A few of the things I’ve been watching lately.

Penny Dreadful

I find this to be one of those shows I like so much that I dole out episodes. Especially after I learned that season 3 would be the last in the series. I loved everything about this show even when I hated something. I know. That doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t have to. The reasons we like things like TV shows or movies or novels or music is about who we are and how we are, it’s not so much about what we think. That may not make sense either, but I’m sticking to it. Like I’m sticking to loving every minute of its overripe scenes, overly gory scenes, beautifully wrought scenes, deeply troubled and conflicted characters, its brilliantly entertaining cast, and most of all, the writing of creator John Logan. It’s the sort of story that inspires me to try harder in my own writing.


I do not understand all the hate this film gets. I’m just not sure what movie all the people who hate this thought they were going to see. Sure it’s kind of goofy and the science is all out of whack (especially the economics of star colonization), but I still thought it was a fun film, and an enjoyable, if twisted romance. No, the consequences for a complicated moral dilemma are not presented as all that complicated, but it still a fun film. Maybe I don’t have a sophisticated enough film palette to realize that I shouldn’t actually like this movie. I’m glad about that.


I know I’m supposed to love this movie, and I wanted to. I wanted to love it as much as I love Contact, but I don’t. I like it well enough. It’s okay. I found it entertaining. The central mcguffin is interesting, if a bit goofy. In fact it’s a lot goofy. But I think the reason that it didn’t grab me has more to do with the character development. The only character who gets any real development is Amy Adams’s Louise. Had they not cast Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker for the supporting roles, I might have forgotten those characters were even there. Maybe it has more to do with Amy Adams for me. I think she a fine actress, but she always seems slightly miscast to me. Especially in Man of Steal where she and Henry Cavill manage to create negative chemistry. I’m probably watch Arrival again sometime, and maybe I’ll feel differently about it. I remember hating Citizen Kane the first time I saw it and now I love it. Again, it’s about who we are and when we are that person that we like things, I think.

Rogue One

What a great film. Not just a great Star Wars film or a great sci-fi film but a great film. Everyone compares it to a WWII movie and I suppose that’s an accurate analogy, but it could just as easily be compared to a western or a samurai film, which makes more sense as Hidden Fortress was one of the inspirations for the original Star Wars movie. I think the fact that it was always intended to be a stand alone film allowed the filmmakers to take risks that another franchise film might not have dared to explore. I’m looking forward to watching it again soon. I think I may enjoy it more the second time.

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