Posted on November 24th, 2021
Last night when I turned on the television so I had background noise running while I work, a movie recommendation popped up. X-Men: Dark Phoenix. I was floored. Why in the hell would they be recommending the worst super-hero comic book movie ever made? And then I was like... wait... second worst. Because first on that list is Wonder Woman '84, and no other movie will likely dethrone it from the top spot.
At least I sure as hell hope not.
It got me to thinking about all the horrible super-hero comic book films that got made, so I thought I'd run through those I remembered.
Yikes. More than I thought I'd remember. It's almost as though I should rewatch all the Marvel Studios movies for the hundredth time so I can have good super-hero comic book movies back in my head.
Posted on November 19th, 2021
I am not terribly thrilled that Marvel is going the "Multiverse" route with their films. The need to make sure that the earlier Spider-Man movies are a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is dragging us backwards rather than taking us forward by cutting them loose. Will it be nice to see Alfred Molina as Doc Ock again? Sure. But at the expense of miring the MCU with the silly idea that Peter Parker looks completely different in the different universes? It makes no sense.
But here we go anyway...
In addition to Alfred Molina, we're definitely getting Willen DaFoe as Green Goblin and Jamie Foxx as Electro. And it looks like we're getting Rhys Ifans as The Lizard and Thomas Haden Church as Sandman... though those could just be CGI additions with no connection to the actual actors.
But it's like... why?
Why not create new versions of these characters that are closely tied to what Marvel Studios is doing now? Does this mean that these characters will never appear in the MCU proper because they are from a different universe? That doesn't seem too smart.
It seems likely all of this is to keep Sony happy, since they have the Spider-Man movie rights tied up and, technically, the character is on-loan to Marvel. The Multiverse allows them to have Spider-Man back for their Venom movies and such while still allowing Spider-Man to move forward with Marvel Studio films. It's a profitable double-dip. Assuming Tom Holland wants to continue on. Though this could also all be a set-up to give us Miles Morales Spider-Man.
They really should have let DC Comics hang on to this bad idea in their The Flash movie and kept moving forward with the success they had been having.
Oh well. Dr. Strange looks to be having a great time in the movie, so perhaps that will be compensation for what feels like a big blunder. But who knows? Maybe Marvel has figured it all out so that it's actually a good thing.
Posted on November 15th, 2021
I love Ryan Reynolds so much that my cat is named after him... "Jake Ryan Reynolds Simmer." He's just sheer entertainment from start to finish, and even though he's basically the same character in all his movies... I honestly don't care. He partnered with Netflix for the great movie Six Underground (which I'm still hoping gets a sequel) and now a new movie, Red Notice with The Rock and Wonder Woman. It was, as expected, highly entertaining...
Of course the critics gave it bad reviews because they don't give a shit about having fun at the movies, but I really enjoyed it. And it's apparently the biggest streaming debut Netflix has ever had, so there's that.
And now there's this... which might not make sense unless you've seen the movie...
I think the movies left on my 2021 Bucket List are Eternals, Spiderman: No Way Home, and Matrix: Resurrection. Fortunately I can see The Matrix on HBO Max, but I'm not sure if I'll risk a trip to the theaters for the other two.
Posted on November 12th, 2021
I am still not stepping foot into theaters. A part of me wonders if I ever will again. Because I have to say... I like watching movies at home far, far more than I do going to a theater. Like... frickin' MILES more.
Quentin Tarantino recently made a plea about supporting movie theaters thusly... "You have an experience with a bunch of strangers. And at that moment, once the movie gets going, once the lights are down, you become a collective.” And I'm like... yeah, but it's the other people that makes going to the theater such a shitty experience. And that was BEFORE the pandemic! People talking. People texting. People taking phone calls. People yelling at their kids. People putting their feet up on your seat or kicking it. People being assholes. THAT'S WHAT I HATE ABOUT THE THEATER. And since people now-a-days are more awful and less considerate with each passing day, I'll take a big ol' pass at paying a lot of money for a shitty experience. I have a very nice home theater system where there's nobody to ruin the movie for me. Love your movies, Quentin... but... well... sorry. I can wait 2 to 4 months to avoid being tortured.
