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Bullet Sunday 695

Posted on Sunday, January 3rd, 2021

Dave!The New Year may feel like the Old Year, but there's still something new to be had... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• TikTok! The thing that I love so much about TikTok... besides the fact that the video size is limited which forces content creators to get to the damn point already... is that it's got people constantly playing off of each other. In weird, wonderful ways. Lots of times it's clapbacks and condemnation, sure, but every once in a while you get something absolutely magical like this...

What's cool is that the woman who was (accurately) sumarizing Country music so dead-on in her parody was actually made a collaborator, and is now promoting the song on her TikTok...

@rynnstar

#duet with @georgebirgeofficial

♬ original sound - George Birge

This is not something that happens on other social media platforms so easily and organically, which is why I am still addicted to TikTok. Plus... lots of adorable animal videos.

   
• TokTwo! Not to mention moments of absolute happy like this...

@dndhulett

Top moments of 2020 #fyp #trick #foryou #trickshot #foryoupage

♬ original sound - Daniel and David

Is is any wonder I can blow through an hour on this app and not even realize it?

   
• Her Name Was Bernice! Not that it's all fun and games...

@youknowthatonegirlrachel

Reply to @public_enema Her name was Bernice. #fyp #foryoupage #covid #Bye2020

♬ original sound - Rachel

This amazing woman is a graduate of Liberty College and has some fascinating takes on Christianity that comes from having lived through her past... and living her Faith in the present.

   
• What's Logic! I mean, damn...

@chris_wells_

♬ original sound - Chris Wells

This guy is phenomenally entertaining while addressing some very touchy subjects. I could just sit for an hour and blow through nothing else on TikTok but this guy.

   
• TokFour! Seriously. I need to come up with a Blogography page of all the TikToks I follow, because if you are looking for some incredible takes on everything from cooking to woodworking to current events to just plain fun... I'm following it all.

   
• Luke! And just because it's not all TikTok this Sunday... I remember very well standing in line on opening night for The Empire Strikes Back. By the time the movie was released I was already the biggest Star Wars fan on earth, and there was just no way I could wait to see it. I was dropped off with the older brother of a friend who didn't mind having me tag along. Back in 1980, there was no "internet" to speak of, and the movie magazines were always months behind what was being released in the theaters. So when it came to one of the most surprising and shocking moments in cinematic history, I was completely caught off guard. There was simply nothing that could have prepared me. Which is why I just love videos of young kids reacting to the scene when they also have no idea what's coming...

Now-a-days, of course, it would have been spoiled either weeks before... or immediately upon release. Because people are assholes and online publications are competing for pageviews. Fortunately, nobody cares as much "old" movies like this, so there are still surprises to be had. For some of us, anyways.

   
• Mary Ann! I would be remiss to not mention the passing of Dawn Wells from complications due to COVID this past week. I ALWAYS picked "Mary Ann" over "Ginger" as my Giligan's Island crush...

Dawn Wells as Mary Ann on Giligan's Island wearing shorts and a halter top and looking gorgeous.

Rest In Peace, Dawn Wells. You were a huge part of my childhood.

   
And that's it for the first bullets of 2021.

   

You Do Not Fuck With Gort

Posted on Monday, February 1st, 2021

Dave!Last night I was reading an article from 2018 which said that artificial neurons compute faster than the human brain. This, coupled with the fact that we can already build robots which are capable of acting substantially faster than humans and, well, you can see where this could become a problem on down the road.

Skynet is gonna be real, y'all...

A murderous robot from the Terminator movies.

   
But the more I thought about it...

...the more I kinda embraced the idea of creating robots that are smarter and faster than humans. Think Gort from The Day The Earth Stood Still...

The robot Gort from The Day The Earth Stood Still.

Gort is from a race of robots which were created to police the galaxy and halt any aggression they run across by immediately terminating the aggressors. To make sure they are able to do this effectively, they have been given absolute power over everything and everybody... possessing horrifying weapons to carry out their task. As if that weren't enough, they are also nigh invulnerable to all harm. Long story shot... you do not fuck around with them. Nor do you risk disrupting the peace because it would be your ass that gets vaporized.

Seriously, how handy would it be to have these robots patrolling the planet? Vaporizing assholes and idiots who make this planet such a miserable place to live.

And so I say "Bring it on."

Heaven only knows that robots wouldn't do a worse job of things than we have. And if we all end up extinguished because we can't curb our violent ways? Well, that's probably for the best.

   

The Heat is On

Posted on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021

Dave!Yesterday afternoon while I was at the office I had to run out to my car to grab a file folder I forgot. It was cold out. It was rainy out. It was miserable out. Once I got back to my desk I did something I don't think I've ever done before... I logged into my home thermostat and turned the heat up so it would be toasty warm when I got home.

Something about the idea of arriving home to my chilly-ass home hit me wrong.

And, I gotta tell ya, it was really nice. Not something I can afford to do very often, but nice enough that I may do it more often. Because sometimes it's the little luxuries (like $2 in electricity) that make life a little more enjoyable.

My cats, of course, were totally digging it.

Today I decided to wear an extra sweater when I got home, but I warmed up mentally because it was time for my annual viewing of Groundhog Day on Groundhog Day...

Bill Marray in a truck with a groundhog that's hanging onto the wheel looking angry.

Don't drive angry, groundhog! Don't drive angry.

A massive explosion of the truck which drove over a cliff and crashed.

Andie MacDowell and Chris Elliot looking down the cliff at the explosion, which is reflecting on them with an orange glow.

   
The movie never gets old, and that scene is always hilarious. Chris Elliot really doesn't get enough credit for his part in this classic flick. His part was small, but his delivery of the lines for this scene is about the funniest thing you'll see... and was kinda duplicated hilariously in the movie Paul 18 years later.

I have to wonder how many times I've seen Groundhog Day. The movie was released 28 years ago... So I'm going to say it's likely been minimum 30 times. Once in theaters. Once when the VHS was available. Once when the DVD was available. Once when it was available Digitaly. And at least once a year for the past 28 years it's been released. And sometimes when I just feel like it. So... possibly 36 times? There's not many movies I've watched 36 times.

Now back to enjoying my toasty home.

   

Aliens, Mars, and Wanda

Posted on Friday, February 19th, 2021

Dave!And so we have another rover on Mars. But give me a minute. I'll get there.

James Cameron is one of my all-time favorite filmmakers. As both writer and director, he knows how to craft a story that is imaginative, exciting, and action-packed. If I were to rank his work, it would look something like this...

  • Aliens (A+) One of the tightest action/horror thrillers ever created.
  • Terminator (A+) Amazing high-concept sci-fi that elevated action sci-fi cinema.
  • True Lies (A) Impeccably well-thought-out spy/action film with terrific humor.
  • Terminator 2 (A) After Aliens, one of the best sequels of all time.
  • The Abyss (A) Grossly underrated action flick with a brilliant story premise.
  • Titanic (B+) Impossibly good film that made the sinking of the Titanic exciting.
  • Avatar (B) Groundbreaking effects-driven spectacle.

The movie Strange Days, which is also a favorite of mine, was written by Cameron, but directed by his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow. I actually liked it better than Titanic and Avatar.

So, to sum up, my favorite James Cameron is Aliens.

And I think of this movie every single time that I see NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratories where all the scientists and technicians are staring at computer monitors as they run the mission. Yesterday I was watching live as the Perseverance rover was landing on Mars, none of these NASA people were watching events unfold live. It takes 11 minutes for a signal to return to earth, so what they're seeing happened 11 minutes ago. Likewise, any commands they send take 11 minutes to be initiated.

So they're flying blind.

Just like the "artificial person" Bishop does when he makes his way to the settlement satelite uplink tower to call a replacement drop-ship down from the Sulaco. He's not getting any feedback, he's playing out what's happening in orbit in his head and issuing commands accordingly...

Synthetic human Bishop concentrating while looking at nothing.

Bishop's fingers flying across the keyboard.

Bishop punching the ENABLE key on the keyboard.

Actor Lance Henriksen, who plays Bishop, never looks at any display. He is either looking at nothing and staring into space while he concentrates, or looking at the keyboard...

Bishop tying on a terminal while staring at the keys.

A drop-ship onboard the Sulaco is prepping to depart.

Back when I first saw Aliens I thought this was incredibly cool... and totally baller. And it's a bit what I imagine it's like to work on a rover landing at JPL.

Anyway... back to Mars...

I watched NASA's "live" broadcast of the landing. It's nail-biting stuff. With that 11 minute delay and no way to send last minute course corrections or instructions, all they could do was cross their fingers that everything worked as it was designed to. As we saw with the probe Nozomi things can definitely go terribly wrong. NASA tried to make the wait interesting by having computer renderings of what's going on, which includes the rover targeting its landing zone after being released from the lander...

A computer rendering of the Mars rover desceding.

A computer rendering of  the Mars rover falling towards the red planet.

A computer rendering of the Mars rover landed on Mars.

Good job, buddy!

NASA engineers celebrating the successful landing.

Throughout the broadcast, there was a guy walking about stuff that was happening...

NASA engineer discussing the landing.

But I could barely concentrate on him... I was laser-focused on what looks like a Mars 2020 branded jar of peanuts sitting on the desk next to him...

Closeup of what looks like a jar of peanuts sitting next to the NASA engineer.

Maybe it's not nuts at all... I dunno. Could be it's some essential prop for discussing the Mars mission that I missed by coming late to the video stream. But it sure looks like nuts.

Of course, just because NASA received notice that the rover had landed successfully doesn't necessarily mean that everything is functioning correctly! We had to wait to get a low-res, black-and-white shot of The Red Planet via one of the Hazard Avoidance Cameras...

A low-res, black-and-white shot of The Red Planet.

Sweet! High res images and more Mars updates will be forthcoming from the NASA Perseverance team at their Mission Update Blog, which you can visit and bookmark here.

And, before I continue, can I just say how fantastic Paul Reiser's performance as the ultimate rat bastard was in Aliens? Easily his best work as an actor, because he really had to sell it...

Paul Reiser playing Burke, a real bastard.

And when he gets caught on his bullshit and has the most upper-lip-sweat of any human being in the history of the world? Oh yeah. That was a cinematic moment right there.

And then there's tonight's latest episode of WandaVision which will be discussed in a spoiler-filled extended entry below. And you're welcome!

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

Bullet Sunday 703

Posted on Sunday, February 28th, 2021

Dave!I may be really, really tied of Winter right now, but I'm happy to hold out for Spring... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Boys! I'm just going to start this out with the best thing I've seen all week... and it's why I love TikTok reason #2371 — John Stamos showing Beach Boy Mike Love a young band playing a beautiful rendition of Wouldn’t It Be Nice, a song he co-wrote...

@johnstamos

@sittingonstacy I was showing Mike Love Tik Tok and you popped up. He loved you guys! Can’t ##hear us but he was really digging it. Congrats! Stamos

♬ original sound - johnstamos

How unbelievably awesome is this?

   
• Plus! In advance of "CBS All Access" transforming to " Paramount+" there's an awesome deal where you can get a year of commercial-free streaming for half-price (just select an annual plan and use PARAMOUNTPLUS in the coupon code box at check-out). 90% of network shows I watch are on CBS and I love avoiding commercials, so this was an offer I can't refuse. LOVING IT. I love, love, love Queen Latifah at The Equalizer, and revisiting Young Sheldon has been fun. Of course there's also Magnum P.I., one of the best shows on television. Some older shows are not streaming properly yet (I'm guessing that will be fixed after the transition come March 4th) but new shows are working fine. I wanted to try out Clarice but Siri keeps typing "Clarisse" so I had to hand-type it into AppleTV manually... WHY, LORD? WHY DOES LIFE HAVE TO BE THIS HARD? — On the other hand, I am liking Clarice very much. How does CBS do it? Other networks just don't have the track record for great television like this! If you love TV, then check out this amazing 50% off deal before it disappears on March 3rd!

   
• YAS QWEEN! I get irrationally invested in the lives of people on TikTok. This guy hasn’t updated in two days and I’m probably going to lose sleep wondering if he got the job...

@thatrylanguy

##help ##advice ##gay

♬ original sound - thatrylanguy

He has exactly two videos posted. This one was enough to get me totally invested. I guess that's what happens when the pandemic hasn't left you with much of a life of your own to live? Best of luck to you, sir, in finding a new job.

   
• Super New! Ta-Nehisi Coates writing a Superman movie? YES PLEASE! I mean, how many damn times are we going to have to sit through the same old Superman movie? Christopher Reeve, Brandon Routh, and Henry Cavill all did great jobs, but I'm ready for something truly different. Like maybe Calvin Ellis Superman?!?

Though I wouldn't be mad if Henry Cavill was given another go. He's actually a great Superman, and it's not his fault that he's had to work from shitty, SHITTY scripts. In any event, I am definitely excited at what might come of this.

   
• EcoBullshit! This video is absolutely fascinating. A lot to unpack when it comes to the "green" direction that the smartphone market is heading... fortunately Arun Maini has done the work for you, and it's well worth a watch...

The hypocrisy of it all is mind-boggling... but oh so expected.

   
• Retail Therapy! Well darn. Fry's Electronics had some of the coolest retail stores outside of Disney, and they just shuttered all their stores. They were destination-worthy places, and I traveled to several in California when they were at the height of their popularity. From the NASA-themed store in Anaheim and Egypt-themed store in Campbell... to Alice in Wonderland-themed in Woodland Hills and Old-Timey Sci-Fi-themed in Burbank, Fry's sure made shopping fun! Brick-and-mortar shops were having a tough time staying afloat before the pandemic... I have a feeling that because of COVID this is the fate for many of them.

   
• Without Telling Me... I don't know why I find this so incredibly sweet... but I really do...

@garrettbazany

My girlfriend thinks she’s funny ##foryoupage ##fyp ##wheelchair ##tellmeyourboyfriendwontcheatonyou ##prank ##couple

♬ original sound - Garrett Bazany

And for anybody thinking that she's being an asshole... it's a joke. And he was obviously in on it...

I'm glad most saw it as a joke. Those that didn't need to realize us wheelchair folks aren't so sensitive and have some dark humor.

   
And that's a wrap on bullets, Sparky... bring on Springtime weather.

   

Scarlet Witches and Bleached Corpses

Posted on Friday, March 5th, 2021

Dave!What is grief, if not love persevering? — The Vision

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Disney+ started streaming the final episode of WandaVision right out of the gate at midnight. The previous two weeks it took me nearly ten minutes to get to the show as Disney+ servers broke with tons of people trying to access them.

All-in-all the series was... not great. Not terrible, but not what I wanting to see from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I understand there are people who are just loving to see Wanda get beat up on while she processes her grief, so more power to them, I guess...

Wanda floating in the air as The Scarlet Witch!

I wrote my thoughts on the final episode (and the series as a whole) immediately after the show, but likely won't post until I have time to read through all this on my lunch break tomorrow. I'm tired, and there's probably a million spelling mistakes.

But anyway... it's all in an extended entry if you care to read it...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

Bullet Sunday 704

Posted on Sunday, March 7th, 2021

Dave!Inconsistent weather has crushed my Sunday plans, but I've still got you, dear reader... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Awwww! And... YOU'RE WELCOME...

@stillhavetime2deletevid

You won’t see one of these again. He’s now safe & warm with some hazelnuts. ##endangeredanimals

♬ original sound - Add your name

I've read that a dormouse can hibernate for 6 months or longer depending on the weather. That's my dream job. Though I'd settle for being able to get over 6 hours of sleep at night, so there's that.

   
• Two! I finally got around to watching Coming 2 America, the streaming sequel to one of my favorite movies of all time. It was... rough. The original Coming To America was a hyper-focused story which does exactly what you should be doing if you've got Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall headlining... focus as much precious screen time on them and their story as possible. Unfortunately the sequel doesn't do this. It's chopped up into a half-dozen different ideas, too many of which focus on people who are not Eddie and Arsenio. It's incredibly frustrating given just how easy it would have been to avoid this misstep. But it is what it is, I guess. Though the trailer made it look like it was going to end up better than it was...

While not a terrible movie, it didn't have the greatness that the original had. It didn't have half the greatness that the original had. And that's a serious problem. And I have a hard time trying to decide if something was better than nothing at this point. Probably.

   
• McDonalds! And now this from the You Don't Disrespect Your Mother No Matter How Tempting That May Be Department...

@kristenandreafe

The tables have turned mom😂🤣 ##funny ##dramaticmoments ##relatable ##mom ##prank

♬ BGC Drama Effect - whozmanzz

I think I laughed for five solid minutes when I saw this.

   
• Home Decorator! This morning I ran across an article about The Evolution of the Oval Office Décor, and it's pretty cool. They've created 3-D cutaway renderings of how the look has changed over the past 100+ years...

A 3-D cutaway view of The Oval Office as it has been currently decorated by President Biden.

Almost makes me wish that there was an Oval Office decorator app where people could go in and design it for themselves. Then order a drone strike. Because apparently that's our thing now.

   
• Coffee! THIS MAN IS DOING THE LORD'S WORK!!!

@scottpropandroll

Prop Coffee Cups. Heavy Stuff. @emilytheperry ##props ##tv ##prank

♬ original sound - Scott Reeder

This bugs the ever-loving SHIT out of me in movies. Especially in Hallmark movies where it's obscenely obvious THAT THE FUCKING CUPS ARE EMPTY! How hard is it to fill the cups with SOMETHING that makes them act like they aren't empty or defying the law of gravity? Though I'd just as soon have them filled with water or soda so that actors stop forgetting that THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO HAVE JUST SWALLOWED SOME COFFEE!

   
• A Royal Romance! Welp. That Oprah interview with Prince Harry and Meghan was really something. There were absolutely no punches pulled, even though there were some areas that were intentionally not discussed. But what was discussed was brutal. The Royal Family comes off as a bunch of racist assholes, and watching them try and dig their way out of the horrific allegations will be amusing (to say the very least). A part of me hopes that it's being greatly exaggerated, but another part of me knows better.

While watching the interview unfold, it was tough not to think back to the Lifetime movie Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance. As a connoisseur or trashy Hallmark movies, I ended up liking it so much that I bought it...

Movie poster for Harry and Meghan A Royal Romance.

Seriously though... it's a darn good movie (for what it is), and there's a scene where Her Majesty They Queen tells Meghan that The Royal Family was mixed race thanks to Queen Charlotte...

Lifetime Movie: The Queen looking up at a portrait of Queen Charlotte.

Lifetime Movie: Harry and Meghan looking at each other happily.

If that scene actually took place, it's tough not to re-contextualize it knowing what we (allegedly) know now. It's all at once incredibly sad... totally infuriating... and yet not totally unexpected.

   
Have a happy Sunday there, slugger!

   

Murder Cats

Posted on Monday, March 8th, 2021

Dave!Happy International Women's Day! Many of my most favorite people in my life have been women, and taking a minute to appreciate the way that women impact our world is important. History is replete with examples of women's contributions being overwritten, dismissed, and forgotten. That ain't right, and I keep hoping that each new day moves us in a better, more positive direction for equality and inclusivity.

I celebrated by watching the movie Hidden Figures, which is a fantastic story of what women have contributed to NASA's Space Program... despite the absurd intrusion of Kevin Costner's "White Male Savior" character into the mix. Did we really need that scene of him taking a crowbar to the "Colored Ladies Room" sign? Especially since IT NEVER HAPPENED?

That kind of crap is exactly why we need International Woman's Day... and Black History Month.

But before sitting down to watch Hidden Figures, I had to find my cats.

When I got home, neither of them came to greet me. This is unusual. Usually at least Jake is there to sniff around me and make sure I smell acceptable enough to enter their house.

They weren't downstairs, so I figured they might be asleep on my bed. Nope. They were on the second guest bed, huddled on a comforter...

Jake and Jenny sitting on a blanket looking pissed.

Perhaps I was too quick to turn the heat off?

Probably.

Not wanting to get murdered in my sleep, I turned the heat back on.

