Tag Archive: shelter at home 2020


I was thinking about re-publishing a list of war movie recommendations in November for Veteran’s Day, recommendations provided by my father, Milton L. Bunce, Jr., movies that I recommended here at borg years ago.  He passed away Saturday at the age of 79, and as a tribute to him I thought I’d go ahead and share again now two sets of recommendations of movies he enjoyed, which also influenced me and my movie preferences over the years.  These are 20 films, one list of classic war movies that he thought reflected his own experiences in the U.S. Navy, and another, showing the preferences of a kid growing up during World War II at the local movie house.  My father went to the movie theater every Saturday with his sister, and spent the day enjoying many of these great films on the big screen.  If you have more time at home as many do this summer, what better opportunity to catch a classic you may have overlooked?

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Review by C.J. Bunce

The price of knowledge is often great and grim.  If you like your historical biopics about scientific discoveries of the inspiring and motivational variety, Amazon Studios and Studiocanal’s latest film Radioactive, a barely recognizable adaptation of the Lauren Redniss graphic novel, RadioactiveMarie & Pierre CurieA Tale of Love and Fallout, may not be for you.  Yet exceptional performances by Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl, Jack Reacher, Die Another Day) as Maria Skłodowska aka Madame Marie Curie and Anya Taylor-Joy (Emma, Split, The New Mutants) as her daughter Iréne, and a dearth of new films this summer, will likely make this 2018 production worth your time.  It arrived in the U.S. for the first time this week streaming on Amazon Prime.

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The most eagerly awaited movie in years received some nice treatment this week as part of San Diego Comic-Con@Home.  We’ve previewed and re-previewed new trailers for The New Mutants probably more than any other movie in our past decade of coverage here at borg (just type The New Mutants in the search box to the right and you’ll see it all).  The new and improved, post-merger 20th Century Studios even nicely mocks the delayed release dates in its Comic-Con@Home panel footage below, which features the director, cast members, and the legendary comic artist most closely aligned with The New Mutants by way of his 1980s artwork, Bill Sienkiewicz.  It also previews the entire opening scene and a trailer with new content from the film.  All in all, some good stuff for a very patient fanbase for a film made in the summer of 2017.

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In a normal year for San Diego Comic-Con, we at borg would be taking photos and checking out the new products, panels, and movie trailers, and trying to share as many as possible.  But first we’d go through the badge line and get our annual, over-sized haul bag, which we’d probably keep folded up anyway because it makes it difficult to move around.  But with that bag is the annual “Comic-Con book,” which is not a comic book, but an official book about half of a medium-sized city telephone directory (what’s a telephone directory?).  The book would be full of discussions about anniversaries of comic and pop culture events and salutes to individuals who have gained some portion of iconic status for fanboys and fangirls everywhere.  But you never read this during con week.  Why?  You’re too busy trying to cram in all you can before the show is over.  Sometimes you don’t even find this book until two months after you get back home after the con and are revisiting your swag.  This year, the SDCC staff has made it possible for everyone to download a copy of that book.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

For all the complex technology inside the Chain-Program Robot, a fully-functional, all-in-one model robotics kit, Tamiya, Japan’s premiere modelmaker, has made a surprisingly straight-forward, project to build in a day or less for anyone looking for a great hobby project right now.  A motorized robot that resembles Number Five from the 1980s comedy classic starring Ally Sheedy and Steve Guttenberg, Short Circuit (“Number Five is alive!”), that is actually programmable, in a kit that includes everything you need to build and operate it, except a hobby knife, screwdriver, and double-A battery?  Thanks to Plaza Japan, the world’s best online store for authentic Japanese action figures, model kits, toys and puzzles, we gave the Chain-Program Robot a try, and it is every bit as good–and fun–as it sounds.  Take a look at a detailed rundown of my experience with the build process, and a video of the robot in action, below.

