Posts Tagged ‘Media Update’

Media Update 5/23/18

May 24, 2018

Straight Outta Compton

When I was a kid, I really bought into the whole “Rap is Crap” stuff and I bought into it being dangerous, vulgar, and pointless. However, when I really listened to it, I changed my tune. Like a lot of people, I had condemned something without really giving it a chance. One of the albums that really changed my way of thinking was Straight Outta Compton by N.W.A. The music and the beats hit so hard and the rhymes blew my mind. This was the new street poetry and yes some of it was violent and sexualized but it was a reflection of a world that I was not a part of. It was a musical and political awakening for me. I used to listen to that album on a loop as I walked home from high school. I came to it years after the group had broken up and gone their separate ways. This movie is their story. Of course, I am not sure how much of it is fantasy and how much of it is real but it is a good story. There is enough truth in there for me. All of the actors are great at bringing both the drama and the music to life. In fact, Ice Cube’s son got to play his father in the story which must have been quite the experience. Whatever the true truth is, this movie at least reminded me that these legendary figures were (and are) flawed people just like I am. I definitely recommend it but be warned that the movie is two and a half hours long.

All Eyez On Me

The world was shaken when Tupac Shakur was shot in Las Vegas in 1996. His music was already helping to change the rap game. I talked a lot about it when I reviewed the first few episodes of Unsolved, the miniseries about the investigations into the deaths of Biggie and Tupac. Tupac is still a legend in my hometown of Baltimore because that is where he got his start. It was here that he attended the Baltimore School for the Arts (the same high school my brother went to). This movie is a trip through his life from before his birth to his death. It hits a lot of the highlights of his life including things I did not know like his engagement to Kidada Jones, the daughter of Quincy Jones. Far from “just a thug”, he was a poet who knew Shakespeare and other poets from his education in the arts. He obviously learned from everyone he worked with including Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Biggie Smalls. The movie hinges on the performance of Demetrius Tripp as Tupac and he does a great job bringing humanity to the mythic figure. We also get actors really nailing figures like Biggie, Jada Pinkett, Kidada, the villainous Suge Knight, Snoop, Dre, Faith Evans, and many more. The script is a little messy but it gets the impact of the man’s life across and the difficulties and flaws he had to deal with. Most of all, it portrays the lost potential when he died. He could have been an elder statesman of rap or an activist if he had lived to maturity. I also recommend this one as it is a fascinating story about the rise and fall of one man who is still loved.

Roxanne Roxanne

This movie caught my attention as I was going through Netflix looking for the movie Notorious (which I will have to catch at another time). This movie tells the story of Roxanne Shante who was a battle rapper back in the eighties. She started rapping at age nine and started to get famous as young as age fourteen. This was in the golden age of hip-hop when everything was fresh and new. It is the world of graffiti, breakdancing, and rapping that formed the trinity of hip-hop culture. This world was reflected in the fictional story of The Get Down but this is a very real story. Roxanne was a hustler with a brilliant mind who was drawn to the streets where she thrived instead of school. Her life was difficult as she was black, a woman, and she came up poor. The movie is such a snapshot of life in the projects in Queens (and the rest of the east coast) in the eighties. The star of the movie is Chante Adams who just does such a great job bringing Roxanne to life. She is such a likable character. I definitely recommend it.

Music of the Week:
Roxanne Shante – Roxanne’s Revenge

Tupac Shakur – Hit ‘Em Up

N.W.A. – Straight Outta Compton

The Chainsmokers – The Rookie

Imagine Dragons – Thunder

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Rap Biopics”
– I watched more iZombie Season 4
– I watched more Beauty and the Beast Season 1
– I watched a crapload of PBG Hardcore on YouTube
– I finished watching the Pinkertons
– I watched more Barry Kramer on YouTube


Media Update 5/17/18

May 17, 2018

Baby Driver

So, I hesitated to watch this movie because it has Kevin Spacey in it and I am pretty much done with him. However, skipping an Edgar Wright film did not sit well with me especially since it was recommended so much to me. Thankfully, Spacey is not a huge part of the movie. Instead, the movie belongs to Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, and Ansel Egort who are all really fun characters. As the movie continues, Lily James is great as well. The real star of the movie is the music, though. Everything is choreographed to some great and somewhat obscure music. Gunfights and car stunts are more like dances and are all done practically with minimal CGI. I would describe the movie as ‘relentless’ as every time I thought there would be some downtime, the movie’s energy just kept surging on. The movie is different (but equally as excellent) from previous Edgar Wright movies. While there is a little comedy, this is more of a tense action/drama movie and the casting reflects that. Also, every time I thought I knew where the movie was going, I was wrong. This movie was a loving tribute to music and it ended up being fairly touching in places when my heart was not pounding. I definitely recommend it.

Hardcore Henry

I have played video games most of my life but I have stated before that I kind of stink at first-person shooters. This movie is basically a live-action version of watching a let’s play video of a shooter game. It is based on the music videos for a punk band called Biting Elbows. Both the music videos and the movie are directed by the same guy who is a member of the band. This movie is shot via go pro attached to a mute character as he tries to fight and escape an evil corporation. The movie is almost always nonstop action. The violence is visceral and bloody and there is a lot of it. The plot of the movie comes from snippets of dialogue from Haley Bennett, Tim Roth, Sharlto Copley, and Danila Kozlovsky who are the only characters who speak English. Everyone else speaks Russian. The soundtrack is mostly some really good techno music a lot of which is written by the director. It is a really fun experiment of a movie that has never really been tried before and I am glad I watched it. The plot does not get in the way of good action. As a bonus, it was really fun to watch while I was doing cardio at the gym. I recommend it.

Shoot ‘Em Up

I actually was a bit lazy this week and only watched two new things but I realized that I never talked about this movie on my blog so I might as well. Next week I hope to be back to watching three new things. This movie is also a nonstop action piece similar to Hardcore Henry but with a tad more plot and no first-person views. The concept of the movie is figuring out all sorts of ludicrous ways to shoot people. Clive Owen plays the main character who is trying to keep a newborn infant safe while shooting a lot of people with guns. He is joined by Monica Bellucci and opposed by the always excellent Paul Giamatti. The movie is pretty much insane and each scene tries to top the last with how over the top it is. What amuses me is that there is so much gunplay but part of it is about making sure common sense gun control laws are actually enacted. Once again, this is a movie that has very little plot to get in the way of the action and plenty of bad guys that I did not mind seeing get shot. I recommend it as a pleasant diversion.

Music of the Week:
Biting Elbows – The Stampede

Mint Royale – Blue Song

The Artist – Alesana

The Damned – New Rose

Sam Lachow & Raz Simone – Nothing’s Gonna Change

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Nonstop Action”
– I started watching the PBG Hardcore series
– I watched more Barry Kramer on Youtube
– I watched more of The Pinkertons
– I watched the season finale of the Joel McHale Show
– I watched more Stephen Colbert and John Oliver
– I watched more Better Call Saul Season 3
– I watched more Beauty and the Beast Season 1
– Two of this week’s movies were extrapolated from music videos

Media Update 5/10/18

May 10, 2018

Battle of the Sexes

Steve Carrell is kind of hit or miss for me as I find that he mugs a bit too much sometimes and goes into business for himself. However, this movie is an actual historical piece and everybody treats their roles with respect. The movie follows the real-life event where tennis champion Billie Jean King faced off against former champion Bobby Riggs in an intergender match. King was in the middle of a battle within the sport to gain equal pay and equal respect for women. Emma Stone is so, so good as King as she brings both strength and vulnerability to the role. King was in the midst of struggling with her sexuality at the time as well. Carrell plays Bobby Riggs and we get to see a bit of his private life as well as he struggles with a gambling addiction and basically being an asshole. The acting is so good in this as both did a great job bringing the tension to an unprecedented and important event. The two are joined by great actors like Andrea Riseborough, Alan Cumming, Natalie Morales, Bill Pullman, Elizabeth Shue, Sarah Silverman, and Jessica McNamee. It was an interesting look at a battle that is still ongoing as the pay gap and the respect gap still remains open wide. It had some humor to it but it was more often very dramatic and it was hard not to love these two flawed individuals. I definitely recommend you watch it.

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

I have been a huge Aubrey Plaza fan since my brothers introduced me to Parks and Recreation and I instantly loved her offbeat comic delivery. I have since seen her in a bunch of things and anytime I see her on a cast list I often want to check out whatever she is in. I heard good things about this movie and the trailer interested me. The movie ended up feeling like a mix of Forgetting Sarah Marshall and 22 Jump Street. Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick (who I’ve never really seen much of) are a great comedy team as totally insane women. Adam Levine and Zac Effron are also really fun together. Then most of the movie is the four characters mixing it up in different combinations, all of which are fun. All four of them are both the protagonists and the antagonists of the movie and it is an interesting dynamic. I would compare it to Step Brothers except that all four characters are actually lovable and get a little bit of redemption. The movie was funny and it had a lot of heart in a movie themed on self-reflection. There are also some great supporting performances by actors like Stephen Root, Sugar Lyn Beard, Sam Richardson, and Kumail Nanjiani. I definitely recommend it.

