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Bullet Sunday 831

Posted on November 19th, 2023

Dave!Snow is inching closer, but I'm not pulling the shovel out just yet... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Holiday Trooper! I've been sending care packages to the troops through AnySoldier.com for years. This is another program that's very cool because it doesn't cost you a dime! Just choose the four treats you want to send overseas, write a message of support, and Crown Royal will send it!

Crown Royal for the Troops!

I wish more organizations would do something like this.

   
• Catventure! Mr. Kitters has many adventures (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@mr.kitters.the.cat Places to go and people to meet. 🐈 #fyp #cat #meow ♬ original sound - Mr. Kitters the Cat

Surprisinly, I haven't seen Mr. Kitters ripping apart some poor bird. Thank heavens.

   
• Murder! There I was, just starting A Murder at the End of the World on Hulu. The main character is driving in a car with her boyfriend and they are singing along to No More I Love You's by Annie Lennox... and I know this will be a show that's something truly special. Honestly, they could have just released this scene as a commercial for the series and I would be all in. But there's so much more to it, and I can't wait for the remaining five episodes to drop...

The cast is amazing on top of it all. I just hope they stick the landing.

   
• Killer! Every time I see yet another brilliant film by David Fincher, I am mad all over again that he never got to make the sequels to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which remains one of my favorite films of all time. Though, while we're on the subject, a sequel to The Killer on Netflix would be fantastic, because this was a darn enjoyable flick...

A poster for The Killer starring Michael Fassbender!

ALTHOUGH... a better use of the money would be for Netflix (who has an existing relationship with Fincher AND Daniel Craig) to get the rights to The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest. Just sayin'.

   
• What Was I Made For? People saying that Billy Eilish is untalented makes me laugh and laugh and laugh. She's not entirely my thing... but I love this song... and listening to her brother explain how they created it should put the nail in the coffin of the idea that anybody could crap out the music they make. A song so multifaceted and lovely doesn't happen by accident. This is art...

Brilliant.

   
• Unmortricken! Rick and Morty has always been borderline genius with momentary lapses into episodes I'm completely indifferent about. But this latest episode? Unmortricken? I honestly don't know where the show goes from here. It's like every episode up until this point has been building to this point... and now it's over. Or mostly over. Which means that they either A) Have a plan to move in an entirely different direction along the same bizarre themes. B) Have ruined the show and it's going to devolve into a suck spiral before dying out. C) Will eventually realize that this was a big mistake and find a way to reverse it. I really hope it's Option A, because wow this episode was this a fantastic example of how *good* the show is when it's not getting in its own way.

Rick and Morty jumping out of a portal.

No, I didn't like Unmortricken better than ten other episodes (including The Rickshank Rickdemption which is one of the best episodes of television ever made), but it just goes to show that Rick and Morty is far from over if they can keep defying expectations like this.

   
• Blarf! I was excited that a Jaime Reyes "Blue Beetle" movie was in development. He's a fun character in the comics, and the fact that we'd finally get a Latino-centric super-hero movie meant it might be *different* from the same old thing. — Until I saw the trailers. They made it very clear that this was a "power of family" movie instead of a Blue Beetle movie. And who gives a shit about that? — Turns out the movie (now on HBO Max) is even worse than that. It is boring as fuck. It takes a half-hour... A HALF-HOUR... before you even see the Blue Beetle, for crying out loud...

Blue Beetle movie poster.

This is the most boring, uneventful, slog of an origin story that's ultimately just a frickin' Iron Man/Spider-Man hybrid clone, and not in a good way. I hope to God that James Gunn gets the DCU turned around so we avoid more of this idiotic crap. HA HA HA! GRANDMA WITH A GATLING GUN! HILARIOUS! and, even worse, HA HA HA! HOW FUNNY! HE CAN'T CONTROL THE SUIT AND HE'S RUNNING INTO EVERYTHING FOR TEN MINUTES! Jesus. I know Greatest American Hero was a while ago, but this has been done to death. From there on it's just talk talk talk talk talk with action beats that are equally boring. What a frickin' waste.

   
Hope your Turkey Day is a good one.

   

Super-Hero Implosion

Posted on November 16th, 2023

Dave!And it so happened that the sequel to Captain Marvel, titled The Marvels, is not doing well at the box office. It likely cost $250 million to make. Another $200 million to market. And is slowly approaching $120 million at the box office after five days in theaters. That's a lot of money, but when compared to previous Marvel Studios movies... it's a massive disappointment. It might very well break even after streaming/video revenue arrives... but there's likely not a third Captain Marvel movie happening because movies have to earn a billion at the box office to make studios happy. Which is a shame, because actual people who have seen the movie say it's a fun ride and terrific entertainment...

Jakey Bear Sleeping on the Floor for Sunshine.

The fanboys are cackling over it all, of course, saying that "This is what happens when you're a woke company making woke films with an all-female cast!" Which is 100% bullshit, of course. But facts don't matter any more, so this is what we have to keep listening to.

What's happening here is not a big mystery. This is a trend that has nothing to do with Disney being "woke" or that the film features a "female cast" (remember that the original Captain Marvel made over a billion dollars). There's a lot of factors at play...

