Whatcha Watchin'?

Tonight I watched the Barbie movie with my wife. Of course, I didn’t feel the nostalgia about the toys, and some of the bits that were clearly aimed at women the same as she did. But it was a fun movie and I liked the premise of the toy world and real world affecting each other. The surreal office building was great. And there were some really funny bits.

The guys playing guitars (badly) at the women while staring them in the eyes. The women distracting the men by acting dumb and asking them to explain something. Seizing power while the kens were off fighting a pointless war. The executives at Mattel basically being cartoon characters in human bodies. All of that had us laughing.


This was surprisingly moving.


I’ve been watching through Andor lately (after binging Ahsoka). On Disney+, being Star Wars, but I’ve pulled from elsewhere because Disney has an annoying habit of freezing playback out of nowhere for me for no apparent reason.

I’m liking it so far, which probably means it’ll be cancelled out of the blue if trends hold.

Not sure how much can be said about it while avoiding spoilers of one kind or another, but one strange effect: the music for some reason has gotten the themes from the old Superman movies into my head, despite not really having a lot of resemblance. May just be the rhythms and instruments used, I’m not sure.


don’t worry – it will be back. Season 2 is a certainty (but it’s the only remaining season).


Just wrapped up this crazy thing on Netflix…

It’s long, convoluted, and kind of weird. It ends up involving a deep mystery involving the Cold War and psyops involving children… just… crazy stuff. But worth it, if you want to invest the time in 74 episodes…

And the closing theme song is by David Sylvian, who was a fan of the manga…


I’m old enough that I saw the original Star Wars (Episode IV) in the theater in 1977. I’m a big Star Wars fan. In my opinion, Andor is the best Star Wars content ever produced. It was a little slow getting started, but from the third or fourth episode on, it’s just outstanding. I don’t know how far you’re in yet, but Andy Serkis is just outstanding in it.


same! every word. and i agree.


Andor was great. Slow burn (interns saving the galaxy again?) but it is a show for the olds and the misfits.


In Halloween mode, I’ve been watching old horror movies. Tonight a new one showed up. Totally Killer, on Amazon Prime.

(Tech tip - watch in Chrome, not Firefox, because Amazon Prime totally butchers video in Firefox. They claim that they’re reducing it to SD instead of HD, because of DRM and hardware, but it isn’t even near SD quality. They give HD quality to Chrome on the same hardware with no problems though.)

Anyway, the movie was a combo of a Back To The Future scenario with a serial killer. Back in the ‘80s, a serial killer killed three out of four of the girls in the popular girls’ clique, and wrote a note promising to get the fourth one some day. Now, decades later, the killer has come back, and killed the fourth member. Her teen-aged daughter, running from the killer, accidentally triggers a time machine that sends her back to the 80s, just before the murders happened.

Now she has to try to stop the murders, and find the murderer, before her mom gets killed in the future. But she has trouble fitting into the 80s, getting along with her teen-aged parents and their friends, etc., and screws it up a lot.

It’s a fun movie. Time travel shenanigans, 80s teen shenanigans, and a serial killer mystery all mixed together. It was better than I expected.


I saw the trailer for that recently, and it does look like fun!

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We’re watching lotsa old horror movies. We’ve watched The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), Arnold (1973). The latter is so bad, I must recco avoiding it. Don’t be seduced by the presence of Roddy McDowell and Elsa Lanchester, it’s mind-numbingly wretched.

We’ve been watching The Fall of the House of Usher on netflix, and it’s creepy cool, but pretty gross in places.

We’re in discussions re: other flicks, and have talked about Burnt Offerings (1976), and The Sentinel (1977), and a few others we’ve not seen in many moons.

Typing of moons, she’ll be full on Hallowe’en this year!



Have you seen The Abominable Dr. Phibes? I loved it, but it was a bit scary for my taste. (The sequel isn’t nearly as good.)

My limit is probably movies like Ghostbusters and The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (both of which have great theme music, btw).


Yeah it was fun. Seconded.


Yeah, I’ve seen that, but nowadays with how quickly stuff gets cancelled or removed after release…


Going with my version of Halloween mode, I’m watching through Chernobyl now. There’s a creeping monster for you.


Disney faces due money these days. Only chuds didn’t like Andor, and there’s no billionaire billionaire-enough to pull a Zazlov on it.

oh god, Chernobyl was SO GOOD. i remember it happening, and it was top news for months, but i had NO idea how bad it really was.


Absolutely. Although, they clearly take some liberties for TV, to amp up the drama… which makes it difficult to know where the real world turns into fantasy. Kind of frustrating considering how much of it is accurate.

Still, though, it is definitely a riveting show, and it’s amazing what they did keep accurate.


I haven’t watched that yet, but intend to.

If you like movies which are “Horror + X” style mashups, I have a few recommendations for you:

This combines a horror/slasher with a Groundhog Day style time loop. It’s not high-art by any means, but it’s fun and the lead (Jessica Rothe) really carries it.

There’s a sequel:

It trades much of the horror elements for sci-fi. It’s not as good as the first one, but still overall a fun experience.

There’s also this:

It combines horror/slasher with a Freaky Friday style body swap. The lead(Kathryn Newton) is similarly engaging, and Vince Vaughn is actually trying. That’s a treat we don’t get too often… It’s probably one of his top 5 movies, honestly.

And then…

This combines a horror/slasher with a Last Action Hero style meta adventure. This one’s a lot of fun.

Not to be confused with…

This one’s a bit of a stretch for this list. It’s sort of a Leon/The Professional style revenge thriller combined with a Most Dangerous Game style cat and mouse horror. I’m not sure why it’s rated a 4/7/10, that seems a bit harsh, even underrated.

How far can I take this? What about…

It’s a (relevant reference escapes me, but where people are trapped in house and tormented by an unknown assailant) style horror crossed with a Home Alone style xmas movie. That’s really all you need to know.

Continuing that (sub)theme…

So it’s basically Die Hard with Santa Claus. You already know if you’re going to like that or not. It’s pretty violent/gruesome, so I think it fits in with the horror genre. There’s also a bit of Home Alone for good measure. It’s fantastically low-brow, but very entertaining.

I thought this one might be a stretch, but it actually fits really well…

This is a combo of classic horror, Hammer style schlock with buckets of blood, and also a buddy cop comedy. I think it’s very funny. Nic Cage is hamming it up to an absurd degree, which is a good fit. Nicholas Hoult is a good foil for this, while also having his own extremities to work with.


Ok, I’ve seen at least half of those now!

  • Violent Night - Perfect Christmas movie! Definitely going to be watching this one again this year, it’s so over-the-top ridiculous.

  • Final Girl - I really enjoyed that one. It’s been a couple years, but I remember a vibe of the victim really turning the tables, like ooh, you all really picked a bad victim this time. That’s fun.

  • Freaky - This was hilarious. I loved the serial killer guy suddenly becoming a teen girl or rather playing the part of her being in his body and being so confused at everything. And the lead girl becoming him was also great. There’s a little suspension of disbelief necessary when it comes to other people’s reactions, but it was a lot of fun.

  • Happy Death Day - Just finished this one. 30 minutes in I was thinking I was going to just stop and find something else. Because all of the characters are awful, especially the lead. But then I looked up reviews and read that it’s intentional - you’re supposed to hate everyone (especially the lead) and then the whole movie builds on that, with quite a redemption arc and some fun surprises. In the end, I really enjoyed it and glad I didn’t give up on it.


i watched this recently, too, and i will second this one. it’s (as you say) so completely over the top ridiculous and bloody as hell, but it works all because of David Harbour. he totally sells it. [EDIT: also, the little girl. the balance between Harbour’s violent Santa, but when he’s around her, he’s 100% caring Santa, is just wonderful.)

it’s not a huge spoiler or anything, but my laugh-out-loud moment was when he took out a bad guy by sucking on a candy cane until it had a sharp point, and then shivving the guy in the eye with it. and i hear they are making a sequel. i can’t remember who i heard was rumored to be playing Mrs. Claus, but it sounded perfect to me.