Category Archives: Super Recaps

Super Recaps: The Mandalorian – Chapter 5

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The Mandalorian is owned by Disney

Directed by Dave Filoni

The episode begins with a bang as we find ourselves in the middle of a dogfight between The Mandalorian and some random fool who thinks he can step up to the greatest bounty hunter ever like he’s just another bail jumper.  It’s the John Wick problem all over again; the only people foolish enough to try and kill him are the people least likely to get the job done.  As you’d expect (if for no other than we’ve got a bunch more episodes to go), The Mandalorian does NOT die in a massive space explosion but instead explodes the other dude with his quick reflexes, sharp wit, and awesome space ship; not to mention his little baby cheerleader who provides the best kind of support possible; moral support!  By the way, I think I’ll go with… Bob and Gene this week, and I hope we get some real names for them soon enough as the well is starting to run dry and I dread the episode where I’ll start referring to these two as Beavis and Butthead.

So anyway, Bob and Gene land on a nearby dirt planet to fix up their ride before heading to… wherever it is they’re headed, and they run into AMY FREAKING SEDARIS as a foul mouthed mechanic who will fix up the ride as Bob heads into town to run a few errands.  I choose to believe this means that Jerri Blank is now a part of the Star Wars canon which makes it all the more hilarious when she finds Gene inside and plans to “take care of them” while Bob’s away.  I can only assume this means she’ll leave them in a park or sell them on the black market, but let’s hold off on references to twenty year old Comedy Central series and find out what Bob’s up to on his day off from babysitting.  As with most parents who are free from their children for the first time in a while, he heads straight to a bar where we find out that this dirt planet is ACTUALLY Tatooine and that they use robo-bartenders complete with dirty rag wiping uselessly on the scuffed countertop.  Just to clarify, the robot isn’t actually CLEANING anything here as he’s barely covering six square inches of the gigantic counter; it’s purely for aesthetic affect and someone had to build him to do that.  Now despite my cheeky allusions to Bob doing a bit of day drinking, he’s actually there to find a quick bounty for some quick cash as he presumably burned through all their food money fixing up the spaceship and he meets a guy named Toro (Jake Cannavale) who looks super green but has a bounty he’s willing to split with Bob.  Sounds like the perfect opportunity, but the target in question is a big wig assassin who’s been on the run after the fall of the Galactic Empire, and Bob knows this will ultimately end with someone’s untimely death and he doesn’t want to deal with either himself dying or having to cradle this whipper snapper in his arms before succumbing to his fatal case of Red Shirt-itis.  Then again, Toro is kind of adorable in an utterly pathetic sort of way (and Bob could really use the cash), so against his better judgement he agrees to help this bounty hunting newbie secure his target.

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Super Recaps: The Mandalorian – Chapter 4

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The Mandalorian is owned by Disney

Directed by Bryce Dallas Howard

The episode begins with an idyllic looking village on an unknown planet where villagers are catching fish, weaving things, and hoping that nothing bad or “Empire” like will come out of the forest to destroy their lives.  Well the good news is that the Empire does not in fact attack the village!  The bad news… some other dudes with lasers and pointy sticks do, who look suspiciously like Lord of the Rings Orcs, and we see that one mother and her child just barely survive the attack by hiding under water.  From there we cut back to… let’s go with Homer as the Mandalorian and Bart as Baby Yoda, who are still flying in the middle of nowhere space; the little green hellion continuing to touch things and nearly kill them all while Homer is keeping his eyes on the space road.  Sensing a bit of pent up energy within the little bugger’s attempts to destroy the ship by flipping levers, Homer decides it’d be a good idea to land on the nearest planet and let Bart run around a bit while he plans their next move.  As it turns out, the planet they land on is the same one we just saw and it’s a planet so idyllic and peaceful that their skeevy space saloon is about as threatening as an Applebee’s.  The best part is when Homer and Bart take a seat and they notice a mercenary sitting in a corner and they try to get information on her from the waitress, but she legitimately knows nothing and after Homer tosses her some cash to spill what she knows, she literally thinks it’s just a big tip for doing so well at her job.  That was pretty funny and you can even tell the frustration that Homer is feeling from underneath the helmet for having to deal with people who AREN’T backstabbing jerks.

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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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Super Recaps: The Mandalorian – Chapter 2

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The Mandalorian is owned by Disney

Directed by Rick Famuyiwa

We’re back with another episode of Star Wars After Dark; which admittedly is still pretty family friendly considering its being made on Disney’s dime.  That said, the first episode did establish a tone for itself as a less goofy and more grounded interpretation of this universe and was quite good on top of that!  Was that episode a one off fluke, or does Disney really have something here that’s worth paying attention to?  Let’s find out!!

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The episode begins with THE MANDALORIAN… okay, I’m not gonna keep calling him that, so until they give him a real name let’s try out a different one each episode.  Let’s go with… Jim for this one!  So Jim (Pedro Pascal) is taking the Yoda Baby with him after “rescuing” it from the “bad guys” last time (it’s still unclear whether they were good guys or not) and it’s unclear what Jim plans to do with it once he gets off world.  Will he take it back to the DEFINITE BAD GUY Werner Herzog, or find a Space Orphanage to drop it off at?   These are questions that will have to be tabled for the moment as Jim gets attacked by a bunch of… I guess they’re Tusken Raiders, who try to smash his head in with sticks.  Jim manages to fight them off however in a really well choreographed action scene, and after the dust has settled he notices that one of his attackers had a tracking device on him.  The same one that Werner Herzog gave to him to find the Yoda Baby.  So yeah, if being played by WERNER HERZOG wasn’t enough of a clue, this pretty much cements it that Jim is working for the wrong team.  They didn’t even give him a chance to find the baby before handing the job off to someone else, and I guess that begs the question of just how many more people are after this little green brat?  Speaking of whom, the little bugger is actually a pretty impressive effect.  They LOOK like a really good puppet with CG modifications, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re just a REALLY good CG effect.  While it can’t talk or seem to communicate with Jim, it seems to be much more aware than a typical baby would be (considering he’s fifty years old, he BETTER have picked up on a few things) but Jim has no time for such things as he ignores it like any good surrogate father figure does in the first two acts of a story!

Eventually the duo make it back to Jim’s ship which would normally be good news, but as it turns out a Jawa sandcrawler has happened upon it and the little jerks are currently stripping it for parts which Jim doesn’t take too kindly and starts shooting at them.  They scurry off at the first sign of danger and try to bail in their sandcrawler with whatever parts they have, but Jim doesn’t take too kindly to that either and tries to chase it down.  The show is still knocking it out of the park with the action as this scene where Jim chases the sandcrawler is really well made and does a much better job of blending grit and comedy than we got in the last one.  Jim eventually jumps on the side and starts climbing with grim determination and ruthless skill while the Jawa’s are scrambling to knock this guy off of their truck; throwing trash and hurling insults like space soccer hooligans.  He somehow manages to crawl his way up to the top of the sandcrawler and is ready to bust some heads, but he didn’t stop to think that MAYBE a bunch of them would be waiting up there for him and sure enough he gets blasted with enough stun weapons to fall over the side like a sack of space potatoes.  Well that didn’t go too well all things considered!  With the Jawas now far off in the distance with a bunch of the ship’s parts, Jim has no choice but to go back to the guy who helped him out in the last episode (Nick Nolte) and beg him to find them a way off planet.  His solution is pretty simple which is to go back to the Jawas and ASK them for the parts back which is a plan Jim doesn’t seem to fond of, but sure enough it actually seems to do the trick as they agree to return what they took as long as they do something for them.  There’s a creature in a cave not too far from here that has an egg the Jawas want.  If Jim can get the egg, he can have his parts back.  Not too shabby a deal considering how many of them he’s already killed, but hey!  Why let a wee bit of murder get in the way of perfectly good transaction!?

