Posts Tagged ‘Media Update’

Media Update 10/17/19

October 17, 2019


Beyond Re-Animator

This is the third and final (so far) movie in the franchise based on an HP Lovecraft story. This one was released eighteen years after the original movie and 81 years after the release of the original story. This movie is set in 2003 with Dr. Herbert West serving a life sentence after his experiments are discovered and his lab partner makes a plea deal. A boy who witnessed one of the original experiments becomes the prison doctor and wants to restart the experiments for the good of humanity. Jeffrey Combs is back as Dr. West and his very serious demeanor results in a lot of dry, witty humor. He has great chemistry with his partner in crime played by Jason Barry. There is also the necessary human villain who is played diabolically by Simón Andreu who was a real scene-stealer. Throwing a wrench into everything is a reporter played by Elsa Pataky who is just such a great actress for horror. Once again, the movie is full of good intentions going tragically wrong. The movie is a rollercoaster of weirdness as were the other movies which leads to awesome effects and so much gore. I wish they had continued the franchise but this was a fitting end if it is truly done. I recommend it for lovers of gory, quirky horror.


Demonic Toys: Personal Demons

Long-time readers should expect tons of Full Moon Features movies esepcially during October. Anyway, this is a sequel to the original movie which was about demons who possess toys. Only three of the original toys return and this time they are in Italy where they are caught up in a mansion mystery which involves evil witchcraft and specific demonic lore. The first movie involved an interesting but somewhat complicated time loop. This one is way more simple and they have had years to improve the puppetry and the kills. Wisecracking puppets is something I love in and out of horror but horror is especially good at it. There’s something about the aesthetic of killer playthings that Full Moon is particularly good at even if the writing and production values are otherwise cheesy. Still, this is a franchise that was gone before its time as well. There is a colorful cast of goofy characters and this one feels a lot like one of my all-time favorites called Dolls. However, it does have some new lore of its own based on the ‘personal demon’ theory which was somewhat fascinating. Really, I’m just here for soap opera actors getting menaced by nineties stand up comedian goofs by playthings. I recommend this one as well.


Ghoulies Go to College

This movie felt like a soft reboot of the Ghoulies franchise. The Ghoulies are demons of ill-defined shape that came out shortly before Gremlins so they are not a ripoff. However, they acted a lot like Gremlins in that they were murderous and could not speak English. This new movie has them able to speak and they are constantly doing routines which are a mash-up of the Three Stooges and Animal House. The movie takes place on a college campus in the midst of the yearly prank war between two frats. The highlight of the movie is Professor Ragnar who is played by great character actor Kevin McCarthy. He seems to have a great time chewing the scenery and steals every scene he is in. Evan McKenzie and Eva LaRue play the protagonists, two college kids just trying to figure out their lives and the sudden mystery on campus. Whereas the first two films had fairly ordinary kills, this movie ups the comedy by having all of the kills be cartoony. This actually made them more terrifying to me because a lot of them involve Looney Tunes style body horror. Still, it was a fun movie that took the franchise in its own direction away from any more Gremlins accusations. I recommend it.

Music of the Week:

Code Orange – Let Me In

King Vader – Don’t Disrespect Halloween

Cornbugs – Spot the Psycho

In This Moment – Big Bad Wolf

Call Me Karizma – Monster (Under My Bed)

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Sequels Week 2019”
– I watched more Slasher Season 2
– I watched more The Blacklist Season 6
– I watched more Gotham Season 6
– I watched Killjoy’s Psycho Circus
– I watched the Rifftrax version of “A Talking Cat!?”
– I watched more Marianne Season 1
– I watched more Agents of SHIELD Season 6
– I started watching Carmen Sandiego Season 2

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Media Update 10/10/19

October 10, 2019


Dead Heat

I have no idea why I did not hear about this movie until this year. Once I found out about it, I absolutely had to watch it. The basic premise is that two cops are running down a lead on somebody who is using zombies to rob jewelry stores. One of the cops dies, they get brought back into a zombie, and you can now see the buddy cop possibilities now. Joe Piscopo (somehow in thousands of Eighties movies) plays the comic relief cop, the slob with a big mouth. His straight-arrow partner (and the lead protagonist) is played by Treat Williams and is the perfect foil for Piscopo. Lindsay Frost plays the femme fatale as part of the mystery. Clare Kirkconnell plays the scientist trying to help the cops figure things out, blindsided by her own companies apparent collusion in the plot. There are also great cameos from Robert Picardo, Vincent Price, and Keye Luke. (I cannot get through an October without seeing something with Vincent Price in it). The movie is very goofy but also very intriguing because it actually has a decent mystery and great actors. It also approaches zombies from a science fiction angle that was a bit refreshing. I definitely recommend it.


Wolfcop

I have had this movie in my back pocket since it first popped up on Netflix. I find werewolves to be one of the most fascinating horror tropes but I kind of enjoy them more outside of horror. I just think it is a really cool ability/curse to have if you can control it. This movie is exactly what it says on the cover. The worst cop in a small town becomes a werewolf and shenanigans ensue. What I did not expect was some really likable characters played by good actors, none of whom I was familiar with previously. They also seemed to give the town a sense of world-building and really gave the character’s background. Nobody was exactly one-note and it was way more fleshed out than a lot of horror fare, especially for something that is very silly on its surface. Once things got going, I really enjoyed the ride. My only complaint is that it felt like the movie ended to quickly but there is a sequel so maybe I can get another fix. I also recommend this.


Angel Heart

This movie apparently got a bad rap early on but has slowly grown in popularity into a cult hit. It has been listed as an influence of a lot of people such as Christopher Nolan and the makers of Bioshock Infinite. The movie is a so-called neo-noir film but it is also psychological horror. It stars Mickey Rourke as an extremely low-level private eye who gets hired by an enigmatic client to find a missing person. His client is played by an almost unrecognizable but fun Robert Deniro. What seems at first to be a simple but odd case quickly becomes a spiraling mystery that gets stranger and stranger. Rourke is great as a likable detective, just trying his best to figure things out because he is curious. Lisa Bonet also appears as one of his leads and a potential romantic lead. The movie is dark and gritty but strangely funny in places. Rourke is offbeat and quirky but believably so. The score drives the movie forward as the music really helps sew the movie together and keep the tension alive. I definitely recommend it (although it just barely escaped an X rating though I have seen worse stuff that was rated PG-13).

 

Music of the Week:

BLOODY HAMMERS – Let Sleeping Corpses Lie

Peter Hollens & Bailey Pelkman – Come Little Children & The Hanging Tree

North American Pharaohs-Monster of a Man

FLATBUSH ZOMBiES – HEADSTONE

The Distillers – Drain The Blood

 

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Spooky Case Files”
– I started watching Slasher Season 2
– I watched more The Blacklist Season 6
– I watched more Gotham Season 6
– I watched more Supergirl Season 4
– I watched The Evil Bong 3
– I watched The Evil Bong vs. The Gingerdead Man
– I watched the Rifftrax version of Samurai Cop
– I watched more Marianne Season 1
– I watched more Charmed Season 1
– I watched more Agents of SHIELD Season 6

Media Update 10/3/19

October 3, 2019


Marianne

I was attracted to this show for two reasons. The first was that Stephen King publicly endorsed it and the second is that it contains one of my favorite tropes which is stories entering the real world. The show is about a horror novel writer (extremely prolific like King) who is about to retire her extremely popular franchise when she discovers that they just might be real. The show does horror in a very psychological way. The show has such good anticipation and dread that when the horror happens it is almost a relief for a split second. There is plenty of blood but not much gore. The show is made in France and is entirely in French. Victoire Du Bois plays the lead role and I love her kind of punk rock aesthetic. For a writer, she is not extremely bright but she is backed up by her charming assistant played by Lucie Boujenah. She is also supported by her hometown friends with which she will have to explore her own dark past. Finally, we have the brilliant Mireille Herbstmeyer who is so brilliant as the title character, absolutely terrifying. I am only three episodes in but I know the mystery goes deeper and I am ready for it. I definitely recommend it.


