What’s Good? (End of Summer… Spring 2017) Mega Post

Hello, dear readers.

I’ve been away. But I’m back now. Sorry about the wait.

“We missed you soooo much.”

Okay. Yeah. So I haven’t been on social media a bunch of late. I’ve been working on the way I relate to it. I’m addicted in a bad way. Addicted to likes. Addicted to views. And while it’s now no longer my only connection to the outside world, it serves an important purpose in my life and I’ve grown to like a lot of the people I’ve met on here.

You had me at hello, Tom?  “No.”

Especially people who follow and interact with my blog (you know who you are). And while I haven’t quite figured out how I will reconcile this, I have found that the people I meet in the real world (now that I go outside more often) aren’t really as interested in talking about movies and TV shows and books and games as you guys. So I think I’m here to stay. I just have to curb my attachment and stay away from politics.

“Did you get to the part where he says he’s gonna stay away from politics online? Isn’t that the cutest thing? Bless his heart.” “There’s no way.” “No fucking way.” “So cute with his little plans.”

While I’ve been offline, I’ve been watching a lot of good TV. And I also saw a lot of movies (good and bad). Thinking about it though, I haven’t read a book in years. (I don’t know what the fuck’s up with that). And as far as video games go… shit, I’m still trying to finish the first Bioshock (don’t judge me).

“No judgement. You suck at video games. Not a judgement. Just a fact.”

But anyway, there is so much good stuff to talk about from the Spring and the Summer just from TV and movies. So let’s get right to it.

But why don’t we get the bad stuff out of the way first this time around shall we?.

“You mean… that?”

Here’s a top ten list of the movies that I saw on my break that were pure shit.

THE WORST

Counting down…

10. Spider-man: Homecoming

Okay. That wasn’t Spider-man. Spider-man was in Captain America: Civil War. Russo Brothers gave us Spider-man. Whatever that was in Homecoming, I don’t know. Trying to start over with the web head learning how to use his powers is one thing. Having him hold his own against Captain America, Bucky, Falcon, et al and then having him go back to being inept is just confusing. Nope. Did not like what they did to my friendly neighborhood Spider-man.

9. Assasssin’s Creed

Ass-Ass-In’s Creed is fucking awful (double ass in). How could they not have known? Great action sequences and cool fights but little else. Confusing and infuriating and disappointing. (I absolutely love the video game series though even though I suck)

8. Sing

Let’s call this one Ringtones: The Movie (they cut off every song before they would have had to pay for it). This movie is annoyingly bad. And for a music lover, frustratingly music-less. Three second clips don’t make a musical. They make a medley.

7. Personal Shopper

Kristen Stewart is decent but the movie is boring as fuck. It doesn’t know what it wants to be. A thriller? A supernatural tear-jerker? A mystery? A stalker drama? A supernatural murder psycho stalker drama? Personal Shopper spends way too much time texting itself and not enough time making love to Kristen Stewart. This is like if Brian De Palma made a movie while he was asleep. Just directed the whole thing from bed. Never bothering to wake up at all. Personal Shopper was booed at film festivals and it’s easy to tell why. The main character spends most of the movie on her phone. Booooooooo.

6. The Dark Tower

Here is another perfect example of a movie that doesn’t know what it wants to be and just ends up being nothing. Is it sci-fi… horror? Is it for kids? Is it not? Make up your damn mind. The film-makers have forgotten the faces of their fathers. (Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Ridley Scott, Stanley Kubrick… [The paterFILMilias])

5. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter vs Underworld: Blood Wars

I was going to do a film comparison game show of these two films because they are essentially the same movie. But I got bored because they both sucked ass… equally. If they don’t do a crossover then they have no idea how completely similar these franchises have become to each other.

4. Colossal

Great idea but horrible ending. Anne Hathaway is fantastic as always but the ending of Colossal is so damn sloppy. It ruins what was good about it in the first place. Worth a look but prepare to be let down by the end.

3. Silence

Long, boring, confusing and racist as hell. I appreciate the artistry of Martin Scorcese but every time he does a movie about religion he seems to lose his fucking mind. Silence is so fucking racist. And there is not a character in it who has a basic understanding of either religion. I hate the movie Silence. And I wish it didn’t exist. I’m angry with everyone responsible for making me sit through it. The film-makers, the actors and the historical figures. Fuck em all.

Missionaries are awful racist people with awful racist agendas in places they should not be. Awful. To call the evil that these awful people encountered as being done by Buddhists is a new kind of evil. Those Buddhists are as much Buddhists as these racist missionaries are Christians. I hope they all burn in the hell of the other’s religion. That would be Karma. If you don’t understand what Karma is, Marty, Google it. That would also be irony. And if you… you know what, just look it up. Look everything up.

2. XXX: The Return of Xander Cage

XXX The Return of Vin Diesel is an international mess. Culminating in an appearance by Ice Cube at the end where he’s not even in the same country as the other actors who are in the same shot as him and it’s so annoyingly obvious and bad. The writing is bad. The acting is bad. The stunts are unnecessary and the fight choreography is impractical. XXX is fucking awful.

And the number one worst movie I saw this Spring and Summer was…

1. The Mummy (2017)

Swing and a miss. Honestly. How do you have Tom Cruise in your film and then not give him a character to play. Who the fuck is he? Also, is he comic relief? Is he anti-hero? Is he romantic lead? What the fuck? There is nothing good about The Mummy. It is confusing and over-simplified. How can a movie be this boring while at the same time being non-stop mindless action sequences. How did they even accomplish that?

Okay that’s over with. You can breathe now. The worst part is done.

Those movies were bad. Just set them all on fire and start over.

Burn Bitches

Moving over to the small screen for a second…

There was a lot of good TV this Spring & Summer. Here are a few honorable mentions.

Doctor Who came back with a new companion and although this was the weakest season of the new series, it was still ambitious and entertaining. I enjoyed Peter Capaldi’s Doctor even though he “petered out” toward the end. And I am really excited about the gender switch. I hope that’s why this season was so weak. They were saving the best stories to introduce the new Doctor.

