A few weeks ago I was stuck in planes for awhile. I’ve found that rewatching movies I’ve already seen works best if it’s a night flight and I’m in a sleepy/not-sleepy state. This way I can drift off and miss bits and it’s less disruptive when you have to stand up to let somebody else go to the loo.
Rewatched Avengers Age of Ultron, which was better than I remembered it being. It’s an odd film as it is meant to be this big blockbuster film but the story mainly is connective tissue to other films and later themes. Wakanda, Infinity War, Civil War, Thor: Ragnarok are all set up as well the more general fracturing of The Avengers as a team. It’s too busy laying out all this groundwork to let its own story breathe but those connections help the film retrospectively.
Rewatched Sipder-Man: Into the Spider-Verse which was an interesting contrast to the the big-screen visual festival. Rewatching on a small screen in less than great viewing environment showed up how well the characters are developed particularly Miles, Gwen and Miles’s uncle.
Tried to watch the 2018 version of Robin Hood. This was a mess. The 2000’s TV series played slightly with the idea that Robin is a character returning from pointless middle-east wars and the parallels with contemporary history. In a huge misunderstanding of the difference between text and subtext, this film has Robin of Loxley being “drafted” (he literally gets a ye olde ‘you are drafted’ letter, which would be funny if it was the Mel Brooks film but here they mean it). We then get scenes of the crusades in which the crusades are basically British squadies except with bows and arrows instead of guns fighting modern warfare style and being pinned down by machine-gun fire, oops sorry machine-crossbow fire. Bad shit goes down, he saves Jamie Foxx’s life (who will end up being Robin’s Moorish companion later on) and is intentionally injured by a bad guy on his own side. At which point he’s is sent in a ship back to Nottingham (that famous costal city) where the evil Sheriff has forced all the population into the mines in the big mountains around Nottingham. The Sheriff is Director Krennic from Rogue One by which I don’t mean just that it is the same actor (Ben Mendelsohn) but he even dresses and sounds alike. Around this point I had the choice of staring at the back of the chair in front of me or carrying on watching the film and “back of the chair” won on points.
Bumblebee, on the other hand, offered little in promise, being an entry in the uniformly awful Transformers movie franchise. I don’t want to oversell it but it was at worst fine and often good. All the obnoxiousness of the Michael Bay movies was removed and instead the whole thing is more like a homage to 1980s attempts to cash in on ET. Alasdair Stuart has a better, longer review here https://alasdairstuart.com/2019/05/13/bumblebee/ but the short version is the film has a lot of charm thanks to Hailee Steinfeld’s lead role of angsty teenager Charlie. Silly but fun.
Tried to watch If Beale Street Could Talk but this was bad timing on my part and it required more focus than my brain could provide. I resolved to watch it later but then didn’t.
On a different leg I’d made clever use of free wi-fi the previous day to download not only the Star Trek Discovery finale but also She-Ra Season 2. Honestly, a clever kids cartoon with lots of short episode is probably the optimal thing to watch on a plane if you are tired but also need distraction. Like season 1 this is a bright, colourful show that captures the pastel aesthetic and semi-serious plots of 1980s kid’s adventure cartoons with some extra depth of character and deeper conflicts. Unlike Season 1, the episodes just sort of finish in mid story arc with a promise of Season 3.