Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Saturday, November 27, 2021
The complicated premise is that America is damaged by EMP, leading to a financial collapse. Children genetically altered to be supersoldiers escape a secret lab in Washington state. One of them survives to grow up in Seattle and teams up with an underground resistance movement to fight corruption and evil. She is being hunted by government actors who would like to get their supersoldiers back.
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
Sunday, November 21, 2021
Then there was the 2012 French TV adaption "Les Revenants" and this was a huge hit in Europe. The first season has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It has a creepiness to it that creates an incredible amount of suspense. It also has more nudity and violence than what you would find in an American TV show. It feels a bit like a soap opera. Once again, the resurrected have their own agenda and collude amongst themselves. Perhaps they are wanting to make everyone else like them, i.e. dead, but by the end of the first season, I had no idea where this show was going. I was unable to find the second season with English subtitles, so I don't know what the second season is like, but it has a 95% rating on Rotten tomatoes.
The French TV series was so influential that two similar American series were created. The first is the 2014 series "Resurrection", starring Omar Epps. Other than having the same basic premise, the story is completely different. It is based upon a 2013 novel called "The Returned." I can't find a connection between this novel and the French series.
In 2015, the network A&E adapted the French series calling it "The Returned." It is noticeably tamer than the French version, but otherwise, it is a scene-by-scene copy of the French series. As such it is entertaining but lacks some of the creepiness that made the first series so suspenseful I liked it, but unfortunately, it was canceled after one season. It has a 67% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Friday, November 19, 2021
My feeling about the ten episode first season of Foundation is that it is too short. It is like a science-fiction soap opera, with much political intrigue, so naturally, I want to see where it is going. The problem is that it takes its time getting there, and after ten episodes it just ends. We will have to wait 9 or 10 months for the second season.
The story only barely resembles the much-loved books that it is based on. The production values are really high, which means that someone is spending a ton of money on this show.
Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Thumbs up for the HBO documentary "Nixon By Nixon: In His Own Words". It is mostly based off of Nixon's recorded phone conversations along with a few speeches. It shows the ugly side of Nixon, where he engages in slurs, attacks different people as enemies, employs dirty tricks, and uses the full power of the Presidency to get his way.
I have to wonder how selective the documentary is? You could make anyone look bad by only showing their worst moments.
I get the impression that Nixon was self-righteous in his beliefs. Anything that deviated from what he thought was right he attacked with full force, whether it be communism, leftists, peaceniks, drugs, homosexuality, or certain ethnic groups. When The Pentagon Papers were leaked to the New York Times by Daniel Ellsberg, a man of Jewish ancestry, Nixon claimed that all the Jews were spies and traitors by their very nature. Not a nice guy.
Tuesday, November 2, 2021
Monday, November 1, 2021
Seasons 11 and 12 of Doctor Who with Jodi Whitaker have been below average at best, but the very short season 13 has gotten off with a bang, albeit a messy and confusing one. There are too many plotlines. Regardless, the first episode is a wild ride.
Sunday, October 24, 2021
Saturday, October 23, 2021
Friday, October 22, 2021
There are a lot—a lot—of ways the TV series has differed from the books since it premiered, but I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt as showrunner David S. Goyer attempts to add the necessary amount of drama and coherence to keep modern audiences interested and invested in a story that was once dubbed the greatest science fiction series of all time. But this week's episode on Apple TV+, "Death and the Maiden," is a Star Destroyer too far.
Because that's what Foundation has suddenly introduced, really. A giant warship so powerful it will let the Anachreons defeat everything the Galactic Empire can throw at it. It's a sci-fi mega-weapon, just like the Death Star,"
Thursday, October 21, 2021
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Friday, October 15, 2021
Thursday, October 14, 2021
I have complained about the later seasons going rapidly downhill, but this is not entirely true. The first year with Peter Capaldi, season 8, was not as good, but the next two seasons were much better.
However, seasons 11 and 12 with Jodie Whitaker as the Doctor are a mixed bag. There is just enough there to hold my interest, but the show feels weaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall publically admits that he is trying to use the show to push his political agendas. A short 6 episode season 13 will premier at the end of this month, after which both Jodie Whitaker and Chris Chibnall are leaving the show.
Fans were delighted to hear that Russel T. Davies will be coming back as showrunner, as he is the one who rebooted the series in 2005.
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
We may not have many Doctor Who fans here.
I wrote previously that I missed the days when this show was truly extraordinary, which seemed to peak about 10 years ago, but essentially all of the seasons 2 through 7 which I just rewatched on HBO Max. (It is mostly downhill after that.)
The IMDB user rankings seem to prefer the David Tennet seasons 2 through 4, but I think that the show was more epic with the Matt Smith seasons 5 through 7. The latter seasons developed more long-term plots with fewer episodic "Monster of the week" stories.
The Doctor's traveling companions are a significant part of the show. Although it is a matter of taste, my favorite is Amelia Pond played by Marvel actress Karen Gillan in seasons 5 through 7. However, I also really like Clara Oswald in season 7 played by Jenna Coleman.
Sunday, September 12, 2021
I decided to rewatch seasons 5 to 7, which are the excellent Matt Smith years which also have an epic story. The arc begins with 2 episodes in season 4 which I also watched. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silence_in_the_Library
Sunday, August 29, 2021
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
The Bad Batch first season ended up very good. The next to last episode, part 1 of 2, was fantastic, although part 2 was just okay for the season finale. There has been a progression of Star Wars TV series, starting with The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, The Mandalorian (fantastic!), and The Bad Batch that have mostly improved over time. These tie in well with the movies, and each other. They add storylines and characters from the books and the comics. In the coming year, we are getting The Book of Boba Fett, Asoka, and Kenobi series. These seem to be building to some sort of Marvel-like conclusion that may or may not tie in with the next movie.
BTW, the Marvel series Loki was very interesting.
BTW, it has been reported that George Lucas was going to make Darth Maul the villain of the sequel trilogy before Disney scrapped his plans and went with their own. The Clone Wars series revealed that he survived and he turns up at the end of the movie Solo.
Thursday, August 12, 2021
Saturday, August 7, 2021
I just found out that the series has been renewed for a second season. Many people thought that this might just be a one-season show.
Tuesday, August 3, 2021
Friday, July 30, 2021
Monday, July 26, 2021
If you like history or historical dramas, then the HBO miniseries John Adams is a feast of historical drama. It is essentially an 8 hour movie about John Adam's life. The performance by Paul Giamatti as Adams is great, and I am delighted by the performance of Laura Linney as Abigail Adams. The supporting performances are also really good, although I wondered about some of the casting choices that didn't seem quite right to me. There is David Morse as George Washington, Danny Huston as Samuel Adams, Tom Wilkinson as Benjamin Franklin, and Rufus Sewell as Alexander Hamilton. I have seen all these actors in very different roles, usually playing villains or less than likable characters, so all of them being cast as the founding fathers of our country surprised me.Benjamin Franklin described John Adams as, "He means well for his country, is always an honest man, often a wise one, but sometimes, and in some things, absolutely out of his senses." This is the essence of John Adams; his passions got the better of him. History relegated Adams to a back seat compared to the other founding fathers, but he was one of the most passionate about Independence and a driving force behind the American Revolution. He was a very serious man, which is why his commission to France in 1777 didn't go well. Franklin arrived before Adams and knew how to fit in with the fun-loving and relaxed French aristocracy, but Adams felt completely out of place and kind of looked like a fool compared to the more suave Franklin.
I have a low tolerance for historical dramas that rewrite history. In the second episode, there is a "tar and feather" incident that is completely fictional. The scene is there to emphasize the passions of the American Colonists against the British occupying forces, but there should be no need to make up history.
Fortunately, the entire miniseries works as a great drama with much interesting history thrown in.