Cinema Dispatch: Doctor Sleep

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Doctor Sleep and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures

Directed by Mike Flanagan

Now that we’re a good few years into the Stephen King revival that was kicked off by IT (actually Stranger Things if we’re being honest) it was about time we start calling back to OTHER Stephen King adaptations, and not just that brief shot of the original Pennywise in IT or the numerous random callbacks in The Dark Tower.  This is a sequel not only to Stephen King’s original Shining novel, but is the sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation, so describing the making of this movie as Quixotic is not that much of a stretch.  Then again, there’s no reason not to swing for the fences if you’ve got the chance, and the director has proven time and time again with films like Gerald’s Game and Ouija: Origin of Evil that he’s capable of making very good horror films, so perhaps the untouchable triumph that was The Shining is not so out of reach after all!  Is this a worthy sequel to the original film and a great movie in its own right?  Let’s find out!!

Dan Torrance (Ewan McGregor) has had a rough time of it since he and his mother managed to escape from the Overlook Hotel where his dad tried to murder the two of them before dying in the snow.  It seems that he took after his father in the second worst way possible as he may not be an axe murderer, but he is an alcoholic who’s using his addiction to avoid dealing with his own problems as well as the powers that seem to have done nothing but cause him trouble as the ghosts from the Overlook Hotel try to haunt him to this day.  He manages to find a bit of stability though in the town of True Knot where he meets a friend named Billy (Cliff Curtis), manages to give up the booze, and even gets a job as an orderly in a hospice care facility where he uses his power to sooth those who are about to die with those gifts that have given him nothing but heartache for the past thirty years.  He also seems to have made a connection with another psychic user as they communicate with each other anonymously, but circumstances are about to change that will force them to finally meet one another.  It turns out that there is a cult of other psychic users who have found out that eating the souls of psychically powerful people will give them everlasting life and so they roam the country looking for people to eat (mostly children as they are the most potent) and are ostensibly led by Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson) who’s powers are among the strongest out there.  Our mysterious pen pal to Dan whose a young girl named Abra (Kyliegh Curran) catches psychic wind of these monsters as they feast upon a child, and Rose the Hat catches a glimpse of her as well, so now that both parties know of the other’s existence there will surely be some serious X-Men like conflict coming soon and Abra could use all the help she can get to bring these fiends to justice.  Will Dan be willing to help his friend Abra with her little problem of cannibal psychics trying to hunt her down?  Who exactly are these murderous psychics, and why is one of them wearing such a distinctive hat?  Will they find an excuse for going back to the Outlook Hotel so they can sell this movie on Shining nostalgia?  Well of course they will, but will it be a GOOD excuse!?

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“Look, I know it’s haunted as well as the birthplace of most of my trauma, but I’ve got a forty percent discount from Hotels.com and it’s the ONLY place in the area it applies to.”

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Super Wrestling: AEW – Full Gear

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Full Gear and all the images you see I this recap are owned by All Elite Wrestling and Shahid Khan

While technically being the fifth AEW PPV (sixth if you count All In which was basically AEW Zero), this is the first one since they’ve gotten the TV series and have started to focus more on long term storylines.  Not only that, but it’s coming off of a MASSIVE amount of success from Dynamite which has consistently beaten NXT in the ratings, so there’s a lot of hype and high expectations surrounding this PPV which is always a double edged sword as it means more people are interested in seeing it but that they’re also much more easy to disappoint.  Can AEW continue their streak of high quality wrestling action with their latest PPV?  Let’s find out!!

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Britt Baker Vs. Bea Priestly

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The only match they had on the pre-show for Full Gear was this match against Britt Baker and Bea Priestly which I GUESS is supposed to be the blow off to a feud, but they never HAD a feud to begin with.  They had one match all the way back before they got on TV and I think they were on a tag team match a few weeks ago, but at no point did they interact in any meaningful way to sell this supposed rivalry between them.  There’s a video package before the fight where Britt talks smack about Priestly and I just don’t think it works because Britt brings up stuff we’d NEVER heard of until now about her being possibly injured in the Fight for the Fallen match and it’s also completely one sided as Priestly doesn’t even show up in the video, so for all we know she’s just out there doing her thing and being respectful towards everyone while Britt is off to the side seething for no good reason!  Now all that having been said, when the two of them actually DO get in the ring they are fighting like this match means something.  Britt is definitely all scowls and fury which is a far cry from the babyface she often portrays, and Priestly is definitely relishing just how much she’s gotten under her skin.  The moves as well are less coordinated and flashy as they are just slugfests and pain clinics which is how you definitely want to pay off a feud even if this particular one still didn’t feel properly set up.

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“How many fingers am I holding up?  HOW MANY!?”

