July 16, 2018

For my movies I have a few that I was able to finish and complete or see fresh but on the smaller screen.

IT:  So I had not finished IT, as I eluded to in my first review.  I had no real reason to do so but then in Atlanta it was on HBO, costing nothing and I did.  On a larger room tv the scary jumps were more scary without a doubt.   I did jump once a bit with the brother creeping around.  Still the premise of how to address and confront Penny Wise is a weak one in my opinion.   Still there is a good dynamic amongst the kids (even though it feels a lot like Stranger Things). They do have the one same bespeckled actor.  It also feels a bit like a retread of King’s Stand By Me.   If you can see for free, and like scarier films maybe check it out.  I will note that A Quiet Place for me is a superior thriller.
The Greatest Showman.   This was not on any list for me.  It was a musical, which generally in the theatre I do not wish to see, but I will admit that I expect that the theatre version of this would make sense.  But anyway it was free on an airplane. So I watched.  I thought that this was decent.  It kept my attention.  At it’s core it is a story about PT Barnum, the circus guy.   Part of me always thought it was Barnum & Bailey circus and it was a travelling show going town to town.   Here he is a Disney-like dreamer coming from nothing who starts in a building in New York.  Wolverine plays Barnum and Michelle Williams plays every Michelle Williams role she ever gets.  Zac Ephron is also in it which should end Alison’s journey and reading right there.  In the end it was a story about diversity and being who you are.  The music is catchy and decent.  There are a couple twists and it made the flight to Halifax go quickly.
Black Panther.  Another in flight film that didn’t cost a penny.   This was a decent superhero film in a sea of average.  I confess I am not a huge fan of the genre, and the noted Ant Man is a reason for me to remain unenthusiastic.   I can picture Stan Lee (and others) sitting in a room and brainstorming over any deformity or childhood trauma that they can exploit and make into a new ability.  Here we have a hidden African community with amazing technological advances that they keep to themselves.  Maybe that is because there is all this in-fighting going on looking to hold supreme executive power in the form of a monarchy.  Wouldn’t a modern technological wonder community have a modern method of selecting the next leader?   Wouldn’t they realize monarchies are outdated and only for show in the modern world?   Just because one can beat up someone else may not be the best selection process.  But I digress.   The women in this film are interesting and bad ass.  The story with King and then next in line makes sense (I suppose) despite the musings from above.   I saw this and it kept my attention.   It likely suffered a little from the hype and higher expectations.   Finishing I would rather see more of Black Panther than Ant Man.  Or Aqua Man or Thor.
Jurassic world.  This is the first dinosaur movie I have seen in a theatre that was just “Meh” to borrow my daughter’s word.   I can remember the awe and excitement from years ago seeing the first Jurassic Park.  The t-Rex attack was incredible!  It filled me with wonder.  Even Jeff Goldblum has returned to give voiceover in speaking to a Congressional hearing.  It is about the dangers of wielding genetic power.  How someone will weaponize it.  How it is simply something not to be trifled with.   From Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard looking to save the dinosaurs from an exploding island (the thick irony of trying to lobby and save an extinct animal from becoming extinct again) we have Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs who you just know can’t be a good guy.   Things progress and recede as the plot bogs down.  There are some head scratching moments including the resolution of the film that I will not share.  In the end I felt this film repeated more scenes from previous films than putting forth new scenes and ideas.   There doesn’t need to be another one, but if it makes enough money there will be.

March 26, 2018

On Netflix, I have been catching up with some documentaries and watching in more committed fashion the legal drama Suits.

The documentary that was interesting was John Mellancamp’s Plain Spoken.  There is a concert from Chicago with him doing a voiceover with his life story and just stories for him.   I had never realized that he had spina bifida.  He was surgically worked on with three other babies at the time, and the only one to have survived.
Another documentary was the Leo DiCaprio Before the Flood, that as a Global Warming film that was not all that compelling.    I found that those who speak about ice and coral are far more able to make one feel action is paramount (see Chasing Coral and Chasing Ice).    Here we talk about a “turning point” being Paris Accord from 2015.   Well, Mr Trump isn’t signing and there appears little political will in the US to move forward.   The disturbing aspect of this are countries like India and China who look to the US to take the lead.   In truth China has progressed better with solar.  But still.  Don’t look for any leadership for the time being.
On the plane I started watching IT.  I think IT needs to be on a bigger screen to get the jumps that IT wants to illicit.  I can see how IT creeps some people out, but for me, IT just doesn’t or didn’t do IT.   IT was very popular in the theatres which would suggest that IT and others will follow.   I was glad that I did not pay for IT.  Also glad that I won’t be seeking out the end of IT which I didn’t manage to see.
I also enjoyed the documentary about the Men behind the Apollo missions in the Control Center.    There were real faces of people that Ron Howard used in Apollo 13, like vested Ed Harris as Mission Control.   It is an exciting time to be looking forward with NASA and the missions ahead to Mars, and more closely the new rocket to orbit around the moon once again.   This younger generation may remember some Space Shuttle launches, but this will be something more exciting.  The US getting back in space exploration after paying the Russians for travel up to the International Space Station.  Exciting!
I was re-watching The Right Stuff which still holds it’s own in showing the Mercury program and those astronauts.   There is Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier.  Then breaking twice the barrier just a few years later.
This week ahead is Steven Spielberg’s new Ready Player One.  We’ll see how the boys will like that.