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Bullet Sunday 476

Posted on August 26th, 2018

Dave!Time to make the donuts... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Mars Investigations! In what can only be described as the best news I've heard all week, Hulu is apparently developing a new 8-episode season of one of my favorite television shows of all time: Veronica Mars...

Veronica Mars

And now I want to watch both television seasons and the movie for the hundredth time.

   
• Globalization! Oh how cool. When you zoom out on Google Maps now, it backs into a globe! No more misrepresenting the size of land masses! Africa is now that massive continent it actually is... whereas the US, Europe, and Greenland are proportionally correct!

Google Maps

This is hugely important. The traditional Mercator projection is a grotesque distortion of the world we inhabit...

If you want to play with The True Size of Things... here's a link for you.

   
• Nothing! Heard Chinatown by Wild Nothing while watching the Netflix Original To All the Boys I've Loved Before (which is excellent) and am now obsessed with it. Such a pretty track...

This track is from their 2010 album Gemini, which sounds like it's straight out of the 80's.

   
• Expertly Paired Cheese! This. Stuff. Is. AMAZING!!! It's awesome on tacos, but I have been putting it on everything. Eggs. Veggie Sausage. Sandwiches. Even STRAIGHT OUT OF THE BAG. Where has this been all my life?

Expertly Paired Cheese

They have a Swiss/Cheddar blend that I'm going to have to try too. Not that I couldn't shred the stuff myself and make my own blends... but convenience!

   
• Enchanting? I was anxiously awaiting the new Matt Groening series from Netflix: Disenchantment. From the looks of things, I was guessing it was Game of Thrones meets The Simpsons...

This week it was finally released and I binged the entire series. It was... okay? The background art is beautiful and full of sight-gags that had me pausing my DVR more often than I care to admit. But the story? It's entertaining. But the funny did not come as often as I was expecting. Every episode seemed a little... slow. Even so, it was clever enough to keep me watching. I was more than a little upset that they ended on a cliffhanger. What if there's no second season to conclude it? Oh well. Wouldn't be the first time a show left me hanging because it was canceled.

   
And... that'll have to be enough bullets for today. See you next Sunday!

   

Dreams

Posted on April 28th, 2014

Dave!"It's unbelievable."
"It's more than that. It's perfect."

Today is the 25th anniversary of my most favorite movie ever made, Field of Dreams. I've seen it dozens of times and love it more with each new viewing. In the past I've describe the film as "flawless" and, after having watched it again tonight, still feel that to be true...

Field of Dreams Poster

The filmmakers somehow managed to pull together the perfect cast (including James Earl Jones, a long-time favorite) for a story that really shouldn't translate to the screen very well. So much of the plot revolves around things so fantastical, unbelievable, or just plain nuts that reenacting them in real life seemed like a ticket to disaster. But Kevin Costner was able to ground his character so fully into his world that it just didn't matter. His every reaction to the bizarre things going on around him made you believe there was nothing bizarre about it. He believes it, so you do too.

Spoilers, obviously...

One of my favorite things about the film is that nothing is explained. Absolutely no effort is put into explaining how any of the crazy events are transpiring because the only thing that matters is why they are happening... which results in one of the best movie endings ever.

And compelled me to visit the Field of Dreams movie site in Iowa.

Perhaps a movie will come along in the next 25 years that will knock Field of Dreams off the top spot in my list of favorite films. But somehow I doubt it. It's pretty hard to do better than perfect.

   
And now? A bit of trivia...

The little girl who played Karen Kinsella was named Gaby Hoffmann...

Field of Dreams' Karen Kinsella

Who grew up to play Ruby Jetson in the Veronica Mars movie...

