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  • Spring 2019 Anime - Rapid Fire Reviews

    13 hours ago

    BlackPenguin Guardian x9; Panel Lead

    Summer anime started a couple weeks ago, so let’s run through some rapid-fire reviews for what I watched during the previous Spring 2019 anime season! For new shows I’ll give a quick plot rundown, but for second seasons and continuing shows I’ll leave the synopsis to you.

    Top 5 of the Season

    1. Attack on Titan Season 3 (cour 2 of 2)

    2. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

    3. Rising of the Shield Hero (cour 2 of 2)

    4. Dororo (cour 2 of 2)

    5. One Punch Man Season 2

    Top 5 OPs/EDs

    1. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba OP

    2. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba ED

    3. Rising of the Shield Hero OP 2

    4. Hitoribocchi no Marumaruseikatsu OP (listen, I just think it's well done)

    5. Amazing Stranger OP

    Rapid Fire Reviews (from best to worst)

    Attack on Titan Season 3 (cour 2 of 2)

    If you fell off the Attack on Titan bandwagon, then motherfucker, you need to get back on NOW. I can’t go into much detail without spoiling it but if the first two seasons were a flower, the third season saw that flower finally bloom. It was as if I was watching the show through a keyhole, only to finally open the door and get nearly blinded by what was inside. The story progressed beautifully, finally answering so many questions. The stakes, the tension, the fateful decisions; every episode was an edge-of-your-seat thriller. Most impressive though, was how the developments revealed a staggering amount of overlooked foreshadowing in the history of the show, going as far back as episode 1. This season was so good, it makes the first two seasons BETTER. My recommendation is to watch this season, and then REWATCH the whole series again to get the full breadth of plot’s reach. It’s that good. And if you’d like some more insight, you could peruse the second and third comments the Season 3 individual episode threads on r/anime. Just be careful to avoid spoilers, and make sure to avoid the replies to the first comment (it’s the source material corner and has manga spoilers).

    My Score: 9.75/10

    Update: watch this video (SPOILERS FOR SEASONS 1-3) by Gigguk in which he breaks down why Season 3 recontextualizes the whole show, and why when all is said and done, without hyperbole, this could be the best anime of this generation

    Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

    Hoo boy, this is some good shit. In ye olde Japan, Tanjiro’s family is killed by a demon and the only survivor is his sister. That seems like a good thing until he realizes that she has turned into a demon herself (yet somehow retains her sanity). The two of them are confronted by a demon slayer who sees the potential in them, which sets Tanjiro on a path to becoming a demon slayer himself. The art style and character design on this one is super interesting, full of hard angles and heavy use of color gradients. It borders on eye candy at times. The show successfully blends 2D and 3D as well, producing some frenetic and beautiful action sequences. Not to mention it’s got comedic gags, interesting characters, robust world building, and a sense of distance traveled plot-wise to boot. Tanjiro’s approach to fighting also very much mirrors that of Midoriya from My Hero Academia, in that he constantly analyzes situations and deliberates on the most practical choice. Except that this world has much higher stakes, and the main character is fighting for a cause greater than himself. I really can’t say enough good things about this show. You NEED to watch it.

    My Score: 8.5/10

    Dororo (cour 2 of 2)

    Building on a great 1st cour, Dororo continued to please. These newer episodes have been more action packed, more serious in tone, and far more deliberative in their treatment of the characters and relationships. The 1st cour was thoroughly fun, but a little formulaic. If you were eager for more plot development, the 2nd cour is bound to please. The demons and bad guys get more relatable. The relationships grow more tenuous. And although the pacing was a tad disjointed, that didn’t stop the show from wrapping everything up nicely. What I thought was a regular action show about samurais and demons turned out to be a rich Japanese fable about family, sacrifice, and the pursuit of your very self.

    My Score: 8/10

    Rising of the Shield Hero (cour 2 of 2)

    This show really came a long way. What used to an angsty isekai bro show that pandered to very male insecurities, finally grew into an intriguing fantasy tale. The world and geography were fleshed out more. The characters got past early plot elements and started interacting in more realistic and interesting ways. And the main character, thankfully, grew beyond where he was in the first cour. I loved where the story went, growing in scope and opening new potential character arcs. Overall, I’m really pleased. I’m sad the first season is over, and I can’t wait for season 2 to come out (when or if it does).

    My Score: 8/10

    One Punch Man Season 2

    If you weren’t aware, people were ready to shit on this show before it even came out due to a change in studio (and therefore a resulting change in animation quality from the first season). But like Gigguk said, if a change in artwork was all it took to make this show terrible, then that would mean the animation was all it had going for it in the first place. And I think this season proved his point. For sure, it was a step down. The animation was average by comparison. But the story was still there for the most part, exploring new concepts and characters that really added fresh wrinkles to the plot. The fights were still fun, and the gags were still hilarious. If you can get out of your own head, and stop thinking of what could’ve been, you’ll find it more than satisfying. Possibly even wanting more (like me).

    My Score: 7/10

    Hitoribocchi no Marumaruseikatsu

    This show started off way too cutesy and juvenile for my tastes, but against my better judgement, I stuck with it. And to my surprise, it turned out better than I thought. Its focus is on interpersonal relationships, trust, and overcoming social anxiety. Middle school girl Bocchi and her best friend get separated when they go to different schools. Bocchi is very shy, super naïve, and suffers from extreme social anxiety. But her best friend gives her an ultimatum: until she becomes friends with everyone in her new class, their friendship is on hold. Thus, begins the hi-jinks where Bocchi fights her nerves to become friends with a bunch of strangers. And by golly wouldn’t you know it, she ends up teaching others about the true meaning of friendship. I know, it sounds super lame. It is. But you’d be surprised at how easy the laughs come and how quickly you root for the characters. Especially when you see Bocchi and her best friend bump into each other and stick to their guns, when both are utterly heartbroken over the ultimatum. The show definitely skews young in audience, but the implied reasoning behind the ultimatum (that Bocchi’s best friend is trying to teach her to get along without her) is very interesting. It’s not necessarily a recommendation, but it’s got some good messages and would be a good anime for kids, teens, or young adults.

    My Score: 6.5/10

    The Helpful Fox Senko-san

    At first this show made me a little uncomfortable. A fox deity decides to live with and “pamper” an overworked male office worker, in order to relieve his stress. The whole setup seems like some otaku fantasy where a mythical centuries-old fox loli lives with you, does all your cooking and laundry, pats you on the head, and tucks you in for bed. So, at the outset, it just felt like creepy weeb fantasy fulfillment. But gradually more of the story is revealed, the character motivations are elaborated upon, and the creep factor is slowly replaced by simple wholesome iyashikei vibes. After a few episodes I found myself eagerly watching this show on Sunday nights, in order to calm and center myself before starting the workweek. If you’ve ever had a dead-end job or bleak work/school life, this show might resonate with you. It’s cutesy, comedic, and very soothing.

    My Score: 6/10

    Senryu Girl

    This show is about a high school girl who only communicates through written senryu (a form of short poetry), the boy she likes, and the high school literature club they’re in. First off, Senryu Girl’s central moral seems to be overcoming anxiety to communicate in whatever way suits you best, and finding friends who accept you for who you are. It’s also a thinly veiled high school romance. But since it’s mostly a comedy and the episodes are very short, it’s easily digestible. There are two characters who refuse to speak, only communicating through written methods. One through senryu (the main character), and one through her artwork (which is quite hilarious, in that the latter just draws her own face and literally puts it in front of her). Between these two and the rest of the cast, we get some very unique gags and interactions. Clocking in at 12 minutes per episode, I found this show to be a decent time-killer. Even though the high school slice of life genre is played out, I found the breezy subject matter to be humorous and entertaining enough. If you like the genre & have a short attention span, this show might be a good way to pass the time.

    My Score: 6/10

    Amazing Stranger

    An otaku who collects figurines comes into possession of a figure from his favorite anime…that comes to life. He gradually acquires more figures who come to life, all of which must grapple with the realization that their lives are not real and that they’re figures based off fictional stories. This show wasn’t that good, but I found myself keeping up with it. It was like a harem version of Frame Arms Girl, but with some additional nuance towards finding your own identity and family. But I wonder how much I’d like it if the OP wasn’t so catchy.

    My Score: 5.75/10

    Fairy Gone

    I’ll keep this brief. Fairy Gone is about an alternate industrial world in which magic and fairies exist, and the various military and terrorist applications of them. The world has just gotten past a great war of unification which involved multiple nations and regions. The story picks up some years after the war during a supposed time of peace, following a girl who just joined a division of the military focused on fairy incidents. And guess what? The story only gets more complicated from there. Every episode shoves numerous years, cities, and people in your face. By the end of the first episode, I was more overwhelmed than entertained. Which is a shame, because normally PA Works does very stellar work. But even a great studio and pleasing visuals wasn’t enough to save this one from collapsing under its own weight. Maybe there will be a second season, but otherwise, this is would be a recommended skip.

    My Score: 5.5/10

    Karakuri (cour 3 of 3)

    This show was a big disappointment for me. The manga had a good reputation and the anime premiere was decent enough. The world seemed interesting; the art style unique. But very quickly the story just got convoluted and it never recovered. The overarching plot is very compelling, in that the characters exhibit a lot of growth and the story travels a great distance. But it was just too much too soon for the anime. The show moves too fast, and the major story beats fell flat at that pace. Not to mention the action could have benefited from more attention or resources. Nearly every fight scene was just a collection of still frames that would just pan by, as if they were just colored manga panels. Therefore, this would be suggested skip. Though I’m tempted to grab the manga to get the taste out of my mouth and do the story better justice.

    My Score: 5.5/10


    On one hand, this was the most visually impressive and well-animated show of the season. On the other hand, what the fuck did I just watch? The director, Kunihiko Ikuhara, is held in high regard for his style, creativity, and high concepts. But this? I don’t know man, it just feels like he got way ahead of himself. Let me try to break down the plot real quick. A kappa deity bestows/curses three youths with the ability to turn into kappas, and tasks them with battling monsters born from unfulfilled desires (which are controlled by evil otters). This is done by stealing their shirikodama, a small ball in the anus that contains the soul. Yeah. I know. Intense (and wet) anal fixations aside, the show is just all over the place. While the visuals are astounding and employ great use of both 3D and live action, the story is nearly nonsensical. Defenders of the show might say it’s just too high concept for me, but that’s not it. It’s too high concept for itself. The message of desire, connections, and relationships is heard loud and clear. But the delivery leaves much to be desired. Namely the world building. It was too scatterbrained. I’m curious to know if this show went over better with Japanese audiences, because it does seem like knowing the culture and folklore of Japan would make things easier. But for a western audience, this is a hard skip.

    My Score: 5/10

    Joshi Kausei

    This was shit, don’t watch this. It’s about the lighthearted antics of three high school girls. The shtick is that there is no dialogue. Which is what pulled me in, but quickly proved to not be enough to save it. The show is not as bad as the first episode, but it ain’t good. Which is a shame, because the character design is kind of neat.

    My Score: 4/10

    Nobunaga Teacher’s Young Bride

    This was shit, don’t watch this Part 2: Now with uncomfortable amounts of loli, weeb fetishes, and unexpectedly uncensored nudity. A high school teacher (who happens to be the descendant of Nobunaga) has the power to reincarnate historical figures from Nobunaga’s past within current-day people. Long story short, he makes the people around him go crazy with the lust of Nobunaga’s past lovers…who direct said lust at him. I might actually regret watching this one.

    My Score: 4/10

    And that's it! I'll make another journal for the summer anime, so be on the lookout for it.

  • At the Screwvies: Episode 138

    1 week ago



    MADHERO: Happy 4th of July everyone. Hope you Americans enjoyed celebrating your freedom and watching some fireworks. I celebrated by doing none of that and watching Stranger Things Season 3. We could go and talk about that, but that's TV and therefore gross. So..... might as well talk about that no good Spiderd Man

    LARRY: What an un-American MENACE

    STICKMAN: Happy Wimbledon Season.

    MADHERO: Also the start of the Tour de France, but watching paint dry is generally more exciting than watching cycling. That or trailers, of which we got a bunch.

    LARRY: Nice. Gotta love a good dig at cycling.

    STICKMAN: Insert Armstrong dig here.



    So I was pleasantly surprised with the sequel/soft-reboot JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE from 2017. I found the film to be a very silly but charming adventure. Nothing extraordinary, but far from disposable. Audiences didn’t find it disposable either, making it the fifth high grossing film of that year, about 50 mil short of a friggen billion dollars. So a sequel was the natural next step, and we now have our first look at it.

    JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL takes us back into the game, with Spencer from the first(second?) film re-constructing it. Of course, he is whisked back in, and his friends from the first return to save him. The twist? This time Spencer’s grandfather (Danny DeVito) and his friend Milo (Danny Glover) get sucked in as well, and, because the game glitched out on them. So now we have DeVito as the Rock and Glover as Kevin Hart. Oh, and the black kid now controls Jack Black’s character. So, yeah, it’s kiiiiinda confusing, but, to me, that’s where the fun lies. I think this is an excellent way to bring about a sequel, essentially ahem changing the game (bah dum tsch) and giving our already excellent cast a whole new kind of chemistry to perform. And, if the action is as good as it is in the first film, then we’re here for an exciting second adventure.

    MADHERO: The trailer mostly boiled down to ""haha, old people amirite"

    STICKMAN: Welcome to the jungle...we got...more of the same as the last movie but now people are more into it because Danny DeVito memes.

    LARRY: I mean, sounds appropriate. Danny DeVito makes everything better.

    MADHERO: See, I wanted them to lean into that. I wanted the Rock to drop his monster condom for his magnum dong, but Danny DeVito and Danny Glover seems to be mostly playing the "haha, they old" type.

    STICKMAN: We'll show those whippersnappers who's the ultimate #gamer.

    LARRY: Well I’m sure they have other fun things up their sleeves.

    MADHERO: The Ancient Gamers (Halo 3,  Gears of War) shall rise up

    LARRY: My question is what happened to the blonde chick??? She was in the beginning of the trailer and then kinda disappears into the game but we never see her. Maybe she’s Awkwafina’s character? Idk.

    STICKMAN: She clipped through a wall and is trapped.

    MADHERO: Her and Spencer's wherabouts are the big mystery. As it stands, this looks like mostly a rethread of the other film, which was a nice surprise, but not sure I need to see more than once.

    STICKMAN: Do people turn into weird monkeys in this film. That some horror movie shit yo.

    MADHERO: Probably not, but it’ll be likely that Danny Glover makes a "I'm getting too old for this shit" reference



    There's 3 things certain in this world: death, taxes and Disney continuing to make remakes of their animated movies. Following the success of Aladdin and the probable gangbusters of Lion King, Disney is now on its way to direct the movie that started of the Disney Renaissance: The Little Mermaid. Rob Marshall, previously worked with Disney with On Stranger Tides and Mary Poppins Returns is gonna direct, but the main reason we're talking about it now is the casting. The sheer outrage that is.... Melissa McCarthy as Ursula? Its gonna be really hard to fall when underwater. Guess that wasn't it, then maybe it was Jacob Tremblay as sidekick Flounder? Or maybe Awkafina playing a gender swapped version of Scuttle. Yeah, that must be it.

    As it turns out, its not any of that, but rather the casting of Halle Bailey in her film debut as Ariel herself, changing the race from white to dark skinned. Needless to say, a certain section of the internet took this about as well as expected, and forces me to go and defend a Disney live action remake when I for 90% want to leave them alone (Lion King's lookin' dope, not gonna lie). The whole thing is getting rather silly and into the arguments you expect. The movie is still some ways off, with a likely release in 2021, so we'll see how Mad Online everyone will be once the trailer hits. God help us all.

    STICKMAN: People should be mad online about Disney making these fuckin mooovies not who plays who in them.

    MADHERO: Aladdin just made 900 million dollars worldwide so something tells they'll keep going.

    LARRY: This is a fucking dumb controversy. Nothing about the character of Ariel hinges on her skin color. Period. End of story.

    STICKMAN: Ariel's a basic bitch.

    MADHERO: We've gone through the whole gambit of people trying really hard not say something racist while being incredibly racist. As long as she can sing really well (and apparently she can) then its all good.

    LARRY: Hopefully she’s a good everything honestly, who knows what they’re gonna add and fuck with for this movie.

    STICKMAN: Disney don't tend to mess up casting, TO BE FAIR. They know what they doin with these garbage remakes.

    MADHERO: Melissa McCarthy as Ursula might be. Birth Movies Death suggested Titus Burgess and now I can't get that casting out of my head.

    LARRY: Yeah the other castings are...fine, I guess. Kinda safe choices which I get. McCarthy is probs the weakest. Kinda wanted to see either drag Ursula or someone more interesting.

    STICKMAN: Melissa McCarthy as a giant octopus woman falls over underwater and causes a tsunami.

    MADHERO: Are you kidding, Jacob Tremblay totally doesn't get the really important character that is Flounder. He's gonna ruin it.

    LARRY: Flounder’s parents died in the great sea civil war and NOBODY IS TALKING ABOUT IT.

    STICKMAN: Deepest lore.


    It's been a little while since Rian Johnson destroyed the internet with Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Whilst 99% of the world probably wishes that film never happened on account of the toxicity that spawned from it, there was no denying Johnson did a good job directing, and that paired with his previous masterpiece 'Looper' (And several highly rated episodes of Breaking Bad), people were keen to get their eyes on his next project. We've known about 'Knives Out' and its insane ensemble cast for some time, but we finally got our first look at it  this week via a trailer.

    Seemingly being a lot more playful and quirky than at least I expected from Johnson, 'Knives Out' sees Daniel Craig play a masterful southern detective who's tasked with weeding out the killer of a world renowned crime novelist (Christopher Plummer) who was killed at a family gathering for his birthday.  Naturally that means the killer had to be a relative, and what ensues is a classic 'whodunnit' murder mystery featuring a strange and quirky cast of characters, with everyone from Chris Evans, Toni Colette, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon and even Lakeith Stanfield involved in some capacity. The campy fun tone  almost makes it feel like a remake of the cult favourite 'Clue' movie from the 80s, albeit one with an award winning cast and a acclaimed director involved. TLDR, it looks pretty fuckin' dope.

    MADHERO: This was honestly not what I expected from a movie called Knives Out but I'm still really stoked for this film

    STICKMAN: Having seen Looper I was expecting something a little darker, but hey ho, we got Chris Evans swearing up a storm instead.

    LARRY: There seem to be very few knives being out. I was expecting every character to have their own personal knife, Johnson!1!1!1

    MADHERO: Ruin Johnson at it again. There's lots of knives tho. There's just very little stabbing happening. Except maybe Christopher Plummer, what with him being the victim

    LARRY: Yeah this movie looks really fun. I love how Chris Evans has been cast heavily against type.

    STICKMAN: So many years of playing Captain America, it's time to LET LOOSE.

    MADHERO: The cast of it is pretty stellar. Evans has of course been mostly Cap but he can make a really good douchebag.

    STICKMAN: Jamie Lee back it again too.

    LARRY: And Daniel Craig does fucking GREAT accents. This and Logan Lucky prove it.

