Pixel Scroll 10/4/19 May The Pixel of Paradise Fly Up Your Scroll

(1) JUDGE DISMISSES MIGNOGNA SUIT. It’s over, unless there’s an appeal.

Sharon Grigsby’s commentary for the Dallas Morning News, “Anime voice actor Vic Mignogna loses big as judge drops final claims that Dallas-area studio and colleagues defamed him”, sums up:

…This sorry mess started in January, as Mignogna’s most recent film, Dragon Ball Super: Broly, soared to box office records. Its release also set off another round of allegations on social media about the 57-year-old actor’s aggressive kisses, hugs and unwanted sexual advances.

Mignogna repeatedly has denied all allegations of inappropriate actions, although he acknowledged in a June 26 deposition that people have commented negatively for years about his behavior.

As a columnist who writes regularly about these issues, I became interested in this case because of the voice actor’s decision to go on the offensive — digging in and fighting back against what he and his devoted fans have labeled lies, exaggerations and ploys for attention.

… The voice actor’s legal fight is apparently backed by a GoFundMe war chest, which has reached almost $250,000 since Minnesota lawyer Nick Rekieta opened it in February.

But even that large a sum may not cover all the plaintiff’s costs. Next up for the court is to sort out attorney’s fees — which could total up to half a million dollars given the multiple defendants and their legal representation — and mandatory sanctions.

Mignogna has provided the English-language voice for hundreds of animated shows, films and games created in Japan. He’s long been among the most popular actors at conventions across the nation that allow fans of the genre to meet their heroes.

His lawsuit named Funimation, voice actors Jamie Marchi and Monica Rial, and Rial’s fiancé, Ron Toye. The lawsuit painted the company and three individuals as a band of conspirators leading the charge to ruin Mignogna’s career. In response, those accused have maintained that the legal action is aimed at unjustly silencing them

Marchi, Rial and Toye were among the scores of anime talent and fans who, beginning early this year, tweeted critically about the actor’s behavior. Rial alleged that Mignogna grabbed her in a hotel room and forcibly kissed her without her consent at an anime convention in 2007. Marchi accused him of violently pulling her hair in a tense office encounter….

At Nerd & Tie, Trae Dorn’s “Vic Mignogna’s Case Against Monical Rial, Ronald Toye and Funimation Completely Dismissed” cut to the chase:

…the defendants challenged the suit under Texas’s Anti-SLAPP law (the TCPA), and a hearing was held on the matter about a month ago.

At that hearing, Judge John Chupp dismissed the case against Jamie Marchi entirely, along with most claims against the other defendants. A week and a half after that, Judge Chupp ordered both parties to attempt mediation to attempt to settle any remaining issues.

As that settlement resulted in an impasse, Judge Chupp has now issued his ruling on the TCPA motions. In it he has dismissed all remaining claims against the defendants under the TCPA. You can read the full dismissal here.

(2) “FORCEFUL” COOKWARE. How can we live without the ”Han Solo in Carbonite Signature Roaster”?

(3) LITIGATION RESOLVED. Brianna Wu announced in a public Facebook post today:

I’ve just been notified by my legal counsel that Alex Jones will be removing me from his defamation lawsuit.

My thanks to William Moran for representing me and getting this resolved. I look forward to focusing on my congressional campaign for the people of Massachusetts.

(4) MIND MELD. Nerds of a Feather’s Paul Weimer renews the popular feature originated at SF Signal: “The Hugo Initiative: Mind Meld: Favorite Best Novel Hugo Winner”.

What is your favorite winner of the Hugo award for best novel? Why?

Participants include Charlie Jane Anders, Casey Blair, Cheryl Morgan, Elizabeth Bear, Michael J. Martinez, Beth Cato, Marguerite Kenner, Sara Megibow, and Jaime Lee Moyer.

Marguerite Kenner picked this book —

My favorite best novel Hugo winner is from 1982 — ‘Downbelow Station‘ by C. J. Cherryh. I still own my first copy of it, a dog-eared, well-loved paperback. Captain Signy Mallory was the first ‘unlikable woman’ protagonist I remember resonating with, and I think I still know all the words to the filk song…

(5) QUESTION AUTHORITY. In “This is Not a Review of The Joker”  at Nerds of a Feather, Dean E.S. Richard dares to ask whether there was really any point to making the movie.

…In the first place, why do we need to know the origin of the Joker? For all his iterations through film, television and comics, what bearing does who he is and where he came from matter in the slightest? He is a villain for the sake of being a villain, which is a luxury most people writing fiction aren’t allowed, despite it being allowed in real life 2019. It works for the Joker precisely because he is The Joker – insane, given to sadistic whimsy, crafting ornate plans while simultaneously not having one at all. He works because he doesn’t have an origin. His adversary, Better Elon Musk, is all backstory. Rooted in his childhood trauma, he puts on a mask to keep it all out. Joker is what he is, unapologetically, always in pursuit of his mercurial goals, but doing what it takes to achieve them – Bats will give up his to protect a life, never willing to make the sacrifices truly needed.

In short, Joker works narratively because he is the perfect antagonist for Batman…

(6) THE JOKER’S ON US. Variety: “Box Office: ‘Joker’ Scores Record $13.3 Million on Thursday Night”.

Joaquin Phoenix’s “Joker” scored a record $13.3 million on Thursday night in North America.

The figure is above the $10 million in previews that was earned a year ago by “Venom,” which posted an $80 million opening weekend — both records for October. It’s the biggest preview number since “The Lion King” pulled in $23 million in July and portends a potential record opening. “Joker” has been forecast for a similarly massive debut in the $80 million to $95 million range from 4,374 North American theaters for Warner Bros.

[…] “Joker” premiered on Aug. 31 at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Golden Lion, the festival’s highest prize. The pic polarized critics — while Phoenix’s performance has been lauded, the comic-book adaptation’s dark tone and handling of violence have generated a divisive response. “Joker” currently has a 69% score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.

(7) DOESN’T LIKE IT ANYWAY. Nevertheless, NPR’s Glen Weldon finds that “‘Joker’ Is Wild … ly Dull”

In the comics and cartoons — and on film, as played by Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and (checks notes) Jared Leto — the Joker, Batman’s archenemy, is an agent of chaos.

…One of the many things Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight got right about the character is that we only think we want to know who he is and where he came from. The Joker works best, most purely, when unencumbered by the humdrum of the everyday. His motivations must and should remain mysterious, unknowable.

Director Todd Phillips’ new film seeks to strip all mystery from the character and make his motivations very knowable. And in that much at least, he succeeds.

…Certainly, Joker is tense, grimy and claustrophobic, and Phoenix’s performance is a big swing, and a risky one — the kind of big, risky swing that Oscar voters historically eat up with a big ol’ spoon.

But the film so desperately strives to reject comic book trappings — so aches to be seen as edgy, provocative, serious, adult — that it simply apes the tone, style and content of other, better, edgier and more provocative films like Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy and Fight Club.

(8) MELODIOUS REFERENCES. Fanac.org has posted video of filksinger Julia Ecklar’s 1989 concert at Tropicon.

Julia Ecklar was the special filk guest at Tropicon 8, held in Dania, Florida, in 1989. This recording captures her concert at the convention, and includes 10 songs (of which Julia wrote four). The last song is beautifully signed by Linda Melnick. In the 1980s and early 1990s, Julia was a sought-after filk performer at science-fiction conventions worldwide. As a published author, her skill with words is very evident in the songs she writes. Filk songs are often strong on narrative, and you’ll notice that a number of these are about science fiction novels that were popular at the time. If you’ve read the books, the impact of the songs is increased, but they are enjoyable even if you haven’t. Can you identify the novels? Because Tropicon didn’t officially sponsor filk guests, the local community raised money to bring in one filk guest for each Tropicon. Concerts like this were held as a benefit for those who had donated.

(9) CARROLL OBIT. Famed TV actress Diahann Carroll died October 4 at the age of 84. The two genre roles in her resume were The Man in the Moon, a musical fantasy from 1960 which features Andy Williams as an actual Man in the Moon who visits Earth and meets up with an array of human talent, including Carroll as a singer, and The Star Wars Holiday Special where she played Mermeia Holographic Wow.

