January 27th, 2020

This week was a mixed bag of viewing, partially because I had access to some shows on Prime Video.   Principally on a flight to and from Vancouver I was able to watch Fleabag to begin with.  This recently awarded Best Series and Actress from Golden Globes and SAG Awards was available and I decided to catch it with enthusiasm.   It was worth it.   This show is the brainchild of Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and she has an excellent cast, including last year’s Best Actress in Olivia Colman (currently playing the Queen, in The Crown).  It is a simple premise of the life of the female lead, who talks to the camera as asides, much like Ferris Bueller, and then she interacts with the characters and situations around her.   She and her sister are left behind when their mother has passed away from breast cancer.   Dad wasn’t close with the girls but manages to bounce back quickly romantically with the girls’ Godmother (played by Colman).   It is the story of their lives, and careers and loves.  There are flashbacks as you piece together what is happening in their lives.   It is layered and unfolds over time slowly.   Season 2 picks up with the impending wedding of the father, and introducing a couple new characters, notably the priest, played by Andrew Scott, who also played baddie Professor Moriarity with relish.  Having finished the series I found that the last two episodes really brought it all together.  This isn’t just a comedy and I will leave it at that.  There are more complications, and fully written characters around the lead who add greatly to the story.   I like the way it gets tied together.   According to Waller-Bridge this is the end.   There is no Season 3.   Although this clip suggests she “may re-visit” herself when “she is 50”.    So those who care to watch will have plenty of time to catch up since she is 35yo!   Enjoy what she has put together.

I decided to watch Tolkien on Crave as well.  It is pronounced Toll-Keen which corrected me after years.  This is the story of the writer’s early life, and then as he grows up through college.   It speaks to his books of course as his life unfolds and those he is most well known for being The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings series.  I was more impressed by this than I was expecting to be honest.   I had heard modest reviews, but perhaps I was in the mood for it.  He came upon his primary relationship with the woman who would become his wife, early on, and he was forbidden by his guardian and priest to see her until he was 21yo.   The resolution of that, and her impact upon him cannot be understated, despite that she was of a different religion.   He also relied heavily on his friends which eventually they became a band of brothers really.   They met and talked and explored different ideas, in a way that just isn’t done anymore.   There are elements of Harry Potter and common rooms within a dorm, where people would gather and discuss.   This interaction has mostly gone away, and we as people have become more solitary.  Technology in this case, isn’t for the better.   These young men greatly impacted the young Tolkien and shaped who he would become.   I won’t reveal more but in many ways we all know how this ends.    He ends up writing one of the defining and definitive works of fantasy which has impacted countless others.   He created a world with new languages.  He created new classes of beings like Orcs, Elves, Ents and others.   He died in 1973 at the age of 81.   Edith his wife pre-deceased him in 1971 at the age of 82.   On her tombstone he had an Elvish characters name inscribed on it.   I will caution that this film can be slow, but I didn’t mind the pacing.  Others might.

Finally I started watching The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, with Rachel Brosnahan which won the SAG Award again this year, but has previously won Golden Globes and countless other awards.   Brosnahan was in House of Cards.  She played the woman that creepy Doug was obsessed about.  She is excellent in this role as a 1960s era Jewish housewife in New York City from a well-to-do family that breaks new ground by taking on the role as a stand up comedian.   In some ways this borrows off the themes from Mad Men where the men were the providers and women were the stay-at-home meek types.  The woman’s value was in how she supported her husband.   Times were changing.   Early on, she meets up with the legendary Lenny Bruce who broke new ground with his stand up comedy.   I like the writing.   I am less than enthused about the family interactions between husband and wife.    It seems very stereotyped, but maybe that we really the times.   I am not old enough to confirm or deny this.  I found the one court sequence interesting.   How times have changed when you look back on it 50 years ago.  So early days in this for me, and the fact that Brosnahan removes her top in the first episode didn’t hurt either.   Hey, guys can be guys after all.   I will stick with it for a while longer and hope that we see her progression into this profession.   Maybe she is more like a Joan Rivers.   But again, I am not sure.

