Posts Tagged ‘Media Update’

Media Update 19.6.13

June 13, 2019


Good Omens

I am a big Neil Gaiman fan but unfortunately, I have only read one Terry Pratchett book so far and it was the first Discworld book. I have not read Good Omens yet but I figured I would watch the show first to get a feel for it. I love the world-building of both authors. Gaiman also has a knack for taking mythical figures and making them very accessible (I was going to say human but no). This is the tale of an angel and a demon who are trying to stop Armageddon. David Tennant plays Crowley, the fallen angel who never really meant to fall. Michael Sheen plays Aziraphale, a pleasant but subversive angel. Both of them have been stuck on Earth since Adam and Eve’s expulsion from Eden and they have adjusted to human life. They have struggled to work as agents of their respective sides while trying to maintain a friendship as well. The strength of the show is the chemistry between these two and it is so great. I really also like the performances by John Hamm, Michael McKean, and Adria Arjona. Adria Arjona, in particular, is funny and gorgeous. This show almost qualifies for Pride if the shippers got their way. I definitely recommend it.


Siempre Brujo

This is an interesting show. It is a Spanish-language show produced in Colombia. It is set in Cartagena, Colombia during two different eras. One era is during the late 1600s and the other is in our present. A young slave (who is also a pureblood witch) is sent on a mission to the future and must navigate 2019 without knowledge of all of our technology but with magic powers. Thankfully, she can speak Spanish well enough to adjust to modern society. The show is incredibly interesting in that it shows the inherent difficulties of time travel that I did not even think about. For example, to accomplish her mission in 2019, she has to find somebody within a geographic region. The travel alone would have taken weeks in her time but could take her hours if she could figure it out. The show seems really smart to me so far in how it deals with Fantasy but also race relations and class warfare. We get to see Carmen (the lead) on her mission in the present but we also see many flashbacks which inform us about who she is. It is a similar structure to Once Upon a Time. Angely Gavira plays the lead and she has such a great innocence to her but also a quiet strength that will be fun to watch. I definitely recommend it in the original Spanish and not the dub.


Season of the Witch

I am a fan of Nicolas Cage movies because even when they are bad, his performance is memorable and either interesting or insane. He puts his all into every movie role he has ever had and it shows. In addition, this movie has Ron Perlman in it. I will just about watch anything he is in after loving him in Blade 2 and the Hellboy franchise. In this movie, they are even best friends and comrades in arms so a lot of the movie is basically a medieval buddy cop film starring those two. Except it is also about a group of men transporting an accused witch to lift a curse. It allows both men to interact with a lot of people and really, that was all I wanted. It is a simple story told in a simple way and that is perfectly fine. Its main purpose is to explore the relationship between those who worship God and the Church and the conflict between the two. It is nothing special but I recommend it as a good movie to watch in the background.

Music of the Week:
The Marías – Baby One More Time

Oliver Tree – Miracle Man

Avril Lavigne feat. Nicki Minaj – Dumb Blonde

Young M.A “Bake Freestyle”

Wind Rose – Diggy Diggy Hole

 

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Witches”
– Yes, this post is late but it is still Thursday.
– I finished Tuca and Bertie Season 1
– I started Game of Thrones Season 3
– I watched more Arrow Season 7
– I watched more The Flash Season 5
– I watched more Charmed Season 1
– I watched more Supergirl Season 4
– I watched more Legends of Tomorrow Season 4
– I watched more Santa Clarita Diet Season 3

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Media Update 19.6.6

June 6, 2019


Aladdin (2019)

If you have paid attention to this blog, you will know that I have an intensely personal relationship with the original animated Aladdin. I watched it once on heavy drugs in an ICU and it was one of the main reasons that I became a Robin Williams fan before I was old enough to listen to his standup. I love that movie and because of that, I was intrigued and not dismayed when the live action adaptation was announced. When Will Smith was announced as the Genie, I actually thought it was pretty perfect casting. Nobody was ever going to out-Robin Williams the original so they had to go a different direction. Like the original Genie evolved from Williams’ stand up, this new Genie is very much an extension of Will Smith’s acting. In that regard, he created a likable and different character with the same heart. Mena Massoud’s Aladdin had all the charm of the original and, if possible, was even more animated in my eyes. My favorite part of the new version is Naomi Scott’s Jasmine who was given way more to do in this version and comes out as a better character. The rest of the cast is really good as well. Overall, the movie was definitely not bad and was just a bit different from the original. There were some things added and some things taken away. I definitely recommend it but only if you have an open mind.


The Greatest Showman

When I found out that there was a movie musical coming out starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Effron, and Zendaya, I was immediately interested. On top of that, it was a musical about the genesis of PT Barnum’s Circus. While that story is not actually all sunshine and roses, I was on board for a sanitized version. I love the circus aesthetic (even after working for one) and the poppy music in the trailer sounded good. Hugh Jackman was so, so likable as Barnum and he has such a good singing voice and a smile that is hard to resist. Zendaya had a smaller role than I wanted her to have but she was really good. Effron had a darker role than I expected but he was also really great in his role. Michelle Williams was kind of a surprise with how prominent and good her character was. There was also an ensemble of literal ‘freaks’ many of whom were given great supporting roles. I would say that the movie went on a little long for me but they had to jam a lot of songs into it so I understand. This led to me not really knowing where the movie was going next as the storyline I thought it had was accomplished very early in the movie. Overall, it was a good movie but not as good as I expected it to be. I definitely recommend it, though.


The Accountant

When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I thought it looked pretty good. I am a Ben Affleck fan and it looked like a thoughtful action movie. What it turned out to be is part mystery, part crime film, and part action film. It was way more thoughtful than I thought it would be. I should have realized that a movie called The Accountant would have some thought behind it. The movie is about a criminal tracking criminals while also being tracked himself so the movie has layers. Affleck is interesting since he is playing a man on the autistic spectrum who uses savant skills to accomplish all of his goals. JK Simmons plays a hardened Department of the Treasury investigator and is always great. Anna Kendrick plays a dorky normal accountant who balances out Affleck’s flat delivery. Jon Bernthal plays a very charismatic and charming hitman and was kind of my favorite character. Jeffrey Tambor plays Affleck’s mentor briefly. John Lithgow plays a somewhat hardened CEO. I definitely recommend the movie as it was really interesting.

Music of the Week:
Blackbriar – Snow White and Rose Red

Lil Pump – “Be Like Me” ft. Lil Wayne

PUP – Kids

Carly Rae Jepsen – Too Much

Psychedelic Horseshit – We’re Pink Floyd, Bitch

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Lying”
– I watched more Star Trek: Voyager Season 2
– I watched more Tuca and Bertie Season 1
– I watched more Game of Thrones Season 2
– I watched more Arrow Season 7
– I watched more Riverdale Season 3
– I watched more The Flash Season 5
– I watched more Charmed Season 1
– I started watching Supergirl Season 4
– I started watching Legends of Tomorrow Season 4

Media Update 5/30/19

May 30, 2019


John Wick 3: Parabellum

The John Wick series caught me off guard when it first came out and I was instantly enamored of it. I have been a Keanu Reeves fan since Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and he has only gotten better with age. The John Wick franchise is the best of both worlds when it comes to action movies. If you want to tune out and watch awesomely spectacular action scenes then this movie accommodates you. If you want a whole world and tons of lore that you can explore and read deeply into, this movie is also for you. I have seen both reactions based on what that person chose to see in the movie. I am a huge fan of both sides of the coin. The fight scenes in this movie continue to be innovative and surprising. The movie is full of them. There are excellent martial arts scenes and there are gunplay scenes that are absolutely insane. Also, the movie dives into a hidden world behind our own. Each movie continues to peel away layers and there are still new layers underneath. Keanu Reeves is so good. This feels like the role that he has evolved to fit in perfectly. The movie also has an all-star cast each at the top of their game including Ian McShane, Halle Berry, Lawrence Fishburne, Lance Reddick, and Anjelica Huston. I am looking forward to what further sequels will yield as the next movie is already scheduled. I definitely recommend it.


Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile

A few months ago, I watched the latest documentary on Ted Bundy and I was fascinated since it was not something I lived through. At the time, Netflix was advertising a controversial movie (this movie) which would dramatize parts of the Ted Bundy story. The main complaint was that they cast Zac Effron as Ted Bundy and Effron is a well known hunky and adorable actor. I felt like people were missing the point. The insidious part of the Bundy story was that he was so handsome and charismatic that people dismissed red flags and let him kill way longer than a less attractive person would have gotten away with. This movie focused on Ted Bundy and the woman who fell in love with him. As women were turning up dead, Ted Bundy was dating and then became engaged to a woman who already had a daughter. Elizabeth Kloepfer (in the movie they used her pseudonym of Liz Kendall) stuck by Bundy even after he was accused (and after she reported him the police as a possible suspect several times). In the movie, they play all the big moments of the story and it is hard not sympathize with Liz as she tries to navigate a relationship as her world keeps crashing down. Part of that is how well Lily Collins portrays a fragile and complex character based on a real complex person. Zac Effron is amazing and unnerving as Bundy, acting like a smiling shark. The movie also follows him trying to use his time in law school to work on his own cases and appeals. It is a fascinating movie that encapsulates the weird position that Elizabeth found herself in during an entirely weird and terrifying case.


