A bunch of short-takes on opinions and observations I don't have much inclination to write up as a full blog:
- Only a month after the release of THE FORCE AWAKENS and I'm already fed up with speculation and "theories" about what will be revealed in EPISODE VIII. I'm especially fatigued of the theory that Rey was a Jedi padawan at Luke's Academy when Ben went rouge. The suggestion is that she got training there (thus "explaining" her adeptness with the Force) and then had her memory erased before being sent into hiding. I think it's unnecessarily complicated and rests on some shaky evidence, but mostly I'm just annoyed with how universally this has been accepted as the "obvious" reveal. I'm looking forward to seeing it proven wrong.
- I haven't blogged or even tweeted about it much lately, but THE FLASH and THE GOLDBERGS continue to do excellent work each week and remain two of the shows I anticipate most eagerly. SUPERGIRL also remains pretty great. The flying wirework is amazing, and while there's still a kink or two to be worked out in the show, it's not afraid to be fun. I like a superhero show that doesn't think earnestness is a dirty word. I like that it's even more all-ages appropriate than THE FLASH.
- I still haven't figured out where I stand on DAREDEVIL vs. JESSICA JONES. I feel like JJ hit higher heights, but also lower lows. At times, I definitely felt like both shows bathed in so much unrelenting darkness that I could only watch an episode or two before needing a break. I do hope that both shows find a little more restraint and balance in season 2. Streaming gives license to be as brutal as they want to be, but the JJ episode "A Thousand Cuts" had a lot of brutality that just seemed to be showing off "Look how violent we can be since we're streaming." Kilgrave making people do horrible things to themselves was effectively creepy at first but this ep (and the later scene where a gentleman gets two arms cut off) went a long way towards alienating me from the show. I'm ready for them to explore a new story in that universe next season.
- I also still don't understand what most of you saw in SICARIO, not even after reading several reviews. I felt like it had a great opening, and fell into some blah character work as the focus shifted from Blunt's character to Del Toro's. Every year there's at least one critical darling that has me scratching my head and saying "Really?" This seems to be this year's.
- Okay, I didn't like KINGSMEN either, but I can accept that as a "Shut off your brain and enjoy the ride."
- There are some critical duds I seek out just to see if my opinion swims against the tide. It didn't really happen this year. FANTASTIC FOUR, BLACKHAT, and THE VISIT were among those that were pretty fairly maligned. THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. was more fun than the buzz suggested, though.
- My take on the Oscars: CREED was robbed. That's even more egregious to me than STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON being overlooked. It's easy to say that screeners would have really boosted CREED, and maybe that's true, but COMPTON had screeners sent out to little effect. You can blame the aging out-of-touch Academy voters and probably be right in using that to contend that race played at least some part in those films being overlooked.
- Fun movies that didn't make my Top 20: THE DUFF - a sharp teen comedy better than the trailer suggested; THE FINAL GIRLS - a send-up of slasher films that worked because of a strong emotional core; TIMELAPSE - a clever ultra-low-budget time-travel thriller; and UNFRIENDED - a smartly executed horror film that takes place entirely from the POV of a laptop screen as friends are stalked and taunted online during a video chat.
- If you get a chance, binge THE 100 on Netflix and catch the third season when it premieres this week on the CW. Might be that network's darkest, most mature show to date, and I mean that in terms of themes and moral choices as much as violence. It's the one CW show that feels like it really belongs on cable.
- Bringing up THE 100 reminds me of another thought - TV 'shippers have ruined TV fandom. Sad that we have a direct pipeline to writers and creators and a vocal and aggressive aspect of fandom uses that mostly to scream about which characters they want paired with each other and attacking every pairing that threatens that. Occasionally a showrunner for a series with this kind of following replies to me on Twitter and the next several days my mentions get hit with shippers replying to that tweet just to lobby for their particular hobby horse. It sad when these groups attack each other, and it's infuriating to watch them attack the writers for not making a show that matches the way THEY feel it needs to be done. Let's all try for fewer online death threats in 2016, okay?
3 weeks ago