Maybe More Should Listen To Vince Vaughn’s Take On Social Media Usage

Freaky ⭐️½

Reading Vince Vaughn’s perspective on why he doesn’t use social media is a reminder to those using too much social media that it isn’t that important.

(admittedly, this piggybacks on Monday’s post on Gina Carino, see: Hey Star Wars Hardcore Fans, Stop Trying To Get People Fired For Being Ignorant on Social Media)

“I’ve never been a big social media person,” Vaughn explained. While he says he has “a lot of friends who enjoy it,” the Old School star admits he’s “never really engaged in social media all that much.”

Why ‘Freaky’ Star Vince Vaughn Doesn’t Use Social Media

Put us in the group that didn’t care that much for Vince Vaughn’s most recent movie, but I like him as an actor. He’s proven to be more versatile than many that would just take the same safe role. He’s taken on some unexpected projects that surprised me. His facial expressions are a bit generic at times and I don’t find his brand of comedy hilarious, but I can see and appreciate his general style. He brings flavor to the roles he’s in that’s noticeable. I like that.

What he’s saying about his use of social media is especially interesting.

If we read between the lines, this is a refreshing reminder that some, predominantly the younger generation today it seems, rely far too much on social media for what’s important in the world. Don’t misunderstand me, there are some grandparent types my age going hog wild on Twitter and Instagram too.

Does it really matter, though? I mean, will you be remembered for what you posted on social media? Who will be? Maybe those with a gadzillion followers. Those influencers that make a living maintaining a huge following. The vast majority of the rest of us? Doesn’t really matter.

Yes, including some celebrities like Vince Vaughn.

Mostly strategically, I’ve used Twitter and Facebook since they were both released. I’ve been on this internet since dial-up days and have blogged, off and on, since 1999. That makes me a dinosaur online. I haven’t used Instagram that much and never used Tiktok. There are plenty of other sites I have used and don’t use that have enjoyed various fad-like popularity. My use of these social media platforms by and large, historically, has been promotional, not personal.

I don’t mean my accounts are spam accounts, they aren’t, but if you look at my Twitter for example, these days it’s mostly posts from this blog. When my last book was published (yikes, almost 10 years ago now!) I wrote more about that project. I figured that information would be interesting and useful to those who were interested in reading my book, or might be interested in me as an author. Sometimes, rarely, I’ll like or retweet something interesting, creative, curious, funny or inspiring some other type of emotion. What emotion that is of mine isn’t always stated. Herein lies the danger of ascribing too much relevance to what somebody “likes” online.

I think what Vaughn was being asked is why he wasn’t using social media to promote projects he’s in. That’s a fair question in 2020. His answer is actually smart. If he gets in for just promotion, then he won’t be as “popular” most likely as other actors who work more personal info into their social media presence.

Of course, by revealing more personal information on his life, he also risks being misunderstood, misquoted and maligned. That’s what brevity on Twitter can do if you say something brief or, gasp, you like something that is unpopular.

Since when did liking a tweet or retweeting something become indisputable evidence of skullduggery on a person’s part? For some, it has. The obsessive social media users need to get outside more. Go offline. Stop obsessing over everything someone says, does, likes, dislikes, etc on social media.

Maybe Vince Vaughn is smarter than we realize. His choice not to engage at all on social media vs. the President of the United States tweeting everything he can think of looks sage-like. Sometimes diarrhea of the mouth becomes diarrhea of the soul.

Alan Dean Foster Says Star Wars and Alien Movie Novelization Royalties Not Being Paid by Disney

Whenever I read stories about big corporations not paying royalties, I’m reminded that these days self-publishing is an option to protect against this situation. Of course, Amazon or whatever bookseller could also choose to withold royalty payments leading to the same situation.

Anyway, who doesn’t despise reading stories about creative people being screwed? Or at least saying they’re being screwed and not getting paid outstanding royalties.

Alan Dean Foster, a science-fiction author of note, has written the likes of the novelisation of the Star Wars movie as well as a sequel, Splinter Of The Mind’s Eye before Empire Strikes Back was even on the blocks. He also wrote the novelisations of the Alien, Aliens and Alien 3 movies. The only thing is – that the royalties on all these books, which still continue to sell, have stopped. And he is directly blaming Disney.