The Leftovers ended its run just as strong as it started. This was a hugely satisfying series that took on some major taboo religious subjects and didn’t get all holy and preachy and in fact was always amazingly non-denominational and spiritually trippy. Very good show.

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD gets a bad rap. I love this show. I enjoy the way every half season of this show has a different feel and theme. Drastically different from anything they’d done before. I love the characters and I love the quality of the writing. And of course the Fitz-Simmons love story is still getting the full Joss Whedon treatment. Meaning it’s FUCKING BRUTAL.

Fargo was sensational yet again. Here is an anthology series that keeps it tight while still being fucking insane. There were no performances this year like Kirsten Dunst in season two or Billy Bob in season one. but it was still thrilling and immensely entertaining. One of the best shows on TV.

The Americans is consistently good and in my opinion hasn’t lost a step. Things are coming to a head and this season mostly set up the end game but it was still great. Some of the best acting and writing on television.

Gotham is crazy. Crazy good. It wants to be ALL Batman versions at the same time and it does a great job. I really enjoyed the Penguin & Riddler story line this past season. I really liked the actress who played the young Poison Ivy but I’m fine with her having “sprouted” so to speak.

Sense 8 wasn’t as good as the first season and then it lost its Netflix funding. It’s an expensive show. Shot on location in several countries at once. Still one of the coolest concepts around but we can expect a finale movie and that’s it for Sense 8 (single tear). Season two was still quite enjoyable. Even if it had no chance to live up to the amazing first season of this sci-fi action drama.

Preacher is frustrating. I have to say, the first season of Preacher, the supernatural comic based crazy fest, really pissed me off. I couldn’t stop watching but it annoyed me, while still being intriguing and annoying and cool and annoying. The second season is a thousand times better, keeps the cool, drops the annoying. Well done guys.

Bosch continued its quality storytelling. This is a gritty procedural and murder mystery detective show with fantastic performances. If you haven’t seen it. Check it out. It’s very good. High on the cool factor. Like Justified meets True Detective.

Dark Matter wasn’t at its best this season either. There were a little too many running story lines and very little character development. But I still love these characters. Still love this show. And the character Porsche Lynn (or Number Two if you will) is a straight up goddess. Definitely wifey material. Just hot as all hell.

*And I just learned that they’ve cancelled it. YOU BASTARDS!!!

But anyway, that’s not why we came.

Those TV shows were entertaining but not the best. That’s not what’s good.

Here comes the best stuff now. I’m just gonna need for you to ask me the question before we get started… You know the one.

“What’s Good, Motherfucker?”

Don’t be shy. Say it out loud.

What’s Good?

I’m glad you asked.

Bring on the good shit.

THE BEST MOVIES

Zootopia (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Directed by Byron Howard & Rich Moore

Written by Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush, Jim Reardon, Josie Trinidad, Phil Johnston & Jennifer Lee

Starring Ginnifer GoodwinJason BatemanIdris ElbaJenny SlateNate TorrenceBonnie HuntDon LakeTommy ChongJ. K. SimmonsOctavia SpencerAlan Tudyk & Shakira

Zootopia is a very good movie about racism and prejudice using cartoon animals to make its poignant points. We do a meditation in my Tibetan Buddhist class that imagines all sentient beings living in peace and compassion. By all sentient beings we mean animals too. It’s a difficult thing to imagine soberly. So for me I always default to cartoon animals in movies like this where different species live and work together and don’t eat each other. Something that really shouldn’t be that hard to contemplate seriously.

If humans had spent their time solving problems for peace on the planet instead of making problems for profit these last few thousand years, we could have created the very balance that I have to imagine as a cartoon. Oh my god. I’ve really gotten off on a tangent, haven’t I? Zootopia is a good movie. If you haven’t seen it… do.

Office Christmas Party (Paramount Pictures)

Directed by Will Speck & Josh Gordon

Written by Jon LucasScott MooreTimothy Dowling and Justin Malen, Laura Solon, & Dan Mazer

Starring Jason BatemanOlivia MunnT. J. MillerJillian BellVanessa BayerCourtney B. VanceRob CorddryKate McKinnon & Jennifer Aniston

Office Christmas party is a funny movie with a talented and very funny cast. I usually don’t like your basic make it up as you go improvisational comedy but this one has a great cast, like I said, and they keep it fun and funny and really enjoyable. They’re all extremely likable and good at their jobs.

Kate McKinnon (from Saturday Night Live) is really coming into her own comically. (She’s the best thing about the horrible Rough Night and probably the only reason it doesn’t make the worst list). Olivia Munn, Jason Bateman (more from him later. HINT [It’s Ozark. Ozark is so good. I can’t keep a secret]) T.J. Miller (from Silicon Valley) and Jennifer Aniston are in their respective wheelhouses here and they make the movie surprisingly good. Rent it.

Paterson (Amazon Studios)

Written & Directed by Jim Jarmusch

Starring Adam DriverGolshifteh FarahaniBarry Shabaka HenleyCliff Smith, Chasten Harmon, William Jackson Harper & Masatoshi Nagase

Paterson is actually pretty good for a movie where nothing much really happens. Jim Jarmusch has created a little slice of a man’s life. Paterson is likable and affable and creative and his girlfriend is really creative and they are a fun couple to watch. Paterson drives a bus in Paterson New Jersey and he writes poetry in his notebook. He’s very Zen and very nice and while there are things that happen around him, he stays centered and it is enjoyable to watch.

His girlfriend, however, is a different kind of creative. She is a painter and a fashion designer and… I don’t know, a country music singer or something. They are an interesting pair. Paterson is a good movie. If you like James Joyce, you’ll like Paterson. It is a week in the life of an everyday creative, bar patron, dog-owning, bus driving romantic. Jim Jarmusch has done it again.

