Auteur Horror – Which Remake Do You Want to See?

Happy October, everyone. To celebrate my favorite time of year, I have a new poll for you today, and it concerns both remakes and how much more exciting (and weirder) they could totally be.

Remakes generally get a bad rap, but one of the problems, I think, is that so many of the reboots today are just so utterly generic and uninspired. It’s rare when anyone does anything really new with one — which made me wonder how some of Hollywood’s most unique directors, known specifically for their distinctive voices and styles, would approach remaking a well-known horror movie.

Your mission today, should you choose to accept it, is to pick the horror movie remake that you’d most like to see as created by the director specified. You cannot mix and match the directors, sorry, but I have provided links so that you can glance at a few trailers, should you wish, and get an idea/remind yourself of their aesthetic. I’ve also posted links for the original movie trailers. (Though sometimes I had to use fan-made trailers or just straight clips when the official trailers themselves were useless. House of Wax and Suspiria, I’m looking at you, buddies.)

Here are your contenders:

1. David Lynch (Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive) directs House of Wax

Two disclaimers: first, the link to House of Wax contains SPOILERS . . . for a 1953 Vincent Price movie, so I feel like you can handle it. Second: I haven’t actually watched said movie. That’s bad, I know. I do know what happens, and I’ve seen the not-at-all close remake (boy, have I), but we’re going to stick with the original today. Honestly, I suspect that a David Lynch remake would stray pretty far from the source material too.

What would a Lynch remake look like, exactly, though? It’s hard to say. But wax museums are just inherently creepy, and Christ knows Lynch could manage to make them even creepier. No doubt it would be erotic, too. I’m unnerved just thinking about it.

2. Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Crimson Peak) directs Suspiria

Okay, guys, let’s be real here: this would have to be the most gothically gorgeous ballet academy ever run by evil witches. I mean, it would almost be worth actually attending, wouldn’t it? After all, what are a few maggots and dead bodies compared to such beautiful architecture and intensely baroque fashion? (I’m almost positive Jane Austen said something like that once.)

Suspiria in del Toro’s hands? Seriously, just imagine the pure decadence.

3. Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Royal Tenenbaums) directs I Know What You Did Last Summer

Not exactly known for directing films anywhere near the horror genre, Wes Anderson did nonetheless surprise me by creating a pretty creepy chase scene in The Grand Budapest Hotel . . . and I’ve wondered what a horror movie by him would look like ever since. A slasher, especially.

What I’m picturing here is something like this: the usual Cast of Characters, quite possibly a narrator, and of course individual objects on display: Helen’s cut off hair, the blackmail letter, the fish hook, etc. Who wouldn’t pay to watch that?

4. Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir DogsInglourious Basterds) directs Saw

Because, when you get right down to it, Saw is really a movie about two guys sitting in a room talking to each other.

Obviously, there’s a lot of horrific violence too — which I think we all know the QT could handle — but if your movie basically centers around one long and super tense conversation, I mean, who better to write and direct it than Quentin Tarantino?

5. Tarsem Singh (The Cell, Immortals) directs A Nightmare on Elm Street

I didn’t actually see the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street, but I bet all the money in my pocket right now that the nightmares themselves were pretty mundane.

Here, though. Here I have absolutely no doubt that the dream imagery in this remake would be fantastic, lush and surreal and creepy as all hell. Which is probably what you want from a movie that literally has ‘nightmare’ in the title. The visuals in this thing would be stunning.

6. The Coen Brothers (No Country for Old Men, Fargo) direct The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Okay, there have been, like, dozens of these remakes, and also sequels, and sequels to the remakes, and prequels to the remakes too . . . but none of them have been done by guys who have actually won multiple Oscars before. And the Coen Brothers don’t seem particularly averse to bloody violence. For that matter, they seem pretty okay with filming stories set in the South, too, and pretending that their movies are based on a real story when they’re totally not.

Honestly, though, I think it could be kind of cool. It’s like Horror for Grown-Ups! At the very least, I assume it would bring horror back to the Oscars.

7. Tim Burton (Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow) directs The Shining

Okay, I know there are some of you howling, and I get it — but this could be early days Tim Burton, and Johnny Depp doesn’t have to be anywhere near it. (Unless that’s actually a draw. Oh, how it used to be a draw.)

I can see The Overlook being super gothic and weird and hopefully all bent at really strange angles. I can absolutely see how the topiary scene from the novel could work. Burton’s mostly known for the darker, weirder side of family friendly, but seeing more actual horror from him might be kind of interesting. (Alternatively, I’m desperately curious to what the family friendly version of The Shining would look like. Honestly, I almost want to see that more.)

And . . . yep, that’s it. As always, I love to hear your arguments/reasonings, but you never need to justify your choice. Are you only interested in Tim Burton doing The Shining if Johnny Depp plays Jack Torrance? That’s fine, even if that’s not something I, myself, personally want to see. Do you think a Wes Anderson horror movie would be a hilarious disaster that you need to watch before you die? That’s cool too. You can pick for funniest sounding movie or scariest sounding movie. All reasons are valid, unless you’re actively trying to be an asshole.

The poll will be up for one week. Comment to vote, preferably on the blog, but Facebook and Twitter will work fine too. (Or if you know me personally, I suppose you can just tell me — but then everyone’s going to accuse me of cheating, and it’s going to be all your fault.) Please remember, though, that you can only vote for ONE movie. By all means, go ahead and write out your internal struggle, but I do need you to be clear on which one you’re actually voting for by the end, or I can’t count your vote for either.

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Season Premiere Review Round Up – Numero Uno – 9/20-10/2

It’s that time of year again: Fall TV has begun. Normally, this is a pretty exciting time for me, but I’ve got to be honest: the shows I’m most looking forward to (Agent Carter, Person of Interest, Lucifer, Daredevil) all begin mid-season, like, January at the earliest. (And in Daredevil’s case, possibly much later.) Even the fall shows I’m most excited about (The Librarians, Jessica Jones, Elementary) don’t start till November. Still, I did watch a fair number of shows these past two weeks, some new, some returning, and some I thought I’d given up for good.

Here’s what I have for you so far — but fair warning: there are lots of SPOILERS here. If you haven’t watched the episode in question, you know. Go do that first.

Agents of SHIELD


Okay, this was pretty awesome.

Last season of Agents of SHIELD had some balance problems for me, mostly in the second half, and I remain fully annoyed by the turn in May’s character, which I never even remotely bought. “Laws of Nature,” though, was a great way to start the third season. I was invested in all of it — the rise of the Inhumans, the pitiful plight of Joey Gutierrez, Coulson adjusting to his new lack-of-hand, Coulson vs Rosalind on the train, Hunter’s commentary on basically anything, this new WTF Porcupine Big Bad, Fitz’s desperation to find Jemma, etc. Man, that scene at the end with Fitz screaming at the monolith? So, SO good. It still amuses me that my least favorite character in the beginning of this show has easily become my favorite now.

Other random thoughts:

A. I will inevitably slip up and call Daisy “Skye” at least once, but I will try not to do this.

B. I kind of forgot all about May — who I normally love — until the very end of the episode, when Coulson pointed out that she was MIA. Whoops. When she returns, I would really like to immediately move past that whole BS “betrayed by Coulson” thing and just get back to them being awesome. Also, I hear Blair Underwood’s coming back, which is great. You know who should also come back? Tsai Chin. She was only in this show for, like, four seconds, and she was spectacular.

C. I’m deeply glad that Bobbi and Hunter aren’t seriously on the outs already. Also, I couldn’t help but laugh at the throwaway line about Bobbi’s apparent biology degree that no one’s ever mentioned before. She comes in wearing that white lab coat, and I’m like, “Uh, sure?” (Yes, fellow nerds, I have since discovered that this is IC with the comics, but considering they’ve never brought it up even once on the show, it felt kind of hilariously OOC to me.)

D. So, that’s where Jemma went. Man. Ominous alien monoliths never take you anywhere fun anymore.

E. Finally, the WTF Porcupine Big Bad? I’m looking at it, thinking to myself, “Okay, what the shit is that?” But also thinking, “You know, that silhouette looks really familiar to me.” It took me about an hour to remember the monster guys from The Village. Heh.


Easy: Fitz taking a shotgun, blasting his way into the monolith, and screaming at it to do something. Seriously, so, SO GOOD.



The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

daily show

So, this was funny. I don’t know how much I have to say about it, really. Like most Americans, I knew very little about Trevor Noah before this, but he made me laugh pretty consistently here and I’m looking forward to watching more of the show. Whole thing seemed pretty solid.


Hm, hard to say. I enjoyed all of these:

“And it’s weird because Dad has left. And now it feels like the family has a new stepdad. And he’s black.”
“Nooo. Why leave now, I just got here?”
“And to you, the Daily Show viewer, both new and old, at home or on your phone, thank you for joining us as we continue the War on Bullshit.”





I gave up Gotham sometime last year when I just couldn’t take its downward spiral anymore. I hadn’t planned to go back, but skimming through the recaps on io9 changed my mind because it really sounded like Gotham had decided to ditch their poor attempts at Serious Batman Show and fully embrace their balls-to-the-wall crazy. And I figured, Well, that could be entertaining, at least.

People. I was not wrong.

I giggled like a fiend while watching this, and not only that, I was giggling mostly when the show wanted me to. Like, at least 85% of the time. Barbara’s black-and-white striped Arkham Asylum dress? It is one of the best things I’ve ever seen. I kind of want to cosplay as Barbara Gordon now — and I named this woman as the Worst Female Character on Television last year. Possibly ever. Now that she’s evil, though? Fantastic.

I’ll admit, the whole story where Gordon loses his job and goes to Penguin to get it back? Eh, it didn’t do much for me, considering I thought Gordon already learned this lesson last year. On the other hand, the fact that Bruce is the one who talked him into compromising his morals for the greater good is sort of interesting — in a weird way — and holy shit, I did not expect Gordon to kill the dude. For someone to die, sure. But I didn’t actually think Gordon would do the deed himself, even in a kinda-sorta-self-defense way. This is, however, the rare instance where I’m actually hoping they won’t dwell too much on the emotional ramifications of this. I know that’s bad, but my favorite flavor of Jim Gordon — at least, as acted by Ben McKenzie — is cranky as hell, not super broody. It’s not that I don’t buy McKenzie’s broody, necessarily; I’m just not interested. Personally, I loved the scene where he took down Sword Wielding Crazy and brought him to the police station. I want more of that from Gordon.

Mostly, though, this episode cracked me up. I mean, pretty much everything about Bruce and Alfred blowing up Thomas Wayne’s Secret Door was great. For instance:

  • The level of pure condescension in Bruce’s voice when he argues that he too knows how to make a bomb because he “read a book.”
  • “Don’t you start talking French to me.”
  • “I’m building a bomb to blow that door down. You may assist me or not, as you wish, but if not, some tea would be nice.”
  • How happy Bruce and Alfred are when they successfully blow shit up.
  • Bruce apparently not thinking to try his own name as a combination on his father’s secret door. Oh, Little Bruce. You still have so much to learn about the human heart and, also, cliches.

Also on the Side of Awesome: James Frain (who, sadly, is not British here), an a cappella farewell to Commissioner Loeb, Bullock telling Gordon to slow down his drinking literally as he pours him another drink, “two A’s,” and Riddler’s split personality saying, “Dude. It’s a mirror. That’s how they work.” (Although I’m not quite sold on Riddler having a split personality yet. We’ll see.)

If the show can keep up this level of crazy . . . yeah, I could potentially get back into this.







I kind of miss being hooked on a juicy night soap, especially one that’s a mystery, even though I don’t think I’ve ever made it through a whole series without inevitably giving up on it. (See: Scandal, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, The Vampire Diaries, etc.) I’ve been considering checking out How to Get Away With Murder, especially now that the first season is on Netflix, but in the meantime I decided to try out Quantico.

I sincerely doubt that I’m going to stick with Quantico until the bitter end, but as pilots go, this actually wasn’t a terrible one. There are some neat things, some annoying things, and some ridiculously silly things. I figure I’ll keep going with it until I hate virtually every character. I’m hoping that doesn’t happen in Season One, but will see. Likable characters wasn’t one of this pilot’s strong suits.

The Neat:

  • An Indian protagonist
  • Aunjanue Ellis, who I just adored on The Mentalist.
  • Josh Hopkins, who I adored on Cougar Town. (Though, sadly, he looks to be more annoying here, and I assume there will be significantly less guitar playing.)
  • The revelation that Ryan Booth is spying on Alex. (Because thank Christ – I rolled my eyes HARD when they just happened to be on a plane together.)
  • Alex liking casual sex, and not caring if anyone knows that she and Booth hooked up.
  • “Paradise Circus” by Massive Attack. I love that damn song.
  • Elder Eric killing himself, mostly because I called that shit from the second we saw him. Possibly that’s not fair because I did know he was a main player on Sense8. Still, who knows when that show’s even coming back? Hell with it. I TOTALLY called it.

The Annoying:

  • At this point, the only characters I actively like are Alex and Miranda Shaw. Nimah and her secret twin sister are okay, I guess. On the other hand, I’m not loving Booth or Ryan, and I already seriously dislike Shelby, Simon, and King Douchebag Caleb.
  • Of course King Douchebag Caleb appears to be out, but I didn’t buy that even before I looked him up on IMDb. (I wanted to see where I knew him from. The answer: Revolution. Oh no.)
  • For Christ’s sake. How hard is it to write a virgin character who’s not the most pathetic nerd in all of existence? I am tired of this.

The Ridiculously Silly:

  • Nimah’s twin sister. I actually called that, too, but I’ll admit — I was kind of hoping I’d be wrong. Even for a silly show that’s obviously going to have a lot of ludicrous twists . . . I don’t know, man. I worry.
  • I’m confused. Do any of these people have any kind of law enforcement experience in their pasts? Doesn’t that seem like a thing people would have before joining the FBI?
  • Pretty much everything about the dorms.
  • Sexy FBI swimming, apparently, is in our future.

Finally, everyone’s obviously taking bets on who the traitor is. I wonder if there might be two of them. Honestly, I don’t really trust anyone at this point, although I guess I’d be pretty surprised if it was Nimah or her twin. (Maybe one, but surely not both.) At the moment, I’m looking the closest at the blonde who lost her parents on 9/11, and — as much as I hope this isn’t the case — Aunjanue Ellis. Pathetic and Deeply Annoying Gay Virgin could be evil, but if that’s the case, he’ll either get a) even shrieker and more annoying, or b) far more intimidating before revealing he isn’t gay OR a virgin, especially that last one. Cause, you know. Heaven forbid.


Honestly, I laughed pretty hard at Eric saying, “I’m assuming none of that applies to you?” Good zinger, Mormon dude. Too bad that guy’s dead now.



Scream Queens


So, this was . . . okay. I’ll probably continue watching it for now, though I’m not exactly in love with it yet. I am in love with Jamie Lee Curtis, though. Holy shit, she’s AMAZING. I’m tempted to say this is my favorite thing I’ve ever seen her in, and this was just a two-hour pilot. She was hysterical, and I can’t wait to see more of her.

On the other hand, while some of the jokes made me laugh, a lot of the humor felt forced. One of my problems with Ryan Murphy shows in general is that the jokes often feel like they’re trying way, WAY too hard for edgy. Sometimes, they worked for me. Often, they did not, like I’m thinking maybe a 30/70 success rate here, so. Not all that successful.

My other main problem with the show is that I’m not sure it knows what kind of comedy it wants to be. Some of it feels like it’s going for more of a Scream or You’re Next vibe, while other parts — like Ariana Grande going to Twitter while the serial killer is currently trying to murder her — feel like they could have been deleted scenes from broad parodies such as Scary Movie. And there’s nothing wrong with either kinds of comedy, but they don’t blend that well. The first kind is trying to be funny and scary; the second, not so much. You’re Next would never have been frightening if Erin had turned to the First to Die and shrieked, “Oh my GOD, why do you have an arrow in your head?!”

A few last notes:

A. The main girl, Grace (Skyler Samuels), is surprisingly okay so far. I’m kind of into the idea of her staying at the sorority as this, like, investigative reporter type, bent on making the kind of sorority she dreamed about. She’s a little funnier than I expected her to be, especially in some of the scenes with her new stalker boyfriend (Diego Boneta). I seriously hope stalker boyfriend bites it, though.

B. Zayday (Keke Palmer) is easily my second favorite character. I want her to live, even though the BS rules of the genre are very much against her.

C. I feel that I’ve somehow managed to grow an irrational dislike towards Emma Roberts. I’m trying to work on that because I honestly don’t know where it’s come from. I’ve found her work in the past somewhere between disappointing and adequate, but this feels like an overreaction to two meh performances. Still, she’s just okay to me here. It’s not that I don’t buy her in the role; I do. But there’s a way to do Queen B’s, like you’re kind of rooting for them despite yourself? (Leah Pipes in Sorority Row is a great example of this.) And I just feel like Emma Roberts isn’t quite there for me yet, like I buy her as this awful character, but that just makes me wish I spent less time with her. I am definitely not rooting for her. (On the other hand, I’m totally rooting for Asshole Popular Guy, Chad {Glen  Powell}. He’s actually kind of hilarious.)

D. Lea Michelle did not annoy me nearly as much as I thought she would. Considerably less enamored, though, with the Deaf Taylor Swift (now deceased) and the Candle Vlogger (unfortunately still here).

E. Finally, I thought Nick Jonas looked familiar, but I was probably wrong because I don’t know that I’ve ever actually seen Nick Jonas before this. I cringed at some moments with his character but other parts did make me laugh, and I liked the twist that he was still alive, although obviously we’ll have to wait to see how that unfolds.


Basically any time Jamie Lee Curtis was on screen.



The Blacklist


Meh. You’d think Red and Keen being on the run together would be a little more exciting, but honestly, I kept finding my attention drifting during this premiere. The only storyline that really interested me at all was Dembe’s, partially because I like Dembe, and partially because I was interested in this new baby-snatching villain, Darwin. (Okay, the guy’s name isn’t Darwin. I didn’t actually catch his name, but he’s played by Edi Gathegi, the actor who played Darwin in X-Men: First Class.)

Otherwise, eh. Keen running to the Russian Embassy at the end was kind of an interesting twist — and vastly more interesting than, say, running to Tom or turning herself in — but mostly I found her pretty boring in this ep. (And of course she looks just like her mother. Of course she does.) Meanwhile, I wasn’t remotely interested in Ressler’s angst/guilt/anger/whatever either, which saddens me, since I used to enjoy that kind of thing. And no one was in a car accident or kidnapped at all. Samar was in mortal peril for a second there, but no abductions or SUV flips.

I’m going to stick with it, for a while, but even taking Keen’s fantastic fugitive hair into consideration — I have the sinking feeling that this is the year I give up on The Blacklist.


When the adorable baby is adorably touching the face of a dude who’s calmly insinuating baby-murder. It’s so cute and so evil, all at the same time!



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“Do You Know What Prime Numbers Are? Because If You Don’t, You Should Just Leave Now.”

So, math. It’s not my favorite thing in the world. I appreciate its significance. I enjoy a certain kind of logic puzzle. I even tried reading a book about calculus this year because it promised solutions to varied problems like weight loss and the zombie apocalypse. (I can’t pretend I understood even half of it, but it was entertaining enough, I’ll give it that.) But as a rule, I am generally on the side of Math is Evil, and a movie about four mathematicians doing anything doesn’t sound like something I’d be into.

Unless those four mathematicians are also strangers who are locked together in a room, of course, hastily solving math puzzles and trying to figure out how they’re secretly connected before they all die horrible, horrible deaths.


I’d hoped to say that Fermat’s Room would be the Bottle Episode Mystery Movie to finally get an A grade from me. Sadly — while a mild improvement over Unknown and a vast improvement over Nine Dead — I think this one’s got some significant problems too.

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The Emmys, 2015

I really don’t know why I watch these things. I’m rarely a fan of anything that’s nominated, and most of the speeches either bore me or make me cry. Nothing that I would normally sign up for, and yet? I will probably be a sucker for awards shows for the rest of my life.

Here are the notes I have for you today.

1. Andy Samberg? Eh. He made me laugh a few times, mostly during that first song, but a lot of his jokes felt kind of flat to me. I wasn’t a huge fan, but he wasn’t, like, the worst host I’ve ever seen. Frankly, I’m still of the opinion that we could save ourselves a whole lot of time and awkwardness by just eliminating the opening monologue from every award show all together and having the host just crack a few jokes between awards.

This, of course, will never happen, but I will continue to dream for it.

2. My favorite joke of the night probably came from John Oliver and, admittedly, I’m a little in love with John Oliver. But his mini-rant about Alex Trebek cracked me up because it’s so true — Trebek does passive aggressively insult all of the contestants’ hobbies. I love Jeopardy, but it’s a pretty rare episode where I watch it and don’t tell my television screen, “Trebek, you’re an asshole.”

