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What's up, MOCK?

You can't step in the same river twice...

Updated: 2018-03-17T18:51:19.906-04:00


02-28-16: Random Thoughts


This was a crazy week.  We were flooded once again.  It was quite disheartening.  But it is over and we haven't lost too much property this time.  We might have to tear up all the sub floor in the basement but what are you going to do.

I also missed out on a trip to the Adirondacks that I had been looking forward to for a long time.  But in not going, I had extra time to bond with my son (who was a TREMENDOUS help at 1:00 AM on the first day of the flood) and got to hang out with one of the guys (and his wife) who was supposed to go on the trip but he stayed behind, too.

At about 4:30 AM on the first day of the flood, Nan convinced me to empty the bottom drawers of the file cabinets that hold my comics.  The image of us bringing stacks of comics, eventually totaling over 1600 books, to lay out in an upstairs bedroom, kind of makes me chuckle now.

So after things calmed down, I spent some time prepping for Parent Teacher Conferences tomorrow, got some reading done for my Masters class this week, and took some notes for the next round of contract negotiations.  It seemed like a good time to reward myself with a trip to Earth Prime Comics and grab some books.

My last trip had been January 3, so I did not expect to have a lot waiting for me.  I was so very wrong!  But reading comics tonight and entering them into my database has been fun.

It has also brought me to TWO milestones tonight!  I entered "All-New Wolverine" #5 as the 9,000 comic in my collection. This is my threshold number.  This means I am going to cull some stuff in the next few days to keep the total low.

The second milestone is that issue contains my FIRST printed letter to a comic book!  I had sent an e-mail in to the editor after reading issue #3 praising the book and it got printed!  Around the same time, I was moved by a different comic to thank the creator on Facebook and HE wrote back to me!

All in all, not a bad way to end a disappointing vacation!

Mock Squid Soup - February 12, 2016 - Chef


So if you read my wife's post on her website, Hungry Enough To Eat Six, (she has been giving me updates on the number of folks who have tried clicking over from her site to see my comments) you'll know the movie we watched this month is the Jon Favreau vanity project from 2014, "Chef".

Currently #526 on my flickchart list

After directing the first two Iron Man movies and producing the third, along with both Avengers movies, Favreau had, what I've often heard referred to as, "F you money."  I am not writing that in a dismissive way.  He had enough money to get this movie made.  He had an idea, researched it, wrote, directed, produced, and starred in a movie he truly believed in.

And it is not a bad movie.  It's just not my sort of movie.  It was enjoyable.  The soundtrack was fun.  But the movie is flat.


For me, the gist of the movie is as follows:  a relatively happy chef, Favreau, working at a dream job, suddenly realizes he is somewhat stifled creatively working for Dustin Hoffman.  This comes to a head when a food critic is dismissive of his current work.  The chef gets disproportionately upset by this, sleeps with Scarlett Johansson, and flies to Miami with his ex-wife (Sofia Vergara) and their son to rediscover what he loved about cooking.  Once in Miami, Vergara has her other ex-husband, Robert Downey, Jr., bankroll Favreau's mid-life "crisis" and allow him the chance to reconnect with his son.  The movie ends with the critic returning to visit Favreau and bankrolling a NEW restaurant for the both to run....and Favreau remarries Vergara.

Aside from a scene where the son burns a sandwich and is, at first, somewhat dismissive of the burned sandwich, this movie is relatively free from strife.  There is no real change to any of the characters.  The movie feels like it is missing its second act.  There is no conflict.  Every misstep by a character is rectified almost instantly.

I was also bummed because by trimming some of the language, this would have been a great movie for our "Family Movie Night".  I love the things my son and I share in common and those parts of this movie resonated for me.  But I can't share the movie with him because it was unnecessarily crass.

That being said, I'm late posting this and Nan and I just came back from our current favorite activity, drunk grocery shopping, so what do I know.

Mock Squid Soup: February 2016: Three Clues


Here are my three clues for this month's movie!1)  Of the first ten actors credited in this movie, eight have had roles in movies based on comic books or comic strips...but this is NOT a comic book movie!2)  The writer and director of this movie is credited with directing three major comic book movies...but this is NOT a comic book movie!3)  The star of the movie (who also wrote, produced, and directed the film) says this film was loosely inspired by the owner of the Kogi Korean BBQ food trucks of Los Angeles.--------------------------------------------The Armchair Squid and I are proud to present Mock Squid Soup: A Film Society!This month, everyone gets to throw a movie of their own choice into the pot.  The week before our gathering, on Friday, February 5th, everyone is invited to post three clues about his/her movie for others to guess.  Our next regular meeting is Friday, February 12th.   No need to sign up twice.  The Squid used the same link list for both.  If you are interested in joining us, please sign on to the list below.This is a Blog Hop!1.The Armchair Squid2.Cherdo on the Flipside3.Birgit4.Hungry Enough To Eat Six5.What's Up, Mock?You are next... Click here to enterThis list will close in 8 days, 7 hrs, 45 min (2/13/2016 6:11 AM North America - Eastern Standard Time)What is a blog hop?Get the code here...[...]

Mock Squid Soup: November Entries


I have fallen off the blogging wagon and am not following through on the theme for this month's hop.  I am not a good blogging co-host.Instead, I will share ALL of the movies I watched last weekend.  I spent last week in Doha, Qatar visiting some schools and attending an education summit.  The flight home allowed me to watch ALL of the following movies.My current flickchart rating is under each image. I currently have 1,209 movies on my flickchart list.Only The Prestige and The Social Network were repeat viewings.  All the others I was seeing for the first time.#754#105#47#75#104 If you have seen this, you know it opens with a stunt on an airplane.  This was what I was watching as our plane took off!#466 If you have seen the marketing for this one, you know it is an earthquake movie.  Watching it while experiencing turbulence added to the effect.  I can't say it made the movie better.#39That's it! This is a Blog Hop!1.The Armchair Squid2.Birgit3.Musings of a Creative Writer4.A Space Blogyssey5.Cherdo on the Flipside6.The ToiBox of Words7.MOCK!You are next... Click here to enterThis list will close in 23 hrs, 56 min (11/14/2015 6:35 AM North America - Eastern Standard Time)What is a blog hop?[...]

Mock Squid Soup - August 14, 2015 - Sleepless in Seattle


I am sitting in the last day of class and received a text from Nan that we forgot to do our posts!I think everyone figured out I watched Sleepless in Seattle.  It was a big favorite, due to the soundtrack, to watch in the video store back in the day.  Last week, I put it on while I was starting to set up my classroom.It does seem to be both a relic of its time but still holds up well enough to be enjoyable.And now I must get back to class!This is a Blog Hop!1.The Armchair Squid2.Cherdo on the Flipside3.Birgit4.Two Square Dogs5.The ToiBox of Words6.Hungry Enough To Eat Six7.MOCK!8.Musings of a Creative WriterYou are next... Click here to enterThis list will close in 1 day, 0 hrs, 19 min (8/15/2015 9:16 AM North America - Eastern Standard Time)What is a blog hop?Get the code here...[...]

Mock Squid Soup: August Trivia Teaser


>cough cough<  This blog is a little dusty...let me turn on a light.  Ahh...that's better.  Let's see...the last post was...June 12?!?!?  Holy cow!  Well, I'll pretend nothing has happened!It is time for this month’s gathering of the Mock Squid Soup, hosted by the Armchair Squid and by myself! Today, we provide 3 clues to keep you on the edge of your seat! Next Friday we will share our movie choices and reviews. 1.  Despite being a romantic comedy, the two leads share less than 2 minutes of screen time together.2.  The lead actor won the Academy Award for Best actor for another movie he starred in the very same year!3.  At one point in the movie, the male lead does an impression of a different actor, who starred in a  1957 film, clips of which feature prominently throughout the movie.There you go!This is a Blog Hop!1.The Armchair Squid2.Cherdo on the Flipside3.Birgit4.Two Square Dogs5.The ToiBox of Words6.Hungry Enough To Eat SixYou are next... Click here to enterThis list will close in 7 days, 21 hrs, 23 min (8/15/2015 9:16 AM North America - Eastern Standard Time)What is a blog hop?Get the code here...[...]

