Monthly Archives: November 2019

Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #23

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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

It’s been no secret that I have been nonplussed by this arc in the Sonic Comic because of just how much it drones on and on with zombie trope after zombie trope as if they weren’t already beaten to death in the wake of Shaun of the Dead.  The last few issues in particular have been particularly stagnant as we can’t even move forward temporally with each issue following a different character on the same day so we know where everything ends up even before starting the next tedious zombie ridden chapter!  We’ve already covered Tails, Amy, and now it’s Sonic’s turn to tell us how his miserable day went miserably just like every other day since the apocalypse began, but will they find a way to at least make HIS side of it any more interesting?  Let’s find out!!

The issue begins with Sonic continuing to run his butt off so that the super Fit Bit Tails had given him can collect data that may be able to produce a cure for Eggman’s Zom-bot virus that has swept the globe and made everything so dreadfully repetitive around here.  Luckily for him though, he JUST SO HAPPENS to pass by one of the many deserted villages and sees Eggman in his little hover thingy along with Dr. Starline who are trying some new techniques to regain control of the Zombot army.  The two are bickering incessantly which is more than enough of a distraction for Sonic to get in nice and close!

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“Why can’t you be more like HIM, Starline!?”     “You’re mortal enemy?”     “AT LEAST HE BRINGS PASSION INTO MY LIFE!!”

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (11-27-19)

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AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT

We’re back with even more AEW action on one of the few days of the year I really don’t feel like having AEW action!  I spent the WHOLE time this show was on frantically cooking things for today and I can’t imagine all the workers there were too happy to be doing this instead of spending time with their families, but maybe I’m wrong about that.  I mean that crowd was pretty good for a night before Thanksgiving wrestling show, and this particular holiday is kind of nonsense anyway, so maybe they’re exactly where they want to be!  In any case, I think we can probably cut each other a bit of slack here if I missed anything or didn’t fully grasp the DRAMA with what was happening, okay?  Let’s get started!!

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Chris Jericho’s Thanksgiving Thank You Spectacular

As announced last week after Jericho’s heartfelt apology, the episode started with a Thanksgiving Party in the ring that no one was invited to but we were all more than welcome to spectate as Jericho just chews up the scenery with more voracity than most people have eating the stuffing and creamed corn on National Turkey Day.  Before he even gets into the ring someone named Soul Train Jones (I’m pretty sure he was in one of The Inner Circle’s video packages) introduces Jericho who then comes down to the ring accompanied by a marching band because you don’t get Le Champion to do anything half assed.  The crowd is totally marking out for the guy with chants of THANK YOU JERICHO before starting to boo him the moment he starts speaking, and this really did add a lot to the segment; especially when Jericho offers them fifty cents off his T-shirts and they react like they won a car.  The inner Circle eventually comes in after Jericho has pimped out all his new merch, and they proceed to give him various gifts to show their appreciation for the dude who made them the biggest names in wrestling.  Sammy Guevara gives him a standee of the two of them hugging while Proud N Powerful give him a basket full of… stuff I guess.  Vicks Vapo-rub, a box of dominos, booze, basically everything you would need to survive in a fallout shelter once the bombs start to drop.  Even Jake Hager gets in on the revelry as he comes out with a very uncooperative goat named Chris Jeri-goat which is the second best name for a goat right after Benedict Cumber-BAAAAAA-tch.  I don’t know why any of this is happening and I hope that animal wasn’t TOO distressed, but it seemed to be all in good fun and Hager could not keep a straight face in the slightest.  The last gift however was the best one of it all because it reminded me of the only wrestler better than Jericho (The MIz) which turned out to be his dad who is a former hockey player and proceeds to hometown team; Like father like son I supposed.  I did like this segment, but I feel they should have cut it a bit shorter or made them more of heels throughout as they come off as fun loving and kind of dorky dudes celebrating how much they appreciate each other which is not exactly the image you want for your dominate heel faction.  I mean even if you wanted to argue that they were self-centered and cocky, it’s still not particularly THREATENING, and the one thing about all these guys is that they know how to cause damage when you least expect it; not just waste time giving each other pats on the back.  EVENTUALLY though, there comes a point where he has the ring announcer read a thank you note from TNT to the crowd, but the guy doesn’t read it in as nice a tone as LE CHAMPION would have wanted and so they Inner Circle curb stomps him.  FINALLY they start to act like heels but then out of nowhere three dudes in the marching band rush the ring, turn out to be SCU in disguise, and start cleaning house; INCLUDING knocking Soul Train Jones right no his ass!  I don’t know how much you can claim to be good guys if you’re clothes-lining dudes in their late fifties, but it did end the segment on a high note which is good enough for me.

