What I’m Consuming This Summer

Songs on Rotation

Vegas – Doja Cat – No, I didn’t watch the Elvis movie from which this song was released. I’m not a huge Elvis fan even though I know a lot of his songs. On the other hand, the trailer for the movie was compelling, and I may check it out at a later date. This song just sounded like a lot of fun and is currently on my driver playlist.

Pretty Girl Rock – Keri Hilson – This is an older song I hated when it was released, but for some reason, Youtube felt the need to rec the video of this song a few weeks ago and I really enjoyed it so now this song is on rotation. I thought the video was a lot of fun.

Dance And Shout – Shaggy/Michael Jackson Remix – Both versions of this song are pretty old, but I love the mashup.

Nice For What Remix – Drake /Tupac – I feel like Tupac can be successfully remixed with just about any artist, and I think he probably has!

Meth Lab Zoso Sticker – 7Horse – I think I heard this song in an ad for who knows what, and it just got stuck in my head. I love the beat.

Sailor’s Lament – Audionautix – This is a song I heard in a review of the movie The Banshees of Inisherrin. The movie is deeply melancholy but I liked it. This song is, unfortunately, not in the movie but perfectly fits its mood.

Breathe – Feverkin – There’s a CGI channel on Youtube that sends out challenges for digital visual artists about every six months or so. This is the music from their last challenge which involved some martial arts poses. The goal is for the artists to make their 30-second animation as unique as possible within the parameters set out in the challenge, then the best ones get spliced together in a ten-minute montage. This was the music chosen for this montage and is a deeply relaxing song.

Black Sea by Natasha Blume – This is from the documentary Merpeople airing right now on Netflix.

Books To Be Read

I will watch and read Horror all year round, but this Summer I’m catching up on a special genre that will NEVER appear on anybody’s bestseller list: The SplatterPunk Western. I will probably break that up with the occasional non-fiction, or fantasy book. We’ll see how it goes. Here’s my TBR pile:

The Ghost in Bone by Mike Carey

The Dead Man and Other Horror Stories by Gene Wolfe

13th Koyote/Last of the Ravagers – Splatterpunk Westerns

Honey, I’m Homo by Matt Baume

The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu by Tom Lin

Six Guns Straight From Hell: Horror Western Anthology Series

Bleeding Shadows Anthology by Joe R. Lansdale

Movie Theater Playlist

Barbie – This one is just for me and my niece.

The Blackening – I’m going to ask my niece if she would like to go see this in the theater. If not then I’ll just wait until it comes to digital.

The Flash – My nephew and I have already made plans to see this, and surprisingly, my niece has asked to come along. My nephew pretty much sticks to action, sci-fi, and superhero movies, with the occasional anime thrown in, but my niece has some wider-ranging tastes, it seems, with a combination of superhero films, fluffy girl-related movies, and Horror.

They Cloned Tyrone – This is airing on Netflix, stars some of my favorite actors, and I love a good Horror Comedy.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Uh, yeah, this movie is just for me. Anyone is welcome to join me but this movie is mostly for me.

Last Voyage of the Demeter – I won’t take my niece and nephew to see this movie unless they specifically ask to go. My niece does love a good Horror movie (she loved M3gan, and is a huge fan of Stranger Things) so she might ask.

Blue Beetle – This movie is also mostly for me, but my nephew will watch pretty much anything with superheroes in it, so he’s welcome to come along!

And then finally, me and my niece and nephew are gonna end this Fun Movie Summer with me probably going to see The Equalizer 3 all by myself.

On Demand

Ultraman Season Three – I watched the first two seasons of this show because I have fond memories of the original airing on TV on Saturday afternoons as a kid. I was curious about this so I decided to check it out and I kinda liked it. So this is season three airing on Netflix and I think it’s worth a watch. I’m not normally into a whole lot of anime but there is a nostalgia factor involved.

Sakra – This movie starring Donnie Yen is now on demand. I rented it on Amazon for like 4 dollars and it was really worth it. I really enjoyed it although the plot is somewhat convoluted. Its kind of a cross between a superhero movie, a wuxia film, and a little bit of John Wick thrown in for good measure. The action scenes are very satisfying.

Black Mirror Season Six – I more or less enjoyed the other seasons of this show so I’m curious to find out what’s going on in this six-season which is once again airing on Netflix.

Star Trek Strange New Worlds – The first season was a bit hit-and-miss for me but I generally enjoyed it. I definitely loved the characters, which seems to be the strong point of all these latest Star Treks we’ve been getting which is fine with me because it’s the characters that ultimately capture me and keep me coming back for more of a series.

Secret Invasion – I’m of mixed feelings about this series. I don’t watch all the MCU series Disney puts out and I’m not a huge fan of the Secret Invasion storyline from the comic books or the Kree- Skrull War either, so I’m not enthused about this. On the other hand, it’s the first time I’ve ever seen Samual L. Jackson in a TV series, so that’s a plus.

Ahsoka – This is a Star Wars series I’m very much looking forward to. I’m a middling Star Wars fan. I’m more into Trek than Wars, but I am an Ahsoka fan, but more importantly, I’m a Rosario Dawson fan, and have been following her career since the 90s. I love to see actors I’m a fan of getting to play Jedis.

What We Do In the Shadows Season Five – This show has done some absolutely crazy stuff, and I love the characters here, almost as much as I love the ones from the original movie. It’s really fun and funny, and I’m eager to see what kind of shenanigans these vampires are going to get up to this Summer.

What I watched – The Little Mermaid (2023)

This weekend I took my niece to go see The Little Mermaid. Up to this point, I had avoided seeing any of the live-action versions of the cartoons Disney made in the 90s, and that was fine with me, but I am a doting Auntie who loves her niece (who probably knows kickboxing) and she wanted desperately to go see this movie. I was ambivalent. I am not a fan of Disney’s live-action remakes and this is the only one I’ve ever watched. I have the Disney + app and I still haven’t watched any of them but my attitude towards this one is kind of mixed.

I still do not like any of the live-action versions of Disney’s animated films of the 90s and I wish they would stop doing them, but at the same time, I realize these movies aren’t made with people like me in mind. They’re made for the newest generation of under-ten-year-olds that Disney is hoping to capture well into their adulthood, and I would say they’ve succeeded. The vast majority of people (namely women) aren’t even thinking about the stuff I’m thinking about during this movie. What they care about is that their little girls are mermaid crazy and will raise holy hell if their parents don’t take them to see this movie!

So generally my attitude is: Yay! for the representation of Black girls as princesses, but still Booo! on live-action Disney remakes.

Overall, I enjoyed the experience. There are things to like about this movie, namely Hallie Bailey’s performance because she was killing it, but honestly, it doesn’t rival the original experience I had of seeing the animated version in the theater, where I bawled my eyes out like a child. The only Disney movies that still regularly make me cry are the Pixar films. I came close with this one but then my thoughts kept being interrupted by “the first movie did this better” and that quickly put a halt to any incipient waterworks.

I did enjoy Hallie Bailey’s performance which is light-hearted, beautiful, charming, and ethereal. I sang my way through a couple of songs, although I was surprised to find my favorite song in this version was Kiss the Girl, which is not my favorite song from the animated version. My favorite song from the animated version was Poor Unfortunate Souls by Ursula the Sea Witch. The movie was very pretty and colorful, and my favorite scene was the Under the Sea number, where I found myself naming various sea creatures and smiling like an idiot, but that has more to do with me loving ocean documentaries than anything Disney is doing. That scene was a lot of fun and rivals the Be Our Guest scene from the animated Beauty and the Beast, and I’m pretty sure that was on purpose! Ursula the Sea Witch is nasty enough, although I thought McCarthy was overdoing it a bit, and some parts of her very well-known song (at least well-known by me anyway) were excised, and I wished they’d kept those parts because Ursula is not known for her support of other women.

But most importantly it was just lighthearted fun for me and my niece and didn’t provoke a lot of anxiety, which is a problem for me when seeing movies in the theater. I have yet to have an anxiety attack in the theater but there’s always the fear in the back of my head that it will happen, so I actually try to choose movies that aren’t too suspenseful or ones where I already know the outcome. There’s not a lot of suspense in this movie since it’s a remake. There were a couple of new songs added, and some songs were removed, like Le Poisson by Rene Aberjenois, whose voice I really missed. Prince Eric gets a song of his own but it was instantly forgettable. On the other hand, he at least gets a backstory and a personality.

I did enjoy all the beautiful mermaids that were featured and I loved all the diversity in the cast. Eric’s mother is the Queen who adopted him as a child, and she is played by a black actress. its clearly a Caribbean-style island, and there are a lot of black and brown people living there, but this is not this world.

According to the book about the film, this world full of mermaids doesn’t map onto this world’s versions of the oceans, with different land masses and different ocean names. This is an entirely fictional world where humans sort of know about and believe in various ocean gods and goddesses, and Ariel’s sisters reflect different but parallel human cultures. There is a dark-skinned Black mermaid who is especially striking ( and who I immediately named Mami Wata, although I don’t think that mythology exists in this universe), and my other favorite was the Indian mermaid. The two blonde mermaids come from cold ocean waters, so some thought was put into the different looks and cultures of the mermaids themselves. There are some subtle changes to the plot and the ending doesn’t resemble the animated one very much, with a completely different outcome. Ariel’s father, King Triton as played by Javier Bardem and is a lot less mean than the animated version of him though. It’s very weird watching him play a merman.

After seeing this movie, I was on a mermaid roll, so to speak, and watched the Mermaids documentary on Netflix, which was very timely. No, I do not ever want to work as a mermaid. It looks tiring, and to be frank, kinda terrifying! It was fascinating to watch though. Several years ago, I read an article in some culture magazine about a woman who wanted to be a professional mermaid, and I think she’s featured in this series, which interviews and follows different people in their quest to do this as a career, one of whom is a Black man who talks about how his family rejected him for being gay. Apparently, the idea of being a mermaid has totally blown up in the last ten years, and there’s now a lot of competition. contests, an entire community, and even award shows! There is a whole industry (and a specific companies) dedicated to making mermaid tails, which can cost anywhere from a hundred dollars on the cheapest end, to five thousand dollars for the really convincing-looking ones that people can swim in!

After all that, I felt I had to clear my head of all the mermaid stuff so the next day I did a complete 180 and watched John Wick 4, which I’ll discuss later, because damn! That movie was doing a lot with very little!

I have absolutely no plans to go see any more live-action Disney films, but I am greatly looking forward to watching the Barbie movie in July, because I really like Barbie, and I am a huge fan of Margot Robbie. This week, my nephew and I will be heading to the theater to watch the latest Spiderman films and I’m a lot more enthusiastic about that than I was The Little Mermaid.

Ten More Questions No One Asked Me (But Probably Should Have)

I answered ten more of these burning questions as part of my ongoing efforts to bring you guys all that great content you’re supposedly here for. Good luck!

What hobbies do you have?

My hobbies are always artistic in nature. Right now it’s knitting, writing, and baking. I used to draw, and for a while, I was a professional illustrator in the 90s (for about thirty seconds), but I lost interest in that. It seems that I keep picking up hobbies I did as a child. I started crocheting when I was twelve. I stopped for about twenty years, picked it up again, and then segued into knitting. I’ve recently taken up baking again, which is also something I did as a teenager but stopped doing as a hobby for several years, while I did professional baking. My life is a Fibonacci Spiral.

What Music do you like to listen to?

I don’t listen to any one genre of music because I think that’s kind of a boring thing to do. I will and have listened to any genre of music, and will basically listen to anything with a beat though, from Algerian Pop to African drumbeat, to French Electronica, since I choose music based entirely on my mood. Some days I’m in a Hard Rock mood, in which case I’ll put on some Ozzy or Motorhead, but sometimes I’m in an R&B mood, in which case some Braxtons or Michael Jackson is called for.