  • People just aren't going to the theaters as much. It takes a truly breakout film to draw people to theaters and achieve massive box office success. That could be something entirely new (such as Barbie), or a no-brainer beloved IP (such as Super Mario Brothers), or a masterpiece with a compelling story (such as Oppenheimer). I would love to see The Marvels right now. But not enough to go to the theater to do it. I absolutely fucking hate going to movies where people are talking, lighting up their phone screens, and (ugh) chewing loudly. I have a far, far better experience at home. And that's where I will be watching The Marvels. If Disney wanted to make money off of non-theater goers like me, they might consider offering a $50 dollar, 24 hour at-home rental a week after the movie hits theaters. Which includes a free copy of the movie once it is released to home video months later. Not a great thing to do to theaters who are supporting your project, but this film ain't going to be in theaters for long if nobody is going to see it.
  • Super-hero fatigue is a real thing. There's just so much damn super-hero content inundating people, and rarely is it something new and fresh. Comic book films have degenerated to Hallmark movies... the same stories over and over with different actors. Now, don't get me wrong, I watch every Hallmark movie that gets released... and am thrilled to consume as much of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as they want to feed me... but I am abnormal that way. Most people aren't like that. They're bored. They've moved on. And buzz isn't building over these genre films as it used to be. Especially when you have DC muddying the waters with shit like Wonder Woman 1984 and The Batman and Black Adam and Shazam!: Fury of the Gods and The Flash and Blue Beetle... and really everything after he brilliant Christopher Nolan Batman Trilogy (excepting the first Wonder Woman and Suicide Squad). The average movie-goer cannot distinguish between DC and Marvel, so everything is lumped together in their head... and there's a lot of not-great films happening there. Next up is... Madame Web?... crapped out by Sony? WTF? Didn't they learn their lesson with Mobius?
  • Quality is declining, badly. The lead up to Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame was filled with incredible movies that were all carefully planned to be both stand-alone stories and build to something incredible. But Marvel Studios has made several missteps to sow disinterest in even the most diehard MCU fans. The "Multiverse Saga" has been a complete bust... forcing movies into a plot thread that's not fun or entertaining. With the exception of Hawkeye and Werewolf By Night, which I loved (and had nothing to do with the "multiverse"), all the Disney+ shows have been painfully average or outright bad. The movies have shown flashes of what I love (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Spider-Man: No Way Home) and movie I enjoyed quite a lot (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) and even a movie that was good but could have been so much better (Eternals). But everything else in Phases Four and Five that I've seen... five out of nine movies... haven't lived up to expectations (the idea of seeing Clea in a Doctor Strange movie is thrilling... but that happened only in a two-minute post-credits scene... that should have been the entire movie, but they were forced into this "multiverse" crap, so that's what we got).
  • The MCU momentum is slowing to a crawl. Everything keeps getting delayed. People are forgetting what's getting us to where we're going. Marvel Studios has one movie in 2024. When you aren't keeping the Marvel Cinematic Universe in people's heads, it's silly to expect these random movies are getting any benefit from what's come before. Three awesome movies a year with blockbuster characters that people want to see is what needs to happen, and they're not doing that. Yes, I understand that the actors are wanting to retire from these characters, but they're the characters that people know and love, so recasting them should be the priority over dragging out D-list characters that people don't know or care about. This has been a serious, serious misstep by Disney management. I don't get it at all. They're supposedly building a team of "Young Avengers" which could be awesome because the comics are awesome... but is anybody outside of comic book nerds like me going to give a shit? How are these films going to make any money? Introducing new characters is good, but saying "We've got Ms. Maravel, Patriot, Stature, Wiccan, Speed, and America Chavez... plus kid versions of Hawkeye and Falcon!" is a far cry from saying "We've got Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Spider-Man, Black Widow, The Hulk, Hawkeye, Falcon, Vision, and Scarlet Witch!" or whatever. I'm sure the hope is that the Young Avengers will be the next Guardians of the Galaxy... but the fact that you don't have box office names like Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, and Karen Gillan... means that the odds of achieving the same success are practically zero.
  • The future is anything but bright. The lead-up to a confrontation with Kang should have been phenomenal. The lead-up to an adaptation of Secret Wars should have been incredible. But there are no anchor films to get us there. Deadpool 3 will be great because Deadpool is great, but it's very much it's own thing. Which means the films we get before the next two Avengers movies are Captain America: Brave New World, Fantastic Four, Thunderbolts, and Blade?!?? WHAT THE FUCK? I mean, it's not that these films can't be great entertainment and a lot of fun... I love these characters... but this is the lead-up to two of the biggest events in comic book history? I dunno. Maybe Matt Shakman has an idea of how to make his Fantastic Four film catapult us int something that makes sense... but this is so weak. Compare the films leading up to Infinity War to this and it just seems absurd.
  • I hate to say "reboot"... but, yeah, reboot this shit. The one thing I have loved about the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that everything is interconnected like the comics. I love it when characters pop up in each other's movies. But when it's a bunch of D-listers, the current trend is not sustainable because you're going to have a rough time making a profit. A fresh reboot may be the only way out. And by "fresh" I mean not recycling the same stories we've already seen.

And there you have it. I don't think that anything I've said is going to be news to anybody paying attention. But since Marvel doesn't seem to be paying attention, I guess it needed to be said.

Here's hoping that the streaming release for The Marvels won't keep me waiting too long.

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Bullet Sunday 830

Posted on November 12th, 2023

Dave!Officially entering the holiday season, not that it'll keep me away... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• This is EARTH! sigh. I love love love the YouTube channel Kurzgesagt. They tackle fascination topics in a highly educational and entertaining way. And now there's this absolutely brilliant new video. They have condensed the 4.5 billion year history of planet earth in exactly one hour. And guess when humans appear in that hour? Helpful hint... don't blink...

It's had it running last night on the television while I was working. I found myself looking up to watch more often than I expected.

   
• POIROT! Here's the thing. I thought the Albert Finney original Murder on the Orient Express was better than the Kenneth Branagh remake. I thought the Peter Ustinov original Death on the Nile was VASTLY superior to the Kenneth Branagh remake (indeed, it's one of my favorite films). But I still enjoyed Branagh's take on Poirot, so I just watched A Haunting in Venice. This one I liked a lot...

My mom read all the Agatha Christie books, so I ended up reading all of them as well. I don't remember the book Hallowe'en Party much... but I do remember not thinking much of the BBC adaptation, feeling they were scraping the bottom of the barrel with this one. The Branagh version wisely makes a very loose adaptation with A Haunting in Venice and the movie is far better because of it. I really hope we get a fourth film where they try something unique... and adapt it to be as interesting as this one.

   
• Reacher Deux! The second season of Reacher cannot get here fast enough. The first season was one of the best things to happen to my television last year...

I haven't read all the Jack Reacher novels, but I've read enough that it's shocking how much more faithful the Amazon Prime series is to the Tom Cruise movies (though, I liked those also, if I'm being honest).

   
• Falling! I watched the occasional episode of The Fall Guy but was never so much into the show that I gave a thought to a movie adaptation. Until I saw it was starring Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt!

This movie looks entertaining as hell.

   
• DAFUQ? I had absolutely no idea (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@howardsternshow Barbra Streisand on Being the Inspiration for Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” #howardstern #SternShow #thehowardsternshow #howardsternshow #fyp #BarbraStreisand #JamesBrolin #Aerosmith @AerosmithOfficial @Howard Stern ♬ original sound - The Howard Stern Show

I wonder if James Brolin gets any bank off that song?

   
• DAK! All throughout high school I was addicted to the DAK catalog which had really good deals on electronics, computers, and media. It was kinda a weird concept... the owner (Drew Alan Kaplan) hunted down products which were made wrong or had some cosmetic detail that was off or whatever, bought the entire lot, then offered them at a consumer-direct discount price. I couldn't afford to buy lots of stuff... I was in high school... but I obsessed over every new catalog that arrived. And now those catalogs have been scanned and archived by Cabel Sasser on his site...

DAK Catalog Page

This one is my favorite... turn your tiny blurry television into a bigger blurry television with this fresnel lens!

DAK Catalog Page

   
• Pander! I finally remembered to watch the new South Park special on Paramount+... Into the Panderverse... and it's pretty epic. I am 1000% onbord for inclusivity and diversity in entertainment. It keeps things fresh and interesting, because how many times do we want to see the same old shit with straight white people? But the problem is that remaking the same old shit and substituting non-straight-white-people for straight white people is a stupid, lazy way of creating inclusivity and diversity. It completely ignores the lived experience of non-straight-white-people by copy-pasting them into a straight-white experience, and the movie/television studios need to do better than that. Because it's getting boring as hell.

Plus it's got Kathleen Kennedy and her massive ego in it! Though it's fake Kathleen Kennedy, so any hopes of her taking time out from completely fucking up LucasFilm/Disney were shortlived. Unfortunately, there it a downside to this episode. Gino Carano is using it to extend her 15 minutes.

   
Enjoy whatever remains of your Sunday, everybody.

   

The Eras Tour (But Not Really)

Posted on November 3rd, 2023

Dave!I never thought much about Taylor Swift. But, as I said about the "Gold Digging Marxist" in a previous entry, I became a fan after her album 1989, and have enjoyed her music.

Now, there's no way I can afford to see her in concert (tickets are going for thousands if you're not one of the lucky ones who can manage to get a ticket when they go on sale), but I have watched the video releases of her tours for 1989 and Reputation that were enjoyable. So when my sister asked if I wanted to drive over and watch her Eras tour at a movie theater, I was all-in...

Taylor Swift Eras Tour Movie Poster

A couple things...

First of all, I thought that it was "Eras" as in the name of a Greek god or something. Maybe I was thinking of "Eos" who is "goddess of the dawn." But it's "Eras" as in plural of "era"... because the tour celebrates the many eras of Taylor Swift's music.

Second of all, it's absolutely bizarre to me how this tour movie was released while the tour is still going on. She's still got dates for Brazil, Asia, Europe left. Even a few US and Canada dates at the end of 2024. I think she did it because many (most?) of her fans were not able to get tickets, releasing the movie will in no way affect attendance, and she gets more money if she strikes while the iron is hot. So why not?

But anyway...

Taylor plays songs from all of her commercial albums, albeit out of order: Lover, Fearless, Evermore, Reputation, Speak Now, Red, Folklore, 1989, and Midnights. She also has a couple acoustic "surprise songs" that changes at each venue. The movie is a combination of the six shows filmed at the L.A. stop, which means you get Our Song and You're on Your Own, Kid. This was a huge, huge bummer to me... because the L.A. stop had both Dress and New Romantics as "surprise songs," and I really wish they had used those. Mostly because New Romantics is my favorite Taylor Swift song. Oh well. If she was smart, she'd release a video film of just the "surprise songs" from the tour. She'd made a million off something like that too.

As I expected after watching her previous concert movies, The Eras Tour is excellent. She is a brilliant performer, the stage show looks incredible, and the footage was very well shot. It's incredible to watch her playing to 70,000 people and holding the entirety of that vast audience in the palm of her hand the entire time. I seriously don't understand how she does it. I would walk out on stage... shit my pants immediately... then run away crying. But she puts 1000% into the entire performance, which much be exhaustive...

Taylor performing in the Eras Tour movie.

Taylor performing in the Eras Tour movie.

Taylor performing in the Eras Tour movie.

The amazing thing about Taylor is that she's always putting a shit-load of money into her stage show. for the 1989 tour, her massive stage runway would elevate and rotate out above the audience. For the Reputation stadium tour she had three separate stages that she rotates through. For the Eras tour she has this cool extended state which has a section that seamlessly elevates to different heights in different configuations. I think the the most fantastic live performer is Pink, but Taylor Swift is darn close. You cannot go to her show and not be entertained.

So, yeah, if you're a Taylor Swift fan, I don't need to tell you to go see the movie. You've probably already been.

   

Bullet Sunday 826

Posted on October 15th, 2023

Dave!Fall has come and the weather is dreary and cold, but it's warm in my heart... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• The Price of Cinema is Too Damn High! I loved Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning, Part One. It is smart, exciting, and I can't wait for Part Two. What gets me is that the movie cost $291 MILLION to make. And while I'm not staying that it wasn't money well-spent (this movie is insane)... I am saying that it's $567 million box office means that the movie barely made any money after promotion. If it made any money at all...

They seriously need to stop making movies that cost these utterly bonkers amount of money. It is totally fucking up the industry, and failures like this (and so many other... The Flash, Fast X, Indiana Jones, to name some) are going to make it so that studio movies die a horrible death. That's no fun for any of us. Surely they can be more clever with less money? Because this just isn't sustainable any more.

   
• Fantasy Football! I remember when The League first debuted. It was amazing to me that it managed to make it on the air given how raunchy it was. But it endured for seven seasons, and I was a huge fan for the first four seasons. A fan for the fifth and sixth season. And was still watching for the final season, although it most definitely did not go out on a high note...

As I mentioned on Wednesday, I've been rewatching all the episodes on Hulu. Now that I have some distance from the end of the series, I cannot help but wonder if they came back for an 8th season what that would be like. I honestly don't know... but it seems like it would be a worthwhile thing to take a look at.

   
• On the Other Hand... The new Frasier is kinda... not great. It's nowhere near the level of Cheers and Frasier and I'm wondering why this was the direction they took. I mean, it's not as tragic as some of the reviews made it out to be. They tried to get some heart into it and there are funny moments despite itself. But all I feel while watching it is wanting to go re-watch the original Frasier and also rewatch Deception to see Jack Cutmore-Scott in something that was actually good and Sirens so I could see Kevin Daniels in something good. At least that way I won't have to see "David" be a horrific substitute for "Niles"... it's like he's there JUST to be unfunny and cringe.

Will & Grace managed to come back as good as it ever was... but too many of these revivals just aren't working. But because I loved the original Frasier I'm going to keep watching in the hopes that the show finds its footing. Because I'm watching the very first episode of the first Frasier and it was absolute gold from the jump.

   
• Hot Sauce! I love hot sauce. I started with the mild green sauce that my mom loved (something I still eat on tacos when I make them at home, because it's the flavor I'm used to. Later I moved on to Tabasco, which has more heat and a vinegar tang that makes it a delicious addition to everything from sauces to potato salad. Now I split my time between Tabasco, Cholula, and Sriracha. They are similar enough that I can use them interchangeably, but different enough that I prefer them for specific foods (occasionally I pick up a bottle of Frank's RedHot, which is not so hot, and Tapatío as well). Last year I was trying to save money, so I started keeping track of which brand I use most. I thought it would be Tabasco, but it ended up being Cholula because it has a bit more heat. So now I buy just that one sauce to save money so I'm not buying three and four. AND THEN... I decided to try something hotter. So now I'm addicted to El Yucateco Red...

A case of El Yucateco Red

It's more than just "hot" because it still adds nice flavor (unlike the hotter sauces I've tried where I can't even taste anything but fire). And now I'm wondering if I've reached my hot sauce limit? Or eventually will this not be hot enough either? Because it's only 5,790 on the Scoville scale, and that's barely hitting the second of ten sauces if I ever end up on an episode of Hot Ones (which tops out at 2,000,000 on the Scoville scale). Which is a great excuse to post the SNL parody, which is one of my favorites...

That never gets old.

   
• Shoresy Deux! One of the biggest surprises last year was the Letterkenny spin-off, Shoresy. It was rediculously entertaining, and ended up being my fifth favorite show of 2022. And now it's coming back...

Reeeeally looking forward to it.

   
• J-Boy! So there I was watching the movie Robots

on Hulu (Prime in the UK). It's okay. Not as good as I was hoping for, but funny in places and fairly entertaining in concept...

The best part of the movie for me was the end-credits song called J-Boy by the band Phoenix. From six years ago...

I liked the song enough that I decided to add it to my Sonos music queue.

   
• Whither Sonos! Except I couldn't add the song to my fucking Sonos music queue because on top of having shitty fucking products that they don't want to fix... their apps are fucking shitty too. First of all my MacOS app decided it wouldn't do shit until my Apple Music account was reauthorized...

Shitty fucking Sonos app telling me that I need to fucking reauthorize my account.

EXCEPT I COULDN'T BECAUSE ALL OF A SUDDEN THE APP CAN'T SEE MY FUCKING SPEAKERS...

UNABLE TO CONNECT!

But of course the "Let's fix it" link was full of shit. After trying that three times, Sonos finally wanted me to turn EVERY FUCKING SPEAKER OFF AND BACK ON...

Turn these off and back on.

That didn't work, so I ended up being told that I had to turn the router off and back on...

Turn these off and back on.

That didn't fucking work either, so I was told to turn all my shit off and on again. I ignored that and decided to uninstall Sonos and reinstall it again. That finally worked. EXCEPT... then I got an ad for Sonos's "Live Gift Guide Event" that I could not dismiss. There's no cancel button. There's no close button. You can't tap around it to get out of it. I couldn't even reboot the app and get rid of it. I was forced to "add it to my calendar" (which I didn't actually do)...

Add out event to your calendar!

Fuck Sonos. Fuck them up their piece of shit useless asses. I regret EVER getting involved with them and their shitty products. Maybe I'd feel different if they'd AT THE VERY LEAST make it so that I could use the fucking Dolby Atmos that I paid to get without having my Arc soundbar fail. But nope. It's been a problem for two years and Sonos is still "working on it." Except they're fucking not because I've heard of nobody being asked to send in their system parts so Sonos could watch it fucking happen. Jesus what an asshole company.

   
And on that happy note... I'm back to dreary weather for a dreary Sunday.

   

Bullet Sunday 825

Posted on October 8th, 2023

Dave!The world is falling apart, again, but there's calm amongst the storm... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Woooooo... ZOMBIES! Any COVID vaccinated people had the FEMA test tone activate the 5G to turn you into an undead zombie yet? Because I got all six COVID vaccinations and still nothing. I wish it would hurry up and unalive me so I can be a real zombie right now instead of a work zombie who only wishes he were dead.

   
• Fly Spirit Airlines! Honesty. How refreshing!

What the heck is this? LOL. Still glad I'm not traveling non-stop.

   
• Satisfying Sound! There's a silly little app called Klack that makes old-style keyboard sounds when you type on a Mac. Right down to the "clunk" sound that the spacebar makes! (and the heavier "click" you get when pressing the backspace key). It's just $4 and I cannot express how much I love it. Makes typing more fun than it has a right to be. If you have a Mac and you're curious to know what it's about, here you go.

   
• Calling All Speakers. There's so much that could be said about the idiocy surrounding Kevin McCarthy getting ousted as Speaker of the House. The dumbass brought it all on himself thinking he could both suck up to the MAGA contingent and go around them, so there's no real sympathy to be had. But anyway... here's one tweet and two videos comment that says it better than I could...

MICHAEL HARRIOT: It's sad to watch Kevin McCarthy become a victim of white on white violence inside the Congressional White
Caucus. But it will continue to happen until those people decide to stop fighting each other and demand more from the leaders of the white community.

And now this...

And of course Jeff Jackson has the scoop (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@jeffjacksonnc Rep. Jeff Jackson (NC): The Speaker has been fired. #fyp #politics #nc #charlotte #raleigh #greensboro ♬ original sound - Jeff Jackson

Now I guess we sit back and see what nightmare comes next.

   
• GHOSTS! Hallmark Channel has a movie with ghosts?!?

It was actually pretty good. If you're looking for a totally not spooky movie to watch to psych you up for Halloween, give this one a shot.

   
• Your Government in Inaction! Government exists to sit on progress. It's coming up on a YEAR since Digital Driver's Licenses were proposed for Washington State. Still hasn't made it to fucking committee. Honest to God... I have no fucking clue what these assholes do all fucking day that shit never gets done. We should have the damn things by now for people who want to opt-in to using them. A year, AND NOTHING... and lots more steps to go before it gets to sit on Jay Inslee's desk for another fucking year...

At this rate TELEPORTERS will be invented before backwards Washington State has digital driver's licenses. What the fuck is it going to take to get representatives in government who actully want to get shit done?

