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#TooMuchContent (Aug 31, 2019)

Ahhh… my first entry into bloggin’ about what I put in my brain through the consumption of media content. This post goes back for about a week or so. I will explain further in a future post about why I’m doing this, but it’s pretty much an ongoing process of time management in a world of too much content to knock off everything on my “to-do” list of movies, books, and every type of mediums that I’ve wishlisted to plow through, one item at a time.

Without further ado, let’s jump into it. The following are the highlights of notable content I’ve consumed in the past week…

Amazon’s The Boys: A few years back, I have read the first 12 or so issues of the comics this Amazon series was based on. I was already a seasoned fan of the anti-hero stuff like Kick-Ass, Sin City, and Wanted. But, for whatever reason, I never got around to finishing The Boys, as much as I was enjoying it. Maybe because I wasn’t disciplined at the time to finish 70-something odd issues of comics. Bingeing isn’t always an easy habit to form, if the rhythm and desire isn’t always there.

That being said, I initially wasn’t much in the mood to finish The Boys streaming series on my Amazon Prime, after having watched a couple of eps. Same reason as the comics, as I didn’t feel I could spend the time to be caught up in something that’s… actually pretty great! FOMO extends to fear of not being able to retain everything I watch/read/experience nowadays. Hence #TooMuchContent! It’s why I write for the keepsake of memory, and retain the important stuff, so that I can regurgitate them during nerdy conversations.

But, hell, it’s not homework, as my buddy, Bo! Campbell, reassured me. I learned to just enjoy everything in the moment. Whatever I retain worthy of retaining will come to mind… in the case of Amazon’s The Boys, it’s a vulgar-fest of a superhero satire that condensed the first few issues I had read. Whew, so I am up-to-date! I pushed through, and thoroughly enjoyed the first season. It was the antidote to “superhero fatigue” that I have been experiencing in the past years on Netflix and in the movie theaters. Question: I don’t want to spoil, but in the end, was Homelander (he’s an asshole, yes) revealing an alternative timeline? (For those who watched it already.) If not, go watch it.

Paper Girls (Image Comics): Brian K. Vaughn’s recent contribution to the trending 80s retro (that was sorta made mainstream popular by Stranger Things) with references that are hard coded into the plot line like Back to the Future (time travel), Planet of the Apes (future recycle of dystopia), and future devices created by Apple… and the Flintstones.

The series recently ended with issue #30, and I binged through them over two days. The story starts out as a simple newspaper delivery route between four preteen gals who befriend each other, and eventually end up being a time traveling, coming of age, alien/prehistoric/pseudo-scientific war-ravaging adventure, intersected with (what seems to be) dreams, that tests their friendships. Perfect for the comic nerd in all of us! And, lo and behold, Amazon has recently announced that they will produce a Paper Girls streaming series. More stuff to binge.

Unsane (Amazon Prime): This Sonderberg flick is shot on an iPhone, and it shows. Many of shots have that fish-eyed look on the outer edges of the screen, where the format looks like a 70s BBC soap opera thriller feel to it, that most of us try to fix with our pics/videos in our editing apps before we post to Instagram. I’m sure there were some post-production tweaking, but it’s not much apparent in the final product.

Most viewers can get the feeling of what’s going on within 15 min of this film, but it hooked me enough to wonder how it’s going to end. The dialogue between the protagonist and antagonist(s) come off as forced, with a bit too much exposition. It felt done to save on budget, limited to the confines of the location. Matt Damon makes a WTF cameo, but not a spoiler.

It were films like Ocean’s 11 and Traffic that got me to become a fan of Sonderberg’s work, although he’s done a few stinkers, as he’s not consistent with the quality of his work (Contagion, Side Effects, and Haywire, are a few that comes to mind) like Nicholas Refn Winding and Paul Thomas Anderson are.

Unsane, itself, is a mediocre fare, that tells the usual trope plot of whether our protagonist is really going crazy or she’s telling the truth, while being imprisoned in a mental facility. The story was engaging enough for me to watch, but it fell into too much exposition towards the end, as if all the budget was spent on the IPhone itself. Why was this even shot on an IPhone, the film itself doesn’t present any satisfying answers. This could have been shot on anything, so it becomes suspect that this was a gimmick. You’re better off watching Tangerine, which was shot impressively on an IPhone 5S. It’s come a long way from Blair Witch for “found footage” style films, but I think Soderbergh should leave these every day resources to people who are low on their budget to show off their skills.

“Myself, I love the imagery of struggle. I sometimes wish I were suffering in a good cause, or risking my life for the good of others, instead of just being a gravely endangered patient.”
– Christopher Hitchens, “Mortality”

“…Christopher was one of life’s singular characters–a wit, charmer, a troublemaker, and a dear and devoted friend. He was a man of insatiable appetites–for cigarettes, for scotch, for company, for great writing, and, above all, for conversation.”
Graydon Carter, “Mortality” foreward

Mortality” by Christopher Hitchens: Post-humonous book (of over 20-something number of books) after Hitchen’s battle with cancer. I have a large collection of his books on my shelf unread — God is Not Great, Hitch 22, Arguably Essays, are a few among them. Regarded as a public intellectual and literary essayist, I’ve often consider Hitchens one of the smartest people I’ve ever witnessed. I’ve never met him in person, but watched a lot of his speaking engagements online, and read a bunch of his essays.

Mortality is a collection of Hitchens last few essays written in face of his impending death. It is a somber read, almost reaffirming, that writing is the therapeutic weapon of choice to articulate ideas that can immortalize the writer.

Out of all his books on my shelf, why did I pick out Mortality? Maybe it’s because I experienced so many deaths and sickness among my family & friends in the past year, including my mother and 100+ year old maternal grandmother, and Jess, my co-founder for Mind.Erase.Media. I have been seeing a psychologist weekly to process all these recent deaths, with the realization of my mortality, and it’s definitely helped and reframed my brain, getting me back on my feet. This #TooMuchContent blog is part of the reaffirming Life process.

Dave Chapelle’s “Sticks & Stones“: Apparently, this was a controversially divisive show. I’m a “freedom of speech,” say what you want to say, as long as it makes me laugh, kinda audience member when it comes to comedy. I’m not the easily offended type, which is why I read and consume a lot of things that I may not always agree with. Otherwise, I wouldn’t know how honest and diverse your opinions and ideas are, if we’re gonna be communicating. Chapelle has always made me laugh, even if at times it is for a dumbass laugh.

Highlights from around the web:
Brandon’s Cult Movie Reviews: DEMONS (YouTube)
Cliff Chiang on Wonder Woman, Paper Girls and Making Comics (Behind the Panel) | SYFY WIRE (YouTube)
In the Mood for Love: Picture Worth a Thousand Words | Video Essay (YouTube)
Christopher Hitchens | Talks at Google (YouTube)
James Cameron Watched the Last 3 Terminator Movies to Figure Out What Not to Do With Dark Fate (io9)
Fire Ants vs. Simulated River Jungle (YouTube)
Rey’s New Lightsaber (Sith Army Knife) (YouTube) =P

I just had a thought, lest I forget, that I have a library card. I should utilize that more. I would consume faster, be more efficient, and save money… for more content!

Until next week!

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