My Blog – April 2020

Greetings, Glancers! Well, the world is a little different now since my March blog post, eh? Northern Ireland is near enough completely shut down thanks to CovID-19, and I imagine by the time I post this (writing it 2nd week of March) the Government will be implementing further restrictions to stop the idiots heading out like it’s the 12th of July. I live in Game Of Thrones territory, near some of the tourist hotspots and near some of the country’s most popular beaches, and this past weekend they were all packed with groups and families. All schools were cancelled till further notice last week, so the parents of future failures decided that they would descend upon our small coastal towns rather than stay the fuck at home and home-school. I’d wager that a fair few of those morons now have the disease, but as fate tends to work with these things, they’ll probably be unaffected themselves yet go on to involuntarily commit manslaughter on the elderly and infirm. Way to go.

It’s not just this Country of course – it’s everywhere. No matter where you go you can never underestimate the selfishness and witlessness of your fellow man. The UK is trending to have a deadlier impact than the more than 5000 deaths in Italy, and the dude in charge in the US has his head up his own arse where he assumes the brown shroud of his own fetid God-sent feces will protect him. The cynic in me wonders if nature will not only wipe out the weak, but the stupid too. I don’t see that happening – nature tends to be smarter than us, and well, if the smart people are wiped out, that only leaves the idiots behind, and they’re not the ones creating medicine to save lives which leads to over-population, or creating the vehicles and means of mass pollution which Nature probably isn’t too happy about. A world of idiots maybe exactly what Momma Nature desires. Or it’ll all blow over and this time next year we’ll have one of those ‘Remember 2020’ shows where celeb commentators you’ve never heard of chat about the Coronavirus scare.

As I’m essentially someone who loves never having to leave the house, this would all be wonderful for me if I lived alone -but of course I have a wife and three kids to worry about so it ain’t that simple. Nevertheless, it’s a unique time to be alive and an opportunity like never before to watch and read and listen to all manner of movies, shows, albums, podcasts, books and the like. So for this post I’m sharing Nightman’s Quarantine Odyssey – a list of stuff I’m currently working my way through until they tell me I have to step outside and hiss at the sun once more. First off, here’s a list of Quarantine based songs to get your through the day:

Quarantine (In My Place Of) – Manic Street Preachers

Journal For Plague Lovers – Manic Street Preachers

Roses In The Hospital – Manic Street Preachers

All Alone Here – Manic Street Preachers

She Bathed Herself In A Bath Of Bleach – Manics

Buildings For Dead People – Manics

Enola/Alone – Manics

Hibernation – Manics

Judge Yrself – Manics

Mausoleum – Manics

My Little Empire – Manics

Another Invented Disease – Manics

A Soundtrack To Complete Withdrawal – Manics

Inmates (We’re All Crazy) – Alice Cooper

Sick Things – Alice Cooper

Might As Well Be On Mars – Alice Cooper

The Walls Get Smaller – The Music

Epidemic – Slayer

The Four Horsemen – Metallica

The Frayed Ends Of Sanity – Metallica

I Disappear – Metallica

Welcome Home – Metallica

Wherever I May Roam – Metallica

My Iron Lung – Radiohead

Climbing Up The Walls – Radiohead

How To Disappear Completely – Radiohead

Meeting In The Aisle – Radiohead

Nothing Touches Me – Radiohead

Isolation Years – Opeth

Isolation – Joy Division

Downtown – Petula Clark

Is There Anybody Out There – Pink Floyd

Hey You – Pink Floyd

The Stand – Snuffy

It Can’t Rain All The Time – Jane Siberry

I Stay Away – Alice In Chains

Breath On A Window – Alice In Chains

Sickman – Alice in Chains

Citizen Erased – Muse

Forced In – Muse

Shrinking Universe – Muse

Isolation – John Lennon

Stay Away – Nirvana

Territorial Pissings – Nirvana

Out Of Time – Rolling Stones

Virus – Iron Maiden

Can I Play With Madness – Iron Maiden

Purgatory – Iron Maiden

I’m sure there’s plenty more there to be added, but I just went off the top of my head from some of my favourite artists.

Movies I’m Watching And Planning To Watch

I’m getting Disney+ for my Birthday in April, so I’m sure I’ll be diving into plenty of movies and Mandalorians there.

I’m re-watching (no idea why) the entire Friday The 13th franchise. They’re all terrible.

