How often are you skimming through your streaming options and all of a sudden you see a documentary and go, ‘I do want to know more about that?’ – For me, there are a lot of docu’s I just don’t get into. I’m not one to sit and dive into a 10 part World War I retrospective with all new footage or, with exceptions coming, anything political, and lastly.. anything brutal about animals. There have been a lot of award winning documentaries that fit in those three spots, but the first two put me to sleep and the last one makes me never want to sleep again. More than one person has said to me I should watch ‘Don’t F**k With Cats’ – and I am certain I would love everything about it except, you know, someone fucking with a cat.
All that said – here’s a few of the documentaries I’ve watched in the last year or so that may have slid by your radar – or are just so damned good they deserve to be praised over and over again.
The Defiant Ones – Featured on HBO, Emmy nominations abound, the story of Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre was so shockingly good, I was late to work the next morning because I couldn’t stop binging it. Two men who come from very different backgrounds who climbed up the music world away from each other, but ultimately became music mavens in the same eras and ultimately met up in the middle to create beautiful harmonious business together. By far one of the most slickly produced and well thought out documentaries I’ve ever seen. Part 3 (out of 4) features a comparison between the rock & metal love affair with edgy Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson’s problems with the violent problems of the East Coast/West Coast rap battle that makes you realize that the culture of music is the same, no matter the genre.
Q: Into The Storm – Ok, so I said I don’t get political, but the story of the rise and fall of the conspiratorially minded political landscape of the last 5+ years and how it has a direct lineage to the old internet is an astounding journey. Centering on the ‘Who is…’ question that has never fully been answered, it paints a very full picture about, not the politics themselves, but the people that built the theaters those politics have lived in.
My Octopus Teacher – Ugly cried… I ugly cried at this damn film. It is a tale about a man looking to reboot his life and finding an octopus that he becomes remarkably attached to – and the octopus to him. It is poignant, and sad, and wonderful, and you will inevitably find yourself invested in their lives that when it comes to its end you can’t help but feel things.
Circus of Books – A journey through queer culture of the 80’s and 90’s as told from the remarkably unexpected perspective of an older couple who ran one of the most famous gay pornography stores in Hollywood. The story is this amazing set piece to not just hear about the journey of gay culture, but also tell the story of this young woman who grew up with this as her home and her two unassuming simple parents, as the protectors of it all.
SpeedCubers – Have you ever wanted to feel deeply invested into the tale of Rubix Cube speedrunners? Yeah, I didn’t expect it either.. but Speedcubers is exactly that. It explains the people in the community of speed-completing Rubix Cubes – their rises and falls – and the friendships for a whole world of people that may have a harder time finding community elsewhere.
So these are just a few of the real stories that I’ve fallen into recently – what are some documentaries that you have seen or we have missed? Let us know in all the usual places!
We’ve traveled down the road and back again – and we’re here with another episode of… THE END!
It’s been a few months of supernatural, outerspace, dystopian nightmares – so we decided to go with something a little lighter this month – a show about 4 brilliant women who keep joking about death.
That’s right – it’s everyone’s favorite mid-afternoon show you put on and won’t admit to watching… Golden Girls!
So, how did the adventures of Sophia, Rose, Blanche, and Dorothy end? Was it in a hail of bullets? A mass chemical explosion that merged them into one mecha Golden Girl? We’re about to tell you…
Thank you for being a friend – now let’s go!
We’re back with our random episode generator – THE WHEEL!
THis time, it is taking us back into the Mysteries of the Somethingverse while we discuss a phenomenon from the early 90s where slimy… something.. rained down from the skies.
What was it? Where did it come from? Why hasn’t it happened again? There is only one way for you to learn about these questions (I can’t say the answers, because then it wouldn’t be a mystery, duh..)
On this – Mysteries of the Somethingverse: Oakville Blobs
Ok here we goo!
In the last couple weeks, Steam just announced their new Steamdeck – which for those who aren’t video game obsessed, is a small portable gaming system that is running, quite literally, a computer. The key is that it is made very specifically to play your Steam games. So, that brings us to me, someone who plays altogether way too many video games. So many video games it gets in the way of important things like getting podcast blog posts up on time and doing my job effectively and providing love and support to my family. Why do any of that when I’ve almost gotten the final Valkyrie in God of War?! PRIORITIES, PEOPLE!
That leads us to this list – a list of video game technology I have owned that sadly, for one reason or another, completely failed…
The Power Glove – Yeah.. it’s so bad.. When I was a kid, the commercials for the Power Glove were everywhere. As a science fiction nerd, it looked like the type of thing you could wear in your Blade Runner future. It was loaded with a hundred buttons, it had tentacle pipes coming out of the fingers, it was made to look like you were about ready to journey through the slipstream of data and right into the non-existent information super-highway at unthinkable speeds like 14.4 baud.
God it sucked.
I wanted it to play one game well.. only one. And that game was Mike Tyson’s Punch Out. I’d heard you could drive the car in Outrun with your hand on the invisible wheel… didn’t care. You could, ummm… make Zelda move by waving your hand vaguely up and down? I don’t know – and it didn’t matter – you should have been able to throw a punch at your screen and have it ‘get it’. Sadly, it didn’t. It was bad at everything. I would take it out to show people.. or put it on because it made me feel like I wa sin the future! Then it would go back in the box.
The U-Force – Everyone remembers the Power Glove, but do you remember the U-Force? I put a picture for you to maybe possibly remember the endless commercials that played during your late 80s rock block of Saturday morning cartoons. It was a laptop of a thing that you were supposed to run your hand over and make gestures to have it control the character. The idea was a freedom of movement that hadn’t been seen since The Power Glove!
Sadly, whatever its intention was – failed. the Infrared tech that ran it just wasn’t good enough to register consistently and, honestly, it was never quite clear why it existed in the first place. I mean, look at this thing…
The Vita – Sony’s self-made albatross. The Vita is an amazing, pretty, compact, great sounding, fantastic feeling, handheld console that you can play your Playstation 4 on if you are on the same network. (It only works 25% of the time when on a different network). It could have legitimately been the thing that made the Playstation 4 a /must have/ instead of a ‘I’ll see how it goes’ with good enough support.
Sadly, in America, it bombed pretty drastically – it got no press whatsoever after its initial outting, it is missing a pair of shoulder buttons to make it replicate the Playstation controller, and its worst offending trait: it uses a memory card that is made by Sony instead of using the same MicroSD cards that you can get at any tech store.
I still pick it up and play games on it, although as time goes on, I find myself leaning more and more on my tablet for such things – and there are a few diehard Vita loving folks out there… sadly, Sony is not on that list, and I expect if the Steamdeck does half of what it says it does, the dust is going to start to pile up on it.
So what are some of your favorite video game accessories, loved or not?
Welcome to the Something Variance Authority.
Please sign-in by clicking the link below where all of the opinions and ideas about the most recent Diz show, Loki will be revealed. If you bump into your own self, don’t stress it, it’s cool.. and yes, it’s ok if you make out with them. We here at the Something Variance Authority are totally ok with it.
That’s right Somethings, we’re heading into the Marvelverse again, but this time we’re bringing back a Something Alum – one of our favorite people in the world. None other than @UnGajje himself, Tim Stevens. After you are done listening – go check out Tim’s work on The Spool (@TheSpool on Instagram & Twitter) as it is a certifiable fact that you’ll want more of the entertainment this man provides.
So welcome to a fixed location in time. The rest of the future is mutable, but you – here – listening – is clearly something you shouldn’t mute.
Ready? Loki here we go!
What would you do for a Klondike Bar? Have you been injured in the workplace, you may be due compensation? Where IS the beef! Have you ever felt… not so fresh?
The Somethings are here to freshen up your day with a brand new classic Somethingcast episode where we are talking about the hours of television we rarely talk about. The periods between all of those “stories” that we “enjoy” — that’s right, we’re talking about the commercials. Which ones are our favorites or have blown us away with their commercialness.
Find out now – and call soon, operators are standing by. ♫ Something you feel like a nut.. Something you don’t. ♫
..and now a word from our sponsors..
I recently saw a movie on Shudder that I’d like to talk about. We usually don’t use this space for individual reviews, but this was so unique, and so bothersome for me, that I thought I’d change up the formula.
If you don’t have Shudder, it’s the Netflix for horror films. From classics to a lot of new, to some original.. it really is a great mix of the genre. That said, horror is one of the easiest genres to do poorly, so there is quite a bit of bad amongst the brilliant.
Amongst them was a movie called ‘WNUF Halloween Special’ that came out in 2013. The reason that it is notable is that it is framed like a syndicated news report. I’m sure if you live near a larger city, you have your ‘WNYC NEW YORK’ affiliate with its ‘GOOD MORNING, DAYTON’ morning show and its weekend ‘PORTLAND LIFE WITH CHIP MOCKLY’ or whatever. They talked about the big stories, too, but they always felt a little more personal and it wasn’t unheard of to even know or run into the anchors.
Well, WNUF frames their handcam-horror show based on a report that came out in the late 80s, early 90s as a reporter and camera person go into a supposedly haunted house to perform a seance on Halloween. The anchors are smarmy, the host is a jaded old news rat, the locals that have gathered are awkward and have no idea how to talk into a mic. It feels as real as it possibly could. The first five minutes, I was floored that this concept had never been concieved of doing before.
Then the commercials. If the news spots were good, the commercials are amazing. Each one handcrafted to taste like some local business. State fairs, late movie creature features, car salesman in stupid outfits.. its all there with this grainyness and audio tinnyness that feels like it comes straight from its era and was ripped off VHS. Again – if you have nostalgia for this period of time – you will be blown away how hard it hits the nail on the head.
So we should watch it, you ask…
No – no you shouldn’t. Because what it succeeds in framing and graphical expertise in making everything feel and sound beautifully period, it fails in a story. It goes to commercials all too often, which is period accurate, but narratively frustrating as hell. In the same ways I was astounded that they made me feel like I was watching WPIX NY, I got angrier and angrier as a steady dose of nothing continued to happen.
I watch a lot of bad cinema, and I walk away going ‘well, they did what they set out to do’, but rarely does a piece of work make me feel anger at how much potential it gave up. If this is what my parents meant when they said ‘I’m not mad, just disappointed’ – then I finally get it.
If you have Shudder, do yourself a favor and watch the first 15 minutes of this… then turn it off, and imagine a really great movie they could have made. It will be better than the one you skipped.
You can find more reviews like this, over at my LETTERBOXD account where I catalog everything I watch when I remember to.
It’s the last of the YEAR 8 themed episodes, so now we get to The End… with our thinnest premise yet. STARG8.
What started as a surprising cult-hit of a sci-fi movie that, I say having seen it recently, still holds up — turned into a television epic that spanned multiple television shows, a couple made-for-tv movies, and a universe of characters.
This though, is the original. Stargate SG-1 and the end of its 10 season run.
Did it live up to its legacy? Was it simply a stopgap between one show and another network? Well, there’s only one way you are going to find out – and that is by either watching ten years of leaping through gates to mysterious lands, boldly going where no man has go– sorry, wrong one… you could watch the original, or you could just listen to our take on The End: Stargate SG-1
Ok, here we go!
IT’S STILL YEAR 8!
And now it’s time to spin the wheel.. the wheel full of odd and interesting ideas and weird episode ephemera we can’t seem to fit in any other week. So what happens when you take a movie – and recast it with the same actors… but from other roles?
Well, I’m going to tell you what – you have today’s episode of the Wheel where we try and shove other characters into Hateful Eight.
Why Hateful Eight? Because we have a theme we’re holding on to, and I’ll admit, this is the best we came up with. So, we go over the details of one of Quentin Tarantino’s most devisive movies and replay it, but with a bunch of weird choices.
Ready? Ok – here we go!
Just a lil story about a boy on his bike and the cute alien he keeps in the front basket…
…if by cute alien we meant horrifying kaiju – and by basket, we meant ‘from destroying the entire city’
It’s our Year 8 festivities yet again (hint: they’ll be going on all month) – so we are taking a favorite of Hatton’s and discussing whether it holds up – now or ever. So settle in, have a Slusho and dodge the incoming lens flare – it’s Super 8 on Something In Review…
Ok, here we go!