Holiday stuff of various media, roughly worst to best:
- Legend stars Tom Hardy as real-life twin criminals from 1960s London. I had high hopes after seeing Brian Helgeland wrote and directed it, but lowered when I saw that it was based on a true story. Being based on reality usually doesn’t do much for me, and I think Tom Hardy playing fictional twin criminals could have had a more satisfying story.
- Fences features good performances from Denzel and especially Viola Davis, but it’s an adaptation of a play, and I wonder if they really gained anything by not just filming a production of the play. Denzel riding on a garbage truck for 2 minutes in the beginning is the only time there’s any on-screen movement, otherwise it’s people sitting/standing around talking the whole time. Also a shit ending.
- Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is an Australian series available on netflix, kinda Murder, She Wrote in the 20s in Australia. Except she’s not a writer, and kinda hot (pictured), and kinda promiscuous. But it’s the same kind of feel, where people get murdered all the time, yet it somehow remains generally lighthearted and fun. I get a little annoyed that they give the title character entirely 21st century values, to both look down on her nose at her 1920s contemporaries, and to make the 21st century audience like her. But they actually make up for it with her promiscuity. A male lead in this kind of show, bedding a different woman in most every episode, that would be mundane, but a female lead sleeping a different dude every episode? That feels borderline revolutionary. It’s not salacious or anything, which is good because I thought the murder mystery/period costume aspect made it something my mother might like, so watching something borderline pornographic with her would have been awkward. But it is oddly refreshing to see a little equity in the one-and-done romance department.
- The Undoing Project is Michael Lewis’ book on two Israeli psychologists from the 70s who revolutionized the study of how people make decisions, with impacts on economics and lots of other disciplines. It touches on a lot of things I already knew about, but also introduced new concepts to me. And Lewis (Moneyball, The Big Short, and husband of MTV News‘ Tabitha Soren) has a knack for making complex stuff accessible and entertaining.