Lisa’s Week In Review — 1/4/21 — 1/10/21


It snowed today!

I know that, compared to everything else that happened during this week, getting a little bit of snow in North Texas might not seem like a big deal but, for me, it was just what I needed.  It’s been at least two years since the last time it snowed here in Dallas and the fact that it’s finally happened again served as a valuable reminder that life is unpredictable and that’s not a bad thing.

It was earlier this week that it was announced that it would probably snow on Sunday.  Actually, it’s called a “wintery mix,” which is apparently a mix of rain and snow.  Not surprisingly, this led to a neighborhood-wide panic as everyone converged on every nearby grocery store and stocked up with a year’s worth of supplies.  I’m sure that my friends up north would have a good laugh at how we react to the possibility of snow down here.  Of course, we always have a good laugh at how they react to a 75-degree day up there.  Myself, I just can’t believe that houses up north actually have a specific room called “the mudroom.”  I mean, at least give it a better name.  Do they keep mud in there?  I mean, what the Hell?

This morning, it started snowing around 10 am.  It started out as just a few small flakes and then they turned into big white flakes and suddenly, some of it even started to stick to the ground!  (Actually, in the end, very little of it stuck to the ground but, at that moment, I was so excited to see even the barest dusting of snow on the grass that I was convince that the backyard would turn into a winter wonderland within the next 15 minutes or so.  I tend to think of snow as having magical powers.)  When it first started to come down, I was curled up on the couch and watching a movie and I was so excited to see the snow that I jumped straight up and I ran straight outside and stood in the back yard with my head thrown back and my arms spread.  Now, of course, I quickly learned that, when it’s snowing and the temperature is down to freezing, it’s not always a good idea to run outside when you’re only wearing a cotton nightshirt and a bathrobe.  Next time, I’ll at least remember to put on slippers!  (I probably should have already known that but seriously, I can’t put into words just how excited I get when I see actual snow.)

Once I went back inside and got dressed, I walked around in the snow for a while.  It was wonderful.  And before anyone asks, yes, I wore a mask and I took my inhaler and I resisted the temptation to try to start a snowball fight (not that there was really enough snow on the ground to make a snowball).  I played it safe and I managed to walk around the entire neighborhood without slipping on the slick sidewalk.  I also took the time to help one of my neighbor’s cats get inside of their garage.  The snow brought out the best in me, I think.

Unfortunately, the snow stopped falling after a few hours and most of it really didn’t stick to the ground.  (It was cold but just not quite cold enough.)  The towns nearby got a lot more snow than we did and yes, I was a little bit jealous.  But still, at least we got some snow!  It was unexpected and it was beautiful and it was wonderful and, to me, it was a reminder that there’s all sorts of great things out there and they deserve to be celebrated.

This upcoming week, I’ll be catching up with the films of 2020 and preparing my own best of the year lists.  I’ll be watching movies and listening to music and reading books.  I can’t wait to tell you all about it.  And who knows!  It might even snow again!  Hopefully, it’ll actually accumulate this time.

For now, here’s a list of what I watched, read, and listened to over the previous 7 days.  You know how much I love lists! For the record, I started out this weekend with one goal in mind — to watch 13 movies.  I managed to do it, despite taking several hours off so that I could marvel at the snow.  So, I’m a bit proud of myself for that.  Anyway, here we go:

Films I Watched:

  1. The Beach Girls and the Monster (1965)
  2. Behind Green Lights (1946)
  3. Black Widow Killer (2020)
  4. Bride of the Monster (1955)
  5. Bubba Ho-tep (2002)
  6. Degrassi Goes Hollywood (2009)
  7. Degrassi Takes Manhattan (2010)
  8. Detour (1945)
  9. Fatal Fiance (2021)
  10. FBI Girl (1951)
  11. Horror of Party Beach (1964)
  12. Invasion U.S.A. (1952)
  13. Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)
  14. Kingdom of the Spiders (1977)
  15. The Midnight Sky (2020)
  16. My Daughter’s Psycho Friend (2020)
  17. Night Editor (1946)
  18. Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959)
  19. Sorority Secrets (2020)
  20. When A Stranger Calls (1979)

Plan 9 From Outer Space (1956, dir by Edward D. Wood, Jr)

Television Shows I Watched:

(I spent a lot of time this week in my private office, watching retro TV stations — MeTV, Cozi TV, H&I, and a few others.  Don’t ask my why, I just did.  It wasn’t something that I necessarily planned but I still enjoyed it!  It’s always interesting to see what kept people entertained in the past.)

  1. Alfred Hitchcock Presents
  2. Any Day Now
  3. The Bachelor
  4. Bar Rescue
  5. The Bionic Woman
  6. California Dreams
  7. Charlie’s Angels
  8. The Chase
  9. C.H.i.Ps
  10. Cobra Kai
  11. Daily Mass
  12. Degrassi
  13. The Drew Barrymore Show
  14. Dr. Phil
  15. Emergency!
  16. Friends
  17. Ghost Whisperer
  18. Hell’s Kitchen
  19. Highway to Heaven
  20. Hill Street Blues
  21. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
  22. King of the Hill
  23. Knight Rider
  24. Magnum P.I.
  25. Mannix
  26. The Masked Dancer
  27. Medium
  28. One Day At A Time
  29. Parking Wars
  30. Perry Mason
  31. The Queen’s Gambit
  32. The Ripper
  33. Saved By The Bell
  34. Seinfeld
  35. The Six Million Dollar Man
  36. South Park
  37. Three’s Company
  38. The Twilight Zone
  39. Who’s The Boss?

Books I Read:

  1. An English Affair: Sex, Class, and Power in the Age of Profumo (2013) by Richard Davenport-Hines
  2. How To Talk To Your Cat About Gun Safety (2016) by Zachary Auburn

Music To Which I Listened:

(As you might notice, I’m still kind of on a 70s disco kick right now)

  1. Above & Beyond
  2. Andrea True Connection
  3. Ashford and Simpson
  4. Bee Gees
  5. Big Data
  6. Blondie
  7. Britney Spears
  8. Cage the Elephant
  9. Calvin Harris
  10. The Chemical Brothers
  11. Chic
  12. Coldplay
  13. The Commodores
  14. Dave Mason
  15. David Shire
  16. Donna Summer
  17. Edgar Winter Group
  18. Edwin Starr
  19. Fiona Apple
  20. Fitz & The Tantrums
  21. Florence and the Machine
  22. Foghat
  23. Giorgio Moroder
  24. Goblin
  25. Gwen Stefani
  26. The Hues Corporation
  27. I DON’T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME
  28. Instant Funk
  29. Jakalope
  30. Jake Bugg
  31. Jigsaw
  32. John Carpenter
  33. John Paul Young
  34. Joywave
  35. KC and the Sunshine Band
  36. Kedr Livanskiy
  37. Kelly Clarkson
  38. Lady Gaga
  39. Lindsey Stirling
  40. Linkin Park
  41. Lynard Skynard
  42. Mary Griffin
  43. Maxine Nightingale
  44. The Miracles
  45. Muse
  46. Musique
  47. Neon Indian
  48. Pattie Brooks
  49. The People’s Choice
  50. Phantogram
  51. Rebecca Black
  52. The Robber Who Robbed The Town
  53. Rolling Stones
  54. Saint Motel
  55. Steve Aoki
  56. Steve Miller Band
  57. Sunshine
  58. Taylor Swift
  59. Thelma Houston
  60. Walter Murphy
  61. War
  62. The Who
  63. Yvonne Elliman

Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959, dir by Ed Wood)

Trailers:

  1. WandaVision

Best of 2020:

  1. My Top 20 Albums of 2020 (Necromoonyeti)
  2. 25 Best, Worst, and Gems That I Saw In 2020 (Valerie Troutman)
  3. Top 10 Vintage Collections (Ryan C)
  4. Top 10 Contemporary Collections (Ryan C)
  5. Top 10 Original Graphic Novels (Ryan C)

Awards Season Links:

  1. The National Society of Film Critics Winners
  2. San Diego Film Critics Society Nominations
  3. North Dakota Film Society Nominations
  4. Columbus Film Critics Circle Winners
  5. Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Winners
  6. The Alliance of Women Film Journalists Winners
  7. North Carolina Film Critics Winners

Links From Last Week:

  1. RIP Tanya Roberts…A Sad End To A Great Career…Here’s An Appreciation Of This “Bond Girl” And “Beastmaster”…
  2. Kenneth Lonergan’s Margaret — The Masterwork That Almost Got Away
  3. The 16th Annual Better Than List

News From Last Week:

  1. Tanya Roberts, Bond Girl and ‘That ’70s Show’ Star, Dies at 65
  2. Tanya Roberts Still Alive, Rep Confirms
  3. Tanya Roberts Dead at 65 Following False Death Announcement
  4. The Daily Wire Makes First Foray Into Film & TV With School Shooting Movie ‘Run Hide Fight’
  5. Michael Apted, British filmmaker and documentarian, dies at 79

Links From The Site:

  1. Erin shared Lover Boy, Sea Nymph, Cockpit, Invaders of Earth, Woman Chaser, Backwater Woman, and The Arrival!
  2. Jeff reviewed Hooper and the further adventures of Smokey and the Bandit and he shared music videos from The Ramones, Berlin, Adam and the Ants, Shaquille O’Neal, Squeeze, Phil Collins, and Johnny Hates Jazz!
  3. I reviewed The Midnight Sky, Sorority Secrets, Fatal Fiance, and My Daughter’s Psycho Friend!  I shared an AMV of the Day!

