Pointless Nonsense

Posted in movies by Bill on June 17, 2018

I checked out Blade Runner 2049 despite not having seen Blade Runners 2 through 2048. I’m not a huge fan of the first one. Amazing visuals, painfully slow moving. And this one is… exactly the same. Glad I saw it, no reason ever to see it again. Ana de Armas is hot.

Note: if you watch it on HBO Go and find it annoying that they letterbox the thing with gray bars instead of black, someone’s fix for it is explained here.

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Posted in tv by Bill on June 12, 2018

Succession is HBO’s new drama with Brian Cox as a Donald Trump/Rupert Murdoch type. He’s a billionaire in charge of a media empire, kinda going senile, and faced with the prospect of handing off his business to his fuckup kids. Steve Carrel’s partner from The Big Short, Kieran Culkin, and the girl from Predestination are the main kids who seem to be jockeying for position.

The plot itself is pretty thin. It’s just about power grabs in the family company, but I found the first episode surprisingly funny, in a dry, dark way. I’d only half paid attention to the ads, and they made it seem like Serious Business. But I thought that could have been a fluke, so I wanted to see the second before making a decision, and it held up. Turns out the creator was a writer from The Thick of It (the show of which Veep is basically an American version) and Peep Show, so the humor makes sense. I’m on board for season one, and it’s already been renewed, so that’s a good sign too.

Posted in movies by Bill on June 11, 2018

Hotel Artemis is as John Wick-ish movie about a night where the shit hits the fan at a secret hospital for criminals. It looked like an action movie from the trailers, but there’s not a lot of action at all. More of a moody crime movie in an odd setting, with an impressive cast that doesn’t have a lot to do, and some cool ideas that don’t go very far. It’s not bad, but there are some interesting ideas and character concepts that aren’t developed. It’s all over quite quickly, and it wraps up the plot just fine, but too many characters get a build-up like they’re going to be a whole thing, but then turn out to just be plot devices.

Posted in tv by Bill on June 8, 2018

Cloak and Dagger is a new series on Freeform based on the Marvel characters, a black dude with a big magic shadowy cloak that envelops people and teleports them to a dark dimension, and a white girl in a ridiculous cleavage outfit who shoots daggers made of white light out of her hands.

The show has them as involved in an accident when they’re ~6, don’t cross paths again until they’re teenagers, and coming into contact again causes powers to manifest. Also they both have been horribly traumatized and their lives are super sad.

Probably 10 years ago I would have loved this, but there are a million superhero shows and movies now. I have a lot more patience for fun and action and intrigue with superpowers, than slow-moving tales of angst and woe. I only made it through the first hour of the pilot. Also (spoiler), what kind of idiot thief tells her victims true facts about themselves that are personally identifiable? Or uses tickets that they stole?

Posted in tv by Bill on May 31, 2018

Reverie is a new NBC show that I didn’t really pay much attention to the advertising for, because I saw Sarah Shahi and virtual reality, and that was more than enough to get me to check it out. There’s also Dennis Haysbert and Cold Case girl and Mohinder from Heroes and a cute asian girl that I don’t recognize.

Haysbert works for a company where cute asian girl has built a mix of VR and that Black Mirror episode where they use social media to bring back a dead person, but people are getting addicted to the fantasy world and going into comas, so he hires hostage negotiator Sarah Shahi to try to convince addicts to leave. But at least the pilot, it’s a… heartwarming grief counselor way to convince the guy to leave, which is not my thing.

But I like Sarah Shahi, and maybe they’ll come up with interesting implications for the technology down the line, or less sappy plotlines. I’m very lukewarm on it, but I’ll give it a couple more episodes to see if it can improve.

Posted in movies by Bill on May 29, 2018

Logan Lucky is referred to towards the end of the movie as “Ocean’s 7-11” which pretty nicely captures the concept of a Soderbergh heist movie with rednecks instead of slick-looking Brad Pitt/George Clooney types. I would normally jump at the chance to see a non-artsy Soderbergh movie, as they are frequently excellent, but I couldn’t imagine Daniel Craig as an American hick, and the trailers gave me a vibe that it’d be mocking poor white people, but that turns out to be far from true. It’s not only a quality movie, but Craig is actually pretty convincing in it, and it lets people with hillbilly accents be whip smart.

My only complaint would be the casting of Seth MacFarlane as a British NASCAR team owner. He sucks every second he’s on screen. He is a talented voice actor, but people need to stop letting him act in live action.

Posted in movies by Bill on May 29, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story is Disney’s second standalone Star Wars movie, this one set between episodes III and IV, with a young Han Solo meeting Chewy and Lando and becoming the pilot/smuggler we later love. It’s a pretty fun action/adventure movie, the guy playing Han isn’t great but he’s not distracting, Donald Glover does an excellent Lando, and the other supporting players are quite good.

My biggest complaint is a big spoiler for a small detail, but it’s totally nitpicky and didn’t impact my enjoyment of the movie as I was watching it, only irritating me after:

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Posted in tv by Bill on May 20, 2018

Fahrenheit 451 is HBO’s adaptation of the Ray Bradbury story with Michael B. Jordan, Sofia Boutella, and Michael Shannon. Though I know the gist, I’ve never read the book or seen any adaptation before, so while they’ve definitely updated some things for the digital age, I’m not sure whether some things are new, or if they’re from the original. Certainly all the social media stuff must be new, but there’s also a fair amount about the control of information being used to feed people false narratives, which is either added to be relevant in 2018, or in the original and one of the reasons they chose to make an adaptation now.

It’s interesting in the beginning but kinda falls apart towards the end. Which may be the fault of the source material, I dunno. It was ok.

Posted in movies by Bill on May 19, 2018

Deadpool 2 is hard for me to judge, as I had an unpleasant theater experience. The woman next to me laughed audibly at literally every joke in the whole movie. Who does that? Especially in a movie with rapid-fire jokes like this. Not every joke can be everyone’s cup of tea, and even some can be funny in an “exhale through your nose and smile” way or a quiet chuckle way, rather than an audible giggle. After just a few minutes of this, it didn’t put me in a very good mood to enjoy a movie.

A lot of the jokes fell flat to me. I’m thinking it was mostly being in a sour mood over the annoying lady, but I also think there were too many ideas recycled from the first one (hey, a fourth wall joke about Wolverine Origins! and another about Green Lantern! how original!). And I feel like the first movie’s director leaving was a step down in the visual style of the movie. There were some nice fight scenes, but it didn’t have the same flair as the first one. And the more they try to build Wade’s character, the more apparent it is that there’s no foundation (which is why I’ve never read Deadpool comics, some of the jokes are great, but I don’t see how it’s a character than can support a longer term story).

Overall, I think it was fine, but a significant step down from the first one. I’d be curious to see it again though.

Tiny spoilers: (more…)

Posted in tv by Bill on May 13, 2018

Patrick Melrose is a new Showtime miniseries with Benedict Cumberbatch as an addict dealing with the death of his father (Hugo Weaving) who he hates. It’s apparently quite well-reviewed, but the first episode is like Wes Anderson’s Trainspotting (Cumberbatch is having withdrawals and wants to get to his hotel room to take drugs, so we get a perfectly symmetrical shot of an old timey uniformed bellhop escorting him down the hotel hallway). Hopefully it’s not just “upper class British guy talking to himself as he has a drug-related meltdown” the whole time, but after about 30 minutes of that I’d had enough.