Thursday, April 30, 2020

This Week in (Virtual) Tickets: 20 April 2020 - 26 April 2020

Spent a little time catching up on Fantasia reviews from last year, and I try not to write and watch at the same time, so...

This Week in Tickets

Anyway, really short movie-watching week - nothing until Masquerade Hotel on Wednesday, although that one is quite a bit of fun. It is, naturally, not readily available in the United States, which is a shame, because I think that people would dig it right now. But, alas, even translations of the original author's books are spotty here.

No more movies until Saturday, when I planned to do a double feature out of the Somerville's virtual cinema but just watched The Roads Not Taken, which feels like it could get a whole lot more out of a nifty idea and a good cast. Nice final shot, and it wouldn't land the same way without what came before, but it feels like there should have been more here.

Sunday, I turned on the TV to get stuff off the DVR while writing and, since the last thing I watched live was a Red Sox spring training game, the cable box was still tuned to NESN, which was showing a bunch of compressed-to-two-hours games from the Clemens years. Some interesting take-aways:

  • Roger Clemens was really good at throwing a baseball.
  • That outfield with Mike Greenwell, Ellis Burks, and Dwight Evans? Also really good, and I kind of wonder if the Red Sox killer-B outfield of the last few years - Benitendi, Bradley, and Betts - was so easy for me to get attached to in part because it reminds me of my first few years as a serious fan.
  • Jerry Remy was the color commentator all the way back in the games from 1988, and he sounds very different. To what extent it's aging and to what extent it's cigarettes, I don't know.
  • It's kind of fascinating how NESN (and the various UHF stations broadcasting Red Sox games back when that was more of a thing) tended to give us the illusion of stability in terms of play-by-play voices: Ned Martin and Sean McDonough kind of sound alike. Don Orsillo kind of sounds like McDonogh. Dave O'Brien kind of sounds like Orsillo. O'Brien doesn't really sound like Martin, but that change has happened very slowly, and while many have been displeased with various changes in the PBP voices when they happened, those who haven't paid quite so much attention have had something that feels kind of like stability, and that's probably good for a baseball team as an institution.
  • All of these were pre-HDTV, even though NESN was one of the first local sports networks to go high-definition. Between the algorithms at the network and in my TV, shots of a player at bat or about to throw from the waist up looked pretty good, but zoom out a bit, and it gets less impressive really fast. I have no idea if NESN is trying to do this in real-time or if they're paying a post-production house to upscale, but it's interesting to see just where you get to "enough pixels to work with".

More coming on my Letterboxd page and regular posts before the next one of these..

Masquerade Hotel
The Roads Not Taken

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