(10) ZASLOVE OBIT. Animator, producer and director Alan Zaslove has died at the age of 92. Animation Magazine paid tribute:

Zaslove began his career in 1942 as an “office boy” at Leon Schlesinger’s Studios, and then went on to work on many UPA shorts and series, including Gerald McBoing-Boing and Mr. Magoo. During the 1960s and ‘70s, he worked as an animator on TV and feature projects such as Popeye the Sailor, Fractured Fairy Tales, Roger Ramjet, The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo, The Gumby Show, A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Phantom Tollbooth, A Chipmunk Christmas, Tom Thumb, The Night Before Christmas and Stanley the Ugly Duckling.

…He was nominated for Emmys for his work on DuckTales, Smurfs, Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck and the Aladdin TV series.

(11) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • October 4, 1972 Night of the Lepus starring Janet Leigh appeared on movie screens. This horror film is based upon the science fiction novel The Year of the Angry Rabbit by Russell Braddon. It scores 27% at Rotten Tomatoes. 
  • October 4, 1985 — The Misfits Of Science series debuted. starring Dean Paul Martin and Courteney Cox, it would last just sixteen episodes before be canceled due to low ratings. 

(12) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born October 4, 1860 Sidney Edward Paget. British illustrator of the Victorian era,  he’s definitely known for his illustrations that accompanied Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories in The Strand. He also illustrated Arthur Morrison’s Martin Hewitt, Investigator, a series of short stories featuring the protagonist, Martin Hewitt, and written down by his good friend, the journalist Brett. These came out after Holmes was killed off, like many similar series. (Died 1908.)
  • Born October 4, 1904 Earl Binder. Under the pen name of Eando Binder, he and his brother Otto published SF stories. One series was about a robot named Adam Link. The first such story, published in 1939, is titled “I, Robot”. A collection by Asimov called I, Robot would be published in 1950. The name was selected by the publisher, despite Asimov’s wishes. As Eando Binder, they wrote three SF novels — Enslaved Brains, Dawn to Dusk and Lords of Creation. There’s lots of Eando Binder available on iBooks and Kindle. (Died 1966.)
  • Born October 4, 1923 Charlton Heston. Without doubt, best known for playing astronaut George Taylor in the Planet of the Apes. He retuned to the role Beneath the Planet of the Apes. He’s also Neville in The Omega Man. By the way, once at the LA Music Center he played Sherlock Holmes in The Crucifer of Blood, opposite Richard Johnson as Dr. Watson. His IMDB credits show him as being on SeaQuest DSV in the “Abalon” episode. (Died 2008.)
  • Born October 4, 1928 Alvin Toffler. Author of Future Shock and a number of other works that almost no one will recall now. John Brunner named a most excellent novel, The Shockwave Rider, after the premise of Future Shock. (Died 2016.)
  • Born October 4, 1929 Scotty Beckett. He costarred on Rocky Jones, Space Ranger which ran for thirty- four episodes from February to November 1954, lasting only two seasons. Because it was recorded on film rather than being broadcast live, it has survived.  You can the first episode of the series here.
  • Born October 4, 1932 Ann Thwaite, 87. Author of AA Milne: His Life which won the Whitbread Biography of the Year, as well as The Brilliant Career of Winnie-the Pooh, a scrapbook offshoot of the Milne biography. (And yes, Pooh is genre.) In 2017 she updated her 1990 biography of A.A Milne to coincide with Goodbye Christopher Robin for which she was a consultant. 
  • Born October 4, 1941 Anne Rice, 78. She‘s best known for The Vampire Chronicles. Confession time: I’ve not read them. So how are they? Same goes for Lives of the Mayfair Witches series which I’ve been told is excellent. It’s just that she’s too damn popular and I really don’t do popular all that well. 
  • Born October 4, 1946 Susan Sarandon, 73. She make Birthday Honors just for being Janet Weiss in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but she’s also been in Enchanted as Queen Narissa, The Witches of Eastwick as Jane Spofford, The Lovely Bones as Grandma Lynn and The Hunger as Sarah Roberts. An impressive genre list indeed! 
  • Born October 4, 1956 Christoph Waltz, 63. He portrayed James Bond’s nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld in Spectre , he is set to reprise the role in No Time to Die. Genre wise, he also portrayed Qohen Leth in The Zero Theorem,Benjamin Chudnofsky in The Green Hornet (I lasted ten minutes before giving up), Cardinal Richelieu in The Three Musketeers, himself in Muppets Most Wanted, Léon Rom in The Legend of Tarzan and Dr. Dyson Ido in Alita: Battle Angel
  • Born October 4, 1975 Saladin Ahmed, 44. Hi Throne of the Crescent Moon was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel and did win the Locus Award for Best First Novel. He has also written in Kamala Khan (The Magnificent Ms. Marvel), Black Bolt, Exiles and the Miles Morales (Spider-Man) series, all on Marvel Comics. Oddly only his Marvel is available on iBooks and Kindle. 

(13) INSIDE STORY. Heather Rose Jones launched a new blog, explaining: “I’ve decided to start developing a FAQ for the Alpennia series, one question at a time.” First question: “Alpennia FAQ: Are the Alpennia books romances?”

I thought I’d post the individual questions+answers here in the blog first–which gives a chance to get more feedback–and then migrate them to their own page once the series is finished. If you have a general-interest question about the series that you think might not occur to me, let me know in the comments! Or if you want more details or further explanation on a topic.

(14) UNHIDDEN. John DeNardo shows us where to learn “Everything You Wanted to Know About Science Fiction’s Lost History (Almost)” at Kirkus Reviews. That would be from the book Lost Transmissions: The Secret History of Science Fiction and Fantasy by Desirina Boskovich.

… This treasure trove of secrets, presented in a generously illustrated hardbound volume, is like a gateway into science fiction’s inner sanctum. Though it may seem squarely aimed at science fiction fans, the fact that SF so pervades our culture makes it an attractive coffee table book for anyone. Everyone will find something to relate to here, whether it’s reading about a favorite author, like Philip K. Dick or Angela Carter; or about the rock band The Who and their never-fully-materialized concept album follow-up to Tommy called Lifehouse, set in a near future where reality is experienced through a worldwide network called The Grid. The topics are simply too attractive for even the casual science fiction fan to ignore…

(15) ROANHORSE EXCERPT. The B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog invites readers to “Rejoin General Leia and Poe Dameron in an Exclusive Excerpt from Star Wars: Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse”.

To celebrate the lead-up to Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, today we’re all about exploring the next major novel in the Star Wars Expanded Universe: Star Wars: Resistance Reborn, written by Hugo and Nebula-winner Rebecca Roanhorse.

Set in-between the shocking climax of The Last Jedi—which saw the Resistance against Kylo Ren and the ruthless First Order nearly collapse, costing the life of an iconic character—and the opening scenes of the new film, Resistance Reborn serves as “Episode 8.5” (VIII.V?) of the saga, introducing crucial new characters and setting the stage for the a climactic clash more than four decades in the making.

(16) PORTMAN’S LATEST. Leonard Maltin is not a big fan of this one: Lucy in the Sky: Earthbound”.

Lucy in the Sky is an ideal vehicle for Natalie Portman, cast as an astronaut who finds outer space thrilling and life back on earth somewhat less so. Affecting a Southern accent and sporting a short haircut, she creates a character who is thoroughly relatable, at first. We understand her exhilaration during a spacewalk and her dissatisfaction at home, despite the fact that she has a loving husband (Dan Stevens), a salty grandmother (Ellen Burstyn) and congenial colleagues. As it unfolds, however, the story takes this character to extremes.

(17) BY ANY OTHER NAME. Nina Shepardson reviews In the Shadow of Spindrift House by Mira Grant” at Outside of a Dog.

…Seanan McGuire uses the Mira Grant pen name to write stories with a somewhat darker tone, but Spindrift House shares one major commonality with some of her best work as McGuire. As in the Wayward Children series, the theme of “found family” plays a major role here. Harlowe and her friends understand each other’s quirks, help each other through difficulties both major and minor, and generally act as siblings to each other.

