Four Sequel Ideas for Hollywood @kesseljunkie #movie

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Once again, I’m going to steal an idea from Kessel Junkie with the goal of eventually rationalizing that it was my idea all along. Here are four sequel ideas for Hollywood.

Star Trek XIII: The Return of Khan for Reals This Time

It turns out that Khan was also regenerated by the Genesis torpedo, but he had no katra on which to base a refusion, so he just grew up from there. A cloaked Romulan ship picked up the child-Khan and fused his augment DNA to Romulans, creating smooth-browed Romulans, just like in the Enterprise episodes Borderland, Cold Station 12, and the Augments, but with Romulans. Totally different. Khan helps the Romulans track Soran and winds up on Veridian III, where he can be seen helping destabilize a catwalk, causing Kirk to plunge to his death. It’s very cold on Veridian III.


In a sequel to both Taxi Driver and Pretty Woman, Travis Bickle has been promoted from taxi driver to limousine chauffer. He befriends a high-end call girl and saves her from the much more realistic ending of not becoming romantically involved with one of her Kessel Junkies. Travis gets shot in the face and dies.


After the events of the movie, Casablanca, Rick, Sam, and Louis head to Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo. Rick and Sam open a spa, but the rise of communism in 1969 gives Rick plenty of opportunities for side-hustles. Eventually, he’s reunited with a now-married Yvonne. Yvonne never got over Rick or her own drinking problem, but in the end, Rick helps her board a plane to flee communism with her husband she doesn’t love. The plane crashes shortly after takeoff, landing on Sam and Louis.

Roundhay Garden Scene 2: Electric Boogaloo

Over the course of 50-seconds, a Tesla pulls into the French coastal town of La Ciotat. “La Marseillaise” plays in the background because this movie is in the same universe as Casablanca and Brazzaville. The Tesla runs over Rick, killing him.

These would all be as good as any of the remakes we’ve been seeing over the years. So in what way can I say that this was my idea? My movies are older on average than Kessel Junkie’s. That means I was first. That’s some sound logic right there.

135 blog posts in 136 days? Yeah, I’m clearly running out of ideas.

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Classic Movies: Cassablanca @hbomax @movie #ClassicWatch #QuarantineLife

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I’ve discovered Turner Classic Movies on HBO Max and thought it would be a good idea to watch some of the “classics” I’d never seen. I started with Citizen Kane, and now I’ve moved on to Casablanca.

Of course it suffers from being out of time, but overall this movie stood up well. For example, though 78 years old, it’s actually quotable, and a Nazi gets shot. The story isn’t what you typically see today, so the ending isn’t what you may expect from today’s formula. From what little I know about Gone with the Wind (soon to be viewed), it also avoids the trite ending. Maybe these elements were typical in the late 30s and early 40s — I don’t have enough data points to say — but in any case it helps Casablanca stand out. Dooley Wilson was great as Sam. The primary setting is a crowded bar, and his occasional musical numbers help set those scenes, but the movie smartly moves on from that setting when the story needs to go forward. As Time Goes By remains a classic.

All that said, the best part about watching this movie is that I now understand completely one of the best Saturday Night Live skits I’ve ever seen.

Kate McKinnon is so good that she gets the final word in this post. As always, YMMV.

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[Yawn] Watch: The Business of Drugs @netflix #Netflix #GoodWatch

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This seems like my kind of show. Inexplicably, it isn’t. The show carves out the path that raw and refined materials take to bring illegal drugs from the fields to your dining room table. I don’t think I’m in a depressive state, but for some reason, the Business of Drugs just couldn’t keep my attention. I made it through two out of six, 40-minute episodes, and then I tapped out.

As always, YMMV.

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My Love-Hate Relationship with Comic Book Material @WalterSimonson #comic

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I love comic book movies but never liked comic books themselves. I had plenty of opportunities as a kid to read them. My cousin collected them, and on days when I was at his house, and it was too hot or cold to play outside, one of the few things to do was read comics. Because of how few I’ve read, I remember almost all of them in good detail. This post is not a product of nerd rage. I have no problem with people liking comic books. I’m simply trying, as best I can, to reconcile my love of the movies with why I don’t like the underlying comics. In short, I’m fine with the underlying source material; I just don’t like the format.

The Seemingly Endless Serial

My biggest issue with the comics is that it takes far too long for the story even to get going, let alone finish. I bought my ticket to see Avengers: Age of Ultron online. That came with a bunch of free web-based comics (one for each Avenger), so I said, “Hey, I love the Thor character, so I guess I’ll give these comics a shot for the first time since middle school. I’ll read the Thor comic, and if I like it, I’ll read the others.” The comic was the first comic in the Gorr the God Butcher storyline. I read it and was left completely unfulfilled. It wasn’t even clear what the overarching plot was. If I had bought that comic, I’d have been disappointed, and there’s no way I’d be willing to wait years for that storyline to play out. Seriously, it must have been at least 24 comics, released once per month. That’s years to read a story that takes less than a week to read. It’s like water torture. Drip, drip, drip, drip….

