Here’s a quick review of some of the movies, television shows, music, and other media that I’ve consumed and thought was worth sharing for the month of April 2018.
Ready Player One – I went into this movie mostly blind to the story or plot. I just knew that there was a ton of references (and Easter eggs) to some of my favorite pop culture items and that there was a battle between two camps – the users of a network, and a corporation trying to control that network. Sounds a lot like the network neutrality fight, doesn’t it? It’s a fun movie that definitely requires multiple watches to catch all of the background eye candy.
The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling – I’ve long been a fan of Garry’s standup when I’ve seen clips, but I’ve never gotten around to seeing his shows – something I desperately need to fix. However this documentary by Judd Apatow was such an interesting look into the complex person that Garry was all told by older interviews with Garry, and Judd talking to Garry’s friends, coworkers and collaborators.
The Last Jedi – I watched this for the first time since the theatrical release a few weeks ago. I walked away with the feeling about the movie. I enjoyed the overwhelming majority of it, but there were some storylines I wish were a little tighter or went in a different direction – namely the Fin/Rose arc.
Avengers: Infinity War – Since this movie was just released this week I won’t say much – only that I loved it and I’ll be seeing it again in a few days.
Barry – Barry is a new show on HBO and I can’t recommend it more. It’s funny and original with a great cast. Bill Hader plays Barry, a former Marine, and now a hitman from the Midwest. He’s dissatisfied with how his life is going, and while on a job in Los Angeles he stumbles into an acting class lead by Henry Winkler and decides to try and become an actor.
Jessica Jones (Season 2) – I enjoyed Season 2 of Jessica Jones, but not nearly as much as Season 1. I would recommend it, but be aware that the best part of this series is the few brief moments we get of David Tennant as Killgrave.
The Punisher (Season 1) – I put off watching The Punisher on Netflix for a while. I don’t like many incarnations of this character because of how he is portrayed, and interpreted by his fans. The Punisher is a full out murderer. He’s not a hero. He’s not an anti-hero. He’s a murderer. Sure, he may be going after “bad guys” but that does not make his actions good. His symbol is glorified everywhere – the military, police departments, and “blue lives matters” supporters – groups that should most definitely NOT be glorifying a murderer.
All that said, I think the character was handled well for the most part. They tugged on a very important string – assimilating soldiers back into civilian life, and helping them cope with PTSD – something our government needs to do a lot more work on. I wouldn’t say that I enjoyed the show, more that I endured and survived it. I am glad, however, that I watched it.
That got real political for a post about TV shows and movies, but there is so much to unpack with this character that I felt it was deserved.
- Keep on Loving You by Cigarettes After Sex (Cover of REO Speedwagon) (Apple Music / Spotify)
- Higher Love by James Vincent McMorrow (Cover of Steve Winwood) (Apple Music / Spotify)
- S.O.B. by Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats (Apple Music / Spotify)
- Coolin’ Out by Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats (Apple Music / Spotify)
- When I Get to Heaven by John Prine (Apple Music / Spotify)
Action Comics #1000 – 2018 marks the 80th anniversary of the Man of Tomorrow, my favorite superhero ever. Issue #1000 contains a handful of short stories by authors and artists – including our first look at how Brian Michael Bendis will write Superman with an intro to his story which will continue in the Man of Steel miniseries.