The "Aladdin" Trailer is Unsettling in Many Ways

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The full trailer for the live action “Aladdin” came out earlier today. I watched it, and I’m not very excited with the direction. I was hoping I would feel the same way about this trailer as I do about the new “Lion King” movie. I’m pumped to see that. I have very, very little interest in this new “Aladdin” movie.

By now everyone has seen what Will Smith looks like as the genie. It’s creepy as hell. But, I’m a Will Smith fan. I generally like what he does. That being said, he’s made some odd choices lately. But that’s not to say he hasn’t done well in not do good movies. I loathe “Suicide Squad”, except for Margot Robbie and Smith. Smith is actually really solid in that movie. That Netflix movie he made would be unwatchable if he wasn’t in it. I’m not too happy they’re making another “Bad Boys”, probably Michael Bay’s only solid movie, but I bet Smith will be funny in it. But in this new “Aladdin” movie, I feel like his look is going to overshadow his acting prowess. He looks so goofy. His ponytail is absurd. The goatee is off putting. It just seems bizarre. And his singing, it’s as corny as he can be, and he’s quite corny. He was great when he and Jazzy Jeff were just a rap group. But, with stuff like “Welcome to Miami” and “Gettin Jiggy With It”, he turned full cheese. That’s what his version of “Never Had a Friend Like Me” sounds like in the preview. It’s rough.

I will say, the actors they got for Jasmine and Aladdin look like the cartoon characters. But, the acting and singing in the trailer leave a TON to be desired. It’s hackneyed and just not very good. I know it’s easy to make a cartoon character charismatic, but this live action Aladdin is so stale and monotone and just seems boring. I have a bit more faith in Jasmine, except the singing. When they bust into “A Whole New World” in the preview I audibly said, “Yeesh”. I’m no singer, but that classic song sounds like someone doing poor karaoke in a crappy bar. It’s not great.

The best thing about the trailer, the sets look ridiculously cool. Wherever they shot this movie, or if it’s a green screen, this they nailed. It looks like a dessert and a cave and the sky is beautiful. The movie does look amazing. But so did “Avatar”, and I despise that movie.

I guess what it all really boils down to for me, I’m scared they’re going to ruin one of my favorite movies from childhood. Besides “Lion King” and “Home Alone”, “Aladdin” was the movie I watched most. I would do the lines, sing along and talk to all my friends and family about how great the movie was. I fear they will crush that. I think this is going to be like the new “Jurassic Park” movies, which stink. They have made me rethink the original “Jurassic Park”. I don’t want to go through that with “Aladdin”. I wish they would’ve stopped at the animated movie. They don’t need to do this. And, when comparing it to the new “Lion King”, the cast for that movie is ten thousand times better, and it’s going to be live action with voices. They’re using real animals. It’s going to feel much more real than this new “Aladdin”.

I was already on the fence about this movie, and the new, full trailer did nothing to quell my fears. I really, truly hope I’m wrong because I love this story, but I think this is going to be really, really bad. Especially if they trailer is the best stuff they filmed.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He is waiting for the reboot treatment of another one of his favorite childhood films, “Hoop Dreams”. Please no singing.

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Ty Does Not Watch the Oscars

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As per usual for the last, I’d say 5 or 6 years, watched zero seconds of the Oscars. I have a computer and an iPhone, so I can check who won later that night, or the next day. I chose the next day this year, and I have to say, I was a bit shocked.

Now, I need to disclose up front that I have only seen 2 of the movies that were nominated, “BlackKlansman” and “Black Panther”. I much preferred “Black Panther”, but that’s neither here nor there. Also, I did see “Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse”, which definitely earned its Oscar, and I also saw the Pixar short, “Bao”, which was heartbreaking yet wonderful. Outside those, I saw nothing. But, I do read and hear things by public personalities and journalists that I enjoy. I heard all the lukewarm stuff towards “Bohemian Rhapsody”. I heard about the craziness that is “The Favourite”. I heard about the apparent snooze fest that was “Green Book”. I saw the, quite frankly, rough reviews of “Vice”. I’ve heard nothing but great things about “Roma”, and I have exactly zero interest in ever watching any iteration of “A Star is Born”.

My basic knowledge, and hope, was that “Black Panther” would win all the awards. Of course, it did not. That’s not to say it didn’t win anything. I’m pretty sure it won 4 statues, for stuff like costume design and whatnot. But, in my opinion, it should have won best picture, director, actor and all actresses awards. Since “Sorry to Bother You” got no nominations, and totally overlooked, “Black Panther” was my ride or die movie.

Since my favorites didn’t win any of the “major” awards, I was interested in who, and what, won. First off, I’ve never heard the song “Shallow”, but I already am sick of it. “All the Stars” should have won, or any one of the brand new Coup songs from the “STBY” soundtrack. But I digress. I’m totally done with “Shallow”. Secondly, when on earth is Spike Lee going to get his much deserved Oscar? I’m sure Alfonso Cuarno did a fine job with “Roma”, and I’m sure I’ll like it when I see it, but Lee is well overdue an Oscar, and while I thought “BlackKlansman” was just okay, Lee did a wonderful job directing it. By all accounts, best supporting actress was Regina King’s to lose. And, she won. That’s great. As far as Mahershala Ali going back to back for supporting actor, great. I’m just not so jazzed by the movie he won it for. I’m very stunned that Glenn Close didn’t win best actress. Everyone claimed that she was as much a shoe in as King. Well, Olivia Coleman won. And while I have every intention of seeing “The Favourite”, I like the weird stuff that director does, it was still a shock that Coleman won. This one seemed assured. I feel like this is when the show went off the rails. While I think Rami Malek is a fine actor, and will be for a long, long time, how did he win every big best actor award? I mean, “Bohemian Rhapsody” has so many problems, be it with the fudging of facts, the way they barely touch on Freddie Mercury’s sexuality and the scumbag of a director, this movie should have been doomed. Oh yeah, it also got crushed by critics. But Malek still won best actor. The crop was weak, maybe they should have put up LaKeith Stanfield and/or Chadwick Bosman or Michael B Jordan, but still, I cannot fathom how Malek won. The academy clearly just wants to keep giving the award to people that do impressions of famous people. That’s lazy.

But the biggest blunder of last night has to be “Green Book” winning best picture. Again, I was pulling for “Black Panther”, but I knew it wouldn’t win. Honestly, I thought “Roma” was the presumed winner. And if not “Roma”, I figured “The Favourite” would win. I never, ever thought “Green Book” would win. Like I said before, the movie seemed like a slog, Ali looked like the only good thing in it, the story is old and boring and the past stuff with the director and writer, lookup old tweets and flashing of genitalia, should have put the nail in its coffin. Or so I thought. Hell, even “Bohemian Rhapsody” might have been a better choice. This one is as puzzling as when “Crash” won. Maybe even more so. This is very, very confusing to me. I don’t know what the academy saw in “Green Book” to give it best picture, but they totally whiffed. This is a big time misfire.

Last night’s Oscars is why I’m glad I don’t waste three plus hours of my life watching these award shows. I mean, “Green Book” shouldn’t have even been a nominee, outside Ali. This is a baffling choice, and I’m sure this “win” will go down as one of the worst choices ever. This was bad, and the majority of the show, from what I’ve read, seemed like a mess. Oh well. I’m going to go watch some good movies now, like “STBY”, or “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies”, or “Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse”, or “Best F(r)iends”. Peace.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He is aware that Spike Lee did win an Oscar for Adapted screenplay. He also does not think it makes up for the Oscars Spike did not win for “Do the Right Thing”, “Malcolm X”, “He Got Game”, “The 25th Hour” and any other film from the best director of his generation.

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Ty Watches, and Loves, "Uncle Drew"

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I finally saw the movie "Uncle Drew", and I absolutely loved it.

Now, before I get blasted for liking this movie so much I want to say that, I know it was not your traditional good movie. It was cheesy and hokey and crony and silly and a whole lot of fun. I read some reviews after I watched it, and for the writers saying it "lacked realism", or "was filled with non actors" or "clearly a kids movie", I have to say, shut the hell up. We all know that it wasn't real. I mean, the movie was based off a Pepsi commercial that first appeared like 5 years ago. It was all made as a joke. This was a vehicle for Kyrie Irving to dress up in old man makeup and school young basketball players on famous street ball courts.

