Friday, May 28, 2021


Not at all a bad film to review for the 800th mark.

Yes, we got that far. And sweet lord did I love this movie, I mean if you asked me before what live action Disney movie was my favorite I'd say The Jungle Book, and after this movie I do not think Cruella can be topped. I had precisely zero idea what on earth they would do with this story, and I was grabbed, intrigued, made incredibly happy, and even kinda wanted a continuation as credits rolled. A lot of people were pointing and crying Joker at the trailer and I strongly disagreed, knowing they would do their own thing entirely and make something good which they did. Shock of all shocks, I'm right. Again. They tipped their hat to that film in their own way but the way the story progresses, shifts and molds to show how Cruella came to be was handled very well I thought. Now I know some people would shriek contrivances abound in this movie, but it could have been handled a lot more hamfisted and it could have fell flat hard. Like dropping a sack of puppies falls hard. But seeing Estella as a young girl (and yes that is future daughter goals to me) who after suffering a tragedy meets up with two thiefs Jasper and Horace and pretty much finds her own identity, oh and plots revenge which might be the most worthless of causes but there's something different when she does it. Am I being too shameless? Yes. Terribly. Hell I could almost argue the whole point of the picture is a take on finding your true persona and characteristics, no compromises. And it is a gradual shift from Estella to Cruella, it's not just one bad day and then bam there she is in all her splendor and fashion, in fact the film just has good pacing and knows when to linger on a shot and when to cut. I caught myself many a time catching on the long takes, and sort of intricate camera movements, I see you Birdman long take you cheeky bastard I see you, so the cinematography is very good. The sets are very well done, each having a personality, and since the film has a great emphasis on fashion you get a lot of that 70s style to it which I was digging quite a lot. The soundtrack, holy great balls of fire, this soundtrack is excellent. You get like 2 points just for playing The Doors, I swear half the movie I was foot tapping and lip syncing, it was made for me. And God! I never knew I needed Emma Stone with red hair, almost exclusively and exquisite black outfits, and a british accent. Where has this been my whole life and how have I lived without it? She was outstanding in this role and while I feel you can't compare Glenn and Emma because they are so different in their potrayals, she was excellent. I just had such a great time with it, even when it treaded close to silly or ridiculous it never inhibited my enjoyment or love for it, I've seen many a ludicrous thing in my time so I can roll with all of this. The comedy I felt wasn't busting your gut laughing but it got me often, and I appreciate a more slight giggle and brief guffaw than laugh out loud personally. The plot albeit gets a bit soap opera but the life of Cruella DeVil has to be heavily dramatic to some extent, so hey you just be you movie I can't hold a grudge. If she flat out murdered a dog though it would have gotten a 10/10, I don't hate dogs or anything but come on, though this movie gets a touch dark and doesn't really dumb it down for kids in a way where adults could not take it seriously. It commits to it and bless them for that alone. 4 stars, 8.5/10, yes I meant that, and another month gone. I'll be taking my usual break but I'll be back in time for Scarlett don't you worry, I've been waiting for that day for a long time so I will see you then.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

102 Dalmatians

Alright, looking back on it all it's a bit naff.

Do not ask me how or why there was a sequel, released 5 years after the first one and is certainly fitting that ill bill of health of Disney sequels, because I will never know. I do know however I saw this on a school field trip to the theater a very, very long time ago, and watched it many a time on VHS back then...for some reason. It is undeniable the main draw of the first film was to see Glenn Close as Cruella, the first time a classic Disney villain was brough to life in live action, yet she is the only reason to view this movie in your life. You already got me movie with this very good opening showing Cruella, through the always helpful and not at all harmful or disturbing electroshock therapy has been rehabilitated and has a great affinity for dogs and a disgust for fur. This really should have been the entire film, or at least the majority of the film. You hear she has transformed for the better, starts taking positive steps in life and disowns her old personality, then bam something snaps pretty much keep the absolute best scene of the film when she reverts back, then spend time with her scheming, recruiting new accomplices, and ready to finish what she started in the first movie but be thwarted. Done, beautiful, perfect. I thought that purely on the fly in about 2 minutes, the screenwriters had 5 years and we got this. I was so disinterested in the plot when Glenn wasn't on screen, and bless the actors they are doing decent work here but the script just ain't here for them. Yeah sure the budget is fine with more location shoots in London and apparently even Paris, a pretty excellent designed and fully working factory for the finale, conveyor belts and all which fair dues is done right and done well, even the technology technique to erase spots for a dalmatian is done pretty seamlessly, it's not beyond terrible but it isn't all that good either. I honestly could watch an entire film where Glenn and Gerard scheme about their crimes, bicker about fashion like an odd couple, and bully poor Tim for a feature length runtime, they gel quite nicely together and as I said they are the highlights. Much better than this romance, meet cute, tiring story with the humans. I'm sorry but the protagonist story is so bland and heavily predictable, I was checking out often. Pretty much the first 40 minutes, besides a few scenes with the blossoming couple, is the highlight of the film. Glenn still gives it her all, it's really the little moments that push it over the top for me, from seeing her be so sweet and gentle voiced, to her werewolf-esque transformation, to the look she gives when Tim said he got rid of a dog like "Well I have greatly underestimated you darling, very nice.", she's fabulous. Oh God, the music, good lord I nearly forgot about it. It will never leave. Digga Digga Dog and Freak Out will be in your head for days no doubt, pray for what's left of my sanity. I haven't the foggiest why I enjoyed this movie a fair deal when I was young, but then again I thought every movie was great when I was 5. Because I didn't know better and had hope in my soul. Just watch a few clips and call it a night, 2 stars, 5/10. I take comfort in whatever happens Friday, it will be better than this.

Monday, May 24, 2021

101 Dalmatians

20 years since I last watched it, so how does it hold up?

Now I know this isn't technically the first Disney live action remake but honestly who even remembers the 90s Jungle Book? Nobody, I don't even think it should count since it tries to stick more to the books and not do the animated film again. So this is the first technically, at least for me. It's...mixed, not so much on production or story but primarily on the tone. The tone in this movie is beyond scatter brained, it's almost inherint because the plain fact of the matter is, the story concerns a group of puppies being stolen with the intent of being killed, skinned, and made into a fur coat by the one and only Cruella DeVil as a rescue attempt is made to retrieve the pups. So it kinda has to tightrope a quite dark and screwed up main story, but still put the ha ha funny funny moments specifically for kids, young kids at that and it doesn't always pull it off. Now production wise, it's done really really well. Location shooting in London, screenplay by John Hughes and yes I'm still reeling from that revelation, a mighty great cast I mean the star power they have here is kinda unreal, the animal training is highly commendable, set design primarily for Cruella's places is wonderful, all the elements are there. It's just the flip flop between cutesy, and weird and f***ed up that bothers me. I mean this movie will put the fear of DeVil in you boy, Glenn Close is terrifying yet incredible in this role. There isn't a fraction of a shadow of a doubt in my mind's eye she is the only reason anyone watches this movie. She's just that good! But that's not at all to say the rest of the cast isn't good, hell I'd say easily the second best actor in this is Hugh Laurie, it really is like if the Prince Regent took up being an accomplice it's beautiful. Of course I have to shout out Mr. Weasely himself Mark Williams, I think him and Hugh work very well together. Even our main couple played by Jeff Daniels and Joely Richardson do good work. And the more I think about it this was my first experience for so many actors when I was like 5, Glenn, Jeff, Hugh, Mark, actors I've come to appreciate and love in 2 decades time. I know I haven't talked much about the dogs and while the animals are trained really impressively, I didn't think they were that big a part of the story, strange though that may sound. Heck the 15 puppies birthed doesn't even occur until the 40 minute mark in this almost 2 hour film, and you get brief moments of cutesy stuff but I could not help but focus more on the dark stuff. I mean this movie freaked me out a fair bit when I was young, the skinned tiger was f***ed up and upsets me more now, Skinner was a creepy character and hasn't lost much of his edge despite his low screen time, Christ just hearing Glenn scream got a startle out of me often that woman is either go all or go home. There's flat out horror movie shots at times which I do kinda love but then I remember the title and audience demographic and I'm just like, yikes. True there were parts I didn't like, for instance our main couple decide to get married because the dogs have fallen in love. I see no faults in logic there. Plus the fact this movie brought a fair bit of 1995 to memory, I mean God I'm aging by the minute here at this point. I have no issue saying I watched the second movie more than the first when I was young so that will be fascinating to see so many years later. This film I give 3 stars, 7/10, catch you next time for 101+1 more doggos.

Friday, May 21, 2021

What Did Jack Do?

I don't care if this is considered cheating, I'm been doing this for over half a decade now I'll do what I like.

For a 17 minute short, I can resoundingly say I did not need more than what was presented. With not directing a feature length movie since 2016, I'm just happy David did this. Shot in pristine black and white, a detective has sat down with a suspect in a murder case and starts putting the spotlight on him to try and figure out if he really was the killer or not. The dialogue is very classic cop interrogation here, there are no philosophical monologues like in The Dark Knight but brings originality to it in other ways. For instance instead of musings of the human condition we get treated to a musical number written by David Lynch and Dean Hurley, which I could have sworn I heard before somewhere, sometime in my life but it is just an original song made for this short film and I'd be lying to the world if I said I didn't kinda want it in my music library. The instrumentals are super lovely and though it is short I very much enjoy it, though it blind sides the entire story a bit but I don't at all mind. I know David has acted in front of the camera before like in Twin Peaks and he does good work here, playing it a bit stoic and basic as terms as detectives go but I love it because it's just him in the role. And there's a monkey, did I mention that? The detective is interrogating a monkey named Jack who fell in love with a chicken by the name of Toototabon. What? Too predictable? I actually find it hilarious that the way they animate the monkey speaking is just a more technologically advanced Clutch Cargo technique but it doesn't look bad at times. The plot thickens quick with Jack being a crafty devil in evading questions but the tea or should I say coffee, is spilled and justice is served. Final score depends on more so than any major motion picture I've covered on subjective viewing, you are just presented with a story and you either like it or don't. I did like it, it's not 10/10 but I'd give it 8/10, 4 stars. You are doing your life a cruel and horrid disservice if you are not subscribed to David Lynch Theater on the YouTube, he has short films, does daily weather reports and number picks, shows you what projects he's working on, it's one of my favorite channels to view quite possibly ever. Until next time, everyone have a great day!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Sunset Boulevard

Well, that was a picture and a half.

I'm still kinda reeling from my first watch of Sunset Boulevard, I know I very much liked it but I'm still forming my thoughts even as I write. So let's start from the top and talk plot. Well I was already wrong in my pretense of what the film was actually about, I thought originally it was more of a character piece on fading movie star Norma Desmond as she locks herself away from the world and tries to live her years encased in a bubble, enslaved to her past films in a projection room and whose dreams are made of celluloid, a world one step away from The Twilight Zone. Yeah this movie really had me flashing back to the specific episode The Sixteen Millimeter Shrine, and the narration and lovely black and white cinematography just kept bringing me back to it. But the story really follows a writer named Joe who by pure happenstance kinda gets roped into Norma's world, he starts off ghost writing her own script and then...I don't really know. They kinda, sorta, get into a relationship but it's odd because Joe is kinda going for it, then wants to bail, then wants to stick around for the sake of Norma's feelings. It's very bizzare. In fact the whole movie has this bizzare, almost David Lynch quality to it in terms of plot developments and characters. Needless to say I was hooked and it got me super invested near the end. Gloria Swanson is pretty much perfect in this role, the overdramatic actions, the incredibly childlike modd swings and personal viewings of herself, she pulls it off without it ever once being annoying or even absurd to where you just roll your eyes at the melodrama. She is wonderful and I truly can say it is a great performance. The same goes for William Holden, I was having a hard time pinning down his character cause he really does just sorta ebb and flow due to the situation, he frankly wants nothing to do with Norma until she cuts her wrists then he's there for her everyday, yet kinda fancies this young lady, I wouldn't say it's all over the place but it is a prominent element of the film. He's very sarcastic, has that dry wit, he's a puzzle to work on in this film and one I enjoy trying to figure out at that. I will say however the set design is fantastic, the film just looks sort of this mix of Grey Gardens and 50s Hollywood, it's entirely unique to this film. Plus the fact this is a movie that openly acknowledges real world movie making is kind of unheard of to me in a film made 30 years into film as a medium's lifetime, I mean now yes, movies reference actual films, directors, and actors often, that's almost Tarantino in a nutshell, but for a film released in 1950 to actually get references and see directors and stars as themselves is really rare at least in my movie going experience. Which is funny because modern Hollywood at that time was not very fond of the potrayal the film spun in terms of actors and the landscape of the business, we all know it to be true now but movies and the process of making movies were known only to the select few who worked in that environment. The more things change, the more they stay the same I guess. 4 stars from me, 8/10, check it out and see what you think of it cause I had a great time with it and I can see why it is considered essential viewing for any serious movie fan.

Monday, May 17, 2021

A Hard Day's Night

A very spur of the moment review but well worth talking about.

