Friday, August 21, 2015


Let the record show that the late Yvonne Craig, back in her Batgirl Days, was a skilled practitioner of the Art of Running in Spike Heels. Likely she took the secret to her grave.... *** Ah but Batgirl was a true pioneer, DC Comics's first all-up super heroine on TV. Watching the show today she seems quick to get her tongue in her cheek and give the aud a very knowing look indeed even as Adam West & Burt Ward occasionally stray into oinkerish territory. That and her almighty physical poise, Yvonne Craig could throw out her hip at a veritable ninety decree angle and still look dollsome and perfectly balanced. One gets the impression that Yvonne Craig was a bit of a thwarted comedienne but the usual wife-girlfriend fodder would have never have engaged her enthusiasm. Otherwise Yvonne Craig (who was a former professional ballerina) was an able journeywoman actress with a preposterously long list of TV credits on her resume having worked with everyone from Tommy Kirk to James Coburn and even a very young Davey Jones. TV back in the 1960's was strange incubator indeed, where else could Yvonne Craig work with future Oscar Nominee Bruce Dern on an Episode of "Land of the Giants"? Last year the big news on the super hero front was the long delayed release of the Batman TV show to DVD, we saw quite a bit of Adam West and Burt Ward and nothing of Ms. Craig and guess now we all know why. Ah but today's actors could learn something from Yvonne Craig, chiefly the subtle art of looking like you are having a grand old time fighting crime while gunning around town on a lace trimmed Harley Davidson..... Despite the fact that the producers never ever let Batgirl throw a punch at a villain she was still in the vanguard of Equal Rights. A lot of young girls starting writing themselves more heroic narratives on the basis of what they got off of Batgirl's single season on "Batman". That downstream effect is always the most telling and the most fraught with change. Yvonne Craig will be missed, peace to her ashes, succor to her loved ones.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

"Jurassic World" (2015)

I was profoundly Impressed with Bryce Dallas Howard and her ability to outrun a tyrannosaurus rex in high heels & a pencil skirt. Other than that I had to check the calendar to make sure it was really 2015 out there and not 1955 as seemingly postulated by the film's producers....

Friday, August 07, 2015

The Big Literary Flap This Summer

is of course the paternity and worth of Harper Lee's "Go Set a Watchman" the alleged sequel to "To Kill a Mockingbird". I'll skip over all the handwringing over the Fate and Characterization of "Atticus Finch" in favor of the simple observation that sometimes the mark of a Global Literary Classic is a Truly Dubious Sequel. And I can say that as someone who has read 's nominal sequel to "Inherit the Wind" "The Gang's All Here", which is otherwise a play that delves deep into the dramatic possibilities of the Harding Administration. Ever heard of "The Land of Mist"? Conan Doyle's sequel to "The Lost World"? His bumptious Professor Challenger goes from dinosaur hunting to mewing over the revealed truth of spiritualism. The biggest literary damp squib of 1926 and very much the "Go Set a Watchman" of it's time. And this is to say nothing of "Let Em' Eat Cake" a direct musical sequel to "Of Thee I Sing". Said follow up apparently features among other things singing & dancing fascists years before "The Producers". I haven't see "Let Em' Eat Cake" (not for lack of trying) or "Bring Back Birdie" (sigh...YES a sequel to "By By Birdie") but they both spring from a strange cataract where creativity and perhaps the lure of sure money glitter gush and intermingle. "The Land of Mist" I think I can pass over there are limits even to my advocacy for the underdog misbegotten sequel. So in a way be glad, the outrage attending on "Go Set a Watchman" only redoubles the worth of the original. And if that doesn't work I invite everyone give some reconsideration to "Shock Treatment" the infamous 1981 sequel to the "Rocky Horror Picture Show".