Too Much Streaming

I recently read an article from the Los Angeles Times about Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+. Believe me, it’s enticing, but do we really need another steaming service when we already have so many?

I’m not saying one should have a monopoly or people shouldn’t have choices, but does one person really need to have all the streaming services? At the end of the day, it’s another TV bill. Who wants that?

For now, streaming seems to be a cheaper alternative to cable or satellite. But the separate bills for the different services will add up quickly, if they aren’t already. Netflix and Hulu produce their own content – as will Disney+ – but how many people have time to sit around and watch every show or movie? Not many. It definitely wouldn’t be healthy. And it would probably be boring after awhile anyway.

It would be easy if all anybody had to choose from was a few general services like Netflix or Hulu. The name of the game is making more money, but having Disney shows available exclusively through Disney+ doesn’t seem fair. I mean, its content has been on the other services for so long. Why yank it away now? What if consumers don’t feel like paying another bill? It’s not like Disney is on the verge of bankruptcy and they desperately need the money or anything.

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Apple Podcasts archives

Some people call it Apple Podcasts. Some people call it iTunes. It’s all the same to me; nomenclature isn’t what I’m after here.

I love podcasts. I listen to a lot of them – maybe too many, they take up most of the storage on my phone at the moment. I’m interested in all of them though, and I try to listen to every episode. Except when I can’t.

“When I can’t” is the problem. I don’t know why, but sometimes the different podcasts randomly delete episodes from their feeds. Sometimes they delete downloaded episodes as well, instead of just removing the downloads from my phone to free up space.

It’s all good if I can access the episodes I haven’t listened to elsewhere. Sometimes, however, that’s impossible. I recently had to delete a podcast because I couldn’t find the older episodes.

Maybe I’m just too anal that I want to listen to all the episodes, no matter how old they are. But my question is this: why can’t all the podcast episodes be accessible from Apple? Is there a reason they randomly disappear? It’s not fair, if you ask me. If not Apple, they should at least be accessible in one other place.

Lacking Consistency

I thought I’d come back from my blogging break, but it seems that I haven’t. I’m sorry about that. However, I just started a creative writing class on Wednesday, so I should be able to post some of those things here.

I think part of it is that I haven’t felt like I have anything new to talk about. I know I have ideas in my brain somewhere, they’re just not at the forefront where I can readily access them. It’s disappointing, honestly.

I have been working on some fan fiction though, which has been really fun. And unexpectedly cathartic. I’m processing feels that I thought I’d already processed, but the story is bringing them up again as if they’re fresh. Sometimes it gets so intense that I have to stop writing.

My biggest personal disappointment though is not being able to finish a novel. I’ve been bouncing from idea to idea for years. I’m able to start writing the stories, but they just seem to fizzle out after awhile for some reason. Hopefully having deadlines in my class will help me to stick to something.

I’ll try to get back to regular posting soon. Thanks for sticking with me!

Google, please stop

At this point, it shouldn’t be a secret that I love – and admittedly have a crush on – Emily Blunt. My posts about Mary Poppins Returns are more than enough proof.

Unfortunately, Google has noticed this as well. The first thing I saw when I opened up Google on my phone the other day was an article about her Met Gala dress. That wasn’t what I was searching for at all.

It makes me feel like I’m unhealthily obsessed with her, even though I know I’m not; her work just so happens to mean a lot to me. I’m not one of those crazy people who is going to find out where she lives and stalk her. I know she’s (apparently) neighbors with Jimmy Kimmel, and that’s enough for me.

Nor do I want her to myself. I’m not a home wrecker. She and John Krasinski are pretty much relationship goals. If they ever get divorced for some reason I will be very, very sad.

So, Google, can you please not shove Mrs. Krasinski in my face so much? I’m not saying I never want to read about her (or John, for that matter), but I don’t need to be bombarded with articles. Okay, thanks, bye!

I thought I was over it

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A while back, when I was doing some research for this post, I watched The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. It had been awhile since I’d read the books or seen the movies. Plus, I’d since come to the conclusion that while the story is good for what it is – romance – the writing wasn’t very good because the end of the series was very anticlimactic. And Bella and Edward never fight. How realistic is that? It’s not. At all.

However, as I watched the movie, all of the feelings I had while reading the books came back to me and hit me like a ton of bricks. It was weird; I wasn’t expecting anything of the sort. Maybe it’s because when I read the books, I was at my father’s house, and they kept me sane during that time. I didn’t quite know what to do with myself after I finished reading.

Even the question of “Why didn’t Bella choose Jacob?” popped in my head, even though I know perfectly well why she chose Edward. It’s because when you’re around people who make you feel good, you don’t give up on those relationships. Or when you’re doing something that makes you feel good about yourself, you don’t give up on it just because it gets hard.

I might not like the writing so much anymore, but I guess The Twilight Saga still means something to me.

Singers v. Songwriters

Singers and Songwriters. These days, they’re almost one and the same. But what about the people who don’t (or didn’t) write their own songs?

I don’t know how they do it. Maybe that’s just because I can’t imagine not writing my own stuff. If you’re just a songwriter, what do you do? Write songs and sit around until someone wants to buy them? That sounds like rough going.

And how does someone go about buying songs that they can sing? Do songwriters just throw songs out there for you to choose from? That sounds overwhelming. I know sometimes people write songs specifically for other people, but that seems rare.

How can someone take credit for what someone else wrote? That would usually fall under the category of plagiarism. But it doesn’t seem to be that way with songs.

The Lion King (2019)

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After the death of his father, young Simba leaves Pride Rock to run away from his responsibilities, only to realize that running away doesn’t fix everything, and he must return to take his place as the rightful king.

The latest installment in Disney’s series of live-action remakes, The Lion King is good. It paid homage to the original, but it wasn’t the same. Some of the differences are to be expected, and even welcomed: Young Simba and Nala (JD McCrary and Shahadi Wright Joseph, respectively) were adorable. Wright Joseph is no stranger to playing Young Nala – she’s been doing it on Broadway for years.

Timon and Pumbaa (Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen, respectively) were hilarious. And, they can sing. Billy Eichner was just as good as Nathan Lane, and he got Nathan Lane’s blessing to play the character.

The one voice they didn’t replace – and it would be a tragedy if they had had to – was James Earl Jones as Mufasa. His voice is iconic. Although it does beg the question of why they didn’t bring more of the original voices back.

Donald Glover was excellent as well. BeyoncĂ©, however, left something to be desired. Yes, she can sing, but “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” sounded strange. And her acting fell flat, even though she only had to use her voice. She makes a lot of money for a reason – ostensibly because she’s talented – but that doesn’t mean she can do everything. She’s good at making her own music; she should probably stick to that.

The animation was as realistic as it could be, which was really cool. And, the crew used virtual reality to help them visualize where they were. All in all, this movie is satisfying. Slimy, yet satisfying.

Spider-Man: Far From Home

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All Peter Parker wants to do is relax and enjoy his class trip to Europe. However, one does not simply stop being Spider-Man. Saving the world is a 24/7 job that waits for no one.

Tom Holland is adorably awkward, which makes Peter Parker relatable. And that relatability humanizes superheroes as a whole – at the end of the day, they want to be just like everyone else. Zendaya may play Peter’s love interest, MJ, but it didn’t seem to be a very big role. She and Holland had a few scenes together, but for the most part, he was busy saving the world. However, it might purposefully be a smaller role: she’s not a damsel is distress who constantly needs saving. She’s just as much of a hero as anyone else.

The turning point – and the unexpected plot twist – of this movie comes in the form of Jake Gyllenhaal. He introduces the theme of innocence and what happens when it’s lost: How is Peter Parker going to handle himself when someone betrays him? Gyllenhaal’s presence also begs the question “Why are all the bad guys in movies attractive?” Or at least, they seem to be. If it’s an appeal for sympathy, it doesn’t exactly work.

The supporting characters in this movie, including but definitely not limited to Marisa Tomei and Jon Favreau, provided the comic relief sprinkled throughout an action-packed movie. The comedic timing was perfectly unexpected.

The post credits scene might just be the best set up for a sequel ever. Marvel fans definitely won’t want to miss this.

Yesterday

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In a world where no one remembers the Beatles because of a random, worldwide, 12-second power outage, Jack Malik makes it his personal mission to bring their music back.

This is the movie audiences didn’t know they needed. Rather, the world didn’t know it needed. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, while also describing the ups and downs of the music industry without the frame of a biopic. Lily James is as amazing as ever, Kate McKinnon makes things hilariously awkward like she always does, and Ed Sheeran was a nice touch to the movie. He didn’t need to act so much as be himself, but he definitely has potential as an actor. And last but definitely not least, Himesh Patel had himself an excellent big-screen debut. He makes Jack someone the audience can relate to. Apart from the musical genius that rewrites and re-records the entire Beatles catalogue, of course.

Perhaps it’s a subtle theme, but this movie also explores what’s known as “imposter syndrome”. As his fame begins to rise, Jack is so afraid – paranoid, some might say – that people are going to realize that he didn’t write the Beatles’ songs and expose him for the fraud that he is. Or at least he feels like he is. However, these scenes are somewhat jarring because the audience isn’t aware of them until after they’ve already happened. There’s no buildup to them like there would be buildup to a flashback.

This movie is a unique and refreshing tribute to the Beatles because it breaks from the biopic trend. Biopics are always nice, but once in a while a brand-new story is all you need to expose a new audience to older music.

A Little Bit of What Now?

Back in May, I believe, Rachel Platten came out with a new song: “Little Bit of Love”. Well, it’s actually Tritonal’s song and she’s featured on it. But, as far as I’m concerned, same difference.

Like any of Rachel’s songs, this is good. However, it’s somewhat of a departure from her usual style. And that departure takes the form of the lyrics. The second verse and refrain are as follows:

I’m the protagonist

I’m not givin’ up on this

But can we just take a breath?

Everything you’re feelin’

I’ll make you question it

You won’t know what’s comin’ next

Why we fightin’?

When time is borrowed

So, let’s stop fightin’

Let’s get back to it tomorrow

I just need a little bit of love

Love tonight

I just need a little bit of love

Love tonight

And everything’s fucked up

And (But?) let’s pretend that it’s alright

I just need a little bit of love

Love tonight

I just need a little bit of love

If someone focuses on the refrain, it sounds like Rachel’s trademark positivity. However, the second verse describes an abusive relationship. And I’m not sure how I feel about that. I still like the song, of course, but an explanation of the thought process behind the lyrics would be nice.