Archive for September, 2022

Media Update 9/29/22

September 29, 2022

Madhouse (1981)

A friend of mine suggested this movie to me because they found it to be extraordinary and strange. This has not been officially declared a Giallo movie but I certainly believe it qualifies. A young woman is summoned to visit her estranged twin sister who has been hospitalized with a terminal, disfiguring sickness. As their birthday approaches, the woman is haunted by a familiar beast. Trish Everly plays the main character and is great at being innocent and despairing. Allison Biggers is great at playing a twisted, bitter version as the sickly twin. Dennis Robertson is absolutely strange as the uncle who grew up to be a Catholic priest. Finally, Michael McCrae is a nice presence as a sane and competent psychologist boyfriend. The rest are colorful characters performed by comedic actors. The movie has a great dreamy atmosphere and a mystery that had a lot of surprises. There were also some very gory deaths. I recommend this movie.

Deep Red (Rosso Profondo) (1975)

This one is often listed in the top five of all Giallo movies. A young pianist happens to witness the murder of a young psychic woman and finds himself caught up in finding the killer along with a plucky, young reporter. David Hemmings is great as the lead, showing real concern and curiosity but also having some real human moments. Darla Nicolodi plays the reporter and provides more humor and a legitimate reason to investigate murders. Gabriel Lava plays the perpetually intoxicated playboy best friend who is also comic relief. The movie has some very beautiful visuals, often with the titular color. There are some creepy images, some with dolls and artwork. The mystery was fun to follow and the deaths were appropriately bloody. I recommend this movie.

Blood and Black Lace (6 Donne Per L’assassino) (1964)

A much earlier Giallo film that shows the roots of the subgenre. In an Italian fashion house, the murder of several models exposes the cracks and flaws in the relationships surrounding the fashion world. This is more of an ensemble piece so we do not get an actual main character. Instead, we jump from model to model as the story evolves. The cast is very stylish and great at weaving a web of mystery with tons of red herrings. The mystery is central to the movie, interrupted by lurid violence against women. One thing I noticed that amused me is all the smoking which is kind of a relic of days gone by in film. I also love the look of the killer whose likeness may have inspired the character Rohrschach from the Watchmen comics though I can’t prove it. I recommend this movie.


Music of the Week:

The Royal Foundry – Listen To The Beat

Avril Lavigne – Bois Lie (feat. Machine Gun Kelly)

GloRilla – Blessed

Ayra Starr – Rush

Mashup of the Week:

Jt brooks – Zombie on the Otherside


Weekly Update:

  • This week’s theme is “Giallo Week”
  • I watched a ton of YouTube and Twitch: Barry Kramer, Attorney Tom, Impact Wrestling, All Elite Wrestling, Emily D. Baker, Wendigoon, Tamara Chambers, LegalEagle, NWA, Dead Meat, Quinton Reviews, Drew Gamblord, Onsta, Savy Writes Books, Gabi Belle
  • I watched more Naomi Season 1
  • I watched more Batwoman Season 3
  • I watched more The Strain Season 1
  • I watched more She-Hulk: Attorney at Law
  • I watched more The Sandman Season 1
  • I watched more Riverdale Season 5
  • I watched more Legends of Tomorrow Season
  • I watched more The Flash Season 
  • I watched Evil Bong 888
  • I watched Blade: The Iron Cross
  • I watched Puppetmaster: Axis Rising
  • I watched Sons of Hercules: In the Lands of Darkness (Rifftrax Version)
  • I watched Cyber Tracker (Rifftrax version)
  • I watched The Million Eyes of Sumuru (Rifftrax Version)
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Halloween 2022

September 26, 2022

It means that it is the return of my Halloween event. I celebrate Halloween during the entire month of October with plenty of Halloween hijinks. This mostly includes reviewing horror movies. I watch horror movies all year but I try to watch a lot of them during the upcoming month. I will be doing thirteen reviews leading up to October 31st when I will do a final review and a special surprise. All reviews will be as light on spoilers as I can manage. I will also be doing some fun projects on Saturday. Mostly whatever strikes my fancy.

Please see the below schedule:

(Schedule Subject to Change)

September 29 – Media Update – Giallo Week

October 1 – Willy’s Wonderland (2021)

October 3 – Mad God (2022)

October 5 – Little Monsters (2019)

October 6 – Media Update – Low-Budget Lovecraftian

October 7 – Raven’s Hollow (2022)

October 10 – The Brood (1979)

October 12 – Vampires vs. The Bronx (2020)

October 13 – Media Update – Horror Sequels

October 14 – Saloum (2021)

October 17 – We’re All Going to the World’s Fair (2022)

October 19 – The Fog (1980)

October 20 – Media Update – In The Movie Theater

October 21 – Feast (2005)

October 24 –  Here Comes Hell (2019)

October 26 – The Dark Half (1993)

October 27 – Media Update – That Thing is Possessed

October 28 – The Blob (1988)

October 31  – X (2022)

Disney: The Dark Kingdom (Theme Park Design)

September 24, 2022

I thought I would give my take on the rumored Disney villains park. In my mind, it would be more for teens to adults allowing for a spookier atmosphere and leaning into a more adult atmosphere. I mean, it would still be Disney so it would not go too far but kids would not be the main demographic. These are just some of the attractions that I thought of. It is divided into sections much like the Magic Kingdom. 

Maleficent’s Castle

Vile Village– The long road leading to Maleficent’s castle where villains can feel free to be themselves.

Maleficent’s Castle

Most Disney parks need a castle as their centerpiece. The jet-black castle that sat on the Forbidden Mountain would be a perfect choice. Its asymmetry is a great contrast to the picture-perfect castles in other parks. I think adding some gray ornamental flourishes similar to the brambles from the Kingdom Hearts franchise might look good.

Cruella’s Dress Shop – A villain-themed clothing store owned by Cruella De Ville.

The Wicked Spindle – A fancy restaurant themed on Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent

The Ruby Apple Cafe – A more casual dining experience themed on the Evil Witch

Lotso’s Army – A dark ride themed on the various Toy Story villains getting together

Straight to Hades – A boat ride on Charon’s boat through Hades where one can see depictions of various legendary greek heroes. The ride is hosted by Pain and Panic as 

Tartarus BBQ – A Hades themed barbecue place

The wild amusement park of Pleasure Island

Pleasure Island – An area based on the same place from Pinnochio mixed with the now-closed adult area of Disney.

Oogie Boogie’s Ghost Coaster – A dark coaster designed after the blacklight visuals from Oogie’s number from Nightmare Before Christmas.

Oogie Boogie’s Casino – A casino themed on Halloween and horror.

Turbo’s Arcade – A massive indoor arcade themed on the insane villain and also the MCP from Tron.

Stromboli’s Theater – A theater where versions of Disney stories are told biased in favor of the villains.

Cruella’s Road Racers – A high-speed driving ride based on the maniacal driving of Cruella De Ville.

Ralph’s Wrecking Rampage – A coaster themed on Ralph which he protests because he’s not “that” kind of villain.

The salty streets of a smuggler town similar to Tortuga from the movies.

Smuggler’s Bay – A lawless area near the water

Davey Jones: Terror of the Deep – A journey through scenes of Davey Jones punishing the people of the Caribbean along with his monster crew

Captain Hook’s Ship – A ride on Captian Hook’s ship out in the water

Smee’s Seaside Pub – A simple pirate pub

Ursula’s Grotto – A dark ride mixed with a splashdown ride that explores Ursula’s legendary lair.

The Weasels 

The woods have eyes.

Wicked Woods – A spooky forest-themed area.

The Snuggly Duckling – A recreation of the tough bar from Tangled.

Gaston and Clayton’s Hunting Lodge and Tavern – An eating and drinking establishment owned and operated by the two arrogant Disney hunters

The Flight of the Sanderson Sisters – A flight simulator in the vein of Soarin’ where you fly a broom and terrorize people with the Sandersons.

Yzma’s Zoo – A trip through an animatronic zoo with the implication that all of the animals are transformed humans. 

The Evil Queen’s Revenge – Basically Snow White’s Scary Adventures but lean even more into the horror elements

Maybe a giant recreation of the Cave of Wonders lion.

Atrocious Adventures – An area themed on more global and adventurous experiences.

Charles Muntz Flight of Adventure – A flight simulator in the vein of star tours that details the heroic deeds of disgraced adventurer Charles Muntz

The Elephant Boneyard – A dark ride where the riders are stalked by Scar and the hyenas

Glomgold’s Minecart Ride – A frantic mine cart ride similar to the Indiana Jones Adventure mixed with Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Journey into Jafar’s Lamp – A terrifying and surreal thrill ride into the world inside of Jafar’s lamp where he has complete power.

Monsters, Inc. : Right to Scare – A journey into the Monster’s Inc. world with those still dedicated to scaring and not laughing

Media Update 9/22/22

September 22, 2022

Prey

I have only recently reconnected with this franchise and I heard rave reviews about this movie. In the Northern Great Plains of America in 1719, a young Comanche woman strives to be a hunter like her older brother and prove herself to the tribe. Of course, that is when a Predator shows up. Amber Midthunder deserves all the praise she has received and more. She is such a great action star while being somebody I want to spend time with. Dakota Beavers is great as a jerkass with a hidden soft spot. They do a really great job at giving the rest of the tribe chances to show different character moments while being in the background. Dane DiLiegro is so creepy as the Predator. The Predator franchise has done so well with practical effects to add to the creep factor and the expressiveness of characters who do not speak English and are so alien to our world. I recommend this movie.

The 355

This one failed to make much of a splash despite an all-star cast but I was still curious. Four intelligence agents from four different nations team up to stop a catastrophic weapon from being unleashed on the world. Jessica Chastain plays a plucky yet hardened CIA agent. Lupita Nyong’o plays a tough former MI6 agent. Penelope Cruz plays an NDI psychologist unaccustomed to fieldwork. Diane Kruger plays a grizzled BND agent. Fan Bing Bing plays an enigmatic and somewhat distant MSS agent. Finally, my boy Sebastian Stan plays the more questionable CIA agent. The action is absolutely great and the cast has enough acting power to carry what could have been a bland script. I recommend this movie.

Catwoman: Hunted

The DC animated films have generally been on the up and up so I try to watch pretty much all of them. Catwoman is caught up in a plan to take down an international super-criminal syndicate alongside Batwoman. Elizabeth Gillies shines as Catwoman, dealing with imminent danger with infectious positivity and funny jokes. Stephanie Beatriz is great as the gruff and beleaguered Batwoman, bringing a lot of the same energy from Brooklyn 99. The rest of the cast does a great job at creating a rich world with a lot of light touches that give the adventure weight while also keeping it fun. DC Comics stuff is allowed to be fun. I definitely recommend this movie.


