Top 10 Power Rankings: The Umbrella Academy Season 1 [SPOILERS]

The Umbrella Academy! A 10 part television show based off the award-winning comic book series written by My Chemical Romance’s lead singer Gerard Way debuted this past week on Netflix. The show has drawn obvious comparisons to Marvel’s X-Men and NBC’s This Is Us, but we’re going to paint it with a different brush. Imagine if Tim Burton got high and watched Real World for the first time and then immediately thought to bring The Addams Family back to tv and for some reason, gave them all super powers. This is essentially what you’d get. A healthy mix of crime-fighting action, quasi-insestual romance, dark comedy and some good old-fashioned time traveling hi-jinks make this show more dynamic than your average superhero series. It’s not perfect, but it’s got a little something for everyone. We thoroughly enjoyed the binge and are ready to break down the animated beings (no offense Dolores). #couplegoals

10. Cha Cha & Hazel

This tag team of assassins hired by The Commision to stop Number 5 from preventing the apocalypse get a ton of screen time in this adaptation. Maybe a little too much. Cha Cha is a male in the comics and the gender swapped role is brought to life by award-winning R&B queen: Mary J. Blige, while Mindhunter’s breakout star Cameron Britton takes on the psycho killer Hazel. We found their bizarre love triangle to be too much of a departure from the main storyline and didn’t seem to contribute anything substantial to the narrative. Basically, we didn’t buy the chemistry. We don’t hate hate their portrayal. We just would’ve scaled them back to make room for other more captivating characters.

9. Ben (No. 6)

Justin H. Min plays the boy possessed by monsters. Unfortunately, Ben was sidelined for most of this season. Shadowing Klaus and releasing The Horror every now and then. A statue in his likeness stands at the front of the mansion. It serves as a commemoration to his death, as well as a reminder that even though these heroes are super, they are still mortal. His reduction only leaves us with more questions like, how and why did he die in the first place? Hopefully season two can provide clarity.

8. Sir Reginald Hargreeves

The adoptive father of the family’s shadow looms heavily over the series. The Monocle, played by Colm Feore, is featured solely through flashbacks and one crucial divination. His intentions are difficult to pinpoint throughout the season. Depending on your perspective, he walks the line between maniacally abusive father and misunderstood philanthropic protector of humanity. Robot nanny/mom Grace would suggest that he means well, but that’s a difficult sell when you’re locked inside a soundproof jail cell. I’m sure all of us with similar daddy issues can relate.

7. Diego (No. 2)

I’m not exactly sure how accurate knife throwing became a trendy superpower, but I ain’t down with it. It’s not a superpower. It’s a trained skill, like ice-skating or archery. Yes, I’m looking at you Hawkeye. If he could throw a knife from New York that traveled across the world and hit a bullseye in China, then maybe I would consider that superpower-esque. This guy hits targets at a close range and I couldn’t be less impressed. How is he number two? How is the kid that can time travel not number two? Why is he The Kraken and not the kid with a giant squid living inside of him? Maybe he’s number two because his powers are shit! That being said, it was a great dramatic portrayal by newcomer Dave Castaneda (golf clap).

6. Allison (No. 3)

Starting rumors always has the potential for devastation, but this takes it to another level. Emmy Raver-Lampman’s plays Allison, a celebrity with persuasive abilities and her role as the connective tissue between Vanya and the rest of family is critical (as if she doesn’t already have enough to deal with). She’s balancing her career as a movie star, budding relationship with Luther, failed marriage and child rearing responsibilities and, oh yeah, she has to save the mother loving world from god knows who and while we’re at it, let’s slit her throat too. She goes through a lot in season 3 and it’s miraculous she even makes it out alive. Here’s to hoping they take it easy on her in season two.

5. Luther (No. 1)

Spaceboy is the leader of the group with superhuman strength and an unbelievably tireless work ethic. His stoic managerial style is reminiscent of Leonardo from the early Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles years. His commitment to duty and maintaining the family bond seem exhausting, which makes the few moments he takes to let loose that much more rewarding. The multi-faceted Tom Hooper shows off his talents on the battlefield as well as the dance floor. All while rocking a big gross gorilla bodysuit. He would’ve been higher on the list if he wasn’t such a bad crier. Yeah. No. I’m serious. Go back and watch. Not a good crier.

4. Vanya (No. 7)

No disrespect to the academy-award nominated Ellen Page. She played Vanya with both incredible strength and fragility. The suspense in her arc is the heartbeat (no pun intended) of the main plot. She’s the key to preventing the apocalypse and it’s such an emotional predicament to both root for her ascension to relevance and, at the same time rail against her for succumbing to her dark side. We look forward to where her journey takes her in season two and she probably should be higher on the list if it weren’t for one unforgivable act. She killed Pogo. I’m just…I’m sorry. Some things are just irredeemable.

3. Pogo

My favorite character from season one is the talking chimpanzee uncle you wish you had. At least I wish I had. Pogo, voiced by Adam Godley and, personally, best known as Elliot from Breaking Bad, is Reginald’s closest assistant. We don’t get much back story on him or how he came to be and he barely leaves the mansion. But, every time he’s on screen it’s magical. He’s always dropping little vaguely threatening nuggets of wisdom that could either unlock the secrets of humanity or seal your doom. His death at the hands of Vanya was crushingly tragic and we don’t know if we’ll ever recover. Luckily, the season finale teased the idea of the gang traveling back in time. So, let’s keep our fingers crossed in hopes of reuniting with young Pogo once again.

2. Number Five (No. 5)

Aidan Gallagher is really, really good at being a little kid that plays a 58 yr-old man in the body of a little kid. Seriously, he was an awesome Number Five and genuinely sold the persona of a grumpy senior citizen. He really took command of every scene he was in and showed the confidence of an actor thrice his age. Now that I think about it, perhaps he really is a 58-yr old in a 13 yr-olds body. Maybe he’s got Andy Milonakis disease. It wouldn’t surprise us. But I digress, Number 5 had the most fun powers of the group. BAMF-ing around like Nightcrawler and travelling time like a true boss. Number five would’ve been number one if it weren’t for another closely-related number.

1. Klaus (No. 4)

Robert Sheehan really owned season one in his role as the eccentric drug-addict/ghost whisperer. Just a wonderful ball of entertainment in every frame he was in. Amongst the diverse, award-winning ensemble of talented actors, The Seance truly stood out. Whether he’s crawling across a war zone imagined dance floor searching for pills, or travelling across existential planes to get a shave from his dead dad, Kraus provided the most pure enjoyment per second out of the entire cast. His role isn’t a walk in the park either. It’s the most physically demanding of all, as it requires him to act high while both getting beat up and beating himself up. Mentally, he has to border on the line of psychotic and emotionally, he has to channel a victim of heartbreak and PTSD. He balances each masterfully and really comes through at the end when it matters. We’re most looking forward to the next stage of his evolution in season two.

So what do you think? Did Klaus really have the best season of them all? Did Cha Cha & Hazel ever spark joy? Is Pogo the G.O.A.T.? That’s a fact actually. Pogo is the best. Pogo definitely sparks joy. ♦

REVIEW: A Quiet Place/Bird Box [MILD SPOILERS]

emember when all the asteroid movies came out? Armageddon, Deep Impact, some more crap, then some other world-ending garbage movies featuring volcanoes or drilling to the center of the earth? Then there was The Sixth Sense. Then a bunch of ghost movies came out with twist endings because that was the cool thing to do. A Quiet Place made some splashes earlier in the year and now we have the wave of derivatives.

 

A Quiet Place

John Krasinksi leaves his comedic roots and tries really hard to be an action hero. He’s a family man who just wants to protect his loved ones from monsters. You can’t make a noise or the unseen monsters will get you. They never explain where the monsters came from because it’s a story from the average person’s point of view, not the heroes who save the world.

 

Bird Box

Sandra Bullock leaves her comedic roots and tries really hard to be serious. She’s a reluctant family woman who just wants to protect her new loved ones from monsters. You can’t look at the monster or the unseen monsters will make you get you. They never explain where the monsters came from because it’s a story from the average person’s point of view, not the heroes who save the world.

 

It’s like the producers were like, “Let’s make the same exact movie as A Quiet Place, but disguise it with the glasses, big nose, and mustache. No one will notice. It’s totally different. It’s not the same.” It’s a decent enough watch, though. ♦

emember when all the asteroid movies came out? Armageddon, Deep Impact, some more crap, then some other world-ending garbage movies featuring volcanoes or drilling to the center of the earth? Then there was The Sixth Sense. Then a bunch of ghost movies came out with twist endings because that was the cool thing to do. A Quiet Place made some splashes earlier in the year and now we have the wave of derivatives.

A Quiet Place

John Krasinksi leaves his comedic roots and tries really hard to be an action hero. He’s a family man who just wants to protect his loved ones from monsters. You can’t make a noise or the unseen monsters will get you. They never explain where the monsters came from because it’s a story from the average person’s point of view, not the heroes who save the world.

Bird Box

Sandra Bullock leaves her comedic roots and tries really hard to be serious. She’s a reluctant family woman who just wants to protect her new loved ones from monsters. You can’t look at the monster or the unseen monsters will make you get you. They never explain where the monsters came from because it’s a story from the average person’s point of view, not the heroes who save the world.

It’s as if the producers were like, “Let’s make the same exact movie as A Quiet Place, but disguise it with the glasses, big nose, and mustache. No one will notice. It’s totally different. It’s not the same.” It’s a decent enough watch, though. ♦

 

REVIEW: Skyscraper [NO SPOILERS]

n the past 25 years, we’ve seen The Rock vs. the WWE, The Rock vs. Brenden Fraser, The Rock vs. Vin Diesel, The Rock vs. a jungle, The Rock vs. another jungle, The Rock vs. yet another jungle (this guy really freaking loves fighting jungles), The Rock vs. the ocean, The Rock vs. earthquakes, The Rock vs. giant monsters, and now finally we get to see what we’ve all been waiting for. Drumroll please…now presenting: The f’n Rock vs. a building! This building is on fire and has his entire family stuck in it. It’s a total dickhead of a building that deserves to get punched in the mouth by the only person who can: The People’s Champ, The mother f’n Rock.

 

What the hell else can this dude fight?

$20 says movie execs have at least 3 of these lined up:

  • The Rock vs. pollution
  • The Rock vs. a hole in the ground
  • The Rock vs. rainy days
  • The Rock vs. procrastination
  • The Rock vs. the improper use of the word “myself”
  • The Rock vs. traffic
  • The Rock vs. eastern European body odor
  • The Rock vs. gout
  • The Rock vs. federal income taxes
  • The Rock vs. potholes
  • The Rock vs. useless ass coworkers…etc.

 

The Rock is extremely good at two things:

  1. being charming af
  2. being an almost unreal physical specimen

Movie execs decided to not make the character charming and they decided try and weaken him by cutting off his leg in the first 5 minutes. WTF!? They had The Rock in a movie and they intentionally chose to not have this guy smile and show off all 98 of his dazzling white teeth. They decided to intentionally try and make him physically weaker than the demigod that he looks like.

These movie execs must be the same morons who said:

Hey Gal Gadot. Wonder Woman looked good, but her glow is too perfect. It’s unbelievable. Let’s make this Justice League movie about a dude in bat costume, a fish guy and a perfectly human looking alien more believable by dialing down the only thing that has brought these fans joy in the past 5 years.

A-holes. I’m still not over them dialing down her glow.

They have The Rock and they dial down (or turn off) all his “Rockiness” to the point where it didn’t even need to be The Rock in this movie. John Krasinkski would have loved this role. He wants to be an action star so bad. So bad! They had The Rock and they didn’t maximize his use.

 

The movie isn’t completely terrible.

It’s just completely forgettable because we’ve seen it before. The plot is Die Hard + Air Force One + any firefighter movie. They could have changed it up by completing The Rock and Kevin Hart trilogy; making this a buddy comedy. That would have at least been different and The Rock wouldn’t have to take himself too seriously.

Instead, they waste time on backstory of how weak The Rock is now after losing his leg, but all the stuff he does in the movie is outrageous (even if he still had both). The how and why of him losing his leg kind of ties into the ending, but it doesn’t need to. One-legged-ness didn’t raise the stakes for anything. They even had scenes with him sprinting and his peg leg didn’t seem to bother him much.

They have this one really good fight scene early on with his army bro. It’s really physical. His lack of a leg and backstory come into play, but after that, the movie goes into autopilot. The backstory and leg don’t really matter anymore. ♦

n the past 25 years, we’ve seen The Rock vs. the WWE, The Rock vs. Brenden Fraser, The Rock vs. Vin Diesel, The Rock vs. a jungle, The Rock vs. another jungle, The Rock vs. yet another jungle (this guy really freaking loves fighting jungles), The Rock vs. the ocean, The Rock vs. earthquakes, The Rock vs. giant monsters, and now finally we get to see what we’ve all been waiting for. Drumroll please…now presenting: The f’n Rock vs. a building! This building is on fire and has his entire family stuck in it. It’s a total dickhead of a building that deserves to get punched in the mouth by the only person who can: The People’s Champ, The mother f’n Rock.

What the hell else can this dude fight?

$20 says movie execs have at least 3 of these lined up:

  • The Rock vs. pollution

  • The Rock vs. a hole in the ground

  • The Rock vs. rainy days

  • The Rock vs. procrastination

  • The Rock vs. the improper use of the word “myself”

  • The Rock vs. traffic

  • The Rock vs. eastern European body odor

  • The Rock vs. gout

  • The Rock vs. federal income taxes

  • The Rock vs. potholes

  • The Rock vs. useless ass coworkers…etc.

The Rock is extremely good at two things:

  1. being charming af

  2. being an almost unreal physical specimen

Movie execs decided to not make the character charming and they decided try and weaken him by cutting off his leg in the first 5 minutes. WTF!? They had The Rock in a movie and they intentionally chose to not have this guy smile and show off all 98 of his dazzling white teeth. They decided to intentionally try and make him physically weaker than the demigod that he looks like.

These movie execs must be the same morons who said:

Hey Gal Gadot. Wonder Woman looked good, but her glow is too perfect. It’s unbelievable. Let’s make this Justice League movie about a dude in bat costume, a fish guy and a perfectly human looking alien more believable by dialing down the only thing that has brought these fans joy in the past 5 years.

A-holes. I’m still not over them dialing down her glow.

They have The Rock and they dial down (or turn off) all his “Rockiness” to the point where it didn’t even need to be The Rock in this movie. John Krasinkski would have loved this role. He wants to be an action star so bad. So bad! They had The Rock and they didn’t maximize his use.

The movie isn’t completely terrible.

It’s just completely forgettable because we’ve seen it before. The plot is Die Hard+ Air Force One + any firefighter movie. They could have changed it up by completing The Rock and Kevin Hart trilogy; making this a buddy comedy.That would have at least been different and The Rock wouldn’t have to take himself too seriously.

Instead, they waste time on backstory of how weak The Rock is now after losing his leg, but all the stuff he does in the movie is outrageous (even if he still had both). The how and why of him losing his leg kind of ties into the ending, but it doesn’t need to. One-legged-ness didn’t raise the stakes for anything. They even had scenes with him sprinting and his peg leg didn’t seem to bother him much.

They have this one really good fight scene early on with his army bro. It’s really physical. His lack of a leg and backstory come into play, but after that, the movie goes into autopilot. The backstory and leg don’t really matter anymore. ♦

LIVE-ACTION CASTING: Seven Deadly Sins [NO SPOILERS]

ow. I don’t even know where to begin with this show. It’s as if the writers of Dragon Ball dabbed while playing Final Fantasy and chased it with a stein of Guinness, then shotgunned the bible and threw an impromptu bachelor party at Medieval Times. It’s about as well-polished a flaming turd can get, and I fucking love it.

The plot is simple. Princess Elizabeth is on a mission to take back her kingdom from the traitorous Holy Knights. Sir Meliodas, tavern owner and leader of a once legendary group of knights called the Seven Deadly Sins, joins her as she seeks the assistance of the remaining diamond level warriors. The Sins are represented by five different clans ranging from humans and giants to fairys and demons (even gods) and they each have their own unique set of abilities and magical powers.

Season three was incredible and I devoured it almost as soon as it premiered. Like most animated series, I started thinking about how fun a live action adaptation would potentially be. An A-list ensemble fantasy action-comedy? Say no more fam! Grab some mead and follow me to the casting couch.

 

Tom Holland as Meliodas (Wrath)

The current Peter Parker trades his web-shooters in for a broken sword called Dragon Handle. He’s got the look and more than enough charm to carry a big studio picture. It should be an easy transition to go from Spider-man to Sir Meliodas given their similar comedic wit and nimble athleticism. He’ll have to turn down the Disney-ness and turn up the perviness, but he of all people should know: “With great power comes great responsibility.”.

ALT: Taron Edgerton, Alex Lawther

 

Saoirse Ronan as Elizabeth

Given the current cultural climate, a ditsy, over-sexualized female character like Liz definitely could use a bit of a rebrand. There are other aspects to her character we’ll choose to focus on. Like an unrelenting determination to take back her kingdom from the Brittanian dangers. Saoirse offers a nice balance of the strength and warmth required to deal with Sir Meliodas. You can find a “continuing trajectory of her Oscar-nominated Ladybird performance” in the directorial notes.

ALT: Jamie Chung, Auli’i Cravalho

 

Tiffany Haddish as Hawk

The Girls Trip star is on a roll and she’s got some experience with voiceover work in the upcoming sequels to The Lego Movie and The Secret Life of Pets. Meliodas’ sidekick is referred to as a “he” in the show, but we feel that Haddish is talented enough to transcend gender (and species). Look, she’s playing a talking pig and the last Charlotte’s Web movie was like 12 years ago. So relax, I need this.

ALT: Kevin Hart, Awkwafina

 

Michael B. Jordan as Ban (Greed)

Meliodas and Ban are besties and often engage in friendly scuffles. MBJ and TH are both leading men with Marvel ties, so we’ll bet they won’t have a problem finding inspiration for their competitive rivalry. That edgy Killmonger energy works for this role, as long as he tones down the rage and ramps up the sarcasm.

ALT: Ryan Reynolds, Ansel Elgort

 

Zendaya as Merlin (Gluttony)

This is an easy cast. Merlin is a sexy and mysterious witch (that’s like…90% of hollywood). We’re gonna go with Z. She has the chops to get to that dark place, but also keep it light. Her history with Holland in Spider-man Homecoming will help and we’re betting her role as a wise-cracking MJ in general could translate well here. She’s versatile enough to play Elizabeth, if the Merlin fit doesn’t pan out.

ALT: Cara Delevigne, Zoe Kravitz

 

Finn Wolfhard as King (Sloth)

The fairy king may take on the appearance of a diminutive teenage boy, but he’s actually massive in his human form (and dangerously over dramatic). We’ve seen the same type of emotional instability and passion from Wolfhard’s Mike in Stranger Things. A will to fight for loved ones is necessary and we’re thinking the Mike/Eleven chemistry carries over perfectly between King and Diane.

ALT: Cole Sprouse, Jack Gleeson

 

Millie Bobby Brown as Diane (Envy)

One of the biggest stars in Hollywood is also one of the smallest. Young Millie rocks as the powerful Eleven in Stranger Things and she’s gonna need to bring that same power for this literally gigantic role. IRL she’s way warmer and more charming, which is an added energy needed for Diane. But like we said, the established chemistry she has with Finn is gonna be what polarizes these characters.

ALT: Maisie Williams, Yara Shahidi

 

Timothee Chalamet as Gowther (Lust)

The sexually ambiguous former doll requires an actor both highly intellectual and emotionally vapid. Chalamet (still in his moment) is ridiculously pretty and has shown the Oscar-worthy capacity to bring those exact qualities to this character. Tim feels introspective enough to play observant and caring, plus he could use a blockbuster to add to his fresh yet prolific young resume.

ALT: Ezra Miller, Chance Perdomo

 

Dwayne Johnson as Escanor (Pride)

If there’s a role The Rock has even the slightest potential to play, you don’t hesitate to offer it to him. He’s the most bankable movie star out there and apparently hasn’t seen a project he didn’t like, making this a no-brainer. We have no doubt that he could play the body morphing Escanor, as evident in Central Intelligence and Jumanji. His unique ability to flip from action hero to bumbling buffoon is essential. He’s already gone CGI-fat, so going CGI-thin shouldn’t be a problem. The role is more of an extended cameo, and he’s got so many other things going on that this should be a cake walk for the hardest working man in Hollywood.

ALT: Dave Bautista, Terry Crews

 

The Hemsworth Brothers as The Holy Knights

Finally! The planets have aligned for the Hemsworth triplets in this epic team-up. They’ve been playing good guys for most of their careers, so I’m sure that a crack at villainy would certainly pique their interest.

Chris and Liam do most of the heavy lifting as Dreyfus and Hendrickson, respectively. Liam is quite limited as an actor, so he can easily play righteous. Dreyfus requires more cunning and Chris has both the necessary talent and experience (see Ghostbusters). Big bro/runt of the litter Luke squeezes in for some light work as Zaratras. So, you know, good for him.

They’re known for having a fairly boring healthy relationship with one another, but tapping into some secret, hidden, deep-rooted sibling rivalry could add a surprise element to this villainous dynamic.

ALT: Matt Damon, Ben and Casey Affleck

 

Sorry to get your hopes up, but there’s probably a less than zero chance of this ever getting made. Americans don’t exactly have a successful track record with anime adaptations: Dragonball Evolution, Street Fighter, Speed Racer, Death Note, Ghost in the Shell…I could keep going. Blame it on the over-westernization or tone-deaf executive input. Either way, we’ve dropped the dragon ball.

This is why we can’t have nice things. They need to put an actual weeb in charge. A true anime nerd should be commanding this Holy War. I wouldn’t consider myself devout, but I do partake in the sacrament. Throwing my hat in the ring: Prime Minister of Adaptations, Anime Division. Probably less than a less than zero chance of that ever happening. But, hey, a girl can dream. ♦

ow. I don’t even know where to begin with this show. It’s as if the writers of Dragon Ball dabbed while playing Final Fantasy and chased it with a stein of Guinness, then shotgunned the bible and threw an impromptu bachelor party at Medieval Times. It’s about as well-polished a flaming turd can get, and I fucking love it.

