Even though we’re in the middle of Oscar season, there wasn’t much that caught my eye at the multiplex last weekend. “Rogue One”? Not a “Star Wars” guy, thanks. “Sing”? Looks cute, but we’ll save it for a kids’ outing. “Manchester by the Sea”? Sure it’s great, but looks way too depressing for the holidays. In the end, we decided to go with “La La Land,” the new musical by the guy who did the brilliant “Whiplash” (Damien Chazelle).
“La La Land” was ranked as Entertainment Weekly’s best movie of the year, but I’m afraid EW (and many other publications) are overselling it just a bit. The Ryan Gosling-Emma Stone movie deserves ample credit for trying something different, and there were times I was right there with them. But the movie lags at times and I never felt Gosling was fully engaged. It’s worth the price of admission and deserves to be in the best picture race, but I expected a little more.
Checking out the news down south in San Diego and saw that convicted killer Elizabeth “Betty” Broderick was denied parole for the second time since her double murder conviction in the shooting deaths of her ex-husband and his girlfriend in 1989. The killings dominated the news in San Diego at the time and later became a made-for-TV movie.
Broderick is 69 now and won’t have another parole hearing for another 15 years. Here’s hoping she never gets out. She was reportedly “defiant, smirked, and in complete denial” at Wednesday’s parole hearing, and she’s never shown any sign of remorse for the double killing. It would’ve been awfully surprising if Wednesday’s hearing resulted in her release.
Also in San Diego…SeaWorld will hold its final killer whale entertainment show on Sunday before moving onto an “educational presentation in the pool.” This has been years in the making after animal advocates gathered tons of support following the documentary Blackfish.
I have mixed feelings about all this and have defended Sea World in the past, but I’m hopeful this is a good solution for all. Sea World can play an important educational role, and I’m optimistic they can make this work. It’s easy to view Sea World as a sinister company taking advantage of incredible marine life, but as one who grew up visiting the park, I’m convinced there’s more to the story than we saw in “Blackfish.” It’ll be interesting to see the park evolve over these next few years.