jwz mixtape 219

Please enjoy jwz mixtape 219.

It is also currently queued up on the DNA Lounge webcast, if you want to watch it in simultaneity.

Tiny Stills are on this mixtape, and we have a show scheduled with them at DNA Lounge on Jan 17. Anyone placing bets on whether we're allowed to open by then?

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Current Music: as noted

Recent Movies and TV

Hunters: When I heard about this -- "So, Inglorious Basterds was good, but what if we upgrade that Tarantino to a Jordan Peele?" My reaction was, "Shit, that's all you had to say." And it starts off very, very strong -- but then it kinda loses its way. There's a bit of that Grindhouse weirdness, but they never lean in to it, and the ending is just... pretty dumb. You already had a gang of old Jews extracting violent revenge on actual Nazis -- just inject that right into my veins. Trying to spice that up with another goofball conspiracy because Operation Paperclip wasn't spicy enough? Anyway, I enjoyed it, but it really went off the rails in the last 2 or 3 episodes.

Lovecraft Country: This is absolutely amazing. Best thing on TV right now. It's only up to episode 4 and they've already blown through half the book (which was very good too). The book was more of a collection of several novellas, so I guess that lends itself to episodic TV pretty well.

Bill and Ted Face The Music: This is everything it should have been. It's a triumph. It has all the goofiness of the first one and not a mean-spirited bone in its body.

Star Trek Lower Decks: This is just The Orville. The Orville already met its goal of debasing Star Trek. Why is Star Trek now taking a sarcastic shit on itself? What if Star Trek, but cynical, barely-competent dimwits? If Star Trek is The West Wing, this is Veep.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: I really enjoyed this, it's very funny. But a lot of it is, "Oh, these rich people are so unhappy at their boring lives." Speaking of Star Trek, it has a weirdly post-scarcity feeling to it. All of their problems are that they could do anything but they don't want to.

The Wretched: A very 80s-feeling monster movie. Good effects without dumb jump-scares, and a twist or two that I didn't see coming.

VFW: This feels like it was made in the 80s, thematically: a bunch of old former soldiers fight a bunch of "young punks" who are all hopped up on goofballs. It's got that weirdly classist fear of cities that you saw a lot back then. Probably Giuliani's fault.

Super Mario Bros. (1993): This movie is nuts in kind of the way that Tank Girl was nuts. I wouldn't say it's good, but it sure is... very much its own thing. We should have shown this movie at a Cyberdelia that nobody would have come to!

The Night Before (1988): I hadn't seen this since it came out, so I was worried. Teen Keanu blacks out and accidentally sells his prom date to a sex trafficker, then tries to piece the night back together, Memento style. It's actually pretty funny, though it does contain the expected "80s comedy" level of low-key racism and sexism. One big surprise: the pimped prom date is Lori Loughlin, currently more famous for failing to bribe her kids' way into college. Also, that scene in every 80s movie where they go into a dive bar and nobody's paying any attention to the super famous band playing? Usually that band is Oingo Boingo, but this time it was George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars.

True Romance (1993): I had fond memories of this movie, but that must have been from before additional decades of exposure to Tarantino and his creepy tics. This movie is crappy and mean! And the whole time I was watching it I was constantly thinking, "This scene would play as a bunch of horrifying psychopaths without this perky steel drum score behind it." So chalk that up to the power of music I guess.

Stargate Universe: I re-watched the whole series, and it's still really good! I always say that my favorite Star Trek series is Stargate Universe. It was obviously a reaction to Voyager, which should have been a show about "how bad do things go when a starship has no supply lines" but instead Voyager was the same old garbage, including firing all all 121 of their 38 photon torpedoes.

Stargate Universe was all about scarcity. The first few episodes were literally climbing the hierarchy of needs: EP1: "We're venting atmosphere." EP2: "We're out of water." EP3: "Getting hungry." There's a throwaway gag where someone wistfully says, "So, that was the last of the coffee, huh?", and someone replies, "You should see the smokers." At some point they lose the shuttlecraft, and that's it: now having no shuttlecraft becomes a major plot point for the rest of the season.

I also loved how, for the first half of S1, they mixed up who the antagonists were. It started off as "The military are doing their best but these crazy scientists keep trying to get us all killed" and then a few episodes later they flip the narrative to "the smart people are doing their best but these fascists keep trying to get us all killed."

The thing I HAAAATED about the show, though, was the magic "telepresence stones". They relied on them as plot elements SO heavily and SO often that the show was almost about those. They were more overused than -- and as bad as -- holodeck episodes. (All holodeck episodes are bad. Fight me.) It also didn't make a lot of sense, especially in season 2, why SGC was so eager to get access to Destiny. Sure, they wanted to rescue their people, but it went way beyond that. They almost started a war over it. It's not like they didn't have access to tons of Ancient ships and tech already, e.g. the entire Atlantis facility.

Overall, though, a great show that deserved a third season.


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