These days I’m in the mood for lots of upbeat, funky music, like Michael Jackson, Will Smith, and Club Remixes of 90s R&B hits, and a melancholy film music mood, where I listen to sad Pop songs featured in Action movies.

What is your dream job?

When I was a little girl, I saw Leontyne Price on some TV show and thereafter I wanted to become an Opera singer. (I have also wanted to be Ellen Ripley, Michelle Yeoh, Spock, and Grace Jones). I did sing though and have had some training, but I gave up that dream to become a draftsman (someone who draws) after my voice changed when I hit puberty. I set myself towards drawing as a career for ten years, (while dabbling in every other form of art from sculpture to painting) until I decided I no longer wanted to do any of that as a career.

Eventually, I settled into one of my other dream jobs that I wanted as a child: Librarian! This was a job that I worked off and on for several years while pursuing my artistic career, but when that career didn’t happen, and I got laid off from my job at a bakery, my mother suggested that I put in an application at the library since I was always hanging out there, and I’ve worked at the library for almost thirty years.

One thing I’ll never try again…

Rally’s burgers. I have a freakishly good memory for tastes. I can remember the exact tastes of things many many years after I’ve had them. Waaaaay back in the 90s I got a very bad burger at a Rally’s in Columbus Ohio, and I haven’t been back to any Rally’s since! Okay, I know it is unlikely that will ever happen to me again but that burger was soooo bad that I’ve been too terrified to ever try one of their burgers again.

I’m also picky about food based on texture. I will never ever eat another mushroom, I don’t care what people tell me about them. I like looking at them because I think mushrooms are pretty, but I refuse to eat them. I also refuse to eat raw tomatoes. As long as they are pureed into something else I can eat them, but the raw texture is just too much for me.

Do you have a personal Mantra?

Keep Moving Forward

Speaking as someone who has suffered from the mental illness that is depression there were times I definitely had to crawl.

But I didn’t stop moving.

What do you daydream about?

A better world.

To that end, I often dream about living on the Starship Enterprise or just generally in the Star Trek universe. Usually, I daydream about meeting with or talking to my favorite characters. I used to daydream about living in the Buffyverse, but that was mostly because I loved the characters so much. I wanted to be a member of the Scooby Gang from the show. Some of my other favorite shows and movies to daydream about are Star Wars and Supernatural. Basically, a lot of my daydreams involve meeting my favorite characters in the various fictional worlds of the shows and movies I love, and having adventures, kicking ass, or defeating monsters with them. In other words, pure escapism!

What is the unhealthiest thing you do?

Right now the most unhealthy thing I keep doing is buying Twizzlers! I have diabetes so I’m not supposed to be eating these rubbery little strips of artificial flavor, but I can’t stop craving them. I’ve also been craving chocolate chip cookies, honey-covered cashews, and Doritos. I do not buy those though. I just steal them from my niece and nephew.

What is your most embarrassing public moment?

I’m a pretty clumsy person so I’ve had a few such moments, and most of these memories consist of falling down somewhere. Down some stairs, out of chairs, on sidewalks, over my own two feet… fortunately, while doing all of this falling down, I’ve never broken anything other than my dignity.

Do you collect things?

Apparently, I’m collecting different artisan skills. I don’t know why. Perhaps this is in preparation for some future apocalypse, in which case, I’ll be ready.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Bad drivers! This is the only thing that will make me scream at people in my car. I cannot stand people who act a fool on the road by slaloming in and out between the other cars, running through red lights after a slight pause, tailgating, or not using their turn indicators.

Another thing I don’t understand is why these people all seem to drive the same tiny black sports car.

My Top Ten Favorite Science Fiction Shows

I grew up watching a lot of SciFi on TV and I don’t think I’ve ever talked about my top favorite series cuz I got favorites y’all , and this time I’m actually going to rank them fromleast to most in the order I’m supposed to instead of just tossing them up in any kind of order like I normally do.

This isn’t a list of best and worst SciFi because I don’t normally think of the media I consume in terms of best and worst. What most matters to me is how I felt when I watched it, how long it sticks in my memory, and if the show had any personal relevance for me, not whether or not other people (who I decided are not me) liked it. Don’t get me wrong, I love it when people like the things I like, but that doesn’t often factor into whether or not I like it.

10. The Bionic Woman (1976)/Wonder Woman (1975)

And right off the bat, you can see where some of my little baby feminism is leading. I had to do a twofer on this one because I watched both of these shows around the same time. Like a lot of little girls I’ve known I wanted to see women and girls onscreen, having adventures, kicking booty, etc., and in the 70s and 80s, this is what I got! I count these two shows because I had the TV all to myself at the time of day these shows aired. I don’t know where my brothers were, but they never bothered me during these shows. I remember they used to air on Saturdays, usually around 11AM or Noon.

The Bionic Woman was a spinoff series from The Six Million Dollar Man and I thought of both them as superhero shows. I didn’t learn about The Bionic Woman until some time after The Six Million Dollar Man left the air in 1978. My brothers had Steve Austin (which I also watched) but I had Jamie Somers, and I have a very distinct memory of all of us doing that slow-motion running thing that the main characters did in the series. Yes, it was silly, but this was the 70s and we were like 7, 8 and 9 years old. The series was about a woman who had had various body parts, like her legs and arms replaced by machinery which gave her the ability to run really fast and super strength. Needless to say, this was not depicted very well on network TV, but it was good for what it was. There was a one-season remix of the idea in 2007, which had an engaging lead character and better special effects but couldn’t overcome the nostalgia factor of the original I guess, because It didn’t last long.

The Bionic Woman first aired in 1976, and Wonder Woman aired in 1975. I was five and six years old and I watched them in syndication around nine or ten. The lead character in WW was Lynda Carter who has had a bit of a resurgence in her popularity since the release of the WW movies. I’m sorry guys but Gal Godot is pretty and all but she is, at best, a whispy presence next to the truly Amazonian frame of Lynda Carter, who will always be my favorite Wonder Woman, with her sunny smile, twinkling eyes, and truly impressive bosoms. I also remember the themes songs from both series and yeah, and I and every other girl my age definitely did that twirling around shit that turned Lynda into Wonder Woman.

9. The Incredible Hulk (1977)

This was one of my favorite shows and I have the memory of watching it with my Mom. I’m often surprised by how laid back and relaxed a lot of the shows we watched were from that time period. I watched a retrospective of this series a few years back and I was struck by its wholesomeness, Bill Bixby’s gentleness, and intelligence, and the series’s complete lack of urgency, something of which was captured in Mark Ruffalo’s version in The Avengers, which is probably why I like him so much.

Another reason these shows are favorites is because of the theme songs. The song for The Incredible Hulk was a treacly piano number titled The Lonely Man and it just perfectly captured the tragic vibe of the series, where Bixby’s Banner had to keep moving on from place to place, getting involved in various adventures while dodging the authorities and a nosy news reporter who was determined to out him to the rest of the world.

The Incredible Hulk was one of the few SciFi shows introduced to me by my mom, even though she wasn’t into superheroes and didn’t watch many SciFi shows. I know she approved of Bill Bixby and knew that I liked him from shows like My Favorite Martian (which she did watch), and The Courtship of Eddie’s Father. When The Avengers came out The Hulk was one of the few characters we could talk about, and I think it was because of her grounding in this series that she was able to smoothly glide into a discussion of superhero movies.

8. Space 1999 (1975)

This is one of my favorite shows right now. I remember that a lot of my relatives thought the show was pretty boring because they didn’t think much happened on it, but I also have the distinct memory of watching this show in my grandmother’s living room, and my other relatives indulging my love of this show because it aired around the same time as Star Trek and Lost in Space. I think the reason they indulged me most of the time is because the theme song for the show just slapped, but there were times we would groove to the title song, and then turn the channel.

I was only a kid but I remember Martin Landau from other shows I watched, and I grew to like Barbara Bain, but my favorite character was the shapeshifting Maya, played by Catherine Schell, but she didn’t show up until about season two or three. I thought she was beautiful and exotic at the time but I saw this series before I watched Star Trek so I didn’t know she was a kind of Spock ripoff. Admittedly the show and the characters were slow-moving and very non-dramatic in their behavior, which prompted quite a few people to say the show was boring. It’s true that it was not an especially dynamic cast and the show was a lot more cerebral than most of my family was willing to sit through, but part of the reason I liked it was for its Horror elements. The show was genuinely scary in its first season.

The show was ind of built on a Horror premise about a group of scientists on Moonbase Alpha who get lost in space when the moon gets knocked out of Earth orbit. Yeah, the basic premise is silly, but I watched a retrospective of the show on Youtube a few months ago and the episodes not only still hold up, but fit right in today’s shows from a plot point of view, and involved things like portal aliens that swallowed people alive, a man who was turned into a vampire like creature and had to be stopped, and creatures that were like ghosts. Every episode had a mystery that needed to be solved, the outcome wasn’t always predictable, and people died in some fairly gruesome ways.

There were also a number of toys associated with this show and I remember I had a large replica of the spaceship from this show. I don’t remember if my Mom bought it or I stole it from one of my brothers but I cherished this toy and played with it with my Legos! I was not a Star Wars fan. I was a Space 1999 fan.

7. Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone (1959)

Watching this first iteration of the Twilight Zone is one of my earliest memories of watching TV shows with my Mom. She was a huge fan of Rod Serling, probably because of the social messages in his work. I remember having discussions with her about the meanings of some of the episodes we watched or just hearing her talk about some of her favorites.

One of our top favorite episodes was It’s a Good Life, with Billy Mumy from Lost in Space as a kid with reality-bending superpowers, which was genuinely terrifying to me at that age, and one of my Mom’s favorites was Nightmare at 20,000 Feet which starred William Shatner before I knew him as Captain Kirk. I thought that episode was a bit overdone but some of the scarier episodes for me were Time Enough At Last, about a man who manages to get time to read all he wants except for one little hiccup, the Living Doll episode which might have something to do with why I find inanimate objects that move so terrifying, and The Monsters are Due on Maple Street spoke to both of us. I think the saddest episode was Five Characters in Search of an Exit, about five characters trying to escape some kind of prison, but with a horrible twist.

The Twilight Zone aired after Primetime and was one of the few shows she would let me stay up late on a weeknight to watch, which was a big deal when I was ten, sitting in my Mom’s bed while I drank milk and she had soda, and my brothers were already asleep. She and I didn’t have a lot of favorite shows that we watched together (although she carefully monitored what I watched sometimes) but whenever the original series aired we’d be right there for it, so you can imagine there is a huge nostalgia factor for me here. I was very young and until my own tastes started to diverge I simply watched whatever she watched and she had some fairly wide-ranging tastes. I did however draw the line at soap operas. She absolutely loved her “Stories” while I found them uninteresting.

6. Aeon Flux (1991)

When I was in college MTV and the Syfy networks used to air a program called Liquid Television very late in the evening, and this was where I first saw Aeon Flux. I loved the animation style but otherwise was kind of puzzled. I didn’t know what to make of the plots or stories and I wasn’t sure if they were supposed to be funny or not. Later, I decided that only some of the episodes were meant to be funny. Aeon herself was something of a sad sack. She never accomplished her goals and almost always died either because she was simply unlucky, or just through her own clumsiness.

When the series began the episodes were just one-offs that were not entirely connected to one another, although some had recurring characters, like her arch-nemesis Trevor Goodchild, who was the leader of some kind of authoritarian state that Aeon was in opposition to. Later, the single shorts became an entire series which was every bit as bizarre and puzzling but at least Aeon lived to the end of the episodes, sometimes.

The very first episode I saw, I thought was pretty groundbreaking. In it, Aeon is fighting a running battle between two different hordes of soldiers, and all of the viewer’s focus is on her until she gets taken out about halfway through it. I wasn’t expecting that! There’s another one where she’s doing some spy stuff on a train with Goodchild and she accomplishes her goal but is unlucky enough to get strangled by her own rope as she escapes. In another episode she just gets shot in the head by her enemy before she can finish the job. As an artist (who studied animation in school), the animation style was very exciting to me and unlike any other style I’d seen on TV, although it looks kind of jerky today, and I still don’t get why everyone was wearing BDSM gear, which I thought was pretty funny.

5. Star Trek Discovery (2017)

Before the show aired, I’d been watching Sonequa Martin Green’s character on The Walking Dead. I was pretty upset that she was killed off that series but later found out that she asked to be written out of the show because of her newest project. And then I heard about this show, and I was very excited since I really liked her. When I heard that she was starring in the series as an Ensign I was a little put out by that because I was led to believe the entire series would be based around her and it couldn’t be that way if she wasn’t a Captain. See, up to this point, all the Star Trek shows revolved around Captains and their crews.

But the show had something a little more subtle in mind because it turned out to be a psychological study of the effects of trauma, and a chronicle of Michael Burnham’s fall, redemption, healing, and eventual rise to Captaincy. I saw this pattern by the second season, but I don’t think a lot of people understood what the show was trying to do. I also had to explain to several people that weren’t used to seeing this kind of thing that this Black woman was basically getting the Full Hero Treatment that is usually given to straight white dudes in these types of stories, and that in itself was groundbreaking for Star Trek!

I have to admit, I couldn’t contain my excitement for this angle of the series, and I had (and still today) no patience for other people’s criticism of this show. To Hell with all of them! This was what I wanted to see and I don’t give a damn if people call it pandering because I want to be pandered to as much as every other demographic! This was what I’d been asking for for years. This was the representation I always wanted to see of women who looked like me. I waited forty years of my life for this, and to have Star Trek do the thing was enormous to me, and celebrating this kind of story was the reason I started this blog. The top four genres of film and TV (Action, SciFi, Horror, and the Western) had almost entirely erased the existence of Black women. We showed up from time to time and said a few lines, or supported some other character’s journey, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with any of that, but when that is the only type of character you infrequently get…

Michael wasn’t just a sidekick or a token. She is the hero. She is the star around which all the other characters and the plot orbited, just like what happened on shows with white lead characters. She is passionate, smart, brave, reckless, and foolish, and I watched this character grow and learn and become everything she is to today and I am here for it. And she wasn’t the only great character on this show. I grew to like all of the top characters, (Tilly, Saru, Stametz), the tech was unique, and there were also all my old friends, the Klingons, the Romulans, and the Terran Empire. And I am fortunate to have gotten four whole seasons of this series.

Don’t get me wrong. I liked the other Star Treks well enough (at least the ones I watched), and consider at least one of the spinoffs some of the finest hours of television ever made, but you can’t tell me nothing about Discovery. Straight white guys have had umpteen bajillion SciFi series where characters who look like them were the center of attention, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that but…

This one is mine!

4. The X Files (1993)

I’m not sure what I can say about this series. it was my first introduction to conspiracy TV via Chris Carter. I was initially attracted to the show because when it first began it used a monster of the week model, and it was the monsters that kept me addicted to it. Along the way, I got a heaping helping of alien conspiracy theories, and a will they/won’t they love affair between the two lead characters, Mulder and Scully, which I only halfheartedly rooted for. I have never cared too deeply for romance in the shows I liked.

I remember when the show first aired I kind of hated Mulder who I thought was like every mansplaining, arrogant, know-it-all nerdy white guy I’d met in college, but over the years I grew to like him and his better qualities (one of which is that he turned out to be more or less right in his theories.) I liked Scully right away, although later in the series watching her get damseled always irritated me, and eventually, her skepticism became rather annoying, but I never stopped liking the show, not even after both lead actors left, and I continued to watch it even when it was briefly rebooted a few years ago.

I don’t always know why I like certain shows and The X-Files falls into that category. I can’t exactly pinpoint why I loved it so much, which is something I can do for other shows like Buffy and Supernatural. The X-Files just happened to show up at the right time for me to like it, I guess.

3. Farscape (1999)

This is another show I don’t have a whole lot to say about other than it was one of my all-time favorite SCIFI series, back when the SYFY network was firing on all thrusters. I loved it purely for the aesthetics, and there has really never been anything like it since. I watched all five seasons multiple times. I just liked spending time with these characters, and it had puppets, and it was funny, and actually, it was a very sexy show without being too upfront about it, with lots of black leather and high heels.

Not pictured above is the actress Virginia Hey who played the elegant, blue-skinned, Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan. This was an actress I remember from The Road Warrior. My favorite character wasn’t Crichton though, it was Gigi Edgly’s Chiana, who was just weird, and I really liked the weird. The aesthetics for this show were just crazy. I can say it was one of the prettiest and most imaginative SciFi shows on TV. The fashion, the colors, the special effects, and no bumpy-headed humans. Since the show was created by the same company that created The Muppets, they had the ability to make aliens that really looked (and in many cases acted) truly alien.

Storywise, the show wasn’t a rival for Star Trek but it made up for that by being hella sexy, about an American astronaut who flies through a wormhole, ends up on a living ship with a bunch of galactic prisoners, and gets chased around this new universe by various baddies while trying to find his way back home. I’ve never seen that much black leather in another SciFi series. Yes, I had favorites, but all the characters were engaging, which made the stories terrifying, funny, or sad just because you cared about what happened to them. Speaking of which, I kinda miss these guys. It’s probably time for a re-watch.

2. Mork and Mindy (1978)

I don’t think there are enough words to express how much of an effect this show had on me in my formative years and just how much I miss Robin Williams. He was a strange guy and Mork was a weirdo and this series taught me that it was okay to be like that, no matter what anyone said. This show taught me to love and accept myself, and through that love, accept the eccentricities of others. I was a strange little girl. I didn’t get picked on too much or teased a lot when I was little but I did get raised eyebrows from a lot of my teachers and my family, and most kids my age were disinterested in me or just generally avoided me. My mother however never batted a single eyelash at her strange daughter, who dressed funny, had odd but very focused interests, read everything that wasn’t nailed down, was a picky eater, watched entirely too much TV and liked the weird shows, and talked like the books she read. My Mom just rolled with all of it, loving me no matter how weird I was, never asking why, and indulging every one of my odd artistic interests, like weaving!

I remember watching this show when it first aired because I was in the fourth grade. I remember this because I went to a school in my neighborhood and I remember wearing those exact suspenders to school every day. No one and I mean absolutely no one, recognized those suspenders, but I loved them and wore them with everything. I guess that was my eight-year-old version of cosplaying. Other little girls had tutus. I had Mork Suspenders. I memorized Mork’s catchphrases and hand gestures (the sideways split hand greeting) that I later recognized from Spock, sitting in chairs on his face, how each and every episode was Mork discovering some new thing to report back to his people. This show went a long way towards explaining other human beings to me and as Mork discovered these things, so did I.

I loved this show so much, and if that’s how I felt about Mork and Mindy, then you can imagine how I must have felt about Star Trek!

1. Star Trek: The Original Series (1963)

What can I say about how great this series is that hasn’t already been said:

From Forbes Magazine:

Star Trek stories are humanistic; they are founded in Gene Roddenberry’s belief in the perfectible human. They provide an optimistic vision of our future. Star Trek tells us that no matter how crazy the world may look today, it will get better. We will get better. There will be a time in which doing great things will be the norm.

Star Trek depicts a meritocracy. The characters were cool not because of looks, wealth, or social position, but because they were very good at their jobs. It is a rare television show that sends the message that it is cool to be smart.

Star Trek’s optimistic view of the future stands as a contrast to the bulk of science fiction. Most television and cinematic science fiction depicts varying dystopian futures. Dystopia provides writers with shortcuts to conflict; it’s easier. When just making it through the day provides conflict, writers don’t have to generate as many new ideas. Star Trek thrives on those new ideas.


Star Trek showed blacks, Asians, and women in roles of respect in a time when that was not the norm. Whoopi Goldberg has talked about freaking out when, as a child, she tuned into Star Trek and saw that black women were part of the future. Nichelle Nichols has told the story of how when she was contemplating leaving the show, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. told her not to, because her character was a symbol of hope for equality.

Oh, and we not gonna talk about how I wanted to grow up to be Spock when I was a kid, or how I used to pretend I was visiting a new planet whenever we moved into a new house, or how eventually my goal in life became being as elegant and beautiful as Lt. Uhura. The ideology of the series became something to aspire to. It was okay to be smart in this universe. The focus was on solving problems, not infighting, or shooting things (although there was some of that too). The show was pretty imaginative for the sixties, and I liked the aesthetics, the uniforms, the bright colors, and the fashions.

Star Trek was the show to which I compared all the other shows, tbh.

Star Wars Visions Season Two

Once again we have a bit of a mixed bag although there were really no “bad” episodes this season. Some of the episodes were, for lack of a better term, uninteresting as far as story, but at least had interesting characters or interesting animation styles.

This season has gone global and I think this makes it better than last season. The styles of story and animation are very different from the first season, and many of them are reflections of the cultures of their creators. The episodes are large;y aimed at children since children are either the focal points of the stories and many of the animation styles are sort of aimed at kids with either soft colors and/or rounded non-threatening forms. There were similar themes throughout with hopeful (or cynical) adults inspiring children to be their best, or having to let them grow away from them, or children finding the strength to save themselves or their loved ones. The Sith and Jedi don’t feature in all of them, which is sort of what I was expecting, although most of the episodes take place during the Imperial era. Not all of the episodes are Force related as Westerners understand the use of The Force.

My all-around favorite episode was the first one called Sith (1) by a Spanish animation studio, and while the story was kind of lackluster, just a tidbit of a story that echoes other episodes, the animation style was spectacular and reminded me heavily of the Spiderverse film. My second favorite was Screecher’s Reach (2) because it had a bit more story attached to it, and is by the same Studio that did WoldTalkers and Secret of the Kells. My third favorite was the very culturally specific The Bandits of Golak ( 7) which has a distinctive Indian flavor. Plus, there was a lightsaber-wielding grandmother that I absolutely adored. She’s one of the characters I’d love to see more of in the Star Wars universe because I sensed a helluva backstory there.

These were my top three favorites but as I said none of them are truly bad, only less interesting than the others. I mostly checked out of the Korean-inspired, Journey to the Dark Head (5), although it asked some interesting questions and compared the Jedi’s use of The Force with the basic tenets of Buddhism. The story was mildly intriguing but the animation style was mediocre, and then there was the infinitesimal storyline of the 9th episode called Aau’s Song, which I really wanted to like because the characters looked like animated Teddy Bears, but it simply didn’t capture me the way the earlier episodes did, or maybe I was just tired.

Children will probably love the other 3d animated episode called In the Stars (3), or the 2D Spydancer (5) episode, both of which I thought had some lovely animation, but the story in Spydancer was a little too much like the Sith episode. While I found the idea of nightclubs for Stormtroopers kind of ridiculous, I understood the parallel the writers were trying to make between pre-WW2 Germany and the New Republic. In the Stars came very close to being a top favorite but just missed it, coming in as a fourth-place favorite because it had some good action scenes and a rah-rah moment towards the end.

