Included this year, not for the first time, are not movies from my 2019 favorites list, for I am crazy and haven’t written that blog post yet.
Hadn’t seen before:
- Gotham (seasons 1 – 5)
- The Umbrella Academy (season 1)
- The Witcher (season 1)
Had seen before:
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine (seasons 1 – 5)
- Dollhouse (seasons 1 – 2)
I had watched the pilot of Gotham when it first aired, but for some reason it didn’t grab me enough to watch anything past that. Toward the end of the year , my brother mentioned that he had been watching it on Netflix and really liked it, so I gave it a go. I wound up really enjoying it, with the weird caveat that I didn’t really like Jim Gordon or Bruce Wayne all that much, but pretty much loved every villain, especially Penguin and Riddler.
My brother also told me he’d watched The Witcher around Christmas time. I had heard of the games, but knew nothing else about the series (e.g. that it was based on novels). It took until the fourth episode (of eight) until it clicked with me, and even then, it wasn’t my favorite thing ever, but remained interesting enough that I stuck it out and will check out the next season when it becomes available. I did enjoy Henry Cavill, and the bard character.
My daughter got me to watch The Umbrella Academy, and it was pretty great. I really liked the characters, especially Klaus, Five, and Hazel. I’m looking forward to season 2.
After watching Buffy and Angel (and Firefly), my daughter wanted more Joss Whedon, so we watched Dollhouse together. It was great, as always.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is one of my TV shows, and once I finally activated our free Hulu account, I began rewatching it, this time with my kids. They all loved it, and it’s the only show that I can imagine tolerating sitting through the ads to watch. As my youngest said, “If God and Humor had a baby, that baby would be Andy Samberg.” I also showed my children Hot Rod and my daughter got to watch Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping with my wife.
Hadn’t seen before:
- Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- Beauty and the Beast (2017)
- Detective Pikachu
Had seen before:
- Across the Universe
- American Pie
- Ant-Man and the Wasp
- Batman: Year One
- Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
- Black Panther
- Captain America: The First Avenger
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- Captain America: Civil War
- Die Hard
- Die Hard 2: Die Harder
- Die Hard With a Vengeance
- Live Free or Die Hard
- A Good Day to Die Hard
- Doctor Strange
- Fun With Dick and Jane
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- The Incredible Hulk
- Iron Man
- Iron Man 2
- Iron Man 3
- Justice League: Gods and Monsters
- Justice League vs. Teen Titans
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Mission: Impossible II
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
- Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
- Spider-Man: Homecoming
- Thor: The Dark World
- Thor: Ragnarok
- The Tigger Movie
- The Whole Nine Yards
- Winnie the Pooh
When Black Friday came around, Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was on sale along with some other DC movies I wanted to buy, so I picked it up as well. It was far better than I expected it to be.
I bought the live-action Beauty and the Beast remake for my wife and daughter a couple of years ago, but it remained unopened on the shelf until recently when my daughter told me we should watch it and the animated classic back-to-back. I’d seen the first 15 or 20 minutes before, and was not a fan, and I remain not a fan after watching the entire thing. Still love the animated version, though.
I originally had no interest in Detective Pikachu, but one of the trailers convinced me to give it a go once it came to disc. I got it from Netflix, and it was also far better than I expected it to be, so I bought it on Black Friday.
I had originally seen Unbreakable shortly after it released, and hated it. Like, hated it. I don’t remember exactly why, but it just rubbed me the wrong way. I wanted to watch Split after reading good reviews, and generally enjoying James McAvoy, so I did, and then rewatched Unbreakable before watching Glass. All three are in the “didn’t hurt to watch that” category, with the qualifier that James McAvoy was amazing.
I watched Wanted at a friend’s house, at his suggestion. It was OK.
I watched Waiting on Amazon Prime one night, solely because it starred Ryan Reynolds. It was funny.
- Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring The Legend of Zelda
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
- New Super Luigi U
- Pikmin 2
- Pikmin 3
- Super Mario World
Cadence of Hyrule came out of nowhere at E3, and I’m a sucker for all things Zelda so I got it. It was really fun, though I eventually enabled fixed beat mode because it was so much easier.
I also finally got a chance to play A Link Between Worlds, which I’ve been wanting to do for a while. It was a really great 2D Zelda entry, and I hope it eventually becomes available on the Switch or something.
My daughter and I have experienced a resurgence in playing Pikmin 3 against each other, and play most nights for a least a few matches. It inspired me to replay the story mode, as well as Pikmin 2.
I replayed Super Mario World on my SNES Classic with my youngest son, and we also played through New Super Luigi U together.
Poetism Commentary: “Something Broken”
The poem in question: Something Broken
When I was about 13, my older cousin recommended The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever to me. I probably shouldn’t have read them till I was a little older, but to this day they remain some of my absolute favorite books. The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant are also very good, and I’ve read the first and second Chronicles several times. The story and characters had such an impact on me that my wedding ring is made of white gold (Thomas Covenant’s white gold wedding ring is a fundamental element of the tale).
Unfortunately, I didn’t like The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, and I just pretend they don’t exist. Maybe I’ll read them again one day and see if I change my mind.
Anyway, in The Wounded Land, the first book of The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Thomas Covenant says to another primary character,
That line stuck with me, and I wanted to write something based on the words “something broken,” which is how this poem came about. Despite its flaws, it’s one of my favorite poems that I have written. I was quite passionate about it, and I think it turned out pretty well. I also call it my “D” poem, becausemany of the words start with D. (Get it? GET IT?!)
My “Something Broken” isn’t about a man who’s lost everything, but rather about someone who is continually making poor choices without regard to consequence. It was written from an LDS perspective—as I mentioned some time ago in the commentary for Stormy Weather,
The subject of Something Broken—the friend—has taken this path and is beginning to suffer the consequences:
But now that he’s lost, he doesn’t see a possible way back and is contemplating suicide as a plausible “out.” This is evidenced by wandering the rooftop alone, and (maybe my favorite lines from the poem):
In this case, suicide is not the way out, it’s just furthering the devil’s victory, but that isn’t easy to realize.
The speaker of the poem hasn’t given up on him, though. One interpretation of the speaker’s identity is Jesus, though really it could be anyone. The line
Seems to me like it could easily be misinterpreted. It’s not that the speaker will give up on his friend, becoming an enemy; rather the lost soul will feel so uncomfortable in his presence that it will simply feel that way to him.
The superficial “something broken” is finally revealed in the final line. The “broken crown” represents the promised reward from Satan that is ultimately worthless. However, the real “something broken” is the lost soul. But the speaker understands that he can come back, and it may be hard, but worth it.
Setting aside the LDS view (since I no longer subscribe), I think it works well enough as cautionary tale of downward spiral. And though I wrote this a few years before The Lord of the Rings movies were released, the line
Now reminds me of something Sam says to Frodo as they lay shivering in Mordor, near the end of The Return of the King. Sam looks up at the sky and sees a brief break in the clouds, and says,
Tolkien’s original text is even better:
The light may be hidden from us at times, but it is always there, waiting to be rediscovered.
Some notes on the original handwritten version, seen below:
The scribbled-out “D’s poem” at the top refers to two different things. Firstly, as mentioned earlier, I call this my “D” poem, but I also have a friend who has a sister whose name begins with “D.” People often called her “D” in lieu of her name. Around the time I wrote this poem, she was also at BYU, and I would often see her around the time of my HEPE class, as it was in the same building as the university swimming pools, and she was a swimmer who apparently practiced around that time.
Next, I can’t decipher all of them, but some of the scribbled-out lines are:
I think we can all agree those lines are terrible. A few of the revised lines from the made it to the printed copy from my old web site, before becoming the final published version:
They are better, but I definitely prefer the final version. And as a final note, although Something Broken will remain as currently published, I offer the following replacement for the final line: