Cinema Dispatch: Captain Marvel

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Captain Marvel and all the images you see in this review are owned by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck

You know, it’d be nice if a Marvel movie can come out and NOT bring out the worst of the man babies which has sadly become an almost yearly ritual that the rest of us have to deal with.  Now admittedly I was something of a crybaby when I was pretty scathing about Infinity War, but at least I WAITED until I saw the movie and… you know… FORMED MY OWN OPINION ABOUT IT!  I didn’t go into it assuming it was going to be bad or pass of blatant lies as a “review” to tank an arbitrary number like an alarming number of people took time out of their day to do!  The amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth that this movie generated is phenomenal, and frankly it’s a BIT worrying at this point for the most popular thing in the world to somehow also be the largest lightening rod of faux controversy in cinema.  It’d be nice if something other than the latest Disney Money Maker can be talked about without the SAD BOY PATROL rearing their ugly heads and derailing ACTUAL conversations that people care about, but I guess we don’t get to choose our villains who in this day and age are less James Moriarty and more The Collector from that one Treehouse of Horror episode.  Anyway, we’re all here to talk about the movie, so let’s cut through the nonsense and look at what all the hubbub’s about!  Is this a cinematic masterpiece that will crush the patriarchy once and for all, or did all these crying losers utterly lose their cool over a not especially good superhero movie?  Let’s find out!!

Vers (Brie Larson) is a refugee on a Kree planet who was found by Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) and trained to be a warrior to fight the enemy that left her for dead and with no memory; an enemy of shape shifting green dudes known as THE SKRULL!  Vers is not only tough but she has some sort of energy blast power thingy that makes her an effective hammer to smash things with, but she’s still struggling to be a team player which becomes an issue on her first mission with Yon-Rogg and his crew to extract a double agent before the Skrull find him.  The mission inevitably goes wrong, Vers is captured but manages to escape, and so she and a bunch of Skrull soldiers including their commanding officer Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) crash land on Earth which so far has been left unaware of the Kree/Skrull conflict.  Not long after landing, she meets up with a S.H.I.E.L.D. operative named Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) who decides that the enemy of my enemy is my friend (at least for now) and is helping her find the Skrulls and whatever it is that led them to Earth in the first place.  Eventually Vers learns that she’s actually FROM Earth and that her real name is Carol Danvers which is quite a shock to her considering that she was supposedly a refugee from another planet, so on top of stopping the Skrull from destroying this planet like they have to so many others, she has to find out exactly who she is, why she ended up on a Kree planet, and what this would mean for her life going forward.  Can Carol find the secrets of her past, and will they be the key finding her true place in the universe?  What exactly are the Skrull planning, and can Carol’s new perspective lead her to finding a way to end this conflict once and for all?  Seriously, why were there SO many creepy dudes combing through every single detail before this movie came out!?  Do they really think it makes them look smart and credible!?

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“You think I should smile more?”     *PUNCH*     “How about now?”     *PUNCH*     “This is actually kind of fun.”     *PUNCH*     “Oh would you look at that?  I might just start to smirk!”     *PUNCH* *PUNCH* *PUNCH*

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Cinema Dispatch: A Madea Family Funeral

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A Madea Family Funeral and all the images you see in this review are owned by Lionsgate

Directed by Tyler Perry

It’s Perry time once again and I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER!!  Oh who am I kidding!?  I cannot keep up the charade any longer!  I am definitely not looking forward to this guy trying to make a movie with nothing more than a living room, a couple costumes, and an absolute disdain for the art of editing.  I’ve had to sit through Boo 1 AND Boo 2 already!  You think I’m proud of that!?  Now we’ve got this movie that he’s claiming will be the last time we see Madea (as bad as these are I STILL want to see a Madea movie where she takes on the alt right and punches Richard Spencer in the face) which would hopefully means it’s a culmination of everything he’s learned as a filmmakers after all these years, but I think we all know better than to assume he’s thought that far ahead.  Can Tyler Perry send off his signature character with an emotionally satisfying swan song, or is this just like ALL the others which… actually would still be pretty fitting all things considered?  Let’s find out!!

Madea, Joe, Hattie, and Aunt Bam (Tyler Perry, Tyler Perry, Patrice Lovely, and Cassi Davis) are doing their own thing at Brian’s house (Tyler Perry again) but what’s ACTUALLY going on is that one of  Madea’s numerous relatives is having an anniversary party that all the grown kids on that side of the family are preparing for.  We’ve got the couple of the hour Anthony and Vianne (Derek Morgan and Jen Harper), their naïve yet good hearted son Jessie with his girlfriend Renee (Rome Flynn and Quin Walters), their older son AJ who’s a Tyler Perry stock villain along with his rich wife Gia (Courtney Burrell and Aeriél Miranda), and their daughter Sylvia with her husband Will (Ciera Payton and David Otunga) who are… just kinda there.  Oh, and also Uncle Heathrow (Tyler Perry AGAIN) who’s the WACKY relative who’s obnoxiously sexist humor everyone just kind of puts up with.  Anyway, while the party is getting ready and Madea and co are on their way, someone dies.  I’m not gonna spoil who, but what this means is that everyone’s gotta plan for a funeral now which involves Madea taking charge and being SUPER WACKY about it while everyone else who’s actually important to the story start to have their secrets bubble to the surface which could tear this entire family apart.  Can Madea pull off a successful funeral with only a minimal amount of mishaps in horror of the recently deceased?  What is everyone in this family hiding, and just how much popcorn should we get to watch it unfold?  Has any else noticed that there’s ALWAYS drama whenever Madea comes around?  It’s like whenever Jessica Fletcher visits a place and someone JUST SO HAPPENS to get murdered, only one of them doesn’t do a darn thing to actually help the situation.

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“Look here!  I’ve got me some drama bombs and I’m not afraid to use them!  I will ruin each one of your lives and make forty million dollars filming it!  DO YOU HEAR ME!?”

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Cinema Dispatch: Greta

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Greta and all the images you see in this review are owned by Focus Features

Directed by Neil Jordan

Is it just me, or are we about to get a tidal wave of horror movies?  Sure, we’ve already had stuff like Escape Room and The Prodigy wasting space at the multiplex, but we’re just coming off of Happy Death Day 2U before getting this film, and we’ve still got Us and Pet Semetary coming out soon, not to mention that EVIL Superman movie and the one where Octavia Spencer kills a bunch of bratty teenagers just over the horizon!  Can this movie about the perils of making friends with Isabelle Huppert prove to be the standout horror movie in an already crowded field, or will this be lost in the shuffle like so many other movies trying to grab onto this popular (and affordable) genre?  Let’s find out!!

Frances (Chloë Grace Moretz) is your typical millennial living in the city with her roommate Erica (Maik Monroe) and one day she finds a purse all by its lonesome that she decides to return it to its owner because she’s such a nice person!  Said purse is owned by Great (Isabelle Huppert) who lives alone and spends her time playing the piano to drown out the neighbors who always seem to be banging on her walls, and the two become quick friends.  Maybe they have genuine interests or maybe their using each other to fill a hole they have in their lives (Frances’s mother recently died and Great’s daughter is supposedly off in France), but whatever the case may be they both seem to be much more happy now that they’ve got each other as friends!  Now that sounds like a fun movie on its own, but as it turns out Greta is hiding something as Frances finds a half dozen of the same purse in her one of Greta’s cupboards which means she DIDN’T lose her purse and intentionally left it for someone to find!  Why would she do that!?  Well the correct answer is WHO CARES because the answer is probably not a good one and so Frances decides to bail and cut all contact with Greta.  Not an easy task as it turns out as she won’t stop calling her apartment, leaving lengthy voicemails, and even showing up at her place of work to try and stay in touch with her.  With the police unable (or possibly unwilling) to help Frances out, she decides to take matters into her own hands and find out more about Greta which leads to even more mysteries and even a few answers she may not like.  Can Frances find a way to extract Greta from her life without putting herself or her loved ones in danger?  What is Greta really after, and just how far will she go to get it?  Did you know Isabelle Huppert was supposed to be in the Suspiria remake back when David Gordon Green was supposed to direct it?  Maybe THAT’S what this is all about!!

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“Did you put in a good word for me, Chloë?”     “Yeah… of course!”     “YOU LIAR!!”

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Cinema Dispatch: Isn’t It Romantic

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Isn’t it Romantic and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros. Pictures

Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson

This review is going up PRETTY darn late considering it’s been out for over three weeks now, but I have a VERY good reason for taking my time with it!  Okay, maybe not a GOOD reason, but the truth is that I got a serious case of writers block thinking about this movie.  Yeah, the mid-February release is the one that locked up my brain for a lot longer than I’d care to admit.  How could that be!?  In the year that already brought us Glass and Serenity, THIS is the one I had trouble wrapping my head around!?  Could it be that this is a multi-layered and nuanced examination of relationships and the media surrounding them, or is it just kind of… meh, but in ways that aren’t particularly interesting to write about?  Let’s find out!!

Natalie (Rebel Wilson) is a young woman struggling to make it in the big city and has abandoned love to focus on her career which isn’t going to great either because she’s a smart and overly competent woman who isn’t taken seriously at the workplace.  Her best friend Josh (Adam DeVine) has a crush on her, her girlfriend Whitney (Betty Gilpin) is a bit quirky but always encouraging, and the new hotshot with a million dollar smile Blake (Liam Hemsowrth) is ignoring her ideas to his own detriment because she has some brilliant plans for his next project.  Sounds a bit clichéd if you ask me, even the part about Natalie being cynical about love and calling out other Romantic Comedies for being unrealistic, but after suffering a concussion in a WACKY mugging scene, she wakes up and finds herself in a ROMANTIC COMEDYTM where everyone is a model, the colors are boosted up to eleven, and people will break out into song occasionally.  Natalie may be fully aware that she’s stuck in a Meg Ryan movie by way of Baz Luhrmann, but the question is how the heck does she get out of here?  Is this Back to the Future rules where she has to recreate the incident that got her there, or is this Groundhog Day rules where she has to fulfil some sort of destiny before she’s allowed to leave?  Well she’s gonna have to try both at least, and when the first one doesn’t work out she starts to pursue the hunk-tastic Blake because of course that’s who she’ll end up with in these kind of stories and starts going to the motions as best as she can; which includes living in her overpriced apartment, starring in makeover montages, and even having an offensive gay best friend stereotype named Donny (Brandon Scott Jones) who lives next door and always pops up whenever he’s needed!  Can Natalie survive this nightmare of high fashion, shallow problems, and unrealistic romance long enough to get back to her normal life of muted colors and an unfulfilling work environment?  Will Blake be the key to her escape, or is there something ELSE she should be looking for instead?  Doesn’t this feel a bit like a chicken and egg situation where figuring out if the cliché is more clichéd than the critique on the cliché?

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“I REJECT YOUR REALITY AND SUBSTITUTE IT WITH MY OWN!!”

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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #14

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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

We’re back with another issue of The Excellent Eggman Escapades which should be the OFFICIAL title of this series if the villains’ story line continues to be such a big highlight of this series!  Ever since Eggman came back to his senses and took the villain role once again, the series has improved significantly with a much more focused story line and an interesting new antagonist in the form of Doctor Starline.  With his first fight against Sonic himself, can this new villain continue to impress along with everything else the bad guys are doing?  Let’s find out!!

The issue begins with Sonic and Silver climbing a mountain which helpful little box informs us is FROZEN PEAK, but I can’t tell if it’s a pronoun or just a vague description of where they are.  I mean sure, in a world where half the charactesr have a first name foled by THE SPECIES it wouldn’t be that hard of a leap for things to be named so bluntly (I’m guessing that would mean Sonic was chillaxing on HOT BEACH in the last issue), but it must be a nightmare for the Woodland Critter Cartographer Society.  Why are we even up here in the first place?  And why do neither of them have jackets?  While the latter question will remain a mystery that’ll haunt me to the end of my days (does sonic have fur?  IS HE ONLY FURY ON THE BLUE PARTS!?), the former is a lot easier to answer.  Apparently SOMEBODY, not gonna name names, walked up to Silver, told him Eggman has a base on a mountain somewhere, and then disappeared without a trace.  I don’t know about you, but that sounds like an A PLUS lead right there!

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“If I didn’t foolishly dive head first into danger, then I wouldn’t be going fast!  It’s possible that I’d be… going slow.”     “Don’t say that, Sonic!  Don’t EVER say that!!”

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