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Cinema Dispatch: Playing with Fire

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Playing with Fire and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures

Directed by Andy Fickman

There are SO many movies that I needed to catch up on.  I could have seen Midway, Harriet, Black and Blue, but nope!  Given the opportunity to catch up on SOMETHING that might have had some sort of message or Oscar aspirations, I went with the John Cena family film.  You may not agree with the choices I make, but I stand by them.  ANYWAY!  Mr. Cena hasn’t had quite the meteoric rise to stardom as his wrestling counterpart Dwayneson The Rockson Johnson, but his comparably sparse filmography is compensated with a lot of quality films.  The Marine was a fantastic little B action film, he got a lot of praise for his appearances in Trainwreck and Sisters, and Blockers is an uproarious funny comedy with a lot of heart where he manages to hold his own against seasoned veterans such as Ike Barinholtz and Leslie Mann!  Okay, he had a brief role in Daddy’s Home 2, but no one’s IMDb page is spotless.  The point is that John Cena seems to be following the same trajectory as Daniel Radcliffe or even his wrestling contemporary Dave Bautista; people who have already made all their money and so they can be choosy and experimental with the roles they decide to take.  The question then becomes, is there something in this Nickelodeon comedy about firemen watching a bunch of bratty children that rightfully drew Cena to the role, or is this a huge misstep for a guy who’s been savvy enough to avoid them for the most part?  Let’s find out!!

Jake Carson (John Cena) is the head of a unit of Smokejumpers in the California wilderness; saving lives, looking cool, and never wavering from their sense of duty!  Cena in particular has a bright future ahead of him as the current Commander of the state’s Smokejumpers (Denis Haysbert) is looking to retire soon and Cena is on his short list, so all he has to do is make sure his firehouse located deep in the forest is ship shape and ready to impress!  With his faithful crew of Mark, Rodrigo, and Axe (Keegan-Michael Key, John Leguizamo, and Tyler Mane) working hard to keep things in order, there’s no WAY he’ll blow this opportunity… right?  Well as it turns out they get a call about a burning cabin in the woods where they find three children, Brynn, Will, and Zoey (Brianna Hildebrand, Christian Convery, and Finley Rose Slater), unharmed and yet without their parents nearby.  Since Jake and his crew were the first on the scene, it is incumbent upon them to keep these kids safe at the firehouse until their parents turn up which turns out to be no small task for the rigid and humorless Jake who soon learns just how easily he can lose control of the situation!  Can these four smoke jumping superhero dudes survive a weekend with three bratty kids?  Are they REALLY this obnoxious for seemingly no reason, or is one of them actually scheming behind their backs and looking for the right opportunity to strike?  Seriously, if you were caught in a fire and needed rescuing, wouldn’t you want these guys to do it?  John Cena, Obama’s anger translator, Luigi from the Mario Bros movie, and the guy who played Michael Myers?

