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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.

   

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 747

Posted on Sunday, January 16th, 2022

Dave!New year, new surge in the pandemic. But some things never change... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Tokyo! I love major cities. They have a life to them... an excitement... that you can't find in rural areas (which I also like). One of the most fascinating cities to me is Tokyo, Japan. I've been six or seven times, and every time I feel very much at home. One of the best parts of Tokyo is the public transportation system. It's phenomenal... and very hard to explain because you have to experience it to understand it. This video gives it a try...

But the best way to experience Tokyo without visiting Tokyo? Watch the movie Lost in Translation. It always takes me back. I sure would like to visit again one day.

   
• Emoji! This website shows the relative scale of a bunch of emojis. It's pretty clever. If you visit, you have to scroll down for the show to start.

   
• W_RDLE! I've been playing Wordle for a few weeks. So far I've never lost, but I've yet to win in under four guesses either. I don't know if that makes me a success or failure at the game, but it's pretty much an essential morning activity while I wait for the cats' breakfast alarm to go off.

   
• Inexplicable Success! LOL. Robert Langdon would suck at Wordle. I’m happy that people are piling on The Da Vinci Code now. It pulled from far better books with a mediocre story that was inexplicably weird and dull at the same time...

I had hoped that the movie adaptation would elevate the material given that Tom Hanks was involved, but it just sunk the material further for me.

   
• Gemstone! One of the bigger surprises to come out of 2019's televisionscape was The Righteous Gemstones. It was a fascinating and hilarious look at a televangelist family with secrets threatening to tear them down. And now Season 02 has arrived with more temptation for HBO viewers...

The Righteous Gemstones Season 2 Poster

So far it's not really taking off like the first season, but I'm hopeful it's building to something. More than a few shows can't manage to recapture what made them great out of the gate.

   
• Hookup! Don't you hate it when a once good television show just keeps collapsing into a black hole of awfulness? The first season of Plan Couer (AKA The Hook Up Plan on Netflix) was great. Second season was not so great. Now the third season is absolutely horrific. Everybody has gone stupid. Elsa and her dumbass environmentalism crap that borders on insanity. Charlotte and her idiotic ignorance when it comes to money and... like... THE WORLD. Emilie and her rambling non-stop crazy. And I don't get it. WHAT HAPPENED?!? The people writing it thought "You know what? Smart romantic comedy is dead. Let's just throw everything that made the show good out the window and focus on nothing but shit, shit, and more stupid shit!" — So disappointing that this is how they're going out. I still like Maxime though. Oh well. It's the last season, so at least we won't be suffering even more in a fourth season.

   
And that's the end of bullets for me this Sunday.

   

Shoot for the Moon

Posted on Wednesday, January 19th, 2022

Dave!The only two heroes in Marvel Comics that I was invested in was Doctor Strange and Black Panther because DC Comics had nothing like them. As time went on and DC kept making bizarre creative choices, I slowly migrated some of my reading to Marvel, which had some very interesting things going on.

Enter Moon Knight.

The first I remember seeing him was in some reprint comic of a Spider-Man story (most likely Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man #22). Or maybe it wasn't a reprint? I dunno. In any event, I bought the comic specifically because it had a very cool cover with Moon Knight on it. But I didn't become a true fan of the character until a series of backup stories by Bill Sienkiewicz. At the time I was a major fan of his art, and would buy absolutely anything he did. This series essentially turned Moon Knight into Batman (my favorite DC Comics super-hero), and I was definitely here for it.

The success of these stories led directly to Moon Knight getting his own title in 1980...

Moon Knight No. 1 Cover.

They attempted to differentiate Marc Spector and Moon Knight from Bruce Wayne and Batman by giving him multiple identities. It wasn't much of a change because Bruce Wayne adopted all kinds of identities over the years.

But then it happened.

Moon Knight was canceled and revived in a mini-series called Fist of Khonshu in 1985 (Khonshu being the Egyptian moon god that gave Marc his powers). Now Marc Spector didn't just adopt multiple identities, he literally had dissociative iodentity disorder (AKA "Multiple Personalities"). His power also grew or waned with the phases of the moon and were steeped in Khonshu mythology). With this one series, Marc Spector finally became more than "Marvel Comics Batman"... even if the way some of the material was handled ended up being a bit cringe by modern standards.

Eventually I kinda lost track of Moon Knight. He would pop up in team books I'd buy, but they last I remember buying a Moon Knight book was in the late 90's when yet another mini-series was getting some traction.

Fast-forward to today, and we're getting an Oscar Isaac Moon Knight TV series that looks to be leaning heavily into the dissociative identity disorder angle from the comics...

But boy is that "English accent" a show-stopper! Somebody on the internet compared it to Dick VanDyke's hilarious accent in Mary Poppins and now that's all I can hear!

Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke in Marry Poppins.

I do very much like the way that his costume appears and wraps him like a mummy. Very apropriate, and something I don't recall seeing in the comics. But the moon symbol on the hood is weird and unnecessary given that it's huge on his chest. These kind of odd and distracting details are usually avoided by Marvel Studios (and embraced by the shittier DC Comics movies), so this is puzzling to me.

All I can say is that I am really, really looking forward to this series. It looks like a much more violent and unique take on the super-hero genre for Marvel Studios, which is probably why they moved forward with it. They try to make all the characters unique, which is quite a challenge given that they're all super-heroes from comic books. And, if nothing else, getting Oscar Issac to play Marc Spector is an interesting and talented choice.

So long as that "English accent" is used sparingly.

Really, really sparingly.

   

Bullet Sunday 748

Posted on Sunday, January 23rd, 2022

Dave!The snow's a meltin' and Spring is on the way, but don't get too excited... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Mo Betty! Thanks to Brandon from One Child Left Behind fame for this absolute gem of a video featuring a story with both President Obama and Betty White (and, no, you don't have to be a fan of Barrack Obama to enjoy this)...

It's just amazing how many amazing Betty White stories are circulating out there. She touched a lot of lives.

   
• Abbot! Who is watching Quinta Brunson in Abbott Elementary? Genius. The show shining a spotlight on what teachers are facing in the school system... but it's a comedy which has jokes that really hit perfect. Plus it has Sheryl Lee Ralph, whom I adore in absolutely everything she's ever done... and she is a frickin' star in this show. Could not be more perfect. This part had to be written for her. Or maybe it wasn't and she's just that flawless an actor...

You need to watch this on ABC, Hulu, or ABC.com.

   
• Husbands! TikTok is a 100% bizarre place because you just know that half of it isn't original. So many times I'll see something I like then find out it was lifted from somebody else and wasn't credited. Take for example this one, which I loved because it's kinda hopeful for the future (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@thatk1da_en #duet with @matadornetwork u never know#gay#fyp#funny#cliffjumping#wow#foryoupage ♬ original sound - scalar quantity

But then you learn that he actually copied it word-for-word from another creator (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@timjohns_ #duet with @matadornetwork ♬ original sound - scalar quantity

Which was addressed in (you guessed it) yet another TikTok (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@timjohns_ #duet with @thatk1da_en ♬ original sound - scalar quantity

It's like... on one hand... that's pretty shitty. But, on the other hand, it did lead me to the original guy's TikTok, which I now follow, so I dunno.

   
• Nightlife! I am trying my best to burn through as much Netflix as I can before I discontinue monthly service due to yet another rate increase. Right now I am binging Midnight Asia and it's absolutely wonderful...

I've experienced the nightlife in Tokyo and Seoul many times... and the show absolutely does them justice. I am not as familiar with Bangkok's nightlife, but it's a fun episode too. The other episodes are Mumbai, Taipei, and Manilla. Three cities I've never been to, but now I want to visit..

   
• Jacket! Whenever I see BOYCOTT! messages on my Facebook timeline, I usually take a pass. I just don't care. Dig deep enough and all big companies are likely trash. It's the reason for the boycott that interests me. Tucker Carlson is big mad that he's no longer sexually attracted to Green M&M because she isn't wearing high heels any more? Hilarious. The fact that people are boycotting M&Ms over Tucker Carlson wanting to fuck a piece of candy is epic. Then today I see Carhartt being boycotted and I'm like... "Their clothes are great... and they last a while because they're tough. Why are people boycotting them?" The answer? This private company is electing to have a vaccine mandate in order to keep their workforce safe. And I'm like WTF? I thought it would be because they encourage employees to kick puppies or something awful. Personally I applaud them for the move. Must make people a bit more comfortable to work there knowing a co-worker has less a chance of being a petri dish mutating a new strain of COVID. If you don't want to get vaccinated, you can just get a job somewhere else the same way you would if they started mandating a new uniform you hated. Simple. So I was like "I wonder if there's something I want to buy there? A new jacket maybe? I've been wanting a new jacket!" So I ordered one. — Sadly, they didn't have the style I liked in the Carhartt Brown color, because that would have been awesome. But even the black one has a nice-sized logo on the pocket. Looking forward to being screamed at the next time I go to the grocery store. "YOU SHOULD BURN THAT JACKET! DO YOU SUPPORT VACCINE MANDATES BY THE GUBERMINT TOO?!?" Not usually, no. But I'm so fucking tired of this COVID shit that I'm ready to change my mind, and if everybody got vaccinated so the shit would stop mutating unchecked then maybe it would finally... finally... end.

   
• LOLZ! The funniest thing I've seen all month (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@dr.jon.l Day in the life according to the comment section #ivermectin #doctor #funny #teamhalo #covidvaccine ♬ original sound - Doctor Jon

   
• LOLZ2! The second funniest thing (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)....

@dr.jon.l Reply to @dr.jon.l Another day in my life according to the comment section #doctor #funny #teamhalo ♬ original sound - Doctor Jon

   
And I think that's enough for my Sunday bullets.

   

A Book is a Book is a Book

Posted on Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

Dave!I stayed up until midnight tonight so I could watch the latest episode of The Book of Boba Fett on Disney+. The first episode left me a little flat after the absolute joy that was two seasons of The Mandalorian, but I hung in there. And was rewarded with some fantastic episodes of Star Wars. And now that I'm invested, I've been staying up until midnight on Tuesdays so I can watch live and not have to worry about spoilers the next morning.

This was the best episode of the series yet. Which was actually a bit disappointing for reasons that I can't divulge lest I spoil the episode. Suffice to say that this one episode was better than most of the films that have come out of the Star Wars Universe.

And that's why I'm happy I stayed up to watch and am convinced that Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni should just be handed everything. Television. Movies. Specials. Everything. If it's Star Wars then they should be in charge of it. Full stop.

   

Bullet Sunday 749

Posted on Sunday, January 30th, 2022

Dave!Yikes. Look like it's the Northeast's turn to be inundated with snow! But you can still find warmth in your heart... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• BAT! I have watched this SO many times...

Those are some big bites! I love bats.

   
• Eats! Well that was sure nice of him...

@constructioncoach

♬ original sound - Learn To Remodel Better

Somehow, this never occurred to me. But I guess it happens. Or your UberEats driver gets in an accident... or has a car breakdown... or whatever. I guess the good news is that if you're an UberEats driver who gets in an accident you have something to eat while you wait for the tow truck.

   
• Minnie! Disney put Minnie Mouse in a pantsuit, and people are losing their fucking minds. And it's like... it's a cartoon character. Don't stress. My problem isn't that Minnie Mouse is in a pantsuit... it's that she's in a butt-ugly pantsuit. THIS is the best they could come up with?!?

Minnie Mouse in her butt-ugly pantssuit.

At the very least they could have kept her signature red, white, and yellow colors!

   
• Star Dreck! I'm desperate for new Star Trek ahead of the new season of Picard, so I thought I'd give Star Trek: Discovery yet another try. God what a shitty TV show. It's inconceivable that something so incredible in Season 01, just keeps getting worse and worse. Season 02 was bearable, but Season 03 was terrible, and holy shit... I didn't think that Season 04 could possibly be worse... and yet here we are. It's all talking and endless, endless whining about absolutely everything. WHO GIVES A FUCK?!? It is a complete waste of Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Ronnie Rowe, and the rest. Star Trek is all about balancing the emotional core with excitement and adventure. Sitting around the bridge talking about your feelings to solve problems is boring as fuck and watching it is tantamount to torture. Oh well. I've decided to watch Picard Season 01 again instead. It didn't stick the landing, but boy did it have some good Star Trek along the way.

   
• Ink! One of my most favorite TikTok creators is "Sad Papi," a chef who has been creating cooking videos for a while now. Even when he cooks meat dishes, he's given me ideas for cooking that have been great. He posted this video recently that wasn't quite cooking-related, and it may one of my favorites (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@sad_papi Reply to @godzillaaa1 ♬ original sound - Sad_papi

Can you imagine being this good-looking, but still having to field shitty comments like this? Insanity. Fortunately he had the perfect response.

   
• MACGRUBER! I have been dying to see a MacGruber sequel ever since the first movie in 2010. It was bizarre, hilarious, and entertaining in a way I didn't really expect. Fast forward twelve years and Peacock gave us a MacGruber limited series. That lead to Will Forte going full-circle and returning to the character he originated on Saturday Night Live...

It's amazing to me that Kristen Wiig and Ryan Phillippe are back as well. Both have had non-stop work this entire time... but maybe working with Will Forte on another MacGruber project was just too much fin to resist? I hope they feel the same way about returning for a second season of the show!

   
Enjoy what's left of your Sunday, party people.

   

Bullet Sunday 750

Posted on Sunday, February 6th, 2022

Dave!I'm tired, but not ready to give up on my Sunday just yet... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• SHE GOT MONEY! If you aren't watching Abbott Elementary you are missing out. I've shared so many of Quinta's videos over the years... it's so very cool to be able to share her TV show, which is amazing. I was thrilled to find out that it's been such a big hit.

The cast of Abbott Elementary

Plus... Sheryl Lee Ralph is in it!

   
• The World May Never Know! Was it Hershey or Reese That Made Peanut Butter Cups Great?

   
• Darwinism. It's what's for dinner! Three Kids Tried To Get Spiderman Powers By Letting A Black Widow Bite Them. — I mean, the spider that bit Peter Parker was a RADIOACTIVE SPIDER! If these kids wanted super-powers, they would have had to have made the spider radioactive first. Sheesh!

   
• ADOBE IN 3D! The new 3D "technology preview" tools in Adobe Illustrator are choice. I sure hope that they continue to add features before they get rid of the old tools. Not being able to map user textures and control camera perspective is a major problem. And half the time when I add a cap, it doesn't appear on my extrudes. — At the rate that Adobe is adding 3D apps to their Creative Suite, I sure hope that this is an indication that they will be dropping a full-blown 3D modeler soon. How sweet would it be to be able to craft models with the same tools you already know and love?

   
• Credit Card Doubt! Five messages and two phone calls later and I *might* have finally gotten The Home Depot to credit the $50 I was promised on my purchase when I opened an account. I say "might" because I was told it will take 24 hours to a few days for the credit to be applied. So... yeah... I'm dumping that credit card the minute my $50 comes through so I can pay the shit off. I cannot BELIEVE that companies are allowed to try and scam you like this. I clicked ON A BUTTON that said "Up to $100 Cash Back" and yet I was given some kind of "12 Months Same as Cash" deal with NO $50 that I never even knew existed. It would be my fault if the button said "12 Months Same as Cash"... BUT IT DOES NOT! And it STILL doesn't. How fucking hard is this? You promise me $50... just give me the $50. This is not fucking rocket science. And yet... five messages and two phone calls...

   
And on that happy note, buh-bye Sunday.

   

Reacher 2.0

Posted on Monday, February 7th, 2022

Dave!I was not a huge fan of the Jack Reacher movies with Tom Cruise. The first one was actually pretty good, but Cruise ain't Reacher. His defining characteristic is his massive size, and Tom Cruise ain't that.

I am, however, a big fan of the Lee Child books upon which the movies were based.

So I was more than a little intrigued when I found out that Amazon Prime Video was making a new series based on the material simply called Reacher. All I knew about it was that they had (finally) cast a big guy to play the part.

On Friday series finally arrived and it was darn good...

You miss the internal monologue from the books that makes Reacher's head such an interesting place to be, but they did a pretty good job making sure that he's seen as more than a grunting hulk of a man just beating people up. But anyway... if you're looking for a series to binge, this one is worth a look.

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Betty and Back Again

Posted on Tuesday, February 8th, 2022

Dave!I've been re-watching a lot of Betty White shows and movies this past week. There's just so many incredible things to choose from, but the best repository of clips can be found on YouTube. I've seen most of them multiple times, but there's always something I don't recall having watched. Mostly her gameshow appearances. She was very good at gameshows, but also highly entertaining as well. Which is not surprising. She always is.

While watching video after video, I happened across Betty White's interview on Inside The Actor's Studio, which I haven't seen in years. It's well worth your valuable time to watch...

Everything about this is great... but I love at the very end where one of the students mentions that he and Betty attended the same schools and she asks him if he wants to sing the Beverly Hills High fight song. He couldn't remember it... but of course she could. Classic.

   

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.

   

Superb Owl Hal Ftimes How?

Posted on Monday, February 14th, 2022

Dave!No, I didn't want the Super Bowl. I don't give a crap about football. The only sports I have any interest in are baseball (GO RED SOX!) and hockey (GO BLACKHAWKS!). Which is not to say that I have no interest in the Super Bowl itself, because the commercials and half-time show are always a lot of fun.

The half-time show was amazingly great. Not Prince level-great (how could it be?), but I thought it was extremely well done and the performances were fantastic. Epic even.

But of course all the news today was either about how Snoop Dogg smoked a joint before he went on stage...

Snoop Dogg Smoking a Joint Before the Super Bowl Half-Time Show.

...or how Eminem kneeled...

Eminem Kneeling at the Super Bowl Half-Time Show.
Image from Mike Segar @ Reuters

...or how Mary J. Blige was showing thigh in her costume choice...

Mary J. Blige and her amazing outfit at the Super Bowl Half-Time Show.
Image from Kevin C. Cox @ Getty Images

...or how Dr. Dre sang the lyric "still not loving police" in his song Still D.R.E....

Dr. Dre soaking up the applause at the Super Bowl Half-Time Show.
Image Credit Unknown (taken from Rolling Stone)

To which I can only respond...

  • Snoop Dogg is always high. He in no way has ever concealed this, so when you book him for a gig you can count on him performing high. That's how he does what he does. Nobody should be shocked. Feel free not to watch the Super Bowl ever again if this offends you.
  • It's a free country. Eminem is going to do what he's going to do. So stop acting like he took out a gun and shot people during the snow. He took a knee. That's it. And I find it incredible to have to repeat the fact that Colin Kaepernick ASKED VETERANS THE MOST RESPECTFUL WAY TO PROTEST WITHOUT DISRESPECTING THE FLAG OR THEIR SERVICE, AND TAKING A KNEE WAS WHAT HE WAS TOLD. So everybody can just calm the fuck down. This form of protest was endorsed by the only people who should give a shit. And Eminem expressing his beliefs and opinions are exactly what this country is supposed to be about. Feel free not to watch the Super Bowl ever again if this offends you.
  • As for Mary J. Blige. Are you fucking serious? People wear FAR less than this at a public pool. She looked spectacular and her outfit was not the least bit problematic. If people want to feel otherwise, then go right ahead. It's a free country. So feel free not to watch the Super Bowl ever again if this offends you.
  • Dr. Dre is able to express his experience just like everybody else, and if he has a platform to do so, then why should he give a crap if some people won't like it? Answer? HE SHOULDN'T! Elon Musk and other billionaires do and say stuff which offends me all the time and people praise them for it... but Dr. Dre should be treated differently? Fuck no. None of the words he used were profanity. And condemning him over what he feels and what has experienced is absurd. Go ahead and be offended. Refuse to buy his music. You do you. But understand they he gets to do him too. And, oh yeah... feel free not to watch the Super Bowl ever again if this offends you.

I didn't look very hard, but I'm sure that Kendrick Lamar and 50 Cent were lambasted over something. They're Black men in America, which means somebody somewhere is pissed off about it. That (along with death and taxes) is a certainty. And all the more reason they deserve to be performing at the Super Bowl. And probably should have been a long time ago.

Anyway...

When it comes to the commercials, there were a few that got me. My hands-down favorite was The Sopranos remix with the kids reenacting the show opening...

It doesn't feel like a Super Bowl without a Budweiser commercial that makes you want to bawl your head off...

The star power in the Planet Fitness ad was great. And the way that Lindsay Lohan is willing to poke fun at herself just makes me love her all the more (I fell back into love with her again after her response to a Cameo request)...

I love anything with Salma Hayek... but it was the surprise appearance by Arnold that made this commercial so much fun...

I could listen to Morgan Freeman read the telephone book and be completely entertained, so hearing him in this terrific ad for Turkish Airlines was great...

The Alexa ad by Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost was seriously funny...

Probably the most important and heartwarming commercial was for the Google Pixel 6 phone, which works to take amazing photos of you... no matter your skin tone. And I'm sure that Google will be accused of being "too woke" or some other such bullshit because a lot of white people will be saying "I don't know what Black people are complaining about!" because this is a non-issue FOR THEM... but imagine how important this is for persons with dark skin tones who have had to live with their photos turning out crappy because nobody ever bothered to try and make them look good? Wonderful. And how the world should be...

