Friday, July 1, 2022

Obi-Wan Kenobi

I love watching Star Wars.




I'm just so happy it's here, regardless of if it was either a film or a show this was way up on the list of future Lucasfilm projects I was looking forward to. I'm not taking back what I said in my Solo review, I enjoyed the movie and forever will judge those who boycotted it but it was a sacrificial lamb to get a Kenobi movie from me. But hey, we got a roughly 6 hour series in time and I still mostly refuse to associate myself with the Star Wars community, I'm just really over people. I read the Kenobi book by John Jackson Miller quite awhile before the show even began to get me in the mindset of the story this show wanted to tell. And while it did take tiny bits here and there, it of course crafted it's unique original story. I thought it would be one of the most downplayed Star Wars shows ever, heavy on introspection, reflection, and acceptance for Obi-Wan who is still grappling with the fallout of Revenge Of The Sith with maybe some Inquisitor action thrown in because they are a big presence at that time. But no, the story starts out humbly enough but changes gears quick when Leia gets kidnapped forcing Kenobi to leave Tatooine to rescue her while contending with the Inquisitorious and eventually Vader. It's not super in your face the arc that Obi-Wan goes through from being a broken, severely PTSD ridden, hermit content to do nothing to gaining some catharsis and peace while regaining his attunement to the Force through the course of the series. Massive spoiler here but, Ewan McGregor friggin' knocks it so far out of the park that it left that galaxy and ended up in ours. He flexes those acting muscles without even uttering a syllable at times, but carries the wisdom, experience, and compassion of a Jedi Master. It thrills me that we get so much attention on Leia in this show, because Luke has his story and is the focus of 3 movies minimum, so why the hell not give young baby Leia some attention? I have glimpsed the future, and may the space gods have mercy on me for this is precisely what my future daughter will be like. I know it in my soul, a terrific hot mess, beyond stubborn, absurdly adorable, and constantly making me proud and yet worrisome. This girl, Vivien Lyra Blair is a gosh dang 20/10! I have spoken. Moses Ingram pretty much snared my attention from the trailer alone, and Reva's story is really dang good though appropriately kept in the dark for the majority of the series so zip a lip on that for now. And I know she is given plenty of attention and I know people were like "I was hoping for Kenobi. Why are you here?" and that she should have had her own series, to which I would be down for to get a show all about the Inquisitors and how they operate. But the one single thing I was adamantly upset about before seeing the show was there was no handsome evil Jason Isaacs as The Grand Inquisitor, but we got Rupert Friend instead. Those qualms were quickly put to the side after his first scene, entirely reminding me why I love this character so much. He gets that air of superiority, smug charm, icy calm control, and intimidation with some very fun friction with Reva. Like there aren't enough costumes from Star Wars I want already. Speaking of costumes, Darth. F***ing. Vader. How? How...do they keep making him better?? I mean really, my favorite Star Wars character ever just keeps getting improved over time, and in recent times they have been attempting to increase the fear factor with resounding success. I have not feared this Dark Lord in my life until Jedi Fallen Order and then this show makes me horrified to the point of silence. The writing, good God the writing really favors Vader here. Not just lines, but what he does and how he does it is the stuff of legends and nightmares. And the fact we get Hayden back, he gets to do it again after the Prequel Renaissance, I'm proud of him he does such good work! Cause I've went through it all with the prequels, from loving them just as much as the originals and thinking they were all the same level of great, to thinking so little of them after hearing so much negative feedback in my early adult years, to a balanced state of appreciation and enjoyment today. I mean obviously it has so much to do during that era of the prequels, but the stuff here for those big fans of Episodes 1, 2, and 3 I know makes them so happy. It made me incredibly happy, shocked, intrigued, emotionally involved as always. The love just never will fade over time. It's beautifully shot with a lot of emphasis on the expansive environments, and the intricate closeness of character's facial expressions. I honestly think they upped the quality of this show than Mando or Boba, difficult to describe but you can feel the effort and detail given to each episode. Considering it was all from the vision of a single director who brought her own style and little touches is great to see. Not at all that there is anything bad about how multiple directors work on one show, that's a good majority of television, but it's just nice to see someone work on it until the end. Should there be a season 2? I am in the camp of a firm no. It gave enough to satisfy me and my want for knowledge of this period in galactic history, but it ended just right to where I can live happily with what I got. There's no doubt more stories to tell in the subsequent 9 years before A New Hope, but I don't think it needs to be commited to film. The comics have been a doing a LOT for Star Wars in all eras, and I can only begin to tell you how much I need to strap in and dive into the immense depths of all these comic runs at the very least Vader's. I know there is going to be an in retrospect where I ramble on so many tangents about so many things, but this is an overview of what I thought and is it worth watching. Not as accesible as other modern Star Wars shows, but highly entertaining with good storytelling contained within. But if you have even a modicrum of interest or knowledge in Star Wars it's going to be on the list. 4 stars, I will give it a 9/10, and for those saying why do you harbor such hatred for the community? I am what you made me.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

In Retrospect: The Book Of Boba Fett

I was debating on watching Boba or Visions, but I feel Boba has much more to discuss and this is penance for no May 4th stuff.





It's always important to rewatch stuff some time after, especially if you've had some notes on certain things. Thankfully the problems I had were very minimal, and more touched on the overarching television series "universe" if you will but all in all it's still pretty good. I still say the best parts for me was getting more Tusken culture in this, I found that section of the show some of the most interesting and engaging storytelling in Star Wars. I'll bring another point up near the end about this period but let's move on. Seeing Boba lay the foundations for his status as Daimyo of Mos Espa was interesting, again kinda what I gathered from the trailers that this was almost a crime drama set in Star Wars and I did notice some Godfather elements for sure. I think that's the part people kinda missed about this show is it's called The Book Of Boba Fett, and this is just chapter one I feel people look at this as only a one season show and there isn't any continuation. I feel there is plenty more ground this show can cover and will gladly settle in for a 2 to 3 year long wait for it to return. I mean Dave and Jon have so many plates spinning and I know I went on a tangent about the live action shows intersecting, but I also understood the reasoning behind it. The Mandalorian spearheaded this era, it's a flagship for all future series to travel in it's wake. I don't have a serious issue with Din having essentially an episode and a half just to catch us up on what's been going on. After all, Boba had many moments to himself in season 2 of Mando and it wouldn't surprise me if they balanced it out and gave us a whole episode of just Boba and Fennec in season 3, before going to Mandalore with daddy Mando and little Grogu. I took some grievance with Master Luke also being in this show, but let that not fool you I still loved it and while some may say it isn't entirely pivotal for this show I also couldn't agree to leaving it out because it does do some groundwork for what we'll see next. Hell it sets up a teeny bit of the Ahsoka series, and while we're on that subject just the tiniest little interaction with Ahsoka and Luke was nothing short of mindblowing, and that line man...it cut me deep. Regardless of whether or not something is succesful in terms of Star Wars it's never a waste or superflous, they give new material to expand on and tell more stories. There's always something new. For example, I knew from years of being too nerdy for my own good that Tatooine was once a water planet and you see that in this show during the Tusken portions and that is something I guarantee not everyone who has watched Star Wars knows. So adding things like Ahsoka, Cad Bane, friggin' jedi swordmaster Cin Drallig, among others is great for us old fans who have read the books, played the games, went the distance, it rewards us for knowing so much. Yet it works for new fans as well, because it introduces these new things and garners intrigue. So even if someone was like "Oh the Book Of Boba Fett was a giant pile of nothing, it just seemed like an unnecessary spinoff of Mandalorian" it still does something for this universe and these characters we've seen for some time. It progresses elements and shows something we haven't truly seen before. So I can truthfully let go of the small complaints, it's just entertainment at the end of the day and if we keep getting awesome moments and interesting stories, I just can't ask for more. They did such a good job, even with similar directors this felt like a different show doing it's own thing. Outstanding applause worthy usage of practical effects along with CG which dat look gud! The cast slips effortlessly into the parts, Temuera feels like he just got done filming Attack Of The Clones he just embodies that character, Ming-Na Wen good lord do not get me started I have a century to shout praises of this woman she is a queen, some people would say the Mods are not important characters and are there to make the plot progress but that's not to say the performances are at all forced. It just works in all aspects, nothing feels slapdash or forced, I don't have bewildering questions, I just can enjoy the ride. Not all things in this wonderful galaxy have to be the next groundbreaking peak level of Star Wars goodness. It's very good, the score I'd say remains an 8/10 but it sure is a stalwart strong 8/10. For sure worth a rewatch and discussion. And here we go for the end, what did I think of Kenobi? Only a Sith deals in absolutes.

Monday, June 27, 2022

In Retrospect: The Bad Batch

Has it already been a year?




Strange to think but yeah, The Bad Batch came out just last year and after hearing news and seeing the trailer for season 2 it was time to discuss more. I think I appreciated and got more out of it the second time, if on nothing else but the story. I'm almost positive this story at least for this season actually has little to do with the Batch themselves, throughout all 16 episodes it's hammering the fact that the Republic is no more. You start seeing how the Empire formed, exchange for new currency, identification for all citizens on record, tagging ships, the complete deconstruction of the cloning facilities and slow phasing out of the clones. It's almost like a backdoor series just to see this birth of a new era, while of course still centered on our group of protagonists. Most of them, I think the more I see of Hunter, Omega, Wrecker, and Tech the better I like them. But Echo, man he always feels like the odd one out with little stuff for him to even do. It's like they needed a replacement cause they knew they were going to make Crosshair a baddie, which cheapens and lessens Echo's survival even more for me in The Clone Wars. Perfect example to summarize, Cid's got nicknames for all of the group, Hunter is Bandana, Omega is Tiny, Wrecker is Muscles, Tech is Goggles, and Echo.......ah. I mean I know we got a good fair bit of him and his story of course in Clone Wars, but jeez I just hope they give him more material in the next season. Props on making Crosshair a bastard just because he's an evil son of a mother, no inhibitor chip nonsense though again not that big of a shock when the guy who sounds like he assassinates babies in their cots and bombs hospitals turns out to be a villain. But it's still a good solid dynamic to work off of with these two opposing factions. I know I said the animation quality was lagging a bit behind the final season of Clone Wars, and I do stand mostly by that, but the backgrounds and environments are out of this world. I mean seriously, dat look gud!! I do feel like a major ass for having doubts about Omega, because at first I had nothing but intrigue. A female clone, what does that mean? What's her purpose? How did she come to be a pure genetic replication? And then the worry began and I was like, shit she might be this annoying dumb kid who I can't stand. But as the episodes went on, I liked her a good deal and now I'd guard her forever. Someone brought up a point I never considered with this show, in the case of Omega she is a great new set of eyes that vicariously reflects new viewers, because she's seeing everything for the first time and experiencing the galaxy while older more hardcore fans take the perspective of the clones who's seen The Clone Wars and knows all the little details. I think Lucasfilm has done a sterling job with these shows as introductions to Star Wars, while still giving fans plenty of new stuff to sink their teeth into. Now let's talk favorite moments and characters, the biggest one that sticks in my head is the reintroduction of Cad Bane I mean sweet lord. Star Wars never forgets it's roots in film serials, westerns, and samurai cinema. Like that is a Star Wars scene even my Papa could get into who was brought up on westerns in the 40s and 50s, the spaghetti stinger music, the standoff, Bane's new look, molto bene! The small bit right before the Star Destroyers obliterate the cloning facility, just that eerie quiet emptiness with that music playing, the shots are art and puts that final nail in the coffin of the prequel era. Any moment between Omega and Wrecker was a d'awwww moment, they are precious. Seeing frick fraking Republic Commandos en masse, hell yeah! The ruins of the Venators on Bracca in all their derelict beauty and deep sadness, mmm that's good Star Wars. Aftermath I still say is the best episode but that finale is mighty strong as well no doubt. It maybe wasn't the show I wanted which was essentially full on clone troopers transitioning to stormtroopers and serving the Empire, but heaven forbid they actually make a show of a positive light about albeit space natzis despite selling such iconography on literally everything. I know that was the imagery inspiration, I know, but the Empire is cooler and less horrifically evil and not a bunch of punk ass dissidents and terrorists intent on throwing the galaxy into chaos. This is the way. 4 stars, 8.5/10, Boba Fett joins us next time!

Saturday, June 25, 2022

BONUS: The Black Phone

Ooookayyy. Creepy.




So yeah, pretty effective I'd say. I knew it was gonna be one of those weird movies that if nothing else would be interesting, and I'm happy to report it's pretty good. Set in 1978 a rash of child abductions has plagued a small town in Colorado, police are more reacting than acting, parents post missing pictures everywhere, and a 13 year old boy named Phin is the next unfortunate victim. Locked in a bare basement, with bars on the window, a rickety bed, and no clue as to exactly what will happen next tries to plan his next move, while the unhooked phone keeps ringing. I mean it's a pretty terrifying and horrific story before it goes weird, almost a prolonged The Lovely Bones before the girl gets murdered and it plays it's cards well. Very very few jumpscares from Blumhouse, focusing more on the tension and how to get out of this situation from a smart but still entirely young boy. They sure nailed the 70s aesthetic down though, from horror movies playing on TV which I of course knew was The Tingler from 1959 directed by William Castle and starring Vincent Price because I'm a nerd (though I think they screwed up with Texas Chainsaw Massacre which was released in 74' not 78'), to the owl embroidered nightgown so aces across the board in terms of sets, clothing, and media. It even has some brief moments where the film gets grainier than a grindhouse flick, and the colors saturate almost to the point it's hard to discern the environment. The director did very well setting up this atmosphere and world we step into, not to mention bringing out strong material from his actors. Man, these kids were damn good. Mason Thames gives it his all and truthfully doesn't seem like he has to do much acting, thinking logically but still has moments where he breaks down. Same goes for his sister played by Madeliene McGraw, now I know you're not supposed to laugh when kids cuss but Jesus, this girl was on another level. She is not here for this nonsense and is awesome. I am happy they didn't do my guy Jeremy Davies dirty, cause I liked him a great deal in Hannibal, and at first he seems like this abusive piece of shit to the kids but they make him more than one note. He lost his wife to her commiting suicide, he drinks too much, and crosses the line between a whoopin' and child batterment, but he has moments where you see he actually cares about his daughter and son and wants them to have a better life. That's good writing, well done. But now we get to talk about Ethan Hawke, holy crap. I didn't think this word was possible in this day and age but he is eerie in this movie. He doesn't even really do anything to the kid until the tail end, and you have f*** all what his motives or intention is, just that he's this creepy dude with a panel van wearing a few masks that can only be described as kabuki tengu/samurai face masks and wants your kids buried in a shallow grave. God damn. Like, I despise the fact that I live in a world where you just can't let your kids go out alone and play. That upsets me a great deal, cause I lived in a small enough town in a slightly secluded neighborhood with trees on every side and it was the late 90s/early 2000s so it wasn't an issue. But when I was in like maybe 5th grade my momma told me to always carry a cell phone for emergency purposes when I went out. It's just sad man, we got a ways to go before things are actually better. And on that depressing bombshell it is time to end, thank you so much for joining me, see you next week.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Elvis

I think this is the first musician biopic I've seen that had some flair to it.



All sort of documentary/biographic/dramatized history of musicians lives have been done pretty cut and dry. Basic shots, conventional editing, I think the wildest I've seen is a brief framing device. Until Elvis. Baz Luhrman you absolute madman, this movie keeps your interest through directorial choices alone but of course the story is good. Roughly spanning Elvis Presley's life from a youth growing up in a black neighborhood all the way to his untimely death in 1977, hitting on his gyrating origins, the parental backlash, his brief history in the army, his movies, the comeback special, and his elongated career in Las Vegas just to name a bit. It's nearly clocking in at 3 hours but it sure don't feel like it, it zooms by at times which I can see hardcore Elvis aficionados and history buffs get a bit peeved at but to a man who didn't know a whole lot about Mr. Presley found the bits and scenes interesting and engrossing. Austin Butler, boy let me tell you he gets it and he don't stop till credits, the looks, the voice, the mannerisms, I buy it wholesale. Tom Hanks, unusual of him to play a despicable character but done well, and it's such a shame Elvis never really got the opportunity to play in lots of different countries and do what he actually wanted to do. Put into an early grave far before his time yet still leaving an undeniable impression. Is it sacrilege to say though my favorite song in the movie wasn't one of his songs? This version of Strange Things Happening Every Day rocked my socks off and it isn't a big heavy performance, it's more subdued but hit that sweet spot for me. Was not the biggest fan of the hip hop stuff, granted it only happened twice but I just wasn't there for it. It just felt way out of left field and unnecessary. The visual style makes it's presence known from the word go and does so much, I'm fairly certain even if the plot didn't get you involved you'd still appreciate the visual umph this movie has. From split screen style straight out of Brian De Palma's book, to full out comic book panels complete with speech bubbles, it knows how to add some neat touches. Turns out, I was somewhat familiar with the director's previous work, he directed the 90s Romeo And Juliet with Leo DiCaprio, he directed Moulin Rouge, so high energy and wild style is his bread and butter. I was however surprised at the audience, we got a lot of young people in there besides just me, I was expecting more people from my momma's age bracket who remembered Elvis when he was alive so that was a nice treat, and hey it got a good round of applause so they obviously liked it. It didn't teach me much I didn't know bits of already, but I'd be hardpressed to call it bad or even average. It's solid man, they do it and do it well paying respects to the king and making a investing and entertaining movie. 4 stars, 8.5/10! And I know a certain show ended this week but not to worry, the review will be up next week along with some other goodies from my favorite series.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Elvis The Comeback Special

Yeah man, that's the good stuff.




Regardless of if you're an Elvis fan or not, this is a pretty damn good live performance. Said to be the special that brought Elvis' career out of the gutter, this is a mighty performance that covers all the bases of his music. You get rock and roll, folk with some fine honky tonk sound, those love ballads that make every woman clay in his hands, and we even get the most energetic and awesome gospel music I've heard since The Blues Brothers. It starts off fairly elaborate, but most of it is shot very akin to if you've ever seen The Beatles music video of Hey Jude, small stage, band close by, surrounded by people. Obviously because it was just a TV special you're not gonna get this giant stage, 4 million lumens, and more than 100,000 folks in attendance, which I think works incredibly well in it's favor. Elvis feels incredibly comfy despite the sweltering heat of being in an all black leather outfit that Rob Halford would find familiar (wristbands included), taking the mickey out of himself and joking often, never afraid to not take himself too seriously and provide entertainment to lots of people. It was a trip seeing the girls in the fashion of that time still fawn over Elvis, and I liked the fact we saw some older people there too just proving that not everyone over the age of 40 deemed him a menace. The performances are strong, playing both songs I knew and didn't know with unparalleled amounts of energy and passion that most modern musicians could only dream of having. Yeah you can say oh he's just gyrating and getting everybody all riled up, but the power of his voice and need to just move to the groove of the beat says otherwise. Hell the only other singer I've seen get that into the music is Joe Cocker, may he rest in peace, it's very difficult to sit still watching this and I do speak from personal experience good buddy. It's a lot of fun and has good variety throughout in musical performance, solo on stage, band on stage, filmed set footage with backup dancers and vocalists, essentially a musical journey through montage, it keeps your interest to see what happens in the next song. Originally only 50 minutes when broadcasted in 1968, I got my hands on a copy clocking in at 75 minutes with one particular sequence that got cut due to censors of a song sequence in a brothel. It was the 60s, we had to wait almost 15 years for The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas to be burned onto celluloid. Though it does make me wonder how much footage got cut of just women grabbing this man, cause when I say the stage is small I mean the front row could reach him in arm's length. I doubt you'd see that nowadays. There's plenty of visuals and ideas that you can trace back to this special, a live performance of a band on a small stage playing to a small group of people, well that's MTV Unplugged. Leather wristbands and a leather outfit, setting the stage for metal, I even saw some brief headbanging. Utilizing sets and backup dancers like any musical movie. Taking some time to talk and joke between songs with no pressure to keep progressing the set, something you'd see just one year later with Woodstock. The influence is felt, and they did a good job production wise bringing everything together. It might be cheating reviewing this, cause how could I not give it a 10/10 but I do strongly urge people to give it a watch and enjoy the music presented. I've had worse wastes of barely over an hour in my lifetime, and I'm happy I saw this. 4 stars, 10/10, and it's new movie time yet again coming up next.

Monday, June 20, 2022

King Creole

I know I probably could have left it at Bubba Ho-Tep, but more Elvis ain't a bad thing.




I was kinda stumped for Elvis material before the new movie but I heard on good account that this movie is one of his best, and it just so happens to be his favorite movie that he ever made so how could you go wrong. I heard tale that James Dean was originally considered for the role and knowing that, I kinda get why the movie is this way. The story concerns flunking high school student Danny who keeps getting into scuffs, and eventually is dragged into this tug of war with a gangster in New Orleans, trying to stay out of trouble and perform as a singer while also getting involved in a rough situation. You can very clearly see a lot of story elements and characterization that would fit in a movie like Rebel Without A Cause which came out 3 years before this. But Elvis Presley shows he can act and of course you get plenty of singing from him but you can see he nails this character. He's got a temper, he doesn't want to be like his dad, he's got the charm and personality that could get him in trouble, and you can read quite a bit in his face. He does really good work. Now I know I could question how romance works in this movie, but hey it was the 50s and in a romance kind of movie all it would take is 5 minutes one on one with a lady for both of you to be head over heels in love. That being said I dare say the best character is Ronnie played by always striking and gorgeous Carolyn Jones, I mean my God this character is just put through the ringer and she can convey just how mistreated, broken, tired, and longing for love this woman is. It's quite remarkable really how she just captures it all and makes you want the best for her so easily. Walter Matthau is a diiiiiick in this movie, full blown asshole, I haven't seen him in many antagonistic roles so I was impressed. The drama is prevalent throughout, with dashes of music and I can honestly say this movie is an easier sell than most musicals. Sure I have faith in Elvis Presley's acting talents, but the man was built to sing and that's what you want, it's more folk music with some blues zest rather than his typical rock and roll stuff but you better believe I got the happy feet and was having a good time with it. That ending though, Jesus Christ was that a downer. I was genuinely upset I won't lie, but that's the telltale sign of being invested in a movie. I wanted to know what was gonna happen, will these characters get a happy ending, you feel the emotion and get the characters so the movie works very very well. Shot in pristine black and white with good sets, nice lighting, it even dips it's pinky toe in some experimental shots for one bit. The editing is a bit weird at a few instances but that's truthfully the only bad thing I can say about it. If ever you were curious about Elvis' acting roles this would be the prime example. I give it 4 stars, 8/10, and next time we'll be getting nothing but raw talent and music galore with the Comeback Special.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Lightyear

Sometimes your gut feeling is just the truth of the matter.




When I saw the trailer for Lightyear, I did not think it was gonna be good. I didn't understand the reasoning for it, I thought it did not need to be a gritty origin story or even a plain origin story for Buzz Lightyear. I saw the second trailer and was kinda getting on board, and the plot follows it but does a lot more than what is simply shown in that trailer. This is your spoiler warning. I do not spoil jack shit if the movie is good, this is your clue. And to be honest, when I was gathering the production details I saw a rating of 4.7/10 on IMDB, to which I replied oh come on it can't be that bad. It was baaad, I wouldn't rate it lower than that but also not much higher either. So our story follows a colony ship that wrecks on an alien world with no way to escape, leading our hero to put himself through an experimental test flight to find the right dilithium-uh I mean hyperspeed crystals to help get his crew back to space. Now I must admit, this beginning section of the movie was not bad. I liked the setup and the dilemma, and the fact that the whole hyperspeed experiment is not a one and done and then boom it's 60 years later. It was super good stuff seeing Buzz internalize so much blame on himself for marooning the crew here, and constantly keeps flying the experiment, each time springing 4 years into the future. It's almost Interstellar in a sense as he sees his crewmates get older and eventually die. That's a good story, that has some weight and drama to it. And even when he makes the final jump things do not go south, he meets his partner's granddaughter, is quickly brought up to speed on evil robots and what has happened which I appreciate infinitely for not doing that whole bullshit song and dance of who are you and we don't trust you, blah blah blah. The characters aren't bad, the performers do a decent job and have personality, they get some weird ass super brief character moments or "arcs" if I dare even call them that but...okay. This story needed a bit of ironing out, and the one single solitary element I was begging not to happen, happened. And it was worse than I thought it was going to be. Jesus Christ. If this is the first time either the director or writer has worked on a project it wouldn't surprise me. I had one wish, don't make Zurg a character we've met in the movie at an earlier point, just let him be an anonymous threat. I hate this so much, I am not in a good mood at all for reasons I will divulge at the end. Are you ready for some world class A-grade seal of approval bullllllllshit?? Zurg is actually Buzz. Are yo-



Goddamn it. God f***ing damn it. The fact they thought at all the audience would still be on board with this movie afterward is astounding. This writing is horrible at times, and that is the crown jewel of awful. What the, oh f*** off! When those credits started I was gone. I heard some horseshit playing behind me, you're not worth my time, don't even try to sequel bait me. But it has decent elements to it, the first quarter was really good, the animation quite lovely and makes the whole robots and space suits look pretty damn cool, I can get behind a story of a space faring galactic defender with his robot cat blasting shit, Sox was awesome, but man....they done f***ed it up! No William Shatner either, and the fact oh my God in heaven above they open the movie with essentially a disclaimer that Andy got a Buzz Lightyear toy because of this movie which was his favorite movie. I wouldn't buy anything from this movie if it was a penny. 1.5 stars, 5.5/10. Now I get to disclose information, the theater experience was awful, all I heard was kids being noisy little bastards and running to and fro around the theater. Constant. Thumping. Racket. That did not help I assure you. But wait, it gets better. I wrote about half this review and I'm walking home and it finally happened, I got hit by a car. Plot twist, I'm writing this from the afterlife mudda fudgers!! No, it hit me dead center but it wasn't super fast and I'm just sore and so angry I could put Vader to shame. F*** this evening, I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Buzz Lightyear Of Star Command

I'm a bit upset I didn't have time to review the series this week, so it's gonna be another short week.



On the plus side, this was great! As a pilot for an animated series, it's one of the best and I will admit this is one of those movies I got on tape so long ago and I haven't seen in probably 15+ years. Man what a trip to see that good old classic 90s hand drawn animation in Disney Toons style, some may criticize it but for me it's all part of the charm. So our story concerns Buzz Lightyear foiling the plans of the evil Emperor Zurg combined with an albeit cliche yet still entertaining story of him accepting a new partner. And this movie does a very good job showing off this universe, different worlds, many alien species, what Star Command actually is like, it opened a whole new world for kids who loved the first two Toy Story movies. I wanted to know more about Zurg and the universe you really only get tiny tastes of in the films, so this was cool. It's pretty damn funny I got to say, it completely has a self awareness to it all poking fun at a lot of different things that I totally never appreciated when I was younger. Tim Allen returns to give that stamp of authenticity for Buzz who has a lot more material to work off here than in the movies obviously and delivers it pitch perfectly. We have Nicole Sullivan as alien princess turned ranger Mira, who's pretty rebellious and hard headed to match Buzz and I can't remember if they ever made them a couple in the show but I got brief hints of that here. Larry Miller plays an experimental robot ranger named XR, obvious comic relief but has lots of personality and fun so I dig it. Stephen Furst plays Booster, an aspiring ranger who is just a janitor but clearly has the heart and mindset for protocol and protecting worlds. Very tropey characters, but are given enough personality and humor to where you don't mind too much. Now here comes the mindf***. The evil Emperor Zurg, who sounds oddly familiar to Tim Curry, specifically Tim Curry in Ferngully, is voiced by Wayne Knight. Hwhat?? Are you taking the piss? It sounds nothing like him and he plays it to sheer perfection, overplaying just how utterly evil Zurg is and how much he relishes it. Big shock, he's my favorite character! And we'll throw one more in for good measure, the little green alien dudes, voiced by Patrick Warburton. I'm at a loss for words. Again, sounds nothing like him but that threw me for a twist something fierce as I watched the credits roll. And yes, you need to stay through the credits. No, there's no scene afterwards or anything like that, oh no it's even better. We get, I am so not joking here, a song performed by William Shatner called To Infinity And Beyond. Okay. If this song is not in the new movie at any point during the credits....0/10! F*** off, this NEEDS to be in the new movie damn it! If you have not bought or heard William Shatner's albums, get off my planet. Can you believe this show isn't on Disney+, nor the movie? Not yet anyway but it's great fun and you can see the whole thing on YouTube free of charge. Watch it. I dare say it's mandatory viewing before the new movie. 4 stars, 8.5/10! I'm a happy camper today bucko, see you next time!

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Jurassic World Dominion

Alright, not a bad way to end. Now don't f*** it up and make another movie 30 years later.





Yeah, it took until the 3rd movie of the Jurassic World series to give us a jurassic world but honestly it all could have been handled much poorer. Now the plot I am about to describe might sound like they done goofed severely, because the movie's central dilemma isn't about dinosaurs. It has dinosaurs in it and they utilize them all very well, but our respective teams of old cast and new cast are brought together through the machinations of a corporate business that has developed a creataceous strand of locusts that can bring global catastrophic damage, while also kidnapping Blue's hatchling and Maisie. I know, I know, they could have made it anything but corporation baaaaad, but truthfully I was rolling with it enough to like the movie's other aspects. As I said, beautifully done how they show the world coexisting with dinosaurs and while it's not the full focus it is spotlighted long enough. I actually applaud the movie for going all out, trying to explore as many facets, angles, and situations with this backdrop of then extinct creatures in today's world and they wanted to go balls out for it and they somewhat succeed. I can appreciate that. Do I need to talk about cast? We have Laura, Sam, and Jeff back and I'll give you a twenty if you can guess how they were. It might seem like they don't have much to do and are brought back for the novelty, but it is nice to see them together again and they can have fun with it. Chris, Bryce, and Isabella still do good, particularly with Isabella getting that teen angst and attitude down to a pitch perfect science. And...as upset that I am we didn't get much Daniella Penada beyond one scene we have another new addition. Yes, hi, welcome to another edition of The Crush Chronicles vol. 98, where I now say...oh my God. DeWanda Wise, holy moly. That woman is literally so beautiful my soul ached every time I gazed at her, and she was a fun add to the cast even if everytime she was on screen I couldn't look anywhere else. A small price to pay. Moving swiftly on. Colin Trevorrow, yes the director of the Episode 9 that never was and got an upgrade from co-writer of Fallen Kingdom straight to director's chair, fairly good work I found he did. He takes advantage of nature scenery to the max, knows when to bring the movie down but also ramp it up effectively, overall did solid competent work. Better than Fallen Kingdom? Uh, no shit. So now the question becomes where does it rank for me? It's better than Jurassic Park 3, World, Fallen Kingdom, so it's top 3. But remember what I said last time. 3 stars, 7/10, from the ancient pass to the space faring future and beyond next time.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

In Retrospect: Jurassic Park Fallen Kingdom

Alright we gotta set the cards on the table, no matter what you see and no matter what you hear, past, present, future, there is exactly one good Jurassic Park movie. Everything else is in freefall.





Even I was shocked I never wrote an in retrospect of Fallen Kingdom cause honestly it had enough stuff to talk about twice. Now I know I dropped a huge spoil bomb in my original review, and even ranked it just below Jurassic Park but in a series like this the majority is flux. I wouldn't say it's good watching it again, I can imagine how many people and critics used the title Fallen Kingdom to get a sucker punch in on the series at that time. I liked two things both of which were seen sparingly in the film, James Cromwell and Daniella Pineda. Everything else was average at best. Daniella Pineda was rad man, full of energy and sass, intelligent, supremely easy on the eyes, her performance was just right for this movie and she did it flawlessly. James Cromwell, I'm never gonna stop praising this man. Though he is in a grand total of maybe 3 scenes, I saw that twinkle in the eye, magic dust, extraordinary effect that Sir Richard Attenborough had in the first two films. No horseshit Jack. I mean the rest of the cast is fine, there's no real bad performances albeit Justice Smith is too geeky and annoying for his own good, but the script needed a few more months to fully gestate. Now as a brainless, summer action movie, that shouldn't be held on any kind of pedestal because it's a Jurassic Park movie, is okay. It keeps up the pace, tension, and action beats rather well honestly but even when the movie tries to have a quiet slow moment it kinda fumbles and I feel the reason is it wasn't that kind of movie to begin with. It's shot competently and has some nice visual moments from time to time, but maaaan does this f***ing director love some dinosaur reveal shots. It could be a drinking game, everytime there is a flash of light or any kind of illumination that shows off a dinosaur for a moment take a swig of alcohol, but I wouldn't want anything to adversely affect your health. I can somewhat appreciate what it does for the characters but it does come off as window dressing nine times out of ten, the dinosaurs are still cool of course and look good yet strangely don't have a strong impact on the film ironically considering it's all about ensuring their survival with some moments thrown here and there. I will say however, I'm not sure if I ever wrote this down in any review since this movie came out but I was severely reminded of the Indoraptor or as I call it the Pedoraptor, like this science project gone horror show has a real fascination with getting this little girl man. It's just weird, first time you see it it runs it's claws through her hair and I'm just like, "That's a f***ing bad touch bro, hands of the no-no zone you creepy bastard." this isn't ha ha funny funny, like it was messing with me guys seriously. And don't get me started on the implications of this girl, my point was clearly made in the review and I think perfectly encapsulates just how off this series got from the tracks. If I had to give it a score, in my original first viewing I would have given it a 7 maybe even 7.5/10 but on rewatch it's dropping. 2 stars, 6/10, Dominion is coming up next so sorry about the short week of reviews, I should scrounge up some stuff for Lightyear so no worries there. I will goddamn well have words if they kill off people in Dominion that's all I'm saying.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

This is one of the select few movies I have seen and yet remember hardly anything of it.





A long time ago when I was but a 16 year old wee lad, my mom actually took me to see this in theaters, I had no definitive drive to see it but went with an open mind. Ohhh.....yikes. Yeah, that was an interesting sit and it's been over 10 long years and I remembered hardly anything besides the obvious horrific, disturbing, f***ed up shit that occurs in a few scenes. So I was walking in relatively blind once more and found a pretty solid mystery thriller. So our handsome sexy man Daniel Craig, plays investigative reporter Mikael who is called into service by a wealthy gentlemen, played by Christopher Plummer, to solve a 40 year old case of his missing presumed dead daughter and this is the strangest prequel to Knives Out I could imagine. Meanwhile as that story plays out we meet Lisbeth, played incredibly well by Rooney Mara, who goes through some serious shit of her own before she also is roped into this murder mystery, putting her advanced computer skills and logical thinking to the test to assist. What I like a great deal is, this could so super easily be seen as two seperate movies haphazardly daisy chained together but it never breaks immersion or intrigue, you know these two characters will meet at a certain point but it gives each of them time for the audience to understand them before the dynamic shifts into a duo. And Daniel and Rooney have fantastic chemistry, quite honestly getting a few laughs out of me because of how these two personalities work in tandem. Lisbeth is very analytical, anti-social, and clearly different from the pack while Mikael is more normal leading man material but is given his own problems and personality while keeping him an average journalist. He's no Sherlock, or Bond action man, but needless to say Daniel pulls it off expertly. The mystery gains intrigue very quickly, and it is a somewhat methodical some would say boring form of detective work, connecting the dots of this family who are held suspect in this girl's death and who knows who considering the family is very seperate and hardly talks to one another. Now on one hand I can see that being a problem, juggling many characters and names and trying to keep all the strands together in your head, but even with my more lax viewing of this and forgetting who some people were it didn't negatively affect me. I was keeping up with it but not by much, this isn't the movie that points and shouts a clue, a clue! It doesn't hold your hand but I feel the movie is more about keeping your intrigue and attention instead of making you a junior detective who's trying to solve it first. It's directed well and no doubt many people can get super into it and piece together the puzzle which is great for this kind of genre. The interesting thing is when it seems everything is wrapped up, the truth is found, case closed you think that would be the end all be all. But in actuality the movie goes on for some time afterward, I can see people checking their watch like come the hell on the movie is over, but it gives some closure to Mikael and his crisis at the beginning of the film, some would consider it last minute payoff to a relatively unimportant set up but I got really into it. It shows our leads do more stuff after the fact, and they gain a quantum of solace before the credits. I know, I went there, and not to go on a tangent but the ending did kinda give me Quantum vibes. I may not have focused much on the more shocking stuff, and it is effectively disturbing, and I still somewhat question how my mom felt with me sitting next to her during such parts, but they are more a disgusting seedy seasoning and not the main focus. I enjoyed it, was engaged, and knew it was gonna give me a fair bit to talk about. 4 stars, 8.5/10, next week is more likely than not gonna be a short week of reviews but it's dinosaurs so it can't be all bad.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Acrimony

Where do I begin?



First Tyler Perry movie on this show, huzzah I guess. I actively do not go for his movies by any stretch, however after hearing Brad Jones' unbelievably positive and passionate review on his site I knew damn well I had to see this movie. It took a little while but I finally saw it. Holy f***. Oh my f***ing God, this movie. I don't know where to start, I almost say just go watch his review cause I can't top it and I genuinely don't know what to rate it. I'll try. So the story is unfolded by way of flashback where Taraji P. Henson (Oh my merciful stars...) basically tells the story of how she met this guy Robert when they were both in college, they got together, he cheated on her and she went mental proceeding to smash her car into his home, they get back together (Yep. Makes sense to me.), they get married, and the relationship falls apart over the years. See Robert is an inventor and is working on a clean source battery, and becomes highly, almost criminally neglectful in their marriage leading our beloved Taraji to slowly lose her shit. I know, this is a trip already but wait, there's more! I can't talk about everything, I want to, but I can't. So much happens in this movie and I would pay eleventy zillion bajillion dollars to watch this in a theater, full house, with terribly reactionary people. It would be the greatest night of my life. Now comes the inevitable part where I shamelessly and embarassingly fawn over Taraji P. Henson, sweet Christmas I can't stand how beautiful this woman is. I wouldn't even care if she was as crazy in real life as she is in this movie, cause honey...lord have mercy! Her performance is goddamn award worthy, this movie is kind of a piece of thriller fluff but it is the performance, the sheer acting chops of her that elevates it to all time highs for me. I wish more actors were this convicted and passionate in their craft. I can't write half the things I'm thinking now, this is a review show I can't say that. But anywho! Lyriq Bent plays Robert and it is utterly fascinating seeing the split between audiences on who is in the wrong here, and I feel that just goes to show how good our leads are, cause Robert is not this stereotypical abusive son of a bitch who you're waiting to see vengeance be visited upon, he loves his wife, he puts his entire life's work into making it big with his battery, and while he undoubtedly cheated and was a neglectful husband too focused on his work, he never is framed in a negative way despite the narration saying anything but nice things about him. I know people get triggered something fierce over people who cheat, men are bastards sometimes I know, but I feel both parties have a hand in her going nuts and the failing of their marriage. Because she has rage in her that terrifies me and does other things of the hey hey variety to me, she is ruthless and utterly vehemently in contempt of this man, it's beautiful in an acting standpoint but horrifying in a realistic standpoint. I'm serious man, I haven't been this vocal (Easy now...) with a movie in awhile. I had a blast watching this! But I'm not sure how to appropriately recommend and rate it, in terms of entertainment 9/10 if not 10/10, in terms of the movie as a whole which includes production, story, characters, direction, and acting....like a solid 8/10. This is probably the only Tyler Perry, or at least God I hope so before I die, movie I'm reviewing and it isn't getting better than this. No way, no how, this is top tier. I recommemd it if you're either familiar with his filmography, or if you really just want a wild thriller watchparty with friends. I have no such qualms stating I watched this for Taraji, and mother of God above I was not disappointed.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Clay Pigeons

A request that was well worth watching.





This was weird. Not to say at all I didn't like it, I just knew nothing about it and was very pleasantly surprised. It's been a hot minute since I've seen a movie cement a tone so solidly and quickly in just the opening scene and it actually is a movie up my alley, weird and funny but dark. So our story goes that an average mechanic named Clay while out with his buddy, doing the most sensible thing imaginable, drinking beers and shooting shit when things go bonkers and his friend offs himself which starts a bad trend as several close people to Clay start dying and in the meantime he meets this delightfully bizzare guy named Lester who he forms an unsual friendship with. Things get so bad the FBI get called in and the stakes rise from there as Clay tries to prove he had nothing to do with the killings and find the real culprit. I probably had the dumbest smile on my face throughout this movie cause it's just such a weird, odd, off center movie but that's genuinely the strong point. Now the actors are pretty solid, Joaquin Phoenix class act as ever, Vince Vaughn who I'm not super keen on might have delivered my favorite performance of his career I mean this guy. Let me tell you about dis guy, he is un-f***ing-believable but he can come off very down to earth and likable. Last but not least we got Janeane Garoffalo, who is undoubtedly the straightfaced normal character but she might have made me laugh the most, she's just so not here to put up with people's bullshit, and shawty I love you for it. In terms of direction, it's not super striking or memorable albeit you get some quite lovely wide shots of the mountain ranges around the town, but neither is it at all bad. The director knows how to make the script leap off the page and delivers a memorable and severely off movie that is fun and very engaging to watch. And of course I gotta bring it up...because it's true, but guys the Hannibal vibes were off the charts here. Like, if you want a cliffnotes version of almost the whole show of Hannibal watch this movie. Possible gay bromance, murder, protagonist gets locked up but soon chases the villain, you got the FBI involved, there's a fair bit of will our hero run off with our villain or apprehend him for the authorities, I mean if Bryan Fuller didn't take some notes off this movie for his show I'll be damned surprised cause that is a coincidence unlike any I've encountered. Tangent over, go watch it. 3.5 stars, 7.5/10!

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Top Gun Maverick

Well it had a reason to exist but did it succeed?




I'd say mostly, the story is fairly solid and answers my questions, turns out Maverick only lasted 2 months instructing and after a substantial amount of time is called in to teach a crew of pilots who are tasked with a highly lethal mission. It has your obligatory callbacks, the characters are mostly one dimensional albiet with decent casting who pull it off effortlessly, the action and cinematography of said action is still quite good...however. However it's hard to discern honestly what is real and what is effects, now on one hand that is some very strong compliments to the CG artists at work but at the same time it does take away from the spectacle of such fast flying, hard turning, and overall maneuverability of these pilots and these aircraft. This is so not a plot that delivers the who, when, how, and why when it comes to the mission briefing but honestly the first movie didn't much either. A good chunk of the movie deals with Maverick still getting over the death of Goose and is compounded when he has to instruct his son by the handle of Rooster, which delivers decent drama and strong performances from Cruise and Teller. Best scene in the movie, hands down no competition, we get Val. And motherf*** they got me, it was so damn wonderful seeing that handsome man again and when you see these two guys hug it out, I don't see Maverick and Iceman I see Tom and Val coming in hard for that long hug, they make it brief but with respect and love. Maybe a tear fell, maybe this movie tugged a heartstring, I don't care to admit it. It was goddamn lovely! The romance fell flat for me again though, again no dissing Jennifer Connelly but romance just ain't my thing. I have quality over quantity romance movies, thank you very much. But it was decent, the audience sure seemed to get their money's worth and to hear those jets fire up with a theater sound system was pretty rad, whether or not the wait was worth it must be determined by the fans. I give it 3 stars, 7/10, and I'm going to attempt to get some sleep before another day begins. No rest for the wicked.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Top Gun

I can see the appeal.





Top Gun is easily one of the most iconic movies of the 80s, and forty years later a sequel is incoming so I had to pop this cherry sooner or later, so let's talk about it. I did enjoy it, I felt it ultimately is a piece of escapist fluff but done quite well and if nothing else the soundtrack is awesome. So our story follows a fighter pilot Maverick as he is accepted into the elite air force combat program Top Gun, and more or less focuses on his training and the relationship he has with his instructor. Now this might devolve into mini-tangent after tangent so bear with me if I ramble. Now first and foremost, holy hot damn the footage they got of these jets. When the real special effects amount to maybe 10% of all the high flying action you see, I can't help but be impressed. They strapped a camera on jets flying God knows how high in the sky at very quick speeds, and there is no shakiness, there is no rumble, it's truly amazing the techniques they utilized to get such incredible shots. I will say nothing but good things about that, because they actually had to do it. You get so impressed by practical effects and I hope the sequel continues with such excellent production values. Though...I feel World War 3 could have happened oh so easily at the end, I mean we were still in the Cold War albeit closer to the end, but an american F-14 shot down 5 russian MIG's you think that would have some serious aftershocks in such a climate. But anyway, now onto cast. Again not a die hard Tom Cruise fan, I've really only scratched his filmography but he conveys the emotion necessary and fits that risk taking, gun-ho, chip on his shoulder guy who wants to be the best, and they take the time to show you why that is. It could have been ridiculously one note but has a small dash of personality to it. Of course we love Val on this show, it's great to see him and he does decent work here being a semi-rival for Maverick. Anthony Edwards made me crack up a lot, he was just so likable and down to earth as Goose and when things go south the movie succeeds in pulling emotion from the audience. Kelly McGillis even though she did fine work acting wise, I just wasn't party to the romance at all, it starts out of the blue and deepens super quick but I was severly not feeling the sparks. Which coincidentally leads to my next point, this movie's pretty gay bro. Now I don't mean that in any derogatory sense in the slightest, I kinda honestly loved it. I mean when one of the earlier lines in the movie is one guy saying "This gives me a hard on." to which the guy sitting next to him replies, "Don't tease me." you kinda need to step back and acknowledge it. A volleyball montage of just these big studly dudes sweating it up while Playing With The Boys is the song of choice, hmmmm....and I'll admit when Maverick and Iceman have their first standoff in the bar I did shout quite loudly, KISS! It's second place for most homoerotically charged movie, right below Nightmare On Elm Street 2 for me. And yeah, the quotes were pretty ridiculous in the best way possible, but I attribute that more to how famous they are if anything. I did hear that at the real Top Gun training facility they fine the pilots five bucks if they quote it, which got a pretty strong laugh out of me. The only one that made me groan and shake my head at how bad it was is the big romance line, "And I just don't want anyone to know that I've fallen for you." oh my sweet lord that was written in a script. But like I said the soundtrack is kick ass, Kenny Loggins, Berlin, the main theme by Harold Faltermeyer, Mighty Wings by Cheap Trick, it's a damn solid soundtrack. Buy that shit on cassette and turn it up! It is pretty interesting to hear that Maverick wants to instruct at Top Gun and is granted the position, so it makes me wonder how the hell does the second movie address it? It seems like he's just coming on board to be an instructor by the second movie, but I guess I'll learn tomorrow and get that review up for everybody. 3 stars, 7/10, and until next time.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Midway

I never thought I'd say this but, you did good Roland Emmerich.





I was extremely iffy about reviewing this but truth be told, all in all it was a very good movie. Detailing the events after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. navy counterattack against the japanese forces and decrypt their plan to use the Midway islands as a point of operations to send out more attacks on the west coast. Leading to a highly important battle in the pacific theater that led to U.S. forces making headway to the mainland of Japan. It tells the story concisely and even splits the attention on both american and japanese military operations, which you just truthfully don't see in many a war film. It's often just, urgh japs bad now america go forth and win, but they do take the time to tell history on both sides and don't paint the japanese navy in an unnecessarily antagonistic light. It sure as shit handled the attack on Pearl Harbor far better than a single frame of that f***ing useless hack Michael Bay could ever conjure in that movie. Don't even get me started. And while I admit the effects are not entirely great, they don't truthfully need to be, special effects are just a tool a means of telling a story so it can look like a PS3 game and it doesn't detract heavily. You get a grasp on the characters, the action is prominent and done well with the highlight for me being a brief dogfight up in the clouds. It was just done so dang good, keeping the tension high and delivered extremely well. The fact it sticks by all accounts of the actual soldiers who participated in these battles must be commended, with some slight liberties of course being taken for the sake of film so no foul there. You got a pretty solid cast that does deliver on all bases quite well, I mean Patrick Wilson is always a win, and Ed Skrien is a good lead that settles you in to an air force pilot's mindset during the early days of America stepping into the war. Etsushi Toyokawa has a lot of silent resilience playing Isoroku Yamamoto and I appreciate the fact they kept his quote "I fear all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant, and fill him with a terrible resolve" because he did feel it wasn't true combat, and they struck an unsuspecting enemy who wasn't to be trifled with. Plus it was just great seeing Jun Kunimura again, any actor who I get to see outside of a Godzilla movie is a treat. In the history I have had with Roland Emmerich, I have to say this is his best film. He handled the subject material with respect and it was pretty entertaining and informative. I give it 3 stars, 7.5/10, and I guess I'll finally watch Top Gun for the first time tomorrow.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

In Retrospect: Licorice Pizza

Okay, I was on some mad drugs for not giving this an 10/10.





