June 5, 2017

I had every intention to go see Wonder Woman at the theatre with youngest son and girlfriend but the weather was better than expected this past weekend, so we didn’t.   I would rather see WW than Captain Underpants anyday, despite Underpants getting better reviewed on rogerebert.com.   So I have been catching up on Netflix.

First was Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Kids, where an impressive cast is given little to do by Tim Burton and his team.  The one review summed it up by saying that it is X-Men meets Groundhog Day.   Eva Green plays a headmistress for kids in a house from 1943, and each of the kids is “peculiar”.  In other words they can be called mutants. although none of them puts on spandex and thinks like a superhero.  Samuel l Jackson plays the baddie here with some enthusiasm, but in the end it made little sense.   I can’t really recommend.
Chappie was a horrible mess.  Set in South Africa, with the look and feel of District 9, this is a story about a robot that is programmable and a group of low-life thugs who want to use such a robot for their bidding.   The catch is that Dev Patel, who is the creator, has the robot re-boot and start in a child-like state.  The robot has to learn – to speak, to do things etc.  It is slow and painful.  The mannerisms of the robot become comical as he parrots those who influence him.  In the end I had no connection with the robot, nor anyone else.
Sophie and the Rising Sun.  Set in 1940s South Carolina where an Asian man is dumped from a bus heading south and becomes the centre of attention.  He is taken on by a woman with a garden and he assists with this.   This is a made-for-TV quality film that shows the small mindedness of people and once again the atrocities of how asians were treated during this time.   Small towns and small minds.
Much of my time is catching up on series that I have not seen.  Season 6 of Downton Abbey, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Yes, the series, like it’s Christmas and New Years setting, finishes up with a bright red bow tied up around it, and the stories have all a feel-good quality about them.   New relationships, new life, second chances, and all have a smile on their faces.  Maggie Smith is so good in this, but also a quality supporting cast.  I simply don’t agree with the finish for Mr Barrow.  And Edith becomes a much more interesting character than her sister.
I began watching House of Cards, with a new season just released, and have finished the first season and started Season 2.  Kevin Spacey is so very good.  I like that he interacts with the viewers to explain who he is dealing with and what the strategy with that person.  His looks are precious.  But we also have a character, and a wife capable of anything where the end justifies any means.  Claire his wife, played by Princess Bride Robin Wright is the Lady Macbeth to his ambitious king.  It is fun and fascinating to watch.  I will continue to plough through Season 2.

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