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Five Cool Things and My Birthday

Cool things this week include Legion, Alfred Hitchock, Better Call Saul, Cinema Paradiso, and Van Morrison.
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I’m running out of interesting things to say in the intro to these things so lets just get to it. Here’s five cool things I consumed this week. Van Morrison - Moondance I’m very much a fan of Van Morrison’s music. I’d easily put him in my top 10 artists of all time list. Earlier this week, I realized that I’ve actually spend a lot more time with his bootlegs than I have with this actual studio work. This needs to be remedied so I’ve spent the last few days working my way through his discography. Released in January of

Five Cool Things and St. Patrick's Day

Cool things this week include Howl's Moving Castle, Snotgirl, the Hulk, and more.
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It seems like every time I write one of these I’m making excuses. Someone in my family was sick, or I was busy at work, or I was sick, or I only watched bad movies, or my cat was sick. Sometimes, I’ve had to elicit help from my fellow Sentries. Sometimes, I’ve scoured the Internet the night before posting looking for something, anything cool. Well, this week we were all healthy, work was busy but not tragically so and I consumed lots of really cool things. So let's get started. Planet Hulk I’ve always thought Hulk was an uninteresting character.

Five Cool Things and Robert Osborne

This week in cool brings us a Deadpool 2 teaser, Ghost in the Shell, All About Eve, and more.
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I’ve been writing this column for a little while now so I’m getting pretty good at making little lists of the cool things I read, watch, and listen to, which makes this a lot easier to write. It's certainly easier than waking up Friday morning only to realize I’ve got a column to write and no memory of what I’ve consumed over the last seven days. Even with the little lists, there are times, like right now, where I look at all the pop culture I’ve engaged with in the last week only to realize I found very little of

Five Cool Things and Logan

Batman, Battlestar Galactica, Bruce Springsteen, and more are all cool things I discovered this week.
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It's been a busy week in the Brewster home. Work has been absolutely insane. keeping my days mostly pop-culture free. The wife and I have also been trying to reduce the amount of screen time my daughter gets so we’ve been filling our evenings more with games and craft projects rather than TV shows and movies. Still, I found some cools things to talk about so lets get started. Bruce Springsteen - Passaic, NJ (09/20/78) Bruce Springsteen is a monster in concert. His shows with the famed E-Street Band are legendary for their length and intensity. Springsteen has always understood

Five Cool Things and an Early Spring

Everyday is a new battle with sickness around here, but there's plenty of cool things to find as well.
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I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but once again sickness found its way into the Brewster house this week. I really think it was the remnants of the previous week’s nastiness, but my daughter spent the weekend with a low fever and I spent most of the week feeling completely and utterly exhausted. I was in bed by 9:30 every night like I’ve turned into my parents. Still, some cool things came around and here’s five of them. Grateful Dead: May 1977: Get Shown the Light Barton Hall, Ithaca, NY, May 8, 1977. Those words mean a great

Five Cool Things and George 'The Animal' Steele

Prince is now available on all streaming services - if that's not cool, I don't know what is.
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A great big thanks to Gordon and Shawn for helping out last week. A couple of weeks ago I noted that my family and I had been passing around The Crud for awhile, well last week it turned into full-blown sickness. There’s been a nasty stomach virus being passed around these parts - my daughter got it over the weekend, then I got it, and then my wife. I won’t go into the details except to say it was an awful experience and I was in no shape to write. But now I’m back and healthy and have plenty to

Five Cool Things and Greta Anderson

Mat gets by with a little help from his friends.
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As Mat mentioned in the previous installment of Five Cool Things and, "For the last couple of months, my wife and I have been passing The Crud back and forth between each other. She’ll get sick one week - coughing, sneezing, head full of mucus - then just as she gets better, I’ll get it." Well, he's still got it so fellow Sentries Shawn Bourdo and Gordon S. Miller are filling in this week. Shawn's Three Cool Things: Riverdale I didn't think that Twin Peaks remake was for another few months. The Archie series meets David Lynch hybrid has been

