2021 New Year Resolutions and Goals

Ahh yes, resolutions and goals. Have you made yours yet?

If you have a website, it’s usually considered good form — at least privately — to write down where you want to go with your website and to reflect upon the results at the start of the new year. We are going to try and do this every year we’re here. In January at some point anyway. This is year #2.

We did this last year on January 1st (see: 2020 New Year Resolutions and Goals) but this year feels so much like an extension of 2020 that time has carried over. It just doesn’t feel like a new year … yet. Not even three weeks plus later.

I recorded a 20 minute video on this earlier in the month and you can queue that up below which goes through where we’ve been and where we want to go in 2021.

2020 was weird, no doubt, and we actually watched less movies in theaters in 2020 (44 movies) than we did from August to December 2019 (68 movies).

2021 MovieReviewsByUs.com New Year’s Resolutions

  1. 4-star, 4.5 and 5 star movies are now the only recommended movies here, increased from what used to be 3-star and above, see: Effective Jan 1, 2021 We Will Only Recommend Movies 4-Star and Above
  2. Classic Twilight Zone TV show 156 episode detailed reviews will continue. Maybe only 1 will appear in 2021, but the goal is to span this over many, many years at this site before all 156 episodes will be reviewed. Speculating 25-30+ years to complete this goal.
  3. Still, no ads! No third party advertising will be added anywhere on the website in 2021, including affiliate links. We might explore a premium area for some behind the scenes on the creation of content and webmaster-specific interest, but none of what we do here now will be charged for.

809 Review Distribution through Jan 23, 2021

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Love it, Must See (22 movies – 3%)
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – Amazing (41 movies – 5%)
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Great (113 movies – 14%)

176 out of 809 recommended (22%)

Everything above is recommended, everything below is not as of 1/1/2021.

⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – Good (143 movies – 18%)
⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Entertaining (169 movies – 21%)
⭐️⭐️½ – OK (114 movies – 14%)
⭐️⭐️ – Mediocre (100 movies – 12%)
⭐️½ – Bad (59 movies – 7%)
⭐️ – Terrible (35 movies – 4%)
½ – Unwatchable (10 movies – 1%)

633 of 809 not recommended.

In 2021, we’ll get over 1,000 reviews. We continue the streak of at least 1 movie review every day. How long this streak will last is anybody’s guess, but we haven’t stopped yet. Also approaching 500 days in a row with at least one post every day on this site. That’s another streak that doesn’t look like it will fall anytime soon.

Thank you for reading and may you all be safe in 2021 and beyond! Happy movie watching to you.

Washington State Now Has Confirmed Cases Of Faster-Spreading COVID-19 Variant B.1.1.7

A year ago on January 20, 2020 the first case of COVID in the United States happened around 50 miles from where we live.

At the time it seemed like something medical professionals would deal with and dispatch, not lead to something that spread like fire in the woods with a heavy wind. And yet here we are a year+ later, locked down with tons of people sick and many dead from this virus.

Now, apparently, new strains of the virus are being detected. This crap just won’t go away.

The strain, sometimes called the “B.1.1.7 variant” or “SARS-CoV-2 VOC 202012/01” was first detected in the United Kingdom back in September. The variant is especially worrying, as studies have found that it spreads much more easily and quickly than the first COVID-19 strain. It does not, however, cause more severe illnesses or further increase the risk of death.

Fast-Spreading COVID-19 Variant Confirmed In Washington State | Puyallup, WA Patch

Not good news to read, no.

Another story, completely unrelated I just read was about a Tacoma police officer in an SUV running over a pedestrian in the midst of a gathering group of protestors, caught on camera and beamed out to social media.

Saturday night, glad we stayed home. We almost always stay home these days.

Not bragging, but we feel extremely fortunate to have been working this entire time, essential workers we are deemed in the industry we work in (not related in any way to this website), and not having been infected. We wear our masks, wash our hands, and try to follow most recommendations. I’d say all, but in that case, we wouldn’t go out anywhere, would pretty much go under turtle shell. Yet we’ve gone to the casinos, gone out to eat, and to the movie theaters — when they were allowed to be open, anyway.

