Saturday, August 20, 2016

Twitter Thoughts—July 2016 Final Week

Downton Abbey, season 6 (2016) ****
Ghostbusters (2016) **½
The Shadow (1994) **
Star Trek Beyond (2016) ***½
Modern Family, season 7 (2015-2016) ***½
Jason Bourne (2016) ***
Androcles and the Lion (1952) ***

To call this the final week of July is a bit of a stretch. It’s more like the final half of the month. And this was all I watched in that time period. It was a busy time for both work and family that did not allow for much in terms of watching a screen for long periods of time.

My wife and I finally finished the BBC series “Downton Abbey” and couldn’t have been happier with it. It was consistently good and, like most British shows, did not outstay its welcome. I was happy with how the lives at the Abbey turned out, and while it might be nice to see how progress continued to change the class structure of British Royalty and their servants, it more than likely would’ve seemed more sad than what the results of progress really are. Like the elder generation, we all like our entertainment to stay the way it was.

In other television opinion, ABC’s “Modern Family” continues to quietly provide some of the most hilarious commentary on its titular subject matter. After seven seasons, you might expect some of the characters to become tired or irrelevant. You might think the barb would be dulled, but such is not the case with this series. It continues to pull out quality comedy from familial life without much change in style, structure or even cast. It’s quite remarkable.

My “Ghostbusters” opinion is already out there in a full-length review and so too will be my “Star Trek Beyond” in the next day or two. I also saw “Jason Bourne” in theaters. The fourth film in the franchise and a return to both actor and director, “Bourne” really doesn’t add much to the series. The screenwriters have come up with a continuation of the story, which ended in “The Bourne Ultimatum”. Despite not bringing much more to the table than that, it is an extremely entertaining movie from titles to credits. Star Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass prove once again their abilities to put together thrilling action sequences in a compelling mystery. It isn’t necessary, but it isn’t a waste.

I only watched two other movies in this 15 day period. “The Shadow” was for the How Did This Get Made? podcast. For the first time since I’ve been following the HDTGM crew, this was a movie that I had initially liked in theaters; however, I sort of knew in retrospect that it really wasn’t any good. However, I had no idea just how disjointed this movie was until I watched it again. Despite the incredible leaps in logic this movie asks of its audience, I still can’t help but want to like it because at the time it came out DC Comics had just ended an incredibly entertaining run of “The Shadow” comic book, and were in the midst of a run of “The Shadow Strikes!” which was more true to the original radio show. Alas, not every adaptation can live up to our expectations of it.

The other film was a 50s film adaptation of the tale “Androcles and the Lion”, a fable about a slave who pulls a thorn out of a lion’s paw in the forest only find himself pitted against that same lion in the Roman Coliseum. The movie is a goofy Silver Age Hollywood comedy that finds itself in the murky waters of the subject of slavery and the oppression of one group of people by another. The story highlights Christian themes in a way that I doubt many Trump supporters would recognize and therefore has a very good heart at its core, but it is an awfully cheery and clean look at the Roman Empire.

Here are the tweets.

Finally finished @DowntonAbbey and I will definitely miss the place upstairs and downstairs.

I wasn't totally sold on the new @Ghostbusters but at least I saw it before I drew that conclusion. #DLMChallenge No. 165

I liked The Shadow when it was released in '94, but I can concede that it belongs as part of @HDTGM milieu. #DLMChallenge No. 166

@StarTrekMovie Beyond proves the franchise can handle a helming and navigational change. #DLMChallenge No. 167

Even after 7 seasons @ModernFam continues to put out a fine comedy product about families.

@jasonbourne is a solid Bourne movie, but it doesn't bring anything new to the series. #DLMChallenge No. 168


What a jolly/upbeat movie they made out of the barbarity/brutality of the Romans with Androcles and the Lion (1952). #DLMChallenge No. 169

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