January 20th, 2020

On the plane I was able to catch a couple of movies that I have been meaning to see.   First was Once Upon A Time in Hollywood.  The Golden Globes were kind to this very long film which is set in the late 60s in Hollywood.   I note that younger viewers who know little to nothing of this time won’t necessarily get the full impact of it.   I will leave that statement without further elaboration since much of it hinges on the ultimate resolution.  For me, knowing this history then there was a bit of an “a-ha” moment as some things came together.
I think the love being shown to Brad Pitt as Supporting Actor is justified.  His was an interesting role as stunt double for an aging DiCaprio western character, who seemed to share a number of qualities with real Clint Eastwood.   The three hour length could have easily have been trimmed.  For example, the extended sequence with Pitt interacting with Bruce Dern was longer than needed.   I found the sequence with Bruce Lee was entertaining just as someone getting their comeuppance but if he wasn’t that way, then it was offensive.  Do I really think that Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate reflected the reality of her?  I don’t know. The interaction of her at the movie theatre watching her own film was interesting but not all that informative.   The scenes that showed the actual Tate in the movie was the interesting part since I don’t think I remember ever seeing her act.  In the end, was this the best picture of the year?  I don’t think so.   As in almost any Tarantino film there is a violent component which some viewers may find just too much.   Is it necessary?   Likely not.   But there are times when it is imminently satisfying.   For me this could easily be a two hour film without taking much away.   It is worth seeing and Pitt does some really good work.

I also saw Rocketman, the Elton John biopic which seeing the success of Queen’s  Bohemian Rhapsody added to the music noise.  Musicians who no longer make the money from albums, and aren’t touring can look to seek their stories to be made into movies.   Queen has made a fortune.   This movie differentiates itself from Queen by being more of a musical.   Sadly for me the original songs are modified and changed and sung by the actors (and not Elton John).  Iconic songs for me like Border Song lack in quality and energy.  Others too like Tiny Dancer, and Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting among others just don’t work.  I also don’t have a lot of sympathy for Reggie/Elton.  Poor, multi-talented, rich, hoarder who doesn’t have a lot of love from his family.   Boo hoo.   I like to see the creative process and also think his gift for visualizing music to lyrics is fascinating.   He is an accomplished talent.   While professing profusely that he has never had an argument with Bernie Taupin, I think we saw a couple of arguments in the film, like when Bernie decided to move back to the UK.   How Bernie didn’t hear any music as he wrote his lyrics is interesting too.   I was also surprised to see how Elton was played by his manager (Robb Stark).  He may have signed a contract but I have to imagine that there is an exit clause which allows him to end it.   If there isn’t, then he isn’t as smart as you might think.   This movie is infinitely better with Elton’s voice doing the singing.   I am glad that I followed through on the promise to myself not to pay for this movie.   So Elton gets my money for his songs and (mostly) Bernie’s lyrics but not for a movie.   Jamie Bell plays Taupin.   I like him better as Billy Elliot.  The Elton marriage to a women was kind of glossed over, but not ignored.

January 13th, 2020 Bonus Alison posting

From Alison:

Odds and ends from 2019

I have no idea how many movies I watched in 2019 but assuming a minimum of three per week, a ballpark estimation is likely somewhere around a hundred and fifty.  One stands out for me as the worse thing I willingly sat through; Gemini Man.  There was a close runner up in Rambo: Last Blood but I’m giving this to Big Willy.  I didn’t watch this movie looking for him say very much, the plot was obvious. I watched so I could see things get blown up real good and handsome young men get punched in the throat.  Stallone had the good sense to just get down to business but Will just kept talking, then his clone kept talking and then the bad guy and the sidekicks all had too much to say.  Only one stunt scene (the one in the commercial) delivered and the rest were meh.  I know I don’t have to tell you not to waste your time watching this but like the warning on a pack of cigarettes, I’ll just remind you.
Won’t You Be My Neighbour? was more than even the great Tom Hanks could salvage.  The movie was not about Mr. Rogers per se as much as it was about the reporter hired to write a piece on him for Esquire (this part is true).  I acknowledge that Fred was about positivity and stillness but outside of a documentary it just plays wrong.  Mr. Rogers was a guy I watched as a kid, made fun of as a teenager and mostly forgot about as an adult.  His passing was sad but this was a tribute to him that wasn’t particularly sentimental and at times was uncomfortably bad.  Hanks did his level best but I can’t recommend it.  They chose to end the movie with a scene where Mr. Rogers was alone on the set and began playing the piano.  Quite unexpectedly he slams his fists down on the keys in what appeared to be anger.  It was just odd and failed at helping the viewer understand this special man or perhaps it was to show that he struggles just like everyone.  Skip this mess and watch the documentary instead.
A few thoughts on Apple’s new streaming service…
Apple launched its new streaming service with only a handful of original offerings.  In true Apple style they threw a lot of money into this project, bagged some of Hollywood’s top actors to join in the fun and sunk mucho dinero into the production of its shows.  I managed to finish See with Jason Mamoa and Alfre Woodard in 4K and Atmos and enjoyed the ear candy a show about blind people in the wilderness had to offer.  The series is slow until episode six before I became interested in the outcome.  Servant is a medium given of and to the mind of M. Knight Shyamalan and so far is the best offering IMO.  A family hires an odd nanny to care for their child which turns out to be a doll.  The actual child died sometime earlier and the mom has had trouble adjusting, hence the dolly.  But something else just isn’t right… Saying much more might ruin some of the fun but given the origins of the show you can expect to be perplexed and mildly creeped out. I was just about to turn off Dickinson when Wiz Khalifa showed up with a spliff.  This is a modern not modern take on Emily Dickinson as a petulant teenager coming into her talent. I’m three episodes in and will likely finish it.  Lastly, The Morning Show and For All Mankind started out as novel and with a small b bang.  Both have fizzled for me and I’ve yet to complete either.  I will at some point but its not high on my priority viewing list.  Hopefully they’ll surprise later.  Hopefully Apple has a few more tricks up their sleeves (or in their pockets) to encourage someone, anyone to subscribe.

