Cinema Dispatch: Hotel Transylvania 4: Transformania

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania and all the images you see in this review are owned by Amazon Studios

Directed by Jennifer Kluska & Derek Drymon

The Hotel Transylvania series is probably my favorite ongoing animated franchise of the last decade which SOUNDS like high praise, but there’s definitely a bit of backhanded-ness to that compliment.  The first one is the only film I would classify as a masterpiece, and frankly, any animated series still getting theatrical (or theatrical-ish) distribution past the first sequel are becoming increasingly rare.  Even Disney who have been churning out nostalgia bait for years now are at least keeps it diverse by giving each series one sequel or remake instead of putting all their eggs in one property’s basket, so while I can respect Hotel Transylvania for keeping itself going for as long as it has, each sequel is a bit more foreboding than the last, and the fact that Sony is opting to give this to Amazon Prime instead of going for a theatrical run (despite the films being huge moneymakers) is not what I would call a good sign.  Still, the money is still there as the trailers looked very well animated, and the strange machinations of studio politics behind the scenes are hardly a barometer of quality!  Does this manage to reach the dizzying heights of the original film, or are we dizzy because the franchise is in a tailspin?  Let’s find out!!

Much like the film series itself, the titular Hotel Transylvania has been going on and on for a very long time, so Dracula (Brian Hulf) has decided that it is time to retire and plans on giving the hotel to Mavis (Selena Gomez) and her husband Johnny (Andy Samberg) so he can spend more time with his new wife Ericka (Kathryn Hahn).  Mavis and Johnny catch wind of this however, and Dracula gets spooked once he sees Johnny starting to flip out in his overly enthusiastic manner, so Dracula changes course and will continue to run the place; coming up with a lie that he can’t hand it over to Johnny since he is a human.  Naturally, Johnny figures the only way to fix this is to turn into a monster himself, and oh look!  Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan) happens to have some sort of crystal that turns humans into monsters and monsters into humans.  Through wacky shenanigans and poor luck on Drac’s part, he and his monster pals Frank, Murry, Wayne, and Griffin (Brad Abrell, Keegan-Michael Key, Steve Buscemi, and David Spade) while Johnny becomes a lizard guy, and none of this can be reversed because the crystal broke.  Instead, Johnny and Drac are going to need to find a new crystal which is hidden in a South American Rainforest, and naturally Mavis is kept in the dark about all of this because that’s how Dracula handles things despite three movies now telling him that’s not the best course of action.  Will Johnny and Drac succeed in their quest for the crystal, and will Drac gain a newfound respect for Johnny along the way?  How long can Frank, Murray, Wayne, and Griffin keep this secret from everyone else, and will Ericka and Mavis just sit around doing nothing while their respective husbands are missing?  Speaking of sitting around and doing nothing, wasn’t there a kid in these movies at one point?  Eh, probably not important!

“Oh, what was his name?  It might have started with a… ‘de’ sound?”     “Was it Mike?”     “Yeah, I think it was Mike?”
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Cinema Dispatch: 2021 Catch Up (Part 1)

Well it’s certainly been a while since I had to do one of these!  The ramp-up of the Omicron virus, the busy schedule of the Holiday season, and the fact that I lost power for almost a week right at the start of January meant that I didn’t get to see everything I wanted to before the year was up and I felt that my viewing history was a bit wanting.  Without at least trying to catch up on some of the big movies of the year, is it even worth putting together a top ten list or try to give some sort of critical evaluation of that year in movies?  Well… yes, I mean I always fall short of my movie-watching goal at the end of each year, but 2021 felt especially undermined by everything that happened, so we’ll be doing a few of these catch-ups to try and fill in some of those gaps!  Let’s get started!!

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Spencer

Spencer and all the images you see in this review are owned by Neon

Directed by Pablo Larrain

The Royal Family gathers together for Christmas, but Diana (Kristen Stewart) has been struggling in recent years to keep up a brave face in the presence of her extended family; especially since the rules and traditions of the Royal Family are not the easiest thing to adhere to, even for someone in the best of mental health.  Her husband Charles (Jack Farthing) is fed up with her change in behavior, and while her sons (Jack Nielen and Freddie Spry) are much more sympathetic, even they have trouble reconciling this rift between their mother and the rest of the family.  Will Diana be able to continue on like this, or will this be the Christmas that changes everything?

Every once in a while I’ll see a movie that I should like a lot more than I actually do.  I can see how they approach interesting themes with a great deal of substance and depth, I can tell that the cinematography is very well done while also reinforcing the themes, and I can appreciate the acting as well as the dialogue in the script.  Yet even with all these elements working together, I’m left rather nonplussed; engaging with it on an intellectual level but just not feeling enough passion or excitement to walk away satisfied.  To elaborate on the film’s strengths, we have an excellent performance from Kristin Stewart who has to carry this movie on her shoulders, the overwhelming weight of the literal crown on her head is palpable in the way that she carries herself and how she reacts to situations around her.  The idea of feeling sorry for someone who is literally royalty is not exactly an easy feat, especially with wealth inequality and unrepresentative government indifference being such hot button issues these days, but it makes several smart choices with its narrative and style that it keeps those real-world implications from getting in the way of this one character’s story.  It’s uncomfortable and deeply saddening at points with the machinery of the Monarchy proving impenetrable (no one thing can be blamed for each and every stuffy decision and all the soulless pieces of it perfectly fit to reinforce each other), but it also finds catharsis in Diana’s struggle for freedom and peace and never gets so dark as to be an unbearable tour of misery.  Still, despite all these strong elements to the movie, I still felt detached from it all; so what about it is keeping me at bay?  Well, I think the answer is in what I just said, which is a feeling of detachment.  I don’t know the first thing about Princess Diana other than she died at some point while I was still in kindergarten, and the movie is in no particular hurry to provide answers to that question.  To the script’s credit, they do provide enough context and details for this particular character to work (meaning they could easily have swapped her out for a fictional character in a made-up kingdom) but the script turns out to be a doubled-edged sword as it does a lot more telling than it does showing.  We understand Diana’s ennui and how she is reacting to everything around her, but I still felt like I was observing her from afar instead of getting inside of her head.  This may also just be a flaw on my part, being rather unintuitive or perhaps a bit callous, but the lack of context also left me unclear as to what actual consequences there would be if she just stopped playing along, and the big dramatic ending of the movie kind of loses something when you realize that Diana isn’t actually risking or giving up anything to get to where she needs to go.  Sure, there’s the shame and disdain of her royal family that burrows deep into her psyche and are perhaps just as effective chains around her as the threat of genuine consequences would be, but it definitely feels like a critical piece of the puzzle is missing here.  On top of that, the movie is very sparse with long shots of mundane action and a very straightforward score.  None of it is bad per se, but there’s not a lot to perk your interest as far as spectacle; not in the sense of explosions or CG monsters, but I doubt it would have been too out of place for some dynamic camerawork or even some creative editing.  This means the movie relies almost entirely on its script and performances which, once again are very good, but to me, a movie about someone’s psychological issues should use all the tools at the filmmaker’s disposal and it never seems to want to go past a certain level of offbeat imagination.  I’m still gonna give this a recommendation if for no other reason than Stewart’s deeply heartbreaking performance, but it hews a bit too close to the cliché of the stuffy –drawing-room film than I would have expected from the studio that gave us I, Tonya.  Perhaps expecting that level of creative verve would have been inappropriate for a movie whose themes are about the stifling conformity of the aristocracy (especially one that’s ostensibly based on real people), but a few more flourishes here and there wouldn’t have hurt!

3 out of 5
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Cinema Dispatch: The Matrix Resurrections

The Matrix Resurrections and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures

Directed by Lana Wachowski

Making another sequel to the Matrix is simply a bad idea from the word go.  Sure, it’s tempting given that the original trilogy grossed over a billion dollars and became a cultural touchstone for a generation, but there’s no way to play of it as anything than a cynical cash grab, and there’s no guarantee that the audience will come back for another one; especially since a lot of them are approaching middle age at this point and this new generation is more enamored with Marvel films than anything else.  Even getting one of the original directors to come back isn’t gonna turn many heads since the stagnation of the series occurred under their watch, and they’ve been heavily involved with all the various media made the franchise since the beginning.  Now all that said, perhaps this IS the right time for it to be tried again.  The themes and messages of the original movie have become all the more relevant since its, and the co-opting of some of its imagery among certain reactionary circles has been one of the more unfortunate developments in the story of The Matrix as a pop-culture staple.  With so many people having so many different ideas about what The Matrix should be, is there any way that this can please even a fraction of the original fans and perhaps get new fans in the process, or is this just another soulless cash grab to further cement this as the worst of all possible timelines?  Let’s find out!!

Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) finds himself in a comfortable life that he built for himself, but not much more.  He made his fortune creating a trilogy of video games called The Matrix with his business partner (Jonathan Groff), but each day feels like an endless drudgery as he searches for meaning.  His therapist (Neil Patrick Harris) has been helping him through these feelings, especially after he nearly jumped off of a roof a few years back, but nothing seems to get through to him until he starts seeing this woman at the coffee shop.  Her name is Tiffany (Carrie-Anne Moss) and there’s something about her that seems familiar but also brings him quite a bit of peace; a peace he will need as the studio is forcing him to make a new Matrix game and it’s just not going very well.  That’s when things start to really unravel as he starts seeing things that may not be there and people start talking to him like he’s someone else entirely.  How did Mr. Anderson find himself in such a miserable state, and can he trust his own mind to tell him the truth?  Who are these people that are showing up to tell him that reality isn’t what it seems, and are they looking out for his best interest or for their own selfish goals?  Is it just me, or does this sound less like The Matrix and more like Birdman?

“So I’m the one that will save humanity?”     “If by ‘humanity’ you mean Warner Bros quarterly finical report, then yes!  Well, maybe.  Let’s see how it does overseas.”
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Cinema Dispatch: Sing 2

Sing 2 and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures

Directed by Garth Jennings

Was anyone expecting the first Sing to be anything more than cloying and treacly?  I mean it’s not like Illumination has a great track record for this kind of thing, especially with those toothless Seuss adaptations, but they somehow pulled it off with that movie which was sweet, sincere, and my favorite animated movie the year it came out!  The moment that it was over though, I knew that a sequel was coming and that it was probably going to be a bad idea.  The first one worked as its own story, so trying to fit another one on top of it seemed like typical sequel folly and an obvious attempt at a cash grab.  Then again, it’s not like I was expecting anything out of the first one and it managed to surprise me, so why not the sequel as well?  Can this movie capture the magic of the first film and give us the rare animated sequel that is just as satisfying as the first one, or should we just be glad that we got a good movie in the first place and write this one off as a mere victory lap from Illumination?  Let’s find out!!

Following the events of the first film, the Moon Theater is back and better than ever!  The all-star cast of Meena, Johnny, Rosita, and Gunter (Tori Kelly, Taron Egerton, Reese Witherspoon, and Nick Kroll) are living their dreams and selling out shows every night; all of which should make Buster (Matthew McConaughey) who owns the theater very happy, right?  I mean that’s kind of the dream that they were all striving for in the first one!  Well… no.  Apparently, they all want to go to the Sing universe equivalent of Las Vegas and perform shows there; presumably next to furry versions of Blue Man Group and Carrot Top.  After a talent scout (Chelsea Peretti) brushes them off, Buster drags his cast as well as Ash (Scarlett Johansson) to the big city to prove that scout wrong and appeal to the biggest producer in the city; Jimmy Crystal (Bobby Carnavale).  Through some high-level schmoozing and a white lie here and there, he agrees to give them a shot; albeit it with quite a few strings attached.  They have three weeks to throw together a lavish Broadway-style show from scratch, they have to include Crystal’s daughter Porsha (Halsey) in some way, and they need to find rock legend Clay Calloway (Bono) so he can be a part of the show.  That last one, in particular, is going to be difficult as no one has seen or heard from him in fifteen years, but if Buster says he can get him, then by Jove, he’s gonna get him!  Can the crew pull off yet another amazing show, even with the added pressures of a bigger production and an overbearing executive?  What new challenges will our heroes face on their latest venture, and is this perhaps the end of the road for them?  I mean it’s not like Buster has a habit of getting in over his head, right?  Surely he knows what he’s doing!

“I don’t know, can we make it ten percent more heartfelt?  Which one of these dials adds more heart?”
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Cinema Dispatch: Spider-Man: No Way Home

Spider-Man: No Way Home and all the images you see in this review are owned by Sony Pictures Releasing

Directed by Jon Watts

It’s been a rather underwhelming year for the superhero genre which once towered over the world.  The Pandemic has pushed the release schedule around several times which means we’re waiting longer for these movies, and to me, the MCU is having trouble finding their voice after Endgame put a pretty definitive end to the original story arc.  Frankly, the best we’ve gotten from the MCU in the last two years have been the Disney+ shows that may not always hit their marks but definitely have a lot of interesting ideas that probably wouldn’t work as a movie; even with these things being overly long for the most part.  Still, it’s hard not to get excited about another Spider-Man film; especially one as specifically targeted to my generation as this one is.  Does it manage to pull us out of the MCU funk and deliver on all the ludicrous promises the trailers have made, or is this going to be as convoluted and pointless as the Clone Saga; or even worse, One More Day?  Let’s find out!!

Following the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) has been revealed to the world as their friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, and this newfound celebrity (and infamy) has thrown his life into chaos.  Investigations from the government, a bunch of weirdos throwing bricks through his windows, and a very awkward school environment where half of them want to see him become their mascot and the other are hurling conspiracy-laden insults at him.  See, this is why you need to be rich or a soldier to do the Superhero thing; either commit to it full time or pay people to go outside for you!  It gets to be such a burden that Peter begs the MCU’s cool uncle Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to use his wizard magic to erase his identity from the mind of everyone in the universe.  Let’s just say that it had mixed results as the world doesn’t forget his identity, but there are now a bunch of villains running around who seem to know him; including Doctor Otto Octavius who has four robot arms (Alfred Molina), Max Dillon who has electricity powers (Jamie Foxx), Dr. Curt Connors who’s a lizard man (Rhys Ifans) Flint Marko who spends most of the movie as a human-shaped sandcastle for whatever reason (Thomas Haden Church), and of course Norman Osborne who still suffers from pretty severe mood swings (Willem Dafoe).  Now if you’ve kept up with the Spider-Man films for the last twenty years, those names should seem pretty familiar.  Sadly the Spider-Man of this universe didn’t get to see those movies, so he has to discover who all these people are, why they became villains in the first place, and if this confluence of inter-dimensional fan service can actually turn into a good thing for all involved.  Will Peter Parker, with the help of his friends, his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), and his sorta-bodyguard Happy (Jon Favreau), be able to stop these guys from tearing apart this universe and perhaps even get past their overwhelming hatred of wall-crawling superheroes?  Who else may have found their way into this universe, and what can they do to either help or hamper Peter’s attempts to fix everything?  So is J Jonah Jameson (JK Simmons) also an inter-dimensional buzzkill, or is there no universe that can escape his ludicrous conspiracy theories and get-rich-quick schemes?

“Looks like they already turned you into an NFT.”     “Seriously?”     “Yup.  And it sold for five-hundred grand.”     “See THAT’S the kind of evil-doer I should be fighting.”
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Cinema Dispatch: The Last Duel

The Last Duel and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Studios

Directed by Ridley Scott

It’s officially catch-up month over her as I scramble to fit a few more reviews in before the New Year and try to catch up on some of the things I missed, so hey; why not two Ridley Scott movies back to back?  While House of Gucci had a modest amount of box office success despite some rather underwhelming reviews, the same cannot be said for this film which came and went with barely a notice from general audiences.  Did we all miss out on a fantastic gem that deserved a lot more attention at the box office, or is this just a really bad year for the venerable director?  Let’s find out!!

The story takes place in Medieval France and follows three people whose fates are inexorably and cruelly intertwined.  Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) is a simple if narrow-minded warrior in the French army who takes a wife, The Lady Marguerite (Jodie Comer), and while there are some advantages to the marriage in terms of property and a bit of esteem in the court, he’s still very much outclassed by his friend, the Squire Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver).  He doesn’t come from a family of warriors or is in an advantageous marriage, but still, he pulled himself up through cunning and political maneuvering to become a chief adviser to the nearby lord, Count Pierre d’Alençon (Ben Affleck).  The tensions between Jean and Jacques escalate as Jacques curries more favor with the community while Jean is just kinda being sad in his castle with his wife and mother, and it all comes to a head when Jean returns from the capital to find his wife in an utterly distraught state.  She says that while he was gone, Jacques broke in and raped her which Jacques denies vociferously.  Being a man of honor (and one that doesn’t listen to his wife), Jean challenges Jacques to a duel to the death, with the caveat being that if Jean falls in battle then Marguerite will be burned at the stake.  With so much riding on something as arbitrary as a fight with swords, can justice truly be meted out for Marguerite?  Is there more to this story than any of the three participants are willing to share and is there more to the duel than meets the eye?  First Joan of Arc, and now this?  Seriously, Middle Ages!  Get your act together!

“If this duck quacks an even number of times, you are innocent.  An odd number however and you will be condemned as a witch!”     “Is there an appeals process?”     “That involves two cows a budgerigar, and a length of twine.”
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Cinema Dispatch: House of Gucci

House of Gucci and all the images you see in this review are owned by United Artists Releasing

Directed by Ridley Scott

It’s that time of year where the big performances come out, the A-List directors strut their stuff, and the biopics are as far as the eye can see!  Oscar season is in full swing and Ridley Scott is doubling down this year with two prestige films; both of which star Adam Driver, funnily enough.  Now I don’t know the first thing about Gucci or the story behind the family, and the closest I’ve ever been to designer clothes is seeing them in shop windows.  Still, stories about the grimy underbelly of powerful families and giant corporations can be very entertaining (provided they aren’t poisoning the planet or something like that), and while Scott can be hit or miss with a lot of his projects, the good ones can REALLY stand out in an otherwise crowded and lukewarm award season.  Does this movie capture the whirlwind drama around one of the most recognizable brands in the world and the eccentric family that built it, or is the only interesting thing about this family the name they carry?  Let’s find out!!

Our story begins with Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) as a young up-and-coming socialite who may not come from a truly wealthy family, but she’s ambitious and wants to prove herself as a woman to take seriously!  Well, she’s in luck because one of the parties she goes to is where she meets Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), the son of Rodolfo Gucci (Jeremy Irons) who is the current head of the Gucci business along with his brother Aldo (Al Pacino).  Whether or not she truly had feelings for him is ultimately secondary as her Prince Charming was in her sights and she was not about to let this opportunity go!  Over time the two get close and Maurizio agrees to marry her, but it’s clear her wants very little to do with the family business as he’s seen how it has turned his family bitter and cold; including his cousin Paolo (Jared Leto) who may be jovial on the outside but is nursing some serious resentments that threaten to bubble up in unpredictable and inopportune ways.  Patrizia is having none of that wishy-washy nonsense from her husband however, and pushes him to get more and more involved.  In fairness, was more than likely to happen with or without Patrizia’s involvement, but with her at his side, he’s poised to not just be A Gucci, but to become THE Gucci!  Does this tale of power, wealth, family drama, and high-end clothing have a happy ending for the ambitious Patrizia?  What makes Maurizio different from the rest of the family, and will this aggressive push from her wife make him the very thing he didn’t want to become?  I know we got a MacBeth movie pretty recently, but any chance we can get another one so Gaga can be in it?

“I lost out to The Favorite, did I? Fine! I’ll show them what a REAL Queen looks like!”
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Cinema Dispatch: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City and all the images you see in this review are owned by Sony Pictures Releasing

Directed by Johannes Roberts

Say what you will about the Paul WS Anderson Resident Evil movies, they were popular, there were at least a few good entries in it, and Milla Jovovich carried them; an impressive feat as I believe she was the first woman to be the lead of a billion-dollar film franchise.  It was kind of the MCU before the MCU was really a thing; a series that came out almost every year and made a boatload of cash based on a property that most in the mainstream had dismissed as juvenile and (cheap?).  Now that Jovovich has finished her run as Alice and Anderson is stepping back to a producing role, it’s time to see if the franchise can be brought back to life so that Sony doesn’t have to rely on Spider-Man movies to stay profitable!  Does this capture the essence of the games in a way the Anderson films never quite did, or will we be begging him to come back to the series by the time someone does a Jill Sandwich joke? Let’s find out!!

Claire Redfield (Kaya Scodelario) left Raccoon City a long time ago and it’s the last place she ever wanted to return to, but she has some information from the INTER-WEB that is compelling her to return and see her brother.  Of course, since this is a more faithful adaptation, the whole thing is set in the nineties which means she can’t just text him to get out of the city; instead he has to hitch a ride there and show him a VHS tape of someone who claims that the Umbrella Corporation has poisoned the city’s water supply and that something big is going to happen very soon!  Her brother Chris (Robbie Amell) is not impressed and has to go to work on the dreariest and rainiest night imaginable which of course is also the night that all heck breaks loose in the city!  There are officers at the nearby Spencer Mansion who haven’t reported in so Chris, Jill Valentine (Hannah John-Kamen), Albert Wesker (Tom Hooper), and a guy who ISN’T Barry (Chad Rook) head there to find out what’s going on, which leaves the new guy Leon Kennedy (Avan Jogia) alone to watch the police station with the crotchety captain (Donald Logue).  It probably doesn’t come as a shock to you that both groups find zombies roaming around, and the city is put on lockdown by Umbrella soldiers who intend to keep this all a secret while one of their scientists (Neal McDonough) collects whatever research he can before extracting him and his family from this nightmare.  Will the Redfields and all their buddies find a way to escape the city that is slowly rotting away around them?  How does Umbrella plan to sweep this catastrophe under the rug, and is there someone among the survivors who knows more than they’re letting on?  They set the movie in the nineties, but can they truly recreate the feeling of playing the original game for the first time all over again?  Well not if they’re shooting this with HD cameras!

“It looks a lot smaller than I remember.” “That’s nostalgia goggles for you!”
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Cinema Dispatch: Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Ghostbusters: Afterlife and all the images you see in this review are owned by Sony Pictures Releasing

Directed by Jason Reitman

I was a pretty big fan of the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot and am still a bit salty that we never got a sequel to it, so seeing the trailers and just how much the studio was backtracking to safe and familiar nostalgia was pretty demoralizing to see and left me with a bad feeling about this.  A Stranger Things knockoff that revels in the legacy of the first two films while grabbing a mostly indie director who just so happens to be the son of the original films’ director just felt like too many ideas on how to make this a MARKETABLE Ghostbusters movie instead of a GOOD one.  Still, Reitman is a good director and the buzz so far has been good for the movie, so perhaps I’m being a bit overly critical before even seeing the darn thing.  Did my low expectations set me up for a pleasant surprise that finds the balance between mining nostalgia and finding new ideas, or is this a cynical paycheck from a guy whose complicated history with this franchise landed him in the director’s chair long before he ever picked up a camera?  Let’s find out!!

Many years after the events of the first movie (and the second presumably), Egon Spengler has made a new life of sorts in a total nothing town somewhere in the Midwest, and while it’s probably not much of a spoiler considering that the actor is no longer with us, he has recently died under mysterious circumstances, and his estranged daughter Callie (Carrie Coon) has come to settle his affairs as well as start a new life for her and her two kids Phoebe and Trevor (Mckenna Grace and Finn Wolfhard).  While packing up his things though, Phoebe finds the PKE Meter as well as Egon’s ghostbusting Batcave, and Trevor starts to see some strange things around town; especially while hanging out with Lucky (Celeste O’Connor) at the nearby mine, which is… a thing kids do I guess?  In any case, Phoebe starts to investigate the strange occurrences in the town with her paranormal podcasting friend named Podcast (Logan Kim), but more importantly starts to learn more about her grandfather and, by extension, herself.  That, and her Summer School teacher (Paul Rudd) is a total nerd who was obsessed with the Ghostbusters when he was a kid, and so the stage is set for the next generation to take up the mantel once these strange things around town turn into STRANGER things!  What was Egon doing in this Podunk town in the first place, and is there more than just his old eighties crap that he’s left behind for his family?  How will Phoebe and Trevor deal with their newly discovered legacy, and why was their mother hiding it from them all this time?  Do you think in thirty years someone will try to do one of these for the 2016 Ghostbusters movie?  I mean how ELSE are we supposed to get a sequel!?

“Is this thing environmentally friendly?” “I don’t know, maybe we should check with the EPA.” “Yeah, they may not be perfect but it’s not like they’re full petty jerks who just want to disrupt small businesses.” “Hashtag Green New Deal!!”
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Cinema Dispatch: Eternals

Eternals and all the images you see in this review are owned by Disney

Directed by Chloé Zhao

One thing you can say about the MCU is that they’ve never met a character, no matter how obscure to the general public, that they couldn’t find a way to work.  Well except maybe Iron Fist, but the Netflix shows are their own thing anyway so I wouldn’t bother counting that anyway.  Heck, the ONLY thing I knew about Guardians of the Galaxy prior to the movie being announced was Rocket Raccoon’s inexplicable inclusion in Marvel Vs Capcom 3, and that turned out to be one of the best things the MCU has popularized!  The Eternals however seem like Marvel REALLY trying to challenge themselves as far digging up obscure characters to make into household names as I STILL couldn’t tell you a thing about them despite seeing the trailers a few times!  It’s definitely going to be its own thing which could be its saving grace considering how lackluster the Post-Endgame MCU has been so far, but is it too far away from what audiences’ expect for them to latch onto?  Let’s find out!!

The Eternals are BASICALLY to Marvel Superheroes what Dracula is to other vampires.  This group has been doing the super hero shtick before it was even cool to do so since they’ve been around since the time of Quest for Fire; protecting humanity from alien creatures known as Deviants, while also giving us a few pointers in the right direction.  Of course they can only influence humanity so much and are forbidden to interfere with human conflicts as decreed by their Space Creators known as Celestials, and over time they just kind of drifted apart as the Deviants became few and far between.  Cut to modern day where Sersi (Gemma Chan) is working as a school teacher in London when a SUPER POWERFUL Deviant comes out of nowhere, and she along with fellow Eternals Sprite and Ikaris (Lia McHugh and Richard Madden) have to stop it before it can cause too much damage.  Clearly there is a new threat on the horizon if the Deviants are reemerging, so the trio must scour the globe looking for their fellow Eternals (Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Koeghan, Don Lee, Salma Hayek, and Angelina Jolie) and convince them to put aside whatever difference they may have and come back together for a mission to save Earth!  Can The Eternals overcome whatever threat is looming over the planet this time?  Just what split them up in the first place, and how have the years away from each other changed them?  Seriously, I know they’re doing their own thing here but can we at least get ONE Avenger to tag along?  It can be one the B-Listers like War Machine or Hawkeye!

“It’s good of you to join us, Winter Solider!” “No, it’s me. Ikaris.” “Oh wow, really?” “YES, REALLY!!” “Hey, you’ve got to admit, the resemblance is eerie.”
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