• Drunk Napoleon

    Tommy Jarvis (John Shepherd) has problems. In addition to once being played by Corey Feldman,

    … he helpfully introduces himself by scaring the shit out of Tommy with a rubber spider. This is important because it shows how sensitive the folks at Pinehurst Sanitarium are to inhabitants’ past traumas.

    As a continuation of the series, it fails because it mindlessly follows the formula, except where it mattered most to the thousands of kids who had the misfortune to grow up taking these films seriously – i.e. no Jason.

    Nice.

    What did we watch?

    • Drunk Napoleon

      It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Season Eight, Episode Nine, “The Gang Dines Out”
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ac6ba5c3c19436640a6541695b63d398c733749aad626218ac79e7830751efec.png
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7cc2a0c4d77cf48fe9eb915085ddb09ba6c8e883018da47020ee3d7aa2576284.png

      Needed something to watch while eating, chose this. It’s one of my favourite example of the Gang suddenly becoming obsessed with a random phrase – in this case, “pay tribute”, which comes from my favourite example of the Gang believing they’re much classier and more refined than they actually are. This particular part of the Gang’s psychology is something I was always willing to recognise in me and my filthy friends’ psychology.

      Community, Season One, Episode Twenty, “The Science Of Illusion”
      “You’re more of a fun vampire, because you don’t suck blood, you just suck.”

      “That African-American police chief Abed was playing was right. We should have worked together.”

      “Let’s never let Jeff divide us again!”

      It’s April Fools! Annie and Shirley have decided to team up to join the security team, and an offhand comment by Abed about who is the badass and who plays by the rules sets off their competitive sides. Pierce has been promoted to Level 6 in his weird religion thing, so Jeff and Troy work together to play a prank on him and get him to dress up funny. And Britta is so offended at being called a buzzkill that she sets out to prank Senior Chang. When Britta accidentally destroys a sign with a cadaver, it causes all the plots to merge much earlier than normal.

      The overall gist of this episode is the characters’ insecurities coming out. Annie knows she’s seen as a child, Shirley knows she’s seen as old, Troy knows he’s seen as dumb, Pierce knows he’s seen as uncool, and most of all Britta knows she’s seen as a buzzkill (Jeff has these revelations all the time and Abed has self esteem coming out of his butt, which is why they’re both left out). This is the other purpose of community: that we can have people who accept us even through the things we don’t like about ourselves, and as we see with Jeff and Britta, they can even see things in us that we don’t. We can be recognised.

      The Annie/Shirley/Abed plot this episode really brings out the series’ sense of play. Conor observed that the pop culture references play into how people use them to connect, but they also play into the pure sense of fun of the series – the characters are having fun playing pretend, and it’s fun to empathise with them doing that (also: Shirley pulling out the pizza cutter got almost as big a laugh out of me as Pierce’s over-the-top gay jokes about Jeff).

      Also, we’ve talked before about how great it would be to have a true parody of the left’s uh, tendencies; I’m really starting to think Britta managed to be that a few years too early. You want to be Captain Buzzkill? Fine. This is what happens.

      Neon Genesis Evangelion, Episode Twenty, “Weaving A Story 2: Oral Stage”
      Despite the name, this isn’t another clip show, thank god. We come back where we left off, with Unit One eating the Angel and upgrading (cleverly, the opening clip reuses the ending scene of the last episode but weaves in a clip of the committee discussing the events). Somehow, NERV manage to restrain the Eva, but they have a new problem: Shinji’s impossible 400% sync ratio has caused him to somehow dissolve into it. The episode is divided between NERV’s attempts to save Shinji and Shinji’s experiences inside Unit One.

      The NERV stuff isn’t hugely thematically important (though it contains two of the hugest clues yet, when Ritsuko cryptically describes Evas as having a human will inside them, and when she figures out how to save the day using ten year old data – this happened before), but it does continue to contextualise Shinji’s visions in a real-world-ish context. Shinji is described as a kind of primordial soup, and we learn that souls are an actual, practical reality within the NGE verse; the problem they’re trying to solve is getting his soul to reconstitute his body.

      The real meat of the episode is in Shinji’s battle of will. There’s been unrelated talk here about beta males in fiction the past week or so – e.g. Jerry on Rick And Morty – and Shinji is one of the biggest beta males of them all. It’s partly forgivable because he’s you know, fourteen, but it’s essential because NGE’s purpose is to ask: what drives a beta male to act the way he does, and how can he live? And not only does it do this without distancing us from him, it literally puts us in his head.

      Shinji’s vision is, again, an internal dialogue, with people he knows standing in for different points of view – Asuka is violently defensive, Misato is a calming presence, Rei simply pokes holes in Shinji’s statements and asks him difficult questions, and Gendo is mostly frightening, occasionally nice. Shinji’s thoughts come down to two interrelated questions: why must he suffer pain, and how can he justify being alive?

      The gist of Shinji’s thought process is that he’s alive because he pilots an Eva, and when he pilots an Eva he gets respect and people are nice to him. This is what the genre elements are for – a simple, unifying action to allow the character to express themselves. Shinji struggles with piloting an Eva the way Walter White struggles with cooking meth. Without the Eva, Shinji feels totally worthless, not knowing himself or what he wants – I think the kind of depression NGE explores is young person depression, where you’re too inexperienced to know what drives you, and too young to see how well you can survive being thought of as a bad person.

      (The hope is that you get pulled out of this before you discover something unhealthy but effective, and dig yourself into a rut like Jerry)

      He finally realises there’s a familiar smell, that reminds him of his mother; he imagines Gendo asking Yui if it’s even worth bringing a child into the world, and she says absolutely. What I think the episode is suggesting is that, before we can decide who it is we want to be, we need parental love to justify our existence. With no mother and a distant, unloving father, Shinji has no basic grasp on the world, and he doesn’t trust the love of people around him. It’s only when he feels that monstrous female presence again that he manages to reconstitute himself and return to the real world.

      (We also get a big clue in his vision: Gendo plans on calling his child Shinji if it’s a boy and Rei if it’s a girl)

      The episode ends with a relieved Misato (who literally wept over Shinji’s empty plugsuit demanding her Shinji back) running to Kaji to pump him thoroughly for information (by which I mean they fuck to cover up Kaji’s spying for her). Unfortunately, Kaji doesn’t know anything she doesn’t already know, but he’s still a comfort to her.

      Steven Universe, Episode Twenty, “Rose’s Room”
      I can’t believe we jumped from an episode I hated to one of my favourites so far. Steven is grumpy with the Gems for not having any time for him, and then annoying him when they do show up. When he wishes for a place of his own, his gem glows and opens a door to Rose’s Room, and he angrily storms in without the Gems. What follows is really, REALLY basic, with Steven wandering around the room, wishing things into existence, and eventually finding himself trapped in a freaky version of Beach City.

      The implication is pretty clear: Rose’s room is designed as an escape for Steven, and it gives him what it wants, and like a computer it can only handle so much; you can also tell what Rose valued and what she didn’t, because people she probably barely knew (like Lars and Sadie) are given the minimum work, people she never met do not speak, and Steven’s dad has the most detail (though even he still isn’t able to pass for real). It’s all a pretty straightforward ‘reality is falling apart’ horror sequence, but it’s fun to watch.

      I do have to roll my eyes at the ending though. The Gems agreeing to take Steven minigolfing is fine, him announcing proudly that he gets everything he want is another annoying part of a trend.

      • ZoeZ

        Gillian Jacobs with a tiny frog sombrero elevates us all.

        I also always love the ongoing bit of Abed recognizing a movie parody starting even when he’s not the one pulling the strings–him jumping in as Annie and Shirley’s police chief, and choosing to follow them around to witness the buddy cop shenanigans, is great. And, because you have me thinking about dramatic structure, it’s extra-great that this sense of pure play eventually leads to conflict when he can’t disconnect from it.

        Steven Universe‘s best appeals seem to be firmly within the cinematic category: cool visuals and ideas that are awesome in their aesthetics, even if they’re not deepened or explored. I’ll be interested to see if any fundamental issue/conflict does emerge eventually. Hannibal depended upon its sumptuous visuals, and even though I eventually moved away from it, it did have a central “battle for one man’s soul/will they or won’t they (sleep together and then also eat a person)” dilemma that it could keep revisiting. You need something strong and simple, if not necessarily dramatic, at the center, like the dowel rods holding up the structure of fancy cake.

        • Drunk Napoleon

          My favourite part is him feeding the Dean lines, and eventually taking over for him.

          “Tell them they have 24 hours.”
          “They do have 24 hours!”

          From what I remember from my time in the vicinity of the fandom, the central character conflicts (e.g. Amethyst’s steadfast individuality) just keep building up and up and up without ever tipping over into real change. The closest thing I can really think of is the development of Steven, and as you can see I don’t really buy into it.

    • ZoeZ

      The Big Heat: This feels like an early ancestor of The Shield, looking, per Roger Ebert’s review, at how the “cop who can’t be stopped” might function, and the kind of damage he might do. Only there’s no catharsis here–not for anyone other than Gloria Grahame, at least. The film works that lack of recognition well.

      Office Space: Unbelievably, my wife had never seen this before. She enjoyed it immensely, as she should, because it’s a delight: a seamlessly entertaining film where every scene is either a good joke or good character development. Also, Gary Cole is the comedic hero of our time. The elongated “what” in “what’s happening?” alone should secure the title.

      Mad Max: Fury Road: There is nothing in this movie that is not awesome. I have tested this theory through multiple rewatches, and it holds true.

      • Drunk Napoleon

        Counterpoint: Nux becomes awesome, necessitating him not being awesome at the start of the movie.

        • ZoeZ

          He has my favorite arc in the movie, so I’ll concede this, but even before Nux himself is awesome, I find Nux on-screen to be awesome: “What a day! What a lovely day!” (The piercing blue eyes help; that kid is adorable even in chalky makeup.)

          • Drunk Napoleon

            You know, it occurs to me how well developed the morality of individual characters within MM:FR are, from Max’s loner individualism to Nux’s wannabe manly guy to Furiosa’s dedication to a single goal to Immortan Joe’s authoritarianism. And combine that with the plain mythical tone, you could really see it as a cinematic manifesto on masculinity, delivered via badass action.

          • ZoeZ

            I like that, and it also works interestingly in that all of their moralities are insufficient on their own–Max going it alone won’t save him, Nux can’t succeed as a War Boy, Furiosa has to reconceive her dream, and Immortan Joe gets his face ripped off. The movie is big on community and cooperation, and also sensitive to what actually threatens it. Max exits paradise to continue wandering, but he’ll always be welcome back, because he knows how to participate, how to love and give of himself. The loners who live primarily outside of community don’t destroy it, just the Immortan Joes, who turn relationships into commodities and reciprocity into leverage.

            A lot of the time, movies that address masculinity don’t make room for more than two kinds, the Good and the Bad, but Fury Road, even with barely pausing, makes room for the different ways people can live.

          • Dude is driven (pun not intended), you gotta admire that. He looks like he’s about to keel over in his very first shot, but the moment he learns that Furiosa escaped he becomes all about kicking ass and taking names.

      • Miller

        In some ways Jennifer Anniston is a fantasy for Ron Livingston but the writing gives her space to be prickly and her performance is really solid, it’s easy to believe her as a counterpart wage slave with even more beef than Peter. Her delivery of “I love Kung Fu” is so great — it’s not romantic but a lovely pleasure of being recognized in a simple way that she is not prepared for in a world and job that treats her as an object. And that this comes as the most banal activity of watching reruns is Judge retaining his sly if not jaundiced eye — he won’t, ahem, judge but he won’t idealize either (until the bogus manual labor ending at least).

    • Fresno Bob

      I did a double bill on Saturday.

      Eaten Alive (Tobe Hooper) – You know how Texas Chainsaw Massacre is considered a masterpiece of modern horror, using location photography, gritty film stock, and atmosphere to create a near flawless example of cinematic terror? Well imagine a film that rips off sequences from that movie, but does so on shitty sets, is filmed entirely on a sound stage, and is over lit to the point where it looks less artless than a soap opera. That being said, the villain in this movie is pure Hooper, and would fit in with the TCM clan from either the original or part 2, and it has these odd, quirky moments. But it lacks any terror or tension, and tries to justify its existence with lots of gruesome deaths and female nudity. And it has this weird effect where, despite the parade of lady flesh, all of the male characters are so disgusting that it almost becomes a comment on itself. It’s unfortunate, because if this had half the atmosphere of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, it would probably be considered a classic in and of itself.