Veronica Mars' Ruby Jetson

   

Bullet Sunday 372

Posted on March 16th, 2014

Dave!Stop digging out that old bomb shelter... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Cold? "Russia is the only country in the world that is realistically capable of turning the United States into radioactive ash." — Kremlin-backed television presenter Dmitry Kiselyov, host of a weekly current affairs show in Russia. Behind him was a backdrop of a mushroom cloud following a nuclear blast. (from Reuters)

You wanna know what bothers me more than the thought of being turned into radioactive ash? I really, really, want to visit Russia. I always have. Ever since I first saw a photo of Saint Basil's Cathedral in Red Square. For most of my life, the idea of it has been an impossibility. But then the Soviet Union collapses, the cold war thaws, relations normalize, tourism becomes more and more common, and suddenly... but not really suddenly... the impossible becomes possible...

Saint Basil's Cathedral

And now I'm asking myself... Are current tensions going to blow over? Are current tensions going to escalate? What happens if they do escalate? Have I waited too long? Am I too late?

Last year I ultimately decided to visit Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. But also in the running? A river cruise through the Ukraine, including a couple stops in Crimea...

Ukraine Cruise

I guess that ship has sailed... for a while. Or forever. You just never know. How shitty is it that we can't all just get along?

   
• Flash! The first two comic books I ever bought were Green Lantern/Green Arrow #121 and The Flash #277. Not coincidentally, they became my favorite super-heroes for quite a while...

Flash and Green Lantern

At least until I discovered The Legion of Super-Heroes. And Batman, of course. But even so, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for those first heroes. Green Lantern finally made it to the big screen with a fucking horrendously shitty movie that I hated. Then Green Arrow got a very good television show I'm currently enjoying called Arrow. Next up? The Flash!

The Flash

It's a spin-off from Arrow, so my hopes are high. The costume is certainly a step in the right direction.

This isn't the first iteration of The Flash on TV. The first was a show starring John Wesley Shipp back in 1990. It was surprisingly good, but limited by the technology of the day. To say I'm anxious to see what we'll be getting in the year 2014 is an understatement. The pilot is filming now. I'm assuming we'll be seeing it this Fall. Assuming the show is picked up. That's a lot of assuming.

   
• Drop. Apple has a terrific bit of tech called "AirDrop" that allows you to share iPhone/iPad photos, contacts, files, and whatnot pretty much effortlessly. Open what you want to share, activate AirDrop, and you can beam stuff to other AirDrop users...

Air Dropi OS

Cool!

Apple has a terrific bit of tech called "AirDrop" that allows you to share Macintosh photos, contacts, files, and whatnot pretty much effortlessly. Locate the file you want to share in the Finder, activate AirDrop, and you can beam stuff to other AirDrop users...

AirDrop Mac

Cool!

BUT YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT'S NOT COOL?!? EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE BOTH CALLED "AIRDROP," THE iPHONE AND MAC TECHNOLOGIES ARE NOT FUCKING COMPATIBLE! This is outrageously stupid and, for the life of me, I just don't get it. I keep thinking "It's coming any day now, I'm sure!" But then it doesn't, and I get pissed off all over again. Why bother naming them both "AirDrop" if they are so different that they can't even talk to each other? How is it that Apple can be so smart in so many ways but so stupid in others?

   
• Stick! I promised myself that I wouldn't start in on the new video game, SOUTH PARK: THE STICK OF TRUTH, until I finished LEGO MARVEL SUPER-HEROES, but I just couldn't resist any longer. I'm a massively huge South Park fan, and the trailer looked amazing (warning, NOT safe for work)...

And you know what? It IS amazing! It looks exactly like you're "playing" an episode of the TV series. As if that weren't enough, it is frickin' hilarious. As in laugh-out-loud-funny. Not only because it's South Park, but because they've managed to create a fully-realized RPG game that's actually a parody of RPG games... with humor built into practically everything you see and do. I'll want to play it a bit more when I get back from vacation before I write a review... but, if you're a South Park and video game fan, it's pretty much a no-brainer. You simply must own this.

   
• Mars 2. The Veronica Mars movie (which I reviewed here) has only been out for three days, and already the sequel talk has started. Here's creator Rob Thomas Himself..

“With the first movie, because it was crowd-funded, it was a love letter to the fans,” he explains. “I put every character they loved back into the movie. There are a lot of inside jokes. With a second movie, I would build it from the case out. In the first movie, I feel like I did just the opposite. I put all the dessert, all the frosting on there, and then put a detective case in the middle. On the next one, I would want the detective case to be the driving force of the movie.”

It's as if he read my blog post and is answering my prayers!

Needless to say, I would be positively thrilled to get a sequel. Especially if we get a fantastic Veronica-Mars-style mystery on-par with what we saw in the first and second seasons of the show. NOW SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!

   
Annnnnd... the end.

   

Mars

Posted on March 14th, 2014

Dave!Veronica Mars is my second favorite television show of all time. Coincidentally enough, Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas (not the singer) is also responsible for my first favorite television show of all time, Cupid (the Jeremy Piven original, not the shitty remake). Given my adoration of all things Rob Thomas, I had zero hesitation in joining 91,584 other fans in supporting his highly successful Kickstarter campaign to bring Veronica Mars to the big screen.

As part of my "reward" for being a backer, I get a digital copy of the film so I can watch it on the day of release. Which is today. Much to my horror, the code to access the film wasn't through iTunes, but instead via UltraViolet, which is one of the single biggest technological pieces of shit of all time. But I'll get into that in an extended entry. Meanwhile, back to the movie...

Veronica Mars Movie Poster

I'm just going to come out and say it. The central "whodunit mystery" around which the story revolves is pretty lame. A few red herrings, but none of the twists and turns or shocking revelations that made the television show so compelling. This is hardly surprising. The movie has the rather daunting disadvantage of having to educate viewers new to the franchise plus showcasing enough insider goodies to satisfy die-hard fans as well as having to catch up with an entire cast of characters people haven't seen for seven years.

To be honest, I'm surprised they managed to fit a mystery in there at all.

But squeeze it in they did, and the result is a love-letter to everybody who put up their hard-earned money to get the film made. Which is to say it's a total success story, and I don't think anybody who's a fan of the show is going to be disappointed.

The plot is fairly straight-forward. Veronica's bad-boy ex-boyfriend, Logan Echolls, has been framed for murder, which results in Veronica dropping her new life in New York City so she can return home to help him out after nine long years away. Once back in Neptune, which is even more deadly, ruthless, and corrupt than ever, we catch up with all her old friends and enemies. Well, not all of them... but most of them. The laundry list of cameo appearances is shockingly long.

Where the movie shines is in the way the Rob Thomas manages to get everybody on that list involved in the story. Yes, a few of the cameos are just quick distractions (hey, Corny!), but the bulk of them are carefully interwoven into events so they are appearing for a reason. Not many writers could pull that off without everything degenerating into a pile of crap, but Thomas seems to excel at it. And that's the fun. That's what makes the movie so darn good. Yes, your appreciation of the murder mystery is deeper if you know that Carrie Bishop put herself in the firing line to seek revenge for her best friend Susan Knight getting seduced and knocked up by their history professor. Yes, Piz's familiarity with Wallace and Mac makes more sense if you knew that Piz was Wallace's roommate in college. Yes, Veronica's relationship with her father is more meaningful if you know that she destroyed his chance at a career, but he still loves her unconditionally anyway. Yes, there are scads of moments in the film that only pay-off fully if you're intimately familiar with the Veronica Mars universe. But, much to my surprise, it's still perfectly watchable even if you've never seen a minute of the television show.

But totally watch all three seasons of the television show if you plan on seeing the movie. It's so much sweeter if you do, and the original show is required viewing anyway.

So two thumbs way up and no spoilers from me!

And my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Rob Thomas, Kristen Bell, and everybody else who worked so hard to get the movie made. It was worth the wait. And if there's a Kickstarter campaign for a sequel... TAKE ALL MY MONEY, PLEASE! Heaven only knows the ending to the movie leaves that door wide open (perfect for the forthcoming line of books).

BONUS FEATURE! I was very happy to hear that one of my favorite bands, Mackintosh Braun, has a great new song on the Veronica Mars soundtrack. Here's their lyrics video for Don't Give In for your listening pleasure...

And now, for anybody who wants to read a rant about my efforts to plow though the pile of shit that is the "UltraViolet" digital video service, that's in an extended entry...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

MARS!

Posted on March 13th, 2013

Dave!My favorite television show of all time is the "original" Cupid starring Jeremy Piven and created by Rob Thomas. A very close second is Veronica Mars starring Kristen Bell and created by Rob Thomas. But even though Cupid is the show I love best, it's Veronica Mars that I miss most. When the show was canceled, it felt like there was a lot more of the story to tell. Story that needed to be told.

There was talk of a Veronica Mars movie off and on, but nothing ever came of it.

Until today...

   
With the blessing of Warner Brothers, creator Rob Thomas has opened up a Kickstarter project to raise the two million dollars needed to finance the film.

I donated more money than I could afford, but this is one of those things in life that I just couldn't pass up. I love television, and Veronica Mars is the best of the best that the medium has to offer. The possibility of finally get some kind of resolution for the characters is something you can't put a price on.

Well, apparently you can, it's two million dollars, but still...

If you are a fan (and why wouldn't you be?) you can donate to the cause (and get some nice rewards) by heading over to the Kickstarter page.

   
UPDATE: As of this moment (2:45pm PDT), the movie is nearly 3/4 funded at $1,484,219. On the first day. This is amazing, because odds are that not only will the film be funded... but it will well exceed the original goal of $2,000,000. Which means a bigger budget for an even better movie. There's a widget that will let you follow the project's progress, though it seems a little behind the actual total whenever I've looked at it...

The Veronica Mars Movie Project -- Kicktraq Mini

   
If you have not seen Veronica Mars, this astounding record-breaking Kickstarter campaign should convince you that it's imperative to take a look. The DVD sets are pretty cheap at Amazon. And the show is also available for sale on iTunes (and other digital services, I'm sure). And you don't have to spend a dime to watch episodes for FREE at the official WB website. Nobody I has ever convinced to give it a try has been disappointed. Highest possible recommendation!

   
UPDATE: Funded IN ONE DAY. Fuck you, television network studio system!

Rob Thomas Tweet

   
I have to say... the ramifications of this are just massive. The possibilities are very exciting. Now shows which have a dedicated audience may be able to survive outside the studio system. Or... be made and distributed directly to fans outside of the whole television network bullshit system from the start.

We can only hope. I am so tired of watching shows I love getting screwed by television networks who want big money or nothing, and don't give a shit about their viewers.

   

Juicy

Posted on September 22nd, 2009

Dave!I'm in a little bit of a snarky mood tonight.

And that's making it tough to blog, because saying what's actually on my mind would bring me nothing but trouble. Especially since I ran across some reeeeeaally juicy information about a total asshole who has been badmouthing me to cover his own ass. So now I'm in the unique position of being able to humiliate somebody who totally deserves it, all while eliminating a thorn in my side at the same time. But, alas, I'm just not evil enough to press the button. Sure I like to try evil on occasion... but I don't think I'm ready to turn pro and go full-time...

Try Evil!

So I hold my peace.

Resist temptation.

Take the high road.

Be the bigger man.

The better person.

The nice guy.

And try not to regret that I'm not more evil. Because how will I ever conquer the planet if I can't crush my enemies?

Oh well.

In other news... there's an interesting observation over at Ain't It Cool News...

CW darling "Gossip Girl" pulled 2.1 million total viewers last night, while the final season of the CW's "Veronica Mars" averaged 2.5 million viewers three seasons back.

So The CW cancels Veronica Mars, one of the best shows ever to air on television, and is now doing worse in the ratings with their hottest new show. Well, good. It couldn't happen to a nicer network.

Oooh. I'm more than just a little snarky tonight!

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