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

I had read a little bit of this story in Grant Morrison’s Supergods book which details a lot of the history behind the creation of classic comic book characters. To be clear, this movie covers the story behind the creation of Wonder Woman by three people. William Marston was a Harvard professor of psychology who taught the DISC system, an axis of Domination, Inducement, Submission, and Compliance. His wife was his partner in life and in research and she helped him invent a device for measuring systolic blood pressure which would become a component of the lie detector. The two of them also created Wonder Woman based on an ex-student of Marston’s and the various subjects of psychological study that the Marstons conducted. Of course, this included things like bondage and other “abnormal” parts of human sexuality. The movie is great and there is a great slow burn as we follow these three people on a journey of self-discovery. I definitely recommend it but be prepared for a little sexiness.

Music of the Week:

Childish Gambino – This Is America

Christina Aguilera – Accelerate

Outlaws – Green Grass and High Tides

Kate Higgins – Waiting on My Heart

Broken Social Scene – Hug Of Thunder

Weekly Update:
– This Week’s Theme is “Gender Studies”
– I watched more of The Pinkertons
– I watched more Barry Kramer on YouTube
– I watched more Better Call Saul Season 3
– I watched more Joel McHale Show
– I watched more Stephen Colbert
– I finished A Series of Unfortunate Events Season 2

Media Update 5/3/18

May 3, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War

As usual, you will find no spoilers here. This was the second big movie this year that I was absolutely hyped to see (the first being Black Panther). It was with excitement that I met my friends to see it in the cushy chairs of the regular movie theater. I have loved every movie so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and all of them have built to now. The movie is directed by the Russo Brothers who directed Captain America: Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War. The directors and writers used the same skills to make a lot of characters and plots weave together in a way that was easy to understand. They also managed one of the most all-star casts in the history of blockbuster film. The movie had the same humor, action, and drama that have come to fill each and every Marvel movie. It also felt like they consulted with directors like Taika Watiti (Thor 3), Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), and James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) to help blend the tones of their movies in with this new mega movie. All of the actors knocked it out of the park and I was glad to see a little more female presence and prominence amongst the cast. I feel like that can only increase going forward. I definitely recommend this one although you would be well served to watch a lot of what preceded.

Star Trek: Beyond

I have more or less been a fan of Star Trek since I was little. I was first a fan of The Next Generation since that is what came out while I was old enough. However, I did hold a little place in my heart for the original crew. When the reboot in 2009 happened, I was intrigued by the time travel plot especially since it was one that would not be repaired. So far, the fresh new takes on old subject matter have been pretty good although Into Darkness could have been better. This movie was exactly what I wanted it to be. It fell back on the great connections between these classic characters and the actors who played them. It also continues to give the character of Uhura (Zoe Saldana) more proactive things to do rather than just operate the radio. Characters are allowed to take different paths and the evolution of James Kirk (Chris Pine) is still interesting to watch. Throw in guest stars like a villainous Idris Elba and a kick-ass Sofia Boutella and this is an adventure I can get behind. It also felt more like a Star Trek film now that all of the characters are not at odds with one another. As usual, the effects were great and enhanced rather than distracted (unlike the first one). I definitely recommend it.

The Almighty Johnsons

This is an interesting show because it is similar to a recurring idea I first had as a kid. What would happen if a pantheon of gods walked among us in the guise of mere mortals? Of course, in my idea, it was the Greek gods and their was sci-fi aspects. This is not that. This is a New Zealand television show about five Norse gods who are reincarnate as five guys in New Zealand. They are born without that knowledge so they live as normal New Zealanders until they come of age and get their powers back. Except they have to go on a quest to get their full powers back before they slip away forever. The show is an interesting show for mythology nuts. The five main actors are happy-go-lucky guys who are pretty entertaining to watch. The special effects are on par with other low budget fantasy shows like Sanctuary, Hercules, or Xena. It is a pleasant enough diversion and I recommend it as good to play in the background.