    MADHERO: She's taking the whole dad being dead thing pretty well, and Craig looks like a lot of fun as the Poirot type

    LARRY: Seems like we’re all in agreement that this looks rad. Great music choice too.

    STICKMAN: Can't wait for it to turn out to be another Star Wars movie and people to lose their shit.

    MADHERO: I can't believe it was purple haired Laura Dern all along.



    it's fair to say that the original plan for the DCEU has not panned out very well, but In the last year their new focus on lighter, stand-alone movies has. Aquaman wasn't very good, but it played well with general audiences and was a huge box office hit, whilst Shazam delivered the DCEU a critical smash, even if it failed to light the box office on fire. With dozens of projects in various stages of production, we only know four movies are coming for certain (Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman 84, Suicide Squad 2 and The Batman), but one film that has been on and off for a while now is The Flash, and this week we got more information about its future.

    After having lost 2 directors already (Seth Grahame-Smith and Rick Famuyiwa), word has come out that next ones, Spider-Man Homecoming's writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein are now also out. Now, Andy Muschietti now in talks to replace them, who up to his point has been a primarily horror focused director, breaking out with 'Mama' before exploding onto the scene with the mega successful  'IT', of which he's currently finishing up the sequel. If he were to sign on, this would continue the trend of Warner Bros seeking help with the DC universe from its large roster of horror alumni, with James Wan (SAW, The Conjuring) and David Sandberg (Lights Out, Annabelle: Creation) having directed the last two released DC outings. This isn't a done deal at this point, but it seems pretty likely to happen...although with The Flash it seems you can't assume the director will remain until the film's actually in cinemas...if indeed, it ever makes it there.

    MADHERO: For being based on The Fastest Man Alive, they sure are slow with this one.

    LARRY: I wouldn’t be opposed to this considering horror directors have been the only genuinely great thing to happen to the DCEU.

    STICKMAN: Patty Jenkins is offended.

    LARRY: WW is a perfectly good movie, but Aquaman is bursting with vision and Shazam fucking rules so.

    MADHERO: James Wan had also done a Fast and Furious movie so its not like he was just a horror guy, but yeah its a funny coincidence

    LARRY: Bring on the weird Flash horror shit. Flash’s powers as a whole could open up some weird possibilities.

    MADHERO: Honeslty I don't know what to expect anymore. The script by Daley and Goldstein has been thrown out which was supposedly very comedic and also Miller and Grant Morrison's which was to be kinda dark.

    STICKMAN: Let's have a bit of both. Throw in another weird Annabelle cameo and you got a HIT.

    LARRY: Tbh Daley and Goldstein are fine writers, but I think the Flash movie can do better.

    MADHERO: They now got Christina Hodson who wrote Birds of Prey for DC and also Bumblebee, but honestly I find it hard to care when production has been such a mess. They're at their 4th director and their 10th script at this stage.

    LARRY: Yikes. Honestly though, it looks to be learning from Shazam, which is the best DCEU by miles, so I’m hopeful.

    STICKMAN: Ezra Miller ain't ever gonna fight Reverse Flash.

    MADHERO: I'd have liked to have seen Daley and Goldstein's version cause they did well with Spider-Man Homecoming, but as with most DC films, I'll wait and see. At this stage it ain't out till 2030

    STICKMAN: Never trust the DCEU. Always trust ...horror directors? Hm.


    Despite having been something people are aware of since the series came out in 1976, its been a while since we've seen anything Charlie's Angels related. Full Throttle, the last film starring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu came out in 2003, and besides a failed tv pilot, there hadn't been much since. Sony, in its neverending conquests for more franchises, has finally resurrected and given the keys to Elizabeth Banks to give the Angels a more feminist take, and boy do they want you to know she's in charge, having a director, producing and writing credit. Not to mention the fact she's also acting in it. Not as one of the Angels, mind, but as Bosley. Well, one of them.

    The Angel roles is divided between Kristen Stewart (who seems to be having a lot of fun), Ella Balinska and Aladdin's Naomi Scott as the noobie of the group. The trailer itself is not much to write home about. It feels a tad confusingly edited which made the action hard to follow, and I don't know if that's the trailer's or film's fault. The trailer also really pushes the collaboration song by Ariane Grande, Lana del Ray and Miley Cyrus, although the trailer seems to mostly use Grande's part. What I've seen so far leaves me a tad apathetic, but I'm definitely willing to give it a shot if its good.

    STICKMAN: How hard is it to make a contemporary Charlie's Angels movie with a great cast? Very, apparently.

    LARRY: I’m not really sold on the casting. Stewart kinda looks to be phoning it in.

    MADHERO: Really? I think she looks like she's having a lot of fun. Its been a while since she's been in a big movie like this.

    STICKMAN: It just looks really naff, and kinda...unevolved.

    LARRY: The only real take from it is like....ooh, the angels are BADASS now. But like, in a badass way, not in an overtly sexualized way. Which is fine, just not really enough to hinge a whole movie on...?

    MADHERO: It looks fine I guess. I like the main trio. I like Elizabeth Banks, though maybe not as much as the movie seems to

    STICKMAN: I was expecting something more from a post MeToo era take on Charlie's Angels. It doesn't even look well filmed, just seems kinda bland and TV movie esque.

    LARRY: Yeah Banks doesn’t seem to be doing much here. She’s the mentor, I guess?

    MADHERO: She's one of the Bosley's, along with Patrick Stewart and Djimon Honsou There's still a chance it'll go and tackle its place in the MeToo. Hard to do so in a trailer.

    STICKMAN: It just feels like another Charlie's Angels movie. But without much in the way of PIZZAZZZZ. Proooove me wrong, movie.

    MADHERO: At least the song is gonna get like a billion views



    Well, now we know why Taika Waititi dropped ol’ Bubbles and Netflix. Turns out the Disney dollar is worth just a little bit more. While he’s also busy with Akira, Waititi has signed on to Disney-Fox’s animated adaptation of Flash Gordon, the popular 1930’s comic strip centered on polo-playing space hero Gordon and his adventures on the planet Mongo, thwarting the plans of Ming the Merciless. Currently it is unknown specifically what Waititi’s role will be. He may direct, he may write, he may do both. I dunno.

    The comic led to a television series and many movies, most popular being the live-action adaptation from 1980 starting Sam Jones and Max von Sydow featuring a soundtrack by Queen, who just so happen to be having their own rage in popularity. Now, it looks like he’ll be returning to his roots in animated form!! Waititi seems to be gravitating toward animated projects with this and Bubbles, and I’m excited to see if Waititi will become the next great mind to enter the animation game. I dunno, we’ll see. Either way, Flash Gordon is a lot of fun cheesy camp, famous for actually heavily inspiring other space operas like Star Wars, so here’s hoping Disney-Fox give us a fun, dumb time at the movies.

    STICKMAN: This isn't Bubbles, THIS ISN'T BUBBLES AT ALL.

    MADHERO: Thor Ragnarok was basically a Flash Gordon movie so this feels like it fits his wheelhouse

    LARRY: But he’s also suited for 80’s inspired action adventure silly comedic romps. Yayyyyyyy

    MADHERO: We at least know the sound will be inferior cause no Queen.

    STICKMAN: Maybe they can get Muse instead. That's basically just a Queen tribute band.

    STICKMAN: The Flash Gordon movie was hella gay. I'm just putting it out there.

    LARRY: With this and He-Man Time to gay it up.

    MADHERO: With this, Jojo Rabbit and Akira (which seems to be underway casting), Waititi sure is a busy boy.

    STICKMAN: He deserves it, although...stooop mootiooon.

    LARRY: Hey may still do it Sticky. Just in some other vein.

    MADHERO: Bubbles had to die so that everything else may live.


    EXTREE EXTREE, WE GOT A SURPRISE DISNEY TRAILER DROP, and it's actually good?? Well, yeah, kinda. We were all a bit cautious when Disney announced they planned on tackling MULAN in their live-action remake series, the story of a young Chinese woman who disguises herself as a man so she can enter the Chinese armed forces in place of her unfit and ailing father. Oh yeah and there's an Eddie Murphy dragon in there as well. And then we started hearing some details about the film, such as the rumor that it would ditch the classic Disney songs (still no word on if that is still a thing), as well as its replacement of characters like Mushu and Shang. Then, we got a cast of some of the best Asian actors working today, and suddenly things seemed hopeful. Welp, during the Women's World Cup Final, we got our first trailer, and it seems to be that some of those rumors may hold water.

    Though the music sounds a hell of a lot like "Reflection” none of the original songs in this trailer. Besides for the basic plot elements, there seems to be very little in terms of calling back the original animated film. This is probably because the film's script takes inspiration from the original Chinese ballad, which happens to have several key differences from the 1998 animated film. Apparently Mushu is set to appear, and Shang's character has been replaced by some other guy played by Yoson An. But, more importantly, the kung-fu action looks massive in scope. Obviously we have seen very little from the film, but I would say this is definitely the best teaser for one of these live-action remakes and has the potential to be the first one to genuinely adapt the source material into something all its own. Here's hoping.

    MADHERO: There's a distinct lack of dragon in this teaser trailer.

    STICKMAN: A distinct lack of dragon in this, another Disney live action remake news story.

    MADHERO: I honestly don't know what they'll keep the same and what they change. Here they've changed some characters and even the main villain from the Huns to a witch, which is honestly fine by me since Mulan's villain is rather bland.

    STICKMAN: As long as its changes for the better I have no issue with them deviating.

    LARRY: Yeah they're playing it close to the chest. But so far, no shot-for-shot comparison trailers.

    STICKMAN: It could certainly do with an infusing of the colours of the animated movie. Shit looks blaaaand.

    LARRY: I disagree, I really don't think it looks as bland as you're saying.

    STICKMAN: Different direction is fine, but you don't gotta drain the life out of it in the process. The teaser was fine, but I don't care very much about this.

    MADHERO: To be fair its hard to care unless people are Mad Online about it. Here they'll probably be mad about the lack of dragons and crickets. Or sauce

    STICKMAN: Lack of dragons is a BIG ISSUE, HMMMM.

    LARRY: I think they just stripped this teaser of any callbacks to show they mean business. It definitely looks more akin to some kung-fu movie than it does a Disney live-action remake.

    STICKMAN: Stripped the teaser of any personallittyyy toooomnngghh...the poster was cool though.

    MADHERO: Its still some ways off, but so far it looks like it at leasts deviates a bit from the original, which I can appreciate. We'll see if the movie can be swift as a coursing river in March 2020


    MADHERO: Right now its as mysterious as the dark side of the moon.

    STICKMAN: You boys.


    MADHERO: Alright, with that out of the way, I guess we need to talk about no good wall crawling motherfucking pissdrinking fucking shiteating SpiderdMan. We've been covering Spider-Man movies for quite some time now, and now its Far From Home's turn in the spotlight. The first MCU film since the release of Endgame, this acts as the capping point of the Infinity Saga (but really its more its own thing cause Sony). Plus with Spider-Verse, the bar has somewhat been raised.

    STICKMAN: But can it top Amazing Spider-Man 2?!

    MADHERO: I mean, maybe? I dunno. That depends what we all thought of it, cause we all did and I think we each have our different take.

    STICKMAN: Is it gonna get...SPICY in here!?


    MADHERO: Alright, lets make this meatball sub of takes.



    DIRECTOR: Jon Watts (Cop Car, Spider-Man: Homecoming)

    STARRING: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, Jacob Batalon, Marisa Tomei, Tony Revolori, Angourine Rice

    SYNOPSIS: Peter Parker (Holland) goes on a school trip to Europe with his classmates (Zendaya, Batalon etc.). While abroad, he is recruited by Nick Fury (Jackson) to team up with Quentin Beck (Gyllenhaal), also known as Mysterio, to battle the Elementals.

    MADHERO: So my opinion on Spider-Man movies changes almost constantly, having seem them since they officially started making them in 2001. I was convinced at one point that Homecoming was the best Spider-Man movie, and now I'm not too sure on that front. I really really liked when it came out, but since then its not really stuck with me. I do really enjoy Tom Holland's Peter Parker and have done so in his solo films and with the rest of the Avengers.

    Far From Home is definitely not in the running to be the top Spider-Man movie, at least for me. That's mostly thanks to a first half that to me didn't feel all that interesting or where the humor, especially involving Martin Starr and JB Smoove's teachers didn't work for me. Luckily the movie really picks up in the 2nd half, largely thanks to Jake Gyllenhaal's Mysterio, who's easily the MVP of the film. Also I can appreciate what the "Home" series does with putting Spidey in situtations that hadn't been done on film yet or put him in different surroundings. The European aspect is, as a European, pretty cathartic, not gonna lie. Besides that, its a Spider-man movie and you get most of what you expect, and in some cases more.


    STICKMAN: I'd disagree on the first half not being fun, because I really enjoyed it. I think it really depends on if the humour lands for you or not, because the first half is so reliant on comedy, but it did it for me. This film was one half fun Europe-spanning teen comedy with superhero elements, and then a second half something more emotionally engaging and action packed. I think it improves on Homecoming from a visual point, as I felt that movie struggled to provide good action scenes, nailing the small stuff, but not so much the bigger things.  In terms of what I wanted from the movie, it's all delivered in the second half, as you said. But the first half I felt was a fun Peter Parker/Spider-Man  struggle  that is classic comic book material. I really liked Far From Home, moreso than Homecoming, I'd need to rewatch, but it could be my favourite live action spidey.

    LARRY: I’d have to side with Mad on the first half. Felt kinda choppily edited to me and I found it wasn’t giving a lot of scenes enough breathing room cuz they wanted to inject so much humor. The second half is much better than the first, largely because it does give moments more breathing room while also providing just enough humor and some pretty awesome action. I agree with Mad that Mysterio is the best part for sure. Gyllenhaal is excellent and the way they visualize the character is pitch-perfect. My main issue with the film overall is that it felt a tad bloated to me, trying to tackle a little too much and not all of it perfectly harmonizing. I still don’t quite think the writing for Spidey has reached god-tier MCU levels, but as it stands FAR FROM HOME is a fun addition to the MCU with a great cast and strong humor overall.

    STICKMAN: I thought the editing and pacing was fine in the first half, maybe a little abrupt in terms of leaving New York, but the European tour part I felt was good.

    LARRY: I dunno, just some scenes felt kinda fluffy to me? The movie doesn’t really start until Nick Fury shows up, and even then it takes a while for things to get going.

    MADHERO: It started to deal with a lot of high school tropes that feel mostly played out at this point. Will say though that the beginning probably had one of the bigger laughs. Like, the very beginning

    STICKMAN: Oh yeah, it dealt with the fallout of Endgame pretty well. Not too sappy, we've done sappy.


    LARRY: I agree that the high school tropes felt overdone. And in general I just really didn’t give a shit about the Peter and MJ romance. It felt largely less interesting than post-Endgame stuff and Mysterio stuff.

    MADHERO: Ehhh, I kinda liked that if only cause Holland and Zendaya have really solid chemistry

    LARRY: They do but I don’t find Zendaya’s character all that likable Admittedly she’s less cringe than she was in Homecoming. But like...I don’t get it. Guess it’s just a me thing.

    MADHERO: I liked her snark and I dug that she was allowed to show more as she spends more time with Peter. I think we can all agree Mysterio was the highlight though

    STICKMAN: I think Spider-Man was the highlight but  Mysterio was great fun.

    LARRY: Gyllenhaal CRUSHED it. Mysterio is fucking awesome. Gyllenhaal basically gets to be an everyman AND a character actor and it’s amazing.


    MADHERO: His costume is really cool and I think they've done a really fun interpetation of the character. He definitely steals the show.

    STICKMAN: I think him and Peter make a great on screen pair, in terms of bouncing off each other. These Spider-Man  films have had fun with the villains.

    MADHERO: Yeah, you can see why he projects a bit of Tony Stark on him. I think my favorite aspect besides Mysterio is the location hopping, cause I like seeing Spidey in different environments other than New York, like the Washington scene in Homeconing. A certain spot got me good

    LARRY: Yeah it’s fun seeing a change of pace in that sense. Spidey hopping around European architecture instead of city buildings.

    STICKMAN: Spider-Man in London was fun to see, they kinda teased that in Amazing Spider-Man 2 but  it was all a DANG TROLL.

    STICKMAN: I do feel the personality of New York  was lacking a little in this film. They didn't  really show the personality of the different regions, except one. It was more a literal sightseeing tour. Fun, though.


    MADHERO: I think we've gone as far as we could without going into spoilers. All in all, I had a good time with Far From Home, but the first half does drag down for me. While I enjoy it, its on the middle end for me on Spider-Man films and on the lower end of MCU. That said, as a nice change of pace after the collosus that was Endgame, this felt like a nice adventure. Plus, the end credits leave room for something very different and exciting. No spoilers, but hot damn.

    STICKMAN: I really enjoyed this film, I feel the mix of a Parker heavy first half and then a Spider-Man heavy second makes perfect sense given the premise of the film...and I enjoyed both a lot. Yes the second half is  better, but I enjoyed the first half all the same. It's in the upper MCUs for me, and probably higher than Homecoming. And yeah, those mid/end credits scenes? Hoooooowee.

    LARRY: I certainly wouldn’t call this lower end MCU, even with my qualms. It’s certainly better than Homecoming, that’s for sure. I enjoyed it a lot and I loved Mysterio’s implementation. Also, I didn’t really mention this, but the cast really is great, making meh material work wonders. Especially Holland, he’s excellent and the definitive Spidey. And...yeah, as they’ve said, stick around after the credits. Yeah. Fun.


    MADHERO: Alright, we're not done with reviews yet, cause we have to talk about some creepy Swedes. Ari Aster burst on to the scene with Hereditary, a genuinely skincrawling horror film that really sticks with you. Needless to say ,expectations for his next film are pretty up there. So up there that there's no nighttime and almost always bright daylight.



    MADHERO: Sticky was the only one of us brave enough to go. So how was this fun wacky Swedish adventure? Is Aster the real deal after this?


    DIRECTOR: Ari Aster (Hereditary)

    STARRING: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper, Will Poulter

    SYNOPSIS: A couple (Pugh, Reynor) travels to Sweden to visit a rural hometown's fabled mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.

    STICKMAN: I'll get my main disappointment out of the way first...I wish this was more of a horror film? Don't get me wrong, it's dark and disturbing and has moments of extreme violence...but it has very few directly horror'esque moments. Hereditary was a slowburn family drama that had a constant underlying atmosphere of horror that then exploded out in the last 30 minutes. Midsommar doesn't have as many of those, and that was disappointing to me. THAT SAID, once you look beyond that? Great bloody movie. Much as Hereditary was a character study on grief and family trauma, Midsommar is a study on toxic relationships and co-dependency, except in this film's case, it sticks that theme through all the way to the end, with perhaps one of the best movie endings of recent memory. It's absolutely fucking crazy and I loved it to bits. The whole film is beautiful, using its sun soaked, folk-fueled setting to great effect. Performances are great all around really, with Florence Pugh especially getting the full Colette emotional roller-coaster of a role.


