Big Bad Bob: Robert Mitchum in MAN WITH THE GUN (United Artists 1955)

cracked rear viewer

Rugged Robert Mitchum is pretty much the whole show in MAN WITH THE GUN, a film by first  time director (and Orson Welles protege) Richard Wilson. It seems a strange choice at this juncture of Mitchum’s career. He was just coming off four big films in a row (RIVER OF NO RETURN, TRACK OF THE CAT, NOT AS A STRANGER, NIGHT OF THE HUNTER ), then makes a low budget Western that harkens back to his days making ‘B’ Zane Grey Westerns at RKO. But that was Mitchum; always the maverick who did things his way.

The film itself isn’t bad: Mitchum plays a notorious gunslinger, a “town tamer” hired by Sheridan City to clean things up from the clutches of boss ‘Dade Holman’ (who isn’t seen til the end, but whose influence is everywhere). There’s a subplot with his ex-wife Jan Sterling, now running the dance hall girls at…

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Kus! Week : Martin Lacko’s “The Call Of Cthulhu” (Mini Kus! #49)

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

The last item under our metaphorical microscope for Kus! week is Mini Kus! #49, one of the more curious entries in a series that justly prides itself on curiosity and eclecticism, Martin Lacko’s MS Paint-rendered adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s “purple prose” horror classic, The Call Of Cthulhu.

At first glance, this deliberately crude Cliffs Notes-on-crack truncation of a seminal text may seem irreverent in the extreme — Lovecraft and brevity don’t go together naturally, after all — but a closer examination reveals it to be anything but : by boiling the story down to its indivisible components, playing up its inherent absurdity, and completely neutering its forced “dark grandeur” before replacing it with a kind of (forgive the contradiction) light-hearted cynicism, it actually shows how endlessly inventive Lovecraft’s core ideas are under any circumstances.

Besides, for those of us interested in a dense and thoughtful consideration in comics…

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Lisa’s Oscar Predictions For September

With the help of the festivals, the Oscar picture became a bit clearer this month.  Perhaps the biggest news is that the initial response to Harriet, which many people expected to be this year’s front runner, was decidedly lukewarm.  The other big news?  The Irishman, according to those who have seen it, may be Scorsese’s best yet.

Below, you’ll find my Oscar predictions for September.  If you want to see how my thinking has evolved over the course of this year, be sure to check out my predictions for January, February, March, April, May, June, July, and August!

Now, admittedly, there’s still an element of wishful thinking in some of the predictions below.  For instance, it would be an interesting narrative development if Adam Sandler and Eddie Murphy were both nominated for best actor.  That doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen but both of them have received a lot of early acclaim for their yet-to-be released films this year.  They’re contenders, even if their reputations may make them long shots.  What’s the point of making predictions if you can’t have a little fun?

Joker is going to get big Oscar punch.  I do think it’s going to probably be a bit too controversial to pick up a Best Picture nomination but I’m still going to go ahead and put down Joaquin Phoenix as a best actor nominee.

Bombshell is the new title of Jay Roach’s Fox News film.  To me, it doesn’t sound like it’s going to be that good and, quite frankly, Jay Roach’s films usually prove that just being obsessed with politics doesn’t necessarily mean that you have anything interesting to say about the topic.  That said, if Vice (a film that even leftist film critics criticized as being heavy handed and cartoonish) could pick up a best picture nomination last year, then I’m going to assume Bombshell could do the same.  With both the presidential election and possible impeachment trial looming, it’s reasonable assume that certain Academy members will be even more obsessed with politics than usual.

Meryl Streep for The Laundromat?  Why not?  They’ll nominate Meryl for anything, regardless of how bad the movie is.

Here are the predictions for this month!

Best Picture



The Farewell

A Hidden Life

The Irishman

JoJo Rabbit

Marriage Story

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood



Best Director

Bong Joon-ho for Parasite

Terrence Malick for A Hidden Life

Martin Scorsese for The Irishman

Quentin Tarantino for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Taika Waititi for JoJo Rabbit

Best Actor

Antonio Banderas in Pain & Glory

Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Eddie Murphy in Dolemite Is My Name

Joaquin Phoenix in Joker

Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems

Best Actress

Cynthia Erivo in Harriet

Scarlett Johansson in Marriage Story

Charlize Theron in Bombshell

Alfre Woodard in Clemency

Renee Zellweger in Judy

Best Supporting Actor

Sterling K. Brown in Waves

Jamie Foxx in Just Mercy

Anthony Hopkins in The Two Popes

Al Pacino in The Irishman

Brad Pitt in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Best Supporting Actress

Annette Bening in The Report

Scarlett Johansson in JoJo Rabbit

Jennifer Lopez in Hustlers

Zhao Shuzhen in The Farewell

Meryl Streep in The Laundromat

Kus! Week : Samplerman’s “Bad Ball” (Mini Kus! #54)

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

As we wrap up Kus! week here in this musty, largely-hidden corner of the blogosphere (does anyone use that term anymore?), I thought I’d avail myself of the opportunity to shed and/or shine some light on a couple favorite Mini Kus! releases from recent years that haven’t received write-ups from yours truly in the past. So, I guess I might be making up for an egregious oversight or two on my part before we put this “theme week” to bed. First up : Yvan Guillo/Samplerman’s Bad Ball, #54 in the Mini Kus! line.

For those unfamiliar with Samplerman’s modus operandi/shtick, he “remixes” extant public domain comics panels — mostly from the so-called “Golden Age” — by digitally manipulating the drawings in various creative ways, inserting some of his own computer-generated (I’m assuming) images, and then shaking the whole thing up in a kaleidoscope and seeing what comes of it…

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