Highlander: The Raven

The Highlander series is so strange. It has a long history of disjointed sequels to a pretty good fantasy movie. At some point, they sort of rebooted everything by creating a television series that I remember watching a bit of. In the late nineties, this show was created as a spinoff. The premise of the show is that an immortal thief named Amanda has led a long life of crime and adventure. Now she is bored with it all and seeks atonement by helping to solve crimes. Coincidentally enough, most of the crimes involve immortals somehow. Still, I found the concepts interesting. At least they did not introduce the concept of immortality and then forget it. Each immortal has spent their infinite life differently but each seems stuck in a loop, a sort of limbo. It is an interesting contrast to Amanda’s search for change and meaning. Still, Elizabeth Gracen does a great job with the character. Paul Johannson plays an ex-cop that works with Amanda to solve crimes. He is alright but, as you might see in the trailer, he is kind of bland. The show is late nineties as heck and feels kind of like the production values of shows like the original Charmed. I liked it well enough but I do not really recommend it. It also only went one season because the stars hated each other and nobody watched.

Music of the Week:
Interpol – Evil

Czarface X Ghostface Killah – Mongolian Beef

Lord Of The Lost – Loreley

Ava Max – Sweet but Psycho

Don Broco – Greatness

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Killers”
– I watched more Supernatural Season 14
– I watched more Star Trek: Voyager Season 2
– I watched more Ash vs. The Evil Dead Season 3
– I watched more Tuca and Bertie Season 1
– I started watching Game of Thrones Season 2
– I started watching Arrow Season 7
– I started watching Riverdale Season 3
– I started watching The Flash Season 5

Media Update 5/23/19

May 23, 2019


Tuca and Bertie

I was a big fan of Bojack Horseman when it came out but it did take a little while to get into. Bojack is definitely darker and usually takes a more depressing turn. This show is from one of the creative forces behind Bojack, Lisa Hanawalt, but now she gets to get her own show. This show is similar to Bojack but it has more of a joyful energy. It stars Tiffany Haddish as courageous, loud, yet unfocused Toucan Tuca. The other star is Ali Wong as the intelligent, creative, yet anxious Songthrush Bertie. Bertie lives with her boyfriend, the nerdy Speckle the Robin played by Steven Yeun. They all live in the same apartment building in a world where anthropomorphic birds live. It is a much cartoonier world than Bojack’s satire of Hollywood and often kind of feels like an acid trip. But it also approaches real-life anxieties and situations but this time with a more feminine message. Haddish and Wong work so well together, their chemistry is on another level. The characters are such perfect foils for each other. Tuca needs Bertie to rein her in and Bertie needs Tuca to coax her out of her shell. The show is so funny and so real that I am definitely hooked on it. I look forward to each episode, where with Bojack I kind of dreaded it even though it was so good. It has such happier energy. I definitely recommend it.


Wine Country

This movie was born out of a friend group to Wine Country out in Napa. Normally, that would be uneventful but the friend group was made up of ex-Saturday Night Live castmembers and writers. Amy Poehler plays a Type A personality who has planned the weekend down to the last second. Rachel Dratch plays the friend who is turning 50 on the trip and is rethinking a lot of things. Ana Gasteyer plays a woman who is a food company executive who is stuck in work mode too much. Maya Rudolph is a woman who just wants to have fun because she is avoiding thinking about something. Paula Pell (a writer on SNL) is a woman who thinks of others more than herself. Emily Spivey (a writer on SNL, 30 Rock, Parks and Rec, and also this movie) is a writer who is just miserable in life. All of them come together on a disastrous weekend that threatens to destroy their friendship. They are all joined by characters played by Tina Fey and Jason Schwartzman. The movie gets fairly dark but it has a lot of great comedic writing and the stars are all seasoned comedians. By the end, I was really happy that I had watched it and there were definitely some good laughs to be had. I recommend it.


