This month's theme was movies in which one character or multiple characters were going mad. I called it March Movie Madness. I did pretty well for the first couple of weeks, and then the virus came and scared the crap out of everybody. Naturally, I turned to apocalyptic movies then. Turns out, zombies and viral outbreaks also tend to star folks who are going quite mad. So all and all, it hasn't been a bad month, theme-wise. But it wasn't as good as it could have been. What I've learned is that choosing a theme that involves something slightly intangible
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Another week of self-isolation, another week of cool things.
Never fear the viral outbreak has not kept me from consuming cool things.
Week #2 of Coronavirus quarantine. I'm not actually all that shut-in. On normal days, I work from home about 50% of the time. The other time I'm in my truck driving to different jobs and doing various manual labor tasks, or going to the bank, or running to the city to pick something up. Most of those things don't really involve interacting with others face to face. While I am home working, my wife and child remained cooped up in the house and that brings lots of interference into my working day. That's not meant to sound like a complaint.
After a week off, I'm back with many cool things.
It has been a weird week. My wife's mother just had hip replacement surgery and the original plan was that my wife would be leaving us today to spend time with her mom. This coming week is Spring Break which means my daughter will be out of school. I still have to work and so there was a bit of a conundrum about what to do with the girl. I kind-of, sort-of work from home so we didn't need to find full-time childcare, but we also didn't want her to sit around watching TV all day. Nor would she be
Foreign Film February comes to and end with a lot of very American movies and the conclusion of a terrific French series.
I watched 23 films in the month of February. That's not quite one film a day but it isn't bad either. My theme this month was foreign films and I watched 14 movies not made in the United States and not initially using the English language. I write "initially" because I watched a few low budget Italian horror films and I could only find them in dubbed versions. Still, I call that a victory. My tentative theme for March is Madness. No, I won't be watching basketball movies, or even sports ones. But rather I'm using the basketball nomenclature and
There's a little bit for everyone - Stephen King fans, French film buffs, Italian horror fans, arthouse nerds - in this week's cool things.
Last month, I watched, on average, over one movie per day. I knew going into February I would not keep up with that schedule. My plan was to watch some of the many television shows I'd missed that everyone keeps talking about. I've managed to not only not watch as many films but also I've hardly watched any series. It has just been one of those months where my pop-culture consumption has been down. Luckily, this week the things I did consume happened to also be pretty cool and so I have plenty to talk about. Bed and Board The
Another week, more cool things.
Last week, I talked about how the themes of this month were going to be foreign films and films made by and starring people of color, in honor of Black History Month. I have utterly failed on that last one. Films by people of color are a large hole in my cinematic viewing history and I really do need to start filling it. But like so many other times when I’ve failed at watching certain types of films during one month, it all comes down to availability. White males have dominated the film industry since there was a film industry,
Foreign Film February is off to a great start.
After a very successful January in which I watched many films from director Jean-Pierre Melville, I couldn’t decide on a theme for the month of February. I knew I wanted to go with some kind of topical theme rather than choosing another director or star as I feared choosing another director would mean that each month would be nothing but directors and perhaps actors, and it seems more fun to mix it up. Eventually, I narrowed it down to two choices: movies made by or starring African Americans as it is Black History Month, or foreign language films as Foreign
January was a great month for cool things. Here's hoping February has just as many.
I officially watched 34 movies in the month of January. That’s more than one movie per day. That’s a record for me. Only nine of those were movies I’d previously viewed. Six of those were from Jean-Pierre Melville, my Artist of the Month. I really enjoyed trying to watch a bunch of Melville films in January. I didn’t see all of the movies he directed but that’s a pretty good chunk. I’m not sure what my theme will be in February, but I’ll have to decide by tonight. I also suspect I won’t keep up my pace. There are a
Happy Chinese New Year, everybody.
I watched a lot less Jean-Pierre Melville films this week than I did last week. In fact, I only watched one, but it was a really good one. I'll probably try to catch another couple this coming week to finish out my month of Melville and then I'll have to decide what February's theme will be. But what I missed in Melville this week I made up for in lots of other random things. I tell ya, I must have been eating my Wheaties or something this month. I regularly struggle finding five cool things to talk about each week.
This week I dig deep into French director Jean-Pierre Melville's films and we mourn the loss of a great drummer.
For the last two years, I have spent the months of October and November viewing movies through a theme. In October, I’ve naturally watched as many horror movies as I could, and in November, I’ve been a part of #Noirvember (November + Film Noir). Like most people, I suppose I typically watched movies randomly. I turn on various streaming services, or look through my DVD collection and watch whatever looks interesting at that moment. It has been really fun to watch movies through a theme. At the end of both of these months, I’ve thought of ways of extending this
Another week filled with cool new things.
