Posts Tagged ‘Media Update’

Media Update 6/22/2017

June 22, 2017


House of Cards

I have heard over and over how good this show was but the longer I did not watch it, the more there was to watch and I felt overwhelmed. I always said ‘I’ll watch it next week’. This is the week that I finally decided to watch it, disregarding that there are multiple seasons out and just focusing on watching it from the beginning. Kevin Spacey is a great actor and he pours everything into every performance I have seen from him. This may be his greatest role yet. This show is exactly how I imagine politics normally operates. People have goals to accomplish but they also want to amass power to accomplish those goals. They do horrible things to amass that power and to achieve those goals. Frank Underwood is a very charismatic character and is a lot of fun to watch. He is also a lot of fun to hate. In fact, I have yet to see a “good guy” character on the show and I think I never will. This show is about living by the laws of the jungle and who cares who gets run over. I definitely recommend it. It is also partially filmed in my hometown.


Ms. Sloane

This movie kind of had its box office killed by the gun lobby which is actually a pretty good illustration of why this movie needed to be made. The movie covers how corrupt the political lobbying industry is in America. The issue that they choose to use to illustrate this is a gun control law heading towards a vote in the Senate. The movie actually tackles the gun control issue from multiple sides, providing a pretty balanced argument for both sides. However, it is a useful tool in the main drive of the film in covering the lobbying industry. Jessica Chastain plays a hired gun lobbyist who decides to back the gun control bill instead of following the money and fighting for the NRA. Her performance as a workaholic Machiavellian strategist is fascinating to watch. The twists and turns in the story were at first predictable and then the movie started to surprise me. The movie gets more and more powerful as it goes on. It goes from scrappy political movie to thriller to courtroom drama. It is a shame that this one did not get the attention it deserved because it really should have gotten a bigger audience. It still can so I definitely recommend it.


In the Loop

This movie is insane. It is about the communication between the English and American governments during the events leading up to the Second American War in Iraq. Obviously, the main consensus now is that launching that war was a titanic mistake caused by ineptitude, outright conniving malice, and greed. That is what this movie is about. We follow a minor British PM who is a weak-willed politician who gets caught up in everything because he makes a gaffe in an interview. He and his staff stumble through relations with their own government and the American government. Meanwhile, the Americans are pushing hard to start a war. There is a lot of political jockeying and bullying as the people involved are more interested in ending up in a dominant position rather than doing what is right. The two main stars I recognized were James Gandolfini and Peter Capaldi but the whole cast is awesome. Capaldi, in particular, might set a record for f-bombs dropped by a single character but somebody might need to check that. This movie is a spiritual successor to Dr. Strangelove as it is driven by a lot of absurdity and chains of events that rational thought should have stopped. I definitely recommend it.

Music of the Week:
Junior – ‘A House That’s Not Quite Home’

Electric Six – Synthesizer

Of Mice & Men – Never Giving Up

NF – Real

Alyson Stoner – Dragon

Weekly Updates:
– This week’s theme is “Politics as Usual”
– I finished Supernatural Season 12
– I watched more Arrow Season 5
– I watched more The Flash Season 3
– I watched more Supergirl Season 2
– I watched an episode of Bones I had not seen
– I still have not seen Wonder Woman and now I want to
– Happy Birthday, Mom!

Media Update 6/8/17

June 8, 2017


The Book of Life

While it should be obvious by now how much I love Halloween, I have also long been enamored of Mexico’s Day of the Dead. It is not just Mexican Halloween, it is so much different (but also a little different). Day of the Dead is a celebration of remembrance for all dead loved ones. It has a festival atmosphere as candy and good food are shared with the living and with the dead. The Day of the Dead evolved an artistic motif which is well-known even here in the United States. Chief among the symbols is the sugar skull which I am sure you have seen. This movie takes a trip through the customs and legends of the Day of the Dead (with a few tweaks, of course). The movie is so pleasant to look at. The animation is CGI but it reminded me so much of movies like Kubo and The Boxtrolls. The art style just made me smile over and over. It is a tale of a love triangle threatened by supernatural forces from the realms of the dead. It is such an interesting story in the style of a folk tale of gods and mortals. It was exciting, touching, and so incredibly funny. Not surprising since it was directed by Jorge Guttierez (a man deep in the Mexican animation game) and produced by the legendary Guillermo Del Toro. I cannot recommend this one enough.