One of the middle episodes titled I Am Your Mother (a play on Darth Vader’s statement to Luke Skywalker) was drolly funny but involved drag racing scenes and my brain automatically checks out when it comes to that subject. I wanted to like it, since it was created by Aardman Studios, the makers of Wallace and Gromit but it just didn’t capture me. My least favorite was titled The Pit. I’m just not ever in the mood to watch slavery-adjacent stories.

I do have to admit that watching this season was a little more frustrating than the first because all these episodes serve to do is show these tiny snippets of what Star Wars could be, the kinds of characters we could be having, and I’m sure there are some really interesting backstories for some of these characters like the woman from Sith, who has left both the Sith and Jedi Orders to become a painter on some backwater world. I liked her, and speaking as a former painter the animation style was inspired.

It would have been hard for any other episode to top that one for me but Screecher’s Reach came the closest, not because of the animation style but because of the story, which is about a little girl discovering her Force abilities by going toe to toe with an old Sith villain in a cave. I do wish some of the episodes hadn’t focused so much on fight scenes but the ones that didn’t do that didn’t offer much else to fully grab the attention though.

Overall, I liked this season marginally better than the first one. There’s still just a bit too much sameness between the stories and I’d like the stories to branch out a bit more and not be so much about fighting but it was a satisfying watch.

The Ten Question Challenge

This was prompted on Medium.com by Roz Warren. In her post, she answered ten questions about herself, and I asked if I could get in on that action and answer ten questions about myself that nobody asked. Here goes:

My Favorite Drink

Tea! Tea all day in every way! Fruit tea, iced tea, tisanes, herbal tea…in fact, I rarely drink anything other than tea, water, and the occasional fruit juice, which I also mix with tea!

My Favorite Color

I don’t usually have one favorite of anything. I usually have multiple favorites of things, as is the case here. I like jewel colors, specifically blue and purple, especially if they’re swirled together. I think because it reminds me of starscapes, and I blame Star Trek.

Favorite Cuisine

Once again, I got multiple favorites: Ice cream, and meatballs, not necessarily together because that sounds horrible. Different flavors of ice cream, and different types of meatballs, although I tend to gravitate towards chocolate ice cream with chunks of sweets in it, and Swedish meatballs.

If I won the Lottery what would be the top three things I would do first?

I’ve given this some thought, which is fun to do, but I don’t play the lottery so it’s not like I sit around waiting for this to happen, or spend money hoping it will.

Contact a lottery banker (apparently there is such a thing). I want to set things up so my money works rather than me. I also don’t want to go broke in a few years.

Set up a college fund for my nieces and nephews.

Travel. This is something I’m planning on doing anyway even if I don’t hit the lottery. I’d just do more of it.

Would you give up social media or your cell phone forever?

I’m already not on social media. I use maybe two or three apps like Medium, here, and Tumblr. I wouldn’t give up my phone since I like to read and listen to audiobooks on my phone, and it has a lot of my favorite music on it!

Three things I’m really good at:

Pattern recognition. It’s what allows me to write such great essays about movies.

Napping. I’m really good at it. I could probably nap for the Olympics and take home the Silver.

Mastering different art forms for fun, like painting, drawing, knitting, etc. I expect to take up the piano before I’m gone.

Dogs Or cats?

I prefer cats, although right now I have a dog. It’s not really my dog. It was my mom’s. I like him okay and we get along fine, but he’s not really mine because I didn’t pick him.

Am I a coffee drinker

I like to consider myself more of a coffee dabbler. I will sometimes drink hot milkshakes from Starbucks, or some espresso/mocha at work, but I mostly avoid coffee, and drink hot chocolate.

What languages do I speak?

I speak American Standard English and AAVE, (yes, that’s an actual dialect of English), and some of the translations in the above image are incorrect!

Can I use chopsticks?

Sure. When my fingers aren’t covered in butter.

America Might Have Wanted These Trailers!

Okay, I admit it. I was the one who actually wanted these trailers and I can’t truthfully speak for the rest of America. At the top are a listing of the television shows and a couple of movies I’ll be filling my head with this Summer and Fall, and below that are the movies I definitely have no plans to watch. By “have no plans” to watch I mean I have no intention of spending money to see them. If one of my family members would like to treat me to a movie, I’ll watch just about anything that’s free. I know that sounds like I’m being sarcastic but no, I have no pressing need to see them.

Must Watch TV

American Born Chinese

Well, I see we’re getting the old band back together again. (Speaking of getting the band back together I think it’s time for my annual re-watch of The Blues Brothers!) Coming to Disney this Summer is this series, which I thought seemed rather hastily put together, although maybe it isn’t, starring most of the cast of Everything Everywhere All At Once. Michele Yeoh plays the Goddess Guanyin, and one of my favorite Asian actors Daniel Wu from Into the Badlands is starring as Sun Wukong (The Monkey King). I’m always up for watching Monkey King movies, so why not a TV series? Stephanie Hsu and Ke Huy Quan also star, and I’m here for it. This looks like a lot of fun, the fight scenes look dope, and just I like a good Chinese Action series. I watch Chinese Action films at night for the same reason that most people watch reality TV. I don’t have to think too deeply about the plots and there’s always lots of movement and color, which is about all my brain can handle by 8pm on a work night. Sometimes I do some light reading or some knitting while something like this plays in the background.

I’m also gratified to see that Hollywood has stopped the bizarre hatred of Asian actors it was engaging in for several decades, (along with its bizarre erasure of Black women characters) because I absolutely hated that whole Hollywood trend of hiring famous Asian actors like Jet Li and Jackie Chan to star in vehicles with unknown white teenage boys as the stars, because reasons…and this series kinda feels like what Netflix’s Iron Fist should have been.


I’ve been rather enjoying Arnold’s career as a Senior actor. He’s a lot funnier than he was when he was younger and seems a lot more willing to laugh at himself and the ridiculousness of his career. Does anyone else think it’s weird that he was once Governor of California and is now acting in these odd little Action comedies again? I’ did watch the last couple of Movies he’s done like Terminator Dark Fate (where I thought he was hilarious), and Killing Gunther. Anyway, this is only about two hours of my time, so this is going on the list of movies I say I’m going to watch, and then I don’t watch them because I’m asleep!

I am happy and surprised to see how well Arnold does in dramatic roles, as I was one of ten people that seemed to like him in the zombie flick, Maggie. What is it about aging male actors that they all decide to become Action stars in their later years, and seem to be more or less succeeding at it? The man is in his 70s! I’ve never been attracted to Arnold, to be honest, although I think I’ve seen ALL of his movies, but now that he’s gotten older, I find myself drawn to his films for a different reason, and now I think he’s actually handsome/sexy. Maybe it’s the beard! Anyway, he seems to be aging gracefully with a minimum of horrible scandals (compared to some others for example). I can only hope he doesn’t turn into a loudmouth troll like Charlton Heston.

Star Trek Strange New Worlds

It’s almost time for me to sit my butt down in a seat and watch my future ex-husband, Anson Mount smirk and agonize his way through another season of Strange New Worlds. The first season was rather hit or miss for me. The real attraction for me was Mount and a couple of the cast regulars, not the plots, which I found somewhat mediocre. The episodes weren’t bad, but I can think of ways they could have been better, and a couple of them were actually stinkers that I didn’t finish, and I hope the writers have improved on the mistakes of that first season. Anyway, I’m looking forward to this new season! I mean…look at him! The man is gorgeous! I also want to see the new guy they’ve got to play Captain Kirk and check out his interactions, if any, with Spock and Una.

The Muppets Mayhem

I’ve been a long-time Muppets fan since I was a little kid watching the TV series which used to come on in the evenings in the 70s, and I’ve been here for every iteration of The Muppets this franchise has been through. I like that we’re finally getting an Animal-centric show because he’s one of my favorite characters. I’m a little less interested in the band led by the guy I call Dr. Teeth although I don’t know if that is actually his name. I laughed quite a few times during this trailer so I feel confident that this TV series will be fun and funny. I guess this is going to be one of those Disney-centric summers for me. I’m probably going to have to break up all this sweetness with some grit at some point.

Star Wars Visions 2

Here we have yet another Disney series I’m going to be checking out. I talked about this one in one of my previous posts but I didn’t have a full trailer. I think the animation looks awesome.

The Equalizer 3

Okay, here’s that grit I was talking about, but it isn’t released until Fall, and I’m going to need it after all the sweetness and light I consumed all Summer. I watched the previous Equalizer films and more or less enjoyed them, although I think the first one was better because of the novelty. Here we have yet another over-65-year-old man who has decided to become an Action hero, although I think Denzel is still doing dramatic roles from time to time. These Action roles are probably what pays for that other kind.

For some reason, I had the impression I was one of the few people who remember the original television series on which this movie is based. There is also a remake TV series starring, of all people, Queen Latifah! which I still have not watched, but I’ve been told I should check out because it’s really good and I’m a Latifah fan.

I think what we need to do is get all these geriatric men together and make a movie of them blowing up stuff, but maybe we already got that with that Stallone vehicle called The Expendables? I don’t know. I think if we added a few more women like Halle Berry and Helen Mirren, along with Danny Glover and Morgan Freeman, it would make a hilarious little franchise, and they could all crack jokes about being “too old for this shit!” while wielding mobility scooters as weapons.

Young Ip Man

I just finished watching the Donnie Yen franchise of Ip Man, so watching more Ip Man is not out of my wheelhouse. I already watched one version of a young Ip Man earlier this year.

I don’t know about y’all but I’m not getting tired of these Ip Man movies of which there appear to be about fifty a year. I don’t know how many movies they can make about one man’s life. I think at this point Chinese directors are just making up fantastical stories about enemies he defeated at this point, like the Wong Fei Hung movies. If anyone ever decides to get all of these different real-life characters together in one movie (Wong Fei Hung, Wong Kei Ying, Yip Man, Bruce Lee, Huo Yuanjia along with the fictional Chen Zen) we’d have a great movie if it was choreographed by Yuen Woo Ping.

Things I Ain’t Looking At

The Boogeyman

Not that this isn’t interesting, but I feel no urge to watch this.

Fast X


White Men Can’t Jump

And its the big Nope-a-dope for me on this one. Quite frankly, I wasn’t all that hot about the original movie, which starred Wesley Snipes, and my brain keeps comparing this movie to that one, and coming up short.

America’s Most Wanted Trailers

And by America I pretty much just mean me! I want to watch these movies and shows because they look pretty interesting and/or fun. I’m all about sweetness, bright colors, and light, this Summer.

I’m looking for wholesome. I’m looking for people of color to do interesting things. I’m looking for some amount of novelty (but not too much). I’m looking for lovely and loving messages. Some of the darker stuff on this list isn’t released until August, which is when I start looking towards a more solemn Fall viewing list, in preparation for Halloween Month, of course.

But from May until then, “Don’t nobody bring me no bad news!” because Hot Girl Summer is out. Hot Movie Summer (all thirty minutes of it in the Midwest) is in!

Summertime (Whooo!!!)

Polite Society

Okay, this looks novel and deeply funny. I’ve never watched a Bollywood, martial arts movie, so I’m up for watching this. I will not be seeing this in any theaters though. This one is just for at-home viewing only. I’m here for Hindi Action Girls even though I have issues with watching dance routines breaking out in the middle of Action movies. This seems like the kind of movie where breaking into a dance simply makes sense though.

Queen Cleopatra

This actually turns out to be a kind of live-action documentary. It’s funny that this trailer showed up right after I read a mystery book that prominently featured the character, so I was somewhat informed about Cleopatra’s background before watching it. This is not a person that I’ve ever paid a whole lot of attention to really, so I don’t know much about her backstory, but this looks gorgeous, and hopefully, it will be informative and worth the watch.