Dark Night of the Scarecrow

I have seen this movie on a lot of top ten lists of sleeper hits and added it to my list directly off of a Bloody Disgusting list of television horror movies. This is a good old fashioned, regular horror movie which is fun to watch every so often. The story of this one is that a mentally handicapped man is murdered for a crime he did not commit and months later a scarecrow starts stalking the men who committed his murder. The good thing about movies like this is that they make the upcoming victims utterly unlikable. Much of the movie is watching them squirm as they are stalked and killed. There are no real surprises, nothing really for me to spoil. The highlight of the movie is the young girl played by Tonya Crowe who was the friend of the murdered innocent soul. The movie also features the legendary Charles Durning who apparently did all of his stunts for this. The movie has good editing and good pacing and is just a solid horror movie. I recommend it as a relaxing break in your Halloween routine.


Body Bags

This is a movie that I have seen everywhere as well and for good reason because it is co-directed by horror legends Tobe Hooper and John Carpenter. I had considered it two years ago when I was doing a post on horror anthologies. This is a horror/comedy anthology movie with three parts. Each part is bookended by scenes from a morgue where a technician does a little epilogue and introduction for each story. John Carpenter plays our host and he is very funny and good at resetting the mood between each story. The segments are called “The Gas Station”, “Hair”, and “Eye” and each are very different horror-flavored stories with different tones and themes. Tobe Hooper also appears along with famous horror directors Wes Craven, Sam Raimi, Greg Nicotero, and Roger Corman all as cameos. The actual actors are no slouches either with great appearances from David Warner, Robert Carradine, Alex Datcher, Debbie Harry, Stacy Keach, Sheena Easton, Mark Hamill (!), Twiggy, and Charles Napier. The movie is good hokey fun, especially with the Carpenter scenes. I definitely recommend it.

 

Music of the Week:
Shakira – She-Wolf

Poppy – Scary Mask ft. FEVER 333

Panic! At The Disco – It’s Almost Halloween

FREDDY KRUEGER – OFFICIAL “SLASH ‘EM UP”

LEATHERFACE – “Friends with no Faces…”

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Television Horror”
– I watched the Rifftrax versions of “Ice Cream Man” and “Birdemic”
– I started watching Gotham Season 5
– I started watching The Blacklist Season 6
– I watched more Marvel’s Agents of Shield Season 6
– I watched more How to Get Away with Murder Season 1
– I watched more Supergirl Season 4
– I watched more Charmed Season 1
– I finished Lucha Underground Season 4

Media Update 9/26/19

September 26, 2019


Child’s Play (2019)

I have been a huge fan of the Child’s Play franchise since I first saw the original 1988 movie. The movie took an interesting concept of a child’s plaything becoming a murderer (or vice versa actually). When I found out that there would be a new sequel that was rebooting the franchise, I was a little worried. The original franchise was just getting interesting again. Thankfully, this new movie is a separate entity that takes a science fiction angle rather than supernatural. I love the new take on Chucky, a product of no wisdom but high intelligence. Also, no moral center, of course. Chucky is voiced brilliantly by Mark Hammill and the practical effects are so good. The real standout in the movie is Andy, played by youngster Gabriel Bateman who is already a horror movie veteran at age 15. His mother is played by Aubrey Plaza who does a really good job of playing the overworked mother who is also the fun mom, trying her best. This version was an interesting take with more of a thriller/slasher feel to it. It also involved the human characters more in the story. Andy being older allowed for him to have more agency in the movie and definitely informed where the story went. I definitely recommend it.


Life After Beth

I much prefer zombie movies when there is a gimmick to them, something that sets it apart from the normal zombie movies which are often just long slogs of despair. This is kind of like a zombie romantic comedy in the best way. A young man gets dumped by his girlfriend but that changes when she comes back from the dead. Aubrey Plaza plays the titular Beth and it is a role she was born to play. Plaza excels at playing weird/crazy characters and Beth is certainly an insane (but fun) role. She is joined by Dane DeHaan who is the protagonist and the boyfriend driven deep into insanity. John C. Reilly, Paul Reiser, Molly Shannon, and Cheryl Hines play their parents who are quirky and are also driven to insanity. There is also a small but great part for Anna Kendrick. What I love so much about this movie is how they treat zombies. Zombies are just as confused about their condtion as everybody else is and it is delightful. The movie has so many twists and turns that it was fun to see where things were going to go. It is definitely a quirky movie. I recommend although it is not for the squeamish.


The Little Hours

This is from the same director as Life After Beth and while it has different subject matter, it has a very similar energy to it. This movie is sort of a parody of The Decameron which I had vaguely heard of before (it’s basically Italian Canterbury Tales). The story is set at a convent which is presided over by a priest played by John C. Reilly. Among the nuns in the cast are Aubrey Plaza, Kate Micucci, Allison Brie, and Molly Shannon. Dave Franco plays a man on the run who tries to hide at the convent and the story then breaks into a farce as the three young ladies each interract with Franco. There are also cameos from Fred Armisen, Nick Offerman, and Paul Reiser. The story is wild and I could barely predict what was going to happen next. Part of that comes from the dialogue and much of the movie being a work of improv. The actors were given a loose outline for the movie but not a script and they just went at it. This movie shows how good each of the actors is at off the cuff, offbeat humor. There is not a dull moment in the movie and I was either laughing or crying out in surprise most of the movie. I definitely recommend it.

Music of the Week:
Mandy Moore – When I Wasn’t Watching

He Is Legend – White Bat

Post Malone – Take What You Want ft. Ozzy Osbourne, Travis Scott

Blanco Brown – The Git Up

Mars Argo – Using You

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Aubrey Plaza”
– I started watching The Blacklist Season 6
– I watched more Marvel’s Agents of Shield Season 6
– I watched more How to Get Away with Murder Season 1
– I watched more Supergirl Season 4
– I watched more Charmed Season 1
– I watched more Lucha Underground Season 4
– I watched more Offhand Disney
– I watched more BTE
– I finished iZombie Season 5

Media Update 9/19/19

September 19, 2019

Clown Warning

It Chapter 2

I read a lot of Stephen King when I was a preteen, often on vacations in the car, on planes, on buses, and on trains. I soaked up King’s words and one of his longest but most interesting books was It. I have only grown to appreciate the book more with age. This was the perfect ending to the current movie franchise. This movie combined the talents of the child cast from part one along with an all-new adult cast. The casting was absolutely perfect. I felt that the weight of the movie was mostly carried by Bill Hader and Jessica Chastain. Bill Hader is absolutely hilarious but also shows a vulnerability that I have not seen in him before. Chastain was the emotional force behind the movie and my fandom of her has always been well-placed. Of course, huge kudos to Bill Skarsgard who was absolutely terrifying (and hilarious) as Pennywise. The rest of the cast was brilliant as well. James MacAvoy, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, and James Ransome were also great. I really felt like the movie caught the spirit of the book without relying too much on getting it all out verbatim. In fact, I enjoyed that they stripped some of the fat out and focused on the main story. I also enjoyed that the movie had me both laughing and creeped out at the same time. It also made me shiver and it made me cry and then it made me smile. I definitely recommend it.


Killjoy Goes to Hell

Long-time readers know my love for Full Moon Pictures and I have come to love this franchise so much. Killjoy is a demon that is often summoned foolishly to exact revenge on people. Obviously, it always goes wrong. This movie continues the story from Killjoy 3 with the wisecracking homicidal clown returning once again. It also contains plenty of callbacks to the original two movies and manages to connect the franchise together better than it had been previously. This is a direct continuation of the plot from the third movie. Spoiler Alert: this is actually a court procedural movie which I absolutely loved. It was not something I expected to happen but it was an interesting method to allow a deep dive into the lore and villainous characters while also examining how Killjoy connects to Earth and Hell. Trent Haaga shines as the new Killjoy and the movie obviously hinges on his funny performance which is one part Pennywise and one part Beetlejuice. The other standout is Victoria de Mare who plays his girlfriend Batty Boop, a cross between Betty Boop and Harley Quinn. The movie is not really scary at all and is instead a slightly gory comedy. Still, it made me love the franchise more and makes me want to see the next in the series. I definitely recommend it even if you have not seen the previous three movies.


Klown Kamp Massacre

I picked this movie at random because the poster caught my eye and I am glad I chose it. It is a Troma film, a legendary independent movie house that created some of the grossest and dumbest movies in history. Still, every movie they have made has been so bad that it is good. I have previously reviewed The Toxic Avenger and Cannibal the Musical which were produced by their studio. This one is a parody of the classic slasher film with a twist. In a normal slasher, the villain would be a clown (for some reason). In this movie, the killer and all of the victims are clowns since it takes place at a sort of clown boot camp/summer camp. The movie is goofy as heck but is definitely somewhat endearing to me as a horror fan. Like most Troma films, this was incredibly gory but in a cartoonishly fun kind of way. I was actually pretty impressed with the character design as they made each clown fairly unique. While this movie is nothing special, it is definitely a fun little ride and is very trippy and strange. I recommend it.

Music of the Week:

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Evil Clowns”
– I watched more Marvel’s Agents of Shield Season 6
– I watched more How to Get Away with Murder Season 1
– I watched more Supergirl Season 4
– I watched more iZombie Season 5
– I watched more Charmed Season 1
– I watched more Lucha Underground Season 4
– I started watching Offhand Disney, yet another YouTube docuseries
– I watched more BTE

Media Update 9/12/19

September 12, 2019


The Family

I found out about Jeff Sharlet through the Ugly Dogs fandom. They named one of their dogs after Jeff and now I can see why. This documentary is an adaptation of Sharlet’s earlier work investigating a secretive cult known as The Family. The Family will tell you that they are not Christians, they are just followers of Jesus. In fact, they are a decentralized cult that hides behind a powerful name to influence all corners of government not only in the United States but globally. They were behind the anti-gay legislation in Uganda, union busting in the United States, and so many more hateful movements. The short docuseries touches on The Family’s creation, how they wormed their way into the halls of power, their hypocrisy, how they recently merged with Donald Trump and other conservative movements, and how they created the National Prayer Breakfast as a tool for lobbying. What may sound like a conspiracy theory is thoroughly researched and backed up by former members of the cult. I am currently watching horror movies in preparation for Halloween and this was way scarier. I definitely recommend it as this information should be had by everybody.


Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood

I have been exploring older Hollywood lately so a movie like this, which is partly a love letter to the Sixties, is right up my alley. Of course, it feels like a fairly white-washed period piece without sexism or racism but that is the story they wanted to tell. Leonardo DiCaprio plays an aging movie star who is somewhat analogous to Steve McQueen among other stars. Unlike the stars he is similar to, he has only had moderate success and is on his way out and is struggling with that. His friend is played by Brad Pitt who is a former stuntman who now makes a living as DiCaprio’s driver and gopher. Meanwhile, Margot Robbie plays actress/model Sharon Tate as the specter of the Manson Family looms in the near future. Margot Robbie is so great as the bright-eyed, happy Tate who is just getting her career off the ground after being in Valley of the Dolls, Beverly Hillbillies, and The Wrecking Crew. As the story continues, the main characters interact with real people from history and other analogs. Much like Pulp Fiction, it feels less like a single driven story but a couple of intertwined stories that show off characters. I recommend it.


Going Clear

I have heard about the wrongness of Scientology for years now, ever since Tom Cruise became a famous practitioner and proponent. The things Cruise said infuriated me but my studies of the cult have since made me at least understand why he and others have said what they said. That is how Scientology is designed. The documentary covers the origins of Scientology and shows how it was the creation of L Ron Hubbard who went crazy as he was creating it and bought into his own lie. Upon his death, the cult launched into the stratosphere, utilizing Hollywood and marketing to make them rich and powerful. This documentary interviews several former members, investigators, and other key people as well as showing archival footage. Its goal is to expose how the philosophy of Scientology strives to create a prison of the mind for its members. It makes it so they will endure anything in order to stay in the church’s good graces and will even ask for punishment. It is an insidious bit of mind-warping psychology and this documentary lays a lot of it out. I definitely recommend it but I want to see the Leah Remini series now.

