Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Batman Potpourri

I want to thank Rich over at Comic By Comic for giving me a mention on his site today! It's right here: http://www.comicbycomic.com/2008/07/neat-stuff.html. I'm neat stuff! Please stop on by there and his other cool sites. Thanks Rich! If you're a first time visitor from Rich's site, welcome! I hope you hang around. While this is not a fulltime comics blog, I am a comic fan and do post often about them.

Rich rightfully mentions that I'm on a Batman kick, but today is likely my last Bat post for this run, with the exception of the Saturday Matinee presentation of the Batman movie serial. I'll wrap up the theme with some odds and ends now.

One piece of news to come out of the San Diego ComiCon is the announcement of a new Batman cartoon to appear on the Cartoon Network starting in April 2009, "Batman: The Brave and the Bold." This is an animated take on a classic comic book in which Bats would team up with another DC Hero (or sometimes villian) to right various wrongs. In contrast to the many Batman animated series of the past 15 years, this new series will have a lighter tone. It looks cool! Here's the trailer:



The first animated adventures of Batman appeared on TV in 1968 and animated by the infamous Filmation Studios, remembered for their prolific output at the expense of quality in many cases. In this sample, the Joker, Penguin, and Riddler attempt to turn the Batman family against each other. God, I hate the Riddler's voice in these cartoons!



The same studio tried again just nine years later to bring the Dynamic Duo to Saturday morning TV, this time with Adam West and Burt Ward reprising their legendary roles, if only in voice. Clips are really hard to find on the 'Net, but here is a featurette from the DVD release of the series examining the legendary heroes.





And that will close out my Bat-blogging. I hope you've enjoyed my offerings, and please continue to check out the Saturday Matinee for more Bat goodness. Tune in Friday!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Batman: The Animated Series, "The Laughing Fish"

I'm back--again! Another mini-vacation over and back to Batman. Today I offer an episode from the excellent Batman: The Animated Series. Debuting on the Fox network in the fall of 1992, this series took an adult, sophisticated approach to the Dark Knight, inspired both by the first two Tim Burton movies (including the Danny Elfman-composed music score) and the 1930s Superman cartoon shorts. This series was arguably the adaptation of Batman that was closest to the tone of the comic book.

This episode, "The Laughing Fish," is based on a famous issue of the comic. The Joker puts his smiling mug on local Gotham fish and demands a copyright on the new breed.

Enjoy!



Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Saturday Matinee: Batman, 1949 Serial, Chapter 2

I hate to post the next installment of the Saturday Matinee this early, but I'll be away again on a long weekend this Thursday through Sunday with no computer access, so I thought it better to post early rather than post late. Here is Chapter 2 of the 1949 Columbia Pictures serial "Batman and Robin!"

But first, make sure to grab some popcorn!





I hope everyone is enjoying this new feature to the blog. Please send me some feedback via comments or email at phillyradiogeek@gmail.com.

Intermission!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Batman Fan Films

As you can imagine, The Dark Knight had a HUGE weekend, the biggest opening weekend in movie history, topping out at a hundred thousand million billion dollars (at least) by most accounts. Warner Brothers and DC Comics should be very happy to have that success. You know who else would like that success? The filmmakers I'm about to introduce to you.

There have been a few attempts over the last few years by aspiring filmmakers to make their own Batman films, and they've attracted a small but fervent fan base. These films were not made with cooperation from DC Comics, of course, but the creators didn't intend to make money directly off of the use of these copyrighted characters. The intent was simply to showcase their filmmaking talents in the hope that producers would take notice.

The first high profile attempt was by a man named Sandy Collora in 2003. He is the creator of Batman: Dead End, about Batman's fatefull meeting with an escaped Joker and some rather surprising yet familiar guests:



Two notes about the actor who portrays the Joker, Andrew Koenig.

1) He portrayed Sylvestor "Boner" Stabone on the 1980s sitcom Growing Pains.
2) His father is actor Walter Koenig, who played Chechov in the original Star Trek TV series and films.

Learn more about the film at Corrola's Web site: http://www.collorastudios.com/

The next notable Batman fan film was released just a year later. Grayson stars writer/director John Fiorella as Dick Grayson, aka Robin, now a grown man and out to avenge the murder of Batman at the hands of a cabel of supervillians and corrupt Gotham City officials. Not a full film, but in fact made in trailer form.



Learn more about Grayson and Fiorella's other projects at http://www.untamedcinema.com/.

Finally, a brand new Batman fan film has just surfaced. The Dark Knight Project takes place between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, and follows the exploits of journalism students Heather and Mikey as they set out to confirm the existence of the Batman, thought by some (including Mikey) to be an urban myth. See the entire film right at the filmmakers' Web site:

http://www.darkknightproject.com/

Come back on Wednesday, when I will present, several days earlier than planned, part 2 of the 1949 Batman serial for the Saturday Matinee. Thanks!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Saturday Matinee: Batman, 1949 Serial, Part 1

Welcome! This is an exciting day here at Me and You. For today, I officially unveil a new feature--The Saturday Matinee!

Beginning this week, I plan on featuring a chapter from a classic (well, at least old) movie serial from the Golden Age of Cinema, when for the price of one admission, you got to see cartoons, newsreels, trailers (of course, they never left), double features, and other cool things that the moviegoing experience just doesn't have anymore.

And what better opportunity to begin this feature than on the heels of this year's most anticipated film--The Dark Knight. As a companion to the new film, I present chapter one of the 1949 serial Batman. This is actually the second Batman serial that Columbia Pictures produced. The first was in 1943. I have it on VHS, and it's not very good. I've never seen this 1949 serial from start to finish, so I look forward to it, as I hope you do too.

The best part about the Matinee is that, even after I'm done posting Batman material, I still plan on featuring other exciting serials, along with retro clips to add to the oldtime theater experience.

With that said, let's begin!







Wasn't that exciting kids? Be back next week for the next chapter! Of course, I'll have one or two other things before then as well.

For now, let's all go to the lobby!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Batman, "The Joker's Epitaph"


When last we left our heroes, Bruce Wayne was being forced to snuff out Robin, while the Joker cackled away in delight. But wait! The worse is yet to come!





I hope you enjoyed this slice of one of the greatest TV shows of all time. There's more Bat-blogging on the way. In fact, tune in this Friday night, or more appropriately, Saturday afternoon, for not only my next Bat-post, but for the debut of what I hope will be an ongoing feature here at Me and You. Turn down the houselights, grab some popcorn, and take it all in.

See you then!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Batman, "The Joker's Last Laugh"


I'm back! Sorry for the weeklong delay, but as announced previously, I took a weeklong vacation (five days, anyway), but I'm happy to be back home and back blogging, or for a while, Bat-blogging!

Yes, if you've been following the blog this spring/summer, I've been celebrating the launch of several comic book-inspired movies by posting related hero material. This will likely be my last attempt this year with the release of Warners Brothers' The Dark Knight. I hope the film is a good one (I haven't yet finished Batman Begins, but I haven't been impressed so far), but when I think of a live adaptation of the Caped Crusader, there is one that stands far above the rest--the original Batman TV show!

Very much has been written/spoken about this show, so I won't get into it too much. All I'll say is: it's awesome, it's smart, it's funny, it's well-produced, and it's also one thing that far too many comic book adaptations are not--it's FUN!

Case in point, this episode, entitled "The Joker's Last Laugh." The Harlequin of Hate starts a counterfeiting ring, and it's up to the Dynamic Duo to stop him. Will they succeed? Or will the Joker get the la--well, you know.

When I came across this clip, everything this show made me feel, feelings long dormant, came back. From the intentional overacting of Commissioner Gordon and Chief O'Hara, to the Joker's manic laugh, to Bruce Wayne's cry of "To the Batpoles!", it reminded me of everything I loved, and I mean LOVED, about the show. God, it's been too long.

