Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The worst film of 2018

Suspiria 2018 is almost three hours long. Imagine seeing a slow, atmospheric movie on a weeknight. That's how I experienced it, and I don't recommend seeing it even in ideal conditions. It's a movie about a witch-run dance school, but there is very little dancing. Like, I don't want to see choreographed dance routines, but I was honestly subverted on that point. I also went in knowing the 1977 original work. I wouldn't call this film a remake, no way. It's barely got the original plot, and the rest is all new. That's not a compliment. I could have been marketed as a totally new idea, and it's sad it had to go with brand recognition--which is a stretch for an Italian cult horror film. Maybe it could have been called A Coven Milling About. I was expecting great special effects demonstrating black magic and witch-power, but again, I was disappointed. Halfway through, I couldn't wait to go home.

A comment: the cast is almost entirely female. There are two males that I recall, obviously a call to how "feminist" the filmmakers wanted this whole ordeal to be. And I think the director, Luca Guadagnino, intentionally cast grotesque and ugly women to support "Susie" (Dakota Johnson). It was really distracting--too much so. I realize how superficial this whole paragraph sounds, but honesty triumphs over deception.

I'm glad it bombed. I'll be surprised if it wins any mainstream awards. Tilda Swinton isn't even worth seeing--not her best work at all. The Thom Yorke soundtrack is overrated (hard overrated). None of this is worth a second of your time. Go see the original and its sequel, Infernowhich was on Amazon Prime last I checked.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Lyric Entry #011

History repeats the old conceits
The glib replies the same defeats
Keep your finger on important issues
With crocodile tears and a pocketful of tissues

I'm just the oily slick
On the wind-up world of the nervous tick
In a very fashionable hovel

I hang around dying to be tortured
You'll never be alone in the bone orchard
This battle with the bottle is nothing so novel

So in this almost empty gin palace
Through a two-way looking glass
You see your Alice

You know she has no sense
For all your jealousy
In a sense she still smiles very sweetly

Charged with insults and flattery
Her body moves with malice
Do you have to be so cruel to be callous

And now you find you fit this identikit completely
You say you have no secrets
And leave discreetly

I might make it California's fault
Be locked in Geneva's deepest vault
Just like the canals of Mars and the Great Barrier Reef
I come to you beyond belief

My hands were clammy and cunning
She's been suitably stunning
But I know there's not a hope in Hades
All the laddies cat-call and wolf whistle
So called gentlemen and ladies
Dog fight like rose and thistle

I got a feeling
I'm going to get a lot of grief
Once this seemed so appealing
Now I am beyond belief

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

midway 2018: what I'm watching

YouTube & Twitch
I follow a ton of YouTubers, but, aside from pro musicians and directors, the "amateur" ones that post frequently and I look forward to watching:

  • acgameryoutube (Twitch)
  • Cinemassacre
  • CinemaTyler
  • Michael's shenanigans
  • IdeasOfIceandFire
  • RedLetterMedia
  • Rifftrax (Twitch)
  • Sam O'Nella Academy
  • Sardonicast/YourMovieSucksDOTorg
  • Shadow Glass
  • Summoning Salt
  • TierZoo
  • Trekspertise
  • troutjerky87 (Twitch)
  • videogamedunkey

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Picard returns to Trek

So they've announced another Trek series reviving the TNG Captain Picard character...

[YouTube announcement]

Sir Pat is 78 years old... by the time this series gets underway and released, he'll surely be 80...

Honestly this series is going to focus on mentoring youth. Sure, there will be Data and Worf guest drop-ins, but I don't see a full reunion happening unless ratings dip. I'm cautiously optimistic, but also fearful that Alex Kurtzman will screw it up.

And also... Professor X... would he just be imitating that role mentoring kids?

So! Let's play the name lottery. What will be the title of this new Trek TV show?

  • Star Trek: Archeologists
  • Star Trek: Academy
  • Star Trek: Admiralty
  • Star Trek: Family Ties
  • Star Trek: Mentors
  • Star Trek: History Repeats Itself
  • Star Trek: Nothing Original
  • Star Trek: Diplomacy
  • Star Trek: Extended Captain's Holiday
  • Star Trek: the Generation Gap
  • Star Trek: Octogenerians
  • Star Trek: the Line Must Be Drawn Here!
  • and obviously, Star Trek: Make It So!
By the way, Rolling Stone published a great article in 2013 proposing they bring back the TNG cast in a revival series. Check it out.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Recommended GLQuake Console Commands

r_wateralpha .8
r_mirroralpha .8
sv_aim 1
showturtle 1
r_timegraph 1
r_shadows 1
crosshair 2


How do you set resolution?