Graphic Novels Still Suck

So, would I like comics more if I stuck with the graphic novels so that I had the entire story to read quickly? Apparently not. My friend, Erik, lent me the entire Gorr the God Butcher series (two books), and I didn’t enjoy them at all. However, I had very specific criticisms of the story. For example, I can sometimes get angry with people, but that doesn’t grant me, a mere mortal, the ability to fly and exist in the vacuum of space so that I can exact my revenge. It certainly wouldn’t grant me the mind of a god that could process far more information, tactical and otherwise, then a mortal. The entire premise was weak sauce, and it didn’t get much better from there. The only thing that I enjoyed about it was the crazy god that continuously changed his backstory, but that can be explained by what’s in the next section of this post.

So, was it just that story that turned me off? Again, apparently not. Around the same time, I bought a couple of Moon Knight graphic novels. That’s a character I vaguely remember from childhood and would really like to see on the big screen. Still, I didn’t enjoy reading the comics. I can’t point to anything that bothered me within the story. My honest, emotional reaction was simply one of “meh.” I just didn’t like them. (I still want to see Moon Knight on the silver screen.)

Then there’s Walt Simonson’s Ragnarök graphic novel. That is the first time a comic book appealed to me. As readers of this blog (both of you) may remember, I’m an apologist for stories that reference mythology, and Norse mythology is my favorite set of stories. This comic wasn’t as much about the comic book version of Thor, but more about the character from Norse mythology. It was telling a story that could easily have been something the Viking culture believed but never developed because it was post-Ragnarök, and thus post-conversion-to-Christianity. So yeah, I loved it, but that’s explainable, at least in part, based on a different personality quirk of mine. Moreover, I was still mildly upset when I finished the second book and realized I wasn’t reading the entire story. Simonson still has at least one book to go. I’m going to buy it, but I will continue to yell at clouds until I’ve read it. In any event, while this easily could be a matter of Simonson having a style I love, I’ll just chalk this one up to, “There’s an exception to every rule.”


For me, cartoons are supposed to be funny, even if they’re geared towards adults (e.g., Rick and Morty).

Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse receives just as many accolades from my fellow comic book movie nerds as any MCU film does, but I didn’t like it at all. I watched it a second time via the one of’s Twitter-based, quarantine watch parties hoping that everyone’s enthusiasm would show me a value to the movie that I didn’t appreciate on my first viewing. It didn’t. I didn’t participate at all in the watch party because I didn’t want to badmouth something that everyone else liked, and by the time we got to the climactic ending, I was barely watching.

Why didn’t this movie appeal to me? I’m not entirely sure, especially considering that it carried with it a theme that tends to draw me in. Maybe there was something subtle that drove me away. The only thing that makes this movie stand out from all the other superhero-genre movies I love is that it’s animated (as in drawings of characters). I just don’t think I can get behind an animated movie that, at least on the surface, takes itself too seriously. CGI on a human actor is fine, but it’s clear from my viewing history that animated movies and shows must be funny first and serious second for me to like them. Until I can think of at least two exceptions, I’m sticking to that. By the way, the same appears to be true for puppets. I’m looking at you, Dark Crystal. Meh.

Yeah, this is weird, but I am who I am, and who are you to judge?

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Whacky Watch: Zardoz @hulu #movie #GoodWatch

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This movie was from 1974, but I had never seen it, and when I found out this past weekend that it was on Hulu, I knew I just had to watch it.

My online conversations leading up to my viewing were interesting. One friend suggested that Zardoz was “a fairly effective antidote to the Bond stereotype which is what I recall Sir Sean was going for.” Yet another claimed,

Only one person seemed to like it, referring to it as “awesome,” but as I said, I had to watch this. It didn’t take long for this to get weird. I have so many questions. Were those plants sighing? Did the Good Place base its last season on Zardoz? Was the Vortex founded by Princess Leia? How much did they have to pay Connery to wear a wedding dress?

“Zardoz says . . . .”
“What does Zardoz say?”

Well, let him finish the sentence, and you’ll find out, dipshit.

This film was made by John Boorman, who made the equally weird (but magnificent) Excalibur. This film at times uses cheesy, heavy-handed, and downright stupid dialogue to get across its point, but as far as science fantasy goes, it’s not nearly as bad as I’ve heard. It actually raises some interesting philosophical issues (one of which is shared by the brilliant, the Good Place), just raising them in the most awkward way possible. If you can look past the weird, you may find yourself enjoying it as much as I did.

As always, YMMV.

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My Favorite Painting … Sort Of #TMNT #art

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Sundays are now lazy days for me. Going forward, I’m just going to re-post other people’s work or just do something silly. Here’s something silly. It’s an … adaptation? … of my favorite classical painting, Saturn Devouring His Son, by Spanish artist Francisco Goya.

Painting Painting
I’m not sure of its origin, but the only clue I have is that it was posted by godtsol on Tumblr.

Here’s the real one.

Saturn Devouring His Son - Wikipedia


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Decent Watch: Project Power @hitRECordJoe @iamjamiefoxx @Domfishback @CourtneyBVance @netflix #Netflix #GoodWatch

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Project Power is a sci-fi drama about a drug that grants its user a random superpower. Sign me up.

The story follows a New Orleans cop played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He’s trying to find the supplier for the drug. Each person that takes the drug reacts to it in a way specific to themselves, such that they develop a particular superpower each time, but it varies from person to person. The cops don’t seem concerned with the buyers or users, but only the supplier, seeking to cut off the monster at the head. The question is, who’s that? I won’t go into anything else with the plot for fear of giving away too much.

It’s two hours long and doesn’t waste a lot of time before things get going. It doesn’t need to because the genre is so predictable that the filmmakers can assume the audience can figure out the basics. It’s a decent enough story with some small level of originality — it doesn’t take much originality to justify copyright 🙂 — so I enjoyed it. I wouldn’t recommend you prioritize it, but if you’re looking for action with a sci-fi angle, you might like it.

As always, YMMV.

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Good, Not Great, Watch: Devs @Nick_Offerman @fxnetworks @Hulu #FXonHulu

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To start, I want to say that I liked Devs, which is basically a Black Mirror episode spread out over a season. This post isn’t meant to slam it. The cast is a good mix of established actors and new (to me) ones, and I liked the writing and overall story line. There are however, two reasons I suspect are reasons why I didn’t have the same reaction as others.

First, it was built up. It’s difficult for any show to live up to the kind of hype this one was given. It almost always results in disappointment, which in turn taints your view of an otherwise good (or even great) show. I should probably tell you that it sucks, but that would turn you off to watching it. Instead, I’ll (honestly) say it was good.

Second (bear with and pardon my arrogance), I have an undergraduate degree in physics and often do some reading to keep some things sharp. While I’m far from qualified to work professionally in a lab, the issues raised in this show don’t wow me like they may wow others. They’re obviously interesting to me, which is why I can say I enjoyed the show, but I’m not learning about the concepts for the first time, and at one point knew a lot about it. My lack of amazement perhaps places a limit on my enjoyment that others may not have. Moreover, these ideas are the new thing among movies and TV shows. Been there; done that. That may apply for those without any science background at all.

Obviously, my perspective says nothing as to how much you’ll like it. I was certainly wowed by these ideas when they were first taught to me.

The season is 8 episodes, each of which is between 42 and 56 minutes long. As you know from past posts, I prefer shows with 20-25 minute episodes even if the total amount of content is the same, but I can certainly find time for longer episodes. I watched this season over the course of three days (Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday).

I suspect that the average person would at least like this show but maybe love it. As always, YMMV.

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Insane Watch: Eraserhead @DAVID_LYNCH @hbomax #Eraserhead #movie #film

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Here’s the tagline from HBO Max:

A printer named Henry Spencer is on vacation when he learns that his ex-girlfriend, Mary X, has given birth to a terribly deformed baby. Henry marries Mary and the two try living together, but it does not work out. So Mary leaves and Henry begins to care for the baby. After this, several bizarre events take place.

Wait, what? After this things get bizarre? Haven’t you been paying attention up to this point?

There are visions of a woman in Henry’s radiator who dances and crushes small, tadpole-like creatures. Henry has a tryst with a woman who lives across the hall, and he has a dream that his head is being used to make pencil erasers.

Did I like it? I don’t know. I saw it three days ago and am still trying to figure out why’d they even let the mother take the baby home. Where did the baby’s poop go. Could all that oatmeal be the poop that was stored under pressure?

Explosion Brains GIF by South Park - Find & Share on GIPHY

I want to see a sequel called EThead. That baby looked like an human/ET hybrid. As always, YMMV.

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Surprisingly Good Watch: Umbrella Academy, Season 2 @AidanRGallagher @DavidCastanedaJ @ellenpage @emmyraver @justinhmin @katewalsh @Ritu_Arya_ @RobertSheehan @Tomhopperhops @SteveBlackmanTV @UmbrellaAcad @netflix #UmbrellaAcademy

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I wasn’t a fan of season 1 of the Umbrella Academy but found myself watching season 2 anyway. I’m delighted I did. There was something about this season that was completely different for me. I had much more sympathy for the characters (which snowballed as it went on) and was fascinated by the story. Unlike Agent Carter, I had an immediate, positive reaction to the heavy-handed political history that was on display (i.e., African Americans dealing with open, systemic bigotry; and women brushed aside as unimportant and non-threatening). Colm Feore was brilliant as Sir Reginald Hargreeves, but smartly wasn’t given a big enough role to overshadow the main players (who were also pretty damn good).

I also have a thing for alternate history. This season picks up from the cliffhanger from season 1, with the adoptive siblings being teleported back in time to the early 60s. I don’t want to spoil the story, but they get involved with a major historic event that they didn’t realize was part of their own history, while trying to stop yet another apocalypse that never happened in their timeline.

There were two things I didn’t like. First, the soundtrack. The music should have been appropriate for the period (1963). Second, episode 7 requires the characters behave quite stupidly in order to keep the season from ending after 7 episodes. I hate that kind of writing.

Don’t care. Great ending. Great season.

If, like me, you weren’t impressed with season 1, give this series another shot. They really got it right this time. As always, YMMV.

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