Pandemic Picks: Mating habits of the earthbound human

Are you going stir crazy? Getting cabin fever? Maybe if you’re single, you’re really starting to feel the crunch of that sexless life right about now. Good news! I mean yes, Pornhub is giving away the store, but also, I have a Pandemic Pick that will remind you of why you don’t want to have sex right now. It’s called MATING HABITS OF THE EARTHBOUND HUMAN.

This 1999 classic, now available to rent for $2.99 on Amazon, is a fake documentary for a hypothetical alien species that would like to learn how humans mate. It stars acting legend Carmen Electra and Patty Duke’s non-Hobbit son, Mackenzie Astin, as a couple that should probably have nothing to do with each other but are still gonna give it a go. As they work through their toxic relationship issues, they also try to figure out contraception options. That’s right, this is a movie about birth control!

So quick, think about who’s the person you want to narrate a documentary about sex without procreation. I bet it’s David Hyde Pierce! I hope it’s David Hyde Pierce, because that’s who you’re gonna get. Is he sexy? No. Is he informative and whimsical? Yes.

Do you like to watch performances from actors mere moments before they became famous? You got it! Try Lucy Liu and Buffy’s least toxic boyfriend, Marc Blucas.

It’s also very important to know that the  Sperm characters are played by men in bodysuits. That’s right. This movie has sentient sperm.

If all of this information doesn’t entice you to watch this film, then I can’t help you. But if you want a very silly relationship movie that will teach you about the various forms of contraception while showing you lots of Carmen Electra pretending to orgasm from mediocre sex, this is the movie for you. You are fucking welcome.

Pandemic Picks: Patient Zero

So, for today’s Pandemic Pick I’ve decided to go for something a little different. Because we all have a lot more time on our hands it is a good time to binge the latest TV show or get through that list of movies you wanted to watch for a long time. It’s also a good time to pick up a good book and I’m recommending the first entry in one of my favourite series of books. Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry.

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Pandemic Picks: Mickey Mouse Shorts

If you’ve followed me for any length of time online you’ve probably come across me throwing shade in Disney’s direction. Up until recently I’ve been pretty vocal in my disapproval of their business practices, and while I still have major problems with them as a company, they’ve won some points with me for their Mickey Mouse shorts.

The Mickey Mouse shorts first premiered on June 28th, 2013 on the Disney Channel and then eventually made their way to the Mickey Mouse YT channel – which is where I found them and immediately fell in love with them. I was taken in by the animation, which was fun and energetic, as well as the super-stylized and colorful backgrounds. I found myself binging through them pretty quickly and even subscribing to the YT Channel so I could catch the latest one when it dropped.

For today’s Pandemic Pick I thought I would make this my recommendation and give you a few of my favorites from this long-running series. Enjoy, and let me know which one is your favorite.

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Pandemic Picks: Sex Education

For my second Pandemic Pick I’ve chosen to go for something a bit more distracting from the horror of current world events. Sex Education. This series is a mixture of comedy and drama combining elements of teen movie fare like American Pie and giving it an honesty that films of that nature always lacked.

Set in the fictional English town of Moordale the series combines a lot of British and American high school tropes into a strange hybrid which sort of weirdly works. Have no illusions though, my American readers, there are no high schools in the UK that are like Moordale, we don’t have high school swim teams for the most part and our “jocks” don’t wear letterman jackets, very few, if any, high schools in the UK have rows of lockers like in American schools and we don’t have school swimming pools. Even if we did, swimming would probably be the last thing you’d want to do in them. Then again, I’m basing my knowledge of American schools on films and TV series so maybe this trope of a row of lockers in schools is just that, a film/TV trope.

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Pandemic Picks: Jericho

In this time of self imposed quarantine we need something to take our minds off of the awfulness that is occurring in the real world. Not surprisingly viewing habits seem to reflect the real world events, the number of people watching films such as Contagion has skyrocketed. So here is my Pandemic Pick for today which I have just finished binging for what is probably the fiftieth time. Jericho.

I’ll preface this with saying this is going to be a brief unspoilery overview of why it’s a good watch as I plan on doing a more in depth article about the series at some point. I’m keeping this spoiler free because it is a really good show that you should go into without having things spoiled for you if possible.

