Monday, January 31, 2011

The Last Patrol

From The Brave and the Bold season 2, episode 16.

as most people know, I love the Doom Patrol. I even watched the episode of the Teen Titans that featured them just to see them animated.  (as of this writing, I don't care for the Titans cartoon and it's faux anime look, but I won't say it's bad as I keep having to change my views on such things recently).  I've written about them a few times in here already, but I had not planned on writing about this particular episode of the show.

that is, until I watched it.  I had wondered with the title just what the storyline would be.  I really hoped it would not be what I thought it was.

right away we find out the DP has disbanded, due to some mysterious circumstances fighting General Zahl in  Paris.

that name didn't make me feel any better about the possibleoutcome of this episode, I'll tell you what.

of course, this does have Batman added to the mix, and they do it properly.  The Brain and Monsieur Mallah show up (The Brain now looking quite like a Dalek) and we also see the Mutant Master, the Arsenal and my favorite, the A-V-M Man. 

that was all a treat.  however, as the story progresses and when the true enemies appear, I knew what was going to happen.  just like in the final issue of the original one (plus Batman and minus Madame Rouge of course) Zahl captures our heroes and has them make a choice.

it's an incredibly touching episode, and I'd rank it right up there with any episode from Batman: The Animated series as far as excellence. yeah, this show is all fun and giggles.  not.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Batman Beyondest

that would be Season Three.

so I've watched the entire series now, and overall, I rather enjoy it.  this final season was 13 episodes, and since we know the characters it's fun to see more of them.

I liked seeing Ra's again, despite the overt "ew" factor it ends up being. Cobra being a cult is pretty cool as well, though the whole martial arts sensei thing was pretty obvious.

however, trying to shoehorn the JLA/U/whatever into the timeline... well there's lots of discrepancies for continuity geeks to see and discuss (just like I'm about to!).

dressing Superman in black... ho hum.  we've seen that already in his show and in the Justice Lords episodes.  and where the heck is Diana?  Bruce has no pictures of her in his past loves... that's one thing I dislike about the show, as I've mentioned.  Bruce just sitting alone in his big ol' mansion brooding.  I know it's necessary for the show, but it's sad for him.

anyway, I've upgraded my opinion of the show quite a bit.  it's no Brave and Bold, but it's pretty good.

next up... the Batman.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

17. The Man Who Stole Tomorrow

the Avengers cartoon continues to get better.  it's about time Marvel had something that rivals what DC did with their properties.  some of them, anyway.

so Kang has decided to save his world by eliminating Captain America.  usually this is a self fulfilling prophecy.

I like the boxing match between Cap and Iron Man, with Hawkeye and the Hulk watching.  that's just fun.

but Kang has so much power... shouldn't there be an upper limit?  when Thor, Iron Man and the Hulk are pounding away at your force field, it should eventually have an issue.  especially since these versions all have 100 class strength.

and this image of Ultron 5 doesn't fill me with hope.  nor does that name, either.  however, we may get to see a new Avenger or two because of it, so I'll keep watching!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Atomic Bumper

these are usually missing these days from any DVD sets.  I think the Space Ghost had one of them though. 

Atom Ant is a pretty fun cartoon. Wiki makes it funnier by stating this: "Not to be confused with Adam Ant."

Thursday, January 27, 2011

You seem a decent fellow.

most everyone loves The Princess Bride (1987), including me, for many reasons.  it's excellently cast, great music and loads of truly clever humor.

it also has one of the best sword fights ever filmed.  according to director Rob Reiner all the swordplay is done by the actors themselves, Cary Elwes and Mandy Patinkin.  that is impressive in and of itself, but it's also a well staged and shot fight.

this got me to thinking about other sword fights in movies.  I can think of a few other great ones, but does anyone else have some ideas?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Moonlight Mask

here's the cool opening to the cartoon "Gekko Kamen".  he's been around a long time, but of course was never dubbed over in the US.  I've seen a few of the b/w movies, and then the 1981 movie.  that was dubbed into English for release maybe in Europe, but it's rep as a dud is well deserved.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ultraman Ace again

the opening episode featured some really cool shots.  nothing action packed, just very dramatic- such as this one, where Ace introduces himself and the brothers salute him for it.  it's quite cool.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Spidey vs the Spoiler

and that's not Don Jardine!

boy it was a treat to see these on "The Electric Company" when I was a kid!  they were usually pretty goofy, but this one is a bit more action packed than some of the others.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I've been looking for this cartoon for quite some time.  I'm going to talk about it in depth in a bit, but here's a teaser picture!

anyone else recognize it?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sinbad, Jr

anyone remember this cartoon?

loads of fun and less than serious action with Sinbad and his wisecracking parrot Salty.  I saw it occasionally growing up, but it always seemed to be a filler cartoon if something ran short or long.

it's got a really catchy theme song!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

college with Bock

I had the pleasure of seeing Nick Bockwinkel wrestle Larry Zbyszko  in 1985 or so.  this was after Nick's face turn, when Larry had clobbered him with the pair of nun chaku he carried with him at the time.
it was a good match, and one of the highlights occurred out of the ring when the little old lady sitting behind us declared that she "hoped Nick stomped the sh!t out of Larry!".  there was laughter and a general agreement.

Nick is a classy guy and was a great worker.  I bring all this up because last night I dreamt Nick and I were roommates in college.

I gotta lay off the pfeffernüssen before bed.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

you are now inside a flying saucer...

just got a great fan redub of the "The Mysterians" with the original US dub (aided a bit by the new Media Blasters dub here and there).  wish I could have seen this on the big screen when it was released. it's easily one of the best Earth vs the Aliens movie ever made- still.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I. Love. Roller Derby.

today marks the first anniversary of my being associated with San Diego Roller Derby.  I can't imagine my life without it now.

I have talked about it before, so all I am really going to say is how much the people here mean to me, and how much they have changed my life for the better.  I love them all greatly!

roller derby saved my soul!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Kamen Rider ZX

possibly the most action packed 7 minutes you can ever see:

OK, it's Amazon, not ZX, but still great
this is my favorite Kamen Rider movie/tv special.  the music, fight choreography and acting is just great.  at about 5:20 there's an amazing shot where the camera pulls back three times in one take.

this Kamen Rider ZX part was taken from an HK disc which is why the subs are slightly... off.  too literal, mostly.  the special Birth of the 10th! Kamen Riders All Together!! is just pretty amazing altogether, so I was happy to discover this copy of it.

it's kind of sad that the special didn't turn into a show, though I doubt that it would have been as cool or as action packed as this special is- nothing could be!  since the 80s started the trend toward more effects and less physical fights in at least sentai shows this could have gone either way.

did we ever find out about just why the show never appeared?  lots of rumors abound, but nothing concrete that I found.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Batman: Under The Red Hood (2010)

watched this movie and it's pretty good, if a bit dire.  and not even close to the "realism" that it pretends to want to have.

the voice acting for the principles is excellent, especially John DiMaggio as the Joker.  he stays away from the great Mark Hamill and does it well, if a little more subdued than one might think of the Joker.

still, when you have Ra's al Ghul using the Lazarus Pit as a main plot point, all "realism" goes out the window.  then you have the heroes (and otherwise) hopping about like they were in the Matrix...

because it's done in the style that's not as cartoony as some of the other versions of animated Batman it seems a little odd to me.  and having Batman and Nightwing take on Amazo by themselves... I know Batman has become the equivalent of the 1960s Superman (in that there's nothing he can't do now) but that's just plain silly.

it's worth watching for free on Netflix.  interestingly my Batman posts always get a lot of hits.

Kong theme song

another one of the awesome theme songs from the 60s. tells you everything you need to know about the premise in less than two minutes.  and it's damn catchy, as well.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

the instant mash

"In the supermarket there is music while you work
It drives you crazy, sends you screaming for the door
Work there for a year or two and you can get to like it
I don't work in supermarkets anymore."

"The Instant Mash", Joe Jackson

I used to work in a supermarket.  spent five and a half long years there.  this was from 1984 to 1990, when all they played was crap Muzak versions of "soft rock" hits and oldies.  this only made working there less pleasant.

had I been older and more mature, I would have treated the place as "just a job" instead of getting caught up in personalities and struggles and drama.  live and learn, right?

these days, a person can go to a supermarket and here "Rock and Roll All Night" coming across the speakers.  this still astounds me. and these are the real versions of rock songs, hard rock songs. 

while I am glad that the horrid muzak is gone and hopefully never to return, I wonder what the older customers think of the new music.

by the way, "Look Sharp!" is one of the best pop albums of all time.  not a miss in the bunch.  do yourself a favor and check it out if you haven't.  you won't be sorry.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dinosaur Land

one of my favorite places on Earth is Dinosaur Land in Virginia's Shenadoah Valley.

they don't move, they don't roar, they just stand there in a true primeval forest and kids of all ages walk through them and have a wonderful time.

I was about six years old the first time I went there (thanks Mom) and well, the rest is pretty well known.  I had known about dinosaurs for at least a year or two before that, but being able to see life size replicas?  yeah, that's heaven!

it took me 30 years to get back there, and there are even more dinosaur sculptures now.  it's interesting to see how the views of dinosaurs have evolved.  this one to the left is obviously based on the old Aurora kit of the Allosaurus. the hand positioning is a bit different, but overall the influence is obvious.  I had most of those Aurora kits... guess which one I wanted the most?

if you said "Pteranodon" you would be correct. I never got that kit, but since I had so many others it really didn't matter. 

here we see two different pteranodons ("toothless wing).  the one on the bottom is the original and one might think it was based on the flying reptiles from the most awesome movie One Million Years, BC.

the new one is far closer to "real" but both looks great.  I love this place, and will get back there some day.

Monday, January 10, 2011


just a brief clip from one of my favorite Toho movies- War of the Gargantuas (1966).  I have written about this before, here (which is a very popular post, to this day) but that was a slightly different version.

I had no idea what I would be seeing when I tuned into the Sci Fi Flicks that night, though the next time KWGN Channel 2 aired the movie they showed a clip from it several days beforehand, which was really cool.

gotta love a movie that starts out with a giant octopus attack!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Death Chamber (Shaolin Temple 1976)

made after three of Cheh Chang's Shaolin Cycle (Heroes Two, Men From the Monastery, Five Shaolin Masters) but set before all of them, Death Chamber is a pretty good movie.

of course, Cheh is far more interested in telling a story than in any strict continuity between these four movies (and there are some others about the same people as well).  some of the actors reprise their roles from the other movies, though Sheng Fu can't play two roles at once, as talented as he was.

there is plenty of training sequences and then the final battle is quite good. 

it sure takes a lot to get into Shaolin, that's for sure!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

return of Batman Beyond

finished season 2 of the show, and it's pretty good.  I liked the Ace episode at the end of the season a lot, and it's quite nice not to see many of the old foes of Batman. 

I still think they should call him something else, other than "Batman" as he just doesn't quite seem like the real Batman, but I blame Kevin Conroy for being on the show reminding us that this is a Robin in a batsuit.

and when Bruce tells Max to leave the room when he, er, "questions" one of the "T's" he proves he's still got the bat in him, being 80 something or not.

the "Last Starfighter" sort of episode "Sentries of the Last Cosmos" was a lot of fun as well.  I am looking forward to the final season.  though I still think it's only a possibly timeline from the JLA...

