Musings & Thoughts for Wednesday, October 5, 2022, or: Amazon Delivers!


A view from the front porch. You can barely see it, but the neighbors across the street placed debris from Hurricane Ian by the curb in front of their house. (Photo by the author)

Well, my Amazon package with Ken Burns: The U.S. and the Holocaust, Star Trek: Picard – Season Two, and my Star Wars The Black Series Figrin D’an collectible action figure arrived yesterday at 5:06 PM; I found it set on the kitchenette table, placed there, I assume, by the Caregiver before she went to spend the night at her new boyfriend’s house. I immediately opened the box, removed its contents, then took the empty shipping package to the recycling bin.

My new Star Wars The Black Series: Figrin D’an six-inch scale action figure. (Photo by the author)

I placed – temporarily, anyway – my Figrin D’an figure on a bookshelf that used to be in my previous and more spacious room here but is now parked in the family room/kitchenette area. I would prefer to have the new Cantina Band (which, in-universe, is known as Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes) in my room, and as soon as I find a spot for it, I’ll bring it in here.

Like most of the Hasbro Star Wars The Black Series six-inch figures sold since the summer of 2020, Figrin D’an comes in an oddly-shaped box with the traditional short bio blurb, grayscale portrait, and Star Wars The Black Series indicia, as well as a tagline on the front panel that says which film – Star Wars: A New Hope in this case – the character appears in.

I found out, much to my chagrin, that Hasbro Pulse has also released a multi-figure set of the entire Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes (Cantina Band), but I doubt that I will buy it. The Star Wars The Black Series Figrin D’an cost me $26.32 ($24.48 for the figure, the rest was Florida sales taxes), so I imagine that the whole band would cost me over $150.00 before sales taxes are included. I’d love to have the set, of course, but unless I get it as a gift, I will just have to settle for the leader of the Modal Nodes.

As for the other items in the box:

(C) 2022 CBS Studios, CBS Blu-ray & Paramount Home Media Distribution

I watched the first three episodes of Star Trek: Picard – Season Two (The Star Gazer, Penance, and Assimilation) after dinner, and I was impressed. Not only is the writing in this sequel to Star Trek: The Next Generation good, but the premise (which involves an encounter with Q, time travel, and the Borg) is – so far, anyway – also interesting and relevant to the series that it is a summation of.

Picard is intended to explore what happens at the end of a legendary Starfleet admiral’s life, and this season is the second act of a three-act play, since the series was conceived at the start as a three-season show, no doubt in part because its lead actor, Sir Patrick Stewart, is 82 (he was born around the time the Battle of Britain began). I enjoyed the first three episodes of the 10-part series, which originally streamed on Paramount+ (formerly CBS All-Access) earlier this year, and I was surprised to see that Assimilation was directed by actor Lea Thompson of Back to the Future and Red Dawn fame.

(C) PBS & Florentine Films

As for Ken Burns: The U.S. and the Holocaust, I am glad that PBS released this on Blu-ray. I missed the three-part documentary when it was on broadcast TV last month, and although I can probably stream it on the PBS app, I prefer Blu-ray because that medium includes subtitles, whereas the streaming service does not.

What I am not thrilled with is that the multi-disc case that the Blu-rays come in is one of those “flapper” type things where one disc is in a compartment on the inside of the reverse cover, while the first two discs are stored on one of those round disc-holding “platter” with pegs that fit into that hole in the middle of the discs and are designed to keep the Blu-ray discs (BDs) secured in the case until needed.

Thing is, though, that the stem that connects the “flapper” to the spine of the blue plastic case is delicate and can break easily even if you handle the packaging with the utmost of care. And this is exactly what happened last night when I tried to take Disc One out of the case: the bottom tab that holds that stem secure while allowing you to flip the two-disc flapper broke. I don’t know why; I did not use excessive force whilst trying to get to that first disc. I handled that case and the discs as carefully as I could. Still, I saw a sliver of blue plastic at the bottom of the gripping mechanism had broken off, so now I have to move my discs from their original packaging to one of those cases used when you want to take your CDs, DVDs, or Blu-rays on a trip but don’t want to risk losing their original cases.

I have not watched The Golden Door (Beginnings – 1938) yet, but I will do that as soon as I wrap this post up. I have been a fan of Ken Burns and his style of documentaries since I watched The Civil War when I lived in Miami back in 1990, and even though in no way am I a Burns “completist,” I have most of his long-form series on DVD and Blu-ray.

Photo by u0415u043au0430u0442u0435u0440u0438u043du0430 on Pexels.com

I don’t have much to add, Dear Reader. It’s not like I have a posse of friends to hang out with here in the Tampa Bay area, and I am not having sex with anyone, so most of my life consists of…existing, writing, and collecting stuff that I may or may not need. I get a little joy out of life when I game – it helps keep depression to a tolerable level – or get a new book, movie, music album, or Star Wars collectible.

I need to wrap this up so I can go watch the first part of The U.S. and the Holocaust, and this is where we part company. Until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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