Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Other Space Season One Review

We are currently living in a new Golden Age of television, and the Gold is digital. Cable and broadcast TV is slowly going the way of the buffalo, and more and more people are using Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime instead, for all their TV needs. As those streaming services were primarily known for rebroadcasting old programs and movies, they are now developing original content, with shows like House of Cards, Transparent, and some Indian-hating Adam Sandler film that Netflix is producing.

Now the search engine Yahoo is getting into the digital streaming picture with Yahoo! Screen. So far, Yahoo! Screen only has three shows: Sin City Saints, the return of Community(saved from cancellation on NBC) and Other Space, the SciFi/comedy from Bridesmaids director Paul Feig.

I wasn't even going to bother with Other Space, as the ad campaign makes the show look awful(see the above picture). It looks like the cast is pogo-ing at a Ska show(i know they're floating in anti-gravity shut up).  It was Yahoo's aggressive YouTube-based advertising that got Other Space my attention.

The best description of Other Space is "Parks & Rec meets Red Dwarf, with a splash of Mystery Science Theater 3000." The ragtag crew, going on their first mission for the UMP, accidently fly through a rip in space that strands them far, far away from home. Now this crew, that barely knows what they're doing, have to survive in an unknown galaxy with nothing but strategy, bravery and boxes and boxes of fudge.

The basic "fish out of water with people who barely like one another" plot may be paint-by-numbers, tv wise, but I think that's the point here, as Other Space is anything but basic. The show never got boring, even after two back to back viewings, and the characters get richer and more detailed as the story progresses, which really kept me engaged.

Sadly, their are only 8 episodes in the first season, and there's no word yet if Yahoo! Screen will do a 2nd one. I'm not worried, as word of mouth spreads about how good Other Space is, I'm sure it'll get picked up a few years, at least.

Google and Yahoo have really stepped up their game, starting as simple search engines, now looking for world domination. We're all properly fucked when Alta Vista and Lycos get their shit together. I'm talking Skynet fucked. *starts humming the love theme from Terminator 2*

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

My thoughts on It Follows

Hipster Trash.
This is exactly how one my two friends described It Follows, as we walked through the concession area of the multiplex, being engulfed by a trove of people who had just finished watching Furious 7 at the same time our film finished.
I said that I had no qualms with her disliking the film, as that's anybody's prerogative, but I had no idea where she was coming from with the "hipster" description. Apparently, she doesn't seem to be alone in this thought, as I've noticed a few others since then also describing It Follows with the same jargon.

I was fortunate enough to walk into It Follows knowing nothing about the story. I trust my horror brethren(and sisteren), and when they say SEE THIS FILM IN THEATERS, I try my best to do my part. Sadly, it would be several weeks before it was playing within a 100 mile radius of me, but that wait was well worth it.

I loved this movie. I was drawn in right from the opening moments, and stayed there, eyes glued to the screen, as the end credits rolled. I don't want to go into too much detail about the movie itself, so I'll use one word to describe the feeling i had while watching it: dread.
It Follows is dripping with dread, and it was glorious.

I think the trailers that preceded the main feature really helped in making it look good, because they were piss poor. Some soulless scary kid flick, Insidious 3, a weak looking Poltergeist remake and some shot-on-Skype dreck called Unfriended* had me dreading the future of my favorite genre. Mainstream horror really has become stagnant and lazy, with the last really good horror film I remember seeing in theaters was The Conjuring. This is exactly the reason why we need to support a movie like this when it comes along in theaters.

Luckily, it seems It Follows is doing well enough, although I wish it was pulling in more people, like that overrated snoozefest Paranormal Activity did several years ago.

One problem here, though, is that It Follows will probably bore/go over the head of the average movie goer. It's not flashy, fast paced or in your face with jump scares. No, instead, it has a solid pace that keeps you wondering where It will come from next, and when It does show up OHMYFUCKINGGODRUNFORYOURLIFE. Great stuff.

Happily, I was not the only person who thought "This is totally a John Carpenter joint" while sitting in the theater. Everything from the pace, camera work, and the score(which I'm currently listening to) will remind you of Carpenter's early work.

I would go into more detail, but I want to keep this spoiler free. Come October, I'll go into more detail and theories for 31 Days of Horror.

Quick bullet points:
-It Follows reminded me of The Ring, which you'll understand if you've seen both films.
-I very much enjoyed the cast, and the way they were written. They were dumb kids, but not in an obnoxious way. Just dumb because "Hey We're Teens" lacking life experience, and we can't call the Ghostbusters to fight this malevolent spirit(or whatever It is).
-It Follows has a timeless/throwback feel to it, but one girl was using this odd clamshell shaped eReader or iPod Touch. I'd like more info on that, like why that bit of advanced tech was in a film that was obviously striving to feel older?
-I felt very claustrophobic while watching this, because of the situation of the main character. Did anyone else feel this way, or was that just me?
-I seriously doubt any guy who takes a girl to see this on a first date is getting laid that night. Or that month.

*if Unfriended makes any money, movies as an art form are dead.