Three guys talking about comic books, sports, movies, TV shows and the numerous other pastimes that make us Gentlemen of Leisure.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

X-amining X-Men #127

"The Quality of HATRED!"
November 1979

In a Nutshell
The X-Men track Proteus to Edinburgh, where he possess the body of his father and captures Moira

Writer/Co-Plotter: Chris Claremont
Artist/Co-Plotter: John Byrne
Inker: Terry Austin
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Wein
Editor: Roger Stern
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
With Proteus advancing through the gale force winds she's created, Storm tries to fly away from the villain, but he warps reality around her, causing her to crash into the ground. Just as he moves in for the kill, Proteus is shot several times. On a nearby hillside, Moira fires a sniper rifle, locking in on his energy signature. Lining up for a kill shot, Cyclops intervenes, causing her to miss. Moira knocks out Cyclops, but when she sets up for another shot, Proteus, fearing the metal bullets, has fled. Moira, recognizing that Proteus has been moving steadily south, thinks she knows where he is heading, and breaks off on her own. She arrives in Edinburgh where she meets her estranged husband Joe, telling him he has a son and that his son is likely coming to kill him.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Last Week in TV #1

The 2011-2012 network TV season kicked off last week, which means its time to fire up the "Last Week in TV" posts. For new readers, this is a weekly post I write looking back on the previous week in TV. It should appear every Monday (morning-ish) and discusses whatever shows I've watched that warrant discussion (the list of shows can change from week to week, depending on how timely I watch things and how motivated I am to write about a particular show in a given week; but if there's a show we both watch that you'd like me to write about consistently, let me know in the comments).

Anyways, I still haven't settled on a single format I like best, so expect the usual hodgepodge of quick thoughts and humorous quotes alongside longer, rambling analyses. And I promise it will probably never be as long as this one (this was a big week of TV, and there's still stuff I haven't watched yet, like all of SNL and Pan Am).

This season, there's a bunch of new new sitcoms I'm trying out until they either get canceled or turn out to be stinkers. I probably won't write about all of these all the time, but they're worth a few initial words.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Five Favorite Star Wars Deleted Scenes

One of the big draws of the new Star Wars blu-ray release were the deleted scenes included from each of the films. Before the release, I had heard about a few of them, but was still surprised by the sheer volume of deleted scenes included (some of which I'd never even heard of), as well as by some of the scenes that were included. Here is a look at five of my favorites.


(Thanks to Star Wars Aficionado Magazine for the screen caps. Check out their great early-release look at some of the deleted scenes here). 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

X-amining X-Men #126

"How Sharper than a Serpent's Tooth...!"
October 1979

In a Nutshell
The X-Men attempt to capture Mutant X. 

Author: Chris Claremont
Penciler: John Byrne
Inker: Terry Austin
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Wein
Editor: Roger Stern
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
The X-Men race to Muir Island aboard the Blackbird, crossing the ocean in just over an hour. As they fly over the island, the X-Men fan out, searching the complex for signs of trouble. Colossus encounters Havok and Multiple Man and they tussle briefly, the Muir Islander's believing the real Colossus to be dead, while Storm and Cyclops encounter Moira. Cyclops breaks off on his own and finds an unconscious Phoenix, who comes to briefly. She confuses Cyclops with Jason Wyngarde, then passes out again. Later, after the X-Men have scoured the island and found no trace of Mutant X, everyone convenes to plan their next move. Multiple Man explains how, after hearing Lorna's scream, he sent a duplicate to help her, who stopped Mutant X from killing her but lost his own life when he was possessed by the villain. As Cyclops stresses the need for more information, Moira reluctantly admits that Mutant X is her son. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Few Thoughts on the 63rd Annual Emmys

The opening number, with Jane Lynch singing her way through various TV shows (that all apparently exist in the same building, for some reason, and Leonard Nimoy doesn't want us to know that...?) was pretty lame, and that's coming from someone who loves these big, over-the-top openings to award shows. The lone highlight was when Jane stumbled into Mad Men and flirted with Peggy before being thrown out by Don Draper, outraged at her news that in the future, people can fast-forward through commercials.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Five Things I Love About Star Wars

A few years back I celebrated the tenth anniversary of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace with a post about the five things I love in that film. I always intended to continue on and do similar posts for each additional film, but never got around to it.

I figured today's release of the entire saga on Blu-ray was as good an excuse as any to finally finish the project, so here are five things I love about the rest of the Star Wars films (and you can read my Phantom Menace post here, as well as Dr. Bitz's rejoinder here). 

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones


"Across the Stars" 
If Anakin and Padme's romance has any resonance whatsoever, it's largely due to John William's sweeping and sorrowful love theme that completely tells the story of their tragic and doomed relationship without cheesy dialogue and wooden acting.  I've often said that it would be fun to watch the Star Wars movie as silent films, with only score and sound effects. If that were the case and it was left entirely up to this theme to tell their story, Anakin and Padme might have gone down as one of the greatest romances in film history.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

X-amining X-Men #125

"There's Something AWFUL on Muir Island!"
September 1979

In a Nutshell
Mutant X makes his move on Muir Island while the X-Men learn Beast and Phoenix are alive. 

Author/Co-Plotter: Chris Claremont
Penciler/Co-Plotter: John Byrne
Inker: Terry Austin
Letterer: Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Wein
Editor: Roger Stern
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
On Muir Island, Moira tests the limits of Phoenix's power, both women unaware they are being watched by the possessed, decaying form of Angus MacWhirter. Meanwhile, the X-Men are training in the Danger Room while, on Asteroid M, Magneto is recuperating from his last battle with the X-Men, thinking of his late wife and planning his next move. In Scotland, in a town near Muir Island, Jason Wyndgarde ruminates about his recent manipulation of Jean and his desire to mold her into the Black Queen of the Hellfire Club. Back on Muir Island, Moira studies the test data on Phoenix, and realizes Jean still has access to god-like power, while on the Shi'ar Imperial Center, Professor X studies the record of Phoenix's actions inside the M'Kraan crystal, and realizes for the first time the true extent of her power, deciding he must return to Earth at once.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Retro Review: Homer the Heretic

Or the One Where
Homer starts his own religion.

The Setup
After skipping church and subsequently experiencing the greatest day of his life, Homer decides to start his own religion.

Notable Notes
The chalkboard gag in this episode's opening, in which Bart writes, "I will not defame New Orleans" is a reference to the controversy surrounding one of the songs from last episode, and was rushed into production to serve as an apology.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Summer Movie Report Card 2011

That's right, the State Fair is over and the movies are decidedly less blockbuster-y, which means it's time once again for the summer movie report card!

I'm going to these "one sentence review" (or so) style, as any more than that and I start to get repetitive. 

Thor


The Marvel film with the greatest potential for disaster, it actually turned out pretty good, keeping the events on Earth from getting too boring and managing to make the action on Asgard fun without being too campy.
A

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

X-amining X-Men Annual #3

"A Fire in the Sky!"
1979

In a Nutshell
The X-Men battle Arkon the Magnificent.

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: George Perez
Artist: Terry Austin
Letterer: Tom Orz
Colorist: G. Wein
Editor: R Stern
Editor-in-Chief: J. Shooter

Plot
Early one morning, Arkon the Magnificient, ruler of the extradimensional world of Polemachus, arrives in New York. He heads immediately to Avenger's Mansion and accosts Avengers' butler Jarvis, demanding he contact Thor. When Jarvis explains that Thor is away, Arkon despairs that his world is doomed. Just then he's contacted by his Grand Vizier, who tells him of another who may be able to help them.