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Hallmarkification

Posted on Monday, January 3rd, 2022

Dave!I am way behind on my Hallmark Christmas movies. And will only get further behind because I've got so many work projects on my plate and now Hallmark has Winter movies starting to run.

I keep telling myself that maybe this is the year I finally give up on Hallmark since all the movies are essentially the same at this point. Something made hilariously clear by the many, many parody videos that have been released...


Oh well. It's something to listen to while I work, isn't it? Though at this rate I'll still be watching Christmas movies in July.

JUST IN TIME FOR HALLMARK CHANNEL'S CHRISTMAS IN JULY MARATHON! WOOO!

   

Sneakers Over Mt. Simmer

Posted on Friday, January 7th, 2022

Dave!And lo did the city plow my street this morning! For which I am grateful, because I know they have been completely overwhelmed and have a lot of people complaining that their street hasn't been plowed. On my street, they plow just enough room for two cars to pass each other. The snow is essentially pushed to the side of the street. But on many streets, they don't have that option. They have to physically remove the snow and haul it away because there's no place for it to pile up on the sides. There's sidewalks and stuff to consider.

And now I have a 7-foot tall pile of snow in my front yard. Which is not unusual. Unless it's a warm winter, I often have a lot of snow piled there. Except it's usually over weeks of snowfall... not a single day! Once I saw that I could get out and drive into the office, Mt. Simmer was already crumbling. I got stuck and had to go forward and back to escape my driveway! But I did it...

A mountain of snow with my car backed out!

There's a lot of snow out there. Which is kinda pretty to look at...

Driving to work!

My joy at being able to excape from my house was tempered by the fact that Sindey Poitier died. Coming so quickly off the heels of Betty White dying, it was tough to take.

I've seen Sidney Poitier in many, many movies. Always great. It may be sacrilegious to say this given the importance of his many roles... but my absolute favorite performance by Mr. Poitier is in Sneakers. Yes, you read that right... Sneakers. I adore him as Crease in that movie. He was funny as hell... and brought a gravitas to the movie that even Robert Redford didn't have. Seriously one of my favorite movies ever made, and Sidney Poitier was a huge part of why...

And speaking of Sneakers... I haven't seen it in a year or two, so I'm going to get on that.

Rest In Peace, Mr. Poitier, sir.

   

Bullet Sunday 746

Posted on Sunday, January 9th, 2022

Dave!I'm still buried in snow, but Blogography will carry on... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Return! Okay... we already have a contender for Most Remarkable Story of 2022: Abducted son finds family by drawing map of village he last saw aged four. His hand-drawn map is remarkable considering is was made from memories of 30 years ago. And then there's another layer of remarkable coming from the fact that people were able to help him find his original village by looking at his map and remarkable because he was reunited with his mother...

Jenny waits for me to get off my Zoom call.

"Abducted in 1989, Li was sold to a family in Lankao, more than 1,100 miles away. Child abductions are common in China and Li was probably taken because the family wanted a boy."

   
• Aliens! A big surprise last television season was Alan Tudyk in Resident Alien. They really went for the jugular with the concept, which is based on a comic book series I liked. Now season two is imminent...

Looking forward to it, Dr. Vanderspeigle!

   
• Lara! I passed on the Tomb Raider reboot because it didn't get a terribly good reaction. But it was on sale a while back, so I bought it. Finally got around to watching it and I really liked the film! Some of the reviews I read said that the actor playing Lara was wooden and boring. And I'm like... did we watch the same movie? I thought she was excellent. Though... Angelina Jolie has this wry delivery with a hint of amusement that worked so well in her two Tomb Raider films. I just wish she had better stories to work with.

Tomb Raider Poster.

I hope that the sequel manages to get made! (UPDATE: Apparently it's in active development, COVID-willing, and will be titled Tomb Raider: Obsidian! Nice!

   
• Free Ride! Okay, this is pretty great...

My favorite part of visiting Costa Rica (after the natural beauty of the country) was the sloth sanctuary that we got to visit. They are such remarkable creatures.

   
• Hole of the Tiger! ZOMG! Lego made the Year of the Tiger piece anatomically correct! Kinda. Still a few things missing, but... nice! (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@hollyonfilm This LEGO Tiger is the best thing that will happen in 2022 don’t @ me #lego #yearofthetiger #legotiktok #newyear ♬ original sound - holly

And, yes, Survivor's Eye of the Tiger is playing through my head right now.

   
• Paid! Yesterday I needed to make bread because my sourdough starter hadn't been used in almost two weeks. But I forgot that I had used the last of my yeast last time. And while I could make sourdough bread without it, I didn't want this to be an all-day affair. Then something weird happens. I didn't think "I better make sure that I grab my wallet so I can pay"... instead I think "I better make sure that I grab my iPhone so I can pay with Apple Watch." And since Washington State hasn't done a damn thing to start implementing digital driver's licenses, THEN I think "I better make sure that I grab my wallet in case I get pulled over." I truly long for the day that I don't have to carry a wallet at all. But I'll probably have to move to a more forward-thinking state than mine so that's actually possible. Because knowing how utterly incompetent Washington State legislators are at moving anything forward except higher taxes... digital driver's licenses ain't happening here any time soon.

   
• COVID? Last Friday I was going to take a third COVID test just to make sure I wasn't carrying 'rona to Christmas (my previous two were negative)... but then I woke up that morning and smelled the horrendous dump that Jake took and figured I'm probably good. Though the smell was so bad that I'm guessing it could break through even COVID loss of smell! If anybody else wants tests, I've been ordering directly from iHealth Labs... which has a CDC-recommended antigen test available. They are running behind on orders right now (not surprising) but they do eventually come. Omicron may be "less bad" than Delta (except for young kids, apparently), but it is still causing hospitals to fill up (even in my local hospital, they're recording a rise in admissions), so it's nice to know if you should isolate. Fortunately data suggests that the vaxed adult population has been able to avoid hospitalization (for the most part) even though the current vaccine wasn't designed for it. Really, really hope that they offer up an Omicron Booster soon. That will better prepare our bodily defenses against what gets mutated into next (Lord help us).

   
And that's all the bullets I can muster this fine Sunday.

   

Eternally…

Posted on Wednesday, January 12th, 2022

Dave!Since many people aren't making it to theaters to see movies, I've been waiting for them to appear on home video before delving into my spoiler-laden thoughts. Not that I'm worried about spoilers, mind you, since I always hide things in an extended entry and give plenty of warning... but because it doesn't make sense to talk about something that many people haven't seen yet.

Today Eternals was released on Disney+ (though I bought it from iTunes anyway because I really want to support the movies I love), and so here we are...

The Eternals movie poster.

And... spoilers ahead in an extended entry. You've been warned.

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
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Peace to Die For

Posted on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

Dave!Despite having some of my favorite comic book characters, DC Comics totally shit the bed with their cinematic blunders. With the exception of Wonder Woman, I haven't really liked anything since Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy wrapped up. And before that only three movies were really worth anything (Superman, Superman II, and Batman). Everything else was pretty much shit.*

Until James Gunn's The Suicide Squad. It was big, bold, bloody, funny entertainment... that was pretty faithful to the idea of the comics. I enjoyed it quite a lot. James Gunn had once again taken a D-list super-group and turned them into something fun (just like he did with Guardians of the Galaxy before this).

But James Gunn wasn't finished.

As he was making The Suicide Squad, he saw potential in one of the more outlandish characters... Peacemaker. A man who wants peace so bad he's willing to fight and kill for it. And so he developed a television series for HBO Max featuring John Cena and some of the other cast from his movie.

The result is just insane. But incredibly funny and entertaining. I mean, just take a look at the opening credits...

And even that doesn't really prepare you for how off-the-wall bonkers the show is. I love it. It's deeper than you'd expect it would be. And from the first three episodes that got released, Gunn hasn't just done the Peacemaker justice... he really pulled out all the stops to make The Vigilante interesting as well. In the comics he's deadly serious with a tragic backstory. In this interpretation, he's just plain nuts.

If you have HBO Max, Peacemaker is worth a look. If you don't, it may be worth getting it for a month once all the episodes have been released. Just be warned that it's definitely Rated-R entertainment.

I hope it goes on for more than a single season.

   
*And I am not exaggerating. All too many of the DC movies have, in fact, been shitty. Or worse...

1966 — Batman: Campy fun, but shitty.
1978 — Superman: The dawn of modern super-hero movies.
1980 — Superman II: Fantastic super-hero escapism, despite being butchered.
1980 — Superman II (Richard Donner Cut): Mind-blowing followup to the original.
1982 — Swamp Thing: Bad.
1983 — Superman III: Horrible.
1984 — Supergirl: Horrible.
1987 — Superman IV: The Quest for Peace: Utter shit.
1989 — The Return of Swamp Thing: Bad.
1989 — Batman: Imaginative "Tim Burton" take on the character.
1992 — Batman Returns: Best Catwoman ever in a campy, bad script.
1995 — Batman Forever: Shitty.
1997 — Batman & Robin: More shitty.
1997 — Steel: Shitty.
2004 — Catwoman: Shitty.
2005 — Constantine: Decent, but not the Constantine from the comics.
2005 — Batman Begins: Terrific reboot and a faithful take.
2006 — Superman Returns: Sad rehash of the first Superman movie.
2008 — The Dark Knight: One of the best super-hero movies ever made.
2009 — Watchmen: Acceptable interpretation, but deviated too much from the book.
2010 — Jonah Hex: Shitty.
2011 — Green Lantern: Shitty.
2012 — The Dark Knight Rises: A good finale to the Nolan trilogy.
2013 — Man of Steel: Utter shit.
2016 — Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Beyond shitty.
2016 — Suicide Squad: Meandering mess.
2017 — Wonder Woman: Fantastic, but deviated from the mythology too much.
2017 — Justice League: Utter shit.
2018 — Aquaman: Acceptable, but not great.
2019 — Shazam!: Horrifically shitty.
2019 — Joker: Bad.
2020 — Birds of Prey: Acceptable, but not great.
2020 — Wonder Woman '84: Grotesquely shitty... one of the worst movies ever made.
2021 — The Suicide Squad: A fun-filled bloody adaptation that totally worked.

   

Bullet Sunday 751

Posted on Sunday, February 13th, 2022

Dave!I may not care about football, but that doesn't mean today is lost on me... because an all new Trailer Edition of Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Strange! The latest trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness dropped today, and I am 100% here for all of it...

Kudos to Marvel Studios for dipping their toe into the horror movie genre with this film. Obviously it's not going to be a full-on horror flick... there's no room for that in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as of yet. But it does look like they are trying to lean into the "madness" aspect of the name to try and do something different with the movie. That's a good thing, because it would be all too easy for them to stretch the whole super-hero thing too thin with all these films. Endeavoring to make them all have a different tone is what makes them work so well. And one last thing... ws that... Professor X? saying "We should tell him the truth?"

   
• NOPE! Jordan Peele has become a major force in movie horror, and it looks like he's pushing boundaries even further with Nope, his next film coming this Summer...

It's pretty crazy how all I know about the film is that Daniel Kaluuya, Steven Yeun, Donna Mills, and Keke Palmer are in it... and the trailer doesn't really even tell you anything... yet I'm dying to see it anyway. Not too many directors able to pull that off!

   
• Moon! I am still riding a high from the last Disney+ series, Hawkeye (having just watched it again yesterday), and have to admit that I'm skeptical that Moon Knight will end up as good. But the latest trailer does look pretty killer...

Kevin Feige has made it clear that they are not shying away from violence in the series. I know they aren't going to make it into a blood bath, but it definitely looks like that are going to make it hit harder than they have with other series.

   
• Baby Me! Is it just me, or does the GM Doctor Evil commercial just make me want to see another Austin Powers movie?

The individual ads are all good, but the capper ad is what makes a new film feel like such a good idea...

It kinda seems like a no-brainer, if not for another movie a streaming series, but here we are left waiting.

   
• DC! The DC Cinematic Universe has been a complete shit-show from the very beginning. In looking at the combo-trailer for The Batman, Black Adam, The Flash, and Aquaman 2, I can't say I'm exactly blown away...

The only one that looks remotely interesting to me is Black Adam, and that's only because we've got Dr. Fate, Hackman, and The Atom happening. I'm guessing this is because Black Adam is going to be fighting the Justice Society, but it doesn't look like Black Adam is going to be an actual villain like in the comics since the trailer title is "The World Needs Heroes."

   
• Rings! YouTube is full of videos saying that Amazon Prime Video's Lord of the Rings prequel is being "destroyed" by "woke culture" because it has Black characters in it. And I'm like... whatever. I can believe that elves and dwarves are Black just as easily as I can believe that elves and dwarves are white, so I'll be just fine...

What I'm worried about is being bored with the damn thing. I thought The Wheel of Time fantasy series (also at Amazon Prime Video) was less than stellar, and didn't get past two episodes. Granted, I'm more familiar with the Tolkien material than the Robert Jordan material, but I'm no more attached to it. I'll give the show a shot though, and that's about all I can do.

   
• Adam! Netflix released their Super Bowl trailer a few days ago, and it's a tantalizing teaser of upcoming movies...

Knives Out 2 and Enola Holmes 2 are easily the two projects with the most pull... but the one I am most looking forward to is the latest Ryan Reynolds flick. His movies don't disappoint, and this one looks like it's going to be another winner.

   
Guess I'll go back to not watching the Super Bowl now.

   

When Memes Become Reality

Posted on Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022

Dave!   
Well now Marvel Studios is just messing with us...


