Girl Meets Nostalgia: Homework Rebellions & Student Strikes

Hey all! So, after a week of soul searching, I’ve decided what is going to take the place of declaring the winner of Game of Thrones each week.

Welcome to Girl Meets Nostalgia, my new weekly feature, in which I reflect on which parts of Girl Meets World made me nostalgic for Boy Meets World. What’s going to be fun about this, is that Girl Meets World airs on Friday, which gives me two days to watch and write up what’s happening in my head. Maybe even do a little research. (Ha! That’s funny right? When I have I ever done research here?) Anyway, I figure it’s a fun way to keep me engaged with the show.

The pilot of Girl Meets World, aired on Friday, and I have to admit, I kind of went out of the way to watch it, in that I really wanted to go to sleep early, but I stayed up, because I was excited. I even live tweeted it (sort of. Not minute by minute, but I used the hashtag.)

Anyway, the premier episode focused on Riley Matthews and her best friend Maya organizing a homework rebellion in her father Corey’s classroom. (Corey teaches Geography at John Quincy Adams Middle School! This is the best in joke in the history of the world.) Very cool about Corey’s class? It’s sort of a combination of Feeney and Turner. He doesn’t call any of his students by their first names, but he’s also very laid back, and by giving his students autonomy loses control of them and their rebellion pretty quickly.

Now, I don’t know how many of you remember the episode where Corey and Shawn read The Grapes of Wrath, but it’s one of my favorites. Mr. Turner promises the class that if they read the book and participate in class discussions, they won’t be tested on it. Mr. Feeney insists that they take the test, as a consequence, Corey and Shawn lead their friends in a strike.

In the end, they all have a chat on the Matthews’s back porch and Corey and Shawn don’t have to take the test.

In the end here? Maya sets of a fire alarm and Corey yells at her for a while. Then she says, “There’s no one at home to help me with my homework, and runs off crying.”

I assume to get a leather jacket, a mysterious half brother that appeared as if from nowhere and move into a trailer park. Because that was a Shawn Hunter line if I’ve ever heard one.

The pilot showed that this is going to be a halfway decent kids show. The girl that plays Riley is great, as is Maya. They play well together, and let’s bring Jaquee around whenever OK? It was great to see her. (Maybe we can make a Sister, Sister sequel too? Maybe?) It ended with Corey having a vision of Feeney, saying “Well done, Mr. Matthews,” which was lovely. But we need more Topanga. The total 3 minutes of screen time that Danielle Fishel had were crackling with goodness. She needs more to do.

Marvel Comics Wrap Up: 6/25/2014

Marvel didn’t quite hit me the way that DC did this week. But I still found myself pumping my fist a few times. (It was Guardians week after all…) But there was some cool Original Sin stuff, actually, and I’m looking forward to where it leads. And I’m actually grateful for picking up one of them. But for now, let’s go!

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The Amazing Spider-Man #3

Peter’s employees are genuinely freaked out by his change in personality since becoming himself again. Also, Ock did something to Black Cat, because she is royally pissed. Spidey isn’t really sure how to fix this. It’s also worth noting that someone’s been torturing Electro, and now his powers are out of control, and of course he blames Spider-Man. So Black Cat recruits him for a team up. Also, Spider-Man saves a kid from a fire with the help of Mary Jane’s new bf. I particularly enjoyed the part where Peter tried to star “Hawaiian Shirt Friday” at Parker Industries. Peter Parker makes a remarkably awful Bruce Wayne.

Fantastic 4 #6

Original Sin tie in! After Sue freaks because you know, the government took away her children and everything, the team cools it for a while. Also, the government wants to turn off the kid’s android and they’re horrified by the prospect, which of course leads to some serious thinking about the nature of AI and life. Or you know would…if I cared at all about Franklin Richards and his friends and their Android. Which I kind of don’t. Anyway, turns out that when the eye exploded, Ben saw that one time when Reed was trying to cure Ben, Johnny messed it up somehow…poor, poor Ben. It’s going to be hard for him.

Hulk VS Iron Man #1

Back when they were kids, Tony was a huge douche to Bruce Banner, and now Hulk is pissed about it. Also, Hulk punches Iron Man through a building. This is, by the way, one of the first times that I’ve been thrilled about picking up an Original Sin that I wouldn’t otherwise have read. Because this book is awesome.

