I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.

I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Must-see streaming

Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc. are getting to be quite the destinations for exciting, thoughtful, and offbeat entertainment these days.  On today alone (September 30) there are three diverse debuts on two of those services to capture the imagination, and I'm looking forward to all of them.

On Netflix, there's the latest Marvel superhero series, Luke Cage, with all episodes now streaming. Following on the heels of the smart and entertaining Daredevil and Jessica Jones (both also on Netflix), I'm betting this one will be a winner, too.

Over on Amazon Prime, there's Woody Allen's six-episode series, Crisis in Six Scenes, which looks to be fairly funny, and represents Woody's first foray into what is essentially TV in decades.  Kind of neat that Miley Cyrus is in it, too.  Will Woody actually attract some younger viewers because of that?

Finally, back on Netflix, there's Amanda Knox, which is not a series but a one-shot documentary about the infamous Knox murder case.  What's compelling is that Amanda Knox herself is in it, and not just via old news footage.  She seems to be a sort of host and narrator.  Interesting, huh?

Any of these catching your fancy, too?

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Undercover Bond

Now here's something that really looks interesting.  The terrific movie website BirthsMoviesDeath.com (check it out!) today reported that the late mystery/thriller writer Donald Westlake, in the mid-1990's, submitted story ideas to the producers of the James Bond movies.  The two treatments- apparently variations on the same basic story idea- were ultimately rejected, and Mr. Westlake moved on.

But that wasn't the end of it.  Apparently the prolific author decided (for fun?) to turn the ideas into a novel, which for some reason he then put in a drawer.  Well, that novel will finally see the light of day in June of next year.  No longer a James Bond story, the novel is called Forever and a Death.  Cool title, isn't it?  But the story will presumably feature the same basic scenario and plot Mr. Westlake envisioned for the second Pierce Brosnan Bond film.

Fun little thing to look forward to, eh?  The cover art, which publisher Hard Case Crime has kindly made available, is certainly very nice.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Sidewalk grins

On this fine day, here are a few signs I recently spotted in front of bars around town...

You can't drink all day... unless you start in the morning.

If you're drinking to forget, please pay in advance.

Alcohol!  Because no great story ever started with someone eating a salad.

Thursday, June 30, 2016


This one is mildly politically incorrect, but if we all relax a little it's kinda funny...

A guy walks into a bar and says to the barman, "Give me six double vodkas."

The barman says, "Wow, you must have had one hell of a bad day."

"Yeah", the guy replies as he downs the first of his drinks.  "I just found out my oldest son is gay."

The very next day, the same guy comes into the bar and asks for six more double vodkas.  When the bartender asks what's wrong this time, the guy says, "I just found out that my youngest son is gay, too!"

On the third day, the guy comes into the bar and orders another six double vodkas.  The bartender says, "Geez, doesn't anybody in your family like women?"

The guy says, "Yeah, my wife!"

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Trips to the movies

I caught a couple of movies over the long Memorial Day weekend.  I may have more to say about them later, but for now here are some quick observations...

I thought X-Men: Apocalypse was a lot of fun, offering a good mix of drama with a generous amount of superhero action.  The movie is actually pretty rich and lavish, production-wise, which was nice to see, but fortunately it also never strays far from being fun and fast-moving.  The X-Men franchise is controlled by Fox, not Marvel Studios (home of Iron Man, The Avengers, etc.), so it was nice to see that someone else can make a decent film using the Marvel characters (though Fox had less success with the Fantastic Four).  But the X-men films (the main ones and their various individual-character spin-offs) have generally had more hits than misses.  I thought this was one of the better ones.

Alice Through the Looking Glass was okay, considering I really am not much for storybook characters (this movie was my wife's pick).  Keeping me interested was some imaginative time-travel stuff, as this time Alice utilizes a cool-looking flying time machine to sail through time (which is neatly envisioned as a churning ocean) to save the Mad Hatter's family from a tragedy.  This is another lavish, beautiful production, with tons of interesting details that entertain the eye but don't bog down the story.  You'll eat this one up if you have a stronger affinity for Alice, Humpty Dumpty, many talking animals, and similar characters than I do.  But, honestly, even I thought the movie was pretty good.  Thinking back now, I especially liked Sacha Baron Cohen's character; he plays some kind of Master-of-time type guy, and he's a lot of fun.

Oh, I saw both of these movies in 3D, and thought the third dimension served these fanciful stories quite well.  I'd recommend splurging on the 3D if you decide to see either or both of these films.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Paying for Shrek

So, cable giant Comcast announces that it's buying DreamWorks Animation SKG for $3.8 billion, just as my Comcast cable bill increased by $30.00, with no service changes.

Coincidence?  I think not.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

For geeks only

I'm not enough of a science prodigy to find the following bar joke very funny, but I won't speak for you...

A neutron walks into a bar and orders a drink.  When the neutron gets his drink, he asks, "Bartender, how much do I owe you?"

The bartender replies, "For you, neutron, no charge."