17 January 2016

What is up with Angie Tribeca?

Tomorrow we see a once in a lifetime television event, albeit one that's somewhat misguided. For reasons that generally escape me but I'll try to explore here, TBS has decided to premiere its new absurdist comedy show, Angie Tribeca in a massive 25-hour block marathon without commercials.

You're probably thinking the obvious - this is a shameless ploy to emulate Neflix viewing habits on broadcast television. Dumping a ton of content at once accomplishes exactly that, although the play is bizarre. Presumably, these episodes are thirty minutes long, which means the 10-episode season will complete in 5-hour blocks, which makes the 25-hour span make a little more sense. Supposedly the show is also procedural, which means viewers can tune in and out whenever they want.

This all seems like a marketing guy's really good pitch. The show comes from Steve and Nancy Carell, who while being two very funny people, certainly aren't known for their producing work. The big name here is Rashida Jones who seems to be going for full-on zany, which is a rare turn for her who's usually a lot more subtle. I'm all for it. The target seems to be every USA Network show ever (until recently), which is also ripe for parody.

The problem, though is that TBS's effort seems to be emulating the marathon-ing trend of show watching, but neglecting the more popular reason why Netflix is taking off - choice. Angie Tribeca still relies on people tuning in at a regulated start time (if only at least on the half-hour mark), and declines the option to choose the episode to watch. It's also tricky if an episode or two in the series is skipped, suddenly you have a five-hour wait on your hands.

Don't get me wrong here, I'm definitely tuning in today, and that alone has probably made their gamble worthwhile. Still, I would have totally tuned in if it was dropping Tuesday night at 10 pm. Supposedly a more traditional roll-out will commence starting with the "second" season, which is set to drop January 25th. So like...next week. That's assuredly a having your cake and eating it too situation, which is fine, but also reeks of an attempt to pander to new viewing styles without understanding why it's popular.

Angie Tribeca is on right now - are you tuning in?

11 January 2016

Top Junk We Want in 2016

Our looking-forward to post for 2015 turned out, as it is every year, to be really really bad. Ultimately there's just a bunch of crap that comes out all the time in an unending cycle of meaningless cultural consumption and regurgitation. So here's to 2016!! I'm sure this time around I'll be wrong and I'll actually enjoy some of these really great movies! Here we go, in the esteemable order by which I thought of them - the Top Movies We Want to See in 2016

Deadpool - February 12, 2016

Deadpool leads off what could possibly be the greatest February ever at the cinema. There are so many promises here. Ryan Reynolds, despite being a seemingly huge star, has never actually had a really promising box office hit under his belt. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) is his highest-grossing film, although that can hardly be attributed to him. The great irony has always been that Ryan Reynolds is obviously the perfect casting for Wade Wilson but the horrible bunging of the character within the rushed and clunky script is the primary reason that movie is hated by every fan everywhere. Couple that with Green Lantern (2011) and Blade: Trinity (2004) and Reynolds has hit the terrible comic book movie trifecta. Deadpool has promised to rectify all of that and stay true to a character whose mix of meta and dark humour is tricky to pin down. I'm game.


Hail, Caesar! - February 5, 2016

Hail, Caesar! leads off what could possibly be the greatest February ever at the cinema. That's right. The words "Most Coen Bros-esque Coen Bros movie ever" gets thrown around a lot, but Hail, Caesar! could take the title. After an assault year after year of both maudlin and cheeky hits, the Coens have actually been surprisingly quiet. They followed up their highest-grossing film ever, True Grit (2010) with the far more intimate Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) and then nothing since. Three years is an eternity in Coen time, and Hail, Caesar! promises a return to goofy Coens, not seen since the madcap Burn After Reading (2008). And how is Channing Tatum suddenly working with every great modern working director?


X-Men: Apocalypse - May 27, 2016

The X-Men franchise has benefited from being one of the forerunners of the superhero genre, which, now eight films in, can give us a ton of different flavors, from period pieces to crossover flicks, to this, which seems to get the jump on Marvel's Thanos by a few years. It's also focused on relishing in camp instead of avoiding it like other current properties, which is boosted by really strong production design that doesn't look nearly as ridiculous as it could - which you'll recall the first X-Men (2000) made fun of. We've come so far. I'm totally on board with X-Men, particularly after Days of Future Past (2014), which tended to get me in all kinds of ways. Apocalypse looks like the culmination of all of Bryan Singer's efforts in this franchise, seemingly still seeking redemption after the horrible films he wasn't involved in making. No Hugh Jackman no problem.


Suicide Squad - August 5, 2016

Listen, I'm sorry. I shit on superhero movies all the time and lament the death of the original action film, but it's really hard as the genre keeps evolving, and 2016 could end up being a pivotal year. Suicide Squad is by far the more interesting effort by DC/Warner Bros this year, with a stellar trailer that hasn't been ruined by subsequent terrible ones. The cast is a dream, the premise promises some real stakes along with the inherent fact that this doesn't promise a sequel as much as a building block to the shared DC universe. It's anything but cookie-cutter, a stranger, darker team-up movie that suggests less commercial marketability and toys with expectations. As long as the focus stays on Margot Robbie like I suspect it might, the fun is all here.