Runner up to most important commercial is a commentary on the insane divide of this country and how people will go at each other throats over shit that doesn't matter...

So... all in all... not a bad slate of ads that I actually wanted to watch. Effective advertising seems like a lost artform (99% of commercials are shit and don't make me want to do anything except ignore them, skip them, or not buy the product), so it's nice that somebody somewhere knows how to do it right.

   

Bullet Sunday 752

Posted on Sunday, February 20th, 2022

Dave!Do not go gentle into that good night... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• LEGEND! To say that Roy Kent is my favorite television character of all time is kinda underselling it. And to them get him to do something like THIS?!?

Perfect.

   
• Well, Fuck! Doesn't it just figure? After decades of finally trying to find the perfect frozen pizza, I actually DO, only to have Red Baron fucking change it...

Old vs. New

The cheese, which used to be creamy and gooey has been cut bigger and now tastes chewy... like I have a mouth of pencil erasers. The crust looks the same, but it doesn't cook up light a airy like bread... it's more pasty and dense. This could be because the cheese and sauce has changed... but it really doesn't seem the same. And it's like... WHY?!? Why change something that's actually good? Oh well. I was eating way too much pizza anyway (I was buying six at a time)... so that problem is solved.

   
• Marple! Ever since not being able to go to the theater to see the remake of Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile, I've been obsessing over other Agatha Christie adaptations. And I think that I've found the book which has been adapted the most... A Caribbean Mystery. This evening I started with the 1983 Helen Hayes movie, which is my favorite. Then tomorrow I'll finish up with the BBC/ITV versions from 1989 and 2013...

The three different versions of A Caribbean Mystery

The BBC version with Joan Hickson is likely the most faithful version... but I'm just such a huge Helen Hayes fan that it's difficult for me to see past it.

   
• MIWANDA! Dead. Legit dead. If you've seen Sex and the City: And Just Like That... this is one of the funniest things you'll see (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@zzzachariah Justice for silly Steve 🤪 #satc #sexandthecity #ajlt #andjustlikethat #mirandahobbes #stevebrady #carriebradshaw ♬ Sad Emotional Piano - DS Productions

Steve was thoroughly trashed by the sequel series, and this puts a cherry on it.

   
• Threat! For whatever reason, I have been getting a shocking number of viruses attempting to take over my computer these past few weeks. Four appeared just yesterday...

Threat messages from BitDefender.

There was a day that Mac users didn't have to worry so much about viruses, but now? Yeah. If you're a Mac user, I would install some kind of virus protection sooner rather than later. I went with BitDefender because I got a deal on it, but anything you find is bound to be better than nothing.

   
• EmmyEmm! I find it fucking hilarious when dipshit ass-clowns like Rudy Giuliani dare to talk shit about anybody. They just don't have the brains to do it without getting fucking roasted in the rebuttal...

Gotta hand it to the writers at The Late Show, this parody of Eminem is funny as hell. Not that it was very difficult for them to come up with something... Giuliani is basically a parody of himself.

   
• Peace, Mutherfucker! The season finale of Peacemaker was sublime. Absolutely perfect. Thanks to James Gunn for such a terrific show... but especially for Vigilante, who is easily one of my favorite characters now. Freddie Stroma was inspired casting! And then there's Adebayo. Holy crap did she get an amazing character arc in this series! "I was made for this shit!" is right! Cannot wait for Season 02.

   
Until next Sunday, true believers...

   

Streaming Wars 2022

Posted on Thursday, March 3rd, 2022

Dave!Last night I was asked which streaming platforms I subscribe to. My answer was "All of them... just not all at the same time." Firstly, because who can afford that? And secondly, there's only so many hours in the day I can watch television.

Those that I pay for with annual memberships (or monthly if they are backwards and don't offer the money-savings)...

  • Disney+ (Annual)
    As the Marvel Studios and Star Wars content keeps ramping up, I am watching more and more. Marvel worried me at first because I wasn't as enchanted as most people were, but Hawkeye redeemed their efforts. If I could only have one streaming network, this would be the one I keep because it's the one I most enjoy. Plus? Obi-Wan is almost here.
  • HBO Max (Annual)
    Color me surprised. I had subscribed for a month at a time off and on when there was something I wanted to watch. But then with Dune and The Suicide Squad and Matrix Resurrections I held onto it for a while... and was surprised at how often I was watching it. There's just so much stuff happening, which makes it a great value.
  • YouTube Premium (Annual)
    I watch a crazy amount of YouTube for everything from learning to entertainment, but I'm mortified at the number of ads they cram into their bullshit. Fortunately, you can pay money to eliminate the ads entirely. It seems more expensive than it's worth, but given how much I use it, it's worth it to me so I'm not wasting valuable time watching shitty ads.
  • Discovery+ (Annual)
    I watch an absurd amount of home renovation shows, and they can all be found here. And while the Magnolia Network section has been a scorching disappointment, there's still plenty I end up watching.
  • Amazon Prime (Annual)
    I don't order as much from Amazon as I used to, and started seriously questioning whether or not I needed to subscribe to their Prime service. But between the wide variety of "free" streaming programming and a nice discount on their music service, Prime is worth a lot more than just free shipping. Heck, I'd pay the price just to watch Reacher.
  • Apple TV+ (Monthly)
    Apple has been a mixed bag. For every total gem like Ted Lasso you get an abhorrent crap-fest like Foundation. And while the content it definitely lacking, the stuff I actually like is stuff I really, really like. I don't know yet where Severance falls... it's intriguing, but so slow-moving that I'm completely bored waiting for the interesting bits. This should either have been nine half-hour episodes or four to five hour episodes. Not nine hour-long episodes.
  • Philo (Monthly)
    I get a nice discount every month as a part of my T-Mobile perks, so I hang on to this for Hallmark Channel and some other content that I watch from time to time.

Those I turn off-and-on, as needed...

  • Hulu (Cheap-Ass Ad-Supported)
    While not entirely enchanted by their offerings, they do have some really cool shows and movies I've enjoyed over the years. So I activate my subscription a couple times a year to watch them.
  • Netflix (Cheap-Ass Basic SD)
    They raised their prices. Again. And so now I am just activating it a few times a year to catch up on the great stuff they do... while not sinking my money into a service which is quickly spending a lot of resources on crap I don't want and won't use (like games). The SD quality option looks like crap, but since I'm not watching all the time, it's fine.
  • Peacock (Cheap-Ass Ad-Supported)
    NBC's streamer is kinda... bad. There's just not that much there that interests me. But every once in a blue moon I subscribe for a month to see what I'm missing. Most of the time it's nothing, but they do have some good shows and movies.
  • Funimation
    Anime heaven. And even their cheapest plan is ad-free. I sign up for a month when I feel like taking a deep dive into anime, which happens a couple times a year. I prefer Funimation to Crunchy Roll, though there's some content there that's worth a look as well. What I don't understand is that Funimation and Crunchy Roll are both backed by Sony. Why?
  • BritBox/Acorn TV
    I have a deep, deep love of British television. These two services are good for a month or two when I simply have to have it. But both services, good as they are, have pretty sad back-catalogs. Love 8 Out of 10 Cats? Well, you're not getting everything... just the past four seasons. Like, WHY?!? WHY NOT ALL THE FUCKING SEASONS? And where are all the old episodes of shows like Never Mind the Buzzcocks? Nowhere to be found. It is hugely frustrating that these streamers are so bloody limited in scope, because I'd likely be an annual subscriber if they would only have some depth to their catalogs.
  • Sundance
    AMC (American Movie Classics) has ten-or-so streaming networks, none of which are worth much to me on their own. With the possible exception of Sundance, which is home to shows I like such as This Close. Why in the hell AMC doesn't just combine all their crap into a single mega-streamer (including Acorn TV!) is a complete mystery to me. That is something I might pay an annual fee to have.

Those that I pay for out of protest...

  • Paramount+ (Annual, Cheap-Ass Ad-Supported)
    This streaming service is technically 100% shit but has some programming I enjoy (most of the Star Trek stuff and cool shows like Magnum P.I. and NCIS: Hawai'i are here). But it's so fucking frustrating trying to get their shows to actually play. Newer shows often play without issue. But any of their older programming? 90% of the time it simply will not play. They'll say you are using a VPN or blame it on your browser or whatever... but I'm not using a VPN on my television and AppleTV doesn't have a browser. I've wasted entirely too much time being blamed for their problem by their customer "service" when I have zero problem with EVERY OTHER service. I detest these assholes and their fucking turd of a service, but still subscribe from time to time so I can watch a show that's only found here. I used to buy seasons of Magnum PI from iTunes, now I just sink the money here so I can watch Picard and stuff.

So far I haven't felt a need for streamers like Showtime and Starz and such... but if there's a series or movie that's exclusive and something I'm dying to see... well... I guess you do what you gotta do.

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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.

   

Stream-Based Economy

Posted on Monday, March 14th, 2022

Dave!It was announced that HBO Max and Discovery+ will be merging.

This was inevitable. People dumped cable and satellite companies so they could pay for only the networks they actually watch instead of a bunch of shitty channels they never watch. But there have been way, way too many streaming services out there. And their value to consumers is starting to plummet as people give them up completely (or do what I do, turn them off-and-on as needed). By merging together, you're guaranteeing that there's more content people will want to see, so they'll keep paying for your stuff. I watch enough HBO Max and Discovery+ that I buy annual subscriptions. But neither of them is really worth that and I always struggle on spending the money. But if they were a single service? Subscriber for life, baby.

Assuming the price is affordable.

Which begs the question... will they raise prices after the merger? Probably. We'll have to see if it's enough for me to bother. Since I've quickly become disenchanted with commercial-supported subscriptions and never want to watch a fucking commercial ever again, I'd rather turn my subscription on-and-off than to pay for an annual ad-supported subscription.

I wonder how long it will be until all the streaming services merge and we're right back to the shit-show we were in with cable and sattelite?

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Ms.

Posted on Tuesday, March 15th, 2022

Dave!I hate to say it... but I was a bit underwhelmed by WandaVision and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. WandaVision was not what I was hoping to see from those characters and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier was too convoluted and the overall story was lacking (though the magical chemistry between Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan made it totally worth watching).

Then came Hawkeye and Marvel Studios totally redeemed themselves. That series was SO good. Very faithful to the original Matt Fraction and David Aja comics and incredibly entertaining thanks to fantastic performances from Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld (not to mention every other actor in that series... it was impeccably cast). All of a sudden I was excited for the Disney+ series again.

Then we got the trailer for Moon Knight and that looks fantastic too.

And now Ms. Marvel...

The original Ms. Marvel comic book series was great. I absolutely loved how it blended so many elements into something that felt new. If you haven't read it, you should really take a look.

When I heard that the character was coming to the MCU, I was thrilled. But also worried. Because Ms. Marvel's powers are essentially Mister Fantastic (of the Fantastic Four) but come across more like Plastic Man. Since Fantastic Four is coming to the MCU in their own movie fairly soon... it would be weird to have the stretching/distorting powers already belonging to an existing character...

Ms. Marvel being all stretchy and stuff.
@2022 Marvel

But (fortunately) Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios aren't falling into this trap.

So they adjusted Kamala Khan's powers to be more energy-based, like her hero, Captain Marvel. And they look fantastic, don't they? She's kinda got what we were hoping that Green Lantern would have... and yet it very much harkens back to her comic book powers with the giant fist projecting like that. Cool.

What's so wonderful about what Marvel Studios is doing is trying to give all their franchises a different feel. And Ms. Marvel looks completely different from anything we've seen yet. Sure, the Spider-Man movies have played on Peter Parker's high school life... but it wasn't rooted there. And now we have it, which will be fun to see.

Alas, we have to wait until June 8th... which seems a very long time from now.

   

Bullet Sunday 755

Posted on Sunday, March 20th, 2022

Dave!Spring has sprung and I'm motivated for nothing but being lazy, yet do not fear... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Saavik! I put off watching "How I Met Your Father" for the longest time because I still feel burned by the horrible way that "How I Met Your Mother" ended. I'm not too familiar with Hillary Duff... but I'm fans of Chris Lowell and Suraj Sharma, so I decided to give it a try. I had no idea that Kim Cattrall was playing Future Hillary Duff! She's great!

This was definitely a better move than dredging up Samantha Jones for the awful Sex And The City revival (And Just Like That...). Wise move on her part.

   
• Windu! PLEASE! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!! Disney+ needs to make this happen!

   
• Moon Knight! This show just keeps looking better and better...

Ten more days...

   
• National Treasure! Dolly Parton respectfully requested to be removed herself from consideration to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because she hasn't made a rock & roll album... but hopes they will consider her in the future if she does make one (something she's always wanted to do).

First of all... ZOMG! A ROCK AND ROLL ALBUM FROM Dolly Parton?!? GIMME GIMME GIMMEEEEEEE! Can you just imagine?!? Second of all... I think Dolly severely underestimates her contribution to rock & roll. It's not just the music you release, but the influence you have on other musicians and the industry as a whole that should be considered. And she's got that all over. Third of all... you don't "nominate" Dolly Parton for anything. You just give it to her. I find it a little embarrassing for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that they would even put her in this position. And they really need to stop. I mean, Quincy Jones wasn't inducted until 2013, and that was a grotesque oversight waiting that long. Can you imagine having to vote for Quincy Jones to be inducted? Ridiculous. Just give it to him. Then there's Nile Rodgers, who wasn't inducted until 2017. TWO THOUSAND SEVENTEEN!!! Nile Rodgers!!! It's like... what are you even doing?

And then they denied her request.

   
• The Flight Attendant! The first season was such a pleasant surprise. This looks great!

More television to look forward to!

   
• Harassment. Trevor breaking it down as only he can. This is a must-watch video (here's a link in caseTikTok is being a dick)...

@thedailyshow Unpacking the Kim-Kanye-Pete situation and the harassment many women face when trying to leave a relationship. #fyp #foryoupage #dailyshow ♬ original sound - The Daily Show

   
• Jeez! What. The fuck. Jane Campion stepped in shit and that smell ain't EVER going to leave her. Serena and Venus Williams are INARGUABLY two of the greatest athletes to ever walk this earth, and to try to diminish that by saying they're only great because they don't have to play against the men like you do?p>

— =clicks tongue in amazement= —

Yeah. Good luck with that. I try to imagine the majority of male tennis players going up against Serena Williams and very nearly wet myself laughing.

Do not try to take the shine off of somebody else's greatness to make yourself look better... because you only end up tarnishing yourself. I mean, Campion wrote and directed In the Cut, a total turd of a film, after all. Man or woman, a steaming pile is a steaming pile. This is SO unbelievable. Is Campion going to try the Rosanne Bar Defense and blame Ambien or whatever for her being a dumbass? I guess we'll find out.

   
Enjoy your week! Hope you're not lazy like me.

   

In Absence of Travel

Posted on Monday, March 21st, 2022

Dave!For decades... 30 years plus... I've traveled on the week of my birthday. Partly because I just don't want to be home to celebrate an occasion that I don't celebrate, but mostly because it seemed like a nice treat for myself for surviving another year. In years when I could afford it, I've left the country. In other years I find something a little more domestic. And it's been great.

The hard part these past two years have been seeing my Facebook feed packed to the rafters with all my past travels... all the while knowing that I'm not going to be going anywhere thanks to the pandemic.

Oh well.

Could be worse.

Though looking at the shit-show this world has become, I guess it is worse?

And, to be honest, I'm not sure my heart is in travel any more. Certainly not to the extent that it used to be. There are still some places I'd really like to go, but will I ever get there? As time marches on will I even care? And if I ever do care enough to travel again (and if it's ever safe enough to travel again), will the places I want to go even be available to me? It's always been my dream to visit St. Petersburg. But, well, you know...

In other news... the Netflix Marvel shows are now on Disney+. I found this out when I tried to log in and they asked me to set up a ne profile so that I can watch shows not meant for children.

And so I've been rewatching the three seasons of Daredevil we were lucky enough to get. One thing that's immediately apparent is why Marvel Studios didn't bother to recast Matt Murdock & Kingpin for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Charlie Cox and Vincent D'Onofrio are sublimely perfect in the roles. Anything less would be a step backwards...

Though what's going to come of it, who knows? A new season of Daredevil on Disney+? A new Daredevil movie? More appearance in other Marvel Studios movies and series?

Hopefully all of that.

   

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.

   

Moon Knight

Posted on Wednesday, March 30th, 2022

Dave!Last night Disney+ unleashed the first episode of Marvel Studio's Moon Knight at midnight. And of course I stayed up to watch it, not getting to bed until after 1am.

I had some pretty high expectations, because the previews all looked so darn good. Plus I'm a fan of the original comic book character upon which the show is based...

The first episode has precious little actual Moon Knight in it (he appears at the very end). The entire episode (the first of six) is focusing on Steven Grant, a nervous worker from a museum gift shop who is hearing voices and having a tough time discerning dreams from reality. When he starts losing time and waking up in inexplicable locations in the middle of events he doesn't remember... well... it's all going to come crashing down on the guy eventually.

Marvel Studios is going for kinda a horror vibe this time, and it's darn cool. Thankfully they put in the money to get a talent like Oscar Isaac to carry the series, because the show would have crumbled if they just plopped in any ol' actor. I sincerely hope that they will have Moon Knight appearing in other Marvel shows and movies. The character would bring a very different mood anywhere he appears.

Worth tuning into for sure.

   

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.

   

Bullet Sunday 758

Posted on Sunday, April 10th, 2022

Dave!Winter may have come back, but there's warmth in my heart... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Two No More! I wanted taco salad for dinner. I had the lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, cheese, salsa, sour cream, veggie crumbles, thousand islands dressing, and frozen corn... I just needed tortilla chips. So I stopped at the store on my way back from Home Depot. The "$2 ONLY!" Santinas Brand I've been buying forever are now "$2.29 ONLY!"

NOW $2.29!!

I know that prices for all the food I buy is through the roof, but this shook me. "$2 ONLY!" ain't "$2 ONLY!" any more.

   
• Cumin! The "Martha Stewart and Marley Spoon meal service has been a huge source of culinary happiness for me. So many new recipe ideas and flavors. But they keep raising their prices which, on it's own is not a deal-breaker... but they refuse to do anything to protect their ingredients, even after I've made numerous complaints. Nor do they compensate you any more. It used to be that when something was missing or damaged... they'd at least give you a token credit on your next order. Not any more! Your sour cream packet was smashed open and smeared everywhere because it was placed under ice bricks? OH WELL! Missing your carrot? SORRY! Tomatoes pulped by a can of beans? OOPSIES! And so I canceled. And replaced them with "The Cumin Club," and Indian-based food service that you prepare from little packets...

Cumin Club Packets

So far I am quite pleased. Fairly economical, promised authentic flavors, easy to prepare, and tasty (if a little on the spicy side). If you're interested in giving them a try, here's a link that gives us both 15% off.

   
• What? A director I like with a movie starring a bunch of actors I like is usually guaranteed to grab my attention. It is not, however, guaranteed to please. Enter The Bubble...

The Bubble actors yelling in front of a green screen.

A movie about making a movie in the middle of the pandemic... which is supposed to be funny, but is actually about as unfunny as it gets. What a waste of talent all the way around.

   
• Gooshing! Chipotle Mexican Grill keeps sending me emails telling me how close I am to getting enough points for a free entrée. I always order a rice & black bean burrito with salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and extra cheese. But the last burrito I bought was INEDIBLE. I always have to order double tortilla wrap so it doesn't bust open while I'm attempting to eat it... but this time even a double wrap wasn't enough because (and I am not exaggerating here) the entire first half of the burrito was entirely guacamole, sour cream, and salsa. That's it. And how can even two tortillas compete against THAT? — I was half-way through before I hit cheese and rice, so it was just gooshing liquid the entire time. By the time I hit beans, the tortilla had disintegrated. It was one of the grossest things I've ever eaten and I had to dump a bunch of it back in the bag so my clothes didn't look like a murder scene...

The very wrong way to make a burrito.

So... yeah... I guess I'll keep ordering until get my free burrito, but then I'm done. It will just be chips and guac from then onwards. The burritos aren't worth the trauma.

   
• =eyeroll= Real NASA Astronomer Reviews Flat Earth Simulator...

I mean... holt shit. It defies all possible common sense, yet here we are.

   
• Discovery! When you read this fascinating story... be sure to read the caption under the photo: Woman Discovers She Isn't The Biological Mother Of Her Own Children.

   
• Brain Hurty! Veritasium is a YouTube channel that I watch because it's interesting and challenging. Even when Derek breaks down items and concepts into something that I can mostly understand... there's always elements that lay just outside my grasp. This video I've watched at least three times over the years. It's actually not overly-difficult to understand... there's a reference point change that explains things quite well... the thing that I have a hard time grasping is how there exists within science concepts which are absolutely horrifying to contemplate. Such as the idea that there were people thinkning that eventually the earth would flip over...

Now, this turns out not the case... science has an explanation as to why that's not going to happen... but for a while there it seemed like a possibility. And this has me wondering about all the horrifying things that haven't got science to explain it away.

   
And that's all the bullets for today, buckaroo.

   

Reaching for the Moon

Posted on Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

Dave!Welp, we're three episodes into Moon Knight from Marvel Studios on Disney+ and I am most decidedly not impressed. Usually by the half-way point you'd expect an escalation of the story so you can race to the finish line. Well, that ain't happening.

