Uncategorized

New patrons!

Another new patron joins the ranks of the few, the brave, the mice:

Sam Minden, star of the police drama of the same name which ran on CBS from 1957 to 1972. The show’s unique selling point was that it was not a “whodunnit?” like Kojak or a “howcatch’em?” like Columbo. Instead, Minden would use his knowledge of fashion to deduce the killer based on their designer outfit alone, becoming TVs first (and so far only) “whohewearin’whenhedunnit?”

New patrons!

Hi folks,

Two new patrons to introduce to you all:

Rudi Baeten, legendary Netherlands football player (1968-1974). He invented the concept of “Total Football” where players would undergo intensive psychological conditioning until they believed that they were footballs. Unfortunately, the technique ultimately took its toll on Baeten’s marriage when he abandoned his wife and three children and eloped with an imitation plastic Adidas Tricolore, with whom he spent the rest of his days rolling gently down a beach in the Dutch Caribbean.

Adam Davis was the 13th Vice-President of the United States for all of five minutes before the notoriously fickle James Buchanan jilted him in favour of John C. Breckinridge. Davis never forgave this betrayal, and when informed that Breckinridge had betrayed the Union and joined the Confederacy is said to have remarked “Well, what would you expect from that tramp?”

“I’m not going to hurt you, Scott. Unless I have to.”

Like Unshaved Mouse? Please consider supporting my Patreon.

“Okay, that’s it. I’m officially done with the Marvel movies.”

‘Uh huh.”

“I mean it. I just don’t care anymore.”

‘Uh huh.”

“I mean, I’ll probably watch Infinity War 2.”

‘Uh huh.”

“And any new Thors.”

‘Uh huh.”

“And Black Panther 2, definitely.”

‘Uh huh.”

“Oh, and I’ll probably check out Captain Marvel.”

‘Uh huh.”

“But other than that, I am DONE.”

“Yikes. Careful hon, going cold turkey is dangerous.”

“Ugh. Curse your sexy irresistible snark and flawless reliability as a narrator.”

Yes, the grim spectre of Marvel Fatigue has reared its skeletal head in the Mouse household, rattling its chains and wailing about lacklustre villains and nondescript movie scores. And while this malignant spirit has claimed my beloved spouse I, thankfully, remain immune.

Or so I thought.

Coming up to this particular review I experienced, for this first time in this series, something in the outer boroughs of dread. The first Ant-Man, was fine but only fine and the closer the time to review Ant-Man and the Wasp crept the more I realised that I just didn’t care and would much rather skip ahead to whatever reader request I should have done like two years ago (I’m trying guys, I’m trying).

So, because I have little to nothing interesting to say about the movie, how ‘bout some comic history? You know you love it.

Janet Van Dyne aka The Wasp was the second major female superhero created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in the early sixties, coming a few years after Sue Storm and a few months before Jean Grey and the Scarlet Witch. And she was, much like her sisters, originally a bit crap. To put it bluntly, the superheroines of this era were drippier than a melting ice-cream who just stepped out of the shower to answer the phone.

Pictured: The time Stan Lee invented millennials.

Jan was first introduced in the pages of Tales to Astonish as the daughter of Vernon Van Dyne, a scientist who once worked with Hank Pym, the world’s Most Generic Man. When Vernon is killed, Jan comes to Hank looking for help and he’s all:

  1. I’m Ant-Man.
  2. I could make you an Ant-Woman. Would you like that Jan? Would you like to be my Ant-Woman?
  3. Vernon would totally have wanted us to bone.

Hank gives her shrinking powers, making her a god among mortals, as well as some nifty little wings and energy blasts and they fight crime as Ant-Man and the Wasp. They also became founding members of the Avengers, with Jan actually being the one who comes with the name for the team. Originally depicted as shallow and flighty the character has been deepened and expanded on by various writers over the years into one of the most respected superheroes in the Marvel universe.

She’s also the only one of the founding Avengers to never have her own solo series. For some reason.

(more…)

Flight of Dragons (1982)

Man, you guys do love your animated fantasies from the late seventies/early eighties don’t you? In fact, I’ve now reviewed enough of these things that they’re starting to run together. Which animated fantasy centring on wizards and a war between science and magic with seriously dodgy gender politics is this again? Nit?

“Yessum?”

“I need some kind of filing system.”

“I have waited many long years to hear you say those words. It was worth it.”

(more…)

Bats versus Bolts: Universal Horror

This review was requested by patron Mathom. If you’d like me to review a movie, please consider supporting my Patreon.

New Year, New Mouse, New Regular Feature!

This is Bats versus Bolts!

Someone ask me what Bats versus Bolts is.

“Sigh. What’s Bats versus…”

Glad you asked! Dracula and Frankenstein are two of the most famous and frequently adapted stories of all time. Hell, Dracula alone has been adapted…hang on let me just Google that…

Uh. No, Google. I’m pretty sure that’s not right.

Anyway, in every decade there are Dracula movies and Frankenstein movies that reflect the culture, trends and social forces that created them and I thought it would be cool to take two from each decade and pit them against each other in a no holds barred monster mash. So let’s start with the two most iconic versions, Universal’s Dracula and Frankenstein from the nineteen thirties.

