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Summer Movie Bonanza, If You could See Only 1 Movie?

Cinema’s blog, matinee date 130611:16

This summer, I’ve been reading a lot, and taking notes on my favorite bits or favorite plot arrangements. I love call backs and conclusions from a spin that aren’t specifically mentioned or described, but you know from common knowledge about it and are somehow still surprised at the result.

The plot doesn’t broadcast the ending. Any team will win at the end 99.9% of the time. Any single male and female “working on her career” will hook up at the end. Most movie descriptions will tell you their main story plot, but they don’t get into the “b” plot, which I have often liked better.

I try to watch indie movies and stay away from the blockbusters with the all-star cast, all of their stories are predictable. The only time they die is apocalypse or infestation movie and then it becomes picking the order of the death/ mutated pool which is often determined by the order of billing on the poster.

One big surprise was Wreck it Ralph, what the hell is Disney doing hiring Sarah Silverman? So I checked it out and couldn’t believe that movie came from that studio, they even parodies some of their own sacred cows. I was impressed.

So, I decided to throw most modern movies out the window and in the spring I researched classic movies I hadn’t seen (on DVD). I saw some classics on vhs, but without the extras and commentaries. Blu ray promises more extras, but my personal belief is that the format will die out to streaming (or even “3-d“) before they come close to the library volume regular dvds have.

There are movies everyone quotes from that I watch and realize, this is the big deal they quote from? So I try to watch classics from film makers/ actors that have large bodies of work, mostly on the AFI (american Film Institute)’s top 100 lists. I also look at films UCLA and Scorseze try to get restred for historical value. This summer, my netflix cue  is filled with some great movies made by masters of cinema.

I am most fascinated by the documentaries, animal documentaries. One Halloween, I thought it would be funny to rent scary movies of docus, like “how the sausage is made” type. Instead, they wound up scaring the shit out of me more than 9/11 and I was paranoid to eat anything or even go out for a couple of weeks. 9/11 was what made me cancel cable and it‘s 24 hour “if it bleeds, it reads” news.

I have every IMAX film on my cue and I’m about 1/3 thru it. I decided they were the best animal docus that just graze the surface on how humans fucked the planet and focus more on animal sanctuaries, rescue and breeding.

I see a couple a week and it’s fascinating to see the animal hierarchies, how tribes or groups migrate and hunt and their roles in their groups. Many times I am envious that their roles are so defined, they have other species they’re symbiotic with and sometimes even hunt together. Somehow the animals always know who their hunters are and who their pray is. They don’t get betrayed and turned upon with some spoken or policy bullshit the way humans do.

A lot of my life and goals lately have been about doing things “before they’re gone.” It’s not out of fear, it’s out of just plain statistics. Shit will run out or become extinct in this generation, in my lifetime. I don’t know if that’s any way to lead life, but it is a way to appreciate and prioritize what I will do better. I even realized I may be happy eventually moving to a particular city that I hadn’t thought of before.

2013/06/11 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What great tv series should have..

Flix Blog, DVD date 130308:06

I have a new favorite show and it’s all on DVD. Let me tell you how and why this show is amazing to me.

When people tell me about their favorite show(s), I eventually ask many questions they can’t answer. I don’t really get upset at them about them, but I really want to know there is a value and things to learn from a show.

Of the main cast, is there a wasted character? Do all of them shine somehow, at least by the end of the first season. Do they do something incredible, is there an incredible revelation or change? Better developed shows not only have a main awesome cast, but even their nemeses are cool. Even the ancillary characters around them get developed. Even the extras become developed into the “C” team. And it’s not the sickening hack tropes we’ve all seen too many times, no new twists. The creepy characters are even hilarious and may have redeeming episodes. It’s good to know what event(s) happened to make people assholes.

There are character arcs over each season. We live in the age of dvds now, so, to be honest, we can look at last episodes and determine a show’s overall value by it. We have all seen how a last episode can affect a series. Some shows were cancelled and we want to know the answers before cast members or their creators pass away. Shows have been ruined by their last episodes when they could instead be made for people to watch the series again. That’s the big solution? That’s who they wound up with? So they just move away and everyone splits up? At least Gilligan’s Island had people wondering if they ever got rescued for over a decade.

Some finales are awesome, but they answer TOO much, they button everything up which I don’t like. We want to know the characters have something to do after the series besides move, raise their new baby, have no more bad guy to defeat, etc.

This show I like does a lot of things and blows away expectations. When we’re sitting alone, we’re the biggest critics of tv. For some reason we laugh easier in an audience because we subconsciously want to fit in when others are laughing. And by my self, this series has me rooting, cheering and oh, shitting consistently above those insult on a couch sitcoms shot in docu format.

This show combines a lot of my favorite television tropes and knocks them on their asses. The super power the main character gets is like Quantum Leap and Greatest American Hero, it comes out at unexpected times. There are governments, international play. It has the main hero king of the geeks at work and starts off as inept among the professional players in the plots. He balances the worlds like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The show is even a bit like Moonlighting about work professionalism. Things that never would happen in a retail store happen and it’s buy-able as the series progresses.

Some series don’t finish things and leaves topics flat, but a good show like this mines the things in the back of your mind later and expands beyond what you’d think. Even a favorite show of mine like How I met your mother has dropped the ball calling some “sacred” things back and tying an unsatisfying bow on them.

Plus, the show has hot women (and men), plenty of fan service, geek service and horndog service. And retro. Great pop culture references and especially bring backs.

I have branched my writings into my own first fiction aside from my big Project. And not only does this series use a character name that I bashed from a couple of other sources, but this show also answered a question I’ve had in my mind since I was little. Why is there a missing Element from Earth, Wind and Fire?

This show has amazing guest stars that actually have action sequences. They’re well known and the show not only nods to their tropes, but often has them playing against them or parodying roles they’re known for. Scott Bakula’s Sam Beckett, Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor, Timothy Dalton’s James Bond.

They did crossover to appeal to the comic con crowd like a lot of shows do now, but they did have a fan uproar and rescue attempt online. There’s even famous product sponsors to help save the show, which has funny, odd and interesting interruptions in the episodes they appear in. It would be like Scooby having a brand name snack as a favorite.

If you haven’t guessed by now, and I’m running out of page, it’s Chuck that I’m watching now.

2013/03/08 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Second Weekly Blog?

Writer’s blog, mancave date 66297.87

(It occurred to me it may not be right to use “bardate” until I can regularly go to one again :/)

I debated writing a second blog/ week, I have no reason not to when I consider some vloggers are making 5 videos/ week on youtube.

So then I considered a format for it. I know I’d try to post it on Thursdays. I think it would be best to consider it a bonus blog in case I can’t keep doing it every week. I should be able to, I have enough in my mind. I’ve seen people on youtube that have a second “channel” for “behind the scenes” stuff.

Should I do a weekly news thing? I’ve grown to rant about people who do this, but I understand why. Current events bring popular media recognition to a blog/ vlog. I’d get pissed that people have to scrape the news barrel for something to comment on. Meanwhile I’m watching a lot of these people regularly, so double damn on me. I’m a black pot. But I don’t want to just rant about the hypocrisies of news, a trap I fall very easily into. I need to Bugs Bunny shit that annoys me and cut back on my Daffy Duck.

A few years ago, I used to give people shit about talking about tv characters at work or while we were in a bar, as if they were real people. I had a point then, we were in FUCKING VEGAS. There are millions of things to do all over town and in hundreds of bars, clubs, restaurants and attractions to be talking about fake tv. And half of tv is filmed in Vegas anyway. It’s still cool to see me on my motorcycle pop up on stock footage in a show, or me in someone who I don’t know vacation’s photo background.

Now I’m on the outside, looking in. Now I can renti things that were filmed when I was there. And it’s largely because I can no longer afford to go out and what‘s on network tv now would drive me to a lower mental capacity. I now watch the film/ tv shows that seem to have a big impact on not only my friends, but critics and even some award shows. I usually dismiss the “big” award shows, since they miss the most historical films of the time.

There are a lot of films/ tv shows I’ve never heard of. Why? I put a lot of those movies aside unless there are a lot of actors I like in it or a film maker that thinks out of the box I can trust: your Art Linklater, Charlie Kaufmans and Terry Gilliam types.

After watching 11 seasons of CSI on DVD, there are a lot of movies written out there stupidly writing down in rom coms, etc. I can’t imagine any actor from CSI doing one of those dopey mindless “if they just talked for 5 minutes to clear up the miscommunication there wouldn’t be a movie” comedies.

Or, screw it, maybe I’ll just write stream of consciousness Thursday and allow my Monday posts to be about a single thing. Or… keep the Monday format and concentrate on developing that and my “second draft posted” grammar. I pick a random blog and I still correct grammar/ spellings that pick at my brain.

And then there’s my audience where I’m tempted to say what do you guys want? I admit, I don’t have much of a following, this is more for me to just get things out of my head. I throw my little bottled messages here and on twitter into the interweb’s ocean. I don’t get out and promote on every other site, or drop my handle linked comments all over the net. For now, anyways.

I maintain my social sites so that when I can work and feel happier about being able to put money into my dreams, I can start to link some of the sites together.

Yeah, I spent my extra blog writing about writing an extra blog. #meta

So, Thursdays could be anything above, it’s a bonus blog day.

2012/04/18 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good Ol’ Ramblin Blog

Writer’s blog, bardate 66259.45

I don’t feel like organizing a blog this week, so you’ll get the rock skipping around topics this week, as long as it’s too long to tweet.

I’m addicted to the Adam Carolla pod casts. He does complain a lot, but in the most entertaining way. He’s good at drawing some obscure or forgotten thing we all get to parallel his points. I love the out of context sound bites, or “pulls.” I love the talk shit about the news items. Since I can’t get Howard stern in a decade, I miss that. Sick of and a little furied by the newscaster drones that smile about the bullshit they report about.

There’s some disciplining I need to do. Unemployed and even people who work at home are guilty of this. We get so used to everything being on our own time, so used to changing what we’re doing on our every whim that we get sidetracked with a lot of loose things on our desk at the end of the day.

I spend a lot of time making lists, writing, condensing a lot of things. Maybe in my efforts to curb my physical hoarding, I may switch to written thought hoarding. I can’t help it. I have discovered that my whole family hoards a lot, they each have a half-dozen collections of something. In one case, so large, they were interviewed on the news (record albums).

Regarding my bardates, that was something I came up with at the opening of the Star Trek Experience. I worked for now defunct Paramount Parks at the time and I was present at the opening. I discovered I can’t find a lot of digicam pics I took for years because my camera back then randomly reset it’s “master” number count. Maybe it was when batteries were removed for x amount of time? So, numbers were reset and windows 98 appeared to fuck my shit up. Oh-

I had to have gone thru my drive one day to pull pictures and got the prompt if I wanted to replace a file with the same number or not. That version didn’t offer to tack on a (1), (2), etc after. So I lost dozens if not hundreds of pics that were saved over other batches. It’s why I carry disposable cameras for pictures of people “with me” and “hot chicks” while I use the digicam for “scenic” pictures and people I don‘t know. And now, photo developers are starting to phase out their film developing machines! Damn, Kodak. They’re struggling, so instead of saving the dying format for us with film, they sell it off for it to dissolve. Digi has always been shittier quality.

Even movies at the theaters are all going digital. When our country’s “best directors” go with this and not fight to at least keep the rep theaters with film, we’re all fucking doomed. In a decade film will be black market shit and this kills me with all the other American industries doomed by computers.

I’ve been trying to focus on good things, although I just ranted. I’m focusing on spending less time that annoy me. I watch as little TV as possible for the best, classic things I need to see on PBS and my netflix cue. I have to watch the best things I can because I read Netflix CEO is interested in streaming and cable channel and wants to give minimal effort into the only DVD home delivery service I like, until it will die out.

Just go with the times, you say. I have no problem doing this if the “change” is an actual improvement. All this new crap is either 1) rehashed old stuff, 2) “technology” that is basically, buy this new thing to move all our old stuff (pictures, movies, computer files and games) to. And it’s in 3-D that makes your eyes hurt. And you have to buy all the accessories and monthly subscriptions.

I don’t want to buy an I-anything that you know will be an obsolete “patch” for next years model. You used to be able to buy something that lasted over a decade that stood on it’s own, not networked to something. I want my future “things” to maintain that standard, alright? And I don’t see a lot right now that can get past my “around in 10 years” standard.

The lottery I wanted to write more about, but I want to limit my second-parters. I’ll turn it on it’s ear into something else sometime.

2012/04/03 Posted by | random trains of thought- choo choo | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Community is the best show on NBC

Writer’s blog, bar date 66199.51

I just deleted 2 blog topics when I realized what week- nay what day it is.

One of the top 3 reasons you can get me to turn on the TV (that’s not to watch a DVD) is Community. I don’t even know where to begin.

I knew nothing about this show a year ago. It’s in it’s 3rd season. But on a random lark, seasons 1 was available at the library, so I checked it out. Luckily, they also had season 2 thereafter.

The creativeness really blew me away. The premise sounds incredibly boring, a study group at a community college. And it blasts the meaning of understated that each of these people in the group go thru amazing transformations, transcend beyond their perceived expectations and travel in so many worlds, it picks up the baton from the void left after Star Trek Next Generation & Voyager left off. This is all in a half hour show.

Since cable will never be an option and before I got cheap DSL at home, it was worth it to me last fall to watch each season 3 show by going to the library each week & watch it online.

Ratings suffered and twitter rumor suggested it was circling the drain. This came to a head when this spring schedule came out from the networks with the show missing entirely. There was a minor outrage on twitter from fans like me. Comparisons were made to all the other shows cut before their prime like Arrested Development (coming back), Firefly (came out w/ a movie). What’s your fave show cut early?

And I don’t just complain about my little tv show. I’ve protested w/ 99% against the banks and wall st. (you may have noticed I don’t capitalize things I don’t respect for the most part) I watch PBS news when most are watching TV personality gossip shows (I never refer to them as stars or celebrities). I volunteered at the food bank and Thanksgiving kitchen. So I am active in my own… Community.

As a tv show, it also does a lot of cool things that I liked about other shows. They highlight their B-team characters. They don’t just sit at the study group table and whine. Again, like Star Trek, it’s like a bridge they meet at to plan things when they go out on Away Team missions. Each new class they have is an interesting sub culture with more radical characters of instructors.

This has to be the most interesting community college in the country. I like shows where the main property has all kinds of different departments affecting the run of the whole. It’s a campus, but they don’t go overboard with 5,000 characters. I don’t think Lost fans could really keep up with all those characters for “an island.”

It’s like Twilight zone. It explores each of the character’s wants, but gives them incredible temptations and personal jackpot kinda tastes of an extreme. There are a lot of shows that plunge into genres. And true to each, the study group plugs into genre stereotypical characters in each environment from westerns, to politics, to even time traveling parallel universe stories.

And I could go into each character, but something that hit me was that I could relate to all but a couple of the characters in some major way (sans Dean and Shirley). And even Shirley is starting to reveal there are things in her past that she devotes her life to making up for. Each character seemed pretty stereotypical from the beginning of the series. To me that lasted about 4 shows and things really snowballed in unpredictable directions.

That was something I loved most of all. Most tv shows, you tune in and the same characters are sitting in the same living room snarking each other and it gets tired if they don’t have adventures out in all kinds of new places “out there,” not just a second “work set.”

Cop shows get old with the premise, but at least they get to go to new criminal environments. Star Treks had a new “planet hell” down the line. I could see why the network wouldn’t back an expensive location changing show, but I’m so damn sick of shaky docucam awkward pause humor. It’s tired.

There are so many comedians I love and can’t stand on the shows that don’t show how funny they are: Craig Robinson, Whitney Cummings, I could go on.

Big Bang is on 5 nights a week, why don’t you watch Community on NBC Thursday at 8:00PM pacific? They have new catchphrases every week, John Hughes level character development, it’s just damn funny. #sixseasonsandamovie #greendale7

2012/03/13 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leap year, this month, I don’t want to be week

Writer’s Blog, bar date 66183.04

Bitch! I just realized my last blog’s topic traded paint with a too similar topic. I don’t wanna do that! So now I have an updated list of what I’ve written already followed by what I want to write. I don’t want to do a rerun or something equivalent to a clip show this early on!

Okay. I’ve noticed that recent tv shows I like have cool little mysteries to solve and gaps to fill in. Example, when you hear about one of the character’s tell a story about graduation, you start to wonder about all the others. Also, some shows even go as far as to say every year, every month, ever week we ____. National unofficial holidays are based on movie/ tv dates, which is awesome.

I have 3 pages in my “action binder” for weekly/ monthly/ yearly things I need to/ should do. I decided this is a better boss for me than a mouse or a remote control.

To be known for something like that is something I‘ve always wanted. There are certain parties every year, certain nights at a club or a bar or even food that a person can be known for. Imagine getting people to eat a certain soup every week. I don’t know of anyone that doesn’t eat corned beef & cabbage any other day.

I want to own a bar just because I have spent many drunk nights with friends planning awesome theme nights no one has done to date. And not just a rehash of high school stuff as even the largest Vegas clubs have gone to *shivver*

There are things I do every week and now I have to nail each day in a paragraph so I don’t go on for 20 pages, which I could. Funny, when I blog it’s about getting it under a page. When I do my other writing I flesh out everything to a goal of 3 pages of 2 columns.

Roughly every week: every morning the first thing I do when I log online is to check 2-3 job sites to see if there’s anything of note. It’s tougher, I’ve already applied to most. reapplying is starting to make me look like a joke. I also write everyday, up to 3 pages. I don’t go to sleep until I pound out 1 double column page.

Weds: I designate your hump day as my Monday. My local library is closed Sun-Tues, thank you Mayor Jackass. So I usually go on weds or Thurs, drop off movies and books and get next weeks batch. I try like hell to get 3 books or less, depending on pages, so I don’t just skim books but read thoroughly. Also the alt weekly newspaper comes out. Still tough for me to comprehend, but easy to remember as I bike past a convenient stand on the way back to the condo.

Thong Thursdays: After uploading my twitter pic, HAAH, it’s become something of a Vegas day. I look at the Las Vegas Sun online, I watch Vegas PBS week in review, I go thru boxes of crap papers and put them by year into 15 labelled boxes. My big focus is on 2 of those boxes, the rest I file as I go so it’s easier later.

Friday: It’s a big “going out” nite. There’s a social dancing group that meets, lessons are cheap compared to a studio. It keeps me in check with getting “out there” not just for applying or groceries. And it’s exercise. There are a lot more people with dancing with the stars and all the other dance shows. But the ratio of women to men is still 5:1, I love those odds and age bracket younger than mine.

Sat: May be big for you, but I hide in my bunker from the zombie invasion with all the shopping, rude and crowding hoards of consumer rats out of their weekday mazes. I clean, vacuum and loathe when I have to go out for cat food. I have a bin I throw papers/ receipts into all week. I go around the condo, throw everything (else) into it and go thru the box to stop shit from accumulating all over the place. I try to fill one moving sized box of crap that someday someone will help me take to goodwill.

Sun: If I’m done, I read and watch more library DVDs on this day. I go online and catch up on my weekly checks: e-mail, you tubes, etc. This is my detailed hot face wash/ shaving day, so my face won’t be red for a new applying week. I try to post something on eBay if I’m not deterred by lack of bids all over.

Mon: My FRIDAY, because everyone is at work, mostly. I take out garbages and recyclables and do dishes so kitchen is clean for grocery day. I do bills, buy cat food and see how much I have after for groceries. Sometimes panic. I’m supposed to be blogging to you on this day.