John Wick: Chapter 2 (Summit Entertainment)

Directed by Chad Stahelski

Written by Derek Kolstad

Starring Keanu Reeves, CommonLaurence FishburneRiccardo ScamarcioRuby RoseJohn Leguizamo & Ian McShane

Same old John Wick. This time the movie is a little light on substance. Not that the first one was deep or anything but I think I liked his motivation in the first movie more. They took his dog. However we don’t watch John Wick for the story. Do we? We watch it for the amazing Gun-Fu and John Wick Chapter 2 does not disappoint.

There are some epic battles in this movie. John Wick is wall to wall fight choreography much like the Raid martial arts movies (especially Raid Redemption). If you liked the first John Wick for the story. You may not like the second one. But also… what?

CHiPs (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Written & Directed by Dax Shepard  Based on CHiPs by Rick Rosner

Starring Dax Shepard, Michael PeñaRosa SalazarAdam BrodyRichard T. JonesKristen Bell & Vincent D’Onofrio

I read on the net that no one liked this movie. I don’t see why. It is what it is. And what it is… turns out to be very fucking funny. CHiPs is a lot of fun. It’s a little silly but with a really good heart. It is a direct reflection of its writer & director. Big, silly, good-natured, a little dumb, a little goofy (and married to one of the hottest women on the planet).

I enjoyed CHiPs because of the two stars; the amazing Michael Pena, who made Ant-man so funny, and the writer, director and star, Dax Shepherd. The two leads make the movie immensely enjoyable. And even though a few plot points are monumentally stupid, they are easily forgiven because of how good-natured and fun CHiPs turns out to be. I recommend it. It’s a fun and funny movie.

If someone told you that a movie based on the incredibly stupid TV show CHiPs was not going to be dumb, they lied to you. This is exactly what a CHiPs movie should be.

Kong: Skull Island (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts

Written by Dan GilroyMax BorensteinDerek Connolly, and John Gatins  Based on King Kong by Merian C. Cooper & Edgar Wallace

Starring Tom HiddlestonSamuel L. JacksonJohn GoodmanBrie LarsonJing TianToby KebbellJohn OrtizCorey HawkinsJason MitchellShea WhighamThomas MannTerry NotaryJohn C. Reilly

Wow what a great movie. Kong is a popcorn adventure with a great cast and story and some kick ass action. One of the best movies of the year. The soundtrack is phenomenal. The cinematography is gorgeous. It’s a throwback to the old monster movies and war films. One of the best over-sized monster flicks in a long long time.

Kong: Skull Island is like a cross between Apocalypse Now and Godzilla v Megalon. Skull Island is sensational. I was not expecting it to be as good as it is. And it plays itself down by not taking itself too seriously but that just adds to how good it is.

Kong: Skull Island is a sensationally fucking good movie.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Written & Directed by James Gunn  Based on Guardians of the Galaxy by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning

Starring Chris PrattZoe SaldanaDave BautistaVin DieselBradley CooperMichael RookerKaren GillanPom KlementieffElizabeth DebickiChris SullivanSean GunnSylvester Stallone & Kurt Russell

I am Groot. I am Groot. I am Groot. This is not your older brothers Guardians of the Galaxy. There was no godly way they could ever match the first film. This is the sophomore jinx at its worst. But it’s still a good movie. A lot more character development than you’d expect from a big budget blockbuster. And a lot of heart.

Volume 2 of the franchise is primarily about family. Fathers and Sons, Sisters, and Brothers in Arms. It’s a good movie considering that it will always be the lesser of the two cinematic siblings. But don’t talk to me about the music. There were a lot better 70s songs to choose from and the only stand out this time is Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain which is over-used. Still it’s good. Really it is.

Atomic Blonde (Focus Features)

Directed by David Leitch

Written by Kurt Johnstad  Based on The Coldest City by Antony Johnston & Sam Hart

Starring Charlize Theron, James McAvoy & John Goodman

Atomic Blonde is an epic spy thriller with some of the best fight sequences since The Bourne Identity. Charlize Theron is amazing. Like with John Wick, there isn’t a lot here except the kick-ass action. But that’s all you need.

Atomic Blonde fucks shit up. It also has one of the best 80s soundtracks around. The music plays a major role in the movie that takes place around the falling of the Berlin wall between the two halves of Germany at the end of the cold war.

As with all (good) spy thrillers, there’s a lot of twists and turns and intrigue and double and triple crosses and sexy sexiness and it is far from perfect but still pretty fucking good. And again, the fight scenes are amazing. Truly truly spectacular.

Wonder Woman (Warner Bros. Pictures)

What? You think I wasn’t gonna talk about it.

Directed by Patty Jenkins

Written by Allan Heinberg  and Zack Snyder and Jason Fuchs  Based on Wonder Woman by William Moulton Marston

Starring Gal GadotChris PineRobin WrightDanny HustonDavid ThewlisConnie Nielsen & Elena Anaya

Yes yes yes. Wonder Woman is the best thing since sliced bread… if sliced bread made you shit money the next morning. The bar was lowered by what came before it but honestly it didn’t have to be. I’ve seen the movie several times and it’s just a really good movie. Crowd-pleasing and exciting and fun and it doesn’t talk down to its audience. And yes it also had to make a lot of money to make sure that we get more like this and it has. It continues to break records. Do not hate it because it’s beautiful.

Wonder Woman did very well. So the Amazonians had to be more sexy than fierce. It had to have a big superhero ending. And if I’m reading the tea leaves correctly, I think this may save Warner Bros from itself and its massive “bro” attitude. I think they’re going to try to be a little more women friendly with their comic book movies.

Maybe they’ll give Lois Lane a bigger role next time around. I hear they’re making a Harley Quinn & The Joker movie. (The Sid and Nancy of comic book villains will get their own title). And they’re allowing Joss Whedon to do some character based re-shoots of Justice League to add more heart and give Wonder Woman a more central and leading role. These are all good things. because you know 300 boy, Zack Snyder, isn’t known for anything but testosterone based action. So Joss is the best thing to ever happen to DC and Warner. And I’m excited.