3. My favorite category in the Emmys is Variety, simply because I’m actually familiar with most of the nominees. When Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series was presented, I was like, “Holy shit, I actually watch ALL of these! I don’t even care who wins. Everyone’s a winner! I’m a winner!” (Though I was pulling for Last Week Tonight over The Daily Show when it came to Outstanding Variety Talk Series — but I wasn’t going to begrudge Jon Stewart for his last Emmy win, either. Oh, Stewart. How I miss you.)

On the other hand, Limited Series/Miniseries? Man. No skin in that game at all. I didn’t watch a single thing nominated in this category, and my only takeaway from last night was that Olive Kitteridge? Apparently the only thing you’ll ever need to watch again.

4. As far as some specific winners go . . .

A. Ecstatic that Inside Amy Schumer won for Best Variety Sketch Show.

B. I don’t watch Mad Men, I don’t care about Mad Men, and even I was like, “Jesus, let Jon Hamm finally win one.” So, that was nice. I feel like there might have been a revolt, otherwise.

C. As an SF nerd, I was definitely pulling for Tatiana Maslany because I enjoy Orphan Black and Maslany’s performance is just incredible — but man, Viola Davis’s speech was eloquent, powerful, and deeply moving. I didn’t realize she was the first black woman to win a Best Lead Actress Emmy until I went on Twitter afterwards. At first I was like, “No, that can’t be right. Oh God, that can’t be right, can it?” And then I was reminded that until Scandal premiered in 2012, there hadn’t been any TV shows with a black female lead since the 1970’s. And then I was like, “Right, so that’s depressing. Fellow white people, let’s progress faster.”

Though that doesn’t seem super likely, as I’ve just read Nancy Lee Grahn’s tweets on the subject. Ugh.

5. Finally, I lied before. I know exactly why I keep coming back to these things, and you probably do too.

My Best Dressed of the Night?

Allison Janney – I haven’t seen much splash about her dress online, but I thought Allison Janney looked exquisite. It’s a beautiful design and fits her body perfectly, and guys, Allison Janney is 55. I didn’t have a body that impressive, you know, ever.

Runners Up:

Taraji P. Henson – Man, she worked this dress. Taraji almost took first place for me, actually. I really liked the chain straps (much more than the ones on Claire Danes’s dress) and the cute little cut-out. She looked fantastic.

Tatiana Maslany – This is something I kind of knew about myself before, but really confirmed this year: I like me a woman in menswear. This white suit is awesome. I feel like the jacket could be a touch tighter, but otherwise, I mean, damn.

Laverne Cox – The cut-outs on the side didn’t do much for me, but this is a stunning shade of blue, and she looks absolutely amazing in it.

Jane Lynch – Again with the menswear. I thought this looked really nice on Jane Lynch. I would totally wear something like this. Only I’d add a fedora because that’s just who I am as a person.

Mindy Kaling – That’s not a shade of yellow/orange that just anyone can pull off, but it looks absolutely beautiful on Mindy Kaling. I kind of wish the sleeves didn’t change color at the end, but I do really like the cut of the sleeves, and the dress fits her perfectly.

Teyonah Parris – I’m unfamiliar with this actress, but I’m a sucker for polka dots and her dress was so much fun. I absolutely adored it.

And finally a bonus shout-out to Fred Armisen who did FREDDY KRUEGER on the Red Carpet. Fred Armisen is my new favorite person.

Now Worst Dressed of the Night . . . well, there’s really no question in my mind who that goes to.

Heidi Klum – I don’t even know what to make of this. It’s like half ice skater, half shredded chicken mascot? I cannot imagine any sane person putting this dress on and going, “Yup. This is the one. I feel SO PRETTY.”

Runners Up:

Jaimie Alexander – Maybe I could have dealt with this if it had been a short dress, like cut above the knee or something? As is . . . nope. I don’t like the material, the colors, or pretty much anything else about it.

Joanna Newsom – I don’t like the weird giant oval thing on her chest, but I could probably deal with it . . . if I hadn’t seen the bottom of the dress too. Together? Nope. So much nope.

Maggie Gyllenhaal – Presumably, this is a very expensive dress by some super well known designer, but what it really reminds me of is a prom dress you might have bought in the mall in the mid-1990’s. Not good.

Kerry Washington – I know, I know. She’s going to make everyone’s Best Dressed list, and she’s easily the best of the worst dressed here. But I’m just really not a fan of that type of shoulder, and I actively can’t stand the bottom of the dress.

Tracee Ellis Ross – Yeah, that dress mostly reminds me of a tiered, pink wedding cake.

And finally Jane Krakowski – I don’t quite understand why people want to put a black sleep mask over their boobs, but it’s the gray sides that I especially don’t like. The skirt of the dress is fine, but I just don’t understand the top part at all.

Well, that’s it for this year. Feel free to comment with your own award winner dreams or fashion critiques.

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“Boy, Have We Got a Vacation For You.”

Next year, HBO will be airing a new television series, a genre-bending western about killer robots. Said series is called Westworld, and if “western” plus “killer robots” wasn’t enough to excite you (you clearly unexcitable heathen), it’s also got an interesting cast (Ben Barnes, Ed Harris, Anthony Hopkins, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, Jimmi Simpson, Evan Rachel Wood, etc.) and is being helmed by Jonathan Nolan, who, yes, is related to Christopher Nolan, and is also the dude who created the pretty fantastic Person of Interest. So, yeah, I’m definitely hopeful.

But this isn’t a review of that show. This is a review of the source material its adapted from: Westworld, the 1973 western about killer robots.


The pacing is a little rough sometimes and there are some damn silly things about it, but ultimately I enjoyed watching this movie.

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Valley Fire – Donations Needed

If you’re not from California and you’ve been, understandably, paying closer attention to your own local news, you may not be aware that my state’s been trying its best to burn down all summer. In particular, Lake County (where I grew up) has been hit hard this last month, and over the weekend this newest fire swept through my hometown at just unprecedented, devastating speeds.

Currently, it looks like 61,000 acres have burned and hundreds of homes have been destroyed. The fire is only 5% contained. Whole towns and communities were evacuated and remain evacuated. Some people had to leave so fast they didn’t even have time to grab clothes, money, or — heartbreakingly — find their pets. One elderly, disabled woman has been confirmed dead.

Saturday night here was . . . surreal. I didn’t find out about the Valley Fire until I got home from Oakland in the late evening, and then I was up all night on my computer, trying to find out any information I could through my inconsistently functioning internet. At one point, it really looked like the town I grew up in for thirteen years — the high school and the middle school and the elementary school and the grocery/hardware store and the gas station that serves jo-jos (potato wedges to you normal, non-Lake County folk) — had been destroyed. I’m not going to pretend that I loved living in Lake County because I have about as many bad memories there as I have good ones, but the thought of it all just being gone like that, all in one night, was horrifying.

Luckily, the damage to the main drag of Middletown wasn’t nearly as extensive as I’d feared. And I’m extremely grateful that my mom very recently moved down from Hidden Valley to where I live, about an hour away — she was actually up there on Saturday, getting one of the last loads, when the fire broke out on Cobb. I haven’t confirmed this, but it doesn’t look like our house was damaged, which is obviously great news for us.

But lots of people weren’t so fortunate — I have a friend whose parents lost everything, another friend whose father’s home was likely, though hopefully not, destroyed. I have co-workers who are waiting to go home, co-workers who don’t have homes anymore, and co-workers who are still working on finding out. The turmoil here has just been unreal.

Other than just writing out all my BS emotional nonsense, I wanted to post some links for anyone who was looking to help and had the financial means to do it. The RCU (a local credit union) has set up a fund to support the first responders here. The American Red Cross apparently has a shelter in Calistoga and is accepting monetary donations at their website. There’s also a huge list of local donation centers here with links to what kind of aid/relief they need.

Tomorrow we’ll be back with our regularly scheduled snark and silly movies, but for today — well, all I’ve got for you is worry, prayer, and hope.

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15 Favorite Key & Peele Sketches

Well, Key & Peele is now over, which means two things: one, the world is weeping, and two, it’s time for everyone on the internet to post lists of their favorite Key & Peele sketches. (Actually, that’s not true. The time to do that, apparently, was yesterday while leading up to the Big Finale, but I prefer to be fashionably late, cause, like. I was doing stuff yesterday.)

Anyway. Here are fifteen of my favorites, although full disclosure: they aren’t in any kind of order, and there’s a more than decent chance that I’ve forgotten some. Also, many (if not most) of these are uncensored, so beware. Profanity and hilarity follow.

1. Sexy Vampires

This is, hands down, easily one of my favorite skits. Admittedly, if I ever became a vampire, I’m probably use that as an excuse to buy myself some black leather pants that lace up on the sides, but still. Practicality is a virtue, and hissing is just annoying. Also, Brother Tyrell probably has my favorite reason for becoming a vampire ever.

2. Text Message Confusion

Because come on. We’ve all been there. Er. Haven’t we?

3. Family Matters

The funny thing is, I actually watched Family Matters when I was a kid, but I honestly don’t remember any of it, so watching this, I was like . . . wait, was there really a transformation machine?

It doesn’t matter. This gets dark and twisted SO FAST, I love it. And Tyler James Williams as Jaleel White? So fantastically funny and creepy. I definitely want to watch this kid in more stuff.

4. The Batmans

I like all of the sketches about the super excitable valets, of course, but this one’s probably my favorite. “See, how are you supposed to block a batarang from going in your butt with a carefully crafted query?”

On Key & Peele, they only ask the important questions.

5. Neil deGrasse Tyson

Man, I don’t even watch Cosmos — I know, I’m a terrible nerd (although, in my defense, I’m not really that kind of nerd) — and I thought these sketches were hysterical. If you didn’t see this episode itself, the clip above is basically like part three of a three-part joke, but really, I’m counting all of them. They’re in the same episode, so it’s not cheating.

6. Dad’s Hollywood Secret

It’s so painful and so awful and so funny, all at the same time.

7. Slow Brotion

Okay, this one’s just silly, but it makes me crack up every single time I watch it. It’s one of my “I’m in a bad mood and I want something happy, damn it” videos.

8. Power Falcons

Yeah, I’m just a sucker for Power Rangers nostalgia. Man, I loved that show when I was nine, that terrible, terrible show. Also: “That’s racist? Aw, see, forget it. Black Falcon out — GREEN Falcon! Green Falcon, DAMN IT!”

9. Alien Imposters

“Was he an alien too?”


10. Menstruation Orientation

Usually, a couple of guys making period jokes? Not my favorite thing in the world, and by that, I mean I usually want to punch those guys in their annoying male faces. (Nope, I already know all the jokes you want to make now, men. Please don’t comment with them. I promise you I’ve already heard it before.) But this, this works for me. There are definitely some men who should have to sit through orientations like this. Or, alternatively, they could just have a plague of locusts fly out of their dick.

11. East/West Bowl 3 – Pro Edition – Superbowl Special

Honestly, Key & Peele’s entire Superbowl Special was probably the best thing about the big game last year (especially every snippet we got with Queen Allison Janney). But here I’m just focusing on their East/West Bowl skit because of all of the various East/West Bowl skits on Key & Peele, this one has to be my favorite. I love that they threw actual football players into the mix this time around.

12. Civil War Re-Enactment

For the life of me, I cannot find an official version of this video — why, I don’t know, since it appears that every other Key & Peele sketch ever made is available through Comedy Central on Youtube. Anyway, I’m including this one here (until it inevitably gets taken down) because — as a Californian who is more than a little baffled at the constant glorification of the Confederacy — it is absolutely one of my favorites.

13. Aerobics Meltdown

Okay, I don’t even know how you come up with the idea to set a tale of attempted murder and vengeance to an 80’s jazzercise talent show, but obviously we need more ideas like it.

14. Dungeons & Dragons & Bitches

kanye the giant

Okay, apparently I spoke too soon when I said that every Key & Peele sketch could be found on Youtube because I can’t even find a shitty bootleg copy of this one. So, if you want to see what happens when Kanye the Giant joins the D&D quest, go here. And you should because it’s pretty great.

15. Obama’s Anger Translator – Meet Luther

Finally, it was just too hard to pick between all the awesome Obama/Luther sketches, so I just said, “Fuck it,” and went with the original, although I came really close to picking this one introducing Michelle Obama’s anger translator instead. But honestly, every single one of these sketches is pretty awesome. Can you believe we had a speech where the actual President had Luther translating for him? Man, that was amazing.

Christ, I’m not looking forward to the 2016 election at all.

But anyway, that’s what I’ve got for you today. Any other Key & Peele fans out there? Lemme know what skits would have gone on your top-whatever list.

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