Tues: I try to go out with “no plans” and no money whether or not there are job prospects. Sometimes I go to book stores to check out the ones I want but can’t afford to buy. I go for a longer walk or bike ride than I usually do every other morning. I go away as far as I can and then I’m forced to work out harder getting back. If I ever get a job, I’ll return to titty/ taco Tuesdays. A great Tues is when I have money go eat somewhere new in the afternoon, in a near empty restaurant bar (job exploring) and enjoy owning the place.

So what are your weeks like?

2012/03/07 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hang in there, Netflix

Let me start off by saying I lerves me dem Netflix and was pretty concerned about it’s problems last year. My take on that was I was a DVD renter who wanted to be left alone from all that combo subscription, name changing for DVD “section,” streaming drama. Netflix was created and built on DVD rentals, let streamers deal with different netflix name & accounts.

When they offered the combined streaming package, I was able to enjoy it for a bit until we gave up dls for cheaper dial up after I left my last job. I didn’t like streaming because I was a fan of the extras and they offered no such options, just the main movie/ show.

I have online access as a necessity for news and job searching. I designate a limited block of time I allow myself to go on, which is tough for someone who’s home so much to discipline. Netflix, my 3rd bill, is the only entertainment I allow myself. I don’t have drinking, drugs or even fast food money. I have the 2 movie option, so I’m watching a movie while the other is in the mail any day (except of course Sunday).

The schedule I pick is a “3 rotation.” The “A” show is Vegas CSI. I’m in 7th season right now. It gets me thru the week just to see the timely transitions. CSI started when I did in Vegas. And even in establishing shots, I can see the Stardust eventually black out, the Wynn being built, Palazzo, etc. I love the timely copter shots, as well as picking out the Clarita inconsistencies (when they film in Santa Clarita). It reminds me of what Vegas has that California and other places don’t. I hope Netflix and/ or USPS lasts this year for me to continue getting DVDs.

The “A” show I have for mostly hour shows with more than 4 seasons. It takes me awhile to plow thru them, so I have to like the show, each main character and learn something from it. I plan on rotating original Twilight zones after. I can view an entire series in order, something I couldn’t do by any other means, really. Not red box, not the library, not Blockbuster. No more Tower.

The “B” show I pick are usually ½ hour shows and a lot of shows I wonder about that last mostly less than 4 seasons. I have discovered Conchords, the IT Crowd and other gems of shows this way. Most of them I have heard of before because they have a lot of improv comedians in them. Someday I may wind up in Southern California for an education in the dozen or so comedy groups that fill most 1 camera shows.

I force a “C” movie in the rotation, basically movies I haven’t been able to find or check out form the library. I haven’t gotten to movie series yet, mostly I’ll rent theme movies in a row, like movies from Judd Apatow, Wes Anderson, etc. When I’m done w/ CSI, I’l get a jonsing for Vegas movies and I have a slew of them on my cue, since I’m now relegated to appreciate Vegas as a fan from afar.

Also, I’ll want to do celeb streaks, of movies I haven’t seen them in but heard of. John Cusack movies, Vince Vaughn, John Malkovich, Christopher Walken, etc.

The library allows me to check out more movies than I can watch in a week. Movies are random, occasionally I’ll see a season of a show that I’ll take a chance on and have no idea what the quality is. I allowed myself about 5 DVDs I really wanted to see and a couple experimental ones. Maybe movies. There’s a good actor, but I haven’t heard anything about this.

Movies have a subplot that is never explained on the cover. I’m not so much into all those parent movies, or even dating movies. Will they won’t they is so worn out, I root for them to not hook up. I was actually happy when Nick only gave Norah a fingering. She should have at least blown him.

I look for inspirational movies about where I am in my life right now. Dealing with unemployment, dealing with being on my own. Dealing with an existence where I feel stuck. I even rented eat Pray, Love and saw parallels of how I saw Vegas. It was the best decade of eating in my life. And bar hopping. And single livin.

I allow myself a DVD a day, it keeps me from watching idiot tv or “too much” news, which I just get bent out of shape from. No matter what I rent, it will NOT be an idiot movie. It takes consistent discipline to not rent something to “see how bad it is,” even if it’s free from the library. I slipped once and endured hack cliched Burlesque. Lesson learned.

2012/01/30 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment