Alice’s Restaurant Massacree

Arlo Guthrie’s song is one of that classic protest songs and it was released 50 years ago is still a popular song and it seems to always find it’s way on to the radio at least one on Thanksgiving. Rolling Stone has called it “the national anthem of Thanksgiving.”  The Smithsonian Magazine has a brief history about the song which is interesting. It begins with Arlo telling a story about a Thanksgiving when he was arrested for littering, the song then turns to the Vietnam Draft which the song is actually about. This is a unique song so give it the about 18 minutes that the song is. Arlo noted that it’s not really an anti-war song it is more of an anti-stupidity song in an interview with NPR. Over the year it’s been joked that the gap in the Watergate tapes is Nixon listening to the song. The best part about the song is that it doesn’t get old, sure they are talking about Vietnam but it is still relevant today. With so much stupidity in the world currently perhaps it could take on new meaning this year.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday shopping season.


Best Animated Movies of the 21st Century

Well, IndieWire is going all out and clearly defining what the greatest animated movies of the whole 21st century is and we aren’t even close to the end of the century. Sure it is nice to look back and recommend some films from the past years but call it the best films of the past decade or something like that. There are several films that you’d expect to be on the list but there are a couple that I’ve never heard of.  Sure several films deserve to be on the list but others seem like a weird choice to be on the list. It hits several winners of the Animated Feature Oscar, from one of the first, Spirited Away to Toy Story 3. Then there are others which never heard of like Paprika, Sita Sings the Blues and The Tale of Princess Kaguya. It was nice to see that about eight were not made in America and only four were from the Disney/Pixar brand. However there are some film that should have been on this list like Kubo and the Two Strings and others that shouldn’t have been on the list Finding Nemo or The Lego Movie sure they are good films but are overrated films. Sure this list come two year after IndieWire published a list of the 25 Best Animated Films of the 21st Century, and several of the films on this list aren’t on this newer list. By and large across the board it seems like everyone agrees that Studio Ghibli’s film Spirited Away is the best of all the animated films so far.

Are You Afraid of the Dark? movie

This has to be one of the coolest news about an upcoming movie that I’ve read in a while. Now growing up I watched a fair share of this show it originally aired in the 90s on Nickelodeon and YTV in Canada. It was a part of SNICK and I really enjoyed the show, and some of the episodes still hold up after two decades. Now according to The Hollywood Reporter the writer of It, Gary Dauberman, will be tackling this. In every episode of the show The Midnight Society, a group of teenaged friends,  met and one of them told a scary story. Some characters appeared in multiple stories like Sardo and Dr. Vink and there were a couple of multi part episodes. It would be wonderful if this films featured Gary and Tucker’s kids running a new Midnight Society, featuring an appearance of Ross Hull and Daniel DeSanto. I hope that this could eventually turn into a several film series with different stories being told, perhaps with different directors and writers tackling each new film

More Star Wars and Disney news

Well it was announced yesterday that Rian Johnson is going to be creating an all-new trilogy not focusing on the Skywalker family, according to the press release “Johnson will introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored.” This sound pretty cool and it seems like these could be how the new films after Episode IX comes out in 2019 and the rumored third solo film arrives in 2020. With a new trilogy perhaps will we be getting more Star War Stories as well. This seems great as was the announcement from Disney CEO Bob Iger that “a live-action “Star Wars” TV series to air on its entertainment streaming service that is expected to launch by the end of 2019.” Could this be the previous attempted television series Underworld set between III and IV with some focus on the Boba Fett from the cancelled video game 1313 or something very different. With Rebels set between III and IV, but not really dealing with the underworld and bounty hunters and a solo film rumored to be focusing on Boba Fett would either of these be great things to explore on television as well. This live action series will be on the Disney streaming service which will be ‘substantially’ less than Netflix and the service will be coming out in the second half of 2019. Now if we could also get some word on what Dave Filoni and Lucasfilm Animation is working on after Rebels end.


Star Wars news

Well, filming has finished for the Han Solo movie and Ron Howard has announced the title of the film. As most of us were expecting it to be the title is Solo. This is added to the big news from last week with the new trailer for The Last Jedi. It seems like the only thing we really need to know now is what the next anthology film is going to be about there are several rumors out there a Boba Fett film and a Obi-Wan between episodes III and IV. There are tons of rumors I’ve seen that Guillermo Del Toro want to make a Jabba the Hutt movie and there are rumors about just about every character out there ranging from those in the animated television shows like an Ahsoka Tano and Captain Rex from Clone Wars or an Ezra Bridger and Hera Syndulla from Rebels appearing Hera was name dropped in Rogue One already. We will have to wait and see what all happens with the end of Rebels as to what happens with these characters. There is also the idea of another Rogue One type film but with those Bothan spies getting information about the second Death Star, many will die. Time will tell and it seems like they’ll announce what the next anthology film will be about after The Last Jedi comes out.

New Star Wars Trailer

I case you were looking here is a link to the new trailer for Star War: The Last Jedi. It comes out in December. Sure Rian Johnson was expressed some wishes for people to come into the film with no idea of what’s coming but the film comes out in two months and I am sure that most of us are going to forget much of what happens in the trailer in a couple of weeks. Also this is just a reminder that the final season of Star Wars Rebels returns in about a week on DisneyXD.

Blue Planet II

BBC is doing another giant film on the oceans, and it will be released later this year and hopefully by early next year in the US. The trailer for the new series is out and it look amazing.  Sure it has a newish track from Radiohead and Hans Zimmer (ocean) bloom. It is a reworking of Bloom from The King of Limbs which was according to Thom Yorke who says in the Press Release that  “‘Bloom’ was inspired by the original Blue Planet series so it’s great to be able to come full circle with the song.” This is pretty cool. BBC did the original Planet Earth and Blue Planet series which sort of ushered in the HD era and now with their respective sequels they are ushering in the 4K era. It looks like we all will be exploring the depths of the unknown

The Vietnam War

The newest Ken Burn documentary film about The Vietnam War is a deep dive into the Vietnam War the often forgotten war since it was one that America lost. Now, I was born in the middle of the 80s and in school we glossed over it as the focus was World War II since that’s the big War then it would sort of peter out in the 60s with JFK assassination and early LBJ with Civil Rights. So the closest I’ve come to this War was the films and shows that take place in it. The first was the television show The Wonder Years set during the Vietnam War on the home front. As for films it was either Good Morning, Vietnam with Robin Williams as the radio DJ on Armed Forces Radio Service or Operation Dumbo Drop the Disney movie from 1995 about a group of soldiers bringing an elephant to a village inspired by true life events. All of these were comedies-dramas so that about all I knew about it for year. I’ve gone on to the other well known gritty films Platoon, The Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now over the the years. It wasn’t until college that I actually did any work with The Vietnam War when in a class on the 1960s where we read A Rumor of War, Phillip Caputo’s memoir on Vietnam.

I’ve been watching The Vietnam War and learning a whole bunch of things that I didn’t know about Vietnam so I’ve decided to reread  A Rumor of War more on that later. This should be a series that everyone needs to takes the time to watch as it explains a lot about how society got to be the way it is today. Burns and Novick tell to story from all sides involved it’s wonderful so far

Fall TV preview 2017

Alright as we begin the Fall Television schedule it is time once again to look at the new shows that will be airing this year. I’m going to do it by network.

Sunday at 10pm is Ten Day in the Valley: it’s a cop show about a lady who writes/works on a cop show dealing with her missing daughter. I will be skipping this one.
Monday at 10pm is The Good Doctor: seems like a cross between House and Rain Man as it’s a young surgeon who is an autistic savant and that’s the basic plot I guess him and everyone dealing with him. Another skip in my book.
Tuesday at 9:30pm is The Mayor: about a young rapper who runs for Mayor of his town as a publicity stunt and gets elected. He’s got different ideas of what need to be down for him town. I will be checking out a couple of these episodes. At 10 pm is Kevin (Probably) Saves the World: in which a slacker (Kevin) is contacted by an Angel and tasked with saving the world. Doubt I will check it out.
Friday at 9pm is Inhumans: from all I’ve heard about it don’t waste any time watching this Marvel series.

Sunday at 9pm is Wisdom of the Crowd: this seems very similar to APB but it adds social networking to make everyone a member of the police. Not the most promising show. This upcoming Sunday at around 8:30pm Star Trek: Discovery debuts. I’ll be watching this first episode.
Monday at 8:30pm is another stinker of a show 9JKL: an out of work actor returns home to New York to live between his parents and his brother and his family. Don’t watch. at 9:30 comes Me, Myself & I: it’s a story about Alex Riley in three parts at age 14, 40 and 65 not sure if the stories will be connected but I will be watching.
Wednesday at 9pm is SEAL Team: Not sure if this will be mostly be set in the field or at home or a combination of both. It might be good but I’m going to have to watch an episode at least.
Thursday once again begins with football for the first half a the fall before turning to sitcoms. When sitcoms return at 8:30pm Young Sheldon: If you like Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory you are bound to watch it. At 10pm is SWAT based on the television series from the 70s and the film from 2003 and is about a SWAT team. Most likely I’ll be passing on this one as well.

The CW:
Monday at 9pm is Valor: CW joins the fold with a military drama hurrah?! now there is one on every network
Wednesday at 9pm is Dynasty: the 80s soap is rebooted, didn’t watch the first so why start now.

Sunday at 8:30pm is Ghosted: it is a comedy X-files so I will watch at least a couple episodes.
Monday at 9pm is The Gifted: set in the X-Men universe and I’m a fan of it so I’ll check it out.
Thursday at 9pm is The Orville: Seth MacFarlane’s pseudo-Star Trek show, it’s not that bad but I doubt I will be making time for it.

Monday at 10pm is The Brave: a new CIA/military drama, not my cup of tea.
Tuesday at 10pm is Law and Order True Crime: this is about the Menendez brothers who killed their parents. no thanks.

So what will I be watching out of all shows this is just a possible list as with the new show it could become less.
Sunday: 60 Minutes, Simpsons, Ghosted or Football
Monday: Me, Myself & I or The Gifted
Tuesday: The Middle, The Flash, The Mayor, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Wednesday: Maybe Riverdale just to check out Sabrina the Teen-aged Witch is coming
Thursday: The Good Place, Arrow and/or Football


CBS Streaming (Star Trek)

I am sure you all are aware of a new Star Trek show coming out soon. It’s called Star Trek: Discovery and the first episode will be aired on CBS next Sunday after football. However after that they want you to subscribe to their streaming service CBS All Access to watch the rest of the season. The Hollywood Reporter asks the big question Can CBS change the game with the show? This is a bit of a complicated question as there will be no early reviews of the new Star Trek and I’ve heard/read that many people will either wait until the whole thing comes out and get the free trial to watch the show or hope that it get on some other streaming location after the first season airs, as Netflix owns the streaming rights for the rest of the Star Trek shows so hopefully it would land there eventually. Sure with Hulu earning the first Emmy win for Best Drama as “a non-network” streaming service it is a good time to get into the market but perhaps going alone might be a setback for CBS. Although it seems likely that Disney/ABC will have their own successful streaming service in the near future will we eventually have to pay to watch just about anything in the near future and abandon broadcast television, I mean I use it to watch sports, Jeopardy, news, a talk show or two and a maybe a handful of shows some of which are on PBS to begin with. Eventually, I hope that there are only like four streaming services (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Disney) and that’s it. Who really knows what’s going to happen over the next decade with streaming and television in general.