Hot Apollo

Toronto's Shiniest Rock-and-Roll Band


So. Pretty excited for "Shazam".

Before this, I was aware of Zach Levi's history in the Thor movies with the character of Fandral. I didn't realise that he was also Flynn in the Tangled franchise. Still doing it in the ongoing series and Kingdom Hearts even. Which means that he's played two fantastical characters inspired by Errol Flynn? That speaks well of the dude to my mind. Now I want to see his Shaz even more.

Bonus Question!

"Tangled" versus "Frozen"?

Both are good, but I was more receptive to "Tangled" at the time. Flynn was probably a big part of that. But I think Elsa's become my favourite princess since. We'll see how I feel when the sequel arrives. Also, hey! Disney cartoon  with a theatrical sequel! Yay!


Flaws Fake and Factual

I often see people ascribe the attitudes of fictional characters to their creators. Sometimes a figure in a story will say something objectionable and the author will get accused of endorsing it.

I've made the opposite mistake. I remember reading a novel in which a kid was rebuked by some stern older dude for his interest in rock-and-roll guitar. I just assumed that it was just to display the contrast between the kid's impulsiveness and the older man's fixation on order. After I'd finished the book, I learned more about the writer, who apparently does think that guitar music is for savages. And not in that Sebastian Bach kind of way. Which, whatever. But apparently that writer is a bad dude in a lot of gross ways. I still liked the book though. But I was midway through a trilogy his wife wrote when I learned these things, and their shared beliefs about some things started to seem more blatantly expressed there. But that book was partially inspired by one of my favourite Shakespeare plays, which kept it from falling too far. Although there was another novel inspired by the same play that I liked less, and it seemed to be written by a more decent person. So whatever.

Bonus Question!

For a while, I've been vaguely wondering if I ever saw the second Spy Kids movie. I watched it recently and discovered that I hadn't. There we go. On to the next one!

Cards for Days

I started watching "Yu-Gi-Oh", partially inspired by a friend's passionate remembrance of it. Shortly before that, I finally got around to watching "Fullmetal Alchemist", which surprised me with a very young voice for the character Alphonse. I'd just never thought about that in the years wherein that franchise just existed on my periphery. What surprised me in "Yu-Gi-Oh" was the way in which a Japanese teenager sounded like a stereotypical New York dude in his 30s.

The other thing that surprised me even if it shouldn't have was the focus on the actual gaming. Like . . . I've watched the Pokemon cartoon. I currently do. It's about a kid who engages in Pokemon battles, but those battles don't generally take up the Solgaleo's share of the show. But I'm on the second season of "Yu-Gi-Oh" now, and I'm mildly bemused by the amount of time that an average episode spends on a card game or whatever. And those often stretch across multiple episodes. I thought that there'd be  more about the plot and the ancient mythological stuff by this point? There's a lot, and it's great. But like . . . This is reminiscent of the old "Dragon Ball Z" anime that filled time with egregiously lengthened fight scenes. Maybe more? But whatever. It's a fun show, and it's exquisitely stylish.



Bonus Question!

Yugi hair versus Goku hair!

Personally, I go for Yugi here. Less horizontal deviation and more colour. That's to my taste.

What Mels Want

Kurt Russell. Jeff Bridges. Michael Douglas?

Now I've found another dude I can mistake for one of these 80s icons. Brian Bosworth!

That was my takeaway from "What Men Want".

I think that "What Women Want" was one of those movies I watched repetitiously during a hotel stay when I was a kid. You know how it is. Or was. I don't know how it is now. But you'd rent it once from the hotel's instant video service and put it on again whenever you were getting ready for bed or something because you didn't want to pay for something new. "America's Sweethearts" was another one of those. Less Mel Gibson, more Billy Crystal.


Bonus Question! 

Favourite Mel Gibson role?

The Lethal Weapon guy. The hair probably helped. It was almost like Billy Crystal's.