    Although this is a slowburn film, I never found it boring, just because it's so visually absorbing and emotionally engaging. When things do start hitting the fan? They really hit it, damn...this movie's fucked up and at times, psychedelic as fuck. As with Hereditary there's a lot of hidden details, or details that only become details retrospectively..there's even a few trippy hidden background details which are gonna freak a few people out I bet. I really loved this film, it's not gonna be for everyone, if you're going in expecting a full-on horror movie, you're gonna be sorely disappointed. The fact that I was disappointed at the lack of spooks, but still came out hugely impressed? That should say a lot about Midsommar. And yeah...don't watch this if you've not got the stomach for some truly shocking imagery. Hooooooowee.

    MADHERO: Midsommar not going to be for everyone? After Hereditary? Who'd have thunk.

    STICKMAN: This is even moreso not for everyone.

    LARRY: I don’t think I will ever be in the right mindset for this movie.

    STICKMAN: It's got its funny moments too, it's not as consistently miserable as Hereditary.

    MADHERO: Yeah, some people have pointed out how its oddly funny at times, which definitely seems odd, but hey I'll take it

    STICKMAN: There's a character who gives the reactions most normal people would in such a truly strange scenario, so I think that helps bring a bit of fun to proceedings.

    LARRY: Hey, all fear is first reflected through awkward laughter.

    MADHERO: So if Florence Pugh going to get snubbed for an Oscar like Toni Collete was? Who else stands out, you feel?


    STICKMAN: She's very much the star, but everyone gives a strong performance in their respective roles, Jack Reynor plays a very good shitty boyfriend, and Will Poulter plays the graceless outspoken ass we all have in our lives. There's some good Swedish performances, the softly spoken menace those Scandis do so well.

    MADHERO: I saw that William Jackson Harper is one of the friends so in my headcannon this is one of the Bad Place timelines, but good to hear that everyone is strong.

    LARRY: Any interesting stuff done with the score? Always interested in a good horror score.

    STICKMAN: The scores a fun mix of somewhat diegetic and creepy folk music, and the droning background scores more familiar to those who saw Hereditary. The ending music pairs with the ...situation very nicely.

    MADHERO: Are there any other films to compare it to? I'm getting some major Wicker Man vibes

    STICKMAN: Oh yeah, very Wicker Man'esque, this feels almost set in the same world as that. That jolly isolated commune and the horrors that await outsiders who come to visit. It goes through some of the same motions but does so in its own maddening and beautiful style. It's probably quite similar in terms of general structure to a romantic drama...if not entirely in terms of content. It's all about finding out what's best for yourself in a struggling relationship...set to the backdrop of a violent Swedish folk festival.

    MADHERO: The ultimate breakup movie. Anything else you'd like to mention before we move on?


    STICKMAN: I will say once again, whilst this isn't an easy watch, it's not as hard a watch as maybe you'd expect from Hereditary. It's twisted as hell, and has moments of extreme graphic violence, but ...yeah...the barrier's gonna be more the long running time and slow pace for most people. But yeah, I really loved this film, Ari Aster has now produced two of the strangers, most visually creative and  interesting horror films of recent memory. I can't wait to see what's next in the SCREAMING LADY TRAUMA TRILOGY OF TERRORS.


    MADHERO: Ok then. Now with Spider-Man, there's finally some life in the corpse that is Summer 2019. Let's see if there's anything else that can be used as a defibrillator.

    STICKMAN: Spoilers: No there isn't.

    LARRY: Do Crocs make good defibrillators...?

    MADHERO: I dunno, ask them.



    DIRECTOR: Alexandre Aja (Horns, The 9th Life of Louis Drax)

    STARRING: Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Ross Anderson, Anson Boon, Jose Palma

    SYNOPSIS: A young woman (Scodelario), while attempting to save her father (Pepper) during a Category 5 hurricane, finds herself trapped in a flooding house and must fight for her life against alligators.

    STICKMAN: Another movie PERPETUATING NEGATIVE SCALED STEREOTYPES. Also it looks kinda dumb.

    MADHERO: Alexandre Aja got bored of piranha's and now he's ready to take on those gators.

    STICKMAN: From VISIONARY CREATOR SAM RAIMI andtheguywhodidthehillshaveeyesremake.

    LARRY: This entire movie is basically just a flood and crocs, right?

    STICKMAN: What if there was lots of water and then giant crocodiles ate people.

    MADHERO: Basically. I'm sure there's more to the story to the daughter and father, but I think almost every one just want to see some chompin'

    STICKMAN: Like...if this is good? I'd definitely go see it. Love a good creature feature. The odds of this being good, though? Hmmmmm...looooowwww...real low. Giving me Sharknado vibes from the trailers and nobody should aspire to be giving those vibes off.

    LARRY: Yeah even if it’s good, count me out. It’s probably gonna tank anyhow.

    STICKMAN: But the big croccos, Larry.


    DIRECTOR: Michael Dowse (Goon, The F Word)

    STARRING: Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista, Iko Uwais, Natalie Morales, Betty Gilpin, Karen Gillan, Mira Sorvino

    SYNOPSIS: A mild-mannered Uber driver (Nanjiani) picks up Vic (Bautista), a grizzled detective who is hot on the trail of a sadistic, bloodthirsty terrorist (Uwais).

    STICKMAN: Wacky American comedy...endorsed by Uber?

    MADHERO: Haha, get it, cause Stu is the name of the driver and he's a Uber driver. That's so funnnnnnyyyyyyyyy

    STICKMAN: I wheeze.

    MADHERO: Its weird cause I like both Kumail Nanjiani and  Dave Bautista, and it even throws in other people I like such as Iko Uwais, Karen Gillen and Betty Gilpin and it still does nothing to me.

    LARRY: This is an unexpectedly fun comedic duo that looks to be wasted.

    STICKMAN: They seem to be playing into the tropes people assume from them, rather than giving the range and charm that actually makes them funny. Kumail is just being awkward and nerdy, Bautista is YELLING THINGS REEALLY LOUDLY.

    MADHERO: Stuber? More like..... Stupid.

    STICKMAN: Oh shit. DAMN. C-c-c-cCANCELLED.

    LARRY: Gottem.


    MADHERO: Well, that's pretty much it....huh...well there was Spider-Man and Midsommar, so at least we got that. Luckily there's MOVIE OF THE WE-E-E-E-E-E-K!!!!




    MADHERO: We'll have to get that looked at soon, but first we'll go through some movies.


    So this is a tad awkward. As per usual, I went to the International Film Festival Rotterdam where I only really saw 2 films cause not much interested me honestly. One of the films, Shadow, I named my MOTW then, and now that its out on DVD, I might as well talk about the 2nd: Claire Denis' sci fi film High Life.

    This is very much in the arthouse corner of science fiction so be aware of that going in. The movie doesn't really give you much in the way of answers and is way more of a moodpiece than anything else. A moodpiece that can often turn quite nasty under some pretty grueling circumstances, so its not exactly a fun experience. While I really admired the craftsmanship and work put in by Denis and the actors involved, I'm not completely sure if I was in the right mood for it  or simply didn't like it, but I can't deny that it was interesting, so maybe you might really click with it.

    STICKMAN: I hope it is not too much like Solaris. Or as I like to call it, Snorealis.

    MADHERO: Its definitely comparable to Solaris, so sorry about that.

    LARRY: WOMP WOMPPPPP This is on my Watchlist, so yeah I'd like to check it out one of these days. How's Pattinson?

    MADHERO: Pattinson is really good as expected. His character is more subdued than usual. More of the expressive acting comes from Juliette Binoche and her scientist type

    STICKMAN: Does it get fucked up. It got that sweet 18 rating.

    LARRY: I'm sure it does. If that ain't the appeal...

    MADHERO: Oh yes. It gets pretty fucked up and messy. This movie is not gonna for the faint of heart.

    LARRY: Midsommar? High Life? More like....High...Sommar......LIfe....

    STICKMAN: A24 at it again.

    MADHERO: What about you, Sticky? Is your movie more for the whole family?

    STICKMAN: Actually, yessss. For once.

    LARRY: Woah.

    STICKMAN: Unless you've been living under a rock this year, you're probably aware  we're approaching the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, one of mankind's most significant accomplishments. And to commemorate that, a documentary retelling the events of the launch, journey, landing, exploration and return has been released. Apollo 11, a mixture of remastered footage, diagrams and never before seen, digitally cleaned up 70mm colour footage of the NASA operations at the time.

    It’s a documentary that's less interested in the potential sentimentality of the landing, and moreso in the scientific achievement and dedication it took to get those people up there.  It's an unbias, narration free retrospective of the journey, pairing the footage and famous quotes we've all seen and heard many times with all new images of the mission control staff at work. It's surprisingly thrilling, helped by a pulsing soundtrack, and the literally groundshaking IMAX sound design. Even outside of IMAX it's well worth a watch to commemorate the anniversary, but if you can? IMAX is an amazing experience.

    LARRY: Narration-free? SIGN ME UP.

    MADHERO: Man, great to finally got a doc into Stanley Kubrick's process

    STICKMAN: Stanley Kubrick launched himself into the moon just to fake this landing. It's very impressive.

    LARRY: Ugh man I wish I caught this in IMAX. I hear it's incredible.

    MADHERO: How worth is it to see this movie without the IMAX? Sounds like a lesser experience to be sure

    STICKMAN: When the rocket took off,  I thought the ceiling was going to come down on me. Loud doesn't even begin to describe it. Without the IMAX you're still getting a really exciting and authentic retelling  of one of the most amazing feats accomplished in modern times, so yeah...still worth a look. Just to see the moment in time in such vivid detail is impressive.

    LARRY: Would you say it provides new insight?

    STICKMAN: As someone who wasn't born at the time, it provided a good insight into the oddly casual nature of the mission for those involved, there's a lot of dry humour and the momentous occasion of the landing isn't met with much of that bombastic NASA applause you'd expect.

    MADHERO: Good job, Kubrick. How about you, Larry? What's your Movie of the Week?

    LARRY: So, very much on a whim seeing as I was in need of a pick-me-up (and Spider-Man hadn't come out yet), I decided to check out the Boyle/Curtis double-bill YESTERDAY, that Beatles movie you’ve been hearing about. I went in to this film with very middling expectations and came out having enjoyed myself whilst acknowledging the film has many, many problems.

    A movie can get away with a lot if it’s funny, and yeah, this is pretty funny. The cast especially makes this mediocre screenplay salvageable; Himesh Patel is likable as the lead, Lily James provides yet another uniquely grounded performance to her career, and Kate McKinnon is so fucking dark and deadpan it made my heart sing. Also Ed Sheeran is here, and I was far less annoyed with him than I expected. Add that to some fascinating concepts thrown around that give this simple concept some heft (even though they aren’t really explored enough…) and Danny Boyle giving this flaky romcom as much frenetic energy as he can in his direction and editing, and you have an imbalanced but enjoyable film that perhaps could’ve used less romcom-y-ness and more interesting universe character-driven exploration….ness. Check it out if ya want a fun time at the cinema.

    STICKMAN: I'm about the same, it was more enjoyable than expected but still very much...what I expected? If that makes any sense.

    LARRY: Yeah, the film at first looks to be this kinda fun, deadpan comedic exploration of the concept and then...sorta...succumbs to its romcom side plot after trying to balance both for two acts.

    MADHERO: I've heard so many hot takes surrounding this film. Mostly that Boyle and Curtis are two great flavors that don't really go well together

    STICKMAN: Basically, Boyle is at his best with a bit of edge, and this film has literally no edges.

    LARRY: And he tries sooooooo hard to edge it. Some of these scenes are so frenetically edited and oddly shot I was getting Trainspotting flashbacks.

    MADHERO: At least there's some good Beatles tunes. The covers I assume are pretty good?

    LARRY: Yeah, I liked most of them. They don't really try to reinvent the material per se, just sorta give it a slightly more modern sound, and Himesh Patel has a nice voice.

    MADHERO: I like the premise, but I think I'm more likely to see this on Netflix than in the theater. Maybe just not enough of a Beatle fan

    LARRY: It is kinda a perfect Netflix watch.

    STICKMAN: I'm not a big Beatles man to be honest. Should've been like, what if...Metallica was erased from history, instead.

    LARRY: That sure would be a movie. Sequel, perhaps?


    MADHERO: Alright, I think that about wraps everything. The summer drought continues with a whole 2 movies coming next week, but hey, considering they're the biggest Disney remake and a new Tarantino film, I can see why others are running scared.

    LARRY: Oh boy. That is sure gonna be a week.

    STICKMAN: Oh good more Disney remakes. I'd rather take a car ride with Tarantino.

    LARRY: God you really like to make jokes about that.

    MADHERO: Damn. Well I'll gladly be mauled by CGI lions. We'll see our purpose in the Box Office Circle of Life.... next time

  • At the Screwvies: Episode 134

    2 months ago



    MADHERO: The day is finally here. Summer movie season has officially begun. Yes I know Avengers came out not too long ago, but its releasing late April makes its summer movie status debatable, but that's just semantics. We've got quite the stacked list of movies, including a video game movie that might actually be good? Who knows, besides all of us since we saw it.

    LARRY: Time for da summahhhhh

    STICKMAN: It's literal seasons not semantics, HEELLLLOOOO.

    MADHERO: Who am I to argue with mother nature? Whatever the case, we might be witness to something extraordinary, and I'm not just talking about the no doubt great set pieces in John Wick 3. Its gonna be a biggun, because a lot chose to happen this week

    STICKMAN: John Wick gets his first Pokemon, it's a BUSY WEEK.

    LARRY: Man who knew Keanu Reeves and Charmander went so well together? Cuz they’re both about FIREPOWER. Ayoooooooo

    MADHERO: He's obviously more a Growlithe type, but anyway




    Looks like Disney is now on the warpath. After successfully buying 20th Century Fox and making big bucks on Endgame, Disney just recently revealed a whole slew of release dates for their most popular franchises....and Avatar. Yes, the four Avatar sequels are still happening (somehow), and Disney plans on shooting them out full stop beginning in 2021, with a new sequel being released every other Christmas. I guess it’s better than........everyyyy Christmassss? And to top that off, beginning in 2022, we will see a new trilogy of Star Wars film, with each installment released every other year. That means Star Wars and Avatar will swap years for the next seven. fucking. years. Christ, talk about media saturation. Despite the hiatus both of these franchises will have had at this point, the very thought of this sounds nuts. And I don’t think it’s gonna work. But it probably will. Shit.

    In other news, Marvel will pump out two new flicks in 2021 and three new ones in 2022, supposedly all of the Phase 4 projects we discussed during our Spoiler Review for Endgame. Disney will also be jamming out more of those despicable live action projects during those two years, eight in total. Fucking jinkies. Oh, but fear not!! AT LEAST THE KINGSMAN PREQUEL IS STILL HAPPENING. Oh, and The New Mutants release date has been pushed. Again. Fuck, man. I need a nap after all that.

    STICKMAN: Killllll meeeeee.

    MADHERO: Man, I remember when 2022 felt like a lifetime away and now we're talking about all the way forward to 2027. Time is weird

    LARRY: So weird. I dunno if I’m even gonna be alive by 2027.

    STICKMAN: I remember when 2020 felt a lifetime away. But yeah...this shit...oy. Star Wars and Avatar taking turns ruining Christmas for me....very little animated many god damn sequels and live action remakes. AAAAAAH.

    MADHERO: Its not just going to be live action remakes, cause I don't think Disney has that many animated movies to remake, but a large part of them will be probably. I guess a 3 year break is gonna be nice for Star Wars. Avatar tho.... its now gonna be 12 years after the first one

    LARRY: I hope that’s the Johnson trilogy. At least he’ll surprise us.

    MADHERO: As we've learned, Benioff and Weiss are very much capable of surprising even if its unjustified

    STICKMAN: Poor FOX, also...I mean, this isn't a concrete slate that will never be added to...but damn if it's lacking in grand plans for their new assets.

    MADHERO: I don't think FOX has as much big franchise stuff planned besides Avatar so that's probably something more in development, but it was pretty lacking on that front. As for the MCU,  I'm surprised there's gonna be at least one year where we only get 2, but anything can change on that front

    STICKMAN: I'm sure I'll be excited for the Marvel stuff, and I'm sure not all of the live action output will be poor...but damn if this isn't a depressing roster.

    LARRY: It is absolutely depressing. I saw barely any new announcements or new blood. It’s pretty disappointing.

    STICKMAN: Also if one of those live action Disney films isn't TRON 3 I'M GONNNNAAA SHIT MY PAAAAANNTS


    Its rare when we all can all unite as a people and proceed to thoroughly dunk on something. We just had the whole thing going on with ProJared, but before all that, we had a collective sense of unity regarding the design of Sonic the Hedgehog in his live action debut. The teases did not instill confidence, and now that we finally see him in full glory(?) its even worse than expected. From his weird gross white hands, his weird looking legs and TEETH! There's something truly unpleasant about this redesign. The trailer itself, set for some reason to Coolio's Gangster's Paradise (cause Sonic is gangsta?) isn't much better, looking like a rather generic kids film, with Jim Carrey as Robotnik back in full wack 90's mode the one real highlight if you're into that sort of thing.

    Despite being something that everyone saw coming, the reaction to the design was fierce. So fierce in fact that director Jeff Fowler has stated that they'll be tweaking Sonic's design before the film's release in November. While some welcomed this, there's also been a backlash to what this will mean for the animators, many of whom probably knew this design wouldn't be received well and will now work overtime to fix. We have no clue what that redesign will look like, so I guess we'll have to wait till then.

    LARRY: Um.......meow?


    LARRY: Ahhhhhh the fucking legs.

    STICKMAN: There's a whole lotta AAAAAAAAAH with this trailer. This really is what we all feared Detective Pikachu would be. And all knew Sonic would be...because it's Sonic, they always fuck it up.

    LARRY: At least Jim Carrey is bringin the goods.

    MADHERO: Its definitely Jim Carrey in full wacky mode, which feels like it has been a while. But he can only do so much when the rest looks pretty generic and bad

    LARRY: I’m just happy he’s having a fun time. Cuz clearly nobody else is. Even Sonic’s voice sounds pretty bad. It sounds like a teenager who just hit puberty.

    MADHERO: Damn. No need to drag Ben Schwartz like that. It sounded alright and I'm not gonna blame him for anything

    LARRY: But hey guyssssss paramount ringssssss. They gettttt the franchiseeesseee. Righttttt!???!??

    STICKMAN: Teleportation rings. Just

    STICKMAN: Gotta go fast...back to the drawing board to redesign Sonic.

    MADHERO: I feel for all the VFX animators working overtime for something they probably knew was off. Sega and Sonic Team have been really distancing themselves from this, which is never the best of signs.

    LARRY: I love how they commit to this design despite the backlash for the last several months with the poster and leaked shit, and then they say they’re gonna redesign it, and now everyone’s like “NO NOW WE CANT LAUGH AT IT”

    MADHERO: Ehhh, we all had a pretty good laugh at their expense, which has been 90% of Sonic's career since at least 2003

    STICKMAN: Dang. Where's TAILS.


    MADHERO: Give me Knuckles' 4 headed dong and I'll might just go and see it

    STICKMAN: Now we're talking.