   

The Importance of Being Ernst Stavro Blofeld

Posted on Tuesday, March 9th, 2021

Dave!Last night I was in no mood for cooking dinner. So I had a pita bread pizza with a side salad and called it good.

The rest of the evening was spent trying to learn a new 3D rendering engine. All the while I had the television on with the movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service... AKA that James Bond movie without Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, or or Daniel Craig (it was George Lazenby)... and with Diana Rigg.

It also had Telly Savalas as Blofeld.

The television was meant to be background noise so I could focus on my work, but I couldn't keep my mind on anything except how many actors played Ernst Stavro Blofeld over the years. I could think of four (I had forgotten Charles Gray in Diamonds Are Forever)...

  • Donald Pleasance - You Only Live Twice
  • Telly Savalas - On Her Majesty's Secret Service
  • Charles Gray - Diamonds Are Forever
  • Max von Sydow - Never Say Never Again
  • Christoph Waltz - Spectre

There was, of course, another appearance by Blofeld in the opening pre-credit action sequence of For Your Eyes Only... where Roger Moore drops him down a smokestack in his wheelchair. That Blofeld was played anonymously by John Hollis... who is most famous for having previously played Lando's half-robot servant "Lobot"...

John Hollis as Lobot.

And Klytus's half-robot lacky in Flash Gordon...

John Hollis as Klytus's Lacky.

The sequence with the missing Blofeld was played to comedic effect, which was an odd tonal shift from him having murdered James Bond's wife Tracy...

John Hollis as Blofeld off a helicopter.

John Hollis as Blofeld off a helicopter.

So... six Blofeld's total. Which is equal to the number of actors who have played James Bond (excluding David Niven in the original Casino Royale). That's quite a piece of Bond trivia right there.

Exactly the kind of trivia which keeps me up at night... and keeps my brain distracted from getting my work done.

If anybody's curious about which Blofeld is my favorite, it's Donald Pleasence as the first Blofeld in You Only Live Twice. He was deliciously weird, evil, dangerous, and menacing...

Donald Pleasence as Blofeld... pointing a gun and holding a longhair white cat.

Not that Blofeld was the most interesting character in that movie. I was completely 100% in love with Bond Girl Kissy Suzuki...

Mie Hama as Kissy Suzuki.

I was one year old when You Only Live Twice was released. I didn't see the film until the 80's when I rented it on VHS tape. At the time I thought Mie Hama was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

And still is.

   

Average American Justice

Posted on Thursday, March 18th, 2021

Dave!There's two new things on my television today. One I've been dying to see ever since I first learned it was coming. The other one I know full well is going to be a steaming pile of shit and dread the idea of watching it, but am going to give it a look anyway because I kinda have to.

Nate Bargatze: Greatest Average American
is exactly what I need right now. Smart, brilliant, comedy which doesn't have to rely on punching down on people or swearing to be funny. I don't think it's funnier than his first special... The Tennessee Kid... but it's still darn entertaining and must-see television.
DAVE RATING: ☆★★★★★★★★★

Zack Snyder's Justice League
I've not been shy with my opinion on Zack Snyder's DC Universe films. Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman were absolute shit. Horrific perversions of the source material that were full of changes nobody asked for and nobody wanted to see. Justice League was supposed to change all that. But Warner Bros. hated the direction Snyder was going with it... his dark, dour, deadly-serious, joyless take on the material was in stark contrast to the Marvel Studios films which were joyful, hopeful, fun, and faithful to the comics. Also? Marvel was raking in billions of dollars with their superior methods. So when Zack Snyder tragically lost his daughter, Warner Bros. took the opportunity to squeeze him out and bring Joss Whedon onboard to "fix" the film and make it more like The Avengers. To that end, he re-shot a huge amount of the footage to make the movie more jokey and slapsticky. It was awful. Which lead to Snyder fans to relentlessly ask for "The Snyder Cut" to be released. And here we are with the four-hour version that Snyder intended. Except it's still shitty. It's just more consistently shitty than it used to be. My notes on this tragic affair are in an extended entry, if you care to read them.
DAVE RATING (Snyder version): ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆★★
DAVE RATING (Theatrical version): ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆★

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

Bullet Sunday 706

Posted on Sunday, March 21st, 2021

Dave!I think I may have gone into a coma from my allergies, but that doesn't mean you're being denied your Sunday roundup... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Help is Available. I am so sad to have to be posting this again:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We're committed to improving crisis services and advancing suicide prevention by empowering individuals, advancing professional best practices, and building awareness.

National Suicide Prevention Line
1-800-273-8255

Help is a phone call away if you need it. And if you need it, please make that call.

   
• Newton! Mathematics has always been something I'm fascinated with... but I have never been able to wrap my head around it once things go beyond basic geometry and algebra. I still dabble with the heavier stuff from time to time, but that's mostly via YouTube videos. Like this one, which is superficially about calculating the value of π... but is actually about so much more than that...

I could watch videos like this all day long. It's not like I'm ever going to do anything with the information, but it's cool to see the math behind our universe, isn't it?

   
• Venmo? I haven't carried cash in years. So I imagine this is how it's going to be from here on out...

@zelginjackson

😂😂😂 ##greenscreen ##foryou ##foryoupage

♬ original sound - Zelgin Jackson

Funny... but also... not funny? I guess?

   
• Noob! BWAH HA HA HAAAA! If you are a Marvel Studios movie fan... and you've seen Avengers: Endgame... you MUST watch this ad for Xbox Live until the very end. I mean the very, VERY end. If you don't recognize the guy that Sam Wilson (The Falcon) is talking to, it's the guy who worked at The Apple Store in Captain America: The Winter Solder. This is so cool...

Noobmaster69 has been revealed! I absolutely love how everything in the MCU is connected so beautifully.

   
• Men at Work! For any of y’all ladies interested in a peek into a the male mindset, here you go. This is painfully accurate, as any man will verify...

@colbyguenther

##stitch with @mackandronni I don’t make the rules I just enforce them.

♬ original sound - colby guenther

THE TRAUMA IS REAL, PEOPLE!

   
• Essential Reading. The long history of anti-Asian hate in America, explained.

   
• Care? I love living in a country where your first thought is... "How do I make sure my insurance covers this and how much will I have to pay for it?" over "I need medical care." But, sure. We have the best healthcare in the entire world. But what good is it if most people can't afford it, don't have access to it, and even with insurance you can potentially go bankrupt? Facts in evidence? Take a look at how many GoFundMe accounts have been set up for medical expenses. Yet another case where Americans are being brainwashed into thinking that something really fucked up is actually a good thing. Thank the medical insurance lobby for buying off our politicians to convince you that we're the best, when we're actually ranked 37th! We pay more for health care, get less for our money, and insurance companies profit. But sure, we're the greatest. Whatever. The conditioning runs so deep that there are people willing to die before admitting that our health care system is extremely broken. And, sadly, they may just die believing it even as the system they believe in so strongly fails them.

   
And that's the end of that.

   

Bullet Sunday 707

Posted on Sunday, March 28th, 2021

Dave!Feeling a little less than heroic today? Then I've got you covered... because a Very Special All-Comic-Book Edition Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Comic-Con? Welp. Comic-Con International just announced that the new date for Comic-Con San Diego is... Thanksgiving Weekend?!? It seems weird to think that a day reserved for giving thanks with your family would be commandeered after a year of pandemic that's kept families apart, but okay. Maybe that's the point though? They new attendance would be down over a holiday, which is what they need to keep crowds low just as everybody is getting vaccinated? I dunno. Still seems a weird... and borderline heartless... thing to do. "Sorry, grandma, we've got Comic-Con that weekend! Hope you can make it until next year!"

   
• Invincible. Amazon Prime Streaming has just released the first three episodes of their occasionally-violent-and-gory adaptation of the Invincible comic book...

I was pleasantly surprised that they didn't drag everything out so they could have one of the most shocking twists in comic book history saved for the second season. Nope. They've got it right up front.

   
• The Suicide Squad. It's interesting to see how Zack Snyder was given millions upon millions of dollars to release his "director's cut" of Justice League, but the same courtesy is not being extended to David Ayer for his Suicide Squad film, which was apprently taken far away from his intended story by the studio. Truth to tell, I would rather Ayer have been given the cash, because the stuff he originally shot sounds far more interesting. I mean, sure, his version of the Joker was shit, but a lot of other things were pretty well done. The reason he's probably not being given the opportunity is that DC doesn't want to overshadow the upcoming The Suicide Squad movie by James Gunn (of Guardians of the Galaxy fame). An R-rated trailer, of which, was just released...

Promising! SO many characters from the comics! The whole idea behind the Squad is that members die because the missions they take on are so dangerous. Apparently James Gunn is taking this to heart, because his entire motto for the film is "Don't Get Attached." How can you say no to that?

   
• New Cap. Steve Rogers, Captain America, has lost his shield! In a new series called The United States of Captain America, he embarks on a road trip across the country to find it... teaming up with other "Captain Americas" from over the years. Along the way he finds other people who have taken up his mantle, including a gay teenager named Aaron Fischer...

The cover of The United States of Captain America.

So naturally people are losing their fucking minds. Which is just the most bizarre phenomenon to me. It's comic book characters. The original Captain America is still here. Nothing is being taken away. But the idea that a gay American can't be Captain America when so many other Americans have been Captain America over the years is just bonkers. Gay people exist. Representation matters. Get the fuck over it.

   
• Old Cap. I had written up my thoughts on the second episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, but then decided to hold onto them because I worry that anybody who hasn't read the comics driving this story will get the series spoiled for them. I will say that I am absolutely fascinated that they mined Truth: Red, White, and Black for this installment. The story of the actual first "Captain America" was pretty groundbreaking... even though it was published in 2003. It was here that we learned that 300 Black men were used as test subjects for the "Super Soldier Serum" before it was given to Steve Rogers. Of the 300, only Isaiah Bradley survived, and we got to meet him on Friday...

Carl Lumley as Isaiah Bradley.

Isaiah Bradley Captain America from the Marvel Comics.

After serving his country with honor, he was imprisoned for his trouble. Now he's trying to live a quiet life of seclusion, as explained by his grandson, Eli Bradley. If you read the comics, Eli ends up being the hero Patriot...

Elijah Richardson as Eli Bradley.

Patriot from the Marvel Comics.

Could it be that we're assembling the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Because the Young Avengers are almost all accounted for now! Eli Bradley as Patriot, Kate Bishop as Hawkeye (from the upcoming Hawkeye series), Billy and Tommy as Wiccan and Speed (from WandaVision), Cassie Lang as Stature (from the Ant-Man movies), and America Chavez as Miss America (from the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness). And if they want to toss in Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel (from the upcoming Ms. Marvel series), and Riri Williams as Ironheart (from the upcoming Ironheart series)... PLUS debut Hulkling out of the upcoming Secret Invasion series... well... there you have it. It would seem that Marvel Studios is intent on keeping the current MCU moving forward as opposed to rebooting everything with new actors in the existing roles. Which is pretty smart. Because until the gravy train stops rolling, they might as well, right?

   
• The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. But back to the second episode... the Captain America comic books are at their best when they are saying something. When they tackle the big issues that face this country. And that's the niche that the source material takes quite often in modern times. It's only right that the Disney+ series spin-off follow suit. So when Sam Wilson was not able to get a bank loan last episode, on the surface it was because Thanos snapped him out of existence for 5 years. But you quickly got the idea that him being a Black man was definitely a factor. Didn't matter that he's one of the most famous people on the planet, no consideration was offered. And then in this episode, an argument with Bucky in public results in the police showing up to ask Bucky "if this man was bothering him"...

The cover of The United States of Captain America.

So kudos to Marvel Studios for making this series actually try to say something... in-between some great action sequences. It's exactly what Cap would want to see happen.

   
Stay frosty, True Believer!

   

Bullet Sunday 708

Posted on Sunday, April 4th, 2021

Dave!You may be tempted to go hunting for eggs, but hold onto that basket a minute... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Bunny! Easter was kinda a big deal for my mom. She was 100% all-in on the Easter baskets, decorations, hiding eggs, candy, Easter Bunny, and the whole bit. Because of it, I have a lot of fond Easter memories...

Young me with an Easter basket in the back yard with green grass and a fence behind me.

Meanwhile I celebrated the holiday by giving myself a terrible haircut, cleaning a little bit of my horrifically filthy house, and washing my sheets. Now I am eating Chili Cheese Fritos and drinking a Coke Zero (I think Chili-Cheese is my favorite Frito because they contain more MSG than any other snack chip). Jake and Jenny are celebrating by taking a nap. And now I think I'll call it a day. It's 10am, and I'm done. Happy Easter!

   
• To The Louvre! I did not know that The Louvre had put so much of their collection online. This is amazing. I wish all museums would do this...


Image © Musée du Louvre Paris


Image © Musée du Louvre Paris


Image © Musée du Louvre Paris

You can even download low-res images to make your own personal collection! Nice! Even more interesting... they are offering virtual tours since the museum itself is closed because of the pandemic. I really hope they keep this all going when we get back to "normal." Some people will never get to visit The Louvre any other way, and it's not like it will take the place of an actual visit for those who can visit in person. But anyway... you can find it all on their website.

   
• RICK! Oh thank heavens...

Seriously some of the smartest stuff on television. Cannot wait.

   
• The Poverty! I think I laughed for five solid minutes after watching this...

@hotdaddyissues

i failed chemistry in high school lmao ##fyp ##foryou ##funny ##vaccine ##vaxxed ##vaccinequeen

♬ original sound - CHeck

Soooo... guess it's a good thing that I got the Pfiezer vaccine! I now have luxury running through my veins!

   
• Unreal! And speaking of vaccines... I am so fucking sick and tired of stupid...

@victoriahammett

##fyp

♬ original sound - Victoria Hammett

Nobody gives a shit about reality any more. They just create whatever idiotic bullshit they want to fit their narrative. And people are happy to keep listening to them even when their crap is completely debunked.

   
• Engineering! If you've ever had one of those paper-box beverage containers, the way they open is rather cool. As you open the lid, it cuts the seal on the container inside. I've always wondered about how it works, but never bothered to cut one open to find out. Now I don't have to...

Pretty nifty stuff!

   
• Paper! The U.S. measurement standards are SO stupid. Bypassing the metric system is about as idiotic as it gets. This very, very cool video explains just one of the reasons why...

One of these days I'm going to rewatch all of CGP Grey's videos from start to finish. That would be a day well-spent.

   
And that's all she wrote.

   

Trailing Awayyy…

Posted on Monday, April 5th, 2021

Dave!Apparently it was New Trailer Day today!

This is both good news (yay! shows I like are coming back!) and bad news (holy crap! I have a list a mile long to watch already!). But I will always make room in my packed viewing schedule for new Marvel Studios!

First there was the trailer for Loki, which looks like a radical departure for the MCU... and that's a very good thing...

Fun! It just amazes me that Marvel Studios is intent on branching out in as many directions as possible to keep things interesting. Really looking forward to that.

They also released a new trailer for Black Widow a couple days ago...

Awesomeness ensues. I will, of course, be paying the $30 to watch it at home the minute it's available on July 9th. Then buying it on digital when it's released there. Because I'd much rather do that than go to a theater. Especially now. But ever again, really.

And then there's the teaser for the second season of Picard...

So it would seem that Q is back. Which could make for an interesting story given that Guinan is also due to return! The first season was fairly good television, even though it had too many moments that dragged and seemed like more of a distraction than something designed to move the plot forward.

We're also getting another season of Star Trek: Lower Decks, which was a really nice surprise last season...

More of the same clever, cool comedy, it would seem.

And, lastly, somehow Discovery is getting a fourth season. I loved the first, was bored by the second, and put into a coma by some crap episodes in the third... so I guess we'll see what the next season brings (besides new costumes)...

It certainly looks action-packed... but that's what I was lead to believe for last season.

No new trailers for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and Star Trek: Prodigy, alas. But anyway... something to look forward to as we continue to make our way through the muck that 2020 gave us.

   

The Secret Life of COVID

Posted on Tuesday, April 6th, 2021

Dave!Well that was a day.

The plan was to work just a half-day since I worked on Good Friday, which was supposed to be a holiday. That way I could tear apart my living room to deep clean all the stuff that's been neglected during the pandemic. Now that I've been half-vaccinated I'm starting to think about the day that people will be able to visit me again, and that's inspired me to clean house. Finally. Which is very Mary Sunshine of me given that COVID infection rates are on the rise again. The vaccine rollout has lured everybody into a false sense of security, so people are doing some crazy-ass shit. Even those who haven't been vaccinated. Especially those who haven't been vaccinated (and are proud to announce it).

Yesterday the Texas Rangers hosted a baseball game with 38,238 in attendance. A lot of them unmasked, of course. Doesn't seem especially smart given that the UK variant is now the dominant strain in the USA. It spreads more easily and has a higher mortality rate than "original COVID." Even worse, now there's "Post COVID Syndrome" where healthy people who recover from COVID end up with serious long-term effects. And the statistics are staggering. 30% of people who had COVID continued to have symptoms up to 9 months later. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. We don't have enough data to know what can happen after that 9 month period. Doctors worry about everything from immune system deficiency to long-term permanent brain damage.

As if COVID killing young healthy people wasn't bad enough?

But anyway... I ended up working a full day (and then some) after which I was too exhausted to clean. Instead I made tacos for Taco Tuesday then plopped on the couch and watched movies for the rest of the night... The Birdcage (81% on Rotten Tomatoes), Kingsman (74% on Rotten Tomatoes), and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (51% on Rotten Tomatoes). AKA "Those movies I love and never get tired of watching even though I've seen them a million times." It's the last one that has always puzzled me when it comes to the reviews...

Movie poster for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

Despite not being the biggest Ben Stiller fan, I love this movie. Really love it. And for oh-so-many reasons right now, I find myself relating to it more than ever. Yet it got mediocre to negative reviews and I honestly don't get it. I found it to be refreshing escapist fun that shows what happens when you start living the life you've always dreamed about. Stiller is incredible in it, which is all the more remarkable when you consider that he directed the film as well. And just look at the supprting cast! Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine, Kathryn Hahn, Adam Scott, and Sean Penn... does it get much better than that?

Oh well. Everybody's entitled to their opinion. It's just a shame that the critical consensus likely kept people from seeing it. But I guess I've watched it enough times for ten people, so there's that.

Say... does anybody remember The Secret Lives of Waldo Kitty?

What a great series! I think along with Top Cat this was one of my all-time favorite cartoons as a kid. They don't make 'em like that any more!

And since it's close to midnight now, I guess I'll clean house tomorrow. Maybe.

   

Return to the Afterlife

Posted on Wednesday, April 7th, 2021

Dave!The new teaser trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife debuted today! And it's got a cameo from Baskin Robbins for Paul Rudd!

This is a movie I've very much been looking forward to. The 2016 reboot, while not terrible, was far from a great movie despite a hilarious performance by Chris Hemsworth. Which is why I have high hopes for this sequel to the original films.

Because, awwwww...

A mini Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters.

Paul Rudd reaches out a finger towards a mini Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters.

Yeah. That probably ain't going to work out too well.

Apparently the movie is only in theaters on November 11. Whether the pandemic will have subsided enough that people will actually be going to theaters then is anybody's guess. I may be waiting for home video.

Isn't it weird thinking of possible post-COVID times?

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Swingin’ Hammers

Posted on Monday, April 12th, 2021

Dave!Well... this has been... a day. I guess. Stupid Monday.

If I had a better weekend, I would probably have been in better shape to deal with it all but, alas, here we are.

It's kinda sad that I haven't developed better adversity coping skills after all these years, but I guess it's just not where my skillset landed. Which reminded me of this TikTok, which is an excellent metaphor to be had...

@linetrash1393

##stitch with @mattshaw882

♬ original sound - Z

The original video is equally dead-on hilarious...

@mattshaw882

What trades/types you want to see? #carpenter #plumber #electrician #greenhorn #apprentice #renovation #type #sendit #fyp #foryoupage #Pei #canada #😂

♬ original sound - OSM4CCRDESIGNS

I mean... holy crap!

This past Saturday as I was trying to distract myself from feeling sick all day, I watched a bunch of television, starting with the Doctor Strange movie. This took me through a Benedict Cumberbatch run that included some episodes of Sherlock and Star Trek Into Darkness...

Movie poster for Star Trek Into Darkness.

When this movie first debuted I was... disappointed?... I guess is the word I'm searching for?

On one hand, the visuals and special effects were jaw-droppingly beautiful and the action intense. The cast, as with the first movie, was flawless. But the film was also a needless remake of the best Star Trek flick of all time: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. It was like... why?!? There were hundreds of new directions the franchise could head, but they decided to put a new spin on already-great material just because they could. And then there was the worst-kept secret of 2013... Benedict Cumberbatch was playing Khan Noonien Singh, originally played brilliantly by Ricardo Montalbán.

But on a fresh viewing where I know what to expect and can separate the remake from the original, I was able to appreciate it better. Mostly because it's just so dang stunning to look at. Plus it had a cameo by Leonard Nimoy. Still hate the disaster porn ending... Lord is that a tired trope... but, overall, not the huge disappointment I remembered.

I wonder how many other films would change my mind if watched anew?

And now we return to my butt-puckering day, currently in progress.

   

Bullet Sunday 712

Posted on Sunday, May 9th, 2021

Dave!We may not be at heard immunity yet (if ever), but life goes marching on... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Mom! Happiest of Mother's Days to all the moms out there. The more time goes on, the more grateful I am to have had the best mom ever looking after me...

Mom and Me

We were best friends from the start and I love her around the world and back.

   
• Hoth! Anybody seen Star Wars: Biomes on Disney+ ?!? Gorgeous! Just a 12-minute screen saver of various planets from the Star Wars universe...

I am addicted and want more... more... MORE! There are other planets that would be so cool to see! If you have Disney+ tune in and be mesmerized! Then demand another episode! The two ship fly-through videos (for the Millennium Falcon and a Star Destroyer) are also wonderful to look at.

   
• Vaccinate! The New York Times has a fascinating article on how Pfizer is manufacturing their COVID vaccine, and I encourage everybody to give it a read.


Image from The New York Times

Incredible stuff. mRNA vaccines seem more like magic than science, and future prospects for the technology are bright indeed.

   
• Honnold! Every New Year's Day, I have a checklist of things I do. On that list is to check and see if Alex Honnold... a free-climbing genius... is still alive. I'm a huge fan, but not always able to keep up on what he's up to. As of a week ago, I know he was alive because he did a video for GQ Magazine where he looks at climbing scenes in movies. It's fantastic and well worth your time to watch...

"He doesn't get tired though because he's Tom Cruise!" And here's the original one I watched...

"Oh my goodness gracious... he just fell to his death!" Alex is entirely too nice for this cruel world!

   
• Trek! I am rewatching the first JJ Abrams Star Trek movie... you know, the one with ALL THE LENS FLARE ALL THE TIME... I just got to the point at the start where Lil' Spock is beating the ever-loving shit out of the Vulcan kid that called him mom a whore. All while his classmates look on in horror. And I realize something. JJ Abrams completely and totally defined Spock in three scenes... something it took a dozen episodes of the original television series to do...

Lil' Spock beating the crap out of a fellow student.

And this follows on the heels of him doing the same for James T. Kirk. Say what you like about the reboot, but Abrams was absolutely brilliant in introducing the Star Trek Universe to people who may have been unfamiliar with it. If you didn't know Kirk, Spock, and McCoy at the beginning of the movie... you certainly did by the end. No easy feat.

   
• Clark! I was a huge Tom Clancy fan back in the day. Read all the early books he wrote. They were entertaining diversions with increasingly ridiculous stories... reaching peak absurdity when Jack Ryan became president. I stopped reading a couple books after Executive Orders and never got into the books that were added after Clancy died where other authors wrote them. I thought the three movie adaptations with Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford were pretty good. The Ben Affleck and Chris Pine movies were forgettable. Though I have (mostly) enjoyed the John Krasinski Jack Ryan series on Amazon. And now we have Without Remorse with Michael B. Jordan as John Clark...

Despite the story starting off with a tiresome and antiquated "fridging" that could have easily been changed, it's a darn good movie. Jordan has the chops to sell the character both emotionally and as an action star, and his path of revenge is glorious. If you like this kind of thing, it's worth a look on Amazon Prime streaming!

   
• Borders! I absolutely love stories like this: Belgian Farmer Accidentally Moves French Border.

   
And that's a wrap on my Sunday Bullets. Hope your Mother's Day weekend was a good one!

   

Eternally Yours

Posted on Monday, May 24th, 2021

Dave!Marvel Studio's new "teaser" trailer dropped today for Eternals (formerly The Eternals) directed by the visionary Chloé Zhao (her films really haven't been my cup of tea, but they look like absolute works of art). There was no other news today.

It's a long, long wait until November 5th, but this one looks like it will end up being worth it...

I have every confidence that Marvel Studios will end up delivering something fantastic... their track record has been stellar... but it will be interesting to see how they retcon Eternals into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I certainly hope it's more than "Sure aliens are invading earth, but we don't want to interfere" and "Sure Thanos (WHO IS ALSO AN ETERNAL, BY THE WAY!) is wiping out half the universe, but we don't want to interfere"... because that would be some serious bullshit. But what would be even bigger bullshit? Openly stating that the Eternals have been pulling the strings all along, and nothing that happened in the previous Marvel movies was due to the characters starring in those Marvel movies, but instead was always the Eternals.

In the comics, the Celestials (The Collector, The Grandmaster, Ego, etc.) created the Eternals. But it's not entirely clear if that will be the case here. Since the story spans thousands of years, having an appearance by Thanos, at the very least, would seem essential. But I don't know that Marvel wants to unleash a new franchise with that kind of baggage, so I guess we'll have to wait and see who does (and does not) make an appearance.

166 days and counting...

   

Amazon, MGM, and Trauma

Posted on Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

Dave!Amazon just bought MGM Studios for 8.45 BILLION DOLLARS!

A part of me is like "Eh. The world be consolidating... it'll be nice to have all that additional content in my Amazon Prime Video library." and moving on. But another part of me is like "Will this be a good thing or a bad thing for the James Bond franchise?" Because this news is naturally all about me, and my only concern is that I don't want James Bond screwed up. I've seen every one of the films many, many times and, while some of them are far from perfect, I like all of them to a certain degree. Especially lately...

Bond, James Bond!

James Bond producers are claiming that the James Bond films will all have a theatrical release before going to Amazon Prime streaming, which is wise when you are able to attract talent like direcor Sam Mendes who paints these incredible scenes that are begging to be seen on the Big Screen.

The other consolidation news of the past week? WarnerMedia is merging with Discovery. Worth $43 BILLION DOLLARS.

AT&T, which owns WarnerMedia, has fucked up so many times that I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't nervous about what this might mean for Discovery (home to oh-so-many television shows that I watch). We are told that the company will be entirely separate from AT&T, but can that ever truly be the case? I guess we'll find out. It would be nice to pay for ONE streaming service rather than two like I am now (HBO Max & Discovery+).

This trend of media giants merging is not going to end any time soon. You kinda knew it was on the way because there's only so many subscriptions out there that people can afford to buy and there are a lot of them out there. I'd really like it if Disney+ would integrate Hulu content because that would be yet another pair of services that I'd rather pay for once instead of twice.

Netflix currently spends $17 BILLION on content. Disney+ is not far behind. Now WarnerMedia/Discovery will likely eclipse them both... assuming they keep their budget at the same levels. Now there's Amazon/MGM who will undoubtedly pony up to these levels to compete. And there's Apple TV+, Paramount+ (CBS/Viacom), and all the Package Streamers (Philo, Fubo, Sling, etc.). Contrast and compare to actual movie studios which can't really compete with that. What becomes of them? Well, if this trend continues, there's more consolidation in our future.

Hopefully that's a good thing.

My favorite movie of 2020 came from Netflix, after all.

   

Bullet Sunday 715

Posted on Sunday, May 30th, 2021

Dave!Try to tell me that you were looking forward to the holiday weekend more than Bullet Sunday! Just try! I won't believe you... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Situational Conjecture! This past Thursday I had to run an errand, so I stopped at the drive-in for some lunch then parked to eat. As I was sitting there, I saw a skinny kid with tattoos on his calves walk by... and instantly I was taken back to something a friend told me. He was leaving a grocery store behind another man. As they exited, a kid comes up and asks if they have a couple bucks to spare so he can get something to eat. The man ahead of my friend said "Maybe if you spent less money on tattoos and drugs, you could afford to eat." My friend, who was mortified that this is how somebody would act towards a hungry person, set down his groceries and got out his wallet. He handed over $5 and said (loudly) "NICE INK! ENJOY YOUR LUNCH." My friend was still raging about it when he told me all this the following week. "Maybe he got the tattoos before he ended up in a situation where he's asking for food money! Maybe a friend is a tattoo artist and did them for free! Maybe he got them in trade for work he did! How the fuck does that asshole think he knows ANYTHING about that kid's situation? And do people with tattoos automatically do drugs? Where did that come from? WHAT THE FUCK, MAN?!? THE KID WAS HUNGRY!" My friend is, of course, absolutely right. About all of it. You just really never know what somebody's situation is or what they are going through. So don't let what you think you know turn you into an asshole. Heaven only knows I try.

   
• Wholesome Watch! Men with Baby Animals... a bullet in two parts. Starting with Part One...

@matt.zeiler

When dad comes home from work. ##raccoon ##littlebuddy ##daddysboy

♬ original sound - Matt Zeiler
@matt.zeiler

My little buddy! ##raccoon ##HoldMyMilk

♬ Toy Story: You've Got A Friend In Me - Geek Music

And, Part Two...

@hongpanone

What are they doing?😂##tiktok ##foryou ##fyp

♬ Forest Sounds - Sounds Of Nature

You're welcome!

   
• Welp! This just in from the No Fucking Shit Department... JJ Abrams: Lack of plan in Star Wars’ latest trilogy was a “critical” flaw.

   
• Sublet! I've mentioned more than a couple times my obsession with actor John Benjamin Hickey (heck, I even wrote a blog entry about him). He is hands-down one of my favorite character actors because he elevates every move he appears in... even when he's just popping up for a small role. — Now today I find that not only does he have a new movie coming out... HE'S THE LEAD! But it gets better... the movie is from director Eytan Fox, who made the amazing film "Yossi & Jagger."

To say I am psyched to see this movie is a massive understatement. It looks really good!

   
• LiLo Dallas Netflix Pass! Lindsey Lohan is starring in a Hallmark-style Christmas movie for Netflix about a spoiled hotel heiress who gets amnesia and ends up in the care of a blue-collar lodge owner and his daughter. Perfect. Absolutely perfect. It's Paris Hilton meets... um... well... LITERALLY Lindsey Lohan, and I will absolutely be tuning in for that.

   
• Our National Nightmare. Read this. Read this and tell me that this society isn't a misogynistic pile of shit looking for any excuse to control women, traumatize women, and punish women. Go ahead. Tell me. I'm waiting. Welcome to our dystopian nightmare. And don't be at all surprised when you research this and find that there are women who support it. Some of the most anti-woman people I've met have been women...

Jim Wright — May 26 at 8:24 AM
   
The Pennsylvania state legislature today voted to advance a bill by Republican state legislator, Frank Ryan, that would essentially fine women who miscarry, force them to apply for a "Fetal Death Certificate" (and pay a filing fee), and then require a formal burial or cremation of the remains (which the woman would also have to pay for) — no matter where in the pregnancy the miscarriage occurs.
   
If this were to pass, if you miscarry in Pennsylvania, say at six weeks, then by law you would be fined, penalized, and required to hold a burial for handful of non-viable cells that are essentially indistinguishable from menstruation.
   
Ryan drafted this bill because of "his own experience after losing a child."
   
He said he was "asking the ladies in the room" to "recognize how men feel."
   
I'll pause so you can shout the appropriate profanity here.
   
This isn't the first bill of its kind. And no matter if it passes or not, it won't be the last. Because, this is the inevitable end result of "life begins at conception" and "fetal personhood."
   
Inevitable.
   
This is where they were ALWAYS going to go with this.
   
Because even if they outlaw abortion, it won't be enough.
   
It won't be enough.
   
If you consider abortion to be murder, if you make that law, then it is inevitable that EVERY miscarriage WILL have to be investigated as a possible case of negligent homicide or manslaughter.
   
And that's EXACTLY where these religious nuts are going with this.
   
And if they pass THAT, it still won't be enough.
   
It won't be enough.
   
If they get their way, then the moment a woman becomes pregnant, she will legally be considered nothing more than an incubator with no rights or self-determination. Property of the State and of their religion.
   
That is the ONLY possible end result of this reasoning.
   
Don't take my word for it, listen to people like Ryan in their own words. Listen to the preachers. Listen to the Right to Life movement.
   
These evil lunatics need to be removed from every office in the land and their insane religion needs to be marginalized and starved until it dies forever.
   
Then they can give their miserable god a burial if they like.

No word as to whether fertility clinics which fertilize countless numbers of eggs in order to assist women having difficulty getting pregnant will be affected. But since only wealthy people can afford that kind of science, I think we all know what the answer will be.

   
• Sponsored?! And lastly today, holy shit...

And I so wanted a Nazi-era fuck blanket.

   
Dats all I got. I'm going to cut out and enjoy my Sunday. Hoping you do the same!

   

Back in Black (Widow)

Posted on Thursday, June 3rd, 2021

Dave!Marvel Studios dropped a new trailer for Black Widow today. As one would expect, it looks glorious. Since the character doesn't have super-powers or massive custom gear (like a Batmobile) or setting (like a Batcave) it would have been so very easy for the studio to cheap out and give Black Widow a budget movie... but they didn't do that. Wisely, they stuck to formula by investing the money to give her a spectacular action flick that looks every bit as awesome as the movies other Marvel characters have been getting...

And bravo to that, because Black Widow has been carrying other movies all this time without complaint, and she frickin' deserves to have a movie of her own that will measure up.

Fortunately, the film will be available to Disney+ subscribers upon release for a "premium access fee" so I don't have to go to a theater to see it... because I'm not quite ready for that. I will happily pay an early fee to see the movie in the safety of my own home. It would be nice if the early access fee included a digital copy of the movie when it eventually gets released for sale... but that doesn't seem to be the way it works, so I'll undoubtedly be buying it on iTunes as well.

Money well-spent if I watch it even half as many times as I've watched all my other Marvel Studio movies.

The next movie on Marvel's slate is Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings... another flick I'm dying to see (seriously, the cast is to die for). I don't think that this one will have simultaneous releases for home video and theaters like Black Widow. So I guess we'll find out come September 3 if I'm dying enough to go to a movie theater. If not then, maybe for Eternals in November or Spider-Man: No Way Home in December? It's tough to say. Personally, I'd love to never have to step into a movie theater ever again. As I've said many times now, I detest the experience of it all because people are shitty. But I know that movie studios have to recoup their investment somehow. These are not cheap movies to make.

In other Marvel Studio news... genius filmmaker Taika Waititi announced that Thor: Love and Thunder has wrapped filming and will now go into post-production for special effects and stuff. Which apparently takes a minute, because it's not due to be released until May 6, 2022! If any movie is going to get me back in theaters kicking-and-screaming, it would be this one. Thor: Ragnarok is easily in the running to be my favorite Marvel movie, so seeing it immediately regardless or where and how is a no-brainer.

Even if they did miss the opportunity to title it Thor 4: More Thor.

   

Loki the Kitten and Defect

Posted on Wednesday, June 9th, 2021

Dave!Remember yesterday when I was talking about trying so hard not to hate because I know where it leads? I've failed for two days in a row now.

Before I get to that, I need to pop some keywords up so Google can index this and perhaps help people who went through what I went through...

HavaHart Live Animal Cage Trap Failure — HavaHart Trap Door Won't Stay Closed — HavaHart Handle Falls Off — HavaHart Trap Model #1079 — HavaHart Trap Defective — HavaHart Victor Trap Manufacturing Defect — HavaHart Trap Won't Work

Last night I had to work a few extra hours so that I could make up the time I lost arguing with shitty AT&T over money they wanted to charge me on a closed account. As I was leaving the office, I thought I saw a kitten running in the parking spaces across the street.

Fast forward to this morning and I was outside social-distanced from my uncle so I could give him some papers my mom had left for him... and I saw the kitten again. My uncle also saw it, so this time I knew it wasn't my imagination.

Well, obviously I'm not going to let a scared, hungry kitten suffer on my watch, so I immediately ran home to get my cat carrier and some food. Sure enough... the little guy (or gal) came running out to scarf it down...

A kitten chowing down.

He looked like there might be something wrong with one of his eyes, and he doesn't look 100% well. Which may just be the trauma of being out on the streets trying to survive, but I won't know until I manage to grab him. Except he's so skittish that I couldn't get near him...

A kitten looking not so happy and well.

And so I called local veterinarian offices to see if they had a trap I could borrow. They did not. So I called the Humane Society because surely they have one... left a voicemail, but never heard back. Eventually I went to Home Depot where they had them in stock...

A stack of animal traps on the shelf at Home Depot.

When I got back to the office, I unpacked the trap and followed the instructions to open it. Immediately the "handle" springs off and slashes a nice gash in one of my hand while the trap falls on my other hand to cut it as well...

The handle to the trap door on the animal trap.

A gash on my left hand.

A cut on my right hand.

Ouch. But whatever. I have a cat to catch. Train tracks run right next to where he's been hiding, and I am mortified that he might be run over. So I don't need a handle on the door. I set it up with stinky cat food, then covered it like what was suggested by a local cat rescue to make it seem more "safe" to the kitten...

Towels covering the cage trap.

I checked the trap every hour. On the third hour the door had sprung and I was ecstatic that I had got kitty so easily. But when I ran across the street to collect him, there was no cat inside. Thinking that maybe a gust of wind set it off, I reset it to try again. But the cat was wary of it...

TA small kitten looking over at the trap.

I worked until 10:00pm when it got too dark to see the trap. So I went home and started taking naps between my hourly trap checks. FINALLY at 2:00am my headlights revealed that the trap had sprung. But, once again, not kitten inside. What the hell?

So naturally I went to the internet to see what I was doing wrong. LO AND BEHOLD, WHAT I THOUGHT WAS A "HANDLE" WAS, IN FACT, A CRITICAL CLIP NEEDED TO KEEP THE DOOR CLOSED! There were videos on YouTube about it from FIVE YEARS AGO and everything...

The kitten had actually been trapped twice, but managed to squeeze out from under the trap door.

I was absolutely enraged.

This company, HavaHart, who never responded to a guy telling them that their product is defective... has ibviously known about this problem FOR OVER FIVE YEARS. Probably longer. How shitty is that? The only way I found out that the "handle" was not actually a handle was because one of the comments on that video explained it. With not a small amount of effort and a pair of wide-grip pliers, I managed to get the trap door clip installed in the slots that hold it...

The defective clip is back on the trap door to keep it closed when it springs.

This is so shitty that I can't even express how angry I am. The kitten is probably so frightened about being trapped twice that they may never go back in now that I've repaired it. My God... all it would take is a simple rivet... or a punch-fasten... or a frickin' dimple... to make it so that this clip... WHICH ALSO ACTS AS A HANDLE PER THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE BOX... won't come flying out and hurting people when you pull on it to open the door. It would also make their product work as advertised. Rage. Rage. Rage...

All it would take to fix this shitty product is a simple rivet.

I continued to drive back to the office every hour, but the scared, hungry, possibly sick kitten never went back in the trap. And I don't blame them. I can only hope that they get hungry enough that they'll try to eat from the trap one more time so I can rush him to the vet and make sure he's okay. I'll still be checking every hour... even though I'm exhausted from lack of sleep worrying about a scared kitten getting run over by a train.