Music of the Week:
Dream Theater – Forsaken

Cardi B- Bodak Yellow

Pomplamoose – I’m the S**t

Prof – The Season

The Shins – Simple Song

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Iconic Team-Ups”
– I finished Santa Clarita Diet Season 2
– I started Better Call Saul Season 3
– I finished Black Lightning Season 1
– I watched more of The Pinkertons
– I watched more Beauty and the Beast Season 1
– I watched more Stephen Colbert and the Joel McHale Show
– I finished Freaks and Geeks

Media Update 4/26/18

April 26, 2018

Speed Racer (2008)

I am a fairly big anime fan and I have watched a ton of different series. Speed Racer is famous for being one of the earliest anime series to crossover into the Western market. It is also an extremely cheaply made show and the poor dubbing is still made fun of. Still, it was an exciting show. When the Wachowski Brothers (now the Wachowski Sisters) decided to make a live-action adaptation, I initially passed as I bought into the hate. However, I am a pretty big fan of Arin Hanson and he names the movie as his favorite of all time. The Wachowskis have always been very ambitious when it comes to their movies even when they fall flat. The movie is pretty wild. It mostly stars American and British actors but I was not overly concerned that it had very few Japanese actors. Because of the casting, I got to see great actors like Christina Ricci (my old crush), John Goodman, Susan Sarandon, Emile Hirsch, Matthew Fox, and Roger Allam. Roger Allam, in particular, plays one of the best villains I have seen in a while in that I was begging for him to get his comeuppance by the end of the movie. The movie surprisingly has heart, good acting, and wilder car action than the Fast and Furious movies. The one drawback was the character of Spritle but if you have seen the anime, you should expect that. I definitely recommend it.

Despicable Me 3

Despicable Me was a movie that surprised me with how much I liked it. Steven Carrell is hit and miss for me but the story of a supervillain who adopts three little girls was surprisingly fun and sweet. The sequel was fun as well as we got to see more of their lives and more zany action. The trailer for the third looked really good as they hired South Park’s Trey Parker to voice the villain. Speaking of which, Trey really knocked it out of the park as a pathetic but funny supervillain. On a side note, it is very unfortunate that they started the movie with a Michael Jackson song but the sequence was still enjoyable. While the superhero/supervillain/secret agent stuff is fun, the real point of the movie for me is the family stuff. Meeting a long-lost brother in the midst of a mid-life crisis is a very interesting story hook. A stepmother trying to figure out how to connect with her three new daughters while also figuring out how to discipline them is way more interesting. Also, this series is the best Kristen Wiig has ever been in my eyes mostly because they do not allow her to improvise. The movie is full of references and allusions to spy movies (including Diabolik) and comedies (like the Pink Panther) and bad eighties sitcoms (the list is too long). Additionally, the Minions are barely in this one which is just fine by me. I definitely recommend it but watch the first two for the whole journey if you can.

Lost in Space (2018)

I was never really a fan of the original Lost in Space as I came around long after it was very popular. I do understand its charm though. I actually once saw June Lockhart speak live as a kid and that influenced me to watch a bunch of old episodes. To me, the show felt like a campy sitcom alternative to Star Trek which was already pretty campy itself. One episode was much like the next but the episodes were interesting and funny. This new show is the second attempt to reboot the original and I was a bit wary until I found out that a high percentage of the directors for the new series are women. I was intrigued and then some good reviews came in and I put it on the list. The show is about the Robinson family, a family of five who crash land on a planet and are later joined by a military man, Dr. Smith, and a robot. The show immediately gives the characters more depth by showing each character’s backstory in flashbacks. Of course, they do not reveal everything right away so I am still left guessing at some things. The characters are instantly likable and, although the family is absurdly capable, they do not feel like superbeings. They are each flawed but each one has strengths they can use to cover the weaknesses of their family members. It is a fun show so far. I recommend it, I will see how far I stick with it.

Music of the Week:
Mike Shinoda – Crossing a Line

FLOW – Go!!!

