Sunday!

Avatar

Jaybird

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 AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

Related Post Roulette

87 Responses

  1. Avatar Will Truman says:

    I watched the third and final installment of the Atlas Shrugged movie. (No politics – going to discuss the movie and not the politics behind it) It was very, very rushed. The second movie cut some budget with some cheap special effects. This one had to rely on a narrator.

    Cutting for length left a movie that actually looked a little better than the previous one, though the narrative struggled a bit for it. I wanted to see a lot more of the collapse of the US, but alas they cut out early.

    I don’t honestly have a problem that they changed the cast between each movie. It’s weird the different directions that they went, though. It’s one thing to replace Dick York with Dick Sargent, but it’s another to replace Dick York with Jackie Gleason, which is more like what they did here.

    I’m a little surprised that they even bothered to get recognizable actors, given what I consider to be a relatively inelastic audience. Even so, I was kind of excited to see that Rob Morrow was playing Hank Reardon this time around. But if you are using five-minute increments, and round the movie up, Morrow was in the movie for five minutes. (Reardon’s part in the book is diminished in the third part as well, but not this much.)

    The casting for Galt was perfect. For Dagney, was improved over the second movie. Francisco D seemed to age about thirty years between movies (though the first two actors were in their young fifties, and the third only about 7 years older). Thompson was a good selection, too, though Ray Wise wasn’t bad either.

    The acting was really pretty good, given the (inherently) awkward dialogue they were reading.

    I’d love to see some eccentric person from Japan do an animated version.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      I never saw the first two (and, believe it or not, I’ve never read the book though I have read a handful of the speeches and thought Reardon’s were pretty good). Are the movies worth watching? I mean, it’s pretty impossible for me to sit down and just watch a movie so I can’t ask “ignoring the politics, was it worth watching?” because I sure as heck won’t be able to uncouple the politics from it when I watch but… is it possible to watch it and forget to analyze it while you’re watching it?Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        @jaybird If you haven’t read the books through, I can’t really recommend the movies except as a sort of “cliff notes” in lieu of reading the book.

        From an ideologically secular standpoint, it leaves a fair amount to be desired unless you – like me! – like books about business logistics and revolution. And even the latter part is kind of disappointing insofar as it would have been a more interesting story if they’d gone to Washington or Oregon instead of Colorado and declared their independence.

        An old friend of mine says of the Bible that it’s a more interesting story if you think of God as Tony Soprano (though he said this before Sopranos, so maybe he said Vito Corleone) rather than as an entity for good. Even if you don’t accept the priors of Ayn Rand, there is still value in the book if you consider it a clash of villains and shrug off what comes across at times as economic terrorism.

        There’s value in it, but non 55 hours of reading value in it. On the other hand, if you take that in combination with the importance of the book to a lot of people and the feeling that I was missing something in my body of cultural knowledge, I considered it worth my time. The movies could be as a cliff notes version, but if you’re already familiar with the story it’s probably not necessary. I really liked seeing stuff from the book happen on screen (I have a great imagination, but not a great visual imagination).Report

    • It’s one thing to replace Dick York with Dick Sargent, but it’s another to replace Dick York with Jackie Gleason,

      Or Bela Lugosi with your dentist.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        @mike-schilling It’s really an interesting thing to me that the cast changes did not seem to be a matter of “We can’t afford Liam Neeson anymore, so we need to hire Arnold Vosloo”… if anything, the cast that had the most recognizable actors (to me) was the second, followed by the third, and then the first. (Nor is there any indication that the actors from the second or third were True Believers willing to work at a discount for a project they believed in.)

        My guess is that the reason for the change was that they could not offer the actors enough to keep their schedules clear, and it was a scheduling conflict. That doesn’t explain the huge divergences, though, and why they couldn’t replace Dick York with Dick Sargent.Report

      • We were discussing this at work, and that was pretty much my theory: that since there was never any guarantee that the next one would be made, the actors found other jobs. I’m also wondering how much actors care (or can afford to care) about how their work is greeted. Being in three of the most universally panned films ever made can’t be the best thing for a resume.

        And since each film had a different director and different casting directors (according to IMDB), perhaps each had a different vision of the characters and consistency wasn’t a goal. Look at all of the actors who’ve played John Dortmunder: Robert Redford, George C. Scott, Paul LeMat, and Martin Lawrence.Report

    • How was Greg Germann? I haven’t seen him since Ally McBeal.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      To whatever degree pre-determined hatchet jobs masquerading as objective and thoughtful critique can be said to be art, this review of the movie by Salon is surely a masterpiece.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        @tod-kelly He didn’t actually mention the thing that jumped out at me when I watched it: In the movies, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck were behind left to rot. This wasn’t shown, but they said that there were only two more Saved, and that was Hank and Dagny and not Glenn and Sean.

        The swell of support for Galt after his speed seemed false to me. I don’t remember that in the book. If they were that easily swayed, the status of the US wouldn’t be what it was. For that matter, the existence of Hannity-as-Hannity and Beck-as-Beck (and Ron Paul as a commentator) ended up cutting against the thesis, in that a country so “lost” would not have them in such high-profile roles.

        Both of these paragraphs pointing to my belief that they should have had Hannity do his best impression of a “snivelling liberal.”

        (I’m full-on breaking “No Politics” here, but I’m hoping to keep it limited.)Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

        Having not seen the movie at all, I would assume Hannity and Beck were used for the same reason O’Reilly was in American Carol — because the intended audience would like it, and because it would translate into a hell of a lot of free TV and radio plugs, PR and advertising in the weeks leading up to it.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        Oh, I’m sure of it. But I think the same audiences would have liked to see Hannity playing mocking liberals through mocking impersonation. What I would have tried to do is him opposite Ron Paul (who I am betting couldn’t pull off being anybody other than Ron Paul) and making it seem like this old guy is the only voice in the wilderness.Report

  2. Avatar Glyph says:

    Is it possible Fury Road is going to be decent? Why do I allow myself to hope like this?

    The Babadook is on Netflix streaming now, so I am going to finally try to catch that this week.

    Mad Men starts up tonight.

    I am going to miss Fortitude so hard when it ends next week. That show has exceeded all expectations, becoming the show I wanted True Detective S1 to be. Most questions have been answered at this point, in a satisfying manner that retroactively explains so much. The best show nobody is watching, due to nobody knowing what the hell a “Pivot” is. Expect this one to blow up when it comes to a popular streaming service and people binge and blow their minds.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      Maybe Fortitude can tie me over until The Americans wraps up.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        Oy. The accents. I had to shelf Fortitude.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Don’t you watch with subtitles on? 😉

        There are a bunch of different accents for sure (representing all the different nationalities in Fortitude). My favorite had to be Tucci, as a Brit investigator, with an American accent.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        I will still watch it, but it’s going to be the sort of thing I can’t watch while watching Lain.

        I switched to Defiance, which I do not like.

        I vaguely recognized the lead. To tie things together, I looked him up and it was the original Hank Reardon.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Fortitude‘s not particularly kid-friendly anyway. Graphic violence, don’t’cha know.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Wait. What’s this about Fortitude?

      What’s this about it being the show you wanted TD to be?

      Dare I ask: is this a show about normal detectives investigating, gasp, a secret and hidden world???Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        @jaybird – You know how TD started wyrd, but got less so as it went on? This kept ramping it up the whole time. This also had the guts to narratively go somehere TD didn’t.

        Does a cross between Twin Peaks and The Thing, with maybe some Coens thrown in, sound good to you?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        It sounds awesome.

        I loved True Detective. (But, as I’m sure you remember irritatedly, I didn’t like Hannibal.)

        It sounds like something I will attempt when it becomes available to me.

        Was it network? Was it cable?Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Cable, a new network called Pivot. I was able to watch most of them VOD that way, even though I don’t get that channel. But you can get the whole season on iTunes or Amazon for around $20-$25 – I did iTunes HD downloads for several of the eps that wouldn’t plav on VOD for me, and they looked fantastic.Report

      • Avatar aaron david says:

        @jaybird @glyph
        Check the youtuber for Fortitude. It looks like it is on there.

        That said, I have been thinking a bit about TD lately. As much as it iritated me at the time, (the ending, where they sit and talk about the stars) I think other than that, it was pretty true to weirdness, much like the Call of Cthulhu I was looking for. I will watch again.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        My problem with TD was that it was a shaggy dog story.

        My solution with TD was Rust’s monologues.

        If they can generate (or steal, whatever) the same high quality of monologue? I’m, like, totally there for season 2.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        @aaron-david @jaybird I don’t mean to sound down on TD, that’s not the way I meant it. TD still turned out to be some pretty high-quality pulp. It’s just that it turned out to be a little bit less daring and weird than we thought it was going to be, and peaked a little early.

        But Fortitude is…just great. And it’s IMO just as well-directed as TD was – the cinematography is stunning, the score/sound editing is fantastic (which is why, unless the YouTube uploads are high-quality, I would advise some other means of watching).Report

      • Avatar aaron david says:

        @glyph
        That’s just the thing, the more I think about TD the better I think it is. I think we were hoping for Buffy level stuff, but is is more in line with that Cults video. A strong level of creepiness and a brush, just a brush, with true evil. Just enough to let you open your eyes, not to loose your sanity.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      I think Fury Road might be good, yes. I shall try to remember that Road Warrior and Thunderdome were both actually very silly (“The Ayatollah of Rock and Roll-ah!” and “Two men enter! One man leaves!”) when watching Fury Road.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      @glyph Fortitude renewed!Report

  3. Avatar Maribou says:

    I’ve been watching Third Rock from the Sun almost exclusively, though I did start watching Outlander again last night.

    Still listening to the tor.com podcasts. One of the hosts really gets on my nerves for reasons that I don’t think are his fault, so we’ll see if I stick with that one long term. Hoping I’ll get over it.

    I read The Last Magazine, which had the seeds of a brilliant novel in it, though not as presented (the author died and they found it in his stuff); Tolkien’s unfinished Fall of Arthur (I have more tolerance for his son’s annotations and explicationss than I used to as a kid, though still not enough to keep me from skimming – but the poem itself was nifty); Rutabaga the Adventure Chef; the satisfyingly geeked-out The Shambling Guide to New York City; and the surprisingly excellent Where’d You Go Bernadette. A pretty good reading week.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      Third Rock is a wonderfully charming show.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      I love Third Rock. It was the last sitcom I enjoyed.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        “It was the last sitcom I enjoyed.”

        Really?! No love for 30 Rock, Curb, Parks & Rec, Arrested Development, Party Down, Home Movies, Futurama, That ’70s Show, Better Off Ted, Undeclared, My Name Is Earl, Community? And that’s leaving off The Office (UK) and Spaced (though that last ended in ’01 also) and a few other Brit series.

        I mean, I don’t LOVE every single one of those listed, but thought that all had at least some good stuff. And I left off a bunch that were big hits, but that I never really watched much.Report

      • Huh. I love Lithgow, and I love Jane Curtin (it took me way too long to realize that Kate and Allie wasn’t all that funny), but I wouldn’t put Third Rock in the top tier of comedies. Too much mugging by French Smith and Kristen Johnston, and way too many idiot plots. And 30 Rock, Parks & Rec, and Arrested Development are easily in the top tier, along with the earlier seasons of The Office and Community.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Confession time: I’ve never seen an entire episode of Community, and I think I’ve only seen one episode of Parks and Rec, from the first season. Also, I can’t stand Tina Fey.

        However, I’d forgotten about That 70s Show, and I didn’t really think of Futurama as a sitcom, but it probably should be included. So Third Rock wasn’t the last.

        As for The Office, either version… there are episodes that I really enjoy, some that I love even, but as an entire show, I’ve just never bonded with it. That’s probably because unlike That 70s Show and Third Rock from the Sun, and several others, like Malcolm in the Middle, M.A.S.H., News Radio, Seinfeld, The Simpsons, Bernie Mac (which also came later than Third Rock, so I was wrong), Martin (which is one of the top 5 funniest American shows ever), and some others, I didn’t watch it between 11 PM and 2 AM while suffering from extreme insomnia, so I didn’t watch it every night, sometimes two at a time.

        And ya know, I kind of miss watching TV like that. It was sort of my prime time, since it was the only time of day I really watched television. You’d get the same shows, every night, with episodes in order, sometimes two in a row so that you watch, say, the first season and the fifth season of a show in order at the same time. I suppose I could still do that, but Netflix has ruined me, as has an ability to actually fall asleep.Report

      • Avatar morat20 says:

        Chris — Parks and Rec didn’t find it’s feat until the second season. One of the reasons I’m fond of the Netflix model for shows is because of things like that. Too many promising shows were strangled in the cradle.

        I never liked the first season of Parks and Rec. I love what it turned into.Report

  4. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    I’ve been reading the complete short stories of Bernard Malamud and pausing regularly to copy down sentences that I wish I’d written. Last thing I watched was Performance, which I’d never seen and always imagined was too 60s for me. It sort of was, but enjoyable nonetheless. Jagger’s performance is great. I guess I’m a bit behind the times.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      Malamud is a neglected writer these days, which is really sad. He’s wonderful.Report

    • Avatar El Muneco says:

      Jagger has always been a much better actor than he should have been – although that’s not surprising considering that he has reinvented the “Mick Jagger” that fronts the Rolling Stones a number of times. It’s almost worth watching “Freejack” just to watch the glee with which he chews the scenery, while at the same time creating the only character in the film that, while not fully three-dimensional, at least gets out of Flatland. Almost makes me want to watch “Fitzcarraldo”, although I’m not excited by the idea of a movie that was a train wreck about an event that was basically a train wreck.

      Bowie, too… All things considered, if he’d committed to acting after, say, 1988 (rather than forming Tin Machine), I think there’s a reasonable chance that the roles he would have left behind would be better regarded in 50 years than the music from that part of his career.Report

  5. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    I watched the new Robocop reboot, which wasn’t terrible. But it also lacked all the subversive satire the original had. The original was fun (if really violent), and the new one is pretty tepid, and could just as easily have been an NBC pilot for a new Robocop TV series.

    I also saw the movie November Man with Pierce Brosnan, which had much of the same appeal that the movie Matador had: Watching James Bond through a kind of twisted lens.

    Didn’t get to read anything for pleasure this week. Just reams and reams of court documents and transcripts. (ugh)Report

  6. Better Call Sail finishes tomorrow. Last week’s episode was the best yet, and Breaking Bad season finales were almost uniformly amazing, so I have high expectations.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      That’s it????

      Man, I’m disappointed.Report

      • Yeah, only 10 episodes this year. I think 13 next year.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        @tod-kelly

        I’d be curious to hear @mike-schilling ‘s thoughts on this, but if you choose to watch the show, I think it is important to remember that it isn’t really a prequel to “Breaking Bad”. Rather, it simply tells a different BB character’s story that happens to take place before the events of BB. If you’re looking for it to answer questions about BB, it’s not going to do that.

        Maybe I was the exception for expecting it to be more prequel than spin off, but when you see it as its own story, you can appreciate it much more.Report

      • It’s a prequel in that we know where Saul and Mike are at the start of BB, and it’s not where they start out in BCS, so part of the interest is in how they get there.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        I don’t know if Gilligan and co. have explicitly said so, but I see no reason that BCS has to remain a prequel for its entire run – it’s already a flashback, since the first scenes of BCS were set post-BB. At any point, the story could jump BACK (forward) to that post-BB point-in-time, and move from there.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        @mike-schilling @glyph

        If BTS ends before Saul meets Walt, would that be a problem for you? It wouldn’t for me. Though I’d have predicted the opposite before viewing.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        I don’t need him to meet Walt*, but I expect he will at least cross paths with Gus, or Gus’ predecessors/underlings at some point (though it’s weird how Michael Mando, “Nacho”, has been in the credits each episode, but barely in the show). I know it’s a different show than BB, but I wouldn’t mind seeing the stakes get raised a bit.

        *Somebody said that in one of the first episodes, at one point as Saul is driving around he drives past Walt’s house, Aztek in driveway and everything. I didn’t go back and look for it though.Report

      • I don’t need Saul to meet Walt. I do need him to be the guy he is by then: not just a criminal lawyer, but a criminal lawyer. If the last season consists of Saul getting into a giant scrape, getting out by the skin of his teeth, telling himself “Never again — no more huge risks”, and in the very last scene, meeting Walt and Jesse, that’s perfect.Report

  7. Avatar Morat20 says:

    I am…cautiously optimistic about Deadpool, especially now that they’ve announced that yes, it will be R-rated.

    I plan to watch it at the Alamo Drafthouse with beer in any case, secure in my knowledge that it can’t possibly be worse than Wolverine.Report

  8. Avatar Will Truman says:

    There will be no Twin Peaks revival 🙁Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      Manoman that was a good show. I remember when a friend turned me onto it right after it’d been cancelled. She had all the episodes on VHS so I blazed thru em over a weekend. It changed my life. (No, really!) So many great scenes.

      “Louise Dombrowski dancing with a flashlight on a hook rug.”Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Okay. I never saw Twin Peaks. The only thing I know about Twin Peaks is that the Simpsons “Who Shot Mr. Burns?” had a scene that made fun of a dream sequence from Twin Peaks.

        How important is it to my cultural edification that I go back and Twin Peaksify myself at some point in the next duration?Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        Worth seeing. Worth seeing even if you know who killed Laura Palmer. I paid for a bootleg copy before it was released to DVD, then I bought the real DVD when it came out.

        I would bring my laptop to work just so that I could watch during my lunch break.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Jaybird,

        It’s weird. But! the dialogue, characters, cinematography and music are really outstanding.

        Here’s the Louise Dombrowski scene.

        Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        You know, if the dialog is awesome, I can forgive plot in the moment. I only get irritated in retrospect.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Welllll, the plot sorta comes and goes ya know? It’s mostly the story of Agent Cooper (“Special” Agent Cooper …), played by angel-inspired Kyle MacLachlan, digging in the small town dirt where a teenage girl was murdered. Initially, Lynch felt like there should be no answer to the “who killed Laura Palmer” question since that tension drove the show forward. I guess the network won in the end, cuz we end up finding out who did her in. And the show only lasted a few episodes after that before it was nixed.Report

      • I watched it on Netflix a year or so ago. It was great before it ran out of steam about the time the murder was revealed.

        The prequel film was much better than I’d expected. Sheryl Lee was amazing.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman says:

          So am I the only one who loved the Black Lodge story? I know I’m not the only one who hated the movie. (Though if it comes back, it would be cool if they worked Chris Isaak in.)Report

      • Avatar greginak says:

        Plot was , at best, secondary in TP. It was about weird characters and a bent mood. Everything was just a little weird at first then just got very weird by the end. It doesn’t really matter where the scenes go, just that some of them are great.Report

      • There was a lot not to like: Cooper’s old nemesis, who was extremely scary by reputation but not at all in person. And the super-strong amnesiac. AND THE DEAF GUY WHO SHOUTED ALL THE TIME! And the woman who became an end table. Etc.Report

      • Avatar greginak says:

        The thing about TP and most Lynch in general is that when everything is weird and twisted and strange it all starts to add up to less. Strange and weird needs to contrast with something. With TP things just got weirder and weirder and that is the only way for the story to go. If you like the weird that is fine but its just a jackson pollack of oddness.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        The deaf guy who SHOUTED was played by David Lynch.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        Where’s Garrett Morris when you need him?Report

    • Avatar greginak says:

      No Twin Peaks revival: Good. It would suck. TP had one good season and that was partly based on it being weird and really different for TV. Lynch would just throw weird stuff up and people would wrap all sorts of meanings around it. It had good performances but ultimately it was a thing of its time. It can’t be repeated or the magic recreated.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        I want to know what happened what happened after the Black Lodge! And Killer Bob! And Coop! Arrrrrrh!

        (I am the odd duck that actually enjoyed the second season even more than the first.)Report

      • Avatar greginak says:

        If i thought there was answer that would be satisfying or wouldn’t just lead to another and another and another mystery i might care.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        “So it looks like Showtime may go forward without Lynch. Or try to.”

        Oh, great. This should turn out well. I totally trust the network that brought us The Red Shoe Diaries to get TP right.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Bear in mind, that even though Showtime has been improving its output, it still has a fairly recent history of interfering with creative (Dexter and Brody pretty famously didn’t die when they needed to, due to the network not wanting to kill cash cows). It’s questionable whether Lynch would have been able to keep them from meddling even if he was at the helm; if he’s not…Report

    • Avatar ScarletNumber says:

      David Lynch was great as Jack Dall in Louie.Report

  9. Avatar aaron david says:

    The wife and I have been watching Bloodline and boy howdy!

    Very, very good. Very very depressing and hard to watch. It doesn’t lend itself to binge watching (which I cannot do anyway) as it moves very slowly and methodically. You have to watch every painful bit of. Some of the episodes have voice overs and flash forwards in the intros, which is lame, but get past those and it just screws down the tension.

    Reading The Thieves Opera. About one master thief and his war with a folk hero thief in 18th century London. Non-fiction and quite fascinating. So far I recommend it.Report

  10. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Been way to busy to watch the tv. Today I baked a sourdough for friends, a foccacia for the wife and I, staged out my Belgian Orange-Caramel witbier, and brewed up pear cider. Yesterday was grilling day, after spending the morning digging holes in the back yard to plant new trees, bushes and shrubs; the wife planted edibles today and well hope the dogs don’t eat them when they give fruit in a few weeks.Report

  11. Avatar Kim says:

    Now from the “Movie as Torture” bracket… Gett is actually playing at movie theaters.
    It’s a good film (I should review it), but it’s Not Entertaining, and deliberately so.
    “I’m going to go to a movie theater and see what’s playing” — you don’t want to pick this flick.Report

  12. Avatar KatherineMW says:

    Mostly looking forward to Age of Ultron and to Pixar’s Inside Out; the latter sounds good based on the pre-screenings people have seen of it, and based on the second trailer.Report

  13. Avatar KatherineMW says:

    In terms of shows, I’m looking forward to Game of Thones and Orphan Black, and I’ve gotten a one-month-free Netflix subscription, so I’ll probably check out Daredevil as well.Report

  14. Avatar zic says:

    play with Inspirograph; the spiralgraph ap.Report