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Tagged: 2018

  • The 2018 At the Screwvies Awards

    1 month ago

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    MADHERO: Well folks, its that time once again. Time to reflect and think about the year that is behind and think "phew, thank god that's over." Well actually that was more last year, but that's how scheduling works I guess. We promised to deliver an awards show after the Golden Globes fucked up, and now here it is.


    STICKMAN: I hope none of y'all said anything homophobic 10 years ago.


    LARRY: And now...let's be honest, we're probably gonna fuck it up some more.


    MADHERO: No, but just in case I'm just gonna delete my twitter just to be on the safe side, cause its 2019 and having that shit out there ain't grand. But hey, we'll manage. Lets go and give some awards shall we.


    LARRY: Might as well.


    STICKMAN: Ugh, FIIINE.


    MOST ANTICIPATED FILM OF 2019

    MADHERO - DETECTIVE PIKACHU

    HOW?! WHY AM I EXCITED FOR THIS!? THIS SHOULDN'T BE HAPPENING! But somehow it is. The idea of a live action Pokemon movie always was something that played in my head, but always seemed impossible to do properly. Even basing it on something as silly as Detective Pikachu, which just made it seem like it was going to be a Alvin and the Chipmunks style disaster. And despite all those odds, its looking genuinely excellent. The Pokemon effects take some getting used to, but the trailer really sells the world and doesn't go the full realistic route. More than anything, it seems to be made by people who genuinely like and care for the franchise, full of unique references. When you compare it to the doom surrounding the Sonic movie (which I'm also anticipating for a very different reason), this is starting to feel like a miracle, and I hope it can keep this goodwill up and we'll get a genuinely great videogame movie.


    STICKMAN - GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS.

    OH LOORRDY HE COOMMIN'. 5 years after the previous installment released, we're finally getting a sequel to the American Godzilla reboot that was actually pretty darn good...lacking in the big boy perhaps, but not lacking in arresting visuals, dramatic sequences, and when Godzilla does turn up? Some god damn epic moments. I'd of been excited for a new Godzilla movie regardless, but that first trailer? Fucking CHRIST that was awesome. The film is teasing some pretty spectacular battles, with a lot of collateral damage, and potentially the end of the world as we (Or at least people in the film) know it, all setting the stage for 2020's very exciting Godzilla v Kong. Legendary's Monsterverse has already delivered a pair of entertaining monster romps in the form of Godzilla and Kong Skull Island, but the former was quite human-focused, whilst the latter was very much style (And WHAT a style) over substance. Hopefully this is the film where everything comes together beautifully...but at the least, we can expect a solid and visually strong clash of the titans.


    LARRY - US

    When a first-time director knocks it out of the park, it’s easy to be skeptical if he can score two home runs. We’ve seen directorial follow-ups flop more than once, we’ve even seen some in this year alone. In the case of Jordan Peele, one can be especially doubtful that he could recreate the cultural moment that was “Get Out”. Once we got details on his new project, “Us,” I was as curious as the next guy, and we slowly got more and more to peep at (the poster, then production stills) until the trailer finally dropped. Needless to say, it has already stirred up some massive hype, and the way “Us” looks to be pitting its characters against themselves not only looks thrilling, but also truer to the distinct imagery you’d find in a traditional horror piece. Featuring two amazing leads (Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke), “Us” looks to put a brand new vision from Peele on full display and continue expanding his voice in the world of horror filmmaking.


    LARRY: Oh hey, I'm looking forward to ALL THREE of these films.


    STICKMAN: What a random assortment of films. I'm very excited for two and cautiously hopeful about Pikachu.


    MADHERO: At least none of us have to wait very long for them.


    LARRY: Also, for the record, Us would be my most anticipated regardless of Endgame.


    STICKMAN: Endgame would give me pause but Godzilla has Godzilla in it so it'd be tricky.


    MADHERO: Its funny that none of us picked the other MCU films or anything Disney for that matter despite them ready to dominate the year. I'd have probably gone Avengers over Detective Pikachu, but as a big Pokemon fan, I'm just astounded they got it as right as they did so far and am hoping they don't fuck it up now. Wheras before I'd have been like "yeah, its probably gonna be bad but who cares"


    STICKMAN: I mean, it could be pretty awful, but at least Pikachu is fluffy


    LARRY: Mannnnnn it's almost like that film may....reappear on someone else's category pickkkk.


    MADHERO: Ooooo, a tease, Larry? Well lets take a look at that, shall we?


    BEST TRAILER OF 2018

    MADHERO - GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS

    A whole lot of trailers try to sell you that their movie is going to be epic. Its become so overwhelming that we rarely are actually in awe of what we're seeing, so leave it to the Monsterverse team continuing their trend of amazing trailers to truly sell you its scale. I liked the 2014 Godzilla, but keeping Godzilla away from the screen for so long and having him fight pretty generic monsters were pretty unsatisfying. This trailer already remedies both, giving us both a great look of the somewhat chubby Godzooky, but also other classic monsters like Rodan, Mothra and of course King Ghidorah in just the briefest of cameos. Having it and all the human drama set to the classic Claire de Lune worked way better than it should, and was honestly awe inspiring in the shot where Mothra opens her wings.  It was far and away the best trailer of 2019 in my opinion, and I can only hope the movie lives up to it


    STICKMAN - SUSPIRIA

    Full disclosure, I haven't seen Suspiria yet...not for lack of trying. That said, it'd be a shame to miss this out of the discussion either way, because HOOO WEE what a doozy it was. Coming on the heels of some rather notably divisive footage reaction from a fated film festival luncheon, the first teaser trailer for Suspiria (And its full trailer too) doesn't actually show much in the way of explicit content at all...instead teasing the horrors that await viewers off to the corners of each scene. The whole thing plays as one unsettling build-up of strange imagery and ominous music (The great score by Thom Yorke getting its first preview here), before culminating in a chaotic montage that teases so much but shows so little. We end on a odd hook placed on a blood-stained table as the music builds into an almost deafening scream....and that's Suspiria. Damn, son. Regardless of the divisive reviews, and the lack of actually being able to see the film? This trailer made a huge impact on its release and continues to impress on reviewing.


    LARRY – DETECTIVE PIKACHU

    When “Detective Pikachu” was first announced back in 2016, I made my opinion very, very clear, not only on this show but on most outlets: I thought it was dumb to reinvent a property’s cinematic presence with a game that hadn’t even been released in the West at the time. I thought it was gonna be a complete joke. And then….the trailer dropped, and I cannot lie, I was dumbfounded at how impressed I was. Will it still be good? It’s hard to say, but the trailer itself is very well-paced, has a lot of fun jabs, and gave us our first look at what the movie would look like, and holy fucking shit. What Legendary have done in bringing the Pokemon world to life is one of the most brilliant transitions to 3D animation I have ever seen. Pikachu’s fur, Charizard’s scales, Greninja’s moist tongue, Psyduck’s wide eyes—thinking back on it the pairing is almost too smart. “Detective Pikachu” has a lot to prove, but as a trailer drop, it thoroughly won the internet for the day, and gave us fanboys a strong first impression.


    STICKMAN: Watching that Godzilla trailer first time was a euphoric experience for me.


    MADHERO: O wow, of course Sticky had to be the hipster and not pick Us for his favorite trailer so we'd have a complete rethread of the first category


    STICKMAN: Uhh, yah. I picked the arthouse horror movie. Yah.


    MADHERO: The Godzilla trailer was so fucking good that it shot the film way the fuck up to one of my most anticipated this year. God its good.


    STICKMAN: It's some damn good porn.


    LARRY: It's BIG.


    MADHERO: The Suspiria one is great too. That Thom Yorke score is used to full effect to add to the mood


    STICKMAN: Thom Yorke's score is already the most snubbed thing this awards season.


    MADHERO: And Larry, for you to pick Detective Pikachu is.... honestly shocking considering where you were not too long ago


    LARRY: What can I say? I'm still eating my words. It was the trailer that impressed me most.


    STICKMAN: Do they taste good, HUH? DO THEY?


    LARRY: Aight don't push it.


    BEST 2017 FILM I SAW IN 2018

    MADHERO - THE SHAPE OF WATER

    The fishfucking movie that could. The Shape of Water is a  movie only someone like Guillermo del Toro could make. As a big fan of the guy, it gave me everything and more with its beautiful design work, the great Desplat score and the  amazing performances of the likes of Sally Hawkins and Doug Jones. The fact a film this weird managed to win Best Picture shows that even in the hellscape that is 2019, there's still hope in the world. The streak of watching the best movie of 2018 will probably continue this year, considering the scheduling of Oscar movies here, but I'll take it


    STICKMAN - GOOD TIME

    Here's a 2017 release that missed out on being included in last year's awards blog by what I recall to be literal days. Getting an extremely limited cinema release in late 2017, before getting put straight to Netflix in January of 2019, Good Time would've comfortably sat in my Top 5 of the year had the timing been better. The film features Robert Pattinson having one hell of a crazy night, as his attempts to bail his special needs afflicted brother out of jail (Where he managed to get him I may add) spiralling rapidly into chaos and violence. The film's visually stunning, features fantastic performances all around, a great pulsing, synth score, a great mixture of drama and dark comedy, and perhaps the most haunting end credits sequence of all time. It's probably not for everyone, but god damn if it isn't for me.


    LARRY - PHANTOM THREAD

    Out of all the films I squeezed into my January awards season catch-up, Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Thread” still sticks with me as one of the best films of 2017, and easily his best work since “There Will Be Blood.” The cinematography is lush with polish and patience, giving the viewer time to soak in the class and elegance. Jonny Greenwood's score is gorgeous and oozes classical bravado. But this is directly supported by the performances. At one point in this film, Daniel Day-Lewis reads what he wants to order off of a breakfast menu, and that alone had me entranced more than most of the performances I saw in 2017. But give it to Vicky Krieps and Lesley Manville, for they both are equal matches to Lewis and then some. By the film's thought-provoking ending, PTA once again proves why he is one of the best auteurs of the medium.


    STICKMAN: I still haven't seen Phantom Thread in 2019. You better believe I saw that fish butt though.


    LARRY: GET ON IT, MAN.


    MADHERO: The Europe/awards campaign category. And same honestly. One of those movies I've not gotten around to. Good Time I did see and was great.


    STICKMAN: Good Time is...aheh...a real...great time. Wait. Let me try that again.


    LARRY: Ugh, I loved Good Time. Some of the twists in that movie fucked me up real good.


    STICKMAN: It was one of the best films in 2017 that's for sure. VERY UNDERRATED DO GO SEE.


    MADHERO: Not much else to say. I'm probably gonna save this slot for The Favourite next year, but there's still plenty of days to go.


    STICKMAN: Phantom Thread for best 2017 film seen in 2019...maybe.


    BEST SCENE OF 2018 (SPOILERS, DUH)

    MADHERO - THE BEAR, ANNIHILATION

    Annihilation is one of those films I would've loved to have seen in the theater. In the theater, you can't simply pause and go away unless you really need to use the bathroom and can miss some things. You're almost trapped, and it wouldn't just help for the visually impressive sequences, but also with this scene, which remains spectacular regardless. In a moment of madness, our main characters are trapped and tied up, and things don't get much better when a horribly mutated bear, a bear that has taken the features of one of their fallen comrades, who's howls are a distorted cry for help and agony. Its an absolute masterclass in creating tense and dread, and it ends spectacularly as well. Full credit to director Alex Garland and the VFX crew, who created one of the best movie monsters of 2018.


    STICKMAN - THE SNAP,  AVENGERS INFINITY WAR

    This award was the hardest to decide upon, because there were some fucking outstanding moments in 2018 cinema. Spider-Verse's defining 'What's Up Danger' sequence very nearly won out...but yeah, we couldn't go an end of years movie wrap-up without talking about this moment, surely? Whether you anticipated this iconic comic book moment happening in the film or not, nobody saw it coming to the devastating and brutal degree that took place in this excellent film's final moments. What plays as a few panels in the comic felt like an eternity in the film, as we watched a huge volume of our favourite Marvel characters be wiped from the face of the universe. Most devastating of course, is Spider-Man's frantic and confused pleas to remain alive as he too succumbs to the population halving snap. Sure, we know pretty much all of these dusted heroes will find their way back in Endgame, but that doesn't take away from the sheer audacity of this scene, and the impact it left on the cultural zeitgeist for the entire summer of 2018, and beyond.


    LARRY: CHARLIE’S DEATH, HEREDITARY

    When I think back on my favorite scenes of the year, the top contenders were the scenes that shocked me to my core, scenes so thoroughly unpredictable that being in the very moment of experiencing it is a thrill in and of itself. Out of every scene that did that for me this year, the one that sticks out the most is Charlie’s death from Hereditary, or I guess, in this sense, BEHEADitary. Though technically the “scene” would be from the car ride to when Peter parks the car, but really the entire sequence, beginning from Charlie’s allergic reaction to when they lower her casket, made for one of the most horrifying moments of the year for me. I keep wanting to rewatch “Hereditary,” but all I know is that I’m going to have to relive this moment, not to mention every other fucked up moment in the film, and I really don’t want to. That’s how much the film disturbed me, and it is Charlie’s death that sets the tone for the rest of the film, the dropping of the mic, the slapping of the face. So few films really make such ballsy moves only thirty minutes into its runtime, but leave it to Ari Aster to immediately engage you as a viewer and just not hold back. Thank you, “Hereditary.” Now leave me alone.


    STICKMAN: Laarrryy, picking a horror movie for his second award winner. This and Pikachu makes me think this isn't the same Larry we had at the start of the year. Are you some kinda...SCISCCOR DOOLPPELLAGANGERR!?


    LARRY: Oh, god no. Things have changed.


    MADHERO: I don't feel so good.... having to pick between all these 3 great choices.


    STICKMAN: All of these scenes were great, Heridterary's was the most traumatising fo' sure. The scenes that follow are like being trapped in a nightmare.


    LARRY: Yup, that describes it pretty well. Though, to be fair, Annihilation similarly fucked me up, ESPECIALLY that scene. When you hear the human yells in the bear's roar...haunting.


    STICKMAN: Annihilation left me a little cold in parts, but that was one crazy bear.


    LARRY: And then the snap...I mean, what else can I say. One of the ballsiest moves in studio filmmaking I've ever seen, honestly.


    MADHERO: The snap is easily the biggest moment here. The moment that got half a million redditors banned.


    STICKMAN: This was one of the hardest categories to pick...Spider-Verse, Hereidiatary, First Man, Black Panther, Quiet Place and OTHERS...so many movies with some fucking amazing scenes within.


    LARRY: Indeed, twas a good year for film.


    MADHERO: It was great year for moments in films. There was so many to pick from, so that shows how difficult it really is. For what its worth, I think we did good. Now lets move on to the opposite of great.


    WORST FILM OF 2018

    MADHERO - FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE GRIMES OF GRINDELWALD

    Hoo boy. Talk about not learning from your mistakes. I wasn't the biggest fan of the first Fantastic Beasts film, but I at least saw potential in it. I thought Newt could an interesting more passive main character, exploring different locations other than England/Hogwarts, but alas, that's only partially what we got. JK Rowling has written some amazing books, but she exposes her limitations as a screenwriter, giving us huge lore dumps that bring the story to a crawl, overcomplicating everything that even the most diehard Potter fan will be confused, answers questions that no one was asking (I guess Nagini was a Korean woman all along now), gives us plot twists we know don’t matter in the end, but mostly its just really boring. It does not at all fill me with confidence for what's supposed to get 3 more movies. Except if one of them is about wizards finding out toilets are a thing. That would interest me.


    STICKMAN – MUTE

    Ohhhh...hrrmm. Y'know, I didn't see a lot of bad movies in 2018, the only other major contender for me was the nonsensical snore-fest of Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle...but I mean, I was never expecting much from that film...Mute? Mute wasn't just the worst film I saw in 2018, it was also the biggest let down. Mute was Duncan Jones' (Director of MOON, Source Code and...uhn, Warcraft...) passion project, for a long long time, this was his baby. He'd tried to get it made for years and never managed, but then Netflix came with a big bag of money and said YES, yes we want your passion project on our service. A dream come true, surely. Hoo boy. Painfully generic cyberpunk fare on a surface level, and so much worse once you get deeper. This film is slow, boring, cheap-looking, nonsensical, mean-spirited, nasty and aimless in its execution. This is a film that fails to meet expectations, doesn't deliver an engaging narrative, and manages to be frequently discomforting in its themes and characters. A bad movie is one thing, but a bad movie that both bums you out AND makes you uncomfortable? That's the fucking pits right there. Passion projects don't often get made for a reason, they can go either way, sometimes you get Baby Driver...most of the time you get Mute. What a waste.


    LARRY: JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM

    Ughghghghhhgh. Where do I even BEGIN. I’m so tired of this film I don’t even wanna type out a whole paragraph about it, but here I am…thanks Mad. This film is a big ol’ piece of shit, and the fact we’re getting a third one makes my skin crawl. I respect a lot of what director J. A. Bayona was trying to accomplish here. I’d argue he knows more of what makes the “Jurassic” franchise good than Trevorrow. But when your screenplay is this bad, and your story is this utterly inept, the pacing this wishy-washy, and your comedy is this cringe…yeah it’s hard to find much of a silver lining. Whenever there’s hope that the studio, big-budget formula may be overcome by strong storytellers and good writers, films like “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” leap onto the scene to remind us cinephiles that bullshit still exists in Hollywood, and will never go away for as long as we live. This film…made me so…god damn angry. And I’m getting angry right now revisiting it so I’m just gonna stop. Fuck this movie.


    MADHERO: Two disappointing entries in multi-billion franchises and a failed passion project. Dang.


    STICKMAN: I'm still fixated on the "Wizards shit themselves" lore. Like...is that within the timeline of Fantastic Beasts? How many times has Newt Salamander shat his pants on film.


    MADHERO: Zero but that would at least be more interesting than what we got, which is just a complicated web of nonsense. Rowling is very much in George Lucas prequel territory with the amount of random lore she's throwing out there. She really needs a co-screenwriter, because ths film feels so much like a book in just the worst way


    STICKMAN: I didn't even bother with Fantastic Beasts 2, what with the first one being mediocre and Johnny Depp being a main character...I just couldn't be arsed. I grew up with Harry Potter so that says a lot about how bad things have gotten.


    LARRY: Can't wait for 3, 4, and 5. Oh yeah, I didn't bother either.


    STICKMAN: Jurassic World 2 was fine...it wasn't great, but I had fun with it. I wouldn't put it as the worst film I saw unless I had a really good year. WHICH...apparently I didn't.


    LARRY: I wish I knew it was dumb walking in, then maybe I woulda had more fun with it.


    MADHERO: I never ended up seeing this and I love the Jurassic movies


    STICKMAN: You saw the first one right.


    LARRY: But like...I actually got invested in the first ten minutes and then got shat on. Repeatedly.


    STICKMAN: Just like a pair of wizarding trousers. And none of you saw MUTE and I'm glad, to be honest.


    MADHERO: I did..... but I stopped because I wasn't feeling it and that's at least one thing you can do with Netflix.


    STICKMAN: I should've stopped too. You are wiser than I, Madthew.


    LARRY: I maybe meant to at one point, but. Nah.


    STICKMAN: Duncan Jones, get your SHIT together. Put it in a box...and ...so forth Rick and Morty quote.


    --------

    MADHERO: Anyway, how about we get away from this funk and talk about the stuff we like! 2018 was filled with some great movies, and I feel like our lists are going to be quite different for some reason, and that has me excited.


    STICKMAN: Watch us all pick the same Top 5 and make the most boring list ever, and then end the blog forever.


    LARRY: Guarantee you that ain't happening.


    MADHERO: We could, but I'd rather have something diverse. Letsa gooooooo


    NUMBER FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE

    MADHERO – BLACKKKLASMAN

    Hoo boy, this was tough. The Favourite made a late last minute sprint, and movies like Black Panther were super tempting as well, especially in terms of how groundbreaking it was. That said, I ultimately went with BlackkKlansman as my number 5. Spike Lee is in absolutely top form here ready to take you on a ride that's somehow actually based on a true story and not the Chappelle sketch. Its often hilarious and filled with great performances from John David Washington and Adam Driver, but does not shy away from the evils of white supremacy, with an absolute gut punch of an ending that needs to be seen to be believed. That ending alone made it one of the most important movies of the year


    STICKMAN – HEREDITARY

    For my first entry, I'm going for a film we've already talked about on this list...a horror movie, as is my want. It's Hereditary, because...daaaamn what a film this fucking was. In a year where A Quiet Place, a solid drama and a weak horror, was the mainstream talking point for the genre, it was great to see a big horror release come out that was both a great film AND a fantastic work of terror. Starting with a slow burn of unease, slamming you headfirst (Hoho) into some disturbing and upsetting content, before then descending into total, horrifying madness. A lot of people didn't like this film because it was too slow, but for me, it's the perfect pacing. Watching second time only improved the experience for me, since I picked up on some of the ...retrospectively really obvious clues towards the film's grisly and awkward laughter inducing ending. Great stuff.


    LARRY – WIDOWS

    It’s been a great year for film, that’s for sure. There were plenty of great films I had to deny a place in my 5, but one film that just managed to crack the list was Steve McQueen’s “Widows.” I’ve already spoken in-depth about why this film is such an excellent work, but to recap: aside from a few plot elements that don’t perfectly gel, everything about this film works super effectively and cohesively in executing an engaging, thrilling, and emotionally devastating crime thriller. For a story that is largely political for its first two thirds, its characters, script, and pacing kept everything moving like clockwork and had me invested in every moment. And then, once you do get some high-octane, pistol-swingin’ action, it doesn’t disappoint. With one of the best ensemble casts of the year, it’s hard to go wrong. “Widows” has put McQueen back on the map babyyyyyy.


    STICKMAN: I've seen Widows, I haven't seen BlacKKlansman though, it's literally sitting on my desk right now, y'all keeping me from seeing it.


    MADHERO: I never ended up seeing Widows and I'm kinda bummed about that. It just came at the wrong time for me unfortunately. Hereditary is a good pick, Stick,


    LARRY: All three of these films are on my Top 25, top tier stuff. Loved Hereditary, gave me one of the craziest theater experiences of the year, and BlacKkKlansman was a brilliant comedy.


    MADHERO: I mean, it has great comedic moments, but it definitely has moments where it pumps the breaks and goes "what's so funny"


    LARRY: Oh yeah, totally. It's farcical to the point that it's scary. Certain scenes disturbed the shit out of me.


    STICKMAN: Widows to me was a flawed gem. When it came together, it was dynamite. The performances are outstanding and the premise is strong. It was just...too messy to crack my Top 5.


    LARRY: I feel ya, I can understand where some criticisms may lie. Still, I can overlook them.


    MADHERO: I hope to see it by the time it gets to VOD and see for myself. Alright, now go with.


    CUATROOOOOOOO

    MADHERO – MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT

    My fourth favorite film goes to Mission Impossible Fallout, the action movie franchise that is most definitely going to kill Tom Cruise at some point. The roll that this franchise has been on since MI 3 has been un-fucking real, and they somehow manage to raise the bar once again in terms of set pieces. The halo jump, the bathroom fight scene, the many car, motor and foot chases, and of course Henry Cavill's magnicent Justice League ruining moustache and his reloading arms. It helps that it all feels like they're really doing those stunts, wh ich is a nice change of pace from all the CG battles we usually get. How they're gonna top it for MI 7? Beats me.


    STICKMAN – AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR

    We started things off with some classy, potentially awards-receiving fare, indie films aplenty. I'm gonna put a stop to all that NONSENSE though and go for the highest grossing movie of the year, and Avengers: Infinity War. All three of the MCU releases this year were great in their own way, Black Panther being the most significant otherwise, but Infinity War? Damn if it didn't tick a fuckton of boxes for me. It was beautiful, it was well crafted, well acted, great action...great characters, frequently funny, but also emotionally quite touching and even upsetting to boot. So many different pieces of this mega-franchise had to slot together to make this film happen, there was no way they could make a good film, let alone a great film....and yet, here we are, it's one of my 

    favourite films of 2018.


    LARRY – EIGHTH GRADE

    There is no such thing as a “perfect” film, but there are films that are perfect in the sense of what they are trying to accomplish. I’d argue no film on my Top 5 fits that bill more than Bo Burnham’s “Eighth Grade,” a staggeringly awkward and palpably genuine coming-of-age story about what it means to be growing up in the age of social media and teenage vanity. It may come as no surprise to most of you that it deeply resonated with me, as someone who didn’t always have it easy in middle school, but it was ultimately a moviegoing experience that shed light on those repressed memories and reminded me that life will always move on, and that your identity is something that is always evolving and changing. With a brilliant lead performance by Elsie Fisher, and an incredibly strong auteur vision from Burnham, “Eighth Grade” is a punch to gut that perfectly captures the anxieties and life lessons of adolescence.


    STICKMAN: Aah maaan, Mission Impossible Fallout. I'm glad somebody picked that...it very nearly pushed Hereidtary back to 6th..that was a fucking outstanding movie. Eighth Grade is an April 2019 release so I don't know how y'all saw it already. HMMMM.


    MADHERO: Eighth Grade: probably the horror movie of the year.


    LARRY: Yeah, Fallout's action scenes were some of the best I've ever seen...and yet the story left me kinda cold. I personally consider it the weakest of the new trilogy.


    MADHERO: You don't really go to MI for the story, but I think they do a good job with them and they help carry the action forward. I haven't seen Eighth Grade either. I've sorta been at the stage between really wanting to and the fear that its going to get too real to handle, particuarely the pool scene


    STICKMAN: I don't know if me and my anxiety are in a good enough place to watch a movie about the struggles of  secondary school life.


    LARRY: Well then maybe they shouldn't have made MI4 and MI5's story so damn compelling lol


    STICKMAN: I think this was an excellent culmination of everything laid out by Mission Impossible since the third one, PERSONALLY. And how about that Infinity War, y'all....y'all get around to seeing that?


    LARRY: Not much else to say. It's not on my Top 5 personally but it is one hell of an achievement.


    MADHERO: I have a feeling that maaaaaaaay go and appear at some point in someone else's list.


    STICKMAN: I think the fact that it went beyond merely being an impressive feat to being a genuinely great film in its own right is why it's here. It's like....the impossible movie.


    LARRY: Are you excited to see them host the Oscars???!??!!?


    STICKMAN: No.


    BEFORE WE PEE, LET’S GO TO THREE

    MADHERO – SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDERVERSE

    Maybe Sony should keep those Spider-Man rights after all, and that feels weird to say in a year that we got Venom, which did have its own charms and wasn't as bad as it could've been, but it was all worth it for Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, a movie that would've never been made under the Disney wing and certainly wouldn't come out as unique as it did. The fact this film managed to balance so many plates, from the different animation styles featured for the different Spidermen and women, the fact said animation was so gorgeous and managed to emulate the feel of a moving comic perfectly, to it managing to stay focused on Miles Morales, who shows what makes him different from the Spidered mens we've seen before. We're once again having the debate whether this is the Spider-Man film or not. I don't know yet, but its definitely the most unique in the best way possible.


    STICKMAN – SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDERVERSE

    This top 3...hoooo...this top 3 was a fucking nightmare. Even as we were writing the previous entries I was still switching them around. That said, I'm going with Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse for my third pick. The last big film I saw in 2018, hot damn if it wasn't a fantastic way to end the year. Ever since our first glimpse at this back in December 2017 I'd been so excited, but a little worried...Sony aren't exactly known for exceptional franchising lately, and Venom had already proven nothing has changed in that regard. Spider-Verse however, was a delight. Visually unique, bold and beautiful....frequently funny both for fans of the Spideredman and just in general...but also inspiring and moving, but not overly sentimental either. It's a real complete package of an animated movie, one that seeks to push the medium beyond the current Disney'esque narrative cliches and stylings. And I'm here for it.


    LARRY – BLINDSPOTTING

    Time for another film neither of you have seen, aw well. Doesn’t make me love “Blindspotting” any less. A film that is poetic both literally in verse and thematically in content, this love letter to Oakland felt like one of the only political films this year that genuinely tackled the subject matter with nuance and complexity. “Blindspotting” tackles police brutality, racial inequality, gentrification, struggles of life post-incarceration, and many other topics in an emotional melting pot, all disguised as a buddy comedy that uses the central friendship to bring out these social issues naturally. Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal give top-notch breakout performances, and Carlos Lopez Estrada’s direction is effortless. This film is just now starting to get a lot of exposure, so if you got the money to stream it on digital platforms, do NOT sleep on it. Easily one of the year’s most overlooked gems.


    STICKMAN: OH SHIT, TWO SPIDER-VERSES.


    MADHERO: Awwww yeah, Spider-bros for life


    STICKMAN: Spider-Boys. Blindspotting was a film I wanted to see, but Cineworld showed it literally at like, 3 cinemas in the entire country...not mine. So I gotta wait for DVD.


    LARRY: It'll be worth that wait.


    MADHERO: I don't think Blindspotting ever made it here so I had to miss it unfortunately. I imagine it'll get on VOD at some point though.


    LARRY: Yeah it got a DGA nomination so hopefully that helps it a bit.


    MADHERO: Its gone very much under the radar, unlike Spiderverse, which has soared and continues to show the genius of Lord and Miller. That and Sony Animation as a studio to watch closer now. Maybe they can do more than just the Emoji Movie


    STICKMAN: I can't believe  they followed up Emoji Movie with fucking Spider-Verse. Imagine suffering through having to design a poop emoji character and then getting to work with Spider-Gwen.


    MADHERO: Or even someone like Spider-Ham. I imagine working on that film was a lot of fun.


    LARRY: John Mulaney should make five Spider-Ham movies. I’d watch each one.


    STICKMAN: An animated film so good, even awards season is pushing Pixar out of the way to praise it.


    WIZARD DID A POO, ITS NUMBER TWOOOOO.

    MADHERO – ANNIHILATION

    So this was a film that required a rewatch to fully appreciate. Alex Garland had been doing strong work as a writer beforehand, and really showed his directing chops with both Dredd (which he directed in all but name) and especially Ex Machina, the film that somehow beat Star Wars in the VFX department. Following up that sci fi classic was always going to be tough, but I think he managed it with the much more cebrebral and high concept Annihilation. Visually gorgeous, sometimes disturbing and incredibly thought provoking. Annihilation isn't exactly subtle about its themes of self destruction, and yet it managed to spin that in a truly bananas sci fi story that I think will become more appreciated over time as people revisit it. Its on Netflix, so that's at least easy.


    STICKMAN – FIRST MAN

    My second placing was one I expected to be a far bigger talking point of the actual real awards that people actually read about, which is First Man. Damien Chazelle is proving himself to be a man of many talents, starting his mainstream success off with lowkey indie jazz drama Whiplash, then made the outlandish subversive love letter to golden age Hollywood musicals with La La Land. First Man is equal parts epic in scope but also deeply intimate. Space-travel has never felt this real or this fucking terrifying in a movie ...EVER. Watching this in IMAX was one hell of a sweaty palms experience, but the film pairs these horror sequences with genuine human emotion, all of which culminates in 2018's most heartbreaking scene set upon the Moon. Throw in a strange but oddly fitting and beautiful score and a masterclass in subtle but masterful acting from the two leads of Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy? You got yourself a god damn movie.


    LARRY – IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK

    #2 comes in the form of mah boi Barry Jenkins with “If Beale Street Could Talk.” I’m ultimately reminded of when “Carol” became my favorite film of 2015, another romantic drama that dared to take its time in telling an unabashedly beautiful love story against a less-than-heartwarming backdrop. Jenkins takes a slightly more methodical, controlled direction in adapting James Baldwin’s novel, a story of a young, black couple in 1970’s Harlem. It’s an intense film at times, dealing with racial prejudice and the system injustice black people face on the day-to-day. But, at its core, it is a love story between two young people, and it’s treated with the complexity and nuance these kinds of relationships deserve. Regina King seems to be getting all of the awards attention, which is deserved, but god DAMN KiKi Layne and Stephan James has not been getting the recognition they deserve for their lead performances here. It’s sweet, it’s sultry, but it’s also heartbreaking, nothing less from one of the best directors working right now.


    LARRY: Now THIS is a weird assortment of films.


    STICKMAN: It really is. And LARRYYY, BEALE STREET AIN'T OUT YEEET, AAaaAGH.


    LARRY: I'M SORRY I LIKED IT


    STICKMAN: Annihilation was my weirdest movie experience of the year...went in super excited...came out...feeling pretty cold to it. I keep meaning to rewatch it, because I feel maybe I expected something different.


    MADHERO: I definitely suggest a rewatch knowing more about what you're in for, also because the film is full of details that you might miss otherwise.


    LARRY: I've been meaning to rewatch Annihilation because I didn't like it that much on my first watch, but recently I've been thinking about some of its great moments. Maybe I didn't give it a fair shake.......


    STICKMAN: It's a strange one, beautiful in its ghastly imagery, but strange.


    MADHERO: Its totally fine if you didn't come out of it initially loving it. I don't know if it would've made it had I not done a rewatch.


    LARRY: First Man was soooooo close to being #5, I swear. That film was fucking incredible.


    STICKMAN: I haven't had an IMAX experience like First Man since I saw Interstellar...and unlike that film this one actually held together.


    MADHERO: I wish I saw it in IMAX. Or in DBox but then the space sequences would literally kill you. It really captures how terrifying and oddly beautiful space truly is and all that can go wrong in the process of getting there. And hey, there's plenty of American flags there.


    STICKMAN: It was fucking scary as hell and I wouldn't have it any other way. MURICUH


    LARRY: Ugh, when he threw the necklace in the crater. HEART. SOBBED. RYAN GOSLING YOU BEAUTIFUL STOIC MAN


    STICKMAN: AAGHH SO GOD DAMN SAD. He's the first man in my heart.


    MADHERO: Alright, now its time for the creme de la creme. The big cheese, the one film that defined our year. Or y'know, just one that we thought was pretty good. ITS TIME FOR NUMBER ONE


    LIFE IS NO FUN, IT'S NUMBER OOONE.

    MADHERO – AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR

    I already teased it, so no beating around the bush: Avengers Infinity War is my favorite film of 2018. What an absolutely stunning achievement in blockbuster filmmaking. I'll very proudly wave my MCU fanboy flag here, cause I don't know how I would've responded to this who went into this movie blind, but I went in as a big fan, and felt thouroughly rewarded for it. The sense of scale in honestly insane, managing to mesh different casts of actors and actresses so well in ways you could previously only imagine. While there were characters you wish you got more from, it feels like almost everyone of the heroes we've followed for a decade was allowed a moment. Doing all that while also managing to adapt Thanos in a way that made people symphatize with him as he commited genocide is pretty astounding. It was also the best cinematic experience considering I saw the midnight premiere. For something that could've been an really unsatisfying Part One, I'm happy the Russos went the extra mile and am absolute stoked to find out how it all concludes in Endgame.


    STICKMAN – YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE

    So...this one was a really hard one to decide. My NUMBER ONE movie of the year was one I saw waaaay early on. I've seen a lot of fantastic movies since, but there is just something...special about You Were Never Really Here that kept me coming back to it when it came to deciding my favourite film of 2018. It comes across as an odd choice, I'm sure...but damn if it wasn't an amazing work of cinema. A work of visual art, but also one with incredible sound design and an outstanding score. A lot of people have called this a modern Taxi Driver, but I feel that's a disservice of a comparison.  YWNRH is about trauma, and dealing with it...or not dealing with it, in some respects. The main narrative takes second place to the experience the main character, fantastically performed by Joaquin Phoenix has getting to that jaw-dropping, disturbing and oddly heartbreaking final scene.  Not a happy film, not a film with easy answers or necessarily satisfying tying of loose ends, but god damn if it didn't hypnotise me with its eerie beauty and dark, dark heart. A fantastic experience that only cinema can deliver, and my favourite film of the year.


    LARRY – AMERICAN ANIMALS

    Another one neither of you have seen, how appropriate that I keep things indie and unknown for my favorite fucking movie of 2018. Aw well, it’s “American Animals” y’alllllllll. Many of the other films we’ve discussed may, on the whole, be better than this film, but the reason it keeps sticking as my #1 through every other entry that comes my way is my experience in the theater. Seeing documentary and narrative techniques being blended so blatantly and yet so smoothly literally changed the way I looked at filmmaking. If you explain the things “American Animals” does with its subjects to the average moviegoer, they will most likely have never seen anything like it. Even I, as someone who studies film, have never seen it before. Oh, and it shouldn’t be forgotten that the rest of the surrounding film is excellent. The cast is fantastic, the pacing is tight, the writing is a great mix between dark and darkly funny, and the takeaway the characters bring about is definitely not what you expect from your average crime thriller. All in all, more people need to check this film out. I have a feeling, with time, its fanbase will grow. But, until then, I’ll just stick around stanning it as my favorite film of 2018…thus far, at least.


    MADHERO: Yah bunch of fucking hipsters.


    LARRY: At least someone else picked an indie darling. NOW I'M NOT SO LONELY.


    STICKMAN: Perfectly balanced, as all things should be.


    LARRY: Bless.


    STICKMAN: I can't believe I went to see The Predator instead of American Animals. What a fool I have been.


    LARRY: YWNRH is on Amazon Prime to stream for free soooooo maybe ya boi might catch that.


    MADHERO: I haven't seen either of your films and now I feel really bad for picking literally the 4th biggest movie of all time


    STICKMAN: You should DO THAT. At least I also had Infinity War on my list, Mad. Unlike SOMEONE.


    LARRY: Eh, I always pick the underdog.


    MADHERO: American Animals I now mainly associate with Moviepass and how they tried to push it so hard while they were busy dying, which feels unfair considering Gotti provides an equivalent punching bag


    STICKMAN: Where was Gotti in this Top 5. Y'all just haters behind your keyboards.


    MADHERO: Gotti is the secret number 0 that can only be unlocked in a way no one knows yet. YWNRH has been on my list since January and its one of those movies I've not come around despite loving Joaquin Phoenix as an actor, Lynne Ramsey's directing and it being a modern Taxi Driver. That's all very much my shit


    STICKMAN: Lynne Ramsey remains an underrated director. I feel like had this film released around this time of year, we might be looking at awards contending for both Ramsey and Phoneix. As it stands YWNRH likely won't even get nominated for its deserving sound editing and cinematography.


    LARRY: Modern Taxi Driver is no small comparison.


    STICKMAN: I don't feel it's super similar to Taxi Driver beyond a base level comparison point. Y'all should seeee it. And I'll see American Animals soon I hope.


    MADHERO: I like how different each of our lists are.  Sticky and I only share 2 films and we've all got something different and great, which shows how diverse 2018 was. This year was at least good at one thing


    STICKMAN: A lot of these choices were original or at least standalone movies as well. People complain about a lack of new stuff at the cinema, look at this list BOYO...also Infinity War I guess.


    LARRY: You can always rely on me to provide the shit nobody else saw :)


    ----------

    MADHERO: We'll have plenty to catch up for this year. That's gonna be a fun trip. But there's also plenty of new films to cover, so we better be quick


    STICKMAN: My boyfriend Godzilla is coming to probably not be all that great but still entertaiininng. 2019, HOoOOooooooooooOoo.


    MADHERO: Lets hope its a better year for the world in general. Hope it'll treat you all well.


    STICKMAN: If it don't treat you well, treat yo' self. ALRIGHT BYE.


    LARRY: May 2019 bring nothing but...sanity, and peace of mind. BUH BYE

  • Where to begin?

    1 month ago

    AshleyBren

    Hmmmm, I log in on a yearly rate now and tell you all I'm going to be back to posting regularly but I'm guessing you don't want to hear that again. Should I give an update on what I have been up to? I could try? Although I highly doubt many of my friends are listening on this site anymore. 

    So it has been another year. 2018 flew by and a lot happened. Celebrated 1-year with my boyfriend. Went on a cool trip with cool people. Made friends with a lot of new people as well. Dug into learning Japanese then forgot to continue doing that so now I'm back to square one again. What else? Hmmm, not much else I guess?

    How are you guys doing lately? Anything new happening with any of you? Like I said, I'm hardly ever on and, oh! I guess last month I celebrated being on the site for 6-years? That's kind of neat. GG me. Anyways, what's going on really? I don't know what else to really say at this point. I could bitch about the RT community site again but who really wants to hear that on my single yearly post. Site still sucks though and makes me incredibly sad thinking back to how amazing it once was. Such a terrible predicament.

    Welp, I guess that's all I have to say now. I was going to type out this amazing journal about things that are happening but meh, it's late and I'm tired now. Oh, the GGG is going amazing still, even though our group was magically deleted by this totally fabulous site. Happy times are still being had and lots of friends still being made. Maybe more to come on that? Who knows.

  • The Most Disappointing Films of 2018

    1 month ago

    kevoooandres

    somethingofimportance.com/2019/01/10/the-most-disappointing-movies-of-2018/

  • A Big Thank You!!

    1 month ago

    chantelvonstrange

    I want to take out the time to thank the RT community for an awesome 2018! I was able to finally attend my first RTX and everyone was really friendly and welcoming! I already requested the time off of work to go again this year! I was also able to get together with the RT Florida community and even made some new friends! What really touches me is hearing all the amazing stories from the community about how RT has helped so many individuals with their life by their content and how it has helped with various issues as well as inspired people to do amazing things! Because of RT I've revamped my life goals of wanting to pursue voice acting. I also found out that I'm going to be a part of a YouTube web series where I get to talk about various topics with other young people! So thank you RT for all that you do and not only entertaining millions but also inspiring people like me! :) 

  • BlackPenguin’s Top 10-ish Anime of 2018 (Updated)

    1 month ago

    BlackPenguin Guardian x9; Panel Lead

    Updated to add Violet Evergarden at 3.5, because I forgot it came out this year.  Whoops!


    What up? I’m here with my personal favorite original or non-sequel anime series of 2018. These may not be the critically best shows of the year, but they were the ones I enjoyed the most.  This will also be a non-spoiler list, for those who haven’t seen them. 


    10. The Ancient Magus’s Bride

    A young teenager is sold at an auction to an old sorcerer, who takes her on as an apprentice – and his future wife.

     

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    This show started out with an OVA prequel that was one of the most beautiful and enthralling pieces of anime I’ve ever seen.  The series managed to take that magic forward but struggled to do so as the time went on.  Nevertheless, it was still a marvelous and bittersweet adventure.  The best way I can describe it would be fantasy romance mixed with drama, but that doesn’t quite do it justice.  It’s a heartfelt journey, but one that is very calming or relaxing.  If you like stories about the magic, mythical creatures, and nature, you will like this one.

     


    9. Cells at Work

    A new red blood cell tries her best at her job, but the human body is a dangerous place.  Luckily, she becomes friends with a certain white blood cell, as well as other unique and specialized cells.

     

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    If there was an award for the most educational series of the year, this would be an easy winner.  Beyond the lackluster synopsis lies an exciting and informative series.  Every episode follows red blood cell as she encounters dangerous germs and viruses.  The tone of the series is mostly comedic, but there’s a lot of action as well.  And all throughout the show we’re given the pathological details of the characters, settings, and events.  Even doctors have praised Cells at Work for its attention to detail and ingenious storytelling.  Week after week, I found myself rooting for the cells and feeling more appreciation for my own body’s functions.



    8. Uma Musume: Pretty Derby

    A horse girl moves into the city to attend a racing academy, in hopes of becoming a professional horse girl. 

     

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    This one came out of left field in the Spring, and no one expected it to be this good.  What started out as a gimmicky monster girl story quickly became an intriguing tale of athletic competition and team camaraderie.  It's a joy to see horse girl Special Week grow as an athlete as she tries to realize her dreams.  There are moments of tense nail-biting action, heartwarming friendships, and hilarious gags and callbacks.  It’s just a well-rounded original sports story with a unique twist.



