Netflix is 3% Closer, but Still Fighting White Supremacy Saviors

My latest for The NOC. A show review and also Valentines Day take down of Brazil’s most famous sociologist.

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At this point, it’s damn near impossible to keep up with the onslaught of Netflix original programming. Along with all of the film and series content, the tentacles of the entertainment Kraken inevitably started reaching out for more international collaborations. Around Thanksgiving we were treated to the Brazilian series 3%. In terms of originality, it doesn’t score high: another variation on the theme of a future world where young adults do what they have to do to survive.

It does have its points of deviation though from say The Hunger Games and Divergent with a touch of Elysium. Brazil has had a long and appalling history of income inequality, which I’m sure is where the idea of the tagline came from: “In a dystopian future there is a clear divide between the rich and poor, but when a person turns 20, they have the opportunity to cross the divide.”…

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Tigresa y Tarantula

It’s just so easy. Come on Marvel/Netflix:

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Daredevil Season 2 has been up and streaming on Netflix for some time now and if you haven’t watched it, are you okay? Should we call someone? Just kidding. But seriously, go watch it if you still haven’t. It was another successful team-up for Netflix and Marvel after an exceptional Jessica Jones. If you haven’t watched that yet, that’s it, I’m coming over! As I’ve previously written, I recognize my bias and personal history with Daredevil, but in my opinion, especially in terms of tone, the series continues to be the MCU’s masterpiece (ducks).

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The Imperator and The Widow

Since posting the original, happy to hear there will be a S2 of Badlands.

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Last year was the year of the most iconic feminist leading lady in action/sci-fi, arguably the most in cinematic history: the one and only Imperator Furiosa played be Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road. Thanks to a fellow NOC, I have finally finished the way too short first season of Into The Badlands. Following Furiosa and a long history of leading women in Hong Kong action cinema with better acting chops and doing more roundhouse damage than their male co-stars (Michelle Yeoh will be back soon as Yu Shu Lien people!), Into the Badlands also introduced us to strong heroines whose stories I hope to better understand in more detail in a second season. More than Wu’s Sunny, more than the avatars, even more than my man Cung Le, it was Emily Beecham’s show-stopping performance as The Widow that locked me in.

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#AskLexi II: We Are Lexi

Lexi Alexander!

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On a very cold sub-zero January evening in Minnesota (talking windchill -30 F people) , one of our favorite NOCs was ready for some questions. Director, writer, activist, martial artist, general badass, and real life superhero Lexi Alexander joined me at The NOC for another round of #AskLexi. I wasn’t prepared for the hundreds of fans that overwhelmed us with questions, but the feeling of love radiated out of the computer and warmed my heart in the chilly house. Here are some highlights.

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Scored Too Soon? The Career of Michael Jai White: A Retrospective

You never know what is and isn’t going to catch fire on social media. Glad to know there are so many fellow loyal MJW fans.

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In most sports, scoring early is a good thing. If you’re a soccer player or fan, though, you know the woes of scoring too early. If any of you listen to or watch Men in Blazers, you’ve heard this all before from Roger’s unending sadness with his Everton routinely scoring too early. This has happened to me both on the pitch, but mostly watching my beloved teams pay dearly for going up 1-0 in the first five minutes of matches only to be smacked down with three or four unanswered goals once the final whistle blows. It’s part of the roller coaster of emotions that is the world of football. I feel like this could be a metaphor for Michael Jai White’s career.

I recently had an evening to myself and while scrolling through the ever expanding Netflix streaming queue, I noticed a couple of recent Michael Jai White…

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Spare Parts: An Emotional Roller Coaster at the Theme Park of Broken Immigration Policy

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The number of PG or PG-13 films that really move or inspire me is not that large. Somewhere at the top of that list is Finding Neverland. It’s tough to remember exactly what was going on with me at the time, but I remember it hit me hard. There is now a new contender: Spare Parts. The movie is based on this Wired article about four undocumented high school students from Arizona with a shoestring budget that enter and win a national robotics competition. Oh, and they end up at the college level knocking off the likes of MIT students.

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Constantine: Blazing Hell with NBC

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I’m not going to pretend I’m a huge Constantine fanboy. I do remember hearing about the character as a teen. I saw the Keanu Reeves movie version and thought, “So Neo takes out demons too? Whoa. Bogus.” Ah method acting by Professor Reeves. Somebody that knows the comics and is really into it would call me out quickly if I tried to get into it all. I just wanted to briefly mention why the new NBC series starring Matt Ryan is working for me.

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The Way of the Dragon: The Career of Cung Le

Cung Le!

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Just to get the obvious out of the way: Cung Le is no Bruce Lee. Nobody ever will be. That said, I don’t think anyone else currently walks in the shadow of The Dragon quite like Dragon Eyes. As he trains for his next UFC headlining Fight Night in Macau on August 23 against Michael Bisping, I thought it would be fun to point out some similarities between Lee and Le and why, whether you’re into Mixed Martials Arts (MMA) or not, it will be worth getting up early on a Saturday morning to watch the fight.

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Enter the Soya: A Nerd Origin

My “nerd origin piece” for NOC. Enjoy!

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Two mysterious lands far away from one another — yet linked by seas of soybeans — birthed a child born of melody, harmony, rhythm, and the smell of soy sauce. The child was destined to become a musician… and a tofu-loving pescetarian. But first, between musical gifts, came dreams of Jedi knighthood, ninjas, and flying with a cape.

My dad says he took me to Return of the Jedi when I was 3. I don’t remember it, but judging from the reaction my mom gives when this is mentioned, it happened. What I do remember very well from childhood is becoming obsessed with Superman in the early 80s. It seemed about right being surrounded by farms in a Nebraska town 60 miles from Smallville (okay, the Kansas border). Superman links farmland Nebraska with farmland Goiás (Brazil). My dad and my tio Laurinho took me to Superman III a year later…

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