lurkerwithout: (television)
Haven s.4:  Well that was certainly a drop in quality.  Though Colin Ferguson at least seemed to be having fun as the Big Bad.  And his motivations at least remained consistent, unlike some other characters.  And several more bad endings for female secondary characters.  Also stupid Brother of Duke.  And then I tried to go on to season 5, but just too terrible so I skipped to the finale.

the Lobster:  What the hell was all that?  I'm too baffled and hurt (poor dog brother) to give this a positive or negative review.   Just weird all around.

the Good Place s.1
:  Ahhh, now this rewatch is the motherforking shirtballs.  Hurry up season 2!

lurkerwithout: (eastman)
I'm not sure if I like the war movie bits or the bleak landscape Western parts more.  Also trying to figure out where the Ape Promised Land is supposed to be.  I mean they start off in the Redwood National Forest, then supposedly cross some mountains, then a desert and end up at a big lake.  Is that Lake Powell?

Enh.  Pretty good movie though.  Harrelson's Crazy Colonel is a little over the top.  And I kind of wanted someone to point out that humans are as much an Ape sub-species as chimpanzees, gorillas or orangutans.  But I liked how the remnants of the previous movies' Ape schism were now human collaborators.  And the implication that the Sentience Formula went globally viral so it wasn't just Caesar's tribe.
lurkerwithout: (television)
7/24-7/31
Okja:  One girl's quest to rescue her mutant giant pig friend from an evil AgriBusiness and their washed-up animal show host lackey.  With assistance from an animal liberation/rights group that somehow isn't terrible.

Legends of Tomorrow s.2.  I actually started with the finale of s.1 as that was about the maximum Vandal Savage and the Hawks I wanted to deal with.  Golden Age Vixen, Steel and the Legion of Doom were a much needed replacement.  Plus the JSA, King Arthur and Jonah Hex.

7/31-8/7
the Incredible Jessica James:  Entertaining romcom with former the Daily Show correspondant Jessica Williams and the IT Crowd's Chris O'Dowd.
American Ultra:  Basically What If the Jason Bourne movies were stoner comedies.  Jesse Eisenberg makes a surprisingly competent action guy, Topher Grace is unsurprisingly a super-face punchable government douchebag and even as midlevel CIA agent Connie Britton makes a great mom.
lurkerwithout: (eastman)
Between Leon: the Professional & the Fifth Element Luc Besson has earned a lifetime's credit with me.  But his latest scifi extravaganza is..just not good.  Parts of it are good.  Imagery, setting, weird aliens, cute aliens, goofy background people, Rhianna.  But the story doesn't really come together.  Which isn't helped by the meandering into sidequests of the plot.  And Dane DeHaan's character is both shallowly written and inconsistent in motivation.  And the only other thing I've seen Ms. Delvingne in was the twenty minutes I managed of Suicide Squad, but she is pretty terrible here.

But mostly its the way that the plot will pause to insert some secondary action sequence to showcase something cool.  See Sgt. Laureline Fetches a Psychic Jellyfish.  Rather, than say, just go to where her partner went off-line and start searching for him.  Or Maj. Valerine Meets Rhianna.  Rather than just sneak into the Froggy Aliens castle to rescue his partner (who goes from unstoppable bad-ass to damsel real easy).

lurkerwithout: (television)
Haven s.1: Sort of based on one of King's novellas, though there are a couple call-outs that put the show somewhere in the King multiversal-canon.  Good but not great, with the X-Files-ish mix of "monster" of the week vs. over-reaching story arc episodes.  In this case the "monsters" are the "Troubled", or waves of pyschic power manifestations every generation.

GLOW s.1:  Dramedy based on the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling show from the 80s.  Great work from the leads Allsion Brie, Betty Gilpin and Marc Maron; though all the supporting cast are terrific.

lurkerwithout: (television)
Orphan Black s.4:  Krystal, Investigative Cosmetician, made for a surprisingly strong character addition to the Leda sisterhood.  Evie was sadly not the strongest antagonist for the season.  Which did serve to accentuate the return of Rachel, Queen of Evil at the end of the season.

