Wait, don’t I usually do two of these in a month?
I do; this is usually split up into first half / back half so it doesn’t get too wordy. But August was a pretty slow month in many regards, so by the time mid-August appeared and I had done very little, I figured I’d just package the whole thing together for the end of the month.
I spent the first week of August in Cancun with the wife and some friends, and in all the preparation (and the fact that we had spent the last several days of July there, too), I forgot to really schedule much to open the month. I also didn’t get to watch a lot of movies or do much else relevant.
But we’re here now! So let’s see how, upon my return, August ended up shaking out!
Only ten movies in the month of August, and that is almost certainly my lowest output since, say, April of last year. In the COVID era, I’ve been powering through flicks, but… vacationing like a vaccinated adult, man. I only saw one movie in the first seven days of the month!
Same with Free Guy!
What an up and down month. Only one movie in the 3-star range, and that is Tombstone, which is probably better than the 3.5 I gave it. I was oddly judging that a bit harshly on its story faults and ignoring that I just really had a great time watching it. It’s a HIGH 3.5. It’s a very good, very rewatchable movie. It just kinda blows through plot points it doesn’t care about so we can get to the next great Val Kilmer moment.
SPEAKING OF, the reason I felt so moved to watch Tombstone was because of the Amazon Prime documentary Val. It’s… wildly depressing and a bit hard to watch. It wants to present as hopeful, but just wallows far too much in the sadness of Val Kilmer’s life. The scenes at Comic Con are TOUGH. It’s an interesting movie, but I was just hoping for something different.
I gave Tombstone a 3.5, but I also gave She’s The Man a 4.0, and there are CLEARLY different grading criteria at play here, and I’m an idiot. Tombstone is objectively better. You know it, I know it, we all know it. AND YET… Tombstone is TRYING to be better. She’s The Man is just “Cute Teen Intro To Shakespeare 101” that simply wants to be popcorn fare. But it’s god damn adorable, and several moments genuinely cracked me up. So grading in a tier of Results Vs Effort, STM is a 4.0, and Tombstone is 3.5.
I should go back and give Tombstone a 4.0, damn it. But I don’t want to do another screenshot.
Demolition Man is ALSO a 4.0, and I don’t even feel bad about that one. Flick is great and holds up to this day. Three seashells, “What’s your boggle?”, Taco Bell surviving the great franchise wars. Fantastic stuff. And it ALSO came out in 1993 with Tombstone! Man, 1993 was a good year for movies.
(I just Googled 1993 movie releases and hell yeah it was)
Mass Hysteria and We Summon The Darkness were both watches on Shudder, I believe. Mass Hysteria actually had promise and a good start, but it DRAGS, even at just 66 minutes! We Summon The Darkness was crap all around, though there is one twist that works while the others you see coming a mile away. If you have to watch one, Mass Hysteria at least has a fun first half.
That just leaves Steel Dawn, which I was part of a video review on! It’s pretty bland.
OH, and Back To The Future Part 3, which I missed! A great conclusion to the series, and comfortably right between Parts 1 (4.5) and 2 (3.5) for me. Did I get that “right”? What is your BttF ranking?
Upon my return to Pittsburgh from Cancun, I finally cracked and subscribed to PS Now. $60 for a year? Sure, that’s great. That’s worth the amount of hours I’ve already put into Fallout: New Vegas. I recently touched upon my affection for that series, but replaying now? It should have been Top 5.
I may (OR MAY NOT!) have named and modeled my character in the game after Jubilee, but it’s a Jubilee who has 100% fewer mutuant pyrotechnics and a lot higher of a body count. I realized too late that I could have made her vampire Jubes–there are perks that make you stronger at night time and able to heal from eating people–but whatever. I’ll do better next time.
This game is hard, but fun. Even on a very low difficulty, I die A LOT (Jubilee is obviously fragile as hell, you know?). Those god damn mosquito hornets and angry Legion mobs remain the bane of my existence!
New Vegas has also slightly contributed to my low movie total. For instance, I meant to watch True Lies yesterday, but… New Vegas won out.
Aside from New Vegas, the only other gaming I’ve done was a bit of Nidhogg with the wife (also thanks to PSNow). I think she enjoyed it, but she never won. Also, she’s not much of a gamer so after twenty minutes of Nidhogg, she complained her thumbs hurt.
Stargirl is back on the CW. I have only gotten the first one-and-a-half episodes in (the CW app on my TV kept refusing to let us finish the second episode, so SOMEONE TELL ME HOW IT ENDED!), but it seems as interesting as season one. Until the show pulls the inevitable Flash level drop in quality, I’m here for it.
We’ve also gotten the first three episodes of the new MCU show on Disney, What If…?, and MAN, it’s so heartwarming to see that DisneyPlus subscription finally paying off with all this MCU content. The first year or so that Disney Plus existed, I might have logged on once. As for What If…?, it’s nothing amazing yet, but enjoyable enough. I’m waiting for the Marvel Zombies episode to see if they do that well.
It has been the hottest of minutes since I have bought any NEW new comics, but I did go to my shop on Free Comic Book Day back on 8/14. Since I was there, I wanted to support the store, so I grabbed a few titles.
I got the first two issues of the new Static, Season One reboot from DC, and it is pretty good. I confess to never having read Static in the past, but I did enjoy the Static Shock the cartoon back in the day. He has always been a fun character. I think I will definitely stick with this title for at least a while based on these first two books.
I got my first issue of Savage Dragon in YEARS with #252. It’s a decent stand-alone issue where the stories are told through several imitations of classic newspaper comic strips like Family Circus and Foxtrot. Dragon is what I always say I want in comics (told in real time, consistent continuity, capes stuff), but I fell off of the book in the mid 2000’s, and I have no idea how to get back in. Still, I have the first 110+ issues uninterrupted, and I love that run.
Marvel released a new Darkhawk book, so I obviously bought that. It’s three individual stories from different eras of Chris Powell’s life, and it seems to be setting up a relaunch with a new Darkhawk. I don’t know if I’ll be into that, but… maybe.
Finally (I think), I got Planet-Size X-Men #1. I always want to like the X-Books, even though it’s been a sold 15 years since I actually have. Nothing to note about here; it’s the story of the X-Men terraforming Mars so some people can live there. I’m relatively sure Hickman didn’t write it, but it’s got his DNA all over it, and I’ve never been a fan. It’s all just so tedious and impenetrable if you aren’t following every single thing he has going on.
Additionally, I did some reading on my flights to and from Cancun. On my way there, I read Avengers A.I., a book I’d had loaded on my Kindle for YEARS and finally decided to read. I should probably do an in-depth breakdown on it for a Stew’s Reviews article, but the long and short of it is that I was surprised by how humor-centric it was. Doombot was obviously the big star of the series.
On the way back, I read volume 2 of Rick Remender’s Venom run, from the Agent Venom days. I thought having Flash Thompson in that role was brilliant, and when they reverted Venom to Brock, it felt like such a regression to the status quo for me.
EDIT! I wrote the first draft of this article on 8/27, but after I wrote it up, I went back out to the shop and grabbed this:
That is, of course, the Jubilee variant cover of Marvel Voices: Identity, a one-shot focusing on several short stories starring Marvel’s Asian and Asian-American characters. I’d have bought it anyway, but my store managed to have one copy left of this variant, so I snatched it up.
I have… only read the Jubilee story so far, but that’s because we went out to visit friends last night.
All right, that wraps up August here at SWO Productions. We are ready for the fall and to see if I can get my movie intake back up to where I want it. I ran the numbers, and I’m on pace for 189 movies this year. A great amount, no doubt, but… so close to crossing that 200 barrier. Let’s see if I can do it.
Until next time… take care!