"We're still at war, Plissken. We need him alive."

"I don't give a fuck about your war... or your president."

Potpourri: Lockdown

Scorpion wears a mask and doesn’t get germs on his hands

Hello, friends! Shit is crazy right now. I hope everybody is looking after their health and sanity. I know many, most, maybe all of us are or will soon be spending more time inside at home, in many cases away from friends and family. But I consider you all friends and family, so I thought it would be a good time to bring back one of these threads where everybody talks about whatever-the-fuck. Updates on your local situations, what you’ve been watching, random escapist nonsense, whatever.

Somehow while mostly staying in I’ve still gotten behind in my writing. That will change soon. As of Monday I’m still working a day job, but shifting to a different phase with drastically fewer hours. That’s what I want, so I can stay indoors for now and not have to take the bus as much. They’ve been mostly empty, but I don’t need that stress. I’m not sure how long even that will last, because there’s been pressure on our governor to add more severe measures to keep people home.

I appreciate everybody commenting on old reviews of the things you’ve been watching, but if none of those apply, here’s a good place to congregate (six feet apart, please).

This entry was posted on Sunday, March 22nd, 2020 at 10:23 am and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

179 Responses to “Potpourri: Lockdown”

  1. I’ve been too stressed to focus on anything for more than like 10 minutes at a time recently, so I haven’t seen any new movies in a little while. Actually that’s not quite true, I guess I watched FROZEN 2 at my wife’s insistence since we’ve both been trapped inside. I didn’t really like it that much- I didn’t think the plot made much sense and it felt pretty perfunctory in general, but that may have just been my general bad mood coloring things these days.

    Hope y’all are doing well and keeping safe in this time of weirdness and sickness.

  2. We’ve been locked up for a week now, and it’s been okay. My wife’s used to me wanting to watch something all the time, but now we’ve tried to see at least a couple of movies or episodes together each day. Stuff like MURIEL’S WEDDING, GHOST and AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN has flown by. But also HOSTILES, LITTLE BIG MAN and FRENZY. The worst thing is not knowing how long this situation will last. My boss thinks I will be back next week, but I’m really not too keen on travelling by train again so soon. I can recommend the second season of KINGDOM on Netflix, by the way. Very good. But of course, not too comforting these days.

  3. 10 days inside here in Denmark… still able to go out for a walk or run, and get food obviously, but nothing else.
    Have been watching some of my classics from the 90’s and early 00’s: Scream, Long Kiss Goodnight, Snatch, The Rock… finally saw also Rambo – Last Blood.
    So far, situation is not too bad – but starting to hear more and more people getting sick around me.

  4. this is pretty funny. apparently the kingdom in the movie is named “Corona” and of course she is isolated and unable to leave her tower:

    Interest in 2010 movie 'Tangled' surges amid coronavirus pandemic

    Disney's 2010 movie "Tangled" is seeing a resurgence during the coronavirus pandemic.Google reported on Friday that "what is the name of the kingdom in 'Tangled'" has been a top search over the last day.

  5. Suffering from awful sleep problems since January and therefore only saw 5 movies. Normally at this time I should be at 50 or 60.

  6. I have yet to be quarantined. But then again, I spend my days at a dogdaycare center, getting my face licked hy a bunch of mutts. Beats being around people these days. And more sanitary….

  7. Per discussions on Letterboxd, I’ve been watching a lot of METALLICA: SOME KIND OF MONSTER, and a lot of the deleted scenes on the DVD and Blu-ray releases. I could never so directly relate to the problems of millionaire rock stars and their various collective and individual mid-life crises when I saw it first as a younger man. Not much better as I’m 36 but I empathize with the natural unease that comes with approaching your 40’s.

    Gradually catching up on favorite shows such as BETTER CALL SAUL, KIDDING and now WESTWORLD. I really liked THE OUTSIDER, and am curious what will happen if it gets a 2nd season. Lots of unread stuff on my kindle. Recently finished the majority of IN THE COURT OF KING CRIMSON. a massive 600 page book on the band.

    I’m naturally kind of an introvert anyway so I’m not minding being in the apartment all day, especially with food delivery services more prevalent here. I go back and forth between despair and getting the better of keeping my head above water. I briefly fooled myself into thinking that it would all somehow be okay if Trump were elected, in that it would bring more people together somehow. But really, this could be that moment. Not so much in uniting against him, but embracing everyone else the more and a more present majority naturally gravitating from the hatred being spread.

  8. I’ve been recently been catching up on THE BLACKLIST (meaning: Season 6 was finally released in Germany). Say what you want about this show (and I say as a fan that it’s incredibly stupid most of the time), but if awards would still give a shit about network shows, James Spader would be at least nominated every year. There is one episode where (mild spoiler) he spends some time in death row and there are some extremely heartbreaking moments, that almost made me cry through things like the look on Spader’s face or his voice cracking up a little while discussing personal stuff.

    Also Christopher Lambert is in a few episodes and it’s impressive to see him and Spader play a tense “Two dangerous men have a conversation that could end with at least one of them dead” scene, knowing that both actors are more or less blind without their glasses.

  9. Saw STIR OF ECHOES for the first time yesterday. Yes, this was pretty good.

    Kevin Bacon doing a Nic Cage.

  10. I remember this movie being good (The scene where he kicks the bucket through the window was an accident, by the way), but I can’t bring myself to watch it again, because the murdered girl looks too much like my girlfriend.

  11. I don’t want to rain in anyone’s cheerio parade, but I’m just gonna say it. POTPOURRI: LOCKDOWN was shit and a major stumble after POTPOURRI: DAY OF RECKONING.

  12. Seriously, though, I have been quarantined for the 9th day, only leaving my private room / workspace to go to the bathroom and going downstairs to visit with the family (from a distance, with a janky home-made mask on) a couple times a day.

    I re-watched DOCTOR SLEEP, which I’m still bagging on in the comments, but I’m still glad it exists, and it does have some good elements.

    I’m re-watching Chris Farley and Matthew Perry in ALMOST HEROES, which is an underlooked gem of a completely unhinged (Christopher Guest-directed!) film that is like if HAPPY GILMORE, BILLY MADISON, and DODGEBALL all did acid together. A great bad film that has so many priceless moments and such an utterly unhinged spirit that I just love it more every time I watch it.

    I’ve got a bunch of DVDs I want to watch but no DVD player right now, but Bergman WINTER LIGHT and LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST are waiting for me, as is another spin with MANDY.

    i sped-watch parts of Jackie Earle Haley ANOES, which confirmed that I was not missing anything at all. Sometimes unwatched is better.

    I recommend ZOMBIELAND 2, which is maybe too apocalyptic to home, but it’s got a fun and hopeful spirit, so may be just what the doc ordered.

    Mostly, I’m watching SNL and KEY AND PEELE clips. I highly recommend the Continental Breakfast clip (watch it all the way!) from our good friends at YouTube.

  13. “Ah Greece. Where the Yogurt flows like water.”

  14. I also can’t give a strong enough recommendation for Tim Robinson I THINK YOU SHOULD LEAVE NOW (on Netflix), particularly the “Baby of the Year” sketch, but there are too many good ones to name. Right now, I need funnies, light action, and comfort food for the most part, and this gets er done. The KEY AND PEELE Make a wish sketch (also YouTube-able) is another winner for fans of horror and comedy — a rare instance of horror comedy that absolutely works and does both, giving a beautifully distilled early glimpse at what Peele showed and proved with GET OUT.

  15. I’m getting exhausted with the super liberals and the super conservatives people shaming. I’m also furious with our government not being able to do their damn job. There has to be a happy medium that my country refuses to abide by. American exceptionalism my ass.

    I also tried watching a Dolph Lundgren movie called Direct Action which is probably the most mediocre movie that ever lived.

  16. George Sanderson

    March 22nd, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    I’m in New Zealand. We are at Alert Level 2, which means our borders are closed and community services like swimming pools have been shut down for the time being. I’m a school teacher and we are still at work even though our classes are half full. All of our cases have been introduced by visitors to the country or residents that are coming back from overseas. This weekend I watched Contagion, Castaway, and John Carpenter’s The Fog, along with a bit of a Clone Wars marathon with my five year old daughter who really wants to be a Jedi.
    Castaway is a solid re-watch with the added prescience of having Tom Hanks currently being in quarantine in Australia. Contagion just made me want to wash my hands, which is a good thing.
    Hope everyone is doing okay and that your elected officials are making all the right choices so that life can go back to normal as soon as possible.

  17. Long time reader, sometime Twitter reply guy, first-time poster in this comments section:

    Day nine of self-quarantine with a low fever and… some other mild symptoms. Nothing severe… yet. Because of the constant low-grade fever, I suspect it’s the thing despite symptoms being so mild — seriously, the fever’s been in the low 99s most of the time, and today is averaging 99.1 — nobody would test me. Could go totally H.A.M. out of the blue on me if it is the thing, so that anxiety’s a common thought. I leave my room sporadically to use the bathroom and collect a plate for dinner from the kitchen while keeping six-feet-plus away from my older, at-risk parents.

    My brother in the Bay Area is also on self-quarantine with symptoms.

    I have another friend in the Bay Area who had a dry cough along with her little sister a couple of days ago and haven’t heard from her in a day so I’m… slightly concerned, you might say.

    I have a friend in London who’s now on isolation with his wife ’cause she’s been showing symptoms gradually. Concerned about that, too.

    This stuff eats at you when you’re lying powerless in a ten-foot room, especially while wondering if you’re going to take a nosedive yourself.

    To compensate, have been “watching” lots of random TV mostly just to have distracting noise on in the background: Columbo, Longmire, Grey’s Anatomy, I Claudius, Epix’s new War of the Worlds series, Knight Rider, Miami Vice.

    As for movies, I watched the beginning of Free Fire again on Netflix last night, and Michael Cacoyannis’s Iphigenia on the Epix free trial a few days ago as research/inspiration for a thing. (Was not that fond of his The Trojan Women, and liked this one much better.)

    Thinking about watching Magnificent Warriors on Prime Video since it’s up for free.

  18. this sucks, and will probably become increasingly normal as time goes on since we’re not capable of diverting course from this climate apocalypse thing.

    please stay safe everybody :(

  19. I work next door to the COVID-19 testing facility of my hospital (as in we share a communicating door).

    I also have to commute for about 75 minutes each way to work on bus/train/bus.

    How lucky am I?

  20. I want to say something. And that thing is: we can do this, guys! I work in public education, and I am pleased to report that my school system is doing a bang-up job making sure the kids get everything they need, and safely.

    Things are not alright. But people seem to be interested in reacting in smart ways. Hoarding? Not smart. Helping? Smart! Spring break? Not smart. Social distance? Smart!

    Make sure you’re being smart, and we’ll have enough smartypantses around that we all just might be OK.

  21. … it also helps that Scorpion doesn’t have a respiratory system. At least not of the kind the virus can thrive in before being purged by fire!

  22. Here in my state, our Governor keeps piling on the closures and I am all for it. Day 9 for me. I’m struggling with the fact my job is to work with disabled and mentally ill clients in a local jail but I am now not able to enter the jail per my agency keeping me at home. At some point that dam is going to have to break, though, else I have no job and a bunch of inmates that need some assistance aren’t going to get it. So I teeter between wanting to reach out to the guys i so enjoy working with and the family I live with and hold dear and want to keep safe and free from the virus for as long as possible. Ugh.

    So while doing what I can by phone and email all week, I did catch up with some older movies. Tried out ROUNDERS for some reason. What a good poker movie! Solid little film, low stakes (compared to our world now) and a killer cast. Then checked out The Command (2018…now on Netflix). Submarine movie about a crew of a Russian sub whose ship has a problem that puts them at the bottom of the ocean in the North Sea. Rescue and survival flick. It is a weird film. It is a multi-talented and multi-Euro actor cast, speaking English in a film about Russia directed by a director from Denmark. It’s no Red October but still heartfelt and tense and a look at how politics can get in the way of doing the right thing for people who need help (timely accidental pick?). Doing the Craig Bonds to get caught up for the new one, too, though who knows when or how that will get released. Fun to watch the Bond series and I kind of even like SPECTRE now, even though I really hated it when it came out.

    Anyway, I hope everyone is healthy and safe out there. You people sit tight, hold the fort and keep the home fires burning. And if we’re not back by dawn… call the president.

  23. So we’re all in agreement, then: be more like Scorpion!

    (Also, sorry to hear about the proximity and the length of the public-transit commute. That’s rough.)

  24. I started watching Hobbs and Shaw. I haven’t finished it yet and probably won’t. It sucks. The thing that bothered me the most was that it’s 2 hours and 15 mins. That movie did not need to be that long. They could have gotten in and out in an hour 45 tops. When was the last time we had a blockbuster release that was 90 mins long?

  25. Vanessa Kirby is the best thing in Hobbs & Shaw.

  26. I watched It’s Alive (original) recently and couldn’t find the review to comment on, so I’ll drop this here: the opening scene is amazing. There’s the maternity ward and all the expectant fathers are in the waiting room, smoking cigarettes and playing poker! It seems like something out of a heavy-handed episode of Mad Men, but nope, that’s apparently just how it was back then. Truly, the past is another country.

  27. Giving McBain a watch on Prime Video for I have never seen it and it’s right there.

  28. Day 14 of mostly self-imposed lockdown. We stocked up on $600 in groceries two weeks ago and fresh stuff is running out this week but we have another 2-3 weeks of frozen and canned food. I don’t think Massachusetts is going to get bad for another ten days and then things will go south really fast. Our government response has been weak at best, deliberately misleading at times, and I am afraid it will be like Italy 2.0. My conservative parents were acting like nothing was happening, going to the bank and work and calling it an overblown media scare just a few days ago, and this is probably pretty normal amongst that kind of person. It is pretty obvious by our skyrocketing number of cases that some enclaves of doubt are gonna get decimated in the coming weeks, maybe they will dodge it by being out in the sticks, maybe not. Current estimates are pretty dire.

    My sister has had lung problems for 30 years. I hope she stays safe, somehow. This whole thing was mostly preventable with fast and decisive action a month ago. Instead we are all living in limbo and may be surrounded by death in a couple weeks because a bunch of fuckheads elected the stupidest, most selfish, least qualified moron as our President.

  29. Oh yeah, watchlist lately has mostly been a bunch of bottom of the barrel bad 80s films like CHOPPING MALL and THE ARENA, just to kill time while I work from home, but I saw a few interesting ones. Maybe the best were SANTA SANGRE, the most recent Jodorowsky film (early 90s I think) which was GREAT.
    There is a scene where a mother and son practice the piano which is one of my favorites of all time. And LIQUID SKY, an early 80s pre-AIDS celebration / lament on the NYC fashion, drug, LGBT, pop culture scene featuring lots of ridiculous hairstyles, beautiful lingering shots of the World Trade Center and other NY landmarks, and tiny aliens looking to score some drugs.

  30. On Day 10 of self quarantine. Me, the wife, and the kiddo (I have legit never used that word before). We keep meaning to watch a movie, but somehow all we’ve done is binge New Girl. We just want to laugh through the existential dread.

  31. I have to admit, my hermit lifestyle hasn’t taken that much of a hit, through my wallet definitely has. Nine days out of ten I’d be self-quarantining anyway. I should be the poster boy for how to stall the spread of plague: See Majestyk. Majestyk doesn’t touch anyone. Majestyk avoids gatherings. Majestyk doesn’t leave the house unless he absolutely has to. BE LIKE MAJESTYK.

    But being more like Majestyk than anyone else doesn’t make me immune to the free-floating anxiety that has overwhelmed anyone paying the slightest bit of attention. I wake up every morning and it gets a little heavier. I’m sure that’s nothing compared to you guys with careers and kids and mortgages. I can’t imagine how you deal with all that when the world isn’t ending, but I REALLY can’t imagine how you deal with it now. I’m just trying to console myself with the hope that the many progressive measures our misanthropic government will be forced to pass at gunpoint will become part of the new normal going forward. Maybe this will be the wake up call our culture needs.

    Anyway, I’ve been writing and making songs during the day and watching movies and special features by night. Not the worst quarantine, all things considered. Lots of Joe Dante commentary tracks, which seem to be my go-to when I can’t focus on much. I rewatched JOHN WICK 3 the other night and it hasn’t gotten any less awesome (Zero is even starting to grow on me). I watched a new slasher named TRICK from the MY BLOOD VALENTINE 3D guys that was extremely stupid and entertaining and you guys should check it out. I keep meaning to dig into some more modern-ish horror that I’ve collected over the past few months but somehow I don’t seem to be in the mood for it. I spend a lot of nights just making songs because that’s the best way to quiet my brain that I’ve ever found. Trying to sync up a seemingly incompatible Kenny Rogers sample with a hip hop beat does not leave much room for your own thoughts. I recommend it.

    Anyway, stay safe out there (in there?), guys.

  32. I rewatched CONTAGION. I wouldn’t recommend it. Great film and all but it pushed my anxiety dial up a notch or ten.

  33. Yeah, I watched the RABID remake and that didn’t help much either.

  34. What has me shook is that we’re essentially doing the 1918 Spanish flu and the ’29 crash simultaneously. It’s like c’mon… pick one.

  35. Heh, I also watched Contagion for the first time, because it seemed apt.

    Really, I thought it was a solid whiff from Soderbergh…

    Probably the most erroneous aspect: when shit reaches the “tipping point” the best you could do was to have Matt Damon traverse a couple of rough and tumble parking lots? Jesus, your movie cost 60 million! Miracle Mile did better with like three!

  36. I recently developed a bit of a CD collecting addiction. Through a bunch of resellers, both online and the real world, my already huge CD collection grew exponentially in the last year. Lots of stuff that I didn’t buy back in the days or discovered only recently, plus singles that have a cool remix or two. I bought a new shelf for my DVD collection last year, but now I need one for my CD collection too.

  37. Am I allowed to plug my own movie? Trailer here:

    My Name Is Myeisha (2020) - Official Trailer (HD)

    Subscribe to SHOUTFACTORY: http://bit.ly/1nm0dKP Follow us on TWITTER: https://twitter.com/shoutfactory Like us on FACEBOOK: http://on.fb.me/1nEYhOx "A crack...

    Streaming here:

    My Name is Myeisha

    My Name is Myeisha, the adaptation of the internationally acclaimed play,
    Dreamscape. Produced in collaboration with Hindsight Productions, Echo Wolf
    Productions, and Laminated Pictures.

    Thanks, Outlaw-friendos!

  38. I work at home, so yeah, self-isolating does not feel like a stretch at the moment. I have days normally where my non-work human interactions are with my wife and right here. My wife worries that I don’t have any real friends. One of the kids has run home from London just now, and it is kinda cool having him about, even though he’s guzzling my bandwidth. On the plus side, he brings streaming service subscriptions with him.

    About 30% of my colleagues are in northern Italy and hearing how it is there is chastening. We are trying to be positive, but I agree that this is gonna be the new normal for quite a while.

    So I started watching Justified, because so many of you have loved it, and I love the character from the Elmore Leonard books. One series in and apart from the series arc, each episode seems to be: Who will Raylan shoot this week? But it’s very well done. Also watching Picard, because of course I am.

    As to movies, I’ve binged some Korean stuff I hadn’t previously gotten around too: BATTLESHIP ISLAND, NEW WORLD, A TAXI DRIVER. Unsurprisingly, they’re all excellent in their different ways. A TAXI DRIVER, in particular, has no business being as good as it is, since it’s a rather cheesy zero to hero transformation movie, but about some history I knew nothing of, with Song Kang-ho doing the transformation brilliantly, and with an unflinching eye on the violence.

    Talking of which, I also watched WENT THE DAY WELL, a 1942 British war movie I am ashamed never to have seen before. The approach taken to the violence is like nothing else I’ve seen from that era. Genuinely shocking.

    Will also recommend THE BIG SICK, which we watched because it was a romcom, but it turns out to be much more than that.

    As mentioned elsewhere, I’ve also watched ANNA and WONDER WOMAN back-to-back. They’re fine; Vern nails them both in his original reviews.

  39. Here in the Bay Area I’ve been hunkered down with all the Parker books I could grab off the library shelves before they closed, and brainstorming with some friends via text over what Parker would do to make money off the current situation: “Quarantine Heist”!

    A ray of sunshine has been gleefully indulging my younger (14 year old) son’s newfound interest in “Dad’s weird movies”. So far: Inception, Blade Runner, The Matrix (MUCH better than I’d remembered, I think I’d let the sequels taint my recall of the first) and The Manchurian Candidate (the original, c’mon). He’s loved them all, especially Inception (kid’s got good taste). Coming up: Dark City, Brazil, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, District 9.

    Stay safe and sane, y’all. Keep plotting your heists…

  40. Borg9 – I thought THE BIG SICK was just ok, but Ray Romano was fucking fantastic in it. Really made me wish he got a lot more straight film work (and I was commensurately happy to see him pop up in THE IRISHMAN).

    I’ve been doing the stay at home dad thing for the past few months so this hasn’t been a big day to day disruption for me so far (beyond being frustrated at my inability to pop out to the store for 15 minutes on a whim), but I’ve had more virtual and phone conversations with friends in the last couple weeks than in probably the five years previous combined. It’s a new era.

  41. Wow, so much. The wife and I have been trying to watch calmer more upbeat things to take our minds away.

    I caught Bad Boys 3 Life before theaters shut down and found it quite solid. A nice throwback.

    Parasite (I get why it won), Booksmart (very good performances, definitely a first time director but worthy of my time), Where’d Ya Go Bernadette (I’m always in the bag for Linklater, and found this to be no exception, great Blanchett performance) The Long Dumb Road (this should’ve been better) Hector and the Search For Happiness (I was charmed by it), Monsters Inc with my kid (she loved it and so did I with her), and for TV Righteous Gemstones (find it terrific) and just started first season of Westworld.

    Stay safe out there everybody! This is the only online community I like coming to anymore.

    (And if Im allowed some shameless self promotion, and y’all are curious for something cheesy but fun, check out Psycho Granny!

  42. I confess I had no idea who Ray Romano was – although I had a baseline awareness that Everybody Loves Raymond was a thing – but I’ll agree he was excellent in THE BIG SICK.

    Ben C, yes to THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE! That’s a favourite of mine – we’re talking all time top 10. It couldn’t happen here, of course.

  43. Today I learned that INCEPTION is already a Dad Movie.

  44. Hope everyone is doing good. Working from home during the busiest time of the year sucks but I can’t really complain too much. I’ve only snapped on my wife and kid once so far.

    Borg9 – Justified gets much much better after the first season, I think.