Music of the Week:

Anne-Marie x Aitch – PSYCHO

BLACKPINK – Shut Down

Carly Rae Jepsen – Talking To Yourself

Izzy and The Black Trees – Liberate

Mashup of the Week:

Phillip 16 Mashups – Genie of Broken Dreams


Weekly Update:

  • This week’s theme is “Hunted”
  • I watched a ton of YouTube and Twitch: Barry Kramer, Attorney Tom, Impact Wrestling, All Elite Wrestling, Cruel World Happy Mind, Emily D. Baker, Wendigoon, Tamara Chambers, LegalEagle, NWA, Dead Meat, Quinton Reviews, Drew Gamblord, Onsta, Keyan Carlile, Savy Writes Books, Thought Slime, Amanda the Jedi, Some More News, Danny Gonzalez
  • I watched more Naomi Season 1
  • I watched more Batwoman Season 3
  • I watched more The Strain Season 1
  • I watched more She-Hulk: Attorney at Law
  • I watched more The Sandman Season 1
  • I watched more Riverdale Season 5

Stray Thoughts

September 19, 2022

NaNoWriMo

I’m thinking of doing the annual November writing event. I have done it exactly once before so I know that it is possible. Still, 50K words in 30 days is a lot. I did it last time because I had a dead-end 9 to 5 office job and a new friend group. Now I have a job that I love and the same friend group who I have become very close with. I feel like I have less time on my hands but if I knuckle down, I can do it. I want to do it. I want to accomplish something. I would probably publish the first draft in installments here.

Halloween

One of the reasons I have historically not attempted NaNoWriMo is because of my Halloween event which I will still be doing this year. Halloween is very important to me. I review a lot of movies and I love reveling in that. I also love being creative. I also have a lot of friends now to spend Halloween with. I want to show my friends scary movies again this year. I want to hang out with old friends and experience old traditions. I want to finally show my mom a full scary movie.

Deathloop

I want to write more about this video game. It is so intricate and entertaining. It also gives me the good kind of anxiety, the same kind I feel when watching a good horror movie or going through a haunted house. I want to write something up when I complete the game which will p probably be soon as I feel like I am running out of things to do. I will be sad to be done with the game but there are plenty of games that I want to play or replay.

Work

Work does not feel like something obligatory and painful anymore. When I got my first office job, I was working for the weekend. As soon as 5 pm hit, I was headed for the door. I came into work right at 9 am. Now, I love my job. I can easily work past quitting time without realizing it. I work really hard but I feel accomplished. I look forward to going to work everyday but by quitting time, I am definitely ready to go. I’m happy for the weekend in a more normal way. I don’t dread Sunday ending. Things are going alright.

Turning 40

This December I will be turning 40. What should I do? I feel like it warrants a big party. I haven’t really had a big adult birthday party. One of the leading ideas is to take a big trip to Las Vegas. I’m still thinking about it but I don’t have much time.

Batgirl (Movie Pitch) Pt. 2

September 17, 2022

Cast of Characters:

Barbara Gordon/Batgirl – Age 20 – A young woman who has a strong sense of justice and is trying to find a sweet spot between Batman and Commissioner Gordon’s methods. 

Played by: Leslie Grace, Jenna Ortega, Isabella Ferreira

Alysia Yeoh – Age 20 – A young transgirl and Barbara’s best and closest friend.  

Played by:  Ivory Aquino, Harisu, or an unknown probably.

Garfield Lynn/Firefly – A former special effects master in Hollywood but now resorting to crime.

Played by: Brendan Fraser (Original casting), Andrew Dunbar, Alan Tudyk

Commissioner Jim Gordon – Gotham’s top cop who stops at nothing to get justice but also values his family very much.

Played by: Kyle Chandler, Ben McKenzie, Hugh Dancy

Elena Gordon – A charity fundraiser and activist who loves her family.

Played by: Mia Maestro, Eva Longoria, Justina Machado

Yolanda Montez – Age 32 – A young trainer and fighter at Wildcat Gym.

Played by: Alexa PenaVega, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, Génesis Rodríguez

Luca Mercurio – An up-and-coming runner for the Gallante Crime Family.

Played by: Giulio Berruti, Michael Angarano, Giacomo Baessato


Yeoh Apartment – Interior

Barbara shows up and Alysia’s mom tells Barbara that she needs to eat, she’s a growing girl after all, and to get Alysia to eat too. Barbara says she’ll see what she can do. She goes up to Alysia’s room. Alysia is happy to see her friend and shrugs off the bandage on her arm. She would have been far worse off if Batgirl had not saved her life. Barbara winces at “Batgirl” but it is clear that Alysia is Batgirl’s biggest fan. She says that she has been keeping the truth from her best friend, her only real friend. 

Alysia: You don’t have a crush on me, do you? Because I love you more like a sister.

Barbara says it’s not that. She admits that she has been spending her time fighting crime on her own. Alysia is confused and starts to laugh it off until Barbara holds Alysia’s footage up. Alysia sees the look in Barbara’s eyes and stops laughing. “You’re Batgirl!?” Barbara brings up the whole Murciel thing but Alysia says that it doesn’t matter what her name is. It matters what she does and who she is inside. Alysia brings up again that when she wanted to come out as trans, she came out to Barbara first. She did that because she trusted Barbara and believed that Barbara would never hurt her because Barbara is a good person. When people pushed her down and called her names, Barbara was always there to pick her up.

Alysia’s mom brings them food. While they are eating, Barbara frets about the arsonist. The pattern says that the next arson will happen in a few weeks. Alysia points out that not even Batman does it alone. She needs more friends. Barbara is not interested in bringing anybody else out in the field. Alysia says that this is not what she meant. For example, Alysia can be another set of eyes and help cover for Barbara when she has to disappear. Also, she saw Barbara fighting and she seriously needs some help. Barbara says that her father had her take self-defense classes and Judo for years. Alysia says that it’s time to level up.

Wildcat Gym – Interior

Alysia introduces Barbara to Yolanda Montez. Yolanda agrees to train Barbara in mixed martial arts but seems a bit stone-faced at first. Yolanda is from a neighborhood where people get hassled by Jim Gordon’s cops. They have a training montage where the three girls get to know each other better and Yolanda warms up to Barbara. Barbara is also obviously improving. Yolanda tells Barbara as much before Barbara leaves the gym at night. Barbara spots a couple of goons outside of the gym. She suits up and swoops in to rescue Yolanda from getting mugged. Barbara does great in a real-world application of her new martial arts skills and Yolanda helps end the fight. 

Gotham Abandoned Building – Interior

Barbara feels more confident as she heads out to stop the next predicted arson. She creeps into the building with Alysia on a Bluetooth call. Barbara bemoans not having the flashy gear that Batman has. Alysia says there’s no way they can afford that stuff on their allowance. Barbara surprised Garfield who is setting up the job. Barbara tries to talk Garfield, who introduces himself as Firefly, out of going through with it. Garfield refuses and tells her to get out while she still can. When she persists, he blurts out that they have his sister, Bridgit. Sensing that he has given too much away, Garfield goes on the offensive again. Barbara does well until Garfield pulls out a flame thrower and nearly barbecues her. In the fight, Barbara tries to hold onto Garfield but instead rips a chain off of his neck. She once again is forced to flee and she is sent out onto the street by an explosion. A frustrated Barbara runs as firefighters, the police, her father, and Batman all show up. Batman spots her but lets her go when he sees how upset she is. He tells Gordon that he doesn’t think they’ll be seeing Batgirl again.

Garfield Lynns Workshop – Interior

Garfield realizes that his necklace is gone but disregards it when the door opens. Mr. Mercurio walks into the workshop while Garfield is working on his gear. He tells Garfield that Mr. Gallante is very happy with Garfield’s work. They are going to make a lot of money and Garfield can share in those profits. They can always use another enforcer and Firefly would strike fear into the hearts of all of the Gallante Family’s enemies. Garfield says he just wants his sister back. That’s all that matters to him. Mr. Mercurio relents and says that after the next job, there will be a happy reunion. There is a catch, though. If Batgirl shows up again, Mr. Gallante wants her dead as a warning to the Bat and the rest of the city. Mercurio introduces Garfield to new gear to make that happen. Garfield affirms that it will do the job well.

Gordon Apartment – Interior

Alysia visits Barbara at home who has spent the day in her room with the cover story that she is sick. It is not a total lie as she did have some smoke inhalation the night before. Alysia comforts her friend and tells her not to obsess over the setback. Nobody got hurt again. Barbara admits that she has been spending her day trying to track down Bridgit. She reveals that what she got off of Firefly was a locket with a young girl’s picture in it. That picture and the name Bridgit are not enough. Alysia brings up that the police are really good at finding people. Barbara and Alysia eventually talk Barbara into getting the information from her dad’s office.

GCPD Station – Interior

Alysia and Barbara show up at the police station. Barbara stops in to see her dad but he is dealing with a lot. She leaves Alysia to keep her father busy while she “goes to the bathroom”. She heads to the computer mainframe and manages to trick the technicians out of the room. She scans the locket and manages to find Bridgit’s identity and her connection to Garfield Lynns. She also finds out that the police have been interested in Bridget as she has been seen dating Luca Mercurio. 

She realizes that the kidnapping is probably bogus. She runs out of the room to avoid the technicians. As she does, she sees that a door is ajar in evidence lock up. She carefully slips inside and finds gear from Gotham’s greatest criminals. She reaches out to touch Mr. Freeze’s gun and an alarm goes off. She sweeps the gun into her bag and runs out. Commissioner Gordon shoos the girls out so that they can deal with this new problem. Barbara feels guilty that she stole from her father.

Gordon Apartment – Interior

Alysia comes over for family dinner and the girls are a bit nervous when Jim Gordon casually questions if they saw anything while they were at the station. They saw nothing, of course. Alysia agrees to cover for Barbara as she goes out to stop Firefly. Barbara suits up and heads out into the night.

Abandoned Building – Interior

Garfield is setting up his next burn, this time in a more populated area. Barbara appears and tells him that he needs to stop. He can end this. This isn’t like the last few times. If people get hurt, there’s no coming back from that. People are likely to die this time. He tells her that he would do anything for his sister. If somebody is going to die, it’s going to be Batgirl first. If she wants to stop him, she’ll have to kill him. They fight again with Garfield really trying to kill her this time. Barbara manages to use the freeze gun to put out Garfield’s fancy new flame equipment.

It is at this point that she manages to trap him and show him the information about Bridgit. Garfield does not want to believe at first. What if Barbara is wrong about her not being in danger? Then Barbara will help him rescue her. He needs to turn himself in. Garfield says that she is right. He doesn’t want to hurt anybody and he doesn’t want to do this anymore. 

It is at this point that they hear the roaring of a jetpack and Mercurio shows up in advanced Firefly gear. He had a feeling that Garfield might not get the job done so he had the tech guys whip up some superior firepower. Garfield questions Mercurio about Bridgit. Mercurio admits that it is true and is surprised that they could keep the ruse going so long. It doesn’t matter. Mr. Gallante offered Garfield a permanent job and when he turned it down, he became a loose end. Garfield will die, Bridgit will be told it was an accident and will get over it eventually. 

Barbara frees Garfield and the two fight Mercurio and his advanced gear together. The two manage to bring the inexperienced Mercurio down and Garfield tells Barbara to go as sirens approach. He will tell the cops everything and let the chips fall where they may. Barbara leaves him to get arrested.

GCPD Station – Exterior

The batsignal is on. Batman shows up but it is Batgirl who greets him. She says Gordon is at the mayor’s office and will not interrupt them. She tells him about the resolution of the whole affair. She tells him that the Gallante crime family was behind it all as part of a massive real estate scam. She anonymously sent all evidence to the GCPD. Batman is impressed. He admits that he underestimated her. He had a feeling that he would see her again and gives her a case of equipment. He points out that equipment is only as good as the skill to use it. He offers to train her to use it. She is excited but skeptical. Batman points out that clearly, he cannot talk her out of this and she does show promise. He would feel guilty if something horrible happened to her and he could have helped prevent it by showing her the ropes. He tells her that he will be in touch. She bids him goodnight. He says: “Goodnight, Barbara.” and her eyes widen as she turns around and he is gone.

Media Update 9/15/22

September 15, 2022

Uncharted

I have not really played the Uncharted games but I know that they are really popular and that they have wanted to make a movie adaptation since the 2000s. A young man is called to an archaeological treasure hunt that will take him around the world. Tom Holland is so fun to watch as Nathan Drake. He’s just a really relatable guy. Mark Wahlberg is a loveable asshole. Sophia Ali is great at being enigmatic and snarky. Tati Gabrielle and Antonio Banderas are great villains, vicious and fun. The movie is apparently not a perfect adaptation of the game which I really like so it can be its own thing. I appreciated the dialogue, the stunts, and the beautiful visuals. The whole movie is an adventure that felt like a mix of Fast and Furious, Mission Impossible, and National Treasure. I would love to see more of these characters in a sequel. I recommend this movie.

Elvis

The combination of the outlandish Bahz Luhrmann with the spectacle of Elvis Presley sounded like a perfect combination. Elvis Presley is picked up by manager Colonel Parker and he heads to superstardom. As one would expect, this is a beautiful movie with plenty of wonderful costumes and great music. The movie is about a toxic relationship between a young, honest man and a predatory manipulator. I know that the story is not happy, but I did not expect the movie to be quite so sad. The strength of the movie comes from the performances of Austin Butler (Elvis) and Tom Hanks (Parker). The two play off each other so well. Fair notice but I stopped watching this movie a little over halfway through. I turned it off because it was sad, not because it wasn’t good. I recommend this movie to those who can handle sad.

Pretty Little Liars

This is one of those shows that has been around for a while but I have never watched it. Four high school girls deal with a mysterious stalker who knows all of their secrets after their friend dies. The show has a lot of soap opera intrigue that follows a lot of deeply flawed characters. I found a lot of it fairly silly because all of the characters keep doing bad things even though they know somebody is trying to expose them. I watch a lot of ridiculous stuff (Riverdale, Nancy Drew) but this felt a bit different. Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson, Shay Mitchell, and Troian Bellisario do a really good job walking the tightrope of being awful but also being somewhat likable. I am not sure if I want to continue this show but it will always be there to fall back on. I recommend this if you like shows like Riverdale. 


Music of the Week:

Patoranking – Kolo Kolo [Feat. Diamond Platnumz]

Romero – Talk About It

Nailbreaker – Long Dead End

Fluid Druid – It’s Not For You

Mashup of the Week:

lobsterdust – We Get Around


Weekly Update:

  • This week’s theme is “Untrustworthy”
  • I watched a ton of YouTube and Twitch: Barry Kramer, Attorney Tom, Impact Wrestling, All Elite Wrestling, Cruel World Happy Mind, Emily D. Baker, Wendigoon, Tamara Chambers, LegalEagle, NWA, Jarvis Johnson, Dead Meat, Quinton Reviews, Chad Chad
  • I finished The Lincoln Lawyer Season 1
  • I watched more Naomi Season 1
  • I watched more Batwoman Season 3
  • I watched more The Strain Season 1
  • I watched more She-Hulk: Attorney at Law
  • I watched more The Sandman Season 1
  • I watched more Riverdale Season 5

Eurotrip: England

September 12, 2022

I recently recovered a little gem (pictured below) from my childhood. When I was thirteen, I went on a trip to England and France with my mother. Looking back, it was a real privilege and I am really glad that I embraced it as such. I saw so much and learned a lot about another country. My mother and I still talk about that trip from time to time. England was first and we spent an entire seven days there.

