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Jim Jarmusch's The Dead Don't Die (2019): A Smart Zombie Meta Movie

Strange things are happening in the town of Centerville. A local man named Farmer Frank (wearing a hat that says "Make American White Again") angrily reports that his chickens are missing and that Bob, the local hermit, must be the culprit. The local sheriffs, Chief Cliff Robertson and Officer Ronnie Peterson, are on the case. They don't really think Bob is the guilty party. As the pair investigates the crime, the rest of the town is introduced through various scenes, and everyone has an opinion about what's really going on. As the town come to the realization that the problem is zombies, people choose to hide out, run away, or fight to the death. 
Although that's an accurate description of the plot of this movie, it doesn't quite capture the essence of the film. Don't go in expecting to find your typical zombie movie with heroic characters and "last man standing" scenario. The Dead Don't Die is a zombie film, and at the same time attempts …
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Michael Dougherty's Godzilla King of the Monsters (2019) Has Some Amazing Moments

Michael Dougherty's Godzilla King of the Monsters has some amazing moments. Although the film is heavy on family drama, and light on kaiju action, there is enough fodder to merit a trip to the local movie theater.

My first experience in seeing a Godzilla movie, believe it or not, occurred in 2014, when I went to see Gareth Edward's Godzilla. Although I try my best to keep up with current movies, monster movies never really captured my attention. My experience in 2014 was enough to change my mind. I went to see that film several times. The revelation that Godzilla was not the bad guy amazed me. I assumed that these films would play out like a King Kong flick, with everyone basically trying to kill them, with a few dissenters. Nope, the science community and military are glad to receive Godzilla's help when they need it, and then bid him adieu. It didn't take long for me to draw a connection between Godzilla and the Seven Samurai in that way.

This iteration of the radio…

Yes, You Can: Go to the Movies By Yourself

This is part of my Solo Living: Yes You Can series. Click here to find the intro and all the topics.

I almost feel like this post is unnecessary. But there may still be some people out there who can't imagine going out by themselves and buying a ticket in a theater where they will sit alone and finding it enjoyable.

Full truth -- I have been going to movies by myself since high school, and in all honesty, it's probably my preferred way to do it. Sometimes -- ON VERY RARE OCCASIONS -- I go to a theater with a friend. This person must be very special. They can't commit any of the movie theater sins, such as talking, texting, pointing out my emotions, and eating giant handfuls of popcorn, instead of one piece at a time, savoring it.

I recall the first time I experienced the cinema solo. I wanted to see Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, starring Kevin Costner. I also wanted to see another movie, but I can't remember what it was. Maybe it was Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey.…

The Top Scenes from Cobra Kai Season 2

via GIPHY

I have been a fan of the Karate Kid movie franchise since it was released in 1984. The first three films were frequently viewed and quoted by my entire family all through my childhood. And still, to this day, I don't think a family visit goes by without my hearing a Daniel-san or "wax on; was off" reference thrown in for good measure, no matter the context.

The New Karate Kid and the Jackie Chan reboot didn't make much of an impression. Let's face it -- "put on your jacket; take off your jacket" just doesn't have the same ring to it as "wax on; wax off." So when I heard a TV show called Cobra Kai would be released on Youtube, with both Ralph Macchio and William Zabka in the cast, I was tickled but fairly positive it would be stupid. After all, how can you hope to make any successful Karate Kid picture without Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi?

To my dismay and delight, the show is amazing. It simultaneously pays homage to the original and…

Yes, You Can: Go to a Concert By Yourself

This is part of my Solo Living: Yes You Can series. Click here to find the intro and all the topics.

Who doesn't love a good live music event? There's nothing quite like sitting on a grassy knoll on a blanket or lawn chair enjoying a perfect summer evening while indulging your ears in music that speaks to you. Well, let's face it, although outdoor summer concerts are great under the stars, indoor ones can be just as enjoyable with the right seats.

Experiencing a concert with one of your music soulmates, whether friend, shallow acquaintance, or romantic partner can be sweet. But what if you desperately want to grab tickets for an upcoming concert and you can't find a music buddy? For folks in a romantic relationship, more than likely, your special boo will go just to please you. As I have grown older, and my musical tastes have changed again, I find myself interested in seeing performers none of my friends are familiar with. Some of the things I have tried to avoid goi…

What the movie Emilio Estevez's The Public (2018) got right about libraries

The Public, a new independent film directed by, written by, and starring Emilio Estevez, came out in select theaters in early April 2019. The film takes place in a public library in Cincinnati where many itinerant city dwellers spend their days making use of the facilities. On a particularly cold night, Cincinnati residents without homes decide to stage a peaceful protest by choosing not to leave the library at closing time, leaving city officials at a loss as to what to do.

Excited at the prospect of seeing a film set in a public library, I attended a screening of the film. Although the film contained some groan-worthy elements and perpetuated some librarian stereotypes, here's a list of things the movie The Public got right.

Crowds waiting for the doors to open. Although it didn't happen every day, many times I would look out the window before opening time and see a crowd of eager faces, ready to access all the library has to offer. It sometimes struck me as funny, seeing w…

Yes, You Can: Buy a House by Yourself, Part 1

This is part of my Solo Living: Yes You Can series. Click here to find the intro and all the topics.

My journey to buying my first house alone is a long meandering one, but it's worth telling and makes me proud that I was finally able to take the jump. Buying a house is one of those things that can seem daunting and impossible. The first step you have to overcome is just overcoming the negative thought in your mind that it's impossible. Once that bridge is crossed, it's really just a matter of putting the pieces into place. Often to reach this place, you have to reach a pain point where your current situation is so heinous and unbearable that the pain and struggle of buying a house seems the lesser of the two evils. You might think of this as the tipping point, or the point of no return. It's the point where going back is harder than moving forward.

When I became an adult, I moved to North Carolina alone with no previous connections to teach at a private school. I was…