Holiday Leftovers: A Podcast Update, Mini-Movie Reviews and More

Greetings and salutations. How’s everyone’s 2020 going?

Mine’s a bit of a doozy. To catch you up: My mom started feeling sick in August, was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer in October, had a stroke in mid-December and was hospitalized for over a week, and still is struggling with temporary dementia. The good news is that her memory should come back once she starts eating. The bad news is that she is not eating enough, even with a feeding tube. So if you’ve got good vibes, positive thoughts, prayers, magic, etc. that you can spare and send this way, that would be much appreciated.

But you didn’t come here to read about my sad family stuff (so thank you for reading it anyway). ❤ On to the fun stuff!

We approve this podcast. (We should. We created it.)

Podcast, Podcast, What You Going to Do?

The podcast is now in full effect! A million thanks to everyone who’s already subscribed and sent positive feedback. It warms my heart to know that other people enjoy hearing me rant about “Real Genius.”

You can get caught up on our three episodes (the afore-mentioned “Real Genius,” “Weekend at Bernie’s,” and an “L.A. Story” / “Roxanne” double feature) at Buzzsprout, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more through the Buzzsprout link. And subscribe now so you don’t miss tomorrow’s gem: the first one we ever recorded, about a movie that the star himself called “a piece of shit” three years after it was released. What will it be? You’ll just have to find out? (I’m kidding. It’s “The Golden Child.”)

Holiday Leftovers

Raf and I rarely go to the movies (that’s my fault — I like subtitles and pausing things to go to the bathroom). We saw quite a few over and just before the holidays, though. The new “Jumanji” was okay, but not nearly as great as the original; however, it provided some much-needed laughs to my siblings and me after Mom’s hospitalization. I really liked “Knives Out” but don’t have anything else to add to the conversations about it, other than that’s a pretty dope sweater Chris Evans is wearing and I kind of want to knit one.

However, I saw two movies that, as the kids say, gave me all the feels. While I may write longer posts about them soon, I jotted down some shorter posts before Thanksgiving, which you can snack on below. I should’ve expanded and posted them earlier; but then I went to Vegas, and then there was Thanksgiving, and then, y’know, Mom and all. So here goes. Better late and shorter than never.

The writing’s on the wall.

Doctor Sleep (written Nov. 12, 2019)

We need to talk about “Doctor Sleep.” (Well, I need to talk about it.) Why isn’t it doing well at the box office? Who would NOT want to see a sequel to “The Shining?” (Out of people who loved “The Shining,” that is.)

I’m still parsing out how I feel about it. I was almost late to work because Raf and I were up late discussing it and up early discussing it more. I still think it doesn’t cover enough of Danny’s history since the Overlook. But it raises some excellent questions about alcohol abuse and the nature of evil…and whether we’re forever chained to the places that haunt us.

That side-eye is killer.

Terminator: Dark Fate (written Nov. 9, 2019)

Few movies have influenced me as a writer and even as a person as much as “Terminator 2: Judgement Day.” I even gave the protagonist of my book series the last name of Connor because I loved the character Sarah Connor so much. And while the third movie in the series was okay, I was bored beyond belief by the rest. Then, somehow, the universe said, “Okay, 2019’s going to be really rough for you; but you’re going to finally get the Terminator sequel you’ve always wanted.” Most of the main characters are women. Many of the characters are Latinx. Much of the movie takes place in Mexico or on the border. The good Terminator and the woman she’s protecting are phenomenal. And Sarah f*cking Connor IS BACK WITH A VENGEANCE, MOFOS. The dialogue is…not the best, but I am 1000% behind the film’s not-so-subtle message that immigrants aren’t the real threat and we’re still only a few steps away from creating the technology that will destroy us. This is the movie we need, with the heroes we should be celebrating. Instead, it’s not doing well at the box office and it looks to tank like the all-female “Ghostbusters” (which I also loved WITH A VENGEANCE [and yes, I love the original version too]). So if you dug “T2,” go see “Dark Fate.” It’s the perfect sequel, and it’s so much better than we deserve. #nofatebutwhatwemake

Family portrait.

Copyright 2020, Sarah A. Ruiz & What the Kids Were Watching/Quail School Media. All rights reserved.