Instead of Overly Long Director’s Cuts, What About The Miniseries Route Instead?

Suicide Squad ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Just thinking aloud here, but apparently the long anticipated Snyder cut will be 4+ hours. That’s way too long for a movie, even a director’s cut. Perhaps, instead, the directors should take the miniseries route. Cut up their 4+ hours into 30 minute episodes.

Relax, I’m not talking about going the overly dramatic Quibi route making 10 minute scenes into episodes and be viewable only on cell phones. Rather, I’m talking the Cobra Kai series format, which essentially involves ten 25-30+ minute episodes. 300 minutes = 5 hours. Very digestible in this format.

Jared Leto, joker from Suicide Squad is one of many lobbying for The Ayer Cut, which is another extended cut of the original film that some fans would like to see. This cut isn’t as popular as the Snyder cut, but it’s getting some attention, particularly from Leto who says there is a lot more to be seen of his Joker than what made it into the theatrical cut of the movie.

While on Variety’s Award Circuit Podcast, Jared Leto showed some empathy for the filmmakers involved in studio films as massive as Suicide Squad. He expressed an understanding of the complications comic book films can deal with and shared his support for David Ayer having another shot at showing all that he had planned for the project. There are no plans in place right now concerning the Ayer Cut, but the director has been vocal about how his vision for the film was “ripped out” due to studio meddling following negative reactions to BvS.

Suicide Squad’s Jared Leto Gives His Thoughts On Calls To Release The Ayer Cut – CINEMABLEND

I’m with many others that didn’t think the theatrical cut of Suicide Squad was very good, but adding 2+ more hours of Jared Leto’s Joker isn’t likely to make me a huge fan of the movie. Then again, what if this extended cut was a miniseries? Maybe that format would work better for the extended version.

As for more Joker, let’s not forget that Joaquin Phoenix was reportedly offered a bunch of cash to play Joker in two more movies (see: Should any movie star be paid $50 million for 2-picture sequel deal in current movie era? Case in point: Joaquin Phoenix). No update found on that front.

There is one thing I’d like to see more of in Suicide Squad and that’s Harley Quinn. Chances are if a lot more scenes with Joker exist then more of Margot Robbie as Quinn exist. I’m interested in seeing her interaction with her prankster, abusive ex-boyfriend, Joker. Maybe she brains him with her club in one of them.

How long should movies be? Do you have a length that is too long? 4+ hours for me doesn’t sound any more like a movie. I know there have been some 3+ hours movies that are considered classics and iconic, but these movies are long, long watches and tend to feel like two movies in one.

Stevie Nicks signs with studio to create “Rhiannon” TV miniseries including 10 unpublished songs

“Rhinanno” featured on this
album with Fleetwood Mac

While a movie about Fleetwood Mac’s seemingly never ending drama seems destined to be created someday, in the meantime, Stevie Nicks has signed up with a studio to make something more out of her song, “Rhiannon” which was played in her early Buckingham Nicks days and recorded on the Mac album before Rumors.

If you scour old YouTube concert clips you can often hear Nicks introduce the song by saying, “This is a song about an old Welsh witch.”

There is a certain witchyness to the song, complete with Lindsey Buckingham’s signature fingerpicking pulling off that “doo-doo-doo, do-do-do” riff.

Have always loved the song “Rhiannon”, it’s probably Nicks’ best song with Fleetwood Mac, although that can easily be argued since it wasn’t even a track on their bestselling album Rumors.

This live performance of the song is one of the most epic live female rock performances ever recorded. Whatever force was inside Stevie Nicks that night, audiences can feel it all these years later. Yeah, cocaine magic might have played a part, but I’d like to think it’s more than drugs for this kind of performance.

When she wrote the song “Rhiannon” in 1973, she had little knowledge of the folklore behind the name. But five years later, a fan sent her four paperback novels in a Manila envelope — author Evangeline Walton’s adaptation of the ancient British Mabinogion. Nicks was so transfixed by the literature that she eventually bought the rights to Walton’s work in the hopes of bringing the epic to the big screen. Because of the scope of the story, it was later decided that the movie should be a television miniseries, and earlier this year Nicks says she finally signed a deal with a studio to make it. She has 10 songs that she’s never released, still on cassette tapes in a suitcase, set aside specifically for the project.

Stevie Nicks: Fleetwood Mac, Lindsey drama and Harry Styles – Los Angeles Times

The article switches back and forth from the miniseries project to Stevie’s surprise that fans are still wanting to know what happened with Lindsey Buckingham. He’s more on their minds than the history of the “Welsh witch” Rhiannon.

Was a smirk from Lindsey worth booting him from the band … seriously?

Yes, enquiring minds need to know, Stevie, when are you, Mick and company going to get Lindsey Buckingham back in the band? Doesn’t matter if it’s been a couple years, it was a bush league move to kick him out of the band.

Harmless Dave breaks down the reason behind the split — the infamous smirk!

History reminds that Nicks would never have gotten into the band without Buckingham saying the duo were a package deal when they wanted him to be their guitarist in the mid 70s. Some 40+ years later, it’s hard to imagine how his attitude and unwillingness, allegedly, to play another group of concerts would lead to his being removed. The fact that they added two musicians — good ones, yes (Neal Finn and Mike Campbell) — to replace him says something about just how valuable he was to the group.

TV REVIEW: McMillion$ ⭐️⭐️½ – All 6 Episodes Rated and Reviewed

McMillion$ is an HBO docuseries (minseries + documentary) detailing the scam surrounding various McDonald’s games, available for streaming on HBO Max, all six episodes, rated and reviewed in this post.

“Episode 1” ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 
Air date: February 3, 2020

The FBI receives a tip that the top winners in McDonald’s games are rigged, with the winners going to relatives. A newer agent goes undercover with a fake camera crew to expose the identity of “Uncle Jerry”

This is a compelling opening episode that tells a story based on various interviews. Viewers don’t know who is behind the con game, but it becomes increasingly apparent that the games are being rigged somehow.

We are led to the security firm, Simon Marketing, that prints the game pieces.

“Episode 2” ⭐️⭐️⭐️
February 10, 2020

Following the trail of the head of security at the Simon Marketing, Jerry Jacobson and his web of connections. At first we are led to believe “Uncle Jerry” is Jerry Jacobson, but we’re also introduced to a crime family leader named Jerry Columbo. It turns out Columbo would buy the winning tickets from Jacobson and then distribute them to winners for a cut.

At the end of the episode we learn the identity of “Uncle Jerry.”

This episode didn’t have as much punch as the first, but was still interesting and entertaining.

“Episode 3” ⭐️⭐️
February 17, 2020

Digs into the world of Jerry Columbo, courtesy of his brother being interviewed. Columbo was one of Jerry Jacobson’s connections that helped find winners for the big tickets. Columbo was involved with various unsavory criminal entities.

This episode seemed to get a little too far away from the McDonald’s game ticket scam and more into Columbo’s family and other people he associated with (there were multiple people, as we learn in the next episode), but it was a little dry and didn’t seem nearly as focused or important as the first two episodes.

“Episode 4” ⭐️
February 24, 2020

Jerry Columbo is involved in a car accident and dies. His house is looted, including some McDonald’s big ticket winners, but we don’t ever find out if those tickets were claimed as part of it … which leaves the viewer wondering what the purpose of telling this part of the story was.

We’re then introduced to AJ, an ex-con who is involved in distributing the winning tickets after Jerry Columbo passed away.

Another episode that was too padded. We could have gotten the pertinent information to the scam in episode 3 and 4 in 10 minutes instead of two hours. Too much padding, losing interest fast, get back to the game scam, please!

“Episode 5” ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 
March 2, 2020

Jerry Jacobson’s son is profiled at the beginning as going against his father’s wishes to involve himself with the film, but then he disappears into the background (until the episode ending) and the focus becomes the FBI taking down and arresting all the people involved in the conspiracy to defraud McDonald’s game.

This episode brings back the interest level that was fading into too much semi-related information about the people involved. Now, it’s time to arrest the people, and all of them are arrested without conflict.

“Episode 6” ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 
March 9. 2020

Trial for the accused. We also learn how Jerry Jacobson pulled off the scheme of obtaining the winning tickets from a locked briefcase handcuffed to his arm and requiring multiple combinations. It’s not as ingenious a flaw in the security procedure as you might expect, but you can watch and learn.

Typically, white collar crimes don’t carry heavy sentences. The victims of this $20 million McDonald’s game scam are all the customers of McDonald’s who thought they were playing a legitimate game for 10+ years and the employees of the printing company that lost their jobs because of the lost business.

In the closing credits, we learn that McDonald’s gave away $25 million to randomly selected customers. While I haven’t paid that much attention, I think these games are still happening in McDonald’s, obviously now with even more heightened security in place. Same lousy odds of winning, however.


Ultimately, this is a story of one man’s scam impacting many other people and the FBI investigation that exposed the crime. A bit on the depressing side, but then it reminded me why I never got into the McDonald’s Monopoly game anyway. Not because I suspected there was this high level scam in place, but because I knew the odds of winning the big prizes were ridiculously low. I don’t play the state lotteries very often either. We do the scratch cards once in awhile and yes we do gamble in casinos. Much better odds on any game being played inside there.

Still, we realize gambling is a loser’s game. You are statistically and predictably going to lose. Slot machines are regulated to payback a percentage above 90% in most casinos and even if you did that on every machine, every time — which you wouldn’t — you’d systematically lose 10 cents or so on each dollar. Who does that? The answer is people do it for the entertainment value and the chance at the really, really big jackpot. Yeah, those odds are terrible, too, but there are worse things one can spend his/her entertainment money on.

Did/do you play these McDonald’s games?

This started out strong, but never really has the steam through the other five episodes as of the first. It ends wrapping up many of the loose ends, but not all of them. They just took way too long to tell this story. It should have been a two-parter. Heck, this could make an entertaining movie. There isn’t enough meat on the bones for a six-part, six hour docuseries.

Overall series rating: ⭐️⭐️½