AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT
It’s time once again for some DYNAMITE ACTION, and yes I am very late on putting this one up. Things got a bit hectic around my schedule so I barely had a chance to watch this week’s show; let alone recap it! Still, the extra time has let the events that played out simmer in my brain for a bit longer before throwing my brilliant opinions out into the world, so maybe this will be the most comprehensive and well-articulated critique of a wrestling show ever written! Okay, probably not. BUT, that doesn’t mean I don’t have a lot to say about this week’s episode as there were some… INTERESTING things that happened here! Was it good? Was it bad? Let’s find out!!
Kip Sabian & Miro Vs. Joey Janela and Sonny Kiss
Kip Sabian is accompanied to the ring by Penelope Ford
Wait, what? We’re not going to build up to his first match on AEW; he just shows up on an unannounced opening match? Well THAT feels like a wasted opportunity, but I guess it’s better than waiting a few months for whatever PPV they have next. Miro straight up did the Rusev entrance with the jump and shout which was VERY cool, but they’re not gonna give us everything all at once as the match starts with Sonny and Sabian. Before we get to Miro, I definitely want to point out that Sonny Kiss is getting better and better the more I see him. He and Joey Janela are a very good team and I hope that something comes from it aside from a bunch of Dark Matches and one offs against bigger teams because they are a combo that you can tell great stories with even outside of a title chase. Eventually they cause enough damage to Sabian that he finally gives Miro the hot tag and the guy comes out with all his fury; knocking Sonny right on his ass and utterly DESTROYING Joey Janela with a giant slam! It’s great to see him in this match and look every bit as pumped to be here as we are pumped to see him, but sadly things don’t go as planned and the match ends up getting a bit ugly towards the end. Miro takes a bump over the ring ropes and to the floor, but as soon as he’s down there he starts limping. Reports are that he merely “tweaked” his ankle and that he’s fine now, but despite his best efforts to power thru it the match just kind of loses momentum and gets sloppy. He manages to toss a charging Joey Janela over the barricade and immediately seems to regret it, but he waves Sabian to follow with the next move (something that is in FULL view of the camera and I’m not sure why they didn’t just cut to a different angle there) and tries to toss him over the barricade onto Janela. However, he just doesn’t have the strength and I THINK Sabian falls on his head onto the concrete on the other side of the barricade. THEN Janela tries for a cross body on Miro, but Miro can’t catch him and Joey just falls like a ton of bricks. I haven’t heard anything about either of them having injuries so that’s good at least, but it was not a good look for the debut of such an anticipated talent. Thankfully things get back on track after that with Miro seemingly recovering during the match (or at least having enough adrenaline pumping thru him to ignore the pain), and he finishes off Sonny Kiss with a kick, a stomp, and a Camel Clutch. Look, things happen and even the best wrestlers don’t always have a good match so I’m not about to say anything negative about Miro, but this is certainly not the match anyone wanted to see from him right out of the gate. Hopefully he’ll have a match next week and it’ll be as great as we were hoping this one would be.
We’re back with even more clunky yet mostly fun nonsense from our favorite supernatural HBO show! The last episode certainly had a really great central hook with the Jekyll/Hyde motif, but everything involving Atticus and the larger storyline was rather underwhelming which is a shame because that’s the main plot thread for the show. Thankfully this one is another excursion away from all that as well learn more about the woman Atticus knew during the war, but even without the baggage from the Sons of Adam, are there enough thrills, chills, and genuine insights on important issue for this to be another solid episode? Let’s find out!!
