Tuesday, April 8, 2014

14 Film Links (Seavey on Stag Blog, more Seavey/Perry on YouTube)

Many X-Men links -- such as a major prediction from me over at Stag Blog -- and unrelated video of things like dozens of black teens attacking a family’s car.

1. Although the star of the politics-parodying film Who’s Nailin’ Paylin? is reportedly the most popular porn actress in America now -- suggesting some sort of attraction, however perverse, to conservative cultural figures -- the hipsters continue to prefer the likes of the late folk singer Pete Seeger. 

Watch Gerard Perry and me discuss him, Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel, and the amazing-and-hilarious documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune in the latest video on our humble YouTube channel.

2., 3. And do click here on our test video about RoboCop and our recent look at 300: Rise of an Empire if you haven’t already. (We’ll soon try more frequent, shorter ones.)

4. We haven’t watched or reviewed this documentary about Bryan Talbot, my favorite combo comics writer-artist, but I’m pleased this trailer makes him look like a visionary.

5. On a more mainstream comics note, this second full trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past is a big improvement, and now I’m optimistic (and the shorter TV-ad version is cool too).

6. But if you want to know why X-Men: Days of Future Past will probably erase almost everything you know about the cinematic X-Men, you have to read my guest blog entry about it over at Stag Blog’s traditional “Apocalypse Tueday” spot.

Some additional thoughts about X-Men continuity:

•Azazel was the one truly bloodthirsty character in X-Men: First Class (the red, demon-like teleporter) -- and in the comics he went on to father Nightcrawler via Mystique. That may still prove to be the case in the movies, but apparently he’s supposed to have been bumped off at some point between the early 60s and the upcoming film’s early-70s setting, at least according to the amusing JFK-assassination-themed official site for the film.

One possible lesson to take from Azazel’s sudden demise: even if you’re a demon-mutant, be careful about messing with the CIA.

•Despite some people thinking it was an inconsistency, the mild-seeming Stryker in First Class is simply meant to be the father of the more evil Stryker seen in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and X-Men 2: X-Men United, so that’s not a contradiction (he even refers in First Class to his “son William”).

•Xavier’s girlfriend Moira MacTaggert, though, absent evidence to the contrary, must be a very well-preserved seventy-something in X-Men 3.

•I’m excited that the reported 1980s setting of the 2016 film X-Men: Apocalypse opens the possibility of them using Disco Dazzler and that using the Egyptian villain Apocalypse increases the odds of them depicting a teenage Storm (she was a thief in Cairo -- though born of an American and a Kenyan, if you can imagine such a thing) as well as the mutant-filled African island nation of Genosha.  Maybe this should be the film where this franchise finally goes all-out with the colorful, fully comic-book-like costumes for a change.

•Then the question becomes when the subsequent third Wolverine movie (scheduled for 2017) takes place -- and whether it will retain any mention of the prior two Wolverine solo films if the whole timeline’s been rebooted, as I predict on Stag Blog. After Wolverine 3, they say, comes X-Force, which could thus easily be set anytime from the 90s to the near future. We shall see.

•And speaking of evolution, those truly in the know will understand why I think this bit of real-life genetic news is positively, uh, sublime.

7. While you’re waiting for the next four X-Men movies, here’s Hugh Jackman (h/t Mediaite) performing the two-minute Wolverine: The Musical.

8. Even better (and funnier): a faux-Jewel singing “A Song for Wolverine” from the late, lamented ModernHumorist.com.

9. I’m less entertained by this Carls Jr. ad with Quicksilver in it. It looks like there is no worry at all on Fox’s part about clashing with the Avengers films’
separate depiction of Quicksilver over at Disney (the one in the Carls Jr. ad lives in the 1970s, for one thing).

10. When the X-Men were created, they were a much-needed analogue of the (very admirable) Civil Rights movement. Today, though, instead of attacks by the Klan, you’re more likely to see videos like this one featuring dozens of black teens attacking a family’s car, later punching the mother inside with her five kids.

How many people have to participate in something like this -- or, say, the flashmob destruction of a convenience store -- before we’re allowed to conclude there might a broader social pathology in a given community, by the way? (And when if ever is it OK for National Review to rehire John Derbyshire?)

I’m not suggesting it’s genetic -- or that, say, white sports fans haven’t set things on fire for no apparent reason -- but the sheer numbers of people who appear to condone or participate in ugly incidents like this should make us all wonder how widespread the brigand mindset is in a given subculture. It takes more than one or two bad apples to make a whole mob of assailants.

10b. There is no film of another neighborhood conflict I learned about recently because the combatants are rocks and don’t really perform for the camera much. Three big rocks near what used to be the Newtown/Bushwick border in New York City are each rival claimants to being the centuries-old stone, called the Arbitration Rock, that actually marked the border. I can only wonder if somewhere there’s an Appeals Rock they can turn to.

The Arbitration Rock dispute is just one of many things I learned last month from attending the fifteenth-anniversary celebration of all-knowing Kevin Walsh’s historical site Forgotten New York. While there, I also won one of his free walking tours and was pleased to hear him give a shout-out to two New York Press veterans in attendance, me and Paul Lukas.

11. Rocks in dispute are not much sillier than this dog’s conflict with a leaf.

13. But they can’t beat the fearsome and hilarious Banecat (h/t BleedingCool.com).

14. And this is purportedly the long-sought chupacabra. Uh, but it looks like a mangey raccoon, which may in the end be all that a “chupacabra” really is.

And I’ll talk about other items on the borderlands (so to speak) between the purportedly-paranormal and the surprisingly-mundane in our next YouTube video, in which we discuss the unsettling new documentary Mirage Men.

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