Media Update 9/17/20

Jumanji: The Next Level

I really liked Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle because it shook things up and definitely put a new spin on an old story. This movie felt like it was even better. The old cast returns with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Nick Jonas. This time they also introduce Danny Devito, Danny Glover, and Awkwafina. The best part about this movie is the superb acting that has to do with body swapping. The Rock’s Danny Devito impression and Kevin Hart’s Danny Glover impression are things of beauty. The comic timing of everybody is absolutely spot on and it really sells the movie. Awkwafina slides right into the cast in a role that really impressed the hell out of me because it was more subdued than she usually is. The writing is good at being endearing, comic, and dramatic. The lessons it teaches are all really great and worth teaching. I definitely recommend this movie.

Return to Oz

I love the 1939 Wizard of Oz movie but my one complaint is that it was “all a dream” unlike the original books. This movie fixes that by making it absolutely all real. Produced by Disney, Writer/Director Walter Murch and crew really had to walk a thin line. The more they referenced elements of the 1939 movie, the more Disney had to shell out to MGM. They picked and chose their elements so that the movie could be a partial sequel without being a true sequel. The movie combines the second and third Oz books with Dorothy returning to Oz to see what has become of her friends. The movie stars Fairuza Balk as Dorothy and she is the youngest Dorothy I have ever seen. It really works as it shows a clever yet extremely vulnerable little girl instead of a teenager. The real star of the movie are the excellent effects and costumes. The Production Designer was Norman Reynolds who had previously worked on the first three Star Wars movies and Raiders of the Lost Ark. All of the puppetry was designed by a company helmed by a former employee of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop and they even hired a young Brian Henson. I was fascinated with the increasingly horrifying yet beautiful effects. It was all so inspiring. I wholeheartedly recommend this movie.

Enter the Warriors Gate

I just found about this movie this week and that is why I am glad I do a weekly theme because it makes me seek out unknown movies and TV series. This movie almost feels like an homage to eighties and nineties movies. It is about a teenager who travels to another world, one of magic and resembling a pastiche of feudal China and Japan. The young kid must save the princess before she is forced to wed a barbarian. The movie started slow but at some point it kicked into gear and got more endearing as it went along. The kid in question, played by Uriah Shelton, is a video game-obsessed teen who learns confidence. He is joined by Mark Chao who plays the greatest warrior in the empire. Ni Ni plays the princess that they must rescue and she was such a bright spot early on that it encouraged me to keep watching. To my surprise, the villain is played by Dave Bautista who continues to impress as a comic actor. I recommend this goofy little movie.

Music of the Week:

Dead Pirates – UGO

Rina Sawayama – STFU!

Zolita – Holy

BoTalks – Know U Anymore ft. Sarah Hyland

In This Moment – Sex Metal Barbie

Music of the Week:
This week’s theme is “Isekai”
I watched more Nancy Drew Season 1
I watched more Watcher videos
I watched more Lovecraft Country Season 1
I watched more Harley Quinn Season 1
I watched more Muppets Now Season 1
I watched more Perry Mason Season 1
I watched more Summer Games Done Quick
I watched more Rizzoli and Isles Season 6
I finished The Alienist Season 1

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