January 13th, 2020

At the theatre I went out with my youngest son to go check out 1917.  Newly minted with a Golden Globe for Best Picture and also Best Director for Sam Mendes.   I have been meaning to see this since checking out the trailers.   I have a fascination for war pictures, especially when they are done well.   The buzz on this one was that it was all done, seemingly, in “one shot”; no breaks, one continuous shot from beginning to end as the characters go on their journey.  The set up is a simple one and is explained in the trailer with Colin Firth as a General ordering two young men to travel from where they currently are to another Division of British soldiers who are heading into a trap from the Germans where they will be wiped out (1600 men, including the one messenger’s older brother).   They must deliver a direct order from the General to cease the attack.  Off they go.

The scenes of the trenches are very effective and how tight the quarters really were.  Our two young soldiers decide to get started straight away.   They journey takes place as you see the ugliness of this war.  Bodies of men and horses, just left out in fields and shelled ponds.   It’s a good thing that there isn’t smell-o-vision.    As they move from place to place different scenarios present themselves and they run into various other people.   I won’t get into the details, since it generally is effectively done.   I feel as though the continuous shot gimmick is exactly that, and the story could be told as effectively with set scenes and traditional cuts and editing.   So rather than take the camera over the shoulder of one character to show the face of another while he speaks, you can just cut from one camera to another.   At the same time, scenes where the characters are walking through ponds, water and mud pits are effective and you wonder where the camera man was to get it.  There are stars in this film, and I won’t name them here (I have to admit to expecting to see Matt Damon along the way – you’ll know why when you see it).   In the end, both youngest son and I really enjoyed this.  There was plenty of suspense.  There were a few surprises and we enjoyed the journey.  I felt as though you got a real sense of the war and how it would have been to be on the front lines.  War is hell.  This one in particular was hell, and the conditions that the average soldier had to live in were deplorable.  They were all so young, as they all have been with young men set to do the deeds of older politicians and generals.   Was this the Best Picture of 2019?   Roger Ebert site didn’t think so, as they gave it just 2 1/2 Stars – the same number of stars that Cats got!!   I don’t think that 2019 was all that strong a year, and I don’t think we will look back upon it and think about all the gems that were released.   In that background, this was one of the better ones.

January 6th, 2020 Happy New Year

Happy New Year as we enter not only a new year, but also a new decade.  Time flies!  I think back on the decade that was, but also on the decade ahead where (should I still be around) I would finish in my sixties!  Holy crap!  That just doesn’t sound right!

The Golden Globe awards are tonight (I am writing this on sunday) and it should be an interesting awards show.   Usually the fashion is much more interesting than the awards themselves!

