Archive for the ‘Blogs’ Category

Media Update 3/30/23

March 30, 2023

The Fabelmans (2022)

This was not a movie that I picked but my folks wanted to see it while I visited. A young boy becomes fascinated by film and that obsession shapes how he deals with growing up. This is a semi-autobiographical film about the early life of Steven Spielberg as written and directed by Steven Spielberg. His three sisters also consulted on the film. Gabriel Labelle is excellent as the driven yet somewhat fragile young man. Michelle Williams plays his free-spirited mother. Paul Dano plays his level-headed engineer father. Seth Rogan plays his funny uncle. Judd Hirsch plays his crazy showbiz uncle. Julia Butters, Keeley Karsten, and Sophia Kopera play his younger sisters who are all great There are so many other great actors playing fun characters as we see many years of “Sammy”’s life. The movie has a lot of heart, comedy, and tragedy but keeps you hooked. I recommend this movie.

Dracula Untold (2014)

This has been on my list for a long time. A Transylvanian prince must make a horrible decision to protect his countrymen and his family from the Turkish army. This was the first movie in what was going to be the Dark Universe. The movie stars Luke Evans as Vlad the Impaler, a Transylvanian ruler under the thumb of Turkey. He is good at scowling and roaring and his few touching moments. There is not much plot beyond the barest bits allowing the action to proceed. It is fun watching Luke Evans or CGI bats absolutely wreck tons of bad guys. The movie is short and sweet and has a lot of good action beats. I recommend this movie.

Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)

Another one that I have had on my list for a long time. A sideshow huckster gets sucked into the land of Oz and into the middle of a supernatural conflict. Rachel Weisz plays the stern witch who loves Oz so much but has grown paranoid by a drawn-out conflict. Mila Kunis plays the young and naive witch who just wants peace. Zach Braff plays a flying monkey who wants to do the right thing  Joey King plays a living china doll. Michelle Williams plays a kindly witch. Some of the CGI was definitely out of date even at the time but there was a lot of imagination put into this. The story also feels a bit rushed in places but it has enough emotional payoff to make up for it. It definitely feels a bit like the Oz books. There are a lot of sweet moments and I like the tale of a cad overcoming his tendencies to become a hero. I recommend this movie.

Music of the Week:

Young Dolph – Love For The Streets

지민 (Jimin) – Set Me Free Pt.2

Born Techniques – Let Me See Your Body Move (I Missed You)

alt. – A.D.D

Mashup of the Week:

iWantMy ID – Dirty Deeds will Rock You

Weekly Update:

  • This week’s theme is “Origins”
  • I watched a ton of YouTube and Twitch: Barry Kramer, Impact Wrestling, All Elite Wrestling,  LegalEagle, Dead Meat, Some More News, Games Done Quick, Cultaholic, Allison Pregler, Game Theory, Major League Wrestling, Jesse Cox, Super Beard Bros, Channel Awesome, Drawfee, Nick DiRamio, Sad Boyz, Jarvis Johnson
  • I finished Blindspot Season 3
  • I started Columbo Season 2
  • I watched more Lockwood and Co. Season 1
  • I started Waco: American Apocalypse Season 1
  • I watched more Altered Carbon Season 1

An Exhaustive Summary of the Batman: Arkham Games Pt. 10

March 27, 2023

This is a full post-game DLC story that takes place quite sometime after the main plot of Arkham City. It helps to bridge the gap between Arkham City and Arkham Knight. It also allows for the exploration of Harley Quinn, a very popular yet underutilized character. During this adventure, you play as both Robin (Tim Drake) and Batman (Bruce Wayne).

You start the game playing as Robin who arrives outside of Harley Quinn’s hideout. Robin and Oracle (Barbara Gordon) speak briefly over comms and Barbara confirms that she still has not heard from Batman. She is worried because Batman is not in a normal head space after… but she trails off. The conversation turns to Harley and how she is amassing a crew and preparing for a siege. She is up to something big. Batman’s signal is coming from inside. Robin infiltrates the hideout as Barbara asks him to be careful.

Robin fights and sneaks his way through Harley’s hideout, eliminating her goons as he goes. Along the way, he finds that Harley has several Gotham City police officers held hostage. She has them out in a big open space. There is still no sign of Batman. However, Harley clearly has a plan for the cops which cannot be a good thing. However, Robin resolves to keep looking for Batman as the cops seem safe for the time being if Harley needs them. 

Barbara worries about Batman too as he is off his game and refuses to even talk about Talia or Joker. Robin promises he will find Batman and that they will help him deal with everything. After fighting a few more goons, Robin finds Batman’s discarded utility belt. Barbara begs Tim to answer as he is momentarily speechless.

We flash back to two days earlier. Commissioner Jim Gordon has set up a perimeter around Harley’s hideout. Batman arrives and Gordon tells him that Harley’s goons ambushed several of his cops and dragged them inside. Batman says that he will deal with it but Gordon asks if he is sure since Harley blames Batman for Joker’s death. It could be a trap. Batman tells Gordon to have his men fall back and let Batman deal with it. 

Batman stealthily takes out the goons outside of the steel mill hideout and then makes his way inside. One of the cop hostages is dangling on a crane inside. Batman fights off the horde of henchmen taunting the cop and lowers the crane to free the officer. Batman travels through the hideout, tracking the hostages to a previously unused high-security portion of the steel mill. Batman saves another cop but Harley herself reveals herself. She is dressed in mourning with her makeup showing signs of crying as it drips down her face. She aims at the cop and fires but Batman takes the bullet for the police officer. The heavy ammunition knocks Batman unconscious and Harley tells her goons to grab Batman. As her henchmen drag Batman away, they fiddle with his utility belt which sets off a defense mechanism so they leave it. The utility belt activates a homing signal.

Robin picks up and stows Batman’s utility belt. He tells Barbara that he thinks that he is close to finding Batman when she worriedly questions him. In the next room, Robin finds Batman locked in a bulletproof glass globe in a giant statue of the Joker. Robin sets about investigating the robotic statue’s mechanism to see how to release the unconscious Batman. 

Robin is missing a key and he decides that Harley must have it. It is time to confront Harley directly. He faces off against Harley and several of her henchmen, wary of Harley’s high-caliber gun (the one that took Batman out). Through stealth, he is able to corner Harley and grab the key off of her before leaving her tied up and dangling off of a ledge. Robin returns to Batman but must fight through even more henchmen (including a Titan-infused goon).

Robin finally releases Batman who regains consciousness and accepts his utility belt. Always selfless, Batman asks Robin about the cops who Robin has not rescued yet. Harley interrupts over the public address system and tells them not to worry about the cops. They will be dead soon as will the dynamic duo. She then reveals a giant bomb. Batman will handle the bomb while Robin saves the cops. Batman deactivates several bombs until he runs into Harley back in front of the Joker statue. She activates several robots (obviously salvaged from Wonder City) that are painted to resemble the Joker. The robots attack Batman as Harley launches rockets at Batman. 

As Batman defeats the robots, Harley reveals that the final bomb is inside the heart of the Joker statue. Batman takes her by surprise and takes the detonator from her. However, it is too late. Outside of the building, we see Jim Gordon start to rush the building when it explodes, sending him to the ground singed but alive. Batman appears with Harley and both of them are fine. Harley tells Batman that he should have left her to die. At least then she would be reunited with the Joker. She breaks down into sobbing hysterics and Batman asks Gordon where Robin is. Gordon thought Robin was with Batman. They look back at the building which is a deadly inferno.

Harley asks Batman if it hurts and Batman turns on her furious and asks what she did. Now Batman knows how she feels. As Batman turns to watch the building burn, Harley draws a dagger and attacks Batman from behind. Gordon goes in for the save but he is too far away. A projectile hits Harley and then returns to its owner. It is a birdarang. Robin appears with the cops in tow. Robin is fine and the cops are a little injured but fine. Batman declares that he is done there and swings off into the night. Gordon asks Robin if Batman is doing alright. Robin covers for Batman but does so while turning away, not quite believing it himself.

Media Update 3/23/23

March 23, 2023

The Hallow (2015)

I found this on several lists of Irish horror and I can see why. A man takes a job as a woodcutter out in the middle of nowhere in Ireland. Disturbing the woods brings something out of the woods and they want the couple’s baby. It feels like Straw Dogs mixed with Pan’s Labyrinth. The cast is small in this one but that is very effective. The scares build slowly but the movie explodes into a raucous ride of body horror and existential horror. Depicting the fae as deadly as they are really supposed to be is a true recipe for horror. Joseph Mawle plays the intellectual woodcutter, a bit bored with country life and curious about science. Bojana Novakovic plays his wife, the one in the relationship with a good head on her shoulders. Michael McElhatton plays the face of the community, trying to warn the poor couple. The special effects are so creepy that this movie legitimately shook me. I recommend this movie.

I Sell the Dead (2008)

With a title like this, how could I resist? Two Irish rapscallions work their way from the graverobbing business into the hidden world of the occult and the undead. A funny little horror movie inspired by the real-life graverobbers Burke and Hare but with an actual supernatural twist. This one gets weird in the best ways. The movie stars Dominic Monaghan, a man who was recruited from a young age into graverobbing and became a resourceful scoundrel. Larry Fessenden plays his grimy and gritty mentor. The chemistry between them is very good and they are funny together. Ron Perlman plays the priest there to hear Monaghan’s confession, wanting every sordid tale. The movie gets more and more outlandish as it goes and feels like it follows the Irish ghost story tradition. I recommend this movie.

High Spirits (1988)

I  had seen the poster for this on Tubi and I thought it was a pot humor movie but I was very mistaken. A hotel owner rebrands his establishment as a haunted attraction which pisses off the real ghosts who decide to show up. It has a dark humor that reminds me a bit of an Irish version of Mel Brooks. Peter O’Toole plays the hotel owner, playing a bit of a boozy loser. Steve Guttenberg plays one of the American tourists who falls for the hotel’s charms. Beverly D’Angelo plays his uptight, socialite wife. Daryl Hannah plays a beautiful ghost and Liam Neeson plays her crazy lover. My beloved Jennifer Tilly is in this!  A lot of the Irish actors are a background ensemble but each one is so funny and charming with the few lines they get. The movie has a lot of heart and there is definitely a love for the Emerald Isle here. I recommend this movie.

Music of the Week:

Faintest Idea – War to the Palaces

Jon Wiilde – Carry On

Desmond Doom – You’ll Never Be A Rockstar (That’s Okay)

Ava Max – Ghost

Mashup of the Week:

 Amerigo Gazaway – B.I.G. Poppa’s Got A Brand New Bag

Weekly Update:

  • This week’s theme is “Spooky Ireland”
  • I watched a ton of YouTube and Twitch: Barry Kramer, Impact Wrestling, All Elite Wrestling,  LegalEagle, Dead Meat, Some More News, Games Done Quick, Cultaholic, Allison Pregler, Game Theory, Major League Wrestling, Jesse Cox, Super Beard Bros, Channel Awesome, Drawfee, Nick DiRamio
  • I watched more Blindspot Season 3
  • I finished more Columbo Season 1
  • I finished Midnight Mass

Top 11 Things Not to Do When Dealing with Columbo*

March 20, 2023

*After watching the first season and the pilot episodes

11. Don’t Assume That Columbo is Ignorant

A lot of the time, the suspect ends up being a wealthy professional of some sort. They are cultured and well-read and feel that anybody of a lower class does not know as much as they do. A lot of their specialized knowledge ties into the murder because they use what they know to plan the crime and hide it. Columbo is a ragdoll of a man with a glass eye, rumpled clothing, and a junk heap of a car. He constantly seems distracted and forgetful which snobs interpret as ignorant and unintelligent. What they do not realize is that while Columbo enjoys the simple things in life, he also has a passion for absorbing information. He genuinely enjoys talking about new things he discovered. For example, he really got into the art world while investigating an art critic.

10. Don’t Let Him Touch Any of Your Things

This is kind of a specific rule but whenever Columbo can get his hands on a pivotal object, it always ends badly for the suspect. Letting him examine a key bit of evidence gives him a chance to notice inconsistencies. Some examples: In Suitable for Framing, Columbo excitedly grabs at the suspect’s art portfolio before he is shoved aside. Leaving his fingerprints on the pieces of art becomes the smoking gun. In Short Fuse, showing Columbo the exact cigar box used as the murder weapon allows him to trick the killer into confessing because the killer thinks Columbo is holding a bomb. 

9. Don’t Try to Direct the Investigation

This happens so often and it is a mistake every single time. The suspect knows that they are under investigation (or at least can deduce as much) but they try to lay breadcrumbs to lead Columbo to accuse somebody else (or drop the investigation). Short Fuse is all about the suspect walking Columbo through a cleverly planned frame job but he is so obvious about it. The same goes for Suitable for Framing when the suspect botches the frame job at the last moment. The most egregious example (in Season 1) is Dead Weight where the suspect actually tries to woo the only witness to the crime and turn her against Columbo. Directing the investigation where you want is great on paper but any investigator worth their trenchcoat will see through it.

8. Don’t Taunt Columbo

This happens so many times that it is ridiculous. The suspect gets filed with a mixture of fury and arrogance and actually challenges Columbo to prove his theory. So far, the only place it was directly stated was Prescription: Murder where the suspect ends up directly taunting Columbo. However, suspects often more subtly challenge Columbo. For example, in Dead Weight the general tells Columbo that if he wants to catch any fish, he better use better bait or fish somewhere else. Of course, Columbo had a fishing pole in his hand but the intention was very clear. This challenge is all but an admission of guilt and just gives Columbo more motivation to solve things.

7. Don’t Let Your Guard Down Too Early

Columbo is a master strategist and is very good at manipulating suspects into a corner so that they either confess or otherwise reveal their guilt. He is like a bulldog as when he grabs onto a case, he doesn’t let go. His dedication to his job is unflagging and the only thing that makes him stop working is that he wants to go home to his wife at some point. (Yes, his wife exists). Considering how obvious he is about his dedication to the case it seems almost silly when Columbo seems to agree to back off or give up. He never gives up so letting down your guard is an absolutely ridiculous notion. He is like a horror villain in that he always comes back.

6. Don’t Lie to Columbo

This is just good sense when dealing with any officer of the court but especially a rule when dealing with Columbo. Columbo has a razor-sharp mind when it comes to details about the case. Inconsistencies and contradictions jump out at him and bother him until he can figure out a solution. Sometimes a simple lie can solve the case right at the beginning. In Short Fuse, the suspect lies to Columbo’s face right after meeting him. When Columbo catches this suspect he says that this moment was what drove the investigation. The lies they pick are often either ridiculous or entirely too convenient. They do not really reflect how things really happen so near to a serious crime like murder.

5. Don’t Involve Another Person

In several episodes of Columbo, the killer has intricately planned out the deed and thought of everything (or so they think). They rigorously planned each step and they follow those steps religiously and carefully. However, some of these geniuses decide to involve an accomplice to who they also give intricate tasks. Putting any part of your plan outside of your direct control is a very dangerous risk. Of course, the other party inevitably misses a step or screws up something and ends up accidentally providing a vital clue in the story. This usually leads to the suspect feeling the need to kill the accomplice to further cover their tracks which never works. 

4. Don’t Try to Get Columbo Taken Off the Case

This actually happened from the very first pilot movie and has happened since. Most of the time, the suspect that Columbo is after is wealthy and connected. When Columbo inevitably gets too close to solving the case, they get nervous/annoyed and try to pull strings with the higher-ups. They try to get Coluimbo reassigned and a less fervent detective assigned. This often backfires because Columbo has a really good reputation among his superiors. Other cops may think him strange but his Captain knows he gets results. In fact, in Prescription: Murder, Columbo reveals that the request made his Captain suspicious and told Columbo to dig in deeper. This is a huge signal to Columbo that he is on the right track.

3. Don’t Lose Your Cool

Columbo’s whole strategy when dealing with a suspect is to annoy them in any way that he can. Part of that is his nature as a forgetful guy and part of that is obviously an act. He tends to needle his suspect and those he believes are accomplices relentlessly. He asks seemingly innocuous or obvious questions. This can be infuriating and the suspects inevitably lose their cool and snap at Columbo or try to get rid of him. Of course, by asking what seems like silly questions, Columbo is laying a foundation and establishing a baseline. One of the biggest mistakes here is that the suspect will snap and declare that they don’t know the answer to his question or “what does it matter?”. 

2. Don’t Forget Your Story

If you are going to lie to Columbo, it is imperative that you never deviate from your story no matter what. That requires the suspect to remember their story at all times, even when Columbo surprises them or they are talking to non-Columbo characters. Of course, those of us who watch a lot of procedurals know that rehearsing your story leads to suspicion. It can’t be too perfect but forgetting key details usually causes an alibi to suddenly implode. This can be somewhat related to Do Not Lie to Columbo as the truth is way easier to remember than a lie. Telling a lie over and over can imprint on you so much that your memory changes but I think that the truth is generally easier to remember.

1. Don’t Kill Again

If somebody is dogging your every step and showing up at your place of business/home/random location then you should not commit another crime. While you may be able to commit that second crime unnoticed, the coincidence of another dead body in your orbit is very suspicious. What are the chances that two people even tangentially related are killed and/or disappear around the same time? Probably not a high probability. In Murder By the Book, the suspect kills a witness who tries to blackmail him. In Suitable for Framing, the suspect kills his accomplice to try to wrap up loose ends knowing full well that they are both part of the local art scene and could be linked. In Prescription: Murder, the suspect does not kill his accomplice but saying he was willing to kill her convinces the accomplice to testify against him.

In short, if you have killed somebody and Columbo shows up, you are already screwed. You cannot possibly follow all of the above rules. You will forget something or be provoked into spoiling your plan. Give up immediately.

Special Mention:  Don’t take sleeping pills right before you commit the murder. In Lady in Waiting, the suspect takes sleeping pills as part of her carefully planned murder plot. The idea is that she plans to shoot her brother in an impaired state so that sche can say that she thought he was a burglar breaking in. (It’s complicated). However, her brother misses his cue and the pills hit her really hard. This causes her to pretty much botch her plan and forget a lot of steps in her plan as she is sleepy.

Media Update 3/16/23

March 16, 2023

Matilda: The Musical (2022)

I was a huge fan of Roald Dahl as a kid and that has carried into adulthood. I also really liked the late 90s adaptation but I was interested to see the musical version. A young overlooked and mistreated girl discovers the power within to change the world. This is more of a musical adaptation of the original book which makes it an even darker story. Matilda is so downtrodden but so defiant and part of that is the great portrayal by Alisha Weir. She has such a presence which makes it easy to root for her. I had no idea that Emma Thompson played the main villain as she transformed so much but she did such a great job. Lashana Lynch is an absolute ray of sunshine. Sindhu Vee is so warm and relatable. The rest of the cast is so great. The story still resonates and there were still some dark moments that took my breath away. I recommend this movie and I want to listen to more of the cast recordings.

High Society (1956)

This has been on my list forever and I finally took the leap. A young high-society woman struggles as her wedding approaches but her ex and reporters start coming around. The movie stars Grace Kelly who was actually right in the middle of her engagement to the prince of Monaco so this was a bit true to life. She has great comic timing and gets to really let loose in this (but not sing). Bing Crosby plays her ex-husband and first true love and he has that great sardonic charm. Frank Sinatra plays the reporter who comes to cover the wedding and he has more of a rugged charm. Celeste Holm plays the sarcastic photographer. The greatest treat is the appearance from the legendary Louis Armstrong as a sort of Greek chorus. The whole movie actually feels a lot like Shakespeare’s comedy with a lot of chaos and fun before everything wraps up. Plus it has a lot of great songs. I recommend this movie.

Lyle, Lyle Crocodile (2022)

I had not really heard of this movie and I do not remember reading the book as a little kid but the drawings look cute. A crocodile that cannot talk but can sing tries to figure out his place in New York City and what he wants to be. The voice of pop star Shawn Mendes is very sweet and endearing. The animation and motion capture is so sweet that you cannot possibly be afraid of a ten-foot crocodile. Javier Bardem has kind of a scummy charm to him. Constance Wu is absolutely great as the mother. Scoot McNairy is a great straight man as the father. Winslow Fegley is a great child actor. There are also great small bits from Ego Nwodim and Brett Gelman. The musical has some really great original songs. The story also has a lot of twists and turns that I did not expect. Just when I thought it was going to follow a cliche, it would swerve me in the best way I recommend this movie.

Music of the Week:

Måneskin – GOSSIP ft. Tom Morello

HEFNA8LACK – Quick Inna Rain

KAI 카이 Rover

Avenged Sevenfold – Nobody

Mashup of the Week:

Anthony Vincent – Running Up That Hill in the Style of Master of Puppets

Weekly Update:

  • This week’s theme is “Musical Adaptations”
  • I watched a ton of YouTube and Twitch: Barry Kramer, Impact Wrestling, All Elite Wrestling,  LegalEagle, Dead Meat, Some More News, Games Done Quick, Cultaholic, Allison Pregler, Game Theory, Major League Wrestling, Jesse Cox, Super Beard Bros, Channel Awesome, Drawfee, Nick DiRamio
  • I watched more Blindspot Season 3
  • I watched more Bob’s Burgers Season 12
  • I watched more Columbo Season 1
  • I watched more Midnight Mass

Blogging from A to Z 2023 Theme Reveal

March 13, 2023

Once again I will be taking part in the A to Z Blogging Challenge which my friend Lise introduced me to years ago. Every April, those who participate post twenty-six (26) items on their blog. Each of these posts starts with a different letter of the alphabet (hence the name). This is difficult enough to accomplish and for the first few years, I did not opt to use a theme. In 2020, I started a theme which I enjoy heartily. I will be using that thee a fourth time.


I will be writing short fanfiction pieces during the month of April. All of them will be PG-13 at worst and I do not write sex scenes on this blog. This is a window into the fandoms and media that I like to consume. 

This is what the first week or so looks like:

  • April 1 – Atlantean Algorithms – A Stargate/Blindspot Story
  • April 2 – Batwoman: Curiouser and Curiouser
  • April 4 – The Cat Came Back – A Gotham Knights Story
  • April 5 – During the Blip – A MCU Story
  • April 6 – Elementary – A Sherlock Holmes/Dracula Story
  • April 7 – Fighting Evil By Moonlight – A Sailor Moon Story
  • April 8 – Guess Who? – A Scooby-Doo/Doctor Who Story
  • April 9 – History Protectors – A National Treasure Story

I am still nailing down a few dates but I am very close to planning it all out.

I plan to continue to do Media Update on Thursdays throughout April.

Let’s have some fun!

Media Update 3/9/23

March 9, 2023

Expendables 2 (2012) and 3 (2014)

I decided to mash these two together because all of these are basically the same movie (not a bad thing). A group of mercenaries works to save the world from some bad dudes while being loyal to each other. Not a lot of plot to get in the way of the action. These movies are designed to support and showcase aging action movie legends. The core group is Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Randy Couture, Jet Li, Terry Crews, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren, and Bruce Willis. We also get smaller roles from Chuck Norris, Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes, Kelsey Grammer, Robert Davi, and Harrison Ford. Jean Claude Vandamme plays a delightfully cartoonish villain. They introduce somewhat younger characters in Yu Nan, Ronda Rousey, Victor Ortiz, and some others that are kind of forgettable. The movie has gunplay, explosives, martial arts, and a ton of throwbacks to old action movies. It is a fun nostalgic time. I recommend these movies.

Spenser: For Hire (1985 – 1988)

This was suggested to me after I started watching Columbo from the start and I jumped on it because Avery Brooks was in the thumbnail. A private detective / gun-for-hire struggles to make a living and make a difference in Boston. Robert Urich plays the titular role, he has a very comfortable and clever tone and I absolutely love his film noir-style narration. Avery Brooks steals every scene as the very intense former criminal who is also very funny. Barbara Stock adds a lot of heart as the love interest and sometimes comic relief. The show has been surprisingly great so far and a lot of the plots are not as formulaic as I expected. The show is also not afraid to go dark. The show is based on a series of detective novels and it definitely feels like it. I recommend this show.

Road to Perdition (2002)

I like the aesthetic of mobster movies and I had not seen this one yet. A Chicago mob enforcer and his son must navigate the turbulent world of the underworld after tragedy strikes. Tom Hanks is great as the almost kindly and stoic family man/mob enforcer who hits the right balance as only Hanks can. His chemistry with a young Tyler Hoechlin is great as his calm energy mixes with Hoechlin’s fire. Daniel Craig plays a very convincing seething psychopath. Paul Newman is so great as the patriarchal mob boss. Smaller roles from Stanley Tucci and Jude Law are also great. Actually, everybody’s chemistry is great in this and there are nothing but banger scenes in this movie. It is a really sweet story that mixes action, family drama, and tragedy. It is a good journey. I recommend this movie.

Music of the Week:

The Hepburns – Made Up

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu – Isshin Doutai

Ashnikko – Worms

BNXN fka Buju, Kizz Daniel & Seyi Vibez – GWAGWALADA

Mashup of the Week:

Mash At Nite – Meddling Kicks

Weekly Update:

  • This week’s theme is “Hired Guns”
  • I watched a ton of YouTube and Twitch: Impact Wrestling, All Elite Wrestling,  LegalEagle, Dead Meat, Some More News, Games Done Quick, Cultaholic, Allison Pregler, Game Theory, Major League Wrestling, Jesse Cox, Super Beard Bros, Channel Awesome, Drawfee, Nick DiRamio
  • I watched more Blindspot Season 3
  • I finished National Treasure: Edge of History Season 1
  • I watched more Bob’s Burgers Season 12
  • I watched more Will Trent Season 1
  • I watched Chris Rock: Selective Outrage
  • I watched more Columbo Season 1
  • I watched more Carnivale Season 1
  • I watched more Midnight Mass


March 6, 2023

As of last week, I have been at my current job for two years. I work at a fairly high-level law firm so I see this as quite an accomplishment. I also like the work I do and the people I work with. I have never worked in a big office without personal drama. The only drama is with the work which is how it should be. Being a paralegal is not an easy job and especially not when you are regularly dealing with federal cases. I never thought I would be operating at this level but I love it. 

The bulk of my previous experience was at a firm with one attorney, one paralegal (me), and one part-time bookkeeper. The work was thin and I spent plenty of time idle. We mostly did Estates, Trusts, and Real Estate. The work kept the lights on and I was often kept busy especially since I was first contact when the phone rang. Working in that office taught me more responsibility in the business and it gave me a legitimate credit in the legal profession. Unfortunately, my boss died and the office had to be shuttered. I was lucky to not have to wait long to get a new job which is where I am now.

A lot of the time I thought I must be lucky and I am. I am a very lucky guy to have what I have. However, I also have to come to the realization that I am just that good. I excel at research, writing, and the technical aspects of the job. If there is a computer program or platform to manage at the office, I am great at absorbing and organizing data. I am a huge fan of spreadsheets and databases. It pays to have been a nerdy kid who spent most of high school in the computer lab. Social anxiety made being on a screen more comfortable than being with people and that also paid off.

Of course, I am learning to manage my anxiety. Medication really helps with that and takes the edge off so I can really examine and manage those bursts of fear. I have both generalized and social anxiety and they have plagued me for a long time. I feel like I have made huge breakthroughs lately and I will continue to work at it. I finally dealt with something that has hung over my head for 10 years and I am excited to see where I go next. 

