All the Time in the World



My father's friend Hal Crowther -- whom I'd call my friend except that I haven't heard from him since my dad died -- once said, probably at about the age I am now, that he knew there were so many great books he didn't have time enough left in his life to read, why would he waste time with the mediocre ones? I "joked" that of course that meant he'd never read anything I wrote. I'm starting to feel that way about movies and TV, except, of course, to a point, the mediocre ones are my job, and therefore not a waste. Being able to analyze them isn't wasteful if I'm getting paid for it, and valuable even if I'm not. Critics who only want to review things they like are in the wrong profession, arguably, which is why I think it's so wrong-headed that so many sites insist on only positive reviews. 

(I do not include my own contributions to Films Gone Wild in this -- John Wildman is both a festival publicist/cheerleader and a publisher, and the site's explicit goal is to cheer on festival filmmakers. But sites that "review" mainstream corporate entertainment should not be such cheerleaders.)

There's a glut of great stuff to watch these days, and heaven forbid I get into watching something with my wife that I feel more urgently about finishing than she does -- there could be YEARLONG gaps before I finish a season! And thanks to major companies owning every IP, there are continuations of every story we ever loved.

Which brings me to GREMLINS: SECRETS OF THE MOGWAI. I just watched the first episode on MAX. When it got ready to autoplay episode 2, I hit stop.

It seems an okay cartoon. If it came out in the '90s, there'd be a Kenner toy line. I'm sure that, like everything else, there'll be a season arc, but I could see it being an eternal episodic where they have to rescue Gizmo every week and he gets caught again at the end.

And I don't need to watch it. There's nothing wrong with it, but aside from the jobs it gives to Asian voice actors, nothing especially outstanding either. And right now, my job does not require me to watch it. So I can leave it. And I'm quite glad to. Because I have no idea if, in my lifetime, I'm ever getting through my Herzog, Bergman, and Fellini box sets. Or the others I'm sure to buy next.

I have to be okay with that.