Saturday, June 22, 2019
For some reason folks try to file this movie under "noir", and... maybe...? But I'm going to just go ahead and say "drama". I'm not willing to do mental the work to turn a Jack London story on a boat into a noir.
I actually broke one of my own rules and purchased this BluRay a couple of months ago having had never seen the movie. Honestly, I looked at the starring names, looked at the source material and the name of the director and figured "I've spent money on far worse films".
A wildly timely movie - perhaps depressingly so - as the original story by novelist Jack London was adapted to reflect the times. A man on the run played by John Garfield joins up with a ship (agreeing after almost getting shanghied). Meanwhile, an escaped convict (Lupino) is hiding on a ferry to San Francisco when it's struck by a steamship. She and a writer (Knox) are rescued by the crew of The Ghost, but with no intention of setting them back to land. The Ghost is a 1900-era pirate ship, and those aboard are a crew of the worst of society, who hate themselves almost as much as they hate each other (and assume the worst in everyone).
Friday, June 21, 2019
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Format: Amazon Streaming
Jamie and Ryan get small with a hero of dynamic proportions. It's "Ant-Man" (2015), Marvel's post "Avengers: Ultron" tone reset. Part heist, part retro-sci-fi, part superhero - it's the Gen-X superhero with a whole lot of supporting cast and the best van in superherodom.
Plain Song - The Cure, Disintegration
Avengers Chronological Countdown Playlist
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
We covered some major territory in Part 1 of the Big Red Cake Taste Test. But here at League HQ, we understand that science needs to be double-checked, and so we've signed up our better half to help calibrate the testing of tastes.
Jamie is a far pickier eater than myself. She will decide well before she's seen, smelled or tasted a food that it is going to be "gross". This is an ongoing battle in our house and has been waged relentlessly since Clinton's first term.*
But she will do taste tests. I cannot imagine why, but she will. Or steal a drink of my beer if I mention that I liked it. She is a beer stealer.
She was the one who found the cake at HEB, but it was texted with a message like "barf!", to which I responded "BRING ME THE CAKE". And, so, here is Part 2 of The Big Red Taste Test, where Jamie goes ahead and gives something new a shot.
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
So, we moved to Arizona in 2002. And in 2003 I went to cook up some barbecue, and as part of that equation, I headed to the soda aisle. It's a bit old school, but it's kind of a Texas tradition to drink Big Red Soda with your BBQ. To my shock, they didn't have it. That would be grounds for dismissal in Texas - we always have Big Red in any soda selection of quality.
I started looking around at convenience stores and other groceries, then finally asked my co-workers, and none of them knew what I was talking about. Apparently Big Red is pretty regional.
So: Big Red is a "red cream soda". You can shorten that to "cream soda" and assume it's been colored red. It has nothing to do with Big Red the cinammon-flavored chewing gum, so get that our of your head right now. If you've had A&W Cream Soda or Dr. Brown's... something like that. Only... redder.
I don't really drink sugar soda or any soda other than soda water these days (love me some Topo Chico), but every once in a while I still sneak a Big Red. You don't need much... it's pure sugar.
HEB is a Texas-based grocery chain, and every once in a while they like to just mess with people and their weird Texas obsessiveness. And that's how, I think, we ended up with a Big Red Soda Cake.
In what will now be a series of "how are you allowed to cover this business? Do you know any actual humans?" responses to THR bone-picking articles and their "protect the industry!" take on news... I guess I'm gonna talk about why no one is going to see comedies in the theater.
THR is confused as to why people are not going to see comedies at the movies, and talks about the theories being floated in Hollywood in what's turning out to be a dreadful summer if you aren't Ant-Man or a talking raccoon.
Let me help:
It's because there's no reason to see a comedy on the big screen. It will be available via streaming within a couple of months, maybe for free.
There. Very simple.
Sunday, June 16, 2019
|taken just this evening|
This Father's Day I was thinking a bit about the words of wisdom that can be passed from father to child, the knowledge that can be imparted, generation after generation as parents - maybe even without really realizing what they're offering, maybe just a thought in passing, or maybe when sharing a specific life lesson - use just the right words, and those messages stick with you. Become a part of you.
