Movies And TV

Phillip and I have been binge-watching a Japanese anime TV series named Air. Brian loaned it to us as part of his quest to educate us on anime. He didn’t tell us anything about it, except to say something like “It won’t make any sense until the very end.”

Brian was right about that. We couldn’t figure out what was going on, except that a drifter with no money and some magic powers winds up in a town “full” of people with magic and/or supernatural powers. (I put “full” in quotation marks because the town seemed strangely unpopulated, except when people needed to show up – and the people who did show up were, except for a random man with cake, all women or children. I don’t think the lack of people was part of the story. I think it was just a budget limitation.) But we enjoyed it a lot, and watched multiple episodes at a time. Then, in the last couple of episodes, it did start to make sense.

I developed a theory mid-way through the series, but that theory turned out to be wrong.

Then, at the very end, it didn’t make sense to me anymore. I didn’t understand the ending at all. I realized that, after it was all over, I really didn’t understand the story. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It was a complex, puzzling story – and well worth examining.

Phillip and I have a shared joke when we’re binge-watching the DVDs of a TV show like this. Right before an episode starts, one of us will say: “Previously… on Lost.” We binge-watched Lost with more intensity than any other TV show before it or after it. And, as we watched it, the mystery of Air was a lot like watching Lost.

I did some internet searching this morning, looking for clues to the story of Air. It was difficult, because a search for “Air” turns up all sorts of things, like computers, basketball shoes, and atmosphere. But, eventually, I did learn that the TV series was based on something called a “visual novel” – which, I think, is a computer game that you read but don’t play. I didn’t find any clues to understanding the story of Air, however.

I enjoyed Mockingjay Part 1, and I enjoyed the book. I have read two reviews, so far, that criticized the movie for padding the story out by splitting it into two parts. I don’t disagree with that.

Phillip and I drove up the The Crest Theater today and finally saw Guardians of The Galaxy – in 3-D. (I love that The Crest, which shows second-run movies at a discount, is now equipped to show 3-D movies.) Guardians of The Galaxy was a whole lot of silly fun. (I mean, how seriously can you take a movie when two of its heroes are an anthropomorphized raccoon and a walking, somewhat talking, tree?) And, it was a silly movie that didn’t take itself too seriously – as a result, it was crammed full of clever dialog and action sequences.

After the movie at The Crest, we went to dinner at Blue Star Cafe & Pub, in Wallingford – after shopping at Archie McPhee, next door to Blue Star. Along the way, I told Phillip that I didn’t think the 3-D added much to the movie. He pointed out that 3-D has gotten sophisticated. It’s no longer about everything flying in your face for effect, he said – it’s now an added layer to the whole visual ambiance. And he’s right.

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