More From Us:

  1. Ryan has a patreon!  Consider subscribing!
  2. On her photography site, Erin shared: End of the Holidays, Rain, This Tree Has Seen A Lot, Up, Backyard Rain, Sunset, and Without Leaves!
  3. On my music site, I shared songs from: Andrea True Connection, Giorgio Moroder, John Paul Young, Jigsaw, David Shire, Pattie Brooks, and Dave Mason!

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

Have a good and, needless to say, a safe week!  Here’s hoping that we’re graced with a little more snow!

25 Best, Worst, and Gems I Saw In 2020


There’s no good way to open this post, so there’s one of my dogs. That’s Cub. We got him in November of 2019 when he was just under 3 months. He was my first puppy and the first male dog I have ever had. That picture is of him about a year later. I didn’t put him that way. I just looked over at the chair and he was sitting like a person, complete with using the armrest. He didn’t even get up to move when I started taking pictures. He sat there as if he were posing for me.

Anyways, I apologize for the lists being even later this year than last. I don’t even have the high number of movies as an excuse this time around as I fell short of 2019’s number of films, which is 1,266. I only saw 919 of them last year. Things just kept coming up that cut into the time it takes to comb through the movies and compile the lists.

The rules are the same as in previous years with one exception. I am going to start linking to reviews of these movies if I can find any that have been written by one of our contributors here on Through the Shattered Lens.

Here are the normal rules:

  1. There is no particular order to the films in these lists. They either made it, or they didn’t.
  2. These lists do not necessarily have films that came out in 2020. These are films that I saw for the first time in 2020. In fact, none of these films are from 2020.
  3. The gems list are films that don’t make the best list, but I want to put a spotlight on them.
  4. If you disagree with any of my choices. Good! I want people to form their own opinions and think for themselves. But if you care to share those opinions, then be nice about it.
The China Syndrome (1979, dir. James Bridges)

Best:

  1. Dunkirk (2017)
  2. Silence (2016)
  3. The Cassandra Crossing (1976)
  4. Ford v Ferrari (2019)
  5. Shin Godzilla (2016)
  6. Yours, Mine and Ours (1968)
  7. Kuroneko (1968)
  8. After The Storm (2016)
  9. Green Book (2018)
  10. Knives Out (2019)
  11. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)
  12. The Big Sick (2017)
  13. Too Late For Tears (1949)
  14. First Reformed (2017)
  15. Fences (2016)
  16. The Red House (1947)
  17. Gaslight (1940)
  18. The Poseidon Adventure (1972) – Lisa’s Review and Gary’s Review
  19. Detroit (2017)
  20. A Ghost Story (2017)
  21. American Made (2017)
  22. The China Syndrome (1979)
  23. Underfire: The Untold Story Of Pfc. Tony Vaccaro (2016)
  24. Kedi (2016)
  25. Shazam! (2019)

Worst:

  1. Shelter (2014)
  2. Another Nine & A Half Weeks (1997)
  3. Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past (2009)
  4. The Assignment (2016)
  5. Dracula 3000 (2004)
  6. Scales: A Mermaid Tale (2017)
  7. The Net 2.0 (2006)
  8. Butterfly (1981)
  9. God, Sex & Apple Pie (1998)
  10. Costa Rican Summer (2010)
  11. The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007)
  12. Beaks: The Movie (1987)
  13. Diary Of A Whimpy Kid: The Long Haul (2017)
  14. Gremlin (2017)
  15. Below Her Mouth (2016)
  16. Grindin’ (2007)
  17. Kickboxing Academy (1997)
  18. Chairman Of The Board (1998)
  19. Ghosts Can’t Do It (1989)
  20. A Firehouse Christmas (2016)
  21. Private Lessons (1981)
  22. Beyond The Poseidon Adventure (1979)
  23. Curse Of Bigfoot (1975)
  24. Hail Caesar (1994)
  25. House Shark (2017)
Hard Ticket To Hawaii (1987, dir. Andy Sidaris)

Gems:

  1. Rage (1995)
  2. Mirrors (1985)
  3. Hercules (1983)
  4. The Adventures Of Hercules (1985)
  5. What Do You Say To A Naked Lady? (1970)
  6. Jane And The Lost City (1987)
  7. Gone In 60 Seconds (1974)
  8. Nemesis (1992)
  9. American Kickboxer 2 (1993)
  10. Blood & Concrete (1991)
  11. Back To Back (1996)
  12. American Ninja 5 (1993)
  13. Model By Day (1994)
  14. Flowers In The Attic (1987)
  15. Killer Workout (1987)
  16. Safe House (1998)
  17. To All A Good Night (1980)
  18. Lisa (1989)
  19. The Chase (1946)
  20. Tarzan In Manhattan (1989)
  21. Hard Ticket To Hawaii (1987)
  22. David And Lisa (1962)
  23. The Student Nurses (1970)
  24. Voyage Of The Rock Aliens (1984)
  25. Backstage (1988)
Hard Ticket To Hawaii (1987, dir. Andy Sidaris)

Hey! Here’s Yet Another Trailer for WandaVision!


