Cram It! Game of Thrones



Cram It provides humorous, fast-paced summaries of lengthy film and TV franchises, so you can dive right into the latest edition without going all the way back to the beginning or forgetting anything crucial. One of the newest videos is a catch-up on all seven seasons of Game of Thrones in advance of Sunday’s Season 8 premiere on HBO. If you’ve never watched or have short-term memory loss like me, you can jam through all seven action-packed seasons of the show in around 52 minutes. Or you could just go into it Sunday night like Jon Snow and know nothing:

3 Recent Netflix Movies :: Viewing Verdicts

The Highwaymen

Verdict: A Road Trip Worth Taking

The Highwaymen starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson as the real life men tasked with ending Bonnie & Clyde’s reign of terror in the 1930’s is as fine a Netflix original movie as any they’ve released so far or as fine a movie I’ve seen in a while period. It’s not a superhero movie. Not a sequel, a reboot or a remake. It’s finely acted and the movie moves at a slower pace most jump cut editors and movie studios don’t allow these days for fear they’ll lose the audience’s two-second attention spans. I really enjoyed the hell out of this movie.

Triple Frontier

Verdict: In The Jungle (with half a good) Book

Who doesn’t love a good heist movie? Triple Frontier sees an all-star cast of Special Forces operatives (Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund and Pedro Pascal) reunite to plan a heist in a sparsely populated multi-border zone of South America. Loved the set up, the fast pace, the planning, and the heist. Oh man, the heist. In a secluded estate deep in the jungle, on a time-clock, in the rain…get the money, kill the kingpin and get out before the family gets home from church. The tension and build up to all of this was simply terrific…and then it seemed the writers decided to consult the screenplay and movie plot handbook 101 as the predictable blueprint for the rest of the movie. I even found myself bumping the 10-second fast forward button repeatedly just to get to the end. Not since Dead Poets Society have I been so entertained by the first half of a movie and so utterly bored by the second. I know that’s blasphemy, but to this day Dead Poet’s is the only movie I’ve ever left early. Luckily for me this time, I had a remote control.

The Dirt

Verdict: Painful Theatre

I had low expectations when I hit play on this Mötley Crüe biopic and it didn’t even live up to those. Bad acting and making bad behavior worse by somehow making it boring dooms this heavy metal head scratcher to a horribly predictable VH1 Behind The Music episode. The Dirt even breaks the fourth wall just so it can tell viewers some of the things you are about to see didn’t actually happen. Do yourself a favor and don’t hit the play button.

Ventipop #229 :: A Glimmer, The Study of Dreams & Windex Tears


Laugh. Think. Feel.

2 Patrons…and Counting

You may have noticed, I removed all ads from Ventipop when I rebooted the site last month. So…the only revenue I receive is from “Buy Me A Coffee” link on the homepage and the “Become A Patron” link on the top of every page of Venti. Last week, I received a coffee and gained my 2nd Patron which is a monthly contribution. (Thanks Lisa!) I don’t expect it, but it sure is appreciated and good people affirming when it happens. If you can click one of those links and give even a little, it helps offset the costs associated with the site.

Working in a mirror factory is something I can totally see myself doing.
— Anonymous

Ask For Rick Astley…and Ye Shall Receive


Charlesgate Confidential is terrific.
— Stephen King

Book Recommendation - Charlesgate Confidential by Scott Von Doviak

A breathtakingly clever, twist-filled narrative that moves from 1946 to 1988 to 2014 and back again. Charlesgate Confidential is a tremendous modern-day pulp story that combines fact, fiction, legend, and baseball. It reads like an unassisted triple play and is so fun.

I’m not usually attracted to this genre, but even the Wall Street Journal gave it a good review so I decided to check it out. Read it in almost one sitting. Von Doviak does a fantastic job of creating setting, tone, dialogue and characters for each distinctive decade. From the 40’s rat-a-tat-tat rapid fire made-guy dialogue to the 1980’s record shop, big hair-trying to get laid in college narrative to the present day detective looking for treasure storyline, Charlesgate Confidential is a throwback and a flashforward joy of a read all-in-one.

Charlesgate Confidential
By Scott Von Doviak

Album Recommendation - There’s Always Glimmer by Gia Margaret - Official Site, Featured Song “Groceries”

…The Best Tradition of All

Giving the Gift of Gift Guides

I used to put out a Ventipop Gift Guide, but then I decided my gift to the world would be to stop putting out another gift guide into the world. There’s already way too many of them. But here are my favorite go-to Gift Guides:

Tom Cruise & Christopher McQuarrie Explain The Proper Way To Watch Action Movies On Your TV

Movie Trailer of the Week

Inappropriate Non-PC Comment of the Week

This little gem ran through my brain as I was attending my daughter’s choir concert tonight: “I'd like to start a choir that stars only kids with speech impediments.”