   
• NEWSFLASH: California governor vetoes bill to make free condoms available for high school students, citing cost!THIS SHOULD BE THE DECISION OF THE PARENTS! — And I agree. Except there are dipshits who are all "MY CHILD WON'T HAVE PREMARITAL SEX BECAUSE WE ARE A CHRISTIAN FAMILY!" who are essentially endangering their children's lives and inviting unwanted pregnancies because their kids are sexually active despite their ignorance (see: Sarah Palin, and shitloads of other "Good Christian Families" who end up with grandchildren because of premarital sex). So the truth is that abstinence-only education doesn't work. Kids are becoming sexually active whether their parents want it or not. And a decision has to be made as to whether we, as a society, protect these kids from their parent's bullshit. Unfortunately, Gavin Newsom made a bad call. I don't give a single fuck WHAT parents think. IF YOU WANT TO CURB ABORTION NUMBERS... GIVE CONDOMS TO EVERYBODY AND MAKE SURE THEY KNOW HOW TO USE THEM! As for cost... can you really put a price on essential shit like this?

   
Best of luck. To all of us.

   

Bullet Sunday 821

Posted on September 10th, 2023

Dave!I don't know who needs to hear this, but life is indeed good... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Not Nice! It has been a tough time for Hard Rock properties around the globe. A number of them have closed this year, and last night it was announced that the cafe in Nice will be closed by the end of the week. The cafe itself was kinda boring on the inside, but it was still a nice place with beautiful views...

Hard Rock Cafe Nice

I visited in 2014. This was the infamous trip where I was hit by the shuttle that took me to the airport. In the end, it's just a restaurant... but I do feel bad for the people who worked there and built a family around it.

   
• Scuttlebutt! Look, there is no denying Halle Bailey's talent. There was a reason she was cast as Ariel in the live-action The Little Mermaid remake, and it had absolutely nothing to do with Disney being fucking "woke" or whatever racist bullshit people are claiming. Because holy crap is she fantastic...

That being said... this was a wholly unneeded remake of a classic film because they didn't try to do anything new or revolutionary with it except add a couple songs (including the gut-wrenchingly awful Scuttlebutt). The sea creatures were scary as fuck because they looked so weird. The guy playing Prince Eric was okay, but has less charisma than his animated counterpart. While I like Awkwafina, she was horrifically miscast as Scuttle (Buddy Hackett made him absent-minded and charming, Awkwafina just made the character stupid?). Melissa McCarthy was good casting, but as much as she relished in the role, she paled in comparison to the late great Pat Carroll as Ursula. Also I agree with the criticism of the makeup...

On the plus side, the special effects were actually pretty great. But that's hardly enough to make it a good use of your time.

   
• Oxygen! Wow. The more you know (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@joespinstheglobe if you smell something burning *after* the masks come down, it's probably this thing. If beforehand... 😬 #science #travel #medicine ♬ original sound - JoeSpinsTheGlobe

Science is darn cool.

   
• Nice Dress! It's so simple. Just be kind... and correct where needed to continue to be kind...

huge shoutout to the guy at the bar who said i like your dress maam and when i was like i'm a man but thank you! he was like oh shit ¡ like your dress homie — i love you forever

Why are there people who would rather be a fucking asshole about it in these situations where it costs $0 to just be kind? I saw this pop up somewhere in social media, and thought how nice it was that this guy's day was made just because somebody wasn't an asshole. Couldn't we all use a little of that?

   
• MangaManga! I gotta say... so far as manga adaptations go, One Piece feels pretty spectacularly faithful. The casting is flawless. And, let's face it, that's where the series was going to live or die. How they found their Monkey D. Luffy is close to a miracle, as Iñaki Godoy is Luffy come to life. And Nami, Shanks, and Zoro are straight out of the books too!

On one of my trips to Japan, the manga was all the rage, so I looked up the English translation when I got back to the US (thanks, Viz!). I've been addicted ever since. The Netflix show makes me want to re-read it from the start.

   
• Circle, Send! If you have ever watched the absurd Reality TV game show on Netflix called The Circle, you know how batshit insane it is. Leave it to Jake Cornell to completely summarize the insanity in a TikTok. This is painfully accurate (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@jakewcornell It’s always like this. #TheCircle #thecirclenetflix #comedy ♬ original sound - Jake Cornell

I swear, some comedians are more brilliantly able to explain things than an entire textbook.

   
• MAX... Prices! Warner Bros. Discovery Says Ongoing Strikes Will Mean $300M-$500M Hit to 2023 Earnings. Guess it's going to be time to raise the subscription price to HBO Max. Again. They don't give a fuck about the people making their content... they sure don't give a fuck about their customers (except how much money they can wring out of us). It's absolute madness how they were bragging about how much money they were going to SAVE because of the strike... and now they're watching people unsubscribe in droves because they raised prices and customers mad about paying more for the new content won't get... so now they're going to LOSE money. Good. Couldn't happen to a nicer conglomerate. Fuck Warner Brothers-HBO-Discovery and and their idiotic fucking leadership who have brought this entirely on themselves. If they sink under their stupidity, that's one less service I'll have to rotate through. Which is fine by me.

