Lisa’s Week In Review: 3/22/21 — 3/28/21

Right now, there’s a lot that I could talk about as far as world events are concerned but I’ll be honest with you.  As of right now, I’m obsessed with one thing:

Yes, that’s right.  This boat is currently blocking the Suez Canal.  (Update: The ship is apparently now free. — LMB)  And you know there’s going to be a movie.  There’ll probably be several movies.  Peter Berg will make a movie with Mark Wahlberg as the engineer brought in to figure out how to move the boat.  Wes Anderson will make a movie with Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, and a hundred others having quirky adventures that are all somehow connected to the boat.  Steven Spielberg will come up with an inspiring story starring Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance.  I’m sure there’s also a hundred horror fans thinking about sea monsters and pirate ghosts right now.

Personally, I want to see a 70s-style disaster movie made about the Suez Canal crisis.  I want C and D-list actors emoting all over the place.

Here’s what I read, watched, and listened to this week:

Films I Watched:

  1. Auto Focus (2002)
  2. The Beach Girls (1982)
  3. Billy Madison (1995)
  4. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
  5. Deadly Excursion: Kidnapped From The Beach (2021)
  6. Happy Gilmore (1996)
  7. The Hoarder (2014)
  8. Hunk (1987)
  9. Killer Advice (2021)
  10. The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane (1976)
  11. Love in A Goldfish Bowl (1961)
  12. On The Town (1949)
  13. Planet of the Dinosaurs (1977)
  14. Robocop (1987)
  15. Robocop 2 (1989)
  16. Robocop 3 (1993)
  17. Scandal (1989)
  18. Space Raiders (1983)
  19. St. Elmo’s Fire (1985)
  20. Tom & Jerry (2021)

Television Shows I Watched:

(For some reason, I pretty much exclusively watched old shows this week.  To be honest, I think it’s because I spent a lot of time out in my private office, where I can get a lot of the retro stations on my TV.  Sometimes, when you’re trying to meet a deadline, a low-stakes show from the 60s or the 70s can provide the ideal background noise.)

  1. ‘Allo Allo
  2. American Idol
  3. Baywatch
  4. The Bob Newhart Show
  5. The Bold and the Beautiful
  6. Charlie’s Angels
  7. City Confidential
  8. DailyMailTV
  9. Days of Our Lives
  10. The Dick Van Dyke Show
  11. The District
  12. Fawlty Towers
  13. First Among Equals
  14. General Hospital
  15. Ghost Whisperer
  16. Hell’s Kitchen
  17. Hill Street Blues
  18. Hunter
  19. Law & Order
  20. The Love Boat
  21. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
  22. Medium
  23. My Evil Sister
  24. Newhart
  25. One Day At A Time
  26. Open All Hours
  27. Red Dwarf
  28. The Rookies
  29. Saved By The Bell
  30. Starsky and Hutch
  31. Three’s Company
  32. The Voice
  33. Who’s The Boss?
  34. Yes, Minister
  35. The Young and the Restless

Books I Read:

  1. Killer Instinct (1997) by Jane Hamsher

Music To Which I Listened:

  1. Amy Winehouse
  2. Banks
  3. Big Data
  4. Blanck Mass
  5. Britney Spears
  6. The Chemical Brothers
  7. The Crystal Method
  8. Edgar Allan Poets
  9. Fritz and the Tantrums
  10. Jakalope
  11. Joywave
  12. New Order
  13. Nine Inch Nails
  14. Public Service Broadcasting
  15. Saint Motel
  16. Simple Plan

Awards Season:

  1. Producers Guild Winners
  2. NAACP Image Awards Winners

News From Last Week:

  1. Beverly Cleary, beloved children’s book author, dies at 104
  2. Larry McMurtry, ‘Lonesome Dove’ Novelist and ‘Brokeback Mountain’ Oscar Winner, Dies at 84
  3. George Segal, Leading Man of Lighthearted Comedies, Dies at 87
  4. Jessica Walter, Tart-Tongued Matriarch of ‘Arrested Development,’ Dies at 80
  5. Bertrand Tavernier, French Filmmaker and Leader of a Generation, Dies at 79
  6. Oz star and poet Craig ‘muMs’ Grant dies aged 52
  7. Kylie Jenner backlash swirls on Twitter after GoFundMe donation request
  8. FBI posts photo of Capitol Riot suspect who looks like Rick Moranis
  9. Social-Media Star David Dobrik Leaves Dispo App Startup After Sexual-Assault Accusation Against Ex-Member of His Entourage
  10. David Hasselhoff to Play David Hasselhoff in German TV Series
  11. William Shatner celebrates 90th birthday by creating an AI version of himself for future generations
  12. Alamo Drafthouse Opening New Location in Texas
  13. DC Films Taps ‘Promising Young Woman’ Director Emerald Fennell to Write Zatanna Superhero Movie
  14. ‘Jeopardy!’ contestants petition to remove Dr. Oz as guest host
  15. Cineworld’s Regal Cinemas to Reopen With ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ in Deal With Warner Bros.
  16. They Just Moved Into an Austin Neighborhood. Now They Want to End One of Its Traditions.
  17. Britney Spears files petition to remove father as conservator
  18. Anonymous Songwriters Group Calls for Artists to Stop Demanding Royalties for Songs They Didn’t Write
  19. Sharon Osbourne exits ‘The Talk’ amid race controversy
  20. Piers Morgan defends Sharon Osbourne after she exits ‘The Talk’
  21. Scarlett Johansson says her political views shouldn’t affect her career
  22. Chet Hanks Says Something Stupid
  23. New Harvey Weinstein accuser claims she bloodied his genitals fighting back
  24. NY Gov. Cuomo got family priority Covid testing, including CNN’s Chris Cuomo (reports)
  25. CNN must investigate host Chris Cuomo over special Covid-19 tests, says Society of Professional Journalists

Links From Last Week:

  1. George Segal, R.I.P.
  2. RIP Jessica Walter…An Appreciation Of Her Life And A Look At Her Classic Thriller “Play Misty For Me…”
  3. Will Zack Snyder Be Invited to Make a ‘Justice League’ Sequel? The Answer Is a Test of Whether Hollywood Still Works
  4. The Pain of Paying Dues in a Pandemic: Hollywood Hopefuls on the Rough Start to Their Careers
  5. The Dream of the ’90s Died in Portland
  6. Francis and The Godfather: is Hollywood becoming creatively bankrupt?
  7. Sean Young on Surviving Hollywood’s Many Toxic Men
  8. A New Genre of Film Is Already Here: COVID Movies
  9. The ridiculous, censorious social media campaign against Six Days In Fallujah
  10. CNN’s Defense of Chris Cuomo’s Special COVID Privileges is Grotesque
  11. The Cuomo Scandals: This Is CNN
  12. 10 Movies That Will Make You Cry
  13. New Graphic Novel Explores History of Cults In America

Links From The Site:

  1. I shared the trailer for The Suicide Squad!  I paid tribute to Michael Haneke and Akira Kurosawa!  I shared a scene from Once Upon A Time In Hollywood!  I reviewed Tom & Jerry, Deadly Excursion: Kidnapped From The Beach, Auto Focus, Eureka, Love In A Goldfish Bowl, and Hunk!
  2. Erin shared: The Absence of a Cello, The Thin Line, Mercy Island, Other Worlds, Big-Town Hellcat, Murder!, and Detective World!
  3. Jeff shared music videos from John Waite, Journey, Roxy Music, Tears For Fears, Poison, Modern Talking, and Rage Against The Machine!
  4. Ryan interviewed Alex Graham and reviewed The Antifa Super Solider Cookbook, Bughouse, and That Full Moon Feeling! 

More From Us:

  1. At SOLRAD, Ryan Carey reviewed Campbell Whyte’s Home Time!
  2. Ryan has a patreon!  You should consider subscribing!
  3. At her photography site, Erin shared: Faucet, New Washing Machine, Christmas Past, Old Dryer, Sudden Blur, The Last Phone Book, and Some Ducks Go Their Own Way!
  4. At Pop Politics, Jeff shared: Happy Birthday William Shatner, Tom Reed’s Retiring, Israel’s Fourth Election In Two Years, Biden’s Press Conference, We’re All On A Boat In The Suez Canal, Happy Passover, and My WordPress Updated!
  5. At SyFyDesigns, I shared: One Good Thing About All of This, Another Day of Old TV, The Commercial Trend I Hate, Go Dino Go, One Thing I Hope Never Changes, Ask The Undertaker, and The 6 Most Underrated Presidents!
  6. At my music site, I shared songs from Blanck Mass, Saint Motel, Edgar Allan Poets, Simple Plan, Jakalope, Public Service Broadcasting, and Banks!
  7. At my dream journal, I shared: Last Night’s Car Theft Dream, No Dreams Last Night, Last Night’s Party Dream, Fragment From Last Night, Last Night’s Dallas Dream, This Morning’s Con Artist Dream, and Last Night’s Dream In Which I Yelled At Joe Biden!
  8. For Horror Critic, I reviewed: Planet of the Dinosaurs!

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

Film Review: Tom & Jerry (dir by Tim Story)

Kayla Forester (Chloe Grace Moretz) has recently arrived in Manhattan, fleeing her go-nowhere hometown in Pennsylvania.  She’s determined to finally do something with her life, spurred on by the feeling that there are other people who are just as young as she is but who have already managed to get their lives together.  She doesn’t have much work experience but she has endless ambition and she’s also willing to lie, cheat, and steal if it means finding a better life.

Tom Kat (played by himself) is an aspiring pianist and creator of ludicrously elaborate mouse traps who finds his ambitions hampered by the fact that he’s a cartoon cat who can’t talk and who has a habit of getting involved in elaborate mishaps.  Even his attempts to make a meager living by playinf piano in Central Park are continually thwarted by all of the other cartoon animals that are lurking around New York City.  (“Look!” a little boy announces, “that cat’s playing a piano!”  His father explains that it’s common to see all sorts of strange things in New York.)

Jerry Mouse (playing himself) is Tom’s longtime rival.  A cartoon mouse who is also a plucky kleptomaniac, Jerry has recently arrived in Manhattan.  He’s looking for a home and he wastes no time in reigniting his decades old feud with Tom and, of course, engaging in countless acts of petty thievery.

Together, they solve crimes!

Well, no, actually, they don’t.  Instead, they commit a few.  Kayla gets things started by stealing someone else’s resume and getting a job working at a luxury hotel.  Under the mistrustful eye of event manager Terence Mendoza (Michael Pena), Kayla tries to make sure that two celebrities, Ben (Colin Jost) and Preeta (Pallavi Sharda ), have the perfect wedding in the hotel’s ballroom.  Despite being in no way qualified for her job, Kayla proves to be a quick learner and she even manages to deal with the hotel’s temperamental head chef, Jackie (played, somewhat inevitably, by Ken Jeong).  The only problem is that Jerry has moved into the hotel as well.  Realizing that a mouse could ruin the entire wedding, Kayla hires Tom to track the little rodent down.  Tom and Jerry better work out their differences before the wedding because Ben and Preeta are scheduled to ride two cartoon elephants down the aisle and you know how elephants feel about mice!

Tom & Jerry is a hybrid film, a mix of live action and animation.  New York City is real.  All of the human characters are played by actual humans.  However, every single animal — from the title characters to the elephants to Ben’s bulldog to the pigeons that fly over Central Park and provide a chorus to the action — is a 2D cartoon character.  It’s actually a pretty cute idea and, to the film’s credit, it doesn’t waste anyone time with elaborate excuses for why this is.  Everyone in the film simply accepts that they live in a world with cartoon animals.  No one is particularly surprised with Kayla hires a cartoon cat to take care of the cartoon mouse problem.

Tom & Jerry works whenever it focuses on the title characters.  It’s actually a lot of fun to watch the two of them chasing each other through a live action New York City and never suffering any injuries regardless of how many mallets they hit each other with.  Unfortunately, the film slows down whenever it focuses on the human characters.  Chloe Grace Moretz is one of the best actresses of her generation and it’s always nice to see her playing a character who isn’t being stalked or having to deal with some sort of unimaginable tragedy but still, Kayla’s story is never really interesting enough to justify taking the focus away from Tom and Jerry.  For most of the movie, poor Michael Pena gets stuck playing the film’s designated villain, even though Terrence is basically just doing his job.  In the end, of course, everyone learns an important lesson and they’re all the better for it but most viewers would probably trade the lesson for more of the mouse and the cat.

Still, whenever it’s just Tom and Jerry doing their thing, this is a cute movie.  I just wish the movie hadn’t gotten bogged down with everything else.

The NAACP Image Awards Honor Bad Boys For Life

The winners of the 2020 NAACP Image Awards were announced last night, during a ceremony that was aired on BET.  Personally, I think Bad Boys For Life was a pretty good movie so I’m glad it won.  Sometimes, I think we forget that an entertaining film can also be a good (or, in this case, “outstanding”) film.

