Music Video of the Day: How The West Was Won And Where It Got Us by R.E.M. (1997, directed by Lance Bangs)


This song is from one of R.E.M.’s more underrated efforts, New Adventures in Hi-Fi.  As to what the song is actually about, there are many differing interpretations.  That’s kind of the par for the course when it comes to R.E.M.  The most frequent interpretation that I’ve seen is that Michael Stipe is singing about himself and all of the things that he wants that are unattainable.  Or it could be that Michael is actually singing about all of us and saying that no one will ever get what they want.  I’ve read at least one message board post that claimed that this was yet another song about the death of Kurt Cobain.

The music video was directed by Lance Bangs, who is still directing music videos to this day and who is married to Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney.  Bangs was also heavily involved with MTV’s Jackass, a show that changed the culture for better or worse.  Incidentally, Lance Bangs does not appear to be related to Lester Bangs.

Enjoy!

Lisa’s Week In Review: 1/18/21 — 1/24/21


I’ve lost a lot of people over the past four years.

They haven’t died, as much as they’ve vanished down the various rabbit holes that opened up after the election of Donald Trump.  A few of my acquaintances jumped down the MAGA rabbit hole.  However, since the majority of the people I know tend to lean towards the left, an even larger number of them disappeared down the Resistance rabbit hole.  A few of them, both on the right and the left, never returned.  Those that did make it back to the surface usually returned as different people.  It was as if they’d entered the Black Lodge and their doppelganger had returned while the person they had once been remained behind the red curtains.  People who had previously been witty and properly skeptical of outlandish conspiracy theories were suddenly spending all of their time talking about shadowy organizations and cartoonish villainy.  Discussions of art and creativity were replaced with dark talk of revolution and revenge.  I watched with growing sadness as some of my favorite writers went from writing thought-provoking stories and reviews and instead transformed into the type of people who stayed on twitter for 24 hours a day, replying to every Trump or Pelosi tweet and defending even obvious grifters like Lin Wood and Michael Avenatti.  I’ve watched as some former friends went full anti-Vaxxer while others started to find evidence of secret conspiracies in even the most mundane of events.

(It was never enough, of course, that they felt they had found evidence.  You were expected to see it too or you ran the risk of being accused of being a part of the cover-up.)

For the past four years, as paranoia and perpetual rage have been normalized, I’ve watched one mental collapse after another.  What was particularly upsetting was knowing that, while the majority of these people were at least sincere in their delusions (i.e., they truly believed that they were battling an immense conspiracy and that their tweets were the only thing standing between freedom and subjugation), the leaders that they were following and looking to for direction often were not.

Naively, I hoped that the election would provide some sort of relief or, at the very least, people would mentally have no choice but to start moving on.  Instead, some of the same people who previously pointed out that the Russian collusion theories didn’t really make much sense suddenly accepted the existence of an even bigger and more improbable conspiracy, all designed to steal the election from the man they supported for president.  The riot that occurred at the Capitol has resulted in both a new round of conspiracy theories and, far more ominously, new calls for an enhanced surveillance state.  By being so quick to buy into all of the various conspiracy theories, people may have brought about the very world that they believed they were stopping.

On Wednesday, we changed presidents and despite all the claims that Trump was going to apparently going to lock himself in the Oval Office, he instead flew down to Florida.  I’m not even going to guess what’s going to happen over the next four years.  All I know for sure is that I’m going to miss the people who have disappeared down those rabbit holes.  I still hold onto hope that they can eventually make it back but that hope is fading.  Once you buy into a conspiracy, it’s really hard to get your money back.

(On the plus side, the AV Club has announced that they’ll no longer be covering Trump.  Personally, I’m off the opinion that they should have never have started in the first place.  In fact, I would argue that….)

Okay, sorry.  Moving on!

In other news, it’s been a rainy and cold week down here in Texas.  I’m not complaining because I know that we’ll be back to 100-degree weather in just a few months.  I’ve currently got a cold but I’m trying not to complain as much as usual because, obviously, a cold is nothing compared to what’s currently out there.  It’s interesting to think that, a year ago at this time, the “experts” were stills saying that COVID fears were overblown and that there was no need for people to start wearing masks.  Now, 12 months later, you’re liable to get a dirty look if you leave your house only wearing one mask as opposed to two or three.

We had a nice big thunderstorm today and I was happy for that.  I always love ending the week with the chaos of thunder and lightning.

In conclusion….

Yes, yes, I know.  I have rambled on a bit today but if not now, when?  Anyway, here’s what I watched, read, and listened to this week!

Films I Watched:

  1. Body Bags (1993)
  2. Hell or High Water (2016)
  3. La Dolce Vita (1960)
  4. Let Them All Talk (2020)
  5. Lisa (1989)
  6. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020)
  7. The Outpost (2020)
  8. The Pay-Off (1942)
  9. Roped (2020)
  10. The Third Man (1949)
  11. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)
  12. The Wrong Man (1956)

Television Shows I Watched:

  1. 9-1-1
  2. 9-1-1: Lone Star
  3. Agatha Christie’s England
  4. ‘Allo ‘Allo
  5. Antiques Roadshow
  6. The Bachelor
  7. Bar Rescue
  8. The Bold and the Beautiful
  9. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
  10. The Cafe
  11. The Chase
  12. Cheaters
  13. Community
  14. Coronation Street
  15. Coupling
  16. Days of our Lives
  17. Degrassi Junior High
  18. Degrassi High
  19. Degrassi: New Class
  20. Degrassi: The Next Generation
  21. Dr. Phil
  22. Euphoria
  23. Fawlty Towers
  24. Friends
  25. General Hospital
  26. Ghost Whisperer
  27. Hell’s Kitchen
  28. Hill Street Blues
  29. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
  30. King of the Hill
  31. Kolchak: The Night Stalker
  32. The Listener
  33. The Love Boat
  34. Mister Winner
  35. Monty Python’s Flying Circus
  36. The Musketeers
  37. The Office
  38. The Office (UK)
  39. Open All Hours
  40. Parking Wars
  41. Pawn Stars
  42. Police Story
  43. Robot Chicken
  44. Saved By The Bell
  45. Seinfeld
  46. The Simpsons
  47. The Sopranos
  48. Twin Peaks
  49. Twin Peaks: The Return
  50. U.S. Figure Skating Championship
  51. The Vicar of Dibley
  52. Walker
  53. Yes, Minister
  54. The Young and the Restless

Books I Read:

  1. From Blood and Ash (2020) by Jennifer Armentrout
  2. Plain Bad Heroines (2020) by Emily M. Danforth
  3. Regretting You (2020) by Colleen Hoover
  4. Sunk Without a Sound: The Tragic Colorado River Honeymoon of Glen and Bessie Hyde (2001) by Brad Dimock

Music To Which I Listened:

  1. Above and Beyond
  2. Adi Ulmansky
  3. Armin van Buuren
  4. Ashlee Simpson
  5. Bee Gees
  6. Big Data
  7. Billie Eilish
  8. Blanck Mass
  9. Bob Dylan
  10. The Brady Bunch
  11. Britney Spears
  12. Cage the Elephant
  13. Camila Cabello
  14. The Chemical Brothers
  15. Chris Willis
  16. Chromatics
  17. Chrystal Bell
  18. Codeplay
  19. Daft Punk
  20. David Gray
  21. David Guetta
  22. deadmau5
  23. Donna Summer
  24. Drake
  25. Fatboy Slim
  26. Fitz and the Tantrums
  27. Franka Potente
  28. Icona Pop
  29. Jakalope
  30. Jake Bugg
  31. John Carpenter
  32. Julee Cruise
  33. The KLF
  34. Lara Snow
  35. M/A/R/R/S
  36. Marlhy
  37. Muse
  38. Nine Inch Nails
  39. Nova Rockafeller
  40. Phantogram
  41. The Prodigy
  42. Public Service Broadcasting
  43. The Robber Who Robbed The Town
  44. Run DMC
  45. Saint Motel
  46. Scarlett Johansson
  47. Selena Gomez
  48. Sleigh Bells
  49. Steve Aoki
  50. Swedish House Mafia
  51. Talking Heads
  52. Tiesto
  53. twenty-one pilots
  54. Upsahl
  55. The Verve
  56. The Who
  57. Yvonne Elliman