Five Cool Things and Frederick Douglass

Sometimes, even during sickness, one can find cool things.
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For the last couple of months, my wife and I have been passing The Crud back and forth between each other. She’ll get sick one week - coughing, sneezing, head full of mucus - then just as she gets better, I’ll get it. We routinely either blame our daughter, who is very likely bringing new germs home from her classmates, or our house and its potential for mold and who knows else what. It's been pretty miserable experience. This week it was my turn. I felt it coming on last Saturday and should have stayed in bed all day Sunday

Five Cool Things and Mary Tyler Moore

This week I struggled to find five cool things so I brought in a friend.
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It has been a long, weird week in the Mat Brewster home, culturally speaking. Work has been busy, keeping me from listening to things as often, or as intently as I might want. Evenings too have been a little weird. I’ve started several movies but for differing reasons have not finished them. Likely I’ll write about at least one of them next week as I do plan to finish them soon. What I did finish, I didn’t like all that much. [*cough* X-Men: Apocalypse *cough*] So what’s a guy to do when he wants to bring forth five cool things

Five Cool Things and Moe Howard

Give this a read, you numbskulls.
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To let you in on a little behind-the-scenes action here at Cinema Sentries, me and boss-man Gordon spent some time tossing around ideas on what to call this new series. The idea for the series sprang from the NPR podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour. At the end of each show, everyone in that week’s panel talks about something from pop culture that’s been making them happy. It's always my favorite segment and I love the concept of finding things both big and small that bring you joy and sharing that with whoever will listen. The idea of doing something similar

Five Cool Things and a Larch

No matter what the news tells you, there's lots of awesome things happening all around.
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It is universally acknowledged that 2016 sucked. The world of entertainment and art lost an unimaginable number of talented creators. Early in the year, we lost Prince and near its end our Princess. Star Wars lost its lovable Droid, the rebooted Star Trek its Chekov. Our favorite TV mom from the '70s passed and soon there after went the best dad of the '80s. Ziggy Stardust fell from Earth and with him Leonard Cohen, too. Professor Snape will never cast a spell again and Willy Wonka’s chocolates are all gone. The list goes on and on. The width and breadth

Best Comic Releases of 2016

With 2016 at its long overdue close, it's time for me to tell you what I considered the best releases in the world of comics and graphic novels.
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It felt like a dumpster fire kind of year, but let me tell you - it was a delightful year for comics. Just think about it: DC launched its Rebirth title, which was wildly successful and one of the most popular single issues to date. On the other hand, we had the controversial Civil War II from Marvel. That event has mixed feelings across the board, and no one seems to be able to decide if it was actually that good (or helpful). As for me, 2016 was a year of discovering comics creators that I loved and watching them

The Best TV Shows of 2016

How many shows do their top-11 lists share?
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In which Shawn and Kim take a look back at the brilliant storytelling shows from 2016. Shawn: If T&A is good at one thing, it's recognizing good and bad TV. Sometimes, those two things are all wrapped into one show. The end of the year is when I usually finish clearing out the DVR and assessing what shows will stay on the list and which ones need to be deleted to make room to try some new things. This is the Golden Age of television. It's probably more likely to call it the Golden Age of the Serial Story. The

Artists Overlooked by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The Sentries & Friends wish to nominate....
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Last week, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced their nominees for their 2017 induction ceremony, which will be revealed in December and awarded next April. According to their website, "Artists—a group encompassing performers, composers and/or musicians—become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Besides demonstrating unquestionable musical excellence and talent, inductees will have had a significant impact on the development, evolution and preservation of rock & roll." The nominees are: Bad Brains (eligible since 2007) Chaka Khan (eligible since 2003) Chic (eligible since 2002) Depeche Mode (eligible since 2006) Electric Light Orchestra (eligible

Top 10 TV Shows That Deserve More Attention

At its best, TV tells unique stories that don't fit into the limited motion picture format of 90-200 minute limitations.
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Rolling Stone just conducted a major poll involving actors, writers, producers, critics, and showrunners to come up with the 100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time, a list they describe as "the definitive ranking of the game-changing small-screen classics." They aren't exactly breaking any big news here. TV is good. In fact, currently TV is really good. The era of the creator is among us. Multiple networks like HBO, Showtime, FX, AMC, History, and WGN are making showrunners and creators the auteurs of the day. The more networks get out of the way of the creative folks, the better the

