I get the impression that a lot of people weren’t too pleased with the last episode which is astonishing because it had some really great moments in it including a fun part for Amy Sedaris, AND it was basically like every other episode we’ve gotten so far so I don’t see what’s worth crying foul about with that one. In any case, we’ve got a new episode look at so let’s see if they can pick things up a bit for those who are starting to lose interest. Does the show maintain the high bar of fun and excitement it’s set for itself within the Star Wars universe, or will the genre hopping antics will finally start to feel stale for me as well? Let’s find out!!
The episode begins with… how about Al and Bud, arriving on some sort of space station which already sets this apart from other episodes in the series, and Al is out there to get another job so he and Bud can stay on the run for another day. He meets up with an old contact named Ranzar (Mark Boone Junior) who immediately becomes my favorite person in this entire series, and he lets Al know that it’s a five person job with him as backup and his ship serving as the SPACE GETAWAY CAR; more or less making him responsible for bringing this sorry sack of scumbags to their job and back again in one piece. Said scumbags include a devil looking dude named Burg played by CLANCY MOTHER FREAKING BROWN, an android with a bug head named Zero voiced by Richard Ayoade, a Twi’lek knife expert and former flame of Al’s named Xi’an played by Natalia Tena (think of the dynamic between Brock Samson and Molotov to get an idea of what’s going on there), and of course the leader of the bunch called Mayfeld played by comedian Bill Burr; trying his darnedest here to land a role in a Scorsese flick. See, this is why I have to respectfully disagree with anyone who’s getting bored with this show as it may be doing the genre recreation thing for every single episode, it’s still doing it in interesting and uniquely Star Wars flavored ways. Heck, I’m sure Clancy Brown has been in a dozen of these, let alone everyone else in the scene’s filmographies, and yet we haven’t seen a heist story like this in the Star Wars universe! Yes, Rouge One was about stealing plans, but that was still within the context of the noble rebellion fighting against fascism! This is just a bunch of definite Bad Guys committing crimes because it’s their job, and Al trying to justify taking this job to himself as necessary to keep his little boy Bud safe and sound. It’s immediately familiar and yet still compelling because the show continues to do such a good job of keeping Al interesting as a character as well as introducing new and exciting elements within the Star Wars universe!
Thor: Ragnarok and all the images you see in this review are owned by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Directed by Taika Waititi
After the rather disappointing Thor: The Dark World (HOW DO YOU WASTE THE BEST DOCTOR WHO IN SUCH A BLAND VILLAIN ROLE!?) I wasn’t really looking forward to what they’d do with this character in his solo films and was more interested to see if he’d show up in a bunch of the other movies instead. Once those initial trailers hit with the heavy emphasis on fantastical Jack Kirby inspired designs and the rocking Led Zeppelin soundtrack, there seemed to be hope in this franchise digging itself out of the pit the sequel left it in. At the very least, it LOOKED a lot pretty with much more vibrant colors, and it even manages to drag Jeff Goldblum into the MCU which in and of itself would make this movie worthy of existing even if everything else ends up being awful. Does Thor’s third chance at the plate end up being one of the best films in the entire MCU, or did they just throw a lot of flash and money at a franchise that is just unable to find its place after telling the origin story? Let’s find out!!
The movie begins with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) trying to find out what the heck Ragnarok is which was hinted at ALL the way back in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Remember when he left the team to take a bath and saw some visions? Yeah, apparently it was all foreshadowing of the destruction of Asgard in a calamity known as Ragnarok, so Thor is basically trying to find a way to stop it… whatever it may be. In the meantime though, he manages to find out that Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has taken the place of Odin (Anthony Hopkins) who is actually alright as Loki basically stuck his ass in a retirement home on Earth, but when Thor goes down there to bring him back to the throne it turns out that he’s all out of time and disappears in a cloud of energy or something. If that wasn’t bad enough, it turns out that one of the things he was doing when he was alive was keeping a hereto unknown daughter of his named Hela (Cate Blanchett) in some sort of magic prison which breaks as soon as he’s dead and so she’s come back for revenge against her family and all of Asgard. Both Loki and Thor are dealt with rather quickly with the latter losing his famed hammer Mjolnir and landing on some mystery planet where he is captured by a mysterious woman (Tessa Thompson) and dragged to the planet’s ruler known as THE GRANDMASTER (Jeff Goldblum). The once mighty God of Thunder and son of Odin is now put in chains and is forced to fight in gladiatorial matches in order to somehow earn his freedom and eventually find his way back home before Hela puts it inextricably under her vengeful thumb. Can Thor find a way to escape the barbaric society run by the most fabulous of dictators? What familiar faces will he find on this planet that can hopefully help him on his journey home? How the heck is Thor gonna get around now that he doesn’t have his magic propeller hammer!?
Warcraft and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures
Directed by Duncan Jones
On the one hand, we are now in an age where four different video game movies are getting wide releases at the theater! On the other hand, two of them have been far from impressive so far and Assassin’s Creed looks as dull as dishwater. I guess all we have left to give us hope is this film based on one of gaming’s most influential franchises… that I know nothing about. Does this manage to bring in new fans while satisfying Blizzard die hards, or is this gonna be yet another example of why we just shouldn’t expect much from video game movies? Let’s find out!!
The movie is about… too many things, but in the broadest terms it’s about the war between the Orcs and the Humans of Stormwind. See the Orcs kinda fucked up their own planet (or it’s dying of natural causes) and so they need to go through a dimensional portal to find a new place and take it over. Our key Orc players in this are Durotan (Toby Kebbell) who’s the chieftain of one of the Orc tribes that’s the first to notice that things seem to be amiss with the leadership, Gul’dan (Daniel Wu) who is said leadership and uses dark magic all over the place, and Garona (Paula Patton) who’s a half breed and gets captured by the humans early on. Now the Humans are led by King Llane (Dominic Cooper), his right hand man Sir Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel), a young sorcerer who first notices the dark magic being used by this new threat named Khadgar (Ben Schnetzer) and some super mage given the title of The Guardian who I guess just sits in a tower waiting to be called upon named Medivh (Ben Foster). As stated earlier, Garona is captured by the Humans early on during an unsuccessful raid by the Orcs, but it is during this fight that Durotan realizes just how bad the magic shit that Gul’dan has been throwing around is and decides to overthrow him to save the Orcs from the dark magic. While he’s doing that, the Humans begin mounting a counter effort with the help of Garona, but Medivh may not be quite up to the task of taking on this new dark magic which does not bode well for the Kingdom of Stormwind. Can the Humans fight back from this invading force? Can Durotan stop the OBVIOUSLY EVIL dark mage from… corrupting the souls of the Orcs I guess? Does anyone else think this should have been a TV show instead?
Hail, Caesar! and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures
Directed by Joel & Ethan Coen
Now that January is finally out of the way, we can get to the GOOD movies, right? Well… February isn’t exactly the best month for movies EITHER what with Valentine’s day being an invitation to release terrible rom coms, but then we ARE dealing with the Coen Brothers who have a pretty damn good track record when it comes to movies. Is this going to be another classic film in their catalogue, or is way below their usual standard of excellence and just be a decent film? Let’s find out!! The movie follows around Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) who is the head of Capitol Pictures and an all-around problem solver for everyone who works there. He makes sure the bills get paid and that the movies stay under budget, but he also pulls actors out of embarrassing situations, pays police to stay quiet, and that Capitol Pictures keeps a respectable image despite the chaos that is brought before him each and every day. The day that the film takes place on turns out to be an eventful one as Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) who is the star of the studio’s biggest film, Hail Caesar, has been kidnapped. Not only that, but another big star at the studio DeeAnna Moran (Scarlett Johansson) is having a baby out of wedlock which Eddie needs to find a way to cover up, and another one of the movies on the lot needs a lead actor but the only guy available is Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich) who has only starred in cowboy pictures and they need him to somehow act in a classy movie about New York socialites. Will Eddie be able to deal with these problems and more as the day goes on? Will the world finally get an idea of just how mad the movie business is, or can Eddie keep everything on the down low despite several reports prying into the studio’s affairs? Do we get to see Josh Brolin slap the shit out of George Clooney!?
Starring Jason “fist with an accent” Statham, written by Sylvester “I wrote Rocky a long time ago” Stallone, and has James “I’m James Franco” Franco as an evil redneck. This sounds like the recipe for a down and dirty southern classic right? Well there’s only one way to find out, and that’s to keep reading!