CHAPPIE stumbles and UNFINISHED BUSINESS tanks. Is anything new? Probably not, not since apes stood upright. The very first ape straightening out to stand upright in front of the monolith was probably the only new thing that happened. Everything else is just repetition. So why am I ranting (not that I need a reason. I say this out of my great respect for you, dear reader.)? Well, Blomkamp probably knew CHAPPIE was the same dumb robot story. He could have have an interesting B story, but no. That apparently was too hard for the idiot. I wonder if he’ll ruin ALIEN, the way that clown JJ Abrams ruined STAR TREK. As for UNFINISHED BUSINESS – well, that I saw coming miles away. I mean, that stink was something else. Poor Vince smelled it too, but he’s so tied to the thing that made him a star. Well, he’ll be kissing its ass right up until the day it kills him, unless he has the guts to tell it to go fuck itself.

The only flick that did okay was SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL. A sanitized story set in an extremely sanitized India. I’m not terribly surprised that it’s making its investments back. Folks still think of India as magical despite the fact that rape is a common occurrence there. The one bright spot is the news that, on 3/9/2015, at CUNY, Meryl Streep and Frieda Pinto will be presenting a documentary made by a British filmaker about the 2012 Delhi gang rape of a 23-year-old woman. India banned it, but the rest of the world needs to see what they’re desperately trying to hide.

What else is new? Alec Baldwin will probably thrive in the HBO drama about a NY mayor. It’ll be interesting to see if he’ll be as good as Kelsey Grammer in BOSS. That was quite a filthy little drama, which Starz pulled due to low ratings. It’s fascinating how something as magnificent as BOSS tanked, but something just as similar is doing great business. Is it because it’s about the US president, versus a city’s mayor? Larger playing field? Because everything else is sorta the same in Netflix’s HOUSE OF CARDS. BOSS does feel a tad more dirty, but I doubt that was the reason. Is it possible that audiences were not ready for something that beautiful and dirty and cerebral? If you know, please tell me.

Alibaba’s throwing money at the Chinese film industry! Well, fucking fancy that. Jack Ma doing war with his own country. Fascinating stuff. Ma’s certainly a lovely, lovely man. It’s about time someone brought China out of the dark ages, and Ma is big enough to take on that sort of challenge. Good for him – and China.

Oh yes – how did I forget? HBO’s teaming up with Apple and others via its own streaming service HBO Now, which you can subscribe to for $15 a month (not that I would. Why would I pay $15 to see a few shows when I can have it all for $8.99 from Netflix?  I’m not that fond of Game of Thrones.). Other studios are naturally jumping on the bandwagon – NBC and CBS are working on their own dedicated streaming services. What this could do is make broadband a lot more popular, and entice more folks to cut the pay TV cord. Cable and satellite providers will suffer. Is content that powerful? And are people truly sheeple? Do they just want to consume, sit around and watch internet? Do 99% of people just want to sit around and plug in to their shows? *Is* the Matrix real?


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