Friday, December 31, 2010

my 2010

I liked 2010 for the most part.  sure, there were some downs, but overall it was pretty good.  since I'm not clever enough to think of cool titles and such, I'm just going to run down the year by the cool stuff that happened in each month.

  • January- well, this was an important month, as I began my reffing career with San Diego Roller Derby! see what happens when you watch L.A. Ink? I also got my tiger tattoo this month.
  • February- got the tiger tattoo filled in, second Starlettes bout, after party at Victor's leads to my first experience with texting when not exactly sober.
  • March- hmm... I am sure something happened here, but nothing comes to mind at this point.
  • April- Amazon Birthday Lunch.  I also moved into a much nicer place.
  • May- I go to the dinosaur exhibit at the San Diego Museum of Natural History (thanks Becca!).
  •  June- the Rockettes first bout ends in a victory and a broken leg for it's captain, Juno Escarme. she's back on skates now.
  • July- the Del Mar Fair for the third year in a row, minus some of the comedy entertainment from the third party.  still, tater tots are the food of the gods. oh yeah, I think I spent some time at the media circus downtown.  hey, Ragone, where's my DVD I won?
  • August- I part ways with my former employers (losers all the way) and get my snake tattoo.  I also visit CO for the first time since last year.
  • September- I begin my career with Massage Heights, a much better company. Airie and I visit Julian and much fun was had.
  • October- was dress up month at derby practice.  that's all I'm gonna say about that.
  • November- I ref my first match for the Starlettes and it was way fun.  drove up to Newport Beach for Thanksgiving at the Chart House with Airie's family.
  • December- Airie and I have Xmas dinner at my godparents. they sing "The Mighty Hercules Theme Song" and quiz me about the Spider-man theme song.
 so yes, it's been a pretty great year.  thanks to all of my friends and family near and far who have helped make it so good.

I look forward to the new year as well with all that it holds.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

three movies

here are three movies that I greatly enjoy- some folks can't understand why, and sometimes I am one of them!
  • The Brain from Planet Arous (1957)- an evil brain from space, Gor, possesses John Agar, and a good brain, Vol, possesses his dog to stop him.  some interesting effects and the brains are classic.  Agar does a good job here as well.
  • Plan Nine from Outer Space (1959)- enough has been written about this, and some morons call it the worst movie of all time.  they are morons.  it may not be well made, but it's never boring, which is pretty much the worst thing any movie can be.  add to that the surreality of Edward D. Wood, Jr's auteurship and it makes for a very entertaining picture.  as Ed got better at movies (and he did) they weren't as much fun.
  • Robot Monster (1953)- another "how did this get made and who was it made for" sort of movie.  the first time I saw this was in a theater maybe 10 years ago, and it was all sorts of fun.  Ro-man is scary and silly all at once.  somehow I get the feeling the filmmakers were in on the joke, as the movie starts out with comic book covers.
I'll do some more of these next year.

Cats in Spaaaaaaaaaace...

after a success with the original series, what could be more logical than to put Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space?

one has to hand it to Hanna-Barbera, as they could have just gone on to make more of the same story (a la Scooby Doo).  while the stories seem about the same as the first series, the villains wanted to do some really BIG things, extinguish the sun, conquer the galaxy and such.

yeah, I like the show.  it's apparently available from Warner Archive Collection burn on demand.  here it is, decent price.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Southern Knights #6

in which we find out just how Aramis got suspended in time and space by his parents (this ties with a bunch of stuff in future issues) and his shock to find out he is now 250 years out of time.  Mark thinks he will adjust quickly because he is young.

I think Aramis is about 16 or 17, as his age is also an issue later on.

there's also fun with Kristin and Bryan about her painting paw prints on the drive way.  definitely a southern thing there!

then we have the assassins Carl and Larry and two other assassins who think they are pretty hot stuff.  they turn out to be not such great shakes in the trying to kill our heroes bit.  Carl and Larry actually do manage to put David (Electrode) into the hospital!  what a cliffhanger!

this is another step up, going from light hearted fun to deadly serious drama.  Chuck's art gets better as well.  good stuff!

Animals rock!

I watched this show, Wild World of Animals almost every Sunday evening.  it was on before Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom (1-800-228-9800) and I always wanted to see the octopus episode, but it seems like they (and Wild Kingdom) were enamored of birds.  thousands and thousands of birds.

I realize now that footage had to be easier to obtain.

anyway, the themes are pretty cool, but the end theme is way better.  I didn't realize it was only produced for five years.  it ran on the NBC affiliate in the 70s, then later on the PBS (no less) affiliate in the 80s.

I am going to re-buy this book.  I think it has a cool "Mary Celeste" story in it, about what really happened to the crew.  it's a nice tale, could make a really intense short movie.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Krieg Der Infras!

Watch War of the Infra-Supermen! (1970's) in Entertainment  |  View More Free Videos Online at

I have the original DVD of this movie.  This is the second version released, and as you can see, it has English subtitles!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Gammera The Invincible (1966)

poor Gamera, he never gets as much attention as Godzilla.  so I'm going to watch the first seven or so movies and talk about them a bit.

here's the trailer for Gammera The Invincible that I posted over Hallowe'en.  it's a good trailer and the movie is pretty good, if a pretty obvious idea to exploit the success of Godzilla.  Daiei wasn't the only Japanese studio to do so either.  but they had the most success, as no other monster made 6 (or 7) sequels like Gamera did.

however, the movie itself is a bit schizophrenic, as Gammera wipes out Tokyo but we aren't supposed to quite hate him, as he saves Toshio from a certain doom.  Noriaki Yuasa knew what he was doing, apparently, even if the viewers weren't quite sure.

this was the last Gamera movie I saw from the original series.  I had seen the infamous Sandy Frank dub when it came out on tape, but wondered where actors such as Albert Dekker and Brian Donlevy were.  it wasn't until a bit later that the different versions were reported.  and then it was the early 90s when I rented this movie from Eddie Brandt's Saturday Matinee, though I am not sure the website works.  nowadays one can find most anything on DVD, but back then, it was a good deal.

it's not the most exciting monster movie, seen on a grainy VHS tape.  Neptune Media did a much better job when they released it ten years ago.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

missed it by THAT much...

Get Smart was a big deal when I was growing up.  we loved the show and repeated many of the lines Agent 86 used.  even my mother did this (and still may, now that that I think about it).  and this was all in syndication! we loved the show.  it was funny, it had spies and action and it had Agent 99 (Barbara Feldon).

after watching the first eight episodes of this series on DVD, I am not sure what we were all so excited about.  the storylines are pretty silly, to be polite.  but so many of the jokes just fall flat, and the inane laugh track just made it worse. I hate being told when to laugh.

it's the cast that shines and makes much of the show work.  Don Adams is excellent as our hero, and not nearly as bumbling and inept as the blurbs on the box would have you believe.  he's kind of dense and really lucky, but not a hapless buffoon.

I just wish they had some better material to work with, at least in these 8 episodes.  maybe after they got into a rhythm it gets better.  I hope so!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Mighty Hercules

a cartoon I used to see a lot growing up, but then it nearly disappeared by the mid 70s (at least from Colorado).  there's a memorable theme song as well (apparently it was changed when the cartoon was re-released in 2005, stupid suits) sung by Johnny Nash.

I like the show quite a bit, the animation is interesting and the designs are simple yet really well done.

Jangle Bombs

haven't talked to much about the best Batman cartoon ever (heck, possibly the best Batman adaption ever), but it's been written about to death as it is, so I can be forgiven, I think.

anyway, there are many moments that make me smile, and this is one of them.  appropriate for the season as well.  I wonder where this particular song parody originated though.  it's been around as long as I can remember. anyone got any thoughts?

Mark Hamill is awesome here.

Friday, December 24, 2010

the real meaning of Xmas

forget all the sappily sentimental specials- Linus is far more eloquent:

and that's all there is to it. 

I prefer a Xmas tree like this, it has character.  and my first ornament is a plastic blue ball.

