“Urbaniak’s Last Cast” now available at iTunes

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“Urbaniak’s Last Cast,” the podcast I wrote for Getting On with James Urbaniak, is now available at iTunes, for those of you who enjoy free podcasts but don’t like to sully your computers with non-Apple services.

X-Men: First Class part 5

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Erik, tracking the man he knows as Dr. Schmidt to Miami, surfaces, James-Bond-in-Goldfinger style, in the harbor near Schmidt’s yacht, the one with the boat’s name in Trajan.  He climbs aboard the yacht and finds Schmidt (who of course is actually Sebastian Shaw), lounging with Emma Frost and Riptide.  Erik has brought a knife, the Nazi dagger he got from the “pig farmer” in Argentina.  He is, of course, thinking of the right tool for the job of killing Schmidt — a Nazi dagger reading “Blood and Honor” on the blade, he feels, should carry the right moral heft.  He’s wrong in this, and it will take him until the end of the movie to figure out the right tool to use to kill Schmidt.

To Erik, it looks like Schmidt is a callow jet-setter with a bimbo and a manservant, or perhaps a bisexual playboy, but surprise! all three are mutants.  Erik gets the full brunt of Emma’s powers — the mind-reading (“He’s here to kill you” she divines, using only her psychic powers, and maybe the fact that Erik has snuck aboard in a black wetsuit and is brandishing a dagger), the diamond-skin, a sonic blast that incapacitates him and, apparently, some telekinetic powers — rather a lot of abilities for one mutant — that blast him overboard.  Shaw adds a moral wrinkle to the scene, chastises Emma: “We don’t harm our own kind,” he says, perhaps forgetting about that time he killed Erik’s mother.

Coincidentally, the Coast Guard shows up.

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Put on a happy face, again

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I’ve written in the past about the phenomenon of studios cheering up the posters for movies when they’re released on DVD.  (Here and here.)

A few weeks ago I saw an electronic billboard here in LA for Flight, Bob Zemeckis’s tense drama about alcoholism, but the original poster image had been altered.  Star Denzel Washington was no longer standing in the rain on a stormy day, he was now standing in much less rain in front of a blinding blue sky and the quote “FLIGHT SOARS!” blared over his head.  I thought, well, for the sake of the quote they want to make the movie look like an inspirational drama, which it is, in a way, so I guess that’s okay.

Now I see that that billboard image was merely a dry run for the DVD cover, and that Flight, the studio had decided, needed some cheering up for the home video market.  Pilot Denzel is no longer facing his demons in a storm, now he’s peeking at God as the rain comes to a stop.  I’m sure this image is a mock-up, but I like how someone has placed the quote “POWERFUL,” without attribution, below Denzel’s face.  I’m sure if Denzel wins the Oscar his expression will be changed to “beaming triumph” and the font will be changed to Trajan.