Posts Tagged ‘Netflix’

Tidelands (2018)

April 23, 2019

I remember when we studied the Odyssey in middle school. It was 1997 and I was in an English class where we read a lot of books that completely and utterly left me spellbound. Part of it was that we spent a lot of time in class actually reading the books in a cozy little classroom and stopping to analyze things every so often. Our teacher made sure we understood the books completely and did so in a fun, accessible way. It was the kind of class that increased people’s joy of reading which is just as important as teaching reading comprehension. When it came to the Odyssey, I was incredibly interested. Myths and legends have always been a thing for me (see my Into the Woods review) and there is just something iconic about the Greek mythology on display in Homer’s texts. While the Iliad is a story about heroes and villains and warfare, the Odyssey is basically a primer on what nasty creatures lingered out in the wide world as the Greeks knew it. Odysseus confronts and uses his might and his mind to counter or avoid many horrible monsters and crafty dangers on his way home.

Among those nasties, were the sirens. A lot of people who do not remember much from that book still remember the sirens. People remember the sirens because they are used as an allegory or a literary allusion so many times in pop culture or as commentary on real life. Sirens are often depicted as beautiful, ethereal women who have such good voices that they draw people in. The truth of the matter is that the sirens are actually ugly creatures who use their beautiful voices to lure sailing ships, making them crash into unseen rocks that surround their island. I am sure you have heard people “um actually” about these women’s ugliness. I never really thought that they should have been depicted as ugly. If they really were beautiful but evil, that would fit with the ‘all that glitters is not gold’ message that people need to hear. For me, it was the same thing as people talking about Satan’s ‘true face’. If he is beautiful and evil, it teaches people not to automatically trust physical beauty. Take that even further and maybe the sirens do not need to be evil. Maybe they cannot help themselves or they are just being pragmatic. Food for thought.

This is an Australian produced show so I had never seen any of the actors before. I will say that the acting is pretty good. It reminded me of the Shannara Chronicles or Riverdale a bit which is not an insult. The production is very slick. I really loved the lighting in particular. They did some excellent subtle modeling with light that can be rare in television. I really liked the production and character design as well. They did a really good job of differentiating between humans and ‘tidelanders’ without it being too outlandish. It is more likely that non-human creatures would adapt to our world instead of continuing to be so flashy with their otherness. They would know that our society does not reward otherness. They also do it a lot with different accents which makes me think of Keel’s Men in Black descriptions. People are more willing to excuse weirdness if they can simply write it off as ‘being foreign’. Special effects are used sparingly which is good because CGI is expensive and risky in television.

The story is pretty neat. The show is ostensibly a crime drama with some supernatural elements. It reminds me of the early seasons of Haven. Similarly, it is set in a seaside fishing town where the community is tight and everybody knows everybody else. The whole town works like a well-oiled machine. I lived in a small town once and I remember that extreme interconnectedness. It was very foreign to a city-born guy like me. Still, just like anywhere else there are a lot of secrets and danger for those trying to uncover those secrets. Beyond the crime drama, there is a lot of personal drama and mystery as we explore those secrets. The supernatural elements are brought in bit by bit so that the show can still focus on more human character development and connections. I am three episodes in and I am pretty fascinated about where this goes next. There are only five episodes left in the only available season so far.

Overall, I liked the show. The air of mystery is great at enticing me to keep watching so that I get some more answers. The pacing is really good as I never felt like the show was dragging or lingering on anything too long but it was not going too fast either. I was also impressed with the casual depictions of LGBTQ+ in the show. There will be a day where I do not have to be surprised by it but it definitely pleased me that it was done in a casual matter-of-fact way. It is refreshing to see. As it is Netflix, there is quite a bit of casual nudity as well.

(Written on 4/20/19)

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Media Update 4/5/18

April 5, 2018

<Just a note: This is not a part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge>


Edge of Tomorrow

Having a day repeat over and over for a character is not a new concept and it was not even a new concept when Groundhog Day did it. Nevertheless, it is definitely an interesting concept and, besides that one Xena episode, I have not really seen the concept applied to combat. Except, yes I have. In practically every video game I have ever played which is the inspiration for this movie. The premise is that Tom Cruise must live the same day over and over until he wins the war. However, the real star of this movie is Emily Blunt and the movie would have been better served with her as the main character. The movie we do get is very interesting. For a movie with a lot of death in it, there is a lot of comedy which is welcome. There is also a lot of depression and adventure as well. Tom Cruise is a great action actor and they even explain why he’s old in this one. Blunt gets to be the total badass that she apparently is in real life (look for her planche). The concepts of the movie are done really well and I was really sucked into the movie quickly. The movie also looks really good with the enemy aliens looking cool but their animation was the most intriguing part about them. I definitely recommend this one as it lives up to all the hype. I don’t want a sequel, though, I want a prequel starring Emily Blunt.


