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Bullet Sunday 683

Posted on October 11th, 2020

Dave!Time to make time to be kind as the world crumbles around us... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Lume! If we are COVID-controlled by the time The Lume's immersive Vincent Van Gogh exhibit comes to the Newfields Museum in Indianapolis, I'm so there. Van Gogh is my most favorite painter, and I suffered through an episode of the abysmal Emily in Paris (on Netflix) just to look at this exhibit from when it was in Paris...

Kinda shocked that this hasn't been to Amsterdam. That would be a much better fit for the experience given that this is where the Van Gogh Museum is located!

   
• Free! As a huge Ryan Reynolds fan, I've been looking forward to the movie Free Guy... and my anticipation just kicked up a notch with the latest trailer...

From what I've read, there's already a sequel in development because Ryan Reynolds loved the movie so much. No clue if movie studios are even going to be in the business of making films now that movie theaters are shuttering and attendance is plummeting where theaters are open. Heaven only knows I'd rather bypass theaters since the experience is so shity now-a-days... even without COVID-drenched audiences in tow.

   
• Trek! The final episode of the new Trek cartoon show, Star Trek: Lower Decks came out and I still don't know what to make of it. It's too adult for kids, but it lacks biting stories to appeal to adults. It aims to be funny, but doesn't have big laughs thanks to lazy comedy tropes. And I while I guess this can exist along-side the Star Trek shows and movies... it seems an odd fit since it is essentially a parody of Trek and doesn't really go anywhere except within it's own bubble. The finale had Riker and Troi in it, but not really...

JRiker and Troi in the middle of a Red Alert on Star Trek Lower Decks.

Oh well. I did find the show entertaining enough to keep watching. I would not be made about there being a second season. I just hope they push it a little harder to make it stand out in the world of Star Trek instead of recede like it's doing now.

   
• Diagnosis! President Trump catching COVID is hardly surprising. He holds super-spreader events, doesn't practice social-distancing, rarely wears a mask, and regularly hangs out with people who are proudly proclaiming their ignorance when it comes to the coronavirus. It was only a matter of time. And THEN... once he got it he was given every conceivable treatment for mild symptoms... treatment that "regular" people have to be on death's door to get. Regardless of how you feel about our impeached leader, there were mistakes on all sides of the president's diagnosis and the media storm around it. This is a fairly balanced critique courtesy of Dr. Mike...

I remain dumbfounded that there are people who still don't take this shit seriously. And it starts at the top.

   
• Your'e! This is one of the best things I've seen all week courtesy of Captain Kate McCue's TikTok...

@captainkatemccue

Classic.

   
• DO NOT CALL OR TEXT! Despite telling The Democrats and The Republicans several times that I do not want them calling and texting me and to please remove me from their lists, I keep getting them. And when I complain I'm told that there are multiple lists and names get spread from one to the other. Which means it will never stop...

JRiker and Troi in the middle of a Red Alert on Star Trek Lower Decks.

I don't think people understand how awful unsolicited contact is. When my mom was alive and had to be moved to a facility, every single phone call was dread-inducing. Are they calling to tell me she is sick again? Are they calling to tell me she broke the other hip? Are they calling to tell me she's dead? Alerts for texts like this were a complete nightmare. And now that she's gone it's not much better. Most every time I get a phone call... and at least half the time when I get a text... it's bad news. Just hearing my phone alert me that somebody is calling or texting is triggering. Is another one of my friends dead? Is somebody in my family in the hospital? What horrible even is it now? This fucking sucks when it's somebody calling that I KNOW. But when it's somebody I DON'T KNOW who is sending a text or a call that I DON'T WANT and DIDN'T ASK FOR? Fuck that. It is an invasion of my privacy and my life and it should be ILLEGAL.

   
• What? Holy shit. This is absolute insanity...

And it just gets worse...

I've been working my way through David Pakman's video catalog and occasionally come across stuff like this which defies belief. I would come unglued. Credit to Pakman for staying sane while addressing this guy, because it's all I can do to stay sane just watching.

   
• Beouf! I may detest Shia LaBeouf's "acting"... but holy crap what a great guy! This is awesome!

I sure wish I could get past his work on such travesties as Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Man Down, and the shitty Transformers movies. Apparently his last two films (Honey Boy and The Peanut Butter Falcon) don't suck but I've refused to watch them! I dunno. Maybe one day I'll have to get over it and just give them a try.

   
And I guess that's the end of my bullets this fine Sunday.

   

Vincent

Posted on July 12th, 2010

Dave!I am not a big fan of the new "Dr. Who" as portrayed by Matt Smith, but when I saw that last week's episode was pretty much being billed as "Vincent van Gogh, Monster Slayer" I had no choice but to set my DVR to record it. Vincent is one of my most favorite artists, responsible for my favorite painting of all time, and the idea of seeing him doing cool stuff in Dr. Who was too much to resist.

I was not disappointed. SPOILERY STUFF AHEAD, if you haven't seen it yet!

Admittedly, my expectations were pretty low... mostly because I fully expected van Gogh to be treated as a novelty throw-away character who was done all wrong. Imagine my surprise when a real effort was made to portray him in a sympathetic and realistic manner. Kudos to writer Richard Curtis for a great script!

The episode did indeed end up being a monster hunt, but that was almost secondary to Vincent's real-life story of torment and unappreciated genius, which was the real focus of the story...

Van Gogh Meets Dr. Who!

The casting was perfect, as they managed to not only find an actor (Tony Curran) who resembled Vincent van Gogh, but was also talented enough to play the more subtle intricacies of the tortured artist...

Dr. Who VanGogh Straw Hat

Van Gogh Straw Hat

The production values were amazing, as they faithfully recreated the world that Vincent inhabited, including his room at Arles...

Dr. Who Van Gogh Room

Van Gogh Room

No detail was too small, as the set designers even added a few touches to make everything seem like Vincent actually could have lived there. Like occasional glimpses of the irises and sunflowers that inspired so many of Vincent's paintings...

Dr. Who Van Gogh's Irises

Van Gogh Irises

Dr. Who Van Gogh Sunflowers

Van Gogh Sunflowers

And I thought it was utterly fantastic how they took the time to explain the wonderful way that Vincent sees the world. It was like an art appreciation moment...

Dr. Who Vincent Van Gogh Starry Night

Van Gogh Starry Night

But it was the ending that made the show so sublimely awesome.

The Doctor, feeling sad that Vincent lived a life of depression and pain in a time when his every effort as an artist was rejected, decided to show him a glimpse of the future. A quick trip in the TARDIS later, and van Gogh gets to see that one day he will be regarded as one of the world's greatest artists. It was a magical scene that righted a terrible wrong, and has to be my feel-good moment of the year so far...

Dr. Who Van Gogh

Dr. Who Van Gogh

Dr. Who Van Gogh

And then came Vincent's moment of vindication when The Doctor arranged for him to overhear what people thought of his work...

Dr. Who Van Gogh

Listening the museum curator (played by the ever-awesome Bill Nighy) talk about Vincent in a way that could have come from my own brain was an almost surreal experience...

"In a hundred words, where do you think van Gogh rates in the history of art?"
   
"To me, van Gogh is the finest painter in the world. Certainly the most popular great painter of all time. The most beloved. His command of color is magnificent. He transformed the pain of his tormented life into ecstatic beauty. Pain is easy to portray. But to use your passion and pain to portray the ecstasy and joy and magnificence of our world... no-one had ever done it before. Perhaps no-one ever will again. To my mind, that strange, wild man who roamed the fields of Provence was not only the world's greatest artist... but also one of the greatest men who ever lived."

Alas the ending was bittersweet but, where Vincent Van Gogh is concerned, it pretty much had to be...

Dr. Who Van Gogh

The entire episode was like a love letter to Vincent van Gogh and his beautiful art, and I loved every minute. Even when he was fighting monsters. Highest possible recommendation. If you didn't catch it on BBC or BBC America, you can grab it on iTunes (well, in the US you can... other countries may vary).

Many thanks to Steven Moffat, Richard Curtis, Edward Thomas, Tony Slater Ling, and everybody else who had a hand in this wonderful episode.

   

DutchyLand

Posted on October 1st, 2009

Dave!Coming over to Europe, I smoosh two days into one. Going back home, I make one day into two. It's a not-so-pleasant consequence of international travel... but I'm kind of used to it by now so it doesn't bother me that much.

Here was my "day" Wednesday and Thursday, which I am now calling "Wedthurday"...

I got up early to drive to Seattle...

Seattle Drive

Was surprised to see there's already snow starting in the mountains...

SNOW IN THE MOUNTAINS!

Hopped on a plane to Amsterdam...

NWA Flight

Was served warmed nuts while I watched movies (The Proposal and Terminator Salvation)...

Warm Nuts!

Got a butter flower with personal salt and pepper shakers with dinner...

Butter Flower

Watched my progress as I approached DutchyLand...

NWA Map

Got a "bagel" before landing...

It's an un-bagel!

Landed at Schiphol Airport in the early morning...

Schiphol Airport

After The DutchBitch was kind enough to pick me up from the airport, she went to work... and I took the train into Amsterdam to have lunch with some friends! I arrived a couple hours early, so I wandered to the wonderful Van Gogh Museum.

I love the Van Gogh Museum. The world never seems so big than when looking at it through Vincent's eyes. On top of that, the museum itself is really nice with some great architecture to it...

Van Gogh Stairway

After a great lunch with some good people, I decided to stroll through Amsterdam for a while before heading back to DutchyLand...

Amsterdam Canal

Just like many large cities, Amsterdam has some public art projects. My favorite is still the Bears of Berlin, but they've got elephants going on that are quite cool too...

Elephants in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Elephant Detail

Then it was the train back for dinner with Dutchy and some blogger talk.

Not bad for a 36-hour day!

   

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