I don't really want a third cat, but I may not have much choice in the matter. I'm not going to abandon the poor thing. Which I've decided to name "Loki" whether it's a boy or a girl. Because Loki in the Marvel Studios movies is famous for being able to escape a trap... just like this kitten. And speaking of Loki...

A poster for the Disney+ series Loki by Marvel Studios starring Tom Hiddleston.

The first of six episiodes dropped. And it's glorious. It's Loki doing what Loki does best, but also has some heart in it that's surprisingly touching. So nice to see that Marvel Studios is killing it not just with their movies, but with their Disney+ series as well. Can't wait to see where this one goes!

   

Bullet Sunday 717

Posted on Sunday, June 13th, 2021

Dave!The days may be getting longer, but don't worry about finding something to read to occupy your time... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Subliminal! Am I the only one who watches movies and television shows where they eat a certain food... then you crave that food? I just watched one of my all-time favorite movies, Ideal Home (for the hundredth time)... where they're always eating Crunchwraps at Taco Bell. Since my Taco Bell is 20 minutes away, I just decided to make them. Mexican Rice, Nacho Cheese Doritos, plus Shredded Mexican Cheese warmed on a flour tortilla until soft enough to fold without breaking... followed by shredded lettuce and tomatoes... flip and brown... flip and brown... serve with salsa and sour cream...

Ideal Home Movie Poster with Steve Coogan and Paul Rudd.

A tortilla in a pan with rice, Doritos, and cheese.

The torilla wrapped around the ingredients and flipped in the pan.

The Crunchwraps on a plate with salsa and sour cream on top.

Delicious! More delicious than I deserve on a Sunday morning.

   
• Cooking! And speaking of cooking... I made the Walnut Cream Sauce Pasta I love so much that I got from Martha Stewart's meal service. Double batches get consumed in one sitting. Triple batches last me an additional day. So this time I'm going for a quadruple batch...

Making Walnut Cream Pasta on the stove.

Walnut Cream Pasta on a Plate.

Assuming I don't eat it for breakfasts, I think I'm good through Tuesday or Wednesday night.

   
• Victor! The second season of Love, Victor dropped on Hulu. I loved the film that spawned it, Love, Simon and the fact that it is such a great contiuation of the movie... with strong ties to the movie... just makes it work so beautifully. Even if it does stray a little far into teen angst for me from time to time...

Love Victor Season 2 Poster

The second season is just as good as the first, which is such a welcome surprise. Usually shows like this tank badly after they've exhausted what makes them work. So... yeah... great show. EXCEPT... the amazing theme song, Somebody to Tell Me by Tyler Glenn, is being cut short on the show intros...

WTF?!? HULU, YOU ARE A STREAMING SERVICE... NO NEED TO CUT ANYTHING SHORT BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT ON A BROADCAST SCHEDULE!

   
• It's Magneto! Watching all these people claiming to be "magnetic" after getting vaccinated having their worldview shattered when their claims are defeated by frickin' baby powder is both hilarious and profoundly sad. OUR BODIES PRODUCE OILS. THAT'S JUST A QUARTER STICKING TO THE OILS ON YOUR SKIN! YOUR FIRST CLUE THAT THIS IS BULLSHIT SHOULD HAVE BEEN THAT MAGNETS DON'T WORK ON QUARTERS! It all reminds me of when The Amazing Randi used to debunk this idiotic crap oh so many years ago...

Interesting to note that not one person was ever able to prove their "powers" and claim his One Million Dollar Challenge. Not one.

   
• It's NOT Magneto! I am all for poking fun at ignorant people who buy into stupid shit because the refuse to use even the smallest amount of brain power in verifying the crap they see on the internet. Though, like I said above, it's still profoundly sad because truly ignorant people refuse to admit they're wrong, often-times doubling down on their stupidity. But you know where I draw the line? When ignorant people actually attempt to educate themselves and admit when they were wrong. That doesn't deserve ridicule. That deserves admiration and respect...

@robbsfilms

Reply to @b2daruce

♬ original sound - Rob Marrocco

Now see... this gentleman right here was willing to dip his toe in the enlightenment pool by listening to reason, testing his beliefs, drawing a new conclusion based on evidence, admitting he made a mistake, and coming out on the other side better for it. Like rational human beings do. You don't poke fun at that. Mostly because it's something so many of the smartest stupid people will never do. They're just not that brave.

   
• ADOBE, STOP IT!!! For some stupid fucking reason, Adobe changed the MACINTOSH SYSTEM-WIDE KEYBOARD SHORTCUT TO HIDE THE APPLICATION from ⌘H to ^⌘H. It was a damn stupid decision that no Mac user would ever fucking want. Fortunately you can manually change it back to normal so you don't go insane wondering why the application won't hide when you tell it to. But every once in a while Photoshop will update itself and it will go back to what it was. Shit like this makes me insane. Why in the hell would Adobe change a MACINTOSH SYSTEM-WIDE KEYBOARD SHORTCUT in the first place? Because it seems like Adobe just fucking hate Mac users. Which is pretty shitty when you think about it. It was the Mac that allowed Adobe to build the defacto creative applications they have.

   
And that's all I have to say about that.

   

Bullet Sunday 718

Posted on Sunday, June 20th, 2021

Dave!I'm back from my quick trip over the mountains, so you know what that means... an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Happy Father's Day! Here's your Sunday Morning Happy. Watch until the end...

@dianabakerphotography

All part of my job! ##babyphotographer ##mumsoftiktok ##momsoftiktok ##babies ##tipsformoms ##baby ##babyboy ##edinburghbabyphotographer ##ukphotographer ##😁

♬ Pieces (Solo Piano Version) - Danilo Stankovic

And happy Father’s Day to the lucky dad of this adorable baby!

   
• Blame it on the Rain! Hope your Sunday weather is better than what these poor Guinnea pigs got...

@titorenogpigs

After sunshine comes… ##rain ##pigtok ##guineapig ##fyp ##foryou ##foryourpage ##xyzbca

♬ original sound - titorenogpigs

Yeah... there's yet another TikTok rabbit hole I fell down.

   
• Picard! The first season of Picard wasn't stellar, but good enough that I enjoyed it (despite not being a Next Generation fan). The second season, however? I am very interested in seeing what they do with it, especially since Guinan is returning...

Fascinating to see an 80-year-old Patrick Stewart playing a 98-year-old Picard. Even more fascinating? That an 80-year-old Patrick Stewart would want to. But, thankfully for whatever reason, he does.

   
• Luca! The sad thing about our pandemic world is that movies get sent to streaming services, which somehow makes them seem "less than" the big movie releases of years past. Like a cheap "straight-to-video" film or something. Take Luca, for example, the latest Pixar film. It is incredible... easily on-par with any other Pixar movie ever made. It's the adorable story about young sea monsters who long for something more on the surface world in 1950's Italy. And it is stunning. It's set in a fictional town, but it easily recognized as a mix of the five fishing villages of Cinque Terre (which you can read about here). And the voice cast has some real surprises that I won't spoil here. Love, love, loved this movie...

The poster for Luca showing adorable sea monsters become human once they are in the air. Half adorable human kids up top... half sea monsters under the water!

Even more amazing? Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, this entire film was made from home! Highest possible recommednation. If you have Disney+, it's a no-brain to add to your watch list.

   
• Citizencide! Holy. Shit. This woman is literally the worst. Her sublime ignorance, stupidity, and complete lack of empathy typifies the horrors of so many of our elected government officials. Unbelievable, yet entirely believable. Even expected...

@dr.eric.b

##covid ##covid19 ##pandemic ##mask ##fyp ##facts ##vaccine ##doctor

♬ original sound - Eric

You can label my political disdain all you want, but this is what has be convinced that our government is actively trying to kill us. And we're voting for them to do it.

   
• "Today in Christian Love..." And people wonder why Pride Month is important...

@thedudetrader

This is how we see Christians - NO LOVE HERE....JUST HATE. #lgbtq #lgbtqtiktok #lgbtq🏳‍🌈 #lovenothate

♬ original sound - The Dude ✌️

   
• Snap Me! Ending on an LOL-worthy YouTube video seems like the way to go this Bullet Sunday...

THANOS WAS RIGHT!

   
=sigh= I suppose I really should clean up my house a bit since I was gone all weekend and have to go to work in the morning.

   

Ten Rings and Counting

Posted on Thursday, June 24th, 2021

Dave!It's really weird to think that after a year of no new Marvel Studios films, we're making up for lost time by getting four of them in the second half of this year. I just prepaid my Premier Access fee for Black Widow last night so I'm all set for July 9th. I think the other three are all theaters-only, so I guess that's the end of the road for new releases at home.

After some social media posts this morning promising that the first full trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings would be released... and here we go...

That cast tho! I honestly didn't know what to think of Simu Liu in the lead since all I knew him from was Kim's Convenience, but it looks like he's going to be the super-hero action type juuuuuust fine. Then, of course, there's Michelle Yeoh, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Fala Chen, and... Awkwafina! This film drops on September 3rd.

Then it's a one-two punch with Eternals on November 5th and Spider-Man: No Way Home on December 17th. On the Disney+ side, we've got What If? and Hawkeye and Miss Marvel also coming up sometime in the back-half of 2021.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe will be going into 2022 without half of its six original Avengers since Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Widow are all out of play. My guess is that Hawkeye will die or retire in his series, which would leave just Thor and Hulk (plus Nick Fury, of course). Black Panther was tragically lost to us, which leaves Ant-Man & The Wasp, War Machine, Okoye, Shuri, Nakia, Doctor Strange, Wong, Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, Vison, and The Scarlet Witch remaining from the second wave. Along with Falcon (the new Captain America) and Bucky. And then there's The Guardians of The Galaxy, which may be a very different team after the third movie of the trilogy wraps.

As for the future?

It's confirmed that we're getting (or have already spotted) Shang-Chi, The Eternals, The Black Knight, Lady Thor (Jane Foster), Photon (Monica Rambeau), Miss Marvel, Kate Bishop (Hawkeye II), She-Hulk, Moon Knight, Blade, Ironheart, Stature (Young Avengers—Cassie Lang), Patriot (Young Avengers—Elijah Bradley), Wiccan (Young Avengers—Billy Kaplan/Maximiff), Speed (Young Avengers—Tommy Shepherd/Maximoff), Falcon (Young Avengers—Joaquín Torres)... plus there's a rumor that the Netflix heroes will be integrated (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Punisher)... plus Fantastic Four (and most likely X-Men) as well. Deadpool will be back, but how he'll fit into things is anybody's guess.

That's a lot.

But where's Alpha Flight, Namor, Wonder Man, Nova, Captain Britain, and The Silver Surfer?

   

Bullet Sunday 720

Posted on Sunday, July 4th, 2021

Dave!Happy 4th, my fellow Americans! Please let the sun go down on me, because the heat is just beyond comfortable right now... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Old is New! HEADLINE: Charlize Theron Says Old Guard Sequel Script Complete, Filming to Begin Early Next Year. My favorite movie of 2020, by a wide margin, was The Old Guard, and I've been dying for a sequel... and here it comes! My hope is that Charlize can also get a sequel to Atomic Blonde happening, because that remains another favorite.

   
• Comedy! This is the funniest joke I've heard in a minute...

@steev_letts

Circa 2017 at the Comedy Mix (RIP). ##standupcomedy ##gaycomedy ##lgbtcomedy ##pride ##jokes ##gayjokes ##comedy ##breastfeeding #boobies

♬ original sound - Steev_Letts

This is the third or fourth comedian I've never heard of popping up on TikTok and making me an instant fan.

   
• Fast! Look, I'm the last person who is going to say that the Fast & Furious movies are anything akin to high art... sometimes the acting is downright atrocious. But that's not why I love these films. That's not why ANYBODY loves these films. We love them because they are outrageously entertaining. Though I maintain that the pinnacle of F&F movies was Fast Five, which is about as good as a popcorn movie gets. And now this. I think I love them even more!

   
• No Tomorrow! I am more than a little salty over wasting my life watching the embarrassing Amazon Prime Original The Tomorrow War starring Chris Pratt. Sublimely stupid with logic gaps big enough for a semi-truck to pass through, I was rolling my eyes through most of it. And then comes Ryan with his hilarious "Pitch Meeting" take and it's perfect...

Honestly... Ryan is so dead-on in these things that he should be paid to read Hollywood scripts so he can point out all the stupid shit to people before they film it.

   
• Apple Quality! A big thank you for Apple completely fucking up Finder Search in MacOS. Find a file you need and click on it? Another file opens. Search for a file you KNOW exists? MacOS can't find it. Search for a part of a name of a file? MacOS doesn't return it in search if it's part of a bigger filename. Completely fucking useless. And, yes, I HAVE REBUILT MY SPOTLIGHT DATABASE ABOUT SIX TIMES NOW... IT DOESN'T WORK!!!

   
• All Good Things! On the opposite side of the Apple spectrum... Steve Jobs is a personal hero of mine. This short article illustrates why: Steve Jobs in Kyoto.

   
And I guess I'm done with bullets since I have no more Sunday left and the sun is, in fact, going down.

   

Black Widow

Posted on Friday, July 9th, 2021

Dave!After being delayed over a year... Black Widow is finally here!

Well, I say "over a year" but it's actually more like eleven years because I've been waiting for a solo movie ever since the character first appeared in Iron Man 2 back in May of 2010. Instead she appeared in just about every other character's movie without getting her own. At least until now.

No, I did not go to a theater to watch it. I paid $30 to watch it at home, which is something I was thrilled to do. I would never step foot in a movie theater ever again if it was the option. Partly because I've got a great big-screen TV and sound-system at home... but mostly because I hate sitting in a theater with a bunch of selfish, inconsiderate assholes who feel the need to light up the theater with their cell phones, talk, and exist while I'm trying to concentrate on the movie. And, yes, I will undoubtedly buy the film on iTunes when it's released as well. Though it sure would be nice if Premiere Access customers got a bit of a discount on it! I love Marvel Studios movies, watch them over and over again, so I buy them.

As a non-spoilery review, about all I can say is that I liked it quite a lot. Don't know that I'd go so far as to say I loved it, because Natasha did get a little short-changed in her own film... but it was darn entertaining and continues Marvel's unfathomable streak of awesome movies...

Since Black Widow is... well... dead... in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (thanks to Avengers: Infinity War), they pretty much had no choice but to go back in time. Conveniently, there's a period after Captain America: Civil War where some of the characters are on the run for violating the Sokovia Accords, and that's when Black Widow is set. The story, in a nutshell, is that Natasha has to confront her past which is having a scary relevance to what's happening in her present (which is our past). Along the way we meet her former "family" of spies, including her father (David Harbor), mother (Rachel Weisz), and sister (Florence Pugh). All of whom are likely not done in the MCU.

So... yeah. Kudos to Marvel for not only finally giving Black Widow a film of her own... but for investing enough money to make it really cool as well.

I already watched the movie once. I am going to watch it again right now and live-blog it as I go. You can read that (along with other thoughts) in a spoiler-filled extended entry...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

How Can Life Have a Happy Ending?

Posted on Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

Dave!On December 23rd, 2015 I was more tired than I had ever been.

My mother was declining ever faster into dementia and taking care of her was becoming a full-time job. A full-time job that I was trying to balance with my actual full-time job. I had bought a house where I could better take care of her, and was mired in month two of renovating it so that it was safe for her to live in. Christmas was coming in two days. The new mattresses I ordered were being delivered, but were running late. There were a million things that all needed doing and I was struggling to juggle everything.

Then I got a call from the nursing home that my grandmother didn't have much time left.

She had been slipping away little by little all week and I had increased my visits from twice a week... to daily... to multiple times a day once she stopped eating over the weekend. At that point there was nothing I could do except make sure that she wasn't suffering, so that's what I did. She meant the world to me, and I was grateful that I was in a position where I could look out for her. When I stopped by on my way to work that morning she was resting comfortably thanks to the morphine that was being regularly administered. I thought it was going to be a day just like the day before.

And it was.

Until it wasn't.

After I got the call I dropped everything and ran to the nursing home. There I met with the hospice nurse who said that the staff should have explained that she was in her last stages, yes, but it could be hours yet before she passed. She assured me that it was safe for me to go back to work and that she would call if grandma started to pass.

After work I checked in on mom. Then ran back to check on grandma. Then continued going back and forth. Once mom had settled in for the night, I turned on all the security cameras and decided I'd spend the night at the nursing home and keep tabs on mom remotely.

I was all alone.

As I had been all along.

Nobody would be helping me keep watch. Nobody ever helped. Nobody wanted to be there at the end. Not even me. Because watching somebody you love die is tough. But there was no way I'd be leaving her alone. She would never have left me alone.

So it was just me holding my grandmother's hand and talking to her as she lay slowly fading away.

Earlier that month a friend had known I was struggling and forwarded me an article from Esquire titled The Friend. It's about a guy who's young wife was dying from cancer and how a friend moved in for two years to help him take care of his wife and two daughters. It was a beautiful and touching story that was meant to bring me comfort. But all I could think about was how the author of the article had a friend willing to help but I had nobody.

Which begs the question... How can life have a happy ending when you're dead at the end of it?

It wasn't until years later that I happened across the article again while preparing for my mom's death that I managed to truly appreciate it. Even though I was all alone. Again. I read the article so many times that I practically had it memorized. That's how much it meant to me.

Needless to say, I was a little excited when I read that the article was being made into a movie...

And this past weekend I finally watched it because it was free with Amazon Prime.

And it was fantastic. Really did the original article justice, which was surprising to me for some reason. And the performances were better than you could even hope for.

Fast-forward to tonight.

Gwendoline Christie has a small part in Our Friend. It's wonderful. And it's haunted me ever since I saw the movie. So I pulled it up on Amazon Prime so I could rewatch her scenes.

I knew I'd be watching the movie again... but I also knew that I couldn't watch it again right away. It's just too exhausting. But here I am. Turns out it was impossible to just watch one small part of it without being compelled to watch the whole thing all over again.

So, yeah, if you've got Amazon Prime, it's worth a look.

   

Messiah Complex

Posted on Thursday, July 22nd, 2021

Dave!I'm just going to get this out of the way... I am a fan of David Lynch's Dune movie. The novel itself is so vast, nuanced, and complicated that a film adaptation is a tough go of it... no matter who you are. So if you can't have a complete representation of the source material, you might as well hire a visionary director like David Lynch to put his unique take on the material. As a fan of David Lynch, I got exactly what I was expecting from the movie and have watched it dozens of times. If I have a critique, it's that Paul and Chani are too old. Part of what makes the story so good is that they start out as kids.

And here comes Denis Villeneuve with his take.

Talk about a visionary director.

What he did with Arrival and, even more spectacularly... Blade Runner 2049... is a take that I am very interested in seeing applied to Dune. And, to his credit, he's already got off on the right foot with his remarkable casting. Everybody is sublimely perfect, and the fact that Paul (Timothée Chalamet) and Chani (Zendaya) are kids is just icing on the cake.

My favorite bit of casting, however, is Stephen McKinley Henderson as Thufir Hawat. But we'll get to that in a minute. Because a new trailer just dropped for the movie (coming in October to theaters and HBO Max)...

Interesting to note that, once again, Thufir Hawat is almost entirely absent. The only noticeable look is from one shot where he's not even the focus...

Thufir in the second Dune trailer.

He was barely noticeable in the first trailer either. All we got was this...

Thufir in the first Dune trailer.

And when the Dune character posters were dropped last week? No Thufir... at first! Couldn't be found in any of the news stories I saw. Eventually I found his poster though, so that was a happy discovery...

Stephen McKinley Henderson as Thufir Hawat character poster.

