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What I've Been Watching

Tuesday, November 1st 2016

Time for a random steam-of-consciousness post on a few things I've been watching recently.

First off, the new Superman vs Batman movie. Phew, what a steaming pile! I mean, I knew it was going to be bad. But I'd hoped it wouldn't be this bad. I mean, usually when you go into a movie with expectations this low, you're pleasantly surprised. Not this time.

A while back, Frank pointed out how bad the dream sequences were, but that wasn't even the worst of what bothered me. I feel like I was either getting a drink during that part, or maybe on my phone. I do remember telling Linda that Costner was his father, which I vaguely remember from the previous steaming pile. "Isn't he dead?", she asked. I just shrugged. I think so. Who knows what's happening though.

No, one of the things that bothered me most here was the blatant disregard for life shown by pretty much every antagonist. The filmmakers must have noticed how bad that was in the first Superman movie, since they made it part of Batman's motivation for wanting to kill Superman. But then both heroes continued to kind of not care. Batman pulled out machine guns all the time. Superman knocked down more buildings in a city. I mean, seriously guys. Back in my day, Christopher Reeve led Zod away from cities to protect the people, opting to have lost a fight rather than put innocent lives at risk. That's what being a superhero is supposed to be about.

The only good stuff about the movie? Jesse Eisenberg was good. And the 60 seconds or so after Wonder Woman shows up, mostly because I liked the music.

And another thing. I know everybody and their brother for the past decade has wanted a Superman vs Batman movie, but there had to be a way to engineer that hero vs hero fight without it being so stupid and contrived. Just compare it to Captain America: Civil War! And I didn't love the non-canon-feeling notion of Doomsday being susceptible to Kryptonite, although I understand the movie's rationale. I wish they could've thrown him into space or something.

Okay, enough with the unpleasant-as-expected and on to the pleasant surprise. Amazon Prime has this pilot program going where they make the pilot to a TV show and let people decide whether the show gets made. They're doing another live-action "The Tick". My first reaction was sorrow that they would again be ruining my beloved cartoon. but after hearing positive comments from a coworker, I checked it out. Know what? It's not bad. The actor they've got playing the tick is a bit too small (The tick should be massive) but he absolutely channels Townsend Coleman's voice acting, which is great. The scripts likewise follow those of the cartoon closely, to the point where I could often predict what was going to happen and what characters were going to say. Arthur's eye-twitch is a nice addition. The Tick himself and his costume look quite silly, and I'm unsure as yet about how this new version of The Terror is going to go (he's supposed to be about 110 years old and comically decrepit) but I've got high hopes, because I loved that cartoon. I look forward to seeing The Deadly Bulb's reign of terror, “Speak” the capybara, Civic-Minded Five, and watching Chairface carving his name into the moon, if they're even able to handle something as ridiculous as Chairface Chippendale.

Next up, Luke Cage. I've been enjoying it a good bit. But I'm only four or five episodes in, and we've taken a break from the show to watch Westworld and Designated Survivor, so I don't have a lot to say about it at the moment.

We're up to date on Westworld, and I'm enjoying that show more than I'd expected to, although I feel like what's coming is going to be fairly predictable. It will only be really interesting to me if the latter bits of the show explore the sentient androids' effect on the world stage, and explores whether they're truly human in the same way that Bicentennial Man did.

In my scarce down time, when I do things like paint Warmachine miniatures, I like having a background show, and so I sometimes watch things like The Flash, which I'm enjoying, but not enough to write much about it. I really need to catch up on Mr. Robot, Orphan Black, and Agents of SHIELD. I'm way behind. I'm probably giving up on The Walking Dead entirely - I stopped halfway through last season and haven't gone back. My current background show of choice is Dark Matter on Netflix. It's a space opera much in the vein of Farscape or Firefly. The premise is that five people wake up on a spaceship with no memory of who any of them are. I'm midway through the first season, and watching them discover their identities is a well-told story. It's not the best show ever, but I'm enjoying it for what it is. I'm particularly enjoying a sideplot involving the android, whom everyone simply calls "the android".

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