Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ostrander and Mandrake’s The Spectre

Hey, DC finally decided to reprint the entire sixty-two issue (plus a “zero”) series of The Spectre from 1992, written by John Ostrander, and drawn (almost completely) by Tom Mandrake.

The first volume, Crimes and Judgments came out this month, and contains the whole amazingly gripping and deep first twelve issue story arc.  Go to your local comics shop and pick one up.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Godzilla (2014): Depressing Outcomes

OK Hollywood. 

Sit down, shut up and pay attention, because I’m tired of having to explain these things.

When the new Godzilla ended, I turned to my daughter and asked, “You know what they should have put in that to make it better?”

Without batting an eye she answered, “Godzilla.”

A large group of Japanese children were walking out with us, and they were all saying the same thing,
“That was SOOOOOOOOO boring.”

My family agreed.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Litany of Godzilla: Showa Series Part Five- Awesoming Robots

Many fans of this genre think the next film should be lumped in with the low point the previous ones occupy.  Sure it has a main character designed by an elementary school contest winner, and another annoying voiced kid in disturbingly short pants. [Later edit- who looks remarkably like Ken who named Hedora. Different dubbing actors really make recognition hard.]  It may be full of questionable acting, nonsensical plot turns, stock footage, padding. 

And sure, the whole thing was shot in three weeks.

However, this insight is missing one key factor.

This movie drips with awesomeness, and while I don’t consider it “best” by any reliable metric, it will always be my favorite Godzilla movie, and that’s why it gets an entry all to itself.

Godzilla vs. Megalon

Thursday, May 15, 2014

It Worked!

While some may think my Godzilla Litany is truly a public service, or an excuse to fill many posts with a favorite franchise of mine.  There was an ulterior motive.

Since the announcement of the new Godzilla film, I have been trying, and failing, to get my daughter interested in Kaiju films, in order to get her to watch the old ones, and see the new one in the theater.

Now that she's been reading the descriptions, she is joining a long line of McGinley Godzilla fans (Mom saw Ghidrah the Three Headed Monster in the theater), and coming to the movies with her mother and I...

Remember who picked our ice sculpture.

She also set up a Party for the King of Monsters' big anniversary!

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Litany of Godzilla: Showa Series Part Four- Shrinking Budgets

To go back to better times, click here.

All Monsters Attack
(aka Godzilla’s Revenge)

Ichiro is a typical Japanese latchkey boy, in disturbingly short pants.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Apollo 13 Through a Kid’s Eyes

We watched Ron Howard’s 1995 film recently, because Opie don’t make bad movies.

My daughter was awestruck by it.

That could easily end the “Through a Kid’s Eyes” portion of the evening, but I need to continue and explain why parents should be sharing this film with their children.

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Litany of Godzilla: Showa Series Part Three- Changing Alliances

Godzilla, Ebirah, Mothra: Big Duel in the South Sea
(aka Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster)

A giant claw destroys a ship, a seer tells a woman her son is not in the land of the dead, some guys collapse on the third day of a go go dance contest and a bank robber with a heart of gold -that looks a lot like Astronaut Fuji- who uses toy guns is on a sailboat that doesn’t belong to him.

Amazingly, these threads all tie together.  The guy organizing the dancers (Ryota, the son of the woman with the seer) brother was on the claw ship.  Because he failed to win a boat in the dance contest, he steals the already stolen boat of the bank robber.

Everybody got that?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

International Relations

I’ve gotten to go to the meetings with visitors from our Japanese group because the marketing contact there took to viewing me as his personal direct line to product information

And any other technical stuff he may have had a whim about. 

This dated back to a single moment when I answered one complaint question for him when I was too young to know the value of not giving the best possible answer to some departments.

The perk of this was I occasionally got invited out to meals with him and visiting sales people that would accompany him to trade shows the states as a reward for high performance.  He’d usually act as a translator as their English was weak and my Japanese was nonexistent. 

Try to get invited to meals with sales and marketing people; they know how to eat well.