Sunday, October 25, 2020

The Case of the Missing Case - A GI Joe Dio Story by Me

I did one of these a long time ago with my Dr. Who Character Building Figures.  This was way easier.

The background is my monitor.  Derp.  


Sunday, September 6, 2020

Ed Ruscha's Los Angeles Photography GIFTED to us all by The Getty Trust


The Getty Trust has just given the world a gift, as it's been reported elsewhere.  Truly though it is. It's a treasure trove of photography by one of the greatest Los Angeles area artists who ever lived.  Ed Ruscha's archive has recently been released digitally.  It's stunning and lovely.  Find it here:

This is, after all, the Budget Collector Blog.  What better way to enjoy some amazing art than for free in your own home.  

I'm fascinated with the past, and I love to see how things used to look.  Sometimes I can remember them.  If I had been alive.  I was alive for this set of pictures, these were taken August of 1974, I would have been 3.  They come from this session of photos

DISCLAIMER - I POST THESE FOR STUDY PURPOSES ONLY.  Don't sue me Getty.  I was temping there when my kid was born.

$50 for a 21" Color TV!

I remember stamps.

This one fascinates me, because it doesn't look like this at all today.

Same Building!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Superman: Red Son - Animated Film Review

Later reprint of the original 3 issue series.
One of the ways to stretch your budget and still indulge in your inner-geek is to attend special screenings of genre films.  Now I do understand that living in Los Angeles does give me somewhat more access to said screenings, such as the one I attended last night, so this tactic may not work for a lot of you.  OK most of you.  OK both of you reading.

Apparently Warner Brothers Animation likes to have "premier" screenings of their direct-to-video films, and they let the fans in for free.  All you really have to do is to send them an email when the announcements go out.  This time I found out about it early enough and the screening fit into my schedule, so it was a go.

The film was an adaptation of the 2003 Elseworlds mini-series "Red Son" in which instead of landing in Smallville Kansas, Kal-El's rocket lands in the Ukraine and he becomes the Soviet Superman.  I remember buying the original issues at the time and I'm pretty sure I still have them, but it had been an awful long time since I read the comics.  I decided I wasn't going to reread them entirely before I saw the film, just familiarize myself with the major beats of the story.  I figured I wouldn't be nit-picky on what they decided to excise until afterwards.

That was smart to be honest, because I probably WOULD have nit-picked their excising of an entire character and plotline and the re-execution of two major plot-points wasn't quite as graceful as it should be.  If you don't want to be spoiled, don't read the next paragraph.

So the character completely removed was Joseph Stalin's illegitimate son Roslov who is the head of the Soviet Union's secret service.  In the book it's his existential crisis that leads Superman to be absent and allows an assassin to take out Stalin.  Superman then reluctantly takes power.  Also Roslov is the killer of Batman's parents.  In the film version, Roslov is not there and Superman takes out Stalin himself and there's no reluctance about his ascendancy to the Premiership.  Batman's parents seemingly die in a gulag that Superman liberates just after their death.  I think.  It wasn't that clear to be honest.

[End Massive Spoilers]

Overall the story holds up and I think for the most part the filmmakers did a good job of adapting the material.  I did re-read it last night after the screening and most of the beats are still intact.  The editing seemed judicious and the adaptation is superb.

The voice-acting is top-notch.  Jason Isaacs as Superman is really refreshing.  He's not the corn-fed Kansas 'boy-shucks' everyman that Clark appears to be so often in these types of things.  This Superman is a weapon in the beginning who slowly realizes that his ideals and the reality of the world are not compatible.  That even though he only really wants to be a benevolent overlord, even his best intentions are not purely noble.   I also really enjoyed Diedrich Bader as Lex Luthor, who ultimately and unsurprisingly gets the rare win over Superman here. 
Pretty much the entire cast plus Bruce Timm and Sam Liu, writer and director.

It's available for download now, Blu-Ray/DVD
March 17, 2020

Clearly this is a tale of Nature vs. Nurture.  The Superman that we all are familiar with has certain innate values that have evolved over time but are still fairly grounded in his initial incarnations.  This Superman is the same character, only he didn't grow up in the American Heartland loved by two of the greatest parental figures in all of literature.  This Superman came of age being told not to hide his gifts, but rather to use them for the good of his people, however these words came from an mass-murdering insane dictator.  So naturally even if at his core he's the same, this Superman is all together different.

And that's not a bad thing.