Devilman Crybaby

This is one of the newest anime series on Netflix in a flood of series since Netflix has stepped up their anime game. Since the premise reminded me a little of Blue Exorcist, I decided to check this out. The premise is that demons live among humans by forcing their way into their bodies and possessing them. The main character is offered up for possession by his best friend in order to combat the devils on Earth. So, he goes from sensitive “crybaby” to “devilman” in the course of one crazy night. The animation is very stylized and it reminds me kind of old rotoscope animation mixed with the kind of stuff that Superjail was doing. In fact, a lot of the insane designs of the demons would have been right at home in an episode of Superjail, Metalocalypse, or Liquid Television. This is a very adult anime. There is explicit nudity and the main character (and the audience by proxy) watches porn for a minute in the second episode. I love the concept but I’m curious to see if the show will settle into an actual storyline instead of just talking about sex so much for shock value. I don’t really recommend it because I’m not sure I like it yet and I think other people would not like it.


Beauty and the Beast (2012 TV Show)

This show has almost nothing to do with any version or adaptation of the Beauty and the Beast story. This is not a bad thing. The original story is about a young woman who is imprisoned by a beast who used to be a man and eventually sees beneath the surface and finds a good man. This show is a police procedural where a female cop is aided by a former special forces soldier who was experimented on and now has animal senses, super strength, and a great rage. He is not really physically a beast as much as he is mentally sometimes. He assists her with solving murders while they both try to unravel the government conspiracy that they are both wrapped up in. The show has a very likable lead in Kristin Kreuk and I like Jay Ryan when he’s not being an edgelord. The show has a weird mix of comedy and drama that don’t always naturally flow together. Still, it is a nice middle of the road procedural with a little bit of a sci-fi twinge to it. It is nothing special but it is not really bad. I recommend it for those looking for something to put on in the background.

Music of the Week:
Pay Attention – by Pomplamoose

Hayley Kiyoko – Curious

Ludo – Love Me Dead

Babbletron – The Clock Song

Trainwreck – Brodeo

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Something Changed Him”
– I started Santa Clarita Diet Season 2
– I finished Season 1 of Peaky Blinders
– I watched more Glitter Force Doki Doki
– I watched more Freaks and Geeks
– I watched more The Pinkertons Season 1
– I watched more Fairy Tail

Media Update 10/6/2016

October 6, 2016


Stranger Things

People have been raving about this one and I have been aching to talk about it. I actually watched this over the summer but I wanted to save talking about it for Halloween. It is definitely something great to watch for Halloween. While there are some science fiction elements (like Invaders from Mars) but there are a lot more horror elements. People have tried to illustrate what this show is like and I will attempt to describe my impression the same way. I felt that it was like Goonies mixed with Super 8 with heavy shades of Stephen King and a pinch of X-Files. I have to be careful what I say here because I do not want to spoil anything where others have been so careless. The show has a very eighties feel and is heavily inspired by the old Dungeons and Dragons lore as well as some rather interesting additions that have awesome special effects. The whole thing is scary, funny, sad and each episode pulled me forward even when I did not want to go any further. The kids really make this show special and they are all more or less unknowns which is great. Great performances from Winona Ryder and David Harbour round out the cast of what is a near perfect show. I definitely recommend it as I eagerly await season two and the horrible things that will happen next.


Preacher

I never read the comic version of Preacher but I remember reading snippets here and there in Wizard magazine. However, I know it was written by Garth Ennis and he wrote on Hellblazer which is one of my favorite non-superhero comics. He also wrote the Constantine movie which I really liked (but a lot of people did not). What I’ve gathered from what little of his writing that I have seen is that he does darkness very well. However, he also does dark humor very well. Preacher mixes the tone of western movies with strong supernatural, mythological and supernatural elements as well. Preacher follows the adventures of a preacher who discovers he suddenly has supernatural powers and supernatural enemies as well. He teams up with a hard-partying Irish vampire and his hard as nails ex-girlfriend to fight to survive and figure out what exactly is going on. The show is not for those who are sensitive about how God, Heaven and other Christian religious figures are handled. I happen to like when people play with mythological and religious stories and forms them into something new. This is a pretty wild show and there it is packed with good fun, action and a whole bunch of horror elements as well. I have not seen a whole lot of it yet but what I have seen has been really great. I definitely recommend it and you do not have to have read the comic first to understand it.

 


Wynonna Earp

This show has all the elements of a show that I would like. The show is about a descendant of Wyatt Earp in our 2016 who works with a black ops government group to battle the supernatural. Specifically, Wynonna wields the family gun (which belonged to Wyatt Earp himself) to send demons back to hell. There are some other details but I won’t spoil it for you. At least not directly. I love when western and modern elements are mixed. Seeing characters from the wild west trying to navigate the modern world is interesting. Also, seeing modern characters having to rely on wild west weaponry is really fun. On top of that, I really like the cast so far and the way the characters play with each other. The effects are on par with most other Syfy original series so they work but they are not spectacular which is probably to keep them affordable. This show has a similar feel to Warehouse 13 mixed with Sanctuary with a little bit of Buffy feel thrown in. The lead, Melanie Scrofano, kind of has that now-familiar but fun Krysten Ritter in Jessica Jones feel. We get to hang out with people she’s known all her life and new people in her life as well. We also get to see a fun portrayal of Doc Holiday who is very mysterious but charming. The show is just fun and I think it definitely has a lot of potential. I definitely recommend it.

Halloween Short Film of the Week:
Super Deluxe – When You Get A Text From An Unknown Number

Music of the Week:
Future Bible Heroes – I’m a Vampire

Killing Joke – Love Like Blood

Peter & The Wolves – Mr. Frankenstein

Butcher Babies – They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Ha!

Teamheadkick – Welcome to Your Nightmares

Weekly Updates:
– This Week’s Theme is “Fighting the Supernatural”
– I watched some of Luke Cage, wait until after Halloween to hear about it
– I continued watching season 2 of Gotham
– I am finally almost done with season one of Penny Dreadful
– I watched the debate. Ugh.
– The Orioles almost got into the playoffs
– Halloween month continues
– Enjoy yourself!

Media Update 11/26/2015

November 26, 2015


AKA Jessica Jones

I’m a huge fan of the Marvel Cinematic/Television universe and the direction Disney is taking all of their properties. There are a few outliers at Fox and Columbia Pictures but those characters are mostly fine where they are. As part of the Netflix Initiative (separate from the celebrated “Phases”) there was supposed to be at least five shows. Daredevil, AKA Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist would each get an order of episodes. Daredevil was successful and already received a second season. The four shows would be followed by Marve’s The Defenders mini-series where all four heroes will team up. AKA Jessica Jones really got me even more excited for what’s to come. I’m not too far in but it’s really, really good. It’s hard to do the imperfect hero. This show takes an alcoholic, anti-social and pessimistic character and makes her inspiring. Krysten Ritter (an actress I already adored) is really believable and doesn’t falter a single step in her acting. In fact, everyone is spot on. The only warning I have is that the show is very, very dark which seems par for the course for Marvel’s Netflix projects. I’m so excited to watch the rest of this and see the future projects.

 


Puella Magi Madoka Magica

I’m pretty sure I’ve stated how much I love magical girl stuff on this blog. If not, I really do love that stuff a lot. I have a lot of memories of ditching Dragonball Z and being really excited to watch Sailor Moon everyday instead. I moved on to Card Captor Sakura later as I was pretty sold on the concept. It even works for magical boys too like Ronin Warriors and Saint Seiya. So I instantly put Madoka on my Netflix list as soon as it was available. I didn’t check it out until this week and I was pleasantly surprised. Forgive me as there is no other way to put it but this show is really fucked up. I don’t remember the last time I watched the first episode of the show and yelled “What the fuck!?” at my television with a big smile on my face. The show follows magical girls (aka transforming pre-teen superheroes) who battle witches. However, this show takes a hard look at the realities of using such young soldiers in a dangerous battle against evil. The stakes are high and death is their final reward. It’s pretty chilling and a refreshing look at the genre. I also like that the witches are portrayed by mixed media in the form of fabric arts and western-looking animation. The heroes are portrayed in clean anime style and it makes the situation even more weird and terrifying. I want to watch the second half of this series to see what happens to these girls. I have a bad feeling though.

 


Lilo and Stitch

I really needed something more light-hearted after the above picks so I decided to finally watch Lilo and Stitch. Missing Disney movies when they come out can be a pain in the butt as Disney has a tendency to lock them in a vault. I have legitimately become enamored of Hawaiian and Island culture ever since reading about it as described by Dwayne Johnson. From what I can tell online, the movie is a fair look at modern day rural Hawaii. The movie is very touching and sweet and funny. I’m no longer sorry I missed this one because that means I got to watch this now and not then. Much of the humor, at least for me, came from the older sister who I’m sure I wouldn’t gave identified with when this originally came out. She’s trying her best to manage an unruly little sister and the new addition of a space alien posing as a dog. Lilo and her sister Nani are some of the most accurate portrayals of modern human beings that I’ve ever seen. The alien stuff is merely fun background to three lonely and hopeless characters finding their place in a family unit. Also, the Disney record of making me at least tear up is intact.

Kaizo Trap

Day One

Pigeon Music Party!

Sweet Potato vs. Yam

Trains, Planes and Automobiles – Car Rental

Updates

– I’m really excited for Felicia and Jonah and MST3K
– I still wish that Mike and Kevin were involved
– I got my first Pro-Wrestling Crate and it’s awesome
– I have a few more Disney movies to check out
– Loaded this post on Monday because of holidays
– Happy Thanksgiving!


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