Posts Tagged ‘Not A to Z’

Media Update 4/19/18

April 19, 2018


Attack the Gas Station

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


Lady Bloodfight

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


The Man with the Iron Fists

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

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

Bruno Mars – Runaway Baby

Kendrick Lamar – HUMBLE

Kodaline – Ready

Sunflower Bean – I Was a Fool

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

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Media Update 4/12/18

April 12, 2018


Isle of Dogs

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

 


Death of Stalin

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

 


Moonwalkers

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

Music of the Week:
Bikini Kill – Rebel Girl

Ruby Ibarra – Game Up

San Cisco – Awkward

The Beau Brummels- Laugh Laugh

Seether – Betray and Degrade

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

Media Update 4/5/18

April 5, 2018

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


Edge of Tomorrow

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


Devilman Crybaby

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


Beauty and the Beast (2012 TV Show)

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

Music of the Week:
Pay Attention – by Pomplamoose

Hayley Kiyoko – Curious

Ludo – Love Me Dead

Babbletron – The Clock Song

Trainwreck – Brodeo

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

Media Update 4/27/2017

April 27, 2017


Fate of the Furious

When I saw the first Fast and Furious movie, I was not very impressed. I thought Vin Diesel was cool but it was a pretty formulaic action/undercover movie. I did not seek out the sequels, in fact, I could not explain why there were sequels. Especially a movie called Tokyo Drift starring a very, very white man. However, I checked back in when The Rock joined the cast in Fast Five and I was sold. In Fast Five, the series took a hard turn into the ridiculous and never looked in the rearview. The movie combined ridiculous car stunts, awesome fights, crazy comedy and melodramatic drama. Every movie is balls to the wall insane and I love it. This one is no different. While we have lost Paul Walker (who grew on me), Gal Godot and Sung Kang, we get a lot of great people returning including Jason Statham. The comedy between Ludacris and Tyrese never fails to make me laugh. I really want to sit here and explain all the awesome and fun scenes but you should really see it for yourself. It is basically like a high-level D&D party constantly rolling high because impossible odds are something that does not matter in a movie like this. I wholeheartedly recommend this one but leave your brain at the door.


Lucky Number Slevin

Pick your brain back up because you are going to need it to watch this movie. This movie feels like a Guy Ritchie movie but it’s not and it is a little bit different. It is one part mistaken identity film, one part quirky comedy, one part mystery and one part crime movie. It is one of those movies that has all these simple working parts but it still surprises you how it comes together. Our main character is Josh Hartnett who is pretty funny as he stumbles from situation to another. He is in the middle of a war between Ben Kingsley and Morgan Freeman. Lucy Liu plays a very plucky woman determined to solve the mystery when it seems that the hero is not as interested. Morgan Freeman is great as a smug, self-satisfied boss who knows he cannot lose. Ben Kingsley is great as a psycho Rabbi/mobster. I do not want to give any more away so I will just say to go see it for yourself.


XXX 3: The Return of Xander Cage

I was a huge fan of the original XXX back in the early 2000s. At the time, we were beset by ridiculously corny and horrible James Bond movies so we needed a new secret agent character. Along came XXX and they did things a little differently. The first movie is a great undercover movie mixed with an extreme sports action spectacular. Vin Diesel played it cool while fighting terrorist in Eastern Europe. I kind of half-watched the sequel but only because there was no Vin Diesel which in retrospect is kind of unfair. It was a decent enough movie for what it was and I think the Darius Stone character is also a fun action star. This movie is less of an undercover movie and more of XXX meets the Expendables which sounds like it could be bad but it turned out alright. It is great to see Vin Diesel back as Xander Cage, a secret agent with plenty of snark and a bad attitude. This time he is joined by all sorts of friends who are just as crazy as he is. I was surprised to see both Tony Jaa and Donnie Yen but I shouldn’t have been. There was plenty of girl power too with Rubyrose probably being my favorite psycho sniper. The movie had its trademark sex scenes but they were actually tamer this time and there was a little bit of a nod and a wink. The movie took a bit to get into but once it hit its gear, it was plenty of fun. I definitely recommend it and the first two movies as well.

Music of the Week:

New Mortal Gods-Let Us Burn

Mooked Out – Made It My Job

Freak Kitchen – Freak of the Week

Caravan Palace – Lone Digger

Gorillaz – Saturnz Barz

Weekly Update:
– I finished Season 6 of Blue Bloods and now I am taking a break
– I finished the entirety (1 season) of The Crazy Ones
– I watched more MST3K: The Return
– I am almost done Season One of Don’t Trust the B
– I watched more Glitter Force
– I finished the entirety of Haven
– I went to the DC Science March
– This week’s theme is “Inevitable”

Media Update 4/20/17

April 20, 2017


Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return

I was a huge fan of the original Mystery Science Theater 3000 (although I was more of a Mike guy than a Joel guy). When the Kickstarter hit, I was both excited and scared. I never contributed but only because, when asked, Mike and the gang said they had no hand in it. However, as they announced more stuff, I was all in. Jonah Ray, Patton Oswalt and Felicia Day are all performers on the show and that alone would be enough. Add in writing credits from Dan Harmon, Justin Roiland, Paul and Storm and others and you have a show that has so much potential. I fell in love with the new show right away. It does not hurt that Jonah Ray is a charming guy with an A plus in sarcasm. I am still getting used to the new bot’s voices but their characterization and comedy are on point. They have added all sorts of new stuff (like the bots moving around during the movie) to the show to make it their own. Three episodes in and the movies are not too painful and the jokes are great. I definitely recommend it as it felt like coming home after some cool renovations.


Nick Offerman: American Ham

The character of Ron Swanson was pretty much built off of how Nick Offerman actually is. The evolution of the character was basically the writers allowing Offerman to shine through. This comedy special is a list of ten rules to make your life better. They are offered in a joking way but the list actually makes sense and promotes low technology, feminism, and a love of nature. Offerman’s relationship with his wife (Megan Mullaly) is one of the most inspiring relationships I have ever seen. Also, one of Offerman’s central messages is finding your passion in life. This is so important. Offerman also wrote a whole bunch of parody songs (available on Youtube) but was not allowed to air them on Netflix and it is a great running gag. I definitely recommend it.


Ghostbusters (2016)

I finally decided to take the plunge to watch this one. The movie started with a lot of points against it (at least for me) by casting Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy. I think, once again, that Melissa McCarthy was the biggest drawback of the movie. I feel like the movie leaned too much on nostalgia like a crutch. It could have lightened up on the references to the original movie and it could have instead been a little more of its own thing. That being said, it is not bad. Kristen Wiig was actually understated for once and Melissa McCarthy was doing her best Bill Murray impression. Leslie Jones is a lot of fun and is the most normal person in the group. Hands down, Kate McKinnon’s weird character Holtzmann is the breakout character in the movie. She has way more charisma than anybody else in the movie. They also updated the movie so the technology looks a little flashier and the ghost effects look a little sharper which is not really better or worse, just different. I could have done without the cameos from the original cast of Ghostbusters. This movie was alright but I would probably not recommend it.

Music of the Week:
Rose of Avalanche – LA Rain

Radiskull and Devil Doll – Bring on the Pain

Vampire Weekend – Oxford Comma

The Rezillos – Flying Saucer Attack

Brooke Candy – Living Out Loud

Weekly Updates:
– I am still watching Season 6 of Blue Bloods
– I watched more of Don’t Trust the B in Apt 23
– I am still watching The Crazy Ones
– I watched more Glitter Force
– I rewatched some Sailor Moon
– Most of my watching was YouTube
– This week’s theme is “Not to Be Taken Too Seriously”
– It’s 4/20, man.

Media Update 4/13/2017

April 13, 2017


Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23

I had seen this on Netflix for a while but once again I needed a reference before I watched this. Kate Leth was talking on Twitter about how this show was actually pretty good. After enjoying Krysten Ritter on Breaking Bad, Big Eyes and Jessica Jones, I am pretty much solidly a fan. This show has the wild kinetic energy of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and the crazy meta-ish humor of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The show is about a small town girl dealing with a psychotic city woman as her roommate after her life implodes. Krysten Ritter is the sarcastic psycho. She is fans with actor James Van der Beek who is still living off of Dawson’s Creek. The new roommate is played by Dreama Walker and she is great as a naive person slowly learning the ways of the world. How did this get canceled? The show is really funny and smart and, best of all, it is filled with surprise after surprise. I feel like it has been a while since I have watched a comedy show where I did not know what was coming next. It is only two seasons long because network television is fickle but I will probably watch them all at this rate. I definitely recommend it.


The Crazy Ones

There have been a couple shows and movies about advertising before because obviously examining the minds of people who make commercials is interesting. This was one of Robin Williams’ last projects and it is very worthy to be near the finish line of a fabulous career. Robin Williams plays a commercial creator who is clinically insane but he is reined in by his daughter and staff. His daughter is played by Sarah Michelle Gellar who is using the great comedy chops she built up on Buffy. Their bond as a father/daughter advertising team is the core of the show and a lot of the great moments from the show. They are joined by a copywriter who is too pretty and successful for his own good. Also, an artist who is perpetually put upon. Finally, there is their assistant who comes off as ditzy at first but secretly may be the smartest one of the group. This show made me laugh hard and loud as I tried to keep up with Williams. As a bonus, every episode ends with bloopers where we see the cast drive each other nuts.


How I Met Your Mother

I have heard a whole lot of conflicting reports about this sitcom mostly based on the ending which has been already spoiled for me. However, it has some awesome people in it and that is what I loved right off the bat. Jason Segel is good at playing a big doofy, loveable guy. Neil Patrick Harris plays a really fun smarmy jerkwad. Alyson Hannigan is always charming and lovably sarcastic in whatever she does. Cobie Smulders is a badass and funny woman. Josh Radnor is pretty much ok. Most of my enjoyment of the show comes from watching them busting each other’s chops. The premise of the show is ridiculous, of course. Most “how I met your mother” stories are maybe a minute long. At least in the first few episodes, the main romance plot is awkward and pathetic but it must get better, right? It also has a laugh track which is a definite negative. I do not need to be told when to laugh. I really did like what I saw so far (well mostly) so I will probably give it more of a chance. I actually don’t think I could recommend it, though.

Music of the Week:
Mandopony – Die Anywhere Else

The Avett Brothers – Ain’t No Man

Brass Construction – L-O-V-E-U

Kid Cudi – Day ‘N’ Nite

Suicide Silence – You Can’t Stop Me

Weekly Update:
– I started Season 6 of Blue Bloods
– I kept watching Lucha Underground
– I picked Wynonna Earp Season 1 up again
– I watched more Glitter Force
– I am so close to finishing Iron Fist
– I watched a little more Dice, Camera, Action
– This week’s theme is “Crazy Sitcoms”


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