Stefflon Don – 16 Shots

Kimberly Korn – Broken Inside

Highly Suspect – My Name Is Human

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “CGI Adaptations”
– I watched more of Santa Clarita Diet Season 2
– I watched more of Beauty and the Beast Season 1
– I watched more of Legends of Tomorrow Season 3
– I watched more of The Pinkertons
– I watched more of Gurren Lagann
– I watched more Glitter Force Doki Doki

Media Update 4/19/18

April 19, 2018

Attack the Gas Station

This was a movie that I found in the 1001 Movies to See Before You Die list and I was intrigued. I had no idea what to expect as the premise is very simple. A bunch of thugs rob, terrorize and vandalize a gas station. Then a few days later they get bored and try to rob it again. This time, they decide to stick around to get all of the money from all of the cars filling up. This is a very goofy movie but it was entertaining. It is a movie about a bunch of slackers who all have reasons for being slackers. They spend the night at a gas station and get into all sorts of hijinks with innocent and not so innocent characters. There are plenty of fight scenes but it is all pretty much rough brawling with an Asian martial arts flair. The four leads are funny guys and I was reminded of the Three Stooges, Benny Chan movies and a lot of other comedy greats. The comedy is offbeat and often unexpected but definitely welcome. I recommend this one as something off the beaten path.

Lady Bloodfight

This one was a movie I watched on a whim on Netflix. It is about a white American girl who travels to Hong Kong to fight in a deadly martial arts tournament. While it is disappointing to see yet another story about an American coming in and being the hero in an Asian land, they at least did a good job of it. In fact, I was surprised at how good this was. It kind of felt like Street Fighter mixed with Mortal Kombat. It is really fun to see a lot of different martial arts styles represented in the fights. The fights themselves are very visceral and bloody and they did a good job of presenting the characters in a way that I cared about each fight. The center of the movie is a rivalry between a privileged white girl and a Chinese street girl. While the optics on that are not great, they do a good enough job of making both sympathetic instead of painting in only black and white.  The lead (Amy Johnston) was sufficiently badass and she had a neat character arc that made me want her to win.  I recommend this one as well but I will warn you that it can be brutally bloody.

The Man with the Iron Fists

There was a lot of buzz when this first came out but I missed it on first release. It was supported by Quentin Tarantino, I remember clearly. The movie is made by the RZA of Wu Tang Clan fame and he wrote the movie and he stars in it. It feels like a martial arts take on old Westerns sort of. I will tell you that although this one was interesting, I really was not feeling it. I blame Eli Roth, of course. The movie has some interesting characters but it felt too muddled. There was too much going on and no clear, exciting story. That being said, RZA does a fine job kind of acting as the Clint Eastwood-like character. It is also always nice to see Batista working. Also, as expected, the soundtrack is a lot of fun as there is plenty of rap music underlying some of the fight scenes. However, I did not even finish the movie because I accidentally turned it off and then realized that I did not want to turn it back on. I do not recommend it.

Music of the Week:
G-Dragon – One of a Kind

Bruno Mars – Runaway Baby

Kendrick Lamar – HUMBLE

Kodaline – Ready

Sunflower Bean – I Was a Fool

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Modern Martial Arts”
– I watched more A Series of Unfortunate Events Season 2
– I started watching Legends of Tomorrow Season 3
– I watched more Santa Clarita Diet Season 2
– I watched more FairyTail Season 1
– I watched more Joel McHale Show
– I watched more Late Night With Stephen Colbert
– I watched more The Pinkertons
– I watched more Gurren Lagann

Media Update 4/12/18

April 12, 2018

Isle of Dogs

I love Wes Anderson movies but I also hate them. Maybe hate is too strong a term. I will always run and out and watch his movies but Wes Anderson movies hurt a little. There is a stark sadness somewhere near their heart. However, there is a lot of humor even though some of it is dark. The dialogue and the pacing are especially clever. That being said, Wes Anderson should only make animated movies from now on. If he finished out his career making stuff like Fantastic Mr. Fox and Isle of Dogs, I would be very happy. This movie is very silly but also very touching. The movie mostly follows the dog characters who speak perfect English while the human characters mostly speak Japanese. The Japanese is only partially translated to further shift attention to the point of view of the dogs. The star of the movie is played by Bryan Cranston and he once again knocks it out of the park with comedy and drama. He is backed up by Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, and Scarlet Johannson. Humans are played by Greta Gerwig, Francis McDormand, and Yoko Ono (yes, that Yoko Ono). I definitely recommend this one.


Death of Stalin

When it comes to zany political satire, two movies immediately spring to my mind.  Dr. Strangelove and In the Loop are two films of a similar breed.  Both cover a time when horrible and/or lazy people were in charge of our armies and the horror that could/did come from that.  When I saw the trailer for this movie it grabbed me by comparing itself to In the Loop.  The trailer also reminded me of madcap stuff like The Imposters or The Marx Brothers.  Except, all of the main characters are murdering, backstabbing bureaucrats.  The movie follows the tumultuous political maneuvering that happened directly after the death of Joseph Stalin.  The power vacuum was huge and it was unclear who was going to succeed this horrible man in controlling Russia.  The main characters are played by American and British actors in order to jar the viewer a bit and add some comedy to the proceedings.  I ended up laughing at things I knew were absolutely horrible and deplorable.  The Russian government was involved in the summary execution, torture, and rape of people who displeased them.  The movie should be absolutely unpleasant but it ends up being darkly comical.  I would not suggest it for everyone but if you are willing to go on a dark ride, it is a great movie for you.



The moon landing was a pivotal moment in US and World history but it was so amazing that some people just could never accept it as real. It is my favorite conspiracy theory because nobody gets hurt by it and it is patently ridiculous and it has been debunked so many times. In this movie, the CIA attempts to hire Stanley Kubrick to fake the moon landing just in case the USA can’t pull it off. They plan to launch the rocket and attempt the moon landing but if it does not happen, they have a backup. They send a Vietnam War vet played by Ron Perlman to England to dump a truckload of money on Kubrick to play along. Instead, wacky hijinks ensue when he instead hires a character played by Rupert Grint. Things get even more complicated when gangsters get involved. Basically, this movie is like a low energy version of the movies that Guy Pearce makes. There are likable but horrible people who romp around and everything goes wrong but it all works out in the end somehow. It is supposed to be a comedy but I personally did not find it very funny.  However, the plot, although predictable, was pretty fun. Ron Perlman is always awesome. It is really cool to see Rupert Grint continue to grow up and beef up his acting chops a bit. I would recommend it but don’t expect a brilliant movie.

Music of the Week:
Bikini Kill – Rebel Girl

Ruby Ibarra – Game Up

San Cisco – Awkward

The Beau Brummels- Laugh Laugh

Seether – Betray and Degrade

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Horrible People”
– I started watching A Series of Unfortunate Events Season 2
– I watched more The Pinkertons Season 1
– Wrestlemania and NXT Takeover were both awesome
– I watched more Fairy Tail
– I watched more Santa Clarita Diet Season 2
– I am one episode away from finishing Freaks and Geeks
– I watched more Glitter Force Doki Doki Season 2
– I watched more Beauty and the Beast Season 1
– I watched more Barry Kramer, Critical Role, and Game Grumps on YouTube

Media Update 4/5/18

April 5, 2018

<Just a note: This is not a part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge>

Edge of Tomorrow

Having a day repeat over and over for a character is not a new concept and it was not even a new concept when Groundhog Day did it. Nevertheless, it is definitely an interesting concept and, besides that one Xena episode, I have not really seen the concept applied to combat. Except, yes I have. In practically every video game I have ever played which is the inspiration for this movie. The premise is that Tom Cruise must live the same day over and over until he wins the war. However, the real star of this movie is Emily Blunt and the movie would have been better served with her as the main character. The movie we do get is very interesting. For a movie with a lot of death in it, there is a lot of comedy which is welcome. There is also a lot of depression and adventure as well. Tom Cruise is a great action actor and they even explain why he’s old in this one. Blunt gets to be the total badass that she apparently is in real life (look for her planche). The concepts of the movie are done really well and I was really sucked into the movie quickly. The movie also looks really good with the enemy aliens looking cool but their animation was the most intriguing part about them. I definitely recommend this one as it lives up to all the hype. I don’t want a sequel, though, I want a prequel starring Emily Blunt.

Devilman Crybaby

This is one of the newest anime series on Netflix in a flood of series since Netflix has stepped up their anime game. Since the premise reminded me a little of Blue Exorcist, I decided to check this out. The premise is that demons live among humans by forcing their way into their bodies and possessing them. The main character is offered up for possession by his best friend in order to combat the devils on Earth. So, he goes from sensitive “crybaby” to “devilman” in the course of one crazy night. The animation is very stylized and it reminds me kind of old rotoscope animation mixed with the kind of stuff that Superjail was doing. In fact, a lot of the insane designs of the demons would have been right at home in an episode of Superjail, Metalocalypse, or Liquid Television. This is a very adult anime. There is explicit nudity and the main character (and the audience by proxy) watches porn for a minute in the second episode. I love the concept but I’m curious to see if the show will settle into an actual storyline instead of just talking about sex so much for shock value. I don’t really recommend it because I’m not sure I like it yet and I think other people would not like it.