Jericho is the story of a small town in Kansas trying to survive the after effects of a series of nuclear blasts occurring all over the US which has crippled the country. Not only was the series about survival but it was also had an espionage twist and an aura of mystery surrounding several of the characters. It also has some very chilling images, one of the most iconic from the series was that of a young boy witnessing the mushroom cloud of a nuclear blast. This image became heavily used in marketing and is on the cover of the Complete Series DVD Set in the UK.

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The Other Voices: Booksmart

Every time someone I follow on Twitter watches director Olivia Wilde’s 2019 film BOOKSMART, they immediately rave about it and order everyone who reads their tweet to see it. So I finally saw it. And I agree one hundred percent: SEE IT. It’s even on Hulu right now, so just go watch it. I’m not gonna spoil it, so this article is safe for you to read, but as soon as it’s done, you need to see this film. Or go watch it now and come back after.

OK? OK.

I’m just gonna dive right in by saying that this is one of the best edited films I’ve ever seen. Editor Jamie Gross makes such judicious choices with where to let the story breathe and where to get cheeky. When filmmakers talk about voice – this film has it in spades. Even the music choices keep the momentum going when the story slows down. All this comes together in post – but it can’t happen unless the right shots were filmed on the day. And to that vision, we can credit Wilde and her cinematographer, Jason McCormik.

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Hey, Check This Out: From Here to Eternity

I haven’t been all that interested in music exploration for years now, letting that hobby languish in favor of others such as movies, videogames, television, and most recently Dungeons & Dragons. I’m not hip with the latest indie music releases, and I haven’t been to a show at the Echoplex in years. At this point, anything new I come across is strictly accidental. However, I’ve started taking an interest in older music, and I owe that completely to film. Case in point: From Here to Eternity, by Giorgio Moroder.

Came across this album via Gaspar Noé’s 2018 perverted Busby Berkeley fever-dream psychological horror film CLIMAX, which has an amazing soundtrack to go along with its delightfully alarming visuals. One track in particular stood out:

I quite enjoy the likes of Daft Punk, Justice, Ratatat, and The Chemical Brothers and all of my favorites from their works claim Giorgio as an influence, whether they explicitly state that or not. So, I decided to check out this album and start digging into this musical blind spot, and wow was I rewarded for my efforts.

From Here To Eternity came out in 1977, and it’s really cool to be able to connect the dots between the music I enjoy today with its influences. You should really check it out.

The Other Voices: Atlantics

Hey! It’s been a long winter vacation, but I’m back this week with French director Mati Diop’s supernatural indie drama ATLANTICS, now available on Netflix.

On New Year’s Day, for some reason, my partner put TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON on the TV first thing in the morning. That night, we decided to watch 6 UNDERGROUND, completely not intending to make it a full circle Michel Bay kind of day. And if there’s one thing I learned from that experience, it’s that if you’ve ever wondered what the opposite of a Michael Bay movie is, it’s ATLANTICS.

ATLANTICS tells the story of a young Senegalese woman, Ada, who despite being engaged to a rich asshole,  is in love with a construction worker named Souleiman, who, along with his coworkers, is not paid his promised salary for 4 months of work on a huge tower that looms over the town of Dakar. In order to find work, the men all hop on a boat and try to cross the sea to Spain, leaving their women behind. The men don’t reach their destination, and that’s when weird shit starts happening.

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Endless Wonder: 10 Years of Warehouse 13

In 2009 the Sci-Fi Channel re-branded itself to SyFy to shift emphasis from harder science fiction series like Battlestar Galactica and the Stargate franchise. Along with the re-branding, a new series began that had a science fiction edge- mixing supernatural elements with comedy and a quirky feel that explored history in an interesting and unique way. This was not time travel (although time travel would feature in the series at one point); it was a modern day set series about agents whose sole mission was to retrieve items that were imbued with powers. These artifacts were things that ranged from the irritating to a world-ending weapon of mass destruction-but even the lesser powered artifacts had downsides to using them.

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2019: A list of favorites

A year and a half ago my entire life changed.  I became a dad. It’s the best thing that has ever happened in my life, and I couldn’t be happier.  But being a dad really takes a lot of time and work, and that leaves little room for things that I used to spend all my time doing, seeing movies, watching TV,  reading comics, playing video games, and digging through the internet for new music. With all of that in mind, I’m going to have to my end of year list a little different than the past.  This year, each category gets one winner and no runner ups. I’m also so out of the loop that I won’t bother saying what is the best, just my favorites. All set? Ready? Let’s go!

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