Three Movies

Nobody • From the writer of John Wick. Has to be good then, right? It was! Bob Odenkirk does a great job, the action scenes are great, and it’s a nice start to a good movie franchise! I did read that this is set in the John Wick universe, and they’ll have hints to that in the next movie.

Unhinged • Look at how similar the movie poster is to Nobody! Doesn’t matter, this is still a good movie. There are a few moments in this that really caught me off guard. The first ten minutes or so is very slow, but once it gets going, the movie runs at full speed for the rest of the film. Russell Crowe does great as a road rage instigator… one should watch this movie simply to add to the reasons never to honk one’s horn!

To Hell and Gone • This was one of those low-budget movies that I picked just for the fun of it. I have a lot of these that I never get to because so many turn out to be a waste of time. But this one wasn’t. Even with a low budget, it looks great and kept my interest. I’m always thinking “what would I do, could I do that?” when watching movies like this.

062621 • Thrift Store Finds

Well, a few weeks after declaring that thrifting wasn’t a thing we were going to do anymore (because there’s no more room for my libraries to grow, and Dad was trying not to buy stuff anyway), we hit four thrifts this week as he was looking for something particular for a certain price. Two things, actually, and we found one of the two. But I’m not going into a thrift and leave behind some good finds! I think we’ll be back on the wagon after this trip!

What a great batch of books, and every single one was half-price! Usually I have to put a bunch of full-price books back, because they put those out in anticipation of Half-Off Saturday. These are all great, but The Battle for North Africa is the one I’m interested in most of all. The campaigns there are a subject I don’t know that much about. I’d be okay reading any of them at any time. That’s the problem with my library, there aren’t any weaker books to weed out.

The Grieg: Lyric Pieces by Leif Ove Andsnes was a nice find, since he’s one of the pianists I collect and actually make a point to listen to.

The two Bach: The Keyboard Concertos discs are items I’ve seen before and wasn’t able to get; I collect Angela Hewett’s recordings but don’t specifically listen to her like I do Hélène Grimaud, but I do listen from time-to-time and always wanted these particular recordings. Amazing that I found them at a thrift!

I have many renditions of Brahms’ A German Requiem, but it was a favorite of my Mom, and an amazing work anyway. Everybody should have a copy.

All of these were only two bucks apiece… and all but Ronin was still in the shrink-wrap! None of these are filler, either… Cliffhanger is one that I re-watched a few years ago, and I’d forgotten how good a movie it was.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture, I’m not a Star Trek fan, but the originals are things I can watch and enjoy as I grew up with them. (Except Star Trek 5 and 6, my interest stops after #4). The original series is great! ST: TNG, Deep Space Nine and Voyager are really hit-and-miss, and I stopped after a few episodes of Enterprise. Since then I’ve sampled what has come out since, and wow. It’s like every franchise out there, not just Trek, is being run by people who just don’t understand what they are dealing with. They have great music, special effects, acting, props, costumes, design… and there can be great scenes and ideas (Force Awakens‘ Tie Fighter chase of the Millennium Falcon, abandoned Star Destroyer wrecks, for example) but the stories are awful and packed with social politics on top of that. I’ve learned not to get too upset about it as there are far bigger issues to deal with in life, and a lot of other things to be doing than getting all upset that people are ruining movie and television franchises. It’s just the way things are.

Ronin is one that slips through the cracks… it’s actually a really good movie. The car chases are fantastic, and by fantastic, I mean Jade and Bullitt kind of fantastic, not Fast & Furious fantastical. Plus, De Niro. I watched this one tonight!

USS Indianapolis is one of those movies like Greyhound that I was just waiting for to arrive at a good price, except I’d forgotten about it. I know that the actual ship USS Indianapolis has an amazing story, I have a few books about it, but I really have no idea what I’m going to be seeing. Looking forward to watching this one soon!

Jason Bourne leaves only one Bourne movie left to finish the five-movie set for me… I need #4 (the one without Matt Damon) and I’ll be good. I last watched the first three movies a few years ago, great series! Interesting how it is an action/spy kind of movie, like John Wick or The Equalizer (Not the new series with ‘Queen Latifah’, I’m talking about the two movies with Denzel Washington) yet, like those, it is it’s own thing entirely. (The new Equalizer is one of those franchises that isn’t being rebooted very well. Wow. It is so bad!) I watched the original Equalizer with Edward Woodward back in the day, and that is one of my favorites from back in the day that I still don’t have on physical media.