Gene Wilder's Other Films

2016 takes another one of my heroes.
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It would be too easy to pick my five favorite Gene Wilder films. It would include the favorites like Willy Wonka and Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein. I sat down and didn't want to write a quick tribute to this amazing man by listing films that most everyone has heard of and probably watched a hundred times. So I wanted to delve a little deeper into the filmography. Here's a few films that are worth taking another look at. 1. THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES' SMARTER BROTHER (1975) Gene wrote and directed this film also. Sigerson is younger than both

Top 10 Films of the 21st Century (so far)

Did your favorites make the cut?
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The editors of BBC Culture "decided to commission a poll of critics to determine the 100 greatest films of the 21st Century," even though it's only been 15 years (and incorrectly though intentionally included the year 2000,) because they "wanted to prove that this century has given us films that will stand the test of time, that you will continue to think about and argue about if only you give them a chance and watch them." Not sure why they think this would change the minds of those who thought like that, but so many people love looking at lists.

Maron Ended and My Dad Died, but Not in That Order

How my favorite television show became my port in a storm.
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Three years ago today​, my family and friends gathered at my parent's house to celebrate the life of my father Alan Staniforth, who had died the month before. Two weeks ago today, Marc Maron's television show, Maron, aired its final episodes on IFC. If you are wondering how these two are related, I'm about to tell you. Two weeks ago, on Monday morning, I started my morning commute as I do every morning​ with Marc Maron and his WTF podcast. A few minutes into episode #723, Marc started talking about the Maron season 4 finale. Then he said it. H​e

Ghostbusters Reboot: Why We're Cautiously Optimistic

It has been met with constant criticism and seemingly more so than previous reboots and remakes of classic films. What makes this film franchise stand out above the rest?
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The past few years have been met with constant reboots and remakes of old classics, such as Jurassic Park and Spider-Man. Although some have been treated as a money-grab, others have been tactfully remade and received dozens of positive reviews. Regardless, Hollywood stays hopeful and relies on the nostalgic factor of older audiences who once loved popular films of the past. Probably one of the best recent examples of this eternal hope is the soon-to-be-released reboot of the iconic 1984 film, Ghostbusters, gender-switched and set to appear in theaters July 15. Any time a film gets a reboot, you can

Thoughtful & Abstract: DC TV

"For every Human Target that comes and goes without notice, there will be a Constantine that leaves far too early." - Shawn
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In which Shawn and Kim discuss the weekly DC Comics-based shows and shirtless heroes. Shawn: I've caught up on most of my comic-based shows recently. One of the newest ones elicited quite a few opinions, so I thought we should touch base on where we're at with these. For every Human Target that comes and goes without notice, there will be a Constantine that comes into our world and leaves far too early. DC'S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW (CW) The latest addition to the Arrowverse is a breath of fresh air. I am not going to deny I love this series

My Favorite David Bowie Songs

Bowie made many musical masterpieces, but it was hard to list them all. These are just a few that really spoke to me.
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David Bowie was a genius, a rebel, a god, and a musical innovator who had no equal. He was brilliant, sexy, and unclassifiable; he was also quite radical. Just like the Beatles, his music defined and refined a generation. When I first saw him, he was like a beacon of light, this beautiful creature who didn't look like anyone I had ever seen. When I first heard his voice, chills went up and down my back like never before. Who was this handsome, androgynous man? Where did he come from? I decided to pick a few of these songs that

David Bowie, The Heart's Filthy Lesson, Se7en, and Me

A creepy song on the end credits of a creepy movie created a lifetime fan.
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David Fincher led me to David Bowie. I doubt that was a typical path to the Thin White Duke, but it's how I got there. I went to watch Se7en because the review in the Daily News said it should have gotten an NC-17 for its grisly crime scenes, so that was something I had to see. This was back when it was easier for young and impressionable teens to get into R-rated movies (two years later I would be barred from seeing Lost Highway at the same theater, even though I was 17 - I just couldn't prove it.)

