Tuesday, September 29, 2015


This week in TONY'S TIPS at Tales of Wonder...Marvel and I are taking a time out. It's me, but it's also them.


There may be some SPOILERS AHEAD, but none you haven’t already seen on the Internet. Welcome to 2015.

Scream Queens stars Jaime Lee Curtis and that was reason enough for me to watch the two-hour series premiere. The premise is slasher movie basic: On the 20th anniversary of a horrible crime, an unknown killer is seeking vengeance by eliminating Kappa House sorority members one by one.

The execution - groan - of the show is darkly hilarious. From the seeming revenge motive of the devil-garbed killer to the absolutely awful sorority girls, it’s a funny love letter to those who love these movies.

I have a couple of concerns about the series. The slaughter mixed with satire was almost overpowering spread out over two hours. We might see a better balance when we’re only watching the series one  hour at a time.

The series has yet to give us a single character we can root for. To be sure, there are degrees of unpleasantness among the players, but every one of them has committed an actual crime or covered up a crime. Even if it’s a hero who must seek redemption,I need at least one hero  to emerge from the pack.

Will I continue to watch this series? The show scored points with a final scene I didn’t see coming...and that doesn’t happen often with me. Plus...there’s always the chance there will be scenes of Curtis in enticing stages of undress. Yes, I know that sounds more than a little creepy, but my feelings for the actress are genuine. Back when Curtis was a product spokesperson, I would even watch her Activia commercials.

Okay...a lot creepy.

Limitless is based on a Bradley Cooper movie I never saw. Despite that, I decided to check out the pilot of the TV series. Here’s the premise:

Brian Finch [played by Jake McDorman] is a musician who has drifted through life without achieving any success. Given a mysterious drug by an old friend, he’s suddenly able to access 100% of his brain. When that friend is murdered, Brian becomes the leading suspect. He ends up working with the F.B.I. to find the real killer. Since the drug eventually kills all its users and since Brian seems immune to that serious side effect, the Bureau decided to keep him around as a special consultant. He works with Special Agent Rebecca Harris, who is played by the very special Jennifer Carpenter. I love this actress, so this strikes me as excellent casting.

What I like about the series is Brian’s obvious love for his family and his eagerness to do good things to help people. Like comics, I think TV could use more “white hat” heroes like Finch. What I’m not as keen on is that usual vast conspiracy behind this drug and that the late father of Agent Harris might have been part of it. We are a sad country filled with scary conspiracies in our fiction and in our political discourse. Paranoia is the new black.

Limitless has earned my interest for now. If future episodes have as much going for them as this pilot did, I’ll be a regular viewer.

The Muppets is the newest TV show starring the beloved characters created by Jim Henson. The series is a behind the scenes look at a late night talk show starring Miss Piggy with Kermit as executive producer. It’s a more adult take on the former couple and the rest of the Muppet gang and, as such, it has generated its fair share of controversy...even beyond being deemed “perverted” by the moronic, math-challenged One Million Moms. A few thousand pseudo-Christian right-wing zealots do not a million make.

I understand the disappointment of the more reasonable Muppets fans who see the characters as strictly family fare. I think the series might be a more natural fit for HBO or Netflix. Still, even though there are jokes about drug use and sex, I found the material mild compared to most sitcoms.

The Muppets is just that: a sitcom starring comical characters who aren’t actually human but, like the ducks in the comics stories of Carl Barks and Don Rosa, to name two great creators, are generally treated as human. Fozzy is a bear and a concern to the parents of his girlfriend, but, in the world of this series, he’s just another kind of human being.

I found The Muppets funny and, at times, bittersweet. It really is sad that Piggy and Kermit aren’t a couple. It’s sad Fozzy and human girlfriend Riki Lindhome are forced to cope with the intolerance of her parents. But, woven into and around the drama, are funny lines about the band’s drug use, a catty rivalry between Piggy and guest Elizabeth Banks and the comical disrespecting of Tom Bergeron from Dancing with the Stars. I thought the show was fun. I’ll continue watching it as long as it remains fun.

