Brandon's Journal

Note: This isn't the most well structed post. It is more or less some random thoughts regarding physical media that I tied together loosely.

Last week, I went to Goodwill and bought a VCR. While in Goodwill, I picked up a handful of DVDs, blu-rays, and a CD. At .69 its much cheaper than renting anything online and I get to keep it should I choose to. If I don't like it, I just return it to Goodwill and it's like I rented it in the first place.

For years, I've bought lots of media while thrifting. I love looking through all the movies and music, mostly because there aren't many places left to do that. The days of waking up Sunday and seeing what movies were on sale in the paper are over. The movie/music selection at Walmart, Target, and Best Buy are all almost non-existent. Even most of the used movie/CD stores in my state are now closed.

Sure, I can go online and buy just about anything I want, but I'll pay a premium for it and there is no fun in that. I love to browse and to pick up random titles. I like to hold the box in my hand and read the back cover. I guess, it's the closest I can get to the old video store experience.


I stopped by my local dying mall yesterday. For years, this mall has been losing stores and various announcements have been made about something to replace it. At one point it was going to be an Ikea, then a Drive Shack, then apartments. It was recently sold and is going to be a mix of commercial and business properties, meaning my childhood mall will be no more.

I'd say no more than twenty stores remained prior to COVID. The pandemic finished off a good portion of those stores. GameStop is closed, and the FYE still hasn't re-opened, but I think what saddened me the most while walking through the mall was remembering how it looked as a kid. There was an overpriced music store called Waves. Suncoast was open until maybe five years ago when it was turned into an FYE. B. Dalton's books was always a place I loved to stop and browse and I couldn't even begin to count how many movies, CDs, cassettes, and books I bought inside that mall.

Even now, I make at least a trip every six weeks or so to browse FYE. I don't usually find too much to buy, but I still enjoy bumming around and seeing what they have. Occasionally, I'll find a good deal on a movie or a t-shirt, but I think I enjoy walking in there because its one of the very few places I can still browse physical media.


The CD I bought at Goodwill last week was The Offspring's Americana. It was an iconic CD when I was in high school, but I was too busy jamming to 80's music to appreciate it. I could easily boot this album up in Spotify and play it, but there's something about holding that CD, looking at the artwork, and physically putting the CD in that brings me joy. Also, when I have a CD, I don't tend to skip tracks and I can't make a playlist out of it. So, I'm forced to listen to a lot of the songs that I would give up on rather quickly if I was streaming. I've found so many good songs over the past few years because I bought a CD and actually listened to it all the way through.

Americana was no different. I knew the hits: Pretty Fly For a White Guy, The Kid's Aren't All Right, and Why Don't You Get a Job but I hadn't heard the Have You Ever, Staring at the Sun, or She Has Issues, all of which are fantastic songs. All are songs I probably wouldn't have listened to had I not bought the actual CD.

Sure, I could exercise more self control when using Spotify, but I don't. I guess, it's kinda like when you rented a bad movie back in the day, you usually watched it because you had nothing else to watch. Nowadays, if a movie is bad you just turn it off and quickly boot up something else from Netflix's selection of thousands. Again, this isn't a bad thing, but there is something to be said about trying to enjoy something new.


Throughout my adulthood I've struggled with some insecurities regarding my living arrangements. I won't bore you with the dramatic details, but basically I adopted minimalism because I enjoy clean places and because I felt it was necessary to be mobile. I felt comfort in knowing I could pick up and leave at any time with very little to lose.

Because of this, I live with very little. There is very little that I regret getting rid of and I feel like this lifestyle served me well for many years, but I'm beginning to think I can loosen up a little.

Recently, my fiancée and I were discussing my movie collection growing up. She noticed how I perked up when discussing my room and how much pride I took in my movies and she commented on how very few movies I own now. I guess, I never realized how much pride and love I had for my movie collection. It was an intricate part of my growing up and my passion for film has never ended. I think this stuck with me a bit.

