My magnanimous brother-in-law got me Disney+ to watch The Mandalorian, but instead I used it to watch The One & Only Ivan! It’s the most bittersweet gorilla living with humans movie since Buddy. I always weep at gorilla films. Why won’t Hollywood make more gorilla films that aren’t tearjerkers? Togo has Willem Dafoe & so many handsome puppers! It made me cry too! I further delayed watching the Star Wars show by prioritizing Marvel’s 616 documentary series. I agree with the author of Deadpool Bi-Annual #1 that Brute Force should have its own cartoon & toyline. Even moreso than Stranger Things, the Interwuzzle’s collective inability not to spoil this actually disinclined me to watching it firsthand as soon as possible.
So I eventually got around to watching it. Even later, I got around to editing together my blog review. (This blog takes place prior to WandaVision.) Has everybody else already seen The Mandalorian? If so, you’ll be innoculated from SPOILERS in this cold take. What it lack in thoroughness, it makes up in action figure pics. I’m gonna regret putting them all into one article where they’re germane instead of spacing them out into non-topical blogs!
To celebrate the release of Jupiter’s Legacy, I finally watched Doom Patrol season two! I have no regrets! Better late to the second party than never! I’m still gobsmacked that this is a real television series verified by assorted strangers rather than a private ayahuasca hallucination. This HBO Max show survived the death of DC Universe. The following cold take is full of season two SPOILERS that sound like gibberish!
Nobody questions clipboards!
WW84 was a Christmas present that filled me with ambivalence. Meanwhile The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina Part 4 should’ve been out for Halloween! Here be SPOILERS for a final season that’s sinfully dull. It’s not a rousing way to ring in 2021. Maybe releasing it on New Year’s Eve 2020 was a fitting summation for the year? Why’d I even bother using the “horror” tag? Luckily I can throw in some recommendations for better witchcraft cartoons at the end.
“But how do we ensure nobody likes Sabrina anymore?” CAOS writers’ room
It’s odd how Swamp Thing is often described as an obscure character when he had some of the highest media saturation for a DC Comics character prior to its shared movieverse. I never saw either film despite wishing to do so. (Tubi currently just has the sequel.) I recently leaned he previously had a poorly received yet somehow syndicated live action TV series in the 90’s. I did see the movie of Man-Thing, Marvel’s mucky counterpart, featuring the future Trish Walker when it aired as a SciFi Original Movie. Despite being made by the director of the beloved Virtuosity & Lawnmower Man (Sadly Cybo-Man is the exception to the Monkey With A Gun rule.), Man-Thing is so terrible that the title creature is ashamed to show his iconic visage until the climax.
Thanks to the intro of his very short-lived cartoon of which I only vaguely recall seeing the pilot, I’ll always associate Swamp Thing with Jimi Hendrix & The Troggs. (Is Swampy jealous Man-Thing has his own The Mountain Goats song?). He was embargoed from appearing on Justice League Unlimited (aside from some Easter eggs snuck in) because by that point he was cloistered away in the mature readers Vertigo imprint. Thankfully Justice League Action allowed him & John Constantine to poison the minds of the youth! Swampy is very toyetic, yet somehow I never acquired any of his action figures.
Unlike last week’s merry Marvel miscellany, here’s a blog with a pruned topic. You’ve seen my fire gourd, now read my review of Swamp Thing’s relatively new television series! It’s doomed, which makes it more tragic. Now I finally have firsthand anger over this. The morass below is crawling with SPOILERS!
I didn’t mean to damn it with faint praise!
I got wine drunk & called my family to let them know how succulent my Thanksgiving turkey turned out because I am an insufferable chef. The Princess of Purrsia kept screaming for some bird, & I told told her she could have as much as she wanted once it finished cooking in several hours. Then she only had a couple bites & walked off in disappointment. She interrupted many a cozy tryptophan coma afterwards. It wasn’t until day three that she put in a serious effort to help devour the poultry as it grew more putrid. Meanwhile I’ve been eating turkey every meal for four days, & my body is beginning to reject me.
I insist that this personal anecdote tangentially segues into today’s topic. If you thought last week’s 300th blog on She-Hulk was a cold take, wait until you feast your eyes upon this week’s movie review! The Academy is a bunch of cowards too intimidated by Project: Metalbeast to give it the awards it deserved! This direct-to-video gem could become a Thanksgiving staple just like The Lair Of The White Worm has become for Easter! Why isn’t it Metal-Beast or at least MetalBeast?
I first learned of this motion picture from reading the comments for a werewolf action figure Kickstarter. There’s a dim memory that it was also at my local video store, but perhaps I’m just now retroactively imagining it since it’s the kind of movie that would’ve been there. I watched it on Tubi (also home to Russian were-bears), but supposedly it’s free on Amazon as well. Now, without further ado, here’s SPOILERS for a movie from 1995!