   
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

   

Bullet Sunday 820

Posted on September 3rd, 2023

Dave!Dreaming of a Cheeseburger in Paradise while blogging for my own amusement... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Bunny Boo Berry! You're welcome (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@xiaoyciz7o4 Little rabbit eats blueberries#rabbit #pet #cute #fyp #foryou ♬ original sound - Cute little pet

Baby animals... amirite?

   
• Medal Medal Chicken Dinner! This Sunday's burn provided by Andy Murray from a 2016 interview that's making its rounds around the interwebs again...

Class. Act.

   
• Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo! People are aghast when I tell them that I got my hair cut at Disney World. "YOU WASTED TIME AT A BARBER SHOP INSTEAD OF RIDING THE ATTRACTIONS?!?" And it's like... I ended up at Disney World 3-4 times a year every year for over a decade with my work. I've done all the rides many, many times. And I was always booked in one of the Disney hotels, so if I was too busy to get a haircut back home, where else was I going to go? Take a pricey taxi into Orlando? Of course not. I'd just go to where I was at (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@pincessshannon Nick FINALLY got a haircut because i convinced him to get one in Magic Kingdom!!! 😆🤩 YAY! Can you believe you can get a haircut in Disney World? So cute with all the toddlers getting first haircuts too 🥹 #disneyworld #magickingdom #disneyhaircut #harmonybarbershop #disneyworldtipsandtricks ♬ original sound - Pincessshannon

And, yes, my friends convinced me to get the glitter once. It didn't look biodegradable, so I took a pass every other time... even though it made me look fabulous.

   
• Margaritaville! Jimmy Buffet passed. He was one of those rare figures who are so ingrained into American culture that you know him even if you don't realize it. His music is pervasive, yes, but it's his lyrics that hold a wisdom everybody can relate to. "I’d rather die while I’m living than live while I’m dead" and "We are the people our parents warned us about" and "Wrinkles will only go where the smiles have been" can be found on the walls of his Margaritaville restaurants, but aren't exclusive to parrotheads (Buffet fans). I've actually been to many Margaritavilles, because Jimmy always had some good vegetarian options on the menu. I know I just posted this video by Eddy Burback a month ago, but it's a pretty cool look at the restaurants.

Jimmy had a crazy amount of songs I liked, but whenever I'm trying to zero in on a favorite, my mind keeps going back to One Particular Harbor...

Yeah, that's a classic right there. Rest in Peace, Jimmy.

   
• Harley Forever! Arleen Sorkin died! My mom was a big Days of Our Lives fan and she played Calliope... but it was her work as the voice of the original Harley Quinn that I knew her best...

Harley Quinn with a Joker Grenade!

Paul Dini (who created the character) was a college friend, and based the character on her. That's an incredible legacy. Rest In Peace.

   
• He'll Bore Every One of Us! So... The Flash is free to watch on HBO and I've had it on while I was working...

The Flash Movie Poster.

I can't believe that people liked this movie. IT'S COMPLETE SHIT! Alternate Barry is fucking annoying. Unwatchable. The special effects are horrible. The character isn't even consistent with the shitty JLA stuff that Zack Snyder crapped out of his ass. How this got 64% on Rotten Tomatoes is beyond my ability to fathom. I sure hope that this box office failure means we'll never see Ezra-Flash again. And the box office failure of Shazam means we'll never see Zachary-Shazam either. Just flush the Snyderverse down the toilet and have Gunn ignore all of it. This movie cost TWO HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS! The first Avengers movie cost $220 Million, and most of THAT went to the cast. So what the hell? Where is the money on this one? There were exactly two things worth watching. Michael Keaton Batman and Sasha Calle Supergirl. But neither made this worth my valuable time.

   
• Marcie! the new Marcie Peanuts special on Apple TV is fantastic... and looks visually stunning. So much better than the gawdawful Snoopy in Space or whatever that was...

Marcie and Pepermint Patty on the golf course.

Marcie and Pepermint Patty on the golf course.

Marcie and Pepermint Patty on a bench.

I hope we get more like this..

   
Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes. Until next Sunday.

   

The Michael Cera Of It All

Posted on August 30th, 2023

Dave!As I've written many times, I'm really into film analysis. I'm often linking to videos of my favorite content creators (like Thomas Flight) adding depth and understanding to the movies I like.

Sometimes I run across a deep-dive into a film where moments are mirroring my reaction. Most people would write this off as a coincidence. I prefer to see it as validation.

Like this amazing look at the translation of Scott Pilgrim from comic book to screen. It's long, but it's really good. Especially if you're a fan of the comics...

In my review of the film from 2010 I said this...

Where the movie fails... and fails massively... is the casting of Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim. It was an awful, awful choice that dogged the movie from start to finish. Michael Cera was NOT Scott Pilgrim. He was Michael Cera. He's Michael Cera in everything he's ever in. Don't get me wrong... I liked his nervous geeky schtick the first time I saw it in Arrested Development. I even liked his nervous geeky schtick in Superbad... and Juno... and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist... but I'm done with it now. I wanted to see Scott Pilgrim in Scott Pilgrim, and it never happened. You can surround Michael Cera with all the incredibly cool special effects and kick-ass fight scenes you want, and it doesn't change the fact that it's Michael Cera up on the screen... he never lets you forget it.

