Super Recaps: Tom Goes to the Mayor (Gibbons)

TGTTM

Tom Goes to the Mayor and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros and Adult Swim

Created by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

Welcome back to another episode of Everybody Hates Tom as we take a look at how our beloved and beloathed protagonist handle the mysterious concept of… FRIENDSHIP!  I hear it’s a kind of magic!  Anyway, the episode begins with Good ol’ Tom Peters dropping his friend Gibbons (Brian Posehn) off at the train station after what appears to have been a very pleasant get together.  Apparently that all happened in an episode we never got to see, and while I’m SURE Tom is happy to have spent some time with his bestest buddy, he’s got some planning to do for Jefferton’s Friendship Expo and needs to hurry this tearful goodbye along so that he can get back to work.  No wait, Gibbons is there too because he apparently missed his train (how the hell did he miss it!?  IT WAS RIGHT THERE!) and is just gonna hang out for the time being.  Clearly Tom is not too comfortable with this as he was clearly ready to recharge his batteries after spending that afternoon with Gibbons, but he can’t focus on that as he has to get his booth ready to sell his Books On Tiny Cassettes as well as his wife’s Friendship Skirts For Men (meant to be worn in tandem).  Oh look!  Even The Mayor manages to stop by to wish his buddy good luck, though he seems a little bit put off by Gibbons.

TGTTM10-1
“BURN THE WITCH!”     “Well THIS guy seems a little high strung.”

Continue reading “Super Recaps: Tom Goes to the Mayor (Gibbons)”

Cinema Dispatch: Love, Simon

LOVESIMONCD0

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

Directed by Greg Berlanti

Does anyone else think we’re at the point where we need to come up with a better way of describing movies like this one other than “Like a John Hughes movie”?  As much as those movies are a touchstone in popular culture, the phrase a bit played out at this point, and on top that movies such as this one, despite being quite faithful to the overall formula and tone that he developed, feels like something that couldn’t have (even if it SHOULD have) been made in his time.  I mean I GUESS we could go with “teenage coming of age story”, but that still doesn’t feel like it fully encapsulates the specific high school angst and post puberty struggles of self-discovery that made us develop the term in the first place.  Anyway, I’m just rambling here as I honestly had no idea of this movie’s existence until it showed up at my local theater, but I am happy that we’re getting an ACTUAL LGBTQIA+ teen comedy as that kind of movie is a lot more in my wheelhouse than the super serious LGBTQIA+ films like Moonlight or even Carol.  Does this manage to succeed in being just as good if not better than its straight peers in the genre, or is its good intentions just not enough to carry this film all the way through its run time?  Let’s find out!!

Simon Spier (Nick Robinson) is your typical teenager, in that he’s not quite sure about his place in the world and has secrets that he doesn’t feel like sharing with the rest of the world.  As the audience though, we’re privy to ALL that information and we find out right away that Simon is in fact gay but hasn’t come out yet; not to his friends Leah, Abby, and Nick (Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp, and Jorge Lendeborg Jr), nor to his parents (Josh Duhmael and Jennifer Garner) and little sister (Talitha Bateman).  He has his reasons for doing so and it’s not like there’s a LAW that says you have to do it as soon as you know, so his plan is to just continue pining after hot dudes while hiding any trace that he’s actually doing so!  Simple enough, right!?  Well… not necessarily.  It turns out that there’s ANOTHER closeted gay dude in school who posts an anonymous letter on the school’s blog under the pseudonym Blue and leaves an e-mail address for people to contact him at.  Simon on a whim decides to reach out to him (using a pseudonym as well) which leads to a flurry of back and forth e-mails as Simon starts to develop feelings for this unknown “Blue” person.  However, since this IS a movie about teenagers, there has to be SOME sort of disaster and in this case it’s the nerdy kid Martin (Logan Miller) who finds Simon’s letters and tries to set up an “arrangement” (*cough* Blackmail *cough*) where Simon will help him clean up his act, take better care of himself, and become a much more attractive and emotionally available person which will help him meet awesome women who think he’s awesome and they can have awesome dates together.  At least that’s what I’m sure is going through MARTIN’S head to make this sound so much more innocent, but what it breaks down to is Simon (under threat of being forcibly outed) having to arrange dates between Martin and Abby who the former has a crush on.  Yeah, not the BEST situation to be in all things considered, and worse yet he might end up losing his chances with Blue who might get scared off if Simon is forcibly outed; thinking he might be next if he keeps contacting him.  Can Simon juggle this rough situation with his everyday duties of being the typical American teenager?  Will Martin make good on his threats and just how far will Simon have to go to keep that from happening?  How is it that EVERYONE’S teenage years suck!?  You’d think at least ONE person would luck out at some point!

LOVESIMONCD1
“Not only is my life over, it’s also a cliché…”

Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: Love, Simon”

Cinema Dispatch: Blockers

BLOCKERSCD0

Blockers and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures

Directed by Kay Cannon

Blockers?  Seriously?  We’re all PRETENDING that’s what the movie is called!?  IT’S COCK BLOCKERS!  They’re not even being subtle about it considering THEY PUT A ROOSTER ON THE POSTER!!  I don’t know why, but the first time I saw the trailer and the subsequent poster for it, this one aspect REALLY annoyed me and I ended up feeling rather down on the trailer overall.  What, John Cena’s gonna try to sell us on him being a comedy star by shoving stuff up his butt?  Been there, done that!  Sure they had Leslie Mann and Ike Barinholtz on hand to steady the ship and keep things on track, but I didn’t really see much to this movie that I hadn’t seen in a hundred other comedies before it.  In the last week or so however, the early buzz for this movie started to get REALLY strong and people were praising it all over the place!  Is there a chance that I was WRONG about this movie!?  BUT THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE!!  You all come to read this because I’m ALWAYS RIGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING, right!?  Well I guess we’ll have to see if my skills at predicting movies based on trailers are top notch or if Universal was merely doing a bad job of selling a gem they had on their hands.  Does this film live up to the hype, or was I right all along!?  Let’s find out!!

Kayla, Julie, and Sam (Geraldine Viswanathan, Kathryn Newton, and Gideon Adlon) are the high school seniors who are ready to finally graduate but not before going to their prom which is the biggest day in a young teenager’s life, at least according to this movie.  I don’t know about you, but I brought a book to my prom instead of a date, so I guess I have trouble relating to that, but it’s made clear that this is a special night to THEM and they even decided that that will be the night they’ll lose their virginity!  One wants to do it then so that it would be a perfect night, another figures it’s as good a time as any to get it over with, and the last one is a closeted lesbian or wants to get in on the bonding experience and at least TRY to see if she’s maybe into the opposite sex before committing to the queer identity.  Too bad that their parents get wind of this idea and have decided to… block them from getting laid that night!  The parents in question include Kayla’s dad Mitchell (John Cena) as the super serious and incredibly dorky one, Julie’s mother Lisa (Leslie Mann) who’s a single parent and is afraid that her daughter is making a terrible mistake, and Sam’s father Hunter (Ike Barinholtz) who has his own reasons for going along with this that include wanting to reconnect with his daughter since he’s been more or less absent since he divorced her mother.  Will they be successful in stopping their daughters from having either the best night or the worst night of their lives?  What other issues have they all been hiding from that will be forced to the forefront in this wacky adventure?  Can John Cena properly atone for being in the god awful Mel Gibson movie!?

BLOCKERSCD1
“This is MUCH better than doing Daddy’s Home 3!!”

Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: Blockers”

Cinema Dispatch: Acrimony

ACRIMONYCD0

Acrimony and all the images you see in this review are owned by Lionsgate

Directed by Tyler Perry

Oh great!  We’re back here again!  It wasn’t bad enough that we got a new Pure Flix movie, but we have to get another Tyler Perry one too!?  At least that’s what I’d NORMALLY be saying, but there are a few things surrounding this particular feature that have slightly altered my expectations; including the fact that God’s Not Dead 3 is actually not all that terrible (even if it is still woefully problematic).  Tyler Perry isn’t the MOST incompetent filmmaker out there, but his middling skills are not helped by the very low expectations he puts on himself and on what he expects the audience to lap up, hence why Boo 2 was shot a mere five months before it was released and is an utter retread of the previous film.  This one though?  It could be just wishful thinking, but the darker tone along with the R rating and the casting of Taraji P Henson as the lead… well it could mean something.  Maybe not much as this is STILL a rather unimpressive director (as well as writer and producer), but if Pure Flix can manage to vastly improve their output every once in a blue moon, then why not Perry?  Does this film rise above the low expectations of yet another Tyler Perry production, or are we in for another obnoxiously moralizing tale in lieu of a well-made movie?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins with Melinda (Taraji P Henson and Ajiona Alexus) being sent to a court mandated therapy session to deal with her anger issues which presumably landed her in a courtroom in the first place, but she’s not just angry!  She has a pitch black white hot fury more powerful than that of a collapsing star!  What could POSSIBLY have happened to make her so unbelievably pissed!?  Well her therapist would certainly like to know, so Melinda proceeds to regale us with her life story; starting with the day she met… HIM!  Who is HIM!?  Just some dude named Robert (Lyriq Bent and Antonio Madison) she met in college.  Okay, he’s a BIT more important than that because it seems that his charisma was SO magnetic that the two ended up marrying and living a rather unspectacular life together for the last twenty years, and she is NOT happy about him wasting all those years of her life being a lazy and irresponsible man child that tinkered away in his workshop on a new-fangled battery that’s never gonna freaking work; all the while supporting this obsession with unfulfilling jobs and assuming massive amounts of debt.  Now there’s more going on here than just a crappy marriage, especially what happens after she works up the nerve to leave his sorry ass, but to go much further would venture into spoilers and it’s better that you hear it from Melinda in her own words rather than through the grape vine.  What unspeakable crimes could have happened that justifies her ceaseless rage and thirst for vengeance?  Just how far will she go to get to the man who did her wrong?  Hey, um… is Tyler Perry alright?  He seems like he’s working through some things here…

ACRIMONYCD1
You all should have supported Proud Mary when you had the chance!  IT’S TOO LATE NOW!!

Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: Acrimony”

Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #1

STHIDW1-0

Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America

Sonic The Hedgehog from Archie Comics was the longest running comic book series based on a video game, and while I’ve only looked at a small fraction of the issues they released, I do consider myself to be a fan of the work they did in that book; especially in bring some real depth and naunce to the Freedom Fighters as well as how fearless they were to expand the world and take us to new and interesting places. Sure it didn’t always WORK *cough* Nerbs *cough*), but the overwhelming scope of what they managed to accomplish cannot be ignored. It’s with a certain amount of reservation and glee that I waited for IDW to start their own Sonic the Hedgehog series once they got the rights from SEGA, and while I’m still VERY unhappy about how the Archie Comics have been treated since the licenese switch, Iam more than happy to give this new one a shot and see what directions they’ll go in now that we’re rebuilding it all from sctach. Do this first issue manage to succeed in continuing the legacy of such a momenumental work? Let’s find out!!

The first thing worth noting about this book is exactly who’s behind it. While the front may say IDW, half of the staff here migrated directly from the Archie Comic series, including Ian Flynn as the head writer, Tracy Yardley on pencils, and Jim Amash and Matt Herms on inks and colors respectively (I’m gonna prented I know exactly what those jobs mean). Hopefully this will be a good sign of things to come, though I doubt that much of the material they were working from back at Archie can even be MENTIONED in the new book. Then again, the issue begins in medias res (I PROBABLY know what that means) as we picking up this story after some sort of climactic battle between Dr. Eggman and Sonic the Hedgehog where the not so good doctor disappeared afterwards and left his robot army to wander aimlessly around the countryside. The bad news is that despite them acting without much sense of structure or coheision, a bunch of pissed off robots with heavy weapony are still nothing to sneeze at as the citizens of one unnamed village are about to find out. The good news is though that their unorganized assaults are PERFECT opportunities for Sonic to show off his skills and fuel his massive ego by racking up some easy victories!

STHIDW1-1
TOO SOON, pink cat lady! The bodies of the critters who Sonic DIDN’T save are still literring the city streets!

Continue reading “Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #1”

Super Recaps: Tom Goes to the Mayor (Calcucorn)

TGTTM

Tom Goes to the Mayor and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros and Adult Swim

Created by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

Welcome back to another episode of Mayor Bites Dog; an apropos title as you will see soon enough!  The episode begins with Tom Peters visiting The Mayor as he usually does; only this time around he has a one man camera crew with him; namely his wife’s ex-husband Todd (David Cross) who’s the deadbeat dad of Tom’s step children and currently trying to make a pilot for a reality show called Mister Entrepreneur!  Actually it seems like just an excuse to constantly belittle and emasculate Tom, but hey; you say Tomato, I say He’s a Total Douche!  The Mayor by the way is THRILLED about this new development and goes off to put his face on so that he’s camera ready!

TGTTM9-1
“LUCY!  I’M HOME!!”     “It’s uh… it’s actually Tom.”

Continue reading “Super Recaps: Tom Goes to the Mayor (Calcucorn)”

Cinema Dispatch: God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness

GND3CD0

God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness and all the images you see in this review are owned by Pure Flix Entertainment

Directed by Michael Mason

Is there any single entity that manages to put out worse garbage to the cinemas than Pure Flix?  Yes, Eli Roth.  Other than HIM though, Pure Flix is easily the biggest blight on my existence as a film critic and I dread their releases more than anything else; God’s Not Dead 2 in particular being one of the lowest points I’ve ever had sitting in a theater.  Now watching them in a Post-SCROTUS America?  Good LORD, I can’t imagine how smug these reprehensible pieces of Christian propaganda will be while STILL acting like they’re the biggest victim of systemic oppression (spoiler alert, they aren’t).  Can Pure Flix sink to an even LOWER level than they’ve managed to in the past?  With God on their side, ANYTHING is possible!  Let’s find out!!

After the events of the last film (ugh…), Pastor Dave (David AR White) has been released from jail and the charges dropped over him refusing a court order to hand over his sermons to… the government or something.  THANKFULLY the movie isn’t about THAT, lest I wouldn’t have made it out of this screening in one piece, and instead we jump ahead a little bit in time where Pastor Dave has become kind of a local celebrity as the guy who’s church fought the government and won; though with celebrity comes infamy and his church has been getting a lot of heat.  Apparently the church itself is affiliated with the local college (I’m ASSUMING the same one from the first film) and there’s a growing movement among the student body to have the church removed for… existing I guess (okay…) and the board of directors at the college are TERRIFIED (okay…) and ready to cow tow to the angry mob’s demands.  If only something were to happen that would make the decision that much easier.  Well I guess God must have been listening to THAT prayer because one of the students (Mike C Manning) is angry at the church due to his girlfriend (Samantha Boscarino) dumping him over being an annoying Atheist jerk, and so he throws a brick through the window.  Wouldn’t you know it though; the brick hits a gas pipe and EXPLODES the freaking thing along with David’s best buddy from the previous films, Reverend Jude (Benjamin A Onyango).  Well now that a poor pipe work and a hot headed kid have done most of the work for them, the College Board decides to take the land away from Reverend Dave with the right of Eminent Domain (okay…) which our stalwart hero CLEARLY has a problem with.  He’s SO angry about this that he does the ONE THING he really doesn’t want to do which is to call his Atheist brother in the big city Pearce (John Corbett) to help him fight his case against the college.  With some resignation and more than a bit of smugness, Pearce agrees to take the case and the two set forth to plan the best defense they have to keep the land and get the church rebuilt.  Can the two brothers put aside their differences long enough to save this house of God along with their strained relationship?  Just how far will the (supposedly) anti-Christian protesters go to destroy this church, and how far will the other side go to keep it?  Is it just me, or did this movie make a REALLY good decision by having David AR White be sad the whole time?

GND3CD1
Considering the kind of movies he’s made, I feel like he should be this sad more often.

Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness”