Sherlock 4.3

Rating: 6/10

This review is very late, good thing nobody reads this blog! It’s still basically spoiler free though.

This show got really weird. But truthfully this was always a weird show. It’s always had that Doctor Who vibe…for obvious reasons. But Doctor Who is supposed to be weird, that’s part of its bizarre pulp charm. Sherlock was a strange show because it was part of its time, the time of reboots, and reboots are something Sherlock Holmes adaptations sort of invented. Holmes is kind of the quintessential nerd “IP.”

Let me count the ways:

1. the character is a nerd, socially unacceptable and brilliant

2. he’s clearly a super hero, not just a great detective like Miss Marple but an honest to God crime fighter, he’s like Batman without all the dressing, take Zorro add Holmes throw in some tragedy and empathy out comes Bats

3. After the Cthulhu Mythos, Holmes is one of the main IPs (that aren’t IPs because no one owns them) that essentially produced fan fiction, back when Fan fiction was published novels of IPs in the public domain 

4. He’s a tech and chem nerd

5. He started the whole dead but not really dead thing which is how comic books have survived for so long 

Holmes really has it all when it comes to nerd cred. And by bringing him into the 21st century with such ease the Sherlock team did what really seemed so obvious it was almost mundane after 1 season. This is made more obvious by the fact that the Downey films were concurrent and tried to do the same thing but backwards. Steam punk is in these days so Guy Ritchie et al figured they could update the character by simultaneously returning him to his grungy anti social roots but in a hip Lethal Weaponish way. Those two films did well at the box office but they’re barely watchable trash. It is always obvious that they are trying to entertain you, they are trying to be interesting…and they almost never are.

Sherlock however is effortless. At least when it works. When that show doesn’t work it isn’t ever clear why, something is just a miss. Usually it seems to be the story. Spin a good yarn and Sherlock knits a nice sweater (or peacoat). But if you have no story to tell then…it’s just a weird super smart guy…with a cell phone.

That’s one reason the show works when it works. They embrace the trappings of our time but not it’s sensibilities. Whereas the Ritchie movies don’t embrace the trappings of any time and try to force modern sensibilities. Story is driven by the world the story inhabits. Tolkien is the greatest example of this: he discovered the true nature of Bilbo’s ring within his own mythos, and the rest is…the establishment of a genre essentially relegated to pulp magazines. But in Sherlock the cell phone, the blog, etc are all elements that drive story in very organic ways. It’s simple and honest and that’s why it works.

But the 4th Season of Sherlock and especially the last episode keeps trying to focus on the characters and giving us new things to see and learn about them. That sounds nice but there are several problems with this:

1. These characters are interesting because they are fun to watch not fun to learn about 

2. We don’t really need to learn anything new about these characters, we want to see how they will solve New and original problems

3. The new information given is weak…and feels contrived, but even if it were interesting and organic the first two points would still stand 

I’ve basically kept this spoiler free so I won’t change that now. Sherlock is still far more worth your time than much of the crap on TV/streaming but it certainly has highs and lows. This last episode had some great moments…but it didn’t hold together, and that’s basically true of the whole 4th series. 3 is probably the best series overall but 1&2 have the 4 best episodes. Series 4 is clearly the most mixed. At least it’s something interesting to write about…I don’t know if they’re making more but I’ll certainly watch it if they do but I’m not as excited for a new series as I used to be.
 

