Lisa’s Week In Review: 6/7/21 — 6/13/21


TheDescent

Down here in Texas, it’s getting hot.  This week, it hit the 90s for the first time this year.  It’s hard to believe that, less than 4 months ago, we were covered in ice and snow and it was 4 degrees in the afternoon.

As I sit here writing this, I am exhausted.  This week didn’t go the way that I was hoping.  My plan was to watch one hundred movies and write two hundred reviews.  In retrospect, that may have been an unrealistic goal for 7 days but honestly, I think the unrealistic goals are the best ones to have.

Still, I didn’t do anywhere near as much as I was hoping and I wish I could offer up an explanation that’s more profound than my back was hurting and I was tired but …. well, that’s the way it goes.  I’ll make up for it this upcoming week!

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

Films I Watched:

  1. Android Cop (2014)
  2. At Close Range (1986)
  3. Burn After Reading (2008)
  4. Death Wish (1974)
  5. The Descent (2005)
  6. Mahler (1974)
  7. The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984)
  8. Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021)
  9. Underworld (2003)
  10. Underworld: Blood Wars (2017)
  11. Underworld: Evolution (2006)
  12. Underworld: The Rise of the Lycans (2009)
  13. The Victim (1972)

Television Shows I Watched:

  1. Allo Allo
  2. The Bachelorette
  3. Bar Rescue
  4. Baywatch
  5. The Brady Bunch Variety Hour
  6. Cellmate Secrets
  7. Cheaters
  8. Court Cam
  9. Degrassi Minis
  10. Friends
  11. Hell’s Kitchen
  12. Intervention
  13. Moone Boy
  14. Open All Hours
  15. Parking Wars
  16. The Powers of Matthew Star
  17. Saved By The Bell
  18. Seinfeld
  19. Showtime Championship Boxing
  20. Storage Wars
  21. Upstart Crow

Books I Read:

  1. The Guest of Honor (1989) by Irving Wallace
  2. Red Chaser (2008) by Joe Spoelstra

Music To Which I Listened:

  1. Above & Beyond
  2. Alice Cooper
  3. Armin van Buuren
  4. Barry Adamson
  5. Big Data
  6. Bob Dylan
  7. Britney Spears
  8. Cage The Elephant
  9. California Dreams
  10. Calvin Harris
  11. Carter Burwell
  12. Charli XCX
  13. The Chemical Brothers
  14. CHVRCHES
  15. The Crystal Method
  16. Daft Punk
  17. Dillon Francis
  18. DJ Snake
  19. Dua Lipa
  20. Fatboy Slim
  21. Foghat
  22. Haim
  23. Hans Zimmer
  24. Icona Pop
  25. Jakalope
  26. Jake Bugg
  27. The Jim Carroll Band
  28. Lara Snow
  29. Lionrock
  30. Lords of Acid
  31. Lou Reed
  32. Lynard Skynard
  33. Marc Collin
  34. Muse
  35. Phantogram
  36. The Prodigy
  37. Public Service Broadcasting
  38. Pulp
  39. Saint Motel
  40. Sleigh Bells
  41. Steve Aoki
  42. Tiesto
  43. Universal Honey
  44. Upsahl
  45. Vitamin C
  46. War
  47. will.i.am
  48. Wolf Alice

cs

Trailers:

  1. The Eyes of Tammy Faye
  2. Fear Street
  3. tick, tick …. BOOM!
  4. Free Guy
  5. Nine Perfect Strangers

News From Last Week:

  1. Oscar-nominated actor Ned Beatty dies at 83.
  2. In The Heights Notches A Disappointing Box Office Opening
  3. A Quiet Place II Returns To Number One and Becomes The First Film To Cross the $100 million mark in over a year.

Links From Last Week:

  1. RIP Ned Beatty…Brilliant Character Actor Was 83…He “Messed With The Primal Forces Of Nature”…His Two Most Powerful Roles!
  2. The Today Show

Links From the Site:

  1. I shared my week in television.  I shared music videos from Dua Lipa, The Chemical Brothers, and Public Service Broadcasting!  I reviewed Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD and Those Who Wish Me Dead!
  2. Erin shared Future Science Fiction, Paris Nights Magazine, Spicy-Adventure Stories, Thrilling Sports, Town Quarry, Ranch Romances, and Texas Rangers!
  3. Jeff shared music videos from Huey Lewis and the News, Adam Ant, The Bee Gees, and Aerosmith!
  4. Ryan reviewed Barrage, Prison, and The Beast!

More From Us:

  1. Ryan has a patreon!  You should consider subscribing!
  2. For SOLRAD, Ryan reviewed Queen City!
  3. At Pop Politics, Jeff shared: I Finally Watched Mayweather vs. Paul!
  4. At her photography site, Erin shared: Construction. Construction 2, Construction 3, Construction 4, Construction 5, Construction 6, and Construction 7!
  5. At my music site, I shared songs from Lara Snow, Alice Cooper, The Jim Carroll Band, Pulp, Dua Lipa, Vitamin C, and California Dreams!
  6. At my online dream journal, I shared: Last Night’s Flat Tire Dream, Last Night’s Washington D.C. Dream, and Last Night’s Cat Dream!
  7. This week, I hosted the #ILikeToWatch live tweet!  Here’s my playlist: The Day Is My Enemy, The Night Is My Fave!

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

Film Review: Those Who Wish Me Dead (dir by Taylor Sheridan)


In Those Who Wish Me Dead, Angelina Jolie plays Hannah, a smokejumper who is haunted by a mistake that led to a family dying in a forest fire. All of her recent psych evals seem to indicate that Hannah is self-destructive and a danger to herself and potentially others. Of course, it doesn’t help that Hannah keeps doing things that are self-destructive and that put her and potentially others in danger. She’s watched over by her fellow smokejumpers and her ex-boyfriend, Ethan (Jon Bernthal). Even Ethan’s pregnant wife, Allison (Medina Senghorse) is looking out for Hannah.

Hannah, meanwhile, finds herself looking out for Connor (Finn Carter), a young boy whose father has been murdered by two ruthless assassins (Aidan Gillen and Nicholas Hoult). Because the boy has evidence that could lead to the downfall of an evil mob boss (played by Tyler Perry because, hey, why not?), the assassins search for Connor and they even set a forest fire to cover their tracks.

Trapped in the wilderness, Hannah, Connor, Ethan, and Allison have to somehow survive until the fire burns itself out and the smokejumpers can reach them. Meanwhile, the two assassins are closing in….

I was initially pretty enthusiastic about the prospect of watching Those Who Wish Me Dead on HBOMax but, ten minutes into the movie, I found myself wondering if maybe I was watching something that was made in 1998 and somehow not released until 2021. Everything about the film — from Hannah’s tortured backstory to the verbosely evil assassin played by Gillen — felt like it belonged in a direct-to-video thriller or maybe in a pilot for an old USA Network show starring Cynthia Rothrock and Lorenzo Lamas. It was very easy to watch this movie and to imagine Charlie Sheen and Patrick Swayze showing up as brothers fighting “the wildfire of the century!”

Oddly enough, Angelina Jolie probably could have starred in the 1998 version of this film. That’s how long we’ve been taking it for granted that Angelina Jolie can confront any crisis or any villain and basically kick its ass. That’s a huge reason why I was so looking forward to seeing Those Who Wish Me Dead. It’s been a while since we’ve had a chance to watch Angelina Jolie play an action hero and the fact that she was doing it in a film directed by Taylor Sheridan just made it all the more exciting. Unfortunately, though, Jolie doesn’t seem to be particularly invested in Those Who Wish Me Dead. There’s not much of the unpredictable spontaneity or the sense of danger that, in the past, made Angelina Jolie one of the most exciting actresses around. It’s easy to imagine that, just a few years ago, Jolie could have worked wonders playing someone as openly self-destructive as Hannah but, in Those Who Wish Me Dead, she instead often seems to just be going through the motions. If anything, Aidan Gillen makes a bigger impression, despite the fact that he’s just playing a standard bad guy.

(Speaking of bad guys, why is Tyler Perry playing a crime lord? There’s nothing menacing about Tyler Perry. The fact that Perry only appears in one scene makes his miscasting all the more obvious. As soon as you’ve said, “Wait — why is Tyler Perry in this movie?,” he’s gone. Perry needed at least two extra scenes where he could have killed someone or at least maybe cursed a little or anything else that could have established him as someone other than Tyler Perry making a strange cameo appearance.)

Taylor Sheridan both directed and had a hand in the script. Sheridan previously wrote Hell and High Water and Sicario and both directed and wrote Wind River. These are three of the best films of the past decade and, yet, in the early scenes especially, Those Who Wish Me Dead almost feels almost like a parody of those previous films. The early scenes, where Hannah hangs out with the other smokejumpers, especially ring false, with the blue collar dialogue feeling forced and artificial. Sheridan does better when directing the action scenes but there’s still an overwhelming blandness to the whole film. There’s too much talent involved for Those Who Wish Me Dead to be terrible but, at the same time, it’s hard not to feel that there’s also too much talent for it to be this forgettable.

Lisa’s Week In Television: 6/6/21 — 6/12/21


Twonky

I’m a little bit late in posting my week in television.  That’s because it’s been a long week, both in television and out!  Here’s  some thought on what I watched:

allo-allo

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

On Sunday’s episode, with Rene back at the café and Maria in Switzerland, a new waitress was hired.  Recommended by the Resistance, Mimi LaBonq was just as short as Maria and, it would appear, just as obsessed with Rene.  She was also just a bit more homicidal than Maria, attempting to poison Herr Flick and later beating up an Italian officer.  While Mimi was attempting to kill people (albeit bad people), LeClerc was delivering Rene’s new radio and Michelle of the Resistance was insisting that she would “only say this once.”  And, as always, it was all a hundred times funnier than it sounds.

Having watched enough episodes, I can now see that the humor of Allo Allo really does come down to the fact that everyone has such a bizarrely idealized view of Rene.  “This is the bravest man in France!” Michelle will announce while Rene scurries behind the bar and tries not to get spotted.  The absurd cluelessness of everyone involved is never less than fascinating.

bachelorette 2021

The Bachelorette 17 (Monday Night, ABC)

Yes, we’re doing this again.  Katie Thurston is the latest bachelorette and Chris Harrison is no longer the host.  While I can understand Katie’s decision not to keep the creepy RV guy around, I wish she had because, judging by last night’s episode, this show could really have used a dose of that weird energy.

Baywatch

Baywatch (Weekdays, H&I)

Life on the beach continues, though I do have to say that appears that, in its later seasons, Baywatch started to frequently repeat itself.  How many time can the exact same thing happen to the exact same lifeguards?

On Sunday, lawyer and former lifeguard Craig Pomeroy returned to Baywatch so he could defend the right of one of his clients to die on the beach.  Once his client did die, Craig was free to once again become a lifeguard so I guess it’s good that the old man hired probably the only lawyer in the world who was probably for the opportunity to switch careers and take a massive pay cut.  This was followed by an episode in which a woman disappeared into the ocean because Cody left his lifeguard tower early.  This would seem like a massive dereliction of duty but the show suggested it was no big deal because it was Cody as opposed to some random lifeguard.  Everyone loves Cody!

On Monday, Caroline returned to Baywatch and got held hostage by a criminal.  How many times has this happened to Caroline?  It used to happen frequently to her sister as well so I guess it’s a Holden family trait.  This was followed by an episode in which Craig and April got trapped in a sunken power station.  They survived and it looks like there might romance in the air, despite Craig being in his late 40s and April being 18.

The romance continued on Tuesday, when Manny broke up with April and Craig helped to capture a bunch of reckless jet skiers.  Though April asked Craig to take her to a charity dinner, Craig eventually convinced Manny to take her instead because, again, Craig is like nearly 100 and April is 18.  This was followed by an episode where Cody was trapped underwater and had to be rescued …. wait a minute, didn’t the exact same thing just happen to April and Craig!?  Neely also admitted that she was hooked on pain pills that the real reason she took a leave of absence from Baywatch was so she could have a baby.

On Wednesday, the first episode featured Lani losing her hearing.  Fortunately, she got it back at the end of the second episode because no problem ever lasts longer than two episodes.  During the first episode, Mitch met a woman who was riding a horse across the beach.  In the second episode, cop Garner Ellerbee returned to capture some drug dealers and he als rode a horse across the beach.

On Thursday …. well, who knows?  Cody made the mistake of betting Mitch’s new boat as a part of some silly competition, which is something that I’m pretty sure Logan did at some point during the show’s first two seasons.  During the second episode, Mitch rescued a swimmer who may been sick, which again is something that happened frequently in the past.  As a result, all of Baywatch had to be quarantined!  Only Newman could work the beach, which meant he got to save a bunch of models who were posing for the …. ahem …. new Barbara’s Boutique Catalogue.

Friday was a weird two-part episode.  As occasionally happens when an old show is airing on the retro channels, the show suddenly skipped over a handful of episodes and we jumped, without warning, into the future.  All new opening credits!  All new cast intros, with several regulars now missing!  Suddenly, Mitch was married to Neely and Neely was played by an entirely different actress!  Anyway, the marriage didn’t last because it turned out that Neely was lying about seeing her ex in Alaska (?).  I guess maybe it all would have made sense if the episodes had been shown in their proper order but …. oh well!  The main thing is that Neely and Mitch were no longer married at the end of it all and Neely was no longer a part of Baywatch.

