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    3 years, 2 months



Wednesday E.1-E.8
The list of genres for this production should include "mystery" as the first one. This show is a crazy fun time and, while the family saw only two shows on Thanksgiving Day, my wife and myself binged the entire eight episodes on our own.

Typically Tim Burton is known for his odd take on cinema and this work is simply superb...most everything seems plausible regardless of how it's portrayed.

Excellent screenplay. Excellent acting. The entire production team should be awarded Oscars.

Jenna Ortega is priceless and has captured her character Wednesday perfectly. Her demeanor reminds me of Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator.

The UnXplained: Unnatural Nature
Episode 4, Season 1

Poor Vegans
When words can have almost any meaning at all.

Both my wife and myself occasionally find ourselves looking for a show or a series that will, perhaps, peak our curiosities. We have found what might be what we are looking for in William Shatner's "The UnXplained".

Now, granted, sometimes the "experts" tend to contradict themselves (sometimes in the same sentence) and sometimes words can have different meanings at different times to different people with different levels of world experience or education. But there is a level of campiness present that makes the show, for the most part, entertaining.

What prompted this "review" was the "Unnatural Nature" episode when they start talking about plants having souls and being able to think and feel and we are asking ourselves: what are vegans going to eat now?

Web of Make Believe: Death, Lies and the Internet: Sextortion
Episode 4, Season 1

Always Go to the Authorities
These girls are so naive I find it to be almost heart-breaking. I compare the internet to a jungle, indeed it can be a very dangerous place; but so little of the possible dangers is/ was actually understood by these girls.

I, for one, am just so glad that my sisters are finally coming around to the understanding that they must become activists in charge of their own lives.

If someone is trying to ruin your life you owe it to them to make sure that it is THEIR life that gets ruined.

I cannot imagine what these girls were thinking. What they did was what most adults would call "indecent exposure" and is illegal in most of the world.


I must admit that, initially, I was slow to pick up on some of the visual clues and so I didn't quite get what was happening.

My wife told me: much of the time when the shot changes from one character to another they are the SAME character...only forwards or backwards in time.

This series is so clever and deep, and on so many levels. The viewing audience is reminded of a simple fact that is so removed from the daily human experience that we can, currently, only acknowledge it. We strive to, one day, understand it: there exist things that have had neither a beginning nor will ever come to an end. Most of us have, no doubt, been exposed to this realization in our lives. The concept of a Higher Power; of outer space alternately expanding and contracting. For all of time. Endlessly. Forever. To infinity.

Warrior Nun: Galatians 6:4-5
Episode 1, Season 2

Warrior Nun S2 E1
Both my wife and myself love the Warrior Nun series. We both grew up in fairly strict, religious households and we know about the kinds of violence which is in the background of most religions. During this episode there is roughly equal amounts of both story and character development this episode. After Ava and Sister Beatrice go out and become drinking buddies they get into a bit of a fray. Excellent hand-to-hand combat sequences (they are rather brutal and augmented with quite detailed computer graphics) with Sister Lilith being an absolute human meat-grinder. Not a lot of plot development but some tense moments.


Mute: Six Points For The Attempt

A love story. Set in a dirty, decadent, dystopian future. With plenty of drinking and drugs. And sex. Of all kinds. Some of which you've never before known. Amongst plenty of trashy neon lighting.

Decent computer graphics throughout.

I don't often comment upon the background music but here there are definate clashes with the cinematic material.

Alexander Skarsgård's character is so sweet and caring and trusting. I would have wanted him for a younger brother.

Paul Rudd's character "Cactus Bill" is funny in that everything annoys him and he will sometimes go to extreme lengths to make his displeasure known.

Father Stu

Father Stu
In both the opinion of my wife and myself "Father Stu" is a, believe it or not, fairly entertaining dramatic effort by Mark Wahlberg. Although it sometimes feels a bit preachy (in a non-aligned kind of way) but it's certainly not offensive. Mark Wahlberg starring in this, his most "regular Joe" role ever; he can't seem to fit in with society, he is at constant odds with "the system" just being a nobody boxer /mop salesman /movie star with absolutely no future in any of those endeavors. With Mel Gibson as the father who wouldn't know compassion if it were to bite him on his behind.

Rosalind Ross has given us a very intelligent screenplay, one where the audience can't help but be drawn into her story. I would have never expected to see this kind of on-screen chemistry evidenced by this cast brilliantly portraying the work of a first-time writer /director.

Mel Gibson as Stuart's alcoholic father comes across as a witty individual who, unfortunately, lacks the self -confidence to raise his children in a loving manner.

Jacki Weaver plays Stuart's mother who is stronger, emotionally, than her husband.

Stuart has a "come to God moment" and decides to become a priest, in spite of the opinions of others.

If you don't laugh and cry while watching Father Stu then you have no beating heart in your chest.


District 9: Take Two. Or perhaps District 9: Outtakes.
A dystopian action movie which fares fairly well when pitted against others of the same genre even though the lauded director cannot instill any sense of urgency in his audience. Elysium is not quite silly enough to be campy. Good enough acting but the screenplay was weak overall.

It would seem that a large portion of the movie budget was spent on the computer graphics, not so much on the understanding of basic scientific principles.

Why must future "Gardens of Eden" be depicted as having Southern California mini-mansions with golf-course manicured lawns? Some of us would prefer woodlands and, perhaps, swamplands.

One must wonder: at what point in time will we human beings actually become sheeple? I ask because It IS happening...

And finally: We don't speak Spanish in this household and the closed captioning option is not working. This is, in my judgement, disrespectful towards individuals who rely on the closed captioning in order to better understand (and enjoy) a production.

Hollywood cliché #298: trash fires indicate poverty.


Karppi (Deadwind) (2018-2021)
A dedicated, head-strong female detective surrounded by male co-workers who are frequently, by turns, either indifferent, spineless, or passive-aggressive. She is also a single mother with children who are right on the cusp of the "troublesome age" which, of course, gives more strain on her and more story opportunities.

There is the required main story-arc (a murder to be solved) plus several off-arcs which will leave the viewers guessing until the arcs come to be concluded.

Some of the reviewers here characterize Karppi as being a rambling, disjointed story. Both my wife and myself disagree with their assessments. There are a few more elements present here than are found in the majority of today's entertainment tripe; requiring the viewer to, gasp, pay attention.

Good story. Good acting. Good pacing. Watch it.

The UnXplained: Mysterious Structures
Episode 2, Season 1

A Half-Truth Is Still A Lie
Both my wife and I respect Bill Shatner and we tend to view this series with open minds (and hearts).

But let's face it: The majority of these "mysteries" are just plain embellishments and half-truths. Here's a hint: The famous Egyptian "pyramids" were built by dragging the stones up sand embankments. No UFOs. No magic. No mystery. People: the majority of our practical sciences were conceived centuries ago. Humans have been intelligent creatures for a LONG time.

As always we initially award 8 stars to any production. But this production deserves only 4 stars because it is: "Meh /Lackluster" on our grading scale.

Beautiful scenery. Good soundtrack. Good story telling.

What the Health

I Get ALL My Health Advice From The Internet and Netflix
The State of California Has Determined That Breathing Smoke From Raging Forest Fires Is Perfectly Safe.

Hiring a self-proclaimed hypochondriac to do a "documentary" on healthy eating. Surely a non-biased production, yes?

Uh oh! How did humans get to the top of the food chain if we are such paranoid idiots about our diet?

That first shot with the old white guy giving statistics on diabetes. Kip asks him what's the correlation between diet and diabetes and old white guy clams up.

Barely one minute in and already the manipulation begins.

"Processed meat" is what you get whenever you buy a hamburger from McDonalds. Don't confuse people by showing perfectly good steak on the barbeque. Want a hint? If it doesn't LOOK like meat then it's NOT MEAT.

And just between you and me? There is NO amount of aspirin that a human being can safely consume. Aspirin will attack your aorta (most commonly in your lower abdomen) and when it ruptures you will most likely bleed out before you can even dial for an ambulance.

Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities: Lot 36
Episode 1, Season 1

Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities: Lot 36 (1.1)
I think I saw one of those cabinets in an IKEA furniture showroom! I'm so glad that my wife talked me out of buying it for our home. Though she did say that it would be a wonderful piece for my mum's. Hmmm...

The intro does a good job of getting viewers into the mood.

When Nick's pickup truck comes to the first stoplight I am thinking to myself: The writers are getting us to feel a strong dislike for this character. Let's see where this is headed.

Lamest hopscotch game ever.

Cinematography is very good. Good effects. Decent story and acting. TV show weight for what is basically a bottle episode.

Z Nation: State of Mine
Episode 10, Season 5

Unable to Suspend My Disbelief
I simply cannot bring myself to suspend my disbelief; because there simply are way too many goofs to ignore. This is one of the dumbest episodes, ever.

So: a "talker" decides to start munching on a cellphone it found in a recycling yard. Yes, it takes human brains to be able to use electronic devices but there are no such brains located inside them; whatever in the world prompted a brain-dead zombie to eat garbage.

"Talkers" also magically learned how to use firearms. I wonder if they gained that ability by eating bullets.

Nothing bad had ever happened in that "mine" before, right. And congratulations, "talkers", on the shortest revolution ever. Not quite 60 seconds.

Supernatural: The French Mistake
Episode 15, Season 6

A Must Watch Episode
This is truly a "must watch" episode.

Both my wife and myself got into the Supernatural television series long after it had concluded it's run. But we are very glad we finally stumbled upon it.

This episode (The French Mistake) is one of our absolute favorites because of the "behind the scenes" aspect of the production. Since both my wife and myself have worked in the entertainment industry (she was a writer who also worked in front of the camera, I worked on many of the technical sides) this episode brought back some faded memories and we traded a few stories and laughs.

I thought it was funny watching the Foley tech making bird tweets and on his smart phone (tweeting?) at the same time.

Mystery Science Theater 3000

Right After Pee Wee Herman's Playhouse on a Saturday
Both my wife and myself used to watch the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 on every Saturday morning; it played right after Pee -Wee Herman's Playhouse. Yeah. We also used to throw popcorn at the screen during the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" wedding scenes. But only during midnight showings.

This being the original (and the best) MST3K benefitted, in our opinions, from a major influence: this show got first dibbs on what movies that Joel wanted to lampoon. And I would bet dollars to doughnuts that Joel Hodgson was very carefully choosing his materials.

Yes. The original does, on average, deserve an 8 star vote.

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return: Reptilicus
Episode 1, Season 1

Reptilicus (2017)
Yes. The original does, on average, deserve a one star better rating.

Joel Hodgson's personality worked better. After all, he was the creator and head -liner. And, in the opinion of both my wife and myself, the original series had picked all the best movies to lampoon. Still: this reboot offers nearly the same quality dumb, campy fun.

Reptilicus certainly has the signature campiness going for it. Dumb dialog, poor "special effects", totally implausible plot.

At 0:29:25 -it is inadvertently revealed that this episode has been funded by a global agency of the United Nations aimed at promoting world peace (UNESCO).

Hot Forever

Preach It, Sister!
Iliza Shlesinger is a comedic genius. My wife absolutely loves her. Iliza's viewpoint, her passion, her observations (for the most part) are dead -on. I say for the most part because I am a male and have not had similar experiences. I do share her anger when it comes to the weak, cowardly manner in which some men treat women. Attacking, shaming, killing women...this is absolutely out of control and has been for a very, very long time. That section about men not being able to connect emotionally with women rang especially true to my ears because two of my sisters have survived attempts by men to murder them.

Zone Blanche: The Shadow and the Preys
Episode 8, Season 2

The Shadow and the Preys (2019)
Well, that was certainly an anti-climactic "ending". Just as soon as the "search party" enters the woods all of the characters begin acting as though they have become brain-dead.

This is about as nonsensical and open-ended a series as is most any teenager slasher movie; and perhaps that is exactly what the writers were going for. That is the only explanation that my wife and myself have come up with. Except that here the principal characters are further developed to the point that it is easier to have empathy for them.

But then neither of us is from Villefranche so I doubt that, in the words repeated over and over by the residents, we would understand.

That inspector was just as clueless as was Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther movies.

Lost in Space: Unknown
Episode 8, Season 2

Unknown Mutiny Chicken Hero (2019)
In our opinion (my wife and myself) this may be the most dramatic Lost In Space episode of the season, to date. If any of the reviewers here have ever served in the service of their country's Naval branch of the military then I have no doubt that, like my wife and myself, there is a tension and a heightening of the senses whenever the word "mutiny" is heard. Combat on a vessel both with and against your own crew.

Once again Penny and Don team up to do some heavy lifting (I forget the chicken's name but she was working just as hard as she could to free Don from his shackles) only he complains that it would take 30,000 years.

Nick Kroll: Little Big Boy

Nick Kroll: Little Big Boy (2022)
We (my wife and myself) frequently rate comedians by the amount of alcohol that one must consume in order to find any humor in the comedian's material. This show deserves our booze rating; we are simply not sure if the viewing audience can consume enough alcohol (without overdosing) to make this an enjoyable viewing. Nick Kroll: Little Big Boy. Wasn't this billed as a comedian doing a comedy stand-up show??? I'm just checking here. I don't see any raised hands. Oh. What? He's the guy who created "Big Mouth"? Whatever the folk that is. Poop jokes are just sooo edgy here in the 2022's. Going out on a limb here: 10 drinks, minimum.

Hardcore Henry

Hardcore Henry (2015) Over the Top Humor, Amazing Camerawork
Like I said in the title bar: If you like campy, tongue-in-cheek humor and camera angles that, time and again, put you right in the middle of this crazy production you will most likely enjoy Hardcore Henry.

First and primarily: this is an extremely violent love story which has a lot of humorous moments throughout. Like when Henry scales the side of a three-story building (as seen from his own POV, yet)! And jumps into a window encountering a very chill couple smoking on the couch.

It would seem that every possible method of inflicting bodily injury and /or death on fellow human beings is portrayed, quite realistically, during this movie. Well, with the exception of a nuclear bomb explosion, I guess.

Supernatural: The Rapture
Episode 20, Season 4

The Rapture (2009)
This episode fell flat on it's face for a couple of reasons: 1) The whole idea of unnecessarily breaking up the Novak family was, in my mind, thoughtlessly cruel. The father /husband of this cute little Christian family just up and disappears, for years, and the family doesn't even deserve to get a courtesy text message from "the higher ups"; letting them know that Jimmy is doing extremely important work for "the Big Guy upstairs". No. Jimmy's wife and child have no idea what happened to him. They suppose he has died, but they aren't for sure. Cruel.

2) Is Sammy becoming, like, totally incompetent?

I find no fault with the rest of the production.


Supernatural: It's a Terrible Life
Episode 17, Season 4

It's A Terrible Life (2009)
This episode will definitely require the viewing audience to dial up the "suspension of disbelief" knob. Just watch it. Don't think too much about it.

This is a rather laid -back episode where the two Winchester brothers, Sammy and Dean, find themselves working for a rather large steel -oriented construction corporation. Oh, and minus their memories of what they have been doing, apparently, for their entire lives.

Now that is what's known as "working your way up the corporate ladder". Ha ha.

We get some clarifications as far as just what the pecking order is up in Heaven, and how much is owed to the Winchester family.


Lou (2022)
Lou lives by herself in a small wooden cabin in some woods. She has no close personal relationships except for, perhaps, her dog Rex. She buries her money in a wooden box on the property. It is a very large sum of money. She drinks her bourbon neat. She is suicidal. One stormy night she has made her mind. Preparing for her suicide she methodically cleans her rifle and then burns some official looking paperwork, which has been heavily redacted. She also burns some 8mm films.

Hannah and her daughter Vee share a close personal relationship. They are Lou's closest neighbors. Hannah rents her trailer from Lou.

Hannah's -ex kidnaps Vee. Lou decides to help Hannah rescue her daughter.

Travelin' Band: Creedence Clearwater Revival at the Royal Albert Hall

R&B Meets Country Meets Grunge
Warning: If you don't play this documentary at a high volume you will be missing out on the fun.

I always thought that Creedence Clearwater Revival was the best band to come out of the 1960's and 1970's. Better, even, than the Beatles. Their country /grunge style always makes me smile whenever I hear it.

The documentary begins with the boys on their 1970 European tour. Then there is some background on the roots, the founding of the band back in high school. They first went under the name "The Blue Velvets" and when John's older brother joined they switched to "Tommy Fogerty and The Blue Velvets".

It's kind of funny how their first manager, Max Weiss, decided they should change their name to "The Golliwogs" so that they would sound more "British"'. What better way to ride on the coattails of "The British Invasion" than to name yourselves after an ugly rag doll caricature of a black minstrel. But, in Max's defense, he did have a prior hit under his belt: the theme to the "Charlie Brown" TV specials is a jazz instrumental titled "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" by Vince Guaraldi.

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