Posts Tagged ‘Media Update’

Media Update 8/15/19

August 15, 2019


Witness for the Prosecution

Another old classic that I had yet to see. I bought this movie for my mother since we have watched many of the ABA Top 10 Law Movies together. As with many of the movies I watch, I wish I had watched it sooner but it ended up perfectly anyway. The movie is about a defense lawyer in England played by Charles Laughton who is being forced to quit taking criminal cases because of his health. However, he is presented one last intriguing case. His client is Tyrone Power, a clean-cut guy who swears his innocence. Along the way, he must deal with Power’s enigmatic wife played by Marlene Dietrich. He also has to put up with his meddlesome but well-meaning nurse played by Elsa Lanchester. The movie is based on the work of Agatha Christie and so part of the movie’s charm is an almost film noir mystery full of intrigue. The other great part of the movie is the over the top wit of Charles Laughton, especially when he is battling Elsa Lanchester or making objections in the court scenes. Laughton is hands down the star of the movie but there is plenty to love. I definitely recommend it.


Megamind

I am still working my way through Dreamworks animated films as I have always been a Disney guy. I had heard good things about this movie as one of the underrated selections from Dreamworks. I have to agree. Will Ferrell voices an alien (Megamind) who is sent to Earth at the same time as an alien voiced by Brad Pitt. Brad Pitt’s character constantly overshadows Megamind which convinces him to become a villain in order to balance things out and get a reaction. In a parody of many superhero franchises, he forms a close bond between villain and hero. He is constantly kidnapping a reporter voiced by Tina Fey. He has a henchman voiced by David Cross. Jonah Hill plays Tina Fey’s cameraman. The movie parodies superhero films in a way that is not over the top or corny. Also, unlike many Dreamworks movies, there are very few dated references which makes this movie more timeless and easier to watch compared to other Dreamworks offerings. The movie explores why we do bad things and whether we can change and whether people will let us change. I recommend it.


The Bad Batch

I have still yet to see a Jason Momoa film that I have liked and once again I am disappointed. I thought that based on the movie having Jason Momoa, Keanu Reeves, and Jim Carrey in it, the movie might be fun. All three of those actors are incredibly charismatic. The movie stars Suki Waterhouse who is sent to a weird post-apocalyptic desert prison in Texas. She has to deal with a new world of criminals and cannibals with no law to protect her. Keanu Reeves plays the cult leader who controls the one safe place and Jim Carrey is one of his people. Momoa plays a wastelander, a man of few words. The movie was very pretty and well-shot but the script left me wanting. The movie is listed as a dark comedy but I saw no laughs and only darkness. It was not even interesting darkness. It was just brutality for brutality’s sake. I guess some message about how easily we can descend into madness. The usually charismatic actors and Suki were all apparently directed to be slow, plodding, and lacking emotion in their performances. More than that was the horribly slow pacing, long lingering shots of either something or nothing. Needless to say, I do not recommend this movie.

 

Music of the Week:
Amanda Palmer – Drowning in the Sound

Starcrawler – Bet My Brains

HAIM – Summer Girl

Ice Cube – Arrest The President

Halford – Undisputed

 

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Anti-Social”
– I finished Arrow Season 7
– I finished Glow Season 2
– I watched more Supergirl Season 4
– I watched more Riverdale Season 3
– I watched more Defunctland and Yesterworld
– I watched more Wynonna Earp Season 3
– I watched more Santa Clarita Diet Season 3
– I watched more Charmed Season 1
– I started Star Trek: Voyager Season 4
– I started watching iZombie Season 5

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Media Update 8/8/19

August 8, 2019


Hobbs and Shaw

I have been a big fan of the Fast and Furious movies ever since Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was added to the mix in Fast Five. This is also when they seemed to find their formula of an ensemble movie with comedy, crazy action, and a little bit of drama. Recently, they decided to separate The Rock’s character Luke Hobbs off into his own attached franchise. Luke Hobbs is part of the Diplomatic Secret Service which is basically being an International cop. In this new franchise, he is forced to team up with disgraced British military man Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) who became a mercenary. Both are tapped by the CIA to stop a bioterrorism plot. They are up against Idris Elba and team up with Vanessa Kirby. They do a really good job of separating the movie from the Fast and Furious franchise. While many of the events and character backgrounds draw from events in Fast 6, 7, and 8, they do not require you to know all of that. They highlight the important parts and provide new information to flesh these characters out. Part of that is infusing Luke Hobbs with Dwayne Johnson’s real-life Samoan heritage. The real draw of this movie is the unforgettable chemistry between Statham, Rock, and Vanessa Kirby and the incredible action scenes. There are also a couple great surprise cameos but personally, nothing tops Roman Reigns getting a moment in the spotlight. I definitely recommend this one and I cannot wait for the next one.


African Queen

I was way past due to watch this movie but sometimes it just takes a while to watch the classics. This movie is entirely filmed in Africa and set in Africa during the first World War. The star of the movie is Katharine Hepburn who is a British missionary in Uganda when Germany attacks, mobilizing resources and soldiers in their African territories against other European forces.  She is forced to flee with a Canadian steamboat driver, played by Humphrey Bogart, as they try to make it down river to meet up with British forces in the Belgian Congo. There are other people in the movie but what really matters is that ninety percent of the movie is the Hepburn and Bogart alone on a boat going down the river. A proper English gentlewoman and a roughneck smuggler who slowly get to know each other and change their lives for the better. The two must face off against not only the Germans but the elements, the local wildlife, and their own madness at different times. This could have been a really lowkey and depressing movie but they keep things light and fun. This makes sense as this movie was the inspiration for Disney’s Jungle Cruise ride.  It was also directed by the legendary John Huston. I definitely recommend it as an essential classic.


Split Second

I was searching for something else to watch this week and I stumbled upon this movie for free on Amazon Prime. With the recent passing of Rutger Hauer, I was in the mood for a crappy genre film. The movie is set in 2008 (which was the future then) in a London that is suffering from the effects of global warming. Much of the city is flooded and even passable roads have at least six inches of water. It makes for a messy, miserable city and probably still a possible future for London and other coastal cities. Rutger Hauer stars as a cop obsessed with tracking a serial killer that killed his partner ten years prior. He is a miserable bastard and has zero friends on the force and would always be extremely close to getting fired if he was not ‘the best’. He is partnered with Alistair Duncan, a bookish and intellectual detective who is a serial killer expert. The two begin the hunt for the serial killer anew by combining Hauer’s honed instincts with Duncan’s intelligence. The movie also stars Kim Catrall as the love interest of Rutger Hauer/Widow of his partner. Sometimes it is fun to watch a movie this cliched. It is like a science fiction film noir combo that really feels good. Rutger Hauer makes the film with his gruff charm. I recommend it. (Fun fact: This movie was written by the same guy who wrote the Fast and the Furious in 2001)

Music of the Week:
Brittany Howard – Stay High

Lizzo – Tempo

Bring Me The Horizon – sugar honey ice & tea

YUNGBLUD – Kill Somebody

The Highwomen – Redesigning Women

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Unexpected Pairings”
– I watched more Supergirl Season 4
– I watched more Arrow Season 7
– I watched more Star Trek: Voyager Season 3
– I watched more Riverdale Season 3
– I watched more Defunctland and Yesterworld
– I watched more Wynonna Earp Season 3
– I watched more Santa Clarita Diet Season 3
– I watched more Charmed Season 1
– I finished Supernatural Season 14
– I finished The Flash Season 5

Media Update 8/1/19

August 1, 2019


Support Group for Men

When I saw this title, the ridiculous concept of Men’s Rights groups flashed into my head but I knew that a festival like this would not do something like that (unless maybe it was satire). Instead, this is about a group of guys who meet regularly to talk about their problems and their thoughts. They are comfortable with each other and things can get a bit deep and they try to be there to support each other. An unexpected visitor interrupts the meeting and changes it, sending all of the guys in different trajectories. The play examines masculinity, how we treat others, and how we treat each ourselves. The show was so good about putting a lot of positive messages about there about old school machismo, homophobia, gender identity, dating, age, mental health, and so many other issues men are presented with. Some of those topics are things that most men try to ignore but must be confronted with. The show deals with a lot of these deep moments with lots of healing humor. Which is to say that the show definitely takes important topics seriously but keeps things light and sweet to make the medicine go down. I definitely recommend it if you can find it.


Antonio’s Song/ I Was Dreaming of a Son

This was the one-person show of this year’s festival which is always interesting. A one-person show is often like listening to an audiobook. One person plays all sorts of different characters and must act out the whole show by themselves. This is a risky kind of play to write and perform because when it does not work, there is no way to get it back. It helps that this play was at least partly autobiographical. The actor, Antonio Edwards Suarez, was also one of the playwrights. He tells the story of his life from growing up in Brooklyn. He is the child of a Black man and a Latinx woman. He is stuck between two worlds but is also stuck in a world of gang violence brought on by toxic masculinity. The show is ostensibly about being caught in and trying to break out of a generational cycle of violence and anger. It is also about how creativity and the arts can help kids find who they are and who they want to be. It approaches defying traditional gender roles, cultural classifications, and trying to rise above where we should be. It is a really touching piece full of hope. Parts of it made me feel uncomfortable but that was obviously its intention. I also recommend it if you can find it.


