Posted on Sunday, January 3rd, 2021
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...
#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...
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...
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...
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...
Rest In Peace, Dawn Wells. You were a huge part of my childhood.
And that's it for the first bullets of 2021.
Posted on Monday, February 1st, 2021
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...
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...
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.
Posted on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021
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...
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.
Posted on Friday, February 19th, 2021
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...
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...
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...
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...
Good job, buddy!
Throughout the broadcast, there was a guy walking about stuff that was happening...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Posted on Sunday, February 28th, 2021
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...
@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...
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...
And for anybody thinking that she's being an asshole... it's a joke. And he was obviously in on it...
And that's a wrap on bullets, Sparky... bring on Springtime weather.
Posted on Friday, March 5th, 2021
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...
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...
Posted on Sunday, March 7th, 2021
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...
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...
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...
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!!!
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...
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...
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!
Posted on Monday, March 8th, 2021
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...
Perhaps I was too quick to turn the heat off?
Not wanting to get murdered in my sleep, I turned the heat back on.
Posted on Tuesday, March 9th, 2021
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)...
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"...
And Klytus's half-robot lacky in Flash Gordon...
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...
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...
Not that Blofeld was the most interesting character in that movie. I was completely 100% in love with Bond Girl 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.
Posted on Thursday, March 18th, 2021
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): ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆★
Posted on Sunday, March 21st, 2021
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.
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...
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...
##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.
Posted on Sunday, March 28th, 2021
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...
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...
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...
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"...
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!
Posted on Sunday, April 4th, 2021
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...
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...
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...
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.
Posted on Monday, April 5th, 2021
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.
Posted on Tuesday, April 6th, 2021
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...
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.
Posted on Wednesday, April 7th, 2021
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.
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?
Posted on Monday, April 12th, 2021
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...
##stitch with @mattshaw882♬ original sound - Z
The original video is equally dead-on hilarious...
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...
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.
Posted on Sunday, May 9th, 2021
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...
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...
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!
Posted on Monday, May 24th, 2021
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...
Posted on Wednesday, May 26th, 2021
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...
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.
Posted on Sunday, May 30th, 2021
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...
And, Part Two...
• 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."
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!
Posted on Thursday, June 3rd, 2021
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.
Posted on Wednesday, June 9th, 2021
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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!
Posted on Sunday, June 13th, 2021
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...
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...
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...
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...
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.
Posted on Sunday, June 20th, 2021
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
• 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.
Posted on Thursday, June 24th, 2021
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?
Posted on Sunday, July 4th, 2021
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...
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.
Posted on Friday, July 9th, 2021
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...
Posted on Tuesday, July 13th, 2021
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.
Posted on Thursday, July 22nd, 2021
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...
He was barely noticeable in the first trailer either. All we got was this...
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...
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.
Posted on Sunday, August 8th, 2021
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...
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...
I love seeing things like this!
• Italicized! Yeah, italics are important, yo...
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...
##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...
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.
Posted on Monday, August 23rd, 2021
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!
Posted on Friday, August 27th, 2021
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...
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.
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.
It took several moments. It started working just as I was going to unplug the thing.
So surely it should be easy now, right?
Using the MacOS Finder to copy the Lightroom catalog files took frickin' forever because it was stuck on "Preparing to Copy"...
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.
Posted on Sunday, August 29th, 2021
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...
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!
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!
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...
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?!?
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...
And just as a sample of what this guy has to deal with...
Jesus, humanity. Do fucking better.
Any more attempt at bullets and I'd be shooting blanks. So until next week...
Posted on Tuesday, August 31st, 2021
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...
A massive testament to flawless voice casting, Ed Asner's heartwarming performance as his animated character was everything you could hope for...
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.
Posted on Sunday, September 5th, 2021
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?
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."
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?"
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!
Posted on Thursday, September 9th, 2021
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!
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.