Shmee Visits The Accountant!

Ben Affleck was in two action movies in 2016: Batman v Superman and The Accountant.  Interestingly they were both released by Warner Brothers and they both feature Affleck as a rich violent loner.  That however is where the comparisons between the two movies stop.  Instead of wearing a cape and a cowl in The Accountant, Affleck is an autistic math wiz who does taxes for very bad people, and he is also really good at killing people.

There is a lot going on in The Accountant.  In one story line we find out how Affleck’s character gets the way he is, it turns out his military dad wasn’t great at dealing with an autistic kid.  In another the Treasury Department is tracking Affleck down for his many crimes, and then in the main story Affleck is trying to find where a large corporation’s money has gone.  Only to find himself and fellow accountant Anna Kendrick targeted by the people with sticky fingers.  Turns out he is the wrong person to try and kill.

For the most part I enjoyed The Accountant.  It is an interesting story, and Affleck plays a different kind of character from what we are used to.  Though the trope of kids with special needs being good at killing is troublesome.  I will say at least The Accountant tries to treat autism respectfully, and not just as some sort of magic that makes his brain better at math and murder.  Even if that is the end result.

While the script has a few shortfalls, the cast mostly makes up for it.  It turns out that if you hire a ton of talented people and give them interesting things to do, they make a movie better.  The only person who seemed like he was coasting was J.K. Simmons, but to be fair to him, how many times has he played the chief or director of something, so he pretty much played muted J.K. Simmons.  Which again to be fair, is still pretty good.

There you have it.  The Accountant is a decent action movie based around a slightly worrisome cliché.  There are far worse movies to watch on a Friday afternoon, and it shows that Affleck is more than the sad Batman the internet has come to know and hate.  Now just make sure that your finances are in order because you wouldn’t want a visit from this accountant!

We Are Getting À La Carte TV. Proving You Should Be Careful What You Wish For…

Disney announced that after its two year deal with Netflix is done it will pull all of its movies and shows off of the popular streaming service.  This is so it can launch its own online streaming network.  There has been no word yet on how this will affect the current Marvel/Netflix co-produced TV shows.  Though I am guessing due to their success they will continue to stay on Netflix and continue to be made by the same team.

The real news is that there will soon be yet another streaming TV service.  It will be joining the likes of Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, CBS All Access, CW Seed, and the soon to be launching yet to be titled DC/Warner Brothers online network.  Plus who knows how many others are in the works.  Netflix opened Pandora’s TV box, and now every TV Service provider who’s ratings have taken a hit due to streaming media want a piece of the action.  This would be fine if the channels were going to be cheap, but it looks like they will start around $5.99 a month a piece and then go up from there.  Heck HBO Now is $15 a month.  You thought à la carte programing was going to save you money.  Well guess what, it won’t.

People are going to have to think long and hard about what services they are going to watch and need, and if these services keep dividing up their content and charging a lot for it, it may force people back to cable to ‘save’ money.  For some reason when people said they wanted to be able to pick and choose their channels they assumed that they could still just pay the $1 to $2 a channel like they are now.  That of course is not the case.

The à la carte future everyone said they wanted is almost here, and it is going to cost us all a fortune.  Not to mention the services we using now are going to continue to have less content as shows and movies are added to their IP owners’ own services.  Somehow the future is always less cool than we hoped it would be.

Shmee Does A Full Dive With Sword Art Online!

I have been watching a lot of Sword Art Online on Netflix.  Like a lot, a lot.  Is it is not great.  It is okay, but it is anime, and I find anime oddly comforting.  For me it is like curling up with hot chocolate or something, so a show that has two full 25 episode seasons is hard to ignore.

The first season is by far the best.  With much better writing, and you feel for the characters that are trapped in the titular MMO.  The second season there is a lot of stretching going on.  Five minute conversations have become full blown episodes.  You can probably skip it, but of course I didn’t.  I let it is mediocrity wash over me like a warm bath.

Do you like anime.  Does high school kids trapped in a full body MMO sound interesting to you?  You may like it too.  I would forgive you if you didn’t.  Netflix’s other show Magi is better.  Maybe I should review that since I watched it too?  Maybe I will, we will see.

Shmee Hangs Out With Pete’s Dragon!

Like with all things Disney, Pete’s Dragon got a remake.  The question is, is it any good?  Sure, it is okay.  It is a fine family film, but I don’t think it will be many people’s favorite movie.  It will be something to watch before you put the kids to bed, and you will not need to pay a lot of attention to it.  If you were a major fan of the 1977 original, this movie is nothing like that one, other than the titular Pete and his Dragon.

The original movie was a musical that took place around the turn of the 20th Century.  The new movie starts in 1977 (clever) then fast forwards to 1983.  In the original Pete’s Dragon, Elliott the Dragon got in to all sorts of mischief while he was invisible.  The new Elliott stays in the forest until an orphaned Pete (Oakes Fegley), who he has been taking care of, gets taken from him, and he has to find him.  Then Elliott gets hunted by some loggers.

At least unlike the other Disney remake’s, this movie is not a shot for shot update.  It is a new movie with a similar premise, so if you like movies with invisible dragons and Petes, the two Pete’s Dragons are just what you are looking for.  If you wanted an update to the previous film, you could be disappointed.

The acting is all what you would expect for a movie like this.  It is all a little too sappy and sweet.  Even Karl Urban as the ‘bad guy’ isn’t really that bad.  He is just trying to make ends meet, and he thinks a dragon is a great way to do that.  Which it probably would be.  If there was some way to keep a massive dragon contained.

If you need a movie to watch with your kids, and you have seen everything else, the 2016 Pete’s Dragon is a fine choice.  As is the 1977 movie.  Though neither of them, while well thought of, are going to be held up as true Disney classics any time soon.  I liked it, my kid liked it, and my wife liked it.  I just don’t think any of us loved it, but hey it is on Netflix, so that is good.

The New Star Wars Web Series Looks A Little Too Webby!

You remember when guys and gals were making web shorts in the late 90’s and early 2000’s?  That is what the new Star Wars: Forces of Destiny looks like.  It looks like somebody loaded up Adobe Animate and made some Flash films for their Star Wars fan fiction.  That doesn’t mean that I will not watch it.  I will.  It just looks like they could have put a little more effort in to this short series.  Especially if it is the launch for a bunch of new toys and dolls.  I believe it is going to be the Star Wars version of the very successful DC Super Heroes Girls, which sounds good, but it looks like they could have tired harder.