Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[movies] Being entertained, or not

Lately, my fatigue has completely wiped out even my comfort reading. I've managed about six paragraphs of The White Dragon in the past three or four days, total. So when not in conversational company, I've been reduced to watching movies and tv shows via my Apple TV.

On recommendation from [info]bravado111 I tried renting Elfimdb ] via iTunes, as it wasn't available on Netflix Streaming. This is only the second or third time I've rented to watch from iTunes, and it was a bust. Six minutes into the movie, the sound cut out. Nothing I could do could bring it back. I do not see how this could possibly be user error, though I have considered the possibility given my current mental state. There's no apparent path for either tech support or a refund of my $3.99 rental fee, though I will try calling Apple's customer service line today. (There didn't seem to be much point in calling on Christmas Day.) The iTunes rental customer experience was obviously designed with the assumption that nothing could possibly go wrong. Which is idiotic on the face of it. As big a fan as I generally am of most things Apple, I'm very disappointed, and not looking forward to the hassle that almost certainly won't be worth the value of my perhaps eventual refund. I call fail on Apple and iTunes for this one.

Yesterday on a whim, [info]the_child and I watched Mary and Maximdb ] via Netflix Streaming. I hesitate to call this film underrated, since I'd literally never heard of it and therefore there was no rating to be under, but it was a wonderful movie. It's a claymation feature from Australia, told in something like an epistolary style, of the friendship between a sad, strange little girl Down Under and a rather sad, strange man in New York City. To be clear, this is a sad, strange movie. There is abuse and mental illness. There is a great deal of loss. But there is also completely appropriate redemption at the end. It's one of those movies you just have to go with and stay with. Netflix billed this an 'indie comedy', which I think is highly misleading, but it certainly has dark, quirky humor. A soul-touching film, and well worth your close attention.

Okay, Star Trek (the original series) [ imdb ] isn't a movie, but I've been watching it on Netflix Streaming as well. I didn't grow up in the United States, and thus missed the endless reruns of Star Trek on tv in the 1970s. There are episodes I simply never saw that I'm finally getting to see now. It's charming and hilarious and fun, and watching them in close sequence is letting me glimpse the gelling of the ensemble cast, the shift in characters as they found their footing, and the direction, such as it is, of the show. But I have to ask, knowing I'm almost five decades late to the party, did these people never hear of continuity? At least in the first season, each script seems to invent its own terminology and technology for Enterprise, her crew and her operations. It's like the writers never talked to each other, and the show runners never read any two scripts in a row. This randomness has actually become annoying to me-the-critical-watcher, probably because as a writer I agonize over precisely these issues in my books. I'm fairly ignorant of television history, was in-show continuity just no big deal back in the 1960s? It seems to me to be such a basic cornerstone of building a believable SFnal universe, the glaring lack of it in Star Trek is very odd.

Today, more Star Trek, continuity or not, maybe mixed in with some season two Black Adderimdb ] for variety. I've Day Jobbery tomorrow, but I'm off the rest of the week, so surely there will be more William Shatner and Rowan Atkinson in my near future.

Tags: applefail, books, movies, reviews, videos, work

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