Lazy Sunday CLVI: More Movies, Part XXI: Movie Reviews, Part XXI

We’re back to the movies yet again this Lazy Sunday, though it’s going to be an abbreviated installment.  After the two film reviews here, Ponty and I began trading back and forth our reviews of our Top Ten Worst Films.  That list is nearly complete (with Ponty’s #2 pick popping tomorrow morning), so I’ll soon be going back through that list in future editions of Lazy Sunday.

That also means that, after this Sunday, I’ll be giving retrospectives of film reviews a rest for a few weekends.  What vague theme will I explore instead?  Stay tuned to find out more!

Regardless, here’s a 33% lighter Lazy Sunday than usual:

  • Monday Morning Movie Review: Runaway (1984)” – One reason I like to go back through these movie reviews is because I forget how many movies I’ve reviewed.  I also just straight up forgot watching 1984’s Runaway—starring a mustachioed Tom Selleck as a police officer charged with disabling malfunctioning robots—until going back through these old reviews.  I did enjoy this film, and although it’s not a great movie, it scratched an itch for a robophile such as myself.
  • Monday Morning Movie Review: Deep Water (2022)” – If you like psychological thrillers, Ana de Armas, and snails, you’ll love Deep Water (2022), the story of loveless, dysfunctional couple Vic (Ben Affleck) and Melinda (de Armas) Van Allen.  A great deal of the appeal of this movie—besides the aforementioned Ana de Armas playing a riotous sexpot—is trying to figure out the nature of the Van Allens’s deeply messed up relationship.  The snails are also kind of weird.

Happy Sunday!


Other Lazy Sunday Installments:


SubscribeStar Saturday: Revive Culture!

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

Last weekend I wrote a post encouraging readers to “Make Culture!”  YouTuber RazörFist/The Rageaholic inspired the post with his video “Don’t Cry About The Culture. BECOME The Culture.”  His premise—which I riffed on for a few hundred words—is simple:  go out and make your own culture (books, comic books, movies, stories, art, etc.), rather than complaining about the debased culture we have.

I ended that (shamefully short, for a paid post) piece arguing that “Razör is right.  We need to be out there creating stuff.  If you can’t create, support those who do (thanks, y’all!).”  Even after one week—plenty of time for a man to lose his mettle and totally reverse course—I stand by that statement.

But as I’ve mulled over the matter of culture creature a bit more, I’ve come to realize that in order to make good culture—even an alternative culture to the worldliness of Western culture today—we need to revive culture, or at least interest in culture.  Whether we like it or not, anything we create is going to draw some of its sap from the current, withering plant of mainstream Western culture.

Of course, that doesn’t mean all of it has to derive from that source.  The Ultimate Source of Culture for the West should be—and historically has been—the Bible.  The Bible is the Inspired Word of God; it’s also a rich text full of history, drama, poetry, metaphor (and that’s coming from a Biblical literalist!), rhetoric, literature, songs, and on and on.

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Phone it in Friday XX: Miscellaneous Late July Update

By this time next Friday, I’ll be back at the grind, starting with some teacher meetings.  The public schools in my area have shifted to a semi-year-round schedule, so those unfortunates will start classes on Monday, 1 August 2022.  Yikes!  That means teachers in the public schools have already been back, which doesn’t seem right.  No one besides an administrator or grounds crew should be darkening the door of a schoolhouse in July.

Of course, heading back on 5 August 2022 seems pretty dang early in my book.  I notice that my school keeps inching up the return time for faculty a bit more each year.  I’m still a tad baffled as to why they want us to start back on a Friday.  Classes won’t resume until Wednesday, 17 August 2022, though, so I still have a little time before I really hit the ground running.

The news cycle remains slow, it seems—just more of the usual bad news.  As I am writing this post, I’ve spent nearly $400 in gasoline (petrol, for my British readers) this month in a car that gets around 32 miles per gallon.  Granted, I’ve been keeping the road hot with lessons and seeing my new lady friend, but, goodness, something has got to give.

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TBT^2: Phone it in Friday XI: Coronavirus Conundrum, Part IV: Liberty in the Age of The Virus

The Virus is like a bad movie series that just refuses to die.  There was a controversial but impactful first release that everyone was talking about, even if they didn’t see it.  Then there was the lackluster sequel, which still enjoyed some popular support, even though ticket sales were down.

Now it feels like we’re on the tired third film, which is a watered-down, ineffectual finale (one hopes) to a premise that is played out.  Sure, critics love it, but audiences are tired of its antics.

What still seems to make it into the script of every one of these films is the part where the government bureaucrats lock everything down and release a bunch of ghosts into Manhattan (uh, wait, what?).  Meanwhile, we all kind of sit by and twiddle our thumbs and put our masks on dutifully.

What happened to the band of merry wastrels who tossed tea into Boston Harbor, rather than comply with an odious monopolization of the tea trade?  Or the plucky scofflaws who made it impossible to enforce the Stamp Act?  I’d rather disguise myself as an Indian (feather, not dot) and caffeinate the water supply than put a mask on again (but that would be cultural appropriation, of course).

In short, why don’t we get a backbone, instead of cowering behind masks and locking ourselves indoors?  We’re literally cowering before an invisible enemy with a 99%+ survival rate.

Well, liberty is never easy.  Better to stay inside watching movies and disconnecting from reality, eh?

With that, here is 29 July 2021’s “TBT: Phone it in Friday XI: Coronavirus Conundrum, Part IV: Liberty in the Age of The Virus“:

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Open Mic Adventures II: Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”

After the warm reception the first edition of Open Mic Adventures received, I figured I’d keep the fun going with a second installment.

This week’s featured tune should come as no surprise, seeing as I play the piano and sing.  The technical, industry term for this combination is “singing pianist.”  It says it all!

That said, even though I’ve been singing and playing piano for years (and in earnest for ten years now), I somehow never managed to perform Billy Joel’s iconic hit “Piano Man.”

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Bull Terrier Tuesday: Murphy’s Vet Update 2022

As the long summer days roll on and families squeeze in last-minute vacations, yours portly is resorting to an old chestnut with an extremely niche audience:  Bull Terrier Tuesday.

If you want to know about my dog, the nine-year old bull terrier Murphy, keep reading.  If you’d rather not know about my adorable, stubborn old girl, feel free to read some of my other posts to tide you over until the real substantive content returns.

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Monday Morning Movie Review: Portly’s Top Ten Worst Films: #3: Captain Marvel (2019)

There used to be a time when superhero movies were fun, light-hearted fare for a hot summer’s afternoon.  With a bucket of popcorn and frosty air-conditioning, watching Iron Man quip one-liners while blowing stuff up was a good way to pass the time.

Marvel Studios really upped the ante with superhero flicks, ladling in humor, depth, pathos, rich characterization, interlocking storylines, and all the rest.  For ten years, they pretty much dominated cinemas, with few misfires.  Heck, even the bad Marvel films were merely mediocre or forgettable.  I’ve definitely forgotten a lot of the plot points since the first Iron Man flick came out in 2008 (good grief—has it been that long?!), but the films were largely humorous, action-packed thrill rides at the time.

Then everything started getting hyper-politicized.  Think back to 2008, and how different the world was then.  Yeah, sure, Barack Obama was elected President that year—perhaps an important turning point in the wider culture war—but at the time, that was at least billed as a some kind of magically unifying moment.  Sure, we conservatives didn’t buy it, and he ended up being everything we feared he would:  a race-baiting socialist with delusions of grandeur.  But overall, our culture wasn’t nearly as divided as it is now, and while Hollywood always put out some propaganda, it largely stuck to entertainment.

By the time Captain Marvel (2019) came out eleven years later, it felt like the entire world had been turned upside-down.  Suddenly, everyone was talking about how much “representation matters” and established superheroes and other characters were being gender-swapped willy-nilly.  Rather than, you know, creating compelling female (or [insert identity here]) characters, we were told Batman needed to be gay, trans, Asian, wheelchair-bound, and suffering from a protruding overbite.

It was into this milieu that Captain Marvel was born—and it suffered for it.

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Lazy Sunday CLV: More Movies, Part XX: Movie Reviews, Part XX

This weekend marks the 155th edition of Lazy Sunday and the twentieth of looking back at movie reviews.  What’s also fun is that the first and third reviews this weekend are both from the pen of Ponty, with whom I am currently trading reviews of the worst movies of all time.

That’s it for this Sunday’s Ponty sandwich.  Enjoy!

Happy Sunday!


Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

SubscribeStar Saturday: Make Culture!

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

One week ago RazörFist/The Rageaholic uploaded an excellent video called “Don’t Cry About The Culture. BECOME The Culture.”  It’s really good (warning:  Razör uses some strong language):

Razör goes after the gatekeepers—in comics, movies, publishing, etc., etc.—while also challenging us to go out and create—to make and market our own stuff, instead of asking permission from progressive-controlled institutions and companies to do so.

It’s wisdom that’s so simple, so obvious, we somehow missed it.

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