INSTANT CLASSIC IN KANSAS – This game pitted the KANSAS WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY COYOTES against the visiting DICKINSON STATE BLUE HAWKS. The Coyotes led 14-7 to end the opening Quarter but the Blue Hawks went up 28-21 at the Half. That was cut to a 34-28 Dickinson State edge in the 3rd Quarter before Kansas Wesleyan came from behind to win the game 43-40.
DEFENDING CHAMPS STILL ROLLING – The Defending National Champions – the UNIVERSITY OF SAINT FRANCIS (IN) COUGARS – hosted the BAKER UNIVERSITY WILDCATS yesterday. The Cougars trailed 7-0 in the 1st Quarter but went on top of the Wildcats 20-13 by Halftime. After the break USF outscored Baker 13-10 for a 33-23 victory. Continue reading
We live in a superhero-crazed world right now. Here at Balladeer’s Blog I’m always glad to oblige readers’ requests to throw in superhero-related posts because I have a soft spot for the subject since superhero comic books were a gateway to two of my adult passions: mythology and opera.
DC fans have complained that I pay too much attention to Marvel Comics and other comic book companies, so here is the first of my looks at DC’s biggest claim to fame – the VERY FIRST SUPERHERO TEAM EVER. Long before the Justice League came the Justice Society in 1940.
I will review the original issue AND detail how I would “script-doctor” the story for modern audiences.
ALL-STAR COMICS #3 (December 1940)
Title: THE FIRST MEETING OF THE JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA
Heroes: FLASH (Original), RED TORNADO (Original female version), SPECTRE, SANDMAN, GREEN LANTERN (Original), HOURMAN, DOCTOR FATE, HAWKMAN (Original), ATOM (Original), JOHNNY THUNDER
Synopsis: At this very first meeting of any superteam in comic book history, the members make general introductions and each relate one of their adventures via flashback. The Red Tornado stops by for a visit.
While the meeting is going on, FBI Chief J Edgar Hoover invites the entire team to a Top Secret meeting the following Tuesday and the Justice Society of America accepts.
How I Would Revise It: Continue reading
Here at Balladeer’s Blog I’m about responding to you readers. Some of you responded very strongly to the way I sprinkled my reviews of Robert Ludlum’s Top Seven Novels with observations of what I would have liked to see in terms of offshoots or spin-off stories. So, since Expanded Universes are becoming all the rage in recent decades here’s an outline of my fan fiction-style view of an Expanded Robert Ludlum Universe.
I. BEOWULF AGATE – Series of short stories or a made for cable series. The tales would be set from the 1950s to late 1970s, ending just before the events in The Matarese Circle. Ludlum’s fictional intelligence organization Consular Operations would take center stage.
Brandon Scofield, codename Beowulf Agate, one of the main characters of The Matarese Circle, would be shown pulling off his highest level defections from the Soviet Union in his best “Cold War version of the Scarlet Pimpernel” style. Every so often he would clash with his archenemy – KGB Agent Vasili Taleniekov. To up the suspense level sometimes Taleniekov would win their clashes.
II. OPERATION: MEDUSA – Another series of short stories or a made for cable series. Ludlum’s Operation: Medusa was his fictional version of the Vietnam War’s real-life Phoenix Project. Operation: Medusa was the top-secret, paramilitary Black Operations outfit in which David Webb aka Jason Bourne got his first covert experience.
Officially disavowed by the U.S. government, Medusans spent the final few years of the Vietnam War pulling off assassinations, abducting and torturing information out of North Vietnamese movers and shakers, committing acts of sabotage AND facilitating escapes from POW camps. David Webb, his brother Gordon, D’Anjou (Codename: Echo), Alexander Conklin and “The Monk” himself, David Abbot would be the main characters but we would meet new Medusans, too. Continue reading
If it’s the Friday after Thanksgiving then that means it’s the start of this year’s Christmas Carol-A-Thon! Between now and Christmas Day Balladeer’s Blog will examine multiple versions of A Christmas Carol, both new reviews AND old favorites mixed in.
This film version of A Christmas Carol was produced in Spain in 1947 (and was remade for Spanish television in 1966 ) and the Spanish language title is Leyenda de Navidad ( Legend of Christmas, of course).
The film was written and directed by Manuel Tamayo (who wrote the screenplay for the 1955 feature Tarde de Toros) This is a wonderful version for several reasons, not the least of which would be its well-done (for the time period) sets of 1843 London.
We’ll take the differences and similarities to other versions in order – 1. Scrooge has several people working for him for some reason, not just Bob Cratchit and NONE of them get Christmas Day off from this Scrooge …
2. Marley’s Ghost steps out of a life-sized portrait of the man that adorns the wall above a fireplace, and returns to that portrait after his standard warning about the 3 Ghosts … Continue reading
Yes, it’s Thanksgiving Day, another holiday when Democrats – who have absolutely no identity outside of their political opinions – encourage each other to make with their typical ankle-biting, childish political remarks that they mistakenly think are Really Deep Thoughts that other adults haven’t already had … and matured beyond.