    I’ve mostly been playing video games and watching comedy tv – the latest seasons of CURB and ALWAYS SUNNY. Both are really great…amazingly considered how long they have been going. On the video game side I’ve gone with the complete opposite mood – finally playing THE LAST OF US. It is phenomenal. #

    Oh and I’m watching the JOE EXOTIC documentary on Netflix right now. Holy shit it is incredible. You all need to watch that immediately. I recently listened to a podcast series about the guy but it did not quite do justice to just how batshit crazy these people are.

    I watched a bunch of Irish movies in the last week – THE VAN, THE SNAPPER, THE COMMITMENTS and EXTRA ORDINARY (this one is on Netflix and is very funny. I recommend it). Will probably watch BAD DAY FOR THE CUT next, it is supposed to be badass.

  45. Thanks, HALLSY. I will persist with Justified.

    BAD DAY FOR THE CUT is solid. Follow it up with THE FOREIGNER as there is nice cast overlap, Brosnan and Jackie excepted, of course. And I really liked ’71.

  46. The legendary WHO KILLED CAPTAIN ALEX is on YouTube and don’t worry, it’s an official upload from the Wakaliwood guys.

    Who Killed Captain Alex: Uganda's First Action Movie (English Subtitles & Video Joker) - Wakaliwood

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  47. Majestyk – Heck yes it is! Under this roof, anyway. Probably depends on the dad. The movies I most clearly remember my own father sharing with me on TV were Hombre (definitive movie badassery) and Manhunter (yikes! just watched it again recently, still super creepy)…

    Borg9 – I’ve seen The Manchurian Candidate a zillion times, always loved it, but never found it topical/timely the way it was last week. Weird times. I’m nostalgic for the days when a movie fan could just watch Frank Sinatra karate chop his way through a wood table in peace…

  48. My thing is, most of us will get through this, and even if we don’t, and even if it is horrific, we have our integrity about us, and nothing can take that away. which is not to say that we are all beacons of moral rectitude, but we are people with a moral compass, an intellectual curiosity, and grit — something about us that makes us keep asking questions and keep going forward, Rocky Balboa -style, whether it makes sense or not, and that means a lot to me.

    The world may very well end in 50 or less years, per everyone’s dire climate and other projections. If it’s not that, it’s AI or nukes or AI nukes or weaponized viruses or Trump or whatever the fuck. Maybe, maybe. We’re certainly a species on a collision course, which is the truth of all great mythology. Tower of babel, icarus, Skynet, whatevs. It’s in our nature to destroy ourselves. But it’s also in our nature to hope and build stuff and send Bruce Willis to blow up asteroids (apocryphal) and other shit, and nothing good comes from sowing despair and leaning into it, wallowing it, puffing it, and passing it. I may well drop dead tomorrow of some shit but who am I helping trying to convert everyone to that noise. We may surprise ourselves and live and adapt. If we don’t we don’t, and we had a good run. But the despair shit is for the birds.

    So, whatever you are facing, you have your integrity, and I don’t mean that in some right wing talking point family values sense, I mean in the sense of your cohesive personhood and the stands you are taking, including the stand of having compassion on your fellow person and yourself and the willingness to keep trying when it’s really hard. Hope and courage is a choice, or at least partly a choice, and it does create its own momentum, not in a mystical “secret” sense, but just in a placebo/optimism/virtuous cycle sense.

    That is how winning is done, so sayeth Rocky Balboa. And like him, you win as long as you live with love and courage. So, for me, in all of this, whether I die tomorrow at 41 or 81 or 101, I’ll face the prospect of letting go of things I love. That is going to happen sooner or later. It’s inevitable. I hope later, because I still have gas in the tank and squad goals and whatnot. But if it’s sooner, then okay, I can take it, and I can be glad for the good shit.

    Sorry to be all Matt Foley motivational speaker, but that’s from the heart. Fuck cynicism. Even if it’s justified it’s not justified. If you’re still alive, you still have hope for something, even if it’s not finding true love or building a multi-million-dollar media / philanthropy empire or whatever other shit you think you need.

    CJ, hold your head up with insomnia. I been there. It’s horrible. My heart going out to everyone facing really shitty circumstances, really hard/awful choices, really desperate and scary times. That is the worst.

    Anyway, to anyone who is really struggling with some serious life/death shit and/or some serious emotional clinical debilitating shit, then feel free to ignore all the above or at least please don’t take it as judgey or whatever — because that’s not all how I intend it. If you’re paralyzed with fear or can’t-get-out-of-bed depressed and just need some time to feel that or lick those wounds or whatever, I totally get that, and that is okay, too. I been down and out and medicated and terrified and despairing of shit before, so, the f-you to that is as much an f-u to my own struggles and history with that as anything else. For me, step 1 is always to take time to feel my feels, but then if they start curdling into resentment or cynicism, then I know I’m just trying to protect myself — a frustrated idealist type of thing.

    fil – ROUNDERS – along with PSYCHO and MULHOLLAND DRIVE and WEDDING SINGER (yes, WEDDING SINGER), that’s a top 5 all-timer. Every amazing actor is firing on all cylinders and the Norton and Malkovich performances are some of the most delightful scenery-chewing impishness ever captured on film.

  49. Lads, I heard right – BAD DAY FOR THE CUT is definitely bad-ass. Vern – I’m surprised you haven’t reviewed it. It’s right up your alley. Basically a Northern Irish version of BLUE RUIN.

    I have had THE FOREIGNER on my watch list for so long that I completely forgot about it. I will check that out next.

  50. Skani – I love THE WEDDING SINGER but its on the cusp for top 5 Sandler flicks let alone all time. BILLY MADISON and HAPPY GILMORE are industably better and in my opinion PINCH DRUNK LOVE and UNCUT GEMS are way above it too. After those 5 the drop in quality is mind boggling. BTW you only listed 4 – what’s your 5th?

  51. I don’t really put PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE and UNCUT GEMS in the same territory, I’m just going off of personal connection and reaction to the films. BILLY MADISON and HAPPY GILMORE are the most delightfully deranged and are far more subversive and even avant garde than people appreciate. Nothing in the screwball 80s comedies from the NATIONAL LAMPOON / SNL original players / SCTV matches that level of strange (okay, maybe SCTV and STRANGE BREW approaches it).

    WEDDING SINGER for me is the perfect marriage of the Sandler out-there bizarro comedy and the more earnest leading man traditional rom-com / 80s coming of age type film. It takes the antisocial, frat bro energy of BILLY and HAPPY and trades them in for a fully earnest, all-heart romantic. It’s a deeply kind and humane film that is about the virtues of kindness and humanity, and it’s just tons of fun. It is a romantic film in every sense, and it is an Adam Sandler auteur-theory film in every sense. And it shows us some of the dramatic range we’d see in those other films. The other films are great and they are great exercises, but WEDDING SINGER marries them all in something beautiful and uplifting and cohesive all its own. Not the boldest or best all-caps FILM in his filmography but the best movie. After that, his comedies really lost me, and I could never understand the love for WATERBOY. MR. DEEDS was a pleasant exception.

    I don’t know that I have a fifth. I didn’t even really know WEDDING SINGER was in my top 5 til I said it, but I’ve known about PSYCHO, MULHOLLAND, and ROUNDERS for awhile. Let me ponder…

  52. 5th is TREE OF LIFE, but those are in no particular order. Also, I kind of exempt the ROCKY films, b/c those are sort of in a dimension all their own, and there are too many of them. BALBOA is probably my favorite of those (as is evident above!), because I feel like it finally gets the ripened full-circle thing right, and in some ways, the Rocky in BALBOA is a far more successful Rocky than ROCKY IV Rocky, because he’s denuded of all that Hugo Boss-wearing, robot-having, sports car-driving rich guy excess and that house out in the hills. Rocky is most whole and ripe in his natural environment, having come through the ups and downs and having fought the emotional battles. Not the best film of the series, but like WEDDING SINGER, I think it’s the most pure and beautiful distillation of full ROCKY and BALBOA Rocky is definitely the prototype of CREED I/II Rocky, not just in the obvious sense that it’s the most immediate prequel but in terms of late-period, retired, widowed, fully-connecting-with-his-own-mortality Rocky.

  53. Due to the virus, I am working from home. I did see “The Invisible Man” and thoroughly enjoyed it. Also rereading “Invisible Man” (Ralph Ellison) and watched “Drop Zone” for the first time. Thank you for all you, VERN. Stay healthy and safe.

  54. *Thank you for all you do
    Pardon the typo

  55. I am an essential worker who works with a lot of in denial people and I hate it.

  56. The governor finally called a stay at home order, so I can finally stay at home, and I feel very relieved. I expect there will be some writing to do.

  57. Sternshein: that sucks.

    Vern: Good of him to do it.

    Also have finished the third season of Castlevania on Netflix. As expected, really good; also as expected, had some unexpected character dynamic reversals and — even more surprisingly — several very weirdly-timed jokes about toilet paper.

  58. I know everybody’s wondering “Where’s Jerome?”, so here’s my update. I’m on forced paid vacation until the end of the month (and gawds bless my independent bookstore employer for that) and they’re gonna try to find a way to keep paying us after that. Austin is going into a total citywide lockdown tomorrow night, which I am using as an excuse for one more night of drinking tonight. In a week or two I’m gonna apply for an overnight stocking job at either Whole Foods or Dollar General (the lighting at Walgreens is just too harsh, plus they have a pharmacy, sooo). Sans alcohol, I’m a total nite owl, so that gives me an edge there, I think.

    I have finally stopped plumbing A***** Prime for obscure horror movies (altho BUG {1975}, the movie that got the JAWS 2 director his job, was really good and worth a look) and moved on to obscure late ’70s-early ’80s action/adventure movies. So far I’ve found GREEN ICE (1981) with Ryan O’Neal, Anne Archer, Omar Sharif, and a fun turn as a stereotypical Texan by John Larroquette (THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE). It’s a little too long, but it’s a fun heist movie with a score by the Rolling Stones’ bassist. And then there’s FIREPOWER (1979) from director Micheal Winner, which I have yet to finish, but it’s got James Coburn, Sophia Loren and mawfuckin OJ so it’s just a matter of time. At the moment I’m watching the new episodes of Ugly Delicious on Netflix, which is great even tho I don’t cook. I’m looking forward to bingeing some shows I’ve slept on, like The Mandalorian and The Boys. I finally got around to Agent Carter, but the first season kinda faltered at the end so I’m having trouble mustering enthusiasm for the second.

    Stay safe out there, everybody, take care of yourselves, and Vern…Good luck. We’re all counting on you (to write stuff that keeps our minds occupied).

    That was an AIRPLANE reference.

  59. In terms of “real” Sandler movies, not counting his acclaimed arthouse experiments, I’d say everything from BILLY MADISON to MR DEEDS was gold, with some minor, but still fun missteps. (BIG DADDY for example.) From ANGER MANAGEMENT on, he became more hit and miss, but even something like JACK & JILL has scenes of inspired randomness that made me laugh tears. And I think if the first GROWN UPS had starred a bunch of hip premium cable stars and premiered at a film festival, it would’ve been much better received.

