Ty Watches "Yesterday"

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Yesterday was finally able to go out and see one of my most anticipated movies of 2019, "Yesterday". I talked about it on the pod, I wrote about the trailer, I love Danny Boyle as a director, I am a big time Beatles fan, as I said on the pod, I think they are the greatest band ever, and I really, really wanted to take my dad to see it. I bought tickets for us, and we went, and this movie more than lived up to my personal expectations.

I saw the tepid response from critics, and that is exactly why I don't let critics dictate which movies I go see. I knew that I wanted to see this movie, and I was pretty sure that I would find myself enjoying it. I was right. "Yesterday" is one of the better "feel good" movies I have watched. After watching it I was happy, in a good mood and I wanted to listen to nothing but the Beatles, and the soundtrack, to the movie.

For starters, Himesh Patel, who was the main character Jack, was outstanding. I have never seen him in anything before this, but he absolutely blew me away. For him to show the angst, guilt, confusion and illusion of fame the way he did was tremendous. I mean, imagine waking up in a world, one in which you are a struggling musician, and finding out that no one but you knows who The Beatles are. How would you deal with that scenario? I know that I for one would have trouble remembering all the lyrics. But, to see Patel decide to claim them as his own, then become famous overnight, then have to deal with everything that comes with fame, it was a great job on his part.

Also, the thing the critics seemed to have the most problems with, I enjoyed the love story. Sure, I will always take more Beatles songs over pretty much anything, but this is a big Hollywood movie, and love stories are the name of the game. And Patel's love interest, Ellie, was very well represented by Lily James. James has been in a good amount of some of my favorite recent movies, most notably "Baby Driver", and she is nailing it. In "Yesterday" she is Jack's manager, driver and producer, but she is also in love with him, and has been since they were kids. She is vulnerable and wants him to love her back, and she does such a good job. Joel Fry, as Rocky, was hilarious and fun the whole time. He was the true comic relief. Jack's parents were great and believable. Ed Sheerhan, as kind of a stylized, arrogant version of himself, was great. Kate McKinnon was evil and villainous and hilarious. The cast was just tremendous.

What I think I loved most about this movie was how they showed the current generation reacting to hearing Beatles music for the first time. When Jack gets released from the hospital and he plays "Yesterday" on an acoustic guitar, his friends are blown away. They have never heard anything like it before. They are crying at how beautiful it is. When Ellie hears Jack play songs like "I Saw Her Standing There", or "All You Need is Love" or "And I Love Her", you can she her love for Jack grow and grow, and she wants him so badly to love her like the lyrics in the songs do. When Sheerhan, in a great scene, challenges Jack to a "song off", and Jack comes back and plays "The Long and Winding Road", he is so moved he calls Jack Mozart, and himself Salieri. It is remarkable. When McKinnon gets a hold of him, she decides that, since she claims he doesn't have the right "image" yet, that they are going to release his genius to the world one song at a time until they get his look right. To see his likes and retweets and the amount of followers go up and up and up, it is truly how we consume music nowadays. When he decides, the day before his album is to be released, to play a concert on the top of a hotel, his version of "Help" is not only a great, sped up version of the song, it holds so much more meaning because of how much he is struggling with what he is doing. When, in a great one scene moment, Lamorne Morris, who plays the head of A and R at the music company, goes on his spiel about getting the buzz out on social media, and finding the right album title and getting Jack's look just right, and the pictures that surround him and all the yes men and women around the table, it is too perfect.

"Yesterday" is a wonder of a movie. I loved every single second of what I watched. I cannot wait to see it 4, 5, 6 more times. I will buy it when it comes out on Blu Ray. I have already been telling my wife how great it is, and how much I can't wait to show it to her. This movie is the perfect movie for Beatles fans. But, I also think it is a great movie for anyone that loves music, and for people my age, and also my father's age. To all the parents that played Beatles music for their now grown up kids, go out and see this movie together. I think seeing it with my dad made it that much more enjoyable. I cannot recommend this movie enough. Please go see it.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He is unaware that adding Beatles music to a movie will automatically make it good. Check out “Across the Universe” to see how adding the Beatles can not save the most terrible of films.

