Movie Review: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

The timing for “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” seemed odd on a number of levels. Sony just released a “Spider-Man” film last year (“Spider-Man: Homecoming”), and they’re releasing another one next year (“Spider-Man: Far From Home”). That makes three Spider-Man films in a span of two years, and he played a prominent role in “Avengers: Infinity War.” How is anyone going to miss Peter Parker when he won’t go away?

Continue reading

Share

Movie Review: Ralph Breaks the Internet

Disney could not have been happy that Sony beat them to the theaters with an Internet-themed animated film by 15 months. Dueling projects at rival studios is a recurring theme in Hollywood (in the ‘90s, it happened nearly once a year), and the winner is almost always the one to get to the box office first.

Continue reading

Share

Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts – The Crimes of Grindelwald

The brain trust behind the Harry Potter series knew that they hadn’t put their best foot forward with “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” Even with five years of distance between “Beasts” and the grim, harrowing “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” the whimsical tone of “Beasts” felt wrong, or at the very least unearned. The end of Harry Potter’s story brings with it the end of innocence. “Beasts” protagonist Newt Scamander may still have his innocence (and good for him), but no one watching him does. Cutesy is off the table for now, sorry.

Continue reading

Share

Dizzy Heights #49: Hot Dog, Jumping Frog, Albuquerque: Royals, Volume I

I make a mention, right away, that I hadn’t played every possible royal family title in a song, which was a complete lie. The first five songs cover them all. I had about 10 minutes to record those first two bits before it was time to pick up the girl at soccer practice. Mistakes were made.

Speaking of the girl, this was her idea. Every song references one royal family member or another (by title, not specific people), and the biggest surprise? How few songs there are with ‘princess’ in the title. I thought there would be tons of them. I had maybe four.

Artists making their Dizzy Heights debut this week. ABBA, Charli XCX (as a solo artist), The Dukes of Stratosphear, Jude, King, The Kings, Juice Newton, and wait, Neil Finn?!?!?! What? (This is actually his ninth time on the show, but his first as a solo artist.)

Thank you, as always, for listening.

Share

Movie Review: Venom

Venom, as a concept, is a good one. It’s the guy who has a devil on one shoulder and no corresponding angel on the other, trying to teach an alien life form the concept of right and wrong. “Venom,” on the other hand, is heartbreaking. The last Marvel-related film that Sony produced, “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” is arguably one of the best Marvel films to date, but on the Disney Marvel scale, “Venom” ranks somewhere between “Thor: The Dark World” and “Iron Man 2,” and possibly below both of them. It’s unfortunate, because Venom is the perfect character to open up new doors in the MCU, but from a creative standpoint, it’s woefully lacking.

Continue reading

Share

Dizzy Heights #49: Songs about Days of the Week, Vol. I

“Sunday Sunday, here again, a walk in the park…”
“Monday, I could wait ’til Tuesday, if I make up my mind, Wednesday would be fine…”

I’ve been toying with this one for months. So many choices! Most in the titles, but some in the lyrics. Everyone likes referencing days of the week, although Thursday needs to fire its publicist, because virtually no one sings about Thursday.

Artists making their Dizzy Heights debut: Bay City Rollers, The Easybeats, Kenna, Morphine, The Pogues, and Soulwax.

Oh, and here’s the clip I reference at the very end.

Thank you, as always, for listening.

Share

Don’t Tell Others How to Share Their Trauma

I’m going to share something with you. My wife doesn’t even know this story.

When I was 7 or 8 years old, an older boy in my neighborhood tried to force me to suck his dick.

Continue reading

Share

Dizzy Heights #47: Don’t. Just…Don’t (“Don’t” Songs, Vol. I)

Here’s another Name That Tune idea carried over (I’m afraid to even look to see how many of the same songs I used). There are LOTS of songs that start with the word ‘Don’t,’ and even after doing this massive, two-hour show, I still have 220 songs in iTunes set aside for future volumes of this theme. That is not a typo.

Bands making their Dizzy Heights debut: The Alan Parsons Project, The Communards, David Byrne, Devo (WHAT), Elvis Presley, The Flirts, Hamilton, Joe Frank, & Reynolds (one guess), Husker Du, Kenny Loggins (with special guest), Jane Child, Los Lobos, Michael Jackson, Night Ranger, Paul Carrack, Phil Collins, and Wang Chung. Dang, that’s a lot of debuts.

Thank you, as always, for listening.

Share

Dizzy Heights #46: Never, Ever, Always, and Forever

The idea comes from an old joke that an ex-girlfriend made long ago: “We should never use the words ‘never,’ ‘ever,’ ‘always,’ or ‘forever’ when describing us.” She was not wrong, but from the ashes of that (spectacularly) failed relationship comes this show, and over half of my defunct Mope Like Me column, so at least something good came from it.

Artists making their Dizzy Heights debuts this week: The Assembly, The Association, Shirley Bassey, The Buzzcocks, Aretha Franklin, Deborah Harry & Iggy Pop, Raphael Saadiq, The Stranglers, Walter Meego, and my cat Harvey! He hops up at the 1:05:55 mark.

Thank you, as always, for listening.

Share

Movie Review: The Meg

“The Meg” plays like a film written by someone who just finished watching a three-day Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer marathon, and when you consider that the book on which the film is based was written in 1997, it’s entirely possible that that is exactly what happened. The film languished in development hell for over two decades, and it’s easy to see why; it’s just not as interesting as other works of art, be they books or movies, written around the same time.

Continue reading

Share