Anyway, I say all of this because it is on my mind and I had nothing prepared for today. I have been playing with digital art lately so I might as well drop some of it here.

Media Update 3/2/23

March 2, 2023

Midnight Mass (2021)

I am a huge fan of Mike Flanagan after watching several of his shows and movies. He has a distinct feel to his work that is chilling. A small fishing town struggles with internal drama, mostly caused by the hyper-Catholic members of the community while also contending with a supernatural threat. The main character of the miniseries is played by Zach Gilford who does a great job as a likable guy going through the hell of alcoholism and the stigma attached. Kate Siegel plays a second-generation schoolteacher who is barely holding it together. Rahul Kohli plays the real hero of the story as a Muslim Sheriff and therefore an outsider in the community. Hamish Linklater is so strangely awkward and enjoyable as a bumbling priest. Samantha Sloyan plays the true villain of the piece as the fire and brimstone nun. The rest of the cast forms such a great ensemble that feels like a real town. The miniseries is a slow burn but every episode is a banger that had me on the edge of my seat both with the supernatural and the mundane drama. I recommend this miniseries.

Hell House (2001)

This is a documentary I only watched because of the podcast Random Number Generator Horror Podcast No. 9. The documentary follows the annual tradition of the Trinity Church in Texas of making a “Hell House” which is a horror show designed to drive people to embrace Christianity through fear. The documentary is excellently done as it frames the narrative around watching the event build from the writing to the audition process to rehearsals and then to performances. The subjects definitely have that cult fervor as they subscribe to the most no-fun version of religion. They moralize, they speak in tongues, they lay on hands, and they try to trick people into embracing their worldview. It is both fascinating and horrifying to see their very narrow view of the world and their belief that it is sinful to live your life. They also engage in a ton of OSHA violations and so many live theater faux pas that I was very angry. We get one scene of people arguing with them but it is clear that their cult does not allow for alternate viewpoints. I recommend this very scary documentary.

Carnivàle (2003 – 2005)

I had seen this advertised at some point but I had no idea what it was and nothing hooked me but I was drawn in by the above-mentioned podcast. A young man joins a mysterious traveling carnival while elsewhere a preacher works to build his ministry. In the distance, a battle between good and evil is coming. Nick Stahl is one of our point-of-view characters, an Oklahoma farm boy who gets recruited into the titular carnival. He is a really good guy and instantly someone I enjoyed watching. Clancy Brown is the other point of view character as a charismatic yet sinister preacher. Michael J. Anderson and Tim Dekay play the leaders of the carnival and have such good chemistry together and with the rest of the cast. The rest of the cast mostly makes up the carnival. They feel like people I would like to hang out with and some of them remind me of my brief time working for the circus. There are a lot of dreamy/biblical moments and I really like the juxtaposition of a real preacher being bad and a fake revival being good. I recommend this show.

Music of the Week:

PinkPantheress – Boy’s a liar

The Muslims – Fuck These Fuckin Fascists

Pleasure Venom – Behind Their Eyes

Pinkshift – Get Out

Mashup of the Week:

Rupert Holden – SexyBack & Get Lucky

Weekly Update:

  • This week’s theme is “Creepy Christian Cults”
  • I watched a ton of YouTube and Twitch: Barry Kramer, Impact Wrestling, All Elite Wrestling,  LegalEagle, Dead Meat, Some More News, Games Done Quick, Cultaholic, Allison Pregler, Game Theory, Major League Wrestling, Jesse Cox, Super Beard Bros, Channel Awesome, Drawfee
  • I watched more Blindspot Season 3
  • I finished Willow Season 1
  • I watched more National Treasure: Edge of History Season 1
  • I watched more Bob’s Burgers Season 12
  • I watched more Will Trent Season 1

An Exhaustive Summary of the Batman: Arkham Games Pt. 9

February 27, 2023

Batman: Arkham City had two purchasable DLCs that were included in subsequent versions of the game. The DLC allows the player to play as Catwoman within the same Arkham City setting as the main game. With the DLC purchased and installed correctly, the Catwoman portions are played seamlessly in line with the Batman portions so that you are basically taking Catwoman breaks from the Batman portions. If you recall my rundown of the main plot of Arkham City, Catwoman interacts with Batman twice during the story. Batman saves her from Two-Face early in the game and then Catwoman saves Batman from the rubble of the steel mill late in the game. This DLC expands Catwoman’s story so that the player can see some of what she was up to the rest of the night. The feel of her story and gameplay feels different from Batman’s while still fitting well into the world.

