Quick Reviews of This Week’s Movies & TV
Get your nerd on! It’s time to breakdown the weekly roundup of ‘consumed’ films and television.
Here’s a quick hit list with mini-reviews to help you decide what to watch this week based on what I watched last week.
Rated on a scale of 1 – 5 VHS tapes. Retro nerd love!
5 = do not let this slip/through the cracks / worth buying, 4 = worth the price of admission, 3 = worth renting, 2 = worth the risk on Netflix, 1 = let it slip
Dig in and enjoy!
While the trailer showed a lot of promise, the skit grows tired over a feature length film. Telegraphed jokes on repeat hinder the overall laughs. Constantly R-Rated, the gimmick of an animated family film look ‘Gone Wild’ wears off quickly. The comedy should play better with a wider audience. As a fan of Seth Rogen since FREAKS N GEEKS, the film was disappointing. Plus, the trailer was so hilarious. The less you see about this movie, the better the experience should be.
Manic screenwriter Max Landis could be this generation’s Shane Black. His wild dialogue and over-the-top sarcasm blends well with the action and romance of this hidden gem. Anna Kendrick stars as a woman looking for Mr. Right in all the wrong places. Enter Sam Rockwell. His character is a hitman who takes out those that order hits. Turned avenging angel, this gunman with a heart of gold falls in love. The rom-com-action avoids the cheese, while adding a surprising amount of laughter. Sheer fun.
INTO THE INFERNO
Another Werner Herzog documentary, another solid piece of entertainment. The celebrated filmmaker returns his attention to volcanoes as an excuse to talk about spirituality. His unexpected journey takes him to Ethiopia with rare access to an active volcano as well as an enthusiastic anthropologist making a remarkable discovery regarding our oldest human ancestors. Filled with stunning photography, the lava imagery will take your breath away. This new NETFLIX documentary features Herzog’s trademark dry sense of humour, as well as his tantalizing curiosity for what makes us human.
ROMAN EMPIRE: REIGN OF BLOOD
A new NETFLIX docu-series with R-Rated GAME OF THRONES-style dramatic recreations. Narrated by Sean Bean, the documentary weaves in interviews with historians alongside the drama. Fans of Ridley Scott’s GLADIATOR take notice! This is the story of Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix’s character) told over a season. With a surprising budget for the sub-genre, REIGN OF BLOOD has impressive production values. Expect a focus on set design and character arcs, as well as a focus on nudity and violence. The series plays off like a true story GAME OF THRONES, with all the political intrigue and backstabbing, to go along with the shameless sex and gory battles.
Jason Mamoa (Khal Drogo himself, from GAME OF THRONES) stars as a ruthless fur-trader. Set in the 1700s, the story focuses on a young Irish man thrust into a mission of deception by the British. He must join the Canadian fur-trade to ultimately free his lover from captivity. While it’s no REVENANT, this new Discovery Channel series is set during the same period and aims for a similar vibe. Nothing mind-blowing happened in the first episode, but the story is rather intriguing. Worth checking out for fans of historical dramas.
THE WALKING DEAD
This extended episode focuses on Rick and crew at Alexandria. Those that were fortunate enough to have not met Negan got the unfortunate chance of being introduced to the madman. Time has passed since that brutal night, but the group is still affected. Rick felt broken, but there were some hints at a rebellion. Carl stood up when he shouldn’t have, but demonstrated the hero he has within. Further seeds were planted with Rosita. Will the Hilltop Gang and the Kingdom Folk join up with Rick’s tribe and takeover Negan? An emphasis was placed on their future under the shadow of Lucille. The parallels between Negan and Zombies are quite compelling (ie: instead of bashing in the brain of the enemy, now the enemy bashes in brains). It seems like the show is addressing our impatience at home. We are ‘thirsty’ for revenge. For now, the story arc slowly changes its angle as characters get further developed. Zombies may be the draw, but character has always been TWD’s strong suit. Case in point, when Rick remembers Shane and Laurie. Another purposefully paced episode that, upon later reflection, will mean much more.
This episode went further down the rabbit hole. A huge twist envelopes earlier story in a new light. Hopkins’ Ford seems even more like the antagonist… minus a black hat. Mysteries still brew, with each episode giving us a tasty spoonful, leaving us craving more. Thandie Newton’s character took another step towards freedom. Most importantly, on a character level, our hero in white revealed his true feelings to Dolores, strengthening the bridge that connects the human world to the artificial. The series hasn’t slowed down for one moment, steadily plowing ahead on the tracks, consistently adding more fuel to the fire. Let’s hope this is a stand-alone season with the story completed by the finale. Thus far, the series is entirely provocative and thoroughly captivating. WESTWORLD is the perfect blend of introspective, hard science-fiction and visceral, popcorn excitement.
What do you think?
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