The plot is simple. Princess Elizabeth is on a mission to take back her kingdom from the traitorous Holy Knights. Sir Meliodas, tavern owner and leader of a once legendary group of knights called the Seven Deadly Sins, joins her as she seeks the assistance of the remaining diamond level warriors. The Sins are represented by five different clans ranging from humans and giants to fairys and demons (even gods) and they each have their own unique set of abilities and magical powers.

Season three was incredible and I devoured it almost as soon as it premiered. Like most animated series, I started thinking about how fun a live action adaptation would potentially be. An A-list ensemble fantasy action-comedy? Say no more fam! Grab some mead and follow me to the casting couch.

 

Tom Holland as Meliodas (Wrath)

The current Peter Parker trades his web-shooters in for a broken sword called Dragon Handle. He’s got the look and more than enough charm to carry a big studio picture. It should be an easy transition to go from Spider-man to Sir Meliodas given their similar comedic wit and nimble athleticism. He’ll have to turn down the Disney-ness and turn up the perviness, but he of all people should know: “With great power comes great responsibility.”.

ALT: Taron Edgerton, Alex Lawther

 

Saoirse Ronan as Elizabeth

Given the current cultural climate, a ditsy, over-sexualized female character like Liz definitely could use a bit of a rebrand. There are other aspects to her character we’ll choose to focus on. Like an unrelenting determination to take back her kingdom from the Brittanian dangers. Saoirse offers a nice balance of the strength and warmth required to deal with Sir Meliodas. You can find a “continuing trajectory of her Oscar-nominated Ladybird performance” in the directorial notes.

ALT: Jamie Chung, Auli’i Cravalho

 

Tiffany Haddish as Hawk

The Girls Trip star is on a roll and she’s got some experience with voiceover work in the upcoming sequels to The Lego Movie and The Secret Life of Pets. Meliodas’ sidekick is referred to as a “he” in the show, but we feel that Haddish is talented enough to transcend gender (and species). Look, she’s playing a talking pig and the last Charlotte’s Web movie was like 12 years ago. So relax, I need this.

ALT: Kevin Hart, Awkwafina

 

Michael B. Jordan as Ban (Greed)

Meliodas and Ban are besties and often engage in friendly scuffles. MBJ and TH are both leading men with Marvel ties, so we’ll bet they won’t have a problem finding inspiration for their competitive rivalry. That edgy Killmonger energy works for this role, as long as he tones down the rage and ramps up the sarcasm.

ALT: Ryan Reynolds, Ansel Elgort

 

Zendaya as Merlin (Gluttony)

This is an easy cast. Merlin is a sexy and mysterious witch (that’s like…90% of hollywood). We’re gonna go with Z. She has the chops to get to that dark place, but also keep it light. Her history with Holland in Spider-man Homecoming will help and we’re betting her role as a wise-cracking MJ in general could translate well here. She’s versatile enough to play Elizabeth, if the Merlin fit doesn’t pan out.

ALT: Cara Delevigne, Zoe Kravitz

 

Finn Wolfhard as King (Sloth)

The fairy king may take on the appearance of a diminutive teenage boy, but he’s actually massive in his human form (and dangerously over dramatic). We’ve seen the same type of emotional instability and passion from Wolfhard’s Mike in Stranger Things. A will to fight for loved ones is necessary and we’re thinking the Mike/Eleven chemistry carries over perfectly between King and Diane.

ALT: Cole Sprouse, Jack Gleeson

 

Millie Bobby Brown as Diane (Envy)

One of the biggest stars in Hollywood is also one of the smallest. Young Millie rocks as the powerful Eleven in Stranger Things and she’s gonna need to bring that same power for this literally gigantic role. IRL she’s way warmer and more charming, which is an added energy needed for Diane. But like we said, the established chemistry she has with Finn is gonna be what polarizes these characters.

ALT: Maisie Williams, Yara Shahidi

 

Timothee Chalamet as Gowther (Lust)

The sexually ambiguous former doll requires an actor both highly intellectual and emotionally vapid. Chalamet (still in his moment) is ridiculously pretty and has shown the Oscar-worthy capacity to bring those exact qualities to this character. Tim feels introspective enough to play observant and caring, plus he could use a blockbuster to add to his fresh yet prolific young resume.

ALT: Ezra Miller, Chance Perdomo

 

Dwayne Johnson as Escanor (Pride)

If there’s a role The Rock has even the slightest potential to play, you don’t hesitate to offer it to him. He’s the most bankable movie star out there and apparently hasn’t seen a project he didn’t like, making this a no-brainer. We have no doubt that he could play the body morphing Escanor, as evident in Central Intelligence andJumanji. His unique ability to flip from action hero to bumbling buffoon is essential. He’s already gone CGI-fat, so going CGI-thin shouldn’t be a problem. The role is more of an extended cameo, and he’s got so many other things going on that this should be a cake walk for the hardest working man in Hollywood.

ALT: Dave Bautista, Terry Crews

The Hemsworth Brothers as The Holy Knights

Finally! The planets have aligned for the Hemsworth triplets in this epic team-up. They’ve been playing good guys for most of their careers, so I’m sure that a crack at villainy would certainly pique their interest.

Chris and Liam do most of the heavy lifting as Dreyfus and Hendrickson, respectively. Liam is quite limited as an actor, so he can easily play righteous. Dreyfus requires more cunning and Chris has both the necessary talent and experience (see Ghostbusters). Big bro/runt of the litter Luke squeezes in for some light work as Zaratras. So, you know, good for him.

They’re known for having a fairly boring healthy relationship with one another, but tapping into some secret, hidden, deep-rooted sibling rivalry could add a surprise element to this villainous dynamic.

ALT: Matt Damon, Ben and Casey Affleck

Sorry to get your hopes up, but there’s probably a less than zero chance of this ever getting made. Americans don’t exactly have a successful track record with anime adaptations: Dragonball Evolution, Street Fighter, Speed Racer, Death Note, Ghost in the Shell…I could keep going. Blame it on the over-westernization or tone-deaf executive input. Either way, we’ve dropped the dragon ball.

This is why we can’t have nice things. They need to put an actual weeb in charge. A true anime nerd should be commanding this Holy War. I wouldn’t consider myself devout, but I do partake in the sacrament. Throwing my hat in the ring: Prime Minister of Adaptations, Anime Division. Probably less than a less than zero chance of that ever happening. But, hey, a girl can dream. ♦

REVIEW: Daredevil Season 3 [NO SPOILERS]

arvel’s attempt at building a Netflix universe hasn’t exactly gone as planned. They started off on the right foot, but the overall quality of their shows has been dropping steadily. The Defenders came and went with mixed reviews (at best) leading to the back-to-back cancellation of both Iron Fist and Luke Cage (although, these mildly surprising decisions appear more related to Disney’s much-anticipated, upcoming streaming service). We still have season two of The Punisher coming next year and Jessica Jones season three, which is still in production (for now) and looks to be the grand finale of this awkward partnership. But, with so much turbulence and uncertainty, what were we to expect from the latest, and most likely last, Daredevil? Consider our expectations…exceeded. Here are a few takeaways from an exceptional third season.

 

KINGPIN SEASON 2

Vincent D’Onofrio is sooo so so so so so so so so good. He does this finger twitch. It’s barely noticeable, but he does it every time he’s feeling stressed. Whenever it happens, you know it’s very possible someone will get his skull smashed in, creating this constant tension whenever he’s on screen. This season is more proof that the villain really makes a show. It does such a good job of making you feel sympathetic with Fisk, then incrementally making him do evil things. He’s relatable at times, but a few episodes will pass and he’s a monster again, and you didn’t even realize the monster came back out.

 

BAD RELIGION

The first few episodes deal with Matt’s religious doubts and may turn some people off because it may hit a little too close to home. There’s this weird sexual tension with a nun. Not sure if that was intentional or if I’m just a disgusting human. It’s more likely that I’m a disgusting human.

 

PASS-A-FIST

I wish the fight choreography was as good as as season one or two. It’s passable, but not as good as previous seasons. It’s forgivable because that money was spent on writing and Vincent D’Onofrio (and it was money well spent).

 

REAL IT IN

The best thing this season did was bring the show back to the ground. Season two and The Defenders dealt with magical ninjas. They could have gone super crazy after the magical ninjas and fully leaned into left field, but the writers made a good choice. They regrounded the show, depowered our hero and didn’t fall into the trap of escalation for the sake of escalation. ♦

arvel’s attempt at building a Netflix universe hasn’t exactly gone as planned. They started off on the right foot, but the overall quality of their shows has been dropping steadily. The Defenders came and went with mixed reviews (at best) leading to the back-to-back cancellation of both Iron Fist and Luke Cage (although, these mildly surprising decisions appear more related to Disney’s much-anticipated, upcoming streaming service). We still have season two of The Punisher coming next year and Jessica Jones season three, which is still in production (for now) and looks to be the grand finale of this awkward partnership. But, with so much turbulence and uncertainty, what were we to expect from the latest, and most likely last, Daredevil? Consider our expectations…exceeded. Here are a few takeaways from an exceptional third season.

 

KINGPIN SEASON 2

Vincent D’Onofrio is sooo so so so so so so so so good. He does this finger twitch. It’s barely noticeable, but he does it every time he’s feeling stressed. Whenever it happens, you know it’s very possible someone will get his skull smashed in, creating this constant tension whenever he’s on screen. This season is more proof that the villain really makes a show. It does such a good job of making you feel sympathetic with Fisk, then incrementally making him do evil things. He’s relatable at times, but a few episodes will pass and he’s a monster again, and you didn’t even realize the monster came back out.

 

BAD RELIGION

The first few episodes deal with Matt’s religious doubts and may turn some people off because it may hit a little too close to home. There’s this weird sexual tension with a nun. Not sure if that was intentional or if I’m just a disgusting human. It’s more likely that I’m a disgusting human.

 

PASS-A-FIST

I wish the fight choreography was as good as as season one or two. It’s passable, but not as good as previous seasons. It’s forgivable because that money was spent on writing and Vincent D’Onofrio (and it was money well spent).

 

REAL IT IN

The best thing this season did was bring the show back to the ground. Season two and The Defenders dealt with magical ninjas. They could have gone super crazy after the magical ninjas and fully leaned into left field, but the writers made a good choice. They regrounded the show, depowered our hero and didn’t fall into the trap of escalation for the sake of escalation. ♦

BELATED BINGE: Dexter [SPOILERS]

an…I’m mad late to this party (twelve years late). So good. That season finale…OH BOY! #IceTruckKiller. Man, if you’re like me and waited 12 years to watch this, something’s wrong with us. I love his “pretending to be normal” face. I wish I knew how to put on a fake face. Everyone tells me my face is too honest. I love how the show doesn’t hide how hot and humid Miami is. Dexter’s back is sweating all the time. The Cuban music soundtrack is dope, then he murders someone. It’s a good switch up. 

