Movies Watched in April

Max Payne – I’ve been wanting to watch this film since it came out. I’m a huge Max Payne fan and I knew it wasn’t well received, but I’ve always been curious. I should have stayed curious. This was horrendous.

Evil Dead (1981) – This will go down as one of my favorite horror movie watching experiences. I watched Evil Dead on VHS for the first time in a very long time and I enjoyed the hell out of it. What a great film that still holds up and looks great on VHS.

Clerks – Once Kevin Smith was my favorite director and Clerks was one of my favorite films. I haven’t seen it in a very long time and I really enjoyed revisiting it. It made me laugh quite a bit despite knowing all the jokes.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage HomeSee my A Year in Star Trek review.

Frozen in Time: Dawson City – This documentary was fantastic and slow. It tells the story of the small Yukon town of Dawson City where silent films went to die. It was the last stop on the distribution ring and a ton of the films were buried in an old swimming pool hole. The permafrost preserved these treasures and tons of of lost films were found. This documentary is made like a silent movie and is very arthouse, but interesting.

Star Wars Episode One: Cloak of Deception (Phantom Menace Fan Edit)/Star Wars Episode Two: The Approaching Storm (Attack of the Clones Fan Edit)/Star Wars Episode Three: Labyrinth of Evil (Revenge of the Sith Fan Edit) – I wanted to watch some Star Wars and had heard good things about these fan edits. I gave them a shot and boy was I surprised at how much they improved the films. I was so impressed I almost want to buy a blu-ray burner just to preserve these as the definitive version of Star Wars for myself.

The Final Terror – A low budget 80’s horror film by the director Under Siege starring Daryl Hannah and Joe Pantoliano. It was slow and not worth the 83 minutes I spent on it.

Mortal Kombat – This wasn’t bad. I definitely wouldn’t say it was great either, but I felt like it was a good step in the right direction. I’m interested in seeing some sequels.

Free Write Week 17 (Apr 23 – Apr 29)

So, I don’t see myself getting to Friday posts like I used to, but I’m hoping to get my Free Write journals up by the end of each weekend. Maybe if I develop a new routine I can get back to Fridays, but for now I’m hoping to just get them done by Sundays.


Let’s start off with some good news first. I enjoyed watching The Middle this week, a sitcom that I missed out on but have developed a fondness for. I love the fact that they feel like a real family who have real struggles.


I decided to give Red Faction Guerilla: The Remarsters Edition a try. I’ve had the game for quite some time and I loved my original play through on the 360 (although I did not complete the game.) It’s totally GTA on Mars and I like that about it. It’s quirky, weird, reminds me a bit of Total Recall and the ability to destroy just about everything is great. It’s a shame we saw a game like this and Battlefield: Bad Company do some tremendous things with damageable environments but we’ve seemingly left that concept behind a couple generations ago.


I’m still on the hunt for Dr. Pepper Zero Cherry but I haven’t been able to find even a glimpse of it anywhere near where I live.


I finished up King of Queens this week and I gotta say, it ended well. So well, I almost wanted to start back over from the beginning the next day. The show wasn’t always great and I wasn’t thrilled with how Doug and Carrie’s relationship turned mean towards the end, but it was great for some laughs.


I’ve been exploring some options with faith this week, which is not something I’ve done in a very long time. I feel that I’ve exhausted my comfort from Buddhism and Taoism and I sorta stumbled back into a bit of the Christian faith in a way that I could stomach. I’m not ready to discuss it in detail, since honestly, this is very, very new but there might be something here worth exploring.


Okay, now it’s time for the main event. Let’s talk about this new job of mine.

As I mentioned before I started the job, I had high hopes that this was going to be the beginning of a career. I was hoping that I was taking a step in the right direction for secure employment with a decent salary. From what I was told about the position, it would include health/dental/vision insurance paid for by the State and I would be working alone in an office. Two things that sounded great to me and two things that really didn’t work out all that well from the get go.

Sure, I got free health insurance, but if I wanted to add my wife (which I needed to since she lost her job) my monthly premium would be $1700. That’s over 2/3rds my monthly take home pay. So, that sucked right off the back.

