Saturday Morning Brain Drain [12/2/22]

A place to let it all out.

Image via Screen Rant

What I watched:  Reacher, a new Amazon series based on book one of the 26 Reacher books by Lee Child. “After leaving his job as a Military Police major, Reacher roams the United States taking odd jobs. He’ll arrive in town, come across someone who needs his help, solve a mystery and take out the bad guys, and then get on the next bus out of town. Reacher is never looking for trouble, but trouble always finds him.” It was good television, and the eponymous character is interpreted by Alan Ritchson with just the right amount of humor and dryness. (For fans of the Expanse, Reacher is Amos-esque.) He does a superior job to Tom Cruise’s version of the character, against whom Child threw some mild shade. It has already been renewed for a second season. The sound track is also superior, with artists ranging from Howlin’ Wolf to The Owsley Brothers to Blind Blake.

Season One Trailer:

What I read: The six-book Unexpected Magic (1830s) series by Patricia Rice. It inhabits the same world as the Magical Malcolms (1750’s) and School of Magic series, although in a different era. They follow a formula – unwed magical lady meets possibly magic nobleman, throw in some mystery and strife, and live happily ever after. They are “comfort reads” – no effort required.

What I listened to: Quivers – You’re Not Always On My Mind; Ponta Preta – Scusi Frate; and Joe Kenkel – Sweeping:

So, dear DeadSplinterites, is everyone doing okay? As Quivers say, you’re not always on my mind, just mostly all the time. What have you watched, read, or listened to? Please check in, tell us how you are, and share what you are up to!

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About Elliecoo 522 Articles
Four dogs, one partner. The dogs win.

41 Comments

  1. We burned through Reacher this week. It was a lot of fun. The interplay between Reacher and Finlay is fantastic. I’ve missed Malcolm Goodwin since I, Zombie ended. I have no experience with the Tom Cruise version — I can’t watch Cruise any more and haven’t been able to for years. Well, except Tropic Thunder. I can’t separate Cruise from his characters. It just seems like crazy oozes out of him on screen.

    • Oh @bryanlsplinter, I 100% agree with you on all counts. This, especially, “The interplay between Reacher and Finlay is fantastic.” Also, “It just seems like crazy oozes out of him on screen.

      So, what’s up? How is the newish job? The family is well? The lovely pet turtle/tortoise is enjoying life? Florida man still wild? (When you speak of crazy, I listen.)

      • The new job is fantastic, thanks for asking. They seem to think very highly of me and I get to sit in my house and write. I mean, I like fraternizing with co-workers but at this point, I like just doing my shit and being left alone more.

        On the other end of the spectrum, my wife is still unemployed, though she’s had two rounds of interviews with a library. It would involve a substantial drive every day, so we’re concerned about that, but library jobs are almost non-existent now so she would take it.

        Daughter is a freshman, straight As, as expected. I do wish she would socialize more and I think she’s starting to realize that herself. No need for drunken parties, but the child needs a couple more friends. Kids are so weird.

        Sheldon is fine and is currently basking, waiting for his breakfast to be delivered by the automated system. He hasn’t been finishing his vegetables lately and received a stern lecture on wasting spinach. It remains to be seen if he will modify his behavior accordingly.

        • Yippee for your job, best wishes regarding your wife’s job hunt, Sheldon is a very good boy no matter what, and kudos re the straight-A daughter. And yes, kids are weird. My son (age 35) still causes me to just shake my head…

  2. Some good TV, a bad book, and good music.

    I’m still watching and loving The Expanse. But I also watched the first 3 episodes of Tell Me a Story thanks to your rec and @lemmykilmister‘s tip on where to stream it. I like it, the cast is really good but I can’t help yelling, “Not good, Bob!” when anyone asks Jordon how he’s doing, lol.

    Against my better judgment, I’m reading Where the Crawdads Sing. I have an acquaintance who keeps telling me I have to read it, I’ll love it, blah, blah, blah. I know how problematic Delia Owens is but that’s not a conversation I want to get into with this person. I don’t care enough to educate them, and I doubt I even could. But I run into them fairly often so I finally borrowed it just so I can say I read the damn thing, It’s as bad as I thought it would be and it’s taking me forever to get through it. Which is why I watched so much TV this week.

    I’m listening to the newish Bill Callahan & Bonnie “Prince” Billy Lp of cover tunes.

    Blackness of the Night (Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam)

     

    Rooftop Garden (Lou Reed)

     

     

  3. I want to check out Reacher, I’ve read that Ritchson is very solid. I’m all caught up on Peacemaker and in the category of surprisingly good hulking man actors I have to say Cena is really, really good.

    I’m also sticking with Midnight Diner on Netflix. It’s been keeping a great balance between happy and sad stories, community and alienation, love and loss. And really awesome Japanese food too, with surprising amounts of Western food in the mix.

  4. I watched the latest Resident Evil movie. It was a fun gory horror/action movie set in the late 90’s. While I have played the games and watched all the other movies, this one could probably stand on its own for those who aren’t familiar with the RE franchise.

  5. Watched: I plowed through all five Pirates of the Carribean films.  I’d seen bits and pieces of the 4th and 5th ones so decided to watch them all in sequence.  It took me a couple of weeks to make time.  They still hold up.  They’re funny and stupid.  I remember the first time I saw the first film.  The precise moment when I realized that this was going to be a goofy movie was when Will Turner touched a wall lamp and it came off in his hand…then he hid it in a vase on the floor.

    Read:  still going through my current book.  I’ll tell you when I’m done.

    Listened:  The latest stop on the best recorded albums of all time brings me to Innervisions by Stevie Wonder.  This album is fucking incredible.  It’s not typical for an album to have such a good and cohesive sound when engineered by two different people, but Malcom Cecil and Robert Margouleff really nailed it.

     

  6. @elliecoo I’ve been reading the Countess of Harleigh books by Dianne Freeman, which is a Victorian-set cozy mystery series. I blew through the first 3 and am anxiously awaiting the 4th. If you haven’t already, check those out! I think you’ll like them.

    Currently reading – Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory. I’ve liked most of her books but I’m having a hard time getting into this one. It’s narrated (at least, this part is… I suspect the perspective will change at some point) by Princess Margaret Tudor, age 11, and makes her sound like a real spoiled brat. Now, whether she was or not, I can’t say, but it makes for a very annoying narrative style.

    Currently watching – I got Other-Husband started watching Tanked (a reality show about a couple of guys who build fantastic fish tanks) and so we’ve been watching a couple episodes a day. I think that the first 3 or 4 seasons were the best… they feel more natural. By 6 it’s becoming super obvious that the jokes and everything else is scripted. I know, I know, it’s not reality, it’s “reality”, but still.

    I’ve also been watching a lot of old movies and kid movies on HBOmax and Disney+. I’ve been working on a crochet project that requires my full visual attention but not my brain, so I’ve been just going down their A-to-Z movie lists and picking anything I recognize to listen to while I work on it. This past week or so, I’ve watched Ella Enchanted, The Princess Diaries 1 and 2, Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Aladdin (both the one with Robin Williams and the one with Will Smith… there’s a song in the live-action one that just gives me chills, every time), An American In Paris, Brigadoon, Meet Me in St Louis, Tangled, and a bunch more that I can’t remember now.

  7. I finished the 4th season of Vikings.  I hope I didn’t sit through 20 episodes to find out Ragnar’s sons are that dumb.

    I also watched Hands of Stone.  I’d never heard the whole story behind the second Duran-Leonard fight.  It pissed me off.

      • IDK it was just so easily predictable from the very beginning. “Christian Shepherd”? For real???

        OMG I can’t even…don’t get me started.

        Who chose the party of five guy over Kirk Cameron? I would have known better than to watch it had Kirk Cameron been the leading cast member.

        Horrible. I am stupider after watching Lost.

  8. Best thing I watched all week was Uprooted – The Journey of Jazz Dance. Such a good documentary, looking at the history of movement coming from African slaves and the influx of Latin influence and then the way that jazz styles from a handful of white choreographers became the face of jazz and how white people basically refuse to acknowledge the heritage of the dance. Really nice tie-ins with jazz music, early swing dancing like lindy hop, tap dancing, and towards the end, hip-hop.

    Amazing 90 minute documentary, I finished it and thought immediately “I want to watch that again.”

  9. …I’m pretty sure I watched something at some point & thought “must remember this come saturday” but I’m drawing a blank on what that might have been

    …finished out the boba fett thing on disney+…& on the one hand I’m generally pro anything that stands a chance of making it possible that there might be more star wars stuff I don’t dislike than stuff I do…but it was kind of a mixed bag?

    …the pacing was very uneven…most of the fights (& this I rather suspect is true more often than not in star wars stuff) make damn near no sense…& there were some pretty ropey bits…but there were some nice moments & it wasn’t a chore to watch or anything

    …the prequel to the kingsman movies that’s also available on disney+ however…that kind of was a bit of a chore to watch…& the “good bits”:”‘just…why?’ bits” ratio overall seemed to favor the wrong side of the equation…so I’m pretty sure if you’re after a bit of mindless entertainment with a few laughs & a liberal helping of violence you’d be better off following someone’s suggestion from a few weeks back & watching cop shop?

      • …I might be being a tad harsh…in the context of the franchise it’s not that it’s exactly dire…but there were parts that were clearly trying to crowbar a (for lack of a better term) “sensibility” that might match the other films into a context that just didn’t really support that?

        …taken on its own terms it’s probably about what you’d expect…& for the most part the performances are perfectly fine…some of them arguably good, even…it just didn’t really work for me overall in the way the first one did…& to a lesser extent the second one managed to…so  not sure I could answer why it was deemed worth making…& thus find it harder to say why it might be worth watching than why it might be worth spending that time on something else

        …YMMV & all that sort of thing?

  10. I was up until 1am last night watching the OTA Movies! channel’s Friday Night Frights. Two Vincent Price films back to back- cool. First up was a zombie plague film The Last Man on Earth (1964). Next was a mystery murder movie The Bat (1959). They were both really good and I recommend them.

     

    Still making my way through reading King Rat by James Clavell. I love Shogun and have read it several times. I’m not as fond of this one but still have about 1/4 to go.

     

  11. I watched all of Reacher in one evening. Better than Cruise’s movies, but still left me wanting a bit more. But, I watched the whole thing (to my surprise), so Amazon got what they wanted.

     

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