Dragnet s. 2

the second season of the show is more of the same as the first season.  more cases solved, more villains put in jail, lots of intense and sincere monologues by Sgt Joe Friday (Jack Webb) and many comic moments provided by Bill Gannon (Harry Morgan).

the main attraction of the show to me is the camaraderie between the two leads.  they are friends and good detectives, and sincerely believe in what they are doing.  Morgan hasWebb on the edge of laughter in many episodes, much of which was unscripted.

what is also interesting is that Webb, while Friday comes across as very law and order, he also is caring and goes case by case.  it's an interesting slice of life in 1968 LA.  it's a lot more interesting than I thought it would be.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

... and Larry

this episode of Pinky and the Brain cracked me up for so many reasons.  this is just the opening.

this is one of my favorite tv shows of all time.  it's smart, funny and subversive.  I believe I have mentioned it before, and I am sure I will again.

who knew a cartoon about two mice trying to take over the world would be so great?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Godzilla 1985

yeah, this is a capture from the HD version that aired a while ago on some cable channel.  well, sorta.  it's actually an excellent fan made composite version, which is the closest we will get to the version that actually was shown in the theaters.

it's a great thing that computers and talented fans can do.  this has trailers and even the oddball music video on at the end.

I'm going to watch it soon, and have some comments about it as well.

the Kree-Skrull War

The Kree-Skrull War is considered a milestone in Marvel Comics, one of the first huge multi-parts stories in comic book history. I think the first was Mr. Mind and the Monster Society of Evil in "Captain Marvel"

it's full of great art and some really cool storylines, but the main crux of the story is based on a mistake.  Roy Thomas and Neal Adams based the invasion on the final panel of Fantastic Four #2, with three hypnotized Skrulls living life peacefully as cows (they hated being Skrulls).  according to Thomas and Adams, there should have been four.

however, on page 23, panel five, Reed Richards states "The fourth is on his way to another galaxy now with the rest of his invasion fleet!"

so Stan and Jack knew what they were doing by having only three cows.

anyway, re-reading it now I think the story is a little cumbersome, though there are a lot of great elements to it, especially the fantastic voyage inside the Vision, which laid the groundwork for a whole mess of stuff later on.  and by now, it's a huge mess.


as I unashamedly love Reptilicus (1961) I was very interested in the comic book from the same time period.

Charlton issued a total of nine Reptilicus/Reptisaurus comic books.  it seems an odd thing to try to market, but they also did Gorgo and Konga.  since I don't care for Konga, I've never read one of those comics but Gorgo ran 26 issues.

anyway, Reptisaurus features some decent art and interesting stories.  eventually he becomes sort of a good guy monster and even gets a mate.  possibly from the claw in the movie, I don't actually know.  Reptisaurus doesn't actually look too much like his cinematic forerunner, but that's OK, he's more impressive in 2D than in 3D.

there's a new movie called Reptisaurus (2008) which has gotten some decent reviews.  I'd like to see it, but I doubt it could possibly live up to the original or the comic book!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Thor (1966)

not the greatest theme song of the The Marvel Super Heroes, but a decent one for Thor.  with all the talk of the new movie, one can only hope there's some sense of fun in it like in the original stories.

the first time I saw the cartoon I was rather disappointed in the suspended animation style of these shows.

now I think it's really cool to see all the different art styles and original stories in their slightly animated forms.  the voice acting is pretty good and even if the stories are compacted a bit there still haven't been any shows truer to the stories than these.

The Secrets of Isis (1975)

this is one boring show.  I thought so when I saw it back in the 70s and I think so now.  Much like Shazam! there are no real superheroics to watch or supervillains to fight.

and what could be worse than that?  how about morals at the end of the show?  I can forgive a low budget show if it's exciting, but not if it's both dull and sanctimonious.

the cast is OK.  JoAnna Cameron is lovely to look at, and is a decent actor.  she sure smiles a lot, even in the "dangerous" bits.    she later showed up in a couple episodes of The Amazing Spider-Man, which was slightly more exciting.  the kids do alright, some are better than others, but that's par for the course.  it's the stories... stupid kid dares other stupid kid into doing something stupid... and runs into car thieves.