(18) ONE SMALL STEP. [Item by Chip Hitchcock.] “Paralysed man moves in mind-reading exoskeleton” — We’re a long way from A Spectre Is Haunting Texas — but this is a step. Includes video of walking.

A man has been able to move all four of his paralysed limbs with a mind-controlled exoskeleton suit, French researchers report.

Thibault, 30, said taking his first steps in the suit felt like being the “first man on the Moon”.

His movements, particularly walking, are far from perfect and the robo-suit is being used only in the lab.

But researchers say the approach could one day improve patients’ quality of life.

(19) SUPER POO FLINGING. The Guardian passes along one expert’s opinion: “Martin Scorsese says Marvel movies are ‘not cinema'”.

Martin Scorsese, one of cinema’s most venerated current directors, has decried superhero movies – the dominant force in today’s industry. The director of films such as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Goodfellas told Empire magazine that his attempts to get up to speed with contemporary superhero films had failed.

“I tried, you know?” the director said when asked if he had seen Marvel’s movies. “But that’s not cinema.”

(20) ANIME CHARACTER PROMOTES CONDOM USE. “In The Name Of The Moon: Free Sailor Moon Condoms Distributed By The Japanese Government Will Protect You From STDs And Pregnancy!”ScienceFiction.com has the story.

In the name of the moon, I will protect you… from unwanted pregnancy and STDs!  Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has partnered with Naoko Takeuchi to distribute free Sailor Moon condoms!  These condoms, which come in cute heart-shaped wrappers, will be distributed for free at STD/STI prevention events throughout October.  The first takes place tomorrow, October 5 in Fukuoka, with another taking place in Hiroshima, on Monday, October 14 in Hiroshima.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Mike Kennedy, Todd Mason, Olav Rokne, Martin Morse Wooster, Eric Franklin, Chip Hitchcock, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Daniel Dern, StephenfromOttawa, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Joel Zakem.]

35 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/4/19 May The Pixel of Paradise Fly Up Your Scroll

  1. 12) Charlton Heston might have done better in the field if he had kept his birth-name.

    John Carter.

    Really. Oh, and first!

  2. Christoph Waltz also played Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds which is most certainly genre, even if only in the final act where gur cebgntbavfgf’ zvffvba gb nffnffvangr Uvgyre fhpprrqf naq gur jne raqf rneyvre guna va bhe gvzryvar.

  3. @4: I think Margaret Kenner speaks for me — but I’d have to think carefully about the list.

    @12: unlike canon AFAICR, The Crucifer of Blood struck me as fantasy — or at least threw in a fantasy element just to mess with the audience’s heads.

    @19: I’ve long wondered whether “cinema” was a sort of toffee-nosed, pinkie-extended term; nice to have that cleared up.

  4. 12) I’m most familiar with Charlton Heston from Ben-Hur and The Ten Commandments, which are, if not genre, at least adjacent — The Ten Commandments in particular. (I suppose I think of Ben-Hur as genre solely because of how ahistorical it actually is. Best chariot race ever, though.)

  5. @4 ctd: I’m a serious Cherryh fan, but I could go for any of those choices except The Windup Girl; I reread it recently and still don’t believe the thermodynamics, and the author’s manipulation of the plot was even more visible. The repeat of The Dispossessed is predictable — it still stands out — but I was interested that two people picked Paladin of Souls.

    Two links: one amusing (what Singaporeans do to keep their SJWCs safe), one hopeful (converting CO2 to jet fuel at an airport — what better to do with all that land than to put up solar panels?)

    Belated fifth….

  6. 4) None of my personal favourites made the mind meld and I spot at least two books I intensely disliked as well as two cases of right author, wrong book.

    “Mirror Dance” is my personal favourite Hugo winning novel, though I like “Paladin of Souls” as well. And for Le Guin, I would have gone with “The Left Hand of Darkness” over “The Dispossessed”.

    19) “I tried, you know?” is pretty much what I would say when asked how I feel about Scorsese’s movies.Though I did like “Hugo”, which didn’t have what usually annoys me about his movies.

