No One Wants to Let Stories End Anymore

Tuesday, June 21, 2022
Being in this age of franchises, stories don’t end anymore. We're just waiting for the next installment, teasing the next installment, theorizing about the next installment. I think it's one of the major factors in my blockbuster fatigue. It's the never ending story and it is exhausting.

There is a beginning, middle, and end stories, and we've been stuck in the middle of stories for the last twenty years it seems. Constantly making sequels and spinoffs and reboots. Some new faces in the super suits, but the same heroes populating our screens. It would be easier to deal with if smaller movies were getting theatrical runs and not being squeezed out of movie theaters and onto streaming, getting lost in the shuffle. 

And this isn't just a movie problem, it's a problem in television, too. What with the Lord of the Rings show, all the Game of Thrones spinoffs in development along with House of the Dragon premiering soon. If there's actually a new take on the material or a story you want to explore in a prequel or sequel series, go for it. But a lot of these shows reek of having the intellectual property and a built-in fanbase and just needing something on the air. 

We need the finality of an ending as viewers. Because instead of excitement for these movies and shows, I feel nothing but obligation to watch, or maybe not. Maybe I won't watch them anymore, and I'll watch other shows and movies that aren't never ending. 

It's Been So Long Since My Last Massage and I Need One Desperately

Monday, June 20, 2022

I love getting a massage. But my last massage was in 2019 and I haven't been back since pre-pandemic. And I need a massage. Bad. 

Not only has just life been stressful the last few years, cause pandemic and all, but work has been stressful. Twelve hour days does something to a person, and you need all the self care you can get to make it through. And the burn out is very real. I have no time to really do it after work, and I try to use the weekends to get my shopping, housework, and laziness in. 

In the first year and a half of this pandemic that is not ending anytime soon, obviously very scared to be in an intimate environment. But now that I'm vaxxed, and it is much safer than it was, I really need to get one. And find a new salon. That's important. I'm also not looking forward to see the New York prices for an hour long full body massage. But that price would probably be worth it after three plus years without a massage. Sorry to the masseuse, because you've got your work cut out for you. 

My Sleep is so Messed Up Right Now

Saturday, June 11, 2022
I don't know why but my sleep is so messed up. I have to wake up at five every morning for work, and my brain decides to wake me up at two or three and usually keep me mostly awake until I have to start moving. 

I also don't want to try a sleep aid because the last time I took something, it did not help. During a bad spell of sleep in high school I took some melatonin and it didn't help me get to sleep or keep me asleep. Then the next day I was so drowsy it turned me into a zombie and I had to call out of work on a Saturday night, which meant I missed out on some good tip money. 

The fact I don't drink coffee isn't helping. That would just make it worse, because on top of the tiredness, I would have the shakes and I think that would be a bad combo. 

So now I'm just trying to my best to deal. But I'm getting easily irritated and irritable now so apologies if I'm rude. Unless you deserve it, then I'm not sorry. But also I am cause of my guilt complex. I have issues.

Can Reality Singing Competitions Go Away Now?

Tuesday, May 24, 2022
A new American Idol was crowned and I have no idea who they and I think that means the time is done for reality singing competitions. When American Idol launched in 2002, even though we had the internet and more cable channels, there was still a monoculture. Everyone watched most of the same television shows, but even if you didn't, chances are you knew what was going on on shows you didn't watch. Especially a show as big as American Idol

The 2000s was probably the last period of the monoculture. Someone can't be an American Idol with only 5 million people of the American public watching the show.  They also can't be The Voice with those kinds of viewing numbers. And you can tell because in the decade-plus run of the show, none of the winners or contestants have become, not even superstars, just regular pop star level stardom.

I know singing competitions make their networks a lot of money, otherwise they wouldn't be on. I would much rather have all those hours of air time freed up for more television shows to make it on air and find an audience and not shunted until 10pm after these competitions air. When people complain about networks having boring dramas, I think singing shows are the problem. Because of course they're gonna have procedurals, but they no longer have the airtime or prime timeslots to give to some of their more ambitious shows, and those shows get canceled after a season or two without opportunity to truly build an audience.

Broadway Shows I Wish I Saw in Their Original Run

Sunday, May 15, 2022

I recently watched Spring Awakening: Those You've Known. And it really made me sad that Spring Awakening debuted when I was ten. So in the course of a bad night of insomnia, as one does, I kept thinking about the shows I was never able to see the original production of, for reasons of geography, being able to get a ticket, too young, my parents would never, or I just wasn't born yet. 

I will preface that this is pretty much all musicals. Not because I'm against plays, but I think because we have some sort of performance recorded for posterity for musicals, plays don't usually have the same feeling that you missed out on something because you can see another amazing performer in that role and not have something to compare it to. 

Trying to See as Many Non-Blockbusters in Theaters as Possible

Monday, May 9, 2022
Over the last couple of years, the pandemic has accelerated the changed in the theater-going experience that were happening over the last decade or two. Mid-budget and smaller movies getting small theatrical windows or heading straight to streaming, and blockbusters dominating theaters. 

After 2020 when theaters were closed, and 2021 when for most of the year it wasn't fully safe to be in a packed theater, it was nice to be in a packed theater for a blockbuster again when I saw In the Heights. I did see Promising Young Woman in a theater in its December 2020 theatrical run in a practically empty theater while wearing my mask. I didn't get popcorn, just a drink so I could slip the straw underneath my mask, and it just wasn't the same. 

So, now that theaters are back in full-swing, I'm going to do my best to see as many movies that aren't the big blockbusters in theaters. The only movies I see in theaters can't be the blockbusters. I've talked before about my blockbuster fatigue here, and I think in order to combat that, I need to prioritize seeing smaller movies. 

No matter how great a blockbuster is, it can get repetitive when they're the only movies dominating theaters, especially when three of them are coming from the same studio. Sorry, Marvel, but I'm #TeamScorcese, now. This doesn't mean I'm discounting the work of the actors, writers, directors, and crew, which is not what the people who are criticizing Marvel movies are doing. But, most of the movies have felt the same. You can only watch a series of films without much deviation for so long. 

What I'm considering a blockbuster are superhero and big time action franchise sequels. While In the Heights is blockbuster in nature, movie musicals are not the draw that those films are. So, sorry Marvel and the Fast & Furious franchise, my dollars are not going to you in the first week of release anymore. I'm going to be looking at movies like Everything Everywhere All at Once and Men, other small movies I don't know about yet, because that's the joy of seeing what's coming out. You don't have the release schedule mapped out years in advance as part of some grand plan. You find out a month before or maybe a couple weeks into its run, and find gems. 

I want to find gems. 

Going to Try to Keep Up a Letterboxd

Monday, May 2, 2022

So my sister over the last couple weeks has wanted me to start up a Letterboxd account. She appreciates my taste in films and I think she's curious as to what I'd say about them. 

Signing up for it, I forgot I had started an account years ago. And when I signed in again and looking at my page, I really didn't do anything with it. There were like twenty movies that I marked as watched, and ten I added to my likes. So, I was essentially starting from scratch.

The first thing I did was remove all the movies I had liked, for a true fresh start. Then I started adding a whole bunch of movies. As many as I could think of. When I was going through it, I noticed I was adding only the good movies that I'd seen. Letterboxd is all about being representative of everything that you've seen, so I started adding the so-so movies, the bad movies. I also had to make sure I got every franchise film I'd seen, and between Marvel, DC, and all the YA franchises of the 2000s and 2010s, that's a lot of movies. And I made sure to add a whole bunch of classic film, because film history is important, especially after all the hours I've spent watching Turner Classic Movies.

I haven't started liking films or reviewing them yet. For the likes section, I think I'll start doing that once I'm done playing catch up and really taking a look at the movies I've watched over my lifetime and deciding what really are my favorites. For reviews, I'm trying to figure out the kind of Letterboxd presence I want to have. Do I be funny? Do I write long winded reviews like I would do on this blog? I guess it would depend on if I have a really good line or a lot to say about a movie. As long as it's interesting I guess, but the movies and time will tell on that one.

So here's to this experiment! Let's see how this goes.

Earworm: "My Own Worst Enemy" by Lit

Thursday, April 28, 2022
So, April 16th, my family went to the Mets game. It was a great game that we lost, but they played a bit of this song during the game. There was a mini sing-along going on with it, you could hear some of the crowd in like a chorus, and obviously they cut it short because of copyright. And it has been stuck in my head ever since. It has been almost two weeks, and I can't stop listening to it. Both the actual song and Kelly Clarkson's Kellyoke of it. So I have been listening to it a lot in hopes of it finally getting out of my head, to no avail. Now, I'm cursing those who read this to the same fate.

Hugh Jackman Needs a Good Old-Fashioned MGM-like Musical

Monday, April 25, 2022

I got to see Hugh Jackman in The Music Man with the fam recently. Bought the tickets in December and the only date that worked for all four of us was in April, you know how that goes. And it was an enjoyable experience, even though it was The Music Man. The production was great, the actual musical was, fine. This was my first time ever experiencing it, I don't think it's a strong enough show, especially for today's audiences. But I did like Hugh Jackman in it, and it got me thinking about his past musicals and movie musicals.

Les Miserables' issues have nothing to do with Jackman's and the majority of the other performers' work. (Sorry, Russell Crowe.) And I think The Greatest Showman is trying so hard to be earnest and uplifting it fails as a story. What would have been more interesting was to use the artifice of a movie musical as part of P.T. Barnum’s schemes, cons, and deceptions. (But that's a rant for another day.) Hugh Jackman is the kind of star that can do a Broadway residency and an arena tour because he can, and sing all the standards and incorporate the new show tunes into his act, I want to see that Hugh Jackman. 

The kind of movie musical I would like to see Hugh Jackman in is a good old-fashioned MGM-style movie musical. Particularly of the Gene Kelly type. Dashing leading man, that's cheeky and kind of shady meets girl who turns his life around, with a dream ballet at the end. 

Here's how I think this should go. It should be a love story, maybe while they're putting on a show, that classic trope in the classic movie musicals. And he falls in love with an age appropriate co star. No 40 or 50 year old being put together with a 19 year old here. And then you could add in the finding love for the first time, or again, later in life, so there's a bit more poignancy. Might I suggest his costar in The Music Man, Sutton Foster. There can be a tap number! And you gotta do the dream ballet. You can't have Hugh Jackman and not let him dance for six minutes. 

For the songs, maybe do one or two originals, gotta get the Oscar nominations where you can, but it would be interesting to look back at the Great American Songbook with a modern lens. Songs like "Puttin' on the Ritz", "Embraceable You", "I Got Rhythm", and pretty much anything Cole Porter and Irving Berlin wrote. There's a reason those songs are classic. Maybe do some new arrangements or put them into different contexts than they've been in in previous films. The possibilities are endless!

Moral of the story is that if you get Hugh Jackman to sing and dance in something quality and you'll have a winner!

Clips That Bring Me Joy, Vol. XII

Sunday, April 10, 2022

 These clips make me happy and I hope they do the same for you.

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