A Movie A Day #342: Hiding Out (1987, directed by Bob Giraldi)

Andrew Morenski (Jon Cryer) is a stockbroker in the 1980s.  What could be better than handling large amount of money during the decade of excess, right?  The only problem is that Andrew and two of his colleagues have gotten involved with Mafia.  And now, the Mafia wants them all dead.  On the run from both the FBI and the Mob, Andrew tries to change his appearance.  He shaves off his beard.  He gives himself a bad dye job.  No sooner has Andrew traded clothes with a homeless person than he is mistaken for a high school student.

What better place could there be for Andrew to hide than a high school?  Despite being 29 years old, Andrew fits right in and soon becomes one of the most popular students at the school.  Andrew not only gets a girlfriend (Annabeth Gish) but he is even nominated to run for student body president.  As Andrew discovers, the mob may be ruthless but they’re nothing compared to the student council.

Hiding Out may begin like a violent action thriller but it quickly reveals itself to be yet another John Hughes-influenced high school movie.  Andrew starts out as a sleazy stockbroker but, by the end of the movie, he has transformed himself into Ferris Bueller.  After spending his teenage years as a self-described “short, horny, hopeless dork,” Andrew is finally getting his chance to be cool.  (“Well, I’m not short,” Andrew says.)  The best scenes are the ones where Andrew occasionally forgets that he’s just supposed to be an apathetic teenager, like when he gets into a fierce argument with his history teacher over whether Richard Nixon should have been forced out of office or when he meets his girlfriend’s father and ends up giving him stock advice.  There’s no denying that the plot is frequently dumb and features some massive plot holes but, largely due to Jon Cryer’s likable and energetic performance, Hiding Out is also a breezy and enjoyable movie.

Artist Profile: Robert Graef (1879 — 1951)

All of the covers below were done, for Argosy, by the artist Robert Graef.  Born in New York City, Robert Graef started his career in 1900 and was still active and working at the time of his death in 1951.  For those five decades, Graef worked out of the same art studio at 70 Fifth Avenue in New York.  As shown below, the work that he created in that studio has lived on:

12 Days of Random Christmas Songs: “Silver Bells” by Bob Hope & Marilyn Maxwell (from THE LEMON DROP KID)

cracked rear viewer

The holiday classic “Silver Bells” by songwriters Jay Livingston & Ray Evans has been covered by everyone from Dean Martin to Perry Como, The Supremes to Bob Dylan, Blake Shelton to Sarah McLachlan, but it made it’s debut in the 1951 film THE LEMON DROP KID, starring Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell. See how many Familiar Faces you can spot as Bob and Marilyn stroll down the snowy New York street and introduce the world to “Silver Bells”!:

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2017 Year In Review : Top 10 Graphic Novels

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

And so we’ve arrived at this, our final — and, I’m sure for some, most significant — “best of” list of the year, surveying 2017’s top 10 graphic novels. Quick reminder of our “house rules” : these have to be original works designed from the outset for the GN format, not collected works of any sort, which have already been covered on our contemporary and vintage collected editions lists — and, as always, no real “reviews” here (chances are I’ve reviewed most, if not all, of these somewhere or other online already), just quick summaries of why they’re all so fucking awesome. Okay, let’s do this!

10. Vague Tales by Eric Haven (Fantagraphics) – Long one of the most intriguing, if sporadic, cartoonists around, here Haven constructs a fascinating and surreal overarching story from mostly-silent vignettes featuring barbarians, super-heroes, sexy sorceresses, and monsters that borrow equally from Jack Kirby, Fletcher…

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Music Video of the Day: Back to December by Taylor Swift (2010, dir by Yoann Lemoine)

Right now, as I write this, there are lot of people on twitter and in the media who are bitching and whining because Taylor Swift hasn’t written any #Resistance songs.  She didn’t endorse anyone in the 2016 election.  She never talks politics.  She even had the gall to say that she had a good 2017!

Since when did being happy become a microaggression?

See, this is one of the things that I hate about social media.  Just because you can’t stop talking about Trump or Hillary or whoever, that doesn’t mean that everyone else is obligated to do the same.  When I see people whining about Taylor Swift not using their favorite hashtag, I’m reminded of Joss Whedon, at this time last year, whining about people saying, “Happy holidays,” because he was upset over how the election went.  Just because someone isn’t constantly bragging about how pissed off they are, that doesn’t mean they don’t care or that they’re not doing their part.  It just means they, like me, have a life outside of whatever’s on CNN or Fox News.

Anyway, I was so annoyed with all the Taylor Swift hate that I spent Saturday listening to Last Christmas on repeat.  So, it seemed like a perfect pick for Music Video of the Day, right?


Sadly, there isn’t an official music video of Taylor’s version of Last Christmas.

So, I decided to feature her video for Back To December, instead.  It’s not specifically a Christmas song.  In fact, it’s generally agreed that it’s a song about Taylor’s breakup with Taylor Lautner.  (Taylor Swift has never specifically confirmed who it’s about, beyond saying that the song was meant to be an apology to a former lover.)  But hey, it’s December and there’s snow on the ground.  As far as I’m concerned, that makes it a Christmas song.

The video was directed by Yoann Lemoine, who has several credits.  (He’s also directed videos for Katy Perry, Lana del Ray, and Drake.)  Taylor’s love interest is played by Guntars Asmanis.