Swapping Kirks via Deepfake @WilliamShatner #StarTrek #Deepfake

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Sundays are now lazy days for me. Going forward, I’m just going to re-post other people’s work or just do something silly. Today, it’s using Deepfake to swap the Original Series actors into 2009+ Star Trek.

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“Slow Burn” Watch: Bloodline @lindacardellini @JacindaBarrett @NorbertLButz @OfficialChloeS @Netflix #GoodWatch

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As I recently mentioned, Bloodline was a suggestion from an internet article to fans of Ozark. I’ve learned not to take those suggestions (or ones directly from Netflix) seriously, but some further research disclosed an incredible cast. I had to give it a watch.

First off, Ben Mendelsohn gets better every time I see him. Rogue One is my favorite Star Wars movie, but Director Orson Krennic was fairly straightforward; dare I say one-dimensional. His portrayal of Danny Rayburn stole the show and won him an Emmy. Mendelsohn wasn’t the only actor to put on a memorable performance. Linda Cardellini, Kyle Chandler, Sissy Spacek, Jacinda Barrett, Sam Shepard, Norbert Leo Butz, and Chloë Sevigny all put in solid (or better) performances.

My problem with the show is, as I explained yesterday, that there was too much content within the season. When I binge a show, I’m looking to get through it fairly quickly; otherwise, I’d be watching network TV (which, of course, I still do). When the first season is 13 episodes of at least 50 minutes each, that drags for me. The more I’m forced to watch, the more I identify certain scenes as disposable, making it even worse. This doesn’t seem like a fair criticism. The creators are trying to give me my money’s worth, which I appreciate, but it just doesn’t work for me under the circumstances. Season one ended with a cliffhanger that isn’t enough of a hook to get me to keep watching. Maybe I’ll change my mind, but there are many other shows I want to watch, so this has slid to the bottom of my list of priorities.

Ultimately, it was a good show often with great acting; just one that doesn’t motivate me to keep watching. As always, YMMV.

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Neat Watch: Brave New World @peacockTV #GoodWatch

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NBC Peacock offered their original series, Brave New World, free of charge last weekend. I liked it a lot. The episodes are between 40-50 minutes long, and there are nine of them. From the Peacock website:

In a utopia whose perfection hinges upon control of monogamy and privacy, members of the collective begin to question the rules, putting their regimented society on a collision course with forbidden love and revolution.

In a sense, it was a horror movie for me, but I don’t expect everyone to feel that way. This is probably best described as science-fiction, though it’s also referred to as Utopian or Dystopian. I think of it as trying to achieve the same sort of vibe as Westworld. It’s a different story, and they carve their own path, so I’m not accusing them of doing anything wrong. Among the show’s stars are three actors with whom I’m familiar: Alden Ehrenreich, Hannah John-Kamen, and Demi Moore.

There’s a scene near the end of episode 4 that really hits me. I’m not sure if this is the intention, but it basically says (to me) that you don’t need soma (their mood-improving drug) because there’s music in the world. I doubt that was the precise intent, especially in light of a scene in episode 5, but that’s at least close (or part of) what they’re trying to say.

Is it good? Yes. I liked it a lot and will watch subsequent seasons. However, there’s too much good stuff on Peacock, as well as the other streaming services for which I’m already paying, for me to add another bill. I’ll probably join for a month and spend a weekend watching season 2 and a couple of other shows.

Unfortunately, if you want to watch it now, you’ll have to subscribe to Peacock’s pay service. As always, YMMV.

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Jarvis from Endgame #movie #MCU @PaulBettany

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Sundays are now lazy days for me. Going forward, I’m just going to re-post other people’s work or just do something silly. Case and point:

Bettany-Jarvis
It’s true.

Fight me, unless you’re IQ is over 50, in which case you know I’m right.

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Below Average Watch: #Stardust @netflix #GoodWatch #QuarantineLife

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I had never heard of 2007’s Stardust before someone recently posted about it on Facebook. He said he loved it, and it’s streaming on Netflix, so I thought I’d give it a chance.

Bleck!

I was bored to tears. By the time it picked up a little bit, I was so un-invested (<- not really a word, but you know what I mean) in the characters that it was too late to win me over. The story follows a half-faerie guy who looks like Daredevil and goes on a mission to save Claire Danes, who’s really a comet or something. Ugh. So trite and poorly executed. It’s based on a 1999 book by Neil Gaiman, and the cast was incredible (Mark Strong, Robert Deniro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Peter O’Toole, Ricky Gervais, Jason Flemyng, the best Superman, and so many others), so I really expected to like it. I didn’t, and I stand with but a few.

I know. “Bad nerd!” As always, YMMV.

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Why Henry Cavill Is the Best Superman #movie #DCEU

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Sundays are now lazy days for me. Going forward, I’m just going to re-post other people’s work or just do something silly. Today, I’m going to answer a controversial question among nerds: Who is the best Superman?

Answer: Henry Cavill.

Why? Because I said so.

FYI, I saw this a couple days after writing this post.

Fighting the Justice League was also my #1.

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Excellent Watch: The Old Guard #movie #GoodWatch #QuarantineLife @CharlizeAfrica @Netflix

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I was not expecting to like this movie because of how trite the premise is, but I absolutely did. “A group of mercenaries, all centuries-old immortals with the ability to heal themselves, discover someone is onto their secret, and they must fight to protect their freedom.” Seriously? Haven’t there been enough movies like this? None of you are going to improve upon the Highlander!

But this was really good. Charlize Theron plays the oldest among four immortals now acting as mercenaries. As their leader, she’s been guiding their actions in an unexpected way. In addition to what’s written above, the crux of the movie is that a new immortal is “born” for the first time in centuries. The movie has a few nice touches throughout, not the least of which is a horrific incident occurring in Ms. Theron’s backstory. Chiwetel Ejiofor is pretty good in it as well, but when is he not?

I know, I know. How could I possibly get behind this? Well, it’s all in the execution. There’s obviously going to be a sequel, and I’ll set a Netflix reminder for it.

As always, YMMV, but if you don’t like it, you’re in the minority.

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Long Movie: Batman v. Superman Ultimate Edition #movie #Superman #Batman #DCEU

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I liked Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, but because it currently has a 62% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I can’t say it’s a Guilty Pleasure. I do hear a lot of hate from my social media connections, though, and many of them have told me that they actually liked the Ultimate Edition because of the additional information it provides. (One suggested that the same thing could be said about the Watchman Extended Cut.) I agree that the additional scenes improve BvS, but that raised a question for me: Why not keep them in the cinematic release?

The Ultimate Edition is 3 hours and 3 minutes long (including credits). I’ve seen 3-hour movies in the theater, so if the scenes are already filmed and modified in post production (i.e., paid for), why waste them? Give people their money’s worth, improve the movie, and your reviews will be better. I can think of three responses to my question.

Response 1: You want some deleted scenes to make the home release more enticing.
Counterpoint: If people don’t like your movie, nothing will entice them to buy your home releases.

Response 2: I’m operating from hindsight. There was no way to know that the deleted scenes would have improved the movie.
Counterpoint: Does anyone really think that the test audiences didn’t like the deleted scenes? They made the movie much better. Aren’t filmmakers professionals? Why can’t they figure out how to use test audiences to get the right result, especially for movies with such huge budgets?

Response 3: Three hour (or more) movies are too long.
Counterpoint: Bring back the intermission so that people with short attention spans and weak bladders can handle it. Oh, snap!

Who’s got a response #4? I’ll defeat that one too.

I can’t believe they cut Jon Stewart. At this point, I suspect that cutting scenes is simply a strange sort of tradition among filmmakers. 

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