So Jim goes off to get this egg and for some reason brings the Yoda Baby along which doesn’t seem like the BEST of ideas.  I mean sure, he wouldn’t want to leave them with the Jawas who already stole everything else he had, but he couldn’t trust that baby with adorable alien dude Nick Nolte?  Oh well, it can’t be THAT dangerous right?  I mean everything else on this planet has been pretty small, so how big could this creature be?  Turns out; quite big!  Imagine a rhinoceros the size of a Wampa and you get the idea, and for Jim this is less than ideal situation as the creature bashes him all over the place; knocking his weapons away, pretty much destroying his armor, and presumably with far fewer bones intact than when he went there in the first place.  Then something MAGICAL happens!  Seemingly by some sort of… shall we say… FORCE, the monster starts rising several inches off the ground and hangs there mid charge.  Surprising Jim and literally no one else, it turns out Yoda Baby can use the force and just barely saved Jim’s life as well as keeping the animal still long enough for Jim to jab a knife in its neck in a particularly grim moment in the series.  Jim grabs the egg, brings it back to Nick Nolte and the Jawas, and he finally gets the parts he needs to put his ship back together.  Well… for NICK NOLTE to put his ship back together at least.  Seriously, I understand being neighborly and all that, but considering he pretty much rebuilt this ship from the ground up for absolutely no fee, I’m starting to think that Nick Nolte is less the Ned Flanders of this planet and is actually hiding something here and which is why he wants Jim to go away as fast as possible.  And so ends the second episode of THE MANDALORIAN as Jim and the Baby say their goodbyes to Nick Nolte and ride off into the stratosphere with uncertain futures and probably more than a few targets on their back.

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What really came together for me while watching this episode is that it seems to be taking inspiration not just from the other films and some of the lore, but from Genndy Tartakovsky’s more serious works like Samurai Jack and even that Clone Wars show he did.  This episode is light on plot and dialogue but excels at setting its scene, establishing clear and straightforward goals for its characters, and showing off some flashy action on top of it.  I’m not sure if every episode will be this way now that we’re presumably going back to the more talkative and character based world of bounty hunters, but it was a real treat to watch this episode unfold and I’m glad they’re willing to just let some of the story speak for itself instead of filling it with redundant dialogue or pointless subplots.  Sometimes all you need is a guy in a helmet, a desert planet, and a force sensitive baby of unknown origin who can lift monsters with their mind!  Keep it simple!

Super Recaps: The Mandalorian – Chapter 1

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The Mandalorian is owned by Disney

Directed by Dave Filoni

Since Disney+ is the new hotness and so are the shows that Disney will be producing for it, I figured I’d check out the Star Wars show (which is set about five years after Return of the Jedi) and let you know if it’s worth your time and attention!  It’s being made by Jon Faverau which is a good sign as even the movies I’m not too fond of like The Jungle Book and The Lion King are still notable for their technical achievements, and the amount of money Disney is putting into this show is absolutely ludicrous which means at least the visual side of things will be interesting to see unfold.  Heck, if nothing else a production of THIS scale, if it’s destined to fail, can only fail in the most SPECTACULAR of ways, and I want a front row seat if it’s going to be one big hot mess!  Does Disney’s latest venture into the Star Wars universe provide an intriguing introduction into a part of the universe we’ve yet to see on screen, or is this an underwhelming attempt to further cash in on their very expensive license?  Let’s find out!!

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I knew nothing about this series going into it, and by the end of the first episode it was kind of exactly what I never knew I wanted out of a Star Wars series.  It’s almost childish in just how much it appeals to the basest of my tastes, and yet it never sinks into being crude or garish with it.  It’s a fan film made by professionals; not wanting to subvert the source material to their own ends but to give us a glimpse at something we haven’t seen in this world before.

If there’s anything it reminds of specifically it’s Solo which has a similar stylistic bent to it as both of these draw from cowboy stories, old fashioned machismo, and plenty of gun play to satisfy your action cravings.  Where this one differs though is that where Solo was about charm and wit, this is much more about stoicism and grit which is a valid approach to take as long as its handled well, and I think they do a fine job of it here.  The opening scene of the episode where THE MANDALORIAN (Pedro Pascal) silently walks into a bar, immediately gets the heat from local tough guys, and then cleans house with barely any effort, is taken whole cloth from any number of cheesy B-movies or old school action anime, but seeing it in the Star Wars universe and done with a decent enough budget is definitely novel if nothing else.  So why is it that THE MANDALORIAN is in this bar in the middle of nowhere in the first place?  Well the tough guys were hassling this blue guy (Horatio Sanz) and after THE MANDALORIAN tears them to pieces, we find out that said blue guy is actually his target.  He drags him back to wherever it is bounty hunters take their captives.  This return trip includes a cameo from none other than Brian Posehn who drives them from the bar to their ship, and during this scene we learn that THE MANDALORIAN has a problem with droids that we’ll no doubt get further into in later episodes.

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Super Recaps: The Twilight Zone (Gabe’s Story)

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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

Directed by Allan Kroeker

The episode begins with the titular Gabe (Christopher Titus who I’ve talked about in the past) smashing his car into someone else’s by accident; someone by the way who doesn’t even seem too perturbed by it which is a little odd.  His driver’s side door is half caved in and yet rather than get yell at Gabe or get his insurance information, he makes a half-hearted crack at his driving skills before calling him a loser.  Seems a bit low key considering the damage inflicted which I would certainly call a silver lining, but then Gabe is one of those perpetually miserable dudes who attributes everything to his all-encompassing belief in his own bad luck.  Well that and his lousy boss who’s keeping him down at work.  Gabe is basically the embodiment of lower white working class angst which is a topic Sir Titus is quite familiar with as he jumps right into a stand up routine while explaining to his wife (Stefanie von Pfetten) why he didn’t get the promotion due to his lack of butt kissing skills.  He goes outside to nurse his ego as well as the big lump on his head which he got in the car crash when he notices some guy in an orange jumpsuit (Kelly Perine) in the backyard killing his grass.  When confronted, the guy just oddly says that Gabe shouldn’t even be able to see him and that he should pretend this is ALL some big hallucination before turning tail and running off while Gabe just stands there; gawking at the absolute gall of this guy to just kill his grass and say IGNORE ME.  I wish I got to see the inner workings of the universe whenever I bumped my head.

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“Darn crabgrass.  I should have listened to Philip K Dick when I had the chance…”

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Super Recaps: The Twilight Zone (Last Lap)

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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 Brad Turner

We’re back with another episode of The Half-Remembered Zone and this is one that I remember quite a bit; particularly the ending which… I don’t remember liking all that much?  It’s an interesting episode to be sure, but I mostly remember it feeling like some sort of PSA about dealing with loss rather than something I could genuinely connect with.  Then again, I watched these episodes when I was a foolish teenager and now that I’m a foolish man I might have a slightly different perspective on it.  Has this episode aged like a fine wine, or am I about to chug a gallon of fifteen year old milk that didn’t go down too smooth the first time around?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with two friends Andy and Marco (Clifton Collins Jr and Greg Serano); the former with a terminal illness and the other trying to show him a good time by driving fast and reliving old memories.  It’s not doing much to stave off the constant coughing and the fear of death, but I do think the dynamic here is very strong between the two.  Marco is definitely cheery in that way that people get when they want to help someone forget about what’s wrong and () is brutally honest about how scared his of dying at such a young age.  We find out that this car Marco is driving was built by Andy and that it’s going to be in a big race in just a week’s time that Andy is afraid he won’t get to see, but as luck would have it while they’re cruising on this rainy night, they find that the track has already been set up and that no one else is there.  At first Marco is hesitant to do this and thinks that Andy should get to a hospital, but Andy is adamant that they take one LAST LAP together and so Marco drives the course.  What neither of the realized is that driving ridiculously high speeds on a track on a rainy night is PROBABLY not the best idea and so they end up crashing the car.  Andy wakes up in ambulance seemingly no worse for wear despite the whole cancer thing, but Marco… well he didn’t make it.  Well sucks to be him I guess, but somehow (I’m guessing THE TWILIGHT ZONE did it), Andy no longer seems to be terminal.  In fact, he’s basically back to his old self which is a detail I DEFINITELY don’t remember from the first time I saw it and on top of that the race track completely disappeared when Andy goes to visit it the next morning which I don’t remember either.

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“This is not my beautiful racetrack!  This is not my terminal illness!  HOW DID I GET HERE!?”

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