Tiny Bubbles: On Computers, Trailers, Cabbages, and Kings (Or Something Like That)

(Thanks, joanbeque!)

TRUTH. If you click off your computing device for long enough to get outside the bubble you’ve put yourselves in, de-stress for a spell AND stay away from your phone other than anything other than it’s initially Alexander Graham Bell’d purpose (just phone calls, folks!), you’ll probably become happier. At least temporarily. Granted, many people you don’t really know in real life but are your “online friends” will think you’ve died or have had an accident… but won’t check up on you because they’re busy with other stuff like catching up on their favorite reality shows and other important things.

Now, I’ve actually been in the midst of a few too many projects, had an eye allergy bug me for a bit and as of this writing have like 49 movies to catch up on (my movie watching partner tapped out thanks to personal issues I won’t discuss here because they’re Nunya Bizness… or mine, for that matter) and a bunch of half-scribed reviews and such piling up. Those will get done, latest Windows updates aside.

That particular nightmare first and foremost – Windows 10 is making me (and probably you) nuts.

(Thanks, Shout Factory!)

I was in the middle of a post early on Sunday morning and a pop-up informed me that Windows was wanting to do a major update. Normally, I let Windows have its way with my PC when I’m not wanting to use it late at night, but I’ve been keeping odd hours these past few months because, reasons (to not be cheerful, part three). Anyway, I clicked through the series of update notes, refused to sign off on all the “Let us take your personal browsing info to improve your experience!” boxes save for the one with local weather updates and news, decided to do the darn update ASAP rather than later on (the brain was full of thoughts on stuff and I figured the update would take mayyyyyybe an hour or two, three at most).

A few hours later (I took a nap after about an hour and a half of doing other stuff on the spring cleaning list), I go to turn my PC back on because it didn’t reboot as Windows said it would (oops) only to discover that I’d accidentally popped the power adapter loose when vacuuming earlier (oops). So, I had to wait a bit longer after turning the computer back on to let Windows finish doing what it needed to do. Since then, I’ve had about six lockups running assorted programs and pages that have required reboots, which stinks if your brain wants to get stuff done but your tech is cranky. I’m wondering if my not choosing to let Windows have more of my personal info has anything to do with this, but let’s not get completely paranoid now, shall we? And no, Cortana… I don’t require your services either.

Anyway, movie trailers. I’m a big curmudgeonly cynic about modern ones and am continually amused that people go beyond batty over-analyzing, over-hyping and generally being too damn optimistic that something important can be gleaned from them other than they’re great ways to get more of your pocket money to flee your jeans. That’s NOT to say I don’t find many of these previews immensely entertaining.

To wit:

Brilliant. No, seriously. You can’t go wrong with paying loads of money to license a Led Zep song (one of their best), the Jack “King” Kirby influence runs strong throughout (I was grinning like a loon in a few spots) and yeah, it looks like a total blast. Fr me, the humor stuff is hit or miss, but these days you cannot play a superhero flick 100% straight these days because in general, guys and gals running around in funny outfits is pretty absurd. Trust me, I’ve been on a subway car full of cosplayers many times here in NYC and no one has a straight face after about half a minute once they board. That’s not a dig against cosplayers, mind you – it’s just reality. Great to so-so colorful outfits on real people are just funny when you see so many at once.

As for Star Wars: The Last Jedi? Yep, another good one. Although it’s more of a teaser than a trailer, of course. Disney and Lucasfilm are coy enough minxes indeed if you’re not a well-heeled enough super-fan to afford going to all those Star Wars conventions and such to see stuff us less fortunate plain ‘ol fans are. Good for them, I say. Every fandom needs its super-spenders and the consumer force is strong with those folks. Me, these days my less-moneyed self taps out at buying the occasional movie ticket, although I prefer holding out for disc versions of the films thanks to the stupid price of movie tickets in this area. That said, at one time I did have a rather large collection of Star Wars memorabilia, but space issues, me needing cash and folks lusting after some choice items got me to give, trade or outright sell the bulk of the collection.

All those ALIEN: Covenant trailers, TV spots and such only remind me that I really need to go dig up the remnants of my aborted Prometheus piece and finally finish it. As much as I’m loving the callbacks to the first film, some of the same stuff that bugged me about that film (Prometheus, not ALIEN) are bubbling up about this one. Note that I didn’t hate Prometheus at all other than some stupidity in its story (it stuck too close to the tired cliche of making some characters too dumb and/or unlikable for starters) and some iffy ending/editing choices. This one’s a case where seeing the final product will hopefully render the trailers moot because both films seem cut from the same template in too many scenes.

But that’s exactly what a trailer is supposed to do… to a point. Those that throw away all pretense by giving up spoilers galore only serve those viewers who only see movies where they can predict the outcomes or at least feel as if they’re paying their money for what they’re expecting. Hollywood loves those folks, by the way. Still, it’s a circular curse that never ends. Churn out too many big dollar movies and you have to coddle your most loyal by letting them know they’re getting what they want with not too much variation. These days I don’t even use a trailer as a “guide” to what’s going to be in a movie because it’s pointless when you see most final versions of films (unless the studio is REALLY playing it safe for maximum box office drippings opening weekend).

I think I wrote this previously, but the movie trailer is and to some extent has always been nothing but well-hooked bait with the switch being scenes in the trailer that aren’t in the film at all. Or worse, scenes presented out of order edited so that the outcome will send the easily duped to the dozens of movie yakker websites and video channels where overblown reaction shot videos and endless (often incorrect) speculation and (even more incorrect) rumors run rampant. Hollywood loves that as well.

(Still one of the best movie “trailers” in my opinion. It makes you curious while giving away almost nothing to those who haven’t seen the film.)

The unfortunate side effect of this is you end up with people hating on films because they’re guided by soapbox voices instead of their own thoughts on what they like or consider these folks with millions of fans “experts” because they make them laugh or want to throw a shoe at their computer or other device. This extends to other media and its sad because these days, impressions (as in clicks and negativity) travel faster than damage control. In some cases the appetite for destruction of certain media by some wrecks otherwise decent entertainment from getting to a few folks who’ve put a lot of popular people on assorted pedestals.

Against my better judgement and at the recommendation of a few friends, I went to see GET OUT in a theater. Not that I didn’t want to see the movie, ladies and germs (it was great, by the way)… I just didn’t want to see it with a bunch of people yelling and screaming at the screen, which is what happened. Yeah, yeah… it’s part of the experience, I know, I know. But sometimes you just want to hear the damn dialog and not some stupid person commenting incessantly while another is spoiling stuff because he’d seen the film four times previously. Foo. Anyway, it was an early showing so the theater wasn’t that crowded so I ended up seeing it again and getting that stuff I missed for the most part. The funny thing here is Universal is getting my money for more than that ticket as the film impressed me enough to want to buy it on Blu-Ray after its release on May 23. So, there… I guess?

Back in a bit.

-GW

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