What’s New on the Site
What We’ve Been Reading
Clint’s Reading List
Bitch Planet – Kelly Sue DeConnick
Exploitation films come to comics! It’s actually not that exciting, the book could be better done. While the visuals call to mind the films of the 70’s they’re trying to evoke the story itself is so on-the-nose that at times it’s eye-rolling. The plot follows a woman who isn’t a 1950’s stereotype, thus getting her arrested and transferred to a prison known as “bitch planet,” a completely separate planet full of thousands of women that didn’t conform to norms and are now trapped. This could have been better but on its own the book isn’t bad, it manages to make its point while being a great-looking book.
What We’ve Been Watching
Invasion of the Body Snatchers – Sometimes remakes are awesome, and this update to the original film released in 1978 to go on and become a classic piece of science fiction. Donald Sutherland, Nancy Cartwright, Leonard Nimoy, Jeff Goldblum, this cast is just ridiculous. I go a couple years or so between viewings but I always come back to this, one of my favorite cheesy sci-fi films that somehow manages to be horrific as well as fun. The practical models and effects work is absolutely nasty at times, and it comes out in the best way possible.
Journey to the Far Side of the Sun – I…wow. This is one of the best science fiction films I’ve seen in a long time. 1969’s film (originally titled Doppelganger) is a magnificent display of intelligent writing, competent directing, add a tight script. The angle this film takes is completely new, with astronauts flying to a planet discovered on the far side of the Sun and finding more than they bargained for. This is a movie that has been done time and again but never quite like this, and ever as well.
MST3K – You guys…it’s back! They launch the series with Reptilicus, and Jonah Ray is a fantastic new addition to the cast. While Felicia Day and Patton Oswald are…well, they’re fine…Jonah Ray happens to be hilarious, goofy, awkward, and yet know when to hold back. The series has brought out some awesome cheese this time, several that I’d seen and more that I hadn’t, and they jib and joke at each of them in such a way that it almost cannot have been scripted (at least not completely). The show is made by fans and is not interested in drawing a new audience, though it undoubtedly will. Rather, this relaunch is interested in giving those who loved the show what they want and it nails it.
Catastrophe: Season One – This Amazon Prime exclusive comedy tackles many uncomfortable topics with grounded, natural comedy. The premise follows an American man, played bumbling and charasmatically by comedian Rob Delaney, and an Irish woman, played with equal parts bite and heart by Sharon Horgan, who have fling in London. Their series of trysts lead to unexpected consequences for the two of them, and what follows is a look at tough, life-changing decisions, family, relationships, and feeling lost in incredibly honest and hilarious ways.
20th Century Women – Mike Mills’ follow-up to his acclaimed 2010 film Beginners explores the other side of the Director’s upbringing. While Beginners was a fictional, semi-autobiographical film all about Mills’ father, 20th Century Women shows us the influences various women had in his growing up. Based slightly on his life, the film is about Jamie, a 15 year old boy, being raised in a Boarding House in the late 1970’s and the people who helped raise him during this formative time in his life, and the life of the country. While I loved the film overall, the biggest asset is just how well all the characters are rendered. Each of them feels real, complex, and three-dimensional, all carrying and dealing with their own struggles, presented without judgement. And although these characters are all based on people Mills knew and grew up with, it’s no small feat to translate them so intimately to the big screen.
What We’ve Been Listening to
Clint’s Listening List
Archive 81 – I have to admit, I really dig this podcast. There’s mystery, creepy stuff, and it’s brief at 15 minutes or so per episode. I binged season one within a few days because despite there being flaws in it, I couldn’t stop barrelling forward. The plot surrounds a young man who is tasked with digitizing a series of audio tapes housed in an underground archive. As he listens to them he gets invested in the mystery, an apartment building from 1997 where a young woman investigated some disturbing goings-on among the tenants. The premise was intriguing and enough to sucker me in. I have to say I enjoy it a lot and am looking forward to binging season two.
The Bright Sessions – This one is awesome guys. Dr. Bright is a therapist working with patients that have special abilities. Unlike those that are talented and leaping to the top of the class or handicapped, the doc is specializing in those who accidentally time travel or hear real voices or force their will on others. While the plot thickens from there, right off we have a fascinating premise just because of the involvement of someone who thinks they can specialize in fictional abilities, but adding the story on top of that makes for some fascinating listening.