As far as the kids movie thing, so what. A lot of great movies are "kid" movies. I had "Teen Titans Go! To the Movies" as one of my top movies of 2018. That is a kids movie. So are some classics like "Toys", "Wall-E", "The Mighty Ducks", "The Lion King", "Bambi", I could go on and on and on. But the difference, the critics all loved the childish nature of the other movies I just mentioned, yet they trash "Uncle Drew". It makes me so upset that this new age of movie critics, most of them are younger than me, have no imagination. Now I know that I have been called out for a lack of imagination because I don't like the TV show "PJ Masks", but that critique I wrote was in jest. I was just tired of watching that god damn show. I know my kids love it, and I know it is goofy, but it is also a cartoon. "Uncle Drew" is not a cartoon, so the younger critics feel like they need to knock it down a few pegs. What they really need to do is chill the hell out.

The thing that irked me the most was the whole, "there's no real actors in the movie". First off, Lil Rel Howery is a great comedic actor. I enjoyed every second of him in this movie. Tiffany Haddsih is also great, and she has become somewhat of a critical darling. Nick Kroll is funny as hell. But I think what the major critics were trying to do was call out Kyrie Irving, Chris Webber, Nate Robinson, Lisa Leslie, Reggie Miller, and to a lesser extent, Shaquille O'Neal. But my major blowback to the people that said "no real actors", no shit. These guys are former pros, or current pro basketball players, and now some of them do commentary. Like I said at the top, this whole movie was based around a commercial where Irving clowns other basketball players while dressed as an old man. "Uncle Drew" wasn't going to be awards bait. It wasn't made to teach a real lesson. It wasn't going to be a coming out party for anyone in it. It was made because it was fun. It was also made for people who truly love the game of basketball.

Take away the smaller stuff I really enjoyed about the movie, the preacher and church scene with Webber and Leslie is great, the stuff with Shaq was hilarious, as I said before, Lil Rel was excellent. But, the pure basketball, and the love for the game of basketball was front and center. I think that is why I love this movie so much. I feel like it was made specifically for someone like me. Someone that likes old school basketball mixed with new school. Someone that likes to hear actors say lines like, "that is why I still play, because I love the game", or, "you miss one hundred percent of the shots you don't take", or when Shaq calls Irving "KOBE" at one point because he won't pass the ball, or when Lisa Leslie destroys people with her inside game. It was so much fun to see the best of the best show their stuff. The basketball in this movie was pure. It was akin to the football in a movie like "Friday Night Lights", or the baseball in "Major League". It looked and felt real. I assume they really were playing, and I love that.

"Uncle Drew" is a fun movie that is pure joy for big time basketball fans. I applaud Irving and Webber and Reggie Miller and Nate Robinson and Shaq and Lisa Leslie for going 110 percent and totally buying into their roles. I love this movie so much. My hat is off to "Uncle Drew".

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. When it comes to movies about basketball, Ty will also defend “Eddie”, and “Like Mike”. He will not defend “Juwanna Man”. Ty does have some limits to the basketball movies he likes.

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Ty Learns, and Gets Excited, About the Movie "Yesterday"

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I’ve recently seen another movie trailer that has me very amped for an upcoming movie. I didn’t mention this movie as something I was looking forward to in 2019, but that’s because I didn’t know about it. I did mention during that very same podcast that I was pretty sure that there would be an independent movie, or a non blockbuster that I would be interested in seeing. I finally found it.

The new Danny Boyle movie “Yesterday” falls into both categories as an independent film and not a sure fire blockbuster. I am a big time Danny Boyle fan. Honestly, I don’t think there’s a movie of his that I haven’t enjoyed in some capacity. My introduction to him was “Trainspotting”, but add that to a great list that includes “Millions”, “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Sunshine”. The dude is a great director, and “Yesterday” looks like it could be one of his best, and maybe, just maybe, my favorite.

The trailer shows a struggling musician who gets into an accident. When he wakes up, he is thrown into a Beatles less world. He starts to sing “Yesterday” on the guitar he’s given as a gift and his friends are shocked that he wrote this great song. He’s very confused, saying that Paul McCartney wrote it. No one knows who that is. This leads to him doing a google search of the band and finding nothing. It is as if The Beatles have never existed. He takes this info and goes on to become the biggest singer songwriter of his generation. But you can see that he is struggling with the fame. He knows he is doing something wrong. He knows these aren’t his songs. In the trailer you can tell that he knows he’s a phony, and it’s neat to see him grappling with all this.

I was immediately in love the first time I saw the trailer for “Yesterday”. I watched it three more times in a row. I showed it to my wife. I texted my dad. I watched it with my mom. I have even subjected my kids to the trailer because they hear The Beatles a lot in my car.

Along with Boylle directing, the cast looks pretty great too. I don’t know who the main guy is, his name is Himesh Patel, and he looks great. This movie could turn him into a big star. The cast also includes Lily James, Ed Sheerhan, Kate McKinnon, Ana de Armas, Joel Frey from “GOT”, Lamorne Morris and James Corden. That’s a pretty great group of people. The story looks awesome. We even see a clip in the trailer of 2 guys that really seem like John Lennon and Paul McCartney. I love the quirks and changes people try to do to the songs. As I said, to see Patel act like he knows what he’s doing is immoral is great. Lily James just continues to make great movie choices.

I literally cannot wait to see this movie. I’m so glad this trailer dropped into my lap. I predict I will be talking about this movie a lot this year. If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, check it out. This movie is going to rule. Until then though, at least I have this tremendous trailer to go back to as much as I want. I’m so pumped for “Yesterday”.

Check out the trailer for “Yesterday”

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He once woke up and found out no one remembers the songs of Milli Vanilli. He sang a few lines, and no one still wants to remember Milli Vanilla.

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Better Late Than Never on "Isle of Dogs"

I'm writing earlier than usual today because I literally just finished watching the movie "Isle of Dogs", and I have some thoughts.

I'm a Wes Anderson fan. I like pretty much all of his movies, save for maybe "Darjeeling Limited", but even that movie has its moments. I was first introduced to Anderson by RD, when he showed me the classic movie "Rushmore". I was immediately in love. The way he shot and directed the movie, that is how I like my independent comedies. A little dark, but usually with a fairly happy ending. After "Rushmore" I dug very deep into the world of Wes Anderson. I watched his first movie "Bottle Rocket" next. That is a great, very underrated movie. Then I saw "Royal Tenenbaums". That is, not only one of his best movies, but one of the best movies ever made. It is nearly perfect. RD and I then saw "Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" on Christams day in 2004. I think that is a very solid movie. It doesn't get the love his other movies do, but I enjoyed it. My wife and I, who at the time was my girlfriend, watched "Fantastic Mr Fox". That movie is an achievement. It was so cool. The stop motion was neat and the story was great. My wife and I, to this day, still walk around the house saying, "I'm more of an athlete" all the time. We then sat down a few years later and watched "Moonrise Kingdom". That is one of the sweetest movies ever. It is also a great story about childhood. I'd take "Moonrise Kingdom" any day over "Boyhood". I then watched "Grand Budapest Hotel" by myself in the theaters. That movie is cool. It is neat to look at, the story is fun and it is very adventurous. I also love the detail that went into it. I liked it so much that I convinced my wife to watch it on a flight we were on to Mexico for our anniversary.

Then I kind of forgot about Anderson. He didn't make anything for a couple years. I remember seeing the preview for "Isle of Dogs", but I never got the chance to see it in the theaters. Luckily I have HBO, and I was up early today and it was on. I watched it before taking my son to school, and I really, really, really liked it a lot.

I'm going to go out on a limb here, because Anderson is a writer and director I have come to really enjoy, I think "Isle of Dogs" is his best movie. And this is not recency bias. While watching "Isle of Dogs" I thought about his other movies, and while some may be better in smaller aspects, I feel like "Isle of Dogs" is the perfect amalgamation of everything that Anderson is, and wants to be, as a director and writer. First of all, he goes back to the stop motion that made "Fantastic Mr Fox" so cool. Except in "Isle of Dogs" I think it looks so much better done. He really honed his skills and the people that worked on this movie with him are really good technicians. The dogs looked real. Their fur, when the wind would blow, looked just like my dog when he rides in the car with me and I have the windows down. The humans in the movie looked real too. They didn't have that Claymation feel that so many stop motion movies have. Sure they had wild hair and wild costumes, but they looked like real people. The voice work in this movie is amazing too. The people Anderson got are all amazing. He has his usual people, like Edward Norton, Greta Gerwig, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray, Harvey Keitel and F Murray Abraham. But the people he added to the cast are a who's who. Frances McDormand, Liev Schreiber, Jeff Goldblum, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Courtney B Vance and Bryan Cranston. And they were great. Cranston is the voice of the main dog and he is tremendous. Vance as the narrator of the story was the perfect person to tell this story. He has a great voice for a role like this. McDormand as a translator was so good too.

