Recent Media April 2024 Edition

A few things that found their way in front of my eyeballs of late.

Monarch: Legacy Of Monsters. Apple TV+. I'm as surprised as you are that this was actually rather good as Godzilla things go. Kurt Russell was great in it, Wyatt Russell was also great doing a pretty good impression of his Dad.

Gravity. Yeah, the George Clooney Sandra Bullock movie. First re-watch since I saw it at the movie theater when it first came out. Made all the more entertaining because of a group of young kids shouting profanity down the front (I remember my first beer as well) who got kicked out to rapturous applause. Anyway, yeah this holds up extremely well. Fantastic movie. Perhaps the most George Clooney that ever George Clooney'd? That would probably be Oceans 13 mind.

Life. Because why watch one sci-fi thing, when you could watch two? Hiroyuki Sanada is great, Rebecca Ferguson is great. Ryan Reynolds and Jake Whatshisface were also present. But this movie dear reader, while not getting great reviews, is excellent. I would watch it again right now.

Constellation. Apple TV+. Because why watch two sci-fi things, when… well, you get the idea. Apple TV+, while not having the catalogue of Netflix, has had some fantastic tv shows of late. This one is no exception. An accident on the ISS forces (some/all) of the astronauts to return to Earth. Sort of. Great cinematography, this show looks like a million dollars. I'd love to live in their house in Hamburg. Noomi Rapace is great in this. And grumpy Jonathan Banks is grumpy. "Mamma"…"Alice" when you get to that episode you'll know what I'm talking about. Would like to see a second season.

Stephen King – Billy Summers. This book was a delight. An assassin out for one last job. A coming of age story. And two novels in one cleverly handled. I've been a fan of King's since I was a teenager and always forget what a great story teller he can be.

3 Body Problem. Netflix. What happened was, I'd learned people who read the books weren't impressed by the TV adaptation? And yet the premise sounded great, and the trailer sucked me in. So I went in cold. And it was glorious. To the point where I've now bought the first book in the trilogy and I'm a quarter through it. Fantastic story.

This Is Us. Netflix. My wife and I started watching this on live terrestrial TV when it first came out and kinda forgot about it somewhere around season two ish. So we watched it from the beginning to the end. It gets a lot of flack for being trauma porn & needing to teach a life lesson every episode. But I dunno, as guilty pleasures go, this was pretty good.

Röyksopp – Profound Mysteries III. I've become somewhat obsessed with this album and have played it to death this week. It's playing right now in fact. Give it a listen if you haven't already.


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Recent Media March 2024 Edition

A few things that found their way in front of my eyeballs of late.

Maggie Moore(s). You know how you're sitting on a plane and being nosy looking at what the bloke in front of you is watching on his screen? I see this movie playing with Tina Fey, John Hamm as a Police Chief, and Nate from Ted Lasso! So I find it and watch it. And it's just a fun black comedy that I loved. Don't be put off by the lukewarm reviews.

Wonka. This was an absolute delight. Timothée Chalamet an excellent choice to play the title character. Fun songs, visually impressive, an all round good time.

Peaky Blinders season one. I might be one of the few left on the planet who hadn't watched this. The Peaky Blinders were a street gang based in Birmingham, England, operating in the early 1900s. Cillian Murphy excellent as head of the family Tommy Shelby. And you can inject Sam Neill's Northern Irish accent into my veins. Six seasons all told, I can't wait to get started on season two.

Beastie Boys Story. Mike D and Ad-Rock on stage in Brooklyn telling the story of the Beastie Boys. As a huge fan I loved every second of this. I learned a lot about their early years as a hardcore band before taking a chance with rap. How the band evolved from the Fight For Your Right years is an impressive tale. They're both so engaging, I could have listened to them all night. Of course it prompted a Beastie Boys listen fest.

Poor Things. I don't remember ever walking out of a theater going what the hell did we just watch?, but in a very good way. Give all the awards to Emma Stone who is truly excellent in this movie. A visual masterpiece, the cinematography is breathtaking. If you kinda squint it's a retelling of Frankenstein's Monster maybe. Every scene has something to make you feel just a little uncomfortable. 10/10 bravo.

The Creator. Set in a future with AI and robots. Except the robots are kinda human and drink tea and smoke, and stuff. AI is outlawed in the US after a nuclear bomb drops on LA. So all the AI'ing happens in Asia. Where the US is just allowed to bomb all the time because AI bad. The locations are superb, and the special effects are second to none. It's a fun ride if at times it doesn't make lot of sense.

Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster. I'd watched A Year And A Half In The Life… back in the early 90s on VHS documenting the making of the Black album. Completely missed their second foray into similar territory in 2004. Fascinating look behind the scenes of Jason Newstead leaving, James Hetfield going into rehab for almost a year, and their subsequent hiring of Robert Trujillo. I've had an on and off relationship with Metallica over the years, but I'm a sucker for any and all behind the scenes documentaries about bands in general. This one is great.


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Recent Media January 2024 Edition

It's been a while since I've done one of these media catch ups. So why not write the first one of 2024.

Shrinking. Apple TV+. Created by Bill Lawrence and Brett Goldstein of Ted Lasso fame. Jason Segel plays a grieving therapist who decides to become drastically more involved in his patients' lives. Harrison Ford plays his boss. This show is an absolute delight.

Silo. Also Apple TV+. Set in a dystopian future where people live underground in a huge silo. No one knows why they can't go outside, no one knows how long the Silo has been there. Or do they? Everything about this is so right up my alley. Rebecca Ferguson and Tim Robbins are just great in this.

Wool – Hugh Howey. What happened was, I loved Silo so much that I couldn't wait. Season one ended amid the writer's strike; no telling when a second season would come out. I decided to read Hugh Howey's original trilogy of books and my mind is blown. Wool is the first in the series and different than the TV show in subtle ways. Season one only covers half of book one. There's just so much more to it. Highly recommended.

• The Bourne Movies. Even the one with Jeremy Renner, which is more Bourne adjacent than anything. In all honesty, they're just an excuse to make the same movie over and over. A leak of secret CIA programs. Bourne remembers more about his past. An asset is dispatched in a failed attempt to kill Bourne. Obligatory chase scene or two around a European city. The CIA chief ends up dead or in an oversight committee/jail. And queue Moby Extreme Ways music at the end. They're all entertaining in their own way.

The Deer Hunter. A De Niro classic I'd never seen before. It's long. It's intense. You're probably going to want to do something fun after watching it. But it's really good. What a cast. Meryl Streep and Christopher Walken were both so good.

The German Wife – Kelly Rimmer. Inspired by Operation Paperclip, an enthralling tale of life in Nazi Germany, rocket science, and family dynamics. The author skillfully moves back and forth between the rise of the Third Reich and 1950s USA where the Germans are helping win the space race.

Heat. Arguably the best heist movie of all time. Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Val Kilmer all excellent. The score is wonderful with some delightful synth fills.

Slow Horses Season Three. Score one more for Apple TV+, who have been one of the more consistent streaming services of late. The third season of Slow Horses is great. Set in London, a band of MI5 outcasts under the supervision of their obnoxious and jaded boss Jackson Lamb, save the day. Gary Oldman was born to play that role and deserves all the awards. This might be my favorite of the Apple TV+ shows of the last few months.

The Fall Of The House Of Usher. Netflix. Inspired by various Edgar Allen Poe works, Mike Flanagan's latest mini-series hits all the right spots. Bruce Greenwood, Mary McDonnell, and Mark Hamill all great. Not quite as good as The Haunting Of Hill House or Midnight Mass, but still highly recommended.

• As for music, so far this year I've been slightly obsessed with all things Shoegaze. Slowdive, Ride, and Magic Wands all in my ears regularly. And then just this week, out of nowhere, A Flock Of Seagulls' song randomly played from my liked songs playlist. So for the past few days I've been listening to their first three albums. They get a bit of stick and are certainly not exactly very cool, but their back catalogue is great. Very underrated.


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Consciousness Catch-up

Things that should have been Tweets, yet weren't, but stayed in my head nonetheless.

• Man those early Simple Minds albums are so good. Sons And Fascination and Sister Feelings Call just sublime.

• Apple TV+ has some pretty great shows you should watch. Severance, The Shrink Next Door, Ted Lasso, Silo, Foundation, The Essex Serpent, Slow Horses, Shrinking.

• A round up of other TV shows worth your time. The Peripheral, Wednesday, 1899, The Last Of Us, Black Sails, Beef, Hunters, Outer Range, From, Night Sky.

• I'm suffering from Marvel fatigue. It's the only thing I can think of why all of a sudden the thought of watching the TV shows or movies makes me go meh. I might be missing out on some gems by not watching anything since Loki. But I just can't bring myself to watch them.

• I found my old Dr Martens boots the other day. Nostalgia of the olden goth years. I mean, I still have a thousand black t-shirts, that's never changing but they're the grown up ones.

• After trying both Mastodon and Bluesky, I keep getting drawn back to Twitter. A cesspool of a service undoubtedly made worse by Musk certainly, but everyone I like following is still there. And lo, you go (or stay) where the people are.

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All The Predators

What happened was, inspired by the recent watching of Prey, we were talking about Predator movies at work. And so begins the team watch of all of them in order. I'm this far in:

Predator 2
Alien vs Predator
Aliens vs Predator Requiem

Thus far they have gotten progressively less good as they go. But still all entertaining nonetheless.

Three left to go, one I've not seen before (Predators), the likely worst one of them all (The Predator), and then ending on a high note with Prey.

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Recent Movies Jan 2022 Edition

Some movies I've watched of late that I thought were quite good.

Dunkirk. Christopher Nolan did a wonderful job capturing the horror of WWII soldiers awaiting rescue.

Blade Runner 2049. Possibly the last person on Earth to watched this and I really enjoyed it. Unpopular opinion: it's probably a better movie than the original? And because it's Denis Villeneuve it looks absolutely gorgeous.

Justice League. Generally panned as being a bit crap. But I must say that I enjoyed it. Story in places made absolutely no sense but was still fun. I was on a long flight when I watched it so perhaps anything would have been entertaining?

Eternals. Had a few of my friends say this wasn't very good either. But again, I really enjoyed this and was a fun ride. And bonus Salma Hayek so…

Jojo Rabbit. Hitler youth? Imaginary Taika Waititi Adolf? Was funny and ultimately heartwarming. Sam Rockwell and Scarlett Johansson were great in this.

The Suicide Squad. James Gunn made a masterpiece here. Everything about this was great. One of the most entertaining movies I've seen in ages.

Gone Girl. Ben Affleck was really good in this. I hadn't read the book so didn't know all the twists and turns were coming. Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross soundtrack not half bad. If you haven't watched this, you really should.

Don't Look Up. Comet denialists. Meryl Streep is great as a Trump like President. A great movie but it rang so true of the recent whitehouse that it's not really satire and in many ways kinda depressing.


Media Consumed July/August Catchup Edition

Things I've watched of late. Forgot to do a July one, so two months in one.

Schitt's Creek. My wife has raved about this show for a long time, and I've caught a lot of the episodes but never watched them all. So we did, every night, over many many weeks. It's just as good as everyone says it is. Ewww David. I'd watch it all again in a heartbeat.

Dark. "The end is the beginning, and the beginning is the end". A German sci-fi/mystery show. Three seasons of, well, perfection. The story is just so good. The characters are great. The cinematography impeccable. Know that this is a show set on medium difficulty level. You can't just put this on and scroll Twitter. Everything has a purpose and many scenes have a satisfying payoff many episodes/seasons later. When it ended I thought it was probably the best TV show I'd ever seen. It's one of those shows where you're genuinely disappointed there's nothing more. Watch this immediately if you've never seen it.

Loki. Speaking of cinematography, if this show doesn't win an award then it's a travesty. I think this was probably my favorite of the three Marvel TV shows so far. (Well, Wandavision was really good…) But Loki has Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson. Who, quite frankly, I could watch on screen all day. Some of these episodes had a big Dr Who feel to them. And I am here for that. Glad it's coming back for a second season. Can't wait.