Mock Squid Soup - June 12, 2015 - Mad Max: Fury Road


MOCK! and The Armchair Squid are proud to welcome you to Mock Squid Soup: A Film Society, meetings on the second Friday of each month.  Last week, society members posted three clues as to their chosen film for the month.  Today is the big reveal.Last month, I thought I knew what this month's movie was going to be.  I had intended to re-visit an old favorite but instead...I had not intended to see this film.  I don't recall if I've seen the original trilogy.  But shortly after this was released, a friend texted that he was interested in seeing this.  We were supposed to go see "American Sniper" together this past winter, but those plans fell apart.  So, since I hadn't seen him in a bit AND he had convinced another friend I had only seen briefly the week before, I jumped in.And I am quite glad I did.  This was a bombastic, in-your-face, senses assaulting thrill ride.  I have read somewhere that there were about 15 pages of dialog when the script was written and 3500 stills for the storyboarding of the action scenes.  It just picks up after a low key opening monologue and doesn't stop for its entire two hour running time.It has strong female characters, lots of humor and action, and a nice set up for a new trilogy.  While not overly gory, it is definitely not for everyone.  But it was fun.---- [...]

Mock Squid Soup: June Trivia Teaser


Today, as an added treat for this month's edition of Mock Squid Soup, all society members are invited to post three hints about their film choice for the month.  All are welcome to guess, of course.  Here are the three clues for my movie:

-Twenty years ago, the writer/director of this movie worked on a film that earned seven Academy Award nominations (including his adapted screenplay) but that film only won one award...for Best Visual Effects.

-Since the inception of the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, one of the animated movies this movie's writer/director helmed became one of only two animated features to ever beat a Pixar film for the award. (That's a clunky sentence!)

-Playing anti-heroes in this movie, both lead actors were nominated for Teen Choice Awards for their roles, in two separate movies, as "Best Choice Villain" (She in 2012 and he in 2013).

That was harder than I thought it would be.

Mock Squid Soup - May 8, 2015: Avengers: Age of Ultron


Could it be anything else?

Nan and I had grand plans to watch movies and tease trivia, but, alas, it was not meant to be!

Currently, it stands as my favorite Marvel movie and it cracks the top ten of all my movies on Flickchart.

I saw it during previews with Nan and our son, then saw most of it at the drive-in the next night with a large group of friends (including my son, my daughter and her boyfriend) and then again on Saturday with my two cousins in Rutland.

There are stories behind each viewing, but the clock on the wall says I have to head to school.  I might find my placement for next year today.  And then I have a big presentation tonight for my Masters project so it will all have to wait.

I hope you are all well.

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: April 2015: "George Harrison: Behind The Locked Door" and "All You Need Is Kill"


Reading has become a luxury I don't seem to be able to afford recently.  However, in the last few weeks I have finished TWO distinctly different books.

First, I read the book All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka.  This was the novel that inspired last summer's Tom Cruise sci-fi action flick "Edge of Tomorrow".  I really enjoyed the movie and was please I had seen it previous to reading this book.  While the book was enjoyable, I felt some of the concepts were actually fleshed out a bit better on the big screen.

Secondly, I grabbed George Harrison: Behind the Locked Door by Graeme Thomson on a whim at the library last month.  I once joked I had four constant friends growing up and they were named John, Paul, George and Ringo.  In my teens, I read a lot of Beatle biographies plus the big ones about John and Paul.  Ringo was Ringo and I never bothered to learn much about him beyond the highlights.  There was, however, a dearth of information on George.

This book does a wonderful job of uncovering who George really was.  There is lots of first hand accounts and interviews with those closest to Harrison.  It is a fascinating read.

