Sunday!

Flying over to Doha and back allowed me to catch up on a handful of movies that I’d not yet seen but had been meaning to.

Perhaps not if I had a full menu of entertainment choices before me… but, hey, if you were strapped in the middle seat of an airplane for 7 hours, you might say “okay, fine, I’ll watch it.”

Finding Dory
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Suicide Squad
Kubo and the Two Strings
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
Blood Father
Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children
The Boxtrolls
The Prestige

Most of those were suitable for, say, flying. Most of those were forgotten and I had to look at the Lufthansa In-Flight Entertainment webpage to remember “what did I watch on the plane, again?” but, lemme tell ya, YOU NEED TO SEE KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS.

If your kids are, oh, 10 or 12, they’re old enough for this one (it gets into some pretty heavy themes) but they won’t appreciate it as much as you will. The basic gist of the story is that Kubo and his mom live in their adopted community after escaping to there when Kubo was a baby. He makes his living telling stories at the local marketplace and he and his mom have a simple life together… but he has to make it home before sunset every night or else something bad will happen.

Well, the story kicks off on the night that Kubo fails to make it home before sunset. We then go on a great quest to find a handful of artefacts, learn the real story of what happened before Kubo and his mom showed up on the shore near the local marketplace, and, get this, explores the concept of what it takes to overcome evil.

There, that’s the non-spoiler version. The spoilered version gets into the whole “what it takes to overcome evil” thing and, get this, talks about forgiveness and community. Not revenge. Not even “justice”, really. Forgiveness. Holy cow. And the closing seconds? Have Kleenex handy.

Good stuff all around and probably the only one out of all those that I can wholeheartedly recommend to any/everyone here. There were some good things in some of those other films, mind. I can probably recommend a couple of other ones in there to 90% of folks, a handful more to 75% of folks, and shrug about the remainder as being good films for a trans-Atlantic flight.

But Kubo?

Seriously. You need to see Kubo.

So… what are you reading and/or watching?


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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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16 thoughts on “Sunday!

  1. Empire Games, Charlie Stross’s latest. I’m going to have to give up on Stross, at least his near-future sutff, he’s getting too depressed for me. We should have asked to use one of his blog posts for Dystopia Week — he’s a whole lot more pessimistic than any of us (except possibly Kim).

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  2. I managed to get charmed by a Korean TV show called Reply 1997 from 2012.

    The show is something that I would not expect to me my taste. Almost all the actors on the show are Korean idols from boy bands and girl bands and I loathe Korean-pop. I am in general mystified by Asian pop because it is manufactured/cultivated/managed in a way that is perplexing to my indie-rock heart. There is a really good Korean restaurant in SF that constantly plays K-pop music videos and the music is horrible to my ears. What you generally have is a lot of very pretty people who are trying to act like hardcore hip-hop artists but singing love songs so sickly sweet and sentimental that Celine Dion would be embarrassed by them.*

    But the TV show is funny and charming and surprisingly raunchy at times (One of the main characters gets a late circumcision and many jokes are had. Another character is the coolest cucumber and best athlete of the bunch but porn addicted). Most of the action takes place in flashback to 1997,the final year of high school to the protagonists. There are also scenes to the high school reunion in 2012. The main female protagonist is pregnant and the mystery is trying to figure out which one of the old gang is her husband.

    There are follow-up series called Reply 1994 and Reply 1988. According to wiki, Fox is developing an American version called Answer Me 1999.

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    • Saul Degraw: I am in general mystified by Asian pop because it is manufactured/cultivated/managed in a way that is perplexing to my indie-rock heart.

      And American pop music isn’t? When you hear Korean music in a Korean restaurant in the US, you’re hearing the Korean equivalent of top-40 music. I don’t know much about Korean music, but Japan certainly has an indie scene.

      Speaking very broadly, I suppose it may be true that in Asia manufactured pop has a bigger market share, but the difference is not nearly so stark as you make it out to be here.

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  3. I forgot my asterisk.

    My brief but general experience with Singaporean radio is that they don’t stress genre adherence as much as American radio. The oldies station in Singapore had no problem playing some sentimental adult contemporary like Michael Bolton and then following with Metallica or Queensryche. I am trying to think of an American radio station that would do this and I cannot.

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      • That sounds very SF but also not likely to be a commercial success even in the Bay Area. Something like that needs to be community-radio with listener support and run as a non-profit.

        There is a group called Post Modern Jukebox which does modern pop songs in old pop styles but this is very different than young people listening to old Cole Porter himself. I also think Post Modern Jukebox has a very niche audience of hipsters/geeks.

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          • I don’t know if being able to tour abroad changes whether someone is niche or not. Black Flag did International tours but they never made it rich. They just bounced around a van in Europe playing the same kind of small clubs that they played in the United States.

            I am not surprised by the fact that there is a global audience for Postmodern Jukebox but my friends who like them seem to fit a very specific type and tend towards the geeky. They would never listen to the original versions of these songs for pleasure largely (if not totally) but get amused by someone doing modern pop/hip-hop in a old-timey style. So this is a big combination of nerdom and hipsterdom for me which is an audience of a few thousand or tens of thousands in any city and a largely white audience.

            The same is true for a lot of “indie” rock bands. They can fill medium sized venues but the bands that could fill stadiums are largely diminishing. Radiohead is doing two shows in Berkeley in April at the Greek Theatre on a Monday and Tuesday night between Coachella weekends. The shows sold out in four minutes. The Greek Theatre seats just over 5000 people. I wonder if Radiohead felt like doing a show a larger venue would create too many empty seats but a medium sized venue would sell out easily. They didn’t even pick the Bill Graham Civic Center which can hold 7000 people.

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  4. The first season of True Detective. I expect this is like Stranger Things, where I was the last person in America to watch it, but wow. (And seriously-noir noir starring Woody Harrelson and Matthew Mcconaughey? Who’s next, Dave Coulier?)

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    • Mike,
      I think I’m literally going to be one of the last people to watch more than an episode or two of Breaking Bad. (Vince asked the person I was watching with to watch “Better Call Saul” first, so that he could get a review that watched the prequel straight).

      I mean, for goodness sakes, I started watching West Wing this year. And then stopped, it was that awful.

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