POWER RANGERS:

This isn’t a bad movie, but it’s really not what I wanted to see.  I used to watch the original Power Rangers show and obviously that campy pre-teen ridiculousness was never going to fly as a four quadrant picture.  But I firmly believe they went way too far in the opposite direction.  This movie is surprisingly dark, serious, edgy, and ‘realistic’, to the point where I just didn’t find it to be an enjoyable or ‘fun’ movie.  It’s a movie involving revenge porn, masturbating farm animals, and dealing with autism and family abuse.  Rita Repulsa spends the first half of the movie topless (yes, topless) and cannibalizing innocent people in horrific scenes.  It’s really not escapist fun.

But I think the movie’s greatest sin is the lengthy run time and lack of action.  The last thing I ever expected going into a Power Rangers movie was waiting 90 minutes for any actual fight scenes.  This movie is (inexplicably) first and foremost a gritty teen melodrama, with a little bit of sci-fi action stuck in at the end.  It’s not a bad movie, but it’s a huge disappointment.  I will say this, though; it LOOKS amazing.  Great direction and inventive camera shots all the way through.  And it looks extremely real and expensive.

PASSENGERS:

This was another disappointment for similar reasons.  I knew it wasn’t an action movie per se, but I didn’t expect this to literally be two hours of one or two people wandering around an empty space ship.  It’s an interesting story in abstract, but it’s just tedious to sit through.  The best thing I can say for it is that the set design of the vast spaceship was gorgeous and looked really expensive.  I was actually looking forward to this one, too.

NEW TV SHOWS:

MAKING HISTORY:  I love this show!  It’s from Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who made Last Man on Earth, The Lego Movie, 21/22 Jump Street, and the forthcoming Young Han Solo movie.  This show is absolutely hilarious.  It stars Adam Pally, who I loved in Happy Endings, as a loser who invented a time machine and uses it for petty selfish purposes.  I can’t recommend this show enough.

IMAGINARY MARY: I’ve only seen the pilot so far but it was very funny and having a high quality cute CGI monster on a weekly TV show (voiced by Rachel Dratch!) is a huge selling point for me.  I also like that it’s about a woman who hates children and commitment dating a man with three children.  The kids were all funny with amusing personalities.

TRIAL AND ERROR: The first two episodes were pretty funny and I’m looking forward to seeing more.  Anytime John Lithgow does a sit-com, I’m in.  He’s particularly funny in this as a joyful murder suspect who just can’t help opening his mouth and further incriminating himself despite his apparent innocence.  This definitely feels like a one-season premise, though.  I don’t know how they could possibly keep this running past 13 or 22 episodes.  Not to worry, though.  It’ll probably get cancelled like all the other hilarious mid season replacements.

THE EXPANSE (BOOKS 1-3/NON-SPOILER) REVIEW:

Thanks to my burgeoning excitement over the The Expanse television series, I recently read the first three novels of the series by James S. A. Corey for the first time.  I’m as adverse to spoilers as anyone, which is the main reason I read them; I got sick of getting spoiled on future events by social media.  So my review of the books will intentionally short, vague, and anti-spoiler:

I only watched the first season of The Expanse based on Erik’s and Lou’s constant praise for the series.  It didn’t grab me and I struggled to finish the season.  I found it too dark, slow, and uninteresting.  But thanks to their beating drums, I kept going with Season Two.  And boy, what a difference!  Season Two has been thrilling and action packed so far, and I’m hooked.

LEVIATHAN WAKES:  I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, and I look forward to reading the next book now.  It’s interesting to see how things were changed.  Where I found the TV show too slow and dark, the book definitely has more of a sense of humor.  And, of course, it’s a lot easier to follow the story having already seen it once!

CALIBAN’S WAR: This was my favorite book of the trilogy.  I found it really involving and edge of your seat all the way through.  Every chapter ended on a cliffhanger that forced me to keep reading.  It also introduced my two favorite characters in the series, Avasarla and Bobbie.  The action pieces and entire story were all just masterfully done.  I can’t wait to see these events portrayed in the show!

ABADDON’S GATE:  This book was disappointing after the second one.  I don’t want to give anything away for tv-only readers.  I didn’t care for any of the new characters introduced.  I felt that the main story just wasn’t as interesting as what came before and the action felt artificially forced.  The central mystery of the story was great, but it also slightly ruined the tone of the series that existed up to this point.  I just didn’t feel as invested in this story the way I did with the previous books, and it didn’t end with me dying to see what comes next unlike the previous books.   I definitely enjoyed the book, but it did not meet my high expectations after Caliban’s War.