Monthly Archives: March 2019

Cinema Dispatch: The Beach Bum

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The Beach Bum and all the images you see in this review are owned by Neon

Directed by Harmony Korine

Did you know that I once asked John Waters a question at one of his shows?  Yeah, unlike people who actually do this for a living, I don’t have any celebrity stories to speak of, but I saw him at a show once and he picked me during the Q and A.  Anyway, my question was whether I thought his work had been a major influence on modern filmmakers and if anyone in particular came to mind.  He said that he doesn’t really see himself DIRECTLY influencing people, but that he did break down barriers for others who would come later… and he also said that Todd Solondz as Harmony Korine have PROBABLY seen his films.  I don’t know if that means much in relationship to the latter’s most recent film, but I figured this is probably the best chance I had to tell that story, so there it is!  As far as Mr. Korine himself, I’ve only ever seen Spring Breakers which I actually liked quite a lot, though I haven’t seen it in years and I get the feeling that it’s more uncomfortable moments don’t hold up all that well, but that’s why directors solider on and film NEW movies such as this one here!  Is The Beach Bum another success for this unique voice in Hollywood, or has his worst tendencies come to the forefront even more so than usual?  Let’s find out!!

Moondog (Matthew McConaughey) is just some dude who spends his time in the Florida Keys bumming drinks off of people, sleeping on the beach, and finding joy in life wherever he can find it.  Oh, and he’s also a famous writer, super rich, and has a loving family who he can go back to any time he needs to dry out from his latest binge.  His wife Minnie (Isla Fisher) adores his free spirited attitude towards life, love, and the law, but that last one kind of gets them in trouble as the two end up drinking and driving on the night of their daughter’s wedding (Stefania LaVie Owens) and Minnie ends up dying in the crash.  In her will, she tells Moondog that he won’t inherit her vast fortune until he finishes his latest novel which he’s been procrastinating on for some time, so he decides to do just that.  Of course he’ll be getting drunk, having sex, and… well doing what he’s always been doing as well, but he’ll find time to write a few lines here and there!  With adventure, drugs, friends including his buddy Lingerie (Snoop Dogg), is there anything that can keep Moondog down?  Will he eventually finish his book before he runs out of whatever money he has left as well as the goodwill of the people he’s met throughout his wild and bombastic life?  You know how some movies are clearly made so the filmmakers can take a vacation?  Why do I get the feeling that was the case here but less luxury hotels and more drinking tequila under a bridge and calling it “research”?

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Academy Award Winner Matthew McConaughey, seen here hoping to God he didn’t crap his pants last night.

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Super Recaps: The Twilight Zone (Time Lapse)

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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 John T Kretchmer

We’re back with another episode of that Twilight Zone series that’ll become even MORE irrelevant once Jordan Peele’s series finally comes out!  Today’s episode asks the very important question of how closely a TV show can rip off a movie; a question I sadly won’t be able to answer because I haven’t SEEN Memento yet, but even then I can tell that this episode (which only came out a year after the movie) is trying to make the TV friendly version of it.  Still, does it manage to be a fun knock off instead of the boring and halfhearted kind?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with Zack and Maria (Ethan Embry and Alexandra Barreto) who are playfully talking about the former’s forthcoming bachelor party and doing so while wheeling a guy who got shot in the head to his hospital room.  Hey, there’s no harm in having fun at your job, and it’s not like the guy’s family is there any way!  Just some dude in a suit that seems VERY keen to know when this guy wakes up but no matter!  BACHELOR PARTY, WHOO!!  Anyway, Zack’s shift is over which means he can finally go home and…

*WHAM*

He wakes up and finds himself in a hotel room hundreds of miles away (he’s in Portland but lives and works in Phoenix) and there’s a gun in his suitcase.  Well dang!  Just throw us right into the deep end, why don’t you!?

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“On top of that, he only has twelve hours to live.”     “WHAT!?”     “And he’s being haunted by a ghost.”     “STOP IT!!”

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Cinema Dispatch: Us

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

Directed by Jordan Peele

After Get Out, it was almost a certainty that Jordan Peele would become one of the predominate voices in the industry, but as is the case with any director who comes out the gate that strongly there’s always the question of how they’re gonna follow it up; hence the term Sophomore Slump.  Michael Cimino, Richard Kelly, Joe Cornish, they’ve all had underwhelming second films and it’s not that hard to see why.  Bigger budgets and more creative freedom means that a lot of filmmakers will pursue their passion project which may or may not appeal to as many people (or let’s be honest, aren’t as good ideas as they think they are) which rubs up against the very high expectations to follow up their first film with something even better.  Will that be the fate of Jordan Peele’s follow up to Get Out, or is he destined to buck the trend and give us a new experience that’s just as fantastic?  Let’s find out!!

Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong’o) is your average middle class woman with the perfect family consisting of her husband Gabe (Winston Duke) and her children Zora and Jason (Shahadi Wright and Evan Alex) who head to their summer home for a much needed vacation.  Said vacation however is somewhat bittersweet as it used to belong to Adelaide’s mother before she died and on top of that Adelaide has some less than perfect memories of the place.  You see, back when she was a child she and her parents took a visit to the boardwalk where she wandered off and ran into a little girl who looked EXACTLY like her.  What happened next is something of a mystery, but the point is that it was a very traumatizing moment and the memory of it has put her on edge the entire time they’re there.  It turns out she was RIGHT to be fearful however because in the middle of the night a family of four who look just like them (played by the same actors) and refer to themselves as THE TETHERED break in and start being SUPER creepy around the family with some sort of deadly scheme in mind.  I think it goes Step 1: Murder, Step 2: … , and Step 3: Profit, but whatever the end goal may be the Wilson family is gonna need to find a way to fight back and survive this horrid night by any means necessary.  Can Adelaide and face her greatest fear in the form of the doppelganger she saw so long ago?  What exactly are THE TETHERED after, and do their ambitions extend beyond just torturing this one family for funsies?  What if Thanos’s plan wasn’t just to wipe out half of humanity, but to replace them with evil versions of the other half!?  JORDAN PEELE IS NOW CONFIRMED FOR THE MCU!!

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“I didn’t survive the attack on Wakanda just for this crap!  Wait, did I survive?”

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Cinema Dispatch: Wonder Park

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Wonder Park and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures

Directed by no one

So you’re telling me that there’s a movie in theaters right now where a sex pest had to leave the movie halfway through its tumultuous production, and it’s NOT Bohemian Rhapsody!?  Yes, it’s not a typo that I didn’t credit a director on this movie because the guy who at some point sat in that chair got booted off of it and got the added justice of having his name stripped from the credits; something that I’m sure Fox would have really liked to do for its movie before things got awkward at the Oscars.  Even before I knew any of that though, I was not looking forward to this considering how low rent and unappealing the trailers were which makes it all the more astounding that the darn thing cost upwards of a hundred million, so it seems pretty clear we’re in for a train wreck of epic proportions.  Does this movie miraculously stick the landing despite everything going against it, or are we just here to watch it flame out in spectacular fashion?  Let’s find out!!

June Bailey (Brianna Denski) is your typical millennial smarty pants who was basically raised her whole life on STEM related games; the main one being an imaginary park known as WONDER PARK with fantastical rides and a staff of talking animals that she and her mother (Jennifer Garner) would work on each night before bed.  Over time, June’s interest started to bleed out into the real world which started off rather dangerously with unsafe roller coasters made out of plywood and city property, but eventually she started to focus on smaller scale project with actual engineering behind them instead of trial and error until someone cracks their skull open.  However… something happens.  I’m not going to say WHAT because the trailers do a very good job of hiding what this movie is actually about, but there’s a tragedy that causes her to give up on her Wonder Park dreams, and since this is a Kid’s Movie the universe will not take such flagrant cynicism lying down!  Thorough the power of unexplained magic, June ends up in Wonder Park itself which is run by the loyal animal staff which includes Boomer the bear, Gus the beaver, Cooper the OTHER beaver, Greta the boar, and Steve the porcupine (Ken Hudson Campbell, Kenan Thompson, Ken Jeong, Mila Kunis, and John Oliver), but has been left in disarray for some time now.  See, something happened to the park as well which brought THE DARKNESS upon them (I WONDER IF HER TRAGEDY AND THEIRS ARE SOMEHOW CONNECTED!?) that caused the guests to disappear and the stuffed animals to turn homicidal; taking the group’s leader Peanut (Norbet Leo Butz), a chimpanzee with a magic marker who made the rides June and her mother thought of.  So now June is stuck in the last place she wants to be with animal friends who are not very helpful and is now trying to fix an amusement park in order to save a chimp with magic powers from adorable abominations.  Sounds legit if you ask me!  Can June and her friends figure out how to get the park up and running again to banish the darkness once and for all?  Will this exercise in engineering splendor and stuffed animal homicide be just what June needs to confront her traumas once and for all?  Is it just me, or does this all sound pretty convoluted for a movie so clearly aimed at five year olds?

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“Okay, so is this The Darkness that gives you demonic powers, The Darkness that stains your new white couch, or The Darkness that fuels our deepest fears and anxieties?”     “I’m pretty sure it’s the last one, but I don’t think it’s fond of couches either.”

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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #15

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

Things are starting to get serious around here now that Eggman has a robo-virus thingy as well as two ignorant test subjects to use it on!  The villains have certainly been the highlight of this arc to be sure and giving Rough & Tumble a cybernetic upgrade could certainly bring them up to Eggman and Starline’s level, but the more and more the writers put into that side of the story, are they letting the good guys fall to the wayside?  Let’s find out!!

The issue begins with Sonic and Amy who are trying to suss out Eggman’s latest plan and end up finding his lair which is adorned in typical Eggman fashion.  No one can expect him to inhabit some place with anything less than Baz Lehrman levels of flair, and frankly that’s why I love the guy!  I mean how can you NOT respect someone who will exert that much effort on something so vain!?

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“YUMMY YUMMY YUMMY, I’VE GOT SONIC IN MY TUMMY!!”     “Did he have to install the speaker system too?”

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