I was just channel surfing with my mom and we caught the opening of this movie and I stuck around for two reasons, one my mom is still a very big Beatles fan and the other being I never saw it before. Oh I knew of the film's reputation, released during the height of Beatlemania, on the Criterion Collection, it was a very hastily put together production, so on and so forth. Not at all bad full truth, in fact the camera placements and editing is so unique to this film, they do good casting besides the band themselves, it's shot around London so it retains that british feel throughout. It's almost potrayed as an absurdist comedy detailing the events of just one day in the lives of John, Paul, George, and Ringo as they evade the screaming hordes of fans, deal with their manager, cut loose to enjoy themselves, and perform. I suppose it could technically be classed as a musical because they do an assortment of songs, and a good solid chunk of The Beatle's disocgraphy I am not terribly familiar with save for She Loves You in this film and it is good music. When 50+ year music can not only get my feet tapping like mad but also give me goosebumps, clearly there's something right about it. And you know it really and truly put their fame into perspective, because they were so young when the band skyrocketed and no one had any inkling of how big they would get, and you know that they would cut loose and not do business/band stuff all day every day to just enjoy their youth. There was a really great quote, and from my favorite of the bunch Ringo, "Being middle-aged and old takes up most of your time, doesn't it?", and I won't lie to you man it scared the shit out of me. You only get one good solid crack at being young, so enjoy it while it lasts before you get old, bitter, and broken like me. I genuinely am torn on my favorite character in this, and I almost use bunny ears for that but let's face it the boys are just being themselves, they don't need to act they just need to read the dialogue and it by God works, but it's a toss up between John and Paul's grandfather who is the utter antithesis of what his physicality would lead you to believe. You think it would be this horrendous stereotype of the stuffy brit, but he is just as wild if not more so than the group, always scheming to get some money, running up and around causing good grief, it's quite beautiful actually. It really is this bizzare, slightly stretched yet altogether true, window of time movie. The black and white stock was lovely and I must give all my props to the director, the writing is very funny and feels all too natural with the band banter, I'd say this film is a silly piece of nonsense but it is much more than that really and you can tell when watching it. It really is this fascinating piece of cinema that can't really be labelled. It's not a documentary, it's sort of a musical, it's comedic but does more than that, I'm stumped. I had a grand time with it and would have no problem seeing it again in the future, so I give it 3.5 stars, 8/10, give this thing a whirl seriously, it took me on a trip and I was not upset where I ended up.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Anime Landscape: Now And Then

Another editorial for you this time, I was in a severe rumination mood after I drank heavily from the last review, so I decided to do a somewhat EVOTIC style piece on one of my favorite things to watch, anime. What really kickstarted this for me is I was watching a reviewer unpack literal memories of different memorabilia and items of interest, and it did nothing but spark memories of a very specific niche genre. My utter love and fascination with anime stemmed from a very early age, I can't have been older than 4 or 5 when I started watching anime on this thing called Toonami on Cartoon Network, still my favorite channel ever. I watched that channel religiously every single day, and my cousins who were like 16 or 17 used to come down to my grandparents house and watch Dragonball Z with me. They explained basic plot because when I got into that we were into the Cell saga, but they also told me that these cartoons were not from America but from a place called Japan. And to a 4 year old the concept of a place bigger than my hometown was beyond my comprehension, but I never took the animation style or voice acting differently than I would with shows like Powerpuff Girls or Scooby-Doo. I used to run as fast as I could to my bedroom, tell my Nan and Papa hi, throw my backpack down and turn on this giant television set incased in wood to watch Toonami after school everyday. If I was really lucky I could see the intro which I thought was the coolest intro to anything ever, and Tom was the coolest host ever. And boooooy did that start something for my life. As I grew up I found likeminded friends who also watched anime in the early 2000s, a true golden age for such content. Staying up as late as I could to see Adult Swim, having sleepovers and watching all our favorite series was the highlight of the day. Watching Ghost In The Shell, Case Closed, Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, The Big O, Trigun, and easily the one me and my friends were most involved with, Inuyasha. It was the show for us and when I found out there were feature length films of the show like Pokemon I lost my mind. Cause you have to fully grasp, anime has come lightyears since my youth. The internet was still in it's infancy, if you wanted to delve deep into anime culture or see more examples of the genre, whether it be films, or shows, or games (hell I didn't even know about manga until high school) you either had to know places that selled episodes and merchandise, or know people who knew people where you could get different anime stuff. Nowadays I can walk into a Walmart and pick up shows as current as My Hero Academia or as old as Cowboy Bebop with ease. I knew two places that sold anime DVD's, a local video store and Fry's Electronics. And that shit was expensive. I can pick up the first season of a show or an entire show for about twenty dollars now, but if you wanted the first whole season of say Chobits you better be ready to cough up 50 or 60 bucks. Or you had to do it like me and spend roughly twenty dollars for 4 episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist and do that for volume after volume to get the whole show. No joke that was the first anime show I not only owned but saw all the way through, cause the only way you could watch it is if it was on TV or you spent a pretty penny for it on video. And merchandise was nonexistent. Regardless of what it was, posters, statues, plushies, action figures, cosplay items, you had to either have the good grace and knowledge of having a website where you could buy stuff which was an absurd notion to me back then, or you pick up an anime magazine with a little luck from the gods at your local supermarket and they would have extensive lists, pages upon pages, of different items to order through the mail. I cut up a magazine like mad to keep the pictures inside or to give them to friends who saw it and thought it was cool during school. The landscape of being a fan of this genre has changed to the point of being unrecognizable now, I had bookmarks on the family computer of places that sold anime merchandise in middle school, and now I can get an entire show and cosplay apparel and find 20 websites where I can marathon Bleach without even getting off the couch. It has changed for the better but you really had to have been alive and interested in that stuff at that moment in time to fully get what I'm saying. Unless it was Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh, there was no way in hell you were getting anything in stores, and televison blocks were the only way to watch your favorites. All the premium movie channels like Encore and Starz were godsends to pre-teen Dude, to be able to watch Howl's Moving Castle and the second Inuyasha movie. Hell when Cartoon Network held a special month of Miyazaki's films that was a big deal back then, I think they possibly even showed it both subbed and dubbed. You had to dig in the right place, but if you fell asleep late at night before your show came on, totally me by the by, you were screwed. I had to rely on friends to fill me in on what happened last time on Dragonball Z (literally), or some other slew of shows at sleepovers, and had to wait sometimes a day sometimes until next week for the next episode. In a way it's all sort of lost it's sense of adventure, you had to bust your ass to find anyway to watch and enjoy this very niche market in America before it grew into an industry that is just as prolific and strong as any movie studio, but those experiences would last forever if only in memory. Funimation man, Funimation damn near single-handedly presented so many shows to me on a silver platter, captivating my imagination and made me always wanting more. I truly couldn't have been born at a better time for that culture, that fanbase, it crafted many good memories and I truly would not trade or change one bit of it. The fact that watching Toonami lasted well into my teens, that I would still be at my grandparent's house in my room and that I could turn my TV on Saturday night and digest show after show and wrap up by the time the sun slowly starts to rise, is incredible beyond words. How fitting is it, that you spend an entire night watching animation from Japan to wrap up by the time of the rising sun. Britain might have a strong place in my heart, but never forget who stole your heart first.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Wonder Woman 1984

I would like to go on record and submit an apology. When I first saw the trailer I thought Nathan Fillion was in the role of Maxwell Lord and it was Pedro Pascal. I think this was significantly before I watched The Mandalorian so I did not know what he looked like, and I'm sorry about that.

Now that we got that out of the way, are you f***ing kidding me? Really? We're doing this again are we? You know what I am so sick of? I am so sick of hearing nothing but bad mouthing and shitting on a movie before I see it and when I finally do, it turns out to be a good, decent movie. Case in f***ing point, Wonder Woman 1984. I cannot tell you one thing good that was said about this movie when it first came out. Everytime. Every. Time. When this movie was brought up I heard bad things. Not specific things so nothing got spoiled in the slightest, but the ambiance was vastly negative even disappointing from people. What movie did you see in the theater, and how did it differ from the one I just rented? Did they pull a Snyder cut and re-edited the movie for the home video release, cause I got news for you I didn't see one goddamn thing that was bad in this movie, not even sub-par. You think I would be happy about that but really I am so aggravated and frankly pissed right the hell off. Like was the world just in a bad mood when this movie hit in 2020?? Jesus Christ, I mean yes some stuff was going down, bad stuff, but come on man. Not to say the movie was a masterpiece, nor would I say it's better than the first I'd give the first a 8/10, but there is not one aspect of this film's production that would get anything below a 6/10. The production design is quite good with ample various sets and locations, the music is very good both in Hans Zimmer's score and the pop tunes, the cast is excellent and in some cases you can see they are performing their heart out I mean they embody these roles for this generation, the action while less than the first was shot, choreographed, and produced well, the story while nothing ground breaking I felt was handled really good with Diana having a dilemma and Maxwell Lord rising to power. Sure there were off things, like how the invisible jet comes into play, Cheetah is really only in the film in the last 20 odd minutes, we don't get precise origins on the stone. And yet, it was nothing film breaking. I loved we got the invisible jet, the effects on Cheetah were not Cats quality (thank the lord), I could buy the stone was magic so you don't have to explain it. I got to see Diana and Steve reunited though with a consequence, and I have no issue they brought Chris Pine back. He has great chemistry with Gal, and I truly loved to see them be in the same movie again, and the dilemma Diana has to face in order to save the world is a decent one! Kristen Wiig pulled off the villain thing, starting off very Michelle Pfeiffer from Batman Returns, but you see the change gradually and while Cheetah kind of did pop out of nowhere, it didn't hurt her performance and I liked how she played it. Seeing Pedro Pascal have the time of his life in this role, played to the fullest extent with every shred of energy and emotion present from beginning to end was wonderful, marvellous even. Gal Gadot shows off her emotional range very well, she kind of acts her heart out in an important scene, and I felt she proved once again why she got this role, and I just got a wee smile on my face when I heard her speak her native language. That was a nice thing to see, plus that absolutely lovely cameo at the end. That was beyond sweet. I am just so stumped to pick bad parts out of this movie. Hell there were moments that stuck out to me so much, and not every comic book movie can accomplish such a thing which is odd because I'm a dork for this stuff. The jet scene with the fireworks was beautiful, such an good color palette throughout the film really, but the visuals were dazzling yet kept the emotion in the foreground. The scene where Diana flies was outstanding, I felt just like how I did when I saw Clark fly for the first time in Man Of Steel, that was done so well! Just...what am I missing? Either I'm a drooling moron who has no concept of what a good movie is and every other person speaks undeniable truths, or everyone is talking out of their stupid assholes and I'm right. And I am not happy I am thinking like that. At all. That is not a good mental state to be in ever. Even the most positive, affirming, beyond happy ending this movie has, that I have ever seen in my entire life, could not raise my spirits. The film is practically a beacon of positivity and hope for the human race, that the world could become the greatest nightmare ever imagined if you don't be truthful and just make decisions that only service you and not others. Sure it was a bit on the nose with Diana almost flat out speaking to the camera, but that does not mean that her words should mean less. I am just fuming, in virtual apathy for the world and it's inhabitants, and you know you wouldn't think Wonder Woman 1984 would be the film where I draw a line in the sand and marshall all the forces of darkness to descend hell upon my enemies and hound them to an assisted suicide, but here I am. I have no qualms burning bridges, even if those bridges have people on it. 3 stars, 7.5/10. If this horseshit keeps up I might just quit. Maybe even before the 1,000th review. I'm done.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Wonder Woman Bloodlines

No surprise what the next review is going to be.

I very much was surprised when I learned Bloodlines was not a sequel to the 2009 film which I reviewed way back, even though I should have been clued in that there was a decade between the two releases. This follows the main animated DC universe, which I've touched upon oh so briefly but it works so easily as a standalone movie you don't even need to worry about it. The film starts very predictable, hi Steve, but goes big and broad quick. We jump a bit forward in time as we see Diana be fully in her Wonder Woman persona and is asked from a friend she met not long after arriving in the U.S. about helping her daughter out of a pretty sordid company of characters who comprise Wonder Woman's rogue gallery. We see Cheetah, Giganta, Dr. Poison, Dr. Cyber, and Silver Swan. Now I will admit even to a big DC fan such as myself, there were some names I was not terribly familiar with, specifically Silver Swan and Dr. Cyber, but you grasp the concept and personality of the villains quite quickly so it didn't pose problems for me. But all does not go well for Diana and Silver Swan is birthed, with Dr. Cyber leading the charge from behind the curtain to attack Themyscira and use their power. So we get fair amounts of both settings, and while I do take slight issue with some elements of the film I think the plot is handled well. Positives first, they got Diana perfectly in this movie. Absurdly compassionate, kind, thoughtful of others, doing the right thing to the best of her ability, I have zero issue saying this is the best version of Wonder Woman I've seen and that is coming from someone who loves Gal Gadot, and treasures Lynda Carter, and grew up watching the Justice League show. Rosario Dawson brings that perfectly balanced performance of, Wonder Woman fearless hero with high morality and values, and Diana kind person who has a bit of humor and wears her heart on her sleeve. I very much liked all the cast, Jeffrey Donovan did great work with Steve, and Marie Avgerpoulos did quite well with Silver Swan. The animation still has that distinct style of that series of films, but is handled well and looks really really good in places. Now for negatives, the reasoning for certain events in the film could have been handled better, they're not shit but it wouldn't have hurt to re-write it. Silver Swan's creation into villainy seems incredibly quick and a touch nonsensical, Diana essentially does have to go obtain a McGuffin for the plot, I personally do not subscribe to the Amazons having advanced technology I see them much more mythical but I know that's just my stance so it's not horrible, Diana forgets where Themyscira is located after she leaves which raises many a question to me, it's more brief moments and details that make me just go, "Wha?" more so than big important plot details. I think it's a totally fine, okay movie, it's for the audience who watches the animated DC stuff (Though it's still good to know they're still doing the kinda sorta nudity and cuss words, thanks I still want it to die.), it's by no means essential viewing but if you want a proper comic book movie that embraces comic book stories you can have fun with it. 3 stars, 7/10. Life is good with this movie, but it can be better.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

In Retrospect: The Mandalorian (Season 2)

Mmm! It's a bit special.

I do not envy the people working on season 3, cause they did such a good job here. I know people will just shriek this season is nothing but fanwank and quite frankly you can get off my planet, because there is no way in all the circles of Hell itself that the creators and writers took these steps lightly. I mean this is the season with Bo Katan, Boba Fett, Ahsoka Tano, and Master Luke, you do not bring in such heavy hitters willy nilly and I find they did a good job incorporating each throughout the season. I mean yes I called Boba popping up, cause no one else in Star Wars has the sound of spurs when they walk, but I didn't know how they would handle him. Quite well is the answer. Temuera Morrison never lost his touch in the role of mandalorian bounty hunter, and they give him good action beats without overusing him. I'm beyond happy him and Rosario Dawson got to do these parts, because she lobbied hard for Ahsoka and did the character proud taking a more subdued but even more powerful iteration of a fan treasured character. You have to show a lot of tempered restraint with such characters, even though Ahsoka got an entire episode whereas Bo Katan got parts here and there it never once felt like it was there just to have that big gasp reaction from fans. Nor does it take anything whatsoever from Din Djarin's tale, searching for any answers he can about mandalorians, Jedi teachers, and the safety of his son. You can keep lying to yourself all day it makes little difference to me, but Grogu is his heir, his son, his reason for living. He shows in just one scene, where he takes the helmet off he would do anything for his kid and that he could not be more determined to get him back. It was striking, kinda powerful, and showed good emotional writing. And I will fully admit how they handled Grogu made sense as to where this season ended, you don't get a lot of cute baby moments like you did in the first season, granted he was still there but a more laxed focus was on him, gauging the audience for that moment. I noticed that about midway through the season but it didn't bother me. Yet I do fear somewhat for the third season, they took the kid out of the picture which could have been the most fan upsetting thing since whatever nonsense they were bitching about 5 minutes before, it took guts to remove a very big reason why people watch this show. And now I must speak on Gina. I am here without witness, without hope, without reward, devastated she isn't on the show anymore. I don't even fully know why, just something to do with a tweet, and frankly Twitter is the most toxic shit pit that is rivalling 4Chan in terms of f*** off and die horribly. I really have no idea why she isn't there anymore, and she was a solid reason for me to stick around. I digged the hell out of her character and knew she could be an ass kicking auntie for little Grogu, and my admiration and shameless crushing on Gina Carano didn't hurt at all either in that equation. So that's two big losses on this front in my eyes, of course I'll still watch the next season to see where the story and characters go from here because I do love the show, but that is like a strike and a half in my books for Disney. I was fine with 95% of the movies, besides small squabbles that quite honestly were nitpicks mostly, and really liked what they did and enjoyed it. But here, I'm not terribly happy about that. Will it affect my views on the show? Not much, but it would be nice to have her back. All that aside, the writers, directors (Love you Carl, you did great.), actors, and effects crews brought top form for this show, and it truly does deserve the love from fans. I still say to this day Star Wars is still my favorite thing in the world, in so many of it's different aspects and mediums, I love it and hold a lot of appreciation and respect for it. I'm happy it's still here and we're still getting cool new stuff from it. This is the way, and I have spoken.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

In Retrospect: The Mandalorian (Season 1)

Never fails to impress.

