Friday, August 31, 2012

Watching 'Play Misty for Me'

A few random thoughts on Play Misty for Me:

I’ve been meaning to watch this movie since I was renting VHS tapes at Erol’s Video Club in Springfield. I don’t know how many times I’d linger over the VHS sleeve, read the description, and eventually put it back in favor of something I wanted to see more on that particular night. This is probably my number-one also-ran from those days.

I’ve also been more interested in watching movies from the 70s lately. Unlike the 80s, which I remember pretty well and when I watched a lot of current movies, the 70s is a time I was alive, but have little functional memory of. Snippets here and there, of course, but all from a child’s point of view. It’s interesting to get an adult perspective, even if it’s through the filter or a psycho-stalker suspense movie.

It’s melodramatic and over-the-top, and certainly a prototype for Fatal Attraction. (There’s even a Madame Butterfly reference.) Unlike Michael Douglas in that movie, Clint Eastwood’s jazz deejay character isn’t cheating on anyone here; he’s just a cad.

The woman who goes from groupie to stalker in no time flat is played by Jessica Walter, an actor who I never really took notice of until her turn as Lucille Bluth on Arrested Development. She’s effective in this, especially early on, in that she pretty naturally amps up Eastwood’s frustration level whenever she appears, and always manages to take charge of their conversations. Eastwood’s good, too.

BTW, if you ever wanted to see Young Clint walk around in his tighty-whities, here’s your chance.

A couple odd, peripheral scenes to mention: In one, Eastwood’s dejay buddy is about to smoke a joint. Clint declines the offer to share, asking him to do it in the other room so he can keep a clear head. Which manages to depict the drug use without it actually being on film, as the camera stays on Eastwood and the doorway during their conversation. Maybe it was a MPAA ratings thing?

Also, no surprise, but Eastwood’s love of jazz brings the plot to a dead stop for a little while, as we see ten minutes of footage of the Montery Jazz Festival. No complaints here; it’s a wonderful glimpse.

And finally, I have to mention that there’s one brief shot where you can see one of Jessica Walter’s boobs. Not entirely unexpected for this kind of movie (it’s actually pretty restrained in that regard), but nonetheless a strange moment, since to me she’s Lucille Bluth. I have never felt more like poor, conflicted Buster than at that moment.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

I'm no explosives expert, but...

... I think Batwing is engaging in some serious CYA behavior in this week's Justice League International Annual:

"The device was small. Undetectable." Seriously, dude?

Let me make it easier for you: HIS ENTIRE TORSO IS COVERED IN EXPLOSIVES.

Batwing scans for explosives like I scan the refrigerator: "Honey, where's the mustard?"
"It's in the fridge."
"I don't see it."
"Sheesh, it's right in front of you."
"The jar of Grey Poupon was small. Undetectable."



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Clark + Diana? For now, maybe.

DC recently announced a Superman/Wonder Woman romance (starting in tomorrow's Justice League #12), and I'm curious to see what DC does with it. My biggest fear is that it will derail some of Brian Azzarello's plans for Diana in the regular Wonder Woman comic; it seems more of a Superman storyline than a Wonder Woman one to me, although that's mostly because Wonder Woman has been refreshingly free of crossovers with the rest of the DCU.

I don't think it will last at all -- probably a year, maybe a little more -- but that doesn't mean I think it's not worth doing. (That remains to be seen by the stories we get.) Hopefully both characters will be treated with respect throughout the storyline, and the relationship will be dealt with maturely once it ends. I like the idea of exes in the DCU -- relationships which were once one thing and are now another. If they want to do that with Superman and Wonder Woman, that's fine with me. It's a big step, but it doesn't have to be a disastrous one.

Interestingly, AP writer Matt Moore writes this in today's story about the couple: "One aspect that did not survive the relaunch: Lois Lane's role as Superman's love. She's still around, but the two have never dated, nor are they likely to."

That's gullible to the point of ridiculousness. Moore is swallowing whole this temporary PR push, and ignoring everything we know about these characters (not just Superman and Wonder Woman, but all long-running, serial fiction characters) periodically reverting back to their iconic forms. Not only is Lois likely to date Superman, but history indicates she's all but guaranteed to. In the unlikely event that the Superman/Wonder Woman couple sets the world on fire (and I honestly don't think it's even intended to; I think DC wants people to buy it, but they don't necessarily want us to like it or root for it), it'll take ten years instead of 3-5, but Lois and Clark are ultimately bound to fall back into each other's orbits, and eventually date (and possibly marry) once again. Lois's gravity will always pull Clark in, and rightfully so.

Which is why the deviations are so potentially interesting to me. But whether they crash or fly is all in the execution.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Bear Witness

Behold! The Granite Terror of Saranac Lake!

Cast your eye upon his whelp, using tools to contain his prey!

Look upon him, and tremble!


(Had a great vacation, everybody. Wish I were still there, with all my pals.)