Archive for June, 2020

Let Me Tell You a Secret

June 29, 2020

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Hawaii Pt. 4

June 27, 2020

Yzma was currently sitting on a makeshift throne, bored out of her mind. She pointed her newly acquired wand at a young woman in a cage. The woman shivered in fear and Yzma perked up a bit, savoring the fear. Her grin widened. The first thing she had done upon getting her hands on the wand was to remove the requirement to recite nonsense magical words. ‘Bippity Boppity Boo’ indeed. She directed her will at the young girl through the wand and watched her turn into a llama. She turned the girl into a rabbit, then a snake, then an eagle, and then back into a llama. She turned everything into a llama, it was probably an unhealthy fixation brought on by trauma but she could not be sure.

“This is so much easier than handling all of those potions!” Yzma said. “I do miss Kronk but he was holding me back. My new friends are so much more supportive.”

“Your new friends?” a voice asked. “Who are your new friends?”

Yzma turned to where Flynn Rider was chained to the wall. He had tried to escape several times to varying degrees of success but Yzma had always thwarted him. It cut through the boredom somewhat. She was glad that the young man had appeared out of thin air close to her hidden stronghold.

“Silence!” Yzma yelled. “Nobody asked you to speak!”

She realized that she just had to always have a big dumb man around to talk at. Chaining him to the wall kept him from actively interfering in her plans. Of course, she had failed to actually develop a clear plan yet but no matter.

“I have two new friends,” Yzma said. “The octopus and the dragon.”

“What is it with you and animals?” Flynn asked. “It’s some sort of obession with you.”

“It’s the magic I know best!” Yzma said. “This time it will help me rule. I will be Empress this time for sure.”

“So you turn a lot of people into animals,” Flynn said. “then this somehow results in you ruling the world. Did I get that right?” This was the most absurd experience of his life and that said a lot since he had previously battled an evil witch to help a princess with amazingly long hair. He had somehow befriended a horse throughout all of this. Also, he was still pretty sure he had actually died. This experience was even stranger.

Yzma grunted and glared at the captive thief. “You remind me of Kuzco a little bit,” she said. “This is not a good thing. I hate Kuzco. I have not completely assembled the parts to my genius plan.” She stewed in the moment of that thought. It had been much easier when she was more throne-adjacent. There were far fewer steps to success.

“When do you see that happening?” Flynn asked. “I’m just curious.” If he was going to be imprisoned, he might as well have fun at his captor’s expense.

“Eventually,” Yzma grumbled. She was not really enjoying this interrogation but it beat silence by a slim margin.

“You’re not even turning people into dangerous animals,” Flynn said.

“I filled a field full of snakes!” Yzma said. “Green ones so you can’t see them when you’re out walking and not paying attention!”

“Were they poisonous snakes?” Flynn asked with a smirk.

“No,” Yzma admitted softly. “You might have a point, though. I could get a little more dangerous.”

Flynn frowned, almost feeling like he had somehow outwitted himself. “Or not,” he said. “You could just keep doing what you’re doing.”

“Nonsense,” Yzma said. She pointed the wand at the llama in the cage and it quickly transformed into a jaguar. The jaguar snarled and clawed at the cage bars. “Much better. I’ll be Empress yet.”

“This is not good,” Flynn said and struggled to reach the pin in his hand to pick his locks.

“And to think,” Yzma said. “This was all your idea. You may prove useful yet.”

Flynn continued to struggle in vain. Yzma waved her wand and every tool that Flynn could have used to free himself floated across the room. The chains holding him tightened and Yzma let out a loud cackle.

Media Update 6/25/20

June 25, 2020


Sleepaway Camp II (HBO Max)

I previously reviewed the first movie in the series during Halloween. The first movie is problematic but actually masterfully done. This movie shifts to being less problematic and also shifts to a more comedic horror movie. The movie is a great little parody of other eighties horror movies while still being a good little horror movie itself. I have included it here because the killer is a fully transitioned transwoman. The franchise covers the mental abuse that people with gender issues have and how gender issues can be caused by extreme trauma. The cast is really good at being bumbling teenage hormone monsters acting up at summer camp. There are a lot of fun subplots for each camper that run throughout the movie. The gore is really good without being over the top. The offbeat humor really works. Pamela Springsteen really works as the perpetually cheery serial killer with who has one solution to all of her problems. I really like this franchise and I am excited to see the third one. I recommend it.


Tragedy Girls (Hulu)

High School is a chaotic time under normal circumstances but when there is a killer loose, it can be even crazier. On top of that high schoolers already pretty much act like sociopaths no matter how you slice it. Add in an unhealthy fixation on social media and a need to be seen in the way you want rather than the way you are and it’s a recipe for disaster. This movie is a great look at how the media and society work around sensational death and also how the political machine messes up its response. The two leads, Brianna Hildebrand and Alexandra Shipp are so good at playing best friends who very well might be more than friends. They are so likable which is important for the kind of characters they play. I loved them so much. The movie is so darkly comic and easy to watch. I recommend this movie.


Knife and Heart (Prime)

This movie is set in the early 1970s within the culture of gay clubs and gay porn. The main characters are a lesbian couple who work together to make male on male porn. The movie is ostensibly a slasher film but it is also a drama about mental illness, art, commercialism, relationships, and the underground culture of homosexuality. It is set in France and as such, all dialogue is in French. It is also incredibly risque although there is nothing explicit but let us be real, there are a lot of scenes of guy on guy action artfully filmed. Online I have seen it compared to de Palma and Argento and I have to agree. It has a slow burn, dramatic horror to it which is interesting because, in my experience, slashers are more frantic. It allows the movie to really flesh out the characters so we get to know them on a personal level. The star, Vanessa Paradis, is so good as the often manic porn director who is just trying to make her life work when she is caught up in a mystery. Her charisma is inescapable and she brightens up what could be a dirge of a movie (which is also helped by some quirky moments). I recommend it but it is not for everybody.

Music of the Week:

Lil Baby – The Bigger Picture

Girl Gang- Yesterday’s Tomorrow

Khruangbin – Pelota

Kendrick Lamar – Alright

Vanessa Paradis – Love Song

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Pride Horror 2”
– I watched more Elementary Season 2
– I watched more Flash Season 6
– I watched more Arrow Season 8
– I watched more Buzzfeed Unsolved
– I watched more Supergirl Season 5
– I watched more The Good Wife Season 1
– I watched more Riverdale Season 4
– I watched more Black Lightning Season 3
– I watched more Rizzoli and Isles Season 4
– I watched more Legends of Tomorrow Season 5
– I watched The Last Slumber Party(Rifftrax Version)
– I watched Pressure Point (Rifftrax Version)
– I watched Oblivion (Rifftrax Version)

30 Days Challenge: Film Pt. 4

June 22, 2020


19 – A film made by your favorite director

I have been on board with Guillermo Del Toro since I first saw Mimic but I really fell in love with him as a director since Hellboy. He is such an imaginative Director who knows how to make brilliant stories with breathtaking visuals. I have loved every single one of his films that I have seen and I am working on finally seeing them all. I feel like this movie was kind of lost from the conversation of his career. I think people went into this movie expecting full-on horror but instead got more of a fantasy drama piece. What I find most amusing about this movie is that it may have had a Disney origin. Del Toro had signed on to do a movie based on Disney’s Haunted Mansion but the project ultimately fell through. Lo and behold, his next project ended up being a movie about a haunted house anyway. It makes me wonder (and I am not alone) whether or not Del Toro recycled some of his ideas from the Disney project into his own thing for Legendary. The movie is a great mystery and a very atmospheric, spooky movie. The visuals definitely made me really feel the movie more than most others (ie the cold, the damp).


20 – A film that changed your life

“Changing your life” is a strong statement. I do feel that movies have the same power that a good book or a good television show has, to move society and expand our minds. One such movie that expanded my mind is Pi, my first experience with the trippy work of Darren Aronofsky. The movie is about a young mathematician who figures out a great breakthrough. He is pursued by the powers that be who want to use the breakthrough for their own ends. The movie is dark and atmospheric but it meant more to me than it just being a good movie. To me, the movie is about knowledge and how to be responsible for it. The government, corporations, and other unscrupulous and corrupt powers will take and pervert knowledge that could be used for good. It also has a really accurate portrayal of chronic pain (which I dealt with for years) and social anxiety which I still deal with.


21 – A film that you dozed off in

I am ashamed to say it but I did fall asleep during Vertigo. It was not that it was a bad movie, I think I had just been suffering through some light sleep deprivation. The movie is really good, obviously, a classic rightfully lauded with honors. At the time, my friend Arthur was excited to show it to me but I yawned and ended up actually falling asleep which unfortunately ended movie night. I felt embarrassed at the time but now I realize my teenage body was just going through normal weirdness and I was also a bit of a night owl which led to sleepiness on other nights.


22 – A film that made you angry

The Boss made me particularly angry. It was somebody else’s choice for a movie night and I was not exactly looking forward to it. I am no big fan of Melissa McCarthy who seems like a one-note comedian who almost completely traffics in fat jokes and plays dumb irredeemable characters. She is kind of like Because of this movie, I will always hesitate before giving Melissa McCarthy a chance. She plays an absolutely horrible woman in the movie who is never shown to have learned any lesson. What makes it worse is that one of my all-time favorite actresses, Kristen Bell, is in this movie. It is such a waste of her talents. The movie is set up to basically crap on Kristen Bell for its entire running time and that is basically the point of the movie.


23 – A film made by a director that is dead

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly is one of the best films of its time. It was such a revelation and I was lucky enough to watch it at a fairly young age. It took an Italian man to reinvent the American Western. Sergio Leone was really good at creating beautiful yet ugly movies with engaging characters. He turned a mostly silent protagonist into something compelling. It is a shame that that actor turned into such an old racist but Leone could hardly be blamed for that. Leone portrayed people as they are, warts and all. Heroes are not paragons of virtue and villains are not absolute monsters.


24 – A film you wish you saw in theaters

I really enjoyed Knives Out but I really think that some of the nuanced humor could have been helped by seeing it with an audience. Also, the movie is really pretty, and seeing it on a bigger screen could not have hurt. There are plenty of other movies, especially during these times of COVID, that I wanted to see in theaters. I missed out on seeing the following in theaters this year or last: Spiderman Far from Home, Onward, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Bloodshot. I would have also loved to see older movies in theaters. In particular, I think of the Marx Brothers movies. I would have loved to laugh along with huge crowds as the brothers’ antics ensued.

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Atlantica Pt. 4

June 20, 2020

The palace under the sea had changed recently. It had grown darker and strange new, toxic plants had started to sprout up everywhere. Fissures had opened up all over that flooded the area with hotter, sulfurous water which helped the plants grow. There were a lot fewer citizens in the kingdom. Many of the fish and other creatures had fled, getting as much distance as possible from the gathering darkness under the waves. The merpeople who were left drifted about rather listlessly as if their very will had been drained from them. Periodically, teams of them would swim to the surface where they would sprout legs for some evil purpose.

In a little cage in the throne room was a crab who still had life in his eyes but not much. As Ursula, the Sea Witch swam close to the cage, Sebastian the crab trembled. He could not escape and he knew that Ursula kept him prisoner to spite the King and Ariel. His eyes briefly flicked toward Triton’s trident leaning against the throne and knew that with it, Ursula would not be opposed.

“Sad little crab,” Ursula said in a mocking tone before chuckling. “You could go free in an instant.”

Sebastian looked defiantly through the bars. “There is a catch,” he said. “You always have a catch.”

Ursula shrugged. “I admit that I almost strictly believe in the concept of quid pro quo,” Ursula said. “Tit for tat, little crab. I love to make a deal.” She grinned, knowing that the crab knew well the deal that the witch had given Princess Ariel and the trouble that had followed. He also knew something of the other ‘poor unfortunate souls’ that had fallen for Ursula’s tricks.

“Whatever you want, you are not getting it,” Sebastian said. “Do what you will.”

“Oh Sebastian,” Ursula said and the sound of his name made the crab shiver. “All I want is for you to spill all of Triton’s secrets.”

“I know nothing,” Sebastian said. “I am simply the palace composer.”

“Nonsense,” Ursula said. “You’re selling yourself short. I know that you have been an adviser to the King and a close confidant with Princess Ariel.”

“I know no secrets, witch,” Sebastian said. “Leave me alone.”

“Maybe I should do to you what I did to Triton and his other daughters,” Ursula said, bringing her smirking face very close to the cage.

Sebastian’s eyes went wide. “W-what did you do to them?” he asked with the tiniest bit of a stutter.

“Wouldn’t you like to know?” Ursula said and laughed. “You’ll find out soon enough. For now, I should introduce you to my new friend.”

