Media Update 5/8/2019


Fighting With My Family

I am a huge fan of the WWE (through good times and bad) but WWE Films has been fairly hit and miss. This is the kind of movie that was absolutely in their wheelhouse. It is a docudrama on the WWE career of Paige (real name Saraya-Jade Bevis) who was part of the Knight pro-wrestling family in England. The company had access to Paige herself and a lot of the players involved in her career because most of them are employees and ex-employees. Paige helped change the way women are viewed in wrestling by becoming the Anti-Diva and this is more or less her real-life story. The story is absolutely great, filled with humor and heart. Florence Pugh is perfect as Paige, capturing her passion and sense of humor. Nick Frost plays her father and is funny as usual but he also plays a good man with rough edges. Lena Heady plays Paige’s mother, a professional wrestler who is proud of her daughter’s meteoric rise. Jack Lowden plays Zak, Paige’s goofy brother who also tried out for the WWE but did not make it in but was always supportive of his little sister. The Rock plays himself, offering some of the best advice in or out of wrestling “Don’t be the next me, be the first you.” I knew a bit of her story but it was really interesting to see it played out dramatically. Part of that is that it was written and directed by Stephen Merchant, the creator of the Office. It is probably the best pro-wrestling movie made so far. I definitely recommend it, even to non-wrestling fans.


Shazam!

The DC Comics movies lately have been so bad that they had to basically rethink everything. They seem to have finally given up on attempting a shared universe like the MCU which is a relief. They are going back to the drawing board to make better standalone movies. I felt like this was the best DC film in a long time (maybe 11 years). Shazam was the perfect property to start this shift with as it has always been very cartoony and goofy, to begin with. The movie starts a little grim but eventually (like Wizard of Oz) suddenly there is color and humor and fun. First, Mark Strong is a great choice to play Sivana, an obsessed villain who gets to play the straight man to a lot of the zaniness. Zachary Levi and Asher Angel play the title character. I found it really fun that Angel played a world-weary teenager while Levi got to act more like a kid. The supporting cast of Jack Dylan Grazer, Grace Fulton, Faithe Herman, Ian Chen, and Jovan Armand gave the movie more heart and grounded the hero in ways that we have not really seen with DC yet. The movie also surprised me a lot but in the best ways. DC needs more movies like this and Wonder Woman, stories that make sense and grow organically from character. The effects were also great and the cinematography was clear and not as muddy as past films. I definitely recommend it.


Stargate: Atlantis

I was a big fan of Stargate since the movie came out. When I found out about the television series, I was intrigued but it took me a while to check it out. When I did, I found that I really loved it. It had a lot of heart, great characters, and good stories. It scratched the same itches that my favorite Star Trek series touched. When it finally ended after so many but still too few seasons, I was sad. I watched (and loved) Sanctuary because of Amanda Tapping’s involvement. Stargate Atlantis had already come and gone when I finished Stargate SG-1 and I had no way to catch up with it. So I was hit by Stargate Universe instead and that was disappointing. Recently, Amazon Prime had Atlantis so I decided to check it out. The series takes an all-new cast (some of which were regular guest stars from SG-1). The show felt like an extension of the SG-1 series but with room to grow away from that main series and explore a few different but similar concepts. The cast is really good at what they do which is episodic science fiction. Unfortunately, I only got a few episodes into the first season before Amazon Prime yanked the show for some reason. I definitely recommend it if you can find it and if you can, let me know.

Music of the Week:
Stitched Up Heart – Lost

G-Eazy – I Mean It

Courtney Barnett – Everybody Here Hates You

Lizzo – Tempo

The Claypool Lennon Delirium – Blood And Rockets: Movement I

Weekly Update:
– This week’s update is “Into a New World”
– I finished Lucifer Season 3
– I watched more Santa Clarita Diet Season 3
– I watched more Losers
– I watched more Star Trek: Voyager Season 2
– I started Supernatural Season 14 (and I’m halfway through already)
– I started Ash vs. The Evil Dead Season 3

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