My Week in Books, Movies, and TV 2/14/20

I started the week strong on reading due to deadlines and finished the week mainly watching TV and not able to focus enough to read more than a couple of pages at a time. Here is my week:

Movies – We watched Rambo: Last Blood Sunday night. My wife is a big fan of dumb action moves so we watch a lot of them. I like Stallone and I liked the Rambo movies, so I was not mad about watching this one. It didn’t have the ending I expected, so that was nice. It was very much a “Rambo kills all the bad guys” movie, but Stallone does a good job of playing the aging super-soldier. If you like Stallone and Rambo you should watch it.

TV – The big TV event for me was the premiere of the 40th season of Survivor. It is the long-anticipated all winners edition and a lot of my favorites are back. I enjoyed seeing Boston Rob, Amber, Parvati, et al back on my TV. I’m not a huge fan of the Edge of Extinction twist. I think once you are voted out you should stay voted out. At the very least, the one and only person allowed back from Edge should come back at the merge and then the rest go home and Edge is closed. I do get that they want to get as much TV out of the favorites as they can. I can’t say that I’m mad that I am guaranteed more of my favorites even after they lose. I just hope they end it after this season and that the winners won’t be dumb like the people last time who gave the win to a guy who barely played the game. That sucked. I do think the other twist with the coins might be interesting. It adds another layer of strategy to the game. I think this season will be very good.

Books – I read two books this week. Both assigned to me due to book clubs.

The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose – I had to force myself to finish this one. It was well written and I can see why some would like it. I just prefer books that have some sort of plot. Nothing much happened here. Just snippets of the lives of people who went to see the artist’s display.

Boar Island by Nevada Barr – another one I had to force myself to finish. The story was underwhelming. The characters annoyed me. The reader of the audiobook annoyed me. I think I might have liked it more if I had read more of the series. The people in book club liked it. Maybe it’s just my mood.

On Deck – I have three movies from two libraries: Harriet, Motherless Brooklyn, and Escape Plan: The Extractors. I’m sure I will watch all three Harriet with the kids, Motherless Brooklyn on my Tuesday off alone and the bad sequel to a mediocre Stallone movie with my wife on Monday. I’m reading Dig by AS King(the Printz Award winner). TV will be more of catching up on recorded shows. We will finally watch some Brooklyn 99 while my daughter is home.

My Week in Books, Movies, and TV 2/7/20

This week seems like a blur. I had to consult last week’s post to see what I said was on deck to remember what I watched this week.

Movies – We watched one new movie and two old movies this week. Sunday while waiting for the Super Bowl to start I searched for a football movie to watch. I was surprised there weren’t some on TV that day. There was also no Groundhog Day to watch. We finally settled on Necessary Roughness with Scott Bakula and Sinbad from 1991. I had never actually watched it. It was an enjoyable way to spend a Sunday afternoon. It reminded me of The Replacements. We still had time after that so we ended up watching The Mighty Ducks. The new movie we watched was Gemini Man. It is the Will Smith movie where he is a hitman being hunted by what turns out to be a younger version of him. I am a big Will Smith fan, but this movie was not very good. I spent the whole movie playing a game on my iPad.

TV –  The week started with the big TV event of the week, the Super Bowl. I already wrote about that here.  The other big Tv event we watched was the finale of The Good Place. The Good Place is one of the best shows that has been on TV in a while. I was sad to see it go. The finale was a very good ending for the show even if it was not as funny as you would expect for a sitcom finale. If you have not watched the show, go do it now. I feel like I watched a lot of TV this week, but my DVR is still reaching crisis levels. I guess I should skip cleaning the kitchen today and watch more TV.

Books – I finished one book this week – Redshirts by John Scalzi. I read this for my book club at work. Sometimes even when the books are good the book club books sometimes feel like work because I have to read them. This one did not. It was a fast read. It was funny. It had an interesting story. It will appeal to everyone, even people who don’t read sci-fi or watch Star Trek. Highly recommend!

On Deck = We have Rambo: Last Blood on DVD. My wife is very excited about it. I don’t think any new TV starts this week, at least none that I will watch. I will watch the first episode of Indebted that was on last night because I like Adam Pally and Steven Weber. I’m forcing my wat through The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose because it is for my personal book club and I don’t want to break my streak of reading al of the books even if I don’t like them. I also started listening to Boar Island by Nevada Barr because I need to finish it for another book club at work. I have a lot of assigned reading these days.

My Week in Books, Movies, and TV 1/31/20

I managed to actually watch a movie this week. I watched the same movie twice. That’s what happens when both kids want to watch the movie but are home at different times. As my movie and TV watching increased my reading decreased. Funny how that works.

Movies – As I mentioned above, we watched a movie and then I watched it again when my son was home. That movie was Joker. My kids and I liked it a lot. My wife thought it was a little slow. Joaquin Phoenix did a great job in the lead role. I hope this Joker shows up in the new Batman movies at some point. I definitely recommend this one. I’ve now watched three of the Oscar nominated movies this year. That’s unusual for me.

TV – We did watch a lot of TV thus week in an effort to clear the space on the DVR now that we are back to me saving shows for my daughter while she was away. We did watch one new show this week – 911 Lone Star. We don’t watch 911, mainly because it started before I had the upgraded DVR and I couldn’t record it because of other shows. The new one stars Rob Lowe as a firefighter who is the sole survivor of a FDNY company that perished on 9/11. He is asked to move to Austin to rebuild a company there after an explosion kills all but one of them. We watched the first three episodes in one night so I would say that we liked it. I’ve always liked Rob Lowe. That probably helped.

Books – I finished one book this week – Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds. I really like Jason Reynolds. This was the first book of his that I read and had a general “meh” feeling about. It is a middle grade book with ten short stories about kids over ten blocks around their middle school. It wasn’t a bad book. It was a quick read. It just didn’t hold my attention the way the rest of his stuff has.

On Deck – I’m reading Redshirts by John Scalzi. We have Gemini Man from the library and will probably watch it tonight. There are no new things coming up on TV. I will watch the Super Bowl Sunday night but I have no rooting interest in either team. I don’t even hate one of the enough to feel strongly that I want them to lose. I hope the commercials are good.

My Week in Books, Movies, and TV 1/24/20

It’s time once again for my weekly wrap up of what I’ve read and watched this week. This week was heavy on TV and very light on movies.

Movies – I did not watch a movie this week. I returned several movies to the library unwatched. It was not a time issue. It was not a lack of desire to watch a movie. It was mainly my family not really caring about the movies I had. It will be easier for me to watch movies no one else cares about after Sunday when I have hours alone every day.

TV – We finished watching Crisis on Infinite Earths. We both liked it a lot. I’m looking forward to seeing how the events alter the course of shows moving forward. We finally watched the first few episodes of Deputy. It stars Stephen Dorff as a long time deputy who becomes acting sheriff of Los Angeles County when the sheriff dies. I liked it a lot more than I expected.  Dorff is great in the role and Bex Taylor-Klaus is really good as the young deputy assigned as his security. We watched the first episode of Outmatched last night. It is a sitcom about parents of three gifted kids and one not gifted kid. I watched because my daughter wanted to try it and because I will give any show with Maggie Lawson a shot. My daughter really liked it. I think it was mediocre at best and probably won’t last. I will still watch with my daughter until the cancelation comes.

Books – I finished two books this week:

American Royals by Katharine McGee – A YA book set in an America where George Washington accepts the crown and we have American royalty. It is set in current times and revolves around the three kids of the current king of America. Princess Beatrice is next in line for the crown. The first woman who will be allowed to take the throne after a change in the law.  Her younger siblings, twins Jefferson and Samantha deal with life as the “extras.” It’s generally about their romances which, as my daughter told me, is to be expected when you read a teen romance. It was a little long and slow if you aren’t a big romance reader, but I did like the characters enough to maybe read the next one.

Shakespeare for Squirrels by Christopher Moore – A friend got a copy of an ARC of this book and sent it to me. Chris is one of my favorite authors so getting an early copy of the book was very exciting for me This is the third book featuring Pocket the Fool of Dogsnogging. This one is his tribute to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It has fairies, goblins, magic and heinous fuckery most foul. I loved it. I liked it more than the previous two Pocket books. If you haven’t read Moore, go out and get one of his books now.