Justice League Dark

Justice League Dark

Some minor spoilers ahead

I decided some time last year that I would just start pre ordering all the DC animated movies that were Batman related. These movies tend to not get cheaper on blu Ray and their availability on streaming media is a bit spotty. And even the not so good ones (Batman: Bad Blood) I still really enjoy. Batman stuff (DC in general & to a lesser extent Marvel also but outside the MCU there isn’t much worth watching) is like Star Wars to me: I would rather watch a bad Star Wars movie then no Star Wars movie. I want Batman tv shows, films, whatever to keep getting made. Bad or good isn’t as important to me at this point.
The quality used to be very important to me but Nolan’s Film Trilogy was the pinnacle of Batman storytelling (and I mean across the board, comics, cartoons etc) because it wasn’t dependent on any other property (like DKR is on Superman) and it told the complete story of Batman from cradle to grave. It’s not perfect but there’s really nothing like it in superhero fiction. It’s an epic. It tells a complete superhero life. Comics work the way they do because they’re soap operas for boys. But the Nolan trilogy throws that out the window and gives the definitive superhero myth in toto. Donner’s Superman I&II are the definitive origin epic…but they’re incomplete. They’re really just a beginning, we never got to see Donner & co’s full superhero potential blossom. For me Donner’s work on Superman is like the 90s Cowboys. If Jimmy Johnson had stayed I believe the Cowboys would’ve won 6 Super Bowls. If the MCU ever actually ends that will probably be THE definitive superhero epic…
But back to Batman many people have done a story or an origin or an else worlds tale (Blackest Night is a great complete Batman story) but the Nolan trilogy does the whole thing and does it very well. And because of that Batman is free to be funny again. Batman is free to be bad again, to take risks. I hated Batman 66 until I realized this. Now Batman 66 is amazing to me. It’s funny and classic and fun. 
In any case Justice League Dark came out and it arrived on my doorstep this morning. And I think it’s really good. Batman has very little to do. My two favorite characters involved in this story are Batman and Swamp Thing. Neither is very important to the film. It’s mostly a John Constantine, Jason Blood, and Dead man show. Do not buy this if you want a great Batman story or a great Swamp Thing story. Zatanna even feels like she gets short shrift. But that’s okay. The stuff they do focus on is great. I really want to watch the cancelled Constantine show now.
As usual the voice acting is stellar. Especially from Matt Ryan (John Constantine) and Nicholas Turturro (Dead Man) who were the clear standouts. What little Roger Cross has to do with Swamp Thing is pretty amazing. I really want them to do a Swamp Thing standalone now just to hear his Swamp Thing again. Their version of the character feels spot on.
Swamp thing’s appearance is short but powerful. It’s also a little confusing…something happens during the climax which feels very strange. I don’t know enough about Swamp Thing to understand the implications and sadly the film never explains it. I don’t want to give away much more then that…you’ll probably know what I mean when you see it.
But this is a really cool look at the supernatural side of the DCU. Dead man and Constantine are great. Nothing is really bad at all.
The extras are cool but not amazing. The best thing about these releases is the bonus episodes they usually include (besides the generally high quality of the films of course). This release includes 2 episodes of the fantastic Batman: the brave and the bold. If you like Batman 66 and the DCU in general you need to check that show out. The episodes are supernatural themed and relate mostly to Dead man and Jason Blood.
If you’re a DC fan or a Doctor Strange fan I think you’ll dig this. Even Buffy fans or Harry Dresden fans will like the story and aesthetic a lot. It was highly enjoyable. I really hope they do a follow up. I’ll probably go pick up the JLDark New 52 stuff now. I almost did last year but wasn’t sure I’d like it and now I think I’m a fan…
Overall rating: 7/10

Come back home

I just finished reading Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance and it was spectacular. This needs to move to the top of your reading list. I don’t want to say much more about it then that but this book really moved me deeply. It bothered and inspired me. I think it really helped me put some things in perspective and figure out what I want out of life from a different angle. Most of all it made me grateful…and thankful for my life. Comparing problems is an idiots game. But if you had to choose between being hungry, truly hungry because you didn’t have enough to eat and struggling with obesity…in most cultures being fat is a sign of health and prosperity. 

This book will help you understand the recent presidential election better as well and that the true face of poverty in America isn’t black, brown, or white. The true face of poverty has no color only hunger. 

The American dream isn’t yet dead. But the easiest way to cultivate it: foster, adopt, and volunteer with children. Children without parents are at risk for being the next generation of American poverty.

Lord thank you for giving me the problems you have…fill my heart with courage and love to find and fill empty broken spaces in this world.

Reading this book made me think of this song:

Obama remains a moron

Everybody wants to talk about how narcissistic Trump is…

Obama gave the single longest farewell address for a president ever. I just heard he took longer than the last 4 presidents combined! Then he proceeded to refer to himself 74 times in 50 minutes…this is narcissism. This man is a pure politician. He lacks any ability to govern and only the ability to get elected. His presidency was easily one of the most ineffective in our Nations’ history. How does a pathetic president with a presidency in need of cialis get to belabor his leaving the Oval Office like this?

Obama is in love with Obama. Obama is the final proof that high self esteem makes us bad not good. Not only does he think infanticide is a moral necessity he tried to force everyone in America to provide for infanticide. Obama is the president that fought The Little Sisters of the Poor!!!! This man is a monster. Good riddance. I doubt Trump will be a good or great president but almost anything is better than Obama.

His farewell address was also loaded with lies. I’m actually getting angry writing this because it’s amazing just how horrible a person he is and yet not only did he win the Nobel peace prize while being the only president in US history to be at war for every single day of his presidency but he has been uniformly treated by the liberal media as a heroic figure. 

All the conservatives I respect are trying to make a point that there was not even a shred of scandal attached to him personally…that is true and he seems like a nice man and a nice father. But we all know nice and scandal-less doesn’t make for good character. He has terrible character. He is a public liar. That should be enough to condemn him. Anything you can say about Trump you can say about Obama except that Trump is nice…he’s certainly not nice.

In his farewell he said that he had put an end to terrorism and terrorist attacks ceased under his watch. More terrorist attacks took place on US soil (let alone internationally) during his presidency than all previous presidents combined. This man is a disaster. I wanted him to be great. I wanted him to be our Nelson Mandela. I wanted our first black president to become a hero and icon for our country on the level of Lincoln…not only did he not come close to that he went the other way entirely. It boggles the mind, the stupidity of this man.

Bye bye Barack “Jackass” Obama. Anyone who misses you is an idiot. Your “reign” should’ve ended 4 years ago.

Sherlock Season 4.2

I can’t remember the last time I actually watched a show on TV. It’s always DVD or Netflix or whatever. I forgot how fun it is. For one thing we don’t have a DVR or anything anymore so if ya gotta pee then you just miss stuff. That sounds annoying (because it is) but it feels more authentic and “old fashioned.” Such a small thing but I like it, I like the inconvenience of it. That sounds so dumb but I don’t care.

In any case this episode was quite good. And I felt like it actually “redeemed” the last episode. I don’t want to do any spoilers but Sherlock is always better when he’s on a case, when the “game is afoot.” This season has been “different” so far. Of course each season and each episode of the whole show has been different. These “movie” miniseries are often that way. But this season has been particularly strange. Sherlock’s character is really undergoing changes, but they’re apart of the story not just arbitrary changes.

I’d say Episode 4.2 deserves at least a 8/10. I’m very excited for the finale.

Sherlock Season 4

Okay so here’s my Sherlock rankings so far

S1.1 9/10

S1.2 5/10

S1.3 9/10

S2.1 10/10

S2.2 4/10

S2.3 9/10

S3.1 8/10

S3.2 8/10

S3.3 10/10

The abominable Bride 7/10

And S4.1

I give 6/10.

I did not love this episode. It was alright but it seems like the creators have really lost their way. Holmes works best when he’s doing something. The character gets boring when you try to make him interesting. He becomes interesting when he is solving a case. That’s when relationships and character etc come into relation with him. Having him relate directly to others kills his ability to relate. He must relate through the actions of the case.

I am a huge fan of this show but it’s always been uneven. One episode is brilliant then one is a dud. These guys hit or they miss. This was a miss…