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Better Late than Never on the Incredible "Us"

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My wife and I finally had the chance to sit down at watch the movie "Us" this past weekend. Ever since we saw "Get Out", we wanted to see what Jordan Peele would do next. What he did with "Get Out", given his comedy background, was outstanding and unexpected for me. I know it shouldn't have been, given his love for horror movies, but I was still very pleasantly surprised by how awesome "Get Out" was.

So, I waited, as did my wife, with anticipation to his follow up. When I first saw the poster for "Us", I was intrigued. It was simply a pair of scissors and a couple of outlines and the same person. Then the trailers started to come. I watched 2 of them, just to get the premise. When the movie was in theaters, we couldn't find a weekend that worked out, or even a weekday. It is harder and harder to get out of the house the older my kids get, unless it involves one of their activities. So, as I said, we had an open weekend night, we put the kids to bed a little early and rented the movie off our TV.

Now, I need to say, there will be some spoilers, but this movie has been out for some time now, and if you wanted to see it, you already have I assume. But, if you have not yet, I suggest watching it before you read my review. Okay, got that out of the way.

"Us" is amazing. I loved every single second of this movie. While it had funny parts in it, just like "Get Out", "Us" is much more of a straight forward horror movie. Now, that is not to say that it has the jump scares like your cliché horror movie. I would describe the movie more as a psychological thriller, which I enjoy. This movie still has me thinking about it today, and we watched it this past Saturday. That is the sign of a great movie, as I have said many times. From the very opening scene, to the end, I was on pins and needles. I was clutching my wife's hand so hard that she had to pull it away for a moment. She said she was sweating from fear the whole time. The horror of the movie got to us for sure.

"Us" takes place in California, and it is, in my opinion, meeting the worst part of yourself. The family in the movie each has their own doppelganger who is the evil version of themselves. When they arrive on the doorstep of the home of the main family, that was when shit got wild. Winston Duke plays the dad, Gabe. He is great. He thinks he is the leader of the family. He thinks he is the tough guy. He is not. He is only fooling himself. And when he meets his evil twin, The Tethered they're called, you can see his insecurities. Shahadi Wright Joseph plays Zora, the teenage daughter addicted to her phone. Her evil Tethered is faster and way more ruthless than Zora will ever be. Zora is the butt kicker in the family. She is the one that acts and doesn't think. Her Tethered is even more intense. Evan Alex plays Jason, the son and magician of the family. His Tethered is a pyromaniac that happens to have the ability to move fast and do the tricks Jason cannot do. And when the Tethered Jason takes off his mask, Jason wears a Chewbacca mask throughout, it was horrifying. And then there is Adelaide, played excellently by Lupita Nyong’o. She is scared and overly protective of her children. Her Tethered, Red, is insane, and has a plan to take over the US.

When the movie starts, we see a young Adelaide at a carnival, and she wanders off to a hall of mirrors. In here is where she first meets her Tethered. That whole introductory scene is intense and scary as hell. We then see Adelaide after the incident, and she is in a therapist's office with her folks because she isn't talking due to trauma. We come to find out that she has grown up, married and had the 2 kids I mentioned. They return to the same spot every year with their friends, played by Elisabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker, who are hilarious and clearly have animosity towards each other. But, things keep happening to Adelaide that are starting to freak her out. She is starting to remember her childhood trauma. She tells Gabe that she wants to leave one night, and that is when the Tethered family shows up at their doorstep. We come to find out that Red, Adelaide's doppelganger, has a plan for all the Tethered to take over the US, like I said. She has all her minions doing her work. See, everyone in this universe has a doppelganger of their own that happens to be a murderous psychopath. Tim Heidecker and Elisabeth Moss each have one that gets them. Same with their daughters. The random people on the boardwalk have doppelgangers. There is a scene where a newscaster is reporting the story, and he gets slashed by his own doppelganger. It is creepy as hell. While this is going on, the main family is picking off their doppelgangers one by one. You come to realize that they are carbon copies of you, so what you do, they do. Duke gets his by bashing his head on boat motor, knocking him unconscious and sending him in the water to drown. Zora's doppelganger is in a race all night to get Zora, and eventually, she gets ramped off a car and struck by a tree. Jason sees his doppelganger hanging out by a big car fire, and makes him walk backwards into the fire, causing him to self immolate. As he is doing this though, he gets kidnapped by Red.

This is where shit gets crazy. We come to find out that Red has this plan for all the Tethered to join hands across the US like "Hands Across America". She has had this plan since she was a child. She wants all the people she has been with to experience a real life, just like Adelaide and her family. The fight scene after Red explains all this to Adelaide is amazing and scored beautifully. It is a ballet, something they reference a lot. Adelaide does eventually get Red in the end, and we think everything is okay. We think everything is going back to normal.

Here comes the major spoiler people.

What we come to realize, what Adelaide realizes as she is driving off with her family in an ambulance, is that she is not who she thinks she is. Adelaide is actually the Tethered. She is the one that Red saw in the hall of mirrors. Red was abducted by Adelaide when they were children. Adelaide assumed the role of her because she likes, and wants, chaos. There are little clues throughout the whole movie, but none make sense until after you have already watched the whole thing. I was absolutely stunned by this twist. When Adelaide realizes who she really is, she looks at Jason who is sitting up front with her, and they both smile, as if to say, they know who each other is. It was such a frightening way to end such a well crafted horror movie. It was stunning.

I loved "Us". Jordan Peele most definitely stayed away from the dreaded sophomore slump. He knocked it out of the park. Now I cannot wait to see what he does next, even more so than I did after seeing "Get Out". "Us" is wonderful, and I highly recommend watching it if you have a spare couple hours. You will not regret it, and you will think about it over and over again. What a great movie.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. His double is just like Ty except that the double is a huge Ohio State fan. That is true horror.

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"The Room" Being Introduced by Tommy Wiseau. Need I say More?

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I went to see "The Room" at midnight this past Saturday here in Saint Louis. This is my second time going to see this movie for a midnight showing. I wrote about the first time, and how fun and special that night was. The reason I went this second time was made so much more special because the man, the myth, the legend that is Tommy Wiseau was there in person.

The moment I saw that Wiseau was going on this "Love is Blind" tour with "The Room", and that is was coming through Saint Louis, I knew I was going. I texted my buddy that I watched it with the first time, and I told him I was getting us tickets. He was on board. So, I waited with anticipation from the moment I printed my tickets all the way up to the actual date. I read all the Facebook and Tivoli movie theater messages, telling me about the event and how to get prepared for the night. I found it oddly hilarious that they would send multiple messages about "Tommy's mood", and "sometimes you have to buy stuff to get a picture", and "he may or may not be there after he introduces the movie". Tommy Wiseau is a very odd man, and these messages just added to weirdness that was going to ensue.

My buddy and I arrived at the theater an hour early, as suggested, and we quickly found out that we would be waiting for awhile, and that the movie was definitely not going to be starting right at midnight. We were around the middle of the line, and it was moving at a snails pace. People would stop and take pictures of the poster, pose for pictures with him, buy merchandise and spend way, way too much time with him while getting their personal pictures. It was actually kind of frustrating waiting in line that long. But, I chalk that up to the fact that we weren't going to buy anything, and that I had planned on just snapping a few shots when he introduced the movie, which I did. But, I also don't totally blame Wiseau and his people for this, I also blame the theater for being unprepared for the crowd, which was odd considering this was the second night. I even contemplated leaving early because I realized that I am getting way too old to be out that late, and I was very, very tired just driving there. I am officially an old man. But, we stuck it out, the theater saved it by saying the movie would start no later than 1:15.

The reason for the delay was the crowd, getting everyone in and in seats and Tommy Wiseau doing his intro and taking questions. But the Q and A was where it really picked up. Tommy came on stage, after they showed a preview of his new movie "Big Shark", and he was a delight. He is such a weird dude, but he was funny, condescending in a delightful way and very open with his answers. I was cracking up at his response to some of the questions. He even went on a Steven Spielberg tangent that was at times preposterous and hilarious. He was also wearing 5 belts, one draped around his neck, sunglasses and, for some reason, yellow working gloves. It was quite the look. But when I look back at it, after finally catching up on sleep, it was exactly what I wanted to see, and what I expected. That 15 minute intro was more than worth the cost of admission. It, for real, saved the night for me. They started the movie, right at 1:15, and it was just like the first time, only this time, the theater was sold out. The mocking was great. The chanting was dope. The comments were perfect. The spoon throwing was epic. It was so, so much fun. By the middle of the movie, I stopped looking at my watch and just enjoyed myself.