  60. I am writing this from your post-apocalyptic, virus free future! In Shanghai we spent about 6 weeks in different levels of lock down and have been back to some kind of normality for a couple of weeks. Overall it was really not too bad, the worst aspect is the anxiety caused by the constant and overwhelming flood of virus news, its really hard to focus on anything else. I definitely missed the sense of being part of normal society, its really odd not to spend time in and around other people even though most of that time I’d spend avoiding any interaction. Financially it has been tough and will continue to be so for several months. But I’m 100% behind the full lock down: although the official numbers here are definitely false it was nethertheless essential in preventing a medical crisis. I’m now really concerned for friends and family in Europe and the US, such slow reaction from parts of teh govt and population. I really hope it doesn’t overwhelm the medical systems, don’t see how anyone can watch reports from Wuhan, Iran, Italy and fail to take it seriously!
    I watched a few good shows and movies: Little Women, Chernobyl, a handful of Dassin, Melville, Malle gangster films, Grand Silence, The Outsider and the latest season of Better Call Saul were my picks. I read World War Z which was perfect in the current situation. Someone should make a proper film of it soon!

  61. If you guys haven’t watched it, Sandler’s Netflix special is really great. I checked out on his movies a long long time ago but that special is hilarious and comes close to those first few movies.

  62. I wish Uncut Gems received a theatrical release here in Asia. Don’t have Netflix so there’s a lot i have been missing.

  63. I’m going through a lot of 90’s early 2000 Hollywood films that were either directed by Hong Kong Auteurs or were influenced by them, so films like:
    Hard Target/Broken Arrow/Face/Off/MI-2/Once A Thief/BlackJack
    Maximum Risk/Replicant
    Double Team/Knock Off
    The Corruptor (VERY underrated!)
    The Big Hit
    The Replacement Killers
    Bride Of Chucky
    The 51st State
    Romeo Must Die/Exit Wounds/Cradle 2 The Grave
    Replicant
    Kiss Of The Dragon/The One
    Blade/Blade 2
    Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
    Hero
    Matrix Trilogy

  64. I may be the only person alive who loves BILLY MADDISON but doesn’t like HAPPY GILMORE at all. I watched EIGHT CRAZY NIGHTS over Christmas and even as a traditional animation stan it was a tough sit.

  65. Hassan – I know you added a very broad caveat with “or were influenced by them” but I think the BLADEs are out of place on that list. And I thought the same for BRIDE OF CHUCKY (until I checked the director). Never seen that one though.

    Pacman – I think you are the only person alive who doesn’t like HAPPY GILMORE all. You don’t need the first bit.

  66. More like CRAPPY GILMORE, eh readers?

  67. Sandler’s first three movies are all classics, but WEDDING SINGER is the one I put on when I feel dangerously low and I need to feel better ASAP. It’s just so cheerful and warm-hearted, and Drew Barrymore is more adorable than she’s ever been or ever will be again, which puts her high in the running for most adorable anyone has ever been ever. I’m as cynical about love as I am about everything else (maybe moreso, if you can believe it) but for those 90 minutes, I’m a believer. That last song? Niagara Falls, man. Niagara Falls.

  68. 50 FIRST DATES is also underrated in my opinion.

  69. Didn’t like that one either; to me it typified the problem of so many Sandler films where it’s like 50% jokes about walrus penises or whatever, 50% schmaltz. ZOHAN is like 80% duck jokes 20% schmaltz and that works for me, CLICK is the reverse and that did too, but 50/50 makes neither work for me. Plus the soundtrack is blasphemous pop-punk covers of New Wave songs.

    WEDDING SINGER is fine, even with the literal rapping grandma.

  70. Dick not duck. Although…

  71. Majestyk, you wanted me to giveyou a headsup when that DePalma novel was out. It is out now.

  72. Pac, I would really like to see a movie with 80% duck jokes!

  73. Unfortunately HOWARD THE DUCK only has 75%.

  74. Thanks, Shoot. Unfortunately, I saw a snippet of it online the other day and I’m markedly less excited about it now. The writing, at least in that sample, was kind of torturous, in my opinion. Not that I expected a showoff like my man BDP to traffic in the kind of clean, pared down prose I prefer, but I was surprised how much telling rather than showing cinema’s premiere visual stylist chose to open his novel with. I’m still curious though. Let me know what you think of it.

  75. Unfortunatly, it is still way down on my list. I am on a Matt Scudder and Lawrence Block bender at the moment so excuse me if that particular HCC release hasnot reached my eyeballs.

  76. “ZOHAN is like 80% duck jokes”

    For one glorious, fleeting moment, I was interested in watching YOU DON’T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN

  77. Just to clear the air. Majestyk. I have quite a bit of a drinking problem and I made some offcolour remarks,called you some things. I hope you shrugged that off. I still feel embarrassed and there is a reason why I have not posted in awhile. I am quite ashamed calling you so and so. I hope we can let that go.

  78. Shoot: Understood. I can’t be thrown off a reading rhythm either. And I love Block. I start every year with a Scudder novel. I also just read the Scudder short story collection, THE NIGHT AND THE MUSIC. Most of them are more vignettes than full stories, but it gives a good overview of the arc of the series that can be difficult to see when you’re reading them book-by-book with some time in between installments. Block is never less than effortlessly readable so if you’re a Scudder fan, I recommend it as supplementary reading.

  79. I love the Scudder books as Block do not treat alcoholism as an obstacle for the hero to overcome. It really is a day to day obstacle and the details of it is whythe series is so good and so relatable.

  80. Don’t worry about it, man. It’s totally forgotten. We’re all passionate people here and that means we all get heated and say shit we regret sometimes. I’ve said more than my fair share of regrettable shit and I’ve been lucky enough to be forgiven most of the time so I’d be a total hypocrite not to extend the same courtesy.

  81. Thanks.

  82. I have a friend who was married to an Israeli diplomat, she recommended YOU DON’T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN as being near documentary in its depiction of Israeli secret service men, duck jokes and all.

  83. Isn’t it funny how often comedy gets it more right than drama? I’d always heard that BARNEY MILLER was the only accurate cop show, and I just read about MY COUSIN VINNY being the most realistic movie about lawyers. I think it has something to do with the fact that life is equal parts absurd and banal, and if you try and portray that dramatically, it just looks like bad storytelling. Only comedy can really capture the surreal, mundane tapestry that is modern life.

  84. George Sanderson

    March 24th, 2020 at 11:54 am

    Since I posted two days ago, New Zealand has moved to Alert Level 3 with Level 4 coming into effect as of midnight Wednesday. That means the entire country is on lock down with only supermarkets and pharmacies allowed to open.
    That means at least a month off work (the government is subsidising all wage earners, something that’s possible when your population is as low as ours) and plenty of home time with my wife and kids.
    I’ve started doing a re-watch off “lesser” Spielberg. So far I’ve only got through The Post and The B.F.G, but it’s already staggeringly clear that even his middling films are comparatively great. Just an absolute master of the medium. Is it possible to say that right now, at this moment, Spielberg is underrated?

  85. I fantasize about moving to New Zealand sometimes, George. I really do. (And it’s not just because I would make a fantastic hobbit.) I just can’t imagine how it would feel to wake up every day in a country that actively gave a shit whether you lived or died. I’d love to find out.

  86. Has anyone seen THE MAN WITH THE IRON HEART? The BBC has it streaming, and I would definitely normally be interested, as I really don’t think the story of Operation Anthropoid can get told often enough. As someone here said, killing Nazis never gets tired.

    But the trailer and reviews make this one sound like it’s more the story of Heydrich’s family life and rise to power, rather than the story of the for real Czech resistance heroes. And I don’t know if I’m up for that just now.

  87. I’m currently sitting here on lockdown in beautiful Goa, India…Arambol beach.
    I was traveling around Rajastan for a month and reached the western end of the country like a week ago at the desert city of Jaislamer. This is a striking city because from it’s center rises an ancient fort that was built in the 1100’s! It looks like something out of Star Wars mixed with Kings Landing from GoT, and it’s still inhabited! You walk up through the winding stone path, under 3 gates (with tons of bats living under the 3 entrances) and you are in a pre medieval village of narrow, winding lanes, sandstone guesthouses, and temples. I was entranced and found myself there for 7 days.
    But of course COVID was rearing it’s ugly head. Two weeks ago all foreign flights into the country were banned and the rumor was that all Indian states were closing the borders. This affected tourism in a big way, and soon, me and 4 other foreigners had the village almost to ourselves. But it was starting to get in the mid 90’s and I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend a major lockdown there. So on Thursday I hopped on a flight to Goa. The next day India banned all flights into and out of most states. So I’m in a paradise limbo. I have a great room with a balcony onto the ocean and the sunset, it’s only about $7 a night! There’s also 0 COVID cases in the state. But for two days the lockdown has affected markets and restaurants, which we rely on for food. We are in a very quiet part of the village so no one really checks, so we can swim and hike all day and a few stores have illegally stayed open and I’ve been real thankful to them, but a major 21 day lockdown goes in effect tomorrow and some foreigners are nervous about the future. But I’ve met up with an Italian, a Turk, a Spaniard, and a Russian, who like me, are just along for this.crazy ride. I mean, we’ve got to be fed somehow, and there’s always bananas and fishing, ha. Last night were drinking and smoking under the stars and Sitting In Limbo from THE HARDER THEY COME came on and I almost plotzed at how perfect it was.
    Alas, I’ve managed to download some latter day Schwarzenegger flicks-LAST ACTION HERO, 6TH DAY, and SABATOGE. Each one is interesting and fun, but I really think the.biggest missed opportunity was SABATOGE. It could have been Schwarzenegger’s UNFORGIVEN, but had a totally nonsensical plotline\twist that really took away from Breacher’s story of revenge…although the last shootout was awesome.
    Sorry for the long dispatch from Goa, but I always read every article and enjoy everyone’s comments, so I just felt like sharing.
    Peace and love!

  88. Woke up to the news that they are prolonging the lockdown until late April. I’m out of the quarantine Friday, but don’t know if I will have to work full time. Watched THE QUEST, THE MIGHTY PEKING MAN and a new Swedish series called BECKSTROM in the last 24 hours. All good in their own way.

  89. Wow, Darth Brooks, that’s amazing. Maybe the greatest lemonade ever made from a lemon this size?

  90. By the way, for anyone who isn’t adverse to Rebeller, it would help me out if you click on my column this week. I decided I had to do this one on Mad Max.

    https://www.rebellermedia.com/original/profiles-in-badass-8-mad-max

    And if it makes a difference they’re doing a free 2-month trial deal right now. (I’m not sure what the fine print is as far as cancelling afterwards or whatever.)

    https://shop.cinestate.com/products/rebeller-free-2-month-trial

  91. George Sanderson

    March 24th, 2020 at 1:45 pm

    Majestyk, New Zealand is a great place to live for most, but we’re not without our problems. That said, in times like this both sides of the political divide can come together and agree on a course of action that I believe is best for the country. It also helps that we have 4.5 million people, heaps of space, and produce enough food to feed 25 million people annually. When our borders open again I’d be happy to show you around!

  92. Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences and film hits and misses in these troubled times! Thanks especially to Vern for providing this space!

    To Borg9, The Man With The Iron Heart is worth a watch. It deals both with Heydrich’s rise to power then the Czech resistance bringing in his fall and has a good cast. I preferred it to Anthropoid, though, for me, Operation Daybreak is still tops!

    Recently I have been watching Ralph Breaks the Internet (before the world stuck at home streaming breaks it), The Favourite (not in my world, it’s not), Flash Gordon (which 2020 me enjoyed a lot more than 1980s me when I first saw it) and 70s car chase goodness Dirty Mary Crazy Larry.

    Stay safe!

  93. Awesome to hear all of these stories, especially the humorous, the globe-trotting adventurous, or the generally plugging along as best one can one stuff. It’s also awesome to hear the shitty and painful ones, not because shittiness is awesome, but because I am glad there is a community and an outlet to share and hold the pain, as well — whether or not you have a non-virtual person to share that with and especially if you don’t.

    As someone who is fortunate enough to have some non-virtual friends I see routinely and some things going on in real-life, this “fake” virtual community of people I’ve never met in person is as or more powerful than the best of them, which is possibly a sad commentary on what a forsaken and misguided weirdo I am, but I think it is really about the caliber of person Vern attracts and molds and that kind of self-sustaining momentum that I was describing above. Thanks to everyone for sharing stuff — good, bad, or ugly.

    I make these sorts of observations from time to time when there is some kind of Vern-iversary retrospective post or maybe New Year’s holiday time or something, but this is an example of a collective moment that taps into the same energy of my private moments where things seem shitty or overwhelming, and I come here, and it provides a tether to something not insane or icky. I guess it’s like CHEERS (but without the alcoholism and knowing of people’s actual names, but you get the idea).

  94. I’m an essential worker so I get to go to work everyday so this lockdown doesn’t really effect me at all. I normally come home from work and don’t leave anyway.

  95. RE: “Comedies being more accurate than dramas”. SCRUBS has also the reputation of being the most realistic depiction of behind-the-scenes hospital stuff in the history of television.

  96. Will do, Vern. I get 3 free articles a month since I subscribed to the Fangoria archive (redundant since I also have the magazines but seemed like a good deal for reading material) and yours are the only articles I’d use those three for anyway.

  97. Henry Swanson's my name

    March 25th, 2020 at 12:07 am

    I’m in New Zealand and we are going into a Nationwide ‘Level 4’ lockdown at midnight tonight. So I’m going to be at home pretty much 24/7 for at least the next 4 weeks (but realistically it sounds like this could be anywhere from 6 – 12 weeks or more). But on the bright side this means watching more films than usual. None of my friends or family are sick, but it feels like it’s only a matter of time until that changes, but hopefully this lock-down starts to make an impact after a few weeks… it’s all so surreal.

    Films wise I’ve just watched ESCAPE FROM PRETORIA (the prison escape film starring Daniel Radcliffe) and really enjoyed it. I think I’ll finally watch the PAPILLON remake tonight. Not sure that there’s many other prison escape films that I haven’t seen before, but I’ll be on the hunt. Speaking of THE HUNT, I tried watching that last night and couldn’t finish it, man that was shit. Political commentary aside it was just such an unfocused mess. I do enjoy dumb, violent, gory films, but have struggled to find any good ones in a while.

    I’ve been meaning to watch THE LOST CITY OF Z too, which I think stars the same generic white dude as the PAPILLON remake. What’s his name? Jai Worthington? Charlie Holbrock? You know the guy.

    I’ve also managed to half-watch several Tinto Brass films over the last week. If you like boobs, bums (fake erections!?) and insane non-nonsensical plots then you could do worse…

    Oh and THE INVISIBLE MAN was really good. Such an interesting approach to turn the invisible man story into a study on an abusive relationship! Speaking of which, I just read on the news that a whole bunch of woman/children are shit-scared about being in lockdown with their abusive husband/father/caregiver … that’s something I hadn’t thought about before and I imagine is giving a whole lot of people a whole a lot of grief.

    Anyway. I look forward to reading more reviews from you Vern. Stay safe everyone.

  98. Thanks, MikeJ888. I hope the FLASH GORDON was part of your Max von Sydow mourning process. If so, I suggest adding STRANGE BREW to the mix.

    I think THE FAVOURITE was good for what it was but suffered from being overpraised for having swearing and sex in a costume drama. I think that people who’d grown used to costume dramas being Colin Firth in breeches were taken by surprise, and they kinda lost their minds over it.

    I’ll definitely give THE MAN WITH THE IRON HEART a try. I liked ANTHROPOID, even if it suggested the war was won by sharp cheekbones, but yeah, OPERATION DAYBREAK was my gateway to this story and still rules. That said, I also love HANGMEN ALSO DIE which bears very little relation to the facts, but captures a whole lot of truth about resistance.

  99. Has anyone watched PANIC IN THE STREETS since we got into all this? That title hardly inspires confidence, and we can argue about the political subtext, but it still looks amazing, and part of me wishes Richard Widmark, or at least Clint Reed, was in charge right now.

  100. Is it a weird and inappropriate thing to say that I kinda like this doomsday scenario?

    Now don’t get me wrong, people are dying and losing their jobs and homes, so I’m not saying it’s all fun and games, but if this were a Hollywood movie, we would’ve been at the riot and gang rape status weeks ago. Instead we are all sitting at home, watching DJs and musicians live stream shows from their bedroom for free, are playing games with friends all over the world, take care of each other’s sanity as good as we can and curse out our common enemy: Toilet paper horders.

    The world is going down the shitter, yet I feel a worldwide sense of community and “Stay strong, we’re in this together”, that I never felt before, not even after 9/11. (Which probably was because it was still a time when internet was common, but most people still had to go to internet cafes to check their e-mails.)

  101. Obviously, it’s tremendously inappropriate, and you should be deeply ashamed of yourself for thinking it, let alone saying it. You piece of shit.

    Like I’ve said elsewhere, just because something is shitty and is acutely awful or even life-ending for some people doesn’t mean good can’t come out of it or it can’t even be kind of a spiritual thing for you. It has been for me. That’s the whole point of things like THE ROAD — horrific, crisis shit has a way of exposing and in some cases cutting through the surfacey, posturing, insincere, petty shit and getting to the existential brass tacks.

    I do take some issue with the prevalent “the world is shit,” “the death of this guy (after an amazing and in many ways singularly blessed life) proves that the universe is just a shit sandwich,” “the world is ending and adds up to nothing but doom” sentiment. It’s a safe space to express if that’s how one feels, but I’ll exercise the safe space to say that this is more emotion and opinion than fact, but it is a bummer. In the 1960s and 1970s Paul Ehrlich prophesied that all of our resources would be expended and there would be full-on global mass starvation by the 1980s or before, and there was good reason to think we or the Russians would nuke the world into oblivion, ending the world before the 1980s, as well. That’s not to say that everything will be fine or that we won’t all go up in a blaze sometime next week, but I see only bad coming from asserting this like it’s a decided fact. It lacks epistemic humility, does not track with the horrible and well-documented historical track record of secular prophecies of doom, and it actively increases suffering and self-fulfilling apathy.

  102. CJ, I like the optimism but it’s way too early to be patting ourselves on the backs. Shit has not remotely hit the fan here. I think, although many people are having personal hardships right now and everyone is facing a lot of uncertainty, for the most part people are able to comfortably continue their lives right now and can sense that things will mostly return to normal at some point. It’s not exactly a doomsday scenario…imagine if there was a virus with a 100% fatality rate…I think it would it get very ugly very quickly (but I hope I’m wrong if it ever comes to it).

  103. Oh, I totally agree, Hallsy and I really am worried that we didn’t even go to the bad part yet. But after having constantly shoved that cynical “Humans are evil, mankind will crumble at the smallest sign of trouble, one city wide power blackout will turn your neighbours into a horde of rapists within less than six hours, THE PURGE is a documentary!” worldview shoved down our collective throats by popculture and the people who consume it, it’s nice to see how comparibly well we are keeping up currently. MAD MAX never showed the part were people were giving concerts to their neighbours from their bedroom windows or talk with random strangers on the internet, to make sure they don’t kill themself when their depression takes over during lockdown. They just went straight to Toecutter and co roaming Australia in a time, where the police was still working and families were even still able to go on vacation.

  104. Yeah, I don’t mean to be a buzzkill but I think we would end up somewhere in the middle. I played THE LAST OF US all weekend, which is maybe not the healthiest thing to do right now, but it actually made me feel better because I don’t think things would ever get that bad.

    Back to random shit – I heard on a podcast today one of the greatest ideas ever for filling the void for those of us that love to watch sports and/or gamble: 1) Find 29 friends (or get a group that divides evenly into 30); 2) each persons puts up an ante; 3) randomly draw numbers 1-30 for everyone; and 4) pick a random Royal Rumble to all watch at the same time. Only problem – if you go on youtube, all of the Royal Rumble videos have the winner right in the title of the video. WHY WOULD ANYONE PUT THE WINNER IN THE TITLE??? Still an amazing idea though.

  105. Slightly good news here in Norway today. It seems like we at least has slowed the spreading down. Guess we’ll know more after Easter.
    Meanwhile I’m stuffing myself with 70s kung fu off of Prime.

  106. great to hear (all around), Pegsman!

  107. So, I rounded up every DVD I own that I have not yet seen with the intention of knocking them out over the next coming weeks (and knocking out the next couple of weeks as well). They are, in no particular order: Michael Mann’s THIEF; Larry Cohen’s SPECIAL EFFECTS, PERFECT STRANGERS, and GOD TOLD ME TO; Scorsese’s MEAN STREETS and GOODFELLAS (No, I have never sat down and watched the film from beginning to end. Unclench.); Luc Besson’s THE MESSENGER; NOBEL SON, bought in honor of Alan Rickman’s passing (and for a helluva supporting cast); and, uh, Steve Miner’s TEXAS RANGERS. It was part of a DVD Double Feature with, I shit you not, Jim Jarmusch’s DEAD MAN, which is officially the weirdest goddamn double feature possible in this universe.

    Hopefully that’ll keep me busy for a minute.

  108. Looking forward to hearing what you think of these, which look like some good picks. (The only one’s I think I’ve seen are DEAD MAN and GOODFELLAS.)

  109. Hallsy, this is what what I do every year for Royal Rumble. I even bought a bingo spinner so we can get a true random for the picks. My wife won one of the Rumbles this year. Super good times.

  110. File this under “I love the internet sometimes”

  111. Hm, I’m sure the link worked when I posted it earlier. Oh well

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSS3GTmKWVA&feature=youtu.be

  112. Interesting breakdown on these fight scenes.

    Karate Expert Stephen Thompson Breaks Down Martial Arts Scenes from Movies | GQ Sports

    UFC fighter and karate expert Stephen Thompson breaks down martial arts scenes from movies, including 'The Karate Kid,' 'Cobra Kai,' 'It's Always Sunny in Ph...

  113. Can we talk about the GREATEST youtube video ever made? It’s by a guy called Eric Jacobus who should be waaay more famous, especially with this group here. The only reason I ever heard of him is because davidjmoore has a write-up of him in his book (THE GOOD THE TOUGH AND THE DEADLY which you should all own, check Vern’s post about it). This guy made a few of movies which were not very good but had some decent fights with a couple of inspired moments sprinkled in. Since then he’s made the greatest youtube video ever made (best two actually but the 2nd is basically a continuation of the first one so I count them as one) and now he mainly seems to do motion capture for video games like God of War and videos of Tekken in real life (which are not very interesting to me). But he still does some great short films from time to time. Most recently he was in one called PIZZA TIME which I just watched and was 10 minutes well spent, but nowhere near the level of the below.

    Anyway, if you haven’t seen them already, go watch ROPE A DOPE part 1 and 2 on youtube. They are incredible – basically a martial arts GROUNDHOG DAY and very reminiscent of Jackie Chan at his best. After that, watch BLINDSIDED which is also amazing. You can also look for Death Grip Toilet Sensor Fight, that’s a good one.

    Also buy davidjmoore’s book. It’s a very good guide to action stars with a ton of great interviews. The perfect coffee table book.