Anne With An E s.1: This was a smidgen darker than I was expecting for an adaptation of Canada's most beloved YA book.  Good though.

lurkerwithout: (eastman)
GotG 2 follows the normal sequel rule of "what you did the first time, but more", but happily is one of the rare occasions where that works.  Its helped in this immensely by the sheer charm of Kurt Russel as Star-Lord's long missing father.  Plus lots of character growth side-stories for most of the cast.  And just how crazy adorable Baby Groot is.

Lots of easter eggs and cameos, with the stand-out probably being Stallone, Ving Rhames and others as Ravager captains/original GotG members.  Though really Mr. Gunn, FIVE post-script scenes?  I left after the Adam Warlock one so missed the teen Groot and SECOND Stan Lee cameo.
lurkerwithout: (Default)
January:
Short Fiction:  Seanan McGuire's My Last Name, Velveteen vs. the Retroactive Continuity & Velveteen Presents Jacqueline Claus vs. the Lost & Found; Stephen Leigh's the Atonement Tango

New Read:  Eric Flint/Griffen Barber's 1636: Mission to the Mughals
Chuck Wendig's Star Wars: Aftermath
Yuya Sato's Dendera: Old ladies vs. enviroment.  And a marauding bear.
Mira Grant's Parasite
Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl:  Coming of age/starting college for the fanfic writer set.
Douglas Hulick's Sworn in Steel
Foz Meadows' An Accident of Stars.  Teen travel to magical worlds now with PTSD.
Paula Goodlett/Gorg Hoff's Bartley's Man: "Ring of Fire" sidestory, specifically the Sewing Circle/OPM/Barbies bit.
Grady Hendrix' Horrorstor:  There should be an umlaut over that 3rd o.  Haunt at not-Ikea.
Evan Curie's Into the Black
Rachel Aaron's No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished

Rereads: Eric Flint's 1635: the Eastern Front, 1636: the Saxon Uprising & 1636: the Ottoman Onslaught

Graphic Novels/TPBs/RPGs:  Chris Hastings & Guhiru's the Unbelievable Gwenpool vol.1: Believe It
Stjepan Sejic's Sunstone vol.5:  Final volume of the best bdsm-lesbian-romance comic.
John Layman/Rob Guillory's Chew vol.12: Sour Grapes: More than a bit of a downer ending.  Not Ex Machina levels, but still.

Total: 18


February:
Short Fiction: Seanan McGuire's Lay of the Land & Velveteen vs. Recovery, Yoon Ha Lee's Extra Curricular Activities.

New Read:  Robin McKinley's Deerskin
Tim Pratt's Liar's Blade: Pathfinder tie-in novel.
David Drake's Death's Bright Day:  Latest "Lt. Leary".
April Daniel's Dreadnaught: Nemesis:  Cape fiction with trans-female lead.
T. Kingfisher's Summer in Orcus  YA magical quest from one of the best in the genre.
Ben Aaronovitch's the Hanging Tree:  Latest "Rivers of London" with visits the American & Russian magic heritages.
Becky Chambers' the Long Way to the Small, Angry Planet (I'm not crying you're crying shut up) & a Closed and Common Orbit
Daniel Jose Older's Battle Hill Bolero
Jasper Fforde's the Eye of Zoltar
Jack Weathford's the Secret History of the Mongol Queens:  Non-fiction history on the female Mongol leaders.

Rereads:  -

Graphic Novels/TPBs/RPGs:  Jennifer Doyle's Knights Errant
Tom Neely/Keenan Marshall Keller's the Humans vol.1: Humans For Life:  Planet of the Apes meets outlaw biker gangs

Total:14


March:
Short Fiction:  This was basically the "Neverless, She Persisted" theme Tor.com did.  With stories by Seanan McGuire, Kameron Hurley, Hyssa Wong, Carrie Vaughn, Chalie Jane Anders, Nisi Shawl, Brooke Bolander, Jo Walton, Amal El-Mohter, Catherynne M. Valente.

New Read:  Jo Walton's the Just City: Athena & Apollo attempt to create Plato's "perfect" Just City.  Shockingly the actual and the theoretical do not mesh perfectly.
Chuck Wendig's Invasive.  Sequel to the Zer0es.  With this second volume its very much supers type bad guy in an espionage/adventure setting.
Chuck Wendig's Atlanta Burns: the Hunt: 2nd of his YA white-trash pulp.  "Winter's Bone" meets Veronica Mars I guess.
RJ Ross' Coyote's Howl:  Latest "Cape High" book.
C.B. Lee's Not Your Sidekick: YA semi-dystopian with supers.
Seanan McGuire's Magic For Nothing:  Latest "InCryptid", with youngest sibling Antimony this time.
Patricia Brigg's Silence Fallen:  Latest "Mercy Thompson", with Mercy kidnapped to Europe 'cause vampire politics.  And the vamps are really the last interesting part of Brigg's urban fantasy series.
Jim Butcher/Kerrie L. Hughes' (ed) Shadowed Souls:  Urban fantasy anthology.
Louis McMaster Bujold's Mira's Last Dance
Anne Leckie's Ancillary Mercy
Matt Dunn's A Day at the Office
Clifford D. Simak's City
George R.R. Martin/Melinda Snodgrass' (ed) High Stakes:  This "Wild Cards" volume was actually a bit too dark even for me.  I'm looking forward to at least slightly more upbeat future books.


Rereads:  John Scalzi's Lock In & Redshirts
Douglas Adams' the Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul.  Rereading this I'm suddenly left with the feeling Adams just gave up around the final act.

Graphic Novels/TPBs/RPGs:  G. Willow Wilson/Adrian Alphona/Tekeshi Miyezawa/Cameron Stewart's Ms. Marvel vol.6: Civil War II:  Carole is in an idjit, out-idioting Tony from the first one.
Gwenda Bond/Kate Leth's Girl Over Paris: Lady high-wire walker vs. ghost mystery.
Marguerite Bennett/Ming Doyle/Marguerite Sauvage/Laura Bragen's Bombshells vol.1: Enlisted
Kate Leth/Brittany Williams' Patsy Walker aka Hellcat! vol.2: Don't Stop Me-ow.  Now with teen mom/vampire Jubilee.
Tom King/Michael Walsh/Gabriel Walte/Mike Del Muado's Vision vol.2: Better Than a Beast
Jason Bulmahn's (et al) Pathfinder: Horror Adventures
Sandy Petersen's (et al) Call of Cthulhu: Keeper's Handbook

Total: 24

lurkerwithout: (television)
Mostly more of the MST3K relaunch.

MST3K: the Time Travellers
MST3K: Avalanche: Avaaaaaaaaaalanche
MST3K: the Beast of Hollow Mountain: Dullest cowboy vs. dinosaur movie ever.
MST3K: Starcrash
Chewing Gum: British comedy, so only 6-episode season. 20-something poor black woman and sex, drugs and family.
MST3K: the Land That Time Forgot: Before we even get to the dinosaurs (which of the three dino-themed movies so far, actually look the best) we have a U-Boat torpedo a ship. The survivors of that ship (including the token American hero and lady love interest/biologist) then capture the U-boat. Then the Germans take it back. Then by the time we get to the lost continent the Allied side is back in charge with no explanation.
lurkerwithout: (eastman)
Episode III & i/2 (how do fractionals work in Roman numbering anyway) was pretty darn good.  Sure the characters probably could have used a smidge more depth (beyond Director Krennick at least).  But the various character call-backs to the rest of the franchise work well (well outside from the confusing addition of Dr. Death and his sidekick and the pointless very brief sequence with R2D2 & C-3PO).  But yes, this was some very nice Star Wars-ing.

Passengers

Dec. 22nd, 2016 05:11 am
lurkerwithout: (eastman)
I already knew J-Law was amazing at delivering traumatized and emotionally devasted.  But Pratt does pretty well at the I Have The Space Madness thus leading to making a Super-Selfish Choice.  Anyway, good acting all around.  The plotting a bit less.  I mean it has a Plot Roadblock that prevents the characters from doing certain things and then said Roadblock is Deus Ex'd away so that the characters can deal with the threat to the ship.

