Short Hiatus

I know y’all haven’t heard from me in a minute, but I will be taking a short break to take care of some family medical issues. I don’t know when I’ll be back but I will definitely be back, because I’m an opinionated egghead, and I want to talk about my favorite movie this year: Dune. Or Dunc according to the movie titles! I’m going to spend my time off organizing my thoughts and composing a post for it.

I will be back though. And I’ll probably tell y’all what happened. But now I wanna focus on getting through it, not documenting it.

Dune Review Coming Later

I have watched Dune, and I have feelings, along with some thoughts and prayers. I’m going to watch this a few more times, and then I’ll let you guys know what’s going on in my head.

I did not see it in the theater, since that simply is not an option for me. I watched it on HBOMax, last night, like a normal person who doesn’t want to interact with strangers in a dark room, and I have to say that while it wasn’t as good as I thought it would be, it wasn’t bad, either. We’ve been living with the idea of watching this movie for over a year, so the hype was immense, because the trailers were awesome.

I paid little attention to most reviews of the movie, but I have heard that most people liked it. They’re not especially loud about it, but they didn’t pan it either, and I have seen a couple of remarks that its better than the 1984 version, which apparently everyone except me still hates. Yes, I think this version is better than that one, but the old one wasn’t THAT bad. I reserve most of my hatred for the television version on the Syfy network, a few years ago.

So give me some time to organize my thoughts and I’ll drop them here by next month. But first, since Dune isnt a Horror movie (although it does contain some horrific moments), I’m not going to focus on it just yet, preferring to only talk about Horror movies and shows this month.

Halloween Music

Here are ten of my all-time favorite Halloween songs. I tried to list the songs that a lot of people don’t usually think of listening to during the Halloween season, but will definitely be heard, if you watch scary shows and movies.

One song that won’t be seen on this list is Michael Jackson’s Thriller, because that is sort of the official song of Halloween, and it’s a given that it would be everyone’s favorite at every party. No, this list is for the not quite so well known songs, or songs that aren’t frequently thought of as being for Halloween. Some of these songs are actually pretty scary, so probably aren’t suitable for parties, as it would immediately kill the mood, but there is at least one party style song on this list.

Monster Mash – Bobby “Boris” Pickett

This is the classic Halloween novelty song, released in 1962. The first time I heard this song, I was just a kid, and naturally, I was immediately charmed by it, and this song has never lost the ability to make me sing along and smile.

This Is Halloween – The Nightmare Before Xmas – Danny Elfman

This was yet another charming little song that, when I first heard it, immediately made me laugh, and sing along. Every year, I never miss an opportunity to loudly sing this in my car. The visuals are actually scary, managing to capture all of those little childhood terrors that pop up in the middle of the night, except for the vampires, though.

They’re brothers, according to the game based on the film, and I thought they were some of the cutest, little, tiny-head, vampire-bat people I’ve ever seen in a movie, and I would love to have one of those as a doll!

*Sigh* I’ll probably have to make it myself.

The Exorcist – Tubular Bells – Mike Oldfield

Now, I have told y’all the story of how my mother would not allow me to watch this movie, saying it was too much for me, but when I reached a certain age, (I think maybe 13 or 14), she allowed me to watch the adult supervised, edited for television, version. (My mom loved Horror movies, and I often watched them with her, but she didn’t just let me watch whatever I wanted willy-nilly. She was often present, and we almost always watched the edited for TV versions of some of the scariest ones.)

Well, anyway, even watching it with adult supervision was a mistake, because a couple of weeks after I saw it, the city experienced an earthquake. This happened after my bedtime, so the timing on this was simply incredible!!! I’m not gonna go into details, but you can imagine what happened after that, for yourselves. (Like the little girl in the movie, I crawled into Mom’s bed whenever I had a nightmare.)

All ofthis to say, I didnt think this was an actual song. I thought, like most of the music I heard in movies, that it was made up for the film. Imagine my surprise several years later, when I came across the Mike Oldfield album in the library, called Tubular Bells! I only stumbled across it because I was heavily into Electronic music, and listening to some of the early stuff, and the album was just in that section. Even without the film’s visuals, the music is deeply creepy, and guaranteed to kill any kind of partying mood.

Halloween – Main Title Theme – John Carpenter

You can play this at a party, and it probably wouldn’t even kill the mood, because Michael Myer’s theme song slaps! This is the iconic theme from the 1978 version of Halloween, which was also written by the film’s director, John Carpenter. I didn’t see this movie until I was nearly an adult, and I was not particularly impressed at the time, but I’ve since grown to like it a lot. Some things you can’t truly appreciate until you reach a certain level of maturity, perhaps.

Danse Macabre – Camille Saint-Saens

Its amazing to me the kinds of influences a teacher can have on a child. My greatest memories of this song come from my elementary school music teacher, Ms. Blaylock. I loved this teacher so much, and even though she passed many years ago, I love her still, and hope to meet her in any afterlife that exists.

I learned to read music from her, and when she formed an all girl band of tambourine players, I joined that, I learned to play the piano from her, and she even introduced me to The Bee Gees, but one of the most interesting things she taught me was that even devout Christian women like her could find scary things (including Halloween) fun.

Ms. Blaylock would play this song in class every year, and I always looked forward to the quiet times we spent in class just listening to the kinds of music that a bunch of inner city kids would otherwise have never been exposed to, outside of Looney Tunes. She had wide ranging tastes, and I credit her with having adopted at least some of that, as my own musical tastes are all over the place.

No One Believes Me – Kid Cudi – Fright Night 2017

I absolutely love this video. I would rather watch an entire series based on the premise of this song and video, than the mediocre movie it was made for. There’s this quiet suburban neighborhood being slowly taken over by vampires, and this guy is anguished about what he is, the things he’s done, and what’s happening to the world he used to live in, as he walks the streets at night. Movies about Black vampires are pretty rare, and I would love to see a film with vampires and people of color, in a suburban setting, and not done as a comedy.

This is very much a song for Halloween, but is also one of those party-killers I mentioned. Its hard to dance to this level of angst and depression.

In the Hall of the Mountain King – Grieg (Peer Gynt Suite No.1) (From the movie Needful Things)

I first heard this song in a Stephen King film called Needful Things. Here, the Town Selectman, named Buster, who has a beef with one of the officers in the Sheriff’s department, comes home to find derogatory notes placed all over his house, by Nettie, who was put up to it by the devil, disguised as an antiques store owner.

This is, hands down, one of my all-time favorite scenes in a Stephen King film, and makes the entire movie worth watching, even if you don’t like King’s films. Its fun, suspenseful, and there’s a great payoff, later in the film.

Somebody’s Watching Me – Rockwell

I heard this song as a teenager, and from what I remember, it took some time for people to figure out that it was Michael Jackson singing the background vocals, and then everyone’s next question was, why? Who is Rockwell that he can get one of the most famous men in America, who was nearly at the height of his career, to do the background vocals ( since Michael Jackson almost never featured on other people’s songs). It turns out that Rockwell was related to Michael by marriage, because his sister, also the daughter of Motown’s Berry Gordy, was married to Michael’s brother Jermaine.

The video for the song is mostly funny, but the lyrics themselves are pretty creepy, and are a precursor to some of Michael’s later paranoid themes about being so incredibly famous.

Werewolves of London – Warren Zevon

The first time I heard this song I was a teenager. My first question was, wtf?!!! There’s a song about werewolves? I couldn’t believe that someone would write a song like this. This is one of my favorite, year round, Halloween ditties. I love the beat, and the lyrics, how even though its about werewolves, its not at all scary, because the visuals are deeply funny to me, and just the whole aesthetic is enough to immediately put me in great mood for the rest of the day.

I Got Five On It – Luniz

This song is not at all scary as far as the lyrics. Its your typical gangsta rap drama about drugs and moneymaking from the 90s. However, I have never liked this song because the beat always creeped me the hell out. This song gained its official Halloween status, thanks to Jordan Peele heavily featuring it in his last directorial role, US, and now, well I kinda like it. It suit the movie so well ,and it was really nice to know I wasn’t the only person who heard it, and thought it would sound great in a Horror movie.

Honorable Mentions:

Don’t Fear the Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult

A song about death ought to be considered a Halloween song.

Welcome to My Nightmare – Alice Cooper

The first time I’d ever even heard of Alice Cooper, I was a very little kid, and he featured this song in an episode of The Muppets, and I distinctly remember thinking, that’s not a real singer. I thought he was a made up character for the show. It took several years for me to figure out that he was an actual Rock performer, with a career and everything, and this scary, monstery, stuff was his schtick!

Bela Lugosi’s Dead – Bauhaus

I heard this song in the 1980s vampire movie, The Hunger, which I wasn’t supposed to be watching, I don’t think, and my thoughts at the time was, “Hey! I know who Bela Lugosi is!”, and “They got songs about vampires, now?!!!” I don’t want to say that I found the song charming…because I didn’t. Personally, I found the song terrifying, and to this day, I’m not entirely sure why.

Note: Tomorrow is Friday Oct. 22nd, which means that Dune will finally be released on HBOMax. I’ll have more to discuss next week, and the week after that I hope to have seen the movies, Antlers and Last Night in Soho.

Halloween Horror Reviews

Here’s some stuff I watched this month in the spirit of Halloween. I know this first entry isnt really considered a Horror series, but it should be. It certainly contains a reasonable number of horrific acts, along with plenty of gore, and just because it has an over-arching social theme, it shouldn’t be ruled out of your holiday viewing. All the rest of these though…are pure Halloween carnage.

Squid Game

I am one of five people who has not watched beyond the first episode of Squid Game, not because I think its bad, but because I’m at a point right now where I’m not particularly interested in that type of television. I simply don’t have the emotional bandwidth for it right now. However, I did discuss the series with, of all people, my little sister, who from this point forward we will refer to as “The Millennial”! This is the mother of The Potato, and I don’t talk about her here a lot because even though we don’t live very far away from each other, we don’t get to see each other as often as we would like. We lead very different lives, but apparently she still has more than enough nerd in her character to watch the series.

She loves it. In fact, she raved about it to me, the family geek, who hasn’t been watching it!

As for that first episode, I realized I didn’t have the bandwidth for it when I started getting frustrated and angry with the lead character’s lack of moral character. Its not that he is a bad man. He is simply a man of very weak moral character, who loves people, and means well, but keeps getting broadsided by his own worst character traits. Its frustrating watching him make the same mistakes over and over again. He simply doesn’t learn, but I suspect the series is about his growth as a person, so we have to start him off at his lowest point.

The basic gist of the show is that a bunch of people desperate for a million dollar cash bonus willingly subject themselves to a series of fatal games on a secluded island. The highlight game, and the one which sets the standard for all the following games is in the first episode, and called Red Light, Green Light, in which a giant doll is the Master. If she catches anyone moving after she says Red Light, the offender is executed via headshot. I was pretty good at this game when I was a kid, so I think I could probably master this one, but my sister says the other games are much more difficult, and that the players also have to deal with internal drama, and various alliances.

I have no intention of finishing the series, but if you liked stuff like The Hunger Games and The Scorch Trials or whatever, you probably should give this one a try. Yes, its in Korean, and there are subtitles, but that doesn’t matter for a good show. Just be aware that wanting to slap the lead character very, very, hard is not an option for the viewer.

V/H/S 94:

VHS 94 is one of a series of found footage Horror anthology movies that I’ve enjoyed in the past. This one gets mixed feelings from me. Some of the stories I liked, but a couple of others were not particularly satisfying.

Unlike some people I’m not especially tired of the found footage trend. I like it okay. Some of it is good and some not so much, but one of the reasons I don’t bitch and whine against trends in movies is because I don’t watch everything in a given genre, and some things ain’t got nothing to do with me. I don not and never will understand people who loudly hate on a particular method or genre of film, and always call for the elimination of them, especially when its failry harmless. Yeah I’m tired of movies about Black pain and trauma, and wish they would make other things but I’m not calling for the elimination of movies like 12 Years A Slave. We need those Black pain movies. They’re cathartic, and someone is watching them. I just wish that movies rooted in such trauma weren’t the only ones getting made, is all. its okay to make (and watch) movies that are fun, and funny. We need those too.

Anyway, this movie consists of four stories, surrounded by a framework of a SWAT team who come across a bunch of videos playing in a house, and this is loosely tied to a couple of the other stories in the film. I liked the first story which was short, to the point, gory, and monstrous, about reporter who stumbles across a group of Rat God worshiping sewer people, while chasing a story. The story makes its point, and keeps it moving. There,s bllod, gore, mutants, cults, and was kinda fun, and disgusting.

I wanted to like the second story, but the murky footage, and sometimes unintelligible dialogue made things hard to understand. I eventually got the point of it ,but it was frustrating to watch, as much of it takes place at night, in the dark, during a thunderstorm. A young woman is basically babysitting a corpse in a funeral home, when the corpse suddenly comes to life and starts chasing her around the room. I initially thought this was a zombie story, but it turns out to be something a little bit different. Its not bad, but some of it is unclear, which is not a good thing for such a short story.

The third story was my least favorite, because it mostly involved people being chased through rooms by robot/human hybrids created by a mad scientist. I’m not a fan of mad scientist stories in general because I find them frustrating. Mom and I are always having medical issues that require we be poked and prodded by various doctors, so movies about medical experimentation are not fun to watch.

The Fourth story is a little more interesting because…vampire! A bumbling group of American militia members have captured a vampire and intend to use its blood (which has explosive properties) to commit various acts of terror. Since the vampire didn’t actually consent to any of this things become a helluva lot more difficult for them when it gets loose and starts hunting each of them down. I was prepared not to like this one, but the militia men are so stupid, and so deserving of what’s coming to them, that the gory body horror elements were kind of fun.

The surrounding story was kind of disappointing because I expected a little bit more than what I got, which were just human beings being monstrous to one another.

Overall, i kind of enjoy the franchise, and I’m not tired of it yet, even though I dint care very much for the last two of this five movie series. Of all of them the first and second were the best, and maybe I’ll talk about them at some later date, but if you don’t mind watching more found footage movies, check this one out on Amazon Prime.

Halloween Kills

I know there are some people who were disappointed in this movie, but I was pleasantly surprised. There was a lot I liked about this, and a few things I found deeply frustrating, which I’ll get to in a moment. I found the movie deeply entertaining. Unlike some people, I don’t watch these types of movies for the killing. I don’t count how many people die, or marvel at the various ways in which they died, or any nonsense like that. I watch movies like this for the characters, the mood/atmosphere, and any deeper themes which may be present in the narrative, and there is a theme here.

If the last version, released in 2018, was about surviving and dealing with trauma via Laurie Strode, than this movie’s primary theme was about Regret. We start the movie exactly where we left off the last one. Sheriff Hawkins, who was stabbed by Michael Myers’ doctor, was left to bleed out in a field, and is stumbled upon by Allison’s boyfriend, with whom she had broken up, in the last film. We catch him in the middle of leaving a message to his best friend about the breakup, not knowing that the best friend he’s calling was killed by Michael just a short time ago.

Right away, we re introduced to an element of pathos that will follow us throughout the rest of the film. A sequence of just missed chances, or people trying to do the right thing and failing horribly. He finds the Sheriff’s body and from there we go into a flashback of the Sheriff as a young officer, and his first encounter with Michael, when he had the chance to let Michael die, but stopped Dr. Loomis (Michael’s first doctor) from shooting him, preferring to capture Michael alive. Hawkins expresses open regret at having allowed that to happen.

