Podcast

Amusement Park Podcast 023: The Punisher, the Oscars, and Glass Misses the Mark

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On the latest Amusement Park Podcast, we respond to the first half (six episodes) of The Punisher and the Oscar nominations, which include a Best Picture nod for Black Panther and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse being nominated for Best Animated Film. (How many Oscar nominees do you get a chance to see where you live?)

We also dig into what Netflix joining the MPAA means, briefly review Glass, and share what we’re enjoying this week.

— Show notes for Ep. 23 are available at The Amusement Park Podcast website — 

Please leave us review on iTunes! One listener broke the seal, so hopefully you’ll join in with your own comments.

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movies

2019 Oscar nominations: Who was snubbed? Who are the favorites?

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The Academy Award nominations are always an exciting morning, but the 2019 Oscars seem to have a bit less juice than in previous years. Maybe because there’s not one clear front-runner that many fans are rallying around? No clear critical darling?

Also, I think there are a lot of movies that people either simply haven’t seen. That’s always the case (and Oscar nominations can change that), but feels like it’s even more so this year. Also, one of the favorites was made for Netflix, an idea people will have to get used to.

Since I typically write something about the Oscars, I figured I’d do a quick overview of the big categories, picking the favorites and noting the snubs. And there were a lot of notable snubs this year.

I’ve seen five of the eight Best Picture nominees, but there are several contenders I need to watch. (That’s one reason why I dragged my ass on putting together a Best of 2018 list.) Those include Green Book, The Favourite, Roma, ShopliftersCan You Ever Forgive Me and The Wife. (I know!) So my opinions on any of these could change before Feb. 24. If so, maybe we’ll have some predictions.

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Not a Newsletter: 03/18/18

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We’re late with Not a Newsletter once again, after showing promise last week with an early posting. But after talking with friends and family, it was determined that one of the remedies for that which is currently driving me crazy is to try and unplug as much as possible on weekends.

As I’m sure is the case for many of you, that’s not easy for me. Work and leisure inhabit much of the same space. If I’m reading something, it’s probably online. (I really am trying to pick up books and magazines…) If I’m watching something, it might also be online, especially if it’s streaming.

Thus, a message from work or a topic that could make a story is only an alert or click away.  Then I look at the clock and I’ve wasted most of a Saturday or Sunday sitting at a computer. It’s not making me pleasant. Unpleasant may be my default setting, but there are degrees of unpleasantness. Unfortunately for those around me, I’ve been on the “very unpleasant” side of that spectrum.

So maybe this would have been posted earlier otherwise. But maybe — probably not, but maybe — I was also a more pleasant human being on Sunday.

This was watched

Since I’m online most of the day, constantly looking for story topics while editing and writing, most entertainment before 4 p.m. ET has to come in quick hits. Twitter and Facebook provide plenty of that, naturally, but YouTube has also become a reliable source for chuckles.

As a result, I’ve become a fan of WIRED’s “Answers the Web’s Most Searched Questions” series, in which celebrities answer the questions that people ask about them on Google. (Another favorite is Vanity Fair’s “Fear Box” series, in which celebrities reach into a box and try to figure out what they’re touching. Yep, I love celebrities.)

The cast of This is Us is adorable, and thus this episode of the WIRED series is adorable.

Words were read

Donald Glover is Lando Calrissian in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

** This is probably going to be the year of Donald Glover. He’s going to play young Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story. There will probably be new music to come, though not from Childish Gambino. And Season 2 of Atlanta is playing now on FX, which is what most of this article — which took me longer to read than I’d like to admit — is about. [New Yorker]

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Not a Newsletter: 03/10/18

ronan_reading

Rather than gripe about the things that got on my nerves and made me angry this week, which has become the favorite intro during the short life of Not a Newsletter, I thought I’d try to tell a story instead.

Timehop is one of my favorite apps, providing a daily social media nostalgia trip. I often enjoy seeing photos I took on that day, links to tweets, or even links to articles I wrote years ago that sometimes seem as if they were written by someone else who was more talented.

But this photo from five years ago popped up this week:

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Of all the junk currently cluttering my desk to plant my geek flag and reconnect with my inner child, my Ron Swanson bobblehead is probably my favorite. My niece, then two years old, often enjoyed looking at it (surely entranced by the mustache) and making that head bobble.

But five years ago, she accidentally knocked Ron off my desk, causing his head to snap off. I wasn’t mad. It was an accident caused by a two-year-old. It was just a goofy keepsake. I knew some Gorilla Glue would fix it.

Little did I know that my niece was upset. She didn’t show it by crying or anything like that, though she was surprised when the doll broke. Maybe she expected me to yell at her. But later in the day, she was laying on the floor watching TV and holding Ron’s headless body. Ron’s head was right next to her.

I had to chuckle, but it kind of broke my heart too. I had no idea she was so attached (unlike Ron’s head). Or maybe she just felt bad. Two days later, Ron was restored and she was happy (maybe relieved). Everyone’s been OK ever since.

It showed me how much of a soul this kid has. Five years later, that’s still absolutely true.

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Not a Newsletter: 03/04/18

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Hello from the mountains of North Carolina! Last week’s Not a Newsletter was a bit whiny, as I was hit with a surprise cold that had me feeling lousy and thinking burnout. I’m not sure that was totally accurate, but it’s on my mind and I put it out there. But plenty of us are working a lot and slogging through.

As I finish this up, the Oscars are hours away. It’s one of my favorite events of the year, though I don’t think that interest is shared among many friends, except for a close few. Yeah, the Oscars are self-important and probably silly. But for those of us who love movies, it’s the culmination of the past year. And maybe some of us like knowing we have good taste; our favorites were named “The Best”!

Due to feeling sick for a few days, it wasn’t the most productive writing week here at Casselbloggy HQ. That probably meant more reading. But I did manage to pound a few articles out, including a ranking of the 2018 Best Picture nominees.

Here’s what we have to show from the past seven days. Be excellent to each other.

Read This

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** So Trump was having a bad day and because he was in a pissy mood, he decided to put tariffs on steel and aluminum. Yeah, that seems rational. [NBC News]

** Jordan Peele is only the fourth African American to be nominated for Best Director. Could he be the first to win that Oscar? The Hollywood Reporter gathered those four filmmakers for a roundtable discussion. [THR]

** I’ve been a Detroit Tigers fan all of my life (or since my adolescence when I first took an interest in sports). It’s astounding to me that I didn’t know who the public address announcer at Comerica Park is. His name is Bobb Vergiels, and he drives from Central Florida to Detroit 12 times a year for that job. [Detroit News, hat tip Mike McClary]

** My pooping habits are quite normal, thank you very much. [Men’s Health]

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Not a Newsletter: 02/25/18

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Hey, we’re back! I really need to get my weekends under control. Working too much (and the results don’t necessarily show below, which is its own frustration), and I’m on my way to reaching out and touching burnout again. And I’d been doing pretty well with setting boundaries and taking better care with my personal life.

All right, that’s starting to sound a little whiny. February felt much more like 2017 than young 2018. But I’ll get it back. Strength. Power. Chill.

I apologize in advance if that Adam Rippon GIF is driving you crazy. But I wanted to put a GIF in this post, man. And I thought the thing I wrote about Rippon this week would draw more interest, but I don’t think the audience for that post gives a shit about figure skating.

Lesson learned. Onward. Here’s how the past week went at Casselbloggy HQ.

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Not a Newsletter: 02/18/18

panther_reading

Once again, posting Not a Newsletter later (much later) than I wanted to. But it’s done, so I’m counting it as one of this week’s small victories during a week that felt like it didn’t have many. Yet I do have to consider myself fortunate for much of the stuff that’s linked below.

Hey, how was your week? You good?

Here’s what we have to show for the past week at Casselbloggy HQ:

Viewing

Once in a while, I’d like to include a video I enjoyed here. Not like a meme or something that’s gone viral. You’ll probably already have seen those.

With Black Panther coming out and director Ryan Coogler doing press, this was an intriguing moment from an interview with Yahoo! Movies in which Sam Ashurst passed along admiration from Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino.

Coogler seemed genuinely flattered and then praised a contemporary’s work and showed what a fan of filmmaking he really is. With the success of Black Panther (my review is below), he should be able to make any kind of film he wants (maybe he was already there after Creed), which is really exciting to see with a great filmmaker.

Is it worth listing what I watched in a given week here? Probably not. A lot of stuff I watch is for work or something I want to write about, so that’ll be listed here anyway. My TV viewing has really hit a (self-imposed) wall in recent months, much to my frustration.

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