And while I was tempted to see Shang-Chi in theaters because I wanted to see it so bad (something I am currently struggling with when it comes to Eternals and will struggle with again when it comes to Spider-Man: No Way Home), I held fast.
But I'm still supporting the movie. I bought a copy on the iTunes Store today ($20, cheap!), but will repeat-watch on Disney+ to be sure that it gets my views (besides, Disney+ is showing the IMAX-filled scenes in near-full-screen height, which is an added bonus).
And now we can watch together, yay!
My spoiler-filled type-along with my second viewing of the film is in an extended entry.→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on November 10th, 2021
Wes Anderson has such a unique and wonderful voice when it comes to his films that he's long been one of my favorite writer/directors. He got my attention with his first film Bottle Rocket. I greatly enjoyed his follow-up film, Rushmore. His take on The Royal Tenenbaums showed that his first two films were no fluke and he was honing his craft. But it wasn't until his fourth film, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou that I fell in love with Anderson's craft. It was so unique, so bizarre, so wonderful that I didn't have any choice but to love the movie...
It doesn't hurt that the casting was impeccable. The Life Aquatic stars Bill Murray as Steve Zissou, an oceanographer documentary filmmaker who was once celebrated, but has seen his star fallen. The movie kicks into gear as Steve debuts his latest film about the "Leopard Shark" who ate his longtime friend and collaborator while on an expedition. At the premiere of his film, Steve says that his next work will be a "Part Two" where he hunts down the shark and kills it for revenge.
You also get Anjelica Houston as his wife, Owen Wilson as the son he never met, Cate Blanchet as a reporter along to document the documentary, Willem Dafoe as his German shipmate, Jeff Goldblum as his arch-rival documentarian, and Michael Gambon as his agent.
Plus you get Seu Jorge as Pelé, the ship's trubador who sings David Bowie songs in Portugeuse throughout the story, which is as amazing as you'd think it would be.
The thing that makes this quirky film so utterly charming is the wild (and impossible) ocean creatures you get to see. They're colorful, wonderful creations from Wes Anderson's imagination that couldn't exist in Real Life, but seem perfectly at home in The Life Aquatic. But my favorite thing would have to be the massive set of Steve's ship, The Belafonte. Whenever you are inside the ship, you are actually on a set for the entire ship that's been split in half. This means the camera can follow the characters as they walk around the ship. And it's glorious...
It's kinda telling that The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou was a bit of a flop at the box office. Critics weren't very kind (it currently holds a 56% "Rotten" crticis rating on Rotten Tomatoes... the lowest of all his films), though the moviegoers who saw it loved the thing (82% audience score). I think it just goes to show that jaded critics lack the wonder and imagination needed to truly appreciate it.
I watched the movie a couple months ago in anticipation of Wes Anderson's next film... The French Dispatch. But then this afternoon I saw an Adidas ad, it reminded me of the Team Zissou Limited Edition sneakers that Adidas actually made for the film, and sold as a promo to go along with it, so I was compelled to watch it again...
Always time well-spent. If you haven't seen this cinematic gem, it's worth a look. I think Hulu currently has it available for streaming.
Posted on November 7th, 2021
I may be dealing with some very upset cats now that Daylight Saving Time has ended, but fear not... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• MEME! One of my all-time favorite memes... if not my most favorite... is the "How do you do, fellow kids?" meme (taken from 30 Rock) by Steve Buscemi. This year for Halloween he went AS HIS OWN MEME, and it's glorious...
Photo from @DebraWexler_ on Twitter.
And if, somehow, you've never seen the original context for this meme... here you go!
I've always been a fan of Steve Buscemi. The guy ran to Ground Zero after the 9-11 terrorist attacks to search for survivors. He was a firefighter before becoming an actor and wanted to help out. He's had my respect ever since. On top of that he's a great actor. Every time he pops up, you know his part is going to be interesting... or hilarious.
• MATH DUEL, FIGHT! I am not a mathematician. I just don't have the headspace to get into the maths is requires. But the history of mathematics is something I absolutely love. Most all the discoveries and advancements made have some fascinating and highly entertaining stories around them. The Veritasium YouTube channel excels at bringing these stories to life in a way that's interesting even if you have no idea about the maths. This new one is really good...
I mean... come on. There's always been drama since the dawn of humanity. There's drama in The Bible, for heaven's sake. But back before the internet and telephones, it was some truly bizarre shit. And I love it!
• 80's TV! I love love love Acapulco on Apple TV+. This is a "behind-the-scenes" video that gives you a taste of what the show is about...
It's actually a sequel (of sorts) to the movie How To Be a Latin Lover, but you don't need to have seen it in order to enjoy this series. Highly recommended.
• Pink! I went to watch The Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime Video only to find out it's yet another freakin' "zero" non-episode. Then I saw Amazon was recommending a movie I never heard of called Touch of Pink. And it's truly bizarre. Jimi Mistry plays a gay guy who escaped his traditional Muslim family in Toronto by moving to London, England. He's in a relationship there and their lives are thrown into disarray when his conservative mother comes to visit. What makes it different than dozens of other movies following this formula is that Jimi Mistry has an imaginary friend... who is CARY GRANT?!? Played by Kyle MacLachlan?!? It's actually kinda charming, and Jimi's mom is fantastic...
But here's the real surprise.... as I was watching I was all "What the heck ever happened to Jimi Mistry?" Turns out he fell in love with his dance partner from an appearance on Strictly Come Dancing and they moved to the countryside to become farmers! The guy hasn't done any acting since 2015! Hope he's happy in his life away from our screens and televisions.
• Alexa Say What? Why are we constantly settling for crappy apps that we pay for? All I wanted was to listen to the Kylie Minogue track Better the Devil You Know when I got home. I don't know much about her, but I love this one song. I had INXS on in my car, and it reminded me of the rumor that the Kylie track was about Michael Hutchence. So I tell Alexa to play it when I walk in the door. Instead of just playing the song I want, it starts playing... well... SOMETHING. I'm guessing it's some kind of remix or whatnot, but since the Amazon Alexa app is 100% SHIT, you can't even read what the hell it's playing...
After yelling different ways (ORIGINAL! LIVE! OLD VERSION!) I finally just play it via the YouTube music video on my phone. Does anybody on Amazon's dev team actually use their own app? Because surely they would notice this, right?
• SCIENCE! So the reason I hate broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts can be explained by actial science! Bitter salad greens like arugula and kale are awful to me. And now we know why. Probably the same thing that makes some people think that cilantro tastes like soap?
• Pro! What happens when Apple stops treating the MacBook Pro as a vanity project and actually builds something that has what professionals need to get real work done...
I've been waiting for this for nearly a decade.
And now back to our regular Day Light Saved programming...
Posted on November 4th, 2021
The news of the day? Taika Waititi is adapting The Incal by Jodorowsky and Mœbius.
This is interesting from any number of viewpoints, not the least of which is that Waititi is one of my favorite directors going. Between What We Do In The Shadows, Thor: Ragnarok, Jojo Rabbit and Hunt for the Wilderpeople, the guy seems incapable of making a bad film. But holy crap... he's already attached to Akira, Flash Gordon, and a few television series... how does he have the time for all this?
But still, The Incal is a fantastic work, and seeing it adapted into a movie or series seems like a no-brainer...
Kinda timely that this was announced on the heels of the success that Denis Villeneuve's Dune movie is experiencing.
