Sunday, January 4, 2015

Quick Fire Thoughts on Film and Television

Having two weeks off for Christmas and New Years gave me the opportunity to catch up on some entertainment that I had missed.  I tried to keep my night shift hours somewhat intact so that further enabled me to watch more while they were sleeping.  Anyway, I thought I might take a moment and share a few thoughts on what I have seen recently. 

Guardians of the Galaxy: I knew the name of the team from the comic books but that is it.  I had no previous knowledge of them at all.  I watched it while my children were in school for the last day.  When they got home we all watched it again.  When my son got up the next day we watched it yet again! Guardians of the Galaxy is a big hit in my household.  The more I see of the Marvel Cinematic Universe the more I see that they have their crap together and took these projects seriously.  Guardians is probably close to my favorite Marvel movie of all time so far.  I really feel like the only thing The Avengers has over Guardians is the all-star lineup of classic Marvel heroes united together.  I am really looking forward to the sequel to see where the story goes.  DC had better get their act together if they want to attempt a Justice League movie because The Avengers and Guardians has really raised the bar while the DC moves have definitely been hit or miss.

Z Nation: Yeah, I know that SyFy probably had this thing slapped together to try to catch some of the popularity of The Walking Dead.  Of course, what better company is there to make it than The Asylum? They are well known for mockbusters such as Transmorphers.  There is a difference with Z Nation, however, because it has gained a following.  I will not try to convince you that Z Nation is better or on par with The Walking Dead because that is not the way to look at the two shows.  Obviously, The Walking Dead is a serious drama series.  Z Nation takes a different approach and goes for the wild and gonzo. Proof of that can be seen in some of the crazy encounters on the show.  There is a baby that gets zombified and suddenly can run around like crazy when it was in a car seat before being turned.  The cast also has to deal with radioactive zombies, biker gangs, zombies on Viagra(!), and it goes on.  Consider Z Nation the game sessions that take place at home after fans that are gamers watch The Walking Dead.

The Maze Runner: It seems that post-apocalyptic and/or dystopian fiction aimed at a young adult audience seems to be in fashion at the moment.  I read The Hunger Games trilogy at the suggestion of my wife and I have enjoyed the movies so far.  I watched Divergent but I just really did not get into it.  I hear the books are pretty good but I have not read any of them.  I took a chance of The Maze Runner and I enjoyed it quite a bit.  I have watched it several times since I first watched it.  The movie still continues to be engaging and enjoyable.

(Robotech) Macross Saga: I have started working my way through all three of the Robotech series.  I am still on the first series at the moment.  I can see why my buddies and I liked it at the time.  Details to come later...

Rome Season 1: I received this for Christmas and I just got started on it.  Rome seems pretty cool so far.

The Hobbit 1 & 2: Now the thoughts that will probably bring the villagers out in large groups with pitchforks and torches.  I enjoyed Jackson's take on the LOTR film adaptations.  It is not unusual for me to pull them out and watch them back to back during the weekend.  I enjoyed the animated version of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.  I was not a big fan of the animated Return of the King.  The point being that I understand there will be differences between the books and any adaptations based on those books. Obviously, print and film and are two different sorts of media and what works in one will not always work in the other.  I am also not a Tolkien purist by any means.

I received the extended version of the first two films in The Hobbit trilogy for Christmas.  I had seen them both once before but I sat down to watch them during my time off from work.  I would have thought that since Jackson was involved with these films and they were part of a larger story then I would dig them too. These two films have left me completely underwhelmed.  The dwarves just seem goofy to me.  The scene with the dishes in Bilbo's house was just silly.  The Goblin King seemed ludicrous to me.  The bridge in Goblin Town falling hundreds of feet with no injuries or death seemed more at home in an action video game. Radagast and Rastabell Rabbits fleeing from the Orcs reminds me of the old Benny Hill high speed chase scenes.  Why must Radagast have bird crap on his head?  The kung fu barrel riding is absurd.  You get the point.  The films look great but I am just not digging them.  I will see the third one for the sake of completion but that is the only reason I am interested.  Maybe I should read The Hobbit again to see if I am that far off base with my impression?       


  1. I am with you 100% on The Hobbit. I think if Jackson had just stuck with the main story, like he did with LOTR trilogy it would have been amazing! LOTR worked so well because Jackson paired it down to the two main plots rather than try to cram every singled iota of info into it. With the Hobbit he took the exact opposite approach and crammed in stuff from all the appendices into what should have been an enjoyable three hour single movie. My family insisted on seeing the first two in the theater. I refused for the last one.

    I think the apocalyptic/dystopian YA novel has hit its peak...I hope anyway. I'm kind of getting burnt out on all of them and I haven't even seen that many of them!

    We are big, big Marvel fans here and often take Marvel Marathon days when we want something to watch, but can't make a decision!

    1. Yeah, that's it and you expressed it better than I. I watched all 3 of the LOTR films in the theater. Hindsight being 20/20 and all, I feel fortunate I didn't plop down the money to see any of The Hobbit films in the theater.

      I'm with you. Hollywood needs to concentrate on finishing those series they've started instead of throwing another film adaptation together. I'm definitely going to see all of The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner films but something else in that field is going to have to grab my attention to sit down and watch.

      Marvel marathons are a great idea! I better grab my DVDs and get started...