Reviews and Recaps!

Game of Thrones

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

Big Movies


Monday, October 14, 2019


boo boo. doo doo. poo. Plus, Germar gets lost while drivin' and poddin'! Follow him everywhere @GermarDerron.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Rankings: the Marvel Cinematic Universe [UPDATED 10/13/19]

You love lists and Look to the Cookie doesn't do enough of them. So here are the rankings and reasons for the 23 released Marvel Cinematic Universe movies as determined by the entire LTC staff that wears glasses and has dark skin . . . named Germar.

23. Thor  5/10 Thor is the only movie on the list that is absolutely awful. Whenever I hear someone say they liked Thor, I want to punch them in the face very hard. I watched this awful film twice because my ex's sister-in-law convinced the family that it was good. They all hated it. I feel like Thor was the most cartoony or comic-y of the movies. If you liked this movie, you're probably a Thor fan or hardcore comic fan, or you have absolutely terrible taste, or you want to feel my fist.

22.  The Incredible Hulk 6.5/10 This film works on just about every level. It ranked poorly solely because the field is stacked. Bringing in the Abomination for a show-stopping city-smashing finale was genius. Seeing hints of the Leader was cool. Edward Norton did what he does; he killed it. Some parts drag, but it's about as good as a live-action Hulk film could be outside of The Avengers.

21. Ant-Man and the Wasp 6.5/10 THIS. This is what people are talking about when they say that "superhero movies aren't good" and that "they're all the same" and that they "hate Marvel movies." The best scene takes place mid-credits. Yes, it's sci-fi or fantasy or something, but they break all the rules they made. It's not very funny. And they should have just called it Ant-Man 2

20. Spider-Man: Homecoming 6.6/10 Maybe I just hit that age where cutesy teen movies lose their charm. If I have, this is a sad sad time for me. Michael Keaton can do no wrong. And Marvel's actually inspired inspiring casting excites me--sexually (so many shades of brown). This version of Spidey is the most realistic, which often means boring. Tobey > Tom > Andrew

19. Captain Marvel 6.7/10 First of all, women are superior to men in every way. Secondly, I prefer women led movies. Room (starring Captain Marvel herself) is the best film of the last five years. And Captain Marvel is not a very good movie . . . like at all. It may be an important movie (not on Black Panther's level, or Wonder Woman's but important). But importance does not equal entertainment. This should've been better.

18. Doctor Strange 6.7/10 Ok, MCU fans stahp it. Every next film cannot be their best film. This was good film, but mediocre in this collection. They've perfected the genre, and now they can crank them out in perpetuity. But Doctor Strange lacked the team dynamic and history that recent entries contain. And while the movie remained active, it wasn't the action of "Winter Soldier," "Ultron," or "Civil War." Yes, magic, but still. Dormammu ending perfect.

17.  Captain America: The Winter Soldier   6.8/10 Somehow this average flick fooled the world. It wasn't nearly as clever as you think.  It did, however, make Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. a much better series. The action, especially between Cap and Bucky dwarfs the other non-ensemble films. This rendition of Falcon fits nicely. The Winter Soldier appeared as he might in my dreams and nightmares. Oddly, I enjoyed it more the second time.  Expectations? Hype?

16.  Ant-Man  6.9/10 I found this film to be the least "Marvel-y," which is fine. Because it wasn't a typical Marvel film, it was American film-making 101 and quite predictable. If you like mediocre movies, you will LOVE this. That said, they did pull this off well.

15.  Iron Man 3  7/10 Ughhhhh. I loved the Mandarin thing, but was this really an Iron Man movie? I appreciated the Mandarin ruse because we weren't ready for the actual Mandarin yet.  I understood the stuff with the kid, but really? There were two iron men that rarely got to suit-up. Annnd the weird fire volcano people . . . . Annnnd Pepper became Iron Man and Fire Lady . . . .  Annnnnnd how did this get ranked so highly? Oh, there were lots of suits fighting at the end--that was cool. Although it was wise of the writers, I never bought RDJ's portrayal of PTSD

14.  Iron Man 2  7/10 No one liked this film, but me; I understand that. But hey, I have a sense of humor. Drunken Iron Man dancing and fighting, stolen suits, HAMMER and weapon malfunctions, the bird, the Widow . . . c'mon!!! 