Now, in the books, Thufir Hawat is a major character. As Mentat to the House Atreides and one of Paul's teachers he's important. Then, later on, he ends up being critical... but not as a major character. Since Villeneuve has (wisely) split the first Dune novel into two parts, maybe he is trying to keep Thufir under wraps so he can be featured in the sequel movie? I guess that could be an explanation, though I'd argue that the first movie should be where he's most important.

My fear, of course, is that Thufir has been shoved to the background and doesn't have enough of a contribution to the film to be featured. Which would be a darn shame.

We don't even know if a sequel is going to happen. Dune is a tough sell to begin with... and with the pandemic and an uncertain future for theaters, expensive projects like this will be the first to get dropped. Unless something crazy happens and the movie explodes acorss the world.

But anyway... could not possibly be more excited for October. Denis Villeneuve will absolutely make the movie worth watching... good or bad... successful or unsuccessful... so I will absolutely be renewing my HBO subscription to see it.

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Bullet Sunday 725

Posted on Sunday, August 8th, 2021

Dave!I may be late to post, but that won't stop the bullets... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Squad! The Suicide Squad was bloody good. After the abomination that was Wonder Woman '84 and whatever the fuck Zack Snyder's shitty "movies" were supposed to be... I had given up hope that we'd ever see another good DC Comics film. Alas, the person I most wanted to survive didn't, and the person I most wanted to die didn't. And the person I knew wouldn't be killed (predictably) survived...

The Suicide Squad Poster

Interestingly enough, I actually think this was a better film than either of the Guardian of the Galaxy flicks, and I *loved* those. So good on you, James Gunn! 10 out of 10. Exactly what we needed out of a Suicide Squad film... and the big bad was exactly what they needed to be to close out the film. Would not be mad if Gunn wanted to give us another one!

   
• Kindness! You guys. YOU GUYS...

@latha_jay #stitch with @mckaybslayin #unimportantdecisions #spiritualtok #manifestedmydreamlife #manifestedmyman #crystaltok #howimetmyhusband ♬ original sound - Spiritual Manifestation Coach

I love seeing things like this!

   
• Italicized! Yeah, italics are important, yo...

How italics can change the meaning of a sentence.

Thanks to texting and Facebook and the like, italics are a lost art. As is the understood meaning of what we're trying to say.

   
• Walking! Hey... don't be a hater...

@danielmozeley

##stitch with @talialichtstein TikTok is getting personal, I can’t even stand up for myself 😭

♬ original sound - Daniel Moseley

This guy's TikTok is seriously funny.

   
• Doggo! I once joked about the saying "all men are dogs" because that's clearly a disservice to doggos. And promptly got banned from Facebook for 24 hours. And then there's this...

Uh huh. Pretty much sums it up.

   
• Huh?! This is perfect...

@gioandoakley #dogsfavoriteword #dogs #dogsofttiktok #pug #headtilt ♬ original sound - GioandOakley

Those puppies better get all that or they're going to revolt!

   
• Destroyer of Lives! When I was prescribed oxycontin, it was a serious consideration made by my doctor. At the time I was getting 2 or 3 kidney stones a year. After I had an excruciating kidney stone attack on an airplane which resulted in my going to the hospital on a layover, my doctor said that he understands I travel a lot and doesn't want me to be screaming in agony at 30,000 feet where nothing can be done. So he pulled out the prescription pad. THEN he gave me a 15 minute lecture on the dangers of using oxycontin, explained how it should only be used as a last resort in emergency situations, and how easy it is to develop a life-destroying addiction to it. Hence scaring the shit out of me, and guaranteeing that I would use it rarely and in only the most dire circumstances (like when I was hit by a van in the South of France and ended up flying home with cracked ribs). The three times I've used it was three times I was in so much pain that it felt like I would die without relief. And that's how it should be used. But, thanks to the heinous developers of the drug... The Sackler Family... that's NOT how it was sold. It was passed out like candy and pushed on doctors to prescribe in cases when it absolutely shouldn't have been. Despite knowing of the dangers, The Sacklers gleefully and illegally pushed its use to the absolute maximum and destroyed lives in exchange for billions of dollars. Then admitted it and became a family of felons. Now there's a debate going on as to how many of those billions they should have to give back to clean up the mess they made. My answer? Every damn dollar. But that's not how it's going to go. Wealth protects itself, and that's how it's always worked. Don't like the justice you're being dealt? Just buy your own justice! That's America for you! Billionaires get all the breaks... everyday Americans rarely do. Just try to keep your rage intact when you watch this. Just try...

If you can, you're a better person than I am.

   
And that's all the bullets I got. I'm spent, yo.

   

Wall of Mondays

Posted on Monday, August 23rd, 2021

Dave!   
Ugh. Not this shit again.

   

UPDATE: Well, wow. This just made my Monday suck a magnatude less!

Holy crap! I had no idea that Doctor Strange was going to be such a big part of the movie! Thrilled with it!

   

Thank God Dinner is Being Served

Posted on Friday, August 27th, 2021

Dave!Before I get to my latest frustrations with Apple...

One of my favorite movie franchises is Kingsman. It's James Bond films for a new age and the first one was sublimely good. Smart, funny, thrilling... it had it all. The second movie faltered quite a lot, but was still good entertainment. Now there's a prequel called The King's Man which, despite the shitty kerning on the title logo, looks very good indeed. And now a trailer has landed...

I talked about the logo here... but this is what's so horrific to design-minded people...

But anyway...

Apple has built a business around making computers easier and more seamless to use than other computer manufacturers. "It just works" is the mantra that they bash you over the head with over and over again. And that's a pretty compelling reason to get a Mac, and a very cool perk which comes from owning one.

Until it isn't.

That's when it makes you want to hop a flight to Cupertino and start throat-punching people.

My photo cataloging software is Adobe Lightroom. The full-resolution original photos themselves are stored on my NAS file server, but Lightroom keeps a catalog of thumbnails on your local drive to speed things up. It's a pretty great system which allows me to have terabytes of photos... but only have to keep around 100MB on my local hard drive.

Last night I decided to install Lightroom on Lemon (my new iMac). I was originally just going to AirDrop my catalog files from my MacBook Pro to Lemon. But since the MacBook Pro doesn't have WiFi 6, it was going to take nearly an hour to copy. No thanks. Instead I grabbed the USB-C power cable off my MacBook Pro charger and thought I'd just put the laptop into "Target Disk Mode" which turns it into a big hard drive.

Easy, right?

Not really. I fired up the MacBook Pro in "Target Disk Mode" and it wouldn't mount. For whatever reason, Lemon couldn't see it.

What the hell?

A quick Google search reveals that Macs can, in fact, do "Target Disk Mode" over USB-C... but only if you use a special designated Firewire cable.

And the cable Apple includes with their pricey charging brick... isn't.

This meant I had to dig through a big box of cables until I found a USB-C that was Firewire compatible. Which is tough because manufacturers other than Apple don't seem to mark their cables with a little thunderbolt logo. Eventually I found one in an old hard drive box that had a Firewire logo on the tag that tied it together. I plugged it into my MacBook Pro in "Target Disk Mode" and the hard drive came up.

Eventually.

It took several moments. It started working just as I was going to unplug the thing.

So surely it should be easy now, right?

Lord, no.

Using the MacOS Finder to copy the Lightroom catalog files took frickin' forever because it was stuck on "Preparing to Copy"...

PREPARING TO COPY... PREPARING FOREVER!!!

Time to install ChronoSync to see if my backup software would go any faster.

The answer is yes and no.

Yes it was faster to initiate the copy... but the copy itself? It never went over 70MB/second. Even though the Firewire 3 port on my MacBook Pro and Thunderbolt 4 port on Lemon can (theoretically) transfer 40GB/second. Yes, you read that right... I'm getting less than 70 MEGAbytes a second when I should be getting 40 GIGAbytes a second.

I mean, yeah it was faster over cable... 20 minutes instead of an hour via WiFi... but still, this is really shitty. Factoring in the 30 minutes it took for me to get "Target Disk Mode" working, and I ended up saving a whopping 10 minutes over just AirDropping the stupid thing over WiFi.

So... uh huh... somebody at 1 Infinite Loop needs a throat punch. Bad.

I'm not ruling out that it was the cable that was the limiting factor, but a hardwire transfer of any kind that can only sustain 70MB/second transfer is pathetic and embarrassing.

But oh well. Despite the monumental waste of time, Adobe Lightroom is functioning flawlessly... and it positively flies on the M1 chip in my iMac thanks to Adobe investing the time to make it run natively on the hardware. It really is astounding to contrast and compare using the software on my MacBook Pro vs. my decidedly non-Pro, consumer-model iMac.

There's good news though. It only took Lemon 6 minutes to backup the new data to the attached Time Machine Thunderbolt 3 SSD backup drive. Much more inline with my expectations of how long it should have taken to get the data to be transferred to Lemon in the first place.

   

Bullet Sunday 728

Posted on Sunday, August 29th, 2021

Dave!So much good entertainment news this week, but I'm keeping my expectations in check... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Old Guard! My favorite movie of 2020, by a large margin, is getting a sequel! Starring Charlize Theron and based on the comic book of the same name, I literally can't say enough good things about it...

The Old Guard teaser poster.

Apparently everybody's coming back, though a major shift at the end of the movie adaptation have me wondering if the follow-up movie will attempt to adapt the story of the follow-up comic book, Force Multiplied.

   
• Atomic Blonde! And speaking of Charlize Theron... her other amazing film, Atomic Blonde, is not getting just one sequel... it's apparently getting two!

Atomic Blonde Movie Poster!

This is phenomenal news, because the first movie was a spy thriller unlike anything I had seen before. I only hope that whomever picked the songs for the soundtrack comes back to select them for the sequels, because that just made an incredible film even better.

   
• Dark! And I'm not done with awesome entertainment news! Yet another amazing movie has a television series sequel in development... Dark City! But it gets better! Original director Alex Proyas is going to be working on it!

Dark City Movie Poster!

I remember the original film very well. A friend and I had made a trip to Seattle and had some time to kill. There was a theater near our hotel so we decided to see a movie. Nothing looked interesting to us, but we eventually settled on Dark City because it at least was supposed to be science fiction, which we both liked. Nothing could have prepared us for what we were going to see. It was an absolutely fascinating story and had some of the most stunning visuals of any film I had seen up to that point. Visuals, I might add, we've seen copied in any number of films (there were times watching Doctor Strange that I couldn't get Dark City out of my head). No word as to whether any of the original characters will be returning, but

   
• Happy Little Trees! I finally got to the Bob Ross documentary on Netflix. I was most pleased that they acknowledged that The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross was preceded by The Magic of Oil Painting with Bill Alexander. They were essentially the same program using the same technique... except Bob Ross was ASMR personified. I remember when I was a kid how upset I was that Bill Alexander was replaced with the new guy, but ultimately fell in love with Bob Ross just like everybody else did. I am fairly certain that I saw every single episode of both series, and was a huge, huge fan...

Bob Ross Magical Painting!
From PBS. But, just in case... © ® ™ Bob Ross Inc. so I don't get sued.

The documentary was quite good, but I didn’t learn anything new from it. I was well aware of the battle between Bob Ross and The Kowalskis, and was hoping that we would finally get their side of the story. But nope! They opted out and provided a weak-ass statement, which only makes me believe that they are awful people who didn’t honor the wishes of Bob Ross and tried to cheat everybody out of ownership of what they were left after Bob Ross died (not to mention the awful things they did to steal from other artists). Such a shame. With all those millions of dollars there was plenty of money to go around while still honoring Bob Ross’s final wishes. UPDATE: Bob Ross Inc. Responds to Netflix Doc.

   
• Eeelie! DAFUQ?!? CAN SOMEBODY CONFIRM THIS?!?

@colethesciencedude

We Don't Know Where Eels Come From #science #funfacts #learnontiktok #fyp #education

♬ Horror, suspense, weirdness, ghost, UFO - Zassh

It's like... I don't even know how to respond after watching this.

   
• Sheep! "A sheep farmer stuck in lockdown in New South Wales who was unable to attend his aunt’s funeral has honoured her memory with the ultimate tribute: a love heart made from sheep."

The innovation of people to escape the confines of the horrors of this never-ending pandemic provides hope amongst the ignorance and selfishness that plagues us.

   
• Value! "Spread the word. This has to stop." — People really are the worst...

@zbojones

Please share, this has to stop ##fyp ##MicroRaveWithRoni ##MyTeacherWins ##stopjudging

♬ original sound - Zac Brady

And just as a sample of what this guy has to deal with...

@zbojones

It’s a mindset people ! ##fyp ##pumpkinseason ##loveyourself ##ChewyChattyPets

♬ OkkkAaayyy - BOY2FLY 🕺🏾

Jesus, humanity. Do fucking better.

   
Any more attempt at bullets and I'd be shooting blanks. So until next week...

   

Carl Fredrickson

Posted on Tuesday, August 31st, 2021

Dave!Ed Asner passed away.

Best known for playing Lou Grant in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and the more serious spin-off Lou Grant, Mr. Asner was a versatile actor who popped up in a lot of places. But regardless of where he ended up, he was a perfect fit.

Take, for example, his voice role as the villainous Granny Goodness in Justice League Unlimited. It was always a fun time to guess all the guest actors that popped up in the animated DC shows back in the day, but I never managed to figure out who Granny was. So I looked it up. And there was Ed Asner!

But there is one role that will always be my Ed Asner favorite. Surprisingly, it's not playing Santa in Elf (though he was sublime in that). Nor was it as Wilson White in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (though he was brilliant in that) Nope... it's Carl Fredricksen in the Pixar film Up...

The poster for Disney/Pixar's UP... showing an old man dangling from a rope that's hanging out of a house suspended in the air by thousands of balloons.

A still from the movie UP by Disney/Pixar showing an older Carl Fredrickson missing his wife.

A massive testament to flawless voice casting, Ed Asner's heartwarming performance as his animated character was everything you could hope for...

Ed Asner at the premier of Disney/Pixar's UP, standing next to a person dressed up as his character, Carl Fredrickson.

Tonight I rewatched the film and was once again struck with how utterly magical it is. Every moment... from the most soul-crushing to the most uplifting... was meticulously crafted and brought to life by Ed Asner's incredible talent.

Lucky for us all, Ed Asner returned to Carl Fredrickson once again in a series of Dug Days shorts for Disney+ which debut... tomorrow!

I can't wait. Rest in Peace, Mr. Asner.

   

Bullet Sunday 729

Posted on Sunday, September 5th, 2021

Dave!September is here as the horrors of 2021 continue, but the horror is ongoing... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Breakage! Well this is ten tons of cool: Artist Walead Beshty Shipped Glass Boxes Inside FedEx Boxes to Produce Shattered Sculptures. Creative people making highly creative art like this makes me very happy.

   
• Date! I love discovering a great movie that I didn't even know existed! This time is was Date and Switch from 2014...

Yeah, it's a high-school rom-com... but it has a twist that I haven't seen before. And it has a really good heartfelt ending that's played beautifully by Nicholas Braun, and it caught me completely off guard. Recommended!

   
• Well-Made... Crap! The wheels on the lower rack of my Whirlpool dishwasher started falling off after two years. After four years, they had all fallen off. I got tired of having to pick up and set the rack in myself after a year, so I finally Googled how to repair the stupid thing just now. Turns out that this is SUCH A HUGE FUCKING PROBLEM that Google AUTO-COMPLETED THE SEARCH FOR ME! I typed "Whirlpool Dishwasher—" and it immediately popped up with "...wheels falling off." And so... $16 later at Amazon and I have "improved & upgraded" wheels on the way. Wheels with a STAINLESS STEEL core that won't snap off. How fucking pathetic is it that the manufacturer doesn't just include these kind of wheels in the first place? They HAVE to know that this is a huge problem with the plastic becoming brittle and cracking. It would probably cost them $5 extra for metal cores and pins on an item that customer's are paying hundreds for, so WTF?!?

   
• Disney! Please tell me you've seen the 5 minutes of joy and magic that is Us Again on Disney+...

What's magic to me is what happens BETWEEN the cuts. Especially at the very end. She clearly picked up his hat. But they don't have to SHOW it to you... they just have it sitting next to her. That's economy of storytelling in the absolute best possible way. If you have Disney+, you owe it to yourself to give it a quick watch.

   
• Disneyesque! I watched the new Cinderella on Amazon Prime and new Cruella on Disney+ (now that it's free to watch). Cinderella was nice enough, but their efforts to go more progressive at the end (something I usually wouldn't mind) were really heavy-handed and kind of sunk it for me. Cruella, on the other hand?

Cruella Poster

Pretty darn good! Very entertaining with a brilliant soundtrack, incredible performances, and cool design sense. The only thing I didn't care for was the fact that eventually Cruella deVil becomes a psychotic old hag who wants to skin puppies to make a coat. It's really tough to be in any way invested in how she started when you know how it ends for her. I suppose if you can ignore that aspect, you'll enjoy it.

   
• All the Abs! How I imagine the director's conversation with the costume designer went for Aquaman...
Director: "Many people think of Aquaman as a weak hero."
Costume Designer: "Yes, but he's being played by Jason Momoa, so problem solved!"
Director: "No... that's only part of the solution. The other part is giving him a costume that lets viewers know that he is a manly-man and a really powerful hero."
Costume Designer: "So no spandex?"
Director: "Lord, no."
Costume Designer: "We can accent his muscles with the suit to make him appear more like a classic comic book hero."
Director: "Yes."
Costume Designer: "We can REALLY define those abs!"
Director: "YES! YES! OH YES!"
Costume Designer: "What do you think of this sketch?"
Director: "MORE ABS! PILE ON MORE ABS!"
Costume Designer: "Um... okay... how about this?"
Director: "More."
Costume Designer: "Maybe this?"
Director: "MORE! MORE! MORE! GIVE HIM ALL THE ABS!"
Costume Designer: "Oh... wow... okay then... how about this sketch?"
Director: "YES! GOD, YES! LET'S DO EXACTLY THAT!"

It's like... damn. That's over-done to the point of being absurd.

   
• Progressive? Washington State prides itself on being tech-forward thanks to so many tech companies starting here or having a presence here. And yet Washington State itself is ALWAYS the last to adopt actual technology or new ways of doing things. It makes me livid. What in the hell are our legislators being paid for if they ignore what's happening RIGHT NOW? It's like getting your driver's license enhanced to Real ID for travel. I think this only became possible recently... despite everybody knowing that it would be required years ago (my license, renewed last year, is still not enhanced). And now it's digital driver's licenses that they are ignoring. Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, Iowa, Utah, and Connecticut are ALL hopping onboard. WHERE THE FUCK IS WASHINGTON STATE? Iowa is more aware of tech and new trends that Washington State? IOWA?!? — Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell and Jay Inslee need to do their damn jobs, direct the DOL to get on this, and keep us at the forefront of tech. I am sick and tired of Washington State ALWAYS being behind the curve. Our state government probably won't even know that digital driver's licenses EXIST until 2025. Do we need to vote in new legislators that will keep Washington State moving forward? Because what we got now ain't working... and their inaction is embarrassing Washingtonians. Again. DO BETTER!

   
And that's all the bullets she wrote!

   

The Matrix Resurrections Resurrected

Posted on Thursday, September 9th, 2021

Dave!The original Matrix movie... The Matrix... is one of the best sci-fi films ever made. It was mind-bogglingly good both thematically and visually. Everything about it is brilliant. And a lot of people think so, because The Matrix ended up being massively successful. So successful that there were back-to-back sequels filmed... The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.

Both of which sucked ass.

Unfortunately The Wachowskis decided to go high-concept with the sequels to try to push them into something higher than a mere sci-fi-action-thriller. And they failed spectacularly. Every time I bring this up, people are telling me that the reason I think they failed was because I don't understand the films. I'm not saying that's impossible, but I've read more than my fair share of the philosophy they're hanging the stories on and still think it's a massive failure. And I can't quite seem to decide whether they dumbed it down so much as to make it be incomprehensibly stupid... or whether they tried to do something so over-the-top ridiculous that it ended up being incomprehensibly stupid. Regardless, you get scintillating conversations like "What do I need to do?""You KNOW what you have to do!""But how will I know?""You'll KNOW!" Painful.