    7. Laid Back Camp

    Rin loves to go camping by herself…until she meets Nadeshiko.

     

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    I don’t often rewatch anime, but this is one I find myself going back to.  It’s one of the most relaxing and informative shows I’ve ever seen.  The characters go camping, eat delicious food, and learn to appreciate nature.  But more than that, it’s also a tale of learning to enjoy things with others, and how getting out of your comfort zone can sometimes be very rewarding.  It’s folksy, easy-going, and downright educational.  But at the end of the day, it’s fucking hilarious.  Lots of witty quips and physical gags.  A great show to wind down with at the end of the day.



    6. Zombieland Saga

    A girl with dreams of being an idol suddenly dies…then gets her chance.

     

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    This show really turned a genre on its head.  I find most idol anime series to be boring, or too cutesy.  Zombieland Saga however manages to be not only an idol show, but also unique and original.  It takes a motley crew of characters from different time periods, throws them together, and forces them to become a cohesive musical group.  All with the help of their eccentric and mysterious manager, who gathered them together.  Zombieland Saga also has some of the strongest comedic moments of the year.  I haven’t laughed this hard at an anime in a long time.  And even better, after it pulls you in with the comedy, it hits you with some great themes about acceptance, trust, and self-esteem.  Throw in a hint of mystery, and you’ve got yourself a captivating show.



    5. Goblin Slayer

    Goblin Slayer (yes, that’s his name) only kills goblins.  Other adventurers laugh at him for it, but he knows the true horror goblins are capable of.

     

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    You might have heard of this one.  The first episode made waves this Fall as being extremely edgy and graphic.  I can confirm, Episode 1 is one of the hardest things I’ve ever watched in mainstream anime.  It was unsettling, and even depressing.  Many people dropped the show after that, but I can say that it became a very interesting and tense series, full of great action and strategy.  And within this hardcore action fantasy, lies a very personal tale about an infamous but lonely adventurer.  In contrast to some shows about main characters who finally learn to cooperate with others, GS is more about a solitary character’s journey as the people around him begin to appreciate him more.  Granted, it is very edgy at times and suffers from some of the more eye-rolling anime tropes.  Nonetheless, it’s a wild and crazy ride that was very satisfying in the end.  If you can get past Episode 1, this series will be very rewarding.



    4. That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime

    A successful salary man is killed and reincarnated as a slime in a fantasy world…where he becomes one of the most powerful creatures in the land.

     

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    Isekai as a genre is rapidly becoming passé (if it isn’t already).  So, it takes a lot to set a show apart from the pack...which this one does well.  Not only does it have this air of One Punch Man, but the story also has a great feeling of escalation.  As Rimuru (the slime) encounters more races and organizations, his reputation and following grows.  The world unfolds, the scale of story grows, and wider mysteries appear.  I really like shows that do that, and this one manages to do so without falling into the common Isekai pitfalls.  The show continues into 2019, and I’m excited to see where it goes.



    3.5. Violet Evergarden

    An emotionally numb former child soldier returns home, where she starts working as an Auto Memory Doll – people who put the emotions of others into words.


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    I don’t think I’ve ever cried while watching tv or movies as much as I did during this show.  That’s not to say that Violet Evergarden is really sad, but rather, it’s so emotionally beautiful.  Auto Memory Dolls are, more or less, stenographers whose primary function is to faithfully interpret and document the emotions of others.  Essentially the show is about this young soldier trying to understand things like love and loss – emotions that she has long since cut herself off from – by interpreting the emotions of others.   Every episode we witness the pain and joy of the people she visits, all while following her on her own journey.  The stories are both heartbreaking and heartwarming, and each one has a big effect on Violet.  Watching her rebuild her heart brick by brick produces some of the most impactful and emotional scenes in anime I’ve ever seen.  And beyond the subject matter, this show was without a doubt the most visually stunning show of the year.  Kyoto Animation (KyoAni) is renown for the beauty of their products, and this one certainly lives up to the reputation.  A feast for the eyes as well as the heart.



    3. Golden Kamuy

    A former soldier learns of hidden gold.  He joins forces with a girl from a native tribe, and they start a wild journey in search of the gold.

     

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    That description is the bare bones synopsis, so let me just say, Golden Kamuy is a wild ass ride.  It’s got a huge cast, exciting action, hilarious moments, delicious food, and a lot of suspense.  It’s a rollercoaster of adventure, set against the backdrop of early 1900’s Japanese wilderness.  Sometimes it’ll feel like you’re watching The Revenant, other times it’ll feel like a damn cooking show.  What’s most surprising is that the series manages to hold itself together with all of this, and not collapse under its own weight.  There really is something for everyone in this show, especially if you like wide-ranging stories where a lot of moving pieces come together.  It also helps that this series has what might be the best villain I’ve ever seen in anime.  It’s fucking good.



    2. Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

    A high school student learns that his classmate is sometimes invisible to others.  Upon investigating, more peculiar events occur.

     

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    In short, this show is as if the sci-fi series Fringe was crossed with slice of life anime.  The long version, is that Bunny Girl Senpai is a great and honest look at puberty and the stressful social situations young people find themselves in.  The main plot of the show is about fringe science phenomena brought on by the emotions and bodies of teenagers.  Someone being invisible to others because people stopped paying attention to them, someone reliving the same day because they’re emotionally stuck, etc.  And although the scientific justifications can sometimes be groan-inducing, the overall story and metaphors are highly relatable.  The characters also have a lot of personality and chemistry.  The interactions between the main girl and guy are especially entertaining.  And just when you think it’s going to be another high school harem show, it pulls the rug out from under you and drops you into a nuanced emotional situation.  It’s simply done well.



    1. A Place Further Than The Universe

    Mari wants to do something interesting with her life.  She meets Shirase, who wishes to go to Antarctica to find her mom.

     

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    This was an easy choice for number 1, as it’s the greatest emotional journey I’ve been on in years (anime or not).  Each of the four main girls is on her own quest for self-discovery, and seeing them help each other get there was something I quickly found myself invested in.  Each character is compelling, sympathetic, and flawed.  And the main cast’s chemistry together produces some of the most fulfilling moments I’ve ever experienced in media.  There are lots of different kinds of cries out there, and this show gave me the best “good cry” I’ve ever had.  It destroyed me, then rebuilt me.  But it’s also funny!  Right when you need it, it hits you with a humorous exchange or gut-busting gag.  I can’t recommend this show enough.  It’s a beautiful tale of searching for one’s identity, and helping others do the same.  Even if you don’t like anime, you’d should watch this one.

     

     

    So, that’s my list!  How does it stack up for you?  What’s your list?  There were some shows during the year that I didn’t watch that I’m going to go back to, that might be in other people’s top ten, but overall I’m very satisfied with my list.

     

    I’m excited to see what new series come out in 2019!

  • That End Of Year Post Part 1 - The Bad

    1 month ago

    Tropes Dead Set On Adventure

    I'm so damn tired. 


    I would tweet about this last year, how people ascribed a conscious malevolence to 2017. There wasn't one, things were just hard. And 2018 was, just the same, a knock-down, drag-out slugfest of a year. The election feels like forever ago instead of less than two months. As the memes say, there was a whole ass Olympics this year that nobody remembers because it feels like decades ago. In much the same way I feel like I've been aged up way more than a year. 


    Not to say it was all bad - just long and exhausting, even if only because it's a continuation, unbroken, of all the bad things that have been compounding since 2015 or before. And just like how a scratch in your shirt gets more annoying as the day goes on, all those things just get more and more infuriating as they continue to not be fixed - some of them so hard and for so long they are now no longer fixable. RIP inhabitable Earth, by the way. 


    I talk about this in the context of my 2018 because nobody exists in a vacuum and I get genuinely mad when I hear people say "well just look at the smaller scale things that went well." Climate Change is going to cause serious harm to anyone under a certain pay grade, and some of us may not have the luxury of even getting that far if the death cult that is American fundamentalist Christianity (or even just wealthy people who claim to have religion to get votes from simpletons) continues to be allowed anywhere near government. In that context, that the world is on a now-inescapable death spiral towards climate apocalypse because millions of people, including people I know, am related to or grew up knowing, voted for a party over the decades that continually made this worse, any and all personal accomplishments are kind of pale and shallow. It even feels selfish and irresponsible to think about or act on anything else, or to allow myself some kind of happiness. 


    I mean, right? How dare I allow myself joy when my LGBT friends don't know if they'll wake up to a tweet from a jackass that the American people fawn over invalidating their marriages, or worse yet outright criminalizing them? Act after act of abominable cruelty met by indifference, support or literally refusing to believe that anything bad has been perpetrated? When everything I use as part of modern life is built on the blood and tears of poor people so that people who have never felt hunger or discomfort can get another few million dollars? I know and accept that there is no ethical consumption under capitalism and that therefore the blood of millions of people is on literally all of our hands, refreshed and renewed every day we wake up with a living billionaire on earth, but it still hurts to think about (and it's wrong not to think about it).


    This year, even though it was a long time coming, I've definitely gone full nihilist. I no longer believe in any gods, nor can I completely accept the idea that religion and decency are not mutually exclusive. I get mad at myself when I find myself trying to ascribe meaning or purpose to anything unconsciously. I stamp out anything approaching hope when I feel it coming because hope is the bitterest lie the billionaire class has sold us all aside from the lie of God. 


    So yes. This was a grim year, preceded by a grim year and to be followed by grim years until we've served ourselves a well-deserved extinction by the worst of us that we continually put on a pedestal because the god that they invented so we wouldn't talk back at them told us to for too long.


    I labelled this part 1 because I hadn't intended to go this dark. I wanted to do a lighthearted thing then realized I don't think I have a place in my mind for that. This may be my only end of 2018 post, but it also might not be. If it's not, I expect it'll be my fitness goals more than anything else - there's not going to be a hopeful palette-cleanser this year, folks, because I've been cured of hope in 2018. It feels off, wrong and incomplete to end something this bleak without a hook, like a song without it final note, but there are no hooks. At this point it's less about living for a better tomorrow as it is surviving for another day because the alternative of non-existence is too terrifying, even though tomorrow will be just as bad or worse. 


    Ugh, I almost don't want to post this because the culture demands we always stuff away the bad things. There's a purpose to that too, it's another trap - it makes us think we're imagining the bad things, or how bad they are, once again so we don't talk back to the people who made things so bad in the first place. 


    Know what else gets my goat? I do know, on some level, that my broken brain emphasizes this stuff more than most other people. That these problems exist for everyone (even if a lot of people ignore them or convince themselves they're all imagined or propaganda or whatever) but my brain's inability to produce the right amounts of the right chemicals means it gets all-consuming. It makes me mad, because we only get one life before we die and nothing happens, which means that the one life I get can't be maximally enjoyed in the meantime. 


    Such a fucking waste.


    EDIT PS: This became a venting post real fast. I guess that's valid, I have no one to talk about my emotions to in person so I figure this is an okay way to ragedump at this garbage fire of a year. On to the next fucking dumpster, let's light that shit up.

  • Year in Review

    1 month ago

    ToriJCaboose FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    2018 is almost over and it has been one hell of a ride. Last year I was typing my year in review as someone who had only been on the RT site for two months. I'm now over a year in and it has been the greatest decision I ever made.


    I've never told the story of how I started watching RT. But after everything that happened this year, it feels right to tell it now.

    I started watching Rooster Teeth content in 2015. Honestly, though, it feels like a lifetime. Back then I was freaking out about my educational content exam and my best friend said, "Hey, watch this Minecraft video with me." 


    I had no intention of watching a game made for 8 year old boys. But a bunch of 8 year old men absolutely sucked me in. 


    Gavin Free was fucking adorable. 


    Michael Jones was angry. 


    Ray Navarez Jr. was aloof and hilarious.


    Jack and Ryan were one voice intertwined.


    Geoff Ramsey was orchestrating the chaos. 


    That day six men took my mind off of a test that would determine my future. 


    When I took my exit exam, RWBY was there to cheer me on.


    When I fell into a depressive episode RVB showed me I wasn't alone.


    When I had the worst year of my life in 2017, Camp Camp was there to just make me laugh.


    So much has changed since that first minecraft episode I watched. People have left. Even more have joined. I started gaming, branching out, because of the fun these complete strangers were having.


    For three years Rooster Teeth has been there to comfort and get me through the hard times. And 2018 has been a highlight.

    I met the Jones family and Barb at Planet City Comic Con in KC. I was extremely blessed to purchase Plat passes to my first RTX. I spent three days with my best friends, and I made new ones. I got pulled on stage at Let's Play Live, my best friend got to sit on stage with some of her idols, and I met some of my absolute heroes (Jack and Geoff, lookin' at you). I cosplayed for the first time, I made friends on twitter, I joined groups, and overall? I talk. I'm active. For two years I sat in the background, scared to engage, and now I'm here.


    I couldn't imagine being anywhere else. I couldn't imagine being in any other group or surrounded by anyone else. 

    Here I am accepted.

    Here I belong.


    Memory is the key. And the memories I have made this year will never fade.


    2019 is gonna be hard. I wanna work on me. My confidence, my health, my relationships. Its gonna be a long bumpy road. But I know I have so many people in my corner.


    Because, "No matter how many friends you lose? You can always make more. And I think that's pretty neat".

  • Good Bye 4-Day Weekend, Hello Christmas

    1 month ago

    iMacOfDeath

    Today marks the final day of my 4-day weekend, work resumes tomorrow but it will be an odd bit of time as I will only have two full days of work before a half day I'm taking on Friday to attend my very first High School Reunion.


    Being that this is my first time I'll be going to see people from my horrible High School days, I'm hesitant but hopeful that I will find a good time awaiting me. I'm also pretty sure I won't see anyone who I was friends with back then, probably just the Jocks, Cheerleaders, Preps, School Council, and Valedictorians will attend. So why I am going then? Because I don't have a Facebook, and I'd actually like to see some familiar faces.


    There's going to be an open bar, but unfortunately my drive back home is close to two hours long and it will be pitch black out. So no drinking for me, or at least not enough drinking that I would do something I regret that ends up on the Lifetime Channel. Thankfully the only person I had a crush on back then was a super hot teacher named Miss. McKercher, but she's married and I'm not into gross and unnecessary confessions.


    I've been doing a whole lot of nothing during this time off, besides playing way too much Overwatch. Finally made it to rank 4 prestige at 286 hours, with my top four heroes being Mercy, D.Va, Moira, and Torbjorn. Going to put the game on hold again until the next seasonal event, fucking hate Mei's Snowball Offensive and Yeti Hunter, garbage tier game modes for the most annoying character in the game.


    Not really grinding out the demon god pillars in FGO like I should, kind of just battling them a couple times before knocking out the final battle. You might not think it, but I'm kind of tired of pushing this campaign event so hard, when I really should be focusing on leveling up the brand new 5 and 4 star summons. Oh well, at least I know now the next summon that will be at the top of my 'want' list.


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    She's no Tharja, but I think Onee-sama is my FGO waifu. Unless a new servant shows up and tries to marry me in the first few seconds of meeting me, I doubt anyone will topple her. Even the Yandere Kiyohime has taken a backseat. Shocking, I know.


    Anywho, I plan to do a whole lot of nothing today. Stay home, play games, watch anime, and eat day old pizza. It's not the most glamorous way to spend Christmas, but I don't like social events and I've already given out my gifts this year. Time to express my inner hikikomori.


    Merry Christmas you filthy animals.

  • At the Screwvies: Episode 124

    1 month ago

    g1Features

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    MADHERO: Hohoho, hello everyone, and welcome to the annual Screwvies Christmas Special. I've returned from my Fortress of Solitude to host once again and I'm sure ready to spread the holiday cheer. And Hollywood sure is as well, with a whole bunch of movies to talk about and review. So many we might as well drown in them. Get it, cause water? Cause Aquaman? Cause that's one of the movies.


    STICKMAN: It's Christmas, time to get fuUUuUuuucked.


    LARRY: Aquaman coulda used one or two more sleigh bells I think. Woulda been the cherry on top we needed.


    MADHERO: I'm more than ready for this year to be over. I assume there's other movies to spread the holiday cheer, but hey, maybe the news can provide that Christmas spirit


    STICKMAN: Nah. All is lost.


    LARRY: LOL "news," "spirit," "Christmas". Ridiculous.


    NEWS

    SONY RELEASES FIRST TRAILER FOR REBOOTQUEL MIB: INTERNATIONAL

    "Oh, snap!" indeed, trailer music. After a seven year absence (which, admittedly, isn't as long as their last absence), the Men in Black franchise is returning with a spinoff film, "Men in Black: International." After countless casting announcements, set photos, and general rumoring, we finally have our first trailer...and yeah, it looks badass and fun as hell. Not much is revealed in terms of plot, but here's what we do know: Agent M (Tessa Thompson) is the newest recruit to join MIB after discovering the organization...somehow. She is transported to London to work with Agent H (Chris Hemsworth), one of the best in the biz. Apparently, MIB has been compromised somehow.


    Also, Liam Neeson is here, and Emma Thompson returns as Agent O! That's cool. Also, Kumail Nanjiani plays a space alien. Neat. It looks like Thompson and Hemsworth's chemistry is working wonders for the new pairing, the action looks over-the-top and fun, the space gadgets look they haven't changed a bit, and the comedy is classic MIB. Add to an excellent musical choice, and I'd say you got a damn great first trailer. Now, will that make for a good movie? I dunno, hopefully


    STICKMAN: Tessa Thompson's rocking that suit.


    MADHERO: She sure is rockin' it. Its good to see her and Chris Hemsworth reuniting after having a lot of fun chemistry in Thor Ragnarok


    STICKMAN: I'm not the world's biggest Men in Black boy, and this largely looks to be more of the same, except this time we're at least getting a different setting/core cast. So that's nice.


    LARRY: Yeah, I'm not a huge MIB stan but it looks like a breath of fresh air in terms of casting, so, I'm here for it.


    MADHERO: It wasn't as focused on the comedy as I expected. I wasn't necessarily done with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, but I more than welcome the new cast and its nice to see them go global this time around


    LARRY: Well, global being London. Not sure where else.


    STICKMAN: I'll take this over a Jump Street crossover, North Korea wanted you to know about that one.


    MADHERO: I'd have been alllllll over the Jump Street crossover cause the meta would reach unstoppable levels. Still, I'll take this, and MiB was definitely in need of a soft reboot, cause it remains a killer premise that hasn't had the quality besides the first one.


    STICKMAN: I wonder if Michael Jackson will turn up again.


    MADHERO: We've got Hemsworth showing off his comedic chops again, Tessa Thompson in a suit, Nanjiani as a alien. I'm on board, so I hope it delivers


    LARRY: Yeah I am too, can't wait to see Liam Neeson die for the third act.


    STICKMAN: End of second leading into the third. The emotional conflict.


    HELLBOY REBOOT GETS FIRST COMEDY HEAVY TRAILER.

    With the new year on the horizon and Hollywood somehow still standing despite all its best efforts, it's time to look ahead to one of the no doubt MANY reboots and remakes we can expect in 2019. Hellboy, the comic book franchise turned into a pair of reasonably well received films directed by Guillermo del Toro, is getting a reboot without Del Toro or Ron Perlman involved, with Lionsgate taking it in a more R rated and comedic angle. This has been a source of mixed feelings across the WEB, but became slightly warmer at the first look at David Harbour's interpretation of the chunky demon monkey.


    Now we have our first trailer and...well...it looks fun? Neil Marshall a director known predominately for gory cult horror, seems very much in his element here, with the setting swapped from the USA to the UK, specifically London, and a heap helping of various monsters and bloody headshots telling you this isn't your DADDY'S HELLBOY MOVIE. The actual plot for the film is only really touched upon in the final moments, with an emphasis on random action and comedy moments...and yeah...it looks okay? I'm reasonably excited for this one. Hellboy himself is an absolute unit, that's the main thing we can take away from this.


    STICKMAN: Oh hey another secret paranormal investigation bureau hidden within  London.


    MADHERO: I like the gore shown and some of the comedic bits but I'm not sure I was really feeling this trailer honestly. I feel bad comparing it to the del Toro films, because comparing to that is kinda unfair, but I feel that besides Hellboy it all looks a tad cheap. 


    STICKMAN: Apparently it's a more faithful adaptation of the comics if that's anything to go by.


    LARRY: Yeah it certainly doesn't look as imaginative as Del Toro, sorta like a more down to earth version. The comedy playing a prominent feature definitely took me by surprise...though I thought the ID joke was pretty funny.


    MADHERO: I feel the muted color tone is also somewhat throwing me off. With Mignola's art style, I was expecting something a bit more bold, but it looks rather drab.


    LARRY: Yeah, again, it feels a lot more minimalist. That does make it look cheaper, but it also feels grittier and realer, at least on a first glance.


    STICKMAN: I feel like this movie has the impossible task of following on from Del Toro's films, which...to be honest, weren't that amazing to begin with. They certainly looked very nice. I dunno what to make of the new one but the trailer was fun and gory, which are two of my favourite things.


    LARRY: Yeah, Del Toro created a world for Hellboy, no question. This film clearly has a different goal.


    MADHERO: I have a soft spot for those films and its hard to find a more perfect match between character and director. I wanna give this film a fair shake, but I wasn't really feeling it and hope the humor and gore make this one stand out


    STICKMAN: I miss blue boy.


    MADHERO: Same. He did well finding a second gig with Shape of Water, though he had a repaint


    STICKMAN: He was much sexier in that film. But then maybe he got to show off more butt.


    SONIC POSTERS MANAGES TO UNITE FANBASES IN THEIR AWFULNESS

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    Well, ladies and gentlemen, 2018 has brought us a lot of things, mostly bad, but it had at least one last miracle up its sleeve before signing off: The Sonic fanbase is united. Be it oldschool, Adventure fans, Boom fans, rule 34 artists, even fans of the weird ass Ken Penders comics all came together to voice their collective disdain for the Sonic the Hedgehog motion poster, and the weird shadowy buff monkey man that's supposed to represent the hedgehog. We knew about the development of the Sonic movie for a while, and this was our first look at how Sonic translates to live-action and the answer is not very well.


    Partially that's down to some weird design decisions. He's weirdly muscular looking in his arms and legs, and while his head seems to be his regular enlarged size, his hands and feet are now normally proportioned, and it just looks kinda weird. It wasn't helped by another poster of his weird legs hanging on the Golden Gate Bridge, as well a proof of concept poster that leaked, though there the design doesn't look nearly as bad as first feared, but it remains to be seen what appears in the actual trailer and movie. Needless to say, I'm stoked for the hellfire that'll be unleashed there, cause boy its been a while something has been released to such resounding rejection.


    LARRY: They turned Sonic into what he woulda looked like in the Alvin and the Chipmunk reboots. Thanks I hate it.


    MADHERO: We normally don't talk teaser posters but the dunkathon that happened was something that needed to be discussed


    STICKMAN: Sonic is a franchise that provides discourse like fine dining on the daily.


    MADHERO: Not even the original creators of Sonic were in any way positive, and in the IGN article, Tim Miller talked about how Sega needed quite some convincing with this redesign, which doesn't suggest they're on board either


    LARRY: It's just....inaccurate. Fans have been redesigning it to brilliant effect.


    STICKMAN: Sega really don't know when to say NO with Sonic. This is the dark side of what Detective Pikachu could've looked like.


    LARRY: Not sure why we keep letting studios run with their heads cut off when it comes to video game movies.


    MADHERO: I've seen some pretty terrible redesigns in the past, particuarely some of the concept for Boom when it was going to look very different. I feel the faith to have a more cartoony character wasn't there when compared to Detective Pikachu, which looks even better now.


    STICKMAN: I'd give Detective Pikachu a hug, but with Sonic I'd be afraid to sit by him on the bus.


    LARRY: Like...take the design from Boom (as it is in the games currently), and give it fur. Done. It's more proportional and then you get to use your precious hair engine or whatever. This is so bonkers.


    MADHERO: Obviously there should be the caveat that he haven't seen him fully yet besides that proof of concept poster that leaked, where he looked ok. But with a character with as iconic a look as Sonic, you wonder why they bother.


    LARRY: I genuinely don't like the proof of concept either. All of what I've seen, thus far, is shit.


    STICKMAN: Thicc thighs are often said to save lives, but in this instead I feel it might spell BOX OFFICE DoooOOOoOOOOM.


    MADHERO: That's still on the cards. What we've heard in terms of plot makes it sound..... not good, but we got 4 Alvin and the Chipmunks movies so I won't count anything out.


    STICKMAN: God I'm scared, 2019 is already sounding like a bad time.


    PIXAR RELEASES DETAILS, VOICE CAST AND RELEASE DATE FOR NEXT FILM ONWARD

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    With "Incredibles 2" being a pretty damn good time, and "Toy Story 4" sure to be a smash hit, some of us are craving some of that wonderful Pixar creativity and originality, like with "Coco" or "Inside Out." Well, those of us need not look further!! Coming March 2020, "Onward" is a suburban fantasy adventure about two elf brothers who journey through their world in an attempt to spend a final day with their father, who died when they were both young. 


    Directed by Dan Scanlon ("Monsters University"), it will star Chris Pratt and Tom Holland (who was actually the one to announce it on Instagram, oh you silly leaker boy you) as the two elf brothers presumably, with Julie Louis-Dreyfuss and Octavia Spencer in supporting roles. Based on his own relationship with his bother, Scanlon says the world of the film is a an everyday suburbia with high fantasy elements mixed in, such as elves and unicorns. Given the genius behind Pixar's walls, I'm sure the possibilities are endless for this project, and we all look forward to seeing what "Onward" has in store.


    STICKMAN: That logo looks worryingly like a cross between Brave and Frozen.


    MADHERO: Well, there is that next Pixar movie I was wondering about. Felt weird there was nothing on the slate after Toy Story 4. But I'm sure they've got plenty more to announce/get leaked by Tom Holland.


    STICKMAN: Tom Holland is a professional leakster now.


    LARRY: The way he discusses the world sounds...like something else. Mushroom houses with satellite dishes. Unicorns playing the role of possums.


    MADHERO: O god its gonna be Bright all over again.


    STICKMAN: We don't speak about Bright in this household.


    LARRY: I mean....it sure did remind me of that. But in a child-friendly way obviously.


    MADHERO: I guess that's our new main example for fantasy for IRL. There's of course not much to go on with only a logo, a premise, and a cast, but it'll undeniably look pretty. And that cast is pretty sweet with the 2 Marvel Peters and Julie Louise Dreyfuss returning to Pixar after Bug's Life.


    LARRY: Last time I barely knew anything about a Pixar film, it turned out to be Coco, so I'm not worried.


    STICKMAN: Well that always had a enticing premise. The last time we knew very little about a Pixar film even visually it was The Good Dinosaur and hoo boy.


    LARRY: Okay, so it's not a surefire tell.


    MADHERO: It also weird that the release date is in March. Obviously that hasn't hindered movies like Zootopia, but Pixar movies are almost always summer or November affairs.


    STICKMAN: Maybe Disney don't have a film out for that year, WHO KNOWS.


    MADHERO: More will no doubt be revealed in the coming year, but we're still more than a year away.


    LARRY: Gotta hold my breath until those first look pics.


    STICKMAN: I expect WHIMSY.


    FARMAGEDDON: A SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE GETS "FIRST" LOOK

    As anyone who's been reading At the Screwvies since the very start will know, Shaun the Sheep is our true lord and savior. We may have been spared the agony of the Shaungularity back in 2015 despite my best efforts, but in 2019 he's back for another shot at the woolly apocalypse, and we got our first look at the movie this week. Well, not quite. This teaser was actually first shown in front of select screenings of Early Man...almost an entire year ago now. 


    What's more interesting about this teaser is less the teaser itself, and more the  information that came with it. Firstly, the film's received quite a significant delay, being pushed back to October instead of its original April release. Secondly...the teaser itself is actually a lie? According to the synopsis, Shaun isn't abducted at all, in fact an alien crash lands on the farm and Shaun and PALS go on the run with it, as some sinister organization attempts to capture it, with a trip to space occurring at some stage, APPARENTLY. Also a picture we got with it shows magic pizza...so...yeah. I don't really know how to feel about this sequel so far, we haven't seen enough from it, and with the trite premise and quiet delaying of its release? HRMMM. Still, Aardman so gotta turn up for that. It's the law


    MADHERO: Oh no..... not again. I honestly can't deal with spotting Shaun hiding in Paul Blart's mouth in one of the banners again. They'll announce a surprise Paul Blart 3 just so that this can happen again


    STICKMAN: God I hope so.


    LARRY: I remember watching Shaun the Sheep back when it made rounds on Disney Channel and thinking "wow, this is never gonna be relevant to my life beyond these three formative years of watching the Disney Channel." Boy, was I wrong.


    MADHERO: I'm pretty sure Shaun the Sheep is Aardman's most profitable franchise. That sheep goes to some places. The power of wordless slapstick comedy.


    STICKMAN: Shaun's their gravy train, for better or worse. It's not that big in the US but in parts of Europe and Asia? Shit's a goldmine. S'why this feels a little cynically motivated at this point, relative to the production cycle of stop motion films it's not been that long since the previous film, and the premise is....kinda trite.


    LARRY: It certainly HAD a presence here. Not particularly marketable, but neither is W&G anymore.


    STICKMAN: Wallace & Gromit isn't big because they haven'tmade a bloody film in almost TEN YEAAAARS. Shaun's had like 5 seasons of TV, two movies and a 30 minute short in almost the same timeframe. It's nurts.


    LARRY: But yeah, I like Shauny boy. And this looks like a classic Shaun fun adventure, as trite as it may seem.


    MADHERO: It does sort of feel like a cashgrab, but Aardman is allowed to sell out every now and then. And hey, the first movie was really good


    STICKMAN: I like the first film a lot, it's very charming...it ain't their best, but it was certainly better than Earrllyy Man. This sequel just feels kinda...troubled? I want to be proven wrong, but Aardman have had production dramas with feature films in the past so...I'm a bit concerned.


    RIP PENNY MARSHALL

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    Sadly we have to end with a departure of a beloved filmmaker, this case in the form of actress, writer and director Penny Marshall, who died at the age of 75 from complications with diabetes. A beloved comedian best known for her tv role in Laverne and Shirley, as well as being the Simpsons' first ever guest star, she would find acclaim in directing with the movie Big, which helped turn Tom Hanks into a star as well as becoming the first film directed by a woman to make over a 100 million dollars at the box office, blazing a trail for future women directors like Catherine Hardwick and Patty Jenkins. She also made the Best Picture nominated Awakenings and comedy classic A League  of Their Own. While she sadly didn't do much work after some flops, she will have a documentary out in 2019 about basketball player Dennis Rodman, which will now sadly be released posthumously.


    STICKMAN: We really don't have enough female directors who gain this level of attention even to this day, so it's impressive to see someone making waves all the way back when.


    LARRY: I happen to be pretty familiar with Big and League of Their Own, two excellent films. I definitely didn’t consider though how important they are in a 2018 context. Having these two classic films directed by a woman.


    MADHERO: Yeah, but it took one dud in the form of  Rennaissance Man to be put in Director Jail, which is unfortunate.


    STICKMAN: You do have to question if that would've happened to a male director.


    LARRY: Probably would not have been as likely...


    MADHERO: In that sense, we've come a long way in giving female directors more of a chance, even if progress has been slow, and we have her as one of the trailblazers.


    STICKMAN: And I mean, an acclaimed actress/director combo too. Not shabby at all.


    LARRY: Yeah she was a true talent. May her legacy live on.


    MADHERO: It also can't be overstated how big a deal Big was. That movie launched Tom Hanks into superstardom that he's still a part of, and in his tweet, you can see that he was still grateful for that.


    STICKMAN: For sure. We've got a lot to be thankful for.


    MADHERO: As always, we wish her family and friends our condolences in this difficult time. May she rest in peace.


    LARRY: Time to rewatch Big.


    --------

    MADHERO: Alright, thats it for the news. Its time to spread the holiday cheer with some good ol' fashioned REVIEWS. THAT'S RIGHT, MORE THAN JUST ONE! And I guess we'll start with the big one that we somehow all saw. Kinda baffling that considering how much we've bashed the Worlds of DC, we all ended up seeing Aquaman.


    STICKMAN: OOoh...AAAAAHH. I watched it for free to be fair.


    LARRY: I mean, I was gonna see the Aquaman movie, good or not. I love the comics, I wouldn't miss his first major feature film for the world.


    MADHERO: Its weird to see that movie come to life almost a decade after Entourage made fun of the whole concept. Our stance on the world is pretty clear, so does Aquaman, the first film to come since the Justice League disaster stand a chance? Well, lemme tell you.


    STICKMAN: Please do.


    REVIEW

    AQUAMAN

    DIRECTOR: James Wan (Furious 7, The Conjuring 2)

    STARRING: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Nicole Kidman, Temeura Morrison

    SYNOPSIS: Arthur Curry (Momoa), the reluctant ruler of Atlantis and King of the Seven Seas, finds himself caught between a surface world constantly ravaging the sea and Atlanteans looking to lash out in revolt, but committed to protecting the entire globe.

    MADHERO: There have been few superheroes who've been as much fun of as Aquaman. I mentioned the Entourage bit, but there are of course plenty of other examples of people calling him lame and DC's desperate attempt to make him cool, either with a hook hand or in this case, being played and bro'd up by Jason Momoa. We got our first look at him in Justice League, and that was.... a bit of a mixed bag, but how he's here in his full movie, and considering what he started with, I have to say he made the jump remarkably well. This is a pretty cray cray movie where a drumming octopus only barely scratches the Top 5 of Weirdest Shit in it. Unlike a lot of DC films, which almost felt ashamed of its own source material, Aquaman relishes in it, and with characters like Black Manta and Ocean Master having really accurate looks compared to the comics. Momoa even gets to rock the green, orange combo and it somehow doesn't look absolutely terrible. While the first half is quite the lore dump, it comes more alive in the second half when it becomes a bit more Raiders/Romancing the Stone, with Thor probably the closest thing to compare it too comic book wise.


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    Mind, it doesn't all work, it does follow a fairly standard story when you get down to it and you can probably see just how everything's going to go, but its a film you go to for the spectacle, and director James Wan really delivers on that ,with some bonkers underwater action. I kinda wish the film almost leaned harder in the bonkers element and go full Thor Ragnarok, but that's probably something for a more confident sequel. Of all the DC films, this one is most concerned with giving you a fun time, and for the most part it delivers that, with some hiccups along the way. But what do you guys think?


    STICKMAN: See, for me, this was an entertaining film, but not a particularly good one. As with basically all the DCEU films, it's a mess of different tones, and both overstuffed with concepts, characters and story threads, but simultaneously unsatisfying as a whole narrative. That said, this is probably the most cohesive DCEU film to date and these faults don't get in the way of your enjoyment too much. The humour doesn't really land a lot of the time, the dialogue is pretty mediocre...it's just...mediocre as a whole. It's a fun mediocre, mind, with some occasional breathtaking imagery, although for me a lot of it just felt like generic glitzy CGI city porn.


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    LARRY: Yeah this is the kinda film I would probably hate if it wasn't for my nerdy love for the characters of Aquaman. Seeing the characters brought to life with such accuracy and badassery just made me all giggly in the theater, I was having a ball. But...yeah, the story is needlessly complicated yet thematically dull, the acting is stiff from almost everyone, the writing is, as Sticky said, mediocre, the romance is pretty terrible, and...yeah, at times, it can feel far too CGI-heavy, even if the battle scenes can be very fun. Still, I had a ball with it, and it certainly does bring the spectacle, as you said, Mad.


    MADHERO: I'd disagree about the story itself being convoluted, since it mainly revolves around important Macguffins to become king and whatnot. Its more so the lore and all the details surrounding that, but its fun to see all that on the big screen. Also, regarding acting, I do think Momoa did good as a leading man here. They toned down some of the broiness here while still making him a bit of a meathead, but the guy is effortlessly charming and he seems to have a great time. I also enjoyed Yayha Abdul Mateem as Black Manta. I thought he did good as well


    STICKMAN: Momoa is a very charming lead, proving he was good for the role after Justice League made me question his...and well, everyone's inclusion in the universe. But he doesn't really get a lot of time to be the charming dude he can be, since the film gets bogged down in exposition heavy underwater politics.


    LARRY: Yeah, having multiple MacGuffins kinda defeats the purpose of a MacGuffin. It just felt like we went to all of these places back and forth, in and out, and it didn't seem to accomplish much in terms of themes or tone or anything.


    MADHERO: But Larry, through those travels we got to hear Pitbull's rendition of Africa


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    LARRY: Also, Mamoa really doesn't have chops, I don't find him that charming, it just feels like he's sorta aimlessly saying half of these lines. The only time you like him is when he's in a battle or running off of pure testosterone.


    STICKMAN: I dunno, him getting smashed with his dad was pretty charming.


    LARRY: Yeah, that was a nice moment, but that's largely because he had a great actor to bounce off of.


    MADHERO: Ok, I really disagree with that. He does have a lot of charm and the chemistry he had with Temeura Robinson was also fun. Momoa does not have a ton of range, but I do think they make it work and found him a lot of fun. It felt like Chris Hemsworth in Ragnarok to me, which took some finetuning to get there


    LARRY: Yikes, I definitely wouldn't put this guy on the same level as Chris Hemsworth. Even in the first Thor.


    MADHERO: Also I don't know about you, but I'm perfectly ok with this film barely mentioning any of the other DC stuff.


    STICKMAN: There was literally just one throwaway line about the bad guy from Justice League, and honestly, who remembers him anyway.


    LARRY: The sooner we erase BvS and JL from the cultural consciousness, the sooner we will continue evolving.


    MADHERO: I know it isn't exactly fair, since its pretty much only a battle with Wonder Woman, but where would you rank this among the DC films and superhero films in general. I felt personally that I enjoyed this more than Ant-Man and the Wasp for example.


    STICKMAN: Personally I think this film is the most all in all competent of the DCEU.  Wonder Woman had some amazing moments, but on a whole didn't work for me that well. This was a mess, but it was the most....enjoyable? Hm.


    LARRY: I definitely think WW is a stronger film as a whole, but I enjoyed Aquaman FAR more for a variety of reasons.


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    MADHERO: Alright, I think we'll wrap up cause we've got another review coming up. For me, this felt like a big step forward for the DC movies, even if it still has a lot of growing pains. Its cliche, overly long and takes a while to get going, but I had a good time with it and a lot of the action beats are things you need to see on the big screen. Also I need my drumming octopus spin-off ASAP


    LARRY: Certainly proves that, with the right vision, these movies can be watchable and fun as hell.


    STICKMAN: It wasn't a big step for me, but it was enjoyable...which is a step...I guess? I didn't come away impressed, but I didn't come away wanting to throttle Zack Snyder so that's something I guess.


    ---------

    MADHERO: Alright, now its time for our next review, featuring the sequel with the longest gap between the first and second film, because Mary Poppins is back y'all. Sure, Julie Andrews ain't, but Emily Blunt is there to help the next generation of Banks children alongside Lin Manuel Miranda and some charming 2D animation. Now Larry, you're the only one of us who's seen it, so how is Mary Poppins' comeback?


    LARRY: Well, I'd say it'll make for many a...jolly holiday. Ahem. LAUGH.


    STICKMAN: NEVER


    MARY POPPINS RETURNS

    DIRECTOR: Rob Marshall (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Into the Woods)

    STARRING: Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, Dick van Dyke, Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh, Joel Dawson

    SYNOPSIS: Decades after her original visit, the magical nanny (Blunt) returns to help the Banks siblings (Whishaw, Mortimer) and Michael's children (Davies, Saleh, Dawson) through a difficult time in their lives.

    LARRY: So, yeah, "Mary Poppins Returns," is a fun time at the theater for sure. It's impossible to really compare it to its predecessor because that film has had upwards of 50 years to sink into the cultural consciousness and this one has had about a week. So, whether or not it is as "timeless" as the original bears no meaning to me. All that I care about is if it's a good movie. And is it? Yes!! It's no masterwork, naturally; Disney children's films tend to ere on the side of cliche, and this is no exception. But it's full of fun, whimsical music and plenty of solid performances to boot.


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    Blunt, as Poppins, is absolutely excellent, channeling the energy of Andrews while still making it her own and having fun with it. Miranda is also a fun addition, though his cockney is about as convincing as Van Dkye's was. The 2D animation is genuinely stellar, calling back to classic Disney animation in multiple ways, and the story itself is great for kids and has a message to it that I think people could really benefit from in 2018, that being that there is always a light in the darkness and that there really is nowhere to go but up. It definitely doesn't have the nuance of the original, but it definitely has the charm. So, yeah, take your kids, odds are they'll have a grand ol' time.


    STICKMAN: Mary Poppins always comes across as a massive, self-centered shit to me. She loves looking at herself in the mirror so much her reflection stays behind.


    MADHERO: She acts kinda high and mighty, but that's also cause she kinda is.... She does care about this family. Its really nice to hear that the 2d animation is great. How much of it is there?


    LARRY: Well, similar to the first film, "Returns" is sorta split in chunks, kinda has this episodic feel to the different adventures and stuff. So one of these little adventures takes place entirely in a 2D animated world. So I'd say it's a solid 20 min of animated goodness.


    STICKMAN: Dang. That's pretty hot.


    LARRY: Yeah, and again, it felt so reminiscent of classic Disney animation from the 40s and 50s. I loved it.


    MADHERO: You mention Blunt's take on Poppins and of course Miranda as well. How are all the new actors? I hear some good things about Ben Whishaw as one of the former Banks children


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    LARRY: Yes! Ben Whishaw is solid as a grown-up Michael Banks, and Emily Mortimer really is just the most charming thing as a grown up Jane. They really drive home this idea that this really is Mary Poppins: Chapter 2. Some people may see that as being derivative, I found it more interesting to see how the two films converse with each other.


    MADHERO: How about them new songs? Any of them going to be played over and over?


    LARRY: They're fun!! Marc Shaiman and Scott Whitman are no Sherman Brothers, but they definitely channel the lyrical wittiness and crazy rhymes of the Sherman style. I felt like there was a lack of slower, more meaningful songs, like "Feed The Birds," which again kinda goes back to what I was saying about this film having less nuance.


    STICKMAN: What would P.L. Travers think of this film, given how she felt about the first.


    LARRY: I mean, if she didn't like the first, she ain't gonna like the second.


    STICKMAN: The grave they waited on her being in before getting the rights to do the sequel. A spoonful of sugar helps the cynicism go doooown.


    MADHERO: Yeahhhhhhhh. So without that, what are your overall thoughts? Should you go and see the return of Mary Poppins even if its without Michael Rooker?


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    LARRY: Honestly? If ya like Disney, and are in the mood for something unironically devoid of cynicism, then it's definitely a fun time. Just don't be that asshole who covets the original so much that you can't enjoy a reimagining.


    ------

    MADHERO: Alright, that's it for the double dip of reviews, but if underwater adventures and Disney twee ain't doing it for ya, don't worry, Hollywood's got you covered with a boatload of wide releases. So many that we've had to cut some of the indies and move them to the first 2019 episode.


    STICKMAN: Oh boy oh...boy?


    MADHERO: We've got the good looking, the not so good looking, and the incredibly ill advised. Its gonne be fun for everyone.


    STICKMAN: OH BOY


    LARRY: Let’s see who’s getting our coal this year...