Our position has been if we can work, if we can take that risk being out, then we might as well continue to enjoy whatever social activities in public that are allowed. That might be a bit haphazard thinking, I’d agree in retrospect, but you risk many things that can kill you just getting out of bed. Life is at least somewhat about risks.

One of our most favorite activities — going to the movies — hasn’t been available since mid November.

So much for movie theaters being able to open in January — the date has been pushed back to “at least” February 1 — now we have to worry about an even faster, easier spreading COVID-19, that first appeared abroad.

In a couple weeks, health willing of course, we’ll be traveling back to Las Vegas. We enjoy visiting the Nevada area at least once a year, but some years we’ve skipped. We are traveling to get away for a small few days. Last time we were down there was in March 2020 — once was for a vacation, the other was for Kara’s work as she was helping to train opening a new store down there believe it or not — movie theaters were closed down there as well as all casinos the second trip. The governor shut everything down except for fast food. It was an odd sight seeing the Las Vegas strip essentially like a zombie apocalypse.

So, we huddled up in a hotel, one of the few that were left open. I took her back and forth to her work and hung out in a hotel room, playing games, streaming movies and TV and reviewing them. Pretty much what I do every day 😉

Life goes on. This virus will pass in time. The vaccines are getting out there. Maybe it’s going to take awhile, but we’ll beat this thing. Please, friendly readers, stay safe out there. Do what you can to stay safe, but also keep living.

Betty White Turns 99, Still Great Example Of How To Live Happy, Long and Well

Man, who doesn’t love Betty White? Happy birthday to her, as she turned double 9’s. Just one year to hit the triple threat 100. Will be shocked if she doesn’t make it. Heck, she might just make it 10+ more years. I hope so.

With a career that spanned over eight decades and counting, including roles in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls, as well as countless talk show and game show appearances, White has become an example of how to live well and live long. “I am blessed with good health,” she said, “so turning 99 is no different than turning 98.”

Valerie Bertinelli Shares Betty White Bloopers on Her 99th Birthday | PEOPLE.com

Like White’s humor, too. Caught her on a Comedy Central roast recently and she was funny without being profane. She has that Bill Cosby (his comedy, not his persona) type of clean comedy vibe. It’s a lot harder to be funny without being profane and Betty White does that well. She’s old school, and I mean that as a compliment.

Can you think of others that are funny and clean?

Now The Man With Suspenders Can Interview The Afterlife, Larry King Dead at 87

No official cause of death has been announced, but Larry King, entered the hospital in December with COVID, so perhaps it’s related to this miserable pandemic. He also was diagnosed with lung cancer, so there’s that.

Whatever caused his death, he’s gone now, after giving over 30,000 interviews and spending 60+ years in media, 25+ on CNN alone.

King left CNN in 2011, a move he expected would amount to retirement. But he kept working until his death, hosting “Larry King Now,” a program that aired on Ora TV, Hulu and RT America. King, it seemed, just never wanted the interview to end. “I just love what I do,” he said, “I love asking questions, I love doing the interviews.”

Larry King, legendary talk show host, dies – CNN

King worked almost literally to the end, doing what he loved best: interviewing others.

After the OJ Simpson verdict, who did he call? Larry King

He has plenty of candidates to interview wherever he roams with those springy suspenders now.

Larry King discusses his most memorable guests

What was your favorite Larry King interview?

RIP Larry King.

TV SERIES Review: Star Trek: The Animated Series S1E12 – The Time Trap ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

Season 1
CBS All Access (Original TV network: NBC)
November 24, 1974
Run Time: 24 minutes

Episode 12 – “The Time Trap”

The Enterprise has entered the Delta Triangle on a survey mission. This is the space equivalent of The Bermuda Triangle. They encounter a Klingon battle cruiser, go shields up and, after being fired upon, return phaser fire. Suddenly, the enemy ship disappears.

What happened to the ship? Another Klingon battle crusier hails and holds the Enterprise responsible. They head where the ship disappeared to investigate … but what do they find?

Summary

George Takei who plays Sulu is quite obviously voicing the enemy Klingon captain’s voice. His voice is so signature that him trying to make a different voice is kinda comedic. That thick, low voice, I just kept seeing the Klingon as Sulu, which kind of ruined the tension.

This aside, the idea is kind of cool. A space-like Bermuda Triangle is believable and interesting. Yet another strength of most of these animated series episodes: thought-provoking ideas. If you can get past the low budget animation and just immerse yourself in the stories, you’ll be entertained.

Another reason to watch this episode? Gorn! (you’ll have to watch and see what this means)

Episode rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 

FIRST LOOK: Hunted (2020) – Shudder

Nothing like the forest and animal kingdom to be both adversary and friend in a catch, escape and pursuit horror tale. This Shudder original has a fitting title.

Eve meets what she thinks is a charming guy in a bar. Yet things go terribly wrong once she realizes she has come across a psychopath and his accomplice. They engage in a death chase until she decides to fight back with the forest as her only ally.

Hunted (2020) – IMDb

Official trailer:

It’s not often that I write these FIRST LOOK previews after watching some or all of the movie, but that’s the case here. Recently, we resubbed for Shudder’s whole 11 weeks of new horror movie + the Joe Bob Briggs Valentine’s special. This was their first movie, kicking off in mid January and it runs through until the end of March 2021. No idea how many more Shudder originals remain in 2021, but one a week is a good pace to start.

Hunted is available to stream on Shudder as of January 14, 2021.

FIRST LOOK: The Marksman

Yet another audience vs. (early) critics opposite opinion on Rotten Tomatoes, but not many reviews are in yet

We’re running a bit behind on our FIRST LOOK coverage for new movies in theaters — we’ll catch up — mostly because in our area right now there are still no theaters open. This has shifted our focus, interest and energy to the streaming services. Apparently, last weekend a new movie opened wide that we had previously believed to be opening this week wide. Must have been a change we didn’t catch, but it featured a well-known action star.

The Marksman, starring Liam Neeson, opened a week early in theaters with no other wide releases competing and it took the #1 spot at the box office, dethroning Wonder Woman 1984.

The box office is in a fallow period, but Liam Neeson prevails. He opened two films at #1 over the last four months; a few weeks ago, a decade-old Neeson title topped Netflix’s movie chart. Not bad for a 68-year-old actor who was Oscar nominated for “Schindler’s List” but is now one-man action/thriller brand.

Liam Neeson, Pandemic-Era Movie Star: The Marksman Is Another #1 | IndieWire

Official trailer:

Maybe the reason audiences are warming up to Liam Neeson being badass, is that’s the kind of escapism that’s needed in these troubled times. Living through Neeson’s eyes isn’t such a bad idea and certainly safe from an entertainment standpoint.

I don’t know if this will still be playing in theaters when we’re in Vegas in a few weeks, but if so, it very well could make our watchlist. There’s probably going to be too many movies for us to see in the time we have available down there. We have other things we want to do, but this is on our radar.

Did you watch this already? What did you think? No spoilers, please, in the comments area tell us whether or not you recommend.

The Marksman opened wide in theaters on January 15, 2021.

Bond 25 No Time To Die Delayed Again – From Spring To Fall 2021

Here comes round #__ (fill in the blank) of movie delays. Think of Rocky getting punched in the face by the Russian Ivan Drago again, again, again. Bloodied, sitting in the corner, the scantily clad ring girl sways between the ropes, another card waving in the air. What round is this? Losing count!

That’s James Bond’s seemingly cursed 25th film which has been trying to come out for, well, a couple years now and counting.

MGM has pushed No Time To Die back again, this time from April 2 to Oct 8, 2021.

Moments after MGM relocated Bond, Universal announced that the studio’s Bob Odenkirk-led action thriller “Nobody” was moving from Feb. 26 to April 2 and Sony redated “Peter Rabbit 2,” “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” and “Cinderella.” Meanwhile, Focus Features, the specialty studio owned by Universal, bumped Edgar Wright’s “Last Night in Soho” from April 23 back to Oct. 22. It’s also been commonly speculated that Universal’s “Fast & Furious” sequel “F9” won’t keep its May 28 release date.

‘No Time to Die’ Release Date Delayed Again – Variety

This isn’t shocking news, considering a lot of movie theaters aren’t open and there seems to be some doubt that by April enough of them will be. MGM doesn’t want to take a Tenet or Wonder Woman 1984 gamble. They want to wait until things return to normal.

It’s possible that Bond gets pushed back again, especially if summer 2021 doesn’t go much better than summer 2020 That might sounds alarmist right now, but nobody knows how long it’s going to take — really, how long — for the pandemic to subside.

Depressing? Sure, but what can MGM do. They wouldn’t sell this movie for a streaming release, not unless it received some crazy high amount (see: No Time To Buy – At $800 Million, Don’t Blame Any Streaming Company for Saying “No!”), so now they keep waiting, and paying interest on the financing.

Stay safe out there. That’s all we can say. If that means the theaters must stay closed months and months longer, then so be it. Somewhere over the rainbow …

over a billion views … and counting!

Shudder to release 11 Original Horror Movies in Q1 2021 + Joe Bob Valentine’s Special

My horror roots are still very much alive and the streaming service Shudder reminds me to share with you wonderful readers.

In Q1 2021, from January 14 (Hunted) – March 25 (Violation) they are going weekly for sharing new horror movies for subscribers.

…eleven new Shudder Original and Shudder Exclusive films set to premiere over the next eleven weeks! The streaming service teases today, “Hunted, The Queen of Black Magic, A Nightmare Wakes, After Midnight, Shook, The Dark & the Wicked, Lucky, Stay Out of the F**king Attic, Slaxx, Koko-di Koko-da and Violation together span five countries on three continents and range from dark comedy to survival horror to period psychological thrillers.

Shudder Will Be Premiering 11 New Horror Movies Across 11 Weeks; Here’s the Lineup! – Bloody Disgusting

Netflix has promised 71 new movies in 2021, so this is Shudder saying, “don’t forget about us.” In order to compete, weekly new movie and/or TV show releases are becoming the norm for streaming services. This is only good news for all of us because we’ll have plenty to pick and choose from.

Oh, and as the image up top and headline says, another Joe Bob Briggs special will be airing on February 12. Two days before Valentine’s Day Friday is going to hit jusssst right.

We were not currently subscribed to Shudder, but just pulled the trigger and re-upped. Got to have me some Joe Bob Briggs and I’m always up for more horror films. There are FREE Shudder subscription promo codes for 30 days out there, just FYI. Hint, hint, hint …

Be sure to seek those out to keep your monthly streaming costs down. Not just for Shudder, for all of the services search the internet before exiting the streaming payment pages. You might be missing out on some FREE subscription time.

Shudder will also offer you a free month when you want to cancel, so you can often receive three months of service paying for one month, for those willing to jump over a few gravestones …

Zack Snyder’s 4-Hour Justice League Movie Not Split In Parts?

Justice League ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 

Holy long movies, Batman!

The Snyder Cut was supposed to be presented as a mini-series, not as one incredibly, painfully 4+ hour movie, but apparently Snyder cares nothing for our bladders.

Snyder announced at DC FanDome in Aug. 2020 that HBO Max would split the release of his Justice League cut into four one-hour episodes; a single four-hour cut of the episodes would release later, exclusively on HBO Max. Now, it appears this is not the case.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League Is No Longer a 4-Part Release | CBR

Or maybe it’s because we can just hit pause at home vs. theaters, but the crazy thing is the article linked above indicates Snyder actually wanted a theatrical release for his Frankenstein cut. LOL, seriously! Four hours in the movie theater seeing the same movie? Better have two intermissions at that monstrous length.

Are you OK watching a single movie that’s 4+ hours long? I’m looking forward to seeing the Snyder Cut of Justice League, but the length, which will be an hour or so less than an entire 8-episode season of Cobra Kai, seems way too long for any movie.

Then again, if it’s awesome, I won’t care. Will you?