15 Fun Facts: Back to the Future Part III


I now conclude my look at the Back to the Future trilogy by posting fun facts about the final movie in the series. This movie is very different from the others, taking place in the 19th century, rather than the 20th or 21st like the others. But I still enjoyed it for its light-hearted approach to western tropes. It also had some good character development for Marty, as he learned there are better ways to stand up for yourself than picking fights whenever someone calls you a coward. But did you know the following?

  1. Mary Steenburgen  (Clara Clayton) actually starred in a time-travel movie called Time After Time, alongside Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange) as none other than HG Wells, writer of The Time Machine. The movie had Jack the Ripper steal Wells’s Time Machine from the book and use it to cause terror in 1970’s era San Fransisco. It’s a pretty good movie, and I recommend it.
  2. Although the trilogy ended with this movie, there was a spin-off cartoon series in which Doc Brown’s children, Jules and Verne, had time-travelling adventures of their own.
  3. Thomas F. Wilson based his performance as Mad Dog Tannen on the villain in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.
  4. The writers got Clint Eastwood’s permission to use his name as an alias for Marty. He saw the humor in it and was honored.
  5. When “Mad Dog” tried to lynch Marty,Michael J. Fox was accidentally hanged, rendering him unconscious for a short time. He records this in his autobiography Lucky Man.
  6. The movie 1000 Ways to Die in the West has a cameo appearance by Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown. A character accidentally enters a barn which just happens to be where Doc Brown was hiding out, complete with the DeLorean.
  7. Marty happens upon a Frisbee pie tin. He throws it at Buford when Buford tries to shoot Doc Brown. This is supposedly how the Frisbee came to be.
  8. There’s a scene where Marty tries out a shooting gallery and tells the man selling Colt .45’s that he learned to shoot at the 7-11. In some international versions of the movie, 7-11 is changed to Disneyland because 7-11 is not as famous outside of the US.

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Interview: Madeline Stuart


Thanks to articles I’ve seen on Facebook, I’ve learned of a model named Madeline Stuart. Now, I’m not someone who follows fashion. However, what grabbed me is that Madeline has Down’s Syndrome. To me, she is helping to redefine beauty because her features are not normally what you would find on a model. I had to find out more about her, so I began following her on Facebook. What I learned was here was a confident woman who was not going to let pre-conceived notions about her disability get in the way of her dream. I myself have had the pleasure of friendships with people who have Down’s Syndrome, so I was intrigued by her. So I contacted her agent via email and she agreed to an email interview. Due to the nature of this interview, I am not counting it as part of my “One Faith, Many Paths” series, even though she did admit to a Christian faith. Here’s our interview:

1. What was your childhood like? What challenges did you face growing up?

I had a wonderful childhood, my mum was always there for me, the only challenge I ever really had was weight, I always had trouble staying fit.

2. What made you decide to become a fashion model?

I just went to a show one day and thought it looked fun.

3. What I like best about you is that you have a figure that is unique from most models I’ve seen. Do you feel this helps your career?

I don’t think about my figure, I only worry about being kind to people and having fun.

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My Top 10 Marvel Villains

Last time, I did my favorite Marvel superheroes. Now to close out Comic Book Countdowns month, I’m posting my favorite Marvel villains.

Puppetmaster layer10. The Puppetmaster–The Puppetmaster was one of the Fantastic Four’s earliest villains. He made puppets of people that worked similar to voodoo dolls. He even made a voodoo doll of his own daughter, if I recall. Creepy guy.

thM4CW48BM9. The Chameleon–This man is a master of disguise. He can even manipulate his voice to match whoever he is impersonating flawlessly, and studies the original person as closely as he can so he can pull of the impersonation as closely as he can.

thO8JDIK8J8. The Juggernaut–The Juggernaut is actually Professor Xavier’s adoptive stepbrother. He hated how his father practically fawned over Charles and that hatred festered inside him until he discovered the perfect vehicle for his hatred–the helmet he wears that gives him superhuman strength and invulnerability. But it’s also his weak spot.

