Saturday, March 09, 2019

So Close to Spring

I slept in this morning and finished off The Sleeping Beauty. Since I was having leftover pizza for breakfast, I put on an episode of the original 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series that revolved around the Turtles' obsession with that particular food. "The Case of the Killer Pizzas" has the Turtles chasing down a trio of aliens that hatch out of meatballs that were planted by Shredder and Baxter Stockman on free pies at a bake-off.

Headed out to run a few errands around quarter of noon. Since I was just staying in the area, I decided to do it on foot. It was an absolutely glorious day for a walk anyway. The sun was out, the sky was pale blue, and this time, there was no cold wind to diminish its warmth. The grass is getting greener in most people's yards. A few folks have St. Patrick's Day banners, but most seem to have settled for their just-awakening gardens.

First stop was the Oaklyn Library. It was just me and the librarian as I organized DVDs. Took a few out from there for the first time in a while. They carry several action shows from the 60's and 70's. I opted for one I vaguely remember seeing in re-runs, The Man From Atlantis. The Golden Child with Eddie Murphy is another action film from the mid-80's that Dad-Bill watched constantly when I was a child; thought it might be fun to see it again. Having enjoyed the female-based caper film Ocean's 8 last June, I thought I'd take a look at a darker take on a similar idea, Widows. Grabbed Challenge of the Super Friends from the kids' area for ideas for my current story.

Since it's only a few blocks from the library on the White Horse Pike, I headed to Dunkin' Donuts next for a treat in honor of my having finally finished the Han/Robin Hood story. They were only slightly busier than the library had been. I had no problems ordering a sweet and delicious frozen chocolate. (I like it much better than their Coolattas, which tend to be too sweet.)

Went a few more blocks in the opposite direction down to Dollar General. I was pretty much just there for pads. Also bought replacements for the hanging air fresheners in my closet. They were a little bit busy, but certainly nothing overwhelming, and I was in and out.

Strolled to Dad and Jodie's, which isn't that far from there. They were watching movies. Thankfully, Dad was up and about and seemed a lot better. On one hand, they don't mind Lauren coming down here to visit in May...but we're likely going to need to find our own transportation. Dad's no longer driving, and I can't always find people to drive me places. Lauren and I have already been discussing alternate ideas. We generally don't do as much down here as we do when I visit her, anyway. We take the bus to two malls and the train to the big Macy's in Philly, but we spend most of our time walking around in the local small towns. We also spend less on food. I don't mind making dinner and feeding Lauren. I wish I could do it more often.

Charlie was working on putting shingles on the overhanging roof as I arrived. I ignored his cursing and took down the winter decorations (which I'm just tired of seeing) and made the bed. When he finally left, I put out the two rugs to air, vacuumed, and washed the windows.

Did Challenge of the Super Friends as I worked. To my surprise, the opening credits seemed very familiar. Considering this show originally ran in 1978, I may have seen re-runs in my early childhood, or possibly on the USA Cartoon Express later in the 80's. Basically, it's the Justice League - Wonder Woman, The Flash, Superman, Batman, Robin, Hawkman, Aquaman, Green Lantern, and new character Black Vulcan - pit against the Legion of Doom, aka a group of their regular villains lead by Lex Luthor. The episodes were apparently taken from the Wonder Twins-free second half of the show.

"Trial of the Super Friends" has Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern guarding a "liquid light" that can eat through anything, including a solid concrete dam. They're captured by members of the Legion of Doom, who put them on trial at their Hall of Doom and make them fight android versions of themselves. Meanwhile, the others fight off the liquid light, trying to keep it from destroying New York.

The "Monolith of Evil" is a jagged rock that supposedly gave zombie Solomon Grundy his powers and can enhance dark powers. The Legion of Doom trick Superman, Hawkman, and Black Vulcan into retrieving it for them by shrinking the United Nations and putting it with the Monolith. While Black Vulcan and Hawkman try to help get Superman away from a kryptonite chain, the others try to get the Monolith away from the Legion.

Bizarro, the "evil" version of Superman, creates a ray that can turn the Legion into the "Giants of Doom." They shrink the Super Friends and send them to Saturn...but they manage to escape and manipulate Bizarro's ray, letting Batman, Superman, The Flash, and Green Lantern grow to beat the Legion at their own game.

Time travel is the theme of "Secret Origins of the Super Friends." Actually, we really only get to see the origins of Wonder Woman, Superman, and Green Lantern. The Legion travels back in time to interfere with the past and make everyone forget about three of the Justice League's most famous members. The others find a tape of Luthor's  plans and eventually do some time-hopping of their own to keep the Legion from interfering with history.

I actually ended up quite enjoying these. While the dialogue is stiff and the animation only so-so, it's colorful and fun, with some interesting stories that seem like they could have been lifted directly from the comics of the day. I especially like how they handled Black Vulcan. Unlike his fellow "minority" Justice League members Samurai and Apache Chief who come off as stereotypes, he's dressed and is treated no differently than any of the other Super Friends. He actually has pretty nifty powers - he can throw and handle lightning, which comes particularly handy when he stops Sinestro from messing with Hal Jordan in "Secret Origins."

I enjoyed this enough that I may have to dig around for the full season set. If you have fond memories of seeing it as a kid like I do or are a fan of the Justice League in animation, it's worth looking around for. (I'd also like to dig up The Legendary Super Powers Show, which I remember watching on TV when it was new. Rose and I were huge fans of that show and split most of the toys from that line between the two of us. I think I had Superman, Aquaman, Lex Luthor, and Hawkman, while Rose had Green Lantern, Batman, Robin, The Penguin, The Flash, and Darkseid.)

Worked on writing for the next few hours. Three little girls look up and see a streak of light in the sky over Scarif. It's not a bird nor a plane, but is Force Girl, aka Lelita Ortega, a fire-based superheroine. She's flying as fast as she can away from nasty supervillain Darth Vader and his own minions, who all dress in while and fly via jet packs. Vader doesn't need jet propulsion to fly - he has his own fire powers.

Broke for dinner at 7. I was originally going to make baked ziti, but since I had that second pie crust, I thought I'd try hamburger pie. I made the filling much too soupy. It did taste good in the end, but the inner crust never really cooked all the way. At the very least, it came out better than my lemon meringue pie.

Put on Hot Shots! while I ate. In this parody of Top Gun and other gung-ho military action films of the 1980's, Topper Harley (Charlie Sheen) is persuaded to return to fighting after he left the navy due to his independent nature. The base psychologist, Ramada Thompson (Valerie Golino) notes that he has problems with the death of his father "Buzz" Harley (Bill Irwin) years before and suggests that he doesn't fly. There's a reason Corporal James Block (Kevin Dunn) wants Topper in the air, and it isn't because of his fighting skills. Meanwhile, Topper's falling for Ramada, to the consternation of her boyfriend Lieutenant Kent Gregory (Cary Elwes), and the slightly senile Admiral Benson (Lloyd Bridges) is probably just wonder why all those people are flying around in the air.

Dad-Bruce actually took Rose and me to see this one when it came out in 1991. It was instantly a favorite of ours, and while I now prefer the sequel, this one also has much to enjoy. (I can never hear "Only You" without thinking of the spoof movie montage with Topper and Ramada.) If you love other genre satires from the 80's and 90's like The Naked Gun, you'll probably have just as much fun with this one.

Finished the night with Chicago, the most recent musical to win an Oscar. I go more into this cynical tale of murder and fame in the Windy City of the 1920's at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Chicago (2002)

No comments: