The Five-Timers Club


I love SNL. I still watch it religiously every week. Though some episodes drag, for the most part there are still two or three sketches per week that crack me up. Obscure returning characters like Gemma? Sign me up. But there’s something that’s bothered me the last few seasons: The same people hosting over and over again has resulted in a recent significant uptick into the five-timers club. Continue reading

Movies and Memories


“Memory can change the shape of a room; it can change the color of a car. And memories can be distorted. They’re just an interpretation, they’re not a record, and they’re irrelevant if you have the facts.” – Leonard Shelby, Memento

I recently got sucked into one of those “Bourne” marathons that are cable every so often, and I started thinking about the concept of memory as it applies to movies. My friends often tell me that I have a very good memory, with one even saying that I remember his own life better than he does. And yet somehow, I am drawn to characters who are the opposite – amnesiacs and people who have willfully twisted or deleted their own memories. I had an English teacher in high school who said that the two most important things you could give a character that you were writing were a name and a birthdate; without those, a character didn’t have an identity. Yet in a movie like “Drive,” where Ryan Gosling’s protagonist is known only as “Driver,” or “Fight Club,” where Edward Norton’s protagonist is essentially nameless (though 18-year-old spoiler alert notwithstanding, he really is Tyler Durden), the character’s lack of identity isn’t detrimental; in fact, it’s essential to how they act. If Gosling’s character were tied down in any way, he wouldn’t be able to, well, drive as well as he does. If Edward Norton’s character were more fully formed, you wouldn’t believe that he’d invent a Brad Pitt alter ego to change the world.

With that in mind, I think the three movies/franchises that best deal with a lack of memory are the aforementioned “Bourne” movies, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” and, of course, “Memento.” Continue reading

A Definitive Ranking of the Fast & Furious Movies

Well, since everyone else is doing it (Exhibits A, B, and C), here is my list of the best Fast & Furious movies, along with what they should have been called. Amazing that these movies used to be about people racing in the desert and now they’re essentially international superhero spies. And family.

Feel free to disagree in the comments below. As always, RIP Paul Walker – you were too beautiful for this world. Continue reading

Sugar Ray/Visor Day 2017

Happy Sugar Ray/Visor Day 2017!

The world has radically changed since SRVD2K16. To reflect my opinions of those changes, I wanted to take a moment and speak out politically against the actions undertaken by the current administration –

Don’t worry; this is not a member of the Executive branch taking over JJ’s blog. Let’s talk about hats. Hats are great. All the best people wear hats. Everybody loves hats. And this holiday – you think it’s yuuuuge. It’s not the biggest holiday in the world. Scott Baio doesn’t celebrate it. Antonio Sabato, Jr. doesn’t celebrate it. Lot of people are telling me that it’s the worst holiday ever. This holiday doesn’t win anymore. I only celebrate the best holidays. People didn’t think that hats were great, but a lot of people didn’t think I would win the electoral college, either. We’re going to repeal visors and replace them with hats. Believe me. 

Sorry about that; that was weird. Anyway, as I was saying, I want to use today’s post to talk about the damaging effect of –

The issue of hats versus visors has already been litigated, in the 2016 election. The American people don’t care; all they cared about was how Hillary ran her campaign. To me it’s a non-issue, Chuck. When I hear that people are wearing visors, I see that as an alternative fact, and the lying media once again pushing its own agenda.ht_snl_dc_161204_12x5_1600

OK, not sure what’s going on, or why someone’s calling me “Chuck,” but, as I was saying –

Hats are great. Period. More people wore hats to the inauguration than have ever existed on planet Earth at any one time. FACT. The only thing more vile than visors are Dippin Dots. FACT. This briefing is going to start with an apology, FROM visors, TO hats – and that apology is NOT accepted. 


This is starting to get weird. So, as I was saying –

Visors were created by ancient Egyptians as a way to let the sun god Ra have closer contact to one’s head. I’m legitimately a doctor who operates on brains.


You know what? I think I’ve been hacked.

Забрало является короной шута. Только дурак будет носить это с гордостью. Кроме того, Sugar Ray достигла максимума около 20 лет назад.


Yup. Definitely hacked. On that note, Happy SRVD2K17 everyone! 

p.s. For those who are gluttons for punishment, who have never heard of the holiday, or just love tradition, read below for the official origin story:

The summer after my freshman year of college, I started wearing visors…obsessively. And I was listening to that a CD by Sugar Ray called “Sugar Ray” (it had “When it’s Over” on it…not the one with “Falls Apart” or “Every Morning” or “Fly”). When I came back to school and it started getting cold outside, I didn’t wear visors any more; I also started listening to other stuff, because music is cyclical. So one day in December I put on sugar ray, for old time’s sake. And it was terrible. I mean, it just did not work – it just felt off. On April 1st of my sophomore year, it was the first nice day outside, the baseball season was starting, and it was time for a visor. As I was driving, by chance some Sugar Ray came on the radio – and it was glorious. Thus, the holiday was born. At first, only one person celebrated. Since then, we’ve had dozens of participants and full recognition from the band itself (in 2006). Now you (and any friends you pass this along to) can share along in the SRVD fun.

Some holidays make you buy cards and presents, or visit family that’s far away. But today, on the best holiday of them all, the only thing you have to do is realize that summer’s getting closer, the weather’s only going to get nicer, and good times are just around the corner.



The Best Movies of the 21st Century


A few months ago, the BBC published a list of the “best” movies of the 21st century. While these lists are nothing if not subjective, let’s be clear: that list is wrong. Way wrong. Horribly, terribly wrong. So, why not come up with my own list? It may not have the seal of approval from the Queen’s official network, but it’s certainly better than the drivel they published. (Seriously – check out that list. It’s atrocious, or as I would say to my friend Kim, “atrosh.”) N.B. that the BBC’s list considers the 21st century as starting in 2000, so I will use that format. Read that ridiculous list and then check out mine, below, and you tell me (in the comments or on twitter or Facebook) which movies you’d actually rather (re-)watch. Without further ado, the real 100 best movies of the 21st century, presented in alphabetical order: Continue reading

Oscars 2017: Who Will (and Should) Win

The morning of Oscar nominations is one of my favorite of the entertainment year. As always, I make my choices morning-of, so as to not be too swayed by narrative. The past few years, that’s become more difficult, as Oscar punditry has become more popular (and started earlier in the year to boot.) Some of these choices are shoo-ins, some of these are dark horses, and each contains who *should* win as well. As always, feel free to tell me how wrong I am in the comments.

Continue reading

Winners and Losers, 2016

Well, as John Oliver rightly noted, 2016 was not a good year. And while I’ll do my best to keep updating this space, regular readers (if there is such a thing) can vouch that I’ve been lacking in posts; mostly because it feels like the world is falling apart. (I say this not as a wholly political statement; for instance, Alan Thicke and Florence Henderson and George Michael have passed while I’ve been working on this draft. Update: Carrie Fisher, too.) But with that said, entertainment is often a good way to express discontent with the current political and social climate, and can often serve as a distraction from, well, our impending doom. So enough prologue: I humbly submit the winners and losers of the entertainment world that were on my radar in 2016.

Continue reading