    MOVIES

    BUMBLEBEE

    DIRECTOR: Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings)

    STARRING: Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Jorge Lendeborg Jr, John Ortiz, Angela Bassett, Justin Theroux, Peter Cullen

    SYNOPSIS: On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Steinfeld), on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers the mute Autobot.

    MADHERO: A Transformers movie that's.... good?! ITS A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE


    STICKMAN: Charming? Pretty? WHAT. MY BOOOOY TRAVIS KNIGHT. KUBO AND THE TWO TRANSFORMING ROBOT CARS.


    LARRY: Who knew that, when ya give a franchise to a good director, you’d get a good movie. Shock and awe, shock and awe.


    MADHERO: Who knew all it took for a franchise to be good is to get rid of the thing that made it bad. Look, Michael Bay knows his way around an ad and action scene, but at the cost of.... everything else, so its nice to see something different for a change.


    LARRY: But no yeah, I’m here for this movie. Looks like a ton of fun. Plus, John Cena.


    STICKMAN: It's hard to recognise this as a Transformers movie without the casual racism and booty shots.


    MADHERO: Its kinda funny in retrospect how weirdly mean the Bayformers films were, and I'm glad that we're getting something that actually looks like a fun time that isn't going to be 2.5 hours of metal clashing against metal.


    STICKMAN: Is a cute yellow car robot gonna make me cry? Yes. But then the previous Transfoermers movies made me cry from how awful they were so nothing has changed emotionally.


    MADHERO: After Dark of the Moon, I left my Transformers days behind me, but this might actually make me go and see it in the theaters, and full credit to Travis Knight for delivering a good Transformers movie after a literal decade of dreck.


    LARRY: Yeah I dipped after three. But hey, from what I’ve seen of the BTS, Knight seems to know what he’s doing. So color me curious.


    VICE

    DIRECTOR: Adam McKay (Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, The Big Short)

    STARRING: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Allison Pill, Jesse Plemons, Lily Rabe, Tyler Perry

    SYNOPSIS: A bureaucratic Washington insider (Bale) quietly becomes the most powerful man in the world as Vice-President to George W. Bush (Rockwell), reshaping the country and the globe in ways still felt today.

    MADHERO: Boy this conversation would've gone very different if the reviews hadn't been so surprisingly divided.


    STICKMAN: I was really looking forward to this film but now I feel conflicted.


    LARRY: Yeah, same. This was the yearly “My Dad and I can bond over this” film.


    MADHERO: I still will likely go and see it, but you'd think after Big Short that this would be a slam dunk for Adam McKay but this topic may have been too big for his britches


    STICKMAN: Christian Bale got fat and ugly for nothing.


    MADHERO: Well he might fat and ugly his way up to a nomination at least. Everyone seems to agree that his role as Cheney is the highlight



    LARRY: I’m definitely still gonna see it. I feel like this film probably excels at times, and then doesn’t. I liked Big Short but it certainly wasn’t perfect.


    STICKMAN: Big Short was a weird one but it was entertaining.


    MADHERO: Much of the criticism seems to be about the balancing act of being satire and an straight faced biopic. Apparently a big musical number got cut so that just tells you what kinda crazy shit got left on the cutting room floor.


    STICKMAN: WHAT. Sounds like a South Park bit. #ReleasetheMusicalCut


    LARRY: What the ever living hell... Man I wish I got to see that musical number all about the war in Iraq.


    MADHERO: Cheney tapdancing the night away with all that war profiteering.


    LARRY: Yikes, seeing that big boy tap dancing?


    MADHERO: And as big ol' leftys, its probably gonna scare us to death too.


    STICKMAN: What a bunch of dang snowflakes we are.


    LARRY: We’re really going to need a trigger warning for this.


    MADHERO: We'll just go back to our safe space and move on


    HOLMES AND WATSON

    DIRECTOR: Etan Cohen (Get Hard)

    STARRING: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Rebecca Hall, Ralph Fiennes, Rob Brydon, Kelly Macdonald, Lauren Lapkus, Hugh Laurie, Steve Coogan

    SYNOPSIS: Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson (Ferrell, Reilly) must use their brilliant minds to stop rival James Moriarty (Fiennes) from assassinating the queen.

    STICKMAN: Seems like a lazy rip-off of Sherlock Gnomes to me.


    MADHERO: I feel like this movie is barely being marketed and  that doesn't exactly give me a lot of confidence of what should've been a slam dunk


    LARRY: Right from the fucking selfie joke, I knew I wasn’t gonna vibe with this.


    MADHERO: Maybe Adam McKay should've directed this movie indeed and we could've gotten the full Step Brothers reunion. Release Boats N Hoes 2 and everything. Now we have the director of Get Hard and that ain't no Adam McKay


    STICKMAN: I do like to get hard, to be fair.


    MADHERO: Ferrell and Reilly have such great chemistry together, them goofing it up as Sherlock Holmes and Watson should've been an amazing premise, and maybe it still is, but having seen so little since the first trailer makes me feel like they're trying to bury this film


    LARRY: This doesn’t look like an actually GOOD Holmes movie. It just looks like they got dressed up and made three actual Sherlock jokes.


    MADHERO: Hopefully reviews will say its actually good, but right now I'd suggest the worst. Aw well. Back to Boats N Hoes


    LARRY: Back to good movies.


    STICKMAN: Back to Sherlock Gnomes.


    SECOND ACT

    DIRECTOR: Peter Segal (Get Smart, Grudge Match)

    STARRING: Jennifer Lopez, Vanessa Hudgens, Leah Remini, Annaleigh Ashford, Dan Bucatinsky, Freddie Stroma, Milo Ventimiglia

    SYNOPSIS: Stuck in a low-paying job, a woman (Lopez) gets a chance to fulfill her career ambitions when a private finance firm is misled into believing that she's an accomplished consultant and hire her to handle a major business deal.

    MADHERO: You were saying, Larry?


    LARRY: Oof.


    STICKMAN: Jennifer Lopez fall down and I go ha ha hee hee


    MADHERO: I feel like its heart is in the right place when it comes to its message and then it goes super broad and its like ''ahh, that classic American comedy everyone will forget in a week and a tv staple for years to come'


    LARRY: It looks like Jennifer Lopez wanted a paycheck.



    MADHERO: Hey I want a paycheck too so I can't blame her. Can’t wait to find out she's actually really good at this new job, then she'll be outed by a catty co-worker who we're supposed to hate, and then in the third she comes back and becomes CEO or some shit.


    STICKMAN: Pretty sure  this is just the premise for that Simpsons episode where Marge gets a job at the Nuclear Power Plant.


    LARRY: ...I have nothing else to say about this movie.


    STICKMAN: You gotta PUSH IT REAALL GOOD.


    WELCOME TO MARWEN

    DIRECTOR: Robert Zemeckis (The Walk, Allied)

    STARRING: Steve Carell, Leslie Mann, Merritt Wever, Janelle Monae, Eliza Gonzalez, Gwendoline Christie, Diane Kruger

    SYNOPSIS: A victim of a brutal attack (Carell) finds a unique and beautiful therapeutic outlet to help him through his recovery process.

    STICKMAN: That's a yikes from me, fam.


    MADHERO: Big oof, we're in full misguided mode here.


    LARRY: Shame to see this doesn’t work, but it looked weird from the onset.


    MADHERO: This is the second time he's taken a acclaimed documentary and turned into a film with some questionable decisions after The Walk. Sometimes big swings miss hard.


    STICKMAN: Apparently it loses any sense of the man it's supposed to be about in favour of flashy effects and Zemeckis in-jokes. What a ride.


    MADHERO: I do urge everyone to go watch the documentary Marwencall of which this is based. Yeah you won't get any weird puppet effects, but you will get an really fascinating heartwrenching real life story out of it.


    LARRY: Yeah it seems like a film lost in translation. I’m not sure where he got the mocap doll ideas from.


    MADHERO: Zemeckis loves his mocap what with the Polar Express era of his career


    STICKMAN: Frankly I expected better from the man who helped bring us Mars needs Moms.


    MADHERO: So yeah, now we'll just have to wait for Zemeckis' Wont you Be My Neighbor adaptation with insanely flashy fantasy sequences or something


    STICKMAN: Oh god please no STOP.



    -----------

    MADHERO: Alright, that does it for all the movies. Lets move away from the misguided and go talk about our PLANNED AND NOT AT ALL LAST MINUTE CHRISTMAS MOVIE OF THE WEEEK


    STICKMAN: It's CHRISTMAS!? I HAVEN'T DONE ANYTHING. SHIET.


    LARRY: I didn't notice, personally.


    MADHERO: So yeah, as per tradition, instead of the usual Movie of the Week, we usually go and talk about a Christmas related movie instead. That's what I'd normally say, but honeslty I forgot and tried to fix it at the last minute, but damn it we'll get there, for Santa's and all the children's sake. We're gonna save Christmas somehow


    LARRY: Christmas? I barely know her.


    MADHERO: Damn it, we have to try. Stickman, what's your Movie of the Week and what makes it Christmassy?


    MOVIE OF THE WEEK

    STICKMAN: Uhhhh, well my Christmassy film is the same as the film I was going to talk about anyway? It came out at Christmas...and now has a Christmas album? Soo....YEAAAHH...Spider-Verse, bittchhesss!


    It's not often you get to mid-December and end up watching one of the best films of the entire year, but it happened with this animated gem from....S-s....Sony!? What madness!? We've been hyped for this film since we got our first look at it LAST December, and it's finally here and to say it didn't disappoint would be an understatement. Visually it's fucking outstanding, the characters introduced are all distinct and likeable, the themes and story are massively entertaining...it's funny, it's touching, it's dark, it's wacky, it's all the things.  But ah...uhh...to tie it into Christmas...Spider-Man...the Peter Parker one...no not that one, the...yeah....he released  a Christmas album you see. And you can actually get it right now. It's a real album.


    MADHERO: Hey, it has an officially released Christmas album with songs and everything. That counts. Also the movie is fucking baller.


    STICKMAN: The song in the credits alone was a hoot. A whole album's worth is somethin'


    LARRY: It truly is a Christmas miracle that this film turned out as good as it did.


    MADHERO: Yeah, there's so much to talk about this film. I'm not quite ready to call it the best Spider-Man film ever, but boy is it up there. From the different interpretations that leads to different animation styles to the overall look of the film.


    STICKMAN: It's also proof that you can have an emotionally engaging scene without sad pianos and big teary eyes, just a bit of epically scored rap music and a CHARACTER'S DEFINING MOMENT.


    LARRY: Oh, I'm very ready to call it the best Spider-Man film ever. I'll drop that mic in an instant. It's just brilliantly crafted from start to finish, and its themes on diversity in superheroism are so ridiculously resonant right now.


    MADHERO: I like how it gives us so many different interpetations of the characters. Not just the obvious like Spider-Ham and the like, but the fact that Miles Morales is a very different type of Spider-Man and the main Peter Parker here is an interesting change as well.


    STICKMAN: And we can all agree it just SCREAAAMS Christmas, right?


    LARRY: Hey, Spidey-Bells is a new Christmas CLASSIC.


    MADHERO: And hey, it has that Christmas Album, so we're good for now. How about you, Larry?


    LARRY: Heh heh, mine is FAR less Christmas-y.


    STICKMAN: You damn fucked up boy. But go on.


    LARRY: My MOTW is "If Beale Street Could Talk," the latest project from "Moonlight" director Barry Jenkins, a film I am still processing out of how much it shook me. Like his previous work, it's a very humble project that takes its time telling a devastating story, and while it certainly may not be for everyone, those who enjoy slower, thought-provoking, poetic films definitely cannot miss this one.


    Simply put, it's a beautiful piece, filled with smooth camerawork, a riveting score, and incredible direction from Jenkins, who also delivered the exceptional script. Everyone is pushing for Regina King to get a best supporting nomination, which she certainly deserves, but KiKi Layne and Stephan James are the true stars of this film, delivering some of the more subtle, nuanced chemistry I've seen in any film ever. In many ways, this reminded me of "Carol," a film from 2015 that is similar in the sense that it is almost solely a romantic drama that doesn't feel unwarrantedly pretentious or overly mushy and gushy. It's just a damn great film. See it.


    MADHERO: Oh no, that's not very Christmassy. But on the other hand a new Barry Jenkins movie is pretty sweet


    LARRY: Yeah, see this film asap. This is definitely in my Top 5 of the year, no question.


    MADHERO: I definitely will, likely at a festival where I saw Moonlight and Q&A with Jenkins afterwards. I'm glad he's able to continue his streak, as well as adapting fairly difficult subject matter.


    STICKMAN: We all just namedropping Barry Jenkins on Screwvies now huh. Wellll...I....saw ....him at Tesco. There.


    MADHERO: We'll get to that at some point. But as good as it is, it isn't exactly that related to Christmas. Are you sure there's nothing there? Not even a tree?


    LARRY: Um... No, not really. I just wanted to talk about a good movie. Sorry.


    MADHERO: Damn. I guess its up to me to save Christmas


    STICKMAN: I HAD...ELEMENTS OF CHRISTMAS.


    MADHERO: Alright, I could be talking about Alfonso Cuaron's latest masterpiece Roma, but that didn't seem to fit into the holiday spirit, so I decided to talk about a film that's probably going to be a Christmas classic for a while to come: Netflix's Christmas Chronicles. The film follows a teen brother and younger sister, with the former starting to grow out of the Christmas spirit, especially after a family tragedy, but the sister keeps believing, and lo and behold, Santa is real, and he's played by none other than Snake Plissken himself, Kurt Russell.


    It can't be undersold just how much Kurt Russell is the main draw of this. He goes for it as a slightly grumpier more wearier Santa. One who's a tad done with all the stereotypes and cliches. He steals the movie and makes it an absolute blast. The movie drags when it focuses on the kids’ drama, as well as some Minion style elves, and you just want to get back to Russelclaus. It’s a very servicable Christmas film that everyone can find something to enjoy in. Not bad from the director of the Angry Birds movie


    STICKMAN: I'll stick with The Thing for my wintery Russell fix.


    LARRY: I'm surprised this is actually watchable. But, leave it to Kurt Russell. He made Furious 7 delightful.


    MADHERO: I honestly can't understate how much Russell adds to this film and instantly makes it better. He's easily in the Top 5 Santa's portrayed in film, at least that I can think of.


    STICKMAN: Does he top… Uhhh. I can't really think  of any memorable Santas.


    MADHERO: Probably my favorite Santa is Richard Attenborough in the Miracle on 34th Street remake. He was delightful in that. Russell has a very different take, but he sells the hell out of it.


    STICKMAN: Netflix always love to crank out some corny Christmas shite, this time it seems to have gone better than they probably planned.


    LARRY: Ya got Tim Allen from Santa Clause, Tom Hanks from Polar Express, Paul Giamatti in Fred Claus. Plenty of interpretations to top.


    MADHERO: Polar Express relevant now thanks to memes. But yeah, out of the mountain of coal that consists of Christmas movies on Netflix, this one is genuinely worth checking out.


    STICKMAN: I'll pass but hey, not everything can be Die Hard.


    ---------

    MADHERO: There, I saved Christmas just in time. I think that makes it time to go and wrap up for this year.


    LARRY: More like time to go and wrap up THESE PRESENTS. Aha. ha. hehe.


    STICKMAN: What did you get me for Christmas, fellers. Something expensive I hope.


    MADHERO: O you'll see on Christmas Eve. Can't spoil everything just yet. Anyways, happy holidays and a happy 2019 in advance. We'll be back with one last look back at 2018, but for now we'll go and enjoy our eggnog or whatever.


    STICKMAN: See y'all in 2019 for more of this bullshit. HAVE A GOOD ONE.


    LARRY: Peace out, broskis.

  • At The Screwvies: Episode 123

    2 months ago

    g1Features

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    Stickman: Hey! ....hey? HELLO!? MAD!? OH GOD...HE'S NOT HERE...I HAVE TO BE RESPONSIBLE...DO I HAVE TO EDIT THIS THING MYSELF!? OH GOD. OH NOOOOO. OH GAWwwwwwwwWwwwwwwWWWWWWWWWWWWWWDDD. Hey.


    Larry: Ahem, I’m here tooooo.


    Stickman: Oh hey Larry, what's up. Ready to talk about movies with slightly more length than usual in order to cover for a missing member of our team?


    Larry: Oh hell yeah. That’s the only thing I’m good at.


    Stickman: There's no big news or anything to cover, or any critically acclaimed potential Oscar upsets in the waiting later on. So frankly, why bother, huh? OH WELL, HERE WE GOOOO.


    Larry: LETS A GO MANNNN



    NEWS

    AVENGERS: ENDGAME NAME AND TRAILER REVEALED

    For a long time now...even before the release of Infinity War, the question on the mind of a lot of Marvel fans...and clickbaiting media sites has been...just WHAT is Untitled Avengers Movie, the fourth installment of the epic crossover franchise? After Infinity War itself left cinema-going audiences reeling from its shocking snap of a twist the question became even moooore tantalising. We were told it was a spoiler for the movie, we were told we'd have to wait until the end of the year to find out. Well...it's the end of the year, and they stayed true to their word. AVENGERS: ENDGAME....is a somewhat generic and pre-leaked name that didn't need concealing from the world like it was proof of alien life. Thankfully, alongside the name we got our first look at the film in action via a brief but effective teaser...SPOILERS...everyone is sad, except Ant-Man, he's doing pretty okay. We see the surviving Avengers members ...and Ant-Man as they deal with the fallout of Thanos' universe halving victory, Captain America and his remaining pals working out a final plan..or...END GAME if you will to fight Thanos, whilst Tony Stank slowly dies of cold and oxygen depletion alone in space. Except probably not because damn that'd be dark. Anyway, not much to go off, but still...pretty exciting stuff.


    Larry: Oh hey, the trailer nobody could shut up about regarding the release date.


    Stickman: God, even I got fed up with the speculation, and I was ready to cum to this thing.


    Marvel kept quiet literally until the second they posted the damn thing, and even then they left out the name.


    Larry: Yeah it was ridiculously excessive. But thankfully, the trailer was pretty worth the wait, especially for us patient ones.


    Stickman: It was a pretty somber but exciting tease of bigger things to come. Also Ant-Man was there.


    Larry: Absolutely. We got just enough information to keep us enticed, some exciting character reveals, and a few jokes too.


    Stickman: Kinda lacked in terms of spectacle, though. Unless you count Captain America crying his lil babyface out.


    Larry: Eh, after what happened at the end of Infinity War, I think a little less spectacle could do us all some good. Still not over those last five minutes.


    Stickman: I mean I want it to go big evenntuallly, don't need to show us that in the trailers mind. They could just show the logo and people would turn up to see what happens next. Which in a way they kinda did with this teaser. It's not the fastest viewed trailer of ALL TIIIIME


    Larry: And that poster tho. I may like that as a whole more than the very trailer itself to be honest.


    Stickman: Another one for the colourful A collection.


    Larry: It’s like the meme but ridiculously dark and heart-churning.


    Stickman: It was a pretty good teaser, and paired with the fun second Captain Marvel trailer? MCU looking good for 2019 boooooyy.


    Larry: And that’s not even the last of our Marvel trailers maybe possibly it hasn’t come out yet but HOPEFULLY IT WILL BY THE TIME THIS IS POSTED.


    Stickman: The future people will know better than us foolish past persons. MOVING ON.



    SPIDER VERSE SPINOFFS

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    So, apparently "Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse" lives up to the hype and then some (which we'll get to laterrrrrrr), and Sony, specifically Sony Pictures Animation, has so much dang faith in it that they are already fast-tracking some extensions of the brand, including a sequel and an all-female spinoff!! Digging into the details, Joaquim Dos Santos ("ATLA," Netflix's "Voltron") will be directing the sequel from a script by "Wonder Woman 1984" scribe David Callaham. The all-female spinoff, centered around the heroine characters within the Spidey universe (and likely to be lead by Spider-Gwen, who we follow for a bit in Spider-Verse), has Lauren Montgomery in negotiations to direct, with Bek Smith (who did some work for "Captain Marvel") writing that script. Amy Pascal will produce both projects, and many others (from geniuses like Lord and Miller to...lesser so creatives like Avi Arad) will most likely jump on board. Usually, when we hear of early sequels in development like this, we are one to criticize. But, seeing as Spider-Verse is getting pretty much universal acclaim, seems as though Sony aren't really jumping too far. Plus, given the diversity of the film, I love seeing the focus on an all-female spinoff, smart move Sony (wow I actually just typed that). How this is gonna balance against the Venom universe is hard to say, but all I know is that at least we'll get one place for quality Spooder-dude content!! Huzzah!!



    Stickman: Oh damn, I'm more excited for the base film right now cuz DEM REVIEWS THOUGH.


    Larry: Yeah man I’m kinda riding this hype train like a motherfucker. Some are calling it the best Spider-Man movie...ever.


    Stickman: Just a few daaays to gooooo. Sony know they got an actual hit this time, so they aren't gonna waste the ready-baked potential of the expanded universe. It's still not gonna make the same bank as Venom, mind. Because we live in hell.


    Larry: Sadly... But the movie will surely be better and that’s what matters.


    Stickman: Helllll yeah. It's good to know a sequel is in the works, and once again Sony have lined up an all female spin-off...which will be the third time they've attempted to set one up in a Spider-Man cinematic universe. Maybe this one will actually happen.


    Larry: Well with this good of a foundation, the diversity is much appreciated. I’ll keep my eye out on ol’ Spidey Gwen


    Stickman: I'm always here for Spider-Gwen. I'd only be more here for Spider-Ham.


    Larry: SPIDER. HAM. The campaign for John Mulaney for Best Actor starts now.


    Stickman: More like Best...uhhh....PigPun...for...actor...nnn...never mind. He really...gonna BRING HOME THE BACONN. HhhH...YEAAH.


    Larry: Gooooooood one.


    Stickman: Stop bullying meee. Anyway, I'm really glad Sony have finally landed on their feet, and with such a unique looking project to boot. I just hope they can maintain the quality across the spin-offs...because god knows Sony doesn't actually care if the film comes out well or not.


    Larry: And let’s hope Avi Arad’s involvement is to a minimal extent, yeah?


    Stickman: Oh god. DON'T BLOW THIS FOR US, SONY. MOVING ON.



    KEVIN HART SIGNS UP, STEPS DOWN FROM OSCAR HOST GIG

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    ...hooo boy, alright. So, not too long ago, The Academy, after an apparently difficult search to fnd a host for the upcoming 2019 Oscars ceremony, announced that comedian Kevin Hart ("Central Intelligence," "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle") would host the show to a resounding....oh, cool, okay whatever. So all was well and good...until the internet decided to throw a wrench in the works. Apparently, between 2009 and 2011, Kevin Hart posted some homophobic tweets, which people decided to dig up and remind everyone of. Additionally, a portion of his early standup involved him making jokes about the possibility of his son being gay, and how he wouldn't want that to happen. He claims it was a joke centered on his own insecurities, but nevertheless, it's messy looking back. Anyway, so the Academy saw these tweets and asked Kevin Hart to apologize, and Hart decided not to, instead going on Instagram with a video claiming he already apologized, and that he had moved on from all of this years ago. It certainly wasn't a...sensitive reply, and when given an ultimatum choice to either apologize or lose the job, Kevin Hart stepped down as host, but ended up officially apologizing to the LGBTQ community via a tweet. And so, this entire mess has put the Academy back on square one. Who will be host next? Will they also have five year old homophobic tweets? Will the cancel culture ever end? Only time will tell...for now, I would like to remind everyone that Night School was pretty pants.



    Stickman: AHAHAHAHAHA, what a ride.


    Larry: Oof. Big, BIG oof.


    Stickman: What's especially funny is how easy this could've just blown over, but he made a big stance out of it and lost his dream job, and now the Academy are boned again.


    Larry: Yeah, it all sucks. It sucks the cancel culture makes shit like this happen in the first place, it sucks Hart couldn't just man up and apologize, it sucks that he lost the opportunity cuz I felt like he was a solid choice, it sucks cuz the Academy is now probably scrambling to find a new pick. Like, Christ, the ceremony is in THREE MONTHS. LESS.


    Stickman: People keep bringing up this cancel culture, but he chose to not apologise, and then chose to step down over it. Like...the Academy were probably too desperate to actually ditch him.


    Larry: Perhaps. But even so, Hart did apologize for the standup at least. It's not like Hart is this homophobic person still working, he made off-kilter jokes, and then publicly made a statement at how he doesn't do those jokes anymore because the times are changing, and then he moved on.

    He should have apologized again, especially since he has never formally apologized for those tweets. But I can understand frustration is having this whole whirlwind get swept up over shit you got over five years ago.


    Stickman: Well the thing is what he said on Twitter wasn't jokey, it was more....hatespeechy. Like talking about how he'd throw a dolls house at his kid if he wanted to play with it, and then justified this by saying he'd do everything he could to stop his kid being gay. That's not a jooooke that's just....a shitty mentality. That's not to say he hasn't changed? But...he refused to apologise about it? So....yeah? Makes you wonder, whereas if he just said sorry this wouldn't even be a conversation.


    Larry: He really hasn't formally apologized, until the announcement tweet anyhow, so I definitely think he should have. It wasn't like Gunn who actually definitely had apologized for it before.

    But it just worries me that people can't really let things be. To be honest, anything before 2016, to me, is subject to time and change. A shit ton of stuff has happened over the last two years, and it has opened a lot of people's eyes.


    Stickman: I feel it's a case by case thing, and his reaction to it resurfacing was pretty stupid, so that's on him regardless. Either way... the Oscars once again remains hostless, and it sounds like it's getting hard to find anyone who actually wants to do it.


    Larry: It's also just very cherrypick-y to me. Jimmy Kimmel literally did blackface once and nobody called him out. Donald Glover used to make black jokes and asian jokes in his standup, nobody ever calls him out.


    Stickman: Donald Glover ain't hosted the Oscars bruv.


    Larry: I'm saying he was a prominent black comedian. Cancel culture just isn't a consistent way of judging these things. Broad strokes. Good luck to the Academy in finding ANY replacement now, they're fucked honestly.


    Stickman: I don't feel like this is 'cancel culture'. It was his choice to not apologise, it wouldn't have been an issue otherwise. They may have held the knife but he chose to run into it. It was an easy dodge and he tumbled headfirst into a shitstorm so, whoops.


    Larry: Well, in my opinion, had the comments not resurfaced, nothing would have even had to be done, period. I don't think anyone looks good here. But I'm not gonna just overlook how the dominos began falling.


    Stickman: The Academy literally didn't do anything so it's not cancel anything. ANYWAY....look forward to the Oscars being hosted by an inanimate carbon rod this February. Moviiing oonn.




    CANDYMAN GETTING A REBOOT FROM JORDAN PEELE

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    Ever since his directorial debut with Get Out, Jordan Peele has been the big man about town in Hollywood. Numerous projects are in the works with his varying degrees of involvement, most notably being his upcoming second film 'Us', which is out next year...but there's just a whole buncha cool sounding shit in the pipeline. Another project joined that roster this week, as after some earlier rumours in the year, we finally got confirmation that Peele is set to produce and co-write a reboot of the cult 90s slasher Candyman. This politically relevant (If not a little cheesy) horror seems like a perfect fit for the guy, and he's said the original was an longtime inspiration for him to get into filmmaking in the first place. Up and coming director Nia DaCosta is set to direct, with Tessa Thompson and Lily James lined up to star, with a 2020 release date in mind for the film. Honestly, this is one of those films that's well due a reboot, and you can't do much better than with an early team of this quality. Bee wranglers, start your engines.



    Larry: So I have zero clue what this is about or what it’s gonna be like. So. Here goes nothing.


    Stickman: Candyman was about a urban legend in a crime-heavy urban development region that drives people insane and to murder for him, or kills people if they say his name in the mirror three times. Also some beeeees.


    Larry: Ooh, bees? I’m sold.


    Stickman: He has them in his mouth. Now...the original Candyman is actually pretty unique and interesting, got a great atmosphere....but it ain't a perfect film and it's drowning in dated 90s tropes. The idea of having a contemporary remake/sequel worked on by Jordan Peele, who's already proven himself a master of politically charged horror? Yes please.


    Larry: Yeah it’s really exciting to see him take on another project that fits his creative interests.


    Stickman: It's a shame he ain't directing, but let's face it, he's a busy boy.


    Larry: He’s directing something else ain’t he?


    Stickman: Yup, he's directing US...by which I mean the film Us, not us as people...I think? I haven't checked, maybe he's in the wardrobe.


    Larry: Hmmm maybe.


    Stickman: Anyhow, this is a fun project, maybe watch the original Candyman, Larry. DO SOME HOMEWORK, GEEZ.


    Larry: Either way yeah it’s good to see him continuing on in the horror genre. I’m glad he had a hit and is trying to follow through.


    Stickman: Don't blow it, Peeeeeele. Moooving on.



    GOLDEN GLOBES 2019 NOMINEES ANNOUNCED

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    It's around that time of year, when the Oscar's estranged, drunkard step-brother the Golden Globes announce their nominees, and the results are quite interesting. For starters, "Vice," the Adam McKay biopic about Dick Cheney, which has yet to even have its review embargo dropped, led the pack with six nominations. Other big hitters included "The Favourite" and "Green Book" with five nominations in the comedy categories, and "BlacKkKlansman" and "A Star Is Born" leading the drama categories with five as well. Other interesting nominations included one for "Black Panther" in the Best Picture Drama category, and one for Crazy Rich Asians in the Best Picture Comedy (or musical) category, and even though the Globes are generally more mainstream, these are two high profile diversity showcases, so it's nice to see some love! It's also worth noting that "Incredibles 2," "Isle of Dogs," "Mirai," "Ralph 2," and "Spider-Verse" round out the animation category, leaving "Early Man," in the dust, sadly. As always, there were plenty of people looking out for the snubs, with A24 fans especially feeling underrepresented. Besides for a nomination for Elsie Fisher in "Eighth Grade" (which is admittedly amazing), not a single one of A24's four major awards contenders received nominations, leaving "First Reformed," "Hereditary," and "mid90s" with cold Oscar chances. Other films assumed to be contenders such as "Widows" and "First Man" also fell short. Alas, we cannot all be winners. It'll be interesting to see how this aligns with the Academy's nominations come next year, but for now, let's drink a martini and get ready to fuck around come Globes night in January!



    Stickman: RIP Aardman, murdered forever.


    Larry: Basically. "Early Man" didn't really have a strong foundation, honestly.


    Stickman: How dare you, Early Man was....a ...film that existed which had ...some merits. But I guess other things were nominated at this awards too. I've never really seen eye to eye with the Golden Globes, and this year is no different.


    Larry: So odd that Vice, which nobody has seen reviews for, is leading the pack. Same thing with Mary Poppins getting an admittedly obligatory nom under the same circumstances...


    Stickman: To be fair Mary Poopins Returns is in several Best Films of 2018 lists and it's not out for like three weeks.


    Larry: Yeah it's so fucking weird. Just goes to show the privilege these critics have in seeing this films so damn early.


    Stickman: I think these things get shown pretty far in advance and get embargo'd...but still want awards nominations.


    Larry: I guess. Just feels a little weirdddd ya know


    Stickman: It's a good sign for both though...right? Although The Tourist got nominated for a Golden Globe so never mind.


    Larry: Yikes. But hey SPIDER-VERSE


    Stickman: Heeeyyy


    Larry: YEEEEE THIRD TIME MENTIONED IN THIS SHOW SO FARRRR. OR SECOND DEPENDING ON THE NEWS STORY ORDER. OR FIRST, IDK, EDITING.


    Stickman: What do we think about Black Panther being in there. It certainly ain't gonna best special effectsss, cuz geeez.


    Larry: Me? Eh, I dunno. s'a good movie. Not sure I believe it's "Best Picture" caliber qualitatively, but I understand how as a diversity pick it bumps ratings.


    Stickman: Infinity War was betterrrrrr and I'll die on that hill.


    Larry: But I much rather prefer a Moonlight that actually advances the medium is substantial ways getting recognition that ALSO have diversity.


    Stickman: We don't really have a Moonlight this year.


    Larry: Except Beale Street. But only cuz Jenkins.


    Stickman: You just want another hoodie from him.


    Larry: I had issues with both Marvel films, honestly. I don't really consider Marvel films worthy of getting awards recognition because they don't usually do much that I would consider deserving of awards votes.


    Stickman: Needed to see Thanos' bum, I understand.


    Larry: You can argue IW is just such an EVENT film that it should be recognized, but that's more of a consumerist angle on it. At least BP brought diversity and afro-futurism to the screen. Still, I always base my awards love on storytelling first and foremost.


    Stickman: Honestly movie awards are about what's best and not what's most the significant or diverse. If those intersect with the nominees? Then great, but it shouldn't be a requirement. If you make a damn good movie you shouldn't be locked out for not changing the world at the same time. THAT'S JUST ME THOUGH.


    Larry: Totally agree. That's why I would nominate Eighth Grade, for example. And why I'm upset it's not getting more love. That's a perfect example of a film that tells a story and, filmically, is basically perfect in its execution of emotionally investing you in it.


    Stickman: I AIN'T EVEN SEEN. Either way, awards season is fuckin going strong now. We're all trapped on this crazy train for another 3 months. God help us all. MOVING ON.



    MARVEL AND DC UPDATES GALORE

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    What's that I hear you say? YOU LIKE COMIC BOOK MOVIES? WEELLLL HAVE ALLLL THE COMIC BOOK MOVIES IN THE WOOOOOORLLD! With DC's next film out in a matter of weeks, and Marvel throwing out a slate of trailers for their 2019 cinematic lineup, you'd be forgiven for thinking this week's news would thoroughly be set in the next 12 months...but you'd be WROOONG. It's not an episode of Screwvies without either a Disney live action remake or a DCEU project being announced...or both...and this week it's DC's turn to get yet more projects crammed into its already overflowing mess of a unscheduled schedule. First up, we have Blue Beetle, which would become the first Latino lead superhero movie., based on the DC character of the same name who's modern incarnation has a fucking sweet ass suit, I tell you what. Not only that but everyone's least favourite member of the Flash TV series' cast PLASTIC MAN is getting his own film, disconnected from said, increasingly mediocre TV show. The latter is in early development, whilst the former has been rumoured for some time and has a couple people attached to write and produce. Woooo.

    It's not just DC though OHH NOOO, the MCU is getting its own development story. Having thoroughly burned Iron Fist to the ground with its Netflix show, Marvel are aiming to launch their first Asian led film in the form of the somewhat obscure character Shang-Chi, who just so happens to be a martial arts superhero...oh yes, another one. Not much else is known at this point, but it's likely Marvel want to continue forwards with a more diverse assortment of stars following on from the previously discussed Endgame. Wooorks for me. There sure are a fuckton of comic book movies in the works.



    Larry: These all kinda sound awesome.


    Stickman: I have no faith in Plastic Man after watching The Flash TV show. He's dead to me.


    Larry: I’ve been waiting on a Plastic Man film for YEARS. FOR YEARS. GIVE IT TO ME.


    Stickman: HE TURNED INTO A GIANT WOOPIE CUSHION LARRY. HE'S BEING USED AS A VEHICLE FOR INFLATION FETISHSM I SWEAR.


    Larry: Okay well that’s kinda stupid admittedly, but the character is really fun and, with the right character actor, it could be amazing.


    Stickman: Do you trust the DCEU though, Larry? I don't. Not yet anyway.


    Larry: I guess it, I guess this is the fan excitement in me screaming.


    Stickman: My inner DC fan died when it watched Justice League. But hey, Blue Beetle got a cool ass suit. A cool ass suit that'll be hard to translate to live aaacction, mind.


    Larry: Yeah the Blue Beetle is a really great character, I’m glad he’s getting a film.

    And more diversity!!


    Stickman: With their powers combined...they have....buggy....stretchy....something. I think diversity is the key thing, with both Blue Beetle and the MCU project. Filling gaps in diversity has proven to be a big factor, and as long as it isn't gay people, Disney are all about it.


    Larry: Lol important detail there. But yeah, it’s good to see underrepresented communities getting superheroes to look up to, what with this and Spider-Verse.


    Stickman: It's good...if the films are good, y'know? I trust Marvel to put out something that's at least entertaining. At this point I don't feel the same way towards DC, and they have about 50,000 more projects in the works.


    Larry: Yeah we obviously trust Marvel more. If DC just did good shit with all of the projects they try and put out, we’d be fine. We would get excited. But nay.


    Stickman: I'd settle for at least enjoyable, but we'll seeee...these projects are all very early in the works and may never even happen...if they do? We might actually be at a point in time where they've got their shit together...if the world hasn't been destroyed by a nuclear holocaust prior.


    Larry: And it seems like we’re getting closer and closer to balancing out the diversity issue. Slowly getting closer.


    Stickman: One day it won't even be a selling point. I HOPE....nnn...moooving on.


    Larry: True. Oh well. Take what ya get, I guess.



    -----



    Stickman: Alright, so that was the news...we may or may not have had some things in there depending on what actually happened in the future. By which I mean we totally wrote this in order. Mhmm. ANYWAY, there's movies out this week...there's some good ones tooooOooooo....and not a Star Wars film in sight. Noice.


    Larry: Wow, that’s a shocker. What are we getting, fifteen a day now or something?


    Stickman: Imagine if Solo a Star Wars Solo Story had been this year's big Christmas release.


    Larry: What a world.


    Stickman: We're not quite at the BIIIIIG Christmas release...but we got some pretty big ones still, INCLUDING THIS LITTLE HUM DINNNGERRR



    MOVIES


    SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE

    DIRECTOR: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman (Rise of the Guardians) 

    STARRING: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Nicolas Cage, John Mulaney, Kimiko Glenn

    SYNOPSIS: Miles Morales (Moore) crosses parallel dimensions and teams up with the Spider-Men (Johnson, Steinfeld, Cage, Mulaney, Glenn) of those dimensions to stop a threat to all reality.



    Stickman: YAAASS


    Larry: HYPE TRAIN. CHOO CHOO.


    Stickman: Who'd of thought something that we first heard about through Sony emails leaked by the North Koreans would turn out this awesome?


    Larry: Oh shit was it really from that? That feels like forever ago...


    Stickman: It was, it was like 4 or 5 years ago. Animated Spider-Man been in the works a long time, but it's almost here, and it was seemingly well worth the wait, given it's currently 100% on Rotten Tomatoes with an average of 9/10 and 80 reviews so far.


    Larry: See like, I knew this was gonna be good. But THIS good? I can’t say I was ready: I’m about to nut in the theatre.


    Stickman: I thought it looked beautiful but had some reservations about the tone...but looks like I need not fear.


    Larry: NO FEAR HERE.


    Stickman: This feels like a late contender to break Disney's Animated Feature streak at the Oscars...providing it gets nominated, Phil and Chris don't have the best of luck with that category. Never thought a Spider-Man animated movie would be the one to do it, but I'll be glad if it does.


    Larry: I’d be happy if Lord and Miller were able to give a big F U to the Academy should they win. Still no excuse for the LEGO Movie’s snub.


    Stickman: God that still stings so hard. GOD DAMNIT. Still, this is looking to cap off the year on a high note, both for animation and cinema in general.


    Larry: Some are calling it one of the best of the YEAR. IM SO HYPE.


    Stickman: I'M FUCKIN' READY SON. MOVING ON.



    MORTAL ENGINES


    DIRECTOR: Christian Rivers (second unit director of Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit) 

    STARRING: Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan, Hugo Weaving, Jihae, Ronan Raftery, Stephen Lang 

    SYNOPSIS: A mysterious young woman named Hester Shaw (Hilmar) joins forces with Anna Fang (Jihae), a dangerous outlaw with a bounty on her head, and Tom Natsworthy (Sheehan), an outcast from London, to lead a rebellion against a giant predator city on wheels.


    Stickman: Oh...well...then there's this one. Hrm.


    Larry: Hm. Mad Max Fury Road met up with Civilization and made one hell of a baby.


    Stickman: This is either going to be fucking awesome, or a huge trainwreck....or....giant city on wheels wreck. Wait what.


    Larry: I hear it’s not really either but closer to the latter if anything.


    Stickman: Can't believe it. It's weird because they've been promoting this film since LAST Christmas I swear. Like...they really wanted to get the word out about this film..which has...things in it.


    Larry: I mean it definitely has a lot of things in it.


    Stickman: It sure does. More things mean better films right. Wait what.


    Larry: Well to a man like Peter Jackson it certainly does.


    Stickman: He didn't even direct this film, too busy making historically significant WW1 film restorations.


    Larry: Putting more time and effort into keeping history alive over boom crash explosion car fun? What a nerddddd.


    Stickman: There's a lotta CGI shit going on, lotta weird fantasy shit...Hugo Weaving is here. It's got all the hallmarks of a disasterpiece. OH WELL, I never thought I'd see the day where London on wheels wasn't a good film premise. Bummer.


    Larry: Yeah this feels similar to Nutcracker in the sense that it feels ridiculously fake due to all of the CGI and shit.


    Stickman: I wish someone would crack Peter Jackson in the nuts for making this film. MOVING ON.


    Larry: OOH BURN. Only the most savagery here At The Screwvies.



    THE MULE


    DIRECTOR: Clint Eastwood (Sully, The 15:17 to Paris)

    STARRING: Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Pena, Dianne Wiest, Andy Garcia

    SYNOPSIS: A 90-year-old horticulturist and WWII veteran (Eastwood) is caught transporting $3 million worth of cocaine through Michigan for a Mexican drug cartel.

    Stickman: Oh hey, remember Clint Eastwood? He's back, in mule form.


    Larry: Oh, Clint. You really must stop with these filmy shenanigans.


    Stickman: There was a point in time where a Clint Eastwood directed film was something to anticipate. We got two this year and both ended up pretty pants. I mean, I guess that's presumptuous of me but...I mean.


    Larry: See I liked Sully a lot, more than most. But even I’m here to admit that American Sniper is pants lol. I really can’t say I ever look forward to these.


    Stickman: That baby in American Sniper was more believable than the acting in Train to Paris I hear.


    Larry: Oh, ya don’t say?


    Stickman: I do say actually.


    Larry: Certainly was less stiff I’m sure. Untrained actors surprisingly don’t make good actors in a strictly scripted film.


    Stickman: There was a point, with Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino....Flags of our Fathers? Clint Eastwood made good shit. Nowdays you brace for a mess...and that's not including when he yells at empty chairs.


    Larry: Ugh Million Dollar Baby is excellent. Wish we got more films like that.


    Stickman: I don't think I could emotionally handle any more films like that.


    Larry: True but let’s still get ‘em lol


    Stickman: I also can't handle The Mule....I wish it was an animated movie where Clint Eastwood plays a talking mule going on an adventure. But alas, it's another gritty crime caper. Ah well, we'll always have the Gorillaz song.


    Larry: Sounds closer to The Star. Remember that?


    Stickman: I do, that film...sure existed.


    Larry: Clint Eastwood shoulda voiced the donkey and they shoulda called it “The Mule.”


    Stickman: There we go, problem solved. MOVING ON.



    IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK


    DIRECTOR: Barry Jenkins (Medicine for Melancholy, Moonlight)

    STARRING: KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Teyonah Parris, Regina King, Colman Domingo, Brian Tyree Henry

    SYNOPSIS: A woman (Layne) in Harlem desperately scrambles to prove her fiancé (James) innocent of a crime while carrying their first child.

    Stickman: OH SHIT. DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK


    Larry: MY BOI BARRY. Throwback to when he Venmo’d me $75 for an A24 hoodie.


    Stickman: Barrrrryyy....JeeeYnNnNKkiinnsssaah. Did he actually do that?


    Larry: Yeah, it was a Twitter thing.


    Stickman: What a boss.


