Movie Review and Analysis: I’m Thinking of Ending Things

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I’m Thinking of Ending Things * 2020 * Rated R * 2 Hours 14 Minutes

😸😸😸🌑🌑 Rated 3/5 Happy lap cats

I’m Thinking of Ending Things focuses on a young woman whose name changes throughout the film, so she’s billed as “Young Woman”. We’re introduced to her as Lucy, so I’m going to refer to her as that, because I hate it when major characters are treated like objects. Lucy is played by Jessie Buckley, who was amazing in the critically acclaimed HBO miniseries Chernobyl last year (2019) as Lyudmilla Ignatenko, the pregnant wife of a firefighter with severe radiation exposure.

Lucy has a newish boyfriend, Jake, played with understated creepiness by Jesse Plemens of Black Mirror: USS Callistor and Breaking Bad. Plemens is good at what he does, making it hard to separate the actor from the character. Plus, for attentive viewers, the first glimpse of his character shows him watching Lucy in the street from a 2nd floor window, with some strange, mumbled dialogue playing in the background. The sinister stalker vibe is established immediately.

An elderly man (Guy Boyd) is seen from the window first, who then turns into Jake. Before long, brief scenes of the elderly man working as a janitor in a high school where the musical Oklahoma! is rehearsing are intermittently inserted into the main storyline.

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Lovecraft Country Season 1: Review

 

Now that I’ve finished recapping the German time travel nightmare that is Dark, let’s move on to the quintessentially American nightmare that is HBO’s Lovecraft Country. The series is adapted from Matt Ruff’s 2016 novel of the same name, which takes place in 1950’s Jim Crow America, emphasizing the competing horrors of racism, trauma and monsters of pure fantasy.

The “Lovecraft Country” of the title is a pun, referring both to scifi-fantasy author HP Lovecraft’s non-human creations, which are referenced sporadically, and to his racist, xenophobic and misogynist beliefs, which permeated both his writing and mainstream America at the time. Lovecraft Country is an intricate dance competition between metaphorical, cinematic and human monsters. It’s not always clear who wins, but the people of color definitely fight for their lives, on every level.

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Manifest Season 2 Episode 3: False Horizon Recap

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So many amusing things happened on Manifest this week that I can’t resist commenting on them, so here’s a recap.

Mick treats Jared like dirt in order to get Zeke out of prison, because those two are legitimately the worst. Grace’s baby makes her hallucinate black dragons. Mick, Zeke and Cal share visions of a horrific plane disaster, which they see as a positive bonding experience.

Ben and Vance decide that lying to Saanvi, tricking her into helping them find the Major and not telling her she’s in mortal peril is A-OK. Saanvi is not okay with this scenario and is smarter than the three of them put together. She has a plan for dealing with them.

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Stumptown Season 1 Episode 10 : Reality Checks Don’t Bounce Recap

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This week on Stumptown, Dex helps a reality show judge with his wayward brother and tries to cope with the thought of Ansel moving out. Miles, Grey and Dex all deal with the fallout from Grey’s relationship with Liz. Miles brings Grey in to help with a case.

Dex spends the episode struggling with her fear of being alone, as symbolized by the many cat and cat lady references. The cat lady references and warnings to uppity women who aren’t nice enough to men and children even spilled over into Fox’s Almost Family, which aired at the same time on Disney’s other broadcast network. Interesting synergy.

I am traumatized by tuning in early enough to catch the last ~minute of the show that’s on before Stumptown, in which a group of very young children coach a very old man on how to pick up women in a bar, then heckle him as he puts their advice to use. This might be the most disturbing thing I’ve seen this month, and I’ve seen the news. It’s like those old commercials that put talking adult faces onto babies. Chilling. We don’t need to find new ways to sexualize children.

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Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist Season 1 Episode 1: Pilot Recap

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There are worse things in life to wake up to than Alex Newell singing in the apartment next door. That’s what happens to Zoey Clarke (Jane Levy) when she develops a new musical superpower early on in the pilot of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, NBC’s new hour long musical series. Alex, who plays Mo, a DJ, fashion designer and artist, frequently sings and plays loud music even before Zoey develops her power. With her new talent, she can hear the songs that he only sings inside his head. Zoey is initially too much of a coding nerd to appreciate any of this.

