Monday Morning Movie Review: Ponty’s Top Ten Worst Films: #1: Batman & Robin (1997)

After many grueling months, Ponty and I are nearly done with our Top Ten Worst Films lists.  Today marks the end of Ponty’s inglorious run.

I have to applaud Ponty for both conceiving of this “worst of” idea and for his execution.  The man has a talent for unbridled hatred, at least when it comes to bad movies (otherwise, he seems like a lovely, gentle spirit).  The Bible does teach us to hate that which is evil (it’s in one of the Psalms, I promise), and what could be more evil than big budget flicks that waste money producing tripe?  I mean, I guess some gaffers got some work, so that’s good, but, dang!

That said, Ponty’s pick here will be a controversial one for some.  I remember 1997’s “Batman & Robin” somewhat fondly… but I was twelve when it hit theaters.  I remember watching it at home and, in my pubescent boyhood, thinking Poison Ivy was hot (never mind that Uma Thurman looks like an alien).  I also liked Mr. Freeze’s ridiculous ice puns, which I still enjoy saying (“Ice to see you”).

Ah, such innocence.  After reading Ponty’s review, I may have to rewatch the flick after twenty-five years to see if my opinion has matured more than I have myself (I’ve heard that director Joel Schumacher is kind of a freak, which might explain all the nipples on the Bat Suit).  Of course, the point of this list, in part, is to help readers avoid watching bad movies, so would I be violating the implicit spirit of the worst films lists?

Such heady, philosophical conundrums.  Nothing quite like that in Batman & Robin, as I recall.

With that, here is Ponty’s #1 pick, 1997’s Batman & Robin:

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Lazy Sunday CLVIII: School, Part II

Well, the first day of school is coming up on Wednesday, which is appropriate:  all of this weekend’s posts are about that halcyon first day (or week!) of school:

  • First Day of School in The Age of The Virus” – I was really dreading this school year, and this post might reflect that somewhat.  We had to implement a lot of crazy new measures to accommodate The Age of The Virus, most of which have (hopefully) fallen away now.  Still, we made it through, for the most part.
  • First Week of School in The Age of The Virus” (and “TBT: First Week of School in The Age of The Virus“) – Even after a week, I was already feeling a bit better about things.  It was still a bit crazy getting students to wipe desks down every time they entered a classroom, and the technology issues were in full effect (I’d completely forgotten about Loom—thank goodness!).
  • Back to School 2021” – I hate to be negative, but this school year sucked.  But there were some bright moments, too, and I had nearly twenty students for private lessons at one point.  Wooooot!

That’s all for this second edition of school-related posts.  Excelsior!

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

SubscribeStar Saturday: Police State Raid

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

Well, as photog declared earlier this week on his blog Orion’s Cold Fire, we’re officially “a banana republic.”  The FBI raided President Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago… for what?  Some documents?  Apparently, the President had already turned over some documents to the National Archives.  Since when does the National Archives get to send a domestic police force into the homes of former presidents to get McDonald’s receipts?

Just like the arrest of Roger Stone and the ginned up January 6th Committee hearings, we on the Right have always understood that actors on the Left enjoy a different, more lenient standard of justice than those of us on the Right.  In the pre-Trump world, there was at least some pretext of blind justice, with the progressives getting a wink and a nod for their malfeasance, with a conservative offered up sacrificially from time to time to appease the mob.

Now entire federal agencies—indeed, the vast majority of the federal government—are beholden to the Left.  The apparatus of the state is no longer a mostly-impartial arbiter and guarantor of justice; instead, it’s now the personal army and political secret police of the Democratic Party.

Why?  Because “Orange Man Bad.”

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Phone it in Friday XXII: Malmsteenian Excess

This morning I’m recovering from a late night of rockin’ out to the neoclassical metal strains of Yngwie Malmsteen.  At least, I’m assuming I’m recovering—I’m filing this post a day before the concert.

As such, a complete review of the post will be coming next week at some point.  I can only assume the concert was incredible, and that Yngwie showed up on stage, on time.  It’s not the 1980s anymore, so I doubt he pulled any Guns N’ Roses antics and showed up on stage two hours late, but who knows?  If so, you’ll know more next week!

Yngwie Malmsteen championed neoclassical metal back in the 1980s with his band Rising Force.  He revived Baroque and classical works and played them on electric guitar, which is pretty awesome if you just think about it for a second.

Naturally, his sheer technical brilliance gave him a huge head, and that ego was only slightly deflated when he suffered injuries in a car accident that made it difficult for him to play.  To his immense credit—and to our musical delight—he relearned to play, building back the strength and dexterity necessary to ascend to the level of guitar god.