Rosewood was an impulse watch. I happened to be in our living room with nothing to do but try not to think about how much I hurt from my dental surgery and decided to give it a chance.

The title character is a brilliant independent pathologist-for-hire with a congenital heart condition that could take him at any time. But he clearly lives a productive life to the fullest, is driven to find answers and help people, and takes a liking to a Miami police detective. The odd couple solve crimes together.

I thought the pilot episode was well-written and well-acted. I love that the leads [Morris Chestnut and Jaina Lee Ortiz] are people of color and thus more reflective of the United States as my country really is. Given my natural affinity for cop shows, I’m sticking with Rosewood to see how it develops.

The Simpsons received quite a bit of advance press for their season opener via their “leaked” storyline about Homer and Marge splitting up. That wasn’t exactly what happened in “Every Man's Dream,” but the episode was almost psychedelic in its shifting points of view. I found it amusing but uneven.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine launched its third season with a literal bang as detectives Peralta and Santiago finally gave in to their attraction for one another. It’s a heartwarming pairing and I hope the series keeps it going. There were other laughs from Captain Holt trying to endure the machinations of arch-enemy Madeline Wuntch and still more laughs from the precinct’s new captain. This is a well-acted ensemble show that makes me laugh week after week.

Look for more TV talk later in the week. I’ll be back soon with some other stuff. Probably comics, maybe politics, definitely not Cleveland baseball or football. I’m already in enough pain from my dental work.
© 2015 Tony Isabella

Monday, September 28, 2015


Back when there was but one new TV season per year, that new season was more of an event. Young Tony would study the “Season Premiere” issue of TV Guide thoroughly and try to determine which of the three channels he would try to watch at any given time. Of course, these days, I have more than three channels available to me and new shows and/or season launch throughout the year.

There does remain a certain excitement for the new “fall season” of television. Because of my painful and painfully slow recovery from last week’s dental surgery, I have watched a lot of the new season. If I write about it, I can delude myself into believing I wasn’t just goofing off. I was working.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

WARNING! There will be some spoilers ahead, but only when necessary for the discussions of some shows.

The Late Show with Stephan Colbert has brought this viewer back to the traditional late night talk show. Colbert - the real Colbert, not the right-wing pundit he played on The Colbert Report - is an appealing and talented host. His bouncy dance entrances have grown on me. His opening monologues - one standing, one sitting behind a desk - are well done with at least a few killer lines every night. Bandleader Jon Baptiste and Stay Human are terrific. Every after a couple weeks, the show’s opening graphics are impressive.

Colbert fans who are disappointed in the talk show appear to have expected that this show would be the liberal version of The Colbert Report. Instead, though Colbert is a thoughtful progressive in most ways, he quickly proved himself to be the best interviewer in late night. He has presented an interesting range of guests, some of them very serious people, and shown a knack for letting them reveal themselves. In the cases of guests like Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, the revelations have not helped those individuals.

Colbert doesn’t score with every comedy bit, but he succeeds more often than not. His musical guests don’t do much for me, but they didn’t do much for me on his previous show either. However, just as with his previous show, The Late Show is must-record television and a great companion to my morning meals.

I had to watch Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris. NPH is not just one of my favorite entertainers. He is someone I admire as an entertainer and a force for good in the world. His opening show was a bit too frantic and uneven, but it did make me smile most of the time. In a world where I had more leisure time than I have at the moment, I’d be a regular viewer.  But...

There is a lot of work on my desk of late. There are a lot of shows and some sporting events I watch with family members. There are a great many “B” movies I want to watch as I contemplate and prepare for getting involved in the making of such movies. Best Time Ever just didn’t make the cut.

On the other hand, Best Time Ever is available “on demand.” It is likely I’ll watch at least some future episodes.

Two quick cuts. I lasted around five minutes each on Moonbeam City (Comedy Central) and We’ve Got Issues (E!). Comedy Central needs to be airing reruns of The Critic and creating new episodes as well. As for E!, it should launch another weekly series like The Soup to mock its own programming. The network needs to do much more penance for putting the Kardashians on the air.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

The Big Bang Theory kicked off with the welcome wedding of Leonard and Penny and the honestly heartrending breakup of Sheldon and Amy. Unfortunately, it then took the former into sitcom and soap opera cliche, failed to elicit any actual comedy or drama from the latter and made the recurring character Stuart even more pervy unsettling than he already was. I expect more from this series.

Gotham’s second-season premiere had me shaking my head. It zoomed from dark to can’t-see-my-hand-in-front-of-my-face-pitch-blackness in the first few scenes. Despite some great acting, this was tough to watch. Are there any heroes in Gotham? Are those characters redeemable at this point? I suspect I’ll be recording this series once Supergirl makes her debut.

Scorpion’s premiere moved too fast as well. The series has always demanded a high suspension of disbelief, but watching Walter [Elyes Gabel] and Paige [Katharine McPhee] cling to a weather balloon with the lives of ten million people in their hands was too over the top for me. The Walter/Paige and the Toby/Happy romantic relationships also moved too fast to be convincing. This show has fun characters and situations, but it needs to bring it down several notches lest it become a Mission Impossible parody.

Blindspot stars the wonderful Jaimie Alexander as an amnesiac woman covered with tattoos that predict future crimes and possessing mad secret-agent skills. Alexander is great in the show. The supporting characters less so, but still adequate to their roles. I like this one a lot.

In this debut episode, we learn Alexander’s Jane Doe agreed to the procedure that left her without memories of her past. The viewers learn this via flashback. The show’s characters don’t learn this. But there’s the problem with that as I see it. With a huge reveal like that, I will need to have a satisfying ending to this series. By the end of the first season. You can’t put that forward in the first episode and not deliver a satisfying payoff by the end of the season. Unless the writers have a great new direction for a second season, Blindspot should be one and done.

One more for today.

The season premiere of Castle came off like a homework assignment thrown together at the last minute. When the previous season ended, the series hasn’t been renewed. Beckett - aka Mrs. Castle - had two choices before her. She could become a captain or she could run for political office. Early in this season premiere, we learn that she is now the captain of her former precinct.

Instead of exploring the new dynamic between the lead characters, the show immediately sends Beckett off into some secret conspiracy crap that has her on her own, hunted by assassins and wanted by the police. Just a shade less silly than sending her and Castle off in a weather balloon.

Meanwhile, Castle has decided to go back into the private eye biz in a big way. He’s renovated his office into such a garish man-cave that Donald Trump would look at it and say “too much.” Daughter Alexis has taken it upon herself to join the private eye operation and, while actress Molly C. Quinn is usually up for any plot twist, she seems confused about this one.

The rushed nature of the season premiere is even more pronounced in supporting player Javier Esposito [Jon Huertas] who is noticeably heavier than in the previous season. Far from Tubby Tony to dwell on an actor’s appearance, but it’s a jarring change from the buff detective viewers had gotten use to.

Also...no appearance by the delightful Susan Sullivan as Castle’s mom. That just ain’t right.

Castle, usually so brilliant and entertaining, has disappointed me in the past. This time around, it feels like the series has begun a long, slow circling of the drain.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2015 Tony Isabella

Sunday, September 27, 2015


PS Artbooks, a United Kingdom-based company, has been reprinting a vast assortment of public domain comics from the 1940s and 1950s in hardcover editions. Some of these volumes are excellent and others not so much. However, the collections are always interesting. Maybe I’m a comics history junkie, but I’ll always leap at the chance to read even lousy comics from those decades.

Growing up in the 1960s as a comics fiend, I never knew that these publishers, excellent and otherwise, even existed. When I learned of them, I never dreamed I’d have the opportunity to buy and read entire runs of such titles. Which brings us to Pre-Code Classics: Weird Tales of the Future [$47.99], which collects all eight issues of that science fiction and horror series.

Weird Tales of the Future was originally published by Stanley P. Morse, whose comics were published under several different company shell names. The quality of these comic books was never high, but some talented artists appear in them. Those artists include Basil Wolverton, Ross Andru, Mile Esposito and, on some covers, Bernard Baily.

Wolverton is the star of the title. His “Jumpin’ Jupiter” stories are clever and honestly funny. His serious stories have an insane quirkiness and a distant kinship to the underground comics of the late 1960s and early 1970s. As for the other stories, there isn’t a standout in the bunch. At best, they are journeyman space opera and horror tales.  

Ironically, these inferior tales had a life beyond their original publication. Many were reworked - with added gore and viscera - for 1970s black-and-white magazines like Tales from the Tomb. Side by side comparisons of such stories would be interesting.

Pre-Code Classics: Weird Tales of the Future is for comics history fanatics like me. Just don’t pay full price for it.

ISBN 978-1-84863-811-2


The Simpsons remains one of my favorite TV series. While not every one of each season’s 22 episodes hits the mark, the show amuses me far more often than not. The same can be said for Simpsons Comics [Bongo Comics; $2.99 per issue), its Bart Simpson spin-off series and its various one-shots and specials.

While recovering from extensive dental surgery, a recovery that is, sadly, still ongoing. I read Simpsons Comics #220-223. I liked them a lot. Even when the execution of the basic concepts didn’t quite come together, those concepts were inventive enough to maintain my interest in the issues.

Issue #220’s “Drinker, Failure, Bowler Spy” has Ned Flanders going to Moe’s in search of a social life and being so appalled by said drinking den of despair that he opens his own bar. It’s written by Max Davison with art by Nina Matsumoto (pencils) and Andrew Pepoy (inks).

Issue #221's “Yellow is the New Black” sends both Marge and Homer to the Springfield Women’s Correctional Facility.” The script is by Eric Rogers with art by Phil Ortiz (pencils) and Mike DeCarlo (inks).

Writer Ian Boothby delivers the best of this latest batch with “Now You Wiggum, Now Your Don’t” in issue #222. Homer bonds with Ralph Wiggum in a touching story drawn by Matsumoto and Pepoy.

Simpsons Comics #223 has the most inventive story with “The Book of Jobs” by Max Davison. Homer is discovered to be a sort of nexus of Springfield job creation with hilarious results. The art is by Rex Lindsey (pencils) and Dan Davis (inks).

Simpsons Comics delivers fun and good value in every issue. If you haven’t checked out the Bongo titles in a while, I recommend you do so soon.


I’m not big on sword-and-sorcery comic books, but I always like to have at least one ongoing series in the genre on my reading pile on account of I love variety. Of late, that series has been Conan the Avenger [Dark Horse; $3.50]. Writer Fred Van Lente usually delivers solid adventure tales with entertaining daring-do, comely wenches of sometimes suspect morality, sinister sorcerers and cool creepy creatures. Though, on rare occasion, Conan doesn’t seem quite right to me and though the visuals are sometimes uneven - I like Eduardo Francisco better than Brian Ching or Guiu Vilanova - I continue to enjoy this title. I’ll keep reading it.


The Valiant Universe is getting a little complicated for my taste - that’s true of most super-hero universes these days - but, between helpful “The Story So Far...” summaries on the inside front covers of most Valiant issues and the writers of the issues doing a good job bringing and keeping their readers in the loop, I seldom feel lost in the stories. Even so, my preference is for more narrowly-focused stories that show me an angle I haven’t seen in dozens of other super-hero comics. That’s the case with Dead Drop [$3.99 per issue], a four-issue series in which some extraordinary “ordinary” young people hold their own with the super-humans.

There’s an alien virus on the market. The organization running the super-heroes wants it. But it’s been stolen by a thief and passed along from place to place through a dead drops scattered throughout New York City. X-O Manowar and Archer are called in to retrieve the virus. Things don’t go as planned.

Writer Alex Kot keeps the scenario believable. There’s a good deal of humor in these issues. Seeing ordinary protagonists run circles around far more powerful opponents speaks to my soul. I’m not sure what further meaning this limited series will have in the Valiant Universe’s future, but it was an enjoyable tale. It didn’t deliver a complete sense of closure, but it did offer a satisfying ending. Increasingly, satisfying endings to stories are becoming a rarity from the big universe publishers.

Kudos to artist Adam Gorman whose lively storytelling and drawing tickled my fancy. Additional kudos to coloring Michael Spicer for doing what colorists are supposed to do, bring hue and mood to the story without overpowering it.

As I said, my personal reading tastes are moving away from the big universe comics. Still, I like the Valiant books enough that I am  kind of sort of collecting them with an eye towards getting myself completely up to speed on them in 2016.

That’s my Sunday with comic books. I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2015 Tony Isabella

Saturday, September 26, 2015


In the beginning, at least for the purposes of this bloggy thing, there was Reptilicus, a 1961 Danish/USA film about a reptilian sock puppet that attacked Copenhagen and featured a toe-tapper of a song called “Tivoli Nights.” Audiences looked upon this movie and saw that it was goofy fun.

Reptilicus the movie begat Reptilicus the comic book, two issues of which were published by Charlton Comics, which was also publishing  ongoing Gorgo and Konga titles. With the third issue, probably because this title wasn’t selling nearly as well as the other two, Reptilicus the comic book begat Reptisaurus the comic book. It took anither issue or two before Reptisaurus stopped looking like Reptilicus. It took a few more issues for the renamed title to get cancelled. However, this was not the end of the begatting.

Reptisaurus the comic book begat Reptisaurus, a 2009 monster movie that has not yet been released in the United States. After viewing a YouTube preview of the film which include a blurb stating it was based on the Reptisaurus the Terrible comic book. At that moment, I knew I had to see this movie. My desperate quest began.

My desperation was born of my love for giant monsters in movies and comic books. I own Gorgo, Konga and Reptilicus on DVD. I have nigh-complete runs of their comic-book series. I tracked down and bought the novelizations of these movies, though I haven’t yet read those garish and sexed-up prose adaptations.

But the quest to see Reptisaurus (the movie) was a challenging one. As near as I can determine, it was never shown in theaters in the United States, it never aired on American television and it never got a U.S. release on DVD. Every now and then, a DVD of the movie would show up on eBay, but never in a version playable on American machines. My quest seemed doomed...

...until I discovered an online seller offering a DVD from Thailand that included the English version of the movie at a most reasonable price. I was a happy little monster child.

Much to my delight, the DVD would play on my machines. I did get a wee bit nervous when all the trailers were in a language I assume was Thai and without English subtitles, but the English version of the movie itself played without a hitch. The only downside was that it’s not a very good movie.

Here’s the quick plot summation:

On a remote island, military scientists have created Reptisaurus, an enormous, monstrous hybrid of a bat and a snake. The creature escapes from the lab, killing all the soldiers stationed there and all but two scientists. One scientist flees by boat, the other is presumed dead, but has taken shelter in the bombed-out remains of the island laboratory.

A two-man team is sent to eliminate Reptisaurus and cover up this ill-conceived operation. They are joined by four young survivors of a shipwreck. Commence the snacking on humans.

Reptisaurus does bear some physical resemblance to its comic-book inspiration, but the comics version was a prehistoric creature and not a man-made one. The CGI is so-so, but the movie doesn’t stint on showing Reptisaurus in action. Unfortunately, as is common with many CGI monsters, the creature’s size changes depending on what’s happening in a scene. It’s bigger than a fighter jet in the opening scenes, smaller when interacting with humans.

Directed by Christopher Ray, who has directed and produced a number of much better movies, Reptisaurus tends to follow plot development similar to many films of this sort. There’s the military guy whose only concern is for the cover-up and not for any soldiers or even civilians who would end up as collateral damage. There’s the usual characters you know are doomed to die from the moment you see them on the screen. There’s the same bloody body parts you’ve seen many times before.

