Monday, March 19, 2018

Love, Simon

I went to see this teen gay romance this weekend. Yes it's a little bit cheesy, and the whole mystery of Blue's identity made me feel contrary enough to guess that maybe one of the girls was gay. Did any of the posts specifically say he was a boy? Or was it just the lack of the word "lesbian" rather than "gay" that led to the assumption of gender? I don't know. I never read the book. I also find the idea of a secrets website creepy, and it's weird that Leah urgently calls her friends about every post on the site, even when she doesn't know that it relates to Simon. Made me feel that she might be gossipy and gawking at the secrets, rather than sympathetic to them. I guess it's just the way young kids use social media nowadays.

The opening narration by Simon did seem a little too specific and insistently "I'm just like you" but then it's revealed later to be his introductory message to Blue, so that made it less annoying. After being outed, Simon was silly enough to think that things were somehow "easier" for the out black gay kid in his school, even though that guy gets bullied pretty regularly and his home life isn't perfect. It's a kind of stupid, self-absorbed blindness that comes with youth and white privilege I guess; after all, Simon's not perfect. When being blackmailed, he manipulated his friends pretty cavalierly, but I'm glad that they eventually made up. Nice happy rom-com, even if it was another "coming out" story.

I did like Tony Hale's role as the principal. He was very funny, and so was the drama teacher.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Midseason launches

Timeless hit the ground running with their season 2 premiere. An explosion, then WW1 (aka the Great War) and Marie Curie. I almost forgot that Emma was Rittenhouse, but they used her nicely as an enforcer, and at the end Garcia Flynn gets recruited to join the Time Team in hunting down the sleeper agents. I guess this is a reasonable explanation about how Lucy began working with him and wrote that future diary that he had in season 1.

Deception premiered at the same time, and it was okay, though I didn't like the reveal that he had a secret twin brother all this time, and it started with their magician father making them share one identity from childhood. What a way to screw up some brothers for your career! Where was the mother in all this? A manipulative creep too, or a passive enabler like the mother in The Family Fang? Who knows. I have just recently finished my DVDs of The Magician with Bill Bixby, a previous take on a magician mystery show. In comparison, Deception is a flashier, bigger-budget thing, with a whole team of magic assistants/illusion designers helping the lead. I find him kind of smarmy, though, rather than charming, and I don't like the female villain with two eye colors, 'cause she's giving off female Moriarty/Irene Adler vibes from Elementary. I'll give it a couple of more episodes to improve, but if it doesn't, I've already got a fluffy, Castle-like show in Private Eyes.

In theaters I recently saw Game Night after the great reviews. Jason Bateman doesn't play a jerk, but his character is super-competitive with his brother. There was some cringey humor in the beginning about sexual inadequacies, but once the game night got into full swing, things were more fun and lively. The twists were interesting, though I was kind of hoping I'd see a staircar during the airport scene. Too bad. Apparently I missed some after-credits scene with the Denzel Washington look alike, so I'll probably go see it again.

Chaos Cabinet

Wow, Tillerson was just fired, not long after he agreed with Theresa May that the Russians poisoned a spy and his daughter in Salisbury, UK. Can Trump BE any more obvious about favoring Russia? Of course I saw a report that Tillerson got fired on Friday, but there's a contradicting report that he didn't know he was fired until the tweet today, so it's all a muddled mess as usual. This shitshow is exhausting, and the job shuffling sure is not gonna help Trump prepare for the upcoming North Korea meeting.

Meanwhile, Florida did recently pass a minor gun control law, which includes a program for allowing school employees to carry guns. I'm glad the MSD students aren't satisfied with just that; they are continuing to push for federal legislation and their March walkouts/rallies. Keep it up! Make the NRA toxic! Don't back down until we get real change nationwide. Trump is trying to change the subject to violent video games, and his new "school safety plan" is going to be run by Betsy DeVos, of all people. Nevermind that this crap about arming teachers wouldn't do a thing to prevent shootings in churches, movie theaters, concerts, etc. We need universal background checks and bans on these weapons of war.

Good luck in the Pennsylvania special election today. If you're there, go vote!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

New Horrors

There's been disturbing news that ICE has been detaining Vietnamese refugees indefinitely, because they can't deport them under the 2008 agreement with Vietnam. Really scary. I hope the lawsuit can stop this.

Trump has been talking shit about gun control too, and the Democrats had hope of passing something, but the NRA went to change Trump's mind again. Just like on DACA, which I'm still worried about, though they're temporarily safe because the Supreme Court rejected the case. Still, somehow we gotta break the impasse, get something done for all the people who can't wait until November elections.

For example, there's so many in Puerto Rico that can't wait that long for help. More fucking blackouts and now water restrictions. Mueller, can you indict some more people soon?

Oscars again

So apparently the Oscars are on tonight. I hope there will be some diverse winners, though I'm not sure that the expanded Academy membership will really result in radically different choices yet. Oscars are less white than before but they still snubbed a lot of deserving women and people of color. At least Casey Affleck withdrew from presenting, and some men are trying to show their support for TimesUp. Hollywood still has a long way to go regarding #MeToo and pay inequality; hopefully the sale of the Weinstein Company will be a step in the right direction.

Meanwhile, in the UK a bunch of teen activists remade some movie and TV posters with black casts. I appreciate that one of the teens mentioned other people of color: "it’s about making a black show. Or a southeast Asian show. Any person of colour should feel like they’re accurately represented in the media. It should be about making shows that are authentic to those people." I do wish there were more diversity in British shows. Last year I watched an interesting period show called The Indian Doctor, and there have been some movies about Indian history and the British Raj lately. But they could do more contemporary stories and I really want that British Chinese Wok show to become a real series.

I'm annoyed that Disney recently pushed Mulan's release date to 2020. I guess I shouldn't be surprised by the delay since they only recently announced that they cast the lead. But it's still depressing. It's been so long since Asian Americans had any cultural phenomenon like The Joy Luck Club to be proud of, in the way that African Americans can be proud of Black Panther. So once again we wait, and still no news on an Anna May Wong biopic.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Back in Black

Black Lightning is back, and still as mysterious as ever about Gambi's past at "the agency" where apparently he knew Lady Eve. Meanwhile Anissa took more steps in her hero's journey and even rescued her mother from thugs. Unfortunately, then her father arrived, didn't recognize her, and fought her before realizing that she had powers too. Lynn and Jeff took her someplace (maybe wherever Lynn's living) to recover, and she woke up to discover that her dad is Black Lightning. Also, the Syonide character finally talked, which is a relief; I really hated the unnatural affectation of her standing around near Tobias, having no lines whatsoever. It didn't make her a more creepy assassin; it looked stupid and a way to cheap out on developing her character.

Meanwhile Lucifer continues to be boring regarding the Cain storyline and the love triangle. So he's going to try bringing Abel back to life, huh? How does that reverse the original murder or the curse? So stupid. Well, some new midseason shows are finally going to arrive in March, so I'll see if there's anything good among them.