Not having any children, I'm the end of some part of the line. I don't regret it, exactly, but I am missing out on some things, and certainly one of those will be sharing the things with my hypothetical kid that my dad shared with me. And since I don't have any kids, I thought I'd share some things with you that I'd have passed down, that have become just how I think about things and see the world.
- Don't expect a reward for generosity, the reward is in the giving and knowing you've helped lift someone else up
- Wasting time is wasted time
- Graduation is just the beginning of your education. Learn something every day.
- Nixon's only mistake was that he got caught.
- Sometimes things don't work out. Sleep on it. Figure out how to do better tomorrow.
- An education is the greatest gift you can give yourself.
- In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.
- Always maintain at least two additional identities you can disappear into at the drop of a hat, complete with SSN's, passports, the whole shmear. But not one for your wife. She's on her own. She's part of a you that doesn't exist anymore.
- When God closes a door, he opens a window.
- All that stands between you and making a new friend is a handshake and learning a name.
- The Earth is hollow and populated by giants. They are waiting for the next age at which time they will emerge at the behest of the Freemasons to purge the Earth of the non-believers.
- An insult to the family name requires retribution in blood.
- Treat the CEO and the Sanitation Engineer no different, and you'll always treat people right.
- Eat right, exercise, do the crossword, and you're getting a great foundation every day.
- Gold is not actually a precious resource. You can make it from iron and brass cooked at just the right temperature. The Freemasons don't want anyone to know this so they can control the global economy. There is no such thing as aluminum.
- UFO's are real, but they are transdimensional echoes of ourselves, drawn to this side to guide us on The Path.
- No man with a dog is without friends.
- If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with.
- Garfield wasn't assassinated. That was a cover-up and he still lives in a complex beneath the National Archives that you can also enter if you take the elevator going down in the Washington Monument. He's been the architect behind every major event of the past 120 years. His lover is Amelia Earhart.
I know, pretty trite sorta stuff. I guess it always sounds that way when you read it back out loud. But my Dad said it, and it means a lot to me.
Happy Father's Day!
One of my earliest memories is being about three, hanging from the inside of the garage door and singing "We Will Rock You" and kicking the garage door to the beat. Who knew a 3 year old would have that kind of appreciation for a Brian May guitar lick?
It's hard to piece together what I knew about Queen and when. It doesn't help that time for kids is so distended, and what were minor hiatuses for the band were epic blocks of time to me back then. I do remember them coming back into my consciousness with "Radio Gaga". I remember a bit of Live Aid on playback (but not live). I remember Freddie passing.
And, of course, anyone around at the time remembers the post-mortem, Wayne's World supported explosion of "Bohemian Rhapsody", a song I can't say I'd heard before.
Saturday, June 15, 2019
format: Noir Alley on TCM
Eddie Muller intro'd this movie by discussing how this film was marketed and considered "a woman's picture", and from what I've gathered about Women's Pictures of the mid-20th Century, I can see why that label got dropped on it. But had he not mentioned this in the opening, I'd have seen this as soft-boiled noir and maybe mentioned women's films in passing. Bear in mind, one of my favorite movies if Mildred Pierce, which one can see as equal parts Women's Picture and Film Noir, so that's not taking a particular stance, it just changes the formula a bit.
Friday, June 14, 2019
Format: TCM on DVR
I've been meaning to watch this movie for decades. Literally. I've even owned a copy of it for a few years, but - let's be honest - unless you're one of the Silent Film buffs, it takes a bit of extra energy and focus to get through a 2-hour silent movie.*
I first stumbled across Louise Brooks just as I exited film school (I believe the doc Looking for Lulu was airing on cable), and back then, finding her work was incredibly difficult. I rented a few films in which she appears as a minor or background character, but the GW Pabst stuff eluded me. The DVD copies you were supposed to be able to get were expensive and of notoriously bad quality. But, the past few years, various groups have been restoring and making available some of that height-of-her-career/ powers material.
No matter how many parts of well-known movies you try to Frankenstein into one movie, you are not going to get that Voltron/ sum-is-greater-than-the-parts effect you're looking for. SimonUK and I look at this 2008 entry from Scottish filmmaker Neil Marshall as he runs our hero through a gauntlet of oddly familiar scenes and a hero who always has the same expression.
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Two Tribes - Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Pleasuredome
Good Thing - Fine Young Cannibals, The Raw and the Cooked
SimonUK Cinema Series Playlist