This Week in Rixflix #5: April 7-13, 2017

I will admit that I was a bit distracted from watching other films last week, what with the new, eleventh season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 lurking in wait for me by week's end on Netflix.

Actually, I didn't have to wait that long to watch most of it because I was one of the 48,270 people who took part in the Kickstarter campaign, which raised over $5 million total to bring MST3K back as a show. As a result, I got my name in the end credits (there are so many names they split them up between shows; mine shows up in Episode 11), got a whole bunch of goodies like a T-shirt, keychain, soundtrack, and coffee mug (some items still pending), and got to download the entire season in DRM-free files 24 hours before the season premiered on Netflix. (Creator Joel Hodgson made us promise to watch the show on Netflix as much as possible, though, and to save watching the files for a rainy day in the future when we are without internet.)

Best of all, though, we backers got to see the pilo…

This Week in Rixflix #4: March 31-April 6, 2017

A much smaller week in film watching than the previous week (10 less films), much of it directly responsible for the upswing in my hours spent writing now that the hip is doing even better than before. Having regular physical therapy also ate into the film watching time as well. Oh, yeah, and some old pal reunion time at Disney California Adventure Park on April Fools' Day with my pals Mattman and Leandro, where April Fools' was never even mentioned once. Hard for even me to think about film for long when hanging with my buddies at Disneyland Resort. (Unless we are talking about film, of course. But we only did a little bit...)

This week's feature film count: 15; 13 first-time viewings and 2 repeats.
Highest rated film: Little Fugitive (1953) – 8/9.
Lowest rated film: Frankenstein Island (1981) – 2/9.

The Arnelo Affair(1947) Dir.: Arch Oboler – A deadly dull affair without a single surprise in it, The Arnelo Affair is a waste of a pretty decent cast including Frances Gifford, …

The 50 Something or Other Songs of 2016: Part 3

After getting through the first forty songs of Rolling Stone's Best 50 Songs of 2016 list, and with a mere ten left to go, it had become most apparent that I have stuck strongly to my guns in regards to my favorite genres of music, and had grown little in the way of generating warmth toward those that I considered beneath my notice.

This is somewhat of an inverse effect to my personal politics, where I have grown increasingly more liberal since my teenage years; I was always rebellious against authority since my earliest days, but my mind was shaped, to my detriment, by the continuing prejudices of the time in which I was raised (mostly the '70s) and the older books and movies which I devoured eagerly. I found increasing influence all around me, however, thanks to my eagerness to learn from history's mistakes (not recreate them) and my understanding that if the human world is ever going to truly move away from "caveman" status, one's mindset must always look t…

This Week in Rixflix #3: March 24-30, 2017

OK, so three editions in and I am already super late with one of these. This one is a full week behind when I originally planned to post it, but then its spot was taken by the Rolling Stone piece. I could blame a variety of things, but let's chalk it up to good ol' fashioned don't give a crap, and then move onward. It just means that the fourth one will go up just a few days after the third, but who's counting, really?

This week's feature film count: 25; 19 first-time viewings and 6 repeats.
Highest rated films: Kansas City Confidential (1952), The Devils (1971), Gimme Danger: Story of the Stooges (2016), The Red Turtle (2016), They Live By Night (1948), and Requiem for the American Dream (2015) – 8/9 each.
Lowest rated films: April Showers (1948) and Rich, Young and Pretty (1951) – 5/9.

Westworld(1973) Dir.: Michael Crichton – A repeat viewing of a film that has been in my mind since I was a kid, this latest round was obviously brought about from watching the new HBO …

The 50 Something or Other Songs of 2016: Part 2

I survived the first 20 songs with my sanity intact (such as it is), and with an eagerness to see what else lie ahead on Rolling Stone's Best 50 Songs of 2016 list. As I recounted at the end of Part 1, I was surprised that I genuinely loved 7 (and liked 6) of the 20 songs I heard, which put me on a pace to overcome my number of loves the 2015 list (I had loved only 10 and liked 18 overall).

So, are my defenses simply down this time? Have I opened up my heart at the same time as my ears and become more accepting of other types of music? Well, no. When you look at the songs that I hated or didn't really care about, they fall into the same categories of music (or had characteristics) for which I have had disdain in the past. The same is true for the ones that I liked; I have mostly kept to that which has pleased me over the years. There are a couple of outliers in there though (Helado Negro and Miranda Lambert), and I have to chalk that up to my willingness to give each song and a…