Travel Surf Report: 72 Hours In La Rue County, My Old Kentucky Home … The Garden Spot of the Universe

72 Non-Consecutive Hours in La Rue County, Kentucky.

Louisville, Kentucky — Arriving near midnight from Los Angeles on American Airlines, I walk through the deserted Standiford Field Airport which clearly is uninhabited and not open for business late at night. Thankfully, I do not have checked baggage and can just text my brother to pick me up out front on the top level. No muss. No fuss.  No waiting around for luggage to slowly traverse the airport’s baggage carousel at such a late hour when employees appear to be few and far between. Where is everyone????

My brother drinks at a downtown bar when he receives my I’ve Just Landed text and appears curbside within minutes. Moments later, we drive the Interstate 65 South to my homeland of La Rue County, which is about 50 miles away. Predictably, the highway is under construction near our exit so traffic is tricky. Once off the freeway, we turn on the country road toward Hodgenville, my hometown.  I am struck by the silence, the complete darkness, the remote feeling of rural America. How wonderful. It’s a far cry from the constant hustle and bustle of overcrowded Los Angeles.

Day One:

Any trip home begins with a home-cooked country breakfast at my sister’s successful café near the town square: Paula’s Hot Biscuit. Before I can eat my breakfast, I greet and hug the girls, Paula’s terrific wait staff, and meet the newest employees, learn their families, and introduce myself as Paula’s favorite brother in case Paula had failed to mention that fact as she regularly does.

The Number Two: Biscuits & Gravy with Bacon & Eggs.

One thing you should know about Kentuckians is that before they have finished eating their breakfast, they have already begun thinking/planning/strategizing what’s for lunch. As I eat my plate of delicious and heart-clogging Biscuits & Gravy, Paula gets a text message from our brother Ben inviting us to lunch in nearby Bardstown at Bottle & Bond, the restaurant at Bardstown Bourbon Company , the newest distillery and tourist destination in Nelson County, a few miles away.

But first, a hike through Pearman Forest because those Biscuits & Gravy aren’t going to work off themselves! Pearman Forest is a series of nature trails created as part of the La Rue County Environmental Experiment where native trees and plants grow.  It’s quite beautiful, always uninhabited by humans, and a wonderful place to walk in the woods and feel, sense, and smell the forest.

Pearman Forest

The drive to Bardstown is one of the loveliest in La Rue County passing not only our family farm, Gypsy Acres, but also my former garden at Groundhog Hill, then moving past the Abraham Lincoln Boyhood Home on Knob Creek (yes, the very creek that inspired a tasty bourbon).  Rolling hills, the landscape is still green and verdant.

 BARDSTOWN LUNCH

Bottle & Bond will fast become the Jewel of Nelson County and historic Bardstown.  It’s that grand, that cool, that well-designed. Lots of stone, wood, and glass make for a spacious dining experience that begins with the classic bourbon cocktail, The Old Fashioned. You will definitely want to have two! Lunch consists of Brisket Sandwiches & Fries, Fish Tacos, Caesar Salads, and a side of crispy Brussel Sprouts. Save room for dessert and split a Boozy Milkshake. Quite tasty. I can’t wait to go back with friends, enjoy the outdoor firepit and more Old Fashioneds.

Once home, it’s time to split some firewood and get the firepit ready for a late afternoon firepit (and a bourbon!) where we can sit around talk about what’s for supper!  Supper is usually potluck among the La Rue siblings in attendance, and most importantly, a card game (or three) will likely precede and follow the meal. Of course before the night ends, we will discuss what’s for breakfast (hint: poached eggs). Priorities, People!

About La Rue County, Kentucky

Paula’s Hot Biscuit

https://www.bardstownbourbon.com/

N E X T   U P:

Day Two. Malibu Catches Fire. Kentucky Catches Cold. A Story of Fire & Ice.

 

Pearman Forest
The Number Two: Biscuits & Gravy with Bacon & Eggs.
72 Non-Consecutive Hours in La Rue County, Kentucky.
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TV Surf Report: Super Hero Series Still Trending … {Defeated Sigh}

DCU TITANS

Santa Monica, CA — Just when you thought we’d reached the bottom of the proverbial barrel with the Arrowverse comes the DC Universe and Disney’s forthcoming streaming service, Disney+.

RIP, Stan Lee.  Thank You for everything. Excelsior!

Television is about to get even more crowded with Caped Crusaders! That said, Neftlix just cancelled both Luke Cage and Iron Fist after two seasons, but look for them to recur on The Defenders (if a deal is reached for a second season, that is). Both series could quite possibly return via Disney+, which doesn’t launch until late 2019.

Here’s who will be vying for your attention on the small screen:

Marvel TV:

DAREDEVIL S3

  • Daredevil on Netflix.  S3 has been hailed as The Highest Peak of Marvel TV.
  • Jessica Jones on Netflix. Renewed for S3 in April.
  • The Punisher on Netflix.  Jon Bernthal returns for S2 in 2019 in this spinoff from Daredevil.
  • Loki, Scarlet Witch on Disney+. These supporting characters of the MCU will get 6-8 episode limited series of their own. Actors Tom Hiddleston and Elisabeth Olsen will reprise their respective Avengers. Interestingly, Loki died at the hands of Thanos in Infinity War, and Scarlet Witch evaporated along with half of the universe’s population, so they both have some explaining to do! Variety Has The Details. Interestingly, Scarlet Witch might be the character who brings in the X-Men to the MCU via a popular comic storyline, The House of M. 
  • Falcon and The Winter Soldier on Disney+. Hmm. Am unsure about this team-up as I suspect Marvel is going for an Odd Couple/Lethal Weapon buddy comedy vibe in this limited series. Malcolm Spellman (Empire) scripts. I thought the Winter Soldier becomes the new Captain America, so this series puts that theory in doubt. Meanwhile, Sebastian Stan has a 7-picture deal with Marvel. Here Are A Few Potential Storylines, per Nerdist …
  • The Gifted at Fox. S2 en route.
  • The Runaways at Hulu. S2 now streaming.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. at ABC. Is the series still on? Yes, S6 premieres this Summer. Series has been renewed for S7. Joss Whedon EPs.

DC UNIVERSE SWAMP THING

DC Universe

Uber-Producer Greg Berlanti, Hollywood’s $400m Man, has 14 series on the air. That’s all ya need to know about the DC Universe because Berlanti is King of the World there.

  • Gotham at Fox. Final season is likely, and yet Batman prequels are all the rage right now. Weird.
  • Lucifer cancelled at Fox but picked up by Netflix for S4.
  • Swamp Thing at DC Universe. James Wan (Aquaman) EPs this series which premieres in 2019.  Len Wiseman (Underworld) directs. Jennifer Beals, Will Patton, and Virginia Madsen set to star. Bodes well.

ANIMATED HARLEY QUINN SERIES

  • Harley Quinn — Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory) voices Harley in this animated series that finds Joker’s ex-girlfriend sharing a prison cell at Arkham with Poison Ivy. Here’s the TRAILER.
  • Doom Patrol was featured on a recent episode of Titans. Spinoff is forthcoming! Brendan Fraser and Matt Bomer star among the voice cast. Here’s Everything You Need To Know, per Rotten Tomatoes.
  • Batwoman will make her debut on The CW via the Arrowverse with her own spinoff to follow if successful. Greg Berlanti, EPs. Ruby Rose stars as the lesbian superheroine.
  • Stargirl — Based on the comic created in 1999 by Geoff Johns to honor his sister, this series centers around a high school sophomore and a group of teen superheroes. Justice League Jr.! Greg Berlanti EPs, natch. The Wrap Has The Casting Details…
  • Titans — Greg Berlanti, Akiva Goldsman, and Geoff Johns executive produce the flagship series for DCU, which premiered 10/12 and is already renewed for S2. EW Gives Titans A Rave.; $8/month subscription will test the mainstream appeal but fanboys are sure to show up to hear Robin exhort, “Fuck Batman!” This series is not for kids.  Here’s the Trailer for a Free Preview
  • Pennyworth at Epix — Bruno Heller (Gotham) tells the prequel story of Bruce Wayne’s butler, Alfred. Jack Bannon (The Imitation Game) stars in the 10-episode series. Nerdist Has More Info Here.

Alfred-Pennyworth

Star Wars:

MANDALORIAN

  • Rogue One (Disney +) Diego Luna stars in a prequel espionage-themed series set before those pesky Bothans steal the plans for the Deathstar which is destroyed in Star Wars IV. Expect the Empire to be quite healthy in this one.
  • The Mandalorian (Disney+) Jon Favreau EPs this action/adventure following a lone gunslinger (Boba Fett anyone?) in the Star Wars Universe. Pedro Pascal (Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Game of Thrones, Narcos) in talks to star. Timeline is post-Return of the Jedi.  The jury is definitely out on this one. Favreau Explains It All, via THR.

Elsewhere:

WATCHMEN FEATURE CAST

  • Watchmen (HBO) EP Damon Lindelöf (The Leftovers, Lost) returns to the graphic novel for his adaptation eschewing Zack Snyder’s dreadful feature, and it looks like there’s a new vigilante in town. Check out the series on I N S T A G R A M for clues!
  • American Gods (Starz) The long-awaited S2 premieres in 2019. Ricky Whittle returns as Neil Gaiman’s hero, Shadow Moon, but EPs Bryan Fuller and Michael Green were fired. Guest star Gillian Anderson will not return as the goddess Media, but has been replaced by New Media. Clever. I loved this novel and enjoyed the first season. Fingers crossed it’ll be just as good. Here’s the T R A I L E R for S2. Looks good!
  • The Magicians (SyFy) Lev Grossman’s enthralling trilogy adaptation beings S3 (or is it S4?) Never dug the casting here. Ho Hum.

N E X T   U P:

When Is Too Much TV Just Too Much?!

NEO AS THE ARCHITECT

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Film Surf Report: In 2020, Movie Heroes Will Be Super And Not All Will Be Wearing Capes (Unless Fur-Lined And/or Pink). It’s James Bond Vs Elle Woods!

007.png

Santa Monica, CA — In 2020, Super Heroes arrive in the guise of Elle Woods, James Bond and Hercule Poirot. For actors Reese Witherspoon, Daniel Craig, and Kenneth Branagh, these iconic characters are their super hero roles, only without the red capes and super powers (unless you count accessorizing, longevity and deduction).

The Future is Always Changing, and nothing could be more true about movie release dates especially concerning everyone’s favorite super franchise. Disney’s acquisition of Fox affects the future of Fox’s Marvel properties (X-Men, Deadpool, Fantastic Four), and over at Warner Bros., DC Comics seems like it’s in complete disarray.

The result is a very cloudy picture of what we can expect to see on the big screen from 2020 and beyond. The good news: We get a double dose of Gal Gadot who will star in both Wonder Woman 1984 and Death on the Nile.

Here is the list of Super Hero Franchise Films (and remember, not all wear capes or possess super powers! Okay, some of them may, in fact, wear capes but they will be fur-lined and/or pink in color!) in the pipeline for release starting in 2020 and beyond:

DANIEL PICARD PHOTO NEAR MEERT

  • Birds of Prey (aka, Untitled Girl Gang Project) — Feb. 7th — Margot Robbie co-produces and stars as Harley Quinn.  Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs) directs from a script by Christina Hodson, who is also scripting the standalone Batgirl film. Ewan MacGregor has signed to play the villain, Black Mask. The other birds include Jurnee Smolett-Bell as Black Canary and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress. Film doesn’t start shooting until 2019. More Info on Black Canary and Huntress, per THR  
  • Bond 25 — Feb. 14th —  Cary Fukunaga (Maniac, True Detective) replaces Danny Boyle who left the production in pre-production due to creative differences. Daniel Craig returns for one last go as Agent 007.  Monica Bellucci also reprises her role as a femme fatale. Everything You Need To Know, via Men’s Journal.  

ELLE WOODS 2

  • Legally Blonde 3 — Feb. 14th — Make no mistake, Elle Woods is Reese Witherspoon’s version of a Super Hero. This character has influenced a generation of female law school applicants and graduates. Her Super Powers: Inspiration. Enthusiasm.
  • Gambit  March 13th — Channing Tatum, anyone? The loss of director Gore Verbinski has resulted in yet another delay. New Director is TBA. Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex) co-stars.
  • Wonder Woman 1984 — June 5th — Diana, Steve Trevor and Cheetah (Kristen Wiig) have pushed back their release date by seven months. What’s up, Patty Jenkins? Doesn’t really matter cuz I’m in!
  • Supergirl — TBD — Yes, DC is giving Kara Danvers’ alter ego another shot at moviedom following Helen Slater’s take in the ’90s and the current series on The CW. Oren Uziel (Mortal Kombat, 22 Jump Street) scripts. No director is set yet.
  • X-Force A team franchise led by Deadpool, Fox will make it work for better or worse (Fantastic Four anyone?). Drew Goddard writes and directs this non-virtuous team of X-Men which also includes Josh Brolin’s Cable. Ryan Reynolds gets an EP credit. Perhaps, the Fox sale to Disney will stall this franchise once Marvel gains complete control.
  • Kitty Pryde — TBD — Comics writer Brian Michael Bender and Deadpool director Tim Miller are developing a feature (with the code name 143) around the X-girl who walks through walls.  No word yet if Ellen Page will reprise the role. Miller is set to direct.
  • Joker & Harley — TBD — DC Comics is such a mess that they are developing another movie around The Joker played by Jared Leto who reprises the role from Suicide Squad. Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Bad Santa) script. The AV Club Has The Details Here…
  • The Eternals — TBD — Marvel introduces a new batch of Greek-inspired super heroes based on a number of comics from decades past. Chloe Zhao (Songs My Brother Taught Me) is attached to direct. Script is by Matthew and Ryan Firpo. This franchise will connect the Avengers to X-Men, most likely.  Nerdist Breaks It All Down For Ya… 
  • A Quiet Place 2: Even More Quiet (working title) — May 15th — John Krasinski returns as screenwriter to the hit horror film that starred Emily Blunt as someone who can step on a nail and not scream her lungs out! Now that is a super power.
  • The Batman  — TBD — Via Deadline Hollywood, production on this long-delayed movie was set for Spring/Summer 2019, which means its release date is Summer 2020. Ben Affleck returns in some capacity (or does he? Hopefully, his time spent in Rehab was beneficial and successful). Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, War for the Planet of the Apes) directs from his own script which is not an Origin Story, thank Gotham. Story remains a Detective Noir piece set within Gotham City.