 Almost every day, we took a bus tour to somewhere in the country. As I was a teenager with a hormonally damaged circadian rhythm, we developed a routine. I have never been a morning person but in my teens, it definitely got to ogrish levels. So, my mother would roust me from bed and I would shower. I would then go down to eat a breakfast of mostly sausage. We would climb aboard the bus where I would fall asleep for a mid-morning nap. I would wake up fresh as a daisy at our destination.

Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England

One of the most amazing day trips that we took was to Stratford Upon Avon. As a young bookworm, I was a fan of William Shakespeare. I had already studied a little bit of Shakespeare in school. Primarily, we read Romeo and Juliet. Fun fact, the first bare breasts I saw on screen were in Franco Zeffirelli’s film adaptation. I was enamored with Shakespeare’s iconic verse and had seen a lot of stage and film adaptations by this point. Visiting the birthplace of William Shakespeare was a little bit spiritual for me. The same goes for Anne Hathaway’s cottage. It was also educational, teaching me about how gross life was back then. For example, canopy beds were partially invented to shield those in thatched roof cottages from falling rodents. 

Here, I purchased the above-pictured text of Hamlet’s famous soliloquy. I had it memorized at one point and it hung in my childhood bedroom along with many other trophies that are now probably lost to time. I was amazed that my mother found this little reminder of my love of the written word and theater which I had long before I became a theater professional myself. I also purchased a red on black tie with Shakespeare’s signature repeated on it which I treasured until it fell apart. We would have visited The Globe Theater but it was under construction at the time.

The Roman Baths in Bath, England

We visited other places. I fondly remember visiting Bath although we were not there long enough to experience the titular luxurious baths. The architecture was amazing and I remember the feeling of being there at the Roman Baths. It was funny to me because it was definitely an amazing place but it also reminded me of spending childhood vacations at Hot Springs, VA at the Homestead.

The Magna Carta at Salisbury Cathedral

We visited Salisbury Cathedral where I got a little bit of a headache from being hungry. Still, we bought some chocolates from the gift shop and I bounced back bit by bit after probably being more than a little hangry. It was there that I laid eyes on something that meant a lot more to me later but probably meant a lot to my mom at the time. One of the four remaining original copies of the Magna Carta is stored and displayed at the cathedral. This document inspired modern law and represented what few rights the lower classes have snuck out of the hands of the rich.

Stonehenge

We visited Stonehenge which was interesting but honestly a little anticlimactic. The engineering feat was amazing. The contradictory conspiracy theories connected to the monument prepared me for being let down in the future when mysteries have no conclusive answer. Sometimes it is alright to accept a cool story when the truth would probably not really change things. In retrospect, Stonehenge is really nice. It is quiet there and the surrounding verdant fields are beautiful.

Warwick Castle in Warwickshire, England

We visited Warwick Castle. The castle was originally built in wood by William the Conqueror only to be rebuilt in stone centuries later. It is a popular tourist site when it comes to castles because it was owned by Tussauds Group when I visited. The popular tourism and attractions company was able to restore the castle more extensively so I saw it in great condition while still being historically accurate. I have always loved castles and knights so this visit was amazing. The castle also boasts an enormous collection of weapons and armor from various periods in medieval history.

We also visited the famous Oxford University and a Friends School since I attended Friends School of Baltimore. Oxford had great architecture but I think some of the context was lost on me at the time. I was way more excited to see another Friends School like the one I went to. It connected me to this foreign country I was in and also made me feel a little less foreign.

The “cursed” Koh-i-noor Diamond

We went to other places in London and the surrounding areas. I really liked The Tower of London with all of the ravens, foreboding architecture, and the crown jewels even though you have to stand in line to view them. I did enjoy the ghost stories and learning about the Koh-i-Noor diamond. In retrospect, the British deserved to be cursed for what they did to India. We also saw the Changing of the Guard while extremely jetlagged.

The Sherlock Holmes Public House and Restaurant

The trip was meticulously planned by my mother but we did have downtime to relax or do whatever we wanted. I was given an opportunity to pick and plan one activity. This ended up being dinner at The Sherlock Holmes Public House & Restaurant. Leave it to me to want to celebrate a fictional character amongst all that real history.

Westminster Abbey, London, UK

In light of recent events, I have to relate the one time as an American that the monarchy actually had an effect on me. We were on the bus tour that would take us to the standard London sights of the Tower of London, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey. As the bus turned toward the final stop of Westminster Abbey we were informed that the royal family was in the middle of an impromptu visit to the abbey and that we would not be allowed to visit. We were disappointed, of course.

To make it up to us, the tour company (Frames Rickards) took us to the Tate Museum which I enjoyed a lot. I love art museums and the Tate is a great one so it ended up being a bonus. My mom and I visited Westminster Abbey later on our own time and it was good. Still, it’s not every day that a queen changes the plans of an American. At least, not since colonial days.

Real Fish and Chips

I remember a few other fleeting miscellaneous moments. I can still hear the tour bus guide yell “Frames Rickards!” in my head to summon us back to the buses. I remember having real fish and chips. I remember visiting a pub and having real English pub food. Our hotel was right next to a stop for the Underground and we spent a lot of time “minding the gap”. I also remember our tour guide pointing out the real 100 Acre Wood that inspired AA Milne while writing Winnie the Pooh. I was so lucky to have gone and I cherish those memories still both for the experience and the time spent with my mom.

Batgirl (Movie Pitch) Pt. 1

September 10, 2022

Cast of Characters:

Barbara Gordon/Batgirl – Age 20 – A young woman who has a strong sense of justice and is trying to find a sweet spot between Batman and Commissioner Gordon’s methods. 