I place this with the best Beatle related books I have read.


The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same.  In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers.  Please join us HERE!

Mock Squid Soup - April 10, 2015: Strangers On A Train


I love me some Hitchcock.  When fellow Souper Birgit put this forth as her March offering, I knew I had found my April film!  After showing Nan and Logan the original trailer on Amazon, we were all convinced.

After our Easter meal and Star Trek viewing, we settled in for this.  It was my son's third Hitchcock offering (we've watched North by Northwest a few times and he has seen all of To Catch A Thief but in three separate viewings) and he and my wife are currently planning a trip that will take them on their first long distance train trip, so everyone was cracking wise as things got under way.

This was great fun!  Logan spotted Hitchcock's cameo at around the ten or eleven minute mark.  He thought the performances were incredible.  It was so much fun listening to him unraveling the story and motives.  It was all so scandalous but still tame enough for his soon-to-be-teen sensibilities.

It has been a while since I'd seen this.  So many of Hitchcock's other films with Grant and Stewart and the like always seemed to overshadow this for me.  Rebecca and Rope are two of my all time favorite movies of any type.  But this was like finding an old pair of pants that still fit....nice and comfortable and a pleasant surprise.

When this was discussed last month on Birgit's site, there was a lot of talk about Throw Momma From The Train, the 1987 black comedy inspired by this film.  Recollections of that film were decidedly mixed, but I remember it fondly.  Perhaps I'll seek it out.  Or just pull out all my Hitchcock VHS tapes!

Favorite Line

Senator Morton: One doesn't always have to say what one thinks.

Star Trek: The Survivor


We celebrated Easter this past Sunday in the MOCK household with bowls of Nan's homemade Pozole Rojo and a viewing of Star Trek: The Animated Series episode The Survivor. This was a solid episode that embraced some of Star Trek's overall themes and exploited the animated series ability to "bust the budget."  In this episode, the crew rescues a long missing philanthropist named Carter Winston.  In an example of cosmic coincidences, Winston's fiancee, Lieutenant Anne Nored, is a member of the Enterprise's security team. Winston Carter in his super groovy spacewearAnne Nored: Suffers from some early 70's stereotypes about womenBefore long, we learn that Winston is really a shape-shifting alien called a Vendorian .  Kirk and the VendorianOnce aboard the Enterprise, he transforms himself into Captain Kirk and tries to take the ship into a Romulan trap. But after falling in love with Lieutenant Nored, the Vendorian saves the Enterprise and Kirk agrees to take his actions into account.Favorite ExchangeDoctor McCoy: I'm glad to see him under guard, Jim. If he'd turned into a second Spock, it would have been too much to take.Mr. Spock: Perhaps. But then two Dr. McCoys just might bring the level of medical efficiency on this ship up to acceptable levels.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Bloggers extraordinaire, Maurice Mitchell, Spacerguy and The Armchair Squid are embarking on a new journey to watch all 22 episodes of Star Trek's animated series.  Anyone who watches an episode will be posting on Wednesdays.  All are welcome to join them for all or parts of the adventure. More information can be found HERE.[...]

Star Trek: One Of Our Planets Is Missing


Bloggers extraordinaire, Maurice Mitchell, Spacerguy and The Armchair Squid are embarking on a new journey to watch all 22 episodes of Star Trek's animated series.  Anyone who watches an episode will be posting on Wednesdays.  All are welcome to join them for all or parts of the adventure. More information can be found HERE.-----My son and I had Star Trek: Generations on in the background while he was using his DS and I was catching up on last Friday's movie bloghop, when I finally got to comment on Squid's entry.  I had forgotten about his Animated Trek project.  My son and I had a little bit of time still before his Odyssey of the Mind meeting, so I decided to throw this week's episode on the screen.Star Trek played a HUGE role in my life right up until about the turn of the century.  The animated series was a part when I was young but I had only seen the two episodes considered "cannon" as an adult and that was about 20 years ago.In this episode, which was the third of the animated series, the Enterprise must contend with a massive space cloud that eats planets, now targeting a Federation colony of over 82 million.I had dismissed the animated series a little while back.  If the episodes are all as strong as this one, perhaps it will join Star Trek Voyager and Enterprise in my son's and my Trek television rotation.  I thought the story was strong, the animation was acceptable, and the voice work top notch.[...]

