Hot Apollo

Toronto's Shiniest Rock-and-Roll Band

Spring Beaching

I saw "The Beach Bum". It was basically like watching a whole movie about Sam Rockwell's Zaphod Beeblebrox soundtracked by turning on a classic rock station at random. Which is to say . . . It was alright for me.

Directed by the dude who did "Spring Breakers". I don't leave movies early often, but when I realised that it wouldn't stop being a series of disconnected scenes with little salient dialogue, I ran across town to see the G.I. Joe sequel instead. Which was delightful. With The Rock.

Bonus Question!

Best Beach Boy?

In high school, my default answer was Dennis, but I haven't examined that since.

Spoils of Infinity War

“Endgame” just came out. “Game of Thrones” is ramping up to its finale. Talk about spoilers and the ethics thereof has not been more prevalent in recent memory.

Now, I remember hearing about some study a few years ago where scientists claimed to prove that spoilers can enhance the consumption of a story because humans subconsciously enjoy putting together a puzzle when they know the end result. Which is fine for some people.

But in recent weeks, I’ve heard that study cited far too much by all sorts of people who hold it up to be some sort of universal truth. But humanity’s not a hive mind, and it’s insane to claim that someone who avoids spoilers actually just doesn’t know that they secretly want them.

I’m not the most fervent opponent of spoilers. Its a personal decision. Like everything, people bear some responsibility for avoiding what they don’t want in their lives, but they also have the right to be annoyed at those who ruin their fun. People generally understand themselves enough to know what they want, and no study is going to trump individual taste. It’s not like vaccination. That stuff doesn’t care if you like needles. It’ll help you anyway. Not the same deal here.

Bonus Question!

Best needle?


Avengers 4-Ever After

Restlessness lost! I was worried about being able to sit through the running time of "Endgame" despite fervent desire to see it,  which drove me further to see it with company in an extra effort to fight off that discomfort. But I probably would have managed without that. Honestly, the pacing might have suited me more than that of "Infinity War" despite the increased length.

Another mild surprise?

I liked the quantum suits more than I thought I would when the Avengers actually put them on. The colour palette still isn't my favourite, but it lent a bit of a Japanese super squad effect to things. Like Power Rangers or Voltron. That kind of thing. It mitigated the loss of those diverse costumes with more inherent appeal.

And Rob Downey basically felt like Ian Malcolm for the first 15 minutes, which hit me with a bit of desire to see Stark hang with the Grandmaster. Though even when the first "Iron Man" came out, I felt a sort of affinity between Jeff and Downey. Anyway.

Also, isn't this around the 3rd anniversary of that comic  where Cap first hailed Hydra? It was amusing to hear that line cheered in the movie after its harsh decrial in the books.

Ultimately? Ridiculous. But not ridicilulous like the Ultimate universe's analogous chapter ender Ultimatum, which was a whole other kind of ridiculousness. This was far more satisfying, in part because it still left a full world that allows for all sorts of future stories to be told. After Ultimatum, that universe felt slightly like the first bit of "Endgame" where the whole world was depressed after the snap. People say the movie's take a lot from Ultimate Marvel, but regardless of that claim's truth, they're better at wiping the slate clean. For one thing, they actually clean it instead of smashing it to bits.

And hey. The longest paragraph of my "Endgame" post was only tangentially related to the film. Seems on brand.

Also! In being a saga ender with an expressive green giant, a bunch of time travel in sevice of fixing a broken world, and a notably attractive character that got fat and lazy, "Endgame" really reminded me of "Shrek Forever After". And because "Endgame" had a mellow Kinks song in it, I was also reminded of my friend's insistence on listening to his favourite "Waterloo Sunset" in the car as he drove me from the Shrek movie. I was also listening to a lot of Kinks before I went to see "Endgame", but it wasn't the mellow stuff.

Bonus Question!

Best Hawkeye moment?

Jeremy Renner has his own kind of endearing charm, but it's not that of comic book  Clint Barton. That's fine, but Jer's "totally awesome" line felt like the closest thing to the Hawkeye of the page.

With the possible exception of pictures of young Jeremy Renner.


Hella Boys

So. New Hellboy movie.

Here's the thing. Guillermo del Toro has inimitable charm, and the same can be said for Ron Perlman. Though the films they made together largely predated the modern superhero movie landscape and its fairly consistent ability to distill the outlandish glories of its source material into quality cinema, they were well made, well performed, and filled with the eccentric warmth of their director. It's hard not to want more of that.

But if you put that aside, 2019's "Hellboy" is a fun romp too.  Some of the marketing made it seem overly grom, which probably would have made me miss the Guillermo works, but honestly, the actual film didn't feel too different in overall tone from the previous stuff. The biggest difference was probably the preponderance of hard rock in the soundtrack, which seems like something Guill wouldn't do too much, but I don't actually remember. I walked in slightly late, but the first scene I saw was some sort of masked wrestling match, and professional wrestling is probably a good point of comparison for the film's feel. Machismo, hard rock, and a kind of endearing ridiculousness leavened by an implicit absence of self-seriousness.

Bonus Question!

Best boy from Hell?

Daimon Hellstrom, Son of Satan!

Not actually the son of Satan! But still the son of one of many demons who claim that name in the Marvel universe! Also probably has a portal to Hell in his kitchen or something! Also called Hellstorm!



Just saw "Shazam". It's a movie about a child mind in an adult body with sparkly power. I couldn't miss it.

Also, it followed "Spider-Man 2" in the classic superhero movie tradition of having a villain who looks like a dude in Matrix cosplay.

One other thing. The combination of the marketing slogan "Just Say The Word" in combination with the throwback 80s feel makes me think of Phil Collins's "Sussudio", and I don't know if that was intentional. In any case, it's my head canon theme song for the movie.


Bonus Question!

Are Redditors in Reddit's Star Wars section Jeditors?

Mottled Up

I didn't know that they actually put that Motley Crue movie into production until the weekend of its release. The guy who told me about it was this dude who'd booked some shows for me in the past, and he actually looked like the movie's Nikki Sixx.

But yeah. Crue was one of my favourite bands around 2006. I read "The Dirt". I read Tommy Lee's book too. Around that time, there was all sorts of talk about a feature film adaptation of the Crue biography with Val Kilmer and Christopher Walken in the roles of David Lee Roth and Ozzy Osbourne. Tommy Lee wanted Johnny Depp to play him because he apparently thought they were quite alike, but the general consensus was Ashton Kutcher. Obviously, Ash basically looked like a somewhat more built Tommy. The dude in this movie looked like a skinnier Ashton. It worked. 

But yeah. It was basically what it should have been. I still would have liked to see those wild casting choices from 2006. Val's basically circled back around to the point where he could convincingly play a dissipated Diamond Dave. For those 2 seconds or whatever.

And if I hadn't heard about it from that dude at the beginning of the day, I would have learned by evening from my band.

But it's still not my favourite movie based around the music of Motley Crue. That honour goes to "Hot Tub Time Machine".


Bonus Question!

Best weird casting for a rock star?

I saw "Walk Hard" after I'd already watched "Darjeeling Limited". I remember sitting beside this girl I liked during "Darjeeling" and noting Jason Schwartzman's resemblance in a scene to Ringo Starr. She mumbled agreement.

I later watched "Walk Hard", which featured deliberately miscast Beatles in one scene, but Jason Schwartzman's Ringo seemed out of place because he  actually looked like a natural fit.

Alien Slaying

I finally saw "Captain Marvel", and I really just want to say that I loved the look of the Skrulls. For real. They reminded me of random villains from "Buffy", which totally feels appropriate for an emotionally oblique blond heroine in the 90s.

Also, these movie versions do a good job of looking distinct from Thanos, who's always basically looked like a Skrull with a purple tan and an Infinity Gauntlet full of protein powder.

Bonus Question!

Best flavour of protein powder?

I've been swearing by maple syrup pancake, but the new Reese's peanut butter cup kind intrigues me. Can anyone attest to it?

Aladdin Stained

I don't really know why people are so down on Will Smith's genie. He'll be fine.

Actually, what he'll be is Will Smith. Blue skin, which would look like that on anyone, won't change anyone's opinions of him. Personally, I tend to enjoy his antics, and he did a pretty good job of breaking out of my head casting of Jeffrey Dean Morgan for Deadshot. He's not a perfect fit for everything, but at the very least, his roles don't suffer by comparisons to other actors. He'll never fall into anyone's shadow because he's at the level where he doesn't even live under the same sun that creates other people's shadows in the first place. He's like Robin Williams in the fact that he has his own orbit, which is important when you're replacing such a prestigious dude. In light of the fact that the new "Lion King" guys brought back James Earl Jones to record his lines again because they didn't think that a replacement for that iconic voice would be accepted , I'm inclined to think Robin Williams's death was the only thing that prevented his inclusion in the "Aladdin" remake from being discussed. With his absence from the world, getting a star who's ebulliently charming in a unique way that's not comparable to Robin seems like the best call.

I'm probably not going to see "The Lion King" because it replaces the original's heightened cartoonish aesthetic with a level of realism I don't personally care for, but it'll be fine. But I am actually feeling some excitement for "Aladdin".

Bonus Question!

Best blue humanoid?




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.

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