Captain’s Log: January 2017

First Captain’s Log of the new year! How exciting. Just to clarify; this series is to cover the smaller current events that I don’t usually cover while I’m writing about special topics. But since this month, I wrote about two major current events, which are the unveiling of the new Star Wars title, as well as the passing of Sir John Hurt. If you’d like to read those posts, they’re linked at the bottom of this page. That being said, let’s begin!

Most Anticipated of the Year

New year, new media! This’ll probably be quite the year, so let me briefly list a few of the things that I’m really excited for.

In movies, there’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi at the end of the year. We know just about nothing about this movie, but I look forward to more information in the coming months. Then, the Marvel Cinematic Universe will have some big movies, such as a sequel to Guardians of the GalaxySpiderman: Homecoming, and Thor: Ragnarok, all of which excite me greatly. I was really interested in seeing A Monster Calls, but it’s already out and it’s getting great reviews, so I look forward to when I’ll see it on Netflix or wherever.

2017 Jan 4.jpg

Lego Batman remains the only movie starring a DC character coming out this year that I’m really excited for. It’s gonna be hilarious. (Scratch that – actually very excited for Wonder Woman. That movie will likely be good. Justice League will probably not.)

Stephen King’s The Dark Tower  is finally getting the first installment in what will probably be one of several movies adapting the series. While I have not yet read the books, I understand that fans of these books have been waiting for this for quite some time. Also in book adaptations, there’s Ready Player One, a book I liked and I’m interested to see what they do with it.

2017-jan-3

There are a few directors in Hollywood who get me excited at only the mention of their names. Chiefly among them are Edgar Wright and Christopher Nolan. Wright has Baby Driver coming out this year, a movie about a getaway driver for bank robbers with an all-star cast. Christopher Nolan has Dunkirka war film coming out this summer. If I had to pick two films I’m most excited for, it’d be these two.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl remains one of my favorite movie, but I am most decidely not excited for the next Pirates installment, mostly because it’s not necessary. Curse of the Black Pearl was beloved because it had a fun love story that was entirely upstaged by an awesome revenge story. There were also some interesting fantastical elements, but one felt as though they were just a vehicle for the rest of the story. I feel that in the latter three films, the swashbuckling adventure has given way to the fantasy. Enough of Jack Sparrow trying to cheat death and live forever through supernatural means – let’s get back to the fun pirate adventures!

On the small screen, the Golden Age of Television rolls on. As always, I’m excited for Game of Thrones; we’re promised a shorter season this year, but the good news is that with fewer episodes in the lineup, there’s a bigger budget and therefore a bigger scale for every episode. Once things start up, they’re likely not going to stop. Since this past season was a lot of build-up, I think this season will probably be more fast-paced and exciting right from the get go.

If you’re not watching Fargo, let me tell you that you’re missing out. It’s a beautifully-directed and wonderfully-acted crime drama. I could talk about what makes Fargo so great, but it’s easier experienced than it is explained. The first two seasons have always had a talented cast, and the upcoming third season will star Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Ewan McGregor.

Netflix will be presenting us some additions into ongoing shows – a second season of Stranger Things which looks to build upon the mysteries of the first – and Marvel’s The Defenders which will combine Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and the upcoming Iron Fist – basically Netflix’s smaller scale Avengers.

While all we’ve seen of American Gods is a few pictures and a brief trailer, I’m tremendously excited for it.  If you don’t know what American Gods is about, it can be explained briefly as this: imagine that the gods of classic mythology, like Odin, Anubis, or Kali, exist as personifications of – y’know what, screw it, it’s too hard to explain in just a few sentences so just read the plot synopsis on Goodreads and let me just link to that trailer again.

I don’t talk much about video games on this website, but being that I grew up with Nintendo consoles, I’m very excited for the Nintendo Switch and the upcoming Legend of Zelda game.

Edit: Shit, I forgot a bunch of stuff. Logan looks amazing, and I am not even that invested in the X-Men franchise. The Beauty and the Beast reboot will probably be great, and I’m excited for it. There’s Star Trek: Discovery, Blade Runner 2049, Alien: Covenant, a new original Pixar movie called Coco, and holy shit in writing this article I just found out there’s a Creed sequel with a tentative November 2017 release date!

