Lisa’s Week In Review: 1/21/19 — 1/27/19

For the rest of eternity, this week will be known as my Red Dawn week.

And, oh my God, what a week it was!  It’s not just that I came down with a pretty bad cold on Thursday and I’ve spent the past 4 days on curled up on my couch, feeling bitchy and miserable.  It’s not just that the Oscar noms were kinda disappointing.  It’s also that the news from the rest of the world was so annoying as well.  Between the kickoff of the 2020 Presidential campaign, the now temporarily resolved government shutdown and the media screwing up the Covington Catholic story, is it any wonder that I watched the original Red Dawn not once but twice this weekend?

Seriously, I don’t even like violence but, after a week like this one, there’s something cathartic about watching people blow stuff up.

Here’s what else went on this week:

Films I Watched:

  1. 22 Jump Street (2014)
  2. The Cutting Edge (1992)
  3. Diary of a Hitman (1992)
  4. Essex Boys (2000)
  5. Gamera vs. Monster X (1970)
  6. Movers & Shakers (1985)
  7. Narcotics: Pit of Despair (1967)
  8. The Omega Code (1999)
  9. One More Time (1970)
  10. Pretty In Pink (1986)
  11. Red Dawn (1984)
  12. Rent: Live! (2019)
  13. Report to the Commissioner (1975)
  14. The Ride (1998)

Television Shows I Watched:

  1. 60 Days In
  2. Ask the Undertaker
  3. The Bachelor 23
  4. Brooklyn 99
  5. Catholic Answers Live
  6. Celebrity Big Brother 2
  7. Celebrity Big Brother After Dark
  8. Chaplet of St. Michael
  9. Charlie’s Angels
  10. Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes
  11. Couples Court With The Cutlers
  12. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
  13. Degrassi
  14. Doctor Phil
  15. Dynasty
  16. Face the Truth
  17. Frasier
  18. Friends
  19. Ghost Whisperer
  20. The Good Place
  21. Hell’s Kitchen
  22. Icons
  23. Impractical Jokers
  24. King of the Hill
  25. Last Man Standing
  26. Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court
  27. Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath
  28. Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club
  29. The Magicians
  30. Many Sides of Jane
  31. Saved By The Bell
  32. See No Evil
  33. Shipping Wars
  34. Seinfeld
  35. Someone You Thought You Knew
  36. The U.S. Figureskating Championships
  37. The Wild Goose

Books I Read:

  1. No Blonde Is An Island (1965) by Carter Brown
  2. The Passionate (1959) by Carter Brown

Music To Which I Listened:

  1. Britney Spears
  2. Computer Magic
  3. Dua Lipa
  4. Gwen Stefani
  5. J Balvin
  6. Jakalope
  7. JaydenART Music
  8. Maggie Rogers
  9. Sleigh Bells
  10. Starcrawler
  11. Terror Jr.
  12. Vampire Weekend

Links From Last Week:

  1. Horror Critic has a new look!  Stop by and let us know what you think!
  2. Ryan has a new Patreon site for Four Color Apocalpyse!
  3. I provided daily recaps of Celebrity Big Brother at the Big Brother Blog!
  4. On my music site, I shared music from Britney Spears, J Blavin, Jakalope, Gwen Stefani, Fergie, more from Britney, and even more from Britney!
  5. On her photography site, Erin shared: Playing Field, Church in the Rain, Beware, Green, Through a Green Lens, High Grass, and Burning Sky!
  6. From Jordan and Eddie: The Oscars Have Lost The Plot
  7. A look at the adapted screenplays of 1978
  8. Cult Movie Monday! “Crimes Of Passion!” Kathleen Turner And Anthony Perkins Battle For The Soul!
  9. From TedBook: Call Rick
  10. What To Expect At This Year’s Sundance Film Festival
  11. Why Movie Buyers Keep Betting Wrong at Sundance
  12. Stan Against Evil TV Series has been cancelled 
  13. Is Vice the Worst Best Picture Nominee Ever?
  14. Oscars: Are ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘Vice’ the Worst Best Picture Nominees Ever?
  15. Bryan Singer’s Accuses Speak Out
  16. Bryan Singer Calls New Report A “Homophobic Smear Piece” As Rami Malek Denies Knowledge Of Allegations Before ‘Rhapsody’
  17. Gawker 2.0 Implodes as Its Only Reporters Quit
  18. We Go Now Live to Buzzfeed’s Ask Jonah Anything Slack Channel
  19. Kamala Harris’s Logo Is a Disaster. Here’s Why.
  20. Photo With Danny Glover Backfires on Miami Pols
  21. Why Do the Oscars Keep Falling for Racial Reconciliation Fantasies?
  22. Rachel Riley to get extra security after receiving online threats
  23. The Media Must Learn From The Botched Covington Catholic Story
  24. The Covington Controversy Proves Social Media Is Cancerous
  25. The Covington Fiasco Is a Perfect Example of Why the Founders Distrusted Democracy
  26. The Abyss of Hate vs. Hate
  27. None of this matters
  28. Comedian Patton Oswalt Raises Money for Ailing Trump Supporter He Fought On Twitter

Links From The Site:

