Great British TV

This admission is going to cost me readers, but you know I don’t shy away from controversy. Here is the terrible truth: I am not a fan of Dr Who. It’s OK, I don’t instantly turn it off if an episode comes on, but I don’t trouble myself to keep up with the series.

But that could change. I stumbled across this phenomenal episode that I’m going to share with you all.

What season was Rowan Atkinson the Doctor? I could watch more of that.



That description is exactly right: Logan is not a movie for kids. It’s grim, gory, and extremely violent, and much of that violence involves a child (who does give better than she gets, but still — that’s not a lesson you want your child to learn).

It’s also played as an “end” to the X-Men franchise, but it really isn’t. Everyone is dead, except for Wolverine (Logan) and Professor X, and a few rare, scattered individuals who are being hunted down. The ending (which I won’t reveal) puts close to the saga, and Hugh Jackman has said he won’t be reprising the role, but that’s no real termination — it leaves a heck of a lot of questions wide open that could, in a sufficiently venal film industry, justify a few more prequels to this story to explain how it ended up in such a deplorable state.

But still, I enjoyed it. It’s not a great movie, but it’s an engaging one, and it focused on the human side of the story. What happens when demi-gods grow old and have to face their own mortality? What do you do when old dreams die, you’ve lost hope, and the vitality you relied on begins to fade? That’s far more interesting than trying to see how many city blocks an overpowered superhero can demolish in an afternoon.

Recommended. It makes you think a little bit in addition to keeping the action flying.

Oscar time tonight! I’ll skip it.

Time to consider the Academy Awards, or not. This year it’s going to be terrible, I can tell, because I think there are two phenomenal movies that absolutely deserve to win, and that we’ll be rewatching with pleasure years from now, and one picture that is total crap and will probably sweep the awards. It means that there is no way I will sit up to watch the whole thing. Besides, I’m a bit sick right now and would rather lie in bed hacking up a lung than see La La Land win.

So here, in order of my preference, are my choices.

Arrival: This is what good science fiction movies are supposed to be: thoughtful, unsettling, with ideas that will make you question what you would do. Wait, she had the child knowing exactly what would happen to her? Forget the aliens, there is a moral dilemma to consider, and there is a character who was strong enough to take the good with the bad.

Hidden Figures: This one was amazing, intense, enraging, and affirming. It makes me want to shake all those people who claim that science is apolitical and march them into the theater to watch it. I want to watch it again, and if I do, I’d probably rank it as #1 this year. And then if I watched Arrival again, I’d flip-flop.

Hell or High Water: A grim slice of Americana. Good, and I’d compare it to a previous year’s Nebraska — definitely worthy, but I’m needing my entertainment to carry a little bit of hope nowadays.

Hacksaw Ridge: Nope. Nope nope nope. Mel Gibson graphically tortures another Christ-figure for hours. He’s a master of a nasty little genre, I’ll give him that, but I’d rather not ever see another film like this one.

La La Land: It reminded me of Birdman, another movie that raked in the awards because it was about how wonderful and gifted actors are, and how much they suffer for their craft. Two hours of narcissistic wanking.

Then there are movies I haven’t seen yet. I hear great things about Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea, and if half of them are true, it was actually a great year for movies. Too bad the Hollywood masturbation movie will clean up.


Manchester by the Sea



OK, those are my irrelevant choices — irrelevant because I have no say at all in this popularity contest. You also don’t have any say, but do go ahead and say what you think here, anyway.

Yes, I liked a movie

We just got back from a showing of Hidden Figures.


I know, I usually have something snarky and dismissive to say about the movies I see, but with this one…I just can’t. It’s inspiring and honest and strong, and it ought to win all the awards, and the actors and writers and director need to be rewarded with great careers, and there ought to be more movies made like this. So yeah, go see it.

OK, maybe I can say something rude: the Sixties were truly screwed up. We have gotten slightly better, even if we now have a gang of awful people running the country who want to roll all our gains right back. See it and feel even more inspired to fight back against the Nazis.

It’s a Pink FlyDay

I’m a big fan of Pink, and the latest story makes me like her even more. At the Superbowl half-time show, Lady Gaga apparently did some acrobatics on a wire, which is something Pink also does at her shows, and some people seemed to think that she “owns” that kind of routine (which is obviously absurd, but I guess they just wanted to stir up a fight). Pink shut them down hard, and shut them down beautifully.

Then this morning, while I was at the gym doing my little work out with my iPhone drowning out the horrible Sirius XM background noise there, Pink came up by chance on my playlist. This song:

It’s a nice song, but recent events have made it seem remarkably quaint, I think. We’ve gone from the dithering, privileged, incompetent boob of a president the song was written for to one that is a malignant narcissist, and the song just seems well-intentioned but inadequate now. This is a time for angry songs.

She has a few of those, too. It’s FlyDay for me, which means I’m about to spend an hour or two scrubbing maggots out of fly bottles. I’m planning on bopping to Pink while I do it, at least.