Arrival

Nov. 16th, 2016 10:20 pm
lurkerwithout: (eastman)
Part way into this I started thinking about the Schlock Mercenary webcomic. In that I was thinking to myself "Army dude, you're trying to blow up aliens who can manipulate gravity with some cases of C4. Thats not going to work." But aside from the lack of psych evaluator as part of the U.S. translation/contact team, I quite enjoyed it. Clever and well-acted.
lurkerwithout: (eastman)
So that was a Star Trek with an emphasis on the actioning style.  Fun though.  I mean the solution to taking down the evil fleet is so dumb.  So silly.  So glouriously foolish that it circles all the way around to amazingly awesome.  Plus of course like most Star Treks, other than last minute rescues, no one actually thinks about what transporter technolgy can do and how it would instantly solve many of the climatic action moments.  But thats really true for most of Star Trek.  And maybe it would have been nice if Idris Elba's bad guy had a motivation better than THE SPACE MADNESS.  But overall, fun.
lurkerwithout: (eastman)
It helped a lot going into this movie knowing that it would be really, really dumb.  Let me enjoy all the 'splosions and brave military orphans and the call-backs and the more 'splosions and Brent Spiner.  Oh and that one dude cutting an alien to pieces with his mad ninja machete skills.  I almost look forward to a potential third movie where we finally take the fight to the jerk aliens...
lurkerwithout: (Silence)
Lot of A.I. related media in the last week.  Got around to watching the movie Ex Machina with its noir-ish femme fatale ending.  Also caught up with the final two episodes of Person of Interest.  And I'll admit to tearing up, especially with the twist at the heroic sacrifice.  And the love's lost reunion.  And someone picking up their dog.  Then I binged on all 8-episodes of Season 1 Humans, AMC's adapted series about a world filled with domestic use androids.  Which had some excellent acting and some good ideas, but never really pushed foward on some of its' bigger concepts.
lurkerwithout: (eastman)
Been a while since I've posted about a movie.  But lets get back to it with this clever indy-ish scifi flick.  Got bits of E.T. and Starman and various other help special alien/individual/witch evade government goons and get home.  In this case we've got an 8-year old boy with strange powers who had been raised by a generic Texas cult/commune called the Ranch.  Who's on a road trip to freedom with his dad, played by Michael Shannon.  Plus Adam Driver as an NSA analyst trying to work out whats going on.  And midway Kirsten Dunst as Solar Boy's mom...
lurkerwithout: (Shiny)
lurkerwithout: (Yub Yub)
It was pretty good.  Compared to the previous three it was a phenomanal masterpiece.  But it had plenty of exciting actioning and the funny bits all got laughs and the new kids were all great.  Ok, maybe Nu-Vader was a bit too emo in his motivation.  And the movie did have a criminal lack of Ewoks.  Also there is one scene where Leia and Han are having a conversation and the camera just keeps quick cutting back and forth between them and that just irritated me.  I mean come one!  Its a big screen!  They'll both fit on it at the same time!

But all-around a good movie.
lurkerwithout: (eastman)
The finale, well perfectly fine, lacked some of the emotional punch of the previous movies.  I mean part of it is knowing several of the big "shock" deaths were coming.  But there wasn't a lot of connection with most of the deaths during the final assault on the Capitol.  I mean I know Katniss' new squad of Army pals had names, but I just thought of them as Expendable NPCs #1-5.  A couple of her returning sidekicks had a little more heft to them.  Oh and the scene towards the end with the cat still got to me, a combination of resonance with the book and Jennifer Lawrence really is an outstanding actor.

As for the action stuff it was mostly ok, with the running battle with Mutt-ghouls in the sewers being the only one that really rose up...
lurkerwithout: (eastman)
Marvin_the_Martian_by_raelynn36

AND STAY OFF, MATT DAMON!


Seriously though, great movie.  Even loved the coda showcasing everyone at the end...

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