THE ROOM: THE PLAY: THE REVIEW

I had the singularly wonderful experience of catching the Tommy Wiseau-directed The Room play at The AFI Silver Spring theatre and….guys, it was incredible.

Poster is better than this deserves, really.

WHERE TO START? The set itself was very simple, just some chairs and a couch and an IKEA end table identical to one in my living room.  The play got started about 10 minutes late and most of the audience was drinking.

They cut to still photos from the movie for transitions (Golden Gate Bridge, The roof, etc) so we were spared any sex scenes. Right off the bat, Wiseau started fucking up his lines IMMEDIATELY.  Referencing events and thinks that weren’t supposed to happen way later on. That was awesome.

Yep

The cast itself was interesting! I went to college with the guy who played Denny and so that added a surreal element to the proceedings. Everyone seemed like they were having fun. Greg “Mark” Sestero was deliberately half-assing it. They added a new character in the form of Travis, the soulful older black gentleman who romances Lisa’s mom. He was great and sang several songs.

Travis: The Travbest

All in all, it was a really fun afternoon watching a total trainwreck play that made little sense. The audience was loud and rude and it ended with everyone singing happy birthday to an audience member. And, most importantly, I got to take my photo with Greg and Tommy.

Tommy wouldn't flip the bird at the camera. He's a consummate gentleman.

Episode By Episode: SUPERMAN: TAS (“Livewire”)

Bampa-dah.

Bampa-dah Bampa-dah?

BAMPA-DAH. BAMPA-DAH B-B-BAMPA-DAH?!?!!?

BUM BUM BAH! BUM BUM BUM BAH! BUM BUM BUM BAH! BUM BUM BUM BUM BAH!

S!

We’re back in bizzness, kids.

I now own all of SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES on DVD. Each week, I’m going to work my way through the series one episode at a time.  Dig?

Episode: “Livewire″

D-D-D-DANGAH ZOOOONE

What Happens: Local “shock jock” Lori Petty Leslie Willis (Lori Petty) gains ironically appropriate electricity powers, has beef with Our Man Supes, and gets mean mad.

Right?

Thoughts: 

  • Evan “Milk and Cheese” Dorkin co-wrote this episode!
  • Even without the bit where she calls herself “The Queen of All Media”, this episode is “Superman Vs. Lady Howard Stern”
  • Lex’s little smile when Leslie is ripping on Superman is priceless. Lex has gotten the best little moments on this show.
  • Right off the bat, Petty’s really fun here. Her whole morning show spiel is funny and sets the tone for the rest of the episode.
  • I love that EVERYONE IN TOWN is listening to this radio show.
  • The alternating cuts of “Leslie ripping on Superman/Superman saving the day” is a really cool sequence.
  • In keeping with the whole Stern analogue deal, Leslie’s got her own collection of weirdos to exploit?

Baba Booey?

  • Alright, so Leslie gets hit by lightning and gets electricity powers? That’s it? Or is it because the lightning goes through Superman first? Vague.
  • Media doesn’t come off well in this episode, huh?
  • Metropolis has a Times Square too, I guess.
  • Livewire really is a cool Superman villain. Nice gimmick, great character design. Totally makes sense that she made it into the comics, though she’s been criminally underused outside of this show.

A Very Specific Fetish

  • Trying to lasso a woman who can turn into pure energy was a dumb move on your part, Supes.
  • OF COURSE Lex Luthor pays for Livewire’s hospital care.
Overall? 
This episode is good mainly for Lori Petty, I think it’d have been fairly forgettable if they’d gotten a lesser voice talent. But then, that’s one of the real strengths of the DC Animated shows under Dini and Timm, right?

NEXT EPISODE: Speed Demons! It’s got The Flash! I LOVE THE FLASH.

NO TIME FOR SUPER-BLOG, DOCTOR JONES!

Not today atleast. Monday? Let’s shoot for monday. In the meantime, here’s the best solicitation that Mike Sterling somehow missed in this week’s END OF CIVILIZATION post:

Bluewater Press is run by greedy little trolls, so this is a great fit.

