Movies

You People

I still got 30 minutes left in this total cesspool of a movie, and I can barely bring myself to continue watching. You’re telling me Jonah Hill co-wrote this stinking pile of manure? If that’s the case, don’t ever write another movie again. I think one or two jokes landed, and the rest were pure physical cringe. I don’t think I’ve ever revolted this bad from a movie before. Almost all of the jokes are filled with bad taste, disrespect, and an abysmal attempt at social commentary. Given that Jonah co-wrote, means the other half of the blame lies with the director who also co-wrote. Kenya Barris is the name, and he is an embarrassment for writing this shit. It is not empowering towards the Black community, nor towards the Jewish community. It is racist. Plain and simple. No sugar coating. Being Black or Jewish doesn’t give you a pass to be a racist. You can’t dress it up in the guise of “oh, but they’re just jokes”.

You know the US government is arresting everyone involved with the ‘storming the capitol’, and both of you thought it would be a good idea to make a character say he was there. That’s not even remotely funny. It’s simply bad taste as stated before. This probably could have been a good movie if either of you shared more than a brain cell floating in the empty space between your ears. Is this a romance movie? Not even close. A comedy? Again, not even close. It is an idiot’s attempt at social commentary definitely. You know what is a good movie about racial relations between a mixed-race couple? Guess Who, or Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. The latter being much better than the former. Both movies had respect for the audience, and had actual funny scenes. You know, comedy. I can see why Netflix decided to pick up this trash, they love to launder.

I can’t fault the actors involved, they clearly needed the paycheck. Why else would you agree to star in this? The fault as usual lies on the writers and director. I’ve already said my piece on those two trolls. I resumed those last 30 minutes, and it’s like the lines are written to be as stupid, racist, and harmful as possible but brushed away because “it’s okay, the character in question is an idiot or a moron”. The truly amusing part is towards the end, both the White character and the Black character spout some lines about each other’s parents that sum up the entirety of the movie. How tone deaf do you gotta be as a writer to say “you treat me like a token Black character and that’s offensive and ignorant” while simultaneously being throughout the whole movie offensive and ignorant? Trick question, you’re not. You did it on purpose because you truly do not give an actual shit about any of the so-called issues you raised within the movie.

The attempt at social engineering is blatant, and thank you Jonah Hill for finally showing the world your true colors. I will never watch anything you write because there is not an intelligent bone in your body. Same with Kenya Barris. Two ignorant peas in a pod.

Do not watch this trash. Let it drop in the charts and inform Netflix once again if they enjoy just throwing away their money, why not toss it our way? I’ll gladly take your money and run like these two did.

“But at the end of the day, when it comes to Black and White people, I don’t think love is enough. There’s too many other outside factors… We really live in two worlds, there’s no escaping it.” Yep, keep perpetuating hatred. Oh sure, your characters realize they were being self-centered racists but it all worked out in the end! Forget all the racist, ignorant, offensive, downright mean, and stupid things we wrote earlier in the movie. Happy ending, right? But Bogdan, you’re missing the point. All of that shit was to show character growth for the ending! Yea… Doesn’t work that way. You still wrote all of that hatred and ignorance and threw it out into the world. Maybe if it was actually funny, and written smartly, there’d be a better impact.

Movies

The Gray Man

I’ve been looking forwards to this one for some time, since the movie’s promotional team shared pictures on Reddit. Ryan Gosling as our titular character, a man that’s 007, Jason Bourne, and John Wick all rolled into one. The unstoppable action hero. I love these kinds of movies because you hold no fear for the main character, and you just wanna see the level of carnage that they’re capable of in their quest. And the action sequences do not disappoint.

Ana De Armas was equally capable and badass in her role, as CIA agent Miranda, helping our lead to achieve his goals. In fact, the star studded cast helped elevate this movie especially when it came to our villain. Played excellently as a sociopath, Chris Evans, in a stark contrast to the goody two shoes we know him from in Marvel, was a delight. I enjoyed seeing him playing a bad guy. Hope he tries it out more. The weakest link for me was the agency chief, played by Rege-Jean Page. At no point did he come across as menacing, or coldly intelligent, or anything remotely to a serious villain. He felt like a joke amongst all the rest of them, a complete miscast. I kept waiting for the zinger which never arrived.

Oh, a special shoutout to the character of Lone Wolf played by Dhanush. It’s always fun to see a character that has honor, and scruples. I could see them making a movie outta his character.

The plot itself lends itself a few twists and turns to keep things interesting, and inventive action sequences – at times. Like the tram sequence, I particularly enjoyed when our lead used the reflections of the building to aim his shot. Plenty of scenes can be seen in a humorous light, especially with the quips coming from both hero and villain. The music wasn’t anything special, except for the usage of the song ‘Silver Bird’ in two action sequences. That was nice.

My only major gripe is showing the one torture scene with a bit of explicit detail. That had no reason to be there other than to showcase gore. You can heavily imply what is being done without actually showing the damage through the creative use of angles. Honestly, I just closed my eyes while exclaiming “ah fuck off, Russo bros”. That scene was purely for shock value. Added nothing that you didn’t learn immediately in the next scene. “Oh, why are the bad guys showing up here? Ah, yes, clearly the torture worked. So why the fuck did I have to be witness to that?” Oh and, Joe Russo once again putting himself into his movies, as a small role, don’t think I didn’t notice ya buddy.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie except for that one gripe. I loved the charisma that Ryan Gosling always brings to the table. The fierceness of Ana De Armas. The quips of Chris Evans. It is an enjoyable Friday night movie for me. Netflix has finally put out an action movie that has a pulse. I didn’t think it possible, yet here we are.

TV Shows

Stranger Things Season 4

Having just finished the 7th episode, I like how everything came together before we get the last two episodes by July 1st. There was emotional satisfaction and payoffs, and we can see where the show will go next. Each episode felt like a movie in its own right, especially that seventh one coming in 1hr40mins long. The production value was top-notch, and it was clear to see that the Duffer Brothers had put long hours of thought into it. The level of care and detail, and overlapping themes while bringing attention to the earlier seasons was nothing short of a masterstroke.

This season parallels the themes and plot of the first, with Eleven having to come into being her own person. And acquiring super powers. The big bad was well established early on, with clues being feed dripped slowly to uncover its true identity. The horror was on point, with both the supernatural and that of a mob mentality – especially that of narrow-minded, religious small towns. It didn’t shy away from showing the brutality of it all; of dead children, traitors in both US and Russia – the torture that accompanies both sides, and the grotesque nature of the monsters.

The acting was excellent as usual from these group of kids… well now, teens or young adults. Some seem to have grown up faster than the rest, like Lucas. Though that’s probably due to him being older than the others playing his friends. I enjoyed David Harbour’s performance the best, as the grizzled American prisoner in a Russian gulag. And I liked the actor playing the guard turned friend, Tom Wlaschiha as Antonov.

The electronic synth soundtrack was a joy to my ears, being a fan of that genre. It added well to the immersion factor of the 80s we’ve come to know for Stranger Things. Costume design was on point as well.

Overall, I quite liked this season. They tuned down the Russians from being the bad guys to merely being the opposition that happens to exist in their world. The bad guys are established this time around as some evil entity from the Upside Down dimension, and the US general hunting down Eleven and the scientists helping her. There is a lot of various political messages I could probably get into, but I’d rather not. I turned off my brain mostly, and enjoyed this fantasy sci-fi horror show. I’m excited for the end.