Back before the David Lynch Dune in 1984, Alejandro Jodorowsky was working on a movie of his own based on the novel. His efforts were famously made into a documentary called Jodorowsky's Dune that had some truly amazing ideas that were equal parts interesting and bizarre. The documentary is worth a look, if you have a chance to see it.
Anyway... after his Dune movie fell apart, Jodorowsky took his concepts and reworked them into a series of comics called The Incal (Mœbius having been one of his collaborators for the visuals on Dune). I could explain it, but this really good YouTuber did that for me last year...
And for more, here's Jodorowsky and Taika himself...
Probably won't see anything come of this until 2025, but thems the breaks.
Posted on November 3rd, 2021
I was watching an interview with Edgar Wright by Ali Plumb where the very first question was What movies have you seen the most time in your entire life?
The question is a fascinating one, because it's so hard to answer. Back before streaming... heck, back before VHS tapes could be rented... I would watch movies I liked several times because it was the only thing available! HBO and Showtime had a limited number of films available to them, so they would play them over and over again. I watched the 1978 version of Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile dozens of times because it was something to watch and I knew I liked it...
The new Kenneth Branagh version has been delayed several times (I think it's been pushed to 2022 now!), so I can't comment on how good it is... but I find it hard to believe that it will replace the Peter Ustinov movie I loved so much (and still love).
As for my list though? That took some thought. I watch (and rewatch) tons of movies each year. Eventually I decided to break them down into categories, each with movies I've seen at least ten times each (some by virtue of just having been around a long time but, yes, there are movies from 2021 I've seen already seen ten times that got listed too!)...
• MARVEL STUDIOS MOVIES. No need to list them. I've seen ALL of them multiple, multiple times.
• JUST PLAIN AWESOME FLICKS. These are movies I don't put on as "background noise" but actually want to watch over and over again. And, yeah, I haven't seen the current Dune movie ten times... but I probably will have by the end of the year since I'm already at five times!
• COMFORT FOOD. Movies I put on when working just to have something nice going on in the background which won't distract from my work because I've seen them so many times.
• HALLMARK-STYLE MOVIES. These are also "comfort movies" for me... but kind of deserve a category all their own because they are even less of a distraction as background noise (except Bridal Wave, which sucks me in every time). These movies are playing ALL THE TIME while I'm working or blogging or whatever.
These are far from a list of my favorite movies (all of Tarantino's films would be on here if that were true). They're just the movies I've seen the most.
It would be interesting to revisit this in five years to see what movies get added.
Posted on November 1st, 2021
I worked all weekend, so I woke up really early not to get a jump on my day... but to clean my house. The only thing I managed to get to yesterday was steam-cleaning the cat feeding station. That's something I do regardless of whatever else I have going on because I want to make sure Jake and Jenny stay healthy.
As I was scrubbing, vacuuming, and dusting, I had a Hallmark movie playing. The last thing I want is to get behind, because there's like a hundred of these things dropping from Hallmark Channel, Lifetime, Netflix, and the rest. Half-way through the movie I realized that I wasn't paying attention to what was going on. Not that you have to... most of these movies are painfully basic, redundant, and lacking anything requiring critical thinking. It's just that I'm kinda done with them. 95% of them are the same damn thing you've seen a hundred times before, and only rarely is there anything trying to be different. The only reason I didn't turn this one off is because it was starring Katee Sackhoff and I'm a fan.
Do I dare hope that I'm over my Hallmark addiction? Lord, I hope so... but probably not.
Far more interesting was this video that got forwarded to me this morning...
I don't know about you, but this is far scarier than the original Jurassic Park!
And now? I should probably go to work seeing as how it's almost 9:00am.
Posted on October 26th, 2021
It was announced that Dune: Part 2 has been greenlit. Which means Denis Villeneuve will get to give us the second half of the story. This is, to put it mildly, fantastic news. It is, as a matter of fact, the only news that mattered to me today.
Partly because this is a movie which deserves to be completed. But mostly because I honestly wasn't expecting it to happen...
No, seriously... that's it for today. Nothing else matters. Good night.