I remember being quite excited to see the crossovers with Captain Marvel, but even those were ho-hum.  this is very typical of most 70s superhero fair though, anything that might be exciting was excised as it might be "camp".  I guess boring can't be called that. is it still better now that it's not "rare"?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ultra Operation No. 1

in the first Ultraman adventure, (Shin) Hayata crashes into Ultraman's "ship".  to save Hayata's life, Ultraman merges with him.  he gives him the Beta Capsule to use in cases of extreme emergency.

a good introduction to Ultraman, the Science Patrol and some of their various weapons and ships, including the Jet VTOL and the Sub VTOL.

the first monster our hero faces on Earth is the one he was chasing, Bemular.  Bem has never impressed me much, mostly due to his rather strange design (the arms look pretty silly).  Ultraman was chasing Bemular to take him to justice. 

overall it's a good introduction to the series.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

good day, eh

OK so good day and welcome to the movie review.

well, it's really just a trailer, but it's a beauty movie.  the DVD would have been great if Bob and Doug had done a commentary for it, eh.  I mean, they are geniuses. Strange Brew is really funny and has good actors also.  beauty.

so fire up the Coleman, heat up some back bacon and open some cold ones while you watch it.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ultra time

going to start watching the original (and still best) Ultraman series, and reviewing the episodes.

I've already talked about how I discovered Ultraman here, so there's no need to repeat that story.  I'll add more stuff about the three episodes I saw as I review them.

boy I love this show!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

mana lapho

that's Zulu for "Stand your Ground". 

in 1984 I saw the video for Juluka's hit single "Fever".  it was aired on Channel 12's "Teletunes" video show, which showed some great stuff back then.

anyway, I was quite taken with the sound of the song, as there certainly wasn't anything on the radio in the US that sounded like it at the time.  I found the album "Stand Your Ground" somewhere in CO- probably Rocky Mountain Records and Tapes on the Pearl Street Mall- and it's one of my favorite recordings.

there was scant information about the group or their music, all I knew was that they were from South Africa. I've learned more in the 12 minutes it's taken to write this up than I did in the 25 or so years I've loved the band.

here's the video, enjoy!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Superboy and Krypto

The Adventures of Superboy (1966–1969) was a great cartoon I saw as part of the The New Adventures of Superman cartoon that Filmation blessed us with.  I got to see it a lot on visits to WV, on the great Channel 20, WDCA.  thank the gods for syndication!

anyway, it's a really fun show, and features Krypto, my favorite super-dog.  since he no longer exists as such in the DCU, I'm glad he was immortalized in cartoon.

oh yes, I did enjoy the Krypto the Superdog show for what it was.  it was nice to see Streaky and Ace the Bat-hound as well.

I seem to have digressed away from Superboy.  due to the lawsuits surrounding the character this cartoon may never get released on DVD.  the intro was a bonus on the Filmation Superman DVD set.

I think we need more of those released as well.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Ultraman Leo is a really cool series that seems to be one of the more obscure Ultra shows.  he never got to be in movies until recently and isn't really considered one of the Ultra Brothers (well, he is from L77, so perhaps that's a reason there).

it's nice to see such scenes in great quality now.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mask of Matches Malone

Have I mentioned recently how much I love Batman: The Brave and The Bold?

in this episode Batman receives a concussion and becomes Gotham's greatest crook.  his daughter, The Huntress, Black Canary and Catwoman team up to stop his crime spree.

there's a pretty awesome musical number in this episode.  they manage to drop lots of names and several rather sly innuendos into it (especially about Green Arrow, much to Canary;s chagrin).  I really never thought that Catwoman's usually lamentable purple and green outfit could look this good, but this cartoon actually manages to accomplish that.

here's a really funny bit with Selina and Dinah showing up in the same slinky dress.  apparently this is considered socially awkward among women. 

I've never understood exactly why that is.

the villain of our story is Two-Face.  he doesn't quite get the sympathy the 90s cartoon gave him (though I am sure it's no coincidence that Poison Ivy was in the opener (and with Black Orchid, how cool was that?).
and just for fun.  I think it applies.

roller derby action!

here's a video of bout I posted about here.  you can see the girls in action as well as various other helpers.