I like that they cast a Black woman in this role although I kept hearing from historians that she was Greek and Iranian. I mean, that doesn’t rule out her being at least part Black nd here she looks like a woman of mixed ethnicity, but you know it’s just gonna bring out the racists and bigots who are sure to be mad about it, and while I do my best to ignore them (since their rantings have affected nothing in Popular entertainment), I’m still very tired of them.

Star Wars Visions Season 2

I have mixed feelings about the first season of this series. I liked maybe half of the animation in the first one. I hope that the ratio of good to bad cartoons is better this season, although the novelty has worn off. I hope it’s not all one style of animation. I like to see different types. I’m also hoping to see a lot more Old Republic-type stories, too. We got a little bit of that in the first season, but I hope to see more.


I love to see Latinas in Sci-Fi and love seeing them get the full hero treatment. I’ve been a huge fan of Rosario Dawson since she starred in Men in Black twenty years ago. Ahsoka has been a favorite character of mine for a while and I’m always happy to see her whenever she makes a cameo (The Mandolorian) but here she’s got an entire series that’s all about her and I’m here for it. What kind of adventures is she having? Where has she been? I’m looking forward to finding out.

The Marvels

This looks really colorful and fun, and I’m looking forward to hunkering down in the theater with this movie, some popcorn, and an Icee! It definitely looks more appealing than the first movie, which I thought was okay, but not great. The addition of Kamala Khan is going to be great for the movie since I enjoyed the sensibilities of the series. I just liked how bubbly she was and the series felt happy in general.

I liked Kamala’s family a lot. I liked that they are from the Islamic faith and that they’re mostly onboard about Kamala’s superpowers. The Peter Parker days of keeping it all a secret mostly appear to be over. Nowadays the hero’s parents and friends all seem to know about their status as heroes, and that’s kind of refreshing since I was never into the idea of superheroes leading these kinds of double lives. Daredevil I can understand but a lot of others just seemed to be pointlessly having a secret. Also, I haven’t seen Monica since Wandavision and I really like her. I’m glad to see Photon, the original Captain Marvel, is making a comeback, and wonder what she’s been up to. I also like Brie Larson’s cocky little Carol Danvers who is so much like that in the comics. This is a character who has POWER, knows it, and carries herself like it, and I’m good with that.

Also, I love it when my favorite characters team up.

Secret Invasion

I have mixed feelings about this series. I was never a fan of the Secret Wars and Invasions series in the comic books so I have no particular urge to run to my TV to watch this. But it is novel in that it’s the first time I will get to watch Samuel L Jackson star in his own TV series. The action scenes look really cool and it’s got a lot of cameos, so that looks like fun. It does look like it might be confusing though and my fried-up brain doesn’t want to go near that. I don’t hate it but I’m not loving it either. We’ll see how I feel when we get close to the release date. I mean some shows seem okay but you just don’t know if you want to make that kind of long-term commitment. A two or even three-hour movie is a fling, but a six or eight-hour TV series is a love affair!


I’m really looking forward to at least a couple of these this August and September.

The Last Voyage of the Demeter

I was feeling mixed about this when I first heard about it. I was wondering why it was being made, but I like this trailer, hope the movie lives up to it, and by August I’m probably going to be looking forward to some grim and dark movies for Fall anyway. The title sounds appropriately dreadful and it’s been a minute since I’ve watched some good Horror/History.

I will not be taking my niece and nephew to see this unless they specifically ask, because I think it looks too scary for them. On the other hand, my nephew did watch all of the Halloween movies, so we’ll see if I will be watching this in the theater alone.

The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster

This looks like an interesting take on the Frankenstein’s Monster movies of my youth. It’s not every day we get to see Black girl mad scientists. I don’t know that I’m enthusiastic to watch this, but I’m putting it here because it’s just different enough from the other Horror movies that it bears mentioning. You can see that the lead character is reading a copy of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. I read that book when I was somewhere near that character’s age and I was unimpressed, although I did like the Kenneth Branagh version from the 90s.

True Detective Night Country

I’ve been a True Detective fan since the first season, (with season 2 being the weakest of the three) even though I don’t normally make Detective series a regular part of my viewing habits. Most of the time it’s because I don’t care for the sometimes obnoxious personalities involved, although the series Psych is an exception to that. I don’t think you can get any more opposite of the Psych style of TV series than True Detective though. It looks very dark (literally in this case) and gritty, and about as close to Horror as a show can get without actually being classified as Horror. I’m also partial to shows and series set in snowy environments (I blame the excellence of 1982s The Thing remake for my rather odd taste.)

The novelty is this will be my first time watching Jodie Foster star in her own series. The last time she was in a TV series was when she was a child in the 70s. I’ve been a big fan of hers since we were both kids and I wasn’t supposed to be up late watching her movies. I’m not “jazzed” about it, mostly because this doesn’t seem like the type of show one gets jazzed about, but I am looking forward to it. I don’t know who her co-tar is so I had to look her up. She is a boxer who is an Indigenous Rights activist and has won some award nominations for her acting debut in Catch the Fair One, which I have not seen (and not likely to see since I am not in the headspace to watch it right now. But it looks great and yall should check it out). I kinda like her already because of her “fuck around and find out” facial expression.

So far, there’s no release date for this, but I’m expecting it to show up in the middle of high Summer.

The Penguin

This series is not set to be released this year but I’m looking forward to it anyway. Apparently, that is indeed Colin Farrell, who I just don’t see in this character, no matter how many times I’m told that’s him. He is completely unrecognizable! (Although I think they’re doing the most on his makeup.) I did like the last Batman movie but I had a couple of misgivings about the villain. I liked the aesthetics and some of the messaging. I also liked the hyperrealistic gritty Gotham that was presented in the movie. This trailer sort of reminds me of a classic mob movie like The Godfather or The Untouchables, something that should be starring Robert DeNiro or Joe Pesci.

The Continental

This is a series a lot of people are eagerly anticipating. The world of John Wick is just a very intriguing sort of place and I’m interested to find out how it works, how it got that way, and how deep all of this goes. One of my friends pointed out to me that she couldn’t get into it because there is no law enforcement in this world, even though it looks very much like ours. I think I pointed out to her that there are quite a number of things that are NOT in the Wick-verse, (like McDonald’s and Soda) and that I liked it because it had some unique worldbuilding, which, in the best instances, is like getting a glimpse into an alternate universe where the police simply never evolved. These other organizations (the Assassins Guilds and the High Table) are the ones that keep order apparently.

Unfortunately, the addition of the racist and anti-Semitic Mel Gibson greatly reduces my enthusiasm for this series. I’m not boycotting the series or anything. I’m just saying that my enjoyment of it will be severely impacted by his presence, which I find deeply distasteful, and I really wish the creators had chosen another actor. I realize he’s got to work somewhere. I just wish he was starring in something I didn’t particularly care about, so I’m going to wait to see how much of him is in it before I commit to watching it.

Next up: Movies (and TV) I had no intention of watching but will probably end up looking at on some idle Saturday afternoon.

Stupid Movies I Love

(And One I Hate)

These are not smart films. I actually made a small list of those films a couple of years ago and I’m reasonably certain none of these movies were on there. What constitutes a “dumb” movie could be lots of things, but mostly it’s the plot and characters. I really hate dumb characters and by that, I mean characters that do very obviously stupid things, that no one in their right mind would do, but this character has to do it to move the plot forward. Sometimes it’s a plot that is entirely hinged on how stupid the characters are.

Sometimes it’s not the entire movie that’s dumb but one major plot point that takes me entirely out of the movie and makes me yell at my screen. Normally, I hate dumb movies, but sometimes a movie has at least one redeeming quality that allows me to sit through it with a minimum of fuss, while I just laugh at the dumb sections. And yeah, there’s a reason why all of these are action movies. It’s easy to compile a list of dumb action films, but harder to make a list of dumb action movies I will watch multiple times because I like the actors, or the action is really good, or just because of the lead-up to that one scene.

Sometimes the movies are stupid, but a great deal of fun, usually due to the strength of the personalities involved. The Rock and Nicholas Cage, for example, could star in just about anything, and I’ll watch it. It’s always great fun spending time with either of them, just don’t always expect an intelligent plot. In some cases, like Scorpion King, don’t even expect a coherent plot. Some movies are very well-made but are corny and/or silly, like Independence Day, although Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum manage to save it.

Cobra (1986)

Cobra is a Sylvester Stallone joint from 1986. Now, Stallone is no stranger to making dumb films and the 80s are pretty much famous for dumb Action movies so this was bound to happen. I remember watching this movie late one night when I was probably supposed to be asleep and thinking, “This movie is deeply stupid.” Which was true but it was also deeply funny with lots of happy and mindless ultraviolent fun. It’s one of those dumb movies that gets repeated viewings on the strength of Stallone’s performance and the cinematography. The movie just looks cool.

The 80s was known as the golden age of what we now call Copaganda. Movies about cops and other law enforcement officers being rebels, breaking all the law enforcement rules, and pretty much acting like America was still in the Wild West stage of history, were all the rage back then. Just about every other Action movie starred a rebel cop or an FBI agent blowing stuff up, and frankly, I’m glad we’ve moved on from that to having other types of professionals blowing things up, like assassins, car valets, and insurance agents.

This movie has all the usual tropes. There’s the rebel cop with the cool name, Marion Cobretti, Cobra for short, a hot blonde played by Brigette Neilsen, who I kinda liked back in the day (I don’t know why). Brigette plays a business/model named Ingrid because what else are you going to name a six-foot-tall blonde white lady. Brian Thompson was your typical bad guy with a dubious philosophy and even more dubious plan for taking over the world by killing disabled people, I guess, because it was all very radically Dawrwinist, and he has a gang of followers and nameless henchmen.

When Neilsen’s character witnesses some malfeasance by the gang they need to hunt her down and kill her and she comes under the protection of Cobra who naturally falls in love with her. But that’s really not what makes the movie fun. What makes the movie fun is the action and the dialogue. Yes, the dialogue is stupid but it was really fun to watch these characters trying to emote while being too tough to show their emotions, and I actually liked Stallone’s character. Neither he nor the villain will be winning any Mensa awards so they’re about evenly matched. He and Cobretti get into a knockdown, drag-out fight at the end of the movie, which I enjoyed watching (I don’t know why.)

10/10 will most likely watch this again on some idle Saturday afternoon.

Nemesis (1992)

Nemesis is a cyberpunk action thriller from 1992 that contains all the well-worn tropes of a Copaganda/Robocop Ripoff. There is a burnt-out cyborg cop, a wayward former partner, a manhunt, a missing computer McGuffin, or bomb, or something, and several beautiful but deceitful cyborg/AI women. It also stars three of my favorite actors, Olivier Gruner, Tim Thomerson, and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa ( I don’t know why.) And I don’t think it was a coincidence that Brion James was involved in this movie. I was not a fan of Brion James, but I guess I am now, because he was everywhere after his stint as a robot in Bladerunner, so I built up a tolerance. This movie is bad in all areas of badness. The acting is atrocious, the action scenes are well done but make no sense, and quite frankly I didn’t care enough about any of the characters to root for or against anyone, but I remember watching this blatant Robocop rip-off multiple times, and will probably do it again at some point in the future since it’s free on Youtube.

For some reason, I was really crushing on Olivier Gruner at the time and remember watching several movies just because he was the star. He could be described as a low-rent version of Jean-Claude Van Damme, and he does have actual martial skills. Here, he plays an ex-cop, who is also a cyborg, named Alex. He gets recruited by an old boss or something to hunt down his former partner who runs some kind of underground rebel group. The plot involves a lot of shooting and blowing up of things. Do not even try to make any sense of the plot because you’ll only hurt yourself. I, on the other hand, am a professional bad movie watcher. This is what I do and I couldn’t even make sense of it.