All of this prelude is to say that I'm not overly-enthusiastic for a fourth The Matrix film.

The only way I could find myself enjoying it would be if they either ignored the two sequels completely... or they came up with a clever way of explaining why they were so bad and how their Jesus metaphor could miss the mark so completely.

And then today the trailer landed...

Now, after viewing this a half-dozen times, I'm intrigued.

It's almost like they've decided to skirt all the awful things that sunk the sequels by going meta on our asses. This would allow them to BOTH ignore the two sequels completely AND come up with a clever way of explaining why they were so bad... both at the same time!

Nice!

At least if I'm disappointed I won't have to risk COVID at a theater... the film will be available for streaming on HBO Max as well.

And then there's the new trailer for Picard...

Star Trek always heads to the past whenever they want an easy win. Here we go again. No sign of Whoopi tho?

And Strange New Worlds...

And last, but not least, the first Star Trek focusing on the aliens of the Trek universe...

Though Capt. Janeway is a notable exception... OR IS SHE?!? Time will tell.

Exciting stuff!

   

Bullet Sunday 730

Posted on Sunday, September 19th, 2021

Dave!They may be more than meets the eye, but Transformers ain't got nothing on this blog... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Classic? Still really, really pissed at the Coca-Cola Company for fucking up Coke Zero. It tastes like such horrendous shit that I am still not used to it... and likely never will be. The only caffeinated beverage I liked, and it's just... gone.

   
• GAH! Taylor Swift has been re-recording her music due to legal ownership issues with her back-catalog. Her vocals are as good as ever, but the new music is awful. Wildest Dreams, one of my favorites, was just re-recorded and they trashed the music on it. It used to be so open, bright, uplifting, and soaring... now it’s flat, boring, and dour. Almost depressing...

There’s this throbbing bass line just fuzzing over everything and it’s truly terrible. I fully support Ms. Swift taking back ownership of her work, but not like this. Not like this. Ugh.

   
• Safe & Effective! The Pfizer vaccine is apparently far less effective than Moderna over time... and yet they only authorized the Pfizer booster for people 65 years and older or people at high risk? What the fuck kind of nonsense is this? If it's an issue of them not having enough vaccine for people who are unvaccinated, then yeah... I can wait. But the number of people getting vaccinated right now has to be fairly low given how many people are refusing to protect themselves and others, so what the hell?

   
• Whitney! They are remaking The Bodyguard? Yeah. Good luck with that. On top of having to replace the irreplaceable, you run the very real risk of trampling over a sacred ground you don't want to be stepping...

I dunno. Maybe the stars will align and they can find a cast that works and find a way of avoiding the disrespect that comes from a wound still fresh... but I won't want to watch it for a very long time. If ever.

   
• Beard! Yet another fantastic flawless episode of Ted Lasso... this one focusing almost entirely on Coach Beard (with a little more Mae, Baz, Phil, and Jeremy thrown in)...

I sure hope that a few of the other characters that haven't been featured much get at least some character development. They could almost film an entirely new series focusing on the lives of everybody outside of the football club and it's probably going to be great just from the standpoint of adding to the greater narrative.

   
• Character! I have watched most all of the character breakdown videos from GQ. My favorite that I've seen is this one with Willem Dafoe...

He is a compelling guy, a phenomenally talented actor, and listen to him talking about his career is fascinating stuff.

   
• Money Shot! Okay... this is pretty incredible...

Now, of course, the answer to everything is just "CGI"... but in the days before CGI? This is what there was.

   
And that's a wrap for bullets one-day-delayed.

   

Bullet Sunday 732

Posted on Sunday, October 3rd, 2021

Dave!Everybody do the hokey-pokey and turn yourselves around... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Lasso Unwound! The fact that the writers of Ted Lasso are taking a beloved character from the first season and turning them into a literal villain is an interesting turn. The penultimate episode that played out on Friday makes this fairly irrevocable, and there's no real way of getting out of it. Couple that with the fact that Dr. Fieldstone is leaving the show (God please don't let it be permanently!) and I am very interested in seeing how next week's finale is going to play out...

Doctor Fieldstone on the brilliant television series Ted Lasso.

Doctor Fieldstone getting a good bye note from Ted.

Doctor Fieldstone finds an army man in her beer.

Before all the awards and accolades, it was said that Ted Lasso was going to be a trilogy of seasons. But now that Apple has a very, very good reason to keep the show running, I am fairly certain that a fourth season is highly likely. But whether or not that will include Jason Sudeikis as Ted remains to be seen.

   
• NO CRYING! I wish I knew whom to credit this photo to, because it is absolutely epic. Easily one of the best Halloween costumes I've ever seen...

Three young girls dressed as players from A League of Their Own while a man behind them drinks a beer in his coaches uniferm.

Adorable. Adorable. Adorable.

   
• Poorly Animated! As a massively huge fan of Reza Farazmand's comic strip Poorly Drawn Lines (which he graciously contributed to Thrice Fiction)), I was happy to hear that it was becoming an animated series. And now it's here...

You can watch it on FX and stream it on Hulu right here.

   
• Trash TV! Paramount+ is fucking garbage. Can't play the content I'm paying for, and their tech support doesn't give a shit. Tells you to jump through hoops that never work. Has you disable stuff that no other streaming service requires. Then blames you or your hardware when none of their "suggestions" work. When will these fucking dumbasses learn that whenever they treat their customers like shit, it just encourages them to find other ways of watching the content they want to see. I have many streaming services... and NOT ONE OF THEM fails consistently like Paramount+. Not Amazon Prime, not Netflix, not Philo, not YouTube TV, not Hulu, not Apple TV+, not Peacock, not HBO Max, not Sundance, not Discovery+, not Hallmark Now, not Disney+, not Showtime... NONE of them fail like piece of shit Paramount+. And yet it's MY fault. Right. Okay. Cool. Well, at least I'm not alone...

Mark Evanier tweets... Apparently if your TV can't play Paramount+ properly, Tech Support from Roku or Paramount+ consists of telling you to buy a newer set and see if that solves the problem.

If it weren't for the new Star Trek shows, I wouldn't give a fuck about Paramount+... the only show I watch on CBS is Magnum PI, and I always buy that off of iTunes so I can watch the episodes multiple times.

   
• PASSWORD?! This bullshit right here...

It is so fucking infuriating how sites set their requirements. Most of the things which they claim protect your security actually do exactly the opposite. Making passwords impossible to remember. Making passwords expire. All kinds of idiotic shit which keeps you from getting where you need to go. And password managers only scratch the surface, because sometimes it's the SITE that's fucked up. I've had many a site tell me that I have my password wrong EVEN THOUGH IT'S SAVED IN A MANAGER, and then when I have to reset it, I'm told that I can't use my previous password? Fuck you.

   
• NEWSFLASH: Photographer, social media star Matt Mathews: Opossum taken by the state was his ‘baby’. Animals are not seen as living creatures by our laws. They are seen as disposable assets unworthy of consideration. And usually it comes down to some stupid-ass bullshit about "God providing animals for man's use..." (or abuse, as the case may be). But if you took ten minutes to actually read the Bible, you'd find that it dictates that animals are indeed worthy of kindness and care. God rejoices in ALL that he created. How in the hell do you think that this somehow excludes animals? This is just more of the typical "pick-and-choose theology" that plagues us. And our government.

   
• HA! Apples response to the EU wanting to dictate a USB-C standard for all devices is a laugh riot: "We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world." What a load of horse shit. They moved to USB-C for their laptops and iPads without any problem. Why the fuck is the iPhone any different? Oh... that's conveniently left out of the statement.

   
That's what it's all about...

   

Cinematic Theatrical Pass

Posted on Thursday, October 7th, 2021

Dave!There are so few movies that I'll go to the theater to see. All the Marvel Studios movies... maybe one or two others each year... that's it. The theater experience is so horrifically awful that suffering through it is asking too much.

And then there's the pandemic.

Is any movie worth getting sick and potentially dying to see? Not for me it isn't. And even though theaters require masks, you just know once the lights go down that anti-mask, anti-vax people won't be complying.

And it's tough. Because just look at what's coming...

  • No Time to Die
  • Dune
  • The French Dispatch
  • Eternals
  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home
  • The King's Man
  • The Matrix Resurrections

It's a slate of movies from two years piled into the final three months of 2021. All of which I would have likely seen in a theater if COVID wasn't out killing people.

Now, two of them... Dune and The Matrix Resurrections... will be on HBO. Not the best way to see movies that were built for the big screen (especially Dune, which looks positively epic), but something is better than nothing...

A few weeks ago I took a flight. I wasn't comfortable doing so but I got through it. And the reason I got through it is that, unlike a theater, an airplane has flight attendants walking down the aisles making sure everybody kept their mask on. Which is to say that there's no "getting through it" when it comes to the movies for me.

I want to see Eternals more than just about anything.

Except not dying.

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Adam and Steve

Posted on Wednesday, October 13th, 2021

Dave!As you may imagine, having a blog that's publicly out on the internet can result in a certain level of backlash from people looking at it. I got a death threat for my thoughts on President Trump. I got two death threats for my thoughts of Hillary Clinton. I've also gotten assorted threats for all kinds of things on this blog... with most of the hate coming from homophobes who really don't like that I am an LGBTQ+ ally. After Washington passed the Marriage Equality Act R-74 (something I advocated for at least once a week) I got one of the longest, nastiest, most hateful comments I've ever received. Obviously I didn't approve it. But I did send a reply since he included his email address: "I don't want any more kids killing themselves in my community because they're gay and think they have no future. Marriage equality shows these kids that people approve of THEM. I could give a shit about who's married or not. I then added a link to a news story of the kid from my high school alma matter who committed suicide after being relentlessly bullied. Bullied for nothing more than being who he is.

Who he was.

He died in February, 2012.

Then-Governor Gregoire signed the legislation for marriage equality ten days later on February 13th.

The legislation was voted into law during the 2012 November election.

A GIF of Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey wanting Washington to approve Marriage Equality and Legalization of Marijuana.

Then it was rendered moot when the US Supreme Court made marriage equality law country-wide on June 25, 2015.

I was reminded of all this last night as I was watching the movie Adam & Steve for LGBTQ Movie Month (it was weirdly not horrible... with some very funny bits and some cringe bits). The film was released in 2005. At the time, I think that Massachusettes was the only place where marriage equality was legally available.

A different world now. Which is reflected in the movie. To an extent.

Malcolm Gets's character talks about wanting to fall in love, get married, and have kids like he saw in the movies. Spoiler Alert: Malcolm asks his boyfriend to marry him. And they do, in fact, get married at the end. But they don't go much further on commentary than that, despite the ceremony likely not being legally recognized? The idea of marriage equality in 2005 was a bit far-fetched. And ten years away was still ten years away, but it still seems that something could be said about hoping all 50 states would one day recognize their union. Or something? But maybe they didn't want that horrible backwards thinking intruding on such a happy moment for the characters? I get that.

All this has me really, really curious about that homophobe that hated me so badly for supporting equality back in the day. Did his head explode back in 2015 when "the gays" started getting married? Was he in denial about his sexuality and got over his self-loathing enough to get married to the man of his dreams? I honestly don't know. My hope is that if he's still a homophobe that he at least keeps that shit to himself.

Anything is possible.

DAVE'S 2021 MOVIE FESTIVAL CALENDAR

  • JANUARY: British Movies (and television)
  • FEBRUARY: Korean Movies
  • MARCH: Italian Movies
  • APRIL: Australian Movies (and television)
  • MAY: Art House Movies
  • JUNE: French Movies (and television)
  • JULY: Bollywood Movies
  • AUGUST: Japanese Movies
  • SEPTEMBER: Russian Movies
  • OCTOBER: LGBTQ+ Movies
  • NOVEMBER: Documentary Movies
  • DECEMBER: Holiday Movies (hello Hallmark!)

   

Bullet Sunday 734

Posted on Sunday, October 17th, 2021

Dave!My heat is still on, so things are toasty here at Blogography... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...


   
• AWWWWW! You guys... YOU GUYS...

@duckytheyorkie

Brotherly love 🐥🐶 Katsu’s his older brother! ##IKnowWhatYouDid ##duckytheyorkie

♬ original sound - cori

Derpy puppies are the best puppies.

   
• Darwinism! Fuck your 12 years of med school... Dr. Google is my god now!

Fuck your 12 years of med school, I birthed this child and haven't left their side since, I'm their primary source of nutrition, I watch them breath at night and can tell by a cry what they need so yes I do know my baby better than you doc. Get the fuck outta here.

I just feel bad that the kids are at the mercy of this stupid shit. But... I suppose if they are just going to continue propagating it to newer generations, it might be for the best? It sickens me that anti-science has become so prevalent and dangerous that these kind of thoughts go through my head, but here we are. What the fuck has become of us?

   
• Fury! I didn't just dislike the Shazam! movie... I loathed the fucking thing. It was categorically awful from start to finish. Now, thanks to DC Comics' "FanDome" event there was a look at the sequel...

Honestly? I had zero intent on watching the thing... even when it came out on video. But then they cast Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu as the villains? NOW I AM FORCED TO WATCH, DANGIT! Hopefully i doesn't suck as hard as the first one.

   
• Cuntry! Not only do I know all of these countries, I’ve been to all of them except Chile. But I did get close when I visited Argentina on the way to Antarctica, you condescending fuck...

@geography.tester 🇺🇸 #countries #geography #foryoupage #fyp ♬ love nwantiti (feat. Dj Yo! & AX'EL) [Remix] - CKay

The entire channel is filled with "If you don't get these, you're American" TikToks... and it's like... look... I get it. Americans are largely ignorant of the world outside our borders. But constantly harping on this ceases to make it funny... it just makes you a fucking dick.

   
• The BATman! BWAH HA HA HAAAAA!! ZOMFG! They went over the top… and not in a good way. Maybe it’s the way the trailer is cut together, but this looks fucking embarrassing...

Apparently the Nolan Dark Night Trilogy is still safe as the defining cinematic Batman. Oh well. I guess I’ll know for sure once I’ve seen it.

   
• DOG SENSE! Jesus. It’s just... why. If you disagree with policy, DON’T FLY. It’s not fucking rocket science. Though apparently it is for assholes like this...

@jawny

someone come get her

♬ original sound - JAWNY

Please just get the COVID you’re dying to get, then pick up your Darwin Award already. I’m so sick of this shit.

   
• Ending on a Happy Note! Boy... Yes Theory is back and I somehow missed it! This is pretty great...

=sigh= I miss travel. The world is full of such wonders.

   
And now I'm off again...

   

Always A Wait

Posted on Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

Dave!
Today was just waiting for it to be tomorrow because that's when HBO releases Dune.

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Dune and The Deep Desert (no dessert)

Posted on Thursday, October 21st, 2021

Dave!Denis Villeneuve's Dune is a cinematic masterpiece.

Based on one of my favorite science fiction novels of all time, I was hopeful but skeptical. from any angle, it's an unfilmable tale.

And this isn't our first rodeo.

I'm actually a mega-huge fan of the 1984 David Lynch Dune adaptation, even though it doesn't really capture the book. But, to be fair, Villeneuve's version doesn't either. It excises all the political nuance that makes the book so deep. In fact, if anything, the new movie cuts more detail from the story than Lynch did.

But it's not cut haphazardly.

Villeneuve set out to create something approachable for people who haven't read the book. There are nods to bigger ideas that true fans will appreciate, but distractions which would take too much time to explain are quietly dropped. Wisely.

I absolutely love the film. No, it's not the book... how could it be? But it is a breathtakingly beautiful movie and respects the source material better than I thought possible. It's worth $10 for a month of HBO to see it. And I am confident I will see it many more times...

Paul Atreides holds up a knife in DUNE

I just hope that we get the second half. Because, wisely again, Villeneuve also didn't try to cram everthing from the first book into a single movie. So we only got a Part One of Two.

Upon my second viewing (yes, I watched it again back-to-back) I made spoiler-filled notes that I've put in an extended entry.

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
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Back to Arrakis

Posted on Friday, October 22nd, 2021

Dave!I watched Dune twice yesterday and again after work today. I have a lot of movie obsessions, but this is the quickest it's ever happened. Thank heavens all the Hallmark Christmas movies are coming up, because I could easily watch this film every day. There's just so much there on the screen. I see something more... appreciate the film more... with each new viewing. Something tells me this will be going on for a while. I haven't seen Eternals yet, but this is my favorite film of 2021 right now.

My obsession has lead me to becoming obsessed with director Denis Villeneuve. Despite him having crafted Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, two of my favorite films, I know almost nothing about the guy. As opposed to a director like Luc Besson and Ridley Scott whom I've watched numerous interviews and read books about them and by them about their craft.

And so I've been watching interviews with Villeneuve.

His passion, love, and attention given to the films he makes is pretty inspiring. The best I've seen is this break-down for Vanity Fair...

And here he is on Arrival...

And Blade Runner 2049...


On his plate next? Dune: The Sisterhood for HBO Max and a Cleopatra feature film. And then... God willing... Dune Part Two.

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Bullet Sunday 735

Posted on Sunday, October 24th, 2021

Dave!The world may be going to hell in a hand basket, but you can look forward to the journey... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Dune: The Book! When an art book for Blade Runner 2049 was made (called The Art and Soul of Blade Runner 2049) I bought it immediately. The movie was so beautifully realized that I had to see the work behind it. And I was not disappointed. It was a wonderful book that provided some juicy insight into how it was crafted. When I saw that Dune had an "Art and Soul" book coming, I pre-ordered it before the movie was released because I knew Denis Villeneuve wouldn't disappoint...

The cover for The Art and Soul of Dune showing Paul looking out into the desert as a ship flies overhead.

And he did not disappoint again. The book is gorgeous and rich with detail. With a notable exception. I didn't see anything on the written alphabet that's presented on the scroll Duke Leto signs at the beginning or what's found in Paul's book or on Dr. Yueh's note. This seems a weird omission given how much thought must have gone into it?

   
• Language! The spoken languages of the Fremen was expanded upon by David J. Peterson. He also created the sign language used by the characters. And he put his work online! (along with some other languages he created for film and television, which you can find here). Fascinating stuff. I especially loved how he showed (then explained!) Jessica signing to Paul when they were bound and taken out to the desert to die. And shared a PDF of his transcription for the closed captioning! There's additional stuff showing some writing, but not what I saw in the book and Yueh's note, which is what I was most interested in.

   
• Meme! Lastly on the Dune front is my attempt at a meme...

A massive sandworm towers over two characters and says I'VE BEEN TRYING TO REACH YOU ABOUT YOUR CAR'S EXTENDED WARRANTY!

Yeah, yeah. But I couldn't help myself.

   
• 80's Rewind! My favorite music will forever be 80's Pop. I listen to many other kinds, but that's my go-to jam. Running across music I missed from that era is rare. But finding new music which is clearly 80's-Pop-inspired is an increasingly abundant treat. This past week I found two artists that take me back. The first is CARSON and this wonderful track, Good Love...

And then there's the band Fly By Midnight, which has a number of great songs that feel like they could have been released 35 years ago...

Some of the tracks are a bit more contemporary, but they still have an 80's sensibility in how they're constructed that have me addicted...

And then there's the YouTube suggestions that are filling me with even more incredible stuff. Conor Matthews has some stuff I never knew existed but now can't live without...

New old music is the best music!

   
• BARGAIN! My favorite home renovation show is Bargain Block on HGTV. I don't always like the design result, but the road to getting there is great. And it's been renewed for a second season!

The team from Bargain Block standing in a house that's been ripped out.

Sometimes good news happens when it comes to the shows I like!

   
• Conspiracy Made Real! Netflix has unloaded one of the most depraved animated shows ever, which is hysterically funny to watch...

The imagination that goes into creating this series is really great. It's not just crude for the sake of being crude. Doesn't get much better than that!

   
• Rami is Pete and Pete is Rami! Saturday Night Live has moments of genius that shouldn't exist. And this one from the previous episode is one of them...

Inspired. The genius of it makes things funnier than they actually are to me.

   
And no more fresh hell until next Sunday.

   

Dune Deux

Posted on Tuesday, October 26th, 2021

Dave!It was announced that Dune: Part 2 has been greenlit. Which means Denis Villeneuve will get to give us the second half of the story. This is, to put it mildly, fantastic news. It is, as a matter of fact, the only news that mattered to me today.

Partly because this is a movie which deserves to be completed. But mostly because I honestly wasn't expecting it to happen...

Dune Part Two

No, seriously... that's it for today. Nothing else matters. Good night.

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The End of The Hallmark Era?

Posted on Monday, November 1st, 2021

Dave!I worked all weekend, so I woke up really early not to get a jump on my day... but to clean my house. The only thing I managed to get to yesterday was steam-cleaning the cat feeding station. That's something I do regardless of whatever else I have going on because I want to make sure Jake and Jenny stay healthy.

But anyway...

As I was scrubbing, vacuuming, and dusting, I had a Hallmark movie playing. The last thing I want is to get behind, because there's like a hundred of these things dropping from Hallmark Channel, Lifetime, Netflix, and the rest. Half-way through the movie I realized that I wasn't paying attention to what was going on. Not that you have to... most of these movies are painfully basic, redundant, and lacking anything requiring critical thinking. It's just that I'm kinda done with them. 95% of them are the same damn thing you've seen a hundred times before, and only rarely is there anything trying to be different. The only reason I didn't turn this one off is because it was starring Katee Sackhoff and I'm a fan.

Do I dare hope that I'm over my Hallmark addiction? Lord, I hope so... but probably not.

Far more interesting was this video that got forwarded to me this morning...

I don't know about you, but this is far scarier than the original Jurassic Park!

And now? I should probably go to work seeing as how it's almost 9:00am.

   

Movie Redundancy

Posted on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021

Dave!I was watching an interview with Edgar Wright by Ali Plumb where the very first question was What movies have you seen the most time in your entire life?

The question is a fascinating one, because it's so hard to answer. Back before streaming... heck, back before VHS tapes could be rented... I would watch movies I liked several times because it was the only thing available! HBO and Showtime had a limited number of films available to them, so they would play them over and over again. I watched the 1978 version of Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile dozens of times because it was something to watch and I knew I liked it...

The new Kenneth Branagh version has been delayed several times (I think it's been pushed to 2022 now!), so I can't comment on how good it is... but I find it hard to believe that it will replace the Peter Ustinov movie I loved so much (and still love).

   
As for my list though? That took some thought. I watch (and rewatch) tons of movies each year. Eventually I decided to break them down into categories, each with movies I've seen at least ten times each (some by virtue of just having been around a long time but, yes, there are movies from 2021 I've seen already seen ten times that got listed too!)...

• MARVEL STUDIOS MOVIES. No need to list them. I've seen ALL of them multiple, multiple times.

• JUST PLAIN AWESOME FLICKS. These are movies I don't put on as "background noise" but actually want to watch over and over again. And, yeah, I haven't seen the current Dune movie ten times... but I probably will have by the end of the year since I'm already at five times!

  • Atomic Blonde (2017)
  • The Big Blue (Le Grand Bleu) (1998)
  • About Time (2013)
  • Blade Runner (2007)
  • Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
  • Cinema Paradiso (1990)
  • Dune (2021)
  • Field of Dreams (1989)
  • The Fifth Element (1997)
  • Galaxy Quest (1999)
  • Gifted (2017)
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
  • The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)
  • Lost in Translation (2003)
  • The Old Guard (2020)
  • Paul (2011)
  • Sneakers (1992)
  • Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1997)
  • Wonder Boys (2000)

• COMFORT FOOD. Movies I put on when working just to have something nice going on in the background which won't distract from my work because I've seen them so many times.

  • 9 to 5 (1980)
  • 50 First Dates (2004)
  • About Time (2013)
  • Back to the Future Trilogy (1985-1990)
  • Baseketball (1998)
  • Bedazzled (2000)
  • Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
  • The Bird Cage (1996)
  • Burglar (1987)
  • Clueless (1995)
  • Coming to America (1988)
  • Commando (1985)
  • Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
  • Deadpool (2016)
  • Death on the Nile (1978)
  • The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
  • Die Hard (1988)
  • Doc Hollywood (1991)
  • Dune (1984)
  • Eurotrip (2004)
  • Fever Pitch (2005)
  • Fletch (1985)
  • For Your Eyes Only (1981)
  • Ghostbusters (1984)
  • Groundhog Day (1993)
  • The Heat (2013)
  • Ideal Home (2018)
  • Knight and Day (2010)
  • Love Actually (2003)
  • Love, Simon (2018)
  • The Lovebirds (2020)
  • Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)
  • Music and Lyrics (2007)
  • My Cousin Vinny (1992)
  • Ocean's 8 (2018)
  • Office Space (1999)
  • Overboard (1987)
  • Overboard (2018)
  • Popstar: Never Stop Stopping (2016)
  • The Princess Bride (1987)
  • Secondhand Lions
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
  • Spy (2015)
  • Sweet Home Alabama (2002)
  • This is Spinal Tap (1984)
  • Trading Places (1983)
  • Under Siege (1992)
  • V.I. Warshawski (1991)
  • Veronica Mars (2014)
  • What We Do In the Shadows (2015)
  • White Chicks (2004)
  • Wimbledon (2004)
  • Wonder Woman (2017)

• HALLMARK-STYLE MOVIES. These are also "comfort movies" for me... but kind of deserve a category all their own because they are even less of a distraction as background noise (except Bridal Wave, which sucks me in every time). These movies are playing ALL THE TIME while I'm working or blogging or whatever.

  • The Baker's Son (2021)
  • Bridal Wave (2015)
  • The Christmas Card (2006)
  • Dashing in December (2020)
  • A Frosty Affair (2015)
  • Holidate (2020)
  • Like Cats & Dogs (2017)
  • Love and Sunshine (2019)
  • Love at the Shore (2017)
  • Midnight at the Magnolia (2020)
  • My Summer Prince (2016)
  • Royally Ever After (2018)
  • Second Chances (2013)
  • The Spirit of Christmas (2015)
  • Summer Villa (2016)
  • A Winter Princess (2016)

These are far from a list of my favorite movies (all of Tarantino's films would be on here if that were true). They're just the movies I've seen the most.

It would be interesting to revisit this in five years to see what movies get added.

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L’Incal

Posted on Thursday, November 4th, 2021

Dave!The news of the day? Taika Waititi is adapting The Incal by Jodorowsky and Mœbius.

This is interesting from any number of viewpoints, not the least of which is that Waititi is one of my favorite directors going. Between What We Do In The Shadows, Thor: Ragnarok, Jojo Rabbit and Hunt for the Wilderpeople, the guy seems incapable of making a bad film. But holy crap... he's already attached to Akira, Flash Gordon, and a few television series... how does he have the time for all this?

But still, The Incal is a fantastic work, and seeing it adapted into a movie or series seems like a no-brainer...

The Incal Graphic Novel

Kinda timely that this was announced on the heels of the success that Denis Villeneuve's Dune movie is experiencing.

Back before the David Lynch Dune in 1984, Alejandro Jodorowsky was working on a movie of his own based on the novel. His efforts were famously made into a documentary called Jodorowsky's Dune that had some truly amazing ideas that were equal parts interesting and bizarre. The documentary is worth a look, if you have a chance to see it.

Anyway... after his Dune movie fell apart, Jodorowsky took his concepts and reworked them into a series of comics called The Incal (Mœbius having been one of his collaborators for the visuals on Dune). I could explain it, but this really good YouTuber did that for me last year...

And for more, here's Jodorowsky and Taika himself...

Probably won't see anything come of this until 2025, but thems the breaks.

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Bullet Sunday 737

Posted on Sunday, November 7th, 2021

Dave!I may be dealing with some very upset cats now that Daylight Saving Time has ended, but fear not... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• MEME! One of my all-time favorite memes... if not my most favorite... is the "How do you do, fellow kids?" meme (taken from 30 Rock) by Steve Buscemi. This year for Halloween he went AS HIS OWN MEME, and it's glorious...

Steve Buscemi dressed as his own meme for Halloween.
Photo from @DebraWexler_ on Twitter.

And if, somehow, you've never seen the original context for this meme... here you go!

I've always been a fan of Steve Buscemi. The guy ran to Ground Zero after the 9-11 terrorist attacks to search for survivors. He was a firefighter before becoming an actor and wanted to help out. He's had my respect ever since. On top of that he's a great actor. Every time he pops up, you know his part is going to be interesting... or hilarious.

   
• MATH DUEL, FIGHT! I am not a mathematician. I just don't have the headspace to get into the maths is requires. But the history of mathematics is something I absolutely love. Most all the discoveries and advancements made have some fascinating and highly entertaining stories around them. The Veritasium YouTube channel excels at bringing these stories to life in a way that's interesting even if you have no idea about the maths. This new one is really good...

I mean... come on. There's always been drama since the dawn of humanity. There's drama in The Bible, for heaven's sake. But back before the internet and telephones, it was some truly bizarre shit. And I love it!

   
• 80's TV! I love love love Acapulco on Apple TV+. This is a "behind-the-scenes" video that gives you a taste of what the show is about...

It's actually a sequel (of sorts) to the movie How To Be a Latin Lover, but you don't need to have seen it in order to enjoy this series. Highly recommended.

   
• Pink! I went to watch The Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime Video only to find out it's yet another freakin' "zero" non-episode. Then I saw Amazon was recommending a movie I never heard of called Touch of Pink. And it's truly bizarre. Jimi Mistry plays a gay guy who escaped his traditional Muslim family in Toronto by moving to London, England. He's in a relationship there and their lives are thrown into disarray when his conservative mother comes to visit. What makes it different than dozens of other movies following this formula is that Jimi Mistry has an imaginary friend... who is CARY GRANT?!? Played by Kyle MacLachlan?!? It's actually kinda charming, and Jimi's mom is fantastic...

But here's the real surprise.... as I was watching I was all "What the heck ever happened to Jimi Mistry?" Turns out he fell in love with his dance partner from an appearance on Strictly Come Dancing and they moved to the countryside to become farmers! The guy hasn't done any acting since 2015! Hope he's happy in his life away from our screens and televisions.

   
• Alexa Say What? Why are we constantly settling for crappy apps that we pay for? All I wanted was to listen to the Kylie Minogue track Better the Devil You Know when I got home. I don't know much about her, but I love this one song. I had INXS on in my car, and it reminded me of the rumor that the Kylie track was about Michael Hutchence. So I tell Alexa to play it when I walk in the door. Instead of just playing the song I want, it starts playing... well... SOMETHING. I'm guessing it's some kind of remix or whatnot, but since the Amazon Alexa app is 100% SHIT, you can't even read what the hell it's playing...

Echo displays an incomprehensible mishmash of chopped text to show what's playing.

After yelling different ways (ORIGINAL! LIVE! OLD VERSION!) I finally just play it via the YouTube music video on my phone. Does anybody on Amazon's dev team actually use their own app? Because surely they would notice this, right?

   
• SCIENCE! So the reason I hate broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts can be explained by actial science! Bitter salad greens like arugula and kale are awful to me. And now we know why. Probably the same thing that makes some people think that cilantro tastes like soap?

   
• Pro! What happens when Apple stops treating the MacBook Pro as a vanity project and actually builds something that has what professionals need to get real work done...

I've been waiting for this for nearly a decade.

   
And now back to our regular Day Light Saved programming...

   

I Am Team Zissou

Posted on Wednesday, November 10th, 2021

Dave!Wes Anderson has such a unique and wonderful voice when it comes to his films that he's long been one of my favorite writer/directors. He got my attention with his first film Bottle Rocket. I greatly enjoyed his follow-up film, Rushmore. His take on The Royal Tenenbaums showed that his first two films were no fluke and he was honing his craft. But it wasn't until his fourth film, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou that I fell in love with Anderson's craft. It was so unique, so bizarre, so wonderful that I didn't have any choice but to love the movie...

It doesn't hurt that the casting was impeccable. The Life Aquatic stars Bill Murray as Steve Zissou, an oceanographer documentary filmmaker who was once celebrated, but has seen his star fallen. The movie kicks into gear as Steve debuts his latest film about the "Leopard Shark" who ate his longtime friend and collaborator while on an expedition. At the premiere of his film, Steve says that his next work will be a "Part Two" where he hunts down the shark and kills it for revenge.

You also get Anjelica Houston as his wife, Owen Wilson as the son he never met, Cate Blanchet as a reporter along to document the documentary, Willem Dafoe as his German shipmate, Jeff Goldblum as his arch-rival documentarian, and Michael Gambon as his agent.

Plus you get Seu Jorge as Pelé, the ship's trubador who sings David Bowie songs in Portugeuse throughout the story, which is as amazing as you'd think it would be.

The thing that makes this quirky film so utterly charming is the wild (and impossible) ocean creatures you get to see. They're colorful, wonderful creations from Wes Anderson's imagination that couldn't exist in Real Life, but seem perfectly at home in The Life Aquatic. But my favorite thing would have to be the massive set of Steve's ship, The Belafonte. Whenever you are inside the ship, you are actually on a set for the entire ship that's been split in half. This means the camera can follow the characters as they walk around the ship. And it's glorious...

It's kinda telling that The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou was a bit of a flop at the box office. Critics weren't very kind (it currently holds a 56% "Rotten" crticis rating on Rotten Tomatoes... the lowest of all his films), though the moviegoers who saw it loved the thing (82% audience score). I think it just goes to show that jaded critics lack the wonder and imagination needed to truly appreciate it.

I watched the movie a couple months ago in anticipation of Wes Anderson's next film... The French Dispatch. But then this afternoon I saw an Adidas ad, it reminded me of the Team Zissou Limited Edition sneakers that Adidas actually made for the film, and sold as a promo to go along with it, so I was compelled to watch it again...

The Steve Zissou Limited Edition Adidas Shoes!

Always time well-spent. If you haven't seen this cinematic gem, it's worth a look. I think Hulu currently has it available for streaming.

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Bus Boy Shang-Chi Watch Party

Posted on Friday, November 12th, 2021

Dave!I am still not stepping foot into theaters. A part of me wonders if I ever will again. Because I have to say... I like watching movies at home far, far more than I do going to a theater. Like... frickin' MILES more.

Quentin Tarantino recently made a plea about supporting movie theaters thusly... "You have an experience with a bunch of strangers. And at that moment, once the movie gets going, once the lights are down, you become a collective.” And I'm like... yeah, but it's the other people that makes going to the theater such a shitty experience. And that was BEFORE the pandemic! People talking. People texting. People taking phone calls. People yelling at their kids. People putting their feet up on your seat or kicking it. People being assholes. THAT'S WHAT I HATE ABOUT THE THEATER. And since people now-a-days are more awful and less considerate with each passing day, I'll take a big ol' pass at paying a lot of money for a shitty experience. I have a very nice home theater system where there's nobody to ruin the movie for me. Love your movies, Quentin... but... well... sorry. I can wait 2 to 4 months to avoid being tortured.

And while I was tempted to see Shang-Chi in theaters because I wanted to see it so bad (something I am currently struggling with when it comes to Eternals and will struggle with again when it comes to Spider-Man: No Way Home), I held fast.

But I'm still supporting the movie. I bought a copy on the iTunes Store today ($20, cheap!), but will repeat-watch on Disney+ to be sure that it gets my views (besides, Disney+ is showing the IMAX-filled scenes in near-full-screen height, which is an added bonus).

And now we can watch together, yay!

Buying Shang-Chi on iTunes!

Purchased Shang-Chi on iTunes!

Buying Shang-Chi on iTunes!

My spoiler-filled type-along with my second viewing of the film is in an extended entry.

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

Bullet Sunday 738

Posted on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

Dave!I may be dealing with some very upset cats now that Daylight Saving Time has ended, but fear not... because a Very Special Disney+ Day Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Hawkeye! So many tantalizing glimpses into this series, which appears to be adapting one of the best comic book arcs of all history... Matt Fraction & David Aja's Hawkeye. The Marvel Disney+ Day Special. I was positively giddy watching the footage. Jeremy Renner just has the character nailed and Haley Stansfield looks like all kinds of fun as Kate Bishop...

If you even like comics a little bit and haven't read through the Fraction/Aja run, you owe it to yourself to take a look.

   
• Moon Knight! This is one of the more complex characters in the Marvel comics, so it was a smart decision to make sure that they got an actor with the talent to make it happen... Oscar Isaac.

From the looks of it, they are totally going in on Marc Spector's multiple personalities and struggles with mental challenges. I cannot wait to see how this unfolds.

   
• She-Hulk! When it comes to characters that don't get the credit they deserve, No. 1 on the list is Aquaman. He's been partially redeemed by his movie, but many people still think that he's a wasted character whose only super-power is "talking to fish." No. 2 is Hawkeye. He's actually an incredible character in the right hands but is perceived as being useless. No. 3 on the list is She-Hulk. Make no mistake... she was pretty redundant and boring in the comics for a long while. But then John Byrne took over her book and completely revolutionized it. You know how Deadpool is always breaking the 4th wall and speaking to the audience because he knows he's in a comic/movie? Byrne's She-Hulk did it first. And the result was just as good. But most people don't know this, so she gets dismissed. Until now...

It looks like they are keeping the whole "break the 4th wall" thing that made her famous. Which will undoubtedly upset the fanboys because they'll think she's copying Deadpool. Oh well. I am looking forward to this show not because I love the character, but because I love the actor playing her... Tatiana Maslany. That promises to be very interesting.

   
• Ms. Marvel! I never know how to feel when a character is changed in the name of diversity. On one hand... are creators so bankrupt of ideas that they can't come up with new characters to add diversity and have to recycle old ones? But on the other hand... recycling instantly establishes a new character in a recognizable role. Ultimately I'm for anything they can do to make comics more diverse (it's just so damn tired that 98% of everything is cisgender, heterosexual, and white). And sometimes it's done so well that recycling is actually successful. They made Amadeus Cho be The Hulk and they made Miles Morales be Spider-Man... both of which were done really well. So well that they eventually became their own thing. But my absolute favorite change in the name of diversity? Ms. Marvel. For those not in the know, Carol Danvers used to be Ms. Marvel before she became Captain Marvel. Then a young Muslim girl, Kamala Khan, (who is a fan of Captain Marvel) adopted her old Ms. Marvel identity when she got super-powers. The comics are fantastic, and now we're getting a series on Disney+...


Kamala Khan will also be in The Marvels movie, so I think the character might be around for a while. Thank heavens.

   
• And More Marvel! All we got for the other series in development were title cards... I am Groot, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, What If: Season 2, Echo, Loki: Season 2, Ironheart, Agatha: House of Harkness, Armor Wars, and Secret Invasion. Interesting to note that a series for Agatha Harkness had only been rumored, but is now confirmed. Can't wait to see Kathryn Hahn unleashed for that!

   
• Ciao Alberto! Few movies have sucked me in as quickly as Luca did. It was just phenomenally beautifully animated, and I spent hours freeze-framing to study it (then bought the Art of Luca book to study it even more). For Disney+ Day, they released a short 8-minute film showing what happens to Alberto after Luca leaves for school...

It's wonderful. And as gorgeous as the film. To get a full series of just this would be fantastic... so fingers crossed this was just testing the waters.

   
• Cars on the Road! It's hard to believe that there's a Pixar franchise I don't like... but it would be Cars. Larry the Cable Guy and Owen Wilson will be reprising their roles in a new cross-country series for the world of Cars which might be interesting? I dunno. I liked the first movie a little, and it's been diminishing returns ever since.

   
• Baymax! My favorite Pixar character is Sully from Monsters Inc.... my second favorite is Baymax from Big Hero 6. Sadly, I haven't liked anything to come out of the Monsters franchise since the original... but it looks like they nailed the new Baymax! series...

Yeah. I'll totally be tuning in to that.

   
• Turning Red! Not only does this movie look really good. It's also stunningly animated. So beautifully nuanced in every single scene. JUST LOOK AT THIS...

AND THIS...

This is Pixar returning to form, and I am here for it.

   
• Tiana! When it comes to the Disney Princess set, it's pretty cool that The Princess and the Frog gave us a hero in Tiana. She was beautifully realized and had some terrific moments. Now she's getting her own movie, but we know precious little about it. Other than it takes place after the movie.

   
• Star Wars! If there's a Disney property that got royally screwed, it's Star Wars and the Lucasfilm stuff. Yeah, we got a charming look at the cast for the Willow series. Yeah, there was a brief check-in on Obi-Wan. But about all we really got was a complete retread of Boba Fett material in a "Special Look" that had new insights from the people working on The Book of Boba Fett series...

That show doesn't arrive until December 29. After that it's anybody's guess as to when we're getting Season 03 of The Mandalorian, Season 01 of Obi-Wan, Season 01 of Ashoka, Season 01 of The Acolyte, Season 01 of Lando, and... the series I most want to see... Season 01 of Andor. I doubt all of them will be released in 2022, so some of them will undoubtedly end up all the way in 2023. That's lean pickings for Star Wars fans.

   
• Prey! One of the 20th Century Fox properties that Disney got in the purchase was Predator. To be honest, I haven't cared much for anything that followed the original Schwarzenegger flick. The Danny Glover sequel was okay, I guess. But Predators and The Predator were pretty weak. The Alien vs. Predator flicks were even worse. Now Disney is shunting a new Predator movie to Hulu called Prey. The concept is solid... it's set in the Comanche Nation 300 years ago... but I'm not letting my hopes get too high.

   
• Jungle Cruise! In addition to Disney+ releasing Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, they also dropped the Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt movie Jungle Cruise. I thought it was... okay? I mean, it was really well-made. The special effects were great. The casting was perfect. And it was entertaining. It's just that it felt that it needed a story that was a little more streamlined. It was all twists and turns and set-up to a big reveal that ended up being inconsequential. It's like why?

Like I said... it was okay. I don't regret the time I spent watching it. I just wish that the people behind the movies like this would edit themselves a little better. At each point they should be asking Why are we doing this? Does it make the story better? Is it necessary? Sadly, too much of the time in Jungle Cruise the answer is "no."

   
Whew. I'm too exhausted for anyone more bullets!

   

Red Notice Roadshow

Posted on Monday, November 15th, 2021

Dave!I love Ryan Reynolds so much that my cat is named after him... "Jake Ryan Reynolds Simmer." He's just sheer entertainment from start to finish, and even though he's basically the same character in all his movies... I honestly don't care. He partnered with Netflix for the great movie Six Underground (which I'm still hoping gets a sequel) and now a new movie, Red Notice with The Rock and Wonder Woman. It was, as expected, highly entertaining...

Red Notice Poster.

Of course the critics gave it bad reviews because they don't give a shit about having fun at the movies, but I really enjoyed it. And it's apparently the biggest streaming debut Netflix has ever had, so there's that.

And now there's this... which might not make sense unless you've seen the movie...

I think the movies left on my 2021 Bucket List are Eternals, Spiderman: No Way Home, and Matrix: Resurrection. Fortunately I can see The Matrix on HBO Max, but I'm not sure if I'll risk a trip to the theaters for the other two.

Maybe?

   

Scooby-Doo THIS!

Posted on Friday, November 19th, 2021

Dave!I am not terribly thrilled that Marvel is going the "Multiverse" route with their films. The need to make sure that the earlier Spider-Man movies are a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is dragging us backwards rather than taking us forward by cutting them loose. Will it be nice to see Alfred Molina as Doc Ock again? Sure. But at the expense of miring the MCU with the silly idea that Peter Parker looks completely different in the different universes? It makes no sense.

But here we go anyway...

In addition to Alfred Molina, we're definitely getting Willen DaFoe as Green Goblin and Jamie Foxx as Electro. And it looks like we're getting Rhys Ifans as The Lizard and Thomas Haden Church as Sandman... though those could just be CGI additions with no connection to the actual actors.

But it's like... why?

Why not create new versions of these characters that are closely tied to what Marvel Studios is doing now? Does this mean that these characters will never appear in the MCU proper because they are from a different universe? That doesn't seem too smart.

It seems likely all of this is to keep Sony happy, since they have the Spider-Man movie rights tied up and, technically, the character is on-loan to Marvel. The Multiverse allows them to have Spider-Man back for their Venom movies and such while still allowing Spider-Man to move forward with Marvel Studio films. It's a profitable double-dip. Assuming Tom Holland wants to continue on. Though this could also all be a set-up to give us Miles Morales Spider-Man.

They really should have let DC Comics hang on to this bad idea in their The Flash movie and kept moving forward with the success they had been having.

Oh well. Dr. Strange looks to be having a great time in the movie, so perhaps that will be compensation for what feels like a big blunder. But who knows? Maybe Marvel has figured it all out so that it's actually a good thing.

   

Bullet Sunday 739

Posted on Sunday, November 21st, 2021

Dave!It may be snowing out my window, but it will always be warm here at Blogography... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Sweet! Huh. M&M'S USA Sugar Cookie tastes just like a sugar cookie! Weird!

But... cool. And tasty.

   
• Pep! One of the most pleasant surprises to come out of HBO Max was the four-episode Adventure Time: Distant Lands episodes. As a massive fan of Adventure Time, it was so great seeing more from the show after it went away. Every episode was absolutely brilliant, and this last one... featuring Peppermint Butler called Wizard City is my favorite of the bunch...

I really hope that we get another season, because all these episodes did was make me want more Adventure Time!

   
• Simu! I don't know if Simu Liu inspired everybody or what, but last night's Saturday Night Live was one of the best episodes in a while...

The fact that every once in a while SNL is actually good kind of messes with my head. So many times it's mostly not funny and a waste of time.

   
• Man Park! Speaking of SNL, this sketch from last week was about the only bright spot in an otherwise forgettable episode...

I become more and more a fan of Pete Davidson with every sketch he's in like this.

   
• Homeopathy! Welp...

This was really well done (as are all the Kurzgesagt videos) and I like how they actually acknowledge that there are things that can be learned from homeopathy, which is true from many things that are ultimately nonsense. Beneath it all, the nonsense is believed because there's something there being addressed which is not being addressed otherwise.

   
• Gravy! This had me laughing way harder than I should have...

@marcwinski #duet with @justinrileyyy Gravy Sales #joke #share #food #fyp #thanksgiving ♬ Aww just gravy - Justin Riley

   
• Rant Rant! From ScreenRant: Shang-Chi's Ending Repeats A Problem We Thought The MCU Had Evolved Past. — Spoiler Alert... they say that "As mentioned before, many of the MCU's final acts have largely been flashy CGI battles."WELL NO SHIT! THAT'S WHAT THE PEOPLE WHO DRIVE UP BILLION-DOLLAR BOX OFFICE RECEIPTS WANT TO SEE! What would you like Marvel to do? Have Shang-Chi hug it out with his dad when the guy shows up at the end and then walk off into the sunset? These are COMIC BOOK MOVIES! Have you ever READ a comic book? CGI has finally gotten to the point where the massively cool battles that we've been seeing in comic books for decades CAN ACTUALLY BE CREATED FOR MOVIES! So why would Marvel Studios not do that? Why fix what ain't broken? The final battle in Shang-Chi was absolutely epic and a blast to watch. The CGI team killed it. Beautiful, thrilling, comic-book-come-to-life, over-the-top action. THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT I WANT FROM A COMIC BOOK MOVIE! If I want emotionally-driven drama, I'll watch something else. And if that's what you're looking for, I suggest you do the same. We've come a long, long way from when The X-Men battled frickin' WATER in their second movie. THEY FOUGHT WATER!!! ACTUAL WATER WAS THE FRICKIN' BATTLE AT THE END! And we don't want to go back to that pathetic crap. Now that Marvel Studios finally have The X-Men movie rights back, I am absolutely dying to see what we get out of the films they're dreaming up. Lord God please let it be massive CGI battles in the sky!

   
And that's a wrap on snowy bullets... they're already melting.

   

Worst of the Worst

Posted on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021

Dave!Last night when I turned on the television so I had background noise running while I work, a movie recommendation popped up. X-Men: Dark Phoenix. I was floored. Why in the hell would they be recommending the worst super-hero comic book movie ever made? And then I was like... wait... second worst. Because first on that list is Wonder Woman '84, and no other movie will likely dethrone it from the top spot.

At least I sure as hell hope not.

It got me to thinking about all the horrible super-hero comic book films that got made, so I thought I'd run through those I remembered.

  • Wonder Woman '84
    What makes this horrifically shitty film so painful is that the first Wonder Woman film was so amazing. But this time we get plot holes so inexplicably huge and a story so embarrassingly stupid that it's impossible to believe that everybody who was involved has anything to do with the original. And yet... they were. In addition to one of the stupidest fucking villains with one of the the stupidest fucking powers doing the stupidest fucking things, we also got Wonder Woman pulling powers out of her ass left and right in a way that made you think she can do whatever the hell she wants to do. Plus a bizarre take on The Cheetah which is disappointing enough to put this film on the list all by itself. As if all that weren't enough, there was no internal logic or consistency. Patty Jenkins and the writers didn't give a shit about making anything make sense. So we end up with functional planes being gassed up and ready to go at a museum and scores of other idiotic dumbassery that makes this not even the worst comic book movie ever made... but one of the worst films ever made period.
  • ALL X-Men Films (except First Class)
    Anything that Bryan Singer touches goes to shit, and nowhere is that more blatantly apparent than his grotesque take on the X-Men. At first, I was willing to cut them some slack because technological limitations of the time made depicting all their various powers difficult and expensive. BUT THEY COULD STILL COME UP WILL STORIES THAT WEREN'T SHIT! My God. They just kept getting progressively worse... then there was the bright spot we got with the prequel X-Men: First Class... only to have Bryan Singer come back and take a massive steaming dump all over everything. To add insult to injury, they wrapped everything up with Dark Phoenix, which is about the worst take of them all. Thank God Marvel Studios have the licensing back. I am praying that they manage to come up with something actually good for a concept that has never made great movies.
  • Superman Returns
    Not content to let Bryan Singer fuck up the X-Men, DC Comics wanted to let him ruin Superman as well, allowing him to effectively kill the franchise for a second time. And it was really too bad, because I thought Brandon Routh made a fantastic Superman. But even a group of talented actors couldn't save the shitty story... which was essentially a bad retread of the original Superman. That being said, there is one solitary moment in this film that I thought was incredibly well done. It's after Superman has been taken to the hospital and is dying. Out side is a throng of people waiting for news to see whether he's alive or dead. In the crowd is Martha Kent. Even though she's Superman's mom, she has to wait outside with everybody else because nobody knows that Clark Kent is Superman. It's absolutely heartbreaking, and made you realize that there was probably a good film in this mess somewhere... it's just that Bryan Singer was incapable of finding it.
  • Superman III and Superman IV: Quest for Peace
    The reason these hit so hard for me is that Superman: The Movie and Superman II were so sublimely good. And that was after the Salkinds ripped the movie away from Richard Donner and tried their best to fuck them up. Christopher Reeve was Superman. But, even more important, he was Clark Kent. Then you drop in a flawless Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor... plus some incredibly ambitious stories... and it was absolute magic (then they brought back the Donner cut of Superman II and it was as if every fanboy's prayers had been answered). But then they made two sequels that went beyond bad, and the only thing left was Christopher Reeve. Good as he is, even he can't make something out of nothing.
  • Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman and Justice League
    Zack Snyder had one good movie (300) and one okay movie (Watchmen) and apparently that was enough for DC Comics to hand over the keys to the entire DC Comics Cinematic Universe. The result was an absolute disaster that, in some ways, is even worse than the Bryan Singer movies because at least Snyder had cutting-edge special effects to make his movies work. Unfortunately, he decided that enduring characters which people had been loving for decades needed "improving upon" and put his own spin on things. And apparently his whole plan was to come up with shitty, convoluted stories which revolve around deadly-serious, dreary, boring, films that are utterly devoid of joy... or common sense. And while the casting is mostly good, there were some bone-headed decisions for critical characters (see: Lex Luthor) that were so horribly off the mark that the films would have been sabotaged even if they were actually good. Which they were definitely not.
  • Fantastic Four, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Fantastic Four
    How you can fuck up a Fantastic Four movie is a real head-scratcher. But Fox managed to do it three times over. I'm just going to ignore the first two and focus on the attempted reboot in 2015, because it's the one which is really driving this. It was awful. Beyond awful. Not a damn thing made any sense and the casting was inexplicably bad (ironically the casting that was the most controversial, Michael B. Jordan as Human Torch, was the only thing that worked for me). And then there's the fact that the Fantastic Four never even show up until the very end. Lord, what a waste.
  • Catwoman
    Yet another case of flawless casting being utterly destroyed by a horrible story. Halle Berry deserved far better. As did we all.
  • The New Mutants
    Why? Just... why? The idea of a super-hero comic book movie being given a horror slant is not a bad one. On the contrary, it seemed like a good idea for something new. The problem is that they fucked it up from start to finish and it failed all genres that it stepped in. Wasn't scary. Wasn't exciting. Wasn't a comic book movie. Wasn't much of a film. In all honesty, Disney should have just stuck this 20th Century Fox mess in a vault and never let it seen the light of day. Not that it matters. Anybody who ever saw it likely forgot about it within 24 hours. Or wish they had.
  • Green Lantern
    They wise enough to make the decision to cast Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan and Mark Strong as Sinestro... so what the hell went so terribly wrong? EVERY. OTHER. DECISION. Where's the fucking story? Green Lantern could have been a story of cosmic scope that defied belief. But instead they just utterly trashed the character for no good reason. Everything from his hideously bad CGI costume to the gawdawful take of both Parallax and Hector Hammond as "villains" just made this so very, very disappointing.
  • Batman Forever and Batman and Robin
    The first two Batman films were Tim Burton weirdness that didn't 100% work... but they were at least entertaining. And they gave us Michelle Pfeiffer Catwoman, so there's that. But then Joel Schumacher took over and gave us these stupid, campy films which had so many poor decisions piled up that there was no room for actual Batman stories in them. It was made doubly bizarre, because the casting wasn't exactly terrible... Jim Carrey as The Riddler? Perfect. Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face? Great. Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy? Nice! Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl? Flawless. Arnold Schwarzenegger as Doctor Freeze? Weird, but okay. Chris O'Donnell as Robin? Too old, but I get it. And even Val Kilmer and George Clooney weren't terrible choices for Batman. Which means it all comes down to the writing and direction, which was embarrassing in a way that even the 1960's television show couldn't beat.
  • Elektra
    I think had they invested the money so the script could have revolved around an actual story, an Elektra spin-off was a great idea. But instead they cheaped out, leaving us with something that was bizarrely detached from the character that Jennifer Garner created in Daredevil.
  • Spider-Man 3
    The first two Toby Maguire films were darn good. Better than they had a right to be, actually. But then things went completely off the rails. Sam Raimi crammed in too many villains in too many ways with too many bizarre turns for this movie to have any hope at all. But the thing that just dropped this one in the gutter was the way they completely trashed all the characters. Mary Jane was written horribly. Peter Parker (under the influence of the symbiote) became devoid of everything that makes Peter Parker be Peter Parker. And then there's Venom... a villain which was made a laughable shadow of the character that was established in the comics. So many bad choices. They say that the studio interfered with what Sam Raimi wanted to do, which makes a lot of sense. But is inexplicable given the success he had with the first two films.
  • Amazing Spider-Man and Amazing Spider-Man 2
    After screwing up the Toby Maquire franchise, Sony decided to take another shot at the character and rebooted Spidey with Andrew Garfield. Ultimately you have to wonder why they bothered, because they didn't really do anything new. On the contrary, they went back to arcs that were already explored with the first trilogy, then made things so horribly complicated with Peter's dead parents being spies (or whatever) that it was as if they didn't feel Spider-Man could carry a movie. Which is understandable... Sony had a Spider-Verse to build. Alas, those plans were scrapped when Amazing Spider-Man 2 bombed.
  • Hulk
    Ang Lee taking on The Hulk seems like a dream come true. But the movie was just not very entertaining. There were some ideas that were cool enough... but there just wasn't much going on past that. It was seriously troubling that the script's many problems weren't worked out before filming ever started. The fact that they weren't is really difficult to understand. I guess they just trusted Ang Lee to figure it out, but ultimately he didn't want it to be the super-hero movie that it needed to be and we got this. In truth, the follow-up film wasn't a heck of a lot better, but at least they tried to make Hulk be Hulk.

Yikes. More than I thought I'd remember. It's almost as though I should rewatch all the Marvel Studios movies for the hundredth time so I can have good super-hero comic book movies back in my head.

   

Bullet Sunday 740

Posted on Sunday, November 28th, 2021

Dave!Since I'm back from my Thanksgiving adventure, I might as well bullet up the internet... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Past Midnight! Fly By Midnight is my favorite band of 2021... and they never disappoint. This live broadcast is wonderful...

I cannot believe that I didn't even know they even existed until a couple months ago. The music industry is weird.

   
• Mata WHAT?! Okay. I know it will get better. I understand this. But right now? No thanks. The "metaverse" looks awful...

Maybe for an occasional chat, but I don't want to live here.

   
• InstaGreat! Oh nothing... just InstaCart making my Thanksgiving be great by doing God's work...

Alas, Instacart isn't quite so accessible when I'm at home... but across the mountains I absolutely love that a few clicks is all it takes to get whatever you need brought right to your door!

   
• DavidLL! Six calls. SIX FUCKING CALLS to U.S. Bank to try and get my name correct on my account. Surely I am not the only "II" to ever have an account at US Bank?? But despite SIX CALLS, my account is still fucked up. My name is David Simmer II. Not David II Simmer. Not David Simmer LL. Not DavidL Simmer. Not DavidSimmer LL. AND NOT DAVID L LL!! Jesus Christ... what the fuck does it take? How hard is this? Apparently it's equivalent to fucking brain surgery that it's STILL NOT RIGHT after SIX FUCKING CALLS!!! Forget having nice, kind customer service agents. I want a total asshole who will ACTUALLY. GET. THE. JOB. DONE!

US Bank can't get my name right.

The fifth time I literally walked them through it... "The first name box should be DAVID, the last name box should be SIMMER, the suffix box should be TWO CAPITAL I's to get II. I don't use my middle name and would prefer not to have it left blank, but if you insist, the middle name box should say LEWIS. Didn't make any difference. Still got it wrong.

   
• Dope Soap! I see Ice-T in the new Tide Pod commercials and try very hard to remember that he had a music career before he went into acting... and pushing soap. Which is a far cry from when he was pushing dope, which was definitely not cleaned by soap...

I don't play when it comes to my dope
I check my lyrics close, like with a microscope
I don't clean'em up with no ivory soap
I leave'em hard and pure, hope that you can cope
Because you might O.D. if you overdrive

Tide Pods... the soap that's dope!

   
• Spidey 4, 5, 6! Rumor has it that Sony has backed up a dump truck full of cash to Tom Holland's house for another trilogy of Spider-Man movies. This makes me very, very happy. While ultimately I'm looking forward to Miles Morales taking over the role, I think that Peter Parker has some stories left to tell. Besides, they can always do a Miles Morales movie, then have worlds merge in Spider-Man 6 as a nice hand-off kind of thing.

   
• A Mother's Love! And, lastly, I had no idea that this happened... The Open Christmas Letter.

   
Enjoy those fleeting shopping days until Christmas!

   

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