13.  Thor: Ragnarok 7/10 Comedy is fine, but comedy in every single line of dialogue for an hour straight is weird. This is the first movie EVERRRR where every actor played the role of comic relief. Beyond that, it was somewhat amazing--beautifully shot, amazing performances, and CGI excellence. They get bonus points for a decent villain, an Executioner sighting, and a Planet Hulk nod.

12.  Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 7/10 They almost did it again. Odd that this film isn't more connected to the Avengers part of the universe. It was hilarious, but almost not a movie. The typical conflict and tension were non-existent. The twists were predictable in a typical way. The B-villain and story were laughable. But to be fair, how do you follow one of the biggest films of all time--the biggest, universally loved, surprise hit since The Matrix? They almost did it.

11.   Avengers: Age Of Ultron   7/10 Not a good film, but a HUGE film. They attempted to pack too much into one film. Ultron and Spader dominated. Why do Ultron, and later the Vision, exist and how? . . . not that important really. They attempted an attempt at explanations all over this thing. Nothing made sense, but it was a wild and fun ride.
10.  Thor: The Dark World   7.5/10  Yes, I appreciate this film more than most of you, but that's because I get things and stuff. Yes, the bad guy was weak, unimportant, and not memorable, but so what. They took a big cue from The Avengers, and made a film that was fun, funny, action-packed, and included a beginning, middle, and end. I only hated that it was so short.

9. Captain America: The First Avenger   7.5/10  Surprise motherf*cker! (that's a Dexter reference) Honestly, I can't even get through this now, but I remember what it meant then. I'm not a Captain America fan. This film made me care about him. They poked fun at him. He was a guy and not an Uncle Sam poster (except for when he clearly was, but that wasn't by choice). Most importantly, my female non-nerd friends thought this film was dope and not just because the Human Torch starred in it.

8. Spider-Man: Far From Home 7.6/10 All of that Spidey building in Captain America, The Avengers, and that awful first movie finally really paid off. This is fun and MCU connective and logical and different from the other twenty something films. If you know Mysterio, then you knew the story. Still, the spectacle, the possibilities, and the performances made it all worthwhile anyway.

7. Avengers: Endgame 7.7/10 Like its portioned-prequel, this is more of an experience than it is a film. Unlike Infinity War, this isn't very good. It is a somewhat perfect--albeit predictable--conclusion. But most importantly, this IS the biggest film event ever.

6. Iron Man   8/10  I never understood why you feel so strongly and positively about this film. I re-watched it. It's solid, and really solidly establishes the entire universe. I had far more fun with 2 and maybe even 3, but this is a far superior film.

5. Black Panther 8.4/10 Deep. I have no jokes here. Even though this wasn't the best film, or my favorite film, it is by far the most important. Had it been less predictable, with a T'Challa that was cool and mysterious like in Civil War, it's a 10/10.

4. Captain America: Civil War 8.5/10 #TeamIronMan all day! This IS actually "Avengers 3: Civil War," but it doesn't lose points for that. Marvel Studios does an unbelievable job of adding characters, combining worlds, and progressing their universe. It's very well balanced. It loses points (and me) in some of the more verbose scenes. The dialogue wasn't too complex, just too much. The conflict was simple and obvious--show us more of that. Spider-man was flawless. Black Panther was more flawless. 

3. Avengers: Infinity War 8.6/10 No, this isn't a movie, but it's THE best movie-going experience, unless you get down like Pee Wee Herman. I saw it 2.5 times because I just needed to see Hulk get dat ass beat one mo' time. 

2.  Guardians of the Galaxy  9/10  People that don't include this in their top two also get punched in the face.  80s references "never go over my head" because "there ain't no thing like me but me" whore. The flick's fairly flawless. 

1.  The Avengers   10/10  Nailed it. THIS is what I want to feel every time I pay $50 for popcorn, soda, and Raisinets. What can I say that hasn't been said before? The most balanced movie I've ever seen, if you forget that Hawkeye is also sort of an Avenger. 

Saturday, October 5, 2019


Episode 465 is the only podcast about Joker that you should actually listen to. But in short, whatever you think about this mediocre movie is all about you. And the audio issues end at about 1:30 (apologies). Follow Germar everywhere @GermarDerron.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

White? Culture

In Episode 460, Germar returns to blow. your. minds. No spoilers here, just click play. Follow Germar everywhere, PLEASE, @GermarDerron.

Friday, September 20, 2019

"Ageism" isn't Really a Thing and Here's Why

these candidates are too old

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Indie Music: Aza Nabuko

by Germar Derron

Lorde. Billie Eilish. Now, Aza Nabuko. We have to accept that young women artists can do anything.

First, listen to tracks one and two ("Strangers," "Ordinary"), on Nabuko's new self-titled EP.  You'll know that Nabuko is honest, significant, rangy, artful, and obviously here to stay. Then, check the official website. There, you'll find an unbelievable claim: she's just 16-years-old. 

Age matters here because that fact contradicts the voice, the manner that the subjects are covered--the feeling. Maybe Canadians age in dog years. Her relative youth should excite you because it allows for decades of excellence in songwriting and performance. And much like the best of us, in any craft, it's easy to imagine her getting better and better and better.

Nabuko's voice possesses a distinct quality that the best modern female vocalists seem to master. The voice is husky and warm, even when not necessarily low in pitch. But then, it's also crystal clear--clean. It's heady, throaty, and chesty all at the same time. It could remind you of many top-tier non-American vocalists--Alanis Morissette, Ellie Goulding, Duffy . . . .  There's something about that complex collection of  quality that seems to equate to "hit song."

In the videos, she's playing around on a piano, and with an acoustic guitar. But apparently she's not playing around; she's just playing, and well. And it's why I hesitate to call this pop. When I think of a pop artist, I think of someone who's primarily the voice. I take nothing away from them, but it's a different skill: learning someone else's words, then being coached by writers, producers, and instrumentalists. The vulnerability, sincere confidence, and innate talent that it takes to put yourself in a song and then wrap that and present it to the world--that's really special.

2019 might just be a very special year in music, especially indie music.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Edley Shine of Born Jamericans ON the Podcast!

In Episode 449, Germar welcomes Edley Shine to the podcast. Edley is one half of the chart-topping 90s duo, Born Jamericans. Here he discusses his meteoric rise, passing Destiny's Child on the charts, touring with Shabba Ranks and Buju Banton, and his new single "Cyann Recova." Follow Edley everywhere @EdleyShine. Follow Germar everywhere @GermarDerron. Today's episode is sponsored by

Over two decades later . . . .

Sunday, September 1, 2019

The Jackson Family's Top 142 Songs Ranked (Disc Seven, The Finale)


Don't think of the scores as a grading system, e.g. 7/10 = 70% = C-. Here, 70% means that the song is better than 70% of all other possible music. And don't @ me. There's a lot of awful music; I've written over 300 songs.

22. Janet Jackson, "Doesn’t Really Matter" (2001) 8.59/10
"Nutty nutty nutty for me." Get it?

21. Michael Jackson, "I Wanna Be Where You Are" (1971) 8.59/10
"There's so many things we haven't tried." I always wondered exactly what 13-year-old Michael was talking about . . . .

20. Michael Jackson, "Got To Be There" (1971) 8.6/10
Love begins everywhere she goes.

19. Janet Jackson, "Again" (1993) 8.6/10
She left Tupac for the dude from CSI.

18. The Jackson 5, "Never Can Say Goodbye" (1971) 8.8/10
The real-life and on-TV preacher from Amen wrote this - yep.

17. Rebbie Jackson, "Centipede" (1984) 8.85/10
If you do one hit, do it like this--nationwide prime time premiere. The video always makes me think of Ghostbusters.

16. Michael Jackson, "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" (1987) 8.9/10

Each time the wind blows
I hear your voice so
I call your name
Whispers at morning
Our love is dawning
Heaven's glad you came

You know how I feel
This thing can't go wrong
I'm so proud to say I love you
Your love's got me high
I long to get by
This time is forever
Love is the answer
I hear your voice now
You are my choice now
The love you bring

Heaven's in my heart
At your call, I hear harps
And angels sing
You know how I feel
This thing can't go wrong
I can't live my life without you

15. Michael Jackson, "You Are Not Alone" (1995) 8.91/10
R. Kelly wrote this about one of his many teenage victims. She aborted his child and he refused to show up at the hospital.

14. Michael Jackson, "Smooth Criminal" (1987) 8.91/10
Michael Jackson, but with a Tommy gun.

13. Michael Jackson, "P.Y.T." (1982) 9.0/10
Our rival played this in my last game as a senior; I went nuts. That game could not be found on YouTube.

12. The Jackson 5, "The Love You Save" (1970) 9.0/10
The best of the original hits.

11. Michael Jackson, "Thriller" (1982) 9.1/10
Today the meme is hilarious. Thirty-five years ago the video was haunting and horrifying.

10. Janet Jackson, "I Get Lonely" (1997) 9.5/10
The remix is hot, but unnecessary.

9. Janet Jackson, "Anytime, Anyplace" (1993) 9.6/10
Top 10 sexiest song of all-time.

8. Michael Jackson, "Wanna Be Startin' Something" (1982) 9.6/10
The Brothers look really strange here.

7. Michael Jackson, "Beat It" (1982) 9.61/10
Real rival gangs appear in this video. Who taught them to dance so well? Oh, wait, they're probably the guys just standing around in the background.

6. Michael Jackson, "Rock With You" (1979) 9.62/10
Karen Carpenter turned this song down. WHO?!?!?

5. Michael Jackson, "Remember the Time" (1991) 9.63/10
Best. Egypt. Ever.

4. Michael Jackson, "The Way You Make Me Feel" (1987) 9.63/10
The BEST of Bad.

3. Michael Jackson, "Don’t Stop 'Til You Get Enough" (1979) 9.64/10
This plays on most stations TODAY, 40 years later.

2. Michael Jackson, "Billie Jean" (1982) 9.65/10
Did he put a fake comb in a fake pocket . . . right next to his real pocket?

1. Michael Jackson, "Human Nature" (1982) 9.99/10
The song that almost didn't make the album.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

The Jackson Family's Top 142 Songs Ranked (Disc Six)

Don't think of the scores as a grading system, e.g. 7/10 = 70% = C-. Here, 70% means that the song is better than 70% of all other possible music. And don't @ me. There's a lot of awful music; I've written over 300 songs.

42. Janet Jackson, "When We Ooo" (2001) 8.49/10
She really really . . . really likes sex.

41. Janet Jackson, "Can’t B Good" (2008) 8.49/10
Ne-Yo wrote it. People online think it's Mike singing.

40. Michael Jackson, "Girlfriend" (1979) 8.49/10
When it's so good you gotta let ya lover's lover know.

39 . Michael Jackson, "Smile" (1995), "Heaven Can Wait" (2001) 8.49/10 
The first and only true tie. I forgot both of these--Mike's favorite song and your new favorite song.

38. Michael Jackson, "Butterflies" (2001) 8.49/10
Chart topping in his mid-forties.

37. Michael Jackson, "You Rock My World" (2001) 8.49/10
See: above. And also, so Michael really wanted to be a gangster huh?

36. Michael Jackson, "Childhood" (1995) 8.49/10
"Before you judge [us], try hard to love [us]"

35. Michael Jackson, "In the Closet" (1991) 8.49/10
Ummm so the woman's voice here is PRINCESS Stephanie of Monaco . . . .

34. Janet Jackson, "Someone to Call My Lover" (2001) 8.49/10
Maybe we'll meet at a bar
He'll drive a funky car
Maybe we'll meet at a club
And fall so deeply in love
He'll tell me I'm the one
And we'll have so much fun
I'll be the girl of his dreams maybe

33. The Jackson 5, "ABC" 8.5/10
. . . and they never looked back.

32. Michael Jackson, "Man in the Mirror" (1987) 8.5/10
His most important song.

31. Janet Jackson, "Love Will Never Do" (1989) 8.5/10
People say she surpassed Michael. They're wrong, but I accept the argument.

30. Janet Jackson, "You Want This" (1993) 8.5/10

29. Michael Jackson, "Ben" (1972) 8.51/10

2:01 to the end is the most beautiful thing you've ever heard.

28. Michael Jackson, "Bad" (1987) 8.51/10
If you haven't seen this in 30 years, STOP what you're doing NOW. "You ain't bad; you ain't nothing!"

27. Michael Jackson, "Lady in My Life" (1982) 8.51/10
Hey lover, this is more than a crush.

26. The Jackson 5, "I Want You Back" (1969) 8.52/10
Like 1970, on Ed Sullivan, always.

25. Janet Jackson, "Because of Love" (1993) 8.53/10
"Because of love we'll never part."

24. Janet Jackson, "That’s the Way" (1993) 8.55/10
The single that said that the last half of the 80s was not a fluke. Thank God her friend snatched that tape.

23. Janet Jackson, "Where Are You Now" (1993) 8.59/10
"love, my love
I regret the day you went away
I was too young to understand my
but now I realize my mistakes
where, where are you now
now that I'm ready to
ready to love you the way you
loved me then
where are you now
do you still think of me
or does your heart belong to
someone else's
love, oh my love
wonder sometimes were you just a
I sit in the dark
wondering if our paths
will ever cross again
oh lord I need to know
I sit and wonder
where, where are you now
now that I'm ready to
ready to love you the way you
loved me then
where are you now
do you still think of me
or does your heart belong to
someone else's
if I close my eyes
and make a wish
when they open will you be right
here with me
where are you now
now that I'm ready to
ready to love you the way you loved me then

could it be
that two people
were meant to be
in my dreams
that's what I feel
or could it be that I'll never see you again
my love that was so true
still I'll sit here waiting all alone
by the phone for you"
Come back to see NUMBER ONE.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

The Jackson Family's Top 142 Songs Ranked (Disc Five)

Don't think of the scores as a grading system, e.g. 7/10 = 70% = C-. Here, 70% means that the song is better than 70% of all other possible music. And don't @ me. There's a lot of awful music; I've written over 300 songs.

62. Michael Jackson, "Scream" (1995) 8.2/10
It was the most expensive video ever made. And it might have the most star-power per square minute.

61. The Jackson 5, "I’ll Be There" (1970) 8.2/10
I just realized that the first line is a bit much.

60. The Jackson 5, "Maybe Tomorrow" (1971) 8.21/10

59. The Jacksons, "This Place Hotel" (1980) 8.23/10
Elvis actually thought that people would be confused . . . .

58. Janet Jackson, "Spending Time With You" (2004) 8.24/10
Post-super bowl Janet got buried.

57. The Jackson 5, "Give Love on Christmas Day" (1970) 8.25/10
An amazing original.

56. Janet Jackson, "Escapade" (1989) 8.26/10
A five minute smile.

55. Janet Jackson, "When I Think of You" (1986) 8.26/10
The video has a thousand actors and dancers, camera following--one take.

54. Jermaine Jackson, "Tell Me I’m not Dreaming" (1984) 8.27/10
Jermaine's best song is a "Michael" song you've never heard (hehehe).

53. The Jacksons, Torture (1984) 8.27/10
Jermaine does not appear. Michael does not appear. This could be the best work by the brothers.

52. Michael Jackson, "Earth Song" (1995) 8.27/10
Michael warned us about the Amazon burning 24 years ago in this corny af song.

51. Michael Jackson, "Leave Me Alone" (1987) 8.27/10
Perfectly timed bonus track, with an award-winning video, all about real rumors that Michael totally  didn't make up for his own profit.

50. Michael Jackson, "Rockin' Robin" (1971) 8.28/10
So good that you don't even know the original.

49. The Jackson 5, "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" (1970) 8.4/10
Cute, until you realize that thousands of kids lose their Santa-innocence while hearing this for the first time every holiday season. Thanks J5!

48. The Jacksons, "Body" (1984) 8.45/10
If Mike's the king, Marlon's the jack. Is jack a real thing or is that just in Spades?

47. Janet Jackson, "Feels So Right" (2001) 8.45/10
Queen of groove and good feels.

46. Janet Jackson, "Better Days" 2001 8.46/10
"I'm 'bout to change my vibe
Today the sun's gonna shine
'Cause I made up my mind
That today will be the start of better days
Leavin' old shit behind
And move on with my life
The blindfold's off my eyes
And now all I see for me is better days"

45. Janet Jackson, "Whoops Now" (1993) 8.47/10
See: above above.

44. Janet Jackson, "What’s Ur Name" 8.47/10
What's a sidekick?

43. Janet Jackson, Every Time (1997) 8.47/10
It's the best song you've ever heard. Then, the rhythm kicks in and it gets even better.

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