BRANAGH AS POIROT

  • Death on the Nile — Oct. 2nd — Make no mistake. Hercule Poirot, the world’s greatest detective, is Kenneth Branagh’s super hero role of a lifetime (not counting Gilderoy Lockhart, natch).  Following the successful re-make of Murder on the Orient Express, Branagh re-teams with scribe Michael Green (Blade Runner 2049, American Gods) to re-make another Agatha Christie classic. Gal Gadot and Armie Hammer are set to star (presumably, taking the roles played by Mia Farrow and Simon MacCorkindale in the original).
  • Suicide Squad — TBD — James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, Vols. 1, 2 and script for 3) has signed to write (and to possibly direct) a re-boot of the villainous ensemble which features DC’s The Joker, Harley Quinn, Deadshot & Co.

BLACK WIDOW SOLO

  • Black Widow — TBD — Scarlett Johansson nabs a $15 million payday (per THR) for her own solo film which is supposedly an origin story pre-Avengers, so expect Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury to recruit her to S.H.I.E.L.D. Am assuming the big raise comes on the heels of her 7-picture contract expiring with Avengers 4. Cate Shortland (Lore) is set to direct from a script by Jac Schaeffer (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels).
  • Justice League Part Two — (SO VERY TBD as in Not Happening) Clearly, this sequel is not happening since Henry Cavill has hung up his cape, and Ben Affleck seems uninsurable after a lengthy stint in rehab. I guess Wonder Woman, The Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman could still welcome Green Lantern, but I am not going to get my hopes up too high. Supposedly, Zack Snyder wanted to kill-off Batman, per A/V Club.
  • Indiana Jones: I’m Too Old For This Shit (Working Title) — TBD — There’s a writer’s room assembled at Amblin. Spielberg to direct Harrison Ford. Let’s wait and see, shall we? Am still not over the dreadful Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. No script yet, per producer Frank Marshall.
  • Black Panther 2 — TBD — Ryan Coogler has signed to write and to direct the sequel to the super hit which will take us all back to Wakanda. Expect a late 2020 release at the earliest (per THR). Who’s the next villain, though? Nerdist Scopes Out Six Potentials. 
  • Avatar 2 — Dec. 18th — Now in production, the sequel to the highest grossing film in history will finally hit theatres in a non-Star Wars month. James Cameron writes and directs, natch.

HARWOOD

  • Flashpoint  (2021 — TBA) Ezra Miller’s standalone film has been plagued with problems: New script and new director (John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein who wrote Spider-Man: Homecoming and who directed Game Night) caused the film to get pushed back. Hope they get this film on track as Miller was the highlight of the Justice League. This DC film will likely move to 2021 as it doesn’t go into production until late 2019 to accommodate Miller’s shooting schedule on Fantastic Beasts 3 (which means his character survives Fantastic Beasts 2, no?). DC Film Slate Gets All Shook Up  Gal Gadot supposedly returns as Wonder Woman!– Here’s a very sketchy T I M E L I N E of the project’s troubled development, per EW.

 

N E X T   U P :

When Is Too Much TV Just Too Much?

NEO AS THE ARCHITECT

 

 

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TV Surf Report: Hollywood Loves True Crime, The Trend That Keeps On Trending…

SERIAL

Santa Monica, CA — Lately every day in America, I feel as though I wake up to yet another True Crime story the moment I turn on National Public Radio:  What has POTUS done today? Which Hollywood mogul has resigned due to scandal? Who is the latest to be Accused? Sadly, a gruesome murder would be a welcome respite at this point. (I jest…mostly.)

While I have certainly tired of True Crime stories, Hollywood most definitely has not.

Blame Ryan Murphy’s multiple Emmy Award-winning limited series, The Assassination of Gianni Versace, for continuing this trend (which picked up a lot of steam with Murphy’s The People Vs. OJ Simpson).

MAKING A MURDERER

If True Crime TV ain’t your jam, check out 33 Great True Crime Books As Picked By True Crime Writers, Per Vulture. My favorite is In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.

Podcasts on True Crime are thriving, as well. Uproxx Lists The 20 Best True Crime Podcasts.

Meanwhile back to TV, here’s some of what’s in the ol’ development pipeline and heading your way:

  • The Act at Hulu. Calum Worthy, Joey King, and Patricia Arquette star in this seasonal anthology character-based series whose first season is adapted from Michelle Dean’s 2016 Buzzfeed article, Dee Dee Wanted Her Daughter To Be Sick, Gypsy Wanted Her Mom To Be Murdered. Here are details via Deadline Hollywood.
  • Making a Murderer at Netflix. S2 premieres Oct. 19th. Filmmakers return to Wisconsin to follow the post-conviction aftermath of a man who allegedly murdered a woman. Here’s the T R A I L E R for S2.The Wrap has all the details about S2.
  • Crimetown at FX. S2 of this podcast explores the corruption in Detroit. S1 focused on Rhode Island’s corruption.  New season launched Oct. 1st. From the producers of The Jinx.

laworderlogo

  • Law & Order: Hate Crimes at NBC. Dick Wolf gets a series order for the latest iteration of his hit series franchise. New 13-episode spin-off will be featured within an SVU and focus on New York’s Hate Crimes Task Force.  How uplifting! Deadline has more details here.
  • Escape at Dannemora at Showtime. Benicio Del Toro and Patricia Arquette star in the limited series about two guys who escape from prison with the help of a female admirer. Ben Stiller executive produces and directs this 8-parter. Here’s the Trailer, per THR.
  • Fever at BBC America.  Elizabeth Moss stars as Typhoid Mary, a immigrant imprisoned for spreading the disease among wealthy New England families. Based on Mary Beth Keane’s novel.  Megan Ellison and Sue Naegle of Annapurna Films executive produce.
  • A Very English Scandal for BBC One. Hugh Grant stars as a disgraced Prime Minister who was accused and acquitted of murdering his ex-lover. Stephen Frears directs. It’s already premiered in the UK. Available now on Amazon. Here are 10 Things You Need To Know.
  • Serial at NPR.  S3 of the popular and influential podcast explores Cleveland’s criminal justice system.  Serial Is Still A Juggernaut, per Vulture.
  • Trial and Error: Ladykiller at NBC.  Even True Crime stories are getting the mockumentary treatment as evidenced by this sitcom which is one of my favorite series of 2018.  Trial & Error  is heavily influenced by Serial and Crimetown. Each season stars a new criminal defendant in the fictional town of East Peck.  John Lithgow is featured in S1, and the charming Kristin Chenoweth (American Gods, Pushing Daisies) steals the show in S2. Awaiting word on S3.  Could be heading to Hulu or to Amazon. We can all use a little levity, yes?

TRIAL AND ERROR CAST S2

  • Why Women Kill at CBS All Access. Marc Cherry (Devious Maids, Desperate Housewives) fictionalizes the nature of true crime murders in three different decades. All the murders are motivated by betrayal.
  • Defending Jacob at Apple. Chris Evans (Captain America, Snowpiercer) stars in this straight-to-series order about a man whose 14-year-old son is accused of murder. True story is based on William Landhay’s 2012 novel. Variety’s Got The Deets….  

And speaking of Serial, if you never saw Saturday Night Live‘s hilarious sendup of Serial‘s hard-hitting investigation into Santa Claus (featuring the wonderful Cecily Strong and Amy Adams), you must treat yourself to a good laugh:

SNL Serial: The Christmas Surprise

 

N E X T   U P :

When Is Too Much TV Just Too Much?

NEO AS THE ARCHITECT

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TV Surf Report: Witches Are On Fire, Um, Trending …But Will Audiences Be Spellbound?

CHARMED REBOOT CAST

Santa Monica, CA — Move over Vampires, Zombies, and Donald Trump, Witches are about to make a big comeback on the small screen(s).

That Hollywood Zeitgeist strikes again as broadcast networks, streaming services, and cable all seem to be whipping up the same sort of witchy brew. Coincidence? (Or perhaps, it’s the result of very intricate piece of spellwork that would make J.K. Rowling proud!)

It wasn’t too long ago that Charmed, True Blood and Midnight, Texas were casting spells and brewing potions. Still, what’s old is new again these days in TV.

Let’s take a look at those shows coming up that are more or less, Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered:

CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA POSTER

  • American Horror Story: Apocalypse (FX) The crossover (details here) of two seasons, Murder House and Coven, bring the story back to New Orleans where Sarah Paulson is The Supreme, the witch who runs that coven house which doubles as a school for wayward girls. Here’s a Re-Cap of the First Episode, per Vulture
  • Charmed (The CW) This re-boot from the EPs of Jane the Virgin ditches the San Francisco setting of the 10-year-old original hit and transplants the Sisters back East (or is it Vancouver?!). Now, the Charmed Ones are three Latinx sisters, each of whom shares a different father. Am thinking the timeslot is great (following Supergirl) on Sundays, so The Power of Three may triumph yet again despite the lack of support from original cast members Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, or Rose McGowan.  Deadline Hollywood Agrees With Their Review. Premiered Oct. 14th. Here’s the Trailer which Explains It All
  • The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix) was to have been a spinoff of The CW’s Riverdale, however, the tone of this re-boot is much darker and in the vein of The Omen. Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men) stars as Sabrina. No word yet on a cameo by Melissa Joan Hart, who starred in ABC’s hit sitcom adaptation by Nell Scovell. Series has a 2-season order which bodes well. Also, I think Netflix has beaten the Buffy re-boot to the proverbial punch. Here’s the Trailer via EW
  • Bewitched (ABC) The EPs of Black-ish have garnered a big pilot production commitment for this re-boot which finds Samantha Stevens involved in an inter-racial marriage. More importantly, who gets to play nosy neighbor Gladys Kravitz or mother-in-law, Endora?  I have a bad feeling about this one.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TBD) The Scooby Gang is coming back but with all new Scoobys and an all new Slayer. Presumably, one or more of the gang will have some Wiccan powers, or maybe, Alison Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg) will return to advise. I miss Anya.  Just me?  Monica Breen (Midnight, Texas) scripts. Joss Whedon consults. Also, have a bad feeling about this one, as well.  Money Grab. Sorry, fans.

A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES

  • A Discovery of Witches at SKY.  Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer topline this adaptation of Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy.  Series premiered already in the UK, and hits the US in January 2019. The US Broadcast partner is Sundance Now, AMC’s SVOD service as well as Shudder, the streaming service specializing in Horror. Series has been renewed for S2 and S3 ahead of US debut. Oxford locations! I’m in. Here’s the very enticing Trailer.
  • The Witcher at Netflix. A group of young people hunt demons in this series based on Polish novelist Andrzej Sapkowski’s books.  Sean Daniel (The Mummy) produces.  Buffy 2.0 anyone? Henry Cavill (Mission: Impossible, Superman, Justice League) has signed on to star. Wow! Check out Henry Cavill’s Recent Post on Instagram!
  • His Dark Materials at BBC and HBO. Phillip Pullman’s books are quite supernatural as main character Lyra and her best friend travel the multiverse along with their daemons. It’s quite bewitching without really ever using the word, Witch. Two seasons are ordered for this expensive adaptation that features Dafne Keen, James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Now Shooting in Wales, Per Deadline
  • The Witching Hour (TBD) Anne Rice’s 1990 influential masterwork is the first book in a trilogy set in a mysterious house on First Street in the Garden District of New Orleans, the ancestral home of The Mayfair Witches. I LOVE THIS BOOK. Warner Bros. optioned the book in 1990 when it was first published, then NBC picked it up for a 12-hour miniseries. Expect this property to get hot again once The Vampire Chronicles goes into production at Hulu. Here’s a Summary of the Novel via Wikipedia

WITCHING HOUR BOOK

  • Penny Dreadful (Showtime) John Logan’s wonderful series gets revived with a new storyline set in 1930s Los Angeles, so expect lots of witchy hijinks and perhaps some magical realism. Can’t wait!

N E X T   U P :

 

AUTUMNAL EQUINOX

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TV Surf Report: Blame The Re-Boot Craze On The Success Of Battlestar Galactica, Hawaii Five-O, Will & Grace … And Fear

LOST IN SPACE

Santa Monica, CA — I finally got around to watching Netflix’ reboot of Lost in Space, one of my all-time childhood favorite TV series. The pilot felt (and looked) a bit drab introducing me to the The Robinsons, putting them into immediate jeopardy, but hooking the audience that stayed with them to the end with the introduction of Parker Posey as someone posing as Dr. Smith!

Danger Will Robinson!

I was immediately reminded of SyFy’s reboot of Battlestar Galactica, which also looked kinda drab in its pilot, but under Ron Moore’s brilliant guidance, BSG quickly found its footing and mythology which far surpassed the ABC original series from the ’80s.  BSG was so good, creatively-speaking, that it became an entertainment industry Influencer.

The successful re-boot of BSG influenced a generation of executives who saw for the first time that a re-boot can far surpass its original in both content and creativity and be financially successful for the studio that owns it. BSG, the movie, has been in development for several years now at Universal.

will-grace-revival

Reboots work*.