    Larry: We’re friends on Venmo. Claim to fame.


    Stickman: I wanna be friends with Barry Jenkins, fuck you.


    Larry: So does the world.


    Stickman: Anyway, this film looks pretty daaaamn swell.


    Larry: But watching his films certainly paints a portrayal of him. I feel like his films are very symbolic of who he is as a voice in the industry.


    Stickman: This and Moonlight portray a smoking fetish of his but y'know.


    Larry: Yes, this is true.


    Stickman: I'll still watch it...if I get a chance, and if I can emotionally handle iiiit.


    Larry: Yeah I’m definitely going to seek this one out.


    Stickman: Moonlight got to me, it was very pooowerful stuff.


    Larry: Ya don’t miss a Jenkins joint no more.


    Stickman: I actually was pretty bummed out for a while after seeing it, which says a lot about its IMPACT.


    Larry: Indeed, I definitely slept on it when I first watched it, looking back on a second and third viewing, it’s iconic.


    Stickman: It's great stuff, and this seems like another hit for him. Gonna be rolling in A24 merchandise money, son.


    Larry: Yeah the praise has been non-stop, with Regina King’s performance in particular stirring up the awards buzz.


    Stickman: This is definitely going to be in the awards conversation, although the buzz seems to have died down to the point where maybe it might just be in that conversation and not lead it. Early days yet mind.


    Larry: Nah, The Favourite is definitely leading it. But it’s definitely in the conversation.


    Stickman: I wonder if any of the other films todaaay will be in the coversatioooon, let's seEEEEEEEeeeee.



    VOX LUX


    DIRECTOR: Brady Corbet (The Sleepwalker, The Childhood of a Leader)

    STARRING: Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Stacy Martin, Jennifer Ehle, Willem Dafoe

    SYNOPSIS: An unusual set of circumstances brings unexpected success to a pop star (Portman).

    Stickman: Oh never mind. I don't know what this is even.


    Larry: Yeah feels like this wanted to be a part of the conversation, but was too weird to fit in.


    Stickman: The production company was NEON though, that's my fetish. Seems like this is one of those "Oscar baity" films that didn't catch any fish.


    Larry: True, NEON is a bit hit or miss tho. Yeah it’s got Portman putting on a tour de force, basically the anti-Jackie. Feels like if A Star is Born met up with Jackie to an extent.


    Stickman: The Anti-Matter Jackie Kennedy will destroy us all.


    Larry: Apparently Portman is good, so I hear.


    Stickman: I haven't really heard much of anything about this film so it's safe to say its chances of awards glory are as dead as my faith in society to repair itself. Could still be good though, right? RIGHT?


    Larry: I mean, yeah it could. Nobody will really know though. Since nobody will see it.


    Stickman: It'll come to Netflix some day....soooome daaaaay. Maybe. Or Amazon Prime.




    MOVIE OF THE WEEK



    Stickman: WELL, that about does it for cinema releases this week....HMM...MMMMM....INTERESTING. But there's one last order of business to get through before this disaster of a blog can end...and that's MOVIE OF THE WEEK. OH SHIT. FUCK.


    Larry: WOOT WOOT


    Stickman: It's all about the biggest and best new releases of the past week or so, huh? All the n....newest...films...right Larry? Right?


    Larry: Sigh, alright ya got me. I didn't get much of a chance to see any new releases. sad face.


    Stickman: How dare you be busy with life, family, work and education. For shame. As punishment you must now go first.


    Larry: Welp, thankfully, I caught a film that was just recently re-added to Netflix, one that I remember enjoying my first time seeing it. I was just doing some work and decided to put it on in the background, and slowly but surely it sucked me in completely, and that film was Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs! Before they were rocking the world with LEGO stories or web-slinging surprise smashes, Lord and Miller wrote and directed their first animated film with Sony Pictures Animation, "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs," based on the children's book of the same name. The film stars Bill Hader as Flint Lockwood, a devoted but generally unsuccessful inventor who creates a machine that transforms water into food; after accidentally rocketing it up into the sky, the machine begins to rain food down onto his local town, and it creates a strange meteorological phenomenon. But all is not well once the food begins to grow too large, destroying the town, and it's up to Flint to save them.


    From the film's very opening, you can see just how wonderful and hysterical Lord and Miller's storytelling is from the very onset of their career in film animation. There are so many wonderful, subversive jokes throughout, keeping you on your toes. And, naturally, the food puns and imagery are excellently executed into the film's comedy, making for a generally delightful experience. The animation is also bursting with color and some genuinely solid detail as it goes on, and it's very wacky with the character designs that injects it with plenty of personality. The voice acting is good all-around, with Bill Hader leading the pack alongside Anna Faris, Andy Samberg, and others; it's a serious all-star cast when you look at it. The film's pacing isn't exactly perfect, and it goes around some conventional bends in the story and script, but as a piece of children's entertainment, it has a solid message at its core and a fun concept executed surprisingly well. Definitely give this a stream if you're looking for something light in the background...or the foreground. I dunno.


    Stickman: Hoooh, I see you totally meant to tie this into our big movie of the episode, right? RIGHT?!


    Larry: TOTALLY. SEE I'M A GENIUS.


    Stickman: Who neeeeds Mowgli. IMEAN...sooo....meatballs huh. I've seen most of this film and it was reasonably inoffensive but didn't do much for me. Colourful for sure.


    Larry: No yeah, it definitely doesn't have the thematic heft of say LEGO Movie. But for their first animated film (outside of their animated TV work), it's really well done.


    Stickman: It's not a bad one for sure.


    Larry: And it showcases their creative brilliance very early on. They ended up making a sequel that I saw that...yeah, wasn't as good. You can tell L&M really put their spin on the idea.


    Stickman: I forgot they made a sequel. Oops.


    Larry: Yeah, they got story credits but did not do much else. No direction, no script, etc.


    Stickman: It had the monkey in it though I guess. They also made a TV show I believe. The big colourful CGI food stuff always looked nice.


    Larry: Oh shit, did they? Damn, this franchise had some mileage.


    Stickman: Well it did, now it's PASSED ITS SELL BY DATE. HEEYOOOOOO.


    Larry: AYYYYYYYOOOOOOO But nah, it's good stuff. Give it a watch!


    Stickman: NEVER. Alright, my turn since there's no Madhero to tell me to make a segue.


    Larry: SOMETHING SHIT I bet okay cool go on


    Stickman: WELLLLLLL you'll be eating your words like meatballs from the sky in a minute, because I'm doing Sorry to Bother You...the US summer indie hit ...finally coming to UK cinemas...in December. NICE. I've been looking forward to seeing this for a long time, it looked pretty ace, even if in the waiting period between the US and UK release the lead actor did a stupid free-style rap thing. 


    Irregardless, I finally got to see it...and yep, it's pretty great! Lakeith Stanfield plays a down on his luck MAN who lands a job in a telemarketer office, initially struggling to make it work before discovering his 'White Voice' with the help of Danny Glover who...yes is actually too old for this shit. What ensues is a bonkers and entertaining comedy romp that takes one of cinemas most insane left-turns in the 3rd act, genuinely leaving me dumbfounded in the best possible way...although unfortunately that big twist comes at the cost of the last 30 minutes of the film, which become a bit messy and unfocused. Regardless, I enjoyed every minute of this film, it's got great performances, it's visually tip top, the music is well used...and yeah, really fun film. Get ready for a shock, mind.


    Larry: I didn't really vibe with this movie, if I'm being honest. I just don't think it's my kinda movie.


    Stickman: How dare you.


    Larry: Once the twist happened I just sorta lost my interest seeing as it was so blatant in its symbolism lmao


    Stickman: I guess it never set out to be subtle.


    Larry: I felt like a pan was being hit over my head every five minutes. But hey, David Cross speaking for Lakeith Stanfield? Quality.


    Stickman: I thought it was Patton Oswaldo.


    Larry: It's a very funny film for sure. Just...kinda too weird for me. Nah, Patton was the other guy. The dude with the bowler hat and eyepatch.


    Stickman: Ah, SHIET. And yeah, it's very weird. But I like that, and it is cohesive enough...for the most part, that it doesn't come across as unentertaining nonsense. It has a structure and a narrative, even if it is bonkers. I really wish I could go into the twist but I won't, because I waited half a year to see it and was fortunate to not have it spoiled, so I won't spoil it for anyone else.


    Larry: I just didn't really like that many of the characters either. Found them all either unlikable (intentionally so) or just not super compelling.


    Stickman: I mean I'm not sure you're supposed to like a lot of them.


    Larry: Except for Armie Hammer. That man is a legend.


    Stickman: Armie Hammer clearly had a blast making this film, as did most of them it seems.


    Larry: Yeah. I also will say the film has a distinctive look and flow, which is good for a first-timer like Boots Riley. I just wouldn't call it particularly strong as a film.


    Stickman: I look forward to seeing what he directs next, because this was a really confident and creative first feature. I feeel anyway. Look, I had a choice between this and The Girl in the Spider's Web so, you'll have to get back to me on if I made the right call Larry.


    Larry: Well, I haven't seen the latter, but even with my complaints I'd say you made the right call. At least the most memorable call.



    -----


    Stickman: Damn straight. AND ON THAT NOTE...it's over. We're done. I don't think we fucked up too bad, right?


    Larry: Nah it looks alright.


    Stickman: Who needs Daddy Madhero.


    Larry: LET'S REBEL


    Stickman: YES, but...let's do it next episode, when Aquaman's abs are here.


    Larry: Ooh, he'll make a great addition


    Stickman: A great Abdition. Alright goodbye. Show's over. Go home.


    Larry: GET OUTTA HERE. GO.


    Stickman: SHOO

  • Too Real: Top 10 Songs of 2018

    2 months ago

    chelsea_might

    2018 felt like a verse of We Didn’t Start The Fire on speed:


    Elon Smoked Pot! Thanos snapped! BDE! Trump is crap!

    Brett Kavanaugh! Walmart Kid! Royal Wedding! Eagles Win!

    Shaggy Collabs with Sting!

    Fortnite, Is This Your King?

    Donald Glover as Lando!

    Weezer just covered Toto!

    It’s safe to say that too much happened this year. Between the continued embarrassment of the federal government and the hellfire birth of my arch-nemesis Gritty, the race to the finish feels more like a slog through quicksand — hoping with each earth-swallowing news cycle that the next absurdity doesn’t snuff us out for good.


    Luckily, quality music is here to carry us over the finish line. Here are my top 10 songs of 2018, and some thoughts on why they may be better at talking about this year than I am.

  • At the Screwvies: Episode 122

    2 months ago

    g1Features

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    MADHERO: Hey everyone. Hope everyone didn't eat themselves to death on all that gravy or got trampled to death buying a vacuum cleaner. Cause Thanksgiving and Black Friday amirite? But hey, since you've got your day off to spend some time with the fam, its also the perfect time for some movies! Hope you're ready for some sequels, cause boy does Hollywood know how to capitalize on the free demographic. Suck it, retail workers.


    STICKMAN: OH HEY. I didn't thank or buy anything this week. I'm British, I have nothing to be thankful for.


    LARRY: ...who buys a vacuum cleaner on Black Friday...?


    MADHERO: Larry, they're like 20% off (but not really). Its all about the DEAL.


    STICKMAN: I'd get a Dyson if they were on sale. Those things are expensive.


    LARRY: Most people are buying TVs, Mad my boi.


    MADHERO: Enough about on sale vacuum cleaners and tvs. They can use that new tv to watch the new movie trailers. Speaking of which....


    NEWS

    DISNEY RELEASES FIRST TEASER TRAILER FOR THE LION KING REMAKE. BECOMES MOST WATCHED DISNEY TRAILER IN FIRST 24 HOURS

    Another day, another Disney remake, we sure are getting a lot of those what with Dumbo and Aladdin, but the one I was most interested in personally was The Lion King, a benchmark of my childhood that feels like the true litmus test: if this can be done, they're unstoppable. And sure enough, they did, with Jungle Book director Jon Favreau retelling Kimba the White Lion/Hamlet in "live action." I guess photorealistic remake doesn't really sound as good. And sure enough, it looks pretty stellar.


    This is still very much a teaser, which retells part of the famous Circle of Life opening of the original, as well as a shout-out towards the wildebeest stampede that will once again trample Mufasa, who's also once again voiced by James Earl Jones. Needless to say, it looks pretty damn incredible, and baby Simba is cuter than he's ever been. While the Aladdin teaser left me really cold, this teaser really got me hyped to see this new version, and it seems it did this a lot with Disney announcing this was the most watched Disney trailer in 24 hours at over 224.6 million views. There's also plenty of hot takes who're less excited, and we'll be sure to get into those. Lion King is probably my favorite Disney animated movie, so I'm hoping the new film can make me feel the same emotions as this teaser did.


    STICKMAN: AYYYYYYYYYYYY SABBENNYAAAA....ITSSAASLAAZYYY REMAAAKKKEE


    MADHERO: But look at the cute baby lion, Sticky. Look at it. Think of the plush sales


    STICKMAN: He's cuter in the animaatted fillllm. And yes, those plush sales are gonna be high.


    LARRY: I’m honestly surprised by how much they showed. I was expecting like one shot or some shit like Aladdin. Holding all their good stuff and teasing the masses.


    STICKMAN: The whole opening scene...which we've already seen. Because it's exactly the same. At least it wasn't meaningless pants like the Aladdin teaser.


    MADHERO: Its hardly the whole opening scene, and we'll probably see the whole sequence done later on. I think this was a far stronger tease than the Aladdin one


    STICKMAN: Can't wait to see every other scene from the original film recreated in soulless hyperrealistic CGI. Is there gonna be that scene where Simba and Nala totally get horny and pork off screen.


    LARRY: I gotta admit, the CGI is stunning. Though you have to wonder how many hyperrealistically animated movies we’re gonna get before it gets stale.


    STICKMAN: It took one, Larry. I'm bored of it already. This ain't no War for the Planet of the Apes.


    LARRY: Now that movie has soul.


    MADHERO: I find it hard to call it soulless. Obviously there's a cynical marketing reason for why this movie is made, but that's the same for about 70% of the films we cover and even like. I'm give or take on a lot of the Disney remakes. I don't particularly care about Dumbo and Aladdin is wait and see for me, but this is the team that made Jungle Book so that makes me pretty stoked, since I loved that version.


    LARRY: Personally, I’m waiting to see some of the other major characters and some voice acting before I start getting too hyped.


    STICKMAN: Apparently the Aladdin remake and The Lion King remake even have the same consecutive release order as their original animated versions so it's like we're reliving history but everything has 700,000 individually animated hairs. I am about as hyped for this film as Suicide Squad 2 so that'll save me some money.


    LARRY: Now that’s a scalding take...


    MADHERO: I'm sure Disney is devastated that you'll make sure this movie will make 1.9 billion instead of 2.


    STICKMAN: WHERE'S TRON 3.


    MADHERO: Let's talk about a movie that you are more interested. Something a little more electrifying


    WARNER BROS RELEASES FIRST TEASER FOR LIVE ACTION POKEMON MOVIE DETECTIVE PIKACHU

    It feels like we've been talking about this one for a long time without a lot to actually see from it...but that all changed last week when we finally got a look at DETECTIVE PIKACHU, the first big budget Nintendo movie since the Super Mario Bros days. And....well....there it is. Taking a lot of inspiration from the source 3DS game in terms of the set-up, but going in its own oddly seedier, comedy focused angle. The most notable discussion point has been the Pokemon themselves, and how they've been brought to life for this live action/CGI hybrid. Pikachu is looking pretty damn cute, once you get over the shock of seeing him with hyper realistic fur and eyes, but others haven't survived the transition quite as smoothly, at least within this first look. There's a general maintaining of the designs, whilst attempting to make them more realistic in terms of skin, fur, mouths and eyes...which means some Pokemon work better than others, and then there's Mr Mime with his tiny head hairs of horror, but then to be fair he was creepy in the games to begin with.


    Other than that, it's looking to be a potentially fun slice of family entertainment, already Ryan Reynolds is proving himself to be a worthy casting choice, providing a lot of charm to the role of PIKACHU  whilst some scenes hint towards a heap helping of heart in addition. It looks nicely filmed...it looks...nice? It could go either way, but it's a promising first look for something that sounded so potentially disastrous upon its announcement, here's hoping this delivers the goods where no video game movie has managed before.


    STICKMAN: The second best selling plush of 2019.


    MADHERO: So Larry, famous Detective Pikachu hater. Thoughts?


    LARRY: I cannot tell a lie, I'm mad hyped for this now. I love the attention to weird ass texture and detail on the Pokemon. I think it's beautiful.


    MADHERO: WE GOT HIM, EVERYONE! HE'S ON BOARD THE SS ANNE


    STICKMAN: Ladies and gentlemen, we got him. I think they all look like crack-heads, but I'm here for that Chu.


    LARRY: Some people are weirded out with Psyduck and Jigglypuff and I'm just like..."guys they look disgusting, why wouldn't they be weird as FUCK in real form??"


    STICKMAN: But Larry those eyes though. Those haunted, bulging eyes.


    MADHERO: Its so weird, because honestly this was a premise that people could've gone "oh god why" and gone the road of those Alvin movies. But there seems to be real effort and care in details put into it. There's a lot of surprising deep cuts in that trailer


    STICKMAN: Cubone's gonna straight up have his own mothers cracked, blood stained skull over his head.


    LARRY: It's pitch perfect. Pokemon fans need to suck it up and realize this is basically the equivalent of when actual adults look at Pokemon. They're like "wtf this is weird" AND I LOVE IT


    STICKMAN: That's a take if ever I heard one. That's like saying adults look at Mickey Mouse and see a real mouse with bulging eyes poo droppings all over his overalls.


    LARRY: There's a big difference between Mickey Mouse and fucking Greninja.


    MADHERO: I think most Pokemon fans are on board with it honestly. Its striking a weird balance in that its seemingly interesting everyone, which is probably how it overshadowed Toy Story 4.


    STICKMAN: I love how this overshadowed Toy Story 4. I love it.


    LARRY: My only thing is that Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Pikachu still isn't the best fit, in my opinion. It...it just sounds like Deadpool if I'm being frank.


    STICKMAN: I think it's a perfect fit, voice-wise, TO BE HONEST.


    MADHERO: The fact they even dared making a semi realistic Mr. Mime means the balls on everyone involved is ginormous, so yeah, I'm pretty excited.


    FILMSTRUCK SERVICE SAVED THROUGH THE CRITERION CHANNEL. WILL MAKE A RESTART IN EARLY 2019

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    If you're a lover of classic film, such as myself, you were probably pissed off and very upset at the news that FilmStruck, a classic and arthouse film streaming service and arguably the most accessible collection of Criterion-curated films, would be shutting down come the end of November. Apparently it was too "niche" for WarnerMedia to keep it running despite a petition with over 50,000 signatures expressing their dismay. Well, apparently that made a bit of an impact. After the petition made its rounds with the support of filmmakers like Rian Johnson and Guillermo Del Toro (and even personal letters from Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese), it was reported that Warner was trying to find a solution, and now we know what it is: introducing The Criterion Channel, launching in Spring 2019!!


    The service, now run by the Criterion Collection itself, will continue many of FilmStruck's awesome features, like themed collections and actor/director retrospectives, and will begin its launch in the USA and Canada with plans to expand afterward. For those who wish to become a Charter Subscriber right from the get-go (that comes with some pretty neat benefits like a 30-day free trial and a reduced subscription fee), you can at http://www.criterion.com/channel to help support film education and incredible filmmaking!! As someone who adores classic filmmaking and believes strongly in learning from the greats, you know I'll be supporting them. I hope you will too!!

    STICKMAN: This means nothing to be as a citizen of the UK, but hey that's neat.


    MADHERO: As someone who lives in the Netherlands and didn't have Filmstruck whatsoever, same, but its great its gonna live on in some form


    STICKMAN: I got a promo for a month of free Filmstruck in my most recent issue of Empire...3 days after they closed down subs. Excellent timing


    LARRY: I really hope the UK gets this collection. FilmStruck was so important and to see Criterion take up the mantle is really exciting.


    STICKMAN: We might get the service but we won't get the same offerings. No Toho Godzilla releases for me.


    LARRY: Right but you'll get offerings, period. Which is better than no offerings.


    MADHERO: We do have Criterion over here, so maybe this service will come with it as well? We can only hope. Its nice that there will remain a home for these classic movies. Something lacking on Netflix for example


    LARRY: This isn't Netflix, bro. Here you are guaranteed quality content. You're gonna have a hard time finding genuinely shitty content in the Criterion Collection.


    MADHERO: Armageddon is in the Criterion Collection. Quality is for the large part subjective.


    STICKMAN: Is it really? Oh god. Netflix is better value for money in terms of new content...even if the quality isn't consistantatnt.


    LARRY: I'm just saying that movies aren't usually just added onto the Criterion Collection. It's heavily curated. It's not like Netflix where it's heavily based on contracts or throwing shit against the wall and seeing what blank checks stick. This is also a great resource for education, which Netflix...isn't.


    STICKMAN: I mean, you're being pretty harsh to Netflix bruv. They offer directors an outlet to try their crazy ideas out and sometimes that works and sometimes it don't. Why you RAGGIN' ON NETFLIX, THINGS CAN CO-EXIST.


    LARRY: I'm just saying FilmStruck can't really be compared to other streaming services in that way.


    MADHERO: Just you wait till Roma comes out and we're all allowed to like Netflix again. Hell, Buster Scruggs came out last week, but more on that later. Either way, let's just enjoy the fact the service survives in some capacity.


    LARRY: I have a strong feeling it'll survive AND thrive. Long live Criterion!!


    PIXAR RELEASES TWO TEASERS FOR TOY STORY 4

    Dread it, run from it, Toy Story 4 is coming, and it's going to make all the god damn money. We've known Toy Story 4 was on its way for years and years now, and its development hasn't been without its share of trouble, incurring several delays and almost as many director/writing departures along the way, but it's coming next year, and we've been given our first couple...rather esoteric glances at what to expect from the unnecessary brand extension.


    The first teaser showed us the main gang all together again, swinging around and whatever, but the main focus was the introduction of Tony Hale’s Forky...who's actually a spork, who's been given some pipe cleaner arms and googly eyes, and is now a toy? And is having an identity crisis from the seems of it, opening up a huge existential door within the Toy Story universe which I don't think anyone is ready for.  The second teaser was...a thing, two carnival prize toys, voiced by Key and Peele discuss...Toy Story? Within Toy Story? Is this Deadpool now? I'm not really sure what they were going for there. Both Tom Hanks and Tim 'Problematic inclusion' Allen have discussed how emotional the ending of this film was for them, so...yeah...it's a DisneyPixar movie alright. Not much else to go on other than the vague hints of toy sentience creation....and Woody dying or whatever. It's a film that's happening and how you feel about that is entirely up to you. I'm not feeling very game for it, personally.


    MADHERO: I'm a huge sucker for Key and Peele so yeah they got me with that reaction teaser, even if it was just released early cause Pikachu trounced the first teaser.


    STICKMAN: It didn't work for me. Meta-comedy seems like an odd choice for a second Toy Story 4 teaser given the troubled production. Not that any of it matters, this film gonna make bank just cuz it's Toy Story. They could, say....just redo the original film with more realistic visuals and people would go see it because tha-Oh wait.


    LARRY: Yeah the "trailer reaction" was kinda an obvious marketing play. But the actual teaser I really like. If you listen to the music and read into it, there's a lot you can speculate on.


    MADHERO: Yeah, I believe the movie initially started as a search for Bo Peep, but I'm not sure how much of that is in there with some of the recent script changes. What with all that added existential crisis.


    LARRY: Plus, the very inclusion of Forky is in and of itself a fascinating exploration of the universe.


    STICKMAN: Bo Peep's eyes were removed and placed on the fork and she became the fork and now Woody and Bo Peep have to rekindle their relationship with her new body.


    LARRY: This is why Sticky doesn't work at Pixar.


    MADHERO: Dang, new voice and everything too with Tony Hale now. Both the teasers didn't really say much and even the official synopsis is vague, though it does mention its a road trip. We know that, and that its going to be the most emotionally draining shit imaginable if Hanks and Allen are to be trusted


    LARRY: I would argue it says quite a bit actually. Though, again, it's all speculation.


    STICKMAN: Never trust Tim Allen. He's become the tool he once sold.


    MADHERO: Euahhh?!


    STICKMAN: Why doesn't Buzz do that. Buzz Lightyear now supports Donald Trump and Woody and the gang have to find a way to push him out the car window on the road trip.


    LARRY: That's how the film should open.


    MADHERO: This film better end properly now after 3. They had the perfect ending all set, so y'know, no pressure.


    ALCON ENTERTAINMENT ACQUIRES RIGHTS TO MAKE GARFIELD ANIMATED FILM. MARK DINDAL (EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE) TO DIRECT

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    Welp, he's been in hibernation for some time, but it looks like the wheels are turning once again for a new Garfield movie. Alcon Entertainment, who're probably best known for Blade Runner 2049, has acquired the rights of the character from author Jim Davis to bring the Monday hating cat back to the big screen. However, unlike the 2 live action movies starring Bill Murray, they're planning on their first ever animated feature, with Mark Dindal, best known for Emperor's New Groove (yay) and Chicken Little (oof) to direct.


    I'm sort of at the age where this news doesn't do a whole lot for me. I used to really like Garfield back in the day, but at some point the humor of it just got a tad stale. These days Garfield gets a laugh outta me when people use him for shitposts, or turn him into some Lovecraftian monster for whatever season, but the comic is still going strong after 40 years so its probably doing something right. The films were pretty terrible, so hopefully making it animated will fit the world and characters better, and Dindal at least has a knack for comedy. We'll find out once it gets off the ground, unless Garfield comes into some lasagne induced coma.


    LARRY: Wow lots of animation news today...


    STICKMAN: Garfield Runner: 2049.


    MADHERO: I just need to know if Odie is an replicant or not.


    STICKMAN: Odie is clearly a replicant, in one scene of the Bill Murray film you can see the glint in his eyes. But only in the ultimate cut.


    LARRY: If Gazorpazorpfield doesn't make an appearance I'll be VERY upset. It's all but inevitable.


    MADHERO: Dang. Missed that version. Only watched the cinematic release with the narration. Either way, I don't care about this one way or another, but I guess it gets Jim Davis a new orange yacht.


    STICKMAN: You gotta sell out to keep living in Lasagna mansions.


    LARRY: I have a strong, nostalgic tie to Garfield, and I do think there's a lot of possibility in a new film. Mark Dindal being involved should make me happy but honestly he hasn't done a lot of quality stuff in the past few years so I'm just kinda unsure...


    STICKMAN: Garfield just inherently does not translate to long-form narratives. Be they TV, video games or movies. He's a comic strip character, and not a particularly great one at that. He's best consumed via shitposting.


    MADHERO: Dindal's involvement can either lead to Emperor's New Groove or Chicken Little. There's no inbetween.


    LARRY: Yeah Sticky makes a good point, honestly. Maybe make an anthology movie? The Ballad of Garfield Scruggs


    MADHERO: Now here's the million dollar question: who should voice Garfield this time?


    STICKMAN: Justin Roiland of course.


    LARRY: Jim Cummings I guess. An obvious but good answer.


    MADHERO: And that's why you're not a big Hollywood bigwig, Larry. Going with probably the correct and appropriate answer


    STICKMAN: Fuck it, I’ll do it. Bring me 20 ccs of Lasagna, stat.


    GENERAL MILLS LOOKING FOR STUDIOS TO ADAPT ITS HORROR CEREAL MASCOTS INTO MOVIES

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    So, Halloween came and went not that long ago, and for those of us in the states, a tradition some may recall is the sale of General Mills' Monster Cereals. They were pretty much like any other cereal except their mascots, as you can guess, are based around Halloween monsters. They haven't been particularly popular in quite some time, but the GM is looking to change all that with the recent launch of WorkWithTheMonsters.com, a website that is accepting pitches for the next great story involving these...ahem, "icons" of the cereal world. All you have to do is submit an application, and if your credentials hold up, you get to pitch your idea to the GM team, their lawyers, and apparently a select few beloved writers and directors. Interesting...


    This obviously sounds like a dumb idea at first, but what many people don't know is that these characters are actually based on specific horror film icons! Count Chocula is a riff on Bela Lugosi's icon turn as Dracula, Frankenberry channels a bit of Boris Karloff's definitive Frankenstein, and Boo Berry is Peter Lorre… for some reason. Either way, the inspiration for these characters come straight from the silver screen, so perhaps its not a crazy idea to get them back there. And who knows, with the right people involved, this could be a fun romp for the whole family


    STICKMAN: These cereals don't even exist outside of the US, so that's gonna be fun to promote in international territories. This is like making a PG Tips movie.


    MADHERO: Hell yeah, the true MCU (Monster Cereal Universe) starts here.


    LARRY: To be honest, the website doesn’t mention anything about a cinematic universe. It’s just asking for people to submit ideas, not necessarily film related ones. I think people are just assuming they’re trying to take a Hanna Barbera route and capitalize on these characters in animated movies.


    MADHERO: Well, we're a film blog, damnit, and I'm finally going to break into Hollywood by delivering my script for the Fruit Brute movie


    STICKMAN: Why was one of them in a tight spandex bodysuit on a billboard.


    LARRY: Yeah that was shock advertising I guess.


    MADHERO: This is a McElroy project just waiting to happen and turn into complete disaster. If they can get themselves into Trolls 2 through a podcast, they will be able to make a Yummy Mummy movie.


    LARRY: Personally I’ve heard worse ideas than this.


    STICKMAN: None of this makes me want to buy any cereal so they've already failed.


    LARRY: If this goes well, who knows. Soon Lucky the Leprachaun will get his own damn movie.


    STICKMAN: I just want Tony the Tiger towering over me in his speedos in IMAX 3D.


    ------

    MADHERO: Now that's an idea to break the internet with. Speaking of which, that's one of the movies that's out today. No, not Kim Kardashian's ass, but Wreck it Ralph in Disney's first official sequel since The Rescuers Down Under. Now personally, I wasn't the biggest fan of Wreck it Ralph, or at least felt it wasted its potential of video game humor by going full candy. And now the dream is dead with them going to the internet.


    STICKMAN: Does it have Fortnite dances in it.


    MADHERO: They did chat up with Fortnite on Twitter, so ITS HAPPENING FOLKS, THE FLOSS IS IN THERE SOMEWHERE. Anyway, I didn't see it, but Larry sure did. So, how dated is this going to be in 5 years?


    REVIEW

    RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET

    DIRECTOR: Rich Moore and Phil Johnston (Wreck It Ralph, Zootopia)

    STARRING: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Gal Gadot, Taraji P. Henson, Bill Hader

    SYNOPSIS: After the steering wheel controller on the Sugar Rush game console breaks. Wreck-It Ralph (Reilly) and Vanellope von Schweetz (Silverman) use the arcade's new connection to the Internet to go looking for a replacement steering wheel.

    LARRY: I actually really enjoy Wreck-it-Ralph; it took an overdone premise and told a tightly-packed, genuinely compelling story with it, and was a beautifully animated tribute to gaming and gaming culture. So, while I was sceptical of a sequel several years after its predecessor, especially with a story that ended quite nicely, I gave it a chance and what I got was certainly not what I was expecting. Ralph Breaks The Internet is a very strange movie, not just because of the creative but at times eerie visualizations of internet concepts AND the abundance of surprisingly intense moments for a children's film, but also because it's essentially two movies battling for time in the spotlight. 


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    One focuses more so on internet culture and Ralph getting involved, and the other focuses on Vanellope discovering a new racing game in the internet and this putting Ralph and Vanellope's friendship at stake. While both are interesting, they don't really click super well together, and the result is a movie that feels a tad all-over-the-place stylistically and way too long as well. That being said, it's absolutely hysterical, and the voice cast is top notch, no question. Plus, the animation is, at-times, LEGO Movie levels of crazy shit all over the frame...even if half of it is clearly indulgent product placement and Disney self-flagellating. Aw well. It's a fun time for sure, and I'd recommend it, but it's definitely a lot sloppier than the original, which makes sense given its extended production.


    MADHERO: Yeah, the main reviews seem to always be that its really funny but kinda loose and inconsistent, and that seems to be apt in your analysis as well.


    STICKMAN: How much of this is actually the Disney circlejerking? The marketing very much focused on that.


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    LARRY: Yeah the scenes that are Disney-related are quite extended and in more ways than one. The marketing actually leaves out a SUPER BIG connection to Disney that I was hella surprised by. I would say what it is, but it's kinda a spoiler so I'll veer on the side of caution. But yes, while loose and inconsistent aren't the words I would use, the film certainly doesn't feel cohesive.


    STICKMAN: Where does it rank on the Disney sentimentality scale? The original film was pretty high up, what with its dream crushing and whatnot.


    LARRY: Yeah there's a lot about Ralph and Vanellope's friendship. Some people may actually tear up toward the end, it's a very emotional final beat. But it's surprisingly pretty mature for a Disney sequel.


    STICKMAN: Wreck it Ralph dies confirmed.


    MADHERO: How much do we see of the old characters other than Ralph and Vanellope, or is it very much a focus on the new, and if so, how are the new characters?


    LARRY: Yeah the old characters kinda get butted out, sadly. There's a small sideplot with Calhoun and Felix but it's quickly nixed. The new characters are okay, not particularly excellent but they aren't bad. My favorite is probably Gal Gadot as Shank, though I really don't like that they made her lose her accent.


    STICKMAN: Does Q*Bert return though.


    LARRY: I don't even remember, really. Bill Hader is also pretty funny, but he also ends up involved in some of the weirder parts of the film.


    STICKMAN: Do they do the floss with Kermit.


    LARRY: No, sadly not much of Muppet-anything.


    STICKMAN: God damnit FUCK.


    MADHERO: At least Sonic is there. I asked it a bit at the start, but do you think this film is gonna be dated in a couple years, or does it know surprisingly more about internet culture than it lets on.


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    LARRY: The film definitely had some things to say about internet culture, but I wouldn't necessarily call it ahead of its time. It's a great way of introducing children to the culture though, the ups and downs of it all. I think this film is gonna be rewatchable for other reasons beyond the internet stuff, more so because of its straight up wackiness and crazy imagery. The trailers showed just a bit of it, but the Dark Web stuff is WEIRD.


    STICKMAN: Does Ralph get to wear a gimp suit in a hardcore BDSM video.


    LARRY: Okay not THAT weird.


    MADHERO: Alright, got any final thoughts you want to get out there in your wrap up?


    LARRY: I enjoyed myself for sure, but it's just really sloppy. If the story didn't have like six writers, it probably would've been a better film.


    STICKMAN: Will I, who did not enjoy Wreck it Ralph very much second time around, enjoy this sequel?


    LARRY: Probably not... It certainly isn't better, not by a long shot. So if ya didn't like the first...


    STICKMAN: Cool. RIP Ralph Wrecks the Oscars.


    --------

    MADHERO: Alright. Now luckily for you, Stickman, other movies came out on Thanksgiving, so maybe they're more up to your speed than this one.


    STICKMAN: I'm living in the cinematic fast lane, baby.


    MADHERO: Well hopefully that means there's something there up your alley. Let's get crackin.


    MOVIES

    CREED II

    DIRECTOR: Steven Caple Jr. (The Land, Grown-ish)

    STARRING: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Dolph Lundgren, Florian Munteanu, Milo Ventimiglia

    SYNOPSIS: Under the tutelage of Rocky Balboa (Stallone), newly crowned light heavyweight champion Adonis Creed (Jordan) faces off against Viktor Drago (Munteanu), the son of Ivan Drago (Lundgren).

    STICKMAN: Falcon PAWWNCH.


    MADHERO: O hey, another sequel that's pretty good and probably better than it should be but not as good as the original


    STICKMAN: Underwater punching though.


    LARRY: I’m surprised this even got a sequel and it’s THIS good... Apparently Drago actually gets character development, it’s kinda surreal.


    MADHERO: Why are you surprised? Creed 1 was a pretty big hit.


    STICKMAN: I haven't even seen Rocky yet.


    MADHERO: I really liked Creed, but I was worried about this one because of the lack of Ryan Coogler. He elevated the material so much so you're unsure what they do in more unknown hands, but it seems that they've mostly stuck the landing.


    STICKMAN: It's weird to see Sylvester Stallone in a film where nothing is exploding.


    LARRY: I really enjoyed Creed as well, I just didn’t realize it was going to foster a whole new life for the franchise. It works well as a singular story, I don’t need seven more Creed films.


    MADHERO: Don't worry. New Rambo will probably have some explosions there. Its kinda funny how they're gonna try and ground Rocky IV now, the one with a robot and where Rocky beat communism. As story progression, I guess it makes sense to go down that path.


    LARRY: See that’s what shocks me. They went for arguably the shlockiest Rocky and tried to actually do the Creed formula with it.


    MADHERO: Well it makes sense in how it ties to Adonis' story, considering IV is where his dad died. With it being a success, I can see them trying to continue the franchise, but now at least it can definitely find its own path


    LARRY: Hey, I’m down. The first Creed is awesome and the cast returning basically ensures excellent performances.


    STICKMAN: But where's Assassin's Creed 2.


    LARRY: Good one...


    ROBIN HOOD

    DIRECTOR: Otto Bathurst (Black Mirror: The National Anthem, Peaky Blinders)

    STARRING: Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn, Eve Hewson, Tim Minchin, Jamie Dornan

    SYNOPSIS: A war-hardened Crusader (Egerton) and his Moorish commander (Foxx) mount an audacious revolt against the corrupt English crown (Mendelsohn).

    STICKMAN: Oh dear. And here we thought Guy Ritchie's King Arthur would never get a sequel.


    LARRY: Yikes, this is a D I S A S T E R


    STICKMAN: Can it be truly called a disaster when we all knew it would be one from the very start.


    MADHERO: Someone at Lionsgate thought it was a good idea to spend a 100 million dollars on a very straightforward Robin Hood movie and literally no one at some point asked why


    STICKMAN: Nice jacket though I guess.


    MADHERO: Apparently it also ends on a pretty hard sequel tease, to which I can only laugh


    STICKMAN: Oh deary me. That is an essential ingredient of a doomed movie. Setting up a sequel without any thought for if it'll actually get one.


    LARRY: I’ve seen people describe scenes in this movie and I’m just…. I’m floored.


    MADHERO: I wish Taron Egerton nothing but the best, but this was a movie no one wanted and seemingly delivers even less than expected


    STICKMAN: Who'da thunk it.


    LARRY: Morgan Freeman looks like he knows what’s up but just won’t say anything


    MADHERO: Wait you mean Jamie Foxx or is this a dig at Prince of Thieves?


    LARRY: ...wow I totally forgot. Freeman was in Nutcracker lmao


    STICKMAN: Poor Jamie Foxx.


    MADHERO: Larry just had his Fishburne/L. Jackson moment. Whoops


    LARRY: Welp good night folks.


    THE POSSESSION OF HANNAH GRACE

    DIRECTOR: Diederik Van Rooijen (Taped, Daylight)
    STARRING: Shay Mitchell, Stana Katic, Grey Damon, Kirby Johnson
    SYNOPSIS: When a cop (Mitchell) who is just out of rehab takes the graveyard shift in a city hospital morgue, she faces a series of bizarre, violent events caused by an evil entity in one of the corpses.

    MADHERO: Don't you love it when a trailer is like 20 seconds of nothing and then a really loud of someone..... grabbing a rubber ball?


    LARRY: Shock marketing I see.


    STICKMAN: What's weird is that if you Google this film, it comes up with an IMDB score in the 8's....but if you go on the IMDB page there's no reviews. Now THAT'S scary.


    LARRY: ...what. That’s suspicious...


    MADHERO: At least the Nun had the titular nun go and spook you. There's not much to say here really. Its a cheapo Screen Gems horror film starring an Pretty Little Liars actress


    STICKMAN: I think that's exactly it, this is a Screen Gems horror release without any fanfare. It's gonna be bad. Any film with 'Possession' in the title generally is.


    LARRY: Odds are, yeah.


    MADHERO: Probably why its releasing the air vacuum zone of late november,early December.


    STICKMAN: But hey, that phantom 8.3/10 on IMDB puts it as the highest rated horror movie of the year so....that's...a lie? I guess? Nice.


    MADHERO: Take that, Hereditary.


    THE FAVOURITE

    DIRECTOR: Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer)

    STARRING: Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, Nicholas Hoult, Joe Alwyn

    SYNOPSIS: The close relationship between Queen Anne (Colman) and Sarah Churchill (Weisz) is threatened by the arrival of Sarah's cousin, Abigail Masham (Stone), resulting in a bitter rivalry to be the Queen's favourite.

    LARRY: YESSSSSS! YORGOS TAKE MY MONEY


    MADHERO: Uh oh, Yorgos Lanthimos is back on his bullshit


    STICKMAN: I've watched two of his films, The Lobster and Killing of a Sacred Deer. One of them had potential and wasted it, the other was stupid. So naturally, I'm very excited for this latest nonsense.


    LARRY: I liked both, personally.


    MADHERO: I really liked Dogtooth and The Lobster needed a rewatch to fully appreciate. Haven't seen Sacred Deer. Either way, this is apparently his most accessible film and will be gunning for that Oscar gold. Olivia Coleman is the one to beat for Best Actress apparently


    LARRY: Which is odd cuz she seems more so supporting here.... If anything this seems like a double delivery for Weisz and Stone nominations.


    MADHERO: The trailers definitely more focus on Stone and Weisz's characters, but she gets more to do in the actual film.


    STICKMAN: Olivia Colman been deserving Oscars for years now. Her performance in Tyrannosaur was devastating with a capital FUCK.


    MADHERO: Even if accessible, its still a Lanthimos film, so there'll be plenty of "I'm not sure if I should be laughing or run away" moments


    STICKMAN: His films are fucking weird as hell and the deliveries are...oh so strange. He is the modern Marmite director.


    LARRY: As soon as I saw the weird ass fisheye lens use, I knew I was in for a Yorgos joint.


    MADHERO: Its definitely an acquired joint, but if you want something more Oscary like a chump, this'll be the movie for you. Can't wait to see it at probably a festival like I have all his other films.


    STICKMAN: I don't see him as Oscary personally, the performances perhaps. He's too weird for the Oscars.


    MADHERO: We'll find out soon enough.


    ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE

    DIRECTOR: John McPhail (Where Do We Go From Here)

    STARRING: Ella Hunt,  Malcolm Cumming, Sarah Swire, Christopher Leveaux, Ben Wiggins

    SYNOPSIS: A zombie apocalypse threatens the sleepy town of Little Haven - at Christmas - forcing Anna (Hunt) and her friends to fight, slash and sing their way to survival.

    LARRY: This one looks like a doozy.


    MADHERO: An British high school zombie apocalypse musical set on Christmas. Hitting all the niches


    STICKMAN: This has future cult darling written all over it.


    LARRY: Oh absolutely, and I’ll revel in it all the way to the ticket kiosk.


    MADHERO: You've gotta give them points for going all out. And yeah, this feels like something people will discover on VOD and go HOW DID NO ONE SEE THIS FILM?! and then then it'll be on Broadway or something


    STICKMAN: The answer to how nobody saw it is that nobody screened it, I fear. Unless, say, you live in or nearby New York.


    LARRY: Hmmmm. Interesting you say that.


    MADHERO: Its gonna be hard to find, but definitely worth seeking out once its on VOD. Speaking of which , I think it might be time for MOVIE OF THE WEEK?!


    -------

    MADHERO: As always, this is the part where we discuss films we've seen in theatres or on our cosy butts on the couch cause its Thanksgiving and you want to spend time at home with your family. That is, unless you want to stay away from your family or its not a tradition where you're from.