Music of the Week:
Gabby Barrett – The Good Ones

Grimes & i_o – Violence

Lil Nas X – Panini

Black Stone Cherry – Me and the Devil Blues

PVRIS – Hallucinations

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Cults”
– I watched more Marvel’s Agents of Shield Season 6
– I watched more Stargate Atlantis Season 1
– I watched more How to Get Away with Murder Season 1
– I watched more Supergirl Season 4
– I watched more iZombie Season 5
– I watched more The Protector Season 1
– I watched more Charmed Season 1
– I watched more New Adventures of Monkey Season 1
– I watched more Lucha Underground Season 4

Media Update 9/5/19

September 5, 2019


Mean Girls

This is yet another movie that has been on my list for a long time. I am a big fan of Tina Fey so watching a movie written by her with an interesting concept sounds like a great time. Apparently, Tina Fey agreed to write a movie based on the book before finding out that the book was a non-fiction book and had to create the narrative from whole cloth. The movie stars Lindsay Lohan as a girl who has been homeschooled up until high school. As a naive young girl, she is befriended by two very funny misfits played by Lizzy Caplan and Daniel Franzese. After that, she is inducted into a clique called “the Plastics” composed of the most popular girls in school played brilliantly by Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, and Amanda Seyfried. She tries to get and keep the attention of adorably clueless jock Jonathan Bennett. Tina Fey plays her math teacher, a no-nonsense lady who has to put up with the worst of teenage drama. The movie really felt like a spiritual successor to Heathers in the best way. It was a clever yet real look at what high school felt like while still keeping things light and funny. I definitely recommend it as a really fun yet strangely terrifying look at teen life.


Happy Death Day 2 U

I found the first movie to be a surprising delight combining humor with actual introspection of the main character and a fun mystery to solve. The creator has admitted that the movie was inspired somewhat by Groundhog’s Day but I think it went beyond that concept into its own thing. The sequel was inspired by Back to the Future 2, revisiting a lot of what happened in the original movie but from a different approach. It also manages to tell an even deeper story while being delightfully insane. One of my favorite things lately is watching a movie and being continuously delighted by how much it can surprise me while still being smart and fun. Jessica Rothe is once again the best thing in the movie as horror heroine Tree, more likable here than in the original because there was actual character growth. Phi Vu who only had a bit part in the first movie gets his role expanded and he is a lot more likable than he looked in the first one. That is one of the best things about this movie, you get to see characters from new perspectives and angles and really explore them. Pretty much everyone else returns from the first movie and they are all even better in the sequel as they all have a better grasp on their characters. I definitely recommend it even if you are not really a horror fan because it is more comedy than horror.


Student Bodies

What Airplane! did for action/dramas, Student Bodies does for teenage slasher films. The movie is goofy as heck long before the Scary Movie franchise was even thought of. It also does it with fewer references and is more of a genre satire than satirizing specific films. The movie does a really good job at poking fun at the horror genre and also making fun of itself. For example, the movie almost literally holds your hand through the movie so you follow the mystery and points out all of the ridiculous horror tropes. The basic plot of the movie is that there is a killer named The Breather who hates when teens have sex and goes on a murderous rampage. Kristen Riter (not a typo) is perfect as the sexually repressed heroine who is trying to figure out who the killer is among a laundry list of disturbed individuals. I definitely recommend the film as a goofy, ridiculous fun time and it is not remotely scary.

Music of the Week:
Joywave – Obsession

ALCEST – Protection

G-Eazy, Tyga – Bang

Zebrahead – If You’re Looking For Your Knife…I Think My Back Found It

Lucy Whittaker – I’m Not Ever Coming Back Again

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Back to School”
– I started watching Marvel’s Agents of Shield Season 6
– I watched more Stargate Atlantis Season 1
– I watched more How to Get Away with Murder Season 1
– I watched more Supergirl Season 4
– I watched more iZombie Season 5
– I watched more The Protector Season 1
– I watched more Charmed Season 1
– I watched more New Adventures of Monkey Season 1
– I finished Santa Clarita Diet Season 3

Media Update 8/29/19

August 29, 2019


The New Legends of Monkey King

I was a big fan of the two Journey to the West movies that I have seen, Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back. When I heard my friend Jill tell me about this show, I was intrigued. The show follows a similar story to Journey to the West but removes all references to Buddha. Instead, the central conflict is between demons and the long lost gods. A young woman must free the legendary Monkey King if the world has any hope against the demons who have taken over the world. I have not gotten too far yet but I love the show so far. The cast is really good. Luciane Buchanan plays Tripitaka, the young female scholar’s apprentice who is learning that all of the legends about Monkey were not exactly accurate. Chai Hansen plays the legendary Monkey King who is a lot of fun. Emelie Cocquerel plays Sandy, a confused woman who may be a demon or a god or something else. What interests me is that this is a New Zealand production inspired by a Japanese production based on a famous Chinese novel. It actually works as the show adapts the source material but provides plenty of changes and twists to keep it fresh. The action sequences are inventive and the special effects are good. I definitely recommend it.


Wu Assassins

A young food truck chef in San Francisco is just trying to navigate his life after surviving a difficult childhood. He finds himself stuck in the middle of an emerging gang war between the Triad and the newly arrived Scottish Mob. While he just wants out of it, he is tapped to be the Wu Assassin. Imbued with the skills of 1000 monks, the chef must now fulfill the destiny of the Wu Assassins by taking out anybody who would misuse the powers of Wu. These are the elemental powers of fire, water, earth, metal, and wood which make the villains actual supervillains. The problem is, the very conflict he was hoping to avoid is wrapped up in the ancient conflict between the Wu and the Wu Assassins. Iko Uwais plays the main character and he is instantly likable and interesting. He also has a lot of wickedly awesome martial arts scenes. Li Jun Li plays the main character’s friend, a successful restauranteur, and an incredibly intelligent person. Lewis Tan plays the main character’s other good friend who deals with both sides of the crime war as a front for an auto theft racket. He is joined by Katheryn Winnick who plays an undercover cop trying to infiltrate the Scottish Mob. Celia Au plays the ethereal trainer of the main character in the use of his powers and she just so happens to be the very first Wu Assassin. The show is a lot of fun so far with great action scenes, comedy, and great characters who I want to get to know. I definitely recommend it.


The Protector

This is a Turkish production about a legendary Protector who is destined to eliminate an Immortal threat to the city of Istanbul. The young man in question is the kind of guy who is scraping and scrapping to get ahead in life despite a humble upbringing. Honestly, the main character immediately gives the show a Guy Ritchie kind of feel. He is charmingly played by Çağatay Ulusoy. He discovers that he is the chosen one after stumbling randomly into the ancient battle. He also finds himself with new business opportunities. Since he is clueless, the main character is assisted by Hazar Ergüçlü who trains him with her guts and biting sarcasm. Ayça Ayşin Turan plays the main character’s new boss, a woman who got to the top and has little respect for the main character trying to take shortcuts. The show looks like it will be very interesting with many twists and turns full of intrigue. I really want to see where this show leads. I also recommend it.

