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Friday Roundup

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The Mummy? Wow,” said the dude tearing tickets at the movie theater on Monday morning.
The Mummy is the kind of movie you see on a weekday morning when you’re unemployed, and the water is turned off in your building for plumbing repairs so you have to spend the day out of your apartment, and Seattle museums are too expensive (MoPOP is $33, are you kidding me?), and there are no conveniently early show times for Wonder Woman at any local theater. Under no circumstances other than those should anyone see The Mummy.
Scratch that. Even under those circumstances, don’t see The Mummy. Learn from my mistake.
I was going to do a whole blog post detailing the somewhat shocking awfulness of The Mummy, but it seems like every single movie critic has that territory covered already, so I’m just going to move on. I can usually find something to love about even the biggest and dumbest of big summer movies, but The Mummy broke my soul.

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage

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I moved to Seattle from New York last Saturday. As is the nature of cross-country moves, this ended up being an exhausting, laborious, emotional, expensive ordeal, from which I have yet to fully recover. Every stage of the moving process was unnecessarily problematic, from finding an apartment in Seattle to booking a moving company to packing up all our crap. By the time my sister and I boarded our plane at JFK early Saturday morning, spirits broken, backs aching from heavy lifting (we packed something in the range of 3500 pounds of stuff, most of it books), shins and knees scraped and bloody, hips and spines bruised from sleeping on bare floors since the moving truck carted away our worldly goods the previous Wednesday, we were running on fumes.
Our flight, thankfully and unexpectedly, was bliss. Delta treated our wounded souls gently, presenting us with free and tasty food, perfectly decent coffee, and a kick-ass in-flight entertainment system loaded with movies. I could’ve watched…

Friday Roundup

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Been a while, huh? Sorry about that—it’s been a busy couple of weeks. I had a Very Important Houseguest, and then my Duranalysis book launched, and then I went to Seattle to search for an apartment (found one! A good one! But it was an uphill battle!), and… well, I’m back. Until I’m happily and successfully relocated in Seattle by the middle of May, though, things will be spotty and sporadic around here. 
Good trip to Seattle, though my sister and I spent much of it kind of stressed and unhappy that our apartment hunt was going so poorly. Yesterday, my sister sent me her carefully itemized notes of everything we did on the trip; it contains sentences like “Ate gas station burrito in hotel room” and “Had wine and peanut M&Ms from honor bar for dinner”, so, y’know, it was that kind of a visit. We did manage to squeeze in some good food as well, though, including excellent pho in our new neighborhood of Capitol Hill. And that gas station burrito was surprisingly tasty, really.
The V…

The DURANALYSIS book is now available at Amazon!

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The DURANALYSIS book has been released into the wild! If you order the paperback version now at Amazon ($9.99), you'll probably actually receive it a few days in advance of Thursday's official release date.

Order it here. You can also pre-order the Kindle version for $3.99 here and have it delivered to your device on April 20th.

The book consists of fifteen brand-new essays, plus an introduction. If you've enjoyed my Duranalysis posts on this site, there is every chance in the world that this is the book for you.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: “The Moonglow Affair”

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This is the backdoor pilot for the short-lived spinoff series, The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., and man oh man, it is terrible.

Illya, dressed in a fancy ruffled tuxedo, poses as an advertising executive and loiters around a swanky party for Caresse Cosmetics, which is in the process of choosing Miss Moonglow, the new face of the company. The party is teeming with pretty ladies; Caresse’s cofounder, Jean Caresse (Mary Carver, the mom from Simon & Simon), asks Illya for his opinion as to which one should represent her company. “Personally, I would prefer a woman of accomplishment,” Illya says. This bit of straightforward common sense alarms Jean, who is a seasoned THRUSH agent. Jumping into action, she grabs a henchwoman and alerts her to her suspicions that a cute blond U.N.C.L.E. agent has crashed their party. Illya snoops around and ends up captured by Jean’s evil brother, Arthur (Kevin McCarthy).

Friday Roundup

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There are two weeks to go until the launch of my Duranalysis book! April 20th is the big day. If you prefer reading on a Kindle, you can pre-order the e-book now on Amazon for $3.99. There’s no pre-order for the jazzy paperback version, which will be $9.99; it'll probably be available to order at Amazon on or around April 17th, with other online book retailers following shortly thereafter. After April 20th, you’ll also be able to order it from your local brick-and-mortar bookstore.

About the book: It consists of fifteen brand-spanking-new essays about various aspects of Duran Duran, arranged chronologically to form a de facto biography of the band from its origins to the present. Here’s a glimpse at the table of contents, so you'll have some idea of what you're getting into:

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: “The King of Knaves Affair”

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Napoleon and Illya hang out in a parked car and watch covertly as a power plant official named Bardington meets with Angel Galley (Jan Merlin), a racketeer who offers him ten thousand dollars in exchange for uranium. Bardington refuses the offer, whereupon Angel whips out a knife and stabs him to death. Napoleon chases after Angel, who is seized by a gaggle of armed men. Napoleon watches as Angel is forced into a car, then notices a blond man keeping a close eye on him.
Back at headquarters, Illya and Napoleon compare notes: A mysterious party has been repeatedly attempting to purchase uranium; fearing a possible nuclear threat, U.N.C.L.E. has been trying to uncover the source of the request. Illya fumes about letting Bardington, their best lead, get murdered in front of them: “We couldn’t look more foolish!” Aw, Illya, baby, don’t worry. As this series progresses, you’ll get used to looking foolish. Apart from being shot in black-and-white, this is a surefire way to tell this episod…