Posts Tagged ‘’10s’

snow day Seattle, 2-14-21

Sun ,14/02/2021

Snow Day! We went around to Golden Gardens and the Arboretum to enjoy a rare snow day in Seattle. Click on an image to enlarge.

candybowl

Star Trek Discovery: Season 3 – reactions, spoilers?

Thu ,14/01/2021

So finished up watching Season 3 the other night. Here’s some reactions (and yes, the inevitable spoilers if you read far enough – be forewarned!)

positives:
1) This is a **way** more exciting and cohesive long-story than Season 2. One of the best things about Season 1 was the excellent and multi-episode storytelling, including the mysterious reveals as to Capt. Lorca and others – but Season 2 kind of squandered that and went in a lot of different, sometimes meaningless directions. I had heard there were some personnel changes behind the scenes during Season 2, which may have affected things, not sure – but they definitely righted the ship for Season 3, to be sure.

2) They are obviously spending the money on this show, the effects are amazing and they’ve kept them top-notch throughout.

3) There were more ‘overt’ bad guys this season, including aspects of some of the main characters, Georgiou being most notable of course. But Osira later and a few others mid-season stood out too.

4) they spent even more time on character development – while this crew seems to have among the most ‘main characters’ of any Star Trek to date (including DS9) already at the start, they introduced at least 1-3 new ones this year too, depending on your perspective (but more on the downside of that below);

5) Better focus. They stuck to a simpler overall long plot (what caused The Burn) and the various adventures taken to figure it out;

6) good to look back at why people left the Federation, especially Vulcan/Nav’arr – and then the attempt to bring them back, definitely one of the best episodes.

Gripes and spoilers
1) there was a bit too much of Saru’s inner struggles for me. I realize he was ‘growing into his role’ as Captain but it just seemed like he’d have matured faster than they wrote him to over the course of the season.

2) Other than aiding Burnham when she wants to go rogue – what does Georgiou do all day otherwise? Great character but definitely unclear – she’s not ship security, she’s not Empress (save for her series exit late in the season) – so is she just a passenger?

3) Too many main characters – I like that they’ve done far more character development but unless they want to do more episodes per season, they really don’t have the time to share lines with that many main cast members? Especially if they are introducing new characters like Book, Adeira and slightly more minor characters like the Admiral, Osira and similar? yes, going back to Kirk, Spock and McCoy beaming down to every planet is way too simplified but at some point they need to simply focus on who they already have on the ship?

4) Burnham is one of the most interesting and dynamic central characters in any Star Trek series to date, but (as some characters like Book and Georgiou snidely remark from time to time) she can’t resolve EVERY problem they run into (whether within or against regulations).

5) I’m glad they brought back Federation HQ but then they all but never showed us ANY of the latest starships they have? Discovery is literally in nearly every scene – they showed more of Osira’s ship than any other Federation vessel(s) once they found the HQ?

6) Why does Discovery need ‘floating’ nacelles? How is that an advantage for any reason?

7) While it made for decent fight scenes, the ‘infinite turbolift’ scenes in the last couple episodes were simply ridiculous. It felt like something out of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory or the planet-building scene out of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?

8) there were more than a few key moments sprinkled across the season where there’s obviously a tight deadline, ship about ready to be destroyed, Federation lost, etc. – yet the characters are ‘monologuing‘ a bit too much instead of solving the problem?

9) I liked that they gave Georgiou a two-part farewell, but I felt it wasn’t a tight enough story, despite a cameo from an old friend, which was very cool and I didn’t seem coming, to be sure! I get that she needs to kill ‘bad Burnham’ to move on and grow as a person but the other plotters would have wacked her before the first episode ended if past plots based on the ‘mirror Empire’ are any measure?

10) They are getting way too free with the ability to ‘talk to people instantly’ no matter where they are in the universe (because now with the spore drive they can go anywhere in nearly an instant), yet call up the Admiral and have a chat anytime with full fidelity? At least in the first two seasons they at least pretended there were times where that wasn’t possible. I realize the Federation upgraded a lot of Discovery when they found HQ, but really?

11) Ultimately, the explanation for The Burn was a bit weak in the end. It all made sense and it was far better than the ending of Season 2 which was a huge mish-mash free for all – but just too pat, even though they tried to make it exciting, i’ll give them props for that.

12) the whole ‘sphere data’ thing was definitely way underused and only pulled out as a McGuffin from time to time when convenient (e.g. last two episodes but there were other times too) – if it’s sentient, wouldn’t it be doing more interesting things (possibly like trying to get OFF Discovery, which is being chased by Orion pirates all over the galaxy, not the safest place to be)?

So on balance, a pretty strong season, good bad guys and some great episodes. Looking forward to Season 4 but due to covid, not expecting that for at least another year at this point?

candybowl

WW84 – not so much…

Sun ,27/12/2020

So, we were eager to see the new WW84 movie on Friday like everyone else, but in the end, the movie is unfortunately fairly mediocre (several spoilers ahead, be forewarned):

1) While it’s certainly ‘made’ very well, and Gal Gadot once again is great in the movie (like the last one), as kerewin said, it could have been fine being a half hour less in length and still told the same story;

2) The whole initial Diana as “overachieving future Amazon” when a small girl was essentially a repeat of the setup from the previous movie – they already told all that once before, so why repeat it?

3) Bringing back Steve Trevor was OK but would have worked far better as a flashback in places rather than an actual ‘character’ in the current movie plot – to wit:

a) anyone can tell you a 1940s pilot cannot simply jump into a modern jet (even if it’s an earlier 70s museum jet – i’m unable to determine what precise model it was – but same diff) and fly it, “just like that”;

b) you also cannot expect to simply fire up a jet that’s been on display in a museum and take off (does it have any fuel? has it been prepped for flight? lots of q’s) let alone fly to CAIRO in it from DC (besides having any fuel at all, does it have the range/enough fuel to fly to EGYPT, period)?

4) How did they get back to DC *from* Cairo? Seems like it happened faster than the actual outbound trip?

5) as cheesy as the Legion of Doom and earlier era Cheetah characters are – their outfit is much better villian-wise. Kristin Wiig is good in the movie, but the outfit is at best silly.

6) A cheetah may be by definition an ‘apex predator’ – but if you truly wanted to be the best ‘cat’ predator, a African lion, Asian tiger or others like the puma or snow leopard are much more the real deal. None of those may run 70mph (in very, very short bursts, truth be told) but the cheetah in many ways is a simply much faster cat version of a coyote or hyena – despite not being a pack hunter – and in its environment, there are other predators (e.g. hippo for one, besides the African lion) that are far more dangerous.

7) The whole ‘flying’ thing at the end doesn’t make sense to me. If she had that ability, she’d have had it on the Amazon island to begin with and they’d all have been flying around (instead of just amazing jumps and gymnastics, which seem the *actual* ability). I get the skill of being able to ‘flip’ herself into the air and ricochet off things using the magic lasso – that’s fine. But that doesn’t bestow the ability of flight?

8) Finally, at the end of the first movie, Bruce Wayne mailed her a bunch of the 40s photos, etc. that include her group photo with Steve Trevor and the rest of them in WWII. So that implies both that Batman exists (also proven by the other JL movie itself) and, that Batman knows who she is. So last time I checked, Batman was around in the 80s too? So where the F is he? Surely he’d have seen all the ‘make a wish’ broadcasts at minimum, if not leading an investor revolt against them, etc.)?

This last is one of the truly major plot flaws in nearly all ‘big team’ superhero movies – e.g. where were all the X-Men when the Avengers were otherwise teaming up with all the OTHER Marvel heroes to fight Thanos? When Cap and The Winter Soldier were fighting Hydra (the ‘bad’ former Nazi org that apparently owns its OWN fleet of invisible, underground-moored flying aircraft carriers to rival that of SHIELD) they make mention of Iron Man and then that ‘he’s busy and can’t help’ – WTF? Either they’re all there or they’re not? Same should apply to DC – either in WW’s universe Batman and the rest don’t exist – or they do, and they should be showing up? Lame.

Generally speaking the movie is decent – there’s far worse out there in either the MU (and certainly as regards DC superhero movies past and present) but there’s also far better, including the previous WW movie as a prime example of arguably the best DC superhero movie, certainly the best recent one (the first couple Christopher Reeve Superman movies are definitely otherwise up there too)….I was waiting (in vain) for General Zod to show up, but Terence Stamp must have been in lockdown already….sigh.

Other opinions:
Victoria Advocate
Cinemayward
IGN

candybowl

Ultraman is BACK.

Sun ,29/11/2020

So I never got around to watching the original 60s cheesy live-action Ultraman – always more a Gojira guy, but maybe someday. In the meantime, Netflix has been doing a bunch of new, original anime, and they put out a season of Ultraman last year – i have to say, despite the usual anime sometimes-main-character-silliness, it’s actually pretty good, especially the buildup to the last few episodes of season 1 – here’s to season 2 – maybe they can do these faster than live-action given CV19 production and content development limitations?

here’s the trailer for season 1 – great stuff!

candybowl

ah, Dweezil….

Sat ,22/08/2020

he flies under the radar but he’s definitely up there in the guitar god pantheon – great intro story on this one…

candybowl

Yep.

Sat ,01/08/2020

she can still hit those notes, definitely. What’s also interesting about Heart after all these years, besides the acoustic side to their music, and the definite female power they did way, way ahead of most (definitely in rock) – is when you hear them talk, how they are still truly PNW flower children inside. Kudos (7+ years late, I know) – bittersweet, but completely appropriate that Chris Cornell is the inductee presenter (RIP).

promising?

Sat ,18/07/2020

Discovery Season 1 was GREAT. Season 2 was so-so. There were flashes of brilliance but the long-term plot was way over-convoluted and seemed to meander way, way too much – a lot like one of the last seasons of BSG until they got it together at the end. this Season 3 trailer looks good though….in the meantime there’s Doom Patrol and The Umbrella Academy about to resume end of this month….

What a bunch of flower children….

Sun ,12/07/2020

Been perusing Yes’ back catalog on YT – came across this from their second album, Time and a Word – too weird. The 80s wasn’t the only decade making weird music videos, to be sure….

candybowl

new Ghost in the Shell…SAC_2045

Sat ,20/06/2020

Didn’t even know about this until a friend mentioned it, so naturally had to bing-watch the first season (only 12 episodes avail. at the moment).

So here’s my take on it so far (some spoilers, so be forewarned):

1) Same characters as Stand Alone Complex – they spend the first couple episodes ‘getting the gang back together’ as it were. As seen near the end of the previous series (because ARISE was a prequel to SAC if memory serves, will have to go watch that again now too I guess 🙂 ) the world has been divvied up into four major ’empires’, and Japan is kind of an also-ran country now as primarily allied within the American Empire.

2) The animation is much more like a videogame this time around, no longer 2D cartoon-drawn-style. I have to say I prefer the earlier style, but this isn’t bad. I think they start to hit their stride a few episodes in – the first few to me looked way too ‘Playstation’ like but it improves over time.

3) The Tachikomas are back, albeit there are a bit fewer of them. Otherwise largely the same, very capable but more comic relief in some ways – there’s also a new character, a PhD math wizard chick (Purin) who in some ways is similar, other ways much smarter. While she has a cyberbrain like the others, she is more akin to Chief Aramaki and Togusa – not a cyborg.

Some additional comments:

a) like the reviewer comment from the IMDB page, the plot takes a bit to really get going, so looking forward to next season given it’s nowhere near resolved by the end.

b) while they are minor characters in the other series too, both Borma and Paz show up only later and I don’t think Paz even has one line of dialog that I can remember – yet.

c) like all GITS shows – barring the lamely-executed American movie with Scarlet J, which was about as effective a ‘translation’ to live action as the Aeon Flux movie was (in other words, fairly major disappointment) – it’s far better to watch these in Japanese with subtitles, IMHO. Same as with Initial D and other anime i’ve watched – you just get a much better sense of the characters and the way that here too – the ‘posturing’ goes on between them, here mostly for Batou but the Major does a bit of it from time to time too.

d) another nit: I’m not sure on timelines here, but I’d have thought that Solid State Society was the last Stand Alone Complex series/movie/etc. (again, ARISE is a prequel so it predates Section 9 being created, kind of a Major Motoko ‘origin story’?) – but acc to IMDB that’s set in 2034, whereas this is supposedly 2045? I realize most of Section 9 are cyborgs so no issue, but Togusa and Aramaki? Hmm…..

So, all in all i’m eager to see more, the premise here (which I didn’t spoil for you) is actually pretty great, lots more to explore here.

candybowl

peaceful….

Wed ,17/06/2020

what we need right now…

candybowl