  114. Eric Jacobus was in the MORTAL KOMBAT LEGACY Web series as well.

    Extreme kali knife fight from Death Grip

    Death Grip (2012) HD Purchase on DVD & BD at http://stuntpeoplestore.bigcartel.com Starring: Eric Jacobus (Mortal Kombat Legacy's "Stryker"), Johnny Yong Bos...

  115. Just watched BLINDED BY THE LIGHT since it is free on HBO Now for the moment. The plot is that a Pakistani teenager living in Luton, England in 1987 discovers the Boss, goes around town shouting Springsteen lyrics at everyone, and instantly becomes the most popular and successful dude in town. So thumbs up obviously.

  116. Springsteen is like Sting or U2 one of those musicians whose success and influence feel odd to me. Not saying that he is bad or something, but I guess despite not exactly being a kid anymore, I was born too late to really witness them on top. I mean, STREETS OF PHILADELPHIA is pretty much the only song of him that I remember being actually in the charts and on the radios.

  117. Just watched YESTERDAY. The plot is that and Indian dude living in present day England discovers that the Beatles never existed, goes around the world singing Beatles tunes to everyone, and instantly becomes the most popular and successful dude in the world. I didn’t care for it.

  118. How dare you put Sting in the same league as U2 and the Boss.

  119. I mean, they’re all five-stars-in-Rolling Stone-for-an-album-nobody-will-remember-in-a-month kinda guys, aren’t they?

    I’m mostly kidding. I do like Springsteen (except when he makes my least favorite kind of song, which is The Song That Sounds Like It’s Really Going To Rip When It Finally Kicks In But Then It Never Does, which is often, if we’re being honest) and if we’re including The Police in the assessment of Sting (and why wouldn’t we? What else has he done besides that LETHAL WEAPON 3 song that anybody has listened to in 20 years?) I have no trouble placing them far above U2, the original sanctimonious white people rock band that doesn’t rock. I used to hate them but I’m over it now. I can admit they have some good tunes.

  120. I saw The Police on their Synchronicity tour and pretty much decided it was not possible to be in a room with Sting and remain a fan. I’m hoping we’ll revisit him in his winged underpants in the hype for Villeneuve’s DUNE.

    The thing that unites Springsteen, U2 and Sting is that Johnny Cash completely owned songs by all three of them on his American albums. But he did that to a lot of people.

  121. HALLSY, thanks a billion for recommending that Rope a Dope video!! That was great fun. This really surprised me, you wouldn’t think a youtube short less than 15 minutes long could escalate in multiple unexpected directions… super cool. Definitely going to watch this with my kids when they get done with the online nonsense that passes for “school” these weird days…

    And yeah, I was digging the full-on early 90s Jackie Chan vibes, right down to the clanging sound when someone bangs into a metal railing and the prop comedy. The bit with the broom made me laugh out loud. I’m going to look forward to bumping into Jacobus on the streets of West Oakland but I’m for damn sure not going to pick a fight with him, even if he drops a milkshake on my shoes.

  122. Hallsy, mostly because I just recently heard someone mention again that at some point Sting was the (or one of the) biggest stars in the world, which is a bit hard to believe for me. Again, not shitting on him or any other guys that I mentioned, but I was born in 82 and didn’t pay full attention to charts or pop music until 93, so I guess I missed their most relevant and influential years.

  123. Sting as a solo artist was a big deal in the late 80s and early 90s, and then I think he had one other hit in the late 90s or early 2000s. I was never a fan of the Police, but I did like “I’ll be watching you.” I never cared much for “Roxanne,” though it’s an interesting concept and well-constructed enough. I am a sucker for “Fields of Gold” and “All This Time.” At the time of those songs, Sting was in heavy rotation on MTV, so, was Phil Collins. That is crazy, because it’s around the same time as Dre and Snoop’s heyday and very close to Nirvana and Pearl Jam and NIN really breaking out big. Before the balkanization of all media a dork like me was listening to all of that stuff, because that’s what MTV was serving.

    I was never a huge Springsteen fan, though I appreciate his steez. “Born in the USA” and “Dancin in the Dark” were huge. For a minute there he was like the male pop star equivalent of Sly or something. Whereas Sting was always kind of the self-important wanker, but I liked his style, too, because he was just kind of a cocky yuppy oddball. Plus, he did this epic Billy Idol impersonation on SNL (the “Sinatra Group,” sameone w/ Jan Hooks as Sinead O’Connor and Chris Rock as Luke from 2 Live Crew). That skit alone solidifies him.

  124. CJ, it’s not that odd, really. Music is such a subjective art form, and one that is almost impossible to discuss without people reaching for their imaginary guns. But the line up of Sting, Springsteen and U2 is an interesting one. They all started out edgy and promising, became big money earners, and at various points even appeared on stage together in the 80’s. Then they chose different paths. Springsteen of course has earned his stripes by staying basically the same, but with a better sound and really entertaining live shows. U2 on the other hand tried to change with the times and og bigger each time, and even if they are still huge earners, they ended up alienating large groups of fans each time they came up with something new. And lastly Sting, who still has a fanbase among the squares, makes a decent living out of playing elevator versions of his own hits at small, but expensive venues.

  125. Sting’s music is absolutely terrible and the Police is one of the worst bands of all time (I would put them between the Talking Heads and Depeche Mode).

    It’s very strange that people these days try to act like U2 is not an all-time great band – especially people that do it here in Ireland. It’s also strange when people act like any album made by U2 after 2004 is any good. But if honestly try to tell me that you don’t get amped when you hear Pride or Sunday Bloody Sunday or when you see the Canucks skate out to Streets then your musical opinion is not worth much to me. And whatever your feelings on U2 they are still one of the best live bands going. I saw them in Dublin about a year and a half ago and they were amazing. Even with them omitting all of Joshua Tree and playing a lot of newer stuff it was still a great show.

    Best live band that I’ve seen though is Pearl Jam by a huge margin. I never saw Prince so I can’t compare but I think he is the only one that could have come close in my lifetime so far. Maybe RATM or NIN at their peak…I saw NIN a couple of years ago and it was a bit disappointing because I am not a huge fan of their more recent material. If I could have seen them in the 90s or early 2000s it would have been incredible. Their set at Woodstock (’94 I think?) is unbelievable.

    CJ – I was born in 79 so would not have paid much attention to Springsteen until you did. But even now, I think you regularly hear tunes like Dancing in the Dark, Born to Run, Hungry Heart, etc. and they are pretty great and timeless.

  126. Ben C – my pleasure! Did you watch part 2? It is just as good and has a great twist. Make sure to watch BLINDSIDED as well.

    Speaking of JC, I watched MR. NICE GUY and WHO AM I? this week. He has to be one of the most under-appreciated performers of all time (not with you guys obviously). For about 15-20 years straight he was just consistently awesome and even his lesser efforts are pretty mind-blowing. Mr. NICE GUY is very silly but very fun and that construction site fight is an all-timer. The most amazing part though was when they were getting chased and he just slides through a grated fence. Like how the fuck is that even possible? Similar to RUSH HOUR when he slides under the teller window.

  127. Hallsy: Like a lot of people, I mostly just didn’t care for Bono. I got over it.

    What’s your problem with the Police? The hits are played out but their deep cuts are surprisingly weird and diverse. Is it because Sting is clearly a twat?

    Pearl Jam was good live. Rage was fun but honestly I only really remember when Ghostface and RZA came out to rhyme with them. Never got into NIN. Best live show I saw was Tool, probably, but that may have been the mushrooms talking. I could probably say the same thing about all the best shows I saw. (I’ve mocked Phish in these forums before but I had a blast tripping face at a couple of their shows.) Then I stopped taking mushrooms and it turns out I didn’t like live shows all that much. The indignities and discomforts of concert-going are too difficult to get out of my head without psychedelics making me focus on the music. Last concert I went to (Judas Priest with Heaven & Hell opening), I appreciated the craftsmanship but I honestly just wanted the whole experience to end. (I have the same reaction to anime and theater. “This is very well done can I go home now?”) I don’t think there’s a working band that I want to see live. Maybe Tom Waits but if he just felt like sitting onstage telling stories and not playing songs I’d be cool with that too.

    I may or may not have gotten old.

  128. I don’t really have an opinion of Sting on a personal level as I have never paid him much attention. I mean he was fine in LOCK STOCK. I just hate all of their songs and their entire sound.

    Lots of people say that Tool is great live but I never really cared for them. I don’t actively hate them they just don’t do anything for me.

  129. I’m not a huge fan, but The Police had pure musical talent and were each monsters at their instrument and Sting was and still is an amazing singer. I can’t quite say the same about U2, at least regarding the musical chemistry as Bono is as good a vocalist. The saving grace on their records was Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois producing them, as their capabilities in making really interesting records on their own crossed over when they were producing for others.

    I’m on the fence about concerts. I have decided more recently to only see bucket-list shows, as in artists or groups who are all-timers for me. It savors the experience instead of souring it by going to as many as possible. I saw only 5 in the last decade, and each one was special and unique. Last one was King Crimson in an ancient Chicago auditorium. I was on the very top level and in the very back, but I had a perfect view of the band.

  130. All of this Sting talk here on outlawvern.com has me wondering – has anyone ever seen The Bride? I have almost watched it several times for the interestingly weird cast (Quentin Crisp, Jennifer Beals, Clancy Brown and Alexi Sayle) but have always opted not to, due to the probability of it being very boring.

  131. I saw it once, and yeah, that was my takeaway: very boring.

  132. Sting was also in the film version of QUADROPHENIA, and wasn’t very dynamic there either. He was really just there to preen and pose, as it wasn’t necessarily a musical more than it was a long-form music video featuring the Who songs that were futzed around with to fit the movie. Ironically Billy Idol would sing as that character, the Ace Face, when the band toured QUADROPHENIA in the 90’s.

  133. Spent Friday watching the new season of BOSCH on Amazon. I like it very much as a sort of cross between your average network procedural, but with less of the obvious restrictions and thus more room to breathe. Next season will be the last one and I’ll be sad to see it go.

    Watched the first two episodes of THE LAST DANCE on ESPN. I am not a sports fan but I love the 30 FOR 30 series, and sports documentaries in general. The NBA in the 80’s and 90’s is kind of a cultural sweet spot for me because the league had become a juggernaut in pop culture, and the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls had taken over in the 90’s from Bird and Magic as the figureheads, with MJ in the lead. Jason Hehir, who did a fantastic job in this area before has really outdone himself if these first two episodes are any indication.

  134. I’ve been using my lockdown time to finally give Netflix a shot, trying to watch all the interesting looking exclusive stuff within the free trial period. There are a quite a few classic Hong Kong films on Netflix (at least on the German version) that are pretty hard to find on disc, like LEGENDARY WEAPONS OF CHINA, PAINTED FACES, LIFELINE or HERO (the one by Corey Yuen).

  135. I really need to check out Netflix’s martian arts section. Sounds surprisingly good for their German version.

  136. I really want Martian Arts movies to be a thing.

  137. Filed under: “Extremely stupid typos, that are too good to be mad about them.”

  138. HOLY SHIT – have you guys seen the trailer for the Gareth Evans tv show GANGS OF LONDON??? It looks amazing. And Sky is issuing lots of warnings that the show is “not for the squeamish”. I thought THE APOSTLE was a boring mess but I am super excited for this one.

  139. Yeah, THE APOSTLE pretty much cured me of needing to see anything Evans makes with extended non-fight scenes. A TV show seems like an opportunity for him to really sprawl out and that’s a recipe for tedium. I am bored to tears by gangster stories on my best day, and this show looks like 11 hours of the sterile, lifeless yakuza scenes I fast forward through in RAID 2. I’m sure the fights will be good (for TV) but I’m not sitting through all that to get to them. What do you think looks amazing about it?

