Friday, March 25, 2016

This Week in Neat-O

Like I said yesterday, I'm a little sick of Facebook these days, for reasons I really want to unload about, but won't go into because the last thing I want is some dumb argument about politicians like it's going to somehow all be solved on my stupid blog. Thank Rao Batman v Superman opens today, and to so very many shitty reviews, that most of my feed has something different to complain about for a few days.

Batman v Superman is clearly not the movie for me, so I'm not headed out to see it. I don't think it's a time when I want to see something that seems so nihilistic and cynical. You know what I have been enjoying the hell out of? Supergirl. I'm glad that DC is making various projects with various outlooks, because while some people like the grim and the dark, I like the light and the optimism, and this show has been one of my treasures of this TV season.

On that note, I direct you to this: An Open Letter To Supergirl Stars Melissa Benoist and Chyler Leigh, From An Adoptive Mom. This story just made my day yesterday, and this kind of personal connection is similar to why I love the show so much. I like seeing the kindness and hope of the show in a personal landscape of not-always-doing-incredibly-great-with-the-negativity. (Thanks to Steven Thompson, who shared the link on Facebook.)

:: I found the Lego Batman Movie teaser very cute.

:: Batman and Superman are best friends—so why does everybody want to see them fight?

:: This parody trailer for Batman v Superman puts Affleck in both roles.

:: 6 Ways 'Frozen' Teaches You What Depression Is Like. Basically why I related to this movie so much despite its flaws.

:: Alright, well, we've all seen a lot of Force Awakens-style trailers for movies, but... well, I saw another good one, so here it is. Gave me chills, dammit.


:: Okay, since I don't have much this week, here's another fan trailer I loved: The Monster Squad in the style of Suicide Squad.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Film Week

A review of the films I've seen this past week.

DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD: THE STORY OF THE NATIONAL LAMPOON (2015)
A brisk, very entertaining documentary about the history of National Lampoon and the personalities that drove it, and how it changed the course of comedy. If anything, I wish it had been a bit longer, because there are so many interesting people to talk about, but as a snapshot of a revolution in comedy, it was just fun as hell. ***1/2

THE MARTIAN (2015)
I thought it was pretty good. I liked that it portrayed NASA in a good and helpful light, and was always optimistic about space exploration, even as disaster was happening. It's basically a movie about our ability to pull together and solve problems, which was very nice in an election year so contentious--even between people who think they're on the same side of the political spectrum--that I frankly dread opening my Facebook page. I found it a little hard to get into for a while. Maybe it's because I read the book a couple years ago and just enjoyed it so much that it seemed like the movie had a very different tone. Interestingly, the stuff I was more interested in with the movie--all the stuff with NASA--was the stuff that seemed a little too technical and wonkish to me in the book, stuff that I thought broke the flow too much of Mark Watney's experience on Mars. In the movie, it was reversed for me, maybe because I didn't find Matt Damon to be very personable in the role. Visually stunning, mostly, but I almost never find Ridley Scott to be a very good storyteller, and there's a sense of remoteness from the humans at the center that kept me at arm's length. That said, I overall enjoyed it--it's visually stunning, and I quite liked Chiwetel Ejiofor--and it's a hell of a lot better than Interstellar, but I didn't find myself moved by the human drama. ***

Monday, March 21, 2016

Muppet Monday

Well, there are no Muppets in this one, but it really struck me. Wheels That Go is another one of Jim Henson's experimental shorts, just a minute long, and it looks like it could have been an insert on Sesame Street (although the film is from 1967, two years before Sesame Street). It's mainly an experiment in montage; the kid is Brian Henson. The electronic music is by jazz composer Raymond Scott, who collaborated with Jim on four other shorts in 1967.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Song of the Week: "I Ain't Goin' Nowhere"

Rick Moranis gets me.