This is the exact way “The Room” should be watched. To see it in a sold out theater, with like minded people, was exquisite. I'm so glad we stuck it out and stayed for the entire event. It was a blast, and a night that I won't soon forget for a myriad of reasons. If you have a chance to see a midnight showing of this movie do it. And, if Tommy Wiseau is going to be there, make sure you go. It is well worth your time.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He is onboard to see “The Room” again if we can have James Franco as Tommy Wiseau to introduce the movie.

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Ty Watches "John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum"

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I was going to do a thing on “Game of Thrones” today, but I need to save that for Monday. I need to save it because I went to see “John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum” with my dad this morning, and I need to talk about it.

I have been a big time fan from the start of this franchise. I’m so much more in on “John Wick” than I am on other series of movies. I’ll take “John Wick” over any “Fast and Furious” movie, I’ll watch it over “Star Wars”, I’d spend my time with it over “Jurassic Park”, I’ll even take it over the “Raid” movies. This is my new favorite franchise in movies. It is so perfect. “John Wick” knows what it is, and they absolutely go for it all the time. “Parabellum” was no different.

This movie picks up exactly where the second movie ended. Wick is on the run in downtown NYC. He has pretty much every assassin in the city after him. He has a multi million dollar bounty for his head. He is no longer safe. And from there on out, for the next 130 minutes, it’s pretty much all action. The fight scenes in this movie are astonishing. I read someone earlier this week call it a “gory ballet”, and they were 100 percent correct. I was taken aback at how well done and brilliant these scenes were. The movie was also filled with them. Sure, there’s a story attached, and they spend a little time telling it. But, for every minute or 2 of dialogue, there’s a 4 or 5 minute action scene that follows. It was exquisite. I have loved how the writers and directors have upped the ante with each movie. They have the budget now to go absolutely wild. It’s awesome.

As far as the acting, it’s perfect for this style movie. Keanu Reeves is Wick, and he barely has to say anything, which is perfect for him. He says a few things here and there, but he’s mostly there to whoop bad guys. Angelica Houston was chewing so much scenery in the best possible way in this movie. She was excellent. Laurence Fishburne knows what kind of movie this is, and he does his role magnificently. Ian McShane and Lance Reddick are dapper and badass. Halle Berry tried a little too hard, taking it a bit too seriously, but her action scenes, and dogs, ruled. Asia Kate Dillon was a menacing villain. I knew she was crushing it when I hoped she would be taken down by Wick at some point in the movie. Mark Dacascos, you may know him as the chairmen from “Iron Chef America”, was a great bad guy, and he was pretty funny. Jason Mantzoukas had one or 2 lines, but they were memorable, and his expressions were wonderful. Even actors in very small roles, be it Jerome Flynn or Said Taghmaoui, did a really campy, really good job.

“Parabellum” is the third of a very, very solid action franchise. I love that these movies come out every other summer because I get so hyped to see them on opening day in late May. This movie rules, and I hope they will continue to keep making them as long as they keep having fun. Go see this movie, it will most likely be the best action movie you will see all summer long. What a great movie. 

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. Much like the character of John Wick, Ty’s true passion is restoring old books.

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Ty Watches "Detective Pikachu"

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As RD and I talked about on a recent podcast, I did take my kids, mostly because my son begged me, to see "Detective Pikachu". I talked on that pod how I was kind of reluctant to see the movie. I am a Pokémon novice. More correctly, I know next to nothing about Pokémon. I do know who Pikachu is. I know some other names of some other Pokémon. I knew that Ryan Reynolds was the voice of Pikachu. But, other than that, I was lost. My kids uncle did come with us, and thankfully, he knew a ton about Pokémon. He was able to talk to my son about everyone in the movie. He knew just as much, if not more, than he did, so it was nice for my son to have someone who he could converse with about the deep characters in the movie.