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This is like the best fan fiction I never knew I desperately needed…

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Cinema Dispatch: Frozen 2

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Frozen 2 and all the images you see in this review are owned by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee

You know, I actually went to Disney World a month or two back and I REALLY enjoyed Epcot!  The sights, the food, the stores with lots of cool stuff in them; they even had a Frozen ride at the Nordic section of the park!  And uh… well we waited about an hour to get on it, Elsa sang at us for a bit, and then it was over.  Kind of disappointing considering how long it took to get there.  Anyway, let’s talk about this sequel to a movie from six years ago.  Is it the continuation to Elsa’s story we’ve all been waiting for, or has Disney already sucked the Frozen cash cow completely dry by the time they deigned to give us a sequel?  Let’s find out!!

Several years after the events of the first film, Queen Elsa has continued her uneventful reign as the leader of Arendelle along with her sister Anna who seems perfectly content to while away her days hanging out with the magical snowman Olaf (Josh Gad) as well as her boyfriend Kristoff (Jonathan Groff).  Elsa on the other hand seems a bit antsier about the drudgery of daily life and even starts to hear the voice of someone calling out to her from the mystical forest which has a dark history behind it.  Apparently there was some sort of war between Arendelle and the native tribe of that forest known as the Northuldra and the magical spirits of the forest have closed themselves off from the rest of the world until humanity can get its problems straightened out.  Fortunately for Elsa (though unfortunately for Arendelle), it seems that the magic deep inside the forest is starting to seep out and is causing problems for the kingdom, so Elsa has no choice but to find out what’s going on in there and Anna has no choice but to follow her.  Oh, and Kristoff and Olaf go in there as well, but it feels like a bit more of a choice for them; unless they can only live if there’s a steady stream of screen time.  Can Elsa and Anna figure out what’s causing this surge in the magic, and what it may be trying to tell them?  What secrets from the past will they uncover during this journey, and will they be ones they want to uncover in the first place?  Seriously, is Kristoff there just because he’s got a ride?

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“What do you think we’ll find in there?”     “DO NOT WORRY!  KRISTOFF AND HIS MIGHT STEED WILL FORGE AHEAD, ISN’T THAT RIGHT?”     …     “The mighty steed said yes.”

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Cinema Dispatch: Knives Out

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

Directed by Rian Johnson

I gotta tell you, I was in LOVE with this movie from the very first trailer!  Seeing great actors like Michale Shannon, Toni Collette, and Daniel Craig, on screen with Captain America in a movie from the Last Jedi guy, AND it’s a juicy as heck murder mystery?  What more could one person ask for!?  Even with the best of trailers however, there’s always a possibility that what we saw was a cleaned up version of the best bits while the finished product is a compromised and messy waste of time; the Suicide Squad approach if you will.  Can Rian Johnson prove once again how great of a filmmaker he is despite how… “controversial” his last film was, or is this just more fuel to the fire for the more obnoxious anti-fans of The Last Jedi?  Let’s find out!!

The morning after the eighty-fifth birthday of famed mystery novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), he is found dead by his nurse Marta Cabrera (Ana De Anmas) with this throat slashed open by a knife, and because of his massive wealth and greedy family members it only makes sense to investigate things a bit further despite it looking like a suicide.  Not only that, famed detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) with his rich southern accent was brought in to investigate by a mysterious correspondent who sent him no identifying information but a wad of cash to find out if there was foul play or not.  His entire family was in attendance the night before and most of them stayed the night in the giant and ridiculously furnished mansion complete with a giant display of knives that looks like a rejected Game of Thrones prop, so there was plenty of opportunity for someone to get the drop on him and possibly make it look like a suicide.  The suspects include his children Linda and Walt (Jamie Lee Curtis and Michael Shannon), his children in-law Richard and Joni (Don Johnson and Toni Collette), and his grandchildren Hugh, Meg, and Jacob (Chirs Evans, Katherine Langford, and Jaeden Martell); all of whom are bizarre in their own way, but hardly seem to be the types to kill unless VERY highly motivated.  The key here is not finding the right method or the most capable suspect, but who had the most REASON to kill, and chance are it has to do with money as Harlan seems to have upset quite a few people at the party last night, though everyone is staying rather tight lipped about it.  Can Detective Blanc find the truth among all the lies, misdirection, and self-serving half-truths?  Which member of this eclectic family has the most to gain now that Harlan is gone, and who has the most to hide?  Is the big twist at the end that Detective Blanc was ACTUALLY Joe Bang in disguise this entire time!?