On Deck – I just started reading Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds. We plan to watch Joker tonight. We still have a lot of TV to watch. The DVR is closing in on 80% full again and with my daughter heading back to school, it is our last chance to catch up on the shows we watch together. First on the list to watch when it’s just me and my wife is the Station 19/Grey’s crossover.

My Week in Books, Movies, and TV 1/17/20

I finally have the time to write something again just in time for my Friday wrap up of what I’ve read and watched this week.

Movies – Even with multiple movies from the library all I ended up watching was Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It was my second time watching it. I went to see it at the theater back when I was still finding time on my Fridays off to go to a movie. This time I watched it with my family because my son was home and wanted to see it. They complained it was too long. The didn’t care about DiCaprio’s character’s story at all. They liked the Brad Pitt part and had a lot of interest in the Manson stuff. They asked me a lot of questions about the Manson family. I know way too much about the Manson family. As it was leading up to the final act they asked so many questions that I had to pause the movie to tell them that I didn’t want to spoil the movie but they should know it wasn’t an exact retelling of the events so they should stop asking me questions about the real-life events. Maybe I should stop watching movies I like with my family.

TV – The two main things we watched this week were Jeopardy GOATS and Crisis on Infinite Earths. I enjoyed the Jeopardy tournament and wish we had more episodes. I haven’t watched a regular Jeopardy episode this week. I wonder if it will be underwhelming after this tournament. We still have two more episodes of Crisis to go. So far I think they’ve done a good job with it. We’ve enjoyed all of the cameos and surprise appearances. I’m looking forward to hopefully finishing it this weekend. We also watched the first episode of The Outsider last night. I’m a big Stephen King fan and I liked the book. So far I think they’ve done a good job with it.  My son did not read the book and also liked it.

Books – I only managed to finish one book this week – A Very Scalzi Christmas by John Scalzi. It is a collection of his Christmas themed stories he’s written over the years. I don’t think there was a bad one in the bunch. It was a nice, quick, enjoyable read even though I read it after the holidays.

On Deck – I’m reading America Royals by Katharine McGee. I like the concept of an America where Washington became king. I wasn’t expecting it to be mostly a romance. It is taking me a while and will likely put me behind my reading goal early. I still have too many movies at home. My main goal is to watch Joker this weekend. We will hopefully finish Crisis this week and I will watch the Grey’s Station 19 crossover as soon as possible after it airs.

My Week In Books, Movies, and TV 1/10/20

I guess if I’m going to get back to posting regularly I should get back to doing my regular weekly posts. Or decide if I still think they are posts I want to continue. So, here is my week in reading and watching:

Movies – I made the mistake of activating all of my holds at the library on the day we returned and got way too many movies at once. So far I’ve only watched one and am watching another as I type this. I watched the Downton Abbey movie with my daughter. She loved the show and was really happy to have the movie. I had watched an episode here and there when I got home and she was watching it. I enjoyed the shows I watched but didn’t feel the need to watch all of them. I thought the movie was good. M daughter enjoyed it and was happy to get one more chance to watch her favorite characters.  I’m watching It 2 right now. I will say more next week after I’m done, but I will say that while I think the adult casting was well done they are not as good as the kid versions.

TV – There have been more new TV than normal for this time of year. The big TV event in our house has been the Jeopardy All-Time Greats tournament. My daughter and I love Jeopardy and are enjoying watching three of our favorites compete. We eventually think we want Ken to win, but we would like to see a win from each before it is done. We watched the first episode of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. It is about a woman who starts to hear other people’s thoughts via songs they sing to her. We enjoyed it and were disappointed to discover that the rest of the episodes won’t air until mid-February. We also watched the first two episodes of the Party of Five reboot on Freeform. In this version, the kids are left alone due to the deportation, not the death, of their parents. It has a great cast and drew us in immediately.  Even my wife immediately voted to watch the second episode when Jeopardy was over. She generally is not all in on family dramas.

Books – I’ve finished three books so far this year:

The Philosophy of Deadpool – A graphic novel of life advice from Deadpool. Short and easy but not as good as I hoped.

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty – This was this month’s mystery book club read at work. It was not really a mystery. There was a plot twist, but not a mystery. If you go into it not expecting it to be a mystery it is a decent book. I do agree with the review that said not to think about it too much or it will stop making sense.

Genesis by Robin Cook –  I read this one because my wife had it out from the library and it was in the house when I finished the book I got for Christmas and had not been back to the library to get more books. This once again kind of featured the two ME’s who are his regular characters, but a new character was featured for the majority of the book. I hated the new character and, thus, did not really like the book all that much. I also figure out who the killer was pretty early. I would recommend skipping this one.

On Deck – I am in the middle of reading A Very Scalzi Christmas by John Scalzi. We still have multiple movies to watch. I’m hoping to re-watch Once Upon a Time in Hollywood with my family this weekend. I also have Hustlers and Ad Astra and not a lot of time. I still want to watch the new show Deputy that started last week but I can’t get anyone else to pick it when we are watching TV. I will watch the first episode of the Outsider after it airs Sunday night.

My Week in Movies, Books, And TV 11/1/19

Last week I wrote about my failings in reading and viewing. I’ve done much better this week. It helped that my wife worked late a lot this week and worked some more when she was home. I had a lot of alone time to fill.

Movies – I still only watched one movie this week. It was Toy Story 4 and I watched it alone because my wife and son did not want to watch it and my daughter saw it in the theater(and wasn’t home anyway). I thought three had a perfect ending and I’m annoyed that they decided to do another. It was unnecessary, but it was still good. I enjoyed the new toys in this one. The voice cast is still excellent. The story was a lot of the same. The ending was not as good as three but maybe, finally a real ending.

TV – I finished the latest season of 13 Reasons Why. This is another one that had the possibility of a good ending with a scene at the end of the last season but added a cliffhanger to set up a third. This season had a scene at the end that also would have been a good ending, but they’ve already announced a 4th and final season, so there were also scenes setting up story for that. This last season was good. I liked how they told the story. I liked how they added some depth to the villains without excusing what they did. I have no idea how they will end this story, but as I told my daughter, I’m invested in the lives of these fictional kids and want to see ho it ends.

Books – I finished two books this week.

Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Kileen – This was one of my assignment books for the teen literature conference. It tells the story of a Jewish girl who is orphaned when her mom dies running from the Nazis. She ends up working with a spy and infiltrating a Nazi girl’s school to try to get invited to a Nazi scientist’s house to sabotage a bomb he is making. It was a decent book. I might have liked it better if t was not homework. I did feel like the girl became a master spy a little too quick.

Deposing Nathan by Zack Smedley – Another teen book, but one I read because I wanted to. The story is told by Nathan as he is being deposed in the case of his being stabbed by his friend. We go back to when they met and see the events of what led to the stabbing through Nathan’s eyes. It is the first book in a while I liked so much that I didn’t want to put it down. There were plot points that surprised me. That’s unusual. I would highly recommend.

On Deck – I still have the new Lion King on DVD. I also have Midsommar and a Korean movie my coworkers handed me. I will have to watch those alone. Jack Ryan’s new season starts today on Prime. I have a feeling I will be watching a lot of that. It is also college basketball season so I several hours of my TV time each week will be watching games. I have another assignment book for work, The Favorite Sister b Jessica Knoll. It is definitely I wouldn’t read if it wasn’t for book club.

My Week in Failing at Reading and Watching

This is the time when I usually post my week in movies, books, and TV.  Last week was a good week. I actually finished two books and had a movie to talk about. This week I’ve got a whole lot of nothing.

I had no new movies from the library. I didn’t watch any of the random movies we have on the DVR. I didn’t watch any of the movies available on Netflix, Amazon or HBO. I didn’t even scan the TV listings and stop on a random old movie that happened to be airing.

I did not finish the book I started last week. It’s not a bad book, but I think it is suffering from being “homework”. I’m a facilitator at Books for the Beast, a teen literature conference, tomorrow and Orphan Monster Spy is the last book I need to read before the discussion. I find myself doing everything but reading the book. I’m like a kid avoiding homework. I have the audio now so I am listening on 1.5 speed on my drive to and from work. That should get me to almost the end before tomorrow.

I have watched a lot of TV but nothing really of note. My daughter was home this weekend so I caught up on The Good Place and watched some episodes of other shows we watch together We finally watched last season’s finale of The Flash. I’m going to be way behind on watching the crossover this year. Otherwise, I’ve been trying to keep my DVR from filling up by watching the handful of shows I watch alone. My wife has worked late all this week so I ran out of those and watched a few episodes of 13 Reasons Why. I probably could have used that time to read.

I do have Toy Story 4 and The Lion King on DVD so I will have movies to talk about next week. I need to find a fun book to read after my homework reading is over tomorrow. I hope to watch Watchmen sometime this weekend.

My Long History of Stalking Christopher Moore

I went to my Facebook page and requested ideas for a blog post. One suggestion was to write about Christopher Moore. So, here is the tragic(for him) story of how Christopher Moore ended up my Facebook friend.

A long time ago I read a book called Practical Demonkeeping by the aforementioned Christopher Moore. I could lie and say that the book stuck with me and that started my love of the books, but I won’t. I apparently forgot I read it because a few years later I was working at the library here in Maryland, stumbled upon the book and thought it sounded good. I checked it and started reading it. I thought it seemed familiar at first but it took about half the book before I realized I had read it before and had liked it.

Flash forward a few years and I pick up a book by the same author called Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story. I really liked the book and noticed when I looked at the author page he had his email address listed. I decided to write him a note to tell him I enjoyed the book. I wasn’t expecting an answer, but I got one. I have no idea how or why I ever emailed him again, but I do know we exchanged a couple of emails before I ever met him in person. I eventually went to a signing he did in Baltimore. At the signing, he asked if any of us were people he had talked to via email. I raised my hand, he actually remembered me and then I was very awkward when I actually talked to him one on one.

Apparently, I was not the only weird person who had started emailing him. There were so many of us that he set up a bulletin board on his website so we could talk amongst ourselves and also to him. This coincided with me working alone, so the board was a place I used to have people to talk to on my breaks at work. Eventually, there was another Chris Moore signing in the area. I picked up one of the strangers in Catonsville and we drove down to northern Virginia together for the signing. Several others from the board were there/ It became a regular thing for a group of us to meet for dinner before a signing. Chris started saving seats for us at some of the venues. He gave us all Fool hats at one of them.

The last signing I was able to attend was in Baltimore. I was lucky to be friends with people who had a much closer friendship with Chris and they had made plans to meet him for lunch and I got to tag along. We had a nice lunch and then drove up to the signing. As far as I know, he has not come back to the area. I’m not sure if these two things are related.

So, from a random email to an author I am now friends with him on Facebook, have had lunch with him and have made friends with other people via our love for his books. NOt a bad outcome for a simple thing like an email.

 

Some Thoughts On Some New TV Shows

I’ve watched a few episodes of some new shows now so I thought I would write a few thoughts on what I think about them and what could make them better.

The Unicorn – I really like the cast and I think they are talented enough to make this show really good. I like it OK the way it is. The last episode didn’t lean to hard into the dating life of the main character too much, The sooner they realize the dating part is the weakest part of the show the better.

Mixed-Ish – Another show with a great cast. Gary Cole is always good and is once again the best part if this show. I think it has the potential to be really good. They need to cut down on the narration, It is annoying and distracting.

Evil – There is not a lot here to fix. Very well done show with a good mix of scary, supernatural forces and cases that are not caused by real evil. The cast works well together. If anything, maybe give the grandmother a bigger story if she is going to keep popping up.

Emergence – Another good cast. I’m glad they answered some questions early instead of dragging out the secrets. I just don’t see how this story can go for more than one season. They need to give me a reason to think I should get invested.

I’ve watched a few more but not enough episodes to give an opinion yet.