Wanted 18

The Israeli/Palestinian conflict has been going on since before I was born. The clash of cultures is one that is incredibly hard to untangle and nobody is completely innocent. This is the true story of a Palestinian town that bought eighteen cows so that they did not have to buy Israeli milk. Their town was Israeli-occupied and they had had enough. The movie is a mixed media documentary with reenactments, interviews, and animation. The animation is mostly about what the cows must have thought of being the focal point of a rebellious act. The talking cows add some humor to a pretty tense story about the Intifada/Israeli conflict. There are also some comic book-style drawings to help illustrate the story. It is a story about a town banding together as a symbol to a people who felt that they got a raw deal. It is an intensely interesting story. Now, I do not know how much is true. I also cannot tell you who is ‘right’ in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. As I said, it is a difficult knot to untangle. This movie is worth a watch, though. So often, the United States is only told the story from Israel’s side. It is easy to vilify Palestinians but the conflict is not so black and white. This was a non-violent civil disobedience that is so much more powerful than any fighting. I definitely recommend this.


A Monster in Paris

This was a strange little movie. Set in 1910, a flea is exposed to a chemical mix that makes it into a human-sized monster with a beautiful singing voice. From there, it gets mixed up with a colorful cast of characters in a Paris cabaret. The premise is strange but the characters and the music really make it work. The movie is also alive with Parisian and 1910 culture in general. References to people like Melies are always welcome. There is a lot of action, music, and a ton of great comedy. The second half is non-stop zany action which I really enjoyed after the heavier subject matter in the above movies. As I look down the list of voice actors, I do not recognize anyone (except Catherine O’Hara) but everyone was just as good as any Hollywood star. The animation was really expressive and the art style was just different enough to really set it apart from the multitudes. It was light fare but entirely enjoyable from start to finish. I definitely recommend this one as well.

Music of the Week:
-M- Matthieu Chedid – Je dis aime

Tytan – The Watcher

Bad Seed Rising – Wolves At The Door

Lil Dicky – White Crime

Diamanda Galás & John Paul Jones – Skótoseme

Weekly Updates:
– This week’s theme is “Animation from Foreign Lands”
– I started watching Arrow Season 5
– I started watching The Flash Season 3
– I started watching Supergirl Season 2
– I watched more Season 12 Supernatural
– I watched more Fairy Tail

Media Update 6/1/2017

June 1, 2017


Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

After finally watching Pirates 4 (see below) the night before, I went off to meet my friends at an IMAX matinee. I was excited for the movie in the same way that I get excited for Fast and the Furious Movies. I love the familiar characters and the impossible antics and this movie showed promise of being that again. Like some reviews have said, the movie is a little long. However, I only noticed that after the movie and I was surprised that two and a half hours had passed. I never looked at my watch once during the movie. It was pretty much a nonstop adventure full of comedy and some poignant emotional moments. Depp, Geoffrey Rush and a lot of character actors return to do what they do best. We also get a new couple for Jack to assist in breaking yet another curse. They were great, played by Brenton Thwaites and Kaya Scodelario who were both totally new to me. We also got a great villain in Javier Bardem who is making a good living playing great villains. If this was the last Pirates film, it was a fitting send-off as it felt like it called back to the first one while looking forward. I definitely recommend it.


Treasure Planet

This was one of the Disney animated movies that I missed because I was off at college and I just fell off from watching Disney movies. I had already read Treasure Island so I am sure that this one would not have interested me so much. It has been probably about twenty years since I have read the book so the movie actually sounded a little attractive. I was right, I had forgotten enough of Treasure Island to be unsure of what was happening next and what parts were added in and what parts were from the book. This is an update, of course, putting the story in space in a setting where extraterrestrials freely mingle with human beings. The animation is really pretty as you would expect. What really got me was the art direction and the character design which felt a little fresh to me which is hard to do with aliens. As the movie went on, I started to remember the book but by then I did not care so much. The voice acting is fun, the animation is fluid and the plot is classic. None of this is surprising from the Writer/Director team of The Little Mermaid and Moana. The music is a little bit too much butt rock to me but it was fine. I recommend it.


Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides

So when I decided to go with my friends to Pirates 5, I knew I finally had to watch Pirates 4. This was something I had wanted to do despite hearing it was a bit of disappointment. My motivations to watch the movie were the same as above. Right away, the movie felt like the rest of the Pirates movies. There was Captain Jack and he was going to have an adventure. It did not take long for me to realize that this was not a normal Pirates movie. Most Pirates movies are about the other characters (for the majority Swann/Turner) doing stuff and Captain Jack trying to do stuff with or against them. This movie was more of a personal story for Jack. For once, he was the male romantic lead and it felt a little weird. Still, as much as I love Jack being a degenerate reprobate, the moments where he actually cares are powerful. I did feel it was a little weird to bring in Blackbeard as the villain but it worked. Penelope Cruz was a pretty strong character as well. It just felt like maybe this one rambled and meandered a bit too much. There were a lot of great moments but the movie lacked the emotional punch the other movies had for me. Still, I would recommend it if you are a completionist like me.

Music of the Week:

Nina Hagen – Naturträne

Amandititita – La Muy Muy

Scissor Sisters – I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’

Run The Jewels – Legend Has It

B.E.R. – The Night Begins to Shine

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is obviously “Disney Pirates”
– I finished Season 3 of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
– I watched more Fairy Tail
– I watched more Glitter Force
– I finished watching The Get Down and I’m pissed that they canceled it
– I started Supernatural Season 12
– I watched more Lucha Underground
– I don’t know if I want to trust Wonder Woman
– I am planning Halloween

Media Update 5/25/2017

May 25, 2017


Independence Day: Resurgence

This is a project that I have heard about for the last twenty years. The original was created by Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin (of Leverage/Librarians fame). It was a fun, cheesy blockbuster action/comedy movie about a full-on invasion of Earth by extraterrestrials. I have seen it several times and it never gets old to me. This sequel basically took the form that was rumored for the last twenty years. Humans merge their technology with the tech of the fallen ships to fight a bigger threat. Sequels always have a bigger threat. Twenty years later and they combined some of the old cast with a new one. We get a returning Jeff Goldblum who is just as eccentric as he is in every movie. We also get a returning Brent Spiner who gets more of a role and a returning Bill Pullman who gets less of a role. Our action stars are Liam Hemsworth, Jessie T. Usher and Maika Monroe who all play fighter pilots in the battle and Deobia Oparei. Judd Hirsch also returns but probably should not have, same goes for Vivica Fox who was in the movie for like 30 seconds. The movie was pretty fun, actually for a 20-year sequel. It felt like the first movie but it made a little more sense to me. I want to see a prequel about Deobia Oparei’s African warriors fighting the aliens hand to hand. I recommend it but your mileage may vary.


Interstellar

I am a big fan of Christopher Nolan and I have been since I saw Batman Begins. I like his filmmaking style that always has interesting characters and intricate plots that pay out big time. Some (like Dark Knight) are better than others (The Dark Knight Rises) but I have at least liked each of his movies that I have seen. This movie is a thinkpiece about the physics involved in space travel, black holes, and wormholes. It also touches on the emerging science of gravity waves. Nolan and his brother had a consulting physicist named Dr. Kip Thorne who is a former classmate of Dr. Stephen Hawkins and a brilliant scientific mind in his own right. They worked hard to make this tale of space travel as scientifically accurate as they could. The way they play with time and relativity is really amazing and actually kind of terrifying. The movie stars Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway as a former NASA pilot and a scientist who are tasked with finding a suitable planet for humans to relocate to. McConaughey’s daughter is also a key character and she is played by three actresses due to the relativity of time. There is a definite feel to the movie that is reminiscent of 2001: A Space Odyssey and its sequel 2010. The movie made me think, made me laugh, made me sad and made me happy. It is super long but if you have the time I recommend it.


Plan 9 (2015)

Another movie that has been in the works for a long time. Remaking Plan 9 from Outer Space of all movies sounded like a fool’s errand to me when I first heard about it. The original is so bad that it is fun to watch it, especially with friends. Ed Wood was a passionate filmmaker but he never really had enough money or expertise to really bring his movies to life correctly. The premise of this movie is trying to make a modern remake that is truer to that original vision but with a better budget and more hands on deck to realize the vision. The result was actually really fun. The movie is reimagined with less aliens and becomes more of a sci-fi zombie movie with more mysterious aliens. This removes the awkward speeches from the aliens and allows the movie to focus more on the townspeople. While it is not a perfect movie by far, it has an offbeat humor and a lot of fun action. It plays a little with zombie tropes since the method of creating zombies is a little different from most movies. I recommend it but mostly for the hardcore bad movie junkies, the sci-fi nuts and nerds like me.

Music of the Week:
Patrik Fitzgerald – Safety-Pin Stuck In My Heart

Wrekonize – Clones

X – Johnny Hit and Run Paulene

One Direction – Drag Me Down

Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj – Bang Bang

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Outer Space”
– I watched a ton of Season 2 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
– I watched more Season 2 of The Get Down
– I watched more Fairy Tail
– I finished Sherlock Season 4
– I finished Better Call Saul Season 2
– I finished Season One of The Crown
– I caught two more episodes I was missing of The Librarians

Media Update 5/4/2017

May 4, 2017


Little Witch Academia
(and Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade)

This was a, pardon the pun, completely enchanting experience. I basically look at these two short films as two pilots (an intro and a two-parter) for the television show that has not been released in America yet. The series follows a young witch named Akko living and learning at a all-female boarding school for practitioners of the magical arts aka witches. Unlike many of her fellow students, she grew up in a more human world and is behind everybody in her skills. Luckily, she is aided by her friends Sucy and Lotte (and others later). Sucy might just be my favorite part of what I have seen so far as she is creepy and funny and loves to brew bizarre potions and poisons but is still a good guy. Lotte summons faeries to aid her. Akko is basically a witch version of a magical girl, so basically a double magical girl. The animation is so fluid and it is so fun to watch everybody move. The American voice cast is sweet and endearing and I could not help but fall in love with the three misfits. I cannot wait for Netflix to finally start bringing the show to the States because they have done such a good job so far producing quality dubs. I definitely recommend what is on there so far.


Kill la Kill

I remember hearing a little about this show when it first got popular but I never got around to watching it for some reason or another. I probably did not have cable while it was on Toonami. I have heard the dub is very high quality but I watched the subtitled version on Netflix which was fine. (Seriously, give me an advertising deal Netflix). Anyway, the show is about a young schoolgirl who travels to a famous academy to discover who killed her father sho she can avenge him. Along the way, she becomes a bizarre magical girl through some magic clothes. Most magical girls fight for love and justice selflessly but this one just wants to beat the crap out of almost everyone she sees. It is basically a heavy metal version of the magical girl story. She has few friends at the academy and usually has her back against the wall in almost every fight. The one big thing I wanted to address with this one is the fanservice. There is a lot of male and female nudity and suggestive sexual language so far (4 episodes in). Some of it is funny, most of it is bizarre. I thought it was really sexist at first but over time I think it is just a bizarre sidenote that is neither sexist nor feminist. The animation and fight scenes are pretty cool and creative and I look forward to what happens next. I will recommend it but do not come knocking on my door if it offends you (there’s also a lot of blood).


Fairy Tail

With a name like that, I should have checked it out ages ago. It is set in a world that is full of mages trying to ply their trade by helping people for money through the use of bounty boards and quests. The series mostly follows Lucy who is a young, idealistic mage whose magic is devoted to summoning creatures and making contracts with them. It is a concept I love especially since she is very excited but also very nice about it. She is out to join the number one mage guild which is called Fairy Tail. Along the way, she befriends a fire mage named Natsu and a cast of kooky but awesome characters. It has some dungeons and dragons elements to it but it also has some fun One Piece and Seven Deadly Sins elements. The mix of comedy and action is really good. The two heroes are not the most experienced or competent so we get to see them fail until they succeed a lot early on. The humor comes from genuinely funny characters but also some absurdist humor thrown in as well. I am only a few episodes in but I like what I see so far and I cannot wait for more characters to be introduced to the story. I definitely recommend it.

Music of the Week:
Eric B. & Rakim – I Ain’t No Joke

JI YEON – Never Ever

John Carpenter – Night

Windhand – Libusen

JoJo – FAB

Weekly Update:
– I watched more MST3K: The Return and it just gets better as it goes
– I watched more Don’t Trust the B in Apt 23
– I finished Iron Fist and I thought it was pretty good
– I started Legends of Tomorrow Season 2
– I watched more of The Crown
– I picked up The Get Down Part 2
– This week’s theme is “Magical Anime Series”