Good Lord is this series awful. How could Marvel Studios take such a cool character... amazing acting talent... fantastic locations... and come up with something THIS boring? It's all talk talk talk talk that ultimately goes nowhere interesting.

And Mr. Knight has gone from badass in the comics to tedious in the television series...

Mr. Knight from Moon Knight

I sure hope that they manage to do something interesting in the back-end three episodes, but given how the latest episode ends, I'm guessing that we've got at least one more episode of Moon Knight without Moon Knight.

What a wasted opportunity. They aimed for Raiders of the Lost Ark but fell way, way short.

There is such a wealth of comic book source material to mine from... but we get this hot mess? I would have rather we got a two hour movie that was tightly tuned instead of six drawn-out episodes of whatever this is.

Comic book shows shouldn't be boring. This is show is boring and sad.

   

Bullet Sunday 759

Posted on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

Dave!Don't you dare touch that dial... because an all new, all YouTube Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Heartstopper! Easily one of the best series I've seen so far in 2022, Heartstopper (Netflix) is about the most adorable TV show you'll find. What really got me is how much of the lives of young people today are invested in immediate feedback from texting. The struggle to put your thoughts and feelings in short little messages... the frustration of not knowing what to say... and the agony of sending something and immediately regretting it... we had absolutely nothing like this in school. Maybe note passing. That's it. The game is entirely different today...

What amazes me most about this show is how many opportunities they had to fall into the Hallmark trap of letting a misunderstanding sabotage their entire relationship, but were actually more adult about talking things out than adults are in Hallmark movies. Refreshing! There's also a guest star playing Nick's mom who may not be a known face to American audiences, but she was a major "get" across the Atlantic, and I was SO happy it wasn't spoiled in the trailer. Worth a watch. 100% Dave Approved television.

   
• Hard Rock Park! I don't have many regrets. But I do regret that I never made it to Hard Rock Park. The year that it opened, my travel calendar was packed, but I had plans to visit the following year. Alas, it closed after a single season. It would become "Freestyle Music Park" for another season before closing permanently. One of the most unique things to ever come out of Hard Rock and I missed it! Then I ran across a couple videos about the park, and regret not making it even more...


Boy. I wish somebody would rescue all that material and published it in a book or something. I could have spent hours going through all that!

   
• Miriwoong! Few things are as sad to me as a language dying out. Because it means an important part of humanity's culture is lost, because in so many ways language is culture. Or at least a very good symptom of it...

I've long been fascinated by languages, and Miriwoong is an example of exactly why I'm fascinated.

   
• Giza! Holy cats I love videos like this. And, let me tell you, that walk into the pyramid is something I will never forget. It was hot, stuffy, and claustrophobic for sure, but it's the fact that the passage could collapse behind you and leave you trapped inside that's the real scary part. What would they do? Rip apart the pyramid to save your life? Yeah, probably not...

Manuel Bravo is a YouTube creator I've never heard of before. But I subscribed after 2 minutes in on this video, only to find his entire channel is magic. Give it a look if this kind of stuff interests you.

   
• Bud! The fact that John Oliver releases short videos like this on the weeks he's off to tide you over until his next show is why his YouTube Channel is a must-subscribe...

I mean. Holy cow. The dogs got super-powers?!? Where have I been?

   
• Space! If you're not excited to bits about the James Webb Space Telescope, it's because you don't understand it properly. Lucky for you, Marques is here to drop some knowledge...

I have gone through so many rabbits in learning about what this incredible telescope is going to do for our understanding of the universe, and all of it is positively mind-boggling.

   
• History! The Statue of Liberty is one of those things that we kinda take for granted. It's there. It's been there for a while. France gave it to us. But there's so much more than that. For a very cool glimpse into all things Lady Liberty, this video is worth a watch...

   
And that's it for year another fascinating Bullet Sunday. Tune in next Sunday where I may... or may not... have even more interesting things to share!

   

Marc Spector, Steven Grant, and… Endings?

Posted on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022

Dave!I haven't been all that impressed with Moon Knight. Mostly because the show has barely had any Moon Knight in it. And it's perfectly understandable. They tapped an actor of Oscar Isaac's caliber, so covering him up in a mask for six episodes simply wasn't in the cards. No, the reason they needed Oscar Isaac was to have an actor with the chops to portray a character with dissociative identity disorder, which he delivered. As expected.

And now we've reached the end of the road. The final episode aired tonight.

And while it doesn't entirely make up for the fact that they dragged out this show for far, far too long... I have to admit that the payoff was pretty sweet. I just wish that this sixth episode had occurred at the half-way point, because now I really want to see what they do next...

I'm not going to post any major spoilers (though if you're a fan of the comic books, it's not anything entirely unexpected), but I am going to hint at one: part-way through, a little Egyptian girl says in awe "Are you an Egyptian super-hero?!? and it hits pretty hard. Because representation matters. I hope that Marvel stays on this course, because super-heroes are getting played out, and anything new and different is welcome.

   

May The Force…

Posted on Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

Dave!Though I thought the Star Wars prequels were crap, there's some things that came out of them which were undeniably great. Ewan McGregor's take on Obi-Wan Kenobi was one of them (Samuel L. Jackson playing Mace Windu was another, but more on that in a minute).

The official final trailer for the new series was released today in advance of the May 27th premiere, and it looks darn good...

I mean... that's everything you could want from Star Wars, right?

Not entirely...

Samuel L. Jackson has straight-up said that he wants to return as Mace Windu. We found out a month ago that he asked Bryce Dallas Howard to bring the character back...

Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu

If Samuel L. Jackson is willing... and if they don't give him his own series where Mace Windu is the baddest muthafucker in the galaxy... then Disney+ is just flat out worthless.

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Strange New Worlds

Posted on Thursday, May 5th, 2022

Dave!I'm just going to come out and say it... Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is my favorite Trek since the original series, and I've only seen the first episode. This is kinda how I felt about Star Trek: Discovery before it went from being phenomenally interesting, exciting, and brilliant in the Season 01 to being a phenomenally whiny, weepy, and dull pile of shit in Season 03. Disco has become so bad in Season 04 that I can't even bring myself to watch it. Such a pity.

But back to Strange New Worlds...

The cast, as we've seen from their appearance on Disco is sublime. The visuals and special effects are absolutely gorgeous. And the writing is whip-smart with a bit of fun. In short, it's absolutely everything you could possibly want out of a TV show.

Finally Star Trek is Star Trek again...

Eschewing the season-wide arcs that Disco decided to adopt, Strange New Worlds is back to episodic television which neatly wraps up the story by the end of the episode. Despite my love of how Disco started out, I think this is the format which works best for Trek.

The debut episode, aptly titled Strange New Worlds, is about a First Contact mission that goes terribly wrong for Number One, and it's up to Pike, Spock, and Co. to make things right. It's not even remotely a spoiler to say that it all works out, but it's how it works out that makes this such good Trek. It's hopeful and inspiring as it was when Trek was new.

Plus it's got Spock in it.

   

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!

   

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!

   

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...

   

Talking Points Redundancy

Posted on Friday, June 3rd, 2022

Dave!Today was the day that Amazon dropped the first three episodes of The Boys for their third season. As the first episode begins, it shows everybody's favorite sociopath, Homelander, on an apology tour for having dated Stormfront, who ended up being a psychotic white supremacist and literal Nazi in the previous season. It's told in montage, where Homelander is on several different television shows delivering the exact same talking points over... and over... and over... and over again.

Which is exactly how it works in Real Life.

We've seen it many times from disgraced politicians, actors, pastors, and anybody who achieves a bit of fame and then goes on to fuck it up.

Billy Butcher with powers from The Boys Series 3

At first I was upset at this, because it felt very much as if the show was fighting to get back to the status quo and the same old stories we've seen in the first two seasons. Homelander loves fame and adoration more than anything on earth, and he'll do whatever it takes to keep his hold on the people who love him.

But then we get to the point where Homelander is no longer able to be kept in check by threats to his popularity, and I completely changed my mind. So long as The Boys doesn't try to backtrack their way out of this new development, this could make for a very interesting season.

And if it all falls apart?

Ms. Marvel is dropping on June 8th, so I think I'll survive.

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Bullet Sunday 764

Posted on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

Dave!Don't let the pouring rain, thunder, and lightning stop you from today's bullets, since it's not stopping me... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Best Trek! I cannot process the fact that there's a Star Trek show that I like better than the original series. It's inconceivable. But holy shit! Star Trek: Strange New Worlds on Paramount+ is blowing my mind episode after episode. And Episode 05 is just next-level good. Funny as hell, and incredibly satisfying to watch. How in the heck did they come up with this? And Spock... it's just... Ethan Peck is killing it. He's wonderful.

Spock and T'Pring on Star Trek.

Now I worry that they're going to take a great show in its first season and flush it down the fucking toilet like they did with whiny, boring Star Trek: Discovery. Hopefully the show-runners think better than that, because I would sure miss Strange New Worlds.

   
• Marmalade! Okay... this is really great...

Wishing a happy Platinum Jubilee to Her Majesty.

   
• More Death! HBO has (finally) renewed Our Flag Means Death for a second season...

Blackbeard finds a friend.

Probably the best show you haven't watched. Yet.

   
• TAPS! Pretty much this, yeah (Here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@maxtheverygoodboy Is it working yet?? No?!? #satire #nyc #news #rip #texas #trending ♬ original sound - maxtheverygoodboy

So many of our politicians are useless pieces of crap. It's amazing that people have been conned into accepting it... even defending it.

   
• Helpless! Used to be that you just held down the sleep/wake button until your iPhone force-restarts. Now if you do that, you end up calling 911. I can never remember the new combo (you up, vol down, THEN hold sleep/wake) so I asked my iPhone. BUT OF COURSE THE FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT IS ZERO HELP...

Jesus Christ, Apple... just fucking give up on Siri already. She can't do shit.

   
• False Prophets! All these people reaching to find Biblical meaning in shit that is easily Googleable just to fit their idiotic narrative is mind boggling...

@maklelan Responding to @FedUpGear #maklelan836 ♬ original sound - Dan McClellan

Just fuck off with your stupid bullshit already.

   
And now back to our regularly-scheduled thunderstorm.

   

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.

   

It’s Ms. Marvelous!

Posted on Thursday, June 9th, 2022

Dave!When it comes to translating their comic book properties to non-comic media, Marvel has done a darn good job when it comes to the compromises which have to be made. The way costumes look... the way powers work... the way continuity has been built... choices have to be made every step of the way, and there has been shockingly little that I've not felt was smart, cool, and appropriate.

Ms. Marvel, based on a highly successful character from the comics, is an American girl of Pakistani Muslim heritage who idolizes Captain Marvel and wants to be a super-hero just like her. Then one day she gets her shot, and her life becomes a balance between being a hero and being a girl trying to fit into her life and school while still holding true to her family's traditions and values.

In the comics, Ms. Marvel is a "polymorph" who has the ability to stretch and embiggen parts of her body. She got her abilities after being exposed to the Terrigen Mists, which is how Marvel's Inhumans characters gain powers (meaning that Ms. Marvel is technically an Inhuman).

In the television series, Ms. Marvel finds a family heirloom (a "bangle") which gives her the ability to make cosmic energy constructs. You can see it on her wrist here...

Jenny flopped over showing her belly.

Now, even though her powers are very, very different in the MCU, she still uses them in a way that harkens back to the comic books. If she wants to catch somebody, she generates a giant hand out of cosmic energy and stretches it out to make the catch. As opposed to making her actual hand grow to giant size and then stretching her actual arm out to make the catch.

I know some fanboys are going to be upset by this change, but I think it's pretty smart. First of all, her powers look kinda ridiculous in the comic books and probably wouldn't translate very well to television and movies. Second of all, part of her powers is basically a copy of Mister Fantastic's stretching abilities, which means that the Marvel Cinematic Universe would have two people with a confusingly-similar gimmick once The Fantastic Four movie arrives.

Which is to say that the MCU Ms. Marvel is more "Green Lantern" than "Mister Fantastic."

I'm not sure if I approve of the whole "cosmic bangle" source of her powers, but the powers she has been given I definitely approve of.

I also approve very much of the show itself.

Ms. Marvel streamlines the comic book narrative into something that works for television very well. The core aspects of her character are very much the same, and that's more important than most anything else because it's those aspects which make her unique.

Visually the show is quite good... using auxiliary graphic elements to give the series a unique flavor and make it fit the youthful vibe of the character.

The cast is phenomenal. Iman Vellani IS Ms. Marvel, and they fill out her family, friends, and acquaintances with equally-capable actors. It seems as if Marvel Studios is simply incapable of making bad casting decisions...

We've only gotten one episode to look at, but the storytelling is on-point and things move at a brisk enough pace that the episode doesn't feel bogged down (as what happens with so many origin stories). But the best surprise of all? MS. MARVEL IS ACTUALLY IN THE SHOW! After the way Moon Knight had practically no actual Moon Knight in it, I was mortified that this might be a new trend. But nope!

I don't know that Ms. Marvel will overtake Hawkeye as my favorite MCU Disney+ series... but maybe it will get there. The pieces are certainly in place to make it a fantastic show, so fingers crossed.

   

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.

   

Marvel-ous Part Deux

Posted on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

Dave!=sigh=

The second episode of “Ms. Marvel” was wonderful from start to finish. AND YES I STAYED UP UNTIL MIDNIGHT SO I COULD WATCH IT! The cast... story... cinematography... all incredible. This is quickly getting to be right up there with Hawkeye as the best Disney+ series for me. It's inconceivable that this is Iman Vellani's first acting job! She plays Kamala Khan so effortlessly and believably. Well, as believably as you can get with a comic book movie...

There have been numerous changes from the comic book to accommodate video media... but there were more than a couple scenes in the second episode that were right out of the source material, which was wonderful to see. The showrunners are absolutely respecting the spirit of the original character in very good ways.

If you're not watching Ms. Marvel, you really should be.

   

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.

   

Scrubs Intern

Posted on Thursday, June 23rd, 2022

Dave!One of my favorite TV shows of all times is Scrubs

Every two or three years I take a run through the entire series just because the writing is so incredibly smart and creative (even though some of the language is less than PC and hasn't aged well). After work I started the series again because I saw Brendan Fraser in something and was reminded how he was in the best three episodes of Scrubs that ever aired...

Brendan Fraser on Scrubs

It's kinda a minor miracle that this show was so good from the very first episode. That doesn't happen very often. Veronica Mars... The Finder... Limitless... Sports Night... and, unlike other TV shows that started amazing with the first episode but then took a nose-dove after a few seasons (Alias, Twin Peaks, and the rest), Scrubs was relatively consistent until the end. And then the very end after the show was canceled and renewed on another network.

Oh crap. Now I want to watch all these other shows for the hundredth time.

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Bullet Sunday 767

Posted on Sunday, June 26th, 2022

Dave!The heat is on and my air conditioning is struggling to keep up... and so am I! But never fear... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• SPACE LEGO! LEGO is re-releasing a couple of their most popular sets from days past, but updating them with modern pieces so that they appeal to modern LEGO consumers. The one I am sorely tempted to get is the "Galaxy Explorer"... one of my favorite sets of all time...

It looks so good. Similar to what made the old set so great... but with some very cool changes. But, alas, that's a wad of cash I don't have burning a hole in my pocket!

   
• Day-Old Goodness! Why is it that baked spaghetti always tastes better the next day? Yesterday I made garlic bread from scratch and put together a nice baked spaghetti to go with it. The stuff was amazing. But today's lunch? Even better!

Delicious baked spaghetti!

I cook spaghetti as usual... but make my own sauce so I can use tomato paste instead of thinner tomato purée. Mix it together with the noodles and cheese. Put into an oven-proof container with lid (I use a large skillet), then bake at 325º for a half-hour. That way you get a lovely dry "sauce" that's really concentrated and sticking to the noodles instead of making a wet, sloppy mess everywhere. I top with toasted almond slices, parmesan, diced chives and Italian parsley. Food of the gods!

   
• A Legend Passes. I forgot to mention last Bullet Sunday how sad I was to learn that legendary comic book artist Tim Sale passed away. The guy was only 66, so this is a tough loss to take. Tim Sale was highly gifted, and worked on some characters and titles that cemented his upper-echelon status with fans. Rest in peace, sir.

   
• ALEXA, STOP!!! Alexa used to be so good. But then Amazon Alexa added a bunch of shitty bloat that nobody gives a crap about to fuck over the service. She regularly gets simple requests wrong now EVEN WHEN SHE UNDERSTANDS WHAT YOU SAID, whereas Google Assistant ACTUALLY WORKS. Embarrassing as fuck for Amazon to just toss it all away like this. Also? Alexa acknowledged the command in my bedroom (where I’m at)... but then played the song in the bathroom down the hall? WTF?!?

Alexa heard 'Play Dance by Fly by Midnight'

At first I thought... "Well, maybe Amazon Music doesn't have the song?" But nope. There it is...

Dance by Fly by Midnight exists in the Alexa catalog for Amazon Music

I never had problems like this even two years ago. Now it's almost every day.

   
• Mr. Bats! I've shared this video before. But this morning I ran across it again and was compelled to share it again because it's one of the most adorable things I've ever seen...

That bat really likes bananas! I've always loved bats, and it's just crazy to me that there are people who don't... especially considering how incredible they are for the environment and controlling pests!

   
• How Stupid Are We?! Apparently very stupid. We keep ignoring the serious problems facing us. And it's not like there aren't actual solutions out there, it's just that we're not looking into them. Take our disappearing water supply, for example...

God forbid we don't stop building golf courses out in the middle of a dessert and adopt water-saving solutions instead of creating more water-consuming problems.

   
Enjoy your Summertime Sunday heat without me! I'm stying indoors.

   

Bullet Sunday 768

Posted on Sunday, July 3rd, 2022

Dave!Fireworks are blowing out a day early and my cats are in hiding, but don't think I'm using this as an excuse to skip the day's bullets... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• 'MURICAAAA! Just so you know, I'm feeling patriotic as fuck right now...

Hostess Patriotic Cupcakes

And how could I not be? It says so right on the label!

   
• Strange! New! The previous episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds was pretty bad, but the penultimate episode of Season 01 was darn good, despite some rather questionable turn of events...

Interesting how sci-fi is kinda embracing horror recently. First with The Orville and now with Strange New Worlds. Hopefully Season 02 (which just finished production!) will have another thrills and scares episode like this one, because it's a great diversion from the "episode of the week."

   
• Westworld S04! HBO's Westworld is one of those shows which was deliciously twisty and challenging the first season. Had interesting turns in the second. And almost pedestrianly straightforward in the third. Now we've reached the second episode of the fourth season and it looks like they are sticking with the less interesting straightforward approach, but doing so in a way that is anything but boring. The hosts are out of the park and taking over the world, and where the writers decided to take us? Back to the beginning. Kinda sorta. But not really.

There's two things I'm taking away from the first two episodes... A) The cast is one of the best on television (and has been that way from the start). Thandiwe Newton and Aaron Paul are in the spotlight to fantastic effect. Ed Harris is savagely chewing through absolutely every scene they give him. Tessa Thompson has not had much to do, but holy crap does she make every minute count. Evan Rachel Wood is kinda lost in the shuffle, but hopefully she gets something interesting soon. And B) I am reeeeeally invested in seeing how they make everything pay off at the end. Though they may be pulling a The Empire Strikes Back and saving any conclusion for the fifth (and final) season.

   
• Only Murders in the Building S02! I was late to Only Murders in the Building because I am not a huge Martin Short fan and Steve Martin. But the reviews were so crazy good that I finally tuned in... and loved the series. Martin Short is more "quirky" than "annoyingly distracting" which is perfect for the character. Fortunately a second season was quickly greenlit...

Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez from Only Murders in the Building.

And the new season is perfect. They kept everything that was good about the first season, found a way to attach a new and intriguing mystery to it, and are letting the supporting players shine in a way that makes the show so New York specific. Really hoping that they stick the landing on this season, because nothing would make me happier than to be anticipating a third series.

   
• Paper! I think that I've mentioned how excited I am for the Amazon Prime adaptation of Paper Girls. And if not, here's me saying it. I loved the comic book, and they look to be staying close to the source material...

If nothing else, the casting looks pretty great!

   
• Footloose! The opening of the third season of The Umbrella Academy had its best moment. Which makes things really tough, because it was all downhill from here...

I did enjoy Season 03 quite a lot... but it was a considerable step down from the first two seasons. Everything seemed really spread out, and great moments with the characters were very spread out. Even so, I sure hope we get a fourth season, because the series is always entertaining.

   
• But before I go... Tell me again how overturning Roe v. Wade should be taken out of the hands of the pregnant person and their doctor. Seriously, I'm waiting. I've read a couple posts online which are basically saying that rapists now get to choose the mother of their children, and if that is what you think "freedom" means then you're a fucking abomination. Case in point? 10-year-old rape victim denied abortion in Ohio. You can fuck ALL the way off with this.

   
Enjoy your fucking fireworks.

   

Bullet Sunday 769

Posted on Sunday, July 10th, 2022

Dave!   
Don't be too sad that your weekend is half-over... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...


   
• Season FIVE! I did not know that Magnum P.I. was picked up by NBC!!! HOLY SHIT!