 

UPDATE:

Random comments in no particular order:

  • I love shows where the main character is a genius, kind of a-holey, jumps to wild conclusions and (by crazy TV logic) ends up being right.
  • In real life, Dexter married Deb. They divorced and then filmed 3 seasons AFTER their divorce. They are true professionals.
  • In real life, Dexter had freaking cancer around season 4 or 5.
  • Doakes is such an over the top asshole cop, that it didn’t seem bad while you were watching it for the first time. But, when the show flashes back to him, he ends up being a comical character.
  • I can’t not like Jimmy Smits. He played pretty much the same character in Sons of Anarchy. He’s such a cool older Spanish mentor.
  • Season 4 got rave reviews online. I didn’t dig it. Dexter had so many chances to *kill* Trinity and didn’t do it. That annoyed me. John Lithgow is a great actor. His range is doofy alien in Third Rock from the Sun to serial killer in Dexter.
  • Seasons 6 and 8 were the least enjoyable for me. At first, I was accepting of the series finale and the direction the writers took. Now that I think of it, yeah, the finale sucked…along with the last 3 episodes of the season. If he was willing to leave Miami, he could have left at the end of season 7 and lived happily ever after. If he was willing to bounce on Harrison, he could have done that way earlier. Why does Harrison even exist? Dexter is a serial killer who didn’t want connections. He would have sterilized himself.
  • Dexter went from dirty blond in the earlier seasons to super dark red head in the last two seasons. It had nothing to do with cancer. It was a decision to just change it for the sake of change.
  • How much money do blood spatter analysts get paid? According to Google: $61,220 in 2017. My man had an apartment, a house, a boat, a car, and 3 kids in Miami. Later on, he had two apartments, a boat, a car, private school tuition and a nanny that worked damn all day and all night. He also takes 6 hour lunches every day to stalk his prey. He is amazing at budgeting his income.
  • Dexter and I are very similar. We wear the same clothes all the time for at least 8 years. ♦

an…I’m mad late to this party (twelve years late). So good. That season finale…OH BOY! #IceTruckKiller. Man, if you’re like me and waited 12 years to watch this, something’s wrong with us. I love his “pretending to be normal” face. I wish I knew how to put on a fake face. Everyone tells me my face is too honest. I love how the show doesn’t hide how hot and humid Miami is. Dexter’s back is sweating all the time. The Cuban music soundtrack is dope, then he murders someone. It’s a good switch up. 

 

UPDATE:

Random comments in no particular order:

  • I love shows where the main character is a genius, kind of a-holey, jumps to wild conclusions and (by crazy TV logic) ends up being right.
  • In real life, Dexter married Deb. They divorced and then filmed 3 seasons AFTER their divorce. They are true professionals.
  • In real life, Dexter had freaking cancer around season 4 or 5.
  • Doakes is such an over the top asshole cop, that it didn’t seem bad while you were watching it for the first time. But, when the show flashes back to him, he ends up being a comical character.
  • I can’t not like Jimmy Smits. He played pretty much the same character in Sons of Anarchy. He’s such a cool older Spanish mentor.
  • Season 4 got rave reviews online. I didn’t dig it. Dexter had so many chances to *kill* Trinity and didn’t do it. That annoyed me. John Lithgow is a great actor. His range is doofy alien in Third Rock from the Sun to serial killer in Dexter.
  • Seasons 6 and 8 were the least enjoyable for me. At first, I was accepting of the series finale and the direction the writers took. Now that I think of it, yeah, the finale sucked…along with the last 3 episodes of the season. If he was willing to leave Miami, he could have left at the end of season 7 and lived happily ever after. If he was willing to bounce on Harrison, he could have done that way earlier. Why does Harrison even exist? Dexter is a serial killer who didn’t want connections. He would have sterilized himself.
  • Dexter went from dirty blond in the earlier seasons to super dark red head in the last two seasons. It had nothing to do with cancer. It was a decision to just change it for the sake of change.
  • How much money do blood spatter analysts get paid? According to Google: $61,220 in 2017. My man had an apartment, a house, a boat, a car, and 3 kids in Miami. Later on, he had two apartments, a boat, a car, private school tuition and a nanny that worked damn all day and all night. He also takes 6 hour lunches every day to stalk his prey. He is amazing at budgeting his income.
  • Dexter and I are very similar. We wear the same clothes all the time for at least 8 years. ♦

Big Mouth Season 2: Power Ranking the Cast [SPOILERS]

ig Mouth was a surprise breakout hit for Netflix last year. Critically, it sits at a perfect 100% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. To be honest with you, the overall design is kind of…gross. I had no interest initially, but then I got stoned and gave it a chance. I had such a good time, I ended up binging the entire series in one night. Not that you have to get high in order to watch it. I’ve had multiple sober viewings that have been just as enjoyable. The show isn’t just dumb funny either. It explores some real life growing pains and speaks in a language (other than vulgar) that most kids, pre-teens, teens and maybe even some adults can relate to. Fast forward to season two and, just as I would have hoped, it does not disappoint. This show’s got heart and a compelling enough narrative to keep anyone engaged. Whether you’re a horny nerd with a micro penis or a horny nerd with a massive penis and everything out and in between, you’ll find something to laugh your ass off to. Here are my power rankings for the cast of Big Mouth season two.

10. Gina
A newbie to the series, this season two standout is the only rookie to crack the list. She’s a student-athlete who becomes the victim of objectification and slut-shaming. But, by the end of the season, learns to turn embarrassment into empowerment.

I liked getting my boobs felt, and if that makes me a slut, well, then that’s your problem.

Gina is an important reminder to all of us that teenage girls shouldn’t feel ashamed of their sprouting sexuality. She might be the show’s most lovable female, inside and out. You go girl!

9. Missy
Missy really comes into her own in season two. The former dense outcast learns to overcome her manifested insecurity: Mirror Missy. She’s a sweet nerd who uses her newfound strength to embrace her inner hornball (shouts to Mr. Wiggles).

I’m the biggest perv in the world.

Taboo? She’s just out here trying to masturbate in peace. We ain’t mad at you girl. We’re looking forward to the next phase in your evolution.

8. Andrew
Big man had himself quite a busy season. When he’s not skydiving into boob heaven or getting caught yanking it to Nick’s sister, he’s surviving shame court, the blue waffle nightmare and his first lip waxing. The volume alone gets this guy on the list. He entered his first relationship and ended it, all in the same episode.

Sex is so…complicated.

From awkward creep to lauded pimp, season two was an adventure for young Glouberman. He sure is lucky to have a hormone monster like Maury.

7. Maury
The shining star of season one is back and he brought an extra serving of funny with him. Maury is just…the best. Everything that comes out of his mouth is gold. You can always count on the monster behind all of Andrew’s sex-capades to help him through every scenario.

Cunning? We talking about eating pussy? Too bad you lost your womb broom.

He even shaved himself bald as a sign of solidarity. There’s nothing else to say other than, we can’t wait for more Maury in season three.

6. Jessi
Jessi is not handling her parents separation well and we’re embarrassed at how much we’re enjoying it. We feel for her, so when she dabbles in kleptomania and edibles, we give her a pass. She’s earned it after having to endure all that family drama at home.

Finger-knees.

A line is finally crossed when she slips and tells Nick and Gina’s secret to Devin. The guilt pushes her underneath the comforting weight of Depression Kitty but, thankfully, the recently fired Connie is there to save her. It’s been an emotional ride. Hopefully she can catch a break in season three.

5. Connie
SNL legend Maya Rudolph has found her calling as Constance the hormone monster. Connie’s got her hands full dealing with Jessi’s school and family drama and heroically manages to get her out of the depression cell. Let’s also not forget her swinging disco number at the Korean spa: I Love It All.

My booty is a beauty. My boobs a work of art. My love handles. My bat wings. I love every single part!

Her stint with unemployment was brief, seeing that she’s got a new project for season three in Nick. This might be her best professional role and i’ve seen Bridesmaids.

4. Jay
Girls. Guys. Girl pillows. Guy pillows. You’re probably asking yourself, “Is there anything this guy won’t hook up with?”. Probably a bag of microwaved tomato soup…oh wait, nevermind. Jay gets the most action on the show, and if he wants a subscription to jean short monthly then, by god, we should let the man live. 

If I was gonna get laid, I wouldn’t use a condom. I’m not a woman.

He also has a surprisingly positive outlook, despite having to deal with a (let’s say toxic) family dynamic. We agree with Maury on this one: “He’s his own hormone monster.”.

3. Lola
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more despicable character in season one. And for the first half of season two as well, now that we think about it. They give her a bigger role this year and she did not waste the opportunity. She really breaks out with a comedic performance no one could have seen coming.

Hey, Humpty Dumpty, last one to rub my front is a rotten egg you, rotten egg.

Partially furnished condo? Check. Nabbed herself a short-term boyfriend? Check. Makes a new bff in Gina? Check. All while starting a school-wide feminist movement. Her confidence may be irrational, but we’ll allow it.

2. Nick
Speaking of irrational confidence, Nick is our runner-up. He had quite a second season. My man hit a game-winning buzzer beater, grew his first set of pubes, plus attempted murder (and that was just the first episode). He had the balls to approach the widely coveted Gina Alvarez and, even though he started in the friend zone, found a way out (and managed to grab a boob along the way).

You’re so funny, and you have such kind eyes. You’re like a white shit.

Hooking up with Gina gives Nick some major clout going into season three and losing Rick as his hormone monster (R.I.P.) might be a blessing in disguise. Because we couldn’t be more excited to see what debauchery will ensue after pairing him with the conspicuous Connie.

1. Coach Steve
That’s right. The MVP of season two goes to DJ Pendejo himself: Coach Steve. Check the highlights: gains a best friend, loses his virginity to said best friends mom propelling him into “Gary” status, leading to the best song of season two (and maybe history):

I Want To Do Sex On A Lady!

He introduces us to the Bad Mitten and breaks down the shame wizard with his ultimate weapon: shamelessness. He’s a caring soul and retains a weirdly positive outlook given his depressing social status and literal garbage living situation (shouts to the diaper barge). If it weren’t for his recent firing, he might be pitching a perfect season. His future moving forward seems cloudy but, no matter what happens, we know it’s going to be both hilariously dismal and the most funnest thing ever. LeBron James! (Pube-fetti rains) ♦

ig Mouth was a surprise breakout hit for Netflix last year. Critically, it sits at a perfect 100% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. To be honest with you, the overall design is kind of…gross. I had no interest initially, but then I got stoned and gave it a chance. I had such a good time, I ended up binging the entire series in one night. Not that you have to get high in order to watch it. I’ve had multiple sober viewings that have been just as enjoyable. The show isn’t just dumb funny either. It explores some real life growing pains and speaks in a language (other than vulgar) that most kids, pre-teens, teens and maybe even some adults can relate to. Fast forward to season two and, just as I would have hoped, it does not disappoint. This show’s got heart and a compelling enough narrative to keep anyone engaged. Whether you’re a horny nerd with a micro penis or a horny nerd with a massive penis and everything out and in between, you’ll find something to laugh your ass off to. Here are my power rankings for the cast of Big Mouth season two.

10. Gina

A newbie to the series, this season two standout is the only rookie to crack the list. She’s a student-athlete who becomes the victim of objectification and slut-shaming. But, by the end of the season, learns to turn embarrassment into empowerment.

I liked getting my boobs felt, and if that makes me a slut, well, then that’s your problem.

Gina is an important reminder to all of us that teenage girls shouldn’t feel ashamed of their sprouting sexuality. She might be the show’s most lovable female, inside and out. You go girl!

9. Missy

Missy really comes into her own in season two. The former dense outcast learns to overcome her manifested insecurity: Mirror Missy. She’s a sweet nerd who uses her newfound strength to embrace her inner hornball (shouts to Mr. Wiggles).

I’m the biggest perv in the world.

Taboo? She’s just out here trying to masturbate in peace. We ain’t mad at you girl. We’re looking forward to the next phase in your evolution.

8. Andrew

Big man had himself quite a busy season. When he’s not skydiving into boob heaven or getting caught yanking it to Nick’s sister, he’s surviving shame court, the blue waffle nightmare and his first lip waxing. The volume alone gets this guy on the list. He entered his first relationship and ended it, all in the same episode.

Sex is so…complicated.

From awkward creep to lauded pimp, season two was an adventure for Glouberman. He sure is lucky to have a hormone monster like Maury to guide him.

7. Maury

The shining star of season one is back and he brought an extra serving of funny with him. Maury is just…the best. Everything that comes out of his mouth is gold. You can always count on the monster behind all of Andrew’s sex-capades to help him through every scenario.

Cunning? We talking about eating pussy? Too bad you lost your womb broom.

He even shaved himself bald as a sign of solidarity. There’s nothing else to say other than, we can’t wait for more Maury in season three.

6. Jessi

Jessi is not handling her parents separation well and we love it. We feel for her so, when she dabbles in kleptomania and edibles, we give her a pass. She’s earned it after having to endure all that family drama at home.

Finger-knees.

A line is finally crossed when she slips and tells Nick and Gina’s secret to Devin. The guilt pushes her underneath the comforting weight of Depression Kitty but, thankfully, the recently fired Connie is there to save her. It’s been an emotional ride. Hopefully she can catch a break in season three.


5. Connie

SNL legend Maya Rudolph has found her calling as Constance the hormone monster. Connie’s got her hands full dealing with Jessi’s school and family drama and heroically manages to get her out of the depression cell. Let’s also not forget her swinging disco number at the Korean spa: I Love It All.

My booty is a. beauty. My boobs a work of art. My love handles. My bat wings. I love every single part!

Her stint with unemployment was brief, seeing that she’s got a new project for season three in Nick. This might be her best professional role and i’ve seen Bridesmaids.


4. Jay

Girls. Guys. Girl pillows. Guy pillows. You’re probably asking yourself, “Is there anything this guy won’t hook up with?”. Probably a bag of microwaved tomato soup…oh wait, nevermind. Jay gets the most action on the show, and if he wants a subscription to jean short monthly then, by god, we should let the man live.

If I was gonna get laid, I wouldn’t use a condom. I’m not a woman.

He also has a surprisingly positive outlook, despite having to deal with a (let’s say toxic) family dynamic. We agree with Maury on this one: “He’s his own hormone monster.”.


3. Lola

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more despicable character in season one. And for the first half of season two as well, now that we think about it. They give her a bigger role this year and she did not waste the opportunity. She really breaks out with a comedic performance no one could have seen coming.

Hey, Humpty Dumpty, last one to rub my front is a rotten egg, you, rotten egg.

Partially furnished condo? Check. Nabbed herself a short-term boyfriend? Check. Makes a new bff in Gina? Check. All while starting a school-wide feminist movement. Her confidence may be irrational, but we’ll allow it.


2. Nick

Speaking of irrational confidence, Nick is our runner-up. He had quite a second season. My man hit a game-winning buzzer beater, grew his first set of pubes, plus attempted murder (and that was just the first episode). He had the balls to approach the widely coveted Gina Alvarez and, even though he started in the friend zone, found a way out (and managed to grab a boob along the way).

You’re so funny, and you have such kind eyes. You’re like a white shit.

Hooking up with Gina gives Nick some major clout going into season three and losing Rick as his hormone monster (R.I.P.) might be a blessing in disguise. Because we couldn’t be more excited to see what debauchery will ensue after pairing him with the conspicuous Connie.


1. Coach Steve

That’s right. The MVP of season two goes to DJ Pendejo himself: Coach Steve. Check the highlights: gains a best friend, loses his virginity to said best friends mom propelling him into “Gary” status, leading to the best song of season two (and maybe history):

I want to do sex on a lady!

He introduces us to the Bad Mitten and breaks down the Shame Wizard with his ultimate weapon: shameless- ness. He’s a caring soul and retains a weirdly positive outlook given his depressing social status and literal garbage living situation (shouts to the diaper barge). If it weren’t for his recent firing, he might be pitching a perfect season. His future moving forward seems cloudy but, no matter what happens, we know it’s going to be both hilariously dismal and the most funnest thing ever. LeBron James! (Pube-fetti rains)

Solo: An Unintentional 7 Movie Review [SPOILERS]

Solo: The Movie About Han.

hy didn’t I watch this in the theater? Oh yeah, because I fell asleep during The Last Jedi three times. Once in the theater and twice while trying to watch it again. I’m still not certain I watched all of The Last Jedi, and it’s on freaking Netflix…for free! I have no desire to complete that watching experience, not even to experience weird shirtless Kylo Ren and understand all the Ben Swolo memes.

I think I fell asleep during Rogue One, but not because it was a bad movie. I don’t think I was mentally prepared for a depressing war movie and then seeing Forest Whitaker on screen threw me off. When he popped up on screen, all I kept thinking about was the trailer for Ghost Dog. It’s also weird seeing Forest Whitaker not be some detective chasing the hero around like he did all of Blood Sport and during one of the Taken movies. I fell asleep after his scene and then I woke up to everyone dying on a beach. The point is, I fell asleep during 2 of the last 3 most recent Star Wars movies.

The prequels were far from gems. Very far. Twelve parsecs far!

  • The Phantom Menace was good if you edit out all the Jar Jar scenes and all the scenes with young Anakin. That leaves like 20 minutes of good movie.
  • Attack of the Clones forced us to witness teenage Anakin trying to kick it to Natalie Portman. It was brutally cringe.
  • Revenge of the Sith forced us to watch slightly older Anakin attempt acting in front of a green screen for almost 3 hours. Why? Why!? They knew he was trash in episode two. They made us sit through him in episode three anyway.

Ewan McGregor’s Obi Wan, Liam Neeson showing his particular set of skills before anyone knew he had a particular set of skills, Darth Maul, and Yoda were very strong high points. Unfortunately, there was so much bad in the prequels that good movies overall be called they can’t.

We’re talking about 6 movies that I didn’t love in the past 19 years. This 7th movie in the past 19 years is just a backstory. That’s why I didn’t watch Solo in the theater. It just felt like a money grab and I expected another disappointment. I should have watched it. It’s pretty good. It excels at not doing anything that makes you hate it. The action scenes are well-executed and they flow pretty quickly and semi-logically into each other. They cover all the checkboxes:

car chase
√ train heist
√ a standard laser battle in front of the Millenium Falcon where our heroes stand out in the open and kind of pose and punch while shooting their guns at the enemy
√ a prison break
√ the Millenium Falcon in a space battle
√ the Millenium Falcon losing the poorly placed satellite dish on the roof
√ Chewie and Han meeting
√ Han and Lando meeting
√ Han flying the Falcon for the first time…etc.

It really has everything you want in a Han movie and it doesn’t do anything bad.

This is the bad scene in The Force Awakens:

OMG. OMG. OMG. He’s about to take his mask off. What does Kylo look like?!?!? Is he crazy scarred? What does he LOOK LIKE?! Oh. Oh yeah?! That’s what he looks like? An emo-ass kid. Why is he even wearing a mask?

There’s no letdown scene like that in Solo.

There are no extremely high points either. Everything is done a little better than average and not a point better. The timeline is far enough in the past that the actor doesn’t have to do a perfect Harrison Ford impersonation. All he needs are seeds of the older Han character that we know. He does it well enough. He’s likable.

The Mother of Dragons, Unburnt, First of Her Name, Breaker of Chains, yadda yadda yadda does really well here too. The costume choice for her character is interesting. Some scenes she has bangs, pearl earrings, a pearl necklace, red lipstick, and a peacoat on…in space. Sometimes she looks more like a Mad Men secretary than a space traveler.

Jon Favreau’s voice is in it.

Donald Glover is awesome. I could watch a whole Donald Glover as Lando movie. If they’re trying to do all the genres, there could easily be a Star Wars rom-com with Lando. I would love the over-the-top explanation of why he loves capes and watching the hijinks unfold as he tries to get his first one. I would definitely watch that in the theater. And that was an unintentional 7 movie review. ♦

Solo: The Movie About Han.

Why didn’t I watch this in the theater? Oh yeah, because I fell asleep during The Last Jedi three times. Once in the theater and twice while trying to watch it again. I’m still not certain I watched all of The Last Jedi, and it’s on freaking Netflix…for free! I have no desire to complete that watching experience, not even to experience weird shirtless Kylo Ren and understand all the Ben Swolo memes.

I think I fell asleep during Rogue One, but not because it was a bad movie. I don’t think I was mentally prepared for a depressing war movie and then seeing Forest Whitaker on screen threw me off. When he popped up on screen, all I kept thinking about was the trailer for Ghost Dog. It’s also weird seeing Forest Whitaker not be some detective chasing the hero around like he did all of Blood Sport and during one of the Taken movies. I fell asleep after his scene and then I woke up to everyone dying on a beach. The point is, I fell asleep during 2 of the last 3 most recent Star Wars movies.

The prequels were far from gems. Very far. Twelve parsecs far!

  • The Phantom Menace was good if you edit out all the Jar Jar scenes and all the scenes with young Anakin. That leaves like 20 minutes of good movie.

  • Attack of the Clones forced us to witness teenage Anakin trying to kick it to Natalie Portman. It was brutally cringe.

  • Revenge of the Sith forced us to watch slightly older Anakin attempt acting in front of a green screen for almost 3 hours. Why? Why!? They knew he was trash in episode two. They made us sit through him in episode three anyway.

Ewan McGregor’s Obi Wan, Liam Neeson showing his particular set of skills before anyone knew he had a particular set of skills, Darth Maul, and Yoda were very strong high points. Unfortunately, there was so much bad in the prequels that good movies overall be called they can’t.

We’re talking about 6 movies that I didn’t love in the past 19 years. This 7th movie in the past 19 years is just a backstory. That’s why I didn’t watch Solo in the theater. It just felt like a money grab and I expected another disappointment. I should have watched it. It’s pretty good. It excels at not doing anything that makes you hate it. The action scenes are well-executed and they flow pretty quickly and semi-logically into each other. They cover all the checkboxes:

√ car chase

√ train heist

√ a standard laser battle in front of the Millenium Falcon where our heroes stand out in the open and kind of pose and punch while shooting their guns at the enemy

√ a prison break

√ the Millenium Falcon in a space battle

√ the Millenium Falcon losing the poorly placed satellite dish on the roof

√ Chewie and Han meeting

√ Han and Lando meeting

√ Han flying the Falcon for the first time…etc.

It really has everything you want in a Han movie and it doesn’t do anything bad.

This is the bad scene in The Force Awakens:

OMG. OMG. OMG. He’s about to take his mask off. What does Kylo look like?!?!? Is he crazy scarred? What does he LOOK LIKE?! Oh. Oh yeah?! That’s what he looks like? An emo-ass kid. Why is he even wearing a mask?

There’s no letdown scene like that in Solo.

There are no extremely high points either. Everything is done a little better than average and not a point better. The timeline is far enough in the past that the actor doesn’t have to do a perfect Harrison Ford impersonation. All he needs are seeds of the older Han character that we know. He does it well enough. He’s likable.

The Mother of Dragons, Unburnt, First of Her Name, Breaker of Chains, yadda yadda yadda does really well here too. The costume choice for her character is interesting. Some scenes she has bangs, pearl earrings, a pearl necklace, red lipstick, and a peacoat on…in space. Sometimes she looks more like a Mad Mensecretary than a space traveler.

Jon Favreau’s voice is in it.

Donald Glover is awesome. I could watch a whole Donald Glover as Lando movie. If they’re trying to do all the genres, there could easily be a Star Wars rom-com with Lando. I would love the over-the-top explanation of why he loves capes and watching the hijinks unfold as he tries to get his first one. I would definitely watch that in the theater. Aaaaannnd that was an unintentional 7 movie review. ♦

 

Crazy Rich Asians is Blunder-ful [SPOILERS]

ust for clarity: They weren’t crazy, they were crazy rich (I might have enjoyed it more if some of them were actually crazy). You also don’t need to be Asian to relate to this movie.

A series of blunders:

  • For a wedding ceremony, they convert a church into Fern Gully and the bride wades down the aisle to the altar. A perfectly good, dry, working church is transformed into a swamp. The pews are tall grass. It looked as stupid as it sounds. I feel mental typing out that description. The inconvenience of WADING down the aisle, getting the wedding gown wet, then the bridesmaids getting equally wet makes absolutely no sense. Then these morons stand there the entire ceremony soaking wet. Sometimes directors make characters do dumb things bc it sets up a visually stunning shot. Imagine a lady in a wedding gown in a freaking swamp. It’s not a visually stunning image. Seeing this unfold on screen took me out of the movie completely.
  • The hero isn’t cut up AND they have scenes where the camera pans on him like he’s cut up. The combination is the issue. He doesn’t have to be cut up. No problem. Most people aren’t. He doesn’t have to be jacked. No problem. If he’s not, don’t shoot a shot where I’m led to believe he’s willing to make the sacrifice to look good on screen. There didn’t need to be a scene where dude was standing in a doorway with the sun behind him, shirtless, while the camera lingered on his stomach. Dude, the beautiful sun is being blocked by your-not-so-beautiful stomach. There didn’t need to be one of those scenes. There certainly wasn’t a need for two of them, but there I was, 30 minutes later, being forced to look at this guy, shirtless, while he talked to his mother. He could have had his shirt on. It’s even weirder that he had a long, barechested conversation with his heartless mom.

    Side note: Michelle Yeoh is a cold, cold woman. Her kill scene in this movie is way more badass than any of the ones she did in her action movies.

  • Our hero is written as a James Marsden character. James Marsden is the dude in The Notebook that does absolutely NOTHING wrong, is super NOT jealous, and his woman runs off into the arms of Ryan Gosling. The emotional finale focuses on the love between his woman and Ryan Gosling. James Marsden also played Cyclops in the original X-Men trilogy. He also does nothing wrong (he might’ve gotten a little jealous) and his woman still ends up in the arms of Hugh Jackman. After being killed by said woman, the emotional finale ends up focusing on the love between his woman and Hugh Jackman.

    Back to this movie. Our hero doesn’t do ANYTHING wrong. NOTHING (other than not doing enough cardio). Somehow, there are multiple instances where his woman is crying and/or mad at him for something he didn’t do. The woman even knows, the entire time, that this guy was golden and he still has to deal with the drama. She doesn’t kill him, but she runs away from him with the knowledge that she’s punishing him for like…no reason.

I HATE this in movies. A couple separates because one of them messes up. One day later, the one in pain is already interested in someone else and that’s supposed to imply a happy ending for that person. WTF?! You just got out of a long-term relationship and you’re ready to move on one day later? Perhaps you’re a serial relationship person and you don’t really know who you are. MAYBE, that could have contributed to why your major relationship didn’t work out.

Rom coms need to make a comeback. They’ve been gone a little too long. Movies nowadays are a little too bloated with CGI and gigantic plots. Relationship movies are a nice refresher. I may accidentally watch Sweet Home Alabama this weekend. Ugh, nevermind, I just remembered. Patrick Dempsey is the James Marsden character in that movie. He does nothing wrong in that movie too either…and you know what? F’n…Legally Blond was ready to walk down the aisle with Patrick Dempsey. She bounces on him at the aisle and, the same night, she’s ready to marry fake Matthew McConaughey. I’m all pissed again. This is why they stopped making rom coms. It causes fights in relationships. Dudes don’t get it and women leave the theater in happy tears (whatever those are). This weekend I’ll just rewatch Infinity War for the 27th time. At least aliens and superpowers make emotional sense. ♦

Crazy Rich Asians – Kinda spoilers – because are you really gonna watch it? Clarification – they weren’t crazy, they were crazy rich. I may have enjoyed it more some of them were actually crazy. You don’t need to be Asian to relate to the movie.

A series of blunders:

  • Movie Blunder: For a wedding ceremony, they convert a church into Fern Gully and the bride wades down the aisle to the altar. A perfectly dry, working church is transformed into a swamp. The pews are tall grass. It looked as stupid as it sounds. I feel mental typing out that description. The inconvenience of WADING down the aisle getting the wedding gown wet, then the bridesmaids getting equally wet makes absolutely no sense. Then these morons stand there the entire ceremony soaking wet. Sometimes directors make characters do dumb things bc it sets up a visually stunning shot. Imagine a lady in a wedding gown in a freaking swamp. It’s not a visually stunning image. Seeing this unfold on screen took me out of the movie completely.

 

  • Next movie blunder: the hero isn’t cut up AND they have scenes where the camera pans on him like he’s cut up. The combination is the issue. He doesn’t have to be cut up. No problem. Most people aren’t. He doesn’t have to be jacked. No problem. If he’s not, don’t shoot a shot where I’m lead to believe he’s willing to make the sacrifice to look good on screen. There didn’t need to be a scene where dude was standing in a doorway with the sun behind, shirtless, while the camera lingered on his stomach. Dude, the beautiful sun is being blocked by your not beautiful stomach. There didn’t need to be one of those scenes. There certainly wasn’t a need for two of them, but there I was, 30 minutes later, being forced to look at this guy, shirtless, while he talked to his mother. He could have had his shirt on. It’s even weirder that he had a long, barechested conversation with his heartless mom. Side note: Michelle Yeoh is a cold, cold woman. Her kill scene in this movie is way more badass than any of the ones she did in her action movies.

 

  • Next movie blunder: Our hero is written as a James Marsden character. James Marsden is the dude in the Notebook that does absolutely nothing wrong, is super not jealous, and his woman runs off into Ryan Gosling’s arms. The emotional finale is the love between the woman and Ryan Gosling. James Marsden also played Cyclops in the original X-Men trilogy, also does nothing wrong, is a little jealous, and his woman still ends up in the arms of Hugh Jackman. After being killed by woman, the emotional finale ends up being about the love between the woman and Hugh Jackman. Back to this movie – our hero doesn’t do ANYTHING wrong. Nothing – other than not doing enough cardio. Somehow, multiple times in the movie, the woman is crying/and or mad at him for something he didn’t do. The woman even knows the entire time that this guy was golden, but he has to deal with the drama. She doesn’t kill him, but she runs away from him with the knowledge that she’s punishing him for something he doesn’t do.

 

I HATE THIS in movies. A couple breaks up because one of them messes up. One day later, the hurt person is already interested in another person – and that’s supposed to imply a happy ending for that person. WTF?! You just got out of a long-term relationship and you’re ready to move on one day later? Perhaps you’re a serial relationship person, you don’t really know who you are, and MAYBE, that could have contributed to why your major relationship didn’t work out.

 

Rom coms need to make a comeback. They’ve been gone a little too long. Movies are a little too bloated now with CGI and gigantic plots. Relationship movies are a nice refresher. I may accidentally watch Sweet Home Alabama this weekend. Ugh – nevermind. I just remembered – Patrick Dempsey is the James Marsden character in that movie. He does nothing wrong in that movie too… and you know what? F’n Legally Blond was ready to walk down the aisle with Patrick Dempsey, she bounces on him at the aisle, and the same night, she’s ready to marry fake Matthew McConaughey. I’m all pissed again. This is why they stopped making rom coms. It causes fights in relationships. Dudes don’t get it and women leave the theater in happy tears. Whatever those are. This weekend I’ll just rewatch Infinity War for the 27th time. At least aliens and superpowers make emotional sense. ♦

Creep: The Underrated Horror Movie You Need To See This October

he title says it all: Creep is creepy. Written, directed and starring Patrick Brice and Mark Duplass, this 2014 film is unexpectedly chilling. Aaron (Brice) is a freelance videographer and Josef (Duplass)  is a Craigslist user who hires Aaron to film him for a day. I stumbled upon this movie myself while browsing Netflix and didn’t expect much, but was blown away by just how subtly unnerving this movie was. Creep is the underrated horror movie you need to see this Halloween season (Minor spoilers ahead).

One of the factors that makes this movie so unnerving is the “realness” of the plot and cinematography. The movie is filmed “found footage” style, which I admittedly tend to disregard occasionally, but the context provided makes this feel natural. This style of shooting also creates intimacy and empathy between the audience and Aaron. Right from the beginning, we feel uneasy with Josef’s behavior, unable to place exactly what makes him just so…creepy. We also begin to feel frustrated with Aaron’s apparent ignorance or willingness to accept all of these red flags. At the same time, we can understand that Aaron is just trying to complete a job, get paid, and go home (no matter how weird this guy is). We can tell that Josef poses some kind of threat to Aaron, but not even we can figure out exactly what it is or why. The movie is constantly giving us mixed signals, making us think we have this weirdo figured out just as he does something even stranger and more unexpected. There are also a ton of moments where you think you’ve figured out an action occurring off screen, only for the camera to pan and reveal that things are, again, not what they seem.

These “mixed signals” are produced by the abundance of subtlety in this film. The villain is a psychopath, but a discreet one (to a degree). Many times when we’re introduced to a psychopathic villain in a horror movie, it’s glaringly obvious that this person is supposed to be a “psycho killer”. They’re yelling, staring, violent, restrained, or have some other clear indication of danger and instability. The character of Josef is far more reserved in his initial presentation of psychotic behavior. We begin to feel largely uncomfortable with him, for example his odd behavior in the bathroom in the beginning of the film. This movie constantly has us in the position of Aaron, trying to determine if the actions of Josef are grounds for quitting the job. For example, Josef tries to jump out and scare Aaron a few times when Aaron first arrives at his house, which is unsettling but not exactly grounds for leaving. After all, Josef laughs and apologises each time. Later in the film, Josef pulls the same “prank”, but to a slightly worse degree, this time running into the woods and making Aaron follow him before jumping out. This is followed by some unsettling, vaguely threatening dialogue from Josef. This trend of actions (beginning innocent and becoming horrific) is presented several times, also appearing in symbols such as the wolf costume.

The camera angles were chosen carefully and the dialogue performed precisely to increase suspense and intensity. Yet, the cinematography and acting still feels incredibly natural. You get the sense that you’re watching something you shouldn’t be. Like you actually have found this footage and might be next. Creep provides intense and unexpected elements of paranoia that will leave you looking over your shoulder for days. ♦

The title says it all: Creep is creepy. Written, directed by and starring Patrick Brice and Mark Duplass, this 2014 film is unexpectedly chilling. Aaron (Brice) is a freelance videographer and Josef (Duplass)  is a Craigslist user who hires Aaron to film him for a day. I stumbled upon this movie myself while browsing Netflix and didn’t expect much, but was blown away by just how subtly unnerving this movie was. Creep is the underrated horror movie you need to see this Halloween season. Minor Spoilers ahead.

 

One of the factors that makes this movie so unnerving is the “realness” of the plot and filming. The movie is filmed “found footage” style, which I admittedly tend to disregard occasionally, but the context provided makes this style feel natural. This style of shooting also creates intimacy and empathy between the audience and Aaron. Right from the beginning, we feel uneasy with Josef’s behavior, unable to place exactly what makes him just so…creepy. We also begin to feel frustrated with Aaron’s apparent ignorance or willingness to accept all of these red flags. At the same time, we can understand that Aaron is just trying to complete a job, get paid, and go home, no matter how weird this guy is. We can tell that Josef poses some kind of threat to Aaron, but not even we can figure out exactly what or why. The movie is constantly giving us mixed signals, making us think we have this weirdo figured out just as he does something even stranger and more unexpected. There’s also tons of moments where you think you’ve figured out an action occurring off screen, only for the camera to pan and reveal that things are again not what they seem.

 

These “mixed signals” are produced by the abundance of subtleties in this film. The villain is a psychopath, but a subtle one. Or, at least, he’s subtle until he reaches a certain point. Many times when we’re introduced to a psychopathic villain in a horror movie, it’s glaringly obvious that this person is supposed to be a “psycho killer”. They’re yelling, staring, violent, restrained, or have some other clear indication of danger and instability. The character of Josef is far more reserved in his initial presentation of psychotic behavior. We begin to feel largely uncomfortable with him, for example his odd behavior in the bathroom in the beginning of the film. This movie constantly has us in the position of Aaron, trying to determine if the actions of Josef are grounds for quitting the job. For example, Josef tries to jump out and scare Aaron a few times when Aaron first arrives at his house, which is unsettling but not exactly grounds for leaving. After all, Josef laughs and apologises each time. Later in the film, Josef pulls the same “prank”, but to a slightly worse degree, this time running into the woods and making Aaron follow him before jumping out. This is followed by some unsettling, vaguely threatening dialogue from Josef. This trend of actions beginning innocent and becoming horrific is presented several times, also appearing in symbols such as the wolf costume.

The dialogue and camera angles are carefully chosen and performed to increase suspense and intensity, but the film’s shooting and acting still feels incredibly natural. You feel as though you’re watching something you shouldn’t be, like you actually have found this footage and like you might be next. Creep provides unexpected and intense elements of paranoia that will leave you looking over your shoulder for days.

How the Evil Snells Became Netflix’s Cutest Couple [SPOILERS]

The nominees are:

Charlie and Harper, Set it Up.

[applause]

Mike and Eleven, Stranger Things.

[applause]

Lara Jean and Peter, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.

[applause]

And the winners are…Jacob and Darlene, Ozark!

[silence]

Confusion…even for the crickets.

 

eah, no, you heard that right. Adjace the ever growing catalog of Netflix Original rom com’s, hit crime drama Ozark features the cutest couple the streaming service has to offer and I’m not talking about anti-heroes Wendy and Marty Byrde (no, yeah, they suck).

So how exactly did the Snells become Netflix’s Cutest Couple?

 

They made their debut in episode four of season one. He was a soft-speaking, big-rifle-carrying cowboy. She was a crazy looking crazy person. The heroin dealing power couple quickly established a terrifying on-screen presence and proved a massive thorn in the Byrde’s side. How does that Stealers Wheel song go?:

Cartel to the left of me. Feds to the right. Here I am. Stuck in the Ozark with you.”

The Snells are a church going, God-fearing people. Sure, their bibles are used to distribute dope, but I respect family businsses that stay open on Sundays. Who am I to judge? (At least they go). The Snells of season one are obstacles. An intimidation device whose purity of evil is matched only by their devotion to one another. It’s admirable, but the season one finale actions of hillbilly Harley and Joker place everyone in danger, and by the end we’re still rooting against them.

Jacob
If there’s one thing Mexico is full of, it is Mexicans.

Facts.

Jacob
Why would we kill someone we’d just gone into partnership with? No logic to it…is there Darlene?

Darlene
I might have overreacted.

I know. I know. These two are the worst. I didn’t expect to switch sides, but just wait. The heel half turns and it’s weirdly magical.

 

Season two starts off on the same foot. They’re still the co-workers from hell, but the first three episodes reveal their softer side. Darlene gets baby fever, Jacob teaches Jonah to hunt and together they successfully burn down corrupt political donor Charlie Wilkes’ dock in an act of “democratic preservation”. The subsequent “celebration” is a pivotal moment of delight. A quick and unexpected sex scene with equal parts sugar and spice and a handful of bizarre acting choices. There’s playful moaning, laughing and some interesting post-coital decisions that only couples with a deep level of comfortability will understand.

Jacob
Oh Darlene. You are a marvel to me.

It’s a nice departure from the browbeating we’ve become accustomed to. We’re shown that, when they’re not busy ruining other people’s lives, the Snell’s are just like every other average couple that has hot and hilarious sex ending in an argument over family planning.

Darlene
You know what I’ve been thinking about?

Jacob
My mind is an empty shell right now.

I f*cking love this guy.

Darlene
I’m serious Jacob. What is the point of all this if we got no one to leave it all to?

 

The next few episodes find Jacob in the doghouse. Boyfriends and husbands around the world shake their heads in agreement. Women…am I right fellas? By episode six, he trades the doghouse for a jailhouse and this somehow upsets us. You don’t realize it, but you’ve been incepted. The duo you hated in season one have hijacked your rooting interest. A quarrel during episode eight:

Darlene
You killed Ash for no reason.

Jacob
I killed him to save you.

Awww.

Darlene
I guess we just see things differently.

Just a couple kids figuring it out.

 

A flashback in episode nine transports us to the couples first meeting. Young Jacob, donned in military garb, has returned from war and is on an apparent lackluster diner date. Young Darlene crashes their booth:

Young Darlene
Five more minutes listening to her, you’re gonna wish you’d died in a ditch in Hue.

This kitty’s got claws.

Young Darlene
Are you telling me you made it back home from ‘Nam unscathed just to come home and run out the clock?

Young Jacob

Young Darlene
Drop a ten on the table, follow me out that door, I promise I’ll at least make it interesting.

Sold.

Glen Campbell’s Wichita Lineman plays as we cut forward to the two young love birds preparing to dip skinny in a lake.

Young Jacob
Got the feeling you’re all kinds of trouble Darlene.

Young Darlene
Only the best kinds.

We don’t get back story on their rise to drug king and queen pin and it doesn’t matter. It’s the puppy love that’s driving this runaway train. Flash forward to Jacob bleeding out in the back of a recently bullet-bombarded Chevy. Darlene praying over him:

Darlene
Oh, God, don’t you die on me.

It’s ironic that her prayers are answered…for now. He later strikes a one on one deal with Marty and the cartel to end the violence and stand down, but now we’re as helpless as the one-armed Jacob. Concerned about what this vengeful psychopath will do.

Jacob
What do you do, Martin, when the bride who took your breath away becomes the wife who makes you hold your breath in terror?

A question I hope never to ask.

 

The Snells final scenes are affectingly stirring. It seems rushed, but the truth is, this was beautifully doomed since the day they met. A romantic tragedy forty-plus years in the making. A short walk. A metaphor. And an unforeseen cup of poisoned coffee. Jacob pulls out his knife a mug too late:

Jacob
[Straining] I never could keep up with you Darlene.

Darlene
It’s okay, baby. Just rest. I love you, Jacob. You rest. I’ll make sure it means something.

Never do you find a happy ending that results in murder, but the rules were different here. A mutual love and respect you barely see in healthier, non-genocidal couples. Anti-villains broken before they had a chance to fully turn the corner. There might’ve been a missed opportunity to spin this off into its own series. It would’ve fit nicely into the queue (after Stranger Things 2½: Rise of Barb and right before Peter & Jamey Kavinsky’s Parent Trap remake).

 

But alas, we’ll never get to find out what Meet the Snells looks like with adult Zeke. The product delivered and the arch is what it is. Regardless of what you thought, it was real. An incomparable love (as Netflix Originals go). They were certifiable and nefarious, but theirs was strong. The only thing that would ever get in between their love was them and they made sure to kill it before anybody else could. What’s cuter than that? ♦

The nominees are:

Charlie and Harper, Set it Up.

[applause]

Mike and Eleven, Stranger Things.

[applause]

Lara Jean and Peter, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.

[applause]

And the winners are…Jacob and Darlene, Ozark!

[silence]

Confusion…even for the crickets.

Yeah, no, you heard that right. Adjace the ever growing catalog of Netflix Original rom com’s, hit crime drama Ozark features the cutest couple the streaming service has to offer and I’m not talking about anti-heroes Wendy and Marty Byrde (no, yeah, they suck).

So how exactly did the Snells become Netflix’s Cutest Couple?

They made their debut in episode four of season one. He was a soft-speaking, big-rifle-carrying cowboy. She was a crazy looking crazy person. The heroin dealing power couple quickly established a terrifying on-screen presence and proved a massive thorn in the Byrde’s side. How does that Stealers Wheel song go?:

“Cartel to the left of me. Feds to the right. Here I am. Stuck in the Ozark with you.”

The Snells are a church going, God-fearing people. Sure, their bibles are used to distribute dope, but I respect family businsses that stay open on Sundays. Who am I to judge? (At least they go). The Snells of season one are obstacles. An intimidation device whose purity of evil is matched only by their devotion to one another. It’s admirable, but the season one finale actions of hillbilly Harley and Joker place everyone in danger, and by the end we’re still rooting against them.

Jacob

If there’s one thing Mexico is full of, it is Mexicans.

 

Facts.

Jacob

Why would we kill someone we’d just gone into partnership with? No logic to it…is there Darlene?

 

Darlene

I might have overreacted.

 

I know. I know. These two are the worst. I didn’t expect to switch sides, but just wait. The heel half turns and it’s weirdly magical.

Season two starts off on the same foot. They’re still the co-workers from hell, but the first three episodes reveal their softer side. Darlene gets baby fever, Jacob teaches Jonah to hunt and together they successfully burn down corrupt political donor Charlie Wilkes’ dock in an act of “democratic preservation”. The subsequent “celebration” is a pivotal moment of delight. A quick and unexpected sex scene with equal parts sugar and spice and a handful of bizarre acting choices. There’s playful moaning, laughing and some interesting post-coital decisions that only couples with a deep level of comfortability will understand.

Jacob

Oh Darlene. You are a marvel to me.

It’s a nice departure from the browbeating we’ve become accustomed to. We’re shown that, when they’re not busy ruining other people’s lives, the Snell’s are just like every other average couple that has hot and hilarious sex ending in an argument over family planning.

Darlene

You know what I’ve been thinking about?

 

Jacob

My mind is an empty shell right now.

I f*cking love this guy.

Darlene

I’m serious Jacob. What is the point of all this if we got no one to leave it all to?