Mock Squid Soup - March 13th: Three Days of the Condor


This blog has been long neglected.  It has been 71 days since I last posted.  Life changes rapidly and I have been making some choices to keep up.  One of the casualties of my choices has been my free time....specifically my on-line free time.  I don't seem to find myself with enough time on my hands to visit blogs and comment, let alone posting here with any regularity.

It also means finding 90 minutes or more to sit and watch a movie is difficult.  My Netflix queue is full of movies ranging from "Oooh...I always wanted to see that" to "Hmmm....that looks worth watching."  I had no idea of what I might watch for this month's Blog Hop.  My prospect for finding time was bleak...but then it happened.

While cleaning up Netflix profile, Nan said she and our son had an Odyssey of the Mind meeting on Sunday and at the same time I saw "Three Days of the Condor" was now available on the service.

Currently #114 on my flickchart list

Robert Redford plays a low level analyst for the CIA.  He is part of a group that reads every book published and feeds the details to a computer to find out if pending CIA operations have been compromised.

One rainy day, it is Redford's job to get lunch for his co-workers.  When he returns, he discovers that they have all been murdered.  The rest of the movie is spent following Redford trying to unravel the mystery and figure out who he can trust.

For me, this has always been the epitome of 1970's conspiracy spy flicks, despite not having seen it for well over 15 years.  It held up well for me on this viewing with stellar performances and a veritable "who's who" of 1970's cinema.

Happy 2015!


Happy New Year!

To celebrate 2015, here are the covers of two comics from my collection cover dated 50 years ago this month!

These two covers give you a sense of the length each company had been publishing their books.  Superman was already at issue 174 in 1965, whereas The Avengers were celebrating their first year in print!

Merry Christmas 2014


I hope your day is splendid!  As I eagerly await the time we get to watch our first Doctor Who Christmas special ON Christmas Day, enjoy these Christmas themed comic book covers from my collection!

MOCK Squid Soup: Pulp Fiction: December 12, 2014


One of the surest ways for me to NOT like something is to be told that I MUST like it.  Such was the case with Pulp Fiction when it came out.I saw it shortly after its theatrical run, when it first debuted on VHS.  I was thoroughly underwhelmed.  People who had seemed smart to me were praising it.  People who I detested thought it was the greatest movie ever made.  It seemed that it was "hip" to enjoy it.  I was not hip.  Never have been and never will be.  But I am petty and those memories are powerful.My memory of it was such that when I went to check on flickchart, I had rated it 17 times and it was the LAST movie on my list.  Dead last.Re-watching it with Squid moved it up to 281 on my list.  While I am still underwhelmed,  I can understand the impact it has on people.  I liked the juxtaposition of the "real" world with the seediness going on at the same time.  I liked the use of the soundtrack as another layer within the movie (a technique done even better earlier this year with Guardians of the Galaxy).  Some of the dialogue was clever.  The non-sequential story telling didn't seem to be necessary.My kids don't understand my love of the first Star Wars movie.  They see things like it all the time.  They see movies with better effects.  They see actual Star Wars movies and television shows any time they want.  They don't know what I went through growing up.  I had three movies.  And I didn't get a VCR until Return of the Jedi was already 5 years old.Perhaps my inability to understand the adoration for Pulp Fiction comes from everything I have seen since that was inspired by it.  Or not being able to grasp the "revolution" it set forth in modern cinema (which parallels my inability to understand the music revolution of the same era and my distaste for most "indy" music).Or maybe I just know what I like and I'm okay with that...Why not check out the other folks who signed up for this month's film:1.The Armchair Squid2.Scouring Monk3.Cherdo on the Flipside Lastly, check the Squid's site for exciting information about January's title!  Guest hosts!  Guest picker!  I will not be partaking as we have a movie I just can't bring myself to view again....but perhaps you will![...]

