When I first saw The Fifth Element, I was completely sold on Luc Besson as a writer and director. After I saw Leon: The Professional, I was even more sold on his abilities. I wanted to see more of his stuff and when the trailer for this movie originally hit, I was a little skeptical. The movie takes the whole “we only use 10% of our brain” myth and runs with it. While I am usually annoyed by the use of this myth as a story concept, this was so ridiculous and innovative that I eventually let it slide. If you liked Leon and The Fifth Element, you will probably like this one too. The movie has incredibly visually appealing action sequences although this does not always include actual combat. There are great music, funny dialogue and very interesting concepts. The movie is kind of about the evolution of humanity and what we are at our best. I did not expect this movie to get as trippy as it did and the special effects were surprisingly beautiful seeing as how Leon had no CGI and the Fifth Element effects were purposely cheesy. Scarlet Johannson was very human and then she becomes not human and actually funny in an offbeat sort of way. Morgan Freeman is as warmly charming as he always is and Amr Waked kind of reminds me of Leon in his understated humor. I definitely recommend this since it surprised me that it was so good.
Somebody recommended watching this show because it follows the real life escapades of Pablo Escobar, famous Colombian drug lord. I thought it was worth a shot since the whole thing is still on Netflix. The show is split into two points of view that look at one central storyline. We see the experiences of Pablo and crew of Narcos (drug traffickers) and how he views himself. We also see the efforts of two DEA agents who are trying everything in their power to take down Escobar’s operations. The first point of view is mostly in Spanish while the second point of view is mostly in English. There is narration from a DEA agent named Murphy that ties the whole show together. It also reminds the viewer that Pablo is the bad guy. That’s not to say the character’s morality is black and white. There are definitely good guys who do bad things and the cartel does a lot of good for the community. I did a little research and the show is not completely accurate and the changes they made were to make the story more compelling. Just like with American Crime Story, I do not depend on television dramas for historical information or accuracy. The first few episodes were paced weirdly like they were trying to cram as much as possible into them. As the first season continued, the pacing slows down and the drama and tension get drawn out more. I loved the characters but the clear frontrunners are Pablo himself and Murphy the DEA agent tracking him. Pablo is confident, intelligent and charismatic but pretty ethically bankrupt. Murphy is driven and charming as hell. I also have to say how good the music is. So good. I definitely recommend this one.
Russell Brand: End the Drugs War
I was interested in this documentary after watching some of Narcos and listening to a few episodes of TV Crimes. What has become apparent to me is that our country has continuously failed in our “War on Drugs” as we have failed in all of our other figurative “wars”. Nancy and Ronald Reagan started us off on the worst foot by starting the “Just Say No” campaign which oversimplified the drug problem. Our Justice Department then further compounded the problem by lumping all drugs together instead of approaching addiction as the complicated, nuanced problem it actually is. Anyway, it was interesting to watch this because it covers England’s war on drugs from the point of view of a man who has been through rehab and has had his own legal problems from drugs. I wanted to see what things were like in England. He talks to the both the police and a lot of people connected to actually helping people on drugs. He also explores how the issue is tackled in different countries. It’s actually fairly dark stuff but Brand keeps it light while also keeping it real and human. The point that Brand tries to stress over and over is that drug addiction is a health issue and not a criminal issue and advocates for decriminalization. I agree. I don’t agree with all of his points but it pushes the dialogue in the right direction. This also is not a long documentary so check it out, I promise that it is interesting.
Music of the Week:
Corinne Bailey Rae – Been To The Moon
– Lucha Underground started last night
– I’ve been digging Smackdown Live a lot
– I have watched yet more Person of Interest
– I have seen a few Supernatural episodes I missed
– Same with Bones and Castle
– I still want to see Suicide Squad
– 3 and a half weeks until Halloween (aka October)
– Watched the Game Grumps Freddie Mercury fundraiser stream over the weekend
– This Week’s Theme is “Drugs Are Complicated”