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Contentious C

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  1. I have used the Fetch app for a while, but I may have to stop after seeing that bizarre ribs ad of theirs. What in the actual fuck.
  2. Not yet. I'm sure I'll get to them eventually, looking forward to them.
  3. I somehow kept the streak going despite moving apartments. I mean, it's not really that hard when you have multiple streaming services and 20+ movies sitting around you never watched...Day 72 and counting, Hulu Has Live Sports and a Lot of Garbage Edition Hot Garbage Coyote Ugly - I wonder if this is the worst movie John Goodman's been a part of. Probably not, but it's the worst I've seen. Flashdance had a creepy romance plot, but at least it had a few minutes of style here and there. I can't really think of anything good to say about this, except that Maria Bello is in it. Even the whole bit about how the main character's a songwriter falls flat, because the music is awful. Leann Rimes? Really? Talk about things better left to the 2000s... Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters - This is terrible, but at least it's having fun with how terrible it is. Instead of being even the slightest bit serious, it's just throwing every goofball idea ever at the wall and hoping some of it sticks. I can respect that. It's the Hardee's burger ad of movies: it's shit, but at least it's not lying to you about what it's trying to sell you. This is also right there with the Kilmer/Brando Island of Dr. Moreau as the shittiest movie with the coolest credits sequence. Grown-Ups - I could have put this into Acceptable, I suppose, because it's got a certain kind of bland, inoffensive charm to it, but given who's in it, you'd expect it to be funny, and...it's just not that funny. It's also more than a little creepy to see Cameron Boyce in this, since I watched that child-actor doc when it aired on HBO and found out he died a couple of years ago. Acceptable In the Cut - I remember this getting panned about as hard as anything when it came out, but it's Jane Campion, so I figured why not. It's...definitely not concerned with being a good thriller, or a bad one, or any kind of one. If I could only use one word to describe it, "meandering" is what comes to mind. That said, while Meg Ryan's character is truly the only one who gets any kind of development or depth, she is pretty good in this - one of her 4 or 5 better roles. And the last shot of the film is a pretty damned great ending, if you can stick with it long enough to get there. But there's very much a non-zero chance it will bore the shit out of you first. Love and Monsters - This is largely Zombieland with monsters, a dog, and the occasional robot, but it's a formula that works. It's also got elements of Fallout (people living underground and not understanding the surface world, so hey, let's write a survival guide!), 28 Days Later (even when the world ends, man is the most dangerous animal), and other similar genre films, but it never fully wears out its welcome on any of those. Even the annoying Narration Telling You Everything is done frequently as 'letters being written to someone dear', so even that's less obnoxious than usual. But, seeing as it borrows from so much, it's also nothing really special, either. Awesome After Hours - I didn't realize Marty did a cocaine movie, but he directed in the 80s, of course he did a cocaine movie. I think this might be my favorite movie of his, just because for once he did something that isn't slap-you-over-the-head religious or bathed in crime and corruption. It's this or Mean Streets for me, but I'm weird like that. But it really nails the details: the insane cabbies, the way you turn a corner in a big city and the whole tone changes, the characters who would be pariahs or pitied elsewhere but are just part of the scenery instead. The performances are as solid as the plot is intentionally ludicrous. Journey to the Beginning of Time - I bought the Karel Zeman Criterion release from last year without thinking twice about it; it sounded like my cup of tea, and this certainly was. There's only the thinnest layer of plot applied to this, as it's really almost a visual documentary of kids learning about prehistorical times. But man, to do some of the special effects work he did here with the budgets he must have had is pretty breathtaking. There's a part of me that thinks I might have actually seen the stegosaurus fight as a clip at some point when I was in school, but I can't be sure. Vampyr - I think the initial description of the characters is a bit ridiculous, as the protagonist is played like someone who seems afraid of his own shadow some of the time, so the notion that he'd be some borderline-Lovecraftian dabbler in the dark arts is laughable. But you're not here for the story; you're here to see Dreyer do some cool shit with the camera before anyone else did it, and, big shock, there's some really great stuff here. About 30 minutes in, there's a damned epic tracking shot that's basically the great-great-grandpa of the Goodfellas opening, and it's just beautiful. There are some pretty solid practical effects in this, too, although as an actual vampire movie, it's not really as good as the original Dracula, or Nosferatu for that matter. Sanjuro - Criterion put out a 4-pack with this,Yojimbo, Seven Samurai, and The Hidden Fortress that was the first Criterion I ever bought. Took me the better part of 20 years to finally finish those. I might go so far as to say this is the "worst" of those movies, but that's like saying hitting the lottery for $15 million was the worst when you hit it for $100M+ three other times. I don't like how often something gets said by Mifune, and then the villains turn around and confirm they're about to do what he suspected. There's a lot about the script that's very trope-y in that way. But this is another "cool shit with the camera" entry, and it's textbook Kurosawa in terms of how he uses motion, especially for humor. And Mifune was the coolest motherfucker ever and I'll hear nothing to the contrary. Winner Winner, Maybe Steak and Eggs for Breakfast Funny Games (1997) - Ugh. Another potential entrant for "Great Movie I Will Never Rewatch". But, this is frankly more palatable than, say, Come and See was, because at least it lets you in on the joke, so to speak. Just incredible acting all around, and even with the fourth-wall breaks, I found very little of it to be outlandish or hard to believe (except for that "lean on me and drag me" scene - just grab a sheet and drag him on it like a litter!). But mostly I found myself reminded of two other films that followed it: The Lobster and American Beauty. It's like the former in how incomplete it is; it refuses to give you answers to every little thing, and forces you to look inside yourself for them. And it's like the latter, because the latter was the sort of movie where people left the theater early and cursed what a piece of shit it was - when that's the reaction, it's not because it actually *is* bad, but instead it's because you showed those viewers something about themselves they didn't have the courage to see. Of course, the real brain-teaser of all this is: why did Michael Haneke feel the need to remake it? If you make a hyper-violent movie to decry violence in film, why...do it again? But, maybe Woody Allen was right. Maybe we all need the eggs.
  4. It would be, except who wants to work with a parakeet? Little fragile, cage-loving, portable cat food motherfuckers...
  5. Kate Winslet, a parakeet, and a coffee maker that gained sentience via lightning strike try to survive in a hotel where the rooms come to nightmarish life when vacant. See, I can play, too!
  6. I got 4 days of workouts in the form of moving to a new apartment. Blew my 45/35/20 diet right out the window with a supreme pizza tonight. But, right back to the food grindstone tomorrow (today, technically) and Push day Thursday. I still have so much work to do on the old apartment - some packing, but mostly cleaning - that I may take it a little easier than usual on the remaining PPL split. Plus, my calves and mid-back have been absolutely screaming at me for about 72 hours. Then again, I have until the 30th to finish my getting my old place back to par, so...we'll see.
  7. They're certainly not going to call it the Purple Burglar Alarm.
  8. There's a small, small sense of justice afoot when both the Raiders & Bucs win on Talk like a Pirate Day.
  9. 20 minutes into the game, and none of Zach Wilson's passes have hit the ground yet! I mean, 2 were to Patriots defenders, but...
  10. I really fucking hate pull-ups now. It feels like I can't really get into good form with them - can't get my chest broad enough, or scapular retraction is too much of an issue. I'm all bowed forward by the second or third rep and then there's little point to doing them. I also can't do banded pull-ups because I'm too fucking tall, and getting the band down and my feet up is impossible without someone else's help. It's especially frustrating since every other Pull activity I do has been going great, but that vertical pulling is a straight Dumpster fire. I've seen a couple of hacks along the lines of using the V-bar handle on a pull-up bar and trying them that way, but just haven't remembered to try them. Might have to go back to the assisted machine just to try to get something out of it. I probably also need to steal a page from Fry and trick the Devil out of his shoulders.
  11. Next week I'm taking at least Monday & Tuesday off due to moving, so no Upper/Lower split for me, maybe just the PPL section - though if my move kicks my ass, I'll probably skip that, too. So, this week has been a lot more playing around to find things that work. Today was Push and I went a lot more shoulder-centric than usual. Opened up with some rotator cuff warmups just to make sure my joints didn't want to break in half after 20 minutes, then went to barbell OHPs, which I don't do that often anymore. But I did 75 for I dunno, 3x6-8 the last time I did them and went up to 85 this time, so that's good. Then I did Arnold presses, and other than my shoulders being a bit crunchy, I really like these. I don't mind at all having my upper pec jump in on them, because I need the development there anyway. They're staying. Should've done them sooner (along with other unilateral shoulder pressing). Most of my other presses were there to take pressure off my elbows and wrists, and that went pretty well: barrel presses, coffin presses, decline BB bench (went up in weight by a good bit on this). Did a bunch of flys, but the only new twist was using the pec deck for a few sets and just squeezing one arm at a time to really focus the contraction. Problem is I can move 60+ lbs with either pec, but my arm doesn't want to play along, as the isometric hold feels like it's breaking down faster than my pecs. My other tricep work was pretty sloppy by comparison, but I was trying to go up in weight on all of them, so some form breakdown is to be expected. Plus, when I saw how shitty my 21s looked in the mirror, I stopped and did an extra proper set of them as punishment. Started doing lateral raises with the cables instead of DBs on Monday, and I think I'm probably going to stick with that, although my range of motion is crap and I don't know if that's because I'm weak or because my joints are so bad. I may have to do some butterfly raises to work on that. Finished off with some more DB lateral raises while leaning forward to get the last little bit of effort out of them, and then bus drivers to just toast the front delt.
  12. I don't know why I keep doing it to myself, but I keep watching The Handmaid's Tale. There used to be a YouTube channel called "Every Frame a Painting" (it's still there, just unused), and this show is "Every Episode a Red Wedding". But hell, it's still just expertly done. Such a contrast between this, which went so far beyond its source material, and Westworld, which couldn't even squirt out a second good season.
  13. Hey, more movies; I'm moving next week and it was time to start punching through at least some of the discs I just never got around to watching. Day 62 and counting of...whatever this is that you probably don't care about, Blu-Ray Backlog Edition... Hot Garbage Romy & Michele's High School Reunion - I like the first 10 minutes and the last 10 minutes, but getting there is such a fucking chore with this. It's just...eh, it's amateur hour everywhere except the cast. It looks bad, the script is not funny, it feels more like a TV movie than an actual release. Another strong case of "Soundtrack is better than the film". Chaos Walking - This is something new on Hulu with a bunch of familiar, famous faces. And hey, look, it's a "futuristic action-adventure". Hm, that's odd, because it sure seems like the past - when it comes to women, anyway - was often rapey, grim, and hopeless, and we're currently dealing with a present where those in power would like to make it more rapey, grim, and hopeless, and so what we really need right now is a "futuristic" movie where the future is rapey, grim, and hopeless, right? Barf. Totally leans on its one gimmick to get anywhere, completely stale otherwise. Pocahontas - Wow. Leave it to Disney to normalize pedophilia. Let's just take that 11-year-old girl from the story and pretend she's a woman and make it OK for her to get romanced by Mel Gibson (excellent casting choice, in retrospect). The story is ridiculous (most of these are, but this is like Secret-of-NIMH level of pulling stupid things out of their asses), the art style is poor, the songs aren't any good, and of course there's really nothing to celebrate about colonizing the New World. Oh, and I feel bad for anyone who went to this high and then saw Grandmother Willow; that's gotta be some Nightmare Fuel. Acceptable Moonrise - I can't stand Dane Clark as the protagonist for this movie, but man there is some really interesting stuff here. The director was the first guy to win the Academy Award for directing, and you can see why with some of the scenes: the Ferris Wheel bit is a real highlight, for example. It's mostly the smaller characters who steal the show, though, and make this worth seeing in addition to the direction. Otherwise, this still screams "studio" in a lot of ways, like having the cliche of the old deaf guy, among other things, and yeah, Dane Clark is, uh, not good. But I feel like there's more here that redeems it than condemns it. Night on Earth - if this had been more consistent, I think it'd go in the Awesome pile. It's well-crafted, but the problem is that the first few stories don't *quite* grab you, and then Roberto Benigni completely takes over the movie with the "Rome" section, and everything else just feels so lifeless in comparison to that segment that it's hard to feel like the other sections work. Each of the other 4 feel like the beginning or end of a separate movie that Jarmusch couldn't quite decide how to make into a full feature on its own, so he just went with this structure instead. The Rome section, on the other hand, would have made an incredible short film except for the baffling ending. Winona Ryder is pretty great in this, and I'd never seen Gena Rowlands in anything before, but it seems like Joan Allen has been doing the same act as her for years. The Age of Adaline - Ugh, goddamn narration. This would still be fairly maudlin and sappy at times even without the narration, but it would still also be *better* without the narration. So little of what gets said there helps understand anything in the film at all, and yet, here we are, another dumb voice telling us shit that we could figure out by watching, because that's what a motion PICTURE is for... anyway. Blake Lively has certainly come a long way since the Green Lantern days, and she does a pretty decent job with this. I usually like Michael Huisman, but he's probably the least compelling part of the whole movie. Even Harrison Ford, he of the 5 Facial Expressions of Doom, is better. This had to be one of Ellen Burstyn's last roles, too, if not her last, and she's just great in it. It's also weird this came out the same year as 45 Years, and this very very very briefly mines the same territory as that film, though obviously not very well. But hey, not terrible. Luca - This got me in the feels once or twice by the end, but it takes a long while in setting up effectively. The real turn of the movie is once Luca starts making some choices for himself; after that, it goes from so-so Disney fare to actually bringing the goods on some stuff. It's pretty honest and believable about how fragile friendships are at that age, and how little it takes to hurt the people you care about. The one-armed dad is kind of the best part of the movie, though, which is weird. But hey, at least it wasn't yet another fucking animal stealing the show like every other Disney movie ever. Wouldn't watch it again, but it wasn't a waste of time, either. Awesome Eyes Without a Face - This is not a movie I love. Christianne's character doesn't make a lot of sense to me, mostly from the perspective of when she does - or doesn't - go along with the mad plans of her father. From that standpoint, she's as much a victimizer as a victim for much of the film, and so there's very little catharsis in the ending (or, at least her part). But this is a movie I respect. There is some massively creepy shit here, and it's so well-executed, from the surgery bits, to the montage of rotting faces, to the totally chilling performance by Pierre Brasseur and the equally otherworldly presence of Edith Scob, who embody both ends of a somewhat ridiculous premise and make it terrifying. Someone really should have pulled Almodovar aside and told him to pull his head out of his ass rather than try to reimagine this. First Man - Maybe I'm just a rube for Damien Chazelle. I think I like this better than La La Land, though not by a lot. Ryan Gosling is pretty great in this; it's almost the polar opposite of his Blade Runner 2049 role, and he pulls this off at least as well, if not better. This will probably remind you of a few other space movies, but the film I found it drew from the most was The Tree of Life, as the portrayal of Neil Armstrong is very much like that of Father in Malick's movie. It's weird, too, that Chazelle's first two movies leaned so heavily on music and yet this has so little, but does it ever have sound: there's no shortage of tension from hearing the early NASA vehicles nearly rattle themselves to pieces on each and every launch or re-entry, both big and small. Claire Foy is also pretty great in this. Probably could have made the very bottom end of my 2010s list had I seen it in time. Three Outlaw Samurai - I really didn't care for the first 20 or so minutes of this, as it felt like a straight rip-off of Yojimbo with 60s Japan's answer to David Duchovny starring in it, but give it time, because does it ever turn in on itself hard. I feel like the attempted romance/secret bit involving Sakura and the widow is a bit forced and not handled well, but the rest of this is just...whew. It's grim and bitter and cold and unjust, and it just gets bloodier and bloodier. Initially I thought you could almost draw a through line from Kurosawa to something like Lady Snowblood with a movie like this, but even this is harder-edged than Lady Snowblood, which at least tries to be mythical and grandiose in its vision. This is just gritty and uncompromising about how little choices matter in the face of societal apathy and cowardice, and how the only sense of honor that matters is the one you hold for yourself. Pretty fucking great. Winner Winner, Food Repo Man - Ho-lee shit. What a perfect shrimp fork right in the fucking eye of the 80s this is. Great performances, crazy and fun and weird from the first scene, a masterclass in what you can do with a low budget, and something sharp to say in every scene, even if it's just a white label with blue letters that says "CORN". If you grew up in the 80s and looking back on that era still makes you want to puke, well, you weren't alone. Alex Cox held the bucket for all of us and then splashed our collective vomit on the screen. Not as good as Videodrome, but then again, what is? This would still be an easy Top 10 of the 80s pick for me.
  14. Raiders. Doing. Raider. Things. What in the actual shit. And then THAT happens.
  15. Nah, this is Starrcade 97.
  16. Man, that Leatherwood draft pick is just as bad as advertised. 3rd, 4th penalty tonight? Raiders doing Raider things.
  17. I don't think this Al Davis memorial fire at the LV stadium is really representative. It should be shaped like a Dumpster, full of tires.
  18. I thought I might have given myself a backiotomy after that workout, but I think I just have a really shitty mattress and/or box springs. I wake up with sore ribs probably half the time, and this morning was a bad case, but went through Upper stuff today with no issues at all. Just need to get a new bed, I guess. Anyone have any recommendations on that front? I've been something of a side sleeper for a long, long time, and this bed is marginally better than my old one because I can fall asleep on my back once in a while, but I'd rather find something where I primarily (or always) fall asleep that way to avoid throwing my shitty shoulders any more out of whack.
  19. I'm already sick of the extra Drew Brees presence as well.
  20. Pull day yesterday was pretty good. I started with back and rear delts instead of biceps, and I can tell the difference. My biceps feel like little pathetic peas that got too little attention, and my back has the usual one-day-out twinge when I put it through the right motions. I'll probably have to amp up the bicep work on the more back-centric days, which is easy enough in concept. Today was probably the most brutal Leg day I've done in years, as I almost literally kicked my ass with a lot of glute-heavy stuff after going a bit light on that Tuesday. In honor of my comment in the NFL thread, I should call this the Shocker Tom workout. Leg curls (usually start off with these just to warm up) Landmine single-leg sprinter lunges (my balance continues to be the fucking worst) Squats (went up in weight) RDLs (went up in weight) Weighted hip thrusts Sumo deads (went up in weight) Barbell hack squats (hadn't done these in 18+ months, oh how I missed them) Nordic curls like I've been doing Calf raises (hey, remember working calves?) Leg extension I had nothing left for abs, but it didn't matter, because all the pulling & squatting lit my pathetic abs up something fierce anyway. By the time I finished hack squats, I was basically crawling around on the gym floor like an asshole, and people were looking at me like I broke something. If I could have formed a complete sentence, I would have told them, "Nah, I'll be fine in 5 minutes, and besides, it's not my fault my workouts make yours look like shit." Taking my clothes off in the locker room was an adventure, too: my shirt had to weight about 3x what it normally does from how much sweat it absorbed. I need to do this to myself more often, because I am a sick, sick bastard.
  21. Given how his opponents feel about it, "Shocker Tom" might be a highly apt nickname.
  22. Push day continues to be my favorite. I basically did this workout in something close to entirety, with a few additional things thrown in: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJtmffaT4wc I tossed in seated landmine presses between the cable fly and the rest-pause incline DB, and I compunded the incline DBs with coffin presses. Shoulders were even crazier, as I put the front raises towards the end and did some single-arm DB OHPs to start off that Set of Misery and an extra light-weight lateral raise in there after the heavy DB partial to just nuke the muscle. My right shoulder was just fucking shot at the end of doing 5(!) exercises in a row, but they feel pretty good now (roughly 75-90 minutes later). For triceps, I compounded French presses and lying extensions like I had in the past, then I did 3 sets of 21s at 40 lbs (these were disgusting and I will keep doing them), and then I decided to be a real dick to myself and just finish the whole thing off with 3 sets of close-grip bench (only 65 lbs, but at that point, that's all I had in me anyway). Abs were just as masochistic. Decided to do decline situps for once, which I typically don't like since your hip flexors jump in so easily. So, I just cut the ROM and curled my torso up, forcing all of it into one disgusting contraction for my abs. Went back and forth between those and the leg raise station until my abs just said, "Nah, we're good". Something like 15/11/7/1 for the declines and 10/8/7/5 on the leg raises. Only big annoyance was Incline DB presses, which went STRAIGHT down my left radius and into my elbow. It was like I had 5x as much weight on that arm because it was so focused right in that spot. I have a family history of carpal tunnel syndrome, and I'm definitely suspecting that this is how mine may be manifesting itself, what with all my other grip-related issues. I think I'm going to have to switch to the barbell, or I'm going to see if I can use the Jammer press machine instead at an incline.
  23. Turned into almost *four and a half hours* of wait time. So much for going to work yesterday (not that I needed to). The real PITA of it was once I spoke to someone, she had such a nice old-lady voice I couldn't even be mean to her. Hell, when she said, "Sorry for any inconvenience the delay may have caused," I said, "No problem." NO PROBLEM! Yes it was a fucking problem, what is wrong with meaghghdkdgndhghgdhg.
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