Media Moment (02/15/20)

So I don’t really care about the Oscars. I think it was 2005 when they gave Best Picture to Crash that I realized the whole thing was pointless. As I’ve gotten into Film more, I’ve learned that the best films often get ignored by the Academy, so whatever. However, it was quite lovely that Parasite won Best Original Screenplay, Best International Feature, Best Director, and Best Picture. It was my favorite film of 2019, so I’m that Bong Joon-ho and his work are getting more recognition. I wish the actors had gotten some nominations.

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TV Review – Star Trek: Picard Season One, Episode Three

Star Trek: Picard (CBA All Access)
Season One, Episode Three – “The End is the Beginning”
Written by Michael Chabon & James Duff
Directed by Hanelle Culpepper

Space finally becomes the primary setting of Picard but only in the final scene. This episode finishes up the first act of the season by having the captain wrap up things on Earth and get together a makeshift crew. I am looking forward to what comes next, but this was still a bumpy ride that feels uneven and underdeveloped. Picard relies on so many new characters that it feels disconnected in many ways from The Next Generation. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to build a unique story and focus on some new faces, but the lack of people that I would assume Picard considers his family is odd.

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Media Moment (02/07/20)

Director Scott Derickson had to step down from Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. His rumored replacement should have superhero movie fans very excited: Sam Raimi. Raimi has an important legacy role in the genre as his Spider-Man films arguably paved the way for the MCU and everything else we see in theaters now. The director has struggled with wide release success since. Spider-Man 3 was abysmal but much of that can be contributed to studio interference (see how Sony mishandles almost everything). Raimi’s prequel movie Oz the Great and Powerful was a pretty big creative mess that has not led to the franchise you could tell it was hoping to set up. Raimi’s strengths have always been in over the top horror and the bits and pieces we know about the Multiverse of Madness hint that it could be a perfect match.

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Movie Review – Doctor Sleep

Doctor Sleep (2019)
Written & Directed by Mike Flanagan

Two things are pretty hot right now. Adapting Stephen King novels & reboots of 1980s stuff. So what if you combined the two? You’d end up with Doctor Sleep, a direct sequel to King’s novel The Shining and, as a movie, a direct sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, two very different animals. Mike Flanagan isn’t what I’d call an inspired choice, he did a decent enough job with The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix, but I haven’t been overly impressed with his feature film work. For some reason, some people see him as some sort of horror auteur, which I assume is how he got this gig.

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TV Review – Star Trek: Picard Season One, Episode Two

Star Trek: Picard (CBS All Access)
Season One, Episode Two – “Maps and Legends”
Written by Michael Chabon & Akiva Goldsman
Directed by Hanelle M. Culpepper

I’ve read some criticism of Picard that is worth some thought. Longtime fans of the Star Trek franchise are disturbed at the portrayal of the Federation as xenophobic and exclusionary. This isn’t very reassuring when you look at Gene Roddenberry’s original vision of a utopian multi-species society where all peoples were accepted. But, I think it is worth examining what happens over time when such an organization goes through changes in leadership and the landscape upon which they operate shifts. The reticence of the Federation to aid the Romulans makes sense because they have little trust in this adversary. They allowed their ambition to give them an excuse to step back. Maybe there was thought among some of the leadership that this would enable new worlds to leave the Romulan Empire and join the Federation.

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Media Moment (02/01/20)

So A24 is looking at developing the film Under the Skin into a television series. I have to say that is an unexpected move but I am sort of into it. The film, based on the novel by Michael Faber, is a minimalist creepy horror picture about an alien walking the Earth disguised as a human. Her purpose is to seduce people and bring them in as food for her own species. The movie doesn’t have much dialogue and relies on the powerful mood developed by director Jonathan Glazer.

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Comic Book Reviews – Jughead's Time Police (2019)

Jughead’s Time Police
Reprints Jughead’s Time Police #1-5
Written by Sina Grace
Art by Derek Charm

In the 2010s, Archie Comics underwent a major reboot that saw new variations on the iconic character and his friends spinning out. It began with Afterlife with Archie, a Walking Dead-esque mature horror take on the students of Riverdale. Since then, there have been several supernatural books as well as some updated humor books, trying to make Archie relevant for the 21st century. Jughead has been the star of his own rebooted title plus an alternate-reality horror book, Jughead: The Hunger. Time Police may sound like one of these new ideas, but it is a reboot of a mini-series from the 1990s.

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