  • Hawaii Five-O (CBS) is now in its 9th season, recovering from a public berating over losing Grace Park (BSG) and Daniel Dae-Kim (Lost). The S9 premiere is a re-imagining of the Original 1968 Pilot, “Cocoon”
  • Fuller House (Netflix) Amazingly, this TGIF re-boot is in its 4th season.
  • Will & Grace (NBC) renewed NBC’s faith in Comedy with its 2-season pickup. This re-boot has been a tremendous success for the Peacock Network. Now, NBC needs to pick up Trial & Error for S3, a worthy companion to Will & Grace.
  • The X-Files (FOX) Mulder & Scully returned for two more seasons of government conspiracies and alien abductions. The audience returned, too, but ultimately left again by the end. Gillian Anderson says she’s done. Will The X-Files stay closed for good, though? Don’t bet on it.
  • MacGyver (CBS) is now in its 3rd season, but I still have not seen it.
  • Roseanne (ABC) is mutating into The Conners for S2 following the immediate firing of Roseanne Barr after one Tweet. Sara Gilbert, John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf return to Lanford, but the show will be missing its star when it returns.
  • Twin Peaks: The Return (Showtime) After 18 episodes, David Lynch appears to be finished with Agent Cooper & Co. No more pie for You. Some Emmy love might change that, though!
  • Dynasty (The CW) somehow eked out a S2. There’s a new Cristal, too. Not for me.
  • Lost in Space (Netflix) The Jupiter 2 has been renewed for S2. Lots of twists and turns to resolve…Deadline’s Review Says This ReBoot Never Takes Off

LOST IN SPACE NEW WILL ROBINSON

  • Charmed (The CW) Premieres this Fall on Sunday nights. Original star Holly Marie Combs has been pretty vocal with her non-support. We shall see if there is a new audience for this new take.
  • Murphy Brown (CBS) Candace Bergen and Diane English premiere their update Sept. 27th. Am not sure how well Murphy and the gang have aged and what they have to say about the current political climate. We shall see. Tyne Daly joins the cast replacing Phil the Bartender.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch (Netflix) Originally designed as a spinoff of The CW’s Riverdale, a darker more adult series was sold to Netflix as the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Am doubtful Melissa Joan Hart will be making a cameo in this latest incarnation of the Archie comic. Premieres October 26th And Stars Kiernan Shipka from Mad Men
  • Roswell (The CW) The YA soap about aliens living amongst us gets a Latinx twist in this new incarnation.
  • Magnum P.I. (CBS) No Tom Selleck.  He’s still on Blue Bloods.  Don’t expect this one to be around for long. Variety Says New Version Has Plenty of Action But Fails to Soar.

murphy-brown-reboot with tyne daly

Meanwhile, studios are raiding their libraries for Titles like crazy (looking at you Sony Pictures Television), and desperate Networks are buying these re-boots because they are terrified of original ideas and the challenge of marketing them to an audience that is now impossible to reach due to the glut of content.

Here are the latest Titles to be plucked from Studio Libraries in hopes of garnering a Sale at a broadcast network or streaming service:

buffy-the-vampire-slayer

  • Penny Dreadful (Showtime) Now, this revival is one I fully support as I loved creator John Logan’s beautiful three seasons chronicling Dracula, the Wolfman, and Frankstein’s period London adventures. So much Love and Loss. The new series is set in 1930s Los Angeles. Nerdist Reminds Us Why We Loved Penny Dreadful.
  • The Real World (Facebook Watch) The groundbreaking MTV reality series about seven strangers picked to live in a house returns.  Smart move, Facebook. Fond memories of the first few seasons, one of which was set on Venice Beach.
  • NYPD Blue (ABC) Steven Bochco’s cop drama gets a sequel featuring the son of Andy Sipowicz (Dennis Franz). Here are the details via Entertainment Weekly.
  • Alias (TBD) Presumably, this will land at ABC which aired the original series that starred Jennifer Garner and was produced by J.J. Abrams. Meanwhile, Garner stars in HBO’s Camping.
  • Kung Fu (Fox). Uber producer Greg Berlanti EPs, and Albert Kim scripts this gender-flipped action procedural, Grasshopper. Variety Has The Details…
  • The Twilight Zone (CBS All Access) Oscar-winner Jordan Peele (Get Out) EPs and hosts the newest incarnation of this anthology classic. If memory serves, a writer by the name of George R. R. Martin once wrote for CBS’ reboot many years ago. Whatever happened to him? Here are the 13 Best Episodes of Twilight Zone, via Syfy Wire.
  • Party of Five (Freeform) Creators Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman reimagine their series about orphans, herein, the parents of the kids are deported to Mexico. Topical. Pilot order. Rodrigo Garcia directs. Sony Pictures TV scores another reboot!
  • Bewitched (ABC) Black-ish EP Kenya Barris and writer Yamara Taylor will bring an interracial spin to Samantha and Darrin Stevens. But who will play Gladys Kravitz??? I vote for Margo Martindale. Big pilot production commitment given to ABC Studios and to Sony TV (which owns the rights). Deadline Hollywood Has The Details …
  • Veronica Mars (Hulu) This low-rated but beloved detective series starring Kristen Bell has never lost its fan base or appeal, apparently. Eight eps. ordered.
  • Designing Women (ABC) Sony TV has been after creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason for years to re-boot Sugarbakers. Series star Dixie Carter (and the voice of Bloodworth-Thomason) passed away several years ago, I am sorry to report. This revival seems tailored for CBS, so we shall see.  Here is Bloodworth-Thomason’s Now Famous OpEd About Les Moonves at CBS.
  • Deadwood (HBO) Ian MacShane to topline a movie or limited series return to the foul-mouthed Western!
  • Baywatch (TBD) Yes, it’s hard to keep those Los Angeles County Lifeguards off TV for long.
  • The Facts of Life (TBD) Jessica Biel of all people is EPing the reboot. I suppose she must harbor a love for the original as she is the right age to have been influenced by its 9-year run.  Original Mrs. Garrett, Charlotte Rae, just passed away.
  • Alf (TBD) From the files of No Thank You, We’re Good.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TBD) Fox 21 Studios takes over from 20th Century Fox Television to produce the re-boot. The studio has struck a deal with Joss Whedon to EP, but not to write.  He’s got his HBO series to write. Instead, Whedon will oversee Monica Breen (Midnight, Texas) who wants to kickstart a new generation of Slayers with a new ethnically diverse one. So far, this sounds like a continuation of the Buffy mythology, so I hope they use a different title then. Meanwhile, the studio is looking for the highest bidder. I would not be surprised if it goes to sister company, FX. SMG and David Boreanaz Give Their Blessing To The ReBoot, Per EW
  • Frasier (TBD, but CBS is most likely) Star Kelsey Grammar is shopping the revival so expect a deal somewhere. Paramount owns the show, so sister company CBS is the likely winner. Also, it fits their white, older demo.
  • Mad About You (TBD) Star and EP Paul Reiser says the revival is unlikely at this point. That’s good news. Was not wild about this one.
  • The Hills (MTV). Um, who cares? Not I.  Lauren Conrad is not returning. Not that I care.
  • The L Word (Showtime) Have not heard much since it was announced. Slow track?
  • Tales of the City  (Netflix) Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis are set to reprise their roles. Not sure I want to return, though.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess (NBC) Seems frozen after the network passed on Javier Grillo-Marxuach’s script. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman is a cultural phenomenon. Wake up, NBC!

(*) Many Re-Boots fail, though: The Bionic Woman, Dark Shadows, The Bradys, Uncle Buck, Ironside, to name a few of recent memory.

Finally, this article is actually a Re-boot, of sorts. I wrote about this depressing Trend almost one year ago. How’s that for cyclical continuity in Television?

If you want to see which Re-boots didn’t go forward from last year, CLICK ON THIS COOL LINK TO SURFING HOLLYWOOD FROM AUGUST 2017

(Hint:  That James Gunn-produced re-boot of Starsky & Hutch never happened. Darn it!)