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“There was a time where I thought cracking bank vaults would solve all my problems.  Then I realized that my true passion was in cracking cases.  And also cracking bank vaults.  That’s just fun!”

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Super Recaps: The Mandalorian – Chapter 3

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The Mandalorian is owned by Disney

Directed by Deborah Chow

The episode begins like most road trips with Papa Mandalorian, who I will call… Hank this time, who is trying to fly the spaceship safely while his little baby Yoda, who should probably get his own name by now so let’s go with… Bobby, is making it that much more difficult by messing with the controls in his own adorably ignorant way.  Then again Bobby IS fifty years old, so maybe this whole “baby” thing is just a ploy to get on Hank’s good side.  Anyway, they manage to land on the planet from the first episode despite Bobby’s interference where Hank is planning to meet up once again with Werner Herzog.  Is he going to turn over Bobby for whatever awful experiments they surely have in store for him!?  Well he didn’t become a bounty hunter to play nice, so he does indeed hand him over to the director of Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans as well as Doctor Creepy (Omid Abtahi) for whatever ungodly experiments they have in store for Bobby.  Hesitantly to be sure as he even tries to find out what Herzog plans to do with the baby, but he’s still not going to say no to the bounty which is a whole bunch of that super metal that Mandalorians use to make their armor.  With this, Hank will have the most impressive Mandalorian armor and Mandalorian accessories in the tri-galaxy area, but the decision seems to weigh heavy on him.

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Cinema Dispatch: Parasite

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Parasite and all the images you see in this review are owned by CJ Entertainment and Neon

Directed by Bong Joon-ho

The first movie I ever saw on Netflix streaming was Lady Vengeance by Park Chan-wook who is one of the filmmakers in the South Korean New Wave of cinema; along with the director of this film who’s made The Host and Snowpiercer; neither of which I’ve seen which is why I referenced an incidental fact about a tangentially related movie a moment ago.  As much as I’ve liked the films of Park Chan-wook like Oldboy and The Handmaiden, I haven’t really explored the rest of this movement in South Korean cinema as much as I should as I’ve seen MAYBE ten minutes of I Saw The Devil and twenty of The Good, The Bad, and The Weird.  That all changes today however as I’m here to see a movie that has gotten a bajillion awards and even breaking through at the US box office!  Is this the movie as good as everyone says it is, or will I end up being a Grumpy Gus yet again telling you that everyone else is wrong and you should always listen to me?  Well, I mean… you should listen to me ANYWAY, but let’s find out!!

The Kim family, consisting of son Ki-woo, daughter Ki-jeong, mother Chung-sook, and father Ki-taek (Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam, Jang Hye-jin, and Song Kang-ho) are a family living in South Korea that are so lower class that they literally live below everyone else in a basement apartment.  They can barely afford food on a daily basis, they have to steal wi-fi from the people upstairs, and pretty much all the life has been sucked out of them.  And yet the family being rather smart and talented for the most part (I’m not sure what the dad brings to the table) which makes you wonder if that whole “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” thing is total nonsense perpetuated by those who were already handed everything in life!  Well things might just be turning around for them as Ki-woo’s friend Min-hyuk (Park Seo-joon) drops a huge opportunity on his lap with an English tutoring gig for the daughter of a very wealthy family nearby and all he has to do (despite being very good at English already) is pretend that he actually went to university and make up some backstory that sounds impressive.  Fortunately the wealthy Park family is somewhat gullible as the mother Park Yeon-kyo (Cho Yeo-jeong) buys Ki-woo’s ploy so easily that he thinks it might be worth getting everyone else in on the scheme as well.  While he’s teaching Park Da-hey (Jung Ji-so) English, his sister will teach the son Park Da-song (Jung Hyun-joon) art therapy, their mother will be the housekeeper after they find a way to oust the current one Moon-gwang (Lee Jung-eun) and the father will become the chauffeur for the father Park Dong-ik (Lee Sun-kyun)

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No coasters!?  THE MONSTERS!!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (11-20-19)

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AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT

With the last episode doing a lot differently and doing it well in my opinion, I’m pumped to see how AEW follows up on it and hope they continue to try new things going forward, because if I’m being honest here there’s been a lot of great stuff but it’s been a lot of the SAME great stuff for weeks now; all of it still good, but a little variety never hurt anyone (unless you have a hereto unknown allergy) and even if they go back to some of the same stuff in this episode they at least have the ideas set up last week to make it all feel fresh again!  Let’s get started!!

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Nick Jackson Vs. Rey Fénix

Following the brawl from last week, it seems that Matt Jackson (in storyline at least) has been injured and so Nick is fighting in his first singles match since AEW began against Rey Fénix who ALSO hasn’t had a singles match since AEW began!  Sure, it’s Young Bucks vs The Lucha Bros yet again, but at least they’re mixing it up again by making it one on one which, if nothing else, means they won’t even have a CHANCE to fail to tag correctly!  I actually did manage to get into this match a lot easier than I had with other Young Buck Lucha Bros matches even though they’re both still doing basically the same thing.  There are a billion moves pulled off between the two of them, but the fact that they don’t have someone to tag with makes each move feel like it has more impact because they can’t switch out once they get tired to recuperate.  They clearly start to get tired after a while and the moves become more simplistic while the flashier ones come fewer and further between.  Contrast that with some of their tag team matches where that sense of progression and (degradation?) just never came across even when it was time to come to an end.   Speaking of endings, Rey Fénix eventually gets the pin when he does this terrifying looking pile driver thing where he carries Nick on his shoulders, drops his head down and drives it right into the mat.  They don’t REALLY set anything up at the end of this as Rey Fénix refuses to shake Nick’s hand in a show of good sportsmanship, but The Lucha Bros being cocky heels is about as surprising as the sun rise.  The match went on maybe a bit TOO long and maybe a bit TOO hard for an opening match (I’m also starting to get annoyed with just how often they use hard hits on the apron), but it’s still a lot of fun and certainly got the crowd going!

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Cinema Dispatch: Charlie’s Angels

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Charlie’s Angels and all the images you see in this review are owned by Sony Pictures Releasing

Directed by Elizabeth Banks

I’ve never seen the Charlie’s Angels movies from the early 2000s, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the original TV series either.  Heck, I’m pretty sure the closest thing I’ve seen to it was Totally Spies, and while that has its fans, it’s pretty much been dropped into the memory hole with dozens of other 2000s shows that you don’t remember.  So if nothing else, I can at least come into this series with a relatively fresh perspective, and I’ve got to say that I’ve been pretty interested in what we’ve been shown so far; particularly the cast which looks to be amazing and the fact that it’s being directed by Elizabeth Banks who has been gaining some momentum as a voice behind the camera as well as in front of it.  Does this reboot of the seventies classic bring the franchise into the twenty first century; at least for the second time?  Let’s find out!!

