I decided to watch Splinter after watching the 2014 film The 50 Best Horror Movies You’ve Never Seen on Amazon Prime . I’ve been chipping away at the list since June–I have 13 left–and I have to say most of the film’s recommendations have been solid. If not for that list I may have never watched cult classics like Burnt Offerings or Alone in the Dark (Not the Uwe Boll version, oh god.) Though not all of the recommendations have been good. There’s no reason anyone should have to witness the laughable onslaught of giant rats in Food of the Gods or the rapey sea creatures in Humanoids from the Deep. Splinter aka #20 sits somewhere in between good and bad. It’s not a must see movie for horror fans but it’s not a bad film. It has good performances and a unique antagonist. I just wish that wasn’t all it had.
We introduced this new feature, The Mildly Pleased Hall of Fame, back when we were celebrating our 10th anniversary in February, and I’ve long wanted to contribute to it. But it’s been hard to think of something worthy, especially in the realm of music. Because there seem to only be so many artists and albums that me, Sean, and John all have affection for. Though this one jumped out to me for many reasons, considering it celebrated its tenth anniversary around the same time our blog did. Also, I can’t speak for my colleagues, but to me, Vampire Weekend’s self-titled debut was such a potent snapshot of where the blog’s music tastes were at in 2008. Yet is also an album that still sounds great now. Continue reading
It’s always hard being on the road when a pop culture figure who was important to you dies. The last time I remember this happening to me was when James Gandolfini died. Though, I suppose it’s easier with a musician. Since it made it pretty easy to decide what I’d be listening to in the car yesterday, even if the occasion was less than ideal. Because even if it’s a busy day, you always want to be able to take the time and stop to appreciate the figure in question’s importance and the work they left behind, and its hard to think of many singers who left more great music behind than Aretha Franklin. Continue reading
Harlan Ellison died this week and it’s a drag. Harlan Ellison was a mad genius. We hear the word “Genius” thrown around a lot when great artists and entertainers die but I want to emphasize the “mad” part for Ellison. Harlan Ellison was one of the most gifted speculative fiction writers of the 20th century. He was also batshit insane. This was a guy who mailed bricks and dead gophers to editors that pissed him off. A guy who belittled fans that asked him dumb questions and a guy who would sue at the drop of a hat.
New Girl is a show that I’ve consistently found myself being surprised by, despite the fact that I’ve never had particularly high expectations for it. After all, the show’s premise was as basic as sitcom premises get – a newly single girl moves in with a bunch of single dudes and they like, get into hijinks and stuff. Yet the basic-ness of that premise is what allowed its writers the freedom to go in so many delightful directions. And in the process made me keep watching in an era where it’s become increasingly hard to stick with a show for more than the first three seasons or so. Continue reading
I try not to look back at too much I’ve written on this site, but because it’s our tenth anniversary I agreed it would be fun to reflect on our less than spectacular moments. If anything writing this post was a learning experience. What was it that Batman’s dad said? Something about how we fall so we can learn to pick ourselves up? Yeah, that’s the stuff. Here are all the times I fell.
P.S. I’m not going to provide links to my posts like Colin did because I’m lazy and tired.
I don’t know how much effort I’ll put into this post, since here I’ll be looking back at the worst posts I’ve ever written, or just the moments in Mildly Pleased’s history that I’m not super proud of. But that’s the risk you run when you start writing stuff online when you’re 18 and haven’t had anyone read your prose outside of that one creative writing class you took in high school. Which, makes me all the more thankful that I came of age when there was a pretty modest amount of social media available for teens to document the most embarrassing years of their lives on.
But at the same time, I think there is a positive aspect to this era in which creative people can use the internet as a kind of training ground. It makes me think of comedy people uploading their sketches online and honing their looney craft, or today’s major indie artists, many of whom have cut their teeth as teenagers uploading their music to bandcamp. The internet is both a wonderful and terrible place, but more than anything, it’s a great place to waste time in. Here are the moments from this blog that truly felt like a waste, even if they did (hopefully) make me a little bit better at writing for whatever the hell this blog is. Continue reading