All of this leads me to my personal review of the movie. "Detective Pikachu", from a true outsider's perspective, was an odd, but fun movie. I do need to say, the look and feel of the movie was pretty cool. This movie took a real shot, and I think they hit a double. No homerun, not even a triple, but they accomplished a little something that made it memorable for me, and it has nothing to do with the story. The story, if there was one, was absurd, but I expect that from a Pokémon movie. That is my one very nitpicky thing about the movie. From an adult, and a parent's perspective, going to this movie, don't expect a cohesive story. The movie jumps and changes at the drop of the hat. Yes, there is a bad guy, a fake out and something that seems like a thru line, but outside of that, it kind of goes off the rails. But, when I really look into it, especially through my son's eyes, that doesn't matter. The movie was very nice looking. The way they shot it, they really made the world of Pokémon pop. And that is another thing, about shooting this movie, they did it on 35 millimeter film. That is wild. That is taking a chance. That was a baller move. I respect that. This is, for all intents and purposes, a kid's movie, yet they shot it on real film. That took some guts. I also appreciated the fact that they tried to make this a noir movie for kids. It also resembled old school detective movies. Hell, it is called "Detective Pikachu". I am a big fam of noir and thriller movies. It is one of my favorite genres. So, for a kids movie to attempt the noir, again, I respect the effort. I really enjoyed the thought that went into this choice, the lingo they used with the characters and the "dark" tones to try and set up a noir feel. It was fun.

All in all I'd give "Detective Pikachu" a solid B-, maybe a C+. It isn't the best movie in the world, but I have seen a lot worse kids movie. I was never bored for the 90 plus minutes run time. I liked the look. I enjoyed the feel. I had no idea what was going on, but my son absolutely loved it, and that was why I went to see this movie. It achieved its goal for me. My son has not stopped talking about it since we saw it last Saturday. He and his friends are all talking about it too. This movie knows its targeted audience, and they won all those people over. And, for a non Pokémon fan, it kept my attention. It was an okay movie, and fans of Pokémon, I'm sure, will love it.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He feels cheated because they never made any big budget movies about his favorite toys. Where is Ty’s Pogs movie?

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Ty Watches "Avengers: Endgame"

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I was finally able to see "Endgame" yesterday. My parents took our kids overnight, and my wife and I went to the movie early in the day so we could get home at a decent hour. I have been rather hesitant about this movie, I voiced as much on a recent podcast. I wasn't crazy about the running time, I was bored by "Infinity War", I feel a bit overwhelmed by all the superheroes in the movie and I said it felt like "homework" having to see this movie. But, I had to see it. My OCD wouldn't allow me to skip it.

Now, before I go into my review, I need to say that this is going to be spoiler free. I know the movie has been out for 2 weeks, and people are starting to spoil stuff online. But, I also know that there are people like me out there, or people that cannot go immediately to see movies anymore. I want those people to be as surprised by this movie as I was. Now lets get into it.

I want to say right off the bat, I LOVED this movie. It was immediately better, to me, than "Infinity War". What I disliked about "Infinity War", all the backstory and each and every hero getting some kind of grand intro, "Endgame" didn't do that. It didn't have to do that. There was such a short amount of time between the 2 movies, the viewer didn't need to get everyone's backstory. I will say, if you haven't seen all, or most, of the MCU movies, "Endgame" may be confusing at first, but after an hour, you get the gist. And even for those that said the first hour may be boring, or a slog, I did not find it that way at all. They gave you the pertinent info, let you know who was still around and went from there. From there, it was so awesome. I mean, it had everything in it that I wanted "Infinity War" to have. And the last 2 to 2 and a half hours were, pretty much, all action or fighting. This is what I crave when it comes to comic book or super hero movies. It was straight up action and adventure. There was some wild and baller fights.

I do have to say, I enjoyed the story that was written for "Endgame". It was so much more cohesive and just better written than "Infinity War". I also liked some of the character choices. Thor's "arc" was amazing, and hilarious. The stuff with Cap actually made me kind of, sort of, like him. Again, this movie made me appreciate Hawkeye. Hulk was great. Captain Marvel is a true badass. She is the best hero of them all, by far. My Wakandan folk ruled as always. Black Widow got a poor rap, but she was great. All of them were just great. But the one that stood out most to me, and it was like this in the beginning, was Ironman. He was tremendous, and man oh man did his story make me weep. I was legit sobbing. I cried so hard that the child next to me asked me if I was okay. I did not expect this movie to move me the way it did. But that is just another feather in its cap.