Ben Affleck no longer directing Batman

2017-jan-2

The DC Extended Universe has not exactly gotten off to a spectacular start. Man of Steel was mixed. Batman v. Superman was messy. Suicide Squad was – I’m not going to beat around the bush – it was bad. There’s been a rather hopeful notion that the next movie will be better. Man of Steel was weak? That’s all right, there’s Batman v. Superman in a few years. Oh, Batman v. Superman wasn’t good? That’s okay, we’ve got Suicide Squad coming up. Suicide Squad didn’t work? Well, that’s fine, Wonder Woman‘s coming out next year! The one light at the end of the Jesse-Eisenberg-as-Lex-Luthor and the crappy-writing-of-Suicide Squad tunnel has always been the Batman movie.

Starring Ben Affleck, written by Ben Affleck, directed by Ben Affleck. Even if Dawn of Justice wasn’t that good, he was still a good Batman. Giving complete control to someone like Zack Snyder or George Lucas might cause some issues, but not for Ben Affleck. He co-wrote Good Will Hunting and directed The Town and Argo. He starred in all of these movies. If we give complete control to him, nothing bad can happen!

Well, recently, Affleck announced that he though he will still star and write Batman, but he will no longer direct. Affleck explained that in order to properly play the character, he needs to be focused on acting, and directing takes away from that focus. So, for the sake of the movie, he has stepped down as director. I respect this, and I admire Affleck’s commitment to the character. A lot of people seem to think that this is a bad sign for the film, but I think it could be a blessing in disguise. As I noted above, there’s a risk when one creator has complete control of project that you can get something like, I don’t know, Jar Jar Binks, or Dawn of Justice’s take on Jimmy Olsen.

Peter Capaldi leaving Doctor Who

2015 dec 5

This week, Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi announced that his third season of Doctor Who will be his last. Everyone seems to be sad about this, and I suppose that’s deservedly so, but it seemed inevitable, really. It’s kind of analogous to the U.S. Presidency – no wait, let me finish! – when George Washington, probably the most unanimously loved president of all time, declined to run for a third term, he set a precedent that no president after him should stay in office longer than two terms. (With the exception of FDR, who guided us through the Great Depression and WWII, to be fair. And after him it became a rule.) So, as with Washington, it’s the same with David Teannant. He only wanted to do three seasons, so after him it should be an unwritten rule that no one actor gets more than three seasons. This seems fair to me.

That being said, after a pretty good Season 8, and a spectacular Season 9, I look forward to Peter Capaldi’s next season. Just when I thought Season 9 couldn’t have gotten any better, Capaldi gave the superb one-man show that was “Heaven Sent.”

I’m just delighted that he’s done so well. I remember in 2013 when people complained about him being selected as the Twelfth Doctor. Everyone seemed to have some gripe about him – he wasn’t young, he wasn’t a woman, he was white, he wasn’t David Tennant – but he still rocked the show. He didn’t try to do what Tennant and Matt Smith had done before him, but instead he played to his strengths of being old, curmudgeony, and having “attack eyebrows.” And while we still have yet to see a female or minority Doctor, Peter Capaldi was delightfully grumpy.

2017-jan-1

Thanks for the great performance, Peter.

 

Discussion topics

  • What movie are you most excited for?
  • What television show are you most excited for?
  • Will Ben Affleck’s stepping down as director make the upcoming Batman movie beter or worse?
  • Who’s your pick to play the Doctor next?

Posts for this month

Personal Favorites: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Before Game of Thrones | The Science of Adaptation

WWII Films are Modern Mythology

What Excites Me Most about Star Wars: The Last Jedi

In Memory of Sir John Hurt

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6 thoughts on “Captain’s Log: January 2017

    1. Origins: Wolverine is a very bad movie. The Wolverine is a very good movie. Definitely recommend, but I expect Logan will be better. And I’m interested to see how Ghost in the Shell pans out after all the controversy it’s encountered. I do hope it’s good, despite everyone’s criticism.

      As always, thanks for commenting! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I have never really watched Doctor Who apart from the Christmas specials. But they always were amazing!

    I believe the only good DC series right now is Flash. Sure it is not completely logical but it is really fun to watch. Everything else just keeps getting worse.

    You know that this year a sequel to Sicarrio is being released? Without Emily Blunt but still

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Doctor Who – if you have time, definitely watch Season 5. All the rest of it is great, but I think Season 5 stands alone very well and can be a good starting point.
      And I don’t follow the Arrowverse shows so closely anymore – but I’ve always enjoyed Flash.
      I really need to watch Sicario. Hopefully I’ll see it before the sequel comes out!

      Liked by 2 people

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