Three Spider-Men Meme

Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield, and Toby Maguire recreating the Three Spider-Men Meme

   
Spider-Man: No Way Home comes to home digital on March 22.

   

Bullet Sunday 753

Posted on Sunday, March 6th, 2022

Dave!Don't let life distract your from what's truly important... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Homemade! The last French rolls I bought were $4.80 for six, were small, gummy, and didn't taste that great. So this time when I wanted an Old Amsterdam Old Cheese sandwich roll I made my own big, beautiful, fluffy rolls...

My fluffy buns!

My fluffy buns with cheese on them!

Cost me less than $1... and they are unbelievably good. So good that I can't stop eating them. I've had three. It will take all my effort to not to eat a fourth.

   
• Welcome to My Nightmare! Had I seen Nightmare Alley in 2021, it would have made my best-of list for sure. The story is interesting enough, but it's the visuals and atmosphere that makes the film so special. It's a work of art. Its every scene is gorgeously and meticulously constructed...

Nightmare Alley Poster

And the performances! Bradley Cooper can act, sure... but it's Cate Blanchett who drives this bus home. Then you get Willem DaFoe, Rooney Mara, Toni Collette, Ron Perlman, Mary Steenburgen, and an utterly brilliant and pivotal character by David Strathairn. It's too good. The fatalistic destiny which haunts everybody is palpable.

   
• Good Bye. Dang. Dieter Bohn is leaving The Verge. He and Marques Brownlee are the only two tech reviewers that I actively seek out because they are just so good at their job. In his farewell video, Dieter talks about his online handle, "Backlon," which is something I can very much relate to. Online I'm "Blogography" for everything because it's my blog name and how everybody knew me. So it became my handle everywhere. As Dieter says, "The choice causes a cascade of associations for whoever sees that handle." And it's 100% true. This is a fascinating video about our online identity... and everything I will miss about Dieter Bohn...

Best of luck at Google, sir.

   
• Dave! There have been a lot of great guests on Hot Ones, and Dave Growl is right up there...

And here's a bonus bit of Dave for you...

He is hands-down one of the most fascinating people on the planet.

   
• Depot-Free! It only took three months, four phone calls, and a dozen messages to get The Home Depot and Citi to credit me the $50 I was promised when I opened my account... but here it is! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? I can't believe it. I just made the full balance payment, so I'll believe it when it's posted, I have a zero balance, AND I CAN CLOSE THIS FUCKING ACCOUNT. I wish to God I had never messed with the Home Depot Credit Card which has been a complete nightmare from the very beginning. If you are going to promise a customer "Up to $100 Off" if they open account... and their purchases qualify for a $50 credit... THEN GIVE THEM THE FUCKING MONEY! How difficult is this? Apparently very difficult, given what I've been through. Do they expect people to just give up so they never have to pay what was promised? Well, you got the wrong guy for that.

   
• Say Human! Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill is disgusting. The inhumanity of this horrific decision sickens me to my very core. And all I can think about is what happens to those kids in school who have two moms or two dads or a trans parent or a sibling who identifies outside the absurd artificial construct of binary sexuality. Their family members no longer exist while they’re being “educated.” Which is to say that they’re not being educated at all. They’re being discriminated against. Fuck those grotesque mockeries of humanity who would be so overtly bigoted and cruel. I’ve long since given up hope that our lawmakers will be decent human beings who want to represent all of us... but I do kinda cling to the hope that I can count on them to be selfish. That they’ll look at friends... family... neighbors... and other people they know... even actors, musicians, writers, and such... and say "I can’t possibly legislate against these people who mean something to me." But of course they can. Because they’re absolute garbage who don’t care who is hurt no matter who those affected may be to them. Appealing to bigotry is how they stay in government, and the money and power they get for that means more to them than anybody or anything. And also? Fuck the heinous assholes who vote for these repugnant pieces of shit. Fuck them twice.

   
• Just Die Already. And speaking of fucking assholes... this decrepit piece of shit wouldn't know the Bible if it sat on his face...

It defies belief that people believe his idiocy. Has he even actually studied the Bible? I sincerely have my doubts, because most everything he has ever said is not supported by Scripture. These are just his unhinged, demented fantasies. Counting the days until he's sent to hell for his shameless false prophet money-grabbing.

   
See you in seven days, true bullet believers.

   

Help Me Obi Wan Kenobi Number One

Posted on Wednesday, March 9th, 2022

Dave!This is the tenth anniversary of Disney's epic disaster, the movie John Carter. I was reminded of this sad fact because there's a look-back at the movie happening over at The Wrap. I don't have anything more to say about this heinous abomination of a film than what I said in my initial scathing review... but I do have a new perspective.

A perspective that comes from the successful adaptation of Dune after the initial failure of that film in 1984.

If only somebody like Denis Villenueve with reverence of the original books could have been put in charge of John Carter of Mars, then maybe it would have had a shot at success. Instead we got a movie which bore only a passing resemblance to the novel. They ignored some fairly major things that made the series work as books, and instead added a bunch of stupid shit that didn't work at all.

As a massive fan of the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels, I fucking hated this film. And my opinion hasn't changed one bit in a decade. I tried watching it again tonight to see if there was any redemption to be had, but there was not. Terrific visuals and special effects which are pounded to shit by a horrible script.

Part of the article at The Wrap was Andrew Stanton talking about the plan for sequel films. The second of which was to be Gods of Mars and the third of the trilogy being Warlord of Mars...

Given how badly the film portrayed the holy Therns and their role in things, there could be no doubt that the sequel would have totally fucked up Gods of Mars just like it completely ruined A Princes of Mars. And so... a part of me is relieved that John Carter failed so utterly that we never had to suffer through the sequels. But the bigger part of me is still angry that we had to suffer through any of this shit at all.

Oh well. The books haven't gone anywhere, so I can return to Barsoom... the actual fucking Barsoom... any time I like.

And then there's this...

If there's anything that can redeem Star Wars after the shitty fucking prequel trilogy, this would be it. Ewan McGregor as Obi Wan Kenobi was one of the few good things to come out of those crap films (another being Samuel L. Jackson's Mace Windu).

I guess all we can do is hope for the best.

And then there's this...

After an incredible first season, Star Trek: Discovery became one of the shittiest Star Trek shows to ever air, which is why I am really, really hoping that the best thing to come out of it... Captain Pike, Spock, Number One, and the crew of the original-original Enterprise... will redeem that franchise.

I guess all we can do is hope for the best.

   

Bullet Sunday 754

Posted on Sunday, March 13th, 2022

Dave!I've been watching too much television lately, but never you fear... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• UPLOAD! HOW ABOUT THAT UPLOAD SEASON 2?!? This show could have so easily... so very easily.... just kept doing what what it was doing in the first season and stagnated into irrelevance. But they decided to really go for it...

Alas, they dropped it with yet another cliffhanger. Which is fine IF WE GET A THIRD SEASON. But an official renewal has not been greenlit, so who knows. The first season seemed to be just the right length at 10 bingeable half-hour episodes... but we only got seven episodes this time, which seemed a bit rushed. But that's the COVID world we live in, I guess.

   
• Presence! Well that was unexpected. Easily one of the best Hallmark movies I've ever seen (which is saying something considering I've seen... well... most all of them), The Presence of Love is worth a look if you enjoy the occational rom-com flick...

Gorgeously shot on location in Cornwall and beautifully-acted by Eloise Mumford and Julian Morris, this is a very special film that caught me entirely by surprise.

   
• Unintended Use! Now that I have a new chair, I've been working on sprucing up my studio so it's more comfortable and productive. A big part of that is getting rid of the cardboard box that's clamped to my drafting table to hold all my stuff. It doesn't really work very well and I have to dig through it to find things. So I bought these little kitchen trays that have just enough friction to keep from sliding around. As a bonus, the soap holder fits inside the tray to organize my pens...

Drafting table organization.

Drafting table organization.

It's always nice to run across something that works for what you need when it's not the intended use of the item!

   
• Adam! Ryan Reynolds makes even bad movies watchable, so I knew I'd enjoy his latest for Netflix... The Adam Project...

And while not in any way groundbreaking, it was darn entertaining. It also had a story that wasn't terrible, assuming you don't think about it too hard. If you're a fan of Ryan Reynolds and sci-fi fun, this is the movie for you.

   
• Construction! The guy from Primitive Technology is back at long last. I love his videos...

   
• ER! The second season of Transplant, which has been playing in Canada for MONTHS has finally been released here in the USA on NBC (I just bought the Season Pass on iTunes again). This is hands-down my favorite medical drama ever (and my third favorite show of 2020 after Ted Lasso and The Mandalorian). If you're not watching it, you're missing out...

If you give it a try, be sure to start with the first episode of Season 01, because it starts out with a bang you don't want to miss.

   
• Edward! Ever since finding out that Mitchell Ryan passed away on March 4th, I've been rewatching the first season of Dharma & Greg, where he was in top form as Edward Montgomery. He was hilarious in the show, which was really great for a couple seasons...

Mitchell Ryan

Rest In Peace, sir.

   
Until next week there, buckaroo.

   

Bullet Sunday 756

Posted on Sunday, March 27th, 2022

Dave!I may be another year older, but I'm not letting my advanced age slow me down... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Death! The fact that Taika Waititi still makes time to do crazy stuff like this in-between all his other massive projects is a gift...

I really enjoyed the series! Find it on HBO Max!

   
• Harm Reduction! This is essential viewing. So few people actually understand what's at play here and how addiction actually works... and the best way to combat it while keeping non-addicts safe...

Seeing people who have no clue about ANY of this making laws is outrageous.

   
• CODA! ARTICLE: “We’re Not Deaf Actors — We’re Actors, Period”: ‘CODA’s Watershed Moment in Representation — When you read this story (and I *highly* recommend you do) I hope you are as enraged as I was to learn that movie studios defeated a class action lawsuit which would have required that films have their music lyrics captioned so that deaf persons can know what is being communicated by the songs the filmmakers selected. If you're deaf, you don't get to experience the whole story of movies you see... and studios fought against you being able to experience the whole story. Why the fuck would they do this? Why would they WANT to do this? Outrageous. And I hope that Disney, Warner Bros., Universal, Paramount and Sony are nailed to the fucking wall by consumer rage after people learn about how they treat their deaf patrons.

   
• Buying Air! I saw "falafel burgers" and thought they sounded amazing. So I bought a box. When I got home, I was surprised to find that two of the four burgers were missing! I laughed about it... until I turned the box around and saw that it wasn't "4 Veggie Patties" it was "4+ Veggies" in "2 Veggie Patties." — This has got to be one of the most deceptive packages I've ever seen. It's the same exact size as other boxes containing 4 burgers... then they put "4" on the front above the contents... so unless you really read it, you'll think it contains four burgers. But you only get two, and the box is less than half full. LESS THAN HALF FULL!

A mostly-empty box of falafel burgers.

A mostly-empty box of falafel burgers.

As mad as I am at the company... I am more mad at Safeway for selling this deceptive bullshit in their stores. $5.50 for TWO veggie patties. Unreal. I paid more for an EMPTY BOX than anything else. I would have NEVER bought this stupid crap if I knew I was getting mostly air... no matter how good they taste (or don't).

   
• Bullseye! I really, REALLY hope that when Charlie Cox comes back as Daredevil on Disney+ that they get Wilson Bethel back to play Bullseye. Benjamin Poindexter's downfall and descent in the third season of "Daredevil" was a difficult sell. It took an actor of real talent to pull it off, and Bethel managed it flawlessly. His every move... the way he spoke... everything slowwwwly changes as Dex's world falls apart... you could SEE it happening. The Kingpin knew what buttons to push and how to break him and you could FEEL it happening as you watched it happening...

Wilson Bethel as Bullseye confronting The Kingpin of Crime.

This added a level of tragedy to the character which made him go above being superficial and one-note. Bethel deserves another shot at Bullseye after all his brilliant build-up.

   
• HAAAAAA! This was funnier than I expected it to be...

What's funny is that Douglas Adams did something similar to his ASL interpreter at a book reading. He picked a chapter that had outrageous character names... said them really fast... then quickly looked over at the interpreter to see how she managed it.

   
• Halo?? I've been playing "Halo" since before "Halo" existed. Bungie, the video game studio now owned by Microsoft which birthed the mega-popular series of games, was originally a Mac games developer. And the precursor to "Halo" was "Marathon." I obsessed over "Marathon" and its sequels... then transitioned to "Halo" once it became an Xbox franchise. The latest, "Halo Infinite" is yet another feather in Bungie's cap (I got an Xbox S just to play it). It's a great game that's worth your valuable time. Given all that history, I was anxiously awaiting the Paramount+ TV series "Halo"...

...only to be rewarded with a pile of crap. =sigh= I guess getting a truly good adaptation of a video game is just never going to happen. Maybe I'll tune in again for the season finale, but right now I wasted enough of my time getting through the first episode.

   
Let's see if I can get through my Sunday without having to take a nap.

   

Bullet Sunday 757

Posted on Sunday, April 3rd, 2022

Dave!Don't worry about the world, worry about me... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• TREK! Star Trek: Strange New Worlds looks SO good...

Here's hoping that Paramount+ doesn't turn it to whiny bullshit like they did with Star Trek: Discovery (that show started amazing too, but has devolved into the worst Star Trek ever).

   
• le Carré! I never saw The Night Manager 2016 mini-series adaptation of the le Carré novel... but it's on Amazon Prime Streaming, so I've had it running today. It was very good. The performances are all sublime. And that ending... delicious...

If you're looking for binge-worthy television and like the spy genre, it's worth a look.

   
• Holy! A while back, a-ha came up as one of my favorite bands and I commented that it's such a shame that so few people know of their albums after their smash-hit first release. It remains some of my favorite music ever made. AND EVER SINCE I have had their song Holy Ground stuck in my head. But not just the song (though I've always found it gorgeous and haunting) what's stuck there is a crappy fan edit that mashes up the studio recording with the video of a live performance and scenes from the movie "Troy." It contextualizes both the song and the film in a way that elevates them both...

I wish it was available as a hi-res, better-quality video, because it really is beautiful. And I'm dying to know how the person who cut this together came up with the idea.

   
• Fooling'! Sometimes you kinda have to wish that April fools' jokes were reality, right?

OREO Cookie Cream in a HEINZ packet!

I hope I never see this in grocery stores, because I will buy it in bulk and smear this stuff on everything I eat.

   
• Mavericky! I hate to say it... but this actually looks like it's going to be good. It's certainly going to have plenty of edge-of-your-seat action, it looks like...

Very cool that they got Val Kilmer to appear. Though, much to my horror, the only thing that enters my head any more when I hear "Maverick" is this...

Lord. And apparently she (Palin, not Tina Fey) is running for office again. Or something. I'm too afraid to look into it.

   
• Horse Dewormed! Wow. I may shit my pants in disbelief.

   
And speaking of shitting my pants, time for me to put away the bullets and see what's being reported in the news.

   

LET’S WATCH… The Batman!

Posted on Monday, April 18th, 2022

Dave!IT'S LET'S WATCH A MOVIE WEEK! Where I live-blog me watching a film and comment along the way! Most of these films I watched a while back, I just wanted to hold off talking about them until more people had a chance to see them. Because of the pandemic, and all that.

Today's movie is one I watched just tonight when it debuted on HBO... The Batman!

If you haven't seen it yet, this will obviously be a spoiler-filled entry. And probably not make a lot of sense. You've been warned.

If you're somebody who just wants me to summarize and not have to read through the smalltalk to see how I felt, here you go: The Batman had a lot of hype that gave me hope, but it doesn't get anywhere near touching the terrific Nolan trilogy. Heck, it doesn't even get close to the two Michael Keaton films. It's probably on-par with the Joel Schumacher movies for their idiocy, but The Batman at least tried to respect the character. Unfortunately it's a boring, morose, joyless slog of a film that made me long for Ben Affleck's take on the character. My favorite Batman is the detective who's good in a fight. But here we get an emo goth take that just didn't work for me. Zoë Kravitz made a darn good Catwoman, but I spent all her scenes wishing that she was doing something better (like her great canceled show, High Fidelity) than wasting her time with this. And, alas, the sexual tension with Batman was non-existent. And don't get me started with The Riddler, who was badly handled from the start and spent his pivotal scenes yelling to no effect.
DAVE GRADE: D

Spoiler Zone!

  • We start out with a boring monologue that does its best to set the tone of a dark, brooding Batman. There was no need. THAT'S ALL HE IS THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE MOVIE.
  • The Riddler is clearly an ultra-violent, murdering psychopath.
  • Batman beats up a group of criminals, then let's them all run away. What was the point of that?
  • Batman shows up to a crime scene and apparently there's a police officer who had no idea that he's been working with the police. I guess Gotham P.D. doesn't have office gossip?
  • And of course there's always got to be that ONE PERSON who goes off on a fucking idiotic "HE'S A VIGILANTE FOR CHRIST'S SAKE!" rant. Thanks for not letting me down, Matt Reeves.
  • And here we go with a Nirvana song (Something in The Way) which is a heck of a shortcut to piling on dreamy despair and brooding to a movie overrun with despair and brooding.
  • "Dear Violence Diary..."
  • Ulysses Klaue! Welcome to the DC Universe!
  • It's like... they don't get Batman at all. When he's off the clock, they make him every bit as brooding and antagonistic as when he's got the cowl on. How in the hell isn't he not immediately recognized since he's not making any attempt to be a different person? In the comics he's a frivolous billionaire playboy for a reason. NOBODY suspects that Bruce Wayne could be Batman.
  • Bruce Wayne puts on sunglasses indoors. He's that cool.
  • My God. The sound balance is so annoying in this film. I was struggling to hear dialogue one second... then blasted through the back wall of my living room the next.
  • It's The Penguin! Solely showing up to establish him for a future HBO Max series... or so I hear.
  • The sound levels mysteriously drop by a factor of ten so we can conveniently hear the dialogue here.
  • God. The dialogue is shit. "Hey! Take it easy! Do you know my reputation?" — "Yeah, do you?" — Obviously he does. What kind of dumbass question is this, Batman?
  • Batman in his classic trucker hat disguise spying on Catwoman. Yeah, why not? Ooh! And here's Catwoman cat-burglaring! Refreshing!
  • Zero sexual tension between Batman and Catwoman... the hallmark of their relationship.
  • So... The Riddler is now a sadistic, unhinged murdering monster. That's quite a departure from the source material, where he's a madcap puzzle-obsessed guy who comes up with riddle-derived crimes!
  • Catwoman is a gum-smacking whore? NNNNNNOOOOOOOO!!!
  • Dang. No sexual tension with Batman, but Zoë Kravitz sure causes sexual tension in me! WHY DID THEY CANCEL HIGH FIDELITY?
  • Geez, Batman! Way to exploit and endanger Catwoman! And it's laughable how he heaps abuse on her and then is all upset when she bails. It's like... how clueless can you be? You're the world's greatest detective?!?
  • How are people not all... "Oh look... there's Bruce Wayne. That guy is as moody as The Batman!"
  • God. We're an hour in and I don't even know what this movie is trying to say. So much time wasted making this as boring as possible.
  • Boy, Batman, that's damn cold. Joke about the D.A. getting his head blown off when he has a bomb strapped around his neck. And more than a little sadistic.
  • God. The Riddler is so over the top as to be ridiculous. There is nothing even remotely interesting going on here. Nothing. What a pathetic villain for a major motion picture. They are actually trying to make The Riddler act more like The Joker, but to ill-effect. And I'm guessing the next film will be The Joker, yet again, starring (Lord help us) Barry Keoghan (just arrested for public intoxication). Where can he even go from here?
  • This is getting monotonous in it's stupidity. Batman quarrying off with the cops. And it's a crime to insult an officer? WTF?
  • Glider Suit Batman toy, unlocked!
  • It feels like two hours have dragged by. It's been an hour and fifteen minutes. That is not a good sign for a comic book movie. Or any movie, really.
  • Is it Batman-Catwoman team-up time? Nope. Doesn't matter... because here's the latest Batmobile! I wish that directors would study movies like Baby Driver so their car chase scene ends up being more than just obtuse viewing angles and squealing tires. The rain is nice. The Penguin being able to drive like Mario Andretti is just silly.
  • It's just... God. So slow. Do we really need a yelling scene between Gordon and Penguin? What value does this bring to the movie? I am bored out of my frickin' mind.
  • We're at the one-hour-and-forty-minute mark. And now we know that The Riddler is after Bruce Wayne? Maybe? And it ends up being because Bruce's dad wanted Falcone to scare a journalist into keeping quiet about his wife's mental illness? Well, I guess that's a plot you could saddle a movie with. Not a good one, mind you. But there it is.
  • Catwoman kisses Batman for absolutely no reason. Other than she wanted to, I guess. After telling him that Falcone is her father.
  • Oh joy. Batman is taking a page out of Suicide Squad's Joker to put the pieces together. Waiting for him to lay down in the middle of his Riddler connectivity diagram and start cackling. Blergh.
  • Brooding Bruce Wayne confronts Falcone in the least interesting way possible. Boy this movie is intent on boring the hell out of me.
  • Why in the hell does Alfred put up with this constant abuse? Glutton for punishment, I guess. Because I don't care how obligated I felt to Bruce or how sorry I felt for him... LATER!
  • I DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT ANY OF THIS! HOW CAN THEY MAKE BATMAN BE THIS BORING?!? You have to really, really want to make a boring movie when Batman is at the middle of it.
  • "This is for my mother." Misses her target. Shoots the wall at ridiculously close range. Hey, you tried, I guess. Mommy's proud of her little girl, Catwoman.
  • Strangling her? Wow. Daddy is very mad about his little girl shooting his wall.
  • If every clean cop in Gotham is watching Falcone being taken into custody... who's out protecting the city? And a lot of good it did... Falcone just got whacked in front of all of them!
  • THE RIDDLER IS PAUL DANO! HOW COOL! (of course I knew this, but it's weird to only just now see his face).
  • Gawd. This final confrontation with Paul Dano is an excruciating drag. Like the entire movie. Why should this be any different? Just a bunch of yelling. So much fun.
  • Oh noes! Gotham City is below sea level? THANKS, GLOBAL WARMING! Sorry you're a failure, Batman.
  • Jesus. Still more incoherent yelling by The Riddler. And he's got groupies! THERE'S STILL A HALF-HOUR LEFT?? FUCK!
  • Might as well shoot the candidate for mayor. Makes about as much sense as everything else in this shitty fucking movie.
  • Batman goes super-batty on this guy's face! But he's okay! It's all good! But whoops... Batman's mantra comes back to haunt him. Oh noes! He's no better than the criminals he fights! WHAT A TOTALLY UNIQUE TAKE ON BATMAN WITH AN OBSERVATION THAT'S NEVER BEEN MADE BEFORE EVEN ONCE!
  • Oh dang. Batman's not dead and electrocuted as I had hoped. Guess there's room for a sequel... a daring concept.
  • Nirvana again. We've come full circle. And now another boring-ass monologue over shit that doesn't matter. Gotham is a flooded mess... for what? Who cares?
  • Call me... JOKER!
  • OH MY GOD! WE'RE STILL NOT DONE?? What kind of torture is this?
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LET’S WATCH… Spider-Man: No Way Home!

Posted on Tuesday, April 19th, 2022

Dave!IT'S LET'S WATCH A MOVIE WEEK! Where I live-blog me watching a film and comment along the way! Most of these films I watched a while back, I just wanted to hold off talking about them until more people had a chance to see them. Because of the pandemic, and all that.

Today's movie is one I saw way back in January. But not so long ago it was released on home video... Spider-Man: No Way Home!

Spider-Man No Way Home Poster

If you haven't seen it yet, this will obviously be a spoiler-filled entry. And probably not make a lot of sense. You've been warned.

Spoiler Zone!

If you're somebody who just wants me to summarize and not have to read through the smalltalk to see how I felt, here you go: Spider-Man: No Way Home had potential to be a convoluted disaster, but ended up being one of the most comic book comic book movies to ever be released. Thanks to a terrific script, plenty of surprises, and capable acting, I enjoyed this movie a lot. Like a lot a lot.
GRADE: A

  • We start where we left off... Mysterio, thought to be a hero by the world at large... accuses Spider-Man of his murder, and reveals his secret identity to the world. So now, much like the comic books, Spider-Man is Public Enemy Number One (spurred on by the deranged ravings of J. Jonah Jamison). There's a million ways that this could have been resolved (has been happening in the comics for decades), but I did not anticipate where it would lead. At all. And I wonder if the writers knew how they were resolving it when they wrote the ending to the previous films.
  • Aunt May and Happy Hogan are breaking up. Bummer, Happy. First you lose Tony Stark, now this.
  • HERE COME THE FEDS!
  • "Nick Fury has been off-planet for the last year." We, of course, know that he has been on vacation while the Skrull leader Talos has been impersonating him... but Peter had no idea, and it's weird to me that he never looks into it at all in the rest of the film.
  • Zendaya brings so much to the table as M.J., and I don't know that she gets enough credit for that. Her interrogation time is priceless.
  • Ha! Classic Ned.
  • And then there's Marissa Tomei. Sigh. I know that she doesn't have the star power that she used to have. But it still shocks me that she agreed to be in the Spider-Man movies. She's perfect for this version of Aunt May, and it's so nice that casting put her in the role. It will be very strange to not have her be a part of these films any more, and she will be missed.
  • It had been rumored for a while that Charlie Cox was going to appear as Daredevil (or, to be more accurate, Matt Murdock) in this film. I still got a thrill when this scene unfolded. Cox is so good in the role. And this being the precursor to him (and the other Netflix Marvel Studios characters) being folded into the MCU where they belong was a treat.
  • I hope that Jon Favreau sticks around even though all his ties to the MCU are gone after this film is done (Tony is dead and he doesn't even know who Peter is). He's comic relief without being stupid comic relief, and adds a lot of value to these movies.
  • "How did you just do that?" — "I'm a very good lawyer" THIS. This right here is why DC can't reach the heights that Marvel gets to. They don't get why continuity is important. What value it can bring. And how throw-away lines like this can thrill fans that devote themselves to these movies. And yet it's still funny even if you never saw Daredevil.
  • "Go get 'em, Tiger!" Cute that they managed to work this classic M.J. Watson line into the movie in a way that works, because Zendaya's M.J would never say it.
  • Flash's book is Flashpoint... they literally beat DC to the punch with their own event (not to mention the Ezra Miller Flash: Flashpoint movie that's coming one of these days (or not, since Miller was just arrested... again).
  • It's just a bit part cameo piece, but I love that they brought back Peter's teachers for an appearance (I've been a fan of Martin Starr forever). I will say, however, that it's bizarre that there are people who consider him to be a hero while still others consider him to be a villain at the same time. They do write this off as the guy being a conspiracy theorist, but still.
  • Peter said earlier that he's broke. How was he going to pay for college? Stark didn't leave Peter any money in his will?
  • I've read that part of the licensing agreement for Sony allowing Spider-Man to be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films is that at least one major MCU character has to appear in every solo Spider-Man film. Iron Man in the first one. Nick Fury in the second one. And now Doctor Strange in the third one. Personally, I love the cross-pollination of characters between films. It's this interconnectivity that makes all the Marvel Studios stuff so dang brilliant. But they are always careful to make sure that these guest appearances enhance instead of overshadow Spider-Man. And having the Master of The Mystic Arts (plus Wong!) show up was perfect for both Sony and Marvel because it opens up so many doors for both their efforts.
  • The winter wonderland going on in the Sanctum Sanctorum is fantastic. Both visually and for comedic effect (Strange slipping when he lands was a laugh-out-loud moment for me).
  • Wong! Boy I hope that we get a Wong Disney+ series.
  • Wong being elevated to Sorceror Supreme is fantastic. It does nothing to diminish Doctor Strange but does everything to elevate Wong!
  • "...but I'll allow it." Ha! Nice nod to Tony Stark there.
  • COME ON! WE DESERVE A WONG DISNEY+ SERIES!
  • "They shot an episode of The Equalizer here in the 80's." A part of me wonders if that could actually be true!
  • The Doctor Strange magical effects have been amazing since Day One. And here we are again.
  • LOL. The object that Thor knocked over in Thor: Ragnarok is knocked over again.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch was the only choice to play Strange. I am more convinced with each passing movie.
  • In many, many ways, I will not be sad to see the Iron Spider suit go bye-bye. I've said it multiple times, but so much of what makes Spider-Man be Spider-Man is that he's a kid on his own. All this fancy Stark tech has been fun... but I want to see a stripped-down Spider-Man for the next movie, and it sounds like that's what we're going to get.
  • We knew, of course, that Doctor Octopus would be appearing. But despite the advance notice, it was still fantastic to see Alfred Molina as this character again. Re-casting after re-casting after re-casting gets tired, so why not just go back to the best? Albeit with a little de-aging CGI thrown in.
  • What made the Doctor Octopus of Spider-Man 2 work so well is that many times his mechanical arms were physical effects instead of CGI. In many scenes they felt real. These CGI arms are very cool (and probably more comic book apropriate) but they have a more "unreal feel" to them. Not necessarily in a bad way, but it does make me appreciate the job that they did the first time around back in 2004.
  • See... this tech stuff with nanites is not Spider-Man to me. Cool (and funny) as it is.
  • Tom Holland has always been perfect to play Peter Parker because of scenes like this. Peter's confident but hesitant, and getting that tone right is not easy. And of course his amazing athletic ability fits Spider-Man to a T.
  • And, of course, it's nice to have Willem Dafoe back! (which is a relief, because while Dane DeHaan was fine, his Green Goblin was stupid).
  • "The Multiverse is Real!" Welcome to the real start of Marvel Phase Four!
  • This is the one thing about this movie that doesn't really work for me. Ned, out of nowhere, has magic in his family and tingling in his hands... paving the way for him to be able to use the Sling Ring. Eh. Feels forced.
  • "Otto Octavius?" Yeah, yeah. But back when all these characters were created, the silly names were considered cool.
  • The throwaway gags in this film are on-point.
  • The "Mystical Spider-Man" suit is cool... but not as cool as it could have been. It's pretty much just a red and gold version of his usual suit.
  • Wait... Electro knew who Peter Parker is? How was he drawn to this universe, because I'm pretty sure that was not a part of his story. And why is he a buff Jamie Foxx instead of nerdy Jamie Foxx? Even The Lizard wants to know! Alas, no answers.
  • Having JK Simmons return as J. Jonah Jamison is a fun touch. But turning him into a supplement-pushing Alex-Jones-type on a streaming video show is brilliant.
  • The concept behind "fixing" the villains before sending them back to die is a wacky one. How, exactly, does that benefit them? "Change their fate?" I guess. But it seems as though they were snatched just before they died and will return in the same point in time... to die.
  • Why is it when the heroes fight each other it's always a more interesting battle than when they fight villains? Though it's sad that The Cloak of Levitation, which was friends with Peter in Avengers: Infinity War is now forced to fight him. It is more than a little odd that magic could be defeated with... math?
  • The Lizard dishing out prophecy right here.
  • "I'll do it!" — "No way that's his girlfriend." The fact that Tom Holland and Zandaya are dating in Real Life is a hilarious dig.
  • Now this was an interesting moment that slipped by me in the theater. Electro is reacting to the power source of the fabricator... which is an Arc Reactor. That makes his little speech to The Sandman hit a lot different. And makes when he actually steal the Arc Reactor make a lot more sense. Out of all of them, he's the one you never really buy as anything except a villain. Though his "Are these your LEGO" comment is totally hilarious.
  • PLEASE come up with a way to keep Jon Favreau in the MCU.
  • Now see... this is where Willem DaFoe makes you think that he's the only guy who can play the part. He goes from Norman Osbourne to Green Goblin in disturbingly quick order.
  • Killing off Aunt May, essentially having her take the place of Uncle Ben's role in the comics with the "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility" line, is an important part of what makes the story arc for this movie work. And makes the end hit way harder. So... I get it. But boy will I miss Marissa Tomei in these films.
  • What this newfound magical ability could mean for Ned going forward is both frustrating and exciting. But, then again, they could easily let it be forgotten along with Peter Parker. Whatever the case, it's better than turning him into the Hobgoblin like they did in the comics.
  • Andrew Garfield was a great Spider-Man... a not so great Peter Parker... but that was likely not his fault since he was saddled with some shitty, shitty films. And, I gotta say, him getting a little redemption here is truly nice. He deserves it. And let me tell you, I would not be mad at all if he got another Spider-Man film or series or something.
  • Toby Maguire was a great Peter Parker... and a good Spider-Man. And his first two films were magic. But that third one? Holy crap. It's also truly nice that he got redemption with this flick. And, yeah, seeing him in another Spider-Man project would also be nice. He's so good at his role in this story.
  • As well-written and well-acted as this grief scene is, they really pushed it too hard. The entire movie stops all momentum... especially considering that you go from this to science lab stuff and even more angst.
  • The Toby Maguire Spider-Man having organic (instead of mechanical) web shooters is something I disagree with to this day. Part of what makes Spider-Man so cool is that he's smart and creative. And he came up with his trademark webs because he scienced it.
  • LOL. Lady Liberty is all decked out for honoring Captain America... and it's all thanks to Rogers: The Musical as we saw in the Hawkeye Disney+ series!
  • Spider-Men comparing notes. As I mentioned, my fear with this film was that having two additional Spider-Men would be taking away from Tom Holland's character in his movie.
  • A far, far better Electro suit than the big blue battery look in the Amazing Spider-Man 2. And the nod to his absurd comic book mask was a nice touch.
  • This Spider-Men vs. villains battle is entertaining but, again, the fight with Doctor Strange was more interesting.
  • This movie was SO well-written. And given all the things they needed to accomplish, it's a frickin' miracle.
  • I'm sure analysis was done on all the people/creatures making their way through the multiverse breach, but you really can't tell. One guy is big. Maybe it's a Thanos! He probably knows who Peter Parker is... I mean he knew Tony Stark. Or maybe it's Darkseid? (LOL!).
  • So... the entire world stops falling apart long enough for Peter to say good bye. That's nice.
  • Okay. I know that it would be easy to be all "IT'S MAGIC, OKAY!" to explain all the wild inconsistencies that were created when everybody who ever knew Peter suddenly forgets he ever existed. But it's so sloppy and messy. In the end, it's admirable how he decided to let and M.J. and Ned continue to forget him because their lives will probably be better because of it. Or, at the very least, safer. And seeing him end up exactly where the comic books had him forever will make for an interesting next chapter to be sure. But it's like... come on. I grew to really like the MCU Spider-Man. I can only hope that where they go next will make for the same great stories that this past trilogy did.
  • So where did Peter get the money to rent an apartment in New York City when he's not just broke... but doesn't exist? Or does he exist? Does he have a social security number to be able to work? I dunno. But that shiny spandex Spidey suit is pretty cool.
  • All the Spider-Man films have had flawless music choices (The Ramones was welcome and wholly unexpected). But Schoolhouse Rock? VERY cool. That it's a De La Soul version is all the better.
  • The mid-credits scene attempts to pull Sony's Venom into the MCU (albeit briefly) all the while setting up the MCU with a Venom of their own. And, I gotta say, if they bring back Tom Hardy, I wouldn't be mad at all. And, yes, that was really Dani Rojas from Ted Lasso tending bar.
  • Having the post-credits scene be a preview of a future movie is a real copout. But given that Spider-Man: No Way Home was supposed to come out after we saw Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness, I'll give them a pass.

And there you have it. The End. Of yet another spectacular Spider-Man movie in the MCU. Given that there's a new triology of films in development and Tom Holland is returning, I look forward to even more great Spider-MCU-flicks in the future.

   

LET’S WATCH… No Time to Die!

Posted on Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

Dave!IT'S LET'S WATCH A MOVIE WEEK! Where I live-blog me watching a film and comment along the way! Most of these films I watched a while back, I just wanted to hold off talking about them until more people had a chance to see them. Because of the pandemic, and all that.

Today's movie is... James Bond in No Time to Die!

No Time to Die Poster

If you haven't seen it yet, this will obviously be a spoiler-filled entry. And probably not make a lot of sense. You've been warned.

Spoiler Zone!

If you're somebody who just wants me to summarize and not have to read through the smalltalk to see how I felt, here you go: No Time to Die is a fitting film for Daniel Craig's final outing as James Bond. There's the thrilling action you'd expect, but considerable depth as well. Alas, this sometimes causes the film to drag and make it feel overly-convoluted, but ultimately it has enough going for it to do the franchise justice (even if Rami Malek is not really given the opportunity to make his mark as a Bond villain). My favorite Bond of the Craig era will always be Skyfall, but No Time to Die is second... or at least tied with Casino Royale for second. Thanks to everybody for making this last hurrah worth watching.
GRADE: B