On Saturday, Mitch was stalked and held hostage by a psycho babysitter.  Didn’t that happen to Mitch at least once a year?

brady buch hour

The Brady Bunch Variety Hour (YouTube)

I watched the first episode of this 1977 TV series.  The Brady Bunch sings!  Fake Jan turns out to be more likable than Real Jan!  Peter Brady conspires to replace his father with Tony Randall!  Donnie and Marie Osmond stopped by!  Clowns swam underwater!  The entire family and Alice the maid did the Hustle!  It was …. well, it was something.

cellmate secrets

Cellmate Secrets (Monday Night, A&E)

On this new Lifetime/A&E show, cellmates of infamous criminals talk about what it was like living with a temporary roommate.  This week, I learned that Casey Anthony was apparently manipulative and heartless.  Shocker!

Show Boxing

Championship Boxing — Wilder vs Fury (Showtime Extreme, Friday Morning)

This was a boxing match from 2018.  I’m not really a boxing fan, though I do like to see what everyone in the crowd is wearing.  The match was between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder and it ended in a draw.  Personally, I wish they both could have won.  I cringed every time I saw a punch land to the head.  That can’t be good!

At one point, during the fight, one of the announcers pointed out that “The Black Panther is in the crowd,” and the camera cut to Chadwick Boseman talking to Mario Lopez in the audience.

Cheaters

Cheaters (MTV2, Friday Morning)

I watched three episodes of Cheaters on Friday morning, from two to three-thirty.  Unfortunately, the guide didn’t list what year they were from but Joey Greco was hosting and, just from the fashion choices made by some of the cheaters, I’m going to guess the episodes were from 2009 or 2010.  Cheaters is, in many ways, a terrible show but it’s also a Dallas-based production so I’m happy it’s out there.  One of my favorite things about Cheaters is that the cheaters often get busted at places that I’ve actually been to.  I’m like, “I’ve been to that restaurant!”

Anyway, all three episodes featured cheaters who didn’t show enough contrition upon getting caught.  Joey Greco’s self-righteous commentary was hilariously overwrought.  All in all, this is a show for the entire family.

court-cam

Court Cam (Wednesdays, A&E)

The judges were all sarcastic.  The defendants were unrepentant.  To be honest, the main thing I remember was that someone in the gallery kept yelling at the accused criminals because he didn’t think their bail was high enough.

degrassi minis

Degrassi Minis (YouTube)

Degrassi Minis was a series of 5-minute short films about Degrassi!  They typically had titles like “What if Jimmy could walk?” or “What if Craig married Ashley?”  They presented an alternate reality to the show’s reality and they were often disturbing as Hell.  I watched “What if Jimmy hadn’t gotten shot?,” which featured Jimmy getting a basketball scholarship while a bitter Sean watched from his wheelchair.  So, I guess if Rick Murray hadn’t shot Jimmy, he would have shot Sean?  But, in the “real world,” it was pretty much established that the main reason Rick brought the gun to school was to specifically shoot Jimmy, whom he incorrectly believed has been behind the plot to bully him.  So, if he couldn’t shoot Jimmy, why would he then go after Sean, a character who he didn’t even know?  Why not go after the other people who he thought were in on the plot?

In short, this mini made no sense but both Daniel Clark and Stacey Farber gave good performances as Sean and the ever-loyal Ellie.  Seriously, even in the alternate timeline, Ellie didn’t get enough credit for putting up with everyone’s crap.

friends

Friends (Weeknights, Channel 33)

On Tuesday’s episode, Ross adapted a British accent while teaching and he didn’t both to let Rachel know that he hadn’t actually gotten their Vegas wedding annulled, which was kind of messed up to be honest.  On Wednesday, Joey agreed to keep an eye on someone’s Porsche.  Joey soon started to pretend that it was his Porsche.  It was kind of a stupid storyline but the criminally underrated Matt LeBlanc did a great job selling it.

Hell's Kitchen

Hell’s Kitchen (Fox, Monday Night)

Chef Ramsay’s attempt to mentor Generation Z chefs hit a snag on Monday night when one of the chefs imitated Ramsay getting mad about a dish being undercooked.  The problem was that the dish was undercooked and the chef in question was one who had undercooked it.  Can you guess who ended up going home at the end of service?

intervention

Intervention (Monday Night, A&E)

As I’ve said previously, I always have more sympathy for the druggies than I do for the drunks.  On Monday night, Pam struggled with both drugs and alcohol so my feelings were mixed.  Still, she went to rehab and appeared to be doing better at the end of the show so good for her.

Last Man Standing

Last Man Standing (Sunday, Newsnation)

There are certain shows that just make perfect background entertainment.  These are the shows that you have on television while you’re doing something like cleaning the house or trying to organize your movies.  They keep you from getting overwhelmed by silence but, at the same time, they don’t really demand your attention.  Most of these shows tend to be sitcoms and rather old-fashioned sitcoms at that.  Last Man Standing is a perfect example.  Starring Tim Allen as the often-confused father of three daughters, Last Man Standing was one of the sitcoms that was always more popular with audiences than critics.  I can’t say that I have ever regularly watched it, though the few times I have both watched and paid attention to it, it seemed to be an inoffensive sitcom that, more often than not, worked because of its cast and despite some heavy-handed writing.

For whatever reason, Last Man Standing is one of those sitcoms that always seems to be airing somewhere.  On Sunday, it aired on Newsnation from early in the morning until late in the evening.  I had it playing in the background while I did some work around the house.  I can’t say that I really paid much attention to it.  Tim Allen was confused by his daughters.  His daughters were competing for his attention.  One of the daughter’s had a liberal husband, who was basically the world’s biggest wimp.  It felt more like a series from the late 90s than the 2010s.  But no matter.  It helped me focus on the work I was doing around the house and that was really all I needed.

moone_boy_title

Moone Boy (Sunday Night, PBS)

Martin became an altar boy and found out the truth about the Mass Mafia.  It was an enjoyable homage to Goodfellas, even if it did end with the Godfather theme playing over the end credits.  I especially like the fact that Martin’s confirmation name was also Martin.  “That will be easy to remember.”

(For the record, my confirmation name was Sofia.)

The Office

The Office (Comedy Central, All The Time)

On Sunday morning, I watched Safety Training and Product Recall, two classics from season 3. Safety Training featured Michael thinking that he could safely jump off the building and onto a bouncy castle. Product Recall featured Andy dating a 16 year-old high school student. Funny episodes but what the Hell was going on in Scranton!?

Actually, my favorite part of Product Recall was Michael calling the press to let them know about the offensive watermark because, otherwise, how were they going to find out?

open-all-hours

Open All Hours (Monday Morning, PBS)

Poor Granville.  His entire life revolves around that morning milk delivery.  Some morning, the delivery’s going to be delayed and Granville’s going to snap.  It won’t be pretty.

parking_wars

Parking Wars (Monday Morning, A&E)

“I love South Philly but if you’re parked in the wrong place on one of my streets, you’re getting a ticket.”  Oh, shut up.

1-seinfeld

Seinfeld (Weekday Night, Channel 33)

I watched four episodes of this 90s sitcom, two on Tuesday and two on Wednesday.  Two of the episodes dealt with the production of a pilot that was written by Jerry and George.  I’ve always like the episodes with The Pilot, if just because of the way that Jerry Seinfeld poked fun at his own acting limitations.  (“Because he’s my butler!”)  George’s obsession over the box of raisins was another classic, cringey moment.

As for the other two episodes, one dealt with George trying to hire a secretary to which he wouldn’t be sexually attracted (it did not work) and the other was one of my favorites, in which Jerry and George try to figure out how to perfect the roommate switch.  (“I’m not sure of the exact pronunciation but I think it’s called …. ménage a trois?”  “Oh, that’s wild.”  And, of course, later: “I’m not an orgy guy!”)  Really, putting George in any position of authority just seems like the ultimate HR nightmare.

storage-wars

Storage Wars (All Day Tuesday, A&E)

I watched several episodes on Tuesday and, as tends to happen with A&E all-day marathons, they all blended together.  But no matter!  The good thing was that the majority of the episode were from the first three seasons, when the whole show was about Dave getting on people’s nerves and Barry acting all eccentric and somehow managing to injure himself every time he tried to clean out a locker.  To be honest, I don’t think the show has ever really recovered from losing Barry as a regular.

1-upstart-crow

Upstart Crow (Sunday Night, PBS)

Realizing that his new play, Twelfth Night, just isn’t working, Shakespeare comes up with the brilliant idea to turn it into a jukebox miracle!  Everyone loves the play once the music of Thomas Morley is added but then Morley himself refuses to sign over the rights to his music.  Oh, Shakespeare, will you ever learn?

Twonky

Music Video of the Day: Setting Sun by The Chemical Brothers, featuring Noel Gallager (1996, dir by Dom & Nick)


Hey, do you remember when MTV used to show music videos and they were scary as Hell?

That’s certainly the case with Setting Sun, an early Chemical Brothers video that is either a celebration of dancing or a portrait of someone who has been possessed by a demon. Maybe it’s both. The video made me want to both go to a rave and go to Confession. So, all in all, I’d call this one a success.

The girl in the video is played Lexi Strauss. This video was one of many Chemical Brothers videos to be directed by Dom & Nick.

Enjoy!