Hey!  Did you know that WandaVision is going to be streaming in another five days!?

Well, if you didn’t, you obviously haven’t been spending much time on YouTube or Twitter and I guess you haven’t been reading this site much either so shame on you.  It seems like, every day, there’s another trailer, preview, or teaser for WandaVision.  The trailers mix black-and-white sitcom-style laugh tracked scenes with color scenes that seem like they’re from a 70s soap opera.  My assumption is that the show features Wanda creating an alternate universe where she and Vision can attempt to live happily, one that I’m going to guess she created out of her knowledge of old television shows.  That’s a nice thought and, of course, an alternate universe means that Marvel will have an easy way to correct past mistakes.

“Robert Downey, Jr. wants to come back to the MCU?  Go snatch Tony Stark out of an alternate universe!”

“Everyone finally realized that it was freaking stupid to kill off the Black Widow and that the MCU is better with Scarlett Johansson than without her?  QUICKLY!  TO THE ALTERNATE UNIVERSE!”

As I said, I think it’s a good idea and, the next time I find myself in my office, watching the retro TV stations, I will be sure to think about how I can use each episode of Ghost Whisperer to create a new universe.  And, as snarky as I am about the constant trailers, I am actually looking forward to WandaVision.  Even though I think the MCU reached it’s logical end with Avengers: Endgame, I’m still looking forward to seeing if Marvel can keep their winning streak alive.  Thanks to the pandemic, it’s been a while since we had a new MCU production and I’m a bit curious to see whether or not that absence is going to help or hinder the franchise.

Add to that, I like Elizabeth Olsen.  I like Paul Bettany.  I’ll watch them in almost anything.  Elizabeth Olsen deserves better than to just be the romantic interest in a Godzilla film.  Paul Bettany deserves better than to just be everyone’s eccentric British friend (or the European villain in the latest action movie).  As played by Bettany and Olsen, Vision and Wanda were two of the more interesting characters to be found in the MCU.  Both the actors and the characters deserve a chance in the spotlight and I’m happy to see them getting one.

Here’s the latest trailer:

Finally, all of twitter was abuzz (bleh!  Did I really write that?), with the news that some people were allowed to watch the first three episodes of WandaVision.  Their reactions were so incredibly positive that it would be good to remember that early reactions are always overly positive to almost every new TV show and movie.  I mean, if your entire career is dependent upon keeping Disney happy and maintaining your access to “company insiders,” it’s only common sense to have a positive reaction to the latest Disney product.  Always take these things with a grain of salt, I’m saying.

That said, I really hope WandaVision is good.  We’ll all find out in five days!

Artwork of the Day: The Arrival


By Erin Nicole

I called this picture The Arrival, though I guess it could just as easily be called Erin Playing With Photoshop.  Though the editing is obvious, I still like the way the image turned out.  Though it may be a cliché, I like the flash of pink streaking across an otherwise colorless picture.  The building is an apartment complex located near the Shops at Legacy in Plano.  I, of course, added the sepia tone, the sunburst, and the pink lightning bolt afterwards.  I don’t know what’s arriving at the end of that lightening bolt.  It could be aliens or poltergeist or maybe an angel.  This picture is from a period I went through where I was always trying to add the possibility of an angel to every photograph I took.

Music Video of the Day: Shattered Dreams by Johnny Hates Jazz (1988, directed by David Fincher)


If you did not already know that David FIncher directed the music video for Shattered Dreams, you would guess it as soon as you watched it.

Everything about this video, from the black-and-white cinematography to the disorientating camera angles to its overall melancholy feel, identifies this as being the work of David Fincher.  Long before Fincher ever directed his first film (Alien 3 in 1992, though Fincher has subsequently disowned the film due to the amount of studio interference that he had to deal with), he was a director of commercials and music videos.  Even at the start of his career, Fincher’s aesthetic vision was so clearly defined that his work stood out.  Fincher’s music videos are more than just showcases for musicians.  They are also mini-films, each one of which tells its own unique story.

This was the first single to be released by Johnny Hates Jazz and, to this date, it remains their biggest hit.  Despite popular belief, there is no one named Johnny in the band.  The three members of the band did have a mutual friend named Johnny who apparently hated jazz, which somehow led to the band’s name.  When the band was first signed to Virgin Records, they were playing in a jazz club so jazz has actually been good to Johnny Hates Jazz.

Enjoy!