Posts Tagged ‘Media Update’

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!

Media Update 3/23/2017

March 23, 2017


Iron Fist

Everybody seems to say this show sucks but that is the problem with saying something sucks, somebody out there might actually like it. Marvel has created a lot of good television shows, especially through Netflix. My favorite has been Jessica Jones but Luke Cage and Daredevil have both been great as well. The plan was always to make a quintet of shows and this is the fourth. Iron Fist is Danny Rand, a young wealthy man who the world thought was dead but was instead training in another dimension. When he returns, he is naive about the world and unsure of where he fits in anymore. It is an interesting show as it shows an unshakably honest and forthright character trying to deal with a very dishonest world. Like Daredevil, we get a lot of cool martial arts fight scenes. Some of the coolest fight scenes star the awesome Colleen Wing who is a great character from the comics. In the comics, she often teams up with Misty Knight who was on Luke Cage. I am only a few episodes deep into the season but the show is really coming together. I really like it so far. It makes it a little insulting when other people say “it sucks”. I definitely recommend it. Do not let other people decide what you will and will not like. Check things out for yourself.


Justice League Dark

This was originally supposed to be a project helmed by the excellent Guillermo Del Toro. Unfortunately, that project did not work out because I would have loved to see it. Setting that aside, the animated films that DC Comics and Warner Brothers have been putting out have been really good. The only downside is we get the Superman who is a huge dick but he has maybe two scenes so it’s fine. The show centers on some of the more mystical characters in the DC Universe (a lot of whom came from other companies originally). The central character in the movie is John Constantine who has never really been a hero but often cannot stand by and let the world end. He is joined by Batman, Zatanna, Deadman, Etrigan and Swamp Thing. It is always great to see Batman out of his element, trying to gain his footing but never losing his cool. We get so much of Batman as an unstoppable hero that him being a fish out of water is always interesting. Zatanna featured heavily which makes sense as she is potentially one of the most powerful magicians on Earth. I loved the depiction of Constantine and Swamp Thing’s eternal feud and Felix Faust being a total magic bro. This made me miss the Constantine television show. I definitely recommend it.


Legion

I am a few episodes in and I am not sure what to think about this show yet. I am pretty sure I like it although there was some rough going for a while. This show seemed to be a lot of special effects and weirdness without much substance but it has settled down a little. If you got superpowers, would you recognize them as such? Would you just think that you were just going insane?  This is where David Haller (unknown son of Professor Xavier) is at. He has spent a long time self-destructing and also hanging out in a mental hospital, thinking he is absolutely nuts. He hears voices and sees things that are not there. However, a lot of those things he sees and hears are the thoughts of the people around him. Also, he can set fires and move objects with his mind. That and so many other powers. One of my favorite parts of the show so far is his weird friendship with Lenny. Lenny is played by Aubrey Plaza who I admire for her work in Parks and Rec and her awkward interviews on television. She plays a role originally written for a middle-aged man so she is wonderfully weird. I look forward to how this one will play out but I have not been fully hooked yet. I recommend it but be warned that it is really weird.

Music of the Week:
Levarslaysdragons – Game Over

Cirith Ungol – King Of The Dead

Cher Lloyd – Want U Back

DAZZLE VISION – Final Attack

Steely Dan – Any Major Dude Will Tell You

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is Comic Book Heroes Without Costumes
– I finished Season 3 of Blue Bloods
– I started watching Lucha Underground from the first episode
– I am getting close to finishing off Haven
– I continued watching Once Upon a Time Season 6
– I started watching a few MST3K episodes I missed
– I kept watching The Crown

Media Update 3/16/2017

March 16, 2017


La La Land

Yes, it is the movie that became controversial in comparison to another movie this year. People turned on this movie pretty quickly when the Academy said they liked it. Anyway, all of the controversy made me want to watch this movie even more than I already did. I like musicals and I like Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone so it was probably something I would eventually see anyway. The movie is kind of a throwback to musicals like Singing in The Rain and Melody of Broadway 1936. Of course, those old musicals always had a happy ending. This movie goes out of its way to tell a story where everything is not wrapped up in a little bow. As the movie started, I was not immediately impressed. The movie crept into my heart as it continued and then it set up shop. I loved the jazz score and original songs. I always love Emma Stone and she was great in this. Her depiction of the audition process for theater (and television and film) is definitely what I heard from my colleagues in the theater. The story was definitely about her but Gosling’s story was also important and he was great as a miserable jerk. Both stories were about what you put up with to achieve your dream. I definitely recommend it as it was nominated for a lot of awards for good reason.


Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

I first heard about the star of this show (Rachel Bloom) when she lent her voice to a Starbomb album a while ago as the singing voice of Princess Peach. I had not heard of her before but I thought she was a great singer with a good sense of humor. Flash forward to a year and a half ago when I saw that this show was a thing. I read the premise and dismissed the show as not my thing and moved on. Recently, Kate Leth started watching the show and tweeted about it and I was intrigued and decided to try it. The show is about a top-earning lawyer who meets her ex-boyfriend from when she was fourteen and has a crisis moment where she realizes she is not happy in her life. She decides to chase her ex across the country to California. The premise sounded kind of trashy and weird but the show is very self-aware. The character realizes how crazy she may be and the show is more about more than its premise. It is also a musical comedy that likes to address the realities of being a woman in the modern world. For me, a lot of the humor comes from how deep into the crazy Bloom’s character digs and then how hard she has to work to dig out of it. The characters are both likable but also terrible people who end up being a lot of fun. I definitely recommend it.


Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Marilyn Monroe is a famous figure mostly for the worst reasons. She was an outrageous woman with real problems but also amazing victories. Until Monday, I had never actually seen her act in anything. I had heard the recording of Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend (which comes from this movie) but I had not seen her act. I had seen more parodies of her acting. In this movie, she adopts a very breathy acting style. Her character is a sweet girl who happens to be obsessed with money but is not a bad person. She comes off as dumb but is actually very intelligent when it comes to certain circumstances. Jane Russell contrasts as a very brassy woman who constantly speaks her mind and defends her ‘dumb blonde’ friend. The two of them are very funny together with consistently clever wordplay, great singing and funny line deliveries. The movie is supposed to be PG but, if you read between the lines, it flies a lot of stuff past the censors. After watching it, I can definitely see why people champion Monroe as an actress and why people kept working with her despite her difficult reputation. I definitely recommend it.

Music of the Week:
The Agonist – Business Suits and Combat Boots

Michelle Branch – Best You Ever

Meghan Trainor – Me Too

Nina Hagen – Smack Jack

Indigo Girls – Closer to Fine

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Musicals Centered on Women”
– I watched more Haven Season 5
– I watched more Blue Bloods Season 3
– I kept watching The Magicians Season 2
– I watched some more of The Crown
– I watched some old and new Conan
– I liked Amy Schumer: The Leather Special
– 3/16 says I just watched some stuff

Media Update 3/9/2017

March 9, 2017


Hidden Figures

I told you on Monday that I would speak about this movie today. As soon as I learned that this movie was being made, I really wanted to watch it. I love it when tales of history that are either covered up or left to gather dust are unearthed and told. This story was obviously left behind (and never really told in the first place) because of prejudice against black people in the United States. This movie is about the black, female mathematicians (known as Human Computers) who were the backbone of NASA’s space program. Because this is Hollywood, the racism is almost assuredly toned down for the movie to keep it more lighthearted. Nobody ever stood up for these women and their story is inspiring. The movie follows three women who work hard to contribute and better their way of life through applied mathematics. Taraji Henson is the clear main character as famous mathematician Katherine Johnson. Although she is constantly belittled, she rises to the occasion and makes a difference. Janelle Monae is Mary Jackson, a sharp-tongued woman who becomes the first black female NASA engineer. Finally, we have Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughn, who became the first black female supervisor at NASA. I really loved this movie and I wholeheartedly recommend it.


The Imitation Game

Alan Turing was a hero. What his own government did to him afterward is a great injustice similar but not equivalent to the injustices detailed in Hidden Figures. Alan Turing was one of the people who helped along the invention of the computer. He saw a problem and worked smarter rather than working harder. He invented the machine to do the codebreaking that would have taken the Allies millions of years to complete. He was also a human being who did not really fit in with human society of his time. Alan Turing was a very literal human being who did not understand how social interaction was supposed to work. I really identified with his social awkwardness. He was also gay at a time when it was illegal in England. The revelation and subsequent criminal charges ruined his career and his life. It was an absolute tragedy. Benedict Cumberbatch is so good as Alan Turing and Turing’s surviving relatives have all praised him for his accuracy. The movie is also good at depicting England during World War II and the inner workings of the military and MI6. The Turing Test (or titular The Imitation Game) is absolutely something created by a man who spent his life trying to be a normal human. I definitely recommend this one too.


