Holy movie marathon, Batman

I was really sick this past week so I loaded up on cough medicine and patronized the hell out of the local Redbox. I also caught a flick in theatres and streamed Queer Eye season 3, which “gave me life” as Jonathan Van Ness would say.

Catch some quick reviews about everything below, no spoilers as always!

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Fighting with My Family – The fiance and I were excited to see this while it was still in theatres this past week. As many people may know, I am a big wrestling fan (and she is not) so we both walked into this flick with different expectations and knowledge around the story.

Overall, this was really enjoyable for both of us.  As a casual viewer, she was entertained throughout, audibly laughed out loud a number of times, and didn’t feel confused or disinterested by the wrestling story-line. Do not expect to see the Rock a lot in this film, he has two scenes that he plays a part in (and in real life, he wasn’t involved in the story at all). I had a few complaints about the validity of the story and its sequence of events, but as a piece of entertainment, it hit all its spots perfectly. Timed well, with a great balance of humor and drama about the human struggle to achieve one’s dream, this is a great flick that has flown under the radar this year.

Fighting with My Family – 7/10

 

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A Star is Born –  Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga absolutely floored me with their performances (and his directorial debut). I am not sure if I was more impressed with Gaga’s acting or Bradley’s musical performance.

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My biggest complaint about this film was the pacing.  We paused it about 40 minutes in, and felt like we had already sat through a full film, and were almost discouraged to see we had over an hour left. The ending to this film, while powerful, is predictable, and it can be a tiring process to endure so much of the buildup, guessing what terrible fate may await.  While sometimes this dread can add to a film (like a thriller or horror film) it sometimes felt heavy-handed in A Star is Born.

The soundtrack is absolutely phenomenal, which is important for a movie about music.  Overall, I would recommend this to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, with the caveat that they prepare to be bummed out.

A Star is Born – 8.5/10                                                           Available at a Redbox near you! 

 

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Overlord – This started as a tense war film with good special effects and questionable acting/dialogue.  At times the main characters are hard to believe and this feels like it would be at home on the Syfy channel (and not necessarily in a bad way?). Eventually, as one can guess from the trailer, things eventually go south and develop into a supernatural horror flick that would feel at home in the Wolfenstein cannon.

There is nothing revolutionary or exceptional about this film, but it is a good, mindless, adrenaline ride for an hour and fifty minutes.

Overlord – 5/10                                                                        Available at a Redbox near you! 

 

 

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Queer Eye (Season 3) – I have recommended this show to everyone I know. The reboot of Queer Eye (formerly Known as Queer Eye for the Straight Guy in its predecessors years) is the most genuine, wholesome, empowering and wonderful thing available right now. The Fab 5 work with people across various identities to makeover their whole life and find a better, healthier, and happier way of living.   I have cried numerous times every season, and season 3 is no exception.  If you haven’t given this show a shot, please put your bias and preconceived notions aside and give this a shot.  There is a reason this show has been able to produce 3 beloved seasons in just 13 months!

Queer Eye (Season 3) – 9.5/10                                            All 3 Seasons available on Netflix

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Everything Sucks! Streaming Gem – 1/22/2019

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A sucker-punch of heavy-handed nostalgia, Everything Sucks! also highlights the stuff that was wrong with the ’90s.  A great story of young kids navigating love, “fitting in” and sexuality in the midst of a harsh and unaccepting culture.  The young actors nail the roles and if you told me this was a more focused relaunch of Freaks and Geeks I’d believe you (and I mean this as a compliment).  The soundtrack feeds off this nostalgia and may be one of the better soundtracks to come out last year.

The acting is superb across the board, which is saying a lot for a relatively young and inexperienced cast.  The fact that almost all of the teenagers in this series are played by actual teenagers (at least at the time of filming) is another big step that the series takes to create authenticity within the story.  However, there was one misstep in filming that has some folks critical of the series, as they had one 20-year-old actor kiss a 14-year-old actor. (We won’t spoil with details, but it’s a pretty important part of the love story.)

The directing is paced perfectly, and the writing is succinct and each scene holds weight. Ben York Jones both co-created and co-wrote the series as well as acted in the role of Mr. Stargrove. Other co-writer/creator is Michael Mohan who sat in the director chair for 7 of the 10 episodes.

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I am beyond upset that this show got canceled by Netflix after one season (despite the controversy). I am hoping another production company or service will pick it up or if enough fans complain Netflix will shape up their act.  Regardless, this series shows so much promise from the entire cast and crew that It has made a fan out of me. I’ll be sure to check out Jones and Mohan’s next creation, whatever that may be.

Everything Sucks! – 8/10

#RenewEverythingSucks

Atypical – Streaming Gems (10.19.2018)

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I have to start off and say this is one of the better (and more wholesome) shows available right now. Atypical takes the family sitcom formula and puts it on its head, exposing the real-life struggles, foibles, and triumphs of a contemporary family who just so happens to have a member with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). Many other shows on many other networks would play this card heavy-handedly and distastefully, but Sam (Played by Keir Gilchrist) is just one beautifully acted part of a families growth and challenges.

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I highly recommend this show to just about anyone with a heart. Season 1 and 2 are both streaming on Netflix and they only get better as the episodes go along!

 Atypical– 9/10

Streaming Gems – Marlon (Season 1 available on Netflix)

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I watched a show with Marlon Wayans in it unironically and it’s 2018… What is happening? There are certainly some bits, stereotypes, and tropes in this show that come through and show Wayans comedic roots, but this feels like a matured version of the actor we saw in flicks such as White Chicks, Little Man, and Scary Movie.  That isn’t to say that he still doesn’t play on some racial stereotypes a bit too heavy-handedly.

More in the vein of The Wayans Bros., where the two really broke through to the next level of celebrity.  Brother, Sean has been relatively quiet and didn’t make any cameos in the series like I had hoped.

This is a different Marlon. This is a family-friendly Marlon, a matured (but not mature) Marlon, and it’s all for the better.

There is nothing new in the sitcom formula here, and some of the jokes definitely fall flat, but overall it’s enjoyable first season and I’d be interested in seeing more.

Season 1 is available on Netflix as of today (8.3.2018)

Season 2 is on NBC right now and will be coming to Netflix next June

Marlon – 5.5/10