Five Cool Things and Ric Ocasek

Cinema Sentries

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 from my childhood on an emulator. Usually, it is some variation of Zelda or Metroid but recently I’ve been obsessed with Kid Icarus. I was utterly obsessed with it when it came out for the original NES back in 1987. It was one of the games I played constantly causing my brother to give me the nickname “Nintendo Nerd”.

It is an action platform game set in the world of Greek mythology. It is a notoriously difficult game to beat, not because of any over-complicated puzzles or extremely difficult bosses, but because it piles on the enemy after enemy while also giving you nearly impossible blocks (some of which are made slick with ice) to jump on. All while using controls that aren’t exactly super sensitive or accurate. The game also rewards you the more kills you get which incentivizes not moving while easy bad guys slowly make their way towards you, which gets boring real quick.

Still, I loved it as a kid. I would sit after school and on the weekends playing it over and over again trying to make it past one difficult level after another. I eventually won it, then won it again. And again. Playing it now is easier due to the emulators ability to save anywhere you are so when I accidentally fall to my death or get hit by another eggplant (the dungeons are filled with monsters who can turn you into an eggplant making it impossible to win until you’ve been cured at a hospital – the ‘80s were a weird time for video games)I can go back a few seconds and try it again (and again until I’ve won).

The graphics are pretty cool for an old 8bit console and the music is an instant earworm. It fills me with nostalgic glee and I continue to find it endlessly entertaining.

Legends of Tomorrow

All week, I’ve been watching the fourth season of the DC show set in the Arrowverse. It has always been the goofiest show in that universe and this season has taken it up several levels. While shows like Arrow and Supergirl remain fairly serious, Legends totally understands how completely silly superhero shoes inherently are and it just goes for it.

Buy DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray

The pilot features a My Little Pony-esque unicorn that shoots psychedelic glitter from its horn then eats the hearts of virgins. It gets weirder from there. Everyone in the cast is clearly having tons of funs. The writers too. Also me.

I’m about halfway through and if it keeps it up, it’s gonna become my favorite show in the Arrowverse. I’ll have a review up next week.

Who’s on First?

Abbott and Costello’s comedy sketch is one of the funniest things ever. I’d not watched it since I was a kid but it popped up today in my social media feed and I gave it a whirl. “Tears streaming down my face,” “can’t catch my breath” funny.

It is impossible to describe so just watch it. You won’t regret it.

Lawrence of Arabia

David Lean’s epic masterpiece played on the big screens recently for a Fathom Event. I got to watch it and it was as magnificent as I had hoped. Much of the film is shot on location in Jordan and Morocco, and Lean’s magnificent widescreen compositions really shine on the big screen. This is a film designed to be seen big and it was glorious.

Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves

The ninth Jeeves & Wooster novel by P.G. Wodehouse is not his greatest novel, nor his funniest. It relies a little too heavily on old story tropes, and characters we’ve visited before. This isn’t to say it isn’t a delight, for I’ve never read a Wodehouse story that wasn’t utterly charming, but rather that this one isn’t quite as delightful as say Right Ho, Jeeves.

Buy Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves book

The plot (and really, does anyone read Wodehouse for the plot?) finds Bertie Wooster visiting Totleigh Towers once again. He must keep his friend Gussie Fink-Nottle engaged to Madeline Bassett, despite the fact that Madeline insists Gussie stick to a vegetarian diet. For if they break up, Madeline will want to marry Bertie, and there could be nothing worse in Bertie’s eyes. There is some business about Aunt Dahlia wanting a statue, and a boorish old fool trying to set up a squash team, but the details all blend together. The joy of Wodehouse is his language. His books don’t necessarily make you laugh until you cry. I can read it on a bus and not annoy others with outbursts of laughter. But they fill me with a continual amusement. They are, as I mentioned, delightful.

Ric Ocasek

You can’t have grown up in the 1980s and not have heard the music of The Cars. They had numerous hit singles throughout the decade and their videos played MTV like crazy. Frontman and chief songwriter Ric Ocasek died this week in his sleep. He was 75.

Mat Brewster

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