Tag Archives: Lili Reinhart

Cinema Dispatch: Charlie’s Angels

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Charlie’s Angels and all the images you see in this review are owned by Sony Pictures Releasing

Directed by Elizabeth Banks

I’ve never seen the Charlie’s Angels movies from the early 2000s, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the original TV series either.  Heck, I’m pretty sure the closest thing I’ve seen to it was Totally Spies, and while that has its fans, it’s pretty much been dropped into the memory hole with dozens of other 2000s shows that you don’t remember.  So if nothing else, I can at least come into this series with a relatively fresh perspective, and I’ve got to say that I’ve been pretty interested in what we’ve been shown so far; particularly the cast which looks to be amazing and the fact that it’s being directed by Elizabeth Banks who has been gaining some momentum as a voice behind the camera as well as in front of it.  Does this reboot of the seventies classic bring the franchise into the twenty first century; at least for the second time?  Let’s find out!!

Elena (Naomi Scott) is a scientist working at some business company on some new technology that will revolutionize the power industry through… I guess computer coding?  The invention in this case is called Calisto which is a little box the size of an Echo Dot or a Google Home that can somehow power entire rooms and even buildings.  However, there is ONE itty-bitty flaw with it in that it can cause people to have brain aneurisms through some sort of bug that Elena is SURE she can fix, but her misogynistic boss (Nat Faxon) won’t let her because they have to get it to market and he wants to take all the credit for it.  If only there was an agency that understood her plight as a woman in tech and could help her stop a supervillain plot at the same time.  Oh wait!  There is!  The Townsend Agency consists primarily of Bosleys and Angels; the latter being the agents who go on missions and the former being the ones to coordinate the Angels.  The two angles who got assigned to Elena’s case are Sabina and Jane (Kristen Stewart and Ella Balinska) and it should be a straightforward Exposé of company documents, but when an assassin (Jonathan Tucker) shows up and takes out one of the Bosleys (Djimon Hounsou), things have clearly escalated to a point far more seirous than Elena had ever imagined.  With the help of a new Bosley (Elizabeth Banks), the three women team up to try and take () back from the evil company and find out just what it is they plan on doing with it in its current deadly state.  Will Elena prove herself to be a true Angel in the making despite a lifetime of being under the thumb of patriarchal and woman unfriendly industry?  What are Sabina and Jane’s story, and will they find excuses to clash with one another when they really should be working together to save the world?  Most importantly of all, does this succeed in empowering women to be in silly spy movies just like men can!?

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“Why does SHE get the gun?”     “Do you know how to use a gun?”     “I mean… it’s the principal of the matter.”     “WHAT principal!?”     “Uh… feminism?”     “Yeah… no.”     “You’re right.  My bad.”

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Cinema Dispatch: Hustlers

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Hustlers and all the images you see in this review are owned by STXfilms

Directed by Lorene Scafaria

Have I mentioned before that BASED ON A TRUE STORY is a tagline that fills me with dread and anxiety?  Yeah, it’s never fun having to be historian of sorts (or even just read a few articles) to make sure that you aren’t being unfair to a movie because you don’t know everything around it, and frankly they tend to have rather unimpressive endings because life rarely ends on a BANG.  Still, the premise looks interesting enough and I don’t need much of a reason to enjoy seeing rich people get screwed over, so maybe this will turn out to be a fun time even with the FACTS OF THE STORY hanging around its neck like an albatross!  Maybe it’s a NICE albatross!  You ever think of that!?  Anyway, is this piece of late stage capitalism bashing yet another cathartic bit of enjoyable escapism, or is the only good thing that’ll come out of this movie the awesome dance moves that Jennifer Lopez learned while making it?  Let’s find out!!

Dorothy, AKA Destiny (Constance Wu), is a stripper who has just started working at a big club in New York City, but despite the promises of big money she finds that she’s not quite fitting in with the clientele and that management is taking out HUGE chunks of her paycheck for various “services” that let her keep working there.  If only there was an extremely talented stripper there who can show her the ropes and make her into a star, but what are the chances of THAT, am I right!?  Oh wait, what about Ramona (Jennifer Lopez)?  Yeah, she makes a bunch of money and makes it look totally effortless in the process!  With her tutelage, Dorothy does manage to find her niche there and makes more money than she ever had before, but the plot twist here is that this is all ACTUALLY taking place in 2007 and the big financial crash that wiped out this entire country is about to hit their industry hard; especially since their big paying clients are Wall Street guys who are now broke.  Well not BROKE broke like everyone else, but they’ve become rather stingy with their dollars and now no one can make money in this business which is particularly bad for Dorothy who has an elderly grandmother to take care of as well as a kid she’s raising by herself.  Once the dust settles from the crash, Dorothy eventually goes in on a scheme that Ramona has set up along with fellow co-workers Mercedes and Annabelle (Keke Palmer and Lili Reinhart) to drug these rich penny pinching punks with stuff that’ll make them happy, pliable, and forgetful so they can then run up their credit cards on all sorts of services that they get a kickback on.  Sounds like a great plan if you ask me, especially since none of these jerks went to jail for tanking the housing market, but a good thing can never seem to last and so things start to unravel over time as Dorothy starts to question whether Ramona is truly looking out for all of them or just for herself.  Can Dorothy get enough money to take care of her biological family while ALSO keeping her new family safe and away from inquiring eyes?  Just how much do they plan on getting away with before someone will eventually catch on, or are they hoping to steal back every penny these investment firm jerkwads took from the American public?  Does anyone else think these ladies should be in line for the next Captain America?  Taking money from these guys seems to me about as patriotic as apple pie and The Cheesecake Factory!

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Jennifer Lopez 2020

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Super Recaps: Riverdale Chapter 9 (La Grande Illusion)

Riverdale and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros Television Distribution and The CW

Episode directed by Lee Rose

We’re back with another episode of THE MOST CONVOLUTED ADAPTATION OF A COMIC EVER!  Seriously, this show is so unbelievably dense with plot (both in the hyperbolic and literal sense) that it makes Batman v Superman look damn near intelligible by comparison.  What this show has over that movie however is decent acting from most of the actors, genuinely funny moments (as well as plenty of unintentional ones) and even though everything just kind of jumbles together into one impenetrable mass of manufactured intrigue, at least some of the stories here are interesting enough to hold your attention whenever the show bothers to bring them back up (*cough* Skeet Ulrich *cough*).  So to catch everyone up, the big revelation at the end of the last episode is that Polly Cooper is now living with The Blossoms because… reasons I guess, and it’s basically throwing everyone relevant to this story for a loop.  On top of that, we get a scene of Hermione and Veronica Lodge discussing THEIR overly convoluted plot and it makes we question why I’m bothering with this if it has to take five minutes out every episode just to catch everyone back up on all the convoluted bullshit that happened in the last episode before getting into THIS episode’s convoluted bullshit.  OH RIGHT!  I REMEMBER!  There are a handful of characters that are always fun to watch on screen and we’re reminded of that as Cheryl spends the next few minutes trying to seduce Archie into going with her to some sort of Blossom family event!  For some reason I keep forgetting that!

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“Why hello there, Archie Doll!”     “Miss Blossom, you’re trying to seduce me!!”

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Super Recaps: Riverdale Chapter 8 (The Outsiders)

Riverdale and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros Television Distribution and The CW

Episode directed by David Katzenberg

We’re back from the two week hiatus of Riverdale, and while I may be one of the more critical voices out there of the show, I’m honestly glad that it’s back.  The last few episodes have been a marked improvement and the show has been on an upward swing in general since SHE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED has packed her backs and skipped town, and even when the show is at its WORST… well at least it gives me something interesting to write about!  Has the show come back from its break rearing to go and ready to prove itself, or are we in for more of the same old same old?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with a rather helpful recap of what’s been going on for the last few weeks, and not just the PREVIOUSLY ON RIVERDALE one we get every episode.  Jughead is basically summarizing the Jason Blossom /Polly Cooper love affair with some brief snippets of the both of them together before they were ripped violently apart.  Of course, if you’re just reading this then you don’t GET to see the pretty pictures, but I’ll do my best to summarize as it HAS been a few weeks since we’ve last done this song and dance.  AHEM!  Jason Blossom disappeared on the Fourth of July and was found several weeks later with a bullet hole in his head.  He was trying to run away with his pregnant girlfriend Polly who was sent to a Girl’s Home for… I guess being pregnant, but the TRUE reason is that the Coopers and the Blossoms have a Hatfield/McCoy generations long pissing match going on and her parents wanted her out of sight and out of mind.  Jason’s plan was two-fold.  Number one, sneak Polly out of the facility, and number two, deliver some drugs (given to him by the local gang known as the Southside Serpents) to an address upstate so he can have a decent amount of cash to start their new life.  Well, as famed Prussian General Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke once said, “no plan survives contact with a bullet to the head” so now it’s up to the denizens of Riverdale (mostly Betty and Jughead) to figure out who pulled a Romeo and Juliet on these two.  Now I like the way they present these details in this opening bit, but there is a part of Jughead’s narration that’s throwing me off.  The series keeps pushing this point that the Coopers are some sort of ultra-controlling and outwardly perfect dynasty within the Riverdale community, and I just don’t see it.  I mean sure Betty and Polly’s mother (who I delightfully refer to as Lemon Mom) certainly ACTS like that’s the case, but there’s never been a demonstration of clout or even that much opulence (the same way the Blossoms have been portrayed) to have this make any sense.  Hell, I don’t even know what their dad’s JOB is, let alone if it’s anything important, and Lemon Mom is a journalist… for a local newspaper.  Oh, well SAY NO MORE!  DON’T CROSS THESE PEOPLE!

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It’s like the Reynolds Family before Frank lost all sense of decency.

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Super Recaps: Riverdale Chapter 7 (In a Lonely Place)

Riverdale and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros Television Distribution and The CW

Episode directed by Allison Anders

We’re back with another episode of The Incredible Jughead!  Just like Bruce Banner, our nominal hero of this show (Archie certainly isn’t the star of this) can’t stay in one place for too long as trouble follows wherever he goes.  That, and his last house got torn down, so we should probably get that resolved before too long as well as the whole POLLY WENT MISSING thing from last week.  Does this episode manage to tie up some of the loose ends that have been left dangling as we enter the second half of the season, or will this show double down on making things as needlessly complicated as possible (*cough* Lodge Industries *cough*)?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with… honestly, what looks to be a better show but I guess I’m supposed to find this hilariously dated instead.  It’s a dream that Jughead is having where he looks a bit closer to his comic counterparts and they’re playing Lambs in Clover by Jack Strachey; a song that you probably don’t know by name but you’ll recognize immediately when you look it up.  First, Ren and Stimpy were doing this kind of twisted domesticity set to Lambs in Clover over two decades ago and were doing it WAY better, so I’d hardly call this edgy or even that subversive.  Second, while I will grant them that Jughead has basically looked the same since the 1940s, it’s not like the series was hermetically sealed in the golden age of Boomer Americana!  The series grew over the decades and kept up with the times, and while there were places where it took longer than it should to catch up to society, taking a shot like this feels like mocking Batman for wearing purple gloves which he hasn’t worn since before World War 2.  Granted, I know more about the comics than most people, but then I always thought the public perception of the series was late sixties youth culture; not mid-fifties suburban paradise!!

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“This is not my beautiful house!  This is not my beautiful wife!”

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Super Recaps: Riverdale Chapter 6 (Faster, Pussycats! Kill! Kill!)

Riverdale and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros Television Distribution and The CW

Episode directed by Steven A. Adelson

We’re back with another episode of CSI: Riverdale!  When we last left our intrepid sleuths Betty and Jughead, they were getting one step closer to solving the mystery of Jason’s death, but now the evidence is point to Betty’s parents which makes things a lot more difficult to say the least!  Oh, and Archie was doing stuff too I guess, but JUGHEAD AND BETTY!  They’re next plan is to find out where Polly was sent and see if she has any clues that can lead them to the killer!  Will the dynamic duo manage to save Polly and find the truth that has been eluding them for so long?  What will Betty’s parents do once they find out what she’s been up to with that Jughead boy!?  And uh… is Archie gonna do something of mild interest?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with Betty and Jughead who are about to initiate their master plan to find out where Polly’s been locked up.  Step one, have breakfast with Betty’s mom!  Okay, that doesn’t SOUND too hard, but this is Lemon Mom we’re dealing with who has just gotten back from her Women in Journalism retreat and is ready to tear everyone at the kitchen table a new asshole for the indecency and bad taste of merely existing in her presence.

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“THIS BREAKFAST… IS UNACCEPTABBBBBLLLLEEEEE!!”     “WE GET IT!  You hate everything!  Would you PLEASE shut up about it!?”     “The funny thing is, this is still better than breakfast with MY dad.”

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Super Recaps: Riverdale Chapter 5 (Heart of Darkness)

Riverdale and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros Television Distribution and The CW

Episode directed by Jesse Warn

We’re back with another episode of Everybody Hates Cheryl!  The last episode thankfully finished off that abysmal Grundy subplot which means we can FINALLY get to what this show SHOULD be!  Archie solving weird mysteries throughout town!  What is that not good enough!?  I want this show to become the next American Horror Story, damn it!!  AND WHEN DOES SABRINA SHOW UP!?  Well for NOW at least, we still have to find Jason Blossom’s killer which… I GUESS is a kind of horror story even if it’s not supernatural… OR IS IT!?  Can this show manage to stay afloat now that its worst subplot has been jettisoned from this sinking ship?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with yet another Jughead monologue as he tells us all about the Blossom home which looks like the unholy lovechild of Roger Corman and Tim Burton that was delivered by Vincent Price in the Westin Hills Insane Asylum from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3.  What I’m saying is that it’s gothic as fuck, and I ABSOLUTELY love it!  Hell, I can’t even tell if it has electricity, though you’d think it would HAVE to considering how many fog machines they’d need to keep that place constantly engulfed in THAT much foreboding atmosphere!

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I don’t know what’s more amazing; that this show now has the Gothic sensibilities of a Guillermo del Toro joint, or that it all makes perfect sense for Cheryl.

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