Television

Reviews and Recaps!

Game of Thrones

Listen to Germar and often Jessica cover GoT better than anyone on the net.

Big Movies

Reviewed

Friday, July 21, 2017

The BEST TV Shows of ALL TIME

In Episode 339, surprise surprise, Germar gives you the top television shows of all time, by decade. Then, he delivers the best decade of TV over all. Of all the lists we've done, this one was the most researched. Enjoy . . . or else.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Game of Thrones: Dragonstone

Episode 338 brings back the BEST Game of Thrones discussion anywhere. That's right, Germar and Jessica cover GoT better than any other vlog, podcast, or web or television show. If you don't like it, cash us outside. Jessica give 'em your address.

Top 10 Reasons City Trumps Country

In Episode 337, Germar gives his top 10 reasons for being a city mouse. And he does it by taking shots at everything you love about country--and small town--living.  


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Movies that Defined a Decade

                                                                       
In Episode 336, Germar looks at the top grossing films of all time (1910s-2010s) to determine the films that define each decade. Then, he of course chooses a best decade overall. Yes, it's just like the music version he did a couple of months ago, but better, and movies. NSFW intro.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Dad Bod Derron

In Episode 335, Germar complains about all the compliments he receives. #somepeopleskids But first, another edition of "You're Wrong." Boobies and ding-dongs are just not the same thing. Oh, and winter is coming to the podcast.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Rankings: X-men Movies

You love lists and Look to the Cookie doesn't do enough of them. So here are the rankings and reasons for the 10 X-films. To those who disagree, tell your psychiatrist that LTC says hi.

 10. The Wolverine 6/10 Is this the same Wolverine from Origins or DOFP or any other X-men film? Yes! But no, not really. Of course, this film completely falls apart in the end. And Wolvie is played. He's dominated superhero cinema since 2000. His story, no matter how we twist it, is always the same: 1) he doesn't remember stuff; 2) he heals; and 3) adamantium. And this wasn't really a film that belongs in this genre, or in that universe, and totally made the Wolverine trilogy not a trilogy at all. It's a mediocre martial arts flick masquerading poorly as an X-film and I wasn't very impressed. 

9. X-Men 6.5/10 Mad props for being the movie that made this list possible. More props for bringing back Toad and making him kinda awesome. Even then, this film felt smaller than my X-men. Smaller core team, smaller stakes, smaller. It's the first one and it's the firstiest movie of any trilogy ever.

8. X-Men Origins: Wolverine 6.5/10 Yes, you hate this movie. You're wrong. Ask Jon Schnepp about it. The beginning of this movie is about as good as these movies get. Young Wolverine. Logan and Creed dominating every war. And even the comme ci, comme ca assault on that compound. Gambit's appearance is one of the best things about the X-men films. And Taylor Kitsch is a better Gambit--with more Magic, better abs and glutes--than Channing Tatum. You hate this movie because of what they did to Deadpool. That sucked. But this wasn't a Deadpool film. The ending may be the worst in comic book movie history, but the first two acts are mostly solid. 

7. X-Men: Apocalypse 6.5/10 The most disappointing X-men film ever. Yes, in part because expectations were high . . . initially. But Bryan Singer made a mediocre film--the fourth big franchise superhero film of 2016--and he can't stop patting himself on the back. The third one IS always the worst one. And for me, this is the worstiest of them all to date.

6. Logan 6.5/10 It is the best Wolverine film, but that doesn't mean much. Like the best superhero films, they made a film first, and a comic book movie second. But in many ways it meanders, doesn't pull the pieces together tightly, and has spineless useless "villains." So, yeah, Marvel needs to get the rights back. The next X-film will include a character literally jumping a shark.

5. Deadpool 6.9/10 Initially, I hated this film. I hated it because all of the best bits are in the trailer. Why??? And why did everyone still love it so? I get it; I got it. But it's the movie they promised, and SHOWED, in the trailers. I just wasn't surprised. People made comments like "he broke the fourth wall!?!?!?" NO F#$^* SH!^ OF COURSE HE DID! IT'S DEADPOOL!!! On my second viewing, I appreciated everything a bit more. The ending is better than I realized. All of the characters are amazing. The weakest piece of this film to me is Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool (in costume with the goofy voice). I'd rather see a film of Reynolds as Deadpool the mercenary that gets paid to beat up girls' bfs. Basically, I felt like this:   

4. X2: X-Men United 7/10 Here's where I do that thing that you cannot. I don't like this movie. I rank it higher than I feel because it's not a bad movie, it's just not a movie for me. It started with the strongest sequence in the entire history of comic book movies, but then rolled downhill for two hours straight. I'm beyond tired of Wolverine and Weapon-X. And I'm REALLY not a fan of the Phoenix, and this ends with that big tease. It's a good film. I own it. I've seen it many many times. But could someone tell Fox that X-Men is more than Wolverine running around a facility shirtless? K-thx.

3. X-Men: The Last Stand 7/10 I stand alone. This film is more like the X-Men of the 90s cartoon, and 80s and 90s stories than any other. It's the only one where they really feel like a team (until DOFP future). It's the X-Men's MCU-Avengers' film years before there was an MCU or Avengers' film. Six mutants that feel like members of my family stand against an army of super-powered beings to protect one life--choice, and a group of people that want them dead--because it's the right thing to do. They may die, and they know it. I used to choke up.


2X-Men: Days of Future Past 7.7/10 Solid. It's the best bits of the second trilogy. It's the best Magneto. It's the best McAvoy. Quicksilver. Dinklage. And the action presented in the future scenes perfectly portrays the X-Men we imagine in a post-apocalyptic world. 

1. X-Men: First Class 8.5/10 Comic book movies are often good . . . for comic book movies. But they should be more than that. Comic book fans deserve to see their stories win Oscars and receive praise from even the most square critics. Other than the "new mutants'" mistake, this is that X-film. This is an actual effing movie--not just another superhero button masher. Here, there are serious levels of character and story, plus good performances. Bryan Singer is not the God of X-Men movies; Fox should take a page from the MCU and diversify.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

50 Albums that Influenced Me (Disc Five)

by Germar Derron

(find "Disc Four" here)


For a former music major-saxophone player-producer-audio engineer-songwriter-label intern-artist manager, I barely write about, talk about, or even think about music. Maybe I'm bitter. Did I just say "former?" WOW. This list covers the 50 albums that mattered most in my life. 


To make the list, I had to have acquired the full album through some legitimate means. So, very few post-2008 albums made the list because: 1) do CDs still exist?; 2) are there "record" stores?; and 3) Spotify, YouTube, and Pandora. These albums are not necessarily my favorites. And many of my favorite artists and most of my favorite songs are missing. The "then" and "now" scores depict how my feelings have changed with time. Those two scores combined determined the album's 
overall rank.


10.  Michael Jackson, Off the Wall (1979) Thriller is etched for all time, but that momentum started here. And to many industry insiders, this is the superior project. Think about it. Which songs get more spins today--"Rock with You" and "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," or "Thriller" and "Beat It?" I'll wait.  Then: 8.5 + Now: 9.5 = 18 

9.  The Strokes, Room on Fire (2003) Before buying--and loving--this album, I thought that rock had died. I rarely love being this wrong. Then: 9 + Now: 9 = 18  

8.  Wyclef Jean, The Carnival (1997) Mannnnnn, Clef started a song, stopped the song, then re-started the song from the bathtub. How do I know? Because it's IN THE SONG. If you don't like something about this album, then you don't like joy and happiness. Here, Wyclef was a goofball, lyricist, dope producer, and knowledge dropper. Then: 9.6 + Now: 8.5 = 18.1 

7.  Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP (2000) He's white, but he was never Ice. This  album was a game changer. Em proved that you could be fun, intelligent, and sincere, while outselling boy bands and not being "pop." Dre gave him instant cred, but he worked for the rest.  Then: 9.9 + Now: 8.9 = 18 

6.  New Edition, Greatest Hits Vol. I (1991) In four years, these songs will be covered in your standard music history/appreciation courses. NE is that important. Every boy band doesn't get a biopic, especially not one designed to carry a television network. Then: 9.5 + Now: 9.5 = 19 

5.  Maroon 5, Songs About Jane (2002) This could be the best debut album by any band . . . since 2002. I liked the album so much that I spent $200 on concert tickets, assuming that I'd find a date. I did. But when I arrived at the venue, I realized the tickets were back at home--45 minutes south on I-85. Then: 9.4 + Now: 9.6 = 19 

4.  Amy Winehouse, Back to Black (2006) My drunk driving roommate, drunkenly proclaimed the greatness of this album, back when I only knew about "Rehab." He kept saying, "mah [brother] I cain't belee you ain't know bout dis--it's so jazzy."  No, it's not jazzy. It's doo-wopish 50s-60s girl group greatness. It's an updated, arguably better, Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. During that terrifying drive home, he shrieked loudly over Amy--"fuckery." On that night, I  discovered a new favorite: song, album, and word.  Then: 9.9 + Now: 9.5 = 19.4 

3.  Amy Winehouse, Frank (2003) Back to Black pushed me to purchase Frank. I didn't get it. It seemed dated, more-British, less polished, and awkwardly produced. Eventually, I realized that it was even better than B2B. Her talent is uncanny. And she was just 19. Then: 9.5 + Now: 9.9 = 19.4 

2.  Foo Fighters, In Your Honor (2005) I liked a few of their songs, and I like Nirvana. So on a lark, I decided to pick up this double album. Dave Grohl's growl got me through the worst of times. "Were you born to resist or be abused? Is someone getting the best of you?" Then: 9.9 + Now: 9.7 = 19.6 

1.  Snoop Dogg, Doggystyle (1993) Another 19-year-old phenom tops this list. Of all the albums that I've purchased, this is the most consistent, from start to finish. A lot of credit goes to Dre, but Snoop is an almost unparalleled lyricist, with the smoothest delivery. Plus, The Dogg Pound, The Lady of Rage, and The [fabulous] Dramatics.  Then: 9.9 + Now: 9.9 = 19.8 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

50 Albums that Influenced Me (Disc Four)

by Germar Derron

(find "Disc Three" here)


For a former music major-saxophone player-producer-audio engineer-songwriter-label intern-artist manager, I barely write about, talk about, or even think about music. Maybe I'm bitter. Did I just say "former?" WOW. This list covers the 50 albums that mattered most in my life. 


To make the list, I had to have acquired the full album through some legitimate means. So, very few post-2008 albums made the list because: 1) do CDs still exist?; 2) are there "record" stores?; and 3) Spotify, YouTube, and Pandora. These albums are not necessarily my favorites. And many of my favorite artists and most of my favorite songs are missing. The "then" and "now" scores depict how my feelings have changed with time. Those two scores combined determined the album's 
overall rank.


19.  Michael Jackson, Bad (1987) For most people, this album marked the unveiling of a new, "brighter" Michael. He was disappointed with the album's performance. It only: sold 20 million copies; produced a record four straight #1 singles; featured a hit from a 3D--theme park exclusive--film; included a duet with Stevie; introduced the CD bonus track, which introduced a hit film starring Michael; and inspired two of the top three best music video-short film events of all time. He was that good. Then: 9.9 + Now: 7.5 = 17.4


18.  Jidenna, The Chief (2017) I don't hate on today's generation of hip-hop artists, but not many made this list. Jidenna is doing something that matters. He's saying something more--more meaningful and more powerful--than "bottles at the club." And he does it without being corny or contriving. Then: 8.5 + Now: 9 = 17.5


17.  Michael Jackson, Thriller (1982) He changed the entire music industry with the release of this album. It remains the top selling album of all time, and that's not likely to ever change. The B-sides are better than most singles. Then: 9 + Now: 8.5 = 17.5




16.  The Strokes, Is This It (2001) I didn't fall in love with my favorite band, and this album, until I listened to random tracks on imeem nine years after Is This It's release. I'll never forget buying this, and Room on Fire, from Zia Records in Tucson, Arizona. T'was the best decision I ever made in Tucson. Then: 8.5 + Now: 9 = 17.5

15.  No Doubt, Tragic Kingdom (1995) Ten years passed before the hype moved me to consider purchasing this. It changed me. I'd not heard anything like No Doubt before, or in the time since. Horns. Funky, awkward rhythms. Piercing vocals. Ska-rock-alternative eargasms. Then: 9.9 + Now: 8.0 = 17.9 

14.  Mary J. Blige, My Life (1994) She's the Queen of Hip Hop Soul. This album legitimized her genre. Because of it, we got decades top talent singing over good and grimy hip-hop beats. Then: 9.9 + Now: 8.0 = 17.9 

13.  LL Cool J, All World (1996) He's the G.O.A.T. And because of this album, I'll never deny that. At the time, it was an 11 year career. Today, his musical career spans two decades. On All World, he's a comedian, poet, battle rapper, romantic, gangsta, and player. And you know it's all real. Then: 9 + Now: 9 = 18 

12.  Kanye West, Late Registration (2005) I watched the "Heard 'em Say" video over and over and over again. On this album, Ye cemented his status as one of the industry's top producers. It's success proved that he wasn't a fluke. Before he said "how Sway" in meme form, he relayed "our" message as well as anyone. Then: 9 + Now: 9 = 18 

11.  Janet Jackson, janet. (1993) Every few years I listen to nothing but "Anytime, Anyplace," on repeat for days or weeks. It's her--more grounded--Thriller, and features six chart-toppers. Then: 9 + Now: 9 = 18 


COME BACK FOR THE TOP 10

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

50 Albums that Influenced Me (Disc Three)

by Germar Derron

(find "Disc Two" here)


For a former music major-saxophone player-producer-audio engineer-songwriter-label intern-artist manager, I barely write about, talk about, or even think about music. Maybe I'm bitter. Did I just say "former?" WOW. This list covers the 50 albums that mattered most in my life. 


To make the list, I had to have acquired the full album through some legitimate means. So, very few post-2008 albums make the list because: 1) do CDs still exist?; 2) are there "record" stores?; and 3) Spotify, YouTube, and Pandora. These albums are not necessarily my favorites. And many of my favorite artists and most of my favorite songs are missing. The "then" and "now" scores depict how my feelings have changed with time. Those two scores combined determined the album's overall rank.


29. Eminem, The Slim Shady LP (1999) I got around to this well after we knew all about Mr. Mathers. Initially, I thought it was awkward and corny. But my producer friends that pushed from their trunks at the let out got it. And when my tough times got tougher, I got it too. Then: 6.5 + Now: 9.7 = 16.2



28. Ginuwine, 100% Ginuwine (1999) As a kid, I was Michael (who G covers here). As a teen, I was Ginuwine. He was shirtless and dripping and taped to my wall. Maybe more importantly, Timbaland produces here and throughout this list. Then: 9.7 + Now: 6.5 = 16.2

27. Kelly Clarkson, Breakaway (2004) I bought it. I tossed and turned, night after night, thinking of "buildings with a hundred floors, swinging 'round revolving doors." I know we all pretend to not like pop, but somebody's listening. And the production and songwriting here is top notch. Then: 9.5 + Now: 7 = 16.5


26. The Killers, Hot Fuss (2004) How did these guys ever go faux indie? Why are they so big in England? It's probably the fake British accent. Brandon Flowers' ego ruined what should have been the defining band of a generation. Then: 9 + Now: 7.5 = 16.5

25. New Edition, Home Again (1996) Years later, post-breakup, solo failures and successes the boys were back--and arguably better. The best of the 80s, destroyed the 90s. "NE harmonize." And for the first time anywhere, all six men showed up and left their egos at home. Just don't ask about the tour. Then: 8 + Now: 8.5 = 16.5

24. Fugees, The Score (1996) I didn't get serious about hip-hop until I heard The Score. When east coast lovers debated Nas, Jay, and Big, I shouted, "L-Boogie." Then: 10 + Now: 7 = 17

23.  New Edition, Heartbreak (1988) The boys became men, and proved that they could do it, while Bobby B was busy breaking records. My family performed "Can You Stand the Rain" twice; I was Johnny Gill. This album is the soundtrack of their careers. Then: 8 + Now: 9 = 17

22. Sam Cooke, Greatest Hits (1998) He's the most underrated artist on this list. I bought this album for my mom. Then, I bought it for myself. I can't write about it now, without feeling a tug at my heartstrings. Then: 9 + Now: 8 = 17

21.  Green Day, American Idiot (2004) People say that if you listen hard enough here, you can hear them go POP. I say, flawless production, world class engineering, and the year's best songwriting. This is their masterpiece, and a gift to us. They grew up, and got punished for it. Then: 8.5 + Now: 8.7 = 17.2

20.  The Wiz (soundtrack) (1978) And now I present to you the soundtrack of my life. I only had a few lines, and four roles, but The Wiz is where this all began. I still dream of being cast as the Scarecrow or Lion in somebody's production. #youcantwin Then: 8.3 + Now: 9 = 17.3


                                        COME BACK FOR DISCS 4 and 5



50 Albums that Influenced Me (Disc Two)

by Germar Derron

(find "Disc One" here)

For a former music major-saxophone player-producer-audio engineer-songwriter-label intern-artist manager, I barely write about, talk about, or even think about music. Maybe I'm bitter. Did I just say "former?" WOW. This list covers the 50 albums that mattered most in my life. 



To make the list, I had to have acquired the full album through some legitimate means. So, very few post-2008 albums make the list because: 1) do CDs still exist?; 2) are there "record" stores?; and 3) Spotify, YouTube, and Pandora. These albums are not necessarily my favorites. And many of my favorite artists and most of my favorite songs are missing. The "then" and "now" scores depict how my feelings have changed with time. Those two scores combined determined the album's overall rank.

39. Hitsville USA: The Motown Singles Collection 1959–1971 (1992) I bought this collection during grad school--for research purposes. I grew up listening to classic Motown. I had planned to release a modern take covers album, filled with lesser known gems like Brenda Holloway's, "When I'm Gone." You know these songs, but with this collection you feel these songs. Then: 9 + Now: 6.3 = 15.3/20



38. Janet Jackson, All for You (2001) This album, her fifth straight smash hit, had some people saying she'd surpassed Michael. They were wrong, but it did solidify her status as pop-dance-romance royalty. She's a treasure. Then: 8.5 + Now: 6.9 = 15.4/20

37. Beach Boys, Greatest Hits (1995) In college I realized that I knew a lot of Beach Boys' songs, and that I liked them. So, I bought this album. People teased me; I'm black, I've never been surfing, and at the time I had never seen the California sun. One date called me . . . "white." I don't care. Brian Wilson is a genius. Then: 7.9 + Now: 7.5 = 15.4/20


36. Kanye West, Graduation (2007) When I spit Graduation lyrics, white folk join me. They remain offbeat and awkward, but Kanye struck something with this one. For better and worse, our pot didn't really start melting until the mid-00s, and Kanye has a lot to do with that. Slowly, but surely, we're graduating. Then: 7.9 + Now: 7.5 = 15.4/20


35. Alanis Morissette, Jagged Little Pill (1995) Here, for the first time, I felt something artistically that wasn't love or sex based. By the time I copped this one I was out of college, and working at a church. And though I loved the Lord, I also loved her stance on THE Church. Then: 8.7 + Now: 6.9 = 15.6/20




34. DeBarge, 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of DeBarge (2000) Hopefully, that's the longest title I'll ever type. It's a shame that this stupid talented family had so many issues. You might not know them, but you know their music. In college, I belted this entire album with one of my gay roommates. I didn't know my roommates were gay (I didn't know anything). Then, he tried to kiss me. Then: 8 + Now: 7.9 = 15.9/20


33. Rooney, Rooney (2003) Thank you Beach Boys for inventing the sound that was perfected here. Thank you Rooney. On Rooney, I learned that my favorite genre is not R&B--it's California Rock. Now, I'm west side 'til I die. Then: 7.7 + Now: 8.3 = 16/20


32. Various Artists, Malcolm X (soundtrack) (1992) This album--better than any film, book, or play--best depicts decades of black excellence in the United States. Every track is a meaningful masterpiece. Then: 8 + Now: 8 = 16/20

31. Stevie Wonder, The Definitive Collection (2003) I met him a year ago. He sang his famous "Happy Birthday" right in front of me. He spoke to me (he can totally see btw). I like Michael. I like Prince. But Stevie's catalog might be the best. Then: 9 + Now: 7 = 16/20

30. Michael Jackson, Anthology (1986) This album's "Got to Be There." And yes that's my favorite song, since the third grade, when I thought I would be the next Michael. I know. Most young performers imagine being Michael. Recently, in rural (and racist) southern Indiana, I heard several young white kids debating the best Michael song. That's why he's the King of Pop. Twenty years after I first loved this album, and forty years since my parents loved his first album, he's still hashtag hot. Then: 8 + Now: 8 = 16/20


COME BACK FOR DISCS 3-5

 
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