Original Sins #2: “Black Knight: Black Legacy” “Young Avengers”

There’s an evil sword or something, that a I minor character I know nothing about is infected or addicted to power or something.

Meanwhile, the Young Avengers catch up with the guy they’ve been hunting, The Hood, and he says that he need prodigy to build him a Cerebro so that he can read people’s minds, or something. I don’t know. If I’m truthful, I come to this story for the quips. It’s like OC level quippy.

Also there was a fun little 2 page Howard The Duck Cartoon in the back. I’m greatly enjoying this.

New Avengers Annual #1: “Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme in Self Surgery”

Well, this book was really pretty. But the meandering story about Dr. Strange selling his soul for the power to save and or destroy the world winds up being important, but it’s just not my thing. And it was long.

New Avengers #20: “Blu’dakorr”

The Great Society, who the Illuminati fight in this issue are almost disturbingly Justice Society-esque. I mean, The Norn basically is Dr. Fate. However, let’s not dwell on that, (Except for when Sun God, who basically is Superman takes down Hulk. That was cool to see.) Black Panther and Namor get some good glory moments, but of course Dr. Strange winds up ending the battle with his crazy powers that he received in the Annual. (See? Important.) I’m back on the New Avengers train.

Guardians of The Galaxy #16

The Guardians are at the point where they’re clearly going to get out of their respective prisons. Drax challenges the people who put him on trial to combat. Gamora continues to fight The Brotherhood of Badoon. Rocket is taken off of the operating table. Flash gets the symbiote back from the skrulls. And then there’s Peter. After jumping out out a window, he’s caught by Captain Marvel! After jokingly asking her to marry him. (Don’t joke! Do it! Get married, have adventures! BEST!) He manages to get a gun and call out his father over live, well, not TV, but, you know, so everyone now sees what a waste the Emperor is. But more importantly Star-Lord/Captain Marvel flirting. YAY!

Alright, we’ll see you next week!

DC Comics Wrap Up: 6/25/2014

How many times did DC Comics make me cry this week? Why, more than once, that’s for damn sure. Why? Well, we’ll get to that. But I did cry. A few times.

Also, any and all Bat-books ended with a sneak peak of Grayson, and OH MY GOD! Everything about it. Blonde Dick? Sure. I’m in. Breaking into a train? YUP! The old Bruce Wayne, spill a drink to get rid of someone/create a distraction? HE DOES THAT! Sigh, we’ll talk more about it next week, but I really can’t wait to read it.

But in the end, it was a heavy week. As in I read a lot of books, not as in it weighed on me. Although I was in kind of a funk this week, which again, might account for the tears…but mostly, just a lot of feels to go around.

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Superman #32: “The Men Of Tomorrow Chapter One: Ulysses

This issue was sort of a big deal because Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr. are starting a run. Now, because of Flashpoint, and to a lesser extent Darkest Night, I will always love Johns. And God, did I love this issue. Perry White is trying to get Clark back to The Planet. Which, YEAH! Look, I like the concept of of Clark The Blogger too. I think we all did. But it didn’t quite work. After saying he’d think about it. Clark went home to make dinner, and here comes the first round of feels. Clark made a couple of phone calls. Diana’s busy with, well, I mean, we saw how busy she was last week right? She’s got a war to fight. Bruce is also like super busy, he’s in like seventeen books, and Lois is out at some bar. Poor, sad lonely Clark. Anyway, then he goes to fight a robot, and it turns out that another refugee from another world (another dimension in fact) is also fighting him. This is Ulysses. I think he’ll probably have stuff to do it Multiversity, don’t you?

Secret Origins #3: “Green Lantern: Freedom From Fear,” “Batwoman: Blood Money,” “Red Robin: Secret Identity”

Much like Batman, I didn’t need much primer on Hal’s origin, as it didn’t really change much with the launch of The New 52. And unlike Superman’s moment in this series, they didn’t take a new angle on it. But I like Hal’s origin so I enjoyed myself.

Kate Kane is a character who’s never really grabbed me. I mean, I get her, and I love her in theory. But I just never cared enough, and I already read too many Bat-family books. But, anyway, seeing her conversation with her father after she is discharged from the armed forces for coming out was great. As was her Batman training montage and the moment where she met her partner Maggie. (Wife? They didn’t end up getting married right? Ugh, DC, so disappointing.)

And then the second round of feels. Red Robin. Tim Drake, you guys. The best guy ever. The New 52 has always been a little bit, well, um, Tim’s origin might be one of the most messed with. No one really knew where he fit into the timeline. Was he ever Robin? And for how long? Like a day? How old was he? Yeah, most of that still didn’t get answered here, but we did learn that Tim Drake isn’t his real name, he changed it when his parents went into witness protection because he stole a bunch of money from the Penguin to get Batman’s attention. Also, he wasn’t Robin, he was always Red Robin, in order to honor Jason. Or something else super dumb. And he decided to not be Bruce’s partner anymore because he needed a new challenge, which HORSE SHIT! Then why all the animosity between him and Damian? I mean, besides Damian’s personality.

His terrible, terrible personality.

But Tim’s tribute to Jason, the brother he hadn’t met yet, and would eventually bond with was really sweet, and thus, feels.

Batman #32: “Zero Year: Savage City”

really need to read Zero Year, because this issue was bonkers good, y’all! Batman, Jim Gordon and Lucius Fox are this close to tracker down Riddler, when they lose contact because of some kind of device. Then Batman goes off on his own, after a really emotional speech to Lucius about Luke. (This story takes place in the past, yes? So Luke Fox is not yet Batwing?) Anwyway, that got me feeling things, and then, and then, Oh God! Bruce left a super emotional message to Alfred, and I started crying into my taco. (I was eating at Moe’s.) Anyway, Batman found The Riddler, confronted him, and then fell right into his technicolor straight out of ’66 trap. Then Grayson preview and it was awesome.

Future’s End #8

Got a few answers in Future’s end but still, a Terry free issue can never be called “good.” Anyway, turns out the little girl in the Hot Topic outfit is named Fifty Sue, and she an OMAC! This makes a good deal more sense than anything else that’s happened. Also she was trained by Slade Wilson and she’s going to train Grifter. That’s going to be fun. Meanwhile, Constantine and Midge are still talking about how they know some vague threat is coming. And there appears to be an ancient cult in Vietnam that worshipped Brainiac.

Justice League #31: “Injustice League: Chapter 2 Power Players”

In which Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor sit around in Wayne Manor and chat, and Lex confronts him about being Batman and then they fight, and Alfred holds a gun to Lex’s head. THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS TO HAPPEN TO ME ALL WEEK! Bruce has decided that Lex is not to be in The Justice League and does not let him into the Batcave. Also he adds a new ending to the parable of “The Scorpion And The Frog” where a bat come and eats the scorpion before it can sting the frog. I giggled really hard and how heavy handed and perfect that is. Meanwhile, at The Watchtower, Cyborg and Shazam are hanging out and of course Shazam is bored. So he creates a ping pong table out of magic. And I love him. They play ping pong. Billy/Vic bromance? I’m in. Lexcorp is recruiting Captain Cold for reasons. But I’m always happy to see him. Then The Doom Patrol shows up, because some poor girl is being forced to kill people by Power Ring’s ring. So this is going to be fun.

Catwoman #32: “Race of Thieves: Part 3: Hijack”

Turns out that the Race of Thieves is some kind of distraction, or fixed, or something, but Selina is too busy being distracted by her other case. That old murder and it turns out there’s some kind of ancient illegitimate child involved? This book is pure fun and adreneline, so I never retain much of the plot, but I still really enjoy it. Also, again, Grayson preview.

Batman Beyond Universe #11: “Justice Lords Beyond Part 3”

Terry and Other Terry fight Dick and Lord Superman. Lord Superman fries Terry’s head, Dick and Other Terry are horrified. But it turns out he didn’t. Meanwhile, back in the main universe, Clark and Bruce are kind of done with Diana, and tell her so. Turns out, that kid that Lord Superman and she had has a Damian-esque origin. (She didn’t rape Lord Superman, but he did grow in one of those pod things.) And then they turned him over to The Phantom Zone, for reasons? I don’t really get it. Anyway, he shows up and saves the day as Lord Superman and Diana try to kill each other, and the JLU fight the Future Lords. There’s also a Mr. Miracle and Big Barda subplot, which is always a lot of fun. (Lord Barda is married to Orion because Scott died. This made me cry.)

So that’s where we are folks. Told you it was kind of a heavy week. But hey, if a good comic book does make you weep, what’s the point right?



“Don’t Mess”: Miss Marvel #5

I kind of love that I started and ended this week with Jersey, I’m not going to lie. While Kamala, a well behaved daughter of Pakistani immigrants, has little in common with Frankie and the boys, she has that thing that many of us from The Garden State share.

Kamala yearns.

Sure, a lot of young people yearn. A lot of people yearn. But for some reason, our tiny little state, which is so often the butt of the joke has been the setting for some pretty kick ass yearning that lead to some intrinsically awesome art.

Shut up, if I want to declare Born to Run and Clerks art, I’m going to. (One of those might be more “art” than the other…)

Yes, this issue showed Kamala saving Vick. Yes, she got her costume. Yes she declared herself against The Inventor, and yes she had an amazing conversation with her father where she did and didn’t tell him her secret all at one.

But really, thinking about this issue, I’ve got two images in my head. One, is Kamala in front of the Circle Q, in full Ms. Marvel gear, delivering the following speech:

This guy thinks he can threaten us where we live? Ms. Marvel has a message for him. This is Jersey City. We talk loud, we walk fast, and we don’t take any disrespect. Don’t Mess.

That’s as Jersey as it gets friends. Yes, I grew up in the affluent suburbs, but I still understand how this state works. We’ve got a bit of a chip on our shoulders here, but don’t mess with us. We don’t like it. We will yell, we will push.

But the other image is the cover. This might be one of my favorite covers ever.



It’s simple, Kamala sitting on a street lamp, gazing at the spotlight. Yes, like Sinatra, Springsteen and Smith before her, Kamala Khan is in the shadow of the big city across the bridge. The skyline is a massively huge part of your life if you’re from here. Lookout points are the best places to hang with your friends on teenage summer nights. Glimpses of The Empire State building aren’t rare and I still lose my breath every time.

But it’s just the way things work. You don’t get to be a Jersey Icon unless you yearn to cross the river. But of course once you do, none of those snotty New Yorkers better cross you, or say anything against Jersey, because then, well, we’ll lay you on your ass.

Or I guess now, Ms. Marvel will.

“With The Ideal Conditions In Place”: Translucid #3

Translucid 3

OK, so Cornelius is definitely The Navigator, I’ve got that now. Sure, it took me until the halfway point, but whatever, I’m slow. We’ll all deal with it.

Yes, folks, we’re halfway through this psychadelic, equine and nautical themed superhero story.

Also, this is the first issue to come out since Claudio and Chondra’s son Atlas was born!

Congrats on parenthood, Sanchezes! I bet your kid is going to be a badass.

Anyway, this months story jumped around in time. (As always) But focused mostly on one defining night. When heading home from school, I guess? I’m not sure where the boys were, anyway, Cornelius is going home and Drake is going back to school for a game? OK, so they weren’t at school. Whatever. They were out. So Cornelius runs into some bullies from school who break the controller for his hologram dog. (I know I say it all the time but, you guys, seriously, comics! It’s brilliant.) So he snaps and beats the crap out of them. He’s arrested, and his parents come to pick him up. They then receive a phone call that Drake was killed trying to pull a woman off of subway tracks.

So there’s his Martha/Thomas, Uncle Ben moment.

The other night that gets a spot light is when the Horse tricked The Navigator into killing an innocent bystander. Of course Claudio wouldn’t create a vigilante with a strict “no kill” code. For God’s sake, have you read The Amory Wars? Or listened to “The Final Cut?” Also, clearly, Cornelius has a temper problem.

Anyway, that was this month. I liked seeing our bleeding on the streets moment and the images of horses that keep racing through The Navigators memories are really cool.

I’m also sad that Drake had to die. I liked him. Also, I like that his name is Drake. In my head it’s in tribute to Tim. It’s quite likely that it has nothing to do with Tim. But I’m going to keep thinking that it was.

This issue’s lines that could be lyrics?

“Guess you’ll have to build a new friend.”

“If you don’t pay closer attention, you’ll become the villain”

“It’s the handicap of humanity that we should store our own equilibrium in each other.”

“The are no happy trails little brother. All roads lead to one place, the end.”

So that’s where we are now folks. I know it took me a week to get this up. And for that I apologize. Thanks for waiting though!

YJLU: “Coldhearted” And “The Greatest Story Never Told”

Hey all! Welcome to the second installment of me comparing and contrasting an episode of Young Justice and an episode of Justice League or Justice League Unlimited. I’m thinking I might expand out and do the entire DCAU, thus allowing for BTAS and STAS, but for now I think I’ll stick with the teams.

Anyway, this was a difficult decision, because I knew that I wanted to do a piece on “Coldhearted,” which is about Wally West, Kid Flash, being sent on an mission to deliver a transplant heart to Queen Perdita of Latvaria. (Vandal Savage and Count Vertigo get in his way a little.) It’s one of my favorite episodes, and I was trying to decide which Flash centered Justice League or JLU episode to compare it to. There are a few good ones and the more I thought about it, none of them really fit. The one that I did want to compare it to was “The Greatest Story Never Told,” which isn’t about Flash at all! It’s about Booster Gold.

First, YJ. It’s Wally’s 16th Birthday, and he’s got plans out the butt. After his mom makes him a Ron Swanson sized breakfast, (That poor woman. I would never want to have to cook for that boy.) his dad offers to take him to the DMV, which is cute to say to someone who break the sound barrier. Wally declines, not wanting to miss the “surprise” party he’s sure the rest of the team is throwing for him. And hoping for a hookup with Megan. I love the early Wally/Megan/Connor triangle that is entirely in Wally’s head. She has no interest in him and never demonstrates any, but he’s convinced that she’s so into him. It’s a really fun through line. A shout out from Iris on the morning news and a snow day complete the best birthday ever feeling for our hero. Of course, the snow turns out to be organized by supervillains, and Artemis takes great relish in telling him that Connor and Megan are now a couple.  A credit to Wally’s characterization and this show’s depiction of teenagers in general is that this deflates him, but also, doesn’t like cause much angst. This is a crush that went wrong not losing the love of his life (ugh, season 2, the feels), also, this isn’t a guy who wallows. He’s a speedster they “keep moving forward.” Anyway, Batman shows up to crash the party and starts handing out assignments. Because Hal Jordan and John Stewart are off world, it’s all hands on deck (I kind of love the idea that the entire team = 2 lanterns btw) and Wally is excited to fight along side the Justice League. But he’s not going to, and gets his own, equally important mission. Saving Perdita and defeating Vertigo is pretty great. Also, it turns out that all of the ice villains captured in the pilot are still in Belle Reve.

“The Greatest Story Never Told” is one of those episodes of JLU that really shows that the DCAU guys had watched a lot of Buffy while they were breaking that show. It’s almost beat for beat identical to “The Zeppo,” which might be the number 1 Xander focused episode of the show. Anyway, the episode focuses on Booster Gold helping a group of scientist keep a rift in the universe from opening while the rest of the league fights off a wizard of some kind. Unlike Wally, Booster isn’t really, um, well, to call him a C-lister might be stretching it. Booster Gold is a fun character, but probably not anyone’s first choice to build an episode around. He’s a janitor who stole some tech and traveled back in time to make his fame and fortune as a super hero. It’s not really working out for him, but this episode shows him saving the day in a big way. Because the rest of the league was occupied at the time, he doesn’t get much credit, but he does get a date which is nice for him. Also he delivers a baby.

Thematically these episodes are about attention seeking and what makes for real heroism. And while it’s hard for me to like anything as much as YJ’s depiction of Wally, Booster constantly being mistaken for a Green Lantern is definitely up there as one of my favorite things in the whole AU.

Both episodes feature great action, and fun snippets of big team fights, as well as one on one stuff with Booster and Wally.

But YJ takes this one for pure resonance. So much gets set up here, and it of course deepens Wally and Artemis’s relationship, and shows his dedication to doing what’s right. (Which will eventually lead to his death…)

“Thanks Green Lantern!”

Batman Eternal 8-11

It’s that time of month again you guys! It’s time to talk about the twists and turns of Batman Eternal. This month took our focus away from Jim Gordon’s case a little bit and focused on how the gang war between Penguin and The Roman was affecting the city as a whole. We also got some more Stephanie action and hey, guys, Jason!

I know it seems like I was obsessed with seeing him, but with two weeklies that are tied deeply into Batman, I felt like him not being around was starting to be glaring. I mean, really, really, glaring. And also, I’m a little obsessed with him. So there’s that.

There was also a whole lot of Selina this month, which was great. I mean it was really, really great.

Issue 8 was a lot about Falcone and Batman sending each other messages, which was pretty fun. Watching Batman beat the crap out of low level thugs with the caveat “I want you to tell your boss about this!” Always makes for good reading, always, always, always! Also, Vicki Vale (UGH) has set Jason Bard in her sights and is bugging him for quotes about police work a whole lot. I understand that a year long Batman story without Vicki would be woefully incomplete, I just dislike her a lot. Turns out that Stephanie’s mom is in on the whole, try to kill her business, and Batman tries to make it work with the acting commissioner, but only escapes arrest because of Bard. I really do like that guy. Also we get the smashed bat signal, because why shouldn’t we just incorporate all of the aspects of The Dark Knight into everything?

