Asparagus Agonistes: Dark Phoenix (2019)

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A little lesson in comic book nerdery (comic book nerds, feel free to skip over what you know.)

These are the D’Bari.

See the source image

They are a race of cute, peaceful ‘asparagus people’ from the D’Bari solar system. They are a part of the Shi’Ar Empire, an intergalactic star spanning imperium familiar to readers of X-Men, most notably because the wheelchair bound telepath who founded the X-Men, Charles Xavier, was the lover of the empire’s queen, Lilandr

Why do I start this blog post with this fact? Because about the only thing that made 2019’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix worth watching was the fact that SPOILER:

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Super Bad Seed: Brightburn

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Bear with me as I misremember and possibly misattribute a quote.

“At the rate our technology and understanding of genetics is progressing, some day, the first superhuman will rise forth from a tank. What are we going to put in this being’s hands to read? The New York Times? Atlas Shrugged? Or an issue of Superman?”

The quote, not at all verbatim, possibly was from the beautiful Chaos magician and comic book legend Grant Morrison (unless it was from Mark Millar?), a man who has made an exceptional career from superheroes, and who has positioned Superman as a Sun God and as our highest, noblest ideal. I recommend his work very strongly, particularly All-Star Superman, and also his book “Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human.”

Morrison makes the credible argument that a superhero comic is the very best thing we could give someone that has a lot of power to read.

And now, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has given us a vision of a Superman who could well have read … Twitter. Or 4Chan. Or whatever putrid corner of the Internet amplifies the worst thoughts and impulses of America’s boys. Continue reading

Miss Rose of Summerisle

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[NOTE: This post was originally published on my version of this blog at the now-defunct Open Salon, on October 8th, 2011, one day after Diane Cilento’s passing. I’m including the original comments to my blog post, because why not?]

Let’s kick off the weekend with a short tribute to the late Diane Cilento, who passed away yesterday at the age of 78.  The beautiful Ms. Cilento was both a Tony (Tiger at the Gates) and an Oscar (Tom Jones) nominee, and was also known for being Sean Connery’s ex-wife.  Sadly, to this last point, there are uncomfortable accounts of his abominably abusive behavior towards her.

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We’re Here for Your Children: The Curse of La Llorona

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As of this writing it has been one day since Lorraine Warren – half of the infamous duo responsible for the ‘true haunting’ tales inspiring the billion dollar Conjuring franchisehas died. I’ve been observing many social media messages not only mourning her death, but pseudo-canonizing her as some sort of spiritual warrior to fight evil in the beyond. There are also reminders out there of the Warrens’ con-artistry, and unfortunately, worse than that.

Stepping out of that debate, Lorraine’s death coincided with opening weekend of The Curse of La Llorona, a spin-off of the “Conjuringverse” and one that’s surprisingly free of many of the typical tropes of this franchise.

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Bad Kiddies and Kitties: Pet Sematary (2019)

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Photo by Chillerpop

I come as cold as a corpse to the story of Pet Sematary. It’s a part of the Stephen King canon I have yet to read, I never did get around to seeing its 1989 predecessor, and it’s far from my favorite song by The Ramones. I had no expectations here. All I knew is that it involved family grief, an Indian burial ground (never my favorite horror trope), and that the great Fred Gwynne was in the movie. Continue reading

Us (2019)

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I love participating on Dead Times, even if the sleep deprivation shows (i.e. I’m not the most animated guest.)

Dead Times

Hello and welcome! In today’s episode we are talking Jordan Peele’s new movie Us. We break down all the symbols, all the allusions, and try to decipher the central allusion. We also try to figure out which celebrities might have been replaced by their tethereds.

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