I don’t think you guys understand just how fucking hype Black people are to see this film, how important this film is to marginalized communities, and how much we all love Ariel. We are definitely going to show up and show out for this movie. Not only is it one of the most important films from our youth (including mine) but it stars one of the hottest young singers in R&B today, Halle Bailey (not to be confused with Halle Berry), who is a member of the singing duo of Chloe and Halle. Watching this two-minute snippet gave me chills and I was already in tears by the end, the same effect the original has had on me for over thirty years.
The original Little Mermaid film was released at just the right moment for it to have an outsized influence on the trajectory of my life when I was young enough to be asking myself the kinds of questions Ariel asks in the film. (I was 19). I went to the theater with my best friend (who later came out to me as gay, so I wonder what effect the movie’s message had on him) and I was in the process of deciding to leave Design/Animation school and choose a different profession. Not only did the two of us bawl our eyes out in the theater but in every viewing I’ve ever had. So yeah, in the thirty years since I first saw this movie there’s never been a time when Ariel’s “I Want” song didn’t give me chills.
The I Want/I Wish song is a classic staple of American musical theater which is the background of the song’s writer Howard Ashman. Ashman, along with Alan Menken, wrote all the songs for the movie which was Disney’s first animated fairy tale in over thirty years. The I Want song must be sung by the film’s lead character, lay out the character’s motivation, or goals, and/or illuminate their character in some way. Ashman and Menken wrote the songs for Beauty and the Beast, The Little Shop of Horror, and Aladdin., and the I Want song has been included in every Disney/Pixar movie since.
Having a Black Little Mermaid is so groundbreaking and so important for so many little Black girls. Some parents posted pictures of their daughter’s reactions to the trailer. My favorite one of all of them is the little girl who screams “She’s Black!!!, at the top of her lungs.
It is impossible to look at this kind of pure joy and claim that representation doesn’t matter!
This is a series that will be streaming on Amazon. I’m probably going to watch this for the trippy visuals and because I like Chloe G Moretz. I’m also a little bit tired of some of the fantasy stuff I’ve been watching and need a break with some scifi. This is from the writers of Westworld and I just started watching the last season that just aired. I like the writers for that series and I have high hopes for this one.
I was not particularly impressed with Knives Out, although I do like these types of cozy murder mysteries in general. I did watch and enjoy The Orient Express and Death on the Nile, and I’m looking forward to this, Amsterdam, and See How They Run, movies that look a bit more comedic. I’ve heard that Janelle Monae turns in a spectacular performance in this and I’m ready for it. I hope it’s good, but then I always do.
I’ve been really spoiled for TV all year. I’m really loving a lot of the diversity I’ve been seeing in shows and movies to the point where I’ve gotten really picky and not bothering to watch any shows or movies that don’t have any PoC, or LGBTQ rep in them. First, because I really am kinda spoiled now, and I expect it, and second, I simply don’t have the time to watch much else. Hell, I don’t even have time to watch the many diverse series/movies that are out, and I’m only watching a series if it has a fantasy, SciFi, or horror element. I think the whitest thing I watched this year (as far as the cast), was The Northman.
Black Adam (Final Trailer)
I used to read the Justice Society books when I wasn’t reading the Justice League books, so I remember most of the characters here, but since I didn’t read the series with any kind of regularity (and after a while, I stopped reading superhero comics altogether) I completely missed any storylines that featured Black Adam. I know that he is a kind of anti-hero like Wolverine, who is a rival of Shazam/Billy Batson, and Superman.
This was another one of those situations in which I mostly read the series for individual characters like Doctor Fate and Hawkman. I don’t really know a lot about the other members of the Justice Society. I’m excited about this because The Rock/Dwayne Johnson looks incredible, I’ve been waiting to see him in a superhero movie for some time, and I was wondering who he would play. I would not have guessed this character but I’m not surprised. I don’t know how good this is going to be but I remain hopeful, and the trailer looks like a lot of fun, although not as much fun as the last Suicide Squad, or Harley Quinn movie.
Wendell and Wild
This movie is from the writer of Nightmare Before Xmas, which is one of my all-time favorite Holiday films, and Coraline, which is one of the most charmingly terrifying animated movies I’ve ever watched, so I’m really looking forward to this. Like I said, I’ve been getting a little bit spoiled when it comes to Black female representation in my three favorite genres this year. I mean, there isn’t and can never be enough Black female rep to make up for all the decades we’ve been horribly ignored in these types of films, but I’m okay with what I’ve gotten this year, which is kinda awesome, and I’m gonna talk about that soon.
The Mandolorian Season 3
The Mando is one of those shows I’ve been sort of quietly following the entire time. I don’t talk much about it because there’s so much stuff to talk about that a lot of what I watch is going to get lost in the shuffle, but this is a good, solid, adventure series, with characters and plots I can like and understand. It’s not too emotionally taxing or plot-dense and that makes it perfect for watching when I get home from work.
I have been a Boba Fett fan since I was a little girl, but oddly, I didn’t watch The Book of Boba Fett. I skipped that and felt no particular way about it, but I have never skipped an episode of this show, although when I first heard about it I was somewhat indifferent. The show is alright though, and who can resist Baby Yoda. (I know that’s not his name).
Very obviously the top dog on this list is going to be the next Black Panther film since it is the most hotly anticipated movie being released this fall. There are at least a couple of other movies releasing this Fall and Winter, but I either already posted their trailers, or I’ve not particularly enthused about them myself, although other people may be.
I know this is probably a little bit late but I had technical problems, but they’ve been fixed now, so here goes.
Black Panther:Wakanda Forever
I have a confession to make, and I’m probably not alone in this, but I haven’t watched the original Black Panther film since Chadwick passed. Like Robin Williams, I haven’t been able to watch anything he starred in since he died. I haven’t even watched any of my Mother’s favorite films because these films only remind me that they are gone. There is no future for them, and all I will never have is their legacy. It’s gonna take me a minute to get past it, but I plan to watch the original before I watch this new one, which is going to be doubly hard because not only do I know my mother was looking forward to seeing this, as she was a huge fan of Chadwick, but Black Panther was the first superhero movie I ever saw in the theater with her.
I’m gonna need tissues.
That said, I am really hyped for this movie and not just for the Wakandan stuff. I am absolutely loving the look of the Atlanteans for the South American Indigenous regalia and vibe. I think that’s really inspired, and it all looks very lovely. We finally gonna get to see Angela Bassett tear up the screen because she wasn’t given a whole lot to do in the first one. I do like how the women of Wakanda have had to hold everything down while T’Challa is gone, so it’s not outside the realm of belief to think that one of these women might wear the mask, with the most likely candidates being Nakia (who was offered the special herb in the last movie but declined it) and Shuri (who has been BP in the comic books in her brother’s absence).
One of my favorite actresses is also starring, Michaela Coel, from the hit series, Bubblegum. I thought I’d like her to play Storm, but she is playing a canon lesbian character named Aneka, who is the girlfriend/wife of Ayo, being played by Florence (“Move or you will be moved.”) Kasumba, and I’m excited for that because there is a TV series about the Dora coming up next year. And I also need to mention that Riri Williams, (the successor to Tony Stark’s legacy), as Ironheart, will also be making her debut before her own series release next year, but she is being overshadowed by:Tenoch Huerta.
And can I just say that, although I had my doubts about this new guy playing Namor, ( I was unsure if he would bring the fire, so to speak), Tenoch Huerta is looking pretty damn fire, indeed? He certainly seems to have the attitude, and when he stood on the stage at SDCC and staring speaking Spanish to the audience, I got chills, and I hope the Mexican people are as jazzed about seeing him onscreen as we were to see BP that first time! I was really hoping they would cast Gabriel Luna, but maybe they have some other role for him (like Ghost Rider again!) because I’m really looking forward to seeing more Latin and Indigenous representation in the MCU, and in Fantasy/SciFi in general. The MCU didn’t have to make Namor Mesoamerican, but they re-wrote his character to do just that, and I have to give them their props. They have made so many people happy.
There are so many cultures that would love to see themselves represented onscreen, that would love to see elements of their stories being shown to the rest of the world, and the Marvel Universe is big enough to do just that.
Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves
I am very much looking forward to this movie, although I don’t know if I’ll see it in the theater because that depends on what else gets released that month and if I have any money. But yeah, this looks like a lot more fun than LOTR, and House of Dragons, which are also cut from the same cloth.
This one stars one of the better Chrises, Chris Pine and he’s really cute so that’s cool. I could do without Michelle Rodriguez (mostly because she is not a likable person that I want to look at for two hours) but I do like that it has a diverse cast, because we never get to see Latinas in Fantasy stuff. I love all the sparkly magic scenes, and the movie looks like it doesn’t take itself seriously.
I like High Fantasy/Dungeons and Dragons type stuff on a TV or movie screen (and I’m still pretty damn picky about it), but I absolutely will not read any books like that. I’ve got plenty of enthusiasm when it comes to movies and shows but don’t recommend any books to me.
Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power
I can count the number of High Fantasy books I’ve read and the first three Tolkien books were it. I loved all of the movies though, not because I revere the books but for the action scenes and the characters. So basically, I’m no Tolkien purist and people like that tend to annoy me no matter what the genre. That said, I have been told we will get to see women dwarves with their beards intact. I like that the creators added a lot of PoC to this story and that they are all members of all the different races of Middle Earth, and believe it or not, I find the story intriguing too, as it’s set several centuries before The Hobbit, when Galadriel was very young.
I don’t know that I will like this but I really like the trailer, and I’m going to give it a try.
House of the Dragon
This is a legacy spinoff from Game of Thrones. I had only a passing interest in the original series, but I’ll probably check out a few episodes of this one. I wasn’t particularly invested in the various plots of GoT, and I probably won’t be here either, but I am really glad to see more PoC in Fantasy films and series. I’m glad that so many creators are simply ignoring the loud fanboys who just want these genres to stay as white, straight, and male as possible because that’s what’s comfortable for them regardless of how everyone else may feel. I think adding PoC sometimes deepens the meaning of the stories in ways, that while not actually intended by the creators, still make these vehicles worth watching for the rest of us.
We told these creators for over ten years, that if they make it, we will pay for it. They did, and we’ve kept our part of the bargain when it’s done well. They don’t always get things right, but they are listening and learning. As I said when I first started this blog: We like to have adventures too!
That said, this series looks better than the last one, and I’m still very much into the whole dragon thing, although I wonder if there will be ice zombies in this one, (a lot of people are saying no) and how engaging some of the characters will be. I am still not a fan of Matt Smith because the man’s forehead is very distracting and I simply cannot get past it. Milly Alcock however is really cute and looks like a baby (a very dangerous baby, but still).
I am not as excited about this as some other people, but I will give it a try.
I mentioned here before that I didn’t follow the usual comic book routes when I started reading them. There were some things that didn’t show up in my library at all, and some things showed up later, and I just didn’t read them until I was well into adulthood. The Sandman is one of those things. I’d read a few Neil Gaiman books, and liked them more or less but I wasn’t a die-hard fan or anything. He was simply another British author I was passingly familiar with.
I picked up The Sandman books in my 20s, and am passing familiar with most of the characters, so not only am I no purist, I find such people largely intolerable. Yeah, I don’t care how you think something should have been depicted (as it’s usually some inconsequential nitpicky type stuff that has nothing to do with the ultimate story, but will somehow ruin their entire childhood! No, I haven’t forgotten people acting a whole-ass-fool over the organic webspinners!) People will act a damn fool over the casting of this film and in a few years, possibly even 6 months, they will have completely forgotten their assholery and moved on to their next great film outrage.
And yes, I am old enough to remember, before social media existed, when Tom Cruise got cast as Lestat in the movie, and some people lost their shit over it!
Unless the acting is super terrible, it looks cheap, or reminds people of what happened with the failed Inhumans series, the show is going to be just fine. Most of the people watching it won’t even know anything about the minute details that are so upsetting to the stans, anyway.
All that to say, I’m not so invested in the books that I cannot enjoy this. I hope I do, and there is enough enthusiasm for me to give it a try. I try to approach every production with the hope that I will enjoy it, although if there’s no enthusiasm for it, I’ll simply skip it. That said, I have ALWAYS, and I do mean ALWAYS wanted to see a version of Death that was a Black woman and how such an actor might approach that role. I’m also loving the female version of Lucifer (Don’t know if Lucifer is female in the show or not, but the actor identifies as such.)
I Am Groot
To date, Vin Diesel has played three of the most beloved characters, The Iron Giant, Dom Toretto, and now, Groot. I am looking forward to watching these little episodes, where it looks like he’s stranded or trapped on a planet by himself, and shenanigans ensue.
And yeah, I knew those cute little blobs were going to turn out to be dangerous. If you saw the recent Suicide Squad, by James Gunn, then he does something similar with some cute little blobs in that movie, and also some more cute but dangerous tiny critters in the series, Peacemaker, and that just seems like his type of humor.
And look at that face! He’s so cute. Who wouldn’t watch an entire series about Groot, although it will be fun if we get to see him play off Drax. The two of them just mix well.
Interview With the Vampire
I first read this book as a teenager, and it quickly became one of my favorites. The original movie of this was released in the early nineties and existed alongside several other movies like it at the time, with Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and The Crow as the two movies that most often tend to mix up their images in my head. I like this trailer although I could have done without all the histrionics. And yeah, I’m glad they are not shying away from the gay angle. Louis and Lestat were a couple for almost a couple hundred years. They had a daughter. They were a little bit coy about that in the original film (but not too much) and here they’re just blatantly showing it.
Now naturally, there are going to be people who are purists who are upset at the changes that were made, but I feel like setting it later in the history of New Orleans (the late 1800s instead of in the late 1700s), and changing the race of Louis, is something that will enhance the story, making it deeper than it would have been otherwise, and allowing the current writers to address issues that maybe Rice should have thought of when she wrote the original story. They’ve also aged up Claudia a bit too. In the book, she’s like 8 or 9 years old. In the movie, she’s perhaps 12, and here she looks more like a teenager of 14-16, and they may have done this to avoid certain sensitive issues about having a child vampire, especially if there’s lots of sexuality surrounding the vampires onscreen. This ain’t a movie, where you can lightly “suggest” certain kinds of things, and have people overlook it. Aging her up might have been an attempt to not be “distasteful”, especially after what happened with the hoopla surrounding that movie with the French director and the little dancing girls.
I really enjoyed the film and I saw it a couple of times in the theater. It was directed by Neil Jordan who was most famous for having directed the genderbending The Crying Game. I distinctly remember when the cast was announced for the film. Brad Pitt got a pass, but the announcement of Tom Cruise as Lestat, had quite a number of people blow a gasket, including Oprah Winfrey! (Although I don’t know why she felt a need to chime in on the issue.) I think that Lestat is one of Cruises’ most interesting performances of his career.
Anyway, I hope this is good. In the novel, Louis de Pont Du Lac is a slaveowner, but here the writers have race-bent the character to be a member of the Black upper class, who were known as the Free People of Color, and I thought that was an inspired bit of casting. Rather than trying to redeem the slave-owning Louis, just write that out of the story altogether and then lean into the rest of the history of that area. The history of the Freedmen of New Orleans runs pretty deep and it will be interesting to see what they do with that here.
This looks like a great little actioner from Korea, that seems to have zombies or a plague or something happening in it. I always like action films from Korea because they always bring their A-game and this looks like the kind of movie where you turn your mind off for a while and just have fun with the action scenes.
This is a good movie to watch while you wait for John Wick 4.
John Wick 4
I and a lot of other fans are eagerly looking forward to this new episode in the franchise since I thought at least a few of these characters were dead! So I am glad to see that they are back and still scheming. I’m also a big fan of Keanu and will pretty much watch anything he’s in, even if it’s something I wouldn’t normally be interested in. But one of my other favorite actors is also here, Donnie Yen. And I absolutely cannot miss Keanu going up against such a consummate professional. I’m not particularly interested in the worldbuilding which is very intricate for an Action movie. I’ve paid close enough attention to have some idea of what’s going on, but I’m not too deep into it. The reason people see these movies aren’t necessarily for the plot, but for the action scenes, which are fast and inventive, and this appears to be more of the same.
Tales of the Walking Dead
I told myself I wasn’t going to watch any more of these after quitting the original Walking Dead series, but this looks intriguing enough to catch my interest. This series seems like what the movie World War Z should have been.
WWZ should have been a kind of anthology series covering the various stories about the zombie apocalypse from the book. The problem is that they hired such a huge name to star in the movie that now the entire movie has to revolve around Brad Pitt. I liked the movie more or less. It’s an alright movie on its own but, except for a couple of setpieces, it’s nothing like the book.
Okay, I have to say that at least one of these I probably won’t watch but I know they have a huge fan club and I’m excited on their behalf, and I’m going to wait for these people’s reviews to see if it’s any good. But I absolutely love most of these trailers and I’m really looking forward to seeing if these movies and series can live up to the hype.
I have to confess, I was never an Addams Family fan until the movies came out in the 90s. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely watched the series as a child, and I liked it and thought it was fun, but I’m a Munsters girl and have been ever since. I just loved the wholesome kookiness of it. I even liked that early oughts remake called Mockingbird Lane that never got off the ground.
But I absolutely love this trailer. It perfectly captures the fun, quirky vibe of the original, except with bright fun colors, since the original was in black and white. Also, the soundtrack was always kickin’ it like this! Everything you see in this trailer is pretty much the exact same vibe that was in the series, right down to Herman Munster’s ridiculous laugh.
The nostalgia factor, for those of us who fondly remember the series, is pretty strong here, and it’s probably a movie that’s not to everyone’s tastes, but the point is to go in expecting to have some light-hearted fun, a good time, and not get too deep beyond the message of tolerating strange and unusual people.
And so here it ends. Laurie Strode and Michael Myers have been at each other for four decades, I guess, and here comes the end. It’s time to get this over with, I guess. Sooner or later it was gonna come down to the two of them, since Laurie was always the one who got away.
The second movie in this trilogy was not as good as the first, but I greatly appreciated the effort because it answered a number of questions, and tied up some loose ends.
Now the only question left is: Who will win this fight? And really the answer is totally up in the air at this point because I don’t really think the writers are caring too deeply about what fandom wants, as they in completing an arc.
So yeah, Laurie could very well die at the end, and I need people to understand that’s a very real possibility. Is it gonna hurt if she does? Hell yeah, but I’m preparing myself for that eventuality, just in case. I’m reasonably sure I’m not going to see this in the theater. I’ll wait until it streams because I really don’t think I could sit through that amount of tension in a public space.
I really liked the original movie but apparently THIS IS NOT A REMAKE of that film!!
Guys, this movie is based on the stage musical, which I have never seen. I really like this trailer mostly because I liked the book, and I like musicals. The trailer seems pretty good. I liked the dancing and the little snippets of what songs I heard. I probably will not see this in a theater though I am looking forward to it because I know their are a helluva lot of fans of the original film who think this is a remake of that, and I really hope they like this version.
This looks like the type of martial arts action movie I can get in on. A Lone protagonist, against a city full of assassins and other deranged criminals (and I’m not entirely sure, but possibly zombies!) There’s always some new take on zombie films coming out of Southeast Asia and I am here for it. Don’t get me wrong, I like American zombie films, especially the classics from the 80s, but Taiwan and Korea are really taking this subject to some interesting new places. This seems as if it might be a mashup of two of my favorite topics, so I hope it is zombies, or something zombie adjacent.
The lot sounds pretty pedestrian so I won’t have to think too deeply about. A little boy is carrying a cure for some lethal disease in his blood and needs to be transported and protected to some new location to save humanity. Most action movies are not exceptionally deep plotwise because the focus is supposed to be on the action, and that’s okay. This one is coming to Netflix.
I really like the original Predator movie with Arnold, and I’ve enjoyed at least 3 of the subsequent movies in this franchise. I don’t like all of them, but I have watched all of them, and I plan to watch this series when it comes to Hulu next month. The trailer looks interesting. We have some kind of tribal thing going on, and a female protagonist, which sounds pretty cool, since I actually liked AVP, which also had a female hero. Will this be well executed? I have no idea, but I’m looking forward to taking it for a test drive, and I will probably talk about at least the first episode here.
I mentioned this Netflix movie once before and I just wanted to say, once again, that it looks like a lot of fun. I like Jamie Foxx and Snoop Dogg, it has vampires, and I liked Vampires Vs, Brooklyn. I like that it’s not taking itself too seriously because I’m not watching anything that’s too heavy this Summer.
I’m watching the fourth season of What We Do In The Shadows on Hulu, and The Gray Man, an action film by the Russo Brothers on Netflix.
So me, my niece, nephew, and maybe their dad, have set a date to go see this movie. I think we’ll go see a matinee on Sunday after the release because they’re kids and I’m old, we have more energy during the day, are unlikely to unwillingly fall asleep, and we don’t wanna be up til 11:30 at night (although we probably will because EXCITEMENT is a helluva drug!)
I’m really looking forward to this because this is where the X-Men will be introduced into the MCU in the form of Professor X, played by who else, Patrick Stewart (who’s like a thousand years old, so I don’t know how many more Professor Xs he’s got left.) The Illuminati named in the movie is based on the comic books of the same name, and consist of Namor the Submariner who will probably be introduced here as well, along with Reed Richards Mr. Fantastic, and the Captain’s shield is probably being wielded by Peggy Carter as Captain Britain ( I think she’s called Captain Carter) from the animated What If…? series.
Now would be a good time to introduce a lot of characters from across the multiverse including The Inhumans” Black Bolt (since we have The Eternals), Magneto (since we have Professor X), and Doctor Doom. The Iron Man figure is either one of The Captains Marvel or Riri Williams as The Iron Maiden, and I hope it’s her because I do not believe Iron Man is making a cameo (but I could be wrong.) The movie is introducing us to the multidimensional barrier breaker America Chavez, one of the few Latina superheroes in the MCU.
With the intro of The Illuminati, fan theories are flying fast and loose about the existence of mutants like Wolverine, Magneto, and even Wanda, in the MCU.
Jurassic Park Dominion
Okay, even though I’m already cringing at some of this dialogue, I’m gonna see this anyway because I absolutely love movies like this. I love dinosaurs and I’ve been fascinated with “dinosaurs (and kaiju) in the modern world” movies and books since I was a little kid. It’s one of those things that’s great and horrifying at the same time. Can you imagine encountering a pack of Ankylosaurs while hiking, or being chased by some Raptors on your way to work? (I’m not talking about the sports team). (Although really, dinosaurs can’t possibly make Black Americans’ lives any more dangerous than they already are. I feel like we’d probably just cook out, like usual, and that Americans in general, would use dinosaurs as an excuse to just buy more guns.)
This trailer is hitting all the right notes, and I expect to be frightened, and thrilled, and suspensed, for two-plus hours. All of our favorite characters are here from the original movie, Ellie, Ian, and Alan, and it will be the first time we’ve seen them all together since that time, so I’m really looking forward to this, and I better not be disappointed, or somebody is going to receive a strongly worded letter (but probably just a rant on this blog!)
Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre
I will probably will not go see this in the theater but it looks fun and funny. I’m glad to see Josh Hartnett making a return to a mainstream action movie because I missed him. He looks a little grizzled though. And I’m glad we’re starting to get more Action Comedy type movies. I mean I like the grim/dark-John Wick- Batman type movies but I prefer a good dose of fun and humor with gunfire.
I also like the trailer’s theme song. I’m a sucker for Dean Martin remixes.
Crimes of the Future
This is David Cronenberg’s latest mindbending/ body horror weirdness and I see he’s really going back to his roots here. He got away from it for a bit by making some modern-day crime movies, now I see he’s just going to blend his two favorite topics together, crime and body horror. I’m not seeing this in theaters, since this trailer looks horrifying enough. I can’t make heads or tails out of what’s going on in it, but I’m pretty sure that whatever it is, it’s gonna be Squick-inducing!
Okay, I don’t know what to make of this one. It definitely looks weird enough to be interesting to me but is probably not playing at a theater near…anybody, really. I can wait until it streams somewhere. The special effects don’t look all that great but bad special effects don’t always stop me from watching something. I think this movie is meant to be funny although I didn’t laugh during this trailer. That doesn’t necessarily mean anything either because sometimes the movie is fine and the trailer just stank.
Bodies Bodies Bodies
It turns out that I actually think Pete Davidson is funny and this trailer looks hilarious. I get the impression that this movie was made by someone who gets wokeness, but doesn’t actually hate it. I won’t see this in the theater but I will rent it as soon as it streams. When I first saw this trailer my thoughts were that they definitely need an adult in this situation because these kids are completely ill-equipped to handle a serial killer.
Other films to watch for: Monstrous starring Christina Ricci, Joe Hill’s The Black Phone, an adaptation of one of his short stories, and Night Sky, starring Sissy Spacek.
I mentioned this one in an earlier post. I’m still looking forward to it. My enthusiasm has not waned in the slightest! Here’s the newest trailer. And I love it!
A new Jordan Peele movie is always a major event worth talking about. He is one of the premiere Horror directors today. A lot of people seem to think this is about aliens, but in all likelihood, I think everyone is being misled. I think what’s happening is going to be a lot weirder than aliens, although several people have pointed out that NOPE also stands for Not Of Planet Earth. So there is that, I guess. The trailer looks like something to “nope” right out of anyway, so I’m excited about this.
I am totally in love with Kiki Layne’s character, and that music (Stevie Wonder’s Fingertips Pt 1, which he performed as a teenager!) is totally taking me back. It’s interesting how some directors develop a stable of actors they love to work with a lot, and that’s what we’re seeing here with Daniel Kaluya and Steven Yeun.
I did not have plans to see this in the theater, because I don’t like being scared in public. I already have low-grade anxiety about being in public, and I don’t think adding a scary movie to that is a good idea. However, there is always an exception, and I have seen plenty of other Horror movies in the theater. I will go see this in the theater if my little sister will go with me. (She doesn’t have to hold my hand when I get scared, but that option is on the table.).
Black Adam/The Flash/Aquaman 2
I don’t know anything about Black Adam. Apparently, he is a rival to Shazam (whose name was Captain Marvel, until DC ran into some copyright infringement with Marvel, I think) but I did read the Doctor Fate books, which are DC’s answer to Doctor Strange. (Why is DC and Marvel like this?!!!) I’m excited for this because I love the Doctor Fate character (although that actor is NOT who I envisioned as him), and my personal favorite, Hawkman. (I did envision Aldous Hodge as Hawkman many many times, however!)
I am still cautiously excited about The Flash movie.
I haven’t even watched the first Aquaman movie, which has been readily available to me on HBO all year long. I mean, I started watching it, got sidetracked, and never started it again. I guess I’ll get around to it before this sequel is released if I remember.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Here’s the newest Doctor Strange trailer. The movie looks pretty wild. Also check out the newest superhero introduced here, America Chavez, whose presence here is entirely appropriate, since she is kind of a dimension-hopping, female version of Captain America. At least that was how she was originally introduced in the comic books. (Her backstory has since been altered to something a little different.) I think Strange is going to need her ability to crash through the walls between worlds. There’s also, I’m told a tiny cameo of Patrick Stewart. If true, then the implications of his presence are really huge for the future of the MCU.
Man Who Fell To Earth (Showtime)
I remember watching the David Bowie version of this (it was released in the early 70s) when I was in my twenties, and mostly I was just baffled. Afterward, I attempted to read the book, which made more sense than the film. I think the Bowie film is just artsy, for the sake of being so, and deliberately confusing. I think this version will probably be much more accessible to any viewers than the ealrier one, but that doesnt mean you shouldnt go check that out, because it is worth the watch.
I’m a big fan of Chiwetel Ejiofor (Doctor Strange’s Mordo). He always brings his A-game, and I like that this also stars one of my favorite actresses, Naomie Harris, (Shriek from Venom, Ms. Moneypenny from Skyfall) who really doesn’t get enough fan love. I am cautiously excited about this because there are about a million ways to mess this up, and/or lose my interest.
The Rings of Power (LOTR Series)
I was waiting for the trailer to decide if I was going to watch this, and I’m in. I like the premise and I’m told a few old favorites from the movies will turn up in cameos (Elrond and Galadriel). I’m not a Tolkien enthusiast really, but I’m more excited about actual Tolkien films than the many thousands of high fantasy Tolkien ripoffs that exist, and I know just enough about his works, that I can find my way around a series based on them. (I’m also glad someone remembered that black people like to see themselves in fantasy works, historical accuracy be damned, and let’s watch the bigots in the fandom of LOTR act like whole ass fools because of that. They are as predictable as gravity at this point!)
Here’s a list of some of my most anticipated movies and shows of 2022. Now, this is not necessarily a hard and fast thing because sometimes my enthusiasm for something will wane, and I’m not sure why that is. I do not have railers for some of these, but as soon as one appears I’ll be sure to post it. some of the trailers can be found in my “Yay! New Trailers!” post from a couple of weeks ago.
But this is where the year starts and my mileage about these may vary, I guess.
I don’t know that we needed yet another Batman film after The Dark Knight trilogy, and several television shows, but this is where we are now. I wanna feel some type of way about this but hey! whenever we get a new Spiderman movie, I make no objection, so why here? Anyway, I am tenuously excited about this one, but will probably will not be seeing this in the theater.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
This is one I’ve already talked about, and I will have to see this one in the theatre, because my nephew has decided!
This is Robert Eggers newest film, and it is really hotly anticipated. Eggers is the Director of The Witch, and The Lighthouse. I loved The Witch, but I found The Lighthouse fascinating but inscrutable. This movie looks much more accessible to mainstream audiences and that’s not a bad thing. I’m looking forward to it.
Thor: Love and Thunder
I am officially a fan of Taika Waititi, so I’m very excited about this movie. I wasn’t really a big fan of the first two Thor films. I watched them, but I was not galvanized or enthused. Ragnarok was a great ride, and I’m looking forward to seeing where Thor’s story goes after the events of Endgame. When last we saw him, he was hanging out with the Guardians of the Galaxy, so I’m interested to see how Taika approaches the relationships between those characters, and compare his versions of them to James Gunn’s.
Jurassic World: Dominion
I love dinosaurs. I love dinosaurs trapped in the modern age. I love dinosaurs attacking the city. I will probably love this movie. Probably…
I don’t care what anybody says I really like this version of The Flash, and if Grant Gustin, from the TV series, shows up, that’s good too! Authorities say that this is one of those multiverse movies where we meet different versions of The Flash as he attempts to turn back time to save his mother. I am only passingly familiar with the Flashpoint plotline, but this is probably not going to be too deep to follow.
Spiderman: Across the Mulitverse
I’m ready for this. I think the first movie was astonishing, and fun, and I’m ready to go on an adventure with Miles, not that we’ve gotten the origin story, and establishing his character, out of the way.
I…don’t know anything about Black Adam as a character. I think I actively avoided this character in the comic books, but the character is being played by Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock, and I really like him, so I’ll probably watch this, even though he’s giving off some Thanos vibes in the trailer.
All of this movie watching is contingent upon how badly or well the US is dealing with the Covid surge, because we may have an entirely new variant by Summer, when most of these movies will be released.
Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever
This of course is a must-see, no matter how badly the US is handling the pandemic. I have a number of things I would love to see in the sequel, especially after The Multiverse of Madness, but I don’t want to create expectations. I just want to walk into this movie and accept whatever story will be given to me. As soon as the trailer drops, I’ll post it!
Everything Everywhere All At Once
I spoke about this one in the new trailers post. I’m looking forward to watching this…on some streaming channel. Yeah, I’m not seeing this in the theatre no matter how much I love Michelle Yeoh.
Oh, this is another must-see, but I probably won’t see it in the theater. While the Black Panther sequel may be enough to get me to sit in a crowd of people, this one is not. I have issues with crowds without the existence of a pandemic, so I am early opting out of seeing this in the theatre. I am going to watch closely for the trailer though, and post it as soon as it drops, probably with some commentary because any movie by Jordan Peele is a drop everything and talk about it affair.
I talked about my expectations for this one in the mini-review that I did for Halloween Kills. This is the last movie in the trilogy that’s produced by John Carpenter.
Okay, here’s what happened. I hadn’t heard anything about this until after I watched most of The Stand, (I was unimpressed), then went to Google to look up whether or not there were going to be any future adaptations of Stephen King’s books, and I stumbled across this. I am cautiously excited about this because this was the first Stephen King book I ever read.
When I was about nine or ten years old, I discovered a box of books my mom had in her bedroom, and I went through them because…hey!books! and I came across a paperback with a black cover, that had an embossed picture of a woman on it, with a single drop of blood falling from her lips. That was the book and the moment.
So, I did enjoy the last couple of interpretations of this book though, (the first in 1979, and the last one around 2004), so how bad could another updated version be? Right? Right?
Future King Adaptations in Production, or Post-Production: Christine, Jerusalem’s Lot TV Series, Firestarter, Overlook, The Talisman,
I don’t know if this is hotly anticipated, but I recently watched the original, and yeah, although the original is okay, it’s only okay for the 1980s. It definitely needs to be updated and all of the sequels ignored. What’s intriguing about this one is Pinhead will be played by an actress this time.
John Wick 4
It’s hard to mess up a John Wick movie, and I really enjoyed all the other ones. These movies aren’t especially deep, but they are great for action.
Mission Impossible 7
Here’s another franchise known for its great action scenes. I really liked all the others in the series, especially the last one. Cruise is getting up there, but that hasn’t seemed to stop him from doing some crazy sh** onscreen!
Blade Killer (Wesley Snipes)
It is my understanding that this is NOT a Blade sequel, but is sort of based on the character, and meant to take advantage of the new Blade movie coming to the MCU. I actually like Wesley Snipes. he was the fight choreographer for the first two Blade movies, so I trust his action-sense, and this sounds interesting. Normally these types of movies turn out to be cheap knockoffs but Snipes might actually pull it off.
Stranger Things 4
I watched the first season, skipped the second except for a couple of episodes, and really enjoyed the third season, getting into the characters and plot. I don’t know how I’ll feel by the time the new season is released, by for now, I’m looking forward to it.
Umbrella Academy 3
The last season left off on a cliffhanger, so I have to watch this new season to see how everything turns out. Also, I’m intrigued about the Eliot Page situation (he played Vanya Hargreeves) now that he has transitioned. Vanya is an interchangeable name so this could be played in some interesting ways.
The Gilded Age
I’m into this for the costumes! The costuming is gorgeous! The production values look awesome.
This has already aired so I’m gonna check it out and get back to you guys about the pilot episode.
Obi Wan Kenobi
I can’t say I ever paid very close attention to Obi Wan throughout any of the films. I dint watch Clone Wars either, but I guess I’m gonna watch this because I kind of like the character a bit. I know this sounds a bit lukewarm, but that’s all I got right now, as far as watching TV series.
Now, this one I’m excited about because I just love Kamala Khan from the books. She is so darling! I hope they keep some of that quality of innocence, and her attachment to her culture, in the series. It’s also going to be fun because we’ll get to see Teyonah Parris/Monica Rambeau as the Black version of Captain Marvel, (later known as Spectrum), which is the one I grew up reading. I also have it on good authority that Ironheart, the Black female successor to the Iron man legacy, will also be showing up in the series.
I talked about this series in the new trailers post. The show starts on the 13th of this month, so I’m ready. It looks funny and explosive!
I had wished that they’d chosen an actual African’Egyptian person to play this character, but I will not object to Oscar Isaac in this role. I don’t know everything about Moon Knight, but I have encountered the character in plenty of crossover stories in the comic books, and I was always intrigued by the idea of someone being “chosen” t be a superhero who has a mental illness. I do expect the usual tropes about mental illness because this is Disney, and they’re not especially groundbreaking, but I do expect a lot of great action scenes, since Moon Knight is one of the greatest fighters in Marvel.
Okay, this is the one I’m really looking forward to. Just like for a lot of comic book guys The Watchmen was their big thing growing up, for me it was Sandman. I’m ready for this because I really loved that first season of American Gods, and I;m hoping for something on that level.
I’m not sure how I feel about this but someone somewhere is very excited about this show. I read the She Hulk comic books during the Byrne and Buscema eras. I didn’t read any of the later books, so I don’t exactly know what to expect, but I like the actress, and I like She Hulk, so Imma check it out.
Strange New Worlds
I’ve talked about my enthusiasm for this new Star Trek series. Is there too much Trek? One could make that argument if one insisted on watching all of them, but I’m mostly ignoring everything but Discovery. I may or may not watch Picard, but I will definitely be watching this.
The Witcher: Blood Origin
I have been completely ignoring the current Witcher series, but am perfectly willing to watch this one because it stars Michelle Yeoh.
Quite a few hotly anticipated films were released in 2021. Well, they were hotly anticipated by me. I didn’t spend a lot of time watching movies that were off my list of films because I was so busy dealing with my mother’s health issues, which was pretty stressful. (I’m not so much recovering from my Mother’s passing as I am from the sheer emotional stress of trying to keep her alive.)
As a result, I spent a lot of time watching a lot of stress- relieving TV series, standup comedies, or just things that simply weren’t very emotionally taxing. I just didn’t have the bandwidth for much more than that. This also meant that I watched a lot more escapist-type movies, MCU films, or just films without any heavy topics. But these were my favorites of all the movies I got to see.
Keep in mind, that I also tend to like a lot of what I watch because I’m not a professional critic, so don’t have to watch anything I don’t want to, and I tend to gravitate to movies and shows that I think will make me happy, or at the very least, make me think! Unlike professional critics, I don’t have to soldier through a movie that’s not working for me. I can always turn it off and walk away. I never hate-watch anything because life is too short to be subjecting myself to unpleasant movie-watching experiences as a form of fun! I love movies though, and can always find something I liked about most of the things I subject myself to.
And that’s the same aesthetic I carried into the TV series I watched this year. There were a lot of superhero shows, some comedies (a lot of standup), all of the MCU series except Loki, and lots of Youtube.
Spiderman: No Way Home
I do not as a general rule, rank things according to best to worst, or by numbers. My mind simply doesn’t work that way. For me, I either liked a movie, or I didn’t, and it starts with how the movie made me feel. If I didn’t like it, I won’t expend any more energy thinking about it, beyond what went wrong for me. That said, while this isn’t my absolute favorite movie this year, it is extremely high on my list of favorites because:
I went to the theater for the first time since 2019, and the first time without Mom. I took my niece and nephew instead. My nephew is ten and is a huge Spiderman fan, even though he doesn’t read comic books! It was so much fun sitting there speculating about the plot and characters with him, while trying to keep my youngest niece from eating all the popcorn and making herself sick. My oldest niece, The Potato, couldn’t make it.
I rated this movie at the top of my list largely because of the fun factors of going to the theater with my family, and the movie itself. My nephew and I are both huge Spiderman fans, so we were probably gonna like it regardless! And it was pretty neat watching him be excited about the two Spidermen that he wasn’t around to see that first time, as he’s only been alive since the Holland era!
I have a different attitude towards being a comic book/superhero nerd than a lot of other people. I do not engage in gatekeeping because the way I grew up I was wholly and completely alone in these geeky interests. There wasn’t anyone around to be geeky with, so I’m loving this thing where I get to share these interests with my nephew, who is also incredibly knowledgable, for one so young!
Expect to read more of my takes on Spiderman in the coming weeks.
I absolutely loved this movie, which has so much depth that, like most of Villeneuve’s movies, it’s gonna take a minute (and probably several posts and re-watches) to sort out my thoughts and feelings. If I had to rank this film I would put this at not only my most hotly anticipated film, but the best SciFi movie of the year.
Like Bladerunner 2049, this is a very immersive film, not just visually, but through plot, sound, and character. I’ve watched this multiple times, (it was on HBOMax), and the more I think of it, the more layers I find. Villenueve really did an exceptional job with this film, and I will be discussing this some more when Dune returns to HBOMax at the end of this month.
The Suicide Squad
And this is why it’s so hard for my brain to rank movies. I absolutely loved this film too, and would also count this one as one of the best movies of the year. This movie isn’t half as shallow as people think it is, considering it is a kind of grindhouse/found-family/superhero movie. I mean, if you’re a fan of the show Invincible, or the TV series The Boys, or Preacher, you might like this movie. It’s gory, fun, funny, utterly ridiculous, and has a surprising amount of pathos. I posted about this earlier. I am one of five people who are readily willing to admit that they actually liked the first movie too. I loved the characters mostly, and their interactions, and this movie built on that beautifully, even if I did miss Will Smith.
James Gunn has an incredible knack for taking characters you’re not supposed to like, characters who are villains, and making them nuanced and sympathetic. He even manages to make the final boss, Starro the Conqueror, a sympathetic character! He’s really good at getting you to care about them, and he’s done this in movie, after movie, after movie, from Dawn of the Dead, to Slither, to Guardians of the Galaxy. I trust him as a director, and can’t wait to see what he’s going to do next (probably Guardians of the Galaxy 3).
The Harder They Fall
I spoke briefly about this movie before it was released on Netflix. This movie just has a coolness factor that is simply unparalleled. It’s definitely the kind of movie Quentin Tarantino would’ve loved, except with a lot less use of the N*word. (That’s the difference between having a white director vs a Black one. White directors like Tarantino will throw that word around in the script, with no regard for Black audiences, because they think it’s more important to be edgy. Black directors almost never do this without considering that Black people will be watching it. Not that they don’t use the word, but when they do, it usually serves more purpose.)
That said, the movie’s focus is on style, and feelings, and not so much on truth or facts. Most of the characters in the movie lived in slightly different time periods, and never met each other, but that’s not a drawback, as far as I’m concerned, although some people seemed outraged at the idea. The movie is also a who’s who of Black cinema with Idris Elba, Regina King, Delroy Lindo, Zazie Beetz, and my personal favorite (as an actor and a character) Lakeith Stanfield, who is very possibly, one of the coolest Black men to ever be seen in a Western!
The movie doesn’t just have a coolness factor, there are layers, and it pays to know a little bit about the time period in which the film is set, which is that little slice of time just after the Civil War. So much of the history of the West has been thoroughly whitewashed, but basically all the stories you either watched and or read about that only had white characters, well Black, Brown, and Indigenous people were all engaging in the same types of stories. They formed gangs, committed crimes, caught criminals, loved, fought, and died on horseback, too, and we never got any of these stories because a film industry run almost entirely by straight white men wasn’t interested in telling them.
Army of the Dead
For some reason, this movie caught a lot of flack from critics for being dumb, but I enjoyed it because sometimes the term dumb is being used in place of “fun”! That said, this is one of the more fun zombie films ever made. It’s not on the level of Shaun of the Dead, but it was a lot of fun, with a surprising amount of depth of feeling. I wrote about this movie in an earlier review, and I talked about Zack Snyder’s relationship to the film and its characters.
I do wonder why no one ever decided to combine the heist narrative with the zombie apocalypse, and I hope to see more of these kinds of zombie mashups in the future.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League
As I said in an earlier post, I wasn’t one of the people clamoring for the release of this movie. I was largely indifferent to the first version, and gave it no more thought after I watched it. There was a lot of the movie that, while watchable, just didn’t impress me much. But the Snyder cut deepened two of my favorite characters, who got short shrift in the theatrical version, and gave me mad respect for an old character that I just wasn’t feeling before: The Flash, Cyborg, and Wonder Woman, and I will always love this movie for that.
It doesn’t hurt that the villain was significantly more impressive, the plot was more coherent, and the action scenes looked excessively cool, especially Wonder Woman’s scenes. I discussed all of this in one of my mini reviews last year.
I generally liked The Eternals. I am a big fan of Chloe Zhao because of Nomadland, and I really “enjoyed” that movie, and I could definitely see her flavor of filmmaking here. It was a very “comfortable”, and “comforting” movie to settle into, because she has a different, quieter, and less “jangly” style of filmmaking than the other MCU films. The sounds, color, characters, all it just felt different.
As I said before, my way “into” a movie is often through its characters. The characters are quirky, or interesting, or sometimes I just see myself in them, and I think that’s why I liked the characters in this movie so much. They’re superpowered characters who just felt like people, and I actually liked all of them. I feel like the characters, and their relationships with one another was the movie’s strongest aspect.
The movie’s weakest aspect was the plot, which feels a bit disjointed at first, but then after a while, it just falls flat. I simply didn’t care about the plot, and I wasn’t invested in it. I will watch it again because the characters are all so likable, and the absolute best part of the film, but the plot didn’t move me at all!
Rurouni Kenshin: The Finale/The Beginning
I have an entire post dedicated to this five-part series of live-action movies, based on the anime. Keep in mind that that post will be only about the films because I never watched any of the anime, or read the manga. There is a lot to be said about this series, which is fun and action packed, and like a lot of Japanese projects has elements of everything: war, romance, martial arts, comedy. Right now, the last two parts of this series is available on Netflix, so check it out before I finish writing my review!
The Green Knight
I don’t have a whole lot to say about this movie. It’s very much a “were you feeling it”, dream sequence style of movie. If you’re not onboard with dream logic, magical plot points, and weird characters, or are simply unfamiliar with the original story of Gawain and the Green Knight, you’re not going to get a lot of mileage out of this movie beyond the visuals. That said, I didn’t get a lot of meaning out of it, although I’m sure it’s in there. I was simply too caught up in just following the story, and the cinematography, which is okay since it takes multiple viewings for me to get to the meaning of something at times, and I have not had the opportunity to re-watch it, since I haven’t rented it again. The movie is definitely haunting me though, so I may have to.
A lot of people claimed that this movie was too slow, it didn’t have enough gore or killing in it, (as if that were the only criteria for a Horror movie), and that the plot made no sense, but Candyman is essentially a mashup of a slasher film and a ghost story, and I found it very satisfactory. Yes, it started off slow, but that is entirely in keeping with the narrative of the ghost story, where the foundation has to be set up before we can move on to the actual “haunting” section of the story, and I don’t mind slow-moving Horror.
I was impressed with how much of the original story was integrated into this one, and of course, there might have been some people who were confused about what type of movie this was, because knowing that makes it easier to slot it into a category they can understand. This definitely isn’t a prequel, and it’s not exactly a remake. It’s more of an updated sequel, continuing the story that was set up in the last movie, but with new information (since the Cabrini Green Housing Projects are now extinct), and new characters, and expanding the story to give it a kind of global mythology, and I really liked that.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen turns in a great performance, which is a sort of a reprisal of the role of Helen, in the first film. I’m getting really attached to this actor, because he keeps showing up in everything I want to watch. If you were hoping for more of Tony Todd, then you’ll be disappointed, because this version isn’t really about him, and he doesn’t turn up until the end of the movie. I feel like people’s mileage may vary regarding Horror movies depending on what expectations they bring into it. I’m not quite sure what I expected. I went into this having read the original story by Clive Barker, but only having watched the first movie a couple of times, and not being especially impressed by it.
As I said, this is a quiet, dialogue-heavy film that relies more on producing feelings of dread than gore and body counts, and I was here for it. Is it as good as Get Out, or Us? Maybe not, but I am here for this new wave of Horror movies featuring Black casts and mythologies, from the above named films, and movies like Vampires vs Brooklyn, to TV shows like Lovecraft Country.
Last Night in Soho
This movie made this list because I’ve always been fascinated by 1960’s London fashion and culture, which this movie captures beautifully. It’s not a great film, but it makes a really good effort at being great, it looks gorgeous, and it’s by one of my favorite directors, Edgar Wright. The drawback was that I wasn’t feeling the characters and plot that deeply. I just wasn’t very emotionally engaged with what happened to any of the characters, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t check it out. Its exceptionally stylish, and you may feel about the characters in a way that I didn’t.
There has been a lot of criticism of this movie as being stupid, and I feel I need to make the distinction here. The characters in the film are deeply stupid, which is par for the course when it comes to Horror movies, so I’m not sure why people are outraged about it here. The film itself has a point it wants to make, and I feel makes it beautifully. If the first film was about dealing with the aftermath of traumatic events, than this movie is about regret. I spoke about this in a previous post, and I stand by that. This was also the last Horror movie I watched with my Mom, who was, shall I say…unimpressed.
A GAME EFFORT:
These are movies that made a pretty game effort at being my favorites of the year, or at least the most entertaining, but for one reason or another just fell short. Not that I didn’t enjoy them, or that they were bad films, they just didn’t make it into the top ten.
These movies are all still well worth watching, and I watched a lot more movies than the ones on this list, but some movies stick in your memory, and others just don’t.
Shang Chi: Legend of the Ten Rings
This is another movie where the plot fell flat for me, but I absolutely loved the characters and the action. The stand out character for me wasn’t Shang Chi, but his father, Wenwu, played by one of my favorite actors, Tony Leung. I think I may be in love with his heartfelt, soulful facial expressions, and that voice! He’s just dreamy…uhm okay…let move on.
Like I said, the weakest part was the plot. There are a few moments that pulled me right out of the film, or that I simply didn’t like, although the action scenes were very good, until the end of the movie, when all the fighting went on just a little too long, and so was a little bit tiresome. The same problem I ran into while watching Black Panther. It’s about people, until the end, then it’s just a too long action sequence with not enough “people” in it. Contrast that ending with the ending of The Eternals, or even Avengers Endgame, which still had some great character defining moments during the last fight scene.
But I do like Shang Chi, and the movie would’ve been higher on this list, except it got beat out by a couple of other films. It’s a fun, entertaining film, with two of my favorite actors, (Michelle Yeoh, and Tony Leung), and I’m really looking forward to whatever movie the “almost as likable as Spiderman”, Shang Chi shows up next!
I tried really hard to like this movie. I loved the action sequences, and one of the two primary characters was played by Jessica Henwick, who I was surprised to see got a lot (and I mean a lot!) of screen time. I loved her character, and Yahya’s version of Morpheus was great, and totally bad ass. I was less than impressed with Neo’s role, but Carrie Ann Moss’ character was good in the quieter, dialogue heavy moments, which I actually liked. For example, I thoroughly enjoyed her first meeting with Neo.
Where the movie fell flat, for me, was its treatment of mental illness, and parts of the plot. As I’ve said before, I’ve had some mental illness and suicide issues in the past, and parts of this movie were less enjoyable for me because they hit just a little too close to home, and kind of broadsided me with no warning. This doesn’t mean it’s a bad film, it just means it was especially triggering for me. I was very excited to see it, though, and will definitely watch it again, because the action scenes are really cool, and I really enjoyed the ending.
Also, I’m still not invested in Neo and Trinity’s relationship. They either have no chemistry or I’m still just not feeling it. The plot of the movie needs some work, and there were bits of it that felt a little soul-less, although there’s more humor in it than the last movies. I’m a big fan of the Wachowski Sisters, and I enjoyed Sense8, so I’m on board with anything else Lana comes up with in the future.
And Let’s Not Forget:
Once again, the characters were great, and I liked the action, but the plot didn’t impress me much, and I kept wandering off to do something else, while the movie played in the background. The best character in the entire movie, of course, was Yelena, and I’ve really enjoyed seeing her in the Hawkeye TV series. I
I’ve been really impressed by Florence Pugh (Yelena). The last time I saw her was in Midsommar, where she simply tore it up, and I’m really looking forward to seeing where her career goes in the MCU. She is a worthy successor to the old Black Widow played by Scarlett Johansson. Interestingly it’s the Yelena version of Black Widow that I’m most familiar from the comic books. I was well aware of the other Black Widow, but indifferent to her, never paying much attention, and I never read any of her adventures. I do remember some stories of Yelena and Hawkeye working together though.
This is a pretty solid and gory horror movie that is yet again, about the Wendigo, and I’m here for it. It’s scary enough, but also a little predictable, the plot, and some of the acting didn’t meet my exacting criteria/s, so it didn’t make it very high on my list, but I just watched it, and it seems to be sticking with me, and I guess that’s a good thing. Not as good as Last Night in Soho, but better than Halloween Kills, I think.
I really liked this one, but I didn’t love it. It’s about a couple on a sheep farm, who lost their daughter fairly recently, and have not moved on from their grief. When one of their sheep gives birth to a half lamb, half human creature (thanks to a large half man, half ram creature assaulting their flock), they steal it, and raise it as their own. You can guess that things come to a bad end.
I cannot say the movie is “enjoyable” because it’s just too disturbing for that, but it is dreadful, and haunting, and that’s enough to make it onto this list.
Mom managed to talk me into going to see this movie, which I had no plans to see, at the theater. I didn’t want to see it, not because I thought it was going to be bad, (I was really intrigued by it), but because sometimes my anxiety likes to ramp itself up, and I can’t leave the theater. When you’re at home you can turn off the TV, or pause a disc, but its a lot harder to call time out in public. I told her this, but she really wanted to see it, and it really did look good, so we agreed that I could hold her hand if I got too scared.
I loved it, actually. I love scary movies, but usually only only watch them when I can control my reaction to them. I didn’t get too scared, though. There were a couple of moments where I was white knuckling it a bit, because I really did like the characters, and empathized with them. One of the ways of controlling my anxiety is telling myself is that its okay, I’m not actually in any danger, and this is what I’m supposed to be feeling during such scenes. This is a process that may, or may not, work for you in public, but I have many, many years of practice at managing such this.
Also, one of the reasons I didn’t get too worked up is because the movie isn’t exactly what I expected. It has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Normally, I don’t give a fly what a movie’s rating is on that site, but in this case, I understand why it’s rated so high, and I see why people are crazy about it. It really is very good, just not what I was expecting. I was expecting more bombast, more jump scares, lots of monsters, but the writers did more interesting things.
If you’re going to see this for the monster, or for gore, you’re going to be disappointed. There’s not much of either, beyond the occasional blink and you’ll miss it shot. You do get a good look at the monster eventually, but the monsters are not the focus of the movie. Like the movie Alien, the focus is the relationships between the characters, and how they’re dealing with a horrific situation.
The Earth has experienced some kind of alien invasion, most of humanity has been killed, and the ones left alive mostly live underground, and can’t make any noise, or the aliens, which operate solely on sound waves, (they don’t have eyes) will attack them. The aliens are extremely fast and brutal, with long legs, and giant claws. They don’t eat their victims it seems. They just kill them. I think they just dislike noise. I had the impression that they view loud noises as some sort of attack, rather than as a source of food.
The movie follows a family with a deaf daughter, and a hearing son, who are navigating this world with its new set of rules. They go barefoot, along sand trails that have been set down by the father, to the places they most often frequent. They use American Sign Language to communicate. They wear headphones to listen to anything. They live above ground during the day because the father has been working to perfect a radio system to communicate with any other people.
Most of this information you can get from paying close attention to what’s happening on the screen. There’s no sound for most of the movies running time, so there’s plenty of time to concentrate, and if you don’t like to read movies…too bad.. you’re to see this movie anyway, and like it!
The terror comes from the logistics of living in a world in which the slightest sound you make could get you killed. When you think about it, human beings are made up of nothing but noise. It seems to be our primary superpower, and kids and babies are noise personified. Getting above a certain decibel level attracts the monsters, and just because you hunker down and get quiet doesn’t mean necessarily mean they go away. There are work-arounds to be had, though. For example, natural sounds like running water, wind, storms, etc.do not attract them, and if you’re near something that’s a natural sound, that’s louder than whatever noise you’re making, you’re mostly safe. I enjoyed watching some of the father’s clever ideas of living within the rules.
The movie is mostly about this family, their relationships, how they feel about what’s happening and how they navigate this world. The parents are genuinely in love, they love their kids deeply, and most of the film’s tension arises from their need to keep their children safe, and past guilts. At the beginning of the movie something horrible happens that the daughter spends the rest of the movie blaming herself for, and believing her father blames her and hates her for, too. Meanwhile, the mother also blames herself for it, and the son is just terrified of living in this world, in general.
I loved Emily Blunt here. I’ve been a fan of hers for a while now, and she really carries the emotionalism in this movie. The rest of the cast is good too, especially the little actress who plays the daughter. I really enjoyed her performance, although I could’ve done without the “kids wander off on their own” plot points. A lot of the plot points are predictable too, but the acting is so well done, you’re not particularly bothered by that. And the movie is just beautiful to look at. The country landscape is lush and green and…quiet.
There were a few things I noticed that I had questions about, and a lot of things you can infer from the information onscreen. I understand why cities would have been abandoned. And we witness that any animal that makes noise will be attacked, not just human beings, which implies that most of Earth’s ground animals were probably killed. We can still see that there are some birds left, and that would make some sense.
My biggest problem was the ending, which was only disappointing in the sense that I wanted more of it. I wanted to see a big boss battle at the end. I wanted a little bit more closure. But I get why the movie ended the way it did. You get to tell your own ending and the one I made up was a happy one, that fits the last image we see.
*I just wanted to elaborate on this article, that I posted earlier in the year, on the topic of how race is depicted in SFF genre films and shows. No matter how well meaning the filmmakers may be, their blind spot is almost always racial in nature, and it is impossible to completely and fully tell certain narratives, if the creators refuse to even look in the direction of race. I don’t know if it’s intentional, or deliberate, but one of the failures of modern SFF cinema is an inability to approach the subject of racism from an honest perspective, when these creators are White. This is why creators like Jordan Peele, Ava Duverney, John Cho, and even Rod Serling are so important. They did not (do not) ignore race as a factor in the stories they are (were) trying to tell.
Why Don’t Dystopias Know How to Talk About Race?
————Fantasy novelist Daniel José Older sees the problem as a failure of imagination and craft. “I find it very telling how little these worlds that are so much about power and oppression and ways of resistance also magically somehow have solved race,” he said. “On the one hand it’s a truth failure in the sense of it doesn’t feel real to anyone who knows about the lasting power of racism and to anyone who is paying attention to the world today. And it’s a craft failure in that it is a tremendous missed opportunity to develop the world more deeply.”
* I’ve been seeing an increasing number of SciFi shows where Blacks, and other minorities, are being cast as the oppressors of White protagonists. We’re not arguing that PoC can’t work for oppressive systems, because plenty of them do. And we’re not arguing that PoC cannot discriminate against White people.Yes, we know PoC can be bigots (towards other PoC, mostly) but that’s not what is being discussed here.
We’re talking about the casting of Black people, particularly, dark skinned, Black women, as virulently racist bigots, which is starting to become a trope. From Teen Wolf, to The Gifted, to Heroes Reborn, I think the White male writers who create these shows are starting to get a little too comfortable with this idea.
They don’t seem comfortable with depicting actual racism towards PoC by White people, and they continue to cast White actors as the oppressed minorities in these racial allegories (like The Handmaid’s Tale). It’s especially galling in a racism/slavery allegory, to not only erase the existence of PoC, who are actually experiencing what is being depicted onscreen, in the real world, but to cast them in the roles of the oppressors, and I’m not here for it. I’m also not here for White Writers stealing the narratives of oppressed people of color, but then NOT including any of those oppressed people in the story. (I touched on this briefly in my review of The Gifted.)
One of the major reasons I stopped watching Heroes Reborn wasn’t just because of its lackluster, badly written plot, but because a Black woman was cast as a virulently nasty, hardline racist, who was willing to kill children, and the children they showed her killing, were White. This is the same plotline used in the final season of Teen Wolf, where a Black woman is seen killing and sometimes torturing White teens, and again, in the show The Gifted, you have a brown-skin man, of indeterminate race, spouting racist jargon against the White protagonists of the show, and hunting and arresting White kids. All of these shows steal the narrative of Black and Brown people being killed (shot, tortured, and abused) by people in positions of authority, but does not include any of these Brown people in the story that’s being told. Instead, casting White actors in roles that real PoC actually live out.
The Gifted is even more annoying because there are PoC on the show who are members of the oppressed minority, but we don’t get to see their stories, sympathize with them, or understand what their lives were like. We do get to see them be bravely tortured by the government, which sends the message that not only are our stories available for consumption, but the pain and degradation of PoC is as well.
Just Like A Caucasian
How Sci-Fi and Fantasy Television Shows Always Get Racism Wrong.
**Reprinting my review of The Gifted, (which I wrote before I saw this article)
I’m simply not in the mood for this show, and I’m fed up with this type of plot, now. It’s loosely based on some of the X-Men and New Mutants comic books, in that it has some Sentinel plotline, and some of the characters from those groups. Stephen Moyer stars as a lawyer who used to prosecute mutant criminals, and the father of two young mutants, now on the run from the government, which is rounding up mutants and imprisoning them in scientific camps.
I tried watching the first episodes, and while I like a couple of the characters, the show is simply not compelling enough to keep me watching it every week. The characters have the usual teenage angst, with superpowers, that made me dislike the First X-Men movie. Blink is a teenager who can teleport by creating portals, and Thunderbird, who is Native American, is a kind of tracker of people and things. I’m dismayed that the show used the Native American tracker stereotype, as that’s nothing like Thunderbird’s actual powers in the books, which consists of speed and strength.
And I’m just not here for yet another plotline of people with superpowers being rounded up and used by the government. This seems to be the only plotline they can come up with for superpowered characters, especially on TV, and once again, there is only the focus on how this affects White, suburban, middle-class families.
Just like with the show Heroes, there is no focus on how the discovery of superpowers would affect any marginalized communities, something I would consider much more entertaining, and which the show Cleverman handled with a certain amount of depth. As I complained about before, we keep getting stories about middle-class White characters being subjected to the same oppressions that have been visited on marginalized communities. This show would have had far more depth and been much more interesting if it had been set in the G/L community, or the Black and Latinx communities, in which this type of interment is already occurring.
In the forties, the Japanese were rounded up in internment camps because they were considered a danger to the US, and later, authorities used to raid the gay and lesbian communities and lock them in jails with the full force of legal authority behind them. Today, its immigration officials grabbing random Brown people out of their homes, and locking them up on suspicion of being illegal immigrants. What do you want to bet that none of these things will be addressed in yet another show where we see average White people being treated in the same manner?
*For further reading check out Malikali’s article on The Ellison Test. It’s great reading, and available on Medium.com, (which I can’t link to here.)
Another way that TV and movies get racism wrong is the constant message, and I’m not certain this is intentional, is the idea that the people being oppressed actually are powerful and dangerous and need to be controlled. So, while Hollywood steals the narratives of PoC to sell their oppression stories of White people, they paradoxically send the message that the oppression is also deserved. This is what went wrong with the movie Zootopia. Zootopia made some excellent points about discrimination, but the animals being discriminated against are all powerful animals that traditionally eat other animals. There’s also the setup that in the past these animals did indeed eat the lesser animals, and so deserve persecution and fear. So Zootopia is trying to tell a story condemning the discrimination and persecution of others is wrong, it reinforces the idea that the ones being persecuted deserved to be feared and hated.
This is also the same problem I ran into with the X-Men and Mutant hysteria plotlines of The Gifted. The persecuted minority are actually exceptionally powerful beings, and actually can destroy human life, and even the entire world, which goes against the racism metaphor the stories are trying to establish, and defeats the anti-discrimination message that’s being touted.
One story that does get the themes mostly correct is the graphic novel called Maus by Art Spiegelman, in which the Jewish people are represented as helpless prey animals being harmed by cats. The cats are depicted as Nazis.
How Zootopia Gets Its Own Point Exactly Backwards
———–The movie starts with a history of the world, explaining that while predators used to be uncontrollably violent, they have since been civilized and can now live among prey animals, which also means behaving like prey animals (prey animals aren’t asked to accommodate their behavior for predators at all). Because in Zootopia there’s a right way to live and a wrong way to live, and some animals are — in the context of this movie — biologically programmed to live wrong. They have to be corrected in order to fit in with proper, civilized society.
Zootopia wants to teach kids about prejudice. Is it accidentally sending the wrong message?
————–The most natural line to draw between the two is that Zootopia‘s predators stand in for black men in our world, and one needs only look at the resurfacing of Hillary Clinton’s “superpredators” clip from the ’90s to know why that’s potentially inflammatory territory.
But all of this pales in comparison to the fact that when you scrutinize Zootopia‘s core metaphor for even a second, it struggles to make sense on a literal level. Yes, the film’s message is that Judy learns to trust Nick, even though he’s predator and she’s prey. But on some other level, we all know that an actual rabbit is right to be afraid of an actual fox — and that muddies the movie’s message considerably.
Yes, even Bladerunner manages to fall into this same trap of presenting a persecuted minority as being incredibly physically powerful and smarter than the humans hunting them.
Blade Runner’s source material says more about modern politics than the movie does
It was written for an age of overreaching policing and sociopathic lack of empathy
———-The police in Do Androids Dream…? are merciless, unstoppable android killers. Their victims, in contrast, are remarkably vulnerable and weak. In the film, the replicants have enhanced reflexes, super-strength, and tremendous intelligence. Part of the reason Deckard evokes sympathy is that he’s clearly overmatched. Replicants may not deserve to be murdered, but they are terrifyingly powerful and dangerous. Roy, howling his shirtless way through an abandoned building at the end of the film, is an atavistic, gothic terror. The androids in Blade Runner are dangerous and threatening when provoked — which is how Darren Wilson saw Michael Brown, and the excuse most often given by police who kill unarmed black civilians.
The only black people in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner are extras. The replicants are all white, and the city of Los Angeles is basically an unmixed population of whites and Asians. The Asians live on the streets or work in small shops. Whites rule the LAPD (all that’s left of the city’s government) and biotech corporations. Whites are also the slaves manufactured by Tyrell Corporation. There are no black, Mexican, or Asian replicants. And the leader of the rebel replicants is a very Aryan Roy Batty. Replicants, however, are, according to Rick Deckard’s voiceover, called “skin jobs,” which is equivalent to calling black people “niggers.” So, Blade Runner is about a slave revolt. And what do the slaves want? Freedom? No. They want more life, which, to be fair, is another kind of freedom. As the 20th century British philosopher Alfred Whitehead put it: “Life is a bid for freedom.”
————-I watched Blade Runner for the first time this week. Since I have apparently been living in a cave for the past few decades, I thought that Blade Runner was kind of like Tron but with more Harrison Ford, and less neon, and maybe a few more tricky questions about What Is The Nature Of Man.
That is the movie I was expecting.
That is not the movie I saw.
*It is far easier for White audiences to watch allegories about racism, than it is for them to actually tackle the subject head-on in their daily lives. Just as it seems easier for White filmmakers to propose the idea that persecution of minorities is wrong, while engaging in erasure and whitewashing in their films on the subject.
*There has been some discussion on Tumblr of The Empathy Gap, to explain the woobification of White villains in fandom, vs the vilification of Black and Brown villains, and even characters of color that are the stars and protagonists in the narrative. Want to know more, then read on:
*This is a perfect example of what we mean by implicit bias in filmmaking. I know the director of this movie, James Mangold, is not some die-hard ,card carrying, member of the alt-right, or KKK. Nevertheless a critical look at his films reveals his own blindspot when it comes to the subject of race. Because the directors are White males, living in America, they have a tendency to reproduce narratives of race that have always prevailed in films, without much examination. I’m sure it never occurred to Mangold that it would be difficult for PoC to watch a movie in which am entire Black family is brutally murdered by vigilante members of the state. It certainly did not occur to him how such images would impact our watching of the film, given the status of American race relations today. (The same blindspot is evident in the Netflix show, Daredevil, and Mangold’s last Wolverine film, which was set in Japan.)
The Thoughtless Diversity of Logan
————– Let’s linger on that last point for a second. In Logan, an entire black family gets slaughtered onscreen. This is a black family who we already see terrorized by racist hicks for refusing to move off their farmland. We are shown that they are at the mercy of these white folks to maintain basic amenities like running water. We also see that they are often terrorized by these men WITH GUNS on what seems to be a daily basis.
*And another tongue in cheek piece on the expectations that Black people should die in Horror movies, because that’s the tradition, and how hard it can be getting used to watching them survive these movies sometimes.
The Black Die Young: The Internal Struggle of a Black Horror Movie Fan
——–I have a secret passion; the less addicted of you might call it an addiction. I like to watch. I rent base, filthy movies and slip them into brown paper bags so no one can tell. I sit alone in seedy, near-empty theaters, pleasuring myself with this trash. I’m too embarrassed to tell anyone about my weakness, although my wife has caught me watching a time or two (“It’s a documentary!” is my standard excuse; she’s since cancelled the Discovery Channel.). But now I’m ready to step out of the shadows and proclaim loudly, I am a black man… and I love horror movies.
Every Galaxy Needs More Than Three People of Color
———When people of color do appear in science fiction, it’s often as sidekicks or advisers. Black characters are likely to die quickly and are unlikely to ever interact with any other black characters, since many galaxies seem to contain only about three black people. That lack of representation makes it hard for people of color to imagine that their writing will ever find a home in the genre.
*I was going to finish up my review of Bladerunner 2049 with a critique of the films technical and philosophical aspects, but I think I’ll post a list of other critical apporaches to the movie, and post my viewpoint as a followup.
Lately, geekdom has been having some interesting, and contentious, new discussions regarding diversity in some of our favorite shows and films. Women of Color have always been in it, because hey! we live on this planet, too, and I just want to give a shout out to some of my favorite WoC, who inspired my Pop Cultural geekiness.
At first, I was going to do a post just on Black women, but I decided I needed to put it up or shut it up, and include all women of color, who have brought and continue to bring their “A” to the game and those who have and will always inspire me to be ” That Weird Black Girl”.
Nichelle Nichols As Uhura, on the Original Star Trek, she wasn’t just a secretary, she was also an engineer. There were plenty of times we watched her fixing her communications station. She was Boss! And been credited with influencing more Black women to go into the sciences, than any other woman on this list, including this astronaut:
This is Dr. Mae Jemison and her flight gear handler. (Get your Google on!)
When I was ten years old, I thought Nichelle was everything a Black woman should be. Smart, elegant, graceful, beautiful. She taught me that Black women, (that I), have a place in the future. Until Nichelle put her thing down, a lot of us had never been taught that we had a future.
I have it on good authority that little Asian girls look up to the character of Mako Mori, from Pacific Rim, but Rinko makes this list because I loved her character’s backstory, and Mako’s show of character, in fighting for what she wanted, but still respecting her adoptive father’s wishes, played by Idris Elba. Also my niece is totally little girl-crushing on that defiantly, blue streak of hair.
I just like watching her. She never seems to take any of her jobs too seriously, has a quirky sense of humor, and always has a mischievous twinkle in her eye.
Rila Fukushima: Throw it up! for Rila’s exemplary sword work in the movie The Wolverine. I was impressed. She’s not my picture of Yukio from the comics, but she is perfectly acceptable.
DichenLachman:Dichen has been in a number of genre TV shows, most recently Marvel Agents of Shield. She is, hands down, one of the most gorgeous Asian women on TV. And yeah, she kicks ass, too.
Saya:From Blood:The Last vampire. She’s got a sword and she’s hardcore. I will be introducing my niece, a huge Hitgirl fan, to Saya, this Summer.
Chun Li: From theStreetfighter video game. I always chose this character whenever I played any version of this game. She had some sweet and fun moves. (The movie sucked, though. We try to ignore it.)
Devon Aoki: She starred in Sin City as the very lethal, and’ terrifyin’, Miho. Miho was all business.You do not fuck with Miho.
Eartha Kitt: She is, as far as I’m concerned, , the first, the one, the only, and the true, Catwoman.
Tina Turner As Aunty Entity, she ruled BarterTown, in a dress made of chainmail. Seriously people! CHAINMAIL! She also had a misplaced British accent, a gang of football thugs as henchmen, and some monster trucks, so you can keep your Furiosa, because Tina got there first. (Just kiddin’! I love Furiosa.)
Rutina Wesley The first time I saw Tara, on True Blood, she was giving a convenience store lurker, the very erudite backside of her tongue. Afterwards, she beat up another lady, in the store. I couldn’t help but love her, as I have fond memories, of giving people the business end of my tongue, when I was younger and less diplomatic, (just without the beat downs, though.)
I made the mistake of introducing my Mom to the show, in its last season. Guess who she fell in love with, right off the beat? Guess!
Freema Ageyema: The only Black female companion I’ve ever seen on the show, Dr. Martha Jones, also did a couple of stealth episodes of Torchwood. I’m not a huge fan of Dr. Who, but I’ve watched an episode here and there, and I enjoyed watching Martha and her family on the show.
Naomi Harris: The first time I saw Naomi, she was bludgeoning some guy, with a machete, and getting high on pills and falling in love with Cillian Murphy, (and who wouldn’t?) in 28 Days Later. Then, in Skyfall, she sniped James Bond with a high powered rifle. Naomi always brings it. She is currently Ms. Moneypenny, James’ handler, which should give us plenty of opportunities to watch her snipe at him.)
Nichole Beharrie: I love how the writers gave Abbie Mills so much depth on Sleepy Hollow, without racializing all of her. Not everything about a Black person’s life involves race and the writers are very good to introduce the topic only when its necessary to the plot. She, her friends, and her family are all characters, who just happen to be Black, while dealing with the Supernatural, making Sleepy Hollow unlike any other genre show on television.
Danai Guirira: Michonne is a total badass. If I had to pick a dream team of women to ride out the apocalypse, she’d be my first choice.
Grace Jones:As a teenager, I admired the Hell out of this woman. It didn’t hurt that she dated or slept with every hot male celebrity you could think of, back in the day. From David Bowie and Adam Ant, to Dolph Lundgren. She also gets special merit for being one of the first Black female Egyptian vampires, in the 80s movie, Vamp. She never spoke a word, and was still more terrifying than anybody in Twilight.
Jada Pinkett-Smith: Fish Mooney, Gotham. Penguin and Fish are the two best character interactions on the entire show and the only reason to have watched it.
Rosario Dawson: As Gail in Sin City, she liked to bite people. She is currently starring as The Night Nurse on Netflix’s Daredevil. I read a few issues of the Night Nurse when I was a little girl, so if my glee at seeing her finally depicted on the TV screen, is baffling to you, there you go.
I will always love Joss Whedon for this one thing. Zoe is totally in love with her husband, tells him she will be the mother of his child one day, despite his doubts, and is a total badass, calmly tucking her Captain’s chopped off ear into her bra, while rescuing her husband from Russian Space Gangsters. Gina has always been The Queen! The Goddess! from Cleopatra 2525 to Hannibal.
This is for every movie she’s ever starred in, even if she does die in all of them. Somebody get her role in a movie that she can survive, please.
A better movie would’ve had Vasquez team up with Ripley, to take down the Alien Queen, after all the male characters had been killed. But this is Hollywood,where only one bad ass woman, per movie, is some kind of law.
All these Women of Color are why I am, and always will be, a total Geekgirl, because like I said before, sometimes Women of Color like to be Heroes, too.
I’m one of the few people willing to admit that I actually enjoyed the original Heroes for far longer than I apparently should have, so when I tell you I was not horribly impressed with the re-mix, you get a full understanding of what I mean.The show is promising, infuriating and paradoxically boring. I’m going to keep watching it but I’m definitely giving it a very strong side-eye.
Well, for one thing, I did not care for the powers depicted in this episode, the characters were annoying (some of them should just DIE!), and the plot was a little less than engaging. It didn’t even reach the minimum levels of engagement that I had with Minority Report, or I was just sleepy.
Okay, it was nice to see Noah Bennett again. His reappearance and plotline was one of the shows highlights. Not very high, but when compared to the rather lackluster plots of the other characters, it was awesome. The least engaging plot line of the entire episode was the video game vixen, named Katana Girl. I do not like to watch video games. I will play just about any game but I am not a spectator. I like to get in the game and fiddle around in there, but that’s’ what her entire plot seemed to consist of – watching someone else play a game that you don’t care about and have never played yourself. And how this is a useful power is anybody’s guess. Also, this is an example of fight scenes that are thrown into a show because someone noted in the script, “action scene needed in this space”. I just was not feeling this character at all. She appears to be thrown in so that we can get lots of shots of her shiny, leather covered ass, (I get truly tired of looking at women’s asses on TV.)
Katana Girl is also the least interesting character. It means something when I cant tell if she was supposed to be a real person who just looked like Katana Girl or if she was a live-action version of a video game character, brought to life. Her fight scenes were stiff and slow and meant nothing to me and I’ll be glad when Hiro shows up to show her how that shit is done.
The two most annoying characters in the entire show were the husband and wife team who were spirited away to the lab by Teleporter Tommy. Luke and Joanne are easily the two most hate-able people on television right now and they were only on screen for maybe thirty minutes.My biggest problem with them, is the one I have with all Crusader types. So ,their plan is to eliminate all Evos from the earth by shooting them one at a time? Really? All of them? That’s a Hell of a lot of killing to be doing, especially for just two people.Is there a network of them? Are they two members of some sort of sleeper cell? Hell if I know.Not saying they haven’t been successful and somewhat lucky in their endeavors til now but c’mon guys! One at a time?
We don’t learn what their particular beef is with the Evos. They don’t bother to ask a single question at the lab. They just walk in on some people engaged in mysterious computer activity and without any warning, not even a “FREEZE” or “PUT YOUR HANDS UP”, they start firing. They didn’t even bother to ask why the lab is there, where it is or what it’s for. That and the two of them are just sloppy. Its a wonder they have manged to survive as long as they have. What happens when they run up against an Evo that can’t be taken down by a bullet? Although there appears to be no chance of that happening because, so far, none of the heroes I’ve seen have been all that awe-inspiring.
One of the more interesting characters is the mysterious man whose been following and helping Tommy, and El Vengador. I don’t know. Maybe I just like Mexican Wrestlers. I liked Carlos too and I also liked the idea of a kind of Evo Underground, shepherding the secret heroes into Canada. And how cool is it to be able to turn metal objects into 24K gold? It’s the only superpower in the show, that I wanted.
Incidentally, I was wondering if people in that world had the internet? Why would you go to some unknown place, to see a bunch of unknown people if the Evos are as persecuted as they say they are? At least an online community would give them some idea of their numbers or something. Either the Evos are too rare, have too little power or are just highly disorganized. My theory is that most of the Evos are middle-class, middle-of-the-road Americans, who have never know the persecution of a minority class, so most of them (at least the ones who are White) have no structures or communities in place to protect them, and for some reason, it does not occur to them to form any. It would seem, like Tommy and his mom, that they’d rather go it alone.It is interesting that being a member of a numerical majority seems to be working against the White heroes and they would probably start isolating themselves, as it would harder to hide in a marginalized community or know who just to trust among other White people.
It’s telling that the Evo Underground is located in and through a Hispanic neighborhood, by a people who have known at least some form of persecution. The structures already exist, in such places, to engage in secretive activity. I imagine such undergrounds probably exist in many of the more marginalized communities, run by people who know what its like to live in a state of constant fear from the state and its agents. These are also the kind of communities that would be the most resistant to the propaganda used against the Evos as they would already have an attitude of resistance against state policies that had been used against them, in the past, for example.
Another thing that bothered me, the heroes introduced at the top of the episode, only to have these people get killed off right away by Luke and Joanne. Yet another reason to hate the two of them. I found those characters interesting and they were knocked off without ceremony, only to be replaced by crap like Katana Girl. She better get waaay more interesting in future episodes.
Its not that I hate it. I’m just feeling a bit underwhelmed.
I was very excited for the first ten minutes or so, then as my enthusiasm slowly started to flag, I wondered why I wasn’t enjoying it more than I was. Mostly all this episode did was make me miss all the old characters, like Claire and her extended dysfunctional family. There’s no sense of awe or joy or wonder, there’s more than a bit of confusion, and a lot of these people are distinctly lacking in personality.
I can’t quite hate the show yet, because it just started,. and there’s still room for improvement. Good Gob, but is there room!
I’m going to start off my Fall viewing season by trying to cover as many shows as I can. I’ve already given a rundown in a previous post about which shows I was most interested in, which shows are just “meh” and which ones I was flat-out not looking at. Nevertheless, I’ve probably forgotten by now which ones ones I said I would cover, anyway.
This one is a little late but we’ll start with:
I like this show. It looks good and it’s got some great actors in it. I didn’t pay much attention to the plot and I don’t know how much cultural accuracy is involved in its particular version of the Middle Ages. But here’s what I was thinking as I watched the premiere: Boy! are these people dirty. There’s dirt everywhere and on everyone, even the people you would think wouldn’t be dirty, the members of the nobility. At the very least, these people are engaging in living with some powerful odors.
The show opens with people fighting and fucking and at no point do we see people bathe, even though they were just engaged in some sweaty and dirty activities. Bathing is discussed fairly often, so theoretically, it does exist in this world, but no one seems to want to take the time to do it, and I found this very distracting. Hell, people didn’t even wipe themselves with warm cloths, or do that thing where they splash their faces with water, out of those water bowls people always seem to have in historical dramas.
This show is by the same creators of Sons of Anarchy, so I expect lots and lots of intrigue. I paid just enough attention to the plot to recognize Bill the Vampire as a schemer of the first order, so I hope he lasts a good long while, and that Brattle needs a personality donation. I do understand that his wife and family got fridged on his behalf but, really dude! It’s okay to change facial expressions. I think I saw Katie Segal, but she wasn’t wearing any makeup, so it was really hard to tell it was her. She plays a witch on the show and I kept staring at the actress’ face, trying to see Katie in it, and getting frustrating glimpses.
I think I glimpsed some Black people in the background of one scene, which I found heartening. I like that the writers remember that Black people had been invented by the Middle Ages and had been engaged in something besides slavery. You know, sometimes, we just hung out with people and farmed or something.
I’m going to keep watching this one, despite the distraction of “dirt”. I don’t know that I’ll ever get used to it though, and if nothing else, this show really makes me appreciate indoor plumbing.
Let’s move on to:
I wasn’t greatly interested in watching the second season of this, as I was not impressed with the first. Also I had some difficulties watching it, which I will get into in a short moment.
I’m a Black woman, who lives in the U.S. Gotham was released last year, right during the height of media reporting of police brutality incidents, against African Americans. Every report left me an emotional wreck. This was true of a lot of people I know.
I, sort of, liked the show. Well, at least I didn’t hate it. I enjoyed watching Fish Mooney tearing up the scenery and I liked how batshit some of the plots and characters were, but I had to stop watching the show, not just just because the series kept getting worse but because I could no longer watch police misconduct on television, without having severe anxiety attacks and comparing it to real life. It’s called escapist TV for a reason and this wasn’t escapist for me. I couldn’t watch the corrupt Gotham PD beat up suspects, railroad people into prison, accept graft, lying and engage in bribery and consider it entertainment.
I still can’t.
So, I was more than a little reluctant to watch this season of the show, but wanted to try again. As a general rule, I avoid cop shows anyway, mostly because they’re all alike, but I had an especially difficult time watching any of them since last year. Every time a police officer shot someone, I had severe anxiety and had to stop watching. Whenever an officer refused to shoot someone, I had severe anxiety and had to turn the channel. It was best to just stay the Hell away from such shows altogether , as I could no longer approach these shows as entertainment, and could only think of them as an indictment against real police officers, no matter how fantastical the show.
The first few minutes of this season’s premiere had me wanting to turn the channel, again. The only reason I got past Gordon being unwilling to shoot some crazy in the street, is because he had already been established as largely uncorruptable, during season one. But it did get increasingly difficult to watch as Gordon kept getting further enmeshed in the villains schemes. He ultimately chose not to, so I still have faith that he will try to remain a good guy, despite the temptations around him.
That said, I am still not impressed with this episode. I’m still not greatly interested in any of the characters. I hate Selina Kyle. I just hate that actress. Bruce Wayne is less than lackluster as a character, although, I like Alfred. The women are all paradoxically annoying and characterless, which is an amazing feat of engineering, especially Barbara Keene. I don’t think the writers have a single damn clue what to do with her. This is a character flailing around in search of a plot. I’m still into watching the villains scheme and I may keep watching the show because it says it’s specifically about them this season, but my question is, considering how awful the GPD is, what makes that different from last season?
Oh, and the guy who plays the Joker, is just fucking annoying. He’s trying too damn hard to be Joker-ish and it seriously got on my nerves. Like he’s trying to channel both Cesar Romero and Heath Ledger and it’s just not working. I think it’s because he’s just not the great an actor. He simply doesn’t have enough depth to accurately portray the complexity of the Joker, who is technically, not insane, but is insane. But t’s just the premiere. Maybe he’ll develop depth later on, I hope.
I won’t be reviewing this show again unless I see something extraordinary or have something especially poignant to say.
Next we will tackle:
I was very looking forward to watching the pilot, even though I wasn’t especially interested in the trailer. I’m one of the few people on earth willing to openly admit to being a Tom Cruise fan, so yeah, I actually enjoyed the movie a lot, and I was interested in seeing how the show would handle the movie’s basic plot line.
The show doesn’t start on a good note. The narrator chronicles the history of the pre-cogs, and the children portraying them are awful. I know the scene is supposed to be all tragic and shit but I just thought it was funny. Thankfully, it gets a little better after that.
This world is very clean and modern and run by machines and I enjoyed looking at it. It’s not utopian, although I don’t like the idea of ads that detect when you’re feeling stressed, so you can be offered drugs to calm down. None of the police dress like service professionals. They all dress like they came off some avant garde runway and they talk like teenagers, so it’s hard to take them seriously.
I do like that the creators have a Black woman in the lead. They are probably trying to capture some of that Sleepy Hollow magic, although this show mostly reminds me of Almost a Human, a show I really enjoyed and wish this one was, instead. And although the actress isn’t bad, she’s less than compelling in this episode but she tries, though. Maybe she’ll develop more personality later. And yes, I was horribly distracted by those tiny gloves she wears. Really, people! Ya’ll couldn’t find some gloves that fit? I was also distracted by the makeup on that one Asian woman. It’s stupid and I kept laughing at it. She doesn’t look like a professional anything. She looks like she’s going to a rave. Vega is really cute and we get to see her in a lot of really tight clothes, but I keep unfavorably comparing her to the lead from Sleepy Hollow. I know that’s not fair but I couldn’t help it.
The year is 2065, and there are PoC all over this show, so the writers have been paying attention, not just to things like the future of technology but to future social and population trends, as well, and I liked that. I liked seeing Hispanics in the future. It’s nice to know they’re still around, unlike the TV shows of the past where PoC had all disappeared to their own planet or alternate dimension or something. The movie was really good at trying to predict technology and neglected the social and people angles of the future. I liked that the show didn’t turn the presence of PoC into Hallmark moments. They’re just regular people, working jobs and shit.
I liked that even though Vega (yes, its a dumb name) believes Dash is a precog and is willing to accept his crime predictions, she keeps refusing to believe any of his other, smaller predictions, like where she should stand or what she’ll be having for dinner. It’s also nice to see she has a family, although that felt kind of tacked on. Her Mom is, like 65, and she has a tiny brother, who I already don’t like. I also didn’t like the cheesy music that was orchestrated to make the viewer feel excitement, but maybe that gets better later.
Dash is the pre-cog who allies himself with her as a way to prevent the murders he sees but doesn’t have the resources to stop. I have a little trouble accepting the premise of crimes you can stop before they happen, as traditionally, that’s not actually what the police do. I mean, they do sort of, but not really. Mostly they engage in the cleanup of crimes that have already been committed, and capturing the perpetrator of those, is what stops future crimes by that person, I guess.
At one point Dash has a seizure in a restaurant and says that phrase from the movie and I know it’s suppposed to be a serious moment, but I laughed at it. Does that make me a bad person? At another moment, they question an old guy who runs away, and Vega chases him, (because there has to be an obligatory chase scene,) and I couldn’t help thinking that this looks like an investigation run by amateurs, or the writers really don’t know about police investigations, and are just making shit up as they go. Anyone who has ever watched the show 48 Hours, knows that detectives don’t operate like this. This is pure TV show detectiving.
I did feel a little better when the actor from the movie, the one who took care of the precogs, showed up with some tech that allowed Vega to see what Dash sees, while trying to prevent the murder of a businessman’s wife by some diseased birds. I automatically suspected the husband as the perpetrator, so I wasn’t really invested in that part of the plot, which is kind of silly.
Dash’s sister, Agatha, does put in an appearance and she asks Dash some very pertinent questions, which he is very vague about, and she has a few dire predictions,too. His brother shows up to and is a dick. I had those same questions Agatha did, though, and they were not answered to my satisfaction.
I’m probably going to keep watching it, despite that it’s not a compelling show, because Wilmer Valderama is in it and that man is Hawtness Incarnate. I could watch him all day, and I have…in From Dusk Til Dawn: The Series, where he plays a really hawt Mexican vampire. I don’t love this show yet because it could be improved by having Valderama bite somebody.
Lastly, we’ll discuss:
I had no intention of watching this but it was on and I was reviewing, so it wasn’t out of my way or anything. I’m not really into espionage shows and this one looked like a cross between The Bourne Identity and Memento, and I enjoyed both those movies.
Let me be frank in stating that I have no idea who the Hell Jaime Alexander is. She looks vaguely familiar, so she must have starred adjacent to a show I liked, but not actually in one of them. I really like her, though and I’m going to keep watching this.
Jane Doe is a really interesting character. There’s an intriguing mystery and Jaime really sells the despair, confusion and bewilderment, which was giving me all kinds of feels and the episode really seemed very like The Bourne Identity, only this particular episode had a clearer purpose, in which she and Agent Weller try to stop a Chinese terrorist attack on New York City.
I didn’t buy the FBI’s excuse for letting her tag along with them on a case, though. Those guys are some fairly dense and stubborn MFs, and once they get an idea in their heads, there’s no talking them out of it, I don’t care how angry or determined you act. The real FBI cannot be swayed by temper tantrums or appeals to civility or logic. But it’s a TV show, so I do realize, if she doesn’t tag along on their cases, there will be no show. Agent Weller does seem to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to persuade her to stay in the car, while he investigates, until she throws some logic at him, about why he’s wrong, and then he relents.
I did enjoy the scenes where she kicks some ass. That was kind of fun although I do have to say, watching White people beat up people of color also so makes me feel deeply uncomfortable. Apparently, I like my violence to be intraracial. I don’t know why.
I liked some of the other characters in the show. There are several women and PoC, both men and women, but, once again, we get a lack of Hispanic representation, even though it’s set in NY, and you’ve got a bad Asian guy. Actually there are several bad Asian guys. I get that this was in Chinatown and that’s where bad Asian guys would probably be found but I still didn’t like it. It didn’t seem like an international thing, though. Just a disgruntled guy, in a desperate situation. But the whole Yellow Peril thing, in action shows, is getting tired, which is why I’m hoping the series Rush Hour will do better, on that front.
I like that the other characters on the show have a little personality of their own, are quietly snarky to Weller, have some skills of their own, and some of them get a little mystery attached to them, although we spend most of our time with Weller and Doe.
Weller, whose name is prominently tattooed on Jane’s back, doesn’t have a whole lot of personality himself, beyond squinting and determination, but Jane has attached herself to him as her anchor, nevertheless. She keeps hugging him, and you can see the discomfort on his face as she clings to him, as the only semi-known factor in her life. I only hope that they remain just friends and the series doesn’t do the whole “will they or won’t they” bullshit, because that’s a very tired trope, and I’m heartily sick of seeing it.
I really liked the show, though. I didn’t think I would. I will tune in next week, for it. I like to plan my viewing habits but sometimes that planning gets broadsided by a really intriguing show and the shows I thought I would love, turn out to be a bust. I hope this one sticks around and becomes as good as Person of Interest, which I also fell into by accident.
As an Illustrator, vision is how I understand everything I’ve learned about the world, and everything I remember and feel has visuals attached. It’s how I can do a mental walk through of every place I’ve ever lived, remember all of my most vivid dreams from childhood and remember every book I’ve ever read.
So when I say movies are like food, then you know what I mean. I need movies like I need books. Some movies are like junk food. They’re not very stimulating intellectually, but rich with detail and some movies are a smorgesbord. Theyre satisfying in every manner.
These are some of the movies I’ve found the most satisfying both visually and intellectually, in no particular order:
Directed by Satoshi Kon 2006
Apparently this film is just a little too deep for me. I couldn’t make heads or tails out of its philosophy, or it only has dream logic. Well, whatever is going on, this is still the very best eye candy.
Directed by Christopher Nolan 2010
This movie satisfies on every level. Intellectually, visually and emotionally, it”s a feast.
Directed by Tarsem Singh 2008
I would’ve nominated this director’s first film, The Cell but this is the movie I enjoyed more. Its a lovely fairy tail, with an emotional resonance that sticks with you, long after the movie ends.
Directed by Ron Fricke 1992
This is a film meant to be enjoyed on a visceral level. It has no dialogue, but its rich visuals more than make up for this lack.
Directed by Zack Snyder 2009
This is one of the best looking superhero movies ever made. The plot is pretty horrifying , but it’s visual movement and detail are exquisite. If you can stomach some of the gore and the nihilistic philosophies of the characters, it’s worth your time.
The Tree of Life
Directed by Terence Malick 2011
The plot is a fairly standard coming of age story, about a young boys rocky relationship with his overbearing father, but its themes of how small human relationships are in the scheme of the cosmos, yet are the end all and be all of our short lives, lends itself to some truly stunning, and occasionally, perplexing imagery.
The House of Flying Daggers
Directed by Zhang Yimou 2004
Okay, I’m not Asian, so maybe this movie really resonates with someone directly from one of the cultures depicted in the movie, but I don’t care, I just like the way it looks and sounds. Its absolutely gorgeous.
Directed by Zhang Yimou 2002
The first WuXia movie by the director of House of flying Daggers, this movie is Good practice. The story, characters, action and colors are all breathtaking. If you were impressed by Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, you will love this movie.
Directed by Hiyao Miyazaki 2001
I’ve introduced this movie to two generations of little WoC, and for every single one of them, the story resonates so wonderfully and so deeply, that it quickly becomes one of their absolute favorite films. My niece, The Potato, is always up for a rewatch of any film by the legendary Miyzaki, but it is this film in particular, that seems to truly speak to her.
Okay! Me too.
Directed by Ridley Scott 1982
I knew I was going to love this movie from the moment I saw the first trailer, back in 1982. C’mon people! Robots, flying cars, detectives in trenchcoats and lots and lots of rain and neon. The style that every SciFi movie, for the next 20 years, attempted to copy.
The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
Directed by Andrew Dominik 2007
I only need to say one thing: Brad Pitt.
Directed by Alex Proyas 1998
This is another movie, I knew I was going to fall in love with when I saw the trailer. Its dark and broody and stars William Hurt, and that would’ve been enough, but the story is intellectually compelling, as well. This was one of Roger Ebert’s favorite Science Fiction movies, such that he did two different audio commentaries for the two DVD releases.
Directed by Zack Snyder 2006
Many male critics professed not to understand why this movie seemed to captivate so many female fans. They seemed to be under the impression that we were fascinated by the presence of Lena Heady. This is why you shouldn’tlisten to critics.
Here’s why we loved this movie:
There are about a bajillion more movies that I could add to this list, but these are the ones I’ll watch over and over.
The Potato, my niece, loves this movie. We watched this movie a couple of years ago and she seemed both delighted and grossed out by the carnage depicted in this film, which is gooey but bloodless, like a lot of Horror-Comedies from that time. And no, she has not developed a thing against clowns, although when I saw it as a teenager, I never questioned anyone’s clown-fear, ever again. And this is why:
I didn’t watch or read Stephen King’s It, until I was an adult, so Pennywhistle had no particular effect on me. But this movie did. I don’t fear clowns but I definitely don’t trust them. It was released in 1988 and starred, of all people, Christopher Titus as Bob McReed. The only other actor of importance to me, was John Vernon, who starred in a major, butt-load of eighties television shows, including two of my favorites, Automan and The Powers of Matthew Starr.
The movie follows the usual formula of teenagers, discovering a horrific danger to their town, being ignored by all of the adults, and having to save their friends and families on their own. This terror is especially insidious as it takes the form of Circus clowns, and who doesn’t love a clown?
I have never understood movies in which people can look at someone or something that’s clearly horrible looking, and think it’s something benign. These clowns look skeevy, at first sight, and these have to be some of the dumbest townsfolk in the history of townsfolk, to look at something like this:
And not not see that something has gone horribly wrong.
But that’s also what makes movies like this, deeply funny. We, the audience, can clearly see that these clowns do not bode well for the people they encounter, but none of the people in the movie are allowed to believe this, except the teenagers, whose warnings everyone ignores.
And the clowns kill people in some pretty funny and inventive ways. Guns that wrap people in corrosive cotton candy, shadow puppets that eat their audience, and corrosive pies. There’s popcorn that turns into tiny cannibalistic clown heads, with lots of teeth, and one of the clowns uses The Sheriff’s body as a ventriloquists dummy, complete with carefully rouged cheeks.
All this, so that the Space clowns, can harvest human bodies for food. Wrapped in the cotton candy, the human body dissolves and the clowns use, (what else?) silly straws to drink them up. I’m giggling just thinking about the absurdity of this. You have to watch this movie just to see people’s reactions to the clowns, which are hilarious. The adults are all idiots but most of the children we see in the film, seem to understand that something is wrong, just not what.
This movie was made before CGI so these are practical makeup effects and they’re pretty decent and mostly still hold up today. The eighties was the heyday of the practical effect. Some of the most inventive gore and monsters came out in the eighties and have never been topped since. (For example, there’s never been another dragon like Vermithrax from Dragonslayer. Never!)
The dialogue is, of course, awful and quite frankly the heroes of this movie aren’t too bright either. They’re the town slackers who drive the local ice cream truck, so it’s no wonder no one believes anything they say. There’s only one prominent female in the movie and she becomes the love interest of one of the heroes but that’s also part of the formula.
The movie was created by the Chiodo Brothers, who went on to work on some of my other favorite comedies, Critters, Elf, and Team America.
As a general rule, I don’t grade films. I just like to share things I geek out about and if you have the same tastes, I hope you’ll trust mine and check them out or just reminisce about the good time you had when you saw it. If you’re a fan of eighties Horror movies, than this one is essential viewing, and be sure to listen to the commentary afterward. The Chiodo Brothers are entertaining no matter what they do.