Cinema Dispatch: Bill & Ted Face the Music

Bill & Ted Face the Music and all the images you see in this review are owned by United Artists Releasing

Directed by Dean Parisot

There haven’t been many rays of sunshine during the last few months of lock-down, but one of them was the first trailer for Bill & Ted Face the Music.  I remember hearing that Reeves and Winter were trying to make this movie back when I was in COLLEGE which at this point that was a depressingly long time ago, but after years of starts and stops, hype and silence, and Keanu Reeves regaining his A-List star clout (as well as becoming everyone’s Favorite Person Ever), the duo have finally returned to give us one more adventure with the Wyld Stallyns.  Is it a beautiful trip down memory lane for all the fans that loved this franchise, or is it too little too late for all the years of anticipation?  Let’s find out!!

Bill S Preston Esq and Ted Theodore Logan (Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves) have spent their entire lives trying to write the song that unites the world which apparently was NOT God Gave Rock And Roll To You.  Apparently someone else wrote that song and the Wyld Stallyns haven’t come up with a better one since then despite releasing several albums over the years; some of which were decent but they fell off the charts pretty quickly and have been scraping by for some time now.  At least they have loving families that support them as Bill is still married to Princess Joanna (Jayma Mays) and they have a daughter Thea (Samara Weaving) while Ted is still married to Princess Elizabeth (Erinn Hayes) and they have a daughter Billie (Brigette Lundy-Paine), but the strain is starting to get to them and they might just give up music altogether.  Right as they’re discussing the end of their career, a time machine shows up in the driveway and out steps Kelly (Kristen Schaal) who is the daughter of Rufus from the previous films, and she takes them to the future where they high council of… I guess the ENTIRE EARTH informs them that their song to save the world is not only to usher in an enlightened age but to fix some horrific distortion in space and time that if they DON’T fix will end all of reality as they know it.  Oh, and they have less than two hours to do it, starting… now!  Without much time left to get their act together, Bill & Ted figure the best way to get the song that saves the future is to go INTO the future and the song after it’s already written by their future selves, and while that’s going on Billie & Thea are given a time machine from Kelly to try and muster up a band who will be talented enough to play the song once Bill & Ted get it.  Will these two loveable has-beens find a way to save the future before time and reality folds in on itself?  Will Billie & Thea turn out to be as good at traveling through space and time as their fathers were, and discover what destiny has in store for them as well?  You know, we could really use a Bill & Ted miracle right now, so what are the chances that this is the MOVIE that will unite the world and save reality as we know it?

“We humbly accept these seven Oscars, the Noble Peace Prize, and the Grammy for Best New Artist!”     “We had to go all the way back to 1977, but we got it!”     “Take THAT, Starland Vocal Band!”
Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: Bill & Ted Face the Music”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-02-2020)

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

By the time this goes up we’ll be just one day away from the All Out PPV, and like any good wrestling company AEW is clearly trying its best to get us to buy the darn thing with a show filled with angles and cliffhangers!  Do they manage to make the most out of their Go Home show, or will this be just as disappointing as last week’s episode which I will remind you had like a six minute main event?  Let’s find out!!

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Best Friends Vs. Proud N Powerful