      The Fabulous Baron Munchausen – A gorgeous and consistently magical work of pure genius! The effects create an entire world whole cloth, are absolutely seamless, and you feel like you are watch the movie version of a Dore illustration. The impact it had on Terry Gilliam is impossible to ignore, but I’m happy to report that seeing this didn’t rob his Baron Munchausen of its magic, as Gilliam wisely chose to approach his version with a different aesthetic and delve more deeply into character motivation. But the Czech original here feels like a precursor of sorts to things like Sky Captain, Sin City, and 300, as the effort to recreate a work of art and a style, and create an immersive world, is done to great effect with far more magical and confounding results.

      • I absolutely love the first half of Eaten Alive, but it feels like they ran out of ideas for how to conclude it, and fell back on reusing ideas from Texas Chain Saw as you say, and that comparison doesn’t help it at all. On the plus side though, the soundtrack is incredible and I love William Finley.

        • Fresno Bob

          William Finley shows up: plays William Finley.

    • Twin Peaks Episode 14

      Final Five!! Everything in this episode is a spoiler. It is all the big pieces finally moving into place. The FBI, who has been stuck in North Dakota for what seems like ages, finally gets their tickets out of there with a call from Sheriff Truman and the reveal that Janey-E is Diane’s estranged sister. So estranged, apparently, that Diane has never met Dougie Jones.

      But that all gets pushed aside for Gordon Cole’s dream wondering if they’re inside somebody else’s dream. Who would have thunk that this was all just a big Inception plot.

      When talking with Gordon Coke, Lucy sounded like her old dotty self, not the “really slow to the point of almost seeming mentally retarded” self she’s been all season. Similarly, Andy gets to be the hero as he is sucked into the vortex and shown a recap of everything that’s happened so far. And then he rescues the blind woman from the Purple World who has dropped into Twin Peaks, WA.

      After last week’s weirdness, I don’t know what is going on with the Twin Peaks plots. Last week, Sarah was watching a boxing match on a 20 second loop. This week, Sarah is opening her face (in a reference to a motion her daughter once made about having a twin), and killing bar creeps by eating their neck. And, Billy finally gets a plot point beyond being missing, in that Tina’s daughter says he came by with blood spurting from his mouth and nose before running off again, leaving her and her mom to clean up after Billy (who was also Tina’s lover).

      The Giant has been renamed The Fireman, or one who puts out fires (as in Fire Walk With Me). And Philip Jeffries makes the same appearance he made in FWWM. But, it feels like we’re finally seeing the gaps close as the painting is finally coming together. I don’t have hopesfor solid answers for everything, but I’m hoping that there will be enough connective tissue to tie in everything from the NYC penthouse black box to the melted piece of metal in Brazil to the weird Audrey plot. Only four more episodes and new characters are still being introduced (like James’s co-worker with a gloved hand). Gah!!

      • Fresno Bob

        Yeah, I’ve been all in on the weirdness so far, but it was very nice to see so much move forward in one episode. Things are falling into place (or at least…I think they are).

        When Andy was in the place with the Fireman, and he started watching the catch-up reel, my wife muttered under her breath “freakin’ Twin Peaks.” It was a combination of frustration and admiration in equal measure.

      • I’m so happy it’s gotten eventful again. In parts 12 and 13 it hit something of a lull, but there’s nothing better than Twin Peaks that’s both weird and has things moving forward.

        Laura also removed her face in front of Cooper early in the revival, except in her case the inside was filled with white light, while underneath Sarah’s face there’s blackness. Between her, Red and his drugs, the hum in the Great Northern, the possessed (?) girl in the car, Big Ed’s reflection seemingly not matching his movements, whatever Audrey’s predicament is, and so much else… man, there is a fuckton of weird going on in Twin Peaks, isn’t there. I’m getting more and more anxious about how it’s all going to conclude.

        “I had another Monica Bellucci dream last night!” Didn’t we all.

        James’ coworker was technically introduced back in the premiere – they were in the Roadhouse together. He’s also played by the English Language in 24 Accents guy, which is just one of the many things about the episode that made my day.

    • Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later – I was either at a beer festival, drunk from a beer festival, or hungover from a beer festival all weekend, so this slotted nicely in as a low-brainpower collection of absurd laughs. It’s not quite as good as First Day of Camp but it’s still hugely entertaining. Most of my biggest laughs come from the absurd accents, facial expressions and generally the way they say things rather than the things that are actually being said. A wonderful group of very funny people.

      Summer Rental – I’m Year of the Monthing this for tomorrow so I figured I should watch it again. I have a lot to say, somehow. I just need to figure out the right way to say it.

      • I feel like I’m the only one who liked WHAS: Ten Years Later more than First Day of Camp.

    • The Big Sleep & Key Largo Bogey & Bacall double feature! The former is clearly the superior film. KL was fine and enjoyable, but Bacall didn’t have enough to do, & Edward G. Robinson can play gangsters in his sleep (for better or worse). TBS was twisty and turny, and I’m still not quite sure what happened in it, but goddamn was it awesome as it happened. The dialogue cracked and popped, and Bogey was so effortlessly cool (the scene where he’s tied up, but still smoking and trading barbs – that’s badass). Watching them also made me realize that, while I enjoy film noir, I haven’t see that much of it. Must fix.

      • Balthazar Bee

        The Big Sleep definitely started my obsession with noir. Also, in another post I think I mis-attributed my willingness to overlook plot coherence to reading Ellroy; it probably started right here. I still go back and forth on the specifics of whole chauffeur issue — hard to trust Joe Brody about that, but he also doesn’t come across as the type to go “all in” with physical violence.

      • Son of Griff

        THE BIG SLEEP is almost too fun to be noir. It feels like a particularly erudite throwback to an earlier style of Warner Brothers crime picture, particularly when you see the expressionistic flourishes in MURDER MY SWEET from the year before.

    • Delmars Whiskers

      Where Eagles Dare–Half of this movie is set-up, the second half is nothing but Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton machine gunning Nazis. For some reason, I was in the mood to watch a movie that takes the bold stance of admitting that Nazis are bad.

      Stagecoach–Not the good version, but the cheesy Cinemascope remake, with Alex Cord desperately trying to fill in for John Wayne, and a mixed bag cast that includes Van Heflin, Ann-Margret, Red Buttons and Mike Connors. Some of the clumsiest spicing of second unit and primary unit shooting I’ve ever seen, hammy acting and a needlessly protracted running time, but hey, at least it has a swell score by Jerry Goldsmith.

      Dr. Strangelove–No idea what motivated me to rewatch this…

    • The Ploughman

      In the Mood for Love In the mood for low key? In the mood for longing? In the mode for Cole Porter and gorgeous gowns and luscious yet naturalistic art direction? In the Mood for Love.

      Twin Peaks (original) S1E7. Shit’s about to go down on several fronts.

    • Pigskin Parade, Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry, Everybody Sing, Listen, Darling, Love Finds Andy Hardy, Andy Hardy Meets Debutante. My recent Judy Garland obsession has proved strong enough to actually lead me into the cinephile Wild West of corny late 1930s family comedies, which I’ve survived mostly unscathed so far. (Still to come: some particularly obscure and, presumably, ungainly star-studded 1940s MGM musicals.) Things began on a surprisingly high note with Pigskin Parade, which has a hilarious central performance by Patsy Kelly, some very fun tap-dancing, and enough silliness that doesn’t cross over into idiocy. Going in, I knew that Garland wouldn’t appear until halfway through and would then proceed to tell other characters “I can sing, you know!”, only to be ignored until the climax. So, basically, what was mere light teasing to unsuspecting moviegoers in 1936 would seem downright perverse to anyone in 2017, but I had a pleasant enough time to not complain. And when Garland does finally get to belt out two songs, she does so with a self-assured grin that’s basically indistinguishable from the one she’d bring out 18 years later for “The Man That Got Away” in A Star Is Born.

      The subsequent movies were all just as formally uninteresting, but forgot to be much (or any kind of) fun to compensate for it, and all that stands out in my memory are the accidental (?) moments of weirdness and Garland inevitably owning every frame she’s in. Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry introduced me to Mickey Rooney, and immediately he’s at his most insufferable – playing a teenager who is already obnoxious as all hell, but whom the movie seemingly wants us to like. The centerpiece is a bizarrely sexually charged scene in which the 16-year-old Rooney aggressively massages the 13-year-old Ronald Sinclair’s thighs after they went riding together, repeatedly pulling down his pants and pushing him onto a bed despite his protestations, while the 15-year-old Garland smirks and serenades them with a guitar from outside the room.

      Everybody Sing and Listen, Darling are the worst of these six. The former has unlikable shouting caricatures for its main cast of characters and puts Garland in blackface in a scene that really hammers home just how nauseating it is to simply look at, even putting aside whether or not there was malicious intent. This movie attempts to excuse it by presenting it to Garland’s character as a means to quickly disguise herself so that she’s not recognized; you may or may not choose to meet the movie halfway on this one, but the main thing is, it looks nightmarishly grotesque. (My only previous experience with Classic Hollywood-era blackface was Fred Astaire in Swing Time, who looks like the height of subtlety compared to this.) Listen, Darling, meanwhile, is all about how kidnapping your mom to prevent her from marrying a man for money is fun, because she’ll totally understand, and of course, she’ll meet a bachelor on the road who couldn’t be more perfect for her. It’s some of the most inane 75 minutes I’ve ever sat through, not rescued even by the combined talents of Garland and Mary Astor, the latter of whom you basically want to hug through the screen and tell her that The Maltese Falcon is only three years away.

      Love Finds Andy Hardy seems to be a bit more acknowledged than all the other movies in its franchise (it’s in the National Film Registry, at least), but it’s largely unmemorable, aside from scenes of Rooney completely failing to notice Garland’s obvious crush on him to chase other girls, which almost makes you wonder if (or how much) this onscreen treatment of her character contributed to her insecurities about her appearance and attractiveness in real life. Andy Hardy Meets Debutante is quite a bit better. For one thing, it actually discovers how to make Rooney funny: by having life kick his character in the nuts, which he proceeds to react to with hyperbolically defeatist dialogue. It’s both funny and truthful for a teenager who genuinely believes he’s living through the most important time of his life. Garland’s character is improved, too, by beingmore self-possessed, and late in the film she shares a really surprising, honest-to-God dramatic scene with Rooney in which you can practically see the emergence of a serious actress who’d star in The Clock five years later. In her earlier teenage roles, she mostly captivates just by singing or standing around and reacting to people in enthusiastic-puppy fashion, but this is real acting.

      • Miller

        Is this nut-kicking delightfully literal or sadly metaphorical?

        • The latter, alas. But it’s better than nothing.

          • Miller

            Truth.

      • There are few things that can sour the mood of a Classic Hollywood-era film than blackface. Holiday Inn has a particularly egregious example – I know that one is an annual festive favourite for some people, but I don’t think I could sit through it again.

        • Miller

          Holiday Inn’s blackface is terrible, and the worst part is that it is in service of arguably the best song in the movie (only White Christmas has a better claim) and that song itself is racist as shit. Oy.

        • Delmars Whiskers

          I saw A Day At The Races at a revival house many years ago, and the audience was laughing and having a great time. Then the All God’s Chillun Got Rhythm number came on, played to chilly silence, and there were very few laughs for the rest of the movie.

    • jroberts548

      Night Train to Munich. Because I am an American in 2017, I wasn’t totally sure who the bad guys were.

      For real, watching this on Saturday did not do it or me any favors. It does not live up to the promise of Carol Reed’s version of The Lady Vanishes. Also, Chalders and Caldecott appear in this movie too, and whereas they were fun and quaint in Hitchcock’s movie, they’re just in this movie way too much.

      Overall, the movie spends way too much time on set up. It takes an almost an hour for them to get on the train! There’s no excuse for that. If there’s a vehicle in your movie’s title, and no one is on that vehicle within 15 minutes, you should sit down and fix the script before you make your movie.

      There are some nice character performances from young Rex Harrison and Margaret Lockwood. Also the criterion box art is really cool.

      American Gods, finished the first season. As an adaptation choice, I’m kinda digging the new gods efforts at modernizing old gods. But also as adaptation choices I’m not a huge fan of bringing Salim into the main plot or apparently doing the same to bilquis.. The coming to America vignettes do a great job of enlarging the world and creating a general sense of magic, as if there’s a pagan god behind every corner.

      I’m also not a huge fan of bringing in all the jesuses. I don’t know if this is because I’m Catholic, so I love paganism in fiction and am a little put off by sacrilege, or if it’s because it undermines the book’s tension between traditional religion and modern life. I think it’s mostly the latter.

      Game of thrones, started catching up on the current season, the first two episodes. The opening scene of this season is pretty cool. The final set piece of episode 2 is dumb.

      • I was thinking this a few years ago when a movie called Night Train to Lisbon came out and then seemed to vanish – there’s such an ineffable sense of romance and mystery and promise in the notion of a night train, it’s a crime that there doesn’t seem to exist a movie that calls itself “Night Train to X” and really lives up to it. To me it’s one of the most cinematic titles imaginable; it deserves a movie that’s among the peaks of the medium, dammit.

        • jroberts548

          “Whaddaya need – a road map? You shouldn’t. It’s a train. It’s on tracks.”

      • Fresno Bob

        Also, the Nazi villain being played by Paul Henried makes him instantly more likable than Rex Harrison, even though he’s a fucking Nazi.

        • jroberts548

          I only knew Harrison from My Fair Lady and The Agony and the Ecstasy, where he’s great, and I could barely recognize him.

      • pico79

        While I’m mostly enjoying this season of Game of Thrones, I don’t think the show’s ever stretched logistic plausibility so much. Maybe it’s the collapsed season, but it feels like I’m having to suspend disbelief a lot more.

        • jroberts548

          Still just on episode 2, but Dany’s plan makes no sense. Dragon stone is right next to king’s landing. A siege will hurt the civilian population as much as an actual invasion. And what do you think happens if you send an army of dothraki marching across to casterly rock on the west coast? They’re going to do way more damage than if you sent them to king’s landing. Particularly since the only thing giving Cersei any semblance of power at all is king’s landing.

    • silverwheel

      Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb – this was one of my purchases during this B & N Criterion Sale, and their packaging for it is *adorable.* Little things I noticed this time: the miniature photo essay of the troops listening to Ripper’s instructions, and the surprisingly well-done battle footage at the base. That part never gets mentioned, partly because there isn’t much of it, and partly because the, uh, less-than-convincing airplane rear-projection work is more prominent. But what is there is well-done, particularly a nicely choreographed shot from the POV of one of the gunners on top of the base. And I also thought about how Kubrick re-used some of the aerial footage of this movie and falsely colored it for 2001. That says so much about Stanley and about how he worked, about how he was so unusually grounded for an auteur – even while making a movie with such profound and cosmic ambitions, he wasn’t going completely overboard with how he put it together (just think of how many other directors would have insisted on filming lots of new aerial footage for that sequence). His ambitions were grounded in making the movie work properly, and he rarely stepped over that line into ego-fueled “because I can” style of directing.

      • Son of Griff

        From reading interviews with the director and his collaborators, Kubrick’s perfectionism wasn’t of the pre-plan-everything-so -i -can-get exactly-what- I-want school (ala Hitchcock), but in working through a scene with angles and performances to get the maximum that you can out of the scene. He had a unique ability to make improvisation seem controlled, because his choices of takes created off kilter moments in a constricted aesthetic.

        • silverwheel

          Very well put, and that’s quite apparent in Strangelove, particularly with Scott’s and Sellers’ performances. Sellers’ famous improv on the phone with Dmitri is not only hilarious, but also adds realism to the scene – it really feels like an off-the-cuff conversation with a drunken man, and the way Sellers searches for a gentle way of breaking the news to him is just amazing. And Kubrick’s use of Scott’s more over-the-top takes, especially using the one where he trips and falls mid-sentence, brilliantly emphazies a particular quality of Scott’s performance to the point where it becomes unforgettable.

          • Son of Griff

            Kubrick’s relationship to “the method” boasted numerous contradictions. He liked the “realism” mof stanislavky when appled to setting, and improvisation, but dismissed its emphasis on linking behavior to memory and psychology. This resulted a heightened artificial theatricality in his actor’s over time.

    • The Narrator

      The Big Sick: Really good! Much less of the aimless Apatow and Co. improv than I was expecting, and it’s quite moving in addition to being really funny. Holly Hunter and Ray Romano are as good as advertised, and I’m still laughing about Romano being baffled by the internet’s hatred of Forrest Gump.

      Contagion: Maybe the most ruthless movie Soderbergh has ever made, in compositions, editing, music, and plot/treatment of its characters. The movie stars are all fucked to one degree or another, and only Jennifer Ehle, the quiet, unshowy professional, gets to make it out mostly okay (by the way, Ehle gives one of my favorite performances of all time in this; her two looks after she discovers the working vaccine are some of the most beautiful pieces of screen acting I’ve ever seen).

    • pico79

      Until its last five minutes, Atomic Blonde is, no joke, a more stylish version of Burn After Reading. (Vague thematic spoilers here, no plot details.) The running theme of the movie seems to be that nothing the spies themselves or the espionage industry they work for has any real-world impact – in fact, the real world is happening on the margins, driven by public, mass mobilization, and the spies don’t even seem interested – while the actual spy plot has more to do with the personal self-interest of individual players. In other words, while the spy characters seem to think they’re driving world history, they’re actually parasitic attachments to it, using world history to justify their own greed, indulgence, and revenge. It’s a wonderfully bleak joke that gives the movie a bit more heft than I expected.

      Or at least it was, until the last five minutes undercuts that, and the movie seems to side with the spy version of history in one ill-considered monologue. Oh, well. It was a good rush while it lasted.

      • pico79

        oh, also, Twin Peaks this week gave me nightmares. Jesus.

      • Wow, I did not consider this at all, but it does make me want to rethink the movie. I simply attributed the inconsequentiality of the story/my own detachment from it to the movie being way too drunk on its own style and dopey sense of cool, and found the characters constantly talking about “the List” first annoying, then unintentionally funny. Perhaps I shortchanged it, though I doubt I’d find it interesting to watch even with this in mind. Its two hours really felt like three by the end.

        • pico79

          (spoilers, don’t wanna block out the entire comment, though)

          That was basically my reaction until about the halfway mark, but I kept coming back to the televisions showing the political breakdown of East Germany, youth rallies, marches, etc. It’s like none of that even matters to the people who are ostensibly there to “fight the good fight,” and I think it’s wild that the movie’s climactic setpiece involves the spies using the youth protesters as cover to escape: like, we’ll use them for our purposes, even put them at risk of gunfire, but nothing we’re actually doing is to their benefit. Then you get McAvoy’s pre-death monologue about spycraft which you know is total b.s. (his only real motivation is that his lucrative smuggling operation is going to dry up) and by that point I was laughing out loud at how cynical the movie was.