As the movie moves forward, we meet many different characters, several of whom we’ve met before, like the little girl and boy from the very first movie, whom Laurie spent trying to protect from Michael. They’re all grown up and we see them and the townsfolk, many of them are the friends, and family, and of people who were killed in the 1978 film. They are at a Halloween party celebrating Laurie’s long ago heroism, when the news reaches them that not only is Michael free, he has been killing people in Haddonville all night. The way the movie plays out, every single character we meet has a moment where they regret past decisions they made, or rethink some choices they wished they could take back, from the charming gay couple who bought Michael’s old house, to Laurie’s daughter who regrets never believing her mother’s declarations about Michael, to the mob of townsfolk who corner and attack Michael in the street.

What was disappointing for me was the character’s doing the usual stupid things people do in slasher movies. People have guns but often never get a chance to fire them, or sometimes they have the opportunity to run away from Michael, or leave the vicinity (preferring to hunt for him through dark rooms instead), but don’t. A lot of the kids in this movie simply cannot act. Of curse its frustrating for me to watch this because I know that Michael is very probably not human at all, and will always win, and that all the characters are operating as if they are dealing with a regular human being. Another frustrating thing is there’s not much of Laurie in this movie. Since she was stabbed by Michael in the previous movie, she sits most of this one out, and the slack gets taken up by the townsfolk, Laurie’s daughter, Karen, and her granddaughter, Allison, now dealing with fresh trauma of her own. This movie is a loose remake of the 1981 Halloween 2, which takes place mostly in the same hospital, as well.

Now, even though I don’t count the deaths, or prioritize the deaths of the character’s, that doesn’t mean I don’t pay attention to them. The deaths in this movie are spectacularly gruesome even for Halloween. There is a lot of action in this film.There is a lot of blood and gore, there’s a lot of death, some of which feels, and I know this may sound weird, considering this is a slasher film, oddly gratuitous, starting with the deaths of the friefighters who were there to douse the fire Laurie started to kill Michael. But then as I’ve mentioned before, as I’ve gotten older, and become more aware of the ways my body can become broken, (all those missed accidents and deaths start to take a toll, I think), I’ve also become a lot more squeamish. Some people love the gore, and I used to when I was a teenager, but not anymore.

My mom watched this one with me, and I don’t think she was especially impressed. She said, and I quote, “It was stupid!” Which is the description of any movie she finds displeasing, and I wasn’t able to find the time to question her on why she thought this. I’m not inclined to give her review too much deep analysis as she was half asleep during some of it, the constant flashback kept getting on her nerves, and the idiotic behavior of the characters bothered her more than it bothered me. But as I said it took me a minute to figure out that the characters in the film don’t know that Michael isnt a human being. He gets slashed, stabbed, pitchforked, and shot multiple times, and keeps getting back up, as if nothing had happened. The characters know there’s something wrong but they don’t know what and continue to believe they can easily defeat him, and of course there are several characters who are simply goofy, and they end up taking each other and themselves out, so there’s that.

That said, this movie was highly entertaining, and just deep enough. I suspect I’ll get my wish, and see more of Laurie in the third and final film, Halloween Ends. I think the last movie should be a little more like Halloween H2O, in that it should be a cat and mouse game between Michael and Laurie, because really, that’s what these movies have been about since day one. If you go back to the first movie, Laurie is asked by one of her teacher’s about the nature of evil, and the movie is pitting the innocence of this one girl (now a woman) against the personification of death.

Chucky (TV Series)

This was the first episode of the Chucky series, which I saw on YouTube for free. I don’t know how much longer this free episode will be available, but if you’re curious, than check it out. I didn’t much care for it, even though I was sort of looking forward to watching this because I enjoyed the first film of what became a massive franchise of over two hundred movies (or at least that’s what it felt like). My initial thought was who the f*** thought this would be a good idea for a TV series. It’s not a bad series, its just not to my particular tastes because it contains unlikable teenagers, awful parents, dodgy acting, and a couple of moments where I just didn’t want to deal with the emotions of what was happening onscreen. To be fair, most of the things I catch a glimpse of, or try out, are not necessarily bad (although yeah, sometimes they’re pretty bad), and this show is very pretty to look at.

There are of course the usual tropes of the supernatural avenger narrative. A much put upon teenager, who is beset by nasty and bullying authority figures, and peers, who finds solace in his Chucky doll, who comes to life and begins taking out anyone with whom he has a beef ,and I’m too tired to care very much about this type of plot, especially when most of the other characters in the series aren’t likable, and I’m also kind of tired of the idea that unlikable people must be killed. I’m in the mood for a plot where unlikable people try to solve their grievances by talking them out, I guess.

They’re Not Funny, They’re Just Bullies

(This was first published on Medium.com. The highlighted areas were from readers.)

Reposting this again in light of Dave Chappelle’s THIRD comedy special, in which he insists on demeaning transgender women, and insisting that the “jokes” he makes about them are harmless, because they exist in a vacuum. Notice that his focus isn’t on transgender men, but wholly focused on that intersection of homophobia, and misogyny that too many men of color adhere to.

I said what I said, and that has not changed just because he insists that what he’s saying is harmless fun, and I will give him no quarter now, just because I liked his comedy twenty years ago.

For nearly three centuries, straight, white, men took it upon themselves to define the existences of everyone who was not them; women, Blacks, Asians, Gays and Lesbians, and that’s if their existences were acknowledged at all. The early days of American comedy, as was much of society, and all of pop culture, was ruled by the tastes of straight, white, cis-gender men, who made everyone that was not them, the butt of the joke, publicly hash out their racial and gender anxieties, and reinforce their superiority over those they mocked.

But comedy, like all pop culture is not static. Things that used to be funny in comedy, cease to be funny, as new generations, new audiences, grow up, change society, become more knowledgeable, more sophisticated, and more inclusive and empathetic. The Millennial and Z generations will be some of the most diverse and inclusive generations in US history, (as will the generations to come after them), thanks to having grown up with a world of knowledge, and personal experiences, at their fingertips.

Marginalized identities, are capable now, more than ever before, of communicating to the mainstream dominant culture what their lives are like, be able tell people that they are being hurt, why it hurts, and most importantly, be able to tell people to stop. And this is something transgender men and women have been trying to impress upon people for the past thirty years.

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The first minstrel shows depicted black people as lazy, ignorant, cowardly or hypersexual.

Negative representations of non-white people date back to the mid-19th century. White actors performing in minstrel shows would darken their skin with polish and cork to look stereotypically “black.”

The shows were intended to be funny to white audiences, but they were hurtful and demeaning to African-Americans because they reinforced white people’s notions of superiority.

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Today, someone wearing blackface, (or any color face), is properly condemned as racist, insensitive and, at the very least, mean spirited, and as an activity which no right-thinking person engages in, and if they do, should be correctly be held to account. Blackface gained its popularity in vaudeville, which is no longer a form of comedy that’s popular now, because times change. Sensibilities change. If a comedian got on a stage wearing blackface today, he /she would be rightfully boo’ed off that stage.

White men have had over a hundred years to mock, and/or invent, stereotypes of Black and Brown men and women. For one of them to get on a stage today, and do the same thing now, would correctly be seen as racist.

There is a saying, (originally attributed to the owner of a newspaper), that the point of comedy is:To afflict the comfortable, and comfort the afflicted. Throughout history, court jesters and comedians were the only ones who could make fun of the king. The bawdy playhouses of England and France often mocked the nobility. Yes, the poor and underclass were mocked too, but since the narrators came from the same classes, the point of it was not the same as when they made fun of the king and his court.

