For reasons I won’t get into here, I’ve decided to shut my little music blog down. Probably permanently. There are a lot of emotions involved with that. I’ve run The Midnight Cafe since 2004 and I’ve been talking about live music since 2008. That is more than a decade of my life. For most of that, I have writen at least one post every day. The blog had become a part of me. It was in my DNA. To walk away from it feels like losing something essential. The emotion I wasn't expecting from this was a sense of relief.
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Here's some cool things I saw this week.
I want to celebrate things that make life better. So here we go.
It has been one rough week. My professional and personal life have been filled with much stress. I don’t want to get into the gory details except to say that even when life bogs me down, I can always turn to art to cheer me up. And on that front, it was a very good week. I watched some interesting movies and enjoyed the trailers on some movies that haven’t been released yet. That’s why I do this. I want to celebrate things that make life better. So here we go. House on Haunted Hill (1959) This isn’t exactly a
I turned a year older this week and still managed some cool things.
I turned 43 on Monday. I took my kid ice skating on Saturday and took myself to the big used-book store afterwards. Had dinner with my extended family on Sunday (my father shares my birthday with me so we always have dinner). On the actual day, my wife made some pork egg rolls and we stayed in to watch a classic Doctor Who. It was low key, but good. I’m too old to want a big night out and young enough to appreciate being able to enjoy the things I like. It was a good rest of the week too.
It is a big week for big trailers to drop (plus some other cool things).
As someone who pretends to be an entertainment writer, I can tell you there are weeks when there just isn’t anything going on. No new big movies in the theater or on home video. No trailer drops or casting rumors. Nothing. Then there are weeks when there is so much going on you are afraid to refresh your browser for fear of yet another thing to get excited about appearing. Holy cow, this was a big week. So let's get to it. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood There have been rumors and speculation about Quentin Tarantino’s '60s Hollywood movie
It was a very cool week.
I went to see a special showing of Tom Baker’s last story as the Doctor in the theater this week. It was lots of fun but at some point the realization hit me that I’d just spent about $40 (tickets plus drinks and popcorn for two of us) to watch an old television show that I already own on DVD. These are the times we are living in. It was totally worth it though, to see it on the big screen and be surrounded by fans. I saw some other cool stuff to so let's talk about it. The Lobster
Another week, another five cool things.
It has been a weird week. Last weekend, it snowed. Monday the temperature dropped to nearly zero degrees Fahrenheit. Tomorrow, it is supposed to be sunny and the high temperature is in the 60s. We’ll probably go to the park. Last week, we were throwing snow balls. Work has been stressful too. We’ve got over a million dollars in houses either being built or recently completed. They need to be sold, and soon, or we are in a world of trouble. I didn’t watch a lot of movies either. I got in a couple and a little television, but mostly
It is once again cold outside, but here are some cool things to keep you occupied.
We moved back to Oklahoma a few years ago, but no matter how long I am here, I will never get used to the weather. After a long winter for the last week or so, it was starting to feel like Spring. The sun is setting later. The weather has been reasonably warm. My daughter has been playing outside. Then it turned cold again. I am so ready for this to end. It isn’t that this winter has been that brutal. It has gotten below freezing quite a bit but nothing anywhere near zero degrees. We haven’t had a huge
Here's five cool things to check out over the weekend.
Last October, I watched a bunch of horror movies because, well, Halloween. I had a lot of fun watching things I’d not seen before and decided it was an excellent idea to create a theme for each month. November became Noirvember and I caught numerous crime thrillers. December obviously led me to Christmas movies except I don’t really like Christmas movies so I didn’t really watch that many. January was intended as Oscar month, and while I did watch a few Academy Award-nominated films, it wasn’t enough to really satisfy the requirements of the theme. February is for foreign films
Guess who has some cool things to talk about this week?
We had some friends over tonight to watch a movie (more on that in a minute), which means I’m sitting down to write this relatively late in the evening Friday, which means we’re gonna get right to it. Like now. Audition I had seen a few Takashi Miike movies before Audition so I thought I was prepared for what was to come. I expected sadistic violence and perversion. I was not ready for a rather staid, emotional, romantic drama. Talk about your shocks. Then, of course, once you’ve settled in for a surprisingly normal movie from the masters of crazy
I watched some cool movies this week and remember a great actor.
It has been cold here in Oklahoma. Like really cold. Like, well, not as cold as it's been in places like Chicago, but it's been below freezing and that’s cold enough for me. It's the kind of cold that makes me want to stay inside, light a fire, and curl up with a good book. But since we don’t have a fireplace and my daughter doesn’t let me read for more than fifteen minutes at a time, instead I cranked up the heater and watched lots of movies. Here’s five of them that I enjoyed. Phantom Boy Last fall, it
It's the weekend so what not read about some cool things?
