Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Seen in May 

Sean Connery and Christian Slater in The Name of the Rose.

Wow. What happened? Playoff hockey? Not really. I did exercise a bit more, but not so much as to cut into "TV time". Giro d'italia? Yes but again, that was all early morning watching. There are some shows watched that are just extensions of something already seen, like Run the Burbs, or that are still being watched like Pokerface. I don't really know why I didn't watch as much. I guess that's healthy? Who knows? Here's what I did see.

The Name of the Rose
Amazon Prime

Based on Umberto Eco's murder mystery set in a 14th century Benedictine abbey. William of Baskerville (a Sherlock Holmes reference perhaps?) is a Franciscan monk played by Sean Connery, who has travelled to the isolated abbey with his novice (a very young Christian Slater), to help facilitate a theological debate. Yet, upon his arrival, William is warned of strange deaths occurring in the abbey, connected to their cherished library. The deaths are really the instigation for discussions around knowledge, the privilege of the church and clergy, lust, love and even the place of humour in theological ideas. It's all very "Umberto Eco" and a fascinating view into the cruel hardships of medieval life and is so well cast that you might find it hard to believe that everyone is an actor and not someone discovered at a medieval fair.

Antonio Banderas is Puss… in Boots.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Puss (Antonio Banderas) has lived many lives but now upon realizing that he has used 8 of 9 of those lives he’s afraid the next close call may be the last one. This existential crisis leads our swashbuckling hero to hang up his boots, cape and sword. After a time of receding into “retirement” as an unfulfilled house cat, Puss’ past catches up to him (I’m just assuming “Puss” is his preferred moniker) and he sets out to find the wishing star where his goal is to attain another 9 lives. Along the way Puss finds friendship and love that reminds him the value of a life is more than wishing something for yourself. This is a funny and furry fantasy that provides all the action, laughs and feels you’d expect and reminds us all that a good story always wins the day.

One of the most famous images in photography is Muybridge's horse and rider.

Exposing Muybridge

A documentary about the 19th century eccentric adventurer and photographer Eadweard Muybridge who escaped death, a failed marriage and dodged a murder charge to become one of the most influential artists of our time (though not his own). His innovations in photography led to the moving image and thus entirely new forms of art and scientific exploration. His photographic studies of motion are still a valuable resource to animators and an inspiration to a variety of artists. As a bonus, one of the more entertaining interviewees is British actor Gary Oldman who is an avid photography collector. Oldman’s presence adds a necessary boost to what may otherwise have been a slightly odd and pedestrian documentary.

Maya Rudolph as Molly Novak.

Loot S02
Apple TV+

Maya Rudolph returns as Molly Novak, a billionaire who has found her philanthropic purpose after recently divorcing an egocentric tech billionaire. The similarity between Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie Scott is obvious and at times the writers seem to run out of ideas and simply borrow facts from Bezos and Scott's lives. Luckily Rudolph and others such as Ron Funches and Nat Faxon are here to rescue the writers with fine comedic performances.

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