Cemetery Man

Midsommar

Repo The Genetic Opera

The Complex

See No Evil

Wanted Dead Or Alive

Escape From The Bronx

TV Shows

Medium

Messiah

Ash Vs Evil Dead

The Exorcist

Tokyo Vampire Hotel

Castlevania

The Man In The High Castle

Kingdom

Back Of The Net

The Good Place

Neighbours

Books

A Book Of Ghosts

Complete HP Lovecraft

Buffy Season 11 Comic

Wind Pinball

Commandant Of Auschwitz

Games

Outlast 2

Lets Go Eevee

Doom 64

Saint’s Row 3

Let me know how you all are coping with Quarantine wherever you are in the world, and what movies, music, and books you are getting through to keep you sane!

Reminder on blog links:

A-Z Reviews: This category is a single post with links to all my movie, music, and book reviews. It’s the best place to start and you can check it via THIS LINK. I try to update it regularly.

Amazon Vine: I’m a member of Amazon Vine, a program where Amazon’s best reviewers are provided with free products for reviewing purposes in order to drum up publicity before the product is released to the general public. You can find links to the Products I have received here.

Book Reviews: Something I don’t really do anymore, even though I still read plenty. I need to get back into this, but movies are so much easier to review. Maybe I’ll come up with a different format.

Blogging: A new category! This is where I’m going to put this exact post, and the others like it to follow.

Changing The Past: This category is where I go back through every Oscars since 1960 and pick my winners from almost every category. I pick my winners from the official choices, and then I add my own personal list of who I feel should have been nominated. It’s based on personal preference, but it’s also not based on any of the usual Academy political nonsense and I bypass most of their archaic rules. It’s not quite me just picking my favourite films, but it’s close.

DVD Reviews: I should probably just change this to Movie Reviews. It’s what you would expect – reviews of the movies I’ve watched. I’m not a big fan of reviewing every new film which comes out – there are a billion other blogs out there all doing the same thing. I don’t often watch new movies as they release, unless they’re streaming, so instead you’ll be getting reviews of those films a few years later, once I get around to them. Here you will find horror, actions, classics, foreign, indie, sci-fi, comedy, drama – everything. A word of warning – I frequently post reviews that I wrote almost twenty years ago when I didn’t have a clue – they’re crap, but I add them here in all of their badly written glory.

Essential Movies: I’ve only published an intro post for this category, but I have written some other posts for the future. I’m basically questioning what actually makes a film Essential, because it cannot be a definitive statement. What’s essential for you, may not be for me, so I’ve broken down the definition into a few generic user types, then gone through some lists of the best movies of each year to see which ones are essential for each viewer. It’s pretty boring, and I already regret starting it, but that’s me.

Foreign Cinema Introduction: This category hasn’t been published yet, but once again it exists and I’ve written a bunch of posts for the future. The idea came from my many years of hearing people I know IRL or on the internet dismissing anything not mass-produced by Hollywood. If you only watch movies made in the USA – you’re not a movie fan, it’s as simple as that. I follow a few Facebook fan pages and blogs on WordPress which completely dismiss foreign movies – it’s ridiculous as you are missing out on many of the best films ever made. More than that, you are missing out on films which I know for a fact you will adore. So, this is me breaking down all that bullshit about subtitles, about foreign stuff being boring and every other excuse you’ve ever heard, while giving some very basic thoughts and introductions of the various countries of the world from a film perspective.

Lists: Here I post lists – some with comments, some without. All sorts of lists – from monthly previews of the year’s upcoming movies, to my favourite movies by actor or director, to best horror anthologies, best Christmas songs and TV shows, best movies for Halloween, my favourite episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, my ranking of Bond movies, songs, and girls, my favourite albums by decade, my favourite songs by artist, bands I’ve seen live etc. I love lists.

Manic Street Preachers Song By Song: One of the first reasons I started this blog was to try to spread the Gospel of my favourite band, especially as they are not well known outside of Britain. Defo not in the US. Then I found out there were other blogs doing it too. Ah well. These are my thoughts on each song. Don’t know them? They are a Welsh rock band who have been around since the late 80s, early 90s. They are highly political and intelligent, on the left wing, and they are probably the finest lyricists in the world. Their main lyricist suffered from various addictions and mental health issues and disappeared in 1995 – although there have been sightings, nobody has ever confirmed they have seen him and no body has ever been found, though the band, fans, and family are still looking. After three albums with him, they suddenly became commercially successful after his disappearance. If you like rock music… if you like music in general, please give them a try.

