Thursday, September 22, 2022

Don't Worry Darling

Olivia you f***ing madwoman!



I am so not sure where to start. I liked it a good deal, gave me exactly what I expected and wanted, but I think this one is gonna be a short review. There just ain't much I can divulge. Okay so story time, a young housewife in the 1950s is living a trully idyllic life but as time passes cracks start forming and she seeps through them to discover not all is cocktails and sunshine. Not exactly the most groundbreaking of plots but you know what, I was invested and intrigued to end credits. I wish I did not have a headache when I walked in, not that the movie contributed to it at all, but it's hard to focus on dialogue and sown seeds when you just wish you had some ibuprofen. The movie gets bizzare and kinda unsettling fairly quick, and we get some avant garde artsy stuff and you know I'm onboard for that. Florence Pugh, God bless hun you get stuck in these situations but hot damn I'm always so proud of you at the end of the film. Totally did not know that was Harry Styles until credits, but I'm far from modern to say the least but I felt he did quite good throughout. Olivia Wilde with piercing green eyes, gingerhair, and 50s aesthetics, 10/10! Was really looking forward to Chris Pine being a bad guy, and while we have bits of this power struggle and manipulations he isn't that prevalent in it. On one hand I can see and respect why, he's almost this Bond villain where he is more heard than seen and his presence is felt looming everywhere. I appreciate that but he did really good with his physical performance that I wanted more out of it. The movie has elements of The Truman Show, A Clockwork Orange, some real world cult influence, and a healthy dose of psychological madness. And I know, I am gazing into the future as we speak and I don't like a single goddamn thing I'm seeing. Oh this movie has an agenda, it's man hating propaganda, every bullshit buzzword under the sun, feminism, SJW, "woke", ect. ect., and I'm sure the world cares so much about your opinion sweetheart. Speaking as The Dude, and I am fairly certain there was a majority of women in that theater with me, I can say this is a very good movie and you can tell Olivia Wilde had so much to get off her chest in regards to conformity, relationships of a toxic variety, freedom of choice, and how the 1950s lifestyle treated women. I am okay with this, I dig it, I gave two thumbs way way up when end credits rolled. 4 stars, 8/10, goodnight everybody!

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

When The Bough Breaks

Not as great as Acrimony but still enjoyable.




I may get into the spirit of reviewing more thriller movies like this, wow this movie got wild. Like okay, full admission, I knew about this movie and what happened in it but this a prime example of seeing is believing. I saw Brad Jones review this at a Midnight Screening and I was totally okay seeing it based off his recommendation. So the movie is about a fairly upper class couple, played by Morris Chestnut and Regina Hall, who have been desperately trying to have kids and have taken the approach of a surrogate mother to do the heavy lifting for 9 months, but uh...things go south and all Fatal Attraction. I'm just gonna say it, if I knew jack about this movie and we got to where we meet the surrogate Anna, played by Jaz Sinclair, I could tell just from her eyes that she would not be prime mama material. That's not a slam against the actress, far f***ing from it actually, she was amazing in this movie! Can I blame her for crushing hardcore on Morris Chestnut? Hell friggin' no! Ladies, gents, anon, take damn notes on this man and try your best to catch a guy like that. Holy shit, I aspire to be like Morris Chestnut in this movie! 1000% dedication to his wife, puts up with so much, wants to be a papa, aspiring businessman, impeccable fashion, the man is flawless. Ho mah gawd, bless him. I will give this guy all my money next film I see him going to be in. Regina Hall, surprisingly more of a background player in all this, it's very much centered on this power play of affection between Morris and Jaz, but she does very well and nails the emotional crux of being stuck between an unstoppable force and an immovable object. Production wise, quite good I mean for a film that doesn't entirely have a huge budget and could very easily slip into Lifetime movie of the week, knows how to make a shot look good and severe props to set designers and effects. And oh yeah, you get a horror money shot on par with any Friday The 13th movie, totally unexpected but so damn effective. I am so not for romance thrillers or whatever the high holy hell you want to call movies like this, but if it involves Taraji P. Henson or Morris Chestnut, you bet your ass I am all in. 3 stars, 7/10, another new movie tomorrow if all should go well and I am thoroughly interested in how it will go.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Pearl

Holy cow did this slip right under my radar, I'm losing track of time.



