September 16, 2019

Russian Folk-Punk




Alone most days in the day job's office.

Now that classes have started, I have to have the door shut or students come in constantly with demands. So I tend to have a lot of music playing in the background while I work.

Today, I'm on a Russian/Soviet Folk-Punk kick. Here's Konstantin Stupin singing a song called "Bushy Tail Fox"


September 13, 2019

Alien Nation




Watched Alien Nation last night.

Haven't seen the film in forever. Except for the makeup, it holds up very well. Such a smart, fun idea with gobs of potential.

Watching it I was thinking, this is something that can be rebooted pretty easily...but then I thought, they'd only screw it up and low and behold turns out I was right.

A quick Google search shows that Fox had a reboot in the works but Disney quashed it. And I'm glad they did, because it was absolutely nothing like the original film. It wasn't a buddy cop movie and it was set in Arkansas.

Jesus Christ, Hollywood is doomed.

September 12, 2019

Dead to Me





Finally got around to watching Dead to Me on Netflix.

It’s beautifully written and well acted black comedy. It’s that right dramatic mix of sweet and sad and funny.

Also, as a grown man over the age of 40, it’s refreshing to watch something with grown women over the age of 40, grown women allowed to be messy and complicated and lonely and angry and authentic and just, you know, be their actual age without having to pretend to be younger or forced to put their career on hold until they can play grandmothers as bit parts.

And the real kicker is, both Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini kill it in their roles.

July 25, 2019

Stranger Things Season Four Thoughts




So after finishing the third season of Stranger Things, I’ve been thinking about Season Four— 

Hopper is the American.

  • Grigori, the Russian Terminator, refers to Hopper repeatedly as "the American."
  • Nameless Soviet scientists enter the room before the explosion. The camera cuts away from Hopper but shows us the scientists going splat.
  • When Joyce and Murray enter the room, the scientist splat is there but the grating where Hopper was standing is clean.
  • Using the song "Heroes," I think, is another clue. That song played in the first season when we thought Will was dead.
  • The last clue comes from the message you can hear if you dial Murray’s phone number (618-625-8313). The answering machine message is for Joyce and says they need to talk because he has news. (I think he’s been trying to track down Hopper). 


Kamchatka
Kamchatka as the location of the Soviet base is significant. It’s an isolated peninsula in the Siberian wilderness—but close enough to us, that it was full of listening stations and military bases.

During the Cold War, the area was on such a lock-down that ZERO visitors were allowed there and even the few peasants who lived in the area had to have military clearance. What’s more the area is scientifically important thanks to its wildlife (today it’s the site of a massive nature preserve) and being one of the main sites in the earth’s Ring Of Fire (in 1952 it was the site of a mega-thrust earthquake).

Also if we go back to season one, the first time El encounters a Demogorgon, she’s in the black-watery void spying on a Soviet The show doesn’t give us subtitles but if you look up a translation, it’s all common spy stuff. But I think that’s significant. I don’t think it was an accident that El encountered a Demogorgon.

I think the Soviets already had one. Lastly, if season four jumps forward a year to 1986, especially say Easter time or around Spring Break, there’s probably a direct connection to Chernobyl as well.

Whatever the Soviets are doing exactly will risk the entire world on a big scale—like everything and everyone could die.

Movie Nods
Assuming the series jumps forward a year to 1986 (originally thought either Thanksgiving or Christmas since Mike mentions those times specifically to El when they’re talking about visiting, but thinking it through I'm now leaning more toward Easter/Spring Break), there are some big movies that might point a clue toward some things that might happen.

Aliens
If Hopper is the America and if there is a rescue mission, I think we’ll see Joyce or maybe Nancy, since she’s the one good with guns, taking on Demogorgon hybrids/other big bad with some big SF weapon. Or maybe even a powerless El in some sort of big robotic suit fighting some huge monster.

Big Trouble in Little China
The Duffers have said Season 4 would involve opening up the Stranger Things universe and we still don’t where the Byers family is moving, maybe they’re heading to Chicago and something will happen with Chinatown.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off 
I don’t think it’s that far-fetched to imagine some group of the kids skipping school. Plus, I’d just really like to see Steve signing on a parade float.

The Fly
I think we’ll see some serious nods to Cronenberg’s The Fly. Maybe as a result of other attempts at dimensional travel or something else all-together, or maybe the Soviets are trying to crossbreed humans and Demogorgons? (Maybe this is where Brenner will come back in).

Highlander
We’ve met 11 and we’ve met 8 (Kali). That leaves 1-7 and 9-10. I think we’ll see more former children from the rainbow room. I could see this being a way to reference Highlander.

Hoosiers
If it does jump to 1986 and it doesn’t reference this Oscar-wining 1986 film about Indiana basketball, I will be stunned.

The Labyrinth
If nothing else, I just want Dusty-Bun to sing “Magic Pants” to Suzy-Poo.

Stand by Me
Stand By Me was released in 1986 and it’s a King film. I have a hard time thinking this would NOT inform a fourth season in a big way. Especially since a big part of the film has to do with a group of friends going on an adventure before high school changes everything for them and they drift apart.

July 24, 2019

Punched in the Gut






The last episode of Stranger Things S3 punched me in the gut with the feels and I totally teared up.

Especially Hop's note: "The hurt is good. It means you're out of that cave..."

I'm working on a long ramble about how much I appreciate how the show handles different types of people, but talking with a friend, he and I agreed -- the thing the show does best is empathy.

I mean real empathy. No lecturing. No sitting you down and telling you how you're supposed to feel about something, but SHOWING you real empathy in action.
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