"A Date That Will Live In Infamy..."


First Draft of the Speech

Happy December 2014!


Back to school and normalcy after the long Thanksgiving Break.  Here are some comics I own with a December cover date!

Millie the Model 133
December 1965
One of the romance comics I was given from Nan's grandparent's house last year.

Avengers 83
December 1970
One of the comics I own that takes place in my hometown of Rutland, Vermont.

Batman 237
December 1971

 And another Rutland issue!

Mock Squid Soup: Space Battleship Yamoto: November 14, 2014


Please check out The Armchair Squid's site for details on our bloghop and the story around our choice of movie this month.

Another short post as the real world seems to prevent blogging right now.  No sob story...just so busy.

Currently #394 on my flickchart list
Space Battleship Yamoto was a fun romp.  The visuals were impressive.  The characters fun.  It really seemed to embody the cartoon (granted I have a VERY limited exposure to the television show).

The only real negative for me was the subtitles.  I've never been a fan of subtitles given the nuances you lose in the delivery of the dialogue.  There seemed to be a few jumps in logic/the story that might not have taken a native speaker by surprise.

Please check out the other folks who have watched the movie!

1.The ToiBox of Words2.The Armchair Squid
3.Cherdo on the Flipside4.MOCK!
5.Two Square Dogs

October 26, 2014: Vermont ComicCon


After an all day class yesterday, I spent the afternoon and evening visiting with The Armchair Squid and Drama Guy.  We watched next month's Mock Squid Soup movie, Space Battleship Yamoto (available for FREE on YouTube!) and had some good conversation and some good Chinese was Vermont ComicCon!  The Squids and Mocks met up and had a blast.  I'm at the point in my comic book collecting where there really isn't anything on my wish list.  I occasionally hear about a run or a series I missed that might be worth picking up.  But today was about random finds, artists and costumes!I grabbed two Batman '66 comics for Logan, four random Star Trek issues (two John Byrne photo novels and two alternate reality issues) and a Red Sonja one shot.  For a buck a piece, I couldn't say no!I also snagged all 5 issues of the Spider-man: With Great Power... mini-series for $2.00!I spent some time exploring the work of a whole lot of artists!  I picked up a Doctor Who print by Blair Shedd from one of his recent Doctor Who comics and a smaller print from Vermont artist Lee Wakerly of the 12th Doctor.  I plan on displaying them both in my classroom.Blair Shedd: Approximately 11" by 7"Mr. Shedd signing his printLee Wakerley: Approximately 4" by 6"Mr. Shedd also did TWO sketches!  One for my son and one for his friend!Nan bought a limited run print from Mr. Shedd with a Vermont theme for the house!And then the can see more on Nan's NEW site here![...]

Mock Squid Soup: Unbreakable: October 10, 2014


The Armchair Squid and I are once again hosting an installment of Mock Squid Soup: A Film Society.  Each month, on the second Friday, we shall host a bloghop devoted to a particular movie.  We invite others to watch the same film and post their own reviews.  This month's movie is... Currently #92 on my flickchart listI hadn't seen this since it was in theaters in fall of 2000.  In my memory, it was one of the first superhero movies in the current wave of decent superhero movies but I hadn't viewed it since.I was lucky enough to get to see this a few weekends back with The Squid and our mutual friend.  I enjoyed the twists and turns, as well as the final reveal.  If viewed separately from M. Night Shyamalan's other films, especially "The Sixth Sense", it is a decent thriller with some neat superhero under/over tones.It was also the movie, with this viewing, where I realized I have now seen enough movies with The Squid that I can no longer keep track of what we've seen together easily.  I know I slept through our first ("The Pirates! Band of Misfits") and he dozed during our second ("The Avengers") but after that, I had to start writing them down!I know that really isn't a discussion nor a review but it's been a rough week!Head over to the Squid's site for November's sign-up list tomorrow.  The next feature on Friday, November 14th will be... Space Battleship Yamato[...]