 

Music of the Week:
Kaskade, Meghan Trainor – With You

Caravan Palace – Plume

VAVA – 我的新衣 My New Swag

Tarkan – Yolla

Sick Truth – War Ancestry

 

Media Update:
– This week’s theme is “Defenders from the East”
– I watched more Stargate Atlantis Season 1
– I watched more How to Get Away with Murder Season 1
– I watched more Supergirl Season 4
– I watched more iZombie Season 5
– I watched more Wynonna Earp Season 3
– I watched more Santa Clarita Diet Season 3
– I watched more Charmed Season 1
– I watched more Game of Thrones Season 4
– I finished Mindhunter Season 2
– I finished Riverdale Season 3

Media Update 8/22/19

August 22, 2019


Spider-Man: Far From Home

After the crowning moment of Avengers Endgame, the MCU has to find a way to continue and this is the first movie to lead the way. This is the first movie to really address the post “Blip” world which is confused by some time travel. However, Peter is also still in high school and has to navigate that confusing mess as well as the loss of his mentor and being a hero. Tom Holland continues to be such a good Peter Parker and Spider-Man, so quick-witted and naturally gifted at humor and drama. Zendaya returns as MJ, and she is such a great character to have around and she is given more to do in this movie. Jacob Batalon returns to steal many scenes as Ned, this time along with comedy partner Angourie Rice as Betty Brant. Jon Favreau and Marisa Tomei are delightful returning as Happy Hogan and Aunt May Parker. We get the return of Samuel Jackson and Cobie Smulders as Nick Fury and Maria Hill, trying to figure out where they fit in. Finally, Jake Gyllenhaal is so good as Mysterio. The Spiderman movies are continuing the new trend of good villains and I love it. I definitely recommend this movie as it is packed with action, comedy, and a compelling story.


The Boys

I am not the biggest fan of comic books that get dark and graphic just for the sake of shock value. Often these comics are deeply racist and misogynist and just needlessly dark. I am specifically calling out Frank Miller, Mark Millar, and, I guess, Garth Ennis. Thankfully, people are getting better at adapting these sorts of things. While Frank Miller is unsalvageable, the Mark Millar series Kickass was redeemed through its adaptation and made more palatable. The same is true of The Boys. The creators of the show have adapted the comic book to have a serious message in our current climate. This show does have a good message. In a world where the United States has tons of superheroes, we see a more realistic fallout. Superheroism has been consumed by capitalism and cynicism. Superheroes have become sponsored, corporate entities and that has led to them becoming hedonistic, sociopathic creatures. The show examines what it is like inside of their world but also what it is like to be a normal, powerless person. It is a really dark show but it has a point. I hope people see that point instead of just reveling in the ultraviolence and sex. I definitely recommend it but it is definitely triggering so be warned.


Hellboy (2019)

The 2004 version of Hellboy made me a fan of Guillermo Del Toro and Hellboy, both of which I was not fully aware of yet. When I heard about that this new movie would be taking the place of a third Del Toro Hellboy film, I was disappointed. When I found out that David Harbour was getting the lead role, I was pleased and intrigued. I was willing to give this one a try. The movie set itself apart from the original while still staying fun and honoring the source material. The movie is R rated and they have a lot of fun cursing and getting bloodier. Harbour is definitely a great choice for Hellboy. He is funny but also good at being moody and dramatic. Milla Jovovich plays the villain, an ancient witch in one of her more charismatic roles that I have seen. In this movie, Hellboy gets new sidekicks in the form of Sasha Lane and Daniel Dae Kim, both of whom are a lot of fun. Ian McShane puts in his usual strong performance as Hellboy’s father figure. The special effects were fantastic and there was a lot of inspiring fantastic imagery. My only problem is that the script needed further editing and there were probably two or three movies jammed into one movie. I recommend it as I do not believe that it earned its abysmal Rotten Tomatoes score (I think some critics were overly bitter about Del Toro but they should have just gotten over it).

Music of the Week:
Ari Lennox – BMO

Depeche Mode – Useless

Grace VanderWaal – Waste My Time

Blameshift – The Enemy You Need

F. Virtue – License and Registration

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Comic Books Adapted”
– I watched more Stargate Atlantis Season 1
– I watched more How to Get Away with Murder Season 1
– I watched more Supergirl Season 4
– I watched more Riverdale Season 3
– I watched more iZombie Season 5
– I watched more Wynonna Earp Season 3
– I watched more Santa Clarita Diet Season 3
– I watched more Charmed Season 1
– I started Game of Thrones Season 4
– I started Mindhunter Season 2

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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