The original plan was to build this week’s Amusement Park Podcast around reviewing Captain Marvel, which figured to be the big geek culture event of the week. Then, news of Arrow announcing it would end after Season 8 broke and there was suddenly another topic to which we had to devote some significant time.
So our Captain Marvel review and reaction will be in a separate, special episode.
Eight seasons is a formidable run for any TV show. But it seems especially notable for a superhero TV show, and Arrow opened the door for a lot of other superhero programming to walk through — and that’s just on the CW alone with The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Black Lightning and Supergirl anchoring that network. Arrow isn’t the show it once was — ultimately, it may have been too much of a Batman clone — and it’s probably bowing out at the right time.
We also dive into the Steven Spielberg vs. Netflix debate. I see where Spielberg is coming from. Someone needs to stick up for movie theaters and the experience they create. However, people increasingly prefer to watch movies at home if there’s a streaming option. To deny that is to deny the current moviegoing reality.
And I tip my cap to Seth Everett, who runs his own geek culture podcast titled Hall of Justice. It’s the show we hope the Amusement Park Podcast can come close to being someday. But Seth is also a sports guy who likes to let his geek flag fly, which is pretty cool. What a pleasant surprise to see him as a guest on DC Universe’s DC Daily show last week, and he interviewed the cast on his podcast.
This might be one of my more anti-social tendencies, but I enjoy going to the movies by myself. Mark Serrels planted his flag for solo moviegoing, calling it one of “life’s secret pleasures” in a piece for CNET, so I figured I’d share my feelings on the topic too.
Most people I know — and I presume most people you know — have a big hang-up about it, like going alone says something about you socially. Or maybe they just don’t like being by themselves in that kind of environment.
I totally understand. That was something I needed to get over too. And I feel the same way on a Friday or Saturday night, when it’s all couples at the theater. It feels awkward, especially if I’m unfortunate enough to be seated between two couples or groups. Most of my solo moviegoing is done during the day, and I imagine that’s the case for the majority of people who see a movie alone.
I’ve always been a fan of the Academy Awards, even when I wasn’t as much of a movie buff as I am now. Once upon a time, I let the Oscars dictate most of the movies I went to see. Now, it’s the other way around: I hope the Oscars reflect what I felt were the best movies of the past year.
For various reasons, I wasn’t as excited about the Oscars this year as I usually am. I didn’t even make an effort to see all of the Best Picture candidates, which I typically do. I had plenty of opportunity to see The Favourite, Green Book, and Roma, however. (And I’ll see them in the weeks to come.)
But there was still plenty to talk about with the Oscars, notably the show not having a host and a crowd-pleasing blockbuster like Black Panther being one of the Best Picture nominees.
We also dissected the Season 3 finale of True Detective. Overall, I enjoyed the season, especially Stephen Dorff’s performance as Roland West. The mystery was intriguing enough, though not the driving storyline for the season, as it turned out.
I’ve been following a lot more people on Twitter recently, largely to try and get more views in my timeline. That’s increased the noise on my TweetDeck, but I felt like I wasn’t seeing as much stuff as I wanted to while trying to keep my follower count lean.
No, I haven’t been adding more conservative political views or anything like that. Most of the follows have been culture writers, especially people who either work in the comic book industry or cover it, to try and learn as much as I can for The Amusement Park Podcast or my own writing.
Along the way, I’ve noticed a few writers linking to their Muck Rack page, a database for journalists and public relations professionals. (I think it was Meg Downey, writing for DC Universe, who first got my attention.)
This reminded me that I created a Muck Rack page for myself a couple years ago. I had actually forgotten! I’m even a verified journalist there! My avatar was a photo of baseball player Munenori Kawasaki wearing a Cubs cap, which means I posted it in 2016. So I figured it was time to wipe off the cobwebs and update that thing.
We usually save something inspirational for the end of these (not a) newsletters. But Steven Soderbergh has been doing quite a bit of press for the release of his new film, High Flying Bird, on Netflix. (I hope to post a review this coming week.) And in one interview, he responded to his 2001 Academy Award acceptance speech being used by Oscar telecast producers as an example for the ideal acknowledgement for winners.
If you haven’t seen it, here’s the speech Soderbergh gave upon winning the Academy Award for Best Director. (Traffic was the film that earned him the honor.)
Succinct and to the point. It’s definitely a good example for other Oscar winners to follow. Here’s the key passage, the one which really spoke to me and so many others:
“I want to thank anyone who spends part of their day creating. I don’t care if it’s a book, a film, a painting, a dance, a piece of theater, a piece of music — anybody who spends part of their day sharing their experience with us. I think this world would be unlivable without art, and I thank you.”
On the latest Amusement Park Podcast, we respond to the first half (six episodes) of The Punisher and the Oscar nominations, which include a Best Picture nod for Black Panther and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse being nominated for Best Animated Film. (How many Oscar nominees do you get a chance to see where you live?)
We also dig into what Netflix joining the MPAA means, briefly review Glass, and share what we’re enjoying this week.
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The Academy Award nominations are always an exciting morning, but the 2019 Oscars seem to have a bit less juice than in previous years. Maybe because there’s not one clear front-runner that many fans are rallying around? No clear critical darling?
Also, I think there are a lot of movies that people either simply haven’t seen. That’s always the case (and Oscar nominations can change that), but feels like it’s even more so this year. Also, one of the favorites was made for Netflix, an idea people will have to get used to.
Since I typically write something about the Oscars, I figured I’d do a quick overview of the big categories, picking the favorites and noting the snubs. And there were a lot of notable snubs this year.
I’ve seen five of the eight Best Picture nominees, but there are several contenders I need to watch. (That’s one reason why I dragged my ass on putting together a Best of 2018 list.) Those include Green Book, The Favourite, Roma, Shoplifters, Can You Ever Forgive Me and The Wife. (I know!) So my opinions on any of these could change before Feb. 24. If so, maybe we’ll have some predictions.