God dang, it's a good day and I just saw a wonderful wonderful movie again. I was waiting for this movie to hit video like you wouldn't believe and needless to say I fell in love all over again. The brief reputation this movie has on this show is remarkable in and of itself, making the #2 spot on my top 10 list of last year before I even got the damn review out, I still have no idea why I gave it a 9/10, and it easily goes up to the top in the romance genre for me. I'm just gonna say it, Cooper Hoffman is the best male lead in a romance movie I have ever seen in my life. This smooth motherf***er charmed the pants off of me within minutes of screentime, fricking Gary Valentine sweet lord that man isn't even human. If I had an ounce of his charisma and personality the world would be mine before the month is out, you want to talk about some alpha male goals? Motherf***ing Gary Valentine. And the strange part is I heard some people bad mouth Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman, saying they looked too plain or "unattractive", yeah because every movie has to have the most positively shocking gorgeous human specimens on the planet. I kinda though that was the point, it is just a strange little average romance with average people, but Alana is very beautiful and Cooper is just a dashing devil. I know without question this is not a movie for everyone, I can practically hear the naysayers off in the distance behind the hills saying nothing happens in this movie and it's all just odd for odd's sake. If you let yourself be swept away in this story, you can have a great time. I'm sure it can be looked at with a flowery critical and intellectual eye and still can have something to say, I may be treading over holy ground when I say this but it reminds me a bit of The Graduate and can be remembered just as strongly I feel. Big words I know, but I as always mean what I say. I got so super invested I thought near the end of the movie they were going to drop a safe on my head and end it really depressingly. If you've seen the movie you know of the character I speak of, and I was just like, you sons of bitches if you screw with me and take this away from me I will take a crowbar to this movie's head for 20 minutes straight. Which if anything goes to show how much I treasured the love story and these characters. It still continued to make me bust with laughter very often, partly because of the script and partly because of the performances. I nearly fell out of my chair laughing when Gary got slapped, it's just highly difficult not to enjoy yourself here. I could spend all night praising this movie but I think you get the point, it's a truly special and lovely film that no doubt will have my heart for a long time. 4 stars, 12/10! I regret nothing. See you next week for some high flying action.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

In Retrospect: Ghostbusters Afterlife

I still have a fair bit to say.



First and foremost I did enjoy it more on the second watch and made my peace with some aspects. When I first saw it I felt it was mostly superflous to rely so much on the original Ghostbusters, with so much iconography incorporated into the plot. I still stand by that point and feel it was unnecessary to bring back Gozer, the terror dogs, Ivo Shandor, the Stay Puft marshmallow man, among other things because I was so invested and digging the original story. Oh sure, could I believe Gozer came back at some point to slug it out with the boys in grey? Absolutely, it wouldn't surprise me if during the comics run or in the animated show such a thing did happen, but it really is the crux of my albeit small problem with the movie. Just swap it out for an original villain and I would have next to zero to complain about. I loved the story of Phoebe Spengler learning about her grandpa's past and using her own smarts to carry on his legacy, while meeting these new characters and getting to see the old ones. McKenna Grace is nothing short of perfection in this, and adds one more example of future daughter goals for me, I just cherish her in this. Paul Rudd is such an affable great guy to hang out with, we go out for drinks twice a month he's wonderful, but anyway he's just fun to watch in this although he is 1000% to blame for the events that occured in the movie. Logan Kim, a wonderful addition to the cast and feels like a real kid in these situations. I do still feel Finn Wolfhard's brief portions of the plot were...yeah, pretty much useless and no slam against the actor of course but I hope should he come back for another film gets a lot more attention and stance in the story. Of course I hold no grudges seeing Bill, Dan, and Ernie again to the point where if I was being crystal clear, Ernie's line of "I should have called. I miss you my friend." and the after credits scene with him and Janine were kinda cutting near the heart man. Those bits were handled expertly. Now I must confess, I didn't actually like seeing Egon the first time I saw this. The beginning was fine, just seeing a silhouette or a hand, and it honestly took me an embarassingly long time to figure out he was leading Phoebe to all the important kit and the secret lab. But when he shows up at the end and you fully see him I felt that wasn't needed. That we didn't need a physical manifestation, I let out a heavy sigh when he was essentially a desk lamp, I don't know man I just wasn't for it. But then I saw other people's reviews and how much they loved seeing Egon in the movie, so it softened my opinion on it and I'm mostly okay with it now. I will also admit I had no idea that was Olivia Wilde as Gozer, that blew my mind when I found that out. PS. I would fully fund a short film where the mini-Stay Puft's wreak havoc and continue to be adorable even when they are brutally and graphically killed. It's a tiny bit of a love/hate relationship with this movie, I adore the original stuff and am screaming for more but all the call backs do bog it down just a little bit for me. But a good movie is a good movie, and I do still find it highly entertaining and a worthy succesor to Ghostbusters 2. I move it up to 4 stars, 8/10, and apologies in advance for only getting two reviews out this week and I suspect next week might be the same as well but I'll see what I can do.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

The Second Coming

Jesus.





I mean no wonder Russell The Davies and big daddy Christopher collaborated on Doctor Who a few years later, when you have a script like this. I'm not even fully sure where to begin but I will say it is very good first and foremost. So the story concerns a completely average and unimportant human named Steve who imparts to the world that he is the son of God, and more or less we follow the aftershocks of such a revelation. I do thank the movie for getting to the point of the world accepting such a fact, no last 30 minute nonsense or any of that rubbish. It takes a realistic and strong stand on such an event and doesn't shy away from asking a hard question. Leave it to an atheist to write about a spiritual subject matter and it turning out quite well. Russell does admirable work with such a concept, and brings a distinctly human touch to Steve where he doesn't have all the answers and if anything is drip fed the holy plan because of his ultimately subpar human physiology. Now on one hand I can see people decrying that the movie doesn't amount to anything, it has buildup but zero payoff, there's some major handwaving away important aspects of this world. But I didn't see it like that, it's almost set up as a social what if and poses a challenge of faith in a unique way. Christopher, my man, I love you my man, I saw some unadulterated 9th Doctor moments in this performance but he sells everything flawlessly and sums up just how a normal guy would feel with the world almost literally on his shoulders. I promise not to go on Doctor Who tangents because it's actually ridiculously easy with this cast, we got Lesley Sharp, Mark Benton, Ace Bhatti who appeared if not on the show at least on one of the spinoffs. It's so fascinating to see that the working relationship between two very seperate projects could have so much connective tissue. And everybody does very strong work with great love going to Lesley Sharp and Peter Armitage who have the most drama to work with. The direction is really solid as well, effectively using hanheld techniques but can still frame a nice shot, while keeping the pace up for a little over 2 hour film. Props to them for touching on demons and hell, I mean you think that would be a no brainer but look at the last two pieces we checked out. No hell, no damnation, no dukes of hell, no possession, no Lucifer Morningstar. Can't have one without the other and the effect they use to show a demon is incredibly subtle but immensely eerie, bringing to mind the technique they used in Blade Runner for a replicant's eyes. And that ending, the balls on you Russell. I appreciated it, it's going for it's own thing and proposes a fascinating world, and even more so pushes a message that I strongly agree with. You get one shot, one life to live, you gonna complain about woulda' coulda' shoulda', or are you going to take steps to better the world and the people living on it anyway you can? It's a hidden gem that raises good conversation and delivers a pretty decent movie if you ask me. 3.5 stars, 8/10! Another week done, another week awaits. What will we talk about next?

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Bruce Almighty

Probably been longer than 10 years since I've seen this.





Has time aged a film almost 2 decades old? God only knows but I'll tell you what I think anyway. I had no clue whatsoever this movie even existed until one day either my mom or my Nan handed the DVD to me, and me still being the young and enthusuastic Jim Carrey fan I was, I immediately went for it. A movie where Jim Carrey was God, I mean he wasn't that far off when I was younger and I enjoyed it a lot. Looking back, I still had a good time with it but I will admit I didn't love it as much. Not to say the story isn't a very good and interesting one, with a news reporter who feels very down on his luck and left behind in the dust is contacted by the Almighty who grants him all of the heavenly powers to see if he can do better. A fascinating concept, albeit a very predictable because ohhh our main character is a human, a very fallable, kinda self centered, average human. Of course he would use such power for entirely selfish reasons but something I applaud in the writing is not only the fact that Bruce isn't a complete ass and totally irredeemable, but his actions as an all powerful figure have consequences almost from the start. Any other film would just brush it off and not even acknowledge that oh yeah if he made the moon that big, the oceans would go mental, and all that stuff. Well done. In fact there really isn't a real antagonistic force in the movie, apart from perhaps human hubris and being vain. But it's great to see a movie confront that in some sense. Jim Carrey though not as hilarious in other films gives a good performance, balancing jokes and body humor akin to Ace Ventura and The Mask to more serious and dramatic points like Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine, and yes I could tie reference string to all those and more within his filmography. Jennifer Aniston though not as prevalent as I would like or as grand as she is in more recent years is great to see and sells everything beautifully. Morgan Freeman, I'm not saying a word. No really, there is no point, we all know it. You know it, I know it, your great-great-grandparents know it, your unborn children know it. I will however bring up a certain discussion point, what about this performance wowed so many people? Because I'm fairly certain if you flat out asked people what do you think God looks like, I think a good chunk of them unironically would say Morgan Freeman. There's a reason they gave him the host duties of a show called The Story Of God. I rest my case. Now, this is where I act kinda like a dick. You know that scene, probably the most famous scene of the movie when Bruce makes Evan have a verbal meltdown on the news? I think that's breaking one of exactly two rules set for him by God, don't tell anyone you're God and don't mess with free will. He is messing with free will! He might as well have shoved his hand up Evan's backside like a puppet, I call plothole. 3/10! But in all seriousness, it's a decent movie that has good stuff in it and even if you're not slightly resembling a religious person can still enjoy it a fair bit. We all know the best part, and I'm happy such a thing came to pass. 3 stars, 7.5/10! And I will not be reviewing Evan Almighty tomorrow but something a lot more different from a television writer I enjoy a great deal.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Oh God

I guess I was in a mood after watching all the Cinema Snob's religious movie reviews.



A very unexpected turn of events for this show but it's genuinely a good movie to talk about. So the story boils down to an average grocery store assistant manager named Jerry is called in for an interview by the creator upstairs to simply pass on a message to the world. What I like a good deal about it is, it takes a lot of the then modern cynicism of 1977, and really there probably is even more today about the existence of God, and addresses the fact that our main character isn't even a religious man, he doesn't go to church, has no standing on the whole is God real thing, and that's really interesting to watch cause it shows time hasn't changed all that much. Cause he doesn't buy it for a second, but stuff keeps happening and he does meet a physical manifestation to where even though he doesn't turn religious or anything slightly like that, he wants to make sure that his message gets out. Cause he is a nice guy, and respects the message of showing care and consideration for not just people but the world itself, and I feel that was a wise decision. Man, religious movies were so much better then. Nowadays we get friggin' God's Not Dead and War Room (mother of mercy give me strength), but back then we had this movie, we had The Exorcist man! And you might be saying but Dude come on, The Exorcist isn't a religious movie. Isn't it? The devil and the priest can't exist if the other one goes away, it's just like the battle of the sun and the moon. And it's pretty great to see another generations popular culture iteration of God in George Burns, who I gotta say is pretty dang good and the philosophical questions posed to him are indeed answered and elegantly so, and not just simply handwaved away. And I think the reason why the movie works so well is because of the story, it handles the subject of a crisis in faith in an original and down to earth way, Jerry is hassled by religious nuts and "official", about as official as anyone can actually get when you're talking about any form or shape of a religion, "official" heads of churches and particular sects of Christianity and he isn't here to take the piss out of any of it, he's just being honest about the circumstance he's in. Although this movie firmly shoves a righteous middle finger right up the back side of televangelists and church organizations that take copious amounts of money, and rightfully so in my opinion. I have zero problem with religion no matter what you practice and believe, but get out of my sight to those who participate in such acts of avarice. I appreciate the movie for how it progresses the story, how they portray God as undoubtedly the real deal but is surprisingly laid back and actually doesn't know everything, I really dig how they set him up and explain things from his perspective. It's not even really an interesting movie in terms of direction there's no avant garde cinematography or pretentious writing, the cast is mighty good, but they don't show off flashy miracles just for the sake of it, it's not trying to be a spectacle it's trying to be on the level. It's a religious movie that doesn't shove anything down your throat, insult your intelligence to the extreme, or try some half assed attempt to convert people. It's a neat little idea, they have some fun with it, and that's it. 3 stars, 7.5/10!

Friday, May 6, 2022

Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness

Ha, and you thought I forgot!



I got the 1 in 14 million and whatever the hell it was, and finally got to see the new Doctor Strange. I was pretty happy with what I got, had some things that could definitely be improved but overall a very good and enjoyable film. Now as you will see through my history, I haven't reviewed a Marvel movie since Endgame so I have no clue what transpires for Peter Parker after Homecoming. With that in mind, let's continue. So we pick up some time after No Way Home as Stephen is more or less dropped into this plot of a young girl who can traverse the multiverse and has to keep her safe from evil forces wanting to take her power, now obviously with such a mindwarping thing as the multiverse there is clearly going to be more than that. Which is one aspect I highly applaud, it is a multiverse of madness, it goes apeshit and gets wild quick which is what I loved most about the world of Doctor Strange, it cannonballs into the deep end of fantastical, escapist, beautiful nonsense and easily were my favorite parts of the film. Now there is one instance where I absolutely can see people getting pissed off and agravated at, but at the same time this does deal with alternate realities so I can excuse the stuff that doesn't work because that is how that universe works, it works in the film's favor. However what did not work for me is Wanda. Yeah, we're walking down this street again. However. However, Elizabeth Olsen's acting in this...10/10! She nails it, she's spectacular, she is not f***ing about, and I feel I need to make this point clear with my reviews. I don't hold grudges or hatred toward actors unless they have done some shittastic things in life, when I have a severe problem with a character, I have an issue with exactly that. The character. I could have written Wanda clean out of this movie and you wouldn't miss much besides a very strong performance, in fact it kinda drags WandaVision down even further for me. I never hated the Scarlet Witch until recently, so those parts actually took me out of the movie. The cast do very good work, and I like seeing them all again even with our new characters. I have no idea why but I just really loved that Wong was Sorcerer Supreme instead of Strange, it just made me happy. It almost feels odd to have Strange in his own film all the way through, I think he contracted a heavy case of sidekick-neosis but they focus on him in the right way and it reminded me of why I was pumped to see this. But the best of the best, man let me tell you what, Sam Raimi. God to the hell damn yes, this visual style...mm, it's sublime! Visuals alone, not just effects which were ropey at times but ultimately strong, but direction, framing, cinematography, editing, is king of the hill where this movie is concerned. I got a healthy bit of Evil Dead style, some highly recognizable Spider-Man moments, and he utilized the visuals to the best potential. Well done sir. And this movie actually reinforced something I was thinking about on my way to see it, I was having a rough day where nothing seemed to be going as planned, really got me bummed out man but on my way to the theater I was very happy because I got out of work and it was a lovely day and I was finally able to do the thing I like doing the most. You can't stress about that shit, life goes on man. Bad days pass, trials and tribulations end, and you still get to move on and enjoy something. 3 stars, a high 7.5/10 close to an 8, but still a recommended movie. Whew, what a week. You Marvel fans are superhuman I swear.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

What If...?

Thank God this was better.




After the tepid at best reception of WandaVision I was hoping for better and I got a pretty solid and dang good show. I mean it's such a simple premise that's been in comics for about 30+ years, tell an elseworlds story with familiar heroes in different situations and realities, and now go one step further to make an anthology animated series involving the MCU. It's super short too, only 9 episodes though it has a semi-standard runtime akin to most animated shows I was surprised how much it could do and even how easy it was to jump into. Granted you do kinda need to know your MCU movies in certain episodes, they don't hold your hand for anything, you either know or don't. I can't begrudge it too much on that factor cause you do have to be a fan of the Marvel stuff to even have any intention of watching it so it gets a pass on accesibility. The animation style is that odd Tron Uprising, Into The Spiderverse style of 2D but actually 3D animation, and while it did take a brief moment for me to get adjusted to it I found it to be very well done and captures the color and spectacle of those movies. Easily my favorite episodes were Agent Carter getting the supersoldier serum, T'Challa being a guardian, Doctor Strange turning evil is the crown jewel for me personally, and the final two episodes which cap it off nicely should this be the one and only season we get. But truth be told, I am 100% down to see more. I know, the guy who gave the majority of the MCU one gigantic ehhhh, actually has some interest and passion for What If. Will wonders never cease. I do actually appreciate how not every story ends happily, obviously with such a multitude of multiverses not all ends in a good way and there is some screwed up stuff that happens. Though that does make me wonder what the demographic is for this, I'd probably put it in the teens to adults category alone due to the zombies episode. I'll never fully grasp society's fascination with the zombie genre, let undead sleeping dogs lie for God's sake, it needs to end quick. Besides that small gripe with the entertainment industry, it's a very good series that while an experiment that has been tinkered with before still tells good stories with good production quality. I give it 3.5 stars, 8/10! Finally, a Marvel movie I have been waiting to see coming up next.

Monday, May 2, 2022

WandaVision

Well it wouldn't be Marvel time without f***ing homework.




It can't ever just be watch a movie can it? To hell and be damned with your interconnected universe! Now I will admit it had me for the first 3 episodes, wowing me with the attention to detail of television shows of the 50s, keeping me guessing exactly what the hell was occuring, building intrigue despite me knowing a fair bit because social media is a blight upon the planet. And then episode 4 happened, and I was disinterested ever since. So how does one talk about a show that has a show within the show? Besides ranting for half an hour how the whole intrigue, pulling factor, and reason anybody even watched it was because of that bizzare format. Now granted it's a intriguing setup, with two characters who unequivocally died suddenly finding themselves in a sitcom that continually evolves in style from decade to decade, as neither are entirely sure what is occuring while breaks in reality happen more and more leading to a final confrontation with a surprising foe. I thoroughly enjoyed the attention to detail, the writing, and the mystery of this town they inhabit until like I said the 4th episode when it just decides to blow it's load instead of crafting a more complex and interesting puzzle box for the audience to work with for the majority of the series. It almost shrieks of lazy writing, we could have kept the charade going but instead we're gonna explain damn near everything roughly halfway through and focus on characters and situations you don't care about when the focus should be primarily on Wanda and Vision. God. Damn. I couldn't have given a f*** less about the stuff happening outside of the town. It had one brief neat little scene showing the restoration of the universe from the snap from a normal character's perspective, when we didn't hardly see anything like that in Endgame. If I was writing this series, I would hold off on the explanation until damn near the end. Scrap the 8th episode it's mostly useless padding anyway, thusly making the series eight total episodes instead of nine, and drop two bombs by the 7th episode, the villain reveal and the town reveal. It takes too much attention off our main characters who while I don't hate the writing for by any means, they do still act like the characters we have seen movie after movie, but what was the end goal of this show? The endgame, if you will. I found nothing truly happened to affect the character and future of Wanda or Vision, and I know it's been about 2 years since I've watched the Marvel movies so I was having rather a hard time figuring out the time scale of everything that happened. Who's on first, Wanda's on second, I Don't Know is on third, is this after Endgame? Is it after Hulk saves the universe? Why is Wanda still in crazy grief mode if that is the case? I'm so confused. I just feel such a monumental disconnect here and all down to one single element. People are not watching or even discussing the show, they are watching and discussing the sitcom within the show. You follow me? They're getting kicks off seeing sitcom variants from different decades, they're gushing about the classic costumes for Vision and the Scarlet Witch, but they're not actually talking about what transpires throughout the series. And I think that's just because nothing actually happens. It's spectacle television with the lichpin being previous famous examples of television, oh ha ha don't you remember The Dick Van Dyke Show and Malcolm In The Middle, oh wow they have a whole episode where they break the fourth wall like The Office, isn't this such a brilliantly written show, despite it being so predictable and old hat that I was dragging my way to the finale because I have seen this shit time and time again. They wrote and marketed this show based around that instead of a personal story. They grabbed people's attention with the 1950s TV setting and used that alone to gain traction and generate audience numbers when they could have just made a show about Wanda and her story. But I do have good things to say, the comedic writing worked somewhat but I still enjoyed it. The set design and aesthetic is spot on and must be commended. Elizabeth Olson and Paul Bettany honestly have better chemisty presented here than in the movies, being very cute and charming but still can hold down the dramatic parts to the end. The only reason I would have ever watched this show outside of a review is Kathryn Hahn who my stars and days, is the best part of the show. I...cannot...get over this woman. Every fashion was smashing on her, she was so funny, she was a delight every second she was on screen, oh my God yes give me more! Ohh, I haven't evil laughed in sheer joy like that in a long time. 12/10! Still however felt the writing for the villain was weak in terms of motivation, and I'm just stating this now. Ever since that Doctor Strange trailer dropped everyone. Everyone. Could not stop saying oh Wanda's gonna be a villain, she seems like she's turning heel. Motherf***er have you forgot about this show? She is the villain as far as I'm concerned in this, she does some messed up stuff and I know there is palpable and important messages in this show that, reality must be faced, you cannot live and hide in dreams and not accept the truth, that pain and loss must be accepted as much as happiness and love in life, but I feel it's going to be unnoticed. Hell people don't even talk about this show nowadays unless connecting it to Doctor Strange. I mean is this all that show was meant to be? Just connective but ultimately superflous tissue for a movie that isn't out yet? Will people really talk about this show at all in even 3 years time? I don't think so. It just seems like such a waste. Jesus, I know I'm not a Marvel fan by any stretch but I know they can do good stories and make captivating characters here and there. It just wasn't worth the time. 1.5 stars, 4.5/10, next show has to be better right?

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Mulholland Drive

David, God dang it!




I think this set some new kind of record, about 4 minutes in I had meathooks firmly implanted into me, I was that hooked and it dragged me through a wild and amazing trip. I'm not even sure how to summarize it beyond, a young lady named Betty moves to L.A. to become an actress and meets a woman named Rita who has memory problems after a bad crash and they try to piece together her memories, but there's quite a few characters and bizzare situations to recount and it gets a tiny complex. The last 25 odd minutes get very strange and only proceed to get more out there the closer you get to the end, culminating in a true and pure David Lynch ending. I loved it, it got my mind gears running at full speed and I feel fairly confident I actually understood what it was all about. Granted the movie is a burning venomous critique of the Hollywood system and showbusiness, backroom deals with shady people, good talent is overlooked for more attractive stars, but it makes it outrageous with assassins and dreamlike sequences that really only made me way more interested to see where this was going. And David summed it up perfectly for his main star, "Naomi knocked this thing out of the park." I can't believe she was snubbed an Oscar, this woman man. This woman was outstanding, and the chemistry between her and Laura Harring was nothing short of mesmerizing. Yeah yeah, they have a love scene and lesbionics occurs, move along move along. It's a very charming frienship they have and when it proceeds to a romantic relationship it feels well earned and lovely. And yeah, Laura Harring what a stunningly beautiful woman who can knock your socks off with her acting, and the best part for both of them is the performance evolves and deepens the further we go along. I heard tale this originally was conceptualized as a TV series and more so a Twin Peaks spinoff TV series which explains a small bit. I've only seen a grand total of 30 seconds of Twin Peaks, but it does seem to fit that strange and otherworldly environment. It's intriguing to watch and it sets this mystery up flawlessly in the beginning and you want to know as much as our main characters want to know, but it doesn't give you answers. That is your conclusion that makes the ending what it is. I had two thoughts but as we were ramping toward the ending it quickly came down to my second guess, zipper on the lips for that, go see it. It's great. To see David shift and mold this from a failed TV pilot to a cinematic odyssey is amazing, and what a way to go out this week! 4 stars, 9/10! I'm considering a fair bit to watch Twin Peaks at a later date and get reviews out for that, my interest grows more and more to finally see it but we got a while before the next batch of TV reviews. Next week my favorite time of the year, Marvel. Yaaaaay......

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

The Straight Story

I bet you never would imagine that David Lynch directed a movie like this.




Even more so, I bet you would never see the words Walt Disney Pictures presents a David Lynch film, a conjunction of words I can scarcely believe now. But it's true. I actually did not know about this movie at all until fairly recently from one of my reviewers and I knew I was gonna get around to it one day. Based off a true story, Alvin Straight hears tale that his brother who he fell out with 10 years ago had a real bad stroke, and he is determined to go see his brother and make amends. But he can't see too well, he has trouble moving, and he doesn't own a car or can get a ride. So he hitches a trailer, stocks up on food, and sets out from Iowa to Wisconsin, on his lawnmower. And I'll be damned, I was entertained for the almost 2 hour runtime and felt the pacing was spot on. I know you hear that synopsis and figure it's more of an experimental film to test a person's patience like that 12 hour film shot in real time of the Empire State Building, but you'd be surprised how much happens in it. Nothing big or bombastic, the most thrilling thing that happens is Alvin going down a steep hill quite quick and it by God has tension to it. It takes roughly 25 minutes into the movie for him to begin his trek, and he meets several people along the way and the interesting part is you learn something new about him each conversation he has. He meets a young runaway and tells her how much family means to him and that he had 7 kids before his wife passed, he meets a group of cyclists and discusses getting old and how rough it is, he goes for drinks with a stranger in town and they get a lot off their chest recounting their history in the second world war (By the by, best scene in the whole movie bar none.), and it is a mighty good story. There's good stretches of time without dialogue but every conversation has meaning and purpose to be, as I said the pacing is perfect knowing just how long to stick around an individual, a landscape, a moment. I'll never forget one line that's gonna stick with me for a good long time, "It's amazing what you can see when you're sitting down." I mean really think about this, we live in a world and age where you can do so much sitting down. Learn new things, see the world, talk with friends as if they were sitting across from you, the world is at your fingertips with speeds almost incalculable. So why is everyone moving so fast? I ain't never been fast and I doubt I'm going to get faster in the days to come, so a movie like this is my pace personified in cinema. I can keep up with your lightspeed sci-fi, and rhythmic up tempo action, but this is pretty dang close to my speed. I genuinely believe this can't be topped, like bring it on Mulholland Drive, cause this movie was wonderful. I loved it so much, I thought it is such an optimistic story with really remarkable actors who can say a bit but you see much more in their eyes, it's the most non-David Lynch David Lynch movie I've ever seen and yet I think it's my favorite. People are always gonna talk about Eraserhead, Mulholland Drive, Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, yet this is the one for me. Give it a watch, feel the emotions, see those beautiful blue skies and golden sunshine permeate the scenery, I don't think you'll even be super disappointed with the ending. 4 stars, 10/10, I can't find a bad thing to say so it gets that score and we'll wrap up tomorrow with Mulholland Drive. You and me tomorrow Naomi!

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Eraserhead

We are starting the early birthday celebrations right!



Oh man, Eraserhead, what a film! It's definitely one of those movies I've heard about through the years and yet never knew what it was about until I watched it. Wow. I won't lie, I had a great time. Difficult to talk about coherently but here goes nothing. So our movie is set in what I can only described as a bombed out, dilapidated, abandoned but dressed up neighborhood where a young man named Henry Spencer gets his girlfriend pregnant and has to look after the heavily prematuredly birthed infant. There is more to that story but I just want you to watch it. I don't know, maybe I've finally lost it but I very very much enjoyed this movie even though despite my best efforts I couldn't truly discern a lot from it. It has that experimental/student film quality where not much makes sense and it's almost deliberately strange and offputting, but I liked it! I mean I could rave about the lighting alone for like an hour, some of the best camera placement and lighting combinations I have ever seen in cinema. I have nothing but praise to give for Herbert Cardwell and Frederick Elmes, those guys knew their stuff and delivered flawless results. I also really appreciated Jack Nance in this, for a script that barely has any dialogue in it David got so much through Jack's facial features and body language, simultaneously looking super young and a total baby face but also old enough to have a midlife crisis which I kinda think has some bearance on the story. Henry is a young man but quickly discovers he is a parent, and you know having kids and taking care of kids changes an individual a lot, it's a lot to deal with, and you can tell through the direction and acting it is severely effecting him. He has a fight with his girlfriend, is stuck in an apartment with the baby, can't leave, can't sleep and when he does he has some weeeeird nightmares. I sympathize with the guy. Who knows what it's really about, I've seen snippets of interviews and David Lynch has said Eraserhead is his most spiritual film and won't elaborate further on any of it. Maybe it's the pressures of becoming a parent, maybe it's all a metaphor for the world ending, maybe it's just about a guy and his baby. There's plenty to dig into here and while the movie has spots of disturbing and bizzare moments, I was a bit surprised how much I laughed and felt quite relaxed while watching it. I did find humor not in the bewildering actions of the characters, but just simple normal things like fighting with a spouse over how much room they take in bed, or everytime Henry tries to leave the apartment the baby cries until he sits down again. The music is minimal but very pleasant I found, and we get both a dance sequence and a singing sequence so that was enjoyable. It may unnerve and confuse others, but I was immersed and wanted to see where it all went. It's no doubt going to be a film I watch again and again in the future and still get something out of. But go make of it what you will, that's half the fun of movies, and we got more Lynch coming up with The Straight Story. What do I rate it? No idea, how about...4 stars, 8/10!