Checking in

So yeah. It’s been a while.

I’ve been watching loads of things, but not much that’s inspired me to take the time to write a full entry. Here are a few I remember offhand.

Accatone: Eh. Even in Italian I can tell the acting can’t have been that great.

Chi-raq: Terrific. I wouldn’t have thought you could really pull off a modernized Lysistrata, much less transplant it to Chicago’s gang wars, but it works like crazy. Larger-than-life movie musical show-stoppers shift seamlessly to raw, emotional confrontations, really moving even when they’re rendered in rhyming verse. I’m coming late to Spike Lee but I’m glad I did.

Dollhouse: 3 or 4 episodes in. I’m enjoying it.

Downton Abbey: Not as pointless as I’d expected, though it still seems like a bit of a relic. I’m amazed a show like this can still get made.

Man of Steel: The first hour or so is really remarkable. After that it starts falling apart rapidly, with what seem like random cuts, fuzzy motivations, miscastings, and interminable, confusing fight sequences. Still not quite as bad as people said it was.

Oedipus Rex: The Pasolini version. Bizarre and remarkable, but desolate and almost pre-human.

Only Lovers Left Alive: I would have loved this small-scale vampire movie when I was in college, and I love it now for different reasons, but I’m not sure I would have been into it during the years intervening. I might have more to say about this later, but for now, two fangs up.

Pushing Daisies: So goofy, almost too cute, but really fun. Looking forward to watching the rest.

Star Trek: 4 episodes in, I think? The same themes recurring: perfect harmony disrupted by the wildness of our emotions and desires and failings. Humans elevated to near-omnipotence, needing to be brought down. It’s starting to get repetitive, but I’m sure it’ll branch out soon.

The Twilight Zone: Feels truly ancient now, more than half a century later. Still highly watchable.

I also wanted to comment that a while back I had occasion to throw on “The Doctor’s Wife” and was shocked at how unmoved I was. I still think it’s brilliant, but I just couldn’t get invested in anything that was happening or care about any of the characters. I don’t know if that’s Neil Gaiman’s fault so much as that I’m finding Moffat’s Who oddly difficult to rewatch right now, particularly the Matt Smith era. Maybe it’s just that, as with the Eccleston era, watching it feels a bit like watching a “lame duck” Doctor; knowing Eccleston was already gone prevented me from getting too invested in his Doctor, while knowing Capaldi’s the current guy makes the Smith era feel oddly sealed off. And yet I don’t have the same reaction to going back and watching Tennant. Very weird. Of course, the Doctor I feel most like watching right now is Pertwee, so go figure.