In America, comedy was used to express White male anxieties about different out groups, show the members of those groups their proper place, and reinforce White male structures of privilege, in society. That is the purpose being served by transphobia in comedy, as transgender people have progressed, more than ever before, into mainstream consciousness, and their voices have become more prevalent, the internet has allowed them to speak back to a society that, when it has acknowledged their existence at all, has demeaned, devalued, and outright murdered them. Cis-gender men, of all races, have begun expressing their anxieties about gender roles and sexuality, and expressing contempt for those they believe transgress societal rules.

Homophobia and transphobia have always been part of mainstream culture, sometimes codified into law, sometimes just reinforced by “phobic” individuals, but it is rare, in most modern societies, for LGBT people to ever consider themselves completely safe. There have always been assaults and murders of people in those communities, from Venus Xtravaganza in 1988, Brandon Teena in 1993, to Matthew Sheppard in 1998.

Ashanti Carmon, Paris Cameron, and Claire Legato, are Black transgender women who were murdered in 2019, along with 23 other transgender women of color. These women were killed by family members, partners, and strangers. One thing that the murderers all have in common, is that they are not transgender themselves, so it is of primary interest to the gay and transgender community, (most especially communities of color), when straight, cis- gender men get up on a stage, and make a mockery of their deaths, by joking about “men in dresses”. It shows a cluelessness, and a lack of sensitivity, that is not surprising, given the amount of privilege some of these men have in mainstream society. They have never had to think about the vectors of oppression the people they are mocking have had to navigate.

These are straight, cis-gender men cracking jokes about transgender women, and calling it edgy. It is not edgy, nor is it funny. It is most definitely not funny coming from the very sort of people who look and sound like the kind of people who regularly kill transgender men and women. Transmisogyny in comedy is not new. Its lazy, tired, and meanspirited, and far too often, people defend this level of verbal oppression by claiming that it’s just a joke.

I would ask such people to imagine what they would do if someone called them a racial or ethnic slur to their face, in one of the worse moments of their life, and when they became rightfully offended by it, were told it was just a joke, and they’re being thin skinned.

And yes, I want to specifically address the more recent comedy of Dave Chappelle. He himself said that he didn’t know much about the issues surrounding being transgender, and that he didn’t understand it. That said, he should have simply kept his mouth shut, until he rectified that ignorance, as it is particularly insensitive that a cis-gender Black man is standing on such a massive platform, making jokes about transgender women, when so many cis-gender Black men have not only expressed murderous intent regarding such women, simply because they exist, but actually killed transgender women of color. Around the same time as Dave Chappelle’s comedy special appeared on Netflix, in late August, Pebbles LaDime Doe, age 24, Bee Love, age 23, and Bailey Reeves, age 17, had all been murdered.

What Chappelle did isn’t new, and it isn’t edgy, because Black men have a long history of openly, publicly, demeaning and vilifying (both cis and transgender) women of color, informed by decades of open mockery, and stereotyping, in movies and television. Dave Chappelle, and others like him, have expressed exactly the ideas (the jokes) that mainstream cinema has been teaching them about transgender women, that, due to the cis-gender fixation on their genitalia, that they are not “real” women, and that they are of villains of this narrative, and are trying to deceive straight men into having sex with them.

…In the end, movies that depict trans women as deceitful, disgusting villains divulge more about the cisgender male psyche than they do about transgender women (after all, the filmmakers and writers who imagined these characters are overwhelmingly cisgender men). The trans-woman-as-villain plot device represents men’s fear of being duped into sacrificing their heterosexual male privilege by deigning to sleep with a person they consider to be a man.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/meredithtalusan/25-years-of-transphobia-in-comedies

This is what is known in comedy as punching down. For me, its not about certain people being off limits, being offended, cancel culture, or being too sensitive.This goes beyond those things. Comedy about transgender men and women is about making fun of people who have the LEAST amount of power in this society, (and there is no group of people with less power than transgender women of color). Nobody is saying that transgender people cannot be made fun of, (as there are plenty of transgender comedians who do so). What people are saying is that it is tasteless, mean , and unfunny, when being made by cisgender men. When those jokes are coming, almost exclusively, from the group of people who are responsible for their oppression, then it is an exceptionally bad look. Cisgender men shouldn’t do this, for the same reason that white people can’t say the N*word.

The criticism of these comedians isn’t coming from a bunch of overly sensitive, snowflake, White, suburban teenagers, which is who these comedians want you to picture, when they complain about audiences being too sensitive. The criticism is coming directly from the people these comedians just mocked. These are adults, not kids with the free time to harass celebrities on Twitter, and transgender people are allowed to feel some type of way about being made fun of, yet again, by the very types of men who have been responsible for most of their pain and bullying in life, without their feelings being dismissed as them being thin-skinned.

Yes, there are transgender comedians, and because they are members of that group, they are free to make jokes about their community, just as any member of a community can make jokes about it. But if it was wrong for White people (the ones who invented the racism and stereotypes that were responsible for so much Black death) to make jokes that demean the Black community, then it is equally wrong for straight, cis-gender men to stand on a stage, and make jokes about the kinds of people who get murdered by people who look like them.

This isn’t about being offended, thin-skinned, or a snowflake. This is about actively harming a group of people who have told you, over and over, that your words are harming them, as those words are reinforcing, and contributing to, an environment of hatred of them.

Wearing blackface is wrong when worn by the people who invented racism. Making fun of LGBTQ people is wrong when done by those who are not part of that community. Rape jokes are wrong when done by men, as men are the primary perpetrators, (and less likely to experience rape themselves.)

The jokes are wrong when they are being told by the kinds of people who perpetuate the harm.

This is the equivalent of a bully, beating someone up on the playground, and then laughing at their victim, who is crying on the ground.

It’s bullying.

It’s kicking people when they are already powerless, being harmed, and have repeatedly told their oppressors, again and again, that what is being said is harmful to them, and must stop.

I can forgive ignorance. People commit all kinds of harm when they don’t know something. I’ve committed ignorant acts of harm when I didn’t know any better. If I step on someone’s foot, one time, that can be forgiven as being an accident. But if I deliberately do it again, and again, after having been told that it hurts them, and try to defend why I kept doing it, (because I thought it was funny!), that’s considered willful and malicious harm, and they would have a right to be angry about that.

Because that’s bullying.

Once A person has been told that they are causing harm, yet still happily , sometimes even spitefully, continue to do so, and then have the nerve to get angry, because people are upset at what they’re doing, that is not ignorance.

That is malice.

They should not receive applause for being edgy, or pushing the boundaries of free speech, because privileged cis-gender men and women have always had the freedom to speak down to those they thought were lower than them.

They are a lot of things. They are lazy, ignorant, stupid, and malicious, all words they can claim, but they cannot claim to be funny.

They’re just bullies on a much larger playground.

************************

Trans comedian and writer Shon Faye also criticised Gervais, explaining to indy100 how devastating dead-naming can be to a trans person:

People often feel justified to dead name Caitlyn Jenner — three years into her public transition — because she was famous before she came out. But I find this highly suspect reasoning when everyone knows her name, Caitlyn, and who is being referred to.

Dead-naming is such a horrifying thing to do to any trans person because it says that their true identity and their authentic self and the steps they have taken to be recognised by society more authentically can be snatched away at any time. It’s also just courtesy. If you change your name that is your name and people should respect it.

The reason people don’t is because they wish to express dominance over trans people and remind us they can invalidate and belittle us at any time. Which is why trans people don’t find dead-naming Jenner or anyone else funny.

I would add that taking a swipe at trans people is the laziest comedy under the sun. We are the easiest group to target right now and everyone is doing it. Comedians like Gervais should try harder.