On Netflix, four time Golden Globe nominated The Two Popes was on my list.  It is nominated for Best Picture (Drama), as well as Best Actor for the excellent Jonathan Pryce, and Best Supporting Actor for Anthony Hopkins.   I can safely say that I learned more about the current Pope (Pope Francis) than I have ever learned about any Pope ever.  I was pleased to know it.   The movie focuses on the time after the death of the beloved Pope John Paul II.   The church has been feeling much pressure, for scandals like the priests sexually assaulting the altar boys and attendance is falling dramatically.   More and more people see the church as out of touch.   In electing a new Pope, the choice for the Catholic Church was to select German, conservative Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict).  He was seen as a unifying vote, but there are grumblings amongst the other Priests.   Among them from Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina.  The Argentinian wishes to resign, but the Pope wouldn’t engage in a letter exchange and it forces the two to meet face to face.   What transpires is an exchange of differing philosophies on the overall direction of the church.   There are discussions about “changing” versus “compromising”.   Pope Benedict says he disagrees with virtually every attitude that the Cardinal has.   The Cardinal has a colourful past which comes to light as the two men get to know each other better, and have a growing respect for one another.   There was some humour, as it isn’t all heavy discussion.   I am glad that I watched this.  Pryce in particular was excellent, even though I am not sure that he actually speaks all the Spanish in the film.   I learned something, I was entertained, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the sets and in particular the Sistine Chapel.  Having been there, I enjoyed seeing it and remembering just how blue the room is (more than I had expected).   This movie is worth your time,

I went to the theatre on Janaury 1 to see Little Women, principally from the positive reviews and the presence of Sairose Ronan and also Timothee Chalamet, two of the most in-demand and dynamic actors working these days.   I like them both.   Greta Gerwig, who previously directed Lady Bird with Ronan, directs the classic American family tale from the 1800s.   This movie has been done before and notably in 1994 with Susan Sarandon, Winona Ryder and Christian Bale.   For an actor, it is a young persons role mostly and young female talent will seek it out.  Ronan received a Golden Globe for her take on Jo.   Jo is the writer in the family, and this becomes a movie about the creation of the book that becomes this movie.   The challenge for young women of the age was to find their path when their choices were so limited.   Usually it was find a young man of means and status, and then provide heirs for the family.   Florence Pugh, who plays Amy (with a Marcia Brady like complex held by Jan Brady) takes a different turn from Midsommar earlier in the year.   She is also very good.   The weak link in the cast for me is Laura Dern as the Mom.  She isn’t very believable, and I think others in the role would be better.   Dern is 52yo.  Maybe a Jennifer Connelly, Naomi Watts or a Cate Blanchett would have been better.  Emma Watson isn’t the same caliber actress as Ronan and Pugh.   But besides that, this isn’t a movie you need to see on the big screen.   But it was still enjoyable.   Not much happens and reflects life on a farm in New England.   Louisa May Alcott who wrote the story, is encouraged to change the ending for the book to make it more romantic.   In real life she never married.  Beyond this book, she wrote two sequels that were not as well known.   Alcott is similar to Emily Bronte, also in the 1800s,  in looking for a direction in her life.   She found her voice given that 150 years later they are still making movies about her story.

Adding some Golden Globes musings from last night’s proceedings (in no particular order):

  • As talented as he might be, Jacquin Phoenix is a weird dude, and I wouldn’t want to share in whatever vegan meal that he is enjoying
  • Renee Zellwegger, see above, is about as weird as Jacquin, but has a face that still looks like a puzzle with a couple pieces put in wrong.   How does SHE win for a movie no one has seen?
  • Salma Hayek
  • Why all this love for Quentin Tarantino and his movie, while The Irishman and Martin Scorsese left out in the cold?   Shut out?
  • Was Brad Pitt really the best supporting actor?  Against The Irishman P-actors (Pacino and Pesci)?
  • How does Olivia Colman best Jodie Comer?
  • Tom Hanks acceptance speech for the Cecil B deMille award was touching and honest and everything you would expect from this actor.   Tearing up as you look upon your family sitting before you is a tremendous sign of character.
  • 1917 winning Best Picture, I can roll with that, even though most people haven’t seen it yet, including me.  Add Best Director too.  Okay.
  • Salma Hayek (you can’t say the name just once, you just can’t)
  • I need to watch Fleabag.
  • I don’t need to watch Ramy.
  • How does Jared Harris lose to Russell Crowe?
  • Ricky Gervais is profane and deserves to have his mouth washed out with soap, but he pulls no punches and doesn’t care about who he offends (especially calling out the politically inclined winners)
  • Kate McKinnon on introducing Ellen DeGeneres for the Carol Burnett Award, first rate speech.  Fist pump for that.   Heartfelt and genuine.
  • How is Jennifer Aniston nominated for anything?  I think she is there so they have a camera on her as she gazes at Brad Pitt when he wins.

 

 

December 30th, 2019, Happy New Year

At this time of year we start getting people writing lists.   Being the end of a decade, we get further lists too (Best of the Decade).  These lists are for films and performances.  Roger Ebert didn’t like creating lists, but when pressed to do so, he would come up with something.  Movies, especially from disparate genres are virtually impossible to compare.