  • If I were this little girl, I would be screaming "HOLD YOUR FUCKING HORSES, MOM! I'LL GET YOUR GLASS OF BOX-O-WINE WHEN I HAVE A MINUTE!" I can't stand abusive crap like this.
  • Daddy's business dealings are paying a visit. Dressed in cultural appropriation. Oopsies.
  • Daddy is Mr. White? Well this will not go well.
  • See.
  • Well, this little girl did not come to play! She is going to fuck up this intruder with the upmost prejudice! And even clean up the body! How sweet!
  • Yeah... always put a couple rounds in the head just to be sure. That's a mistake you generally don't get to make more than once.
  • That not one of those bullets landed in her face is pretty remarkable.
  • "We have all the time in the world." — Um. James obviously hasn't seen his old movies (in particular, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service". That's not a very smart assessment to make.
  • Vespa really did a number on poor James's heart. And that explosion really did a number on James's head! Ouchies!
  • And here's what we REALLY want in a James Bond flick... a cool action chase! At least James has the luxury of being licensed to kill and of the fuckers who mess with him.
  • I want spikey bombs installed on my car! How handy would that be?
  • Daniel Craig has the bluest blue eyes. My ovaries are melting.
  • Damn, James. People are always lying to you and out to kill you. To blame poor Madeline based on the word of people trying to kill you is pretty cold.
  • Billie Eilish is as good a choice as any for an opening theme song. But, man, it will be tough to top Adele's Skyfall any time soon. This song is okay, but needs some elevation in there somewhere to feel like Bond. Oh well. At least it's better than that horrific Sam Smith pile of shit monstrosity... the worst Bond theme of all time.
  • This is another gorgeously-filmed Bond flick. They always get top-tier directors and cinematographers.
  • =sigh= Another bioweapon plot. I understand that this is a valid and very real scenario, but isn't there anything else going on in the world? This was well-covered in films like The Rock and Mission Impossible 2.
  • Moneypenny! She was so great when she first appeared, yet we see less and less of her. and as much as I miss Judi Dench, this role is perfect for Ralph Fiennes.
  • FELIX! Yay! Looks like we're getting all the players to say goodbye to Daniel Craig! I can say without a doubt that this is my favorite actor to play the part. Jeffrey Wright owned the role from his first scene in Casino Royale. This new guy with Felix is a dick. I hope that Felix isn't retiring and we get stuck with him for future films (assuming all the parts aren't recast).
  • Nomi. No Me. I see that they are intent on continuing with the double entendres. It's tradition!
  • Lashana Lynch would be a welcome choice as a Bond Girl. But she's an exceptional pick for the new 007. The fact that it caused heads to explode around the world... A WOMAN?!? A BLACK WOMAN?!??... just makes it even better. I, for one, would have zero problem if she continues on. Less than zero. How amazing would that be?
  • Hilarious. MI6 dicks around with James, so James decides to take Felix up on his offer. And therrrrrre's Nomi! LOL!
  • ANA DE ARMAS!!!! God she's adorable. I would watch her in absolutely anything. She stole my heart in Blade Runner 2049. She was fucking magic in Knives Out, and having her appear with Daniel Craig again is fantastic. I sure hope that her future in the movies is a good one. She can do anything. There's no need to relegate her to terrible films.
  • "Three weeks training!" LOL. Give me a Paloma movie, please! But given the movie tradition of killing off Bond girls, I'd settle for her just surviving this film.
  • Ah. So it is a targeted bioweapon. Bye bye Spectre. And it looks like the new 007 is no slouch at her job! You go, Nomi! And neither is Felix's agent! You go, Paloma with your three weeks training! Damn!
  • Fuck. Yes. GIVE US A PALOMA MOVIE! She can be Nomi's new Felix! So happy that they aren't making her an incompetent screw-up. And how awesome would a friendly competition spy flick be between the two of them? The possibilities!
  • "You were excellent." Yes. Yes she was!
  • Wow. Another long movie. Only an hour in... and there's still an hour and 45 minutes left? What happened to 2 hour movies? What happened to 90 minute movies?
  • Bond should put a bullet in Felix's dumbass co-worker. Or maybe Felix will do it.
  • Oh... Ash is a bad guy. Yikes. AND OH SHIT! HE SHOT FELIX!!! Dang. I hope Felix doesn't die. Again. Haven't they killed the character once already? I remember him getting eaten by sharks in License to Kill, but I think he survived (but his wife died, of course).
  • Yep. Felix is dead. Sad. Especially since he's my favorite Felix.
  • Bond. James Bond. Complete with the theme music! I live for this shit!
  • LOL. Moneypenny and Nomi has the funniest exchange yet!
  • Okay... they made Q a gay man. Bravo. Progress. But I am willing to bet a hundred bucks that you won't see his boyfriend. Which is to say that he might as well not be gay at all. We get a reference to "him" and that's as far as it will go. To actually show him in a relationship with a man would just be bridge too far. It usually is. Even in 2022.
  • So... Q learned his lesson. Sandboxing tech from an unknown source. Good boy.
  • And... told you.
  • Will Madeline not recognize the man who killed his mom? She saw a big chunk of Safin's face, and they gave him some very recognizable and unique scars. And yet she forgot everything, I guess. — Ah. She remembers his mask though! Well that's nice.
  • NANOBOTS! Well okay then. At least they tried to make bio-weapons new! If somebody can build nanobots which would only target email spammers, the world be forever grateful.
  • Well then. Madeline is going ahead with using Nanobot Potion No. 9... so bye bye Blofeld, I guess. That's the last of Spectre.
  • Oopsies. James touched Madeline's wrist, which means now he's infected with Nanobot Potion No. 9! So cool that Christoph Waltz is making another appearance. He's perfect casting for Blofeld, I just wish that his movie could have been better. Spectre was kinda disappointing. It was tired. And haphazard. And lacking in thrills. But it was a slick entry... Waltz made it worth a watch, that's for sure.
  • This whole "Once Heracles is there, it's there forever!" angle is kinda nonsense. I mean, surely a second nanobot could be created to eliminate the first one? And how hilarious is it that Bond took a cue from Mission Impossible 2 to name their virus. The virus was "Chimera" in MI:2 (and the cure was Bellerophon).
  • Oh James. No means no. Except to him no almost always means yes, so I suppose he is unfamiliar. And let me guess... this little girl is James Bond's kid? — Except Madeline says that she's not. Which means that she most definitely is. At least James has a good sense of humor about it all. Assumably Madeline would be carrying the blue-eye gene recessively to make this possible, because her eyes are brown.
  • "We're going on an adventure, darling." Oh I'll just bet!
  • Damn! Good on you Madeline! Put a cap in his ass!
  • And here's revenge on Ash for Felix. Good. No offense to James, but I would have saved him so that I could have strangled him with my bare hands.
  • "Thank you, 007." Yes. YESSSSSS! They didn't bring in Lashana Lynch just to sideline her when things get moving!
  • The sight gag with Q's tea set is so good. They've actually given us a lot of callbacks and cool nods like this, which is appreciated.
  • Rami Malek is a talented actor and I was really looking forward to seeing how he would do as a Bond villain. To his credit, he's done a darn good job with the material he was given... he's menacing, evil, sadistic, creepy, and cruel... but he seems so underutilized. It's the villain which defines a Bond film, and it's always been that way because villains come and go while Bond is always the same (even when played by different actors). But Malek isn't really given an opportunity to make his mark. There's been no show-stopping moment. His biggest flexes so far have been showing up in a mask and taking a little girl away from her mother. Perhaps he will yet have his moment, but we're running out of time.
  • God. Just shoot this Obruchev guy so that even if you fail with the mission, Safin can't make this piece of shit construct any more designer viruses to target people.
  • Yeah. This little discussion with Safin is grinding the film to a stop. Somebody should have rethought this.
  • At last. Thank you, 007. Jesus this little Obruchev worm was annoying as fuck. I have no idea why he wasn't killed immediately. Good luck creating your master race with your balls melting off, asshole.
  • Yeah... see... this entire endgame should have been rethought. Bullets flying everywhere and I'm bored. It's all just so random and unfocused. If somebody would have tightened this up, the movie would have earned a B+ from me. But right now it's feeling more like a B or B-.
  • Though, I have to say, Bond doing it all his own way while ignoring Q's intricate plan is funny.
  • Welp. I guess we know how this is going to end.
  • See... I am so much more awful than James Bond. I would have shot Safin in the balls and let him lay there in agony while waiting for the bomb to drop.
  • And they killed James Bond. Or this iteration of James Bond, rather. I have to wonder if Daniel Craig requested this of the writers in order to come back one last time (he wanted to quit two or three movies ago). The question remains... will they start all over with a new James Bond? Or will they give Nomi a shot? Even just one shot. Give her a 007 flick and see what happens. Why not? Well, that's obvious... the status quo is where we live. Even in the movies.
  • Louis Armstrong's gorgeous song is an apt closer. While never an actual James Bond Theme, it was the defacto theme from On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
  • BUT COME ON! JUST GIVE US A NOMI AND PALOMA MOVIE! WE DESERVE THAT MUCH!!!
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LET’S WATCH… The Hating Game

Posted on Thursday, April 21st, 2022

Dave!IT'S LET'S WATCH A MOVIE WEEK! Where I live-blog me watching a film and comment along the way! Most of these films I watched a while back, I just wanted to hold off talking about them until more people had a chance to see them. Because of the pandemic, and all that.

Today's movie is one that I saw only recently... The Hating Game!

The Hating Game Poster

If you're somebody who just wants me to summarize and not have to read through the smalltalk to see how I felt, here you go: The Hating Game is darn good at being exactly what it was meant to be... a fun, clever, rom-com romp. Sure it falls into a few tropes that had me wincing, but it also has one of the most romantic things I've seen in one of these.
GRADE: A

If you haven't seen it yet, this will obviously be a spoiler-filled entry. And probably not make a lot of sense. You've been warned.

Spoiler Zone!

  • I'm just going to get this out of the way... LUCY HALE IS ONE OF THE MOST GORGEOUSLY ADORABLE WOMEN I HAVE EVER SEEN! I MEAN, DAMN!
  • The whole "I hate him until I love him" trope has been used in half the Hallmark movies ever made, so I'm excrutiatingly familiar with the concept. And while Lucy Hale alone is enough to make me want to watch this film, they better have something more than that to make this movie worth my time.
  • ADHD is real, y'all. You can hate on the guy for whatever you want, but over something he can't control? Not fair!
  • Yeah. This is going to be another one of those movies where the cast wears hugely expensive wardrobes that they couldn't possibly afford with their job.
  • Oh yeah. There's one in every office... somebody who slides through their career on the hard work of others.
  • "Birthday Turkey!" LOL. Yeah, I can tell already that Lucy Hale is going to be the reason this movie works. If she can deliver lines like this and sell it, she can deliver anything.
  • Corbin Bernsen! I've always liked him. But it was his work on Psych that made me love the guy.
  • Nothing like a little cutthroat competition to make your heart melt!
  • "Shortcake?" Rude!
  • I'm not ashamed to admit... they could have made the entire film be two hours of Lucy Hale putting on lipstick and I would watch.
  • The witty banter is on-point so far. It's approachable, clever, and doesn't grind the movie to a stop.
  • "Shrimp?" Rude!
  • Who is this guy? Austin Stowell? Do I know him? He's not new... his IMDB page is pretty respectable. But I don't recognize him from any of these works. And this just in... HE PLAYED LARRY KING IN BATTLE OF THE SEXES?!? Wow. I can only guess that it's not that Larry King. Must be a relative of Billie Jean King?
  • Sex dreams. So annoying when they're with somebody you hate.
  • LOL. Pratfalls are never the answer, but it totally works here.
  • "Sex dream? Was I in it?" Cutting right to the point. I like this guy.
  • Okay. The dialogue in this is film is worth the price of admission.
  • Lord. They really went overboard with making this design guy as dorky as possible. I can relate.
  • This movie is surprisingly well-shot. It always looks good, even in mundane scenes. And then they go and insert these beautiful establishing shots which drive it home. Cinematographer Noah Greenberg looks to have been around a while, but the only thing I've ever seen of him was his work as DP in Doom Patrol.
  • We're what... only a quarter of the way through the movie... and they've already dropped the pretense! Exciting. What does this mean for the rest of the film? I'm intrigued!
  • "Bailey's. Rocks" They are really working overtime to make poor Danny a hopeless case. Kinda lazy.
  • So. It looks like Josh is the nice guy in this scenario. Refreshing.
  • How can she afford this amazing apartment? She's a publisher's assistant in a struggling publishing company?
  • He's a Mac guy. Usually that (and sexual solidarity) would have me be all "Team Josh!" But Lucy has much better lips.
  • Lucy has an active (and violent!) imagination. I love her more now.
  • So Lucy is a total pushover... with anybody except Josh.
  • I've never been paintballing. Looks like fun, though I'd probably suck at it.
  • The number of relationships that begin when a person pukes on another person seems high. In the movies, anyway.
  • When I'm sick... especially throwing-up sick... the last thing I want is somebody taking care of me. Just leave me alone to puke in peace, thanks.
  • I can only guess that when we see Josh's place, it will be immaculately organized. The set designer knows their stuff.
  • Isn't Josh afraid of catching whatever bug she's plagued with?
  • "I like her!" Yeah, get in line, buddy.
  • The old "Younger brother gets married before the older brother is embarrassing" trope. Some people just don't want to get married (like me!) and that should be okay.
  • So... not quite half-way through and there's already a love story. Which means something is going to come along to break them up so they can get back together. Groundbreaking.
  • God. The writers really want Danny to be the worst. Mission accomplished.
  • Yeah. I hate to say it, but Josh is quickly looking too good for Lucy. THE AUDACITY!
  • He is very tall. Or she is very short.
  • Okay. I really am Team Josh. His reasoning here is spot-on. As an aside: his breath must smell incredible for him to be breathing all over her like this.
  • Oh noes. There's no chemistry at all with Danny. I never saw that coming given how he's been portrayed as somebody who is essentially not worth her time.
  • Well, shit. This would be the end of a Hallmark movie.
  • Of course his place is frickin' amazing. My dream apartment, essentially.
  • HOLY SHIT HIS APARTMENT IS INCREDIBLE!
  • Obviously they couldn't have hired a normal guy to play Josh. It had to be somebody with impossibly defined muscles.
  • "Maybe some other time?!? That's what you say when you turn down a muffin, not sex!" — I sure hope that Josh has a really good reason for not sleeping with her. Likely just trying to make him the anti-Danny. He respects her too much!
  • "Roll Tide!" — LOL.
  • Lucy really knows how to dress to accentuate those incredible eyes.
  • Ha! Mop socks! I actually considered buying them... until my over-priced hardwood ended up having slivers all over the place.
  • Oh noes. Only one room left at the inn. Didn't see that coming.
  • "No keys. Everything's unlocked." The look on Josh's face is all of us right now.
  • Yeah. They didn't hire Austin Stowell for his looks at all.
  • This soundtrack is pretty great. I will have to look up these songs and put them in a playlist.
  • No need to look at the credits. The writer is clearly a woman writing Josh to be her dream man (Whoops! IMDB says it was two women writing Josh to be their dream man).
  • I covet the end-table lamps in this hotel. Very Frank Lloyd Wright. Could even be Frank Lloyd Wright in design.
  • Ah. I get it now. Lucy's dress is Benjamin Moore Calypso Green. The sheets on the hotel bed were Benjamin Moore Calypso Green. Lucy wears Benjamin Moore Calypso Green all the time. There's Benjamin Moore Calypso Green everywhere in this movie. And Josh's apartment walls are Benjamin Moore Calypso Green. He painted his wall to match her eyes. That is hands-down one of the most romantic things I've ever seen in a rom-com. The entire movie was built around it, and that's pretty great.
  • Welp. If your sympathies weren't with Josh, they sure are now. His brother married his girlfriend. Cold.
  • The bride is incredibly beautiful. But her wedding dress is awful. The clothing designer has been so good up until now.
  • So... Josh's dad is an asshole from start to finish. And sexist to boot.
  • YEP, THERE IT IS. HE TOLD HER ABOUT THE BENJAMIN MOORE CALYPSO GREEN ON HIS WALL. DAMN. I mean, seriously. Is she ready to have his children now? Because I sure am! And the reason he calls her "Shortcake" has everything to do with strawberries and nothing to do with her height.
  • Ah. So this is where we get the breakup. The old A HORRIBLE MISUNDERSTANDING THAT COULD HAVE BEEN CLEARED UP IN FIVE SECONDS IF ONLY SHE WOULD HAVE SAID SOMETHING trope. Sigh.
  • Danny. In Benjamin Moore Calypso Green pants. Doesn't hit the same as painting your wall though. Nice try, Danny.
  • Josh is confused. And you just know that there is a good explanation for what was said. I mean, I know that this probably happens in Real Life, but it's so lazy.
  • I dunno, Lucy. This presentation concept sounds like a terrible idea. Writing by committee (especially with fans at large) doesn't seem like it would work well at all.
  • It took the entire move for Lucy to realize that Josh is "The Nice Guy?" Kinda clueless of you, Lucy.
  • Once again with the soundtrack. Oh interesting. Two of the songs I liked most were both by "Dagny." Never heard of her before. Cool!
  • Okay. The final line of the movie is perfect. Sometimes that's all it takes to push a film over the top for me. Grade: A.

