Tag Archives: netflix

She-Ra Reboot

It’s the holiday season which means Ross is working more closing shifts. What this means is that I am left to my own devices in deciding what to watch. I don’t make good choices. My iPad has basically become a tiny television for me to watch Netflix in bed. I am, in fact, able to access Netflix on the television in my bedroom but don’t. Mainly out of laziness. Don’t. Judge.

So, instead of watching any of the high quality shows in my list, I’ve chosen to watch the new She-Ra. That’s right, it’s back.

 

It’s actually pretty good. I don’t remember the original too well so, I really can’t compare. I do remember watching it about 10 years ago -you know, when Netflix was actually mailing DVD’s out – and I remember thinking that it was ridiculously cheesy. The reboot was not cheesy. It was fun and surprisingly emotionally complicated.

In the new version, there is some snark which makes my heart happy, and just some ridiculousness that make it amazing. Mermista, the sea princess, is so droll and sarcastic. I think she might be my favorite.

The one thing that I can’t get over, however, is that she keeps saying “by the power of Grayskull” to transform into She-Ra but no one has explained what Grayskull is!

Catra is such a petty, jealous, vindictive bitch! I love her.

So, now that I’ve binged the entire season (all 13 episodes) this week, I’m going to have to move onto something else. Here are my options

  • an infinite list of sappy holiday movies – which I adore! A Christmas Prince The Royal Wedding here I come!
  • any of the Marvel movies still in the list
  • Maniac
  • Jessica Jones (yeah, cause I still haven’t watched that)
  • Jack Whitehall: Travels with my Father
  • one of the billion serial killer docuseries/true crime shows I have in my list – my Netflix home page is swathed in blacks and reds. There are no happy colors queued up for me. 
  • Or I could go back and watch the original She-Ra, cause its in the list now too!

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

I was really excited to see this on Netflix. I put it in my list and last night Ross and I watched the first episode.

See. Such promise.

It was…disappointing and for a lot of reasons.

Ross’s big hang up was that Sally Draper was the star. He couldn’t get passed the kid from Mad Men. That didn’t bother me as much as her acting. She took one too many pointers from January Jones. She was just bad. There was a flat, deadness to her eyes that expressed zero emotion. You’re upset about having to leave your friends, but I don’t really believe you. Have you ever seen a teenage rebel? It’s never the quiet “well, i’m just going to go over here and create a club” kind of rage against the machine type of action. Usually, they are loud and destructive. Or quiet and also destructive. There was also this strange interaction about one of her friends being attacked but instead of seeking retribution for the attack, as any good/bad witch would do; she casts a spell on the principal so she can…start a support group? I mean, seriously. You have magical powers at your fingertips and you sick some spiders on the principal instead of, say, trapping all the jocks who actually did the attacking in a giant hamster wheel,forever stuck running and jumping over the corpses of their friends until they die. See, way funnier and a little fucked up. Maybe I should be writing this show.

I also didn’t understand why one aunt had an English accent and the other one didn’t. Continuity is important.

Sabrina also makes a big deal about getting her familiar and how she wants it to be a “partnership”. So, here’s the thing. Salem chooses the form of a black cat. No one is surprised. There are some things that are sacrosanct. But then she tells him “good boy”. No. Just no. If you’re in a partnership, don’t condescend the cat. Say thank you or I appreciate the help. Do not tell a spiritual being who just saved your life that you have entered a “partnership” in, good boy.

Ross actually laughed out loud at one point because of the witch teacher at the school. If Kiernan Shipka was flat and delivered her lines, than Michelle Gomez delivered her lines with the subtly of a sledgehammer. It was so over the top all I could think of was the claymation witch from Hansel and Gretel. If you haven’t seen this, you should. Its amazing and I’m still traumatized from my childhood. Although, I would totally watch it right now. That’s how messed up it is. Love and terror wrapped up into one.

There was also a moment where Sabrina is supposed to be 15 years old. There’s a shot of her in the bathtub and then getting out of the bathtub. You can see the outline of her breasts and her ass. I understand that the actress is actually 18 but even then, this is skeezy. I’m not sure why more people aren’t upset about this. They’re objectifying what is supposed to be a 15 year old girl. Ross looked over at me and said, “I’m not alone in thinking this isn’t okay, right?”

No, he was not alone.

Writing…writing…writing

I’m at home today, taking the day off after a few stress-filled days at work. Am I lounging in my house binge watching Netflix or catching up on Outlander (cause the season premier is coming up)? Speaking of which, I should catch up. NO! Focus. So, instead of going into work today, I have refocused the stress ball sitting in the pit of my stomach constantly to writing. I’m going to get some writing done today Even if it kills me. It might too.

Anyway, I’ve been up for two hours now. I’ve dropped my daughter at daycare (cause there was no way in hell I was getting anything done with her in the house), put in a load of laundry, and now writing a blog. So all in all, today is going about how I thought. Two hours down and no writing completed.

I am the worst!

The Rock

Okay, so we all know that Tom Hanks is a fine actor and that Denzel is . . . well . . . Denzel. But, I’m going to make a bold statement here – and stick with me on this one – I think that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson may be the greatest actor of our time.

I know. I know. You’re probably screaming at the screen right now. But Suzanne, how can you be serious? We’re talking about “THE ROCK”! I get it. I really do. And it would be a justified question. However, I’d like to make a case for my assertion.

His body of work doesn’t necessarily preclude one to think “wow, that guy’s a great actor”. He’s not doing period dramas or World War II epics. He’s doing comedies and as anyone who has tried to do comedy and failed . . . comedy is hard.

This clip from Jumanji is a great example. He’s supposed to be playing a skinny white kid embodied in the “superman” form.

Actually, Jack Black was also amazing in this movie, playing a teenage girl.

Dwayne Johnson also has musical talent. Does anyone really need reminded of Moana? Oh wait, clearly you do. Good luck getting this one out of your head.

Honestly, I think Moana might be my favorite Disney movie. The message is great for little girls, the music is incredible (thanks Lin-Manuel Miranda), and it’s completely underrated.

So, comedy and muscial talent isn’t your thing. If it’s a swing toward the dramatic that may sway you, let’s look at Ballers on HBO first.

I’m going to be honest. I’ve never actually seen this show. I wanted to and that should count for something. Shouldn’t it? I just don’t have time to watch. . . ANYTHING. I have to put Outlander and Game of Thrones on my Calendar for Christ’s sakes. You should see my Netflix list. Jessica Jones has been on it for a hot minute. Shit, I’ve had things in the DVR for years. I’ve gone off the rails. My point is that I’ve wanted to watch it from the start but haven’t found the time. Mostly, because of The Rock.

I think my favorite, by far, is Be Cool. This was a crap movie and should not have been made in the first place but there were a couple of standouts. 1. Andre 3000 (aka Andre Benjamin) as Dabu and 2. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. These two are the only reason I ever watch this movie. And I’m sorry to say that I’ve seen it more than once. Actually, I’m pretty ashamed to admit that, especially in writing because John Travolta is HORRIBLE!

I’ve managed to convince Ross of my argument about Dwayne Johnson. Just think about it for a minute. Are you convinced?

Netflix

Here’s the thing, I love all the new content. I really really do. Loved Mindhunters.

 

Loved Altered Carbon.

 

We won’t even talk about Godless again. LOVED IT. But here’s the thing. Sometimes, I just want to watch old movies from the 90’s. Why are those only available through the DVD service. Who the hell still gets dvd’s. Let’s go Netflix, update your streaming library and include bullshit, sappy movies like Shining Through. Yep, that’s right. I said it. SHINING. THROUGH. Sometimes, I just want to watch a 1940’s WWII spy melodrama where Melanie Griffith looked good. What?

 

But nooooo! This is available in dvd only. Come on!?! Who exactly is requesting THAT dvd anyway. Just let me stream it in shame-filled peace.

Ready Player One

This is going to be a long one, so get ready…

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So, you’ve probably seen a lot of posts about Ready Player One. I didn’t read a whole lot of them because I wanted to draw my own conclusions. I read the book (finished it on Friday) and then saw the movie on Saturday. Now that I’ve had a whole 24 hours to process, there are some . . . things.

The movie, on it’s own, was fun and nostalgic for those of you that grew up in the 80’s and remember all the random crap that you were bombarded with on any given day (hello acid washed jeans, I’m looking in your direction). However, I’m going to say this knowing that this is true 99.9% of the time, the book was better. I know. I know. That’s to be expected. But there are some fundamental issues we need to talk about.

  1. This book was made to be visualized. The pop culture references, music, video games, and movies included in this are all encompassing but you only get a portion. I’m a visual learner so the music references were lost on me, but if I’d heard them, I’d know instantly what was being talked about. Ross, remembers music so some of the film references were lost on him. You see where I’m going with this. Put the entire package together in a visual/auditory medium (aka film or television) and you have the perfect vehicle.

There’s a problem with that though. Two hours isn’t long enough to capture some of the larger themes in the book. Or, really the overall structure which is important but we’ll get to that later.

Themes:

There’s a question, that they really only touched on at the end in the movie of “humanity”. Over the course of the book, you see the slow marginalization of the real world in Wade Watts as he descends into the Oasis for longer and longer periods of time until he’s basically living his whole life in there. He talks about using a solution to remove all his hair (EVERYWHERE) so that his haptic suit will better conform to his body and pick up his movements. These are things you don’t really get from the movie.

There’s also the issue of vulnerability. The Oasis allows people to present themselves in any fashion they wish, any gender, any race, and species. So, there’s always this question of who you’re really talking to and what they look like. There’s safety in the Avatar. The stakes are high for a real life reveal. You could be talking to someone online for years in the avatar of Christie Brinkley and really be an 80 year old Chinese guy from Beijing. There are high stakes in the reveal of acceptance and community. That is lost in the film since the reveal happens much too early and no real uncertainty on anyone’s part.

Structure:

The movie included the competition which was key (pun intended). However, the book is told, very much, like a video game. There are level ups, there are weird diversionary levels that you don’t think mean anything but turn our saving your ass in the long run. There are also, failures. You remember Super Mario Bros. 3 (that’s where my references end, btw, cause that’s about the time I stopped playing video games – don’t judge) on World 8 where you could only see the space around the dot that encompassed you, that took me days to beat without skipping it. Not necessarily where Wade Watts is playing an actual video game but his processes, he does this thing again and again until he figures it out or finds the whistle to go around it. It’s nuanced, but important.

There were no mini-bosses, no real challenges to get the keys. Instead of the competition being the center of the story, defeating IOI became the focus. Which yes, you have the ultimate boss in Nolan Sorento but there are tasks and challenges to defeat before ever reaching the final castle and saving Princess Peach. #SuperMarioBros.3 #You’reWelcome #PrincessPeachForever

Ross’s Problem:

The bit with The Shining. OMG! I’m not sure why – actually I do – this got under his skin but IT DID. Some of the games in Ready Player One are actual movies that the avatar are inserted in and have to recite dialogue and function as the character in the scene. Spielberg didn’t quite do that. What he did was take elements of a movie and use them as one of the castle levels for a key.

Now, The Shining did come out in 1980 – that is true – versus the films actually used in the film (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off {1986} and Monty Python’s Holy Grail {1975}), however, there is something sooooo 70’s about it. #ShelleyDuvall. Also, it seems out of place. The pop culture, the movies, everything in it was funny and light. The Shining….that’s way to dark and really sticks out like a sore thumb in the middle of the movie. It’s…weird.

Again, I don’t want to harp on this too much. I think the movie, as a stand alone, was fun and if I went in there without fore knowledge of the book, I would think differently. But as Ross says, this book was written for me and they fucked it up. Actually, I’m throwing “fucked it up” in there. His words were much nicer but I know that’s what he meant. So, there’s that.

I think this would have made a really good Nexflix limit series. You just can’t do it justice in two hours. Shout out to Columbus Ohio though. #Cbus

 

Netflix: A Hit & A Miss

We’re going to talk about a couple of things today.

First, Godless.

 

I am completely obsessed with this show. It’s brutal, graphic, jaw dropping at times, and honestly it was nice to not have to watch women cower in the corner for a change. Those bitches were hard core and it was amazing. Jeff Daniels was equal parts creepy and benevolent. The cinematography was incredible. And can I just reiterate that 1. some bad shit happened 2. those bitches picked themselves up and 3. they moved the fuck on and didn’t manage to turn into monsters. However, they did manage to kick some serious ass. So there’s that.

Next…Bright.

 

Oh, Bright…

This had so much potential. The bones were there to make something incredible. However, there were some problems.

  1. So, the point of Fantasy is to kinda take humanity, reflect it back at you while skewing/blurring the morality you know. Like is racism okay now that there are orcs and elves in the picture? This didn’t do that. . . at all.
  2. It was dark. I don’t mean like atmospherically dark. I mean I couldn’t see shit. If you are adding all of these fantastical elements that apparently mean something, I kinda need to see them.
  3. Evidently, something happened 2000 years ago between orcs/humans/elves but that is never explained so, you never really understand the implications of what happened or why it’s important. Hell, you don’t even understand if it was important, just that something happened.
    1. Okay, so if this big thing happened 2000 years ago, how did society basically evolve identically to how it is in real life?
  4. They kept saying that they were in a prophecy but no one ever said what that prophecy was or why it was important! Plus, there seemed to be conflicting prophecies for what they were doing vs the orcs’ prophecy (cause evidently, everyone has a prophecy), so I’m not entirely sure which one we were heading toward because I NEVER had either of them spoken out loud.
  5. They were attempting to stop this “Dark Lord” from coming back but no one ever said what this “Dark Lord’s” intentions were or why they were bad.
  6. So, everyone is after this magic wand. Half the city get’s shot up in the pursuit of this wand. However, it is common knowledge that only a Bright can touch a magic wand and those are rare. If you touch a magic wand, you kinda disappear. Where? Who knows? That’s never explained either. Maybe they were vaporized. I don’t know. Anyway, here’s the question. If you can’t touch the wand to use it and you don’t have anyone who can, what is the fucking point of having the wand in the first place?

However, despite all of these problems…Netflix has ordered a sequel. Can we please consult a fantasy writer before filming this shit? Please? Just please. Ask for help! People will thank you for it.