    STICKMAN: It's not thanksgiving it's NORMAL WEEK. I don't need an excuse to be a lazy ass.


    LARRY: I wish it was normal week...


    MADHERO: Alright, lazy ass. What's your Movie of the Week then?


    LARRY: YEAH LAZY ASS...sorry I got carried away.


    MOVIE OF THE WEEK

    STICKMAN: WELLLLLLLL, lazy ass that  I am, I watched something on Netflix. Something NEEWWWW. CAM...a Blumhouse produced low budget thriller came to the service just over a week ago. It's about the life of an online sex cam worker, who is willing to go to insane lengths in order to achieve the maximum viewership on a chart-based cam site. Things are starting to go her way, until one day she wakes up to find she's currently streaming live....except...she's not? Someone or something has taken over her account, and what follows is a rapidly spiralling descent into madness and potential ruin for her.

    Whilst the film ain't perfect, it's indisputably unique, and pretty damn interesting in its premise, providing a Black Mirror'esque exploration of the importance of internet stardom to some people, and just how far they'll go to reach it. There's some terrifically tense and disturbing moments to be  found throughout, and it's nice to see a sex-worker based narrative that doesn't revel in the easy target exploitation cinema angle for it we so often see.  The ending left me feeling a bit disappointed, but on a whole? This is well worth a look, it's on Netflix after all...you already owwwwwn it.


    MADHERO: Well techinally you don't own shit when it comes to Netflix. You just pay for access, but hey, neat.


    LARRY: I actually saw this gaining some traction on Netflix and I’m really curious to check it out. I hear there’s lots of NEON.


    STICKMAN: There's A LOTTA NEON, SON. I think it's gonna join HUSH in the Netflix exclusive sleeper hit cult horror/thriller department.


    LARRY: This and Mandy, man. 2018 is the year of gritty cinematic neon.


    MADHERO: How spoooooooky does it get? Its tech focus seems to be very Unfriended, although it seems like a less cartoonish take.


    STICKMAN: I'd say it was Unfriended adjacent, but a bit more interesting in concept I suppose. It's definitely more of a thriller than a horror, but there's some creepy moments for sure. You're never quite sure how far things are gonna go, and there's a couple long sequences that really get the dread levels up high.


    MADHERO: I assume a lot of the film rests on the should of actress Madeline Brewer. How is she in it, since I liked her in Orange is the New Black but she's barely in that show.


    STICKMAN: Madeline Brewer rocks the shit outta this film. Between this and Handmaid's Tale, she's really one to watch out for in the years to come. One-person show films live or die on their lead, and this is a hell of a lead.


    MADHERO: O yeah, she's in Handmaid's Tale as well. Neat.


    LARRY: Oh fuck. That’s an important detail I did not know


    STICKMAN: Y'all should be watching Handmaid's Tale...is what I'd say if this was a TV blog. Instead, watch CAM.


    MADHERO: Alright, what's your Movie of the Week, Larry?


    LARRY: My MOTW is Widows, the latest film from brilliant director Steve McQueen, and has probably the best ensemble cast of the year. A group of, ahem, widows who were all married to thieves and criminals before they were killed on the job. In order to pay off the client that their husbands they owed money to, they themselves take on the heist. Little do they know that there’s a lot more political intrigue than they originally anticipated. Naturally, some shit goes down, and some of it gets pretty intenssssse.

    As I watched the film, I was surprised at how little actual violence or action there was until the third act, and then I realized I didn’t really care. This film’s narrative is tightly packed, with several characters and several plotlines weaving throughout one another, and it never ceases to be engaging and, at times, thrilling. Half of the film’s excellence comes through in the performances. Viola Davis proves yet again why she is one of the best in the business, followed by excellent portrayals from Colin Farrell, Elizabeth Debicki, Bryan Tyree Henry, and Daniel Kaluuya, amongst others. Also, shout-out to my girl Cynthia Erivo for another standout performance this year. Like McQueen’s previous work, this is a meticulously crafted, beautifully shot, compelling told story that is sure to be one of my favorites come year’s end.


    STICKMAN: I have mixed feelings on this film, I liked it a lot, but...it was also pretty clumsy and left me dissatisfied in parts.


    MADHERO: Oh hey, I did not see this but really want to.


    LARRY: Sticky has a point. The one issue I had is that there are occasional moments that aren’t really followed up on or move a bit too quickly with not enough development. I’m able to overlook them though, it didn’t really ruin the film for me.


    STICKMAN: It didn't ruin the film for me, but it prevented it from being a fantastic one in my eyes. It's got some incredible performances and some great shots, that's fo' sure.


    LARRY: Dude the camerawork in this in IMMACULATE. I was almost floored at some of the long takes in this film. Ballsy stuff, nothing less to expect from McQueen.


    MADHERO: It kinda did poorly in the US and that seems to have dashed its Oscar chances a bit, which is disappointing. But full credit to McQueen for going into such a different direction


    STICKMAN: And that dog, that dog is the real hero.


    LARRY: OLIVIA. What a cutie.


    MADHERO: That dog was apparently also in Game Night so its having a pretty good year


    STICKMAN: The true MVP of the cinema in 2018.


    LARRY: That was also an awesome film. But yeah, Mad, go see it asap.


    MADHERO: I will, but first I'll talk about my MOTW


    STICKMAN: Go for it, Mad 'Lazy Ass' Hero.


    MADHERO: Alright, I'll live up to that name by having watched a movie on Netflix. In fact, I'll be so lazy that I'll cover a movie that's already been covered on this show and segment before, but that was before it was officially out like now. There's few directors more capable of directing a Western than the Coen Brothers, as they've shown with both No Country for Old Men and especially True Grit, and they return to Cowboy land once more with The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, an anthology series that manages to miraculously be good all the way throughout.

    Now some segments are better than others, but there's some segments that definitely leave you begging for more. My favorite is the titular Buster Scruggs who's so delightfully fun as played by Tim Blake Nelson that you kinda wish you could see the full 2 hour version of his story. Like all of Coen's films, its largely darkly comic and then at some points just plain ol dark. But its fun throughout and definitely worth checking out.


    LARRY: Yeah you can tell why they put Buster’s story first. The absurdity of it instantly reels you in, classic Coens.


    MADHERO: Its Tim Blake Nelson's magnum opus. It was great


    STICKMAN: Bitch I ain't seen this.


    MADHERO: Well..... you should, and you can since its on Netflix. That actually somewhat helped the anthology aspect of it, since I did stop at various parts as a sort of mini-break. Like they're episodic or something.


    LARRY: Yeah, again, it’s debatable as to whether or not it works better as a film or as a series. I think there’s merit to both sides of the coin.


    MADHERO: I think you can go either way. The only one I didn't particuarely cared for is the one in the stagecoach


    LARRY: I feel like that would be Sticky’s favorite. It’s essentially Coen Bros. meets The Twilight Zone.


    STICKMAN: Interesting pitch.


    MADHERO: Pretty much, yeah. Its fun, but I dunno, wasn't feeling it for some reason. Buster himself is my boi and I also liked James Franco's segment.


    LARRY: My favorite is Liam Neeson’s. It absolutely broke my heart.


    MADHERO: There's a lot of great performers in this film. Tom Waits of all people shows up as a prospector.


    LARRY: He’s great too!! That one I found to be a little weaker though.


    STICKMAN: So what this is, like every anthology movie ever...is a mixed bag of some great and some not so great short films.


    MADHERO: I think they're mostly good. There's a consistency to them in that they're all done by the Coens


    LARRY: I found all of them to be good at least.


    STICKMAN: Where does it rank on the Coen ladder of excellence.


    MADHERO: Oof. Depends on what you're looking for. It ain't Fargo levels of good, but there's definitely some great segments to it that puts it close to the upper echelons for me.


    STICKMAN: Woah. Well there you have it ladies and gentlemen.


    LARRY: Not many films can be Fargo...


    STICKMAN: The Fargo TV show is better.


    LARRY: Well that’s a take


    MADHERO: I..... actually agree with that, but hey its about what you prefer to be honest and since its TV I think we can better call it quits for now.


    ------

    LARRY: I say time for bed but I actually mean time to stay up into 3 am


    STICKMAN: 3am is for chumps. 5am is hwere itaah...iwhere....it.s...zzzzz...


    MADHERO: Time to go into the food coma. If we're lucky enough, we're awake by the time the Spider-Men show up from the Spider-Verse


    STICKMAN: OOOOOOOOOHH IT'S FUCKING SPIDER-CHRISTMAS.


    LARRY: YEAHHHHHHH Spider Christmas! Spider Christmas! Does whatever a Spider Christmas does!!


    MADHERO: See ya in December everyone. Laaaater

  • Feasting On Turkey & Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

    2 months ago

    iMacOfDeath

    Gobble gobble, it's time to stop all that fasting and gorge ourselves on pre-cooked turkey, spiced cider, and too many deserts made using pumpkin. Except for me of course, I abstain from traditions that think they can start at 2:00pm and expect me to partake of a gigantic lunch. No thanks, I'm good with my single caramel & sea salt cliff bar thank you very much. I'm done being fat, and nowadays that's all Thanksgiving is about.


    Sent my new Xbox One Grey-Green controller in to Microsoft, the left thumb-stick had a sticking issue and the right trigger button also seems to share some stickiness, as they assure me the controller is covered under warranty due to how new it is. Sadly they had no matching controllers, and could only offer me a black or white one. I went with the white version. In the meantime, I'm stuck using my years old black controller that is quite literally disintegrating after every Overwatch match. Too much grinding the thumb-sticks into the surrounding areas.


    I was only able to do this because work let the office go early, it meant getting everything I normally do all day done in five hours, but I handled it. I also refilled my prescription for my PPI pills, gotta keep that silent reflux at bay, and I was able to hit the gym for an hour.


    FEH's new story trailer has me pretty unimpressed and not excited, seems like they want too hard to add shock value to make people come back and play. Sorry guys, you blew your Tharja load way too fast. FGO is still going strong though, now focusing on leveling my units and performing some long awaited ascensions. Hoping to be ready for this upcoming Christmas event and the next story update, the last chapter was a fucking chore at the point I was then.


    Four day weekend for me, which is nice, and it allows me to finally get a desk I have been looking at to replace this armoire that has served as my computer desk since I was 16. It's beat up, it collets dust like a damn magnet, and it forces my legs into uncomfortable positions. The keyboard tray's track is also broken, which I've had to fix in a way that causes the whole thing to fall out if I putt it out too far. New desk will be an L-desk with a shit ton of space to stretch my legs, and I'll also be able to rearrange my game consoles and computers. I'm looking forward it to.



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  • At the Screwvies Remembers Stan Lee

    2 months ago

    g1Features

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    MADHERO: Hey everyone, here on a very special episode of At the Screwvies. This so for real, because we're talking about an icon who has sadly left us last Monday. Stan Lee, an undisputed icon of not just comics, but pop culture and modern culture, has passed at the ripe old age of 95. Even at that age, his death felt like something of a shock, and it felt like quite the whiplash after the fun we had with Detective Pikachu. Its been a weird week, and we decided someone of his stature deserves a fitting tribute.


    STICKMAN: Hello all, shame this isn't a happier reason for doing a Screwvies.


    LARRY: Only feels fitting to take some time to talk about someone who was at the very foundation of some of the culture we talk about on this show!


    STICKMAN: Certainly feels like we talk about something related to Stan Lee at least once an episode.


    MADHERO: Let's not be a Bill Maher about this. Even if his start was in comics, its next to impossible to talk about him without his contribution to cinema. While not directly, his limitless imagination with the characters he's created and co-created has resulted in the biggest blockbusters we see today.


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    STICKMAN: He always had an eye for the big screen and it certainly started coming together for him in recent years...to put it lightly.


    LARRY: And you could tell he was having a blast seeing all his characters up on the big screen. And the fact he was so willing to put his stamp of approval on such a huge use of his characters has to say something. Hell, he was even IN them.


    STICKMAN: Even right up until the end he was bouncing around being the giddy comic book fan.


    MADHERO: Stan Lee always felt like someone truly energized by the adoration he received from his fans and the people who worked around him. He was obviously really frail in recent years, which is more than normal at his age, but he also always seemed spry in interviews and fan interactions.


    STICKMAN: He was doing pretty damn well for someone his age until the last few months that's for sure.


    LARRY: To be fair, living to 95 is quite an achievement in and of itself.


    MADHERO: Its a shame that I'll now never get to experience that. Would've been a dream to see him and thank him for what he's done


    STICKMAN: Even in recent years he'd begun winding down his appearances, his final UK comic con was a few years ago.


    LARRY: Yeah, but now we know he’s resting well with Steve Ditko, coming up with new ideas as we speak. Been a rough year, lost two comics giants in one year...


    STICKMAN: We lost more than that, but from the Marvel camp particularly, yeah.


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    MADHERO: Ditko was obviously super-private when compared to Lee. That's of course also where a lot of controversy came in. Lee was such a showman that it could often feel like he took all the credit for the work done by the likes of Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. I feel that can often lead to a over-correction of history, cause its not like he was just the hype man. He did contribute to a lot of those characters and what made them tick.


    LARRY: I think it’s fair to give them all credit in different ways for contributing to comic history and pop culture history.


    STICKMAN: He certainly contributed a lot to the brand and personality of Marvel as a publisher.


    LARRY: I really hate this odd undercurrent of negativity surrounding those who still have this chip on their shoulder about Stan Lee “stealing credit,” especially right now with his passing. I’ve seen them pop up in some threads. Kinda wish we could respect the man and let his family have some peace and condolence.


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    MADHERO: That negativity is definitely the minority. He was flawed, as are we all. That's his main contribution to his characters: they felt human when compared to the big heroes at DC at the time. Starting with the Fantastic Four, he had a knack for making characters feel real and relatable while their experience were far from them.


    STICKMAN: Even if the Fantastic Four are hella lame.


    MADHERO: I wouldn't go that far. I think a lot of great material has been done with the Fantastic Four. I love The Thing for example. Just so happens that no one has been able to make a good movie out of them.


    STICKMAN: Maybe we'll see that one day in the future.


    LARRY: Let’s hope, maybe in tribute.


    MADHERO: Maybe under Marvel they will. Speaking of FF though, what are some of your favorite characters from him? I mean....I think i can guess, cause I know about mine.


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    STICKMAN: I mean, Spider-Man, dude. That is my childhood superhero. As someone who never grew up with comics, due to their scarcity in my area, it was Spider-Man, first in the cartoons and then in the movies who introduced me to that medium, and made me want to get into it...of course...I never managed to because it was on Issue 356 and expensive, but hey ho.


    LARRY: That seems to be the ultimate beloved character from his library, I think. Especially based on the comics.


    MADHERO: Yeah, Spider-Man for me as well. As a introverted nerd, needless to say I found him instantly relatable and I've got of course a childhood fondness of the Raimi trilogy and the 90s series


    LARRY: I think that speaks largely on the value of comic adaptations. Since they’re scarce where you’re from, it was other media that engaged you.


    STICKMAN: Spider-Man is both relatable and inspirational at the same time. Also he got a cool costume and swings around and shit. The first Spider-Man movie blew my god damn mind when I saw it as a kid.


    MADHERO: True. Besides Spider-man, what other character do you feel really encapsulates Lee's mantra of characters. For me personally, I genuinely have a soft spot for The Hulk. It started because green as my favorite color, but I genuinely also really enjoy his struggle of not becoming the monster we all want to see. Especially in elementary school, that again felt weirdly relatable getting into fights as a kid


    STICKMAN: In terms of growing up with superheroes, it was mainly Spider-Man and his band of rogues for me. Obviously Iron Man was later a big thing for me, whilst Spider-Man represents a lot of what's aspirational in life, Tony Stark often represented some of my more negative traits, but both still managed to be good guys in the end.


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    LARRY: My personal favorite has always been Black Panther, and this was before his massive resurgence. He always was the coolest, sleekest, most badass superhero whenever I saw him in an Avengers comic or television show. He always had this Batman-esque quality to him, and as a kid obsessed with Batman, that really got me invested in his lore and world. I get why people really love Spider-Man too, he's a great character. But I was always more interested in the adult characters because I kinda matured a little too quickly.


    STICKMAN: I still admire Spider-Man as an adult so maturity ain't got nutin to do with it.


    MADHERO: Black Panther was really risky at the time when you realize he was created in the late 60s


    LARRY: Yeah, I realize that now in hindsight. But at the time, I obviously wasn't really looking at the nuances of skin color in comics. He was just this badass, awesome hero who had amazing combat skills and a killer costume who always was one step ahead of every other Avenger.


    MADHERO: Neither was I. I was introduced to Black Panther in Marvel Ultimate Alliance and by that point the concept of a black superhero wasn't that big a deal to me, but that must've been massive then, and it was now with his feature film.


    STICKMAN: I mean, Black Panther is the defining superhero of this year.


    MADHERO: I think both BP and a lot of his heroes were used to tackle many different issues. While he didn't make the popular versions of the X-Men, those were of course a major allegory for racism at the time, something that's been elevated in other stories. Same goes with Iron Man and dealing with alcoholism. Lee realized his stories could be used to inspire and deliver important messages to the world, which I feel is important to this very day where people try to desperately portray art as apolitical


    LARRY: Spider-Man was like...the first major superhero to tackle problems surrounding young people. Every one of his heroes, big or small, tackled something interesting and had a complexity to them. That's why his characters have stood the test of time, there are nuances for each one of them, and each one has a unique background.


    STICKMAN: I think the heart behind the hero is what makes them special. And Stan Lee represented that heart big time.


    MADHERO: Definitely. But besides his stories and characters, there's probably one thing that's made him famous for us: his cameo's. Over the years, starting with the Hulk tv movie, he's appeared in a ton of different properties in some form or another. The fact his Venom cameo is his last one after his death kinda stings, cause his cameo there was probably his lamest. That said, he's got more in the pipeline, and plenty of those are in fact pretty great.


    STICKMAN: What was his Venom cameo like.


    LARRY: I don’t even remember it, so that gives you an idea.



    STICKMAN: To me, whilst the film itself was ....a mixed bag, the cameo in Spider-Man 3 really summed up Stan Lee to me. It's pretty cheesy and comic book'y, but full of heart. Him having a face to face talk with the most famous of his creations about what it means to make a difference? Pretty great stuff. Most of his cameos are throw-away jokes or gags, but this one had meaning behind it.


    MADHERO: Yeah, that one is probably my favorite as well. His Spider-Man cameos in general are pretty strong. While 1 and 2 are blink and you'll miss him, his part in Amazing Spider-Man was the highlight of that film for me.


    LARRY: Yeah the Amazing Spider-Man cameo is a ton of fun even if that scene as a whole is generally meh. The one from the first Avengers was also one that, to me, was a very funny jab at his age. It was also the first one I saw after acknowledging Stan Lee was doing this Marvel cameo stint, so seeing it on a big screen and recognizing it and going, “HEY ITS STAN,” with a big audience no less, was tons of fun.


    STICKMAN: I felt the Avengers one was a bit of a let-down personally.


    MADHERO: I like his Age of Ultron one better, where he gets drunk with the boys. And we hear him say excelsior for the first time in the movies


    LARRY: Don’t forget the one from GotG. Gettin comfy with the ladies


    STICKMAN: GotG 2 brought all the MCU ones together.


    MADHERO: Yeah, his GOTG Vol.2 confirming the Watcher theorywas a lot of fun. That's up there for me as well. Its also really hard to beat Tony Stank in Civil War.


    STICKMAN: A nice bit if levity in what felt like the darkest ending the MCU had gotten....until Infinity War that is.


    MADHERO: His Infinity War onecould've been better, but its pretty difficult to give him room in such a packed film. Even if its not particuarely good, there's also something fun about Stan Lee trying to sneak into the wedding of his first created characters in Rise of the Silver Surfer

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    TICKMAN: Frankly, it's going to be weird to go to see films post Infinity War 2 and think we'll never see a cameo from him again. It became part of the experience.


    LARRY: For sure. They’ll definitely dedicate the films to him.


    MADHERO: Yeah, my guess is that the last time we'll see him is in Far From Home, which feels appropriate considering Spidey is the one most dear to him


    STICKMAN: It's gonna be the worlds most emotional cameo appearance.


    LARRY: Better be good, then. Almost a little too much to live up to...the LAST Stan Lee cameo...



    MADHERO: Going away from the movies, I also really liked his cameo in the 90's animated series. Its a fun note to end the show on, getting Spidey to meet his creator. And it even featured his wife Joan, which I think only ever happened in X-Men Apocalypse


    STICKMAN: Let's not talk about X-Men Apocalypse. But yeah, it's fair to say two of the best Lee cameos involved him having a heart to heart with Spidey.


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    MADHERO: I think we've got about everything out of our system. All I can really say to him and his family is nothing but sheer gratitude for the joy and lessons his characters have brought all over the world. I'm glad he got to truly experience that love from his fans and seeing his characters be so appreciated all across the globe, and will continue to long after his lifetime.


    STICKMAN: The older Lee got, the more inevitable this sad day coming became....I mean, closer at least. But even so, it was still a shock to think someone so full of life was actually gone. I'm not the biggest expert on his career, but all I know is he provided me with some of my favourite characters and childhood inspirations....and was also just a fun guy to see around, be it in films or just in interviews. And that time he was a LEGO Hulk in a video game.


    LARRY: May he rest in the highest of heavens knowing he lived a long and influential life. Godspeed, and Excelsior!


    MADHERO: Excelsior


    STICKMAN: Yeah, that.

  • At the Screwvies: Episode 121

    3 months ago

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    MADHERO: Well, time to throw our Halloween memorabilia in the trash. Its officially Christmas season now. Yeah, it may be November, but we're getting a new Grinch movie and even a new Harry Potter, and we all know how that is pretty much Christmas tradition. Of course, it also means Oscar movies up the wazoo. That's always fun. Cause nothing says Oscars like..... Nazi zombies.


    STICKMAN: I refuse to give up my skeleton children.


    LARRY”Always thankful for shooting Nazi scum.


    MADHERO: Larry, the midterms have already passed. You missed your chance. That's a little political reference for ya


    STICKMAN: There's always time for nazi killin'.


    LARRY: Ew, get these politics out of my Screwvies.


    MADHERO: Fiiiiiine. We'll talk something apolitical like the news then


    NEWS

    AMC WORKING ON WALKING DEAD FILM TRILOGY STARRING ANDREW LINCOLN. ALSO WORKING ON BREAKING BAD MOVIE WITH VINCE GILLIGAN

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    Although this is STRICTLY A MOVIE HOUSEHOLD, it's fair to say there's been some damn good telly about in the past decade, with AMC provinding some of the biggest TV hits. Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and most financially of interest, The Walking Dead. Neither of the latter two are strangers to spin-offs: Breaking Bad getting the excellent Better Call Saul, and TWD getting the....also existing Fear TWD, but this week in separate, yet clearly connected circumstances, AMC announced plans to take  them to the MOVIES. WARNING: BIG SPOILERS FOR TWD TO SOON FOLLOW.


    Hot off the heels of what was obnoxiously marketed as RICK GRIMES' FINAL EPISODE on TWD, we found out the overseer of what AMC now considers 'TWD franchise', alongside Andrew  Lincoln were working on a trilogy of films set to continue Rick Grimes' walker-stabbing adventures outside of the TV shows bubble. Viewers saw Rick helicoptered  away to an unknown fate, which was less a satisfying end to one of TVs most iconic leads. Days later, we got news they were working with Vince Gilligan to create a Breaking Bad movie, reportedly a sequel to the events of the acclaimed show, potentially following Jessie Pinkman (Aaron Paul) in his life after Bad. Although this project feels a lot more natural and promising than the former, which comes across as another unnecessary brand extension for a show who's ratings glory days are far behind it, it's really hard to tell at this point if either will be good or bad.  It's also unknown if these will receive any form of theatrical release...all we know is...they're coming, whether you want them or not.


    MADHERO: I've jumped ship on Walking Dead a long time ago so I've got no investment in this movie announcement, but for a show that once touted "anyone could get killed at any moment" I find this hilarious


    LARRY: I, for one, am not on the TWD train, but I was most definitely on the BB train.


    STICKMAN: I'm on both, the fun never ends.


    MADHERO: Its good on Lincoln's end, who now gets to keep playing Rick on a far lighter schedule, but starting an trilogy when the franchise is lagging screams of Dark Universe style hubris


    STICKMAN: Rick Grimes at least is a cooler dude than whoever Tom Cruise was playing in The Mummy.


    LARRY: Yeah, TWD has lost a lot of its luster from a cultural standpoint. It doesn’t have as much draw anymore.


    STICKMAN: This season has been an improvement on the past couple to be hoooonest, but it's a shame this Rick business has overshadowed that.


    MADHERO: As for Breaking Bad, I'd normally be very sceptical, but Vince Gilligan has already proved what he can do with a spin-off so needless to say I am in, even if its unnecessary


    STICKMAN: Better Call Saul is ace, Breaking Bad is ace....whatever this is? Maybe will be ace perhaps.


    LARRY: I’m sceptical. I do agree with you guys, Gilligan is a master storyteller, but I felt like Jesse’s arc wrapped very nicely. Seems odd to bring it back.


    STICKMAN: To be fair we aren't 100% on that, but it seems pretty likely.


    MADHERO: Well his story is still rather open in the sense of an aftermath. Doubt you'd get away alright after what he went through.


    LARRY: But the beauty is that he got out, no matter how. His newfound freedom, in and of itself, is a beautiful end. I don’t need that explained, I guess it’s just me.


    STICKMAN: I just want my boy Jessie to be okay, bitch. And my boy Rick too. All the boys need to be okay.


    MADHERO: Guess he got what he deserved


    STICKMAN: There's nothing to explain, it's just seeing what happens next. Maybe he ends up on a helicopter and turns up in The Walking Dead.


    LARRY: Now there’s a twist.


    MADHERO: The AMC Extended Universe starts here.


    DREAMWORKS ANIMATION LOOKING TO REBOOT SHREK FRANCHISE. WANTS TO KEEP ORIGINAL VOICE CAST

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    Oy. Alright, time to feel old again. So, back in 2001, DreamWorks made waves in the world of children's animation when they gave us "Shrek," an ogre-ific adventure that was a major box office success and was the winner of the first ever Academy Award for Best Animated Feature!! Since then, it garnered three sequels (which vary in quality), a spin-off film that got its own TV show, and a boatload of money in merch. These days, we just like to reference All Star and make a bunch of memes, and through this, Chris Meledandri of Illumination Entertainment (the man who made the world fall in love with little yellow butt plugs) is gonna give us the reboot nobody asked for...sort of.


    Under Melandandri, who controls both Illumination and Dreamworks following the latter’s buyout to Comcast, there’s a plan to reboot both Shrek and Puss in Boots. According to Meledandri, he would keep the original voice cast intact (Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas etc.). This seems odd. I guess they don't want to lose the brand recognition with a total reimagining, but how are you going to reboot the series when there is already so much lore? Unfortunately, I suppose time will tell. But hey, this is already inherently better than Trolls, so I'll take what I can get.


    MADHERO: Alright you know the drill. Some...


    STICKMAN: one kill me.


    LARRY: Perfection.


    MADHERO: Oh. No Smash Mouth then. I guess a reboot makes sense since Forever After has been a while ago. Still, nothing makes me feel as old as Shrek getting a reboot


    LARRY: But like...it’s not really a reboot. Because the OG voice cast is back, at least some of them.


    MADHERO: This is how I learn that Cameron Diaz has retired from acting.


    STICKMAN: It'll be like Star Trek where Shrek's dad dies in the past and sends him into an alternative timeline.


    LARRY: Oh lord, an alternate Shrek. Kill me now.


    MADHERO: Its weird cause Shrek was always conceived a big middle finger and parody of Disney, which is hard now that you see Disney make fun of itself.


    LARRY: Look, I’m a huge fan of the OG Shrek and it’s first sequel, I love the characters and the world. But I can’t see this working, especially when you’re still attached to Myers as Shrek. If they wanted to do this right, they wouldn’t do it. But if they had to, they’d wipe the slate clean.


    STICKMAN: I hate Shrek and I wouldn't care about this film even if it was a sequel. This is all to promote theme park rides or whatever, so get set for a quality adventure.


    MADHERO: I haven't seen them in a while so I don't know how well they've aged, but 3 and 4 were pretty damn bad.


    STICKMAN: I hope this reboot goes more into detail about the Donkey/Dragon sex mechanics.


    LARRY: Now THAT is a movie I can get behind.


    BIRDS OF PREY CASTS EWAN MCGREGOR AS VILLAIN BLACK MASK. CONFIRMS IT WILL GO FOR AN R RATING

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    Its been a while since we've groaned at a not happening DC movie, and a tad shorter since talking about one actually happening. While we could be dunking on the newly released Aquaman posters, there's also Birds of Prey, the team up featuring Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn, Huntress, Black Canary, Renee Montoya and Cassandra Cain,  has cast its main villain in the form of Ewan McGregor as Black Mask, master crime boss and black skull aficionado. An interesting choice, especially since we don't really see McGregor as much of a bad guy, but he's a great actor and if it doesn't work out, they can always redub his lines over his mask.


    More interesting, is that director Cathy Yan confirmed the film is going for an R rating, which continues to show DC is willing to experience with different ratings if the budget allows for it. Obviously, BvS  has an R rated cut and feels weirdly dark for an PG-13, but this seems less a part of the need to be edgy and actually do something interestingly nasty with it. Birds of Prey is still a while away, not out till early 2020, but an R rated female superhero team fighting mobsters? Yeah, I'm interested


    STICKMAN: Hard to get excited for anything connected to Suicide Squad.


    LARRY: Also anything connected to DC.


    MADHERO: Boy if I earned a dollar for every time we bash DC, they still wouldn't pay me enough like Marvel does for us to be shills for them


    LARRY: But of course. Marvel LOVES Screwvies.


    STICKMAN: Marvel know how to bribe me properly. Tight leather and M&Ms.


    MADHERO: Honestly though, good cast so far, interesting director, R rating, I'm definitely curious about this one even if any connection to Suicide Squad is one too many, though maybe Gunn can still fix that


    LARRY: Yeah, the film as a whole sounds badass. But just give it time, DC will ruin it.


    STICKMAN: Oh god, James Gunn doing Suicide Squad 2, now I feel sad again. DCEU has yet to prove itself capable of anything but semi-decent Wonder Woman films so we'll see what stage we're at with them come 2020.


    MADHERO: Maybe they've channelled all their ruin in those Aquaman posters


    STICKMAN: Fuckin 'ell. I know what I'm not watching this Christmas.


    LARRY: Oopsie poopsie


    MADHERO: I mean, remember the photoshop vomit that was the Homecoming poster? Good movies get bad posters all the time, so we'll see. This does already sound more interesting than Aquaman does at least


    STICKMAN: Aquaman looks crap in general but HEY HO, Birds of Prey. It's a thing. Don't let us down, Shazam


    LARRY: Awwwww okay I'll give em credit, that looks wonderful.


    ANDY MUSCHIETTI TO DIRECT ATTACK ON TITAN FOR WARNER BROS.WILL ALSO WORK ON THE TIME MACHINE WITH LEONARDO DICAPRIO

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    Well, this is what you get for hubris. Last episode, as we discussed the My Hero Academia adaption, I talked about plenty of anime adaptations in Hollywood in development, but not currently happening. One of those was Attack of Titan, and maybe producer David Heyman heard me, cause its seen some movement in the form of IT director Andy Muschietti, who's now been hired to direct the adaptation. This does actually make sense, since Attack on Titan borrows from a lot of horror tropes, particularly in the designs of the Titans.


    However, the Argentine filmmaker has now also been hired by Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way to direct a new version of HG Wells' The Time Machine, so he sure is a busy boy. The Time Machine has been adapted numerous times, with the last one in 2002 starring Guy Pearce, and directed by HG Wells' grandson. While an director hired isn't necessarily a guarantee, its definitely a big step, and hey, at least he has something to fall back on if it doesn't work out.


    LARRY: Take about two crazy unique projects to tackle.


    STICKMAN: Someone's gotten busy because of a murderclown.


    MADHERO: They're certainly very different, though both have some horror elements (Titans and Morloks) and a step to bigger budget properties, so I guess it makes sense. Dat boi Pennywise made all the money, so it was bound to happen


    STICKMAN: Should've got him to direct the new Resident Evil but it's TOO LATE NOW.


    LARRY: I enjoyed the new IT, Muschietti clearly knows how to have fun with a horror film so I'm down for whatever he does. It'll be interesting to see how he translates that into two different kinds of horror aesthetics.


    STICKMAN: Attack on Titan is more campy melodrama than horror.


    LARRY: I have a feeling, in translation, it'd veer closer to horror.


    MADHERO: As long as he puts in the original Attack on Titan opening theme, he's set. Some of the Titans are pretty freaky looking, along with the ones that look like a bunch of wacky goobers


    STICKMAN: I find all the Titans stupid to look at, but there you go. Giant grinning naked people. Not that I expect them to find clothes in their size, but still.


    MADHERO: Wow rude. Do have to wonder how it'll translate into an Hollywood film, but its already got the advantage of it having an Western cast, so the whitewashing debate is dodged.


    LARRY: Thank the lord, let's not have another one of those again, pls


    STICKMAN: And how about that Time Machine. I hope the trailer is as sexist as the original.


    MADHERO: I guess its about time to revisit that, but more interested in my anime because I'm a hopeless nerd.


    STICKMAN: I don't care about EITHER. YIPPPEEE.


    LAIKA RELEASE FIRST TRAILER FOR 'MISSING LINK'

    In this world, you either love the films of ambitious stop motion studio LAIKA, or you've never heard of them. Sure, there's a stray Boxtroll here and there to bring their reputation into question, but they've very much the modern leaders of  this specific style of animation (Sorry, Aardman, I still love you tho).  They may not always earn the big bucks at the box office but films like Coraline, Paranorman and most recently, Kubo and the Two Strings, have all received a vast amount of critical and audience praise, so despite the latter being something of a financial dud, the LAIKA show indeed goes on, with a new distribution home at Annapurna.


    This week we got our first look at their 2019 release, 'Missing Link', which sees Hugh Jackman go off in search Zach Galifianakis, who as we all know, is the missing link between man and ape. Or moreso, the film itself revolves around the two characters, alongside a supporting cast who basically went unseen in this teaser, as they attempt to reunite 'Mr Link' with his family...or something?  Whilst the film looks beautiful, as you'd expect from LAIKA, with a seamless blend of their iconic brand of buttery smooth, 3D printer face replacement stop motion, and CGI embellishing, the trailer itself was....eh? For a studio known for making pretty enticing trailers, this one came across as more in the spirit of what Aardman does. Cheesy narration, inoffensive whimpy pop music and a focus on specific gags rather than the film as a whole.  Still, it is only a teaser, and it's early days...so....I'm still excited. I'm always excited for LAIKA.


    MADHERO: Love the look of it, but eesh, that wasn't a great introduction to Mr. Link


    STICKMAN: It's funny cuz his pants ripped.


    LARRY: It's the same joke over and over.


    MADHERO: My guess is they may go for something lighter and funnier after Kubo didn't make its money back. Can't run on Nike money forever.


    STICKMAN: Kubo deserved better. Fuck you, audiences.


    LARRY: Truth. Nike's too busy being political now, I guess.


    MADHERO: The worst thing to happen in 2016. Nothing else comes close. Nope.


    LARRY: 2016? I don't know her...


    MADHERO: I do hope the movie is better and this is just a bad start. Its Laika and they don't really make stinkers. If your worst film is Boxtrolls, you're doing alright.


    STICKMAN: Boxtrolls was fine, just...too weird. Looked lovely though. First teaser for Missing Link is a little bland, but we got many months to go until the film is out, plenty of time to impress. AND HEY, if this one blows, we've always got our man Shaun to bolster the 2019 stop motion offerings.


    LARRY: Yeah, I'm always down to indulge in LAIKA. This just seems a little sillier than I expected. Kinda gave me some Early Man vibes.


    MADHERO: And if that doesn't work out, well at least Netflix likes stop motion. But yeah, hoping the best for Mr. Link.


    RIDLEY SCOTT MOVING FORWARD WITH A SEQUEL TO BEST PICTURE WINNER GLADIATOR.

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    Oh geez, another unneeded continuation of a story that is so iconic you can't really help but stain its legacy? We're on a ROLL today.


    Ridley Scott isn't exactly a great idea person. Whether it be continuing Alien on a Prometheus track, or...a coming-of-age Merman story (weird...), or even just the entirety of Exodus: Gods and Kings, you always must take what he says with a grain of salt. THAT being said, it looks like Scott's long-forgotten plans for a sequel to his 2000 Best Picture winner "Gladiator" are back on the table. He is set to direct the film, with Peter Craig ("The Town," "The Hunger Games," the upcoming "Top Gun: Maverick") writing the script. The story will follow Lucius, son of Lucilla. You may remember Maximus saving them at some point in the original. I guess it's compelling? Eh. Currently, Paramount is looking over the project, with Universal having the option to co-finance, but DreamWorks, the original film's creator, is out. Will Ridley strike gold twice? If Convenant is any indication, then no, no he will not.


    STICKMAN: WHAT THE HEELLLLLLLLLLL. Finish your weird prequel series before starting a weird sequel series, Ridley. What's wrooooong with you.


    MADHERO: If this isn't the completely bonkers Nick Cave scripted one, I ain't interested.


    LARRY: Wow, strong feelings here.


    STICKMAN: Gladiator I don't even feel has aged particularly well, to be honest.


    MADHERO: Well Sir Ridley works fast. He'll have this done by the end of the week and then go back to Alien and then one of his actors gets in trouble and he shoots someone a day before it comes out


    STICKMAN: If only he was as good as he was fast.


    LARRY: And there's the trouble.


    MADHERO: Ridley I feel is an director is as good as his scripts. Get him a great script and you're set, but he doesn't do much to fix a bad script. At least it'll look good.


    STICKMAN: I just don't understand how he's going to work androids into this one. Androids being his favourite thing, obviously.


    LARRY: He must be so excited to fuck a robot. He probably has, he's rich enough.


    STICKMAN: What makes us human, Larry? WHAT MAKES US HUMAN.


    --------------

    MADHERO: .....I don't know how we got from Gladiator to robot sex, but I guess we can better move on to the movies then.


    STICKMAN: Sorry, I'm horny.


    MADHERO: You're a horny one, Mr. Stickman. You really are lewd. Anyway, movies. Hope you're ready for some unnecessary prequel adventures, because we sure have that. But before we go into that, we actually have an all new review for the Wolfenstein movie you've all been waiting for. Ok its technically called Overlord, but still


    LARRY: Lovers of the Ord.


    MADHERO: Is that what Nazi Zombies are called these days? I can't keep up. Anyway, you're the one that saw this not-Cloverfield film, so let us know what you think, Sticky?


    REVIEW

    OVERLORD

    DIRECTOR: Julius Avery (Son of a Gun)

    STARRING: Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Mathilde Oliver, Pilou Asbaek, Jacob Anderson

    SYNOPSIS: On the eve of D-Day during World War II, American paratroopers (Adepo, Russell) are caught behind enemy lines After reaching their target, the paratroopers come to realize that besides fighting off Nazi soldiers, they also must face off against horrifying creatures that are a result of a secret Nazi experiment.

    STICKMAN: Soooo, Overlord. A once mysterious Bad Robot production that wasn't officially announced until well after its filming was done. First things first, it has nothing to do with Cloverfield, there's no tie-ins whatsoever. It is instead, Bad Robot's first R rated movie, and very much earns that rating it must be said.


    Uz8VScL.jpg


    Overlord is part action war movie, part body horror, and all parts fun. If you saw either of the trailers, you know exactly what you're getting in for, whilst there are some fun things not shown within those trailers, there's no grander plan or big shock obscured within. But that's okay, because whilst it may be lacking in originality or surprise, it makes up for that by being one of the finer examples of exploitation-esque big budget cinema in recent years.  It's all solidly filmed, the soundtrack is great, the performances for the most part, are pretty strong, and the special effects are pretty spectacular. Wyatt Russell is very much channeling the pulpy cult charm of daddy Kurt in his 80s prime, as the leader of the ragtag surviving soldiers, and newcomer Jovan Adepo is a solid lead, providing some humanity to a main cast of characters that are otherwise pretty disturbed. There's a good mix of tension, action and gore in Overlord, and whilst I wouldn't rate it highly as a horror film, there's certainly enough grisly body imagery to put it firmly within that genre. As a lot of people have said,  it's in a lot of ways, the Wolfenstein movie you never knew you wanted....but with more grotesque monsters.


    MADHERO: How Wolfenstein is this movie?


    STICKMAN: It's got that gory, 'FUCKIN' NAZIS' charm and mad science aspect of the games, for sure.


    LARRY: I guess the Nazi business is booming yet again. But more horror-esque. Is this mostly practical stuff?


    STICKMAN: Honestly, I found it hard  to tell. There's a blend of practical and CGI in there, but it's really solid either way.


    MADHERO: It kinda feels like a movie that's exactly what it says on the box. Some Nazi zombie madness. You mention it being Bad Robot's first R-rated movie, so it that violence worth the ticket?


    LARRY: If it immerses you, in the end, it doesn't matter.


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    STICKMAN: I will say it takes a while for the R rating to come into effect, but when it does? The blood does indeed runneth. It's not the goriest film I've seen, but it's definitely a hard R. There's some excellent grotesque imagery involving the 'monsters' in question, but I won't spoil the specifics.


    LARRY: Who would say gives the strongest performance?


    STICKMAN: I really dug Wyatt Russell doing his best Kurt impression, it's very authentic. It suits the film perfectly.


    MADHERO: He's had his whole life to practice Do you think its worth seeking out in theaters or is it a film you can watch at home? What does the cinema experience add?


    STICKMAN: You could probably get away with watching this at home, yeah. It's got some great gore and the opening sequence is pretty intense, but if you're struggling to fit in all these November  releases, you can probably wait it out.


    LARRY: I could imagine it adds quite a bit.


    MADHERO: Alright, anything you want to add in your wrap-up?


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    STICKMAN: Mm, well I'll just say that I enjoyed Overlord a lot. It's one of those films that'll go down as a cult favourite, I think. It's not a masterpiece, but frankly it's not trying to be.  When you have nazis and monsters and evil experiments, it's hard to make Citizen Kane. But Overlord is exactly what you think it is, and if you're into that kinda film? You're gonna love it.


    LARRY: That's what Citizen Kane was missing. Nazi zombies.


    -----------

    MADHERO: Ok. That about does it for the original movies. Its pretty much all downhill from here. Well, not entirely, but mostly we're going deep.


    STICKMAN: Oh yes, go deep. Real deep. Oooh yeah.


    LARRY: You drove into that one, Mad.


    STICKMAN: Drive it into me, yeaaah.


    MADHERO: Fuck it, lets start


    MOVIES

    FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD


    DIRECTOR: David Yates (The Legend of Tarzan, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)

    STARRING: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Allison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Zoe Kravitz, Callum Turner, Claudia Kim, Jude Law, Johnny Depp

    SYNOPSIS: The powerful dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Depp) escapes custody and has set about gathering followers. In an effort to thwart Grindelwald's plans, Albus Dumbledore (Law) enlists his former student Newt Scamander (Redmayne) for help.

    STICKMAN: OHHH GAWWWD. THE GHOST OF JOHNNY DEEP HAUNTS US.


    LARRY: Why do I feel so...bleh.