          But then the movie ends with Charlize’s line about “every operation was another tear in the Iron Curtain”, which is even more transparently b.s., but the movie gives it a triumphant send-off. I wonder if the director just didn’t realize the cynical subversive movie he had on his hands.

          Like you, I don’t see myself re-watching it, though.

          • thesplitsaber

            ‘ the movie’s climactic setpiece involves the spies using the youth protesters as cover to escape:’

            One plot point that confused me-isnt in Theron’s characters best interest that Marsans character die? Giving up the list means giving her away to the UK as a Russian double agent? (though she was of course an , ugh, American triple agent.)

          • pico79

            ¯_(ツ)_/¯

            Only thing that makes sense to me is that keeping Marsan alive prevented McAvoy from having sole control of the info (and thus maximizing whatever profits he hopes to get out of it, which is why he wanted Marsan dead.) But that seems like a colossally stupid risk when there are much simpler ways to neutralize him. Or more simply: so much of what they do in scenes like that feels “performative,” like they’re acting out what they they want the other party to know about them (“Look, I’m helping him!”) to the point that the acting becomes more important than the purpose. Which is another reason it felt so Burn After Reading-ish to me: spies playing games that are completely unnecessary for everyone involved.

    • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

      Got a long list from this weekend:

      Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later, through the finish. Conor will be pleased to know, this does get better; episodes 6 and 7 were in particular the highlights. I can’t say it doesn’t feel like a lot of the stories were a little thin, rushed, or unnecessary, but seeing the climaxes of several of them cut together– particularly the action sequences– was pretty sweet. Ben and McKinley’s ending was by far the funniest part of the denouement.

      Angie Tribeca, season 2, through episode 7. Finally got my wife on board; the show continues to be really fun and a definite step up over season 1.

      Game of Thrones, last night’s episode (“Eastwatch”). I’ve long since made peace with the whole “It takes however long the plot needs it to take to get from point A to point B” thing, for the expediency of storytelling. It is pretty cool to see some folks speak to each other again after many years, or to come back to the plot (Gendry!). RIP Randyll Tarly (and the son too dumb to stand down for the good of his house); I hope his last thought was “Great, now the idiot son I hate is the sole heir of my estate.”

      I was disappointed we didn’t get some of the conversations I’ve been dying to hear from people who have reunited after a long time or otherwise have strange connections together. The two I most wanted to hear, re-posted from other comments:

      DANY: OMG Jorah where is ur grayscale?
      JORAH: OMG, I went to the Citadel and this student named Samwell Tarly cured it
      JON: OMG, I sent him there to be the Wall’s Maester, he’s totes my BFF
      DANY: OMG, I totes just roasted his father and brother alive

      GENDRY: Don’t trust those people. They sold me to a fire witch to be burned. But also to fuck
      JON: That fire witch brought me back to life
      DAVOS: Yeah after she roasted a child
      BERIC: That child died so you could live
      JON: What the fuck

      Twin Peaks: The Return, episode 14. AHHHHHHH IT’S ALL COMING TOGETHER! Probably my favorite episode other than episode 8. See my comment here for full thoughts. Also see here.

      Rick and Morty, “Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender” (last night’s episode). My fears that Rick is being flattened and Flanderized into “complete nihilist with an empty pit in his soul” have not been abated by this episode. However, there were some great jokes, including dumb jokes that work a lot better in cartoon form than in real life (see Noop-Noop slipping in Rick’s diarrhea). The final punchline of the test absolutely killed me. Again, though, given the number of commenters who seem to have entirely forgotten what S1 Rick (and for that matter, S1 Jerry) were like, I’m worried the writers have, too.

      Superstore, a few of last season’s episodes, namely “Lost and Found,” “Ladies’ Lunch,” and “Valentine’s Day.” A pretty good trio– Garrett unexpectedly losing his shit at Dina is a highlight– but I think my favorite joke is during the sexual harassment seminar: Mark McKinney’s Glenn tells the story of how he met his wife, and how it gradually dawns on him that it was a pretty major case of harassment (“She worked at my dad’s hardware store. I asked her out every day for a year… she finally went out with me because he said he would fire her if she didn’t!”) Leading both to Cheyenne’s great capper (“Oh, so it’s not harassment if they marry!”) and, in particular, Glenn’s later phone call to his wife, a highlight of the series: “Jerusha! Our marriage is based on a sex crime! …No, you don’t love me, you were my victim!

      • I’m curious what differences you see between S1 Rick & Jerry (biggest I see is that Rick used to show affection and care for Morty & Summer – that’s much less prevalent now).

      • Yeah, I’m worried, too, that the show is beginning to think that the point of every episode has to be what a miserable asshole Rick is. I saw some AV Club commenters talking about how this feels a little like the road that Community eventually went down, and I’m thinking I agree. It’s still fucking hilarious, though, so I can’t complain too much. That Israel joke, too…

        Also, good to see some more people on the Superstore train. That show is a weekly delight.

        • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

          Exactly– Rick is a far more compelling character to me if his gruffness and distance are coping mechanisms for real trauma, real tragedy, from the way having experiences other people can’t even comprehend would naturally alienate you from them, and from knowing that with the danger you frequently find yourself in, that being too closely attached to anyone can put them in danger, too. If they turn him into “an old man who’s a sullen teenager but also drinks,” that will make for a far lesser show.

          • Right. Rick’s getting a little too terrestrial and mundane in his pathology, and that’s much less interesting. It’s a fine line between that and what he’s been in the past, and it’s occasionally paid off this season. But the show’s also occasionally slipped up on it, too, which makes me wish they’d be content to just do a fun episode every once in a while rather than make every episode about how crushingly terrible it is to be Rick, especially if they’re intent on literally diagnosing Rick each episode. I thought “Pickle Rick” was going to be more of a pure “fun concept” episode, but you know how that went.

  • Man, the strap to the head is one of my favorite deaths in the series. It was ridiculous, kind of kinky, and Eddie was hot, muscly and shirtless.

  • The Ploughman

    I spent a (largely inebriated) college summer with a guy who insisted we watch every Friday the 13th movie in order on consecutive days. I pretty much hated them all but this one was likely my favorite just because of how bug-nuts it is while still (sort of) playing it straight. This is closer to Sleepaway Camp than Friday the 13th and it causes me no end of amusement that the victims start killing each other off even before the ersatz Jason shows up.