Last month, I finally broke down and subscribed to Disney+. With The Rise of Skywalker coming out, I knew we’d want to watch some of the films, and with my daughter off for Christmas break, I knew we’d enjoy watching some Pixar or Marvel movies. We’d also be spending a week at my in-laws with all my wife’s family so I figured I could bring my Amazon Fire box and we’d all enjoy Disney+ more than regular cable TV. All of this was true, but mostly I wanted to watch The Mandalorian, Disney+’s new Star Wars series. We had a
A new year brings many new cool things.
I hope everyone had a great holiday season. I had a great time with mine and my wife’s family. I received some wonderful gifts (including that spectacular Godzilla set from Criterion and some Grateful Dead socks). I also got some much-needed rest. With a couple of weeks off, I have lots of cool things to talk about. It was really hard to just pick five, but never fear, I’m sure I’ll slip some of the things I consumed over my break during the next few weeks. Universal Horror Collection, Vol. 3 This collection from Shout Factory continues to cover Universal
My last cool things until 2020
It is, as the song says, beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Around here anyway. The tree is up, stockings are hung, presents are piling around the room. We don’t have a fireplace and there is no snow, but Christmas is certainly coming. This means two things for me and this little column. This time of year means the prestige, Oscar-hopeful films are all in the theaters and the big boxed sets and designer blu-rays are being released in hopes of catching all that Christmas money. I’ve spent the last week or so watching numerous films in a couple
Even a head full of junk can't keep me from cool things.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I enjoyed some time with my family (who I don’t see that often even though we all live in the same town) and ate way too much turkey and pie. Obviously, I took the week off from writing about Five Cool Things, but I did, in fact, consume many cool things over the last few weeks, so let’s talk about them. Briefly. Truth be told, this post-Thanksgiving week I’ve felt pretty miserable. Change in seasons always mess with my allergies and this week has been a doozy. I’ve not been sick-sick, so I’ve
I watched some movies this week, and rediscovered an old game.
This week, I saw consumed some new things, but mostly revisited older ones. I also found and rediscovered things I thought were gone. I bought a Kindle back when my eight-year-old daughter was just a baby. I bought the cheap one, without any fancy software that lets you do things besides reading (because I knew I'd do everything but read on it if it was available). I wanted to be able to read with one hand so I could hold her in my lap while doing it. I loved it. Still do, actually. I'm still a huge fan of real
Who needs Disney+ when we've got the Criterion Channel?
Disney+ launched this week and it seems to be all anyone can talk about. When it was initially announced, I was excited about it. Figured I’d subscribe the very first day, and thought it might be a replacement for Netflix. Now that it's launched, I find I’m not all that interested. The thing is I already own the good Marvel movies, or I’ve watched them recently, and the other ones I’m not all that keen to see again. Ditto with the Star Wars films. There are some Disney animated films I’d like to see again, but those aren’t the type
I am joined by a guest this week.
We are right smack in the middle of Noirvember and it has been super fun reading everybody's discussions on the various film noirs they've been watching. My own experience has been pretty good. I've seen some excellent noirs, some not so excellent, and I've gotten distracted by films that aren't noirs at all. I finished a couple of horror films that I didn't get to during last month's 31 Days of Horror film watch. Also cool this week, I am joined by a guest and fellow Sentry, so let's get started. The Blob (1958) The wife and I started this
Halloween may be over but we've got some scary cool things to talk about.
My apologies for missing last week. My wife and I both came down with some nasty cold/allergy/flu thing and I just wasn’t up to writing about cool things when I was feeling so bad. But never fear, dear reader, I consumed many cool things during these last two weeks and I am ready to talk about them. Today, is, of course, November 2nd, which technically means the end of Halloween season (and begins the most excellent Noirvember), but for one more day, we will be talking about a lot of horror movies. So sit back, grab your best stabbing knife,
Cool things abound this week, come inside and find them.
My wife’s folks are in town for the weekend and my daughter is dying for us to take her to the pumpkin path so let’s get to what was cool this week. And Soon the Darkness This very British and very early 1970s thriller finds two young women traveling through the French countryside by bike. After a heated argument, one of them travels to the next village while the other stays back to sunbathe next to a small grove of trees. She is never seen again. The film then follows the first girl as she tries to find out what
With Autumn come many cool things.
It is finally starting to feel like Autumn around here. After an unseasonably hot September, October has come and with it cooler weather. I love this time of year. I love getting out the sweatshirts, roasting marshmallows in the backyard fire-pit, and watching the leaves change. October also means Halloween, our annual pumpkin-carving party, and horror movies. I spent a lot of time in September mapping out what horror movies I’d watch this year and then promptly ignoring it (so far). I don’t know, exactly, what I love about horror movies but I’ve loved them as long as I remember.
It has been a long week but I'm here (if a little late) with some cool things I discovered.
My brother spent this week in Japan with his son, my sister, and her husband. The sister told the nephew that they’d take him anywhere in the world when he graduated high school. He chose Japan. Mainly because he is a gamer and they do a lot of that stuff in that country. They seem to be having a blast. Here stateside, things have been a little tougher. When I’m not writing about cool things, I run a little family business with my dad and that brother. With him gone, the father figure and I have had to pick up
Come read about all the cool things I discovered this week.
It's the weekend. Let's get to it. The MCU's Captain America If you’ve read my writings in these pages over the last few years then you know my relationship with the MCU has changed several times. I’ve gone from complete indifference to kind-of liking it to full-on fandom in the 10-plus years they’ve been making movies. What this means is that while I have seen all of the movies they weren’t always watched as a fan, so I really need to watch them again. My daughter, who is younger than the MCU, has not seen many of those older ones
Let's hope next week is cooler than this one.
I went to a late showing of It Chapter Two last night. It was not good. It was not cool. I watched several movies this week which were also not cool (some of which you can find reviews of on this site). I started Doom Patrol yesterday and immediately regretted it. If this article feels a little sparse this week, you now know why. If I don't watch something that blows me away soon I may have to turn this article into 5 Kind of OK Things. Kid Icarus Every now and again, I like to play some old games
I might be getting old, but I'm still watching cool things.
This getting older thing is kind of a bummer. The other day I was bemoaning how old I'm getting and noted that I'm already 42 stinking years of age. My wife kindly reminded me that I'm actually 43. I'm now on blood-pressure meds, I wear reading glasses, and I've got to watch my cholesterol. I used to be a night owl. I'd stay up to all hours of the night and still be able to get up for work and get things done. For the last few years, I've been able to stay up until midnight but after that, I
With a week this cool, it is hard to believe it's still technically summer.
It has been a weird summer. June was filled with torrential rains, flooding most of the area for weeks on end. It was for the most part unusually cool. Oh sure, we had several days in the mid-90s but I don't think we ever broke 100 degrees, which is super weird for Oklahoma. We mostly stayed in the upper-80s, which is quite warm but nothing like the horror show summer usually is. Now that it is the middle of September, when temperatures should start cooling off, we are back in the mid- to upper-90s. Who knows what the winter will
School might be back but I'm still discovering cool things to talk about.
School is back in full swing, which always messes with my media consumption. The lazy summer, full of long days watching interesting TV shows and fascinating movies and reading great books, has now turned into evenings that become a blur making sure homework is completed, papers are signed, and baths are taken. Soon enough, the girl will be back doing Girl Scouts, art class, and gymnastics, and we'll hardly get an evening to ourselves. Not that I'm complaining. I enjoy that my daughter is involved in so many activities and living a full life. Well, maybe I'm complaining a little
I'm ready to talk cool things once again.
Welcome back to Five Cool Things, the weekly article where I discuss all the interesting, really good, and very cool things that I’ve discovered over the past week. I took the long, hot summer off but I’m done with all my vacationing, school is starting back, and I’m ready to talk cool things once again. I watched and read a lot of interesting stuff over the summer and I don’t have time to talk about it all, but here are some of the coolest things I consumed over the break. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown The Criterion
How about some cool things to start your weekend?
It has been a wild few days around these parts. We’ve had major storms all week - big thunderstorms, lots of flooding, and tornados from every directions. The Brewster’s and our property remained perfectly safe but it got a little harrowing for a few nights. Some people binge watch Netflix series; we binge watch the weatherman. When the weather was calm, I did get in some really cool stuff so lets talk about it. Chernobyl Consider me a Jared Harris fan. I liked him as Lance Pryce on Mad Men. I thought he made a great Moriarty in Sherlock Holmes:
Here's all the cool things I consumed this week.
It has been a crazy week for me work-wise. I have been busy, busy, busy, most of which kept me in my truck driving from town to town all over the county. I probably put a 1,000 on the odometer while never going more than 40 miles from my house. This meant when I finally got home I was exhausted. Luckily there was TV and movies to provide their endless comfort. Here’s what I watched and enjoyed. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) I watched the Phillip Kaufman remake of this science fiction classic a few weeks back and decided
It is the weekend so let's talk about some cool things.
I follow a lot of entertainment writers on social media. Usually, this is great as I enjoy reading all the discussions about new movies and television shows. It is also a bit of a minefield as there are often posts about things I’ve not yet seen and while most writers are careful to avoid big spoilers, it's still a possibility and so I must always tread carefully. This has been especially true the last few weeks. The last season of HBO's hugely popular series Game of Thrones has been running this month and there was some other gigantic blockbuster that