    Alright, so we don't often do second trailers on Screwvies,  it's rare that another trailer will show us enough to warrant more discussion. HOWEVER, the 3rd second Spider-Man movie of the last 20 years is in an especially interesting position, as it follows up the events of Avengers Endgame. If you've seen that film (And I hope you have if you're reading this, because last SPOILER WARNING), you'll know there's some significant narrative turns ...and this second trailer for Far from Home reveals the post-Endgame context to the narrative beats eluded to initially in its first.

    The main takeaway is that a lot of this film, at least for Peter's arc, is dealing with the death of Tony Stark. 

    In general the film seems to be dealing with the loss of Iron Man as a hero and a person, with Peter wondering if its his responsibility (Aahh?) to take on his role. Also of note is a scene between Peter, Nick Fury and ol' fishbowl himself, Mysterio, who drops a likely deceptive, but potentially gamechanging bit of info...that he comes from another reality, suggesting the reality snapping, time traveling events of Endgame may have led to the splintering of a multiverse of Marvel worlds. Of course, given such a big 'reveal' is dropped in the trailer? I'm assuming its deception on Mysterio's behalf, but who knows at this point. Comparing the two different trailers for Far From Home, it's interesting to see how much weight the context of its post-Endgame setting adds.

    MADHERO: Alright, place your bets: Is Mysterio telling the truth here or not, cause that's quite the bomb to throw on us while we're still grieving

    STICKMAN: Mysterio is a liar, his pants may also be on fire.

    LARRY: He could very well still by lying. His plan is probably just much more elaborate than we all expected

    STICKMAN: We'll need to see some leaked POP Vinyls and LEGO to know what's going on for sure.

    MADHERO: Its weird, cause right now its very much pushing this idea of Mysterio being a goody, but all Spidey media has portrayed as one of Spidey's most famous baddies.

    LARRY: Well, the MCU has never really given a shit about that have they lol. No disrespect to them, just the facts. Thanos used to wanna fuck Death and it’s nowhere to be found in his portrayal

    MADHERO: We've had precedent for them changing stuff in the comics, but I guess with how far they're leaning into him being a new mentor type, it almost definitely has to lead to his betrayal. That said, Spidey seems like a good way to approach the multiverse, with Spider-Verse and all that

    STICKMAN: People all seem to be expecting Spider-Verse or X-Men and I do feel like they're setting themselves up to be struck down in anger come July.

    LARRY: Yeah, people gotta calm down lol. I hate seeing all of these posts thinking that the X-Men are suddenly gonna show up.

    MADHERO: It provides a gateway, but it all still depends on whether he's telling the truth, and that's still very much up for debate. I knew this was gonna spoil Endgame, but surprised how much they just go full YEAH IRON MAN IS FUCKING DEAD!

    STICKMAN: OH SHIT. It still feels weird typing that.

    LARRY: And they’re really pushing this whole “so are you the new Iron Man now?” And like, subverted or not, that’s pretty fucking wild. To see Marvel pushing Holland as the next sorta center character for the incoming phase.

    MADHERO: Peter's gonna need a couple of billion dollars for that, but maybe he'll get there eventually


    It feels like a long time coming, with the expected release alongside Pet Sematary a month or so back not coming to pass, but we've finally got our first look at IT Chapter 2 in the form of its first teaser trailer, and it's looking pretty fun already. The bulk of the trailer focuses on one singular scene, as a lot of the best horror trailers do. Jessica Chastain plays an adult Beverly Marsh returning to Derry and visiting her old home. She has tea with the kind old lady living there...but things take a strange turn and...well....yeah, things go a little south from there, putting it lightly. 

    After a naked old lady attacks her, we get a montage of scenes from the movie, featuring balloons...LOTS OF BALLOONS. And resurging childhood grief, those are the two main things. 

    We see the majority of the adult Loser Club  reuniting to take down dat boi Pennywise once and for all, being haunted by the traumatic summer of their childhoods along the way. There's people drowning in blood, clowns flying across the sky, boys in stormdrains and yes, fear not, yet more balloons. It's a brief but entertaining first look at what's shaping up to potentially be the biggest horror release for quite some time. Let's hope it delivers as much as the first IT did, much to my initial surprise.

    MADHERO: Ah shit, here come dat boi floatin'

    LARRY: I’m so ready. I don’t typically like horror, but I was a fan of the first IT. I’m excited to revisit the characters.

    MADHERO: Probably scarier than Pennywise is seeing an elderly woman naked. I feel for Jessica Chastain. The being a clown monster part probably doesn't help much either

    LARRY: That’s a whole bucket of yikes, yeah.

    STICKMAN: A naked clown old lady with fake cookies. TRUE HORROR.

    MADHERO: I'm surprised they let that scene go for so long in the trailer, but its a nice establishment of the return of at least Beverly and dat boi. The adult stuff is definitely less liked than the kids stuff in the book, so its gonna be interesting how Musscietti is gonna balance it out and make it as effective as possible.

    STICKMAN: Reminds me of The Conjuring's trailer, what with the long build up to the CLAP CLAP.

    LARRY: Apparently there’s more of the kids, so I’ve read. But they’re pushing that star power.

    MADHERO: No kidding. Having James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain and Bill Hader is pretty great stuff. But its all about that clown floating. I wonder if he's worked on his dance routine in the past 27 years

    STICKMAN: If he doesn't floss, can we really call this horror.

    MADHERO: Pennywise to dab on all the haters.

    STICKMAN: Oh god, dabbing is TOO scary. TOO SCARY MAKE IT STOP, AAHh, AAAAAaaaaaaAGHH

    LARRY: We all dab down here.



    It is always a sad day when we have to discuss a celebrity passing on Screwvies, and this is a big one. Peter Mayhew, the actor most well known for portraying Chewbacca in the Star Wars series, passed away April 30th at the age of 74. At 7 ft 3 in, he was cast in the role for the character’s physical presence, but Mayhew showed to have a bubbly, loving personality under all that fur. He has been a fan favorite amongst Star Wars fans for years, and even returned to play Chewbacca in The Force Awakens, despite being bound to a wheelchair for many years previously. Hell, did you know that he was a hospital orderly when he was first cast? That’s pretty wild. In interviews, he always seemed like a nice guy, and his fellow SW cast members paid condolences on social media expressing the same sentiments. He is survived by his wife Angie and three children. Thank you, Peter Mayhew, for all you brought to this memorable character and his role in one of film’s most memorable franchises. May the force be with you.

    MADHERO: Yeah, this was really sad to hear. We knew he wasn't in the best of health, but it still really sucks to see him go.

    LARRY: Yeah, apparently he had been hospitalized before this but stuck it out until now. ‘Tis a shame.

    STICKMAN: I'm not the biggest Star Wars guy around, but it's hard to dislike Chewbacca, and Mayhew brought a lot to what could've been a diminished role, and I's one of the most iconic characters in the series because of this.

    MADHERO: Chewie is many people's favorite Star Wars character and Mayhew is a big reason why that is. He could've just been Han's weird hairy muscle, but he managed to evolve into an actual character that even though we couldn't understand him, his personality shone through his performance

    LARRY: Chewbacca really does have a lot of personality, physically and audibly. And to see him play the character for so long really is a testament to him and his abilities in the role. He coulda easily been recast or something, but they wanted Mayhew.

    STICKMAN: I was surprised to hear how in bad shape  he was given he played Chewbacca in Force Awakens.

    MADHERO: I'm glad he could play for one last time in Force Awakens before passing the torch to Joonas Suotamo. He's done well so far in both Last Jedi and especially Solo, but its gonna be hard not too miss the original. He seemed truly grateful for his role in Star Wars and had a great sense of humor about it. We wish his family nothing but the best in this difficult time

    STICKMAN: Indeed.

    LARRY: Condolences to the Mayhew’s, and to SW fans all over the world. We’re all mourning a legend, honestly. May the force be with him.



    Sadly, we have to talk about someone gone far too soon, who's star shone very bright in that short time. John Singleton, the director probably best known for his debut film Boyz n the Hood, passed away at the age of just 51 after his family cut off his life support following an massive stroke. With Boyz n the Hood, he became not only the first African American to be nominated for Best Director, becoming the predecessor for the likes of Jordan Peele and Barry Jenkins. He was also the youngest at just 24 at the time, which now feels absolutely insane to me. His later films would not reach the same level of acclaim, but films like Baby Boy and Poetic Justice have since received a cult following or reappraisal. He mostly worked in tv in his later years on shows such as American Crime Story and Snowfall, but will of course mostly be remembered for his debut. His influence and impact was undeniable, and its truly a shame to see him go at such a young age. We wish his family and friends nothing but the best in this incredibly difficult time.

    STICKMAN: A really sudden and sad way for such an important director go. I can't say I'm familiar with his work but I'm very familiar with his influence, and his passing has been noted by many of the cinematic greats for good reason.

    LARRY: Singleton was truly one of the most influential African American directors to work in film. We sorta look at people like Barry Jenkins and Ava DuVernay now as trailblazing diversity for black people in cinema, and they definitely hold Singleton In high regard. They were largely inspired by him.

    MADHERO: The word trailblazer doesn't get used often, but it most definitely implied for Singleton. Its so weird to think he's just gone now at such a young age.

    LARRY: Yeah to see him taken so young is so tragic.

    STICKMAN: It really is.

    MADHERO: His other films weren't as highly regarded as his other work, and he generally retreated into more franchise fare like 2 Fast 2 Furious. You do sort of wonder if he was allowed the same kind of oppurtunities we now see the likes of Ryan Coogler get. A lot of pressure must've come from following up on your debut film after if exploded like that

    STICKMAN: I must admit I've only seen 2 Fast 2 Furious because oopsy. That said I intend to remedy that soon.

    LARRY: Boys in Da Hood is so good. It’s a classic of black cinema, up there with films by the likes of Spike Lee.

    STICKMAN: Very much a classic film, so much so it's in the national film registry.

    MADHERO: Ice Cube is also phenomenal in that film. He really managed to get the best out of people in ways you don't expect. Tupac and Janet Jackson are surprisingly good actors in Poetic Justice.

    LARRY: Poetic Justice is also excellent! I saw that before Boys in Da Hood, interestingly.

    STICKMAN: Sounds like I gotta do some viewing. I'll give 2 Fast 2 Furious a miss though.

    MADHERO: Its a big case of what could've been, and we'll now sadly never know. As always, we wish his friends and family nothing but the best. He's left his mark on the world.

    STICKMAN: Taken far too soon, but the impact on cinema will last forever.

    LARRY: Farewell, Mr. Singleton.


    MADHERO: Alright, that's it for the news. Now its time to talk about an important landmark in cinema: a video game movie with a Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Yes, Detective Pikachu has done what was previously thought impossible, albeit slightly more close than previously thought. But what did WE think of it? Maybe the 3 of us will lower the score and bring it back to Rotten, continuing the curse.

    STICKMAN: But then it'd be between Sonic and Angry Birds 2 to break the curse.

    LARRY: Everyone loves an underdog story. Or an under-hedgehog story.

    MADHERO: We might just have to take that risk. Now then, before we actively start this review, I think its probably important to know where you stand on Pokemon as a franchise, cause personally, I don't think there's been anything as formative in my life as Pokemon. I've been following it since the very beginning pretty much non-stop. I've played and beaten pretty much every gen, and still enjoy it to this very day. So how about you guys?

    STICKMAN: It's not the most formative part of my life but it has certainly been a huge part of it, from childhood obsession to daily activity thanks to the GO app. It's an important franchise for me.

    LARRY: Welp this is gonna go downhill fast. I certainly like Pokemon, I've played some of the games and the characters have obviously been a large part of my life for a while. But I could never really get into the games cuz they're long and hard and the battle system is so deeeeeeeeep.

    MADHERO: Pokemon ain't that hard, but anyway we all have at least some sort of different connection with the franchise, so with that in mind, I guess I'll start with my quick thoughts on Detective Pikachu and we'll pick up from there.



    DIRECTOR: Rob Letterman (Gulliver’s Travels, Goosebumps) 

    STARRING: Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Ken Watanabe, Bill Nighy, Chris Geere, Suki Waterhouse, Rita Ora

    SYNOPSIS: Ace private eye Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son Tim (Smith) to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu (Reynolds)

    MADHERO: Alright, so I'm basically a Pokemon super fan. I know my EVs from my IVs and all that. Detective Pikachu became my most anticipated movie of 2019 besides Endgame, and does it live up to those expectations? Well.... yes and no.


    I'll just start by saying that the Pokemon part has been absolutely nailed. Besides maybe a few dodgy CG moments, the VFX artists have done an amazing job bringing these creatures to life on the big screen whilst still making them recognizable as the Pokemon from the games. Best of course being Pikachu himself, who is both incredibly adorable and very well played by Ryan Reynolds, bringing much more Deadpool into his performance than I thought he would. It may not be the type of Pikachu I'm used to, but it was fun to see. Seeing all those Pokemon and other references in the background mean my fan was truly serviced. The film itself also manages the delicate balance of being fun for all ages. There's quite a few risque jokes in there and the screening I went to laughed at most of them and story wise it does manage to tickle the heartstrings somewhat, especially with the bond Pikachu and Justice Smith's Tim gain at the film. Its far from perfect, but before we get into that, I'll let my other co-hosts tell me their thoughts. What did you think, Sticky?

    STICKMAN: I'm also in the position of finding it mostly successful, with some big caveats. It's surprisingly beautiful visually, be it in the neon soaked noir atmosphere of Rhyme City, or the Poke-infused woods and countryside that appear in the film. It's a fun film from start to finish, with just enough heart to make you care about what happens. The what happens part being the main issue, because without spoiling anything...the 3rd act is a real sharp narrative turn that is just...weird?'s not set up very well and just comes across as a little too preposterous and lazily explained, even for Pokemon.  On a whole, I had a great time with Detective Pikachu though.

    MADHERO: And you, Larry? As probably the least biggest fan who initially balked at the premise and then got turned around by the trailer. What did you think?


    LARRY: Yeah, I'd have to agree with a lot of what's being said. I think the Pokemon look absolutely perfect, and the cinematography is really solid. In general, the world-building with Rhyme City is spot-on, this one movie alludes to a really tight world for future Pokemon films to live in. But.......I can't say the film would've worked without the brand. I mean, yeah, the writing and story is competent, but ultimately it stumbles through a lot of cliches and a lot of wacky left turns (as Sticky said) and I don't find the characters themselves really all that compelling. It's a lot of exposition and all that. Butttttttt the film is clearly having fun with the journey, and the performances are doing the best they can with the material (though Reynolds as Pikachu still feels a bit too much Deadpool to me). And, again, as a Pokemon fan, I was having an absolute ball. I just hope they can take what does work, maybe give it some stronger writers and filmmakers, and really showcase the potential that live-action Pokemon films can have.

    MADHERO: I think from what I read, that we can all agree that the Pokemon were great in the film, which is a pretty important thing to nail. I really enjoyed my boi Bulbasaur looking hella cute. I will say that I could've done with seeing a more diverse range of Pokemon. You do end up seeing a lot of Loudred around, but I guess designing more would've probably been a lot more work

    STICKMAN: They certainly designed a set group of Pokemon and used those for background shots exclusively. You see a few unique ones in specific scenes, but it does feel a bit limited.

    LARRY: I gotta disagree with that, honestly, I think there were plenty of fun appearances to go around. Not every Pokemon would exist in the same city. Plus you get a lot of fun inclusions in that set, it's a diverse set. My boi TREECKO

    STICKMAN: It's diverse in terms of generation, but by the end I felt like I'd seen a LOT the same Pokemon...weirdly specific ones rather than actually common Pokemon types like Ratata or Pidgey.


    MADHERO: Gen 1 probably gets the most play, but there's a diverse range that's a lot of fun to see, but I could've used more. I do think that the design of Rhyme City is great as well. I do think that the humans are a bit lacking. Justice Smith is actually pretty good in it and a great foil for Pikachu, but the other humans feel a little less compelling. Kathryn Newton does her best, but there isn't a lot of chemistry with her and Smith. Psyduck's good though

    LARRY: To be honest, Justice Smith's character really ain't all that compelling either. He is giving a good performance, but the writing lacked for me.

    STICKMAN: I felt Newton didn't bring a lot to the table, but then she wasn't given much to do either. I will say the characters are a big step up from the game its adapted is the city and ...just...well...everything except that weird twist. Don't get me wrong, it was amusing to see....that person do...THAT...THING...but yeah.

    MADHERO: Yeah, the 3rd act is.... probably is the weakest part of the film. Its not bad per se, but it does go in a very weird seemingly out of nowhere direction.

    LARRY: It is a pretty intense just isn't built up.

    MADHERO: It does have one of the more fun twists involving a certain Pokemon, one I'm sure is gonna make a lot of people uncomfortable.

    LARRY: Oh I LOVED that shit.

    STICKMAN: I know a certain community of individuals who are going to be all over that shit. Google Image searches for Pokemon have always been bad, they're gonna get worse now I BET.


    MADHERO: Other than that, yeah, the main mystery plot isn't all that surprising and you can see the villain coming from a mile away, but you of course also have to keep in mind its a family film. It ain't gonna be Zodiac

    LARRY: It was a pretty bad mystery given that they sorta don't let the audience do any work in trying to solve it. It's all sorta exposition-laid twists and turns that the audience can't really piece together until the very last second

    STICKMAN: I could forgive a predictable but entertaining narrative for a family movie (And a Pokemon movie at that), it just went in a weird direction at the same time and I think that takes the film down a few notches away from being that first great video game movie.


    MADHERO: Yeah, the 3rd act is probably where the most points are docked, but I still had a lot of fun. To wrap things up, as a Pokemon fan, I was extremely pleased with the fanservice, be it the Pokemon or the excellent end credits. If I needed to be as objective as possible, I will still say that its a fun family film that everyone can enjoy, be it for the fun creatures and humor. But it does have its stumbles, be it the 3rd act and some of the more generic kids film elements. I'm very much looking forward what's in Pokemon's cinematic future. Except maybe that Mewtwo Strikes Back remake, that doesn't look great.

    STICKMAN: It's a really fun starting point for a potential franchise of live action Pokemon movies that, if treated with the same degree of love and craft, could prove really fun.  Just...tighten up the writing a little. Also Detective Pikachu is adorbs.

    LARRY: I agree!! Looking forward to seeing what they do with Legendary moving forward.

    STICKMAN: That brief tease of catching Pokemon in wild grass near the start makes me want to see that grand old Red/Blue adventure styled movie.


    MADHERO: That mouse can dance. Anyway, other movies are coming out as well, desperate to take Endgame's nr. 1 throne .Can any of them succeed? Probably not, but they're welcome to try

    STICKMAN: Oooh I'm excited for exactly one of these. Let's try and guess which one.

    LARRY: It probably won't be hard to piece it.



    DIRECTOR: Chad Stahelski (John Wick, John Wick Chapter 2)

    STARRING: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Laurence Fishburne, Asia Kate Dillon, Lance Reddick, Anjelica Huston, Ian McShane, Jason Mantzoukas

    SYNOPSIS: Still on the run and with a $14 million global contract on him, John Wick (Reeves) is banned from every Continental service, which forces him to fight his way out of New York City with the help of a hitwoman (Berry) who still trusts him.


