LOG 5: JUNE 2020
Scream Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street (2019)
Sort of interesting, but meanders a lot. It's thesis does not hold much weight.
Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire
Negativland Presents Over the Edge Vol. 1: Jam Con '84 Negativland
I'm a big fan of the proper Negativland releases, so I decided to give some of these a go. Not as good.
Negativland Presents Over the Edge Vol. 3: The Weatherman's Dumb Stupid Come-Out Show Negativland
This is definitely my favorite volume of Over the Edge. "Hello, are you a homosexual and are you coming out of your closet?"
Negativland Presents Over the Edge Vol. 4: Dick Vaugn's Moribund Music of the 70's Negativland
Better than I expected it to be. A very weird prank, but authentic. Dick's flight to hell is the highlight, but you can only really appreciate it after listening to everything else.
Negativland Presents Over the Edge Vol. 5: Crosley Bendix Negativland
I don't like the Crosley Bendix character. Has that sort of NPR humor vibe to it.
Flex Mentallo: Man of Muscle Mystery by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely
Goddamn, Grant Morrison really loves Superman. A lot of names are thrown around when it comes to "subverting" the superhero genre, but most of them come from a place of contempt and are far less interesting than anything Grant Morrison has ever written, RE: superheroes.
Negativland Presents Over the Edge Vol. 6: The Willsaphone Stupid Show Negativland
Fascinating, but not very interesting.
FAR: Lone Sails
Limmy said this game was beautiful and he was right. It's indie-riffic in a lot of ways, but it doesn't bash you over the head with story or metaphor. It's a great, lonely journey, and traveling across the unknown has rarely seemed as interesting.
Night Drive Chromatics
Ok. The Chromatics kind of suck.
Negativland Presents Over the Edge Vol. 7: Time Zones Exchange Project Negativland
Negativland got a little too into their mythical networks and personalities during Over the Edge and this is the prime example of this. It's too inside, and rarely feels all that engaging.
This is the only other movie I watched this month, how depressing is that? I only got 100 pages into Dune before giving up, but I was surprised at how well it was adapted based on that. I mean, what can you really do with a text that constantly references what people are thinking, specifically about characters noticing things about other characters? Perfectly fine.
Negativland Presents Over the Edge Vol. 8: Sex Dirt Negativland
Negativland gets back to a more traditional album on this one, but I've given up on Over the Edge. Sorry, Negativland, hopefully you guys aren't too hurt by that.
Noah and the Paper Moon Stealing Sheep
Debut album by one of my favorite bands as of late. While they still seem to be trying to find their footing between electronica and folk music, there's still a lot of great stuff that foreshadows their future work.
Not Real Stealing Sheep
For some reason, I never listened to this album all the way through. It's great and a big step away from the more Folkish sound from Into the Diamond Sun.
This is by the same people as Plug & Play, but is never as amusing as that was. I feel like there's some point they're trying to get across, but I can't say what it is.
Nothing to Fear Oingo Boingo
I've been trying to explore Oingo Boingo ever since I watched Forbidden Zone (note: if you seek this film out, be aware that it features the following: blackface, homophobia, transphobia, antisemitism, islamaphobia, anti-christianity, sexual assault, rape, racism, misogyny, sexism, and about anything else offensive you could think of. In other words, a real hoot). Basically, what I've found is that Dead Man's Party is the desert island disc, and the rest are a little forgettable. Don't get me wrong, I like "Private Life" but it's not "Just Another Day."
Doom Patrol Season 1
Grant Morrison's run on Doom Patrol is absolutely fantastic. I've laid out why Grant Morrison is one of the better writers to come out of the Veritgo boom (although his run was not part of Vertigo, despite the branding on the collected volumes), and was excited to see what they did on the tv show as I had heard vaguely positive things about it. It's an adaptation that tries to blend every aspect of all the Doom Patrol adaptions (hence why we have Larry Trainor instead of Rebis and Rita Farr isn't dead at the beginning of the series). It is… okay. The actors are all great in their respective roles, April Bowlby is the standout in the cast, and this is the first version of Cyborg I really liked. Larry is a bit understated, but the performance is well-done, even if the gay stuff felt a little dated. Which I guess makes sense, given what period of time Larry is most familar with. It's better than just making them gay and just sort of ignoring it which is the tactic most television shows take. And I surprisingly enjoyed Alan Tudyk as Mr. Nobody. Yes, it's not remotely close to the comics incarnation, but Tudyk is enjoyably hammy and his narration gives a lot of needed levity.
Then there's Robotman and Crazy Jane. Grant Morrison really made those two the heart of his comics run and here they're by far the worst characters. Honestly, just give me a Robotman costume with a mouth that moves. Also, Robotman seems to be more crude in a sort of "nerd" way where he just calls people asshole and says "fuck" all the time. Like I said, I have no problem with Brendan Fraser's performance and Riley Shanahan doesn't have much to work with, but it just felt very surface level even though he spends most of his time yelling about his daughter.
As for Crazy Jane? They did my girl dirty, those bastards. Crazy Jane was a deep, complex character, inquisitive and always eager to help when possible. Here, she mainly serves the role of being a moody teenager who hates everyone. Even though her Hammerhead personality is supposed to be brash and gruff, there's hardly much difference between her and regular Jane. It's all the more perplexing in the underground where Driver 8 appears and screws over Cliff Steele as soon as possible, despite general neutrality in the source material. Again, Diane Guerrero is a great actor, but the writing leaves a lot to be desired.
To cap it off, the zany fun side of Doom Patrol seems to be almost entirely absent, with about as much comedy as a funeral. Thank god for Alan Tudyk to bring the whole thing back to some comedy, but it's strange that a show that deals in the absurd so often is so dark and melodramatic. I tried watching a couple episodes of the first season, but without any sort of Mr. Nobody presence, the whole thing just is just one long misery fest.
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Pilotpriest
All-Star Superman by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely
Goddamn, Grant Morrison really loves Superman. If you never really got what the big deal is with Superman, I would recommend going over this comic. I always thought Superman had a lot of potential, but so often many writers (Zak Snyder, Frank Miller) just sort of go "Oh, he's a the ultimate good guy? That's gay." Superman is caring and thoughtful, and illustrates what really drives Superman. It's not truth, justice, and the American Way, but really Superman's driving factor is Love. He loves people and he loves Earth, and that love really comes through.
Harley Quinn Season 1
Surprisingly good! I don't know when we decided to make Harley Quinn such a giant force in pop culture, but this series is a lot of fun. It's a little too "random" at times, but it's very well-done and doesn't linger on character too long without at least making a joke or two.