N E X T   U P:

AUTUMNAL EQUINOX

 

 

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Surf Report: Man Seeks Coffee Shop

COFFEE SHOP BLUE BOTTLE           PINTO STANDING SURFER BEACH

Santa Monica, CA

Local Man Seeks Area Coffee Shop. Must Open Early (Surfers Hours!)  Coffee Should Be Strong! Discounted Prices For Regulars A+ Please Respond In Comments Section Below If Your Shop Is Available Now! NSA!

My former coffee house, PEETS, closed its doors on Main Street in late December 2017, and I have been Latte-less for nearly eight long months. Eight. Long. Months!

My writing has suffered. (See Blog.) My daily friendships have fallen by the wayside. (Apologies!) To make matters worse, I now brew my own coffee at home. (It’s terrible.)

In Los Angeles, the neighborhood coffee shop is the European equivalent of the corner café or a British Pub: Neighbors, Tennis Partners, Surfers, Artists, Friends. One sees them all. And vice versa. Café Society, indeed.

Main Street Bids Farewell to Locals’ Favorite Peets Coffee

I Just Can’t Quit You.

I follow my former beloved barista, Marvin, on Snapchat. We keep in touch. For a while, I sent him photos of my lame attempts at steamed milk topped coffee. He was unimpressed. He sends me Snaps of his travel adventures. (Marvin could drink me under the table.)

Meanwhile, I will occasionally see other Peets regulars out and about in the world of Ocean Park, and I always stop them to say Do you miss Peets? They all do. We all miss Marvin who knew everyone’s name (and drink). Marvin would patiently endure new manager after new manager and break them in on how Coffee is done on Main Street.

Marvin lasted well over 15 years while each of those new managers maybe lasted a year.

PINTO SECRET LIFE OF

There are an abundance of Coffee houses in my neighborhood, Ocean Park: Dogtown Coffee, Urrth Café, Starbucks, Groundworks, Bulletproof. The Peets Coffee at Edgemar was the Goldilocks of Coffee shops: It was just right.

Supposedly, Blue Bottle Coffee is to take over the Peets location. All the walls have been knocked down, the entire space has been gutted. Currently, there is a trench dug in the concrete floor.

No coffee will be poured anytime soon, I fear. Eight long months (and counting)!

 

N E X T   U P:

ReBoots. Ugh. This Trend Is All My Fault.

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

 

 

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Film Surf Report: Five Movies Starring Female Leads That Hollywood Needs To Make Now (And The Sooner, The Better)

BATGIRL

Santa Monica, CA — I recently read all six novels of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea series*, a fantasy series that starts out with a boy becoming a wizard but ends with that boy’s future wife and adopted daughter leading the story while the boy (now a grown man in his dotage) stays home and minds the garden. Fantastic!

While the execs at Warner Bros. and at DC Comics try to figure out how to rescue Superman and Batman from the Zack Snyder Universe with a possible Batgirl standalone film and/or a Harley Quinn standalone film (Birds of Prey), the folks in Burbank are sitting on a quartet of well-known yet underserved heroines who have what Metropolis and Gotham lack: Characters who can win or lose, hurt or be hurt (sorry, Wonder Woman), and an audience that has grown up with them.

Here are five female-centric films just waiting to be made (and Warner Bros. has 4/5 of ’em):

EMMA WATSON AS HERMIONE

  • The Further Adventures of Hermione Granger

Okay, Warner Bros. is all in on Fantastic Beasts with four films on the way following the rather dull first entry in the new J.K. Rowling series.  While I do believe those films will finally get there emotionally with the thrilling climax of Dumbledore defeating Grindewald, the Harry Potter character I most want to catch up with is Hermione Granger.

That’s right: Warner Bros. needs to continue making films with Hermione, Ron and Harry, three Super Heroes, who alright, just happen to be Wizards, but who are in the prime of their lives with lots to prove before settling down with kids and such. Get on with it, J.K. Rowling!

Let’s also be clear that the time has come for Hermione to step up and to take Center Stage with Harry and Ron clambering to keep up with her.  Both the character and actor Emma Watson’s portrayal of her are quite capable of carrying a Story:

  • Did she finish at Hogwarts?
  • Will she meet Viktor Krum again?
  • How are her parents doing after having their memories erased and sent Down Under?
  • Do she and Ginny get a flat together in London and go Bridget Jones on us?

There is a lot of Story to fill in before arriving at Platform 9 3/4 in 19 years.

CARRIE ANNE AS TRINITY

  • The Matrix: Trinity

Meanwhile, another Warner Bros. property has a prequel just waiting to be made, and that’s The Matrix. Where is the Trinity standalone film, and why haven’t The Wachowskis made it?

I want to know how Morpheus recruited her (and from where) and why she became a legend by the time that Neo follows the white rabbit which leads to her. Give me Trinity The Movie (and give it to me now, starring Catriona Balfe from Outlander). I don’t want to see Morhpeus’ origin story (but that’s what’s in development at WB). Yawn.

BLACK WIDOW MOVIE

  • Black Widow: My Life in Moscow (and Beyond)

After years of waiting, there is finally a Black Widow standalone film in development over at Marvel.  Aussie filmmaker Cate Shortland (Lore) is set to direct from a script by Jac Shaeffer (The Hustle).

Storyline for Black Widow is Set pre-Avengers

Thank you, Marvel, and to the fans whose interest in the character got this movie in development while Scarlett Johannson can still kick butt.

I have high hopes for Brie Larson’s take on Captain Marvel, but I am already invested in Black Widow. Geez, there have been three Thor films, three Captain America films, three Iron Man films, a coupla Hulk attempts. About damn time!

Given the timeline, we’re obviously going back to Russia to see how Natasha Romanoff trained and what her first missions were.  Perhaps, she runs afoul of Agent Peggy Carter, founder of S.H.I.E.L.D pre-retirement? Get ready to visit the Red Room.

CATE AS GALADRIEL LOTR

 

  • The Lord of the Rings: Galadriel (and those darned Rings of Power)

Amazon is spending upwards of $500 million on a TV version of The Lord of the Rings, but the one character I want to spend time with learning how she came to be is Galadriel, bearer of one of the Three Rings of Power gifted to the Elves.

(Note: I have, indeed, read The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien)

We all want to know more about this fascinating, really powerful character who has seen and done it all by the time that Frodo and The Fellowship wander into Lothlorien.

Amazon is reported to be focusing on the backstory of Aragorn, so hopefully he spends a lot of time with the Elves prior to becoming a Ranger in the North. Otherwise, yawn.

 

BATGIRL FULL COLOR YVONNE CRAIG

  • Batgirl: Barbara Gordon (Librarian by Day …)

This film is in development at DC Comics. Joss Whedon quit after being unable to come up with a script that worked which troubles me greatly as I think a Buffy-esque approach would work for this character (who is not original to the Batman comics but was created specifically for the ’60s TV series).

Alicia Silverstone gave it the ol’ college try in the dreadful Batman & Robin, so let’s forgive her (and also re-cast her in another role in the Batgirl Universe). Director Joel Schumacher, you are still in Movie Jail, though.

Per Variety, Christina Hodson Replaces Joss Whedon on Batgirl

Hodson (Bumblebee) wrote the screenplay for Birds of Prey and is well acquainted with the inner-workings of DC Comics.

 

 

And lastly, let me get one last plug in for Ursula K. LeGuin:

EARTHSEA    EARTHSEA BOOKS

(*) Le Guin’s Earthsea Series includes:

  • A Wizard of Earthsea
  • The Tombs of Atuan
  • The Farthest Shore
  • Tales from Earthsea
  • The Other Wind

 

N E X T   U P:

To Re-Boot Or To Not Re-Boot: That Is The Question!

buffy-the-vampire-slayer

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Film Surf Report: Super Hero Franchises Save Us From The Autumn Of Our Discontent …

AQUAMAN POSTER Santa Monica, CA — With the Dog Days of Summer long gone, the next batch of super hero franchise films are upon us, so I hope you enjoyed the respite and are ready to embrace the months (and years) ahead! Interestingly, DC Comics and Warner Bros. have re-cut a new Aquaman trailer (with much better results than the first one, I am happy to report. See link below). The studio also seems to be taking a Villainous approach to their franchises having recently greenlit a Birds of Prey film starring Margot Robbie (which hits theaters in 2020) and not one, but two Joker solo films starring Joaquin Phoenix and Jared Leto, respectfully. Of course, the super hero is only as good as the super villain opposing him/her, but I gotta say I don’t really care about a Joker origin story.  Yawn. He’s nuts. Less is more. I have serious doubts about this approach, however, were I a betting man, I would place my pesos on Universal’s upcoming Glass, the 3rd film in the Unbreakable franchise, which explores super heroes and super villains. DC should take note! Meanwhile, here’s what/who’s about to hit the big screen. You may want to prepare yourself for multiple doses of Jude Law, Samuel L. Jackson, and James McAvoy: JUDE LAW AS YOUNG DUMBLEDORE IN FB
  • Venom Oct. 5th — Hopes were not high until Tom Hardy signed on to play Venom, the anti-hero of the Spider-Man Universe. Interested. Underpaid actor Michelle Williams co-stars. Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) directs. Here is the most recent Trailer which shows Michelle Williams running a lot. Got a bad feeling about this one, gang. The reviews have not been kind, but film has made $100m domestically in a week, so perhaps it’s review-proof. Rotten Tomatoes Says It’s Rotten With 31%. Help, Spider-Man!
  • Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them: The Crimes of Grindewald  Nov. 16th — David Yates directs the 2nd of the planned five films in the franchise that will likely culminate in the big duel between Grindewald (Johnny Depp) and a young Dumbledore!  (Jude Law) Best of all, we finally get a glimpse of noted Alchemist Nicolas Flamel who created that infamous Sorcerer’s Stone as well as Nagini who turns out to be a Maledictus! Mind Blown! Here’s the Final Trailer Which Is Terrific! The Latest Trailer Looks Great! Young Dumbledore Suits Jude Law via EW
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse  Dec. 14th — This animated movie explores a post-Peter Parker world and features Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy.Un
  • Untitled Deadpool Movie  Dec. 21st — Now, this is unusual! A kid-friendly version of Deadpool apparently is getting unwrapped just in time for the holidays.  Stay tuned. It could very well be a re-cut version of Deadpool 2 released earlier this year.
  • Aquaman  Dec. 21st — Man, I hope DC Comics/WB gets it right here.  Jason Momoa looks great holding a trident, confronting Bruce Wayne, etc. in Justice LeagueAmber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman also star. Check out the latest Trailer H E R E (and it’s much improved over the 1st Trailer!) James Wan (Fast & Furious 7, The Conjuring) directs. The super villain is Black Manta.
GLASS

Here’s a Peek at  2 0 1 9:

  • Glass — Jan. 18th — M. Night Shyamalan’s follow up to 2016’s Split and Unbreakable features characters from both films (James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson) who think they are super heroes and/or villains. Looks great.  Here’s the Trailer which premiered at Comic-Con
BRIE AS CAPTAIN MARVEL
  • Captain Marvel  March 8th — Okay, Brie Larson. Ya got your work cut out for ya. Story is set pre-Avengers in the ’90s with Nick Fury not wearing an eye patch! Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck direct. Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Tomb Raider) scripts. Jude Law co-stars (in everything!). Film sets up Captain Marvel as the Avenger to beat in the ensuing Avengers 4 where Thanos gets his due. Interestingly, Brie Larson has signed a 7-picture deal with Marvel, so guess she’s the leader of the New Avengers! Here’s the action-packed TRAILER (narrated by Nick Fury).
  • Shazam! April 5th  David F. Sandberg (Annabelle) directs. Zachary Levi stars in a story reminiscent of Tom Hank’s Big, and Dwayne Johnson is set to produce and to star as Black Adam, the villain of Shazam!, in a spinoff film, but Johnson is reportedly not appearing in Shazam! (or is he?). The Trailer Goes For Laughs (And Misses) Meanwhile, there was hope for a Superman cameo, however, Henry Cavill Has Reportedly Hung Up His Cape, per THR.
AVENGERS INFINITY WAR POSTER
  • Avengers 4  May 3rd — What was to have been a 2-parter from The Russo Bros. has now become Avengers 4 which supposedly wraps up the current group, including expensive paycheck players Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man and Chris Evans as Captain America who completes his contract with Marvel with this film. Fingers crossed that Thor survives. Black Widow must because she’s getting her own solo film! Look for a big assist from Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel, as well.  The End of the MCU (As We Knew It) Via GQ
  • X-Men: Dark Phoenix  June 7th  — Even though this film’s release date has been moved back three times now (per THR), it still feels too soon. I still remember the Famke Janssen version of X3 (co-written by Simon Kinberg), and young Jean Grey was just okay in Apocalypse. Fox is going to the X-Well once too often, I fear. Kinberg directs. Jessica Chastain plays the Villain, who is taken from the original Comic.  Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, and James McAvoy return as does Evan Peters as Quicksilver.  Feels Ho Hum to me. Been here, done that.  Meanwhile, someone dies! Any guesses? Here’s the first Trailer. Check it out!
  • Men in Black: The Spinoff — June 14th —  Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Rebecca Ferguson, Kumail Nanjani, Liam Neeson and Emma Thompson topline this Sony re-boot. F. Gary Gray directs from a script by Iron Man scribes Matt Holloway and Art Marcum.  Hopes high, I think.
MIB REBOOT
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home   July 5th — Tom Holland and Marisa Tomei scored in Civil War and are rewarded with a 3-parter.  Expect director Jon Watts to return for the sequel. Jake Gyllenhall in talks to star as the villain, Mysterio. Gotta say, Tom Holland is really winning in this role (and I am a fan of the Tobey trilogy). Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders also appear. Interesting! (They were turned to dust in Infinity War!).
  • X-Men: New Mutants  Aug. 2nd — Josh Boone directs a supposedly horror-tinged film featuring a new group of mutants that will likely include Wolfsbane, Rachel Summers, and MagmaJames McAvoy returns as Professor X.  Film’s release has been delayed several times as well and has been finished for a year now.
  • Joker: My Life & Times (working title) – Oct. 4th  — Todd Phillips’ (The Hangover) solo story stars Joaquin Phoenix (See the first look via Rotten Tomatoes!) as Batman’s arch-nemesis following in the notable footsteps of Caesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, Mark Hamill, and most recently, Jared Leto. Here’s the details via Deadline Hollywood
  • Charlie’s Angels — Nov. 1st — Kristin Stewart headlines the new trio who are directed by Elizabeth Banks in the Sony reboot of the franchise once led by Drew Barrymore (who rebooted the TV series). Always up to re-visit the Angels & Co. Film will have stiff competition from another old chestnut, The Terminator.
  • Kingsmen 3 — Nov. 8th — Matthew Vaughn again writes and directs the final chapter of the Eggsy-Harry Hart mentorship.  Supposedly, there’s also a Statesmen spinoff in development, as well. I thoroughly enjoyed the first film and thought the second was not as good.
  • Fantastic Beasts 3 –Nov. 15th– More Dumbledore! Less Johnny Depp. I anticipate FB2 will be a smash hit as the story escalates between Dumbledore and Grindewald with a big assist by Newt. Am realizing we will eventually get to meet such wizarding luminaries as Bathilda Bagshot and a younger version of Aberforth as well as new characters like Claudia Kim’s Nagini and Zoe Kravitz’ Leta Lestrange!
  • Untitled Fox/Marvel Film — Nov. 22nd — More X-Men! Or possibly, Dr. Doom from Fantastic Four with Noah Hawley (Legion) helming. That Fantastic Four option appears to be lapsing. Or possibly, Multiple Man starring James Franco! Simon Kinsberg produces from a script by Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman).
  • Star Wars, Ep. IX   — Dec. 20th —  LucasFilm is using previously shot footage so it will be interesting to see how they deal with the untimely death of Carrie Fisher and her alter ego, Princess/General Leia? JJ Abrams returns to the franchise in the director’s chair after a troubling start. I predict the storyline for The Skywalkers gets wrapped up. No more Death Stars, please! Fisher had the last line in The Last JediWe have everything we need. Let’s hope so. Keri Russell has been cast in an as yet unknown role.
CARRIE AS GENERAL LEIA

