Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014

I was very happy to read that five Guantanamo detainees were released to Kazakhstan, and that in fact, Obama had been releasing many prisoners this year, in an effort to close the prison. The NY Times article says that Chuck Hagel was trying to slow him down, but now he's resigning. I hope Obama can release all the prisoners eventually, then it won't matter that Congress always refuses to fund closing it down. So this move certainly gives me hope for the new year.

I also read that Greg Abbott asked about expanding Medicaid. He's still going to be a shitty governor of Texas, but if he'll do this, than he'll be slightly less shitty. I mean, he might take credit for helping people while pretending that it's not Obamacare, but who cares about credit, if people can get insurance? I still wish the state would turn purple, if not blue, soon.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Allan in Kansas City

I noticed that Lyndsy Fonseca has a recurring role on Agent Carter, so I will try the show for her sake. But if it's just as godawful as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., then I'm bailing on it, because I'm so over Marvel.

After all, I already have a fun series about a female agent solving period cases--The Pinkertons. They've recently started rerunning the show from the beginning, so now I have seen Allan Pinkerton introduce Kate Warne to his son William. Allan describes her as his "best man" and initially brings her to replace Will on a case in Kansas City, Missouri. It began as a series of bank robberies, but soon escalates into train robbery, murder, kidnapping, and attempts to restart the Civil War by some Southern "bushwhackers." There's even mention of "coal torpedos"--bombs which are disguised as lumps of coal so that when you toss it into a furnace or boiler, there's a huge explosion. Rumor had it that a coal torpedo sank the Sultana steamboat (which was in an episode of History Detectives).

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Trans Watson

In other news I did the Nook trade-in program so I could get a discount on a new Samsung Nook. It's good so far, and the web browser doesn't constantly crash like my Nook HD had been doing lately.

Also, I recently learned about this kickstarter for a feminist version of Holmes featuring a transwoman as Watson. I'm not crazy about the gimmicky S(her)lock title, but everything else sounds good. They even mention that they are adapting canon stories such as Copper Beeches, so hopefully that means they will feature strong women in the canon like Violet Hunter, and will reflect a variety of crimes and cases, instead of being about murder all the damn time. I hope they'll do Irene Adler right, the way that Carole Nelson Douglas did, or maybe they'll genderflip her. Who knows? I don't have money to contribute just now, but I hope they'll make their kickstarter goal and release the show on iTunes (which is mentioned in their backer rewards), so I can buy the episodes then. Good luck, ladies!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Sony Reverses

Well, that was a sudden turnaround. Sony decided to release The Interview after all, though in more limited release. I've looked for theaters near me that have it, and many of the showings are sold out, so I might have to wait a few days or a week to see it. There's also talk of Sony releasing it on video services soon, so we'll see.

I did go to see Night at the Museum 3, out of continued fondness for Ben Stiller. I actually own quite a few movies he's in, and did recent rewatches of The Royal Tenenbaums where he was great. Night at the Museum was pretty fun in the London setting, and I liked how he passed on the mantle to Rebel Wilson's character.

While I was at the movies, I saw a trailer for the new Peter Pan film, and it appears to be a new weird origin story where the pirate captain is Bluebeard and young James Hook is an ally of Peter. It looked confusing, and I'm kind of over Peter Pan, especially with the recent disappointing NBC musical. I'll stick to rewatching my DVD of the 2003 film with Jason Isaacs I guess.

Later edit: And The Interview is simultaneously coming out on video services like Youtube. I wish it had come out on iTunes instead, but I read an article claiming that Apple didn't agree to a deal. Too bad. I hope when I do watch the movie that it will be in a theater of people who had planned to see the movie anyway before the whole hacking stunt. I did, because of Rogen and Franco. I worry that people will watch who don't even like the movie or care, and just want to do their duty to piss off North Korea.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cuba and North Korea

Wow, what a day. Obama is normalizing diplomatic relations with Cuba, and the Senate confirmed a dozen judges, including three in Texas. (Plus they confirmed the Surgeon General nominee earlier this week.) I read that Obama can't lift the embargo on Cuba without Congress approval, but he can establish an embassy and allow trade. I hope things can change; it's been decades of nothing, and the Cold War is over.

In other news, I was disappointed that Sony pulled The Interview, because of the threats. I'm not sure I really believe that these "Guardians of Peace" hackers are actually North Koreans, because surely they would want to destroy some more important US target than Hollywood films. I do know that Sony had been hacked since Thanksgiving, and had many leaks, so they had to take the threats seriously, but it's still discouraging that all the movie theaters had to drop the film. I wanted to see it because I do enjoy Rogen and Franco together; it reminds me of their Freaks and Geeks days.

Anyway, I think that the hackers are being counterproductive. If they had ignored this movie, it would have been just a silly comedy that might get lost in the shuffle of way too many Christmas movies this year, and would be forgotten. But instead, the hackers have just drawn attention to it and given it way too much publicity. That's why it seems to me that the hackers must have some other motive, and they're just using the movie controversy for cover. I wish Sony would release the film some other way, but for now I guess I just have more money to see other movies this Christmas. Oh, and to buy the Season 4 Arrested Development DVD.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Peter Pan

I watched the NBC live musical this week and couldn't really get into it. I've never read J. M. Barrie's play, only his novel, and I think I would have preferred a play instead of a musical. It felt like way too many songs (and I've heard they added songs to the original musical), and with the commercials stretching it out to 3 hours, I got so bored. I only really liked two of the songs, the lullaby sung by Mrs. Darling and the True Blood Brothers song, carefully reworked to be less offensive to Native Americans. (Also loved the actress playing Tiger Lily.) I thought the show was going well once Peter taught the kids to fly and they went to Neverland, but instead all the action shut down for a scene on the Jolly Roger.