Kid Knights

Watched "The Kid Who Would Be King"! I kept wanting to call it "The Boy Who Would Be King", but that's probably another thing with a similar premise. It's a great premise, and I shall never tire of it. Modern kids get involved in medieval nonsense! Give it to me. I still remember watching "A Kid in King Arthur's Court" or whatever it was when I was little and not knowing what a Big Mac was. From context, I assumed that it was slang for "hamburger". Or maybe a specific type? Close enough.

I also kept thinking that Bill Nighy was going to be adult Merlin in this because I vaguely remembered hearing that the actor was some awesome old British guy. Who turned out to be Patrick Stewart. Very different flavour. But either could have done it.

But yeah. Kid knights. Always good.

Bonus Question!

Next medieval blend movie the world needs?

If there simply must be a breather from kid knight stories, let's go with Muppets. They've done pirates and space. Let's see them get medieval.

Back for More Time

If you think about it, Marty McFly actually had more time to fix the timeline than he believed. He thought that he had to do it before the people in the picture faded, but he probably could have waited till the physical photograph disappeared completely. If he hadn't fixed things, then the picture wouldn't have existed in the first place because there'd be nothing to take a picture of.


Bonus Question! 

Michael J. Fox versus the fantastic Mr. Fox?  

 I personally prefer Michael,  but if it's a duel of charm, I've got to give the win to the mister.


My friend went to Winnipeg to visit family recently. She told me that she often hears people make fun of it, but she appreciates the lack of traffic and affordable housing. Now, putting aside the fact that any place with no traffic starts to feel like death to me quite quickly, I don't think that these qualities relate to the mockery. They're completely unrelated.

It's the name. Someone took two of the worst people names and mashed them into a vaguely porcine mess.

My apologies to anyone who's actually called "Winnie" or "Peg". But very mild apologies. They're complicit for allowing the worthy names of "Gwendolyn" and "Margaret" to be corrupted so.

Bonus Question!

Ahab versus Long John Silver! Battle of the peg legs!

I like Long John for this. Dude knows how to lighten up better.

A Fine Film Without Garofalo

I didn't really have a problem with Michael Bay's Transformers movies. The second one was fun, and the last one had Anthony Hopkins and Arthurian legend. But "Bumblebee" does feel like a better made movie. A bit of that old Spielberg feel with the best modernity has to offer in the category of giant robot fights. And also that woman from "Californication"! The wife of the friend or whatever. And I initially thought that she was Janeane Garofalo. That would have been a bonus. But no. This was a fine film even without Janeane Garofalo.

Bonus Question!

Should I watch "Mystery Men" again soon?

I should probably watch "Mystery Men" again soon.


You can see it. 


 "Spider-Verse" basically looked like a blend of every kind of animation. 2-D. 3-D. Clay. Like . . . Digital clay.

Weird thing. It's doing really well. My theatre was packed. But most of the people I've mentioned it to barely seem to know that it exists. Anyway.

I knew some of the cast before I saw it, but I wasn't expecting Lily Tomlin. Getting Ms. Frizzle to aid in numinously scientific dimensional weirdness feels appropriate somehow.

And somehow, tired, bedraggled Peter B. Parker looked like a pretty version of his voice actor Jake Johnson. Maybe it's mostly the art style? His face is just a more angular version of Jake's? Maybe the resemblance is nothing more than the natural similarity between the demeanours of two white dudes in their 30s with brown hair and stubble. That's a possibility.


Bonus Question!

Best white dude in his 30s with brown hair and stubble?

I don't know, but I'll be 30 in a year,

my sideburns are brown, and I've been trying the stubbly look for the last few days for the fun of it. Maybe I'll be in the running.


I saw "Aquaman" with my brother, which seemed appropriate for a film about fraternal bonds. He and I probably have a better relationship than Orm and Aquaman though. I'd heard that the film was going to be an underwater mix of Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, and I was there for it. The aesthetics definitely sold that. I mean, damn. If you want to see what an Atlantean Stormtrooper would be like, you're going to get that. But the family dynamics felt like a blend of "Game of Thrones" and "Arrested Development". If there were a House Bluth, Patrick Wilson's Orm would be its main face.

Overall, the movie's good enough to make up for the fact that its existence means that we'll never get to see Momoa's naturally perfect performance of Lobo, but at least both characters share an affinity for dolphins.


Also, kid Arthur in the prologue totally looked like a young Vincent Chase.

Bonus Question!

Mrs. Coulter versus Atlanna! Battle of the blond mothers played by Nicole Kidman!

Coulter's formidable, but Atlanna survived the Trench. She's got to have the edge.

Paul McChristmas

I finally heard that Paul McCartney Christmas song on the radio for the first time in 2018. I don't care. I like it. It also highlights what I love about the guy in later years. He's the type of dude who can just roll out of bed and carelessly toss out something that's more enjoyable than the effortful output of the average musician. It's like watching one of those Robert De Niro movies. You know the ones. I'll take him in "New Year's Eve" or "Dirty Grampa" even if he just stumbled on to the set for a single take. Basically, these guys have a very high floor, and I like how they're at a place in life where they can just roll around on it.

Bonus Question!

If they remake "It's a Wonderful Life",

they should get McCartney back in the theme song game to do "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Life".

Banging and Bumping

Of the traditional Christmas songs, the one that's always stood out to me is "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen". This could be due in large part to a holiday episode of some random stop-motion series from the early 90s called "Bump in the Night". Or something. Anyway, the protagonists had to go to Santa's lair for some mission. Maybe Santa was a robot? He was definitely antagonistic, and he had a snowman army that sang that song like an army chant without actually changing it that much. It just worked, and it's been stuck in my head like that since. So yeah. "God Rest" has got to be my number 1 seasonal banger.


Bonus Question!

Merriest gentleman?


Fairy Fantasy Featuring Finn

At the moment, I'm alternating between two modern fantasy trilogies that focus on changeling lore with supporting characters named "Finn". This is in part because reading the books in a series contiguously feels slightly excessive. But in this case, there's still a brief moment in th first few minutes of the new book in one series that makes me miss the feel of the previous series. It's because of those similarities that highlight the differences. But nah. Both are great.

Also! I just saw "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald", and I have to assume that the first part of the title is in reference to Eddie Redmayne and Ezra Miller. Incidentally, Jamie Campbell-Bower plays a younger version of Johnny Depp's character, which is what I erroneously assumed that he was doing when I walked in late to the cinema for a showing of "Sweeney Todd".

Bonus Question!

Best fin?



I hadn't been to the dentist for a while, and some recent changes in my schedule prompted me to remedy that. It felt like the responsible thing to do.

Then I went in.

I don't think that any other kind of appointment so consistently makes you feel less responsible.

Like . . . You can go into the doctor's office with 15 years' worth of clogged arteries and a black lung, and they'll calmly tell you that everything will be alright with a bit of diet and exercise. "And maybe lay off the brewskies a little."

But with the dentist, it's full doom and gloom. Dentists have a reputation for sadism, but I've never seen them indulge in the physical kind. Emotional sadism, though? Maybe that's why they seem so motivated to make you feel like damned trash for the occasional skipped flossing.

Bonus Question!

Best song about dental care?

Monty Python probably had one, but I'm going to give it to "Shiny Teeth" from "Fairly Oddparents", sung by the most attractive dude from NSync who isn't Justin Timberlake.

Actually, I don't care if the Tim's more famous. He's fine, but Chris still seems to naturally be the prettiest. Maybe it's because I could never look past Justin's hair.

From Bye to Bae with Bendis

I've spoken on the mixture of excitement I had to see Bendis write at DC and the longing for all the potential Marvel stuff he'd never write because of his new exclusive contract. I've been enjoying his Superman work, but that character still doesn't land in the tenderest spot of my heart. But now . . .

Now he's getting his own imprint at DC, and he's headlining it with a the first big use of the Young Justice team since the New 52 started. And that's just . . . Alright. I love Miles Morales and Jessie Jones, but if you're offering me Bendis on Bart Allen and buddies to replace that, my soul's scales feel balanced in a way that just wasn't the case when Superman was his main output.

In the immortal words of Madonna, I say "Forever Justice".


Bonus Question! 

Last Marvel project I'd want from Bendis? 

In an age without Jason Aaron's wild and sprawling saga of cosmic Norse myth, seeing Bendis on  Thor's world would be a treat.

Princess Power

Are people actually down on the new She-Ra show? That's tricky to fathom. Because everyone seemed quite united in praise for the Netflix Voltron thing, and this is basically that. But not in space! With perhaps a soupcon of "Steven Universe". Which again. Almost universally beloved. Even if it did need a second look from me.

But yeah. I never watched any other incarnation of She-Ra, but this was delightful. Of the secondary characters, my favourites were probably Seahawk, who was basically pirate Han Solo, and Mermista, who was basically the same character her voice actor played on "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" with additional mermaid powers.

I know that the show had a lot to say about friendship, loyalty, honour, and all of that stuf, but I also appreciated Adora's struggle to accept herself when she felt that people only wanted to be around her alter ego. She-Ra's a part of her, but it's not all of her identity, and she had to learn how to feel like enough outside of that. It felt like a good look at that wavery line between role and performer.

And also the whole thing was just really cute.

Bonus Question!

She-Ra versus Mumm-Ra! On "WWE Raw"! Ra! Ra! Raw!

She-Ra's riding high right now, but there's also the fact that she's a total face to Mumm's heel. She's got to take the bout.

Meat Guilt

That latest issue of "Tony Stark: Iron Man". The one without Tony Stark. Instead, it had his recently discovered brother Arno, who's been travelling the world and solving corporate problems. Or dispensing Twilight Zone justice. It depends on the situation. In this situation, he let some farmers get eaten by the brainless cows they'd raised to alleviate meat guilt.



But the most amusing thing about this might be the idea that scientists in the Marvel universe, known for a fairly noticeable pervasion of advanced technology, thought that brainless cows were the best way to get around the guilt of killing sentient beings for food. The real world's already focusing on growing meat without animals! But nah. Arno's clients still wanted to have things to farm. Maybe that was their real goal. It wasn't to feel better about eating animals. It was to feel better about living that old rancher life without the idea of imprisoning thinking beings.

Bonus Question!

Brainless cow versus cowless brain!

It depends. Does the brain have the kinds of powers that are usually ascriped to independent clumps of cerebral matter? Like levitation and mind bolts? If it doesn't, the win goes to the cow.

Mos Dev

Man, when I started watching Daredevil's new season, I knew that I was in for good times with the gang. More Foggy! Karen's back! Incel Fisk!

And then that Bullseye flashback started in the fifth episode. And I just wanted to get back to the good stuff. But then it became good stuff. The classical version of Bullseye is similar to  Joker in a way. You're not really supposed to care for him. The investment comes from being drawn into what he's doing. But sometimes things can come along to humanize him.  I wasn't expecting that from this series, but there were some moments in the monochrome flashback where I really did feel for the guy.  As he was struggling to develop a sense of empathy, I saw myself empathizing with him.  That relationship with his doctor or whatever was quite poignant. Obviously, he's awful. No question about that. But they did a good job of displaying the humanity behind that, which is important. Monsters are people too. It doesn't mean that they're less monstrous. It doesn't always necessitate treating them as though they're not monsters,  but it can serve to give  a better understanding of what's going on behind all of that,  which can sometimes be helpful. Or just fun.


Bonus Question! 

If Bullseye played with marbles, which he'd obviously do well, I think that his favourite would be a cat's-eye. 

Copyright © 2011, Jaymes Buckman and David Aaron Cohen. All rights reserved. In a good way.