Buy physical media: ‘Merican DVD edition

It’s only natural that we watch one of the most important American documentaries ever on an annual basis. But there are others, too.

I’m always partial to these classic Schulz cartoons as long as Frank Welker is in there somewhere doing a voice.

Haven’t seen either of these. I’m curious about Saints and Strangers, and I’ve heard good things about Sons of Liberty.

And hey, speaking of the Sons, check out this Disney classic. It’s pro-America so they won’t put it on their streaming service, because NO BALLS.

Check out this song from the movie. It SLAAAAAAAAAPS.

What else do you watch leading up to ID4?

TOP GUN: MAVERICK

Really freaking good movie. Why?

Lots of reasons.

–It’s a 36-year sequel to a classic from the 80s that neither negates, retcons, or destablizes its predecessor.

–While we don’t find out what happened with Pete and Charlie, we get enough context on Pete and Penny to know that she’s one of his other frequent flames from the intervening years.

–Tom Cruise is still a fun actor to watch

–The action scenes were incredible, and full of tension.

–Jeez, Miles Teller can act? Never saw that before.

–The respect for Val Kilmer and the way they worked him into the movie was superb. Bro has throat cancer IRL and apparently has to feed himself with a tube these days.

–I’m a sucker for multigenerational stories, especially when they’re done well. Rooster’s similarities to Goose were a little on-the-nose at times, but they had to be, I think; this is a dude who was a little kid in the first movie, lost his dad as a child, and now his mother’s gone. He’s clinging to what’s most important to him (his family) and that comes through beautifully over and over.

–Maverick and Rooster teaming up to overcome their greatest interpersonal obstacles in the third act is a thing of beauty. I’m so starved for good, masculine characters in popular entertainment these days. This was a bro movie for bros and bro-ettes alike.

–Zero postmodern politics is an absolute plus in the year of our Lord two thousand and twenty-two. Kudos to them for keeping it out of the film.

I’ll leave you with Drinker’s video, with the usual content warning for strong language.

I’m hearing excellent things about the new TOP GUN…

Haven’t seen it yet, but The Drinker couldn’t say enough good things about it. Language warning right off the bat.

I’m thrilled to hear that this movie’s so good. I’m going to see it this week. It’s not often in this day and age that we get a thirty-year sequel in the “win” column, so enjoy it.

If you liked it and don’t want to spoil it, sound off in the comments.

Is there anything to look forward to in entertainment?

Definitely not an invalid question. I used to have several books per year on pre-order, but so many series have let me down that I stopped sinking money into it. Lockwood? Fifth book sucked. Arc of a Scythe? Third book was ass. Red Rising? Ignore everything after the original trilogy.

So what am I looking forward to? Well, in books, there are a couple of things:

THE NEW EDITION OF THE SILMARILLION

This will match the Illustrated LOTR that I got this year. Beautiful book. The illustrations were done by Tolkien himself. Legend. Comes out in November, mine’s preordered.

DAVE BUTLER WROTE A TIME TRAVEL BOOK WITH MIKE ROTHMAN

Dave tweeted out the pic this weekend. Excellent cover art, and I have enjoyed books by both of these men, so I expect that a collaboration between the two of their sizeable brains will be very engaging. Dunno when it comes out so stay tuned.

LARRY CORREIA HAS TONS OF STUFF COMING OUT

He always does. He’s Larry. There will be more Forgotten Warrior, more MHI, all that stuff. He’s the one author that I trust to constantly provide me with good fiction.

CRITICAL DRINKER HAS A STANDALONE BOOK THIS AUGUST

I love the Drinker. I tried his other series and didn’t care for it due to content issues. This one sounds awesome though. I’ve got the audio on preorder.

I mean, that all right there is pretty cool.

Are there any good movies coming out?

Short answer is no. I’ve got zero hype for the new Doctor Strange. I don’t trust Disney at all. I’m already hearing that it’s been banned in China so they either included Tibet or gay people in it, two things China hates almost as much as it hates black people. Disney will bravely tell Americans what their education laws have to be, but they’ll bend over and take it for Chinese dollars. They don’t get mine.

Disney’s also making a live-action Chip N’ Dale: Rescue Rangers, but it has Seth Rogen in it, and he’s a giant piece of manure, so yeah, no dollars for him either.

There’s that Top Gun sequel, but it’s a thirty-year sequel. It’s just going to be a rehash of the first one with Maverick as the instructor instead of the student. The cinematography will be cool, I don’t trust the story though.

Jurassic World: Dominion…man, Fallen Kingdom was fun but stupid as hell and full of holes. I have no expectations for this to be any better. But I did just show my kids the first movie so if we catch up on the series, we’ll see.

Lightyear? More openly homosexual propaganda. I understand that this isn’t the fault of the animators or the people who worked on it outside of the writer’s room…so maybe turning this movie into a bomb will make them push back against said writer’s room. Stop. Pushing. Sexuality. On. Kids.

(Then again most of Disney’s customers are childless millennials who spend half their paycheck on cat food? Who knows.)

Thor Four: More Thor. Ha. Ha, ha ha ha. No. Just no. Stop.

Black Adam. Hey, everyone’s tired of superhero movies AND everyone’s tired of The Rock, so if we make The Rock a superhero, maybe that’ll cancel out?

Hocus Pocus 2. Up yours, Disney. This movie didn’t need a sequel. The Sanderson sisters are dead, they can’t come back, otherwise the first movie was pointless. And it’s just gonna be woke anyway. The main present-day characters are all chicks.

Black Panther 2 STAAAAAAAAHP

Shazam 2 STAAAAAAAAAAAAHP

Avatar 2 STAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHP

Enchanted 2 STAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHP

Okay you know what, YOU KNOW WHAT, I OFFICIALLY CAN’T ANYMORE. YOU LOOK THROUGH THIS LIST AND FIND SOMETHING THAT WASN’T PUSHED OUT OF THE BACK END OF A DOG. I’M DONE.

GO READ BOOKS.

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 was pretty good

I know it’s been out for a few weeks and the time for Hot Takes and Clickbait Reviews is gone, but as I’ve stressed this week, I do not care. I’m going to do things when it is good for me to do them.

Last week I took the family to see Sonic 2. Plenty of fun, just as good as the first one, with new characters and a new adventure. The whole “Tom’s sister-in-law gets married” thing was dragged out just a little too much but there were funny parts in it, and that’s what a movie like that is supposed to do.

I mentioned in the first one that Ben Schwartz voicing Sonic was a good idea because it didn’t distract me, I didn’t know who he was or what he looked like. Sonic 2 made me feel validated because Idris Elba was the voice of Knuckles, and that was a little too much. He’s too famous for that, I think. But I’m just a late-30s dad, nobody cares as long as I cough up the money, lol.

Anyway, here’s to the big studios hopefully pulling their heads out of their butts and making more family-friendly stuff with good plots and actual character development in them.

Channel Recommendation: Valliant Renegade

I follow a couple of pop culture channels on YT, specifically ones that report on movie industry news. One such is Valliant Renegade, run by a guy who’s worked in said industry for the last twenty years or so, and knows a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff going on with the major studios.

In his most recent episode he teamed up with a writer called WDW Pro, who runs a website covering the Disney parks in California and Florida. Not really my forte, but with the recent developments in Florida, I appreciated his expertise.

Basically this video covers why the FL government decided to strip Disney’s special status as a borderline independent state within Florida’s borders, how that special status came to be in the first place, and what Disney had been doing with it. Give it a watch.

It wasn’t very long ago that Marvel was actually good…

I’ve got an idea for an eventual video about when DisneyMarvel peaked. No spoilers yet, just know that what I’m about to say totally fortifies the theory:

Netflix-Marvel’s Daredevil series was among the top 3 of trilogies that Marvel has produced on screen in the last 10 years. Maybe top 2. (The Captain America movies were all hits too, pretty much perfect across the board.)

I’m rewatching the series with my wife. It’s her first time through them all. Man alive, compared to what we’ve gotten in the last two years from Marvel, Daredevil is trophy-worthy. I’m not high on the violence, I am extremely high on the story and the values therein.

The first seven minutes of the first episode rapidly establish the key elements of Matt Murdock’s character:

–He lives with his (single) father, who cares a great deal about him. Jack Murdock is devastated when Matt gets in a traffic accident.

–He has selfless tendencies and has since childhood. Matt pushed an old man out of the way of a car accident, getting blinded as a result.

–He’s Catholic, though less devout than his father or grandmother. Nevertheless it’s a core part of who he is. Matt goes to confession and we get some effective exposition about why he’s there.

–He’s proud of his family heritage, specifically his father’s resilience, and believes that he (Matt) has inherited that quality. He’s willing to test the idea. Those Murdock boys have the devil in them.

–He’ll risk his life and well-being to make the city he loves safer, including rescuing helpless women and beating the absolute piss out of human traffickers. End the opening with the scene at the docks, where Matt knocks out three henchmen and lets the devil out on Turk Barrett.

Great writing in TV and film is so hard to come by in the 2020s, it seems. It’s not like all the Marvel stuff was great, don’t get me wrong–and among the Netflix properties, Daredevil was the only good one. My idea of great writing is writing that makes me want to write better, to write like what I’m watching. Daredevil passes that test in spades.

More as we make our way through S1.

So hey, “Sonic the Hedgehog” was surprisingly good.

I missed this one on its first go-round. Wasn’t all that stoked for movies in mid-2020 and there was still a ton of uncertainty going on.

But now, two years later, my boys are old enough to shut up in a movie theater for two hours, so I can get into an ongoing franchise with them. I showed them this trailer and said hey, there’s a sequel out now, so if you CLEAN UP YOUR FREAKING ROOM AND DO SOME CHORES we’ll have a Sonic weekend.

The original plan was to see both flicks. They only earned the first one, so we rented this off Amazon and watched it tonight.

Man, it was really, really good. Ben Schwartz did a great voice for Sonic, and while he’s physically recognizable, he doesn’t have the vocals that constantly distract you, like when Ryan Reynolds played Pikachu. James Marsden proves he’s still got some Hunk left in the tank after playing Cyclops 20 years ago (does the dude even age?) and while they had his character in an interracial marriage, they didn’t make any racial jokes or woke BS.

Imagine that! A movie without Current Day stuff or Social Issue jabs in the year of our Lord two thousand and twenty-something! Just two people of different races who are in love! HOW CAN THIS BE?!

And the story was strong too! I never delved deep into the Sonic lore as a kid–I never had a Sega, but the kid across the street had one, so I played it a few times. As far as I know, they were at least visually true to the source material, and gave us a quick introduction to the world without dragging it out or torturing the backstory. Sonic is a powerful critter, people will want his power, he should hide, or people he love will suffer.

Very basic superhero stuff, but with enough twists and tweaks to keep it interesting.

Solid humor, likable characters, and holy crap, Jim Carrey delivers a 90s-era comedic performance that is just beautiful to watch. Here’s a crazy villain who you’re not rooting for, you’re not agreeing with, but you’re still enjoying, because he’s fun to watch.

It’s no surprise that the first movie did well, and if they hold to this methodology, then I’m not surprised the second one made another truckload of cash.

I’ll post my two cents on that one after I see it.

Trying something new with Radcracker

Instead of doing several small episodes per week, I’ve decided to do one big episode of the main podcast. It’ll drop every Friday. Here’s the first one, and the next one lands tomorrow. They won’t all be 45 mins, but hey, sit down and turn on a game and listen to my opinions.

Channel Recommenation: The Dave Cullen Show

The YouTube algorithm has its misses, but it wouldn’t be the second most powerful search engine in the world if it was made of suck. One of its recs to me over the last year was The Dave Cullen Show, featuring a British host who posts somewhat regularly–if not on a schedule–and has sensible, entertaining breakdowns on the state of pop culture.

Dave doesn’t limit himself to just that, though. He’s big in the tech world, and runs a website at http://www.ComputingForever.com. Caveat, I haven’t checked out the site itself, I just know him through his YT videos, and I back him on SubscribeStar.

Here’s his most recent vid on the state of corporate Star Trek products, namely the new Picard season.