Today’s episode is a flashback to Atticus’s time in the Korean War, but is told from the perspective of Ji-Ah (Jamie Chung); the mysterious woman who Atticus called at the end of the last episode. It’s the fall of 1949, and Ji-Ah is a young woman living with her mother in Daegu South Korea. When she’s not busy studying in medical school or taking care of her mother, she’s at the movie theaters watching Judy Garland films or trying to get a date with her fellow nurse friends. I never thought to learn when Speed Dating was invented, but apparently they had it in the forties and it was just as unpleasant then as it was now; especially when a Korean Bro calls MEET ME IN ST LOUIS American propaganda. She does seem to connect with one person who they talk with movies about… but when the timer goes off and it’s time for him to mark his card, he puts a nice big X over her space. Tough luck, Ji-Ah. Well she doesn’t give up quite yet and heads to a bar where she manages to find someone to take home and they immediately start to have sex! No kissing, no foreplay, not even any lube; just take off the clothes and get to humping! This ends up making sense however (at least for Ji-Ah) because as soon as the guy finishes… strange things start to happen.
It turns out that Ji-Ah is actually NOT Ji-Ah… but still kind of is. Okay, so YEARS ago, Ji-Ah’s mother (Cindy Chang) caught the girl’s step father abusing her and in an act that would surly garner a bunch of likes on r/JusticeServed, she has a Mudang (basically a female Shaman in Korean culture) summon the nine tails fox demon to inhabit the body of her daughter and kill the man. However, the spirit SEEMS to have taken over Ji-Ah’s soul? I would the situation is comparable to Kurama from Yu Yu Hakusho to simply things, and the whole “you’re not actually my daughter” thing has caused some tension between her and her mother. Speaking of anime, you may remember the nine tails from Naruto… but I don’t think THIS ever happened in Naruto, and I read A LOT of Naruto! Getting back to the random dude’s O face, as soon as the guy finishes, furry tentacles (which are decidedly NOT tails!) start coming out of every orifice on Ji-Ah’s body. And I mean EVERY orifice. Eyes, nose, mouth, ears… other places; I mean shoot, the nine tails HAVE to come out of somewhere, right!? In any case, the tentacles get to work which involves sucking all the memories out of the guy’s head and then making him explode in a cloud of bloody mist. If nothing else it is a compelling sight as these weird tail things with mouths lift the dude up in the air before turning him to juice, and frankly it’s not the most terrifying thing this country is gonna have to deal as the Korean War is about to begin.
The Devil All the Time and all the images you see in this review are owned by Netflix
Directed by Antonio Campos
It looks like Warner Bros non-stop protestations that movies and movie theaters are back has failed to materialize as the world is still ravaged by a pandemic and studios are still shy about putting anything out to overwhelmingly empty theaters. I guess it means we’re going back to the Netflix well once again which is perfectly fine as we ALL need to do our part to keep people safe, and they’ve been putting out a steady stream of original movies so I’m pretty much spoiled for choice until the world decides to reopen again. So with the breadth of Netflix’s catalog in front of me, which one do I choose? Well it was either Cuties or the new movie with Robert Pattinson, and as much as I hear good things about Cuties (and hear bad things from the absolute WORST people about it), I had to stick with my main man Robbie P and see what he’s up to! Does this movie satiate the listless masses for another week of perpetual lockdown, or does the dour tone of this movie hit a bit TOO close to home right now? Let’s find out!!
Arvin Russell (Tom Holland) is your typical sweet kid from the country with a definite chip on his shoulder. He has a strong sense of right and wrong, but given enough of a push he can be convinced to take serious action against those who slighted him and his family. Perhaps he got that mean streak in him when he was a kid (Michael Banks) and his father (Bill Skarsgård) used to do the same thing. Perhaps it has to do with his mother (Haley Bennett) who died of cancer when he was young and the… interesting actions his father took during that time. Still, he doesn’t have much to complain about considering he lives with his loving grandma (Kristin Griffith) and… let’s go with half-sister Lenora (Eliza Scanlen) and leave it at that. To get into the specifics there is something I’ll leave the movie to explain, but needless to say that things are pretty good for him, and as long as they aren’t surrounded by a bunch of terrible people to set Arvin off, things will go just fine for them! Well I hate to break it to you, but there are some bad people in this little town and Arvin is stuck right in the middle; between the devils all around him and the devils within himself. Does the world push Arvin to take drastic measures to restore order in the face of injustice, and can one man survive in a world full of bad people? What will Arvin lose of himself in this story of pain, loss, and vengeance, and is there any sort of light at the end of the tunnel once he’s found the justice he seeks? This sounds like a superhero origin story, though PROBABLY not the one that Holland usually plays.