N E X T   U P:

Female Characters Who Deserve Their Own Movie!

TRINITY
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Surf Report: What’s To Eat In Your Earthquake Kit? (Now is a Good Time to Stock Up on Beefaroni)

405 FWY ON FIRE Santa Monica, CA — The current LA Heatwave and the years of being reminded that Los Angeles is in the Hot Zone that is way overdue for a major quake has started me thinking about Earthquake Preparedness.

I have a hastily thrown together Earthquake Kit but where in the hell did I put that thing???

This story is about preparing for The Big One (or whichever likely Natural Disaster is heading your way!) and having food stored in one’s Earthquake Preparedness Kit that is not just dried and tasteless.

Good Food, indeed.

Now, where did I hide and/or conveniently misplace that box of important Earthquake Survival Food Stuffs?  Ah yes, there it is stashed against the back wall of the closet crammed full of Christmas decorations, wrapping paper, luggage, and assorted boxes for appliances that I just can’t seem able to toss. In the aftermath of a disaster, it will be so easy to locate (sarcasm!).

EARTHQUAKE PREPAREDNESS KIT 0LD BOX      OLD EARTHQUAKE KIT CONTENTS

Unearthing this box (pardon the pun) and discovering its contents is a snapshot of the ’90s which is most likely when I packed it:  Rice Cakes (yuk!), Unfrosted Strawberry Pop-tarts (they don’t even make those anymore! Hope they are still good!), Generic Chocolate Chip Cookies, Mini-Cans of Pork ‘N Beans, canned Tuna (toss!), Saltine Crackers (to go with the Tuna, natch) and one package of D Batteries (but no flashlight). Love those Carbs!

Thank God I have opened this box and can now throw everything away (with the exception of the batteries and those Pop-tarts!)

Time. To. Start. Over.

Water, however, you most likely have not purchased Enough Water.

You have that emergency jar of Peanut Butter. So you are good for the first two hours of what could be a 2-week ordeal following The Big One.

Time to put some thought into What Are You Going To Eat Following An Earthquake?

There’s food in your freezer, to be sure. Hopefully, you will be able to access that food. In a best-case scenario, you will have 24-48 hours in which to grill whatever protein is frozen, so that’s two days covered. Your neighbors will be doing the same or relying on you to share, and vice versa. Keep that in mind.

Also, local restaurants with gas grills that work will most likely be serving up anything they can following a Big Quake.

Get extra water. Keep a flat of water in the trunk of your car. Do it. It’s easy.

EARTHQUAKE CUPBOARD      EARTHQUAKE WATER

Now comes the hard part: Stock up on food that will not only last but is also nutritional and not just junk. The Good News is most of these items are probably on sale right now at your local supermarket:

  • Bagged Nuts in the Shell (like salted peanuts)
  • Canned Fruit (pineapple slices, etc.)
  • Dried Fruit
  • Protein Bars (breakfast bars, etc.)
  • Canned Beans (chili, black, navy, pork and) This means you will also need a Can Opener. Perhaps, put that Swiss Army Knife in your Earthquake Kit. (That’s more of a Note to Self.)
  • Beefaroni (You loved it as a Kid. You will be surprised at how good it will taste when there is nothing else to eat. Also, it’s always on sale at Ralph’s for $1/can.)

So, that’s week one right there, however, a big Snag exists: Caffeine.

IMG_1640

If you are like me, you NEED that cup (or two) of Hot Coffee every morning. In the event of an Earthquake, think about how you are going to get that caffeine.  I get a headache if I don’t have my morning coffee.

Provided the gas has not been shut off, you can always switch to Hot Tea. However, that’s best case scenario. Most likely, the gas will be shut off along with the electricity. So, can you imagine boiling water on a grill just to make Hot Tea or instant coffee (yuck!)?

Get a Thermos.

Other Stuff to Have Handy and/or Reserved Specifically in Case of Earthquake:

  • Toilet Paper (along with a bucket with a top that seals)
  • First Aid Kit(s) that includes bandages, peroxide and antiseptic cream.
  • Batteries (for flashlights, head lamps, radios)
  • Portable Radio (I put my old Walkman in my Earthquake kit – batteries included)
  • Head Lamp (the kind that attaches to the brim of a hat)
  • Fire Extinguisher (You must know how to use it.)
  • A Good Book (what novel will comfort you in a time of emergency and stress? Might I suggest The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings as you will need to really get away!)
  • Tent and Sleeping Bag (I keep mine in the trunk of my car. Your home might become unsafe.)

TOILET PAPER ROLLS      FIRST AID KIT     TATTERED TOLKIEN

Well, fingers are crossed that we are all as prepared as we can be when and if The Big One actually hits.  Remember where you stash your Earthquake Kit. Buy extra Water.

Time to check on those old Pop-tarts!

 

N E X T   U P:

Female Characters Who Are Long Overdue for Their Own Movie!

BLACK WIDOW MOVIE

 

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