Yes.

I know that I’ve gone to a lot of trouble to build up my credibility when it comes to talking about movies, and I know that basically everyone (including some critics that I almost always agree with, like Walter Chaw and Genevieve Valentine) hated this movie, and so I’m going to burn that credibility by saying that I loved it.  I just saw Jupiter Ascending on Saturday and I cannot remember the last time I had so much fun at a movie.  (No, wait, I can, it was Wreck-it Ralph.  I really liked Big Hero Six, but if I’m being honest, I had more fun more consistently watching this crazy tower of excellence).

SPOILERS.

What follows is a partial list of things about Jupiter Ascending that are perfect and amazing.

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We have all been waiting for the answer to this question, “Can a white man criticize the p.c. culture of the liberal left?” and Jonathan Chait has answered this question at length . The answer is apparently, “He CAN, but probably SHOULDN’T.” Much better writers will do much better responses to this, but it’s left me so irritated that I couldn’t help but write at least a little bit.

There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s start with…I guess…let’s do “commencement speakers”, and maybe ask a few questions about why guys like Jonathan Chait get their knickers in a twist when a student body tries to block one person or another from speaking at their commencement.

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I don’t know, now I got started, I figure I may as well get it all out of my system.  The idea, as I mentioned earlier, was to try to do one of these supernatural-adventure-mystery shows like Constantine or Detective Grimm, but with a feel that was more like CSI or Law and Order (or Bones, I guess), where you’re using these sort of forensic systems and legal procedures to deal with supernatural concepts, rather than every week having to have to hunt a new monster that you Look Up in the Book.

I guess, imagine it like the Deep Space Nine to Star Trek: The Next Generation.  A key difference between the shows, and one that a lot of people liked better, is that in DS9 there was no getting away from the problems that they ran into.  They were here in a place, dealing with communities over and over again, facing certain problems and then the consequences of those problems, and such like.  And imagine it even a little more concrete, where we start the show knowing what different tools we have at our disposal to create and solve mysteries, and if we’re going to create a new tool, we have to 1) know how it works, 2) know why it works, and 3) not introduce anything that we’re going to wish we could forget about three or four episodes down the line.  But THEN, imagine that it’s not just a question of formalizing our investigative processes, but a question of formalizing what the communities are like and how they relate to each other, so that if we are going to introduce a new monster we have to 1) know what it is, 2) know why it’s here, and 3) not introduce it unless we plan to use it again.

SO.

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I was talking to Holland via THE INTERNET the other day, and complaining (I pretty much only ever complain when I talk to Holland about things) about things that bother me in these sorts of supernatural adventure mystery shows like Constantine and Detective Grimm.

This thing is, when they have to figure out what the monster is and what they have to do about it, the either 1) look it up in a book (some variations include Grimm: first ask that guy about it, THEN look it up in a book, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer: look it up in one of several books), or 2) use some kind of spell or charm that has the exact specific purpose of finding this particular demon/monster/orc and then is never mentioned again.

Both of these bother me, and as a sort of mental or creative exercise, what I would like to do now is brainstorm some ideas based on the following premise: what if you were a forensic scientist (i.e., a person whose job is to extract secrets from the dead, so: necromancer) in a world where the mundane and the supernatural mixed regularly? Like, there were just demons and faeries and trolls and such around, what systems would you use to figure out who committed the crime? What procedures would you put in place?

If you had this stuff in place, could you just basically make a CSI or Law and Order episode, but with monsters? (I am definitely aware that these shows ALSO resort to “one resource that solves all the problems” and “one resource that solves exactly this problem, exactly this one time”, they’re not immune to it, but they also have these multi-purpose but not omni-purpose procedures in place.)

Anyway, I think it’s interesting.

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In brief:  fine.  It’s fine.  Hayley Atwell is great, she hits a guy with a stapler.  Just cold wrecks him with it, that was worth tuning in for, considering this whole misadventure is, at the very least, free.

I do have some further thoughts, I shall present them in the form of…

…A LIST.

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I have been watching this Marco Polo show on Netflix, since there’s a lot of it and it’s new, at least, and I’ve watched everything else interesting on Netflix already. I’ve got some thoughts on it, but if you don’t want to read the long version, the short version is: this show is a pile of fucking garbage. Just lazy, clumsy, stupid, disrespectful. Junk all around. (I know that in the New Year I resolved to be kinder, but in a way I think calling this thing what it is IS a kindness. I’m being kind to you, dear readers, by not hiding this contemptible bullshit behind a euphemism, so that you aren’t misled by niceties.)

Anyway, here are some thoughts, in no particular order.

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Proving, once again, that I — BRAAK! — and my superior atomic intellect am capable of predicting the future, I would like to point out that Idris Elba is already James Bond, and his first movie was rad as hell:

James Bond:  World’s Edge

World’s Edge (2015) is the twenty-fifth entry in the James Bond film series and the first to star Idris Elba as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond.  The film is the first to allude to the fan-theory that James Bond is a cover identity.  The theory would be stated explicitly in the twenty-sixth entry.

The film centres on Bond investigating an arms dealer who is collaborating with a terrorist organization in Pakistan.  The film was controversial both for its casting choices (including the replacement of Daniel Craig as James Bond with Idris Elba, and the replacement of Ben Wishaw as Q with Don Cheadle), and for its choice of subject material, which was found to be heavily critical of American foreign policy.

The film was produced by Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. World’s Edge was well-received by most critics and was also a financial success, grossing $500.1 million in the US, and $1,520.1 million in non-US markets.

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