  140. All of it but mainly the fact that it looks like 11 hours of the fertile, animated yakuza scenes I look forward to in RAID 2. But without the language barrier it looks like the dialogue will be a lot better with more nuance and humour. And the fight scenes they show look pretty brutal and satisfying.

  141. Sorry for being so negative. I didn’t get much sleep last night and that makes me reactionary. I know lots of people disagree but I think Evans got a lot less interesting when he decided he was Stanley Kubrick. He’s one of the best in the world at capturing motion on film, but when he slows down he loses me. I started noticing this in MERANTEAU (which at least had a heart) but then THE RAID was such a rocket train that I figured it was an anomaly. RAID 2 has some of the most amazing individual sequences anyone has ever directed but he’s never managed (or even attempted) to recapture the sense of momentum that made the first RAID such an experience. I feel like there are dozens of filmmakers making cold, static, atmospheric dirges, so him leaning into that rather than the dynamic sense of movement he’s best at feels like a waste to me. He’s still great at action scenes but with every project it seems like he increases the length of the doldrums between them. That’s gonna lose me eventually.

  142. You? Reactionary? Nahhhh….

    Seriously, though, this actually seems like the perfect vehicle for him. The vibe I get from the trailer is that they basically took all of the bad-ass elements of Game of Thrones, moved it to modern day London gangsters, and got the RAID guy to make it. It looks so ridiculously up my alley. And the early reviews seem to support all of that (they also mention that the trailer is only a small snippet of how awesome the bar fight is).

    “Actually there was 8 of them. But I had a dart so….” I love it.

    I really love the RAID 2. I like MERANTAU but when you see it now after the RAIDS and THE NIGHT COMES FOR US it just seems quaint. THE APOSTLE was a big miss for me but I can’t fault the guy for trying something different and I can’t name many directors with a perfect record*. It’s a small sample but he was a way better batting average than most directors. I would definitely check out whatever he put out next but this one I am super excited for.

    * Off the top of my head, I would say QT and the Coens have a perfect record for me. The Coens have some dips but I can’t think of one that I would not give a second viewing. I think the minimum at bats to qualify for this should be 5.

  143. I think it comes down to whether or not you thought the slow parts of RAID 2 were a benefit or a detriment. I strongly feel they detract from the experience and turn what could have been one of the greatest action films ever made into something far less than the sum of its parts. Others obviously feel differently, and Evans clearly agrees.

    Also, I really just hate the pace and dynamics of modern TV. Even just looking at a still frame of two very serious TV characters glowering at each other makes me imagine all the tedious table-setting that will be required to arrive at that moment. I found GAME OF THRONES almost belligerently unengaging, and because every show wants to be GAME OF THRONES now it pretty much means I don’t watch TV anymore. I feel like every time a talented filmmaker works on a TV show instead of making a movie, an angel loses his wings.

  144. As long as we’re talking about slow. Having been out of the lockdown for a couple of weeks now, I must say I preferred those weeks where I could stay in and KNOW that I wouldn’t get infected to these last ones where I’ve been commuting to work in constant risk of catching something. But I guess we have to go back to normal at some point.

  145. Thoughts on BETTER CALL SAUL?

    I get why this show isn’t a phenomenon like BREAKING BAD was. Even in its big, shocking episodes, it’s not as “Holy shit!” as BB ever was, but if this show won’t go down in history as the best worst idea ever, I don’t know anymore.

    Did anybody ever ask for a prequel about BB’s comic relief character? Did you expect it to be such a damn fine family/legal drama? When they started to shoehorn BREAKING BAD characters in, I groaned. Bringing Gus into the game seemed like such a desperate try to crank up the shows watercooler factor, but once it became RISE OF BREAKING BAD, the whole show got even better!

    It’s even more remarkable, that neither of these shows were preplanned. They made them up as they went along. Admittedly it’s a bit more apparent in BCS, but it shows you what a good writers room can be capable of.

  146. The show has every right to be as highly regarded as BB. It was very good from the start, and got even better. BB, in my humble opinion, took a while to reach the status it has now.

  147. For me the moment when BREAKING BAD went from “That is seriously good” to “God damn, that was great!” was PEEKABOO, in the middle of season 2. Y’know the episode where Jessie tries to get his stolen money back from the junkie couple.

  148. Someone above said Talking Heads is a bad band.

    NEVER relax bud. Always look over your shoulder, for one day you will see me in a huge suit.

  149. In a lot of ways, I like Better Call Saul better. For one thing it has all the best characters in it. Walt was obviously great but a dick, and Jessie was great but he was such a douche. In Saul, Jimmy is both a douche and a dick but he’s still so fun to watch. I’d frankly watch the Mike show.

    I did think for a while it was getting to be Breaking Bad Jr. with showing how everything led up to that which I didn’t care about, until I did with the Germans. My one complaint is finally the Mike and Saul stories are intertwining…I feel like they should have figured out how to do that way earlier. A lot of times it seemed like two totally separate shows, there was zero connection to anything happening on each storyline after the first season. But…it’s Mike, so we’re still good.

  150. I find BETTER CAUL SAUL pretty boring to be honest and it boggles my mind that people think it is as good (or even better) then BB. I will watch the new season eventually but it’s not must-see tv to me. It is very well made and better than a lot of other shows out there but I always just find it kind of disappointing. By comparison, I absolutely loved EL CAMINO.

    Muh – I didn’t say they are a bad band. I said they are one of the worst bands in history.

    Pegsman – that sucks. Stay safe. We just went through our busiest time of the year which proved that we can definitely work remotely so I will definitely not return to the office anytime soon (I would have to take public transportation). Are the buses/trains at least mostly empty?

  151. I use the train, and mornings it’s mostly empty. Home again it can be a bit crowded.

  152. Congratulations on having completed your new novel, Vern. I am consistently amazed at how much you are able to accomplish and what quality and newness there is to all of your efforts. You are an amazing voice in every artform you attempt and I am looking forward to what your first work of fiction involving one of your most beloved genres will bring.

  153. I agree with CJ, BETTER CALL SAUL is way better than it has any right to be. I’ve been a little disappointed when they’ve leaned on BREAKING BAD characters and storylines, because I think the show it at it’s best when it’s as far from that show as possible. And I loved BB.

    Also, holy shit, EXTRACTION!

  154. Thank you ALF. You’re always so nice. I regret that it took me this long to finish, but I’m very happy with the book, and there were a few things I only figured out at the very end, so hopefully it was worth it. Excited to get it out there soon and then start working on Top Secret Action Related Book I Have Been Planning Forever.

  155. I second the holy shitting on EXTRACTION! Mr Majestyk, this one’s for you!

  156. RIP Florian Schneider of Kraftwerk

    Kraftwerk - Das Model, Na Sowas - ZDF German Television (original transmission 29/03/1982)

    Kraftwerk - Das Model, Na Sowas - ZDF German Television (original airing 29/03/1982) Satelite HD Recording of retransmission on 01/05/2012. (youtube message:...

  157. However many weeks later, and I’ve only knocked Mann’s THIEF of my stack. The cast is great (even Jim Belushi playing totally straight), as is the Tangerine Dream score, but the sequences of, y’know, actual thieving, were pretty boring. Kind of a letdown. I get that ’70s movies are mostly not my thing, but I’d like to hear your take on it, Vern.

  158. outlawvern.com/2015/07/21/thief/

  159. The hell? I looked it up WHILE I was watching it!

  160. I’ve been keeping up on THE LAST DANCE. Last night’s episodes covered the Bulls in the mid-90’s, culminating with their 96 title. The death of Jordan’s father looms over both episodes, and seeing him break down once they were victorious (on Father’s Day) was quite emotional to watch. This series might be the best thing ESPN have produced, just short of the OJ series.

  161. Long time reader, first time poster & all that jazz – just wanted to share some good news I came across today, and my apologies if it’s already been shared.

    Exclusive: Scott Adkins returns to duty in the Legacy of Lies trailer

    The action star returns for a new spy thriller this summer

  162. I did not expect FULLER HOUSE to come up with maybe the best FAST & FURIOUS joke ever, but they did.

  163. I bought a box with 50 random CDs off eBay a while ago. They finally arrived. I expected a lot of trash, but as far as I can tell, there is nothing really awful in it, but even some seriously great shit!

    Ibiza Mix 97(sampler of random late 90s summer songs)
    Beverly Hills: Wild, Young & Rich (Sampler with classic Rock ‘n’ Roll songs)
    Romance Of Jazz (I guess a smooth Jazz sampler)
    Loves Highway (Another sampler. Not sure what’s on it, but I recognize pics of Rod Stewart and Ray Charles on the disc)
    Musical Highlights: The most beautiful musical melodies in the world
    Henry Arland & His Orchestra: Romantic Dreams
    Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Plays Classic Songs From The Shows (Not sure which shows they mean)
    NAture Quest: An Adventure In Nature & Music (Seems like a meditation CD)
    Giuseppe Verdi: Highlights From Othello
    The Entertainers: Starparade
    Jazz Club: Trumpet (Sampler with original recordings from Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis & Others)
    Bravo Hits 78 (Pop sampler from 2012)
    The Dome Summer 2006 (Pop sampler)
    Fetenhits: Die deutsche (German party songs)
    Kuschelrock 3 (Sampler with rock ballads)
    a Johann Sebastian Bach Christmas CD
    Asian Relaxation
    Simple Minds: Spaceface
    Poindexter Stewart: College Rock
    Malcolm McLaren & The Bootzilla Orchestra feat Lisa Marie: Something’s Jumpin’ In Your Shirt (God, I hope that song lives up to the title)
    Chipz: Chipz In Black (shortlived German teenie band from the 90s)
    R. Kelly: If I Could Turn Back The Hands Of Time (Yikes)
    No Machine: Tell Me
    Helge & The Firefuckers: We Are The Firefuckers (Single from a German absurdist comedian/jazz music genius)
    Haddaway: The Drive
    Public Enemy: Greatest Misses
    Pour Elles (?)
    Frank Sinatra Collection
    AC/DC: Ballbreaker
    Die Ärzte: Das Beste von kurz nach früher bis jetze (Best of from one of Germany’s most iconic punk bands)
    Die toten Hosen: Perlen vor die Säue (Best of from the other most iconic German punk band)
    Apoptygma Berzerk: The Singles Collection
    Perry Como (No further title given)
    Depeche Mode: Songs Of Faith And Devotion
    Ben Harper: Fight For Your Minds
    Frank Sinatra: Eine Amerikanische Legende (I guess a German edition of a best of)
    Tom Jones: Greatest Hits
    A Garth Brooks album whichs title I have to find out
    Reinhard Mey: Mit Lust und Liebe (Live record from a German singer)
    Legend Of the Wu-Tang Clan: Wu-Tang’s Greatest Hits
    A Bad Religion album whichs title I don’t know
    Dire Straits: Brothers In Arms
    Erste Allgemeine Verunsicherung: Liebe, Tod und Teufel (Austrian comedy band that I really love!)
    Def Leppard: Adrenalize
    Manowar (no title)
    something named “Komb. Werkzeugsatz”, which I can’t find anywhere, but apparently comes from a German punk label
    Die toten Hosen: Auswärtsspiel
    Testament: Practice What You Preach
    AC/DC: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
    Boxing Hits: The Hits Of The Champs (sampler with the ring entry music of famous boxers)
    Weihnachten ist ein Geschenk (German Christmas CD)
    Bravo Hits 13 (Pop sampler from 1996)

  164. A pretty cool deal! It does make me laugh that BROTHERS IN ARMS is in there though, reminds me of the FRAMPTON COMES ALIVE gag in WAYNE’S WORLD 2.

