Started Wheel of Time tonight. I really enjoyed the first half of the series when I was a teenager, but fell off them fairly quickly when I realized that Jordan would be taking ten or fifteen years to finish the series at least, and this was before he started getting sick. Anyway, I realized that there were a ton of fantasy series that were already completed and wouldn’t require me to remember thousands of characters from a book series I last read three years prior when the previous book came out.
Anyway, it’s been like 25 years since I read The Eye of the World, so I only remember the major beats. From what I remember, they did a pretty good job with the major stuff, aside from a few additions. (One major addition in particular has potentially huge ramifications for one of the characters). But, I did enjoy the three episodes that are up.
I really like the actors they got to play the main four characters. The guy who plays Rand seems like a dingus, which is fairly well represented. But it seems the actors who play Perrin, Mat, and Egwene are all perfectly cast. Super interested to see where they go.
I just started it and haven’t ever read the books. Seems well done so far!
Meanwhile I’ve also been watching Invasion (Apple TV+) and … I’m four episodes in and it’s mostly lonely people being lonely amid some kind of disaster. There’s a mood for that, and I guess I have to admit that it’s sort of brave to take the story so very slowly. But it’s unfolding pretty darn leisurely.
oh, and! The next season of The Great just dropped on Hulu. I’ve been looking forward to it for a while, now.
Dragon Age sure did rip on Wheel of Time it seems.
Finished Cowboy Bebop Netflix. There’s some solid stuff in it, the changes they made I’m skeptical of but I suppose season 2 will be the determining factor in whether or not it’ll work.
It continued to be really on the nose with its writing and music. When the Syndicate is doing Godfather-like scenes it’s playing cliche Italian folk music, stuff like that kinda tells you everything you need to know about how all over the place it is.
A lot of the casting is just bad.
I’ve only watched the first ep of Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop, but I do like what it’s going for. It’s not quite the same, but it feels like it at least likes the original anime, in a way adaptations like Death Note or Ghost in the Shell sorely lacked. Cho and Shakir are also very good in the first episode, and in a world where mainstream film has either Bi Lighting or PS360-era brown/grey color palettes, it’s nice to have a show that’s just kind of colorful in a fun way.
Yeah, I feel like whatever problems I might have with the show live north of the show itself. Like a nosy executive producer butted in with a bunch of focus group data from corporate or something. Cho and Shakir are generally very good, particularly Shakir (honestly sometimes it feels like they got the original Jet and Spike to dub in some of the lines their voices are so good).
Also watched No Time To Die, which was totally fine. Rami Malek was an inspired choice for a Bond villain but the ongoing attempt to try and MCU-ize the Craig Bonds has been an anchor around the neck of the story since Quantum of Solace. Honestly, though, take a movie off from Bond and give me the Nomi/Paloma buddy comedy
Just rewatched the Matrix trilogy. Those movies whip. Reloaded and Revolutions are great. Every weird YouTube nerd who tried to make a modest Internet following by trashing one of the last earnest blockbuster series is a baby and a loser. Cannot wait for Resurrections.
Is it legal to complain about MCU-ifying Craig Bond (which I agree with) while simultaneously asking for a spinoff of two side characters? I say the MCU-ifying is coming from inside the house.
Been watching Star Wars: Visions. A lot of the animation is really cool. Thrilled to see Star Wars anime with budget. But I think the format is simply too short to do interesting plots. A lot of the episodes feel like a pitch for a full series. And I’m bummed that, like, all of them (that I’ve seen so far) are Jedi stuff. It’s a big universe.
I think it’s possible to loosely couple things (M and Q show up, maybe whoever plays James Bond shows up for a scene to kick things off) without getting as self-indulgent as the Craig Bonds did. And it doesn’t need to be a whole Hobbs and Shaw sub-universe; one movie ought to cover it.
I love the Matrix sequels. Same territory as Spider-man 3. I know people on the internet have been warming to the Star Wars prequels - mostly down to the memes, but the Matrix sequels and Spidey 3 are actually great movies. I love how the focus Reloaded/Revolutions is just Neo and Trinity love each other very much and Agent Smith is just chewing up the scenery whenever he’s onscreen.
Finished up Cowboy Bebop, Netflix edition. It had its bumps (Woodcock, especially; and the Vic-erys-ious Targaryen wig), but I liked it overall. Not my show-of-the-year, but it was fun. Cho and Shakir had fantastic on-screen chemistry, and Shakir in particular is probably going to be who I think of when I think of Jet Black over either the Japanese or American VAs.
Sometimes the stylization is a bit much for live action, but in that ‘bad but earnest’ way some fan films are. And there was a popular Twitter thread (from an artist who has a… not-so-great history with anti-Black racism, among other things, so I’m not going to share it here but I can message a link, lmk!) about how it sucked out a lot of the political themes, and there are a points I agree with but others are just… either ungenerous to the adaptation, or too generous to the original. This is Shin’ichiro “Carole & Tuesday” Watanabe, not Sanpei Shirato.
Too Hot a Take
Also, Ed has always been obnoxious, their actor did nothing wrong.
Yeah, I think people are a little too reverent towards the original anime. Like, on a style level? Unmatched. It’s a fuckin’ masterpiece of style, no doubt. But beyond that, it really ain’t a deep show.
I thought the Twitter politics thread was extremely generous to the original. But I would contend that thematically the show gives you a lot to think about. (And I just watched it.) To each their own defining “deep,” but for me there was plenty of subtext I found interesting.
I’m disappointed a little that they cancelled Cowboy Bebop. I wouldn’t be surprised if another adaptation happens though. Someone will come along with a script and a big actor promised a producer credit. Like Michael B. Jordan as Spike and Dave Bautista as Jet… Call it “Bebop” and it’ll be a Nolan-esque.
I recently watched the film “Locke” starring Tom Hardy. I recommend you.
Maybe more lo-brow than some of the topics here, but I finally (as part of a “watching things on Netflix for the first time in a year” binge) watched the first half of Kevin Smith’s controversial Masters of the Universe: Revelation, which is surprisingly good, considering how awful He-Man was as a cartoon. There’s a lot of Reality Ensues plot development following on from the logical consequences of how the cartoon’s setup works, a ton of references to more or less obscure parts of the history of the show, and some surprisingly good voice acting (and Mark Hamill manages to avoid referencing his run as the Joker except for the one in-joke line he’s given).
This guy in The Matrix looks enough like Jeff Gerstmann that I’m wondering if it’s intentional.
What will be the first of probably multiple edits: I cannot believe WB let this one go out the door going this hard. Good God I love this movie.
Edit 2: Less of an exposition dump than an exposition Ever Given, but given how good the first 45 minutes are, I’m willing to accept hitting the brakes.
Edit 3: Cat kicked me out of my seat. Shout-out to Keanu, Jonathan Groff, and Jessica Henwick for putting in a lot of work on those stunts. There’s so much going on in this movie - I’m going to be sad if Waypoint hides this one behind Waypoint Plus.
Haha same, I’m still buuuuuzzzing from it!! The more I’ve turned it over in my mind the past few days (and the more mental rebuttals I draft to negative reviews) the more I find to appreciate in the movie. It’s starts as a brilliant meta story on modern franchise film making that, for me at least, actually managed to repeat the magic trick of the original Matrix where I had no idea where it was going to go next before moving into an even deeper examination of the capitalist weaponization on nostalgia. Plus!!! Just a bunch of great new Matrix lore!!! I also can’t wait til the podcast, especially since they got pretty much everything they were hoping for from a more readable human city (the name of which was an Animatrix ref!!) to a coffee shop au.
The only thing I was a little down on was the action as I don’t think it had anything as iconic as the original trilogy, but it was more that made up for with the incredible narrative. Can’t wait to see it again!!
The Matrix Resurrections is very good. If it had a bit more budget and Covid didn’t screw things up, I’d say it’d probably be the best of all those films but alas. It’s half the film of the first one, in my opinion, because the action (with few exceptions) doesn’t reach the levels of those first films and it feels like they had to edit around gaps left by Covid disruption and budget constraints, especially in the 3rd act. All that said, I enjoyed it immensely and it’s super genuine about everything in it. The script and story are really top-notch let down by a combination of execution, budget and Covid.
Don’t Look Up is also very good. Best not be the only film you watch that day or you’ll spend the day really depressed.
I also watched Don’t Look Up last night. It’s very funny until you realize that it’s all basically true.