Recent Movies and TV

  • The Rising (2022): Small-town ghost tries to solve her own murder. It's pretty good. Reminded me a bit of I Still See You.

  • From (2022): Idiots trapped in Twilight Zone "Mayberry" pocket dimension; at night carnivorous ghosts come out. The individual moments of survival-horror are ok, but by the end of the season absolutely nothing is resolved or explained.

  • Moon Knight (2022): This was just so boring. Why was Oscar Isaac in something so boring?

  • Russian Doll S02 (2022): So they swapped out the time loop for time travel, and it was fun, and lower stakes and much simpler than the first season, but it was still decent... and then the last two episodes went completely gonzo and were amazing.

  • Where is Anne Frank? (2022): Anne's imaginary friend comes to life in the present day as an avatar of the diary, and goes looking for her and has adventures. It's cute, and the animation is great.

  • Gaslit (2022): I would not have expected another re-telling of Watergate to keep my attention, but Julia Roberts is fantastic in it, and this version really plays up what a bunch of bumbling morons they all were.

  • Star Trek Strange New Worlds (2022): This is the greatest Star Trek series so far. A+, no notes.

  • The Lost City (2022): I gather that Sandra Bullock is one of those super-connected Hollywood people who can get any movie made that she wants, and what she wanted was to make a goofy Romancing The Stone variant. Well, good for her, it's really funny.

  • Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022): The first five minutes were a re-cap of Ep 1-3, which was a pretty deep hole they chose to dig themselves into right out of the gate. I mean we're talking Sarlacc-deep here.

    Remember that space ship model that Luke had in the garage? Were you hoping to get an origin story for that? You weren't? Too bad.

    It's just making me re-angry about so many things I haven't thought about in years, like, "WTF does 'princess' mean to these people, your government and monarchy is completely incoherent!"

    Obi-Wan's day job is slicing little slabs of meat off of the giant, bloated, rotting corpse of some kind of dinosaur. I feel like this is a bit too heavy-handed a metaphor for the entire franchise.

    The Big Bad ("Third Sister") is fine, and Baby Leia is surprisingly tolerable, but did I really want to see a show about a snarky pre-teen whose only skill or function is getting kidnapped? I really didn't.

  • Night Sky (2022): A retired couple have enjoyed having a Stargate under their shed for years; finally, some cultists come a-knockin'. I enjoyed it (JK Simmons is always fantastic) but it definitely follows some recent cynical and manipulative TV screenwriting trends: first, the plot advances very slowly for the first 7 episodes, and then in the 8th, they throw everything at the wall, tossing out like 5 unrelated pieces of exposition as cliffhangers for season 2; and second, that none of these problems would even exist if these characters weren't keeping secrets from each other for no reason other than to advance the plot.

  • Shining Girls (2022): This show is terrible. I had read the book, which I enjoyed, but it was a while ago, so I can't tell you precisely how they diverged, but the show is just bad. There's a serial killer who lives in the time-traveling House of Mystery, so he gets to leave his clues/trophies out of order, and try again until he gets it right. One victim inexplicably (as in they never explain it) gets away and retains her memory of Timeline Zero when the world resets around her at his every change. She convinces a few other people that she's not just delusional, that the world is really changing, and they are all almost immediately onboard with that -- and yet it takes them 7 episodes before anyone thinks, "hey, maybe it's time travel". Multiverse of Madness? Sure. Time travel? Now that's just crazy talk.

    I'm not sure if you, the viewer, were supposed to go into this show already aware that it was time travel, but since it's set in the gray-and-rainy 90s and jumps around to the equally-gray-and-rainy 40s and 80s, you would probably have been completely lost until like episode 5.

  • Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022): This was absolutely bonkers. Rarely have I seen a movie so committed to how bonkers it is. This is the movie that Matrix 4 should have been. In fact, here's what should have happened: you saw all the trailers and promo and interviews with Keanu and Carrie-Anne and then you got to the theatre and this played instead, with no explanation of why they weren't in it. Asked about it later, Keanu says, "I think the work speaks for itself." Michelle Yeoh will only take questions about Point Break. That's what should have happened.

  • Pom Poko (1994): Somehow I had missed that there was a Studio Ghibli cartoon about those raccoons with the enormous shape-shifting testicles. And also they're eco-terrorists.

  • V for Vengeance (2022): A couple of sisters who are also vampires go on a revenge road trip, for fambly. It's fun.

  • Angelyne (2022): This story is nuts, I loved it. Also, wow, the prosthetics! Not just the obvious, but also the aging makeup on the various characters was really well done.

  • The Man Who Fell To Earth (2022): I don't remember the original movie at all, except that it was really long and really boring and went nowhere and Bowie being in it did not redeem it at all. This show is the same, except that Bowie has been replaced by wink-wink references to Bowie lyrics.

  • Tom Swift (2022): This might be the worst thing I've ever seen on television, and I watched like a season and a half of Arrow.


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New York about to prohibit QR-code requirements

Congratulations to EFF for being consistently wrong about nearly everything relating to the ongoing pandemic that has killed nearly six million people so far. Is the coronavirus a major donor?

Here they are taking a victory lap for having written a 2 page letter supporting NY Assembly bill A07326A, which includes the provision:

§ 2183. Immunity passports. 1. Any covered entity that requires proof of COVID-19 immunization shall permit the use of physical immunity passports. No covered entity may require digital, electronic, or smart-phone-based proof of immunity.

Such paper documents are so trivially forged as to be 100% useless. EFF believes, as does SFDPH, that scribbling your name on someone else's vax card in Comic Sans counts as proof of vaccination. As I said to NBC back in January,

"We won't be safe until venues are able to require SMART Health QR codes and stop accepting paper cards, or photos of cards. And that won't happen until state or local governments mandate that," said Jamie Zawinski, a software developer who also owns a night club, DNA Lounge, in San Francisco. He requires customers to have the QR code or, for now, their paper CDC card.

DNA Lounge not only requires people to display the QR code, but it also scans the code using a smartphone app to verify that the codes are authentic -- making the club one of the few businesses anywhere in the U.S. to take that extra step.

But hey, as per longstanding EFF tradition, it's too little too late. (I assume the Latin version of that is on their coat of arms.)

We now live in a world where you will never again be asked to provide proof of vaccination, or ever be required to take even the most basic precautions to protect someone other than yourself.


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"Oh no."

Internet Explorer is now incompatible with Microsoft products, as announced by the company in a blog post Wednesday.

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