Some “The Last Jedi” Love

I’ve seen The Last Jedi three times, and I think it’s possible that Larry is up for seeing it once again.  I ended up seeing it the third time on my own while Larry was at work during the Christmas/New Years week, and regardless I’m up for a fourth time.  You see, I loved the movie.  I do like to write, but I know I’m not very good at critical analysis writing, and instead, I’d like to provide some great writing that gets at what I did like about the movie:

I’ve shared this just a few posts ago, but I love Jenny Nicholson’s take on the backlash of the movie:

Luke Skywalker Isn’t Supposed to Be “Nice”

Here’s a Twitter feed that I thought was particularly apt in its discussion of how Luke was never going to be the “idealistic farmboy” from the original trilogy – you may need to click on the date/time link within to see the entire Twitter thread:

The article here discusses things that could be “problems” about the movie but really aren’t all that much:

For me, I had some quibbles with certain scenes, but certainly not enough to make me hate the movie and declare Star Wars over:

  • Leia Poppins:  it’s a slightly jarring scene, but in that universe, I’m not at all of the mind that it’s impossible; after all, she IS the twin sister of the most powerful Jedi still alive and the daughter of possibly the most powerful Force user in history.
  • Holdo not telling Poe the plan:  As someone who was in the military, yeah, leadership does not always tell the plan to everyone.  ESPECIALLY if that one individual, as hot as he may be and my man Oscar Isaac is certainly hawwwt, just went and played hero, got the entire bomb squadron eliminated, and recently demoted.
  • The whole Luke thing:  I completely disagree with those who say Luke wouldn’t act the way he did in The Last Jedi.   And the articles above articulate it way better than me.

I loved the movie and loved that it basically wrapped up a lot of the “mystery boxes” from The Force Awakens.  Episode IX has the freedom to do something exciting and new, and doesn’t have to be a Return of the Jedi of this trilogy, and that’s amazing.  Who knows where it’s going to go next?  I love that unknown.

Some Movies, Some Golden Globes

The Golden Globes event is bought and paid for and really doesn’t reflect any kind of peer reflection on a category – it’s mostly about the HFPA deciding who they’d most like to give awards to.  Having said that it is a fun ceremony to watch and quite a bit more laid back than the Oscars.  Seth Meyers did a great job as emcee but it amuses me to see how he (and others as host) effectively disappear from the show after the opening.  I seem to remember Ricky Gervais being much more present, but maybe it was a conscious choice by the producers to get the host outta there.   The choice to award so much to 3 Billboards Outside Ebbings, Missouri is a strange one.  For the most part, it gets very divisive reviews and especially in comparison to others in its category, just doesn’t seem like the best movie.  I was bummed that Kyle MacLachlan didn’t win for Twin Peaks: The Return but it’s not surprising… and again, his win or loss really isn’t a knock on him.  It’s on whether the HFPA liked him.  One thing I did really like is Oprah’s Opening Bid for the 2020 Presidency.  Guess we’ll have to stay tuned on that, eh?

This weekend, Larry & I saw a couple movies that were pretty great.   Yesterday, we saw:

What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

It’s a movie from a few years back and we watched it on Amazon’s service, and holy hell, it’s amazing.   It’s directed by Jemaine Clement from Flight of the Conchords as well as Taiki Waititi, who made the most recent ThorThor: Ragnarok.   With that background just know that yes, this movie is hilarious but also does a great job of treating the subject matter fairly…with that subject matter being real vampires, werewolves, and others.  Set in current times and taking place in New Zealand, the movie is staged like a documentary that follows around 4 vampires who’ve lived together a LONG time.  Typical annoyances crop up (do the dishes, Deacon!) and then an attempted “feeding” goes a bit awry and suddenly there’s no longer 4 vampires.  Plus, there’s now the human friend, Stu, that hangs around and helps them learn about selfies and the Internet.  It’s great, and then all of a sudden there’s footage of a feeding and it’s like holy shit, this movie can get dark and scary.  Basically, we loved it and we are next off to catch the other Taiki movie, Hunt For the Wilderpeople.

The other movie we went out and saw shortly before the Golden Globes aired today:

The Post (2017)

Spielberg.  Streep.  Hanks.  Pretty awesome collection of talent and damn, they hit it out of the park in this movie.   It takes place during the early 1970s as Vietnam drags on and Daniel Ellsberg gets his hands on a study (the Pentagon Papers) commissioned by Robert McNamara which effectively shows that the U.S. has known that the Vietnam War couldn’t be won.  And yet, we persisted.  The New York Times gets access to the Papers first but after printing a first bombshell article about it, they get slammed with a judicial mandate to stop publishing classified information.  Which they acquiesce to.  So the source goes to the Washington Post and it’s within this sequence of events that the movie is mostly focused on.  The amazing performances by Meryl Streep as Katherine Graham, the publisher of the Washington Post, and Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee, the editor at the paper, ensure that the movie is riveting.  The situation certainly can correlate to the current “fake news” onslaught against the media by those on the right wing and that even if the President is threatening you, it’s up to institutions like the NYT or the WP to fully embrace those First Amendment rights and publish the truth.   It’s also quite a ride to see Graham’s evolution into someone who completely decides to inhabit the role she has and not be cowed even if she’s “just” a woman in this world.  Quite a movie, and it amusingly leads right up into the Watergate break-in, so if you have some time, you can watch this and then put on All the President’s Men right after this.

My One Favorite YouTube Personality

There’s soooo many people who actually can make money and a career out of making videos on YouTube and it kind of blows my mind at times.  Mostly I’m jealous of how comfortable they are on camera and on what they bring to the table in terms of ideas and thoughts; but that’s of course if I actually like what they have to say.  I think I’m a generation away from the ones that go to YouTube (etc) as their prime entertainment feed.   ANYWAY, old person shouting at clouds rant is ending now, as I just wanted to post about Jenny Nicholson.

think I first saw a video of hers when for some reason I was looking up stuff about the movie Tomorrowland.   I had written a post about how much I actually didn’t hate the movie despite many of the reviews coming out that basically were like, MEH.  Well, Jenny Nicholson was no fan of the movie and she indicated exactly why, and I was blown away by how funny and precise she was in her criticisms.

She can make long-ish videos, but they are entertaining.  As I found out, she is very much into the geekier side of entertainment, meaning she likes things such as Star WarsWestworld, superhero movies… you know, basically stuff that I like too.

What I find particularly great is that she is really funny and clever yet doesn’t go overboard with production values (not shade, I promise), so the humor and commentary shine through.  I’ve especially liked her recent videos on Star Wars, and there are a lot.  I’ll just link to a couple of the most recent as I completely agree with her on The Last Jedi:

As you can see, she does have a need to collect toys, like that GIANT Porg.   Am I jealous?  Maybe.

I can’t say I loved Rogue One.  I enjoyed it a lot and it definitely has some stunning scenes, but the soundtrack and lack of the Star Wars fanfare at the beginning really annoyed me.   Anyway, I am certainly on board with most of Jenny’s comments regarding Rogue One.

I guess I could just post every video she’s made, but that is silly.  I just had to share my appreciation for this wildly hilarious woman.  You may find yourself going down the rabbit hole of her other videos – don’t worry, the water’s warm here in YouTubeville.  Don’t resist.  It’s easier this way.

Amazing Race 30 – Yeah, I’m Hooked

I may have stopped recapping these for a while as life gets in the way as does motivation, but I never stopped watching the show.  And with a Cody & Jessica from Big Brother on this season, it was certainly going to get viewing rotation!

Amazing Race 30 – Leg 1:  New York, NY to Reykjavik, Iceland

So this season’s gimmick for casting is that every team is super competitive in whatever arena it is they do.  So there’s competitive eaters, Big Brother contestants, Indy 500 winners, etc.  I am not nearly motivated enough to care about all of the teams yet, but there are some standouts…including the cute Indy 500 winner and then these hotties:

I’m assuming they’re gay from their outfits, speaking voices, and hotness, and apparently they’re hip classical musicians too.  Please let them stay in this race for awhile, and let’s have a Turkish mud bath challenge please?

Anyway, we start this season at Washington Square Park in the Greenwich Village area of NYC, get introduced to the teams, and then they’re off to get their clues in the fountain and then over to JFK to fly to Reykjavik, Iceland.  No drama in getting tickets on a quicker flight, but we all know that shit’s coming in a later episode.   The early frontrunners are the Yale Debate Team (Henry & Evan) and surprisingly Big Brother (Cody & Jessica).

I say surprisingly as Cody & Jessica didn’t really make it that far in this past season of Big Brother, and managed to actively turn the entire house against them.  It was pretty astounding.  Jessica’s game was definitely hurt by Cody’s stubbornness and terrible gameplay instincts, as she had a serious chance, at one point, to do well in BB.  But she, along with many of us with eyes, got swept up by Cody’s looks and body and managed to utterly ignore the damage to her game he was causing.   But they’re still together so I guess maybe she’s not too unhappy with the results.  But based on their ending leg stumble which completely hinged on Cody’s stubbornness on where they were supposed to go, I’m predicting yet again that Cody hasn’t learned anything and will cause them to lose the $1MM grand prize at the end.  Guess we’ll see.

Detour 1

Once in Iceland, each team had to drive to this big ass waterfall that a steel-line had been strung across – with one of the team having to climb out and get an Icelandic flag and the other having to pull them back in.  I honestly think this challenge would be one I’d be able to do as most of the time, you have no chance to look down and see how high up you were.  Who knows, I could be full of shit.  Larry & I watch this and try to figure out who would do each Detour/Roadblock and there are some clearly suited for one or the other.  He immediately said he’d not be doing this particular one.

Detour 2

This detour is where things go all sorts of jumbled as the damnable Attention To Detail snared up nearly EVERY team…except surprisingly Cody.  To this twist of fate, I’ll only say that I think he got lucky, as while most figured out that while riding around in the little dune buggy and looking for letters, the small number associated with the letter indicated its position, it was the fact that there were two types of Os present that caused chaos.  If you luckily put your O with an accent in the right place, yay you!  And I KNOW that’s what Cody lucked into.  The poor basketball players though got super screwed by this challenge as he just did NOT see that there were differences in the Os.  Here’s where the typical Amazing Race errors are seared into teams’ brains, as if it’s not “Read the Fucking Clue” then it’s “Pay Attention to the Details” that will always get you.  Also, “Learn to Drive a Fucking Stick Shift” and “Figure out how to read a FUCKING MAP.”   I digress.   This Detour definitely allowed some people to make up some time while others like the Cute Indy 500 guy lost a few places.

There was another challenge where you had to find out some Icelandic beverages from clues that some super-weightlifters gave them, but it proved not to be all that big a deal except for some footage of some really shitty parking attempts.

What we did get though was a pretty epic Leg Finish.  Miss Iceland and Phil were there and greeted the Pro Lady Skiers (Kristi & Jen) as the winners of Leg 1 as stupid-ass Cody lost he & Jessica the lead getting lost wandering around Reykjavik.  I was so impressed that Cody & Jessica were about to win this leg and then OF COURSE he gets them lost.  Ridiculous.  But anyway, that’s not really the best part of this leg’s end, as in the end, it literally ended up a photo finish as the final two teams were having a foot race to the mat and I don’t think either realized they were in that position.

It really was like they stumbled into there and honestly, if the girl with the backpack in the picture above had dropped that damn bag LIKE SHE SHOULD HAVE AS SHE’S RACING FOR A MILLION DOLLARS, she probably could have outrun Yoga Goat Girls and beat the blonde woman to the mat.   But hey, if I had just studied European Flags some more or not bet like a dumbass in my one chance at Jeopardy, I could have possibly had at least ONE WIN on my belt.   So we all have our regrets.

In the end, I’m loving this season already and can’t wait for there to be a ‘who looks best in a speedo’ Detour that the Gay Orchestrators win in a landslide.

Instagram Husky Fall

This video cracks me the hell up.  It’s as if he gets hit by a stun gun or something!

Another beckons you…