thATESTL797. Electro–One of Spider-man’s main villains, he is a living electric current. He can even walk up walls, just like Spider-man, by using static electricity. In fact, when he first appeared, he used this power to frame Spider-man.

th0UAZUHCB6. Bullseye– One of Daredevil’s main villains, and Kingpin’s most loyal mercenary. He is a cold-blooded ruthless killer who only cares about the money. I so want him to be in the TV series on Netflix, and I hope they include him since they’re planning on including Elektra. If you put Elektra in Daredevil, you should include Bullseye too.

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Top 10 Marvel Superheroes

I actually do like both Marvel and DC, even though I’m really more of a DC fan. While DC’s heroes are mythic and legendary, Marvel’s are more down-to-earth and relatable. My first exposure to Marvel was the cartoon series Spider-man and His Amazing Friends, in which Spider-man teamed up with Firestar (created exclusively for the show) and Iceman (a former member of the X-men.) From there, I checked out the X-men, Fantastic Four, and many more.

Luke_Cage10. Luke Cage–Luke Cage and his pal Iron Fist were the duo that seemed like they were still stuck in the 70’s, with Luke talking like Shaft and Iron Fist’s kung-fu moves. I’ve often asked “OK, we got the Avengers, X-men, Spider-man…sweet Christmas, where’s my Power Man and Iron Fist movie?” In fact, Luke and Iron Fist are currently members of the Avengers.

th (8)9. Dr. Strange–The Sorcerer Supreme is a modern-day wizard who may seem out of place at first, but when you have outer space tyrants like Thanos, the idea of a superhero using magic doesn’t seem so crazy. I’m psyched for the next Marvel movie, which just happens to be all about Dr. Strange.

thKF15QY7L8. The Thing–It’s Clobberin’ time! Ben Grimm is my favorite member of the Fantastic Four. I love his tough-guy attitude and soft center.  One of the reasons I was a huge CM Punk fan when he was in the WWE was that he used the Thing’s catch phrase as part of his entrance.

thRQECA02H7. She-Hulk–She Hulk is the Incredible Hulk’s cousin. But unlike Banner, She-Hulk is stuck in her Hulk form and has retained her intelligence. When I was reading Fantastic Four, the Thing had his own solo comic, and She-Hulk was standing in for him. I love her sense of humor, especially when John Byrne was writing the comic. She broke the fourth wall long before Deadpool started doing it.

thH46BJ2FI6. Captain America–One of the original Avengers, Steve Rogers was also Marvel’s first superhero. When he first appeared on the scene, he was pictured cold-cocking Hitler right in the jaw. My only gripe is that now that the Falcon has taken over, Marvel has turned him into a mouthpiece for the liberal agenda. When I was reading Captain America, he was supposed to be a neutral character, not subscribing to either party.

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My Favorite DC Villains

I believe heroes are defined by their villains. The best villains are those who exist as the opposite of their foes. DC’s villains are as grand as their heroes, as they should be. Here are my favorites:

new-52-vandal-savage_010. Vandal Savage–Vandal Savage has been around since human civilization itself. He has conquered all and survived every battle. And he has not forgotten anything he has learned.

thYU2JVLE19. The Parasite: If I were to make a Superman movie, I would use the Parasite as my villain. The Parasite consumes energy to survive. When he faces superheroes, he can steal more than their identity and energy, he can steal their powers. He can bring even Superman down to normal.

thQ3WD49XJ8. Catwoman–Catwoman is really the one villain in the DC Universe who has effectively been both a hero and a villain. She is truly an independent spirit, much like the animal she wishes to emulate. She’s not one to be taken lightly, and I admire her for that.

th38C8QEI87. Reverse Flash–Reverse Flash is the Flash unhinged in his powers. The Flash knows his limits and does not exceed them. He does not let his power consume him, and is ruled by his morals and convictions. Reverse Flash is not pinned down by such petty concerns, as he would see them. He is a true Reverse of the Flash, in every shape of the term.

th0WHLNU876. Mr. Freeze–Victor Freeze was a brilliant scientist who loved his girlfriend Nora, more than anything. He wanted so much for her to be healed of the disease that was slowly draining her. But she could not, because those who financed Mr. Freeze’s research wouldn’t let him continue. He is a tragic villain, one you pity because you feel if any villain deserves happiness, it could be him.