Friday, January 7, 2011

zzz zzz zz Zeta One (1969)

pretty girls, interesting sets and still a really boring movie.  it's all softcore crap.

apparently originally known as The Love Factor, nothing happened for 30 minutes.  then there was a kidnapping. 

it was trying hard to be a secret agent spoof (as spies went out some time ago) and yet there's no action like the secret agent movies that were popular, or even being churned out every ten minutes in the 60s, spoof or not.

at least the girls are pretty, but this one is not worth the time.  I certainly won't miss it.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

"Shoot The Invaders" Ultraman #2

this second episode introduces the longstanding Ultraman enemy, the Baltan Aliens.  they come to Earth due to spaceship engine trouble and then decide they want it as their own.

good thing Ultraman is there to help stop them!

this is an unusual episode as Ito talks directly to the viewers.  it's told in flashback form, as he explains how he got his back eye.  I think this is the only time it's been done.

the Baltan have shown up in several other Ultra shows, some fans consider him Ultraman's main nemesis.  however, he's not very scary, and the claws, while impressive, don't help him fight well, at least not in this episode.

the fight with the Baltan was shown in Ultraman: Great Monster Decisive Battle (1979) with an extended scene, shot specifically for the movie.  it's quite nicely done.

a good, interesting episode.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

more of Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes

I think I am all caught up on this fine cartoon.  it's not quite as good as the DC ones (yet) but it's a huge step above the previous incarnations.

they have crammed a lot of stuff into the first 16 episodes, that's for sure. I would have gone a little more leisurely, and done some more of the characterization that Marvel used to be known for.  it also has a tendency to be a tad too serious for it's own good, which makes Hawkeye a complete pleasure to have around.  I mean, a friendship with the Hulk?  awesome.

I also know one person has to be completely happy about seeing an animated Mockingbird (hi Danny!) and that's done really well also.

but what the heck is the deal with Hydra instead of Nazis in WWII?  that makes no sense at all.  it's not like this is a tepid watered down version of Marvel Heroes that can't reference real life villains.

I look forward to the Kang stories coming up.  not sure about the Skrulls...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Arabian Knights

one of the rather forgotten segments of the Banana Splits show-

this is a pretty darn cool idea.  too bad, like most of these, they never actually finished the storyline. there are lots of cool powers our hero has, and the title The Arabian Knights is really cool.  oddly enough, I had never even seen an episode until the early 90s.  good ol' WGN used to show the Splits cartoons in the early morning.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Heroic Ones (1970)

this is a DVD review, and sort of a movie review.

on the plus side the DVD is great looking and has both Mandarin and English language tracks. the English subtitles are good and legible and the sound is crisp.  it's a very good presentation by Well Go USA and if you like movies that look great this is one for you.

however, if you like movies that are good, then you may want to stay away from this one.  the first half makes NO sense except to prove that our 13 heroes and their father aren't very likable overall.

I usually love Shaw Brothers movies, but this one is one of the rare ones I don't care for.  it's got a good reputation, but I can't understand it that at all.

at least it's not just me. here's a review that says it better than I can.  but I'm not gonna watch it again.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

xeno goals for 2011

maybe this will help me keep on track with both the zine and the blog.  and all that other stuff included in "etc"!

  • obviously, the first goal is to get a new issue published.  that means bearing down and not wasting the time.  
  • I'd like to finish my overview of Avengers #101-#110, which was my first serious run on any title. plus there are two great story arcs to talk about!
  • obviously I'll be talking about various cartoons, including at least two different versions of Batman, the Avengers, and whatever else comes to my mind.
  • here's hoping my long delayed Marine Boy book can get done.  thankfully I did talk to the late Peter Fernandez (RIP) a few years ago.  I may publish it as a lengthy issue of Xenorama, I am not sure what just yet.
  • comic books and more comic books- the Southern Knights have several more issues to go.
  • I'd like to do some writing as well, perhaps.  fiction, I mean.  
so there's a few ideas.  should work just fine if I can focus up.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Pick your poison!

here's a great start for 2011...

I wrote about this great movie here, but here's the trailer.  gotta love US exploitation, though it would have been awesome to see this in the theater.
kung fu movies just don't get much better than this!