Frasier, again.

I watched Frasier when it originally aired back in the day, recording it on VHS every week. Eventually, I pieced together the entire eleven-year run on DVD from local used media stores and watched them all again, and then perhaps about five years ago, went through them yet again. And then last year. This sounds like a lot, but it comes out to once every five years.

I’ve recently been under-the-weather, and at the same time, the NHL playoffs have been on cable, something I stopped watching entirely back in October. I needed (and this is part of why I’m not watching cable anymore) to flip to something during the numerous commercial breaks, and Frasier was the only thing even vaguely appealing, even though I watched it last year. I got hooked again, as I had to stop watching the commercial-ridden, logo-obstructed, soft quasi-HD offering and instead started up my DVD copy of the show.

Which is the beauty of physical media; I can watch this whenever I want, commercial free. Although the video quality isn’t that great by today’s standards, it is better than the current cable option.

Going through and watching my favorite shows again on DVD/Blu-ray has been a good time, and it feels great to have the control over what I’m watching, not wasting time flipping channels, recording, going through menus, etc.

I have a buddy who is a big Cheers fan; but he won’t even try Frasier, much less Wings. Which is too bad, because Frasier isn’t just a continuation of Cheers, it keeps getting better since it is mostly the same people involved, and they have all of that accumulated experience making these shows.

And while I’m not a writer or an actor, I can tell that the writing on this show is so much better than everything that is new these days, and that is before Kelsey Grammar’s fantastic portrayal of Frasier Crane with all of his eccentricities. There’s nobody like him, or his character. Actually, the show has double the Frasier Crane, since his brother Niles is so much the same, yet different enough to compliment the character of Frasier and make Frasier more interesting.

It’s just a great show. And I’m getting so much mileage out of my DVDs. Most physical media, if ever used at all, gets watched once and then becomes part of a collection or library, forever, because the thrill of the hunt for new things to watch totally wastes what is right in front of a person; something they know they like, that would be fun to watch again, but no. Gotta go find some new stuff.

When at thrift stores, looking at the DVDs, it is really interesting to see how many of them are still in their shrink-wrap, some of them decades old and never used. Most DVD’s at thrifts are in perfect condition; there are plenty of scratched-up ones, but the majority are like new. I often see great series like 24 or Frasier there, a season for just $1.50-$3.00. So much great entertainment for practically nothing, but they just sit there because people overlook them in the search for the newest thing, and usually that newest thing is quite sub-standard in comparison.

Anyway, I’m having a blast re-watching Frasier yet again, and I highly recommend not just this show, but your own favorite show, whatever it is, that you already own; don’t let it just sit around, give it another watch! Because if you don’t, you might as well give it to the local thrift.

050921 • Movies / Television

Jurassic Park III • All of these movies are such fun (except for the teenager escaping a raptor by using gymnastics in the second one… ugh.) This one is that last Blu-ray copy I needed to have them all on Blu-ray, and it took forever. I was always coming across copies of every other one in the series except this one!

Iron Man 3 • Just like the above (and also a #3) it took literally years to find this Blu-ray at a thrift!

Glory • This is just a great movie: and I say this without any virtue-signaling, which is so automatic these days. I have always liked this movie for the same reasons that I like other good war movies.

The Drew Carey Show • Six selected episodes, I don’t have any others on disc as it is. And this is signed by Craig Ferguson!

031127 • Thrift Store Finds

These are actually my buys from April 4th and 11th.

I was in line at the 88th & Sheridan ARC when a mother with her husband and young kid asked me to step back six feet, and informed me about the markings on the floor. That was a total invitation for a nice conversation that wouldn’t go well. I just stepped back, being the peacemaker and also knowing that people being this righteous, bossy and afraid aren’t going to be open to other thoughts on this topic.

It’s a crime movie with narration, like Goodfellas or Casino. Not as good, but a nice watch. A great thing about thrift store Blu-rays is that a lot of them have an unused code for the digital copy, so my digital library grows as a bonus! This Blu-ray was only $2.50!
I got Rambo 4 last week, and now all three of the first ones for only seven bucks! I watched these last year on older DVDs and they were all quite grainy… not as bad as watching on a CRT, but still bad. So this will be a good upgrade.