This is one of the most consistently great television shows going, and I'm happy to know more Higgins is on the way.

   
• LIE! I can't remember if I shared this when it first dropped a while back. If I didn't, I should have, and so here you go...

Mark Kacy's creations are always funny, but this one is next level.

   
• New Balance! I finally watched the Season 01 finale episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds for the second time. Lord how I love this show. And this final episode is a MASSIVE love letter to fans of The Original Series. Absolutely perfect. If you didn't see the original episode which this one is based on... Balance of Terror (one of my all-time favorites)...

A scene from The Original Series Star Trek from The Balance of Terror episode with Mark Leonard

You really should track down the episode and watch it first. Your appreciation for the brilliance of Strange New Worlds will be deepened.

   
• Hey, Jake! It took me a minute to understand why this character was given the name "Jake"...

It's Jake! The Steak! I guess.

Funny. Unless you're the cow he was cut out of, I guess.

   
• The Boys Go Back, AGAIN! The Boys kinda-sorta works better as a TV show than a comic. EXCEPT... where the comics tend to break ground in shocking and unexpected ways with absolutely nobody being safe... the Amazon Prime series is gutless and pathetic because they are happy to keep treading water. Characters die, but it's always the ones who aren't contributing to the main narrative. They're "main" characters only so far as they've been hanging around... not because they're actually doing anything...

Homelander from THE BOYS flashing his psychotic smile.

And the third season finale just fell into the same rut that the first two did. You know exactly who will make it to the end of the episode because they've the ones who aren't background fodder. Everybody else? Eh. They die and it just doesn't matter. What's so hilariously stupid is that the writers are not even remotely clever about how they maintain the status quo. Characters with a singular motivation from Day One just discard such motivation at the drop of a hat. It doesn't matter if it makes no sense and doesn't serve the story... it only matters that it keeps everything exactly the same. Ugh. I don't even care if we get a fourth season. Why should I care when I already know how it will end?

   
• Morningstar Madness! I don't get why MorningStar Farms insists on having such shitty, confusing packaging. Last time I was at the store, I ended up with Spicy Black Bean patties because they accidentally got stocked in the wrong bin at the store. I can't really blame the store, because ALL OF MORNINGSTAR FARMS PRODUCTS LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME.

THE IDENTICAL PACKAGING OF MORNINGSTAR FARMS!

So this time I went to the store, I was very careful to read the packages so I could grab a couple of the "Grillers" burgers. But when I get home I found that the package in front was Grillers... but the package behind it was the Spicy Black Bean patties... again. So now I have one package of Grillers and four packages of Spicy Black Bean burgers in my freezer. For fuck's sake... ADD COLOR IDENTITY TO YOUR FUCKING PACKAGING SO PEOPLE CAN TELL THEM APART YOU STUPID FUCKS!! HAVING EVERY LAST FUCKING ONE OF THEM BEING GREEN WITH A PURPLE BOX ONLY LEADS TO NON-STOP CONFUSION BECAUSE PEOPLE CAN'T TELL THEM APART! I mean, holy fucking shit... JUST LOOK AT THIS FUCKING MESS! WHO DOES THIS?!?? Jesus. This is like BAD DESIGN 101.

   
• Giving Education the Finger! A role model to children everywhere! Assuming the education they need is how to be a disgusting piece of shit. She's like the British Betsy DeVos!

Of course I don't know that Betsy DeVos was ever seen giving the finger... but she sure gave the finger to education with her actions. What a repugnant pile of garbage she was. DeVos worked overtime to remove protections for students as bullying is at an all-time high. Any kid who is not a straight, white, Christian got the middle finger every time they walked into a school. And her constant cuts to education spending just made things even worse than they already were. Teachers underpaid? Schools falling apart? Materials outdated? Fuck it! Let's cut MORE money on public schools and give it to charter schools. And let's not even talk about how victims of sexual assault in colleges were stripped of even more protections. Actually... let's talk about it. DeVos made it far more likely that victims of sexual assault would come forward because they limited what "sexual assault" even means... and then made it so that victims could be ruthlessly assaulted AGAIN on the stand. Because, hey, if victims don't come forward... it never happened! And there's SO much more. DeVos was a heinous blight on education and even though I am no President Biden fan, at least he gave us a new Secretary of Education that can dismantle her fucked up shit. BUT WILL HE?? Biden has done some fucked up shit of his own, and there's no guarantee that our situation will markedly improve... they were going to reverse the DeVos cancelation of sexual misconduct reporting in schools... but last I heard, they CANCELED the reversal. So fuck if I know. The wealthy people who own our government want our kids to be poorly-educated drones who never question authority, and that's true no matter who is president.

   
See you on the flip-side, buckaroos.

   

Marvelous Ms. Marvel

Posted on Wednesday, July 13th, 2022

Dave!The season finale of Ms. Marvel Season 01 aired and I have thoughts.

My spoiler-free review of the series would go something like this... "While deviating from the comic book in many ways, the Disney+ adaptation kept what made the series so compelling from the very start: it's heart. When married to the flawless cast (headed perfectly by Man Vellani) we're left with something that made for great television, despite some fumbling when putting a history lesson ahead of story. This doesn't surpass Hawkeye as my favorite Marvel Studios series, but it's a solid second place and comes to a satisfying conclusion."

So... nod bad at all...

Ms. Marvel with her Embiggened Energy Hands Saving People

And now for those spoiler-filled thoughts of mine...

Spoiler Zone!

Okay... believe it or not, Captain Marvel swapping places with Kamala was not the biggest bombshell dropped in the final episode. But it was cool...

Ms. Marvel disappearing in a blur...

... only to be replaced by Captain Marvel.

As is Carol's new costume.

No, the big reveal is that Kamala Khan is a mutant.

Which means that the X-Men are on their way to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (assuming that they are not already here, and are just in hiding... or, in the case of Patrick Stewart, in an alternate reality of the Multiverse).

But anyway...

As I mentioned, I thought that they shoehorned The Partition of India and Pakistan into the series in a way that put a history lesson above the story. Not that I don't like it when a show can help educate people on history, I just thought this one was a bit sloppy when compared to... let's say... Watchmen... building a story around The Tulsa Race Massacre. Had Ms. Marvel been handled like that, it could have been a brilliant addition instead of something that turned out to be a bit of a distraction. Even so, I'm hopeful that people who see this series and aren't fully unaware of the tragedy that came out of The Partition are inspired to look into it further.

Setting that aside, the series was pretty great overall.

I know that they changed Kamala's powers in a significant way, but by the end they made it very clear that they were adhering to the spirit of her powers.

Ms. Marvel is a part of the upcoming Captain Marvel sequel... The Marvels... and it's obvious that this series is leading directly into that. So Kamala ain't going anywhere. I just hope that we get a second season of the TV show, because it would be nice to catch up with her family.

   

Bullet Sunday 770

Posted on Sunday, July 17th, 2022

Dave!It's too hot to go outside, but not too hot to blog... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• 988! The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has been given a new easy-to-remember number... 988, an obvious play on the 911 used for emergencies. This is an important thing to have happen, and I can only hope that 988 becomes as well-known as 911 in case somebody ends up in crisis.

   
• OKOYE! This just in from the It's About Damn Time department, Nerdist is reporting that there's an Okoye series in development for Disney+ (assumably starring the always-awesome Danai Gurira). Second only to Black Panther himself, she was one of the most memorable parts of Black Panther...

Danai Gurira as Okoye

Now where's my M'Baku series?

   
• Appliance! @mcmullanappliance TikTok has fantastic videos that have taught me a lot. Like adding Pine-Sol in the wash cycle with the detergent (never in the softener dispenser)...

@mcmullanappliance Thanks @Lora Jean! #cleaning #clean #cleantok #laundry #wash #clothes #cleaner #hack #advice #pinesol #clorox #secret #washer #washingmachine #appliances #retail #pine #tree #natural #vinegar #acid #tips #home #learnontiktok ♬ Comfy Air - DJ BAI

And then there's this...

@mcmullanappliance Click link in my bio! #fire #protection #safety #safe #greasefire #kitchenfire #extinguisher #canada #usa #emergency ♬ I Can Feel It (Christmas Instrumental) - Nick Sena and Danny Echevarria

His channel is a total rabbit hole you will be happy to fall down.

   
• Dud! How in the heck did I completely miss the show Lodge 49? It's a bit slow... methodical... but it's also brilliant, heartfelt, and has purpose. It's about how we go on with our everyday lives feeling lost and alone, meandering in the fog of existence... while something bigger... something magical(?)... may be at play...

The show is random, all over the place, and impossible to describe. I am liking it a lot, but don't know exactly why I do. It's bizarre. And it's on Hulu if you want to check it out.

   
• Bog Hero! Finally got around to watching BAYMAX! It's adorable and beautifully animated (as expected)... but also very well written. They went places that I wasn't expecting for Disney to go, which just made the episodes even more interesting...

Good stuff. I hope we get a second season.

   
• It's a Frigidaire! Boy. Refrigerators sure have taken a dive in cool features over the years...

That veggie tray is just cool as all getout.

   
And now I return to my air-conditioned life of luxury.

   

Bullet Sunday 771

Posted on Sunday, July 24th, 2022

Dave!It's the most geektastic time of the year... because a Very Special Comic Con Edition of Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Wakanda Forever! This is the movie to beat, right? Though it will forever be tainted by the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther, we're getting most of the other amazing characters that came out of Black Panther plus the MCU debut of Namor, the Sub-Mariner. So, yeah, can't wait for November 11...

   
• Sandman! Based on one of the most beloved comic book series ever made (and one of my all-time favorites) the only question to be asked is Will it be any good? Well, if the trailer is any indication, the answer is yes. Looking very faithful to the books, and of course I am dying to see it. Fortunately we only have to wait until August 5th...

   
• She-Hulk! I've been waffling on this one. It sounded like a great idea when it came out... looked intriguing with the glimpses we got... and looks absolute fire now that we've got an actual trailer. Coming August 17th...

   
• John Wick 4! I love the John Wick franchise. And it just seems to get better with each new installment as they flesh out the organization built around The High Table. John Wick 3 was the best one yet, filled with a cool story and action that was more over the top than ever. And here we are at the fourth one, coming March 24, 2023...

   
• I Am Groot! It looks cute as hell, like we knew it would. I could speculate, but there's not much point when we'll see for reals on August 10th...

   
• Black Adam! The DC Comics movies have been mostly bad as of late, Wonder Woman and The Suicide Squad being the exceptions. Everything else that came after Nolan's Batman trilogy has been crap. This doesn't look half bad, but (especially where DC is concerned) looks can be deceiving. They have before. Guess we'll know on October 21...

   
• Rings of Power! I don't know if the Amazon Prime Lord of the Rings series is going to be any good... but it sure looks like they put a ton of money into it. ..

   
• Shazam! Fury of the Gods! The first Shazam was a horrendous pile of shit and I hated it. Hopefully this one won't be as stupid and uneven, because it certainly could be a good movie character. And Helen Mirren makes an intriguing villain to be sure. Good or bad, it's coming on December 21...

   
• More Marvel Studios! There was more from Kevin Feige in Hall H yesterday...

  • Armor Wars - 2023??? There was not a peep about this series at Comic Con, which feels ominous. Supposedly it starts filming later this year, but are they re-thinking things? I had always imagined that something which happens in this show will end up leading into Ironheart, but maybe not? Regardless, Rhodey has been around since the very beginning of the MCU, and it's about time he gets a shot.
  • Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania - February 17, 2023. I was sincerely disappointed that we didn't get a trailer for this highly anticipated film. All we know is that Ant-Man, The Wasp, and Stature (Scott's adult daughter Cassie) get sucked into the Quantum Realm. Where they run into one of The Avengers' nastiest foes... Kang the Conquerer. Not exactly sure what that's going to be about because King ends up being in the next Avengers movie (see below).
  • Secret Invasion - Spring 2023. In the comic book series, evil Skrulls replace various super-heroes in order to... well... invade the earth. It was a shocking event in the comics which shook things up in weird ways because it came out of nowhere. The replacements had happened and had been foreshadowed for a while, even if people didn't know it. It seems unlikely that this kind of far-reaching plot device would be ingrained into the MCU in the same way for a Disney+ series, but I guess you never know.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 - May 5, 2023. Adam Warlock? The High Evolutionary? The origin of Rocket? Sounds about perfect, right? The only problem being that James Gunn has stated that this is the end of the road for his Guardians movies. Hopefully it will be a good one to go out on.
  • Loki Season 2 - Summer 2023. The first season was a pretty good compromise between allowing the character to continue on while not sabotaging his sacrifice in what came before. Unfortunately I didn't think it was as compelling as it could have been. The whole Sylvie-as-Loki-Variant angle on The Enchantress didn't work for me, and it felt like the entire point of the show wasn't to be about Loki... but getting King into the MCU. Hopefully the second time around will be for Loki and not something else.
  • Echo - Summer 2023. Of all the characters who could be given their own Disney+ series, this one is a head scratcher. Echo? Seriously? I dunno. I guess it could be interesting, but it seems like a waste. My guess is that it selected because it would be a cheap series to make. I hope that's not the case.
  • The Marvels - July 28, 2023. Thanks to Ms. Marvel, we already have an inkling about this film. But we don't know anything concrete, which feels weird given how close it is.
  • Blade - November 3, 2023. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for Blade coming to the MCU (I liked all three of the Wesley Snipes films... yes, even the third one), but there are so many other movies I'd rather see. Blade had his cinematic shot already, and could have easily fit into a Disney+ series instead of snagging a coveted movie spot. It's as if Marvel Studios is rolling dice to find the next Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, which is fine, but I had hoped for something more than this.
  • Ironheart - Fall, 2023. Riri Williams is a great comic book character... and if Marvel Studios ever wants to get the whole Young Avengers situation moving, she would be a great part of that. But this is taking forever to assemble. The "Young" Avengers won't be young by the time it actually happens. And maybe it won't ever happen. But hopefully we'll get a good Ironheart out of it all.
  • Agatha: Coven of Chaos - Winter 2023/2024. I honestly don't know. Do I want to see more Kathryn Hahn? Absolutely. But whether it's worth watching will depend entirely on what they've got for a story. If they go too silly or stupid, it'll be a toothless joke. If they go too dark and serious, Hahn will be wasted. They need to find a story that is a good balance of both... as well as provide a compelling enough reason for the show to exist. Here's hoping.
  • Captain America: New World Order - I sure hope that they give Sam Wilson a fair shot at being Cap. He's a great character, has paid his dues, and deserves his shot. And if we can get Bucky along for the ride, that would be great.
  • Daredevil: Born Again - Spring 2024. The comic book version of this story was character-defining. It documented the fall of Daredevil at the hands of The Kingpin, and how he managed to battle back from it. Now, some of the story arc has already been adapted in previous seasons of the Netflix Daredevil series, so I'm not exactly sure where they're going to go with it. But I certainly plan on finding out.
  • Thunderbolts - July 26, 2024. The comic book version of this film was kinda epic. Super villains band together in disguise as a new team of super heroes... who secretly want to take over the world (what else?). It is logical to think that this is a follow-up to Secret Invasion when the world has lost faith in heroes who aren't what they seem to be. But how they will manage to make it fresh for the movies when the concept from the comics is so well-known is a mystery.
  • Fantastic 4 - November 2024. If there's a movie that deserves to find success, it's one featuring the First Family of Adventure. The first two were pretty bad. The third one was fucking horrendous. So here's hoping the fourth time's a charm. It would be amazing if John Krasinski actually is Mr. Fantastic after his appearance in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness... but that would give the film too much of a chance at success, so who knows.
  • Avengers: The Kang Dynasty - May 2, 2025. This is so far out as to be ridiculous... almost three years. Marvel just wanted something completely unknown to drop to their rabid fans at Comic Con. What's so intriguing here is that King is going to be menacing the MCU for over two years (he started in the first season of Loki, remember?). I guess this is the big finale, but who knows who might be an Avenger this far away. Will we even care? Probably.
  • Avengers: Secret Wars - November 7, 2025. I'm guessing this will be the epic finale of "The Multiverse Saga" where all the various variants are taken to a world so they can battle it out for the amusement of the powerful cosmic entity known as The Beyonder. At which point the Multiverse will likely be shut down Crisis on Infinite Earths style. For which I'm thankful, because the stakes are less when there's an unlimited number of universes to draw replacements for characters that get killed. The good news is that the cast will be absolutely epic, drawing together heroes new and old from the entire length of the MCU.

   
• And The Rest! And here's some other things that might prove interesting...

  • Picard I've always been more intrigued with the concept behind Picard than the show itself. The first season was nice, even though it didn't stick the landing. The second season bored me, and felt like a wasted opportunity. The third season seems as if it will hinge on nostalgia for The Next Generation, of which I have none.
  • Interview with The Vampire I liked the books okay... what ones I've read, anyways. But I have zero interest in a series. They already did a movie, it was fine, and dragging things out with a TV show doesn't seem like time well-spent. It's just a continuation of a trend.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Given the absolutely abysmal track record of D&D-based sword and sorcery in film and television, it seems like a longshot that this will be worth a crap. Except... the trailer actually doesn't look half bad. So maybe? Could it be another Lord of the Rings or (early) Game of Thrones? and not a complete waste of time, talent, and money? Stranger things have happened.

   
So... until next Comic Con, I guess. See you next year.

   

Bullet Sunday 772

Posted on Sunday, July 31st, 2022

Dave!Oh look! Summer is half-over and the temperatures are climbing past 100°, but it's cool in this house... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Uhura! I was very sorry to hear of the passing of Nichelle Nichols. It's impossible to quantify just how important her role on Star Trek was when it comes to the history of television... and the world, really. The now legendary story of how she was going to quit Star Trek until Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. changed her mind because it showed the world how our future should be was just the beginning of her influence...

The incomparable Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Uhura on Star Trek.

If you're interested in a very loose interpretation of events... this episode of Drunk History is darn good...

I have watched that so many times.

   
• Wood! Maybe it's because I love woodworking that I've watched these a half-dozen times... but I honestly think it's so cool that anybody would find it fascinating...


I love videos like this. Entirely too imaginative and clever. There's only a few videos, but entire YouTube Channel is gold.

   
• PANDA! Bamboo Eating Panda is no longer interested in eating for your amusement (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@xiongmaosh This is to know that someone photographed it? Pose#panda #lovely #eat ♬ 原聲 - xiongmaosh

He's still adorable, however.

   
• Girls? I've been looking forward to Paper Girls since I found out that they were adapting the comic book series, which was excellent. — Unfortunately, I find it to be nearly unwatchable. In the comics, the story really shines through... it's imaginative and interesting and everything you could want in a comic. But the Amazon Prime adaptation? EVERY FUCKING SCENE HAS THE DRAMA AND INTENSITY DIALED UP TO ELEVEN! It's all screaming and overacting on top of overacting on top of overacting. And I do not blame the young actors for that... when they are given quieter moments (which is rare) they are darn good. I blame the director(s) who apparently pushed them to be fucking insane level to a bizarre and intolerable degree. And the worst part is when they use swear words, because they don't sound even remotely natural... they PUNCH. EVERY. FUCKING. CURSE. and it's so jarring as to be disastrous. Absolutely hated this series, and nobody is more bummed about that than I am...

Paper Girls on Amazon.

Be careful what you wish for... because for every Umbrella Academy, there's whatever the hell this was.

   
• Deadly! Utterly fascinating. Utterly terrifying.

Add to this the advent of antibiotic-resistant bacteria... and the future looks pretty scary if science can't find a way out of this.

   
• ChocToc! Look, I'm not saying I ate a lot of Choco Tacos... but I am still sad that they are being discontinued because my life was made easier knowing that they were out there when I needed them...

It's the Choco Taco!

WHAT WILL I DO WHEN I CRAVE A CHOCO TACO NOW?!?

   
• HYPOCRISY! So remember… I know I will… (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick).

@dr.eric.b #politics #fyp #conservative #liberal #monkeypox #lgbt #gay ♬ original sound - Eric

   
And that's all the bullets we have for today.

   

Andor is Coming!

Posted on Monday, August 1st, 2022

Dave!September 21st.

Cannot possibly enunciate how badly I want to see this series. I haven’t loved many of the Star Wars movies after The Empire Strikes Back... but Rogue One is definitely a huge exception, and Cassian Andor is a big part of the reason why...

No K-2SO in the poster. I'm guessing that he comes along shortly. Or at the end of Season 01...

Apparently there are three planned seasons... ever-escalating quicker until the series matches up to Rogue One.

   

Enter The Sandmanses

Posted on Friday, August 5th, 2022

Dave!Sandman (on Netflix) is a fantastic adaptation of one of my favorite comic book series. And something I never thought I'd see happen despite numerous attempts to turn it into movies.

The 10-episode series is loyal to the source material... almost to a fault. There are segments which blew by in the comic at a brisk pace which have been dragged out to tedium to fill a one-hour runtime, and it hurt the series a bit. As an example, I wish I could have watched the fifth episode in 3X speed instead of the Netflix max of 1.5X because it was so slow and so tedious... attempting to fill 50 minutes with material that would have been a stretch at 20.