Beauty and the Beast (2012 TV Show)

This show has almost nothing to do with any version or adaptation of the Beauty and the Beast story. This is not a bad thing. The original story is about a young woman who is imprisoned by a beast who used to be a man and eventually sees beneath the surface and finds a good man. This show is a police procedural where a female cop is aided by a former special forces soldier who was experimented on and now has animal senses, super strength, and a great rage. He is not really physically a beast as much as he is mentally sometimes. He assists her with solving murders while they both try to unravel the government conspiracy that they are both wrapped up in. The show has a very likable lead in Kristin Kreuk and I like Jay Ryan when he’s not being an edgelord. The show has a weird mix of comedy and drama that don’t always naturally flow together. Still, it is a nice middle of the road procedural with a little bit of a sci-fi twinge to it. It is nothing special but it is not really bad. I recommend it for those looking for something to put on in the background.

Music of the Week:
Pay Attention – by Pomplamoose

Hayley Kiyoko – Curious

Ludo – Love Me Dead

Babbletron – The Clock Song

Trainwreck – Brodeo

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Something Changed Him”
– I started Santa Clarita Diet Season 2
– I finished Season 1 of Peaky Blinders
– I watched more Glitter Force Doki Doki
– I watched more Freaks and Geeks
– I watched more The Pinkertons Season 1
– I watched more Fairy Tail

Media Update 3/29/18

March 29, 2018

Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.

Back in the day, the murders of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls were absolutely mindblowing. I was fifteen at the time and I was just starting to get into rap music so it did not have the emotional impact it had on some others but I knew what a big deal it was. While he was super popular on the west coast, Tupac Shakur was from Baltimore and that meant a lot to me and some of my friends. Their deaths were a mystery at the time but many chalked it up to the tensions stoked up by the East/West GansterRap War. The show presents a fascinating story. Similar to American Crime Story: OJ Simpson, the show presents real events as a docudrama. The show follows the original investigation into Biggie’s murder, picking up about a month after his death. It also follows an investigation into the still unsolved murder ten years after Biggie’s death (in 2007). Finally, there are also plenty of flashbacks that depict Tupac and Biggie before their deaths. This last bit contradicts the usual story that Tupac and Biggie were enemies. In fact, they were friends and they were also each a fan of the other. The second investigation was not heavily publicized at the time and I love that this show is bringing it all to light again. I wholeheartedly recommend this one for a great mystery and great music.

HH Holmes: America’s First Serial Killer

HH Holmes is a great example of how America always has to try and outdo everybody else. While Jack the Ripper was terrorizing London by killing 5 people, Holmes may have killed at least 50. Holmes was indeed America’s first recorded serial killer. He was a born con man who derived sick pleasure in murder, torture, emotional distress, and dead bodies. Posing as a legitimate doctor and landlord, he efficiently killed a lot of people. Particularly, he created an apartment building with hidden kill rooms and torture chambers within. This documentary was great. Holmes’ story is exceptionally creepy but the pacing keeps the story moving without dwelling too much on the morbid details. The documentary covers Holmes’s whole story from when he was a small boy until he was hanged for his crimes. It is a story that I have heard before from The Devil in the White City. The extra gimmick of this book is that they brought in a lot of law enforcement profilers, historians, and forensic experts to attempt to explain what may have happened. The forensic experts also point out that because forensics was still a fledgling science, we’re really not sure how many Holmes killed. It could be over a hundred, it could be less than a dozen, or anywhere in between. I definitely recommend it but strap in for some grisly details.

Lizzy Borden Took an Ax

I wondered when there would be a movie about the infamous murder that was turned into a morbid nursery rhyme. I did not really know a lot about the details of the murder so I was pretty interested in finding out what the theories were on the murders. In 1892, Lizzie Borden was arrested and tried for the murders of her father and stepmother. Those murders were done with a lot of brutality with an ax. This gained a lot of attention, probably because such violent methods were seen as extremely abnormal for a woman to have committed. The movie stars Christina Ricci who I have been a fan of (and had a crush on) since Addams Family (27 years). I will watch whatever she is in. This proved to be a great decision my part because she is fantastic in this TV movie. She portrays a somewhat ahead of her time young woman with a lot of layers. Unfortunately, the movie was not as great as Ricci was. I’m not sure if it was the pacing or what but it was just not that great. I was disappointed. There is a TV show that takes place after the movie ends so I may see if that is any better. I don’t really recommend it.