The Theory of Everything

Dr. Stephen Hawking has been famous since I can remember. Next to Albert Einstein, he was always the go to name when you wanted a reference to a smart person. His intellect is obviously enormous. He has provided huge advancements in the field of cosmology and quantum physics. He helped us understand how our universe works and he continues to help science in general. This film is based on a book by Jane Hawking who was married to Stephen for a very long time. Dr. Hawking was tragically cut down by Lou Gehrig’s disease which has cut off his motor functions. His brain has remained not only intact but sharp as ever. Of course, this and Hawking’s personality made it hard for Jane to be married to Stephen. This is a story of a very smart couple. Stephen is incredibly intelligent and Jane is right there beside him the whole way. Besides the disease, there is some friction between science and Jane’s religion but they manage to make it work. Clearly, what they went through was hard and I will not lie, it was also hard to watch. It is an important story. Eddie Redmayne plays Dr. Hawking and he is impossible not to like even when he’s being an ass. His physicality is amazing. Mrs. Hawking is played by Felicity Jones and, even though I do not agree with her often, she is an inspiring woman. I recommend it as it is good but it was a hard watch.

Weekly Music:
Fifth Harmony ft. Kid Ink – Worth It

Chance The Rapper ft. Saba – Angels

Major Lazer & DJ Snake – Lean On

The Stranglers – Blue Sister

Darius Rucker – Wagon Wheel

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Applied Maths”
– I am now watching Haven Season 5
– I kept watching The Librarians
– I started Season 2 of The Magicians
– I started Season 3 of Blue Bloods
– I finished Season One of The Seven Deadly Sins

Media Update 3/2/2017

March 2, 2017


Pop Star: Never Stop Never Stopping

I have loved Lonely Island since I first saw their first music video. I had stopped watching Saturday Night Live at the time. I just was not feeling it and what I saw did not really excite me. However, their new digital shorts started to pop up on YouTube. I have since followed their channel on YouTube with interest and hastily devoured every album they have put out. Well, I have not watched Hot Rod, the other feature film they released. They are most known for their music and their sketches which are all always well-written and expertly performed. They have carved out their place mostly as a comedy rap group. This movie is basically about all that and then more. It follows a trio of rappers who hit it big and then one of them (Samberg) went solo. He lost himself along the way and his old friends are also slowly falling apart. It is a story of a meteoric rise, the fall and then another rise. I thought it would be a silly movie but it ended up having a lot of heart. Part of the reason for that is that it is self-aware. It ends up being a good story wrapped up in a parody of the music business and celebrity in general. The movie is jam-packed with songs that are pretty much all written by The Lonely Island which is like getting a new album from them. Samberg is great as a big star who never really learned anything but how to be famous, Jorma Taccone is great as the meek friend who is an expert at mixing music and Akiva Schaffer is the bitter ex-friend who is a good writer. Akiva and Jorma also co-directed the movie while Akiva and Andy wrote it. The rest of the cast is full of musicians that Lonely Island has performed with and Saturday Night Live alumni. I definitely recommend it, especially if you are a fan of their past work.


Keanu

I had wanted to watch this movie when it came out but I am on a limited budget while I have been taking classes and I do not go out to the theater lightly anymore. Thankfully, HBO decided to air the movie and I could not be happier. This movie is timely right now for two reasons. First, a couple of friends just got new kittens. Second, George Michael died over the holidays. I loved Key and Peele. It was a sketch comedy show that was often smart but was also never afraid to get silly. It was kind of a spiritual successor to The Chapelle Show and Kids in the Hall, two other great comedy shows. This movie is very much in the vein of Key and Peele but in some ways, it is even more mature. While things on the show were exaggerated, the movie had a lot subtler acting in it. Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key have both shown how much they have grown and learned working on and writing for their show. There is also a great cast surrounding them that have a lot of fun moments including Method Man and Tiffany Haddish. There are action scenes but for the most part, you can imagine a real person acting the way our heroes act. I definitely recommend it as a silly comedy with a good heart and it is secretly pretty smart.


The Ten

I have mentioned on this blog a few times how much I love the movie Wet Hot American Summer and its prequel miniseries First Day of Camp. That movie was mostly made by cast members of an MTV sketch comedy show called The State. So it was inevitable that I would check out this movie made by ten out of eleven members of The State. I have not seen much of it but The State was irreverent and it did a lot of weird things just to tweak the nose of corporate. This movie is basically a sketch comedy anthology movie full of lengthier comedy sketches. Each sketch covers one of the ten commandments from the Bible in a comedic way. This premise made me nervous because I generally do not like watching anything religious because it is usually heavy-handed and bad. This movie feels like it used the commandments as a jumping off point and could probably be considered sacrilegious at times which is just fine by me. The movie is not without its flaws but I definitely do not regret watching it. There are ten separate stories but they start to melt together as the movie progresses. Characters from an early sketch might reappear in a later sketch and all of them get a curtain call of sorts at the end. The whole thing is tied together by having Paul Rudd introduce each sketch. However, his character eventually gets sucked into the sketches too. The whole thing ends up feeling like a mess but I think it is a good sort of mess. I would recommend it to fans of Wet Hot American Summer, The State or Kids in The Hall.

Music of the Week:
Bella Thorne – Call It Whatever

V8 Wankers – You Hate Me, I’m So Glad

Silly Wizard – The Queen of Argyll

Roxy Roca – Try My Love

Conner4real – I’m a Weirdo

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Dumb Movies That Are Kind of Smart”
– I finished watching Parks and Recreation
– I watched more of Season 2 Blue Bloods
– I watched more Season 1 of Seven Deadly Sins
– I am done with Season 4 of Haven
– I continued watching The Crown
– I continued watching The Librarians out of order
– I started The Magicians Season 2

Media Update 2/23/17

February 23, 2017


The Queen

I was only fourteen when Princess Diana died in Paris, France. Officially, the cause of death was a car accident but the paparazzi were the cause. I am an American citizen so I was not really in touch with the British monarchy. However, as Princess Diana rose to prominence, even us Americans started to take notice. From all appearances, she was a woman of the people and a huge celebrity. She did a lot for charity which won her all sorts of praise. She continued to spread goodwill even after she “escaped” the stuffy, old royals. In a world where we need there to be good guys and bad guys, Diana became the good guy and the royals the villains. When Diana died, the whole world mourned her and that is the starting point of this movie. The movie follows Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and the rest of the family as they deal with the death of a former princess. Additionally, newly elected prime minister Tony Blair tries to deal with the Queen and the public relations and logistics of the upcoming funeral. It is the story of old protocol conflicting with modernization. Also, it is a story about how one person can be seen in many different ways. Helen Mirren is excellent as Elizabeth II. She is really good at portraying the burden of a duty she believes was handed down by God. Dealing with Diana’s death is not only personal but it has to do with centuries of tradition. I cannot recommend this enough.


The Crown

After watching The Queen and a short film on the abdication of Edward VIII, I became intensely interested in the Royal Family of England. The show covers the early life of Elizbeth II who was forced to take the throne when her father, George VI, died of cancer. Much like The Queen, it also follows in parallel the inner workings of the Prime Minister’s office especially as Churchill dealt with the new Queen. As the show begins, Churchill has just been elected as prime minister for the second time. George is riddled with cancer but nobody is aware of how bad it is. Elizabeth has just married Phillip who is eager to get back to serving as a naval officer while his wife is asked to take on more responsibilities for her sick father. The show is absolutely beautiful and the acting is great. I was absolutely surprised to see Matt Smith as Phillip and he has an interesting story of a man who must stand behind his wife in her time of need. John Lithgow plays an older Churchill, an old war hero who is still sharp but may be past his prime. Claire Foy is great as Elizabeth II as we watch how vulnerable she is in private and strong she is in public. It is an amazing show to watch paired with The Queen as it dovetails really nicely with that movie. A lot of what I said about the crown above goes double for this show. The weight of the crown is really a huge focus here. I recommend it either before or after watching The Queen.


The King’s Speech

It was only natural that I would be interested in watching a movie about Elizabeth II’s father. George VI had a very similar situation to his daughter. He never wanted to be King but his brother was a nazi sympathizer who was engaged to a nazi spy. The English government used the fear of public relations and the rules of the Church of England to make Edward VIII abdicate the throne. This was good for the country but George VI was put into a position he never wanted to be in. He was happy being a prince where he could be out of the public eye. One of his biggest problems was a speech impediment, a stammer that apparently hounded him all of his life. I can definitely understand some of this. While I never stammered, I did see a speech therapist at one point because I was so shy about speaking in public. The very first scene is George making an appearance at a public function and having to deliver a speech and the utter hopelessness on his face brings up similar memories in my own life. Even today I hate speaking in public. The movie stars Colin Firth as George VI who is excellent as a vulnerable man who is trying to be better not only for his family but for his country. He interacts with a speech therapist played by Geoffrey Rush who is so entertaining to watch. The King’s wife Elizabeth (who will become Queen Mother) is played by Helena Bonham Carter who is refreshingly subtle compared to the work she usually does. Finally, King Edward VIII is played by Guy Pierce and he is such an asshole that you want to hate him immediately.

Music of the Week:
Hollywood Undead – Bullet

Jay Verze – Feelin’ Important

Sick Puppies – Stick To Your Guns

Ty Segall & The Muggers – Squealer

San Quinn – SF Anthem

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “British Monarchy in the 20th Century”
– I started watching the final season of Parks and Recreation
– I started Season 2 of Blue Bloods
– I am still watching The Librarians out of order
– I watched a whole lot of Youtube
– I just got back from the West Coast this morning
– Boy are my arms and my whole body tired from the red-eye flight


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