"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.

110 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.

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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
    Kiss Of The Dragon/The One
    Blade/Blade 2
    Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
    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.


    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.)


  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.

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