Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for the ‘Movies & TV’ Category

Just Watch: A streaming search engine

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Now that I live in Canada, I find that Netflix and Prime movies available in the US may not be available in Canada—at least not on Netflix and Prime. What I wanted was a search engine that would search across different streaming services to locate a movie I wanted to see. Roku offers that sort of search, which I used to find Steven Soderbergh’s “Logan Lucky” (on Google Play, as it turned out), but surely there must be now be a specialized search engine for that.

So I searched for one (using Google) and I found JustWatch.com, which is exactly what I wanted: you specify your country, and it finds for you the streaming version of the movie for that country.

Very useful. Free, but you have to open an account with Facebook or Google: no option to use your email and a password. 😦

Written by LeisureGuy

19 February 2019 at 7:36 am

The snow outside is deep and the day dark

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But I sit here in a warm apartment, a Scotch Mist at hand — well, a BC single-malt whisky mist (fill glass with finely crushed ice, pour over single-malt whisky, add a twist of lemon) made from BC barley, and the beef-shank-and-turnip stew with pot barley now cooked, and tasty, too. I have to say this particular single-malt, by The Odd Society, is really excellent.

It truly is proper weather for such a stew.

I just finished Russian Doll on Netflix last night. I enjoyed it.

Written by LeisureGuy

11 February 2019 at 3:58 pm

Stop-motion animation is amazing—because of technological advances

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Just watch this brief video of how Laika studios make stop-motion animation (e.g., Coraline, Kubo and the Two Strings.

Written by LeisureGuy

25 January 2019 at 5:00 pm

Posted in Movies & TV

More local spirits from the Odd Society

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The Odd Society makes interesting spirits. I’m having a Prospector Manhattan and it’s quite good. Their Wallflower Gin and Bittersweet Vermouth are superb.

I made chicken shawarma for dinner and for the toppings I use: broken up sheep-and-goat-milk feta, slicked San Marzano cherry tomatoes (very elongated so I cut across twice), endive (terrific because of the slight bitterness), halved Kalamata olives, and diced Persian cucumbers. Served atop steamed cauliflower “rice.”

Pretty damn tasty, If I say it myself. (The chicken shawarma, but also the Prospector Manhattan.)

The Wife is sitting across from me, laughing out loud as she watches The Big Fat Quiz of Everything 2019 on YouTube. (Earlier years available if you search.)

Written by LeisureGuy

20 January 2019 at 5:51 pm

Well worth watching

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Here’s the NY Times description:

‘Matt Baume’s Culture Cruise’
When to watch: Now, on YouTube.

This thoughtful and thorough web series from Matt Baume takes a closer look at queer representation — the good and the bad — in pop culture. He explains common story elements that popped up, for example, on “Golden Girls” or “Rhoda,” and he traces not only how stories about queer characters have changed but also how TV has changed in general. The episodes are short, informative and funny, but not lecutre-y.

I’m watching it now. Terrific. And well done, as well. And it clarifies the conflict of the memes.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 January 2019 at 6:05 pm

Lest we forget: “Vice” vs. the Real Dick Cheney

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Nicholas Lemann writes in the New Yorker:

Adam McKay, the director of “Vice,” has an exuberant and fantastic filmmaking style that inoculates him against the kind of indignant fact-checking to which Hollywood depictions of history are often subjected. Who wants to be an old grump and point out that, for example, there is no evidence that Dick Cheney, the movie’s antihero, suggested to the President that they head out to the White House lawn for a round of circle jerk, or that Dick and Lynne Cheney spoke to each other in bed in mock-Shakespearean pentameter? But “Vice” isn’t asking to be judged purely as a work of fiction, either; its implicit claim is that it plays around with the facts about Cheney in order to get closer to the truth.

By that standard, there’s no problem about the regular flights into speculation and satire, but there is one major false note in “Vice.” That’s when a young Cheney rather plaintively asks his mentor, the congressman turned White House aide Donald Rumsfeld, “What do we believe in?” Rumsfeld bursts into uncontrollable laughter, turns away, and disappears into his office. Through the closed door we can still hear him cackling. Actually, it’s clear that Cheney, even that early, was a deeply committed and ideological conservative—one whose phlegmatic demeanor and eagerness to master the details of government masked who he really was for a very long time.

In the early nineteen-sixties, Cheney dropped out of Yale twice, but one professor there made a deep impression on him. That was H. Bradford Westerfield, a diplomatic historian who believed that it was possible that the United States would fall victim to a Communist takeover. “Ominously, the infectious defeatism drifts across the Atlantic and begins to insinuate itself into the mind of America,” he warned in his book “The Instruments of America’s Foreign Policy.” Another crucial experience for the Cheneys—both of whom were children of career federal civil servants—was their brief tour of duty in Madison, Wisconsin, at the height of the sixties, when they were enrolled in graduate school, at the University of Wisconsin.

Many years later, Lynne Cheney told me, “I distinctly remember going to class, and having to walk through people in whiteface, conducting guerrilla theatre, often swinging animal entrails over their heads, as part of a protest against Dow Chemical. And then the shocking thing was that you would enter the classroom and here would be all these nice young people who honestly wanted to learn to write an essay.” Dick Cheney, during an internship in Washington, D.C., took a delegation from Capitol Hill to a Students for a Democratic Society meeting in Madison, so that they could see the unvarnished face of student radicalism, and also to a faculty meeting, where he was struck by the professors’ lack of alarm over the left’s activities. Cheney and Rumsfeld’s first jobs in a Presidential Administration were at the Office of Economic Opportunity, during Richard Nixon’s first term—Rumsfeld was the director and Cheney was his deputy. This is presented in “Vice” as an anodyne bureaucratic assignment, but, because the O.E.O. had been created to carry out Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, their jobs entailed dismantling the most sixties-infused agency of the federal government. From Cheney’s point of view, the work had the quality of removing the serpent from the breast of state.

The episode that best foreshadowed the Cheney we came to know in the years after the 9/11 attacks occurred at the end of his service as Secretary of Defense, under George H. W. Bush—another job that “Vice” understands in terms of power, not ideas. As the Soviet Union was collapsing, Cheney, with the help of aides such as Lewis (Scooter) Libby and Paul Wolfowitz, who later joined him in the George W. Bush Administration, commissioned a study with the bland title “Defense Planning Guidance.” It envisioned a post-Cold War world in which there would only ever be one superpower, the United States: “Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival,” the document said. It was skeptical of power exercised by the United Nations and other multinational alliances, as opposed to that exercised by the United States unilaterally. Cheney’s circle did not support the first President Bush’s decision to conclude the Gulf War without toppling Saddam Hussein and installing a new government in Iraq. The 9/11 attacks provided Cheney and his allies with an unexpected opportunity to enact their long-standing views.

“Vice” treats conservatism as a combination of resistance to the civil-rights movement, the Koch brothers’ eagerness to reduce taxes and regulations, and pure opportunism. Cheney’s conservatism, at heart, is none of these. It is what might be called threatism. Powerful, determined, immensely destructive forces—the Soviet Union, radical Islam, the domestic left—want to destroy American freedom and democracy. Complacent politicians, especially liberal ones, are incapable either of understanding this or of summoning the will to combat it. For the small cadre who do understand, it is imperative to use power unusually quietly, expertly, and aggressively. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

5 January 2019 at 2:34 pm

The manufacture of ball-bearings: a silent but fascinating documentary

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Silent, that is, if you’re wise enough to mute it. The music is canned and distracting. The music director should be fired on the spot.

This is an instance of my (again) discovering how very ignorant I am of so many things I take for granted and on which I ultimately depend.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 January 2019 at 5:11 pm

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