Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for the ‘Movies & TV’ Category

Great movie (“The Suspect”) and great Roku features

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I got a Roku unit that attaches to my TV and uses WiFi to stream movies. I got it a while back, then got the Amazon Firestick and sort of stopped using it.

Once I got up here, for some reason I set the Firestick aside and brought out the Roku—and, man!, have they improved that service.

There are many more streaming options than previously, and Roku itself has movies available. One clever enhancement: Roku’s Search function will find a movie across all the services using Roku. I really wanted to watch a Korean movie, “The Suspect,” but it was not available (at least not here) on Netflix or Amazon Prime. So I did the Roku Search and found it was available for rent on DramaFever.com—and with the Roku I could add DramaFever as a channel.

So I’m watching it, and it is really excellent. As it turns out, I’d seen it before, but it’s definitely worth watching again (and it runs 2 hrs 20 minutes: a substantial movie—and with exceptional production values).

This is getting to be a thing on the Roku: I also earlier added the MHz.com channel to watch the German crime series Blochin (and MHz specializes in foreign movies with subtitles, and they do good (i.e., readable) subtitles.

And when I wanted to watch “Veteran,” another excellent Korean movie I previously blogged, the Roku Search found it on Google Play, where it was available for rent, and so I added that channel as well.

If you haven’t checked Roku lately, it’s definitely worth a look. It seems to be on the way to become an excellent portal for various steaming movie channels.

And I highly recommend both “Veteran” and “The Suspect.”

Written by LeisureGuy

3 April 2018 at 4:18 pm

“Veteran,” a Korean movie with particular resonance now

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When Korean movies are good, they are very, very good, IMO. Veteran is one that, as I started watching tonight, I realized I had seen some years back—not that many years: it was released in 2015.

But watching it tonight, it had new impact. It’s about the ordinary people—and the police—going up against the super-rich. In Korea, that means the chaebols. In the US, it means the super-rich corporations (and hedge funds) and the super-rich who run them.

It’s a good movie. I am using my Roku 3 again, and they have seriously upgraded the software and service. Neither Amazon Prime (up here, at any rate) nor Netflix had the movie, but Roku has its own search and I found it available on Google Play. I added that channel to my Roku after a little difficulty: the device code was displayed in red on black, practically invisible to a colorblind person like me, but then (after calling Roku for help) I suddenly spotted it. (You’d think Google of all places would have good UX designers: red on black for critical information is a rookie mistake. They should use yellow on black, for example)

I had to rent it, but I’m liking it again, and liking how it digs into the problem of how the super-rich can drift a long way from ordinary morality: they can too easily avoid being held to account, so they grow in strange directions—cf. the Trump family. (There’s a reason Jesus warned strongly against wealth.)

 

Written by LeisureGuy

31 March 2018 at 8:57 pm

Posted in Movies & TV

“The Surrounding Game” now available on iTunes, Amazon Video, and YouTube

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I highly recommend the documentary. It live on  iTunes, Amazon Video, and YouTube!

It’s a terrific documentary. The first third is sort of a history and high points of Go, which provides a context for the viewer who doesn’t play Go, and then the documentary really hits its stride and gets better and better.

Here’s the trailer:

 

Written by LeisureGuy

15 March 2018 at 10:48 am

Posted in Games, Go, Movies & TV

A really stunning documentary, especially if you don’t play Go: “The Surrounding Game”

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It’s about Go, but I mean really about Go. The reason that it’s good for those who don’t know Go is that there’s an initial section providing information and context for the last part of the film, which is the greater part of the film, in every sense. It was as tense as you could want. And it just got better and better. Man. I’m impressed.

The Surrounding Game

Written by LeisureGuy

3 March 2018 at 8:15 pm

Posted in Games, Go, Movies & TV

Good questions from Brian Stelter’s newsletter

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He writes:

Just a few of the questions at the end of this wild week:

— Why did John Kelly once again mislead reporters about the Rob Porterscandal timeline on Friday?

Chuck Todd on MSNBC: “Can you believe this White House? Really. Can you
‘believe’ it? Can you believe this president on guns, or on tariffs? Can you believe the White House’s attempts at cleaning up both? How can you?”

— When will Hope Hicks’ resignation take effect? FT’s Courtney Weaver writes:“She leaves a huge void. The question is, who will fill it?”

Jake Tapper: “One friend of President Trump’s told CNN that Hicks’ departure would send the president into a ‘tailspin,’ which of course prompts the question: She hasn’t even left yet. If this isn’t a tailspin, what is it?

Jennifer Rubin’s prediction: “Don’t worry — it’ll get worse. It always does.” What’s next?

Sounds like they’ve had it up to here, and they’re angry, and they’re not going to take it anymore. You recall Network. It’s like that: Mad as hell, and I’m not taking it any more! Life imitates art.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 March 2018 at 6:33 pm

Why We Applaud Woody Allen’s Misogyny

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Mimi Kramer has an excellent analysis of Woody Allen’s cruel and mean-spirited speech at the American Film Institute’s tribute to Diane Keaton:

A friend asked me, a few months back, whether I’d seen Woody Allen’s speech at the American Film Institute tribute to Diane Keaton in June, when she was awarded the AFI Life Achievement Award.

I hadn’t. I’d seen most of the event. It was shown on TCM, and I often have TCM on in the background. But I’d turned the sound down when Allen made his surprise appearance at the end.

I don’t like Woody Allen and haven’t for a while — since around 1979, when he made a movie about a self-involved, middle-aged comedy writer dating and dicking around a 17-year-old. I thought Manhattan was creepy, but not half as creepy as the way Allen got lionized for basically filming his own life in black-and-white and giving it a Gershwin soundtrack. So I missed the part of the AFI tribute when Allen proved, yet again, that being him means you can do almost anything and get people to shower you with praise.

“He did what?” I asked my friend.

“He called her a ‘fellatrix.’ I think that’s what he said.” She was sounding a little less sure now.

She warned me that the video clip of the speech on YouTube, while short, was hard to take, but said I should watch it through to the end.

Much of what I’ve accomplished in my life I owe, for sure, to her. She’s really astonishing. This is a woman who is great at everything she does — actress, writer, photographer, fellatrix, director. Diane Keaton, winner of the 45th annual AFI Life Achievement Award.

I called my friend back.

“Is that what he said?” she asked.

“That’s what he said,” I said.

“And that’s what it means?”

“That’s what it means: ‘a woman who gives blow jobs.’ Only he pronounced it funny, almost as though he were speaking Latin.” I embarked on a lecture on how the word fellatrix should be pronounced in English — with a long a, like dominatrix. Or like fellatio. Allen had given it a flat a, so that it rhymed with the plural of Patrick. We set about pronouncing the word fellatrix, and then fellatio, with long a’ s and short — and also dominatrix, but mostly fellatio and fellatrix — back and forth, over and over, until we were helpless with laughter.

I was still laughing when I went to bed that night. But I keep thinking about Allen’s speech, especially as his character has come under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks. Yesterday, Alec Baldwin went on Twitter to defend Allen against his stepdaughter’s account of having been molested by Allen as a child. Baldwin called Dylan Farrow a liar — an actress, in fact, suggesting that the rage and anguish she has expressed at what she’s perceived for decades as Hollywood’s complicity is a performance. But of course, Allen is the veteran actor in this scenario. If you look closely at his own performance at the AFI tribute last spring, you can see some of the tactics he uses to project a demeanor of plausibility and harmlessness, and how they mask the deliberation and craft behind his routine. You can also watch him making Hollywood complicit before your eyes.

Allen’s speech at the AFI tribute to Diane Keaton was an example of stealth misogyny. He engineered things so that at the climax of the award ceremony, when everyone thought they were applauding Keaton, they were actually applauding him for demeaning her. Allen was the very last speaker; he was to present the award in the next moment. So he knew that, no matter what he said, at the end of his speech everyone would jump up and cheer. By dropping the word fellatrix into the list of Keaton’s professional accomplishments, though, Allen completely undercut everything he seemed to be saying. And by giving it an unconventional pronunciation, he made it unlikely that anyone would understand or be sure what he’d said.

It’s a classic–if byzantine–example of how covertly abusive men force or seduce others into collusion. The AFI tribute to Diane Keaton was covered by five or six industry publications, but none of them commented on Allen’s use of the word fellatrix in his speech. In general, most of them characterized it as a comedy routine or a roast that ended in a loving tribute. Which isn’t at all what it’s actually like. What you miss on the page are the mannerisms, the fake pauses and stammers, the gestures (Allen bringing his hand to his face, fingering his lip, playing with his ring) that made it seem like he was nervous or considering what to say, creating a patina of spontaneity.

It’s a highly rhetorical speech, for all the assumed hesitancy, full of devices drawn from classical oratory as well as classic misogyny. Allen starts with a coercive joke, likening Keaton to “the fictional movie character Eve Harrington.” (The audience is forced to laugh or risk giving people around them the impression that they’ve never seen All About Eve.) “Which is not to suggest,” Allen goes on, “that Diane, when I met her, was ruthlessly ambitious.” That’s called “praeteritio” — where you say something in the act of saying that you’re not going to say it. But the rhetorical flourish there isn’t in the words so much as in the moue of disgust Allen makes after he says “ruthlessly ambitious” — an expression which seems to be saying, “And that’s putting it mildly.”

The speech relies heavily on a combination of aposiopesis (breaking off from speech and not finish a thought), paralepsis (drawing attention to something by seeming to ignore it), and a kind of non sequitur (sometimes called anacoluthon), where you purposely start a thought in a way that creates a false expectation as to how it will finish, then change direction. One striking example of this occurs when Allen is talking about Keaton’s appearance. “She dresses, as you know, to hide her sexuality — and always has, and has done a great job, ’cause it’s never emerged over the years. But,” he goes on, “she’s a beautiful girl.” It feels there as if Allen is going to say something nice, or quasi-nice, or not awful. Then he finishes, “And she’s never succumbed to any face work or anything. She’s very uncompromising. She prefers to look old.” (At this point the camera dwells briefly on Reese Witherspoon, looking at her phone and shaking her head, a pasted smile on her face.) . . .

Continue reading. And do read it all.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 January 2018 at 9:50 am

Posted in Daily life, Movies & TV

All science-fiction fans: Watch Season 4 Episode 1 of Black Mirror

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If you haven’t already seen it. Absolutely terrific.

I somehow hadn’t seen the series, so that episode was my introduction.

Season 4 is on Netflix here, but not seasons 1-3.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 January 2018 at 2:13 pm

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