Release Date: September 23rd, 2020 Directed by: Jonah Tulis, Blake J. Harris Based on:Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation by Blake J. Harris Music by: Jeff Beal Cast: various
Circle of Confusion, CBS Television Studios, Legendary Television, Paramount+, 92 Minutes
“Whenever you’re at war, you always hit the guy in the mouth as hard as you can. If you can’t hit him hard, you might as well not even fight. That’s the attitude in real war and it’s the attitude in business. You’ve gotta be prepared to take on the competition and win.” – Paul Rioux
When I was a kid in the early ’90s, I was all about Sega Genesis. Sure, I liked some of the games on Super Nintendo when it came out but Genesis was just my cup of tea from the speed, the graphics, the sound and the game selection.
However, I was also growing up and by middle school age, I wasn’t into the kiddie games.
This documentary tells the story of how Sega emerged as a video game powerhouse in the United States in a time when Nintendo owned the vast majority of the market share. Sega didn’t care, though, and they went all in, creating a system that was much more impressive than the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System and honestly, better than Nintendo’s rebuttal, which was the Super Nintendo.
There’s no hate here, though. I truly loved both systems but Genesis had the edge for me.
Anyway, this was well put together, well researched and it features interviews with the majority of the key players in this story.
Rivalries in business are great and for preteen me, this was the greatest business rivalry I could ever care about. Video games were a huge part of my life.
So seeing all these key people talk about this rivalry now is pretty f’n cool. There’s so much I didn’t know about the behind the scenes stuff because I was a kid and all I cared about was being entertained by the games I loved.
Well, I was also pretty thoroughly entertained by this documentary.
Original Run: June 30th, 2013 – January 19th, 2020 Created by: Ann Biderman Directed by: various Written by: various Music by: Marcelo Zarvos Cast: Liev Schreiber, Paula Malcomson, Eddie Marsan, Dash Mihok, Steven Bauer, Katherine Moennig, Pooch Hall, Kerris Dorsey, Devon Bagby, Jon Voight, Susan Sarandon, Graham Rogers, Susan Sarandon, Elliott Gould, Peter Jacobson, Denise Crosby, Frank Whaley, Hank Azaria, James Woods, Rosanna Arquette, Sherilyn Fenn, Wendell Pierce, Ian McShane, Katie Holmes, Leland Orser, Aaron Staton, Fairuza Balk, Embeth Davidtz, Richard Brake, Lisa Bonet, Stacy Keach, Tara Buck, Ted Levine, C. Thomas Howell, Donald Faison, Lili Simmons, James Keach, Adina Porter, Jake Busey, Sandy Martin, Zach Grenier, Alan Alda, Lola Glaudini, Kerry Condon, Kevin Corrigan
David Hollander Productions, The Mark Gordon Company, Ann Biderman Co., Bider Sweet Productions, CBS, Showtime, 82 Episodes, 45-60 Minutes (per episode)
Lots of people talked this show up for years like it was the second coming of The Sopranos. I wanted to wait for it to end, as I typically binge things in their entirety. With this show, that was probably the best way to view it, as so many things happen with so many characters, that it would’ve been hard remembering all the details over seven years.
I wouldn’t say that this is anywhere near as good as The Sopranos and I also don’t have as high of an opinion of that show as most people do. Granted, I did still like it quite a bit when it was current.
Ray Donovan follows Ray Donovan, a badass uber masculine guy that works as a Hollywood fixer. However, his entire family is complex and interesting and this isn’t so much about Ray being a fixer, as it is about his family’s criminal behavior and their turbulent personal lives.
The show does a remarkable job of pushing its characters to the point of you hating them but then finds a way to make you realize you love them. It’s a show that actually has a lot of mini redemption arcs but it also shows, within that, that people tend to surrender to their nature even if they want to work on themselves.
Ray is one of the most complex characters I’ve ever seen on television but that can also be said about several other core characters, here
I think in the end, my favorite character ended up being Eddie Marsan’s Terry, the eldest Donovan brother, as he was always trying to do the right thing by his family, even if they often times found themselves doing really shitty things.