We’re back with another issue of everyone’s favorite video game AND furry comic! Sonic certainly covers a lot of bases, and yes I am aware I’m WAY behind here on these issues which hopefully won’t happen again, but considering my track record with these I’m guessing there’s ALREADY some special issue based on a mobile game or whatever that I’ve overlooked and need to catch up on. ANYWAY! With the Zombot arc over, does this get things off to a right start, or were the Zombots merely a symptom of some greater problem with the series that won’t be fixed just yet? Let’s find out!!
The issue begins with everyone reeling over the climatic explosion in the sky that sucked away the Zombot virus as well as Sonic the Hedgehog. This is all part and parcel with being an unflappable hero however, and the only way this could stick is if Sonic had a much more powerful son to take his place. Knuckles knows what’s up at least, though everyone else is gonna need a bit of time to get on the same page.
AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT
We’re back with even more Dynamite action to bring a brief glimmer of joy to our otherwise monotonous existence! How many Netflix shows did YOU watch this week? Trick question! If you can remember, you haven’t seen enough. Anyway! Last week got things off to a great start following the All Out PPV, and hopefully they’ll continue to build on that momentum to give us another fantastic excuse to yell at the TV in joy and terror… other than when watching the news of course. Let’s find out!!
Jurrassic Express Vs. FTR
Jurassic Express is accompanied to the ring by Marko Stunt while FTR is accompanied by Tully Blanchard
Before the match even begins, The Young Bucks come out and Superkick Ref Posey; just for the sake of being jerks! He didn’t even DO anything, and The Bucks just come out here to not play by your daddy’s rules! They head to the pack to throw a stack of bills at Tony Khan as they will SURELY be fined for this, and they pass by FTR who find this whole thing quite amusing. I’m not sure I’m on the same page with them, but I guess this is just to keep us reminded that they’re going bad so that people aren’t confused when they REALLY do something terrible! Now before we were so RUDELY interrupted, how is the match itself? It’s actually pretty good! The story of this match is ALL about Jungle Boy who continues to impress whenever he’s in the ring; so much so that I can only assume he’ll be getting a Singles push soon, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. His initial flurry of offense against FTR was very impressive to see, but soon enough FTR manages to ground him and they generate heat for quite a while with Jungle Boy trying desperately to get to the corner. Jungle Boy stays resourceful however as Wheeler tries to do a drop kick on Jungle Boy who’s up against the ropes, but he dodges at the last second and Wheeler’s legs get caught on the top rope; flipping him over in a VERY hilarious looking fashion! Luchasaurus gets the hot tag and cleans house with the efficiency of an actual dinosaur, but it’s clear that this as well is part of the bigger story they are trying to tell. Luchasaurus is always great whenever he enters the ring, but he’s pretty easily overwhelmed when the other team starts working together. Compare this with when Jungle Boy gets the tag back in, and while he may not have the immediate offensive power that Luchasaurus has, he has the resilience to fend off both members of FTR at the same time; to the point that Wheeler and Harwood have to keep tagging in and out just to keep up with the kid! The turning point comes when Luchasaurus goes for something on the outside… (I guess it was supposed to be a really high spear?) and misses Wheeler by a mile; crashing into the crowd and effectively out of the match. Jungle Boy manages to fight on valiantly and has Dax in a solid pin, but Cash flips them so that Jungle Boy is the one getting pinned, and with Cash applying additional pressure on the pin they just barely manage to get the three count. Perhaps in a one on one match Luchasaurus would be unstoppable against either one of FTR, but Jungle Boy clearly has the better skills for this particular challenge, and they only way the champs were able to win here is by cheating in a way that in all honesty the ref REALLY should have seen. Despite it being Jungle Boy’s night to lose, he really came into his own here and it was a strong story being told. A GREAT way to open the show
We’re back with even more of everyone’s favorite gory soap opera! Last episode found a fun and interesting setup to carry the episode, but sooner or later they’re going to have to make the Sons of Adam stuff be the least bit interesting if it’s what will ultimately carry this show to its conclusion; not to mention how much they have to make up for the utterly dour note that the last episode ended on. Does the show finally find its footing and give us a cohesive narrative? Let’s find out!!
We’re going straight to the nitty gritty right off the bat; half this episode is pretty good, some of the other half involving Montrose (Michael K Williams) is pretty underwhelming, and the rest involving Leti and Atticus (Jurnee Smollett and Jonathan Majors) is quite insufferable. If you’re expecting any real consequences or even acknowledgement of Montrose killing the two spirit woman from the last episode (apparently her name is Yahima while Arawak is her tribe I suppose?), you’re out of luck because Montrose ALSO burned the pages from the Book of Adam they found, and they are discussed with FAR more prominence than her. Atticus beats the living hell out of Montrose for what he did and spends the rest of the episode sulking while Leti looks concerned which is not a particularly compelling thing to sit thru; especially since the whole purpose of these pages remains vague at best.
Still, as banal as that part of the episode is, it’s more of a subplot occasionally popping its head into a much better primary plot line about Ruby (Wunmi Mosaku) which focuses on what this show does best; reframing genre tropes in terms of racial issues and making it both very real and very tongue in cheek. In case the title wasn’t a giveaway, the episode is more or less a racial exploration of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story, and though it’s not the FIRST piece of media to do so, I think it has a bit more going on under the hood than Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde. Ruby wakes up from her night with William and finds herself in the body of a white woman (Jamie Neumann) which is not how she expected to start the day. Convinced she’s lost her mind, she throws on a bathrobe and starts wandering the streets of her neighborhood where no one recognizes her and everyone seems slightly on edge that this random white woman is wandering down their streets. It turns out to be a GOOD instinct because as soon as a young Black man comes up asking if he can help her, a patrol car screeches in and two cops start menacing him; threatening to beat him if he doesn’t confess to molesting her. Realizing the terrifying power of her own whiteness, she starts pleading with the cops to let him go and that he didn’t do anything which they eventually do and they take her back to William’s house as the cops were told that she ran away from there for some arbitrary reason (she forgot her medication that morning or something). Ruby’s not happy about this but it’s not like she has anywhere else to go (I think she’s still mad at Leti?), and as soon as she gets in the house she starts to feel VERY sick; almost like her skin is crawling off of her flesh! As it turns out… yeah, that’s basically it. She’s carried into the house by William and is laid on the flood (which is covered in plastic wrap of course) to writhe in pain until William comes by with a big butcher knife and carves the white skin off of Ruby who pops out and sheds it like a butterfly coming out of a very bloody cocoon! See, THAT’S the kind of goofy nonsense that makes this show work! You don’t see Robert Lewis Stevenson writing anything like that, do you!? Seriously, after what I just saw, Dr. Hastie Lanyon can talk to the hand!
AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT
We’re back with even more AEW wrestling action as this is the first episode following their big All Out PPV! Things have not been looking great for AEW as their last few Dynamite have been pretty meh and there was the EXTREMELY unfortunate incident with Matt Hardy at all out, but coming off of a PPV means a chance at a fresh start, and I’m fairly confident that AEW can fight their way out of this funk. Is this the start of a brand new vision for the company with new storylines, new stars, and better in ring action, or should will we just be getting more of the same? Let’s find out!!
The show starts with Tony Schiavone interviewing both Jericho and MJF who just so happen to have arrived at the exact same time. They exchange pleasantries and praise each other for their skills, as well as assure the other that they were robbed in their PPV match. As soon as they are out of each other’s earshot however, they call each other losers which is hardly surprising considering they’re both egotistical heels. It was a fun little exchange that almost feels like a BTE sketch and is a fun little lead in for the first match.
Jurassic Express Vs. The Lucha Bros
This was a pretty good match where everyone was trying to go to eleven, but there were also a few botches here and there that undercut the intensity of it. An early one that the announcers even called attention to was when Jungle Boy tripped while launching off of Luchasaurus’s back which isn’t too surprising considering one of the big stories out of All Out was just how hot and humid it was and it’s no surprise that people are slipping on things. Still, Jungle Boy DID manage to just barely land his move on Rey Fenix, so the match didn’t come to a dead stop when it happened which was lucky for them. In fact, as good a job as everyone does here, this really was Jungle Boy’s night as the trip up is pretty much forgotten as soon as he gets the hot tag and runs wild on Pentagón and Fénix. An impressing Hurricanrana from the top rope followed by what I can only describe as a double arm drag gives him a solid advantage; at least until Pentagón shoves him off the apron and knocks him to the floor. Things go back and forth for a while until Pentagón lands a Back Stabber on Jungleboy and sets him up for an assisted pile driver, but the timing here is REALLY terrible and pretty much ruins the end of the match. Rey Fenix lands the stomp for the pile driver and Pentagon has Jungle Boy ready to pin, but he sees that Rey Fenix is running the ropes to take out Luchasaurus on the outside so he waits to do the pin until that spot is over which Jungle Boy naturally kicks out. Heck, in case you missed it the first time, they show a REPLAY of it where you can see VERY clearly that Pentagón is just SITTING THERE doing nothing! The match only goes on for a minute or two after that where Jungle Boy rolls up Rey Fenix for the win, but that very obvious botch took away a lot of the momentum for The Jurassic Express’s win here.
We’re back with even more haunted shenanigans against the backdrop of the ACTUALLY terrifying 1950s, and after the last episode ended up being a refreshing change of pace by telling a straightforward ghost story I’m once again optimistic that this show will live up to the potential I saw in that first episode! Is this another great story that continues the upward momentum of the series, or is going to be like The X-Files where we alternate between the awesome monster of the week episodes and the less interesting government conspiracy ones? Let’s find out!!
We start the episode with Atticus’s father Montrose (Michael K Williams) who’s still dealing with the death of his brother George by crawling into a bottle, but on top of that he’s been reading a book he got from George about the Sons of Adam that contains ALL the answers that Atticus and Leti (Jonathan Majors and Jurnee Smollett) have been looking for… and he just burns it; probably in grief but also possibly due to that whole Eldritch Horror thing that Lovecraft liked to do. Perhaps the book was so horrifying that any mortal man with a shred of conscious cannot read it without losing their own mind, but then Montrose’s motivations have ALWAYS been extremely guarded so it’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on with him on an episode to episode basis.
Now the big problem I’ve had with this show is the convoluted nature of its Mythology, and I’ll give this episode credit for making at least SOME of it clearer. The Sons of Adam get their power from something called THE LOST BOOK OF NAMES, and there are two sets of deciphered pages. These are the MacGuffins that are driving the narrative throughout the episode as Atticus and Leti are looking for the set of pages owned by Titus (the guy who started the Sons of Adam and is the ancestor of Atticus) which are hidden in some sort of secret vault, while Christina (Abbey Lee) is looking for the pages stolen by Hiram (the ghost in the last episode). It’s straightforward enough that you can focus on this episode on its own like you could with the ghost story, but also mercifully has enough of the Sons of Adam stuff informing it that some of that nonsense can start to seep in and become easier to understand.
Mulan and all the images you see in this review are owned by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Directed by Niki Caro
I’ll be honest, the animated Mulan wasn’t exactly one of my go to films when I was a kid. I was more of an Aladdin/Pixar fan and while I remember Mulan being GOOD, it never really stuck with me like a lot of other films did. But hey! That’s why Disney is doing all these remakes in the first place, right? To not only cash in on Nostalgia dollars for people who DO remember the original but to try and get the people who didn’t care for it the first time to invest in the property and maybe build a new theme park ride around it. Does this remake of the 1998 classic hold up to and even SURPASS the original, or is this another live action remake from Disney that fails to bring anything new or interesting to the table? Let’s find out!!
China is being attacked by the… Not Huns (Let’s get down to business! To defeat… the Rouran Khaganate!) and it seems they have a witch on their side (Gong Li) that’s wreaking havoc on their outposts along the Silk Road. In order to stop these invaders, the Emperor (Jet Li) orders the conscription of one man from every family in the country, and one of the villages they arrive at (which looks quite a bit like the slums from Kung Fu Hustle) is the home of Hua Mulan (Yifei Liu) and her family. Her father (Tzi Ma) having no sons of his own volunteers to go despite having fought in a previous war and has a disabled leg because of it, but as you know this doesn’t sit well with Mulan and so she goes in her father’s stead; leaving the village in the dead of night and donning the identity of a man. Mulan under the guise of Hua Jun must make it through the intense training of Commander Tung (Donnie Yen) while also keeping her identity as well as her overwhelming strength a secret; lest she bring shame on her family or even be executed by the very country she’s here to defend. Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure that Bori Khan (Jason Scott Lee) and the awesome witch lady might have the right idea, but Mulan is not about to let a little thing like impending death keep her from protecting her family and her homeland! Will Mulan be able to successfully navigate the men’s world of warfare without her secret being discovered? Who are these villainous rouges attacking China, and what’s driving them on their quest to conquer the country? If they make a sequel to this, will it ALSO be about a feminist revolution in China or will they go in a different direction with it?
All Out and all the images you see I this recap are owned by All Elite Wrestling and Shahid Khan
The last few weeks of television have been disappointing as AEW is stumbling their way towards not just to this PPV but having a live audience again and doing it in a way that’s safe while also enhancing the show. It hasn’t been an easy journey and they’ve made some mistakes, but the buildup to this show has been solid if nothing else, and with so many marquee matches to watch… well, let’s just hope that they can pull it off better than they’ve been pulling off Dynamite; and CERTAINLY better than from what I heard went down in that women’s Tag Tournament. Is this show a culmination of all the stumbling effort they’ve been putting in the last few weeks, or has all that bad luck spilled over to the PPV itself? Let’s find out!!
Joey Janela Vs. Serpentico – Buy In Match
Serpentico is accompanied to the ring by Luther while Janela is accompanied by Sonny Kiss
Serpentico is one of those dudes who I’ve seen A LOT standing on the outside of the ring these last few months, but this will be the first I’m seen him in a match. According to the announcers, he and Luther have formed a tag team on Dark which is why he’s out here sticking his tongue out like he does, and Luther if you recall was the dude who was hanging out with Brandie Rhodes when she was doing her Nightmare Collective Shtick. Well whoever these guys are, Joey comes out the gate with gusto as he’s still upset about having lost his match against Jericho as badly as he did (complete with giant bandage on his forehead in case you forgot what happened), and in his rage he manages to shake off whatever offense Serpentico can muster… at least until he gets pushed off the top rope and takes a real nasty looking tumble. It doesn’t look like he got injured, but it was definitely not a fun ride down! Serpentico takes over for most of the match after that and the guy seems like a decent wrestler with some solid gymnastics to his repertoire, but the story of this match is that Joey has more stamina and strength; so whatever ten moves Serpentico dishes out can’t seem to match the impact of one of Janela’s. Now usually the one who has to fight from underneath is the babyface in a match like this, but Serpentico is also a dirty cheater as he’s constantly distracting the ref so that Luther can take cheap shots at Janela, and with this strategy Serpentico is able to stay in the game and even get a few near falls, but it’s just not enough to secure victory. Janela’s building up speed for a big attack on Serpentico, but Luther grabs his legs from the outside while the ref is distracted. Sonny Kiss, who’s been holding back this entire match, decks Luther in the face and Janela finishes him off with a Diving Drop Kick. With Luther no longer a factor, Janela knocks Serpentico down with a running clothesline before landing a top rope elbow drop to get the pin. It was a fine match though I think Janela is one of those guys who works WAY better when he’s got a story to build off of. Even something simple as his feud with Shawn Spears led to that AMAZING Santa Claus match, so if this is the start of something with Serpentico then I’m all for it!