When there’s an earthquake while she’s having an MRI of her head with a radio playing, Zoey acquires the ability to read minds, in the form of watching people sing fully choreographed musical numbers that explain their current state of being. The computer running the test does something funky as the world shakes, making portions of Zoey’s brain light up that shouldn’t be affected.

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Stumptown Season 1 Episode 8: The Other Woman Recap

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This week on Stumptown, Dex faces old foes and old issues in order to solve a case for Sue Lynn Blackbird. Dex and Grey attempt to navigate around Grey’s relationship with Liz, while Liz and Ansel become better acquainted.

Recap

Dex sits at the bar and checks out a comics-style drawing of herself done by Liz, at Grey’s request, for Dex to use on her PI Yelp page. Grey thinks she needs tp jazz up the page to bring in hits and paying customers. Dex, as usual, rejects ideas that are new and related to Liz, despite Ansel’s enthusiastic approval. During the conversation, they find out that Liz played college soccer with Tobin Heath, a famous real life player for the Portland women’s  pro soccer team, the Portland Thorns FC. Ansel is a big fan of the team.

Sue Lynn enters and puts a stack of cash down in front of Dex as a retainer. She says that someone is harassing her using seemingly minor acts and she wants Dex to find out who. They’ve stolen her wallet, broken into her house, put a rotting fish on her windshield, and laid a honeytrap by sending a man to seduce her. He was just her type, but too perfect. Dex thinks she’s being paranoid. She’s barely finished saying it when a bomb explodes on the hood of Sue Lynn’s car. Dex sees Sue Lynn’s point and takes the job.

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Stumptown Season 1 Episode 7: November Surprise Recap

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This week, Dex is hired by the State Senate campaign of Llewellyn Slocombe, a wealthy rancher who was supported by her nemesis Randall Tapper, until Dex cost him so much money that he had to withdraw his donation. Slocombe’s campaign manager, Vanessa, hires Dex to dig up dirt on his gay, but squeaky clean, political opponent, beloved Councilman Dan Gibson. Vanessa gets a little intense about her need to destroy Dan and offers Dex $50k to compromise her morals. Dex decides she can stomach getting involved in politics for that price. Then the building is evacuated because of an anthrax scare.

Politics is a truly cutthroat business.

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Katie Hill, Bodily Autonomy and the Need for Feminist Mama Bears

I put up a new post on my other site, WitchyRamblings.com today. Take a look!

Witchy Ramblings

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The Katie Hill revenge porn saga highlights much that’s wrong with our culture today, especially when juxtaposed against the Trump non-impeachment saga. I’ve watched both unfold with horror, reminded of how truly powerless we average citizens are. Of how powerless women ultimately are.

I don’t have the answers for how to stop revenge porn or Donald Trump and the Republicans. I mean, I do- enforcing the constitution and laws that are already in place would be a good start. So would treating women like the equal, dignified human beings we are. But more energetic, smarter people than me are working very hard on those crises. Sometimes the problems of the patriarchy seem intractable and like they’re only getting worse, no matter how hard we fight.

So today, I’m going to focus on the issue in a more individual way. I was struck by how victimized…

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Netflix’s Daybreak Season 1 Review

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Simply put, Daybreak, Netflix’s post apocalyptic Red Dawn meets Ferris Bueller zombie teen comedy series, is a hot mess. Or, as we used to say in the golden heyday of Tumblr of yore, a problematic favorite.

I purposefully stuffed way too many descriptors into the first paragraph and tried way too hard to sound cool and am now being way too obvious about every single thing I’m doing and speaking in the first person while breaking the 4th wall, in order to give you a sense of what might have been charming in Daybreak but is really just tres, tres obnoxious.

Daybreak, the TV show, is based on the comic book of the same name by Brian Ralph and created by Brad Peyton and Aron Eli Coleite. Like the comic, the main character is a self insert first person narrator who just happens to be a North American straight white male. I haven’t read the comic yet, but from what I understand, it’s more contemplative than the series, described in one article as being more like the 2009 Viggo Mortenson film The Road than Mad Max: Fury Road (2015). Or, you could say more like the original, 1979 Mad Max film.

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