Here are the film winners:

Outstanding Motion Picture
Bad Boys For Life 
Da 5 Bloods
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
One Night In Miami…

Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture
David E. Talbert – Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
George C. Wolfe – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Gina Prince-Bythewood – The Old Guard
Radha Blank – The Forty-Year-Old Version
Regina King – One Night In Miami…

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Anthony Mackie – The Banker
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods
Forest Whitaker – Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Will Smith – Bad Boys For Life

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Issa Rae – The Photograph
Janelle Monáe – Antebellum
Madalen Mills – Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Tracee Ellis Ross – The High Note
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Aldis Hodge – One Night In Miami…
Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods
Clarke Peters – Da 5 Bloods
Colman Domingo – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Glynn Turman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Anika Noni Rose – Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Gabourey Sidibe – Antebellum
Nia Long – The Banker
Phylicia Rashad – Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Taylour Paige – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture
David E. Talbert – Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Kemp Powers – One Night In Miami…
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Pete Docter, Kemp Powers & Mike Jones – Soul
Radha Blank – The Forty-Year-Old Version

Outstanding Independent Motion Picture
Farewell Amor
Miss Juneteenth
The 24th
The Banker

Outstanding International Motion Picture
Ainu Mosir
His House
Night of the Kings
The Last Tree
The Life Ahead

Outstanding Breakthrough Performance in a Motion Picture
Dayo Okeniyi – Emperor
Dominique Fishback – Project Power
Jahi Di’Allo Winston – Charm City Kings
Jahzir Bruno – The Witches
Madalen Mills – Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture
Da 5 Bloods
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
The Banker

Outstanding Animated Motion Picture
Over the Moon
Trolls World Tour

Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance – Motion Picture
Ahmir-Khalib Thompson aka Questlove – Soul
Angela Bassett – Soul
Chris Rock – The Witches
Jamie Foxx – Soul
Phylicia Rashad – Soul

Outstanding Short Form (Live Action)
Baldwin Beauty
Black Boy Joy
Gets Good Light
Mr. & Mrs. Ellis

Outstanding Short Form (Animated)
Cops and Robbers
The Power of Hope

Outstanding Breakthrough Creative (Motion Picture)
Loira Limbal – Through the Night
Melissa Haizlip – Mr. Soul!
Nadia Hallgren – Becoming
Radha Blank – The Forty-Year-Old Version
Remi Weekes – His House

Outstanding Documentary (Film)
All In: The Fight For Democracy
Coded Bias
John Lewis: Good Trouble
On the Record

Entertainer of the Year
Viola Davis
Regina King
Trevor Noah
Tyler Perry

Social Justice Impact
Stacey Abrams
Debbie Allen
Lebron James
Tamika Mallory
April Ryan

President’s Award
LeBron James

Hall of Fame Award
Eddie Murphy

Chairman’s Award
Rev. James Lawson

“It’s A Tricky Spot To Be In” : Four Color Apocalypse Talks To Alex Graham About Life Before, During, And After “Dog Biscuits”

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

It’s no secret that Alex Graham’s Dog Biscuits, both in its original online iteration and its newly-released print version, has been one of the most talked-about comics of the so-called “pandemic era.” Timely, topical, and yet never anything less than intensely personal, its success has brought Graham new legions of fans/readers, and yet that success has also come, of course, with attendant challenges — and even pitfalls — of its own. Four Color Apocalypse recently had the opportunity to chat with the artist about her celebrated, and at times controversial, magnum opus from A to Z, Genesis to Exodus, and I’m pleased to present that conversation here for your enjoyment and edification.

Four Color Apocalypse : For readers who aren’t aware of the origins of Dog Biscuits, could you kindly explain how the strip first come about, and did you always plan for it to be as expansive…

View original post 3,524 more words

Music Video of the Day: Guerilla Radio by Rage Against The Machine (1999, directed by Honey)

No one will ever accuse Rage Against The Machine of being subtle but that’s the point. Rage rarely is.

This video for this song, with its white background and exploited workers, is a parody of the peppy GAP commercials that were popular in the late 90s. “Everybody in Denial” was a play on GAP’s slogan at the time, “Everybody in Khaki.” The sweatshop workers seen in this video were all members of the UNITE! union.

The video was directed by Honey, the husband-and-wife team of Nicholas Brooks and Laura Kelly.

Like many anti-capitalist, protest songs, Guerilla Radio later turned up on the soundtrack of several video games, including Madden and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, where it was probably enjoyed by people who had absolutely no idea what the song was actually about. (I remember being amused when American Idiot used to play during one of the Maddens. It was the radio friendly version, of course.)