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Entries in Tom Twykver (2)

Monday
Jun152015

Review: Sense8, season 1

Tim here. We've had a little more than a week now to play around with the new Netflix series Sense8, which has hopefully been enough time for everybody to process it. For myself, I'm still working on that: it's a whole lot of show, frequently not to its benefit. But it dreams no little dreams.

The show is the brainchild of J. Michael Straczynski, whose Babylon 5 largely created the "pre-planned serialized television" in the 1990s, and siblings Andy and Lana Wachowski, of The Matrix and its many attempted follow-ups, all of which have been met with widespread derision and a small but freakishly adoring cult. In the interest of full disclosure, I should confess that I'm part of that cult. I even really liked Jupiter Ascending. So feel free to not trust anything I have to say about anything ever again.

Straczynski's achingly earnest liberal humanism blends seamlessly into with the pie-eyed optimism and sincerity of the Wachowskis' post-Matrix work, especially the swooning globalist poetics of Cloud Atlas. The result is a show that wears its politics and its sentiment right out in the open, with actors navigating big mouthfuls of dialogue that sound like an op-ed first, a stoned philosophy student's stream-of-consciousness second, and things that human beings would ever say out loud to other human beings third (another legacy of Babylon 5. I'm not even entirely sure I mean that as a complaint. Artlessness born out of sincere passion is a very different thing than a simple lack of talent. It's charming, albeit in a shaggy way.

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Saturday
Aug042012

Yes, No, Maybe So: "Cloud Atlas"

Beau here to give Cloud Atlas the Yes No Maybe So treatment while Nathaniel remains otherwise occupied.

Ben Whishaw and Doona Bae in "Cloud Atlas"

Jesus. What to say? I’m struck by the visual nature of the beast, but that’s to be expected given the caliber of talent involved with the project. At the same time, something so grandiose and ambitious has a natural inclination to tip, like the leaning tower of Pisa. Beautiful to look upon, but you don’t want to get to close lest the thing actually crumble under its own weight. Gravity is tricky that way. [More...]

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