My wife and I went to see Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle this evening. Admittedly, we went in with somewhat low expectations, thinking this would be, at best a sequel, but we came away pleasantly surprised, much more entertained than we’d expected.
Without wandering into spoiler territory, this was indeed a sequel. But, it stood on its own. The only thing you might not understand was a passing reference to Alan Parrish, Robin Williams‘ character from the original movie (and a nice nod).
There were a few parallels to the original, but this was definitely a separate movie. Jack Black’s portrayal of a teenage girl (this makes more sense in context) was absolutely hilarious, but avoided going too far over the top. Likewise, Dwayne Johnson and Karen Gillan as a pair of nerdy teens worked quite well. My only complaints with the film were a few scenes that seemed a bit too much like “The Breakfast Club” (I haven’t checked, they may have lifted some lines), and one awkward bit right before the end.
All in all, it was a fun movie and one I can recommend.
My wife and I went out last night to see “Battle of the Sexes.” It’s somewhat of a bio-pic about Billie Jean King and her contributions to the idea that women and men should be considered equals.
Along with the big tennis match against Bobby Riggs, it also covered the creation of the Women’s Tennis Association and highlighted some of the women players’ struggles to be taken as seriously as the men.
I was also taken by how much Emma Stone and Steve Carell resembled their real-life counterparts. Also interesting, both actors are the same age as the people they portrayed were at the time of the real life event.
Not the kind of film I usually think of going to on my own, but I thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless.
Scrolling through an assortment of funny photos and links, on Claudia Christian’s fan page, I found a post from one of the page admins announcing that Starhyke is now available for streaming on Amazon Prime.
Starhyke was new to me, but ended up an amusing diversion. The show is a Sci-Fi Comedy, shot in the UK. It appears to have been a direct-to-DVD release, with other syndication coming later.
The premise, and honestly, a lot of the first episode, is quite dark: Humanity has given up its emotions in order to expand across the galaxy, and in the process, conquered or destroyed all the other races they encounter. The last race not yet conquered, the Reptids, have devised a plan to go back in time and prevent humanity from losing its emotions.
The comic premise (minor spoiler) is that a side-effect of the Reptids’ attack causes the crew of the ship sent to stop them to be confronted with unfamiliar and comically out-of-control emotions. Most of the gags center around the crew essentially becoming a bunch of adolescents in adult bodies as they try to track down their enemies. There’s also a secondary story of an unknown entity attempting to take over the ship.
Once you get past the grim premise, it’s actually a very silly show, a bit similar to Red Dwarf, but with a larger, dominantly female, cast. The entire series is only six episodes long for a total of about three hours of viewing. If you need a chuckle without a lot of sophistication, it might be worth a chance.
You can stream it on Amazon. I’d skip the DVD option.
Dark Matter first appeared on my radar during the run up to Shore Leave 38 when Zoie Palmer (the Android) and Anthony Lemke (Three) were announced as guests. The show’s description, about a spaceship crew waking up with no recollection of their identities struck me as potentially interesting, but it also reminded me of an element from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
In Mostly Harmless – The fifth book in the increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhikers Trilogy, Douglas Adams introduces a race known as “the Grebulons”. Much like the characters in Dark Matter, the Grebulons don’t know who they are, or what their mission might be, so they settle on Rupert (the 10th planet of our solar system) and observe our culture by watching TV.
Unlike the Grebulons however, the Dark Matter characters want to find out who they are. Starting by exploring the ship, and once they learn their original destination, they visit the planet in search of answers, and along the way are attacked, without any known provocation, by the crew of another ship.
It’s an interesting set up, and I’ll probably continue watching.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead Continue reading Dark Matter – Episode 1 (S1E1)
We saw The Legend of Tarzan on Friday night. Going in, I’m not entirely certain what I was expecting, but in the end, it was two hours well spent.
The familiar, “a baby is raised by apes” story is still there, but it’s done via flashbacks. Instead of an origins story, this movie takes place eight years after Tarzan has left the jungle. Formerly known as “Tarzan”, John Clayton, Earl of Greystoke (Alexander Skarsgård) has married Jane (Margot Robbie) and the two now live in London. When invited by the King of Belgium to visit his protectorate in the Congo, Clayton initially declines, and only reluctantly agrees to go when an American emissary, Doctor George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson) asks for his assistance in investigating his suspicions of slavery. Continue reading The Legend of Tarzan
In what I think is my favorite scene from the episode, Jack’s madly driving a jeep down the beach at full speed while being pursued by a helicopter. Machine gun fire keeps spraying toward the jeep, but Jack outsteers the gunner. When Jack makes a sudden stop, Gwen stands up in the back of the jeep, holding a missile launcher.
Rex looks up from his seat and asks, “Who are you people?!”
Gwen replies with a single word, “Torchwood” and fires the missile. Continue reading Torchwood: Miracle Day: "The New World"