I would like to issue a formal apology to the director Ti West, the production crew, and star Mia Goth, and say I am so f***ing sorry I missed the premiere! The words are trying to escape my mouth, but I was rendered speechless by this film. I'm still fumbling about with the fact that X came out this year, it sure doesn't feel like it. Man. Jesus Christ movie! The question of which is better, X or Pearl is unanswerable in my mind's eye right now. So let's go through it and see what the answer shall be. The year is 1918, World War 1 is still raging, spanish influenza is on the rise, and a young lady living on a farm named Pearl has aspirations to dance in the pictures. Where do I begin? I feel Ti West is getting way more artsy in this movie than X, which is fine with my snob side entirely, there are sequences and more directly shots that say, look at me I have something gorgeous to show to you, very striking colors and painting-esque composition. I love it. I can't talk about her right now, just...just hang on a minute. The story may truthfully feel not as involved and horror filled as X, but I feel that is intentional. It focuses on a farm girl, her small town, the very veryyy slim assortment of people she knows, it's really about as independent filmmaking as you can get while still having a budget. And before I forget, did anyone get some hard Wizard Of Oz vibes at certain points. A young farm girl fed up with her life, dreaming of something grander, only to know home is the place to be above all. There is a scarecrow in it, with a painted face, green shirt, and black hat, but the less said about that the better. Pearl even flat out looks like the real world equivalent of the Wicked Witch when she tries to take Toto away, that can't have been coincidence. Not sure if it has significance on the movie....but it's there. Alright. Guys. Mia Goth deserves, no I flat out DEMAND on her behalf, that this woman wins every single major award for an actress next year. Motherf***er you do not walk past a performance like this, not in your life! One of the best modern monologues and performances I have seen in a long ass while, and an ending shot that made my soul quiver out of my body as my eyes were transfixed in a mix of immense delight and overwhelming terror, no no no. You, mm-mmm, no way, you don't get to say bad things about her, ain't gonna happen. This. This is it. I can't say for certain, but this could be the best actress I've seen in all my days. There just no one who can commit wholesale like she does in this movie, no way, no how, it's just her in her prime element giving the performance of a lifetime. Holy goddamn, motherf***ing, sons a' bitchin', shitting me out the ass, f*** f*** f***ing hell, I can't believe how good she is in this. Moving swiftly on. No groovy soundtrack but I can forgive that, supporting cast is very commited and props to them for making it all come alive, gruesome as hell effects though not clearly as ample as X it still gets the bloody job done. What a friggin' comeback for new movies, the unexpected wait was worth every second and penny of my life, do I like it better than X? I gave X like a 9 if not a 9.5/10, and I will say Pearl gets a sterling 4 stars, 9/10. It's close, like a hair breadth away guys in either direction, just go see it and don't worry about my rankings or score. The best expectations for cinema is zero expectations, I had no clue what the hell I was walking into but I clearly liked what I saw. My subconcious has enough nightmare fuel for the next 5 years rent free. I'll see you tomorrow.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Joe Pera Talks With You: Season 3

Like man I am not emotionally okay right now that there is no more new Joe Pera to watch.




So...is the final season the best? Well all endings are sad in a way and despite that, I would say yeah. It's one of the few shows I've seen in my life where the quality stays at an excellent standard throughout, and the enjoyment factor not just from the comedy but overall is exemplary and top of the peak. There's some pretty huge stuff that happens in this season, I mean lots happens great and small and thankfully no severe heartache is included. Gene retires and starts a semi-overarching story about chairs and the act of sitting, Sarah opens up and gets some gal pals which is great, Joe has to sell his Nana's house and reflects on legacy before taking a giant step with Sarah, and Gene creates Skynet and has plans to rule the world. That last part is not a joke. So help me, if I could, I would vote for that man under every alias I have, there's no one I trust more for the highest office. Fun conversational topics this season include going chair shopping, camping, the act of flying, and building furniture. Favorite episode....that's a tough one, I adore the flying episode for the amazing drone footage and fascinating train of thought you would have if you thought about taking to the air. Sarah getting new friends and coming out of her shell is so damn sweet and I cannot compliment that woman enough as is so that's possible contender material. And I gotta say the last episode is really damn good and the reason I love it is more for the fact of what you don't see, what happens after end credits, where does the lives of these people go and what direction is the world headed to? I call it the Watchmen effect. But I honestly like the season opener best, Joe and Gene going chair shopping and it's just such a cozy environment and honest to God, hand over my heart....I think that's the closest I have experienced serenity, true peace from a television show. I've experienced it multiple times in my life, often in the presence of silence and trees, but never have I felt that from a show. In fact, I've never felt anything like how I do watching other shows when I'm comfy in my chair and turning on Joe Pera Talks With You. It's the epitome of one of a kind for me, there just is nothing like it in media, which makes it all the more special. It can make me at ease, comfy, the warm fuzzies sieging my heart, thoughtful, appreciative of life, emotional about life, on the verge of tears even when nothing particularly heavy is going on it's just a feeling, and just unadulterated concentrated happiness surging through my soul. I've seen damn good television in my life, shows that might not be perfect but I still love them greatly regardless, shows that encapsulate phases of my life, I think I found the best and most perfect TV show right here. I give ratings primarily on enjoyment factor but always taking into consideration the aspects of production, acting, and direction while looking at the broad picture of cinema. Studio 666 is not objectively a 10/10, Cruella is not objectively a 10/10, Star Wars is not objectively a 10/10, but you know what? I have the time of my life watching those movies and revel in every second of it because it gives me everything I want and love. This series surpasses 10/10s, a 10 is shortselling it for me, I do not ironically give super high scores for anything least of all this. I mean it. This....this is it. I don't see it being toppled. Best dang television I've ever seen in my life.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Joe Pera Talks With You: Season 2

This might be a bit tough to talk about at a certain point but if you can't talk frankly don't be a critic.




What a season. Let's talk story bits first and then we'll dig in. So the show picks up with the beginning of summer break which offers a lot of opportunity and well earned rest for Joe and Sarah as they fully commit to a relationship, and a literal overarching plot is put into action by making a bean arch. I knew you would get that joke, you're a smart cookie. Of course the show never loses it's unique landscape of topics to discuss such as grocery stores, hikes, fashion, lighthouses, and internet videos which still offer a lot of charm and introspection to certain things. I think easily my favorite episode of the season is the beauty parlor where Joe and his Nana converse about patience and hairstyles before going to a fish fry, a situation I have experienced many times which is why I hold the episode so dear in my heart. I wish more than anything I could tell you the season is just as lovely and comfy to watch but unfortunately like life, things happen beyond your control. By episode 9 a severe and shocking bomb is dropped when Joe's Nana unexpectedly passes away, and a good bit of the final 4 episodes is him trying to reconcile that fact by writing her obituary, going to the wake, and trying to find his footing afterwards. I can tell it was inspired by real life events and his experiences, and it's not easy for me to tell that I know that feeling all too well. The show was able to express feelings I've never had the heart or words to say before, and it's something incredibly near to my heart that I won't be able to get over. The final bit of dialogue given at the end of the eleventh episode says everything I could ever have said or felt in the darkest period of my life. The overall composition of words, scenery of the The Domes in Milwaukee, and music accompaniment needless to say made me an emotional wreck where I had to take considerable time before moving on to the next episode. Not to say the show lost it's humor or pleasant relaxing mood, far from it in fact, but something that personal to me can't be ignored in writing this. Somehow someway Joe and Sarah are even cuter than before, and the crushing is so real with her. Can't stop, won't stop, they're just brilliant together and bless them. I'm not fully sure if I complimented the cinematography in my previous review due to memory difficulties getting worse, but this is a gorgeous show when it wants to be. Whether a simple shot of a growing plant amidst a rainy day, or a spectacular colorful light show in The Domes, or walking amongst reeds and trees near the setting sun, I mean that's pretty strikingly beautiful to me. The soundtrack I dare say has improved and it was already pretty flawless, having a fine mix of soul quieting moody music and jazzy upbeat happy tunes. So much to appreciate and so few words to describe it all. As if I needed more reason to love it and all the effort put in to make it, but it surpasses the previous season on a deeper level taking the basic elements and doing more and interesting things with it, taking it to new horizons unexplored. I don't need to tell you the score, you already know. So instead I'd like to wish you a good and peaceful day, and to give my appreciation for all the folks who keep coming back to read my thoughts. With yesterday's review we hit 975, and while I did have plans for a huge series to top off 1,000 October is nearly upon us and I'm looking forward to the festivities beyond horror reviews. So I hope you join me for the occasion and now I have to think about the possibilities of what comes after that. I'll see you tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Joe Pera Talks With You: Season 1

I can't simply do this show justice with a simple overview, so let us begin.



I would like first to say BETRAYAL!!! BETRAYAL! BETRAYED ME!! How could you have done this Adult Swim, YOU ARE TEARING ME APART!!! 3 seasons, I know it couldn't have went on forever, nothing lasts that long but this is loathsome in my eyes. You made quite possibly the best television show I have seen in my life and it got the ax. I'm not letting it go, but we're moving on to my happy place. So, ahem, a show 9 episodes long and the majority of them are simply 11 minutes, the fact it got another season is pretty remarkable to begin with I have to say. And it's a premise I can't fully articulate or summarize cause the episodes are completely different to anything I've seen on television, both in subject matter and format. It's...Joe Pera Talks With You, about things like iron, fireworks, how to dance, breakfast, and autumn drives. Maybe not the most thrilling of topics, but it's how the show goes about it is when it's magnetic spell is cast upon you to where it becomes interesting and you can't wait for the next episode. It's easily the most laid back, unhurried, cozy, endearing, and yet super funny show ever. The directing style is so dirt simple you could almost mistake it for a early 2000s film project, normal panning shots, cross dissolves, music that sounds stock but ultimately is as charming and lovely as the show, it just can't be described. Just experience it. See the views and locations of Marquette, meet a few people, gain some knowledge and ask questions that nobody has before, it may not seem like much but when you take the time to sit and enjoy it the more you'll appreciate it, it's a lot like life. Simple joys and pleasures in inexplicable everyday situations, anyone can do it. The soothing nature of the show is unparalleled, not just on part of the writing but our host and humble narrator too, Joe has a very soft slow melody to his speech and the points he brings up are interesting and even existential at times, I'd almost call it a show for introverts or people who just like to think. I think the dedicated crew knew what they were going for in composition of the series, making the experience (and there simply is no other way to word it than that) one of calmness while still making me laugh to beat the band on numerous occasions. It's a kind of dull dry humor, and I can see many people not fully getting it but for me it worked wonders. It's kind of hard to discuss it, but I attribute that nature more on the grounds that I simply enjoy it and find myself at a loss for words when trying to paint a picture rather than it having nothing to say or do. I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't much acting involved from everybody, Gene is great to be around and has a voice that could melt butter and while his interactions with Joe are brief they are still highly enjoyable. Jo is well, wow, not to get off on tangents but I think she is supremely cute and brings a great deal of humor to the programme, and the relationship between her and Joe is a sweet and natural one culminating in an entirely different but nevertheless endearing romance from what you would normally see. I think my personal favorite episode is the fall drive, just the scenery alone wins it but the material for the episode is some food for thought and the humor just as spot on as ever. I don't know, what can I really say that I feel in my heart? It's a flawless piece of television, I always feel like I'm in a comfortable cozy spot when I watch an episode and not just on the account of my recliner and  warm blanket, it gives me newfound appreciation of life in all it's average facets and gets me thinking about the life I've lead but not the depressing kind. The kind where you're thankful and happy to reminisce. The music is just that right kind of music that I love best, very relaxing, not loud but has a different kind of energy, while still having moments of upbeat and happy music as well, and I don't think it would come as a surprise that I have several songs in my music library. It's just....nice, that's all I can say about it. You see so much apathy and sarcasm and negativity in life and the world, but here's a show that is lovely, honest, and wholesome. Yeah that's the word, wholesome, it's a wholesome show that deserves great love and attention in my estimation, because it simply gives that to the audience. I don't think I would have the heart to ask more from the show when it gives me more than enough as is. 4 gold stars, 20/10, and we're just getting started.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Blade Runner Black Lotus

Okay look, I'm gonna try to articulate myself as best as possible.




Black Lotus is not a bad show, it's a very niche fandom that sprung forth a very niche show. I think yet again we are touching new grounds, as I've never watched or reviewed a 3D anime series before, it's traditionally 2D and that's what I know best. And indeed Black Lotus has been on my radar for a good few months but I didn't know it was 3D from the get go, yet I knew I wanted to watch it. Here's the thing. As a standalone show, it's decent, I liked it, end of story. As an installment of the Blade Runner series, it can't help but fall a bit flat if only due to the fact that it is quite literally sandwiched between Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049, two excellent pieces of fiction that are beautiful and insightful to us as human beings. It's going to be the black sheep by default. Now does that necessarily mean no one should watch it? Not at all, I kept in mind the target audience as I was watching, it premiered on Toonami and Crunchyroll so teenagers and early adults specifically who love anime. And this could very well be their gateway to watching the movies and perhaps reading Philip K. Dick's novel, though at the same time that breeds apprehension in me. Cause the show is action orientated, which could lead people to believe that's what the movies are like which is exactly what happened in 1982 and it could alienate audiences. But let's actually talk about the show now. So our story takes place still in Los Angeles in the year 2032, as we follow a young woman named Elle who has a strong case of amnesia but is incredibly skilled at kicking ass and is out on a revenge mission against a group of high ranking illustrious figures in society. Any cyberpunk story has a strong anti-corporation, down with the rich sentiment, it's a staple of the subculture. So we pretty much get a piecemeal story over 13 episodes of Elle trekking out to assassinate these figureheads as she regains memories and makes a few allies along the way, a lot of inspiration from revenge movies and introspective dramas were taken and it works adequately. I can see people thinking the show is a slog to get through, it is more slow paced akin to the movies and though it is only about 4 hours in total, it may not seem like much is actually accomplished over time. I can tell you right here right now, skip episode 8, you will miss nothing and learn nothing, it is the epitome of a filler episode. So technically it's even shorter. Elle is a neat protagonist, I was pretty onboard with her in her bomb ass jacket and samurai sword cutting bitches, so I was invested enough. Joseph as her partner in crime makes for a good dynamic, and I'm proud of the creators for not having to force a romance, he has his own history and problems that we get but I feel the show could have utilized all the character's backstories far more effectively. We pal around a bit with LAPD officer Davis, I wasn't feeling much for this character and there is some sextuple amounts of bullshit with her at the tail end of this series, you'll know it when you see it trust me. We actually do get a blade runner who at first I thought was K but no Ryan Gosling for us today, and I find that super interesting how we actually see a blade runner as an antagonist for once it's a cool touch. I mean I know the main focus is on Elle, and the other characters aren't (entirely) wasted, and the voice cast isn't bad one bit, but it begs for more fleshing out. And I'm not entirely sure if this has a negative aspect per se, but the 3D animation lends an odd effect on the voice acting and I'm not sure if I can articulate it well. The animation is good, it obviously doesn't have the budget for totally realistic 3D models, but it does have moments of late 90s/early 2000s TV 3D animation. The motion capture utililized works super well during the fight sequences, and the actual backgrounds and environments look damn good in my opinion. But! The animation doesn't have a great range of facial acting, so it can deaden the impact of line reads which is through no fault of the actors, it's just a side effect of a slight uncanny valley minefield the show has to traverse. I can applaud the creators for wanting to go this direction instead of traditional 2D animation but it's a slippery tightrope to balance. Music kinda sucks though I won't lie, not the actual episode score that fits beautifully in with the soundscape of Vangelis and Hans Zimmer, but they use modern vocal songs for the intro, which while the visuals are great I would not in any universe say the theme is Blade Runner in any capacity, and also the outros during the credits and my God is it just not my scene man. I'm not big on modern music in terms of rap/hip hop/R&B or poppy stuff, it just ain't for me but I can appreciate other people liking it. So all in all, it's a mixed bag for sure but I feel it has enough to be a mostly good mixed bag. I give it 2.5 stars, 7/10. More TV next week, I already talked about it a bit ago but screw that we're going in depth season by season so see you then.