Media Update 4/27/2017

April 27, 2017


Fate of the Furious

When I saw the first Fast and Furious movie, I was not very impressed. I thought Vin Diesel was cool but it was a pretty formulaic action/undercover movie. I did not seek out the sequels, in fact, I could not explain why there were sequels. Especially a movie called Tokyo Drift starring a very, very white man. However, I checked back in when The Rock joined the cast in Fast Five and I was sold. In Fast Five, the series took a hard turn into the ridiculous and never looked in the rearview. The movie combined ridiculous car stunts, awesome fights, crazy comedy and melodramatic drama. Every movie is balls to the wall insane and I love it. This one is no different. While we have lost Paul Walker (who grew on me), Gal Godot and Sung Kang, we get a lot of great people returning including Jason Statham. The comedy between Ludacris and Tyrese never fails to make me laugh. I really want to sit here and explain all the awesome and fun scenes but you should really see it for yourself. It is basically like a high-level D&D party constantly rolling high because impossible odds are something that does not matter in a movie like this. I wholeheartedly recommend this one but leave your brain at the door.


Lucky Number Slevin

Pick your brain back up because you are going to need it to watch this movie. This movie feels like a Guy Ritchie movie but it’s not and it is a little bit different. It is one part mistaken identity film, one part quirky comedy, one part mystery and one part crime movie. It is one of those movies that has all these simple working parts but it still surprises you how it comes together. Our main character is Josh Hartnett who is pretty funny as he stumbles from situation to another. He is in the middle of a war between Ben Kingsley and Morgan Freeman. Lucy Liu plays a very plucky woman determined to solve the mystery when it seems that the hero is not as interested. Morgan Freeman is great as a smug, self-satisfied boss who knows he cannot lose. Ben Kingsley is great as a psycho Rabbi/mobster. I do not want to give any more away so I will just say to go see it for yourself.


XXX 3: The Return of Xander Cage

I was a huge fan of the original XXX back in the early 2000s. At the time, we were beset by ridiculously corny and horrible James Bond movies so we needed a new secret agent character. Along came XXX and they did things a little differently. The first movie is a great undercover movie mixed with an extreme sports action spectacular. Vin Diesel played it cool while fighting terrorist in Eastern Europe. I kind of half-watched the sequel but only because there was no Vin Diesel which in retrospect is kind of unfair. It was a decent enough movie for what it was and I think the Darius Stone character is also a fun action star. This movie is less of an undercover movie and more of XXX meets the Expendables which sounds like it could be bad but it turned out alright. It is great to see Vin Diesel back as Xander Cage, a secret agent with plenty of snark and a bad attitude. This time he is joined by all sorts of friends who are just as crazy as he is. I was surprised to see both Tony Jaa and Donnie Yen but I shouldn’t have been. There was plenty of girl power too with Rubyrose probably being my favorite psycho sniper. The movie had its trademark sex scenes but they were actually tamer this time and there was a little bit of a nod and a wink. The movie took a bit to get into but once it hit its gear, it was plenty of fun. I definitely recommend it and the first two movies as well.

Music of the Week:

New Mortal Gods-Let Us Burn

Mooked Out – Made It My Job

Freak Kitchen – Freak of the Week

Caravan Palace – Lone Digger

Gorillaz – Saturnz Barz

Weekly Update:
– I finished Season 6 of Blue Bloods and now I am taking a break
– I finished the entirety (1 season) of The Crazy Ones
– I watched more MST3K: The Return
– I am almost done Season One of Don’t Trust the B
– I watched more Glitter Force
– I finished the entirety of Haven
– I went to the DC Science March
– This week’s theme is “Inevitable”

Media Update 4/20/17

April 20, 2017


Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return

I was a huge fan of the original Mystery Science Theater 3000 (although I was more of a Mike guy than a Joel guy). When the Kickstarter hit, I was both excited and scared. I never contributed but only because, when asked, Mike and the gang said they had no hand in it. However, as they announced more stuff, I was all in. Jonah Ray, Patton Oswalt and Felicia Day are all performers on the show and that alone would be enough. Add in writing credits from Dan Harmon, Justin Roiland, Paul and Storm and others and you have a show that has so much potential. I fell in love with the new show right away. It does not hurt that Jonah Ray is a charming guy with an A plus in sarcasm. I am still getting used to the new bot’s voices but their characterization and comedy are on point. They have added all sorts of new stuff (like the bots moving around during the movie) to the show to make it their own. Three episodes in and the movies are not too painful and the jokes are great. I definitely recommend it as it felt like coming home after some cool renovations.


