Tag Archive: westerns

January 8, 2011

Adding to the tally today:

Fort Apache (1948)
The Comancheros (1961)
The Undefeated (1969)

As luck would have it, AMC was having a “Wild About The Duke” day and showed John Wayne movies all day and night.  I made it through 3 before my husband demanded we eat and get out of the house. 

It was my first time watching Fort Apache; it’s a pretty straight-forward “war with the indians” story, though the real enemy here is the commander played brilliantly by Henry Fonda.  And there lies my only real complaint with the film: despite being an outright ass through the entire film, after he dies (sorry, spoiler) John Wayne & Co insist that he was a hero. 

The Comancheros is one of my favorite Duke flicks; it’s your typical ”cop befriends criminal” sort of story, a la Midnight Run and others.  Stuart Whitman is awfully charming as the New Orleans gambler Paul Regret, though Wayne is equally charming with his constant drawl of “monsieur”.  Also, Lee Marvin!

Sounds repetitive, but The Undefeated is another one of my favorites from John Wayne.  He plays a proud yet open-minded Union commander, foiled by Rock Hudson as the similarly respectable Confederate counterpart.  Hudson and his family and friends are fleeing the South for Mexico after the end of the war, having been promised aide from the Mexican president.  However, things are not as they were promised, and Wayne and his troop must come to the aid of their new friends.  It’s a cute overcoming-prejudice, let’s-all-band-together kind of film; not really challenging in ideaology but easy to watch and a little heartwarming at times. 

That concluded my Wayne-o-thon for the day.  Although I’ll mention I did watch the last 30 min of True Grit when I got home.

I wish I owned this!


I’m sitting here amidst quite a large pile of comic books and Martha Stewart magazines.  The latter is thanks to my mother, who likes to send me all her magazines with recipes in them after she’s read them through.  I won’t lie, she may be an insane ex-con (Martha Stewart, not my mom), but she can whip up a mean pie and plant the hell out of a garden.  As for the aforementioned pile of comics, they are the booty brought home from FREE COMIC BOOK DAY, which was yesterday.  Mick and I celebrated by getting up entirely too early and trekking down to Austin Books, standing in line for close to 20 minutes to get our chance to snag twenty, yes twenty, free comic books.  And not just crap rags either, some pretty good stuff!  I personally cleaned up the Mature Audiences rack, but we really got a ton of stuff from all over.  So in the next few weeks, you’ll probably be hearing about any of the following:

  • The Tick
  • Transmetropolitan
  • Swamp Thing (By Alan Moore)
  • Fables
  • Owly
  • Iron Man/Thor
  • Chew
  • Unknown Soldier
  • Star Wars
  • 100 Bullets
  • Green Hornet
  • Planetary
  • various Oni Press
  • Bongo featuring The Simpsons
  • The Walking Dead
  • Ex Machina

But first, did I tell you I picked up the first two issues of American Vampire?  I think I mentioned that.  Anywho, won’t go into a full review now, but damn!  It’s nice to see some fucking scary vampires again.  Issue #1 was mostly setup, establishing stuff, which of course is important and I’d never say it was dull.  There are two stories being told alternately: the first centers on Pearl, an unlucky actress scraping by as an extra in silent film, working two jobs while she waits for her big break; the second is the story of Will Bunting, the bespectacled penny paper writer who happens to be witness to a bizarre set of murders on a westbound train.  And the thing that ties them together?  The American Vampire himself, Skinner Sweet.  Don’t let the name fool you, he’s anything but sweet.  He’s vicious and dirty and pretty freaking terrifying, not to mention he kinda looks like Kid Rock, which is scary enough in itself.  The terror really kicks in in Issue #2, with some AMAZING art that is completely gruesome and sort of unexpected.  I really REALLY want to show you guys one of the frames, but I think it might be more fun if I don’t.  I’ll just say that I turned a page and dropped the damn book, nearly choking on my coffee.  It was that awesome.  Kudos to mister Rafael Albuquerque for doing a fantastic job thus far.  So, perhaps needless to say, I’ll be picking up the rest of this series as soon as I can get my hands on them.  I suggest you do the same. 

Also on the exciting new media front, I finally got to sit down for my first screening of El Topo.  I’m sure you can guess how I felt about that…no?  Well, let me tell you, IT WAS GREAT.  It’s like David Lynch and Clint Eastwood had a baby, then they turned that baby loose in the Mexican desert and gave it a bunch of acid.  It was very much like three dreams strung together.  I don’t really know what else I can say about it; it’s something that really just needs to be experienced.  We have a stack of a couple other Jodorowsky films for me to check out, so you might hear about those sometime soon as well. 

Really that’s all you’ve missed in the last few days.  We’re in the process of migrating the old CMDS website over to the new backbone, which basically involves me copying and pasting every article (almost) onto a new backbone.  I can’t complain, our codemonkey Naj has busted his ass over all this for ages, and it really turned out better than we ever dreamed.  Now there’s just a little bit of tedium on my part, a little cleaning up for Naj and Mick, and voila!  The new and improved CyberMonkeyDeathSquad will be launching ever so soon!  I’m excited, you should be excited, it’s an exciting time! 

Also, I got some plants today.  Thanks to mom (again!) for hooking me up with a huge freakin palm, some violets, a ton of 4-o’clocks, mint, ivy, some butterfly bush, some other red flower thing that I forget the name of, and a pot of mystery bulbs which I don’t know if I took on purpose or not.  About half of them went in the ground before dinner, the rest will have to wait until tomorrow.  At the moment my back and neck are killing me, and it seems like an opportune time for a super-hot bath.  So I’m heading that way.  Be excellent to each other, my little ones.

Yeah, I’m lame, so what?

