“Sleepy Hollow” 11/17/2014 (spoilers): Mama Said There’d Be Demons Like These

Sleepy Hollow!

Remember when watching home movies was a fun family experience?

Previously on Sleepy Hollow: Our Heroes defeated a succubus; Katrina returned to the waiting arms of undead ex-fiancé Bram; Henry presided over the crib of a bouncing baby Moloch; and Crane found himself bewitched by the inexplicable forces of reality TV.

In tonight’s new episode, “Mama”, we meet Abbie and Jenny’s mom! Guest star Aunjanue Ellis (The Help, Ray) is the late Lori Mills, who committed suicide in Tarrytown Psychiatric Hospital years ago, leaving her daughters to fend for themselves in the face of a demonic conspiracy. As with every other death in town, of course we learn not all was as it seemed, and she’s not out of the game yet. Meanwhile, Ichabod Crane is down for most of the episode with a nasty cold. He spends half the time resting of his own volition, and the other half knocked out by drugged matzo ball soup, courtesy of the “privateer” Hawley, who’s happy to help even though his actions don’t earn him a single dime this week.

For those who missed out, my attempt to hash out the basic events follows after this courtesy spoiler alert for the sake of time-shifted viewers…

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Yes, There’s a Scene After the “Big Hero 6″ End Credits

Big Hero 6!

We’re gonna go save the world just as soon as this kitty is sufficiently petted.

When The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment in 2009, fans on all sides wondered what sort of corporate synergy we’d see between the two in future projects. For the most part the companies have kept their logos in separate spaces, but Big Hero 6 represents the first truly co-op experience: a Disney animated film based on a Marvel property, albeit very loosely (whose creators, Steven T. Seagle and Duncan Rouleau, later became part of the think tank responsible for Ben 10). Sharing between Disney and Marvel came easily to them this time, most likely because the characters had become instantly obscure and tossed in the back of the Marvel IP closet, upsetting maybe five or ten fans at most. If a reboot went wrong, they had nothing to lose.

Someone somewhere spotted them on a list, figured they were practically a blank slate, dusted them off, shined them up, upgraded them for a younger audience, deleted all the X-Men connections that got them published in the first place, and now here we are with the next Walt Disney Animated Classic — the all-new, all-different Big Hero 6.

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“Birdman”: Dancing with the Devil in the Broadway Lights

Birdman!

My expression most of the time while watching.

Two weeks ago we drove to the other side of the city to see Birdman in the only art-film theater in Indianapolis. I’m annoyed that it later opened more widely and is now showing at two theaters much closer to home, but there’s no use crying over wasted gas. Ever since then I’ve been struggling to translate my reaction into words that capture my enthusiastic response without being mere labels. There’s a scene about that, and it’s been bugging me ever since.

If you know the movie only from its elliptical ads, you’ll quickly learn Birdman is not slapstick superhero spoof. This isn’t Condorman or Superhero Movie with better effects and a more famous cast. Satire is one of the film’s numerous modes, but costumed metahumans and the summer action blockbusters they inhabit are just a couple of the many subjects facing the scrutiny of director Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel), who’s more interested in deeper goals than in brainstorming cheap Batman jokes.

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2014 Road Trip Photos #4: Scenes from the Milwaukee Riverwalk

Kayakers!

Cheaters getting it wrong. C’mon, people, it’s a RiverWALK, not a RiverKAYAK.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Each year from 2003 to 2013 my wife, my son, and your humble writer headed out on a long road trip to anywhere but here. Our 2014 road trip represented a milestone of sorts: our first vacation in over a decade without my son tagging along for the ride. At my wife’s prodding, I examined our vacation options and decided we ought to make this year a milestone in another way — our first sequel vacation. This year’s objective, then: a return to Wisconsin and Minnesota. In my mind, our 2006 road trip was a good start, but in some ways a surface-skimming of what each state has to offer. I wanted a do-over.

The Milwaukee Riverwalk winds through the center of their downtown and runs adjacent to restaurants, nightclubs, residences, and blue- and white-collar businesses alike. Our last two chapters spotlighted the artwork along either riverbank that lends this tourist stop some honorary museum cred. We conclude our Milwaukee Riverwalk trilogy with a look at other assorted sights along the path, a mix of modern touches and industrial chic.

Right this way for Old Milwaukee, New Milwaukee, and In-Between Milwaukees!

Midwest Convention Watch: What’s Next, If We’re Lucky?

Marvel Booth

Merchandise and props are keen to look at, but every convention needs guests, fans, and a functional staff. (Photo: outtake from our C2E2 2014 collection.)

After our mixed experience with the first last month, my wife and I were disappointed to learn today that their next show, Awesome Con Milwaukee, which had been scheduled for the weekend before Thanksgiving, has been canceled. On November 5th Awesome Conventions President Ben Penrod posted a statement on their official Facebook page that read in part:

We initially planned for this event to be a huge celebration of comics and pop culture, but we had a number of challenges, and things just weren’t coming together in a few areas. Providing an unforgettable convention experience is key to Awesome Con’s entire existence, but it was looking more and more like this con wasn’t going to be able to live up to its name or your expectations for what Awesome Con is. Rather than falling short, we have decided to cancel this year’s event.

I’m truly sorry, and I’m sad, and I completely understand that you will be upset with us (and we are upset, as well). I appreciate everyone who signed up for the con, everyone who bought a table or booth, everyone who supported us and all of our partners in Milwaukee. It means a lot to us and we’re very sorry that we are letting you down.

Right this way for a few more stories, and our own upcoming con plans…

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