New year. Same-ish movie nerd. As this is being written, I’m watching the Black Cobra trilogy. “What is the Black Cobra trilogy?” you may ask. Well, it’s a trio of half-hearted cop/action movies filled with half-hearted shootouts, half-hearted dubbing, and a half-hearted performance by Fred “The Hammer” Williamson as Robert Malone, a cranky cop who only shows emotion to his cat, Pervis.

If you know the name Fred Williamson, you likely know him from his days. If you’re more the movie type, you know him as Black Caesar, Mean Johnny Barrows, That Man Bolt — or more likely as Frost from the Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino/George Clooney horror-action hybrid From Dusk till Dawn. I’ve watched these films too many times. Fun fact — the second Black Cobra film stars Nicholas Hammond, the original from the Spiderman TV series. Last time I watched that show, I remembered loving the late ’70s funk-ish soundtrack as much as Hammond’s performance.

Anyway, my bad.

Time to get back on the proverbial rails and back to the original point I was about to make — about the new year and the inevitable resolutions we make. I made a slew of them to myself with a goal to follow at least one of them through. Here are four of them.

Try and watch Rogue One: A Star Wars Story again

When I walked in to see this movie in very early 2017, our fair president had just been inaugurated. Maybe I walked in with residual emotion left over from watching him mouth along to Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” I’ve never been as enamored with the Star Wars films as some as my friends, but I’m still enough of a fan that I was curious about Rogue One. I didn’t like what I saw. What I saw was a missed opportunity, a few groan-worthy scenes and a horrible waste of actor Mad Mikkelsen’s talents. Because of that, I found myself aggro-ing over the movie to the point that I flipped off the screen as I left. You read that correctly. In an act befitting a 14-year-old that just discovered punk/metal/rap, I flipped off an inanimate object. Maybe the president trumped my enjoyment of the film in a big way or maybe the movie just blew. My mood was so shitty that I’m willing to give the movie another go because it’s highly likely that I let my half-assed political grousing get in the way of a great movie.

New picture


Ever since becoming City Paper‘s weekly film contributor, it was mentioned by my boss that I should get a new headshot to go along with my articles. Due to my lackadaisical I never got the nearly decade-old picture switched out. I was fine with the picture myself. I’ve always liked how it looked like the stereotypical grumpy movie critic. Sure I may be making the face of someone who has something going in or out their ass but still it accomplishes the goal it set out to do. Still, I need to quit fiddle-farting around and get that whole “new picture for the new year and not-so-new me” thing taken care of.

Maybe dial it back on the movie “butter”

As is my usual thing, I tend to buy my movie ticket, alongside a bucket of popcorn and a Coke. After one of my visits to the cinema, I plopped into my car as I was leaving. I noticed a large spot on the knee of my pants. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out where it came from. Then I thought back to an hour earlier as I watched Anna Kendrick rap along to MOP’s “Ante Up” in Paul Feig’s A Simple Favor. I was having a high ‘ time laughing and jamming handfuls of drippy popcorn into my at the same time. I was very happy to see Feig in peak Feigness. I was also really happy with the pint of “real butter” I squirted into my bag of freshly popped corn at the self-serve station in the theater. It explains why my stomach felt funny, the funky taste in my mouth, and the huge oil stain from where I left the popcorn box resting on my knee. Not gross at all. In the slightest.

Use your spell check

Every week, after working my bartending shifts, I spend my following day writing about movies. It’s something I love doing next to talking about movies, watching movies, listening to movie soundtracks, watching web videos dissecting movies, and reading endless movie trivia. Unfortunately, in the process of writing about whatever I’m exalting (Gremlins) or criticizing (everything else), I make the occasional, to put it nicely, fuck-ups like an over-reliance on particular adjectives and phrases or even the dreaded misspelling.

Case in point, a few weeks ago while talking about Dario Argento’s 1977 technicolor nightmare, Suspiria, I made mention of the film’s oh so amazing soundtrack by the oh so amazing Italian prog rock band called “.” The music “Gonlin” contributed to Argento’s film really complimented the film’s visuals. “” is great. I own three soundtracks by “.” I wish more people knew about “.” I’m pretty sure “” is on Spotify. Check out “Gonlin” when is afforded. Did I mention that “” is known by the better, more memorable not-misspelled name Goblin? My anal retentive movie nerd privileges are hereby revoked.