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Showing posts from June, 2023

Consumed With Hate: Music Grab-Bag

๐Ÿ› ️ Sing Out Loud, Sing Out Strong... We're mixing up the format this week. Instead of a big post about one thing, we're going to get some small posts about individuals songs. Now, to remind you folks of the usual caveats, this list is not definitive of anything. These songs are not necessarily bad, but for whatever reason they just annoy me personally. They're also popular enough that I have to hear them routinely on grocery store muzak or the radio in my wife's car, which means there will arguably not be any bad songs on this list at all and certainly nothing recent or obscure. So, while Fritz's Corner  by Local H may be a terrible song worthy of our derision, you probably forgot that it was ever on the radio, so we won't be talking about it here. What all of that said, welcome to "Kurt's very specific hang-ups: radio edition". Queen & David Bowie - Under Pressure Let's open with a hot take, shall we? Vanilla Ice got screwed. Yes, he shou

Consumed With Hate: Zardoz

๐Ÿ† Woke Up This Morning, Got Yourself a Gun... The Crime: Zardoz The Guilty Party: John Boorman Overview: The director of Deliverance  follows up his Oscar darling with a bizarre big idea flick. Why I Hate It... We all know that Star Wars  reinvented science fiction movies when it exploded onto the scene in 1977, but do you ever stop to think about what it reinvented the genre from ? Before Star Wars , the most popular and influential sci-fi film was Stanley Kubrick's ponderous epic 2001: A Space Odyssey , and every science fiction movie that followed, or at least every movie that didn't have  Planet of the Apes  in the title, was copying it in pace and tone. Throw a little U.S. cultural context on top of that--permanent recession, crime waves in major cities (especially New York), the vestiges of the free love and psychedelic movements, and a wave of popular conspiracy thriller films--alongside technical and budgetary constraints, and the result is nearly a decade of genre fil

Consumed With Hate: The Dinosaur Lords

๐Ÿฆ– Open the Door, Get on the Floor... The Crime:  The Dinosaur Lords The Guilty Party: Victor Milรกn Overview: A waste of a good premise that absolutely does not earn its epic jacket-quote. Why I Hate It... It's hard to explain just how excited I was for this book based on the cover alone. I mean... just look at it. That is a knight riding a freaking allosaurus. Look at the art style of that image, that somehow takes a knight riding a freaking allosaurus and makes it look even more bad-ass. Hell, the premise alone is worth the price of admission. A medieval epic with dinosaurs in it. How did no one think of this before? This could be its own sub-genre. So from the moment I was aware of this book's existence right up until its release, I was hyped  for it. Which, of course, means there was no way it could live up to expectations, right? But this book goes beyond disappointment. This book offends me as a writer. It starts well enough with an epic dinosaur battle sequence--a chapte

Consumed With Hate: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

๐Ÿ’€ I'm Just Uptight, Uptight... The Crime: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull The Guilty Party: Mostly George Lucas Overview: A too-late sequel to a beloved franchise makes us wonder if the filmmakers have ever seen an Indiana Jones movie. Why I Hate It... This is a pretty widely reviled film. The phrase "nuking the fridge" came into modern parlance to describe a franchise that had run itself into the ground because of this movie!  It is riddled with nonsense like: the "they're extra-dimensional beings" line from John Hurt that's supposed to explain why the aliens aren't really aliens; Shia LeBoeuf's Tarzan impersonation; the glossy coat of bad-looking CGI; the ancient ruins under a waterfall (!!) that had a tribe of people living inside the walls (!?!?). There's a lot  to criticize. Fun fact, though, do you know what its score is on Rotten Tomatoes? Go look, I'll wait. Yeah. As of time of writing, Indiana Jones and the Ki

Consumed With Hate: Red Rabbit

๐Ÿฐ I'm-a the Freakin' Pope... The Crime:  Red Rabbit The Guilty Party: Tom Clancy Overview: A spy thriller is short on thrills but long on didacticism. Why I Hate It... The arc of Tom Clancy's career is interesting. His debut novel, The Hunt for Red October , is a legitimate classic that blew up the technothriller genre. It stars Jack Ryan, an all-American Mary Sue who's also an aerophobic CIA analyst, who gets in way over his head helping a Russian submarine commander defect from the Soviet Union. The novel spun off a series in which Ryan's exploits get more heroic as the the stakes get ever higher and the novels get ever longer. By the 90s his books were being turned into blockbuster films and video games, at which point Clancy was firmly a genre unto himself. And then it sort of dropped off around the time Jack Ryan becomes the president of the United States (due to a succession of large-scale terrorist attacks that he failed to stop). The books were overlong by