Post by Ian J. Ball
soaps: DOOL - Thur's ep. This was pretty forgettable. I think the main
thing that Schanke from "Forever Knight", who is EVOL!!1!, is going to
have NuTheresa kidnap Sarah's baby or something (to sabotage her custody
hearing versus Xander?). Meanwhile, to get rid of Stephanie's ex,
Everett(?), after they have another fight about him (and Stephanie is
being a whiny lil' bitch! - Chad should just dump her ass!) Chad tries
to buy the paper from Xander, who knows Chad's angle and refuses. So
Chad calls up Gwen(!) to somehow get the paper from her.
football - In another shocking(! /s) result, the Chargers choke at the
end and lose another game, this time to Green Bay (who are also lousy!)
- they are now 4-6, and have almost no chance of making the playoffs
now. And next week they get to play the Ravens. :|
The Seahawks also choke at the end of their game, and lose to the
In the evening game, Denver produces another improbable late-game win!
Loki (Dinsey+) - Ep's #2.5 & 2.6, the final two episodes.
Of course ep. #2.5 is an iteration "Groundhog Day" - you knew that
had to get that in here somewhere!
The show does go with a somewhat surprising (and, I guess,
"satisfying"(?)) ending. I know Tom Hiddleston has talked about his
hopes of doing a season #3 of this show, but with this ending I don't
see how that is remotely possible, unless they do an unrelated prequel,
Holiday Hotline (Hallmark) - Maybe it's just me, but I found this one to
be much better than average for one of these Hallmark holiday flicks,
and it's not just because Emily Tennant is so damn appealing.
This one had several things going for it. First, it's more of a
"Thanksgiving movie" than a "Christmas movie", which makes it fresh.
Second, the actual "holiday hotline" angle was totally novel - I don't
remember any other holiday movie using this bit. And, finally, just to
make things interesting/weird, they made Tennant's character British, so
she had to use an English accent through much of the film, though she
"fakes" an American one through parts (Tennant is Canadian!).
Beyond that, this flick did hit many of the same beats as other
Hallmark-type X-Mas flicks - e.g. I like how these movies make it seem
like sensitive widower-types (here Niall Matter) with precious tween
daughters seemingly grow on trees for recently dumped/dumpee
30-something gals to scoop up on!
Anyway, between Tennant and some of the new, fresher angles, this
was probably the best of the new "holiday" flicks that I have seen so
far this year.
And what did you watch?
Divergent (4K disc) 2014 sci-fi movie set in a dystopian future in the
remains of Chicago, which appears to be the last city on earth. Everyone
is divided into 1 of 5 groups based on their personality. The way I
remembered it, the personality was genetically linked, but according to
the first movie everyone simply takes a test then gets to pick whatever
faction they want regardless of test results.
Shailene Woodley stars as a young woman raised by "Abnegation" which is
the selfless faction and also the faction that runs the government.
Most people wind up in the faction of their parents, but after taking
the test to determine what faction she should join her results say she
is divergent, meaning she has the personality traits of multiple
factions. This is seriously frowned upon, but not common knowledge
among the population. Woodley decides to join "Dauntless," the faction
that makes up the police and soldiers. And in a double slap to the face
of their parents her brother (Ansel Elgort) joins Erudite, the faction
for smart people. The Erudite faction is run by Kate Winslet who is
secretly planning to take over the city. But most of the movie focuses
on Woodley trying to make it in the Dauntless faction while falling in
love with her teacher played by Theo James. Rounding out the cast are
Maggie Q who warns Woodley she's divergent, Jai Courtney and Mekhi
Phifer as two mustache twirling henchmen in the Dauntless faction but
secretly working for Winslet. Ashley Judd and Tony Goldwyn as Woodley's
parents. And Miles Teller as Doctor Smith, I mean a member of Dauntless
whose sole purpose in the series is to constantly betray everyone every
chance he gets yet somehow no one ever puts a bullet in him.
The Divergent Series: Insurgent (3D disc) 2015 sequel which picks up
where the first one ended. I went into this one with very little memory
of the plot and was surprised by just how little actually happens in
this movie. Also they retcon things so a person's faction type can be
genetically detected by a machine. The plot is basically the heroes
from the first movie being framed for all the bad stuff that happened
and going into hiding. Miles Teller of course double crosses everyone
because that's what he does! Kate Winslet needs someone who is 100%
divergent in order to open a device and as it just so happens to turn
out Shailene Woodley is the only one around who is 100% Divergent. One
thing leads to another, Woodley's captured, she opens the box. Once the
box is opened a message is revealed that there are human survivors
outside of Chicago. Meanwhile a civil war breaks out lead by the people
who don't have a faction. Naomi Watts plays their leader and also
happens to be Theo James mother. Watts wins and promptly kills Kate
Winslet's character. And Octavia Spencer joins the cast as the leader of
the passivist, hippy, farming faction. This movie was pretty much a
complete waste of time. Honestly, in spite of my summary, not a whole
lot actually happens in this movie!
The Divergent Series: Allegiant (4K disc) 2016 sequel. This was my
first time watching it since seeing it in the theater. I only had a
vague memory of what was going to happen, but no specifics. Early in
the movie the main cast is making their escape from the city. I
immediately noticed that as they reach the top of the wall and all smile
at their newfound freedom, Maggie Q was conspicuously just to the side
of everyone else, I immediately knew Maggie wouldn't be enjoying that
freedom. And sure enough a split second later she's shot in the back.
See, there are stakes in this movie, anyone can die. Then there's Miles
Teller's character who in the first 2 movies *no* one liked! His entire
function in the first two movies was to alternate between being A
"Doctor Smith" backstabber and annoying people while plotting his next
backstabbing. And in this one he tags along with everyone after
threatening to get them captured if they don't let him tag along. What,
shooting him on the spot and leaving his corpse behind wasn't an option?
Anyway, the plot of this one picks up right where part 2 ends with
everyone learning about a society outside the walls of Chicago. The new
leadership orders everyone to stay behind the walls, but the leads from
the first two movies all decide they want to meet what's left of
humanity. Back in the city the civil war turns out to not be entirely
over with Octavia Spencer, you the *leader* of the passivist hippies,
declaring, "Look at the scars on my face. I wasn't always Amity." She
then arms up her side, you know, the passivist hippies, and leads a
counter revolution. But most of the action follows the leads outside of
Joining the cast are Jeff Daniels as one of the leaders of an advanced
human civilization that created the Chicago society and has been keeping
tabs on them. Bill Skarsgård also joins the cast as one of the people
working for Daniels and his main role seems to be looking as creepy as
possible. Was Dane DeHaan not available? The leads of course discover
Jeff Danial's isn't as nice as he first appeared and must stop his evil
plans for Chicago. And Miles Teller of course betrays them. Because
that's what he does!!! Why did they take him with them in the first
Overall this one is pretty good and probably the best in the series.
Unfortunately, I think mainly due to the stench of part 2, no one saw
part 3, and the series ended in a cliffhanger that will never be
Robots (Hulu) 2023 sci-fi comedy starring Shailene Woodley and Jack
Whitehall as too jerks who have robot duplicates of themselves made so
they can scam people and avoid actual work. They each send their robots
on their dates and the robots wind up falling in love with each other
and running off together. This is particularly problematic because
making robot duplicates is highly illegal so they can't call the police
or tell anyone even as the robots intentionally set out to destroy their
lives. Not a particularly funny comedy, or even that good, but I like
the subject matter so it held my interest.
No One Will Save You (Hulu) 2023 sci-fi horror movie about a young woman
(who never speaks) being terrorized by aliens. This movie was a
complete waste of time. As I recall the trailer was pretty good, but
the final product was an art house wannabe mess.
And in a weird coincidence that I had *no* idea of at the time, the guy
who wrote and directed "No One Will Save You" is the same guy who wrote,
"The Divergent Series: Insurgent." I'm tempted to say the guy can't
write, except he also wrote, "The Babysitter" which I did like. This
reminded me there is a sequel which I haven't watched yet. I'll
probably end up watching both Babysitter movies tonight.