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Media consumption Wednesday

Movies

The Bodyguard
Thai gun-fu/wire-fu action comedy. We stuck it on our Netflix queue several years ago because we like Tony Jaa. We started watching it with few expectations and ended up REALLY impressed. The director-star, Petchtai Wongkamlao, is a SUPERB actor and comedian. There are lots of very long choreographic gunfights and kung fu fights in various styles. Tony Jaa is on screen for only a few minutes in a scene set in a supermarket. The funniest scene was (no, I'm not going to tell you, it's funnier if you don't know what's going to happen). The star is a little plump but nothing is made of this. There is another fat guy in the movie who wears outrageous costumes (normally I wouldn't like this, but the people making fun of this character are portrayed as ridiculous and he is portrayed as dignified; also they make fun of his costumes and not his size, so it didn't bother me). One of the actors appeared to have Down Syndrome. On the less enjoyable side, there was some sexism and body mockery among some minor characters that did bother me, but the rest of the movie made up for it. For all that I liked it, I wouldn't recommend it as an introduction to these genres.

Guardians of the Galaxy
I made a separate post about this.

Episodics

The Wire
Seasons 1–4 were the best serious television I've ever seen. We had heard that Season 5 was good, but not as good as the other seasons. We watched three episodes and were not very happy with it, so we decided to stop watching. The episodes of Season 5 we watched had moments, but overall it was feeling meaner than the previous seasons, and we thought that some of the character development wasn't right. E.g. it really bugged me that McNulty went from all-but-teetotaling throughout season 4 to drunk-off-his-ass and cheating every night starting in episode 1 of season 5 and no reason was given for the change at all. I also looked at the plotline for the rest of the season and I didn't want to watch Omar or Prop Joe or Snoop getting killed although I'm sure the actors turned in great performances on those scenes.


Nonfiction

Robert Greenberg, Mozart: His Life and Music
Series of lectures by a professor of music. He is way over the top; listening to him is more like listening to a stand-up comedian than to a typical professor. But if you don't mind that or like it, it's fun. Of course he spends much of the time vociferously debunking various myths about Mozart's life. (One I didn't realize was a myth, although I should have, is that "Amadeus" is not Mozart's real middle name; that is, he was not christened that and didn't use it during his lifetime, except as a wordplay.) There are bits of good music, if you like Mozart music and/or his contemporaries. I thought Greenberg could have done a more thorough job of explaining what to listen for in the music, but he did do some of that.


Fiction

Kerry Greenwood, Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher #1)
Continuing

Tessa Harris, The Anatomist's Apprentice (Dr Thomas Silkstone Mysteries #1)
Narrated by Simon Vance, who is very skillful but I am starting to hate him. This series "uses a fictional character Thomas Silkstone to examine the beginnings of forensic science, anatomy and surgery" (sez Wikipedia) and is set in the late 1700s. There's a lot of dissection/autopsy porn. It's got a classic mystery plot (country estate, lots of suspects, dark family secrets revealed, etc.) that's done well until just before the end. There's also a romance, which I didn't find very compelling. I didn't like the ending very much.


Games

A New Beginning
Daedalus point-and-click game/story about time travel and environmentalism. I got sucked into it (there's good voice acting and the Bent Svensson character is interesting), but I didn't really like the story. There is an interesting female protagonist but she gets verbally abused a lot throughout the story (for incompetence), she has a technical job but constantly has to ask male characters about technical stuff, and then she sacrifices herself at the end to save the male protagonist. There were some things I liked about the gameplay, but I am not clever at lateral thinking (or grinding through trying every combination of possibilities) of the kind that this game often relies on for its puzzles, so a lot of the puzzles were too obscure for me, and I used a walkthrough.

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/851032.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. I prefer that you comment on Dreamwidth, but it's also OK to comment here.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
sabotabby
Aug. 20th, 2014 09:32 pm (UTC)
You're not missing very much with the Wire S5, as in my magical happy land it never happened.

[Spoiler (click to open)]At least one of the deaths you mentioned happens so quickly that the actor in question does not turn in much of a performance at all. Which, to give the show credit, is inherently shocking and so contrary to the usual TV narrative that it's a stroke of brilliance, but I'd still prefer to believe that character is alive and well.

I hated McNulty with the fiery heat of a thousand suns, so it did not surprise me that he reverted to behaving horribly. I'd have liked it if he turned out to be an actual serial killer. And then died. Instead of any of the aforementioned deaths.

Freamon, on the other hand, had no excuse to suddenly start acting like a tool.
firecat
Aug. 21st, 2014 12:50 am (UTC)
Which death?

I didn't hate McNulty per se so much as I hated that all the other characters let him be that way. I could hear them going "UGH WANT TO BRAIN MCNULTY BUT WRITERZ WON'T LET ME ARRGHH"
sabotabby
Aug. 21st, 2014 01:43 am (UTC)
Omar. It's completely random and senseless, in keeping with the spirit of the show.

I hated how the other characters enabled him too; it made them lesser. But he also reminded me a lot of one of my exes, which made him unbearable to watch. Saying a lot, too, because I like that actor a lot in other stuff.
firecat
Aug. 21st, 2014 06:10 am (UTC)
Yeah I saw a spoiler about that.

he also reminded me a lot of one of my exes

EEEEK. I'm sorry!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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