Posts Tagged ‘Channing Tatum’

Media Update 9/27/17

September 28, 2017


Kingsman: The Golden Circle

When the first Kingsman movie came out, I was excited because it was from the same director as X-Men: First Class, a great movie. The first Kingsman was a fantastic action/spy film with a lot of quirky humor along with some great themes. They tackled the clash between the upper class and the lower class in England, human aggression and a lot of other great stuff. This sequel once again follows Taron Egerton as a young agent who used to be a bit of a hoodlum. He has learned the value of self-respect and growing up to be more responsible (in the first move). Now, he continues that arc in trying to grow up by learning how to maintain trust and relationships in general. The villain is the delightfully insane Julianne Moore who just sparkles in every scene she has. Egerton is joined again by Colin Firth and Mark Strong but he is also joined by Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, Pedro Pascal, and a surprise guest I do not want to spoil. Throughout all of the action and intrigue, he still has to keep things solid with his love interest from the first film (Hanna Alstrom) who just happens to be a princess. The film was very funny, exciting, and even touching in some places. I definitely recommend it.


Santa Clarita Diet

After watching stuff like iZombie and Shaun of the Dead, I realized that zombies do not have to be that boring on the screen and apparently the makers of this show thought the same thing. Drew Barrymore and Timothy Oliphant play a married couple who are real estate agents with a daughter. They live in the suburb called Santa Clarita on a little cul de sac. One day, Drew’s character dies and immediately comes back as a zombie. She suffers no loss of intelligence, mobility or lividity. Instead, she suffers an incredible craving for raw meat and a drastically reduced ability to control her impulses. The show is about how a suburban family in California tries to deal with the mother and wife suddenly becoming a zombie. Apparently, this is rare in the show’s universe because nobody knows what is going on. Instead of medical experts, they rely on information cobbled together from movies, television, and comic books. They try to keep under the radar which is hard since Drew’s character cannot restrain a lot of the random ideas in her head. There is a deep sense of unease through the whole show but that accompanies all of the comedy and action. I am only four episodes in and there are so many great celebrity guest stars and cameos. I also recommend this although be warned, it is very bloody.


The Good Place

I love Kristen Bell. This is a proven fact ever since I discovered Veronica Mars during a low point in my life (also the same period when I discovered Firefly). I will watch just about anything she is in, no questions asked. So, when I found out that they had given her a new television show, I just had to check it out. To my surprise, my mother had already watched most of it and, when I visited, we watched the season 1 finale together. I did not fully understand what was happening but I liked the characters enough to move the show up on my list of things to watch. The show follows Bell’s character who awakens in The Good Place (kind of like Heaven but not exactly) where she is told she has died and this is her eternal reward. Unfortunately, she realizes that the powers that be got the wrong Eleanor Shellstrop. The right one was a relief worker and charity foot soldier. Bell’s character may have the same name but she was a horrible person in life and now she needs to try to fit in or she will surely find herself in The Bad Place. The show focuses a lot on the character interactions as Eleanor tries to become a person worthy of the reward she received so she can stay blended in. The show tackles a lot of actual theories of ethics developed in the history of philosophy. I definitely recommend it if you like funny supernatural situational comedies with a strong cast.

Music of the Week:

Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag

Yui – Laugh Away

Stitches – Brick In Yo Face

Demi Lovato – Sorry Not Sorry

Old Crow Medicine Show – Caroline

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Keeping Secrets”
– I started watching Gotham Season 3
– I watched more Glitter Force Season 2
– I watched more House of Cards Season 2
– I watched more Little Witch Academia Season 1
– I watched more Rick and Morty Season 3
– I watched more Bojack Horseman Season 4
– Halloween starts next week (Three days!)

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Media Update 6/8/17

June 8, 2017


The Book of Life

While it should be obvious by now how much I love Halloween, I have also long been enamored of Mexico’s Day of the Dead. It is not just Mexican Halloween, it is so much different (but also a little different). Day of the Dead is a celebration of remembrance for all dead loved ones. It has a festival atmosphere as candy and good food are shared with the living and with the dead. The Day of the Dead evolved an artistic motif which is well-known even here in the United States. Chief among the symbols is the sugar skull which I am sure you have seen. This movie takes a trip through the customs and legends of the Day of the Dead (with a few tweaks, of course). The movie is so pleasant to look at. The animation is CGI but it reminded me so much of movies like Kubo and The Boxtrolls. The art style just made me smile over and over. It is a tale of a love triangle threatened by supernatural forces from the realms of the dead. It is such an interesting story in the style of a folk tale of gods and mortals. It was exciting, touching, and so incredibly funny. Not surprising since it was directed by Jorge Guttierez (a man deep in the Mexican animation game) and produced by the legendary Guillermo Del Toro. I cannot recommend this one enough.


Wanted 18

The Israeli/Palestinian conflict has been going on since before I was born. The clash of cultures is one that is incredibly hard to untangle and nobody is completely innocent. This is the true story of a Palestinian town that bought eighteen cows so that they did not have to buy Israeli milk. Their town was Israeli-occupied and they had had enough. The movie is a mixed media documentary with reenactments, interviews, and animation. The animation is mostly about what the cows must have thought of being the focal point of a rebellious act. The talking cows add some humor to a pretty tense story about the Intifada/Israeli conflict. There are also some comic book-style drawings to help illustrate the story. It is a story about a town banding together as a symbol to a people who felt that they got a raw deal. It is an intensely interesting story. Now, I do not know how much is true. I also cannot tell you who is ‘right’ in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. As I said, it is a difficult knot to untangle. This movie is worth a watch, though. So often, the United States is only told the story from Israel’s side. It is easy to vilify Palestinians but the conflict is not so black and white. This was a non-violent civil disobedience that is so much more powerful than any fighting. I definitely recommend this.


A Monster in Paris

This was a strange little movie. Set in 1910, a flea is exposed to a chemical mix that makes it into a human-sized monster with a beautiful singing voice. From there, it gets mixed up with a colorful cast of characters in a Paris cabaret. The premise is strange but the characters and the music really make it work. The movie is also alive with Parisian and 1910 culture in general. References to people like Melies are always welcome. There is a lot of action, music, and a ton of great comedy. The second half is non-stop zany action which I really enjoyed after the heavier subject matter in the above movies. As I look down the list of voice actors, I do not recognize anyone (except Catherine O’Hara) but everyone was just as good as any Hollywood star. The animation was really expressive and the art style was just different enough to really set it apart from the multitudes. It was light fare but entirely enjoyable from start to finish. I definitely recommend this one as well.

Music of the Week:
-M- Matthieu Chedid – Je dis aime

Tytan – The Watcher

Bad Seed Rising – Wolves At The Door

Lil Dicky – White Crime

Diamanda Galás & John Paul Jones – Skótoseme

Weekly Updates:
– This week’s theme is “Animation from Foreign Lands”
– I started watching Arrow Season 5
– I started watching The Flash Season 3
– I started watching Supergirl Season 2
– I watched more Season 12 Supernatural
– I watched more Fairy Tail

Media Update 12/15/2016

December 15, 2016


Hairspray Live!

John Waters is a legend in Baltimore and a great filmmaker beyond my hometown. The original Hairspray is a film I remember fondly from my childhood. I grew up among diversity in a liberal school so racism was a boogeyman that I found hard to really grab a hold of. People like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks were heroes to us but we never saw what they faced growing up. The racial issues raised in Hairspray seemed like a no-brainer to me. Looking back, the movie really represents Baltimore which has one of the highest populations per capita of black people. I had never seen the musical before but I have always wanted to. I have only seen a few of these Live events but I have liked them so far. The sets and effects were amazing for a live performance. I loved the backstage access they gave with interviews and shots of actors rushing about backstage. The singing and acting were fantastic. Harvey Fierstein was really fun. I already liked Ariana Grande and Dove Cameron who were perfect casting choices for a high profile production like this. I was really impressed with Maddie Baillio and Ephraim Sykes. Maddie played Tracy Turnblad with a bubbly energy very similar to Ricki Lake’s original performance. Sykes played Seaweed Stubbs and really was an excellent dancer and he also had a great voice. I could see how the energy of this version came directly from the original and this version definitely had Waters’ campy sense of humor. It also kept the original social message of the original. I prefer the original but I definitely recommend this version to all of you musical theater fans out there.


Sum of All Fears

I have long wanted to watch this movie because a lot of it was filmed in Baltimore. It is also the only Jack Ryan movie that I had not seen until this week. The Jack Ryan franchise is an interesting animal. There have been four different actors in the role now and, in that way, it is a little like James Bond. However, they have rebooted it twice so it is a little bit of a mess. Affleck’s star was starting to fade at this point because of his appearance in Pearl Harbor however, it was before his nosedive started with Gigli. I like Affleck a lot. He is charming and a really good actor. Some directors did not know how to use him and he probably mismanaged the huge push in popularity that Hollywood gave him. This movie is more tense political thriller than it is an action movie. So the movie is trying to be a little more Hunt for Red October than Clear and Present Danger. Much of this movie’s charm for me is the play between Morgan Freeman and Affleck and between Liev Schreiber and Affleck. All three are great actors with different strengths and weaknesses. The plot has to do with the threat of nuclear war, Neo-Nazis and using a tense political atmosphere to play countries against each other. Unfortunately, Neo-Nazis are still very relevant to our country. There is a cameo by our former football team, the Baltimore Stallions, our CFL team that we had between the Colts and the Ravens. However, we thankfully never had the hideous domed “Baltimore Forum” stadium that makes an appearance. It was nice to see the Super Bowl being held in Baltimore even if it was a fictional scenario. This movie was actually way better than I thought it would be. It got a lukewarm reception initially at best but I liked it for what it was. It plays on a lot of old wounds between the US and Russia which are cropping up again these days along with new wounds.


Step Up

Romantic dance dramas are not really my thing but I had to watch this after learning that is set in Baltimore. Not only that but a large portion of it is shot in the neighborhood right down the street from me. This is Hamden, a neighborhood famous for both drug-related crimes but also for the tight-knit and heartwarming community. For example, it is the sight of 34th street, the biggest Christmas display in Baltimore. It also has The Avenue which has over a dozen great restaurants. The movie has the Maryland School for the Arts which is a stand-in for Baltimore School for the Arts where the other half of the movie is set. My brother went to BSA and so did Tupac Shakur and Jada Pinkett-Smith just to name three alumni. Channing Tatum is a really good dancer. He obviously throws everything he has into dancing and really knows how to use his body. In this movie, he acts opposite his future wife (Jenna Dewan) who does a great job as well. It was actually really refreshing that this movie’s conflict was not exactly rich vs. poor although there is that element present. Dewan’s family is richer than Tatum’s foster family. A lot of the students at the MSA are scholarship students so it is more about putting in an effort. (The BSA is actually a public school and therefore free.) Tatum is pretty good at being a bit of a jerk, a poor Hamden kid with a chip on his shoulder. Of course, I walk and drive the streets of Hamden every day and I think it is a great neighborhood. Unfortunately, these movies always involve the main character doing really stupid stuff until he steps up (pun intended) in the end. Still, I would recommend this movie as it is actually not too bad.

Music of the Week:

Al Great – Star of The Show

Mary Prankster – Blue Skies Over Dundalk

SR-71 – Right Now

Charm City Devils – Shots

The Orioles – Baby Please Don’t Go

Weekly Updates:
– I finished Season 1 of Arrested Development
– I am almost done Luther Series 1
– I started season 4 of The Office
– I finished Season 2 of Parks and Recreation
– I am near the end of Season 2 of Dark Matter
– This week’s theme is “Good Morning, Baltimore!”
– My semester is over this week
– Looking forward to Christmas despite the difficulties that come with it


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