So, since I’m writing this before the concert, I thought I’d share some clips of Malmsteen rockin’ out in his distinctively technical way.

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TBT: Preserving Old Varieties

On Saturday I wrote a bit about an arrangement my neighbor and I have regarding my fig trees and grapevines:  I grow them, he picks them—and makes them into delicious preserves.  He’s also provided me with heirloom broccoli plants, which I shamefully think have largely died (though two stalks have somehow soldiered on through the hot summer months; I’m surprised they survived the heat!), and he grows an impressive garden himself.

So when casting about for this week’s TBT feature, this post about the Bradford watermelon—a variety thought lost to the world—fit neatly with what was already fresh on my mind.

There is so much variety out there compared to what the supermarkets put on offer.  We’d probably all be a lot happier and a good bit healthier if we tried some of these old varieties.

With that, here is 24 August 2021’s “Preserving Old Varieties“:

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Midweek Myers Movie Review: The Lion in Winter (1968)

As Ponty and I have been going through the worst movies ever, it seems like a palette cleanser is in order.  Too much of a good thing is a problem, but too much of a bad thing is probably worse (by definition, I suppose it is!).

Thanks to good ol’ Audre Myers, we have a reminder that plenty of good—indeed, great—things have been imprinted on celluloid.  Not every film is a woke stinker with a strident “strong female character” who lacks any flaws or shortcomings.

Indeed, this film demonstrates how really to write a “strong female character”—and it was released in 1968!  I thought those philistines were still dragging women to their caves by the hair back then.  Well, they don’t come much stronger than Eleanor of Aquitaine; portrayed by the hyper-patrician Katharine Hepburn, 1968 Hollywood would run circles around Brie Larson.

Well, enough of my pontificating.  Here’s Audre Myers’s—our own “strong female character” here at TPP—and her exquisite review of 1968’s The Lion in Winter:

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Open Mic Adventures IV: KISS’s “I Still Love You”

Last Tuesday I forewent my usual trip to F.E. Pop’s to take an end-of-summer trip to Benjamin’s Bakery in Surfside Beach, South Carolina to play their new open mic night.  My girl lives down that way, and she’d never seen me play live before (although I send her videos of my pianistic noodling on a regular basis), so we decided to take advantage of this opportunity for her to hear me play a few tunes.  It was a fun evening, and a great opportunity to meet some new musicians in a different town.

Unfortunately, my girl was so enraptured watching me perform (and a little girl grabbed her attention for about half of my mini-set), she didn’t take any video of my powerful coffee shop crooning.  That performance is now lost to the mists of time (although I will always remember it; I hope she does, too!).

As such, I’m going back to the night of Tuesday, 26 July 2022, featuring a duet with my buddy John Pickett.

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Monday Morning Movie Review: Portly’s Top Ten Worst Films: #2: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

We’re nearly at the bottom, and my pick for this week—2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker—probably is a bit of a giveaway as to my Number 1 pick.

The Rise of Skywalker is the final film in the Star Warssequel trilogy,” itself a bloated mess of plot holes, Mary Sues, wooden characters, and destroyed legacies.  It’s not the worst film in the trilogy, but it’s pretty dang close.

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Lazy Sunday CLVII: School, Part I

Aside from a fairly early issue of Lazy Sunday about education, I haven’t really done one about school.  Now that I’m back to work, it seemed like a good time to revisit some timeless classics about education, school, etc.:

  • Back to School with Richard Weaver” (and “TBT: Back to School with Richard Weaver” and “TBT^2: Back to School with Richard Weaver“) – I used to reread at least the introduction to Richard Weaver’s seminal Ideas Have Consequences, probably the most powerful book I’ve ever read (besides the Bible).  I haven’t read it in some time, but I think it’s time to pick up this old chestnut again.
  • First Day of School 2019” – Ah, yes, the 2019-2020 school year—easily the most unusual school year any teacher has experienced, with the possible exception of 2020-2021.  I was absolutely burned out by the time The Age of The Virus hit in mid-March 2022, and it ended up being a bit of a silver lining (with all due respect to those who suffered and even died because of it).
  • SubscribeStar Saturday: Returning to School in The Age of The Virus” – I grew so accustomed to the freedom of working from home, I was actually really dreading returning to school for the 2020-2021 school year.  It wasn’t that bad overall; 2021-2022 was much more difficult.  But it was certainly an unusual—an unprecedented!—time to be a teacher.  I still feel sorry for those who entered the profession this year.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments: