Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I'm Getting Old! - Anniversaries.....

A recent newspaper article informed me that Flash Gordon is 80 years old this year. Eighty years old. Holy hell! I was not unaware of when Alex Raymond's greatest creation first hit comic strips around the world but consciously realizing that the character is 80 years old made me stop and think. I first became a fan of the character because of the colorful, fun and flashy (hehe hehe) 1980 movie with its comic book style, Queen soundtrack and desire to be pure eye candy. After that I sought out reprints of the original strips and even watched the three Flash Gordon serials from the 1930's multiple times. But eighty years....DAMN! After all the thinking I've been doing about this being the 75th anniversary of the first appearance of Batman I began  to wonder what other markers of my pop culture life have significant anniversaries in 2014. Here is a partial list of the things of note I found.

KILL BILL (2004) is 10 years old! - Inspired by the Saturday Morning Kung Fu Theatre this is a revenge romp featuring over-the-top action, an amazing (mostly borrowed) soundtrack, and that signature Tarantino dialogue.  All I can hope for is that he finally puts together the often rumored Whole Bloody Affair and releases that sucker to Blu-Ray!

FUTURAMA is 15 years old! -Yes- the show that has been cancelled several times over its TV run only to return better than ever, this futuristic animated comedy has more lives than a Hypnotoad.  I have loved this show from the first episode through its several straight to video movies and its great run on Comedy Central. There was a time when this show helped bring me out of a deep depression and it still has that ability today.

Hellboy is 20 years old this year! - Oh, damn, I feel old now. I was a latecomer to this character but once on board I've loved every minute of the ride. Mike Mignola's cigar chomping, ghost chasing, demon stomping, paranormal investigator has starred in an award-winning comic series, original graphic novels, novels, two animated films, and two fantastic feature movies made by Guierllmo Del Toro.  I can hope for a third film but I'm happy with what we have. I need to catch up with the recent comics!

THE SIMPSONS television show is 25 years old! -Wow! The show has become the longest running Prime Time animated series in the history of television and inspired a whole slew of animated programming (but I can forgive them for that).  The Simpsons has had such an influence on American culture that it has even created words that have been added to the dictionary like D'oh! I have given up watching new episodes of the show for about the past five years or so but will still catch one every now and then. Its not as brilliant as it once was but it still shines like comedy gold. One day, when I'm less burned out, I'll watch the last few seasons and see if it is as consistent as it was for the first decade and a half.

ALIEN is 35 years old!  - In 1979, Ridley Scott's sci-fi/horror scared the holy living Hell out of everyone brave enough to view the film in a darkened theater. In the years since it still has nearly that same level of power for fresh viewers watching in the comfort of their own homes. It is an almost perfect film that I can watch any time and I still feel like I'm catching new details each time. As I have talked about in the Bloody Pit podcast #3, ALIEN is one of my favorite films and that it is this old scares me almost as much as the film does! In space, no one can hear you scream.

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