Dead to Me

This one is dark. This is a show about a two women who meet at a grief group and form an unlikely friendship, bonding over what they have lost. Christina Applegate plays a realtor who is righteously angry and depressed after her husband was killed by a hit and run driver. Linda Cardellini plays a goofy woman who works at an assisted living center and is dealing with her own stuff. The friendship blossoming between both women is really fun to watch and the chemistry between them is really great. Their dialogue is sharply written and feels like people I have known during hard times. There is a lot of gallows humor that helps carry the show forward while things are very dark. The show is a lot about grief so it is a pretty sad show as one might expect. The show also stars James Marsden as Cardellini’s ex-husband in a very tricky situation. Under it all there is a mystery that I think I have solved but I am interested to see if I am right. I will probably continue watching this in small doses as it is pretty heavy. I recommend it as well.

Music of the Week:
Iggy Azalea – Sally Walker

The Browning – Optophobia

Ezra Collective – What Am I To Do?

Jade Bird – I Get No Joy

Ariel Posen – Angeline

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Gal Pals”
– I watched more Supernatural Season 14
– I watched more Star Trek: Voyager Season 2
– I watched more Ash vs. The Evil Dead Season 3
– I watched more Losers
– I watched more Santa Clarita Diet Season 3

 

 

Media Update 5/16/19

May 16, 2019


The Dark Crystal

This is one of those movies that I felt like I had seen but as soon as it started rolling, I knew that I had not. This is a shame as I am a huge fan of both Jim Henson and Frank Oz. However, while the concept was created by Jim Henson, a lot of credit also goes to Brian Froud and David Odell. From what I have read, Henson and his wife came up with the story while snowed in an airport hotel. He brought that to Odell who was able to put it all into a screenplay. Meanwhile, Henson had fed his early concepts to Froud who acted as the designer for the movie. Everything in the world of the movie sprung from the conceptual drawings of Froud. His visionary artwork created unique characters and a wonderful new world. The story is about two young creatures called Gelflings who must prevent the Skeksis from conquering and possibly destroying the world. The work he did here is what he would later do with Labyrinth. The difference here, in my opinion, is that this is a simpler and more beautiful story. This is a complete world of fantasy with no humans in a world foreign to us. It is a world of two people adopted into different cultures, using their different learned skills to save the day. I definitely recommend it unless I am the last person alive who had not seen the movie.


The Lego Movie Part 2

When the first Lego Movie came out, nobody expected it to be any good. It sounded like a cheap movie created to cash in on something most of us were nostalgic about. When the movie actually came out, it surprised a lot of us. It definitely surprised me in that it was so good and original and yet did reference a lot of things that I grew up loving. This movie continues in that vein, allowing the characters to grow a bit and explore their world more. This time equal time is given to both Lucy (played by Elizabeth Banks) and Emmet (played by Chris Pratt). Since the two are separated, they are allowed to be the heroes of their separate (yet intertwined) stories. Their story is about how sometimes we should change but also sometimes we should not lose the good parts of ourselves. Will Arnett is back as Batman, a minor but hilarious part. Alison Brie, Charlie Day, and Nick Offerman all return with smaller roles but just as funny as the first one. We get the new appearance of Stephanie Beatriz who adds a lot of dry humor to the movie. What really makes this movie feel new, though is the addition of Tiffany Haddish who infuses the movie with a different vibe which is important to the story. It also has more upbeat pop songs. I definitely recommend this one too.


Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

I remember reading the Goosebumps books when they first came out as they were all the rage at one point. That is part of the reason why I watched the first Goosebumps movie because it looked like a nostalgic walk through the world of the book series. It definitely was and I liked it a lot mostly because of Jack Black’s performance as Slappy the Dummy and RL Stine himself. They created a world where all of the books could exist in our world by literally bringing all of the old books alive. This movie instead more or less pulled the characters into a Goosebumps book. This movie actually felt more focused than the first film because it more or less had a central villain. It felt more like the Goosebumps books that I read long ago. Instead of following Jack Black, it followed a new cast of kids who had to combat Halloween itself. I am also kind of a sucker for stories where Halloween magically becomes real. Mick Wingert takes over as Slappy and, if you do not recognize the name, he is famous for taking over for Jack Black as he also took over the role of Ping from Kung Fu Panda. The movie stars Madison Iseman as the older sister who stands up for her little brother and the whole town. Jeremy Ray Taylor is the little brother (who also appeared in IT Part 1). Finally, there’s the fast-talking friend played by Caleel Harris. There are also great small roles from Wendi Mclendon-Covey, Ken Jeong, Chris Parnell and a cameo from Jack Black which connects this movie with the first one. Besides being more focused, I felt like this movie was creepier than the first one. It definitely had some creepy moments that stuck with me while still keeping things fairly light and family friendly. I definitely recommend it.

