Shows and Movies I’m Watching For The Apollo 11 50th Anniversary

I’m way behind on my space dramas.
With NPR’s never-ending coverage of the Apollo 11th anniversary today, I feel obligated to try to catch up on some of the things gathering dust on my hard drive.

Before that, I heard something strange today.
Did you know that the space race came down to the wire?
Fun fact, I heard on NPR: Russia nearly almost beat us.
They had a rocket launch less than a month before Apollo 11 that blew up on their launch platform. It is not known to this day whether it was their planned mission to the moon.
Screw Chernobyl. Show me THAT movie.

No, I have not watched ‘The Expanse’

Yes, I know that I need to.

This will be a short list of other things.

A very short list. Don’t get your hopes up for anything great.

  1. First Man (2018)

    Obvious, I know. It’s what everyone will be watching, as it seems to be the top choice in RedBoxes around the country.

  2. The First (2018)

    I’ve heard good things about this.
    A longer First Man, I guess? We’ll see.

  3. Strange Angel (2018)

    I’m about 3 episodes in. Started it months ago.
    I wasn’t wowed by it, and wasn’t thrilled with the occult turn it took.
    But it’s not terrible by any means, and as the completionist that I am, I need to revisit it.

 

Okay, that list was too short.
How about another?

The 3 Most Underrated Space Dramas You’ve Never Watched

  1. Defying Gravity (2009)

    Holy hell this was good.
    It’s a slow-burn, but it starts as a near-future space odyssey and becomes something unexpectedly more.

  2. Other Space (2015)

    Originally airing on ‘Yahoo!’, it felt like I was the only one that watched this at the time. And some episodes had me dying of laughter.
    Give it a chance to build.

  3. Space: Above And Beyond (1995)

    Before there was Battlestar Galactica (2004)
    Before there was Firefly (2002)
    …We had a dark short-lived drama similar to Starship Troopers (1997).

 

Hmm. I like making lists. How about another?

3 Space Shows You Should AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE

  1. Lost In Space (2018)

    I don’t have anything against the original.
    Okay. Maybe I do. It was before my time, but I’ve seen enough to know that it was cheesy. I also saw the movie remake starring Matt LeBlanc.
    I’d watch the movie any day over this long, pointless remake.

  2. Salvation (2017)

    Oh boy. I could only make it through one episode.
    The cringe-levels were too high, even for me.
    Maybe it gets better, but I doubt it.
    The premise seemed interesting: Earth is nearing extinction, rocket scientists gather to discuss the feasibility of building something to save humanity.
    Yet, it had no sense of humor, and an added level of neutered dread.

  3. Nightflyers (2019)

    You have to really love George R. Martin to slog your way through this one.
    I made it to the end, and it was okay.
    But, there were some god awful episodes, like the one-off meeting of the cannibal ship. Horror / Space Sci-Fi is a very niche field that I’ve very rarely seen ever done right.
    No, Event Horizon (1997) is not a good movie.
    Sunshine (2007) is okay, up to the point it becomes a horror film.
    Pandorum (2009), yes
    I don’t care what anyone says, that movie is brilliant.

You know what?

How about some more obvious movies that you NEED TO SEE.

If you haven’t already seen:

Solaris (1972) and 2001: Space Odyssey (1969), as well as its sequel 2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984), then we shouldn’t even be talking about anything else. … Oh, also, Moon (2009)

Go watch those now!

Happy Apollo 11th anniversary!

Did You Watch Stranger Things Season 3? Want Something More? Here you go:

Netflix stealthily released a short film starring one of the main protagonists (David Harbour) of Stranger Things.

I present to you:

Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein

My primary thought while watching it was one of:

What the hell are you doing, guy?

That said, it’s surprisingly good.
If you like ‘Mr. Show’ and ‘The Kids In The Hall’, it might even be great.

It may be the weirdest thing I’ve watched all year.
If you have a half hour to kill, I highly recommend it.

But don’t expect greatness. It’s slapstick and dorky.

‘And that’s how I got into Juilliard!’

Netflix Edited the ’13 Reasons Why’ Suicide Scene to Be Less Graphic

This article caught me off guard yesterday, perusing the daily shit posts on /r/television:

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/netflix-alters-graphic-13-reasons-why-suicide-scene-controversy-1224489

TLDR: Netflix has gone back and removed roughly 3 minutes of their show depicting a suicide in the finale of season 1’s 13 Reasons Why.
Spoiler: Hannah kills herself. This isn’t a spoiler, by the way, if you’ve watched more than the first five minutes of the show.

My First Reaction:

What the actual fucking fuck?

 

First, let’s be very clear up front right now:

  1. I am not a fan of 13 Reasons Why.
  2. I am not a Trumpist, alt-right, GAB troll, that believes the United States is becoming too ‘politically correct’.
  3. Nor am I a fan of George Lucas adding all his fancy special effects to the original Star Wars movies.

That all said, something about this makes my blood boil, for reasons not pertaining to the list above.
Let’s be even more clear: ’13 Reasons Why’ is an absolute shit-show.

Season 1 consists of nearly every episode focusing around a ‘tape’ Hannah made before her death, that inevitably exposes one (or more) character’s contribution to her decision to kill herself.

13 Reasons Why was literally one of the worst shows I’ve ever watched in my life for a plethora of reasons.
Yet, I felt it was mandatory watching for anyone that cares about television, because it set the standard for TERRIBLE television that takes itself too seriously and sends a horribly wrong message to its viewers.

It is an abomination on many levels.
For a time, I thought nothing could be worse than 13 Reasons Why, and I would casually judge people’s taste in television simply by asking if they liked the show.

….
Oh, and it turns out I was wrong.
Season 2 managed to be worse than season 1, by continuing to ratchet up the dial on high-school drama shock value, to eventually include my least favorite subject for movies and television: school shootings.

Okay, end mini-rant. Let’s continue:

But that doesn’t mean Netflix should go back and make it more palatable to audiences  by removing key scenes.

The scene in question here is, awful.
Hannah is a bit of a pretentious brat, and season 1 was roundly critiqued for glorifying her decision to kill herself.
The scene at least showed the reality that killing herself was painful, and wasn’t easy to do.
Stripping it out, makes it seem even more like the show is trying to tell kids that suicide is okay, in certain circumstances.
That message is absolutely wrong.

In my mind, I contrast this scene, with the scene in Sharp Objects:

Where, in a flashback, Camille is shown to be in a mental institution for treatment of her cutting habit.
She returns to her room, to find her roommate having attempted suicide and bleeding on the floor.

The direction in this scene is nothing short of brilliant, as it seems to put you in her shoes with her warped thought process.
It’s one of the most jarring few minutes of television I’ve watched in recent memory. And, most importantly, in no-way-shape-or-form, is glorifying suicide.
It, instead, shows how the mind can immediately and irrationally jump to that decision, and leaves you feeling emotionally drained and thankful that you’re not (hopefully) suffering from that same mental affliction.

They managed to make the show worse

By putting up a middle finger to any critics saying the show glorifies suicide, by removing the last bastion of their defense:
The gory scene depicting the awfulness of suicide.
And they’ve done this in favor of making the show more ‘politically correct’, and ‘less graphic’.

Where does this editing practice stop?

I already can’t watch movies on TV anymore because of the time-crunching editing they do to cram in any many commercials as possible, as well as the product-placement campaigns.

This is the first instance that I know of, of a streaming-service engaging in the practice to, appease some unknown god of public opinion without fully understanding the consequences.

Let’s make my stance on editing clear here:
Release a show. Don’t edit it under any circumstance.
If it’s terrible, it’s terrible, let it be.

The only form of post-release editing that is acceptable is in the form of ‘Director’s Cut’ reworkings of the source material.
Blade Runner remains the shining example of this, with the Director’s Cut stripping out all the unnecessary narration.

Additionally, it should make everyone that watches Netflix and other streaming services incredibly nervous.
Nervous that they’re not ever watching the original release the way it was originally received and reviewed.

I still advocate for downloading and possessing access to copies of every movie/tv show. This is just one more prime example of why that is a good idea.

I need to write a rant on the other reasons, as well as how to get into that for anyone that is interested.

I highly recommend:
https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/ and:
https://www.jottacloud.com/en/

Have a good day.
And don’t EVER watch 13 Reasons Why.
Except to use it as a benchmark of terrible television.