    MADHERO: Man, it feels really weird not be excited for an new Harry Potter movie. I was curious and excited about Fantastic Beasts, but this....ehh


    STICKMAN: It really is a huge eh. A huge eh with the sour aftertaste of poor casting decisions.


    LARRY: Yeah this should really excite me and yet, I don’t want to see it, and unless I get the chance to see it for free, I probably won’t


    STICKMAN: After those reviews, I'm definitely giving it a pass.


    MADHERO: I've heard some of the Hogwarts callbacks are fun, but other than that I feel like this franchise suffers from having Rowling in charge of screenwriting if its apparently as schizophrenic as the first one was


    STICKMAN: All these films have is nostalgia. That's all the previous film had.


    LARRY: I mean...some of the monsters were cute. Make a great POP Vinyl they do. The wittle platypus


    STICKMAN: I THINK YOU MEAN NIFFLER, LARRY.


    MADHERO: Its not like Harry Potter itself doesn't excite me. That leaked game trailer was mad hype, but here I guess we learn that Nagini was originally a woman and that adds TRAGEDY! And I guess it gave us Ezra Miller as the Michelin Man's goth son.


    LARRY: How do YOU know the name, Sticky, and not me.


    MADHERO: He's British. Harry Potter is a curriculum there


    STICKMAN: This film just seems like more of the previous one, but with Johnny Depp. And I wasn't really into the previous one.


    LARRY: God I just don’t wanna support anything Johnny Depp does. Ever. That plays a big role in me not seeing this.


    STICKMAN: Naturally I'm sure the diehard Potter fans who don't care about quality will love it because they go to Hogwarts and do a Dumbledore or whatever. I wish I could be that shallowwwww.


    LARRY: I’m glad you’re not.


    MADHERO: Well too bad. Here's hoping the next one in this 5 part series (ugh) will be better.


    THE GRINCH


    DIRECTOR: Scott Mosier & Yarrow Cheney (The Secret Life of Pets)

    STARRING: Benedict Cumberbatch, Cameron Seely, Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson, Angela Lansbury, Pharrell Williams

    SYNOPSIS: A grumpy Grinch (Cumberbatch) plots to ruin Christmas for the village of Whoville.

    STICKMAN: OOHOhhhh GAWWWWWD


    MADHERO: Ahh, at least there's few constants in lives. Death, taxes, and average Illumination animated movies that make all the money


    STICKMAN: Illumination are becoming the new Dreamworks I swear, except this studio makes money.


    MADHERO: Dreamworks used to make money. It can all come crashing down in a instant. For now, we'll just buy into whatever generically cute shit Illumination gives us.


    STICKMAN: I mean, the dog's cute I guess.


    LARRY: At least it’s short.


    MADHERO: Its hard to pad out The Grinch, but boy howdy they try


    LARRY: Have you guys heard the new remixes they did?


    STICKMAN: I heard enough of one, now I wish music had never been invented. It reminds me of the Ghostbusters 2016 theme.


    MADHERO: I forgot about that one. Also it seems weird they got someone with as great a voice as Benedict Cumberbatch and make him do this nasally American accented Grinch


    LARRY: Hey kids, who wants to see The Grinch GO TO THE GROCERY STORE??? THATS EXCITING


    STICKMAN: The best part? There's a Minions short attached to the front.


    LARRY: WHERE ARE YOU, GOD?!


    MADHERO: He's not even that Grinchy. He's just kind of a jerk who likes animals. But hey, it already made a boatload its opening and will continue to do so cause Illumination's formula is like a bigger Blumhouse


    STICKMAN: Illumination are better at scaring me than Blumhouse.


    THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB

    DIRECTOR: Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead, Don’t Breathe)

    STARRING: Claire Foy, Sverrir Gudnason, LaKeith Stanfield, Sylvia Hoeks, Stephen Merchant, Vicky Krieps

    STARRING:  Young computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Foy) and journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Gudnason) find themselves caught in a web of spies, cybercriminals and corrupt government officials.

    MADHERO: O yeah, this came out. This feels like it should've been a bigger deal.


    STICKMAN: Who's up for some entertaining mush following on from more complex and interesting previous entries. The reviews for this have been pretty  biting despite it sounding kinda fun. I think it's just...hard to detach it from what it SHOULD be, rather than what it is.


    LARRY: I’m not surprised this isn’t gaining traction. What a strange move to reboot these films.


    MADHERO: To be fair, the book its based on always felt like a weird cashgrab.


    STICKMAN: I don't think anyone was that interested in chapter four of the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. Most people aren't even interested in Chapter 2 and 3.


    LARRY: I’m sure not.


    MADHERO: I'm a big fan of Fincher's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and its a shame that that franchise never got started. I don't know what it is, but I don't really buy Claire Foy into the role despite her being one of the better parts reportedly


    STICKMAN: It sounds like this film has some positive merits, but it's just too....blockbustery for this franchise? Fede Álvarez looks to have done a great job directing. Some cool visuals in the trailer. Either way it's gonna tank financially and we all knew that was going to happen regardless of quality. This just wasn't wanted.


    LARRY: Yeah Fincher’s film certainly wasn’t as flashy.


    MADHERO: Should've had an Blur Studios produced opening credits sequence


    STICKMAN: God, that opening credits. Pure sex.


    WIDOWS

    DIRECTOR: Steve McQueen (Shame, 12 Years a Slave)

    STARRING: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Colin Farrell, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya, Jacki Weaver, Carrie Coon, Robert Duvall, Liam Neeson,

    SYNOPSIS: Four armed robbers are killed in a failed heist attempt, only to have their widows (Davis, Rodriguez, Debicki, Erivo) step up to finish the job.

    STICKMAN: Nowwww we're talking.


    LARRY: Here we gooooooo. McQueen is BAAAAAACK


    MADHERO: O hell yeah, that's more like it. Not the route I was expecting Steve McQueen to go


    STICKMAN: Steve McQueen directs a morally greyed  heist thriller and I'm more than here for it.


    LARRY: The Davis campaign trail started a while agooooooo


    MADHERO: Like, here we have the director of 12 Years a Slave direct alongside the writer of Gone Girl an action thriller based on an 80's English miniseries


    STICKMAN: God this is my jaaaam. I was between this and Overlord to see this week, but I'll be seeing this one next week FO' SURE.


    LARRY: Yeah I hope I catch it. I hear Kaluuya is a stand out. He’s in a villainous role and I love that we get to see something different from him.


    MADHERO: Its apparently well made, fun, thrilling and has a message, so if you like your blockbusters smart, this might just be the way to go.


    STICKMAN: LET'S GO WATCH THIS NOWWW. BYE EVERYONE.


    LARRY: EARLY END! ADIOS


    MADHERO: Uhhhmmm..... we've still got more things to cover.


    LARRY: Aw shit Whatevs


    STICKMAN: GOD DAMNIT. Better be goooood.


    MADHERO: ......sweats nervously


    INSTANT FAMILY

    DIRECTOR: Sean Anders (Daddy’s Home, Daddy’s Home 2)

    STARRING: Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Isabela Moner, Gustavo Quiroz, Julianna Gamiz, Octavia Spencer

    SYNOPSIS: A couple (Wahlberg, Byrne) find themselves in over their heads when they adopt three children (Moner, Quiroz, Gamiz).

    STICKMAN: GOD DAMMMNNIITT


    LARRY: I swear Wahlberg is living a double life. He does these hard as balls military thrillers and then he pulls a Daddy’s Home.


    MADHERO: Marky Mark adopts an family and it all gets a little rowdy.


    STICKMAN: Mark Wahlberg needs to sit the fuck down.


    MADHERO: He doesn't have time for that inbetween his 90 minute showers


    STICKMAN: Is that his next movie? He's got excellent stamina.


    MADHERO: A movie just following his crazy ass schedule? Sure, why not.


    STICKMAN: I'd watch a slice of life documentary about Mark Wahlberg and his 1000 leather jackets. Anyway this is a film that also exists.


    LARRY: And I’m not gonna watch it.


    MADHERO: i'd rather go and spend an hour in a cryo chamber than watch this. Actually i probably don't, but yeah not much interest


    LARRY: At least you’re honest.


    GREEN BOOK

    DIRECTOR: Peter Farrelly (The Three Stooges, Dumb and Dumber To)

    STARRING: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini, Diemeter Marinov

    SYNOPSIS: A working-class Italian-American bouncer (Mortensen) becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist (Ali) on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South.

    LARRY: Mahershalaaaaaaa


    MADHERO: From the director of Dumb and Dumber. Really, and he's gone solo this time. Maybe his brother was just holding him back and causing Movie 43 to happen


    LARRY: Oh shit wow.


    STICKMAN: I mean, that's not the best selling point. Mahershalala and Vigggo? Now theeeere's a selling point.


    LARRY: Two great talents who look to be testing each other throughout the film. I’m into it, honestly.


    MADHERO: This movie surprised everyone by winning the Toronto Film Festival's Audience Award, and that's pretty much a guaranteed Best Picture spot


    STICKMAN: Dang, what a glow up.


    LARRY: Well it’s not being marketed as one... Its campaign is relatively light.


    STICKMAN: Only the best Oscar films are seen by nobody and make no money. That's why we're getting Best Popular Film.


    MADHERO: I think it might be a relatively light movie. Its like an opposite Driving Miss Daisy.


    STICKMAN: Walking Mr Daffodil.


    LARRY: No, not light as in tone. Light as in spread. The marketing isn’t really up there with movies like A Star is Born or The Favourite.


    STICKMAN: This ain't out until February here, which guarantees they at least think it'll be part of Oscar season, since that's when all of those come out here.


    MADHERO: It aint out till 2019 here, so I can't say much on how they're marketing, but maybe they'll ramp it up come Oscar time. Its getting the right buzz, so we can probably expect to hear more about this soon.


    STICKMAN: Better than Green Day.


    LARRY: Maybe on a good day


    -----------

    MADHERO: Moving on from Oscar talk to MOVIE OF THE WEEK TALK! As always, here we talk the movies you can watch while at home or ones we happened to like in the theaters that you can still go and see and stuff. No Christmas here yet, but we may have some potential Oscar contenders of our own.


    STICKMAN: OOoOOOHH.  I dooooon't.


    LARRY: Maybe I do? Probably not??


    MADHERO: Oh, what did you bring in class today then, Sticky?


    MOVIE OF THE WEEK

    STICKMAN: Wellll, Professor Madhero,  I brought a cult surrealist arthouse ultraviolent revenge thriller. Y'know the ones. MANDY, starring Nicolas Cage, and only the second film of director Panos Cosmatos, is a heavy metal cover inspired, visually vibrant film about a lumberjack who goes on a violent revenge spree against religious fanatics and demonic leather daddies...and yes, there is LSD involved.

    It's a weird ass movie, both in its premise, visuals and also its pacing. It's a film of two halves, one a slow and trance-like exploration of Red Miller (Cage) and his girlfriend as they live their normal lives...and then....don't. The second half is a blood soaked, at times literal descent into hell, mixing surrealist imagery, hardcore violence, animated sequences and throbbing synth music. As you can tell, this film isn't for everyone, and I wasn't fully on board with everything MANDY had to offer, despite liking it a great deal...but it was one hell of a fucking experience, and something I won't forget any time soon.


    LARRY: Jesus fuck what a description.


    STICKMAN: You ain't seen nothing yet, Larry.


    MADHERO: I'm just here for the Cheddar Goblin


    STICKMAN: The most iconic movie character of 2018.


    MADHERO: From the director of Too Many Cooks, which makes a little too much sense. Anyway this looks metal as fuck and I still need to see it


    STICKMAN: If you ever wanted Nicolas Cage having a chainsaw fight, this is the film for you. Might wanna....take a deep breath before watching, mind. It's gonna get...WEIRD.


    LARRY: Maybe take a few over the course of the film.


    STICKMAN: Hold your breath for the whole running time YOU COWARD. This is peak Cage.


    MADHERO: At least its not Left Behind


    LARRY: Or Ghost Rider 2.


    STICKMAN: Those movies didn't have him getting mad over hiS FAAVVOURRITE SHIIIiIIRRT.


    MADHERO: To be fair, your favorite shirt getting ruined is a perfectly valid reason to kill some cultists


    STICKMAN: Exactly. Alright, I'm done. Who's next. WHO IS NEXT.


    LARRY: I dunno. How about you, Mad?


    MADHERO: Its hard to imagine fewer films having had as bumpy of a road to release as the proposed Freddie Mercury/Queen biopic. Everytime it looked like it would happen. Then it didn't, with weird clashed between the living members of Queen and the actors, and then when it was happening, their director just disappeared for random moments and got fired with one third still needing to be made. So yeah, with all that in mind, its pretty amazing that Bohemian Rhapsody comes out mostly ok.

    Now the film itself is a pretty basic music band biopic that's pretty damn surface level, all of the Queen members besides Mercury come out of it largely unscaved, and it plays with the facts for drama in a way that can be perceived as disrespectful,. And despite all those criticisms, I still ended up liking it for the most part, because it still features some of the best music around, Rami Malek truly delivers as Mercury, and deserves to be in the Best Actor conversation, and it ends on a high note with LiveAid. So yeah, far from perfect, but if you just want to enjoy the music, you'll have a good time with BR.


    STICKMAN: My favourite kinda generic music biopic. Adequate.


    MADHERO: Its kinda weird we're still going this route after Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story savagely parodied it to death.


    LARRY: People like these stories, I guess. And Mercury is a yuge selling point.


    STICKMAN: People like the music, it seems like a good bunch of this year's big mainstream cinema hits are also topping the music charts at the same time. Don't matter if the film is any good or not.


    MADHERO: Its Queen, and they remain one of the best bands who have ever performed, and the music remains great to listen to. I wish it could've delved deeper into the darker aspects, but its still fun to see those re-enactments of them creating those famous songs


    LARRY: How's that smooth, alluring thigh grab. I hear that's about as gay as it gets.


    MADHERO: It doesn't shy away from his homosexuality, but I'm still not sure whether its handled well and some have even branded it a homophobic film. I don't necessarily agree, but I see where the argument comes from. That LiveAid sequence though. That was pretty neat


    STICKMAN: The issue with this biopic was always the hesitance from Queen themselves to get into the heavy material that might tarnish Mercury's legacy. But then, because of that, we got the 20th Century Fox intro theme from this film, which is the only reason to see it.


    LARRY: Don't spoil it for me, I still might see this.


    STICKMAN: I want to hear We Will Rock You at LiveAid in IMAX, but I could do without...y'know, the rest of the film being there.


    MADHERO: Just get in at the last 20 minutes and you're set. ANYWAY, LARRY! What's your Movie of the Week


    LARRY: Alright, mah turn.


    LARRY: My MOTW is the newest Netflix Original to grace the service and the latest directorial effort from David Mackenzie ("Hell or High Water"), "Outlaw King." Starring a scruffy Chris Pine and an even more kick ass Aaron Taylor-Johnson (haha), the film follows Robert the Bruce, the at-the-time King of Scots, who begins a dangerous rebellion against King Edward I of England and his kingdom. Think of it as a sort of spiritual successor to "Braveheart" (William Wallace is actually referenced in the film), but just a bit more gruesome.


     

    The films countless well shot and well choreographed battle sequences have plenty of swords through the chest, arrows through the heart, and axes through the horse, and it doesn't let up on showing some blood or some ripped open chests (literally), so if you're into that sort of thing, this is the film for you. But beyond just the battles, the entire scale of the film is ridiculous and makes it worth seeing on the biggest screen possible. The amount of extras and period detail we see throughout the film is a sight to behold. The cast is excellent, with Pine giving another stellar performance, and the story itself is actually very engaging and well written. Despite being a slowly paced two hours, the film earned almost every god damn minute, which I appreciated. Overall, this is definitely one of Netflix's better cinematic efforts, and I totally recommend it to anyone interested.


    MADHERO: More importantly, you can see Chris Pine's donger in it


    STICKMAN: I wanna see that pine twig.


    LARRY: Just barely. BARELY. It's shrouded in shadows for most of its limited screen time.


    STICKMAN: Boooooo #ReleaseThePenisCut


    MADHERO: Apparently in the original cut, William Wallace actually shows up and there were more battles. Netflix doesn't really do deleted scenes, but its interesting how cutting something down can make for a better film.


    LARRY: Yeah, when they premiered it it was 23 minutes longer. Wallace plays a relatively big role in kickstarting the story despite never appearing.


    STICKMAN: But where's Gromit.


    LARRY: Someone should made a Braveheart/Outlaw King supercut


    MADHERO: Apparently David McKenzie isn't the biggest fan of Braveheart, so I can see why he would want to take the story in his own hand. Its definitely interesting how they cut it so close to release, something that could only be done on Netflix


    LARRY: Yeah, one of the benefits I suppose. Festivals make for solid focus groups.


    STICKMAN: The reviews ain't been so strong, but hey, this one waaaaas.


    MADHERO: Well how many are of that original cut? I guess its something you have to see for yourself, which you can from the convienience of your couch


    STICKMAN: Or you could watch Mandy, except that's not on Netflix, it's....somewhere. SOMEWHEEEERE.


    ------------

    MADHERO: Alright, that about wraps things up. We're getting more and more in the Christmas as we watch the sequel to Rocky IV that we were all hoping for, alongside the sequel that will no doubt break the internet. Its a very sequely show, that one.


    LARRY: Squeakelly


    STICKMAN: A sequel that's gonna break the in-Oh...oh I get it. Well played. Also BOORRIING, bring on....something ellllse?


    MADHERO: Well we always got that Robin Hood movie we're all so excited about. Can't wait to talk about that, and I'm sure everyone's really excited for that as well


    STICKMAN: Oh dear god no. Well...seee you thennn.


    LARRY: Adios, folks.

  • I'm Too Old For This Shit

    3 months ago

    iMacOfDeath

    Driving home today I realized that Halloween sucks for us full-time employees, because kids and parents don't have shit for sense these days. They walk in the middle of the street, flashing their phones and tiny flashlights, and think that because it's some dumb holiday that they can stop traffic doing 30 miles in the dark.


    PSA: Fuck off and get on the sidewalk you stupid fucks.


    Anyways, it is a holiday so it's time for a life update.


    I finally upgraded my phone and got the DuraForce, it's nice, a bit heavier than the Brigade, larger too, but the big thing is that it runs FGO better. I'm currently working on finishing the Holy City, it's a good campaign, and I'm super happy with who the Heroic Spirit for Mashed Potatoes turned out to be. Real talk though, can her final form have flowing long hair? Please? My nut button is ready.


    I've put down Overwatch again after I finished the Junkenstein achievements finally, all of them, fucking 'Not a Scratch' can suck my chode. Even 'Survivor' was easier than protecting that damn door. But thanks to earning everything, I'm kind of worn out, so I decided to play Legend of Queen Opala: Origin... what? I'm playing it for the story! Shut up!


    Not happy about the upcoming Friday, as I'll need to wake up even earlier to get to work by 6:00am. Apparently we're doing power upgrades to the entire facility, so from 10:00am till 2:00pm there will be no power. Upside is I get to work basically alone, meaning no shitty coworkers, and I'll get to leave work by 10:00am. Think I'll take the time to finally clean my front windshield, holy fuck have I put that off for long enough. Like looking through a damn shower door.


    Also not happy that apparently, this year, my department also has to work Black Friday. "Because reasons." Pretty sure the guys out in the warehouse got all butt hurt that they have to work that day, while the office got off, so they complained enough that HR is making operations come in for a few hours. Jerks.


    Oh well, such is life.



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  • At the Screwvies: Episode 120

    3 months ago

    g1Features

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    MADHERO: Greetings mortals, and welcome to At the BOOvies, where we talk everyone's worst nightmares. Dark machinations as the return of the Johnny English franchise, a new Gerard Butler movie and maybe worst of all: an live action anime adaptation. Truly these are the things that would make any soul shrivel up into despair.


    STICKMAN: It's time to GIVE OURSELVES TO DANCE....or....write a movie blog.


    LARRY: Gerard Butler is truly the greatest trick of the season. And we? We are the best treat. There ya go, we covered 'em.


    STICKMAN: I'm a right treat, me.


    MADHERO: Don't oversell yourself. Anyway, lets talk the scariest thing of all: the news.


    LARRY: NOT THE NEWS.


    NEWS

    LEGENDARY PICTURES DEVELOPING LIVE ACTION ADAPTATION OF ANIME MY HERO ACADEMIA

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    The live action anime adaptation has grabbed plenty a victim. Ghost in the Shell and Death Note are a recent example, there's also the legendarily awful Dragonball Evolution, and now we've got another to add to the pile. Legendary has announced that they're working on a live action adaptation of My Hero Academia, which takes place in a world where 80% has superpowers, and follows Deku, a boy initially without any powers, but through an act of courage is chosen by the world greatest hero All Might to be his successor and given one of the strongest powers, and starts attending an high school where he can develop his powers.


    Now, it'll be wait and see if this even happens. Legendary has been busy with Japanese properties like Godzilla and Pokemon. They've also attempted at making live action adaptations of Naruto and Attack of Titan, but not much has happened at that stage, so the same might happen here. I will say that out of those properties, MHA probably could make the ride the smoothest, considering Sky High exists and thats basically the same thing. Still, its an anime adaptation and those are usually the worst, but we'll see whenever this happens.


    STICKMAN: Oh boy, the anime. Truly this is a time of horrors.


    MADHERO: There's nothing scarier to an anime fan than an Hollywood live action adaptation of their anime, and there's nothing scarier to normal people to the insane ravings of an anime fan.


    STICKMAN: I've most definitely shat myself.


    LARRY: Oh don't mind me desperately trying to find something to add to this conversation. I have yet to see a single episode of this show.


    STICKMAN: Talk about your love of My Hero Academia bro.


    MADHERO: Lets talk about how Mineta is the fucking worst. But yeah, part of this feels like Legendary chasing something that's popular now. Something they tried with Naruto but is too late now with all the kids now being into Boruto and knowing Naruto only as Boruto's dad.


    STICKMAN: Boruto sounds like what Blonic is to Sonic.


    LARRY: ...wait, seriously? BORUTO?


    MADHERO: Naruto and Bleach are for old people now, Larry. We're old. MHA sorta feels like its in between the gap. I like the show a bunch, and think an adaptation could work, because Sky High exists and if you've seen that, its basically that but more anime, though very inspired by stuff like the MCU.


    LARRY: Hold on HOLD ON. BORUTO. THIS IS A THING? I'M STILL ON THIS.


    MADHERO: Yes. And I can't wait for its adaptation in 2030


    STICKMAN: How many white people will be in it, I wonder.


    MADHERO: It'll be like mayonnaise jar. Its probably too early to tell if this will even happen, but hey, they announced their intentions. Be afraid, MHA fans. Be very afraid.


    LARRY: How many Willem Dafoe's is a better question.


    STICKMAN: All of them I hope. This is when we should segue into a payed Crunchyroll promotion where you can say to watch the anime online and then we get Ferraris.


    HALLOWEEN PROVING TO BE VERY SUCCESSFUL. OTHER STUDIOS ARE TAKING A SHOT AT THEIR OWN SLASHER REVIVAL

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    Last episode we talked about the impending release of Halloween, the sequel to Halloween, but not the reboot Halloween, the original Halloween.  Since then, it's fair to say the film has made quite the box office impact in its first week, debuting to $76 million, just short of the all-time October box office record set by Venom, but gaining the records for biggest grossing female-led horror and over 50's female led movies in their opening weekend. It also has the distinguishable feat of becoming the highest grossing installment of the Halloween franchise EVER in just its first 3 days. It's opening gross was also the highest for an R-Rated horror since last year's runaway hit...IT, and it's expected to continue its strong performance over the Halloween period. Needless to say, it's likely executives have probably noticed.


    A day after this record-breaking weekend, we found out that LeBron James of all people is attempting to get a reboot of Friday the 13th off the ground, following a breakthrough in the longstanding lawsuit over its rights. At the same time, Freddy Krueger actor Robert Englund has for the first time suggested he'd be game to play the iconic star of Nightmare of Elm Street one last time, after donning the costume for a special episode of sitcom The Goldbergs this week. Back to Halloween, Jamie Lee Curtis said she'd be game for another installment should director David Gordon Green return for a sequel...and given this one's success? That seems pretty likely. With these musings, and a Child's Play reboot currently in production? The slasher genre seems to be on the cusp of a major comeback...that might...be good?


    MADHERO: Capitalism. The scariest slasher of them all.


    STICKMAN: The one thing you can never kill.


    LARRY: I mean...I have a hard time believing all of these are gonna end up being good ideas. I find Friday the 13th relatively bland and not ripe for re-adaptation, Nightmare I could maybe see.


    STICKMAN: They won't be, the Child's Play remake already isn't.


    MADHERO: Oh no, remember. A lot of those slashers were really bad, and that Child's Play reboot seems like a bad idea. Its gonna be hard to capture what made Halloween a hit


    LARRY: Child's Play was always a bad idea and will continue to be.


    STICKMAN: Child's Play is awesome and I won't tolerate Child's Play abuse  in THIS HOUSEHOLD.


    MADHERO: Larry, don't fuck with the Chuck


    LARRY: The first movie is sooooo baddddddd It's gonna need a redesign should it work in 2018. If Pennywise got one, Chucky does too lol


    STICKMAN: LARRY, LEAVE CHILD'S PLAY ALONE. Nightmare out of these I feel is the weakest idea, whilst it sounds good on paper to bring back Robert Englund as Freddy, he's an old dude now and he's not gonna have the right kinda Fredergy.


    MADHERO: Its hard because as we say with the reboot, its hard to move on from Englund with Freddy, wheras Jason can be played by Lebron James and no one will notice


    LARRY: Yeah but Nightmare is the best film of all three source materials. Maybe use the new film to introduce a new force in the franchise, I dunno. Some descendent of Freddy.


    STICKMAN: Freddy Prinze Jr.


    MADHERO: They already went really meta with New Nightmare, and its a bit weird with Wes Craven gone, but my god they'll try and be shocked when it doesn't make as much money as Halloween


    STICKMAN: New Nightmare was fuckin weird. And yeah, there's more to the original Nightmare on Elm Street creatively than just Freddy. But there you go. Slashers are hardly the franchises to go for when seeking consistent quality.


    MADHERO: Can't wait for the Puppet Master reboot.


    STICKMAN: The world needs Nazi killing puppets now more than ever.


    LARRY: I think we're forgetting one of the greatest slashers of all??? Silent Night, Deadly Night. REMAKE IT YOU COWARDS


    STICKMAN: And you said Child's Play was bad.


    GUILLERMO DEL TORO DEVELOPING AN STOP MOTION MUSICAL VERSION OF PINOCCHIO FOR NETFLIX

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    I don't think I've ever heard a phrase more beautiful than "Guillermo Del Toro is set to make his animated feature film directing debut." After having announced that the project fell through in November, Netflix has officially given Del Toro the go-ahead to get started on his stop-motion animated adaptation of "Pinocchio," which he will produce, write, and direct. His take will be a bit different, taking place in Fascist Italy during the 1930's. Del Toro has gone on record in the past connecting Pinocchio to Frankenstein (classic Del Toro), and the film would most likely view the story through that darker lens. The film will also be a musical, which isn't too much of a surprise given Del Toro's fondness of classic, Golden Age musicals. Del Toro will be working with the Jim Henson Company and ShadowMachine ("BoJack Horseman") on the puppetry, with Patrick McHale of  "Over The Garden Wall" co-writing and Mark Gustafson of "Fantastic Mr. Fox" co-directing.


    Netflix and Del Toro have had a fruitful partnership as of late, with the three-part "Tales of Arcadia" animated series and his upcoming horror anthology "Guillermo del Toro Presents 10 After Midnight. Del Toro's fantasy films have never exactly been made for children (apart from Tales of Arcadia), but Disney's Pinocchio is what put that fairy tale on the map as a children's property, so perhaps some of that spirit will be channeled here. Or, then again...maybe not.


    STICKMAN: OOHHHH BOOOOYY OHHH MY GAWWWWDD...I wish it wasn't a musical.


    LARRY: Aw hush. This is AWESOME.


    MADHERO: Del Toro winning an Oscar and immediately making a stop motion movie after. AKA The Wes Anderson route


    STICKMAN: It is awesome but it'd be moooore awesome if it was a straight up normal stop motion Del Toro movie.


    MADHERO: We haven't really had a stop motion musical since.... Nightmare Before Christmas?


    STICKMAN: Corpse Bride.


    LARRY:And both of those movies RULE. SO WHY FRET.


    STICKMAN: Cuz I don't like muuusicallls and yooooou do.


    MADHERO: Corpse Bride was a little more recent. Considering stop motion takes forever, I do wonder how long it'll take before this is even out.


    LARRY: This sounds like the greatest pitch for a movie since....ever, I dunno.


    STICKMAN: Poor Del Toro has been trying to get this made for years, so I'm glad Netflix are making themselves even more bankrupt finally making it happen.


    LARRY: I think Del Toro taking a Frankenstein-inspired approach is a brilliant choice. Classic monster movie connection.


    MADHERO: Now if only Netflix will let him make At the Mountain of Madness


    STICKMAN: Let's just let Del Toro make everything he wants. Especially in stop motion.


    MADHERO: This is very much a pro Del Toro household. Musical or not, I'm looking forward to what he does next.


    STICKMAN: I'll be watching, just....muusiccalls maaaan.


    DISNEY IN TALKS WITH DEADPOOL WRITERS RHETT REESE AND PAUL WERNICK TO REBOOT PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN WITHOUT JOHNNY DEPP

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    Its been a long time coming, but its sounding like the adventures of Jack Sparrow are over and done with. At least, that's what it looks like with Disney having reportedly approached Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick to work on a reboot of Pirates of the Caribbean. Pirates as a franchise is still important to Disney, but the last movie Dead Men Tell No Tales barely made money domestically (plenty internationally) and they're incredibly expensive films to make (On Stranger Tides is still the most expensive film ever made).


    Another important reason seems to be the case of Johnny Depp, who's becoming less of a box office draw and a pain to work with, not to mention the accusations regarding his domestic violence case, which has led to a lot of questions regarding his involvement with Fantastic Beasts. Its weird to think of PotC without Jack Sparrow, and it'll be interesting how that will even work, but as someone getting more and more tired of Depp's schtick as the character regressed, I'm interested what the writers can come up with and bring a fresher take. Maybe they can get Monkey Island involved since Disney owns the rights to that.


    STICKMAN: Yaarrrr, I don't care for this.


    MADHERO: Apathy, the spookiest thing of all


    LARRY: Fuck Johnny Depp. Let the man rot. Happy to see they want to keep moving on with a franchise full of potential for reimagining and are cutting the fat.


    STICKMAN: I mean he kinda did  in the first one when he became a skellyton. Johnny Depp's not got much fat on him to cut.


    MADHERO: Damn, Larry holding no prisoners.


    LARRY: Pirates of the Caribbean essentially defined the post-modern pirate movie. This is a great chance to see what new ways we can envision pirates in the mainstream. Not sure if it can recapture the magic, but the Deadpool writers can probably come up with some interesting ideas.


    STICKMAN: You say defined, I say it was the only one. Except THE Pirates: In An Adventure with Regional Varying Subtitles.


    MADHERO: Yeah, you don't really much other pirate movies, probably because these films were super expensive to make


    LARRY: I love Curse of the Black Pearl, for the record. One of my all-time favorite films.


    MADHERO: Hot take: Curse of the Black Pearl is the only good PotC movie.


    LARRY: Not really a hot take, most agree with you.


    STICKMAN: Hot take: The theme tune is the only good part of the PotC movies.


    LARRY: Now THERE'S a scalding take.


    MADHERO: Domestic abuse shittery aside, but Depp's schtick as Jack Sparrow was also getting really tired the more they just made him a lucky buffoon, when Jack was actually someone who was a step ahead of everyone else while pretending to be an idiot. Recasting him would be a whole thing, so glad they're moving on from it.


    STICKMAN: Make The Pirate Captain the new star of Pirates of the Carribeaardman.


    MADHERO: Hopefully he remains made of clay and the rest is still live-action, and no one points it out


    STICKMAN: Perfect. Thanks in advance, Disney.


    WARNER BROS ANIMATION DEVELOPING A NEW TOM AND JERRY AND SCOOBY DOO ANIMATED MOVIE

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    Though Warner Animation Group has had relative success with their LEGO films, they have yet to strike gold outside of the series, with "Storks" and "Smallfoot receiving moderate but not amazing box-office hauls. We knew that they were working on a Scooby Doo film that would jumpstart a Hanna Barbera universe and we now have some details. WAG has been tapped Chris Columbus, best known for Harry Potter and Home Alone, who’ll be a creative advisor. He will be assisting director Tony Cervone, an animation veteran who produced several big Hanna Barbera television shows and animated films.


    The more interesting news to me, is that Tim Story ("Ride Along," "Think Like a Man") has been tapped to direct a live-action/animated hybrid for Tom & Jerry. Not only will WAG be balancing animated films and live-action hybrids in this HB cinematic universe, but the animation teams will be working hand-in-hand, using the same techniques to animate the characters in both styles, which is a rare move for a major studio. T&J is gonna shoot in 2019, and, according to sources, the duo will not speak and stick straight to the physical comedy, as is tradition (THANK GOD). WAG seem to be all-in on giving these HB cartoons new-life. But are they biting off more than they can chew? We'll have to wait and see.


    STICKMAN: Can we ever top Tom & Jerry & Willy Wonka.


    MADHERO: Hard to say. That movie was a generation defining classic. Hard to see how it can be done. Maybe they can do something really radical and make their 90 minute film into 9 short films.


    LARRY: All we need now is Tom & Jerry - Apocalypse Now and we're set for life.


    MADHERO: Tom and Jerry is not something that really works as a movie and works a lot better as shorts. Mind you, you can't really do what the original cartoons did anymore, but still. Scooby Doo I can see work, especially if they take inspiration from Mystery Incorporated. That or partner with the WWE


    STICKMAN: Let Shaggy finally smoke weed on screen.


    MADHERO: I hope they'll finally let him achieve Ultra Instinct on screen.


    LARRY: Well the director did produce the Mystery Incorporated TV series. So you're spot on there, Mad. Honestly I think both of these films have potential. Tim Story is mostly known for his collaborations with Kevin Hart, who might as well be Jerry, AMIRITE???


    STICKMAN: I prefer Tim Story 2


    MADHERO: Also Wacky Races in the style of Mad Max like that one DC Comic. Do it, you cowards


    STICKMAN: Let's have Apocalypse Scoobs and Gay Rights Snagglepuss too.


    MADHERO: Mad Men Flintstones as well. God that run was weird but also kinda great.


    STICKMAN: What a wild ride Hanna Barbara comics have become.


    ACADEMY AWARDS ANNOUNCE THEIR 25 FILMS ELIGIBLE FOR BEST ANIMATED FEATURE. RECORD AMOUNT OF JAPANESE FILMS

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    Whilst we may be focused on spooky movies this Halloween, it's hard to forget what's coming just around the corner for film-fans. That's right, come November, come the real beginning of Awardsy season. First the releases, then the awards themselves begin, first with nominations, and then with the shows themselves, culminating of course, with the big one, the Oscars.  Whilst it's far too early for the main contenders to be clear, let alone announced, we've gotten our first look at what could be nominated for Best Animated Feature this week, with the films eligible to contend now announced. 25 films in total, with a record 8 features coming from Japan, and a pleasantly diverse assortment of animation.


    Notable nominees include the obvious frontrunner, The Incredibles 2 (Although a non-Toy Story Pixar sequel has never won the award), along with the various mainstream CGI releases including Hotel Transylvania 3, Smallfoot and upcoming releases The Grinch, Spider-Verse and Ralph Breaks the Internet. A rare mainstream 2D animation is also nominated in the form of the surprisingly well received Teen Titans GO To the Movies. There's also a couple expected stop-motion releases, Aardman's Early Man and Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs, the latter of which is likely to be another frontrunner. Indie potentials include the well received Chinese release 'Have a Nice Day' and the already acclaimed Hungarian 'Ruben Brant, Collector'. There's all sorts to be seen, but only 5 will be nominated, likely a few CGI releases, Isle of Dogs and ONE LUCKY INDIE UNDERDOG, following on from last year, where the voting rules changed, causing Boss Baby and Ferdinand to be nominated because Academy voters had heard of them. EXCITING.


    MADHERO: The Sherlock Gnomes campaign starts here!


    LARRY: What do we think the five will be? My bets are Isle, Spidey, Incredibles, Grinch, and Ralph. Though if Early Man got a nod I would not be upset purely because stop motion should be celebrated.


    MADHERO: My main guess is probably Incredibles 2 and Ralph Breaks the Internet because Disney, but of course only one sequel has ever won and that was Toy Story 3, so I dunno. We have Isle of Dogs though. They love them some Wes Anderson


    STICKMAN: I think one of the indie films will worm their way in. I don't think it'll be Early Man sadly, cuz they kinda dropped the ball on that one. BALL. GETTIT. CUZ IT'S ABOUT FOOTBALL, HUHUHUHUH. I wouldn't bet on Ralph being there, the Academy like we know, has an aversion to Disney sequels and Ralph isn't looking to be a particularly strong one compared to say, Incredibles 2.


    LARRY: So what's your five?


    STICKMAN: Spider-Verse, Incredibles 2, Isle of Dogs, Grinch and Ruben Brandt.


    MADHERO: Also a lot more Japanese movies than usual. I saw Night is Short at a festival and didn't really like it honestly. My current bet is Isle of Dogs, Incredibles 2, Wreck it Ralph, Spider-Verse and something indie that I don't know. Hopefully MFKZ for the title alone


    STICKMAN: I really want MFKZ to be in there just for the title, but also it's supposed to be really fun too. I look forward to seeing it...in 3 or 4 months when it gets a DVD release here.


    LARRY: Oh true, maybe Mirai might get in.


    STICKMAN: There's a lot of potentials for that mystery indie spot, and...like you say, Disney might steal it with Ralph, but I doubt it. One thing we all know is that Incredibles 2 is going to win.


    MADHERO: Honestly I just want to see Twerking Gnome get his due


    STICKMAN: Watch Early Man be the shock winner and actually make me cross about Aardman winning an Oscar. Except not really cuz I'm sad.


    -------------

    MADHERO: Alright, thats it for the extemely spooky news section. We've been talking a bunch of horror movies in the last couple episodes, and its all leading to this. We're giving our souls to dance in the name of Tilda Swinton so that we may join into whatever that Nutcracker is getting up to, or maybe we help Rowan Atkinson bumbling around. The randomness of the future is the scariest thing of all


    STICKMAN: Tears and sighs, my ghouls, tears and sighs.


    LARRY: It's gonna be a long two weeks....


    MADHERO: We've got some truly vile things to talk about, so let's start with something light and fluffy that everyone can enjoy


    MOVIES

    SUSPIRIA

    DIRECTOR: Luca Guadagnino (A Bigger Splash, Call Me By Your Name)

    STARRING: Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Lutz Ebersdorf, Chloe Grace Moretz

    SYNOPSIS: A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the artistic director (Swinton), an ambitious young dancer (Johnson), and a grieving psychotherapist (“Ebersdorf”). Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up.

    STICKMAN: Ahh, the ballet. Nothing quite like it.


    MADHERO: 69% on Rotten Tomatoes so far. If that isn't scary, I don't know what is.


    STICKMAN: So this nearly 3 hour arthouse extreme content horror movie is proving divisive, huh? That's pretty nn..NNN...gghghaahgh...nnn...NOICE.


    LARRY: Who knew Luca would do this next... Call Me By Your Name who??


    STICKMAN: Well we did because it was already happening, but I see your point.


    MADHERO: REALLY?! Who'd have thought. Not surprised by that at all. Whatever side you may land on, it'll probably be quite the ride.


    STICKMAN: I'm really excited to see it...if I do indeed get to to see it, cuz...well, arthouse indie horror films  aren't exactly something my local multiplex tends to line up for me to see.


    MADHERO: Its probably going to be tough for me as well. Mainly I just want to travel back in time and go and be in the room during the Cinemacon luncheon Amazon held.


    STICKMAN: I think we all do. I think this film's momentum peaked as those mini quiches went flying out the mouths of the esteemed movie media folks.


    LARRY: I...think I'm gonna skip this one. I occasionally indulge in horror but this is too much for me.


    STICKMAN: But Larry, that soundtrack tho. THAT SOUNDTRACK THO. Thom Yorke and his weird hair. Destined for Oscar glory....?


    LARRY: Best Hair and Makeup here we COME


    MADHERO: What hair and makeup? Don't diss Lutz Ebersdorf like that.


    STICKMAN: His penis is VERY real, I'll have you know. And not at all destined for a controversial prop auction. This film looks CRAZY and I'm here for it.  I wish it was here for me, THANKS A LOT, MUBI.


    LARRY: Ehhhhhhh I'm gonna ignore the contorting female body, thanks.


    MADHERO: Its gonna be a wild weird ride.


    BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

    DIRECTOR: Bryan Singer (X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men Apocalypse)

    STARRING: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Le, Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello, Aidan Gillen, Mike Myers

    SYNOPSIS: A chronicle of the years leading up to Queen's (Malek, Lee, Hardy, Mazzello) legendary appearance at the Live Aid (1985) concert.

    STICKMAN: Generic uninspired biopics, just in time for Oscar Season! This time DIRECTED by a child sex offender rather than starring.


    MADHERO: Considering how long this film has been in development, its kind of a shame all the stink that seems attached to it, from Bryan Singer to some of the weird revisionism that seems to have happened.


    LARRY: And the reviews ain't too hot either. So much for Malek even possibly getting a nom.


    STICKMAN: If you're not gonna tell the story properly why bother telling it at all. Freddie deserves better. But heeey, you get to listen to Queen in IMAX. That's something huh. I think his performance looks pretty outstanding and we've seen people WIN Oscars for roles in mediocre movies, soooo.


    MADHERO: I want to see the Sacha Baron Cohen/Peter Morgan version that lives in some alternate dimension. Glad to hear that Malek is really good as Freddy. That really can't be an easy part


    LARRY: I feel like this film is gonna get buried. Perhaps not deservingly, I dunno.


    STICKMAN: They seem to have gone for the jukebox, 'top the album charts for the rest of the year' angle rather than Awards Season. Probably because nobody wants to nominate Bryan Singer for Best Director.


    MADHERO: I honestly think it'll be a big hit cause most aren't going to be aware of the Singer mishap and the mixed reviews. They just wanna hear Queen in stereo and honestly who can blame them. Apparently the Live Aid sequence is really good


    STICKMAN: That's the only bit everyone likes though. It's like going to see Batman V Superman for the fight in the warehouse.


    LARRY: I see some audiences genuinely liking it. And I feel like it's gonna cater to that.


    MADHERO: I guess we'll see soon enough. My mom's a big Queen fan and she wants to see it, so maybe I'll have some personal thoughts later on.


    STICKMAN: I'm a big Queen fan but I also want to see Bryan Singer rot in jail so it's a dilemma. Let's watch Spinal Tap instead.


    LARRY: I really want to see it too. Whether or not it's good, we'll see.


    THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS

    DIRECTOR: Lasse Halstrom and Joe Johnston (A Dog’s Purpose, Captain America: The First Avenger)

    STARRING: Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, Eugenio Derbez, Misty Copeland, Matthew MacFayden, Richard E. Grant, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman

    SYNOPSIS: A young girl (Foy) is transported into a magical world of gingerbread soldiers and an army of mice.

    STICKMAN: Now here's the good Halloween shit. Wanna get spooked the fuck out, take a gander at this goose.


    LARRY: One look at Morgan Freeman, your heart will stop.


    MADHERO: Y'know, Disney has usually nailed the whole "o we release fewer movies to make them feel like events" thing, but man, I don't think anyone is talking about this in any sense.


    STICKMAN: This is the least event Disney movie since Pete's Dragon.


    LARRY: There is nothing marketable about this movie.


    MADHERO: Well it looks colourful and full of fairy-tale whimsy, although they've gone overboard in a way that makes it look like a fever dream in a candy store


    LARRY: It looks completely fake because it's a CGI fest, and nobody knows this four realms stuff from the Nutcracker. It's gonna tank.


    STICKMAN: It looks like what the Disney Store looks like at Christmas, except with less customers.


    MADHERO: I only know that the Nutcracker is a ballet and involves an evil rat but honestly other than that I don't know.


    STICKMAN: Is it a handsome rat though.


    MADHERO: I mean, its a ballet so I assume he's played by a pretty muscular man at some point in time


    STICKMAN: Nice, that's the only reason to go to the ballet. And then the after-parties where everyone gets drunk and horny and there’s a big nut cracking orgy. Uhh...what were we talking about again.


    LARRY: ...Disney.


    STICKMAN: Oy , that shit again.


    HUNTER KILLER

    DIRECTOR: Donovan Marsh (Spud, Number Number)

    STARRING: Gerard Butler, Gary Oldman, Common, Zane Holtz, Caroline Goodall, Michael Nyqvist

    SYNOPSIS: An untested American submarine captain (Butler) teams with U.S. Navy Seals to rescue the Russian president, who has been kidnapped by a rogue general (Nyqvist).

    MADHERO: Gerard Butler in a submarine..... ehh I guess that's not that scary.


    STICKMAN: The Hunt for GerRed Butober.


    LARRY: Gerard Butler must be going through a rough time rn


    MADHERO: Gerard Butler seems like a fun bloke and he seems to have fun doing these types of films. Not really for us, but hey what can you do. Seems like he's less in the action than usual this time around. Maybe Gary Oldman will kick some ass.


    STICKMAN: Him and Jason Statham should have a fight to discover the true mediocre 2000s action star. Have they ever been in the same movie? The same room? Think about it.


    LARRY: Throw Liam Neeson in there too.


    STICKMAN: That's more of a 2010's mediocre thriller actor.


    MADHERO: The gruff UK action star conspiracy starts here.


    JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN


    DIRECTOR: David Kerr (A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Inside No. 9)

    STARRING: Rowan Atkinson, Olga Kurylenko, Ben Miller, Adam James, Emma Thompson, Jake Lacy

    SYNOPSIS: After a cyber-attack reveals the identity of all of the active undercover agents in Britain, Johnny English (Atkinson) is forced to come out of retirement to find the mastermind hacker.

    STICKMAN: Oh dear. I'm sorry on behalf of the United Kingdom.


    LARRY: Rowan, buddy, let me get you a coffee sometime.


    STICKMAN: I don't know why these films keep getting made.


    MADHERO: I know why this movie was made because Reborn made a lot of money. But still.... why?


    STICKMAN: Cuz Mr Bean fall over and make a funny noise in spy movie. Is funnnnyy.


    MADHERO: I'm fairly sure Rowan Atkinson hasn't aged in 20 years or so. Getting a bit of grey but he's barely changed.


    LARRY: Clearly his sense of humor has stuck around.


    STICKMAN: I think they replaced him with a slapstick rubberface android at this point. I would kill for a Blackadder movie though, y'knooow?


    MADHERO: I guess we really needed a 3rd edition of Mr. Bean but spy. The spy spoof is obviously such fertile ground that has barely been tackled.


    STICKMAN: Right? When are we going to get Johnny English & The Kingsman V The Men in Black & 22 Jump Street.


    LARRY: Honestly let's just do that, and then make a Blackadder reunion and call Atkinson's career a day.


    STICKMAN: Dawn of Falling over and going MmNnMnuunem.


    MADHERO: it already bombed in the US, but is making plenty of money overseas and its native UK, so get ready for another one.


    STICKMAN: I'm so sorry. This is why Brexit will benefit the EU.


    NOBODY’S FOOL

    DIRECTOR: Tyler Perry (Boo 2: A Madea Halloween, Acrimony)

    STARRING: Tiffany Haddish, Tika Sumpter, Whoopi Goldberg, Omari Hardwick

    SYNOPSIS: A woman (Haddish) is released from prison and reunites with her sister (Sumpter). She soon discovers that her sister is in an online relationship with a man (Hardwick) who may not be what he seems.

    MADHERO: O god, we were so preoccupied with a new Johnny English that the real killer is now right in front of us: a new Tyler Perry movie.


    LARRY: If Nobody's Fool is as bad a Night School, black audiences are in for quite a double bill.


    STICKMAN: Tiffany Hadish is joining all the other one hit wonder 2010s female comedy stars in diminishing returns purgatory.


    MADHERO: I mean, lets give her some time. Girl's Trip wasn't too long ago and she's in Lego Movie 2. But yeah, this.... does not look very good. But it being a Tyler Perry movie means it won't get distribution here and I'm ok with that.


    STICKMAN: I don't think I've ever seen Tyler Perry outside of Gone Girl here in the UK.


    LARRY: Haddish is still a big draw here in the states, it's why Night School made money. But...this is a tough sell.


    MADHERO: He's in Vice so maybe you'll see him in that. I wonder if this is a stealth Madea movie. Now that'd be true horror


    STICKMAN: OH GOD. AAAAAGGHHHH


    LARRY: No, it's not that. It's probably just as bad tho.


    BOY ERASED

    DIRECTOR: Joel Edgerton (The Gift)

    STARRING: Lucas Hedges, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, Joel Edgerton, Xavier Dolan, Joe Alwyn

    SYNOPSIS: The son of a Baptist preacher (Hedges) is forced to participate in a church-supported gay conversion program after being forcibly outed to his parents (Crowe, Kidman).

    MADHERO: And now for the scariest thing of all: gay conversion therapy camps.......oh shit that actually is really scary.


    STICKMAN: I know this is a serious subject matter and it's probably a good movie, but the trailer looked like one of those parody Oscar trailers. Some guy stomping around in the rain screaming and throwing his arms around.


    LARRY: The trailer looks very bland, yeah.


    MADHERO: Its like the SNL Papyrus skit. I do hear good things about the film and the performances. Its probably not enough to get nominated, but it deals with some difficult subject matter.


    STICKMAN: It's pretty horrible.


    LARRY: I saw a Letterboxd review that said this film was another great entry into the "Lucas Hedges Plays a Troubled Son Cinematic Universe" Manchester, Three Billboards, Lady Bird, Mid90s, this.


    MADHERO: He sure is troubled, and someone's son


    STICKMAN: That boy's trouble.....d. Time for him to play...I dunno, the Joker. The ultimate troubled boy.


    -------------

    MADHERO: With that campaign ready to get off the ground, its now time to start the spookiest segment: MOVIE OF THE WEEK! As with every Halloween, we try to form a special topic for the season of frights. And this time we're tackling the subject of Halloween! The slasher series, not the holiday, but maybe someday we'll do that as well


    STICKMAN: OH SHIT. NOT MY FIRST CHOICE OF HORROR FRANCHISE BUT OKAAAAY.


    MADHERO: Well its topical now, what with the recent movie making all the money. Like all slasher series, Halloween had its up,s but mostly a lot of downs. A lot of downs, so that makes it nice when one of them is actually good.


    STICKMAN: But I want to hear from our go to guy for all things horror and slasher, Mr Larry Fried. Take it away, maestro.


    LARRY: Yikes, okay.


    MOVIE OF THE WEEK

    I'm gonna start this retrospective by being the basic bitch and talking about the original Halloween!! After rewatching this film before seeing the sequel, I found myself appreciating it a lot more than I remembered when I saw it the first time.

    There is just so much to dissect in this film, all thanks to the distinct direction from Carpenter and the fascinating presence of The Shape himself, Michael Myers: the film's voyeuristic camerawork, the psychosexual undertones from the female murders, the score's repetitive rhythmic edge, the atmospheric buildup, etc. It's a thoroughly crafted film that features strong world-building, and several notable, memorable kills that have stayed in the horror-film-consciousness since their inception. Despite not being much of a horror fan, I can appreciate a well done film no matter the genre, and 1978's Halloween is certainly that.


    MADHERO: The one that started it all


    STICKMAN: I think the original Halloween is...okaaaay. It's aged very poorly. But you can't deny it's got a lotta repetitive synth melodies and a guy standing in the background.


    MADHERO: I think you definitely need to see it with the lens that it was an extraordinary cheap indie film that was basically doing all the things we now know to be cliches first.


    STICKMAN: Oh yes, I know, but that doesn't mean I gotta praise it eitherrr. It's fun, it's pretty okay. It's legacy is more important than what's contained in the film itself, I feel. THAT SAID, gotta love that head tilt.


    LARRY: No yeah, it's not a perfect film for sure.


    MADHERO: There's a nice simplicity to it compared to what the sequels and Zombie remake tried to do with it.


    LARRY: But I just love what there is to dissect about it. Honestly makes me confused that everyone thinks slasher films have to be stupid to be good. I find this film to have a lot of depth to it when reading between the lines.


    STICKMAN: It's a good case study in using the background to subtle but creepy effect. I don't nessasrararily agree there's any 'psycho sexual' aspects just cuz he's murdering some girls. He kills a guy toooooo. And a dog. He is the murderboy who never grew up.


    MADHERO: Yup, plus that soundtrack, but yeah, great movie. What's your Halloween movie, Stick?


    STICKMAN: Ooh, well y'knooow. The only one without Michael Myers in it. HALLOWEEN 3: SEASON OF THE WITCH, BUCKOOOOS. The film everyone hated and didn't watch because Michael Myers wasn't in it...although he sorta still is...sorta. That and it's pretty campy and stupid, but in recent years this entry has become something of a cult favourite, and there's a reason for that, because it's fucking awesome.

    Instead of being about the Boogeyman, it's instead about an evil corporation making Halloween masks that make children's heads melt and turn into insects via the power of Stonehenge? And I think there's a lot to dissect meaning-wise there, if you just look a bit deeper. Not really though, this film's fucking stupid, but I love it. Everything from the 3 MORE DAYS TILL HALLO-WEEEN, HALLO-WEEN jingle, the masks, the moustachioed 80s as fuck main dude who proceeds to have awkward movie hotel sex, because of course he does. It being free from the shackles of the continuity of the first two Halloween films means they can just go nuts with an entirely different sub-genre, and an ending that's supposed to chill, but instead makes me giggle. I love this film.


    MADHERO: Yessssssssssss! This movie is the goofiest shit, I love it.


    STICKMAN: SILLVER SHAM-ROCK. It's the ultimate in 80s sci-fi horror cheese and I'm here for it.


    LARRY: Well now I have to watch it I guess.


    STICKMAN: Yes Larry, YES YOU DO.


    MADHERO: Its definitely a movie you need to be in the right mood for, cause its so far removed from any of the other Halloween movies and runs on such different energy. Its such a product of its time.


    STICKMAN: It's the perfect movie for Halloween night because it's not actually scary, and you can get drunk and laugh about it with your mates. Or just by yourself, if you don't have any friends, like me.


    LARRY: Interesting how far you can get from Carpenter's original vision.


    STICKMAN: I mean it was always Carpenters vision to tell a different story every year. The audiences said NO, SIR. WE WANT MORE MICHAEL...WE WANT HIM DECAPITATED AND THEN RESURRECTED OR SOMETHING.


    MADHERO: You will have the Silver Shamrock theme in your head for all eternity.


    STICKMAN: Stonehenge Mask Melting Adventures AHOOOY. Alright...what's your pick Mad? Is it Halloween? OH, or is it Halloween?


    LARRY: What a decision to make...


    MADHERO: You're right, Stickman, iTS HALLOWEEN! No, not that Halloween that Larry just talked about or Rob Zombie's Halloween which if you want your slashers nasty and bad is right up your alley. No, i'm talking HALLOWEEN 2018, the movie you can watch in theaters right now.

    Wiping the slate once again completely clean (something H20 tried as well but still acknowledged 2), this is very much a back to basics affair with Laurie Strode now a Sarah Connor esque prepper waiting for her and Myers' path to cross again, now 40 years later. While back to basics, it definitely also responds to now taking place in 2018, and there's definitely a tale of survival and about strong women. Its also surprisingly pretty funny, managing to subvert certain tropes in unexpected ways, courtesy of Danny McBride of all people. Above all else, its a really fun haunted house ride backed by an excellent John Carpenter soundtrack. So yeah, go see it while its the season


    STICKMAN: Thank god it's not Rob Zombieween. I really dug this film, it's got problems, but it's also reallllly fun and surprisingly well crafted for its genre.


    LARRY: I similarly dug it. Twas a fun time at the cinema.


    MADHERO: Its very well crafted. David Gordon Green and Danny McBride are very much outsiders, but you can tell both are big fans of the series and genres. Lots of call backs


    STICKMAN: I had a great time, it made me laugh, made me jump, made me grinnnnn. It's one of the better slashers I've seen.


    LARRY: I don’t think it holds a candle to the OG cuz its story is generally weak, but sometimes you can ignore that if you have enough fun.


    STICKMAN: That one-shot sequence, that amazing soooundtrack. That bathrooooom sequence, that shot affterr that sequence.


    MADHERO: That black kid deserves an Oscar.


    STICKMAN: THAT KID WAS THE REAL KILLER.


    LARRY: The long shot felt like classic Carpenter and I LOVED IT. Also the scene with the flashing lights in the backyard. Amazing.


    STICKMAN: I will say, that sequence with the hammer played better in the trailer without the music, but that's just meeee. There's some great sequences, I feel it goes a bit downhill towards the end but it was never boring, and it was never terrible. And it's a Halloween movie...so...wow. Great job.


    LARRY: I totally agree, ending is a bit of a whimper. But I had funnnnnnn


    MADHERO: It almost feels weird that there might be a sequel after this, cause part of me believed this was gonna wrap everything up, but I guess nothing's truly wrapped up when money's involved.


    STICKMAN: It's a slasher movie, there's always gonna be a sequel some day.


    MADHERO: Until the inevitable reboot, once again named Halloween


    -------

    MADHERO: Truly frightening. I can only handle so many spoops, so I think it might be time to call it a night. GET HALLOWEEN OUTTA HERE, ITS CHRISTMAS NOW, AND THINGS ARE GOING TO GET A BIT GRINCHY!


    STICKMAN: NO NO NO, HALLOWEEN FOREVER. Although honestly, nothing is scarier to me than a new Illumination movie.


    LARRY: SILVER SHAMROCK.


    MADHERO: What's scarier? That or Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts? Yeah that's out too in case you forgot. We'll get to that.... next time


    STICKMAN: AaaAAAAAAAAAAAAGGHH So looooong everyoooone. Don't forget to give your soul to daaance.

  • At the Screwvies: Episode 119

    3 months ago

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    MADHERO: Hey everyone, sorry if this episode is a tad late. You know how it is, what with traveling to the moon to get away from the serial killer that haunted you almost 40 years ago.  Takes a while to settle on the moon and junk, but I think we finally got away. Jason might've gone to space, but Michael Myers sure hasn't.


    STICKMAN: Not yet, anyway. If this one does well, who knows. HEY.


    LARRY: But wait.....look at our BANNER. AAAAAAHHHHHHH


    STICKMAN: OOHH NOOOOOO


    MADHERO: Oh  shit. I think it might be best to talk news soon before its the last piece of news we'll ever tell


    NEWS

    JAMES GUNN TO WRITE AND POSSIBLY DIRECT NEW SUICIDE SQUAD FILM FOLLOWING SPLIT WITH DISNEY

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    It feels like we've spoken about James Gunn every episode since his sudden termination from GotG3 sent shockwaves through the internet. We know the story of how and why  it happened, we know that Disney had no plans to hire him...and it seems Gunn has taken that very much to heart, because he's defected to the enemy, as it were. Originally rumoured, now confirmed, the GotG director has signed on to write and potentially direct a "fresh take" on the Suicide Squad franchise for the DCEU, the previous film of which we all here were pretty comfortable in naming our least favourite film of 2016 by some margin.


    This is a pretty crazy outcome to this situation, being fired from Marvel and then jump ship to work on a DCEU franchise that was very much propositioned as an equivalent to GotG, in terms of the vibrant style, cast of misfit characters with questionable moral standards (Not too dissimilar from Disney themselves) but ultimately a sense of comradery and heart.  Obviously GotG succeeded big time in that department, whilst Suicide Squad crashed and burned so hard the crater can be seen from space...but with Gunn himself on board to try the idea again? DC and Warner Bros could very well end up with the crowd-pleasing heartfelt smash hit that Marvel and Disney previously had with the GotG films. Regardless of how this actually turns out...wow...karma really is a bitch.


    MADHERO: Top 10 Anime betrayals


    LARRY: This news fills me...with so much joy. Even if its out of spite.


    MADHERO: I'm obviously still disappointed they didn't manage to make up, but this is one hell of a middle finger to give, even if that's probably reading too much into it.


    LARRY: I don’t think it’s reading too much into it at all. This is absolutely revenge


    STICKMAN: He probably had a lot of offers from different studios, but I'd imagine DC spent a lot getting him to jump ship. It's quite the statement.


    LARRY: DC struck while the iron was hot and now they have a genuinely great director redoing their grandest fuck up thus far.


    MADHERO: I guess out of all the properties, Suicide Squad makes the most sense for Gunn since that tried and failed to tap into what made Guardians of the Galaxy great. Obviously its not the first time a MCU director has jumped ship (Joss Whedon) but its still pretty wild


    STICKMAN; Look what happened with Joss, even if the situation was far from ideal.


    MADHERO: Either way, its made me the teeny tiniest interested in the new Suicide Squad, which I thought to be impossible after that first one. Good on you, WB.


    LARRY: I am now VERY interested, especially if it’s closer to a redoing than a sequel.


    DISNEY MAKING AN LIVE ACTION REMAKE OF LILO AND STITCH. SHOWS OFF FIRST TEASER FOR ALADDIN

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    Alright, here is where I draw the line. THIS IS IT. RIGHT HERE. Ahem. Disney will be remaking "Lilo and Stitch," arguably their most successful and popular post-Renaissance project (but not the best, because The Emperor's New Groove exists). Up-and-coming Hollywood horror scribe Mike Van Waes will be writing it (cause yeah, that makes sense), and Aladdin producers Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich will produce. So, in case you thought Disney maybe would possibly try to maybe MAYBE put any rhyme or reason in remaking their older films....ugh. I was on board with these live action remakes, but the last few haven’t been particularly good, and I love "Lilo & Stitch," it's one of my all-time favorite Disney films and features some of the most nuanced family dynamics you'll ever see in an animated film, so to see it get this treatment just... makes me sad. BUT WHATEVER MONEY HAHA. I'm sure Lin and Elrich are reaping the spoils of their time in Aladdin-land. Speaking of which...


    We got our first official teaser for Aladdin, and it's fine, I guess. Some beautiful musical arrangements of classic Aladdin-tunes, our first look at the Cave of Wonders and Aladdin himself, portrayed by Mena Massoud, and some sandy dunes. Yay. But also, fuck you Disney.


    MADHERO: Uhoh, Larry has finally snapped


    STICKMAN: And I thought i was fed up with live-action remakes.


    LARRY: Why the FUCK is a HORROR WRITER writing a LILO AND STITCH REMAKE. That makes no sense.


    MADHERO: I mean, just because they've worked on horror doesn't necessarily disqualify them for this. The Jungle Book screenwriter worked on Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li and that turned out fine.


    LARRY: Gee, that movie turned out so well written (it didn’t).


    STICKMAN: I thought everyone loved The Jangle Book.


    LARRY: It was okay. The writing was not the star.


    MADHERO: While I have a lot of fondness for Lilo and Stitch, I don't really hold it sacred and don't think its unremakable or unadaptable


    LARRY: WELL I DO.


    STICKMAN: I don't see why doing a horror screenplay has anything to do with it though. Are you saying horror films can't be well writtteenn. You wanna fight bruv.


    LARRY: I’m saying Lilo and Stitch isn’t a horror film.


    STICKMAN: I mean it could be. I'd watch that. It's scary that this film is happeninnnginingg.


    MADHERO: I mean, Pleeklee is pretty terrifying. This is probably so they can sell more merchandise in Japan. They love Stitch over there


    LARRY: There’s one scene that you can maybe do horror for and that is Stitch’s arrival. Das it. This is dumb.


    STICKMAN: Writing horror doesn't mean you can only write horror. Ya dang. But how 'bout that Aladdin.


    MADHERO: That suuuuuuuuure was a teaser


    LARRY: The teaser didn’t do much for me. Solid slow arrangement of Friend Like Me tho.


    MADHERO: I imagine we'll get something more substantial in the future for Aladdin. More of a "hey this is happening." Guess we'll see next summer


    LARRY: I think Genie is what’s gonna make or break them. Until we get that, I have no strong feelings.


    STICKMAN: Make Tron 3 you bastards.


    NETFLIX ACQUIRES RIGHTS OF THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA. WILL REMAKE FILMS AND TV SHOWS

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    So some you may remember The Chronicles of Narnia movies from back in the day. Y'know, the Walden Media/Disney one that was pretty much Lord of the Rings but with more Jesus Lion. The series, adapted from CS Lewis' classic seven part series, really hit the ground running with the 2005 original, before losing steam with Prince Caspian and eventually Voyage of the Dawn Treader. which ended being distributed by Fox. While murmurs were going around that Walden Media wanted to continue with the Silver Chair, it all seemed unlikely since the original kids were all adults now. And now its super dead with the announcement that Netflix has acquired the rights of the series.


    Seemingly out of nowhere, Netflix announced they had not only obtained, but will get to work on not only adapting the books into movies, but several into tv shows as well. This strategy actually makes a lot of sense considering the incredibly fractured timeline and scale of the stories, with books like Magician's Nephew and The Horse and His Boy now much more likely to be adapted. As a big fan of the books as a kid, I'm very curious what Netflix can come with both from film and television front, but I guess we'll have to wait a while


    STICKMAN: My indifference is painful.


    MADHERO: You should have that looked at


    LARRY: I read the Narnia books, and liked them a lot. Not sure if we really need all of them adapted, they vary in quality


    MADHERO: They do, but I would like to see a full adaptation of the whole series, and I think some books could work as a movie and the other as a tv show


    LARRY: I just don’t really care to see “The Magician’s Nephew” on the big screen. Or on TV for that matter. It’s kiiiiiiinda a snoozer.


    MADHERO: That's probably the one along with The Horse and His Boy that you can probably skip. Its been ages since I last read them or watched the movies for that matter.


    STICKMAN: I have only read Lion Witch & Wardrobe. I only watched the first movie and I was not a big fan.


    LARRY: Cuz that one is most telling for what Narnia is. Its imagery is definitely the starkest. Also C.S. Lewis and Christianity and such. I saw Lion and then Caspian. Skipped Treader.


    STICKMAN: That one has a dragon though. You messed up.


    LARRY: And bad writing too apparently.


    STICKMAN: Must've been written by a horror writer  AMIRITE.


    MADHERO: Dawn Treader was one that probably could've been a tv show cause boy howdy is it slow. I'm personally excited by the news, but with Netflix its hard to say when this actually kicks off


    STICKMAN: It won't be for a whiiille. All these big fantasy things take ages to prepare.


    MADHERO: And it'll be like "surprise, its out" like with all Netflix releases


    FIRST TRAILER RELEASED FOR ADAM MCKAY (BIG SHORT)’S DICK CHENEY BIOPIC VICE

    Adam McKay, known initially for his comedic work in films like "Anchorman" and "Step Brothers," really made a splash when "The Big Short" was as good as it was, and now, in a sort of follow-up to that, McKay is bringing us another dramatized expose, this time on the life and times of Dick muthafuckin' Cheney. Vice, directed and written by McKay, looks to tackle Cheney's rise to the vice presidency, and how his actions regarding the war on terror (and other things) would change the direction of American and world history.


    We finally get our first official look at some of the film's transformations, particularly Christian Bale as old, fat, bald Cheney, and Sam Rockwell as good ol' George W. Bush, who looks to be stealing the show. Plus we get some Steve Carrell and some Amy Adams, which is never a bad thing. Ultimately, based on the trailer editing and pacing, this looks to be a similarly toned piece a la "The Big Short," but perhaps even more extravagant and polished. Then again, "The Big Short" turned out to be a very verite, very unpolished film as a whole. So who knows what the fuck this will turn out to be. All I know is that I prefer this McKay over any other McKay previously, so I'll gladly indulge.


    MADHERO: Sam Rockwell eating chicken wings gives me life.


    STICKMAN: But is he a racist?


    MADHERO: I mean, he's George Bush so...... possibly?


    LARRY: Probably**


    MADHERO: I'd make a Kanye joke, but well.....y'know. Anyway yeah this looks really good so far.


    LARRY: I’m here for more satirical McKay. I really enjoyed The Big Short.


    STICKMAN: Christian Bale got fat for YOUR entertainment.


    MADHERO: His doctor must be seething. STOP GAINING AND LOSING WEIGHT, YOU FUCK. YOU WILL LITERALLY DIE


    LARRY: I guess they came...to some sort of...agreement.


    STICKMAN: Maybe he filmed a remake of Super Size Me to get there.


    LARRY: Well now I’m just gonna ponder how one remakes a documentary.


    MADHERO: Its a pretty remarkable transformation, and it will be a bit of a rude awakening for those who thought the Bush era wasn't so bad, which I did cause i was a dumb kid.


    LARRY: It was VERY bad. We just didn’t know all of the crazy bad shit until like 5 years after it happened. If the Bush era was as transparent as Trump’s, we’d be in hell.


    STICKMAN: I always thought it was terrible, it just feels...preferable in comparison to these daaays.


    MADHERO: Oh America, you clods.


    LARRY: That’s kinda what Vice is going for, I imagine. Possibly shedding even more light on Cheney.


    STICKMAN: Mainly it just makes me want to smack Christian Bale's potbelly.


    MADHERO: Quickly before he loses it again for The Machinist 2


    STICKMAN: Oh god. His poor doctor.


    PRODUCTION COMPANY ANNAPURNA IN TROUBLE FOLLOWING LACK OF PROFITS. DROPS ROGER AILES/FOX NEWS MOVIE WEEKS BEFORE SHOOTING

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    So hey, some not so fun studio news. While we all here at AtS are big fans of A24, its important not to forget one of the other modern auteur production company: Annapurna. The company, owned by Oracle heiress Megan Ellison, estimated to be worth over 60 billion dollarydoos has been founded to give auteur filmmakers the money needed to make the films they wanted. That has led to some great films like The Master, Her and Foxcatcher. And they seemed to be growing, having stepped up to distribution, even handling the new Bond film domestically. There's only one issue: they aren't making money.


    While Annapurna continued to make movies, they didn't seem to put much effort in actively marketing them. Detroit bombed pretty hard and their most recent movie, The Sisters Brothers, cost more than 40 million to make but hasn't even made a million yet. This has now caused their head of film production Chelsea Bernard to be fired, as well as dropping their high profile Fox News/Roger Ailes movie, 2 weeks away from start of production. Larry Ellison, Megan's dad has now stepped in and will coarse correct the company to make money. This isn't a total collapse just yet, but these aren't the signs of a healthy studio. Hopefully they can recover so they can continue to make great films.


    STICKMAN: Oy vey. This'd be a big loss.


    MADHERO: I don't think they're gone just yet. Its not like Telltale which just completely collapsed. We see companies like Global Road still be around somehow after bomb after  bomb


    STICKMAN: True, but who knows these days.


    LARRY: Let’s hope Buster Scruggs does well for Netflix and maybe gets a nom or two.


    STICKMAN: LAIKA just partnered up with them too, I don't want my LAIKA to get hurt any moooore.


    LARRY: Not LAIKA....Weren’t they struggling too?


    MADHERO: I mean, a Coen Bros film will probably get some love. Still though, its both a bit surprising and not very. They really need to know how to market their films better. Releasing Detroit in August probably wasn't the best idea.


    STICKMAN: Detroit was a hard watch too. Hardly summer fare.


    LARRY: To be fair, that film can’t be easy to market... “Hey, come see this devastating protest film.” It doesn’t have inherent mainstream appeal.


    STICKMAN: No but then you market and budget it accordingly.


    MADHERO: That's just one example though. It just seems like they don't really do great at awards season. Does make you wonder what's going to happen to the likes of Vice and now the Roger Ailes movie


    LARRY: Yeah they haven’t had a major awards contender in a while.


    STICKMAN: There's still a lot of good projects coming out of that studio. Problem is awards are kinda the bread and butter of studios who make that kinda thing.


    LARRY: Exactly. Detroit coulda done well in that regard had they been smarter.


    STICKMAN: A24 is very similar but does a lot better when it comes to awards.


    LARRY: They also handle budget a lot better. A lot of their awards contenders stay on the cheaper side.


    MADHERO: We'll see what happens next. They're still owned by a billionaire so they have some money in the tank. Hopefully they can get off the ground soon and continue to release great films.


    STICKMAN: Please save my LAIKA.


    KONAMI LICENSES DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION TO STUDIO TO MAKE A MOVIE OUT OF IT

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    OH SHIT, sometimes we get boring stories on here, and then other days? We get the bIG NEWS. Remember Dance Dance Revolution? One of many game franchises of Konami that no longer seems to exist? Well it's BACK...as a post-apocalyptic action movie. Wait, what. In what will no doubt eventually fall under the 'Never gonna happen' folder of video game movie adaptations (Remember that space epic Tetris trilogy that was being made?) , DDR is being propositioned for a feature movie by newly founded studio 'Stampede Productions' and the basic premise is that the world is on the brink of total destruction, and only the power of dance can unite, and save the world. Presumably they've taken the titular Revolution of Dance a little literally? But there you go. That's all we know, and it'll probably never happen...but hoOOOOo WEE, what a fucking funny news story this is. And since we're here, fuck Konami.


    MADHERO: Gonna hit all the arrows in the right direction to some jammin' J-pop


    STICKMAN: Gotta take those shoes off for maximum stomp dude.


    LARRY: Oh my Lordy Who in the world is writing this?


    MADHERO: This could be a fun parody or skit, but this seems like a bit of a stupid idea, but stupid enough to be fun


    STICKMAN: This sounds like a Collegehumor skit that got out of hand.


    LARRY: Yeah exactly. This is the sketch that comes after that Tetris announcement


    MADHERO: I feel like there have been similar movies that couldn't use the license but now here we are.


    LARRY: I guess this is basically Step Up meets Cloverfield?


    STICKMAN: I can't see this film ever happening but it's hilarious that it's even being propositioned.


    MADHERO: Konami's gotta make money to things besdies pachinko somehow


    STICKMAN: Konami can fuck my dick. The last movie they had a hand in was Silent Hill Revelation and that was garabbaage. They'll sell this shit to anyone and I'm not here for it...even if I kinda am for DDR Apocalypse.


    LARRY: Oh.


    MADHERO: Hopefully Vogt-Roberts can keep them out for Metal Gear Solid then


    STICKMAN: God that film is going to be either amazing or the worst thing ever. He's clearly a huge MGS fanboy and that means he's gonna play it too close to the games, which are nonsensical...BUUUT...we're talkin DDR here, which is going to win the Oscar for Best Popular Film one day.


    ----------

    MADHERO: Alright, I think about does it for the news. Now we're still definitely running away from Michael Myers on the moon, but you know who else is on the moon? Ryan Gosling, who's now playing Neil Armstrong in Damien Chazelle's First Man. Y'know, that guy that really impressed in that Kubrick movie. It feels somewhat weird that there hasn't been a movie till now, but here we are, and Sticky and Larry have both seen it.


    LARRY: Time for us to rocket into review mode. Har har


    STICKMAN: Oh dear.


    MADHERO: Alright you rocket men. What did you think of First Man? Is it the Oscar campaigner they're hoping for? Stickman, tell me your thoughts?


    REVIEW

    FIRST MAN

    DIRECTOR: Damian Chazelle (Whiplash, La La Land)

    STARRING: Ryan Gosling, Jason Clarke, Claire Foy, Kyle Chandler, Corey Stoll, Christopher Abbott

    SYNOPSIS: A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong (Gosling), and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.

    STICKMAN: WELLLLL, I think it's safe to say this is a early Oscar frontrunner in a lot of categories. Damien Chazelle has already proven himself a great director with Whiplash, and then last year's surprisingly enjoyable (For me who doesn't like musicals) La La Land, both completely different but high quality productions. Once again with First Man he's made yet another completely different film in tone, experience and even visuals...and yet once again made another amazing experience, this being perhaps his most absorbing to date.


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    On the surface this may seem like a standard biopic about an important part of American history, we’ve seen a lot of those before, and this one certainly goes to places you will expect. However...the real star of the show isn't the history, it's the intimacy. Both in terms of characters and the space exploration itself. The space sequences are mostly pretty fucking terrifying, in a way I've never experienced in a space-set movie before, there's a real grounded and dangerous feel to the way it's filmed and the sound design especially, it's pretty stressful to watch but amazing in that respect. The performances are also great, Ryan Gosling plays a beautifully melancholic and stubborn father who deals with grief in a perhaps...not particularly ideal way? Wheras Clair Foy plays his desperately struggling wife who's trying to keep everything together. They work great together, and the terrifying and beautiful space sequences are played ...and filmed quite jarringly but also fittingly different.  All in all this is a slow, but terrific and moving experience. But that's just MY thoughts, what say you Larry.


    LARRY: Yeah I agree with everything you said, Sticky. Chazelle has definitely cemented himself as a chameleon of a filmmaker with "First Man," what feels like if you took parts of "Gravity," "Dunkirk," "2001," and "Tree of Life," and made something wholly engrossing. Chazelle shoots it all as though you were watching a home video the whole time and it works wonders. And yeah, this is one of Gosling's strongest performances to date, with Claire Foy also giving a tremendously nuanced performance. I also wanna give a shout-out to Justin Hurwitz, a man who has proven that he's not just a good jazz composer but a great composer period. The score here is fucking phenomenal. I think, at times, it can get just a bit repetitive in how the plot moves from point to point, but that's really being nitpicky. For me, this is easily one of the year's best and second only to "Whiplash" as the best in Chazelle's filmography.


    STICKMAN: That score was fuckin crazy yeah. Never thought I'd hear the theremin in a film like this.


    MADHERO: On the spoopy space travel scale, where does it rank between your average space adventure and Gravity?


    LARRY: I was not the biggest fan of Gravity, though I marvel at its craftsmanship. But it definitely channels the isolation of Gravity while stripping away the polish.


    STICKMAN: It's a lot more grounded for the most part than say...Gravity or Interstellar, but the way the moon sequence is shot certainly goes for the same fantastical angle. I really liked the way it used different cameras for different portions of the film.


    LARRY: Yes the moon sequence does stick out as one of the movie's grander sequences. The home video, grainy camera in his personal life versus the digital beauty of space.


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    MADHERO: A lot of people have played up the realism to its space travel and how terrifying it really was. That's what interests me the most for sure.


    STICKMAN: You have a old vintage look for the majority, then it gets IMAX cameras for the moon sequence, and then afterwards it has a refreshed look, like its following the advancement of space travel. I watched this shit in IMAX and I tell you what, two of the space sequences in this film gave me some real anxiety.


    LARRY: Oh yeah, the film opens with one of the most intense sequences of the year.


    MADHERO: BUT DOES HE PLANT THE FLAG?!


    STICKMAN: THE FLAG IS THEEEREE BUT YOU DON'T SEE IT PLANTED. WORST FILLLLM.


    MADHERO: 0/10 Communist anti-America garbage. But hey, probably not. I'm really excited by this film. Is the more nuanced subdued family drama worth the wait for the grand spectable of space travel? Its almost 2.5 hours which is pretty long


    STICKMAN: It feels long but I was never bored. The family stuff is almost as compelling as the space race  at times, thanks to the performances and score. There's a sequence on the moon that's fucking genuinely heartbreaking.


    LARRY: I would say it does feel long but yes, never not engaging. Every scene feels warranted to be within the piece. And yeah, I know what scene Sticky is talking about, and I completely agree. I was about ready to sob.


    STICKMAN: It was the tragic remake of A Grand Day Out I never expected.


    MADHERO: Alright, you sad space cowboys, let's wrap it up. Anything you want to say before and give your final thoughts?


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    LARRY: Anyone who tells me La La Land is Chazelle's best film can go take a fucking hike. That's all I'll say, this man is capable of so much beautiful filmmaking.


    STICKMAN: Watch this in IMAX if you can, I'll say that much. That moon sequence is filmed with IMAX cameras and it's worth every penny to see that bit alone. One of the best IMAX sequences I ever did see.


    ------------

    MADHERO: Damn, I mean I preferred Whiplash but I guess that's high praise. Anyway, we've got ANOTHER REVIEW HOT AND READY TO GO! Drew Goddard is best known for his work with Joss Whedon on Buffy, but he showed his mettle with Cabin in the Woods as a new director to watch. He sure took his sweet time, but he finally has a new movie out that definitely looks stylish as heck. Larry, you're the only one that's seen it from us. Unlike its characters, did you have a Good Time at the El Royale?


    STICKMAN: Oh SHiIIET I didn't see this film, I get to drink orange juiiiice.


    BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE

    DIRECTOR: Drew Goddard (Cabin in the Woods)

    STARRING: Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, Cailee Spaeny, Chris Hemsworth, Lewis Pullman, Nick Offerman

    SYNOPSIS: Seven strangers, each with a secret to bury, meet at Lake Tahoe's El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one fateful night, everyone will have a last shot at redemption - before everything goes to hell.

    LARRY: Oh boy, did I. "Bad Times at the El Royale" is another artful, unpredictable genre-bender from the masterful mind of Drew Goddard. You can't help but be stunned by Goddard's ability to take a studio-driven film (marketed poorly but expectedly as this crazy action-thriller) and make some genuinely excellent storytelling out of it. Part Chrstie-esque mystery, part-60's crime thriller, Bad Times at the El Royale showcases an incredible cast at work with a script that gives each one of them their own unique presence.


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    They each fit like puzzle pieces in the story at large, but the film certainly doesn't play it safe in regards to how long you'll be with them. Add to that gorgeous cinematography, lovely period production design, a solid soundtrack of Motown hits, and an unpredictable plot pushed by poignant tension, and you got yourself one hell of a good time at the theater.  Not every loose end is tied up, and the third act (or fifth act? idk this film's structure warrants a second viewing) leaves a little to be desired, but I would still thoroughly recommend this one to anyone looking for something a little smarter than your average blockbuster.


    MADHERO: Cabin in the Woods was marketed pretty poorly as well so I guess that's his curse.


    LARRY: You can't market smart blockbusters without dumbing them down, apparently.


    STICKMAN: I thought this seemed a little generically zany..if that's even a thing. Like, big all-star cast, weird premise where everyone gets to chew the scenery...that kinda thing.


    LARRY: Well, it's not. As I said, marketed poorly.


    MADHERO: I think its more so hard to market without giving away the mystery or what the movie is really about. Cabin's twists were best kept as a surprise. Are there any similar surprises here?


    STICKMAN: Marketed very poorly then. Cabin in the Woods wasn't even mentioned in the stuff over here and that film's great.


    LARRY: To be honest, the trailers definitely give away some important shit. If I were to recommend one sees it, I wouldn't show them the trailer.


    MADHERO: How much fun is it and does it take a while to get going? I'm interested, but the length is kinda throwing me off honestly


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    LARRY: I did have a lot of fun trying to solve the mystery and see how the pieces fit together. To be honest, it's doesn't take very long at all, 15-20 at the most. One of the most important parts kickstarts the juicy shit. It does ultimately feel long, but that's because it moves slowly thanks to the excellent tension.


    STICKMAN: What's the tone like on this film, is it a dark comedy like the trailer suggests or what.


    LARRY: It's much more a crime thriller than a dark comedy, but there are some darkly comedic moments.


    MADHERO: Who's the highlight out of the 7 mystery men and women? It looks like Dakota Johnson and Chris Hemsworth are having a lot of fun. Any highlights?


    LARRY: Personally, my favorite performance came from Cynthia Erivo. She's a beloved theatre actress just getting her start in this and McQueen's "Widows," but this is a phenomenal debut for her. Personally Hemsworth is also good but for all of the wrong reasons. He is NOT who you expect from the trailers.


    MADHERO: Nice, great to see more of an unknown shine through. Any final thoughts?


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    LARRY: Go see it, it's excellent storytelling done with studio backing. More films like this deserve to be treated this way, and if Goddard just kept doing this forever, I wouldn't even be mad.

    -----------

    MADHERO: Alright, we may have 2 reviews, but there's even more movies coming out. I hope you're ready, because its October so things are about to get a little.... spooky.

    STICKMAN: Yeyeyeyeye

    LARRY: Ooh BOI

    MADHERO: Great to see you guys hyped for Goosebumps 2. But I guess we'll take a look at this other appropriate release first


    MOVIES

    HALLOWEEN

    DIRECTOR: David Gordon Green (Our Brand is Crisis, Stronger)

    STARRING: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Nick Castle

    SYNOPSIS: Laurie Strode (Curtis) comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers (Castle), the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

    STICKMAN: Yeaahh bOOOIIIi. I don't even know why I'm excited cuz I don't hold the original up that highly but I'm exciiiited.


    MADHERO: Michael Myers is back, but more importantly, Jamie Lee Curtis is fucking pissed.


    LARRY: I keep seeing the long-take trailer for this before movies and I never get tired of it.


    STICKMAN: Jamie Lee Curtis is the real Halloween. She's gonna fuckin murder everyone.


    MADHERO: That would be a twist worthy of the sequels. Luckily this is a clean slate. No getting his ass kicked by Busta Rhymes, no occult shit, no origin story. Just some straight slasher goodness


    STICKMAN: Who knew the world would be excited for a Halloween sequel in 2018, but here we are. This is gonna make all the moneys.


    LARRY: Well, when you retcon the canon....


    STICKMAN: You can never retcon Halloween 3. NEVER.


    MADHERO: Maybe when the Myers saga receives proper closure, we can finally get the Halloween 3 sequel we deserve. The Silver Shamrock must live


    STICKMAN: Please Blumhouse, PLEASE.


    LARRY: I totally get these references because I have 100% seen that.


    STICKMAN: Season of the Witch is objectively the best Halloween film Larry. Unless...this one surpasses it? DUN DUN DUUUUN.


    GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN

    DIRECTOR: Ari Sandel (The DUFF, When We First Met)

    STARRING: Wendi McLendon-Covey, Madison Iseman, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Caleel Harris, Chris Parnell, Ken Jeong

    SYNOPSIS: Two boys (Ray Taylor, Harris) find a manuscript in an abandoned house called "Haunted Halloween." When they open it, they release Slappy who plans to create the Halloween Apocalypse with the help of his Halloween monster allies.

    STICKMAN: Oh dear. The return of the weirdly handsome werewolf.


    LARRY: Jack Black actually agreed to do this. What a world.


    MADHERO: Its weird. Ive heard literally no one talk about this. I guess the lack of Jack Black kinda made no one care, even if they have the chubby kid from IT


    STICKMAN: Jack Black is in the film though. They were trying to keep it a secret for no reason. And then they realised people weren't gonna see it so they were like OH BUT WAIT HE'S HEEERE.


    MADHERO: Yeah. Not in it much, so kinda weird they went that direction. Guess they thought that dummy was the real star


    STICKMAN: And that werewolf. I'd let him bump MY goose, if you know what I mean. Because I sure don't.


