Midnight Special, a science fiction film about a boy with special powers, could have and should have been a better film. But, it’s decent in its own right. The positives to this movie are the cast, the acting, and the shots (even though there was a noticeable smudge on the camera lens in one scene where they were driving). The negatives are that it gets relatively boring after an interesting setup in the first act to first half of the movie.
Grade: B-

Spoilers below

Many people online seemed dissatisfied with the ending. I thought it tied things up fairly nicely, so I’m not sure what the issue is. What I find odd, though, is the filmmaker’s commentary on it.
https://www.buzzfeed.com/adambvary/midnight-special-ending?utm_term=.rmokL5XQG#.ocAYWO8nG
It seemed fairly straightforward to me with the bright light emanating from the boy and the beings of light revealed to be living in a world on top of ours watching us that the boy and these beings are angels. But Jeff Nichols, the writer and director, calls that a “red herring”.
Regardless, it’s clear the filmmaker was shooting for a “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” level of film, but falls short of that. Still worth watching for science fiction buffs, though.

(WordPress if fucking up the line breaks and I don’t feel like trying to figure out why)

Suicide Squad came on HBONow last Saturday and I figured I needed to watch it, especially since I had just seen Batman V. Superman. I guess I should review it too. Unfortunately, I found Suicide Squad to be inferior to Batman V. Superman, even though everyone was in love with the Suicide Squad trailer, as compared to their hatred for the Batman V. Superman trailer.

The positives of the film are Will Smith’s performance as Deadshot and Margot Robbie’s performance as Harley Quinn. Interestingly, this is the first time I’ve seen Cara Delevinge on the screen, who plays an archaeologist who gets possessed by a witch named the Enchantress. Delevigne is in an upcoming film of interest, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and I have seen the trailer for that. She was hardly in the movie as the archaeologist and that performance was fine. The Enchantress performance seemed mediocre at best, but I think the primary problem was the dubbing of audio over top of her lip syncing, or something. Something wasn’t right about it at all and it took away from her performance and the scenes with the Enchantress.

The visual effects weren’t bad, but in spots weren’t necessarily good either. As for the true negatives – the story, the direction, the Joker hardly being in it. Perhaps the biggest problem with this movie is the attempt at making unlikable people likable, some of whom do unlikable things throughout the entire movie. While it generally works for Deadshot and Quinn, it fails miserably on everyone else. The other characters are completely useless too; Jai Courtney sucks as usual as an Australian named Boomerang, a guy who uses a…you guessed it…boomerang to kill people. There’s also a crocodile guy or something, a Japanese woman who uses a…you guessed it…sword to kill people and then there’s the guy that can turn his body into a flamethrower, Diablo, but then sits around most of the movie brooding while refusing to use his powers. Lame. But even lamer, there’s one guy who can climb buildings real fast and then gets killed immediately. Not even in battle. LAME.

Grade: D

I brought back my subscription to HBONow a day into the flu to get some new things to watch when I wasn’t dead in bed. Here’s some brief reviews, none of them of brand new movies or shows:

Westworld: The best series I’ve seen. Better than Game of Thrones, which jumped the shark at the very, very end of season 5. The blonde woman with the snake tattoo, played brilliantly by Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, is absolutely lovable in her badassery, even though it’s a pretty small part. Everyone else does well too. I also liked seeing Tessa Thompson again, who I first really saw in Creed. I ended up binge watching the entire season over two days thanks to it being so good. Grade: A+

Batman V Superman: I finally saw it thanks to the subscription and while it wasn’t a great film it wasn’t terrible either. My issues with it were the length and the odd tonal shifts where they tried to shoehorn in items for the next Justice League movie. While a lot of people were harping on Affleck being Batman when it was first announced, my issue at the time was with Eisenberg being Lex Luthor. I’m happy to say his performance as Luthor wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Grade: B-

Independence Day: Resurgence: Not good. There was mediocre CGI, bad green screen, lame plot. And that was in the first 30 minutes because I fell asleep after that. So, I can’t really say I saw the movie. Another noteworthy item – “Madam President” is introduced within the first few minutes of the film, instantly dating itself to the dark times of the mid-teens where Hollywood was simply assuming the next President would be Hillary Clinton and was helping pave the way. Grade: D (from what I saw of it)

X-Men Apocalypse: While it was nothing that hasn’t been seen before, it was a decent movie and it being set in the 80s was fun. Sansa Stark, I mean Sophie Turner, played a young Jean well and I liked seeing how Charles Xavier lost his hair. Truthfully, there’s been so many X-Men movies, I have no idea if this is supposed to be in an alternate timeline or not compared to others from the 2000s as well as others from this decade. Regardless, it was a fun movie. Grade: B

The evening before last, I came down with a sudden sore throat and nasty malaise. I was able to get some sleep and when I did, fever dreams were occurring. I knew what it was even before I went to bed, though; it was the flu. This despite getting the flu shot later last December.

How I felt day 1.

First thing yesterday morning, I went to MedStar PromptCare in the hopes of trying Tamiflu for the first time ever. The doctor ran both a strep and flu test and both came back negative. But, in one of the most surprising things to ever happen to me, the doctor immediately agreed that it was the flu despite me having had a shot and the test coming back negative. Apparently the fact that the flu shot partially missed the mark this year, the fact that the flu is still going around my area, and the fact that my symptoms all screamed flu, led her to agree with me. Doctors and I have had different opinions about things my entire life, so this was noteworthy. She was also genuinely concerned that if I had any indications of a heart or breathing issue with it to go the ER immediately. I guess those are the hazards of getting older now.

Day 2 even worse.

So I got a prescription for Tamiflu and took the first pill around 11am yesterday. The symptoms only got much worse after that and now 36 hours after taking Tamiflu, I can say with certainty that this is going to run its course on par with the other times I’ve had a nasty flu. Which is to say not being able to do anything except feeling like I’m going to die for four days followed by a week of still feeling like a shit sandwich while working.

Going into day 3. Yep, still the same.

Now, you’re probably thinking that it isn’t the flu given I had the vaccine just over three months ago and the virus I have is not responding to Tamiflu. I 100% support your logic. I can also say with 100% certainty that you’re wrong. Given that the flu vaccines have missed the mark in recent years, it does make me wonder what the point of getting a flu vaccine is. As for Tamiflu, I’m going to continue taking it since there’s no difference between it and a sugar pill, but I won’t bother with it again. In fact, I went back last evening to my tried and true method of flu symptom relief – gargling a quarter shot of El Dorado rum once an hour, as needed. I strongly recommend trying it if you never have. I’m sure your decent liquor of choice can be substituted.

fuck yea

Edit: Oh, lord. I just learned The Walking Dead season finale is tomorrow. So, that’s the reason. I should have known it was advertising related somehow. This has to be the lamest thing I’ve ever seen a major site do.

I had no idea because I haven’t watched The Walking Dead since season two because it was a joke then.

***

Imgur used to be a nice site several years ago with interesting or funny images and thoughtful comments. But, it devolved into a majority of shitposts, reposts, and politics (many of which seem to be upvoted by bots) over the years. At the same time, a comment showing even the slightest dissent from the Imgur community groupthink would get downvoted to disappear. I had been thinking for over a year now of dropping off of Imgur because wading through all the bullshit to see something good was getting rather cumbersome.

But for the past 24 hours or so, it’s been nothing but zombies. This happens sometimes, as the community will jump onto a meme. But this topic was put forth by imgur in a banner at the top of their web page and mobile app.

Apparently it’s a game imgur wants users to play by tagging things with #TeamHuman or #TeamZombie with #TeamZombie posts getting “infected” or something. It’s a remarkably stupid thing for an image site to do, but at the same time, remarkably stupid is the world we live in now and imgur has been steadily lowering in content quality, so it’s a Poe’s Law situation as to what Imgur is thinking.

There’s a very strong possibility that this was coordinated for maximum impact on April Fools’, since that is today and the day imgur died to me, but there is a major problem with that thinking – Imgur started it yesterday, March 31st. It’s also unclear what zombies have to do with April Fool’s. So again, Poe’s Law. Still, I’m assuming tomorrow there’s going to be some post from imgur saying “thanks for playing the zombie infection game, we hope you had fun on April Fools”. That will explain the general stupidity of it, but it’s not going to explain why:

A) imgur wrecked its own site for an extended period of time for a joke. Most April Fool’s jokes on the internet are a quick laugh then the site can be usable. This isn’t a laugh and the site is not usable as it once was.
B) Imgur spent some time programming some of the stuff related to the zombie game when they could have been programming other things.

In fact, the top comment on Imgur’s post on the subject is “cool..so the favorites folders are just around the corner then?”

Indeed, folders for favorites is something the imgur community has been asking imgur to implement for years. My favorites are the only thing keeping me from deleting my account at the moment. I’ve already deleted all my posts as well as deleted all my comments. Now I just need to go through my favorites and download them all and sort through them locally to save what I want.

Over the past year or so, they’ve also taken away functionality that people had enjoyed and have made user interface changes that nobody asked for. Also, their servers have been crashing nonstop for the past year and a half or so.

My departure from sites occurs because of a mix of the user community becoming excessively stupid and some sort of self-infliction from the site itself. Imgur is no different, but weighs heavier to the self-infliction side.

Shame.