Cinema Dispatch: John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

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John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum and all the images you see in this review are owned by Summit Entertainment

Directed by Chad Stahelski

So here we are once again.  Now I wasn’t the biggest fan of the second movie, but the John Wick movies have their own sense of style and craftsmanship that’s hard to ignore even when the story begins to fall apart, at least as far as I’m concerned regarding that sequel.  Now the time has come for them to hopefully right the ship and bring this franchise back to what made it great instead of the convoluted mess that we got last time.  Will we be getting the conclusion to John’s story that will make this whole wild trip worth taking, or is this franchise already too far into the rabbit hole for us to reasonably expect them to dig their way out of?  Let’s find out!!

The movie picks up mere minutes after the end of the last one where John (Keanu Reeves) has just been ex-communicated from The Continental for (SPOILER ALERT FOR JOHN WICK 2) killing what’s his face in the last film (Riccardo Scamarcio).  Now obviously no one expects John Wick to go down quietly, especially not the owner of The Continental (Ian McShane), and yet a bunch of assassins take a swipe at the guy with about as much luck as you’d expect.  However, John’s plan isn’t JUST to kill enough people to clog up the Hudson River; he needs to go and appease The High Table who I guess is in charge of The Continental and all the other Assassin Hotels which apparently was a THING in the last movie that I just forgot about.  Now what’s his face that no one liked from the last movie was apparently a member of this table (can’t be THAT great if he got a seat) and so John’s up to his eyeballs in not just hot shots trying to make a quick buck, but basically everyone within the orbit of The High Table.  This includes The Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon) who is there to clean up (i.e. kill) everyone with even a vague connection to John’s recent activities, and Zero the Assassin (Mark Dacascos) who’s band of ninjas have been hired to help The Adjudicator do his dirty work.  So while that’s all going down in New York, John is trying to get a meeting with a member of The High Table which is no easy task as he has to cash in whatever chips he has left to get help from his former trainer (Anjelica Huston) and a former colleague who owes him one (Halle Berry); both risking a lot even if whatever assistance they offer is through official channels because The High Table is having none of that crap anymore.  Will John find what he needs to in order to spare his life from the wrath of The High Table?  What will those back in New York do now that they’ve gotten the ire of the people at the very top of the food chain?  Just how many dudes do BOTH sides have to spare over this rather small dispute between the one guy none of them can kill and a dead dude who only got the job like a week ago?  Is there REALLY no other way they can solve this!?

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I propose a cutest dog competition!  I mean really, there’s no other reasonable way to solve this.

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Super Recaps: The Twilight Zone (Chosen)

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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 Winrich Kolbe

We’re back with another episode of The Milquetoast Zone!  Now as much as I enjoy this series for all its goofy early 2000s charm, the big problem with this iteration, and perhaps why it doesn’t stick in the public consciousness, is that it feels rather sanitized with most episodes lacking a lot of bite.  Unintentionally stumbling into problematic territory?  Absurd premises with just as absurd resolutions?  Sure, but aside from Azoth and perhaps One Night at Mercy, none of the episodes I’ve covered so far have had a strong point to make or Rod Serling’s righteous fury behind it.  That’s about to change however as for the first time in this series we are getting something genuinely dark with an ending that does justice to the original series’ sense of cosmic justice!  I’m certainly excited to see it again, so let’s not waste anymore time and dive right in!

Our hero this time around is Vince played by Jake Busey (yes, son of Gary and he does indeed looks distressingly like his father) is… THAT GUY.  We all know a THAT GUY.  Dude who’s in his late twenties or early thirties who never really grew up, always has a chip on his shoulder, and whose plight MIGHT be sympathetic if he wasn’t such a raging a-hole about everything.  Nowadays we see this kind of guy on Reddit and Incel forums, but back before THE INTERNET was what it is today, they just hung around the neighborhood and you always avoided eye contact when they came by.  While raging on the phone about his credit card being cut off, Vince gets a visit from two people wearing dorky leather jackets (Kim Hawthorne and Andrew Moxham) and telling him that he’s been chosen for some very vague form of salvation and that there’s still good within him that makes him worthy of a second chance at life.  Now we know that in The Twilight Zone there’s more to it than just some hucksters selling happiness in exchange for bank account numbers, but Vince is sadly lacking that knowledge and naturally tells them to get off his yard.  They agree to leave but offer him a free gift, and since Vince is not one to pass up such a sweet bargain, he takes it and rushes back inside.  The gift turns out to be a DVD with his name printed on it which he decides to put in on a lark and some dude with a bad haircut (Ken Tremblett) and even worse production values reminds Vince of how much his life sucks and how his girlfriend left him, but that there’s hope if he just opens himself up to it.

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“Be your better you, with the power of Shrim!”     “Huh.  Kinda sounds like Shrimp.”

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Cinema Dispatch: The Intruder

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The Intruder and all the images you see in this review are owned by Sony Pictures Releasing and Screen Gems

Directed by Deon Taylor

It either takes a whole lot of brains or a whole lot of nerve to try and squeeze a non-franchise thriller right between such big box office money sinks, and when talking about Screen Gems it can go either way.  Yes, this is the studio that made my beloved Resident Evil movies, but also gave us the horrendous Slender Man, and frankly the rest of their filmography is just disparate; but all the credit to them for churning out low budget shlock and turning it into box office gold!  They’re like the Blumhouse of the mid 2000s that’s still hanging around on the margins making ridiculous stuff like When the Bough Breaks, but also some real modern classics like last year’s Searching which you all better have seen by now!  Where exactly will this movie fall in the Screen Gems canon?  Well you can probably take a guess given its silly premise and wacky stunt casting, but let’s find out!!

Scott and Annie (Michael Ealy and Meagan Good) are your typical city folk who spent their entire married life in the hustle and bustle and have decided that now might be the PERFECT time to find a place a little off the beaten path and settle down to start a family.  Hold your horses though!  They aren’t looking for just ANY house!  They want the PERFECT house that has like a bajillion rooms, a giant yard, and some real history to it!  Well lucky for them that they found the one dude with the perfect house AND a strong need to sell it as soon as possible!  Yes, good ol’ Charlie (Dennis Quaid) is moving to Florida to be with his daughter and has decided to sell his family home.  Four generations have lived in this house, and for a rather steep price Scott and Annie can be the fifth.  After some careful consideration and another look at the size of this place (they’ll have to Airbnb this mansion year round just to keep up with the payments!) they decide to purchase it and give Charlie a fat stack of cash that he can retire on!  Everyone’s happy, right?  Well… as it turns out there are a few loose ends here and there that Charlie needs to finish up and is still in town, but that’s not a problem, right?  Well… he noticed the yard is looking a bit overgrown and thought it’d be neighborly to mow the yard, but that’s a good thing, right?  Well… let’s just say that one thing leads to another, and another, and another, until Scott and Annie begin to wonder if this guy is ever gonna go to Florida, and that’s just the beginning of the weirdness that these two are being subjected to with Charlie still around!  Will Scott and Annie ever get rid of this dude who CLEARLY didn’t seem ready to sell his house?  What exactly does Charlie have planned, and just how far will he go to take back what he believes is rightfully his?  Anyone get the feeling that this is what he did after making Movie 43?  I mean sure he had money BEFORE that film, but that’s a movie so bad that it retroactively sucks away any success you may have had.

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“I’m collecting for the Quaid Quality of Life Fund.  Your contributions will go directly towards funding a sequel to The Rookie.”

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Cinema Dispatch: Pokémon Detective Pikachu

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Pokémon Detective Pikachu and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros. Pictures, Toho, and The Pokémon Company

Directed by Rob Letterman

I know you all are just on PINS AND NEEDLES waiting to find out if this movie is good… unless you’ve already seen it. Seriously, I need to get somewhere that’ll show these things like two days before release date because APPARENTLY EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD GETS TO DO THAT! Sigh… anyway, so Pokémon is no doubt one of the cornerstones of nineties nostalgia which means that we are officially getting too old, but it’s also one of those franchises that has remained popular in all that time, unlike say Transformers which always had a fan-base but one that certainly waned past the eighties. Because of that this has a chance to appeal to not just the adults in the audience who grew up on Red and Blue, but also the kids who enjoyed whatever the heck those Pokémon Mystery Dungeon things were, and not only that but probably the first video game movie to really capture the spirit of the material outside the rather awesome Resident Evil movies. And the DOOM movie; don’t at me! Is this the greatest movie of all time that will span the generational divide and bring us all together in such turbulent times, or perhaps are we a bit TOO overexcited about seeing the cuddly creatures on the big screen? Let’s find out!!

Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) is basically the opposite of your average man child in the Pokémon universe. Instead of going out and exploring the world at the age of ten, he went to school and got a real job at an insurance company. I mean say what you will about getting a nine to five, at least you don’t have to survive off fight money and live in a tent! Yes, Tim is happy with his boring life which is free of Pokémon for… reasons, but then his idyllic life in a small town comes crashing down when he gets a letter in the mail informing him that his father died in a mysterious car crash. Not only that, he was a cop in Ryme City which is unique for letting Pokémon just walk around instead of being confined to balls, and I THINK it was founded by Howard Clifford (Bill Nighy) who owns Clifford Enterprises which is a… company that does business stuff I guess. Anyway, Tim gets to town, goes to his father’s apartment who rather strangely has a children’s bedroom set up for his twenty-one year old son who hasn’t visited in YEARS, and he tries to figure out the fastest way to deal with all this before he goes back to his normal life. Sadly things are not about to go his way as a rouge Pikachu with amnesia in a Stantler stalker cap (Ryan Reynolds) has broken into his place and is certain that his father is still alive. With much hesitation and after one terrifying Pokémon attack, Tim finally agrees to help Pikachu solve whatever mystery is underway; enlisting the help of investigative journalist slash intern Lucy (Kathryn Newton) and her awesome Psyduck! Will Tim discover the truth behind his father’s disappearance and will he reunite with him once again? Where did this talking Pikachu come from, and what connection does he have to all of this? Is this gonna be the very best that no movie ever was, or should you be… preparing for trouble!?

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“A talking Meowth? That is SO 1999.” “Well at least more than one person can hear him.” “BUT DOES HE HAVE A HAT!?”

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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #16

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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 already with even more Sonic the Hedgehog!  Apparently we just can’t get enough of the little blue bugger, what with his trailer dropping, the Annual last week, and now this issue that gets us back on track with the ongoing story of Eggman trying to take over the world!  All we need now is for SEGA to announce both a good Sonic game and a bad Sonic game for the ritual to be complete and usher in the apocalypse!  It’s in revelations I think.  That beast they talk about?  Actually a hedgehog!  ANYWAY! With the last issue ending on quite the interesting cliffhanger, can this issue capitalize on it and deliver a satisfying narrative for the good guys, or will this storyline falter; leaving the bad guys to continue being the highlight of the series?  Let’s find out!!

So remember at the end of the last issue where Sonic got infected with the Robo-virus and it was only a matter of time before he turned into a cybernetic killing machine?  Yeah, it’s all fine now!  Nothing to see here, just move along!

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“Despite all my rage, I’m still just a hedgehog in a cage!”     “He’s been saying that for three hours, and yet I don’t think it has anything to do with the virus.”

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Cinema Dispatch: Long Shot

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

Directed by Jonathan Levine

I love Seth Rogen!  Have I mentioned that before?  Knocked Up, Neighbors 2, The Night Before, all are great movies that I’ve watched multiple times and showcase just how talented the guy is.  Now we’ve got a movie with him AND Charlize Theron, one of the hardest working actors working today with so many great movies under her belt!?  Well dang!  How had I not heard about this movie before!?  Seriously, considering how many times I go to the movies you’d think I’d have seen one trailer but no!  I hadn’t even heard of this until about a week ago and I had no idea what it was even about, but hey, when do you watch a comedy for the plot?  I’m here to see these two work off of each other and tell some funny jokes!  Does this team up manage to knock it out of the park like peanut butter and chocolate, or are we in for an experiment that’s gone more horribly awry than whatever the heck it is Oreo has been pumping out recently?  Let’s find out!!

Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) is a journalist with a serious chip on his shoulder who’s had a rough time of it recently and Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) is the Secretary of State who’s had a rough time of it always.  Two people from two vastly different worlds who you wouldn’t think would ever meet, but in movie land these two have something of a history as Charlotte used to babysit Fred when they were younger and there was an embarrassing incident between the two of them.  Still, fate seems to conspire to bring them back together as Fred loses his job and is brought to an upper class party by his friend Lance (O’Shea Jackson Jr) where Charlotte just so happens to also be.  They talk for a bit, Fred makes a fool of himself when trying to confront an evil media conglomerate (Andy Serkis) and you’d figure that life would just keep on going from there.  However, Charlotte starts to read some of Fred’s earlier work and comes up with a brilliant idea!  See, she plans on running for president as the current guy (Bob Odenkirk) won’t be running for a second term to instead make movies and so she needs a speech writer who can write funny and incisive commentary that she can pepper into her usual rhetoric, so going on quite a limb here she hires Fred for the job despite him being… well a boorish man child who can barely even dress himself.  Naturally her staff isn’t too thrilled included her top aids Maggie and Tom (June Diane Raphael and Ravi Patel), but everyone goes along with it and Fred, if nothing else, seems to write decent speeches and the two begin to reconnect once more; possibly with more going on between them than either initially realized.  Can Fred be the necessary piece that Charlotte has been missing in her life, and is Fred even capable of being what she needs him to be?  What sinister actors out there will try to undermine Charlotte’s campaign, and how will Fred react to the realities of being part of the political machine on such a large stage?  Seriously, how did this jacket alone not destroy her political career?

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“I didn’t realize the Blue Meanie was getting into politics!”     “Say what you will about the Blue World Order, they at least have a sound economic platform!”

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