LIONSGATE FILMS PRESENTS: LEPRECHAUN TRADE PAPERBACK by BLUEWATER PRESS

“This is the tale of Lubdan, the king and sole survivor of the Leprechaun. The last of the Leprechauns!”

I…yeah, we know? You just told us this?

“A treasure dealer stumbles across his pot of gold and steals it. In this modern age, he finds buyers all over the planet through online auctions.”

Not only is this a great solicitation, it also appears to have been written by a drunk robot.

“MATURE THEMES. SC, 96pgs, B&W………..$15.99″

A BARGAIN

…..

Go pick up CRIMINAL: LAST OF THE INNOCENT #1, guys. Ed Brubaker. Archie analogues. An essay on Encyclopedia Brown. Go get it.

HIVE OF SCUM. A BLUEWATER PRESS BRODUCTION

BLEAGH CAN’T BLOG TV BLEAGH

Yeah. Obviously I didn’t end up blogging like I said I would. Mainly because my day to day’s been weird and I’ve been lazy. NO LONGER. Probably hit you guys up with a new Super-blog Thursday, today let’s take things easy.

So I’ve been watching ALOT of Twilight Zone lately. It’s on Netflix Instant (all but Season 4, actually. Dunno if there’s a rights thing there because the episodes were hour long that season or what.) and it’s just such an insanely easy show to watch in like….5 episode spurts.

BLOG BLOG BLOG YOU ASSHOLE

I’ve always been a huge Twilight Zone fan. Night Gallery too to a lesser extent. Rod Serling’s not only an incredible writer, he’s my favorite TV “personality”. But this is the first time I’ve been able to watch the show in chronological order and it’s been fun being able to do so and notice stuff.

A couple of things:

This show has really aged gracefully, for the most part. Yeah, episodes like “The Obsolete Man” or “The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street” aren’t, you know, SUBTLE, but it was important that they weren’t.

It’s weird to say, but the Twilight Zone is really moral show? And I can’t think of a show that better reflects what I’d consider my values? There’s a strong humanist bent to Serling’s work and it was and is a pretty progressive show. I can’t even imagine what it must’ve been like watching it when it aired.

That said, they do a good job of balancing the more inspirational/faith in humanity episodes with the “BOY THIS IS SURE A COLD AND UNCARING UNIVERSE WE LIVE IN” ones. And that’s great! I love that this show gives us episodes like “The Fever” or “A Stop At Willoughby” along side “Mr. Dingle, The Strong” or “One For The Angels”. It’s easy to make fun of how this show has what feels like 100 “weird airplane” episodes, but it’s impressive just how many GREAT episodes there are of this show.

Anyway, that’s what I got. If you have Netflix Instant, you really don’t have an excuse to take in a few episodes, Twilight Zone’s a textbook definition of how to do a GREAT anthology series.

Dig?

 

Hello. Is it me you’re looking for?

It’s been a couple of weeks! In that time, I moved to a new apartment into the vibrant hub of crime and intrigue that is Baltimore and, unfortunately, haven’t had my own internet. That should change today. But for now, let’s rap.

So I wrote a column for City Paper on Free Comic Book Day. http://citypaper.com/news/columns/at-free-comic-book-day-you-get-what-you-pay-for-1.1144570 If you’re checking out HIVE OF SCUM because of it, welcome! The urge to title it “BIFF POW COMICS AREN’T JUST FOR KIDS ANYMORE AND CAN ALSO BE MOVIES???” was strong, but I managed to resist.

Thor came out two weeks ago! And it was amazing. I don’t think anyone expected Thor to be great, but it absolutely was? Marvel’s best adaptation to date and a movie that is, I think, going to hold up to repeat viewings.  Reading Simonson’s Thor omnibus before and after I saw it only enhanced my appreciation.

That’s about all I have to throw out there. Assuming I have internet this week, HIVE OF SCUM is back on and full steam ahead. Stuff’ll be in flux until my day to day work stuff solidifies, but the blog spice will e-flow. I’ll leave you this photo of myself, my roommate Nick, and John Waters, taken last night at Atomic Books.