When I purchased the box of VHS tapes last week, I took some time to display them on my shelf. I organized them and I took care lining them up nicely. And I've admire my little row of tapes ever since. I look over and see all these simple VHS tapes and I feel joy.

I felt joy browsing through all the old movies at Goodwill and I feel joy thinking about rebuilding my collection. I think I feel the most joy thinking about how I finally feel like I might be able to have my movie collection again and not feel so scared about moving or losing it.

I have to give my buddy Michael credit for some of this. It was his sharing of his movie collection that reminded me so much of mine. It was his decision to start collecting VHS that planted that seed that led me to buy a few VHS tapes.

I also have to credit an old friend of mine who passed away several years ago. He once had an entire room dedicated to his vinyl collection. He was forced to get rid of it when his wife got pregnant in the mid -90's. Seventeen years later, life was different and he bought his first record in many years. Slowly, over the course of several months, he began rebuilding his collection. Then he got a player and then a cleaner, and slowly and intentionally his collection grew.

I never collected vinyl, but the joy that it brought to this man was unsurpassed. He spent his free time browsing forums and testing out new online shops. He lit up like a schoolboy when he came into work and he received some album he'd spent weeks looking for.

It was a hobby that not everyone would understand, but it made him super happy. He died a year or so later and seeing how much joy he got out of those albums, even for a couple of years, made me happy that he re-discovered them. Everyone deserves to have something that makes them happy.


I think what I've learned throughout all of this is: life is hard and if you find something that makes you happy, you need to engage it. You need to just do it because you're only running out of time. I'm not thrilled with the state of the world and looking back to the past brings me joy. I don't want to live in the past, but I do think some of the ways we lived were better. At least for me. I've noticed that once I simplified my blogging and focused on writing and not marketing, I enjoyed it 100 fold. That decision was made out of nostalgia for a simpler time. I'm hoping that resurrecting some of things I loved from the past will bring me just as much satisfaction and joy as blogging does these days.

#100DaysToOffload #Reflection

On Monday, June begins and we are officially half way into 2020. What a strange and interesting year it has been so far.

I spent some time thinking about January, which seems like it was so long ago. I was working out the details of two trips to Tennessee in May, a trip to California in October, and possibly one or two more in between. I was trying to find the perfect date to attend another AEW show using our air line miles and I was following a few comic cons, concerts, and other fun outings to possibly do over the next few months. Plus there was some wedding planning going on.

Some family drama was spilling over from last year on my fiancée's side, and my family was beginning some of their own. My work wasn't going great and I was actively looking and planning an exit for spring/early summer.

Also, I was eagerly waiting for the new Bond film to come out in April.

I guess, like everyone else in the world, I had things I planned on doing that didn't get done. Some disappointments were big, others were small, and in some ways things weren't so bad. Staying at home more meant we saved more money, and thanks to the stimulus checks I was able to get out of debt quicker than expected.

As much as I was disappointed and annoyed with my job, I feel lucky that might job held out through the pandemic and I didn't lose hours or forced to take a pay cut.

I've been writing since early January, almost on a daily basis. Its been my favorite year blogging yet and the move to Write.as was a blessing. I now have found a community that I enjoy participating in and its nice to find likeminded folks who appreciate a good personal blog.

I'm not exactly what to expect in the next six months, so I suppose I'm just not expecting anything. I'm trying to take things day-by-day and be as happy as I can possibly be. I anticipate more family drama, more work conflict, and more pandemic stress, but honestly, I can't worry about that right now. I just need to breathe.


TLDR

The Good

-I've stayed employed and paid off my debt. -I've hit a grove with my blogging that I'm happy with.

The Bad

-The relationship with my family has deteriorated. -Mentally I'm not where I want to be.

#100DaysToOffload #Reflection

I used to save everything I wrote. In fact, I have a Word document with around 70% of what I blogged between 2005-2014 which is 803 pages and over 275,000 words.

Once I put all of those blogs/journals into one large document, I got pretty lazy about archiving my written word. I opened and closed various blogs and journals and not much of it has survived the past five years.

Recently, a friend of mine is undergoing the process of turning some of his best blog posts into a book. It reminded me of a book project I had back in 2015. I was attempting to compile a series of articles I wrote about working at a video store that I never completed. I had gotten busy and just uploaded my work to the Cloud where its remained ever since.

I decided to pull the zip file off my OneDrive and take a look at what was inside. Not only was there my partially put together book, but several documents of finished and unfinished scripts, short stories, fan fiction, and blogs.

I decided to read through some of the blogs and journals. What I found was very much a mixed bag. I decided that it would make things a lot easier if I compiled them into a single document.

So, I spent some time pulling anything I could off post-2014 and putting it into individual .txt documents. I figured it would be a good way to preserve some of that writing and it gave me sometime to see where my mind was specifically in 2015. Wow was I ever in a different place.

I noticed my writing was less focus. Topics were even more diverse and I had no problem showing my full range of emotions online. Some topics were controversial while most were just me talking about entertainment I liked and was looking forward to.

I'd say 85% of what I found was pretty useless. However, that 15% that remained was good. I had a series of blog categories entitled Life and Stuff which chronicled the ins and outs of my life on a weekly basis for about six months. These provided a nice snapshot of what was going on in a very turbulent time in my life. I had lost my job and was scrambling. I also had begun college for the second time, and I chronicled my experience on a semi-weekly basis. It was also interesting to look back on.

Looking over my old blogs it got me thinking about how much my writing has changed and grown over the years. I gotta say, I am proud of myself for improving as much as I have.

I also thought about the quality of stuff I post. Is what I write today stuff I'll want to read in five years? I'd like to say, mostly yes. I spend more time writing about things that interest me and the way they make me feel and less about announcements and reactions to news.

That's not to say that fluff doesn't serve any purpose. One post I ran across was simply a quote I liked from a Men's Health interview with author Chuck Palahniuk. I must have liked it, but I had forgotten about it until I read it. It came in handy today and I hope this little tidbit of advice can serve me well in the future.

MH: Any words of wisdom for us? Anything that might make a contemporary man’s life a little less horrible?

Chuck Palahniuk: A friend of mine, Suzy—she's in my writer's workshop—said to me many years ago that she’s always conceived of herself as three people. There’s Suzy of three days ago. There’s Suzy of now. And there’s Suzy of three days from now.

So whenever she finds herself in crisis, she can choose to be the Suzy of three days ago before this crisis was even a possibility, or she can be the Suzy of three days from now when the current crisis is really mitigated.

It gives her perspective. She's not just reacting to something that occurs in one point in time. She can be in movement with whatever’s going on. I don’t know. Is that useful?

#100DaysToOffload #Reflection

I have a love and nostalgia for video stores that runs deeper than probably any other form of nostalgia. My first job was at a video store and I feel like I spent the majority of my weekends in my youth hanging out in video stores. It was just my favorite place to be and sadly a place of the past.

Growing up movie collecting was important to me. My father didn't believe in buying movies, because he would never watch a film more than once. I, on the other hand, loved to re-watch movies and I loved having a little piece of the video store in my own bedroom.

The first big title on VHS that I owned was 1989's Batman. I got this for Christmas and it was arguably the video I watched the most.

As I grew older, I began taking my birthday money and Christmas money and buying movies that I liked. My Dad would help out occasionally, but usually it was up to me to build my collection. Not all of my tapes were commercial releases, since I also had a massive collection of blank tapes that I used to archive TV shows, wrestling, and even rented movies in SLP.

By the time I became a teenager and working at Blockbuster, my VHS collection had grown into the hundreds. Flea markets and yard sales had been good to me over the years and I had a little bit of everything. I proudly displayed my movie collection and I kept it until sometime around 2007 when I finally boxed up my tapes and got rid of them.

I won't go as far as to say I regret that, but some titles I wish I would have held onto. About three years ago, I stumbled upon a small collection of VHS tapes my parents had of mine, but these were movies I cared so little for I left them when I moved out. I brought them home with me, but ultimately decided to discard them as well.