Played by: Leslie Grace, Jenna Ortega, Isabella Ferreira

Alysia Yeoh – Age 20 – A young transgirl and Barbara’s best and closest friend.  

Played by:  Ivory Aquino, Harisu, or an unknown probably.

Garfield Lynn/Firefly – A former special effects master in Hollywood but now resorting to crime.

Played by: Brendan Fraser (Original casting), Andrew Dunbar, Alan Tudyk

Commissioner Jim Gordon – Gotham’s top cop who stops at nothing to get justice but also values his family very much.

Played by: Kyle Chandler, Ben McKenzie, Hugh Dancy

Elena Gordon – A charity fundraiser and activist who loves her family.

Played by: Mia Maestro, Eva Longoria, Justina Machado

Yolanda Montez – Age 32 – A young trainer and fighter at Wildcat Gym.

Played by: Alexa PenaVega, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, Génesis Rodríguez

Luca Mercurio – An up-and-coming runner for the Gallante Crime Family.

Played by: Giulio Berruti, Michael Angarano, Giacomo Baessato


Gotham City

Gordon Apartment – Interior

Barbara Gordon’s alarm goes off and she wakes up having fallen asleep at her desk. She stretches and goes about her wake-up routine. She flips on a small television mid-broadcast of the news. The anchor reports on the arrest of The Riddler and the foiling of a complex plot thanks to an anonymous tip and data dump from The Riddler’s servers. Barbara absently says “You’re welcome” They do a report on the third fire in the Gotham projects. Barbara frowns and makes some notes before scooping up her laptop bag to head downstairs.

Commissioner Gordon and Elena Gordon greet their daughter in the kitchen. Elena questions her daughter about her hobbies and that she can’t spend so much time in her room. Barbara responds that she gets out enough but we can see that’s not true. She brushes the issue aside and tries to talk to her father who is enjoying his coffee. She asks him about the fires and says that something is weird about them. He appreciates her interest in current events but doesn’t want her to focus so much on the macabre elements of Gotham. Enjoy college. He once again expresses that he wished that Barbara had gone to a college out of town. Not that her parents hate having her around but Gotham is dangerous. Besides, Gordon has enough vigilantes in Gotham. Elena tells Jim not to go off about Batman again. Barbara hurries off to catch her bus.

Bus – Interior

Barbara sits down next to her friend Alysia Yeoh who is happy to see her friend. As Alysia talks, Barbara is more focused on her phone and the reports of the fires. Alysia gets her friend’s attention and neither are looking forward to another day in paradise. 

Gotham University – Interior/Exterior

We then see a montage of Barbara and Alysia making their way through a school day. Barbara is clearly bright but not really engaged in the social structure of school while Alysia seems to be more sociable. 

At lunch, Alysia tries to get Barbara into joining the school paper. She’s really good at computers and really smart. She could be a great writer. Alysia could be her photographer. They could be a team. Barbara claims to be too busy. Alysia complains that they never seem to hang out and Barbara’s not in any clubs. So what is she up to? Barbara tries to brush the question off. Alysia points out that Barbara was the first person at school whom Alysia told her secret to. Barbara admits that truth but says she needs some time.

Gordon Apartment – Interior

Barbara tries to send an anonymous tip in through a voice changer but the dispatcher at the police station does not believe her. She pulls open a compartment in her closet to reveal that she has put together a Batgirl costume. “Maybe mom’s right, maybe it’s time to get out of my room,” Elena calls her for dinner. The two eat and talk and once again Barbara’s dad is working late. Barbara goes back to her room to suit up.

Gotham City – Exterior – A Run-Down Building

Barbara checks out the building from a nearby rooftop. She makes notes in a voice recorder about her hunches before heading down the fire escape over to the building in question.

Condemned Building – Interior

Barbara creeps through the building. She hears a sound and goes to investigate. It is Alysia, tagging a wall. Barbara is surprised and nearly yells at her friend. She regroups and switches on a voice changer to talk to her. Alysia sees this as an artistic outlet she doesn’t get and tells her friend to get out of there. It’s not safe. It’s an order, not a discussion. Alysia slinks off.

Barbara hears another noise and interrupts a masked Garfield Lynns. Lynns is startled and threatens Barbara, telling her to get out. He has a flame thrower and seems to have rigged the building. He asks who Barbara is. She says Murciel. He is momentarily confused because she looks like a Batgirl. She says something about it being an homage but then gets back on track. He needs to give himself up to the police. He says she does not understand and that he has to do this.

A sound alerts Lynns and Barbara that Alysia is taking pictures. This sets Garfield off and he attacks them both with the flamethrower. Barbara saves Alysia as flames whip around them. The two of them struggle but Barbara eventually manages to shove Alysia through a gap in the flames and out into the alleyway. Barbara can’t escape that way so she goes after Lynns. Garfield keeps setting off charges as Barbara tries to fight him. They reach the roof and Barbara fails to stop Garfield from activating his jetpack and escaping. A black shape swoops in and rescues Barbara.

Gotham City – Exterior

Barbara is deposited on a rooftop. She looks around and spots a pair of eyes in the shadows. Barbara fangirls a bit over Batman but then gets serious. Batman asks her what the hell she thinks she is doing. She says that she knew which building would be hit next. She did not exactly have Batman’s number and the police would not believe her. Batman: “Including your father?” Barbara is shocked that Batman knows who she is. He asks who she is. She introduces herself as Murciel once again and apologizes for biting his style. Batman says he has this covered and to stay out of it. Barbara says that his solution is just to beat the guy up. That’s what Batman does. She has taken down dozens of criminals without even throwing a punch. There has to be a middle ground. Besides, Batman arrived too late while she was there before it started. She walks out on Batman.

Batman and Gordon meet. Barbara remotely switches on her father’s phone to listen in. Gordon is upset at another big fire. So far the buildings have been abandoned but firefighters have had to struggle to keep neighboring buildings from catching fire. Batman says that the signatures for the arsons have not matched, making it hard to pinpoint an MO. Gordon points out that Batman was sighted at a bank robbery shortly before the fire. He can’t be in two places at once. Batman stubbornly says that he has things handled. Gordon mentions spotting Batman talking to somebody just now and if he has a new recruit. Batman says that she is a complication but that he has dealt with it.

Garfield Lynns Workshop – Interior

The arsonist, Garfield Lynns, returns to his workshop and unmasks himself and leaves his gear on a workbench. He sighs and takes a long look in the mirror. A thin man in a suit, Mr. Mercurio,  steps into the room along with two big guys for muscle. Garfield tenses for a moment but then relaxes. He tells the man that he burned down the building just like they wanted. The man points out that Garfield nearly lost to a girl. Garfield angrily tells him that girls can do anything that boys can do and that he got the job done. He nearly killed two people this time but he got the job done. Speaking of which, when is going to end? It ends when Mr. Galantes says it ends. Until then, Garfield will do as he’s told. The man leaves and Garfield angrily slams his fist onto his workbench.

Gordon Apartment – Interior

Barbara wakes up in her bed this time and stretches. She is definitely sore from the battle the night before. She’s thankful that it’s Saturday and she doesn’t have to go to school. She switches on the news. Gotham City is abuzz with an appearance of a new hero named Batgirl. Barbara groans that they got her name wrong. “It’s Murciel!” The news shows one of Alysia’s pictures and Barbara is freaking out. The news does point out that neither Batman nor Batgirl was able to stop the building from burning and nobody is in custody. Jim Gordon shows up on camera and tells them with annoyance that the police are exploring several leads. Barbara finishes getting ready and runs out, telling her mother that she is off to see Alysia.

Media Update 9/8/22

September 8, 2022

Graduation Day

All of this week’s movies were chosen by googling the theme as I try to do the same theme at this time every year. As graduation day approaches, members of a high school track team are murdered one by one. Does the killing have anything to do with a runner who dropped dead of a blood clot months ago? The movie is a great example of the whodunnit style of slasher movies where you try to figure out who the killer is. They do a great job of muddying the waters to make you scrutinize everybody. Patch Mackenzie is the standout of the movie as the sister of the deceased runner who is on leave from the naval academy. We also have the disgraced coach played by Christopher George who the town sees with blood on his hands after the runner’s freak death. The movie is well done and really feels like the final days of senior year. I recommend this movie.

Massacre at Central High

A young man moves to a new school but he has an in with the school bullies but when he turns them down, things start to get ugly. This ends up being a great sort of parable about how power corrupts. I also feel like somebody watched this before writing the video game Bully. The power dynamics of the school feel very real to the cliquish environment of high school and how most people are just keeping their heads down to get through it. The movie gets pretty dark. It is common knowledge in the film theory world that this movie directly inspired Heathers. Although, Heathers is a black comedy while this movie is very serious. Derrell Maury, Andrew Stevens, and a young Robert Carradine carry much of the weight of the movie. A lot of the movie hinges on the chemistry between Maury and Stevens. I recommend this movie.

Seance (2021)

Another movie with a deep mystery. At a girl’s boarding school, a young woman’s suicide sparks rumors of a vengeful ghost on campus. A new girl arrives and gets swept up in the mystery and horror. This is a pretty fun mystery that shows the dynamics of a friend group, one dominated by a bully and her friends who don’t want to be targets. Suki Waterhouse plays the new girl, a quiet yet tough girl who bucks the social order. Inanna Sarkis is really good at being queen bitch. Ella-Rae Smith is great as the shy and sweet girl that nobody wants to hurt. The movie has a lot of twists and turns and keeps the mystery alive of whether this is a supernatural or natural killer at work. Great camera work and suspicious behavior do a lot of work in keeping the viewer guessing. I recommend this movie.


Music of the Week:

Demi Lovato – EAT ME feat. Royal & the Serpent

Gorillaz – New Gold ft. Tame Impala & Bootie Brown

Black Eyed Peas, Farruko, David Guetta & Shakira – DONT YOU WORRY

Rema, Selena Gomez – Calm Down

Mashup of the Week:

DeadeyeDave3 – Harder Bodies


Weekly Update:

  • This week’s theme is “Back to School”
  • I watched a ton of YouTube and Twitch: Barry Kramer, Play Frame, Attorney Tom, Impact Wrestling, All Elite Wrestling, Cruel World Happy Mind, Emily D. Baker, Wendigoon, Rina de Coro, Tamara Chambers, LegalEagle, NWA, Jarvis Johnson, Gamblord, Dead Meat, Quinton Reviews, Gabi Belle
  • I watched more Legends of Tomorrow Season 6
  • I watched more Naomi Season 1
  • I watched more Batwoman Season 3
  • I watched more The Strain Season 1

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