Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

Related Post Roulette

75 Responses

  1. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    I am currently reading Mermaids in Paradise by Lydia Millet and the Hare with the Amber Eyes by Edmund Da Waal.Report

  2. Avatar Notme says:

    Plus they were talking rats. I really liked the movie. I want pixar to make an Incredibles sequel.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Well, one of the things I liked about Pixar was that they tended to rely on new intellectual properties (creating them out of whole cloth!) rather than finding something that worked and then doing the whole sequel thing. (What about the Toy Stories?, I hear you ask. Yeah, those struck me as exceptions primarily because Toy Story 2 was so freakin’ strong and Toy Story 3 did an amazing job of wrapping up loose ends that I didn’t even know it had.)

      But, yeah, around Cars 2 was when I started wondering if something hadn’t started going wrong.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        When you said that their weakest film was Ratatouille, I assumed you hadn’t seen either of the Cars.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        I had completely forgotten the Cars.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        I thought you were crazy.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 says:

        Was Cars the shot-for-shot remake of Doc Hollywood? 🙂Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:


      • Avatar Jim Heffman says:

        It’s important to keep business issues in mind when thinking about Pixar’s sequel films. Disney acquired/merged/partnered-with Pixar right before they made “Cars 2”, and shortly after that happened they made “Toy Story 3”. Those films exist for business reasons, not because the creators thought there was more story to tell.

        Which is why there won’t be an “Incredibles 2”. The movie’s merch hasn’t done well enough for Disney to want a sequel. (For all that Incredibles did great with the adult-male demographic, that isn’t the demographic where Disney lives.) While Brad Bird could probably convince Pixar’s management to do a sequel anyway, he’d need to feel passionately about the project for that to happen, and he doesn’t.Report

      • Avatar Patrick says:

        Incredibles 2.

        A little bird (not the Brad Bird, but a different bird) told me that Disney took a lot of the Pixar guys over to Disney Animation.

        I’m not sure the Pixar brand will be distinguishable from Disney Animation within a half-dozen years.Report

  3. Avatar Glyph says:

    “Pixar’s weakest film was probably Ratatouie”

    Splitting hairs maybe, but BH6 is Disney, not Pixar.

    Also, I was going to say that Planes was the worst Pixar movie, but then realized that was *technically* Disney as well (despite being a Cars spinoff and being written/co-produced by Pixar).

    Curses! Hoisted upon my own pedantard!Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:


      Now I can just lean on hating BH6 instead of wondering “what the heck?”Report

    • Avatar Jim Heffman says:

      Ratatouille was OK; sort of like “A Bug’s Life”(*) and “Up” in that it was kind of a one-note joke that got inflated into a two-hour movie. If those three movies had been done by Dreamworks nobody would have even remembered them, just like “Robots” and “Fish Tale”. (let’s be honest, you forgot Bug’s Life existed until I mentioned it just now.)Report

  4. Avatar trizzlor says:

    I think Big Hero 6 is Disney Animation and not Pixar, though Disney certainly tried to play up the “Pixar DNA” angle. Through a series of unfortunate events I ended up watching both BH6 and Frozen last night, and it really felt like Disney is still all about fairly conventional storytelling-with-a-capital-S about rough men and orphaned children, where big life events propel everything. Brave is the last time Pixar seemed to be aping this kind of story, and I’m curious to do a comparison.Report

  5. Avatar Doctor Jay says:

    In my family we adored BH6. It won some awards so came back to theaters around here, and I caught it a couple of times with different family members.

    It’s the emotional center of the film that appeals to me, and the execution. Yes, there’s more than a little melodrama – it’s based on a comic book, after all.

    My daughter said of it that the film said something to her and her friends that they hadn’t often heard: “You may not know this yet, but people need you.”

    But what the heck, nobody is required to like anything.Report

    • Avatar Alan Scott says:

      Just Watched BH6 yesterday. And yeah, the plot is nothing more than a simple frame to hang character moments on. But damn, are those character moments good enough that I don’t care about the thin plot.

      Also, I’d love to see marvel put out a Big Hero 6 comic in the style of the closing credits.Report

      • Avatar Jason Tank says:

        Also, I’d love to see marvel put out a Big Hero 6 comic in the style of the closing credits.

        I just want to see the robot in the next Kingdom Hearts… along with Marvel and Star Wars characters, which is a real possibility. (Frankly, I just love world-mashing in general.)Report

      • Avatar Jim Heffman says:

        People said the same thing about the opening of “Kung Fu Panda”. aka “why was the whole god damn movie not this, it’s awesome and we never get to see it anymore and obviously you’re capable of delivering it”

        But these movies are cheap junk for little kids, so who cares?Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      My daughter and I liked it too, at least (my take) until the generic superhero vs. supervillain fight at the end.


      • Avatar Alan Scott says:

        The fights with the villain were actually some of my favorite parts of the movie. I think those microbots, and the way they looked and moved, were much more… visceral than any other superpower I’ve seen on a big screen.

        In the best fight scenes, the action mirrors the character conflict–and the skew-angled black tentacles just smashing things perfectly captured the surrender to dark emotions that really drove the villain.Report

  6. Avatar Will Truman says:

    Knee deep in House of Cards. Finished Bosch. Next up Gotham.

    Man in the High Castle (audiobook). Next up I don’t know. Maybe more Bosch books, or John Sandford.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      I find Gotham to be enjoyably brainless pulpy fun.

      I have no idea whether I’d watch the show if I didn’t have all of this Batman-related baggage, however.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        Judging from the first couple of minutes (and because Batman) it’s going to be a bit of a pain to watch because southern window facing TV.

        Looking forward to it, though.Report

  7. Avatar Maribou says:

    I am watching episode 14 of Jane the Virgin right now as I type this. Up to season 2 on my How I Met Your Mother rewatch. Watched season 4 of Game of Thrones over the last week.

    In the middle of a few different books, most notably Jacques Bonnet’s Phantoms of the Bookshelves. Finished a few books, most notably Alan Doyle’s Where I Belong, which would’ve made me homesick if the East Coast wasn’t so *very* wintrous right now. (PEI isn’t Newfoundland; but I think Newfoundland might be more like PEI than anywhere else I’ve never been. You’d think Cape Breton might be more like PEI, but I’ve been there and it’s not.)Report

  8. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Also: sufferered knee injury last night after falling off of couch when rolling my eyes at Sleepy Hollow.

    If you watch this show, make sure that you’re seated near the back of your seat.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 says:

      Gotta stretch out before watching such movies. You know, do some basic eyerolls, limber up the face for the expressions to come.

      You can’t just walk into it cold. You’ll pull something.Report

    • Avatar CK MacLeod says:

      SLEEPY HOLLOW is excruciatingly bad in some ways, but I catch every episode, and I especially enjoy the appropriation of the American Revolution, as kind of supernatural-fantasy projection of “covenantal” Americanism (American history embodying a sacred universal mission). This season, the writers especially went to town on Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin – but I’ll say not one word more nor resort to code. Among shows with lots of magicking in them, I also enjoyed the apparently canceled CONSTANTINE. To complete my unexpected foray into supernatural TV, the campy-cheesy and After-Schoolish THE LIBRARIANS I also found diverting. Like SH, but unlike CONSTANTINE, It has also been renewed, and also somewhat justifies its fantasy with fanciful re-telling of and exploitation of history.Report

  9. Avatar James Pearce says:

    You don’t have to twist my arm to get me to watch animated movies, but it will take some convincing.

    On the other hand, it doesn’t take much to get me to watch something like “The Two Faces of January,” Hossein Amini’s adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel. It’s on Netflix and features Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, and Oscar Isaacs. Watching it, I imagined critics complaining about the familiarity of the plot and the outdated gender roles. I also imagined audiences desperate to find out “what happens next” getting bored and uninterested after a point.

    There are movies that fail their audiences. This one, I think, would suffer the opposite fate. (To the extent that I hadn’t heard about it until it showed up on Netflix, I think that’s already occurred.)

    Also on Netflix…..House of Cards. I binged through maybe 4 episodes yesterday. I find the show ridiculous from time to time, but also…….really, really good.Report

  10. Avatar dhex says:

    saw the spongebob movie yesterday. was great fun. was not as great as lego movie, but in the 1-10 scale (1 being frozen, 10 being lego movie) of kid’s cinema it’s a solid 7.5-8.Report

  11. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    I continue to find that the silver lining to frequent travel is all the media I get to crank through. God-bless the GenieGo and Google Play. Last week I watched Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters. So dumb and yet totally entertaining for a 2 hour flight. I also watched Promised Land. It was alright but the twist at the end was a little heavy handed.

    I havr some episodes of Sleepy Hollow qued up for tonight. And Suits. And Castle. And has anyone else been watching Star Wars Rebels? I like it but much the same as Jaybird and Batman, I have a lot of baggage with Star Wars.Report

  12. Avatar Glyph says:

    I finished Horns, by Joe Hill. Really enjoyed it, though I am unsure if that is totally on merits or just because I finish so few books anymore. He shares a lot of (storytelling) DNA with his daddy, IMO. Heard the movie is pretty bad though (again, like his daddy).Report

    • Avatar James Pearce says:

      Saw the movie not too long ago, and didn’t think it was that bad. My nephew said he couldn’t see Daniel Radcliffe as anything other than Harry Potter, but that’s his lack of imagination. (I thought his American accent was strange….but passable.)

      Didn’t like Max Minghella, though. I don’t think that guy is a good actor and whoever decided to give him fakey-looking prosthetic fingers was on crack. (Prosthetic fingers? Who uses prosthetic fingers? Was that in the book? I can’t imagine that was in the book.)Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        There were no prosthetic fingers (nor particularly any prominent references to fingers at all) in the book so yeah, that seems an odd choice.

        Book is worth reading, zippy and equal parts gleefully nasty and strangely sweet/moral, in that King way. I might track down some of his other stuff.Report

      • Avatar James Pearce says:

        The finger thing was for the character Lee, who in the movie lost a couple of fingers to a cherry bomb as a kid. Apparently, as an adult, he has a leather contraption for…..well, the purpose is unclear. (An attempt to avoid expensive CGI finger-removal, perhaps?)

        I’ll put the book on my “to check out” list.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Huh…in the book the cherry bomb partially blinds him in one eye. A milky contact lens is about as cheap as special effects get, no idea why they went the finger route?Report

      • Avatar James Pearce says:

        My guess: Either Max Minghella’s agent nixed it on grounds of “Max is a star!”, or they were worried the milky eye would give too much away.

        I’m going with the first one.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      I was going to say that I dreamed I saw him last night, but apparently that’s who he was named for.Report

  13. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    Watching a bunch of Buster Keaton films on VHS that I recently came across for free.

    Reading “Being Geniuses Together” by Robert McAlmon who seems to have known all of the Modernist writers of Paris in the 20s and have something bitchy to say about every one of them.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


      How pissed is he because they sleep with Kiki and he did not?Report

      • Avatar Rufus F. says:

        You know it’s interesting because the book is from the 30s and he never really says anything definite about it, but he has this loveless and sexless marriage that seems intended to please his family for the first half of the book before finally throwing in the towel on that and I got the definite impression that it was what they used to call a lavender marriage on both sides.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        I don’t know much about McAlmon, at least not post-Paris, but it was of course a lavender marriage for Ellerman. You can’t blame him, though: she was the bank.Report

  14. Avatar James K says:

    The final arc of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality is being released in stages at the moment, and all I can say is Eliezer Yudkowsky is an evil bastard.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      I ready HPMR for a while but I really started losing interest when they got all ender’s game is with the armies and stuff. Did it get better?Report

      • Avatar James K says:


        I didn’t mind the armies stuff, but that stopped being a big part of the story around Chapter 50. We’re up to 113 now and the plot is focused on much more important things.Report

    • Avatar Reformed Republican says:

      I started reading this again. I had started a while back, after hearing good things about it here, but I decided to wait until closer to being finished to pick it back up.Report

  15. Avatar Glyph says:

    I missed the discussions on The Americans a few weeks back, but I’m caught up now, so can I just say…this show.

    This show.Report

  16. Avatar North says:

    Big Hero Six had such a San Francentric vibe to it that I actually got kind-of turned off. I mean sure it’s set in San Fran Tokyo and all but all the heroes were themselves such quintessential San Franciscians. Everything was so pat and felt so self regarding that I had this irrational urge to run off and like, read red state or something. Objectively it was well told and the story had an interesting twist and was genuinely funny at moments but yick.. something just didn’t work for me on it.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      The melding of the two was my one of my favorite things about it, particularly the Golden Gate Bridge with the pagoda-shaped towers:


      • Avatar Notme says:

        It looks like several torii stacked one on top another.Report

      • Avatar North says:

        Oh yes, the merging of the two in name and ascetic was very clever and visually beautiful. I don’t really mind that. It was just the vibe of the world and the people that sort of irritated me.

        That said San Frantokyo was fundamentally an enormously optimistic world. The city very much had that teetering on the edge of a post scarcity economy vibe.Report

  17. Avatar Glyph says:

    Anybody else watch The Last Man On Earth? I liked it but wonder how long they will be able to maintain the tone or how much mileage they can get from the premise.Report

    • Avatar greginak says:

      The Vinnie Price version of Last Man on Earth was the only real LMOE. Of course it wasn’t a comedy.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      Oh man, I’d intended to watch that, but I sometimes forget that television exists off of Hulu, Netflix, and Prime.

      Hopefully it’s on Hulu.Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew says:

      Had half an eye on it. I like(d) Will Forte a lot, but I’m starting to fear that the reason his career hash;t taken off is because he has only one basic shtick. The jokes and his crazy demeanor seem like.. exactly the jokes and shtick I would predict we’d see in a Will Forte show about the last man on Earth. So, from the pilot, I kind of feel like I’m watching a show that’s already had its run on network TV in syndication.

      I also don;t really understand how it is that a guy who would have been normal a few years ago suddenly became so indifferent to everything and unable to relate to people in a few years. Why would it suddenly start to seem like a good idea to guzzle whiskey (or was it beer?) right after brushing your teeth just because everyone else is dead? It’s funny because it looks gross; but if it wasn’t something that would be enjoyable before the apocalypse, why would he start to do it after? Boredom, I guess? Kinda thin. And why would he be initially inclined to treat the only person he’s seen for years so crappily (until he realized he wanted her around)?

      So it seems lie there are problems with the basic concept around what’s up with this character that stem from just needing to allow Will Forte’s humor to be what it needs to be. And again: I’m a fan. But on SNL there isn’t any world-building: nothing needs to make sense, it can just be absurd. here, they’re clearly bring to sketch out a situation that can in some sense be imagined as an actual situation.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        I only know Will Forte from 30 Rock.

        a guy who would have been normal a few years ago suddenly became so indifferent to everything and unable to relate to people in a few years.

        I think if you only had “half an eye on it” that could be the issue (and it relates back to my question about maintaining the tricky tone). Maybe you were only seeing the comedy half of the show?

        There were a lot of little tics in his performance – his ongoing conversations with God that start out cocky and end with a quiet “You win” when he finally decides to off himself; a long scream outside the RV; his apology to the cast and crew of Cast Away (after constructing an entire Cheers-worth of ball barfly friends) – that show he is completely losing his mind.

        Prisoners in solitary can go downhill fast, mentally – and in solitary you still have minimal contact with other humans (even if just by inference) and hope of one day no longer being in solitary.

        He had neither, and has been completely alone for roughly two years.

        And that streak of black despair under the silly stuff is both what I found intriguing, and what I suspect will be tough to maintain – the nearest TV model I can think of is Wilfred, a show I was pretty onboard with at the start (silly dog jokes, and the not-so-subtle implication that the protagonist is seriously, suicidally mentally ill) but eventually lost interest in, when it couldn’t satisfactorily resolve that central conflict without losing what the show was about.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        I also don;t really understand how it is that a guy who would have been normal a few years ago suddenly became so indifferent to everything and unable to relate to people in a few years.

        Man, I’ve gone camping by myself in the mountains and become indifferent to that sort of stuff in 36 hours.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        That’s, like, the most serious-sounding comment I’ve ever seen you write here, @glyph .

        I still don’t get why he’d start guzzling booze right after brushing – why not just wait until you’re done drinking to brush? Or just not brush? That threw me off.

        But yeah, I guess if the idea is that he’s going completely nuts, anything is possible. But then I wouldn’t expect Schall, who seems basically sane, to want to marry him and have his kids.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Hey, I’m deadly serious about things that don’t matter.

        But then I wouldn’t expect Schall, who seems basically sane, to want to marry him and have his kids.

        I don’t see her as sane at all; she just chose to mentally cope with the same situation differently than him. Instead of drinking and destroying things, she retreated into an almost OCD-like veneration of the old rules and order; as though continuing to conform to the rituals of a dead world will somehow resurrect it.

        But that’s not sane. That’s delusional in its own way.Report

    • Avatar James Pearce says:

      Never heard about it until this morning, when I read a rather awful piece called “The Problem with Last Man on Earth No One is Talking About.” I knew I had been had when it got to the part about “those tired gender patterns.”

      “No one is talking about” the “tired gender patterns” on TV?

      I have a feeling that this is going to be the latest time I’ve disagreed with the CW when it comes to the interpretation of television shows.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Heh. I think I read that same piece at HuffPo.

        The thing is, I don’t think the piece is totally wrong (male schlub gets nagged by woman into being better person is not an original sitcom premise for sure) but I have hope that they can take it in unexpected directions.

        But I read a (again, not totally wrong, and generally very positive) similar piece on “The Flawed Gender Politics of Agent Carter” over at AVClub and had to roll my eyes a bit, because THAT’S a show explicitly about feminist ideas and subverting certain tropes of those storytelling genres, and the complaint is seemingly that it didn’t do ENOUGH to champion diversity in its limited eight-episode run (i.e., “Why make Jarvis a white man instead of a woman or person of color?” Well, maybe because A. Peggy has excellent chemistry with the actor who plays Jarvis, B. Jarvis plays the “feminine” role to Peggy’s “masculine” one, furthering the show’s upending of tropes and C. Making Jarvis non-white would probably not have stopped this thinkpiece, since a non-white manservant would be “problematic” in its own way.)

        This all might be outside the ‘no politics’ Mindless Diversions rule though.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW says:

        I agree with you on Agent Carter, Glyph. I would also add that Peggy’s isolation was important to her characterization – she didn’t have another woman to talk to about her issues at work, except for Angie, and she couldn’t tell Angie stuff except in vague terms because Angie wasn’t in the SSR. That factor wouldn’t have been present if Peggy was working on her secret mission with another woman.

        I do think it’s fair to say that the show was very, very white, and that can be understandably frustrating for people even if the era the show is set in had an effect on that (none of the SSR agents were going to be black, and the main characters are Peggy, the other SSR agents, Howard, Jarvis, and Angie. I suppose casting Angie as a person of colour could have been a good option). But I think the show did decide to tackle multiple dimensions of discrimination aside from gender, by looking at how Sousa’s war injury affected people’s treatment of him. They can’t stuff absolutely every issue into eight episodes of a single show.Report

      • Avatar James Pearce says:

        “This all might be outside the ‘no politics’ Mindless Diversions rule though.”

        I guess I see it more in the lens of “bad art” than politics. Everything in the story should serve the story, not some ideology.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      We just watched it. I enjoyed it, and she is definitely at least as crazy as he is. At least.Report

  18. Avatar Kolohe says:

    One of the problems I had with The Americans this year is the ongoing plot point that CIA folks would just leave sensitive papers wily nily in their home offices.

    To the producers of the show, I apologize for doubting you.Report