The acting is sub-par. Gil Gerard plays the nasty military guy and, cinematically and figuratively, never leaves his office. Bernard Fredericks plays Major Dawson, the leader of the two-man team, and he’s not convincing when he’s being deceptive, sympathetic or hard-ass. Yahaira Love is leaden as the scientist left behind and She-Who-Must-Explain-the-Plot. The movie’s best performance comes from Frank Forbes, who plays the scientist who escaped the island and is willing to accept the consequences of letting the world knows what is going on there.

Sidebar note. According to his bio at the Internet Movie Database, Forbes “has recently created a comic book series.” I have not been able to find any additional information about that.


After Reptisaurus is destroyed, leaving Gerard disappointed by the inconvenient human survivors, Forbes springs the oldest plot twist in the world on him. Reptisaurus wasn’t the only monster created on the island. Cut to large eggs starting to hatch.


I’m glad I own Reptisaurus because I am an insane completist when it comes to Gorgo, Konga and Reptilicus/Reptisaurus. If the price I had to pay for owning this movie was having to watch it, I’m okay with that as well. But the best recommendation the film gets from me is that, if you love this kind of movie, it’s 83 minutes of this kind of movie. You’ve seen worse. So I have I.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2015 Tony Isabella

Friday, September 25, 2015


Raiders of the Lost Shark [2014] is, above all else, infectiously fun. I was either giggling or smiling throughout most of it, which made the whole “good movie/bad movie” thing moot for me. The low-budget film entertained me and that’s all I ever ask of any movie  I see. Here’s the somewhat exaggerated back-cover come on:

Four friends set out by boat for an idyllic vacation on a private, remote island. But unknown to them, a weaponized shark has escaped from a top secret military lab nearby, a shark that was genetically engineered with hate in its blood, and programmed to hunt any human within range. Now, these friends must band together to battle an all new brand of predator who will stop at nothing to remain at the top of the food chain.

Remember how I said this was a low-budget movie? It’s so low-budget that there are actually only three friends who set out on the boat. That’s one less sandwich multiplied by however many lunches the cast had during the shooting of the movie.

Raiders stars a bunch of actors you never heard of, but I loved how they embraced the silliness of this movie. As the grizzled sea dog  Captain Stuben, Scott McClelland had me on the floor when he tells his college student passengers that a shark took his hand. When one  young woman points out he has two hands, McClelland just stares at the hand like it was something unearthly. There is a great deal of humor in this film, some of it corny and some of it just cray-cray enough to work. The cast of characters includes a professor haunted by the death of her shark-eaten sister, a ruthless businesswoman, a mad scientist, lazy security guards, a lunatic sheriff and his suffering deputy, as well as the victims of both sexes and with a refreshing variety of body types.

Raiders was directed by Scott Patrick and written by Brett Kelly, David A. Lloyd and Trevor Payer. Brett Kelly Entertainment turned to Indiegogo for the necessary funds to complete the shark puppet used in the movie. Hooked by the title of the movie, I donated to the cause. For my contribution, I got “special thanks” recognition in the end credits.

Raiders has another comics connection as well. Comics artist-writer Janet Hetherington is one of the associate producers of this movie. Her secret cinema life also includes credits as an actress, writer and producer.

If you’re in the right frame of mind when you watch Raiders of the Lost Shark, as I clearly was, then you’ll probably get a kick out of it. As I did. If you’re not in that frame of mind, you won’t get that kick out of it.

I’m glad I rolled the dice on this one.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2015 Tony Isabella

Thursday, September 24, 2015


Boy Meets Girl is a 2014 romantic comedy/drama that won a bunch of awards from a bunch of LGBT film festivals as well as rave reviews in what I assume are LGBT magazines, newspapers and media. That’s a natural audience for this coming of age film about a transwoman in a world where my spell checker doesn’t recognize “transwoman” as a word. Since my taste in independent movies generally runs to those that debut on the SyFy Channel or are direct-to-video releases, I hadn’t heard of it until it was recommended to me by a friend

Directed and written by Eric Schaeffer, the movie is described thus at the Internet Movie Database:

Boy Meets Girl is a funny, tender, sex positive romantic comedy that explores what it means to be a real man or woman, and how important it is to live a courageous life not letting fear stand in the way of going after your dreams.