That was another thing I loved about this movie. It takes place in the future in Japan, and the Japanese people in the movie are voiced by Japanese people, and then the dialogue is translated via text or people playing translators. And the kid who plays the main human, Atari, voiced by Koyu Rankin, is so easy to root for. Yoko Ono plays a voice of a scientist in the movie. The evil mayor, Kobayashi, voiced by Kunichi Nomura, was so threatening, but does have a heart of gold. The real bad guy, Major Domo, voiced by Akira Takayama, was so scary my kids were afraid to watch when he was onscreen. He was phenomenal.

Which leads me to the story of this movie, and what I interpreted it as. This movie is about classism and judging one without really knowing them. Sure, the main characters are dogs, but that doesn't mean you cannot tell a story like that. And the way Anderson pulls it off is glorious. The mayor sending these dogs to "Trash Island" because he believes them to be "bad dogs", just casting them aside, was so sad. Funny thing about that, I could see our current "government" doing something very similar. Hell, they already are trying to do this, separating families at the border like a bunch of terrorists. Looking at this "fake" government in "Isle of Dogs" was so eerily similar to what the real "government" is trying to do right now. Anderson drew a perfect parallel. Then, to see the dogs side of the story, it was just amazing. To see them trying to survive, to hear their stories, to see some of them thrive, it was great. Also, seeing the opposition's story, which included the mayor's "son", had me wanting to start a revolution myself. I love to see the resistance win, and they certainly win in "Isle of Dogs".

I feel like this movie is the best work that Anderson has done to date. I have zero problems with it. I want to watch it a million more times. I do not think I will ever grow tired of it. I have a newfound respect for my dog after seeing it. I want to treat people better, not that I was treating anyone bad, after seeing this movie. The movie also makes me like Anderson even more. I don't care if that makes me sound pretentious either, the dude makes good to great movies pretty much all the time. I almost wish I had seen it prior to this morning because it definitely would have made my best of 2018.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He was going to make a movie about his dog, but the only compelling drama he could find is when Charlie spent ten minutes going in a circle looking for a place to pee.

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Ty Watches "Bandersnatch"

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Okay, I have now watched “Bandersnatch” 3 times. I’ve seen, at least I think I have, all 5 endings and I have some thoughts. First things first, just like my “Bird Box” review, this is going to be as spoiler free as possible. Okay, let’s get into it.

I need to say right off the bat, I LOVED “Bandersnatch”. I am a “Black Mirror” apologist, and I will never say a bad thing about the show. That being said, the show is amazing, so that will never be a problem for me. With “Bandersnatch”, I was completely fascinated, and totally engaged every time I’ve watched it. I really think the writing was exceptional. The acting was tremendous. The “choose your own adventure” aspect of it, for someone that has never experienced that, was awesome. Sure it could be a bit overwhelming at times, but that never took me out of it. The story that is the basis of this, I don’t know if I should call it a movie or an episode, maybe a “moviesode” we will go with I guess, was dark and bleak and everything I want from “Black Mirror”. The idea of creating a computer game in the 80’s is fascinating to me. I like to see the old tech compared to the new age stuff. I like to see how it used to be done. I also like, and appreciate, how the writers of the show are able to show us the bad side of technology in all decades. I feel like that is one of “Black Mirror”s main objectives, and they nailed it again in “Bandersnatch”.

As for the performances, man where they excellent. Will Poulter, as Colin Ritman, the genius game maker, was outstanding. I don’t get the hate that he is getting online. He was outstanding. I really loved his performance, especially his monologue when he and the main kid were tripping on acid. Craig Parkinson, who is the main character’s dad, was so good. He had this subtle way in his performance that almost made me feel bad for him, even though he may be a monster. Alice Lowe as the therapist was totally believable. I completely bought her as a psychiatrist. She pulled it off.

But the star, and rightfully so, was Fionn Whitehead as Stefan. He’s the main character and he was outstanding. The way he showed his character’s slip onto insanity was so good. I mean, it felt real, no matter what path you chose for him. To think that he had to act it out in so many different ways, to do all this different stuff, it is truly remarkable. That is a big time credit to his ability as an actor. And he was amazing. To see him go through all that was, it was just, WOW. To watch him deteriorate as a person, Whitehead really crushed the performance.

As far as the story goes, I liked the basic through line in all the various ways the story could go. It was essentially about our free will as people, and while free will may or may not be a thing, “Bandersnatch” did a great job of showing how we use, and let others, control it. Giving the viewer the choices, and having Stefan yell at the viewer from time to time was so cool and new and interesting. I continue to be blown away that “Black Mirror” can still surprise me. How they can still make me think. How they can still make me pore over episodes for days. How they can make me want to go back and watch episodes multiple times, it’s amazing.

I love “Black Mirror”, and in turn, I love “Bandersnatch”. I’m also definitely not done watching the “moviesode”, not by a long shot. I still have a whole lot to unpack in my mind. I feel like I will watch it a ton leading up to the new season, whenever that comes. For the time being though, “Bandersnatch” is a work of art. It needs to be seen by everyone. The choose your own adventure aspect is worth it alone. It’s tremendous, like everything else “Black Mirror” does.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He sometimes writes his articles as a choose your own adventure. Being a stay at home dad gives him a captive audience to help craft his masterpieces of blogging.

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Ty Watches "Bird Box"

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So my wife and I sat down and finally watched "Bird Box". We wanted to see what all the fuss was about. She said people were talking about it at work, and she felt a bit left out. I have heard some of my buddies talk about it, so I also felt a bit left out. I have also seen all the memes and gifs and stuff on social media mentioning this movie. A lot of the social media stuff had to do with sports, so I was getting even more frustrated because I just didn't get it. So we put the kids to bed on Saturday night a little early, and we put the movie on.

First things first, this review will be spoiler free. It is going to be spoiler free because I feel like people should really check this movie out. But even before I get into it, I do need to yell at everyone on social media for not informing me how sad this movie is. I expected it to be scary, which it is. But, this movie is depressing as hell. I mean, my wife was sobbing at points. I was holding back all of my tears. I had to cover my face several times because I do not like to cry in front of her. We were both emotionally drained at the end of the movie. So this is my way of letting anyone know that hasn't seen the movie yet, and only expect it to be a horror movie, and they want to watch it, it is also super sad and super depressing. You will cry, and you will be upset. Just a warning.

Getting to the review now. "Bird Box" is excellent. I didn't really know what to expect, stayed away from all the stuff, with the exception of the memes and what not. But what I saw, I really, really liked. It was suspenseful and scary and well told and greatly acted and brilliantly directed. I have no real problems with the movie at all. Sandra Bullock is wonderful in this movie. She acted the hell out of this role. I totally bought pretty much everything about her role. She was awesome. The other people in the movies, Sarah Paulson, John Malkovich, Trevante Rhodes, Jackie Weaver and Lil Rel Howery, among others, were great as well. Paulson as Bullock's sister was perfect in her minimal role. Malkovich is a total dickhead, and he has every right to be. Rhodes, who was so awesome in "Moonlight" as well, was great as the love interest/badass with a heart of gold. Weaver is good as the house mom after the apocalyptic event takes place. And Lil Rel, in a not so comedic role, just keeps winning me over with performances like this and his character in "Get Out".

What I really loved about "Bird Box" was how the people all reacted to the event. Something crazy happens, again I do not want to spoil anything and it causes people to do unthinkable stuff against their will. The people who end up in the house, not yet effected, each have different ways of dealing with it. It was pretty well done to see how each one dealt. Some were strong, others were scared, others were mad, others were ready to let it go. It was great. It also made me think of how I would react in a similar scenario.(I would not last long, which my wife and dad agreed with) Aside from that, pretty much anything else I tell you would be a spoiler.

