Sunday, December 31, 2017

More About The Last Jedi and the Conversations We SHOULD Be Having

So here's a true story: I woke up in the middle of the night with all these The Last Jedi debates raging in my head and couldn't go back to sleep for at least an hour. I just lay there thinking about all the internet outrage over this divisive movie (that, as I write this, has just been named the highest-grossing film of 2017) and this article you're now reading began to crystalize in my head. I'm not sure I'll be able to put it together with the clarity that I had in the pre-dawn hours of the early a.m., but I'm going to give it my best shot.

I hadn't planned on writing anything else about this movie, and I've been enjoying some time off for the holidays. Besides, neither the world nor the internet need another write-up about The Last Jedi. I can't imagine anything needing to be said that hasn't been already, I go writing another piece on the movie. Part of why I feel it's necessary is because I was so glowing on the movie when I wrote "Why Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi is Good for Star Wars", and the level of outrage had not yet reached the crescendo that it has for the past couple of weeks. In the days following the release of the movie, I was seeing more and more anger and outright hate online, usually directed with unbridled venom at the people responsible for making or starring in the movie. Really I'm writing this because the world is a different place three weeks after the release of this movie. At least, it seems like it is to me.

Spoilers for all Star Wars movies follows.

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Outlaw Bart Thrasher

Infamous Alabama outlaw Bart Thrasher lived a short, violent existence, but his tale is the stuff of campfire legends. In the turbulent years following the Civil War, Bart Thrasher robbed, murdered, and terrorized Bloody Bibb County, making national news and reminding everyone that the dangers of the Wild West extended all the way to Alabama.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Why Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi is Good for Star Wars (SPOILERS)

I won't beat around the bush: I absolutely love The Last Jedi. It was the movie that I've been daring to hope for, finally giving me faith that the Disney era of Star Wars can offer its own thing but still have the timelessness and emotional power that many of the other numbered saga films possess. I'm still too excited, even several days after watching the movie, to put together something tightly-written that would resemble a review, so bear with me as I get my thoughts down on how this movie delivered what I, what I needed, and what Star Wars itself needed in order to MATTER to a new generation. More importantly, if you're skeptical of this movie, maybe I can shed some light on why I think this is the right step forward. I'm not an expert. I'm not a critic. I'm just a fan so excited about something that I have to write about it. The internet is a toxic place where honesty and respect rarely go hand in hand, but maybe, just maybe, I can bear my soul and at least show you how I see The Last Jedi.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Disney, 20th Century Fox, and Net Neutrality: Is This Really a Good Thing?

Disney's purchase of the film and television assets of 20th Century Fox is major news, and it comes at the same time that the FCC repeals net neutrality. Let's dig in and explore the long-term impact of these two major entertainment developments.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

My Huge, Crazy Star Wars Movie Collection

There are very few things that are as awesome as Star Wars, and I've accumulated a large, incredible, weird collection of the movies and TV shows over the years. Come join me for a tour of my Star Wars video collection as we celebrate the  magic of a Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away! Long live Star Wars!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Rolling Stones: ON AIR Review - Live at the BBC & The Down Side of Physical Media (CD, Vinyl)

Rolling Stones: ON AIR is a new collection that contains live performances recorded by the band for the BBC's various radio programs between 1963 and 1965. How does this collection stack up in the overall Stones discography? Plus, a further discussion of physical media and a small rant against Amazon!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Baywatch (2017)

 Baywatch (2017) is one of the latest attempts by a major movie studio to rely on name recognition of a past property in hopes that audiences will support the movie out of familiarity. Recent other attempts at the same thing have included CHiPs, 21 Jump Street and its sequel, 22 Jump Street. Often times, these movies have only the thinnest of connections with the awesome thing that they're "based" upon, which begs the question "who are these movies for?" Anyone who watched the TV shows that provide inspiration for these movies will be unhappy because they are so tonally different, and younger audiences who didn't grow up with those old TV shows won't care because they have no emotional investment.

Baywatch bears almost no resemblance to the show that it takes its name from. Sure, there are very fit people in bikinis and tight trunks running on the beach, usually in slow motion. But that, along with a couple of character names, is the only connection to the show that was (and I think still is) the biggest success in the history of TV. I'm not even joking: TV's Baywatch aired in more markets and was watched by more people than any other show on television. Let's get something out of the way here. People say Baywatch was just about watching hot people wearing next to nothing. While there's no denying the jiggle factor, saying Baywatch was only about skin is like saying Walker: Texas Ranger was only about cowboy hats. While those things were always there, they weren't the focus of the show. Baywatch was a soap opera that would find the characters saving lives, stopping crime, and struggling with interpersonal relationships and personal issues on a weekly basis. The jiggle was just part of the scenery. Important scenery, sure, but never the focus.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Midnight Music: John Carpenter's Doctor Who

This is not my video, but I'm posting it here because I love it and I think it deserves to be appreciated by as many people as possible. Fact #1: John Carpenter is the best. Fact #2: Doctor Who is also the best. YouTube's GeorgeCMusic decided to combine the two together and created something that is so awesome that I can hardly stand it. The marriage of seventies-era John Carpenter synthesizer with seventies era Doctor Who (think Tom Baker's Fourth Doctor) hits me right where I live. It's spooky in exactly the way that it needs to be and sounds JUST LIKE what Ron Grainer's classic Doctor Who theme would have sounded like if John Carpenter worked for the BBC Radiophonic Workshop circa 1978.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Collecting Physical Media in a Digital World (DVD Disc VS Streaming)

Your eccentric uncle is back for an open conversation about collecting physical media in a world that has moved to streaming services as a primary source of entertainment. How has the marketplace changed in the last ten years? In the last FIVE? What impact has this shift had on the sales, availability, and general public opinion of those shiny discs that now serve as drink coasters? Is Netflix the devil, or a savior? These are questions that scholars like Socrates and Plato debated to a draw, but we're going to see if we can answer them once and for all! Gather 'round and huddle up beside the fire with a bowl of your favorite cereal, because we're gonna dig deep into the debate, Midnight-style.