But, being 100% sincere in this post, Balladeer’s Blog is thankful for …
*** The way that more and more voters from both parties are openly observing how neither the Democrat nor Republican office-holders respond to the wishes of their constituents. ANYTHING that drives people away from those two gangs of white collar criminals is a positive development.
*** #WALKAWAY and #BLEXIT and similar movements show that more and more of the working class and poor of all colors as well as gay and female voters are realizing that the Democrats abandoned us long ago.
*** More and more former Republicans are realizing that the repulsive George W Bush/ National Review faction of their party cares ONLY about maximizing profits … not their constituents and not the nation as a whole.
*** Neither Jeb Bush nor Hillary Clinton are president. Continue reading
Two thousand fishermen from Cape Cod had gone off to enlist in the Continental Army, and in their absence the British had repeatedly landed raiding parties to harass the citizens.
Every man, woman and child on the Cape hated the soldiers and sailors of King George and would do anything to work them harm. When the Somerset was wrecked off Truro in 1778 the crew were helped ashore, but they were immediately marched to prison.
It was November – the night before Thanksgiving Day in fact – and ugly weather caused a British three-decker warship to yaw wildly and drift toward land with a broken tiller. No warning signal was raised on the bluffs; not a hand was stirred to rescue. The New Englanders who saw the accident watched with sullen satisfaction.
Ezekiel and Josiah Breeze – father and son – stood at the door of their cottage and watched the warship’s peril until three lights twinkling faintly through the gray of driving snow were all that showed where the enemy lay, straining at her cables and tossing on a wrathful sea.
They stood long in silence, but at last the boy Josiah said “I’m going to help the ship.”
“If you stir from here to help King George’s men, you’re no son of mine,” said Ezekiel. Continue reading
For this holiday week Balladeer’s Blog is focusing on topics that are seasonal. This time around it’s bad movies and hilariously lame educational shorts that have a specific Thanksgiving theme. As always my Bad Movie page contains full-length reviews of the films I’m offering a brief synopsis of here.
BLOOD FREAK (1972) – This movie is about a man who turns into a murderous monster with the head of a turkey after he eats a chemically treated gobbler at the turkey farm where he works. Blood Freak has been a cult classic for Thanksgiving for decades now, with many Movie Host shows of the late 70s onward making a point of screening it at this time of year (including The Texas 27 Film Vault). The biker who turns into the blood-crazed turkey monster is an Elvis look-alike which adds to the fun. So does the desk-bound, chain-smoking, script-reading narrator who sermonizes about the evils of drug abuse while the movie plays.
A DAY OF THANKSGIVING (1951) – This 12 minute educational short would make a nice dessert after a Turkey Day screening of Blood Freak. The Johnson family – composed of Mom, Dad, Dick, Susan, Tommy and the toddler Janet – can’t afford a turkey for Thanksgiving. The children are at first callously (and comically) bratty about it, but relent after Dad – in his sexiest voice for some reason – gives the kids a lecture about being grateful for what you have instead of obsessing over the things you don’t have. Continue reading
More than eleven years after its posting online, this specially edited trailer for The Wicker Man remake as if it’s a comedy STILL hasn’t gotten nearly as much love as it deserves. So, for a holiday season break here is one of the few reworked trailers that is utterly hilarious because it doesn’t cheat by inserting footage from other movies. This baby is all pure video and audio from the Nicolas “What’s in the bag? … A shaaarrrk?” Cage remake.
DEMOCRATS ANNOUNCE THEY’VE JUST DISCOVERED
THOUSANDS MILLIONS OF VOTES THAT SHOULD HAVE GONE TO JIMMY CARTER IN 1980, WALTER MONDALE IN 1984 AND DUKAKIS IN 1988
IRONY-CHALLENGED MEXICANS COMPLAIN ABOUT THE CRIME AND HEALTH PROBLEMS CAUSED BY THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS FROM HONDURAS
FAKE NEWSMAN AND MISOGYNIST JIM ACOSTA FIGHTS FOR HIS RIGHT TO CONTINUE DISGRACING HIS PROFESSION
FIRST LADY MELANIA TRUMP STILL SPEAKS MORE LANGUAGES THAN BOTH OBAMAS COMBINED
DEMOCRATS MOVE TO HAVE ANY AND ALL ELECTIONS THAT ARE WON BY OPPOSING CANDIDATES DECLARED ILLEGITIMATE
OCASIO-CORTEZ DEMANDS THAT PEOPLE STOP NOTICING THE IMBECILIC REMARKS SHE MAKES
HILLARY CLINTON DEFIANTLY CRIES: “THEY CAN FORCE ME TO ANSWER THESE NEW QUESTIONS UNDER OATH BUT THEY CAN’T FORCE ME TO TELL THE TRUTH!” Continue reading
Thanksgiving is this Thursday, which means that on Wednesday Night Balladeer’s Blog will be showing its yearly Thanksgiving Eve presentation of Oliver! Yes, I know there’s no connection between Thanksgiving and that musical based on the Dickens novel Oliver Twist.
The Christmas season is too packed with theme movies so I long ago chose Thanksgiving Eve for Oliver! Here’s the song Consider Yourself as Oliver Twist meets the Artful Dodger: