Notes from the Kraken: December

In All, Notes by David

Welcome again to We Have Always Live the Kraken, a pop culture blog transmitted directly to you from the belly of the beast. Here in the Notes we’ll show you this month’s posting schedule, but first here are some thoughts.

Yeah, this shit was fun.

Considering how much of a dumpster fire the DC film universe is at this time (even if Justice League is much better than it is getting credit for, and, you know, Wonder Woman is awesome), it continues to be impressive how well the TV versions of these characters are doing. First and foremost is the Arrowverse, which consists of the the four DC shows on The CW: Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow, which are each finishing up their mid-season finales after a very successful four episode crossover that was fun, light, and absolutely a nightmare for future binge watchers (like, seriously, Netflix just include the crossover in each show’s season or there will be chaos, absolute chaos). These shows have each managed to build a strong identity for themselves. Whether it be Arrow (give or take two seasons of missteps) taking on a gritty tone for some more down to earth superheroics, while still realizing it is a show about a dude who shoots arrow at people (which even its own subreddit seems to have trouble dealing with, and which I won’t link to because spoilers, but they are wrong about a lot… not everything, but a lot); Supergirl becoming a constant source of strong women and feminist ideals; Legends of Tomorrow embracing the pure zaniness of superhero shows to become the best of the four (which, if you had told me two years ago, I would have laughed you out of the room); or The Flash, which, okay, The Flash seems to be convinced that it needs to be as gritty as Arrow when it should be about a dude running fast while being shot at by villains with cold guns and attacked by psychic gorillas (which it is, but not nearly enough of the time)…

All of these shows have embraced the superhero aesthetic in all its glory, something the DC movie universe has struggled to do, except with Wonder Woman. Admittedly, at this point these shows are becoming a bit unwieldy, as it is getting harder and harder to just watch one and not be lost at times, but hey, that’s comics. At some level everyone needs to except that if you are going to adapt mainstream comics, there is only so much you can do to keep things self-contained. Unlike the movies, DC’s TV shows feel guided in a real direction with real ideas behind things that are not a confusing mess. That doesn’t make them the best television has to offer, but it does make them fun and worth watching. These shows feel purposeful in a way the movies simply haven’t (once again, Wonder Woman is not to be lumped in with the rest of these movies, but even it has issues). Hell, even Gotham has found its way by going all in on its villains, and by simply getting bat shit crazier and crazier (yeah, I went there). The DC TV universe is a feat to say the least, and deserves a lot of praise, much like the Marvel Cinematic universe for creating superhero content that is enjoyable and fun to watch (even if both have numerous flaws also worth discussing). Here is to hoping this trend continues when The CW brings Black Lightning to viewers in 2018, and when the new DC streaming service (sigh… another one…) brings Titans, because at this point, it is not like there is anything to get too excited about when it comes to DC at the movies.


From the depths of the Kraken, here is what we are bringing you this month.

Look for some special editions of the Life in the Kraken Podcast.

David continues his slow burn of letting more editions of The Anticipated out of the vault he had sealed them in.

Oscarathon 2018 is ready to get started as we finish up the final legs before Oscar season begins in earnest. Look there now for David’s ever changing Top 10 list, and be on the lookout for more as the month continues.

  • The Oscarathon kicks off in style with the Opening Outlook, covering the initial state of the race in the top categories, from Best Picture and Director to Lead and Supporting Actor and Actress to the awards for Screenplay, Animated, Foreign, and Cinematography.

Catch of the Week:

Each and every week the residents here in the Kraken will offer one recommendation for the week that we think you all would enjoy. It might be a movie. It might be a book. Who knows? This is your… Catch of the Week Month.

If any of this month’s recommendations interest you, feel free to click on our Amazon affiliate links below. We get a small kickback on anything you buy at no extra cost to you, and that money goes toward sustaining and improving the site. Thanks!

David: Since the year is ending, the time to start unloading some 2017 movie recommendations has come. So I am going to going with Joachim Trier’s latest film, Thelma. This film starts out with a simple enough premise. Young girl goes to college. Said girl meets another girl, who she realizes she has romantic and sexual feelings towards. Same girl discovers she has magic powers. You know, as you do. Then you realize this film is a contemplative look at the nature of evil and the issues with religious oppression and, well, everything gets weird and deep. There are many layers to this film that one wouldn’t expect, and the filmmaking in this movie is absolutely top notch. Trier masterfully controls everything in this movie, and even though it wobbles a bit before nailing the ending, this film will leave you with many lasting images. This is a visceral, yet detached treat in a way only a Scandinavian director could pull off. So enjoy this movie that comes with its very own seizure warning (and dear god is it needed, as the lighting in this film is intense).

That’s it for this month. ‘Tis the season to be merry, and also to be on the lookout for Kraken Klaus, who travels around the world once a year eating houses that annoy him. Good luck to everyone!