Each year after the winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture is announced, I immediately buy it, if I don’t already have it in my collection.
I didn’t see “The Shape of Water” in a theater, but my 4k copy arrived today. And tonight, March 21, I was treated to true cinema magic as this wonderful fantasy/science fiction/love story that even weaves a little sinister government “big brother” conspiracy into this amazing movie. And there’s a magical, musical segment that fits perfectly into this film.
Set in 1962 in Baltimore, we finally have a movie in which the creature has a happy ending. This film is almost an extension of “The Creature from the Black Lagoon,” but it is so much more.
I have a list (chiefly in my head) of movies that I call “Ronald” movies. They have a certain almost magical spirit that is so uplifting and inspiring.
The “Ronald movies” include Frank Capra’s “Lost Horizon,” “Field of Dreams” and “Cinema Paradiso.” There are others, but I am adding “The Shape of Water” to that list now.
Thank director/co-author Guillermo Del Toro, actors Sally Hawkins (no known relation), Richard Jenkins, Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer and Doug Jones, an amazing artistic team and others for creating one of my all-time favorite Academy Award Best Winners.
Having finally seen and written about the most recent winner, we’ll be continuing our posts about the previous best picture winners soon.
Two episodes aren’t enough to determine whether one should continue to buy “Star Trek: Discovery” from CBS All Access for $5.99 per month, but there are several indicators that make watching at the least next few episodes an attractive idea.
The first two episodes show promise, but also raise serious issues for some Trek enthusiasts such as at least one major variance with Star Trek canon.
While the first episode aired on CBS’ broadcast outlets, the second is only available from CBS All Access online service. In addition to Star Trek, nearly the entire catalog of old and new CBS programming is available through the subscription service. This writer didn’t sign up for the service for the other programming, only the exclusive online availability of the new Star Trek.
Probably the first thing that viewers will notice is that they won’t see the Discovery in either of the first two episodes. The action occurs outside the spaceships and inside the U.S.S. Shenzou and a Klingon ship. You will see a multitude of Federation and Klingon ships in battle scenes, but they are part of the ensemble in support roles for the central antagonists.
From the first,scene, it appears Klingons will play a major if not dominant role in the new series. The new series begins with a fierce speech by a Klingon chieftain trying to rally the other tribes, getting ready to deal with the humans. In his words (translated in subtitles), the most dangerous words are, “We come in peace.”
The Klingon ship is inside Federation territory.
While patrolling Federation space, the Chenzou encounters an object of unknown origin in the same vicinity. Commander Michael Burnham, a human raised by Vulcans, persuades her captain to let her take a space walk to find what the object is.
While on the surface of this object, Burnham encounters a Klingon and the result is a death. That death leads to a violent conflict between the two enemy empires.
Upon her return to Chenzou, Burnham is treated for exposure to massive levels of radiation. She, however, runs from her bed to warn the captain that the Klingons are coming and the Federation ship should attack before it is attacked, employing a strategy referred to as “The Vulcan hello.”
A conflict develops between Burnham and the captain, longtime friends on the starship, and Burnham is sent to the brig.
As the battle ensues, Burnham finds herself in deeper trouble. By the second episode, Burnham is tried and convicted and locked up.
If you haven’t seen the first two episodes, I’ve already given you several spoilers, but I will hold back on sharing other tidbits.
There are other items of note. One is the clear violation of Trek canon by the use of holograph technology. This show takes places before The Original Series and in the Trek timeline follows Star Trek Enterprise. On the timeline, the Next Generation followed the Original Series.
There was no use of holography by the Federation before the Next Generation. If one checks out the relatively new “Star Trek Encyclopedia” by Denise and Michael Okuda, there are lots of listings for various types of holographic imaging.
There are, however, no uses of that technology by the except by the Romulans in two Enterprise episodes. In “Babel One” and “United,” the Romulans used holographic projectors to create skins for ships that would make them appear of any design. And that’s it until Next Generation. …
The technical prowess of the new series is undeniable. Yet, many questions remain that need to be answered.
One concern about the new series is the role of Klingons. Michael Dorn, who starred as the Klingon Worf, reportedly had pitched a series idea to CBS about Klingons.
I certainly hope this series isn’t just about the conflicts with the Klingons. There is so much to explore and discover in the universe before the Original Series.
I guess we will start to discover that as we watch the future episodes.
Important alert for those planning to attend InConJunction this Independence Day weekend: Hotel block reservations availability is only guaranteed through May 30.
The deadline is getting near for those proposing panels or wishing to participate on panels at InConJunction. Panel suggestions are accepted until April 25, Tuesday, panel suggestions until April 25 and signups to participate on existing panels until May 1.
If you’ve ever been to Worldcon, whether it’s in London, Spokane or Kansas City, you know that probably the biggest event is the awarding of the Hugo Awards.
The final nominees for the honors this year, which will be presented in Helsinki, have just been announced.
Here are few of them:
All the Birds in the Sky, by Charlie Jane Anders; Closed and Common Orbit, by Becky Chambers; Death’s End by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu ; Ninefox Gambit, by Yoon Ha Lee; The Obelisk Gate, by N. K. Jemisin; and Too Like the Lightning, by Ada Palmer. Best Novella:
The Ballad of Black Tom, by Victor LaValle;
The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, by Kij Johnson;
Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire;
Penric and the Shaman, by Lois McMaster Bujold;
A Taste of Honey, by Kai Ashante Wilson; and This Census-Taker, by China Miéville.
Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form):
Arrival, screenplay by Eric Heisserer based on a short story by Ted Chiang, directed by Denis Villeneuve; Deadpool, screenplay by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, directed by Tim Miller; Ghostbusters, screenplay by Katie Dippold and Paul Feig, directed by Paul Feig. Hidden Figures, screenplay by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi, directed by Theodore Melfi; Rogue One, screenplay by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy, directed by Gareth Edwards; and Stranger Things, Season One, created by the Duffer Brothers
Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form):
Black Mirror: “San Junipero”, written by Charlie Brooker, directed by Owen Harris (House of Tomorrow): Doctor Who: “The Return of Doctor Mysterio”, written by Steven Moffat, directed by Ed Bazalgette (BBC Cymru Wales); The Expanse: “Leviathan Wakes”, written by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, directed by Terry McDonough (SyFy); Game of Thrones: “Battle of the Bastards”, written by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, directed by Miguel Sapochnik (HBO); Game of Thrones: “The Door”, written by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, directed by Jack Bender (HBO); and
Splendor & Misery [album], by Clipping (Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, Jonathan Snipes)