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: September 2014: Marvel Comics Collected Editions


I have been collecting comic books for a very long time.  When I first started, comics struggled for legitimacy in terms of mainstream acceptance.  They were still considered for children.

The term "graphic novel" was held for longer length, special format stories.  Collections of individual stories bound together were trade paperbacks.  It is still the term I use today.

I was alerted to the existence of these trades at WalMart via a story on the comic gossip site "Bleeding Cool".

WalMart is starting to stock a variety of Marvel trades at $5.00 each.  Each book also has a code for a free digital download (a realm I have yet to investigate.)

Here is a picture of the books at my WalMart that I posted on the Bleeding Cool site:

It is an impressive display.  I picked up the Spider-Man, Avengers and Guardians.  I had read the issues in the Cap collection and looking it over didn't think my son would enjoy it as much as the others.  Both my son and I devoured the other collections.

I give high marks to the Spider-Man and Avengers collections.  The Guardians was a bit more of a mish-mash, suffering from changing art styles, Brian Michael Bendis' habit of having each character sound exactly the same, and  having just seen the INCREDIBLE movie for a second time...
these stories were pale in comparison.

Our favorite was the Spider-Man collection.  He is a character I have never collected or read regularly.  The story line, regarding a new Hobgoblin, was intriguing enough that we are on the lookout for the next wave of these books.

The Avengers presented a nice time travel mystery that we want to see finished, too.

All in all, if you have a mild interest in comic books or these characters (who more and more read like their big screen counterparts), five bucks and a're in for a good time.

This Day In History: 9-19-84


A Bloggers' Film Society: September 2014: Burn After Reading


Has a month come and gone already?  The start of the school year has meant a dearth of posts from yours truly.  Either way it is time for another installment of A Bloggers' Film Society hosted by The Armchair Squid and yours truly.Our Society is just starting out.  Please consider checking out the other folks who have signed up to review this month's offering by clicking HERE!  And perhaps YOU will join us next month?Currently #812 on my flickchart listAs you may or may not know, The Squid and I are friends in real life.  I love the man like a brother.  The Venn diagram of us has more in the middle than not.  That being said, our entertainment tastes do not always line up.  From the outside looking in, one might consider him a great many ways.  I like that we do line up enough so that when we are not in sync, we can have intelligent conversations none-the-less.I really wanted to like this movie.  But I did not.I am not a Focus Film fan.  For awhile, Nan and I used it as our buzzword to dismiss a movie out of hand.  And like most Focus Films, this one seemed to be trying too hard, Frances McDormand and George Clooney especially.  I kept expecting one of them to pull out the old Jon Lovitz as Master Thespian "ACTING!" line.  And like Clooney's overall performance, I felt the movie couldn't pick a style and stick with it.  Serious drama?  Wacky comedy?  Spy flick? Comedy of errors?  If it wanted any or all of them, I do not feel it succeeded. Looking over the Coen brothers' body of work, I realize that I have seen many of their films but have liked few.But there were parts I liked in here.  Some of the dialog and scenes really crackled, especially early on.  John Malkovich was a hoot.  JK Simmons' world-weary, semi-clueless CIA boss was a delight (though, to be honest, I don't think I've ever seen him in a role I didn't like).  And whereas some actors (like Clooney, Bruce Willis or Tom Cruise) often have a hard time convincing me they are playing a character that is NOT them, Brad Pitt usually surprises me.  This time was no different.  I think I just like the guy as an actor.Overall, the movie started out intriguing.  I was hooked and interested,  but at some point it just sort of lost its way.  Perhaps it was intentional.  I do not know.  But at that point I no longer cared.---------------------------------------------------------------Please consider joining us next month.  Squid will reveal our next installment on his blog.  He and I are planning on watching the movie together with our Third Musketeer.  I am looking forward to the movie and the company![...]