Nick Offerman: American Ham

The character of Ron Swanson was pretty much built off of how Nick Offerman actually is. The evolution of the character was basically the writers allowing Offerman to shine through. This comedy special is a list of ten rules to make your life better. They are offered in a joking way but the list actually makes sense and promotes low technology, feminism, and a love of nature. Offerman’s relationship with his wife (Megan Mullaly) is one of the most inspiring relationships I have ever seen. Also, one of Offerman’s central messages is finding your passion in life. This is so important. Offerman also wrote a whole bunch of parody songs (available on Youtube) but was not allowed to air them on Netflix and it is a great running gag. I definitely recommend it.


Ghostbusters (2016)

I finally decided to take the plunge to watch this one. The movie started with a lot of points against it (at least for me) by casting Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy. I think, once again, that Melissa McCarthy was the biggest drawback of the movie. I feel like the movie leaned too much on nostalgia like a crutch. It could have lightened up on the references to the original movie and it could have instead been a little more of its own thing. That being said, it is not bad. Kristen Wiig was actually understated for once and Melissa McCarthy was doing her best Bill Murray impression. Leslie Jones is a lot of fun and is the most normal person in the group. Hands down, Kate McKinnon’s weird character Holtzmann is the breakout character in the movie. She has way more charisma than anybody else in the movie. They also updated the movie so the technology looks a little flashier and the ghost effects look a little sharper which is not really better or worse, just different. I could have done without the cameos from the original cast of Ghostbusters. This movie was alright but I would probably not recommend it.

Music of the Week:
Rose of Avalanche – LA Rain

Radiskull and Devil Doll – Bring on the Pain

Vampire Weekend – Oxford Comma

The Rezillos – Flying Saucer Attack

Brooke Candy – Living Out Loud

Weekly Updates:
– I am still watching Season 6 of Blue Bloods
– I watched more of Don’t Trust the B in Apt 23
– I am still watching The Crazy Ones
– I watched more Glitter Force
– I rewatched some Sailor Moon
– Most of my watching was YouTube
– This week’s theme is “Not to Be Taken Too Seriously”
– It’s 4/20, man.

Media Update 4/13/2017

April 13, 2017


Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23

I had seen this on Netflix for a while but once again I needed a reference before I watched this. Kate Leth was talking on Twitter about how this show was actually pretty good. After enjoying Krysten Ritter on Breaking Bad, Big Eyes and Jessica Jones, I am pretty much solidly a fan. This show has the wild kinetic energy of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and the crazy meta-ish humor of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The show is about a small town girl dealing with a psychotic city woman as her roommate after her life implodes. Krysten Ritter is the sarcastic psycho. She is fans with actor James Van der Beek who is still living off of Dawson’s Creek. The new roommate is played by Dreama Walker and she is great as a naive person slowly learning the ways of the world. How did this get canceled? The show is really funny and smart and, best of all, it is filled with surprise after surprise. I feel like it has been a while since I have watched a comedy show where I did not know what was coming next. It is only two seasons long because network television is fickle but I will probably watch them all at this rate. I definitely recommend it.


The Crazy Ones

There have been a couple shows and movies about advertising before because obviously examining the minds of people who make commercials is interesting. This was one of Robin Williams’ last projects and it is very worthy to be near the finish line of a fabulous career. Robin Williams plays a commercial creator who is clinically insane but he is reined in by his daughter and staff. His daughter is played by Sarah Michelle Gellar who is using the great comedy chops she built up on Buffy. Their bond as a father/daughter advertising team is the core of the show and a lot of the great moments from the show. They are joined by a copywriter who is too pretty and successful for his own good. Also, an artist who is perpetually put upon. Finally, there is their assistant who comes off as ditzy at first but secretly may be the smartest one of the group. This show made me laugh hard and loud as I tried to keep up with Williams. As a bonus, every episode ends with bloopers where we see the cast drive each other nuts.


How I Met Your Mother

I have heard a whole lot of conflicting reports about this sitcom mostly based on the ending which has been already spoiled for me. However, it has some awesome people in it and that is what I loved right off the bat. Jason Segel is good at playing a big doofy, loveable guy. Neil Patrick Harris plays a really fun smarmy jerkwad. Alyson Hannigan is always charming and lovably sarcastic in whatever she does. Cobie Smulders is a badass and funny woman. Josh Radnor is pretty much ok. Most of my enjoyment of the show comes from watching them busting each other’s chops. The premise of the show is ridiculous, of course. Most “how I met your mother” stories are maybe a minute long. At least in the first few episodes, the main romance plot is awkward and pathetic but it must get better, right? It also has a laugh track which is a definite negative. I do not need to be told when to laugh. I really did like what I saw so far (well mostly) so I will probably give it more of a chance. I actually don’t think I could recommend it, though.

Music of the Week:
Mandopony – Die Anywhere Else

The Avett Brothers – Ain’t No Man

Brass Construction – L-O-V-E-U

Kid Cudi – Day ‘N’ Nite

Suicide Silence – You Can’t Stop Me

Weekly Update:
– I started Season 6 of Blue Bloods
– I kept watching Lucha Underground
– I picked Wynonna Earp Season 1 up again
– I watched more Glitter Force
– I am so close to finishing Iron Fist
– I watched a little more Dice, Camera, Action
– This week’s theme is “Crazy Sitcoms”

Media Update 4/6/17 – 500th Post!

April 6, 2017


Moana

I look forward to every Disney animation release with great excitement. I try to see them in theaters but I have had to rein in my budget a lot recently. I have been a fan of the Rock since 1996 so I had a lot of excitement when I found out that Dwayne Johnson would be in a Disney film. When I found out that the movie covered his native Polynesian culture, I was over the moon. Island culture is so cool and I have learned bits of it from interviews with Johnson and other sources. The movie is directed by the team of Ron Clements and John Musker who directed The Little Mermaid, Alladin, Hercules and other great traditionally animated Disney films. This was their first CGI animated film and they knocked it out of the park. The music was created by Lin-Manuel Miranda (before he became a mainstream sensation) and a musician named Opetaia Foa’i. They worked so well together that every song either made me smile or pulled directly at my heartstrings. Dwayne Johnson was hilarious as the headstrong demigod who lost his way. Newcomer Auli’i Cravalho was almost instantly my new favorite Disney protagonist. She was caught between family, tradition, and doing what is right. I just found myself smiling non-stop except when the movie was making me cry. As a side note, some people have criticized The Rock’s singing and I can only tell them they are crazy. He had more heart and charm in his voice than some of the most technically proficient singers I have heard. I wholeheartedly recommend this.


Manchester by the Sea

I had heard that Casey Affleck got an Academy Award for this one but the premise kind of warned me away. I do not usually watch a lot of sad movies because they pull on me and I have suffered from depression in the past. However, my mom got the DVD and I was not watching alone. The movie has a central linear story with dramatic flashbacks to an earlier time. This is important because refreshingly they do not put in any subtitles explaining what is happening. The movie is unrelenting and devastating and both my mom and I felt like we had been on a roller coaster afterward. The movie is about how we react to life when the bad things happen and our plans are derailed. I can see why people praised Casey Affleck’s performance as he had to basically play two different characters. His character resonated with me as I could see myself in the depths of numb depression in his performance. Nobody is a shining example of humanity in this movie but that is life. The characters struggle to make healthy decisions while their world threatens to completely crumble around them. I cannot begin to describe it but the movie was strangely comforting. I definitely recommend it but brace yourself.


The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

I have spoken before how weird and offbeat Wes Anderson’s films are. He goes to great lengths to showing people acting weird in extraordinary circumstances. He has a list of actors he almost always uses and expands from there and they all know his style. This one is about a sea exploration documentary crew that knows next to nothing about marine biology or really anything. The movie stars Bill Murray but he is not really the protagonist. Much like A Christmas Carol’s Scrooge, Steve Zissou is actually the antagonist for most of the movie. The real protagonists are Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, and Zissou’s long-suffering crew. Along the way, we meet Jeff Goldblum, Michael Gambon, Angelica Huston and Willem Dafoe doing what they do best (which is stealing scenes). Like most of Anderson’s movies, this is a character driven piece full of quirky, flawed, and interesting people. However, unlike his other movies, this one did not have as much of a driving story at least not until the second half. It was entertaining but not as much as movies like Rushmore or The Grand Budapest Hotel which had more of a forward thrust and less aimless wandering. I would recommend it to fans of Wes Anderson and weird, emotional movies.

Music of the Week:
Hot Chip – Ready For The Floor

Nickelback – Animals

The Dead South – In Hell I’ll Be In Good Company

Ariana Grande – Everyday ft. Future

Unsun – Lost Innocence

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “The Sea”
– I am watching Blue Bloods Season 5
– I am almost done with Iron Fist now
– I have two remaining episodes of Haven
– I watched more Lucha Underground
– I watched a little more Glitter Force
– I watched more Dice, Camera, Action
– This is officially my 500th post!

Media Update 3/30/17

March 30, 2017


Akira

This movie is the legendary anime film that is pretty much solely responsible for anime reaching the mainstream culture in the United States. The movie was record-breaking in many ways. The two main ones were that it used more drawings and more colors than any previous animated film. Because much of it took place at night or in the dark, a larger and more complicated color palette was needed. Also, it merged action and science fiction in some ways that had not been seen as much in popular culture at the time but are very prevalent now. The movie itself is extremely compelling. It is the story of friendship, giving somebody more power than they can handle, evolution and the results of science reaching too far. It mostly follows two members of a biker gang in post-apocalyptic Japan. One of them gains immense psychic powers and their story spirals out of control, involving other super-powered beings, rebel forces and the government. It has really beautiful animation which obviously influenced most of what came after it. It also very clearly creates a world where there are not really any good guys but everybody is still very sympathetic. The story is also extremely interesting and it had enough twists and turns to keep me guessing at almost every moment. I definitely recommend it to the three anime fans who have not seen it yet.


Glitter Force

I saw this pop up as a “Netflix Original” a long while ago and I laughed and put it on my list to check out at some point. I mentioned before how much I love Magical Girl shows and if nothing else it would be fun to watch the first episode or two. I decided to watch it this week because it fit the week’s theme. However, I almost turned away when I saw the tag “Ages 2 to 6”. Then I googled the show and found a really bitter change.org petition to remove the show from Netflix. I had to watch it now. I am really glad I did. The show is a comedy action magical girl show. It is constructed very similarly to Sailor Moon with five young girls drawing on important values and magical powers to save the day. The comedy is sometimes wacky and sometimes actually pretty dry and, dare I say it, sophisticated. The action is a little formulaic but so is every other anime of its kind. The construction of the girls’ powers is mostly based on their personalities and their hobbies. At the same time, it may be the girliest thing that I have ever watched and that is coming from somebody who has seen multiple seasons of My Little Pony and half a season of Jem. They definitely lean into that and it ends up really working. I can see similarities to Sailor Moon and Madoka Magica but there are definitely some things they make their own. Particularly, all of the main villains are based on villains from fairy tales. I definitely recommend it but I understand if you do not.


One Punch Man

The Game Grumps have been hyping this show for ages now since it showed up on Crunchyroll. Now that it showed up on Netflix, it was time for me to check it out. The show is a anime superhero parody set in a fictional post-apocalyptic supercontinent. The ‘hero’ is a guy named Saitama who is so powerful that he kills every villain he opposes with one punch. The ease of his crimefighting has made him really bored with his life since the thrill of battle was something he really longed for. While the world goes crazy around him, he is very low key and nonchalant while everybody else is taking things way too seriously. The animation is really cool as we see opponents with ridiculously strong powers face off against each other. A lot of it is played for laughs even though there is plenty of gore either visually or through implication. I wish I liked this show more. The action is actually kind of similar to shows like Seven Deadly Sins but without the emotional stakes. All of the action is kind of boring when everybody is kind of a jerk and there is nobody to really root for. I do not think I will be continuing on with this one because I have shows that I actually really want to watch.

Music of the Week:
Teruko Akatsuki – Tokyo Shoe Shine Boy

Buckcherry – Lit Up

Chet Faker – Gold

Royal Blood – Out Of The Black

Babymetal – Megitsune

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is Animated Action
– I am almost done Blue Bloods Season 4
– I watched more Lucha Underground Season 1
– I am almost finished watching Haven
– I watched a lot more Iron Fist and it’s still good
– Getting ready for Wrestlemania weekend
– Working on the April A to Z Blogging Challenge
– Happy Media Update 100!


susanne matthews

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Silence Killed The Dinosaurs

(but it won't get me)

Daily (w)rite

A DAILY RITUAL OF WRITING

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Stories, Reviews and Opinions!

half a 1000 miles

cringeworthy (adj) -- causing feelings of awkwardness or embarrassment

kayrayiam

Adventures of a Gypsy Nurse with a Cryptic Past

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Princess of Dragons

A world of imagination, writing and dragons

the eye of the beholder

(a place where beauty is found)

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