Awards Season Links

  1. Philadelphia Film Critics Winners
  2. Hollywood Music In Media Nominations
  3. San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle Winners
  4. Denver Film Critics Society Winners
  5. Houston Film Critics Society Winners
  6. Online Film Critics Society Nominations
  7. Black Film Critics Circle Winners

News From Last Week:

  1. Oklahoma lawmaker proposes Bigfoot trapping season
  2. ‘A Quiet Place 2’ Gets New Release Date
  3. Disney Moves ‘The King’s Man’ Release Date to August
  4. ‘No Time To Die’ Release Date Pushed to October
  5. Sony’s Camila Cabello ‘Cinderella’ Dances To Summer, ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ To Fall, ‘Uncharted’ Eyes 2022 & More
  6. Every New Movie Release Date Delay This Week
  7. Larry King, legendary talk show host, dies at 87
  8. Piers Morgan Receives Backlash for His Larry King Tribute Following the Legend’s Death
  9. Mira Furlan, Actress on ‘Lost’ and ‘Babylon Five’ Dies at 65
  10. Screenwriter Walter Bernstein dies at 101
  11. Hank Aaron dead at 86: Baseball’s forever home run king was a true American hero
  12. Health Professionals Hope Hank Aaron’s Death Won’t Deter People From Getting Vaccinated
  13. Pixar’s “Soul” blows up Disney Plus, Nielsen says
  14. The Washington Post Tried To Memory-Hole Kamala Harris’ Bad Joke About Inmates Begging for Food and Water
  15. Oscars 2021: Who’s up, who’s down, and where you can watch all of this year’s contenders
  16. Hamilton’ Returns to Dallas as Part of Dallas Summer Musicals 2021-2022 Season
  17. Jackson Michie faced drug withdrawal on BB21; Big Brother casting director quit for BB23
  18. Kenneth Branagh to Play U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Michael Winterbottom Drama for Sky
  19. Sylvester Stallone lists LA mansion for jaw-dropping $130M
  20. DUSTIN DIAMOND STRUGGLING WITH CAUSE OF HIS CANCER … Moldy Hotels to Blame???
  21. Saved by the Bell: Mario Lopez Supports Dustin Diamond’s Cancer Fight
  22. Phil Collins Finally Got His Ex-Wife to Move Out of His $40 Million Mansion After “Armed Occupation and Takeover”

Links From Last Week:

  1. Franco Nero Strikes Again
  2. Celebrating Martin Luther King Day…”Dream. Believe. Unite. Do.” A Powerful Kelly Clarkson Performance…
  3. The Best Trump-Era TV: Watchmen, Chernobyl, and more
  4. The Woman Who Read Hank Aaron’s Hate Mail
  5. Can Billie Eilish Propel Philosophy Away from Old Men?
  6. The Most Terrible Things Spider-Man Has Ever Done
  7. Every WWE Studios Horror Movie Ranked From Worst To Best
  8. Bite Into This Booze Burger! Tokyo’s Got Your Alcohol-Soaked Cheeseburger! Here Are Details – Plus My Favorite “Plastic Food!”
  9. Cancel Culture Comes for Will Wilkinson
  10. I’m No Longer Sorry For Who I Am
  11. Thursday Movie Picks: Police Detectives
  12. My Hemingway Wish
  13. Diamondback: It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

Links From The Site:

  1. Leonard shared the trailer for Godzilla vs. King Kong!
  2. Erin shared: Martin Luther King Mural, Spicy Detective Stories, The Insiders, Startling Detective Stories, Nice Fillies Finish Last, The Six Weekers, and Female Convict!
  3. Jeff shared music videos from Elliott Smith, Europe, Men At Work, KISS, Ollie and Jerry, Eddie Money, and Pink Floyd!
  4. Ryan reviewed The Kingdom of Raspberry Blue Untitled, Star Kisses From The Queen, and Castrovalva!
  5. I paid tribute to Edgar Allan Poe, John Boorman, David Lynch, Radley Metzger, and Henry King!  I reviewed The Trial of the Chicago 7, The Outpost, Roped, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and Let Them All Talk!

