Pointless Nonsense

Posted in tv by Bill on January 17, 2018

Burden of Truth is a new Canadian show with Kristin Kreuk as a big city lawyer who goes back to her small town, intending to represent a big company that likely did something shady, but I’m pretty sure she ends up taking the case of the sick kids instead of the corporation by the end, but I didn’t make it that far because this clearly wasn’t for me. It’s Lifetime original production values and a heartwarming do-the-right-thing sensibility, neither of which are for me. Though Kristin Kreuk is still lovely.

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Posted in tv by Bill on January 17, 2018

Black Lightning is CW’s newest of way-too-many superhero shows, but at least this one is slightly different. Black Lightning is an older dude who’s dragged out of superhero retirement and the pilot at least is concerned a lot with social justice issues, police brutality and whatnot. To the point that it’s a little hokey. I’m torn on this one, because it’s nice to see something different, I like the occasional bit of funk/soul on the soundtrack (though there’s just as much hip hop that I don’t care for), I know there are gonna be assholes that won’t watch this just because it’s got black people in it so I’d like to support it, but he’s also kinda ok with killing people which I don’t really like in non-Punisher superhero stuff, everyone other than Black Lightning is cartoonishly quick to violence, and his costume looks like cheap plastic.

I really have no idea if I’m gonna keep watching it. If I do, it’ll be one more episode to look for a reason to keep going.

Posted in tv by Bill on January 15, 2018

Hard Sun is a slightly Sci Fi detective drama from Neil Cross, the creator of Luther from the BBC and I think later HuluI don’t think they thought the title through very well, as I will be afraid to speak it aloud, lest people think I’m talking about some kind of incest porn. Anyway, it’s pretty good. Spoilers for the end of the first episode to follow, because it’s impossible to talk about the concept without getting into that.

It stars that guy from 21/Cloud Atlas and an androgynous model who I assumed was a lesbian but apparently both the actor and character are into guys, and a comedian who frequently appears on QI who it turns out is still really attractive but less so when she’s not being funny.

The premise is that the government is trying to keep secret the fact that the earth is going to become uninhabitable within 5 years. It’s not about stopping the apocalypse or sending a spaceship somewhere else to save humanity, it’s basically just a setting for cop stories and government conspiracies, and in that it works quite well.

Posted in tv by Bill on January 15, 2018

Tin Star is an amazon series with, among others, Tim Roth and Christina Hendricks, which was enough for me to watch an episode blind. Roth, who I don’t think does accents, plays an English guy who somehow becomes the chief of police in a small Canadian town, where there is also a biker gang with British accents, and no one bothers explain why all these British people are in rural Canada. But I’ve never been to rural Canada, so maybe that’s a thing? But I doubt it.

The first episode is actually pretty good, it left me wondering how the show would keep up for an entire season the level of tension that the first episode had, and the answer turned out to be that it can’t. I was disappointed in the second episode, and further disappointed in the third, and eventually it felt like either the show had no direction, or they were just stuffing the middle episodes with filler and saving the important stuff for the ending. But I lacked the patience to make it far enough to find out.

Posted in tv by Bill on January 11, 2018

Counterpart is an upcoming Starz series in which JK Simmons works at a government agency that conducts diplomacy with an alternate universe. That was enough to sell me on at least a few episodes so long as it wasn’t completely terrible, and it wasn’t bad at all. It wasn’t that great from the first episode either, unfortunately, but it’s still JK Simmons (and Apollo from BSG and Olivia Williams) and it’s still alternate universe stuff. So I’m basically in for the season in the hopes that it pays off.

Posted in video games by Bill on January 6, 2018

Ruiner was on sale and I’d added it to my wishlist because it looks really cool. Not that it looked fun, it’s just visually cool. It’s redder than Quake was brown, but really cool looking. And that I think is largely the appeal. It’s a cyberpunk setting with a pretty traditional cyberpunk story (you’re a guy whose brain has been hacked, another hacker gives you control back but you’ve got to find out who hacked you and why, which involves fighting gangs of cyborg criminals and robots), and the music (moody electronic stuff) and visual design (also moody with heavy asian influence) fit it perfectly.

I don’t particularly like the gameplay. It’s pretty close to the hack-and-slash style of just clicking on the bad guys (though there’s at least a little more to it). I put it on easy to enjoy the style and work my way through the story without much frustration. And the story was mostly ok. Revenge, save your brother, hacker girl talking to you throughout. The end was a little disappointing, I guess, but not bad. It’s also fairly short, 7 hours for me, so I wouldn’t recommend paying full price. But if it’s $10 or less, it’s not a bad deal if you like this kind of action/RPG thing.

Posted in tv by Bill on January 6, 2018

The End of the F***ing World is a British show which Netflix paid to license and declared “Netflix original” as they often do, starring the kid from the Shut Up and Dance episode of Black Mirror and some weirdly cute girl as two fucked up teenagers. It’s a love/coming of age story, but of the more messed up variety, as it includes a fair amount of mental illness and crime. People in the UK talking about it seem to think it’s very funny, so I’m wondering if there were jokes that don’t survive the trip across the atlantic, because there were only a few chuckles here and there for me. But it was ok.

Posted in tv by Bill on January 5, 2018

9-1-1 (I assume the dashes so we don’t think it’s about the world trade center)) is Fox’s new show with Peter Krause as a firefighter, Angela Bassett as a cop, and Connie Britton as a 911 operator. It seems to be a bit Grey’s Anatomy-like, where it’s a human drama interspersed with extreme/outrageous emergencies, obviously more action-y here. The action stuff in the pilot is actually pretty good, but I can’t say the drama did much for me. I assume the budget would drop, and the action would get less interesting in future episodes, so I was leaning towards bailing. And then it closed with Under Pressure playing over people learning life lessons, which is annoyingly cliche, so that clinched it for me.

Posted in movies by Bill on January 5, 2018

Some reddit thread says Brawl in Cell Block 99 was on Amazon Prime and really good, so I checked it out. Vince Vaughn plays a guy who they want us to root for who has a bad run of luck and out of desperation takes a gig smuggling drugs, ends up in prison, and then beats the shit out of a lot of people. It spends a lot of time setting up that Vaughn’s character is honorable and the people that fuck with him are not, and then eventually there’s just some brutal violence. I guess if that’s your thing, it could be really good, but I honestly didn’t get much out of it.

Posted in tv by Bill on January 2, 2018

LA to Vegas is a new comedy on Fox set on a budget airline. Presumably most episodes are going to run like the pilot, where the main cast is the crew, and the guest cast starts as the excited people flying to Vegas and ends as the depressed/hungover people flying back to LA. The main flight attendant is really cute, and I guess whoever did Dylan McDermott’s facial hair and teeth did a good job to make him seem extremely douchey, but that completes the list of positive things I have to say about it.