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 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


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


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. 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


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 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.