More From Us:

  1. Ryan has a patreon!  You should consider subscribing!
  2. On my music site, I shared songs from Ashlee Simpson, David Guetta and Chris Willis, The Who, Marlhy, Scarlett Johansson, David Gray, and twenty one pilots!
  3. On her photography site, Erin shared: January 18th, January 19th, January 20th, January 21st, January 22nd, January 23rd, and January 24th!

Want to see what I did last week?  Click here!

Or maybe just 9 hours.

A rivalry begins in the Godzilla vs. Kong trailer


Back in 1986, Optimus Prime muttered 6 six words to Megatron that would sear itself into the minds of kids for a generation.

“One shall stand, One shall fall.”

And here we are, 30 years later, still using that phrase, or something like it. as Godzilla vs. Kong  offers the tagline “One Will Fall”.

After 3 mega movies (Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island & Godzilla: King of the Monsters), we’re finally ready for a kaiju matchup of truly epic proportions. Godzilla vs Kong pairs the two legendary monsters against each other, though for what reasons, we’re not entirely sure. Neither side wishes to concede, and the battle looks like it’s going to be both in the water and on land. From the newly released trailer, it looks like Kong’s the current hero. The returning characters of Mark and Madison Russell (Kyle Chandler and Millie Bobby Brown) from Godzilla: King of the Monsters seem to feel that something’s wrong with our atomic breath spewing hero. Dr. Chen (Zhang Ziyi, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) is also on hand to help. After saving the world twice, why would he suddenly turn on mankind? I’m not sure I like the idea of Godzilla being a villain in all this, but they have to have a reason to fight, I suppose.

While it doesn’t look like anyone returns from Kong: Skull Island, we still have Kong and some supporting characters in Alexander Skarsgard (The Legend of Tarzan), Julian Dennison (Deadpool 2), Jessica Henwick (Underwater), Eiza Gonzalez (Bloodshot), Danai Gurira (Black Panther), and Lance Reddick (John Wick 3 – Parabellum).

Godzilla vs. Kong is due in IMAX and on HBO Max on March 26th, 2021.

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Henry King Edition


Henry King (1886 — 1982)

4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films is just what it says it is, 4 (or more) shots from 4 (or more) of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films lets the visuals do the talking.

Henry King was born 135 years ago today.  He was born in Virginia and, though he may no longer be a household name, he was one of the busiest and most versatile directors of Hollywood’s Golden Age.  He began his career during the silent era, directing his first film in 1918.  He continued to work all the way through 1962, working in every genre and directing at least 8 Oscar-nominated performances.  He was also one of the founders of the Academy.  In short, Henry King was an important figure in the early years of Hollywood.  If you’ve ever studied classic film or just spent a weekend or two watching TCM, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen at least one Henry King film.

Like many of the top directors from Hollywood’s Golden Age, Henry King was prized for being a professional.  In the years when the studios ruled Hollywood and before directors became known as auteurs, King was someone who could be trusted to make an effective film with the minimum amount of behind-the-scene drama.  He was someone who could move from genre to genre and from theme to theme.  He was skilled at getting the best performances from his actors and he knew how to visually tell a story and keep the action moving.  He knew how to engage the audience and his best films hold up surprisingly well.

In honor of Henry King and his career and legacy, here are…

4 Shots From 4 Henry King Films

Tol’Able David (1921, dir by Henry King, DP: Henry Cronjager)

In Old Chicago (1938, dir by Henry King, DP: J. Peverell Marley)

The Song of Bernadette (1943, dir by Henry King, DP: Arthur C. Miller)

David and Bathsheba (1951, dir by Henry King. DP: Leon Shamroy)

Artwork of the Day: Female Convict (by Saul Levine)


by Saul Levine

“The inside story of a women’s prison!”

Female Convict was a popular book that was reissued several times.  With each reissue, it got a new cover.  This cover is from 1952 and I think it’s from the book’s first edition but I could be wrong.  I have to admit that I started laughing as soon as I saw this cover, just because it featured so many typical pulp tropes.  Between the tough trustee smoking a cigarette to the prisoner absent-mindedly fixing her stockings in the background, this cover is pretty much a master class in pulp imagery.  Would you even be allowed to wear stockings in prison?  The other reasons I laughed was just because of all the disgusted facial expressions.  These ladies really don’t want to be in prison.