It’s interesting that Roger’s website creates its own Best 10 List.

https://www.rogerebert.com/balder-and-dash/the-ten-best-films-of-2019

I will say that ANY list which includes Ad Astra and Midsommar (even in their Mentionables) makes me wonder about the quality of the list.  The Golden Globe list can also be used if one is curious as well.   Not surprisingly the lists of best performance can mirror the lists of Best Films.

Golden Globes 2020: The Complete Nominations List

For me I quickly realized that I hadn’t seen many on the list Best Films.  In fact I had only seen two (The Irishman and Parasite).   Now I have seen four.

I was interested to seek out some of these listed films, and the first of these was on Crave.   Us is a movie that is by Jordan Peele who offered up Get Out.  For me, that doesn’t provide it with additional weight, in fact it takes away from it.  I didn’t like Get Out at all.   I can honestly say that I felt similar feelings when I watched Us.  Lupita Nyong’o plays two roles in a movie that virtually all play duplicate roles.  In short this is an alternate reality, psychological thriller where things happen that don’t make a lot of sense.   In sort of a Invasion of the Body Snatchers way, alternates dressed in red jump suits and sporting large scissors are threatening their like-likes.  Lupita Nyong’o is the most impressive in being one character and also the alter ego.   i likely have missed the point of the film, but that’s because I eventually just give up on what I cannot understand.   To say that this is one of the Best Films of the year says much about the year.  In the same way that Get Out was listed as an Oscar nominee.  I was very glad that i didn’t spend the money to see this is the theatre.   Pass.

Marriage Story has multiple nominations with Best Picture for Globes and acting with Johansson and Driver as Best Actors as well.   It is listed from Ebert site.  For me, I think the people who enjoy this type of film (like Kramer v Kramer and Revolutionary Road) think that it reflects reality well, with good acting.  Maybe that is true.  For me, as one who has gone through such discussions and splits, it is painful to watch.  Agonizing to watch on screen as people who once cared for one another, have their stories twisted and maneuvered by lawyers and those intent on “winning” and extracting as much money as they possibly can before they turn the poor, less financially viable afterwards back into the world.   The family lawyers collectively Laura Dern, Ray Liotta and Alan Alda are sadly reflections of the world, but one in which Law Societies are at pains to show are not accurate.   There is a ethical and professional responsibility to seek settlement.   It’s not about “winning” and should be reflecting the wishes of the parties.   Like real life, wishes of the parties are not always spoken and rarely with one another when the lawyers get involved.  But for me, I cringe when I see an Assessor sent by the Court sit uncomfortably and watch a father and son eat dinner while evaluating them, and the father’s suitability.  Who is she to judge?  The father asks her “do you ever watch a married couple?” and she dryly responds “why would I?”   Why indeed.   I almost had to turn this off and take a minute to catch my breath where there is an ugly exchange between the two.   I admit that my admiration for Driver (the father) increased immensely with the scene at the bar in New York.   He shows and ability that I had never seen from him before, and does it better than expected.   Who should watch this?  Maybe young people looking to get married.  They may feel that this can’t reflect reality and how things can be.   Maybe spouses looking to split amicably should watch to realize that engaging lawyers make a long term happiness for all scenario more challenging.    Lawyers, by the way, having seen the financials, know exactly what a given file would be worth and they will extract it.   But watching people spew venom at each other, in heated exchanges or shaking their heads at the “System” and how it is pre-conditioned not to reflect what their relationship reality was in the least, is not particularly enjoyable, even when done well.

I hope that all readers have had a good 2019, and that 2020 will be more successful and prosperous!    On to 2020, with more films on the list to see like 1917 and Little Women.

 

 

December 23rd, 2019 (Merry Christmas – Skywalker Ends)

With much skepticism I headed to the theatre on the Thursday night opening of Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker.   I say skepticism because I so thoroughly disliked the previous The Last Jedi installment of this storied franchise.   Few movies can garner as much hype and anticipation as a Star Wars film.  This one is no different.  42 years in the making, this is to be the end of the nine episode, trilogy of trilogies, albeit the George Lucas final trilogy will never be known as Disney bought the rights and continued along with the saga.   JJ Abrams after the last episode debacle helmed by Rian Johnson, returns to direct and write this film.    Query whether Abrams will ever be thought of as a brilliant writer and/or director.   Abrams mostly directed TV before getting involved with the Star Trek reboot and before that Mission Impossible 3.    For me, despite earning massive dollars with his movies, he shows an annoying ability to mirror a story structure from previous stories.  Star Wars is an excellent example with his first The Force Awakens, mirroring A New Hope and the goal to destroy a Death Star.   I mention this because Rise of Skywalker, does the same thing with Return of the Jedi (even returning to the moons on Endor for an inexplicable reason).   It’s a galaxy for cryin’ out loud!!  Does everything have to tie back to the originals?    Does every character have to make an appearance?   Seriously?