It also didn’t help that I had to beg to get premium information, my boss didn’t have a clue about it, and it took several days to sort out. It was straight up crazy disorganized which is the motif for my experience thus far.

That whole working alone in an office came with some cons too. That cons being that I have three cameras with microphones on me at all times. I also have to stay in contact with the folks who work remotely even to update them on when I go to the bathroom.

I’m micromanaged with a massive spreadsheet that I have to keep track of. There is no breakroom or anywhere to escape to for lunch outside of my car. My computer is so broken/old/slow it’s not even funny. It’s almost inoperable and I know way more then the IT folks and that’s scary too.

I can only take vacations in February/March/April, no other time. The office was moved last year prior to COVID from a massive floor in a skyscraper to this tiny office, so there are literally disgusting, overflowing boxes EVERYWHERE.

My job title changed once I began the job and while it’s a different title now, the reality of it is I’m a secretary. I’m a secretary who is treated like a temp by the remote workers, because they are used to dealing with temps. There is not the slightest bit of respect shown nor patience.

The first week, my supervisor was there to train. She overloaded me with information but by the end of the week I was doing okay. Then this week, she went on vacation and someone else was supposed to show up and train me. She decided she wanted to continue to work from home and just interact with me via MS Teams. She trained me on using their chat feature for about 30 mins and then told me that I was on that alone and I should jump on the phones. I should note, this State Board is not something I know anything about. I have little to no knowledge of the laws and rules and answering questions is not something I’m even remotely close to being capable of doing. I tried to explain this (along with the fact that my supervisor said I wouldn’t have to) but she didn’t care. She was a supervisor so I was put to work.

My work flow went like this: someone would call, I’d answer. They’d ask a question and I’d put them on hold. I’d send a message via Teams to the other supervisor would then tell me the answer. Then I’d relay the message via the phone. Of course, sometimes, the supervisor had her sound turned down, so I’d have to sit and wait minutes for her to get back to me with an answer as I frantically searched the website and tried to come up with something. It was frustrating.

The job is not a good fit. I left my previous job because I didn’t feel like I was treated like a human being by the doctors I worked with. At least I only had to work with them 2-3 days a week. In this job, I’m not treated like a human by anyone, I work way harder, I don’t get three days off, and outside of the money, there is no upside of this job. I made a mistake and made a bad decision.

It’s my fault too. I was desperate to get out of my last job and I didn’t ask enough questions. I let a couple red flags go and it sounded too good to be true and it was. That’s on me and I have no one to blame but myself.

So, I’m back on the hunt for my next opportunity. I may have to stick this out for a bit until Brandy gets back on her feet as well, but that’s okay. We gotta do what we gotta do. I just wish this had worked out for me.

One other factor that I didn’t take into consideration was how much downtime I’d lose. In my previous job, I had time to write, research, pay bills, and the like. In this job, I’m worked non-stop from the moment I walk in till I clock out. I can’t complain, because that is what they are paying me for, but losing those hours of free time has effected me in ways I didn’t imagine. I can’t keep up with everything now and I struggle to find time to write. I’m having to take inventory of my interests and eliminating just what I can and can’t keep up with. It’s strange and a bit of a bummer.

So, I’m hoping this week will go a little better because to be honest, these last two weeks have been absolute hell. I think the other mistake I made was making this career change with so much going on. I shouldn’t have committed to this in the middle of a stressful situation like a spouse job loss. It was a risky move that didn’t pay off and now I’m paying the consequences.

Free Write Week 16 (Apr 16 – Apr 22)

So, I’m a couple days late on posting this and I don’t have anything written. The new job hasn’t been going well and the stress of the layoff and everything else that has been going has just bummed me out big time. I guess, if I’m honest, its created a bit of a mental health emergency.

I’m working hard on adjusting my expectations and trying to find some space to heal a little. Until I get that done, I have a feeling I won’t be posting too much.

Thoughts Before the New Job

Today, I started my new job. As a matter of fact, I have this post scheduled to publish right as I should be beginning my first day. I’m writing this a couple days in advance, but I thought that it would be more meaningful if it actually posts one day one.

I’m not a career goal orientated guy. I’ve never really had a career nor a career path. I graduated high school early, took a few months off to work full-time, and decided to go back to school under the thought of possibly being a teacher. However, my passion was in film making, so secretly that is all I ever wanted to do.