Next, Batman goes to Tokyo to investigates Maroni’s work in Hong Kong. (LOGIC! This comic does not have it.) But it does have The Batman of Tokyo and his sidekick, which is great, because I think we can all admit that we miss Batman Incorporated, right? That’s the other part about this whole series that’s been sort of kind of fun. Revisting characters that don’t pop up. (Gaucho also showed up, later). Meanwhile, back in Gotham, Catwoman puts the hurt on The Roman. So that’s fun. Also, it turns out that Alfred’s daughter was also in Tokyo, and Bruce brought her, injured, but super pissed home to Gotham to recuperate.

Then more Catwoman and Marconi stuff, and it’s all really great. Also Professor Pyg. Who is a really great villain and everything, but who I hate seeing these days, because he just makes me want Dick and Damian back. (Grayson next week though! SQUEE!) Also, Stephanie researched her father, and has apparently moved into the Gotham Public Library ventilation system. That’ll be fun. Also there are tons of references to her spoiling things. It’s sort of dumb. But ugh, just whatever. Also, Bruce enlists Jason to babysit rage Barbara. Of course, rather than like, knocking on a door, or entering through the Batcave when summoned, Jason breaks into the manor to show Bruce the holes in his security.

Oh Jason. Never change.

Meanwhile, in South America, Batgirl is looking for the witness to Jim’s shooting and the train derailment, fighting Scorpiana with The Gaucho and being generally angry and badass. Then she gets kidnapped by Jason and Kori! Yay! Kori and Barbara! This is going to be fun! (Less fun in New 52, without Dick, than in old continuity with him, but still, fun!)  Also, Selina gets a letter from her father. I kind of can’t wait to see what that means. I should note that I found that art change in this issue, jarring but in a good way. It’s cartoony and super cool, and once I got my footing with it, I accepted it.

Anyway, that’s this month’s Eternal. I’m psyched that Jason has finally been brought into the story, and kind of love the idea of him and Barbara together. (Not together, together, just around one another.) I like the movement of Steph’s story, loving all of the Selina, and I’m thrilled to see Alfred getting his own thread.

Chasing The Music, Trying To Get Home: Jersey Boys

Jersey Boys

I knew that reviewing Jersey Boys wasn’t going to be easy. As I’ve talked about before, I have deep seeded emotional ties to the Broadway show and the music and all of that. (Ugh, that sounds so high school theatre kid. I apologize!) So, there was always going to be an underlying, “But I love this so much,” to how I saw this movie.

And I do. I love it so much. There’s so much that’s right about this movie that it almost dwarfs the things that are wrong with it. There are things that just don’t work, but it transcends, because in the end, who doesn’t want to imagine that this is how this actually happened you know?

Anyway, Jersey Boys is the story of The Four Seasons, as told through several fourth wall breaking monologues and obviously, their music. We start with Tommy DeVito, the self proclaimed founder of the group who discovered little Francis Castilucio, who would change his name and become Frankie Valli. On stage, I remember Tommy being sort of abrasive and unlikeable in a vague way. Vincent Piazza, who plays him in the movie as a malevolent asshole. Why would anyone be around this guy? He’s awful. But, it’s a truly transcendent performance. Tommy uses his connections an bullying personality to get “The Three Lovers” pretty far in the Jersey Club scene, but also winds up in jail a couple of times.

Up next in the line up is Bob Guadio, who wrote along with producer Bob Crewe most of the hit songs you love from The Four Seasons. The difference between Bobby and the other guys is pretty pronounced. He was younger and came from Bergenfield rather than Belleville. Sorry, if you don’t know Jersey geography, it’s hard to explain the difference, but it’s a massive one. He also does not take one ounce of Tommy’s shit. From their first meeting he is in control of his destiny. When Bobby and Frankie start their “side deal,” the legendary handshake partnership that would define them, it’s because Bob knows that everything they’re doing depends on “The Voice.” Erich Bergen doesn’t bring the baby face, like whoever I saw on Broadway, but he does a good job of playing the evolving boy genius to savvy business man and serious artist.

Nick Massi, the group’s bass player, might have been my favorite part of the movie. The guy who was just always in the background, and his monologues, feel the most true, because they’re so mundane and frank. His final freak out at Tommy of his use of hotel room towels is insanely satisfying and wonderfully performed by Michael Lomenda. Also, his bass voice is a really necessity to making the music work. That “why don’t you come out?” on “Sherry” is as important to the hook of the song as Frankie’s falsetto.

And then there’s John Lloyd Young’s Frankie Valli. I’m good friends with a guy who should be playing Frankie Valli on Broadway, and in the orbit of the guy who handles the national tour. I love both of these men very, very much, and they are very, very talented. But John Lloyd Young owns Frankie Valli in a very visceral way. There are few things that give me chills the way the title of this post, as the last spoken lines of Jersey Boys do. But also, his rendition of “My Eyes Adored You,” is, to crib from Mr. Sondheim, “almost like praying.” And with nearly a decade of playing this role under his belt, it’s not hard to see why Clint Eastwood kept him around for the movie. I remember crying when he won his Tony and he thanked his father. I remember being stunned sitting in a theatre as he sang “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You,” and this time, on film, I remember being blow away by what a great actor he is.

Christopher Walken plays the mob boss who adopted the group and is wonderful as always. Parts of the movie are clumsy, things that worked on stage that don’t really work on film, etc. The music is, of course wonderful. I didn’t love the change in the ending. (Obviously, the story ended the same way, with the boys being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.) But the show then launches into a beautiful full cast rendition of “Who Loves You.” The movie deaged the boys for “Who Loves You,” but then launched into an Acapella version of “Sherry” (fine, kind of cool.) And then transferred into a full cast version of “Oh What A Night (December, 1963).”

Now, look, it’s generally the best part of a wedding when “Oh What A Night” comes on. Everyone dances, and sings and it’s frickin great! But it’s not as poetically or thematically resonant as “Who Loves You,” for this particular story. Then the original recording of “Sherry” plays over the credits, which awesome.

But all in all, I really enjoyed the movie. There’s too much good in the bones of Jersey Boys, for it to get too screwed up. It’s just all about chasing that music, man, trying to get home.

Rankings! (We’re start to rack them up you guys! It’s exciting!)

  1. Godzilla (still the top man! I loved this movie!)
  2. Chef
  3. X-Men: Days of Future Past
  4. Jersey Boys
  5. Maleficent
  6. The Amazing Spider-Man 2


When The Game Stands Tall: How did I not know they were making a movie about De La Salle? Oh my God! I’ve tuned out of so many conversations about that team…but I’m still going to love it. I love football movies.

The Judge: This movie is going to make me cry. It’s just going to.

This Is Where I Leave You: Ditto. Also, Jason Bateman, Tina Fey and Adam Driver as siblings? Hello, best movie ever!

There were others, but I don’t remember them.

Marvel Comics Wrap Up: 6/18/2014

Hello All! For the first time in a while, I didn’t feel like I was drowning in Marvel. I also had a couple of catch up books that didn’t make it into my order last week. Anyway, let’s get started.

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Original Sins #1: “Deathlok,” “Young Avengers” & “Lock Jaw”

Deathlok kills a guy in Grand Central Station, and I probably won’t be reading that book. I get my fair share of that character in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I don’t get enough Coulson though, so that The Young Avengers are currently posing as him to break into S.H.I.E.L.D does definitely get my attention. It was a fun adventure with them too, and also, I didn’t know the existed. Lock Jaw is a dog, and he keeps popping through portals until Tony Stark gives him a bone. It was super cute.

Secret Avengers #4: “The Nursery”

Maria Hill and MODOK send a bunch of Agents into an ambush. Maria thinks that they’re dead and feels marginally guilty about it. She’s keeping it a secret from Hawkeye, which might be for the best, because, I mean, really, who wants to tell that guy anything?In reality, this was a pretty cool heist story, that I probably would have followed better if this wasn’t the first issue of this book that I picked up.

Original Sin #4

The Punisher and Dr. Strange are tentatively working together. They confront Bucky (who Wolverine tracked down.) Also, Black Panther and Emma Frost are there, because of reasons. While they try to figure out what’s going on next, it turns out that there are like a million Nick Fury’s and also one that’s really old. LMD’s! LMD’s all over the stinking place and I’m really, really, excited about it!

Avengers #31: “500 Into The Future”

500 years in the future, Ultron rules the world and has repopulated it with robots. (That Ultron, what a scamp!) This includes Robot Avengers, who have decided to fight their real flesh and blood selves. The Cap one is probably the most unsettling as he’s decided to flat out torture the real thing. Natasha’s robot is all, “girl we’re survivors,” and Thor punches the other Thor. Then they go 5000 years forward, and Hawkeyes is there, and they’re back in Tony’s lab. I’m completely addicted to this story, you guys, I really can’t wait to see what happens next!

Daredveil #4

Matt fights The Owl, and then gets worried that the guy he was fighting with has a death wish. Poor Matt, he’s trying hard to do the right thing these days, which is nice to see. But he gets a nice speech about how he gets it, it’s hard being down and out, and he’s been there, and he won’t let this guy kill himself. Art continues to be the best part of this book. I love the colors and block drawing.

Nova #18: “Dia De Los Muertos”

Sam does not take The Watcher’s murder well, and immediately goes to deal with Avengers in their quest to get the eye back. But when The Eye explodes, Sam sees a vision of his father, wussing out on a Nova mission and his faith gets shaken. Does he still want to find his dad? Who even knows anymore? Poor Sam. But I will continue to read this. Sam is quickly eclipsing many others to be my new favorite comics character.

Alright! See you guys next week! Peace and love!

DC Comics Wrap Up: 6/18/2014

This was a fun week, in which I have finally whittled down and didn’t feel like I was slogging. I’m starting to plug into characters that I like and even love, and I’ve managed to catch on to most of the storylines that I hadn’t been following in the past. This is all good.

Anyway, let’s dive in to some super fun stuff.


Batman And Robin #32: “Batman & R’as Al Ghul: The Hunt For Robin: Dark of The Sun”

Longest title ever, for an awesome book about Bruce reclaiming Damian’s body from R’as. Also Frankenstein is there. Things go predictably, with a quick reminder of Damian’s truly creepy origin. It’s also nice that Bruce is fighting for his son’s soul at the expense of his life. I mean, it hurts, because I miss the kid. But I’m still holding out hope that he’ll be back by the end of Eternal. I mean, he’ll be back right? We don’t have to wait 20 years like we did for Jason? And speaking of Jason…

Red Hood And The Outlaws #32

Jason had a big week you guys (he was a big part of this week’s Eternal too, finally!) While of course Kori got the worst end of the stick for pin up month…(I mean I get it, they went 80’s instead of 40’s, in theory it’s cool, but in practice, ugh…) But after finally finding their way back to Earth, the gang gets recruited by SHADE, (Also Kori drop kicks a nuke. God, give this girl her own book already!) And something happens to make Kori freak out. Roy makes quips, and Jason tells him to shut up, and it’s everything you want out of Outlaws for a month. There’s even a weird uncomfortable polyamory moment. In case you missed that aspect of this group. (Nobody missed that aspect.)

Future’s End #7

Frankenstein puts the hurt on Black Adam in the Phantom Zone, Terry puts the hurt on Mr. Terrific and Tim/Cal’s girlfriend Madison, who is the daughter of a War Profiteer, as it turns out, yells at Lois to just “leave us alone!” Also, it turns out Roy sent Lois a ton of cryptic information that she has no idea how to use. This fits with the Roy we know a little bit better than I thought. Grifter met his new partner and The Firestorm guys went on with their lives.

Supergirl #32: “Red Daughter of Krypton: Part 4: Homecoming”

So Kara didn’t have a handle on her lantern rage and Guy kicked her out. Good to know. So when she finds herself facing The Diasporans, a group of “the last of their kind” led by The World Killer, Kara goes into Kara Kick Ass Mode and fights the guy. Turns out he speaks Kryptonian, which totally threw her off her game. He declared that he was going to absorb her. Which is hilarious. You can’t absorb Kara Zor-El. She’ll kill you.

Wonder Woman #32: “The Beast of Times”

I love when Wonder Woman gets gross. I really do. It’s one of the only mainstream superhero books that can really carry heavy, heavy, gore without feeling forced. Probably because as a warrior, big battles are a big part of what she’s about. Diana has decided to take back Olympus for her friends, and it’s pretty gross. Also, Orion shows up at the end. Which. YES! More New Gods with Wonder Woman, just, all the time. Also, Wonder Woman’s pin up cover is really cool looking.

Alright you guys. That’s this week. See you all tomorrow for Marvel!