This movie needs to be seen. I have now, and I will never, ever watch it again, but I am glad I did. This is a cultural phenomena, and I wanted to be part of it. I wanted to be able to talk about it. Also, Sandra Bullock, like I said before, was outstanding. The only person, and my wife disagrees with me here, that I thought did a better job in a similar movie was Emily Blunt in "A Quiet Place". But, they both crushed it. I would hope that Bullock would get some kind of awards consideration for this role. She is that good.

"Bird Box" is great, you should see it, you should be prepared to be scared and sad, and prepare yourself to be thinking about it for days. It is the type of movie that stays with you for days, in a good way. "Bird Box" is a must see.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He is back on the Netflix bandwagon now that he has seen a good movie. The last one he saw did not make him hopeful for future films from the streaming giant.

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The Best Movies of 2018

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I waited until today to do my top 5 movies of 2018 because I went to the movies today and I thought the one I was seeing would be on the list. By the way, it made it. My movies are fairly mainstream this year. As I’ve said before, it’s harder for my wife and I to go to the movies. Sometimes it’s even harder to watch them at home because we are so tired. But, I still see enough movies to make this list. I still go to the movies by myself, or bring my dad to some of the odder movies I see. I see more kids movies because I have 2 of my own that enjoy them. So my list is odd, with 3 big time movies on it this year. Maybe this will make RD stop calling me Pierre. We shall see.

At number 5 I have “Teen Titans Go! To The Movies”. I took my kids to see this because my son loves the show. I’ve watched a few episodes with him, found them kind of funny and agreed to take him. I had super low expectations, and this movie far surpassed them. This movie is great. It’s fast, funny, well written, animated like the show and has several good stories. I love the joke of how many super hero movies there are now. There’s far too many. Hell, counting “TTGTTM”, I technically have 3 on my list. But how they make a joke about it is great. The underlying stories of friendship, camaraderie, stardom and teamwork make this movie even better. Add the fact that is basically a musical makes it that much more fun. I had a blast watching this movie. And since seeing it this summer in the theater, I’ve enjoyed the 2-3 dozen more times I’ve watched it. I can also sing every lyric to every song. “Teen Titans Go! To The Movies” was one of the best times I’ve ever had in a theater.

At number 4 is the movie I saw this afternoon, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse”. This is one of the coolest looking movies I’ve ever seen. The way it was filmed is like a comic book. It’s like “Sin City” for kids. This movie was simply incredible. The way the story is told was masterful. Seeing young Miles Morales go through his journey with all the different versions of Spider heroes was remarkable. The bad guys were bad too. I loved Doc Ock as a woman. She was evil. Kingpin was just as bad as any bad guy in a gangster movie. And the heroes were awesome. The second Peter Parker, who has B as his middle initial was hilarious. Spider Gwen was a total badass. Penni Parker, Spider Noir and Spider Ham all had their own personal charm, which I liked. The story was tremendous. The lessons were amazing. This is the type of movie that pulls me back into the super hero and comic book genre. It’s a work of art. I’m still totally blown away at how cool that movie looked. It’s awesome.

At number 3 I am getting away from hero movies and dipping into horror/suspense with “A Quiet Place”. This movie had me at the edge of my seat the whole run time. I kept apologizing to my wife for squeezing her hand so much throughout the movie. This movie made me not want to eat my movie snacks because it needed to be silent in the theater. What John Krasinki and crew did with this movie was usher in a new era of suspense. They made it hip to make a new age silent movie. And with this being, technically a silent movie, I was never, ever bored. As I said I was on razors edge. And Emily Blunt was phenomenal in this movie. Watch it alone for the birth scene. You may get anxiety after seeing it, if you don’t already suffer from it. “A Quiet Place” has renewed my love for the horror/suspense genre. I’m very excited/curious to see what they do with the sequel. But for the time being, this movie is right up there with “Get Out”, at least for me. 

At number 2 I have “Black Panther”. This is the best super hero movie ever. Nothing will top it. As good as some of the early Marvel stuff was, they all pale in comparison to “Black Panther”. This is the type of movie that has it all. A tremendous villain, maybe the best one yet. Strong, powerful female leads. African Americans as the stars. A great story about family and how important home is. Doing what’s best for the people you love. Great fight scenes. Funny moments. Touching moments. All of this in a comic book movie. “Black Panther” was overdue for its spotlight. But when it got it, they smacked it out of the park. Also, the soundtrack is amazing. The movie has it all, and it has zero flaws. “Black Panther” is the perfect movie. But there was one better, at least for me.

My number one movie of 2018 is “Sorry to Bother You”. There is no other movie like “STBY”. It’s an original, one of a kind. It’s science fiction with a story about race and culture and selling out and what all that means to multiple groups of people. I was blown away by this movie. I have watched it a dozen times since I saw it on its opening weekend, and with each new viewing I find something I missed or something new I like. And the performances, my goodness are they wonderful. This movie will make LaKeith Stanfield a star. Tessa Thompson is remarkable. Stanfield’s buddy, the guy from “Superior Donuts”, is hilarious. Steven Yeun is perfect. Even bigger actors, like Terry Crews and Danny Glover, shine in their minimal screen time. We need more movies like this. I’m done with remakes and sequels. Please give me new and fresh stuff. And nothing is newer or fresher or more I treating or cooler or crazier than “Sorry to Bother You”. I will watch this movie for the rest of my life. It’s a remarkable achievement. And it’s so unique. I love this movie. There was no question this movie was going to be number one the moment I left the theater. It’s amazing.

That’s it fit today. Come back tomorrow for my top 5 podcast moments of 2018.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He may not go to as many independent films like he did as a younger man, but the Head Editor will always call him Pierre. Old habits die hard.

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SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

The Worst Things of 2018

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Next week I will spend the 5 days of the week doing my best of 2018 in movies, music, tv, podcasts and sports. I will do a top 5 of each category. Today though I want to do a similar list, but I want to do the one thing I consider the worst of 2018. I'll pick the worst tv show, movie, album/musician, podcast moment and sports moment. Before I get into it, I do have to say that this is just my opinion. I know that I will have a few things on here that will be odd and make people mad, but that is what year end lists are for, are they not? This will also be much quicker since I am just picking one thing from each category. My best of lists next week will be a bit longer. Okay enough preamble, lets get to it.

I'm going to start with sports because this was quite possibly the worst thing for me, as a sports fan, that has not only happened this year, but has happened in a long time. I am of course talking about Michigan getting absolutely crushed by the University of Ohio State in football. I have written about this game already, so I won't go as deep into detail as I did the Monday after the game. But this was awful. Michigan's vaunted defense got torched and refused to adjust all game long. This was their best chance in a long time, they were the better team on paper, and they laid a total egg. I mean, their offense scored 39 points, but it was all garbage time, and it was all for naught. They gave up 62 points, over 500 yards of offense, and it could have been much, much worse. Michigan blew it on the biggest stage for them in quite some time, and it was painful to watch. They had their best chance to beat their hated rival for the first time in 7 years, and a possible playoff berth at stake if they won the Big Ten title. They got none of that. They choked. They got crushed and it was, by far, my worst sports moment of 2018. Nothing else was even close.

When it comes to podcast/podcast moments, I have to go with "Comedy Bang! Bang!" not doing their usual Halloween episode. I look forward to this every year, and Halloween came and went with no visit to Boogie Woogie Avenue. I didn't get to hear Bret Gelman and Jon Daly do their thing. There was no Comedy Fang Fang this year. No weirdo ghosts for me to cackle with laughter at. It was a real bummer. The biggest disappointment with no "CBB" Halloween episode was the absence of Leo Carpatzi and his daughter Scaroline to sing their version of "The Monster Mash", which is always my favorite part. Although, as you will see next week, they do make up for it a bit in their Christmas episode. But, no 1122 Boogie Woogie Avenue, no Scaroline, no Mesmor, it all bummed me out. This episode is one of the few things I look forward to for a "holiday" that I am not the biggest fan of. Hopefully they remedy this next year because their Halloween episodes are some of their best.