This cover was done by Saul Levine.  Future covers would be by R.A. Osborne, Robert Maguire, and others.

Music Video of the Day: Learning to Fly by Pink Floyd (1987, directed by Storm Thorgerson)


I usually wouldn’t ever consider sharing a Pink Floyd video, despite enjoying some of their music.  Roger Waters is simply too odious a figure for me not to feel conflicted about sharing any video that he was involved with.  Fortunately, Waters wasn’t involved with Learning to Fly, which was the first video that Pink Floyd released after Waters left the band and David Gilmour took over.

In fact, the song is almost a middle finger directed at Waters.  Waters claimed that Pink Floyd was moving too far away from being about the music and expanding minds so what did GIlmour do?  He composed a song about how much he enjoyed flying his private airplane.  Oh, I know that a lot of people will tell you that this song is also about Gilmour learning how to lead the band in Waters’s absence but come on.  We all know that it’s ultimately about David Gilmour having his own plane while you don’t.

The video, which features a Native American shaman and a man turning into an eagle after jumping off a cliff, is just pretentious enough to fit in with the Pink Floyd’s work during the Waters era.

Enjoy!

The Black Film Critics Circle Honors Ma Rainey!


The Black Film Critics Circle announced their picks for the best of 2020 on the 21st!  Here are the winners from the BFCC:

TOP 10 FILMS OF THE YEAR
1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
2. Minari
3. Nomadland
4. One Night in Miami
5. Soul
6. Judas and the Black Messiah
7. Da 5 Bloods
8. The Trial of the Chicago 7
9. Sound of Metal
10. The Forty-Year-Old Version (TIE)
10. Sylvie’s Love (TIE)

BEST DIRECTOR
Regina King – One Night in Miami (TIE)
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland (TIE)

BEST LEADING ACTOR
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

BEST LEADING ACTRESS
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night in Miami

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Yuh-Jung Youn – Minari

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Ruben Santiago-Hudson – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Hoyte van Hoytema – Tenet

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Time

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Soul

BEST FOREIGN FILM
Night of the Kings ​

Artwork of the Day: The Six-Weekers (by Ernest “Darcy” Chiriacka)


by Ernest “Darcy” Chiriacka

This book was first published in 1962.  Judging from the blurb, the main message seems to be that women should stay out of Las Vegas.  Not only will it cause them to get a quickie divorce but the atmosphere was created to “stimulate their passions and play upon their need for men!”  Divorce was still considered to be scandalous in 1962 so it should came as no surprise that it was the topic of several pulp novels during the era.  Las Vegas, with its quickie weddings and quickie divorces, was the city of sin.  I’m just wondering how they managed to find a beach in Nevada.

This cover was done by Ernest “Darcy” Chiriacka, much of whose work has been shared on this site in the past..

Music Video of the Day: The Big Crash by Eddie Money (1984, directed by Martin Kahan)


In his video, Eddie Money returns to his roots.

Eddie was born in Brooklyn.  His father was a cop.  His grandfather was a cop.  His brother was a cop.  It was expected that Eddie would become a cop too.  Even while he was pursuing a career in music, Eddie joined the NYPD.  However, while he was still in training, Eddie was told that he would not be allowed to wear his hair long if he was a member of the NYPD.  That was the last straw for Eddie, who later said that he could not imagine spending the next 20 years of his life with short hair.  He left the force and returned to music.  Unfortunately, the band he was in suspected that he was an undercover narc and kicked him out.  Meanwhile, his father tore down and destroyed every Jimi Hendrix poster that Eddie had hanging in his room.  Perhaps realizing that New York was no longer going to be a friendly place to live, Eddie headed for California and the rest, as they say, is history.

In this video, though, Eddie is back in New York and working out the of the 18th precinct.  While he investigates crimes on the streets, a runaway is sucked into a dangerous lifestyle.  Eddie has longish hair in the video so he finally got to be a cop without having to cut his hair.

This video was directed by Martin Kahan, who also did videos for KISS, Scandal, Michael Bolton, and a lot of other people who probably would never have made it as a member of the NYPD.

Enjoy!