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Cinema Dispatch: Terminator: Dark Fate

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Terminator: Dark Fate and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures

Directed by Tim Miller

Terminator Genisys came out right when I started reviewing movies for this website and BOY was I being thrown into the deep end as far as having to write about wretched movies!  The fact that someone is actually trying to come back from that disaster is either a show of great arrogance or of great faith in the material because you couldn’t possibly have salted the Earth in a worse way than with that piece of self-aware trash; even if you get James Cameron back as a producer.  Dude produces a lot of thing is what I’m saying!  Do you remember Sanctum?  Of course not.  ANYWAY!  Does this new attempt to breathe life into this franchise produce at least one more fun adventure, or would we have had a better chance getting this to work again if we stuck it in a bag of rice?  Let’s find out!!

Decades after Doomsday was avoided and Skynet was destroyed, the world seems to be at… well I wouldn’t call the current situation PEACE, but we’re staving off the techno-apocalypse for the time being if nothing else.  Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes) is just going through her day to day life of helping her brother with his music, taking care of her sick dad, and working at a car factory (that’s what those things are called, right?) when things start to get a bit strange.  Her dad shows up out of nowhere at her job, some giant blonde lady shoots him in the face right in front of her, and then it turns out dear old dad was a robot.  This seems bad even by Monday standards, but she goes along with the gun toting woman named Grace (Mackenzie Davis) who informs her that her chances of living are contingent upon her ability to be depart with her post  haste!  It doesn’t take long for Dani to learn (and even less time to accept) that she is in fact being hunted down by future robots who want her dead for some very important reason, and that Grace is a cybernetically enhanced human from the future as well who was sent to protect her.  She certainly makes a game effort of outrunning the robot (Gabriel Luna), but this dude is a K-Reve unit which is basically a SUPER T-800 combined with a SUPER T-1000 and it doesn’t take long for their backs to be at the wall.  If ONLY there was a character from this franchise that could save them before it’s too late!  Oh that’s right!  They threw a bunch of money at Linda Hamilton so Sarah Connor comes in JUST at the right moment to save the two of them and buy them all some time to regroup, figure out what’s going, on and how they can stop this latest threat to the future.  Can Grace fulfill her duty of protecting Dani from this mechanical menace, and why was she chosen for such an important mission?  What is Sarah Connor’s role in all of this, and what has she been up to since the events of T2?   Is Schwarzenegger’s role in this a cleverly explained bit of time travel trickery, or is the will of the producers of Paramount Pictures the most powerful force in this Terminator universe?

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“I’ll give you ‘Put that cookie down’, ‘It’s not a tumor’, and ‘My body, my choice’, but ‘Hasta la vista baby’?  THAT’S gonna cost you.”

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Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #22

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

We’re back with another issue of ZOMBIES!  JUST ZOMBIES!  NOTHING BUT ZOMBIES, ZOMBIES, AND MORE ZOMBIES!!  When you can’t think of an action set piece, ZOMBIES!  When your characters just aren’t sad and miserable enough, ZOMBIES!  When you’ve got nothing better up your sleeve or need to kill about eight issues in a go nowhere story arc, FREAKING ZOMBIES!!  Can this issue somehow find a way to make yet another story about zombies the least bit interesting?  Probably not but let’s find out!!

I’m gonna keep this one pretty brief as frankly I’m pretty much done with anything zombot related in this story arc and they decided to go back and show us the stuff we REALLY didn’t need to see from the last issue.  If you recall, that one ended with Tails, Tangle, and Whisper being picked up by Amy who informed them that there was an outbreak at Restoration HQ, and so they’re down to whoever is left on that ship.  Seems simple enough and not something we’d need to see in pedantic detail, but I guess someone at IDW thought differently and this issue is… well, everything I just explained.  We start with Amy who’s trying to keep things coordinated and under control at Restoration HQ with only Cream on hand to provide any sort of levity.  I guess I don’t want to harp TOO hard on this since they’re actually taking time to let these characters talk instead of simply reacting to more zombots, but whatever characterization is still tied directly with the current situation instead of feeling like something that will carry over beyond this story arc, and frankly we just saw a better version of this in the last Tangle & Whisper issue.

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“Our society is crumbling and rations are getting short, but darn it we NEED those Sonic cookies!  If we can’t save the cookies, then what are we even saving!?”

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (11-06-19)

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

We’re back with another episode of  WWE’s worst nightmare!  Well… that and the string of awful press it’s been getting in the last few months.  Seriously, WWE 2K20 AND the talent being stranded in Saudi Arabia within like a week of each other!?  I wouldn’t be surprised if Full Sail got attacked by zombies which STILL wouldn’t put NXT’s ratings above AEW’s!  With such an amazing string of good fortune on the side of the new guys just as the mighty king is getting repeatedly kicked in the nuts, can AEW keep up the momentum heading into this weekend’s Pay Per View show?  Let’s find out!!

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Trent Beretta Vs. Pac

Trent Beretta is accompanied to the ring by his tag team partner Chuck Taylor as well as Orange Cassidy

We start things off right away with a match between Pac and whatever piece of meat just so happens to be in his way.  Sadly the poor bastard left to get eaten by this monster is Trent from The Best Friends who is certainly… a member of that team.  Well that’s a bit unfair I guess.  The duo is certainly way over with the crowd even if I haven’t been too impressed with them so far, but Pac’s the one with the big Adam Page match at the PPV and Trent is the dude who dressed as Morty last week so we can all see where this is going.  The match was fine and had its brutal moments to it, but I’m more of an in-ring fast paced guy than an outside the ring pain clinic, and that was much more the speed here even with Pac doing an impressive dive over the top ropes.  I guess the Adam Page match from last week worked a lot better for me, and a good chunk of it has to do with the Sammy who is much more interesting playing a losing heel than Trent does being a losing… guy I guess.  Are the Best Friends even faces?  I guess so considering they get the crowd reactions and they do have that hug gimmick, but it just felt a bit bland to me; especially considering that the match goes on WAY too long when Pac really should get an easy one and done match to build his momentum for the big show.  But hey!  At least Orange Cassidy got his moment to do his thing which led to Pac straight up MURDERING him with a kick to the face which REALLY stirred up the crowd!  Trent starts to rally after Pac lands the Orange Cassidy Super Kick, but it doesn’t take long for Pac to regain control and finally incapacitates Trent with the Brutalizer submission.  After the match Pac grabs the mic and gives his own promo which was solid, but wasn’t really shooting for the moon here as both Jon Moxley and Adam Page gave better ones last week.

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Cinema Dispatch: Jexi

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

Directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore

We are still VERY much in catch up mode right now and it’s starting to get a bit distressing as more and more movies I wanted to see close to leaving theaters, but at least I managed to catch THIS one which somehow got to my second run theater a good three to four weeks before I would have expected it to!  You know how I found out that they had it?  I USED MY PHONE!!  It all connects if you look hard enough!  Anyway, does this story about a phone with a heart of gold and the mouth of a sailor manage to be a biting and hilarious critique of how we interact and even bond with our electronic devices, or is it just a silly movie about the kids these days and their addition to screens?  Let’s find out!!

This is the story of a man named Phil (Adam DeVine) who spends all his time on his phone and has no connections with anyone else; especially at his job where he writes top ten lists for a website run by the maniacal Kai (Michael Peña).  I’m not sure why he has to go to an office to do that, especially since he doesn’t seem to get anything out of being around other people like his coworkers Craig and Elaine (Ron Funches and Charlyne Yi), but that’s his life and he seems to be content with it.  Until of course his phone breaks after a run in with a local bike shop owner named Cate (Alexndra Shipp) and he has to go buy a new one which seems simple enough but turns into madcap hilarity when the AI assistant turns out to be a wise cracking, truth telling, emotionally berating, hard ass named Jexi who doesn’t put up with ANY of Phil’s crap and tries to get his life in order if for no other reason than how embarrassing it is to be around him.  At first it seems to work as her tough love advice leads to him making friends at work, expanding his horizons a bit, and even landing a date with Cate, but once the job of fixing him comes closer and closer to being finished what is left for Jexi to do?  Can Phil put his life back on track and learn to be the kind of person those MILLENNIALS ARE RUINING EVERYTHING articles wants us to be?  What will Jexi do once she’s no longer needed and Cate starts to horn in on her territory?  Is this what the AI in HER would have acted like if she was the star of that Joker movie?

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“You wanna know how I got these scars?  YOU DROPPED ME WHILE EATING THAT CANDY BAR!!“     “Oh come on baby!  I got you that protective case, didn’t I?”

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Cinema Dispatch: Judy

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Judy and all the images you see in this review are owned by LD Entertainment

Directed by Rupert Goold

Yeah, I know I’m late on this one and on a LOT of things!  October was busy for me, alright!?  Well it’s time to get back on track and we’re starting with this movie I saw SEVERAL weeks ago and can hopefully give a worthwhile critique on; at least the parts that I can remember!  It probably doesn’t help either that I know absolutely nothing about the person in question as the only movie I’ve seen of hers is the one we’ve ALL seen, and I had no idea what her story was before and after that famous role.  Will this be the movie that’ll teach me everything I should have known and turn me into a Judy Stan, or will this biopic get lost in the shuffle; right next to those Tupac and Mötley Crüe biopics that you’ve already forgotten about?  Let’s find out!!

Judy Garland (Renée Zellweger) has had a rough go of it throughout the sixties with all her money drying up and her two young kids living out of hotel rooms and working nights with her mother on small stages for peanuts.  With no money, no house, and two kids who need stability and an education, she makes a very difficult decision to have them stay with her ex-husband while she goes to London for an extended stint at a nightclub where she’ll make a strong stable income as long as she can keep her demons in check.  Said demons by the way were born in flashbacks that we see throughout the movie as a young Judy (Darci Shaw) struggles in a terrifyingly oppressive Hollywood system that controls her every move and doesn’t bat an eye at giving her various drugs to keep her awake and focused.  Will Miss Garland be able to give the performances of a lifetime and finally secure a bit of stability for herself as well as her family back home?  Will her handlers in London be able to curb her more destructive behaviors, and are they doing it for her sake or just because the show must go on?  Is she gonna do that song about Rainbows?  Man, what was that one called…

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Why ARE there so many songs about rainbows?

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