  7. 4) Even without looking at the list, I’d be inclined to agree with Margaret Kenner; but I imprinted on Downbelow Station like a baby duck when I first read it, and it remains quite probably my favorite SF novel of all time.

  8. 4) Tough choices! Dispossessed & Left Hand of Drakness, Fifth Season, Dune, I’ve a soft spot for Speaker for the Dead, Hyperion, Jonathon Strange & Mr Norrell, The Graveyard Book, Ancillary Justice

  9. Hmm, I’m not very good at picking “favorites” because I like different things for different reasons, so it often comes down to apples and oranges. (Except that I prefer oranges, so that analogy doesn’t exactly work. But never mind.) 🙂

    I will say that Kenner is probably a case of “right author, wrong novel” for me; I found Downbelow Station a bit “meh”, but Cyteen left my socks in orbit!

    Two that I would probably describe as “former favorites” made the list, though: The Dispossessed and Stand On Zanzibar. And I’m going to partially side with Cora Buhlert and name Mirror Dance as one I might have picked if the moon were in a slightly different phase.

    (What, you don’t change your preferences according to the phase of the moon? Whyever not!?) 😀

  10. 4) Lyrics to “Signy Mallory” at the Pegasus Awards site; I’ve got chords for it. One of my favorites going way back.

    11) Lepus also starred (?) DeForest Kelley. I should probably watch it someday; see below under 19).

    12) One of the greatest literary crimes of the 20th century was Anne Rice getting vampires in touch with their feelings.

    19) I’ll take a good bad movie over a bad good movie any day of the week.

  11. It’s a long time since I read anything by Anne Rice, but I thought that Interview with the Vampire wasn’t bad. Everything after that, I could not recommend at all – there is a major shift in tone, which unfortunately (in my mind) made it into the film.

    Then, again my favourite vampire novel is Brian Stableford’s Young Blood So my taste may be a little idiosyncratic.

  12. @Patrick Morris Miller: “I’ll take a good bad movie over a bad good movie any day of the week.”

    I see what you’re getting at. As an occasional moviegoer who watches a lot of different things, it’s mostly been the ones swinging for the fences that have stuck in my head.

    The Marvel movies have entertained me, but they aren’t in my head like My Neighbor Totoro or Nashville or Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse or Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown or Shampoo or any of the other really Great movies I’ve seen.

    Scorcese isn’t to my taste, so I can’t judge his work. Too serious, too heavy, too macho. Except the music documentaries, which, aside from The Last Waltz helping Robbie Robertson take an undue amount of credit for The Band, are just my cup of meat. I’ve yet to see the Rolling Thunder movie, but I think it’s an alternate history.

    And you know, while I could remember the names of the Scorcese movies that didn’t interest me, which I looked at his filmography, I realized I’d forgotten he was the one who made those movies. It’s hard for me to reconcile them with the sort of dramatic movies he puts out.

  13. I’ll throw in with the The Dispossessed crowd. In high school, the county mandated that Social Studies students of a certain grade write an essay about a book like 1984. I had just read The Dispossessed and it was on the list so it was a real kick to write the essay!

  14. I read the first … four? of Anne Rice’s vampire books and generally liked them except for her distressing habit of in one book creating a secret history of the vampires, then in the second book saying, “No, actually, here’s what REALLY happened,” and then in the third book saying, “Well, actually, that wasn’t correct either, but here’s the TRUE story.”

  15. Meredith Moments: Philip Pullman’s Book of Dust is currently $2.99, as is Tim Powers’ Last Call. (And David Gemmel’s Lion of Macedon is $1.99.)

  16. Another Meredith Moment: Mary Doria Russell’s “The Sparrow” is $1.99 at Kobo, and probably the other Usual Suspects.

  17. (11) Anyone here read The Year of the Angry Rabbit and have an opinion?
    (12) Charlton Heston also starred in Soylent Green

  18. 12) Charlton Heston spelled out the big plot twists with these forever phrases:

    — “They did it! Those maniacs!! They blew it all up!!!”

    — “Soylent Green is made of …people!”

  19. (11) Misfits of Science was my earliest experience with the untimely cancellation of a series I really enjoyed.

    (12) I loved Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour but the rest of the Mayfair Witches novels were disappointing. I believe the last entry to date crossed over with the Vampire Chronicles and the main character hooked up with Lestat.

  20. @John A Arkansawyer: “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” is one of the best movies ever! 😀

  21. One could say “Night of the Lepus” (with DeForest ‘Dr “Bones” McCoy’ Kelley) was cheesy–and it was–but only because “carroty” doesn’t quite convey the meaning one wants to convey after seeing the film.

  22. Some people seem to believe that there’s a indivisible barrier between popular culture and “true art”, and that the former can never aspire to be the latter. This, of course, ignores examples such as Shakespeare, who was totally pop culture in his day. Hence, these people are idiots, and I’m a bit saddened to learn that Scorsese may be one of them.

    Now, I’m not going to try to claim that the MCU will be this era’s Shakespeare, but, while the quality of the films varies wildly, there’s at least a couple that I think are pretty darn good. Though I don’t think it’s hit either the highs (Dark Knight) or the lows (Batman and Robin) of the Batman franchise. 🙂

  23. My own opinion is that “literary quality” and “popularity” are completely orthogonal values – they vary quite independently of each other. So we get acknowledged Titans Of World Literature – Shakespeare, Dickens, and Walter Scott were the first to spring to my mind, but there are many others – who are nakedly and unashamedly populist; we get various pieces of utter crud which become inexplicably popular (it would be invidious to name names, but any book that Oxfam won’t accept any more because they have too many copies already… probably qualifies); we have quality literature that somehow fails to find an audience, such as (insert name of your favourite neglected classic here – mine would be A Voyage to Arcturus, which sold a massive 597 copies in its first edition); and finally, we have unsalvageable dreck which gravitates inevitably through second-hand bookshops and remainder stores until it lands on my bookshelves for one last rest on the way to oblivion.

    Obviously, I think any suggestion that popularity is related to quality – inversely or otherwise – is utter nonsense. (It was a formative moment, for me, in my teens, to discover that Classics Of World Literature were actually fun to read – for the most part: I have my personal likes and dislikes like anyone else.)

  24. Xtifr on October 5, 2019 at 1:19 pm said:

    Now, I’m not going to try to claim that the MCU will be this era’s Shakespeare…

    Indeed. There’s no way that the MCU would have killed off Henry-the-Fifth after one action filmed movie and then have THREE movies for the uncharismatic Henry-the-sixth. OK obviously, they’d still build up to civil war and then top off the whole thing with Henrys:Endgame (aka Thanos the Third, sorry Richard the Titan, I mean Richard the Third) but the MCU would need to have Henry-the-Fifth beat Richard-the-Third at Bosworth rather than just invent a whole new Henry to do it.

    However, the MCU would applaud the whole shared-universe thing of The Merry Wives of Windsor following the popular spin-off character of Falstaff from Henry-the-fourth.

  25. I just wish he’d hurry up and finish the damn series already. I mean, we’ve been waiting for Henry the Seventh for, like, how long, already? You’ve got responsibilities to your loyal fans, Shakespeare, old son….

  26. JJ: I agree that the Star Wars dutch oven is pretty cool but ridiculous at $900.

    On the other hand, the Disney mouse-ears colander I picked up at Disney World in 2011 is a device I have gotten a great deal of use out of. But I only paid $12 for it (and I needed a colander).

  27. Steve Wright on October 5, 2019 at 4:55 pm said:

    I just wish he’d hurry up and finish the damn series already. I mean, we’ve been waiting for Henry the Seventh for, like, how long, already? You’ve got responsibilities to your loyal fans, Shakespeare, old son….

    Harry7: It’s Time to Tudor
    This time the king’s mainly going to focus on the sheep industry and law reform.

  28. 12) I’ve read 7-8 or so of the Anne Rice’s vampire books, the first Mayfair book and the first werewolf book. Of those, I’d recommend the first three vampire books and the Mayfair witches book and I’d tell people to move to another country if someone tried to get them to read the werewolf book. It is horribly bad.

  29. Shakespeare did do Henry VII, but his publisher renamed it Richard III. The last in the series was Henry VIII. That one brought the house down, literally.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.