Ursula swam over to the throne and took hold of a strange jar with a writhing shadow within it. Sebastian looked on with both fear and curiosity. The shadow was new to him.

“Have I told you yet how I won this time?” Ursula asked. “I finally beat Triton and it is because of my new friend here. I was gifted this shadowy fellow by a visitor to this world. The visitor said they had found it in the far off land of ‘New Orleans’ wherever that is. It lets me expand my magic so deliciously. With my magic, the shadow, and the trident, I am unbeatable. It is only a matter of time before the surface world is mine. They will kneel before me or they will drown.”

“You’re evil,” Sebastian said. “Ariel will stop you.” He was loyal to his core to the King and he had grown to love Triton’s daughters, and especially Ariel as if they were his own family.

“She can try,” Ursula said with another laugh. “I have allies from beyond and I have sent her beloved to another realm. She’s all but done.”

“That girl never gives up,” Sebastian said. “She beat you once. She will beat you again.”

Ursula shrugged. “Enough talk,” she said. “You bore me, little crab. I will let you play with my shadow and then we’ll see how much you’ll sing for me.”

Ursula slowly unscrewed the jar and the shadow slithered out as if it were her own black ink. It circled the cage as Sebastian struggled with the bars fruitlessly. Its approach was maddeningly slow and Sebastian could see that it was inevitable. He tried to brace himself as it drew closer.

Media Update 6/18/20

June 18, 2020


Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II

I watched the original Prom Night in the past few years and it was alright. It was part of Jamie Lee Curtis’ original tour of horror movies after Halloween. It was a fairly good slasher flick set in a high school. This movie has so little to do with the first movie except its setting and the titular prom night. I am so glad that they rebranded it because it ensured that it got made. Whereas the first movie had no supernatural elements, the sequel goes hard into the supernatural realm. I would basically call it A Nightmare on Elm Street except Freddy is a very sassy prom queen. It is kind of like A Nightmare on Elm Street 2, in a way. The movie is super horny (but harmless) and has a lot of pretty gay situations. I was surprised by how funny and interesting the movie was. The effects are so good and I was often astonished by some trippy and startling special effects. Wendi Lyon is very good in a dual role as the good girl and evil spirit. Michael Ironside plays the principal who is the actual target of the spirit’s vengeance. I definitely recommend this movie.


Witchboard

I was told that this movie had a lot of homosexual undertones and I was not disappointed. Two ex-friends who fell out over a girl meet up again just as a spirit starts to haunt the girl in question. There is so much raw chemistry between the two guys that is crazy. I found myself thinking ‘just kiss!’ over and over. Todd Allen and Stephen Nichols play the two lead characters with such white-hot hatred for each other that it must be more than just the girl. Tawny Kitaen plays the young woman and while she does good, she’s mostly just a prop. Kathleen Wilhoite plays a psychic with some queer energy of her own. It is unclear if all of the queer-coding is intentional or not but it is incredibly hard to ignore. I saw it all over so many lists online. The movie is very melodramatic like a horror movie soap opera but it is definitely quirky enough to be plenty of fun. I recommend it as well.


The Slumber Party Massacre

This movie was written by queer activist and novelist Rita Mae Brown, the only horror movie she ever wrote. She wrote the script as satire but the studio decided to produce it seriously. What came of that process is a movie with a lot of humor that is both intentional but probably also unintentional. The movie comes out way more subversive than the studio probably realized. There are a few bisexual or lesbian-coded college girls and a next-door neighbor who comes off fairly gay. The movie is exciting and contains a lot more moving parts than I expected from a slasher film set in a small area. The actresses are all great but a special shoutout to Robin Stille who plays the new girl in school. The villain Michael Villella is super interesting too because he could very well have been a faceless villain but ends up giving the movie wild energy through his physical acting. I recommend this movie as well.

