Media Update 8/30/18


Attack the Block

I had vaguely heard of this movie but I had not really heard much of what it was. When I found out that it was the first movie starring John Boyega, I was definitely intrigued. It is kind of sad that there was not much information because I had this movie pegged completely wrong. I thought it was a comedy/science-fiction movie but that was not what this one was. The best way to explain this movie is that the writer/director saw Signs and wondered what would happen if the same thing happened in South London. Joe Cornish was inspired by the low budget debuts of Spielberg and Cameron and wanted to create something equally raw. He succeeded. Basically, this is what would happen if alien monsters invaded the projects and ended up in a survival of the fittest conflict with a bunch of young street punks. John Boyega is so powerful in this movie that it is easy to see why everybody in Hollywood wants to cast him in things currently. At the same time he has the toughness of a criminal and the vulnerability of a teenager. He is joined by a cast of relative unknowns who are absolutely perfect for their roles. The only other person I recognized was Nick Frost who had a smaller, understated comic relief role that did not take away from the seriousness and the horror of the rest of the film. The design of the aliens was wonderfully simple and impactful and horrifying in a sort of Jaws kind of way. As the movie went on, I was absolutely terrified for the characters in the movie in all the best ways. When the credits started, I found myself letting out a breath I did not know I had been holding. I definitely recommend this one.


Oceans 8

When they announced Oceans 8 as a “female Oceans 11” I was skeptical. I was not sure why the movie had to be either a reboot or continuation of the previous franchise instead of just being a thing by itself. When I saw the first poster, I was intrigued by the cast. The movie stars Sandra Bullock as Debbie Ocean, Danny’s sister. As usual, she is super charming and fun and she is probably at the top of her game in this movie. She is joined by a stellar cast who each add something interesting to the ensemble. We have Cate Blanchett who is a combination of regal and biker attitude which I really enjoyed. Rihanna plays a really sassy hacker who steals a lot of scenes. Mindy Kaling was not somebody I expected in a heist movie but she brings a good bit of comedy into her role. I was also surprised by the addition of Sarah Paulson who ended up carrying a lot of scenes as the kind of straight woman of the group. For once Helena Bonham Carter did not overact and that made her even more funny. Anne Hathaway killed it as a spoiled Hollywood actress and was actually probably the highlight of the movie. With this movie they seemed to make a continuation of the previous franchise while also doing their own thing. It did not rely on all of the tropes of the previous trilogy and almost none of that cast appeared. I was surprised at how good this was and I definitely recommend it.


Voltron: Legendary Defender

I watched quite a bit of the original Voltron cartoon series. It was during a time when television animation was cheaply done and was mainly done to sell toys. Like many cartoons of its time, it was formulaic and always delivered an ending where the good guys win. Flash forward a few decades when I hear that there is a new series and it is pretty good. Fast forward a little more to present day and a friend who I trust says the show is good and I figure it is time to check it out. I am glad I did. They basically took everything that was good from the show (robot lions becoming a big robot, action, color-coordination) and just added a whole lot more to like. The animation is, of course, a lot better with characters allowed to be more expressive. The action is way more exciting now that animation has improved and anime has been an inspiration for decades. Each of the five “paladins” have been given more character and they are each given different abilities to make them more interesting. On top of that, the alien characters are allowed to be more alien. Also, the princess is allowed to have a real personality instead of being “girl also there”. Also also, the robot lions are now given more personality of their own through their movement. There are also actual character arcs and plot arcs from episode to episode other than “we have to defeat the big bad”. It makes each episode more special and it feels less like treading water each episode. I definitely recommend it.

Music of the Week:
Panic! At The Disco: High Hopes

Future – 31 DAYS

From Ashes To New – Broken

OneRepublic – Connection

Ariana Grande – God is a woman

 

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “All Together Now”
– I watched more Disenchantment Season 1
– I watched more Glitter Force Doki Doki Season 2
– I watched more Wynonna Earp Season 2
– I watched more Game Grumps and Barry Kramer on YouTube
– I have picked up Critical Role again

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