Tag: Movies

The Evolution of Batman

The Evolution of Batman

Featured Posts
Since his introduction in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939), Batman has maintained a fairly consistent image. No doubt that's part of his timeless appeal. That and he kicks lots of ass. So with the release of The Dark Knight Rises nearly upon us, I figured now was as good a time as any to look back at the evolution of the Caped Crusader, as seen in his major media incarnations. For the sake of image size and my sanity I've not included every variation of Batman, but I think I've hit the most important and iconic ones. Here's a lower-res sample of the the full infographic: For the full-resolution version of this infographic, click HERE. You may need to right-click and open in a new tab/window if it doesn't display correctly. (If the Man of Steel is more your style, check out ...
Saturday Serials: “The Electrical Brain” (Batman, 1943)

Saturday Serials: “The Electrical Brain” (Batman, 1943)

Movies
Our first foray into the world of cinema serials begins with... The Bat. As we inch ever closer to the release of Christopher Nolan's third and final Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, it's worthwhile to take a look at where it all began. No, not with Tim Burton's movie, and not even with the Adam West camp-fest. We start simply with Batman, the original Columbia Pictures serial. This film, released in 15 chapters, marks the big screen debut of Bob Kane's legendary creation and was released in July 1943 -- just over four years after Batman sprang to life in Detective Comics #27. For those with even a superficial knowledge of Batman, much of the first chapter ("The Electrical Brain") will seem familiar. The dynamic duo of Batman (Lewis Wilson) and Robin (Douglas Croft) display their...
Pop Culture Capsule — January 5-11, 1992

Pop Culture Capsule — January 5-11, 1992

Capsules, History
Here’s a look at America’s top movies, music, and books for the week of January 5-11, 1992. While a lot of the Top 10 movies have since faded into the mists of memory, look at those albums. Most of those were huge then and are still. Sorry MC Hammer, no one cares about you anymore. Note: Old Nielsen TV ratings seem to be hard to come by, so if anyone can point me toward a reliable source I'd be most appreciative. Top 10 Movies 1. Hook 2. Father of the Bride 3. The Prince of Tides 4. Beauty and the Beast 5. JFK 6. The Last Boy Scout 7. Bugsy 8. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country 9. The Addams Family 10. Cape Fear I can say that I've only seen two of the movies on this list. Can you guess which ones? Top 10 Albums 1. Nirvana, Nevermind 2. Garth Brooks, Ropin' the Wind
Retrotisements: Halloween (1978) U.S. and Foreign Movie Posters

Retrotisements: Halloween (1978) U.S. and Foreign Movie Posters

Featured Posts, Retrotisements
This piece originally ran in October 2008. I've republished it because, really, this should run annually. But to show I'm not just being lazy, I've added posters from Denmark and Italy below! October 25 marks a momentous day in horror history — the 30th anniversary of the release of John Carpenter's slasher classic Halloween.  While it certainly wasn't the first horror film on the block, it is one of the best and most influential. I and many other fans of classic horror consider it to be part of the holy trinity of the genre, alongside Friday the 13th (1980) and A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). In retrospect, it seems like such a simple concept that it's hard to believe it hadn't been fully explored before. A psychopath is on the loose in the streets of a quiet, suburban town (Haddo
Pop Culture Capsule — Superman through the Years

Pop Culture Capsule — Superman through the Years

Capsules, Featured Posts, History
Since his debut in 1938, Superman has become an American icon and has appeared in countless media adaptations. Well not countless, but a lot. More than I count. To show the evolution of Superman, here's a photo/image gallery representing how the Last Son of Krypton has appeared over the decades. Action Comics #1, June 1938 (art by Joe Shuster) Superman Fleischer Studios animated films (1941 - 1943) Superman, serial film starring Kirk Alyn (1948) Adventures of Superman, TV series starring George Reeves (1952 - 1958) Superman (Vol. 1) #99, August 1955 (art by Al Plastino) It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman, Broadway musical starring Bob Holiday (1966) Super Friends, animated TV series (1973) Superman, film starring Christopher Reeve (1978) Lois &a...
Trailer Trash — Straw Dogs, Real Steel, and Happy Feet Two

Trailer Trash — Straw Dogs, Real Steel, and Happy Feet Two

Movies
I don’t have time to go to the movies much any more. So instead I’m going to just review some new and upcoming films based solely on their trailers. Because let’s face it, most movies only have about two or three minutes’ worth of good material anyway. Straw Dogs Well now doesn't this look perfectly life-affirming? Kids, the moral of the story here is that no good can ever come from having a hot wife (Kate Bosworth in this case) and then moving into a secluded house in a hick town with said wife. You'd think James Marsden would know better, since this is almost the same thing that happened in the original 1971 film starring Dustin Hoffman. (more…)
Say hello to Elektro, the Westinghouse Robot

Say hello to Elektro, the Westinghouse Robot

History
He's all but forgotten today, but at one time Elektro was king of all robots. He was assembled by Westinghouse at their Mansfield, Ohio facility in 1937/38 and made his public debut at the 1939 New York World's Fair. Elektro stood at a height of seven feet, six inches and weighed 260 pounds. 60 of those pounds were his brain, which was comprised of "48 electrical relays." At the Westinghouse Pavilion of the World's Fair, Elektro the Moto-Man demonstrated a wide variety of skills such as speech, counting, stand-up comedy, and of course, smoking! Witness the marvels of modern 1930s technology in this excerpt from the 1939 promotional film The Middleton Family at the New York World's Fair. "Stand aside puny human, as I enjoy the mild, refreshing tobacco flavor of Philip Morris!" ...
GFS home movies: The Thing (1982)

GFS home movies: The Thing (1982)

Movies
I spent a lot of time as a kid watching horror movies, but somehow never got around to watching John Carpenter's 1982 classic The Thing. Spurred on by the impending release of the so-called prequel (directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.), I decided to rectify that. Sure enough, it was great. The Thing works as a straight horror movie in that there are plenty of gruesome deaths and disturbing visual effects, but where it really succeeds is as a psychological thriller. Throughout most of the movie I kept recalling the classic Twilight Zone episode, "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street." The premise of the two is the same -- a mysterious alien entity has made its presence known and a formerly tight-knit group succumbs to paranoia and the violence it inevitably breeds. The main differenc...
Here’s some stuff I enjoyed this week

Here’s some stuff I enjoyed this week

Internet, Links
Here’s a fresh batch of some quality interweb finds I’ve come across over the last 7 days or so:  You've read endless commentary on the Miami University football booster scandal involving Nevin Shapiro, why not read the original investigation by Charles Robinson? (Yahoo! Sports) A very cool photo gallery by Natsumi Hayashi, the "levitating girl" from Tokyo (Geekologie) Will Google+ be able to unseat Flickr as the premiere destination for photographers on the web? (TechCrunch) A fascinating gallery of photographs taken by the East German Stasi (secret police) during the Cold War era. (Conscientious Extended) You'd swear this article on the role of police patrols and the impact of broken windows in a neighborhood wasn't written almost 30 years ago, it's so relevant (The Atlan