SDRD Starlettes VS Prison City Derby Dames from Cynthia Ortega on Vimeo.

it's such a great thing to be part of.  the video runs about 74 minutes, and fortunately they left out the demonstration of men's derby that was held during half time.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

FF intro

still the best version of the FF so far.

20 episodes of Marvel goodness.  funny thing is, since they licensed Namor, the Sub-mariner to Gantry-Lawrence, they couldn't use him in a few stories, so they made up a couple different villains.  however, Dr. Doom was used by both companies.  guess they either didn't notice or care at the time.

there is also a version of the intro with a voiceover explaining the powers of our heroes.  I think it was used for HB's "World of Super Adventure".  boy I wish that show had aired in Colorado...

It! poster

just a cool poster for this awesome movie.  now this is a film I'd like to see in 3D. 

this is also in the great eatery Killer Pizza From Mars, and I provided it!  they have a lot of great memorabilia, but much of it comes from Star Wars or Star Trek.  so I have taken it upon myself to provide some more classic sci-fi and some posters from some Japanese movies.

good stuff, man!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Monsters from Space... 1999

these are many of the monsters the lovely Catherine Schell turned into on the second season of Space: 1999.  while I certainly enjoyed the show at the time, it's rather ungainly plot concept makes it a little harder to take these days.

still, the effects work is excellent, and the cast is likable.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Miranda (1948)

here's a clever little movie from Britain.  it's available from Netflix streaming.  I seem to remember hearing about it many years ago (mermaid movies being something I generally enjoy) but this is the first time I've ever watched it.

the movie is based on a play.  I wonder when the last time it was performed on stage.

it's very British, but I enjoy that humor. Miranda has some appeal to men, which is the main source of humor in the movie.

there's a sequel, which I will review once I watch it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

living in the Land of the Lost!

after a few years of rather anemic Saturday morning fare, dinosaurs roared back in a big way in 1974.  I remember being in Kansas and seeing the promos for "The Land of the Lost", and naturally they featured the stop-motion dinosaurs in a big way.

thankfully the show lived up to my expectations- and all of my friends.  there was a lot of Lost playing back in the day.

and this is Alice vs Grumpy, a match we all wanted to see.  heck, even without knowing their names most amateur paleontologists wanted to see a bout between an allosaurus and a tyrannosaurus rex!  I think it's from season two.

great show, hope it never gets turned into some lame stupid comedy...

Monday, December 6, 2010

ID Monster of the Week

in memory and honor of Leslie Nielsen, I present the monster of the week from the most excellent movie, Forbidden Planet (1956).

this is one movie I greatly love.  everything about it is amazing, the cast, the effects and the music.

and to top it off, we get literally the most fearsome of all monsters ever filmed, the one everyone has inside of him or her, the id.  that's some pretty wild stuff.  it's amazing to me think of seeing this movie for the first time, and not having any idea just what all that was about, and missing the underpinnings of the movie.

I even thought it looked a lot like Star Trek! but it was about 1975, so I think I can be forgiven for that.  good thing I bought that copy of Movie Monsters #3 back in the day.

some day I am going to have to talk about that magazine.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

more JAQK!

one of my favorite sentai shows, JAQK!

Toei really had no idea what to do with a sequel to GoRanger, and went a bit more serious with this one, at least at first.  after the ratings weren't as good, they added Banba Sokichi, AKA Big One (as portrayed by the legendary Hiroshi Miyauchi).

this was the only show that ended in both a team up and a movie.

apparently I've written about this show before.  how funny I didn't remember it!

Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes

watched the first two part episode of this new series, and I can honestly say it's the best cartoon version of the Avengers I've seen.

sadly, that's not a glowing endorsement!

