The Orville, episode 4

In another great episode, the crew encounters a huge ship, so huge it contains a whole city and farmland and sky within. The crew soon finds out that they are dealing with a generation ship with a people who have forgotten they are on a ship.

This may be an idea that seems played out for someone who’s read a lot of sci fi, but seeing this on TV is just great. The ship is heading for a star, and they’ve got to convince the people that they need help before they can be helped.

Another thing I thought was great about this episode is we get to see how tough the first officer, Kelly, is. There is a pretty hardcore scene where she is being straight up beat and tortured, and though she is cracking some pretty funny jokes, it is not a funny scene. It is brutal and feels real. And–as Hollywood looooves to do when it comes to women who are captured or being tortured–I’m glad to say she was not sexualized in any way. What another relief!

At the end of the episode, the ship turns out to have a retractable section that opens to allow the people to see the stars for the first time. It was a really cool, and emotional scene.

Once again, a Seth MacFarlane comedy show is showing up CBS’s Discovery. Just let that sink in a minute… then go watch it!

A slow burning fuse

I’m still reading  The Peregrine , and it is taking me a while. It is such beautiful writing but with no conflict, it is easy to set it down. But I always come back eventually, for the beautiful writing. It’s like an expensive box of rare chocolate, you have one now and then and savor it, instead of wolfing it all down in one sitting.

But now, about 30% through the novel, it is starting to grab me with interesting things. Things other than descriptions of nature. It took a long time to get there, but I don’t think it would have been possible without all the buildup and setting of the tone and scene. And it is amazing, once it starts…

Now I’m getting the ‘what will happen’ urge to go back to it. Now I know something strange is going on, and I wonder what the conclusion will be. But I really don’t think it could have been done if it just started out that way.

Some things require patience and build up and preparation… sadly, things most people don’t have time for in entertainment anymore. If something isn’t exploding on page one, we put the book down.

I found myself imagining how a movie of this would be. Just shots of birds and animals, and a man walking through nature, watching, and his reactions to it and slow change in personality… no dialogue, no running around shooting or crying or fighting or arguing. Just shots of hawks killing wood-pigeons, and the man staring weirdly at the picked clean bones.

I’d watch it… but it would never be made.

 

Sunday, and no Game of Thrones…

What will we do every Sunday for the next year and a half? What will we talk and theorize about? What will we yell at our friends for not watching? What will we spoil accidentally and ruin friendships over?

Well, there are other shows on their way. There is season 2 of Stranger Things this fall, though, being Netflix most people will probably watch it all in one sitting. There’s season 8 of Walking Dead, though I never watched that show past season 2 so won’t be partaking. There’s the new Star Trek Discovery, which I’m very excited and apprehensive about, but most people don’t care about Star Trek…

There are hundreds of shows out there, it’s hard to decide which one will be good. I don’t have enough time to try them out, so I’ll wait till I start hearing people talk about one as much as they did about Game of Thrones…

Becoming critical

I remember I used to love every book I read. Now I find it harder to do so. Probably this is a consequence of reading a lot of books. I have a higher baseline of quality. I also have seen so many plots/ideas/character types that they don’t impress me or excite me anymore.

Whatever it is, I don’t like being that guy who has something negative to say about every popular thing that comes up. So I try hard not to be that guy, even if my brain is going ‘whyyyy do people like this so much??’ It’s just really annoying, isn’t it? When you are loving something and some doofus pipes up with ‘this is dumb and bad because abc.’ Even if he’s right, you just want him to go away.

So even if I’m turning into that guy on the inside, I will strive not to show it on the outside…

Game of thrones season 7 episode 02 spoilers

So does Grey Worm have a worm or not?

Screw all Greyjoys except Yara

We’ve been overdue for some Varys awesomeness and boy is he awesome. He knows just what to say to make Dani like him. Such a pro.

I was the only one in my viewing group that was sad Arya turned back toward Winterfell. I want her to complete her list!

Samwell slicing off Jorah’s nipple then a cut right to someone cracking open a hot pie was so perfect we had to rewind and watch it a second time. WTF

I hope Sansa takes over the north and somehow takes the reigns from Jon

The whole meeting of Jon and Dani seems really rushed and contrived but the season is short and we got to get there some point so…

A mountain of dragonglass seems too late when the zombies are already crossing into the north… seems it would take years to set up a mining/smithing operation or whatever. I don’t understand time on this show.

Euron just showed up randomly last season and started killing well established people. This is not good writing. It is a cheaty way to make us instantly hate someone. I don’t like hating someone because so far on this show you can kind of get behind everyone even if they are garbage. This guy, though, is not likable in any way and is killing cool characters. So, they better kill him off soon in a satisfying way.

Valerian and the city of a thousand planets (2017)

I wanted to see this movie, based on this graphic novel, because it looked like an original idea, and we usually get about one of those per year among the tide of super hero sequels, remakes, reboots, and brand name movies. It was pretty original, and had lots of elements I hadn’t seen before. It was also long, tiring, ham handed, and boring for long sections. Spoilers:

Cut the first half hour of the movie. During all the action (lots of it very interesting and creative and cool looking) I kept wondering ‘when am I going to care?’ These characters I don’t know are running around doing stuff I don’t care about, and there is no tension. There is no feeling of weight or consequence. It’s just ‘stuff happening.’ Some of it is interesting, this movie is definitely good at being creative and interesting. But… that can’t be all there is.

There problem is the characters. The movie, I think, takes for granted that I’ll like and care about them, and puts no effort into helping me do so. They are both very wooden… deadpan almost. They have no defining characteristics that I can think of. Valerian at first seems to be the one who just does whatever without any plan, while Laureline is the by the book planner. Then at the end they randomly switch roles and Valerian says ‘I’m a soldier, I obey the law, the rules’ to paraphrase. Probably this is just so the woman character can be the emotional one breaking the rules for love. Though everything leading up to that end should have had Valerian doing that. What a mess.

The Bubble character was really fun and likable, once you got past the overly drawn out, awkward and pointless pole-dance scene. Then the writers kill her off once she’s completed her job helping the characters, and Val and Laura have a very forced moment of sadness before they move on and we all conveniently forget we ever met Bubble.

At the end, I was trying to remember what other movie I’ve seen where the military destroys the planet of a primitive race of tall blue people who commune with nature. Hmm, I can’t remember.

I’m probably being too hard on this movie. It does get a lot of points for coming up with interesting ideas and having a plot that made sense and I could follow most the time. However, it was missing something. Heart and soul maybe. I just didn’t care most the time. All the bright lights and pretty colors washed over me while I waited to feel anything at all. I perked up a few times with an ‘ooh that is really neat’, but not that often.

Over all, flashing lights and loud noises, signifying nothing.

Steam

Is very pretty when the sunlight hits it at the right angle. I’ve noticed this while making my coffee in the morning the past few days. The first time I was just staring, wondering how I never noticed steam in my life until now. But I guess steam + sunlight isn’t so common an occurrence, maybe?

I wish I could take a picture, but my camera won’t capture it. I can see each little particle. They move in swirls and puffs and look like miniature water droplets (I guess they are?) in a continual splash. The light makes them sparkle.

I wonder what else I see every day that I’ve failed to notice…