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Showing posts from July, 2018

Recent Movie Roundup 30

I think it was in one of last year's recent movie roundups that I noted that while everything in the world seemed to be terrible, at least the movies were good.  On the level of popcorn entertainment, if on no other, 2017 was a genuinely great year, delivering instant classics like Get Out, impeccable crowdpleasers like Wonder Woman, and slightly off-the-wall experiments like Spider-Man: Homecoming or Thor: Ragnarok.  Now here we are in 2018, everything in the world is, amazingly, even worse than it was last year, and as if to add insult to injury, the movies aren't even that good.  After the early highlight of Black Panther (which I'm increasingly coming to think of as an honorary 2017 movie), most of this year's blockbuster entertainment has run the gamut between fun-but-dumb (Deadpool 2), inessential (Solo), and pretty lousy (Infinity War).  I don't even have high hopes for the rest of the year, whose "highlights" include Mission Impossible: Fallout, V…

A Political History of the Future: Tacoma at Lawyers, Guns & Money

My latest Political History of the Future column discusses Tacoma, the follow-up to Fullbright's paradigm-busting exploration game Gone Home (see my review here).  Tacoma takes a very different approach from Gone Home's 90s-set domestic drama.  It puts us in the head of Amy, a salvage specialist in 2088 dispatched to the titular space station, to discover what catastrophe caused the crew to evacuate, and how they responded to it.  So far, so familiar, but as in Gone Home, Tacoma plays with our genre expectations, approaching its premise with a refreshing lack of melodrama or sensationalism, and exploring the human connections formed on the station, and how the disaster affects them.  It also, as I write in my column, gives us a panoramic view of life in this late 21st century future, where corporations have even more power than they currently do, and people find their lives, relationships, and happiness held hostage to the whims of a company's bottom line.
One of the point…

Five Comments on Luke Cage, Season 2

I don't have that much to say about the second season of Luke Cage.  Which is actually a shame, because despite some problems, I'd say that it's the strongest and most consistently entertaining season of television the Netflix MCU has produced since the first season of Jessica Jones.  It's just that the things I'd have to say about it are basically a combination of my review of the first season, and my review of the second season of Jessica Jones.  The stuff that worked in season one is back here, but better--the strong visuals, the amazing music, the thrilling fight scenes, the palpable sense of place.  And like Jessica Jones, coming back for a second season seems to have freed Luke Cage from the burden of having to justify its own existence as a superhero show about X (a woman, a black man), and allowed it to simply tell a story in which most of the characters are people of color (and some of them have superpowers).  At the same time, a lot of the problems that p…