Black Panther

Yeah this is a late review, but overall very well done. The one thing I didn't like is the fact that all the Africans spoke to each other in heavily accented english. Of course this gets into cultural sensitivity -- do you make them speak their own language (which opens the minefield of selecting, or inventing, a "natural" language for them) and make it subtitled, or just have them pronounce English in a more western way? The heavy accent infantilizes either the characters (look who can't pronounce English correctly!) or the audience (look who has no patience for subtitles!) and for me gets in the way of thinking about the actual movie itself.

Does that make me a racist?


Thread Thing

Mommy's doing the thread thing again!



So Netflix has suckered Will Smith into making a sci-fi movie for them. Bright is exclusive content that shows the modern world -- if magic, elves, orcs, et al were actually real. Smith is a cop who's been saddled with LAPD's diversity hire of the first orc to qualify as a police officer, and hijinks ensue. The movie is very much an action/adventure without having to be restrained in what it actually shows on the screen. So the gunplay is excessive, the blood spatters gratuitous, the language salty, and the dancers topless. Overall it's a reasonable movie, one I don't regret seeing; however on its own it isn't something that I'd watch again and again -- or even, frankly, again. One thing I will say for Netflix is that it's easy to stop in the middle of something and pick it up again later, a viewing rhythm that fits my current activity level pretty well.


Blade Runner 2049

Visually and aurally stunning. I liked the story arc the first time through. Doesn't stand up to consideration, though I continue to watch it for the images. I don't know if it will become the "cult hit" it needs to be to generate future examples.

The problem for me is that "building replicants as a slave class" is fine on its own justification, however it doesn't explain why said slave class has to be indistinguishable -- even by experts -- from the real thing. A slave class only makes sense if you can get more work per unit cost out of it than a real person, or if additional costs are acceptable because a real person wouldn't cooperate. Giving replicants the ability to reproduce, as Tyrell did as his last gift before the blackout, makes even less sense. The whole thing just isn't reasonable to me.