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Ken and Robin Consume Media: Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Q: Into the Storm & 30 Coins

April 27th, 2021 | Robin

Ken and Robin Consume Media is brought to you by the discriminating and good-looking backers of the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff Patreon. Each week we provide capsule reviews of the books, movies, TV seasons and more we cram into our hyper-analytical sensoriums. Join the Patreon to help pick the items we’ll talk about in greater depth on a little podcast segment we like to call Tell Me More.

The Pinnacle

30 Coins Season 1 (Television, Spain, HBO Europe, Álex de la Iglesia, 2021) Small town mayor (Miguel Ángel Silvestre) and veterinarian (Megan Montaner) become reluctant occult investigators when demons, witches, and a Gnostic conspiracy pressure the weird new priest (Eduard Fernández) to surrender an unholy relic in his possession. Though its cosmology is pure horror Catholicism, the spirit, as befits the author of a recent Call of Cthulhu campaign, is weird pulp adventure, with Iglesia’s zest for big cinematic suspense beats, huge visual spaces, and actorly physicality cranked to the max.—RDL

Forbidden Science 2: California Hermetica, The Journals of Jacques Vallee 1970-1979 (Nonfiction, Jacques Vallee, 2008) From the heart of the eliptonic 70s comes a motherlode of contemporary observations covering UFOlogy and those who spied on it, with an added ground zero view of the Silicon Valley revolution. What really surprised me is that the computer science projects that became the Internet didn’t just develop in parallel to the Bay Area’s occult, cult and psychic scene, but were absolutely intertwined with it.—RDL

I was going to class both of the above as Recommended, with a bump up if you’re into the subject matter, momentarily forgetting just which audience I was addressing.

Recommended

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Season 1 (Television, US, Disney+, 2021) Sam (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky (Sebastian Stan) clash with the government’s unsuitable new Captain America (Wyatt Russell) as they track the leader (Erin Kellyman) of a displaced persons terror group. The Captain America thread of MCU movies already took its structural cues from television, so it makes sense that this extension of it plays as an engaging gumbo of callbacks and serial elements. Then it succumbs to the emerging pattern of this wave of Marvel shows with a muddled finale, in this case one that fails to grapple with the implications of its sympathy for the antagonist.—RDL

Q: Into the Storm (Television, US, HBO, Cullen Hoback, 2021) Hoback explores the Q conspiracy theory with special attention to the creator of Q host site 8chan, Frederick Brennan, and its later owner and admin, Jim and Ron Watkins. By focusing on process (and on the question of Q’s identity) rather than hair-on-fire moral panicking, Hoback adds a measure of value and clarity to the discussion, while illuminating the consequences of this particular LARP gone amuck. –KH

Good

Love and Monsters (Film, US, Michael Matthews, 2020) Feeling useless in the underground bunker that protects his small community from a world of mutated beasties, a young man (Dylan O’Brien) decides to undertake the deadly overland journey to the bunker run by his high school girlfriend (Jessica Henwick.) Amiable, initially over-explanatory mash-up of A Quiet Place and Zombieland finds the emotional space for themes of isolation and survivor guilt. Wait a few years and you’ll be able to well actually people who confuse their dates and take this for an allegory of the pandemic.—RDL

Okay

The China Governess (Fiction, Margery Allingham, 1962) Timothy Kinnit, adopted child of privilege, finds his elopement complicated by the question of his true parentage; Campion and Inspector Luke investigate the crimes seemingly connected to that question. The novel begins with its most interesting setting demolished by the Blitz, leaving a not-particularly-involving protagonist stuffily annoying his betrothed in the near-vacuum of his caricatured family. The murder, when it eventually happens, seems more like an afterthought than a consequence. –KH

HyperNormalisation (Film, UK, Adam Curtis, 2016) Tracks the rise of financialized government in the US and suicide bombing in the Middle East from 1975 to 2016, mildly hectoring politicians and cyber-utopians who avoid the complexities that both mask. Something of a dorm-room bong rip after a Poli Sci 102 class, Curtis’ neo-Situationist collage film avoids plenty of complexities in its own right despite spending nearly three hours talking. Curtis does find the time to express his distaste for Patti Smith, Jane Fonda’s aerobics, tween girls on Vine, and Kim Kardashian. –KH

Minari (Film, US, Lee Isaac Chung, 2020) Seeking a new start, dream-chasing immigrant dad (Steven Yeun) moves his wife and small kids to Arkansas to start a Korean vegetable farm. Visually and sonically pretty family drama uses a sudden melodramatic event to cheat its way to character resolution.—RDL

2 Responses to “Ken and Robin Consume Media: Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Q: Into the Storm & 30 Coins”

  1. hüth says:

    so do you think curtis’s perspective veers too far into conspiracism in assuming intent in encouragement of of the embrace of conspiracism

  2. hüth says:

    so do you think curtis’s perspective veers too far into conspiracism in assuming intent in encouragement of of the embrace of conspiracism?

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