Cinema Dispatch: The Hunt

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The Hunt and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures

Directed by Craig Zobel

Boy does this movie want us to think it has a chip on its shoulder!  I haven’t seen negative review quotes used this liberally since Freddy Got Fingered, which… okay, that might actually be a good sign because I do like that movie purely on its utter absurdity (THIS IS A FANCY RESTAURANT!!), but is not the usual calling card of studio confident in a film on its own merits.  Then again I can’t imagine Universal having any other bright ideas after the thing got pulled from theaters and certain segments of the media decided that THIS was the thing that’s going to destroy the fabric of our society.  Personally, I think we already got that film with London Has Fallen, but whatever it is that hyped this movie up so much, is there any way that it can live up to those expectations?  Let’s find out!!

A bunch of people wake up in the middle of a field with no idea where they are or how they go there.  They start to slowly move towards the center of this big field with a giant crate right in the middle that contains a whole lot of weapons and a pig for some reasons; the implications of which they don’t have long to ponder because they are immediately beset by gunfire, booby traps, and all manner of lethal armaments!  Some of them seem to carry themselves well enough (Betty Gilpin) while others are showing themselves to be MASSIVE jerks (Ike Barinholtz) who may or may not have it coming for various reasons; the least of which being that they’re in a horror movie and that’s usually the way things go.  Eventually though, it’s revealed that their attackers are a bunch of liberal yuppie yahoos (including but not limited to Glenn Howerton and Hillary Swank) who seem to be taking their 2016 frustrations out on a bunch of red necks and scumbags through a game facilitated by their massive wealth.  Is this all just one big excuse for that whole class warfare thing I’ve been hearing about to become literal, or is there more going on than what we’re initially led to believe?  Is this like Saw where the main villain has justifiable reasons for taking these people prisoner, or is it like Saw 4 where things just get ridiculous and asinine for no good reason?  Seriously, is it POSSIBLE for Ike Barinholtz to not be a scumbag in everything he plays?  I’d give fifty-fifty odds on some rich fool actually BELIEVING this guy to be monster and throw him in one these death games for real!

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“When I signed up for a sequel to Blockers, I was NOT expecting this!  WHERE IS MY AGENT!?”

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Cinema Dispatch: Onward

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Onward and all the images you see in this review are owned by Pixar and Walt Disney Studio Motion PIctures

Directed by Dan Scanlon

It’s no secret that I’ve been pretty down on Pixar this past decade.  On the one hand, we DID get Coco and I guess Inside Out was just fine, but this was also the decade that brought us redundant sequels that I just failed to connect with; particularly Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4 which everyone else seemed to enjoy a heck of a lot more than I did.  Because of this and the somewhat underwhelming trailers we got (It’s fantasy AND modern AT THE SAME TIME!?), I’m not exactly looking forward to seeing this kid friendly version of Bright, but that’s just the pessimistic side of me talking and maybe this really will be another return to form for the venerable studio.  Is this a road trip for the ages and the sequel to Brütal Legend we’ve all been secretly hoping for, or is this a mythical folly more disastrous than that Warcraft movie you’ve already forgotten about?  Let’s find out!!

Ian Lightfoot (Tom Holland) is your typical Elf teenager; aspiring to be Legolas but more like The Elf on a Shelf.  He’s gangly, really quiet, and to some people he might come off as a bit creepy considering his lack of social skills.  VERY different from his brother Barley (Chris Pratt) who is basically the unholy offspring (in the cool Rock N Roll sort of way) of Andy Dwyer and Jack Black; spending most of his times talking theatrically, creating cool-tastic stories for his knock off D&D campaigns, and decidedly not getting a job or moving out.  Some of his arrested development issues as well as Ian’s social anxieties can be traced back to their father who died of an illness right before Ian was born, and there’s a lot of unhandled baggage there despite the efforts of their mother (Julia Louis-Dreyfus ) to make a happy home and the stern if bumbling guidance of their mom’s new boyfriend Officer Bronco (Mel Rodriguez).  On Ian’s sixteenth birthday however, that all changes when their mother gives him a gift from his late father that she was instructed to hold off on until this day, and it turns out that their dad was a wizard who came up with a spell to bring him BACK FROM THE DEAD for one day so that he can see how great his sons turned out.  Sure!  Just ask the Elric brothers how well this worked out for them!  Well it KIND of works out as Ian is only able to bring back the bottom half of their dad and they now need to go on an EPIC QUEST TO FIND A NEW GEM FOR MAGIC STAFF, and cast the REST of the spell before the 24 hours are up.  Can Ian and Barley find the mythical Phoenix Gem and see their father one last time?  Who exactly WAS their father and how far does Ian want to go with these new magic gifts that he’s discovered?  Will Barley put him through the Rocky Training Montage of his life!?  He certainly has the right music for it!

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“You’ve gotta say it bro!”     “Sigh… This is my big staff, this is my wand.  This is for casting, this is for fun…”

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (03-11-20)

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

We’re back with even more of the Wednesday Night Wars and AEW’s weekly shot across the bow!  With Revolution behind us and the Blood and Guts special mere weeks away, do they succeed at building up the feuds and alliances that will define the next few months of their promotion?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with an Adam Page interview as Tony Schiavone asks him who his MYSTERY tag team partner will be.  Yeah, so as it turns out, putting on ONE OF THE GREATEST TAG TEAM MATCHES OF ALL TIME has left its mark on at least one of the competitors as Kenny Omega is out of action for a few weeks from a hand injury which means that Page has to team up with someone for this match and for some reason he felt the need to keep it a secret.  A mystery partner angle isn’t exactly hyping me up for the match, but then I’m watching this show every week come hell or high water, so maybe the gimmick works for someone else who was on the fence about seeing this week’s episode.  Perhaps one of the reasons the mystery isn’t doing much for me is that everyone kind of assumed that it would be Matt Jackson and sure enough The Young Bucks are on hand to stand awkwardly to the side while this interview is going on, but in a shocking twist of fate Page assures us that there is no way in HECK he’ll be teaming with Matt Jackson and that he’d rather go with Nick if he had to choose between them.  His beef with Matt Jackson has been clear for some time now, so it actually makes sense that he wouldn’t CHOOSE to work with him (Page’s current character is far from a “I don’t like you but I respect you” mindset) and he’s still keeping it a secret as to who he will be teaming up with later in the show.  It was a fun little segment that managed at least turn me around somewhat on the angle.  While I was skeptical at first, this at least made the whole thing kinda funny and I’m interested in seeing where this ultimately goes. Continue reading

Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #26

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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

Are we still in the Zombot story arc?  Yup!  Do we now have to fight the Zeti who are showing up at the last minute?  Yup!  Do I still not particularly care about this story; especially since we’ve been dealing with it for so long now?  YUP!!  Is it better than the Sonic movie?  Well… we’ll have to see about that.  Let’s get started!!

The issue begins with Eggman and Tails using their Smart Brain powers to cobble together a multi-teleportation device using the Warp Topaz that they… “borrowed” from Dr. Starline who is shall we say… temporally displaced at the moment.  The master plan here, which I can only assume (and hope) is the final confrontation of this arc, is to battle with the Zeti to get back the chaos emeralds so that Sonic can go SUPER SONIC which will wipe out the Zombot virus… somehow.  I don’t know, they’re the Chaos Emeralds!  You could tell me they can bake a perfect soufflé and it’d be far from the least believable or most outlandish power we’ve seen them have!  Speaking of which, why doesn’t Knuckles protect them as well as the Master Emerald?  What, keeping an eye on the BIG rock takes up so much time and energy that he can’t look after the little ones too!?

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“Oh will you relax?  Worst case scenario, we’d just us the Chaos Emeralds to wish for a new island!”     “THAT’S NOT HOW CHAOS EMERALDS WORK!”     “Jeez, Knuckles!  When did you become so cynical?”

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (03-04-20)

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

With the events of Revolution fresh in our minds, this Dynamite has a lot to live up to and a lot to unfold. Does this wrap up the stories of the PPV while also forging a bold path forward for the company and its stars?  Let’s find out!!

We begin with Jon Moxley taking a particularly long walk through the crowd to the ring; his belt over his shoulder and a determined look on his face as he grabs the mic to tell the crowd what’s what.  The thing is though, I’m not sure I’m all for the message that he’s delivering here which is that YOU THE FANS are what makes AEW great!  YOU THE FANS are the best thing about this company, and this belt belongs to YOU!!  Yeah… I don’t know.  That kind of fan appreciation just comes off as cloying and even if you could classify Moxley as a Babyface, he’s not THAT much of a Babyface.  Like, I hear about what Drew McIntyre’s been saying lately as he tries to make his big face turn in anticipation for his match against Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania, and it’s just not what I want from that guy; it’s certainly not what I want from Jon Moxley here!  That’s just me though and it’s not the entirety of the promo.  He makes sure to call out The Inner Circle as well and dares them to come after him whenever and wherever.  See, THAT’S what I want from Jon Moxley, and apparently that’s what Jericho wants as well as he comes out as soon as Moxley offers the challenge.  Now Jericho’s big gambit to save face here is to call Moxley a cheater because he could see out of both eyes in that match while pretending to only see out of one.  I mean… it KIND of makes sense which makes it a great troll excuse because he DID come in under false pretenses to a title match.  I mean if he went into the match with a cast or only one arm and then out of nowhere he’s fighting with more limbs, then that’s SOMETHING, but it’s paper thin at best; especially considering how much interference The Inner Circle had in the match.  Jericho then promises that because Moxley won the belt in such a dishonest way that he has UNLEASHED HELL UPON THE WORLD and that all the wrestlers at AEW are on notice for a beat down from The Inner Circle.  If they have a problem with that, talk to Moxley.  In fact, Jericho is SO convinced of the efficacy of his Reign of Terror that he promises Jon Moxley, if he can walk out of the arena tonight, he will take a leave of absence for SIXTY DAY from AEW!  Now I don’t know if this is just an angle or if Jericho has some time off scheduled, but it certainly raises the stakes for the main event!  Jon Moxley is not impressed with this AT ALL and welcomes the challenge that Jericho has brought before him which we’ll see later tonight.  This was a REALLY great opening segment that managed to give us something worth staying tuned to the end of the show for, and certainly helped to put Moxley over as a star while also showing The Inner Circle as a still dominate force even without the belt.

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Super Wrestling: AEW – Revolution

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

Welcome one and all to the most exciting event of the year (at least if you’re an AEW fan) as it’s finally time for their biggest PPV to date!  A stacked card full of memorable bouts between bitter rivals, hated enemies, and whatever you’d call Orange Cassidy!  Will it be a glorious event worthy of its lofty title, or will this be an uninspired slog of a show?  Let’s find out!!

So first off, I had no idea what was going on with the pre-show. I didn’t see anything on BR Live other than the Countdown show which was on TNT Wednesday, and for the life of me I couldn’t find confirmation online that they were starting any earlier than 8pm.  Sure enough though, they had a match BEFORE the Revolution PPV, and so I had to catch up on it AFTER the fact when they posted it to YouTube.  Let’s hope they don’t make it THIS hard to find their matches in the future, but could it be because they knew the match was going to be bad and were trying to hide it from us!?

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The Dark Order (Evil Uno & Stu Grayson) Vs. SCU (Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky)

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The Dark Order is accompanied to the ring by The Creepers

Before the match begins we get an interview with Christopher Daniels promo-ing his heart out about The Dark Order’s empty promises and SCU’s in-ring superiority, which makes it all the more heartbreaking that Kazarian and Scorpio Sky ask Daniels to stay in the back and not be with them ringside.  The implication seems to be that they think Daniels might be a wolf in sheep’s clothing and really IS the Exalted One, but I’m not sure what sending him to the back is gonna do.  Frankly if he IS going to betray them it’d hardly matter if he was outside the ring already or had to run out from the back, but in any case Daniels agrees and looks very sad as the rest of SCU goes out for their match.  See, this is why I can’t understand why people think The Dark Order is hopeless.  I was SO negative about them in those initial PPVs, but they’ve done such a good job at playing mind games on the other wrestlers that even if they aren’t the MOST successful heel group out there, they’re still genuinely contributing to the drama of these matches.  This by the way is also the first Dark Order match that Evil Uno and Stu Grayson themselves are participating in in I don’t even know how long, so now that we’ve got our BIG NAME members out there, I do feel like they REALLY need to win here because the one thing I will definitely agree with people on is that The Dark Order come off like losers in the ring and they could use a few victories to make their menace that much more legitimate as well as their offers to other wrestlers more enticing.

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“Hey, Creeper Number Two; does any of this seem silly to you?”     “Why do you say that, Creeper Number One?”     “I don’t know, just the whole CLAW thing seems a bit silly is all.”

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Cinema Dispatch: The Invisible Man

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The Invisible Man and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures

Directed by Leigh Whannell

You know what movies I should really get around to?  The Hollow Man films.  I don’t know much about them other than they’re about a REALLY creep dude who becomes invisible, but it seems like that idea is alive and well in this which I guess you could call… a reboot?  I mean I WISH it was part of the Dark Universe and that that was still a thing, but whatever you want to call this latest spin on the formula from Universal AND my often beloved but frequently beloathed Blumhouse, it’s certainly a film that’s caught my attention!  Personally, I’m REALLY excited for this as the trailer looked very good (if a bit too revealing ironically enough) and frankly it looked like the kind of sequel to The Boy that we should have had instead of whatever the heck Brahms 2: Boy Harder was supposed to be.  Not only that but with this season being such a bad time for horror movies including Blumhouse’s OTHER reboot from two weeks ago, it couldn’t have come at a better time.  Does 2020 finally have a mainstream horror film that isn’t a total embarrassment to the genre, or is this another case of good marketing covering up a mediocre film?  Let’s find out!!

Cecilia Kass (Elisabeth Moss) has been living with her boyfriend Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) for some time now but has finally decided to leave him due to his controlling and abusive behavior in this relationship, and despite only doing so by the skin of her teeth she does manage to escape with the help of her sister Emily (Harriet Dyer) and starts living with her friend James (Aldis Hodge) and his daughter Sydney (Storm Reid).  Still, the road to recovery is a long one and despite not living under his roof anymore she still can’t shake the feeling that he’s around every corner and will find a way to ruin her life; especially since he’s some big shot genius scientist who promised to do just that if she ever left.  However, good news arrives as Cecilia learns that Adrian is dead and she will inherit a huge chunk of money in the process!  Everything’s starting to look up now… except that strange things keep happening around the house.  Did she leave the oven on?  Was that knife on the floor before?  Is someone taking pictures of her while she’s sleeping?  As these strange occurrences start to escalate, it becomes clear to Cecilia that Adrian MUST still be alive and that he found some way to turn invisible using his some sort of super science which admittedly sounds a bit out there as far as explanations go, but considering the title of this movie I think it’s right on the money.  Will Cecilia be able to stop Adrian from running her life from beyond the grave?  Will anyone believe her story, especially when the strange occurrences get more and more violent and people are starting to suspect her of being behind them?  How the heck did he turn himself invisible anyway!?  Super reflective body paint!?

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“First the Green Goblin, and now this…”

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