Movies

Bubble

This Japanese animated film caught my eye due to the vibrant color scheme of the animations itself. I felt drawn in, and I knew I had to watch it. Produced by Wit Studio, and directed by TetsurĊ Araki (known for the Death Note series, and seasons 1-3 of Attack on Titan), it is a beautifully written story about love. In an alternative world, where gravity defying bubbles have rained down across the earth. One day in Tokyo, some sort of explosion happens which leaves the city enclosed in a giant bubble – cut off from the world. The city ends up abandoned, and children and teens move in to live because they don’t want to live in the outside world. Here they come up with a series of games that utilizes parkour which basically establishes order in the decaying city.

Our protagonist, Hibiki, is a young man who was present at the site of the initial explosion and competes with his team, blue blaze, in the parkour tournaments. A chance of fate, or a predestined outcome has him come face to face with a girl with mysterious powers. Together they embark on a journey into the human condition. It was simply beautiful to watch it all unfold. Loosely based upon “The Little Mermaid”, it has clear moments of genuine soul. The mysterious girl, Uta, changes his life for the better but like in ‘The Little Mermaid’, we can expect some sort of heartbreak. Yet, it isn’t ugly. It is an understandable loss, but with it comes an understanding for life. The cycle of it. Death and rebirth.

The story had hints of philosophical musings, and it was pleasant to finally see some sort of alien life that was truly unique. The animation was gorgeous, and I never felt like it was bad or unnerving (unlike Attack on Titan). The soundtrack was excellent, and I loved the singing from Uta and how it incorporated itself into the music.

Overall, I highly recommend this Japanese animated film. It is worth the watch, even if there won’t be repeated views. It’s one of those stories that you watch once, and it leaves you pondering the human condition; the human heart. What does it mean to feel loss? What does it mean to love?

Movies

Black Crab

I went blind into this movie because I saw Noomi Rapace. I’ve always enjoyed her performances of a stoic tough warrior with a softer side, sometimes motherly. This fit the bill. She stars as Caroline Edh, a young mother turned soldier in a future war that sees prolonged conflict. The enemy’s nationality unknown. She’s recruited for a mission along with several others to deliver a cargo to friendlies deep behind enemy lines with the special premise of having to skate under cover of darkness across an icy archipelago.

The tension was taut throughout the movie, as the party navigated the dangers of their journey. And the story seemed to run its natural course when I noticed there was still 35 mins left in the movie. I wondered what it could do, where it could take us and I was happily surprised in the direction it did take. In today’s political times, it was rather refreshing (more on that in the spoilers blurb). The action had me on the edge of my seat because it felt like the characters were fighting against the rising tide. Sounds of gunfire, and ice cracking with the wind whistling about, the sense of cold desolation came across well.

Noomi Rapace did an excellent job, and during an emotional scene in the later half, she pulled me right in. I couldn’t help but tear up alongside her. Jakob Oftebro followed her lead in that regard. With the portrayal of his character, of a soldier haunted with leadership and the knowledge that comes with it. The rest of the party played to their roles well, as the sniper, the medic, and the inevitable ‘not an idiot on purpose’ soldier.

Overall, I loved the movie. The soundtrack had a futuristic vibe to it, tense when needed, played with your heart, and pumped it up when necessary. I recommend it!

Spoilers

I knew as soon as I finished watching this movie that other reviews will call it poor timing, bland, and a tasteless depiction of war. Some might draw a direct comparison to the recent war in the western media’s eyes, like the refugee camps near the start of the film. They might consider that because the enemy is nameless that it makes the whole conflict not have any impact. They’re missing the point. The bad guys in the movie, the antagonists, were not the invading force but the defending nation. They were going to use biological weapons regardless of the cost on human life. And having a defending nation be the bad guys in a movie was very refreshing. Too often the aggressor is depicted as evil, and rumor and propaganda run rampant. The movie also depicted the defending military using backhanded methods such as lying about a child’s location to a mother to motivate her, or lying to their soldiers that locations have been bombed. They need soldiers focused for their war, properly motivated through manipulation. That is a very brave outlook to show in a movie with the recent turmoil in the political climate.