Posts Tagged ‘Firefly


All New Showcase Episode 292: San Diego Comic-Con 2013

AllNewShowcase2This week, Blake decides it’s high time the Showcase got a new coat of paint, a slightly amended format, and a much snazzier archive page. Welcome to the first episode of the All New Showcase! In this episode, Blake explains the reasons for the change before sitting down with Kenny and Erin to talk about all the news from this year’s San Diego Comic-Con International. Witchblade Vs. the Darkness, the Simpsons meeting the Griffins and the Planet Express crew, Riverdale swaming with zombies, JMS taking on the Twilight Zone, new series for Harley Quinn, the return of Nightcrawler, Avengers 2 gets a title and Man of Steel 2 gets a guest-star! This and much, much more in the first All New Showcase! Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at!

And what’s cool this week? For Kenny, it’s Pacific Rim, for Erin it’s the works of the late Richard Matheson, and for Blake it’s The Argonauts!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

All New Showcase #292: San Diego 2013



The Blu-Ray Question: To Double Dip, or Not To Double Dip?

Last weekend I did something I’ve been resisting for quite some time: I purchased a Blu-Ray set that I already owned on DVD. Although I have begun buying Blu-Ray for movies heavy on the visuals I have not re-purchased anything before. I like a movie to look and sound great, don’t misunderstand, but the difference isn’t worth it to me to drop twenty, thirty, fifty bucks on something I already own. I didn’t have this problem when I went from VHS to DVD, because I never really collected VHS tapes. Oh, I had a few, mostly Christmas and birthday presents. I never really bought a lot of VHS myself. When DVD hit, though, I felt the urge to compile my own video store.

I finally broke and repurchased for three very important reasons:

  1. The Blu-Ray in question was the complete set of Joss Whedon’s Firefly, one of the greatest and most criminally underrated science fiction television series of the past decade.
  2. Amazon had the set on sale for $24, less than I paid for the DVD set back in the day and really cheap for a full season of a TV show (even a season that only lasted 13 episodes).
  3. My girlfriend Erin (hi sweetie) virtually commanded me to do so.

That said, I don’t plan on making a habit out of this. There aren’t a lot of properties that can make me turn out money twice. There are, however, a couple of releases coming out later this year that are making me think about it…

Superman: The Motion Picture Anthology will be released in just a few weeks, and you are all under orders to report to me the cheapest price you can find. This set will include all four Christopher Reeve Superman movies, the Richard Donner cut of Superman II, the film Superman Returns and the documentary Look, Up in the Sky. That’s one of my all-time favorite movies, several other movies that I enjoy to one degree or another… and Superman IV. If I could find this for a decent price, I would consider it.

Coming out at the end of June is the Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Blu-Ray. I loved these films, but I easily resisted the Blu-Ray edition of the theatrical cuts. The extended cuts, though… first of all, I don’t have all of those on DVD, so this wouldn’t be a complete double-dip. Also, this edition comes with a digital copy of the trilogy, and I like having the digital copies available to take anywhere. Like the Superman set, if I can find this at a good price, I’d consider it.

But one set I will not get on Blu-Ray, much to the consternation of one of my Showcase co-hosts? The Star Wars: The Complete Saga box set. To be fair, I don’t hate the prequel trilogy the way that a lot of people do. (It’s clearly inferior to the original, but I think the films have some merit, and except for Hayden Christensen’s performance, Episode III is actually quite good). But there is no way in hell I’m going to spend any money on this set, and mainly because I feel like is another blatant cash grab by Lucasfilm. First they put out the DVD of the original trilogy, but only the “special edition” versions. Then a few years ago, they finally released the original versions on DVD, but not in anamorphic widescreen. (WIDESCREEN IS THE WAY TO GO, PEOPLE.) They also released the prequels as they came out, which is to be expected. This boxed set? No original version of the original trilogy — again, only the “special editions” — which to me speaks of a plan to release those again at a later date, sucking cash away from the fans again. The set also lacks any real additional special features, meaning you’re just paying for something you already have all over again. And that says nothing of Lucas’s plan to re-release all six films in 3-D in a couple of years, which you know will be followed by yet another Blu-Ray release. Forget it, Lucas. As long as I own a device that can play the discs I already have, I’m not dropping another dime on those six movies.


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 210: Godzilla, Pixar, Cartoons and Cussin’

The boys get to rambling this week on every topic that comes to mind, including the innovative Godzilla #1 promotion, changes to the Pixar comics, and movie chat about Iron Man 3, All Star Superman, Toy Story, The Muppets, and Blake explains why he would rather pay money to see the Justin Bieber movie than I Am Number Four. Also, Ducktales. In the picks, it’s a Superman Family double feature: Kenny pulls out the Superman: Birthright paperback, and Blake discusses Supergirl #61. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 210: Godzilla, Pixar, Cartoons and Cussin’


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 185: The Unsung Heroes

This week the boys line up another top ten (or seven… or eight…) episode, as they get together to discuss some of their favorite underrated characters from comics, television, movies, video games, and even a book or two without pictures. Which warriors do the guys say just don’t get the respect they deserve? And in the picks, Blake selects Superman/Batman #75 and Kenny digs on Booster Gold #35. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at!

Music provided by the Podshow Podsafe Music Network.

Episode 185: The Unsung Heroes

Inside This Episode:


Halloween Party: Return of the Living Dead 3

Return of the Living Dead 3I like a good zombie movie, but to me, a good zombie movie features the George Romero archetype — the shambling, brainless flesh-eaters, as opposed to the wisecracking or (even worse) tormented brain-eaters as envisioned by John Russo in the Return of the Living Dead series. For some strange reason, though, reviewing the installments of this series seems to have become one of my Halloween Party traditions. I guess I should be grateful there’s only two left after this one.

Following the 1985 original and the 1988 sequel, horror fans had to wait for 1993 for part three. Aside from the return of the Trioxin gas, however, this one had nothing to do with the previous installments, and that’s probably why it was the best in the series to date. J. Trevor Edmond stars as Curt Reynolds, teen son of a military man who decides to give his girlfriend Julie (Melinda Clarke, who I finally managed to recognize as Nandi from Firefly) a thrill by sneaking her onto the base where his father is in charge. The two happen to show up on the night that the base is testing out the Trioxin on a not-so-fresh corpse. The kids watch as the guy comes back to life, then duck out of there. When Curt’s dad shows up and tells him they’re moving, Curt and Julie rush off on his motorcycle. Julie’s frisky nature, however, leads to a crash that threatens to take her away from him forever — unless he finds a way to make the Trioxin work for them.

While the acting is still incredibly weak in this installment in the series, and the script isn’t much better, I have to admit this movie definitely has the strongest story in the series thus far. There’s a real motivation here, and some real drama beyond just “somebody does something stupid, an entire cemetery pops up and starts eating paramedics.” Edmond’s character is a whiny little brat, but again, that feels more like a case of a poor performance than poor writings. The “Riverman” they meet is, similarly, a really poor character, but he leads to an interesting twist at the end of the film.

It’s not a good movie, but it’s an improvement over the first two, which is actually quite a surprise at this point in the franchise. I’ve heard nothing but bad things about the last two movies, Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis and Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave, both of which were released in 2005, which of course is the mark of quality. Fortunately, on my current schedule it’ll be a whole year before I have to subject myself to either of them.


The 180 Days of Christmas

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I’m a big fan of Christmas music. Just ask Erin — the day after Thanksgiving we got in the car only for her to discover that my iPod had already been thoroughly Kringled. I’ve got a pretty substantial library of Christmas music saved up on the computer, and when that happens, there are bound to be several versions of the same song. I’ve got lots of Rudolphs, several Frosties, a good number of O Holy Nights… but the song I seem to have more variations of than any other is that perennial classic, The 12 Days of Christmas.

After a quick perusal of my iTunes library I count no less than 15 variations of this song, and I thought it’d be interesting to run them down today in the Christmas Party. First of all, let me point out that the “12 Days” in question actually refer to the Liturgical calendar — the 12 days of the Church’s Christmas Season. It actually begins on December 25 and counts down to the celebration of the Epiphany (a.k.a. “Twelfth Night”) on January 6. Which is also the day St. Nicholas and his helpers make visits to a number of countries — he doesn’t actually do it all on Christmas Eve. But I’m getting off topic.

I think I know why this song gets recorded (seemingly) more than any other. It’s easy. All you’ve got to do is come up with different “gifts” for the twelve days and, BAM, you’ve got a Christmas novelty song. And in fact, none of the variations of the song I have on iTunes are a “straight” version. Because let’s face it, the “straight” version of the song is unbearably boring. The only versions I have that actually use the original lyrics are performed by the Chipmunks, the Looney Tunes, and John Denver with the Muppets (the last of those being my favorite).

Changing the gifts, of course, is a common theme to create variety in the song. Versions I have that do this include:

  • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (the Turtles apparently gave Splinter “a pizza with pepper-o-ni.”)
  • The Smurfs (“a star on top of my tree”).
  • Kay DeKalb Smith from the album Humbug! Christmas Songs For the Scrooge in Your Life (in which Ebenezer Scrooge gave “a Partridge Family LP”.)
  • Bob and Doug McKenzie‘s version — one of my favorites for this line only: “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… a beer.” They don’t even try to fit the rhyme scheme.
  • Redneck 12 Days of Christmas, courtesy of Jeff Foxworthy, in which he got “some parts to a Mustang GT.”
  • Firefly’s 12 Days of Christmas, in which Julesong pays tribute to one of the greatest dead science fiction TV shows by wishing for “a big damn trilogy.”
  • Heavy Metal Christmas, courtesy of Twisted Sister, which features someone receiving “A tattoo of Ozzy.” (Which Erin and I had to listen to through day eight to understand.)

Then there are the ones that abandon the “gift” concept and just go crazy.

  • The 12 Yats of Christmas, by Benny Grunch and the Bunch, is a New Orleans-area perennial. It starts with “a crawfish they caught in Arabie” and moves down to an increasingly intoxicated singer with his “Six pack of Dixie [beer]” and an increasingly frustrated house decorator trying to put up the tree “before you drive me nuts.”
  • The 12 Pains of Christmas, a classic by Bob Rivers, documents Yuletide headaches from “finding a Christmas tree” to “singing Christmas carols.” This one just gets funnier with every verse.
  • The 12 Gifts of Christmas by Alan Sherman is in a similar vein, beginning with “A Japanese transistor radio” and counting out 11 more gifts no one in their right mind would ever want.
  • The 12 Days of Clonemas is a parody by JC Hutchins based on his epic 7th Son  novel series, which is very funny, but probably only if you’ve listened to the book.

And finally, the Reduced Shakespeare Company has the 12 Tips of Christmas, which isn’t actually a song, but uses the 12 days conceit, so I’ll count it. Reed Martin, Austin Tichenor and Matthew Croake offer such tips as trying to get David Cassidy as your Partridge in your Pear Tree and picking up Ishtar as your Christmas turkey.

So I’m counting 180 Days of Christmas just on my iPod alone. Which versions have I forgotten, friends?

May 2023

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