I Resolutely Resolve Not To Make Resolutions

Hello, again, everyone.

Mikeylito here.

A New Year is often an excellent time to take stock, see where you’ve been, and decide where you’re going. I’m no different. So, as 2023 approached, I logged into YouTube Studio and looked at what I’d been up to. I’ll violate a rule here. You can tune out now if you’re not interested in a retrospective. Please LIKE, SUBSCRIBE, and SHARE this podcast. More timely episodes will be coming your way.

For those sticking around, here is some brief retrospection.

One year ago, I began this podcast. I knew that I was better at producing thought when writing. Once my thoughts are written, it’s easier for me to dispense them in spoken words instead of creating a video. I’m OK producing other peoples’ video content, but I am somewhat of a disaster at producing video content featuring me. For whatever reason, I become tongue-tied. I can’t think and talk extemporaneously, even though it’s something almost all of us do daily.

Anyway, the plan was to produce an audio podcast where I thought I would be more comfortable. So, I began with a video idea that I turned into the first episode of this podcast, centered around my surviving on this planet for 25,000 days. I recorded the episode, posted it, and never looked back. I got all discombobulated setting up the distribution of the podcast. Once I get frustrated, I quickly give up and move on.

Likewise, it was late when I started the YouTube channel in 2021. Many folks started streaming in 2020 at the height of the pandemic. I spent 2020 producing a friend’s video series and got a lot of positive feedback. People told the host that the series looked like a professionally produced show. Boy, did THAT stroke my ego!

Meanwhile, I didn’t know what to focus my channel on; so I did what I typically do. I hung out and participated in other people’s channels. Even though I wanted to stream, I didn’t have the gumption or the finances to do it. I procrastinated. I spent time researching my brand. I wanted it to be uniform across all social media platforms. I settled on MikeylitoLIVE, which was available just about everywhere.

24 August 2021: I finally decided to start streaming and produced my first live stream. I did a 30-second blurb in the afternoon to promote the show named MikeylitoLIVE After Midnight. I chose that daypart because I had been making occasional post-midnight appearances on another channel and because it was a quiet time in my residence. There’s not a lot of activity here after midnight; also, not a lot of questions from my big brother about who I was talking to on the computer.

I stole an episode title from Aaron Sorkin, as it had been a really crazy day. Still in the middle of the pandemic, I had to go to the medical lab to have blood drawn for one of my cadre of doctors. I walked into the lab, which had taken all the standard precautions. Yet, there were still people inside, not wearing masks, coughing, and touching everything in sight. After I finished there, I caught a bus to travel to my local movie theatre. Again, despite signs on both doors of the bus, one guy still refused to put on a mask despite the driver asking him to wear one.

I’m a Regal Cinemas Unlimited member. For approximately $24/month, Regal Unlimited will allow you to pre-book three showings of any movie playing at any Regal theatre across the United States. Of course, there are a few restrictions. The movie show times can’t overlap, and it has to be you sitting in the theatre. Those are reasonable restrictions. One of the perks of being an Unlimited member is getting a free bucket of popcorn and a large fountain drink for your birthday. These perks expire after 90 days. Now, you can also purchase concession discounts with your Club points, and they also have various expiration dates.

The plan was to see Free Guy, a film Ryan Reynolds did with Disney’s new acquisition, 20th Century Pictures. I wasn’t particularly in the mood for a big concession fest; so, I wandered to the concession stand to get a small free popcorn I had purchased with Club Points. That perk expired in two days. Yet, the cashier rang up, or so I thought, the free popcorn bucket perk, which expired in 88 days. When I mentioned that to the cashier, he said he didn’t have an option. The perk taken was programmed into Regal’s system. I asked for a manager. When the manager came over, he stated he could do nothing. So, I canceled the entire order and just went to watch the movie.

One of the things I learned while producing other people’s streams is that preparation is critical. You should always prepare what you want to talk about. When you have guests, you should always prepare them for how the show works, what you want to talk about, and what you DON’T want to talk about. All this is just to get an idea of how the broadcast will go, minimize surprises, and generally have a good time. Unfortunately, after the many annoyances of the day, I didn’t do that. I didn’t prepare anything. Worse, I went live on the channel and promoted the midnight broadcast.

The result is available for all to see on my YouTube channel.

My point, however, is that my reaction sent me into a deep depression. I walked away from streaming for quite a while after that. It was three months before I attempted to do another video. That was a trailer reaction for Spider-Man: No Way Home that one of our PGS friends encouraged me to do. However, I’m not very expressive; so, I’m uncertain that trailer reactions are something I should do, at least by myself anyway. I wasn’t happy with that video also.

I did a Happy Holidays message and the pilot episode of this podcast, and that was it. I wasn’t sure I would ever do another video ever again. All told, I produced four videos in 2021,

A couple of months later, The Batman appeared in theatres. Disney and Marvel pulled the plug on Netflix’s licenses and moved the remaining Marvel content from the Netflix platform to Disney+. I also had some thoughts about various Star Trek content appearing on Paramount+, and I decided to do another stream

That was 4 March 2022, and the result can be found on LIVE After Midnight #002. 

I had an actual viewer in chat, and as a result of that stream, I picked up a subscriber.

I soon realized that streaming is somewhat like a living organism. A stream has a mood, a life of its own. When you have nothing left to talk about, you end it. It doesn’t have to have a predetermined length. Also, since live streams have a life after, you just have to prepare material and present it, even if nobody is watching. Or listening, as is the case with this podcast.

After that stream, I was motivated, and I’ve done all kinds of content since then.
While I wasn’t looking, I produced 42 videos and one Short in 2022.

So, now, it’s 2023. It’s a New Year.
I’ve made some equipment upgrades, and I have plans for the future.
However, plans aren’t resolutions.
I resolutely resolve to not make New Year’s Resolutions.
I have some content ideas for the future.
I’ve killed a couple of shows and will be instituting new ones.
I plan to stream more often, but we’ll see how it goes.
It’s really about quality, not quantity.
There are certain things I want to do, but I’m my own worst critic.
Succeed or fail, I have to do things on my own terms.
I’ve always felt life was a journey.
I hope you’ll join me on mine.

Thanks for sticking with me through this episode.
As I did for those who left early, I ask that you LIKE, SUBSCRIBE, and SHARE this podcast.
Likewise, check out my video content on YouTube, where I also hope you become a subscriber. I resolve to always tell you how I honestly feel, even if you disagree or it makes you uncomfortable. That’s not a New Year’s resolution; that’s a life resolution. It’s one I’m too old to break.


Until next time…

Ciao for now!


The Batman (2022)

It’s been a while since I highly anticipated a DC movie from Warner Bros. Yes, I’m one of those people. I’m one of the people who enjoyed Zack Snyder’s vision of the DC Extended Universe. Man of Steel is my favorite version of the Superman story. Henry Cavill and Amy Adams are my favorite Lois and Clark. Wonder Woman’s introduction into the DCEU was executed by Snyder, and we all saw what could happen to Wonder Woman when Patty Jenkins is left to her own devices. Likewise, Aquaman’s initial outing was engaging under Snyder’s leadership and, while I don’t think it’s worthy of an Oscar, Zack Snyder’s Justice League was superior over the Joss Whedon version. Let’s not forget what Todd Philips did with Joker when he was left alone by the studio.

Oscar award-winning director Ben Affleck initially was going to write and direct The Batman but, for whatever reason, dropped the assignment and the role. Enter a director (and a composer) from the J.J. Abrams Bad Robot tree, and, ordinarily, I wouldn’t be excited about who took over the assignment. Matt Reeves (and Michael Giacchino) are no ordinary descendants from the Abrams tree. Reeves directed Cloverfield, America’s own kaiju (and Giacchino wrote the score, which only consisted of the end credits sequence). Reeves also directed the reboot trilogy of Planet of the Apes Giacchino scored the final two films.

So, Reeves and Giacchino have outstanding credits to stand on independent of Abrams, and they can add a solid outing in The Batman to add to their accomplishments. If you’re wondering why I have mentioned Giacchino almost every time I say, Reeves, the score added powerful impact to the words directed and co-written by Reeves, with Peter Craig credited as the other screenwriter.

When people talk about the DCEU, they emphasize the Extended Universe portion of that initialism. It’s important to remember that DC stands for Detective Comics, the publication which introduced Batman in issue #27, dated May 1939. Reeves hasn’t forgotten. He has given us a neo-noir detective story from beginning to end. Whereas many previous directors have given us dark and moody stylings of Gotham City, Reeves and his design team have given us a Gotham that’s an amalgam of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, and several other cities. At times the film reflects the daytime essence of those cities yet still maintains the dark and moody atmosphere in which Batman and Jim Gordon are destined to operate.

Some trepidation was raised about Robert Pattison playing Batman. I don’t write spoilers, but I will say this. Pattison is Batman… just Batman. There’s a reason why the word Batman is so outsized in the credits and marketing materials. The former Twilight star plays the role well. Andy Serkis is Bruce Wayne’s faithful butler Alfred Pennyworth. Zoe Kravitz gives a wonderful performance as Selina Kyle, a/k/a Catwoman. However, throughout this movie, Batman’s loyal partner is Lt. Jim Gordon, played marvelously by Jeffrey Wright. 

Gotham City is plagued by a series of high-profile killings beginning with its mayor. Over the objections of some policemen and the police commissioner, Gordon brings Batman into the investigation from the very beginning. Several elements of the Batman ethos are just presented as fact. So, no unnecessary explanations of the BatSignal or why Batman and Gordon are so close. It’s a fait accompli. It is what it is, and I was fine with that.

The story presented by Reeves and Craig is populated with a couple of familiar characters from the Batman mythos. The Riddler and the Penguin are in evidence, played by Paul Dano and Colin Farrell, respectively. There are several other baddies to populate the story. Peter Sarsgaard plays DA Gil Colson and who doesn’t love a performance from John Turturro, who plays Carmine Falcone, a gangster I learned about from Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy.

Reeves’ The Batman does not suffer from comparisons to Nolan’s trilogy. I am eagerly looking forward to Reeves’ next installment. So, why does this movie get an 8 instead of a 10?

Too much plot. There’s a lot of plot in this movie. A lot is going on and a lot that you’ll have to keep track of during its near-three-hour running time. Don’t worry. I don’t think you’ll be looking at your watch too much because a lot is happening, and you’ll have to pay attention because Reeves doesn’t necessarily explain things upfront in a fashion where you’ll understand what is going on. However, eventually, it will all come together for you.

There’s an interesting twist on the Batman origin story, such as it is. I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

The Batman is rated PG-13 for strong violent and disturbing content, drug content, strong language, and some suggestive material. It is a solid, very powerful movie that you will want to watch multiple times. It is playing in IMAX 2D is available only in theatres right now.