Showing posts from May, 2016

I Got the Jubilation Lee Post X-Men: Apocalypse Blues

I saw the new X-Men: Apocalypse yesterday afternoon. While I enjoyed the film overall (good, but not even close to great), I was disappointed in the use of Jubilee (Jubilation Lee) in the film. After hearing that the character finally had an expanded role in this film -- you know, something beyond just being seen in a classroom at the school and/or standing around -- my hopes were dashed when she pretty much was just seen in a classroom and/or standing around.

I guess it really was an expanded role because we did get a little bit more of Jubilee being seen in a classroom and/or standing around, and we get her napping (actually passed out) through a chunk of the film as well. She does get a line to say, but since her name is never said at all and she never uses her powers, how would a novice ever get to know her and love her the way comic fans got to do? She also gets to go to the mall with Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Nightcrawler, but the mall scene itself (complete with a Dazzler referen…

The Batter Up #1: Where Have You Gone, Joe Shlabotnik?

When I was planning to post the first edition of a regular baseball project for The Cinema 4 Pylon originally a few months ago, my beloved Cincinnati Reds were just about to win their first three games of the season.

It is now the end of May -- Memorial Day Weekend, to be precise -- and the Reds are a very sad 15-33, mired in the bottom of the National League Central Division, a full eighteen games behind the division-leading Chicago Cubs. This includes, as of this writing, an ongoing eleven-game losing streak, which from all reports on the Reds website has been devastating to the team, though they had tried to prepare fans going in that this season was not going to be very easy. While I am happy to see the recent success of the Cubbies and root for them when they get close to the big prize like anyone should that is not an outright Cubs hater, I always stick hard to my very first favorite team. I will forever root for the Reds... well, if not forever, then at least until my dying days…

A Plague of Killer Frogs, One Ribbit at a Time...

Rana: The Legend of Shadow Lake[aka Croaked: Frog Monster from Hell] (1982)
Dir.: Bill Rebane
Cinema 4 Rating: 3/9

Mostly because of Kermit's influence and guilty feelings left over from high school, I've always been pretty partial to frogs. I have met and even held a few frogs and toads in the time since, and I generally think they are a pretty cute and personable lot. But I must admit that they can be a bit creepy when put on film in the wrong circumstances. Frogs and toads are predatory creatures after all, and they can be quite ravenous, even resorting to cannibalism in some species. But I suppose even the world's most kindly creature, such as a baby lamb, can seem pretty creepy if you angle the camera just right, adjust the lights to a mood appropriate for menace, and add a hauntingly plinking piano chord at just the right moment.

In Bill Rebane's Rana: The Legend of Shadow Lake, we are shown several brief shots of frogs early on in the film in the first couple of att…

The Monster's on the Loose!!! #2: Curucu, Beast of the Amazon (1956)

Curucu, Beast of the Amazon (1956)
Dir.: Curt Siodmak
TC4P Rating: 4/9

Staying up late, well past midnight, before you have become used to doing so -- before you have even earned your night owl wings, so to speak -- can do strange things to your mind. As a kid, you can get a little punchy, as you fight back the curtain of sleep to try and stay up just a few precious extra minutes later than are probably good for you.

In my early days of learning where all of the good movies were on the local TV channels before cable and the VCR came into my life, my adventures took me past the witching hour with slowly increasing regularity around the far end of the age of eleven (and almost constantly so deeper into my twelfth year). I had by this time briefly met the onscreen versions of King Kong and Godzilla, I had sampled Harryhausen, and was just around the corner from seeing Star Wars in its original release (back when it was just called Star Wars; no one called it Episode IV: A New Hope then). And…