Would it be inappropriate to do the Darth Vader “NOOOO” right now? Because I feel like doing the Darth Vader “NOOOO” right now. I don’t want this season to be over! Heck, I need this show more than I did BEFORE seeing The Rise of Skywalker! What am I supposed to do between now and whenever the heck season 2 comes out!? Read fan fiction!? Play that Star Wars Destiny thing!? On top of that, what is Disney Plus supposed to offer me between now and then? They don’t even have the Goofy sports cartoons, let alone the REALLY good stuff like No Smoking!! Does this season end on a high note which would make it the best Star Wars thing since The Last Jedi, or will this be a bigger disappointment to everyone than The Return of Skywalker? Let’s find out!! Oh, and today I think we’ll go with… Walter and Jesse. I know we used a DIFFERENT Walter last time, but I had no idea that Gus was going to show up in that episode, so I’m using that name again for this one!!
The episode begins right after the end of the last one; with two storm troopers on speeder bikes heading back to the city to deliver Jesse to Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) and they are waiting just on the outskirts for a signal that it’s okay to bring the little bugger to him. What happens next is one of the best scenes in the entire series as the two Stormtroopers played by Adam Pally and Jason Sudeikis just start chatting and doing random incidental things for like five minutes! They argue, they shoot their blasters at a tin can (missing obviously), and they even punch Jesse in the head a few times just so you don’t forget that they’re jerks. I’ve always had a fascination with henchmen and I love it whenever something like this takes a moment to give them the spotlight, and this scene doesn’t disappoint as it is simultaneously REALLY funny but also distressing as they really do clock that kid a couple of times which makes you hope that he uses his force powers to snap their necks and leave their corpses in hilarious poses. Disney? If you want to throw a few costumes at me, I will make you a storm trooper series! Just say the word!! Sadly this isn’t the entirety of the episode, but the scene does have a great payoff as the IG-unit (now the IG-Nanny I guess) shows up, rips one guy’s arm out of its socket and bashes the other’s head repeatedly into his own speeder. Luckily the other speeder remained unharmed and IG-Nanny goes off with Jesse to presumably somewhere safe. My question is where was the IG-Nanny when Nick Nolte was running to the ship? He was within spitting distance of it, and yet IG-Nanny couldn’t have provided some cover fire!?
We’re back with the further adventures of Mando and Baby, though frankly I would have preferred if they had just waited a week to release this episode instead of releasing it so soon after the last one. This is the busiest time of the year and you throw THIS at me at the same time I’m doing a million other things; INCLUDING watching your new Star Wars movie!? So if you’re wondering why this is so late, that would be the reason; because Disney are huge jerks for giving us too much to enjoy all at once! In any case, even with a few minor bumps in the road here and there I’ve enjoyed every episode of this series and will certainly be sad to see the season come to an end in just a few more days. Does this episode continue give us high quality Star Wars adventure on the small screen, or are they hoping to give us an episode so bad that we won’t be knocking on their door every day to give us season two right the heck now? Let’s find out!!
The episode begins with… Let’s go with Walter and Buddy (Tis the season!) flying around in their space ship when Walter gets a message from Carl Weathers who we haven’t seen since episode three. It’s a very interesting one that sets up yet another trope of the classic western and pulp movies; i.e. the convoluted double cross where Carl Weathers offers Walter a chance to clear his name with the guild if he goes on one more assignment for them. It turns out that The Guild trusting Werner Herzog and his fascists militia turned out to be a bad idea (WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED!?) as Herzog has since grown his forces and has basically taken over the planet of Navarro which is where all this started and where Carl Weathers resides. If Walter will come back with the baby and go through a mock exchange with Buddy to Herzog, that will get him close enough to put a bullet in the man’s head; ending his rule, ending the chase, and clearing Walter’s name once and for all. It’s a very enticing offer to be sure, but the amount of trust that Walter is being asked to impart to Carl Weathers is high and at any step in this process it could turn out to be one big trap. That’s why he needs a few cards close to his chest if he’s going to go through with this, and what better backup than Cara Dune (Gina Carano) who already help Walter protect the kid back in episode four, so perhaps she can be trusted to not stab him in the back; especially when she finds out that the dude they’re bumping off is an ex-Imperial scumbag. Apparently that’s a bit of a sore spot for her, but as with everything in this episode there’s always the threat of mistrust and double cross so I’d keep my eye on her just in case!
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.
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!!
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.
Toy Story 4 and all the images you see in this review are owned by Pixar and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Directed by Josh Cooley
Sigh… I THOUGHT I WAS DONE!! I thought that after the third film we’d reached the perfect end point for this series, but instead of coming up with a new idea or even rebooting the franchise entirely, here we are again with the same cast, the same toys, and even more Randy Newman. I’ve been pretty down on Pixar recently with Incredibles 2 being a HUGE disappointment for me and being rather lukewarm on Inside Out, but they can still do great films like Coco when they put their mind to it and that fact only makes me even more tired that we’re dipping into the same well one more time. Who knows though, right? I mean, they managed to make Toy Story 2 one of the best sequels of all time and even made the third film a perfect closure for these characters and this world! Can they somehow pull it off a third time by making this beating of a dead horse not nearly as horrific as that metaphor implies? Let’s find out!!
Following the events of the third film, Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen), and all their pals (Joan Cusack, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Blake Clark, Don Rickles and Estelle Harris) are living with Bonnie and her toys (Kristen Schaal, Timothy Dalton, and Jeff Garlin); enjoying their new lease on life having avoided both the garbage dump and the day care of infinite horrors. Still, Woody isn’t quite as happy as the ending of the last movie would have indicated because he is no longer the top toy in the room which is led up by Dolly (Bonnie Hunt) instead. Feeling out of place and probably more than a little bored, he sneaks into Bonnie’s backpack for her first day of kindergarten orientation where he slyly helps Bonnie through the emotionally turmoil and even gets her to make a new toy out of trash and craft materials. The new toy named Forky (Tony Hale) does indeed come to life which comes to a surprise to Woody and everyone else, and what’s even MORE surprising for a kids movie is that this little bugger is determined to throw himself in the garbage because he’s aware he’s an unholy abomination unto the world and needs to return to the trash from whence he came! So the good news for Woody is that he now has a new lease on life being Bonnie’s protector by way of protecting Forky, but the bad news is that Forky turns out to be a HUGE handful and he manages to escape out the window during the family road trip. Woody goes after him, slowly trudges to the town the family is staying at, but as it would JUST SO HAPPEN, Bo Peep (Annie Potts) who went missing between Toy Story 2 and 3 is in this town as a lost toy; helping other lost toys find kids to play with in the park and living her life to the fullest as a STRONG INDEPENDENT badass! Seems like a perfect little reunion if it wasn’t for the fact that Forky is kidnapped by the EVIL Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) who is a doll in an antique store looking to replace her broken voice box and wants the one embedded in Woody’s toy guts. Can Woody and Bo save Forky from whatever maniacal machinations Gabby has in store for him? Will the rest of the toys be able to distract the family long enough so that Woody and Forky can return in one piece? Seriously, how has a porcelain doll managed to last this long out in the wilderness? Is she ACTUALLY made out of Adamantium!?
Creed II and all the images you see in this review are owned by MGM Pictures
Directed by Steven Caple Jr
Back when I reviewed the first movie, I made a note that my conception of Rocky for the longest time was just the first three films, so the whole Ivan Drago thing always felt like an afterthought despite it being so iconic for many fans of the franchise. That said, when the first one came out and was about the son of Apollo, yeah there was NO WAY that a sequel could exist without bringing Dolph Lundgren back into the mix which thankfully they managed to do here with what is probably the last necessary sequel to Rocky we’ll ever need (unless we want to bring back Clubber Lang) and they can either continue the franchise without the baggage of the original films or let this series finally lay to rest. Do they manage to do justice to the story of Ivan Drago and Apollo Creed in this tale about their sons settling a decade’s long rivalry, or should the franchise have stopped while it was ahead? Admittedly if they HAD stopped while they were ahead we probably wouldn’t have gotten the first Creed, but in any case LET’S FIND OUT!!
The movie picks up a few years after the first film where Adonis Creed () has risen in the ranks of the boxing world with the help of his wise mentor Rocky Balboa () and the loving support of his girlfriend () (). After winning the WBC World Heavyweight Championship, he has FINALLY reached his dream of reclaiming the belt that his father lost those many years ago! Well that’s great! So now what? He decides to marry Bianca for one, but even with a loving wife and a sterling career, something feels… missing. Despite being the best of the best, he can’t seem to find the joy in it and pretty much immediately starts looking for a new challenge. Fortunately a very helpful fight promoter (Russell Hornsby) saw this coming a mile away and knew that once Adonis became champ that there was only one challenge left for him to face, and by challenge I mean one BIG spectacle of a fight to rake in millions of dollars! We are of course referring to, a rematch with Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren); the man who killed his father. Or at the very least, Ivan Drago’s SON (Florian Munteanu) who as far as I know hasn’t killed anyone, but that might change if Adonis takes the bait and faces him again in the ring. If you’ve seen a Rocky movie, you know the basics of what happens next (i.e. Adonis loses the fight at the halfway point), but what does it mean for him to have his first taste of true defeat, and will he be able to face him once again, as well as all his fears and insecurities that have held him back from reaching his true potential? What will the strain of this lose put on his marriage to Bianca, and will she be able to live the life of a boxer’s wife; something that she’s never had to face since Adonis has never truly lost a fight on his own terms? Perhaps most importantly, DOES ADONIS COME OUT TO LIVING IN AMERICA!?