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Go back in time and ask anyone and nobody would believe you.  Opening day for Major League Baseball 2020 is this Thursday, July 23, and no fans are invited.  If you could only go back in time and make a few wagers about the impossible things that happened this year, you’d be rolling in dough.  If you’re like me, you’ve been getting your baseball fix via ESPN’s coverage of social-distance baseball with the Korean Baseball Organization aka KBO professional games.  An abundance of outfield hitting and less homeruns make the game more exciting than you might think.  I’ve gotten to love cheering on the Doosan Bears, which have had a great season, despite quiet bleachers.  Will the salary season pay cut be reflected in the excitement on the field in the U.S.?  Maybe it’s just time to swap out the commentators, but until that happens we have 60 games for your favorite teams to engage in thanks to the pandemic (or thanks to the federal government failure to adequately address the virus, to be more accurate).  That also means subscribers to T-Mobile have the opportunity to get free MLB.tv and watch this season from home.  Plus subscribers to another phone provider can get MLB.tv this year for the first time.

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In-person cancellations have not kept every event this summer from canceling entirely.  One of those is typically one of the summer’s biggest events, San Diego Comic-Con.  Events for SDCC 2020 are proceeding ahead beginning Wednesday, but this time providing an opportunity for fans of all things pop culture a chance to sit through the kinds of panels you might see were you to attend in person in any regular year–without standing overnight in lines.  You can even grab a lanyard off the rack, print your own badge (for you and your pets), cosplay with your family, and load the panels up on as big of a screen as you have.  It’s 350 panels over five days, beginning Wednesday, July 22, and wrapping up Sunday, July 26.  Check out all our suggestions for building your own fun convention week experience below.

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Why do you wear a mask?

I think they are just terribly comfortable.  I think everyone will be wearing them in the future.

Since–like everyone else–actors are unable to do their jobs until the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic has passed, many have offered up some of their time over the past 120 to 150 days to provide fans with extra interviews, table reads (like the Community table read we discussed here at borg), and comic-cons at home, creating some content for the fan base we wouldn’t have otherwise had access to without this strange new normal of sheltering at home, social distancing, and masks.  If you don’t subscribe to or know what Quibi is, you may have missed the latest–an ensemble of actors from popular to more obscure re-enacting scenes from Rob Reiner’s fan-favorite fantasy, comedy, and romance, The Princess Bride.

The style is all intentionally low budget–think of the kind of backyard films you might have made as a kid, and in fact, the film is called Home Movie: The Princess Bride But it’s great fun, all filmed with quarantine safety rules in place (those filming together were already living together), and the kind of thing any classic film fan base would be overjoyed to see created.  The best part is learning who had actual historical costumes in their closet to work with (Mad Men man Jon Hamm had a Renaissance shirt in his closet, as did comedic actors Neil Patrick Harris and David Spade, and Rogue One’s Diego Luna), those who didn’t, and who might be better actors than you’ve given them credit for.

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How did this become horror update week?

Fans of the Friday the 13th series will want to take note of the most comprehensive set of franchise films and features yet available.  All twelve films from the series–beginning with the 1980 classic through the 2009 reboot and including, for fans of all things borg, the cyborg Jason Voorhees in Jason X–are all collected on 16 Blu-rays in the Friday the 13th Collection–Deluxe Edition arriving before Halloween. The collection is housed in a “rigid slipcase” and will be accompanied by an exclusive, limited edition 36″ x 24″ lithograph featuring new artwork from artist Devon Whitehead, and an exclusive, limited edition 24″ x 36″ Friday The 13th 40th Anniversary poster featuring new artwork from artist Joel Robinson (both shipped rolled, not folded).  Only launching this past weekend, the lithograph/poster set was first limited to 1,313 units, which has now been expanded to 7,000 units (available via Shout! Factory website sales only).  The appeal for fans who have purchased prior versions is in the extras: All of the previously released extras are included plus all-new bonus materials, including new audio commentaries with cast and crew.

Check out all the details and how to get your hands on this set below.

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We all know what that jack-o-lantern feels like.  We learned this past week the latest installment in the original slasher movie series is ready to go.  But the sequel and second part of the most recent Halloween trilogy, Halloween Kills, is being delayed a year until October 2021, so the studio released a teaser (below) as a sort of consolation prize.  The excuse for the delay is that the filmmakers don’t want audiences to have a “compromised theatrical experience.”  So how about showing it through all the available streaming channels this Halloween?  Is holding back a movie that is ready for release because of the COVID-19 pandemic really the best financial move they can come up with?  It can’t be.  With not just the United States but a fair chunk of the movie studios’ international market at home, it’s inconceivable that the studios aren’t working out deals to get new movies in front of home audiences now, audiences who are starving for new movie content.

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