And yes yes yes, Wonder Woman is a very good movie. But at this point you really didn’t need me to tell you that. Do you?

Valerian and The City of a Thousand Planets (STX Entertainment)

Written & Directed by Luc Besson  Based on Valérian and Laureline
by Pierre Christin & Jean-Claude Mézières

Starring Dane DeHaanCara DelevingneClive OwenRihannaEthan HawkeHerbie HancockKris Wu & Rutger Hauer

Okay this is a tough one. Valerian and Laureline (what the movie should actually be called) is a well written and beautifully cinematic and picturesque space adventure. It reminds me of Fifth Element in a lot of ways. And it would be just as good if not for the bad casting. The casting is bad. They went for youth over experience this time around and the movie suffers because of it. The two stars have ZERO chemistry in their original language, Though they are fun to look at.

But I’m including it with my good movies because it can still be good with a little work on your part. Yes I’m talking to you.  I’m going to let you in on a little trade secret. All it takes to make this movie go from crappy to pretty fucking good is to watch a foreign language dub (preferably French)… with English subtitles. You’re welcome.

You see, sometimes when a director is working in a language that is his second or third, they can, while paying attention to stunts and marks and effects, let bad performances and crappy line readings slip through. A lot of it is left up to the performer. This isn’t Gary Oldman and Bruce Willis. This is two kids who made really bad decisions. So turn off their voices. Listen to the French (better line readings) and read the English subtitles. Now these two have gone from whiny little brats to cool young prodigies with just a flip of the switch. Again… you’re welcome.

Now somebody hand me the fucking remote…

“There it is again.”

This is where the good shit lives.

THE BEST TELEVISION

Turn: Washington’s Spies (AMC)

Based on Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring by Alexander Rose

Developed by Craig Silverstein

This brilliant show only lasted four seasons but we knew it wouldn’t be around long. it was about the American Revolutionary war. We know how that ended. We know when that ended. They didn’t drag it out. Four seasons. It was perfect.

I talk about TURN a lot because it’s really that fucking good. Turn: Washington’s Spies might have a strange name but it is one of the best shows in TV history. Fantastic from start to finish. This is one to binge and dive into head first, feet first, ass first, whatever.

The characters are amazing. The situations are suspenseful. This is some early American spy craft, thriller, drama, espionage shit. And some of the best writing and coolest story telling around.

American Gods (STARZ)

Based on American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Developed by Bryan Fuller & Michael Green

American Gods is sensational. I don’t know if you know this about me but I am a polytheist from way back. My step-father (I refer to him most of the time as my father) was a worshiper of the old gods. The Egyptian gods and also the gods of the east. He knew them all. And he knew what they wanted from us in order to make them dance. I always respected that. There was a lot of power in the old gods. They made themselves known. Most people I meet are still waiting for Allah to say something. Still waiting for Jehovah to open his mouth. The so-called ONE gods. You don’t have to wait for them.

In fact I believe there are more gods than there are humans. Let me repeat that. I firmly believe that there are more gods NOW than there were ever human beings on the planet. But anyway. That’s not why you come here. (or is it?)

Do you guys like it when I start talking about spiritual stuff? Or am I just making you uncomfortable? I guess it doesn’t matter. It wouldn’t stop me either way.

But seriously, I love this show. I love Neil Gaiman. He’s responsible for several of my favorite fictional worlds. And responsible for some of my favorite TV shows (and Doctor Who episodes and comic books).

But American Gods is so fucking good, it’s like… It’s like… Well it’s like it was made by the gods. I would not be surprised if Neil Gaiman were a demi-god himself.

The Tick (Amazon)

Based on The Tick by Ben Edlund

Created by Ben Edlund

The Tick is one of my favorite absurdist comic superheroes. He’s an indestructible good guy with not much in the way of brains but the purest heart one can have. Ben Edlund created a character and a world that is and has been the source of hours and hours of amusement for me. The animated series was amazing. The first live action series was amazing. And this too is amazing.

However Ben has pulled a fast one on us and only released half of the first season. he doesn’t like binge watching and well he’s done something about it. FUCK YOU BEN!!! Please put out the second half of the first season, you incredibly talented pain-in-the-ass. No seriously I love you. I love you madly.

Now stop being such a dick.

Fleabag (Amazon)

Created by and Starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Fleabag is sensational and heartbreaking and funny and not funny and well-acted and well-written and so fucking good it hurts. And it also hurts because it hurts. It hurts.

First you fall in love with the character and then… and then you get to know her. And Fuck. You’re already in love with her. Fuck. What a great show. I swear I went to High School with this girl. You know who I’m talking about.

The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)

Based on The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Created by Bruce Miller

I get that it’s not as good as the book. The Handmaid’s Tale is one of my favorite books. A bit dated now. So if you’re reading it now you might ask now how is this so different from what we have now. And I might answer by screaming until my voice went out and then silently screaming until my jaw locked up and then quietly crying until my eyes went blind. And then banging my head until I passed out.

These fuckers made reading uncool. Nobody reads anymore. And now we’re stuck in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and George Orwell’s 1984 and slowly sliding into Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 because nobody reads those fucking books.

Game of Thrones (HBO)

Based on A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin

Created by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss

This season of Game of Thrones was satisfying as all hell. So good. You know what I’m talking about. I started watching reaction videos on YouTube just to see other people see what I saw when I saw that awesome shit. So incredibly satisfying.

Game of Thrones has gotten so good since they caught up with the books and they don’t have to wait for George to write. Hell…  you want to know what’s taking him so long. He’s sitting in a dark room crying to himself. Realizing they made something better than he could ever do. Sorry Martin fans.

And it is my understanding that most of what happens in the last two books will be different than what we see on the small screen. But really why bother George. Why bother. The show is amazing.

Book fans, hate me all you want. But really I don’t give a fuck. I probably won’t read the books anyway. Reading is for suckers. You heard me. (and yes I heard myself).

The Defenders (Netflix)

Based on  Daredevil by Stan Lee & Bill Everett  Jessica Jones by Brian Michael Bendis & Michael Gaydos  Luke Cage by Archie GoodwinGeorge TuskaRoy Thomas & John Romita Sr.  Iron Fist by Roy Thomas & Gil Kane

Created by Douglas Petrie & Marco Ramirez

One of the best things I’ve seen this year so far. The Defenders did not disappoint.

I especially loved Jessica Jones and the way she made fun of Danny and Daredevil. The Defenders was the right amount of light-hearted fun and action. Because I don’t know if you’ve noticed, the Netflix Marvel shows are pretty heavy on the heaviness.

I’m hoping The Defenders will be the occasional respite from all the drama, plus some kick-ass team-up action. Now bring on Jessica 2 and Daredevil 3… and Luke 2 and believe it or not I wouldn’t mind seeing Fist 2. The Defenders even made Iron Fist better.

Halt and Catch Fire (AMC)

Created by Christopher Cantwell & Christopher C. Rogers

One of the best shows on currently, in its fourth season (but honestly you can start any where) with some of my favorite characters on TV. Like Mad Men for the computer age, Halt and Catch Fire is some of the best drama on TV.

I love these characters. Joe and Cameron especially are amazing but so are the other three. AMC makes good TV. Like HBO good but without the fee. I love this show.

Ozark (Netflix)

Created by Bill Dubuque & Mark Williams

These next two shows are the best things I’ve seen in ages. Artistry level in the brilliant spectrum. Ozark is like if Breaking Bad started in the middle. You know. When shit was already crazy. Jason Bateman has created an amazing crime drama.

Ozark is phenomenal. Great acting. Great writing. Superb directing. Start lining up the awards. Ozark is going to sweep. I kid you not. It is as good as Breaking Bad (of course Breaking Bad was consistently good and this is just Ozark’s first season) and Breaking Bad was the best thing to ever appear on a television set since its invention.

Don’t sleep on Ozark. It’s pretty damn good. That’s an under-statement. Jason Bateman launders money for the Mexican mob and… It’s one of the best things I’ve seen in a long time. Watch Ozark before it wins all the awards and everybody’s pretending they been watching it from the start.

I Love Dick (Amazon)

Based on I Love Dick by Chris Kraus

Created by Sarah Gubbins & Jill Soloway

I Love Dick is not a TV show. It is an art installation. It is a sexual and sensual performance that is hard to watch and at the same time makes you hard while you watch it. It is juicy. I’m sorry if that word offends your sensibilities.

Juicy like a ripe melon. Juicy like a plucked peach being slowly peeled. (Do we peel peaches or am I mixing metaphors?). Juicy like the first bite. The first damn bite of anything. The first bite of fucking ANYTHING. But it’s not a TV show. So it doesn’t belong on this list. Ozark is the best TV show. I Love Dick is something else entirely.

I need you to force yourself to watch I Love Dick. I need you to tie yourself to the bed and watch it all. Take it all. I Love Dick. Say it. I Love Dick. Take it all.

You can thank me later.

Or don’t.

I don’t care.

Do what you want.

———————————————-

And that’s it. That’s all for the Summer (and Spring)

Fall TV shows are back. But of course they’re not just Fall shows. They’re Fall Winter Spring TV shows. The CW heroes are back. Dirk Gently is starting up again. FOX has got a couple of sci-fi and comic book shows that they will undoubtedly cancel before it’s even next year. It’s god damn FOX.

And before you know it, the Christmas movies will open and just you try to keep me from blogging about them. Go ahead. No wait. Don’t. That won’t end well for anyone.

Right, Jess?

Just click the like button and we’ll call it even.

I’m so addicted.

– Mel

 

“Y’all got any more of them likes?”

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Spared or Spoiled Reviews: The Last Witch Hunter

The rules are simple. The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.

The Last Witch Hunter (Lionsgate)

The Last Witch Hunter Poster

Directed by Breck Eisner

Written by Cory Goodman, Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless

Starring Vin DieselElijah WoodRose LeslieÓlafur Darri ÓlafssonJulie Engelbrecht & Michael Caine

It was obvious going into this, my two hours set aside to watch The Last Witch Hunter, that it was not going to be a movie of substance. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks watching Oscar nominated films (It’s that time of year again). So I was looking at it as a sort of palette cleanser, you know. But as it turns out The Last Witch Hunter is a pretty decent story. The movie has a nice cast with Michael Caine and Rose Leslie (Ygritte from Game of Thrones) and Elijah Wood. I mean it’s unbelievably lacking in substance to the point where it’s a rather shallow film… like a puddle after a light rain. And it’s like the film-makers were more concerned with having Vin Diesel say something cool to end a scene or have him pose or look good with a sword than with telling a good story that the movie has extraordinarily little depth. But sometimes after so much Oscar nominated heaviness, you can use a little shallow. Something light. And honestly the film had its moments.

Verdict: SPARED

“There’s something missing. I’m not sure what it is.” “My sword’s not on fire.” “That’s it.”

The Last Witch Hunter tells the story of an ancient hunter of witches (hence the name) who is condemned to live forever by the witch queen. Vin Diesel is that Hunter. So the movie starts off with this cool ancient battle between him & his boys and the witch queen & her brood. And then continues into the present. There are lots of cool visuals. And by that I mean things and situations that are set up to look cool. Or to make Vin Diesel feel cool. Here he is with a flaming sword. Here he is as an ancient warrior. This is Vin’s fantasy (he’s a big fantasy gamer) and we’re just lucky that he’s let us watch.

Rose-Leslie-in-The-Last-Witch-Hunter

“So you like to watch, do you?”

But then Ygritte from Game of Thrones comes into the picture and I don’t have to tell you that I have a huge crush on this girl. “You know nothing, Jon Snow” She’s so fucking awesome (she shows up in the last season of Luther [far too short a season if you ask me] and kills it). And you know she’s cool in this as well. I definitely want to see more of her. In The Last Witch Hunter she plays a young witch (a good witch?) who grew up hearing scary stories about Vin’s immortal witch hunter. Bedtime stories designed to make a young witch follow the rules.

The Witches Council The Last Witch Hunter

The Witches Council

You see there’s this uneasy truce between the hunter and the witches. They don’t involve humans in any of their shenanigans and he doesn’t kill them all with a sword. Because not only is he The Last Witch Hunter but now that he’s immortal they have no chance. It’s a great back story to a movie that totally lacked any substance whatsoever. But was still a pretty decent movie… considering.

Vin Diesel is The Last Witch Hunter

“My sword is on fire that makes me a bad-ass.”

There are many things in The Last Witch Hunter that are borrowed from other series and other movies. Or maybe we’ve reached a saturation point with fantasy ideas. And everything new is a little derivative of everything else. I don’t know. There’s an order of priests who pass down their knowledge from generation to generation like Fifth Element. And there are other things that leap out that remind me of Harry Potter or The Mortal Instruments. But I think maybe I’m expecting originality where there’s little room for it.

The Last Witch Hunter Witch Queen

The Witch Queen

In the end, the movie was not that bad. It held my attention and Ygritte was hot (and you know how I like redheads) and Vin Diesel does his best Sly Stallone impression and Michael Caine played Alfred from Batman Begins and Elijah Wood was Frodo (I almost called him Elijah Frodo) and the movie was alright. Not that bad. The Last Witch Hunter is not Citizen Kane or even Citizen Kane goes to Hogwarts but it was also not a complete waste of two hours and I could even stand a sequel.

Rose Leslie and Vin Diesel in The Last Witch Hunter

“What would we even do in a sequel?” “I don’t know. I could get another flaming sword.” “Again with the sword? What is it with you and that sword?”

The Last Witch Hunter is a movie without substance but some pretty cool style and some interesting bits stolen from other things but it wasn’t half bad. Not that bad.

The Last Witch Hunter Vin Diesel

“Swords on fire look cool. Just ask Manjushri or Avalokiteshvara.”

And yes Vin Diesel looks cool with a flaming sword. So what else do you need?

– Mel

What’s Good (May 2015)

This is my second What’s Good installment. A list of ten things that I enjoyed recently from Movies, TV, Music and in my life in general. This is the May 2015 Edition.

May was a pretty good month.

You're God Damn Right

For starters, my birthday is in May. Somebody told me I was 48. I don’t believe them. I can’t be a day over 29. Unless I lost two decades somewhere along the way. I mean, look at these abs. No. Wait. Those are birthday cake crumbs resting on my beer gut. Never mind. It’s not the years, anyway, it’s the mileage.

So we got movies. We got TV. We’ve got food, family, a few farewells. And the Mets. The god damn Mets. Why can’t you be like the Yankees. Just kidding. (the Yankees suck too)

“Get on with it.”

To the list…

WHAT’S GOOD?

I’m glad you asked.

Turn

Turn: Washington’s Spies is back on AMC and it’s just as good as the first season. Love this show. They added my girl Ksenia Solo from Lost Girl and now Turn: Washington’s Spies is fast becoming one of my favorite shows. Even if the title is confusing. Are we turning Washington’s spies? Or are we turning people into spies for Washington? Or am I thinking about it too much?

Mad Men was good (also on AMC). The last eight Mad Men episodes were very very good. Still one of the best TV shows in history. From beginning to end. I was trying to list all of my favorite moments from the finale and realized they were all Peggy scenes. Peggy with Stan over the phone being the best. Peggy with Don on the phone and Peggy with Joan in the restaurant. Oh yeah and Don and Betty on the phone. The Coca Cola ending made me laugh out loud both from merriment and in a purely sardonic way. Nice work guys. And little Sally turning into Betty at the end, taking care of her sick mother (still chain smoking with lung cancer), that was the only sad thing. Everybody else ended well.

Mad Max Fury Road Tom Hardy Muzzled Blood Bag

Speaking of Madness… Mad Max: Fury Road was and still is very good. It’s okay to believe the hype. It won’t disappoint. It’s that freaking good. Best movie of the year so far and it’s going to be hard to beat.

Almond Milk!!! Having Almond Milk with my Crunchy All Natural Peanut Butter and Sugar free Grape Jam sandwiches on Whole Wheat bagels is really good. I made the switch to Almond Milk and I’m never going back. Love it in my morning coffee. Almond Milk rocks.

museum_mile

Museum Trips are good.. I’m planing a few more. Think I’ll hit every museum that interests me in Manhattan (Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guggenheim, Natural History, etc) and then expand to the outer boroughs. Planning to walk down the famous Museum Mile near Central Park this week. I’ll post some pics. Promise. (If I remember to charge the battery in my camera… long story)

The Revenge Finale on ABC was really good. So satisfying. Everything I wanted from a season (series) finale. Now all we need is a Nolan Ross spin-off. That would be nice. Make it happen ABC. Keep the Revenge alive.

Americone Dream

My Birthday was good. I had Ice Cream. Lots and lots of Ice Cream. Ben & Jerry’s Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream. Absolutely my favorite Ice Cream flavor of all-time.

Other Space on Yahoo Screen is very good. Paul Feig’s show about a group of green astronauts lost in an unknown universe is the right amount of clever and silly. It’s like a combination of the British sci-fi shows: Doctor Who and Red Dwarf. The first season is eight very funny episodes. Check it out. It’s a fun binge watch at about three hours.

relationship balance

Relationships with other humans, though not all it’s cracked up to be, is still very very necessary and can be good… for a while. Thank you green eyes for that reintroduction to the world of other people. Like a baptism of fire. I’d kiss you on the top of your head if you were still talking to me.

And this song right here… This song is very good… A little angry but still good.

This Kendrick Lamar song right here. – The Blacker the Berry

I said they treat me like a slave cause me black
Woah we feel a whole heap of pain cause we black
And man I say, they put me in the chain cause me black
Imagine now, big gold chains full of rocks
How you no see the whip left scars on my back
But now we have a big whip parked on the block
All them say we doomed from the start cause we black
Remember this, every race starts from the black. Just remember that

I got this Kendrick Lamar album on heavy rotation. I’ve been playing this and the new Taylor Swift album back and forth. (I know it’s a weird combination. I’m a weird dude).

And now for everything there is a dark side… (AKA The Fucked-Up Five)

What’s NOT so Good?

Fed Ex Note

Fed Ex Deliveries where the driver doesn’t bother to read the note you left for him, and just leaves his ticket right next to it, are not good at all. I was home all day. You guys suck at your job. And don’t call and ask him to drive back around. That’s against the laws of nature and physics and would cause the end of the world as we know it.

Avengers: Age of Ultron was not good. I didn’t like it. But sadly I will end up owning it. And even more sadly they know this about people like me and they don’t even have to try to entertain me anymore. Just paint-by-numbers. And while I’m at it Tomorrowland wasn’t good either. A big blockbuster needs to be more than just a few action pieces, bad jokes and high-priced actors… DISNEY. I’m looking at you Disney. God, I hope they don’t screw up Star Wars.

Robin Williams David Letterman

David Letterman saying goodbye was not good. I grew up with him. High School. College. An American television institution. I feel old. Well older. It was my birthday. Sad. I’ll miss him and I’ll miss Paul Shaffer and the band and the way he never took shit from nobody. But on a lighter note: James Corden is doing a good job and he is infinitely likable & fun, and I have high hopes for Stephen Colbert (and his delicious Ice Cream flavor) when he takes over in September.

Game of Thrones on HBO is straight starting to piss me off. Perhaps killing off all of our favorite characters works for a book series but it does not work for a TV series. Sorry George. Not cool, man. Not good. Also this year is nowhere near as entertaining as last season. By this time we had major battles and they had also introduced one of the best characters of the series. But this year… it’s just annoyingly slow. They broke Anya. Sansa’s getting rape fucked by her new husband. And Tyrion. Only little Tyrion is still doing work. (Talking the Slavers into taking them to the fighting pits was genius). He never disappoints. But four / five episodes in, I expected more.

david-wright

The Mets are not looking good. My Mets had a great April and then proceeded to lose almost every game in May. same ole Mets. They must be snake-bit because now their best player, David Wright, may be gone for the rest of the seasons (all of them). So sad. He has some spinal thing that may end his career. He’s too young and too cute to retire this early. David Wright retiring is not good at all. Arrghhh.

But since I can’t end this post on a bad note, here’s something: Between the time I wrote this and the time I posted it, me and green eyes made up. I know that means nothing to you people but it makes me happy.

So that’s good, right?

Yeah. Whatever. Here’s some more music…

Speaking of Kendrick Lamar and Taylor Swift. This nearly caused my head to explode.

I love the way Taylor just basically gives the song to Kendrick. She’s becoming one of my favorite artists (and I’m not ashamed to admit it). The video is stupid but the new song with the Kendrick verses is really good.

Coming Soon to What’s Good: True Detective Season Two (the trailers look awesome and the cast is amazing), Taking my bike out to central park (because I own a nice bike that I never use) and Writing and writing and writing and writing.

Coming Soon to What’s NOT so Good: June Blockbusters (nothing looks particularly promising… maybe Jurassic World but I’m not overly excited). More of the same from my Mets (Unless they make a trade) and The final season of Lost Girl without Ksenia Solo as Kenzi (maybe she’ll make a few guest appearances).

Until next time,

– Mel

Top Ten Bisexual TV Characters

The TV mega post has taken a turn for the difficult (I hate sitcoms). So instead of wracking my brain to come up with sitcoms (that are still on the air… R.I.P. Community gone too soon), here’s the list I promised you guys after the first installment.

My top ten favorite bisexual TV characters.

The rules are simple.

1) The character should be seen having sex with both men and women on the show (or at least it’s strongly implied).

2) I have to like the show they’re on. and

3) The character has to be sexy.

To the list…

THE SUPERNATURAL MONSTERS

Sex with these two just might kill you, but oh what a beautiful death.

Eric Northman (The Vampire) from True Blood (HBO)

Eric Northman

Sexy Eric

On a show with no shortage of bisexual characters (I like to call it bisexual softcore splatter porn… but that’s just me), Eric Northman’s insatiable lust for sex is only matched by his thirst for blood. A fan favorite from the first season, his character has evolved from being a sexy bad guy to being a sexy good guy to being a sexy badass.

Eric Northman 2

Bloody Eric

He shows up a lot on my blog so needless to say… I want to do bad things with him.

Bo Dennis (The Succubus) from Lost Girl (SyFy)

Bo Dennis and Lauren

Bo on top

This is Bo Dennis (the one on top).

Bo Dennis and Dyson

And here she is on the bottom

Bo has to be careful not to drain all the energy from her lovers. It would kill them. She’s a badass succubus. She uses sexual energy to survive and to heal. She’s the star of the fantastic Canadian show Lost Girl. She leaves a trail of bodies behind her.

Bo

She’s so freaking sexy, the queue to be her next victim circles around the block.

Next up…

THE DRAMATIC BAD-BOYS

These two powerful, sexy and well-dressed bad-boys are not to be fucked with.

Nolan Ross (The Hacker) from Revenge (ABC)

Emily (Amanda) and Nolan

Nolan Ross, best friend of Amanda…. Emily… um Amanda,  is a tech genius and master of disguise, who may not intimidate physically but will fuck your shit up with a computer.

Nolan and his boyfriend

Nolan and his boyfriend

He likes boys.

Nolan and his girlfriend

Nolan and his girlfriend

He likes girls.

Nolan in Disguise

Nolan in Disguise

He likes disguises. Nolan is cool. Nolan is sexy.

Frank Underwood (The Powerbroker) from House of Cards (Netflix)

Frank Underwood is an elected official with a thirst for power on the Netflix series House of Cards. No spoilers. No spoilers. Some people still haven’t gotten around to it..

Frank Underwood

“You’d better not spoil a thing.”

