Hot Apollo

Toronto's Shiniest Rock-and-Roll Band

Winnipeg

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.

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You can see it. 

Spider-Prose

 "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.

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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.

Aquabrothers

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.

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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?

Psy.

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?

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Dentistry

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.

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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. 

Space Suit

 "Venom" was a solid watch. Even when it felt somewhat like a gritty remake of an Adam Sandler film.

On another note, the symbiote's reaction to Stan Lee sounded like anyone's grandparent who got dragged to a Marvel movie.

Also, Anne made me think of a version of Pepper Potts who'd advanced further along the path of being justifably tired of her superhero boyfriend's  nonsense.

And it was good to see Hero Astronaut John Jameson onscreen again. Pretty sure that they're setting up Man-Wolf for the sequel.


Bonus Question!

Stargod versus Star-Lord! Hero Astronaut versus astronaut antihero!

Stargod Jameson's got that discipline to win.

One More Grayson

 I've been reading the new storyline in "Nightwing", which features the dude in a somewhat amnesiac state after he got shot in the head by an assassin. Now he's got no aspirations to exemplary heroism. He's just wandering about, hanging around in bars, and living a bit of that low life. His new attitude, combined with the fresh haircut, goes a way to reminding me of the first version of Dick Grayson that made a significant impression on me. That would be Chris O'Donnell's version from the 90s movies.

Later, I'd learn that that portrayal owed a fair bit to Jason Todd, who's probably my favourite of Batman's partners for various reasons, but amnesiac Dick, now called Ric, evokes that recollection well for me.

Especially after the Luddite Dick from that recent story about the dangers of technology. That felt odd.

Anyway. I'm here for it. Now they've just got to give him that earring.


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Bonus Question!

Amnesiac Ric Grayson versus New Mutant Rictor! Battle of the young extreme Rics!

Grayson's still probably the better fighter. And now he's probably even less averse to dirty tricksiness.

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Mutant Material

I've got to assume that mutants in the Marvel universe would have started up their own sperm banks and stuff at some point. Right? In the real world, blood banks still seem reluctant to accept gay blood. Oh. I'm sorry. That should be "blood that had had sex with a man in the last two years". Or whatever nonsense equivocation current regulations use.

But yeah. I'd think that mutant genetic material would be a harder sell. But I'm sure that there are many mutants who can see the value their genes would have for the overall health of their species despite their unwillingness to actually have kids. Especially because the more powerful ones have a higher tendency to get drawn into situations that would raise their life insurance premiums.

And that's not even mentioning the hordes of base humans who'd be lining up to carry genetically gifted babies. It'd be a brisk business. Doctor Nemesis probably runs it in his spare time. Maybe with Cecilia Reyes's eyes over his shoulder.

Find me a dude who makes surgical gloves look more epic.

Bonus Question!  Best gloves worn by a doctor?  Doctor Strange's leopard style, boy!

Bonus Question!

Best gloves worn by a doctor?

Doctor Strange's leopard style, boy!

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Psalm for a Solstice

Solstitial shakes and Samhain shivers

Ripple out on distant rivers.

Rumblings of the season's stride

Make quakes on Gaia's lumpen hide.

Seisms seize the torn terrain

And crack it with ecstatic strain.

Signs of winter's coming pall

Stir to quicken gloaming's fall.

The timbre of a growing breeze

Lowers fore the waiting freeze.

The sounds it carries slow and glower.

What once was frantic now is dour.

A muddled message they convey

In nervous dirge and hazy lay.

The tidal rise of that refrain

Reaches peak as summer's slain.

Ape Metal

Last night's dream featured Tarzan's decision to leave the jungle and move to the city to sing rock-and-roll. The song he recorded when he got there was "Move to the City". Because he turned into Axl Rose when he got there. All of that was in the dream, but I'm only  now realising that it makes sense for Tarzan to be the one to write "Welcome to the Jungle" too. 

Bonus Question!

This reminds me that Brendan "George of the Jungle" Fraser could play a great David Lee Roth.  

Incel in a Cell

Is "Gotham" back yet?

It's weird. With his insecurity and stubborn, nonsensical feeling that he's deserving of love from the object of his desire, the show's version of Riddler seems like the type of guy who's right on the verge of trying to become a pickup artist, and the comic incarnation of the character already looks like one. It's far too easy to imagine him saying things like "Let me be the answer to the riddle that is you."

 

 

Bonus Question!

Thing that isn't quite a coincidence but should be?

In the 90s, Marlon Wayans was supposed to play Robin. In the following decade, Grant Morrison created a new Robin for the comics named Damian Wayne. Today I wondered if that was supposed to reference Damon Wayans because it feels like the sort of thing Grant would do if Damon had been the Wayans to play Robin. But then I realised that Marlon was the one. So whatever. At least I don't have to be curious about it now.

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Crazy Rich Ellens

Did I tell you about that woman in the mall who came up to me a few months ago because she thought that I was Ellen Degeneres?

I just watched "Crazy Rich Asians", and there's a character who gets likened to an Asian Ellen near the beginning. Then at the end, she's wearing the exact jacket I was wearing in my Ellen anecdote.

That's it. It just struck me. That's all.

Also, I haven't been in such a crowded theatre since I saw "Infinity War" on the Saturday afternoon of its opening weekend. Despite the fact that this film's been out for weeks, it was still packed to a similar level.  

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Bonus Question!

Prettiest thing in the movie that wasn't my jacket?

That emerald ring was pretty nice. It's not really my kind of cut, but I liked the depth of colour.

Iconic

Some guy came up to me in an EB Games on the weekend and asked to take a picture with me because he recognised me from finding my music on Spotify. But I think that the only image of me on Spotify is the cover picture of my chest tattoo. So yeah. My chest is iconic.

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Bonus Question!

Best thing I saw in EB Games?

A Boba Fett Nerf gun with a mask.

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