Much ado has been made about the "gender-swapping" and "race-swapping" of various characters. This is a bunch of rubbish, because these are not real-life people being portrayed, but fictional characters. "Death" being Black doesn't change a thing, and the actor they got to play her is fantastic, which is all that really matters...

Probably the biggest "controversy" (if you can call it that) was casting Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer. Now, in the comic book, it was never a secret that Neil Gaiman based his Lucifer on David Bowie at his most androgynous. So casting a woman... especially one as incredibly talented and nuanced as Gwendoline Christie... is not a stretch at all. I mean just look at this...

The casting of this series is impeccable... with one minor exception. I thought Patton Oswalt was distracting as Matthew (much as I love him in other stuff). But otherwise even small roles were cast with such care, and it enriched the series in every way.

So... yeah... worth the wait.

If you're a fan of the comic, you've likely already watched it. If not? Worth a look for sure.

   

Bullet Sunday 772

Posted on Sunday, August 7th, 2022

Dave!World War III is back on the table thanks to politician idiocy, but don't let that harsh your mellow... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Wedding! To my fellow Hallmark movie nerds... Wedding Season on Netflix. The concept has been done to death, but this one is way too cute to miss...

I love how Netflix gives a good budget to their movies like this. It makes all the difference in diferentiating them from Hallmark.

   
• Star Wars Summer! The LEGO Star Wars Summer Vacation Special has a gem of a Weird Al song attached to it, and the video is right here...

Whether you're a Star Wars fan or a LEGO Star Wars fan or both... the special is worth a look! Find it on Disney+.

   
• Eternally Again! Patton Oswalt leaked that they are working on another Eternals movie. Good. Now leave powerless, annoying Sprite the fuck out of it (or kill her to start off the film). Leave Ajak dead. Leave Ikarus dead. And as much as I loved Gilgamesh, leave him dead. Then kill off Druig (or turn him into the full-on villain he is). Focus on Sersi, Thena, Kingo, Phastos, and Starfox. FIVE characters instead of however the fuck too many were in the first film. Marvel needs to get over themselves that Eternals was an epic masterpiece and come to terms with the fact that they created a bloated, scattered, mess of a film. Avengers Endgame had DOZENS of characters and felt more focused. Don't get me wrong... I enjoyed Eternals and didn't think it was as awful as many people did... but it could have been SO much better. I do hope that Chloé Zhao comes back to direct because her work is so beautiful... but don't force her to cram so much shit in her film that it gets so very sloppy.

   
• Vacation! This is so accurate as to sting a bit (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@shane.duffy

Just make sure you reply to your emails 👍

♬ original sound - Shane Duffy 😮‍💨

I haven't had a vacation in three years. Sure I have the hours... but I'm always too busy to actually use them.

   
• Trash! I will keep saying it... Nancy Pelosi is garbage. Everything wrong with government is right here (And here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@progressivetradesman #greenscreen #insidertrading #corrupt #parforthecourse #dividendsaretheft ♬ original sound - user4501857206945

Like most of our politicians, she doesn't give a FUCK how many people she hurts so long as she keeps grabbing that money and power! And she doesn't care if she starts World War III or tanks our stock market to get it.

   
• PAID! I'd like to leave this Bullet Sunday on a good note... I paid off my blue iMac, Lemon, this week!

iMac PAID!

And in two months my MacBook Pro will also be paid off. Which will be very nice. The money not used for making payment can go towards groceries, gas, and everything else that's insanely expensive now-a-days.

   
TTFN, Bullet fans...

   

Bullet Sunday 773

Posted on Sunday, August 14th, 2022

Dave!Don't let my busted ass blog ruin your day... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now (even if it will have to be posted later)...

   
• Borked! Not only is my blog completely fucked today for unknown reasons, I see that now my heavy purple X's at the beginning of each entry are now regular-old black crosses?

Absolutely no clue what that is about. But it seems to happen on every browser I try and the code for them to be heavy and purple is still there... so one more thing to worry about, I guess.

   
• Found! One of my top-five favorite television shows of all time, The Finder, is streaming on Disney+...

Promo Image for The Finder on Disney+!

The show has some things that did not age well (there is a Romani character which is referred to as "The G-Word" among other things) but the stories, characters, and concept are all fantastic. If you have Disney+, I urge you to give it a shot. If, for no other reason, to see the incomparable Michael Clarke Duncan in one of his final roles. HELPFUL HINT: The series was originally broadcast (and is still streaming) out of order. To watch it in an order where the plot threads all make sense, do so like this... Episode 01, 09, 03, 04, 02, 10, 05, 08, 06, 07, 12, 11, 13.

   
• Prequel Hunt! And speaking of streaming... I don't know if I've mentioned it yet, but the Predator prequel, Prey (streaming on Hulu), is fantastic. It not only stays faithful to the original concept in a way that other "Predator" movies haven't, in some ways it's actually superior to the original. This time the action takes place on the Great Plains in the 1700's sometime. This time it's a Comanche girl who takes on an earlier concept Predator who hasn't gotten the same advanced weaponry we see in the other films...

Now, there's been some serious shit-talk online about the fact that a Comanche girl was able to battle a Predator without being immediately slaughtered, but if you actually pay attention to the film, it is well explained exactly how she could do this. Multiple times! I dearly loved this movie, and hope we not only see more Predators throughout history (somebody mentioned Predators in feudal Japan, and I got goosebumps)... but I hope we see a lot more of the movie's star... Amber Midthunder. So incredibly captivating and talented.

   
• Puppers! After you watch Prey on Hulu... treat yourself to this story about the other star of the movie!

   
• Sad! I don't get too excited for non-Marvel Studios movies lately... but this? This looks really interesting!

If nothing else, it looks like something that will be new and unique, so there's that!

   
• NEWS! This just in from the "No Shit, Sherlock" department... The More Money You Earn The Happier You Are, Large Study Finds.

   
• Denmark! This dipshit actually thought she did a thing...

All she actually did was show how utterly brainwashed Americans are by politicians and the wealthy corporations that own them.

   
No idea when I will have a chance to figure out what is wrong with my blog this time. I'm traveling this coming week, so maybe never! So see you next week... maybe.

   

Bullet Sunday 774

Posted on Sunday, August 21st, 2022

Dave!It's a bizarre situation when you have to figure out how to blog, but no worries... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• One Step Beyond! Ever since Marvel Studios announced that Secret Wars was happening, I've been a bit obsessed about who Marvel Studios will get to play The Beyonder. I think it's really important that they not make him be overly "cosmic"... instead he needs to be played a little funny and with a child-like wonder to belie his unlimited powers. And the person who could pull that off beautifully is Jake McDorman (who was exactly what The Beyonder needed to be in Limitless (the TV series, not the movie)...

Jake McDorman and The Beyonder.

Or somebody like him. It would be a mistake to go with somebody with too much seriousness and gravitas. That's just not going to play well in a movie like this.

   
• Sandy! I saw this incredible demonstration of sand art for The Sandman then spent a good chunk of time going through their Twitter feed to look at all the other amazing stuff they've done...

Here's the Twitter feed if you've got time to spare.

   
• TREK! This just slays me: "Strange New Worlds Showrunner Says Series Pitch Was “What If We Just Did Star Trek? Such a novel concept!

I do not mind AT ALL doing something new and different within the Star Trek universe... I loved the new JJ Abrams Star Trek movies (for the most part)... but the way that they took the amazing first season of Star Trek: Discovery and just flushed it down the toilet with subsequent seasons drives me crazy. I am really, really hoping that future seasons of Strange New Worlds hangs on to what makes the show so great.

   
• TANOOOOOOO! I'm more than a little anxious every time there is news "from the production" of Asohka...

Rosario Dawson as Asohka Tano.

I thought it finished filming back in May, so I was expecting it would be released by the end of the year. But if this keeps up, it won't be until 2023! Bigly sad!

   
• My Modern Consumer Life! Tell me if this sounds familiar...
"wE'Ve SHipPed YoUR oRder!"
"Oh, great! Can I get a tracking number?"
"nO!"
"How do I know you shipped it then?"
"TRusT uS! wE'Ve SHipPed YoUR oRder!"

The fact that it's urgent is not as concerning as the fact that my credit card has been charged.

   
• My Valentine! Maybe one day I'll be able to clean my home without running across stuff like this. Valentine's Day was a holiday I went all out for with my grandma and mom. I'd order interesting flowers from around the country and always bought their cards the minute they were put out for sale so I had the best selection...

Valentine Card for my Mom.

Once I started taking my mom on vacations to give her something to look forward to after her abusive boyfriend was carted off to prison, she asked me to stop spending money on flowers and put it towards her next vacation instead. Still bought her a card though.

   
• Blue! I finally finished the final episode of the Viagra documentary on discovery+. It's kinda fascinating, kinda impressive, and kinda thought-provoking. The "boner-pill" was discovered by accident when its primary function ended up being a side-effect for a different drug they were developing. That Pfizer took it and ran with it is a testament to the pharmaceutical industry. There's two things that this documentary series dismantles. The first is that Pfizer put huge amounts of time and money into R&D so that men could have erections... all while there's still not cure for cancer. Except it was discovered by accident. Erections are not what they were trying to do at all. The second is that the pill was designed so rich old men could have a sex life long after nature has taken its course and denied it to them. But the truth is that there are many young men in their sexual prime who can't have a sex life due to erectile disfunction, and Viagra completely changed their lives. Sex is a big part of the human condition, and to not be able to have sex is a serious point of suffering that can now be alleviated. So make fun of the little blue pill all you want, but for many people it's no laughing matter.

   
May the remainder of your Sunday be smooth sailing. Mine won't! I am fixing my deep fryer (or trying to).

   

arc Arc ARC!

Posted on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022

Dave!A week-and-a-half ago I ordered a Sonos Arc using my "upgrade discount." The reason was two-fold... 1) I needed a flat speaker in front of my studio desk... and 2) I am really tired of having to use two separate remotes for the PlayBar in my living room (which, foolishly, doesn't use eARC, but instead clings to optical digital, which was outdated years before I bought the thing).

But heeeeere's the thing.

OF COURSE Sonos made it so that the PlayBar wall-mount doesn't work with the Arc so you have to buy a new one. OF COURSE they didn't put the cable hole in the same place. Because OF COURSE. So my first order of business was to move the hole in my wall 1-1/2-inches lower. Fortunately, that's fairly easy. You just flip the piece that you cut out of the new location and put it up top like so...

Re-hole of the hole for my hole in the wall.

And, yes, I cover everything with plastic, because it's all too easy to accidentally spray where you don't want to spray, and I can't afford a new television or furniture...

She's dead... wrapped in plastic.

Next I had to sand and spray texture to cover not only the patch... but the six holes that I had to make for the PlayBar mount...

Spraying the texture.

After that, it's just a matter of installing the wall plug and painting the wall. Yeah, yeah, I know that it would be easier to just run the power cable through the wall, but I really can't afford a new house if an electrical fire burns mine down, so I did everything by the book...

Paintity paint paint paint.

Interesting to note... the PlayBar wall mount was shitty and stupid if you wanted your cables to come through the wall. It is perfectly flat, so if you use a wall port (AS YOU SHOULD!) then you have to shim the bar out with washers (or whatever) until it's flush with the port plate. The Arc wall mount bends outward, so no shimming is needed if you're using a wall port (AS YOU SHOULD!)...

Arc Wall Mount.

A drill, a spirit level, and a shiny new HDMI cable pulled through the wall, and voilà... Arc installed...

Arc is INSTALLED.

It's pretty good. For one thing, the stereo separation is better than it was on the PlayBar. For another thing, this new sound bar has upward-firing speakers to bounce off the ceiling and provide sound from above the television. This isn't terribly effective... there are some Atoms-enabled movies that I can kinda get the effect. But it will never going to be the same as having an actual Atmos speaker setup. BUT THE BEST THING?!? Because HDMI-ARC allows the television to control the volume of the Arc, I can just use one remote control for everything. Yay!

And then there's the PlayBar...

The thing I hated about using the regular ol' Sonos One speakers in my studio is that I wasn't able to put them in front and to the side of my chair so that the separated sound is coming from in front of me as God intended. Instead they are off-center at different places on the side of me because of the way the room is configured.

But PlayBar is flat and has stereo separation in one spot so it can be directly in front of my desk, like this...

My TV PlayBar in front of my desk.

My TV PlayBar in front of my desk.

Piece-o-cake.

I was worried that sitting far closer than intended would screw up the sound, but that wasn't the case at all. There's pretty good separation, the sound comes from in front of me, and the quality is pretty impressive. It's actually a better fit for this than it was a TV sound bar.

And so... a lot of money well-spent, I suppose.

   

Bullet Sunday 775

Posted on Sunday, August 28th, 2022

Dave!A time to be born, a time to die. A time to blog, a time to bullet... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Confess! I love the Fletch books. I love the Chevy Chase Fletch movies... even though they are a different take on the material than I would have gone with. And now we're getting a new Fletch played by... Jon Hamm?!?

Couldn't be happier. Hamm has proven over and over that he has some serious comedy chops, and I think he's a perfect fit for Fletch. Hopefully it will be priced reasonably given that it's day-and-date with the theatrical release. I guess we find out on September 16th.

   
• Murders! I finally got caught up enough that I could spare enough time to watch the final episode of Inly Murders in the Building...

I didn't guess the killer, but I did enjoy how they wrapped it up. And that final star cameo? Brilliant!

   
• Alternative Facts! Do you know what makes for alternative eggs? POTATOES!

Store display for Alternative Eggs.

Alternative Eggs is SIMPLY POTATOES.

I don't know how accurate this is... but I do like me the potatoes.

   
• The Death of Streaming! As the whole Warner Bros. Discovery fiasco continues to implode... I find myself starting to not give a shit. At first I was outraged because shows like Infinity Train were being buried and movies like Batgirl were getting killed off during production. It just seems so incredibly disrespectful towards the people who work hard on these projects to have their efforts be shit on. And all to save a few bucks on taxes and residual payments. But now I am to the point where I'm just saying "good." That's two less streaming services I have to pay for. About the only thing left on Discovery I give a shit about is Bargain Block, and if HBO is going to waste away to a few shows I watch, then what's the point? I'll discontinue my annual memberships and just pay for a month or two each month when there's something I want to watch. So thanks for saving me a bunch of money, LOL! Although... I can only hope that this will actually improve the state of the DC Comics Cinematic Universe, which has been a festering pile of shit since the put all their eggs in a Snyderverse basket.

   
• Fake? As a long-time fan of Johnny Harris and his videos, I've had more than a few problems with his videos over the past year which tend to simplify things to the point of them sliding more towards fiction than fact. Now I'm a lot more selective about which of his videos I watch and how much credence I give to his thoughts (which is why I haven't been featuring his content on this blog as of late). And then I ran across this, which perfectly encapsulates where I'm at...

Like this guy, I don't want Johnny "canceled"... I just want him to do better. He's still a compelling video maker.

   
• EXCUSE ME! There's a lot of people who can do a President Trump impersonation. Jamie Foxx has a really good one...

Fun times. Fun times.

   
And now I must bid you (and my bullets) adieu.

   

Bullet Sunday 776

Posted on Sunday, September 4th, 2022

Dave!It's the middle of a 3-day weekend, but I won't let that stop me... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• There Be Dragons Here! We're three episodes into House of the Dragon and I'm fairly impressed. Not so much for the show, which is okay and I'm certainly enjoying it... but because anybody who has read Fire & Blood already knows what becomes of all these characters, and that's kind of exciting. At least we think we do. Heaven only knows that they could change events in order to drag the show out and have it end in a pile of shit like Game of Thrones...

In the books... this period in Westerous history which culminated in the disastrous "Dance of Dragons" war, was actually quite cool and interesting. If they stay faithful to it, the HBO series could have a great ending. If not? Well, strike two, I guess.

   
• POWERRRRR! In Amazon's absurdly expensive competition for the above, The Rings of Power, we've returned to Middle Earth (last seen in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy). While watching the first two episodes, I was confused. What in the heck is this supposed to be? We're in The Second Age, which is fine... but it's not feeling very "Tolkien." Nor does it seem to be coming from The Silmarillion (Tolkien's book of stuff that happens in the First, Second, and Third Age). Sure, you've got Elrond and Galadriel, but not in a form that they're recognizable. At least not to me...

Not knowing what to think, I ran to Google to find out. Turns out that Amazon didn't buy the rights to The Silmarillion at all. All they got were the books which have already been made into movies, including the appendices, which is where the concept for Rings of Power came from. But the actual story? Pulled out of their asses. The show is visually stunning. The acting is great. And the story doesn't suck. I will absolutely keep watching. But, it's like, WTF? You would think that the Tolkien Estate would want for the series to be close to Tolkien's vision as possible. But I guess not. Money speaks louder than Elvish, I guess.

   
• GAH! MY GOD! WHAT DID HAPPEN TO MEN?!??? (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@chris_wells_ #stitch with @tre_valley ♬ BIG MAD - Ktlyn

I've heard this so many times in my life. "WHAT'S HAPPENING TO OUR MEN?!" It's such a laughable question to be asking. Harry Styles doesn't represent "all men" any more than a landing craft full of men during (assumably) D-Day does. Or any more than the alarmist snowflake in this video does.

   
• Booster for my Booster's Booster Booster! The minute it's available to me... "If you have had your primary series, with or without any number of boosters, you are eligible to get a bivalent booster this fall, as long as it has been at least two months since your last COVID vaccine."

   
• ZOMFG!!! I do not even know how to respond to this (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@fulldanfisher #stitch with @proudviking2 i dont get it and i love mayonnaise for life #fyp #mayonnaise #prisonlube ♬ original sound - Dan Fisher

Now, I love mayonnaise. It's one of my most favorite foods. No stupid-ass "factoid" like this woman is spinning would make me reconsider. Which is why I'm sharing this, because Dan Fisher's measured response is all that needs to be said.

   
• Your Sexism at Work! Yeah. Not enough people are talking about this: Grey hair: Fine for George Clooney but not Lisa LaFlamme?

   
• Food! GAH! I AM IN LOVE AGAIN! This woman’s cooking TikTok is the best thing on the internet right now (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@abir.sag Replying to @Krami lulu Maltese Pastizzi 🇲🇹#malta #🇲🇹 #pastizzi #abirzkitchen ♬ original sound - Abir el saghir

Seriously, go watch her videos. She's absolutely lovely, has amazing recipes, and her videos are wonderfully entertaining.

   
• Safety. A quick and important read if you own an iPhone: How to Hard Lock an iPhone to Prevent Unauthorized Biometric Access (I don't know how this works on an Android phone, but you should find out if you own one).

   
See you in seven.

   

Bullet Sunday 777

Posted on Sunday, September 11th, 2022

Dave!Another year of waking up, realizing it's 9/11, and knowing that it's the Last Night of the World all over again. I'd stop and think of something more to say, but I don't have time... because an all new Disney D23 Expo Edition of Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• D23! Every year Disney holds its D23 Fan Club Expo where they talk about all the new things that will be coming up. Ever since they bought Star Wars and Marvel Studios, it's been a much more important event to me than it was prior...

   
• Thunderbolts! It's a Marvel Studios reunion! Florence Pugh returning as Yelena Belova? Sebastian Stan returning as Winter Soldier? David Harbour returning as Red Guardian? Hannah John Kamen returning as Ghost? Wyatt Russell returning as US Agent? Olga Kurylenko returning as Taskmaster? SIGN ME UP! In the comic books, Thunderbolts are a team of villains pretending to be a new team of heroes in the MCU. You don't find out who they actually are until the last page. This looks to be the same type of thing, except it's going to have a very different dynamic since the element of surprise is completely missing. If people are familiar with the MCU, they already know who these actors are playing. It would seem that this movie is going to have a Russian plot since most of these characters (except US Agent and Ghost) having ties to there. Well, whatever the case, this cast is very exciting, and I'm really looking forward to this one.

   
• Invasive! I didn't know exactly where they were going to go with Secret Invasion since the comic book series relied on a huge amount of backstory that simply doesn't exist in the MCU. Or does it? I mean, there is a number of interesting people in the MCU who could have been swapped out by the shape-changing Skrulls... and first on my list would be Sharon Carter, Agent 13, whom we lost saw as a bad guy (bad gal?) "Power Broker" in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. I hope that there's some major names that got replaced and not just some background characters (how cool if Tony Stark was replaced and it was a Skrull?)...

Olivia Colman?!? What's she doing there? It looks like Rhodey might be a Skrull in the trailer, so anybody could be. Which is the entire premise, I suppose.

   
• ARMORRRR! And speaking of Rhodey, Marvel Studios says that Secret Invasion will lead directly into his own series, which would be Armor Wars. Other than Ironheart, we don't know whether the concept from the comic books will make it to the series, but it should prove interesting if the Stark armor gets out and the series is putting the genie back in the bottle. No trailer and no idea of an air date.

   
• WHAT??! Surprise! I had no idea that we were getting a Werewolf by Night Halloween Special on Disney+...

Gael García Bernal?!? That's quite a get for the character. Not exactly sure how this ties into the bigger picture... but something I'm excited to see given the grind house aesthetic that's going on. Interesting to note that Man-Thing is going to be in this as well.

   
• Andor! I'm one of those Star Wars fans who didn't like everything that came after The Empire Strikes Back except for Rougue One and Solo. Fortunately, The Mandalorian came along to revive good Star Wars for me. Then we got Book of Boba Fest, which was good. Then we got Obi-Wan Kenobi, which was also good. And next up? Andor, which is coming out of Rogue One...

This looks so good. And I couldn't be happier, because his character is fantastic. Fingers crossed it lives up to my high expectations.

   
• Mando! And speaking of The Mandalorian, heeeeeere comes Season 03...

Awww... baby Grogu is still adorable. He never gets old.

   
• Oh Percy! Is it too much to hope that Percy Jackson and The Olympians doesn't suck?

While the movies were far from terrible, they weren't what I was hoping for either because they didn't follow the books (WHY? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!?).

   
• Treasures! I am a big fan of the first Nicholas Cage National Treasure movie... and thought that the sequel was okay too. Now they're releasing a new television series based on the movies (with Harvey Keitel and Justin Bartha providing a link between the two)...

Catherine Zeta-Jones is a good choice for a villain, but I find it weird that they have made the show to be some kind of teen adventure version?

   
There was other stuff that got discussed (Wakanda Forever, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, and Indiana Jones 5 to name a few), but that info hasn't been released to the general public yet. Probably eventually though.

   

Better Than People

Posted on Thursday, September 15th, 2022

Dave!I have had enough of this smoke.

I guess you could say that it is looking a little better today, but the smell is still hanging in the air and the hills are still hazy. It would be nice if they could manage to get the wildfires contained... not just for my sinuses, but for all the little woodland critters that are being made homeless.

IN OTHER NEWS...
Since I can't go outside except to drive to work, I have been staying indoors huddled up next to my air purifiers and watching a lot of television. And holy crap have I got a winner. If you want to see one amazing television show, then tune into Netflix for лучше чем люди (which translates as "Better Than People," but has been retitled Better Than Us by Netflix). It takes place in the near future where robots are around to help humans... but a new kind of robot prototype escapes, and her programming is not like other robots!

This series is gorgeously realized. The tech that's integrated into people's lives all seems remarkably intuitive and real. The world that's been created is amazing... not so far from our own, but jusssst different enough to be fascinating. And the cast is incredible (the young girl who plays Sonya is so good). Seriously one of the best things I've watched in a minute. The more you watch, the more it sucks you in! I have no idea why Netflix didn't promote the heck out of this show. You can watch all sixteen episodes dubbed into English, but the original performances are so good it's better with subtitles.

You're welcome!

   

Bullet Sunday 778

Posted on Sunday, September 18th, 2022

Dave!You had a bad day, but all of that's about to change... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Leap? I was more than a little excited for the new Quantum Leap series. The original is one of the more memorable shows from my 20's, and there was a lot they could do with the concept. Many ways to freshen it up and make it relevant to today's audiences. Alas, they didn't get anywhere near what I was hoping for. The original was the whole package... charming, funny, smart, exciting, and entertaining. Plus the two stars (Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell) were exceedingly talented and had chemistry for days. Sure parts of the show haven't aged well at all, but if the new version was even half as good, it would be something special. But this new one is just... there...

Quantum Leap 2022 promo image.

I didn't like it. I didn't hate it. I didn't feel anything about it at all (which is probably worse than if I had outright hated it). The actors aren't bad... but none of them seem particularly suited for their roles. The story isn't bad... it just isn't compelling television. And while they make a nod towards Dr. Sam Beckett right off the bat (and Al at the end) I wish they hadn't have bothered, because it just makes me feel even worse about what we've got.

   
• Click! If you have an iPhone. If you've installed iOS 16. You need to turn on "haptic keyboard" (settings -> sound & haptics -> keyboard feedback). This is SO nice. Feels like you're pressing keys! It's a little less magical if you have "QuickPath" (slide to type) on like I do... but it's still a cool additional to how I interact with my iPhone.

   
• MegaSHADE! Wow. Nobody roasts like Megatron...

@joesmith1645

did he fucking call me a loser?

♬ original sound - Joe Randallo

I love it when meet-n-greet characters are a step above.

   
• Cod! This is funny... but actually speaks to how incredibly stupid it is to complain about Ariel’s skin color. SHE’S A FRICKIN’ FICTIONAL FISH PERSON! And the actress they got to play her has the voice of an absolute angel, WHICH IS WHAT YOU WANT IN A FRICKIN’ MUSICAL!

   
• From Scratch! Sooo... Zoe Saldana is doing a "Hallmark" type series for Netflix? YES PLEASE!

Actually looks like it's trying to be more than just Hallmark, which is nice.

   
• Nuggies! Dayam! That's cold...

Time-Traaveling Robot really should have lied. More Dinos and Comics here.

   
• Board! This is great if you watch until the end (and have subtitles on if you don't speak German). I tell you... I've found that some of the funniest people on earth are Germans, and this just reinforces that.

   
And now I really need to take a nap.

   

it’s not what you think.

Posted on Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

Dave!It's mind-boggling just how often I am expected to put up with crap that nobody else seems to have to. Maybe it's because I'm a total pushover and try too hard to be nice. Maybe it's because the path of least drama is my default mode of operation. Maybe I lack the strength to put my foot down.

Whatever the reason, I'm obviously not bothered enough to change anything, so I guess it's on me.

Though I think the fact that people take advantage of this says a lot about them.

I'm going to not worry about it because a new episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is on in twenty minutes.

   

Star Wars: Andor

Posted on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

Dave!I stayed up last night to see the first episode of Andor on Disney+... and immediately wanted to watch the other two episodes that were unleashed at the same time. Except I was way, way too tired to attempt it thanks to being more than a little wiped out by the booster for my booster's COVID booster. At least I'm guessing that's the reason. I had a fever for about a half-hour, then my arm was sore... and that was the end of it. Which is weird because I was warned that the side-effects would be worse than previous boosters.

But anyway... back to Andor...

I finally got around to watching Episode 02 and 03 today... and they are epic.

Cassian Andor is easily one of my favorite characters in all of Star Wars, and it was a forgone conclusion that I would enjoy this series if they A) They didn't change the character for no reason, B) They had a story to make it worth my time, and C) They spent some money to make it actually feel like Star Wars.

Thankfully, Disney+ put their money and talents where their mouth is and completely crushed it. Especially in that mind-blowing third episode! And enough can't be said about Diego Luna, who is talented to begin with... but really bought his A-game to this series. It's like he knows that his character is beloved and wanted to give it everything he got.

And we have nine more episodes to go.

   

Bullet Sunday 779

Posted on Sunday, September 25th, 2022

Dave!My weekend has been spent sick from wildfire smoke, again. But that won't stop me from blogarizing... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• LEGO The Office! I wish that I had more money than I know what to do with. Because one of my immediate purchases would be a pre-order for the LEGO set of The Office. It looks so good! But the fact that you can reinact Kevin's chili accident is the real reason to get this one...

The LEGO Office Box

The LEGO Office Characters

The LEGO Office Jim and Pam

The LEGO Office Kevin Loses the Chili

But it's ONE HUNDRED TWENTY DOLLARS!! And, I gotta say, for that kind of money I'd almost rather have the DUPLO animals set, which looks amazing...

LEGO DUPLO Animals

=sigh= LEGO has lost none of its charm on me.

   
• Razor! And do you want to know how I know LEGO has lost none of its charm on me? I want to sell my spleen so I can afford to pay $600 for this amazing LEGO Star Wars Razor Crest...

LEGO Razor Crest!

Complete with Grogu (AKA Baby Yoda)...

TELL ME THAT'S NOT WORTH $600!!!

   
• Tour! The logistics of major tour planning are fascinating to me...

They should really have a television documentary series that follows huge tours around the country showing stuff like this. And they can start with Pink! And Taylor Swift.

   
• Signs! I'm certain that I've shared this wonderful short film here at least once. But even though I've seen it a dozen times now, I stop and watch it again every time I think about it, so I'm going to share it again...

The simplicity of the idea married to actors who absolutely know what to do for their characters make this infinity watchable.

   
• Thrones! I've made no secret of how much a detest the final season of Game of Thrones. If David Benioff and D.B. Weiss wanted to "get it over with" and move on to other projects, they should have turned the show over to other people to finish it. But they love money, so they took the paycheck and just farted out a shitty endgame that completely betrayed every character involved. If you had told me that there was a way to salvage the finale, I'd have said you were nuts. But I was wrong, because somebody actually managed to do it. Is it perfect? Oh hell no. But does it at least provide a satisfactory explanation for how things unfolded? Yes. Yes it does. Maybe one of these decades George R.R. Martin will complete the final two books in the series. But until then? This is better than nothing.

   
• Crash! Is everybody ready to see DART crash into an asteroid tomorrow? Yeah. Me too. If you want a preview... just Google "NASA DART"

   
I take my leave of you dreaming for breathable air.

   

Bullet Sunday 780

Posted on Sunday, October 2nd, 2022

Dave!I may be mired in wildfire smoke and barely able to breathe, but have no fear... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Behind! If you're old like me, get a colonoscopy, y'all...

The fact that Ryan and Rob are willing to use their celebrity for important stuff like this is why I love Ryan and Rob.

   
• Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes! Just an FYI that Changeland, one of my favorite films of 2019 is now streaming on Amazon Prime. As if the fact that it's gorgeously shot in Thailand isn't enough, the closing credits features Thai cats! It's a bit deeper movie than this trailer lets on, but it's fun too...

I own the film, so I can watch it any time I want... but I will be giving it more than a couple views on Amazon just to give it some love for studio execs who need to be making more films like this.

   
• Diego! Well, crap. Now I love Diego Luna even more than I already did...

If you're not watching him being brilliant in Andor, which is the best Star Wars since Rogue One, then you should get on that.

   
• Play On! Explain to me again how Lizzo playing a fucking flute is somehow controversial. SHE IS A CLASSICALLY-TRAINED FLAUTIST FOR FUCK'S SAKE! Just listen to this...

IT'S NOT LIKE THEY HANDED IT OVER TO SOMEBODY WHO DOESN'T KNOW WHICH END TO BLOW INTO! IT'S NOT LIKE THEY GAVE IT TO PETE TOWNSEND WHO SMASHED IT ON STAGE! IT'S NOT LIKE LIZZO SHOVED IT UP HER ASS AND SHIT IT OUT ON THE CONSTITUTION WHILE KICKING A PUPPY. AND TELL ME THAT BEN SHAPIRO EVEN KNEW ABOUT THE FUCKING FLUTE BEFORE LIZZO PLAYED IT. THE WAY THIS PIECE OF SHIT TRIES TO CREATE FAUX OUTRAGE TO CATER TO PEOPLE WHO JUST WANT TO BE MAD ABOUT EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME IS THE ACTUAL FACE TATTOO PHENOMENON AT WORK...

But that's not all... how the fuck is Lizzo twerking with a slave-owner's crystal flute more disrespectful than it's past-owner James Madison LITERALLY ENSLAVING PEOPLE? I will never in a million years be able to wrap my head around the faux outrage and blatant hypocrisy of these assholes...

Good on Lizzo. I hope she keeps pissing people off for a very long time.

   
• Expired! Petco rewards points used to expire after 90 days. Then it was 45 days. Now it's 30 days. They really, really don't want you to be able to cash in your points. I look forward to the email telling me that they expire in 24 hours. Guess the only thing I'm buying there now will be their bulk kitty litter... and it's probably cheaper and more convenient to get it from Chewy anyway, so maybe not even that. In adjacent news... look forward to your local Petco announcing that they will be closing soon.

   
• Avalon! I have only ever been a casual fan of Brian Ferry and Roxy Music. That being said, I played there Street Life: 20 Greatest Hits album to death, and still fire it up from time to time...

Cover art for Street Life album

Most of my favorite tracks from Roxy Music is from their masterpiece album Avalon. Which is why this look at the album and its recording is so cool to see...

And... now I'll be listening to Street Life on repeat for the rest of the evening.

   
Until next Sunday then. Here's hoping your air is smoke-free.

   

Bullet Sunday 781

Posted on Sunday, October 9th, 2022

Dave!   
My world may be on fire and I feel like I'm dying from smoke inhalation, but never fear... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Todd! Skylar Astin's new show So Help Me Todd is surprisingly great (he was in Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend). If you're looking for something good on TV, this is worth your valuable time...

Please please please can we get a second season of this show. There's so few series on TV now that I really love, and this is definitely one of them. If you've cut the cord like me, you can stream it on Paramount+

   
• Speaking of Awesome TV... You guys... YOU GUYS! Late last night I watched the Marvel Studios Werewolf by Night special on Disney+ and it's BEYOND good. Exceeded all my wildest (and very high) expectations. I watched it a second time so I could be more detached to catch all the references I might have missed the first time (no spoilers, but there are some amazing tidbits for Marvel Comics fans!). I highly recommend watching it late at night first like I did, because that's really the best...

Werewolf By Night Poster.

The clever story... the brilliant cast... the incredible music... the gorgeous cinematography (lovingly shot in black & white)... it's all so wonderful. Especially if you're a fan of all those old monster movies like I am. I'm not posting the trailer because it's best to watch it with no warning, but I give it my highest recommendation. Seriously hoping that Gael García Bernal and Laura Donnelly return for more Marvel projects. They could do a new story like this every Autumn and I would be thrilled. I would subscribe to Disney+ for this and She-Hulk alone... Marvel Studios is really firing on all cylinders.

   
• Speaking of She-Hulk... I've been loving Marvel Studios She-Hulk: Attorney at Law up until Episode 07, which was kinda boring and pointless. I get that it was supposed to be a dive into who Jennifer Walters is and what she's going through, but it never hit as essential to what the show needs to work. But they totally made up for it with the current episode! I've been looking forward to it ever since they've been advertising Daredevil was in it... and It OVER-delivered (ZOMG! GOLD DEVIL!)...

A ketchup-and-mustard-suited Daredevil meets She-Hulk.

And the very end of the episode actually accomplished more than the previous episode could. This show has been brilliantly shining a spotlight on misogynistic crap that is systemic to our society (which, of course, has the dude-bro incel brigade up in arms)... and when you watch the coda to this penultimate episode, it's ALL driven home. Everything She-Hulk is shamed for is what men are celebrated for. I cannot wait for next week's finale. This is my favorite Disney+ series after Hawkeye, and I am really, really hoping for another season. Just back up a dump truck full of money to Tatiana Maslany's house and get it done.

   
• And One More Thing... I'm not going to post spoilers past what's already been spoiled in all the ads for the amazing latest episode of She-Hulk... but there is a huge bomb dropped which doesn't spoil the story that I am still reeling from as I watch it a second time. It's a throwaway line where they say "The Sokovia Accords were repealed..." And it's like... WHAT?!? That's a huge deal that drove an entire film (Captain America: Civil War) and popped up in other films as well. And they dropped it as a nothing line in frickin' She-Hulk? It's actually kinda awesome. And impressive. This is such a great episode. Everything that came before doesn't prepare you.

   
• Hasan-Bhai "See, that's the crazy thing they never tell you about adulthood. Life gets very real when 'don't want' becomes 'can't have.' " There are so few comedians who can do what Hasan Minhaj does in the way he does it. The guy is hilarious... but so very, very smart in his comedy. To the point that it can be devastating. I have missed him A lot after Patriot Act was canceled. Well, he's back and worth your valuable time on Netflix...

His previous special, Homecoming King, is the best piece of standup I've seen. The King's Jester is almost as good.

   
• Taking the Temp! Yesterday I installed the warming pad in Fake Jake's shelter... and have a WiFi temperature gauge set on top of it inside the wind-breaker berm. The good news is that he’s spending most nights inside my neighbor’s house, which will be a lot more comfortable as he gets older. But I still want a place he can go if he’s outside so he doesn’t freeze on nights when it's below freezing. I used to have a camera inside so I could check in on him and be alerted when he's there, but all my Wyze cameras have finally died, and I don't plan on buying any more because of their abusive WHY THE FUCK AREN'T YOU SUBSCRIBED TO WYZE-PLUS?? pestering in the Wyze App. What's interesting is that I can still tell when he's laying in the shelter because the warming pad heats up once he lays on it. Here you can see where he was on it at about 2am, then left an hour-and-a-half later...

Kitty Shelter Temperature Chart showing an increase in temperature at 2:00am, then declining at 3:30am.

One of these days I might find a replacement camera that will work, but everything is so expensive that my wallet may not agree to it.

   
• Toasted! Oh noes! I had half an avocado left and felt bougie as fuck, so I made avocado toast with flakey salt, crushed red pepper flakes, diced green onion, and fresh-ground toasted peppercorns for lunch today... and it turns out FOX "News" was right... now I can't afford my house! AND IT'S ALL MY OWN FAULT!!

My lunch today.

I do like me the avocado toast though. Especially when paired with my potato salad, which I made with cayenne pepper in the sauce, and it tastes amazeballs.

   
We now return to my wildfire-smoke-filled existence already in progress.

   

Bullet Sunday 782

Posted on Sunday, October 23rd, 2022

Dave!The wildfire smoke appears to have abated at long last, but there's no time for celebrating... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Rest in Peace I was saddened to learn that Angela Lansbury had died. What's strange is that just four days prior I had seen that Murder She Wrote was running on Hallmark Channel. After catching the tailend of it, I looked her up to see if she had done any new projects recently (turns out that she has a cameo appearance in Glass Onion, the new Knives Out mystery movie, that's coming to Netflix on December 23rd)...

A look at the Wikipedia page for Angela Lansbury in my browser history from October 7th

My mom was a huge, huge, mega-huge fan of Murder She Wrote. After her memory started to fail her, she would watch the episodes constantly. Jessica Fletcher was somebody she could remember...

Angela Lansbury as Jessica Fletcher

She will be missed.

   
• SQUIRREL! These videos never disappoint...

Sad that this third installment is the final installment. Hopefully Mark Rober changes his mind and brings us another.

   
• More Maximo! I cannot oversell how wonderful the show Acapulco is on Apple TV. The first season was brilliant, sweet, funny, and charming in all the best ways... and they've lost nothing of that magic in Season 02...

I can't believe that Apple managed to strike gold twice with both Ted Lasso and Acapulco. If you're not watching, you absolutely should be. Already hoping that it is renewed for Season 03.

   
• Ho Ho Ho! Very early this morning I ran to the Big City for some shelf pins, because 1/3 of the ones I had were cracking when I pulled them out. Fresh new pins might prevent shelf collapse and breakage maybe? I dunno. But it was only $6 to replace all of them, so worth it, I think. — Hard not to notice that Home Depot had put all their Christmas stuff out...

Much Christmas merryment.

Since I don't celebrate the holiday, I am relieved that I won't need to buy anything (I have a wreath for my door to blend in with the neighborhood, and that's plenty). But I'm also a little sad, because my mom liked decorating for Christmas. Every once in a while I toy with the idea of putting a tree up for old time's sake... but Jake and Jenny would undoubtedly destroy it, and that's something I can do without.

   
• Countdown to Christmas 2023! It's my first Hallmark Christmas movie of the year, Noelle Next Door, and we're off to a good start. Amazing enough that it has one of my most favorite Hallmark stars, Natalie Hall... but Corey Sevier plays a guy who had a stroke and is dealing with some challenges that make him a bit of a Christmas Scrooge... something that shocks me because it's just such a terrific bit of representation that makes for a good film...

This is a simple story with a simple concept that's wonderfully told. Showing that even after all these years, Hallmark still has new corners to explore.

   
• Movies! I rented Bullet Train which was fantastic. I am shocked that it wasn't dumbed down more, as it's fairly complex and has plots within plots. The entire cast was amazing... but Brad Pitt was just beyond. He has a way of making casual characters be capable of carrying an entire movie, which is a rare talent. Bloody fun!

Then I finally rented Bros, which was actually darn funny and sweet. Liked it a lot even though Billy Eichner's acerbic and abusive wit which works so well in 5-minute Billy on the Street episodes is wearing really thin after a a while. Still, they nailed the ending, and Luke MacFarlane's Hallmark history served him well (as well as provided a hilarious series of in-jokes). I wish they hadn't felt the need to have self-deprecating "Why is it that gay guys..." exposition for the straights, because it kind of dumbs down the film in the wrong ways. Was thrilled to see Guillermo Díaz again (Huck on Scandal is one of my all-time favorite characters).

Lastly I rented Confess Fletch. I am such a massive fan of the Chevy Chase originals that I was almost afraid to tune into this. But it's very good. I like it just as much as the Chevy version, but in a different way. This version is much closer to the original novels, and Jon Hamm is fantastic for the role. I sure hope we get more...

   
And that's it for the penultimate Bullet Sunday of October 2023.

   

What to Watch Minute

Posted on Wednesday, October 26th, 2022

Dave!Now that I've been cutting streaming services left and right to save money for fixing all the stuff going wrong in my home, I'm confining myself to the few streaming services that I still have left. Which is Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Discovery+, and YouTube. Some of these were pre-paid for a year... but Netflix will be rotated with with Hulu and Paramount+ and Peacock so I can keep up with all the shows I watch.

Since I missed a week blogging, I thought I'd list out some of the stuff that I've been watching.

I've watched the Season Finale of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law three times, but have held off talking about it because I wanted to make sure that everybody had a chance to see it. There's a lot to love about this series (starting with Tatiana Maslany), but if I had to pick one thing that absolutely thrilled me... it would be seeing Matt Murdock happy. Unlike the dark, dour, depressing Daredevil in the Netflix Universe, which was amazing... the MCU version is the complete opposite and amazing too. Hats off to Charlie Cox... only an actor with some real talent has the chops to pull off both versions of the character. What's so hilarious to me are all the people going on and on about how She-Hulk RUINED THE CHARACTER! No... they didn't. That version is still available to watch if that's what you want. If nothing else, the action was on-point...

In all honesty, I think that the reason people are pouring so much hate on She-Hulk is because it confronts toxic masculinity head-on. Oh well. Stay mad about it, I guess. I thought the series was entertaining as hell and really want a second season.

I'm not done raving about Andor yet. That show is remarkably well thought-out and realized. And the acting is just beyond. Diego Luna is incredible (as expected) but there's nobody falling short of his example, and it's amazing to watch. The eighth episode is fantastic in that you can see they are actually building towards something, and nothing that's come before was by accident. Four more episodes of the first season to go, and I am betting they will just keep amping up as we hurl towards the finish line. Must watch television.

I've been heavily invested in the Netflix series From Scratch with Zoe Saldana. I am fully aware how the show ends (it's based on a true story), but I didn't realize just how heartbreaking they would make it out to be. It's one thing to know something... it's quite another to see it play out with such nuance. After the fourth episode, I only have the heart to watch them one at a time. The problem is that I thought there were six episodes... there are actually eight, and I still have the last two to go. Well worth your time if you're in the mindset for it...

Just have a box of Kleenex ready.

And speaking of knowing how the show ends... I finished the first season of House of the Dragon. Since I've read the book on which it's based, I know exactly what it's all leading to, but that hasn't dampened my appreciation for the show. It reminds me of the early seasons of Game of Thrones. But since the showrunners won't have to make up their own ending, I think Dragon has a much better chance of having a good ending (unlike Thrones which was a complete shit-show)...

Apparently they have the book broken down into four seasons. So three more to go to find out if it actually lived up to its potential, I suppose.

And I'm going to end with this YouTube video of Wayne Brady talking about one of the most hilarious sketches ever to appear on television. This is a deep dive that peels back the curtain in a very interesting and important way...

   

Antici… pation

Posted on Thursday, October 27th, 2022

Dave!Yesterday it was what I am watching.

Today it's what I will be watching.

Wakanda Forever — No surprise that this is my #1 most anticipated, well, anything of 2022. In addition to getting to see all the amazing characters from Wakanda, there's Namor as well? Sign me up. The reactions from everybody who has seen the film have been great, which only makes me want to see it more...

Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania — My second most-anticipated movie doesn't debut until early 2023, but the new trailer that just dropped looks like it's going to be something amazing...

Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special — Just look at the madness that James Gunn has baked into this amazing-looking show. JUST LOOK AT IT!!!

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery — Few things can compare to how great it was to get a new Agatha-Christie-esque murder mystery with an all-star cast, just like the movie adaptations used to be. This one looks great, and the early review buzz has been surprisingly positive...

1899 — From the creators of Dark? Oh yes. I'll be tuning into Netflix for this... 1000%...

Blockbuster — Yeah, Randall Park guarantees that I would be interested, but it actually looks like there's a clever story here...

Enola Holmes 2 — The first movie was very good, and they were pretty clever as to how they went about crafting a mystery to solve. The fact that the cast was exceptional was just the icing on the cake. And here we are all back again for more...

Nope — This is apparently coming out on home streaming this month. I never got to see it in the theaters, so that's something to look forward to...

Falling for Christmas — Lindsay Lohan in a Netflix Hallmark-style Christmas rom-com? Yes please...

The White Lotus: Season 2 — There was a lot of criticism laid on the first season about things not really coming to a conclusion because so many things were left up in the air... and more criticism because things that the entire season spent building towards were abandoned. I think that's totally missing the point of what the show was trying to comment on. The fact that wealthy privileged people blow in to people live and leave behind nothing but destruction IS the show. And people trapped in lives they try to leave, but don't manage to escape from IS the show. I can't wait to see what the second season brings...

Avatar: The Way of Water — If, for no other reason, that I want to see how the special effects have improved from the first movie...

And these are just the things I can think of off the top of my head. There's probably dozens of others that should be on my radar.

   

A Premium Life… Yours for Just $120 a Year

Posted on Tuesday, November 1st, 2022

Dave!One of the reasons that I am a YouTube Premium subscriber is that I watch a metric shit-ton of YouTube videos. So much YouTube that I would insane if I had to watch their idiotic commercials.

The vast majority of the YouTube videos I watch fall into three categories... 1) Woodworking and Home Renovation (50%), 2) Education (30%), 3) Apple/Mac/iPhone (10%). The final 10% is entertainment and general nonsense.

Woodworking is a bottomless pit. There are so many great content creators in this field. My newest favorite is Michael Alm and Alm Fab...

It's like... if I had millions of dollars, I'd just build a woodshop and do stuff like that all day every day. And then there's this magic out of wood...

Then there's behind the scenes stuff like this...

And this deep, deep dive into Zack Snyder's crap movies is pretty amazing. And, for what it's worth, it actually gives me a larger appreciation for the guy (even though I still think most of his movies are awful)...

And, of course Taylor Swift is back. Her first video from the new Midnights album is brilliant. Unfortunately, there are people trashing her for her struggles with an eating disorder. Despite speaking about it multiple times, people believe what they want to believe instead of even attempting to understand. In the video she had a clip of her looking at a scale which says "FAT" and people lost their minds, calling her "fatphobic," when she's actually trying to show what she feels when she looks at a scale thanks to our toxic society. And it's this toxicity of people feeling that they must be thin in order to be accepted THAT'S THE ENTIRE POINT. It's the opposite of fatphobic. But oh well, she took the clip out of the video because she doesn't want her art misinterpreted by people who are looking to tear her down instead of try to understand how she (and a lot of other people) are made to feel...

And then there's frickin' DITA VON TEASE!!!...

Brilliant. And now I have another hundred videos to watch.

   

Bullet Sunday 784

Posted on Sunday, November 6th, 2022

Dave!   
Winter is here, snow has arrived, and it's freezing out, but there's warmth in my heart... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Happy Meal! As a huge architecture nerd, it's very easy for me to get sucked into architecture TikTok or YouTube. This morning while waiting for renders to process, I got hit with this fascinating video about the "Rise and Fall of Fast Food Architecture"...

So many good points to be had here. I very much miss the old aesthetic of fast food restaurants, which is why happening upon one of them (which is most often not a chain restaurant) is such fun.

   
• Whither Twitter! Watching Twitter implode in Real Time has been entertaining... but also educational. Elon Musk bought the services in the interest of "free speech," but he's learning a big lesson on being careful what you wish for. Twitter has become so toxic so fast that advertisers are bailing and Musk is essentially begging the big name Twitter accounts not to leave. The most hilarious indicator of this was when Stephen King said that he wasn't paying $20 per month to have a blue-checkmark verified account... and Musk shot back with "How about $8 then?"...

Musk begging Stephen King for $8.

It's easy for me to sit back and not care about Twitter (I rarely use the platform because I prefer to have the ability to lock down my posts for a specific audience), but I think it's a bad idea to hope that Musk and Twitter fail. This is an important platform for discourse and interaction which, naturally, may be toxic (Musk himself has been tweeting out conspiracy theory bullshit) but it's also had a good influence in allowing people to have their voices... their causes... their passions... be heard. Which is why I was happy that one of my favorite YouTubers, Marques Brownlee, has this diplomatic take on how Twitter can save itself from itself...

The one thing that could get me to maybe go back to Twitter would be if there was a way to limit the audience of your tweets (ala Facebook). But even then I have serious privacy concerns about the platform which has me wary.

   
• More Enola! I liked the second flick even better than the first! These films can get a little convoluted... and repetitive in parts... but are enormously entertaining. And that mid-credits scene has me dying for not only more Enola Holmes films... but a Henry Cavill Sherlock movie as well.

Netflix needs to get on more of these movies, because they've struck gold.

   
• Glowforge! Michael Alm finally finished his new office so he could set up his Glowforge. If I didn't want one of these things before, I most certainly want one now. But the price for entry is $4,000... and to get the model which is the most capable and flexible, you're paying $7,000.

I know that I would never use it enough to make it pay. But that doesn't stop me from wanting one anyway. Just like a 3D printer, which is another device I would love to own. Ah to be a billionaire where you just buy stuff you want and don't have to care about whether or not you can afford it.

   
• Joy Noel! The fact that Netflix keeps churning out quality holiday rom-coms is something I am 100% onboard with. While Hallmark continues to release some films which are worth my valuable time... you have to sit through a lot of crap as well. Netflix doesn't have a flawless record, but they do release more good movies than bad, it seems. This year, in addition to the Lindsay Lohan film that's coming up, they also have The Noel Diaries dropping this month...

I know that this is is Justin Hartley from This is Us (a show I could never get into), but the only thing I'm really familiar with is when he played Aquaman in a failed TV pilot that was actually not bad... except The CW decided not to buy the show after the merger with The WB.

   
• Matter? I keep referring to Thread/Matter in my home automation posts, which has been confusing to many people who don't know what this is. Fortunately, Shane Whatley has a wrap-up which is pretty good about why Matter matters...

Matter is something I have been waiting for ever since INSTEON died, came back, and looks to be dying again. I would prefer not to have to replace all my smart home crap every five years, so having something that isn't tied to any specific company seems like a good idea. But the big news about Matter is that it endorses Thread, which is a technology I absolutely love. It's so smart and so fast and so impressive that it really does seem like the holy grail of automation. The fact that it has pretty good range and is low-power is just icing on the cake.

   
And now I think I should get back to cleaning my house, which is a full-on disaster with all the work that's been going on.

   

Bullet Sunday 785

Posted on Sunday, November 13th, 2022

Dave!Don't worry about Christmas coming early... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Rebel Rebel! Finally got around to watching E10 of Andor. Holy crap! The quality of this series is unreal. Serious talent and money were put into it every aspect of the show, and it's all on screen. There's nothing currently on television that can touch it. The series transcends Star Wars to become something more... a gritty, surreal form of entertainment that will haunt you for a bit...

Cassian Andor in Prison.

Two episodes to go in the first season.

   
• I'm Batman! I was saddened to learn that Kevin Conroy died. Batman: The Animated Series endures in a way that the Batman movies struggle to do. A big part of that was the voice of Kevin Conroy. Another series that I remember him from was Tour of Duty where he played Captain Rusty Wallace, a character that helped define the first season...

He truly will be missed. Rest in Peace, sir.

   
• SOCK-LIGHT?? My new light switches do not have dimmable controls, which means I have to have dimmable lights. Which is not a problem, as I found pretty good pricing on Philips Hue can lights. Problem is... one of them I got had the clips bent and A DIRTY SOCK IN THE BOX! And it's like WTF? Returns are not inspected for this kind of gross crap?

A dirty sock in my light box!

Every time something like this happens when you are purchased a "new unopened item" it feels like merely replacing it is not enough. Not only am I losing time, but I'm also having to literally deal with somebody's dirty laundry.

   
• Whoopsies! Couldn't happen to a nicer piece of shit company raking in huge profits over a drug which the inventor meant to be free. He famously sold the patents to the University of Toronto for $1 saying “Insulin does not belong to me, it belongs to the world.” But of course Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi couldn't let that stand when there are billions to be made...

Insulin should be manufactured and sold at cost. It needs to be a function of government for the public good... not Big Pharma's balance sheet. It's disgusting that this isn't the case.

   
• The Merchant Tribe mourns. This past week Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opened up. I found out that last year Dorothy Steel died at 95 years old, and this was her final acting role...

Dorothy Steel in Black Panther

I remember reading an article when the first Black Panther was released about how she started acting at age 88. Which just goes to show that you're never too old to chase your dreams!

   
• Ribbit! The Red Wave that wasn't has come and gone. It would appear the Democrat's strategy of not doing a damn thing about preventing the things their base cares about getting destroyed (like codifying Roe) so they can scare people into showing up to vote actually worked. It's like "Oopsies! Sorry you lost the right to choose, but we needed a way to survive the midterms, so we let you lose it so you'd show up." An incredibly fucked-up strategy, but there's no denying the result...


I COULD HAVE GOTTEN AWAY WITH IT IF NOT FOR YOU MEDDLING KIDS!

Wonder what they'll be throwing away next so that they have a chance in two years?

   
Time to make the chimichangas...

   

The Crown: A Parody in Ten Parts

Posted on Monday, November 14th, 2022

Dave!Wow. Netflix really let The Crown get away from them. It's like they've gone from attempting any form of accuracy and slid straight into parody.

And Princess Diana caught the worst of it.

This is how they have her looking in EVERY FUCKING SCENE...

I am well aware that she tended to bow her head in public (especially in her earlier royal days), but they took it way too far. It was incredibly distracting, and a cursory Google Image Search shows that she wasn't like this 24/7.

Lord only knows how the sixth (and final) season is going to go. Hopefully it won't sink further than this.

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Bullet Sunday 786

Posted on Sunday, November 20th, 2022

Dave!It's time to be human... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Again. The shooting at the Colorado Springs nightclub "Club Q" last night is yet another in a string of violent attacks on marginalized communities. And it's like... I just don't get it. LGBTQ persons are not made to feel welcome in general society, so they carve out a space where they can enjoy life for even a short time away from general society... and that's not good enough? Senseless violence has been out of control for as long as humans have existed. That's just fact. But the hatred behind the violence is quickly reaching unsustainable levels as the weapons to act out violence keep getting more powerful. Dozens of people can be cut down in an instant by a single individual, and pretty soon that's going to be the only thing we have.

   
• Let's Go Brendan! This GQ "Iconic Characters" series is always great. But this one? Oh wow...

I want... quite badly... for Elizabeth Hurley to get one of these.

   
• Todd! If you are not watching So Help Me Todd on Paramount+, then you are missing out on one of my favorite shows on television. It almost makes me forgive Paramount Network for canceling Magnum P.I. (which, thank God for Peacock TV and NBC, is actually returning despite it all)...

Skylar Astin is a gift, and this show uses him to maximum effect. So COLOR ME SHOCKED that CBS actually renewed the show for a second season! Yay!

   
• Big Animation! Floor 796 may very well be the coolest thing I've seen in my browser in a minute...

Floor 796 Detail.

Floor 796 Detail.

Worth a visit if you like looking at cool stuff!

   
• I'm Batman! And here's what I wish I would have had to post when Kevin Conroy passed...

A lot of people... like a lot a lot... have Kevin Conroy as "their" Batman. This will go on for a while.

   
• SHIT! And here we are again. Apple's HomeKit... which has always been HomeShit... is still a pile of shit. And Apple doesn't fucking care. It is absolutely outrageous how there are known issues plaguing the system and Apple doesn't even acknowledge that there are problems. A company worth billions of dollars, but they won't fix it or offer any solutions. For me the biggest problem is that Automations tied to timed events (like sunset or a time of day) don't fucking work! The event arrives and nothing happens. Which is shitty, because I have all kinds of things set up. Like turning my outside lights off and on. There are hundreds of threads on various forums with people trying to find a way to get their timed Automations working. Some things work... for a while... but the overreaching problem of HomeShit being garbage can only be addressed by Apple. And, once more for the people in the back, Apple doesn't fucking care.

   
And now back to your regularly scheduled Sunday antics.

   

Bullet Sunday 787

Posted on Sunday, November 27th, 2022

Dave!Be thankful that's all over... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• GoTGHS. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special was absolutely bonkers. I couldn’t have loved it more. Very interesting how they dropped a very important couple pieces of information in advance of Guardians of the Galaxy 3...

Really sad that James Gunn is heading up the DCU now, because he gave us something completely new in the MCU, and that's getting increasingly rare.

   
• The Star Wars. If I had to wager a guess, my favorite TV show of 2022 will be Andor. The show is spectacular. The best Star Wars to happen since The Empire Strikes Back. It's just so... real. And smart. And entertaining. And brilliant. But let's get back to the part about it being real...

Now that the final episode has aired, all I want to do is go back and watch it all over again. How's that for an endorsement?

   
• Into the Abyss. It's really tough to diminish the movies that James Cameron has created... though people are always trying. When you take a look at the major films in his writer/director oeuvre, of which there are currently just seven, he really doesn't falter. They are all mind-blowing, fascinating entertainment. So to hear him run through it all is kinda a different level of fascinating...

If I were to rank his movies, it would go something like this...

  1. Aliens It's just so good on every possible level. It works as a sequel. It works on its own. It works for action. It works for thrills. It works for horror. It works as sci-fi. And absolutely everything about it is as cool as movies get. This is Cameron's masterpiece.
  2. Terminator 2: Judgement Day Another sequel that takes everything good about the original and ramps it up to eleven... but this time from one of Cameron's own films.
  3. The Terminator The film has haunted me from the day I saw it because it was gritty and real sci-fi that really makes you think.
  4. True Lies Proving that Cameron can tackle any genre he sets his mind to, this action-comedy spy flick was so much better than it had a right to be. Most likely from the genius casting of Jamie Lee Curtis and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the leading roles.
  5. The Abyss In many respects, this could be my favorite of his films. It certainly has one of his most shocking scenes that still makes me uncomfortable to this day just thinking about it. I saw this one in the theater three times because I just couldn't believe what I was seeing as I was watching it.
  6. Avatar The film still holds up. Mostly. Kinda. I mean, yeah, it's a retread of other movies and stories (most notably Fern Gully) but it was a fully-realized world at a scale that was unheard of at the time. That alone made it worth a look. The special effects may be a bit dated, but ask anybody who saw this movie in 3D theaters circa 2009, and I bet money they still remember the experience as nothing less than groundbreaking.
  7. Titanic It's just not my thing. But it was an entertaining way to kill three hours... and still is.

And of course Avatar 2 is coming very soon...

Given his track record with sequels, it's bound to be a darn good film. And considering it needs to gross $2 billion to break even, it had better be.

   
• Be Hated. Okay... of all the movies and TV shows I've seen this year, The People We Hate at the Wedding is the one I laughed at the hardest...

If you've got Amazon Prime, it's worth a laugh.

   
• Lisbeth. David Fincher's brilliant take on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is one of my all-time favorite films. I was all kinds of mad that he never got to complete the trilogy. Sony instead cheaped out and "re-booted" the series with The Girl in the Spider's Web. I finally got around to watching it, and now I'm mad all over again. Lisbeth Salander is one of the best and most iconic fictional female characters ever created... nuanced and complex, using her smarts to outwit and outplay truly awful people. But now? It's just balls-out vanilla action hero that's been done dozens of times before (and done better... by Yu Shu Lien, Charly Baltimore, and many others). It would be comical if it weren't so sad...

If this is what the books are like after Stieg Larsson's original works, I am beyond thankful that I never bothered to read them. I mean, okay, the movie is a nice distraction (by a director who is obviously trying very hard to be David Fincher), and Claire Foy is not bad as Lisbeth. But this isn't Lisbeth Salander. It's a pale shadow of what she is... and should have been in this film.

   
• Beyond the Obvious. NEWSFLASH: Eli Lilly CEO says insulin tweet flap “probably” signals need to bring down cost. — PROBABLY?! YA THINK?!?? YOU CHARGE $250 FOR SOMETHING THAT COSTS $5 TO MAKE, ASSHOLE!! What good are all these "new and improved" drugs if only people with money can afford to buy them? Big Pharma has been lining the pockets of politicians for decades to not do anything about their price gouging. Washington State Senator Patty Murray has probably piled up a half-million dollars by now to keep Big Pharma profits at absurd margins. Little Timmy may not be able to afford insulin to keep him alive, but hey... Eli Lilly just bought another private jet for their CEO, so it's all good. Great job, Patty! Fuck.

   
• Steve! Even though I was way, way, way past the intended audience for Blue's Clues, I was a fan. I watched the show. I had some of the toys. I even had a "Handy Dandy Notebook" laying around. It was just such a pure explosion of creativity that I couldn't look away. And Steve Burns being so invested in his character was part of the reason why....

He's still got it.

   
Until next week then.

   

Bullet Sunday 788

Posted on Sunday, December 4th, 2022

Dave!Be thankful that's all over... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• GoTGv3! Looks like Rocket is going to be an experiment by the High Evolutionary in the MCU, which makes perfect sense. Can't wait for this movie...

I'm sad it's the last Guardians film. But who knows where these characters will pop up next?

   
• Oh My! I had heard pieces of this story before, but not all together like this...

Epic. And hysterical.

   
• Balance! Some of the wealth on display here is... staggering...

My checking account is positively anemic by comparison.

   
• The Mickey Mantle Letter. Definitely NSFW material (in text), so proceed at your own risk... but holy crap!

   
• Dial of Destiny! Sure looks better than Kingdom of the Crystal Skull...

And hopefully it is better, because nothing would make me happier than Indy going out on a high note.

   
• Rogue Wave! It seems odd to me that cruise ships sail to Antarctica. I went on a research vessel that was built like a tank with limited people onboard, and the water got so rough that one person ended up with a compound fracture and others were hurt. Our boat was tossed around like a cork in a blender, and it still feels miraculous that we made it through without suffering more injuries than we did. But a cruise ship?? That just seems like a recipe for disaster. And for this ship it was.

   
Now I really need to take a long winter's nap.

   

(pensive music continues)

Posted on Thursday, December 8th, 2022

Dave!I watch television with subtitles always on now. It's not that I'm having trouble with my hearing or anything like that... it's just that I don't want to miss anything. Whether it's because a character is difficult to understand... or the sound mix is awful... or there's information otherwise getting lost.

The most interesting part of subtitltes to me is the music descriptions.

(upbeat music begins)

(music turns darker)

(music growns louder and more intense)

(pensive music continues)

And my favorite... ( 🎵 )

The subtitles for sexytime is something for another post (moaning increases).

   

Tube22

Posted on Friday, December 30th, 2022

Dave!And it's time once again for my annual wrap-up of my favorite TV shows that came out this year.

Or, more accurately, a "wrap-up of TV shows that I saw which came out this year." As always, there's a bunch of shows I never got around to watching that might have ended up on my list... and (more likely) shows I loved but have forgotten about. This year we had no new Ted Lasso... and Magnum P.I. was canceled... only to be saved to return next year, so there's two slots open. And, boy, there's an awful lot of Netflix on this list. And here we go...

Favorite TV Shows 2021

   
#1 Andor (Disney+)
This should surprise absolutely nobody who has seen the series. The genius of the show is that it takes the familiar Star Wars universe and sends it in a completely different direction. This is a thought-piece in twelve parts that's brilliantly realized and has a depth you just don't expect. And it all could have failed spectacularly if not for the incredible talent that was assembled. Diego Luna has an important transition to make between the first and last episodes, and he makes you feel it happening... bit by bit. Add truly remarkable performance by Stellan Skarsgård, Genevieve O'Reilly, and the rest, and everything is next-level amazing. Not just for Star Wars, but for television as a whole. There is an abundance of violence in the series that was unavoidable... the rebel alliance had to be born of violence to make sense... but it's not gratuitous or exploitative, which is saying a lot in this day and age. Nope, each and every moment is earned and builds on what has come before. The second season will plunge head-first into Rogue One, the best Star Wars film since The Empire Strikes Back, and you can bet I'll be watching. After the post-credits scene in Episode 12 of Andor how could I not?

   
#2 The Sandman (Netflix)
An adaptation of one of my favorite comic book series of all time was bound to be problematic and, to be honest, I’m shocked that it turned out better than I could have hoped. The visuals? Amazing. The cast? Perfect. If there’s a flaw, it’s that some weird choices were made that seriously compromised the pacing. I don’t mind a story taking its time, but holy crap did they dwell too long in parts. The reabsorption of Gregory in the second episode felt as if it seemed to go on for an eternity and didn’t really serve the purpose of illustrating sacrifice as it was intended. Which could have been forgiven if not for the fact that it happened multiple times. I am beyond grateful that we're getting a second season, because the stories only get more interesting from here. But what I really want? An adaptation of Death: The High Cost of Living.

   
#3 Heartstopper (Netflix)
Young gays in love. But so much more than that. What amazes me about this show is how many opportunities they had to fall into the Hallmark trap of letting a misunderstanding sabotage their relationship, but the both of them were actually more adult about their relationship than actual adults. It's sweet, heartwarming, smart, and beautifully performed. With a few surprises... and a major unannounced guest star... which made this the gift that keeps on giving.

   
#4 Wednesday (Netflix)
I thought, at best, this would be a clever series about a great character. I had no idea that it would be so brilliantly conceived. It's not just Wednesday wandering around being Wednesday (which would be entertaining enough)... there's actually a very good mystery underneath a very good story, and having Jenna Ortega so beautifully portray the character was just the icing on the cake. And then there's the rest of the cast, which was flawless. Gwendoline Christie? Catherine Zeta-Jones? Luis Guzmán? CHRISTINA RICCI?!? Since this was one of the most streamed episodes of any show on Netflix, I'm confident that we'll get a second season... and I can't wait.

   
#5 Shoresy (Crave/Hulu)
Letterkenny is a polarizing show that you either get or you don't. Personally I love it, which is why I was excited to see a spin-off of the never-seen hockey player, Shoresy. Imagine my utter shock to find out that it's not only deserving of Letterkenny... it actually surpasses it in a few ways. Hilariously funny, crude, brash, and yet charming despite itself, this is a show I ended up watching all over from the start the minute the credits on the final episode rolled. Because that ending. Dang. There was no more emotional moment on my television in 2022.

   
#6 The Recruit (Netflix)
This show came late in the game (December 16th!) and caused me to reevaluate this entire list (which has been on my computer for months). Noah Centineo, who is perfectly cast, is a CIA recruit who keeps getting himself into the thick of things... and a mystery that may be the death of him. Frustratingly, the series ends on a cliffhanger, so I sure hope Netflix doesn't screw us over by canceling it.
   

Favorite TV Shows 2021

   
#7 She Hulk: Attorney at Law (Marvel Studios/Disney+)
This was always going to be a challenging transition from comic book to screen. Especially when they decided to take it into the fourth-wall-breaking direction that John Byrne used to brilliant effect in his series. At first, you think it's just a side-gimmick that doesn't really mean anything to the show at large. But then you get to the final episode... where they lean into the concept hard. The result is great on its own, but getting Charlie Cox back as Daredevil was too good. I am interested in seeing where the character goes in the MCU future. Especially since Tatiana Maslany is so bloody brilliant in the role.

   
#8 Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (Paramount+)
After Discovery started shitting the bed more with each new season after the first one, I didn't know that I was interested in more Star Trek. But there was a bright spot... we got Spock, Pike, and Number One back. And they were fantastic. There was no way I was going to miss a spin-off from this, though I was expecting the worst given where Disco ended up. Boy was I wrong. Strange New Worlds is hands-down the best Trek since the original series, and every episode was beautifully crafted by people who actually GET Star Trek.

   
#9 Reacher (Amazon Prime)
Finally. Just... finally we get a guy playing Reacher that fits what we've been reading all these years. I mean, Tom Cruise had a couple of good movies... they were fine... but he is so far away physically as to make him an entirely different character. But Alan Ritchson? Yeah, there he is. And the story for the first season was exceptionally well-done. And it was a long time coming. Very much looking forward to Season 02.

   
#10 Peacemaker (HBO Max)
When James Gunn unleashed The Suicide Squad upon an unsuspecting world, I was overjoyed that there was a DC movie that was worth a crap. No, I wasn't thrilled with the turn that some characters ended up taking, but ultimately that's what should happen in this franchise. One of the most surprising characters to emerge was The Peacemaker. But that in no way guaranteed his series would be worth watching. Except it was. It 1000% was. Getting another season is a gift that I am waiting for with all the anticipation.

   
#11 What We Do In the Shadows (FX)
This hilarious show has its ups and downs, but it's always, always entertaining. And funny. And the fourth season actually eclipsed the third for me, which was an unexpected treat. Back in July the series got renewed for Season 05 and Season 06, which was about the best news we could have gotten in a cruel Summer.

   
#12 Abbott Elementary (ABC)
It seemed impossible that a brilliant show about Philadelphia teachers that was darn-near flawless in its first season could keep getting better. And yet here we are. All the characters are so fully realized that you can't help but be invested. While it's nice to see Quinta Brunson finally getting her due... the fact that Sheryl Lee Ralph is getting such recognition is icing on the cake.
   

Favorite TV Shows 2021

   
#13 Julia (HBO Max)
Meryl Streep did such a phenomenal job portraying Julia Child in Julie and Julia that it salvaged a movie that was half awful. Somebody edited out the Julie parts to create Julia without Julie, and it only made me want more. That never happened, but we did get a series with Sarah Lancashire that was ridiculously good. So good that HBO blessed us with a second season which will hopefully bless our televisions in 2023.

   
#14 Barry (HBO Max)
It took THREE YEARS to get the third season, but it turns out to be worth the wait. Always funny. Always disturbing. Barry manages to have an edge to it that most shows can never find. Given where we ended up at the end of Season 02, I was wondering how they would find a way to keep it moving forward without imploding. And you find out now that this was never the intent. We end in a dark place with the final episode that has me anxious to know how it will resolve in the fourth (and final) season. Probably nowhere pretty, as that seems impossible now. But I'll be watching.

   
#15 Letterkenny (Hulu)
Every time I wonder how they are going to keep this show fresh after so many years, they just keep going as if to say "We never stopped being fresh! I mean, the first episode of Season 11 mostly consists of a town meeting where they endlessly debate the merits of the best flavor potato chip (with the answer being obvious to anybody who is familiar what they got up der in Canada). I binged the show in a day and only wanted more. Guess we're not done with Letterkenny just yet.

   
#16 Reservation Dogs (FX)
Season 02 took us on a continuation of the brilliance that made the first one of the best on television. Watching this series about teens trying to find their lives leaves you questioning what you've been doing with your life... in the best possible way. The show has been (wisely) renewed for another season, but given the ending we just got, you can't help but wonder what that season will look like.

   
#17 Our Flag Means Death (HBO Max)
Color me shocked. This series came out of nowhere for me to completely obsess over, and answers the question "What would happen if Captain Blackbeard were a gay pirate and finds love on the high seas?" What had me completely mystified is how Taika Waititi found the time to not only star in the show, but write and direct the first episode. The guy has projects stacked to the rafters. And because of that, I thought the show didn't have much chance in being renewed. And then... because it is a beloved show that's worth Waititi's valuable time, it actually was renewed. No idea when they'll find time... but I'm thrilled about it.

   
#18 Ms. Marvel (Marvel Studios/Disney+)
I was very much looking forward to this show because the comic book was so fantastic. Then it arrived and was mostly faithful. They had to make adjustments to her powers in order to make them work visually in real life, but it didn't diminish who she is or change what she does, so it really didn't matter. Her Muslim background and family life are gold. The problem is that they went far too convoluted in brewing up her origin story, and it hurt the show. There was a nice (but weird) twist in there, but they had to twist themselves into a pretzel to get there, so it ultimately wasn't worth it. I would have preferred that they just came up with a more straightforward super-hero teen angst tale.

   
MUST SEE TELEVISION SPECIALS AND DOCUMENTARIES...

  • The Guardians of The Galaxy: Holiday Special. Unreal. Not only was this movie brilliant by television standards... it was even brilliant even by movie standards. It's essentially Mantis and Drax in the series you always wanted. The fact that Kevin Bacon is along for the ride (and utilized so flawlessly) is what makes it exceed every expectation.
  • Werewolf by Night. Another triumph from Marvel Studios on Disney+! I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't something this good. The story was perfectly executed, but it was the incredible cast that took it to the next level. The real bonus is that this movie is not just an accessory. You can easily see how the ramifications will make their way into the MCU.
  • Hasan Minhaj: The King's Jester. I've been missing Patriot Act ever since it was foolishly canceled. And while a comedy special can't compensate for what we've lost, it does lessen the blow. Approaching the atmospheric heights of Minhaj's previous special (the exceptional Homecoming King), this was all I needed to see from Hasan. Until next time.
  • Trevor Noah: I Wish You Would. Given that he's leaving The Daily Show, this will be how we get our Trevor fix from here out, I guess. And while I wasn't so fond as his previous special Son of Patricia, he was firing on all cylinders this time around.
  • Neal Brennan: Blocks. As a huge, huge fan of Neal and his previous special, I was excited to see where he'd end up this time around. The answer will surprise nobody... to an even deeper level of humanity and comedy.
  • Shen Wang: Sweet and Juicy. Another comedy special that made 2022 a bit brighter. Shen Wang isn't afraid to take risks win his first special, and it pays off darn well.

   
TELEVISION HONORABLE MENTION...

  • Atlanta. The final season was more of the gang you love to watch. And makes me more than a little sad that this is it.
  • House of the Dragon. After the horrific travesty that was the final season of Game of Thrones, it's nice that we can get back to the fine form of what makes that world so compelling.
  • Queen Sugar. This is one of those shows that's not really my cup of tea... but it's so brilliantly written and acted that I never stopped watching. Should go down as one of the best TV shows ever.
  • Obi-Wan. I liked the series perfectly fine. There was some great moments and smart writing... and there's no denying the commitment that Ewan McGregor brought to the table. Plus we even got some good Vader moments. But I question whether there was a better story here. Mini Leia just seemed so uneventful after waiting so long.
  • Loot. Maya Rudolph effortlessly brings the character of a divorced billionaire to life with wit and charm. It's just a shame that they didn't try to be a little more interesting with the material. It's like "she's a billionaire trying to do good with her money because she's bored" and that was the entirety of it.
  • Upload. While a huge step down from what we got in the first season, this is still a series worth watching. Here's hoping that the digital afterlife will be exploited for something that hits a bit more compelling next season.
  • The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey. A heartbreaking series which is cemented in its greatness thanks to an incredible performance by Samuel L. Jackson.
  • Book of Boba Fett. =sigh= If not for an appearance by The Mandalorian, this would have been a lackluster effort. But Mando played a very important part of the series, and I have a feeling that's why it worked as well as it did.
  • Moon Knight. As a fan of the comic book, I was interested to see how things would translate to Disney+... and whether they would take advantage of the multiple personalities that can make the character so interesting. They did... but all was not perfect. A lot of the time I was bored because they didn't really attempt to make Moon Knight the priority in his own show. It was about his secret identities, which could have been any show.
  • The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window. Kristen Bell made this mystery series work as well as it did... but it was the story itself and a perfect ending that made me like it as much as I did. It was meant to be a one-off, but the teaser at the end reeeeeally makes me want to see more.
  • Welcome to Wrexham. Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds bought a football club. This is that story. And the result is both funny and touching.
  • The Wonder Years. Reboots have a way of going terribly, terribly wrong (see Quantum Leap, below)... even though this isn't technically a reboot. But what it is though? A great show in its own right.
  • From Scratch. Based on a true story, this Zoe Saldaña romance series was beautifully told, and it was great to see her in a role that really pushes her talent and what she's capable of.
  • Severance. This is a clever slow-burn series about people who literally live separate lives at home and at work thanks to brain tampering. But there's a bigger secret behind it all, and getting to the truth could be fatal. And while I think this show has huge disaster written all over it because that big secret carrot could be dangled for years and ruin the show... it's interesting and well-written enough to be entertaining.
  • Better Call Saul. The final season was as good as ever, and gave us a satisfying end... not only to Better Call Saul but Breaking Bad as well.
  • The Boys. The super-hero show that's beyond disturbing was back with another depraved season. They've diverged from the comics quite a lot, but it's working fairly well and every season leaves you wondering what they're going to come up with next.
  • The Lake. Gay guy wants to reconnect with his biological daughter at The Lake... but there's family drama with his step-sister that threatens to take over the vacation. This show could have been entirely one-note, but actually had some interesting moments that made it better than expected.
  • After Life. Ricky Gervais may be controversial and always on the verge of cancelation, but this show really shouldn't be. It's a funny... and important... show about how the living deal with the death of somebody they love. What was so incredibly smart was that Ricky didn't end things how you might want them to be ended... but instead as he felt it should be ended. Because some people can't get past their grief, and that's okay.
  • The Flight Attendant. The first season was must-see television, but the story didn't seem to lend itself to a sequel. Yet here we are. And the result was well worth a watch if you liked the original. What's worrying is that Kaley Cuoco has moved on to another show. Will we get more of The Flight Attendant? Who can say.
  • The Righteous Gemstones. While nothing could compare to that glorious first season, the second season still had some amazing moments. A family of preachers with a dark past and disturbing shenanigans featuring John Goodman? Sign me up.
  • Reboot. Every time I see Key or Peele in something, I long for them to bring back Key & Peele. In lieu of that, we get Keegan Michael Key in a Steven Levitan comedy on Hulu. And it ain't bad. The messed up cast from an old television show reunite for a reboot, and funny drama ensues.
  • The Best Man: The Final Chapters. I was very late to the party with The Best Man and The Best Man Holiday movies, both of which were excellent. The series ended up being more of the same, and I was grateful for it. Too many of these would be tempted to change the formula and "shake things up" to disastrous effect.
  • The Bear. Having worked in restaurants, I can say that this is one of the most accurate representations I've seen of what goes on behind the scenes. And from that respect, I loved the series. But it's also got a lot of unnecessary yelling and drama that made it annoying as hell.
  • Russian Doll. The first season was a big surprise because of how shockingly good it was. When a second season was announced, I didn't even know how it would be possible given the nature of the show. But they figured out a new angle, and it was a good one.
  • The Lincoln Lawyer. Didn't Matthew McConaughey already make a movie that's an adaptation of this Michael Connelly book? He did. And it was pretty good. But I like this series even better, and am happy it was renewed because we always need more smart television.
  • Ozark. The series was always flying just below my radar. Knowing that this was the final season, I made sure to tune in... on time... in the hopes that it would have a great pay-off. In my mind, it didn't. I didn't hate it because I understood what they were trying to do, I just don't think they succeeded, and it would have thought a different direction would have been more satisfying. At the very least they should have had the balls to show what happened instead of letting the viewer "decide what happened." Such bullshit. If I wanted that, I would write my own damn television show.

   
ANIMATION TO WATCH...

  • Rick and Morty. The last couple seasons have been lackluster overall, but had enough standout episodes to satisfy fans. But this season was the old Rick and Morty that we love. Maybe the best it's been in years.
  • Inside Job. This show is just so... bizarre. But in a good way. It's like nothing is off-limits, and they're constantly throwing everything they can think of at the wall to see what sticks.

   
HAVEN'T SEEN, MIGHT HAVE MADE MY LIST...

  • Derry Girls. I enjoyed the first two seasons, but haven't gotten around to the final.
  • Bad Sisters. I decided to avoid this one, but was recently told that I shouldn't have.
  • The Responder. This BBC series with Martin Freeman has been getting rave reviews and seems like it would be right up my alley. I can't wait to see it.
  • Mo. I didn't know about this show, but recently happened across the trailer. Definitely something I want to see.
  • Dark Winds. Another show I never heard of that has a killer trailer that makes it look all kinds of compelling. AMC is out here killing it with quality television.
  • The Man Who Fell to Earth. I don't have Showtime, but will probably end up getting it at some point just to watch this show.
  • Interview with the Vampire. I skipped because I just didn't think there was anything new to say. Apparently I was wrong about that, because a lot of people have asked me if I watched.
  • All the new Yellowstone. I am so far behind. I've got the last two seasons plus the two spin-offs to watch.

   
OVERRATED BUT STILL GOOD...

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. I really tried to have an open mind here... but very quickly determined that this was definitely not for me. It's not Tolkien. And I just don't get it. Amazon paid a metric shit-ton of money for Lord of the Rings rights and didn't actually get Lord of the Rings. They just got the appendix and had to fill in the rest with... whatever. I mean, why didn't they just buy rights to The Silmarillion and be done with it?
  • Uncoupled. This was essentially Sex and the City with gay guys. And while it filled out the formula well and was entertaining... it didn't really cover any new ground. They leaned into every stereotype available, then dumbed it down for straight appeal. Good, but could have been much better.
  • Stranger Things. Despite its popularity, this is a show that is forever chasing the magic that came out of its first season.
  • Hacks. I loved the first season but found the second to be a big ol' mess. Yeah, I still loved Jean Smart tearing through her dialogue in a way only she could, but the stories this season just didn't gel as well as those from the previous year. Focus. Focus. Focus.

   
DISAPPOINTING...

  • Quantum Leap. I loved the original series. I loved the idea of rebooting it. I loved the idea that they added some much-needed diversity to the show. But it just doesn't have the charm and interesting stories that made the original so amazing. I alternate between being bored and being indifferent.
  • Paper Girls. I loved the comic book series and was thrilled to learn that it was being adapted for the small screen. And then it arrived. And ABSOLUTELY EVERY SCENE WAS RAMPED UP TO ELEVEN AT ALL TIMES. Which I can only guess was a directorial choice, because the actors were perfectly capable in the quieter moments. In any event, what a missed opportunity.
  • Picard. The first season had some serious flaws, but it was wholly entertaining and gave good Star Trek. But the second season? Wow. It was scattershot and didn't really know what to do with itself. And it drove me crazy because I wanted so badly to like it. Apparently there's one final season to go. I sure hope they know what to do with it.
  • Westworld. The series, while still watchable, has worked itself into a dead-end that is too far from where it started in those brilliant earlier seasons. Even so, I was looking forward to how it all ends. Unfortunately, HBO canceled the show before the final season, which means this season was even worse than I originally thought because it ain't going anywhere.

   
TOTALLY SHIT THE BED...

  • Star Trek: Discovery. Holy crap what a disaster. I still don't understand how something that was so brilliant in the first season ended up declining so badly year-over-year until we're now at a place where I just can't bear to watch an hour of whiny bullshit that isn't just weepy-annoying... it's boring as hell.
  • The White Lotus. The first season was not spectacular, but it was interesting and entertaining. The second season is just episode after episode of NOTHING HAPPENING in a stunningly beautiful location. And the ending was so clumsy, pathetic, and anticlimactic... along with inept in its attempt to set up a third season by leaving the WHY of everything completely unresolved. I was severely disappointed from start to finish, and think this is easily one of the shittiest things I've ever seen on television. And if that wasn't all laughable enough, they trotted out the writer/director, Mike White, after the credits to throw even more bullshit on everything.
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