Last year, my fiancée bought me a sealed VHS copy of Scream that I intended on taking to a horror convention and getting signed. Some problems arouse that prevented me from making that trip, but I held onto the tape since Scream has slowly become one of my favorite franchises and it looked good on my shelf.

A few weeks ago, my buddy Michael started collecting VHS tapes again. His purchases excited me and I thought about how much I would love to do the same, but I've dabbled in collecting them in the past and I always struggled with it. It's not that I don't enjoy trying to hunt VHS tapes down or watching them, I just have this thing about space and living lightly and VHS tapes are bulky.

Also, in the past when I've bought some VHS tapes, I've bought just random titles I stumbled upon. I didn't intentionally collect. I didn't go after those titles I really wanted or the boxes that I had nostalgia for and that was a mistake. I'd look at the tapes and feel like they were useless clutter and get rid of them.

A week ago, I was chatting with Michael about laser discs when I decided to browse some titles on eBay. One search led to another and the next thing I know I had stumbled upon an auction containing the entire Scream trilogy including the widescreen version and director's commentary. Also included were the first two I Know What You Did Last Summer films and House of Wax. It was an instant collection of films that I liked and I decided to buy it.

When I got the box Tuesday evening, I opened it up and found the seller had included a couple of bonus films: Wrong Turn and Believe. I had never heard of Believe before and the idea of there being a late 90's horror film that I didn't know and owned on VHS excited me to no end. I had to watch it and so yesterday I stopped off at a local Goodwill and I got lucky. For $8.99 I found a great Sony VCR that was in excellent condition. It even had the plastic wrap still on the clock display screen.

I had no way of fully testing the unit, but I did plug it in and made sure it rewound and seemed to play the tape that was found inside of it. The Goodwills around me don't typically sell VHS tapes, so thankfully someone had left their recording of the revival of V in the unit.

I got the VCR home and I sanitized it. Luckily my fiancée had some RCA cables to hook it up. I hit play once the TV was turned on and I had a perfect picture and everything worked great. I was back watching TV like I grew up watching.

I really enjoyed watching my VHS tapes yesterday and I look forward to collecting some more. I think it may be time to rebuild my movie collection.

#100DaysToOffload

My parents weren't around much when I was a kid. Divorce, alcoholism, and running around kept them from being present in my life a good portion of those formative years. I've been known to say (and they'll agree) television and books raised me. I learned right and wrong from the entertainment I consumed and not my actual parents. Which probably wasn't the best but it seemingly worked out for me.

Luckily, I grew up in the 80's and 90's, and television was a bit more balanced at the time. A good portion of entertainment produced during this time frame came with morals and simplified messages of right and wrong embedded and I picked up on that. I took inspiration from superheroes like Superman, Batman, and Spiderman to guide me on what was morally correct and how to handle myself. I was taught messages of peace, self-sacrifice, doing what is right no matter who notices, and to intentionally be a good person.

These, along with The Golden Rule, are messages we try to embed in all children. Sadly, these messages meet a lot of resistance once we grow older.

The black and white world I thought existed, does not in fact exist. And judging from what I've learned, I don't think it ever truly existed. All that really exists are various shades of gray and that can hurt someone like me, who grew up only knowing the black and white.

I knew the things my parents did was black. I knew the things that Superman did were white. I knew that I didn't want to be like my parents, but I did want to be like Superman, so I modified my behavior accordingly. I grew up a bit of a prude, because I didn't drink, smoke, or party. I concerned myself with principles and ethics at a young age, which is sad. I robbed myself of years that I should have been naïve, but instead I was studying the truth about life and how to navigate it.

