Thursday, February 11, 2016

Couch Potato Chronicles: Enough Politics. Let's Talk About X-Files.

Yes, the new X-Files miniseries is here, and even though - let's be honest - it's been kind of disappointing (except for that hilarious episode with the lizard guy), the sheer reunion factor is enough to make me keep watching.  Come on, Scully and Mulder are back, and they're bringing a 1990s nostalgia bomb with them!

So, in the spirit of things, the Cine-Mad Sibling and I name some of our favorite X-Files episodes that we (and you) can watch streaming online at Netflix.  Here they are in no particular order ...  
  • "First Person Shooter." Yup, it's the one where Mulder gets stuck inside a video game.  The special effects haven't aged well at ALL, but the episode is a complete hoot.  Three words: "Jade Blue Afterglow."
  • "Arcadia." Mulder and Scully go undercover as a married couple in an unsettlingly perfect Stepfordesque neighborhood where residents keep disappearing.  You'll never look at a pink plastic lawn flamingo the same way again.  The Sib and I quote this often-hilarious ep endlessly. "Woman, make me a sandwich!"
  • "Drive." Bryan Cranston.  Nuff said.  Bonus: This was the episode that introduced then-X-Files writer Vince Gilligan to Cranston ... a meeting that would later turn into the incomparable Breaking Bad series.
  • "Jose Chung's From Outer Space." The men in black have never been so good.  That's Alex Trebek!
  • "Beyond the Sea." X-Files does Silence of the Lambs via Brad "Grima Wormtongue" Dourif.
  • "Bad Blood." It's like Rashomon. With vampires.
  • "The Unnatural." Baseball-playing aliens.  Because why not!  I love TV eps about baseball.  That one from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine ("Take Me Out to the Holodeck") is a lot of fun too, by the way. 
Finally, we'll point out "The Host," not because we like it per se, but because it totally creeped us out when we were kids.  I personally don't much care to ever see the Flukeman again. Like, EVER. 

We'll sign off with this, and get ready for some retro 90s tech hilarity:

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog vs. the 2016 Election

Once you get past Triumph's usual naughty schtick, you just might decide that the puppet's made the best political satire of this entire insane election cycle.  (Caveat: this isn't for kids, heh. Triumph never is or has been, after all!)

There's also an entire segment with Triumph taking on some college students over trigger warnings and whatnot, and I laughed out loud.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Zing! The Best British Political Insults on Record

With all due respect ... (Those words that always precede a truly ruthless attack, natch.)

Your Snowzilla Soundtrack

I am pleased to report that I am still alive and kicking in the massive blizzard that's dumped a metric ton of the white stuff on a huge section of the country.

I am also pleased to report that Snowzilla has aproduced a peerlessly party-tastic soundtrack that is all the more remarkable for being from a rather unexpected source.  Let's just say that's the best thing to come out of DC in months, if not years.  Listen to this soundtrack to a livestream of the weather, and you'll see why people are freaking out about this.

Friday, January 15, 2016

2016: Annus Horribilis Already

2015 was darn awful and pure dagnasty evil, and we were all happy to see the end of it.  Now I'm not so sure we're happy to see the start of 2016, or at least I'm not.  From the recent Iran incident to the utter predation on full display in Cologne to a truly surreal and absurdist State of the Union address that actually - I swear I'm not making this up - spotlighted Obama putting Joe Biden in charge of curing cancer, from the devastating death of David Bowie and then right on the heels of it the passing of Alan Rickman, it's enough to drive one to drink.  

I have only this to say to 2016: I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU, PAL.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

MM in the Kitchen: Buttermilk Roast Chicken

Fast, easy, and  delicious.  Thanks, Nigella!  Serve with a crisp green salad since we're all trying to eat more healthily after the unabashedly rapacious caloric orgy of the holidays.

Friday, January 01, 2016

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Retrospective: Dave Barry's Year in Review

2015 was a crazy year, and it looks even crazier in humorist Dave Barry's zany, satirical retrospective.  Here's a bit of the section on January 2015:
In Paris, 1.5 million people march in a solidarity rally following the horrific terrorist attack on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. Eyebrows are raised when not a single top U.S. official attends, but several days later, Secretary of State John F. Kerry arrives in France with James Taylor, who — this really happened — performs the song “You’ve Got a Friend.” This bold action strikes fear into the hearts of terrorists, who realize that Secretary Kerry is fully capable, if necessary, of unleashing Barry Manilow.
Zing.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Professor and the Waitress: Thoughts on Life

Worth a read.

Belated Christmas Gift: the Honest Trailer for "Die Hard" (1988)

FINALLY!  Just today Screen Junkies has released an Honest Trailer for the best Christmas movie of them all!  La Parisienne, this one's for you, babe.

MM in the Kitchen: Olive Oil Chocolate Mousse

Everybody's predictable resolutions to diet and exercise don't kick in until January 1, so you can still indulge a teensy bit, right? 

Quote of the Day: Glimmers of Hope at Brown University

There are still defenders of free speech and open inquiry on campus.  As one of them just said in an interview with FIRE, if he were a university president, he would say this:
"I would make some sort of public statement—whether unprompted or prompted by one of these events—in which I said, 'This is academia and you have the right to say anything, no matter how radical it is, no matter how offensive it may seem to existing power structures. You are not required to uphold ideals held by mainstream America at all.'

Every time one of these issues came up, I would say, 'You can say here whatever you want. We can't police what you say. We can police what you do. And even though we can't police what you say, we discourage students in the strongest of terms attempting to shut down other students and we reject the notion that there are no open questions on controversial matters.'"
He then boldly slams Brown's administration for its deplorable spinelessness.  Kudos.  More of this, please.  Nobody cares much if teachers push back, but if more dissenting students do, it matters more in these ongoing and increasingly nasty campus culture wars.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

"The Saudi Arabia of Maple Syrup"

Smuggling, shenanigans, and skulduggery!  Oh, Canada.

An Author Considers How to Create Characters

Fascinating read.  Here's a bit of it:
"... your bad guys need to be great. They need to be so interesting that they potentially upstage your good guys. Hans Gruber versus John McClane. I’m rooting for McClane, but Hans steals every scene with his casual, clever villainy (best Christmas movie ever, by the way). "
If you don't think Die Hard is a Christmas movie, then I have nothing to say to you.

P.J. O'Rourke on the GOP's "Least Insane Candidate"

Admittedly, that's a pretty low bar. 

Still, I do NOT want to revisit this topic.

Star Wars: the Premake

Check out this incredible work by a fan:

 
 Star Wars: The Premake from John D'Amico on Vimeo.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Enjoy this traditional Latin Christmas carol sung by a great tenor who happens to be a Franciscan friar.  He's Italian, because of course.