Remembering David Bowie and 'Under Pressure'

RIP to the Thin White Duke.
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Being an only child, but having some hip uncles who were more like older brothers, I got exposed to a lot of great musical artists at a very early age. One of those musicians was David Bowie. Not unlike Prince after him, Bowie was one of those performers who were so diverse, it was nearly impossible to like everything he did (You can’t please all of the people all of the time), but when he hit the mark, he hit it hard. Being a Queen fan as well, I was intrigued when I saw that the new track on the

T&A Take on TV 2015

A thoughtful and abstract look at the best and worst of TV in 2015.
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In which Shawn and Kim reflect on their favorite televison programs and the disappointments. Shawn: We've had a few opportunities in 2015 to write about the TV shows that entertained and frustrated us. But I thought it would be good to put a bow on the year with the Best and Worst moments of TV 2015. In no particular order. BEST MOMENTS 1.) THE WALKING DEAD (AMC) - We started the year with Tyreese's death and end up with the death of Deanna. In between, we had developments that I didn't agree with and ones that intrigued me. I know

Holiday Gift Guide 2015

What's on your wish list?
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Before heading out to brave the sales-hunting crowds or shopping from the comfort of the Internet, some of us thought we'd offer recommendations for our loved ones--er, that is, to our readers on items that would exciting gifts. Greg Barbrick Trumbo (2015) will definitely be in my top ten this year, and watching it reminded me of the neglected classic Spartacus (1962). Although I do own a double VHS edition of it, the new Blu-ray is what I hope to see under the tree this year. The film was director Stanley Kubrick's first big-budget feature, following his critically acclaimed Paths

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Bastard Executioner

In which the bastardness of the executioner is debated and characters questioned.
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The following entries were written simultaneously by Shawn and Kim as a summary of the one and only season of The Bastard Executioner. Any repeated observations are strictly because their twisted minds think alike. Kim: I’m pretty sad that Kurt Sutter pulled the plug on The Bastard Executioner just as I felt it was starting to really get going. I get it though. It was plagued by a pretty complex storyline that really couldn’t be done in an hour(ish) a week, plus, a shitty time slot. I know I had to DVR on Tuesdays and would get around to watching

Thoughtful & Abstract: Catching Up on the TV Season, Volume 2

Kim and Shawn take another walk down TV Street and look back at their March thoughts.
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In which Kim and Shawn riff again on some recent TV thingies... Kim: Back in March, we talked a bit about what we’d been watching on TV that season and I thought it would be interesting to have a look back at what we wrote and see how things have changed. As an aside, I hate change. I realize it’s a part of life and I do put on my big-girl panties and deal with it, but I don’t like it. I also don’t like the word "panties." Or wearing them. But those are different subjects. Let’s take a quick

Why We Watch: Looking at our TV Choices

Genre? Cast? Plot? Storytelling? What factors entice you to tune in to a show, or take a pass?
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Even with DVR and on-Demand viewing to allow maximum scheduling opportunities, the amount of tv content available to us far exceeds that amount that we can actually consume. To that end, we must make conscious choices about what we choose to view, and when. I got to thinking about this the other day when I went to add Elementary to my Netflix queue only to find it isn't available. I wondered why I didn't start watching it from the beginning even though I remember finding the premise interesting. That got me to thinking about that choice we make - do

Thoughtful & Abstract: Fear the Walking Dead: 'So Close, Yet So Far'

"Is this a parallel universe where no one has ever seen a zombie movie, except for that one kid?"
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In which Shawn and Kim (and some fictional characters) offer advice to the gang from Fear the Walking Dead. Shawn: I intercepted some correspondence from The Walking Dead characters. I've quoted just some of the pertinent parts. 1. Carl writes - "Hey, Matt. Get your crap together. I was shot and whined less than you. And Chris, put away the camera and get some knives. I almost bit it like four times by messing around. Everyone get their shit together before your dad goes crazy and starts killing other dads." 2. Shane writes - "Travis, go ahead and sleep with

Thoughtful & Abstract: Fear the Walking Dead: 'Pilot'

At least we have Sunday Dead again!
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In which Kim and Shawn offer their initial thoughts on the first epiosode of the Fear the Walking Dead. Kim: 1) Boys who dress in midriff pirate shirts are asking for trouble. 2) I have no idea what the characters' names are. I think the father figure dude might be Travis. The Mom is maybe Angie, but I don't really think so. The kids are girl, druggie, and emo boy. Hopefully, I got that right. I do know the first girl you see turned in the church - she's Gloria. That is really the only name that I'm certain on.

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