The sickness is finally starting to abate here in the Brewster household. I’m still coughing a bit but the head is mostly clear and (I hope) the infections are all gone. They feel like they are anyway. It was another week filled with trying to get through some television shows I’ve already mentioned (how about that Barry season finale? That’s a dark place I wasn’t expecting it to go). But there is plenty of new stuff to talk about so let's get to it. Eighth Grade Apparently, I now empathize with the fathers in teenager movies more than the actual
Doctors, Gods, superheroes and more are all cool things happening this week.
One of the problems with having so many great television series airing on so many different services is that it's difficult to stick with one thing. I regularly find myself watching a few episodes of something, really enjoying it, but then switching over to some other show that looks awesome. The intent is to come back to the first thing but then there is not only a second show but a third and fourth one and before I know it, it's been a year since I sat down with the first show. This is especially true for me as I
I got me some HBO and found some cool things.
I cancelled Britbox this week, not because they are a bad service but because I like switching my streaming services up now and again. I wasn’t sure what I was going to subscribe to next, spent entirely too much time going through them all before making a decision, actually. Then I saw that the third season of True Detective was starting, and I immediately signed up to HBO. I caught the first two episodes (which I’ll talk more about in a minute) then started in on several other HBO shows I’ve been hearing good things about (one of which I’ll
This week was back to school and back to watching lots of movies.
It was back-to-school week for my daughter, which means some adjustments for everybody. Baths need to be taken every night (we let her slide a lot more often on vacation days) and bed times are earlier. The mornings go from lazy to frantic and we have to remember to pick her up in the afternoon. But the days are free, which allows for more mature lunchtime viewings and those early bedtimes mean more time for movies for me. It wound up being a week full of review material. I had initially planned January to be a month of Oscar movies
I'm back and healthy and have many cool things to talk about.
A great big pile of appreciation to my fellow Sentries who helped me out while I was on vacation. I’m back now and feeling mostly better (still got a weird ear thing going on but I’m upright and working and watching films so that’s a big improvement). There were many cool things consumed this week, so lets get to it. Spider-Man When Sam Raimi’s version of Spider-Man came out, I was none too impressed. I had similar feelings about Bryan Singer’s X-Men which came out two years before. The burgeoning nerd culture on the internet had gone bonkers over both
In which Shawn ranks things that happened through 2018 and counts all the things in his life
From 2005 through 2012, I pretty consistently wrote my Sunday Morning Tuneage blog. It continued inconsistently through 2013 before being abandoned. Each year was punctuated with a series of "Best of" lists. While the blog still remains retired, I'm revived it last year for a Best of 2017. The feedback was enough for me to compile it again this year. Here's the Return of the Jedi of my "Best of" trilogy. BEST OF THE REST 2018 BY THE NUMBERS 4,722,870 steps taken this year (2,290 miles) 365 Days walking over 5 miles in 2018 3 Days not walking over 5
In which Shawn ranks some television from 2018 and 1988.
From 2005 through 2012, I pretty consistently wrote my Sunday Morning Tuneage blog. It continued inconsistently through 2013 before being abandoned. Each year was punctuated with a series of "Best of" lists. While the blog still remains retired, I'm revived it last year for a Best of 2017. The feedback was enough for me to compile it again this year. Here's the middle entry of the "Best of" trilogy. BEST OF TV 2018 We live in a very high-quality TV-show era now. Maybe the top end isn't as strong as a decade ago but the number of very good shows
In which Shawn ranks a bunch of movies from 2018 and 1988.
From 2005 through 2012, I pretty consistently wrote my Sunday Morning Tuneage blog. It continued inconsistently through 2013 before being abandoned. Each year was punctuated with a series of "Best of" lists. While the blog still remains retired, I'm revived it last year for a Best of 2017. The feedback was enough for me to compile it again this year. For your convenience, it's broken into bite-sized pieces. BEST OF MOVIES 2018 No other blogger is brave enough to pick their favorites before they see them. Here's what I boldly thought I'd be writing about in December 2018. PREDICTED BEST
I’m bringing in some help this week.
After a week of fighting off a nasty viral infection I’m now out of town visiting the in-laws. I’m still hacking and coughing but im on the mend. Time at my in-laws is always nice but a little dull. We will watch a movie or two and I do a lot of reading but mostly it’s a lot of sitting around and talking. Which is good for the soul but not so good for Five Cool Things. Which is why I’m bringing in some help this week. But first here are the cool things I consumed this week. Miracle on
A horrible virus will not keep me from finding cool things for you, dear reader.
I have been battling a nasty viral infection all week. My head has felt like its been hit with a sledge hammer, my throat has felt like I’m swallowing rocks and if I stood up for too long I’d get really woozy. I mostly stayed in bed and slept. When I wasn’t sleeping I watched television programs and movies. But mostly I just laid there and moaned. In fact I haven’t laid in bed moaning so much since my honeymoon. <rimshot> I think I’m finally on the mend, but it is slow going. I managed to do a little work
I may have given up on Christmas movies but I still found some cool things this week.