I also liked Bunchy a lot but by the end, his constant bad luck and terrible decisions became exhausting.
The first five seasons are really solid, even if the fourth was a bit weak. The show kind of lost me in season six, where it moved from Los Angeles to New York City and didn’t feel like it had much of a point. Plus, there are things that happened in season six that made the show jump the shark for me.
The only thing that really saved the last two seasons was how damn good Sandy Martin was once she entered the show.
Overall, I enjoyed watching this and if anything, it showcased incredible performances by stellar actors playing really fucked up but endearing characters.
Rating: 7.5/10 Pairs well with:The Sopranos, Dexter, Sons of Anarchy, Justified.
From Yesterworld’s YouTube description: Exploring the little known History behind the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special, how it came to be and why it’s one of the Star Wars Franchises most infamous blunders. The idea by George Lucas began with promise, but ultimately became “so bad it’s good” of the Star Wars universe.
Also known as: The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (Season 8-10) Original Run: October 2nd, 1955 – June 26th, 1965 Created by: Alfred Hitchcock Directed by: various Written by: various Music by: Stanley Wilson (music supervisor), various Cast: Alfred Hitchcock, various
I grew up watching this show a lot with my granmum in reruns on cable. The theme song always got me excited and even though I was a kid of the ’80s that loved everything about that decade, I still also enjoyed older stuff like this and the other anthology shows of the era like The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits.
Alfred Hitchcock Presents always intrigued me though, as it seemed to have more legitimacy, at least to my little kid brain. This was because I knew very much who Hitchcock was, I was familiar with a lot of his work and I really liked his films, even when I was too young to grasp them or fully understand their meaning and themes. Plus, I just really liked Hitchcock’s personality.
Over the last few years, I’ve rewatched a lot of the episodes. I haven’t seen all of them, as there are just so many and because even if family members have DVD collections they have let me borrow, there are still a lot of missing pieces I haven’t gotten my hands on.
Regardless of that, I feel as if I have seen a large enough sample size, from most seasons, to give the show a review.
Overall, Alfred Hitchcock Presents is pretty good from top to bottom and the quality of the seasons feels consistent. Sure, like with any anthology series, there are episodes that don’t live up to expectations and sometimes feel like they could’ve been snuffed out at the pre-production stage. However, there aren’t a lot of episodes like this and, for the most part, the show isn’t hindered by its low points.
The show has a pretty wide range of genres it uses over the course of its 361 episodes but nearly everything feels like it lines up with Hitchcock’s own cinematic work.
Each episode may be written and directed by its own team but it seems as if Hitchcock was pretty involved in everything and just about every story maintains a certain tone and visual style.
This is such a massive show to get into and to try and watch in its entirety. I’m not even sure if all of it is commercially released, as it switched from different networks over the years it was originally broadcast. However, I know that a lot of episodes were on Hulu, recently. I’m assuming that you can still find them there. That is, unless the NBC episodes have been pulled for their upcoming streaming service.
Rating: 7.75/10 Pairs well with: other anthology mystery and horror shows of the era.
Also known as: Salem’s Lot: The Movie (cable TV title), Blood Thirst (video title), Phantasma 2 (Spain), Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot (Netherlands), Salem’s Lot: The Miniseries (Germany) Release Dates: November 17th, 1979, November 24th, 1979 Directed by: Tobe Hooper Written by: Paul Monash Based on:Salem’s Lot by Stephen King Music by: Harry Sukman Cast: David Soul, James Mason, Lance Kerwin, Bonnie Bedelia, Lew Ayres, Ed Flanders, Fred Willard, Elisha Cook Jr., Marie Windsor
“You’ll enjoy Mr. Barlow. And he’ll enjoy you.” – Straker
The last time I watched this wonderful film/TV miniseries was just before the 2004 remake came out. So it’s been a really long time and because of that, I guess I forgot how incredibly fantastic this was.
While I’ve never read the book, I know about what changes they made in this adaptation and frankly, I’m fine with all the major tweaks.
