Doctor Sleep Director’s Cut adds 30 minutes

Doctor Sleep ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐

My second favorite movie of 2019 has hit the streaming circuit, complete with a director’s cut that adds 30 minutes of additional character backstory and footage.

For the home video and streaming releases, though, Warner Bros. has also released the director’s cut of the film. And its additional 30 minutes of footage improves on Flannagan’s already-impressive work. The new cut provides a more empathetic theme for the entire Shining series, both the movies and the books.

The Doctor Sleep director’s cut is a huge improvement – Polygon

Interesting to see Polygon calling the director’s cut a “huge improvement.” For me, the film was great as it was, so of course I’d like to watch director Mike Flanagan cut and see how, if any, it improves the film. Just making the runtime longer could be a detriment, but not if the new footage illuminates and/or adds something not experienced in the original theatrical version.

On Amazon Prime buying the director’s cut, as of this writing, costs $19.99 for the HD version. On Vudu there is a sale running as of this writing and it’s $9.99:

If you haven’t seen Doctor Sleep, it’s on sale at Vudu, including the director’s cut for $9.99

I’ve 10/10 anticipation for seeing this additional 30 minutes of footage and see how it adds to the film, so I’m sold. Yeah, I could just rent it, but that’s $5.99, so why not spend another $4 and get to keep my second favorite movie of 2019 forever digitally. There are also three additional bonus features: behind the scenes material, it seems.

I realize there are articles online that explain in detail what those 30 minutes add to the theatrical version, but rather than spoil the experience I’m going to watch and compare versions myself.

Has anybody else reading already seen the director’s cut? What did you think?

Behind the Tennis Ball Man playing Buck the CGI Dog on The Call Of The Wild

Man (Ford) and his best friend, Buck

His name is Terry Notary. He’s not CGI, he’s flesh and blood. Notary is man playing Buck, the CGI dog.

“When they said they wanted me to play Buck, I was like, ‘Wow, I have to really figure out how dogs relate to human beings on a deep level.’ You know, they’re truly connected to humans, for eons, they’re our best friends, really. And there’s no filter when they look into your soul. There’s no fear of seeing you [or] letting you see them,” Notary explained. “It was really about trying to be present for [Ford] and really let him forget that I was a human, and be a dog and dissolve into it. And when we did, it was magic.”

Why Harrison Ford Answered ‘The Call of the Wild’ – Variety

In order to line up all the CGI, it is necessary to have a stand-in, which explains why Notary was there, complete with tennis balls attached to him so that the CGI could be synced as well as giving Harrison Ford someone tangible to look at during filming.

Only one other movie since August 12, 2019 when I started this blog has had more reader interest — at least in terms of clickthru traffic — as FIRST LOOK: The Call of the Wild.

On February 16, 2020, the movie with the most reader interest is The Call of the Wild (2020)

Today, this FIRST LOOK post has more traffic and clickthrus than any other post to date. While, I realize this little blog is a tiny space in the massive internet, it has motivated me to dig around and learn more about the film, if I can. In particular, the tennis ball man, Terry Notary, since our FIRST LOOK primarily dealt with the CGI dog. That’s what seems to be the primary topic.

There’s been renewed interest in Harrison Ford because he also announced that filming on Indiana Jones 5 will begin soon, possibly as early as April 2020.

I doubt The Call of the Wild is going to be anywhere as popular as Indiana Jones 5, or even if it will be a good film. Dog films share a special place in people’s hearts and there will be at least some interest in seeing if the CGI Buck is as real looking as a real dog.

Cool trivia: Buck is based on a dog named Buckley from Emporia Animal Shelter: ““We were having a difficult time finding a real stand-in for Buck. The Buck described in the novel is a very specific combination of two different breeds; and this is a combination you just can’t find anywhere.””

Roku Declares We're Now in "The Streaming Decade"

Roku home menu during Halloween 2019

The volume in and around Roku is growing louder (emphasis mine):

We have now entered the streaming decade when we believe consumers around the world will choose streaming as their primary way of viewing TV,” Roku CEO Anthony Wood wrote in his letter to investors. Roku believes that by 2024, half of all US households with a TV will have either cut the cord or never had cable to begin with.

Roku predicts half of US households with a TV will cut the cord by 2024 – The Verge

Our household cut the cord from cable TV long ago, going back a couple times just to see if things had changed (they hadn’t). Cable TV was all about a bunch of channels not worth watching, a ton of commercials and suspect billing practices brimming with fees.

So, when Roku claims this decade as “the streaming decade” my ears perked up. Will this be the decade (2020-2030) that most people cut the cable TV cord? They believe by 2024 50% of households with a TV will not have cable TV.

As new streaming channels open up that are available through Roku, this will increase its presence:

…it would seem fair to assume that Roku may have grown net adds naturally by about 700,000 accounts, bringing the total number of new accounts to around 4 million. It could imply that of Disney’s 26 million new streaming subscribers; Roku only saw a benefit of an additional 600,000 new accounts above its natural rate of growth. 

Roku’s Post-Earnings Plunge May Only Be The Start via Forbes

Honestly, with the excessive expense of cable TV compared to cord cutting alternatives I’m surprised we aren’t already past the 50%. Then again, in more rural areas high speed bandwidth might not be as widespread.

If that turns out to be true, that’s quite the tipping point.

Have you cut the cord yet? Do you still have cable TV?

Let's Not Use Parasite as Motivation to Add a Washington State Tax

The pictures above are of Los Angeles, but Seattle has tent city issues with the homeless, too

For the most part I stay out of commenting on politics but when it comes to adding taxes we don’t have in Washington State? Um, no.

The tent cities listed above are not from Washington State, they are from Los Angeles, California another very liberal state. We also have a huge homeless problem inside the city of Seattle and Tacoma. Two cities that are close to where I live. Here are pictures from Seattle:

Seattle homeless pictures

You probably don’t see this mentioned as much around the world when Seattle is mentioned. You see the Seattle Center and iconic Space Needle. You likely don’t see the pictures of the homeless living in tents in Seattle pictured above.

The news stories are out there, you can follow them on Google News if you use the right keywords.

What we don’t have in Washington is a state tax.

What’s powerful about his report is that he isn’t advocating for new government programs or subsidies for anyone; he just wants to change who pays. His report advocates scrapping all of our sales, property and business taxes — all would go to zero — and replacing them with a simple, flat 10.4% state and local income tax with a $15,000 deduction. So a family of four working the gig economy and making, say, $25,000 a year — kind of like the one featured in “Parasite” — would pay about $3,000 less per year than it does now.

Seattle is so far gone on inequality we’re beyond the movie ‘Parasite’ | The Seattle Times

The bolding above in the quote is mine. Movies like Parasite can raise issues in real life, but Parasite isn’t non-fiction, it’s not an answer to how economic disparity should be resolved in a real world city. The article using this fantasy movie as suggested motivation of “how bad it could be” is preposterous.

The author of The Seattle Times article references Parasite a second time in the article toward the end:

We’ve fractured into such disparate camps that the one probably couldn’t get close enough to the other to feed on its resources even if it tried — as happens so wrenchingly in “Parasite.”

The Seattle Times

Scare tactics.

I’ve outlined my issues with Parasite, see: 20+ Parasite Reviews – A Curious Class Exercise In Social Irony and Cruelty

You can’t solve real world problems with movies. Can you be inspired to change something based on a movie? I’m not even sure that’s possible. There are very different realities between movies and real life. In movies most everything is bent, twisted and amplified for dramatic license within a couple hours of run time. In real life, it isn’t always so dramatic and cannot be resolved so quickly and neatly.

It’s extremely unlikely Parasite could happen exactly as depicted in the movie in real life. Bong Joon Ho wouldn’t even suggest that, I’m guessing. Impossible? No.

My biggest problem with Parasite is that it expertly showed a problem and yet offered no real solution. In real life you have to find solutions to problem someday, somehow.

Seattle has many problems, but solving them with adding a new statewide tax that we’ve never had isn’t the solution.

When it comes to state governments and politics, they only know one thing: more taxes for everybody! Only, it’s not for everybody because the biggest money earners (the giant corporations) get corporate tax loopholes that reduce and in some cases eliminate their tax burden. Go research how much Amazon pays in corporate income tax in Washington State.

The issue with poverty isn’t going to be solved by adding a state tax. It just means we’re going to add another tax that impacts every Washington state citizen outside the big cities. Citizens state-wide be subsidizing taxes for the city of Seattle, where the homeless problem is the worst. While Seattle has the biggest population in the state, the rest of the state combined has way more people than the city of Seattle.

The politicians have been trying to add a state tax for years and by and large majority the citizens of this state keep voting “no.” This has zero to do with helping to balance the social inequity in the city.

We don’t believe there will be fiscal responsibility with the additional tax revenue.

I would welcome a state tax if I honestly thought the money would be managed by state government correctly.

We used to have a huge tax surplus in this state, we used to have $25 car tab renewals and due to poor mismanagement by the state government, we no longer have these perks. One of my car tabs costs almost $300/year when I voted to have $25 tabs.

Politicians don’t add taxes and then take them away. We’ve been down the road where adding taxes to everybody in the state to solve the problems of a couple major cities doesn’t seem either equitable or fair.

Meanwhile, there are various corporate business incentive taxes. Why do large tech companies in this state pay so little taxes? Because of the jobs they bring into the state, that’s supposed to be the answer.

Amazon doesn’t need tax incentives. They can take all their low paying warehouse jobs to some other state. Sure, they pay executives handsomely.

This is a complicated business problem. How to take the tax revenue from the state and divide it up equally when too many people live in too small a geographic footprint. Grifters, drugs, all the bad crime a city doesn’t want moves in with poverty. It’s a very real problem, but my solution to fixing the problem is simple: tax corporate business more.

It’s laughable that when more taxes are requested, it’s always mainstream America that is asked to pay more while businesses get tax breaks and incentives over the fear that they will “leave the state.” You know what? Leave then. Pack up your bags and move to another state. Take the low paying jobs with you.

And, please, let’s not use movies as motivation to add more taxes.

Mad Props to Joe Hill for Paving His Own Career Path

The problem with Joe Hill is he resembles a younger Stephen King

If Stephen King was your dad and you wanted to prove you could make it without riding on his coat tails what would you do? Just ask Joe Hill. He’s done exactly that.

“I lacked a lot of self-confidence as a teenager,” Hill told The Telegraph in 2016. “When I went into writing, I had to know that if someone bought one of my stories they’d bought it for the right reasons–that it is a good story–and not because of who my dad is.”

Who is Joe Hill? ‘Locke and Key’ Creator is Stephen King’s Son

Mad respect to Hill, the author of some truly awesome horror novels. Horns is great. Now, he has a Netflix series, Locke & Key. Haven’t seen that one yet, but will probably check it out. If it’s really good, I might even review it here. It’s based on the graphic novel by Hill about an ancestral home with magical keys hidden inside.

The problem with Joe Hill is his physical appearance is very similar to a younger Stephen King. Beard and all! So, even if you didn’t know he was Stephen King’s son somehow, you can see the resemblance and would guess.

There is something to sharing a last name though. I worked with one of my sons for awhile and we didn’t advertise we were related. People saw we had the same name and made the connection pretty quickly. So, the best think Hill could do is not use his last name.

I totally get why Hill didn’t want to go by the byline of Joe King. It’s very honorable and respectful to want to have your talent measured by your work, not because you’re the son of one of the most famous living authors ever. Hill doesn’t have to worry about that any more. He’s earned his writing street cred. If you doubt that, just buy and read some of his work.

Locke & Key the entire first season of 10 episodes is now bingeable on Netflix.

Rod Serling and Daryl Davis: Curing Ignorance with Education

Rod Serling understood tolerance as well as anybody who ever lived as shown by this tweet by his daughter, Anne.

Following the unprecedented 4 Oscars for Parasite, a Korean film, it made me sit back and ponder tolerance and acceptance. Maybe tonight something happened at the Oscars that will begin some sort of change in the world. Having people accept others more in 2020 and beyond?

I sure hope so. The world is a better place when we learn to love more.

The following is a gripping story told by Daryl Davis about his first meeting with a high ranking KKK leader in a motel. The Klan leader comes with an armed bodyguard and does not realize the meeting is with a black man.

Daryl Davis’ First Meeting with KKK Leader

When I watched this earlier this week, I haven’t been as riveted by a podcast interview story being told before. Daryl Davis should have a movie made about his life story.

Adam Sandler's Non-Oscar Nom Revenge + The Original Pixels vs. Pixels The Movie

Pixels 3D in Blu-ray

Pixels⭐️⭐️⭐️½  is a videogame nerd movie gone wild starring Adam Sandler as the friend of President Kevin James. Yes, it’s ludicrous, but Sandler’s typical brand of often immature, bizarre comedy. And because its about videogames, I love it.

It is based on a very short film by Patrick Jean.

Pixels by Patrick Jean – the inspiration for the Adam Sandler Pixels (2015)

The short is great, and probably all anybody needs to see from a critical standpoint. The full length movie is not as good which explains why most critics panned it, but for me this is like the chocolate, whipped cream and cherry you know you shouldn’t eat on ice cream: pure guilty pleasure. I’ll happily rewatch this movie from time to time.

The Sandman’s Revenge Plot

Now, that Uncut Gems⭐️⭐️⭐️½  didn’t win Sandler an Oscar — or even a nomination — he jokingly threatened to unleash a horrible comedy on the critics as revenge:

“If I don’t get it, I’m going to fucking come back and do [a movie] again that is so bad on purpose just to make you all pay,” he joked. “That’s how I get them.”

Adam Sandler Reacted To His Oscar Snub In The Most Adam Sandler Way Possible

Grown Ups 2 was slayed, so maybe Grown Ups 3? Or maybe a sequel to Pixels?

Or perhaps That’s My Boy 2? You almost have to do a sequel if you want something to be really, really bad.

I got it: Jack and Jill 2. That will teach them.