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3 items from 2011

Dennis O’Neil: Superman, Captain Midnight and Me

29 September 2011 5:02 AM, PDT | | See recent Comicmix news »

Yeah, that’s him, little Denny, aged six or seven (or maybe even five), dragging the kitchen chair across the linoleum and putting it next to the icebox. He climbs up on it and then he’s close to Mom’s radio. He knows which knobs to turn, he knows how to find what comes from the speaker, what is very important: his programs.

Every weekday afternoon, after school, from 3:30 to six – dinner time, Dad’s nightly return from Work (and work is also very important, though Denny doesn’t know why) – Denny listens to Tom Mix and Superman and Hop Harrigan and Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy (what other kind of boy could there be?) and what may be his very, very favorite, Captain Midnight. Mom has her programs, too – Ma Perkins and Young Doctor Malone and some others – but Denny thinks they’re no better than okay. »

- Dennis O'Neil

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Five ridiculous studio mandated endings

22 August 2011 8:42 AM, PDT | | See recent IFC news »

Most Hollywood movies are products of collaboration and compromise. Unless their directors have the contractual right to select their own final cut, the ultimate decision on the content of the film belongs to the studio that distributes it. Occasionally, this process can produce a stronger movie than one made in a creative vacuum. Other times, the results can be disastrous. Just recently, I watched two films whose endings had been radically recut by their distributors in last ditch attempts to lighten up uncommercial material. When test audiences found 1972's "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes" too dark for their taste, an unmotivated reconciliation speech was hastily and awkwardly woven into existing footage. "Conquest" is a famous example of studio intervention; 1997's "Mimic" is not. But as I sat and watched a character heroically sacrifice themselves and then magically reappear alive a few scenes later, I could just tell I »

- Matt Singer

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TCM Drive-In Doubles Week 4

20 June 2011 1:08 PM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

Dante gives us the details of TCM’s June 23rd back-to-back-to-back double-features.

Another week in June means that TCM — possibly the best channel on any cable box anywhere — is back with another Thursday night chock full of monstrous mayhem. This week they’re turning their attention to something near and dear to our very hearts: underwater fiends.

Here’s Joe (and company) with the rundown:

June 23

It Came From Beneath The Sea - The top half of what Bill Warren has called the greatest double bill of the 50s (withCreature with the Atom Brain), this Harryhausen classic benefits from its newsreelish location shooting. Ernest Dickerson appreciates it here.

The Monster That Challenged The World – A surprisingly well produced cheapie with a cool, if immobile, monster by Augie Lohman that takes place on the Salton Sea. It’s a far cry from The Magnificent Ambersons, but a bulky Tim Holt makes »

- Danny

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