You remember when guys and gals were making web shorts in the late 90’s and early 2000’s? That is what the new Star Wars: Forces of Destiny looks like. It looks like somebody loaded up Adobe Animate and made some Flash films for their Star Wars fan fiction. That doesn’t mean that I will not watch it. I will. It just looks like they could have put a little more effort in to this short series. Especially if it is the launch for a bunch of new toys and dolls. I believe it is going to be the Star Wars version of the very successful DC Super Heroes Girls, which sounds good, but it looks like they could have tired harder.
I never thought that Aziz Ansari would have one of the best shows on TV, but here we are. Season two of his Netflix hit Master of None is charming, poignant, and most important of all funny. This season delves more in to what it is like to be single in this digital age while continuing to shed light on what it is like to be a minority in the United States. Two things I cannot identify with, but this show portrays all of this in its signature mater of fact fashion while remembering it is comedy.
Master of None picks up after the first season with Dev in Italy learning to make pasta in a local shop. He is clearly having the time of his life, but soon he will have to go back and try once again to establish his career in New York City. The idyllic setting of the small Italian town is a great juxtaposition for the large and uncaring NYC.
If you still haven’t watched this show after my review of Master of None’s first season, I hope you will after this review of its second. Master of None is a turning in to a masterclass for sitcoms. We will see how long Aziz and Co. can keep this up, but I will be watching every episode that they release. This was kind of a short write up, but it didn’t need to be long to tell you that Master of None is really, realty good.
My little brother and I watched every episode of Speed Race before dinner growing up. Our Mom didn’t like it because it described Speed as a “demon” in the intro song, so we had to convince her they meant “speed demon”. Anyway, Funimation has released all 52 episodes on Blu-Ray, and you can get the collection on Amazon for around $20. A word of warning though, this only has the English dub, so if you want the original Japanese version you will have to hope for a future box set, but for someone like me who is nostalgic for the crappy US dub, this is great! Go Speed Racer Go!
The Paladin warned us that his toffee popcorn was more interesting than the 24th Bond film Spectre, but I didn’t listen. It was sitting there on my Amazon Prime queue saying, “I am a Bond film, I will at least have some good actions scenes!”, but it was just a siren song. Spectre was just a long heartless slog of Bond stuff. Everyone was going through the motions, and apparently no one wanted to be part of this movie for any other reason then the money. I blame The Paladin for all of this because toffee popcorn is pretty interesting, so to be worse than that is not that bad.
I think the biggest problem with this film is its namesake. Spectre is kind of a crazy organization with volcano hideouts and moon lasers, and the new Daniel Craig Bond films are grounded and realistic. The only thing over the top about them is the action. Everything else in them is “plausible”. Nothing in Spectre is plausible, but instead of having fun with this wild evil crew, the film plays it straight. WARNING MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW. No it is not strange there is a massive underworld organization run by James Bond’s foster brother. It is totally normal for a bad guy to have a massive base in the crater of a meteor. Automated lobotomy chair? Sounds legit to me. A ring that contains the DNA of all of the recent Bond’s villains with no explanation? Why not. Anyone comment about any of this in the film? Nope. They just parade all this insane stuff in front of you without any joy or whimsy. Which makes it all land with a thud.
By now I am sure you can tell that I don’t think you should see Spectre. If it was bad in the old fashion cheesy Bond way, I probably would have enjoyed myself, but instead I was just bored, and that is inexcusable for a Bond film. Anyway, I am in an airport right now, so I am going to go see if I can track down some toffee popcorn and think about how interesting it is, and how The Paladin let me down.
The Cloverfield franchise is shaping up to be a strange one. First a found footage kaiju monster movie in 2008, and then a bunker/abduction film with 10 Cloverfield Lane in 2016. The third film, that they are doing their best not to talk about, is coming out this October which is supposed to be different still. I am guessing with its October release date it will delve more in to the horror genre. What do the films have in common thus far? They are very good. Though specifically today I am reviewing 10 Cloverfield Lane.
The plot is minimal. Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) gets in a car accident and then wakes up in a bunker chained to a wall being told the world has ended. Her captor/savior, Howard (John Goodman), is kind of creepy, so she is having a hard time trusting him. They are not in there alone. A local to the area, Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.), forced his way in to the bunker seemingly confirming Howards story.
10 Cloverfield Lane’s stripped down nature really serves it well. There are only three main actors, and the plot only has one major question: Can you trust someone who kidnapped you? But the tension these three people achieve while exploring that question is fantastic. Had they added anything else to the mix it probably would have been worse. This is not the type of movie that needs an A, B, and C plot.
Of course it helps when you have John Goodman as your morally questionable survivalist. The man is an acting tour de force. Winstead pulls off the cagey and smart Michelle quite well. She knows something is not as it seems and she will figure it out. Meanwhile Gallagher’s Emmett is just around to provide some laughs so the whole flick doesn’t get too overwhelming and melodramatic.
If you are getting a little tired of bombastic blockbusters and need something a little smaller, 10 Cloverfield Lane might be just the sort of film you need. Don’t worry, knowledge of the first Cloverfield movie is not required since they are barely related. They are more like third cousins to each other instead of siblings. Though you should still see Cloverfleid, but only because it is a good movie. I look forward to Cloverfield Whatever this October.