Mark your calendars

Comic book movie fans squealed with delight today as new trailers for Justice League and Thor: Ragnarok came out of Comic-Con. I squealed louder still as Eon Productions announced that James Bond will return to U.S. cinemas on November 8, 2019. Bond 25, which will open in the U.K. and elsewhere before hitting the States, will be written by returning scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. No word yet on the movie’s cast and director, including whether or not Daniel Craig will let himself be per$uaded to appear for a fifth time as 007. I hope he does, and I hope the flick follows his pattern of odd-numbered highs and even-numbered lows–his debut Casino Royale outshines the following Quantum of Solace, as the sensational reboot Skyfall tops the most recent Spectre.

Update: The Times says Craig will be back.

This time, I’m going to get Lara past those damn wolves

I finally installed some games on my new Core i7-7700HQ / GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Lenovo Legion Y520 gaming laptop (L.A. Noire, Tomb Raider, and Rise of the Tomb Raider), so blogging may be light for a few days. With luck I’ll finish the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot game before the 2018 reboot movie, with Alicia Vikander stepping into Angelina Jolie’s shoes, comes out. GameSpot quotes director Roar Uthaug as saying he hopes to capture some of the feel of the game:

“I think making Lara Croft feel like a real human being, that’s definitely something we want to bring to the big screen as well. I think we’ll want to make people relate to Lara as a character. I’m hoping to bring some of my Norwegian sensibilities to the franchise.”

Swell. Get ready to see a melancholy Lara Croft sitting on a rock chewing on lefse and lutefisk.

Me and the Mole Man

Which fictional character has the highest star quotient? Which demanding role is suited only for acting royalty? Hamlet? Portia? Elizabeth Bennet? James Bond? None of the above. It’s Aunt May Parker, played by Oscar nominee Rosemary Harris (Tobey Maguire’s three movies, though I admit no one likes to acknowledge his third), Oscar winner Sally Field (Andrew Garfield’s two movies, though I admit no one likes to acknowledge either), and Oscar winner Marisa Tomei (Tom Holland’s two movies to date, though Captain America: Civil War was a cameo and Spider-Man: Homecoming doesn’t open till Friday). The lovely Tomei is the first to make me consider leaving my wife for Aunt May, though I’ll have to get in line: In the newspaper Spider-Man strip which supplies The Comics Curmudgeon so much material, the Mole Man is pestering her to marry him again.

Pulchritude in the news

Sixteen months after announcing that it would eschew the nude, Playboy is bringing back naked women, aiming for titillation that’s neither “dated,” as chief creative officer Cooper Hefner, 25, described the photos printed by his Viagra-drooling dad Hugh, 90, nor tacky and explicit, as seen for free all over the Internet.

The magazine, whose circulation is about a tenth of its 1972 peak of 7 million, unveiled the March/April cover blurb and hashtag #NakedIsNormal, which presumably means lots of shots of models in the shower or at the doctor’s office, since #ClothedIsOtherwiseNormal. As part of the war on datedness, the Playboy’s Party Jokes and Playboy Philosophy columns from the ’60s are returning.

Meanwhile, heading in the opposite direction, Hooters is opening a restaurant with both male and female waitstaff and without orange short shorts and tight tops. The first Hoots, located in Cicero, Ill., says “A Hooters Joint” on the outside but will have, um, both hooters and joints on the inside, along with a slimmed-down menu and counter rather than tableside ordering.

If nothing else, the crew should welcome the move. I’ve dined at a Hooters just once, on what happened to be Halloween night in St. Louis, and I’ve never seen so many women take the opportunity to cover up with floor-length witch costumes and princess robes instead of their usual skimpy outfits.

Think clean thoughts

It occurs to me that if the Michelin Man worked out, he’d be the sexy Mr. Clean in tonight’s Super Bowl ad:

Naturally, Mr. C. is a candidate for this blog’s jingle of the day feature:

Mr. Clean cuts dirt and grime and grease, it takes him just a minute
And now it’s even better ’cause there’s Ultra Power in it
Mr. Clean, Mr. Clean, Mr. Clean!

Come to think of it, if the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man worked out, he’d be the Michelin Man. There’s enough white power in this post to satisfy Steve Bannon.

I yam what I yam

Red Meat moves into theology.

Also, speaking of this post’s title, Bark Bark Woof Woof‘s Mustang Bobby has a good take on evil vizier Kellyanne Conway’s instantly immortal phrase:

Fact: I’m a 64-year-old white guy with a mid-level government job who could stand to lose a few pounds.

Alternative fact: I’m a well-muscled billionaire who can fly.

Bobby refers to Conway’s “trying — and failing miserably — to be charming in a Fox News-like perky and yet devoid-of-reality sort of way,” but today’s attitude isn’t perky. It’s stern and paranoid, yet devoid of — nay, openly hostile to — reality, from the global gag rule that prohibits health care providers from even mentioning abortion to the clampdown on national parks tweeting about climate change. Been a vicious 48 hours, hasn’t it?

Here a dolt, there a dolt

His daughter had a cute single on the radio a year or two ago, but Pajiba reports that the otherwise worthless Rob Schneider — let’s face it, the man’s job is to look dumb and unfunny next to Adam Sandler — has volunteered to “explain Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to THE MAN WHO LITERALLY SAT NEXT TO HIM.” The site also has some of Raging Boor’s greatest hits from his illiterate and incomprehensible interview with the Times of London, which will make those of us who took the SAT sprint to the liquor cabinet, if only to bash our heads against it.

But Broadway stars in concert and Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding? Maybe there are reasons to live after all.

Not just ignorant, corrupt and ignorant

Another blog I want to quote all the time is First Draft, where Adrastos sums it up:

The change from Obama to Trump may be the wildest Presidential personality change the nation has experienced since the extroverted lightweight Warren Gamaliel Harding succeeded the austere intellectual Woodrow Wilson. Harding, however, was a nice man who knew he was in over his head. The next occupant of the Oval Office is an asshole who thinks he knows everything when, in fact, he knows nothing.

Adrastos also points to The Book Bond, which is an even better source of 007 cover art than the site I’d been using, Piz Gloria, although I’m still jealous of my ex-boss who had a book of rare Bond images such as Roger Moore standing back to back with the Michelin Man.