Weekly Reading Round-Up: 06/03/2018 – 06/09/2018, Special Sarah Romano Diehl Edition

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

It’s no secret — nor should it be! — that Seattle cartoonist Sarah Romano Diehl’s Crust was one of my favorite comics of last year, but in my attempt to “play catch-up” with some of the stuff I’ve received in recent weeks/months, I came to the realization that I never got around to reviewing the other books (all, to her credit, self-published) that I got from Ms. Diehl some time back, so allow me to correct that egregious (nay, downright unforgivable!) error right now —

All The Comforts Of Being Alive is a thick, bursting-at-the-seams travelogue mini-comic/’zine that expertly incorporates mixed media such as photographs, scrap-paper notes, etc. to tell the story of Diehl’s first road trip back to her Colorado college town in a decade. There’s more than a whiff of nostalgia to the proceedings here, but it’s all good : anybody who goes back home (or, in this…

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Scenes That I Love: James Bond Meets Sylvia Trench in Dr. No (In memory of Eunice Grayson)

Earlier today, I read the sad news that British actress Eunice Grayson passed away at the age of 90.  Grayson may not have been a household name but true fans of James Bond (as opposed to those who think that the franchise started with Daniel Craig) know Grayson from her role as Sylvia Trench in both Dr. No and From Russia With Love.

Eunice Grayson was the first Bond girl.  When we first meet Bond in Dr. No, he’s sitting down across from her at the Baccarat table.  When Bond asks her name, she replies, “Trench. Sylvia Trench.”  When she asks his name, he playfully replies, “Bond.  James Bond.” and history is made.

Grayson originally auditioned for the role of Miss Moneypenny but, when the producers decided to give that role to Lois Maxwell, Grayson was instead cast as Sylvia Trench.  At first, Sylvia was envisioned as being Bond’s permanent “off-duty” girlfriend.  That’s certainly the role that she’s plays when she briefly reappears in From Russia With Love.  The original plan was for Sylvia (and Grayson) to appear in at least six Bond films and to be the principal Bond girl in the sixth one.  However, those plans were abandoned with Goldfinger.

(Check out this 2012 interview that Grayson gave to the BBC for more details about her experiences as a part of the Bond franchise.)

Today’s scene that I love is in memory of both Eunice Grayson and the role she played in the history of one of my favorite film franchises.  From 1962’s Dr. No, James Bond meets Sylvia Trench for the first time…

Trailer Round-Up: First Man, The Predator, How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Bad Times At The El Royale, The Old Man & The Gun, Operation Finale, A Star is Born, and The Girl In The Spider’s Web

There were a lot of interesting trailers released this week.  Among those that I’ve already looked at: Suspiria, Widows, White Boy Rick, Wreck-It Ralph 2Bumblebee, The Lego Movie Part Two, Halloween, Billionaire Boys Club, 14 Cameras, and Siberia.

Here’s the best of the rest!

First Man is Damien Chazelle’s follow-up to La La Land.  In this one, Ryan Gosling plays the first man to ever step on the moon.  Many critics, including me, expect this will be a definite Oscar contender.  (Chazelle may even find himself competing once again with Barry Jenkins, whose If Beale Street Could Talk is also considered to be a possible contender.)

Here’s the second trailer for The Predator, which emphasizes action above all else.  (Check out the first trailer here.)

Here’s the trailer for the third installment in the beloved How To Train Your Dragon franchise, The Hidden World!

Here’s the trailer for Bad Times At The El Royale, which is either going to be brilliant or totally suck.  I don’t really see any middle ground here.

Normally, I would be tempted to roll my eyes at something like The Old Man & The Gun.  I mean, didn’t Robert Redford say that he wasn’t going to make another movie until climate change was defeated or something like that?  However, this film was directed by David Lowery, who was also responsible for the best film of 2017, A Ghost Story!  So, I will definitely give this one a chance.  Here’s the trailer:

Here’s the trailer for Operation Finale, a dramatization of the 1960 intelligence operation that led to the capture of Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann.  Why do we need this movie?  Go to YouTube and read some of the comments left under this trailer.  With anti-Semitism on the rise and more and more people buying into the despicable BDS movement, this is a story that needs to be told.  Hopefully, Operation Finale will do it justice.

Damn, Bradley Cooper’s got a pretty good singing voice!  Check out the trailer for A Star is Born if you need proof.

And lastly, here’s the trailer for The Girl In The Spider’s Web.

Hilariously, there’s a lot of people bitching about the fact that Rooney Mara will not be playing Libseth in The Girl In The Spider’s Web.  Folks, there’s only one Lisbeth Salander and it’s not Rooney Fucking Mara.  Noomi Rapace was, is, and always will be the only Libseth Salander who really matters!

Forgotten Horror: THIRTEEN WOMEN (RKO 1932)

cracked rear viewer

I pride myself on having seem almost every horror film made during the 1930’s, though once in a while an obscure title comes along whose attention has escaped me. But how on Earth did I miss THIRTEEN WOMEN, especially with a cast headlined by Irene Dunne (of all people!) and Myrna Loy ? This fast-paced thriller involving hypnosis, astrology, and serial murder is downright nasty, and has been cited as a precursor to the “slasher” genre… not to mention a whole lot of fun!

We begin with circus performer June Raskob receiving a letter from the mysterious Swami Yogadashi with her horoscope attached, predicting impending doom in the stars for her. But it’s her sister who dies, plunging to her death during their trapeze act (shown in gruesome detail), and poor June goes hopelessly insane. The scene shifts to exotic half-caste Ursula Georgi, who has the Swami under her hypnotic…

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Song of the Day: Comeback Kid by Sleigh Bells (2012, dir by Derek Miller and Gregory Kohn)

I like Sleigh Bells.  Originally, I was going to use their video for I Can Only Stare for today’s music video of the day but the video’s suicide heme didn’t feel appropriate for this weekend.

So, I went with Comeback Kid, instead.  I tend to think of this video as being a trailer for some extremely over the top television show about life in small town Texas.  (Having lived in small town Texas, I’m allowed to say that.  If someone from up north said the same thing, I’d have to claw their eyes out.)  I know that some people are probably saying, “So, you wouldn’t share one video because of all the suicidal imagery but you’re willing to share a video that opens with a woman jumping around with a gun!?  What the Hell, Bowman!?”

Well, you might have a point but I’ve made peace with myself.  When I was fourteen, one of my friends told me that her father had just purchased a new gun and I spent an entire afternoon holding the gun and pointing the gun and jumping around with the gun.  I never pulled the trigger, which is a good thing because I later discovered that, despite what my friend had told me, the gun was loaded the entire time.  But it’s odd.  Guns are scary and yet strangely seductive at the same time.  Denying that fact doesn’t do anyone any good.

(For the record, I’m the only person in my family who doesn’t own a gun.  Recently, a new gun store opened a few blocks away from our house.  As Erin put it, we now know where to go “when the shit finally goes down.”  She was joking and I quote her with her permission but still, that shop is probably the first place that the majority of my neighborhood would head if a revolution ever did break out or if our country was invaded Red Dawn-style.  I’d probably be right there with them.)

(By the way, there’s another store in my town that specializes in selling both guns and antique dolls.  It’s a fun place, to be honest.)

Anyway, enjoy!