Movies I Watched In September 2021

Black Widow

Black Widow GIFs | Tenor

Overall, I liked this movie a lot. I can’t say I was especially enthused when I heard they were going to be making it, because at the time I was clamoring for a Black Widow movie, Disney insisted on not giving us one, and I felt that this movie was too little too late, and I had a strong desire to be petty, but I also decided to show some appreciation for what was given.. I wouldn’t call this movie a joy to watch, because if you saw Avengers Endgame, you know why, but it was a lot of fun, and that was largely due to Florence Pugh.

The first time I saw Miss Pugh she was having an English food mukbang on Youtube, which I found enjoyable, even though I had no idea who she was at the time. The last time I saw Miss Pugh was in Midsommar, where she did an exemplary job as a woman in distress, and she shows her range here. She is the best character in the movie, right next to David Harbour’s Red Guardian. I barely remember anything about Rachel Weisz’ character, other than she was present and delivered her lines. I kind of felt the same way about Scarlet, but then I was predisposed to dislike her because she has tried very hard, in the past five years, to get on my last nerve, and succeeded. Perhaps Scarlett Johansson needs to shut up when someone holds a microphone up to her face, because she is sure to put her foot on top of it. Nevertheless, despite my feelings for her, she did turn in her usual competent job as Black Widow here, and even managed to have some really good scenes with Miss Pugh.

yelena posing black widow - AllEars.Net

The story is pretty basic, although its not done in a basic manner. There’s the usual going back to clear up one’s past regrets, some familial dysfunction gets cleared up, and there’s some origin story stuff thrown in for good measure. I was mostly into the family stuff, which was the strongest part of the movie, and the action scenes, which were pretty good. I could’ve done without the “pseudo rape culture” type stuff in the plot, with the villain and his armies of brainwashed little girls. That was just “ewww”, but I guess that was the point, making him as unlikable as possible.

It was kind of weird watching the opening scene, where we see Natasha as a little girl, playing in the park with her sister, only to find out that wasn’t her sister, her parents were not her parents and she’s probably not Russian. I felt some type of way about seeing that, but I’m not yet sure what type of way that is yet. I loved Pugh as Yelena, though. She really nailed it as Natasha’s annoying little sister, the put upon daughter, and the badass government agent, and she made her interactions with Natasha very watchable, and funny, so much so, that I don’t remember much of Natasha’s other interactions with anyone. Pugh just kind of stole the whole movie, and I could watch an entire movie of her and David Harbour interacting with each other.

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After the first hour, the film follows the usual formula of a quiet opening, and we follow these characters to the bombastic ending, with lots of explosions, and turnabouts, and falling buildings, and what not, although for me the most exciting action scene was watching Natasha escape her captors at the beginning of the movie. That was very smooth, and showcased just how good Black Widow is at stealthy maneuvering.

This isnt a great movie, and it doesn’t even crack my top ten of MCU films, (coming soon!), but its not a bad film either, and worth the watch. If you decide to skip it, that’s okay. Your life will not be upheaved.

A Quiet Place 2

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My mother and I had been greatly looking forawrd to this movie. I don’t think she liked it a whole lot. She thinks there might be yet another sequel. I’m not anticipating such, but will take these movies as they come. I thought this movie, while not as enjoyable as the first, was well worth watching. I’m not really heavily into the apocalyptic genre, but I will enjoy the occasional end of the world scenario, and these movies are very well made, and move pretty quickly as far as the plot. I have a thing about children surviving the End of the World, I guess, because I thought well of movies like The Road Warrior, The Girl With All the Gifts, and The Road.

The opening sequence is very exciting, and shows what happened when the aliens first landed, I’m assuming this was an accident, and that the aliens were on their way somewhere else? You can watch the first five minutes of this on Youtube. Its all very terrifying, and I can only assume that it all happened so fast that humanity reality didn’t have time to rally against them, although we also learn there might be more of humanity left than we thought, since the aliens can’t swim.

The movie takes up where the last movie left off, with the remainders of the Abbot family moving on from their place of safety, since it has largely been ruined by flood and fire. They walk out into the world armed with the knowledge they learned about how to defeat the aliens, and wanting to share that information with the rest of the world. They meet other survivors, both good and bad, and Regan Abbot, the deaf girl from the first film, plays a much larger role of that of world savior, which I was okay with, because I like that actress a lot. I still have questions about how no one else in the world discovered what she did about the aliens, but Imma let that go, because the movie is otherwise very entertaining. I could also have done without the absence of PoC, and the deaths of the only two Black men in the film, but I’m long used to that kind of racial wtf*ery in Fantasy/SciFi movies, and there is a tiny part of me that couldn’t help but laugh at the (rather politically incorrect) idea that PoC are just loud, and maybe we’d be hardest hit by all of this.

This is a good enough movie, but I don’t know that this is the kind of movie that will become a classic over the next couple of decades. Sometimes I get a good feel for that sort of thing. I knew that about Bladerunner, Alien, and The Thing, but sometimes I don’t get any feel about that at all, and have to wait and see, just like everyone else, but there are few alien invasion films that make my top ten SciFi list, and these do, so that must mean something.

Blood Red Sky

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This is one of the most popular Horror films on Netflix right now, and well worth the watch. I even managed to get my Mom to watch this, and she said it was alright, which is very high praise coming from her. I’m not sure exactly what I expected when I sat down to watch this, but I was interested because “vampires!” It wasn’t what I expected, but it was very watchable, and and full of suspense, although I wasn’t particularly scared. If you’re expecting 30 Days of Night levels of suspense, than this isn’t your movie, because things are not quite that harrowing, although it does make a serious effort. But if you liked Army of the Dead, and Snakes on a Plane, then this is basically Army of the Dead on a Plane, only without the humor.

The lead character is a woman who was bitten by a vampire just after her son was born. She’s been raising him for the past ten years, while fighting against her vampiric condition, and is now headed to NY for some type of experimental procedure that will cure her of her “blood disease”, when their plane is hijacked by thieves, who are setting up some innocent Muslim passenger to take the fall for the hijacking. Her son gets caught in the crossfire between the thieves, the passenger, and the vampires. Disaster ensues with a bittersweet ending. For me, the film’s weakest point were people engaging in a number of questionable behaviors, but I didn’t feel like people were being stupid, and I actually liked some of the characters (especially the passenger and the little boy), and that went a long way towards the film’s general likability.

It’s not a great film. I don’t think this will ever become a classic, but its well worth the watch if you like vampire movies, and its a great choice for Halloween viewing. There’s also a certain amount of violence, and gore that comes with it, and of course there’s some child endangerment, if that’s something you can’t abide.

Snake Eyes

Snake Eyes GIFs | Tenor

This movie was somewhat disappointing, but only because I had high, John Wick level, expectations, and I was really enthusiastic to watch it. I enjoyed the second GI Joe movie, which starred Dwayne Johnson, hated the first one, and was kinda lukewarm about this one, so I will probably watch this again, and see if I feel any different. Right now though, I feel this could have been better, although it wasn’t a bad film. It looked really good, and the action scenes were alright, but there was no there there. It lacked emotional depth and appealing characters, but was otherwise a competent, middle-of-the-road, Action flick, set in Japan.

I’m a sucker for the whole Urban, Japan, Bladeruunner aesthetic. You could draw me into watching any movie with the those types of visuals, but in this case I felt the visuals were all promise and no payoff. Like I said, it looks really cool, there are some interesting martial arts and sword fighting scenes, but I didn’t care much about the characters. Plus, I think I’m starting to get a little tired of the Japanese criminal empire themes found in so many of these films, which starts to smack of The Yellow Peril stereotypes of the early 20th century.

