I love going to the movies. The big screen, dark room, popcorn, and now the reclining chairs that I scoffed at when my theater was all “LOOK WHAT WE’RE GETTING!!” but are really just as great as they said. The movie theater is just one of my favorite places to be.
Of course, that theater high usually has me leaving with the impression that almost everything I see in there is great. Then I watch it again at home and no, no it’s really not. So I was a little bit worried when I pulled up Terminator Genisys for a second look last night (it’s free on Amazon Prime right now, fyi). I wrote a pretty glowing review of it last year, but I know a lot of people were really harsh on it, bashing the science and the acting and the trailer that gave away the plot twist, so I wondered if I would now see it through the lens of that negativity.
Turns out I still loved it.
I could rehash all the things I still thought worked really well (Emilia Clarke, despite the flak she caught from fans was still great, I thought), but it’s just as easy to direct you to the link above. Instead, I want to talk about the things I did see a little bit differently or didn’t mention from that first viewing.
A little over a year ago, as season 10 of Supernatural came to a close, I made some predictions for season 11. I didn’t actually get to watch most of it as it aired, but I just spent the last week getting all caught up on Netflix. So, let’s take a look at what I thought would happen and what actually did.
Mostly I want to talk about the season, but I’m also going to keep score. So, here we go. Spoilers, obviously.
It’s almost time for a new TV season to start, and with it comes a glut of new shows.After discounting all the things I knew I wouldn’t care about, I was still left with a fairly lengthy list of things I’m at least interested in checking out. I know they won’t all hold my interest, and even if they did, I REALLY know they won’t all hold the studios’ interests. But in a season that includes new dramas, comedies, a handful of reboots and an awful lot of time travel, it’ll be fun to see what sticks.
The following is my list, organized by premiere date rather than degree of interest. Trailers are included where possible.
I should preface this review by saying that, after talking to other people, it’s possible some of my experience was negatively affected by the 3D conversion. My suggestion would be to see it in standard: What you gain in depth of field during the quiet moments of 3D (which really is quite something) isn’t worth what you lose overall.
But I can’t judge this movie on the experience other people had, only on the one I had, which is to say that Star Trek Beyond is a bunch of great character stuff surrounded by…I don’t even know what that mess was.
Wow, I actually really enjoyed the new Ghostbusters movie.
Well, I can’t put this post off anymore. It’s been sitting on my computer in bits and pieces pretty much since the new Ghostbusters movie was officially announced and garnered instant-hate. And to be honest, I was kind of one of the haters. Something about it felt exploitative. Like, there was nothing wrong with the original Ghostbusters. Sure, it was a product of its time, but it held up okay. Rebooting it — now with female ghostbusters, what a twist! — seemed like pandering, blatant attempt to catch the social justice wave. Like the movie was being made not because it was needed, not because it was wanted, just because it could be.
And for a while, that didn’t sit well with me. And when images of the new costumes started being released – costumes that looked more befitting of a I don’t even know what – I doubled down on my ire.
I saw Independence Day: Resurgence over my Fourth of July weekend. I didn’t go in expecting the next great American Sci Fi movie, or even something that would surpass the original in anything other than scope, and I think that probably played a good role in why I enjoyed it so much. ID4-2 is what it is, and unashamedly so: A tentpole summer movie (that wanted so very badly to be a blockbuster) full of nostalgia, patriotism a healthy dose cheese and melodrama. And, honestly, it was just a little bit surprising in places.
While I wouldn’t quite call it a binge, I’ve certainly been enjoying a steady diet of Star Trek that started last year with The Next Generation and has grown to include Deep Space Nine this year. I’ve got one season left of TNG, and just finished the first of DS9, and that’s the one I want to talk about. Because for a while rhere, I wasn’t at all sure I was going to make it.
I haven’t done a “What I’m Watching Next Season” post, because I haven’t even finished my “What I Watched Last Season” series, but with five of the shows I was looking forward to (and one I was resigned to watching) being on The CW, this news has me thinking it might be time to drop Hulu and reconsider cable/DVR (or perhaps buying seasons from Amazon).
In short: Next season, The CW is ending its deal with Hulu for next-day streaming of the most recent five episodes of series and instead will make the whole series available on Netflix about two weeks after seasons end, instead of 3-4 months.
Apparently, you still can do next-day streaming through the CW site and apps, but my experience with those in the past have been really glitchy and awful.
I might make a list of everything I want to watch, do the math, and see if it’s actually cheaper to just buy seasons outright from Amazon. I hesitate to do that, because it makes me less likely to then buy the DVDs, so I miss commentary and other features, but honestly, I think I’m done buying physical TV seasons for things that are still airing. Teen Wolf and Castle really burned me in that regard with some severe quality drops.
And my quick mental estimate is that I could get all the shows I want to watch for the year and avoid the temptation of getting lost in hours and hours of HGTV, DIY and Food Network shows for the same cost as less than six months of cable. And to think, I was seriously considering upgrading to ad-free Hulu in the fall.
So, big loser here, Hulu; big winner, Amazon? We’ll see.
Earlier this year, I started watching TitansGrave: The Ashes of Valkana, a webseries for the role-playing game Wil Wheaton created with his son Ryan. It’s 10 episodes of Wil playing Game Master as Laura Bailey (Dragonball Z, Fruits Basket, Full Metal Alchemist), Yuri Lowenthal (Naruto, Ben 10, Code Geass), Alison Haislip (Attack of The Show) and Hank Green (vlogbrothers, Crash Course, Hank Green and the Perfect Strangers) make their way through a campaign with characters they created. The popularity of Wheaton’s other webseries Tabletop notwithstanding, in general you might not think watching people play an old-school, tabletop RPG would be all that fun.
And you would be wrong. I was late to the party when I started, and even later to finally finish, but what a treat it was.