Finally, what made "Endgame" so good, was the finality of it. This felt like an ending to something humongous. I know they won't ever stop making super hero movies, it is a goldmine, but for some, this was clearly the end. And that was awesome. It was a great sendoff, for most, to some awesome heroes that we have grown to adore.

"Endgame" is more than worth your time. It may be over three hours long, but it never felt that way. I didn't even get up to use the restroom because I didn't want to miss a thing. This washed a bad taste out of my mouth, and made me realize how, and why, I love/loved these movies. It was a total delight.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He is a bit disappointed that Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman did not make an appearance. He feels like those characters deserve a good team up movie and not the crap they have been doing these last few years.

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Should Have Skipped the Not So Good "Venom"

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Last night my wife and I sat down and watched "Venom". It was on Starz awhile back, I recorded it, and we finally had some time to check it out.

Before I get into it, the cast for this movie is really incredible. Tom Hardy is Eddie Brock/Venom. He is one of my favorite actors. I enjoy pretty much everything he does. Hell, I was one of the few people that liked "Taboo". Michelle Williams has a big role in this movie. She is a multi Academy Award nominee. She has been in some great movies. She has had the best career of anyone that was on "Dawson's Creek". Fight me on this, I dare you. Riz Ahmed was the bad guy. He is a legit soon to be star. He was excellent on that crime show on HBO a year or so back. Jenny Slate has a small yet prominent role. I don't think anyone has made it bigger than she has after her snafu on "SNL". She has a solid and growing career right now. Also, "Obvious Child" is one of the most underrated movies. It's a gem. And there is a Woody Harrelson cameo. Harrelson is also one of my favorite actors of all time. He is a super duper star.

All of this is being said because I had high hopes for "Venom". It did not live up to my hype. I'm not going to openly be mean and trash the movie because I am trying to be better about stuff like that. But man, "Venom" was confounding and dull and slow and poorly CGI'd and just not very fun. I was utterly confused by the dynamic that was created by Hardy when Venom took him on as a host. It seemed as if Hardy decided he was just going to totally go for it and be as wild as possible, also trying to be funny, and it simply didn't work. It was confusing. When he was talking to Venom, it felt like the movie shifted into a romantic comedy about Brock and Venom, which could have worked oddly, but it was too far fetched. And Williams looked liked she would rather be anywhere else. She seemed to really phone it in. I read some interviews where she pretty much conceded she did the movie just to do a super hero movie. Her and Hardy had zero chemistry. Her relationship with the guy that plays Dan Egan on "Veep" was much more believable. Slate gave it her all, but her role was added to the movie, she is not from the comic books, and it just felt forced. She was good. I put the onus on the 7 writers, that's right, 7, as to why her character didn't really belong. Ahmed goes full Eddie Redmayne from "Jupiter Ascending", and it was bizarre. He constantly contradicts himself. He isn't believable as the bad guy, and when he turns into his symbiote, that is what they call the alien host, Riot, it was far too similar to Venom. He just had some added moves, and it was pretty blah. I respect that all these actors, for the most part, went for it, it just didn't work. I was very disappointed in the outcome.

I really wanted to like this movie. I even tried to make excuses while we were watching it. But, I just can't. It just isn't a very good movie. There are a few decent scenes, but they are immediately erased the very next moment. And man was Hardy's choice for Venom's voice totally absurd. It really takes you out of the movie. I am also bummed that it got the dreaded PG-13 rating. "Venom" should be R, and possibly a hard R. Look at how great a movie like "Deadpool" is because of the R rating. Venom is scary and gross and an alien that likes to eat people. Don't rate a movie like that PG-13. It takes away so much.

Needless to say, I do not recommend "Venom". It just isn't very good.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. It is weird that Ty does not think Katie Holmes is the best actor from the “Dawson’s Creek” crew. She really sold her role as wife of Tom Cruise.