    LARRY: Ah, there it is.

    MADHERO: My boy Baba Yaga is at it again

    STICKMAN: Hide the pencils.

    MADHERO: This time he's at it again on horses and motorcycles. In all seriousness, yeah I'm mad hype for this.

    STICKMAN: I'm sooooo excited, that cliffhanger from John Wick 2 was awesome, and the reviews so far have been more than glowing.

    LARRY: Those action setpieces look so RAD.

    STICKMAN: Motorbikes and horses and Morpheousssess

    MADHERO: John Wick 1 was cool, but I didn't expect it would create THE action movie trilogy on which all action is judged upon.

    STICKMAN: John Wick 1 compared to 2, and seemingly 3, feels pretty lacking...and that opening act sure is depressing. It's really become something special though.

    MADHERO: is gonna have a field day.

    LARRY: Time for me to finally watch these.

    STICKMAN: If any dogs die I'm going to burn the screen down.


    DIRECTOR: Chris Addison (episodes of Veep)

    STARRING: Anne Hathaway, Rebel Wilson, Alex Sharp, Tim Blake Nelson, Dean Norris, Emma Davies

    SYNOPSIS: Two female scam artists, one low rent (Wilson) and the other high class (Hathaway), team up to take down the dirty rotten men who have wronged them.

    STICKMAN: Aaaand down we go.

    LARRY: It was fun while it lasted.

    MADHERO: Well, that's quite the drop. This movie sat on a shelf for a while and just had the stink up the place

    LARRY: And the marketing campaign shows that. Nobody really knew this movie existed until a month ago.

    STICKMAN: My local cinema has had a banner for this film proudly displayed on the entrance since like...February? So weird. Walking in to see Avengers Endgame and still seeing that was...odd.

    MADHERO: With this and Serenity, Anne Hathaway is having quite the year

    STICKMAN: I expect, and receive nothing from Rebel Wilson....Anne Hathaway's having a shit time of it. I'm surprised Matthew McConaughey isn't in this film too.

    MADHERO: Rebel Wilson at this point is discount Melissa McCarthy, and even that ain't that great a taste, but you can get a Can You Ever Forgive Me every now and then from her.

    STICKMAN: She really is. This film looks awful though, and the reviews have been brutal.

    LARRY: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels deserves better.

    MADHERO: There's potential in a Dirty Rotten Scoundrels gender swap remake, but this ain't it chief

    STICKMAN: Dirty Rotten Tomatoes Score.


    DIRECTOR: Gail Mancuso (episodes of Roseanne and Modern Family)

    STARRING: Josh Gad, Dennis Quaid, Marg Helgenberger, Betty Gilpin, Kathryn Prescott

    SYNOPSIS: A dog (Gad) finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he meets.

    STICKMAN: Oy with this tripe. Every week with these dog films.

    MADHERO: Boy, is gonna have a lot of work this summer.

    STICKMAN: A movie where the same dog can die many times. It's cheap sentimentality incarnate.

    LARRY: I feel like this movie came out already.

    MADHERO: All the while Josh Gad goes "o boy, I sure love being a dog and not understanding the complexities of humans." I just wonder when they're gonna crossover with A Dog's Way Home and we'll get the A Dog's Cinematic Universe

    LARRY: See, I feel like people would normally LOVE a dog-based cinematic universe. But...this ain't it, chief.

    STICKMAN: All Dogs No Longer Go to Heaven, they are reincarnated for eternity, suffering death and the struggles and life again and again forever.


    DIRECTOR: Dome Karukoski (Tom of Finland)

    STARRING: Nicholas Hoult, Lily Collins, Colm Meaney, Derek Jacobi, Anthony Boyle

    SYNOPSIS: The formative years of the orphaned author (Hoult) as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school.

    LARRY: Finally, a Tolkien that fucks.

    STICKMAN: I finally get to see his ring(?).

    MADHERO: Yeah, this is a weird one. The fact its not approved by his estate probably isn't the best of signs, and neither are the somewhat mixed reviews. A shame, cause there's a lot of potential in telling Tolkien's story

    STICKMAN: There is, but as it stands we've got yet another mediocre biopic on our hands, gang.

    MADHERO: Apparently the main critique is that its just kinda boring and flat, which is unfortunate.

    STICKMAN: Considering the time its releasing, I wasn't expecting much...if they thought it was more they would've put it out around Oscar season with all the other biopics. Also this is I think the second post-Disney 20th Century Fox release, and the first one from a great start.

    LARRY: Womp womp.

    MADHERO: Yeah, releasing a movie like this in the summer feels like a death warrant. Ah well

    STICKMAN: Could be worse, it could be The Hobbit 3.

    LARRY: oof


    DIRECTOR: Zara Hayes (directorial debut)

    STARRING: Diane Keaton, Jacki Weaver, Pam Grier, Rhea Perlman, Celia Weston

    SYNOPSIS: Martha (Keaton), a woman who moves into a retirement community, starts a cheer leading squad with her fellow residents.

    MADHERO: Finally, a movie for our exact demographic

    STICKMAN: Another day, another oldie vehicle.

    LARRY: Ugh enough of this wholesome shit. WHERE IS MY MOTORCYCLE VIOLENCE

    STICKMAN: Remember old people? They're back. In cheerleading form.

    MADHERO: It looks..... fine? I hadn't heard of this movie before checking the listing. I guess they're hoping for another Book Club but this has a lot less horny in it, so will therefore fail.

    STICKMAN: Without the horny grannies where is the appeal.

    LARRY: Yeah, that was also Diane Keaton, right?

    MADHERO: I think so? I don't know, never saw, just like I'll probably never see this. Nice to see Pam Grier in a new movie though

    STICKMAN: Needs more gun-fu.


    MADHERO: Alright, not the greatest of starts ,but John Wick Chapter 3 and Detective Pikachu more than make up for it. And if those don't, there's always MOVIE OF THE WEEK! While Detective Pikachu is probably the film that'll get the most attention, there's some other movies out there in the theater or avaliable at home that are worth your time. So Larry, what's your Movie of the Week? What's officialy better than Detective Pikachu?

    LARRY: Ooh yay my turn.

    STICKMAN: somethingshitibethohhoho


    LARRY: Today, my MOTW is a little movie called "The Kid Who Would Be King," Joe Cornish's follow-up to his cult hit "Attack The Block," a modern day King Arthur-esque story in which a young boy discovers Excalibur and goes on a journey to stop the second coming of a Morgana, King Arthur's hellish disgraced sister. It's a fun new-age medieval tale that has a lot of genuine heart, and a lot of really fun action setpieces.

    I had a ball with this film, and it shows just how much Joe Cornish can do with a wacky concept like this. The cast of kids is solid, with Louis Ashbourne Serkis (yes, Andy Serkis' son) a wonderful lead, and Angus Imrie a charming young Merlin. And yes, Patrick Stewart is a wonderful old Merlin, though he doesn't really appear too often in the film. Sure, the film ain't perfect, it's definitely about twenty minutes too long and not every visual effect is on point. But I would definitely watch this again and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a fun, sword-swingin' good time.

    STICKMAN: Really wanted to see this but it didn't get a very lengthy release here in the UK, coming off the heels of its bombing in the US.

    MADHERO: I don't think it even got a release here, which really says it all

    LARRY: Yeah, I didn't see it in theaters cuz it was right in the middle of a busy final semester, but honestly this is definitely a movie I would recommend watching in a theater environment. It's really epic.

    STICKMAN: Attack the Block was a cult hit over here, so it's a shame they didn't afford his follow-up the same opportunity...was barely marketed and didn't release very wide.

    MADHERO: Attack the Block is so good, and I've heard mostly good things about this as well. I could see it bombing from a mile away though.

    STICKMAN: It's a hard sell but they didn't try very hard to sell it regardless. I look forward to seeing it on DVD.

    LARRY: To be honest, it's kinda only a hard sell probably because it's from the UK. If this was about Americans, I feel like little kids would be all over it.

    STICKMAN: I would disagree but there you go. I guess I wouldn't be surprised if Americans turned their noses up at anything that wasn't American. OH WELL.

    LARRY: Honestly I don't know how they fucked up this marketing. It's sword fighting and big monsters and MAGIC AND WIZARDY. Kids fuckin LOVE THAT SHIT.

    MADHERO: What about you, Sticky? Do you rep your home country?

    STICKMAN: I did not, but I went for another family film that didn't do as well as it should've. Everyone loved The LEGO Movie, everyone loved The LEGO Batman Movie, everyone....uhh...The LEGO Ninjago Movie, but what the hell happened with The LEGO Movie 2? Was it too little too late? FrAnChIsE fAtiGuEuEuEue!? Who knows, the reviews were pretty strong and, really? It's a fun, visually stunning and often touching film, albeit one with some odd decisions for how its universe works, and a heavy dollop of "We've already seen this".

    Basically, it's the same premise of the LEGO Movie, where the big 'the real world is involved' twist no longer a surprise, it uses it in a different way, focusing on the relationship between young siblings, and how the clashes of brother and sister affect the LEGO world....which is its own world...but also is just imagination...but....uhh...well you'll have to watch it and find out. It's frequently funny and always nice to look at, it's a gooooood film.


    STICKMAN: It was good but nobody watched it.

    MADHERO: I.... still haven't seen it so  I'm part of the problem

    STICKMAN: You made Warner Bros cry, Mad. How could you?

    MADHERO: I gave them my money for Detective Pikachu. They'll be ok, but for some reason I just haven't had the same desire to go see it like I had the last one. Yeah, I'm older, and its not Lord and Miller directed, but it still looks fun. I think it partially is franchise fatigue and feeling a tad too late. The original film was 5 years ago after all

    STICKMAN: It's weird to say fatigue is a factor in a series that has made 4 films over 5 years, but I think the novelty has worn off, mainly. Also this film feels less about LEGO and more about other things, which takes away from it being a LEGO movie.

    LARRY; Yeah this one really does ride on the coattails of its direct predecessor.

    STICKMAN: I do think people should check this film out, even if it isn't as fresh as the first one's still really funny and has a good narrative...with some weird decisions.

    LARRY: The sequel is a lot of fun, if not a tad confusing. It's got a lot heart and some solid new characters. But...yeah, I think LEGO Movies can really just expand and do other things.

    STICKMAN: But enough about plastic bricks...what What is it. WHAT.


    MADHERO: As we discuss two family films, its time to go in the EXACT OPPOSITE DIRECTION, with an WW1 documentary. They Shall Not Grow Old was Peter Jackson's big collaborative project with the BBC to bring WW1 closer than ever before.

    It was the first war ever filmed, but the technology, now more than a 100 years ago, has sorted of faded the horror the war brought from family, and it being much more morally complicated and trenchy has made it less popular than its sequel. What Jackson has done is nothing short of phenomenal, bringing these formerly soundless black/white images and gives these people life through some really intense colorization and adding sounds and voices. It has a really mesmerising effect, and really adds a humanity to these people, also brought by old interviews from veterans provided by the BBC. Anyone with an interest in history should give this a look.

    STICKMAN: Heeeyyy I saw this too.

    LARRY: I didn't. Screw you guys, I WANNA BE IN THE CLUB.

    STICKMAN: I think in a way this is a family movie, maybe not family fun, but an important education in the personal costs and sacrifices made for our freedom. It's one of those 'Everyone should see it' kinda films, even if it is a hard watch.

    LARRY: Well then I must see it!!

    MADHERO: I feel like WW1 is probably a bigger deal in the UK than it is due to Remembrance Day and all the poppies, wheras its not so much here since we didn't partake in WW1 despite being in the middle of it. I do agree its an important film for people to see. The restoration work is amazing

    LARRY: Yeah Americans are way more focused on WWII than WWI. Largely cuz WWII affected us more.

    STICKMAN: It's called WORLD War for a reason, fellas. The restoration is a little uncanny at times, but it's pretty incredible to see the real WW1 this way.

    MADHERO: Yeah, has some moments where it feels slightly off, but those are very minor, and it gave me more appreciation for the sacrifices these soldiers ultimately gave

    STICKMAN: I appreciated how authentic and unsentimental it was, most films about WW1 and WW2 lay it on quite thick, but really, the gravity of the situations at hand speak for themselves when it comes to their moving nature.

    MADHERO: Its very much a day in the life of these soldiers. Its just life, and its a really weird part of history.

    LARRY: Man I really gotta see this. This and Apollo 11, might make for a good double feature.


    MADHERO: I think that about wraps things up. Summer fun is gonna continue where we'll soon know what's bigger: a nostalgia fueled perhaps iffy looking remake, or some big kaiju bois knocking shit over. There will probably be no survivors



    MADHERO: Oooooooooh no. There goes Tokyo. Go Go Goodbye

    STICKMAN: Embrace me, big radioactive boi. GOODBYE

    LARRY: Adios boi-o's.

  • At the Screwvies: Episode 133

    2 months ago



    MADHERO: We're in the endgame now. Thanos did exactly what he said he would and took 50% of the entire film watching population. Few have managed to escape. It has already taken Larry. We've got to get him back whatever it takes, and I guess that has to mean talk about our Endgame experience so that no one else has to experience his faith.

    STICKMAN: I dunno about you, but I'm feeling pretty lucky right now. 50% of the universe gone and I survived. Boy howdy. Also, Larry's dead...sad, very sad.

    MADHERO: Yeah, Flashpenny too, so it really was 50%. Sad state of affairs out there, but hey, we live.

    STICKMAN: I've managed to survive Trump, Brexit and Thanos to still be here to see Godzilla in a couple episodes. Phew.

    MADHERO: Alright, might as well see what else has been going on in the world.




    It's been a long and turbulent road to production for the newest installment of the James Bond franchise, but we finally got some concrete details this week as it gears up for filming, although maybe not the big detail we were expecting. At a live streamed press event with (some of) the cast of the film, we got our first vague plot details and confirmation of numerous recent rumours, but strangely, no official title, which means we still have to call it BOND 25 like a buncha chumps.

    The biggest confirmed news was the inclusion of Rami Malek as the film's villain, he'd been recently connected to the role but it's now a done deal, with other newbies including Ana de Armas, Lashana Lynch and Billy Magnusson. Pretty much all of the supporting cast from Spectre are returning, with Naomie Harris’ Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw’s Q, Ralph Fiennes’ M and James Bond's inappropriately young, likely doomed wife Lea Seydoux all confirmed, as once again, has this film's status as being Daniel Craig's final outing as the character, for realsies this time, 100%. The most interesting news came from the inclusion of Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag, Killing Eve) as a co-writer for the script, being only the second ever female writer on a Bond movie, which at this point is yet another 'After semi-retiring, Bond is brought back into the service to fight a shadowy adversary' trope, VERY EXCITINGnngg..? Filming is taking place in Norway, Jamaica, Italy, London and of course, Pinewood Studios. All in all mostly good news, albeit perhaps underwhelming given it revealed during a LIVE EVENT. We didn't even get to see the CAAAR. GOD DAMNIT.

    MADHERO: I watched that stream live and it was the fucking worst.

    STICKMAN: I was watching Endgame whilst the stream happened and I feel like I made the right choice.

    MADHERO: You really didn't miss much and I feel for the writers in America who expected some big news to appear at 5AM. They only had time for 4 fan questions, barely answered them, and the sound quality was godawful. I'm only focused on it cause there's not much to go in here besides the cast.

    STICKMAN: This film just can't catch a break. The trailer will come out and the sound will be off, Mummy style, then the film reels will all fall in a puddle.

    MADHERO: The cast is pretty good though. Great to have Jeffrey Wright return and I like the casting of Ana de Armas and Lashana Lynch. And I'm.... curious about Malek as the baddie

    STICKMAN: His hotel sponsored video about things he likes proves he will make a truly unnerving villain.

    MADHERO: Truly a fan of his mom and random encounters. I guess its fun to go back to Jamaica, so good on the film and to the cast for getting to be there. Waller-Bridge as a writer should at least be fun.

    STICKMAN: Killing Eve was awesome but I can't imagine a Bond film with that'd be pretty great though.

    MADHERO: Would be an improvement on Spectre though. Not much else to go on. No teaser trailer, not title, not even a flippin' new Aston Martin. For shame, guys.



    We've talked about the scale of the Disney/Fox deal before, but I don't think we've quite established how bad the deal is for the variety of entertainment that we get. What Disney wants and what an independent Fox wants and can do are two very different things. We've already seen the closure of subidiary Fox 2000, but Disney added to that by shutting down The Mouse Guard, Wes Ball's adaptation of the Boom Studios comic. Production was supposed to begin in 2 weeks before being given the red light, with Disney having 2nd thoughts about its 170 million production budget, which is fair but still shitty. The producers have been allowed to look for a new studio, but to have production pulled from under you isn't great.

    Other, much smaller movies have also been either been given the boot or sold to other studios, with Disney continuing with Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman prequel The Great GameSteven Spielberg's West Side Story remake, the Ryan Reynolds comedy Free Guy, and Kenneth Branagh's Hugo Poirot sequel Death on the Nile, with the message being that Fox will make PG-13 and R rated movies that can grab a audience that Disney might not, but won't give a chance to smaller movies unless its awards worthy at Fox Searchlight. But hey, I hope its all worth it to have X-Men in Avengers some day.

    STICKMAN: Oy with this shit. We ain't never gonna see no FANTASY MICE ADVENTURES noooow.

    MADHERO: We'll just have to do with American Tail I guess. While I can understand balking at that price tag, the fact its shut down so close to release feels particuarely shitty

    STICKMAN: They didn't even give it a chance, I guess that's the difference between Fox and Disney, Fox took chances on shit and...okay, they often didn't work out, but sometimes you got something like Avatar or Kingsman. Disney ain't gonna take those risks.

    MADHERO: Not the huge big budget ones. Disney seems much more keen on already established material or something with they believe is bigger appeal. I still need to see what comes out of Fox Searchlight, but the cancellations aren't great for variety.

    STICKMAN: Good news for Alien, bad news for the Aliens that never were. Also fuck Disney and fuck the X-Men, FUCK. WHERE'S EPIC MICKEY.

    MADHERO: Fuck Fantastic Four while we're at it. Save those mice.


    Ever since Roma came within an earshot of winning this year's Academy Award for Best Picture (Losing to Green Book.... * Cough * ), there's been a debate raging about whether Netflix, and streaming films in general should be eligible for nomination.  It was an uphill battle getting them to that level of recognition in the first place , but after it finally happened, many people, including Senior Spielbergo, lobbied the Academy to change the rules and prevent Netflix and other streaming services from competing. A few weeks ago there was even a question of the legality of this prevention, but it's now official, the rules regarding how a film becomes eligible will not change, and Netflix, Amazon and...uhh...Shudder?? are free to submit their films for Academy recognition.

    That's the big news, but there were a few changes to the 2020 awards that are worth noting  Firstly, the 'Foreign Language Film' is now called the 'International Feature Film', presumably no longer coming with the caveat that it has to use a language other than English. Animated Feature also got a change, this time more welcome, and perplexing in its original form to begin with...they no longer require a set amount of animated feature releases per year in order to have that category be featured at But then why was it like that to begin with? HMMM. Anyhow, the Oscars continue to be a thing.

