Tuesday, May 4, 2021

It's Just A Haircut But It's Not

For the last 19 years I have gotten my haircut by Julie at Dom's Barber Shop in Hallowell, Maine.  My oldest son Canaan, 15, and youngest son Wesley, 6, have only had their haircut there by Julie.  She has changed her working hours to Monday - Friday 830 am - 3 pm and my work hours being the same days and 7 am to 3 or 4 pm I simply can't go.  Not to mention the boys get out of school at 2 and 3 pm.

When I was a kid my Dad always took me to the same place for years and then as I got older I went to a few different places until I found Julie at Dom's.  She does an awesome job, she has always been great to me and the boys and I hate the fact that I have to find someone new.

So I did a google search for barber shops in the area and there are several but not many reviews or websites with information on them.  Penny's Barber Shop in Augusta with specializes in men's haircuts touts themselves as an old school Barber shop.  They have four barbers and take appointments only, I'm not sure if that's because of covid or their normal routine.

I made an appointment for today, May 4th, and it was with Penny.  The place was very nice, very clean and everyone was very friendly.  I told her what I normally get and she said no problem and got to cutting.  I think it looks real nice, my wife does as well.  After she was done she used hot lather on my neck, above my ears, in my hard part and near my hairline and cleaned everything up with a straight razor.  After she took a hot towel to my head with a quick scalp massage with the towel, I liked this because it helped clean up a lot of the little hairs that would otherwise be all over your head. 

Dom's has never done the hot lather on me, but I remember it seeing it when my Dad was getting his haircut when I was a kid.   

It cost $18 for a haircut, other services were extra, like a beard trim was $6 I believe.  They also do shaves, a beard trim with shave and more.  

I'm definitely not crossing Penney's off the list but in a few weeks I'll get my haircut at another place and keep going until I find who I'm looking for.

Until Next Time!  

Saturday, May 1, 2021

April Movies

April Movies

Godzilla vs. Kong - An HBOMax and theater same day release.  I thought it was a decent flick, they definitely painted Kong as the babyface and Godzilla as the heel.  It seems like this is going to be the last of the Monsterverse flicks. 

Unhinged - I saw this movie in the Redbox for the last couple months and was tempted several times to rent it, even though I had never seen the trailer.  My buddy Brandon watched this and loved it, then it became available as part of Amazon Prime.  I watched it and holy cow what an amazing and intense film! 

Death Wish (1974) - The original Fatherly revenge flick starring Charles Bronson.  I'd never seen this before, I have no interest in watching it or any of it's sequels. 

The Orange Years - Documentary on Hulu about the rise of Nickelodeon.  Full post about it here.

Nobody - Paul and I got this on VUDU home theater release.  Really fun, really violent comedy about a guy trying to live a normal life but his past sneaks up on him to, again violent and hilarious consequences.

Downtown - Released in 1990 my brother and I taped this off of HBO and watched it numerous times. I haven't seen it in well over 20 years and got the urge recently to watch it.  I was surprised to find that although it was released on DVD in the early 2000's it was short run and copies are going for over $40.  So I bought it on VHS for $2 and really enjoyed the hell out of the movie!

The Raid: Redemption - Iko Uwais vehicle written & directed by Gareth Evans, in Indonesian it is a spectacular Martial Arts flick that is quite violent and I love it!

The Raid 2 - Also written and directed by Evans and starring Uwais, I know I've watched this when it came out but I had almost no memory of it. This is an amazing Martial Arts film, perhaps even the one of the best all time.  After watching the kitchen fight scene near the end, there is no way I watched this movie before.  I don't know why I thought I had.     

Captain America: Winter Soldier - my daughter wanted to watch this, so we did, it's still an amazing movie, one of the best in the MCU

Mortal Kombat - didn't live up to the hype to me.  Yes there are some gory kills and catch phrases from the movie.  But the story was basic and the action scenes were just okay.  

Until Next Time! 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

The Orange Years and Nick at Nite

I recently stumbled across a documentary on HULU called The Orange Years about the rise and early years of Nickelodeon.  The documentary starts at the beginning with QUBE which was an early type of cable television that originated in 1977 in Columbus, Ohio.  One of QUBE's shows was Pinwheel which was hugely popular.  In 1979 Nickelodeon was launched and the first show that aired was Pinwheel.  What I didn't know what that until 1984 the network aired commercial free.

The documentary introduces us to Geraldine Laybourne, who became the program manager of Nickelodeon in 1980 and over the next 15 years she and her team built the channel to what it would become.  

I first saw Nickelodeon as a kid at my step-grandmothers house as she had satellite dish.  I fondly remember the old silver ball and multicolored logo.


I loved learning about my favorite shows and the interviews with some of the cast members seeing what they look like today.  My first favorite show on Nick was You Can't Do That On Television.  I loved the skits, Opposites, Firing Squad, the Locker bits, of course watching people getting slimed.  Watching this documentary made me want to dig into more about this show and I discovered a documentary came out in 2004 called You Can't Do That On Film, I'll be looking for that.

Other shows they talked about that I remember fondly include, Hey Dude, Double Dare, Nick Arcade, Salute Your Shorts, Legends of the Hidden Temple and more.  It was really fascinating learning about the back stories of the creations of these shows.

They also talked about Nick Toons with Doug, Ren & Stimpy, and Rugrats.  Then about SNICK: Saturday Night Nickelodeon, which launch in 1992 when I was 13 and that first line up of Clarissa Explains It All, Roundhouse, and Are You Afraid of the Dark? really his home with me at that time.  I also loved the additions of The Adventures of Pete & Pete and All That


After that, though, I was getting too old for Nickelodeon and this is when parts of the documentary, although interesting, didn't give me the same feeling the early parts of it did. 

There was a couple shows that they didn't mention at all that really surprised me.  The first being Wild and Crazy Kids.  It was on from 1990 - 1992 with 75 episodes and I loved this show.  They aired reruns of it all the time during this initial run and after.  Kids divided in teams playing stunt games against each other.  It was great!

Fifteen was a teen drama that came out in 1991 and ran for four seasons totaling 65 episodes.  I remember watching and thinking it was a more serious take on Saved By The Bell.  I wasn't aware of Degrassi until much later in life.

Another was What Would You Do? hosted by Marc Summers it was an audience participation show getting them to do various stunts or competitions with each other.  They also threw a lot of pies in people's faces and had contraptions Pie Pod, Pie Slide, Pie Roulette, and more to assist in guests getting pied.

They didn't touch on Nick at Nite at all.  When Nick launched in 1979 it was not a 24 hour network for kids.  As a matter of fact it had programming on from 8am to 11pm on Weekdays and 8am to midnight on weekends. The other hours on the day featured from Star Channel which later became The Movie Channel.

In 1981 it changed to 13 hours of daily kids programming from 8am to 9pm seven days a week with the Alpha Repertory Television Service (ARTS) airing programming on the other 11 hours.  ARTS later merged with The Entertainment Channel becoming what we now know today as A&E.  In January 1985 A&E ended it's partnership with Nick and launched it's own 24 hour cable channel. 

From January until July 1, 1985 Nick aired text commercials advertising their daytime line up.  I really can't believe this valuable airtime essentially went unused for six months.  Some cable markets did fill this block of time with channels that they didn't space on their system to have a full channel of.

Nickelodeon turned to Laybourne to help make Nick it's own 24 hour channel and with the help of others they launched Nick at Nite on July 1, 1985 which aired from 8pm to 6am.  The original line up featured Dennis The Menace, The Donna Reed Show, Lassie, National Geographic Explorer, My Three Sons, Route 66, Turkey Television,  and the Nick At Nite Movie airing at 9pm nightly.

Some of my favorite shows that I remember watching on Nick At Nite include, Adventures of Superman, Patty Duke, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Adventures of Dobie Gillis, and Mr. Ed.

What's hilarious to me is that Nickelodeon has been on for so long that some of their own original programming in recent years have aired on the Nick at Nite rotation like Are You Afraid of the Dark?.

I haven't had cable since 20102 and I haven't watched Nickelodeon or Nick at Nite with any regularity since then.  However this documentary and writing about Nick at Nite really makes me want to go back and watch some of this programming.

Until Next Time!

Monday, April 5, 2021

EVIL DEAD: The Most Terrifying Film You Will Ever Experience

I originally posted this on another blog and I am re-posting it here on this day as this movie was first released on April 5, 2013


I ended up going to the movies today to see the new Evil Dead remake.  It's a movie I've been wanting to see since I heard about the remake and saw the first trailer.  That's right, for those of you that know me I actually watched the entire trailer.  

There have been a lot of horror remakes in the last few years, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm St, Friday the 13th, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, just to name a few.  The common theme in all of these remakes is that the characters stay the same.  People judge them harshly because they don't want them messing with their favorite killer, like Rob Zombie did with his version of Halloween 2...really Zombie!! 

When I first heard of the remake of Evil Dead I felt the same, they better not mess up my beloved Ash.  Even with Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, & Bruce Campbell on board as producers I was hesitant.  Then I read that Ashley J. Williams would not be in the movie, in fact none of the original characters would be.  

 

This excited me because even if the movie was terrible, Ash would not be tarnished.  I'm not going to give anything away, I hate spoilers myself.  To clarify I don't usually watch trailers of movies that I know I want to see because I will remember something in trailer we haven't seen in the flick and it ruins it for me.  If I'm watching a trailer and I decide that I want to see the flick, then I shut the trailer off. 

This movie was anything but terrible!!  It was downright awesome!  Most likely I'm going to go and see it again!  There are a few elements from the original Evil Dead & Evil Dead 2 that are in this,  as you can see from the photo of Jane Levy below.  The biggest common factor being their are 2 males and 3 females for the cast, but that's all I'm going to say. 


Go watch the movie!  Seriously you will not regret it!  It's scary, it's vile, it's awesome!  Make sure you stay for the end of the credits, do not make that mistake and leave before, you will regret it when you hear about it later!

Evil Dead is top notch and the word of a sequel is already being rumored and I look forward to it.  Unless it goes the way of Zombie's Halloween 2...seriously what the hell were you thinking!

Trailers are linked below!

Later

Mike


 Above is the new, below are the trailers for the Original and Evil Dead 2 & Army of Darkness





Thursday, April 1, 2021

March Movies

 

Magnum Force - The sequel to Dirty Harry and second film in the five film Dirty Harry series

Coming 2 America - Amazon Prime original.  I loved the 1988 original Coming To America and watched it many many times.  This film was both awesome and terrible at the same time.  One viewing was enough for me. 

UP - The Disney Pixar flick that has the saddest opening of any animated movie I've ever seen.  Wesley wanted a family movie night and my wife had never seen this before.  It's such a good movie. 

48 HRS. - I've been wanting to watch both of these movies for quite a while as it's been a long time since I've seen them.  I remember the gist but not everything.  They haven't been available on any streaming service that I subscribe too, however, after watching Coming 2 America the other day it was on Amazon Prime.  It's not as funny as I recall, it's more serious and action orientated, but I enjoyed it!

Another 48 HRS. - This movie was the one that I remember the most from the series and had all the humor.  

The Muppet Movie - Wesley asked if we could watch a movie and this was his choice.  He chose quite well. 

Dirty O'Neil - This is a flick from the 1974 about a local police officer, Jimmy O'Neil, in a small California towns that is low on crime but apparently high on sex, that is all the girls in town want to have sex Jimmy.

Moxie - Netflix Original Movie about a High School Junior who is tired of the the girls in her school are treated and starts a feminist group and secret zine.  I watched this movie with my almost 12 year old daughter and spent a lot of the time telling her that what the boys are doing is unacceptable and that if anything like that happens to her or someone she knows to tell someone at the school, and if they don't take her seriously, tell me. 

The Block Island Sound - I watched this on Netflix, it's a dark flick with supernatural elements.  It's worth a watch. 

Yes Day - Netflix movie about parents who say agree to say Yes to everything their kids want to do for 24 hours.

Game of Death - The last Bruce Lee flick, I had watched his others last month.  This wasn't streaming on any of my services for free, but my cousin Paul had the Bruce Lee Criterion Collection so I borrowed it from him.  

Iron Fists & Kung Fu Flips - Documentary on Netflix about the evolution of Kung Fu movies featuring Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jim Kelly, and Others.  Really really good

The Last Blockbuster - An awesome documentary about the Last Blockbuster video store in Bend, Oregon. Growing up we didn't have a Blockbuster in my area, we have Home Vision Video and Sounds Easy Video Store, both which became Movie Gallery, a Hollywood Video and independent stores.  I even worked at a Movie Gallery and got a lot of nostalgic memories watching this film.  

Justice League  - from 2017 a solid flick

Justice League: The Snyder Cut - the Four hour version from original director Zack Snyder.  I wrote a whole blog about it so check it out here.

Promising Young Woman - A vigilante flick about a woman that goes out to bars to find men that take advantage of drunk woman and teach them a lesson.  It doesn't not end in a way that I would have ever predicted.

News of the World - Solid western flick with Tom Hanks in 1870's Texas where he gets tasked with bringing a young girl home to her family after she had been kidnapped and lived with a Native American tribe for several years.

Until Next Time!

Monday, March 22, 2021

Justice League Snyder Cut

I'd like to start off by saying that this is chockablock full if SPOILERS if you haven't seen the four hour Snyder Cut of Justice Legue.

On March 18, 2021 the long awaited Snyder Cut of Justice League was released on HBO Max and I sat down and watched all four hours of it.  The back ground of this is that in 2017 Zack Snyder was directing Justice League and in March of that year during post production his daughter's suicide caused him to withdraw from the film and Warner Bros hired Joss Whedon to complete the movie.  

Whedon went on the film additional scenes and although the general story stayed the same he did eliminated some characters and backstory releasing the flick.  You can go to the internet and read all about the fan outcry that they wanted Snyder's version of the film.  I absolutely hated Batman vs. Superman Dawn of Justice.  I liked some moments in it, I like the actors and the characters they play, except Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor.  I hate the execution of the story and many elements of the film.

I went to the theaters in 2017, twice, to see Justice League because I really enjoyed it that much.  Because of how terrible, in my opinion, Batman vs. Superman is I had no interest in watching anything that Zack Snyder had to do with changing this movie.  At the same time, though, I felt I had to watch it because I couldn't judge it if I hadn't watched it. 

Thursday after my family went to bed, I popped a bowl of corn and sat down for what I thought was going to be a terrible movie night.  I was wrong.  I really enjoyed the film.  There were parts of the movie that I thought were really pretentious and dumb, there were parts of the movie that I thought dragged unnecessarily long.  The whole post apocalyptic epilogue dream segment seemed really out of place.  I later read that Snyder filmed that scene in October 2020 because he knew that his DC Universe was basically dead and not moving forward and he really wanted a scene where Affleck's Batman and Leto's Joker interact.

When talking to my friends vaguely about it Friday morning my statement was that I like both versions of the film, I thought they both had their faults but I didn't like one more than the other.  Then on Friday I watched the 2017 Justice League and changed my mind.  I like the Snyder Cut better, fucking hurts a little to say that.  

I'm not going to break down all the differences, there are plenty of websites all over the internet that are going to do that, what I am going to tell you is what made me change my mind.  Snyder does a deep dive into the backgrounds and mythos of the characters and the introduction of them.  When watching the 2017 with some of these scenes it made them seem like the were cut too short.  For instance the scene when Wonder Woman stops the domestic terrorist at the bank in the 2017 version it's 3 minutes long, in the Snyder Cut it's nearly seven and a half minutes.  After watching the Snyder version the 2017 scene just feels like it's extremely chopped up and incomplete.  This is the pattern several times through out the movie.

The main villain in both films is Steppenwolf, however he looks completely different in both movies, and in 2017 he's the big bad guy while in the 2021 flick he's doing to dirty work for his master Darkseid.  The scenes where he acquired the motherboxes is more impressive and the protectors put up a bigger fight in the Snyder Cut.

Superman is a bad ass in both plain and simple, as he should be. 

The argument could be made that if Whedon made a 4 hour cut of the film instead of two hours, that he would have dove deeper into the backstories and the mythos like Snyder did.  Also we have no way of knowing if had Snyder finished the film in 2017 if he would have made a this version of the film.  He had the hindsight to see what the critics and fans liked and disliked about the movie.  

When it comes to which film is the official cannon of the DC Cinematic Universe James Wan (director of Aquaman) and Patty Jenkins (director of Wonder Woman) say that it's Snyder's Version as they directed their films based on his planned cut of the film.    

However, from what I have read the Snyder's direction with Batman, Superman, and Justice League is over.  

Until Next Time!

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Some Random Thoughts

It's been quite a week this week, it went by fast and slow at the same time.  I worked from home on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday.  I was in the office Wednesday and worked evening shift in dispatch.

Friday morning I had an ultrasound on my live, my latest lab worked showed an elevated bilirubin level and my bariatric surgeon wanted me to have the procedure.  I'm hoping for a call this week to tell me what, if anything, they discovered and see what the next step is.

My buddy Brandon recently wrote on his blog about how he likes the new Popeye's Chicken sandwich and how it compares to other fast food chicken sandwiches.  Well after hearing the hype for 18 months I finally was able to have a Popeye's Chicken sandwich and I have to say I thought it was just meh.  In fact there was such a hype to it, that it was straight up disappointing.

I got a lot of work done this week on my Limitless Wrestling book, and I have 9 episodes recorded of my new segment, Maine's Wrestling History, which airs on the Limitless Wrestling IWTV show The Road Season 3.  The response to the segments have been amazing, people seem to be really enjoying it and I'm very flattered.  

The wife's Bakery she started up last week is also booming with her selling out her weekly orders.  We are taking it slow and steady to not get ahead of ourselves and so she doesn't get overwhelmed.  So far it's very exciting and I'm curious where it's going to go.

On Wednesday night on AEW Dynamite on TNT I got to see one of my all time favorites Tully Blanchard step back in the ring in a six man tag with FTR against Jurassic Express.  It was so frigging good!  The match was great, Tully looked awesome, it was such an awesome dedication to him and all he has done for wrestling.  I can't imagine he'll ever wrestle again and honestly I don't think he should.  This was the way to go out.

I finished watching Lovecraft County on HBOMax and I loved the series so much I bought the book.  I plan on reading it sooner than later, but I have so many other side projects that I want / need to finish first that I probably won't crack it open until next month.  I have so much reading I want to catch up on after I finish this Limitless book.

Until Next Time!