Even after all this time and so many new things coming to Star Wars, The Mandalorian has not lost an ounce of it's charm, appeal, intrigue, or quality. It was kind of a trip to go back and that's really saying something considering it's only had two seasons but it just goes to show the testament this show has crafted over such a small stretch, and it does still raise questions even though we do have some of the answers. Why did Werner Herzog want the babay, and who is he besides "The Client"? How did Fennec Shand survive and how is she on good terms with the best bounty hunter in the galaxy? Who's that very pretty lady who wanted some hey hey with Pedro, and how was she such an excellent shot? I do not consider these contrivances or plot holes but it makes me want to know so much more about this world that Favreau and Filoni have made together. They do such a wonderful job introducing new characters that have familiar concepts behind them, and the cast hasn't been this well picked since the original trilogy. Pedro Pascal is quickly becoming a man after my own heart, I mean we are talking near Mads Mikkelsen levels here people. I'm so happy Carl Weathers got to expand upon this and wasn't just a small bit character in this series, cause he really is grand. Oh Gina, oh my dearest, I will come to you tomorrow and really say my piece. The attention to detail in the worlds, species, and tech is glorious giving us so much more tidbits in this universe. I just, ohh, it's muy bien. Magnifico. Wunderbar, he exclaimed with great relish. I almost am quite sad I never watched it weekly like I did with the second season cause I know it would have firmly grasped my attention and kept me guessing about what would happen next. Which is odd because like 90% of the episodes are pretty much singular adventures, you could almost watch it out of order and it would still work which is something I greatly admire with shows or hell even movies for that matter when you can just dip in and out but not lose the experience. I actually heard some people give good grief over that but I suppose it's greatly common nowadays in television that shows are neatly tied together with strong continuity. I say that because I watch nothing but old shit, I can't wait to review The Andy Griffith Show when I'm 87 and nobody will know what I'm talking about. Good times! But anywho, still just as great when I first saw it I may just say screw it and bump my rating up to a 9/10 cause why not it deserves that kind of love. This is the May, I mean the way. And if somebody could let me know when that disintegrator Nerf rifle hits, you'd be a darling.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

In Retrospect: The Clone Wars (Season 7)

On this hallowed day, I wish to look back on an item that must be revisited.

Now I will say this now, so let it be written so let it be done, my overall stance on the final season of Clone Wars has not changed. I still feel as a culmination, a finale, a true and final goodbye to an excellent piece of television that through years of good storytelling and fan ressurection was able to conclude, it did fall flat. Mostly. I voiced my opinion on several platforms and was met with harsh critique with scoffs and guffaws aplenty, but I defended and discussed my views on the matter because it is how I genuinely feel. I wanted to take the time to see it again if only wondering if I was a bit harsh on it. Not so much on production in terms of animation, voice acting, and direction but the actual storylines presented. I was so not there for the Bad Batch storyline but on rewatch there were good elements, with Rex wanting beyond hope that Echo could still be alive, and the Bad Batch though ridiculously simple in terms of character traits and inspiration from 80s actionsploitation did have humorous moments and didn't feel shoved in the story unnecessarily, plus the scene with Anakin and Padme was incredibly endearing. I now see it as an okay arc but still not a story that was dying to be told in the final season. Now on the flipside, the Ahsoka arc with the Martez sisters is still absolute shite, completely wasting the reintroduction of a character that people have wanted to see again since Rebels ended, the plot is the definition of padding and roundabout accomplishing nothing besides the most basic yet most interesting part of the story which is nothing but setup for the final arc. The Martez sisters I almost say are the most hated Star Wars characters of all, and the only reason I can't say that is because I have not read all the books and comics to undisputedly confirm that. I have never witnessed in all my years of television viewing a more skippable slate of episodes that I feel is an inexcusable waste of time not just for the viewer but the overall story. Final arc, 12/10. Absolute god tier Star Wars to this day, spending every second creating an atmosphere of dread, uncertainty, and the loss of all hope. To see Ahsoka be pushed to an unparalleled point, to see Maul cement his final stake as one of the best characters in this universe, I cannot stress how perfectly they crafted this final story. I would pay theater prices to see it, I would buy those last 4 episodes alone on video, I will sit on this hill to my dying day that the siege of Mandalore arc is the best finale to any show ever. It pays it all off in nothing short of aces. Yet I still shout from the highest mountaintops to the lowest depths of the valleys, why oh why was that all there was of such a remarkable and brilliant story? I feel it is such a monumental missed opportunity and I genuinely hope The Bad Batch does not suffer a similar fate. I'll get that review out when all the episodes are present. I bump my score up to a 7/10, and I'll be back with some Mando goodness next time.