Monday, December 18, 2017

Quick Movie and TV Reviews

Sometimes you are so social that you need some downtime and stare into a screen and let the waves of media and culture wash over you. I, like many people, achieve this mental off-switch bliss by watching movies and TV. Sometimes I binge it. Sometimes I’m with another person, but it’s mostly a solitary affair. Below are some things I’ve watch recently and quick blurbs. There may be SPOILERS, so ya, deal with that however you want.

It’s almost 2018 ya’ll. Let’s hang in there until then.

Thor Ragnarok

People kept saying this was a good movie so I went to see it despite me being not into the Marvel franchise stuff and all those people were wrong. It’s way too fourth-wall-meta. From start to finish it has this knowing, self-referential de-troping/re-troping of the comic book ‘movies’ and it’s just too much. It’s a tired slapstick mixed with eye roll irony that is so self aware of its cleverness it just trundles along. Also, WHY?! Focus on all these subplots/characters when you have amazing Cait Blanchet and that whole storyline which is so rich with content and possibility? I get it, you want to squeeze in as many periphery characters and jump off characters as possible but it’s just dull and spaztistc. It’s one of those films where you laugh but just to get yourself throughout not because it is actually witty or funny.

24 Frames Abbas Kiarostami

Someone film-arty sent me a link to this film by Kiarostami, which imagines still frames of art four minutes before or after a frame. I was excited at first because the first frame is the Pieter Brugel’s painting with the hunters and dogs in the woods (Hunters in the Woods, 1565). Crows begin to move and caw. Snow falls and wisps of smoke animate the sky. That was really fun to see but then most the other frames were just blah. Mostly generic West Elm like photographs. Lots of animals, bare trees and even more crows. It felt flat and too easy. There was a sense of trying to convey a mood or even an inkling of a story, but it was all so uninteresting. Maybe it would be cool as a background to a swank party but ya, to watch it through was more than tedious, it felt visually wasteful.

Masterchef Professionals UK – Season 10

I love British cooking shows and Masterchef Professionals is one of my favorites because it is a competition amongst professional chefs so you can dork out on high-level chefy techniques and food creations. It’s very formulaic, there are a ton of episodes, all an hour long, and I like that simplicity. US food shows are garbage. All the weird editing, lighting, staging and dramatization. No, thank you. Give me duck three ways anytime and some crazy French classic and I’m happy. It’s annoying everyone is white and male but hey, reflections can be shitty but they are based on the truth of how things are.

Stranger Things – Season 2

Binge watched this other night while I was contemplating my life choices and it was enjoyable. I didn’t like it as much as the first season but ya, it’s a chill series. The child actors were cute but lost a little bit of their charm. Some of the story lines felt compressed and shoved in – Why she went to Chicago to find her ‘sister’ / Who cares about the new kids from CA – I’m not sure but ya, Upside Down world, Winona being frantic and fab, Millie Bobbie Brown being the next Chanel campaign model, all that is just easy and non-offensive to consume.

Little Women

I don’t know what possessed me to watch this movie, maybe it’s my Winona forever crush, but wow, that was a weird choice. Well, maybe not, I like sappy period stuff and it’s sort of a Chritmassy movie so maybe I was getting all nostalgic for this book I read when I was in middle school. Essentially it’s about this family/sisters and they love each other soooo much and Jo (Winona) is the writer, non-conformist one, and blah blah wadda wadda, love and friendship and death and trying to be an empowered woman and all that jazz. Like all period movies they (women) only can be free via money aka a husband or a dead aunt. So it all ends well, Beth (Claire Danes) dies but children are born and time moves on. I should have just watched another redux of Sense and Sensibility for this type of movie fix.