Finally, a meme people can relate to!
I carved Swamp Thing into a pumpkin to show my disrespect for The Green! You can tell it’s not a Man-Thing fire gourd because it’s got a wishbone shape on its face instead of a distended M. Fear doesn’t burn at its touch, unlike the existential angst within. It kind of resembles The Creature from The Black Lagoon (“Gillman” if you’re nasty). I have a long history with Jack-O-Lanterns not resembling what I envisioned them as.
In the spirit of Samhain not involving vampires staked with shilleaghs, here is a grab bag of bite-sized horror TV reviews. I also rant against the entities that provided such entertainment. Boo to the trend of diverse shows being cancelled in favor of reboots & spinoffs! Netflix didn’t even release the final chunk of CAOS in time for Halloween! There may be minor spoilers for assorted shows you would’ve watched by now if you really cared.
Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated is the eleventh iteration of the franchise. As opposed to most long-running properties rebooted ad nauseam, this is when it gets spectacular! (Not to be confused with a live action fan project that looks like it takes itself too seriously.) It’s perfect for fans of Gravity Falls & the new DuckTales. I’d seen a smattering of episodes when it was fresher, but Cartoon Network’s crazy scheduling thwarted me from taking it all in. Apparently it took four years to air two seasons, so it was easy to lose track. Once I heard it was on Netflix, I gobbled it up. This happened weeks before the coronavirus became a global scourge. I’d planned to publish this around SCOOB!’s theatrical premiere, but who knows when that’ll be now? Now you have another binge recommendation for quarantine. To really explain why it’s superlative, however, I’ve gotta go full SPOILER mode. Jinkies!
I was kind of looking forward to finally seeing The New Mutants this weekend…. Now would be an opportunity to get back to writing my second novel, but the crisis has put a damper on my enthusiasm that. So I continue to squander my time. “FAILED NOVELIST” should be inscribed on my tombstone. I have a newfound respect for sequels now that I realized I otherwise have to do characterization & worldbuilding from scratch. After a really crummy run of things, however, my ex-Booktrope buddy Cain S. Latrani has a new novel published, Wonder Land: Black Ice. It even has a t-shirt!
I already freelance from home, so weirdly self-quarantine doesn’t feel much different to me than most people. This is probably to my benefit, but I still have great existential dread about the pestilence & a new fear of going to the grocery store. (Delivery is booked solid where I live.) Like many self-isolating, I’ve been watching copious amounts of television at home. I was already doing that, so it doesn’t feel like a treat or respite. Now they’re saying this behavior is “heroic,” but where was this encouragement before the pandemic? We may be cursed to live in interesting times, yet my life continues to be uninteresting to describe. I blog, therefore I am not.
So here’s a random smattering of television I’ve been watching. Get your cold takes! Maybe I ought to have saved some of these short reviews for later?
Well that escalated quickly! Isn’t this how The Last Last Man On Earth began? The one with Kristen Schaal not Vincent Price, although a vampire virus would be much cooler. (Everybody go read I Am Legend by Richard Matheson! Novel coronavirus is spread through literacy.) I am sadly very highly trained in social distancing. Panic buying groceries was less terrible than expected, but I forgot to buy Worcestershire sauce even though it was on my list!
In times of crisis, people especially need escapism. I’m usually bad at scheduling blog topics, but I get a jump on writing about the year’s blockbusters. Never mind! They’re all getting postponed! Delaying The New Mutants is the key part of a spell to cancel The Apocalypse. When the global quarantine is lifted, cinemas are going to be backed up with leftovers. At least there’s plenty of television left to keep us from going stir crazy. Oh wait, production on all the network series shut down before they could get their season finales in the bag! Well Black Lightning featuring Grunkle Gravedigger & (Green) Arrow wrapped up, but most will leave viewers hanging. If ABC could air the completed final season of Agents of SHIELD early, that’d be lovely. All the media that’s been delayed should just be chucked in a bonfire. So go binge Lodge 49 on Hulu!
Unlike venues you enjoy visiting, Matt The Catania intends to stay open during this crisis. Sorry! Weekly coverage will probably revert to esoteric mishmashes with headlines that aren’t SEO friendly. Maybe I’ll finally get back to writing my second novel? (I wrote a key scene set in the basement of a library without checking if the real location has one. The uncertainty was contributing to my writer’s block. Then I found it does. Phew!) With luck, we’ll all be alive when this epidemic fizzles out as its curve flattens.
The previous installment debuted my custom of The Demon’s Head, whereas this one will feature legitimutant demons. This is the first time there’s been a break in production betwixt CAOS parts, so arguable Part 3 is really season two. It’s eight episodes with a Part 4 boasting another eight already greenlit. So Part 3 & 4 were most likely one full season split in half again. Assorted non-chronological SPOILERS will chill your marrow to the very brink of sanity! I put way more thought into the supernatural worldbuilding than its writers did!