Some notes on the Australiana in Thor: Ragnarok

I saw Thor: Ragnarok eight days ago now, and I loved it. This post isn’t about my feelings on the movie (I got most of them out at comic book club which was later this afternoon), but on the touches of Australiana that Kiwi director Taika Waititi put in the film. A couple of weeks ago, he did an interview on triple j breakfast, where he revealed that he snuck in some nods to Australiana in the film to make the movie unique.

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Streaming Guide October 13 – October 19

Rebecca Cactus

This is my desktop background, I love it.

via DeciderTV

Hey, remember when I posted this GIF yesterday? It was so my erstwhile editor Steve Molk could save it, because Slack won’t let you save GIFs. That’s what I learned late last night while I was watching the Dynasty premiere. Netflix did a number on me when they didn’t give me any warning that the latest seasons of Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend were dropping, so I had to highlight them retroactively. Last week was a little busy, so I couldn’t do both which meant I got really into my Crazy Ex-Girlfriend synopsis.

So, other things in streaming: I’m still not sure how I feel about The Babysitter, which I watched on Tuesday night. If you want to talk about it, please leave a comment or contact me on Twitter. At the start of the film I began counting how many songs had been used – there were 5 in the first 15 minutes – but when it gets to the point, it’s pretty fun. I know that last song choice as they cut to credits is supposed to be funny but it still rubbed me the wrong way. I liked that last line though! Oh well.

I haven’t watched The Meyerowitz Stories yet, but I’m looking forward to it. I have seen the season two premiere of Good Behavior, and I was drawn in immediately, despite not having seen the second half of the first season. I think Michelle Dockery’s performance is fantastic, but when I read the description, I was hoping it would be a little more like Leverage. Plus Ann Dowd and Laura Bell Bundy are guest starring! Okay, Ann Dowd was in the first season, but I’m definitely more interested in the show now than I was during the first season.

I think I’m going to start writing Riverdale recaps, but starting next week. I might put in a few bullet points tomorrow if I have time/remember. There’s a direction I think it’s going to take based on plot points I’m not allowed to reveal from my screener emails, so I’m looking forward to seeing if I’m right (I haven’t watched ahead yet – I’ll probably stick to one episode per week because I like talking about it with my friends).

Streaming Guide July 14 – July 20

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One of the many gorgeous images from Chasing Coral. Image courtesy of Netflix.

via What’s New In Streaming For The Next Seven Days — DeciderTV

I made a choice a few years ago to not be political online. There are plenty of reasons for that which I won’t go into, but every once in a while I highlight shows and films on the streaming guide I think are important. This week I chose Chasing Coral which premiered at Sundance, and is about the attempt to visually capture coral bleaching, and Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty. I haven’t seen Bigelow’s films because I’m not very into war as a genre, but she’s also the only female director to have won the Oscar for Best Directing. That surprises me, but also it doesn’t. Aditi Mittal is one of the first women to perform stand-up comedy in India, another thing I didn’t know.

As for my other choices, Broad City and Game of Thrones are two of my favourite shows. Broad City deserves a highlight for that fantastic DMV episode (I renewed my licence last week, which you can now do at the post office. It’s the Australian equivalent of making an appointment), and there’s no season like GoT season. My podcasts are coming back, and I’m figuring out how to deal with this strange book/show world we live in. I’m happy that A Storm of Spoilers has a separate section for production spoilers, and stopping the podcast early is going to be an exercise in self-control. At the time I’m writing, George hasn’t followed up on this possibly fortuitous Live Journal entry, so that’s something to watch. I’m also going to be keeping an eye on any possible #BlackThorn evidence. Let me know if you find anything.

Streaming Guide June 23 – June 29

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Alison Brie, Bashir Salahuddin, Betty Gilpin

via What’s New In Streaming For The Next Seven Days — DeciderTV

It’s a big week in streaming! Apparently there’s no such thing as an off-season any more. Better Call Saul just had its finale (I’m behind), and the finales of RuPaul’s Drag Race and iZombie are next week. And there are so many shows premiering! I’m very much looking forward to the new season of Younger, and all the new Diana Trout gifs. Power is a very good show that I’ll probably leave for a month (to catch up on all the other shows) before binging. As for the others…

People are raving about the new Netflix show GLOW, which I like but don’t love. Many of the critics I read watched the entire season, I just watched the first two. To be fair, I watched the first episode in April and the second this week, and I remember enjoying the first episode much more than the second. The gap could account for that. I have another four screeners I can watch, but the video quality is much better on Netflix proper, which I am paying for.

