Beach Shadow – Birthday #2 Celebrating Rewatching: Cobra, Being Evel, Heavy Metal

On our birthday it’s one day we should get to do whatever we want (within reason, of course) every year. Me? I like rewatching movies.

Before getting to what I’m rewatching for this birthday (which isn’t my second ever birthday, of course, but it does have a “2” in it, anyway lol), I learned on Sunday that another Libra, Gwyneth Paltrow shared a pic in her birthday suit on Instagram.

Sorry, my shadowy beach pic is going to have to do so as not to scare off readers. My pic wasn’t taken on my birthday either, but rather from our most recent Lincoln City, Oregon beach trip. Took some other pictures of the ocean tide hitting rocks.

Lincoln City, Oregon – near the Chinook Winds Casino

I’ve had this killer anthology story series idea in my head for years involving the ocean — something I haven’t seen done before — maybe before I exit this plane of existence, I’ll write it down. Unless some other creative type thinks of it first 😉

Survivor has a song called “Oceans’ that I took a few minutes and re-listened to. It’s on Spotify, Youtube, etc. Look it up and give it a listen. How that song never became a hit like “High on You” is a shame, but Survivor had pretty much come and gone with the Rocky movies being their high point. Fantastic lyrics, epic singing from Jimi Jamion (R.I.P).

Oceans surround us
stand and watch as they disappear
to challenge the rising tide
or drown in a sea of tears

lyrics from “Oceans” by Survivor album When Seconds Count

Anyway, movies. That’s what we’re here for, right? What am I rewatching on my birthday?

Some movies I enjoy rewatching are not amazing cinematic achievements, some aren’t even reviewed highly by me, but all chosen to rewatch have a special place in my heart. They bring back fond memories and, in the end, what else matters?

Did this last year, in case you want to catch the inaugural episode here: 3 Movies Reviews For My Birthday: Ready Player One, JFK, Westworld

Cobra ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ (1986) – owned digitally

There’s something catchy about this 80s movie that was universally panned on release. Maybe it’s Stallone starring opposite a jean clad Bridget Nielson, or driving around in the 1950 Mercury running down scumbags, or maybe it’s that toothpick in the side of his mouth. Some great lines like, “You’re the disease, I’m the cure.”

Psycho grocery thug: “I’ve got a bomb! I’m going to blow this place up!”
Cobra, “Go ahead, I don’t shop here.”

Am not saying this is some great cinematic achievement, but it’s pure 80s cheese and I love it. Will there ever be a Cobra sequel? Time has been kind, and there have been calls for a sequel from fans, so never know.

Let’s not forget Stallone’s love for Robert Tepper music and the title song, “Angel of the City”

Tepper’s music most famously was used in Rocky IV with “No Easy Way Out”
see: Rocky 4 Director’s Cut Will Not Have Paulie’s Funky Robot

In the 80s Stallone favored the music of Survivor and Robert Tepper in several films.

Being Evel ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – available on Peacock and Roku channel as of this writing

As far as badass daredevils go, Evel Knievel is the one who started it all. He survived some epic crashes like when he failed to clear the Caesar’s Palace fountains. Just rewatching that footage is epic.

Johnny Knoxville, “It’s a crazy ass story. It’s just fast, faster and disaster.”

The story is tragic and will make you actually dislike Evel Knievel and yet you’ll be fascinated by his epic rise and fall, as well as how he defied death with some truly crazy stunts.

Heavy Metal ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – owned digitally

This was the first adult animated movie I remember seeing. 1981, the start of the 80s, too, based on a magazine that still exists today. The bizarre opening scene of a car that comes out of the bottom of a spaceship and descends to earth, with an astronaut delivering a glowing green orb of horror, the loc-nar to earth.

Gaze upon the loc-nar and … be sorry forever

A series of stories, some are very good, but the loc-nar runs through all of them. I hadn’t seen this movie in 35+ years until last year when Harley Quinn reminded me of the world of adult animated films. I had to track this down and rewatch and it’s a perfect rewatch for this special day.

An awesome collection of hard rocking tunes … check this out for the music, too!

As for the music. 80s hard rock fans will be challenged to find any other animated film with a soundtrack as good. My favorite track is probably Blue Oyster Cult’s “Veteran of the Psychic Wars” That is featured in the very first story. Took me down an entire BOC trek musically.

9/8/2020 this site turned 1 year old

This website was started on 9/8/2019

Our power went down locally on Monday at 8pm, due to some extreme wind, fires, downed trees and power lines. It just came back up this afternoon, so we’re trying to get back on track with what’s happening in the movie world.

We missed our own birthday celebration yesterday, so cutting the cake a day late.

For those who don’t care about website birthdays, that’s what the rest of this post deals with, so you can safely skip from here out.

If, however, you’ve been thinking about starting your own movie review site, we have some data for you that might serve as a benchmark or goal comparison sheet so you can see how much better your site can perform than ours 😉

As of yesterday these are the stats:

  • 666 movies reviewed through 9/8, although 2 haven’t been posted as of this writing, they have been watched and reviewed and will show over at Letterboxed soon. An oddly satanic number, yes, but entirely coincidental. We watch and review at least one movie every day currently
  • 126 TV series episodes reviewed, although we are primarily a movie review site, we enjoy covering some TV series
  • 511 subscribers (followers as they’re listed) which is average growth of 42+ subscribers per month (+1200 followers at Letterboxd)
  • 930 posts published, an average of 78 new posts per month. We try to make at least 2 new posts every day. Our biggest post day was 5 posts (a few times), our smallest was 1 (also a few times). We’ve posted every single day at least one new post since this site started.
  • 2148 reading sources subscribed to
  • 1020 reader comments, average of 85 per month (THANK YOU!!!)

Probably our biggest area of improvement needed involves our “Just left the theater” video blog at YouTube. The production values are non-existent, just after leaving the theater recording on a camera phone and uploaded unedited to YouTube. The finished product could definitely be improved, editing the videos and such, but that requires energy and time neither of us have for that project. We both hold regular 40+ hour unrelated jobs.

Watching movies for us is something we enjoy and this is our place to keep notes on pretty much everything we’ve watched. Am not sure many people (few, it seems lol) like or even want to watch our supplemental videos, but we figure it accurately captures our raw, unfiltered feelings after leaving the theater which is something worthwhile to us. Honestly, there is a germ of a cool idea there, but needs more refinement.

In retrospect, overall, it’s been a good, active year and the results have exceeded our expectation and that is in part to readers.

The only major change we’ve made recently that will effect year #2 is that we’re now writing full text non-spoiler reviews of movies watched inside theaters and posting here first. We still post shorter form (no spoiler) reviews to Letterboxd. We have always posted TV Series reviews only here on the site.

We still have no ads on the site except for the required WordPress text ad in the footer. We have no plans at this time in the immediate future anyway to add any paid advertisements, affiliate links, popups, popunders, etc. We could monetize the site in its present form and earn back the hosting and domain costs, but would rather continue to focus on the posted content than defraying costs.

What are those costs? Not too much, fortunately.

The domain costs us $18/year and the hosting costs are $96/year (business account). We’ve used 16% of the allowed image hosting space in the first year, so at this rate in 6-7 years we’ll need to expand this image space hosting or use somewhere else to include hosted images.

As for moviegoer-related expenses? We kept track of those last year, but pretty much stopped (it can be averaged out, see below). We pay $44/month for the Regal Unlimited plan which cuts down our ticket cost, but we to pay extra for “convenience fees” when we use the app to order tickets, also it costs more for formats other than 2D. IMAX costs $6.50 each. So we still pay $13 to see any IMAX movie, even though we have “free” tickets. The concessions usually cost us around $150/month and then there’s the fuel cost to drive to the theater and back. Right now we’re going 30 miles each way to the one an only theater and our car gets like 25 mpg. So it’s costing around $5 in travel expenses for each movie, unless we catch a double or triple-feature. So figure in conservatively $300/month for our moviegoer expenses, or $3,600/year on top of the site hosting.

I think this is the primary reason people don’t go to more movies in the theater: the cost. It might be other reasons right now, but in general, cost has to be at/near the top. In these times especially, people don’t have an extra $300/month+ to watch a bunch of movies. We’re fortunate that we’re nearing our senior years and our children are grown up, our bills are small and we budget responsibly. We could save even more in our retirement, I suppose, instead of going to as many movies, but where’s the fun in that?

That’s enough stats and site-related data for now. Gives us a template for birthday #2, 3 and so on to be able to explore growth from year to year (or a decline, if we aren’t as active).

See you then, good health and interest for all of us willing!

3 Movies Reviews For My Birthday: Ready Player One, JFK, Westworld

Ready Player One (2018) – inside the OASIS

Today, September 29, is my birthday. A Libra, yes, you know all about those. Over 50, so clearly on the downward slide toward my grave, but hey, I get to do what I want this day and taking the time to rewatch films and review some films I have enjoyed over the years. Some of these I have owned or own now on DVD, Blu-ray or on streaming channels like Amazon Prime or VUDU.

Ready Player One ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – This movie based on the bestselling book by Edward Cline and directed by Steven Spielberg is a collection of things I enjoy: video games, virtual reality, a warped future reality (think a bit of Back To The Future 2) and a smorgasbord of pop culture references from video games (Atari 2600, yay!) and the 80s (one of my favorite eras!). Own this on VUDU currently and have watched a dozen times at least. Added a review today, just click the title, you know the drill. Oh, and did I mention it starts out with the killer Van Halen 1984 song, “Jump” Love it!

Facebook is launching Horizon, a VR-world that is like Ready Player One’s OASIS — in closed beta right now

JFK ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – It may sound odd to be a fan of movies and documentaries around the JFK assassination but I am. I know this Oliver Stone directed movie is long and widely debated as conspiracy fodder and this might make me seem a bit tinfoil hat, but no, no, no I will never believe that a lone shooter named Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy from the school book depository that fateful day in 1963. And speaking of 1963, I loved the alternate reality/horror 11/22/63 novel by Stephen King. No time to re-read that today, but I own that as well. This one is owned on VUDU too.

Westworld ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Michael Crichton is best known for Jurassic Park and the TV ER, but this, to me, is his best film about an amusement park of human-realistic robots that are there to “satisfy your every whim.” Of course not everything goes as planned. A theme Crichton would return to with much greater financial success with dinosaurs, but this was the first.. Yul Bryner as the gunslinger is legendary when he says in that slow, creepy voice, “Draw.” Majel Barrett/Roddenberry, the queen of Star Trek as a madam of the bordello? Oh, this is a good one! Owned on Amazon Prime.

Probably no cake or candles for me today, but plenty of fun watching movies!