Music of the Week:
IDLES – GROUNDS

The Orange Constant – Fadin’ the Line

Brzask – Brzask

George Seven – ICYTWAT GYAL

TUCURUVI (MADALENA) – Laurent Lucas x Oliver Hirondelle

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “LGBT Horror”
– I watched more Elementary Season 2
– I watched more Flash Season 6
– I watched more Arrow Season 8
– I watched more Buzzfeed Unsolved
– I started watching Supergirl Season 5
– I watched more The Good Wife Season 1
– I watched more Riverdale Season 4
– I watched more Supernatural Season 15
– I watched more Batwoman Season 1
– I watched more Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated Season 1
– I watched more Rizzoli and Isles Season 4
– I watched The Miami Connection (Rifftrax Version)
– I started watching Legends of Tomorrow Season 5

30 Day Challenge: Film Pt. 3

June 15, 2020


13 – A film that put you in deep thoughts

I went with Do the Right Thing because it is such an important film that is still relevant today. The movie is written and directed by Spike Lee and is probably his best movie (at least in my opinion). The plot follows a young black man who works as a pizza delivery for an Italian-American restaurant. He is keeping his head down and just trying to make it through his day. In the height of summer, a strange disagreement becomes a racist incident which then becomes a fight. The situation quickly gets out of control until a young black man is killed by a police officer with a chokehold. This sparks the community to violence. The movie makes me really think because it is interesting to follow the course of events and the lines of dialogues to see how things go so badly. Many criticize whether the main character did “the right thing” but it is clear that he did. Those who claim that he did not have fallen into the racist trap of equating property damage with human loss of life or injury. Property can be replaced but a person can never be replaced once they are broken. This is incredibly relevant as I type this right now.


14 – A film that gave you depression

What Dreams May Come is such a depressing film. It is completely about death which is not exactly my favorite subject. Film is escapism and forcing me to contemplate my own mortality is not the escapism that I want. At the time that I watched it, I had recently started my fandom of Robin Williams. I love and continue to love him as an actor and entertainer but I love his comedy above all. He is not funny at all in this movie. There are plenty of movies that are not exactly wacky comedies that I have enjoyed him in but this is a really dire movie. It also has some weird casting choices with two white characters strangely becoming people of color in the afterlife. It also deals heavily with grief and suicide in a way that just drags on and on without being entertaining or uplifting. The movie just felt so dreary.


15 – A film that makes you feel happy

Moana is a film that just exudes joy. The main character is so interesting, a young woman with wanderlust. She denies that wanderlust but then must heed its call when destiny comes calling. The main character’s boundless optimism and determination are inspiring. The sidekick, a demigod, is funny and goofy but is constantly upstaged by a mere human. Every character in the movie is a delight. The monster comes off almost as a Polynesian David Bowie. The coconut goblins are so creative and the action is thrilling. On top of that, a lot of the movie is sunny and bright and it just makes my heart feel good. The songs are written by the excellent Lin-Manuel Miranda and Opetaia Foa’i combining Miranda’s snappy lyrical style with Foa’i’s more traditional island feel. The movie just comes together to form a very happy memory for me. Also, as an aromantic, the lack of a romantic subplot makes me even happier.


16 – A film that is personal to you

When I was in Fifth Grade, I was diagnosed with a structural birth defect that sent me into surgery. I was so afraid as I went into surgery but suddenly I was out like a light and I woke up in the ICU, recovering. As I lay there drugged and feeling completely destroyed, they wheeled a television in. I lay there on my side and watched Aladdin. It was such a gift to me. To be there with my mother and watch a movie that I absolutely love was such a godsend. Whenever I watch the movie, I get a warm and fuzzy feeling about my life being saved. It is also just a really great movie about how class does not matter but the strength of character does. It also about how freedom is more important than just about anything you could ask for.


17 – Favorite film sequel

Thor: Ragnarok was something that I did not expect and I was blown away by. I loved Thor and Thor: Dark World but I seemed to be somewhat in the minority. The two movies each felt like a breath of fresh air but they were both a bit dark. Ragnarok took the concepts from the first two movies and completely shook them up. They put a God in a helpless state and finally, truly having to face humility. The comedy is off the charts without distracting from extremely important messages. It is the first Marvel movie with a truly dynamic and interesting villain and it is a woman. Not just any woman but Cate Blanchett. It is not only a Thor movie but it is also a Loki movie and a Hulk movie. It fully revived a franchise and infused the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with new energy to move forward. This was absolutely necessary moving into the Infinity War.


18 – A film that stars your favorite actor/actress

Life After Beth stars my favorite actress, Aubrey Plaza. Her dark sarcasm and twisted sense of humor never fail to amuse me. She has done more television work but she is starting to get more film work. Life After Beth is an offbeat movie about a girl who dies and comes back as a zombie. Her boyfriend tries to deal with it but eventually, things start falling apart. The movie is funny but it is also off the wall bonkers insane. Aubrey Plaza absolutely makes this movie with her unhinged performance that shows such a range.

Hesper’s Web Pt. 8

June 13, 2020

Mariel, Asher, and Luther walked into the light coming from overhead. Directly in that light was the black crystalline form of the Thing that Had Not Been Gwendolyn. It was wrapped in heavy chains. Each link of those chains was carved with warding runes that would guard against magic and would limit the shapechanger’s abilities. The three surrounded the Thing with Mariel facing it directly. She smiled peacefully pretty self-satisfied. The Thing regarded her with malice so strong that one could sense it even though it had no face.

“I think you will find that you cannot move,” Mariel said.

The Thing tried to struggle regardless of Mariel’s warning and confirmed it. There would be no easy escape from this predicament.

“It doesn’t like being told,” Luther said. “Listen to her, she’ll only tell you the truth.”

“I think this discussion will go a little more smoothly if you have a mouth,” Mariel said. She waved her hand and the Thing’s surface ripple and it changed shape. It became a young girl, one who had teased and bullied Muriel back in school. It gave her some satisfaction to see the girl in such a bad way.

“Where am I?” The thing asked with a snarl.

“You are in my mind now, Devilspawn,” Muriel said. “You’ll find it is a lot stronger than the mind of a child. My mental defenses were well-trained by good education and experience. You are at our mercy.”

“You think I am afraid of you?” The Thing asked. She spat. “I’m not afraid of you, little elf.”

“We’re not particularly concerned with how you feel,” Muriel said.

“We’re more focused on your boss,” Asher said. “Hesper.”

“Hesper would devour you in but a moment,” the Thing said. “Do not look for what you do not want to find.”

“Oh we’ll find Hesper,” Luther said.

“With your help,” Muriel said. “Whether you like it or not.”

“You’ll get nothing out of me!” the Thing screamed. It spat and hissed.

“Oh? Is that so?” Muriel asked and then she laughed. “We already have the information we need out of you. You’re in my mind. I whittled down your defenses hours ago without you realizing.”

The Thing looked confused. “Then why am I still here?” it asked.

“You tortured a little girl,” Luther said. “You took days of her life for yourself and tried to take over her body and make it your own.” Images of Gwendolyn and her suffering floated in the air around the Thing. It looked at those images and felt pride at a job well done. Rage flitted across Muriel’s face but she maintained control.

“We wanted to make sure you died,” Asher said.

“And not quick,” Muriel said. “Slow and painful.”

“Do your worst,” the Thing said softly, staring defiantly into Muriel’s eyes.

“I will,” Muriel said. She walked forward and touched the Thing gently on the forehead. The point where she touched burned with green flame. A single candle-sized point of combustion and the Thing shuddered but remained defiant. Slowly the flame started to grow, surface skin started to flake and blow away. As its false face floated away, the Thing finally gave in and started to scream. The sound quickly went from human into something more shrill and inhuman. Muriel waved her hand and Luther and Asher disappeared. Muriel stood there and watched for quite a while as the flame slowly consumed the Thing and then she disappeared herself.

Gwendolyn was out of bed two days later. Everybody voted to stick around and make sure that she was going to recover and regain her health. She was able to walk to the gate where everybody was waiting. She had thankfully forgotten a lot of her experience in her long nightmare but she remembered the more recent positive memories of Muriel and her friends. She had asked them all a million questions as she started to recover but now it was time to go.

“Where are you going?” Gwendolyn asked. “Will you be back?”

“We’re going to go find the devil that hurt you,” Muriel said.

“We probably won’t be back,” Dina said before being elbowed in the ribs by her brother.

“Never say never,” Asher said. “You just focus on getting better. Alright?”

“OK,” Gwendolyn said. “Please get rid of the bad thing. Make sure it can’t hurt anybody else.”

“I promise,” Muriel said. “I promise you we will.”

And then they got onto their horses and they rode away.

Media Update 6/11/20

June 11, 2020


Batwoman

I have been excited about this show since the title character made a guest appearance on the other Arrowverse shows. I have also loved the action movies that I have seen Ruby Rose in so far. She has a strength of personality that really suits her as an action star. I expected the show to be another Arrowverse extension (which is not a bad thing). However, this show ended up feeling a lot deeper. First, they did not shy away from Kate Kane being a lesbian. She has a prominent ex on the show and they do not shy away from LGBT themes. It also has a lot of fun psychological thriller themes concerning Batwoman and her arch-nemesis Alice. Ruby Rose plays Kate Kane aka Batwoman and she is perfect for the role. She is funny but can go cold and hard at the drop of a hat. Rachel Skarsten is delightfully mad as Alice, the Wonderland themed villain who is brilliant and has a personal stake in things. The show is a lot of fun but they definitely hit some deeper, darker themes (similar to Black Lightning and Doom Patrol). I am looking forward to watching the rest of this but I am sad that Ruby Rose has already bowed out of the show. Still, I look forward to season 2. I really recommend it.


Doom Patrol

I have definitely been a Grant Morrison fan and this show definitely follows the Grant Morrison sort of comic books. This show is wonderfully weird and it is hard to predict what will happen next. Part of why that is is because the main villain is a being of chaos (played brilliantly by Alan Tudyk) who is absolutely omnipresent and hilarious. The series features the grand return of Brendan Fraser who plays Robotman, a racecar driver who is now a brain in a robot body due to a bad accident. Diane Guerrero plays Crazy Jane, a young woman with 64 personalities each with their own superpower. Matt Bomer plays a tortured man who is more tortured by having been gay in the sixties than his condition. April Bowlby plays a former Hollywood starlet who had her career ended by gaining shapechanging powers. Joivan Wade plays Cyborg, a young hero who is trying to show the world how good he can be while figuring out who he is. Finally, Timothy Dalton plays their boss and caretaker. I really love the show and how I cannot predict anything that happens. Between chaos magic, 64 randomly appearing personalities, and the collective emotional baggage of the cast, it is hard to know what is going to happen each episode. I definitely recommend the show.


Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors

Disney taking over Marvel allowed them to create some new shows. This show uses mostly previously untapped Marvel characters and throws them together. The cast of the origin movie has Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan), Patriot, Squirrel Girl, Quake, America Chavez, and Inferno. I never thought Squirrel Girl would ever be adapted but they got her pitch-perfect as the hyperactive but insanely smart member of the team. They do not shy away from Kamala Khan’s Muslim heritage and culture. Quake is once again voiced by Chloe Bennett (reprising her role from Agents of Shield. America Chavez is accurately portrayed as the Latinx that she is and they may go on to let her be gay. They definitely kept her two moms in her story which was great. The movie is about trusting the right people and actually gets into a bit of a racism allegory. It partly focuses on distrust between the Inhumans and humans. It is a lighthearted bit of superheroism and I was happy to see how naturally diverse it was. I definitely recommend it and I hope they do more with it (beyond the shorts already on Disney+).

Music of the Week:
Kate NV – Plans

Goodnight Goodbye – Dad Dancing

Tetrarch – I’m Not Right

Disco Inferno – In Sharky Water

My Fault – Christine Nguyen

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is Pride Superheroes
– I watched more Elementary Season 2
– I watched more Flash Season 6
– I watched more Arrow Season 8
– I watched more Buzzfeed Unsolved
– I started watching Supergirl Season 5
– I watched more The Good Wife Season 1
– I watched more Riverdale Season 4
– I started Supernatural Season 15

30 Day Challenge – Film Pt. 2

June 8, 2020

7 – A film that you will never get tired of

I never really get tired of Fifth Element. It is one of the most quotable movies that I have ever watched. The movie is unashamedly wacky and does not get hung up on taking itself too seriously. The world-building is wild and instantly made me want to know so much more about it. The comedy is strong and plays off of the characters and the plot in a very natural way. This might be low key one of the best movies that Bruce Willis was ever in as it allows him to exercise his comedy and drama chops. Milla Jovovich is a true action star and she really nails the role of a strange but wonderful alien. Some people find Chris Tucker annoying but somehow his character absolutely works for me. Ian Holm is underrated in this but great. The chameleon Gary Oldman is absolutely great as a melodramatic villain. It is still probably my favorite movie soundtrack, full of brilliant techno and a two-part opera piece that is legendary. The director Luc Besson still remains one of my favorites and this is the movie that made me always give him the benefit of the doubt.

8 – A film where you liked the soundtrack more

City of Angels sounded like an interesting concept when it came out but it turned out to be a pretty boring movie. You would think that Nicholas Cage is an earthbound angel who falls in love would be a recipe for a weird but fun movie. It was not even wacky and strange like a lot of so bad that they are good Nicholas Cage movies. It kind of once again proved that Nicholas Cage is at his worst when he is playing a romantic lead instead of a weirdo. However, it does have an absolutely great soundtrack full of bangers. Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, John Lee Hooker, Goo Goo Dolls, Alanis Morisette, and Frank Sinatra are all excellent. Sarah MacLachlan, Peter Gabriel, and U2 are not as good but still alright. An absolutely forgettable movie that spawned a great soundtrack that it never deserved.

9 – A film you hate that everyone else liked

I just never really liked A Christmas Story. I have only recently started to like Christmas movies again period but this one was particularly dismal. Everybody seems to go crazy over this movie every holiday season but I never got it. First, the movie has no coherent plot. It is instead a collection of meandering stories that really do not amount to much. The whole movie feels depressing to me. It follows a family that does not really seem to like each other as they try to get through the holidays. Many of the stories have little to no effect on the rest of the movie and are forgotten as soon as they are done. The pacing is off because the movie is constantly narrated and cuts away to the main character’s fantasies. The narration is often unnecessary as it explains things and character motivation seconds before the movie shows what the narration just said. It is not a happy movie to watch during the holidays or any other time. People seem to love it but it is definitely not my cup of tea.

10 – Your favorite superhero film

This is a really tough one. This is my favorite genre currently and I have not watched a lot of superhero movies that I did not like. I particularly like the Marvel Cinematic Universe as anybody who has read this blog can attest to. However, I think I am going to have to go with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse. The movie came out of left field to create a beautiful and nuanced superhero origin story. Miles Morales was a really great innovation on the Spider-Man mythos in the comic books and the character is infused with both Latino and Black culture. This movie did not shy away from that. Miles is an instantly likable character and his journey to become Spider-Man is beautiful. It is also extremely accessible as I have talked to many who are not exactly superhero fans who fell in love with the movie. The animation is some of the most fluid and beautiful that I have seen. They also managed to bring in Spider-Gwen (aka Ghost Spider) and make her not just “the girl”. She is strong, competent but a full character. There is also one of my favorite versions of Peter Parker in the over the hill, dad Spidey who has been around the block. The movie is just so good.

11 – A film you like from your least favorite genre

I do not dismiss any genre offhand but I think the genre that I watch the least is the Romantic Comedy. I think I am still going to go with Trainwreck. Written by and starring Amy Schumer, it is a very real and dark version of a romantic comedy. A lot of romantic comedies follow two horrible people who try to trick each other into a relationship or try to destroy each other. In this, they lean into it by making Schumer’s character into a horrible person and have her truly seek to change. Additionally, she is joined by the genius Bill Hader who is also a somewhat flawed character. The movie includes an honest character arc that is not finished over the course of a day or two but instead goes on for a much longer period. It also confronts alcoholism and more deep-seated emotional problems than most romantic comedies. On top of that, it has Brie Larson in an excellent role. It also has actual comedy which is surprising since it is directed by Judd Apatow. It is not an easy movie to watch but it was so rewarding.

12 – A film that you hate from your favorite genre

That’s a tough one but I think I’ll go with Justice League because it was the culmination of a long project built on rotten foundations. I loathed Man of Steel because it took a potentially interesting character and wasted them. It made me actively like Superman less. This is why I never watched Batman v. Superman which apparently managed to screw up Batman and Lex Luthor. I knew for sure that was true after watching Justice League. It was not a matter of accuracy for me. I grew up with these legendary characters so I have seen so many iterations and versions of them. The problem was that the writing and direction sucked all of the life out of them. They were all assholes but not likable assholes. The attempts at comedy were either cliche or just too colorless. The dialogue is just awkward and clunky. There are a ton of plot lines that just end without being resolved. It poisoned the well to the point where I definitely did not want to see Aquaman after experiencing him in that movie. I am wary of anything that DC produces from here on out. (Birds of Prey rocked, though). Hopefully they change their plan and actually try to make good standalone movies. Now that Snyder is out, they may be able to find better and more diverse directors and writers.


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