For Steam, additional launch options must be set for "-width X -height Y". If you need windowed mode, use "-window"

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Best of the Year 2017: Movie

I wait until about March to send this out, because January-February are times of low quality and I can catch up. There's no real way to be totally ready to say "the best film of the year is ____" without a few years buffer. But here's what I think.

Get Out
Dir: Jordan Peele

Wonder Woman
Dir: Patty Jenkins

Good Time
Dir: Josh Safdie & Benny Safdie

Blade Runner 2049
Dir: Denis Villeneuve

Spider-Man Homecoming
Dir: Jon Watts

For the record, my money is on Phantom Thread to win the Oscars. I haven't seen it, but that's my educated guess.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Indiana Jones 5 title speculation

With the nearing release of Spielberg's adaptation of Ready Player One, I wanted to take the opportunity to try and predict the plot and title of the announced sequel to Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Here goes...

It's going to be about the afterlife. Hell, they've already covered aliens... How do you top extraterrestrials? I can guarantee mortality will be the motif.

Now for setting, I suspect something Egyptian. The Lost Ark was in Egypt, but the Ancient Egyptian culture is ripe for Indy. Perhaps the founding of Israel? It could be about Jewish/Christian mythology, too, but that's already been played in two of the movies. Maybe undead things?!? I'm going to maybe surmise there will be a sacrifice or even a zombification of the hero. Maybe that's a reach...

I definitely know things that it won't do: dinosaurs, killer sharks, friendly aliens, the Holocaust (see a theme here?)

My educated guesses:
  • Indiana Jones and the Afterlife
  • Indiana Jones and the Cult of Osiris
  • Indiana Jones and the Land of the Dead
  • Indiana Jones and the Torment of the Undead
  • Indiana Jones and the Spectre of the Tomb
  • Indiana Jones and the Tomb of the Messiah
  • Indiana Jones and the Mortal Coil
  • Indiana Jones and the Deathly Hallows
  • Indiana Jones Meets the Grim Reaper!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Blade Runner & BR2049 opening crawl text

I kept getting lost in Google searches looking for this info, so I'm posting this info for all the world to find. I left the grammar and punctuation intact. Forget about Star Wars opening crawls, these are the gold standard.

Blade Runner (1982)

Early in the 21st Century, THE TYRELL CORPORATION advanced Robot evolution into the NEXUS phase - a being virtually identical to a human - known as a Replicant.

The NEXUS 6 Replicants were superior in strength and agility, and at least equal in intelligence, to the genetic engineers who created them.

Replicants were used Off-world as slave labor, in the hazardous exploration and colonization of other planets.

After a bloody mutiny by a NEXUS 6 combat team in an Off-world colony, Replicants were declared illegal on earth - under penalty of death.

Special police squads - BLADE RUNNER UNITS - had orders to shoot to kill, upon detection, any trespassing Replicant.

This was not called execution.
It was called retirement.


Blade Runner 2049 (2017)















Saturday, February 3, 2018

Lettice Envent! Some new words

This is an experiment after a discussion about the lack of words in English. I mean, there’s only one real word for “love” (what a drag). All the new non-Latin words are being gobbled up by drugs, Star Wars things, and internet apps; it’s time to claim some for the sake of creative writing. The pronunciation and word usage is wide open, ready to be captured and twisted by English grammar police.
  • “zobe”: perhaps a child’s name or a flavored drink
  • “zideous”
  • “ximimeogram”
  • “spiceice”: spicy icicles?
  • “sowantu”: I so want to come up with a definition of this
  • “sollic”
  • “pentonexus”: the penultimate nexus
  • “dreek”
  • “dreculation”
  • “delthumb”
  • “corce”
  • “bibie”
  • “anticarol”: a song sung by a group to spread fear
Again, these have not really been researched and I did this late at night. So, if you want to define these new words or make them your own, go for it!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Best of the Year 2017: New TV

The average intake of a human and a TV screen is increasing. But, hell... I can't remember what I watched. So, I've only got two stand-out TV shows that I know were new in 2017:
  • The Young Pope
  • Taboo
Older shows watched in '17, ranked:
  1. Game of Thrones
  2. Curb Your Enthusiasm*
  3. Walking Dead
  4. Twin Peaks*
  5. Leftovers
  6. Penny Dreadful
  7. Life's Too Short
  8. Mike Tyson Mysteries
  9. The Moaning of Life
  10. Toast of London
  11. The Detectorists
  12. Girls
  13. Departures
  14. Silicon Valley
  15. Documentary Now!
  16. The Simpsons
  17. Neon Joe Werewolf Hunter
  18. MST3K: The Return*
  19. Halt and Catch Fire
  20. Stranger Things
  21. Trek: TNG***
* = Revivals
*** = Reruns (off the air for quite a while)

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Best of the Year 2017: Music album

Is This the Life We Really Want?
Roger Waters

Ignore all controversies over the man and focus on the artwork. From an angry Brit ex-pat comes a symbol to the American condition. It's The Wall updated for a 21st century angst. This is the timely protest album you want.

Kendrick Lamar

I rarely have patience for rap/R&B, but this album caught my attention. Check out "Element", "Humble", and "Fear" now.

Heaven Upside Down
Marilyn Manson

Hyped as SAY10 and delayed for quite awhile, this album delivers with songs like "Saturnine" (read the lyrics) the pseudo-title track ("Say10"). "We Know Where You Fucking Live" shows Manson hasn't lost his anger.

Whiteout Conditions
The New Pornographers

Never really liked this band until I heard this album. "This is the World of the Theater" and "Second Sleep" are good starters. More like White House Conditions, am I right???

Honorable Mentions

Patriots Day
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

Vietnam War
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

Creep EP
No Joy

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Last American Jedi

Has Star Wars always been painted into a corner? Has the 1977 action classic doomed it with an unavoidable fate?

With a title like Last Jedi, any cinemaphile should roll their eyes. The "last" of something is so silly because nothing really ever dies or ends in our culture. Last of the Mohicans, Last Man Standing, Last Action Hero, Last Days, Last Waltz, Last Picture Show, etc etc etc. This isn't Freddy vs. Pinhead vs. Jason vs. Pumpkinhead: the Last Nightmare we're talking about here--this is holy Star Wars! Putting "the Last [...]" or "American [...]" in your movie title is quite unoriginal. Why are humans so interested in starting over?

The theme of the film is "failing is the best way to learn". Going in, I was expecting an Empire Strikes Back "downer". Instead I got something... unpredictable. I'm still not sure if I love it or hate it (probably something in between). I recall many corny jokes (they won't age well, trust me).

Poe is an interesting character, but nothing really happened to him. Nothing really dramatic happened to anyone except the expendable characters. "Come, children, gather 'round to hear the story of the daring rise of Poe Dameron and his trials and tribulations." That might make for a great story. What doesn't make for a great character arc is everyone else in the film.

The Harry Potter-esque space horses were distracting, as were the stupid crystal foxes. Those moments were definitely not Star Wars (and bad CGI).

It was weird seeing Yoda, which most people revere as a divine character in all of cinema. He was giggling a lot, which I don't remember happening during Luke's training sequence (after the first meeting). Anyway, I'm OK with Force Ghost Yoda. Thank god he wasn't CGI. And I'm OK with all of it--burning it all down; doing the opposite of everything expected.

But, I know that Disney will look at the numbers and want something more safe for the next episode. This is probably one reason that JJ Abrams is coming back. I don't want that.

Let's do a thought experiment for an Alternate Reality. What if Star Wars Episode XIII was a predictable sequel? Storyline: Rey is trained by Luke; Luke and Rey fight Snoke, killing Luke; Snoke reigns terror, causing Ben Solo to turn to the light side. Rey joins forces with Ben with a possible romantic undertone. Finn & Poe help out a lot, but the First Order still threatens in the end.

Would that satisfy? In this Age of Fan Service, does anything? The answer depends on the execution: cinematography, sound, acting, and editing all can make or break a film. The story isn't as important as you think.

Is the mark of a good film one that makes you excited for what happens next?


What is the name of the next Episode? Ideas:

  • Return of the Republic
  • Knights of the New Republic
  • Dawn of the New Republic
  • Rise of the Rebels
  • The Force Uprising
  • The Wrath of Yoda
  • The Second Order
  • Dual of the Forces


I also want to take a moment to stress that the original Star Wars trilogy is NOT sci-fi. It's an action movie, for one. Sci-fi is usually slow and deals in physics and hard science. The Force is magic; the Jedi is spiritual--two things right there that disqualify it. Star Wars is fantasy--implausible in the real world. Yes, many of the characters are considered "human", but they aren't from Earth. And, Jesus Christ, Leia flying through space was pure fantasy.


I just learned that the shitloads of old Star Wars books from the 90s were declared non-canon and replaced with canonical Disney books. I never consider franchise books part of canon, especially if they are spawned from films. Oh well, I've never read any of `em!

Movies watched in 2020

Here's my annual list. I beat 2019 by about 60 . I stopped tracking TV series, too. The only films I saw in theaters were: Star Wars IX,...