Monday, July 31, 2017


I finally found a movie theater within 50 miles that's playing The Black Prince, but it's playing in Punjabi, with no English subtitles. Damn! Now I don't know if it will ever come to a theater where I can watch it. Maybe I'll have to wait for a DVD or streaming release.

I might end up having to watch the upcoming Judi Dench film Victoria and Abdul instead, which looks more like a cutesy, feel good film that probably overlooks the darker aspects of British rule in India. More Victorian nostalgia without the ugly reality of history.

Meanwhile Bateman says that AD season 5 begins filming in August. I hope Hurwitz doesn't focus so much on political parody that he neglects the actual family story threads and cliffhangers he left dangling. I want to see Gob and Tony Wonder!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Go See a Star War

Nerdist has a cute new Arrested Rebellion video, using Ron Howard's narration over the original Star Wars trilogy. They even play up the incesty angle with those Luke/Leia kisses. It's funny how often those movies and Arrested Development intersect, what with May the 4th/Cinco de Cuatro, George Michael's Star Wars home video, and most recently Ron Howard taking over the Han Solo film.

Meanwhile, I'm still hesitant to watch Jason Bateman's new Netflix series Ozark. It just looks so depressing and dark and has that same blue tinge that grimdark DC movies have. I know he wants to direct more and he likes playing jerks, but I don't like to watch him play jerks. (Well, other than the hypocritical, smug jerk that Michael Bluth occasionally reveals himself to be.) It's especially a turn off during a summer when most of the political world seems to be imploding. I couldn't ever go back to Bojack Horseman for the same reason.

Meanwhile Comic-Con had several announcements and previews for shows and movies. What used to be a fan event has turned into a venue for studios to promote their various franchises, whether they have to do with comics or not. Yet another summer press tour I guess. The only crack in their facade seems to the rift over the firing of Steven Whitmire as Kermit the frog.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Iron Road

I was recently looking for more movies starring Sam Neill, hoping for another gem like Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and I found this TV miniseries about Chinese railroad laborers in 1880s British Columbia. (The real star is Sun Li, though, not Sam Neill.) Apparently based on an opera, Iron Road is a coproduction made under a treaty between China and Canada, and it came out not long after Canada formally apologized for an immigrant tax imposed on Chinese laborers back then. The Chinese didn't just come to America to build our transcontinental railroads; they went to Canada as well, attracted by the myth of a Gold Mountain where they could become rich.

Sam Neill plays a railroad tycoon deep in debt, and Peter O'Toole has a smallish but significant part as a British agent in China supposed to hire 2,000 Chinese workers to finish the railroad. Unfortunately, he's too drunk and dissolute to get the job done, so the tycoon sends his playboy son to China to round up the workers. There's another son who's supposedly the good, responsible one, so James needs to prove himself to his family. While there, he meets Little Tiger, supposedly a young boy who works at the fireworks factory and does laundry on the side in order to learn English from the Brit. However, to me, it seems obvious from the start that Little Tiger is a woman. She's been living as a boy since her mother died, and she wants desperately to go to "Gold Mountain" to search for her father who disappeared there many years ago. She only has a faded photograph of him, and his face is unclear.