Sway bells wing, aw you wistenin’?

In da wayne, snowis gwistenin’…

Seriously, who wouldn’t be entertained by that?


Pause-vertising is the latest attempt by advertisers to get tv viewer’s eyeballs and ears on their commercials. Ads that only run when you pause a tv show while streaming. "Imagine an ad for soda or beer that comes on the screen just as you decide to stop the action during a run of an episode of Black-ish on Hulu to go to the kitchen for a snack, or a pitch for toilet paper that begins to move in the moments before you choose to halt the video stream for a bathroom break," reports Brian Steinberg. "And yet, there’s no guarantee viewers will welcome 'pause-vertising' any more than they do the current crop of 30-second pitches." Read more about Pause-vertising…here.

Snaps & Buckles & Japanese Things…

Science, Bitch!

JAXA new research center

JAXA new research center

Interview of the Week

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel started season two this week. Here’s an interview with the starring actress Rachel Brosnahan. “[Frances McDormand] said something to me that I will never forget, that there seem to be 27,000 new products a day out there to alter your face… but that your face is a road map to your life and to everything that has made you who you are up until that point. And why would you ever want to erase any part of that? That every line on her face is every smile she’s ever smiled and every tear she’s ever cried and frown she’s ever frowned. And she wears them with pride.”

Fall Asleep In Two Minutes

This military secret formula for falling asleep in two minutes is said to work for 96 per cent of people after six weeks of practice.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Relax the muscles in your face, including tongue, jaw and the muscles around the eyes

  2. Drop your shoulders as far down as they’ll go, followed by your upper and lower arm, one side at a time

  3. Breathe out, relaxing your chest followed by your legs, starting from the thighs and working down

  4. You should then spend 10 seconds trying to clear your mind before thinking about one of the three following images:

  • You’re lying in a canoe on a calm lake with nothing but a clear blue sky above you

  • You’re lying in a black velvet hammock in a pitch-black room

  • You say “don’t think, don’t think, don’t think” to yourself over and over for about 10 seconds.

A Beautiful Thing

Can a Windex ad move you to tears?




In a world that has decided that it’s going to lose its mind, be more kind my friend. Try to be more kind.
— Frank Turner


Daily Grind :: An Ocean of Violets in Bloom

Later this week, artists including Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, John Mayer, Christina Aguilera, Morris Day & the Time, Tori Kelly, Anita Baker & more will honor Prince with a Tribute Concert in St. Paul, Minnesota. Today's Daily Grind features stories honoring the one-of-a-kind artist who always seemed to know something the rest of us didn't. It's been six months since his death, and I still find it difficult to believe he's gone. There's a part of me still holding out hope he comes on stage Thursday night during the tribute concert and tells us we've all been punked.

Chevrolet's tribute ad to Prince shortly following his death.

Chevrolet's tribute ad to Prince shortly following his death.

  • Imagine picking up the phone, getting asked if you're available to DJ later that night and then being told the client is Prince. Read the incredible story about the night a Los Angeles DJ was picked at random to DJ for Prince's intimate late night date. If you read the story, here's one of the songs Prince told the DJ he liked:

  • Prince's Paisley Park officially opened its doors to visitors last Thursday as a museum. Al Roker gives viewers a sneak peak inside:
It was Raspberry Beret. I was 4 years old. Yes, 4. I remember that I instantly loved it. "Mommy, who is that singing?" Seems weird but it's true. More than a "once in a lifetime" artist... Just a ONCE IN FOREVER ARTIST. I'm still in shock as I write this and I feel this overwhelming grief. But, we should all turn away from that and HONOR this musician that changed all of our lives, our perspectives, our feeling, our whole being. From another planet? Probably. Royalty, for sure. Us worthy..? Laughable. They say don't meet your idols... That they let you down. But, some of my greatest, funniest (yes, he was hilarious), and most prolific encounters and conversations about music came from the moments that I spent with him. It would be silly to say that he has inspired our music... It's beyond that. He's somewhere within every song I've ever written. I am sad, but I will smile when I think of every second that I had the fortune of being in his company. We have lost our greatest living musician. But his music will never die. Prince, NOTHING COMPARES... #RIPPrince

  • Secretly, Prince was an avid humanitarian helping numerous causes no one knew about. When he said anonymous, he meant it.
  • Prince's Purple Rain co-star, Apollonia, found out about his death like most of us. She watched it on tv. She writes about "the worst day of her life" here.
  • Artist Akrobatik pays homage to Prince with his song titled "Roll With U". It strings together many of Prince's most well known titles/lyrics:

  • A Minneapolis writer who wrote about and followed Prince for 31 years writes Prince a goodbye note:
“Will you pay me?” I asked.
“No, I won’t pay you,” Prince said. “But you can say you wrote a rock opera with me.”
Good point, little purple guy, I thought."
Fans say bye to Prince on a mural outside Paisley Park.

Fans say bye to Prince on a mural outside Paisley Park.

...The Last Drop

Remember Prince however you choose, I prefer this image of him riding his bike at Paisley Park:


Daily Grind :: Mel Gibson and Me Shop For Purple Paint

There's a link in this Friday Edition of the Grind to a story about a guy who goes on a vacation with a group of conspiracy theorists. I had a dream last night I went to Home Depot with Mel Gibson's character from the movie Conspiracy Theory. Apparently, I needed a gallon of purple paint. It took Mel and me an entire night's sleep to get said can of paint because he was convinced there were bombs implanted by the guy who mixed the paint. (By the way, that guy looked like Sonny Bono.)

Moral of this story? Don't really have one, but my Doctors said I should write this stuff down.


Have a few laughs this weekend. Maybe paint a room purple. 

  • We can't go an entire week without at least one more song getting a spotlight. Sault Ste Marie's "Breezy Montana" will get you off on the right foot. It sounds familiar and unfamiliar at the same time.

  • Speaking of music, why isn't there an iconic pop song about thighs?
  • What was the biggest movie at the box office the year you were born? Find the list here.
  • The Night Of comes to a conclusion this weekend on HBO. I've written about how much I love this show already, but I'm with Alan Sepinwall over at; I have no clue nor expectation about what answers we deserve or may get in the finale.
  • The Washington Post wrote an article I've been waiting to read for a long time: "Will Someone Please Give Norm McDonald Another TV Show?"
  • I think movie studios would be shocked at how much movie goers are starving for more honest, true to life old-school, tell-a-story movies. Or I could be sitting alone in the theater watching The Hollars. I think I'm excited for this movie more than others because I miss Jim Halpert.

...The Last Drop

One of my all-time favorite SNL moments is the skit when Gilda Radner goes with the flow after Candice Bergen screws up her line. It can be seen in part two of SNL cast members breaking character:

Enjoy your weekend, Homies.

Daily Grind :: Movies, TV and Drinkee

Every Friday I look at the stats for Ventipop and I send out thanks to all of you. This week, we've had the largest jump in stats and followers in our abbreviated history; and that's all due to folks like you helping us get the word out. That's awesome and much appreciated. We are working towards exclusive Ventipop features in the near future. Baby steps. Thanks for holding our hands as we learn to walk.

It does a body good.

I hope these Daily Grinds help make all your days a bit more enjoyable. Cheers to you and yours with best wishes for a Happy 4th of July weekend.

  • We've been chatting up "Best of 2016 Lists" this week on Ventipop. Here's a list of the best TV Shows of the year so far.
  • Ever wonder how all those Price is Right winners collect their prizes?
  • I talked earlier this week about how Preacher on AMC should be getting more love. Apparently, the AMC Execs listened to me and renewed it for a second season. 
  • Here's the first trailer for director Clint Eastwood's Sully starring Tom Hanks:
  • The Foley Artists did a masterful job on that trailer, didn't they? Don't know what a Foley Artist is? Here's another video that tells you about the painstaking craft of movie sound effects:

  • Have you seen that awesome, groundbreaking 2012 Pixar movie The Bear and the Bow?
  • Did you know Hannah Montana: The Movie made more in its U.S. opening weekend than Titanic did; or that no sequel has ever been the highest grossing movie of all-time? Find out more box office shocking trivia here.
  • The guy saying the upcoming Han Solo movie has the best script of any of the Star Wars movies ever might be a little biased.
  • We don't usually mention the little show on HBO that has dragons; we leave that to EVERY other website out there to dissect its every moment. Today, however, we're going to make an exception because we find this guys character impersonations too damn funny:

  • This review gave the new Bat for Lashes album "The Bride" 4 Stars.
  • Jon Bon Jovi is a pretty cool guy.
  • I didn't feature enough music this week. Trust me, I'll make up for it next week. For now, let's close out the Grind with just a few standout new tracks we heard in the past month:

Awesome Weekend To You & Yours

Daily Grind :: Dopplegangers, Bog Butter & The Bloom Twins

TGIF.  In today's grind, we've got tv news, science nuggets, movie trivia, new music from the Bloom Twins and some weird finds.  Embrace the weird and please share Ventipop with someone you want to Be More. Smarter. Let's grind.

  • TV Line offers up its first impressions of the upcoming fall Network TV shows.
  • I agree with David Duchovny.  The X-Files reboot needs more episodes.
  • The armageddon my mom always warned us about has finally happened:  We now spend more on restaurants than we do on groceries.
  • There's a blind guy in Brazil who can identify over 3,000 different birds. I really am a slacker.
  • More Mental Floss fun.  Name the movie in only 3 clues in this Quiz.
  • Shrek resurrected.  
  • Did you know THIS GUY was supposedly the inspiration for the Shrek character?

I just don't see the resemblance at all.

  • Let's try another one.  Only one of these guys plays John Snow on a show we do not name on Ventipop:
Don't bury me.  I'm not dead yet.

Don't bury me.  I'm not dead yet.

  • Ryan Reynolds spent a lot of his own money  so he could pay homage to Bea Arthur in the Deadpool movie.
  • How about a smart pocket watch that puts you in charge of product development? Say hello to Runcible:

  • Is this couple having a baby or a Nissan 370Z?  A creepy sonogram makes you wonder.
  • This shouldn't be funny but it is.  What would your dog say if it could dial 9-1-1?
  • Helen Mirren is an absolute bad ass.
  • Designers have come up with a robot to help autistic kids develop social skills.  Meet Leka.

  • A nearly 500-year-old Alien rock, unlike anything ever seen on Earth, was discovered in Sweden.
  • Ireland says phshaw! to Sweden. Keep your stupid Alien rock. We've got 2,000-year-old Irish Bog Butter.  Yum.
  • Finally, I'll let the Bloom Twins play us out this week with their new song Amnesia...have a great weekend:

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Sincere Thanks

Daily Grind :: Sweet Start, the 80's and We Need Kleenex

We are not educated well enough to perform the necessary act of intelligently selecting our leaders.
— Walter Cronkite

Boy does this quote by the great W.C. still ring true today.  May be truer than ever.

I watched some of that OJ Simpson: Made in America documentary last night, and was very impressed. It had a lot of hype to live up to and it may have even exceeded those heightened expectations.  See it if you haven't already.

Thursday grind is up as we plow our way through another week together.

  • Being a parent to young children, I completely empathize with the dilemma this mother faces. She writes eloquently about finding balance in maintaining your child's innocence while also telling them the truth about the world we now live.
  • To a different kind of sweet.  Which cereal has the most sugar?
  • India is going to hold a trial to convict some lions.
  • Apple is debuting a new file management system.
  • Want to have and 80's flashback?  Check out this supercut of more than 80 films from that decade...but make sure you have some free time, the video clocks in at (you guessed it) over 80 minutes.
  • What really happens when you file bankruptcy?
  • Apparently, being an extrovert really wears you out.
  • Buzzfeed has a list of 16 underrated musicians you should be checking out.  We've featured a few on Ventipop so we agree .
Muna...check out the song "So Special" on our music page.

Muna...check out the song "So Special" on our music page.

  • Gizmodo made a list of trees we are about to lose forever due to climate change.
  • Color us elated.  Two stars from our favorite movie, About Time, are about to reunite and star in the story of Winnie the Pooh Creator A.A. Milne. The film will be called Goodbye Mr. Robinson and star Domnhall Gleeson and Margot Robbie.
  • Ever wonder what goes into rebuilding an engine? Here's a cool video showing the entire process:
  • And finally, we leave you today with one of those troop coming home compilations that always has you reaching for the Kleenex:

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Daily Grind :: Love, Celery & New Songs

This afternoon, I went for a walk with my daughter.  2 miles in 90 degree heat.  About halfway through, she said, "I'm so hot."  

The word "hot" when she says it has 49 syllables and is stretched out over a 3 minute period.  I replied in kind by saying, "Yes, it is hot today. But exercise is good for you."  My "hot" had an extra 3 or 4 syllables thrown in for good sarcastic measure. She is only seven, but she knows sarcasm when she hears it. 

"I don't need to exercise," she says.

I reply, "But I do.  And I need you to exercise so you'll be in good shape to take care of me when I get old."

"Oh  Daddy," she answers, "I'll just pay someone to do that."

Love. :)

Here's today's grind...

  • I will be so glad to have Larry David back on tv. More Curb please.
  • Why would it take this long for Bill Murray to win this prize?
  • Sadly, I wonder how many of the younger generation know who Walter Cronkite was.  
He may STILL be America's most trusted name in news.

He may STILL be America's most trusted name in news.

Oh yes we did.  Just a picture of celery.  We ain't fancy.

Oh yes we did.  Just a picture of celery.  We ain't fancy.

  • An Italian restaurant was named best in the world for the first time ever...and the French are not happy about it.
  • But I don't wanna smell like a Star Wars Jedi! (said in Jerry Seinfeld's high pitched "But I don't wanna be a pirate!" voice)
  • We're proud of our eclectic music tastes here at Ventipop.  Want proof? Here are 4 new songs we like right now:

I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. Then I want to move in with them.
— Phyllis Diller

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Daily Grind :: Mosquito Surgery, Light Bulb Assassins & Belgium Frittes

Good Monday to you. My heart goes out to the folks in Orlando. May Grace and Peace somehow find you today.  Ventipop is devoted to sharing stories from all over the world that have a message of peace, positivity and hope.  There are still intelligent, helpful, inclusive and dear people all over the world seeking ways to help people learn, smile, ease pain and be inclusive. Musicians, artists, scientists...lowly bloggers; we can all be a small part of the positivity in the world everyday.  Now, one step forward to today's Daily Grind.

I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.
— Louisa May Alcott

  • Moments of reflection and contemplation are becoming extinct.  We now use our phones more than we sit and think about things.
  • How well do you know famous children's book covers?  Take a quiz here. (I got 8 out of 10 which is really a lot better than I thought I would do)
  • Speaking of children's books.  Here are Good Reads 12 Great Children's Books quotes.
  • Not for the squeamish.  Watch a mosquito utilize all her tools to tear back your skin and do what mosquitos do.  It's not a mosquito bite; it's mosquito surgery.
  • Watch this amazing video of sculptor Jim McKenzie making a scarecrow.  Makes me feel a little less talented with every viewing.  

  • There could be a breakthrough in the treatment if Multiple Sclerosis which involves replacing a patient's immune system.  The results so far have been overwhelmingly positive.
  • We all need something to help us smile today.  How about 25 before/after pics of dogs pre and post rescue/adoption.
  • In the Belgian city of Ghent, people protested by showering city hall in french fries.  
  • I would be more than a little giddy with a Terriers revival or movie.
Terriers was gone way too early...even in dog years.

Terriers was gone way too early...even in dog years.

  • Sadly, I may be in need of a pair of self-focusing eye glasses sooner rather than later.
  • I guess this makes me feel the world's highest and longest glass bottom bridge in China is safe:

I bet there's a convenient winery just over that hill.

I bet there's a convenient winery just over that hill.

  • And I leave you this afternoon with a song.  This one goes out to those lost...and to the loved ones left behind:

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Daily Grind :: Elusive Capybaras, Thought Leaders & New Tig

We've grown our readership this week by quite a bit and that's all thanks to you guys for spreading the word about Ventipop.  Thanks so much for that.  Enjoy the last Grind of the week and hope you see something in a new light this weekend.  

  • It sure sounds like Larry David wants some more Curb Your Enthusiasm.  That's pretty, pretty, pretty good.
  • Dental hygiene is everything to me.  So, I'm all for a Smart Toothbrush.
  • Why was Elon Musk at the Pentagon?  Rumors are he was helping them build a real life Iron Man suit.  Everyone is really obsessed with these superhero movies.
Just like Bonnie Tyler...the pentagon is holding out for a hero...

Just like Bonnie Tyler...the pentagon is holding out for a hero...

  • Want to kill some time?  Of course you do, you're on a website reading about pop culture. Apparently, there's a Tumblr account that has screen grabs of movie titles the first time they appear on screen.  From The Godfather to Drive, for some reason they are hypnotic to look at.
  • The Toronto Zoo can't catch Bonnie and Clyde.  Read this entire article.  It's so ridiculous how elusive a capybaras can be.
  • Tig Notaro, one of our favorite comedians, has a book coming out Tuesday, June 14. I'm Just a Person details her tumultuous year battling major health issues, dealing with the loss of her mother and managing a breakup with a longtime partner.  She always finds the humor in places others wouldn't even look.
Tig's Memoir is out June 14

Tig's Memoir is out June 14

Sandra Bullock is the new Danny Ocean

Sandra Bullock is the new Danny Ocean

Milk...It Does a Body Good.

Milk...It Does a Body Good.

  • Let's take a step back, close our eyes and enjoy a song as we close out the week. Enjoy this one by David Karsten Daniels titled "The Woods Are On Fire".  And for God's sake, STOP running yourself ragged trying to survive.  Peace.

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