Exit from Eden

What follows are some thoughts on nostalgia and how it may blur critical assessment, prompted by yesterday's post on this year's Oscars show.

I'd like to preface them with a quote from an interview that Stefan Blitz (now founder/editor-in-chief of Forces of Geek) and I conducted with comics writer Brian Michael Bendis back in 2001 for my magazine Comicology. After I stopped myself literally in the middle of referring to Stefan as a DVD connoisseur, Stefan made my point for me — by admitting that he owned the 1983 movie Krull.

"You know what's funny about that movie?" said Bendis. "I remember seeing that movie [at 15] with my mom and my brother, and sitting in the movie theater having my first realization that movies could suck."

The Bloom Is Off the Gilded Lily

I wasn't going to write about The 85th Annual Academy Awards.

'The 85th Annual Academy Awards' graphic card with statuette
Image ® & © 2013 AMPAS.

Really. Not outside of some comments on other blogs, anyway. And not because the producers tossed out the formal nomenclature and rebranded this year's show purely as "the Oscars". I'm not above a linguistic gotcha; this is simply not such a gotcha. I honestly expected to be too fatigued and just plain iffy about the telecast that I was happy thinking about not writing about it.

But last night's Oscars telecast, hosted by Seth MacFarlane, was so disappointing that I kind-of can't help myself.

I don't have much to say about the content of the show, which of course won't stop me from saying something as long as I'm here. My anticipated mixture of indifference and irritation was pretty much spot-on. It's that during the telecast I finally came to — hmm... not a realization or epiphany, exactly, more of a rubicon I suppose — a rubicon in terms of my relationship with the annual event. I found myself curiously indifferent about my irritation.

Pre-Oscars Post

As you might've heard, the Oscars are tonight.

The big show starts at 8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT on ABC — whose Go site has a complete list of nominees. If you're into seeing Oscar hopefuls, presenters, and other celebrities on the red carpet, you'll want to check those good ol' local listings.

I'll probably pass on a review of the show. Then again, I've thought that before, and yet — after a bout of Oscars poetry in 2009, when the blog was all of a few days old — I ended up doing post-Oscars posts in 2010, 2011, and 2012. I've enjoyed experiencing other events through the prism of Twitter since joining its ranks last summer, so I just might end up throwing out some instant commentary of my own there as concentration (and WiFi) allows. You can follow me via @BrianLamken, keep an eye on the #Oscars hashtag during the proceedings, or check my page of collected Twitticisms later on.

What Lies Beneath

'Skyfall' movie poster with Daniel Craig walking through the barrel of a gun in standard Bond opening-sequence fashion

James Bond celebrated his 50th anniversary on the silver screen last year. Dr. No
hit theaters in 1962, based on the 1958 Ian Fleming novel of the same name (sixth in the Bond series). It made Sean Connery a star, launched a slate of films that would cement Bond as a global icon for generations to come, and kicked off a spate of imit-ators capitalizing on the spy craze — some of which, like Get Smart and Mission: Impossible, became icons of a certain size in their own right.

Was Skyfall, now out on home video, a worthy way to commemorate Bond's golden jubilee?

Hawk Boy

Bully, a little stuffed bull who is (as Top Shelf's Chris Staros would say) my "friend thru comics," ran a DC subscription ad from 1972 the other day on his blog Comics Oughta Be Fun!.

'Sorry -- I Have No More DC Comics!' / Kids discuss subscribing after newsagent tells them he's out of DC
Subscription ad from Batman #239 © 1972 DC Comics. Pencils: Carmine Infantino.
Inks: Dick Giordano [see below]. Letters: Gaspar Saladino. Script, Colors: Unknown.

It's part of the 365 Days of DC House Ads feature. Every year, Bully gifts readers with at least one nifty daily feature in addition to all the other great stuff he shares, and this latest is right in my nostalgia zone.