Benjamin Moore Calypso Green...

Lucy standing in front of the Calypso Green wall in her Calypso Green dress!

Not the best match to her eyes, but still a great part of the story.

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LET’S WATCH… Death on the Nile

Posted on Friday, April 22nd, 2022

Dave!IT'S LET'S WATCH A MOVIE WEEK! Where I live-blog me watching a film and comment along the way! Most of these films I watched a while back, I just wanted to hold off talking about them until more people had a chance to see them. Because of the pandemic, and all that.

Today's movie is ... Death on the Nile!

Death on the Nile Poster

If you're somebody who just wants me to summarize and not have to read through the smalltalk to see how I felt, here you go: The 1978 film, Death on the Nile, is a far, far superior adaptation in every possible way (it's one of my favorite films ever). This new version is lazy, sloppy, and makes changes for the sake of making changes so that everything is about Hercule Poroit, not because they in any way improve the story. In short... go watch the Peter Ustinov original. It's amazing in ways that this version will never be.
GRADE: C-

If you haven't seen it yet, this will obviously be a spoiler-filled entry (I TOTALLY REVEAL THE MURDERER!). And probably not make a lot of sense. You've been warned.

Spoiler Zone!

  • Okay. We're using a de-aged Kenneth Branagh to show that he has always been hyper-observant. Interesting.
  • Ah. This entire pre-story exposition... ten whole minutes of scree-time... was to explain... HOW POIROT GOT HIS MUSTACHE?!? REALLY?!? Lord. And holy shit is this special effect close-up of the side of his face bad. His ear is hyper-focused while everything else is blurry? Takes me right out of the scene.
  • They're correcting a bit of a continuity error here. In the previous movie (Murder on the Orient Express) they said he was going to solve a murder mystery in Egypt. But that couldn't have been "Death on the Nile" because it wasn't a mystery he was called to solve, it was a mystery he ended up in the middle of. So they offhand-mention a different murder in Egypt that he solved.
  • Welp. They made Salome Otterbourne a musician instead of a writer. How in the hell will this play into her being a suspect now? Her whole deal was that she was being sued for defamation by the murder victim! WHY? HOW? Note that Otterbourne was played by the incomparable Angela Lansbury in the first film. She gave it 1000% and is one of the best parts of the movie.
  • This must be the last movie from Armie Hammer before he got cancelled? I always liked him as an actor. No idea he had a canibalism fetish, allegedly.
  • Gal Gadot as Linnet Ridgeway. In the original film, she was played flawlessly by Lois Chiles (who was famous as Bond-Girl Dr. Holly Goodhead in Moonraker).
  • All of this stuff with Poirot (now it's him being impulsive-compulsive over the number of desserts on his table?) is not important to the story... so why?
  • Jackie in the original was played by Mia Farrow and she was flawless in the role. Jackie ends up being driven mad (though not really) and Farrow totally got into in.
  • They really ripped away a huge chunk of Poroit's face as an excuse as to why he has such an elaborate mustache. Except his mustache wouldn't cover that big of a wound... nor would there be hair follicles to allow it, I think. So once again, what's the point of it all?
  • The pyramids are actually right at the edge of Cairo (not out in the middle of the dessert as is often thought), which means they had to go back in time with a CGI representation here. Gorgeous.
  • So... they're going to replace Colonel Race with Bouc (from the previous movie) in some kind of wild coincidence they they both happen to be at the Great Pyramid at the same time? Well, I do like Tom Bateman, but this is a really heavy-handed way to get him into the story. And of course Bouc is friends with Linnet Ridgeway and that's why he's in Egypt. Wow. This is bad. But they did get Annette Benning to play his mom, so I guess that's something.
  • In the first movie, they transitioned from Linnet meeting Jacquie's fiancé Simon... to Linnet and Simon's wedding in a smash-cut that was brilliant in execution.
  • So the socialist is not some young idealistic man as in the first film, but Jennifer Saunders? Who is wealthy? And has Dawn French as a caregiver? In the original film, there was a casting coup by getting Bette Davis to play this character (but not as a socialist, instead she was a bitter old wealthy woman that liked to torture her caregiver WHO WAS PLAYED BY DAME MAGGIE SMITH!)
  • And here's Bouc with an absurdly stupid monologue to explain the cast (and future murder suspects). This is so lazy. The original film managed this is a much more organic way. Of course, they've gone and made the relationships between characters a hell of a lot more intricate and unnecessary this time, so I guess they pretty much had to do it this way.
  • Cousin Andrew the corrupt lawyer was played by George Kennedy in the original. Heaven only knows how they will alter the character in this film.
  • So Rosalie, Salome Otterbourne's daughter, was a classmate of Linnet, and is now Salome Otterbourne's niece AND manager? I guess that's one way to make the part large enough to get Leticia Wright willing to play it.
  • And they've replaced Jack Warden as Doctor Besner with Russell Brand. And made him an ex-fiancé for Linnet? Lord, this is more convoluted than the British Royal family.
  • And heeeeeere's Jacquie. They are going for more of a slow-burn crazy this time instead of the manic crazy that Mia Farrow brought to the role last time.
  • I can only guess that the reason they wanted to use the wedding honeymoon on the Nile as an excuse to get everybody on the boat was to avoid comparison to the way they got everybody onto the train in Murder on the Orient Express. BUT THAT CHANGES THE STORY! Argh. They are making everything way too complicated and silly. And that's despite the fact that they are a lot more serious than the first movie was.
  • This whole pageantry crap with Gal Gadot adds nothing to the story. So what is it for? It's like they are removing the stuff that made the mystery Mae sense for crap that doesn't matter.
  • And they're finally on the Nile. In the original Agatha Christie novel, they provide a literal map at the front that shows you how all the cabins were arranged. It was critical to understanding how the murder(s) happened. The boat was a rather small, intimate affair. Unlike the massive riverboat
  • Kids playing in the river as the boat heads out. A striking difference to the kids who moon Bette Davis with their bare asses in the first film.
  • They actually had to write a scene where Linnet has to explain to Poroit that she doesn't feel safe with anybody on the boat. Lazy as hell. In the first movie it was far more subtle, which made the murder a bit more interesting.
  • Corrupt lawyer Cousin Andrew is the same in both movies. But this time, it's Rosalie who warns her about signing the contracts IN THE MOST RANDOM WAY POSSIBLE. In the first movie it was Colonel Race, and his entire reason for being on the trip was because he was asked by Linnet's British lawyers to keep an eye on the American lawyer, who couldn't be trusted.
  • Wait. Salome Otterbourne is going to be a romantic interest for Poirot? What the hell? AND HER NIECE ROSALIE IS IN A SECRET RELATIONSHIP WITH BOUC?!? BECAUSE OF COURSE SHE IT! THIS MOVIE CAN'T FUCKING HELP ITSELF!
  • Annette Benning is missing her carmine red paint. I can already tell that they are changing yet another part of the murder. It's nuts that a critical clue would be altered like this.
  • More idiotic distraction between Poroit and Salome Otterbourne that in no way services the story in any capacity.
  • SPOILER ALERT: THE MURDERER REVEALED HERE! The entire point of the murder was for Simon to inherit Linnet's money and go back to marrying Jacquie so they can both be rich. In the first movie, the giant block that fell nearly killed both Linnet and Simon. But in this version, SIMON LITERALLY SAVES HER LIFE BY PULLING HER OUT OF THE PATH OF BEING CRUSHED? HOW DOES THIS EVEN MAKE ANY FUCKING SENSE?!? HE SAVES HER SO HE CAN MURDER HER LATER? It's like... I don't even know what to think of this any more. Why not just push her into the path of the stone? This is dumb.
  • Absolutely nothing from Russell Brand's Dr. Besner. I guess once they announced that he was engaged to Linnet, his motive has been made and that's the end of it..
  • And when it comes to Louise, there was one offhand comment about her once being engaged. But her entire motive is missing. In the original film, Linnet was shown to be an awful person. It was no wonder she was murdered. The reason her maid, Louise, hated her was because Linnet refused a dowry because she had the fiancé investigated and didn't like what she found.
  • God. Then they make Poroit a creeper who takes Rosalie's journal. Something that was not a mistake. And the only reason he would have done that was to learn more about her aunt. STALKER MUCH? And it's like... WHY?!?
  • This movie would rather spend time doing anything except advancing the murder plot along. What does Poroit's tragedy have to do with anything? Anything at all? They could have been developing characters and foreshadowing murder motives. But nope!
  • "You were the only one who never cared about the money." Which is true I think. But boy did Simon care about the money.
  • This whole performance-as-an-alibi ordeal is entirely over-the-top, and yet it's understated compared to the original movie? How did THAT happen?
  • Russell Brand gets to speak!
  • And now, half-way though the movie, the murder finally happens. Gotta get their money's worth out of Gal Gadot's paycheck, I guess. Maybe it only seemed like it happened earlier in the first movie?
  • Simon's a great actor. He's even fooling the great Hercule Poirot!
  • So here we are... panning across all the suspects... and yet there's nothing to make you believe that any of them actually did it. In the original film, you have reason to believe that all of them were capable of killing her by now. AS IT SHOULD BE! This is awful.
  • See... and here we are finding out after the fact that people have motive to kill Linnet. And being sloppy about it. Poirot is drawing attention to Louise's story in a way that spoils a future plot point. The interrogation of Dr. Besner and his absurd past relationship with Linnet (it feels tacked-on BECAUSE IT IS).
  • WHAT. THE. FUCK? They are not doing reenactments to show how each person could have been the murderer? THAT'S THE BEST PART! It makes the viewer feel as though anybody could have been the murderer, because that's the way the story was designed! The first movie was absolutely masterful at the reenactments, which made it a truly great adaptation. This is absurd. The movie has gone from a C to a C- now.
  • Jennifer Sunders is Linnet's goddaughter? AND her servant Dawn French is her lover? How progressive to retroactively add lesbians to Agatha Christie's story.
  • So... Salome's motive for murder... is that when Linnet was a little girl she got her kicked out of the pool for being Black? At least they dismissed it immediately with the truth. If Salome Otterbourne were to kill everybody who was racist against her, she'd be a mass-murderer.
  • Gawd. In the original movie Bette Davis coveted Linnets pearl necklace, and her motivation for murder was to steal them. Her murder reenactment is LEGEND. This movie utterly fails in this. The necklace is found in in Annette Benning's stuff. In the original they were found on Linnet's corpse. SO much more dramatic!
  • Okay then. Poroit was not back in Egypt to spy on his old friend Bouc at the request of his mother Annette Benning. And that's why he took Leticia Wright's diary. Well, I suppose that's a little better. Not quite so stalkerish.
  • Louise is dead. And though her trajectory and purpose in the story is the same, they really sabotaged the impact of it by having Poroit draw attention to it before the story needed to. Yet another pity in a long line of pity.
  • Fight! Fight! Unnecessary fight! And an unnecessary flashback for Poroit. Eyeroll.
  • And now Bouc is a suspect. This is just absurd. In the original movie Colonel Race was a support system and sounding board to Poroit throughout the investigation. What we have here is just nonsense. Poroit is mad at Bouc for lying to him about finding Linnet dead and stealing the necklace and witnessing Louise's murder and not telling him about it. Which is a heck of a take given how Poroit was only there to spy on him and had been lying to him the entire time.
  • They killed Bouc! Guess that Tom Bateman won't be in any more sequels. This is just rubbish. More drama to heap on Poroit instead of focusing on the story. In the original film, it was Salome Otterbourne who witnessed Louise's murder and got shot... square in the middle of her forehead! I can't believe how utterly bonkers this version of the story is.
  • God. Overly-dramatic much? Locking everybody in the room and stopping the ship so Poroit can have his moment? This just keeps getting worse and worse.
  • They kept Cousin Andrew as the guy who pushed the giant block on Linnet... only for her to be saved by Simon. But it plays as absolute nonsense this time around.
  • In the original film, Simon used Linnet's red nail polish to fake blood from being shot. This time it was Annette Benning's paint. In the original this provided a clue. But in this movie? I have no idea. Sloppy. Why change something that works? And the bloody "J" that was left at the murder scene is absent this time around, which drops a cool point... THE ENTIRE WAY THAT THE MURDER WAS COMMITTED WAS TO THROW ALL SUSPICION ON JAQUIE SINCE SHE HAD AN AIR-TIGHT ALIBI!
  • Now making the focus of the murder reveal be... Poroit with this emotion over Bouc? This movie didn't think ANYTHING through, did it?
  • Ugh. Even the murder/suicide was handled so much better in the first movie. I've replayed the scene several times, and her arm suddenly ending up aimed at both of them through Simon's back never lines up. It all makes no sense. And would such a tiny gun/bullet even penetrate both of them like this? In the original, Jacquie shoots Simon, pays her respects to Poroit, then shoots herself. It was so much more satisfying. This was just so... meh.
  • SO AWKWARD. Everybody has to make an awkward pause while disembarking so they can have a moment with Poroit. And we're robbed of Bette Davis and her classic line "This boat is beginning to resemble a mortuary!"
  • And since this movie is all about Poroit instead of the mystery, here he is pining away over Salome Otterbourne... clean-shaven! And, yep, no way his mustache was covering that. I can only guess that Salome Otterbourne will be murdered in the next movie and drive the plot with an angsty Poroit, who grows his mustache back. Because why not? These films are all about Poroit, and the murders themselves are incidental.
  • Ugh. This movie should probably be graded a D because it's such a step down from the 1978 version... but it did have a great cast and excellent visuals, so I guess a C- it shall be.
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Bullet Sunday 761

Posted on Sunday, May 8th, 2022

Dave!It only seems as though we're descending into a hells cape from which there's no escape, but don't let that get you down... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Water! Looks amazing, as we knew it would...

And no Paparus font to be found!

But the real question is... Will it have a decent story? Time will tell.

   
• KHAAAAAAN! Couldn't agree more...

It was so masterfully done that few other movies have managed to top it... despite there being a huge advancement in special effects since the movie was made.

   
• Virgin?! During the boring, irrelevant bits of The Offer (of which there are MANY), I have been running through the latest TikTok meme. It's glorious. They have a bunch of geeks ridiculing their own hobbies and lives with the "ARE YOU A VIRGIN?" sound (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@mattwhets #duet with @jurassicah they didn’t let me show my handmade fantasy map pottery #writertok #fanatsy #booktok #writer ♬ original sound - jurassicah

These are my people! I just love people who have a sense of humor about themselves.

   
• New Julia! Much to my happiness, it was announced that HBO Max has renewed Julia for a second season. If you haven't seen it yet, it's a series exploring Julia Child's early days as a television star, and it's gold...

This is a show that you really just don't want to end. And now we know that it isn't over just yet.

   
• Thor Four More Thor! I'll bet everybody who was mouthing off over Natalie Portman not being buff enough to play Thor are feeling pretty silly right now...

Jane Foster as Thor and Thor Odinson as Thor!

This looks fantastic, and I cannot wait to see what Taika Waititi has done this time around.

   
• Cosigned! Yeah, pretty much this...

It is fucking horrific that Roe vs. Wade is set to be overturned... and this is coming from somebody who personally doesn't endorse abortion outside of cases of rape, incest, or the health of the mother being endangered. But, for the millionth time, my personal feelings have no fucking bearing whatsoever on what somebody else chooses for themselves... and neither do the feelings of legislators and members of the fucking Supreme Court.

   
• BRAINS! Well here's something you should not watch before going to bed...

And, if you did, sleep tight!

   
And now I'm going to bed. AT LEAST I HOPE SO!

   

LEELOO DALLAS MULTIPASS!

Posted on Wednesday, May 11th, 2022

Dave!It's no secret that one of my favorite movies of all time is The Fifth Element.

And this is the 25th anniversary year, believe it or not.

I can't even imagine how many times I've seen this film. At least two dozen. And I love it more with each new viewing. It's beautiful. It's visionary. It's a really good story. And now Milla Jovovich is talking about her part in it all to Vogue...

And now I just want to watch it yet again for the millionth time.

A part of me is glad that they never made a sequel.

A bigger part of me would really have liked to have gotten one.

   

Bullet Sunday 761

Posted on Sunday, May 15th, 2022

Dave!You can't keep a good blogger down, even in the middle of your blog not allowing you to upload images for some reason... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• WAAAAAHH! The bastards at CBS canceled Magnum P.I.. The show's first season was incredible. The second nearly as good. They faltered a bit in the third season, but rebound beautifully in the fourth (and now final) season. What's interesting is that the final episode tied up a few things and answered a question which everybody had since the beginning... will Magnum and Higgins ever get together?

Magnum and Higgins walking and smiling.

What's so shitty about all this is that Magnum P.I. was a fairly sold performer. Not stellar, but more successful than some of the stuff which gets renewed. Guess CBS is dedicating themselves to another shitty reality show that they can buy for cheap and cancel after a year. Well, duly noted. The entire cast was gold, I can't wait to see where they end up next.

   
• Lost! Okay... maybe it's the Hallmark fan in me, but I really liked this one! Lost City is funny, adventurous, and surprisingly sweet...

The Lost City Movie Poster

Everybody went all-in on their roles. Sandra Bullock, Daniel Radcliffe, Brad Pitt, all great... but it was Channing Tatum who completely owned his character. He was unafraid to play dumb as a box of rocks, and I loved it. If you see the movie (on Paramount+, the worst of the worst of streaming services), be sure to watch the credits for a scene that's pretty great.

   
• Remo! Fred Ward, Star of The Right Stuff, Tremors, Dies at 79. Except Fred Ward will forever be Remo Williams to me...


Though having Joel Grey play Korean will always be cringe.

And he was a big part of why Big Business ended up working as well as it did...

Fred Ward and Lily Tomlin in Big Business

There were other roles, of course. The guy did great work for a long time. Rest In Peace, sir.

   
• Heartstopper! This actually is hope...

@merrowchild At this point, who's isn't reading #heartstopper ?! #waterstones #shortstory #booksellerlife #aliceoseman #merrowchild #retailstories ♬ Heartstopper - Adiescar Chase

Kids are going to believe whatever they're taught to believe. But access to information is easier than ever, and sometimes the truth wins out.

   
• Fruit! When I was a kid, my mom used to pack little tins of Dole fruit in my lunch. Now, of course, they've switched to plastic like everything else. But here's the problem... there is no way... NO WAY AT ALL... to open these little containers without juice pouring out everywhere...

I've been douched by pear juice.

I have tried everything. Usually I go to the sink to open them, but when I'm trapped on a call and can't leave, I have to open it here. This is me trying to be my most careful when opening my pears... FUCKERS!!! Now I look like I had an accident in the bathroom or something.

   
• Moose! YESSSSSS! WHY IS THIS NOT AVAILABLE IN THE US?

Mayo Mousse. Genius.

   
I'm guessing eventually I'll figure out how to post this. Probably.

   

Bullet Sunday 762

Posted on Sunday, May 22nd, 2022

Dave!The sun may be shining outside where I'm at, but I'm not out enjoying it as I should be... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Breakfast! The season finale of Saturday Night Live was fairly mediocre... despite having Natasha Lyonne hosting and great send-offs for Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, and Pete Davidson (and apparently Kyle Mooney is leaving as well?). HOWEVER... it introduced me to Japanese Breakfast, a band I never knew existed but fell in love with immediately. This has to be one of my favorite SNL performances ever...


Kate McKinnon waves good bye.

   
• The Valet! I'm a huge fan of Eugenio Derbez, and his new movie The Valet on Hulu is great. At first I worried that it wasn't taking advantage of his talents, but boy did he bring it in the end...

Worth your valuable time. And we're also getting a second season of his show "Acapulco," which is something else you should be watching.

   
• Baymax! My favorite animated character since Stitch from Lelo & Stitch and Sully from Monsters, Inc. has his own show...

And how great is it that they kept the other characters from Big Hero 6 to be in it as well?

   
• Umbrella Academy 3! I've been in awe at just how good the Netflix adaptation of the Umbrella Academy comics have been... actually improving on the material in some ways. And now we're at Season 03 and it's looking as cool and bonkers as ever...

With Netflix being an absolute shit-show as of late, and their tradition of killing shows after 2 or 3 seasons, I'm more than a little worried about getting Season 04.

   
• She-Hulk! This is what happens when a show looks like it has a very good chance of exceeding your expectations. People of earth, I give you She-Hulk: Attorney at Law...

   
• Marvel! And now that Ms. Marvel is nearly upon us, Marvel Studios is giving us a bigger taste of what's to come...

I. Cannot. Wait.

If nothing else, casting Tatiana Maslany in the lead is 100% pure win.

   
• Heartstopper Redux! And lastly, the news I've been waiting for ever since I watched the show... Netflix has renewed Heartstopper for two seasons...

Announcement of Heartstopper's renewal on Netflix by Netflix.

While this is incredible news... had they waited any longer, the actors would be getting too old to play their characters... it's also a bit disappointing. From my estimation, they'll need four seasons to get through all the graphic novel material which has defined Nick & Charlie's relationship, so why not renew for three? And boy oh boy do I hope that they fold in more material for Charlie's sister, Tori (or, better yet) give her a series of her own and adapt Solitaire). In any event, not all the news coming out of Netflix is bad, it seems.

   
And now I need to get outside and tie up some of my flowers before they take over my yard!

   

Access Denied, Hacker Scum!

Posted on Monday, May 23rd, 2022

Dave!As you may (or may not) have noticed, my blog wasn't updating this past week-and-a-half.

I continued to write as I always do, but when I went to post anything to the site, Blogography returned an error saying that my "connection had been refused." I automatically assumed that my WordPress installation was borked because it keeps happening with increasing regularity.

But this time it wasn't WordPress's fault.

Eventually I figured out that the VPN node I had been using to access the internet was the same node used by somebody trying to hack my blog. When my security plugin on WordPress detected the attempt, it blacklisted the IP address. When I switched to a different VPN node, I was able to post everything that had been stacked up.

What are the odds?

This does have me concerned that people who use VPNs (and, seriously, everybody should be using VPNs) are going to have increasing difficulties attempting to reach content on the internet.

And where would the internet be without Blogography?

Far, far worse off, I'd imagine.

And, oh yeah... the trailer for the new Mission: Impossible movie dropped today! It looks bonkers cool!

This entire franchise has had some great stories. And the stunts are incredible. Can't wait!

   

An Offer You Can’t Refuse

Posted on Tuesday, May 24th, 2022

Dave!I've been watching a series, The Offer, on Paramount+. It's about the making of The Godfather with all the crazy shenanigans that went on behind the scenes. It's a hot bloated mess of a series which has, at most, 6 episodes worth of material that's been dragged out to ten episodes (seven of which have aired). But the stuff that's actually relevant is entertaining enough to maintain my interest, so I endure.

The biggest surprise of the show has been who they got to play Marlon Brando... Alex Karev from Grey's Anatomy! I haven't watched the show since Season 02, so it took me a minute to recognize him, but he did a darn good job in an impossible role... so much respect to Justin Chambers.

Watching the series naturally lead to me to rewatching the entire The Godfather trilogy because I just can't help myself. I've seen them all a dozen times, but they're films I can watch over-and-over, and so I do.

The Godfather...
...is a problematic movie featuring time jumps that are glossed over quite badly, resulting in a choppy mess. It also has some violence that's almost comical in implementation. But then it has some of the most mind-bogglingly fantastic performances ever committed to celluloid. Say what you want about Marlon Brando, but he was glorious in his every moment on-screen. And then there's Al Pacino with his riveting, star-making role that culminated in one of the best finales of any film ever made.

The Godfather, Part II...
...is equally problematic in that the dual-narative structure, while ambitious, was better in concept than implementation. That being said, I love it every bit as much as the first film. The cinematography and set decoration create a lush, gorgeous world for the characters to inhabit, and are almost as memorable as the characters. Pacino's cold and calculating take on Michael Corleone is about as compelling as it gets. And De Niro's performance is flawless from the moment he walks on the screen.

Young Vito Corleone comes to America.

The Godfather, Part III...
...in the interest of full disclosure, I was not a fan of this film when it debuted in 1990. Some nutty story beats married to an abysmal performance by Sofia Coppola in a key role plus Robert Duvall's absence left me cold. It was an unsatisfying conclusion to the trilogy. Over the years it's grown on me, however. I love the way the ending harkens back to the first film (with Connie, a character I couldn't stand in the first two films playing a satisfying part), and the way that Michael watches his world spin out of control while he's helpless to do much about it. While I don't think it's in the same league as the first films, it doesn't diminish them in any way, so I've made my peace with it.

There was a rumor that they were planning on picking up the movies again, but focusing on Vincent (Andy Garcia) as the next generation of Corleone. While I think that a film focusing on a hot-headed Don who wanted to watch the world burn could have been interesting, I'm grateful that it never happened though. The time frame for these films had passed and the only reason to go on would be to exploit a great franchise for the money instead of anything creative.

Not that this has ever stopped Hollywood in the past, of course.

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Bullet Sunday 763

Posted on Sunday, May 29th, 2022

Dave!A three day weekend (for a lot of us here in the good ol' U.S. of A. isn't even the best thing to look forward to this fine Sunday... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• You're Our Only Hope! I was not expecting the world from the new Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+, even though it was focusing on one of the best parts of the shitty Star Wars prequels. But, then again, The Mandalorian proved that it could be good if they wanted it bad enough...

Obi-Wan Kenobi Poster

Well, apparently they did want it bad enough, because the show is looking darn good from the first two (or six) episodes which have aired. I don't want to spoil a single frame, as I was careful to not learn too much about it before it started running. Suffice to say that the premise for the series is not what I expected, despite being a very good one (and kinda obvious). Even if you've given up on Star Wars, this might be worth a look.

   
• More Hope? This past week was Star Wars Celebration, the annual lovefest for A Galaxy Far, Far Away. The most interesting thing to come out of it was the trailer for Andor, which I've been anticipating for what seems like an eternity...

Looks great, doesn't it?

   
• Mavericky! Top Gun is one of those seminal 80's films that I have seen multiple times since first seeing it in the theater. When they came out with a sequel: Top Gun: Maverick I kept my expectations in check, because it seemed absurd that they could possibly have more to say. Or at least not enough to warrant a sequel. But it was actually quite good despite covering a lot of the same territory. This is largely thanks to very cool practical fighter plane shots which were far better than a bunch of CGI special effect shots could have ever been...

Tom Cruise in a fighter plane cockpit.

Tom Cruise was... well... Tom Cruise. Jennifer Connelly was good as she always is. And Miles Teller, who hasn't impressed me much in anything he's ever done, inhabited his role as the son of Goose in a way that really made you believe he could be the son of Meg Ryan and Anthony Edwards. Do I think it was risk getting COVID to go see? Probably not. But it should have no problem making my best-of list for 2022 because of the huge dose of retro thrills it provides.

   
• Thanks, Jims! While there's a lot of attention being focused on Obi-Wan Kenobi, Top Gun: Maverick, and the return of Stranger Things, I can tell you right now that the entertainment to beat is Shoresy. Based on the unseen (but not unheard) hockey-playing character from Letterkenny, it's a fantastic (and very funny) look at "the dirtiest player in the game"...

The cast of Shoresy with their missing teeth in a lockeroom.

If you're a Letterkenny fan, this is a no-brainer. But even if you aren't this is nice diversion from the horrors of the real world.

   
• Fletch! I was very sad to hear that Andrew "Fletch" Fletcher from Depeche Mode had died. As one of my all-time favorite bands, I've collected all their music and have seen them in concert a half-dozen times. Rest in Peace, sir...

Tom Cruise in a fighter plane cockpit.

   
• Less Strange? And speaking of Stranger Things... I'm more than a little disappointed in Season 04. Each episode is bloated in a bad way, focusing more on distraction, filler, and "side-quests" than the show I was hoping to tune in for. And it's like why? Why deviate from what made the show so darn good in Seasons 01-03? I guess everybody wanted a bigger paycheck and the only way to get it was to film more material? I dunno. The show isn't exactly bad... but I'm really hoping they stick the landing in the final two episodes in five weeks to make this time investment worthwhile.

   
• Subway. This video from Last Week Tonight is fascinating stuff. And you OWE it to yourself to watch the Korean Meatball Drama at the end! Glorious...

The fact that Subway knew that Jared was a kid-raping pedophile and ignored it so he could keep selling their sandwiches means that they can fuck off forever. Interesting to note that Kidfuckers is the ONLY chain restaurant in my small town, which is just further evidence that they do indeed push their franchises to the breaking point and put them everywhere.

   
Until next Sunday then...

   

The Sandman Cometh…

Posted on Monday, June 6th, 2022

Dave!One of my favorite comic books of all time is Alpha Flight... in particular the Vol. 3 version by Scott Lobdell and Clayton Henry. Their story would be a perfect fit for a really good Disney+ series, so I keep hoping that one day they will show up.

And they really should, because I think Canadians would appreciate seeing their own super-group brought to life...

Jenny flopped over showing her belly.

Another of my favorite comic books... The Sandman has already been developed as a series for Netflix, and it looks very good indeed. The visuals are highly reminiscent of the source material...

Needless to say I'm quite excited about seeing it, and August 5th seems a long time away.

Fortunately, we've got Ms. Marvel coming in two days, Thor: Love and Thunder coming July 8th, and Season 04 of What We Do in The Shadows coming on July 12th to help occupy our time until August...

Also? The sequel to one of my favorite comic book adaptations ever, The Old Guard, starts filming this month... assumably for release in 2023 some time. But before that? She-Hulk: Attorney at Law debuts on August 17th, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever coming November 11th, and Nick Fury's Secret Invasion (assumably) shortly thereafter!

An exciting time to be a comic book nerd, that's for sure.

   

Bullet Sunday 765

Posted on Sunday, June 12th, 2022

Dave!It's another cold and rainy Sunday, but I'm not letting it get me down... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• More Bargains! ZOMFG! Keith, Evan, and Shea are back with more Bargain Block! Easily my favorite home renovation show, I was thrilled that it was renewed for a second season... and would subscribe to discovery+ just to watch this one program!

It will be interesting to see how the concept of the show has to change to meet with rising house prices. The entire show was built around the idea of taking homes so trashed that they could be bought for almost nothing and turning them around. But now even trashed houses cost money.

   
• RITZOREO? What the-?!?

Why? I'm not going to say it's terrible because I haven't tried it... but this just looks like a complete disaster. Even so, if I see these I will buy them.

   
• Strange! If the new Thor and Black Panther films weren't being released this year, this would be the movie I most want to see...

There needs to be more science fiction animated films. Let me restate that... there needs to be more good science fiction animated films. Hopefully this is good and performs well so we get more.

   
• Welp! This is actually kinda scary.

But what isn't scary now-a-days?

   
• Smart! Hacks fell apart for me in the second season. It just kinda meandered around, and the "life" that the first season excelled at felt more sporadic. But boy oh boy did they stick the landing on the last episode of this season. It really has me hoping that HBO Max picks it up for a third season, because the way it ended felt final... but actually opens up some interesting avenues for all the characters...

Plus... Jean Smart.

   
• Ouch! As a huge fan of Ben Wishaw, I was compelled to watch his latest series This is Going to Hurt. He plays a London doctor working in the gynecology department in a busy NHS hospital. It has graphic depictions of medical procedures that are tough to watch. The way that women get ripped into for caesarean births is unbelievably rough... almost violent. But even a straightforward birth looks double-tough. From this perspective, it's probably a good idea for men to watch this show and gain a new perspective on what women go through giving birth. It's probably NOT a good idea, however, for expectant mothers to watch this. Because... damn!

I honestly don't know how Ben Wishaw makes his roles look so effortless... even when they are wildly complex like this one is.

   
• Happy Tenth! This past week marked the tenth anniversary of my first tattoo! I had wanted a cartoon skull and crossbones tattoo forever, and the first drawing I made of it was 26 years before it was actually inked. The only thing I changed from my original drawing was that I made it bolder with much thicker lines because I didn't want it to look like something I could cover up easily. I never once changed my mind about what I wanted in 26 years, so I was committed and didn't want to half-ass it...

Dave's Tat

One of these days I really need to get back to San Francisco for another tattoo. I have zero regrets on any work I've had done, and my only true regret is that I didn't start getting tattooed earlier so I'd have more ink on me.

   
And on that happy note... hope your weekend was a good one now that it's almost over.

   

Thor Four: More Thor Again

Posted on Monday, June 13th, 2022

Dave!The film I am most looking forward to this year? Thor: Love and Thunder.

What Taika Waititi did with Thor in Ragnarok still boggles my mind. It was completely new and fresh... yet respected Jack Kirby's aesthetic in a retro way that was thrilling to watch. It was also funny in smart way that didn't turn the characters and story into a joke. To accomplish all that requires somebody with massive vision and talent. And now Taika is back with this...

So... yeah. Might be worth risking whatever new COVID variant is out there to see this one in the theater.

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Bullet Sunday 766

Posted on Sunday, June 19th, 2022

Dave!Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there! As for me? I don't get to celebrate being a cat-dad... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Tokio! I first heard of the German band Tokio Hotel years ago when I was in Italy, I think. They were getting some notice from their debut album Schrei (probably because they were so young when they recorded it). It's a dang good album if you like hard rock. Fast-forward to yesterday and I happened across a new song from them called When We Were Younger which was quite surprising for three reasons. 1) It's in English. 2) It's pure pop. 3) It's actually really good, and I've been playing it on repeat for a day now...

Great, right? But it's the end where they say "Together since 2001" where it kinda gets you. All those photos are of the band as kids... essentially growing up before your eyes...

Tokio Hotel as kids!

Tokio Hotel as kids!

I love stuff like this.

   
• Smooth! Welp. Cooper Raiff has 1000% done it again. How he manages to not take the easy or expected route... but still manages to create such satisfying movies is beyond me. All this and he's actually a really good actor on top of of being an exceptional writer and director. The setup for Cha Cha Real Smooth is like films you've seen dozens of times before... and yet the payoff is so much better because it's not like films you've seen dozens of times before. You end up feeling completely different about some characters at the end than you did in the beginning, and that takes true talent to accomplish because most times when this is attempted it just feels so fake and unearned.

In both Shithouse and Cha Cha Real Smooth there's that one scene which really crushes you. And in Cha Cha Real Smooth you never see it coming. Really looking forward to whatever Cooper Raiff does next.

   
• She's a Beauty! Well, you are (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@callmegrand

You are beautiful❤️ from “Man of the World”

♬ Sunroof - Nicky Youre & dazy

Ukrainian and Czech are close enough to Russian that I got those. I haven't studied Japanese in forever, but that one was easy. I thought I would have had a shot at Chile, Puerto Rico, and Spain... but the only other one I got was USA!

   
• Raise the Roof! I've never been to The Palace theater in New York City. But I have stayed at The Doubletree hotel that was built around it. I had read a while ago that they were planning on doing something extraordinary... raise The Palace 30 feet in the air so they can build a new hotel and entertainment complex around it. That's now been completed, and how they went about it is fascinating...

I'm not a "Broadway guy" but I admit to wanting to see how this all works out. It all looks pretty darn incredible.

   
• Oh Jodie! I missed the entire last season of Graham Norton because Philo didn't record it. On the episode I'm watching now, Coldplay is singing "My Universe" (with a cool BTS video background) and it's great. BUT THE BEST PART is that Coldplay super-fan Jodie Whittaker from Doctor Who was on the show, and this happened...

After it was over, they went back to the couch and Jodie mentioned that she has her alarm set for next week so she can try to get tickets for when Coldplay is playing Wembley. Well, needless to say, Jodie now has tickets to go to see ColdPlay. And it will be one of the greatest missed opportunities ever if they don't get her on stage!

   
• Seriously? BWAH HA HA HA HAAAAA! no.

   
• This time... There's a very good sleight of hand magician on TikTok named Mat Franco who is constantly having to re-do his tricks because people believe that he's not being honest about what he's doing. Like this one, for example (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@matfrancomagic Reply to @everythingballard ♬ original sound - Mat Franco

And here we go again (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@matfrancomagic Reply to @dembirdsbedirty ♬ nhạc nền - AK乂Duty

Fortunately, the guy is patient enough to keep humoring everybody. But you'd think that eventually people would just enjoy the show.

   
• Pixar! I responded to a meme where people were ranking all the Pixar films. My Top 5 hadn't changed in years... until Luca came out, which I loved...

  1. Monsters, Inc.
  2. The Incredibles
  3. Up
  4. Toy Story 3
  5. Luca
  6. Toy Story
  7. Finding Nemo
  8. Coco
  9. The Incredibles 2
  10. WALL-E
  11. Brave
  12. Encanto
  13. Ratatouille
  14. Toy Story 2
  15. Turning Red
  16. Finding Dory
  17. Soul
  18. Monsters University
  19. Inside Out
  20. Onward
  21. Toy Story 4
  22. Cars
  23. The Good Dinosaur
  24. A Bugs Life
  25. Cars 2
  26. Cars 3

Yeah, not a fan of the Cars films. But even a bad Pixar film is better than most.

   
And now back to your regularly scheduled Sunday.

   

Streaming Overload

Posted on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

Dave!Just mentally preparing for tomorrow

That's when Umbrella Academy Season 03, Ms. Marvel Episode 03, Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 06, Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, and who knows what else is releasing.

I'd take the day off from work... but, alas...

   

Streaming for Two

Posted on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

Dave!Last night I waited until midnight for Ms. Marvel, as usual, then saved everything else for today when I could find time. It was a lot of TV packed into a day...

Umbrella Academy Season 03
While it had some very good moments, this fell short of the first two seasons for me. Not as twisty, smart, and interesting. But there were also some changes that surprised me. In the first two seasons I loathed Vanya and loved Allison. This year that completely reversed... Loved Viktor, outright detested Allison (fucking hated her this season). But my favorite in all seasons is Number Five, even though he had less to do this time around. I can't go much further without delving into spoiler territory, but suffice to say I enjoyed the third season and sincerely hope we get a fourth.

Ms. Marvel Episode 03
Beautiful, joyous, and clever. And boy did they really go there with Kamala using her powers! Really great to see, as I was starting to worry that they were going to pull a Moon Knight and not really do anything interesting with her. I don't know if this quite eclipses how amazing I found Hawkeye to be, but I am already hoping for another season after she appears in The Marvels.

Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 06
I've enjoyed every episode of this series despite the fact that there really couldn't be any surprises since we know how everything has to turn out. Even the "surprise" at the end wasn't much of a surprise because it was foreshadowed heavily in one of the earlier films. Despite this being a series that was meant to be complete, I would not at all object to seeing what else happened with Obi-Wan before Star Wars happened. Ewan McGregor is just too darn good to let go.

Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness
On second viewing, I actually appreciate this movie more than I initially did... even though I still think that Wanda was done dirty. I enjoyed this flick the first time around, sure, but it just didn't feel that the multiverse was used to great effect. Spider-Man: No Way Home was smarter about it, and this one just felt like an afterthought. That being said, America Chavez managed to fit into the story in a way that felt meaningful, and seeing the Illuminati portrayed so beautifully left me wanting more. A lot more.

And now... it's 1:00am and time for bed. Past time for bed. I'll just have to make up for all the sleep I didn't get tomorrow night.

   

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