I think I just liked the idea that half the characters in this movie were cyborgs, and the dialogue was pretty funny, even if the delivery was horrible. Nowadays, I’d watch it because there is a considerable nostalgia factor involved. But I don’t think you should watch this movie just because I have no shame.

The Rock (1996)

I wanna start off by saying that okay, Michael Bay is a horrible director, but I had to watch most of his 90s movies to figure that out, apparently. I did eventually learn my lesson and stop looking at them but not soon enough to miss seeing this. It also has the added benefit of starring both Nicholas Cage and James Bon- uh, I mean Sean Connery. Ed Harris is in this too and he’s worth about two and a half Connerys. Both William Forsythe and Michael Biehn (from The Terminator) also star in this movie, so Bay somehow managed to gather some of the hottest action stars of the 90s to take part in this novel, but still somehow mediocre plot.

This movie has everything. SEALS, the SAS, the Pentagon, ex-government prisoners, a rogue general, some rogue Marines, Alcatraz island, nerve gas, rockets, hostages, threatening an American city for ransom, and did I already say it? Nicholas Cage and Sean Connery hating to work together to accomplish their goals.

This is a movie where the plot actually makes sense in that it’s relatively easy to follow and keep track of people’s motivations, more or less. It did pretty well at the box office, a lot of people seemed to really like it, and it even won an Academy Award for Best Sound! But I’m going to argue that it’s the earnest and occasionally charming performances of the actors that make it so watchable.

The Rundown (2003)

Have no doubt, this is a dumb movie, that makes no pretense of trying to seem like it’s smart, but I love the hell out of this deeply stupid film. The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) stars in this movie and while he is not known for making smart films, he is such a fun and charming character in all of his movies (even though he pretty much just plays different versions of himself) that I always enjoy watching anything in which he shows up.

The movie also stars two more of my favorite actors, Christopher Walken and Rosario Dawson (and Stifler from American Pie, but I am not a fan of him though). The Rock plays a bounty hunter who gets sent to Brazil to hunt down his employer’s son, who is in Brazil hunting an object called The Gato (a gold-plated cat. Why? Who cares!), which is also an object of seeming importance to both Rosario and Walken. The three of them juggle this McGuffin between them for most of the film while Dwyane tries to keep Stifler alive to get him back home.

There are jungle scenes, a political resistance camp of some kind, angry monkeys, toxic fruit, explosions galore, a herd of stampeding cattle, and a batty Scotsman who spouts biblical scripture, and is also a helicopter pilot! Frankly, this guy is my favorite character in the entire movie. You have to watch it just to see the last thirty minutes, which is how I stumbled across it on cable, one idle weekend.

Universal Soldier (1992)

This was my and my Mom’s favorite Jean Claude Van Damme movie. She was a huge fan of his (so was I) and she really loved this deeply goofy film which we watched and laughed through multiple times. Now the movie isn’t exactly dumb but it is a bit cheeky. It takes itself just seriously enough that the introduction of those cheeky little moments of humor don’t feel out of place. The plot is non-sensical (in the sense that the science behind it goes completely unexplained), but also surprisingly easy to follow. Oh, did I mention that Dolph Lundgren is in this movie? No. Well, I should have, because that man can chew scenery like nobody’s business, even though he’s only playing a low-rent Arnold Schwarzenneger.

Jean Claude and Dolph play a couple of soldiers who died during some kind of personal skirmish in Vietnam, but through the magic of science fiction movies, they get resurrected as Special Operations soldiers who decide to pick up where they left off. But the best character is Veronica, played by Ally Walker, as a television journalist trying to get the latest scoop about some dead soldiers, who is also a great audience stand-in, as she speaks our minds most of the time. She spends most of the movie not believing what’s happening to her, but never comes across as stupid, which was very refreshing. She also gets all the best lines and I love her!

Why this particular military team is committing war crimes in Vietnam, long after the war is over, is never explained. Why do these two US soldiers have clearly non-US accents is never explained (although the writers do try to sell us the idea that Van Damme’s character was from Louisiana, so there’s that)? Why these two characters have beef is also not explained (outside of one of them being crazy). They just do. But the writers do make sure to explain why Jean Claude needs to take his clothes off in one key scene, though. There’s a little bit of Robocop, a little bit of Apocalypse Now, and the action scenes are, of course, EXTRA. With butt cheeks!

My mom and I used to crack the hell up so hard at this movie, which we watched every single time it aired on TV, no matter how late it was.

The Fifth Element

I just want to make it very clear that Milla Jovovich is a horrible actress, yet for some reason, she keeps getting cast in Action movies even though she has all of the fighting grace, and emoting talent of a 2 x 4, and I blame this movie for starting her Action movie career. I just wanna let it be known that while I don’t like her very much I am willing to tolerate her when she’s surrounded by better actors like Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, and of all people, Ian Holm!. Hell, even Chris Tucker, as an androgynous television presenter named Ruby Rod, while deeply annoying, is at least trying to be funny, and more or less succeeding.

But the standout character and the one which most moviegoers remember is Diva Plavalaguna, a blue-skinned, tentacle-headed, 7 ft. tall opera singer, who gets about five minutes of screen time, but still manages somehow to steal the whole damn movie (by twerking), despite the distracting hairstyles, fashion sensibilities, and atrocious accents of all the other characters. Ian Holm plays a space priest, and I don’t know what Bruce Willis is doing in this movie, other than being himself, but they are the two most normal characters in the entire movie, which is kinda saying something, but I’m not sure what.

Bruce Willis’ character has to escort Milla’s genetically perfect mutation to a special location so she can save the universe from the Darkness or some such nonsense. This involves lots of aliens, elemental stones, kung fu, Gary Oldman choking on a cherry pit, and shootouts with said aliens. Don’t bother to follow the plot. It’s essentially meaningless. On the other hand, the director somehow managed to get the French fashion designer, Gautier, to do the costumes, hair, and makeup for the film, so pay attention to that.

The movie is a visual treat and occasionally funny, with acceptable action scenes, but do not mistake any of that for greatness. This is very much a niche movie for Sci-Fi Action fans only.


I resisted putting this movie here but finally relented because although I enjoyed it immensely, it’s not a smart film. I liked the characters, but they are not especially bright and there are a number of things that remain unexplained. The pacing is off, the plot is easily followed but makes little sense, and the dialogue needs some serious help. That said, the movie just leans into its inherent goofiness, with no shame, and I kinda liked that. It’s a lot of fun, mostly funny, and bears almost no relation to the things going on in the comic books, outside of the characters’ names.

This film was popular mostly on the strength of Tom Hardy’s performance as a journalist that’s kinda like himself, and the alien symbiote who falls in love with him, named, of course, Venom. Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed are also starring in this but no one remembers that. This is strictly a Tom Hardy joint, where he plays a man possessed by an alien that takes over his body, falls in love with him, and decides it doesn’t want to join its murderous brethren in taking over the world and eating humanity, although it still wants to eat people.

The movie’s got some problems, which is everything in the movie that’s not Tom Hardy. But I am a huge Tom Hardy fan so I was able to tolerate all the other problems in this movie like the dialogue, the plot, the villain, and the special effects. Still, I was able to pull a handful of things that I really enjoyed besides Tom, like the relationship between Venom and his character is funny, and the relationships between him and most of the other characters are quite wholesome. Even the villains are suitably despicable.

I think most of this movie’s fans would never argue that this is a good movie. However, if you are a fan of Tom Hardy…it’s a great movie!


I tried to add other movies to this list but I kept coming back to this movie, which I have watched multiple times. Like the above-named films, the science and plot are just sort of hand-waved away, which gives me the nagging sensation that the movie is unfinished, but doesn’t otherwise hinder my enjoyment of this spectacularly goofy film. I think you can guess that I’m a big John Woo fan. He has made a number of these types of movies with some silly plots, starting with the very first one I ever watched, Hard Boiled. That movie was so wild that I had to backtrack and catch some of his previous movies. I didn’t love them all. John Woo is the kind of director that can just make you watch a plot that, if proposed by any other director, would get them laughed out of the studio, and I am here for it. It is the existence of John Woo that makes the John Wick franchise possible since he is the one who pioneered what we now call Gun-Fu!

Get this. Nicholas Cage and John Travolta play a cop and a criminal (it doesn’t matter which is which) who get their faces surgically altered in Travolta’s face-swapping plot to, pick one: blow up some shit, get revenge, or steal something. How about all three? Good! There’s all kinds of battiness going on in this movie, multiple Mexican standoffs, little children oblivious to shootouts happening just out of their fields of vision, nuclear bombs, boat chases, husband swapping, endangered daughters and wives…you name it, it’s probably in here, and all done with a style and swag that makes John Woo the Godfather of modern action cinema. The only thing this movie is missing is Chow Yun Fat, the star of Woo’s previous Hong Kong films.

As you can imagine both Cage and Travolta are chewing the scenery like it’s a BLT, but there are, as in all of Woo’s films moments of startling beauty and pathos that make it worth taking a look at. But if you’re going to start watching John Woo’s films, don’t start with this one. It’s best to ease into it with something like Hard Target or Mission Impossible 2, to prepare yourself for all his slow-motion, Mexican standoff finery.

Double Impact

I know a lot of people would pick Hard Target, which is pretty dumb but this is quite frankly one of the dumbest Jean Claude Van Damme movies ever made, and that is saying something when you consider some of the other films he’s famous for. This movie, like Universal Soldier kind of knows how silly it is, and JC more or less plays these twin characters completely straight, except every now and then he does or says something with that little mischievous twinkle in his eye that lets you know he knows this movie is deeply silly, and he looks like he’s having the time of his life.

Jean Claude plays some kind of yoga instructor who likes to show off his leg flexibility to the ladies in his class (seemingly the only reason they are there is to look at JC’s butt in tights, and I’m not gonna lie, that’s why I would attend such a class). Of course, back in the day, JC would take every opportunity to show off his naked leg muscles at even the slightest provocation. He is separated from his twin brother when they’re children after their parents get killed by some Hong Kong Triad gangsters or something. Anyway, they meet again as adults and have to team up to take down the people who killed their parents even though the two of them intensely dislike each other, which makes for some brotherly shenanigans as they show their love by punching and kicking each other. Eventually, they do get along long enough to blow things up.

To give you some idea of how silly this movie is, there is a completely unnecessary dance scene, with JC working it out with a couple of beautiful women in what appears to be a shed, and I enjoyed this scene immensely. It never fails to crack me up, mostly because it matches absolutely nothing else in the entire film, and yet is entirely in keeping with his character’s character! The brother, also played by Jean Claude, does not dance, hates black silk underwear, and is a grumpy, unlikable, stick-in-the-mud, who still somehow manages to make that look cool, and yet also appears to be living his best life.

You have to watch this movie just for the dance scene, because JC, unlike a lot of white guys I know, can actually stay on beat and appears to really be enjoying himself, as he should.

Bonus Movie:


I don’t even know where to start with this movie. I have friends who like this film and I guess if you turn your brain off and only see this as a Horror/sci-fi/Action film, it’s okay, but my problem is I know far too much about how the scientific method works to ever enjoy this movie. I kept getting pulled out of the movie by the character’s actions.

These are quite possibly some of the stupidest scientists to ever grace a Science Fiction movie. And the non-scientists aren’t too bright either. These people are so stupid they had me screaming at my television screen and that’s not a good look for any movie.

