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


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!

Sunday, April 24, 2022

The Northman

Oh! Thank you gods above, below, and in-between!

Bit more than you would think is found here, I mean I could tell from the trailers and TV spots that it was more or less a revenge story of a boy avenging his father who was killed by his uncle, I know, very commonplace, and yet there were snippets of more otherworldly aspects so I knew there was something more afoot here. I'm partially correct but you could almost argue the instances of nordic mythology are legit or more imaginary, and I'll let you know my standpoint later. Also, highly appreciative of so many aspects of that particular culture in that particular time and place in the world without any handholding. They don't need to explain it, you either know or can infer what the customs are save for one particular tidbit which I was proud to know of beforehand. For a director who has barely begun his career, Robert Eggers has made quite a name for himself in recent years and really shows the grandiose scenery in abundance, with excellent use of editing and camera techniques. Casting though not everyone is super recognizable does mighty good work and sells the often times highly dramatic form of speaking in that period of history, I mean of course I give love to Alex and Anya who were great and had a nice dynamic throughout. But I give fair props to Claes Bang for being more than just a foul bastard to hate and hiss at throughout but has moments where you genuinely think maybe he is a different man. I very much loved the possible inspirations for a lot of the material here, I saw bits of Shakespeare, Assassin's Creed, The Witcher, quite a fair bit of Ghost Of Tsushima, even Clash Of The Titans. Now for the discussion of whether or not there is some higher power at play here, without spoiling much you see some non-mortal forces in this movie and it is appropriate for the characters and the time period, and I was up in the air on if it was for really realsies or not until we got to the ravens. Through my readings I learned some time ago that Odin's eyes and presence are ravens and you see them several times including an important scene for our hero, and again it's not spelled out for you so when that occured there wasn't a doubt in my mind the gods had a hand in this plot. I friggin' loved that. Gives it a sense of being bigger and epic for our hero which gives more a drive for the audience. Though honestly, the soundtrack alone got me involved so quick and got me fired up for events, spectacular work on the score. A sort of unconventional movie for sure in terms of style and culture but great nontheless. 4 stars, 8.5/10, and the birthday week has officially started so we'll find something to talk about before too long.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

The Bad Guys

Was I disappointed? Well, yeah.

Now I partially blame that on myself for misreading the trailer. When I saw the trailer I had hope and I thought, oh cool a movie where bad guys are bad guys but have to undergo training to be good guys in order to pull off a heist. Just a cute fun movie where villains so desperately want to do bad things but go through a rigorous training program to appear good, and funny can commence. Not at all what I got. It's a very by the numbers, basic, mostly predictable kids movie. I will fully admit I haven't seen a Dreamworks animated film since....shit, like Rise Of The Guardians and that was 2012! I honestly thought the studio closed down a while ago cause I just didn't see them attached to any projects. But anyway, the movie follows a group of animals in a strangely mostly human filled world, where they rob banks, do heists, and generally feed into their negative stereotypes. But when a heist goes wrong they fake a, "we'll go good this time pinky promise!", and make a tiny bit of a change before being framed for another crime. Yadda yadda, blah blah, this movie had exactly two twists I didn't fully expect but the rest was...God just so boring and predictable. The animation is really interesting, the backgrounds look painted at times but is a full 3D animated world, at first I thought it was another Spider-Verse style but it's honestly something new to my eyes so fair props to the design choices. The cast does quite good work but the script is what firmly buried this film for me, only getting a few chuckles and bits of intrigue out of me. I certainly wasn't expecting a great film, just a fun little distraction for 90 minutes that I could appreciate for it's merits. But unfortunately even Richard Ayoade couldn't salvage this film. I was having difficulty remembering even the title, I couldn't remember if it was The Good Guys or The Bad Guys and what a perfect summary of the film because I won't remember this in a day. 2 stars, 5/10, I am praying to the higher powers that we at least end on a high note with The Northman.

Friday, April 22, 2022

The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent

Yet another contender so far for the top 10 list this year.

I knew I was gonna enjoy this movie before I walked in but honestly I loved it even more than I thought. The story is perfectly encapsulated in the trailer, with for real for real Nicolas Cage and not just a part where I just call him Nic Cage, is brought to a wealthy man's house who has supposed ties to a weapons cartel played by Pedro Pascal and is enlisted by the CIA to bring him down. Very rudimentary and basic synopsis cause a fair bit more than that happens. The best way I can truly describe the movie is this is Nic's Birdman, perfectly mixing reality with fiction and focusing on an actor who seems past his prime, throw in a bromance, and a surprisingly loving tribute to cinema as a whole and you have a damn good movie that I recommend to everyone. Needless to say the star power of Nic and Pedro is what hooked me, and it did not disappoint. The performances given are super funny, realistic enough but can be broad and fun, and incredibly endearing. The bonding moments were my favorite parts of the film, and while I can greatly appreciate and love the references to other pieces of cinema it wasn't distracting in a reference for reference sake but a delightful seasoning on top of an already great movie. I don't want to give much away, and feel the movie is best enjoyed if you go in with no real idea of the style and tone and just embrace the adventure as it unfolds. I got nothing but good things to say. Excellent cinematography at times, terrific cast, spot on humor that did the trick for me, an interesting and unique story that you can't fully anticipate, it's a wonderful time. I give it 4 stars, 9/10, and I hope it gets more recognition and love. But the cinema train is going through the whole weekend as well so stay tuned for more.

Thursday, April 21, 2022


I really had no clue what I was in for.

Such an interesting movie, both in style and story but I can fully understand if it isn't someone's cup of tea. I'm fairly certain this is the first film I've seen of John Woo's filmography and I'm infinitely curious to see if any of the others fit this specific style. I will give some good points towards the plot, where a long standing feud between an FBI agent and a terrorist goes to new heights when the terrorist is apprehended but has one more ace up his sleeve, and information to his next act has to be procured in an interesting way. But the dynamic between hero and villain is the most intriguing part of the movie, and John Travolta and Nicolas Cage play their respective parts super well but then we get to the main crux. I'm still bewildered beyond words that after Nic is captured the very first idea that pops out in obtaining information on his biological bomb, is to literally undergo a face transplant to make John look like Nic. And it only gets wilder from there. Granted the movie sets it's tone expertly in the opening scene with batshit Nic on cloud nine, with one of the most overblown and highly unrealistic but still enjoyable action scenes I have seen in a long time. This is the epitome of action cop movie sequences, like it goes so out there and unashamedly so with sparks coming out of everything that gets hit, slow motion for no other reason than to have slowmo, shootouts where people stand on the roof of cars and point guns at each other while having conversations, and of course obvious wire work. Now I can appreciate that kind of pure Hollywood actionsploitation way of doing things, but I know it is not for everyone. You almost have had to have grown up on very specific kinds of action movies to fully enjoy this ride. But like I said the best part of the movie are our stars, and it is honest to God a super interesting and unique concept for a movie. Have the villain and hero swap places but still have it out for each other, collide some worlds just to see what happens, they do as much with the concept as the runtime allows and decently so. You can tell the actors are having a blast working with this material and the audience can enjoy it just as much, when Nicolas Cage is playing John Travolta who just so happens to look like Nicolas Cage there's a lot to read into that performance. I wouldn't mind seeing such a concept for a film in the future even if it doesn't have the gunplay and chases, it has that potential. While it is an absurdly ludicrous movie at times, I found it to be a decent one and can recommend it to some. 3 stars, 7/10, another week another new movie and no rest for the wicked.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Vampire's Kiss

Boy we've been on a vampire turn lately huh?

I just wanted an excuse to finally see this movie. It's a bit more than what people would lead you to believe but the impact is still the same. I'm still fully processing what the shit I just watched but I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy it. So our story unfolds of a publisher who after meeting a quite attractive young lady with a severe biting kink (no shame there I assure you), leads him to believe whether or not he is a vampire. Craziness ensues. Now I know it's easy to get swept away in the madness and antics of Nicolas Cage and it is glorious, but there's obviously more to it than a highly humorous highlight reel. I mean I do question the intent of the director, and how after we get the shot seen in the film he said "And cut, perfect, print it!" but credit is due for some shots and the overall tone presented. You'd think it would be a case of Nic is just f***ing bonkers and everyone else plays it serious and straight, not entirely the case cause everyone is a bit off. They are weird and eccentric individuals where you question exactly why they do the things they do. It's like if someone made American Psycho and decided to make it even more out there and add a twist of the supernatural. The cinematography is decent and while most shots are normal you occasionally get some true voyeuristic shots, with eerie score music and fair dues to the composer on that front. I mean it is a funny and wild movie but there is some quite honestly gruesome and disturbing things in it. I think Nicolas Cage might be the most freaky and terrifying vampire I've seen because he clearly is playing a character not fully mentally well and he snaps, and it is a bit unsettling in varying degrees. From eating a live cockroach, to harassing and flat out molesting his coworker, even the first time he gets bit it was a creepy and slightly disturbing scene with him freaking the hell out and thrashing a bit. Usually you don't get horrific necking in a vampire movie, either it cuts before you see something or is there for gore's sake, not the flesh crawling horror part. And this isn't a slam on the movie by any stretch but when I saw footage of Nosferatu it actually made me want to watch it again. I don't know, this was such a trip and difficult to really pin down what I thought of it. I of course loved the line delivery and over the top actions of Nicolas Cage, the plot wasn't afraid to dip it's toes into some mortifying stuff, it keeps you guessing if he truly is turning into a vampire until the end, and it was entertaining throughout. I know some people questioned my 10/10 for Studio 666, but it was a movie I fully got and enjoyed to the max when obiectively it was more of a movie between a 7 and a 8 but I could full heartedly recommend it. So when I rate this I am being on a pure objective view point, and not just howling in laughter at the ridiculous parts and leaving it at that. I give it 3 stars, 7.5/10, I apologize for the weird review schedule this week but work has a strong influence on life and not all of it good. So until next time, or more accurately the day after tomorrow.

Friday, April 15, 2022

The Secrets Of Dumbledore

Thank the gods this was an improvement.

I was actually eagerly anticipating the end credits for this cause I wanted to know two things. Who directed it and who wrote it? David Yates returns to direct but honestly it feels so different and is so visually impressive at times that I thought they did get a different director. And wonder upon wonders, I was right! J.K. Rowling had the help of a screenwriter and worked in conjunction with them, and the script works for the better. It's not as bombastic as you would expect, if anything it sets the board for future confrontations between Dumbledore and Grindlewald as more or less they confront one another and know they will have to fight, while Albus recruits the help of Newt and newcomer to the wizarding world Eulalie to help him gain an edge over Grindlewald. Again, not very big stakes and the best way I can summarize it is the first two movies were more in the tone of Prisoner Of Azkaban whereas this movie seems more Order Of The Phoenix or even Half Blood Prince. Which is odd because you have a fair few cutesy moments, but then you see a magical creature get it's throat slit. It just isn't a fun kids movie series at this point, there is history and intrigue in this period of time and they do want to expand on it which I love. Before seeing this I wanted it to cap off at 3 movies, but truthfully after seeing this bring on the fourth film! It does what any good sequel should do, expand on the story, advance the characters, and introduce new elements. Newt is way more sociable and warm, a far cry from his shy and non-human interest in the first film. Eulalie is a warm welcome to this series, she is lovely, I think she's brilliant, nothing but a joy to watch throughout and I can't wait to see more. Jude is outstanding, having so much more time on screen and delivering his own Albus while staying true to the character we originally met, and the dynamic with him and Grindlewald is the best part of the film. Cause you can tell and infer a great deal from Jude's and Mads' performances, they love each other and would prefer not to fight but you can tell there's so much more behind their eyes. I loved it. Plus, I can never have too much Mads Mikkelsen in my life thank you very much. The visuals and cinematography are leaps and bounds better than I dare even say most of the Harry Potter series, the shots they do in this I wish were in the other movies it's done super well. All I wanted was a good movie and I got a good movie that made me want another. I can't ask more than that. 4 stars, 8.5/10, good end to the week!

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

In Retrospect: The Crimes Of Grindlewald

Well I kinda remember why I haven't seen this since opening day.

I wasn't super keen on it the first time around so has the passage of time lessened the impact of a less than favored sequel? Well I must admit there were more things I appreciated and very much liked on second viewing, and then there were things I was just like, well you could have left that out and just not did that. I've heard more than a fair share of bad mouthing over the years on this movie so I'll try to no let that lead me into tangents. I feel the story was mostly okay until 3/4 of the way through then it dropped significantly, and it's rather difficult to talk about it and not break it entirely down scene by scene. We don't have that much time or space to write that much. So I'll just say, I am okay with Newt still being a strong player in magical events despite his less than action hero status, and if the filmmakers are taking a more long way round version of the hero's journey where we fully see Newt become a capable and important wizard throughout the series then I have no problem with that. I like we get Jacob back quite a bit, he was a fun and happy character that brought the first film some levity so I don't mind he comes back even if he was drugged against his will by the person he loves. Just...we'll get back to that. Great seeing Zoe again, I got more out of Leta's story and the flashback sequences were some of my favorite parts of the movie all around, she's a rebellious and damaged witch that found some solace in a friend like Newt and honestly how many Slytherin's can you name who you like as people? Jude Law is still awesome, I'm so happy we're getting more emphasis on him in the next movie, I see more of how he plays Dumbledore as a figure who wants to help but has to stay out of the action, almost a older Obi-Wan type character that we'll get in that upcoming series, he just plays it perfectly. Now on the opposite side of the acting spectrum, a lot of the side character fat could have been trimmed. It's not necessary to see the backstory of a snake turned horcrux, Credence trying to discover his family is by no means a bad story but it wasn't given enough time to feel important or impactful. I feel Ezra Miller was almost floundering for any semblance of substance to cling onto in this for his role, so I can't hold this against him. Johnny Depp isn't a bad villain in my eyes, again more underutilized and not given much to work with, no harm or foul on the actor. Alison Sudol as Queenie however, they did you dirty my love! You took a queen, a marvel to behold, one of the most lovable and charming characters in this series, and you assassinated her before my very eyes. She kidnaps Jacob, force feeds a love potion to him even though he loved her already, is off her rocker for no good godforsaken reason, and then just joins the evil wizard for oh! You guessed it! No reason. Look at how they've massacred my girl. There is no justifying sloppy terrible character writing. The plot just kinda meanders about, with no solid connective tissue to link so many character's stories, and once that last fourth of the movie kicks in is when it becomes a stupid soap opera. Revelations and personal history dropped forty levels on your head without prelude or intrigue, contrivance after contrivance, and a villain speech that strains the human mind's capacity for logic. I mean if Rowling did a good and admirable job writing the first movie and not making it an overcomplicated or stupid story, but then failed miserably here I'm just wondering what occured. And I think I can narrow it down to, she writes books. Not screenplays. If she wrote a 400+ page book and titled it The Crimes Of Grindlewald and could flesh everything out to her heart's content, I think we wouldn't have a problem. But she needs to write a script for a movie roughly two and a half hours long, so the disadvantages of her writing become more noticeable. Now if she relegates the actual script to a screenwriter and she just throws out ideas and works with them, we should be in safe hands here for however many we have left. It's a mixed bag of a movie and people can either like it or despise it, but me personally I find it complicated but average at best. 2 stars, 5.5/10, and I ask the ancient mystics and magi for a small bit of magic for the next movie. Until then.

Monday, April 11, 2022

Return To Hogwarts

I would have sat for 5 hours watching this.

Big shock. I loved it. I'm so glad I watched it, I'm so glad they got everyone they could, and it is without question necessary viewing for all potterheads. It starts simply enough with some cute prelude to the documentary footage, as four chapters break down the 8 films with cast and crew discussing filming, the impact on the world, and most importantly the memories that were had. Now I know there's people out there howling their dislike based on "it's just nostalgia" but there is obviously some form of love and respect to this series to even begin with. They shoot on the real sets, the intercutting of movie footage, behind the scenes, and documentary footage is pretty good, and it's just fun and cute to see everyone back together. Obviously I can't recount every story and anecdote, but it does bring up stuff you wouldn't normally know and addresses facts of the production you may have forgot about. I spaced so hard on the fact that Emma Watson was going to leave the series halfway through, she was thinking about calling it a day and such a powder keg of a news story you think wouldn't have been forgotten. It's little nuggets like that which I loved so much cause you do hear it straight from the actor's mouth, they do reflect on it being 20 years since this franchise started and how it has affected them. There is an undying sense of love and family among the entire crew and cast, with the highlights of them being apparently Emma had a huge crush on Tom Felton and where has that been my entire life? That should have been in the movies, I'll make my own with Draco being a bad boy who can't voice his emotions clearly but he loves Hermoine, you'll love it. It'll be wild. Helena is off her f***ing rocker, I love her, I may or may not want the Daniel crush to be real, it's a thing of immense beauty and chaotic energy and I want you to acknowledge it. Jason Isaacs is still my love, my everything, he is (redacted), and forever will be in my heart. Of course it isn't all fun and unconditional love, they do reflect on these wonderful actors who are no longer with us. Richard Harris, John Hurt, Helen McCrory, Alan of course. And can I just say, hearing Jason and Tom talk about the most damn beautiful and perfect witch in the entire world, and seeing Tom break a little....that took my heart outside and pulverized it with a tenderizer. Like that was hard to watch. I mean we as fans were all devastated when Alan passed away, so how on earth did it feel for the people who worked closely with him for a decade? It would have been impossible to really craft a documentary around something this expansive with so much to talk about, it would have to be it's own series with a single episode dedicated to those we lost. And it was pretty tough seeing the behind the scenes stuff on the last day of shooting, I mean Jesus man Daniel had a full breakdown and I wasn't that far off from breaking myself. Personally speaking, as a 6 year old boy introduced to a land of magic and great characters, though I wasn't super hardcore into it did love it a lot and certainly as years have passed my appreciation has expanded greatly. It's gotten so many kids into reading, it's swept several generations in it's wake, and has forged a fandom the likes only to be rivaled by Star Wars and Lord Of The Rings. I mean that's pretty remarkable to say the sheer least. And they did it. The crazy bastards actually did it. They ended it with the line. You fu- how could you do this to me man? Whatever, 4 stars, 9/10.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Everything Everywhere All At Once

I think I just saw the best movie of the year.

I was heavily upset when I couldn't see this movie last week, it took some time to fully release, so the wait was well worth it. I really don't want to say anything, watch the trailer and go see the movie. Now that's not too much of a review but the trailer sets the plot up, with Evelyn a normal everyday mom thrown head first into the deep end of the concept of multiverses and alternate realities as a cross dimensional threat enters her universe and she amongst billions is the one to beat it. It was f***ing brilliant, it was f***ing wild, absolute class, this is what film was made for, the end. Michelle Yeoh who is still phenomenal as ever plays the part perfectly cause we know as little as she does so it's a perfect window into the story, and God bless that woman is still stunning, I loved her so. Ke Huy Quan is easily the heart of the cast, being a very optimistic and sweet emotional crux of the story that some people might say it's too sugary sweet but I wouldn't have it any other way. Stephanie Hsu...just wow. First thing I've seen her in and what an impression, I know she was going to have some solid standing in terms of plot but it got cranked to 11 and the whole dynamic/dilemma of the relationship between mother and daughter is explored creatively. I love how they explain the branching paths and different universes, where someone can tap into another life and gain their abilities and memories but because worlds are colliding and the barriers are fracturing, actions carry over into the other world. So if you bump into a wall or trip, the other you would do the same thing regardless of surroundings. It's appropriately mind bending but it's a good kind of what the hell is going on, where you want to see more, you want to learn about it, it almost surpasses all boundaries and genre of cinema. The conflict is handled beautifully and I know some people will roll their eyes and compare the movie to an episode of the Care Bears but some problems you just can't fix with a fist. The movie takes a incredibly nihilistic and caution free stance, and yet fully embraces an optimistic and positive frame of mind about life. And I think the reason why I liked that so much is because that is my view on things, everyone's gonna die, we're just one planet among trillions, nobody really knows anything, but who says you can't enjoy life? It's a tremendous film that does a lot but never loses track of itself or it's message. I loved it beyond words, and I hope others do too despite the fact it is a lot to take in. 1,600 years ago everyone knew the Earth was the center of the universe, 600 years ago everyone knew the Earth was flat, and 2 hours and 19 minutes ago I thought I was someone else. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow. 4 stars, 10/10.

Friday, April 8, 2022

Sonic The Hedgehog 2

See this is why we go back and watch things again, just so you know how good you had it.

I wanted it to work, I wanted it to be good, I enjoyed the first movie a good deal and had zero clue what this movie was about. No trailers, no TV spots, fully blind watching, and booooy did a good chunk of it fall so flat for me. It's not even bad, there is undoubtedly parts I vastly enjoy in this but there is a lot of unnecessary stupid bits. Which you would think a story that involves Sonic and Tails vs. Robotnik and Knuckles in the race for the chaos emerald wouldn't be that difficult to make good, and in fact when the story focuses on those dynamics and the actual story it's fairly fun and enjoyable. However. This script is such a mess that desperately tries to have set up and payoff but fumbles it so bad and it wasn't even as funny as the last one. For instance they take James and Tika out of the movie, they're off to Hawaii, cool but a bit tropey, so now the story can focus on Sonic and Tails without our humans being in danger. Nope. An extended sequence of the film takes place in Hawaii with our humans who albiet are still cute as hell together but this movie goes on tangents. I thought Halloween Kills got sidetracked. Naw good friends, this is sidetrack the movie for a good chunk of it. But when we get back on track and see Robotnik and Knuckles scheme, or our dynamic duo finding clues to the emerald it works fairly good. It's super difficult to fully judge it because there is plenty I love, and more than enough of stuff I felt was unnecessary, idiotic, slightly pandering, and just eh. This is a movie that falls in the middle, it's not bad but not that good. So what did I like about it? Voice cast is still doing good, I like Colleen as Tails, Idris Elba is still my king and is easily the best part of the whole damn film, Jim is still fun to watch, I like more of the video game lore they bring in and incorporate into this world, hell even the cliffhanger gives me some hope they can regain their footing and give us a good 3rd movie. But it just is okay, 2.5 stars, 6/10 for real this time. Kind of a bummer for the end of this week so I might have something up my sleeve to try and go out on a good note.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

In Retrospect: Sonic The Hedgehog

I can't honestly believe I haven't seen this since opening day two years ago.

But I think it goes to show how much I remembered, which was essentially everything, and looking back on my review I think I was a bit rough on it. Not at all that I hated it but a 6.5/10 seems a bit mean. I think I enjoyed myself and liked the movie more on the second viewing, now that I have the ability to rewind and pause I could take my time and appreciate what was presented. For the first film in a series, it actually sets up it's universe with relative ease and intrigue knowing such famous iconography from the games but adapted in an interesting way. Sonic's world is just like the games, the rings are transport portals, we get some set up with the Echidnas though brief it is, I think taking a rather stereotypical megalomaniac scientist like Robotnik and working it as a highly inventive and intelligent man who views everyone else as idiots and prefers robots works flawlessly. It's just like I said, it's The Riddler but more techy and I love that. Jim is still the best part of the movie period and made me laugh even harder to the point of almost tears, and hearing murmurs of him retiring from acting does kinda break my heart. Ben Schwartz I found to be proper good this time around, able to pick up more on Sonic's personality and mannerisms. He is a teenager, a late teenager perhaps, but he still has that emotional angst and high octane energy that a kid would have, just trying to figure out how to fit in, I very much liked that. James Marsden has expert chemistry with Tika Sumpter, being such a endearing and cute couple, and seeing a cop in a movie just try to be a helpful individual and not a super bad ass, action movie, bang bang you're dead type character was heavily appreciated in this movie. Another aspect I was like, wow spot on work guys, was the pacing. Expert pacing, perfect runtime, can keep up the pace without going super fast and still have brief moments to wind down, they knew exactly how long this should be and what they should keep in. It's wild enough to keep your interest, but still fairly grounded, yeah you could argue this is a movie that could end in about 30 minutes but while the rings are a slightly unnecessary McGuffin in the grand scheme I feel the point was more about the characters and not the plot. So it will be super interesting to see exactly what occurs in the second movie and where it will leave off. So yeah, a sure fire improvement that I was happy to watch again. Existence of this series, totally justified. 3.5 stars, 7.5/10, new movie time again coming on up in 2 & 2.

Monday, April 4, 2022

Professor Layton And The Eternal Diva

An unexpected example but honestly one of the best.

When I heard tale that there was a movie based on the popular puzzle video game series of Professor Layton, I was quite shocked but fully ready and waiting to get around to this. Though I am base level novice when it comes to the games, I've only beaten the first game, I think I'd be hardpressed to find more faithful video game adaptations than here. And I truthfully think as far as my knowledge goes, the reason the film works so well is because the same team or at least the major developers of the games had hands on crafting of the movie. The story akin to the games takes basically an anime version of Sherlock Holmes, where Professor Layton and his young apprentice Luke are puzzle solvers and have had a habit of accepting cases around the world, where the latest involves an opera theater being held hostage with the audience members forced to solve clues to find the mythical location of the elixir of life. It's a pretty outrageous story but it's a pretty outrageous world in the games too, mostly taking a more old world style with bits of steampunk thrown here and there, yet still keeping a timeless and anachronistic look. The animation is wonderful, effortlessly bringing the character designs in fluid motion, with some of the most intricately designed beautiful backgrounds that I more would see in a Studio Ghibli or Pokemon 3 type project. It's entirely unique to this world and the effort shows in aces throughout. The mystery aspect though not as in depth as I originally thought it to be, there's only a total of 4 puzzles max, still kept my interest and certain problems got me thinking and half the time correctly on top of that. It sure does throw curveballs at you, granted I had no idea where the story would go but I figured oh cool a mystery at the opera. Awesome! Nope. The theater turns into a boat. Yyyyyeah. Then you think oh it's a mystery on a cruise liner. Nope. And it just keeps going from there, and you can bet your ass that ending reveal pulled a venusian akido flip on me. It's certainly watchable for kids, and keeps a light adventurous feel to it but the ending handles some serious life stuff and almost passes into Fullmetal Alchemist territory though nowhere near as f***ed up. I was heavily impressed all the way through, and while I could poke fun at the ludicrous stuff, or go on another Phantom tangent because how could I not, or make the joke that the day is saved by music and green water a la´ Pokemon 2000, but I like it too much. It's the epitome of escapist adventure/mystery fiction. Now I will say the soundtrack is spectacular, dare I say sublime. There's just something that happens, and most of the time magical when a japanese composer creates music for a traditional orchestra. Like the music is so good I'm kinda pissed how good it is, like how dare you be so beautiful and immaculate? There's just so much to enjoy here and goes straight to the top of video game adaptations like Animal Crossing. In all fairness I'll give it a good 4 stars, 9/10, and I can't find many more video game movies so we're talking Sonic before Sonic 2.

Friday, April 1, 2022


Guys it really isn't as bad as people make it out.

Coming from an individual who isn't a big Marvel fan, knows nothing about Michael Morbius, and walked in with nothing but an open mind, I thought it was decent. I thought it would be more supernatural how he gained his vampiric powers with him going to some tropical forest and finding something that was best left alone, typical silver age origin story, but I like the scientific reasoning behind it even if it does still lead to superhuman abilities. It gets a little disjointed with the flashbacks but after that it works fairly well. Just telling this story of how a dying man gains these abilities and is trying to make sense of it all while trying not to take human lives to sustain his own is a good story and it's handled well. I thought Jared Leto did fine work, he has a leading man prescence, can be funny, nails the dilemma aspect of his character, and fits dead center in a morally gray superhero light. Of course I have to love Matt Smith, even though I don't like seeing him in an antagonistic role, and it is very basically written but the friendship dynamic clicked for me and it was believable. And yes I did catch that Doctor Who reference you cheeky bastards. Adria Arjona was bugging me the hell out cause I was like, I know you! But where?? She was my witch crush in Good Omens, and the romance aspect felt very sudden and so was her ending yet I still thought she gave a good performance. Also props to making two investigating agents not be blithering morons and mostly useless, thank you for that writers. I very much digged the hell out of the visuals and makeup, properly making Jared and Matt look deathly ill and when the vampiric stuff kicked in I was like, wow that's such an interesting effect. With the flight having trails of colors, the echolocation having a sort of vibrating water effect, and I like they didn't chicken out and show some blood. It isn't gory as hell, but you do see it. Apparently this takes place in the same world as both Venom movies, and I'm not even attempting to connect all the Marvel movies. Sure, fine, whatever, go for it. Why not have them all mix and meld so you can see Michael Keaton as Vulture? It's neat. So it was a decent okay movie, nowhere near a 4.8 on IMDB. I give it 2.5 stars, 7/10.