I learned early on that life is not like the movies. There aren’t always happy endings, nor is there real closure. Sometimes something happens in the first act that throws the entire movie of your life off course, and that sort of thing usually happens out of the blue on some random day when you least expect it. At least, that’s how it happened to me.

The details themselves are not important. What is important is that my entire life got off track one random day thanks to some family drama. The path I had in my head was suddenly disrupted and despite my attempts, I was never able to truly get back to the place that I was at in my late teens/early twenties. Too much had happened, too many things had been broken, and I got a harsh dose of reality and that changed me. While, I feel like I will always be a storyteller at heart, and I hope one day to finally finish some sort of book or creative endeavor, I had to let that dream go.

I worked a year at GameStop after moving to North Carolina. Then I spent a few months looking for a new job and found one a movie theater. I spent seven years in that movie theater, surviving the recession, making a couple good friends, and just hanging on. That job was cut short for me and that coincided with me losing my apartment and a major disruption in my life. It took me several months to get back on track, and I found myself back in school and delivering produce boxes to people’s doors part-time. It was a miserable existence and thanks to North Carolina refusing some federal money, I made too little to qualify for the Affordable Healthcare Act, but not enough to actually pay for health insurance. That’s a problem when you are dealing with depression and just trying to survive.

It took a few months, but one day I got a call for two job interviews. I had recently gotten my Nursing Assistant Certification, and a nursing home called first basically wanting a male to move bodies. I’ll never forget the interview. It lasted maybe two minutes and a woman walked in and said, “Is this this guy?” She looked me up and down and said, “Yeah, he’ll do.” And that was it.

Thankfully, the second job interview was with a hospital. It was a part-time gig transporting for the radiology department and working weekends in the reading room. The reading room is where the radiologists sit in the dark and read x-rays, cat scans, MRIs, and the like. The training was full-time, and the job never let up. It quickly became a full-time job because one I started people starting quitting. We joked about rats leaving a sinking ship, but the turnover was massive. Even I got sick of the job within a few months and spent two days working at a butcher’s shop, before quitting that miserable place. It’s the only job where the job, duties, responsibilities, and pay was all fabricated beforehand. Absolutely the most unethical place I ever walked into.

When I put in my notice at the hospital, one of the supervisors who had recently left for a rival hospital called me and let me know if I ever wanted a job to give her a shout. So, I did and I had an interview with rival hospital. It went well and the job was mine, but while they were getting all the paperwork together, I got a call from the hospital I had just quit asking me to come back. They begged, promised to make some changes, and I decided to go back. My paperwork was never processed and the records don’t even show that I ever left.

I was at this hospital for almost six years. It was six of the most life changing years of my adult life. I went through a bad relationship and got into a good one. I moved multiple times, I lost a lot of weight and gained a lot back. I managed to find myself worth and fought through several bouts of depression. While all of this real life stuff was going on, I showed up forty hours a week and worked my job which had also gone through several changes.

Within a couple of months, they cut out the transporting patients. I found myself working the front desk of the radiology department most week days along with stints in the reading room. I helped with the mammo file room and watched everything completely go digital. I saw the influx of digital imaging sharing and the use of online portals. In those six short years, so much changed, and honestly, it wasn’t for the better. The hospital I worked at decided that payroll was the best way to keep costs down and jobs were eliminated and more work stacked up. Benefits were cut so bad, the health insurance provided this year isn’t accepted by anyone other than people within my hospital network. Promises were made and never kept and like so many other people, I watched a company that I once had faith in turn into the greedy, faceless, corporation that it truly was. The sweet commercials and fancy marketing were just that. The patients didn’t come first and they were far from family, and that wore on me.

I had hope going into the healthcare industry that I would be able to help people. I can think of no great service than of that to others. I thought I would be able to come home and feel good about myself knowing that everyday I was making a positive impact on this planet instead of worrying about upselling. But I got a reality check quickly by working in the hospital. I found out that doctors are far from nice and money truly does rule everything. The doctor who walks in and greets you and tells you they are on your side is the not the same person we see behind the scenes and its almost soul crushing to watch. In my experience, almost all of the doctors come from families of doctors. They are all well off and have never struggled for anything. They can’t relate to patients because they don’t live like most of the patients. I never met a doctor who didn’t have a nanny, maid, or gardener. I’m sure they exist, but I never met one.

