Produced & Directed by Quinn Costello, Jeff Metzler & Jeff Springer Narrated by Wendell Pierce
So I’m going to admit something to you. If you’ve been hanging around this site for any length of time, though, it’s not exactly a shock revelation. I have a fondness for When Animals Attack films. I especially enjoy the When Giant Animals Attack sub-genre. If a week goes by where I can’t make a Food of the Gods reference, I feel like something’s spiritually wrong. Night of the Lepus is a staple of annual Halloween viewing. So when I heard there was a film about giant rodents eating Louisiana, I expected it to be ATOMIC giant rodents or stop-motion giant rodents or…something. But it was a documentary. Oh yes.
Enter…the nutria. I know it sounds like I’m about to launch into a sales pitch for a new smoothie diet mix, but no…nutria are basically what would happen if naked mole rats got sick and tired of being picked on, so they overdosed on Rogaine and steroids. These things are as big as beavers and have orange teeth. See? Orange teeth. That’s weird. They should be atomic, glowing orange teeth but no, it’s something apparently normal having to do with the enamel.
I won’t rehash the story of how the nutria came to Louisiana, because that’s part of the docu Rodents of Unusual Size. And the animated sequence towards the beginning in which Wendell Pierce (Treme, Jack Ryan) tells you the story does a much better job than I could. Suffice it to say the nutria were brought in with the best of intentions, they got loose, they were fruitful and multiplied, and now they eat vegetation which helps hold the ground together. And with the ground compromised, it has a tendency to just…wash away.
“[In The Game,] it may seem glamorous being the wife or girlfriend of a pro-football player, but Melanie Barnett (Tia Mowry-Hardrict) quickly learns the hard truth. After her boyfriend, Derwin Davis (Pooch Hall, “Ray Donovan”), gets drafted as the new third-string wide receiver for the San Diego Sabers, Melanie discovers her role is much more than supporting her beau from the sidelines. She must pick up a playbook of her own and learn the power plays that NFL wives use to get their men the best agents, managers, charity opportunities, endorsements and merchandising deals.” — from CBS
The Game: The Complete Series is now available and features all 141 episodes from all nine seasons of the show. Bonus features (which for some reason are only on Seasons 1, 4, 5, and 6) include interviews, highlight reels, deleted scenes, gag reels, and a spin-off episode from Girlfriends: The Game. The Game: The Complete Series is now available on DVD on Amazon for $47.79 (you can also find the individual seasons there on DVD, but if you want more than two or three on the shelf, getting the set is by far the better option cost-wise).
It’s no secret that I’m fascinated by both (as of this writing, there have been only two) World Wars. Simply because about six months or so, I learn some new insane fact about the conflicts. Nothing so far has beaten aircraft carrier submarines, though. So when I saw the Kickstarter for The Neptune Monograph Project, I leapt on it. This is the document that was used for D-Day planning and was the highest level of Top Secret (BIGOT) they had (except for Double Secret BIGOT). The end result is badass and the sort of thing you can data geek out on for weeks. There are descriptions of German fortifications. There are charts about tides and info on the type of ground they’re going to hit when they arrive. There’s a level of info that…well, I have no idea how they pulled together this much stuff. I couldn’t do it today with Google Fu. So basically it’s an important WWII document that is now fully restored for posterity and uses its blank pages to provide historical context. If you really want to deep dive on the subject, you can’t get much deeper than this. If you need one for yourself, there’s still a couple left being sold over at Amazon.
If you’re reading this, then it’s official: you’ve survived 2018. Congratulations. Or you’re in the far flung future and somehow a copy of this site is extant despite the atomic wars, the invasion of mutant hamsters, and the revelation that saliva causes stomach cancer. So you were wise enough not to be born yet when 2018 happened, and thus I say also to you: congratulations.
One of the things we do around here while passing the time awaiting the heat death of the universe is to attempt to keep up with the release of new music. It’s impossible. I tried to listen to as much music from a single year a few years back and it damn near killed me. If anybody comes close to being able to sift through everything, that would have to be Need Coffee Music Ministers, Tuffley and Rob. And keeping with tradition, they have published their best-of lists for the year that was. You can find them on Spotify (links below). Also keeping with tradition, I tried to keep up with them and failed with spectacular grace for someone of my size. So I have my own list, heavily dependent on the other two to remind me of stuff I forgot (like Tuffley’s list reminded me that we had new (!) Coltrane, and Rob’s list making me aware of the existence of Durand Jones).
It’s Episode #190 for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, in which our protagonist is blown away not only by badass animation and a kickass story, but also by the fact Spider-Ham is in a feature film. Read More
So I’ve been watching The Gifted since it started, because I had hopes for a well-done live action X-Men series, especially one that tried to get out from under the baggage of the more-established well-known characters to try to play around in the periphery of the universe. Thing of it is, there’s something a bit…off about what’s happening here, and I want to try to put words around it, so stick with me a second.
The X-Men mythos was explicitly about being a fictionalized allegorical way to read the struggle for Civil Rights in the 1950s and ’60s. In the time since, that’s been expanded to encompass LGBTQIA struggles and more, but in any event it started as a way to get people to sympathize if not empathize with marginalized people’s struggles to be seen and understood as people. As such, while the tagline was always “to protect a world that hates and fears them,” at the end of the day, the X-Men were triumphant, the mutants were right, and the question was only one of tactics and extremes to which it was “right” to go, to deal with that struggle. Anti-mutant perspectives, though possibly held by people whose lives had been disrupted or even destroyed by mutants, were always the wrong side.
Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment requests we note that it provided a free copy of “Westworld Season Two: The Door”. The opinions I share are my own.
“Adapted from The New York Times bestselling author James Patterson’s novel, “Murder Games,” Instinct follows former CIA operative Dr. Dylan Reinhart (Cumming) as he is lured back to his old life when the NYPD seeks his help to stop a serial killer. A notably gifted author and university professor living a quiet life teaching psychopathic behavior, Dylan’s path takes a turn when he meets tenacious NYPD detective Lizzie Needham (Novakovic). Through persistence, Lizzie convinces Dylan to come out of retirement and help catch the serial killer who is using his first book as a tutorial for murder. Helping them catch the killer is Julian Cousins (Naveen Andrews, “Lost”), Dylan’s invaluable CIA partner who rivals him in brilliance and wit, and can get top-secret dirt on anyone, anywhere, anytime. Lizzie’s boss, Lt. Jasmine Gooden (Sharon Leal, Dreamgirls), is glad to see her best detective finally agree to work with someone on a case, since Lizzie has refused every partner following a tragic event one year ago….Though Dylan and Lizzie initially clash, they realize they will make an ideal team if they both trust their instincts when it comes to catching a killer. ” – from CBS
Instinct: Season One is now available on DVD and includes all thirteen episodes of the show’s debut season. Series-specific bonus content is limited to a gag reel and some deleted and extended scenes, although the DVD also includes pilot episodes for other CBS series including Bull, The Good Fight, and SEAL Team. You can snag the DVD for $23.02 on Amazon, although (unless you’re super excited about the pilot episodes of the other shows), it’s probably a better deal dollars-wise to go the digital route and get the season on Amazon or on iTunes (both priced at $14.99) for a 35% savings over the hard copy.
“[In Season Two of The Good Fight] with the world going insane and the Chicago murder rate on the rise, Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski), Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo), Maia Rindell (Rose Leslie) and the rest of the law firm find themselves under psychological assault when a client at another firm kills his lawyer for overcharging. After a copycat murder, the firm begins to look at its own clients suspiciously. Meanwhile, Diane battles with a new partner at the firm, Liz Reddick-Lawrence (Audra McDonald), and Maia becomes harder and tougher after her parents’ scandal puts her on trial. Finally, Lucca is brought back into Colin Morrello’s (Justin Bartha) orbit.” — from CBS
The Good Fight: Season Two is available now on DVD and includes all thirteen episodes from the second season, deleted scenes, and a gag reel. The set is currently available on Amazon for $27.08; you can also get the season in digital form on Amazon for $24.99 or iTunes for $31.99 (both without the bonus features). Considering the hard copy is a $2 difference from the Amazon digital option (with minimal bonus features), it’s up to you to decide if having it tangibly on the shelf is important to you or if you’d like to stream instead.
OBSESSION UPDATE: My attempt at plowing through MasterClass continues apace. As stated last time, I have taken the Helen Mirren and Steve Martin classes.
The Helen Mirren class is excellent and she is an absolute hoot. Her approach to choosing scripts and then how she takes the scripts apart (literally) is fascinating, as well as how she advises you to deal with the writer and director. And when she steps back to actually show you what it looks like to act on film (and the spot on the camera you’re basically acting to), you get a sense that she knows who people on the crew are–and that she’s a class act. Not that you doubted that, I’m sure, but you know what I mean. Granted, in the section where she’s going through set decoration and rummaging through a buffet of props, I hoped she had a good relationship with them because I could see (if you weren’t expecting her to do these things) the people on the crew wincing and wondering what the hell she was on about. Really good insight. Also–and this is a small thing, but I never realized it before–she has a tattoo on one of her hands which, as you can imagine, has an interesting backstory.