For one, the vampire is not some Eastern European dandy of the Bela Lugosi variety. Instead, Tobe Hooper gave us a vampire that is more reminiscent of Count Orlok from the 1922 film Nosferatu. And the late ’70s were a great time for vampire movies, especially lovers of F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu between this picture and the Nosferatu remake by Werner Herzog.
Another change that was made is that the final confrontation with the heroes and the vampire took place in the creepy basement of the vampire’s house, as opposed to one of the heroes’ homes. The vampire house was truly a character all its own in this film and it made this movie a mixture of classic vampire fiction and a traditional haunted house story.
What’s really great about the finale, is that the house that was created for the film is absolutely terrifying and enchanting all at the same time. The set designers created an incredibly creepy mansion for the final showdown and it truly brought the dread onscreen to a whole other level. A level that this film couldn’t have reached had they kept the story true to Stephen King’s novel.
The vampire mansion is just one part of this movie’s mesmerizing atmosphere, though.
All the scenes that feature some sort of supernatural element take on a strange life of their own. The scenes where the vampire children come to the windows and float into the rooms at night with fog billowing in are f’n incredible!
Honestly, for its time and maybe all-time, Salem’s Lot takes the cake for creating a perfect ambiance for a horror picture on the small screen. Honestly, I’d love to see this on the big screen, if it is ever showing somewhere near me.
The vampire kids at the window was so well done that it became a bit of a trope following this film. It was used in other movies like The Lost Boys and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Plus, this film has a moment where a character is impaled by deer antlers mounted on the wall. This would go on to be seen in other movies as well.
Additionally, this would inspire vampire movies in other regards. Fright Night borrows from Salem’s Lot in different ways. That film even has a big finale in the vampire’s home and while it isn’t as incredible as the finale of Salem’s Lot, it is still a great sequence that is a nice homage to it. Fright Night is a classic in its own right, which also spawned a sequel, a remake and sequel to the remake. I even heard a rumor that it may be turned into a television show in the future.
But while this film would go on to inspire countless others, Tobe Hooper, the director, also had his own homages to other films in this, primarily the work of Alfred Hitchcock and his masterpiece Psycho. The vampire mansion has a very similar appearance to the house on the hill above Bates Motel. Hooper also employed similar shots.
For a TV movie, this also has some pretty good acting but no one else quite kills it like James Mason. He absolutely owns every frame of celluloid in which he appears. I’ve always loved Mason but seeing him truly get to ham it up while being terrifying was so damn cool. And honestly, Mason looked like he was loving this film, as he was so committed to the role that he breathed life into it that no other actor probably could have.
Salem’s Lot is a bonafide classic and pretty close to perfect. My only complaint about it is the running time. The film does feel a bit slow in parts but it was a two-part miniseries and had a lot of characters and subplots. In fact, those were all greatly trimmed down from the original novel and some characters were combined to simplify the story. But honestly, I’m still okay with the final result and I wouldn’t trim much, as almost every scene featuring the main characters feels necessary.
In the end, I love this movie; more so than I remembered. I’m glad that I revisited it after all these years and I feel like it’s a film that I will go back to fairly often now that I’ve been reminded as to just how damn good it is.
Rating: 9.25/10 Pairs well with: Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu remake, as well as other vampire films of the ’70s and 2000s Shadow of the Vampire.
Original Run: September 24th, 2017 – current Created by: Bryan Fuller, Alex Kurtzman Directed by: various Written by: various Based on:Star Trek by Gene Roddenberry Music by: Jeff Russo, Alexander Courage (original theme) Cast: Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Shazad Latif, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman, Jason Isaacs, Wilson Cruz, Anson Mount
Secret Hideout, Roddenberry Entertainment, Living Dead Guy Productions, CBS Television Studios, 29 Episodes (so far), 37-65 Minutes (per episode)
I didn’t want to subscribe to CBS All Access just to have access to this show. There wasn’t much else on the service that I wanted to watch. So I figured that I’d wait till this was out and then I’d binge watch the first season.