The disappointment I felt working with healthcare was only made worse by the pathetic paycheck I received and horrible benefits. About a year and a half ago, I had a decent opportunity come up paying me around $12,000 more than what I made at the hospital. I asked the hospital to match it or do something. They talked to HR and within an hour agreed to a $0.32 raise pending approval by the radiology supervisor. I agreed to say, despite the money not coming even close for a few reasons, but I never got that $0.32. They strung me out and pushed me off every month when I asked about it for a year until finally I just stopped asking. That is why I felt absolutely nothing when leaving that job. They were far from honorable.

I met some good people while working at the hospital. I don’t know if I made in super long term friends, but I met people who seemed to care about my well-being and always offered a smile. For those people I’m grateful. It felt good feeling like I belonged in a place. I knew the job well and was respected in my role and I’m sure I’ll miss that some.

But enough about the past, let’s talk about today.

Today, I begin a government job. A job with great benefits, about $10,000 more than I made at the hospital, and a much different environment. I can’t say for sure what the future holds, but I have a good feeling about it. I’m hoping I can come home and say today was the best first day I’ve ever had a job.

Usually, the first two weeks of a job are terrifying for me. I don’t like not knowing what or how to do things, and I’ve never enjoyed being the new kid. I spent my childhood being the new kid, and trust me, it grows old. I see this opportunity as something I can sort of make a career out of or least get into the government system and move around some in the future. I’m not trying to put my cart before the horse, but it is nice knowing that there may be options. Those did not exist in my last role.

I think the most confusing thing for me is the emotional rollercoaster I’m on. I go from being ecstatic to being terrified within minutes. Change scares me and I guess I really don’t know what the future holds and I’m struggling to stay grounded. I think that is what led me to stay up late typing all this up. I hope by writing it all out, I’ll find a little balance, and can rest a bit easier.

So, I’m gonna end this here. Today, is the first day of my new job. A job that is probably closest to a career that I’ve ever had. I’m hoping this is the start of a fantastic new beginning and more stability in my life. Wish me luck!

Free Write Week 15 (Apr 9 – Apr 15)

A few weeks ago, I purchased a copy of Evil Dead on VHS. It’s the same Anchor Bay released that I bought back in 1998 and first experienced the movie. I found a new copy on EBay for $8 and figured it would make a fun little prop for my shelves.

Once I got the film, I decided to hook up the VCR, tear off the plastic and see how well the film held up. I wasn’t expecting much since I’ve seen it so many times and I own the film on blu-ray. Wow, was I surprised. In what will go down as one of my favorite horror viewing experiences, Evil Dead blew me out of the water. I was so used to the slapstick that came into the franchise following the second film, I forgot how terrifying the first film was. The atmosphere Sam Raimi creates is filled with tension and dread and I absolutely loved it. Would I have loved it just as much on blu-ray? I don’t know to be honest, but I had a blast with the VHS tape.


Monday was my final day of working at the hospital. It’s been almost six years and I can say, it was definitely time to go. Like most jobs I’ve left, I’ll miss some of the people, but not the job itself.

A little nervous energy has begun to creep in and this coming Monday I get to see how this next chapter in my life begins. I’m sure the first couple of weeks will be rough as I get comfortable and learn the ropes, but I’m hoping once that initial period of adjustment is over I’ll be good to go.


I fell into an internet hole when I ran across an article discussing The Television Ghost, one of the earliest television programs from 1931. Only a single promotional photo remains, but it’s an interesting story for those interesting in the early days of television.

Tales of Lost TV: The Television Ghost
Snapped Garters: The Television Ghost
The Television Ghost Thread at Fedora Lounge


I’ve been working my way through Republic Commandos and while I’m not sure if the game was worth a fifteen year wait, I’m definitely having fun with it. The music and voice acting is top notch and the old school Xbox shooter gameplay is a nice change of pace from today’s chaotic madness. The game has its difficulty spikes, but nothing ever feels unfair. I like that.