Elena (Naomi Scott) is a scientist working at some business company on some new technology that will revolutionize the power industry through… I guess computer coding?  The invention in this case is called Calisto which is a little box the size of an Echo Dot or a Google Home that can somehow power entire rooms and even buildings.  However, there is ONE itty-bitty flaw with it in that it can cause people to have brain aneurisms through some sort of bug that Elena is SURE she can fix, but her misogynistic boss (Nat Faxon) won’t let her because they have to get it to market and he wants to take all the credit for it.  If only there was an agency that understood her plight as a woman in tech and could help her stop a supervillain plot at the same time.  Oh wait!  There is!  The Townsend Agency consists primarily of Bosleys and Angels; the latter being the agents who go on missions and the former being the ones to coordinate the Angels.  The two angles who got assigned to Elena’s case are Sabina and Jane (Kristen Stewart and Ella Balinska) and it should be a straightforward Exposé of company documents, but when an assassin (Jonathan Tucker) shows up and takes out one of the Bosleys (Djimon Hounsou), things have clearly escalated to a point far more seirous than Elena had ever imagined.  With the help of a new Bosley (Elizabeth Banks), the three women team up to try and take () back from the evil company and find out just what it is they plan on doing with it in its current deadly state.  Will Elena prove herself to be a true Angel in the making despite a lifetime of being under the thumb of patriarchal and woman unfriendly industry?  What are Sabina and Jane’s story, and will they find excuses to clash with one another when they really should be working together to save the world?  Most importantly of all, does this succeed in empowering women to be in silly spy movies just like men can!?

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“Why does SHE get the gun?”     “Do you know how to use a gun?”     “I mean… it’s the principal of the matter.”     “WHAT principal!?”     “Uh… feminism?”     “Yeah… no.”     “You’re right.  My bad.”

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Cinema Dispatch: Jojo Rabbit

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Jojo Rabbit and all the images you see in this review are owned by Fox Searchlight Pictures

Directed by Taika Waititi

I don’t know if I’d classify this as Oscar Bait even though it’s set in World War II which is like half the criteria right there, but it’s certainly a film that’s been on everyone’s radars for months now; somewhat due to the controversial subject matter, but mostly because of the filmmaker behind it who’s really blown up in the last few years and for good reason.  Thor: Ragnarok was one of the most exciting films in that Phase of the Marvel franchise, and everything we’ve seen of him since then has only increased his status in the public eye.  Now we have his first directorial film since Ragnarok which is a satire of Fascism at a time that couldn’t be more relevant, so you can’t say that the guy doesn’t swing for the fences!  Is this a brutal and necessary take down of the ideology that’s been infecting global politics for a few years now, or is the film just not equipped to tackle such a heavy subject matter no matter how much talent there is behind it?  Let’s find out!!

Jojo Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis) is a young boy growing up in Nazi Germany who wants nothing more than to become a true fighter for the cause and even has Hitler as his imaginary friend that gives him pep talks and dubious advice.  He hopes that the camp he’s about to attend for the Hitler Youth will be the turning point in his life as he becomes a TRUE man and uses the skills he will learn to not only fight for the Aryan race, but become Hitler’s right hand man as they exterminate the dastardly Jews off the face of the Earth!  Yeah… Jojo is kind of a messed up kid all things considered, but he’s also seemingly too sensitive to REALLY become the monster that the rest of the Nazis around him have become, and he gets the nickname Jojo Rabbit when he refuses to kill a rabbit to prove his manhood.  Instead he tries to throw a grenade which goes horribly wrong and leaves him with a bunch of scars on his face and a leg that doesn’t work as well as it used to.  Because of this he has to spend more time at home with his mother (Scarlett Johansson) who he suspects may not be fully on board with this whole “Nazi” thing; a suspicion confirmed when he finds out that she’s been protecting a Jewish girl named Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie) who’s been living in a secret room within the walls of the house; specifically the walls in the room of Jojo’s sister who seems to have died at some point during the war.  With his own family seeming to turn against the ideology he loves and the man he believes to be a hero, will Jojo come to terms with the failings of the Nazi ideology and join his mother in resisting their influences?  The allied powers seem to be advancing on his village, so will he have to fight against them at some point despite his bad leg and lack of a killer instinct?  If Hitler is such a good leader, then why hasn’t he fixed all this kid’s problems and made him a true blue Nazi solider?  Checkmate, ten year old kid!!

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“Jojo, it’s just not gonna work out.”     “What are you saying?”     “Look, it’s not you; it’s me!  We can still be pen pals though!”

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