Music of the Week:
Vic Mensa – Rollin’ Like A Stoner

Bebe Rexha – Last Hurrah

FLETCHER – Undrunk

Hunt the Dinosaur – Destructo

Vampire Weekend – Harmony Hall

 

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Nostalgia”
– I finished Lucifer Season 3
– I watched more Doctor Who Season 10
– I watched more Supernatural Season 14
– I watched more Star Trek: Voyager Season 2
– I watched more Ash vs. The Evil Dead Season 3
– I watched more Losers

Media Update 5/8/2019

May 9, 2019


Fighting With My Family

I am a huge fan of the WWE (through good times and bad) but WWE Films has been fairly hit and miss. This is the kind of movie that was absolutely in their wheelhouse. It is a docudrama on the WWE career of Paige (real name Saraya-Jade Bevis) who was part of the Knight pro-wrestling family in England. The company had access to Paige herself and a lot of the players involved in her career because most of them are employees and ex-employees. Paige helped change the way women are viewed in wrestling by becoming the Anti-Diva and this is more or less her real-life story. The story is absolutely great, filled with humor and heart. Florence Pugh is perfect as Paige, capturing her passion and sense of humor. Nick Frost plays her father and is funny as usual but he also plays a good man with rough edges. Lena Heady plays Paige’s mother, a professional wrestler who is proud of her daughter’s meteoric rise. Jack Lowden plays Zak, Paige’s goofy brother who also tried out for the WWE but did not make it in but was always supportive of his little sister. The Rock plays himself, offering some of the best advice in or out of wrestling “Don’t be the next me, be the first you.” I knew a bit of her story but it was really interesting to see it played out dramatically. Part of that is that it was written and directed by Stephen Merchant, the creator of the Office. It is probably the best pro-wrestling movie made so far. I definitely recommend it, even to non-wrestling fans.


Shazam!

The DC Comics movies lately have been so bad that they had to basically rethink everything. They seem to have finally given up on attempting a shared universe like the MCU which is a relief. They are going back to the drawing board to make better standalone movies. I felt like this was the best DC film in a long time (maybe 11 years). Shazam was the perfect property to start this shift with as it has always been very cartoony and goofy, to begin with. The movie starts a little grim but eventually (like Wizard of Oz) suddenly there is color and humor and fun. First, Mark Strong is a great choice to play Sivana, an obsessed villain who gets to play the straight man to a lot of the zaniness. Zachary Levi and Asher Angel play the title character. I found it really fun that Angel played a world-weary teenager while Levi got to act more like a kid. The supporting cast of Jack Dylan Grazer, Grace Fulton, Faithe Herman, Ian Chen, and Jovan Armand gave the movie more heart and grounded the hero in ways that we have not really seen with DC yet. The movie also surprised me a lot but in the best ways. DC needs more movies like this and Wonder Woman, stories that make sense and grow organically from character. The effects were also great and the cinematography was clear and not as muddy as past films. I definitely recommend it.


Stargate: Atlantis

I was a big fan of Stargate since the movie came out. When I found out about the television series, I was intrigued but it took me a while to check it out. When I did, I found that I really loved it. It had a lot of heart, great characters, and good stories. It scratched the same itches that my favorite Star Trek series touched. When it finally ended after so many but still too few seasons, I was sad. I watched (and loved) Sanctuary because of Amanda Tapping’s involvement. Stargate Atlantis had already come and gone when I finished Stargate SG-1 and I had no way to catch up with it. So I was hit by Stargate Universe instead and that was disappointing. Recently, Amazon Prime had Atlantis so I decided to check it out. The series takes an all-new cast (some of which were regular guest stars from SG-1). The show felt like an extension of the SG-1 series but with room to grow away from that main series and explore a few different but similar concepts. The cast is really good at what they do which is episodic science fiction. Unfortunately, I only got a few episodes into the first season before Amazon Prime yanked the show for some reason. I definitely recommend it if you can find it and if you can, let me know.

Music of the Week:
Stitched Up Heart – Lost

G-Eazy – I Mean It

Courtney Barnett – Everybody Here Hates You

Lizzo – Tempo

The Claypool Lennon Delirium – Blood And Rockets: Movement I

Weekly Update:
– This week’s update is “Into a New World”
– I finished Lucifer Season 3
– I watched more Santa Clarita Diet Season 3
– I watched more Losers
– I watched more Star Trek: Voyager Season 2
– I started Supernatural Season 14 (and I’m halfway through already)
– I started Ash vs. The Evil Dead Season 3

Media Update 5/2/19

May 2, 2019


Avengers: Endgame

For starters, I have watched every single movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and I will continue to watch them as time goes on. I am a dedicated fan and this movie felt like a great reward for the fans. I also felt like it was a good stand-alone movie but I may not be the best judge since I have seen all the preceding movies. This movie was the victory lap eleven years in the making as it was the culmination of a central plot that slowly formed from over 36 hours of entertainment. I feel like they did a great job of touching on pretty much every single movie in the series with tiny touches and mentions and easter eggs. They also did a good job of explaining what you might have missed or reminded you of what may have been forgotten by quickly summing up or detailing points from earlier movies. Each character at least got a moment and some of the characters that have been there from the beginning got a lot of screentime to further their character arcs. I laughed, I cheered, I awwwed, I teared up, but mostly I just enjoyed myself all the way through. The 3-hour runtime went by so quickly and I could have gone for more in the end but they are going to give us more in the future. I definitely recommend this movie and I do not want to get into spoilers so I will end it here.


Star Trek Voyager

I was a huge fan of the Original Series and The Next Generation when I was little. When Star Trek Deep Space Nine came out, I became a devoted fan even when I had friends who were not into it. It remains my favorite series based on the actors and the types of stories they went with. Somehow, I lost interest in the franchise and I never really watched Voyager. I feel like I maybe watched a random episode here or there but I do not really remember it. Since the series is on Netflix, I decided to watch it from the beginning to get a real taste of it. The show is notable for being even better with its female characters. Kate Mulgrew is great at being a complex female captain who has a more nuanced personality than some other “strong female characters” of that time. Of course, my favorite is The Doctor, played by Robert Picardo through whose eyes we explore what it is to be a sentient being. I also really like Robert Beltran who plays the first Native American Starfleet officer in the franchise. The rest of the cast is really good too. I am only on season two now and the show seems to be getting better and better. They were a bit repetitive in the beginning but I feel like once they had a chance to stretch, they figured out where they were going. I recommend it for lovers of Star Trek or science fiction with lovable characters.


Losers

I was clued into this series through my following of the musher scene when I get into the Iditarod this year. This is a documentary series that follows sports figures who failed at one point or many points in their story and used that loss to reinvent themselves. I feel like it is a great story for those of us with anxiety, knowing there are others out there who have failed and survived and then thrived. Some of the episodes are darker than others and each one seems to capture different elements of humanity. Also, each episode looks at a different sport. So far I have watched episodes on boxing, ice skating, and curling but there are so many more. Each story I see is inspiring and informative about worlds I did not really know about. Eventually, I will get to the dog sledding episode. These messages are joyous in their positivity and openness. I definitely recommend this series.

Music of the Week:
Godholly – How I Feel

Five Finger Death Punch – Blue On Black

Billie Eilish – bad guy

Lèpoka – Yo Controlo

Zedd, Katy Perry – 365

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Getting Up and Trying Again”
– I finished Black Lightning Season 2
– I finished Grimm Season 6
– I started Doctor Who Season 10
– I watched more Lucifer Season 3
– I watched more Santa Clarita Diet Season 3
– I watched and followed the Iditarod
– Back to the normal routine!

Media Update 3/21/19

March 21, 2019


Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened

I only heard about the Fyre Festival after the whole thing had finally collapsed and people were putting out memes making fun of the people caught up in the scam. I was never the kind of person targeted by these sorts of things. I have never ever listened to an “influencer” and until recently I did not really understand that this was a job in itself. The Fyre Festival was a big attractive trap for the rich and naive. It is hard to feel sorry for people who have so much money to burn and choose to spend it partying instead of lifting up their fellow man. This documentary kind of exposes that shallow attention to brand over substance, image over reality. This sort of thing could have ended way worse than it did and it is only chance that saved many lives. I do feel sorry for some of the employees involved because a lot happened without their knowledge and consent which sort of ended promising careers and futures. If you did not know the story of the Fyre Festival, it was a music festival planned by people who had never had any experience in putting something like that together. They refused to give up and it was a disaster. I definitely recommend this documentary to pretty much anyone.


Robin Hood (2018)

I have always loved iconic stories and Robin Hood has always fit that mold. It will always be a story I go back to and Hollywood obviously has no problems going back to it either. So, Hollywood and I are in agreement. This time around they cast Taron Egerton (of The Kingsman and the upcoming Rocketman) as Robin of Loxley. Egerton is a fun actor who plays young, tough, and charismatic well. In this version, they use a lot of what came before including Robin being a war veteran and befriending an Arabian moor. The difference here is that they have Loxley playing a two-faced role of currying favor as Loxley while stealing as The Hood. He is befriended and mentored by “John” played by Jamie Foxx who is probably the best thing about the movie. Eve Hewson plays the first version of Marian who seems to have her own sense of agency and is less of a damsel in distress and more of a partner in crime. Finally, we have Ben Mendelsohn (of Captain Marvel) who plays the Sheriff of Nottingham as the insidious, fascist asshole he should be. The whole movie feels kind of like a mix between a Guy Pearce movie and an episode of Peaky Blinders (which had the same director). I definitely recommend this as well.


Elysium

Neill Blomkamp has a history of directing movies that attract attention but are usually not instant classics. The only one I have seen all the way through before this is District 9. He has been able to use a lot of the nasty history he saw in his native South Africa and apply that to creating science fiction worlds which are just extrapolations of our current culture. In District 9 he looked at xenophobia and colonization. In this movie, he explores class wars brought to an extreme level which do not seem all of that farfetched with the recent militarization of police forces. Like District, this movie creates an interesting world with interesting characters but it is a pretty grim movie. Post-apocalyptic world stories are rarely happy pictures but there is not much to smile about in this one for sure. The movie is gory and dirty and definitely not something for the weak of stomach. Still, Matt Damon is the star of this one and he is on top of his game as a likable criminal. He is opposed by Jodie Foster in what is probably the only villainous role that I have seen her in. It is a decent enough science fiction movie and the things it says about the rich and the poor line up with my philosophy. I recommend it but not that strongly.

Music of the Week:

Orville Peck – Dead of Night

Dirty Vegas – Days Go By

BATTLE BEAST – Eden

Caravan Palace – Miracle

Mustard, Migos – Pure Water

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Eat the Rich”
– I watched more Grimm Season 5
– I watched more Lucifer Season 3
– I watched more The Seven Deadly Sins Season 3
– I watched more Blindspot Season 1
– Kofi Kingston was screwed!

Media Update 3/14/19

March 14, 2019


Captain Marvel

I was not a huge fan of Carol Danvers growing up but I think for good reason. Writers did not know how to use her and used her too infrequently. When Kelly Sue DeConnick, Dexter Soy, and Emma Rios had their run on Captain Marvel with Jamie McKelvie’s redesign, they breathed new life into the character. This was the first time she called herself Captain Marvel and was the birth of a whole new fandom, the Carol Corps. After that, I really loved the character and when they announced this movie, I was excited. This movie absolutely does justice to the spirit of that character. Part of that is the absolute brilliance of Brie Larson in the lead role. She is just so charismatic and perfect in the role. It also does not hurt that we have Samuel L. Jackson as a younger Fury as her co-star. We also get great performances from Jude Law, Anette Benning, Lashana Lynch, and Ben Mendelsohn. Like most big Marvel releases, I saw this with my friends in a theater and I spent the thing either grinning or laughing the entire time. It was such a great adventure from beginning to end. This was a movie that cannot be denied. I cannot wait to see where they take this character next both in Avengers: Endgame and hopefully beyond. For now, I will bask in the joy of this movie. I wholeheartedly recommend it.


Battle Angel Alita

I was wary of another live-action anime adaptation but I heard some good buzz. I really liked the interesting mix of CGI and live action that created a somewhat unique art design for this movie. This is a world where humans coexist with cyborgs. Cyborgs are accomplished with a combination of CGI and practical effects. Similar to Astroboy, there are a sky city and a dirty city below which is a pretty common trope in science fiction. However, they pull off a gritty and lawless future city very well. This is a collaboration between two famous directors. The first is James Cameron who has awesome technical know-how but went artistically bankrupt a while ago. The second is Robert Rodriguez, a guy who was able to figure out this script and utilize the technical wizardry to create spectacle that also has a good story. Rosa Salazar plays the title character and her voice acting and motion capture are so charming. Christoph Waltz is on top of his game as usual as the hardened but kind mentor. Mahershala Ali gets to play an insidious and sneaky villain. Jackie Earle Haley plays to his strengths of being a psychotic villain. Jennifer Connelly plays a bitter and cynical woman. I also liked some smaller performances from Idara Victor and Keean Johnson. The animation moves seamlessly with the live action stuff and it all follows a great little story about self-discovery and the warrior’s way. I definitely recommend it.


Mary Poppins Returns

Over and over, I have proclaimed on this blog to be a big Disney nerd which is easier to be now that Disney basically owns everything. Mary Poppins is a movie I remember well from my childhood and I still listen to the music from it to this day. The Sherman Brothers were an amazing songwriting team. So when a sequel was announced, I was definitely interested in it. The trailer made the movie look a lot like the original. The original was whimsical but it had a lot to say about its characters, mostly the Banks family. This movie picks up the story years later with the Banks children now grown up and Michael has three kids of his own. Emily Blunt is an awesome Mary Poppins, strict but fun, confusing but enlightening. She is every bit the enigma she was in the original movie. Lin-Manuel Miranda plays a lamplighter who used to be Burt’s apprentice (with the same ludicrous accent). The three children are delightful as Michael and Jane were. Ben Whislaw plays Michael Banks, a befuddled and clumsy artist who is just trying to keep his family afloat. Jane (played by Emily Mortimer) has inherited her mother’s activist spirit and is supporting the labor unions. The music is so good. It feels like the Sherman Brothers songs and yet feels new as well. I was also really happy to see hand-drawn animation again. Not that I hate CGI but a movie like this just deserved a return to classic Disney animation. The art style felt like the original but with a little extra polish that new filming technology inherently brings with it. I definitely recommend this movie.

 

Music of the Week:

Wiley, Sean Paul, Stefflon Don – Boasty ft. Idris Elba

Bailey Bryan – Perspective

The Cranberries – All Over Now

Hozier – Dinner & Diatribes

Dorothy – Missile

 

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Women Heroes”
– I finished Fate/Apocrypha Season 2
– I finished Carmen Sandiego Season 1
– I finished Unsolved: Biggie and Tupac
– I finished The Umbrella Academy
– I finished Lorena
– I started Grimm Season 5
– I watched more Lucifer Season 3
– I watched more The Seven Deadly Sins Season 3
– I watched more Russian Doll Season 1
– I watched more Voltron: Legendary Defender Season 1

Media Update 3/7/19

March 7, 2019


The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

I had heard so many good things about this show. You probably have too. This show has certainly won a lot of awards and praise. The show is about a woman in the late 1950s whose husband leaves her so she decides to be a stand-up comedian, that is a gross over-simplification of the plot. The show is absolutely amazing. It feels like a happier and better-acted version of Mad Men. The show has a big, talented ensemble of great actors. The top performer is obviously Rachel Brosnahan who plays the lead. She has a mischievous, wild edge to her that is so fun to watch. I was really surprised at how good Alex Borstein was since my only experience with her was Family Guy and MadTV. There are strong performances from Tony Shalhoub and Kevin Pollak who play the fathers. Marin Hinkle is wonderfully subdued and subtle as the mom. Then there is Michael Zegen, the louse of a husband who walks a tightrope of being both sympathetic but easy to dislike. The show is a funny and dramatic look at life in New York during that time. Really it is just good characters played by great actors with great dialogue. I wholeheartedly recommend it.


Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

I was originally going to watch this with my mother but nearly a year later I decided to just watch this. I am a big fan of Tina Fey although her movie outings are kind of hit or miss. This one looked interesting. A woman goes to Afghanistan to become an embedded war correspondent without having any on camera experience or experience with violence. She deals with cultural differences, racism, sexism, religious issues, clashes of ideology, and a raucous college atmosphere. It is ostensibly a comedy but it is not exaggerated and goofy. It is mixed with drama and plays with a sardonic edge that Fey does well. Speaking of Tina Fey, she is on top of her game acting-wise. Margot Robbie is always an awesome addition to any cast. Martin Freeman was loveably jerky. Alfred Molina played on the edge of funny and worrying. The movie was surprisingly deep and funny and said a lot about war and what a human can get used to. I recommend this movie.


Lorena

I was ten when the incident between Lorena and John Bobbitt happened. I was definitely old enough to know what was going on. At the time, the whole thing was treated as a national joke. People were too nervous to confront the real, difficult underlying issues. This documentary tries to fix that. It discusses spousal abuse, immigration issues, the media circus, and more. It does use him or but only to keep the story light in the face of such dark subject matter. It uses interviews and footage from that time period and also modern interviews. I also recommend this one.

Music of the Week:
J. Cole – MIDDLE CHILD

Phantogram – You Don’t Get Me High Anymore

Poppy – Voicemail

Bikini Kill – Rebel Girl

Karen O and Danger Mouse – WOMAN

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “A Woman’s Life Changes”
– I watched more Lucifer Season 3
– I watched more Fate/Apocrypha Season 2
– I watched more Carmen Sandiego Season 1
– I watched more The Seven Deadly Sins Season 3
– I watched more Russian Doll Season 1
– I watched more Unsolved: Biggie and Tupac
– I watched more of The Umbrella Academy
– I watched more of Grimm Season 5


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