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My Top 15 Favorite DC Superheroes

After posting last week’s article about the Joker, I thought why not make the whole month about comics?

DC Comics was the first company I ever got into, thanks to my love of the character you’ll see in the #1 spot. What’s so great about DC is that their characters are so iconic and legendary.  It’s a shame that often when the comics are made into movies, the results aren’t great.


15. Static: Static comes from the (sadly now defunct) Milestone Media comics line. He has electricity based powers and is both street and book smart (he was even a valedictorian when he graduated from high school.) He was the only character from his line to get his own cartoon, and it was a great show too, especially when he teamed up with Batman, the Justice League, and even Terry McGinnis, the Batman of the future.


14. Starfire–My favorite Teen Titans member. I like her bubbly personality and she’s just a fun character. Yeah it sucks what they did to her in Red Hood and the Outlaws, but overall, I she’s a great character when done right.


13. Firestorm–Firestorm has the unique characteristic of having not one, but two alter egos: Professor Martin Stein and Robbie Raymond, a student. They were both bonded by a nuclear accident that gave them the ability to merge into the superhero Firestorm. And yes, I was beyond pumped when he appeared on The Flash‘s TV series.


12. Green Arrow: Rich playboy and master archer Oliver Queen is sort of a more light-hearted version of Batman crossed with Robin Hood. While I’m probably in the minority when it comes to that silly boxing glove arrow, I like his variety of arrows that he’s used through the years. He’d rate higher if he weren’t such a jerk to everyone, including his own sidekick.


11. Zauriel–In the 90’s when Grant Morrison was writing the Justice League, he wanted to use Hawkman as one of the members. DC refused because at the time, Hawkman’s comic book was such a mess that they felt it wasn’t profitable to drag the entire League into the mess.  So, Morrison said “fine, I’ll create my own winged superhero.” The result was Zauriel, who’s actually an angel with a cool fiery sword and an ear-piercing scream. He’s still around too, as one of the key members of the paranormal wing of the Justice League, Justice League Dark.

thRRNHUC4810. Nightwing–When Dick Grayson finally grew up and became Nightwing, he proved to all of us that he was more than ready to step out into the spotlight on his own. He eventually formed the Teen Titans and fought a demon and the mercenary Deathstroke. He’s learned from the best and I just can’t help cheering him on.

thR5IJ9XWU9. Hawkman and Hawkgirl: I decided to put them both in the same spot, because you really can’t have one without the other.  My only problem is that over the years, their origins have constantly changed. I personally like them best as warriors from the planet Thanagar, which is their most famous origin.

thVO72J03P8. Martian Manhunter: J’onn J’onzz is a shape-shifting alien and the last of his kind. When he came to Earth investigating the evil Starro, he knew he couldn’t take on the evil starfish alone (comics are weird sometimes, eh?), so he recruited several other DC heroes, resulting in the Justice League. To me, J’onn is the heart and soul of the League, with his Spock-like personality and staunch loyalty.

thIZZ6N7WV5. Superman: Come on, do you really think I’d leave the first superhero off this list? So what if he’s overpowered? He’s Superman, the champion of justice, the Man of Steel! Without him, we wouldn’t have any other superheroes!

4. thHYW64J1B Green Lantern–When you have a ring that can conjure anything you can imagine, how can you not have an awesome superhero? While I like most of the Green Lanterns we’ve had over the years (I’m not that familiar with Alan Scott), the ones I’ve liked the most are Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner.

3. thEDKG7CHBThe Flash–The Scarlet Speedster has always had a soft spot in my heart for his cocky attitude and innovative use of his abilities. I’m really more of a Wally West fan, but thanks to the TV series, I’m beginning to enjoy Barry Allen more and more.

2. thQLX61FNUWonder Woman–Wonder Woman is also pretty much the heart and soul of the Justice League, with her compassion and her zest for truth driving her to fight evil. I love the link to Greek mythology in her mythos, and she’s just a great character. I’m looking forward to her appearance in Batman vs. Superman, but I really wish she had  a whole movie to herself. She deserves it.

thUWS0NXDX1. Batman: The Dark Knight was the first superhero I ever saw in action, thanks to the Adam West TV series being rerun as a kid, as well as Hanna-Barbera’s Superfriends cartoons. I’ve watched all the movies, read several graphic novels, and thrilled to them all. Whether solo or with his various Robins, Bruce will always be my favorite superhero.

Next time, I’ll talk about my favorite DC villains.


Celebrating 75 Years of the Joker


In 1939, Batman made his first appearance in Detective Comics #27. A year later, his popularity was so vast that National Comics, which we know today as DC Comics (they get their name from Detective Comics), decided to give him his own solo comic in addition to making him the main feature of Detective Comics (at the time comic books were like anthologies and had several recurring characters rather than just one character like they do today). In that first issue, Batman’s most well-known foe, the Joker, made his first appearance. DC Comics celebrated their 75th anniversary in 2014 with a series of hardcover anthologies collecting classic and modern stories. This post will review all the stories in the Joker anthology.

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Jason’s Jukebox: History of Rush Part 2 (1985-current)


They travel in the time of the prophets
On a desert highway straight to the heart of the sun
Like lovers and heroes, and the restless part of everyone
We’re only at home when we’re on the run
On the run 

–from “Dreamline”

Last month, I posted my rankings of the first Rush albums. This post will continue Rush’s history, beginning with Power Windows and ending with their most recent studio album, Clockwork Angels.


Power Windows (1985) ***1/2

Singles: “The Big Money”, “Manhattan Project”, “Mystic Rhythms”

Like its predecessor Grace Under Pressure, Power Windows is meant to be a concept album, with all its songs centered on power.  The album almost feels like Rush is trying to emulate The Police, but that’s not a bad thing. The keyboards work well and there’s still Geddy Lee’s best bass work. This is considered one of Rush’s best 80’s albums.

Best Tracks: “The Big Money”, “Middletown Dreams”, “Mystic Rhythms”


Hold Your Fire (1987) **1/2

Single: “Time Stand Still”

Hold Your Fire is kind of middle of the road for me. Of the 80’s albums, this was the least successful. I don’t hate the album, it just feels off. And the album cover is so boring.

Best tracks: “Force Ten”, “Time Stand Still”, “Prime Mover”

Fun Facts: Aimee Mann of Til Tuesday fame contributed guest vocals on “Time Stand Still” and “Open Secrets.” Also, originally, Rush was going to use this cover below. I think since Rush seemed to enjoy visual puns for its 80’s albums, they should’ve gone with it.




Presto (1989) ****

Singles: “The Pass”, “Superconductor”

This album was probably about the most “mainstream” Rush ever got in the 80’s. The keyboards aren’t as prevalent here, instead it’s more balanced, indicating that Rush is beginning to evolve their sound once more. It’s one of their best albums and I had a hard time picking favorite tracks.

Best tracks: “Show Don’t Tell”, “Chain Lightning”, “Superconductor”, “Anagram”

Fun Fact: “Anagram” is exactly what it sounds like. Every line has a hidden anagram.

Continue reading “Jason’s Jukebox: History of Rush Part 2 (1985-current)”