From the Couch Hole: Time Can Erase the Things We Said

Previously on FTCH, last week the Ghostbusters were called in by the mysterious stranger. They went to Skull Island and asked Kong, “Do ya want an orange dreamsicle Frosty? Do ya.” It was a nice Easter with the family here. The week has been pretty normal for as much “normal” as there is in the world anymore. The eclipse is in the news every day and I plan on seeing it tomorrow, albeit likely cloudy. This week the Spring Breakers won’t hold you back on VHS. Jade in the shade ushers in a New Empire where Mtn Dew tastes like Hawaiian Punch. Remember, at FTCH your rate will never go up and your coverage will never go down.

Pop Culture Ephemera

“Just pretend it’s a video game. Like you’re in a fucking movie.” – Britt
  • Spring Breakers (2012) (Directed by Harmony Korine): “We’ll always remember this trip. I wanna go back again next year with you. Something so amazing, magical. Something so beautiful. Feels as if the world is perfect. Like it’s never gonna end.” – Faith. It’s obvious only a minute into Korine’s film that this not the ’80s Spring Break movies of my youth where teens escaped to drink beer and find romance. Gone are the days of Spring Break (1983) and Fraternity Vacation (1985). Korine creates a fantasy world that is part Natural Born Killers (1994) and part Arthouse ennui. With all due respect to Oliver Stone, Korine has his finger on the pulse of how to pick a soundtrack and use the camera to create a unique world of sex, guns, nudity, drugs, and fantasy. The characters leave Spring Break like a contestant being voted out of a reality show. Water guns of the “Real World” are replaced by real guns in the “Fantasy World.” James Franco is crazy good as Alien, the rapper/drug dealer. The message is more messy than developed about this younger generation finding their “magical” space. It’s not a great work of art. It does feel like there’s something here, and it’s hard to turn away.
Buy Spring Breakers Blu-ray
  • Bob’s Burgers – “Jade in the Shade” (2024) (S.14 E.12) (FOX): “Bubbles will never be over. Bubbles are forever.” – The Bubble Guy. Last week, I noted that Family Guy (FOX) had lost much of its mojo with a move away from Sundays. Bob’s Burgers has become the new anchor of Animation Domination for the past 14 seasons, even more than The Simpsons. This episode feels like a throwback to earlier episodes. Linda and Louise are on a secret Prohibition-era treasure hunt around the pier, and the rest of the family (Bob, Tina, and Gene) are hosting street performers in the restaurant. The show isn’t drop dead guffaw funny any longer. It is comfortably funny. It’s good for a few chuckles. There are some nice continuity nods to The Bob Burgers’ Movie (2022) at the pier. The best part is the recent addition of Louise foil, Logan. Logan and his mother, Cynthia, are good comparisons to the Louise and Linda relationship.
Buy Toto IV CD
  • Toto – “I Won’t Hold You Back” (1982) (from Toto IV): “If I had another chance tonight / I’d try to tell you that the things we had were right.” This song is of longing for someone you have lost that you know has moved on without you. There’s a great guitar solo too. The #1 single defined what was great about Adult Contemporary in this era when Pop music was pushing way off into New Wave. What really connects me to this song is that it was released in 1982 and it played a huge role in slow dancing at just about every school dance from 1982 to 1985. There are so many memories that have flooded back.
“Now you’re gone, I’m really not the same / I guess I held myself to blame.” – Toto
  • V/H/S (2012) (Directed by Adam Wingard, Ti West, et. al.): “Believe it or not, this Ol’ Minor here can see your future. Got some money? I’ll tell you all about it!” – Ol’ Minor Fortune Teller. Adam Wingard has made quite a trip from directing the wraparound segment of this “found footage” horror anthology. Concentrating on his “found footage” of the guys who are hired to burglarize a house to steal a videotape. Upon arrive, they find a dead man and a room full of tapes that they watch and forms the stories that are filmed by other horror directors. Adam even plays the role of Brad. I would like to have seen him use some of these techniques in his Godzilla films. He has a good sense of using sound design to create a scary scene. The “found footage” genre works only when there is a good reason to tell the story this way instead of a more traditional camera method. None of these stories rise to that level because their stories aren’t served well by the technique. What I can take from this unsatisfying film is that a director like Adam Wingard is willing to experiment but when faced with the budget limitations of “found footage”, there’s still a disconnect with how to film people talking in a compelling way.
  • Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (2024) (Directed by Adam Wingard): “I lost home.” – Kong. Director Wingard’s first time with the Monsterverse in Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) jettisoned most of the human stories in order to maximize the monster battles. The human interactions were what slowed that film down. In 2024, Wingard took the note and said, “I’m going to add even more human interactions.” It turns out just like you would imagine. What I don’t understand is that you license Godzilla and you don’t have the “Godzilla March.” Then you license Mothra and don’t have the young women and the Mothra Song. Instead you spend your money on Loverboy’s “Turn Me Loose” (1980). Much like the previous team-up, this is a Kong movie that Godzilla appears in. The continued trend in the Monsterverse is to humanize Kong (he’s got a sore tooth, his butt itches when he gets up from sleep, etc). But then Kong will disappear for long periods of time while the humans try to make you actually care about something in the film. This has the best effects and somehow manages to be the worst film of the recent Monsterverse films. Just a mere four months after Godzilla Minus One (2023), everything that was right and nostalgia for the Japanese version of the franchise has gone awry in the United States version.

Best of the Rest

  • House producer Roger Sanchez produced the definitive cover/sample of Toto’s “I Won’t Hold You Back.” The lyrics that are sampled become so important to the content of the song that it becomes close to a cover since it covers the same themes. It’s from 2001 and one of the best uses of hooks that I can remember from that era.
“If I had another chance tonight”
  • There’s no actual reason to share this Fed Ex ad other than it’s been living rent free in my mind since the Super Bowl. It came up in some of my Super Bowl Ad research and I have been giggling to myself about Harry and Eileen. I miss clever “Dad joke” ads like these.
“You can’t judge things by their name.”
  • I am a little thrown off to keep seeing Doctor Who as a “Disney+ Original.” I’m also a couple of years behind so I’m not completely sure who everyone is anymore. I do get a thrill to know that this series, older than me, is continuing on with a solid fanbase.
“I will keep her safe. I promise.”

Sunday Morning Tuneage Flashback

  • On the Sunday Morning Tuneage of 10/5/2008, it was a weekend of football losses in a very painful football season – Little Elm lost homecoming, Michigan lost, and the North Texas game I worked was a loss. My #28 Favorite Film of All-Time was Raging Bull (1980). At the time I said, “For a movie in my Top 30, I don’t love it as much as others do.” I still subscribe to that opinion. I would say that even now it’s a great film that just doesn’t connect with me and I might drop it a dozen places more. I was about done with Heroes (NBC) and equally done with the Presidential Debate. Texas was going to play Oklahoma in the game of the year. I made a list that has probably changed monthly since then that I’ll rank now and don’t hold me to it next month.
      • 10. 8 1/2 (1963) : Fellini’s masterpiece given the treatment it deserves.
      • 9. Grand Illusion (1937)
      • 8. Do the Right Thing (1989)
      • 7. Yojimbo and Sanjuro (1961/1962): On the same release!
      • 6. Dazed and Confused (1993): Who said Criterion is elitist?
      • 5. Ran (1985): Can you tell what director I think is best watched through his Criterion releases?
      • 4. Hard Boiled (1992)
      • 3. Brazil (1985): If you like movies in general, you need to make it through these three discs.
      • 2. The Third Man (1949)
      • 1. Seven Samurai (1954): The great commentaries here are like taking an eight-week course on the film and the director, Kurosawa.
      • 10. My Life As A Dog (1985): Director Lasse Hallstrom hit me hard with all the feels in this film about nostalgia and bittersweet pasts.
      • 9. The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973): This film directed by Peter Yates only recently came into view for me. It’s a bleak view, Robert Mitchum is brilliant, and I loved the film.
      • 8. 8 1/2 (1963): Fellini makes a film that somehow looks forward and backwards at the same time. Every viewing it impresses me more.
      • 7. Rashomon (1950): Director Kurosawa shows a mastery of all aspects of direction here.
      • 6. Do the Right Thing (1989): Spike Lee brought Summer to the screen in 1989 and it was hot, sweaty, colorful and powerful.
      • 5. The Gold Rush (1925): Charlie Chaplin has better films, but this is a great introduction to him. The extras are superb.
      • 4. Brazil (1985): It’s still one of the best illustrations of how the movie that gets made isn’t always the movie that makes it to the screen. The film itself is just as interesting, and dare I say, better than Orwell’s 1984.
      • 3. A Hard Day’s Night (1964): From the opening credits to the final moments, this is a fun film and a perfect snapshot of 1964.
      • 2. Rushmore (1998): Director Wes Anderson found his voice in this film. This is a great place to start out your Anderson journey.
      • 1. Seven Samurai (1954): Kurosawa’s most impressive film makes for the definitive “must own” of the Criterion collections. The three discs show off everything I love about these releases – a great print of the film, informative commentaries and excellent supporting documentaries.
    • As the world has moved away from physical media to streaming, these curated titles are the ones still most often added to my collection. Even when I haven’t heard of a film, the presence on their lists makes me think I probably should investigate. I’ve rarely, if ever, found one that disappointed me. These form the basis of much of my film knowledge, especially on foreign films. Start any adventure in the Criterion world with the works of Kurosawa, Chaplin, and Wes Anderson.
“No pay.”

1974 in Review

“Law and order demand he dies!”
  • April – World’s Finest #222 (DC Comics): Cover art by Nick Cardy. Written by Bob Haney and art by Dick Dillin. Also known as the “Saga of the Super Sons” with Batman Jr. battling Superman Jr.
  • April 3 – 148 tornadoes across the Midwest of the United States and parts of Canada killed 319 people and injured over 5,400 people. Tanner, Alabama was hit by two tornadoes killing 44 people.
  • April 6-12 – TV Guide Apr. 6-12: Cover art by the great Jack Davis. The tribute to Norman Lear shows his influence on television in 1974 with All in the Family, Maude and Sanford & Son.
No Laughing Matter; TV’s Fun-House Mutiny

What the Hell Did I Put in My Mouth?

International Delight: Bridgerton English Toffee

The creamer named after a British historical romance book series is a curious tie-in. The smell is a bit nutty, not what I would imagine an English Toffee creamer would smell like. The taste is pretty smooth and not overpowering. There’s only a hint of the English Toffee flavor. I like it, but it isn’t going to give you the feeling of sitting in an English garden on a spring day.

Oreo: Churro

There are Oreo-flavored Churro’s that amp up the chocolate flavor with some added sugar topping that are wonderful. The Churro-flavored Oreo takes the different tactic of creating the fried dough treat in a cookie format. It mostly works and it’s a tasty cookie result. In the end, it’s similar in flavor to a cinnamon graham cracker because it’s hard to recreate the fried dough without that texture. Oreo continues a good run this year.

Mountain Dew: Baja Point Break Punch

The easiest description would be that it’s a carbonated Hawaiian Punch. The Tropical Punch is pineapple, cherry, and raspberry (if I’m deciphering the cartoon fruits on the can correctly). It’s refreshing and feels like something we would have had with our summer lunches in the 1980s. I like these new Baja can designs. They will seem very dated in ten years, but that’s partially the point.

“Now that I’m alone it gives me time
To think about the years that you were mine
Time can erase the love we shared
But it gives me time to realize just how much you cared” – Toto

Stay Hard


Shawn Bourdo

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