    • Fresno Bob

      There is something kind of amusing about how dull and joyless these films cycle through the murders. Last time I watched Part 3, the lazy pace and lack of tension almost feels meta. Jason shuffles onto screen, kind of wanders over to someone, and kills them. And it’s so obvious every time who is going to survive within the first 30 seconds of the character introductions.

      • The Ploughman

        There’s no actual attempt at tension in a lot of these films. I once made a high-falutin’ comparison of the appeal of these films the their audience to Japanese Noh theater, where the emotions are displayed rather than simulated. It’s horror where the presence of familiar cues (kill coming, here’s where the killer jumps out, creeping string score) is the point in and of itself.

        • The extensive mundanity of the later entries are kind of what fueled the tortureporn genre, where the horror tension gave way to Grand Guignol murders with maximal pain and gore. All pretense was eliminated and the violence became the entertainment.

          • Balthazar Bee

            No doubt that’s correlated to a decrease in the likability of the machete fodder which, for this series, probably hit the lowest valley with Melissa in part 7, who represented bitchiness with a formidable archness. Although there’s plenty of competition.

          • Are we excluding the remake in that assessment? Because, good lord, those kids were made to be insufferable and it rendered the movie unwatchable, even for somebody who has sat through all 9 of the original series, Jason X, and Freddy vs Jason.

          • Balthazar Bee

            Ugh, how did I forget that group? I like to think they’re the reason we’re experiencing the longest Friday drought since the series began.

      • Miller

        I watched one of the early-to-mid-period Fridays on Telemundo once, despite not knowing a word of Spanish I don’t believe I lost anything in translation.

        • Fresno Bob

          So, what you are saying is that Friday the 13th sequels are masterpieces of pure cinema.

          • Miller

            Godard can densely theorize all he wants, his cinema ain’t shit without a harpooned teen.

    • I’ve never bothered with any of the Friday the 13th sequels because I found the first one to be so utterly lacking in personality, although I suspect there are at least a couple of later ones I could enjoy on a dumb-nonsense level, and I’m sure at some point my curiosity will get the better of me. I think I’d probably rather just watch Sleepaway Camp again though…

      • clytie

        I saw a couple of the sequels at slumber parties in my youth. They were just dull and unmemorable.

        • Well, at least that’s in keeping with the original…

          • BurgundySuit

            Will we be seeing your Summer Rental piece tomorrow?

          • You will – it’s mostly written, just need to polish a bit. Will have it on your desk later today!

      • thesplitsaber

        ‘I could enjoy on a dumb-nonsense level,’

        Jason Goes to Hell is the high point of the series for me-complete insanity, a bizarre mash up of magical horror action film AND probably the most iconic ending of the series.

  • Miller

    “Or is it just a byproduct of an obsession with cinematic patterns, variations on a theme, a love of the fun that goes with parsing the minutiae of paint-by-numbers filmmaking?”

    Love this. This is why bad or weird genre flicks (for a given genre you like) can still be entertaining, especially when they’re so inept. I don’t know how this came up over the weekend but I was shocked to learn Mrs. Miller had never seen or heard Rebecca Black’s “Friday” so of course that had to be remedied, and I had forgotten just how Room-like that song is in terms of the creator attempting to use basic style and structure and failing so hard in the execution — we can see intent and result make a 90-degree angle and it’s fascinating. This sounds similar, if slightly more mercenary and competent. Great review.

    • Balthazar Bee

      I was near-desperate for some kind of sane justification for fixating on these films (and the slasher genre generally) and this is probably as close as I’ll ever get. And thanks!

    • Son of Griff

      Someone (probably Rabin) coined the term ” the bad ____ sublime” for describing the authentic failure to replicate a particular artistic form. There is something glorious, even noble about this type of fiasco that deliberate camp can’t replicate.

      • Miller

        Yes, authentic is the key word here. This can’t be faked.

  • clytie

    Question of the day: What are some of the most egregious examples of “obviously changed at the last moment” in films/TV?

    I was having a conversation with an internet friend who recently got Lifetime Movie Network and is now a Lifetime movie fan. I am, of course, a longtime Lifetime movie fan. There’s a Lifetime movie called Gospel of Deceit which is rather infamous among Lifetime fans because the protagonist becomes pregnant with a double incest baby. Except she doesn’t. Her son/lover is revealed to not be her son in the final scene. It makes the character’s motivations make zero sense and was clearly tacked on.

    • Miller

      The non-dead dog in Gibson’s cut of Payback. Makes me mad just thinking about it.

      • Balthazar Bee

        My son thinks it’s hilarious how furious I get when the dog shows up with a big prop bandage about its midsection. It got shot in the head!

        • Miller

          Right?! For fuck’s sake, at least be consistent in your candy-assing.

      • thesplitsaber

        I still prefer it to the directors cut but man does that whole movie go nuts in the last 10 minutes.

    • The Narrator

      The very ending of the remake of The Vanishing. The changed climax is obviously complete bullshit, but the very last scene resembles a MadTV-level parody of terrible studio notes.

      • thesplitsaber

        ‘You know the iconic ending that is the whole reason we’re remaking this movie? Yeah we need to change that.’

    • Delmars Whiskers

      The Magnificent Ambersons is too obvious, right?

    • Son of Griff

      Almost every studio film from the 80s seems to reek of this. the most egregious example that comes to my mind was Robert Towne’s TEQUILA SUNRISE, a boring neo noir made worse by having it’s most morally challenged character (Mel Gibson) inexplicably survive an exploding yacht.and run off with Michelle Pfeiffer under Kurt Russell’s paternal gaze.

      • clytie

        Another from the 80s: Heathers. One one of the DVD releases has the end of the original script as an extra.

        • Son of Griff

          Also RISKY BUSINESS, although I prefer the cynicism of the tacked on ending to the didacticism of the original.

          HEATHERS feels like the whole third act was taken from another movie. I don’t know what the original climax involved, but if it undercut the unearned “sincerity” of the anti-suicide message I’d be for it.

          • thesplitsaber

            Ryder and Slater blow up themselves and the students.

          • Son of Griff

            Well, that returns it to the tone of the first half.

        • BurgundySuit

          See your article on Smooth Talk tomorrow?