Y’all know I go off on character development, but the characters here, while certainly pretty and watchable, merely go through the motions of the plot, and none of them resonated with me, although I tried really hard to like them. I shouldn’t have to try so hard to like the characters, and I eventually gave up, and didn’t finish the film. You may get more out of this movie than I did, because it does look gorgeous and cool, but its character development is on par with the other GI Joe movies in the franchise, in that there’s no one to emotionally really latch onto.

Candyman

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My mom and brother both hated this movie, claiming that it wasn’t much like the first film, and that there wasn’t enough killing in it, I guess. I was not a fan of the first film, because it centered a white character in a cast that was otherwise entirely Black, and Candyman killing members of the community that sort of invented him made no sense to me, (althouhg that is in keeping with the kind of thing that happens with urban legends). This movie tries to make sense of what Candyman is in a way the first movie didn’t really satisfy for me. That was also a movie you could tell was filmed by a white director. In comparing these two films, you can see where that director’s priority was, versus Jordan Peele’s priorities as a Black director. I GOT this version of the movie, in a way that I didn’t get the first one, which wasn’t particularly scary to me, despite the presence of Tony Todd.

This isn’t actually a remake or a sequel in the way that one thinks of those things. I mean, it is a sequel, but its a sequel that, rather than simply picking up where the first movie left off, (although it does do that, sort of), appears to be having an updated dialogue with that film, and it’s a discussion that prompts you to go back and watch it in a new light. I accepted the movie in the spirit in which it was made, while a lot of the people I saw panning this movie as not being as good, were people who held the first one in such high esteem, they really expected this movie to just be more of the same, and Peele and DaCosta had very different ideas about the direction in which they wanted to take things. Some people seemed to want a Slasher movie with the occasional, light, touch of social commentary. This movie is a little heavier, along with a couple of interesting, and unexpected, plot points that I thought made for a much richer film, and I especially liked the ending, and how it creates a mythos that could spawn more sequels.

I was satisfied with this movie. And yeah, I did think it was scarier than the first one because of the implications being made. I’m not sure a lot of the fans of the first movie quite got what was being said, though, since Peele’s productions tend to be rather dense with meaning, but that’s something I especially enjoy in the films and shows he’s worked on, so Candyman worked for me.

Star Wars: Visions

Star Wars: Visions | English Dub Trailer | Disney+ on Make a GIF

One of the reasons I was so excited to watch this anthology series was because I thoroughly enjoyed Japanese animator’s interpretations of Batman, in Batman Gotham Knight, a few years ago. That and Batman Ninja are two of my favorite American superhero anime, so I was really looking forward to the stories that would be told here. As the lore goes, George Lucas was heavily inspired by the Samurai films of Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, when creating Star Wars, and I was really eager to see what the Japanese would do when given free reign to play in a galaxy far, far, away.

It was not as excellent as I thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong, I was able to eek out about four episodes, from the 9 in the anthology, that worked for me, but ultimately, I expected better, and I didn’t get that. I think perhaps I should not have binged all of them one after another, because that made me see the series flaws in a way that I might not have, if I’d just watched one per week. Most of the time, either the animation, the dialogue, or the characters, just fell flat for me, and there was a distinct lack of width, and breadth in the type of stories that got told.

Now, it is possible that the animators were given a set of parameters they had to work within, like maybe the stories had to be about the Jedi and Sith, which is why, given the entirety of that universe to play around in, those were the only subjects of every one of these episodes. I like the Sith and the Jedi, but we know just from the films, that this galaxy consists of so much more than just these two groups of people fighting each other. After a while, I didn’t feel there was any objective to it. They’re simply fighting each other because it’s in the script. The Sith are evil because that’s how they’ve been cast, and the Jedi’s job is to beat them up. In a galaxy full of planet sized predators, Cantinas, Bounty Hunters, robots, Jawas, desert dragons, and Max Reebo, all I got was ten episodes of Sith and Jedi antagonistics, and I expected a little bit more than that.

That said, the episodes that I enjoyed were really awesome, and stood out to me for mostly two reasons, plot and/or animation style, since they weren’t really long enough for me to grasp onto character. I really liked the first one, The Duel, which has a classic American Western approach, where a man with no name protects a town from the depredations of a group of Sith-led bandits, which ends up revealing his true nature. I liked the twist at the end, the animation took a moment to get used to, but is different enough from the rest of the series that it stood out, and the coolness of the tech and characters was definitely a factor. There’s some classic Kurosawa imagery in this one, so if you liked the movie Yojimbo, there’s a few images straight from that movie, and I got a thrill from seeing them.

My ultimate favorite though, was the 5th episode titled The Ninth Jedi. The plot, the tech, the animation, and again, the little twist at the end, made this a winner for me. Episode 7, The Elder was a serviceable piece of work. It wasn’t great, but it was watchable. No twists at the end, but I really didn’t see much of a point to the story, beyond some of the philosophical issues brought up by the characters. And finally there was Akakiri, where I was captured by the animation style. The characters, plot, and dialogue, were serviceable, but it was the nice, clean style of the animation that pulled me in, and again, there was the tiny little story twist at the end that made it worth watching.

Overall, I give the anthology a C+, because I liked almost half the episodes, and there was only one that I actively disliked, and that was episode 3, The Twins. So, once again, your mileage may vary, and you may well enjoy watching all of these, but this was just how this particular series impacted me.

Y: The Last Man TV Series – Episode One

I was interested in this because I read a few of the comic books ,and found the premise intriguing. What would happen to women if all the beings in the world with a Y chromosome were to become extinct. The comic books were written by Brian k. Vaughn and a woman named Pia Guerra, so I didn’t expect the usual blind spots, including the reaction to the deaths of transgender men, and the existence of transgender women, which gets addressed in the most cringe-worthy, transphobic manner possible in the books. Also, take into account the racial angles, where once again, even in future imaginings of the world, even the dystopian ones, white people are still all of the primary movers and shakers of the story, with women of color as side characters, or living along the periphery of their decisions.

To the book’s credit there is some acknowledgment of women of color ,although most of the time I thought the plot was kind of well…dumb. And a bit over dramatic? I didn’t get far enough into the series to know how faithful it is to the books, though. I hope its not too faithful because the books got some issues. Its not that the books are so bad, but there are moments that are going to make you scream at it, and probably throw the book across the room.

The first episode is interesting as we get to see the reaction of the women characters to the deaths of all the men, and the collateral deaths of many women in the aftermath. There is a nod to the idea that without men, the human race is pretty much extinct, except for the existence of some sperm banks that some of the women fight over, in an effort to preserve the human race. The primary theme of this battle is embodied in the existence of the last man left alive, (although I found that hard to believe), named Yorick. This is a name I immediately disliked, I still have no idea why. I just hate that name. But I had questions, too. If there’s one man alive, why wouldn’t there be others, and why wouldn’t the women simply think he was a transgender man? Anyway, Yorick is a wannabe escape artist, who was kind of drifting through life before the apocalypse, and is now drifting through the actual apocalypse, with his pet monkey, named Ampersand, which is a name I liked. Go figure.

Now, I’m gonna have to stop here, because watching the first episode left a bad aftertaste for me. Ultimately, I’m not going to be able to get into this as a series, not because its a badly made show, although it definitely needs some work when it comes to the depiction of women of color and transgender men, but because, there is, yet again, another idea I can’t get past, and I’m not sure why its bothering me here, when its not particularly bothersome in other shows, and that is the idea that white creators are incapable of imagining any type of future in which PoC are the dominant characters, rather than white people. Even in stories that prominently feature PoC, its always white people who are still in charge, making all the decisions, or they are the ones around whom the story revolves. Apparently only PoC can envision ourselves in the future not living according to white dominance.