 

The next few episodes find Jacob in the doghouse. Boyfriends and husbands around the world shake their heads in agreement. Women…am I right fellas? By episode six, he trades the doghouse for a jailhouse and this somehow upsets us. You don’t realize it, but you’ve been incepted. The duo you hated in season one have hijacked your rooting interest. A quarrel during episode eight:

Darlene

You killed Ash for no reason.

 

Jacob

I killed him to save you.

Awww.

Darlene

I guess we just see things differently.

Just a couple kids figuring it out.

A flashback in episode nine transports us to the couples first meeting. Young Jacob, donned in military garb, has returned from war and is on an apparent lackluster diner date. Young Darlene crashes their booth:

Young Darlene

Five more minutes listening to her, you’re gonna wish you’d died in a ditch in Hue.

This kitty’s got claws.

Young Darlene

Are you telling me you made it back home from ‘Nam unscathed just to come home and run out the clock?

 

Young Jacob

 

Young Darlene

Drop a ten on the table, follow me out that door, I promise I’ll at least make it interesting.

Sold.

Glen Campbell’s Wichita Lineman plays as we cut forward to the two young love birds preparing to dip skinny in a lake.

Young Jacob

Got the feeling you’re all kinds of trouble Darlene.

 

Young Darlene

Only the best kinds.

We don’t get back story on their rise to drug king and queen pin and it doesn’t matter. It’s the puppy love that’s driving this runaway train. Flash forward to Jacob bleeding out in the back of a recently bullet-bombarded Chevy. Darlene praying over him:

Darlene

Oh, God, don’t you die on me.

It’s ironic that her prayers are answered…for now. He later strikes a one on one deal with Marty and the cartel to end the violence and stand down, but now we’re as helpless as the one-armed Jacob. Concerned about what this vengeful psychopath will do.

Jacob

What do you do, Martin, when the bride who took your breath away becomes the wife who makes you hold your breath in terror?

A question I hope never to ask.

The Snells final scenes are affectingly stirring. It seems rushed, but the truth is, this was beautifully doomed since the day they met. A romantic tragedy forty-plus years in the making. A short walk. A metaphor. And an unforeseen cup of poisoned coffee. Jacob pulls out his knife a mug too late:

Jacob

[Straining] I never could keep up with you Darlene.

 

Darlene

It’s okay, baby. Just rest. I love you, Jacob. You rest. I’ll make sure it means something.

 

Never do you find a happy ending that results in murder, but the rules were different here. A mutual love and respect you barely see in healthier, non-genocidal couples. Anti-villains broken before they had a chance to fully turn the corner. There might’ve been a missed opportunity to spin this off into its own series. It would’ve fit nicely into the queue (after Stranger Things 2½: Rise of Barb and right before Peter & Jamey Kavinsky’s Parent Trap remake).

But alas, we’ll never get to find out what Meet the Snells looks like with adult Zeke. The product delivered and the arch is what it is. Regardless of what you thought, it was real. An incomparable love (as Netflix Originals go). They were certifiable and nefarious, but theirs was strong. The only thing that would ever get in between their love was them and they made sure to kill it before anybody else could. What’s cuter than that? ♦

Dear American Vandal, Season 2 was Perfect and It’s Not Your Fault

Here’s a sentence:

I was surprised by how much fun I had while chasing the dick drawer!

So, when Netflix brought you back for a second season with promises of a turd burglar, I was more than ready. Expectations were high and, although I can’t say I didn’t thoroughly enjoy myself, the overall experience was just…better.

ut, that’s okay! The half-baked concept stretching going on here has been miraculous. But, when you follow the same narrative formula as season 1 (almost beat for beat), you’re going to get comparisons. Same recipe, fresh ingredients, but the problem is you’re missing one crucial ingredient: my guy Dylan! Don’t get me wrong, what you cooked up was still massively delicious. The supplementary ingredients more than made up for what was missing. (Via Rotten Tomatoes) The audience approval from season 1 to 2 bumped up nicely from 88 to 93. Critically, the show maintained its near perfect rating, taking only the slightest of dips from 98 to 97. Proving that dicks and turds are the new apples and oranges.

Dylan Maxwell, played by Jimmy Tatro of YouTube fame, brought a certain dimwitted charm to the show the likes of which I haven’t seen since Entourage’s Johnny Drama. A lovable bro who despite all his flaws was redeemable enough to earn my undivided rooting interest. Not to mention his outright hilarity.

The second season introduces two primary suspects: jock star DeMarcus Tillman (brilliantly portrayed by fellow social media entertainer Melvin Gregg) and actor Travis Tope’s eccentric tea enthusiast Ryan McClain. They were standouts and deserve all the praise for carrying this seasons comedic load. Hollywood refers to it as an ensemble film (multiple actors sharing equal plot importance and screen time). There were more pieces to the ensemble, but if this were an Oceans movie, consider them Clooney and Pitt (that was supposed to be a compliment).

Did I mention that season 2 is really really good? Impressive storytelling. You guys really amped up the difficulty level for yourselves by adding a crap ton of new potential culprits. It must’ve been a blast to film though. How did everyone keep a straight face? It’s just an unfortunate circumstance I guess. Dancing after Michael. Singing after Beyoncé. Sequels rarely live up to the original (see Trevor Noah). It’s tough when a star leaves the team. The team has to adapt and find ways to fill the void. Yet, that’s what you did. Michael Jordan retired and we had to settle for…a pair of Kobe Bryant’s (MJ shrug).

As I wrap this up, I have to re-emphasize that season 2 was incredibly well-acted and expertly crafted. I applaud the level of detail that went into capturing the real-life drama faced by modern day high schoolers. As the story resolves, you once again found a way to victimize humanize the vandal(s). The motives are fairly relatable and the social commentary lands gracefully. A strength of the series that can’t be overstated. Ya’ll are juggling some important (wait for it) shit here. Transcending the surface explicitness of what could simply be described as: one long poop joke.

This is, without a dingleberry of doubt, a near flawless production (as fecal-based mock-u-series go) and I can’t blame you for that. I still rep for my boy D, but I thank you for this gift. Let’s pour a cup of horchata out for my homie!

Sincerely and impatiently clenching with love til season 3 arrives,
Choz

P.S. The Wayback Boys > The Horsehead Collective ♦

Things to Consider Before Dressing Up for New York Comic Con

ay one of your lengthy pilgrimage to New York Comic Con can be especially isolating (more so than driving in). If you start on a train in Jersey as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, your Leonardo will be sitting next to regular-person Bill on his way to the office. Regular-person Bill neither understands you, nor realizes how cool you look. Regular-person Sharon will be whispering to regular-person Becky about the weirdo “alien” three rows up. If you’re a female dressed up as Poison Ivy, regular-person Bill transforms into creepy Bill. Regular-person Sharon transforms into judgy Sharon whispering to eye-roll Becky.

Once you get into the city, you have about a mile to walk to the Jacob Javits Center. If you’re wearing a cape, you better hope it’s not windy. Your cape will turn into a murderous sentient being determined to blindfold you as you cross the street. If you’re wearing makeup, you better hope it’s not raining. If you’re wearing a mask, there’s no hope for you. Your mask will smell like your mouth no matter what you do because you’re walking a mile…with a freaking mask on. Are you wearing clothes? Any type of clothes? You better hope it’s not sunny, hot, or humid. You’ll be sweating and smelling like the post apocalyptic version of yourself. Are you showing a lot of skin? You better hope it’s not cold. The cold flatters no one.

Once you arrive, you’ll get a free bag where you can put all your free swag. This bag is massive. You can fit several bottles of wine in it. You can also fit Tyrion Lannister in the bag to help you drink all the wine. No cosplay works with a gigantic bag that has some random pop culture reference printed on it. No one remembers that episode of He-Man where he holds the giant shoulder bag. No one remembers it because it doesn’t exist. Optimus never fought Megatron while holding a giant Rainbow Dash shopping bag. It never happened.

You can’t hold or carry anything else either. How many pockets does Superman have? Flash? Wonder Woman? Harley Quinn? Psylocke? Jean Grey? Wolverine? Spider-Man? All…none. Your only hope of carrying your phone, wallet, keys, and touch-up paint is going as the 90’s version (when all character costumes were remixed to have one thousand pockets and pouches).

Do you want to crush a child’s image of his or her favorite character? Let that kid see you dressed-up while eating a hotdog or chicken and rice. You hit the gym for months so your version of Bane has dope arms and looks tight. Awesome! Post lunch, Bane’s gut is full of chicken fingers and has ketchup all over his mask. Not that intimidating. You’ve spent every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning in yoga class so you can do Chun-Li justice. Little Johnnie takes a picture with your Chun-Li. Your Chun-Li has mustard splatter on her face and stockings. Dream shattered. Little Johnnie gives up video games and becomes a doctor or something.

Dressing up does come with an added bonus. You automatically have three versions of your costume. There are multiple powered-up versions of Saiyans: Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 2, 3, etc. All the way up to god and beyond. As the day goes on, you will do the opposite and you will depower. You and your buddy start your morning off as Super Mario & Luigi. You’ll love taking pictures of fellow cosplayers and you’ll love having your picture taken. You’ll be running around and jumping with one arm in the air, pretending to stomp on goombas. It’ll be a blast. Around lunchtime, you’ll turn into Cranky Mario & Luigi. Cranky Mario & Luigi no longer run anywhere. They hesitate to have their picture taken and only take pictures of the best cosplayers. Around 4:00 PM, everyone starts to gradually transform and, eventually, a costume theme will have developed. It’s like a virus spreading throughout the entire venue. You slowly turn into Sitting-in-a-hallway Mario & Luigi. You’ll be flanked by Sitting-in-a-hallway Han Solo & Chewbacca while Sitting-in-a-hallway Lion-O & Cheetara are napping across from you.

You know who won’t be sitting anywhere near you? Regular-person Bill, judgy Sharon and eye-roll Becky (Eye-roll Becky is the worst). While you’ll be making memories, creepy Bill will be making copies. Judgy Sharon will be ordering the same tuna melt she orders every Friday.  While you’re out contributing to the New York Comic Con atmosphere, eye-roll Becky is sitting in a meeting she’ll never think about for the rest of her life.

Sure, dressing up for New York Comic Con can be a little inconvenient and there are some minor things to think about. But dressing up for Comic Con is a lot of fun. Dressing up for Comic Con gives you an experience most people will never know. Dressing up for Comic Con makes you a part of Comic Con. Roll your eyes at that, Becky. ♦

Real Quick: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before [NO SPOILERS]

The return of the mighty rom-com/rom-dram is upon us. I can feel it in my bones (or maybe my bones want me to feel it). Two of the boys:

  1. One of the boys she loved before starts out kinda ugly and, as you get to know him, becomes more handsome.
  2. Another one of the boys she loved before starts out pretty ugly and…remains pretty ugly.

It’s a standard “shy girl/popular jock” love story. Instead of the usual “jock doing a cool sports thing to emphasize how jocky and cool he is” scene, they instead filled that screen time with several smaller scenes to show the shy girl’s familial relationship, emphasizing how important that is. It works.

I dig that she’s Asian, but her Asianicity had nothing to do with the plot. She just happened to be Asian. There was no “jock fumbles some super-Asian tradition in front of super-Asian grandma” scene. To All the Movie Producers I’ve Loved Before: bring on more rom coms. ♦