          • clytie

            I need to fine-tune it a bit. But it will be posted.

          • clytie

            I tried posting my article, but I never used WordPress before. Could I send it to you somehow?

          • clytie

            I think I’ve got it up.

      • Fatal Attraction has to be a big one.

        • clytie

          HBO used to show a version of that with both endings. The original one first.

    • Balthazar Bee

      One of my favourite examples is The Exorcist III.

      I’m hardly going to object to the return of Jason Miller or the inclusion of Nicol Williamson (whose entire character is a studio construct), but having the cheek to actually add a snakes-and-hellfire exorcism sequence to the final reel?

      Once I saw Blatty’s original cut, which completely recasts Brad Dourif as Father Karras, it became clear why he was so dissatisfied with the changes the studio made: the appearance of unambiguous supernatural elements completely undermines the point of the story.

      Admittedly, the original cut is a pretty dour and very talky affair, and while both versions are worth watching, Dourif is miles better as Karras than as the Gemini, and the last ten minutes of the theatrical version are just a wholesale tear down.

      • I’m not sure which version they have up on Shudder, I imagine it’s the theatrical cut. But when the priest showed up again at the end I had to laugh because I had completely forgotten about him and his, what, two scenes where he doesn’t say anything? Then I read the production notes on Wikipedia that did make a point in that for a movie called “Exorcist” there was no exorcist, which I found just as funny. Granted I would have liked to have seen the original cut as well because I really liked the movie taking everything extremely seriously, which made the murder sequences quite suspenseful.

        • Balthazar Bee

          Yep, that’s the theatrical cut; the original cut (I think) is only available as an extra feature on the recent Scream Factory release. As far as the Exorcist-movie-with-no-exorcist thing (which is pretty funny), Blatty wanted to call it Legion in order to mitigate that issue. That’s what the novel’s called anyway, and it would’ve also helped distance the film from Boorman’s Exorcist II. Not a lot of love for that one.

          • thesplitsaber

            ‘Blatty wanted to call it Legion in order to mitigate that issue. That’s what the novel’s called anyway, ‘

            Isnt Legion not a true Exorcist sequel though? I thought thats why they had to do so much contorting to make it into Exorcist 3?

          • Balthazar Bee

            Blatty didn’t like people referring to the book as a sequel — and as a writer who wanted his work taken seriously, it’s hard to fault him — but there are several recurring characters, and possession is definitely a big theme. Having said that, there’s not really an exorcism per se, and that was the real hurdle the studio wanted to get over — then they could capitalize on the Exorcist name good and proper.

            But nearing the end of filming, Blatty wasn’t interested in listening to “constructive criticism” from the folks at Morgan Creek. He’d already made some pretty extensive changes to the book’s narrative in adapting the script (a doctor character and loads of Gemini Killer backstory are gone) and it’s only the last couple of reels that are substantively different.

            Given how serviceable the final cut of the film is, I can’t really blame anybody for how things turned out. Any studio exec looking at Blatty’s original cut couldn’t help but be disappointed. Blatty didn’t want his film taken away from him. Now both versions are available, so it’s water under the bridge, I guess.

    • “Double incest baby”? That sounds AMAZING.

      In answer to the question, I was just thinking about the TV adaptation of Dean Koontz’s The Servants of Twilight starring Bruce Greenwood. The movie plays out pretty much exactly like the book up until the final scene where it decides that the ambiguous but ultimately happy ending from the book isn’t interesting enough for TV and opts for the other “the child was evil all along!” Alternative.

      I had to go back and reread the ending of the book to see if I had maybe misinterpreted it but I hadn’t and it was just a matter of the movie giving a really ridiculous ending.

      • clytie

        The protagonist [spoiler]was raped by her dad and got pregnant. She later has an affair with a guy and gets pregnant again. Her lover is revealed to be her son. So, double incest baby. Then it’s revealed that he’s not her son afterall.[/spoiler]

        • Just amazing.

        • Drunk Napoleon

          “You know, maybe double-incest is too far.”
          “Oh, so you’re going to go back and edit the story?”
          “What the hell does ‘editing’ mean?”

          • clytie

            It makes no sense as the lover/son initially seduced her as revenge for giving him up for adoption.

            If he wasn’t her son….?

  • Defense Against The Dark Arts

    I haven’t seen FT13 Part 5, but I think my favorite part of the later installments is the recap of the previous movie at the beginning. It gives the audience a nostalgic reminder of why they came and, more importantly, it eats up a ton of screen time with reused footage at no extra cost!

    • Miller

      Does the recap contain enough previous footage to merit rolling the entire credits of the previous movie at the end? Then these are not living up to the standard of Silent Night Deadly Night 2 (although to be fair, what does).

      • Balthazar Bee

        Heh, the only sequel that can even approach the SNDN2 level of recap-itis is probably The Hills Have Eyes 2 — even the dog experiences a flashback to the first film!

      • Defense Against The Dark Arts

        That would be hilarious: watching Jason stalk someone while the credits from the previous movie roll in the bottom corner.

  • Son of Griff

    I can’t tell, BB, if this is a positive or negative review, which means, good job!

    • Balthazar Bee

      Heh, you and me both. Thanks!

  • BurgundySuit

    Year of the Month continues (from an idea by Elizabeth Lerner)!
    Possible books here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1985_in_literature Movies here: https://letterboxd.com/hfilums/year/1985/ And music here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1985_in_music

    August 15th: Vomas: Summer Rental
    August 16th: clytie: Smooth Talk
    August 17th: BurgundySuit: Best of the Hot 100
    August 18th: BurgundySuit: Worst of the Hot 100
    August 19th: John Bruni: Neil Young’s Old Ways
    August 20th: Son of Griff: The Breakfast Club
    August 21st: Miller: Hard Rock Zombies
    August 22nd: Wallflower: Into the Night
    August 24th: The Ploughman: Ender’s Game
    August 25th: Jacob Thomas Klemmer: Tampopo
    August 27th: Bhammer: Ran
    August 28th: ZoeZ: Lonesome Dove
    August 29th: Lgauge: Hail Mary

    • Just sent my Summer Rental thing over to your email!

      • BurgundySuit

        Dooooope!

    • I am really enjoying the YOTM feature – it’s great to have this eclectic mix of write-ups from everyone. Thanks for organizing it.

      • BurgundySuit

        You’re welcome! We’ll start scheduling for September next week!