And now I’ve gotten sidetracked by one of the short films that got made in the run up to the movie Bladerunner 2049, called Nexus Dawn, in which Niander Wallace meets with a political council of some kind to discuss the prohibition of replicants on Earth. The short was directed by Luke Scott, the son of Ridley Scott!, and stars Benedict Wong. I was fascinated by the imagery because the four person council is made up of 2 men of color and one woman, and thinking about that, led me to think about The Matrix trilogy, and how the Wachowski Sisters envisioned a future of PoC and women (except for that one lone white guy who was in charge?). Okay, I’m going off on a tangent here, but watching this series first episode had me thinking about everything except what happened in the actual episode, and that’s a problem.

So no. I probably won’t be watching any more episodes of this, especially when I can’t concentrate on what is actually happening in the show, and keep getting sidetracked by issues that don’t seem to bother me in other shows!

Halloween Month

It is now officially Halloween month, so that means lots of Horror series, movie reviews, and assorted horrifying topics!

Yay!!!

I can’t guarantee I will get to post all my drafts this month, but I’m going to give it a try. I’ve been busy taking care of some personal issues, which leave me pretty intellectually drained, and physically exhausted, by the end of the day, so I can only post when my brain is actually firing on all thrusters. (It’s okay, I’m not sick. Just tired.) Nevertheless, I did promise another post about the things I’ve been watching, and a couple of lists of favorites, and a couple of long form posts. Hopefully, I can get some of these things up before the seasonal malaise, which prompts me to sleep all the time, sets in! (Vitamins are our friends!)

I did start off my favorite month by watching, you guessed it! the 1978 version of Halloween, for the five billionth time, late Thursday night. Next up, the 2018 version in preparation for this month’s release of the sequel, Halloween Kills, which looks awesome.

There are a number of great movies released this month. Along with the Halloween sequel, we’ve got the new Venom film, Let There Be Carnage, which looks like great, campy fun, and the release of Denis Villaneuve’s Dune.

As for today, lets get our Halloween groove on:

Up Now On Medium.com

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Last week I published part two of my three part series on the Mad Max franchise:

https://lakithatolbert.medium.com/george-miller-mad-max-and-the-civilizing-influence-of-women-c591d8fa4661

About how this franchise has always been female-centric, and how the idea of women being the holders and rememberers of civilization is imbued throughout the entire franchise.

Before that I wrote about how the Triple Goddess Myth was reflected in the franchise.

My third and final part of this series will be about how the use of The Promised Land myth is reflected throughout the franchise. That too will be published on Medium.

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Things to look forward to on Medium.com:

Our Bodies Are Haunted (Possession and Body Horror)

Key and Peele: Horror is Humor Without the Punchline

So head on over there to check out some of the neat stuff I’m writing about on there.

I’m Writing for Medium.com

I just want to remind you guys I’ve been writing about movies for Medium.com.

Now some of it is behind a paywall, but you can up to three articles on the site for free each day, and a subscription to Medium is only 5.00 a month.

Fortunately, there aren’t a whole lot of articles up yet, and some of them you may have seen here. Some of them have been edited with more content, and cleaned up for Medium. There are also a couple of personal articles, and at least a couple of rants.

There’s also a not insignificant number of comments that I’ve left on other people’s articles which some of you might find of interest.

So look for, and follow me, under the name:

Lakitha Tolbert

https://lakithatolbert.medium.com/halloween-1978-the-horror-of-framing-and-identification-32b42e2270c6

https://lakithatolbert.medium.com/starring-the-landscape-the-horror-of-po-white-trash-classism-in-horror-pt-1-b0e83c4ad5c8

https://lakithatolbert.medium.com/the-slave-rebellion-genre-9dbeccb5fbc0

You can also find me on Tumblr at:

https://lkeke35.tumblr.com/

The things I write about on Tumblr don’t really relate much to what I write here, though, but it is an opportunity to look at pretty pictures, books, cat and dog videos, humorous posts, and the occasional political rant.

Star Trek Day (9/8/21)

You guys know I’m a big Star Trek fan (I prefer Trek to Wars, actually), so you also know I I couldn’t let this go by without mention.

Star Trek Day was earlier this week, and in acknowledgement of that, Paramount released new trailers for its forthcoming TV Series, Prodigy, and Strange New Worlds, and returning series, Picard, now in its second season, and Discovery, now in its fourth!

Picard Season 2: (2/2022)

I have not paid a lot of attention to this series. It’s not that I don’t like it, just that it was not as compelling for me to watch than Discovery, for example. The first season was okay, but peaked my interest a little more with the addition of Seven of Nine to the cast, and ended on an interesting note between her and Raffaella. I like Rafaella, and I want to see how their relationship develops, so I’m going to watch this new season. I’m a little less enthused at the addition of Q to the series, and hope there wont be a lot of him, and yet more time travel. I’ve also had just about enough of the “dark timelines” tropes in TV shows. Initially, the characters were kind of difficult for me to get into, and that’s part of the reason I wasn’t stanning for this series very much, but I’m willing to give it a try, again.

I don’t always watch a new Star Trek series. I skipped out on Enterprise entirely. It felt it was boring and I didn’t like any of the characters, which was a first for me. There’s always at least one character I find interesting, but not there. I feel like Seven of Nine and The Borg are what saved Voyager from being ignored by me, and there was no one character in particular that saved DS9, but that was a much better written show.

Strange New Worlds (No Release Date Yet)

This is the series I’m most excited about. Anson Mount is an incredibly handsome man, who I never get tired of looking at, so I’m not going to mind watching him for an hour or so each week, but he was a known commodity, since he was introduced in the last season of Star Trek Discovery. What I’m really, really, excited about is the rest of the cast, especially the new Uhura, who is a gorgeous, dark skinned beauty. I am so jazzed to see this, and I don’t know why it never occurred to me that she would be in the show! Uhura has always been one of my icons, and a role model for Black womanhood (as she was for a whole lot of Black women my age), so I’m eager to see how she will be portrayed. Spock was a feature character in the last season of Star Trek Discovery as well, and I was really happy to see that actor’s portrayal of him, which is very satisfactory. He’s no Zachary Quinto, (who is absolutely perfect as Spock), but he’s not bad.

It is my understanding that the reason there is no Sulu and Checkov is because those two characters never served under Captain Pike. They didn’t show up until the Kirk era, but Uhura, Number One, and Spock were there from the beginning. I’m also glad to see Dr. M’Benga. I do remember him from the original series, where he starred in about two episodes, but this new version of him seems to be a series regular, is very handsome, and it’s just nice to see Black men (with facial hair, no less) in Star Trek. The character of Number One has finally gotten a first and last name, and is being played by Rebecca Romjin, (aka Mystique from the X-Men films). I like her a lot here, which is surprising to me because I’ve felt somewhat lukewarm, (and unimpressed), towards that actress for most of her career. But she looks really good, and has captured something of the no-nonsense, all business attitude of the original Number One, as played by Majel Barrett, (who then went on to play Nurse Chapel, who is now portrayed by an unknown actress in this series.)

So yeah, I was already very familiar with these characters from the original series. the only thing is that I’m somewhat unfamiliar with are the new actors playing them. I’m still a little disappointed that no trailer has been released yet, so that’s what I’m now waiting for..

Star Trek Discovery: (11/18/2021)

I’m definitely coming back for this show. I’m liking the changes its made so far. It can take as long as three seasons for a show to really hit its stride, and I feel like Discovery was firing on all thrusters last season, and kept my attention with the addition of some great new characters, and some interesting story-lines outside of the primary one.

Now, what I’d like to see this season, is more development of the bridge crew, and I hate to say this, but slightly less of Michael Burnham. She’s a great character and all, but its time for her to step aside a little bit, and let some of the other characters share the spotlight. We can deal with a couple more episodes that aren’t about her for a minute, while we get to know characters like Jett, Detmer and Owosekun, and Grey. As the season progresses I will probably write some longer reviews and opinions.