A couple of years ago, Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner both came to a local comic con. I was just really getting into Star Trek and figured this was a once in a life time opportunity. Sadly, life got in the way and I wasn’t able to attend the comic con, but since then I’ve had a couple of opportunities to meet William Shatner at other comic cons.

He’s a Star Trek/sci-fi icon and because of that he falls right into that category of stars I’d like to meet. That was until I started reading about how his fan interactions usually go. All of the things I read online said you were lucky if he cracked a smile for $100 picture. He usually sat motionless and didn’t say a word, and he definitely wouldn’t talk about Star Trek. If you asked about his horses, you’d have the best opportunity to exchange a few words, but in general, he’s just a jerk.

Wil Wheaton recently blogged about the first time meeting William Shatner and its heart breaking. It’s a shame that a man who is so infused with a property that preaches peace, compassion, and empathy is so bitter and disconnected.


I watched the Hal9000’s Fan Edits of all three Star Wars Prequels and was blown away by how much it improved the movies. I’m honestly so impressed, I’ve considered buying a blu-ray burner, just so I can download the full on blu-ray releases and have a permanent high quality copy.


I finally got my Playstation 5. I was starting to give up hope since it didn’t get delivered on the 9th as promised by Walmart. Instead, it arrived on Wednesday. So far, my impressions are very positive. It runs so quickly and I’ve finally gotten a chance to check out Control, a game made by the makers of one of my favorite games Alan Wake. So far, I’m loving it.

A Year in Star Trek Movies: The Voyage Home

My History with the Film:
When my nerd mentor Eric was originally selling me on watching the Star Trek films, The Voyage Home was his go to film. He described it as a comedic take on Star Trek and told me that it took place in modern times which sounded fascinating. He also told me about a convoluted story about whales and “nuclear wessles”. None the less, it excited me and The Voyage Home was the Star Trek film I couldn’t wait to see.

What The Film is About (Non-Spoiler):
A mysterious probe consisting of extinct whale noises forces the Enterprise to jump back in time to 1986 to find a couple of whales to bring back to the present.

What I Liked About It:
-The Voyage Home is fun and it never takes its self too seriously. Yet, it’ doesn’t fall into parody territory either. It’s an interesting concept for a Star Trek movie that is full of good fish out of water moments. Kudos to the script and cast for respecting the franchise and yet having a good time with it.

-There are no space fights, no explosions, and barely any aliens, yet the film still feels Star Trek through and through.

-The humor is pretty spot on in this film and you can tell everyone is having a good time. It’s hard not to smile and laugh throughout the film.

-The special effects are really good. There is one fantastic uncloaking scene that really looks amazing.

What I Didn’t Like About It:
-The film drags a bit towards the end, but this has more to do with pacing of the movies from the 80’s vs. today.

Thoughts:
I was excited to get to this film and it holds up quite well. It’s a fun diversion from the overly serious Search for Spock and I thought the entire cast did a great job. Everyone got time to shine and that is something that most of the films have been missing.

It’s bit over-the-top and absurd at times, but it’s fun and ultimately that’s what I look for in a movie going experience. I’m excited to get V out of the way and make my way into The Next Generation films.

Free Write Week 14 (Apr 2 – Apr 8) 

I began this week in a much better mood with a little hope in my heart. I’m hoping April is going to be a big turnaround month for me.

Due to a planned week of vacation, this is pretty much my final week of work. I have to work this Monday, but then I’m off until I start my new position. I cannot express how grateful I am for a new opportunity and a chance to do a bit of a reset in my professional life.


So, I learned something new this week that just blew my friggin mind. Do you remember those extra pieces that came with in the Ninja Turtle action figures that the weapons were attached to? The ones we all threw away? Apparently they were actually weapon racks. Consider my mind blown.


Last week, a lot of people were up in arms about the closing of the PS3, PSP, and Vita stores, and rightfully so. As we continue to transition towards a digital future, we are at risk more and more at losing various forms of media and art due to incompatibility with future technology as well as censorship. (I recommend this excellent assessment by Joe Bob Briggs regarding how slow corporate censorship is taking over.)

I didn’t think I’d be too upset about the PS3 store closure since most of the games I play have been ported or remastered since that generation. Then I decided to take a look at the list of games that will be gone forever and I found that I owned three of them, the most important being The Last Guy.

The Last Guy was a quirky, PSN title that was one of the first games I bought for my PS3, and a game I sunk many hours into. I’ll be honest, I forgot it even existed until reading that article, but I did feel a twinge of sadness knowing it’ll be lost forever and I’ll never get a chance to play it again.

I wish I had a solution to problems like these, but I don’t. Microsoft can beat their chest all day long about how they appreciate games from the past (and let’s give credit where credit’s due, they do a better job than Sony and Nintendo) but the backwards compatibility log still leaves a lot of be desired. If the Xbox Series X played NHL Hitz and all the Tony Hawk games, I would have bought it over the PS5. But it doesn’t, and so my Xbox 360 remains in my closet, where it gets pulled out from time to time when I want to enjoy some of my favorite games.


One of my favorite horror actresses, Danielle Harris (Halloween 4, Hatchet II, Wish Upon a Star) is reprising her role of Molly from Roseanne in an upcoming episode of The Conners. As much as I like Danielle in horror films, I’m always happy to see her in other roles like Roseanne and Psych. She’s a talented actress that I feel gets overlooked due to her horror scream queen status. I love Roseanne and The Conners, so I look forward to this upcoming episode.


I’ve been flirting with making an old school HTML site for several years now. The most recent version of the site I’ve kept in my work email and about once a year, I’d tweak a couple things and then zip it back up and forget about it. I finally decided it was time to unleash it upon the world. It’s called 90’s Therapy and it’s not something I plan on putting a lot of time into (at least not right now) but it’s a fun, quirky, side project for me. I’m just happy it’s finally online and not rotting in my email.

I have a lot of fun keeping things super simple and just creating like I used to.


Paramount Plus hosted a First Contact Day celebration which consisted of trailers and panels for the upcoming Star Trek shows. I was disappointed we didn’t have any footage from Brave New World, but the season four of Discovery trailer impressed me as well as the season two trailer for Picard. I’m also excited to watch more Lower Decks and glad it got a renewal.

I know a lot of Trek fans don’t love the new stuff, but I really do. I’m also impressed with Paramount’s ability to support the franchise with comic/novel tie-ins and physical releases of their shows. In my opinion, they have a much tighter and proper grasp on the property in comparison to Disney and Star Wars.

We spent Easter Sunday at my mom’s house where the highlight of the day was a delicious salmon fillet that Brandy grilled. It was by far the best fish I’ve ever tasted.

The lowlight/most memorable part will be that my mom’s new golf cart broke down and we were forced to push it quite a long distance and up a relatively steep hill. My mom took this picture of Brandon, myself, my brother, and his boyfriend shoving that beast uphill while she sat cozy in the seat and steered.


Recently, I’ve struggled with continuity and canon when diving into various fandoms. Marvel has made it so difficult to truly watch everything (and remember it) that I almost always have to seek out some sort of recap video before starting a new series like Wandavision or a new Marvel movie. Star Wars isn’t much better with the Legends continuity. They bring back the same characters and some of the same situations and just retell those stories in yet another canon so it’s hard to keep track of everything that is going on (or has gone on.)

Star Trek also has a recently rebooted their canon of books since the new series Picard is now the true canon and all of the tie-in novels for Discovery is considered canon until contradicted.

This is a ton to keep up with and a bit ridiculous. I’ve always been a bit of a completionism so I like to get in on the ground floor and see it all, but I realized as I’ve gotten older that is just impossible. Just this week I found myself trying to find a guide of what I needed to watch in preparation to watch The Bad Batch in May, and it finally dawned on me that this was supposed to be fun and entertainment. I shouldn’t be forcing myself to catch up and keep up if it takes away some of the joy. I can just watch The Bad Batch as it airs and I’m sure they’ll provide enough backstory that I can follow along. If I find myself loving it, I can always go back and revisit the previous tie-in episodes.

I bring all this up, because I read a decent article on Wired that discussed this today. I will admit, the author’s tone is a bit off-putting, but I felt like he did a great job of explaining why continuity ultimately does not matter and why a bloated canon is not necessarily a good thing.


Dr. Pepper Zero Sugar is my favorite diet soft drink in a very long time. I love it almost as much as Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi and that’s saying something.

A Year in Star Trek Movies: The Search for Spock

My History with the Film:
Eric was the one who taught me that I had to lower my expectations for every other Star Trek movie, and so, I went into The Search for Spock expecting something more along the lines of The Motion Picture vs. The Wrath of Khan. Luckily for me, the film wasn’t nearly that bad, but was a noticeable dip in quality compared to the previous film.

What The Film is About (Non-Spoiler):
The Enterprise heads back to Genesis after receiving some intel that Spock may be alive.

What I Liked About It:
-I was worried the pacing of this film was going to be more in line with The Original Motion Picture vs. The Wrath of Khan, but was pleasantly surprised to see that it wasn’t. The film actually moves along at a nice pace and is anchored by a strong villain, two concurrent storylines, and some impressive visual effects.

-Christopher Lloyd as a Klingon and the villain sounds like a stretch, but early on they show his ruthlessness and all illusions that this is a version of Doc Brown in Klingon makeup go out the door. He actually makes for a very formidable enemy for Captain Kirk to take on.

-This is very much a Captain Kirk and the movie doesn’t suffer for it. The crew is there in minimal capacity and does a good job when needed.

– The movie doesn’t shy away from violence or death and it feels more grounded because of that.

What I Didn’t Like About It:
-The last ten minutes drag big time. There are a lot of quirky set pieces but the ceremony scene just never seems to end. I feel like it hurts the film quite a bit as I found myself wondering when it was all going to end.

-The replacement of Kristie Alley was a disappointment. I thought Robin Curtis did a great job, but she should have been a new character. Her connection to David was really irrelevant in the story.

Thoughts:
I enjoyed The Search for Spock a lot more than I expected to. Is it a great movie? No, but it was an interesting enough film and worthy of a watch. I feel like if they were going to bring Spock back, this was as realistic of a way as possible and it didn’t feel too forced.

Overall, I liked The Search of Spock but I doubt I’ll ever revisit it again.

Free Write Week 13 (Mar 26 – Apr 1)

Well, I almost missed this week’s entry and I was okay with it. It’s been one hell of a week, but I feel like I have some things worth sharing.

Normally, I update this post throughout the week whenever I run across something interesting or have something to say. It sorta serves a less instant Twitter account for me. But after Friday, I didn’t feel like writing and I definitely didn’t feel like sharing anything that was going on.

I mentioned last week we had some life changing stuff on the horizon, and well… it came. On Friday, my wife was laid off due to a lack of work prompted by the pandemic. Being laid off is never a fun ordeal, but her previous employer made it especially difficult by handling it with the care and organization of a three year on a sugar high. It was downright distasteful at times and that only made the situation that much worse.

I won’t go into all of the details, but the information was relayed that a meeting was coming on Monday of last week, scheduled for Wednesday, then rescheduled for Friday, then the time changed on Friday, but the layoff didn’t occur to Monday. So there was a lot of time to stew, worry, ponder, and just stress the hell out.

Once we managed to handle the event in itself, my father happened to come into town which is not a good thing for my stress level. My dad and I do not have the best relationship and he’s the only person who my mood changes almost instantly when I’m around. I had given him a heads up that the weekend was probably not going to be the best due to the pending layoff, but he still came and I felt the need to see him since it had been almost a year since I last saw him.

The visits with my father weren’t terrible, but with my work going so terrible the last few weeks, dealing with the layoff, and then him, it was just a lot. I was mentally wiped and exhausted. So my normal watching fun movies, doing nerdy stuff, and enjoying pop culture all had to take a back seat to me just trying to keep my sanity.

Thing began to boil over Wednesday, which was my day off. My father was still in town, I had a job interview to do, and I hadn’t felt like I had more than five minutes to just breathe since last week. So, I woke up at 10 AM and decided I should clear my schedule. Cancel this job interview (I had just done one the day before on my lunch break at work), tell my father I couldn’t meet him again, and just sit at home and relax. You can only scrap the bottom of the barrel so much before the barrel starts to break down.

As I sat on the couch with my wife, sipping my Coke Zero and wondering why the hell life had to suck so bad, my phone rang. I answered it and was delighted to hear the lady whom I interviewed with the previous day on the other line. Long story short: she offered me almost $10,000 more than I was expecting and almost $10,000 than I make now. Benefits are completely paid for and the job is about 1.5 miles from my home. The hours are good, the people were nice, and it was a dream come true. And honestly, most importantly, it gets me out of the hospital which has slowly turned into one of the most toxic and dysfunctional places I’ve ever worked.

So, after a very long week, my week ended on a high note. I don’t have any quirky pop culture references or opinions on any new movies, but I do have a little light at the end of this tunnel which is really all I need.

Movies Watched in March 

The Mummy (1999) – It’s been many years since I’ve watched The Mummy and I gotta say, it held up way better than I expected. The Mummy was one of my first DVDs and I watched it a lot when it was first released, but I never really felt compelled to since. Over the past six months, it’s been on my mind and I finally sat down and was blown away by how entertained I was. I was worried that the CGI would be too terrible, but surprisingly there is so many practical effects it’s easier to accept some dated CGI.

Beverly Hills Cop – Another film I haven’t seen in a very long time. I purchased a DVD set of all three films in the franchise on Black Friday last year and decided on a whim to watch this one. Wow, another movie that holds up quite well and was a blast to watch. I forgot how funny this film was and I had no idea that Jonthan Banks, best known for his work on Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul, played one of the main villains!

Hooking Up – This film has sat on my Hulu Watchlist for quite some time and I decided to give it a shot late one night. It was a surprisingly good road trip film that could arguably be called a rom com. The two leads were fantastic and this is one of those movies that went under the radar but is totally worth a watch.

Kid90 – This is one of the most disappointing films I’ve watched in a while. It’s a documentary about Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster) and her friends in the 90’s. She took a video camera everywhere with her and has hours of voicemails and video footage of celebrity kids behind the scenes.

The problem with this film is it really doesn’t say anything. Its sorta glamorizes the drugs and partying that went on, but never correlates that with the death of so many of her peers. I couldn’t help but watch this documentary and think to myself, “This is a documentary made a by an out of touch celebrity with nothing to say.”

There is no reason for this movie to exist and I’d love to have my 112 minutes back. I should have trusted my gut and turned it off after the first twenty minutes.

Palm Springs – I finally watch this movie! I’ve been waiting for six months and I gotta say, it lived up to my expectations. It’s a fun, simple movie with a lot to say about the minutia of life.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) – I’ve loved this movie since I was a kid and I still love it. It was great to see it on the big screen.

House Arrest – This was one of those films I watched a ton as a kid. It seemed to always be on some movie channel and every time I ran across it I’d watch it. Surprisingly, it held up quite well. I found myself smiling and enjoying the hijinks of these kids as they lock their parents in the basement.

Ladybugs – After enjoying House Arrest, I decided I wanted to seek out some other films I tended to watch as a kid whenever they were on TV. Ladybugs was one of them. This simple, cute film isn’t a great film by any means but it was entertaining. I’m glad I got a chance to revisit it.

Keeping the Faith – I remember this film coming out while I was working at Blockbuster, but I never got a chance to watch it. It’s been on my list of movies to watch for years now and when I finally ran across a copy of it on DVD at Goodwill I snatched it up, brought it home, and watched it.

It’s a fun, cute movie with three great leads and a brave script that discusses religion in a three dimensional way.

Unhinged – This was the surprise of the month. I enjoyed the heck out of this thriller/horror film. It’s a simple concept and the cinematography was quite impressive at times.

Burn – This was the biggest disappointment of the month. I’ve been wanting to watch this movie for years now and after I finally got a chance to sit down and watch it I found it to be quite lacking. The first thirty-five minutes are great and reminded me a bit of May, but then it loses its focus and there just wasn’t enough substance to justify the run-time.

Tammy and the T-Rex – I’m not a fan of really bad films, but I had an urge to watch some Joe Bob Briggs so I started with his most recent special which began with this film. It was enjoyable for a terrible, low budget film.

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock – See my upcoming review.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – This was the second Harry Potter film in our quest to watch them all this year. I enjoyed this film more than the first, despite a couple of plot holes, and a scene or two that just didn’t make much sense. I have a feeling the book fills in all these holes.