. Overall the movie was ok. It was nice eye candy and I am shocked at how there were a few things that were NOT spoiled for us and I will not spoil it here either. 

King Kong was HUGE and Godzilla looked a little odd to me. They definitely worked things to be in Kong’s favor and that is one reason why this was a King Kong movie and not a Godzilla movie.

We did laugh at how the movie harkened back to the old poorly acted originals but I actually don’t think it was the actors as much as the material they were given. But I have to say if I could be part of a Godzilla movie, I don’t think I would care what my lines were at all. I would just love to be a part of the spectacle and I am imagining that was the case for this cast.

The young deaf girl was fantastic and I would love to see her in many more roles. When she was on the screen, I couldn’t keep my eyes off her, she was striking to me. I did also like the multi-cultural cast but found it hilarious that the one scene in Hong Kong only showed “Americans”. 

We all know we don’t watch these movies for the story or the humans and that was very true of this movie. But I almost wasn’t sure I would watch at all once the music played. What was up with the music choices??? It was very jarring to me, so we just laughed through them and waited for the action scenes.

I await the next pure Godzilla movie 🍿 and I won’t complain too much about this one because I definitely want another Godzilla movie. I should also add that I would like to see this in IMAX at some point because as I said earlier in this post, the movie was very good eye candy.

2 paws

Friday, April 9, 2021

Friday 80s Flashback for April 9, 2021


[On the Windscreen] -- My last several Flashback posts have focused on an entire album that was released on, or near, the calendar date in question. I'm continuing that trend today, but with a slight change. April is my birthday month. So, starting this weekend, I am featuring music from 1986, the year in which I turned 18. I've done this at least once before, focusing solely on music released during April 1986. But this time around, I'm leaving the whole of 1986 open to exploration. This week, I'm featuring a little record that hit the charts on 3/17/1986 -- 35 years ago! It is also one of my favorite albums from that year: Depeche Mode's fifth studio album, Black Celebration. Although it received mixed reviews upon its release, Black Celebration reached #4 on the UK albums chart, yielded four singles (all top 40 in the UK), was cited as one of the most influential albums of the 1980s, and earned a spot on Spin magazine's 25 Greatest Albums of All Time (#15, April 1989). This record successfully married pop beats with a darker aesthetic, a combination Depeche Mode went on to further develop in their next few releases (Music for the Masses, Violator, and Songs of Faith and Devotion). I also need to point out that my favorite version of the fourth single, "But Not Tonight," is probably the Extended Remix (which is not, unfortunately, included in the playlist embedded below). So, while we have only "A Question of Time" (but not "A Question of Lust), let's kick off a "Black Celebration" of my birth month in this "World Full of Nothing." Maybe we can all get "Dressed in Black" and watch a "Fly on the Windscreen." However, "Breathing in Fumes" and getting "Stripped" are both optional.

Flashback: Black Celebration (1986)

That's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.

I'll see you in seven!

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

ARMOR (1984) Re-Read


// It was an odd being which rose from Felix and through him. It was, in fact, a remarkable creature. It was a wartime creature and a surviving creature. A killing creature. From a distant place, the frightened Felix scanned himself. He recognized little. Still, what he saw was a comfort of sorts and he concentrated himself toward it, toward the coldness, die callous machinelike... The Engine, he thought. It’s not me. it’s my Engine. It will work when I cannot. It will examine and determine and choose and, at last, act. It will do all this while I cower inside. // 

I finished another re-read of ARMOR by John Steakley (1951 - 2010) over the weekend. As I recall, I first read this novel in the late 1980s. I next read it in the mid-1990s. I'm not sure if this latest revisit is my third or fourth. But I will say that, for the most part, I think this book still holds up as an exploration of the psychological toll on combatants -- think STARSHIP TROOPERS (the novel, not the movie), but with better battles and more internal examinations. On second thought, it doesn't matter whether you compare the novel ARMOR to either form of STARSHIP TROOPERS; the simple truth is that ARMOR is superior. 

Some reviewers have pointed out that the shift in perspective from Felix the military scout in Part 1 to Jack Crow the mercenary in Part 2 is jarring and maybe unnecessary. I've also seen the argument that, maybe, Steakley just jammed the manuscript from another unfinished novel into ARMOR and then stitched them together in Parts 3 and 4.  I suppose that is possible. I also suppose that attitude might be a conceit from modern (post 2000s) reviewers having trouble with a form of storytelling (military sci-fi) that was in its nascent development in the late 1970s and through the 1980s. I liken it to kids these days being frustrated with the storytelling and editing of classic films. 

Anyway, like I said, the novel more or less holds up. Some aspects are even reminiscent (or would that be prescient?) of military conflicts that occurred decades after its publishing. 

I found the image for this post online, but it's a good match for my 1984 printing of the paperback.

"That’s the trouble with armor. It won’t protect you from what you are.” ~The Masao to Felix

Friday, April 2, 2021

Friday 80s Flashback for April 2, 2021


[Burning Back to 1981] -- Are you ready to burn your way back to 1981? I ask that because, for years, I thought the chorus, and the song title, was "Burn your way back." Turns out, both were actually "Find Your Way Back" for Jefferson Starship's first single off their 1981 album, Modern Times. Released on 4/2/1981 -- 40 years ago this week! -- Jefferson Starship's sixth studio album would eventually peak at #26 on the Billboard Hot 200 while charting three singles, two of which landed in the top 100 ("Find Your Way Back" and "Stranger" peaked at #29 and #48 respectively). Modern Times was also notable for the return of vocalist and songwriter Grace Slick, who had been absent from the band for three years. UCR called this album a zenith of arena rock. AllMusic's Joe Viglione referred to this polished bit of 80s rock as psychedelic metal. I really cannot argue with either assessment. Let me know what you think in the comments.

FlashbackModern Times (1981)

Note: Depending on where you are, three videos in the embedded playlist might be hidden from you, giving you access to only six of the nine total tracks. In case you're interested in the other tracks, here are alternate links on YouTube: "Modern Times," "Alien," and "Stairway to Cleveland."

That's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.

I'll see you in seven!