I didn’t watch much of Preacher‘s first season, but I’ve seen the first two episodes of the new season and they’re really good. For those of you who want to give it another shot, the advice I followed was to watch the premiere, the angel battle in episode 6, and the finale. The first season arguably (I haven’t seen all of it, so I can’t comment) has pacing problems, which makes sense when you find out that the events in the first season finale happened in the first issue of the comic. The second season is fun and has one of the two best uses of “Come on Eileen” in television this year (the other is Jane the Virgin, and while they are the only two instances I know of, they were both done really well). It’s still a very graphic show, which is part of what put me off season one, you just need to figure out when to cover your eyes.

I have a screener for Okja, but I haven’t watched it yet. I’ll wait until I can watch it on the TV. Snowpiercer is one of the best films I’ve seen in the past five years, and it would be great if I could see this film in cinemas, but the fact that I get to see this film at the same time as everyone else is a step in the right direction. Film distribution in Australia has a lot of problems, and I hope there’s a way that we can get both.

Streaming Guide June 9 – June 15 | Terrace House is back!

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The (original) cast of Terrace House: Aloha State

via What’s New In Streaming For The Next Seven Days — DeciderTV

I wrote a full season review of Orange Is the New Black, which made me wonder whether I should highlight it on the streaming guide. I don’t want to end up repeating myself, and there are surely other Netflix properties I could promote, like Terrace House. So this post is dedicated to my beloved Terrace House: Aloha State. Part 3 drops on Tuesday, and I’m not sure when I’ll have time to watch it, but I’m glad it’s there. On Stan, there are Quentin Tarantino films and your usual feast of fast-tracked content, and Amazon Prime has a limited series about the Le Mans 24 hour car race, in which they build a car and then race it (that’s what I learned yesterday, and I’m really interested in it now).

The final season of Orphan Black premieres on Sunday, which I would be more excited for if I was up to date. I’m hoping that will happen soon, but it definitely won’t be this weekend. This weekend I’ll be at Continuum Convention in Melbourne, and if you’re interested in science fiction or even general pop culture (which is more my speed), it’s definitely worth checking out. Right now I have to catch up on as much of Twin Peaks as possible before tonight’s panel.

Streaming Guide May 26 – June 1

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All I know about Bloodline is that Kyle Chandler is in it. Also Mendo.

via What’s New In Streaming For The Next Seven Days — DeciderTV

This was a bit of a weird one. I just remembered that I forgot to include The Bachelorette. I also had a great line about how Netflix rules our lives by putting House of Cards out on a Tuesday, which I’ve been using for a month and then forgot to put in the guide. Someone on the A.V. Club said that they need to fit it in before the Emmy cut-off date, which is May 31, but they still could have given it a Friday release. It’s one of their biggest shows, and even though I don’t watch it (long live the British House of Cards trilogy), I can see them wanting to use their Fridays for smaller shows.  Bloodline is in its final season though, which would seem to be a better reason to put it on a Tuesday. I don’t understand Netflix.

The other thing is that War Machine starring Brad Pitt has dropped on Netflix, and while screeners were sent out to critics, they’re still dropping it in a week with two Emmy winning series. I didn’t have time to watch it because my Twin Peaks watch has been slower than anticipated. I also wasn’t going to be able to fit it in highlights, because I balance out releases. There’s subscription fee for streaming services, and only highlighting things on Netflix is detrimental to viewers who only have Stan, or are using exclusively FTA streaming.

David Ehrlich also wrote this highly divisive (which is unsurprising) piece about whether or not movies are still movies if they debut on Netflix. He wrote this before Okja was booed at Cannes last week. I’m somewhere in the middle on this. I can think of three cinemas in Melbourne that would have screened Snowpiercer. I know it was definitely on at the Nova and has been at The Astor (which is a monoplex, so their schedule is carefully planned), and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was also on at ACMI. Australia also only tends to get day and date releases for blockbusters, and it’s not even every blockbuster. Thanksgiving releases in the US are usually held until Boxing Day in Australia, so a worldwide release on Netflix is beneficial for viewers outside the United States.

As far as my own viewing is going: I still haven’t finished Master of None or Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and the Twin Peaks rewatch is coming along at a reasonable pace. I watched the first part of the new season after finishing season one, and then decided that I needed to finish the rewatch. I should be up to date in a week or so, then I can catch up with Better Call Saul (and American Gods). It’s a good thing that the US network television season is coming to a close. There’s so much to watch! The shows aren’t stopping, either. I’ve prepared my June spreadsheet, and it’s going to be pretty busy.

Rewatching Charlie’s Angels

I was houses sitting last night, and I started to watch the 1974 version of Murder on the Orient Express, and got about 15 minutes through the film. There is a whole piece to be written about Agatha Christie adaptations (the David Suchet TV show is its peak, but I don’t like how they approached this classic novels), but that’s not happening today. I got bored and decided I wanted to watch something fun. Charlie’s Angels was on Netflix, and that was all I needed. Charlie’s Angels was a film that was very important to me between the ages of 10 and 14. I watched it whenever I went to my cousin’s house on a pirated DVD from Bali. The whole film didn’t fit onto one disc, so we had to change it over partway through. It’s been many years since the last time I watched it, so I decided to give it a go. There are some problems I wasn’t aware of when I loved it, but it’s still a fun film. The plot holds up, too. I didn’t really care about the plot when I was younger, I just enjoyed women kicking butt.

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Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu

The Plot (Spoilers and Stuff)

I remembered very little of the plot, other than that there was a fake kidnapping and the Angels break into a company. Eric Knox was kidnapped, and his voice recognition software stolen. His business partner, Vivian Wood, suspects rival Roger Corwin of this treachery. Corwin’s business Red Star owns GPS satellites, which could be used with the voice recognition software to find anyone in the world. The team infiltrates Corwin’s network and finds Knox, and for some reason there’s a high speed car chase culminating with a showdown on a bridge that is completely devoid of traffic.

The Angels infiltrate Red Star to access their mainframe (no remote hacking here) to see if they have Knox’s software (they don’t). We see assassins/contract killers (although they were unsuccessful) come for Alex and Natalie, while Knox seduces Dylan and Vivian attempts to seduce Bosley. Natalie finds out that the assassin was sent by Vivian, and Dylan confronts Knox. Unfortunately, Knox set the whole thing up to gain access to Red Star’s GPS satellites to find and kill Charlie. They need Bosley to get access to Charlie, so he’s kept prisoner in an old fort. The Angels come and save him, beat the bad guys, and celebrate on a beach. This is the most I have ever paid attention to the plot, and I was surprised to find that it holds up.

The Angels

I wanted to be Drew Barrymore’s Dylan when I grew up. I still do.

I love all of them. I understand the criticisms about ‘jiggle television‘ in regards to the original series and how it could be applied to this film, but I don’t care. I loved seeing women solve crimes and beat up bad guys. That was all that mattered.

Bill Murray improvises

I have no idea whether this is actually improv, but I’m choosing to believe it is. The only thing missing from this fantastic clip is when he whittles a bar of soap into a fake gun with his teeth.

The Boyfriends

When I was 10 I didn’t quite understand Dylan’s relationship with The Chad, which is understandable. Now I can tell it’s a casual relationship. Luke Wilson is perfect as Pete, and I love his dynamic with Natalie. As for whoever Matt LeBlanc is playing:

 

The Sequel

I only saw Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle once. It was my first experience of disappointing sequels, and I don’t remember the source of the disappointment. It could have been Bill Murray’s absence due to a reported feud with Lucy Liu (Murray makes a statement refuting this here), the plot I barely remember, or the moment in the film when Dylan makes out with the Creepy Thin Guy.

Josie and the Pussycats

I watched Josie and the Pussycats for the first time in February (in 2001 I was busy watching Charlie’s Angels and rereading Harry Potter), and I was delighted to see a Charlie’s Angels reference:

IMDb Trivia: Above the picture of the girls on one of the magazine covers the headline says that Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu were cast to play the band in an upcoming movie. Peter Teschner, the editor of Josie and the Pussycats was also the editor of Charlie’s Angels (2000), featuring these three actresses.

After I finished the film, I wanted to watch Charlie’s Angels immediately, but I couldn’t find it streaming anywhere. I don’t know what’s happened between then and now, but I found it on Netflix last night, and it was great.

Other thoughts:

  • The pirated DVD was eventually replaced by a DVD set with this film, Full Throttle, and 3 episodes of the original television series, which I enjoyed.
  • Chicago took over as the movie I watched at my cousin’s house.
  • Melissa McCarthy is in this!
  • I enjoy both Bill Murray and Lucy Liu, so I am choosing to believe that it was blown out of proportion.
  • Elizabeth Banks might be directing a reboot, which I would love. On the other hand, I don’t know if I really want to see anyone other than Barrymore, Liu and Diaz, even though the Angels all eventually retire.