  165. I forgot to mention that they came without covers and cases, which is why I sometimes don’t know the titles of the albums. But they are in good condition and I guess they were able to keep the shipping cheap that way.

    Also I ordered now a “100 singles for 18€ including shipping” package from the same guy.

  166. Anyone here use Discogs? It’s basically eBay (which I have nothing against at all, in fact just bought a copy of THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE for a nice price) for music, with quite a lot of stuff you won’t find anywhere else online. And if you’re lucky, for decent prices. I’ve bought quite a few box sets, and rare releases. I don’t think I’ve ever had much trouble purchasing there, and have had nothing less than great communication with sellers.

    I have spent quite a bit on there lately. I got recent Japanese SACD (Super Audio Compact Disc, which can contain hi-res stereo or multi-channel mixes. DVD and Blu-ray technology has become more the norm with surround-sound releases, but some companies still put them out and you can really only play them on Sony systems for any decent price) versions of Miles Davis’ BITCHES BREW and Jeff Beck’s WIRED, complete with mini-LP replica packaging, for decent prices. I also got the Beatles’ ABBEY ROAD box set, and the one for Porcupine Tree’s IN ABSENTIA, among others.

  167. I bought a few things off Discogs, but I mostly use it to list my collection. So far the biggest problem I had there, was that the seller took almost a week until he finally sent me the shipping costs, so all is good.

  168. Wait, Bootzilla Orchestra? I don’t know that one.

  169. onthewall – I like Discogs too. I’ve found some really good things on there. My problem with it is that (at least for the things I look for) very few sellers are in the U.S., so most of the things I look at are ruled out by the price of shipping. But I think I’ve still ended up buying more records off of there than ebay.

  170. Pacman- hah Brothers In Arms caught my eye too! True classic MTV vibes. That and Steely Dan were on full time rotation in my dad’s car back in the day.

  171. Update: The Manowar album is THE TRIUMPH OF STEEL and KOMB.WERKZEUGSATZ is actually OPIUM FÜRS VOLK by Die Toten Hosen.

    God bless CD ripping software with access to online databases.

  172. That was my introduction to Manowar. I used the ridiculous endless drum solo from that preposterous overblown “Achilles” song suite as the credits music in a backyard horror movie I made. I have come to thoroughly enjoy Manowar unironically but at the time it was the most ludicrous music I could imagine.

    “Metal Warriors” is the timeless anthem off that album (“Wimps and poseurs! Leave the hall!”) but “Spirit Horse of the Cherokee” is underrated in terms of sheer meat-headed pomposity. I don’t know what it was about power metal bands and the plight of Native Americans. The rest of their catalog is all about conquering and pillaging but this one time they decide to be on the side of the conquered.

  173. Oh boy, I got my 100 random singles package today and if I had the money, I would instantly buy another one. Fingers cross they still offer it next month. What I got, this time with covers and cases, was:

    Simple Minds: Ballads Of the Streets
    Soft Cell: Tainted Love/Where Did The Love Go
    Nickelback: How You Remind Me
    Lichtenfels: Sounds Like A Melody
    Baha Men: You All Dat
    B-One feat La Velle & June Bug: Can’t Stop The Boogie
    Jesus Loves You: Bow Down Mister/Love Hurts
    In-Grid: To Es foutu
    Mattafix: Big City Life
    Gypsymen: Babarabatiri
    D Mob: Put Your Hands Together
    Sqeezer: Saturday Night (Remixes)
    2 Unlimited: Let The Beat Control Your Body
    Ace Of Base: Don’t Turn Around (Remixes)
    Peter Gabriel: Lovetown
    Peter Gabriel: Biko
    Michael Mind feat Manfred Mann’s Earth Band: Blinded By The Light
    Lionel Richie feat Enrique Iglesias: To Love A Woman
    Janet Jackson: Together Again
    Ambassadors Of Funk feat M.C. Mario: Super Mario Land
    Peter Hoffmann & Jana Werner: Die Schöne und das Biest (The German version of the theme song from Disney’s Beauty & The Beast)
    Shakira: Dare (La La La)
    Erasure: Solsbury Hill (Which is for some reason a DVD!)
    Britney Spears: I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman (Can’t wait to hear the Chocolate Puma remix, that is on it)
    Skunk Anansie: Hedonism (Already had this one)
    Elektro-Polizei: Alarm für Fusspils 11
    Jay-Z & Alicia Keys: Empire State Of Mind
    Whigfield: Another Day
    Intrance feat D-Sign: Visions Of Love
    Garcia: Kalimba De Luna
    Soft Cell & Marc Almond: Tainted Love ‘91 (It’s a different CD than the earlier one)
    Xentrix: Ghostbusters (Haven’t listened to is yet, but it seems to be a Thrash Metal cover version)
    Korn: Freak On A Leash
    Flip Da Scrip: I Never Told You
    U96: Love Religion (Already had this one)
    Blue Boy: Remember Me (Had this one too)
    Erasure: A Little Respect
    Captain Hollywood Project: All I Want
    Lady Gaga: Lovegame
    Alphaville Big In Japan
    The Prodigy: Breathe (Had this one already)
    Wolfsheim: Once In a Lifetime
    DJ Shog: Another World
    Basic Element: Leave It Behind
    Fiordaliso: I Love You Man (Il mare piu grande che c’è)
    U2: Mysterious Ways
    Richard Marx: Children Of The Night
    Giovanni: Wundervoll
    Lenny Kravitz: Fly Away
    Nicole Sherzinger feat Will. I. Am: Baby Love
    The Farm: All Together Now
    Blue Pearl: Little Brother
    Mike Oldfield: Heaven’s Open
    Bob Sinclar & Cutee B: Sound Of Freedom (Everybody’s Free)
    Pink: So What
    Simply Red: Fairground (Remixes)
    Plain White Ts: Hey There Delilah
    U96: Come 2gether/Der Kommandant
    Eiffel 65: Lucky (In My Life)
    Shannon: Let The Music Play
    Taco: Lady Of My Heart
    Ria Hamilton: A Whiter Shade Of Pale
    Key Motion: Let The Music
    Marvellous Melodicos: Sing, Oh
    Maxx: Get-A-Way (Remixes)
    Dendemann: Endlich Nichtschwimmer
    Plain White Ts: 1-2-3-4
    Lea Finn: Akustik Sessions 05
    RMB: Spring (Remixes)
    Luca Hänni: Don’t Think About Me
    Poindexter Stewart: College Rock (Which oddly enough was already in the 50 albums package)
    Maureen: Thinking Of You
    DJ Space’C: Love 4 Liberty
    Kisha: Love Is Enough
    Erste Allgemeine Verunsicherung: 3 weisse Tauben
    Beyonce: Crazy In Love
    Laid Back: Bakerman
    Intrance: Take On Me
    C-Block: So Strung Out
    Sum 41: Fat Lip
    Michael Jackson: You Are Not Alone
    Falco: Into The Dark
    Gary Barlow feat Rosie Gaines: Hang On In There Baby
    ATB: You’re Not Alone
    Einstein Doctor Dee Jay: Automatik Sex (Remixes)
    Sam Ragga Band feat Jan Delay: Die Welt steht still
    A: A
    2 Colors: You Look Like The Sun
    Sonique: It Feels So Good
    B3: You Win Again
    Nana: He’s Comin’
    Rosenstolz: Fütter deine Angst
    Jasmin: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
    Mario Hené: Leise ist laut genug
    Paul Cless feat Brixx: Suavamenta
    Celine Dion: Because You Loved Me
    Tocotronic: Let There Be Rock
    Natalie Imbruglia: Torn
    Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark: Pandora’s Box
    Chamillionaire: Ridin’
    Modjo: Lady (Hear Me Tonight)
    Alice In Chains: Down In a Hole
    Alanis Morissette: Ironic
    Akon: Lonely
    DJ S.P.U.D.: Set It Off

  174. Seems like one of my posts got swallowed. Was nothing important, just an update on my CD collection, but whenever you have time, it would be nice if you would look into it, Vern.

  175. Found it. The program thought it was spam. Which is actually understandable in this case!

  176. Yeah, it’s one of these posts where you instantly know what the problem is, after you hit “submit”.

  177. Boy, I haven’t bought a cd in long time, which is kind of a shame actually. I used to spend hours and hours in the various cd/record/new/used shops on the Ave (which is what the skeezy shopping district directly next to the college I went to was called) finding weird old stuff, but once I got an mp3 player I never really looked back. I still have all my big old storage book things full of cds, but I haven’t touched ’em in years. Sad really.

  178. I’m just gonna use this thread to throw out a bunch of random stuff that I’ve watched over the last few weeks in case anyone cares:

    SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT – was going to watch DA 5 BLOODS but I’ve been trying to catch up on basically Spike Lee’s whole career so it made sense to start here. It was not very good.

    Related – I listened to a podcast this week called “Denzel Washington is the Greatest Actor of All Time Period” with Spike Lee as a guest. I highly recommend it to everyone; Spike is a fascinating guest and provides a lot of insight/trivia into some of his movies. For example, he was very influenced by DOG DAY AFTERNOON and when he made INSIDE MAN, he tracked down the pizza delivery guy from DOG DAY AFTERNOON to deliver the pizza in INSIDE MAN (also, the pizza was from Sal’s Famous). And the old lady hostage in INSIDE MAN that refuses to undress was also a hostage in DOG DAY. Very cool stuff.

    AEW DOUBLE OR NOTHING – I very rarely watch pro rassling these days. I stopped watching WWF in about 1999, I was occasionally watching Ring of Honor a couple of years ago, and I might pop in my Macho Man or Ric Flair DVDs from time to time. But I bought this PPV because I heard it was insane and I am so glad I did. The stadium fight is one of the greatest matches I’ve ever seen in my life. I doubt many of you are into wrestling but if you are, you should definitely watch this.

    INGLORIOUS BASTARDS – I think this is easily Tarantino’s best one.

    PROOF OF LIFE – I actually ordered this DVD just because Bill Simmons keeps mentioning on the Rewatchables podcast how much he loves it. I wan’t too let down because I wasn’t expecting much from it. The hostage rescue sequence at the end was awesome though.

    HUSH – So a guy shows up at a deaf woman’s house to murder her. I wasn’t sure how this movie was going to last more than 5 minutes, but they pulled it off pretty brilliantly. This movie is basically CRAWL but with a psycho killer instead of an alligator. I know a lot of you that really liked CRAWL would really like this one. I’m surprised Vern didn’t review it.

    READY OR NOT – really fun flick.

    ALWAYS SUNNY – Lethal Weapon 6 episode. I figured I should watch this before it gets pulled (Netflix already pulled a few others including Lethal Weapon 5). Personally, I think this is crazy, but some of the people defending ALWAYS SUNNY are going way overboard. Yes, it is a satire and the characters in the show acknowledge the awfulness of blackface, but at the end of the day they still have a white character doing full blackface. So if someone is offended by it, I’m in no position to question them. Having said all that, I don’t think we just start removing all movies and tv shows that offend someone. If anything, it’s probably more harmful because it just makes people pissed off and defensive; instead of having a discussion about the issue it just shuts the discussion down and polarizes people more.

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