Nick, The Director of PECKER, Me.

HIVE OF SCUM. OH NO. OH HELL NO.

AND NOW…YOUR OBSCURE BATMAN CHARACTER OF THE WEEK (4/23/11)

…Tiger Bishop!

BATMAN AND ROBIN GOT SHIT TO DO

From the Encyclopedia of Comic Book Heroes! 

‘One of the coldest killers in the history of crime.’ Bishop is apprehended in October 1950 by ace crime reporter Dave Purdy, who, with a bit of secret assistance from Batman, blinds Bishop with the glaring beam of the Bat-Signal and then knocks the villain unconscious before he can recover (Det No. 164 “Untold Tales of the Bat-Signal!”)

Two things:

  • Tiger Bishop is an AWESOME name.
  • You don’t see the Bat-Signal featured enough as a protagonist.

****

So in non-Batman related blog news, I’m letting y’all know that I’ll be taking alittle blogging break. I’m moving next weekend, I’ve got a some job hunting to do, a spot of freelance writing work. And I’m feeling… burnt out. I need a break to clear my head and come back to this stuff.

So HIVE OF SCUM will be on break starting this monday and will start back up on May 16th. Most likely, I’ll be moving the new comics reviews to a monthly or biweekly feature and trying out some new content. If the mood strikes me, I’ll throw something up here, but can’t promise anything. But rest assured, this is only a small break. Dry those eyes.

AN OBSCURE BATMAN CHARACTER. EVERY SATURDAY. EXCEPT THE NEXT COUPLE OF SATURDAYS. LOOK I JUST NEED YOU TO ROLL WITH THIS OK.

COMICS WHAT THAT I READ THIS WEEK (April 21st, 2011)

Ok, quick shots this week!

HOT PURSUIT has just about the best name there is.

The Flash #10 

This was alright. Because it’s setting up Flashpoint and the current arc, there’s nothing especially fun like in the previous issues. No clue what Johns is trying to do with this Barry/ Carlie Cooper  Patty Spivot romance, but its not introduced all that well. Manapul’s art is pretty, of course.

Shave your face, Striker. You look like an embarassment.

Avengers Academy #12

Tom Raney is a FANTASTIC fit for this book. His art’s like a less cartoony/sketchy Todd Nauck, who I loved on Young Justice. The issue itself? Pretty good. Gage has been good about keeping character development moving over the last 12 issues. Last page was heartbreaking. Oh yeah, and Veil….yikes, man. Next issue’s promise of SUPERHERO PROM sounds like it’ll be a good time.

Alright, Lemire, lets see how you deal with this tie-in that does not interest me in the slightest.

Superboy #6

Red Robin giving Superboy crap for his initial “living in Hawaii with a fade” period made me chuckle. Marco Rudy’s filling in on art chores and everyone kind of looks like they’re in an A-ha video . The layout’s pretty good, but the figures are too rough for my tastes. Rudy does a great job at making the Superboy/Doomsday fight feel quick and kinetic, though. The sequence takes up the bulk of the issue and Lemire gives Superboy some great internal…I guess you’d call it narration. Pretty good for an editorially mandated tie-in!

Wait, isn't Abomination dead?

Best of the Week: Thunderbolts #156

Woman, what are you doing to that Man-Thing!

This is a real piece of dialogue. If you aren’t reading this book, you need to be reading this book. Parker writes the best Luke Cage around.

Satana-as-magic-wildcard definitely adds something to the book. The “Underbolts” B-team tryout bits were a real highlight (though if Parker actually puts Boomerang on the team then he will literally be writing Suicide Squad). Bonus points for “POLTERGEISTEN”. Oh, and Walker draws some more great layered sequences.

***********

I guess these reviews were shorter. Not by much though. Good week for comics, I wish my copy of the Abnett/Lanning “Legion of The Damned”/DC Comics 100 Page Spectacular hadn’t been misprinted! I’ll return it and try and snag it when they put out the corrected version I guess.

HIVE OF SCUM. LATER SKYHAGS!

Episode By Episode: SUPERMAN: TAS (“Blasts From The Past – Part 2”)

Hey! After almost a year of operation, HIVE OF SCUM actually has a header logo that, you know, says its name. Special thanks to my pal Danny Keenan for the gorgeous design work and for knowing what I meant by  “Dr.Doom green”.

But fancy new look or no, we got ourselves a Superman episode to talk about!

I now own all of SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES on DVD. Each week, I’m going to work my way through the series one episode at a time.  Dig?

Episode: “Blasts From The Past – Part 2″

Cool Vest Club

What Happens: PREVIOUSLY: Superman freed Kryptonian criminal revolutionary Mala from the Phantom Zone, partly out of guilt, partly because she thought she could help the world like he has. Superman is a total rube! His plan falls apart and Mala frees a man previously defeated by Superman’s father, would-be despot Jax-Ur.

Thoughts: 

  • Superman’s space zoo gets so much screen time on this show. Really shows how Superman:TAS  is where the DC Animated Universe writers REALLY started paying attention to their own internal continuity. There’s some of that with Batman: TAS (mostly Harvey Dent/Two-Face) but its very apparent here.
  • Looks like Prof. Hamilton coined the phrase “Fortress of Solitude” in the DCAU. Didn’t know that.

This is just a great accidental screen cap.

  • I do like that Superman and Professor Hamilton do the logical thing in this situation and just ask the Brainiac orb how to build a new PZ projector instead of directly going after Mala and Jax-Ur.
  • Ooo and a reference to Rao (Kryptonian God, basically). Is that the first time this show’s done that? I dunno.
  • I think the audience is supposed to get enjoyment out of Mala heat visioning that bicyclist’s tire. Guys on bikes are sometimes just The Worst.

Hahaha

  • I love how Jax-Ur is almost a good foot shorter than Mala. Deliberate Napoleon shout-out? U-Decide! Jax-Ur’s animated model in this episode bugs me, it seems too..soft? I’m not sure whats up there.
  • Alright, Superman taking this long to confront Mala is …weird. Weak script spot there.
  • It takes alittle while to really get started but the Superman/Mala/Jax-Ur fight’s pretty good.
  • I feel like Lois hasn’t been central to an episode in A WHILE. They use her/Mala’s mad-on for her to good effect here.
  • Intentional call back here to the time in the comics where Superman broke his ONE RULE and used Kryptonite to execute Jax-Ur and co. That’s kind of a weak story and this is a kids show, though, so that doesn’t happen here.
  • Jax-Ur and Mala going around just wrecking shit for giggles.
  • Whole lotta heat vision in this episode.
  • That was…alittle anti-climactic.
Overall? Decent enough episode, though I have to say the first part was much stronger. Definitely felt like they ran out of time at the end. There are greater sins, I suppose.

NEXT EPISODE: LIVEWIRE. Lori Petty? Yep.

AND NOW…YOUR OBSCURE BATMAN CHARACTER OF THE WEEK (4/16/11)

…Maestro Dorn!

Hey look at that a cover for one of these things that has something to do with the character I'm referencing. A RARE TREAT.

From the Encyclopedia of Comic Book Heroes! 

An ingenious criminal mastermind and master puppeteer who plans each of his gang’s crimes in painstaking detail and then uses puppets to “enact [each] fantastic crime in miniature,” as a sort of rehearsal, so that his henchmen will know exactly what functions they are to perform during the commission of the actual crime. Maestro Dorn and his henchmen are captured by Batman and Robin in April 1952 (Det No 182: “The Human Puppets”).

So, essentially, this guy has a semi-practical, if incredibly boring, crime schtick. Got it. Someone should put him in Scarface and The Ventriliquist’s gang.

AN OBSCURE BATMAN CHARACTER. EVERY SATURDAY. THAT’S THE HIVE OF SCUM PROMISE.

-Max