But I have to spoil this one little thing in order to justify putting him on this list…

Frank loves his wife.

Frank loves his wife.

Frank loves his wife.

Frank loves his bodyguard

Frank loves his bodyguard

Frank loves his bodyguard.

Frank loves Zoe

Frank loves Zoe

But most of all… Frank loves power. Frank is evil. Frank is sexy.

Next up…

THE SCI-FI HOTTIES

These two hotties will screw anything that moves. Just don’t fall in love.

Oberyn Martell (The Prince) from Game of Thrones (HBO)

Prince Oberyn and Tyrion

Prince Oberyn Martell is a well-dressed renown fighter from the HBO show Game of Thrones. He sauntered his well-dressed ass onto the screen in season four and quickly became a fan favorite for his fighting skills, badassness, and sexual appetite.

Oberyn

“Take off your clothes.”

He likes it all.

Oberyn and Ellaria

Oberyn and Ellaria and a whore (she is not timid)

And so does his lady, Ellaria Sand. They were the sexiest bisexual couple in Westeros. Quite possibly on TV (depending on who Eric Northman is banging). I hate to see him go.

Jack Harkness (The Captain) from Doctor Who & Torchwood (BBC)

Jack likes humans and non-humans alike

“Are you female or male? Oh who cares. Let’s fuck.”

Captain Jack became a fan favorite when he first appeared on the BBC hit Doctor Who and quickly earned a spin-off show called Torchwood. He won us over with his gorgeous smile and his cool-as-hell overcoat. His flirty bravado and his swashbuckling style.

Captain Jack is hot

Captain Jack is hot

Captain Jack is hot.

Jack and Ianto

Jack and Ianto… (heart breaking).

Captain Jack was real hot. But unfortunately Torchwood didn’t last. I hated to see him go.

Next up..

THE PRISON BITCHES

These women leave a path of sexual and physical destruction wherever they go.

Nancy Botwin (The Dealer) from Weeds (SHO)

Nancy Botwin

Nancy sells that MILF weed.

Nancy Botwin is the main character of the Showtime comedy Weeds. A sexy mother of three who manipulates men and women alike with her sexuality and love of danger. She starts off as a minor weed dealer and quickly builds a drug empire, leaving broken hearts and broken bodies in her wake. She’s bad to the bone and sexy to the core.

Nancy behind bars

Nancy behind bars

I can’t officially call her bisexual but she did have a prison fling. So, she makes the list for her sexy time behind bars. The opposite to her exception being next on the list.

Piper Chapman (The Smuggler)  from Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

Piper Chapman

Piper behind bars

Piper Chapman is the main character in the Netflix comedy Orange is the New Black. A sexy bride-to-be who goes to prison for an old drug smuggling charge. She is also manipulative and gets her way with a carefully placed flirty smile.

Piper behind bars

Still behind bars

There has been only one season. So I don’t know if Piper is a lesbian who was in denial for a little bit or bisexual. However she’s slept with men on the show and she’s slept with women on the show, so that qualifies her for this list.

Piper  and Alex

Piper and Alex

Like Nancy, I’m going to call her bisexual. It’s more fun that way.

THE EVIL ALIENS

These women will fuck you, kill you or both. They just haven’t decided yet.

Number Six (The Cylon) from Battlestar Galactica (SyFy)

Number Six

“Baltar. I want to have a three-way with D’anna.” “Oh. Alright. You’ve convinced me.”

Number Six is a Cylon from the space opera Battlestar Galactica. One of the first Cylons to show themselves to the enemy. She was deep undercover (in more ways than one).

Number Six and Baltar

“Would you destroy the world for me?” “You’re damn right I would… oh you’re serious.”

Not actually one single character, Cylon model Number Six are the ultimate femme fatale. Sexy assassin. terrorist. spy and temptress, they don’t know why they love sex so much. They just do. Sex with men, women. And sex with other Cylons.

Mirror Kira Nerys (The intendant) from Deep Space Nine (Synd)

Kira Nerys

Major Kira Nerys

Kira Nerys is a major on Deep Space Nine. A Bajoran, a badass but not evil. However in the mirror universe (bare with me. it’s a Star Trek thing), Kira Nerys was the Intendant of Terak Nor Station (DS9). A Bajoran, a badass, a bisexual and completely bad to the bone.

Kira Nerys kiss

Mirror Kira Nerys

Mirror Universe Star Trek is the best because all the characters are so much sexier.

And that’s ten bisexual characters… but wait there’s more. I also have two sexy fan fiction (and fan art) favorites to add… because I can.

THE FAN FICTION FAVES

Seven of Nine (The Borg) from Star Trek Voyager (UPN)

Seven of Nine

“I am… what the Borg would call… Very hot.”

Seven of Nine is a liberated Borg drone from Star Trek Voyager. She joined the Voyager crew and quickly became a fan favorite. She had romances with male crew members but the sexual tension between her and Janeway was palpable and inspired tons of fan fiction.

Seven and Janeway

“Seven, can I see you in my ready room?” “Are you ready for me, captain?”

And I’m inclined to agree.

Princess Xena (The Warrior) from Xena: Warrior Princess (Synd)

Xena

Xena with a sword.

Xena was a character from Hercules (and her own show) who may have been a demigod but was definitely a badass. She had romances with gods and demigods alike but her relationship with Gabrielle was understood by most fans of the show as more than just friends and it also inspired tons of sexy fan fiction.

Xena and Gabrielle

“We’re not about to kiss, Gabby.” “Oh yes we are.” “No we’re not.” ” Yes we are.”

Okay, now that’s twelve. Which is quite enough bisexual for one post. One for every month of the year (or hours on a clock if you’re a fast worker). This was a fun list to compile and I hope you liked it.

I didn’t include Sherlock because it was never confirmed that he liked men. He has sex with women on the show and in the beginning they assumed he was gay but they were mistaken and the John Watson / Sherlock Holmes (JohnLock) fan fiction is just wrong.

See you guys next time,

– Mel