Demands For Disney To Pay Alan Dean Foster Over Star Wars Increase

I don’t read many movie novels, but have actually read Alan Dean Foster’s take on Alien and also read Star Wars: Splinter Of The Mind’s Eye. Both were done well. I’m not a big fan of movie tie-in novels. I’d rather a movie be adapted from a novel like Doctor Sleep from Stephen King, but I see the value in these novelizations. Regardless, the authors should always be paid royalties.

Let’s hope this is just some accounting mistake at Disney. Pay the man his royalties.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade Stool

Recently, we mentioned buying the At Games Legends Ultimate Arcade System (see: Arcade and Console Videogaming Heaven – Legends Ultimate Arcade). For retro gaming, it’s the bee’s knees. But standing up and playing only goes so far, which leads to the need for a good gaming stool or two.

At Walmart we see the Arcade1Up Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle stool and thought our youngest grandchild would dig the design (he is going through a turtles phase). The chairs are a bit pricey at $79.99, but we’ve seen deals as low as $49.99 online, so you might want to shop around. Assembly is a breeze, takes about 10 minutes or so and it comes with the allen wrenches required, so no exterior tools necessary. Supports weight up to 290 pounds. The seat feels a little firm, so might want to snag a seat cover if you’re going to have a really long gaming session.

Hmm, wonder what game is perfect to play sitting on this stool? (your suggestions in the comments welcome)

Chris Watts Life Insurance On Murdered Family Results In Court Battle Between Grandparents

American Murder: The Family Next Door ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

By now, hopefully you’ve seen this Netflix documentary. If you haven’t, my apologies for the headline spoiler. I’ve wanted to talk more in depth about this excellent documentary for awhile, but it’s one of those cases where any real depth in the subject matter is a spoiler.

So, here we go.

I’ve continued to follow this story for several months now with fascination. It’s the kind of haunting true crime story that just stays with me. It’s easily been among the most horrific movie I’ve seen in 2020. When you can’t forget about it, when it makes you literally shiver, that’s the definition of riveting horror.

And yet it’s what I’d call curveball horror. It’s not presented in a horrific or dramatic way. It’s like watching somebody’s Facebook videos and an episode of COPS with body cam footage.

Real horror. It’s the stuff that you just can’t wrap any sane mind around. For me, that’s among the most frightening.

And since it ended, I keep seeing stories about Chris Watts. Most of them aren’t very newsworthy, like him getting admonished for inmate violations in prison or his former mistress legally changing her name.

Today I learned about the life insurance policy proceeds on Shanann and the two grandchildren.

Sadly, the two families, Chris Watts’ parents and Shanann’s parents are in court fighting over $450,000 life insurance that Chris had purchased on his family.

Chris Watts took out a $450,000 insurance policy on his wife Shanann Watts and daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, prior to their deaths. That policy paid out in full in the wake of their murders, with just one problem — both both Shannann’s parents and Chris’ parents said that the money belonged to them

Parents Of Chris Watts Seek $450K Insurance For Slain Wife, Kids

Obviously, the murderer cannot benefit, so he has no claim to the monies, but how can the grandparents of those slain children want a penny of any monies associated with the murderer? Pay off the estate debts (er, probate) and whatever is left give the money to some charity for the protection of children.

Maybe that’s what one side intends to do with the money, the story doesn’t say. I’m finding it hard to believe how some disputes ever end up in courts. You’d think both families could come together for the loss they both shared, yes/no? Instead, it seems blame must be assigned. The monster to blame is behind bars for the rest of his life.

Hey Star Wars Hardcore Fans, Stop Trying To Get People Fired For Being Ignorant on Social Media

For a moment, or at least for the duration of this post, can we agree that whatever an actor says or does off screen, out of character, has very little to do with what happens in our favorite movies and TV shows?

(in the comments, feel free to agree or disagree) See: The Mike Tyson Dilemma – does promoting those who’ve done bad in the past imply support for their misdeeds?

Let’s face it, people say and do stupid things online, offline and everywhere in between. These days, word travels much faster on social media. Sometimes they mean the idiotic things said, sometimes they don’t, but stupid is what stupid does.

Stupid.