Music of the Week:
Biggie Smalls – Party & Bullshit

2Pac – Holler If Ya Hear Me

Gin Wigmore – Hey Ho

iwrestledabearonce – Gift Of Death

Bruno Mars – Runaway Baby

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Investigating Murders”
– I watched more Freaks and Geeks
– I watched more The Pinkertons Season 1
– I watched more Hemlock Grove Season 1
– I watched more Glitter Force Doki Doki Season 2
– I watched more Peaky Blinders Season 1
– I watched Barry Kramer, Game Grumps, GT Live, and Critical Role on YouTube.
– Happy Easter and Happy Passover! Get ready for some A to Z!

Media Update 3/15/18

March 15, 2018

Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic

I love fairy tales, folktales, and mythology and I really should buckle down and read more of the 1001 Nights. I am not extremely familiar with Arabian/Muslim lore beyond Ali Baba, Aladdin, and djinn. Lucky for me, those three are what this anime is about. Basically, Ali Baba is a fruit peddler/shipping working who dreams of making his way into and through a legendary magic dungeon to get at the riches and magic items inside. Aladdin is a naive little boy who has made friends with a djinn who resides in a magic flute. Together, they set out to accomplish their dreams. I love media where different stories are reimagined and mashed together (see Once Upon a Time). This series is pretty zany and a little bit adult kind of like Kill la Kill. Similarly, all of the adult humor is in good fun and there is nothing malicious or too racy or the average viewer. I am excited to see where this leads as I like stories that have strong archetypes who are fleshed out into real characters (like American McGee’s Alice or various Oz adaptations). The animation is beautiful but also unexpected at times, kind of like FLCL. I have watched very little so far and I imagine that soon it will really pick up. I definitely recommend it. Besides, watching the trailer just now, I have to at least get to the part with Matt Mercer in it.

Sword Art Online

I had heard that many people did not like this anime but I did not want to research why because of possible spoilers. I decided to check it out for myself and I at least found a reason for myself. Without major spoilers, I did not like how there were huge time jumps going to episodes 2 and 3. I felt like I missed a lot of interesting adventures. However, from what I have seen so far, it is a fairly good anime. The premise is that a whole bunch of people sign up for a virtual reality MMORPG and the programmer traps them in it. If they die in the game, they die in real life and they cannot log out or be removed from the VR apparatus. The whole game operates in a fantasy setting that focuses on (wait for it) swords and the art of using them. The animation is very pretty and the character design is interesting. As expected, the anime is not light-hearted in the least as it deals with mostly young people dreading the next battle which might cause their death. I hope the series slows down a bit so I can really get into it. I guess I recommend it although it is a bit dark and there are plenty of other good anime series out there.

The Irregular at Magic High School

When I hear ‘magic school’, my interest is immediately piqued. I wish I could have gone to magic school and, somewhat related, I wish that magic was real. I guess I was expecting somewhat of a more grown-up version of Little Witch Academia (which was whimsical and dramatic) but instead I got something else. Something else that was not exactly bad once I started to settle in. In the world of the anime, magic is known to be real the world over and it is readily combined with technology to improve its use. This and other details make magic a very specialized thing where people almost have magical majors that they focus on. Families are known for certain techniques and magic is intimately connected with intellectual aptitude and studying. I definitely immediately got a Naruto vibe because of this but it is way slower and more drama-based. Still, I am very interested to find more about the seemingly complicated system of magic. I do have to drop a spoiler here because something really bothered me. The show centers on a brother and sister and the sister totally has the hots for her brother. I thought it was my imagination at first but yeah, it is made clear in the second episode. Based on Internet comments, it is one-sided and neither makes a move but it is fairly disturbing to me. Just a friendly warning. Because of that, I would not recommend it but also because it just did not grab me. There are plenty of high school dramas in English that I could watch.

Music of the Week:
Red Velvet – Stupid Cupid

The Regrettes – Come Through

Portugal. The Man – Feel It Still

Foo Fighters w/Rick Astley – Never Gonna Give You Up

Attila – Bulletproof

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Anime Magic and Fantasy”
– I started watching Jessica Jones Season 2
– I continued watching iZombie Season 4
– I continued watching the Joel McHale Show
– I continued watching Fate/Apocrypha
– I continued watching Freaks and Geeks
– I watched a ton of Barry Kramer on YouTube
– As usual, I watched Game Grumps, GT Live, and Critical Role on YouTube
– I am so proud of those who participated in the National Student Walkout Day

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