Cinema Dispatch: Stuber

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Stuber and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Fox

Directed by Michael Dowse

I don’t know about you, but if there’s ONE thing I’ve always wanted to see in a movie, its endless product placement for a company trying to corner the market on an industry through sheer financial force of will!  Then again, I probably shouldn’t be sitting TOO pretty on my high horse considering I still review Disney films despite their vicious takeover of 20th Century Fox (coincidentally the studio who made this film), so I guess I’ll just have to judge this movie on its own merits instead of how blatantly EVIL it’s marketing is.  Anyway!  Does this Buddy Comedy manage to be the best of both their lead actors’ filmographies, or are you much better off watching Hotel Artemis and The Big Sick instead?  Let’s find out!!

Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) is your average millennial stuck trying to make it in the gig economy and failing to earn the affections of his BFF (Betty Gilpin) who he’s been secretly in love with but decided to invest in her startup company instead of just telling her he likes her.  We’ve all been there, am I right!?  Well investing in other people’s ideas isn’t cheap, so along with his day job at a sporting goods store he drives with Uber (DOWNLOAD NOW FOR YOUR MOBILE DEVICES!!) and does his very best to be as accommodating as possible.  This is 2019 though, and apparently being a massive jerk is in vogue now so despite his best efforts he’s barely hanging onto his current user score which is dangerously close to getting him kicked off the service entirely.  Enough about that guy though!  This is a movie with a famous wrestler, so let’s talk about that famous wrestler!  Vic (Dave Bautista) is a cop who is obsessed with finding this drug trafficker named Oka Teijo (Iko Uwais) who he nearly caught a while back but managed to escape and also killed his partner in the process.  After six months though, there hasn’t been a break in the case and so he takes a bit of time off to try and reconnect with his daughter (Natalie Morales ) and finally get that laser eye surgery he’s been meaning to get.  He’s at home and waiting for his vision to return as well as running out the clock until the start of his daughter’s art show when he gets a call from one of his informants telling him that Teijo is gonna be at this big drug deal later tonight at some undisclosed location in town.  Seeing his chance but not seeing much else, Vic is determined to take Teijo down once and for all… but he needs a ride.  I THINK YOU SEE WHERE THIS IS GOING!!  Can Stu provide wonderful ride sharing service to the antsy and determined Vic and maintain his unobtrusive existence with a slightly higher star rating?  Can Vic solve this case without his vision, and can he convince Stu to help him beyond his duty of just getting him from one place to another?  Seriously, does this dude not have even ONE cop friend or a super tough bro he could have called instead!?

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“I tried to get someone else to pick me up, but he was too busy.”     “Oh really?”     “AND HIS NAME IS JOHN CENA!!”     “I don’t need your life story, pal.”

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Super Recaps: The Twilight Zone (Found and Lost)

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The Twilight Zone and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Warner Bros Television and based on the series created by Rod Serling

Episode directed by Vern Gillum

We’re back with another episode of The Knockoff Zone which is apropos considering this is another episode of the show that JUST SO HAPPENED to be a heck of a lot like a movie that came around the same time!  So what are we “paying homage” to today?  Well it’s not QUITE an exact fit, but there’s a lot of The Family Man in this episode which if you don’t recall is the Nicolas Cage movie where he’s an obscenely rich dude who is confronted with the life he didn’t choose to live.  You may also remember it as the movie where he goes TA-DAAAA for no reason, but sadly I doubt we’ll get to see something like that in this episode.  OR WILL WE!?  I guess there’s only way to find out!  Let’s get started!!

The episode begins with some dude name Sean (Brian Austin Green) driving to work and he barely has time to lock his car and straighten his tie before Forest Whitaker is on hand to tell us what this episode is about!  I mean I’m not about to go check, but twenty seconds into an episode sounds like a record for ANY Twilight Zone series to start its monologue, right?   Anyway, what’s ACTUALLY important is that Sean is a rich business guy who has more than anyone else could DREAM of, but seems to be deeply unhappy for some reason and is about to be interviewed by a journalist (Moira Kelly).  No, before you ask, I didn’t accidentally pop in a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey.  Although…

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“My name is Bianca Titanium, and you must be Shaun White.”     “Uh… nope.  My first name’s not even spelled that way.  Are you sure you’re in the right building?”

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Super Wrestling: AEW – Fight for the Fallen

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Fight for the Fallen and all the images you see I this recap are owned by All Elite Wrestling and Shahid Khan

We’re back for Part 3 of the AEW saga which will hopefully be better than Alien 3, but probably not as good as Back to the Future Part 3.  Will it be better than the last PPV Fyter Fest?  Well we’ll find out soon enough, but can I point out that twice in a row now they’ve given these shows out away FOR FREE which, even with the TNT deal approaching fast, STILL feels like it’s riding the line between confidence and foolishness.  All I’m saying is that I came to peace with having to pay money for these things, and it’s feeling kind of weird that the moment I do they decide to give them away!  I’m usually not that lucky with these kinds of things, but I guess I’ll ride this no charge train until it derails!

So before we get started, let’s talk about the setup of the show itself.  There’s a slight change to the ring here in that there’s a ramp leading directly to it rather than a ramp to the outside where they have to then climb in.  At first I wasn’t sure if I liked the idea of a raised platform on the outside of the ring, but I never noticed it hindering anyone and they managed to sue it effectively a few times throughout.  The open air theater is fine even if I’m usually not a big fan of it as natural lighting feels a bit dull, but they do it late in the day so most of the matches are at night under controlled lighting anyway so it works out fine and it ends up feeling like a casual affair rather than a full on Double or Nothing production.  It’s good that they kept things on a much lighter note here because I’ll tell you right now, this is the worst show they’ve done so far even if it’s still a solid wrestling program.  We’ll get to why soon enough, but if it has an edge over Fyter Fest they at least set the tone right with this almost picnic vibe to keep it all feeling more casual.  That also extends to the announce table though as our three announcers feel like they’ve regressed back to Double or Nothing; struggling to find things to talk about; especially in the lower key matches that really could have used the boost.  Matches like, just for example… the first one on the preshow!

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Peter Avalon “The Librarian” vs Sonny Kiss

AEWFFTF1“The Librarian” is accompanied to the ring by Leva Bates “The Librarian”

First things first!  The last time we saw Sunny Kiss was when he was shoving her butt into Tommy Dreamers face back in the Double or Nothing Battle Royale and on top of that, I referred to him as a woman.  I did in fact assume their gender and it turns out that I was wrong.  According to a tweet from Sonny Kiss, he uses He/Him pronouns so I will use those going forward.  ANYWAY!  The Librarians have gotten quite a bit of flak in the short amount of time and while I DO appreciate what they’re going for and just how much heat they’re willing to take from the audience, I honestly I don’t think this match is doing them much favors.  First major problem is that Peter Avalon shouldn’t take off his librarian costume.  Wearing traditional wrestling trunks as he does in this match, he looks like a dork and not in the good way.  Certain heel gimmicks need to carry into the ring for them to work; particularly ones where the gimmick is that they are not in fact wrestlers.  Just look at Baron Corbin who is a pretty effective heel and never takes off his “manger” outfit when he’s in the ring, at least as far I’ve seen, and it helps convey his status as a sniveling authority figure.  Sonny Kiss on the other hand projects style, grace, and attitude through every costume choice, every move he makes in the ring, and every appeal to the audience whenever Peter’s on the ground.  I think the gimmick can work, but there’s certainly room left to tweak it.

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“Can I join your team?”     “Only if you can look half as good as I do.”     “Dang it…”

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Cinema Dispatch: Spider-Man: Far From Home

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Spider-Man: Far From Home and all the images you see in this review are owned by Sony Pictures Releasing

Directed by Jon Watts

Well now that we’re FINALLY done with Thanos (and James Gunn is back on Guardians 3), we can finally get things back on track, right? I mean sure, we needed a nice big climatic sendoff for the big stars that helped bring this franchise to life, but now that the party’s over things have got to keep going without them and the MCU, if they’ve done NOTHING else, have managed to create something that can go on even after closing the book on some of its biggest characters. Still, there’s a big ol’ elephant in the room (or perhaps SPIDER-PIG in the room!) called Into the Spider-Verse that came out between the last Tom Holland film and this one which frankly blew Homecoming out of the water. Homecoming is still great, but Into the Spider-Verse? Woo boy is that a hard act to follow! Can this Post Thanos and Post Spider-Verse entry into the MCU cement itself as the first step to the future of this franchise, or have we already seen the best this version of the hero has to offer and will be left wanting for something more? Let’s find out!!

So hey! That whole… dead for five years thing was pretty rough, wasn’t it? Well the world keeps on turning I suppose and that’s definitely true for Peter Parker (Tom Holland) as well as the entire cast from the first Spider-Man movie who JUST SO HAPPENED to be blinked out of existence as well which makes sense to me because this is a movie and everyone liked the cast from the first film. This includes Ned (Jacob Batalon), Mary Jane (Zendaya), and even Flash Thompson (Tony Revolori); all of whom as well as a couple of other students from Peter’s school are going on a European field trip. Frankly, Peter could use the time off considering how much he’s had to go through in the past… I guess it’s only been a few months for him, and after… well ENDGAME SPOILERS WILL BE IN THE REST OF THIS REVIEW SO LOOK AWAY NOW, Tony died saving the universe, he’s been having trouble coping with this whole “superhero” thing which has gotten a lot more real than just being a dude doing back flips on roofs and stopping two bit muggers. Of course nothing can be that easy for good ol’ Peter Parker because Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) along with Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) are trying to pull him into this “save the world” situation where elemental monsters from another dimension are tearing up cities all over the world, and with the Avengers kinda doing their own thing (the ones who aren’t dead at least) all they’ve got to work with is this kid and some dude named Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal) who claims to have come from the same alternate dimension as the elementals and wants to help us stop them. Oh, and at some point people start calling him “Mysterio” for some reason, but I’m sure that’s fine. This is all WAY more than Peter was ready to handle so soon, but then again if he’s not ready to drop everything at a moment’s notice and save the world, was he ever truly worth of being Tony’s protégé and a possible future Avenger? Can the world possibly get along fine with the new guys out there like the square jawed and overly capable Mysterio fellow to let Peter just be a kid for once? Seriously, considering where he ends up in Into the Spider-Verse, he might as well quit now. Yes, EITHER version of Peter in that movie!

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“So what’s it like having already done this already? When you look back on what you’ve accomplished, was it worth the years of sacrifice?” “What? No, that wasn’t… I’M NOT TOBEY MAGUIRE!!”

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Cinema Dispatch: Toy Story 4

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Toy Story 4 and all the images you see in this review are owned by Pixar and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Directed by Josh Cooley

Sigh… I THOUGHT I WAS DONE!!  I thought that after the third film we’d reached the perfect end point for this series, but instead of coming up with a new idea or even rebooting the franchise entirely, here we are again with the same cast, the same toys, and even more Randy Newman.  I’ve been pretty down on Pixar recently with Incredibles 2 being a HUGE disappointment for me and being rather lukewarm on Inside Out, but they can still do great films like Coco when they put their mind to it and that fact only makes me even more tired that we’re dipping into the same well one more time.  Who knows though, right?  I mean, they managed to make Toy Story 2 one of the best sequels of all time and even made the third film a perfect closure for these characters and this world!  Can they somehow pull it off a third time by making this beating of a dead horse not nearly as horrific as that metaphor implies?  Let’s find out!!

Following the events of the third film, Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen), and all their pals (Joan Cusack, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Blake Clark, Don Rickles and Estelle Harris) are living with Bonnie and her toys (Kristen Schaal, Timothy Dalton, and Jeff Garlin); enjoying their new lease on life having avoided both the garbage dump and the day care of infinite horrors.  Still, Woody isn’t quite as happy as the ending of the last movie would have indicated because he is no longer the top toy in the room which is led up by Dolly (Bonnie Hunt) instead.  Feeling out of place and probably more than a little bored, he sneaks into Bonnie’s backpack for her first day of kindergarten orientation where he slyly helps Bonnie through the emotionally turmoil and even gets her to make a new toy out of trash and craft materials.  The new toy named Forky (Tony Hale) does indeed come to life which comes to a surprise to Woody and everyone else, and what’s even MORE surprising for a kids movie is that this little bugger is determined to throw himself in the garbage because he’s aware he’s an unholy abomination unto the world and needs to return to the trash from whence he came!  So the good news for Woody is that he now has a new lease on life being Bonnie’s protector by way of protecting Forky, but the bad news is that Forky turns out to be a HUGE handful and he manages to escape out the window during the family road trip.  Woody goes after him, slowly trudges to the town the family is staying at, but as it would JUST SO HAPPEN, Bo Peep (Annie Potts) who went missing between Toy Story 2 and 3 is in this town as a lost toy; helping other lost toys find kids to play with in the park and living her life to the fullest as a STRONG INDEPENDENT badass!  Seems like a perfect little reunion if it wasn’t for the fact that Forky is kidnapped by the EVIL Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) who is a doll in an antique store looking to replace her broken voice box and wants the one embedded in Woody’s toy guts.  Can Woody and Bo save Forky from whatever maniacal machinations Gabby has in store for him?  Will the rest of the toys be able to distract the family long enough so that Woody and Forky can return in one piece?  Seriously, how has a porcelain doll managed to last this long out in the wilderness?  Is she ACTUALLY made out of Adamantium!?

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“When you’re out in the world, you either get chipped or you do the chipping…”     “Okay…”     “HAVE YOU EVER SEEN YOURSELF IN FOUR DIFFERENT PIECES!?”     “Well my arm came off that one time…”

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Super Recaps: The Twilight Zone (Sanctuary)

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The Twilight Zone and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Warner Bros Television and based on the series created by Rod Serling

Episode directed by Patrick Norris

Welcome back to yet another episode of The Twilight Drone!  Not one of those flying things, I mean in terms of just… droning on.  Yeah, I’m just gonna be upfront with you; this is one of the bad ones in that it’s REALLY boringly made and has a message that… well you’ll see soon enough.  Oh well!  I’m sure we’ll get to something more interesting next time like aliens, or time travel or whatever, so let’s just burn through this one and try to make a few jokes along the way!  Let’s get started!!

Scott (Rob Estes) is a hot shot sports agent who’s having a rather tough start to his day as he got a flat on his tire and is about to lose one of his biggest  players if he doesn’t stop him from singing with someone else.  While waiting for a tow truck to get there, he wanders off into the nearby woods to pee on a tree (as you do), and ends up getting lost; finding not his car but a beautiful home in the middle of nowhere.  Inside he finds a woman named Marisa (Elizabeth Berkley, yes THAT Elizabeth Berkley) who similarly has to be somewhere soon but wandered into the forest for whatever reason (perhaps the SAME reason) and ended up here.  This place by the way has bad reception even by 2002 standards and their watches have stopped working as well.  The house has no light switches, no electricity, no clocks, and no cars.  Now to ME this sounds like an unbearable hell to live in whether or not there’s a good view and pretty throw pillows, but I don’t want to get TOO ahead of myself here, and it also turns out that Marisa is familiar with the area and KNOWS that no idyllic looking mountain ranges or sparkling clear ponds are anywhere close to where the two of them got lost, so they’re kinda stuck as far as finding their way back; wherever “back” even is at this point.

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“DARN YOU NATURE!!  WHY MUST YOU BE SO IDYLLICALLY SAMEY!?”

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