Posts Tagged ‘60’s’

ST: Discovery E5 – Saints of Imperfection

Mon ,18/02/2019

Hmmm…again more of the same – we have (very, grudgingly one might argue) incremental progress in the “Search for Spock” but have at least one ‘save the world’ scenario along the way. No offense, but I think we need to get things back on track, everyone. At least last year we had Malfoy and the Klingon war/back story as a common thread, but they aren’t doing enough to push the Spock story forward, IMHO.

I like the fact that they are (yet again) drawing out Section 31, but at the same time, it begins to risk credibility when it seems like S31 has all the great toys and tech that could have won the war with the Klingons – then why was the Federation on its knees at the time? This was a minor problem in DS9 days too – hard to know….

Time will tell..

candybowl

ST: Discovery E4 – An Obol for Charon

Tue ,12/02/2019

Hmmm….Once again, Discovery giveth, and taketh away. On the one hand, we get the teaser of Number One coming to visit at the start of the episode (in the form of Rebecca Romijn – nice!) but despite the V’ger-esque main plot, we get a bit of a distraction with the parallel Tilly/spores plot, which IMHO wasn’t nearly as well executed (even though I actually enjoy Tig Notaro’s character well enough, kind of a blue-collar Scotty with even less respect for authority).

But I’m still unsure why they (the writers, not the actors) arguably strayed from the main longer-term plotline (going after Spock) to detour to these weird, arguably derivative minor side stories? The one involving Saru was completely predictable, guys? Come on.

The acting is still great, hoping for more for other members of the bridge crew as we go….onward….

candybowl

ST: Discovery E3 – “Point of Light”

Sun ,03/02/2019

I think this episode was an improvement over the last one – some good unexpected stuff happening, they broaden the story to not just be about ‘the search for Spock’ – although there’s more than a bit about that, too – and some good action too….they are pushing the envelope a bit (not completely in a good way) with the Section 31 stuff, but i’ll remain in check on that one for now…

candybowl

ST: Discovery E2 – “New Eden”

Fri ,01/02/2019

saw it last night – pretty good, definitely throwing in weird angles to the story, which the main plot of was otherwise a bit meh – Star Trek (and sci fi ad nauseum) has done the ‘old society confronted by modern space society’ – or whatever you want to call it – many, many times.

Still, I also like how they are *finallY* giving other bridge crew something to do – not just being ‘red shirts’ on missions (look it up) but actual dialog – keep it up! Of course Burnham keeps up the great work as the center of the show, but they are definitely letting her character grow too..

Finally, creating a main season multi-episode plot thread around Spock isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and that they are trying to create back story around Capt. Pike (thankfully NOT Capt. Kirk) is also cool – the plot thickens, as they say…

candybowl

funny….

Sun ,13/01/2019

candybowl

William O. Douglas – enigma?

Mon ,26/11/2018

So just finished my second Justice Douglas biography, Independent Journey by James F. Simon (1980), published not too long after Douglas’ passing in 1975. I had read Wild Bill: The Legend and Life of William O. Douglas by Bruce Allen Murphy (2003) immediately prior.

I had heard about the later book originally via a New Republic article some years ago, a book review by Judge Richard Posner. But after having read it, and the second book having mentioned the earlier bio in the end credits, I really felt I needed to read the earlier book. You see, while certainly Murphy’s book is an amazing example of dedicated scholarship – it largely focuses on Douglas’ personal shortcomings – and while there are many, many such egregious examples of them, Simon’s earlier book provides a much better balance of the actual SUPREME COURT activity Douglas engaged in and in some cases, led. Murphy spends so much time uncovering all the personal flaws, problems and misdeeds of Douglas that he largely blows off most of the Court stuff (why he wrote the book, hello?). Unlike Simon’s book, which tells a lot of detail behind two huge cases for example (Brown v. Board of Education in the 50’s and Roe v. Wade just before the end of Douglas’ career) – Murphy doesn’t really deal much with either one, if at all.

Ultimately, The Nation sums it up best for me in talking about both books and then about Douglas the man. Because so many of the *results* Douglas wanted to see (or helped bring about as part of the Warren Court or earlier as Chairman of the SEC) – are still RIGHT. So as bad a human being as he was in many, many circumstances, The Nation still makes the best final statement of him to me: “If more present-day Justices and judges embraced William O. Douglas’s ideals, constitutional liberties would be far safer than they are.” (and throw in environmental protection too, because while not part of his jurisprudence, he was d*** right on that one and way ahead of his time.

candybowl

The Face of Winter: Warren Miller – RIP.

Tue ,20/11/2018

So one of the true pioneers and icons of the ski industry, Warren Miller, passed away this past January at 93(!) years old. We went to see the latest film from his company (he hadn’t been filming with them for many years now), The Face of Winter. I’ve been to WM movies off an on over the years but not for some time, but this year wanted to go again in tribute to the man and his amazing career.

The movie was pretty good – while there were a couple tiny #MeToo moments in it (IMHO) and a few too many ‘fake sly’ product placements, it was still good – the usual mix of heli-skiing crazy extreme glaciers and remote mountains (this time mostly in AK, Chile, Iceland, France and Switzerland), with classic clips and WM testimonials throughout. I did not realize he was making movies as far back as the 50’s – crazy stuff.

anyway, here’s the trailer, it’s still touring around the country if you get the chance to see it:

candybowl

great show!

Sat ,10/11/2018

saw this tonight, gotta love The Man In Black….

Tricky Dick and The Man in Black

ReMastered: Tricky Dick & The Man in Black: 2018 TV-MA 58m

This documentary chronicles Johnny Cash’s 1970 visit to the White House, where Cash’s emerging ideals clashed with Richard Nixon’s policies. (trailer at link above)

candybowl

RIP, wild man….

Thu ,23/08/2018

While in the car today, they said it was Keith Moon’s bday, and that he would have been 72 years old (he only made it to 32, sadly, he passed in 1978).

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While I don’t think he was the absolute greatest in rock (nor is Ginger Baker, although HE certainly thinks so) – he’s definitely one of the all time greats – not for many of the same reasons as most, though – he’s fairly unpredictable, and manic, and undisciplined to boot. But in the crazy world of The Who – he was a perfect fit.

RIP, Keith – somewhere I hope you are looking down from the biggest set of drums any cloud ever tried to hold aloft, and still driving everyone crazy along the way….

candybowl

A Wrinkle in Time….sigh.

Thu ,14/06/2018

Earlier this week, kerewin and I checked out A Wrinkle in Time. I had wanted to see this, then when it came out and the reviews weren’t good, I was a bit sad, but still wanted to see it anyway.

Because to me, the original book is very much of my time (came out in the early 60’s, I was born in the late 60’s), it’s not a very conventional book by any means (besides being sci-fi to begin with) and I’ve always considered it one of my key early books that got me really interested in the genre generally.

I think for me the key appeal of the story is that it takes fairly heavy subject matter (the never-ending struggle between good and evil, right and wrong, tough social situations and family struggles) and doesn’t talk down to the reader, despite being a kid’s book in the end. Even re-reading it a couple years ago on a whim, it’s still a good (if now much quicker) read, has respect for its characters and tells a good story – the key criteria above all.

So it’s clear why Hollywood would have a problem making a movie based on this story, and my initial take on the movie is that they made a decent try at it. I liked the new approach of an African-American girl in L.A. – her younger brother is possibly even *more* precocious than the Charles Wallace of the book (who was pretty far along on his own), and the star power of Reese Witherspoon, Oprah, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine and Zach Galifinakis really doesn’t get in the way in the end, BUT….

1) they give short shrift to the main plot – they focus too long on Meg’s school problems and not long enough on the other aspects once they tesser to Uriel, Camazotz, finding Chris Pine (the dad) and then back – happens way too quickly and without enough dialog, at minimum.

2) they completely skip the whole Ixchel sequence (when they tesser out originally with their father and Meg is damaged by IT in doing so, and then she has to go back in, all alone, to rescue Charles Wallace). This is a critical part of the book that shows Meg at her most vulnerable, then launches her back into chaos (Camazotz again) and she learns an important lesson about herself and her inner strength. Because the movie skips this entire sequence, we go from an abortive ‘father rescue’ right to rescuing Charles Wallace – more plot thinning, as it were.

3) there are too many ‘musical segue’ sequences that play like a music video interlude between dramatic scenes. There are at least three and they really just waste screen time that could have been devoted to plot or character dialog…

4) Camazotz far more resembles ‘CGI Dagobah’ than the scary planet depicted in the book. While they start with the kids bouncing the ball in the neighborhood, they quickly blow that off and all of a sudden we have already rescued Chris Pine? Again, far too quickly and thins out the plot yet again.

5) And there is no ‘IT’ in this movie?! Arguably the scariest part of the book in many ways, at best, IT is depicted through a dark, hardly speaking voice while Meg and Charles Wallace scramble around in what looks like a modern version of Yoda’s summer home – Just not scary? And the ‘evil’ is largely depicted as Charles Wallace yelling at or scolding Meg. While it’s possible that the ‘disembodied oversized brain’ of IT in the book may not work cinematically these days – it’s still better than a not-scary root forest with some weird voice in the background? Plus, they keep calling IT ‘The IT’ – as if IT is a piece of evil furniture? Doesn’t work.

6) I saw part of an earlier 2003 adaptation of the book, most namely the first IT sequence – and while there they left out the ‘brain’ too – it is much creepier and weird, arguably truer to the book. I may now need to check out this earlier film just to see the differences.

Anyway, mixed bag, ultimately disappointing but I give them props for trying….

candybowl