    MADHERO: I think this probably was inevitable since the rules for getting in are already fairly loose so trying to shut them out would be about shutting them out specifically, which would just look dumb coughcoughCannescough

    STICKMAN: Oh shit. Some pre-shade being thrown down.

    MADHERO: I think there won't be much complaint about the International Feature change, although we have to see how far it'll go and how it'll affect English language movies from Canada or the UK. At least it won't shut out certain films for featuring English like Burning this year.

    STICKMAN: I think that's probably why they changed it. Burning is the Chicken Run of 2019.

    MADHERO: It feels nice to have the Academy introduce changes that people can actually understand and like, which is quite the improvement from last year

    STICKMAN: No news on Best Popular Film either. Good times. Now if we can just recount the votes on 2019 Best Picture.

    MADHERO: Scorsese can rest easily knowing The Irishman will probably get nominated.


    Finally, the movie we've all been waiting for: Will Smith v Will Smith: Dawn of Justice. For the longest of times, the script of the very silly named Gemini Man (seriously why can't they just call it Gemini?) has been floating around Hollywood for years as something that was a neat idea ( an older assassin facing a younger clone of himself) but impossible to properly do until now. Multiple actors, including Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson and Clint Eastwood were at one point attached, and now after 20 years its finally here with Will Smith and Ang Lee at the reigns.

    What the trailers show is pretty impressive with Smith's de-aged clone, even if there's the sense that it no longer feels all that special anymore, especially with what Captain Marvel did with Samuel L. Jackson. The trailer itself looks mostly fine, though you can feel the way this movie is coming from a mile away. With Ang Lee there's an interesting director, one who doesn't always make hits but at least makes something interesting, so we'll see if its gonna take those interesting directions, of if its an idea that should've remained in the depths of development hell

    STICKMAN: Trust no one not even your old, moneymaking heyday self.

    MADHERO: Finally the adaptation of the meme we were all hoping for.

    STICKMAN: I wonder what insane frame rate this Ang Lee film will screen at.

    MADHERO: Apparently it was shot at 60 frames per second, so maybe its actually a video game. Interesting that Lee is still experimenting with that.

    STICKMAN: God damnit Lee, just make films. This isn't Call of Duty, we don't need HIGH FRAME RAAATES.

    MADHERO: I'm neither for nor against experimenting with the frame rate. Honestly the trailer so far looks far more like a Jerry Bruckheimer film than a Ang Lee one. Felt a tad generic and feel the time for this to be truly impressive has passed by, though the effect is still pretty good

    STICKMAN: It's super generic, and if the only thing this film has going for it is the de-aging CGI...then it's like...we've done that, boss. Tron Legacy made that weird like, 7 years ago.

    MADHERO: To be fair, in Tron Legacy it was in the very rough phase, and we've seen in the Marvel movies how the effect has improved.

    STICKMAN: To the point where it being the whole premise of the film isn't very enticing. Prove me wrong, Lee...PROVE ME WRONG. In a more standard frame rate for motion pictures, preferably.



    Always love a bit of Guilermoroororo Del Tororororo news here at Screwvies. The guy dips his fingers into a shit-ton of potential, multimedia projects but very few of them actually come to pass. This week, speculation is building that Del Toro has his next film project almost decided, it being a remake of the 40s film noir 'Nightmare Alley', with Leonardo DiCaprio potentially eyeing up the lead role, should Del Toro direct.

    Nightmare Alley features seedy con artists and a traveling freak show, the latter inclusion likely being what's drawing Del Toro to the role, given his love for all things weird, and humanity in that which is perceived by many as inhuman. That's all we know at this point, but the potential for Del Toro to tackle film noir, with Leo in the leado? That's all I need to start getting excited.

    MADHERO: What else can I say but oooooooooooooooh, neat.

    STICKMAN: It's a very much 'ooh neat' story at this point, until we know more. It's also an obstacle between me and that Del Toro directed stop motion movie, though.

    MADHERO: Del Toro sure is putting a bunch of stuff on his plate. With the stop motion movie you can at least imagine that it takes a while to make. He's also got his Zanbato project at Bad Robot. He never learns, but we love him anyway

    STICKMAN: Del Toro is a great director but he's also bad at project managing. One film at a time boy, JEEZUZ.

    MADHERO: See, Leo gets it, although with him it might be cause he's super picky. It would be an interesting team-up for sure, and not one you'd necessarily expect

    STICKMAN: There's no reason why they wouldn't work together, but also it's pretty surprising and I don't know why.

    MADHERO: Del Toro makes some very weird films and DiCaprio doesn't really go horror besides maybe Shutter Island with Scorsese. But hey, I'm into it if it gets to the filming stage.

    STICKMAN: Shutter Island is overrated but that's a story for another day. Or never, that's probably better. I hope this film has a buff fish man in it also.

    MADHERO: What if Leo is the buff fish man?

    STICKMAN: I will be so horny.


    Get out your baguettes and prepare your 15 minute boos and applause, cause the Cannes Festival is coming up once again. Arthouse cinema's greatest festival is once again prepping itself at the French coast. The biggest names around are having new films to show, with Jim Jarmusch's very weird looking zombie comedy The Dead Don't Die both in the competition and the opening film.

    Other big filmmakers in the competition include Ken Loach, Pedro Almodovar, Xavier Dolan and even Terence Malick having a film in the competition. Other films that could still enter if there's enough time include Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. One film that won't show up is Scorsese's the Irishman, with Netflix skipping the ceremony after all the hubbub in 2017. The competition also broke new ground by finally featuring a film directed by a black woman in Mati Diop's Atlantique, so that's neat. Some big names, so we'll see how it goes when the competition starts May 14th

    STICKMAN: F-f-f-f-fuck Terrence Malick.

    MADHERO: O dang, guess you'll be booing for 10 minutes after his film is done.

    STICKMAN: Hell yeah, gotta get in the Cannes spirit. The fact it took this long to have a black woman be featured in the roster sure says a lot about Cannes.

    MADHERO: I think it says a lot about the chances black women have received over the years, and even women in general. Agnes Varda is on the poster, but very few films directed by women enter the competition. Its getting better though, and hopefully that'll continue

    STICKMAN: But yeah, sure there's gonna be some good films out of this one. I know there's at least a couple animated films which'll never release in the UK so that's fun to look forward to. Did any Cannes 2018 films make it to awards season? Apart from Shoplifters.

    MADHERO: Blackkklansman premiered at Cannes, so there was that. Dead Don't Die being the opening film, despite knowing its a Jarmusch film, feels really funny to me.

    STICKMAN: A zombie film loaded with STAR POWER.

    MADHERO: A movie with Selena Gomez, Iggy Pop, RZA and TIlda Swinton as a Scottish samurai type as the opening film of Cannes. Awesome.

    STICKMAN: Also shoutout to Ken Loach for making another film that'll no doubt get loads of media attention in the  UK but nobody will actually watch. Rooting for you.

    MADHERO: As the resident Okja stan, I'm interested in Bong Joon Ho's Parasite.

    STICKMAN: Okja was too kooky for my palette.  Snowpiercer? That was fuckin ace. So I'm DIVIDED. Perfectly balanced, as all things should be...I guess.

    MADHERO: Oh shiiiiiiiiiiiiit. I guess its time to talk about the Giant Ant-Man in the room

    STICKMAN: I was wondering why he was there.


    MADHERO: Its one of the biggest cinematic releases of the year, and now its finally here after all the hype. Avengers Endgame has, even more so than Infinity War, really felt like the end we've all been waiting for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, even if we know its not. And I guess people are really excited for it, what with it grossing 1.2 billion IN FIVE DAYS!

    STICKMAN: Huhuhwha? Something came out?

    MADHERO: I guess it kinda came and went. People are going to see this in droves and will continue to do so, so we're going to keep this spoiler free, because otherwise Ant-Man will climb in our ass and kill up from the inside.

    STICKMAN: God, if only.

    MADHERO: So better be careful. So Sticky, what are your thoughts on that good ol' Endgame?



    DIRECTOR: Joe and Anthony Russo (Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War)

    STARRING: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Bradley Cooper, Josh Brolin

    SYNOPSIS: After half of all life in the universe was killed due to the actions of Thanos (Brolin), the remaining Avengers (Downey Jr, Evans etc.) and their allies must reassemble to revert those actions in one final stand.

    STICKMAN: Well, let me just get my eggshell stepping shoes on. I liked Endgame a lot, it's maybe not as on a whole satisfying as Infinity War was, for various reasons, but as a culmination of 10 years of the MCU and the conclusion to the arc that's been going since right near the start? It's really great stuff, and plays out both in ways you wouldn't expect, but also have been desperately hoping for, which is to say this is a whoOOOLle lotta movie, like...daamn, this film goes to a lot of places and makes the most of its 3 hour running time, which amazingly doesn't feel like too much perhaps until the last 10 minutes or so, when you're busting for a pee. 

    Without spoiling specifics, it's a great combination of intimate character moments, large-scale action and insane premises, almost perfectly executed despite such a sheer volume of content that it feels impossible to manage, much as Infinity War did. It's frequently very funny, it's also frequently very touching, ranging from moving to downright tear inducing, but those tears are earned through the catharsis of seeing long-running story threads come to an epic end, whilst others get their new beginnings.  As with Infinity War, I don't know how well it holds up as an individual film, but for fans of the franchise, and lovers of all things comic book? Holy shit was it worth the wait.


    MADHERO: You can definitely say it was worth the wait. I went to a midnight screening and the energy in the room was absolutely electric, which was good cause I was dying pretty much otherwise. I think its very much the brain to Infinity War's brawn. A large part of the first hour is about these characters we've been following dealing with the aftermath of the Snappening, and needless to say its taken quite the toll. We get to see some very different interpetations of characters, but it feels like natural progression considering the size of the events that have taken place. 

    But its not like its always sad, there's still some great lines and jokes that are probably going to get meme'd to death, and when the action hits? Holy crap. It helps that I was unspoiled, but the film is filled with so many great surprises that it made the 3 hours mostly fly by. It deserves that gargantuan length. It feels like the first season finale of a movie ever, and like the best kind of season finale gives closure and satisfies to no end

    STICKMAN: The audience energy was strong with this one for sure. And it's hard to blame anyone for getting hyped whilst watching it, there's just so many funny or mindblowing moments for the'knooow...and...ooh...that part. Wow that part was crazy.

    MADHERO: SO MANY CRAZY PARTS! The amount of stuff to talk about the movie is pretty damn insane. Whether its the characters and their arcs or just the HOLY FUCKING SHIT moments, of which there are many....that I can't say cause of spoilers. But what do you feel particuarly stood out in this film?

    STICKMAN: The bits that stood out I can't talk about! I really liked, as you said, how it spends a good portion of the movie just dealing with the aftermath of Infinity War, and maybe not in the way you'd expect.  After having gone through so much with these characters, to see them at this point in time is pretty sobering. The film is literally 3 completely differing acts, varying in tone, concept and scale. It gives you all the things you'd want from  the MCU finale.


    MADHERO: It definitely feels like a very segmented movie, but oddly those segments are progressed through very naturally. In terms of characters, there's definitely some changes that surprised me (and some that didn't cause of leaks). Like in Infinity War, some characters definitely get more to do than others. People who felt Cap was shorthanded in Infinity War will get their fill here. Was also pleasantly surprised by Ant-Man's weight in the story.

    STICKMAN: The world needs more Ant-Man. But yeah, there's quite a few characters that step into the background for this film, but in a way, this feels more about concluding the original Avenger team's arc, rather than anyone else.

    MADHERO: Yeah, it definitely feels like the original Avengers' story arc, which makes sense since it started with them. Hawkeye with his terrible haircut gets much more to do this time. Mark Ruffalo probably gets to do the least, but he still gets his moment to steal the show. Outside of that, I also think Nebula probably plays a bigger part than expected. Everyone brings their A-game, and its great to see.

    STICKMAN: It really reminds you that over the last decade, the MCU has brought together an incredibly talented ensemble cast, one that keeps expanding with new talent each year.


    MADHERO: I think we've talked about as far as we can without spoilers. Infinity War was my favorite film of 2018 last year, and maybe it may just be the afterglow of hype, but I feel this film excels in almost every way. In terms of emotions, character moments, scale, fanservice (good god, there's so much). Even though we know its not, it feels like the end of the era, and if the MCU was over after this, I'd honestly be ok with that.

    STICKMAN: It's the end of one long chunk of the MCU, that's for sure, and this film provides a satisfying and epic topper to an unprecedented cinematic franchise, that whilst I feel maybe doesn't hold together as well as the previous Avengers film, delivers the goods in an emotionally powerful and memorable fashion that's hard to replicate.


    MADHERO: Now this may be hard to believe, but some mad lad movie studios actually decided to release their film right after Endgame. Counterprogramming, or a death sentence? Who knooows? (its the latter)

    STICKMAN: Captain Marvel did more money this weekend, which is's 9th week, than any of these did in their first. So yeah...DEATH.

    MADHERO: Poor souls. Lets see who's  in line for the electric chair



    DIRECTOR: Jonathan Levine (The Night Before, Snatched)

    STARRING: Seth Rogen, Charlize Theron, O’Shea Jackson Jr, June Diane Raphael, Andy Serkis, Alexander Skarsgard, Ravi Patel, Randall Park, Bob Odenkirk

    SYNOPSIS: Fred Flarsky (Rogen), an unemployed journalist, battered by his own misfortune and self-destructive ways, courts his childhood love interest and former babysitter (Theron) – who is now one of the most powerful and unattainable women on Earth.

    STICKMAN: It certainly was a long shot, releasing in this windoooow, HEYYOOO.

    MADHERO: Damn, I can't believe you went there. I guess this looks fine. It seems to be going less broad based on the premise than I thought it would.

    STICKMAN: It's an odd role for Charlize The Ron, but she seems to be having fun.

    MADHERO: She's underrated as a comedian. She was recently on How Did This Get Made and she was really fun in that. I've talked about my soft spot for Seth Rogen in the past, and he seems to be doing fine here as well. Also nice to see O'Shea Jackson Jr branch out

    STICKMAN: I have a very hard spot for Seth Rogan, which means I don't like him much, rather than he makes me horny.

    MADHERO: I do however have to call foul to the people not approving Kate Middleton hooking up with Danny DeVito. As the people I'd be all for that.

    STICKMAN: A match made in heaven.

    MADHERO: DeVito can get any woman.

    STICKMAN: A real Casanova.


    DIRECTOR: Kelly Asbury (Gnomeo & Juliet, Smurfs: The Lost Village)

    STARRING: Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Janelle Monae, Pitbull, Blake Shelton, Wanda Sykes, Emma Roberts

    SYNOPSIS: Moxy (Clarkson) and her UglyDoll friends travel to the other side of the mountain where Uglyville nestles and finds the town of Perfection, a place where everyone is perfect.

    STICKMAN: It's Tuesday, time for another mediocre, mid-budgeted family animated movie.

    MADHERO: Get outta here, Wonder Park, your spot has now been taken.

    STICKMAN: This one has LICENSING, and an actual director

    MADHERO: I honestly hadn't heard of the brand or the movie until a few weeks ago. The toys look more goofy than downright ugly. I lived through the ugly gross toy phase of the 90s, and this ain't it

    STICKMAN: This is 00s ugly, which is more...quirky? Also boring, very boring, if this film is anything to go off.

    MADHERO: They look cute in a kind of goofy and bland type of way. I can see a kid liking them. Other than that, this movie probably would've been better as a tv movie than as something released in a theater, especially with another big family movie coming soon after

    STICKMAN: This will join the Playmobil movie in semi-famous but regionally niche cheapo animated film 2019 adaptations.

    MADHERO: The highest caliber of filmmaking.


    DIRECTOR: Deon Taylor (Meet the Blacks, Traffik)

    STARRING: Dennis Quaid, Michael Ealy, Meagan Good, Joseph Sikora

    SYNOPSIS: A young married couple (Ealy, Good) and Annie buy their dream home in Napa Valley unaware that the previous owner (Quaid) has a deadly plan to get his property back.

    STICKMAN: Creepy smiles the movie.

    MADHERO: Ah, Sony's resident black centred thriller, this time with Dennis Quaid there as well, I guess

    STICKMAN: Dennis Quaid's going a bit Randy in this film.

    MADHERO: Never go full Randy. Maybe I don't get the full picture from the full trailer, but why sell the house and then try to kill the people you sold it to? What kinda motivation is needed for that?

    STICKMAN: I think he murdered his wife in the house or something. Either than or they came up with the white man trying to get his house back premise first  and failed to come up with a why he'd sell it in the first place explanation after.

    MADHERO: I'd be curious about the explanation, but I'm probably gonna forget about it in like a week's time

    STICKMAN: I've already forgotten about everything but the weird smiles he's dishing out like hot cakes.


    MADHERO: Alright, with that's out of the way, its time for a very abridged version of MOVIE OF THE WEEK, the part of the show where we talk about recommendations for films coming out in the cinema or on DVD. I'm saying abridged cause, well, we all kinda know what its gonna be.

    STICKMAN: Hellboy?

    MADHERO: I mean, I know you saw it and and reviewed it, but did you see anything else?

    STICKMAN: Uhhh...there was this Ender's Game film, but that's about it.


    MADHERO: Same for me, as already stated in our review above, you probably went to or are going to see Avengers: Endgame very soon. Its dominating pop culture in a way only a Disney juggernaut could, and the question is gonna be just where its gonna finish when its gonna end its no doubt record breaking run. I loved it, Sticky loved it, and I think most of the world did as well. Hell, I'm going to go see it again very soon, so that's why Avengers Endgame is my Movie of the Week. Sticky's chosen to go for the little guy though. Lord knows Big Red needs it

    STICKMAN: I...I mean, maybe I'll go for...Avengers too....uhh, sorry Lionsgate. It really is everything you want and more, it's still amazing that they managed to pull this crazy level shit off. TWICE.


    MADHERO: Yeah, its absolutely insane. I think that about wraps everything up. We gotta find a way to bring back the rest of the world somehow so that we can talk about Endgame with all the spoilers in the world, but we'll see if that plan works out. At least we can count on a certain furry detective to help us out

    STICKMAN: Sherlock Hound?!

    MADHERO: Close, but this one's more mousey and electric and there's plenty of other weird creatures. Summer movie season will officially begin soon and we might witness the end of a curse. God help us all

    STICKMAN: The Curse...of the...Were....Pikachu? Hm. Alright BYE.

  • At the Screwvies: Episode 132

    3 months ago



    MADHERO: Well guys, I'm back. I've been gone for a while to undergo an all new experience, but now I'm back with these bozo's, and boy am I glad, because it was a mess. Shit all over the wall somehow, and they couldn't even find it in their hearts to talk about the sad Disney elephant. For shame. Well, I'm here to set everything straight. That or join the madhouse.

    LARRY: Now I get to be the sad Disney elephant...wait.

    STICKMAN: Fuck the sad Disney elephant.