Part 1

Catwoman’s story begins with a bunch of Two-Face’s henchmen hanging out in his former campaign office. One of these thugs pulls at a painting on the wall and is amused that it swings open and reveals a safe. One of his buddies tells him to leave it alone as Two-Face would kill him for touching it. The topic of conversation then turns to the rumors that Batman has entered Arkham City. The main crook dismisses the idea as it makes no sense that Batman would come to Arkham City. His reasoning is probably that since they are all already incarcerated, there is nowhere else for the crooks to be sent. 

When a window breaks, the already-spooked criminals call out that it must be Batman. However, the crooks realize their mistake as Catwoman strolls into the room and announces her presence. She engages in hand-to-hand combat with six henchmen going up against one Catwoman. Catwoman easily mops the floor with the thugs, of course. With all of her obstacles unconscious, Catwoman approaches the safe and cracks it with ease. She gets what she came for which is a chip loaded with building plans for Arkham City. As she loads the program on her phone, Two-Face presses a gun against her temple and takes her prisoner. He takes her to the courthouse and ties her above a vat of acid which is where Batman first encounters her in the game.

Part 2

With Batman off chasing after The Joker, Catwoman goes about her own mission which is retrieving the loot confiscated from her when she was captured and brought to Arkham City. She uses the map to locate the confiscated goods storage and cases outside of it. The metal door is impressive so Catwoman tries to decide how to bypass it. She contemplates getting Killer Croc to rip the door apart or asking Penguin for explosives but decides that she needs a woman’s touch. She decides to try and recruit Poison Ivy to her mission. 

First, Catwoman needs to stop by her apartment to grab her gear. There is no way she is going to survive Arkham City without all of her tricks. When she makes her way over to her apartment, she discovers that Two-Face has sent henchmen to watch the place in case she returned. Catwoman easily takes out the thugs barring her way and sneaks into her apartment to replenish her gear including caltrops and bolas. With that done, Selina heads toward Ivy’s lair. She is able to get past some men mind-controlled into acting as guards.

Once inside, Catwoman is confronted by Poison Ivy who is still angry that Catwoman killed some flowers. Selina offers to replace the flowers but that is obviously not the point and Ivy attacks. She unleashes mind-controlled henchmen from the other gangs to fight Catwoman. Selina must also contend with Ivy’s plants and the lair filling up with poisonous spores that threaten to turn Catwoman into a plant. Catwoman is eventually able to get through to Ivy and it is revealed that Catwoman failed to water Ivy’s rare flowers. There is only one left. It is sealed in the confiscated goods vault. That works out perfectly as that’s where Catwoman wants to break into. 

Part 3

Catwoman travels back across Arkham City and makes her way to a manhole and into the sewers. Ivy’s plants have tunneled into Strange’s vault allowing Catwoman to get to a security office inside of the building. She analyses the security through the computer and finds that the vault requires three security keys to open. She goes around the confiscated goods warehouse to pickpocket TYGER guards for their key cards. Once she unlocks the vault, that alerts the guards that something is up. There was no scheduled opening for the vault and it takes three of them to open it so clearly things are not going correctly. Catwoman takes out the guards stealthily and then makes her way into the vault. 

Once inside, Catwoman finds her loot in two briefcases. She also finds Ivy’s special flower and smashes it for tying her up in vines and trying to kill her. Of course, this breaks the deal she made with Ivy. When she opens one of the briefcases, Professor Strange announces her presence over the PA system. Catwoman realizes that this has been a trap. Selina has to fight more TYGER guards in order to escape the vault. As she leaves the vault with her briefcases, an announcement declares that Batman is down. Selina looks and sees Batman’s prone body on camera pinned under rubble. She has to decide whether to abandon her loot and save Batman or just escape. You can choose to just leave but that results in an instant game over. Instead, Catwoman decides to save Batman and that leads to their second main story interaction.

Part 4

After the main plot is over, Catwoman decides to grab whatever loot is left in her apartment and escape the crumbling Arkham City. She arrives at her apartment but as she tries to enter the window, a bomb goes off inside her apartment which sends her flying. She wakes up to another fistfight with Two-Face’s goons and learns that Two-Face robbed her as revenge. Catwoman learns that he has taken over the Gotham Museum following Penguin’s defeat. She heads into the museum to get her property back. 

She makes her way carefully through the museum which has now fully melted following the recovery of Mr. Freeze’s technology. This makes it more time-consuming but still easy to traverse the flooded museum. Catwoman finds Two-Face who has his goons and a rocket launcher. Taking out Two-Face reveals that his obsession led to him only taking half of her loot and giving the rest away to his men. Annoyed, Catwoman takes her loot back from him and then escapes the museum. She then has to spend time tracking down and beating up Two-Face henchmen to get the rest of her gems back. With all of her loot returned, Catwoman then presumably escapes Arkham City. (In-game you are allowed to wander around as Catwoman at this point)

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