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June 30, 2017

TV & Movie Thread

So no one watches the same stuff any longer so I'll just call this a TV & Movie thread, rather than a review thread.

But here are three things I've watched recently:

Twin Peaks: The Return. I think it's almost pointless to even discuss this as those who are watching already know everything I would or could say, and those who aren't watching could care less.

But yeah, let me just say it anyway: Episode 8? Wow.

Here's the beginning of the atomic bomb sequence. That sequence segued into what appears to be "The Woodsmen" entering the material plane at the notorious "Convenience Store" site.

(No second floor for them to live in, but then, we're talking about extra-spacial entities here so maybe they just created their own extradimensional room above it.)

After the bomb, we had a 2001: A Space Odyssey-style breach in the walls between the planes, a trip to the "Mauve Zone" or Purple Place that surrounds the material plane of existence, and then of course "The Woodsmen" descending on earth to prepare the way for an alien locust-frog to inhabit a human body.

The Lego Batman Movie. I watched this three times, nearly in a row. Twice in a row, then I watched it the next day.

I loved it. Adults will enjoy this -- as long as you like Batman, and are up for a parody of him.

Even though it's a parody, the movie is pretty true to the characters. The emotional heart of the movie is about a question that a lot of people have asked about Batman-- if he's such a "loner," supposedly, why does he always seem to have a Robin (or two!) and maybe a Batgirl hanging around with him?

No one calls Superman a "loner," but-- how often does Superman have a partner or protoge flying around with him? Not often. Yet Batman frequently has a group of characters around him. They serve as a surrogate family, to the point where they're even referred to (in-universe, I think, as well) as "The Bat-Family."

So the heart of the movie is about that contradiction inside Batman, that he thinks he's a loner, when he's actually... just lonely.

Oh, and besides that, it's funny.

Batman is given all the flaws we know of him -- arrogant, rude, domineering -- and a couple that aren't really part of the character as usually presented, but I think are probably true -- incredibly egotistical, and a glory-hound, and a bit of a meat-head ("Who never skips Leg Day?," Batman asks in a song he wrote about his own awesomeness, "Batman!," he answers himself).

The Robin character is well-done-- silly, funny, naive, yet not without skills. And it's great to have the Will Arnett-Michael Cera dynamic from Arrested Development back, with the scheming, narcissitic Will Arnett manipulating the naive Michael Cera.

The only character that I thought they missed the mark with is Barbara Gordon, or, as Batman calls her, "B-Go." Instead of being roughly around Robin's age, she's roughly around Batman's age. And they have Jim Gordon retire as commissioner so that she can assume that role -- why? Why not just have her appointed as head of the Major Crimes Unit? "Commissioner" isn't the only high rank in the police force.

One small other downside: There are so many villains and cameos that very few of the rogues gallery get any kind of screen-time. Joker gets the most, then Harley, and then Bane has three kind of funny lines (delivered in the Tom Hardy Bane Voice), and Catwoman has a two lines.

Still, complaining that "I wanted more" is just about the faintest criticism you can lay on a movie.

But Joker and Harley weren't very good or very funny -- Zach Galifanakis does a meh Joker, and Jenny Slate does a meh Harley, not really even bothering to imitate the Brooklyn-accented cartoon Harley. But their main role isn't humor, really, but just to set up the plot.

And the movie does in fact have one. A pretty good one, actually. And it involves -- yes it's a cliche, but this is a parody movie, after all -- the Joker getting himself captured, deliberately. And then manipulating Batman into stealing Superman's Phantom Zone projector.

Really good. This clip of the opening told me that I should rent the movie. So, check that out, and see if you think you'd be interested.

(Oh, for parents: The Joker is not very scary nor homicidal and Harley is not particularly sexualized. I mean, she's a Lego. So it's okay for kids.)

Logan. I liked this movie, but didn't love it. I think the fanbois overhyped it for me. It's pretty good, and there's a lot to like -- including Steven Merchant showing up for some reason-- but it's mostly just another X-Man movie, with government agents hunting X-Men, as usual.

And a fight in the woods. We've seen that a few times, haven't we?

Overhyped and overpraised - but still, good watchin', and worth the five bucks for a rental.

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posted by Ace at 02:36 PM

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