I was really looking forward to the movie and was primed to love it. But due to one major casting fault, it completely failed for me. And in the above video, James Woodall devotes his entire chapter five to this very subject.

Watching the video made me want to watch the movie again. Something I haven't done in probably a decade.

I was hoping that time will have softened my opinion on the whole Michael Cera thing.

But NOPE! If anything, now I'm doubling down when I say that this potential masterpiece of a movie was utterly and totally sabotaged by the casting of Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim. Every other actor in the cast? Brilliant. And for many of them this was a stepping stone to even more brilliant things*. But... well... this movie has a major problem which it can never overcome. Except for the fantastic Universal Studios opening which has zero-percent Michael Cera...

Oh well.

I still have the Scott Pilgrim comics. Those aren't going away.

*Seriously... just look at who's in this movie...

  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead (pre Ahsoka)
  • Aubrey Plaza (during Parks & Rec and pre EVERYTHING since she basically took over the world after this)
  • Kieran Culkin (pre Succession, where he was the only actor I thought killed it in that show... and he's brilliant in Scott Pilgrim)
  • Brie Larson (pre Captain Marvel)
  • Chris Evans (pre Captain America)
  • Jason Schwartzman (well, okay, he was already a muse for Wes Anderson... but he did go on to do even cooler stuff)
  • Ellen Wong (pre Glow)
  • Alison Pill (pre Picard)
  • Brandon Routh (pre Legends of Tomorrow)
  • Anna Kendrick (pre Pitch Perfect)
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Bullet Sunday 819

Posted on August 20th, 2023

Dave!It's the day before I get so buried in work that I won't have time to blog, but you're in good hands today... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Omens! I finally got around to watching Good Omens 2 and liked it well enough... though it's a bit of a letdown after the incredible first season. It could very well be that the first season was so amazing that there was nowhere to go but down. But still... it didn't seem to hang together as beautifully as the original story. If you want to save yourself some time, here's a wrap-up of every episode of the series...

I may have laughed a little too hard at that.

   
• Asteroid Flight! I am convinced that one of the most important voices in film is Thomas Flight. I've brought up his YouTube Channel before, but with each new video I appreciate his takes on movies even more. On Friday I finally got around to watching Wes Anderson's Asteroid City. I didn't want spoilers, so I've been sitting on Flight's deep-dive into the film until I watched it. And last night was the night. It's as good as I knew it would be...

Having somebody explain why you loved a film as much as you did is a bizarre experience. I loved Asteroid City. I thought I knew what it was trying to say as a film. But it turned out I was only scratching the surface. Flight's attempt to put into words what he thinks Anderson was saying and what the film meant to him just makes me want to watch Asteroid City all over again.

   
• Pinball Wizard! I gotta say... I passed on this movie because it didn't look that interesting to me. But then I heard enough people saying that it was good that I ended up tuning it to Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game...

And it is, in fact, pretty darn good. In surprising and unexpected ways. Streaming on Hulu.

   
• Make Mine Duncan! Fine people of the world, may I present Hajime Miura doing incredible things with a yoyo...

It's almost like he's defying physics or something.

   
• Mac Tonight! Big Tugg took an interesting look at McDonalds that was entertaining and informative...

I was surprised that Tucker didn't mention Mac Tonight, a moon-headed mascot from the 80's that I remembered being freaky and perplexing. I also remember a lawsuit. So I did a YouTube search to see what's going on there...

You can't make this stuff up. White supremacy? Animatronics? DOUG frickin' JONES?!? Real Life is SO weird.

   
• Heartless! Good Lord. They hired a great cast. Had an interesting concept. Staged some terrific action sequences. Went to some fantastic locations. THEN MIRED EVERYTHING IN THE MOST BY-THE-NUMBERS SPY STORY IMAGINABLE. Who in the hell is calling the shots at Netflix that Heart of Stone ever got made?

Is it too much to ask to get something that's not an inferior wannabe expensive Mission Impossible clone? And the absurdly silly AI computer's constant recalculation of the mission's chance of success is just fucking stupid and unneeded. Does the AI computer have God-vision to be able to calculate infinite variables of unfolding events like this? Why does every movie have to drop in some kind of AI computerized crutch to up the tension instead of just WRITING SOMETHING WITH ACTUAL TENSION? Having C-3PO, oops... I mean "The Heart"... saying "YOUR MISSION ONLY HAS A 35% CHANCE OF SUCCESS" means NOTHING and does nothing... especially if Gal Gadot is going to ignore it. "DON'T TELL ME THE ODDS, 3PO!" Everybody involved in this film deserves better than this stupid shit. Thank you Netflix for spending a ton of money on this crap while increasing our rates. Jesus.

   
• Irony Can Be So Ironic Sometimes! THIS JUST IN FROM THE "IRONY IS NOT DEAD" DEPARTMENT... Zachary Levi Criticizes Hollywood for Making Too Much “Garbage”.

   
And, on that happy note, I'm off next week for Hell Week. See you on the 28th!

   

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