My worst music of 2018 is kind of weird, but it struck me as odd, and kind of stupid to be completely honest. So, you all know how I feel about Drake. He is a wannabe, a front runner, a HORRIBLE rapper, he is just trash all around. So, for him to think he could even touch Pusha T was a joke and made that my most disliked music moment of the year. There is no beef, Pusha T is a far superior rapper, and always will be, when compared to Drake. He has lived that life. He has earned and grinded hard for everything he has accomplished. He isn't a fake, a phony or a frontrunner. Pusha goes about his business and makes incredible rap music. He literally started from the bottom. Drake was on a teenage high school drama in Canada when he was a kid. He is from the suburbs. He's never had a hard day in his life. He is a fake, a phony and a wannabe like I said before. He's a poseur. Pusha T will always, always be a much, much better rapper. So will thousands upon thousands of other rappers that a lot of people may not know about just yet. Drake is a rapper for white tweens. Pusha T is for a true hip hop fan. This whole beef was pointless and dull. Find something better to do with your time Drake because you are not even a top 500 rapper of all time. You are trash.

With TV I was very conflicted because the 2 shows that I think are the worst were 2 I LOVED last year. With that being said, what in the hell happened to "Westworld" and "Legion"? Am I not smart enough? Do I not get it? Am I not hip enough anymore? I don't know, and that was my biggest problem with both these shows. I feel like they decided to really just make some weird stuff and see if major critics would bite, and boy did they ever. I have read a lot of best of lists, and most have both shows on their lists. I totally disagree. Now, it needs to be said that I didn't finish either season. But I didn't finish because I was too tired of sitting there in utter confusion for hours after watching an episode. I made it through 3 of "Legion" and 2 of "Westworld" and just gave up. These shows are already confusing enough, but like I said, I felt like the writers were just messing with me now. They were intentionally trying to confuse me. I like my intelligence to be tested time to time when watching a show, but in watch these 2 shows this year, I felt like I was being made to look like a fool. Like I was stupid because I didn't get it. That is not how I should feel when watching a show. TV shows and movies should let you escape and have fun. I got none of that from "Westworld" or "Legion" this year. That was a bummer for me.

Finally, my worst movie of 2018. I have to admit that I don't get to the movies as much as I would like, but I still watch a fair amount On Demand and on streaming services. With all that being said, the worst movie I saw in 2018 has to be "Avengers: Infinity War". Now, I kind of liked the movie, but compared to everything else, it just doesn't stand up. I found parts of it dull and dragging. I don't like that Thanos wipes out half the population, but we just have to accept that most of those people are still alive because it's a "comic book movie". It would have been so much cooler if they really did kill off all the characters that Thanos killed. I found Thanos kind of dull and, while an okay bad guy, he was no Heath Ledger Joker or Tom Hardy Bane or Alfred Molina's Dr. Octopus or Ultron or even a marginal bad guy like The Mandarin. I think my biggest problem lied within my expectations for the movie. They were through the roof, and that is unfair. But still, my wife and I saw this movie on opening weekend, with a packed theater that had a 10 month old there, and we both left kind of shrugging our shoulders. It wasn't like when we saw "Black Panther" or the first "Ironman" or the "X-Men" movies. We left those exhilarated. With "Infinity War". we left unfulfilled. That is why I have it as my worst movie of the year.

Okay, I got the bad stuff out of the way. Come back next week where I will dedicate one day with a top 5 of 2018 for each category. 

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. Ty is lucky to have survived the Thanos snap so he can dump on the movie. Others in the SeedSing virtual cube farm were not so lucky. We forward to seeing Tina S when the next movie “fixes” all the important deaths.

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SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

Ty Watches the Trailer for "Us"

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Yesterday Jordan Peele released the trailer for his follow up to "Get Out", "Us". I have been on pins and needles waiting to see how he would follow up his Oscar winning movie. "Get Out" was so unique and new and funny and scary and violent and fresh. I had never seen anything like "Get Out" before. I was pleased to see something new and different in this current climate or remakes and sequels. So when Peele announced that he was going to make a new movie I was stoked. I was hoping it was going to be another horror movie too. I like that he is doing these types of movies, given his comedic background. He could have done trite, typical comedic movies and been very, very successful. But, he went with what he liked, horror, and crushed it right out of the gate.

I was very excited to watch the trailer for "Us" yesterday. I had to wait awhile, what with going to see multiple family members for the holiday, but when I got home, put the kids to bed and showered, the first thing I did was watch the trailer. The only stuff I had seen or read prior to watching this last night was the poster, which is awesome, and some of the cast, which features Lupita N'yong’o and the guy who played the vegetarian troupe leader in "Black Panther". So, after all the dad stuff I had to do, I sat, in silence and watched. I try to stay away from trailers, I don't want movies ruined for me, but this one was a must watch. And it did not disappoint.

The trailer opened with the excellent song, "I Got 5 on It", and it has a family of 4 driving to a beach for a family vacation. It starts out all nice and happy. They meet up with another couple and are seemingly having a great day at the beach. Then the son of the main family starts to walk off to see this odd figure just standing out on the beach with scissors and blood dripping from them. The mom, N'oyongo runs up to him and tells the son he cannot run off like that. Then we get to see the entire creepy family in the very next scene of the trailer. The dad goes outside to confront them, and even has an aluminum bat and says he is ready to get physical. This is when the trailer starts to reveal some crazy stuff. We come to find out that this other family is out to get the main family. They are fast, scary, will talk to the main people, and they oddly look exactly like them. It is as if they are fighting evil versions of themselves. The daughter is terrified of her counterpart. The mirror scene is horrifying. The dad continues to get brutally beaten up by the evil version of himself. The mom fights and fights and fights back with her counterpart. But the son is oddly accepting of his evil half, especially when he takes off his mask and sees a scarred face. This trailer scared me, legitimately. I loved that about it.

The movie looks absolutely amazing. It seems like an excellent follow up to "Get Out". I cannot wait to see this movie. I'm so full yon board with "us", and pretty much anything Peele will do from here on out. He is easily on pace to be this generation's horror master. He is the dude. He is the shocking guy now. And he deserves all the accolades. I cant wait to see the movie. But first, I need to go watch the trailer about 10 more times. I suggest you all do the same.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. For Christmas he got a bad cold, out of control children, and some Michigan gear. How was your holiday?

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SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 24 "Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge"

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The pre-Christmas Day season of Advent is upon us. Here at SeedSing we love the chocolaty goodness of getting a piece of candy once a day until we get to open our presents. As our gift to you we will present a great movie associated with the holiday season. Many will be awesome, some will be extra awesome. Enjoy.

Day 24: “Alastair Sim”

Opened Doors: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 14, Day 15, Day 16, Day 17, Day 18, Day 19, Day 20, Day 21, Day 22, Day 23

Christmas Eve is a time of comfortable tradition. The entire holiday season changes form day to day, year to year, generation to generation, reality to reality, and on and on. Yet when the 24th of December hits, we want things to be the way they have always been. We want comfort. Be it food, music, television, and movies, we want to revisit our favorites. For the month of December we have presented all the different holiday movies to fit the mood of the seasons. Today we present the best person who played the best role in the best holiday film series ever.

Alastair Sim was a Scottish film actor who worked in the middle part of the 20th century. He did many a Shakespeare plays, acted in a wide variety films, and made a nice career out of being a supporting player. In 1951 he got the chance to play Ebeneezer Scrooge in one of the many movie versions of “A Christmas Carol”.

With “Scrooge”, Alastair Sim created what many people believe to be the greatest film version of Ebenezer Scrooge. Where many people play Scrooge as an angry old man who was afraid to die and had a soft spot for one disabled child, Sim played Scrooge as a man who has sad, and needed to remember why happiness is important on Christmas and during the entire year. The portrayal was so beloved that Sim provided the voice for a 1971 Oscar winning animated short film of “A Christmas Carol”. In less than thirty minutes, Sim again showed the entire holiday movie loving public why he is the greatest Scrooge ever.

On the night before Christmas we will gather together and eat our favorite foods, eat our most wanted dishes, be with those we love the most, and watch our favorite holiday movie. Most of us will sit down to watch one of the many versions of “A Christmas Carol”. Do you want to watch the best. The only choice is Alastair Sim, and he gives you to different ways to watch his Scrooge.

Happy Christmas.

RD is the Head Editor for SeedSing. After you watch the best Scrooge, go listen to the best Christmas song ever.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 23 "Trading Places"

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The pre-Christmas Day season of Advent is upon us. Here at SeedSing we love the chocolaty goodness of getting a piece of candy once a day until we get to open our presents. As our gift to you we will present a great movie associated with the holiday season. Many will be awesome, some will be extra awesome. Enjoy.

Day 23: “Trading Places”

Opened Doors: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 14, Day 15, Day 16, Day 17, Day 18, Day 19, Day 20, Day 21, Day 22

Happy Festivus!

At this most joyous, and odious, of celebrations let’s celebrate those we look down upon. If we are in the gutter, those in the high rises who manipulate the economy for their gain are the ones that need to hear our grievances. If we are in the top tax bracket, those at the bottom are no match for the hired help we can procure and best our economic enemies in the feet of strengths. But what if this Festivus means something a little bit more? What if this Festivus, the rich and the poor trade places? Would we learn anything and come together as one humanity on this planet we call Earth?

In June of 1983, the John Landis directed comedy “Trading Places” hit theaters. The movie was a smash hit. Dan Aykroyd was far removed from his days on Saturday Night Live and was already considered a top movie star in the comedy genre. Eddie Murphy was still new to the movie game, but was a breakout star from the beginning, and “Trading Places” solidified Murphy’s superstardom. With Jamie Lee Curtis, Denholm Elliot, Don Ameche, and Ralph Bellemy, “Trading Places” was a film that could not fail. Critics and audiences of 1983 loved it, and thirty-five years later it is one of the most quotable, and beloved movies of the last two generations.

The plot of “Trading Places” shares a lot with the ideas of Festivus, a fake holiday made popular over a decade later. The dehumanizing nature of wealth and materialism, “Trading Places” has it. The whole movie is a big airing of grievances on the ideas of wealth and poverty. With all the slapstick in the back half of “Trading Places”, the feats of strength is more than covered. The aluminum pole may be missing, but we do get a dirty, drug out, gun toting Santa Clause. All seems fairly in line with the spirit of Festivus.

We are lucky to have the tradition, and angst, of Festivus to break up the joy, and stress, of the holiday season. Many of us may see Festivus as a recent gift to the Christmastime canon, but movies like “Trading Places” show us that Hollywood has embraced the philosophy of Frank Costanza. Take this December 23rd off from the same old movies we watch every weekend before Christmas. We do not need the false lesson of ‘It’s A Wonderful Life”, we need the cynicism, scheming, and R rated shenanigans of movies like “Trading Places. It is a film after all that is made for the rest of us.

RD

RD is the Head Editor for SeedSing. After you watch “Trading Places”, go back and remember that we got the holiday of Festivus all because of a bagel shop strike.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 22 "Home Alone"

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The pre-Christmas Day season of Advent is upon us. Here at SeedSing we love the chocolaty goodness of getting a piece of candy once a day until we get to open our presents. As our gift to you we will present a great movie associated with the holiday season. Many will be awesome, some will be extra awesome. Enjoy.

Day 22: “Home Alone”

Opened Doors: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 14, Day 15, Day 16, Day 17, Day 18, Day 19, Day 20, Day 21

The final few days before Christmas can get quite hectic. Now imagine you are planning to take your whole family overseas for a fabulous holiday getaway. The normal hectic becomes an uncontrollable kind of hectic. You have to navigate through your massive suburban home, your spouse is not helping, and a few of your kids are being annoying jerks as you make sure everyone is packed and ready to go. Sounds dreadful, right? Well it becomes a whole lot worse when half way over the Atlantic Ocean you realize that one of your kids was left in your sprawling house all alone for Christmas.

Released in November of 1990, “Home Alone” came out of the gate and was instantly a holiday classic. It made a young Macaulay Culkin a star, Joe Pesci and Daniel Heard created the modern template for comedic bumbling criminals, and it made us all cry when the old man was reunited with his wife. The elaborate traps set by Kevin were ingenious and gruesome at the same time (what would really happen with those traps?) The entire Tom and Jerry nature of the back half of the film is glorious. Yet the most important thing we all learned from “Home Alone” is that a mother that forgets her child is really not that bad of mom.

Watch Catherine O’Hara’s performance as mother Kate McCallister in “Home Alone” and wonder why the excellent actress has not won an Academy Award yet. O’Hara takes a thankless role, one of a mother who leaves her young child home alone as she gallivants off to Paris, and makes the audience sympathize with her struggle to get back to her helpless child. Along the way Kate runs into many obstacles, but it is the angel like John Candy who reminds the distraught mom that kids are resilient, hell he left one in a mortuary one time so how bad could Kate’s son be? In the end Kate, alone herself, makes back by Christmas Day to be with her ingenious, and maybe psychotic, son. In the end Kevin had an adventure, learned a lesson, and Kate went from being the worst mom, moved heaven and earth, and become an adequate mom, With that a holiday classic film was brought into the pop culture.

The weekend before Christmas is one of most hectic times of the entire holiday season. The shopping malls are like a thunder dome, the airports are filled with self centered mobs, and our own homes devolve into chaos due to uncooperative spouses and children. Things tend to get forgotten. But if the thing forgotten is your genius, semi-psychopathic, child, the power of a mother’s love will always save the season. Also, a polka playing John Candy is always a welcome helper on the way back home.

RD

RD is the Head Editor for SeedSing. What is better than being home alone and stopping inept criminals for Christmas? Listen to Patton Oswalt destroy the terrible song “The Christmas Shoes”.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 21 "Edward Scissorhands"

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The pre-Christmas Day season of Advent is upon us. Here at SeedSing we love the chocolaty goodness of getting a piece of candy once a day until we get to open our presents. As our gift to you we will present a great movie associated with the holiday season. Many will be awesome, some will be extra awesome. Enjoy.

Day 21: “Edward Scissorhands”

Opened Doors: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 14, Day 15, Day 16, Day 17, Day 18, Day 19, Day 20

When most of us think of winter we think of snow. The Coca Cola company, Normal Rockwell paintings, and every other piece of western pop culture in between likes to show crisp snow on a cold Christmas evening. It does not matter that a good part of the United States will not see snow on Christmas, or all winter, the image of snow and the holidays is burned into our cultural psyche. If every other part of the holiday season has a legend associated with it’s creation, why not have a legend about where the snowfall comes from?

In December of 1990 director Tim Burton released the movie “Edward Scissorhands”. The story of a kind, not quite finished, man child and his interactions with the modern world was a big hit with critics and the audience. The film has gone on to become one of the most beloved films of the last thirty years. It made a star of Johnny Depp, solidified Winona Ryder as the it girl of the early 1990’s, and was the last major film role for Hollywood legend Vincent Price. The cast also included once and future Oscar winner Diane Wiest, future Oscar winner Alan Arkin, and an unusually buff, and menacing, Anthony Michael Hall. After the success of “Batman”, Tim Burton was given the keys to Hollywood’s best talent, and “Edward Scissorhands” was the legendary end result.

The weirdness of “Edward Scissorhands” was notable, but it was the tenderness of the story that made the movie legendary. Depp gets special recognition for his performance, but the entire cast was hitting homeruns in the movie. The scene of Vincent Price dying in his unfinished creations arms is heartbreaking. The wild topiary, dog grooming, and hairstyle creations of Edward’s are forever iconic. But the true magic of “Edward Scissorhands” comes in the moment when Ryder is dancing in the “snow” coming off of the ice sculpture Edward is creating. The music by Danny Elfman, Ryder’s look, and dance of wonderment, in the “snow”, and Burton’s flowing camera makes the scene a piece of cinematic magic. Ryder and Burton capture the joy of experiencing a quiet snowfall on a peaceful winter evening like no had before or since. In a movie filled with incredible imagery, this scene wins the gold medal.

The idea of snow coming from a Gothic mansion because an unfinished man with scissors for hands is carving an ice sculpture in the image of his beloved he can never see again sounds pretty ridiculous when you put it down on paper. Tim Burton made it into magic. We may know the real reason why the snow falls on Christmas evening, but because of “Edward Scissorhands” we can look at simple snowfall and make it a moment of holiday joy.

RD

RD is the Head Editor for SeedSing. The holiday season is often a time of quiet reflection and hopeful renewal. Dolly Parton sings about these feelings with “Hard Candy Christmas”.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

Ty Watches "Aquaman"

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Last night my wife and I went on a movie date to see "Aquaman".

Going into this movie I had very, very little expectations. I'm a Marvel fan. I have made that abundantly clear many times. I am not a big fan of the DC series, with the exceptions being the Christopher Nolan "Batman" movies and the "Wonder Woman" movie that came out a few years back. Most other DC movies are not good. "Batman V Superman" was mad dull. "Justice League" was too dark and boring. The "Superman" movies with Henry Cavill are just flat out bad. So I wasn't too high on "Aquaman". But, my wife wanted to go to the movies, and she wanted to see "Aquaman". Also, I like Jason Momoa, so I was in.

Now, as I get deeper into my review, I am going to be as spoiler free as possible. So, first things first, this movie is visually stunning. It was a delight to look at for 2 and a half hours. It was bright and vibrant and just plain cool. Whoever concocted this universe with this color palette totally nailed it. Then we have the star of the movie, Jason Momoa. Honestly, I would watch this dude read a phone book and he'd make it enjoyable. He is also a very attractive guy. It's the truth. Part of where he got to where he is today is his looks. As we were watching the movie I told my wife that he is what Taylor Lautner wishes he could be. Momoa is charismatic and funny and I bought him as this half bred fish/human being. He seems like a genuinely cool dude, and that came across on the screen. I also enjoyed the jokey nature of the movie. It didn't take itself too seriously. Sure, the bad guys did their villainous things, and some of the dialogue was corny, more on that later, but all in all, it was a fast moving movie with some jokes sprinkled in and out. Also, as I just mentioned before, the movie did not feel like it was 2 and a half hours. The flow was nice and the battle scene after battle scene made its pace that much more fun. I was never bored, and I found myself enjoying the movie.

Now for the picky side of me to come out. I love Nicole Kidman. I think she is a wonderful actress, and I usually enjoy her in the many movies I have seen her in. That being said, she was not great in "Aquaman". She seemed almost tacked on. I think she took this part because she passed on "Wonder Woman", and her role felt hollow. Patrick Wilson, as King Orm, was too cliché of a villain. He yelled and stalked and did all the things that typical cartoon villains do. While I think he is a solid actor, he does not play a good bad guy. Amber Heard is the female Taylor Lautner. That's right, I have 2 Lautner references in this post. She is in movies because she is unfairly beautiful. But her performance was very meh, and she had no chemistry with Momoa. That was one of my wife's biggest criticisms. Heard felt out of place. Willem Dafoe was also pretty useless in the movie. He helped a young Aquaman learn his powers, but he was just kind of there. He didn't bring much of anything to this movie.

My biggest problem with this movie, and this goes for all DC movies for that matter, whenever the hero is getting ready for a big battle scene, there is some cheesy 80's guitar riffs played over and over again. It is so dumb and sometimes it totally takes me out of the moment. That music drives me nuts.

All this being said, I enjoyed "Aquaman". If it just had the battle scenes and the stuff with his dad, it would have easily gotten an A from me. But, the people writing the movie had to fill the time, and they added some stuff that wasn't necessary. That is the case with most super hero movies. All in all, I liked it. If I did have to give it a letter grade I would give it a solid B-. This is definitely the second best recent DC movie, far, far behind "Wonder Woman". But, I would recommend this to everyone. It is family friendly, not bloody, not too violent and fun. It is also visually stunning. "Aquaman" is a perfect popcorn movie. That's the best compliment I can give it.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He thoguht Vinnie Chase was the only man that could play Aquaman. He is happy to be wrong in his ignorance of real life.

Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 20 "The Night Before"

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The pre-Christmas Day season of Advent is upon us. Here at SeedSing we love the chocolaty goodness of getting a piece of candy once a day until we get to open our presents. As our gift to you we will present a great movie associated with the holiday season. Many will be awesome, some will be extra awesome. Enjoy.

Day 20: “The Night Before”

Opened Doors: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 14, Day 15, Day 16, Day 17, Day 18, Day 19

The holiday season is filled with parties. We have work parties, family parties, and parties at the bars and clubs in our neighborhoods. We have an idealized vision of the best party ever when we are younger, and we spent most of our days chasing that perfect party. In the midst of the chase, we grow older. We start to have more professional responsibilities, we may start a family, or we may need to just grow up. The perfect party is an illusion, growing up is reality.

In 2015 “The Night Before” premiered and was a very modest hit. The final “Hunger Games” movie opened against “The Night Before”, and the raunchy holiday film had no chance. In the few years since it’s premier, “The Night Before” has found a cult following for people looking for something funny, and a bit more modern in their holiday entertainment.

The story in “The Night Before” is relatable to anyone who used the holidays searching for the perfect party with their friends. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, and Anthony Mackie play three friends who swore they are going to find the best Christmas Eve party in all of New York City. Year after year they get together, do some drugs, get drunk, and never find the mythical Nutcracker Ball. After a while Rogen and Mackie have professional and family responsibilities, and finding the perfect party is not at the top of their priority list. Gordon-Levitt however is still committed to the goal of going to the Nutcracker Ball. Hijinks ensue, truths are revealed, weed gets stolen, friends fight, weed gets stolen, Michael Shannon saves the day, and friends learn a valuable lesson. It is a tale older than Christmas itself.

The holiday parties of our twenties look very different than the parties of our thirties, and those look different than the parties of our forties, and on and on. What makes any of these get togethers perfect is that we have them with our friends.. We may fight, our drugs may get stolen, and we may need Santa’s son to save us, but we were together on that magical night before Christmas. That is the reason for the party season. .

RD

RD is the Head Editor for SeedSing. Being around friends for the holidays is great, but what is it like being alone? Let Bill Murray and the band Phoenix tell you all about being alone on Christmas Day.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 19 "Die Hard"

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The pre-Christmas Day season of Advent is upon us. Here at SeedSing we love the chocolaty goodness of getting a piece of candy once a day until we get to open our presents. As our gift to you we will present a great movie associated with the holiday season. Many will be awesome, some will be extra awesome. Enjoy.

Day 19: “Die Hard”

Opened Doors: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 14, Day 15, Day 16, Day 17, Day 18

Today I’m going to answer a question many people seem to bring up more and more every year around this time. Is “Die Hard” a Christmas movie?

Yes, absolutely it is.

This is the movie of the day for our Advent Calendar of Holiday Movies. “Die Hard”, for all intents and purposes, is an action movie. I’m not denying that fact. But why can’t it be both? There’s plenty of movies we’ve talked about to date that aren’t exclusively Christmas or holiday movies. I talked about the “Black Mirror” episode, “White Christmas”. Sure it has Christmas stuff in the episode, and in the title, but that is more a horrifying look into our future. RD has talked about “Lethal Weapon”. That’s a straight up action movie. “Hebrew Hammer” is a comedy, satire and action movie above a Hanukkah movie. All these movies have other themes than just the holiday, even the Hallmark movies. So when people get all up in arms about “Die Hard”, I laugh.

“Die Hard” is an action movie like I said, but look at the time of year that everything takes place in. The company party is a holiday party. There’s Christmas trees, holly, ornaments, mistletoe, all kinds of stuff that scream Christmas. When John McClain ices that one bad guy, he dresses him in an ugly Christmas sweater, writes a Christmas message on said sweater and wraps him up in lights. Oh, he also has a Santa hat on as well. The very imagery of the movie screams Christmas. I mentioned all the decor, but it’s cold outside, there’s some snow (or ash, whatever) and, when I watch it, it just feels like it takes place in December. Also, McClain does everything he does in this movie to help his ex, and the people she works with. He is giving unto others. He just has a specific set of skills. It doesn’t matter when he needs to use them, and in “Die Hard”, he uses them at Christmas time. Even the bad guys know it’s the holidays. They have the sweaters, they tell the hostages they don’t care that they want to be with their loved ones, I’m sure they partook in some eggnog. I mean, if even the bad guys know it’s Christmas, how can it not be a Christmas movie?

I think where people get most tripped up is the fact that it isn’t blatant. All the movies we’ve mentioned so far, mostly, make note that it’s the holidays. “Die Hard” doesn’t, but I respect that. They wanted this movie to have more than just one theme. They were ahead of their time.

“Die Hard” is a movie I can watch pretty much anytime of year, but around this time I itch to watch it. I crave it. “Die Hard” is not only a great action movie, it is one of our best holiday movies ever. I’d feel guilty if we left it off our Advent Calendar. It definitely belongs. Yippie yi ki yeah m f’ers, and happy holidays. 

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. One Ty’s other favorite things to watch during the Christmas season is the great episode of “The Office” called Christmas Party.

Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 18 "A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding"

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The pre-Christmas Day season of Advent is upon us. Here at SeedSing we love the chocolaty goodness of getting a piece of candy once a day until we get to open our presents. As our gift to you we will present a great movie associated with the holiday season. Many will be awesome, some will be extra awesome. Enjoy.

Day 18: “A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding”

Opened Doors: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 14, Day 15, Day 16, Day 17

Last week for the Advent Calendar I wrote about the Netflix original “A Christmas Prince”. I teased that I would talk about the sequel soon, and that’s what I’m going to do today. After the “success” of the first movie a sequel was deemed “necessary” I suppose. I thought they wrapped everything up pretty well in the first movie, but, spoiler alert, it ended with a proposal. I guess Netflix decided they needed to continue this story. That is about the only good thing I can say about “A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding”.

My biggest beef with the sequel is, they had fun goofing off in the first one and expected nothing. In this one, they tried too hard to make a bad movie. It was too aware of how ridiculous and goofy the first one was. They tried to make it just as silly, if not more so, than the first one. That’s a problem. That would be like Tommy Wiseau trying to make a sequel to “The Room” right now. He knows how bad it is, but he’s capitalizing in a different way. He’s doing his thing, and it works for him. With “A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding”, they just made a bad holiday movie.

This one wasn’t nearly as fun. The chemistry between the 2 leads, they didn’t have much to begin with, was dead on arrival. The Queen, who asked to be invited to their next sledding expedition, got her wish, but it felt hollow. That whole sledding scene was unnecessary. The bad guy was down and out, looking “haggard”, but he turns out to be a good guy. He helps the leads this time around. The sister all of the sudden became tiresome and a genius computer hacker. The friends were pretty useless, even though they had much bigger roles. The people who work in the castle were just as single minded and boring as in the first. They didn’t need to be in this movie. The wedding planner, a new character, was a caricature of every single over the top party planner. He was insufferable. The main guy was barely in this movie. I hardly remember any scene he was in. I could easily say the same for the female lead. She drifted in and out without any real notice.

The most egregious thing, they recast the female lead’s dad, and gave him a much, much bigger role. He was the comic relief, and this actor took a big swing. He whiffed, and he whiffed big time. He was over the top, told corny jokes and was just too much. I found myself get angry when he showed up on screen, and I even started to dislike the character. In the first movie the dad was barely a side character. But the sequel decided he needed to be a main player. That was a mistake.

“A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding” was a sequel not needed. Most sequels aren’t needed. But, as I said, I think Netflix wanted to jump on the bandwagon and keep this story going. I just wish this one didn’t take itself serious. More so, I wish they just goofed off more and had more fun. I also think, due to the fact that a ton of people watched this, they’re going to make more. Don’t. They should have stopped at one. If you’re a person like me, and you need to watch everything in a movie universe, I guess you should watch this movie, but you won’t enjoy it. I know I didn’t. I’d much rather just watch “A Christmas Prince” instead.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast.

Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 17 "American Psycho"

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The pre-Christmas Day season of Advent is upon us. Here at SeedSing we love the chocolaty goodness of getting a piece of candy once a day until we get to open our presents. As our gift to you we will present a great movie associated with the holiday season. Many will be awesome, some will be extra awesome. Enjoy.

Day 17: “American Psycho”

Opened Doors: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 14, Day 15, Day 16

The holiday season feels like a competition. We want to to one up our friends and family with better gifts. We want to impress our neighbors with superior outdoor decorations. We want to be the most stylish, and the most recognizable, at our office holiday parties. The competition of the holiday season is not only annoying, it is also dehumanizing. It is not a shock that some of us have fantasies about murder and mayhem on all of those around us when the competition hits a little to close to our own neurosis.

At the Sundance Film festival in 2000 writer director Mary Harron premiered her film adaptation of the novel “American Psycho”. The film was a hit and featured future Oscar winners Jared Leto, Reese Witherspoon, and in a star making role, Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman. “American Psycho” revived interest in author Brett Easton Ellis’s work, and became one of the definitive films of the early 21st century.

Early in the film, Patrick Bateman is at a Christmas party with a fiance he does not love, work friends he loathes, and massive insecurity about his place in the world. Drugs and alcohol are no help. The banality of 1980’s pop music is helping him get by a little bit, but Bateman needs more. He needs to destroy what feeds his insecurity. At the Christmas party, Bateman convinces Jared Leto’s Paul Allen to have dinner. The dinner is a disaster, and the evening ends with Bateman murdering Allen with a shiny ax while the dulcet tones of Huey Lewis and the News tell us all that it is hip to be square.

The weeks following Christmas find Bateman destroying anyone he sees as artificial. The false commercialism of the holidays have broken the young Wall Street worker. In the end, Bateman’s own artificial nature saves him from any punishment. He is free to wreck havoc on the poor yuppies of Manhattan next Christmas time.

The commercialism of Christmas is dehumanizing. We do not want the latest, expensive, gift, but we must participate. We really do not care about the fashionable holiday getaway, but we still make sure to book the trip. The fanciest business card from one of our office mate drones, who cares? You better damn well believe though that we are going to one up Brad from marketing. If we can not do better this holiday season, we may just go insane. In our insanity it is important to remember that ATM’s do not eat cats.

RD

RD is the Head Editor for SeedSing. Sometimes we go crazy during the holiday’s we discover something dark from Christmases past. The gang knows this all too well in “A Very Sunny Christmas”.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

The Advent Calendar of Great Holiday Movies: Day 16 "Rent"

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The pre-Christmas Day season of Advent is upon us. Here at SeedSing we love the chocolaty goodness of getting a piece of candy once a day until we get to open our presents. As our gift to you we will present a great movie associated with the holiday season. Many will be awesome, some will be extra awesome. Enjoy.

Day 16: “Rent”

Opened Doors: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 14, Day 15

Christmas marks a time for reflecting on the year behind us, and what is to come in the new year. Most people will say that New Years Eve is the time for reflection, but in reality we tend to spend New Years Eve drunk, and News Year Day trying to sleep it off. Christmas is spent with family and friends we do not see very often, and we regale each other with stories from the previous year. On our way out the door, we share our dreams and good luck for the next twelve months. Christmas is truly the psychological end of one’s year and the beginning of another.

In 2005 the long waited film adaptation of the hit musical “Rent” finally hit the theaters. The critics were split on the film, and it was not a big hit at the box office. Since the premier of the musical in 1996, to the release of the movie, most people recognized the music as top notch, but the story has now been recognized as fairly ridiculous. The fact that the villain is an old friend who “sold out” wants to collect rent, you know so the sellout landlord can stay in business and house people, is a pretty darn stupid. The artists want to live their “free” lifestyle, but adulthood has rules. The story of “Rent”, loosely based off of 19th century opera, is one that appeals more to baby boomer nostalgia and does not speak very well to the gen xers and millennials that have mostly been struggling to keep ends meet in their early adult lives. By the time the movie “Rent” premiered, the majority of the audience was not enamored with it’s unrealistic faux bohemian story.

Yet the music of “Rent” is still great. Individually, many of the songs talk of being together, having fun, and remembering those we have lost in the last year. The story starts on Christmas eve of one year, a time everyone gathers together, and it ends on Christmas eve a year later, a time for us all to forgive and be together once again. The friends use the hope of new year to dream, and use the memories of the year past to learn, and dream again. “Rent” may not understand basic economics, but it gets the reflection of Christmas time.

The time we mark between Christmases is exactly five hundred and twenty five thousand, six hundred minutes (not including leap years), enough time to mark a year of memories. Many of those minutes are filled with pleasant things, and many are filled with sadness, but we reflect on them all every Christmas. One of the greatest gifts we get every December 25th is the ability to take the good and bad and turn it into the hopes for the next five hundred and twenty five thousand, and six hundred minutes (not including leap years). We can use Christmas as the time for new dreams. After all there is no day but today.

RD

RD is the Head Editor for SeedSing. The holiday season a long, long time ago introduced one of the greatest characters in “Star Wars” history in one of the worst programs in “Star Wars” history.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.