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Captains, Princes, and Rappers

Posted on April 9th, 2021

Dave!Last night I stayed up until midnight to watch the latest episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier but ended up going to bed instead. The middle part of a story is usually the lull in the storm before the build-up to the finale, and I figured I'd be better off catching up on my sleep.

This morning I woke up early to watch it and was not shocked by anything in the episode. I was happy with the way that it filled in the blanks as to the philosophical differences between Sam Wilson and John Walker. And I want to reiterate again that Wyatt Russell is absolutely killing it as the "new" Captain America. People have been unloading a lot of hate towards the actor and I just don't get it. As I've said all along, the character of John Walker has a specific purpose in the story. And watching Russell build out that purpose is thrilling to watch. He knows exactly where New Cap needs to go and is taking him there perfectly...

Wyatt Russell as the new Captain America: John Walker.

I sure hope that fanboys start to understand this so they stop sending death threats(!) to Wyatt Russell. I mean... holy shit. The guy is a very good actor just doing his damn job.

It's been interesting to see Marvel Studios actually treating the show like they billed the show: as a six-hour movie. Now instead of 30 minutes of build-up and world-building followed by 30 minutes of development followed by a 30 minute race to the finale, we get more time to better flesh-out the story and characters while still having all the action beats of a big-budget film. All the subtleties that make The Falcon and The Winter Soldier such a good television show are the first things that would be cut when making it into a theatrical motion picture.

tl;dr... I like what's happing with this series because it's different. It's not just "made for television movies of the same old things.

But enough about super-hero television.

Back in The Real World, Prince Phillip has died at 99 and DMX has died at 50.

Prince Phillip, husband to the longest ruling monarch to ever exist, was a dutiful public servant who was also highly problematic. His history of saying abusive, misogynistic, racist, and bigoted crap is legendary. But of course the tabloids are already blaming Meghan Markle. Never mind that he was 99 years old and in declining health, it was an interview with Oprah that did him in. I swear... people will find a way to blame Black women for anything, no matter how absurd, because that's the default of a society built on systemic racism and misogyny.

DMX, a celebrated rapper and actor, was a hugely successful and talented musician that was also highly problematic. Some of his music was shockingly homophobic... often violently so. And then there were his lyrics promoting misogyny and rape which were roundly (and rightly) condemned. And yet... some of his tracks were brilliantly honest and raw, changing the course of music history in their wake. I practically wore out my CD for his debut album It's Dark and Hell is Hot when it was unleashed upon the world in 1998. It was a great album to listen to when you were mad at the world and wanted to vicariously unleash through DMX's rage. And I was a mad at the world quite a lot back in those heady pre-politically-correct days.

And now I'm headed for a nap in the hopes that the raging headache I've been battling all day will give me a break. It's tough to blog when it feels as though your eyeballs are being pushed out of your skull.

   

Trailing Awayyy…

Posted on April 5th, 2021

Dave!Apparently it was New Trailer Day today!

This is both good news (yay! shows I like are coming back!) and bad news (holy crap! I have a list a mile long to watch already!). But I will always make room in my packed viewing schedule for new Marvel Studios!

First there was the trailer for Loki, which looks like a radical departure for the MCU... and that's a very good thing...

Fun! It just amazes me that Marvel Studios is intent on branching out in as many directions as possible to keep things interesting. Really looking forward to that.

They also released a new trailer for Black Widow a couple days ago...

Awesomeness ensues. I will, of course, be paying the $30 to watch it at home the minute it's available on July 9th. Then buying it on digital when it's released there. Because I'd much rather do that than go to a theater. Especially now. But ever again, really.

And then there's the teaser for the second season of Picard...

So it would seem that Q is back. Which could make for an interesting story given that Guinan is also due to return! The first season was fairly good television, even though it had too many moments that dragged and seemed like more of a distraction than something designed to move the plot forward.

We're also getting another season of Star Trek: Lower Decks, which was a really nice surprise last season...

More of the same clever, cool comedy, it would seem.

And, lastly, somehow Discovery is getting a fourth season. I loved the first, was bored by the second, and put into a coma by some crap episodes in the third... so I guess we'll see what the next season brings (besides new costumes)...

It certainly looks action-packed... but that's what I was lead to believe for last season.

No new trailers for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and Star Trek: Prodigy, alas. But anyway... something to look forward to as we continue to make our way through the muck that 2020 gave us.

   

Bullet Sunday 708

Posted on April 4th, 2021

Dave!You may be tempted to go hunting for eggs, but hold onto that basket a minute... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Bunny! Easter was kinda a big deal for my mom. She was 100% all-in on the Easter baskets, decorations, hiding eggs, candy, Easter Bunny, and the whole bit. Because of it, I have a lot of fond Easter memories...

Young me with an Easter basket in the back yard with green grass and a fence behind me.

Meanwhile I celebrated the holiday by giving myself a terrible haircut, cleaning a little bit of my horrifically filthy house, and washing my sheets. Now I am eating Chili Cheese Fritos and drinking a Coke Zero (I think Chili-Cheese is my favorite Frito because they contain more MSG than any other snack chip). Jake and Jenny are celebrating by taking a nap. And now I think I'll call it a day. It's 10am, and I'm done. Happy Easter!

   
• To The Louvre! I did not know that The Louvre had put so much of their collection online. This is amazing. I wish all museums would do this...


Image © Musée du Louvre Paris


Image © Musée du Louvre Paris


Image © Musée du Louvre Paris

You can even download low-res images to make your own personal collection! Nice! Even more interesting... they are offering virtual tours since the museum itself is closed because of the pandemic. I really hope they keep this all going when we get back to "normal." Some people will never get to visit The Louvre any other way, and it's not like it will take the place of an actual visit for those who can visit in person. But anyway... you can find it all on their website.

   
• RICK! Oh thank heavens...

Seriously some of the smartest stuff on television. Cannot wait.

   
• The Poverty! I think I laughed for five solid minutes after watching this...

@hotdaddyissues

i failed chemistry in high school lmao ##fyp ##foryou ##funny ##vaccine ##vaxxed ##vaccinequeen

♬ original sound - CHeck

Soooo... guess it's a good thing that I got the Pfiezer vaccine! I now have luxury running through my veins!

   
• Unreal! And speaking of vaccines... I am so fucking sick and tired of stupid...

@victoriahammett

##fyp

♬ original sound - Victoria Hammett

Nobody gives a shit about reality any more. They just create whatever idiotic bullshit they want to fit their narrative. And people are happy to keep listening to them even when their crap is completely debunked.

   
• Engineering! If you've ever had one of those paper-box beverage containers, the way they open is rather cool. As you open the lid, it cuts the seal on the container inside. I've always wondered about how it works, but never bothered to cut one open to find out. Now I don't have to...

Pretty nifty stuff!

   
• Paper! The U.S. measurement standards are SO stupid. Bypassing the metric system is about as idiotic as it gets. This very, very cool video explains just one of the reasons why...

One of these days I'm going to rewatch all of CGP Grey's videos from start to finish. That would be a day well-spent.

   
And that's all she wrote.

   

Queen Bee Hotness

Posted on March 30th, 2021

Dave!One of those YouTube shows that I became immediately addicted to is Hot Ones... where a celebrity guest eats increasingly hotter and hotter sauces on top of chicken wings (or veggie wings, if you're so inclined) to see how hot they can go. In-between they are asked questions and the results are often pretty darn funny. And the stars they manage to get are impressive indeed. Everybody shows up. Everybody from Paul Rudd and Idris Elba to Charlize Theron and Awkwafina. If you haven't seen the show, check it out and find a guest you like. I've seen every episode.

They even did one in LEGO for heaven's sake...

AND THEN... we got a special treat when Saturday Night Live did a parody with Maya Rudolph as Beyoncé. It's about the funniest thing I've seen come out of that show in a long while...

Flawless.

I've watched this through three times now and die every time.

   

Bullet Sunday 707

Posted on March 28th, 2021

Dave!Feeling a little less than heroic today? Then I've got you covered... because a Very Special All-Comic-Book Edition Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Comic-Con? Welp. Comic-Con International just announced that the new date for Comic-Con San Diego is... Thanksgiving Weekend?!? It seems weird to think that a day reserved for giving thanks with your family would be commandeered after a year of pandemic that's kept families apart, but okay. Maybe that's the point though? They new attendance would be down over a holiday, which is what they need to keep crowds low just as everybody is getting vaccinated? I dunno. Still seems a weird... and borderline heartless... thing to do. "Sorry, grandma, we've got Comic-Con that weekend! Hope you can make it until next year!"

   
• Invincible. Amazon Prime Streaming has just released the first three episodes of their occasionally-violent-and-gory adaptation of the Invincible comic book...

I was pleasantly surprised that they didn't drag everything out so they could have one of the most shocking twists in comic book history saved for the second season. Nope. They've got it right up front.

   
• The Suicide Squad. It's interesting to see how Zack Snyder was given millions upon millions of dollars to release his "director's cut" of Justice League, but the same courtesy is not being extended to David Ayer for his Suicide Squad film, which was apprently taken far away from his intended story by the studio. Truth to tell, I would rather Ayer have been given the cash, because the stuff he originally shot sounds far more interesting. I mean, sure, his version of the Joker was shit, but a lot of other things were pretty well done. The reason he's probably not being given the opportunity is that DC doesn't want to overshadow the upcoming The Suicide Squad movie by James Gunn (of Guardians of the Galaxy fame). An R-rated trailer, of which, was just released...

Promising! SO many characters from the comics! The whole idea behind the Squad is that members die because the missions they take on are so dangerous. Apparently James Gunn is taking this to heart, because his entire motto for the film is "Don't Get Attached." How can you say no to that?

   
• New Cap. Steve Rogers, Captain America, has lost his shield! In a new series called The United States of Captain America, he embarks on a road trip across the country to find it... teaming up with other "Captain Americas" from over the years. Along the way he finds other people who have taken up his mantle, including a gay teenager named Aaron Fischer...

The cover of The United States of Captain America.

So naturally people are losing their fucking minds. Which is just the most bizarre phenomenon to me. It's comic book characters. The original Captain America is still here. Nothing is being taken away. But the idea that a gay American can't be Captain America when so many other Americans have been Captain America over the years is just bonkers. Gay people exist. Representation matters. Get the fuck over it.

   
• Old Cap. I had written up my thoughts on the second episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, but then decided to hold onto them because I worry that anybody who hasn't read the comics driving this story will get the series spoiled for them. I will say that I am absolutely fascinated that they mined Truth: Red, White, and Black for this installment. The story of the actual first "Captain America" was pretty groundbreaking... even though it was published in 2003. It was here that we learned that 300 Black men were used as test subjects for the "Super Soldier Serum" before it was given to Steve Rogers. Of the 300, only Isaiah Bradley survived, and we got to meet him on Friday...

Carl Lumley as Isaiah Bradley.

Isaiah Bradley Captain America from the Marvel Comics.

After serving his country with honor, he was imprisoned for his trouble. Now he's trying to live a quiet life of seclusion, as explained by his grandson, Eli Bradley. If you read the comics, Eli ends up being the hero Patriot...

Elijah Richardson as Eli Bradley.

Patriot from the Marvel Comics.

Could it be that we're assembling the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Because the Young Avengers are almost all accounted for now! Eli Bradley as Patriot, Kate Bishop as Hawkeye (from the upcoming Hawkeye series), Billy and Tommy as Wiccan and Speed (from WandaVision), Cassie Lang as Stature (from the Ant-Man movies), and America Chavez as Miss America (from the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness). And if they want to toss in Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel (from the upcoming Ms. Marvel series), and Riri Williams as Ironheart (from the upcoming Ironheart series)... PLUS debut Hulkling out of the upcoming Secret Invasion series... well... there you have it. It would seem that Marvel Studios is intent on keeping the current MCU moving forward as opposed to rebooting everything with new actors in the existing roles. Which is pretty smart. Because until the gravy train stops rolling, they might as well, right?

   
• The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. But back to the second episode... the Captain America comic books are at their best when they are saying something. When they tackle the big issues that face this country. And that's the niche that the source material takes quite often in modern times. It's only right that the Disney+ series spin-off follow suit. So when Sam Wilson was not able to get a bank loan last episode, on the surface it was because Thanos snapped him out of existence for 5 years. But you quickly got the idea that him being a Black man was definitely a factor. Didn't matter that he's one of the most famous people on the planet, no consideration was offered. And then in this episode, an argument with Bucky in public results in the police showing up to ask Bucky "if this man was bothering him"...

The cover of The United States of Captain America.

So kudos to Marvel Studios for making this series actually try to say something... in-between some great action sequences. It's exactly what Cap would want to see happen.

   
Stay frosty, True Believer!

   

“This is why I can’t have nice things.”

Posted on March 26th, 2021

Dave!Jessica Walter died.

Best known for playing Lucille Bluth on Arrested Development, I am gutted because she was also the voice of Mallory Archer on Archer, which showcased her talent and genius in a way that you pray for when casting an animated series.

I mean...

And here's Lucille...

"I don't understand the question and I won't respond to it."

Dang, what a loss.

I am praying that there's enough of her voice work recorded for Archer to last until the show ends... or they can at least get creative enough to salvage old recordings and outtakes to have Mallory appear until the end.

Rest in Peace, Jessica Walter. Nobody delivered a biting line like you did and you will be terribly missed. Say "hello" to Woodhouse for us.

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Sam & Buck: Together Again

Posted on March 19th, 2021

Dave!WandaVision was a disappointment. Instead of Wanda and Vision getting a show of their own, they instead spent most of their time parodying other TV shows... then ended up being nothing more than a prelude to another character's movie. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't what I was hoping for. The idea of the Marvel shows on Disney+ is that they are feature-film quality projects which have the time to dig deeper into the characters in a way that movies don't have time to do.

Enter The Falcon and The Winter Soldier...

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier Movie Poster

I'm just going to get this out of the way... Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan are absolute gold. Ridiculously talented actors who know how to inhabit their roles and sell their characters. There's not a moment that they're on screen that they're not wowing you... whether it's in terrific action sequences or much quieter moments.

The story revolves around the past charting the future, and how Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes let their pasts hold them back while trying to move forward. And there's also the legacy of Captain America to deal with.

I loved it.

And if you want more of my thoughts on the show, I'll put them in an extended entry...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

Average American Justice

Posted on March 18th, 2021

Dave!There's two new things on my television today. One I've been dying to see ever since I first learned it was coming. The other one I know full well is going to be a steaming pile of shit and dread the idea of watching it, but am going to give it a look anyway because I kinda have to.

Nate Bargatze: Greatest Average American
is exactly what I need right now. Smart, brilliant, comedy which doesn't have to rely on punching down on people or swearing to be funny. I don't think it's funnier than his first special... The Tennessee Kid... but it's still darn entertaining and must-see television.
DAVE RATING: ☆★★★★★★★★★

Zack Snyder's Justice League
I've not been shy with my opinion on Zack Snyder's DC Universe films. Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman were absolute shit. Horrific perversions of the source material that were full of changes nobody asked for and nobody wanted to see. Justice League was supposed to change all that. But Warner Bros. hated the direction Snyder was going with it... his dark, dour, deadly-serious, joyless take on the material was in stark contrast to the Marvel Studios films which were joyful, hopeful, fun, and faithful to the comics. Also? Marvel was raking in billions of dollars with their superior methods. So when Zack Snyder tragically lost his daughter, Warner Bros. took the opportunity to squeeze him out and bring Joss Whedon onboard to "fix" the film and make it more like The Avengers. To that end, he re-shot a huge amount of the footage to make the movie more jokey and slapsticky. It was awful. Which lead to Snyder fans to relentlessly ask for "The Snyder Cut" to be released. And here we are with the four-hour version that Snyder intended. Except it's still shitty. It's just more consistently shitty than it used to be. My notes on this tragic affair are in an extended entry, if you care to read them.
DAVE RATING (Snyder version): ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆★★
DAVE RATING (Theatrical version): ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆★

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

Bullet Sunday 704

Posted on March 7th, 2021

Dave!Inconsistent weather has crushed my Sunday plans, but I've still got you, dear reader... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Awwww! And... YOU'RE WELCOME...

@stillhavetime2deletevid

You won’t see one of these again. He’s now safe & warm with some hazelnuts. ##endangeredanimals

♬ original sound - Add your name

I've read that a dormouse can hibernate for 6 months or longer depending on the weather. That's my dream job. Though I'd settle for being able to get over 6 hours of sleep at night, so there's that.

   
• Two! I finally got around to watching Coming 2 America, the streaming sequel to one of my favorite movies of all time. It was... rough. The original Coming To America was a hyper-focused story which does exactly what you should be doing if you've got Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall headlining... focus as much precious screen time on them and their story as possible. Unfortunately the sequel doesn't do this. It's chopped up into a half-dozen different ideas, too many of which focus on people who are not Eddie and Arsenio. It's incredibly frustrating given just how easy it would have been to avoid this misstep. But it is what it is, I guess. Though the trailer made it look like it was going to end up better than it was...

While not a terrible movie, it didn't have the greatness that the original had. It didn't have half the greatness that the original had. And that's a serious problem. And I have a hard time trying to decide if something was better than nothing at this point. Probably.

   
• McDonalds! And now this from the You Don't Disrespect Your Mother No Matter How Tempting That May Be Department...

@kristenandreafe

The tables have turned mom😂🤣 ##funny ##dramaticmoments ##relatable ##mom ##prank

♬ BGC Drama Effect - whozmanzz

I think I laughed for five solid minutes when I saw this.

   
• Home Decorator! This morning I ran across an article about The Evolution of the Oval Office Décor, and it's pretty cool. They've created 3-D cutaway renderings of how the look has changed over the past 100+ years...

A 3-D cutaway view of The Oval Office as it has been currently decorated by President Biden.

Almost makes me wish that there was an Oval Office decorator app where people could go in and design it for themselves. Then order a drone strike. Because apparently that's our thing now.

   
• Coffee! THIS MAN IS DOING THE LORD'S WORK!!!

@scottpropandroll

Prop Coffee Cups. Heavy Stuff. @emilytheperry ##props ##tv ##prank

♬ original sound - Scott Reeder

This bugs the ever-loving SHIT out of me in movies. Especially in Hallmark movies where it's obscenely obvious THAT THE FUCKING CUPS ARE EMPTY! How hard is it to fill the cups with SOMETHING that makes them act like they aren't empty or defying the law of gravity? Though I'd just as soon have them filled with water or soda so that actors stop forgetting that THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO HAVE JUST SWALLOWED SOME COFFEE!

   
• A Royal Romance! Welp. That Oprah interview with Prince Harry and Meghan was really something. There were absolutely no punches pulled, even though there were some areas that were intentionally not discussed. But what was discussed was brutal. The Royal Family comes off as a bunch of racist assholes, and watching them try and dig their way out of the horrific allegations will be amusing (to say the very least). A part of me hopes that it's being greatly exaggerated, but another part of me knows better.

While watching the interview unfold, it was tough not to think back to the Lifetime movie Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance. As a connoisseur or trashy Hallmark movies, I ended up liking it so much that I bought it...

Movie poster for Harry and Meghan A Royal Romance.

Seriously though... it's a darn good movie (for what it is), and there's a scene where Her Majesty They Queen tells Meghan that The Royal Family was mixed race thanks to Queen Charlotte...

Lifetime Movie: The Queen looking up at a portrait of Queen Charlotte.

Lifetime Movie: Harry and Meghan looking at each other happily.

If that scene actually took place, it's tough not to re-contextualize it knowing what we (allegedly) know now. It's all at once incredibly sad... totally infuriating... and yet not totally unexpected.

   
Have a happy Sunday there, slugger!

   

Scarlet Witches and Bleached Corpses

Posted on March 5th, 2021

Dave!What is grief, if not love persevering? — The Vision

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Disney+ started streaming the final episode of WandaVision right out of the gate at midnight. The previous two weeks it took me nearly ten minutes to get to the show as Disney+ servers broke with tons of people trying to access them.

All-in-all the series was... not great. Not terrible, but not what I wanting to see from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I understand there are people who are just loving to see Wanda get beat up on while she processes her grief, so more power to them, I guess...

Wanda floating in the air as The Scarlet Witch!

I wrote my thoughts on the final episode (and the series as a whole) immediately after the show, but likely won't post until I have time to read through all this on my lunch break tomorrow. I'm tired, and there's probably a million spelling mistakes.

But anyway... it's all in an extended entry if you care to read it...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

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