I’ve pretty much given up on my whole Christmas theme for this month. I’ll probably watch another movie or two and maybe a couple of Christmas-themed episodes of something or other, but for the most part Christmas in media just isn’t going to happen. That doesn’t mean I won’t be consuming good, interesting or even cool things, but they likely aren’t going to involve the December holidays. As this week will prove out. First Reformed Ethan Hawke gives an intense, outstanding performance as a troubled minister at a historic, but declining upstate church in what is being hailed as director
This week wasn't as Christmas-y as I had hoped but I caught some cool things anyway.
It turns out I’m not really a fan of Christmas movies. In October, I watched a bunch of horror movies, but I like horror movies so that was easy. November became Noirvember, and I caught up on a bunch of film noir I’d not seen before but always meant to (plus a few I had never heard of). December is supposed to be Christmas movies but unlike horror and noir films, I’m not really drawn to holiday films. Maybe that’s because most of them are dreadful. Maybe it's because they aren’t as easy to find on streaming services. Or maybe
I end Noirvember with a bang.
It is the last day of Noirvember. All told, I watched 12 film noirs (7 classic, 5 neo-noirs), which is pretty good, I think. Especially considering how no more than two years ago, I generally didn’t watch 10 movies a month (I watched 13 non noir this month as well). This week found me watching two noirs and a few others. I really enjoyed watching film noirs. I’m excited about coming up with themes for each month. Next month, I suppose I’ll do as many holiday-themed films as I can. That feels kind of boring to me, but appropriate. I
After a week off, here's a whopping nine cool things worth checking out.
My apologies for missing last week’s Cool Things. My kid got sick and then I wasn’t feeling well and I went to bed early and no words were written. I’m doubling up this week to make up for it. We are still in the midst of Noirvember and I found several classics and new (or neo, if you prefer) noir to watch and enjoy. Plus, a bunch of other stuff, so let's get to it. Mona Lisa With FilmStruck dying at month’s end, I’ve been trying to watch as many movies on there as I can. The thing I love
It's all noir all the time this Noirvember.
As mentioned last week, November is henceforth dubbed "Noirvember" and as that nomenclature implies, I’ll be trying to watch as many film noirs as possible this month. Much like last month and my horror-movie viewing, not everything will fit into this category, but it's a good excuse to watch some things I might put off otherwise. This week, I caught five noirs (two classics and three Neo-noirs). I watched three of them on FilmStruck and I will once again lament the demise of that wonderful service. But before I have to pull out the tissues, let’s get on with it.
Joyless, uninspired, and grossly misappropriated, these sad-ass non-superheroic superhero interpretations need to stop.
Are you on the edge of your seat in anticipation for The Bourne Depression? Did you get your movie groove going hard with the series announcement for Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan Questions His Existence? Do you commonly think to yourself, “This fight scene is great, and I love that the bad guy is about to get theirs, but what I’m really in the mood for with my action films these days is someone having a thoroughly solid pity party in a dank basement and/or apartment right now. Like, at least half of the entire story. Yeah, that’d be the stuff
I've got one more week of scary, cool things before I set my eyes on another month.
I watched 27 movies in the month of October, 20 of which one could reasonably count as horror. That’s not quite 31 days of horror as the hashtag puts it, but I’d say it's pretty good. I really enjoyed doing it as well. There is something fun about trying to see a whole bunch of one genre in a given month. It also helped me watch a bunch of horror films I’d been putting off forever. I liked it so much I think I’ll do another theme month, call it Noirvember. But first we have to get through this week's
This week it's more like five cool things and a really crappy one.
My in-laws were in town for part of last week and a chunk of this one which put a bit of a dent in my nightly horror marathon. They have zero interest in modern horror, but can be temped by the older stuff, especially when tempered with some comedy. When they left I managed to see a couple of giallo classics and here we go. Arsenic and Old Lace Nobody in their right mind would consider this Frank Capra comedy a horror film, but it does star a Boris Karloff look-alike (to which much humor is derived) and a couple
This week is should be titled "Five Spooky Things..."
My horror marathon continued this week. I made it through all the classic Universal Frankenstein films and moved on to Dracula. But first I took a pit stop to an early '80s werewolf picture and a couple of Mario Bava films I’d never seen before. Let’s get to it. The Ghost of Frankenstein / House of Frankenstein By 1942, some 11 years after James Whale’s original adaptation of Frankenstein, the wind was beginning to slip out of the monster’s sails. But like all franchises, if there is still money to be made, there will still be people willing to make
It's all horror all the time for this week's five things.
Another week in October, another week of horror. I never quite manage a full 31 days of Horror, but this year, I’m not doing to shabby. The plan this year is to watch several batches of horror films and their many sequels. I typically only watch the first one or two films in a franchise before backing out before they turn bad. But this time I figured it might be fun to dig deep into a few series. Initially, I had planned to hit up some '80s movies like Nightmare on Elm Street or the Halloween films, but after watching