(more…)

Happy New Year!

I don’t hold with New Year’s, personally, it’s just a fake holiday cooked up by Big Calendar. But I suppose it’s as good a time as any to take stock of everything that’s happened last year and check for structural damage.

So, 2018 was…mixed.

A better year than 2017, definitely. 2017 (for me) was just an series of unending failure, rejection and humiliation culminating in me hitting my lowest point since…ever, pretty much. 2018 on the other hand, was a series of sharp highs and lows and I’ll definitely take that over the alternative. If current trends continue, 2019 might actually be (whisper it softly now) good?

The bad was losses in the family, the occasional depressive episode and just the general mental and emotional wear and tear of living in a world run by an insane wall-obsessed golden tamarin.

“NO COLLUSION!”

So let’s talk about the good.

(more…)

“It’s a mutation. It’s a very groovy mutation.”

Like Unshaved Mouse? Please consider supporting my Patreon.

Much like an awesome party where someone suddenly showed up with a suitcase full of tainted MDMA, the X-Men film franchise got real bad, real fast. From the dizzying (well) highs of X2 the franchise had laid two massive turds in a row and was now in the unenviable position of having exactly as many bad films as good ones (also known as the Star Trek ratio). What was to be done?

“REBOOT!”

“Well hang on there, let’s not just go with the most obvious knee jerk response let’s think about the best way to erase past mistakes and inject new life into…”

“GRITTY REBOOT?”

“Okay, good, good, we’re thinking outside the box now, let’s just try a little harder…”

“Urrrrrrrrrr…”

“YOUNG AND SEXY REBOOT!”

“YES! HE CAN BE TAUGHT!”

Alright, all joking aside, the idea for a movie about the early days of Xavier’s School for Gifted Child Soldiers had been knocking about since the shooting of X2, and as an idea it’s pretty damn bad. Making a movie about the earliest adventures of the X-Men is like making a movie about John Lennon and focusing solely on his time in the Quarrymen. That was the worst part. Virtually all the good stuff came later. For a while. Then things got really, really awful.

In this analogy, Rob Liefeld is Yoko.

But First Class also shares much of its DNA with what was originally going to be the second instalment of the X-Men Origins spin off series, Magneto. After Wolverine Origins bombed so hard that the box office was glowing in the dark, the ideas for Magneto were bundled up and worked into First Class.

So how does this grab-bag of sewn together bad ideas and discarded movie bits work as a film?

Surprisingly well! Except when it doesn’t. It’s complicated.

(more…)

Sly fox…

Hi guys. Firstly, thanks and welcome to new patron Felreign, a recurring villain in Marvel’s Eternals in the nineteen eighties. Fans would always look forward to his team-ups with main villain Ghaur, which would always result in Felreign betraying him, leaving Ghaur shaking his fist impotently and screaming “CURSE YOU FELREIGN!”

Also, my brother Dónal has a new music video out and it’s absolutely awesome. Check it out.

Why do we Irish drink so much? Foxes and peer pressure. Now you now.

Bill Maher on the death of Santa Claus

The guy who, for millennia, has flown around the world every Christmas to give presents to small children out of the goodness of his heart is dead, and America is in mourning. Deep, deep mourning for a man who inspired millions to, I don’t know, give each other gifts, I guess. Someone on Reddit posted, “I’m so incredibly grateful I lived in a world that included Santa Claus.” Personally, I’m grateful I lived in a world that included oxygen and trees, and an entertainment industry where you can become a millionaire despite looking like your face was dunked in batter by an angry spouse, but to each his own. Now, I have nothing against gifts – I was given them now and then when I was a kid and I had kept my promise to stop torturing the dog. But the assumption everyone had back then, both the adults and the kids, was that gifts were for kids, and when you grew up you moved on to big-boy things like cocaine and never getting married because that’s a form of slavery.

But then two thousand years or so ago, something happened – adults decided they didn’t have to give up kid stuff. And so they pretended that gifts were actually something that grown up people give each other to express human emotions like gratitude and friendship and love. And because America has over 4,500 colleges – which means we need more professors than we have smart people – some dumb people got to be professors by writing theses with titles like All of the Other Reindeer-Rudolf as a metaphor for exclusion in the LGBT community. And now when adults are forced to do grown-up things like buy auto insurance, they call it “adulting,” and act like it’s some giant struggle.

This is all Santa Claus’ fault somehow.

I’m not saying we’ve necessarily gotten stupider although we definitely have and I, Bill Maher, am very smart and would make an excellent king. The average Joe is smarter in a lot of ways than he was in, say, the years before Santa Claus, when a big night out was dying of dysentry and a Carmen Miranda musical. The problem is, we’re using our smarts on stupid stuff.

I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to suggest that Donald Trump could only get elected in a country that thinks Santa Claus was important, and as an entitled white male who’s constantly been rewarded for being a loud-mouthed asshole with ever greater money fame and influence I think I know what I’m talking about . I mean, Santa Claus? What’s he ever done for anybody? Has he embodied the worst caricatures of the liberal elite by basically embodying the Token Evil Atheist from a Left Behind movie? Has he aided the cultural polarisation of an entire nation?

Fuck Santa Claus, I hope he burns.