Dr. Strange - November 4, 2016
It's actually required that all Marvel
 heroes sport goatees.

Sorry, sorry. But 2016 really is a year filled with these really weird and interesting superhero movies! I feel like there's a thing, which this website also partakes, where everyone shits on Marvel movies for being the exact same thing each time, following a similar design aesthetic, plot structure, and having really weak non-Loki villains (they're almost always mirror images of the heroes - an often intriguing prospect that promotes dualism, but not after Iron Monger, Abomination, Whiplash, Winter Soldier, Yellowjacket, and even Red Skull, who was made by a corruption of the same Super Serum as Captain America in the MCU). That doesn't bare that well for Baron Mordo, who is totally a green-cape wearing version of Dr. Strange. What I'd like to get at, though, is just how good Winter Soldier (2014) and Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) were, and how even Ant-Man really tried to be a different sort of genre. These are a political thriller, space opera, and heist movie as much as superhero films. When Marvel can zero in on something specific, rather than broad (like Age of Ultron [2015]), they tend to have a lot of success. The prospect of Dr. Strange's genre defies convention. What genre is From Beyond (1986)? The cast is a complete dream, rivaling The Dark Knight Rises (2012) with Oscar-winners. Okay, looking that up now, TDKR had five Oscar winners. I did not realise that. Dr. Strange boasts only Tilda Swinton. Still, Cumbebatch and Ejiofor are both very recent nominees. It'll be good. Probably.

The Nice Guys - May 20, 2016

The release date in the middle of blockbuster season is sort of interesting, but this also promises to be one of the coolest films of the year. There is a weird trend of old 2000s action heroes suddenly popping up as these off the grid heroes for hire dudes (see also: The Equalizer (2014) and Jack Reacher (2012)], but The Nice Guys hints at a wayyy funner attitude along with Ryan Gosling bumbling around. This is also somehow only the third film directed by Shane Black, who of course wrote every good 80s and 90s buddy cop movie ever, and coming off of Iron Man 3 (2013) is a substantial step forward. Damn, even when talking about cool action comedies we're still stuck on superheroes. But I'm a total Shane Black bro, particularly Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), so we're good here.


Zootopia - March 4, 2016

I could have cared less about Zootopia up until a few weeks ago. The concept never seemed great and the production stills were unimpressive. Then this trailer dropped, which is actually only a single scene, which is one of my favourite kinds of promotional material. It hopefully captures the attitude and tone of the film, which would be exceptional. It's a truly fun for all ages kind of flick, seemingly broader than Frozen (2013) or Wreck-It-Ralph (2012), which is actually a really weird thing to type. Looking at more and more of this film, including the full-length trailer, which really showcases a more unique application of animals-doing-people things in zoographically accurate proportion, which looks really entertaining. The voice acting is spot-on and suddenly Disney is looking more prolific than Pixar.


Passengers - December 21, 2016

There's not much to know about this one, other than it's Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt in a sci-fi directed by the guy who did The Imitation Game (2014) and written by the non-Lindelof guy who wrote Prometheus (2012). The basic premise is that they're all on a fun 90-year cryosleep journey to another planet, but Pratt wakes up early. Rather than get old alone he wakes up J-Law. I'm sure everything goes well from there. Without a lot of stills or a trailer we're obviously just hooked on the talnt involved right now and the premise is a cute way to throw two of the biggest rising stars in the world together right now.

The Bad Batch - TBA, 2016

There's also not a lot to go on with this one, including even a release date, but I'm all in with this one, possibly more than any other film. I named Ana Lily Amirpour's A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) the best movie I saw last year, and I'm eagerly awaiting her next genre blend in this, her sophomore effort. She described her own first film as the first Iranian vampire spaghetti western, and has likewise reportedly named this "Road Warrior meets Pretty in Pink with a dope soundtrack." It's supposedly an auspicious Texan post-apocalyptic cannibal love story starring Jason Mamoa, Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey, and Diego Luna. Has there been a better cast ever in a movie? Maybe Dr. Strange.

More Shit:

Here's a big long list of other junk I'll probably see:

Ghostbusters - I wrote about this a year ago!
Rogue One - The more I think about it, the more interested I am in a Star Wars film that isn't beholden to making a few billion dollars, allowed room to breathe without the pressure of the mythology on its back
Sausage Party - At this point I'm into everything these guys do
The Girl on the Train - the pressure's on to be better than the book, like all movies are
Neighbors 2 - Comedy sequels almost always suck, can this one suck less?
Zoolander No. 2 - Ditto. But that trailer totally sold me
Silence - Scorsese bends back 180 from The Wolf of Wall Street while Liam Neeson returns to acting
Lost City of Z - yeah, sounds cool. Gotta love jungle adventures.
Story of Your Life - Banking on Dennis Villeneuve's inability to make a shitty picture
High-Rise - weird mind-bending shit starring Tom Hiddleston who is totally ready to break-out even though I would have expected him to ride his Loki-ness to projects like this and I Saw the Light like three years ago.
Eddie the Eagle - I haven't seen a trailer for a funner sports movie....ever?
Neon Demon - Nicholas Winding Refn seems to depart his intense realism for something a bit more mystical - I'm down.
Yoga Hosers - I actually really liked Tusk (2014) and all it's supreme weirdness. I don't understand how Kevin Smith keeps casually making these movies and running with seemingly any inspiration that strikes him, but his and Johnny Depp's daughters were totally the best part, so this ought to be fun.

What do you want to see next this year? This crap or some other junk? Let us know below!

07 January 2016

2015 Media Consumption: What Have We Learned?

For the first time, in the vein of Steven Soderbergh, I kept track of every single movie and TV show I watched for the entire year, 2015. This is obviously an insane task if I actually wrote down every single clip on TV I saw (or YouTube, for that matter), so to count I included any film I saw at least 51% of in some form either online, on television, or in the theater.

You may find this monstrous list of 198 films (close to an average of a movie every other day) and 96 distinct television shows here. Let's dig into the data:

There were seven movies that I saw twice. These are the following:

Fast Five (2011)
Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)
The Avengers (2012)
How High (2001)
Be Kind Rewind (2008)
The Campaign (2012)
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015).

The Force Awakens was the only film I saw both times in theaters. The rest were on TV with the exception of Fast Five, which I watched on Blu Ray before Furious 7 (2015) and Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, which I watched on a charter bus during a 24-hour ride to Florida.

This gives me a grand total of 189 distinct films

Breakdown by Viewing Medium:

DVD: 12
BluRay: 2
Local DVD Rental: 1

Netflix: 71*
YouTube: 5
Download: 4
Crackle: 1
DailyMotion: 1

Theater: 10

On TV: 86

*I lumped both Netflix streaming and Netflix DVD Rentals in the same category, which I'll probably break-up next year. Still, the vast majority of my movie watching comes from Television, which has all sorts of interesting implications on how that shapes culture.

Breakdown by Month:

January: 16
February: 14
March: 16
April: 25
May: 13
June: 8
July: 18
August: 25
September: 13
October: 10
November: 10
December: 28

December clearly wins as I had a strong push to see a lot of great films before the year ended to make some sweet best of lists. You can tell that I lost my TV in May, gained it back in July, then started a new job in September.

Breakdown by Year:

Current Year: I watched 27 movies that came out in 2015, or 14%.
Current Decade: 97 movies from 2010 - 2015 (49%)
2000s: 38 (19%)
1990s: 23 (12%)
1980s: 22 (11%)
1970s: 9 (5%)

The oldest movie I watched was actually surprising, the 1971 Bruce Lee film The Big Boss. I assuredly need to up my classics viewing for 2016. I'm actually decently surprised that the 90s and 80s are so similar. The most repeated year is 2015 with 27, 2014 takes second with 21, and 2012 is third with 20.

Most repeated pre-2010 year: 2008 (9)

Be Kind Rewind 
Pineapple Express 
The Good, The Bad, The Weird 
The Happening 
Tropic Thunder 
You Don't Mess With the Zohan 
Zack and Miri Make a Porno 

Most repeated pre-2000 year: Tie between 1997 and 1987 with the most random assortment ever:

Con Air 
Jackie Brown 
Romy & Michele's High School Reunion 
The Fifth Element 

Planes, Trains, & Automobiles 
The Monster Squad 
The Running Man 

Years without a film watched: 1991, 1980, 1976, 1974, 1973

Most Watched Television Shows:

I didn't keep track of what show I watched every day, just for the month, which is a trend I think I'll continue. Here were the shows I watched the most:

The Simpsons: A direct result of me losing FXX caused me to miss an episode in July (11 months)
Seinfeld: Only in February and March did I fail to watch at least one episode (10 months)
Archer: Missed in September and December (10 months)
South Park: Missed in January, May, and June (9 months)
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Missed in April, May, and November (9 months)

Other Shows I watched at least one episode of for six months or more:

Bob's Burgers
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Last Week Tonight
New Girl
Rick and Morty
Saturday Night Live
The Flash

This should clearly indicate where my tastes are.

TV Shows Watched Not Currently on the Air

Most shows I watched live but there were plenty of things I caught up on from either long or recently cancelled programs, such as:

30 Rock
Angry Beavers
Chappelle Show
Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23
Home Improvement
Korgoth of Barbaria
Raising Hope
The Amazing Screw-On Head
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Tiny Toon Adventures
Weird Loners
WKRP in Cincinnati

Dramas I Actually Watched:

I know what you're thinking, I am so damn Drama-adverse. Everything is a sitcom or cartoon. True story. But I did actually watch some compelling TV this year, including:

American Horror Story: Hotel
Better Call Saul
Sleepy Hollow
True Detective

Ok, fine, those are all genre shows.

What does your 2015 List look like? I've already started 2016 list, which you can follow all year long right here!
Related Posts with Thumbnails