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"Revenge of the Sith" is Still the Worst Star Wars Movie Ever

The badness of these movies is tiring

The badness of these movies is tiring

Before going on vacation last week, my wife recorded all three "Star Wars" prequels.

I have been very up front about my dislike for these since I watched all the "Star Wars" movies right after my daughter was born. I think these are horrendous movies. They are poorly written, acted, directed and just bad. I think these hipsters that claim to like them are lying to themselves. They need something to complain about, so they bash the JJ Abrams "Star Wars", but then claim to "truly enjoy" the prequles. That is wrong, and they are wrong. I beg people not to be these people. Just because something is new and different, don't bash it and pretend that a far inferior product is better. That's nonsense. I'd much, much rather see "The Last Jedi", "The Force Awakens", and mainly, "Rogue One" any day of the week over the terrible prequels. Maybe it is due to the fact that I saw them much later in life, and I have no real skin in the game, I just know what I like.

The prequels are inarguably bad. The first one, "The Phantom Menace" has 2 of the most racist characters ever, Jar Jar Binks and the Trade Federation dudes. Also, it is just dull. Too many counsel meetings, and the whole Anakin story is bland. Also, the pod racing scene, the one that is supposed to save this movie, I found it boring and poorly CGI'd. The only cool thing about the first one was Darth Maul.

Then we have "Attack of the Clones". What a pile of garbage. Hayden Christensen plays grown up Anakin, and man is he terrible in this movie. The whole "Sound of Music" scene between him and Padme, poor Natalie Portman, is so trite and stupid and childish and awful. It totally takes you out of the "Star Wars" world, and it just doesn't fit. Also, Christensen and Portman have zero chemistry.

The third one, "Revenge of the Sith", still stands alone as the worst of the bunch. I found myself, with this second viewing, hating it even more. Not only does the chemistry still not exist between Padme and Anakin, but this time around, Christensen's performance as Anakin/Darth Vader, is one of the worst, monotone and emotionless performances I've ever witnessed. I can never tell if he is happy, sad, evil, mad, in a fighting mood, wants to help or wants to be bad. He has the same dumb expression and talks the same way no matter what. Take the scene where he kills Samuel L Jackson. Christensen "cries", but when he does the deed, he just kind of stands there and moves his hands, and Jackson falls to his death. Then he says he will join the Dark Side with Palpatine, and his expression is no different. Or take the fight scene between him and Obi Wan on the lava lake. First off, that CGI is as bad as the pod racing scene. But, this scene had so much potential. And Ewan McGregor is giving his all. But Christensen just yells his line with the same straight face he has had on since the second movie. This could have saved this movie. This scene could've been a defining moment for Christensen's career. But he just stands around, says some nonsense is his monotone voice, gets his legs cut off and starts to burn, all the while, never changing inflection in his voice or screaming in agony when his legs are gone or upset that he has betrayed his teacher. He just kind of moans a bit and sits around.

But the worst is when he becomes Vader. "Rogue One" showed Vader perfectly in his one, horrifying scene. "Revenge of the Sith" does the opposite. While getting the Vader mask on, he asks very directly, with no change in is voice, if Padme is okay. Palpatine says she died in childbirth, and Christensen as Vader, and I believe James Earl Jones now doing the voice, yells, in a monotone voice, "Noooooooo". But he does it so poorly and robotically and just flat. It is truly awful.

I loathe these three movies, and "Revenge of the Sith" is, by far, the worst. This movie is far and away the worst of any "Star Wars" movies. I'd go even as far to say that it is worse than the Christmas Wookie movie that people say is bad. I bet you that is fun bad (ed note: It is not fun bad, it is bad bad). "Revenge of the Sith" is just bad bad. It is too long, too stupid and so, so, so boring. Christensen really screwed up his chance at becoming a mega star with his awful performance in this movie. He may be a solid actor, but he did not show it on the biggest stage. He stunk up the place in fact.

I will be happy if  never see this movie, or any of the prequels for that matter, again. They are loathsome movies.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. When Ty’s wife said she wanted to watch the prequels again, he lifted his arms and yelled to the heavens NOOOOOOO. That is some damn fine acting.

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

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.