YOU HEAR ME, WARNER BROS. AND FOX? GET YOUR ACTS TOGETHER AND RELEASE THE SERIES ON DVD!! WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?? DO WHAT'S RIGHT AND GET THIS SHOW BACK TO THE PEOPLE, FOR CHRISSAKES!!

Rant over.

I am delighted to present...Batman!





Batman and Robin in peril! Will they survive? Tune into the blog later this week. Same Bat time, same Bat channel!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Hair Extensions: The Movie

I'm not a horror movie guy. I have a few favorites (Jaws, Halloween, Re-Animator), but by and large, I avoid them; I'm just too squemish. However, this movie, or at least its trailer, has my attention.

Ekusute, or Hair Extensions, is a Japanese horror film released in 2007, that is about, well, killer hair. That and some creepy old dude. Here is the oh-so-disturbing trailer (if you're freaked out by homicidal hair, viewer discretion is advised):



I'm sorry, but that's just f'ed up.

For a little more explanation, here is the film's IMDB entry:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0904049/

And on that creepy, bizarre note, I announce that I'll be leaving for a short vacation to the Jersey Shore this week, so I won't be posting again until next Sunday night or Monday. If you need a Me and You fix before then, simply check out my archives and rediscover, or discover for the first time, some fun stuff of the past.

And when I do return, I'll be bringing back the superhero theme, this time to welcome the Dark Knight (or should I say, The Dark Knight). Get ready to dance the Batusi and wear your Underoos. I'm particularly excited by this because I will using this theme to usher in a new regular feature to the blog that I hope will last beyond the Bat-blogging. Sound exciting? Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Schoolhouse Rock: America Rock

I'm sure everyone is geared up for the July 4th weekend; I know I am. But between the fireworks and barbeques, we should all take a few moments to remember the founding and spirit of our country. And what better way to do that than with the help of--Schoolhouse Rock?

Let it be known that I am a huuuuuuuuuuuuge Schoolhouse Rock fan. I have every episode on video (except for the money-themed episodes) and the book written by the creators detailing the creation of the series. While I love them all to one degree or another, the ones that have stayed burned in my memory the most are the ones dealing with American history. Now with Independence Day upon us, it's the perfect opportunity to showcase these great America Rock segments.

There's no better place to start than the beginning, when the founding fathers decided they'd had enough of monarchy and wanted "No More Kings."



The king of course didn't take too kindly to this and took action, leading to "The Shot Heard 'Round The World."



Well, that was it. The founders formerly declared our independence, setting off "Fireworks" throughout the Western hemisphere.



With that whole Revolution thing taken care of, it was time to establish how our new government would work. The Articles of Confederation didn't work out so well, so we scrapped that in favor of the much improved Constitution, which starts off with "The Preamble" (man, this one is awesome!).



Many felt the country was quickly getting a bit crowded, so they headed west for more "Elbow Room."



Stories spread throughout the world about the growth of America, inspiring people of other nations to try their luck here, creating "The Great American Melting Pot." I have to say, if this isn't my favorite episode of all time, it's a strong number 2. It's certainly the most beautiful episode.



With an ever-increasing population and various needs for new goods and services rising, creative people invented new devices to improve the quality of life--all born from "Mother Necessity."



Despite all of the progress the country made in its first 100+ years of existence, only a select few were given the right to direct the course of the nation. A good part of this problem was rectified in 1920 when women who had been "Sufferin' Until Suffrage" were legally allowed the right to vote.



One of the cornerstones of American government has been the establishment of a system of checks and balances, ensuring (with varying degrees of success and failure) that no one branch of government have too much power. These branches, legislative, executive, and judicial, are intended to function equally, creating a "Three Ring Government."



The law is the basis for all of our freedoms and protections. How are laws created? They start as bills. What is a bill? Let's ask one. This, of course, is probably the most famous of all Schoolhouse Rock segments, and my personal favorite.



Everyone please have a safe and fun July 4th weekend! I'll see you Sunday (I think).

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