    MADHERO: Well Disney will own us all eventually. We sure got a taste of that this week. Will we embrace the mouse or join the resistance

    LARRY: Call me Maz baby, cuz I'm an ALLY OF THE RESISTANCE.

    STICKMAN: We must para-mount the resistance, Warner brothers in arms.



    Star Wars Celebration was this weekend, and naturally, a fuck ton of news dropped our way. However, the centerpiece of the action was the Episode IX panel, where we got some juicy plot details from director J.J. Abrams himself, as well as a spicy new teaser trailer. Let's dive in. During the panel, Abrams confirmed that Episode IX begins after "some time has passed" since the events of The Last Jedi, though he did not specify how much time (John Boyega once said in an interview that it takes place one year after these events, but nobody else has confirmed that).

    At the end of the panel, he dropped the teaser, and we get some pretty neat stuff in it. We see Rey do a kick-ass jump in a relatively long first scene in the trailer, and Luke is Force Ghosting his way through a voiceover about how nothing’s ever truly gone. We also see Kylo Ren knockin' people down and fixing his helmet. The movie looks gorgeous, naturally, and we get lots of footage of our team together, which is rare in this trilogy thus far. We also get our first look at Billy Dee Williams back as Lando, still rockin' that classic cape and a killer smile. However, the major bomb dropped is a look at a fallen Death Star, followed by the insidious laugh of Emperor Palpatine ending the trailer. In case there would have been any doubt, Palps himself, Ian McDiarmid, came out after the trailer and said "roll it again" in his classic, slimy voice. The trailer ends with our official title, "The Rise of Skywalker," which could mean a number of things that we shan't get into. All I know is I'm hyped as hell for this movie, and all will be revealed once we get our grubby, disgusting hands on it.

    STICKMAN: Kids, the Stars are warring again.

    MADHERO: Prequel Memes must be feeling so conflicted now that the emperor has joined the side of the sequels

    LARRY: Time for some true Palpa-memes. It's the "Do it" renaissance we've been craving.

    MADHERO: You do wonder what he's been up too all this time in his underwater lair. My guess is Abrams was probably peeved that Snoke got croaked so now goes to the next best option.

    STICKMAN: When Snoke got sliced in half, a tiny Palpatine baby crawled out and ran away. You can see it if you freeze frame at 2:14:43 on the 4K transfer

    LARRY: Not gonna lie, when I heard the laugh, I deadass thought it was Snoke. And then Palpatine showed up, and I was Palpatine actually Snoke? The Last Jedi truly taught me nothing.

    MADHERO: I initially thought it was Hamill going full Joker since he provided the opening narration of the teaser. But yeah, that teaser was some good shit, and its nice to be excited for Star Wars again after the Last Jedi wars.

    STICKMAN: You ever feel like they're making this shit up as they go along. Last Jedi undid a lot of what Force Awakens set up, and now Rise of the Dingdang is undoing what Last Jedi set up. What was the original plan for this T r I L o G y I wonder

    LARRY: Whatever it was, JJ is definitely gonna do it.

    MADHERO: I don't think its necessarily undoing. Snoke is still dead and stuff. I just really hope it doesn't end up that Rey was Luke's daughter all along and whatnot. That's something from TLJ I really liked, but we can only speculate for now.

    LARRY: BuT mAd, WhIcH sKyWaLkEr Is RiSiNg???

    STICKMAN: Is it Hon Solor.

    MADHERO: We can probably speculate which Skywalker is gonna get his/her morning wood on, but we'll find out soon enough. My bet is D-O. You were expecting Leia to rise up, but it was I, D-O

    STICKMAN: I refuse to understand this reference.

    LARRY: It's obviously a reference to the hit band, Dio!!!


    A little while back, we talked about the revelation that Martin Scorsese was involved with the production of a solo film project based around the Joker....y'know, that Batman villain you've PROBABLY heard of. Well, the Scorsese angle didn't come to pass, but a Scorsese inspired, mature and mid-ranged budget Joker film, separate from the continuity of the DCEU was indeed put into production, starring Joaquin Phoenix and directed by Todd Phillips, and we finally got our first look at it in action this's looking a real doozy.

    As expected from what we'd been told, 'Joker' looks to be a very different take on cinematic DC, being a grounded and gritty character study of the broken man who will go on to become the caped crusaders greatest foe. Focusing on his mental illness and trauma, it also seems to take a lot of inspiration from previous comic book stories pertaining to the characters origins, where  'Arthur Fleck' as he's known in this film is a domestically troubled and depressing man attempting to break into comedy. Phoenix, as always seems to be giving this role his all, and visually it's looking quite incredible, even from this first early glimpse. This is meant to be the first of many potential standalone DC projects, looking to shine a new light on well worn ground, in a way similar to how FOX gave us Deadpool and Logan. I'm all for that, and Joker is looking like a fantastic first run on that concept...roll on October!

    LARRY: You Were Never Really Joker

    MADHERO: Gamers Rise Up: The Motion Picture. What I wanna know is when he's getting Damaged tattooed on his forehead and turn into Jared Leto midway through.

    STICKMAN: He falls into a vat of acid and comes out all melted and Leto'y.

    LARRY: Joaquin Phoenix already looks like he got out of a vat of acid.

    STICKMAN: Leave him alone, he was never really here.

    MADHERO: In all seriousness, I am genuinely curious about this film. It still sounds like an incredibly stupid idea and Todd Phillips as director still leaves me a bit uncertain, but other than that it looks really interesting.

    STICKMAN: I'm honestly pretty excited, this is my kinda jaaaam, and it's not a DCEU film which is the icing on the cake.

    LARRY: Yeah the trailer looks pretty solid, I like the artistic direction it looks to be going in, feels a lot like Taxi Driver meets Joker. And Joaquin Phoenix looks perfect in the role.

    STICKMAN: Films that are dark character studies of their unstable protagonists make me hooorny.

    MADHERO: Its veeeeeeeeeeeeeery Scorsese inspired. Mostly King of Comedy. Phoenix is one of my favorite actors right now so I'm very interested in his take. Looks like he's mostly gonna get his ass kicked by society.

    LARRY: I also love the use of "Smile." Somehow nobody thought of that already. Plus the "Put On a Happy Face" tagline.

    MADHERO: Maybe Phoenix thought he was gonna do a comedy for a change and be in Hangover Part 4 and suddenly it turns out to be this

    STICKMAN: Script rewrites are getting out of hand these days.



    Wuhoh, you know things are bad when we're dedicating a news story to a film we'll already going to talk about, but that's what makes what's been going on with the new Hellboy really fascinating. Currently sitting at a not so hot 11% on Rotten Tomatoes, with reports of it feeling cut to pieces and instances of bad ADR, so needless to say, people ask what happened. As it turns out, it doesn't seem like things went all that great.

    First came the report from Hollywood Reporter, who in another story talked about the actress Charlotte Kirk and her affair with WB exec Kevin Tsujihara. That also featured Hellboy director Neil Marshall, and talked about being infatuated on set and not even showing up on set at points to be with her. Needless to say, not great behaviour, but a followup from The Wrap may explain why, citing producers that were way too hands on in not giving the director control. There were even heated arguments about what a tree was supposed to look like, interrupting while rehearsals were going on, constant rewrites, and heated arguments with David Harbour. All in all it didn't soiund like a fun time, and that possibly leaked out to the movie itself.

    STICKMAN: Awuuhh ohh wuhhh ohhh ohh no no no no nooo.

    MADHERO: The recent box office seems to suggest we aren't gonna get much more Hellboy in the near future, so that's just the final turd on this shit sundae

    STICKMAN: We'll never see the monkey with a gun.

    LARRY: This is basically salt in the wound for GDT fans. If you didn't think he would ever make Hellboy 3 before...

    STICKMAN: Y'know, Del Toro didn't invent Hellboy.

    MADHERO: The lack of monkey with gun is the true tragedy here. Same probably goes for Neil Marshall's film career, and GoT is ending soon so that's gone as well. Tough break

    STICKMAN: As someone who's been a fan of his for a while, his involvement being a selling point for this reboot? It's sad to hear how much shit was going down behind the scenes. It's the kinda thing that ends a Hollywood career.

    LARRY: Surprised how all of this stayed so under wraps until now...

    MADHERO: Right now its a case of he said she said, but we'll probably know more down the line if this dud gets more investigated. He doesn't seem to deny his involvement with Kirk, and romance aside, abandoning set seems rather unprofessional

    STICKMAN: If he has one thing that could save him, it's that he has more of an established track record than say, Josh Trank, who crashed and burned after one major movie.

    MADHERO: Even Trank is having a new movie released this year, proving once again that nothing will ever truly kill a white man's career.

    LARRY: I doubt this is going to kill Neil Marshall's career. Seemed like a lot of this movie's issues largely came from producers trying to make this something it should've never been, aka a movie that feels edgy in an early 2000s way.

    MADHERO: I dunno. Fumbled production, bomb, and critical failure aren't ringing endorsements. But hey, maybe Stickman's review can save it. No pressure



    The day has finally arrived. After months of speculation, Disney dropped some concrete and juicy details on their new streaming service, Disney+. What are the basics you need to know? Well, for starters, it is launching on November 12th, 2019 with a surprisingly affordable  price point at $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year, giving it a big advantage against its competitors like Netflix and Amazon. It will first launch in the United States, though they have confirmed that it will roll out to all of Europe, Asia, and Latin America by 2021. At launch, the service will provide over 500 Disney movies (including a signature collection of films from before and during the Disney renaissance as well as 18 Pixar films) and 7,000 episodes of Disney television shows (such as Disney Channel and the like). The live-action remake of "Lady And The Tramp" will be exclusive to the service, with more original movies on the way as well featuring the likes of Anna Kendrick and Willem Dafoe. The entire Star Wars library will also be making its way to the service, with Jon Favreau's new series "The Mandalorian," starring Pedro Pascal, available at launch. Also available at launch? Every episode of The Simpsons. Yeah, that's weird, but makes sense given their recent merger with Fox.

    The Marvel Cinematic Universe is probably getting the most love on the service. It's entire library will eventually make its way to the service, with Captain Marvel and Endgame making their streaming debuts there. Beyond that, several new television shows, including live-action shows starring Loki, Scarlet Witch and Vision, and Falcon and Bucky Barnes, and an animated series based on the "What If?" series of Marvel Comics. And....yeah, that kinda scratches the surface of what Disney+ will be providing. It offers serious competition to other providers, but will people part with their Amazon and Netflix accounts to stick to exclusively Disney+? We'll have to see when in launches in November.

    STICKMAN: Sure is a lot of TV news here for a movies blog. The Mandoleelrrin looks cool though I guess.

    MADHERO: Netflix probably isn't shaking in its boots, but maybe drop a little bit of sweat. Theyre definitely coming in hard

    STICKMAN: Netflix caters to a wider audience than Disney+ so they ain't got nothing to worry about.

    LARRY: Yeah, I doubt a majority of people will cancel their Netflix subscriptions for this.

    MADHERO: At its current pricetag, its probably going to be an addition if its something people can afford. I was pretty surprised by the price tag to be honest, but I guess they'll gradually increase it.

    LARRY: Give it like...three months.

    STICKMAN: What's gonna make or break Disney+ is its original content, the library stuff is cool and all, but the people who want that will likely already own it? many of us don't own a Disney movie? Hell, I even own some Star Wars of last week.

    MADHERO: While the Marvel shows and Simpsons being on there is great value, I'm curious about the original movie content. We've known about Lady and the Tramp for a while now, but this is most definitely gonna be the home of anything that isn't a 100 million dollar blockbuster.

    STICKMAN: It sounds less like top quality productions and more slightly higher budget TV movies. They aren't going to sacrifice the big Disney/Pixar/Star Wars/Marvel cinema releases for direct to streaming. If Netflix has taught us anything, it's that doing that is often a sign the studio aren't faithful in it making bank.

    LARRY: They have a lot of sorta feel-good reality stuff loaded onto the program. That'll quench people's thirsts for now, I'm sure they'll be milking it past Marvel stuff.

    MADHERO: We see Netflix making 100 million dollar blockbusters, but will we see the same on Disney Plus that isn't a prestige tv show like the Mandalorian (which does look pretty hype)? I think with the Fox deal and the fact Simpsons are on there, we may see more variety than I initially expected.

    LARRY: Yeah, plenty of classic Fox movies are gonna be on the service as well. Gotta give it time

    STICKMAN: I want to watch Mandaroarniarnn, it's the Boba Fett Star Wars spaghetti western I always wanted.



    In news that is...honestly quite surprising, word has come out that a sequel to last year's critically and financially tepid Tomb Raider reboot is getting the go ahead at MGM and via Warner Bros. Alicia Vikander is expected to reprise her role as Lara Croft, been said to have liked the direction the screenplay is going in. The screenplay in question is written by Amy Jump, in what would be her first major motion picture gig, having made her name in the cult cinema department, working alongside director and husband Ben Wheatley on basically all of his films to date, including Free Fire, High Rise, Kill List and Sightseers.  Her writing has impressed in most of, if not all of these films, so it's nice to see her finally getting some mainstream recognition.

    No word yet on who'll be directing the sequel, as it's still early days regarding the writing process, the previous film was directed by Hollywood newcomer Roar Uthaug, but Amy Jump at the writing helm could suggest Wheatley may be a contender for the gig...still, it's 2019 and I'd imagine they might go for a female director in addition to writer, but who knows. Mainly, this is a pleasant surprise, Tomb Raider wasn't a masterpiece, but it laid the foundations for a brighter cinematic future, and hopefully with a talented screenwriter already working away on the sequel, it's all up from here for Lady Croft.

    MADHERO: Well.... this was a surprise that sorta came out of nowhere.

    STICKMAN: I did not expect this to continue, it didn't bomb...but it hardly like, blew up the box office. Must've done really well on home release.

    LARRY: It also wasn't particularly good. So like...why? Let Vikander do something of actual substance.

    STICKMAN: Because Larry, we've done the origin shit, now we can just have a fun adventure. Boy.

    MADHERO: Damn, Larry going in like one of the Tomb Raider 2013 kill animations.

    LARRY: I saw it on a plane and was, frankly, disappointed. Except for the actual tomb raiding, it was pretty mediocre.

    STICKMAN: Oh c'moooon, Larry. You watched it on a plaaaaanne, that's noooot a good viewing platform for anything.

    MADHERO: Well what do you know, I saw it on the plane too. I thought it was fine. Maybe that's how the sequel got greenlit.

    STICKMAN: I just wanna know what they're gonna do. Rise of the Tomb Raider is not translatable to their 'no magic/supernatural shit' remit. Rise of the Tomb Raider is great...and they set it up to follow that, but...I meaaaan...I just hope it's a bit more exciting this time. Compared to the game, the movie was pretty tame.

    LARRY: Time to crack out the original story muscles.

    MADHERO: I think Jump is a good screenwriter so hopefully they give this more personality. Being ok is already better than most video game movies.


    If we know one thing for certain in this pop culture hellscape, its that nothing is allowed to ever just stay still and die. If people are nostalgic for it, there's a good chance that its going to be revived so that a new generation can enjoy(?) it. In this case, its Grease's time to come back. You've probably at some point in your life seen the classic Olivia Newton John/John Travolta musical, be it its very misguided sequel, the weird christmas album they did (don't look that up), live musical performances etc. In any case, it still has some relevance, and instead of doing a reboot or legacy sequel, we're now going even further back into prequel territory.

    The basic hook of this prequel revolves around the song Summer Loving, which is told from two different perspectives: one more innocent (Newton John) and the other one (Travolta) more graphic. So the real question is: Wha Happun? That's what this movie aims to answer, and I can't roll my eyes any harder now. Right now its in the very early stages, with John August (Aladdin, Scary Stories) now working on the script. I have no real fondness for Grease (its more my sister's thing than mine) so I don't really care either way. Hopefully they aren't gonna de-age Travolta and Newton-John cause that'd be really weird

    STICKMAN: Summer loving. Didn't happen as fast as you think.

    MADHERO: Summer  loving. Not much of a blast


    LARRY: Boy, I can't wait to see if she did actually put up a fight... ...oh wait, I don't, cuz the song Summer Loving is highkey misogynist and stereotypical. Just like the musical itself. Boy, we sure need more of this post #MeToo.

    MADHERO: People will fight you over Grease being misogynist. Like, I've seen some people point that out and get blasted to outer space by its female fans

    STICKMAN: I want a film about where the car came from.

    MADHERO: Grease Lightning McQueen


    LARRY: I would LOVE to hear a female Grease fan explain to me otherwise. Perhaps it can be argued its feminist, but feminist does not mean not misogynist.

    STICKMAN: So that's it, huh, we're some kinda Greased Lightnin'

    MADHERO: This is definitely someone's original romance musical script that got retrofitted into a Grease prequel so it would actually be made.

    LARRY: Either way, the song Summer Loving IS misogynistic. Period. Out of everything we could be getting prequels of, this ain't it.

    MADHERO: Paramount will definitely tell us more, tell us more as it develops. Bets on original cast cameos?

    STICKMAN: John Travolta will do anything for a sandwich.


    MADHERO: Alright, that's enough musicals for a day. Now its time to get into some reviews. That's right, REVIEWS, as in two of them. First up, we might as well get started with the one we prepped. Del Toro maybe didn't get to make Hellboy 3 sadly, but that's no reason to go and slag off the new Neil Marshall/David Harbour one. Or maybe it it seeing all those reviews. But hey, Sticky, maybe you can help bounce this movie to a Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and save its box office. So, what did ya think of that ol' Hellboy?

    STICKMAN: Oh boy, heeeere we goooo.



    DIRECTOR: Neil Marshall (The Descent, Centurion

    STARRING: David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, Sasha Lane, Daniel Dae Kim

    SYNOPSIS: Hellboy (Harbour) and his closest allies (Lane, Kim) battle an undead sorceress (Jovovich) who has the intention of destroying the world

    STICKMAN: So, full disclosure, I don't rate the two Del Toro films super highly. They're good, they've got charms, the cast are game, the practical effects are fun...but they kinda lacked...something, at least for me. Roll in the Hellboy reboot, one more interested in the graphic, horror focused nature of the comics (Which I havne't read yet just FYI). Obviously, the reviews have been almost as brutal as the film, but what did I think?'s not as bad as people are saying, but it ain't no masterpiece that's for sure.


    From a positive perspective, the horror/gore focus is a nice change, and this film is GORY as hell. Sure, it may often be underwhelming CGI gore, but it's brutal all the same. The horror imagery and some of the practical creature effects are really fun too, the Baba Yaga sequence especially is a lot of fun. I love the moments where shit just gets METAL AS FUCK. Unfortunately, the film itself is inconsistent and poorly written. The writing aims broadly for comedy, and basically never lands a laugh, with the story itself being a cobbled together mess that gets less and less coherent the further in you get, the 3rd act making me feel like I'd missed an entire films worth of build-up, snapping me wildly into some insane and unexplained lore dump, only to then snap me suddenly into absolute carnage escalating in London. It yadda yaddas far too much in those last 30 minutes and it's just ridiculous. Character wise  nobody shines well, Hellboy himself is hugely unlikable, shouting most of his lines in the most annoying and often hard to understand way. The supporting cast have fun moments but lack any engagement, and the father/son relationship between Hellboy and Ian McShane does not work, one of the few attempts at an emotional scene being obliterated by one of the worst CGI effects I've seen for a LONG time. All in it good? it THE WORST FILM EVER MADE? Nowhere near.

    MADHERO: “Nowhere near the worst film ever made.” Slap that on the poster.

    STICKMAN: I mean, it's the best praise it's received all week.

    LARRY: To be honest, I'm not surprised Sticky found some stuff to like, I feel like the gore game is your game.

    MADHERO: If you had to make a Top 3 Hellboy movies right now, where would this rank?

    STICKMAN: At the bottom, but it has my favourite scene FROM a Hellboy movie in it. I feel at least in this one  I didn't just see the actor playing Hellboy the whole time instead of Hellboy. But I'll take that over...bad jokes and a 3rd act car crash. I feel like if the 3rd act had held together, this would've been almost good. Ignoring the bad comedy and annoying characters, and bad special effects...and...some weird line dubs.

    LARRY: Yeah, how bad was the ADR work?

    STICKMAN: It's not all bad, but there's some lines, one of which is in the trailer...that just feel like someone thought "We need a little more OOMPH here" and it plays like something out of Garth Maranghi's Dark Place.

    MADHERO: Obviously there isn't a sequel happening anytime soon. Who comes out of it best besides Harbour?


    STICKMAN: I think Daniel Dae Kim comes across the best, I just wish they'd given him more to do than just be a sassy boy. It's like everyone's trying to get the last laugh and the twist is nobody got the first one.

    LARRY: How bout dem needle drops? On a scale from 1 to Suicide Squad, how does it rank?

    STICKMAN: It's pretty close to Suicide Squad in the constant need for needle drops...not as bad, though. The music lasts a scene at least. There's some random use of Muse for a giant fighting scene that I feel didn't work...but then I like listening to I enjoyed it for that?

    MADHERO: Alright, any final thoughts before we move on to the next review? Remember, you hold the power to save this movie from box office disaster.


    STICKMAN: I must...withhold my godly box office saving powers, sadly. Hellboy is a film that I can't really recommend. I feel once the fires have burned down and it's out on DVD, I think we'll be able to appreciate the bits that it got right...the crazy gore, some really fun high concept sequences, until the 3rd act it's perfectly watchable mediocre cinema. That 3rd act though, is a huge disaster, and the characters do nothing to endear themselves to you, nor does the story offer anything of interest. It's a film to be appreciated and derived for just how insane it gets...that's the best compliment I can give it. It's a heavy metal, blood soaked mess.


    MADHERO: Damn, well maybe you can use your box office saving powers for our next movie. Just kidding, there's no saving a Laika movie.

    STICKMAN: Oy, so painfully true.

    LARRY: Womp womp.

    MADHERO: Yes, despite being one of the best animation studios around, Laika doesn't exactly make the box office hits. It makes up for that with their movies generally being pretty great (Boxtrolls as your worst film is pretty ok as far as track records go) and maybe Missing Link can join that group. It looks a bit different, more comedic and such, but does it have that same Laika charm, Stickman?

    LARRY: Damn, doing double duty, Sticky?


    DIRECTOR: Chris Butler (ParaNorman)

    STARRING: Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry

    SYNOPSIS: Myths and monsters investigator Sir Lionel Frost (Jackman), who sets off on an adventure to the Pacific Northwest to prove the existence of a legendary creature—Mr. Link (Galifianakis).

    STICKMAN: Missing Link....I had my concerns about this film in the run up to release, I always like to give LAIKA the benefit of the doubt, but those trailers were thoroughly mediocre and painted this as a by the numbers, low budget kids film. That said? It's a really fun and charming film, one that maybe ranks closer to The Boxtrolls than Kubo on the 'LAIKA Scale of Excellence' , but makes up for its shortcomings with some truly beautiful animation.


    Biggest gripe out of the way  first, I did not like the fill-in CGI. LAIKA have always blended their trademark, top class stop motion with CGI embellishments, but this time around a lot of the background characters are CGI fill-ins, and it's painfully obvious. Other than that, this is a beauty of a film, one of the best directed and most colourful animated features I've seen in a while, particularly in the stop motion department. It's also very charming and fun, lacking the emotional heft of their previous film (For better or for worse) and instead offering a breezy, smile-providing romp that's light on memorable moments but heavy on charm....although the comedy doesn't really land as well as it should, sadly. It's also a film that's light on big scale action antics, the likes you tend to expect from LAIKA be they Boxtroll or Paranorman. There's a chase scene on a tipping, turning boat that's so creative and fun, you wish the film had more of those moments, and the ending sequence has the tension and drama you kinda wish it had more of as well. As it stands, it's a super lovely and charming film, beautifully filmed, with a likeable, if forgettable cast and story. It's not LAIKA at their best, but that's still pretty darn good.

    LARRY: Got the Sticky seal of approval, now I gotta see it.

    STICKMAN: Big on stop motion, sour on comic book reboots. Who'da thunk it.

    MADHERO: With it being more breezy and adventurous, do you feel like this is Laika's most accessible film to date? Maybe not their best, but probably the one easiest to recommend to people?

    STICKMAN: It's certainly the most accessible yeah. LAIKA often puts people off with its weirdness...Coraline, Paranorman and Boxtrolls all had that in spades, whilst Kubo was a very dark film for family audiences. Missing Link is light and breezy, and a bit less quirky, feeling at times more like an Aardman film in its sense of slapstick and cartoony villainy.

    LARRY: The Missing Link himself looks like something out of an Aardman film, yeah.

    STICKMAN: He's got that Aardman smile.

    MADHERO: How's the voice work? Hugh Jackman returning to voicing a Brit since....Flushed Away? And how about Galifianakis as Link himself


    STICKMAN: The voice work is all pretty great, Gallafifanakaisas is maybe the weakest, but...honestly? Susan (As he likes to be known) gets the least to do in this film, oddly. It's more about Jackman's Lionel finding himself then Mr Link finding his home, the latter feels more there to instigate that journey. Zoe Saldana is pretty good too, there's fun voice acting all around really.

    MADHERO: Is there much in the way of a villain, or is it more just fun breezy adventure?

    STICKMAN: Oh there's villains, plural. The mastermind and their gun-toting pawn. Their pursuit is the kick up the ass the film needs from time to time, although they don't really raise the stakes much until the very end, which is a great sequence...a real...CLIFFHANGER, ho ho. It is odd that the villain angle has been hidden from the marketing, given it's kinda...integral to the film?

    MADHERO: Now its sad to admit, but its another dud for Laika and they can't keep running on Nike money. Do you think it's suffered from poor marketing? You mention the lack of the villain angle

    STICKMAN: The marketing has been pretty poor yeah. There's a globetrotting adventure that only gets briefly alluded to in both trailers, and none of the films more interesting sequences are shown off. It probably wouldn't have been as big a financial dud as it is, had they been a bit more flattering with their own press.

    LARRY: It's a shame that LAIKA always has its heart in the right place but not enough people get to see it

    MADHERO: Stop motion is always going to have niche appeal sadly. Any final thoughts besides GO FUCKING SEE IT! that you want to get out of your system?


    STICKMAN: That about sums it up really. Like I said, this isn't LAIKA on top form, but it's a sweet and enjoyable romp with some lovely animation and beautiful set design/directing.  What it lacks in oomph and emotion it makes up for in charm. If you're into LAIKA this should already be one to check out, but if you're always been put off by their weird streak, this is their most accessible film to date, whether or not that's good? YOU DECIDE.

    LARRY: I'll definitely give it a look.


    MADHERO: Alright. There's other movies out, but are they as good as Missing Link? Maybe, but probably not. Its not super crowded thanks to the calm before the Avengers storm

    STICKMAN: We're in the box office end game, now.

    LARRY: Oof.

    MADHERO: Lets get talking then



    DIRECTOR: Michael Chaves (directorial debut)

    STARRING: Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, Patricia Velasquez, Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen, Roman Christou

    SYNOPSIS: Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother suspected of child endangerment, a social worker (Cardellini) and her own small kids (Kinchen, Christou) are soon drawn into a frightening supernatural realm.

    MADHERO: O no, Spanish words. Truly the scariest thing an American can face

    STICKMAN: Another day another disappointing Conjuring spin-off. This they've hidden is a Conjuring spin-off.

    LARRY: Aaaaaaaand I'll go into my hole now.

    MADHERO: Larry's too scared by the Mexican

    LARRY: Wow that sounds very wrong, thank you Mad.

    MADHERO: Not my fault you're racist. Anyway, yeah, the fact its a Conjuring spin-off isn't getting much talk, which is weird cause Conjuring is big money. Hell, the director is gonna do Conjuring 3 next.

    STICKMAN: Yeah, they billed this as being FROM the people who brought you The Conjuring, but apparently it's got the priest from Annabelle and he namedrops Annabelle a bunch. ANNABELLE 3, COMING SOON.

    MADHERO: CORPORATE SYNERGY! It does feel weird that this story of Mexican folklore stars Linda Cardellini, but whatever, maybe it ties into the story.

    STICKMAN: It had some potential, and given this guy's taking over from James Wan  at the Conjuring 3 directors chair? Those VERY early, mostly negative reviews have come of something of a disappointment.

    LARRY: Oh hey I know Linda Cardellini. So far that’s about it.

    MADHERO: Velma's about to get haunted again.

    STICKMAN: Jinkies. Is Scooby Doo part of THE CONJURING UNIVERSE?! Like zooiiinks Scoobs, Annabelles coming and she's got that freaakky deaakky Nun with her! Let's skedaddle!


    MADHERO: Well WB own both so......its possible.


    DIRECTOR: Tina Gordon (Peeples)

    STARRING: Regina Hall, Marsai Martin, Issa Rae, Justin Hartley

    SYNOPSIS: A woman (Hall) is transformed into her younger self (Martin) at a point in her life when the pressures of adulthood become too much to bear.


    MADHERO: O hey, its Big but in reverse.

    STICKMAN: It's a big LOAD OF SHIT. This looks like a real Nine Lives of a wacky family film that has lost its place in time.

    MADHERO: Ehhh, not quite Nine Lives level but considering the cast you maybe expect something better. Marsai Martin does become the youngest exec producer through this film so good for her I guess.

    STICKMAN: Sitting through the trailer for this was excruciating. I get the target audience is kids and family viewing but we can do beeetterrrrr.

    LARRY: Eh, given that Hellboy has set the bar so low, I imagine people will be seeing this.

    STICKMAN: That's not quite the same demographic Larry.

    MADHERO: Nah, totally same. She totally slays a demon at one point and guts are hanging out

    LARRY: I know people who have literally recommended Little over Hellboy. It’s a strange world we live in.

    STICKMAN: I'd be more inclined to watch this film if she slayed demons.


    DIRECTOR: Roxann Dawson (episodes of House of Cards and This is Us)

    STARRING: Chrissy Metz, Josh Lucas, Marcel Ruiz, Topher Grace, Mike Colter

    SYNOPSIS When her 14-year-old son (Ruiz) drowns in a lake, a faithful mother (Metz) prays for him to come back from the brink of death and be healed.


    MADHERO: Considering the other Christian movie option is the anti-abortion one, I think the one featuring Luke Cage and David Duke might be a bit better.

    STICKMAN: The first Disney released 20th Century Fox  film is not...the history maker we were hoping for.

    LARRY: I’d pay to watch Topher Grace attempt to be hip and fail.

    MADHERO: Its also one of the last Fox 2000 movies. So yeah, not the biggest going out party for that studio

    STICKMAN: He has no style, he has no grace, this To-pher  has a ...funny face.

    MADHERO: Not a lot to say on this honestly. Good that the kid survived and stuff. Praise the lord and all that. Hallelujah

    LARRY: Psh. Not my lord.


    MADHERO: Alright. With that very riveting movies section out the way, its now time for MOVIE of the Week! Where we actually talk about stuff we like. Huh, imagine that.

    STICKMAN: I already did though. Can I be excused.

    MADHERO: No. For asking that you get to go first.

    LARRY: HA.


    STICKMAN: Oy, well....this is a weird one. So, I saw....MOST of Pet Semetary, the remake of Pet Semetary, which was an adaptation of Pet Semetary. And what I saw? I like quite a bit. 

    Sure, it's no US when it comes to 2019 horror, and it contains far too many unnecessary jump scares that add nothing but take away much more....BUT, it's a suitably grim looking and feeling spooky meditation on parental grief with some great performances and shocking moments. As it turns out, I didn't get to see the last 10-15 minutes of the film, which according to a lot of people, are the least interesting because they devolve into slasher tropes...but I'm intending to go see the film again in its entirety this week, which should go to show that it's clearly entertaining enough to sit through (mostly) twice in quick succession. Also...that cat...that cat is adorable, and the fact that the entire film is about the cat dying sure gave me EMOTIONAL ANXIETY when I saw it alive at the start. OOF.

    LARRY: Big oof, but glad to hear the movie is good

    MADHERO: 90% of the film is your Movie of the Week. Neat

    STICKMAN: Hey, it's not every day you get double power cuts at your cinema and then get evacuated.

    LARRY: How are the children in it?

    STICKMAN: The child actors are pretty solid yeah, the acting all around is award winning, but believable, particularly the parents, and John DEAD IS BETTER  Lithgow is fun as always.

    MADHERO: Forget about the children. HOW IS THE CAT?!


    LARRY: How’s Jason Clarke?


    STICKMAN: I liked him yeah, he's no cat, but he plays the grieving father driven to dark thoughts pretty well.

    LARRY: Nice.

    STICKMAN: The cat at the start is a real 'Top 10 Photos Taken Moments before Disaster' situation.All cute in his little carry box. God I'm fuckKINN ...NOoooOOO

    MADHERO: My cat is sleeping by me as I write this so i better keep him close. What's your MOTW, Larry?

    STICKMAN: If it's got dead cats I'm going to need a mental health break.

    LARRY: My film is a slight oddball, given that it's 55 minutes, but I enjoyed it nonetheless so here we are. My MOTW is "Guava Island," the latest effort from Donald Glover and his frequent collaborator Hiro Murai. Starring Glover alongside Rhianna, Nonso Anozie, and Leticia Wright, the film takes place on an island called Guava and is about a struggling musician who tries to hold a music festival despite the island's oppressive, corporate rule. It's a fairly quick watch and keeps the plot fairly simple to follow while also being very charming and breezy (until the end, I won't spoil specifics but hooooo boy).

    The acting is sold all-around, definitely the best from Rhianna for sure, and many Childish Gambino songs are featured (including "This is America") with new arrangements that give the film a pseudo-musical structure. The film, aesthetically, has a subtle beauty to it, filmed in 4:3 and grainy as hell (it gave me A24 vibes for obvious reasons) but also focusing on the realness of the townspeople and the gorgeous tropical setting. As a small venture, I think it works. Sadly, by the time you read this, it will no longer be streaming, and I'm not really sure how you'll be able to access it now besides torrenting, but if you can find it, give it a watch!! It's a good time. Except the end. Geez...

    MADHERO: I hadnt even heard of this before but another Glover/Murai joint is hard to pass up

    STICKMAN: Does it have Teddy Perkins.

    LARRY: Sadly, no Teddy Perkins.

    STICKMAN: Shit. Why is it no longer available already? I'm confused by this films non-existence, existence...and then non-existence.

    LARRY: Well Donald Glover has a trend of staying off of social media and sorta making events out of his material.

    MADHERO: So this 55 minute feature is now just gone? Dang.

    LARRY: It was free to stream on Amazon for 18 hours after it dropped at Coachella, I guess perhaps it'll stay on that service but you gotta pay, but Glover hasn't said any specific details.

    STICKMAN: That's Coach-hella weird. What's wrong with just showing a movie.

    MADHERO: wish I could say more, but I can't. Glad you had a good time though

    STICKMAN: Damn hipsters at the hipster music festival.

    MADHERO: Coachella is pretty much the opposite of hipster

    LARRY: Yeah... Coachella is like...the most popular music festival in the world.

    STICKMAN: I have no idea what it is to be honest I just wanted to belong.

    LARRYL MAD. MOVIES. NOW. There's your damn segue.

    MADHERO: So we've shat on the DCEU a lot here, even if stuff like Joker make it seem like its all taking an interesting direction and seems to be on the right track. I was one of the people that defended Aquaman, though I can very much admits its faults. The DCEU seems to be going in different directions, and Shazam! does so again, doing something a tad cheaper, but makes up plenty of that with heart.

    Now that doesn't mean its entirely faultless: it feels a tad long, some of it feels a tad too scary for its intended audience, and Zachary Levi and Asher Angel feel like they're playing different types of characters, but those are minor quibbles to what is otherwise a very fun and delightful film, filled with some great laughs and some genuinely surprising moments (they've kept a lot of stuff out of the marketing, which is a nice change of pace). I had a really great time with it, so I hope the DCEU can keep up this streak.

    STICKMAN: I also saw Schasm. It was preeetty fun.

    LARRY: Me too!! Look at dem apples.

    MADHERO: You even reviewed it when I was gone, Larry. You seemed to like it there. And hey, I am glad we can all unite under a DC film besides for disdain

    LARRY: Yes, loved it honestly. I've seen it again since that review.

    STICKMAN: I agree that the superhero and his child self seem like different people. I feel like Levi is leaning into being childike and goofy whereas Angel plays it more lowkey. But it's fun all the same, missing a little in the memorable moments, but entertaining all the same.

    MADHERO: It works for the character of Shazam, even if I'm not sure it works for Billy Batson, who's a tad moody but for obvious reasons. Its a good time and I'm glad they managed to mostly nail the tone of the superheroics

    STICKMAN: It is certainly the most competently produced DCEU film to date, even if it's not the most epic in scale. Not everything has to be epic though, especially when it's fun.

    LARRY: It's just so much fucking fun, man. Anything negative I can say is just so, so outweighed by how much fun I had.

    STICKMAN: Annabelle was there too. Annabelle is everywhere. Annabelle IS YOUR LOOORD.

    LARRY: Psh, not my lord.

    MADHERO: I like its smaller scale. Even Ant-Man in the MCU can feel decidedly big so its nice when these are a little more scrappy. And yeah, some interesting crossover potential there.

    STICKMAN: I'll take Ant-Man  over Shazam-Man any day, but I'd watch a Shazam 2 without much force. It didn't give me a migraine like Aquaman did also, so that's a plus.

    LARRY: Hmmmm that's a toughee, I'd honestly pick Shazam more now that I think about.


    MADHERO: I think that about wraps everything up. No point beating around the bush. We're probably talking Endgame next, and I'll have probably seen it so look forward to that. There's probably some other stuff too but who cares about UglyDolls?

    STICKMAN: UglyDolls is going to be easier to get a ticket for. So...there's that. But I mean, I'm not sure the Avengers can take on the box office might of LAIKA and Hellboy, but we'll have to see NEXT EPISODE. GOODBYYYYYEE.

    MADHERO: Pfft, just need to try harder. Find out whether Ant-Man gets into Thanos' ass..... next time

    STICKMAN: God I hope. Fingers crossed.

    LARRY: On that note, bye y'all.