There are a good half dozen dumb character moments in the movie, and if you’ve seen this movie, then you know which is the worst one, but if you haven’t let me illustrate this for you. Towards the end of the movie, two characters are running away from a massive rolling ship (do not ask why it is rolling, you will only hurt yourself). One of the characters manages to avoid being crushed by the ship by accident. She falls down (as is traditional in Horror movies even though she isn’t wearing heels), and the other woman (who is wearing heels) also manages to fall down but does not avoid being crushed. Both characters could have avoided the entire thing by just not being stupid, and running into the wide open spaces to either side of the rolling ship!

This is my whole feeling during the entire movie!

You have scientists getting lost who aren’t supposed to be getting lost, people afraid of things they’re not supposed to fear, and/or touching things they’re not supposed to touch.

I was rooting for the monsters.

All the monsters!

Movies I’ll Be Watching This Summer

Here is my watchlist for the Summer, yall! Every year, I plan my movie-watching well in advance. Unlike some people, I don’t just pay money to see everything that gets released. I don’t have that kind of throw-away money. I carefully pick and choose the movies I’m going to see and especially the ones my nieces and nephew like. I think this discernment accounts for my complete lack of burnout when it comes to watching Action movies. I make sure to choose the ones which are going to maximize my fun.

At home, I prefer to experiment more. I’ll try thoughtful, slow, and considerate movies like Women Talking or the new sound movie Last and First Men, martial arts movies, documentaries, and Horror and Classic films. In other words, I like some variety and I do discriminate. But when I go to the theater I go for fun, thrills, laughter, and adventure. I’m not spending money to cry and be upset because I can do that at home for free (and I no longer subject myself to Black trauma films).

So here is my Summer Blockbuster movie list. These are movies I’m sure I’ll be watching this Summer and feel very enthusiastic about seeing (more or less).

In The Theater

The Little Mermaid

I’m not especially enthusiastic about seeing this movie, but my niece wants to go see this and I don’t deny her stuff because I think she knows martial arts (I’m not sure about that last part but I don’t want to test it.) This looks like a pretty faithful adaptation of the original cartoon. It’s a beautiful colorful movie, especially the underwater scenes, though I am not a fan of Disney’s live-action remixes. But like I said, I guess I’ll be going to see this one.


After seeing the latest trailer, I’m actually excited to see this. I grew up with all the Barbie dolls, and her accessories, like the apartments, vehicles, and pets, so I love her. I even have a few of the Christmas, Designer, and Specialty Barbies, along with several Black ones, and that one Latina Barbie. My niece has expressed a great interest in seeing this, although my nephew has nixed the idea of going himself. This trailer is absolutely hilarious. I already love Simu Liu’s Ken, and Ryan Gosling is absolutely perfect!

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts

This is one my nephew and I will be very excited to see. I remember the Beast Wars from books but I don’t remember watching the anime. I while I like the Transformers, I haven’t always liked the movies. This looks like a lot of fun. I’m noticing a trend here this Summer: Lots of Latino and Hispanic actors and lots of Black men and women are joining the Summer Blockbuster schedule. Well, I’m here for it. It’s very refreshing.

Blue Beetle

I did read the Blue Beetle comic books when I was a teen. These were the Ted Kord books when he was in the Justice Society and hanging out with Booster Gold. When the character was rebooted with this new kid I read a couple of those books too, so I’m more or less familiar with Jaime’s origin story. This movie looks cool as f***, and I also like the idea that his family already knows he’s a superhero and they encourage it.

Across the Spiderverse

I’m really excited about this, and so are a lot of other people it seems. I enjoyed the first movie immensely. My nephew and I are the biggest Spiderman fans ever. We are gonna have a ball, eat popcorn until we get sick, and then talk about this all the way home!

Guardians of the Galaxy

I’m a huge fan of the movies. I have never read a single comic about these characters. I’m not entirely sure that I wanna go see this because I know it’s gonna make me cry just like the last two. Apparently, this is a Rocket-centric story, as well.

The Flash

I’m not sure I’m going to see this but I am excited about it. I put it on my schedule.

At Home Movies

The Blackening

This looks hilarious and hilariously accurate! OMG! The tagline! They can’t all die first! This movie is already hitting me in the feels. This is based on a short movie I remember watching on Youtube.

In the Fall I want to talk about the amount of diversity I watched in the movie selections this Summer.

They Cloned Tyrone

This is airing on Netflix. It looks like fun and stars John Boyega and another all-Black cast.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

I’m not a huge TMNT fan but I’m familiar enough with the movies, books, and TV shows to find my way around a movie. This looks like fun and I’m told the turtles are being voiced by actual teenagers this time.

Fist of the Condor/Sakra/Once Upon Time in Ukraine

Here’s a trio of martial Arts movies I plan to watch this Spring and Summer. They all look novel and/or fun.

The “This or That” Horror Challenge

JD Nealy on Medium.com recently issued this all-things Horror “This or That” Challenge and I’m here for it. I’ve done This or That Challenge before but to be honest, most of them are boring or nerve-wracking. This one though is a lot of fun, although when I discussed it with my friends there was some confusion over whether or not some things meant being killed by or fighting with something, so our answers were somewhat inconsistent. That’s okay though because hey! it’s Horror.

Slasher or Supernatural

Im going to have to choose Slasher because theoretically a Slasher can be killed, appeased, or sometimes even escaped, depending on what type of slasher we’re talking about. A regular human slasher cannot generally walk through walls or just suddenly appear behind you in your bathroom or in front of your car.

There is something to be said for supernatural slashers and none of it is good. Supernatural slashers are just cheating, really. That said, I would prefer to star in a supernatural thriller like It Follows, where there are some concrete rules rather than any Nightmare on Elm Street movie, where there don’t seem to be any.

Zombies or Cannibals

I’m gonna go with fighting zombies. I at least know all the rules of fighting those having watched multiple films in the genre. Cannibals on the other hand have no rules and are liable to do anything at any time, including prolonging your death for their own enjoyment (see Hannibal Lecter.) At least getting eaten by zombies, while painful, is still relatively quick. So is killing them.

I would choose to star in Dawn of the Dead over The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or The Hills Have Eyes.

Vampires or Werewolves

This was one of the questions we found the most confusing. Would we rather fight these creatures, or be killed by them? In either case, I’m gonna go with vampires who have a set of weaknesses that can be easily taken advantage of. There are pros and cons for each choice though, and I’m definitely going to overthink this later, but I’m going with vampires on this one. Also, vampires are just sexier to be fighting. If I had a choice about the type of vampire movie it would probably be the first Blade movie since I’d get to hang out with Blade, and those vampires can definitely be killed since they’re not especially bright ones.

If I had to choose between being a vampire or a werewolf, I wouldn’t exactly like it, but I’d choose to be a vampire. There are all kinds of workarounds to being a vampire. There don’t seem to be any for being a werewolf although the movie What We Do In The Shadows make both options seem like fun.

Humans or Aliens

My friends and I were not sure what this question meant. I chose humans though because once again humans are at least a category of monster that’s understood. There are set rules for dealing with human beings who are “acting a fool”, and no rules for dealing with aliens, unless we’re talking about the ones from Alien or Predator, in which case I still choose to deal with people. Nobody wants that alien smoke. When all is said and done I’d still rather deal with the humans from The Fifth Element than anything from an Alien film. Predators, on the other hand, can probably be reasoned with and you can at least team up with them to fight the Alien.

Witches or Warlocks

My friend’s first question was what’s the difference, and since we’re librarians we had to do some research to find out. It turns out that there’s no difference between the two, because according to Scottish folklore, a warlock is simply a male witch, and both male and female witches are malevolent. Personally, I’d rather have nothing to do with either, but maybe some people would choose witches because women who have decided to become witches can be reasoned with and at the very least are justified in joining the hellish crusade of the powers of darkness. Any men who do this are probably wholly irrational, and also sexual predators, and I have standards. I’d rather deal with the witches from The Witch than the idiot warlocks of Jennifer’s Body.

Jason Or Freddie

I chose Jason for this one because at least in some of the earlier films Jason can be outrun. Freddie on the other hand, cannot. Jason can at least be killed even if only temporarily. I have a soft spot for Jason that I don’t have for Freddie though. Jason is at least a sympathetic villain, and I have standards. Freddie is an aggrieved child molester, and that’s just icky. Also, I prize getting a night of good sleep and Freddie isn’t conducive to that. Jason could conceivably kill me in my sleep and it would be relatively quick. Jason generally doesn’t try to draw out your anguish for his enjoyment.

Summer Camp or Suburb

I’m going with the suburbs here because there is at least the idea that other people are around. It’s true, they’re not very helpful, but you can at least break into their homes and your killer can be distracted for a few minutes by dispatching these unhelpful monsters. There are potentially police, ambulances, weapons of some kind, and streetlights in the suburbs. I do not want something chasing me around in the woods in complete darkness. That’s just silly. I’m basically picking any Halloween movie over Friday the 13th, because I know I’d make better decisions than any of the fools in Halloween.

Low-Budget or Blockbuster

I’m gonna have to go with Blockbuster for this one. The people in a blockbuster are prettier and more well-spoken. It’s not that there are no good low-budget Horror movies out there, but your death is likely to be prolonged and agonizing or happen entirely offscreen, which is also no good. I want my death to be memorable, but not last the entire movie. I also want it to be a surprise which is something a lot more likely in a Blockbuster than in one of those movies where you can see death coming thirty minutes in, and you spend the rest of the movie running to no avail. In fact, the louder and more bombastic the blockbuster, the better.

Fight or Flee

Like Baymax, I am not fast! In fact, I’m probably one of the slowest-walking people on the planet. No matter how fast I move my legs, I just don’t seem to get anywhere, so it’s gonna have to be fighting. Of course, this is something that depends entirely on the circumstances, but considering how I handle my quite boring and everyday problems, (by simply tackling them head-on), I’m definitely a fighter. If there’s a mystery to solve to get the monster off my back, then that’s the movie for me. The exception to this is any J-Horror ghost movie. Japanese ghosts, such as Amara from The Ring, can never be appeased by anything you could do for them and will torment and kill you anyway.

Cemetary or Swamp

I don’t like bugs, and I for sure don’t like bugs in warm water. And while I’m sure that there are cemeteries that contain both, I will happily avoid those too. Cemeteries generally don’t have giant man-eating reptiles, although they might contain ghosts or zombies, which I can deal with. What I imagine could be much worse is the cemetery that’s located in a swamp. How’s that for places to avoid?

Shrunken Heads or Skulls

My friends and I were not quite sure what this meant so we decided it meant how we would decorate our homes. I don’t see a whole lot of difference between the two really. The shrunken head still has some skin on it while the skull is baring its full loveliness. I’m gonna have to go with skulls as decorative objects, and even for myself if it came to that. After all, if you’re using my skull, I’ve long been deceased and so have no idea what you’ve gotten up to with my remains. Nor will I care.

Also, Black Mask (Ewan McGregor) from that Birds of Prey movie has an apartment decorated with shrunken heads, and nobody wants to be like that guy. Besides skulls are Shakespearean and way sexier than shrunken heads.

Machete or Chainsaw

Quite frankly, I would prefer to avoid being killed by either one of these, but as a weapon, I’d pick the machete, which is relatively easy to use for anyone who is not used to edged weapons, and doesn’t require gas or electricity to wield. As for being murdered by either, I’m gonna have to go with the chainsaw, which is large and unwieldy and will likely run out of gas, at some point. There are only so many people one can kill with a chainsaw at a given time.