Music Reviews: This is the same as movies, except for music. Reviews of albums I’ve always loved, as reviews of albums as I’m listening as a virgin. I take a look at the Top Ten UK Charts from a random month in each year and review each song, while giving my own alternative ten songs from the same year, I am reviewing albums that I’ve never heard by artists I am familiar with – filling the gaps in those discographies. I’m listening to spin-offs of my favourite bands, I’m reviewing the Disney soundtracks. I was a metal and grunge kid, but also had a love for the best in 80 pop when I was young, so I like to listen to anything though since around the mid-noughties chart music has gone from extremely bad to entirely worthless.

The Nightman Scoring System ©: This is something I truly love, but something which nobody really pays attention to. You’ll notice in my reviews I don’t give a score. I just talk about the thing I’m reviewing. Scores are arbitrary and when given, people jump to the score and form a conclusion and a bias. If they read the content of the review, there will be a better discussion. That made me think, in a very unprofessional, semi-scientific, ill-examined way, to come up with a fair, universal scoring system which tries to avoid personal and systematic bias as much as possible. If you look at sites like Rotten Tomatoes which are stupidly becoming reference points for quality or to convince you to watch something, or used by advertisers, it’s a completely flawed system. Anyone can post whatever they like, and drag down or push up an average. The same used to happen on IMDb. There are a lot of posts online recently about the disparity between Critical and Audience consensus on RT and it leads to more worthless arguments, because if there’s something the world needs more of these days, it’s people fighting online about pointless stuff.

I devised two scoring systems – one for movies and one for music. To use it, you have to follow the guidelines and be honest. If you’re not honest, it will be obvious, and your review won’t be valid. For both music and and movies, I break down the scoring into twenty different categories of equal weighting – out of five, for a total out of 100. Categories include acting, directing, sales; or for music – charts, influence, musical ability etc. Say you hate the Marvel movies or The Beatles. You can’t score them a 1 out of five in the Sales category because both of those were factually monster hits – they can really only be 5 out of five. In other words, some of what is opinion and bias is removed from the equation. In the same vein, the disparity between critics and audiences is reduced – typically you may think that a movie or music critic care more about how arty or original or influential something is, while the audience might care how many boobs are seen or how catchy the melody is. I’m making sweeping assumptions – but you get the idea – each category is equally weighted so that influence is only worth five points, chart performance is only worth five points, directing, advertising, whatever – each is five points. I’d love to see people use this, and I’d love to run an experiment where a group of people each use the system to score the same thing, and see how similar or different the results are. I’m positive the average would be a more true reflection than anything on RT or IMDB or anywhere else. The only issue with it is, it’s more suited to scoring once something has been out there for a while rather than a pre-release or first week review.

Nightman’s Favourite Films By Year: Self-explanatory. I list my favourite ten films from every year since 1950, with no comment. Then I give a list of my top films from each decade once I’ve done each year, but this time share some comments. There’s also some stats in there, such as how many films I picked which were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, which were top ten grossing movies etc.

Top 1000 Albums Of All Time: A journalist called Colin Larkin made several of those popular ‘Top 1000 Albums Ever’ books. I grabbed one of them, I removed the ones I had already heard, and in this series I go through the ones that I haven’t heard, give my virgin thoughts, and whether I think it deserves to be called one of the best ever. I want to sync up my Nightman Scoring System © with these. Just one word of warning – I don’t plan or put any thought into these ‘reviews’. I literally listen and type at the same time. Not the best way to give thoughts I know, but that’s the format.

The Shrine: People die. Famous people die. But they live on, in our hearts and minds and in the work they left behind. Here I offer the chance to remember and offer thanks.

The Spac Hole: Each Monday I post a random lyric from a random song. Every so often I write something which doesn’t fit in any other category. Usually it’s weird. That stuff all goes here. There are more semi-regular pieces like those posts where I use Google translate to change the lyrics of (s)hit songs or dreadful imaginings like what I would do if I owned my own Cinema.

The Spac Reviews: Carlos Nightman is my alter ego. Derek Carpet is his alter ego. He is an idiot. He likes movies. These are his reviews. They are…. different.

TV Reviews: I sometimes review TV too. I talk about my current shows and my all time favourites.

Unpublished Screenplays: Derek Carpet sometimes likes to pretend he’s a writer too. Here are some of his original works, based on other movies and TV shows.

Videogame Reviews: I do these sometimes too. Usually retro. Usually with a humourous bent.

Walk Of Fame: Hollywood has a Walk Of Fame. I have one too. Mine’s better, except I don’t update it anymore. Not only do my inductees get a star, but they get a statue too! And, in each post one lucky soul gets a special building concerning their work or life dedicated to them!

Tell it like it is!

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