Well, I’m not quite sure what to say.  I’ve been specializing lately in dull and boring, “low key”, you might call it.  Which is really nice for my mental state, but not so nice for blogging.  The only thing I have to tell you about is the westerns I watched and the bags I knitted. 

However, as I write this, Mick is playing his guitar.  I love the way it sounds drifting in from the other room.  He doesn’t play nearly as much as he used to; I’ve always loved listening to him.  Occasionally he’ll even sing.  I know he doesn’t think he’s all that great, but I love it anyways.  It’s how he proposed, you know.  He’s sweet like that. 

The Kentuckian is on tv right now, and I’m having a hard time watching it because the star, Burt Lancaster, looks a lot like our friend David Newbould.  Maybe I should knit Dave an orange hat like that.  I’ve still been knitting on these damn market bags, two down so far and two more to go.  If I’m feeling industrious, I might try and bust out a fifth one using the leftovers from the other four.  I’ve only got three or four other projects lined up behind it, and only a few weeks left before the show. 

But back to The Kentuckian…I’m only watching it because I watched the movie that was on before it, North To Alaska.  It’s a John Wayne movie that somehow had escaped me before now.  I gotta say, I enjoyed it.  The Duke plays an Alaskan miner who strikes it big with his partner, and agrees to go to Seattle to bring back his partner’s fiance.  When he arrives only to find the fiance has gone on and married someone else, he decides to bring back another girl to help mend his friend’s broken heart.  But of course, The Duke and the girl fall for each other, hilarity and hijinks ensue, and in the end he wins out.  But not before a huge brawl in the muddy streets, complete with goats and drunks and eskimos.  I will say this: I enjoy some good slapstick now and then, but the goofy sound effects really don’t do it for me.  Slide whistles, little birdie noises, the quintessential “boing!” when someone falls down, it’s all just so silly.  I know that may seem very high-brow of me, my apologies.  Other than that, there was a lot of very laughable moments.  I recommend.

I’m afraid to say that tomorrow probably won’t bode much better for blogging on the excitement scale.  All that’s on my agenda is going to the grocery store and…well, that’s it so far.  I’ll try and think of something exciting to do and tell you about.  Enjoy your evening!

The Dancing Never Ends!

I just drove my husband out of the living room.

Not on purpose, mind you.  We each sat down to do a bit of writing, and were simply reminded that we don’t work the same.  It’s not a bad thing; if anything, it’s probably a good thing most times.  I have an issue where I have to have complete silence when I write.  I can sometimes work with the tv on mute, but most times I’ll turn it off completely.  Mick, on the other hand, has to have noise when he writes.  A show or some music or something going on in the background.  Helps him get into the right frame of mind.  I guess I’m just more easily distracted.

Well I wrapped up the last of my birthday celebrations yesterday after going out to dinner with my dad and Spud.  I’ll say now that this has been a pretty geeky birthday, as far as gifts go.  Which is awesome, mind you.  I bought a ton of yarn with the gift certificate my brother gave me.  Mick got me an AMAZING owl mask from the one and only Miss Monster, AND as if that wasn’t enough, the first volume of Absolute Sandman!  If you haven’t seen these things, well then you must not be a Sandman fan.  And if you’re not a Sandman fan, well, I don’t know if we can be friends.  There’s a couple volumes out that encompass the whole of the original series, plus all sorts of sketches, outtakes (for lack of a better word), unfinished frames, lots of neat little extras.  It’s a beautiful leather-bound book too, no paperback here.  And, knowing how much those suckers cost, I am very appreciative of it! 

On top of that, my parents managed to shock me with their gift: An Anthology of Beowulf Criticism!  I’m sure to most of you that sounds like the most boring thing you could possibly recieve, but dammit I think it’s awesome.  You may have read earlier about my studying Old English, and of course you can’t go through Old English without reading some Beowulf.  Or you could do like me and take an entire semester-long graduate class doing nothing but translating Beowulf.  So for me, this book is effin sweet.  A lot of the pieces in here I’ve read before but haven’t owned copies of.  And it’s got all of the essentials: Blackburn, Tolkien, Kemp Malone, Herbert Wright, Margaret Goldsmith, plus more, eighteen in all.  I look forward to settling down to read them soon.  Because occasionally I feel the need to be all high-falutin and edumacated and stuff.     

On an unrelated note, this kid in a 1956 western is totally doing some sort of insane breakdancing at a hoedown.  I have no idea what’s going on in this movie.

It’s a lot trippier if you watch it with the sound off.  “This kid”, btw, is Russ Tamblyn.  Fuckin Dr. Jacoby!  Dancing his ass off!

Anywho, so that was the end of my very pleasant Birthday 2k10.  And for all that celebrating, I didn’t have a single piece of cake.  How wrong is that?  Very wrong, I say.  Funny how silly little things end up being more important to you than you realize, or want to admit.  Well, aside from having no cake, it was a very pleasant birthday. 

Now that the birthday festivities have ended, it’s back to insane needlework.  I keep meaning to find out when the actual show is, but remember that “easily distracted” thing I was talking about earlier?  Yeah.  More of that.  Market bags are coming, plus the odd tea cozy thrown in here and there because they’re quick and don’t require thinking.  I’ve found a couple new patterns to use with my new yarns that should prove quite awesome. (did you see that bright yellow yarn in the picture?  that’s going to be an amazing lace shawl.)

I’m also trekking along through Dune (still), and still really loving it.  I’ve passed into Part III now, so I’m getting close to the end.  It doesn’t feel like it’s about to end, it feels like there’s so much left to cover.  I’m guessing that means this last 1/3 will go at breakneck speed.  After that, we’ll see how I feel about getting into the next one in the series.  In fact, I’m gonna go do that now.  I’ll see you suckers later!

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