I’ve been rather lukewarm on the Proud N Powerful/Best Friends feud, and I guess AEW was as well because they’re blowing it off here as the opening match on the Go Home show instead of saving it for the PPV.  The two teams brawl for like ten minutes before the bell even rings so at least they’re TRYING to make look like they’re out for blood, and the two teams are talented wrestlers if nothing else.  Then again, I’m not sure why Chuck spends several minutes making a mountain of chairs if he just wanted to beat the hell out of his opponent, but he does just that and of course Santana ends up tossing him into it.  The bell finally rings right after that spot and its Trent basically all alone out there as Chuck is still knocked out from the mountain of chairs.  Trent and Santana manage to have a pretty good back and forth for a few minutes there, but with Ortiz on the outside running interference it doesn’t take long for Trent to be overwhelmed.  He’s a survivor though, and manages to stay in this match long enough for Chuckie to crawl his way to the corner and make the hot tag who at which point Chuckie runs wild on the two of them.  He sends both Santana and Oritz to the outside of the ring, and he does a flip Senton Cannonball over the top ropes onto both of them.  If there’s one thing notable about this match it’s the solid teamwork that both of them display.  Trent gets back in the ring but is almost just as quickly sent flying onto the steel steps after Ortiz holds him on the apron, and just a moment later Chuckie manages to cut Ortiz’s legs out from under him which gives Trent enough time to pull off a pile driver.  THEN Santana manages to get Ortiz to the ropes during the pin which kept them in the match.  It’s still not the aggressive and sadistic match up I was hoping for, but they both definitely have their game faces on and are not afraid to do what it takes to win the match.  Sadly for the Best Friends though, Proud N Powerful wanted it just a little bit more as Santana sneakily attacks Trent with a baton which lays him out.  The two of them land a street sweeper right after, and get the pin on Trent which I guess means they DON’T have to apologize to Trent’s Mom Sue for wrecking her car.  Does that mean insurance won’t cover it?  In any case, it was a decent match to start off with and definitely had some high points for both teams, but the feud still doesn’t feel all that IMPORTANT despite how much time they spent building it up.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-02-2020)”

Super Recaps: Lovecraft Country – Episode 3 (Holy Ghost)

Lovecraft Country is owned by HBO

Directed by Daniel Sackheim

Last week’s episode was a major disappointment, but not so much that they can’t find a way to come back from it.  The characters are still strong and engaging, the aesthetic has a fun pulpiness to it (not dissimilar from Perry Mason), and we’ve seen how effectively they can handle a difficult tone between horror fun and dreadful reality with aplomb, so there’s no reason they couldn’t pull it off again.  Does this show find a way to get back on track after the convoluted mess that was the last episode, or were all their best ideas in that first episode?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with Leti in the middle of a church service; staring off in the middle distance with an expression of empty sadness while… um… a Nike commercial is playing in the background.  The spoken word monologue on the soundtrack during this scene is from Nike’s NYC Be True Campaign from 2017 (written by Daisy Zhao and narrated by Precious Angel Ramirez) which seems like an odd pick for something like this.  Also, what exactly IS this?  If this is supposed to be the funeral of Uncle George, then it doesn’t read as such because there’s no casket, no pictures, and certainly no sadness from anyone else there who seem to be singing joyfully with Leti being the odd one out.  Perhaps my cultural signifies for what a funeral scene in a show or movie is supposed to look like are too narrow, but for me it started things off on an awkward note as I wasn’t exactly sure what was going on here.

After the funeral we get a quick update on the fallout between the last episode and this one which if you recall ended in the Sons of Adam being destroyed and Uncle George dying of a gunshot wound.  Atticus is taking care of Aunt Hippolyta and their daughter Dee now that Uncle George is gone, and on top of that he has to deal with his cranky dad Montrose who seems content to while away his time drinking from his flask and being a dick to his son.  Seems they’re apt to pick up their relationship exactly where they left it off; icy and cantankerous.  There’s certainly a lot of guilt being felt between the both of them, especially since they decided to not tell Hippolyta and Dee exactly HOW George died opting to go with a hothead sheriff shooting him; a decision that’s certainly weighing harder on Atticus than it does Montrose.

Continue reading “Super Recaps: Lovecraft Country – Episode 3 (Holy Ghost)”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-27-2020)

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

Okay, so I had thought I posted this thing like three days ago but I guess with all the New Mutants and Bill & Ted excitement that I forgot to finish this darn thing and so here I am trying to put this thing together right before the next episode of the show is supposed to air.  I’ve forgotten what it’s like to actually be BUSY doing this stuff which is in its own way a comforting bit of nostalgia (remember when we all got to DO things before the world came to a screeching halt?) and I’ll hopefully won’t be making this mistake again in the future; especially since we not only have another episode of Dynamite this week but a PPV on Saturday!  Let’s get started!!

There was an announcement that AEW would be selling tickets to fans and I think this is the first week where that’s the case.  The opening moments spend A LOT of time focusing on all the people in the crowd, and while it IS outside and they DO seem to be separated into clusters, it still makes me very nervous.  In any case, Chris Jericho is on commentary tonight and gets a full entrance, while the wrestlers in the opening match to the Tag Team Gauntlet are already in the ring, so I guess AEW knows whose entrance is the money maker.

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Tag Team Gauntlet Match – Number One Contender for the Tag Team Championship

Now I didn’t quite get what this was when they announced it (I thought it would just be a four way between the four teams) but thankfully the give us a quick rundown of the rules.  It starts with The Nightmare Family and The Bucks, then the winner of that match immediately has to face Best Friends and then the winner of that has to face FTR.  These kind of matches never really made sense to me as it doesn’t REALLY show who the best team is as one the freshest team will obviously stand the best chance and I think it works better in a Royal Rumble where you DON’T have to wrestle a full match to advance and there are ways to strategically recuperate if needed.  Still, it should be fun to see all these teams go at it; especially with FTR as the final boss!

First Round – Natural Nightmares Vs. Young Bucks

QT Marshall is a great wrestler but is even better at making everyone else look good and he does a great job eating a bunch of moves from The Bucks before Dustin jumps in and runs wild for like a minute before gassing out completely and taking a prolonged breather.  The Bucks though are polite competitors and give him a chance to catch his breath which proves to be a pretty big mistake because Dustin comes back very strong and he and QT take control of the match for a bit.  Now in most tag matches this would simply be getting heat for The Natural Nightmares, but because this is a gauntlet match, it means that every minute The Bucks take punishment means they’re going into the next match that much worse for wear.  QT Marshall has both Bucks in the ring and goes for a QT special which as far as I can tell is a flip in the ring followed by a back elbow, but The Bucks duck the blow and follow up with Superkicks.  At this point The Bucks are in full control of the match and after a minute or two of moves Nick gets the pin on QT after both of them land a BTE Trigger.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-27-2020)”

Cinema Dispatch: The New Mutants

The New Mutants and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Studios

Directed by Josh Boone

I was going to the movies multiple times a week for YEARS before this pandemic hit, and one of the things I kept seeing over and again was trailers for this movie. Every few months there’d be another one but with a different release date on it, and it got so ridiculously long that I vowed to be there opening day to see what kind of nonsense they were trying to cover up in post-production. Then the world came to an end and wouldn’t you know it? One of the first movies to go to theaters AND NOWHERE ELSE happened to be this one. All was not lost however as it turns out there’s a drive in theater nearby (the ONLY place I’ll go to see a movie right now) and they actually had this movie on their schedule, and so I was able to go out and keep that promise I made to myself all those years ago without having to take an unnecessary risk of CATCHING A POTENTIALLY LIFE THREATENING DISEASE in the process! So with all that buildup, with all the shakeups at the studio, and with all the world events that have broken the world between the first teaser trailer to now, does the movie manage to be any good? Did all the extra time working on it prove to be a fruitful endeavor, or are they hoping that the threat of getting sick would be enough for them to sneak this out without anybody noticing? Let’s find out!!

Dani Moonstar (Blu Hunt) finds herself stuck inside of a hospital of some sorts with a bunch of other young people under the watchful eyes of Dr. Reyes (Alice Braga) who informs her that her family is dead and that she’s here because she PROBABLY caused it. Why? Well because she’s a mutant of course, and so is everyone else here! We’ve got Sam (Charlie Heaton) who can go fast and make things explode, Illyana (Anya Taylor-Joy) who… has some sort of teleportation and sword fighting powers, Roberto (Henry Zaga) who’s the most dudebro dude ever and also might have fire powers, and Rahne (Massie Williams) who is… well she’s just a werewolf. I didn’t realize that fell under MUTANT powers, but I guess you can call anything a mutant power if you try hard enough. In any case, they’re all stuck in here with the discount Nurse Ratched who’s trying to get them to learn to control their powers through… group therapy sessions I guess, and clearly has some sinister motivations for keeping them all there that they’re vaguely aware of but none too concerned about. Dani, still trying to figure out exactly what happened to her father and not even knowing what her own super power is, tries to make the most of this very bizarre situation which only gets more disturbing once everyone starts having terrifying dreams or something relating to their past traumas which is certainly not making the overall dingy atmosphere of this place any more cheery. What exactly are Dani’s powers and are they in any way connected to the strange goings on at the hospital? What does Dr. Reyes have planned for them once she’s deemed them to be “better”, and is it somehow worse than having stay here? Are they actually stuck in some sort of Groundhog’s Day time loop which is why it feels like this movie’s been around for a hundred years!?

Nope. Nope. There we go!
Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: The New Mutants”

Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – Annual 2020

Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America

Somehow this book came out like TWO MONTHS AGO and it just completely flew under my radar which probably says something unflattering about me as the release dates for these is something I actually TRY to keep an eye on. In any case, it’s better late than never and frankly it’s a good time to look at it as the first issue of the new story arc has just come out, and perhaps taking one last look back before moving forward will give us a bit of perspective… or more likely just reiterate how eager I was for the book to go in a new direction. In any case, let’s take a look!
First and foremost, this happy looking cover where everyone is celebrating and looking cheerful? LIES!! This is the annual celebrating the year of the Zombots, and like most of the issues we got during that time, this is filled with enough sorrow and hushed contemplation to make The Walking Dead dismissively roll its eyes. That said, at least it doesn’t mercilessly drag things out as each self-contained story in here is rather quick and there’s a decent amount of cleverness to go with the grim atmosphere. The first story is BIG’S BIG ADVENTURE which admittedly doesn’t SOUND like a harsh and dreadful romp, but take one look at that art style and tell me you’re not supposed to feel an icy chill in the pit of your stomach!

“It looks just like the winter of our Discontent!”
Continue reading “Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – Annual 2020”

Super Recaps: Lovecraft Country – Episode 2 (Whitey’s on the Moon)

Lovecraft Country is owned by HBO

Directed by Daniel Sackheim

The first episode did a lot of things right with its characters, it’s setting, and its stomaching churning tension, as well as how well it pulled from its various sources of inspiration to create something that we really hadn’t seen before.  However, by the time we got to the end I started to worry that what made it so good was going to be pushed aside for something that felt more like a genuine SyFy series instead of an HBO riff on a SyFy series.  Does Lovecraft Country keep up the excellent tone and explore its interesting characters in greater detail, or are we already going off the rails only two episodes in?  Let’s find out!!

Despite the grisly ending of the last episode, we start things up here as happy as can be as Lita and Uncle George (Jurnee Smollett and Courtney B Vance) are making themselves at home in this LUXURIOUS mansion while The Jeffersons theme is blasting on the soundtrack.  Lita is trying on all these fancy clothes that JUST SO HAPPEN to be in her size while George is reading all these books that JUST SO HAPPEN to be his favorites, and all the while Atticus (Jonathan Majors) is brooding all by himself as he remembers over and over again the monstrous creatures that nearly killed them the night before.  I mean jeez, buddy!  Get over it why don’t ya?  You don’t see the other two complaining about the nice clothes, the rare books, and the creepy white dude who pops in all over the place like a very smarmy Batman!  White dude by the way is William (Jordan Patrick Smith) who we saw at the end of the last episode that looks like a de-aged Matthew McConaughy, and he is rather cagey with the details of Atticus’s father but is more than happy to go on and on about this magnificent house!

Continue reading “Super Recaps: Lovecraft Country – Episode 2 (Whitey’s on the Moon)”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-22-2020)

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

With another PPV just two weeks away (literally this time due to the schedule change), AEW has to kick things into overdrive to get people pumped for the big show!  No more of this back and forth where one week is good and the next week is meh!  Nope, just good matches, good stories, and lots of exciting angles so that people drop their fifty bucks to see it all play out!  Does this show manage to create the right kind of buzz to sell All Out to the fans at home, or will it take more than one good show to get things back on track?  Let’s find out!!

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Private Party Vs. FTR

Already in the ring and with no introductions, both teams are in the ring and this match is underway.  Not only that, Tully Blanchard is in FTR’s corner wearing an FTR jacket so I guess they’re teaming up with him and the conspicuously absent Shawn Spears.  I thought they were going to go with Arn, considering the meeting they had a few weeks ago, but I guess his and Cody’s heel turn isn’t happening any time soon.  FTR gives a lot to Private Party in this match, and they look pretty good!  Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy can be a bit hit or miss at times, but they seem to have brought their A game here, and FTR continue to be consummate professionals in whatever they do.  Still, there’s not much TO this match even though both teams are doing a great job in it.  We get some Superkicks from Private Party, FTR beats up Quen in the corner for a while, and Private Party tries to fight back with high flying and flashy maneuvers; my favorite probably being when Kassidy flipped over the ropes into a Stunner on Dax Harwood.  The only part that felt a bit off was some not especially great looking Leapfrogs from FTR, but other than that it’s a solid match between two teams.  At some point Quen is down and Kassidy is trying to make the save by diving onto Harwood on the outside.  At the last moment, Tully Blanchard pulls him away and Kassidy lands on the floor; leaving Quen alone in the ring and so both members of FTR bring this to a close with the Goodnight Express for the pin.  So, yeah; it was a good match, but not one that had a lot of highs and lows for me.  Nothing stood out all that much despite both teams putting in the effort.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-22-2020)”

Phenomenal Fighters Wrestling – The Road to Virtual Sports Entertainment Glory!!

Everyone needs a hobby and as much as I enjoy writing for this website, I needed something else to pass the time and reignite my passion to create.  Now if you’ve been following me on twitter (which if you’re not you can VERY EASILY START DOING) you’ll know that this hobby I came up with was to create a Virtual Wrestling Federation; to create essentially from scratch a roster of fighters and a brand for them to fight on.  The initial fruits of that effort can be viewed above which is the pilot episode Phenomenal Fighters Wrestling: Melee, but hopefully I won’t be stopping there considering just how much work I put into this thing already, but if nothing else I can at least tell the tale of how it all came together.

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IN THE BEGINNING… wait, where do I begin?

The two things I knew right off the bat is that I wanted to use WWE 2K19 and that my system could not handle it at anything above PS2 level graphics settings, so while I saved up some money to finally upgrade my system, I started just writing things down.  I needed some sort of structure to start with, so I bought the World Wide Wrestling RPG books by Nathan D Paoletta just to get an idea of where I needed to begin.  Ultimately I didn’t really end up using them, but the character sheets gave me a starting point; come up with a name, a general outline, and a few wrestling moves.  From there I came up with my initial roster as well as the name of the company.  From there it expanded into an Excel Spreadsheet I’ve called THE BOOK that has like twenty different tabs at this point with all my ideas, all the details I need to keep track of, and so on.  With the groundwork laid, I knew I had to bite the bullet and buy the game.

Continue reading “Phenomenal Fighters Wrestling – The Road to Virtual Sports Entertainment Glory!!”

Super Recaps: Lovecraft Country – Episode 1 (Sundown)

Lovecraft Country is owned by HBO

Directed by Yann Demange

HBO Max is proving to be a darn good service and I’m finding a lot of great series to enjoy, particularly Perry Mason and Harley Quinn, so in the spirit of celebrating the arrival of another good streaming service (and looking for something I can review on a regular schedule), I’ll be watching their latest series which I can only assume is a Once Upon a Time knock off but about scarier monsters, right?  Okay, probably not.  Does this series have what it takes to grip you right away and leave you itching for more episodes, or does the novelty of the show wear off once you get past the title?  Let’s find out!!

The show begins with what I’m sure most of us were expecting when we heard it was called Lovecraft Country; a Syfy channel series with HBO money and gratuitous violence as we see a bizarre WW I trench battle involving flying saucers, alien bikini babes, and Cthulhu themselves being utterly wrecked by Jackie Robinson!  Seems like the kind of show that’s right up my very silly alley, but this is not to be as the show has much more on its mind as it all turns out to be a dream; escaping from a reality that may be more mundane but is certainly one our main character wants to get away from.  Our hero is Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors); a nerdy black kid from Chicago who joined the army, got super buff, and has been moving around the country since the end of his service.  He’s finally returning home because his father, the man he was trying to get away from by joining the service, has gone missing and the last thing he did was send a mysterious note to Atticus requesting his presence in Ardham Massachusetts which doesn’t seem to exist.  Seems like a straightforward enough task, except that this show takes place in the fifties and therefore he can’t just do a Google search and more importantly he has to deal with the terrifying barriers of systemic racism wherever he goes; where even riding a bus is rife with danger and indignities as we learn as soon as he wakes up from his exciting dream. The bus has broken down in the middle of nowhere and the only transportation that’s come to help is a pickup truck sending a very clear message of exactly WHO they’re willing to take.

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