So hey, I took the plunge and signed up for two new streaming services, even though I said I wasn’t going to sign up for any more, because I got tired of wondering if I could watch the bootleg versions of certain shows. My criteria was: If a streaming channel has more than ten movies, and more than five series I want to watch, then I’ll probably sign up for it. I subscribed to Paramount, which hosts all the new Treks and most of the old ones, and the Disney Channel because of the new shows they’ve got coming up, and I would like to watch Shang Chi when its released for streaming.

The number of streaming channels I subscribe to is still less than ten, and still under sixty dollars for those, and I actually watch them, which is more than I can say for even half the channels when I had cable. My staple channels were Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, and earlier this year I added HBOMax becasue of the same day release thing they had going. (Yeah, I’m not going to the movies any time soon, and I want to see Dune.)

Next week, I’ll have some mini-reviews of things I watched, in the past three weeks. Next month is Halloween, so look forward to reviews of Halloween Kills, Venom 2, and the new Dune.

Let’s Watch Some New Trailers

So we got some new trailers this week for TV series and movies I’m especially interested in. Here, in no particular order beyond me just liking them, are the trailers for some junk!

And remember:

Rooting Issa Rae GIF

The Wheel of Time

I am not a high fantasy fan, especially. I sort of like Fantasy but I mostly avoid these types of fantasies because Eurocentric fantasies kind of bore me. Its complicated, and I’m really picky. I greatly enjoyed the LOTR movies, and I will very likely watch Amazon’s new show about it, but I have not watched things like The Witcher, and have no intention of doing so. I’m intrigued here because the trailer makes it look very woman-centered, and its a Fantasy series that remembers that women of color actually exist, and sometime we want to see ourselves doing magic and stuff, in a fantasy series.

So yeah, I do know about this particular series, although I have never read it, and have no particular desire to read it. If I like the TV show, I may check out the books, and the trailer looks interesting. Please do not write to me trying to convince me how great it is. It probably is, and I know its really popular among fantasy fans, but I kinda have an aversion to a lot of the stuff.

The Matrix 4: Resurrections Teaser Trailers/Official Trailer

So yeah, I was a bit confused because every time I saw one of these trailers, it had different images and dialogue mentioned, so I was inclined to believe the trailers were not real trailers. Apparently this was done on purpose. Earlier this week, I posted only one of the trailers here, and I took it down, because I wanted to post all of the trailers here now.

Its hard to believe that this franchise is like twenty plus years old! I remember when I saw the first trailer. I had heard of the Wachowskis, because I had seen their movie, Bound, but I didn’t think much of it. It was just something I watched. I had no idea what to expect from The Matrix (well, I knew it was SciFi and computer related) because that first trailer was awesome, but baffling. Think about any one of Christopher Nolan’s trailers, for example. I remember walking out of the theater and having to seriously readjust to reality, because watching it was sort of like having an out of body experience. I hope to repeat that experience with this movie. I am terribly excited for this movie which comes out just in time for my birthday!

No Time to Die

Yes, I’m excited for the Black female character in this movie. No she is not the new James Bond. No she’s not the only reason I’m going to watch this, but she is a big part of the reason. She simply has the designation of 007, since James left the organization, or something. 007 is a title that can be passed to any agent, but expect white fanboys to act a whole-ass fool when this movie is finally released anyway. becasue that’s the shit they do! Acting like shits on social media, every time a PoC gets a job in a movie, is pretty much all they got at this point, and this is our life now. Can you tell, I am very, very, very, very tired of idiotic angry, obtuse white men on social media (Yeah, you guys aren’t stupid.You’re okay.) Okay, lets move on…

I’m not a huge Bond fan, btw. I like some of the movies okay, but for me they’re apart of the Fantasy/Action film genre like the Mission Impossible and John Wick films. I do not sit around arguing with people about who the best Bond girl, or villain, or James Bond is the best. I’m not that emotionally invested, although I understand that some people really love the franchise. I do like Daniel Craig, and I liked him before the Bond films and just followed him over here, so I’m watching the movies mostly because he’s in them, even though he has all of the acting chops of a two by four when he’s portraying this character. I cant make heads or tails of the plot, but it all looks really serious.

MoonFall

This is one of those major disaster movies that get released from time to time. The last movie I watched that was remotely like this, was the Korean produced Ashfall, but I was not especially impressed by it, even though it starred one of my future dream husbands, Don Lee. I don’t think Don Lee is in this movie, but it still looks pretty interesting.

Midnight Mass

I’m not sure what to make of this series, but it all looks quite mysterious, and I am intrigued. Imma check it out.

Mass

This movie looks really intense, and now I’m curious because I’ve always wondered about how people have conversations like this, when someone’s family has hurt your family. Also, I like Jason Isaacs.

Copshop

I like Gerard Butler because 300 was cool, but I do not like Frank Grillo. I don’t know why. I just don’t. Nevertheless, I will probably watch this rather generic looking Crime/ Action/Thriller becasue I like Crime Action Thrillers, and check them out whenever I can. (Bonus points if the movie is made in anywhere in Asia.) I love a good Gun-Fu movie.

Old Henry

its been a while since I’ve seen a good Western and this looks like the typical, Unforgiven/Logan/ Shane – “retired gunman gets back into the fray” type plot, which I never seem to get tired of. I also now a big fan of Tim Blake nelson from the Watchmen series. I am not a huge fan of Stephen Dorfff, but he looks really good here.

Star Wars: Visions

I don’t usually talk about anime on here. Its not that I dislike anime. I love the imagination behind so much of it, and many of the drawing styles are a lot of fun and very beautiful. I’m just really, really, picky about the anime I watch, and my tastes to others would appear to be all over the place. I pretty much stick to the mature stuff but I have and did watch stuff like Astroboy, Star Blazers, Akira, and Ghost in the Shell, but if it has any very young looking, big breasted, and squeaky voiced girls in it, then I’m probably out! I’m also not a fan of any of the other Star Wars animated series. I haven’t watched a single one of them, and have no intention of doing so, but I will watch this. Why? Because this is an anthology of anime artists reinterpreting the Star Wars universe to fit a Japanese aesthetic, and I really enjoyed it when they did this for Batman: Gotham Knight, and because Batman Ninja was the shit! So yeah, I love this trailer and it looks like fun.

Disney plus is making so many good shows, that I finally took the plunge and subscribed, even though I told myself I wasn’t subscribing to any more streaming services. So far, I’ve racked up about 50.00 in streaming services, and I’m okay with that amount, because it’s still a helluva lot less than cable ever was.

Cowboy Bebop

I have watched a limited number of episodes of the anime series, which were just enough to determine that the series (and the movie) was a lot of fun, so I’m looking forward to this live action version. I don’t know all the references here, as I usually do not memorize episode names and stuff, but I do know the characters, and generally like them. I’m not so much interested in the faithful rendition of the look of the anime, as I am in the correct feel of the movie. And hey, its John Cho in an Action movie, so I’m here for it!

‘Candyman’ is Horror with Something on its Mind — The Nerds of Color

Candyman (2021) is Nia DaCosta’s conversation with the original 1992 classic. You know the story: in 1870, freed slave Daniel Robitaille (the amazing Tony Todd) was an artist who fell in love with a white woman. Her father had him …

‘Candyman’ is Horror with Something on its Mind — The Nerds of Color

RIP Ed Asner…A Legend Is Gone…An Homage And My Signed Reaction To His Iconic “You Got Spunk…I HATE Spunk” Quip…

RIP To The Legendary Ed Asner… Incredibly sad news: the iconic Ed Asner, one of the entertainment’s great talents of all time, has died…I am going to…

RIP Ed Asner…A Legend Is Gone…An Homage And My Signed Reaction To His Iconic “You Got Spunk…I HATE Spunk” Quip…