Music Video of the Day: What Doesn’t Kill You by Jake Bugg (2013, dir by Andrew Douglas)

Today, we have a simple video for a pretty good song.  Of course, to say this video is simple is hardly a complaint.  The simplicity works wonderfully.

Check out the previous Jake Bugg video that I shared on this site by clicking here.


Film Review: The Mean Season (dir by Phillip Borsos)

From the very first few scenes of the 1985 film, The Mean Season, one thing is abundantly clear.  People are dying in Florida.

In itself, that’s probably not a shock.  Death is a part of life, after all.  Add to that, the majority of The Mean Season takes place in Miami, the seventh most populous area of the United States.  It makes sense that the more people you have living in one area, the more people are also going to end up dead.  That’s just the way things work.

Still, Malcolm Anderson is getting tired of all the death.  Played by a youngish and sexy Kurt Russell, Malcolm’s a journalist.  He covers the crime beat for the Miami Herald.  He spends all day reporting on death and violence and he’s finally reached the point where he’s burned out.  He and his girlfriend, a teacher named Christine (Mariel Hemingway), are even planning on moving to Colorado.  Malcolm says that he could be very happy working at a small town newspaper.  His editor (Richard Masur) doesn’t believe him and, quite frankly, neither do we.  Malcolm may say that he wants peace and quiet but it’s hard not to feel as if he’s fooling himself.

One day, Malcolm gets a phone call.  The voice on the other line (which belongs to character actor Richard Jordan) is deceptively calm.  The caller explains that he’s a fan of Malcolm’s work.  The caller also claims to be responsible for a series of murders that have recently taken place.  At first, Malcolm is skeptical.  After all, he gets calls from crazy people all the time.  That’s one reason why he wants to leave Miami, after all.  But then the caller starts to give Malcolm details about the crimes, details that haven’t been released to general public…

The killings continue and, after every murder, the caller contacts Malcolm.  Soon, Malcolm is appearing on the national news, giving carefully calculated interviews about what it’s like to be a celebrity.  Malcolm is soon on the front page of all the papers.  Malcolm’s happy.  His editor is happy.  But you know who isn’t happy?  The killer.  He didn’t go to all the trouble to kill those people just so Malcolm could get famous off of his hard work!  Soon, the killer is no longer content to just call Malcolm.  Now, he wants to meet face-to-face and maybe even get to know Christine as well…

The Mean Season is one of those movies that starts out well but then falls apart towards the end.  It’s not a spoiler to tell you that the killer eventually ends up kidnapping Christine.  You probably figured out that was going to happen as soon as I told you that Malcolm had a girlfriend.  (It doesn’t help that Christine is such an underwritten character that it feels like the only reason she was put in the film was so she could be used for one gratuitous nude scene and then get kidnapped.)   Once the killer kidnaps her, he goes from being a genuinely intriguing menace to just being a typical and overly verbose movie psycho.

That’s a shame because the first half of The Mean Season is really quite good.  The film makes excellent use of its locations, capturing the humid atmosphere of Florida in the summer.  As the killer, Richard Jordan alternates between being coldly calculating and surprisingly vulnerable without missing a beat.  (Interestingly, he appears to be personally hurt when he realizes that Malcolm doesn’t consider him to be a friend.)  Not surprisingly, Kurt Russell is likable as the conflicted Malcolm but his best moments are the ones where he suggests that Malcolm has become so addicted to fame that he’s almost hoping that the killer strikes again.  As the two homicide detectives who are assigned to keep an eye on Malcolm, both Richard Bradford and Andy Garcia are perfectly cast.  A scene where Bradford tries to comfort a child who accidentally gets in the middle of the search for the killer is the best in the film.  “We’re just looking for the bad guys,” he tell the traumatized child.  It’s small moments like this that elevates The Mean Season above the typical mid-80s serial killer film.

Seen today, The Mean Season — with its emphasis on newspapers — feels like a historical artifact.  If the film were made today, Russell would definitely work for either a 24-hour cable news channel or an online news site.  It actually would be interesting to see this story updated and retold for the age of clickbait.  Somebody needs to get on that and, while they’re at it, come up with the type of ending that an otherwise intriguing story like this deserves.

Music Video of the Day: Time Is Running Out by Muse (2003, dir by John Hillcoat)

This video has kind of a nice Dr. Strangelove feel to it, which I like.  That said, it was released 15 years ago so hopefully, time is not still running out.  At the very least, let’s hope everyone was too busy dancing to launch any missiles.

It was directed by John Hillcoat, who would later direct films like Lawless, The Road, and The Proposition, along with an episode of Black Mirror.


Here’s The Trailer For Venom!

For me, this trailer is kind of iffy.

I know that a lot of people are excited about it but I think that’s a case of being more excited about the character that Tom Hardy is playing than the trailer itself.  I’m hardly an expert on Venom as a character but I will say that Tom Hardy seems to be a better choice for the role than Topher Grace.

(Anyway, Venom fans, I wouldn’t worry too much.  If this movie doesn’t work, they’ll just reboot the character again.)

Myself, I’ll watch Tom Hardy in anything!

Music Video of the Day: You Make Me by Avicii (2013, dir by Sebastian Ringler)

I’ve spent the entire weekend listening to Avicii.  At some point, I know I’m going to listen to someone else but I’m just not ready to do so yet.

Anyway, this is a fun video.  As a general rule, the longer a video focuses on people skating, the better the video is going to be.  This one has dancing, fighting, and romance.  It’s got a bit of a Scott Pilgrim vs. The World feel to it.


Lisa’s Week In Review: 4/16/18 — 4/22/18

Avicii.  Rest in peace.

Movies I Watched:

  1. Bad Girls (1994)
  2. Dazed and Confused (1993)
  3. Fish Tank (2010)
  4. The Final Sacrifice (1990)
  5. From Here To Eternity (1953)
  6. Gimme Shelter (1970)
  7. Guerilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst (2004)
  8. I Just Don’t Dig Him (1970)
  9. Keep off the Grass (1969)
  10. Machine Gun McCain (1969)
  11. The Minus Man (1999)
  12. The Panic in Needle Park (1971)
  13. Rampage (2018)
  14. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978)
  15. The Star Chamber (1983)
  16. Stick It (2006)
  17. Tommy (1975)
  18. Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
  19. Woodstock (1970)

Television Shows I Watched:

  1. The Americans
  2. Ash vs. Evil Dead
  3. Atlanta
  4. Barry
  5. Brooklyn 99
  6. Communty
  7. Degrassi
  8. Ghost Whisperer
  9. Homeland
  10. Howards End
  11. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelpia
  12. iZombie
  13. King of the Hill
  14. Legion
  15. Lucifier
  16. Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD
  17. New Girl
  18. Night Gallery
  19. The Office
  20. Roseanne
  21. Silicon Valley
  22. Survivor 36
  23. Survivor Pearl Island
  24. The Terror
  25. Trust
  26. UnREAL

Books That I Read:

  1. I am I am I am by Maggie O’Farrell

Music To Which I Listened:

  1. Aoki
  2. Avicii
  3. The Chemical Brothers
  4. Dada Life
  5. Dillon Francis
  6. Florence + The Machine
  7. Jakalope
  8. The Killers
  9. Muse
  10. The Rolling Stones
  11. Saint Motel
  12. Talking Heads
  13. Tomoyasu Hotei

Links From Last Week:

  1. Spirituality and the Use of Mood in Twin Peaks!
  2. In honor of National Poetry Month, I shared poems from Charles Baudelaire, Julia Ward Howe, W.B. Yeats, Diane Di Prima, Jane Kenyon, Dylan Thomas, and Emily Dickinson!
  3. I had a dream about a bus hijacking!
  4. On her photography site, Erin captures the light of day!

Links From The Site:

  1. Jeff wrote about how R. Lee Ermey made AP History fun!
  2. Gary reviewed Johnny Tremain and Hold On!  He also paid tribute to Superman and Bruno Sammartino and took a look at the song, (We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet!
  3. Erin shared her thoughts on Tax Day!
  4. Ryan reviewed Johnny Ryan’s Prison Pit Book Six, Warpwish Comics #1, and Necro Lover!  He also shared his weekly reading round-up!
  5. I paid tribute to Eric Roberts and Edie Sedgwick!  I also reviewed both Woodstock and Gimme Shelter!

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

I was hoping that I would be able to devote last week to Italian horror and giallo films.  Unfortunately, I got both busy and sick so that review series will start next week!

Have a great week!

Music Video: Feeling Good by Avicii (2015, dir by ????)

Today’s video is for Avicii’s Feeling Good.  It’s a great video from a talent who was taken from us far too early.  I’ve been listening to Avicii nonstop ever since Friday afternoon and I imagine that I’ll continue to do so for many days to come.