Posts Tagged ‘Green Book’

Media Update 1/24/19

January 24, 2019

Carmen Sandiego (2019)

I remember playing Carmen Sandiego games on our family’s Intel 286 computer and loving the adventure of learning about geography and history by chasing criminals. Later, I religiously watched the game show and the original cartoon which continued the playful feel and education of the game. (Plus it introduced the wider world to Rockapella). So I was excited when I learned that they were doing another cartoon, especially with smarter reboots like My Little Pony, She-Ra, and DuckTales. I was not disappointed. This version reframes the whole way we have looked at Carmen Sandiego in the past. She is still an International thief extraordinaire but she is opposing VILE instead of leading it. She is using her thieving skills (and linguistic and cultural knowledge) to steal from the bad guys for charity all while evading law enforcement. There are great nods to earlier incarnations. The goofy names and criminal personalities are back from the games and the game show. Zack and Ivy are back from the cartoon but now they are assisting Carmen instead of chasing her. She even has a hacker on her side nicknamed “Player” which is cute. The characters are so great and so much deeper than the previous cartoon (which I thought was good, for the record). Gina Rodriguez plays Carmen, as a younger, idealistic and ambitious criminal who is also funny and likable. Finn Wolfhard voices Player and his talent continues to increase as he ages. There are a host of other great voice actors such as Liam O’Brien (!), Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, Kari Wahlgren, Troy Baker, and more who add to the world. I definitely recommend this one.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

While J. K. Rowling is a little bit problematic, she did create an amazing world to draw from and I love getting lost in the minutiae of it all (unless it’s about wizards crapping themselves). I am actually really glad that they decided to continue the Wizarding World franchise by going back in time instead of continuing Harry Potter’s story. This way we get to meet a lot of new characters and meet a lot of characters before they become background characters in the books. Additionally, the central message of the movies so far is that kindness and cleverness trumps violence and bureaucracy. The main part of that is Eddie Redmayne’s performance as Newt Scamander, an idealistic and kind man who only wants to do what is right. He is joined by Dan Fogler who plays the everyman sidekick to Newt and brings comic relief but also grounds the story a bit. Katherine Waterston plays the strong-willed female lead who is a wizarding cop in the US. Her sister is played by Allison Sudol who also brings some comic relief and a slightly different perspective. There is also Zoe Kravitz who plays a wizarding cop pulled between two different worlds. There is a lot to digest in this movie and it kind of feels like their version of The Empire Strikes Back. It also ends abruptly and left me wanting more which is probably exactly what they were going for. In that way, it felt a little incomplete as a stand-alone movie. Still, I would recommend it if you liked any of the Harry Potter franchise.

Green Book

I heard a bit of the criticism for this one before watching and I agree with it and it was useful information going into the movie. The movie is about a black professional piano player who hires a white driver to drive him on a concert tour from the midwest and down into the deep south. The main theme of the movie is something I have actually pushed for which is the idea that exposure helps destroy prejudice. Which I still believe is true but it is an oversimplification. Still, the movie is definitely worth seeing even though its historical accuracy is questionable at best. The story in the movie did happen but many believe (and I happen to agree) that the writers softened the movie to make it more palatable to white viewers. The movie is told from the perspective of Tony Vallelonga, an employee of the Copacabana who rubs elbows with the Mafia often. He later went on to be a professional actor. However, he gets offered good money to drive Don Shirley on his concert tour. The movie is more or less about Tony’s journey in confronting his racism and his anti-intellectualism. There is a subplot about Don Shirley being caught between the world of wealthy whites and poor blacks in the sixties. The actual historical Green Book is not really talked about much which is a shame. There is an argument to be made that the movie could have been improved by making Shirley be the main character but we did not get that movie. Tony is played by Viggo Mortensen and he did a really good job. He comes off as an asshole but over time some of his edges get worn down by exposure and education. Mahershala Ali was so good as Don Shirley, so serious but with a wry sense of humor and a smile that felt so good because it was withheld often. The acting was in no way a problem in this movie as everybody knocked that out of the park. The central story was actually really good and it did address a lot of issues we are still around today even if the movie kind of skimmed over them. I definitely recommend it.

Music of the Week:

Masked Intruder – No Case

Sympotico – Therefore I Am

BHAD BHABIE feat. Tory Lanez – Babyface Savage

A Perfect Circle – So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish


Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Travelling”
– I watched more The Dragon Prince Season 1
– I watched more Glitter Force Doki Doki Season 2
– I watched more Wynonna Earp Season 2
– I watched more The Seven Deadly Sins Season 3
– I watched more Lucifer Season 3
– I watched more The Magicians Season 3

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