Posts Tagged ‘Media Update’

Media Update 4/8/21

April 11, 2021

Godzilla vs. Kong

I really liked King Kong: Skull Island and I have a lot of nostalgia for the Godzilla movies whne I was a kid. I watched every single one that I could get a hold of. This is the continuation of a franchise so there is a lot going on. This movie covers the inevitable clash of King Kong and Godzilla and I’ve become a fan of these versions of the monsters. The movie largely follows two intersecting plotlines. The first plot line is helmed by Rebecca Hall, a linguist working with Kong who is great as an insightful advocate. She is joined by Alexander Skarsgård who is great as a scholarly good guy trying to do the right thing. Kaylee Hottle plays a great character, one of the best child actors I have seen in a while. The other plot follows Millie Bobbie Brown, an inquisitive young woman, and Brian Tyree Henry, a paranoid engineer. They are dealing with Demián Bichir and Shun Oguri who are great as villains. The movie went along at a great pace and the human story never stood in the way of the monster story. The special effects and monster design were both really good. I recommend this movie.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Since I liked Kong vs. Godzilla, I decided to check this one out as well. I had not watched it yet because I disliked Godzilla (2014) so much. This was a mistake. The movie has a huge ensemble cast but we mainly follow two characters. The first is Millie Bobbie Brown, who is great as a troubled but highly intelligent young woman. The second is Kyle Chandler who is great as a man trying to pull his life back together. We also get Vera Farmiga who plays a brilliant but misguided scientist. We get other great performances from Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, Thomas Middleditch, David Straitharn, Ken Watanabe, and Zhang Ziyi. Somehow, the human parts flow without being too much and they all work to serve the Godzilla plot. Nothing gets in the way of the Godzilla and the monster plot. Again, I really loved the monster design and the fight choreography. I recommend this movie.

Destroy All Monsters

It was intensely interesting to go back and watch this movie. While it is by far not a perfect film, you can see direct through lines to the above movies (and other movies throughout the years). In fact, the movie came up with a lot of interesting plot points even if they are somewhat clumsily crafted. I like a lot of the interesting takes on global politics that this movie deals with. I really loved that this became more of a thing into the Godzilla movies of the 70s, 80s, 90s, and onward. Shin Godzilla in particular did a really good job on that sort of commentary. The special effects are, of course, not super great but still fun. This is “guys in rubber suits” era of Godzilla so all of the monsters move a little weird. You get weird frames where Rodan is doing the Shimmy and Godzilla is shadow boxing. Later films would do better with giving the humans more stakes by putting them in the same shot as the monsters and have better models for the monsters to destroy. I won’t really talk about the acting because it was all melodramatic dubbed over English and I imagine the Japanese is much better but I do not know. Still, I recommend this movie as something fun to put on in the background.

Music of the Week:

ParkingLotGrass -Rain Man

Yat-Kha – Charash Karaa

Playboy Manbaby – I Wish My Brain Was A Computer

dodie – Guiltless

Mashup of the Week:

Allen Riley – Surfin’ With Butterfly Wings

Weekly Update:
This week’s theme is “Go Go Godzilla!”
I watched more Watcher videos
I watched a lot of Twitch and YouTube
i watched more Elementary Season 4
I watched more Teen Wolf Season 1
I started watching Q: Into the Storm
I watched more Allen v. Farrow

I also got vaccinated on Tuesday so that’s why this post is late!

Media Update 4/1/31

April 1, 2021

Falcon and Winter Soldier

Coming off of WandaVision, I was interested where they would go with Marvel television. This story already feels a bit more political and connected to the world at large (which is different not better or worse). Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan return as the title characters and do a great job continuing those characters’ stories. Since we are not focusing on Steve Rogers anymore, we get to see more of the personal life of both characters and how they fit in to society. We also get to see a lot more of the realities of a post-blip world. Adepero Oduye is a scene-stealer as Falcon’s sister. Emily VanCamp gets to return as the criminally underused Sharon Carter. The whole cast is really interesting and it seems that they are able to tell a meaningful, deep story while also having a lot of exciting action scenes. I definitely recommend this show.

Operation Varsity Blues

Since I followed the scandal in the news, I was definitely going to check out this documentary. This documentary obviously follows the high-profile conspiracy investigation that busted a college admissions cheating operation. It exposed many wealthy people who were able to cheat to get their kids into prestigious universities and colleges. The movie is told in reenactments which are leagues ahead of your average reenactments. Part of that is that Matthew Modine plays Rick Singer, the charismatic and morally bankrupt ringleader behind the whole scheme. The movie does a good job breaking down possible motives for the parents who eagerly cooperated with the schemes. The documentary also goes into some interesting discussions about what makes a college desirable and how broken the college admission process has become. It never excuses the people who were guilty in this but it does bring some understanding into it. I recommend this as well.

Icarus

This is an award-winning documentary about steroid doping in athletics. The director, Bryan Fogel, started out his story with frustration about always being toward the middle of the pack during marathon bike races. Partially spurred on by the Lance Armstrong scandal, he starts to investigate a bit. He is told that far more people than we know are using drugs to gain an unfair edge. He decides to try doping and see if he can pass drug tests like Lance Armstrong. He starts a regiment and is coached by an eccentric Russian scientist who is in charge of a huge lab in Russia. When a larger scandal breaks in Russia, the movie suddenly changes from medical scandal investigation to political thriller. The movie took turns that I did not expect but it manages to stay light even in its darkest moments. It exposes a lot of the worst of the sports world and how easily people turn a blind eye to it. I recommend this as well.

Music of the Week:


Lil Nas X – MONTERO

Jessi (제시) – ‘어떤X

Devour – No Escape

Apocalyptica feat. Lacey – Broken Pieces

Mashup of the Week

Wantwon – Sexy Like a Hole

Weekly Update:
This week’s theme is “Feeling Like a Fake”
I watched more Watcher videos
I watched a lot of Twitch and YouTube
i watched more Elementary Season 4
I watched American Murder: Family Next Door

Media Update 3/25/21

March 25, 2021

My Bloody Valentine (1981)

This definitely felt like a solid 1980s horror movie. Movies like this are often tonally all over the place, goofy one minute and dead serious the next. There’s a lot of emotional whiplash. The story mashes together imagery from coal mining and Valentine’s Day. The movie takes advantage of a relatively large ensemble cast as the town of Valentine Bluffs is stalked by a killer. Paul Kelman was good as the troubled yet good-hearted boy. Neil Affleck is good as the hot-headed local guy who is the leader of the pack. Lori Hallier is great as the plucky but confused good girl. A special shoutout to Keith Knight who plays the lovable goofball who often acts as the group’s peacekeeper. There are a lot of great scenes between the characters between the horror parts. The movie is largely bloodless and lets you imagine the deaths which is pretty effective. I recommend this movie.

My Bloody Valentine (2009)

I had this on my radar for a while because the director and screenwriter have both worked on some fun schlocky horror stuff. (Drive Angry, Scream the TV Series, Dracula 2000, Jason X) So basically, we’re dealing with guys who love horror and are not just in this for a quick cash grab. The movie has a lot of the same characters as the first movie but updates it and steps up the carnage. It also focuses on fewer characters, dealing directly with interpersonal conflict. The movie stars Jensen Ackles as the loner hometown boy who has been gone for a long time. Kerr Smith plays the angry Sheriff trying to solve the latest killings. Jaime King is good as the small-town good girl all grown up. There are definitely shout-outs to the original but it is difficult to compare the two as they have different mission statements. This one focuses more on the mystery and also has a lot of very gory but creative kills and ups the body count. I recommend this movie.

Dagon

This is an HP Lovecraft-inspired movie so I went in expecting it to be trippy and I was not disappointed. Basically, a bunch of tourists are stranded on an isolated island in a foreign country and the townspeople are not what they appear. This movie goes from zero to a hundred extremely quick and then never lets up. A lot of the tension from the movie actually comes from the physical and vocal acting from the human monsters. It really added to the strange and troubling atmosphere throughout. The main actor was Ezra Godden who is really good as the put upon geeky guy who is forced into impossible situations. The movie is directed by the legendary Stuart Gordon who has a history of Lovecraftian movies (Reanimator, From Beyond, Castle Freak). I definitely recommend this one too.

Music of the Week

REI AMI – SNOWCONE

Carly Rae Jepsen – Want You In My Room

THE AGONIST – As One We Survive

Metro Station – Shake It

Mashup of the Week

MashupChuck – No More Tears Of A Clown

Weekly Update
This week’s theme is “RNG Horror Podcast No. 9”
I watched more Watcher videos
I watched a lot of Twitch and YouTube
i watched more Elementary Season 4
I watched more Bob’s Burgers Season 11
I finished WandaVision
I finished The Vampire Diaries Season 3

Media Update 3/11/21

March 11, 2021

Channel Zero

I have been wanting to watch this show for years but I finally got back into a creepypasta mood and decided to go for it. I remember when Kris Straub first published Candle Cove and I was intrigued by a whole six episodes devoted to a few paragraphs of source material. They did a really good job hitting all of the notes and fleshing out the story a bit. A mysterious and terrifying children’s show has come back after decades and it is once again driving children to violence. The show smoothly adapts the intentional clunkiness of creepypasta and keeps the existential dread alive. The show casts some kids who are very good at being creepy little goblins. The visuals are very creepy, especially the puppets which are pretty much how I imagined they would be. The show also adds some very memorable new visuals that add to the story instead of take away from it. Paul Schneider is really good at playing a child psychologist trying to solve a mystery while slowly being unhinged by the demons of his past. Fiona Shaw is very good at the troubled mother of two twins who went wrong. I recommend this show.

Beware the Slenderman

I decided to watch this documentary and it had enough of an effect on me that I had to comment even though I rarely comment on documentaries. This is a documentary on the Waukesha stabbing incident that was inspired in part by the creepypasta known as Slender Man. Two young girls stabbed a third young girl and nearly killed her to appease Slender Man. The documentary does a really good job of exploring the Slender Man mythos and why it may be attractive to young preteens, especially girls. It explores how creepypastas proliferate and does a really good job of equating the Slender Man mythos with the tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. It also explores a bit about schizophrenia and how it can blur the line between reality and fantasy. Where it fails is focusing too much on the dad of one of the perpetrators and his troubling parenting style. He blames iPads for his daughter’s actions instead of her mental illness and seems to run his house like a prison. It was troubling. Anyway, it was a pretty good take on the run up to the trial hearing that decided whether the teens would be tried as adults or juveniles. I recommend this documentary.

The Rake

This is a low-budget movie about creepy pasta monster, the Rake which is a wendigo-like creature. The movie focuses a lot on the psychological effect of the creature and how it spreads like a virus through the survivors of its victims. The movie was not great but I expected that. I mainly went into it to explore the lore of the monster and see what the special effects look like. It also dealt with mental illness and trauma fairly well (for a bad horror movie). The pacing was slow and the drama between the characters was a little annoying but it was all worth it for the special effect at the end. I do not recommend this movie but you can watch it for free currently on Tubi and you can fast forward to the last ten minutes. Just sayin’.

Music of the Week:

The Offspring – Hit That

Miley Cyrus – Mother’s Daughter

Pup – Sibling Rivalry

Within Temptation – Supernova

Mashup of the Week:

DJ Bahler – Le Petit Mort

Media Update 3/4/21

March 4, 2021

Teen Wolf

My friend Glitter recommended this show a long while ago but I just never got around to watching it. I remember really liking the movie based on Michael J. Fox’s energy and the special effects. This show uses the movie as a loose format to inform the plot of the show. Basically, an unpopular and shy boy gets bitten by a werewolf and his life starts to change. They took the characters of Scott and Stiles but the show goes more in depth than the movie does and also focuses on the negatives of lycanthropy. Tyler Posey plays Scott, a bench-riding lacrosse player who has a run in with a werewolf. He is good at being adorkable and the special effects for his transformation are actually really fun. Dylan O’Brien plays Stiles, the goofy best friend who is even goofier than the movie. Crystal Reed plays a confident new girl who is figuring out how to fit in. Holland Roden actually plays who I think is the sleeper hit of the show, the slightly off-balance popular girl. The show is fun so far and I like where it is going. I recommend this show.

Lupin

I was a fan of Lupin the 3rd, a different show based on the tales of Arsene Lupin. This show is not about a descendant of Arsene but instead about a young boy who is inspired by the stories of Lupin. The story has a lot of the intrigue of fun heist movies with the playfulness present in most Lupin adaptations. The story is personal and that really helps drive the story and made me love the main character even more. Omar Sy is brilliant as a wronged man who grew up to be a gentleman thief in the modern age. He is so charismatic and fun to watch. His ex (played by Ludivine Sagnier) and his son (played by Etan Simon) are both so good at being these somewhat innocent characters who help humanize Lupin. Hervé Pierre is a perfect villain, a rich white man who is cruel and delights in it. The show is so well-written and I love how the cinematography adds to the craftiness of each con and flim flam. I recommend the show.

Cobra Kai

I remember the Karate Kid movies and I remember liking them. This show shunts the characters forward decades after high school and mostly follows the character Johnny Lawrence, the bully from the first movie. His life went to crap after his high school glory days were ended by Daniel LaRusso. William Zabka is really good at playing the loser with a chip on his shoulder. He decides to open up the old Cobra Kai dojo in order to regain his mojo and teach a new generation. Meanwhile, Ralph Macchio plays Daniel-san again who is the town big shot who now feels threatened by the return of his high school bully. The show is also about Daniel’s daughter and a boy that Johnny is training and them navigating high school. The show has a lot of offbeat comedy. It draws heavily on footage from the movies for flashbacks for both Daniel and Johnny. It is interesting to explore both character’s high school trauma from different angles. Both are equally damaged but entirely different. I recommend this show.

Music of the Week:

A$AP Ferg, MadeinTYO – WAM

Mr.Kitty – After Dark

Party Favor – Wasabi

ROTTENGRAFFTY「ハレルヤ」

Mashup of the Week:

Phil Foal – Dynamite Celebration

Weekly Update:
This week’s theme is “TV Reboots”
I watched more Watcher videos
I watched a lot of Twitch and YouTube
i started Elementary Season 4
I watched more WandaVision Season 1
I watched more Vampire Diaries Season 2
I watched more Bob’s Burgers Season 11
I finished The Crown Season 4

Media Update 2/25/21

February 25, 2021

One Night in Miami
Writer – Kemp Powers
(Bonus: Director – Regina King)

This movie is based on a stage play and it really shows in the movie. It is a dialogue heavy movie but the conversation is so interesting that there is not a dull moment. The concept of the piece is that it takes place a little before but mostly the night after Cassius Clay’s surprise win over Sonny Liston. That night, Malcolm X met with footballer John Brown, singer Sam Cooke, and boxer Cassius Clay. Each man is on the verge of making a huge choice in their life that changed their history and changed American history. Malcolm X is played by Kingsley Ben-Adir, a man torn between being a rigid and polite role model and the fire he holds inside. Eli Goree plays Clay, a young man with wide eyes and a lot of curiosity but also a lot of confidence. Leslie Odom Jr. plays Sam Cooke, fresh from a horrible experience at the white club the Copacabana who feels frustrated about his career. Aldis Hodge plays Jim Brown, a man who has been a great warrior on the battlefield but has earned little real respect from the white man. The four constantly spar with each other, joke with each other, and commiserate with each other. We see a bit of their lives outside of the motel room where they meet but the main meat is the four of them together. It is a fantastic movie and I recommend it.

Sorry to Bother You
Writer/Director – Boots Riley

This movie is strange and takes a bit to get into but if you settle in, you are in for a ride. This movie was written back in 2011 (and the script was posted online). Boots Riley wrote it as commentary on both capitalism and anti-capitalist activism. It also has a really interesting point about how the life cycle of memes effects politics. The main message seems to be “you can’t do it alone”. The movie is told in a very surreal art style which mixes in live-action animation to heighten certain scenes. The movie stars LaKeith Stanfield (who I spoke of last week) as the mostly clueless pawn of the system who is torn between getting paid and doing what is right. He is joined by Tessa Thompson (who I also talked about last week) as a plucky yet sardonic artist with an eye toward changing the world. Jermaine Fowler and Steven Yeun play two friends who are desperate to change the system and bring power to the workers. The movie is both really good at offbeat humor and delivering a meaningful message. I wholeheartedly recommend this movie. In all honesty, I started watching this movie last year and had to set it aside because I knew I had to really devote energy to it and I am glad I waited.

Clemency
Writer/Director – Chinonye Chukwu

This movie felt a lot like a stage play but it was a movie made from whole cloth. The movie stars Alfre Woodard as a prison warden who has been slowly torn apart by having to preside over the executions. The movie is a great examination of both her character’s inner workings but also the mindset of a prisoner about to be executed. Aldis Hodge plays a man accused of killing a cop who maintains his innocence but starts to fall apart psychologically after his last appeal fails. Woodard plays the warden with such gravitas and quiet suffering. Wendell Pierce plays her long-suffering husband who is trying to pull his wife out of the abyss. Richard Schiff plays Hodge’s defense attorney, a tired prize-fighter at the end of his story. The movie is a great character study more than it is a great story. It is very well shot and acted. Honest admission: I stopped watching this movie halfway through and I will not be going back. It is just so sad and dark of a movie coupled with a lot of shots of needles going into arms. I cannot decide whether I want to recommend it or not.

Music of the Week

babygotbacktalk – When They Go Low, We Go Six Feet Under

Big Joanie – Fall Asleep

Gonna Elvis ft Sasa Klaas – Mmudubudu

Black Violin – Stereotypes

Mashup of the Week:

Paolo Monti – Chains of Emotion

This week’s theme is “Black Lives Still Matter”
I watched more Watcher videos
I watched a lot of Twitch and YouTube
i watched more Elementary Season 3
I watched more The Crown Season 4
I watched more WandaVision Season 1
I watched more Vampire Diaries Season 2
I watched more Bob’s Burgers Season 11
I watched Night of the Living Dead (Rifftrax Version)
I watched The Dark (Rifftrax Version)
I watched Evil Genius (Netflix Doc)

Media Update 2/4/21

February 4, 2021

Hardy Boys

I used to read Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books when I was a kid. I liked the idea of kid detectives and I devoured any fiction on that subject. When I heard that there was going to be a new series, I definitely wanted in. The series does similar things to the Nancy Drew series by injecting it with more character and plot. Instead of being the lantern-jawed, all-American boys, Joe and Frank Hardy are more relatable people. The two have just lost their mother and are trying to put their lives together when they are thrust into a mystery. Rohan Campbell plays Frank Hardy, a good guy who is hungry to solve his mother’s murder. Alexander Elliott plays a much younger Joe Hardy, a bit of a mischievous kid who is trying his own angle on the mystery. The supporting cast is excellent. Riley O’Donnell is fun as the tomboyish and clever Biff. James Tupper is great as their dad, an actual professional detective. The rest of the cast is also excellent. The mystery is compelling and I am left really wanting to know where it is all going. I recommend this show.

The Lovebirds

I love both Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani and when I heard they were coming together on a crime/romantic comedy, I was intrigued. This became even more the case when I found out that Michael Showalter was directing since Showalter was the director of Nanjiani’s previous movie, The Big Sick. The premise here is that Rae and Nanjiani play a couple on the verge of breaking up who get involved in a criminal conspiracy. They both do such a good job of portraying real people who are suddenly caught up in the criminal underworld. Nanjiani is snarky and hilariously pathetic while Rae is both sassy and clever. They mix it up with a whole cast of strange characters but the real show here is the great chemistry between Nanjiani and Rae. They are so good together and they spend the movie rambling to each other nonstop in an endearing way. I recommend this movie.

Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer

I have been watching a lot of documentaries and documentary series lately and most of them are not worthy of lengthy comment but this one stuck out to me. I thought that this would be an interesting series as the Night Stalker was a long case which is definitely interesting from an abnormal psychology and a criminology viewpoint. However, I ended up disliking this series. I did not think it was possible but this series was actually boring. The show is almost entirely stitched together interviews with police detectives (and their families) about the hunt for Richard Ramirez. These interviews are intercut with odd lingering shots of knives dripping with blood and other vivid imagery. The series lacks a neutral narrator to pull us through the story. We are left mostly with Gil Carillo and Frank Salerno telling cop stories. I really got tired of it. There were very few historians or any other academics laying out what was going on and any theories on why. Instead we get a lot of interviews with the people directly related to the case. It also highlighted a lot of police incompetence involved with the case. I do not recommend this series.

Music of the Week

Death Cult Electric – Deleter

K.O.Y – Baltimore

Check B – Corona

ONSLAUGHT – Bow Down To The Clowns

Mashup of the Week

Neil Cicierega – Rollercloser

Weekly Update
This week’s theme is “Working on a Mystery”
I watched more Watcher videos
I watched a lot of Twitch and YouTube
i watched more Elementary Season 3
I watched more Stargirl Season 1
I watched more WandaVision Season 1
I started watching The Crown Season 4
I started watching Sleepy Hollow Season 3
I started watching The Ripper (docuseries)

Media Update 1/28/21

January 28, 2021

WandaVision

First, this show reminded me how much I hate sitcoms in general. Of course, I really think that is the point of the early parts of this show. This show follows newlyweds Wanda Maximoff (the Scarlet Witch) and Vision who have arrived in a small picturesque town straight out of a fifties sitcom (and then a seventies sitcom). Of course, everything is not as it seems. Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany return as the title characters. Olsen switches seamlessly between comedy, drama, and horror. Bettany is so charming and feels like a throwback to vaudeville. The show feels like it is quickly evolving (I just finished episode 3) and the acting evolves quickly with the plot. It has a “happy horror” feel to it like Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared, Firefly Funhouse, or Welcome to Nightvale. The supporting cast, made up of Kathryn Hahn, Emma Caulfield Ford, Jolene Purdy, David Lengel, and more really add to the chaos but it’s mostly Bettany and Olsen’s chemistry. I am excited to see where this show goes but the first two episodes were rough to get through. I recommend this show.

The New Mutants

I had been excited for this movie but delayed watching because A) I had trouble getting access and B) I had heard that reshoots ruined it. I should not have hesitated. This is the last official Fox Marvel movie. The premise of this is that it combines the superhero genre with the horror genre, something that has not been done much yet although it does have some parallels in Stephen King’s works. This follows five of young mutants stuck in a hospital until they figure out their powers. Something starts to stalk them all. Great formula for a horror movie. Blu Hunt stars as Danielle Moonstar who is easy to follow as the main character and plays damaged really well. Maisie Williams plays Rahne Sinclair and she is a really pleasant light in the darkness. Anya Taylor-Joy is both fun and aggravating as the always unstable Ilyana Rasputin. Charlie Heaton plays the loveable bumpkin Sam Guthrie and Henry Zaga plays the dimwitted but nice Roberto DaCosta. Rounding out the cast is Alice Braga as Dr. Reyes (presumably Cecilia Reyes) who does a great job at being both sinister and warm in equal measures. The movie works as a great horror movie with superhero elements. I recommend this movie.

Helstrom

I am not as familiar with the comic book version of Daimon Hellstrom aside from his relationship with Patsy Walker. I was interested in what Marvel’s foray into non-superheroic comics would look like. The Hellstrom families were never quite the level of the X-Men or the Avengers but remained on the periphery. This show feels like what I wished The Exorcist tv show was. The show follows Daimon and Ana Helstrom (sic) as they deal with the fallout from their infernal father’s plans for Earth. It plays as more a supernatural detective show than a comic book show. Tom Austen is charming and troubled as Daimon while Sydney Lemmon is guarded and snarky as Ana. They are joined by Elizabeth Marvel as a young nun initiate who is learning how to navigate the world of exorcisms and battling the forces of Hell. June Carryl annd Robert Wisdom are so good as the respective mentors of the siblings, an older generation arming the devilish twins with weapons to fight their own father. It is a slow burn of a show but there is plenty to sink your teeth into. I recommend this show.

Music of the Week:

Nas – Ultra Black

Kesha – Tonight

YE BANISHED PRIVATEERS – No Prey, No Pay

Haim – Now I’m In It

Mashup of the Week:

DJ Cummerbund – Mundian To Bach Nu

Weekly Update:
This week’s team is “Magical Marvel”
I watched more Watcher videos
I watched a lot of Twitch and YouTube
I watched more AGDQ 2020
i watched more Elementary Season 3
I started watching Night Stalker: Hunt for a Serial Killer
I watched The Beast of Bray Road
I watched The Haunting of Dice Road
I watched Hauntings Across America
I watched The Mothman of Point Pleasant

Media Update 1/21/21

January 21, 2021

Soul

I have been a fan of Pixar since they premiered their first feature film in 1995. Toy Story made me consider a job in animation for a short while as a teen. The company has a lot of hits and very few misses. When I saw advertisements for Soul, I was absolutely excited because people of color are still underrepresented in Disney fiction. This movie also corrected a lot of earlier mistakes by actually hiring on writers, consultants, and eventually a co-director who experienced and therefore understood black culture. That way they could tell a truly nuanced and authentic story and they succeeded. Jamie Foxx stars as a music teacher who is questioning his life. Tina Fey plays an unborn soul who has grown cynical. Graham Norton plays a hippie with a strange mystic background. The cast is rounded out by brilliant performances from Angela Bassett, Questlove, Richard Ayoade, Rachel House, Alice Braga, Donnell Rawlings and more. It is such a poignant story about what we do with our lives and how our plans change when life happens. I have heard people say that this was “Mid-Life Crisis: The Movie” but it is so much more. It is about culture, love, creativity, desire, and so many other things. I definitely recommend this movie.

Trolls World Tour

Dreamworks feels to me like it has more misses than hits but they are starting to pick things up in the past few years. Trolls was a movie that completely took me off guard. I was expecting a fun poppy movie (pun intended) with colorful animation and good music. The movie ended up being smarter than I expected. Trolls World Tour was a repeat of that phenomenon but to an even greater magnitude. This movie was way heavier than I thought it would be and had a great message. Ana Kendrick and Justin Timberlake return to anchor the movie again and are given a lot more to work with as it relates to emotional depth. Ron Funches returns with a much expanded role. Newcomers Anderson .Paak, Sam Rockwell, Kelly Clarkson, and Kenan Thompson really knocked it out of the park as new characters. Rachel Bloom plays the antagonist and does great as a heavy metal goddess. A special shout out to legends George Clinton and Mary J. Blige for rocking small but very important roles in the movie. The movie also displays more of a musical range as Pop is joined by Funk, Hip Hop, Rock, Country, Classical, Techno, Yodeling, Reggaeton, KPop, and even Smooth Jazz. It makes for a very interesting soundtrack which is mostly made up of good covers. I recommend this movie.

Over the Moon

Glen Keane has been an animator since the seventies and particularly worked for Disney on legendary projects like Beauty & The Beast, The Princess and the Frog, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Tangled, Frozen and more. He recently left Disney and this is first time in the Director’s chair. He was joined by Audrey Wells, Jennifer Yee McDevitt, Alice Wu, and John Kahrs to create an authentically Chinese and human story. The movie follows a young girl played by relative newcomer Cathy Ang. She does such a great job of portraying a vulnerable yet headstrong preteen girl. Another relative newcomer plays a lovably annoying young kid who she is thrown together with. She has great chemistry with her family played by John Cho, Ruthie Ann Miles, Sandra Oh, Margaret Cho, and Kimiko Glenn. They all give such warm performances that I wanted to hang out at their dinner table. Ken Jeong plays a lovable yet fairly annoying goofball (really a Dreamworks staple). Finally, the great Phillipa Soo plays a headstrong woman who is hiding vulnerability and she is so, so good at it. The original songs are all very beautiful and/or catchy. I definitely recommend this movie.

Music of the Week:

Aunty Donna – Chuffed (Dad Song)

Megan Thee Stallion – Girls in the Hood

Phillipa Soo – Ultraluminary

Seven Lions Feat. Runn – Calling You Home

Mashup of the Week:

Oneboredjeu – X Gon Give It To Ya Maybe

Weekly Update
This week’s theme is “Loss and Music in Animation”
I watched more Watcher videos
I watched a lot of Twitch and YouTube
Special Shoutout to Jenny Nicholson’s 2 hour and 30 min video on The Vampire Diaries
I watched more AGDQ 2020
i watched more Elementary Season 3
I finished watching Numbers Season 5
I watched City of the Dead (Rifftrax Version)
I watched House on Haunted Hill (Rifftrax Version)
I watched The Hideous Sun Demon (Rifftrax Version)

Media Update 1/14/21

January 14, 2021

Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House of Fun

I had never heard of this Australian comedy group before so I did not know what to expect beyond the above trailer. Whatever they were doing looked fun but I had no idea what I was really in for. The show is legitimately insanely funny and it is one of the rare comedy series where I legitimately did not know what was going to happen next and was blindsided repeatedly. Each of the six episodes gets a theme and a series of sketches follow that theme at least tangentially. Broden Kelly, Mark Bonnano, and Zachary Ruane are the three rambunctious guys who are equally at home being zany as they are being each others straight man. As they throw on different personas they change in unexpected ways. They are really good at parody, satire, and surreal humor. They also have a host of guest stars like Ed Helms, Michelle Brasier, Kia Stevens, Weird Al, Karan Soni, Scott Aukerman, Paul F. Thompkins, Antony Starr, Ronny Chieng, Kristen Schaal and more. The boys are almost always on screen and dominate the show, of course. I cannot recommend this show enough.

My Brother, My Brother, and Me

If you know me in realspace, you would have heard me rave aout the podcast with the above nname. It is a comedy advice show where the three McElroy brothers (Justin, Travis, Griffin) dispense horrible advice to half-serious questions from listeners and insane questions from Yahoo! Answers. This show is an extension of that while putting the zany yet awkward comedy stylings of the boys on screen. Each episode is devoted to answering a single viewer question. They get the question and then they run around their hometown of Huntington, WV to try to research the problem or try to prove something to themselves and each other. The three brothers have chemistry not only from growing up together but also from being on a weekly podcast together for several years. (Also, two of them worked together for Polygon). The show also features their father Clint McElroy, a DJ for a local Country station who tries to give them advice. It also introduces the comic stylings of the Mayor of Huntington, Stephen Williams. The boys often visit him to get permission for some stunt or another and he does a really good job of keeping up with their improv comedy while getting in a few lines of his own. I recommend both the podcast and this show.

Jay and Silent Bob Reboot

I was a fan of the View Askewnaverse and I own a lot of the movies on DVD. I was a big fan of Kevin Smith but I feel lately that I have parted ways with what he is doing. Still, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back still has a place in my heart. This movie was a callback to the heyday of Kevin Smith’s career from his present day. It had cameos from a lot of Smith’s old friends and coworkers and his family. The movie attempts to tackle what it is to be middle-aged and a father. Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith return as the main characters and they have a lot of the same chemistry as they always did. Harley Quinn Smith (Smith’s daughter) plays Jay’s estranged daughter and really proves that she is taking this acting thing seriously. She is surrounded by delightful original characters played by Aparna Brielle and Treshelle Edmond. Cameos appear from Dogma, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and a few new additions. The movie was alright as a shot of nostalgia but lacked the quality of the movies it is calling back to. It also winked too much at the audience to focus on actually entertaining. I do not recommend this movie except for huge fans.

Music of the Week

Missy Elliott – Why I Still Love You

Poppy – I Disagree

FiSHBORN 『夜を抜けて』

Nasty Cherry – Win

Mashup of the Week

Angel Munoz – Boys Bringing Sexyback (Lizzo/Justin Timberlake Mashup)

Weekly Update:
This week’s theme is “Them Boys”
I watched more Watcher videos
I watched a lot of Twitch and YouTube
I watched more AGDQ 2020
i watched more Elementary Season 3
I watched Rollergator (Rifftrax Version)
I watched Sharkado 2 (Rifftrax Version)
I watched A Talking Cat!?! (Rifftrax Version)
I watched Terror at Tenkiller (Rifftrax Version)
I watched Ator the Fighting Eagle (Rifftrax Version)
I finished Numbers Season 6
I finished Marvel Agents of Shield Season 7 (and thus the series)


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