the good:
  • the voice actors are well cast, and can act.
  • the Hulk is my favorite so far, and doesn't refer to himself in the third person.
  • Hank Pym is pretty cool, both as Ant-man and Giant Man. very good use of ants in this first episode.
  • Thor is cool as well.
  • the villains are all pretty good, at least the ones that spoke, and it was nice to see a LOT of them, silly or not.
  • the animation is nice as well.
the not so good:
  • Thor's hammer is stupidly large
  • the Wasp sounds like she's about 12
  • Iron Man sounds like he's about 16
  • Graviton is far too powerful, with NO LIMITS on his powers.  the Hulk and Thor suffer the same problem, being able to lift an island is just too much strength.  I feel no connection to heroes and villains who are all powerful like that.
  • and lifting a chunk of New York? didn't I see this in two different (sort of) Spider-man cartoons from the 60s?
  • sad it wasn't Loki that caused the team to form, but that was OK overall.
the bad:
  • the theme song is awful, even worse than the 90s Spider-man one.
  • I don't know who this Nick Fury is (well, yes I do understand why, but lame).
so it's OK.  I'll watch more of it, looking to see how they treat Cap when he shows up.   could be a fun ride.  plus there's a mystery of who let all the villains loose!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

yet ANOTHER Marine Boy surprise

today I had 369 page views on this blog.  someone is REALLY interested in the Marine Boy posts.  this one is very popular.  I have no idea who is looking at all these (it's not Moldova, though).

for those interested, the book is still coming along, though very slowly.  I'm kind of waiting to see how the publishing of the next issue of Xenorama will go, and then I'll try Marine Boy. 

it would be cool if the series would come out on DVD.  I've heard that recently it was re-aired in Australia with beautiful looking prints.  that would be awesome to see again.

I'm still amazed someone is looking at this blog so much.

Skull Man

it's taken me a year to watch 13 episodes of this cartoon.

I think the main thing going against it is that there's not nearly enough action.  I know, I know, that's how shows in this genre for "grown ups" are supposed to be, but dang, when the characters talk and talk and talk...

at least they are likable characters, for the most part.  the animation is really good, and the designs work well. it looks like it's out on R1 DVD now.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Astro opening

here's the original US opening for Astro Boy.

it's surprisingly similar to the Japanese opening.  I never knew that!

it's not the most exciting theme song.  the opening is quite good, shows all sorts of action, I like that.


Watch Yusei Shonen Papi (1965) #1 (English subtitled) in Anime  |  View More Free Videos Online at

this is pretty cool as well.  subtitled Prince Planet.  I gotta say, I like the US version of the theme song more than the original. 

I suppose it's a pipe dream to hope for a legit DVD set.  heck, I'd take a DVD-r set from WB Archives.  or whoever.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dororo (2007)

how is it this movie didn't get much notice over here at all? Dororo is so much fun and cool with an unique story.

I wasn't expecting too much from it, as many recent Japanese fantasy movies have let me down in the past, but this one is a rare exception for me.

as one can see, there are also practical effects in the movie as well as cg.  this is one weird snake demon that our heroes, Dororo the thief and Hyakkimaru fight.  one of the best things about this movie is that it actually has a sense of humor, and the leads have a good chemistry with each other.

Kô Shibasaki  plays Dororo, and she is quite good.  I'd now like to see her in  Shaolin Girl (2008).  Satoshi Tsumabuki is the young man on the quest to defeat 48 demons and he's pretty good as well, though he's supposed to be part wooden (more or less).

in the comic and cartoon Dororo was a young boy.  I've always thought the concept was pretty cool the first time I read about it, in, oh, 1978 or so.  I'd still like to see the cartoon.

the fights are well done as well, with a minimum of cg trickery also.  even when fighting demons they don't do chop-edit stuff.  very nice to see these days.

this is the city...

... in 1967.  Los Angeles captured in time.

thanks to Netflix I have been watching this show again.  it was ubiquitous when I was growing up, and we all enjoyed watching it.  I had now idea there had been previous incarnations in both television and movies before this version.

Sergeant Joe Friday has to be the biggest, most ernest square there ever was on the face of the Earth.  having said that, I really like him. he's the cop I want to any case I would be involved with, that's for sure.

it's "cool" these days to make fun of the show, due to the earnestness of Joe and Bill.  but it is somehow reassuring to see the bad guys get caught, and know these really are bad guys who deserve to go to jail.

granted, we don't know the back stories or the whys and wherefores of said villains, but that's not what the show was about.

in my youthful naivete` I thought Stan Freberg's St. George and the Dragonet was based on this version.