Monday, July 13, 2020

What I Watched When I Was Unable To Connect Off Ship

Media Watched.

I have been institutionalized to the freedom I enjoy online to follow anything that interests me in any given moments. I can communicate with my tribe at my leisure.  When that gift is taken away from me for three days I can have a real difficult time. I feel trapped by the only things I can watch - downloaded movies and TV shows I have on my computer. Or I can really punish myself and watch shows on the satellite WITH commercials, which you all know I despise.

The Outpost

This is one of the greatest modern war movies I have ever seen about young men, young soldiers caught in the insanity of combat. Knowing this was based on a real incident that happened in a real place in Afghanistan made this an interesting look. I was ready for the patriotism and heroism to be ginned up for the movie version of this TRUE story at the cost of TRUTH. I quickly learned that this film is ONLY about truth and is certainly not something you want seen by anyone you want to recruit to join the army. What those guys endured in those moments are both life changing and life affirming.

Not only are battle scenes terrifying and intense but are made even more so by the fact that we have already spent the first 80 minutes learning everything about each and every soldier involved in this insanity. I fell in love with their humanity in the face of unspeakable horror. When shit hits the fan, soldiers only ever fight for the guys next to them.

I loved the script so much and the dialogue that comes up when young soldiers have been in the shit together for a a long time. A familiarity with another man that goes beyond high school best buds or even brothers in one's own family. The cadence of conversation is profane and confrontational but loving and supporting at the same time. Band of Brother in the purest definition of that term.

The world and character building reads so true that when decisions have to be made during the final battle they are TOTALLY BELIEVABLE to the viewer. Each actor is playing an actual person who was there and are so good in their roles that I believed I was seeing more of a documentary with the real soldiers who lived and died as living, breathing and amazingly unique human beings. It's a style of film making I have never seen in a war movie. Technically the film is brilliant and deserves to be recognized for the that. The weapons, the tactics, the conversations, the command structure do not ring one false note. My brain stopped watching a 'movie' about twenty minutes in.

This one is the real deal. A rare film so brilliant in the telling of it's story that you will be forever changed just by seeing it. I shit you not. The cast of mostly unknows are brilliant as well. The last five minutes of the movie will WRECK you but in the very best way.


Damn, this show can be superhero awesome one second and the darkest things on television the next. High body count from people that don't normally get bumped off in the first three episodes. You got a high school social media sexting scandal that destroys one girls life in the cruelest way possible and there are enough dead parents as well to give Disney a run for it's money. For something that sells itself as light and breezy it's violent and cruel and all together cool.

Stargirl has an edge missing from anything else on the CW. Their shows usually play like Jr High romances with super powers. Now look at this girl. Doesn't she look primed to date the Quarterback?

Stargirl is populated by teens with powers but they actually get seen using those powers to solve life and death problems and the show realizes that dating while playing superhero in a town full of supervillains might be best left alone for now. Besides, these freaks are too messed up to be dating. But being rookie superheroes seems just their speed.

The variations in tone that range from the joy of superhero discovery to child abuse and violent murder should make the show a mess but it only kept me more interested as the weeks have gone on.  The bad guys are very bad and anyone they want to kill just seems to die, on screen in a gruesome way. The villain also does it with glee, often to just be deliberately cruel to anyone who crosses them. Again. A fucking dark show. I am sure I am not the only one to notice this. Tweens and older, yes. Younger kids, no.

I was glad to binge watch the first five episodes while living my digital exile. The show is very reverential to it's source material and for a fan of those Golden Age characters, it's a gift. I thought I would be let down but I was not. I am really enjoying Star Girl.

It's a wonky way to create a show about the next generation of the Justice Society of America but that wonky vision actually works. I care about these kids of the new Justice Society of America.

Perry Mason

I always thought Perry Mason was a courtroom drama from TV's golden age. I thought Perry Mason never lost a case. I thought he was a brilliant detective as well as the best lawyer, ever. And he did his work for the defense, usually saving someone innocent of the crime they are accused of.

This is the same guy, only years earlier in 1931 where he's not yet evolved into the character he would become. This story comes from the books.

It's a mystery tale set in the mean streets of Los Angeles. Doesn't get any more NOIR than that.

Perry Mason is a private investigator trying to solve the kidnapping, ransom and murder of a baby found with his eyelids stitched open. Yup, starts you off like that. This show pulls no punches.

John Lithgow is brilliant in a part he inherits in the way only he can. Reason enough to rush to this show. They lay on the period noir with a think brush and I loved it. There is a dirty historical richness here that is very rewarding when you notice it and start paying attention to it. The costumes are amazing as are the fantastic period cars that chase each other around but can't go faster than 20 miles an hour. The diners, the locations are all glorious. Damn these people smoked alot back then.

No 1930s baby kidnapping case is complete without shoddy period policing techniques, paparazzi and tabloid magazines and corrupt city leaders. Throw in a popular religious revival church that is popular on radio and you got something that is fun to watch unfold. It's a slow burn but worth it. 

It only took me two episodes to get into this one. Up to Episode 4 as of tonight so you can still catch up on all the grit and grime. Nothing is pure or pretty in this one.

Set in 1932 Los Angeles, the series focuses on the origin story of famed defense lawyer Perry Mason, based on characters from Erle Stanley Gardner's novels. Living check-to-check as a low-rent private investigator, Mason is haunted by his wartime experiences in France and suffering the effects of a broken marriage.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I intend to watch the new Perry Mason too, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Glad to hear your recommendation!

Chase March said...

Stargirl is so awesome. I loved seeing your write-up on it here. It's cool to see that it has already been renewed for Season 2. Loving every minute of it!

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Perry Mason is the kind of quality production that HBO excels at.

And Stargirl is one of the best new shows of the year. I hope you agree with my analysis of that show.

Rob R said...

I look forward to THE OUTPOST and PERRY MASON... I’ve fallen behind on my CW/ DC series viewings so I know I’ll probably miss Stargirl for now.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Stargirl is her own universe. I don't watched any of CW anymore but Stargirl is great.