The Tomorrow War. A thoroughly entertaining sci-fi tale. Got some negative feedback but don't let that put you off. Plotholes sure. But suspend disbelief and just have fun with it.

The Morning Show. This was a rewatch with season two approaching. Just as good the second time around. In general I didn't think I was gonna like this show at all but turns out I was hooked from the first episode. Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon are great. The real standouts for me though are Billy Crudup and Mark Duplass.

The Bad Batch. I absolutely loved The Clone Wars, some of the best Star Wars content around, particularly the season seven four episode Siege Of Mandalore arc. Now, could they really build an entire series around characters that appeared in a couple Clone Wars episodes? Turns out yes, kind of. The Bad Batch didn't hit the highs of The Clone Wars, but it also didn't sink to the lows of The Clone Wars. I'll be watching season two.

The Haunting Of Hill House. This was great, the story is good, well acted, and oh my did it ever look good.


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Media Consumed June 2021 Edition

Things I've watched of late. Well, in June. This is what happens when things sit in your drafts for weeks.

Lost In Space. I vaguely remember watching the original 1960s show on re-runs when I was a kid. Actually the only thing I really do remember is the robot saying "danger Will Robinson". Anyway, this is the 2018 re-imagining of that. And it's an utterly fantastic bit of sci-fi. Two seasons with a third and final to come. Great stuff.

Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles. What happened was, I watched Terminator: Dark Fate and enjoyed it. Enough that I wanted to consume more & remembered the TV show from 2008. A younger Lena Headey as Sarah. Unfortunately cancelled after two seasons, it's some of the best Terminator out there. Plus Summer Glau so…

The Road. Post apocalyptic survival movie. I'm a total sucker for all things post apocalypse and this movie delivered. You never find out what happened to the world and why it got so bad. Just a father/son journey to the coast. Because things will be better there. Viggo Mortensen is just so good in this. Quite possibly one of the most depressing movies I've watched. But I couldn't look away as it's so well done. You'll want to do something a little more cheerful after watching this.

Ted Lasso. Now, I know I already mentioned it last year but the second season STARTS THIS WEEK. So what better way to get prepared than watching season one all over again. If you've never watched this, you really should, it's that good. We're Richmond till we die.

Army Of The Dead. So a group of mercenaries led by Dave Bautista have to go into a walled off Las Vegas full of Zombies. It's both utter crap and completely enjoyable all at once. You have to suspend your disbelief and there are plot holes wide enough to fall through. But I kinda liked it.


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Media Consumed May 2021 Edition

Things I've watched of late. Mostly good. Mostly.

The Falcon And The Winter Soldier. The most recent Marvel TV series on Disney+. As a whole I enjoyed it if viewed as one long Captain America movie. In weekly installments I'm not sure it worked as well. Anthony Mackie and Wyatt Russell were great. But the flag smashers were terrible villains, and I don't think the series really stuck the landing.

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. Speaking of Anthony Mackie, he's in this too. And this was a fun movie. What if Abraham Lincoln was a bad ass Vampire killer? Bonus points for Rufus Sewell, and who doesn't love them some Rufus Sewell?

Star Wars Biomes. If you own an Apple TV, you know how utterly fantastic the aerial drone screensavers are. So this is like that, but set in Star Wars locales. Hoth is just fantastic.

For All Mankind. Season two just came to a close. And it was one of the best seasons of TV I've watched in a long time. Actually this has got to be one of the best TV shows I've had the pleasure of watching. If you've not seen it, and have an Apple TV+ subscription, watch it immediately.

Fear The Walking Dead. There is no amount of apocalyptic end of the world media that I find too much. Possibly my favorite genre. A spin off of its big sibling show The Walking Dead, it started out well, faltered for a couple seasons, but is back to being good in season six.

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One Word Movie Review Thor: Ragnarok


I realize I'm the last person on Earth to watch this. But this was just so very very good. The humor really made it. Chris Hemsworth is quite simply sublime casting in that regard. Right at the start when he's hanging talking to Surtur and the chain twists and he's "oh, hang on, I'll be round again in a bit". And I, for one, would have loved to see much much more of Korg "Piss off, Ghost".

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