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
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My last cool things until 2020
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
What is on your wish list this year?
It's that gift-giving time of year again as 2019 enters its last few weeks. For those that need help shopping this holiday season on what to get the pop-culture aficinado in their life, here are some suggestions from the Sentries gang. Click on their names to read their full reviews. Please consider buying through our Amazon link to support the site. It would be appreciated. Scarface: 'The World Is Yours' Limited Edition Both versions of Scarface tell a fascinating story about the rise and fall of an ambitious criminal willing to do anything to get to the top and then
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
May the Force be with us.
My wife and I become first-time homeowners about three years ago. Our little house isn’t perfect but it meets our needs and the price was right. As any homeowner will tell you, there is tons of maintenance involved. There are yards to mow, fences to fix, plumbing issues, and a constant stream of things that need your time, attention, and money. We’ve been mostly lucky thus far as the things we’ve needed to repair haven’t been too bad. This week that luck ran out. First, the little doohickey that lets you move the ice from the freezer and into your
Here's five cool things I discovered this week.
For most of our married life, my wife and I have intentionally not had a television in our bedroom. This was mostly her idea. The thought being that the bedroom is sort-of a special place. A place of intimacies, where we slough off the weariness of the day and rest. It is a place where we can talk and cuddle before diving off to sleep. To place a television set in it where we would inevitably sit mindlessly in those final hours of rest would be an invasion of that space. Also I’m too cheap to spend the money on
Here's five cool things I watched this week.
My daughter celebrated her eighth year of life this week. That seems an incredibly long time and yet it seems like just yesterday we were at the hospital ready for her to be born. There are other cliches I could spout, but instead I’ll just say I’m so very happy she’s in my life. The in-laws are in town for the celebrations, which always messes with my ability to consume pop-culture items, but I still managed to squeeze some cool stuff in. Cleo from 5 to 7 I hang my head in shame as an amateur film critic and cinephile
Here's some cool things I saw this week.
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.
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