Chester Bailey

I do not want to play favorites in this festival but I really, really liked this one and not only because I was able to meet and talk with its stars, Reed and Ephraim Birney. The show reminded me a bit of shows like Equus except that it was way lighter and smarter. The show follows a psychologist dealing with his patient in a mental hospital after a horrible accident. This all takes place during World War II when young men who were not overseas were embarrassed. Ephraim plays the patient, a young New Yorker who was struggling to find himself when one of the worst things ever happens to him. Reed Birney plays a snarky but highly insightful doctor who is dealing with his own personal problems when one of the most difficult cases of his career lands in his lap. The play has a lot of twists and turns and presents a lot of intriguing psychological problems. It does not dwell too long in tragedy but definitely has a dark edge. The show is told mostly in dueling monologues, sounding like journal entries from the characters told directly to the audience. The few scenes between the actors are charged with energy and definitely help drive the play forward. In this way, the show is kind of like two one-man shows that repeatedly collide. I definitely recommend it if you can find it.

 

Music of the Week:
Ashnikko – Hi, It’s Me

Dirty Heads ft. Rome of Sublime – Lay Me Down

Ferals – Gone

2 Chainz – Stay Woke Freestyle

Alice Chater – Hourglass

 

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “CATF 2019 Pt. 2”
– I finished Game of Thrones Season 3
– I finished Slasher Season 1
– I finished Losers Season 1
– I watched more How to Get Away With Murder Season 1
– I watched more Supergirl Season 4
– I watched more The Flash Season 5
– I watched more Arrow Season 7
– I watched more Star Trek: Voyager Season 3
– I watched more Supernatural Season 14
– I watched more Riverdale Season 3
– I watched more Stargate: Atlantis Season 1
– I watched more Defunctland and Yesterworld
– I started Wynonna Earp Season 3

Media Update 7/25/19

July 25, 2019


A Welcome Guest: A Psychotic Fairy Tale

The subtitle of this show is definitely accurate as this is definitely a weird show. It is not exactly Theater of the Absurd (which is hard to make sense of) but this was in truth an interesting fairy tale. The show is set in a post-apocalyptic United States which has been devastated by some sort of disaster but continues on. In the rubble, dormant weapons dumps left behind by the military sometimes detonate and take out whole cities. The government has clamped down on everybody and has imposed a sort of stable martial law in order to protect the rich from all of the homeless refugees. The homeless are assigned derelict buildings to live in. One family who has lived a hard but noble existence now has a neighbor for the first time and he is really weird. The show feels a lot like a modern fairy tale, with so many lessons and metaphors for our own daily life. The cast of this one was really great at comic timing, feeling a bit like a sitcom on acid while we watched their adventures. A special shout out goes to Wade McCollum who plays the title character. He is so good at acting almost like a cartoon, a madman in the style of Daffy Duck. It takes every bit of his physicality and his vocal range but he pulls it off beautifully. I definitely recommend this one.


Wrecked

Horrible things happen many times in our lives, especially if we live long lives. Sometimes those horrible things are caused by us and then we have to deal with that trauma but also the guilt of what we have done to others. These events have been amplified by the invention of the automobile. I think you know where I am going with this. In the middle of a bad night, a couple must deal with the horror of tragedy, their own relationship, their minds, but also some unexpected house guests. How long can you keep up appearances with everybody else when your world is detonating? How long can you keep up appearances with yourself? This show could have been really dark but it keeps things light. It definitely explores both dark and deep subject matter but the dialogue remains witty and reminded me a bit of Neil Simon. The show explores both the twists and turns our mind makes when dealing with reality. It also deals with relationships and what makes a good one and what people think makes a good one. This one felt almost like a Twilight Zone without any supernatural elements. It was definitely a journey and I felt so satisfied when it was all over and the dust cleared. I recommend it for sure.


My Lord, What a Night

In the late 1930s, famed singer Marian Anderson performed in Princeton, sponsored by a program for young black artists which she was happy to do to inspire the next generation. After the performance, she was barred from the whites-only hotel in town. Albert Einstein, who had attended her performance, invited her to stay at his nearby home. A lifelong friendship was formed between two people who seemed, on the surface, unlikely to be friends. The truth is that Albert Einstein was a fervent supporter of the American Civil Rights movement because of his experiences as a Jew in Nazi Germany. This play tries to imagine what that night must have been like, the meeting of two incredible people. It plays a little with history by also adding in Mary Church Terrell, the first president of the National Association of Colored Women, an activist, and a DC school teacher. Abraham Flexner is also imagined to have been present, a renowned college professor and education reformer. Ms. Terrell and Einstein’s activist spirits clash against the more timid philosophies of Flexner and Anderson. The show is funny and deep and explores humanity and the best ways to go about saving humanity from itself during some of the most pivotal moments in each person’s careers. I definitely recommend it as it has a lot of great messages and warm dialogue.

Music of the Week:
Wallows – Scrawny

Baby Goth – Mary

SonReal – Parachute

Lizzo – Boys

The Regrettes – I Dare You

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “CATF 2019 Pt. 1”
– I finished Game of Thrones Season 3
– I watched more How to Get Away With Murder Season 1
– I watched more Losers Season 1
– I watched more Slasher Season 1
– I watched more Supergirl Season 4
– I watched more Riverdale Season 3
– I watched more The Flash Season 5
– I watched more Star Trek: Voyager Season 3
– I watched more Arrow Season 7
– I watched more Defunctland and also the similar Yesterworld
– I finished Designated Survivor Season 3

Media Update 7/18/19

July 18, 2019


Skyscraper

Unless he does something dastardly in real life, I will be a fan of The Rock for the rest of his career. I became a fan watching him act like a jerk in 1997 on WWF programming and he has only built his skill set ever since. What I went into this movie with was an expectation that it was a big dumb action movie. I received more than that. The movie is about a new, state of the art skyscraper built in China that is more than twice as tall as the Burj Khalifa. The Rock plays a security consultant brought in to sign off on the security system for insurance purposes. He gets caught up in the chaos of crime and flame. The movie is one part crime movie and one part disaster movie. While there is a lot of action, there is a lot of interesting mechanics having to do with building design, infrastructure, and computer science. This leads to a lot of action sequences for The Rock which also includes great fight scenes. There is also great drama in the movie, allowing the Rock to show off his acting chops which just get better. Neve Campbell plays his wife and gets to be a bit of action star herself with plenty of neat sequences (with two small children too). Chin Han is good as the enigmatic building owner. Roland Moller plays the perfect mercenary asshole villain. I went in knowing I would like this movie and ended up liking it even more. I definitely recommend it.


The Meg

I also really like Jason Statham. He has that rugged charisma that is hard to ignore even when he is being a jerk or a sadistic villain. This movie has been in development since the publishing of the book in 1997 and I had heard about many different treatments. Statham plays a deep-sea rescue expert who comes to the rescue at an oceanography station. What he and the cast of scientists must confront is the legendary Megalodon, a shark big enough to take down a T Rex and bite blue whales clean in half. Once again, this movie exceeded my expectations. The cast is so good. Statham is tough but a lot of fun, playing it a little looser and nicer than he usually does. Bingbing Li plays a marine biologist who gives Statham a run for his money as an action star. There is a great smaller role for Ruby Rose as a punk rock vehicles expert. Cliff Curtis, Masi Oka, Page Kennedy, Robert Taylor, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Jessica McNamee, and little Sophia Cal all have their moment to shine. Rainn Wilson shows up as the main comic relief as the rich boy backer who gets mixed up in all of the chaos. There is plenty of shark action and plenty of good character moments and I liked the twists the plot took. I recommend it.


The Art of the Steal (2013)

This is the only movie this week that was not a big-budget blockbuster. This one is definitely more of a heist movie in the style of a low budget Oceans 11. This is not meant as an insult. The movie stars Kurt Russell who is always fun as the laid back dude who just wants to have a good time. He plays a former getaway driver/conman who has now become a motorcycle daredevil. He gets summoned back into the game by his old crew and must unite his new crew with his old crew for the heist of his life. Jay Baruchel plays his plucky comic relief sidekick, an old school street thief. Matt Dillon plays his brother, the ‘face’ of the old crew who burned things to the ground and now is trying to make amends. Jason Jones plays the Interpol agent trying to track them down, an inept mess of a man who is almost a cop. He is joined by an art theft informant played brilliantly by Terrance Stamp all world-weary and snarky. The rest of the group are not as known but all three are fun character actors who add to the plan in their own way. The movie is not perfect but it has a lot of fun elements and dialogue and I liked the weird philosophical groove to the movie. I recommend it as well.

Music of the Week:
Fredo Bang – Dawg Gone

JINJER – Pisces

Kane Roberts – Beginning Of The End

Colleen Green – Maybe I’ll Get Hit By A Car Tonight

Jay Bovino & Hannah Sands – Hideaway

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Fast and Furious Franchise Alumni”
– I watched more Game of Thrones Season 3
– I watched more How to Get Away With Murder Season 1
– I watched more Losers Season 1
– I watched more Supergirl Season 4
– I watched more The Flash Season 5
– I watched more Star Trek: Voyager Season 3
– I watched more Designated Survivor Season 3
– I watched more Defunctland

Media Update 7/11/19

July 11, 2019


Defunctland

I am one of the biggest fans of amusement parks who also does not really like going on rides. I did not like them as a kid and I have shied away from them ever since. However, I am a huge nerd when it comes to the construction and design of amusement park rides, attractions, and haunted houses. Recently, I discovered this YouTube documentary series which charts the rise and fall of amusement park elements and whole parks. It explores the creation and destruction of rides and attractions that range from the nostalgic to the super obscure. The show tackles all of the creative, bureaucratic, and logistical decisions that led to each subject and their demise. For example, the series charts the entire career of Michael Eisner, a household name from my childhood. While the series is largely Disney-based so far, it also covers Six Flags, Cedar Fair, and some more obscure independent parks and attractions. There are also two companion series in the form of DefunctTV and podcasts. The podcasts are often hour-long interviews with people like puppeteers, Imagineers, urban explorers, cultural historians, and many other experts in their fields. DefunctTV is a series of deep dives on now-defunct television shows, usually involving puppets. They are currently telling the entire history of the Jim Henson Company from Sam and Friends currently up to the Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss and everything in between. I definitely recommend this series.


Slasher

I love horror movies and the slasher movie is part of the popularity and longevity of the horror genre by giving the genre a boost in the seventies. This show is a tribute to that subgenre with each season exploring a different story about a costumed serial killer. Each season also has to do with the main characters having to deal with the buried past and what happens when that past comes back to haunt you. I am currently on the first season which concerns The Executioner and it definitely feels like a comfortable tribute to horror. There are elements of The Silence of the Lambs, Scream, Halloween, Sleepaway Camp, and Prom Night. The show definitely has both horror and mystery elements as the main characters try to figure out who the killer is and who will be targeted next. As a horror buff, I do not find the show to be very scary as the jump scares are not frequent. However, there is definitely quite a bit of gore in some of the kills. Not insane amounts but a few so far have surprised me a bit. The show has a great ensemble cast but a special shout out to star Katie McGrath who struggles between playing detective and running from her past believably. I definitely recommend this one too.


Agatha and the Truth of Murder

It took me a long time to do so but recently I finally read some Agatha Christie books and now I see why she is so iconic. While not all of her books are for me, I recognize that she is one of the true giants who helped grow the Mystery genre. A while ago I discovered the famous tale about 11 days that were missing from Agatha Christie’s life. She had apparently blacked out and could not remember where she had been for nearly two weeks. This urban legend has now been proven false by historians. The truth is that Christie checked into a spa for that time while trying to mentally deal with her failing marriage. This movie tells a story trying to fill in those 11 days by sending Christie on a real-life murder case. The story dips into the real reasons behind her disappearance but in a more fanciful, positive way. The movie starts slowly with a lot of nods toward Christie’s early career. I was about ready to give up on the movie but then it kicked into gear and I ended up really liking it. It plays with a lot of Agatha Christie tropes and archetypes but also real-life criminal investigations. Ruth Bradley is a great, spirited Agatha Christie who learns how to turn things around in her darkest hour. I recommend it.

Music of the Week:
Billie Eilish – ilomilo

Logic – 1-800-273-8255 ft. Alessia Cara, Khalid

Blue October – How to Dance in Time

Chloe x Halle – The Kids Are Alright

Ed Sheeran – BLOW (with Chris Stapleton & Bruno Mars)

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Digging Up the Past”
– I watched more Game of Thrones Season 3
– I watched more Arrow Season 7
– I watched more How to Get Away With Murder Season 1
– I watched more Losers Season 1
– I watched more The Flash Season 5
– I finished Legends of Tomorrow Season 4
– I started watching Star Trek: Voyager Season 3
– I started watching Designated Survivor Season 3

Media Update 7/4/19

July 4, 2019


The Lincoln Lawyer

When I originally saw the trailer for this movie, I knew it was a movie I wanted to see but not one that I would jump on. Now that I am in a legal profession, the movie became more attractive to me. Also, it is adapted from the same world of novels that the television series Bosch is adapted from. This means that it is well researched with interesting characters and twisting and turning plots that make for a good story. Matthew McConaughey plays a slick lawyer who always gets his client off or at least gets them a good deal. He is the kind of lawyer who is friends with everybody except for the cops. William H. Macy plays his investigator, a likable guy who knows where all of the bodies are buried. Marisa Tomei plays an Assistant District Attorney who just so happens to also be Matthew’s ex-wife. Ryan Philippe plays his client, a rich boy with a spotless record but a real mystery. There are also great small roles from Michael Pena, John Leguiziamo, Josh Lucas, Bryan Cranston, and Michaela Conlin. The movie feels like a film noir version of a legal drama riding high on the charisma of McConaughey and Phillipe and the clever plot. I definitely recommend it.


How to Get Away With Murder

This was one of those shows that I never watched because I did not have a cable hookup but I had heard good things about it. I finally took the leap, watching it on Netflix. The show follows students in a law school in a Criminal Law 101 class where they are treated like sharks in the making. Their teacher is played brilliantly by Viola Davis. She is always several steps ahead of her students and often has masterful tricks to pull for her clients. Each episode, she tasks her students with helping to find solutions on her cases in order to prove their worth. She does not care what depths they have to go to in order to get the information she needs. The show follow five students the nerdy one, the quiet girl, the brash girl, the flirty gay guy, and the frat guy. (At least, that’s the crew in the first season). There is also what appears to be a season long (or series long) mystery that is forming and each episode reveals new bits of evidence and facets of that. I am really interested to see where the show goes because it is very compelling so far. I definitely recommend it.


Roman J. Israel, Esq.

I have not really heard anybody talking about this movie which is strange considering it is headed up by Denzel Washington. I feel like the movie might be hampered by a downer first half and Denzel Washington’s quiet, mumbly performance. Denzel plays an activist criminal defense attorney who is thrust out of his comfort zone after decades of honest service to clients. After years of being the man behind the curtain, he finds it hard to operate in court or in communication with clients and other attorneys. Still, he carries the fire of activism in his heart and tries to spread that flame to others. The movie is really about how truly good men are often not rewarded or appreciated in their own time. It also shows how easily good men can fall. If you can get through the first bits and into the meat of the story, you just might enjoy this moving story about justice, injustice, and the price of both. I recommend it.

Music of the Week:
St. Vincent – Masseduction

YUNGBLUD – Loner

Ally Brooke – Low Key (feat. Tyga)

21 Savage – a lot ft. J. Cole

Royal Deluxe – I’m a Wanted Man

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Defense Attorneys”
– I watched more Game of Thrones Season 3
– I watched more Arrow Season 7
– I watched more Legends of Tomorrow Season 4
– I watched more Santa Clarita Diet Season 3
– I watched more The Flash Season 5
– I finished Star Trek: Voyager Season 2
– I started watching Designated Survivor Season 3
– Happy Independence Day!

Media Update 6/27/19

June 27, 2019


Unicorn Store
Avengers: Captain Marvel, Nick Fury       Bonus: Dopinder

This movie was shelved for two years until the success of Captain Marvel gained Brie Larson some new clout. To be fair, there is no reason that this should have been shelved. Brie Larson is a treasure. She directed this movie which has a fairly simple plot but such an interesting fantasy concept that reflects so many emotions that many of us felt in our younger days. The movie follows Larson’s character who has flunked out of art school and is now trying to get her life together when she receives an offer from the titular store. She is brilliant as an eccentric artist who has been absolutely shattered by the establishment and she is fascinating to watch. Bradley Whitford and Joan Cusack play her parents and just when I thought they were one-note characters, they both surprised me. Mamoudou Athie is grounded as Larson’s new, sane friend. Hamish Linklater plays an equally eccentric executive who takes an interest in Larson’s character. Finally, there is Samuel L. Jackson as The Salesman. It was so interesting to see him in this role because it was whimsical and happy and a different tone than he usually works in. We have seen shades of it in Kingsman and Captain Marvel but he was really cute in this movie. I definitely recommend this movie.


Zodiac
Avengers: Iron Man, Hulk       Bonus: Mysterio

This movie is, of course, about the hunt for the Zodiac killer during the seventies through joint cooperation between the police and the media. The movie is absolutely fascinating as it is a slow burn through the long years that the killer terrorized the Los Angeles area and all of the time that people tried to figure out his identity. The movie is directed by David Fincher who is great at clever dialogue and weaving interesting but flawed characters together. He is also really good at movies and television covering serial killers. Robert Downey Jr. plays Robert Avery, one of the main journalists who was covering the case. He’s lovably glib but intelligent and flawed. Mark Ruffalo plays David Toschi, one of the main police investigators assigned to the case. He is funny and quirky but dedicated. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Robert Graysmith, the political cartoonist who eventually became a true crime novelist and helped try and solve the case. He is portrayed as if he was somewhere on the autistic spectrum and it works whether the real Graysmith was that way or not. This is not a happy movie although there is plenty of comic relief and upbeat chatter to keep it from getting too dark and edgy. The Zodiac killer was not definitively caught and the one person they were ready to charge died of a heart attack before they could charge him. We may never know for sure who the killer was and this movie reflects that. I definitely recommend it, it’s a great mystery.


Wind River
Avengers: Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch      Bonus: Punisher

This was a surprisingly poetic movie. It is about a hunter working for the US Fish and Wildlife Department who teams up with tribal police and an FBI agent to solve a murder. This takes place in Wyoming during the Spring but that means snow is still on the ground. The movie does a great job at depicting the deadly isolation that comes with constant snow storms, a mountainous region, and sparse population. The movie also concerns the murder of a young Shoshone girl who dies freezing in the cold. Jeremy Renner plays the great white hunter who married into the tribe and has taken their teachings and philosophy to heart. He hunts predators like mountain lions and wolves when they have attacked livestock. Elizabeth Olson plays the FBI agent, born in Florida and stationed in Vegas and extremely competent but also literally out of her element. Graham Greene is a great familiar face as the chief of the Reservation Police. He has played a Native American in so many other movies which makes sense as he was born one. There is also a great small role from Jon Bernthal, getting to be both tough and soft in the same scene. I definitely recommend this movie as it is a great mystery and such an important issue to address.

Music of the Week:

Night Club – Your Addiction

Don Broco – HALF MAN HALF GOD

Big Boi – Doin It (Feat. Sleepy Brown)

Poppy – Lowlife

BABYMETAL – Distortion

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Avengers Alumni” (with bonus Marvel alumni)
– I watched more Game of Thrones Season 3
– I watched more Arrow Season 7
– I watched more Charmed Season 1
– I watched more Legends of Tomorrow Season 4
– I watched more Santa Clarita Diet Season 3
– I watched more The Flash Season 5
– I watched more Supergirl Season 4
– I started Star Trek: Voyager Season 3

Media Update 6/20/19

June 20, 2019


Rocketman

I went on Saturday of Pride Weekend (in Baltimore) to see Rocketman and it was the perfect day to go. I have always enjoyed the music of Elton John. I like the upbeat tunes more than the slow ballads but a lot of it is really great. He has also aged into a very funny, cool guy. This movie is about the most difficult period in his life, mostly from when he first started getting famous and to the point where he hit rock bottom. The movie covers his problems with being accepted for being gay, cocaine, prescription drugs, alcohol, and basically being an asshole. It is a raw, dirty trip through the psyche of Reginald Dwight and how he became Elton John. The movie pulls few punches and really dives into the psychological problems caused by a dysfunctional upbringing, fame, substance abuse, and negative thinking. The acting is so, so good. Taron Egerton is so good in the role, partly because he had already befriended Elton through Sing! and Kingsman: The Golden Circle. He also can sing the songs beautifully. Jamie Bell is great at the more even-keeled Bernie Taupin, Elton John’s creative partner for decades. Bryce Dallas Howard is great as the emotionally distant mother who had plenty of problems of her own. Richard Madden is the perfect villain as the manipulative John Reid. The songs of Elton John (and a few others) are used in a traditional musical style where they stop a lot of the action but they allow us a great window into the emotions of the scene. My only complaint is that the movie was not longer. I wholeheartedly recommend it.


Kiss of the Spider Woman

This is a history-making movie that I have definitely had on my list for a long time because I am a big Raul Julia fan and also because this movie is on the 1001 Movies to See Before You Die list. The movie is the first independent film to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture. It is also the first film with an openly trans character whose actor (William Hurt) was nominated for and won an Oscar for Best Actor. Hurt is captivating as a very theatrical and charismatic man who dresses often in drag who loves to tell a good story. Raul Julia plays a more cynical, rough-around-the-edges leftist political prisoner who sees through all of the bullshit in life. The two are cellmates and unlikely friends and maybe more. Sonia Braga plays the titular character, a role in the style of classic female movie stars like Greta Garbo, Judy Garland, and Hedy Lamarr. The chemistry between Julia and Hurt is so good that it is easy to believe that the two became fast friends in real life. This was an experience that could only bond two performers together. The movie also has an interesting production history since it is a Brazilian-American production and there were language problems between the director and Hurt. The movie is a great look at gender identity and also what it is like to live under fascism. It is also about redemption for those who may have done wrong in their life. I definitely recommend it.


Gentleman Jack

Gentleman Jack is a BBC series about a woman who defies gender stereotypes in the mid-1800s. She lives in Halifax in England after living in Paris. She finds that she is attracted to women and so sets out to find a wife for herself. However, it is also about a woman trying to set the business she inherited back in the black while also navigating a difficult relationship with her family. Suranne Jones plays the lead (Anne Lister) and she is instantly charismatic and likable but also blunt and confident so I can see why other characters find her offputting. Sophie Rundle plays the object of her affections and their courtship is depicted as physically and socially dangerous. Still, Lister is a courageous woman who soldiers on even though she has been hurt before. She keeps her deepest secrets hidden while everybody just thinks she is ‘odd’. The show is very BBC in that it is a dry period drama but the acting really sets it apart from other stuff that I have seen in that vein. The character of Lister is so complex and interesting that I was instantly fascinated. I also like the depiction of lesbian culture in a period drama since many seem to think it did not exist back then. I recommend the show.

Music of the Week:
Ashley O – On a Roll

Janelle Monáe – Tightrope

Pabllo Vittar – Problema Seu

Quay Dash – Decline Him

Life Of Agony – This Time

 

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Pride 2019”
– I watched more Game of Thrones Season 3
– I watched more Arrow Season 7
– I watched more Charmed Season 1
– I watched more Legends of Tomorrow Season 4
– I watched more Santa Clarita Diet Season 3
– I watched more Riverdale Season 3
– I watched more The Flash Season 5
– I finished Star Trek: Voyager Season 2

Media Update 19.6.13

June 13, 2019


Good Omens

I am a big Neil Gaiman fan but unfortunately, I have only read one Terry Pratchett book so far and it was the first Discworld book. I have not read Good Omens yet but I figured I would watch the show first to get a feel for it. I love the world-building of both authors. Gaiman also has a knack for taking mythical figures and making them very accessible (I was going to say human but no). This is the tale of an angel and a demon who are trying to stop Armageddon. David Tennant plays Crowley, the fallen angel who never really meant to fall. Michael Sheen plays Aziraphale, a pleasant but subversive angel. Both of them have been stuck on Earth since Adam and Eve’s expulsion from Eden and they have adjusted to human life. They have struggled to work as agents of their respective sides while trying to maintain a friendship as well. The strength of the show is the chemistry between these two and it is so great. I really also like the performances by John Hamm, Michael McKean, and Adria Arjona. Adria Arjona, in particular, is funny and gorgeous. This show almost qualifies for Pride if the shippers got their way. I definitely recommend it.


Siempre Brujo

This is an interesting show. It is a Spanish-language show produced in Colombia. It is set in Cartagena, Colombia during two different eras. One era is during the late 1600s and the other is in our present. A young slave (who is also a pureblood witch) is sent on a mission to the future and must navigate 2019 without knowledge of all of our technology but with magic powers. Thankfully, she can speak Spanish well enough to adjust to modern society. The show is incredibly interesting in that it shows the inherent difficulties of time travel that I did not even think about. For example, to accomplish her mission in 2019, she has to find somebody within a geographic region. The travel alone would have taken weeks in her time but could take her hours if she could figure it out. The show seems really smart to me so far in how it deals with Fantasy but also race relations and class warfare. We get to see Carmen (the lead) on her mission in the present but we also see many flashbacks which inform us about who she is. It is a similar structure to Once Upon a Time. Angely Gavira plays the lead and she has such a great innocence to her but also a quiet strength that will be fun to watch. I definitely recommend it in the original Spanish and not the dub.


Season of the Witch

I am a fan of Nicolas Cage movies because even when they are bad, his performance is memorable and either interesting or insane. He puts his all into every movie role he has ever had and it shows. In addition, this movie has Ron Perlman in it. I will just about watch anything he is in after loving him in Blade 2 and the Hellboy franchise. In this movie, they are even best friends and comrades in arms so a lot of the movie is basically a medieval buddy cop film starring those two. Except it is also about a group of men transporting an accused witch to lift a curse. It allows both men to interact with a lot of people and really, that was all I wanted. It is a simple story told in a simple way and that is perfectly fine. Its main purpose is to explore the relationship between those who worship God and the Church and the conflict between the two. It is nothing special but I recommend it as a good movie to watch in the background.

Music of the Week:
The Marías – Baby One More Time

Oliver Tree – Miracle Man

Avril Lavigne feat. Nicki Minaj – Dumb Blonde

Young M.A “Bake Freestyle”

Wind Rose – Diggy Diggy Hole

 

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Witches”
– Yes, this post is late but it is still Thursday.
– I finished Tuca and Bertie Season 1
– I started Game of Thrones Season 3
– I watched more Arrow Season 7
– I watched more The Flash Season 5
– I watched more Charmed Season 1
– I watched more Supergirl Season 4
– I watched more Legends of Tomorrow Season 4
– I watched more Santa Clarita Diet Season 3


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