Recently, I've had some flareups with my mental health. I try not to spend a lot of time talking about it, because everyone seems to have a mental health problem and no one will shut up about it anymore. It was once taboo and shameful and now people flash it around like a badge of honor. I'm not saying either way's correct, but my mental health is my issue and something I have to deal with, its not something to flaunt for internet sympathy.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been trying to figure out what is causing this my drop in my mood. No doubt, the state of the world is playing a huge part. I'm upset about the ravaging effects of the coronavirus and my concern for my job and my fiancées job in the upcoming months. I'm upset about the way people are treating other people and the seething hate that seems to boiling up everywhere. I'm angry with my job for taking advantage of me and treating me poorly for several months. I was hoping to change jobs this spring but obviously that didn't work out with the massive layoffs happening.

I'm mad at the media, the politicians, and the rude people at the grocery store. I'm mad at my family for self-destructing over the past six months, after finally offering me a little bit of peace and stability over the past couple of years.

I'm angry, disappointed, and frustrated at the world around me. I've been struggling to find a little hope in these bleak times and I realize my ideal world is crashing with the real world and that is what is causing me such suffering. The world does not look like the world that the entertainment that raised me told me it was, and now I'm suffering because I'm struggling to accept that.

The solution is easy. I must reframe my expectations. I remember reading a long time ago the simple solution for happiness:

Reality – Expectations = Happiness

While I think its difficult to encompass everything that goes into being happy or content, I do think that formula is a good place to start. Buddhism teaches you something similar in that the world is full of suffering because we are attached to the ideas and expectations we have of it.

Life would be so much easier if everything was black and white, but its not. I guess, I'll just continue to learn how to adapt in these shades of grey.

#Reflection #100DaysToOffload

Back in the 90's, finding websites wasn't all that easy. Most of the time you utilized link pages or webrings to find other sites of similar interest. There wasn't much to internet marketing and I loved the whole word of mouth approach to recommending websites.

Recently, I've been enjoying my time on the internet more after finding some likeminded users who have great blogrolls and lists of links that have guided me to some of my new favorite sites. I also spent some time digging through the directory of Neocities looking for more “personal sites” that create the type of content I like to consume online.

One of the sites I ran across on Neocities is called Jack Spratt's Vietnam Experience. At first look, I thought it was an old website that someone had just re-uploaded on Neocities, but it turns out this is a website that is still active and updated.

Jack Spratt's Vietnam Experience is a list of stories about author Jack Spratt's time in Vietnam. These aren't the gruesome war stories one might expect, but more or less a series of memories of lighter moments and just mundane daily experienced while in Vietnam.

Mr. Spratt has a photo gallery on his site that shows you what life was like on a swiftboat and he also sprinkles in photos on occasion throughout his stories. The stories are told in a casual remembrance type of way and it's exactly the way I love to read personal recollections.

I spent this morning reading through all of the stories and I really enjoyed myself. Jack Spratt's Vietnam Experience is an excellent look into the life of a sailor during the Vietnam War and I look forward to any new stories he may add.

#100DaysToOffload #SiteSpotlights

I wouldn't consider myself addicted to my smart phone, but I definitely use it more than I'd like. One of the main contributors to my usage is my job, which can have a lot of downtime and so I like to find internet rabbit holes to explore or I mindlessly browse reddit. I realize that neither of these are very productive ways to spend my time, nor are they ways I would like to spend my time. I feel like the amount of negativity I pick up from the internet far outweighs the benefits (or distraction) that it offers and that bothers me.

On my days off, I tend not to spend all that much time on my phone. Many days I leave it in the bedroom until I go out or need it and its very rarely ever off of silent. I don't have many notifications enacted so I don't usually find a phone full of alerts but I still habitually check the various apps and websites looking for new updates on my own terms. I still waste just as much time as I would if I had notifications, I'm just less annoyed by being alerted to updates.

While my relationship with my phone isn't a major concern for me, I still see room for improvement. I recently read a comment that discussed how the age of anxiety seems to co-exist with the age of technology and the author stated he thought this was because we now feel so much extra stress in our lives.

...to summarize my ideas on the topic, I believe that through social media, electronics, and a growing need to be accepted, young adults are constantly being exposed to the harsh opinions, realities, and ideas that come when a world is shrunk down to fit inside a cellular phone. Not only is our personal life stressful, but now we take on the stress of others and the world around us.