The bigger question at hand: should an actor lose his/her job because they say or do something stupid online? Those pedaling and pushing the #FireGinaCarino tag action say YES. If that’s the case, then Gal Gadot when she created that awful Imagine cover (see: Wonder Woman Gal Gadot’s Imagine Instagram Karaoke is disliked, imagine that?), should have been fired from WW1984. Or maybe because she — gasp — smoked cigarettes (almost everybody did once upon a time), her acting card should be revoked?

(relax, I’m joking)

Sigh. Gina Carano.

Gina Carano plays Cara Dune in The Mandalorian and apparently she’s said some things on her social media that have raised the ire of diehard Star Wars fans. I keep seeing these stories popping up in feeds and people are really passionate to see her gone from the series.

So offended, apparently, that some are calling for her to be fired from The Mandalorian.

Many fans have been calling for the firing of The Mandalorian’s Gina Carano over recent months, considering her controversial takes, likes, and retweets on Twitter. Recently, the actress who plays Cara Dune has made several anti-mask comments, as well as questioned the results of the recent presidential election. This is in addition to her past actions on the social media site that have come off as anti-Black Lives Matter, and mocking LGBTQ+ communities. With Carano showing no sign of stopping, Disney might be looking to get rid of the actress.

Gina Carano May Actually Be Fired From The Mandalorian, Here’s the Plan

Can we just make a pact, fellow netizens, not to join gangs trying to expel actors in movies for saying or doing something stupid on social media? I mean, really, does it matter what idiotic statement Gina Carano posts on her Twitter feed about any group, cause or people? Since when is what she says the gospel? How does any of that equate to her job as Cara Dune in The Mandalorian?

Or maybe it does. Maybe I missed where she’s trying to use her role in The Mandalorian to espouse these wrongheaded views? If that is what’s happening, I’d side with firing her, but that’s not it, is it? When the agendas overflow into the creative work, then it does matter, but something tells me the character Cara Dune has zero creative input by Gina Carano’s Twitter stream. Jon Favreau isn’t consulting her feed before working on the next Mandalorian screenplay. Is Carano flavoring her portrayal based on controversial world views? Perhaps.

Just to be clear, totally not defending whatever stupid things she’s said, because I’m fairly certain they deserves pushback. Glass houses and all, but how many have said stupid things and regretted them at some point in their lives?

I’m not going to grab Carino’s tweets and dissect here, because that just draws more light on stupid, and nobody needs that.

Am growing tired of seeing the response for stupid words resulting in gang “fire this person!” mentality. We’re in troubled times with a lot of people losing work and is it really wise to band together and try to get anybody fired for their personal views? (think that’s like the third time in this post I’ve asked, but am legitimately curious)

More and more companies have HR social media policies and the wise probably should tone down the hot topic commentary or risk being unemployed. There are so many things people can focus negative energy on, but the most negative of energy is disinterest. If you hate what Gina Carano says or does, then don’t watch any of her work. Disinterest is the ultimate diss for every creative work.

There’s the problem. You can take the Star Wars out of the actors, but not from the fans.

TV REVIEW: Dimension 404 Season 1 – All 6 Episodes Rated and Reviewed

Do you have Hulu? Enjoy anthology TV shows with a more technology focus like Black Mirror?

Narrated by Mark “Luke Skywalker” Hamill, this is Hulu anthology series is heavily inspired by The Twilight Zone, Outer Limits and more recently Black Mirror.

It was released in 2017 and hasn’t been renewed for a second season. I didn’t see anybody saying it was canceled either, which means maybe it will be back for another season(?).

The trailer:

The reviews that follow are all SPOILER-FREE, so if you want a little more detail about each episode, my rating and review, keep reading.

Episode 1 – “Matchmaker”
Air date: April 4, 2017
Run time: 40 minutes

Adam, a lonely blogger (hey!) meets a date though a popular dating app. He falls in love a little too quickly and finds out things aren’t all that they seem — with the dating app, with his date and with himself.

2019 was the year for movies involving artificial intelligence (AI) on phones, dating and love mixed with technology, which this episode digs deep into. Make-A-Match.com is the site that is referenced as the dating app. I looked that site up and it’s a missed opportunity by the showrunners to redirect to Dimension 404 page on Hulu (at the least).

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

Episode 2 – “Cinethrax”
Air date: April 4, 2017
Run time: ? minutes

Comedian Patton Oswalt plays Uncle Dusty taking his teenage niece Chloe (Sarah Hyland) to see a new 3D movie. He brings his own special glasses that turn 3D into 2D (huh? Why?). Guess he’s the ultimate geek old Uncle. Chloe’s friends meet her at the theater and she wants to sit with them instead of Dusty, so he takes the seat behind.

Things get weird when Dusty sees a black snake-like creature emerge from the screen, trying to reach him and suck his brain. He’s kicked out of the theater, only to realize Chloe is left in danger and wants to stay with her friends, unknowing the horror on screen that awaits.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

Episode 3 – “Chronos”
Air date: April 4, 2017
Run time: 43 minutes

A physicist grows up watching a superhero cartoon and suddenly one day she wakes up and the superhero is gone. He’s left the world, pulling a Last Action Hero and come into her world.

My least favorite episode, it just drags.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️

Episode 4 – “Polybius”
Air date: April 11, 2017
Run time: 45 minutes

A new game appears in an arcade called Polybius and a young gamer wants to learn its secrets so he can write about and review it in a gaming magazine. Soon, he realizes the game is more sinister than it appears.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

Episode 5 – “Bob”
Air date: April 18, 2017
Run time: 42 minutes

A soldier psychologist is assigned by the NSA to counsel a supercomputer that is a gigantic brain with an eye and is named Bob. The computer is having a psychological malfunction causing it to be unable to track a criminal and the soldier is sent to counsel.

Something about a big sweaty brain is a bit comical. In a way this episode loosely reminds me of the classic Twilight Zone episode “From Agnes With Love” sans the romantic implications.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️½

Episode 6 – “Impulse”
Air date: April 25, 2017
Run time: 46 minutes

A special energy drink becomes inspiration for a First Person Shooter (FPS) gamer. It’s just the edge needed to get to that next level, slowing down time. The problem is the time and advantage gained is multiplied by the “snap” when the user comes back to reality and misses an amount of time based on how much was consumed.

The whole bounce back like a rubber band with time was used creatively. I liked how this ended. My favorite episode of the first (and only, seemingly) season.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Summary

Can see why this wasn’t renewed for a second season. Am wondering if maybe they split it into two anthology movies it would have been better served. If you’re a diehard fan of anthologies, like me, then it’s worth watching, but wouldn’t put it too high on the watch list. Instead, check out Upload ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ on Amazon or the aforementioned Black Mirror (see: TV REVIEW: Black Mirror Season 1 – All 3 Episodes Rated and Reviewed).

Overall Season One Review: ⭐️⭐️½ 

Disney Rumored To Be Sending More Movies Meant for Theaters to Disney+

It’s kind of odd that Disney, the studio who made the most money on theatrical movie releases in 2019, has been among the least supportive of theaters during the pandemic. It seems like like they’ve almost given up on theaters altogether.

They don’t say that publicly of course, but their actions during 2020 tell a different story.

Deadline hears that the uncertainty of the future theatrical marketplace has Disney looking at launching a number of its upcoming tentpole family films on Disney+ instead of the theatrical release bows that were envisioned when the films were developed and green lit. At this point, the films being discussed to make that pivot are Cruella, the Craig Gillespie-directed live-action re-imaging of the animated classic that stars Emma Stone her Emma Thompson; the Robert Zemeckis-directed Pinocchio that has Tom Hanks starring; and Peter Pan and Wendy, the David Lowery-directed film that has Grown-ish star Yara Shahidi set to play Tinker Bell.

Disney + premieres Pinocchio, Peter Pan, Cruella away from Theatrical – Deadline

As a fan of new movies being available theatrically — if not day and date, then small exclusive theatrical window is OK too — Disney isn’t helping theaters.

This got me thinking if they should? Maybe their strategy is smarter than it appears. Focus on supporting Disney+ which has had the best first year streaming channel launch of any company. The reality is they are literally stacked with great IP, so having a quality streaming channel stocked with a strong archive is a given, what’s not as clear is what new is coming to the service to keep subscribers paying?

Sure, there’s The Mandalorian, but they can only produce 8 episodes or so of that every year. What do to they do with the other 44 weeks of the year? A movie meant for theatrical release once every month or two would solve that problem.

Seems expensive to me, as some of the budgets for these movies are very high. They probably will be reducing the budgets for planned straight to Disney+ movies.

But what if the theaters rebound? Disney’s strategy seems to be that they can just redirect titles produced for Disney+ back to the legacy model. Again, I’m not sure they aren’t playing this smart. Obviously theater owners aren’t going to think that way, but studios hold most of the cards. They have the content that movie theaters are starved for.

Peanuts Thanksgiving and Christmas Special Will Air on PBS in addition to Apple TV+

Kudos to Apple for not monopolizing all the Peanuts Charlie Brown holiday specials (see: AppleTV+ Streaming The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown – Gone From TV Holiday Forever?) and letting PBS air these specials also.

In addition to streaming on their new home Apple TV+, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas will air ad free on PBS and PBS Kids on Sunday, Nov. 22 and Sunday, Dec. 13, respectively, at 7:30 pm local time/6:30 pm CT (check local listings).

Peanuts Specials ‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’ & ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ To Get Special Airings On PBS – Deadline

Clearly we have soft spots for holiday specials. Not just Peanuts either. Something fun to put on when you’re not eating turkey and enjoying the family time. For those who aren’t getting together with family due to the You Know What there are always virtual watch parties.

TV SERIES Review: Star Trek: The Animated Series S1E3 – One Of Our Planets Is Missing ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½

Season 1
CBS All Access (Original TV network: NBC)
September 22, 1973
Run Time: 24:09

Episode 3 – “One Of Our Planets Is Missing”

The Enterprises encounters a red, noxious cloud ravenous for consuming entire planets. They race to protect the planet Mantilles from the cloud and are engulfed by the cloud. The cloud lives upon the energy of consumed planets. While inside, the Enterprise realizes it’s like the inside of a stomach and tries to navigate toward the opening before the planet’s inner digestive digestive tract breaks down the ship’s deflective shields.

With 20 minutes left, they must navigate out or all aboard killed.

Summary

Talk about alien body horror. There are two opposing dramas here. The Enterprise trapped inside the alien cloud, will it escape and the planet the cloud is heading toward.

Rewatching I’m reminded how Star Trek used to be. Creative, entertaining, thought provoking and exciting to watch. There wasn’t much like this in Picard or Lower Decks to be found, hence the reason I’m rewatching the past. Why can’t they get the Next Generation actors together and make an animated series like STNG? It worked for the original series, so why not Next Gen?

Hard to believe each episode cost $75,000. Yes, this was nearly 50 years ago, so in today’s dollars it would be more. They probably couldn’t get any of the voice actors to work for that today.

So, probably would cost about a million or more an episode in 2020 dollars. We can always dream.

Spock saying of his mind meld with the alien cloud, “The wonders of the universe. Incredible. Simply incredible.”

This episode is excellent. It has everything that makes Star Trek cool. The only tiny takeaway is that the resolution was a bit overused in the original series when encountering alien beings. You’ll have to watch to see that resolution, however, because not spoiling here. Recommended.

Episode rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 

Of Course AMC Will Screen Wonder Woman 1984 in Theaters

When we saw the announcement that WarnerMedia chose to release Wonder Woman 1984 in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously in the United States, we expected to see that the big theater chains would show it. They’d be crazy not to.

#1 AMC has confirmed as much within 24 hours of the announcement.

AMC Entertainment said in a statement attributed to president and CEO Adam Aron that it “will show this eagerly awaited movie on our big screens all across our global network.”

AMC Responds to ‘Wonder Woman 2’ Streaming Move: ‘Atypical Circumstances’ Call For ‘Atypical Windows’

Regal #2 theaters are still closed all over the United States. Will they reopen in time for Wonder Woman? Unknown. We haven’t seen any quotes about how they will handle WW1984 in their theaters. They were strongly against day and date releases for streaming. They like the legacy theatrical window.

Cinemark #3 in most number of studios also hasn’t weighed in yet. Again, they would be foolish not to screen WW1984.

Either way, moviegoers will get to see this movie — if they want — before the end of 2020. In a year when new movies intended for theaters are rampantly being delayed or sold to streaming, this is a good thing.