Robby [Michael Welch] and Ricky [Michelle Hendley] are best friends who live in a small town. Robby is a nice guy who has dated quite a few ladies. Ricky [Michelle Hendley] is a young transwoman who, though accepted by most of the people in her life, hasn’t been as  active in the romance department. Their friendship rings very true and that is the underlying story of the film.

When Ricky is befriends and romantically pursued by rich socialite Francesca [Alexandra Turshen], Robby finds himself in getting both confused and concerned. Francesca is engaged to be married to David [Michael Galante], a Marine who tormented Ricky when they were kids and teens. Things come to a boil when David returns home from the Middle East after completing his last of multiple tours of duty in that neverending war zone.

Hendley is compelling and radiant as Ricky. She has sorrows no one knows about, but she is also has a loving father [Randall Newsome] and a kid brother [Joseph Ricci] to whom she has been more than a big sister in the absence of their departed mother. Hendley’s Ricky can be funny normal, funny nervous and heartbreakingly vulnerable. She’s the standout member of an excellent cast.

I might not have been the precise target audience for this movie, but I am and always have been a sucker for happy endings. Pretty Woman [1990] is a fairy tale about prostitution that ignores that profession’s horrors, but it was saved by compelling performances laced with humor and one of the best closing lines of any movie I have ever seen: 
“She rescues him right back.” 
It’s not a movie that works on any logical or realistic level.

Boy Meets Girl is a movie that desperately strives for and achieves a happy ending. It doesn’t ignore the doubts, drama and rough going of going up transgender in a small town that has its fair share of cruel people. The coincidences and surprises that lead to its happy endings are only semi-believable. But the movie won me over because we all want a happy ending in our life and most of us want the same in the lives of other people. The LGBT community may always have to deal with bigots like Kim Davis and Mike Huckabee and hate groups like Liberty Counsel, but I think most Americans are coming around to the understanding that the pursuit of happiness applies to those who are both unlike and yet much like themselves.

I love movies with likeable characters and I love to watch as those characters overcome obstacles to find their happy endings. I like  spending time in a cinematic world where things do work out the way I wish they would work out in the real world.

Boy Meets Girl is a compelling and funny and even informative movie that will tug at your heart. Its gets my highest recommendation. It even has a killer line, spoken by Newsome but actually a quote from Hendley’s real father:

“That kid of mine has been throwing me curve balls my whole life. But luckily, I played baseball."

I look forward to Hendley’s next role. She is an amazing actress.


After viewing a television add for Hotel Transylvania 2, which is opening tomorrow at US theaters, I was mildly interested in seeing Hotel Transylvania [2012]. Giselle, my “other daughter” by virtue of being my daughter Kelly’s best friend since they were children, told me I’d like it. She was right.

Here’s the Internet Movie Database blurb:

Dracula, who operates a high-end resort away from the human world, goes into overprotective mode when a boy discovers the resort and falls for the count's teen-aged daughter.

Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky and written by a bunch of writers, the animated feature stars Adam Sandler as Dracula. Normally I flee in terror when I hear the name “Adam Sandler,” but, in this case, he submerged himself so completely into the role that I honest-to-Godzilla didn’t realize it was Sandler voicing the Count. He did a great job. Kudos to him and to fellow voice actors Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James and Steve Buscemi.

I liked most everything about this suitable-for-most-ages movie. The character designs were wonderful. There was comedy and even some drama. It was an hour-and-a-half well spent and, if some savvy comics publisher were to get the license to do Hotel Transylvania  comic books and show the further savvy to hire me to write them, I could write the heck out of them.

I give high marks to Hotel Transylvania. If I can get enough stuff done over the weekend, I’ll likely go see Hotel Transylvania 2 at a weekday matinee.

Coming up over the next week or so, I’ll have two more reviews of monster movies...some comic book reviews...a think piece on Batgirl...another think piece on Archie Comics...another “Angry American" column...my report on Pulpfest 2015...and whatever else pops into my head in the days to come.

Have a great day and I’ll see you tomorrow.

© 2015 Tony Isabella