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“The Predator”: Battle of the Bass Fishermen from Beyond

The Predator!

“Rest assured I was on the Internet within minutes registering my disgust throughout the world.”

No one in their right mind walks into a Predator flick expecting cinema genius. They’ve never known the respect that the Alien series originally garnered among sci-fi-horror fans, which may explain why viewers are swiftly enraged whenever an Alien sequel is terrible, but merely shrug and move on when another Predator drops and flops. The series to date, ranked for newcomers:

  1. The original, From The Director Of Die Hard, still my favorite Schwarzenegger movie
  2. Predators, in which renowned character actors are stalked and slaughtered for morbid fun
  3. Alien Vs. Predator, because director Paul W. S. Anderson guarantees at least one great action scene per film, which is all we got
  4. Predator 2, which defies any attempts at remembrance
  5. Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem, the closest I’ve ever come in the past ten years to stopping a movie halfway through because it was That Bad

In a similar vein, fans of Shane Black films know what they’re getting — sarcastic tough dudes spouting quotable quips while firing very loud weapons at henchmen and everything around them explodes, and sometimes there’s as many as one (1) actress holding her own in their midst while rolling her eyes a lot. They’re effortless steel coaster rides, but always easy to nitpick later for hours if you dwell on them for more than three minutes. The original Lethal Weapon remains Black’s most cogent potboiler to date, but if you’ve seen such films as The Long Kiss Goodnight, The Last Boy Scout, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, or the thoroughly idiotic yet sometimes compelling Iron Man 3, you know what I mean.

Like Reese’s with chocolate and peanut butter, someone at Twentieth Century Fox wondered what would happen if they did the same with Shane Black and The Predator. Why not throw them in the same vat and watch what happens?

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Our 2018 Road Trip, Part 11: Sleepy Time in Syracuse

Thai beef short ribs!

What has two thumbs, goes to an Italian restaurant in New York and orders the only Thai dish on the menu?

By the time we finished paying our respects at Frederick Douglass’ gravesite, we agreed Day Two had dragged on for far too long and needed to end. We had to wend our way out of one upstate New York city before we could finish the evening with a stroll around another.

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Our 2018 Road Trip, Part 10: Tea Time for Activists

Let's Have Tea!

She fought for women. He fought for blacks. Together, they fight crime!

Our tour of the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House wasn’t the only highlight of our Rochester detour. Across the street sits another tribute to the titular champion of women’s voting rights. Alongside her is a great man, a close friend of hers, and a well-known name in other circles then and now: the great abolitionist and author Frederick Douglass.

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Hall of Heroes Comic Con 2018 Photos, Part 2 of 2: On a Wing and a Prayer

William Katt!

It’s William Katt! The Greatest American Hero! Believe it or not!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

In March 2017 my wife Anne and I attended the inaugural Hall of Heroes Comic Con in Elkhart, Indiana. Under the same ownership as the nearby Hall of Heroes Museum (which we’d visited the year before), HoHCC was a two-day convention contained entirely in Elkhart’s historic Lerner Theatre, a beautiful 94-year-old venue for live plays and other cultural events. The organizers made creative use of the available spaces and had the assistance of a bevy of friendly volunteers. Initial response from fans statewide and beyond was so overwhelming, they earned themselves an encore presentation, this year in a much warmer September as opposed to that wintry March…

…and it very nearly didn’t happen for us. Our original plan called for driving three hours from Indianapolis to Elkhart on Saturday, enjoying HoHCC, and returning home the same evening; then on Sunday driving 70-odd minutes west of Indy out to Turkey Run State Park for Anne’s annual family reunion. We would’ve been wasted come Monday if Plan A had happened. All lights were green through early Friday evening. Then a couple of things spun out of our control.

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Hall of Heroes Comic Con 2018 Photos, Part 1 of 2: Cosplay Dance Party!

RWBY!

Guarding the front door were Ruby Rose, Yang Xiao Long, and Blake Belladonna from RWBY.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: in March 2017 my wife Anne and I attended the inaugural Hall of Heroes Comic Con in Elkhart, Indiana. Under the same ownership as the nearby Hall of Heroes Museum (which we’d visited the year before), HoHCC was a two-day convention contained entirely in Elkhart’s historic Lerner Theatre, a beautiful 94-year-old venue for live plays and other cultural events. The organizers made creative use of the available spaces and had the assistance of a bevy of friendly volunteers. Initial response from fans statewide and beyond was so overwhelming, they earned themselves an encore presentation, this year in a much warmer September as opposed to that wintry March.

Before we narrate any further, once again we lead off a new convention miniseries with the mandatory cosplay photos. For logistical reasons (a bit more on that in Part 2) we were only able to attend Sunday this year, traditionally a less crowded and activity-filled day at comic cons. That means we fell far short of our usual goal of catching at least 5,000 different cosplayers in one day. To be fair, we never meet that goal, but I like to think it’s nice that we have goals. In the meantime, quite a few fascinating folks caught our eyes…

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Our 2018 Road Trip, Part 9: Suffrage Central

RocSuffrage!

Walking in the footsteps of great women, but in our version one of them has a mysterious third arm.

In a modern era when political pundits are urging more loudly than ever that youngsters and apathetic layabouts ought to register to vote, and then actually get up off their butts and go vote at every possible opportunity, this year seemed like a good time for a bit of history and education about an era when the American government decided it was high time to basically double the size of the electorate and stop being stubborn pigs about their patriarchal chokehold on quote-unquote democracy. But first, one woman had to help convince them.

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