Hospital or Home Depot

I’m a pretty inventive person (so is my brother). I’d consider it a dream come true to be locked down in a Home Depot. The possibilities are almost endless if you have any imagination about how to use found objects. Hell with the right skills and materials, you could probably build an entire fortified city inside a Home Depot. Not that I would be lost in a hospital but there’s a lot less material to work with it in one of those. The Home Depot seems more fun.

Apocalypse or No Apocalypse

Yeah, I don’t know what the alternative here means. It’s apocalypses all the way down. That said, I don’t want the whole world destroyed. I want people to still enjoy life after I’m gone. I want there to still be music concerts, pastry cafes, and bad tv shows. Just because I’m not here to enjoy those things doesn’t mean I want the rest of the world to suffer. Also, there is no such thing as a fun apocalypse, even if you get to stay in a Home Depot.

Nightmare or Reality

A nightmare isn’t real and one could potentially wake up from it. I’ve had my share of nightmares. I was always glad to wake up and find out that whatever it was was not real. So I guess I’m choosing the nightmare scenario as long as there are no supernatural creatures involved. Supernatural creatures mess up your ability for lucid dreaming, something I’ve been practicing for a few years now.

Dungeon or Maze

Yeah, I’m really not seeing the big difference between these two. One of them is indoors and underground, and the other is outside most of the time, either one could be full of monsters. I just saw the movie Dungeons and Dragons, and there’s a maze and a dungeon in the movie, both of which seemed equally dangerous in my opinion. In fact, it’s possible that the dungeon might actually be a maze, in which case it makes no difference! But if I absolutely had to choose I’d rather be outside and upstairs, so I’m going with the maze on this one.

Radiation or Disease

This one was easy. Everyone has had at least some experience with disease. Few of us have had any experience with radiation poisoning, which has all of the worst symptoms of a disease, but without any possibility of a cure. I’m not a fan of disease but a person can recover depending on what disease it is. I’ll take the common cold, or hell, even shingles, over radiation sickness.

Spells or Rituals

I’m not particularly worried about either of these. Neither of these is especially frightening because I’ve watched enough Horror movies to know that a ritual can be disrupted, and a spell can be blocked. All you have to do to stop a ritual is make sure it can’t be completed. Stopping a spell is a little bit trickier as it involves having a certain amount of skill. If i had to choose, I’m picking a ritual. And depending on what kind of ritual disruption we’re talking about, it could bring on the apocalypse, in which case nothing matters, or one could end up summoning a tiny, ineffectual demon.

Skeletons or Ghosts

I’m gonna have to go with ghosts on this one. Ghosts are incorporeal, meaning they can’t actually affect anything in the real world. Sure, they’re creepy and can give you a chill, but they can also potentially be ignored. Skeletons however tend to be attention seekers. They’re pretty loud and can actually hurt you, although that may just be me, haunted by recurring images of those sword-wielding skeletons from the 1963 movie Jason and the Argonauts.

Series or Standalone

At least when a standalone movie is over it’s over (except for those damn franchise films.) I do not want to go through whatever I’m going through for 22 hours, which is the average length of a network TV series. I don’t even wanna go through it for 8 which is the average length of a cable series. When a standalone is done, I don’t have to keep revisiting it if I don’t want to unless my name is Laurie or Sidney, and it isn’t so I’m good.

Bonus Question:

Theater or Netflix

Netflix all the way. I don’t care how many people slag off Netflix for having bad movies, it still is good for the price I’m paying. I’ve never been the kind of person who was enamored of theatergoing. I don’t go to the movies for the ambiance. I go for the STORY! And I can get good stories in the comfort of my home, with a cleaner bathroom, and a lot less talking. When i get scared or disinterested, I can turn it off, and I won’t lose money doing it.

Netflix costs less, and I’m still getting entertained, so it works for me.

Hi! In My Life News…

I’m not gone or anything. Just dealing with life as it happens and working on a seriously long form post for my Medium acct. I hope to have the first two parts up by the middle of the month.

I’m working on my Ko-Fi account. I’ll post that up on Medium.com!

I’ve been going to the movies and/or babysitting my new niece every free day I can manage. I took my nephew to see Ant-man a couple weeks back. This weekend he asked to see Dungeons and Dragons, so off we go!

I’ve started baking again. To date I’ve made some blueberry cake, chocolate chocolate chip cookies, and baked apples, and I’ll be making some raspberry cookies for my sister this weekend. So far my little pastries have been well received!

I went to the Dentist. It was weird but not too bad. I got a cavity filled.

I injured my wrist (pulled a muscle somewhere) so it’s been hard to type. Not impossible, just an inconvenient brace wearing situation. I’m gonna be fine! I think I did it while knitting a massive burgundy colored winter scarf which is one of the most beautiful and luxurious things I’ve ever made! It was worth it. Now I’m working on a gray lacey type scarf for Spring.

My weight loss seems to have tapered off or plateaued or something which is cool because I had no idea that weight loss required one to buy new shoes and underwear. My socks and pajamas no longer fit me. I didn’t consider that.

Currently happily gloating over trumps indictment.

Hastily typing this one handed before I leave to go grocery shopping!

Will have some interesting little posts up next week, maybe, but I’m fine. Just being slow.

Liminal Spaces In Film

What are examples of liminal spaces?

A physical liminal space is something tangible that you can recognize as a pathway, passageway or portal. These places are transitory, meaning you’re supposed to pass through them on your way to something else.

I talked here before about liminal spaces which are places where people transition from one place to another and where no one actually lives. Liminal Spaces are often defined as places where people once were, as they have left their constructs behind, but now are not. These are also places where people normally spend time but may be empty at a given moment. Liminal space is the opposite of a permanent residence like your apartment or your hotel room. It is any portal, door, or corridor between places or any place where people stop for a brief period of time, or travel from one place to another, like a highway or rest stop. Even people can have liminal qualities. Travelers, for example, have such qualities, as they are moving between one space and another and have no fixed position or state of being. Teenagers and those nearing death are people who are also on the threshold of being or entering another state, of being a child or an adult, or alive or dead.

The Overlook Hotel – The Shining (1980)

Here we have a classic liminal space. Hotels are by their very nature places where there can be no real permanent residence, and are often a transitional space between one place and another. Here is a scene from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining where Danny is rolling quickly down the empty halls of a deserted hotel, a liminal space that exists within a liminal space. Liminal spaces are often portals or doorways between the living and the dead because the walls of reality are thinner where they are not shored up by the mental strength of a permanent resident. This allows spirits, ghosts, revenants, demons, and other beings to enter or inhabit such places. In the case of the Overlook, the hotel itself is a liminal entity that has taken on a life of its own and regularly consumes the travelers who pass through or temporarily inhabit it, like Danny and his parents.

The Open Road – Duel (1976)

America’s highways (and any points along them, like gas stations, and rest stops) are also places of transition from one place to another. The road is not a fixed or permanent residence. Just like many cars, buses, trains, and many public places, it is a place people travel on, or pass through. All kinds of inexplicable occurrences can happen and there are countless unknown dangers on the road, not just from the road itself, but the people, and vehicles that travel along it. This is a scene from Steven Spielberg’s 1976 movie Duel, where a man is pursued by a dangerous truck driver along various highways. This kind of thing happens in road trip horror movies like Jeepers Creepers, and Joy Ride.

The Nostromo – Alien (1979)

Outer Space is itself the definition of a liminal space because of its life-inhibiting nature and because it is, once again, something people pass through rather than truly live in. In the 1979 movie Alien, the crew of the space freighter Nostromo encounter a dangerous life form while traveling through this space. The ship, Nostromo, is full of plenty of transitional spaces where the creature can hide and then leap out at the ship’s inhabitants who are hunted and killed while traveling through the ship’s empty halls and backrooms. In that sense, the Nostromo is reminiscent of a hotel environment. it seems like a more permanent residence except there is too much empty space for it to be considered a home. At its foundation, it’s just a vehicle in which people are moved from one place to another.

The Parking Lot – Fargo (1996)

Fargo is shot in such a way that even the permanent residences of its characters feel like liminal spaces. The feeling of the movie is cold and emotionless. just like its villains. It doesn’t help that the environment in which the story takes place is bleak and wintry Minnesota. Many of the plot developments take place in moving vehicles, places of work, diners, hotels, and parking lots, and the relationships between the characters often feel just as cold and disconnected as the places through which they travel.

The Incursion – Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness (2022)

The entire movie is about portals, doorways, and traveling the in-between spaces. The film is full of liminal moments of ghosts and demons, and even universes, possessing the living, the dead, and other universes, causing disruption to the natural order. These liminal spaces are places where the normal rules of physics seem to have been completely overturned. Since the little girl in the movie, America Chavez, has the power to travel between universes, it means she has no fixed permanent residence of her own, which makes her a liminal person, a doorway through which others can pass, which is also the ability that makes her so powerful and coveted by the movie’s villain. Here, the Doctor and his friend Christine walk through a world that has been invaded by another world through one such portal.

The Closet – Poltergeist (1982)

Closets are classic portals, doorways to other dimensions, through which other beings can enter this world, or in the case of Poltergeist, the 1982 film by Steven Spielberg, spaces through which people can be abducted. The little girl in the movie, Carol Ann, is abducted into the afterlife through this doorway, and much of the plot hinges on her family successfully navigating the outer fringes of liminal space to rescue her. In this scene, there are several doors through which her family can or cannot pass.

The Swimming Pool – It Follows (2014)

Water possesses liminal qualities since its surface is a barrier that separates the realm of earth from the aquatic realm. In the movie It Follows, swimming pools are set up as liminal spaces in time as well as space, places where childhood innocence and the literal avoidance of death can be maintained. I wrote about this film in another post, about the symbolism of all the bodies of water in the film, and how whenever the film’s monster gets too close in its pursuit of Jay, the film’s lead character, she retreats to places of innocence, symbolized by bodies of water. At the end of the movie, she and her friends hope to lure the monster to its destruction by using her as bait in an abandoned swimming pool, which itself takes place in the liminal space of an abandoned building after the crowds of students have gone home.

The Mist – The Mist (2007)

Based on a book by Stephen King, The Mist is part of the Stephen King multiverse, where different versions of Earth exist. In the Stephen King universe, the various earths are separated from each other by what King refers to as Todash Space, which is something like outer space, a largely empty and dark space between the worlds. Only Todash Space isn’t entirely empty. It’s full of horrifying monsters such as the ones seen in this movie after a military experiment opens a portal between it and this particular earth, very much like the Incursion seen in Doctor Strange’s movie.

The City and People of – Dark City (1998)

I don’t want to give away any spoilers but the entire movie is about trying to live in a space that isn’t really a space of its own. The Dark City of the title is a liminal space where the rules of physics do not apply, and even the people and their relationships are impermanent, including that of its lead character, John Doe, who must navigate his way from the center of the city to its outer edges, while being pursued by mysterious figures, in search of…himself. His journey is represented by the Fibonacci Spiral seen in the title sequence and throughout the film itself.

Black Boy Joy (Black History Month Edition)

To Frolic: To gambol, cavort, caper, romp, kick it up, in an excited and happy manner, usually outdoors, usually in meadows!

In these times it’s so important for us not just to look to our past to remark on our trauma but to look to our past to acknowledge our successes and our present to acknowledge why we fight for equality in the first place. Joy is a way of fighting. In times when we are being inundated with one horrible statistic or image after another, joy is a major act of rebellion against despair.

So hi, I have some Black Boy (Man) Joy for this BHM 2023.

This trend happened a couple of years ago but was recently compiled into this five-minute montage of Black Men out in the world just having the time of their lives and frolicking to the Peanuts theme song! I don’t think you can imagine just how happy this made me, or the big goofy grin on my face while I watched this!

I hope this makes your day as happy as it did mine.