Patron Pick – The Donut King

This is a special reward available to Patreon patrons who pledge at the $10 or $20 a month levels. Each month those patrons will get to pick a film for me to review. They also get to include some of their own thoughts about the movie, if they choose. This Pick comes from Matt Harris.

The Donut King (2020)
Written by Carol Martori
Directed by Alice Gu

When my patron Matt first picked The Donut King, I wasn’t sure what angle to take for the review. This was before I watched the film, but it became evident to me how to talk about the documentary during my viewing. The film centers around the “too good to be true” promise of “the American Dream” and the impact chasing this unattainable myth has, particularly on immigrants & refugees, desperate to make something of their lives and raise up their families. The cost of the pursuit is poison in the veins, a direct product of the ravenous inhumane Capitalism American specializes in fomenting. 

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TV Review – When Was SNL Funny Part 8 (of 9)

Saturday Night Live was never a controversial show. If anyone took offense to the comedy being presented, then they have to be one of the most sheltered people on the planet. You can feel the punches being pulled at every turn when it comes to politics. Or when they want to take jabs, it’s entirely superficial rather than writing clever political comedy (see everything Armando Iannucci has done). The 2010s were, for me, the sign that SNL was becoming a piece of processed cheese, it looked okay, but you weren’t craving it. The people involved were always much funnier outside the show than in it. The perfect example is 2011’s Bridesmaids, which showed Kristin Wiig being much more entertaining than I ever found her on SNL.

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TV Review – When Was SNL Funny Part 7 (of 9)

Saturday Night Live changed in some subtle cosmetic ways, but it didn’t really do much in terms of content. You had the same recurring character sketches and one-off bits, with those often tucked away in the show’s latter half. Commercial parodies would usually be played after the host’s opening monologue with a digital short after a musical guest. Weekend Update came in the middle of the show, and this is just the formula the show continues to this day. Season 31 was the first year the feed was changed from video to digital, leading to the show being presented in a widescreen format.

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Upcoming Podcast Q & A

On August 15th, we are planning to do a Q&A episode for our mini-podcast. You can submit as many questions as you like in the comments here or send them to popcultblogpod@gmail.com.

In coming up with a question make sure they pertain to pop culture in some manner.
A good example question might be, “What’s the best recent film you think has been underrated?” or “What’s the worst Disney animated movie, in your opinion?”

We look forward to hearing from you and answering your questions!

PopCult Podcast Episode 9

Seth & Ariana continue their podcasting summer by talking about the Top 5 Biopics That Should be Made. They follow that up with a discussion of the movies of M. Night Shyamalan.

We’d love to know what you thought of this episode so leave your comments here or leave a voice message on our Anchor page. We might share your comment on an upcoming episode of the show.

You can listen to the podcast here or on Spotify or Google Podcasts.

TV Review – When Was SNL Funny? Part 6 (of 9)

In the 2000s, Saturday Night Live would find its groove and pretty much never leave it up to the present day. There would be few significant cast shake-ups with a steady in and out every season, with most cast members staying put. I think this era and what follows may have some of the longest tenures ever recorded. one performer, in particular, is pushing for 20 years at the moment. There are some great moments in these episodes, but it continues on with most sketches being fine or terrible. This is also the Fallon era which is…one of my least favorite periods.

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Comic Book Review – Crisis on Infinite Earths Part 9 (of 9)

Crisis on Infinite Earths Part 9 (of 9)
Reviewing stories found in Crisis on Infinite Earths #12, Green Lantern #198, Infinity Inc #25, All-Star Squadron #57-60, and DC Comic Presents #94
Written by Marv Wolfman, Steve Englehart, Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas, Robert Greenberger, and Barbara Kesel
Art by George Perez, Joe Staton, Todd McFarlane, Mike Clark, Rick Hoberg, Arvell Jones, Richard Howell, and Tom Mandrake

Throughout Crisis issue 11 and continuing into #12, there is a subplot where the Forgotten Heroes stumble across Brainiac’s ship. The Forgotten Heroes were a group of C-tier characters put together in the pages of Action Comics and DC Comics Presents. Their roster consisted of Animal Man, Atomic Knight, Dolphin, and more. When Brainiac wakes, it’s another sign of the effects of the Crisis, with the robot having no memory of the pre-Crisis timeline. However, he does detect that Earth is in the Antimatter Universe and rushes off to Apokalips to seek aid from Darkseid.

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TV Review – When Was SNL Funny? Part 5 (of 9)

In watching episodes from all forty-six seasons of Saturday Night Live, I’ve come up with the theory that there are multiple shows with that title airing in that time slot. The original cast (1975-80) was the first show; from 1980-86, there were constant attempts to retool the program. Finally, in 1986, the show was rebooted and stayed in that form until around 1995. Then from 1995 to possibly the present day, we’ve had a very consistent, though increasingly bland network brand under the name Saturday Night Live. These eras are so distinct in tone and style that it’s hard to say they are the same show.

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Weekly Wonderings – July 19th, 2021

With each day, another piece of the moving puzzle comes into place. Landscaping, minor repairs around the house, roofing, pest control. We have maybe four significant pieces of furniture left, and they won’t be coming with us when we depart. Dresser up for sale and using suitcases. This will be the fastest closing these realtors have ever seen. The minute the house is sold, we accept the bid, etc., we are ready to depart. Just get the money deposited in our account, and we are off. One of our friends in our destination country has found a very promising job opportunity for my wife where she works, so if we arrive and one of us already has a job, that would be even better. These days the idea of leaving is more and more enticing. More on that in a minute.

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Patron Pick – New Waterford Girl

This is a special reward available to Patreon patrons who pledge at the $10 or $20 a month levels. Each month those patrons will get to pick a film for me to review. They also get to include some of their own thoughts about the movie, if they choose. This Pick comes from Amy Stewart.

New Waterford Girl (1998)
Written by Tricia Fish
Directed by Allan Moyle

As someone who spent ages 10-18 in a small rural area, I have found that places like this can feel incredibly stifling. Much like the characters in this story, their religion (Catholicism in their case, American Nationalist theology for mine) casts a shadow over their lives but not in a way that strictly shapes their behavior. Instead, they create loopholes for inevitable downfalls of human morality. For example, if you get a girl pregnant, you just marry her, and then all is forgiven, or you go off for a few months to a convent where the baby is taken, and then you come home, and no one ever talks about it again. There’s not much to look forward to in this place, leading to a rather bleak outlook on life, a desire to escape.

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