  1. Erin profiled artist Wynne W. Davies and shared the following artwork: Dream, The Nylon Pirates, Angelique in Revolt, Murders in Silk, Why Get Married?, A Road Divided, and The Evil Sleep!
  2. Gary offered some thoughts on the Oscar nominations and reviewed Our Relations and Way Out West, Buck Benny Rides Again, and Frankenstein Created Woman and Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed!
  3. I shared not only my Oscar nominations but also the actual Oscar nominations.  I shared music videos from Computer Magic, Starcrawler, Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani, JaydenArt Music, Dua Lipa, and Terror Jr.  I shared the trailer for the new film about Ted Bundy.  And I reviewed The Tale, Three Identical Strangers, and Searching!
  4. Ryan reviewed First Reformed, Found Footage, Bad Friends, and Out of the Nest, along with sharing his weekly reading round-up!

And this concludes my Red Dawn week!

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

Stay strong, everyone!

Sundance Film Review: Searching (dir by Aneesh Chaganty)

With this year’s Sundance Film Festival getting underway in Colorado, I’m going to be spending the next two weeks looking at some films that caused a stir at previous Sundance Film Festivals.  Today, I’m taking a look at the 2018’s Searching.

Searching tells the story of David Kim (John Cho) and his daughter, Margot (Michelle La).

David thinks that he has a close relationship with his daughter but, in reality, they’ve been drifting apart ever since David’s wife died two years earlier.  Now, Margot is away at college and David is alone at home.  They still communicate, of course.  They message each other on Facebook.  They Skype.  David sill sends Margot money for her piano lessons.

And yet, even if he can’t bring himself to fully admit it, David knows that they’re not as close as they once were.  Their conversations are often awkward and he doesn’t really know much about the friends that Margot has made at college.  Too often, he finds himself starting to ask her about what’s really going on in her life, just to then erase the message before sending.  One night, when Margot tells David that she’s going to a friend’s house for a study group, he has no reason not to believe her.  It’s not until Margot fails to return from studying that David is forced to confront how little he actually knows about his daughter’s life.

As a film, Searching is set almost entirely on smartphones and computer screens.  Considering that the movie could have just as easily been called Unfriended 3: Searching, this is a surprisingly good and emotionally resonant film.  We watch as David helplessly sends out messages to his daughters, messages that are destined to be unanswered.  We watch as David looks at old pictures and videos of the family he once had, searching for some sort of answer hidden in the past.  And, as we watch all of this, we come to realize that David is not just searching for his daughter’s whereabouts.  Instead, in a world dominated by social media, he’s also searching for a human connection, for something more than just a tweet or a cryptic status update.

Of course, the film does occasionally threaten to take its format just a bit too far.  Sometimes, you really do find yourself wishing that David would just get offline and go outside and look for his daughter.  (Actually, he does do that but, because of the film’s narrative structure, we don’t really get to witness it.)  By the time David is having nightly FaceTime sessions with the detective (Debra Messing) assigned to his daughter’s case, you can be excused for fearing that the film’s style is going to end up collapsing in on itself.

Fortunately, Searching is held together by the lead performance of John Cho.  Whenever Searching threatens to veer into self-parody, Cho is there to bring it back on track.  Before this film came out, I guess Cho was probably best known for appearing in the Star Trek movies.  Searching made him the first Asian-American to headline a mainstream thriller in Hollywood and Cho gives such a sympathetic and compelling performance that you’re willing to excuse whatever flaws might be present in the film’s narrative.  Because he’s played by John Cho, you want David to find his daughter.  You want him to find that for which he’s searching.

Weekly Reading Round-Up : 01/20/2019 – 01/26/2019, Small Press Comics Critics On Patreon

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

It goes without saying that almost every nominally “indie” cartoonist has a Patreon site of their own these days — but a few of us critics are getting in on the act, too, and it’s high time we devoted a Weekly Reading Round-Up column to them (okay, us), because all their (alright, our) stuff really is worth reading!

Daniel Elkin’s Your Chicken Enemy is the go-to “clearing house” for all things small press, not only because he now runs two reviews each week from voices both seasoned and fresh, and not only because his “In Case You Missed It” column is the single-best resource for finding out who wrote about what and where week in, week out, but because he actually pays his contributors! You do indeed get what you pay for, as the saying goes, and if you wonder how Elkin consistently gets the best content for his site…

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Music Video of the Day: Terrified by Terror Jr (2019, dir by Millicent Hailes)

Today’s music video of the day is one of those video’s that I think works best if you imagine that everyone in it is dead and that the video itself is taking place in Purgatory.

It’s seriously not that outlandish an idea.  There has to be some sort of entertainment in Purgatory and the bartender certainly appears to have seen his share of singers and drinkers.

Another possible option is that this video is taking place at the Overlook Hotel.  Again, the ghostly atmosphere would seem to suggest that we’re in another world, one that probably running parallel to ours.  It’s very easy to imagine Jack Torrance sitting at the bar, watching the singers and wondering why Grady keeps denying having been the caretaker.

And, of course, there’s always the chance that we’re visiting a section of the Black Lodge.  Or maybe we’re at the Roadhouse again….

Well, regardless of where this atmospheric video is taking place, enjoy!