My main point of contention in seeing the trailers was that the background voice of the Emperor was plainly heard.  The Emperor (formerly Senator Palpatine) is dead.  In Return of the Jedi, Darth Vader threw him into a massive chasm where in a puff of cloud and smoke he was gone.   As part of the Emperor’s manipulating Anakin, he spoke of a legendary Sith (Darth Plageis The Wise) who could create life and prevent people from dying.   But later he spoke of having to “learn it together” when Anakin was finally turned to the Dark Side.   Now he shows up.   I spoil little by mentioning this, as if you have taken off your jacket and had your first handful of popcorn this is revealed in the film.   If that spoils your movie, you have bigger problems coming.  In short, dead was dead and I saw no reason for resurrecting him.   So then it begins.

In short this movie, for me, didn’t suck.   But it wasn’t great.  My 15yo younger son was not as enthused.   He didn’t like it.  It was just too all over the place for him.   He also hasn’t had an additional 27 years to familiarize himself with the source material.     He asked me what about it did I like directly after we finished, and I struggled coming up with an answer.   Funny.    My answer at the time was that I felt that they did a credible job with some aspects of the Kylo Ren story.   I also felt that they addressed the Princess Leia issue with some tact.   But upon reflection and sleeping on it, I think the main source of positiveness came from the fact that the theme was that individuals have choice and they are not chained to their blood and destiny to decide what they will do with their lives.    Game of Thrones missed out on this lesson in the biggest way!   Danny, since was a Targaryen was to be a ruthless, mindless killer who was power hungry and incapable of being a competent leader.   She avoided this fate for 7 seasons, then reverted back to her blood (her Father after all was the Mad King) in the Final season.   So she must act in the same way, and must be stopped.   Suffice it to say that breaking the bonds of your destiny is just a matter of choosing to do something else.   In Return of the Jedi, when Luke overpowers Darth Vader in the Emperor’s room, the Emperor wrongly states that it was Luke’s “hate that made (him) powerful”.   Actually it was the love of his sister that did, and his desire to protect her from these psychopaths.   So it was refreshing to see moments where characters get to make a choice in Rise of Skywalker.

Other things that I will mention quickly.   I didn’t like the continuation of skills and abilities of characters that have never been seen before from a character.  These come from all sorts of characters and mostly revolve around the force.   Random spaceships are left indiscriminately around for characters to take, and miraculously they fire up and fly without issue (and the characters know how to fly them).   The introduction of a new light sabre (you’ll know what I mean when you see it).  The romance aspect which just sort of fizzles.  The incredible ability to identify which particular Star Destroyer has a ridiculous beacon from just a “feeling”.   Finding escapes from areas that look pretty locked down, and moving around space (or so it seems) with no spacesuit of any kind and running atop space ships that are flying in this space.   I could go on and on and won’t.   Just check your realism metre at the door.    Star Wars will make gazillions of dollars this weekend.   Although this may close out the Skywalker story, given the money to be made, and the success of The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda, expect to see more Star Wars movies.   But a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, let’s find some new totally independent stories can be created that introduce new ideas and characters.

I finished watching the first season of Killing Eve on Crave which is a TV series that was given many accolades at the Emmys and Golden Globes.   Sandra Oh (Canadian stars) along with Jodie Comer (previously in The White Princess).   There are many familiar British faces from Harry Potter, other British TV series etc.   Oh won the Golden Globe for Actress in a TV series.   Comer won the Emmy in the same category.  It is a good cast with clever writing.   Comer is particularly excellent.   The basic story is that Oh works for British Intelligence and they are looking to track a thread for numerous seemingly unrelated killings.   They are wondering if there is a new assassin loose who is smart, effective and elusive.   Comer plays the assassin.   I have finished Season 1 and I have enjoyed a great deal.   There are complex relationships at work and people who are equally complex.   Season 2 picks up 30 seconds after Season 1 and I am finished just the first episode.   If you can, check it out.   Well worth the time, with plenty twists and turns.