However, based off of what I heard about the first season (and later, the second season) I refrained from subscribing, even for a month.
Well, I finally got to check it out on a Delta flight. I figured I’d watch the first two episodes and figure out if I wanted to continue on. I didn’t.
This show is a fucking abomination. My worst fears were true and this was just a shittier version of J. J. Abrams’ mostly shitty modern Star Trek stuff. Throw in a bunch of identity politics nonsense to boot and I’d rather wipe my ass with a sharp spoon than watch another episode.
A guy at work kept telling me, “Don’t believe all the negative hype, it’s not that bad. Give it a shot. I think you’ll like it.” I put in a formal request to have this guy fired. I don’t think that my employer will approve it just based off of my comments, so I also included a thumb drive with clips from the show.
On a side note, I really like Anson Mount. Dude is a stellar fucking actor but I couldn’t get through two episodes of this Dumbo-sized shite to even make it to his episodes. Between this fucktard show and Inhumans, dude might need to fire his agent.
The special effects aren’t as good as people have said yet this show is insanely expensive to produce.
Also, what the fuck is up with the Klingons? No, seriously? They don’t look like Klingons, they look stupid. I think that somewhere down the line, these Klingons reproduced with that tar monster that killed Tasha Yar on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
This is NOT Star Trek. It’s some fan fiction by a fan that isn’t even a fan, who got all their Star Trek lore from some drunk old hippie at the corner bar.
This is to Star Trek what Applebee’s Riblets are to A5 Wagyu.
It’s unwatchable, unexciting and will turn most people into somnambulists.
It’s fitting that this show is abbreviated as STD. I should have bought two condoms and just put them over my eyes because this is certainly the genital warts of the franchise.
All that being said, I hated this show like a vegan bitch hates Longhorn Steakhouse.
Rating: 1.5/10 Pairs well with: a bladder infection or anal fissures.
Original Run: September 17th, 1983 – December 7th, 1985 Created by: Kevin Paul Coates, Dennis Marks, Takashi, Mark Evanier Directed by: Bob Richardson, Karl Geurs Written by: various Based on:Dungeons & Dragons by TSR Music by: Johnny Douglas Cast: Willie Aames, Don Most, Katie Leigh, Adam Rich, Tonia Gayle Smith, Teddy Field III, Sidney Miller, Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, Bob Holt
Toei Animation, Marvel Productions, Dungeons & Dragons Entertainment Corporation, TSR, CBS, New World Television, 27 Episodes, 24 Minutes (per episode)
I used to watch the shit out of this cartoon when I was really young. It was one of my favorite Saturday morning treats. However, I haven’t seen it since at least the early ’90s.
But like most animated series that were productions involving Japan’s Toei studio and Marvel, it was top quality stuff for its time and it has aged really well.
Sure, it’s hokey and goofy like kid’s cartoons are but it has a real charm about it and that charm is still effective.
I love the character designs of the show, especially in regards to the villain Venger and the five headed dragon, Tiamat. Also, Venger was voiced by Peter Cullen, best known as the voice of Optimus Prime while Tiamat was voiced by Frank Welker, best known as Megatron.
The show followed six Earth kids, their little unicorn named Uni and the impish Dungeon Master. The Earth kids were magically transported to the Dungeons & Dragons dimension through a theme park ride. I know, it sounds ridiculous but you didn’t care about stupid details or coherent plot when you were five years-old. Frankly, I don’t care about it now because the show works for what it is: a kid’s magical adventure.
Unfortunately, the show never had a proper ending and the kids never actually made it home within the episodes produced. I guess it can be assumed that they eventually saw their parents again but hopefully that happened before they were in their forties.
Anyway, this is still a really cool show. I even showed a few episodes to my nephew and he dug it with his discriminatory 2019 standards.
Rating: 7.5/10 Pairs well with: other ’80s fantasy cartoons like Masters of the Universe, Captain N the Gamemaster, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, Visionaries, Thundercats, Silverhawks, etc.