Things I Noticed Last Week – 3.2.2014

This is the first of what will hopefully be many, long-winded commentaries on things I have noticed throughout the week in the entertainment world. It won’t all necessarily be new things, but whatever it is that may have caught my eye throughout the week. I cannot make any promises it will be filled with humor or entertaining content, I can however guarantee it will be painful and will amuse only me. So here goes nothing… literally.

1. We had my fiancee’s niece and nephew over last weekend and her nephew kept bugging us about watching the Power Rangers. First and foremost I will admit I didn’t realize they even still created new seasons of the Power Rangers, but after a quick scan through Hulu, there it was in all of it’s “mighty morphin” glory. I hadn’t watched the show since it’s heyday in the 90’s but somehow it seemed like this new incarnation found a way to get even more low-budget and haphazardly thrown together. I had heard rumblings about a reboot movie in the works and will admit the child in me was jumping for joy but all I could pick out from the plot of the most recent series of intergalactic crime fighting teens is that for whatever reason they can summon the powers of all of their predecessors, which was weird and lost my attention quickly as it was way to busy and cluttered. Did I really want to see a reboot movie? Do I just remember my childhood memories through a set of Jason Lee Scott rose colored glasses?

Then, I saw this:

If you have yet to see this “dark reboot” or “deboot” of the Power Rangers you should probably drop everything you are doing and check it out. It is definitely NSFW and keep your kids in the other room. (They’ve also added a similar disclaimer to the video, along with information about how it is no way affiliated with the original creators.)

The short film made by Joseph Kahn, starring James Van Der Beek and Katee Sackhoff, has taken the internet and our childhoods by storm. What, according to numerous reports, was created as a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the trend of bleak versions of superhero stories, really works here. It definitely gives me hope a new and interesting version of this story can be told. It’s bloody, shocking, and regardless of what his intentions were, I hope someone gives Kahn a big movie soon. You’ll need to hurry up and watch it while it is still around. The original creators are fighting harder than Rita to kill off these Rangers for good.

2. It took me a little while to fully digest the Oscars. It definitely turned out to be one of the more interesting shows in the last few years. By the end of the night however, I was quite disappointed Boyhood didn’t take home the hardware it deserved.

A few years ago, I found myself rooting for The Hurt Locker of the big blue monster that was Avatar. It wasn’t until months ago, I realized just how naive that was. I’ve come to the conclusion when critical reception is approximately equal, the tie should always go to the film which will be more important to the history of cinema. Avatar is that film and I would bet Boyhood will be that film as well. I loved The Hurt Locker, but it is hard to imagine it will outlast the impacts from the gigantic blockbuster that is Avatar.

Like with Avatar, I wonder what more could Richard Linklater possibly have done? He spent 12 years of his life putting together a one-of-a-kind film following a child moving into adulthood. It’s like nothing we had ever seen and with the amount of work involved, it’s probably not going to start a trend.

Birdman was by no means a bad film, in fact I quite enjoyed it, but there was nothing I had never seen before. It was a film more memorable for great acting performances rather than and incredible achievement in filmmaking. When all is said and done, we will probably need at least five years before having an idea of which will better stand the test of time.

Here are some other observations:

  • I hope Graham Moore’s “stay weird” will be added to inspirational posters in school counseling offices for years to come. It’s a necessary message that everyone needs to hear.
  • How is it that we are living in 2015 and Patricia Arquette still has to discuss gender and wage equality? Shouldn’t we have this taken care of by now? How have we not balanced the playing field yet?!
  • Lady Gaga is crazy talented.
  • How did the Lego Movie not get nominated! I mean really!
  • That performance of Everything is Awesome was… AWESOME!
  • The performance and acceptance speech by Common and John Legend was extremely moving. I don’t know what I can say that hasn’t already been said, but again, it’s 2015, can’t we all get equal treatment?
  • NPH was a good but not great host. There were a few cringe-worthy moments and his comedic timing wasn’t always spot-on but I would like to see him get another crack at it if he wants one.
  • Someone give Wes Anderson a bleeping trophy! There aren’t many directors as unique as Wes.
  • John Travolta.
  • Did I miss Clooney? He wasn’t there right? They always point out George or at least crack a joke about him.
  • Eddie Redmayne was as excited as Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Cuba Gooding Jr., when accepting his best actor Oscar. It was glorious.

3. House of Cards is back and more ruthless than ever. Don’t worry, no spoilers here. I’m about 6 episodes in so no one better spoil for me either. There is a very special place in hell for people who post spoilers. I will say however, Claire is finally getting her time to shine, and Frank is still an awful, awful person.

I’ve been trying to take it easy with this season and actually enjoy it. People have always told me I don’t take my time when eating and wonder if I even taste my food. I have similar habits with Netflix original programming. The last two seasons I have literally gone on lock-down until I finished to ensure no one would spoil anything for me. I’m not going to do that anymore. As much as I love binge viewing, it has definitely created a “finish as fast as you can mentality” in order to ensure you stay ahead of sorry excuses for humans that give away key plot points and twists with total disregard for everyone else. If you spoil anything for me from this point forward, you are no longer my friend, family member, or acquaintance. You will be shunned. You’ve been warned.

4. Neill Blomkamp is working on some sort of sequel or prequel or something in between to the Alien triology. He wants to connect it to Alien and Aliens while somehow not referencing but also not diminishing the third enstallment of the series. I don’t really know what this will look like and quite frankly the idea isn’t very exciting to me. I really hate when Hollywood refuses to leave the classics alone. It’s one thing to remake the Power Rangers, it’s another thing entirely to mess with Alien. Apparently Sigourney Weaver is interested so I will take a wait and see approach and hope for the best. Blomkamp is certainly talented and the film, no matter how ill advised, should be in good hands.

5. Lastly, the world lost a true legend this week when Leonard Nimoy passed away. I’m extremely under-qualified to discuss the impact he had on science fiction as I was not a big Star Trek fan. I do however understand the cultural impact the show had and the role Mr. Nimoy played. His character Mr. Spock always taught his fellow crew members about tolerance and humanity through the most rational of lenses. His “live long and prosper” motto will surely not go forgotten and Mr. Nimoy will be missed.

This is just a taste of what is to come. I promise future versions will be better and have more content. Thank you for reading and stay tuned!