I had hoped to discuss this with the author more, but he seems to have posted a one-time anonymous post on Medium several years ago.

After reading that comment, I felt like his assessment was true. It was a great explanation for why there seems to be so much additional stress in the world and I think some of it comes across casually. It's kinda like watching commercials. We may zone out and miss the majority of them, but some of that stuff resonates or finds it way into the cracks of your consciousness. I feel like seeing all the negativity online does the same, it just finds its way into your brain.

My mental health has taken a major dip the past week or so, and I've fallen back on old coping mechanisms to help me combat it. I have to be a bit more conscious of the entertainment I consume and what information passes through my head, and so I'm making a decision this weekend to turn off my phone. Well... I'm going to turn it to airplane mode that way if I want to read I can still read, but otherwise it's going to be off.

I need to redefine my relationship with the internet and hopefully I can take some of that free time I'll have this weekend to figure out exactly how I'd like to proceed.

#Reflection #100DaysToOffload

In 2009, Paul Blart Mall Cop made $183 million dollar on a $26 million dollar budget while garnering horrible reviews and releasing horrible trailers. Why did this movie which seemed to be destined for the DVD bargain bin manage to become a success? That’s the question everyone was asking themselves as this little movie just kept making money.

I was managing a movie theater in 2009 and got to see this first hand. I remember quickly trying to move Paul Blart into bigger theaters and opening up more showtimes to accommodate the crowds. No one ever imagined this film would do so well and I remember a few weeks later reading one theory on why the film found so much success: it was a light fluffy comedy in the middle of a recession.

Sure people were lacking funds, but they also needed escape. Houses were being foreclosed on and people were losing their jobs and everyone just needed something to get out of their heads for a while. Paul Blart was just released at the right time, when people needed something dumb and fun to watch, especially in a world where the news and cable television were turning progressively darker by the day.

I remember my old boss telling me that movie theaters were traditionally recession proof, because people couldn’t afford to go to Disney anymore, but they could usually find a few dollars to have a night out at the movies. I worked throughout the recession at the movie theater and he wasn’t wrong. We didn’t do a record number of attendees, but the job was stable and while the world seemed to be collapsing around us, we stayed opened and offered a little light at the end of the tunnel for some people.

One of my more depressing days at the theater involved a theater hopper. For a couple of weeks, our box office attendant noticed this man in a truck who’d buy a ticket for the first show, and then wouldn’t leave till around 4:30 PM each day. He made management aware of this, so we decided to track the gentleman one afternoon to confirm he was indeed hopping theaters.

Being that this was a serial offense, my boss decided to call the police to show that this was serious and stealing. I escorted the police officer to the theater and we asked the guy to come down. I explained why we’re pulling him out of the theater and he looked remorseful. What I didn’t see was the pain on his face that the police officer noticed. He asked the guy to step to the side to talk and I backed off. The man apologized and asked not to be trespassed and offered to pay for all the movies he’d seen. I refused and told him just to please pay for the movies next time in advance and he went on his way. That’s when the police officer described his conversation and humbled me.

The man had recently lost his job. He was a newlywed with a baby on the way and a brand new truck he had bought a week before being let go. He was frantically looking for a job but wasn’t having much success and he had no idea how to tell his pregnant wife that he was no longer employed. So, every day, he got ready for work at the same time, and instead came to the movies and killed most of his afternoon until it was time for him to return to home where he pretended like nothing had changed.

I was twenty-six at the time and thought I knew everything. In one moment, I realized I didn’t know anything. I didn’t know stress or pressure the way this guy knew it, and I didn’t know what a bad day was like that this guy experienced.

I think about this guy every few months and that look on his face as I brought him out of the movie theater. I think about what must have been going through his mind and how embarrassed he was. And I think about how easily that could have been me.

#100DaysToOffload

The first sport I ever loved was baseball. It was the early 90's, and being from the South, I was drawn to root for the Atlanta Braves. Luckily for me, they had a pretty damn good team at the time.

My story was your cliched story. I loved baseball so I collected cards, watched games on TV, played t-ball, watched every movie I could get my hands on and every book I could read. I was obsessed with baseball and sometimes I wonder how my life would have turned out had that passion remained.

But when I was ten year old, the players decided to strike, baseball stopped, and I got my first real taste of how greed rules the world. My love of baseball never recovered and this probably laid the foundation for my feelings towards moneys, athletes, celebrities, and corporations that remain today. I didn't realize that until I started typing this, but damn, that probably was the root of all my mistrust and irritation with rich people.

I don't think I've watched a full major league game since the World Series of 1993. It blows my mind to think it's been over twenty-six years.

Anyway, despite my frustration with Major League Baseball, I've always admired the sport. I love baseball movies and enjoy reading baseball books. I'm also a fan of attending minor league baseball games. There is just something about the sounds, cheap food, and architecture that makes me feel good. Maybe it's a conditioned response from all the “America's pastime” propaganda and feel good movies, but I just enjoy the atmosphere for what its worth.

Living in the South means that I have a limited window to see minor league games without being sunburned or suffocating in the heat. Usually its the first two months of the season and if I don't make a game by then I'm done. Sadly, I haven't attended a game since July 4th, 2018 and I kind of miss it. It's not something I do regularly, but it just seems like something nice to do in 2020, of course, when I can't.

I had a goal to visit all of the ballparks in North Carolina in one season, but I've since given up on that dream. Instead, I think I'll just enjoy the games as I can and maybe check out a couple of the stadiums that I've been wanting to such as Winston-Salem and Fayetteville, should those teams survive the pandemic.

This post was inspired by looking through my old pictures and seeing several shots from various games I've attended. I've sprinkled them in throughout this post as a reminder of those fun days at the ballpark.

#100DaysToOffload

Wow... I never thought I'd see the day that WB announces that Zack Snyder's cut of Justice League would be released.

In case you've been out of the loop, director Zack Snyder (300, Dawn of the Dead) was hired to build DC's movie universe similar to Marvel's. The idea was to take a more mature and dark approach to superhero movies and allow the DC properties to stand out and not feel like their Marvel counterparts. Man of Steel came first, then Batman vs. Superman, Wonder Woman, and finally The Justice League.

Personally, I wasn't a fan of Synder's take on the characters. I liked the casting (with exception of Lex Luthor) and even the costumes, but the darkness and tone just seemed off. I felt like Doomsday was done way wrong and none of the movies had really any hope in them, despite what Superman said in Man of Steel.

So, during the filming of Justice League, Zack Snyder had a family tragedy occur and he stepped away from production. Warner Brothers quickly brought in Joss Whedon, who had helmed the very successful Avengers film for Marvel, and he was given the reigns to rewrite and reshoot some scenes. He dropped the darkness, brightened up the film, and tried to take all these depressing pieces and put together something fun. I felt like he succeed in his task and he did remarkably so considering the eight ball he was working behind.

Still, the film was flawed, the change in tone bothered fans of Snyder's vision, and almost instantly people were clamoring for a Snyder cut. Seeing that the Justice League lost WB a ton of money after spending extra on reshoots, it didn't seem very likely. Well, thanks to the success of streaming over the past couple of years and HBO Max going all out, the Snyder cut is coming next year, four years after the original film's release.

According to Snyder, WB is currently reaching out to VFX people to finish up scenes, along with bringing in original crew members and cast members to re-record some lines. It's estimated that this cut will cost $20-$30 million dollars, the film may be drawn out into a six part series on HBO Max. I worry about lengthening the film since Snyder's plots usually are pretty paper thin, but then again, maybe the short run-time will make it all go down a bit easier.

I'm not a fan of Zack Snyder's DC work, but I am excited to see his cut. Zack Snyder says we only saw about ¼th of what he put together on screen, so that means there is a lot to look forward to.

I just wish we would have gotten one standalone Batman film with Affleck as The Dark Knight.

#Television #100DaysToOffload

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