    THE HATE U GIVE

    DIRECTOR: George Tilman Jr. (Faster, The Longest Ride)

    STARRING: Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, KJ Apa, Issa Rae, Anthony Mackie, Common

    SYNOPSIS: Starr (Stenberg) witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what's right.

    MADHERO: Uhoh, my EXTREMELY RELEVANT SOCIAL COMMENTARY alarm is ringing.


    STICKMAN: Time for that IMDB rating to plummet because that's what happens to all socially relevant and challenging RELEASES.


    LARRY: So apparently the black community is not supporting this movie so much anymore because it's "trauma porn."


    STICKMAN: At least they watched it, unlike IMDB.


    MADHERO: Not sure if that applies to everyone. I hadn't heard much in the way of controversy, but I can sorta see why when this film tackles real life and they'd rather wanna see Black Panther.


    LARRY: I'm just interested in seeing it, the cast looks good and the message is important.


    STICKMAN: I'm not particularly interested but if it's  good, then greaaat. I ain't gonna GIVE it HATE. Hhuhu.


    MADHERO: The reviews from critics has been really good, but its IMDB and RT Audience Score is rather low-ish. Probably no campaign going on there. Nope, no siree


    STICKMAN: I'm sure a quick trip to Twitter dot Com will sort this mystery out.


    LARRY: I love having to sift through ridiculous controversy. Can't we just...watch movies and like them or not like them.


    STICKMAN: When did they plant the FLAG, LARRY. WHEN.


    MID90S

    DIRECTOR: Jonah Hill (directorial debut)

    STARRING: Sunny Suljij, Lucs Hedges, Katherine Waterston, Gio Galicia

    SYNOPSIS: Stevie (Suljij), a thirteen-year-old in 90s-era LA who spends his summer navigating between his troubled home life and a group of new friends that he meets at a Motor Avenue skate shop.

    STICKMAN: Jonah Hill's wild 2018 continues.


    LARRY: Maniac90s......I tried


    MADHERO: He's been having a pretty good year what with Maniac and now his directorial debut. Always nice to see an actor give that a shot, especially for something that seems personal to his own upbringing somewhat


    STICKMAN: We've come a long way since Superbad.


    LARRY: We really have. He seems to have matured a lot since those days.


    STICKMAN: Jonah Hill has always been weirdly an Oscar favourite despite his roots...so...this feels like a natural progression.


    MADHERO: He had a pretty interesting interview with Michael Cera about that film's legacy and their lives since then. I just kinda hope the A24 logo made from skateboards is in the actual film. Also more PS1 shoutout with my boi Atreus


    STICKMAN: A24 skateboard logo, no doubt soon to be a hipster t-shirt on their online store.


    CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME

    DIRECTOR: Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl)

    STARRING: Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant, Dolly Wells, Jane Curtin, Ben Falcone

    SYNOPSIS: When Lee Israel (McCarthy) falls out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception.

    MADHERO: No. Haha, Got eeeeeem.


    STICKMAN: This film looks weiiiird.


    MADHERO: Melissa McCarthy in SERIOUS ACTOR mode. Apparently she's really good in it, with some critics buzzing it might get her an Oscar nomination.


    LARRY: I mean, I kinda hope she's good in it. I'd like some antidote to the crap she's been putting out.


    STICKMAN: The real question is does she fall down and make a fat joke at any point.


    MADHERO: She got an Oscar nom for Bridesmaids, so y'know, its happened. I think its nice for her to branch out and do more serious work. Also nice to see charactor actor Richard E. Grant in a bigger role.


    STICKMAN: Richard E Grant is the scenery chewiest actor in the world, but that's kinda fun in the right places, so who knows.


    LARRY: Not wrong. In Logan he really just dug his teeth for the 20 min he got.


    MADHERO: He tends to disappear in some films despite the chewing, but its nice to see him have a bigger part. Also good on McCarthy.


    STICKMAN: I mean. I'm not a fan of her but maybe she can prove me wrong.


    LARRY: If she's good, then I'll give her credit.


    MADHERO: Soon itll be Academy Award Melissa McCarthy and there will be nothing you can do about it.


    STICKMAN: AAAGGHH. This truly is Halloween.


    -----

    MADHERO: With that nightmare cast upon your minds, its now time for MOVIE OF THE WEEK! While getting into the real spoops and japes is something for next episode, we've still got some pretty good picks for you, including something spooky to get into the mood.


    STICKMAN: Let's get spooky, bitches.


    LARRY: Not yet, Stix. NEXT episode ya ding.


    STICKMAN: LET'S GET SPOOKY


    MADHERO: What about it, Sticky. Do you have anything truly spoopy to share?


    MOVIE OF THE WEEK

    STICKMAN: WeLLLL my pick isn't a horror film straight up, but it is a violent revenge thriller the likes of which you've probably never seeeen? Sooo? Yeaaah? Now, let's preface that by saying ...YES...revenge thrillers have been done a lot, and no this one doesn't cover new ground broadly speaking, but how it does the tropes, and the way it presents itself? Hoooo boy what an amazing experience. I'm talking about REVENGE, the lazily titled subversion rape revenge thriller that's not an easy watch, but it's a fucking great one all the same. Rapeploitation thrillers are never easy sells, I get that, but this one is a gooden.

    This is a French, female led, written and directed film that gets that nasty detail out of the way pretty quickly and then gets straight down to the revenge, which is what you want. Not only that but it's a truly jaw-dropping visual achievement, which some incredible sound design to boot. Every frame is dripping with style, not to mention blood...a LOT of blood, this film gets real nasty, but generally deservingly so, given the context. If you like your thrillers overloaded with style, oozing with blood and pulsing with violent, snyth-heavy energy? This is the fuckin' film for yoooou.


    LARRY: Damn yo, I didn't even know Rapesploitation was a genre.


    STICKMAN: I mean that's not what people call it, but that's what it generally is. Justifying generally male-gazey rape scenes with ensuing revenge violence.


    MADHERO: Oh Larry, you sweet summer child. Soon enough you'll learn about films I Spit on your Grave and Hatchet


    LARRY: Okay I just didn't know it had a name, geez.


    MADHERO: This film has been on my list for a while. Heard nothing but great things about it honestly.


    STICKMAN: It's one of those films I really wish I'd got to see at the cinema, it's such an amazing experience and it deserves to be seen on the biggest screen you can find.


    LARRY: Yeah sounds epic.


    STICKMAN: There's a lot of dude butts in this film, that's all I'll say in addition. Evil dude butts.


    MADHERO: The worst kind of butts


    LARRY: I'm sure that is a sell for you.


    STICKMAN: Butts are to be treasured, Larry. ALRIGHT WHO'S NEXT


    MADHERO: Alright, i've got something real spooky: A NETFLIX ORIGINAL! MUHAHAHHA! But hey, this one, like Hold the Dark is pretty dang good and anticipated. Sticky and I are both big fans of Indonesian action movies The Raid and Raid 2, and it was gonna be interesting what director Gareth Evans would do next. Would he continue his ass kicking, or would we see something really different to show he's a much more versatile director than expected. As it turns out with Apostle, its the latter.

    Apostle takes things slow with its Victorian horror, which sees Dan Stevens as a former missionary entering a remote cult who have kidnapped his sister. The first half is very Wicker Man (the one one, not the Cage one) and the horror comes from a more psychological angle, and then it gets quite bloody in the 2nd half.  Its a tad slow, but the atmosphere sucks you in and once it let up, it does not stop.


    STICKMAN: Heeyyy I saw this one tooooo.


    LARRY: I didn't. So, I'mma just dive in a hole real quick.


    MADHERO: Larry, you can't. Tis the season. I'm not sure its quite the right Halloween movie, but it does deliver on the creepy atmosphere if you want to go that route.


    LARRY: It's like...human mutilation, right? The trailer looked to be really unsettling.


    STICKMAN: Gareth Evans proved with The Raid 2 that he was more than just an action director (even if he is a bloody amazing one) and to see his take on horror? It's pretty amazing. I wish it'd been a bit faster paced, but that last 30 minutes is fucking insane.


    MADHERO: Yeah, this film gets pretty nasty at points, and oh god that last half hour


    LARRY: Yeah I don't really lovvvvve nasty.


    STICKMAN: But Larry it builds up to it pretty nicely. But if you're not into mutilation in films maybe don't watch this film. Cuz...hoooooo.


    LARRY: Yeah, exactly. So, pass from me.


    MADHERO: Well Larry, what do you love then? What's your Movie of the Week?


    LARRY: My film is ALSO a Netflix release, in partnership with Annapurna, but it actually ISN'T available yet and won't be until November. I was lucky enough to get tickets to see "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" as part of the 56th New York Film Festival! Directed by the Coen Brothers, "Scruggs" is a wonderful Western anthology with a distinct attention to period detail and an eclectic cast of top-notch performers.

    It tells six frontier tales, and while they vary on narrative strength and pacing, each one provides a unique experience. Whether it be singing cowboys or morbid stagecoaches, the film never stops being engaging, with moments ranging from sardonically hysterical to emotionally powerful. Perhaps it would have been a bit more consumable episodically (it does run a bit long), but there is value to be found in its entirety and the similar motifs found through every story. Whether you catch it on the big screen or via Netflix, I thoroughly recommend this one. It's hard to go wrong for a Western when you have one of the few modern directors who understand the genre.


    MADHERO: O hey, I can't see this one yet cause I don't live in New Yawk


    STICKMAN: I don't get the pizza or the films. What a jib.


    MADHERO: I ain't walkin there. Anyway pretty neat to hear that its good. Do you notice that it was originally supposed to be a show?


    LARRY: Apparently that's a false rumor. In an interview with the Coens, they said that they never really ever solidified what the format would be. That being announced was a result of them partnering with Netflix. But they said them doing it in a movie version was never something they were forced into, it was always something they imagined.


    MADHERO: Yeah, I don't buy that one bit that this wasn't supposed to be a series originally when that was announced, but hey, if it got us a good movie, then I guess its ok for them to be LIARS!


    STICKMAN: So Larry, as someone who finds Westerns generally quite boring, will this entertain meeee?


    LARRY: ...I mean, they certainly work well together as six stories in one anthology. There are very similar motifs in all six. But...yeah, it does run long and is perhaps better for some if consumed one by one.


    MADHERO: Its almost like it was a series at one point


    STICKMAN: Oh shit. What a ballad this has been.


    LARRY: lol aight Mad To be very honest, this is a true blue Western, so if you don't enjoy the genre, I'm not sure you'll like it. Each one is based on a Western subgenre, tho they all sorta genrebend a tad.


    STICKMAN: But is there any HORROR!?


    LARRY: One is more comedic, one is a musical, one is indeed a horror/Twilight Zone-esque one. It's a really eclectic mix.


    STICKMAN: So many things.


    LARRY: But it won't be for everyone, it stays true to Western conventions. Lots of gunslinging and such.


    STICKMAN: Coming out just in time for the post-Red Dead Redemption 2 release blues.


    MADHERO: Guess we'll find out when people can actually see it and not just the liberal New York elite.


    LARRY: Shrug. That's me.


    --------

    MADHERO: Alright, that about wraps it. Get ready for next time as we truly enter the BONE ZONE with some truly demonic depictions of cinema. The terrifying trailers will come and get you. I am of course talking about future ho

  • At the Screwvies: Episode 118

    4 months ago

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    MADHERO: Well, folks. This is it. The long-awaited awaited film that will finally ask the important questions. Questions like: Is Zendaya Meechee? Is LeBron James Gwangi? But most important, how goopy is dat boi Venom and how far do his turds go in the wind? Oh, and something about an possible Best Picture nominee, but ehhhh


    LARRY: You really never know what will break into the meme sphere.


    STICKMAN: I don't want to think about Venom's goopy, airborn turds but here we are now. Thinking about it. In graphic detail.


    LARRY: Which kind of turd are you? Goopy Venom turd? Channing Tatum Yeti turd? Best Picture nominee turd? A BuzzFeed quiz waiting to happen.


    STICKMAN: I'm just a piece of shit.


    MADHERO: Its either that or his gross phallic tongue. I'm sure we'll talk all sorts of turds, but lets focus on our new turds.


    LARRY: Good shit. Cuz turds


    NEWS

    CARY FUKUNAGA (MANIAC) TO DIRECT NEW JAMES BOND FILM. WILL BE DELAYED FOR A FEBRUARY 2020 RELEASE

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    Last time we checked on the James Bond franchise, it's 25th entry was left in limbo after previous director Danny Boyle dropped the project due to the good ol' CD, creative differences. But, don't fret, because the film is now back in line to begin filming in March for a February 2020 release date., breaking its long streak of opening on October/November (since GoldenEye in 1995). But the BIG news is that acclaimed director Cary Joji Fukunaga will be replacing Boyle, which makes him the first American-born director EVER to tackle a 007 adventure!! Hooray for further distancing Bond from its British roots!!!!!!!!!!


    Anyway, you may know Fukunaga from his film "Beasts of No Nation," which was nominated for a Golden Globe, or his television work on the first seasons of "True Detective" and, most recently, "Maniac." Maniac in particular has been getting a lot of buzz for being very, VERY weird, so it'll be interesting to see how his style translates to the Bond format. Either way, I'm always down for a shake-up, especially with a franchise like Bond which is  c e r t a i n l y  in need of one.


    STICKMAN: Well, this is a surprise, but if Maniac did anything, it was show us how versatile a director this DUDE is.


    LARRY: Maniac is so fucking weird


    MADHERO: If Maniac is any indication, we can look forward to Bond going into some WILD directions. Also gonna at least one great tracking shot moment, like the one good thing in Spectre.


    STICKMAN: As long as it has autonomous poop robots.


    MADHERO: I think that he's such a surprising choice not only cause he's the first American, but also cause he's not exactly known for being a yes man. He famously left the IT reboot and left True Detective Season 2 as well


    STICKMAN: A tried and true safe pair of hands this ain't, which could prove great...if he sticks around. If he don't, I guess we'll just chuck Bond in the bin, I dunno.


    LARRY: I dunno, just feels odd that he's gonna helm the last Craig feature as opposed to genuinely starting his own thing and really starting fresh.


    STICKMAN: That'd be the same for any director Larrrry. Danny Boyle, if anything, was an even weirder choice, but he was a prominent British director so I guess it wasn't completely out of left field.


    LARRY: I know, but Fukunaga especially who clearly is gonna shake things up. I'd call Fukunaga a much weirder choice.


    MADHERO: They can't really afford to lose another director after the Boyle exit, but hey, they've already delayed it now.


    STICKMAN: There's one episode in Maniac which visually exuded a style not that different from the previous two, so maybe he's gonna be more by the book than you think. Maybe.


    MADHERO: I do think he's one hell of a great choice. Maniac is of course his most recent work, but with Beasts of No Nation and True Detective, he's shown to be one hell of a director, so I'm very curious how that translates to something as huge as Bond. I'm really stoked with this choice, more so than Boyle honestly


    STICKMAN: I'm a Boyle boy, so I guess anything else is gonna be disappointing, but I'm curious to see how this film turns out, given the messy road to production.


    LARRY: Yeah he's a great choice overall, here's hoping all goes smoothly. Perhaps he can let Craig go out with a bang.


    MARVEL STUDIOS RELEASES FIRST TRAILER FOR CAPTAIN MARVEL

    Last episode we talked about the first look images from Marvel's next release, and it's first female led production, Captain Marvel. Those images came with the announcement of the first trailer's impending release...and well, now we have that trailer. Although vague (As first trailers often are) on the overall story of the film, we certainly got quite a good look at Brie Larson in the titular role. Introduced as a cosmic hero who arrives on earth and starts to question her own identity. There's a sense that she has a lost past which will be discovered over the course of the story...all the while those pesky Skrulls will be about, one supposes.


    Beyond an already iconic granny punch and the inclusion of a Blockbuster, the trailer didn’t really do much than show hero shots of Captain Marvel and tease a lot of the supporting cast, including a de-aged 90s Nick Fury and space-Jude Law. Although it was far from bad, I found the trailer to be a little disappointing, particularly given the calibre of teasers/trailers for MCU films in the past couple years. Thor Ragnarok, Black Panther, Infinity War, hell…even Ant-Man & The Wasp all delivered ones with more personality, this came across as pretty generic. STILL….early days yet, sure the film will turn out a gooden.


    MADHERO: I'm here for Carol Danvers: Puncher of Grandmas


    STICKMAN: They had it coming.


    LARRY: Oy, that sure must be weird for those unaware of the lore. Not a lot of Skrull in this trailer. Whoever edited that moment must be so happy with themselves.


    STICKMAN: That's what all the analysis articles and videos on the internet are for. WHO did Captain Marvel PUNCH!? Red circle around fist. Exclamation marks.


    MADHERO: Not that you know of at least. For all we know everyone in the trailer is a Skrull.


    STICKMAN: For all I know, YOU'RE a Skrull.


    MADHERO: Oh fuck.....uh yeah, so this trailer didnt really do it for me besides the afformentioned grandma punching. I dunno, its fine, but I felt it lacked a certain "O I gotta see this now" moment


    STICKMAN: Same here. I have no doubt the film will turn out well but this wasn't particularly exciting.


    LARRY: I mean...I'm not like meh about it, I like the trailer. It's not one of their best but the moment when you get a glimpse of the suit with helmet really got me by surprise. Also, MORE GLOWY EYES


    MADHERO: I actually do like the amnesia angle they're going for. Something tells me the Skrulls are going to be a bit more complicated than just being enemies of the Kree and the Kree are probably going to be complete dicks and Jude Law the villain.


    STICKMAN: I think the Captain Marvel in the trailer is a Skrull and it's all a big TWIST. That's why they have confused memmoriiess.


    LARRY: Yeah Jude Law aka Villain McVillainVillain looks so evil.


    MADHERO: Y'know, that wouldn't surprise if that was true, but I'm gonna for now stick to Team Human.


    STICKMAN: Team Green always. Gotta go with what you know.


    MARVEL STUDIOS HIRES THE RIDER DIRECTOR CHLOE ZHAO FOR THE ETERNALS.BIRDS OF PREY GOES AHEAD AT WARNER BROS

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    Another day, another bunch of comic book movies in development on both sides of the Marvel/DC spectrum. While Marvel has kept their cards close to their chest as to what is in development after Avengers 4, we can add The Eternals to the list, with Chloe Zhao (The Rider) attached to direct. Zhao broke through with 2017's The Rider, considered by critics one of the best films of the year, and follows a similar trajectory to the likes of Taika Waititi. As for who the Eternals are, we have to dive into Jack Kirby cosmic territory, but they're essentially proto-humans experimented on by the ancient Celestials, and its probably important to note that Thanos is descended from them. This movie will apparently focus on the romance between Ikaris and Sersi, who I don't know anything about, but Marvel has managed to introduce the Guardians of the Galaxy to the mainstream, so we'll see how this goes.


    Of the million projects in development at DC, we know at least one that's officially happening: Birds of Prey, which has received a February 2020 release date and will be directed by Cathy Yan. Birds of Prey is much easier to explain: a group of superheroines. The film will largely focus on Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn (who's also producing), with her being joined by Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress and Jurney Smollet-Bell as Black Canary (Bell is bi-racial, so expect a lot of not very fun comments there). Other members, reported to be Renee Montoya and Cassandra Cain, have not been cast yet. All in all, a lot happening in the world of superheroes, and its interesting to see two Asian women from indie backgrounds getting such a big opportunity.


    LARRY: I got a taste of "The Rider" a week or so ago, and if that's the mind at work for Eternals, I'm all in. From what I saw, she's definitely got chops.


    STICKMAN: I wish it was The Ghost Rider.


    MADHERO: Ah, then you're way more informed than I am, cause I haven't seen it.


    STICKMAN: I think mainly I'm just....wondering why we have at least one new DC film update to talk about every day. Like...what's going on over there. Chaos reigns.


    MADHERO: Like many, I have no real idea who The Eternals are, and their origin, being a part of Jack Kirby's cosmic stint, always feel like they're made for a very specific niche, and they aren't exactly popular. But the same was also the case with the GOTG


    STICKMAN: I'm down for more crazy cosmic MCU stuff...I just wish there wasn't a big cosmic elephant in the room right now when it came to that branch of the series.


    LARRY: Well they are still using his script, so the plan for all Cosmic stuff hasn't changed. Still tho, yeah, weird to see all of these developments.


    MADHERO: Yeaaaaaaahhhhh. On the DC end, I am curious about Birds of Prey even if its status as a Suicide Squad spin-off makes me gag, but Yan is supposed  to be an interesting upcoming director and an all female group of superheroines is not something we've really seen yet.


    STICKMAN: I'm sure the DCEU will find a way to waste all that diversity and talent on another shitty movie nobody wanted but people will viciously defend to the ends of the earth. If we even have a DCEU  any more, like...jeez. What a mess.


    LARRY: At least the casting is solid. Above all else in this ridiculous news cycle.


    STICKMAN: I wasn't a fan of Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad but then I wasn't a fan of any of Suicide Squad.


    MADHERO: I'm hoping that the interesting new releases of Shazam and Joker are at least an sign that they're doing something different from what we got before.


    LARRY: Yeah the Joker movie definitely looks to be adding in some new aesthetic elements. Which, I for one, am a fan of.


    MADHERO: I will just say that its great to see 2 big superhero movies being handled by 2 Asian women from independent backgrounds. That wouldn't be a thing 5 years ago, so good on both for progress.


    LARRY: Yeah that's always good. It's good for them to be getting these opportunities period.


    STICKMAN: Diversity is great, always good to see, now let's make the movies good too. I'm talking to YOU, DC.


    FOX RELEASES TRAILER FOR DARK PHOENIX. THEN DELAYS THE MOVIE TO JUNE 2019

    So, in Fox's desperate attempts to wring out as much cash out of the X-Men as they can before they become a part of the MCU, we have a few more mutant movies to look forward to, and the one first one on the docket is Dark Phoenix. Based on the "Dark Phoenix Saga" in the X-Men comics. the story revolves around young Jean Grey's (Sophie Turner) transformation into the ultimately powerful Phoenix. And, of course, the X-Men can't handle her UNLIMITED COSMIC POWER and Magneto is there fucking shit up. Oh, and also Jessica Chastain. Neat.


    It kinda looks like every other X-Men movie as of late. Edgy music, cinematic shots, lots of familiar faces and ambiguous "we're in danger" dialogue. It's interesting to see Xavier now genuinely taking blame for something in this god damn universe, and you can't go wrong with Michael Fassbender as Magneto. As long as we keep the timey-wimey crazy shit out of the picture, maybe this'll let me turn off my brain for a bit. Either way, looks like we'll have to wait a little while longer than the trailer says, because news just recently broke that the film is actually being pushed from February 14th to June 7th. That makes this the second time the film has been pushed, so...yeah, not the best news to coincide with a trailer launch. Aw well.


    MADHERO: The trailer having its release date on February 14 and then having it changed 2 days later shows that things are going very well at Fox


    LARRY: Oh, clearly. All for a PG-13 re-release of a famously-known-for-being-R franchise.


    STICKMAN: They really have their finger on the pulse


    MADHERO: Well Battle Angel had to move otherwise it'd be killed in the Christmas slaughter. Dark Phoenix is one of the most famous arcs in comics history. The way Last Stand handled it was.....oof. The trailer did very very little for me though


    LARRY: Yeah THIS is one trailer I am very meh about. For all of the Phoenix shit this trailer totes around and we see very little of it.


    STICKMAN: I've never been a fan of the standard X-Men series, with the exception of First Class. This one looks very similar to the previous two, neither of which I liked...sooooo... I want to see The New Mutants but that's increasingly becoming the carrot on the end of a stick that keeps being dangled further away until you just KNOW it'll be a huge mess.


    MADHERO: As good as Fassbender is, I am kinda tired of his Magneto, or rather how he's always used as a villain, which is what he is, but after doing that for 3 films its very tiring. Maybe the trailer is bamboozling us, but I doubt it


    LARRY: Well when the producer of those films directs one of his own, it's bound to feel a bit reminiscent.


    STICKMAN: At least it's not Bryan Singer, right?


    MADHERO: Well if stories are to be believed, Apocalypse wasn't much of Singer either. For what is undoubtedly the end of this version of the X-Men and something I've been a fan of, it feels weird to feel so meh towards this trailers


    LARRY: Yeah, I am a fan of McAvoy and Fassbender together so it'll be bittersweet to end it. At the same time, yeah, it looks kinda pants.


    STICKMAN: This does feel like the awkward unplanned final outing that nobody really cares about. Can't wait for Take 3 on the WACKY SLOW MOTION QUICKSILVER SCENE.


    KINGSMAN 3 CONFIRMED FOR 2019. MATTHEW VAUGHN TO ONCE AGAIN DIRECT AND PRODUCE

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    Back in 2015, the thought of further sequels to Kingsman: The Secret Service would have sent joy straight to the hearts of many a filmgoer. The campy, fun and violent take on classic Bond was a hit, and hopes for the 2017 sequel were high....emphasis on WERE. It's since come out, and is generally considered to be pretty disappointing, and a step too far in the direction of most of the things people didn't like about the original film, in addition to a gratuitous Elton John role. STILL, it made a decent sum of money, and a sequel was quickly put into production. Now we know just when said sequel will arrive, and it's in a very familiar release spot.


    We know next to nothing about Kingsman 3 at this point, and it's not set to enter filming until January 2019...but Fox have set the release in place for November 9th of that same year, which as you'll recall, was the original sequel spot for the franchises inspiration, James Bond. Like I said, if you'd asked me in 2015 or anytime before seeing Kingsman 2? I'd be thrilled. As it stands, I really couldn't give a toss about Kingsman 3...but for those who do, you don't have long to wait really


    MADHERO: Gotta say that its quite cheeky of them to take the Bond date. Of course with Fox these days you don't know if they'll actually keep it


    STICKMAN: It'll be delayed at least 4 more times.


    LARRY: I find it hysterical that it took the Bond slot. That’s literally parody becoming real life. Maybe it’ll convince them how to make a better third instalment.


    MADHERO: I'd feel way more excited about this if The Golden Circle wasn't a thing, which basically felt like the first film but of lesser quality and way too long.


    LARRY: Personally I didn’t mind The Golden Circle, I thought it was fine. But it definitely lacks the panache the first one had. And it honestly doesn’t leave a lot of momentum for a third.


    STICKMAN: It was more awkward than funny for me, but at least it wasn't as bad as Kick Ass 2.


    MADHERO: There's some fun moments there, but GC felt more disappointing cause it was directed by Vaughn himself, who hadn't really had a dud up to that point.


    STICKMAN: Why was Elton John there. So so much.


    LARRY: You could ask the same thing about every character. What was Julianne Moore doing there? What was Jeff Bridges doing there?


    STICKMAN: Eating a burger. Being drunk.


    MADHERO: Well she was fun as the villain. Moving on from Golden Circle dunking, there's a current rumor that this film will be a prequel in WW1 starring Ralph Fiennes. I feel like that might sound very un-Kingsman, which is rather over the top, but I dunno, would be something different at least.


    STICKMAN: Ralph Fiennes is an underrated comedy actor.


    LARRY: Um............what. Where the hell did THAT rumor start? I do like Fiennes very much, I’ll admit, but that sounds so out of left field.


    MADHERO: The Daily Mail, so don't take it too seriously, but y'know, could be interesting, but we'll probably hear more soon. Lets hope for the best


    SPACE JAM REVIVAL OFFICIALLY HAPPENING WITH LEBRON JAMES AS LEAD. RYAN COOGLER TO PRODUCE AND TERENCE NANCE TO DIRECT

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    Dread it, run from it, but the Monstars still arrive. Its been god knows how long since we've been threatened with the return of Space Jam, always with Lebron James attached as the one to replace Michael Jordan's role. Its been on and off again, but now, its definitely on, with the news that none other than Black Panther director Ryan Coogler is going to be producing the film, with Terence Nance, best known for his absurdist comedy show Random Acts of Flyness in the directing seat, with plans to start filming in the 2019 off-season, with a 2020 release. Word is also suggesting that will be a reboot, not a sequel to the original, which sort of makes sense in that Space Jam is almost 22 years old now, but with the rise of legacy sequels, seems a weird move, but oh well.


    This whole thing continues to feel rather strange, especially now that its really moving forward. I have some nostalgia for Space Jam, but that's cause I was a 90's kid and didn't know much better, because its not that great a film. Still, you have to admire this sequel/reboot's attempt to get young African American talent involved (Nance was 13/14, Coogler 9 and James 11 when Space Jam came out). Will it be any good? I honestly don't know, but I'm at the very least curious


    STICKMAN: Hey Dee Jaaayy


    LARRY: Welcome to the jam.


    MADHERO: If a remake of that song doesn't happen, its not worth doing.


    STICKMAN: I want like, a massive remake collaboration song. Like LiveAid but bigger. The biggest musical event in history.


    MADHERO: But yeah, I guess its now happening for realsies. Its felt somewhat innevitable with how much its been talked about, but its still pretty wild. Also funny to hear Lebron speak about the original with such reverance.


    LARRY: I’m sure it inspired some kids, no question.


    STICKMAN: Space Jam...was garbage. Sorry. Like, I enjoyed it as a kid but it was an adaptation of an advert...loaded with product placements....very little narrative....awkward cameos. What were we smoking in the 90s.


    LARRY: Sticky, nobody is arguing with you. Embrace the bad.


    STICKMAN: Is that the tagline for Venom.


    MADHERO: Well like I mentioned, the people involved were kids when it came out. And I do think they've got some interesting talent involved. Mind you, its still Space Jam.


    LARRY: It’s most likely gonna just pay homage to the wackiness of the first but maybe a twinge more depth. It is Coogler after all.


    STICKMAN: It's either going to be a massive box office disaster that destroys Warner Bros, or a cultural milestone in cinema. There will be no inbetween.


    -------

    MADHERO: Alright, I think we've delayed talking about it long enough. The moment we've waited for for so long to the point that we're all just dried up turds fluttering in the wind has arrived. Its time.... to finally see Robert Redford's supposed last performance in a film ever. That, or watch dat goopy boi and his penis tongue.


    STICKMAN: Are we takling about VENnnnOoooONUMmm? Like Eminem would say.


    MADHERO: I guess its time to let the devil in. He's going knock knock. Unleash your inner anti-hero, kids, and make sure not to frighten your mom too much.


    STICKMAN: Edgy PG-13 shit is the best.


    LARRY: Their Mom doesn’t even know what Venom is so whatever


    MOVIES

    VENOM

    DIRECTOR: Ruben Fleischer (30 Minutes or Less, Gangster Squad)

    STARRING: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slete, Scott Haze

    SYNOPSIS: Following a scandal, journalist Eddie Brock (Hardy_ attempts to revive his career by investigating the Life Foundation, but comes into contact with an alien symbiote that bonds with Brock, giving him superpowers as long as they share the same body.

    LARRY: AAAAAAHHHHHH/ Oh right this looks like garbage.


    MADHERO: This movie is coming out in less than a week and I still have a hard time believing its real.


    STICKMAN: I feel like it's a figment of my imagination. A goopy wet dream.


    LARRY: You’ll believe it when his goopy tongue is down your throat.


    STICKMAN: Larry, please. I'm already horny.


    MADHERO: My penis can only get this erect. Anyway yeah, its a thing, its not connected to Spider-Man, and its marketing feels like its from the mid 2000's.


    LARRY: EARLY 2000's really.


    STICKMAN: At least he looks good? Like....Spider-Man 3  Venom...ooyy...


    MADHERO: You can feel the Evenesance flowing from it. And I'd judge that harder if this wouldn't be absolutely my shit a decade ago.


    STICKMAN: I would've been queuing up to see this when I was 14. I was the kinda kid who got excited about Shadow of the Hedgehog.


    MADHERO: YO, SAME! SHOUT-OUT TO SHADOW THE HEDGEHOG! That's honestly what this film reminds me of though. The fact its PG-13 just adds to that


    STICKMAN: It's great, it's SO DARK AND EDGY...but you can bring the whole family! Collectors cups in the lobby, kids. EDGY cups.


    LARRY: So edgy you can't even hold them. It hurts your hand.


    MADHERO: Ow, the Edge. So yeah, this film probably isn't very good. But regardless I'm looking forward to the takes. And hey, maybe it can surprise and actually not be a turd in the wind.


    STICKMAN: Watch it turn out to be amazing. Like it's actually really good  and Venom is a real sexual awakening for society.


    LARRY: There is no. Possible way. This is good.


    STICKMAN: Watch this space, kids.


    A STAR IS BORN

    DIRECTOR: Bradley Cooper (directorial debut)

    STARRING: Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Sam Elliot, Dave Chappelle, Andrew Dice Clay

    SYNOPSIS: A musician (Cooper) helps a young singer and actress (Lady Gaga) find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral.

    LARRY: Bleh.


    MADHERO: O dang, Larry. Prepping your hot take for a probably Best picture nominee already?


    STICKMAN: This is not a film that interests me personally. But hey ho, look at those reviews though. Shows what I know.


    LARRY: I'm just genuinely surprised this gained traction, it's a remake of a film that's been remade 5 times. Suddenly we slap on Bradley Cooper and "don't look at me I'm ugly" Lady Gaga and it's a hit.


    MADHERO: Personally the film doesn't interest me in terms of genre, but hey, if its good, its good. And its pretty impressive that this is Cooper's first director gig. And hey, at least the soundtrack is probably gonna be good.


    STICKMAN: I'll put this out there right now...if this is indeed the Oscar frontrunner already? Gonna be really disappointed if it wins. I'm sure it's good...but as a best film of the year it just seems kinda...boooring?


    LARRY: If it's good, I'm all for it being good? Just seems like a very safe film to be the race's frontrunner.


    MADHERO: I feel its probably the Best Picture nominee that'll generate the most hot takes, like with La La Land and Three Billboards beforehand.


    STICKMAN: Let's not bring up La La Land, the only musical I like more than Larry.


    LARRY: This will NOT bring up hot takes.


    NIGHT SCHOOL

    DIRECTOR: Malcolm D. Lee (Barbershop: the Next Cut, Girls Trip)

    STARRING: Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Rob Riggle, Yvonne Orji, Ben Schwartz

    SYNOPSIS: A group of troublemakers (Hart, Riggle etc.) are forced to attend night school in hope that they'll pass the GED exam to finish high school.

    STICKMAN: Oh. We're gonna be that way huh.


    MADHERO: O look, there's Kevin Hart playing an loud idiot again. What a stretch.


    LARRY: Would you believe me if I said I saw this...


    MADHERO: Hwhat. And we didn't even bother to ask so we could potentially review? Dang. Anyway how was it?


    LARRY: There's a reason we aren't reviewing it. It's bad.


    STICKMAN: HOOWW BADD IIIS IIT? Youtube keeps forcing me to watch it and I almost kinda miss Baby Shark at this point.


    MADHERO: O dang. Gotta say that the trailer didn't really do it for me.


    LARRY: It's just not terribly funny, and it's not a well-made film.


    MADHERO: Kind of a shame when you got people like Hart and Haddish, who can be really funny if used proper. Oh well, another forgettable comedy to add to the pile


    LARRY: To be fair, they have their moments, and the cast as a whole have talent. It's the writing and story that is garbage.


    STICKMAN: It's like they said, you need a lot of Hart, but you also need a big Johnson. Without that Johnson, it doesn't work.


    SMALLFOOT

    DIRECTOR: Karey Kirkpatrick (Over the Hedge, Imagine That)

    STARRING: Channing Tatum, James Corden, Zendaya, Common, Lebron James, Gina Rodriguez, Danny DeVito

    SYNOPSIS: Migo (Tatum) is a Yeti who is convinced that the elusive creature known as the "Smallfoot" really does exist where he encounters a former TV personality (Corden)

    STICKMAN: Quentin Tarantino's favourite animated movie.


    LARRY: Ugh, thank god, something harmless.


    MADHERO: Zendaya is Meechee


    STICKMAN: She sure is.


    MADHERO:I feel that had to be mentioned, but we also mustn't forget that LeBron James is Gwangi


    STICKMAN: Does he shoot some B-ball? Warner Bros Animation seems to be the adequacy factory. Cranking out 'eh' after 'eh' when it comes to their non LEGO cinematic output.


    LARRY: To be fair, they've made two non-LEGO movies. And one was Storks. So like, give em a few years to really show what they're made of.


    MADHERO: Probably. Maybe he does with Danny DeVito, who is Dorgle.


    STICKMAN: Why do you know all their names, Madthanhew. Are you secretly into feet, by which I mean Smallfoot of course.


    MADHERO: Yes, I can't stop thinking about it, like how Common is Stone Keeper. But yeah, another adequate WB Animation movie that will be mostly remembered for a silly internet song


    LARRY: What a strange fucking meme.


    STICKMAN: Needs more VENNOooOmmMM.


    MADHERO: In these times of hardships, its important to remember that yes, Zendaya is 

    Meechee.


    HELL FEST

    DIRECTOR: Gregory Plotkin (Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension)

    STARRING: Amy Forsyth, Reign Edwards, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Tony Todd

    SYNOPSIS: A masked serial killer turns a horror themed amusement park into his own personal playground, terrorizing a group of friends while the rest of the patrons believe that it is all part of the show.

    STICKMAN: OOHHH THE WASTED POTENNTIIAAALLLL.


    LARRY: ...yeah, sure.


    MADHERO: Now you know that its October, because all the spoopy films are coming out the woodworks. Or at least attempted spoops


    STICKMAN: Great idea for a horror film, set it in a big colourful halloween spoopy event. Surprised it took this long to happen...BUuUUUUT....it's bad I guess. Oops.


    MADHERO: I feel like maybe if it had taken a more comedic angle or gone full Final Destination, it might've been better. As it stands, it just feels like a standard slasher with an interesting backdrop


    STICKMAN: That's basically it. All style and no substance. You can have all the fun areas and costumes in the world but if you make a generic slasher you make a generic slasshherrrr.


    LARRY: I hope it enjoys it's one week of box office until Venom sucks the life out of it.


    STICKMAN: It's already tanked, Larry. It's dead.


    MADHERO: It was probably cheap, so it can probably get a few muns out of it, but a hit this ain't.


    LARRY: Yeah cost 5 million so it's already made its money back.


    STICKMAN: I'd rather see Hell Fest than  The Nun in the battle of the 2018 mediocre horror films. Buuuut I'll wait for Michael Myers.


    LARRY: ...why must we even choose?


    MADHERO: Micheal Myers seems like the best option here.


    THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN

    DIRECTOR: David Lowery (Pete’s Dragon, A Ghost Story)

    STARRING: Robert Redford, Casey Affleck, Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover, Tika Sumpter, Tom Waits, Elizabeth Moss, John David Washington

    SYNOPSIS: Based on the true story of Forrest Tucker (Redford)and his audacious escape from San Quentin at the age of 70 to an unprecedented string of heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public.

    STICKMAN: There he is. With his gun. Hail Hydra.


    LARRY: Robert Redford is, indeed, an old man. Now, with a gun. Solid title.


    MADHERO: Looks damn good for a guy in his 80's though. Anyway this looks like a fun ride, and if it really is Redford's last role, it seems like a good one to go out on


    LARRY: I don't buy that it's his last, but okay.


    STICKMAN: Actors retire all the time and then come back to win an Oscar. Or present one at the least.


    MADHERO: Redford has said before he'll retire, so take it with a pinch of salt. Even without that angle, it still looks like a fun time


    STICKMAN: It looks fine. Not my bag I guess.


    LARRY: Yeah my friend saw it and she liked it.


    STICKMAN: Meanwhile you went to Night School. You Night FOOL.


    -------------

    MADHERO: O dang. With that burn, I think it might be time to move on to MOVIE OF THE WEEK! And I hope you're ready for some classic Stickman's hipster bullshit, cause we've got that in spades this week.


    STICKMAN: Its that time of year. Like Christmas and post-Christmas depression, it always sneaks up on you.


    LARRY: Ouch.


    MADHERO: It comes when you least expect it. We might as well talk about it now. So Sticky, what did you see at Bristol's animated short festival Encounters this year that really stood out and how can the commoners see it?


    MOVIE OF THE WEEK

    STICKMAN: WELLLL...like you say, I once again popped on down to the Encounters Short Film Festival, checked out some animated shorts but ALSO some VR shorts. I'm gonna focus on animation though, and offer two, one you can watch right now, the other I can't even find anything about on the internet. YIPPEEE. First up we have 'S He', which is a real doozy. It's about stop motion shoes.... in a hellish dystopian society where male shoes rule over everything and female shoes are kept in captivity to breed more shoes, the female ones of which get forcibly converted to male shoes at birth. Whilst the idea of stop motion shoes sounds pretty wacky and fun, it's also pretty dark and disturbing. Baby mutilation is still baby mutilation in the shoe world after all. I couldn't find anything about this film online, but apparently a feature adaptation does exist...so...watch this space



    The other...which was showing at Encounters but I didn't technically see it there initially, is 'One Small Step'. This is a far more mainstream, polished film that replicates a 2D art style using CGI, following a young girl and her shoemaker father as they both grow up, the girl aspiring to be an astronaut, the father wanting to support her the best he can. It's very sweet and fun, but it goes to some very dark places, it's definitely not afraid to deal with the harsh realities of life at the same time as offering sentimental catharsis. You can watch that short RIGHT NOW because they put it online. HOW NICE.


    MADHERO: I can't believe the shoe getting murdered sequence in Roger Rabbit finally got a sequel


    LARRY: Twas truly a sign that we all missed.


    STICKMAN: Oh man this is like the Antichrist of animated shoe films when it comes to its violence.


    LARRY: How is the film entitled "One Small Step" NOT the shoe movie??


    MADHERO: Put that on the poster. Once again, i can contribute nothing to all of this  cause I can't see it, but its nice that One Small Step is already available


    STICKMAN: One Small Step is on the early list of eligable Oscar nominees, and I can see it going all the way to the shortlist...so...maybe this isn't the last time we hear about it, mmmm?


    LARRY: That's awesome. I'm looking forward to watching it.


    STICKMAN: It's a real sweet film. It's a shame S He doesn't seem to exist outside of the fever dream that is an international short film festival programme.


    MADHERO: Before you do that, what's your Movie of the Week, Larry? I'm gonna take a gander and say it isn't Night School


    LARRY: No, it ain't. My MOTW is a surefire classic that is hitting Netflix this week, just in time for the spoopy October season. It's The Shining, one of Stanley Kubrick's many legendary films and probably one of my favourites.

    The funny thing about this film is that, while it obvious sports the tension and mystery of a horror thriller, it also has many comedic elements to it, specifically Jack Nicholson's performance. Nicholson's slow descend into utter madness really puts me off through its hilarity. After all, laughter is a coping mechanism for fear, and so I feel like this is a detail that many people overlook. Nicholson's iconic lines and crazy facial expressions help a viewer cope with the crazy shit going on around them. However, this never fully encapsulates it, for the last fifteen minutes drop all the jokes and just go for straight up disturbing, which it provides with flying colors. I always love popping this on every year, and will continue to do so for a long while.


    STICKMAN: Com pway with us Danny oWo


    MADHERO: Ehh, I'll just watch the Ready Player One sequence.


    STICKMAN: The Ready Player One bit was the best part of that film. I gotta say.


    LARRY: Booooooooo. I mean, yes.


    MADHERO: Senor Spielbergo really nailed the look of it, sure. The Shining is a undeniable classic and no movie does unsettling better. That's for sure


    STICKMAN: The Shining feels like something you shouldn't be watching. The atmosphere for almost every scene feels wrong.


    LARRY: When you first get introduced to the Overlook. You feel like you don't belong there. Like...like you're intruding.


    STICKMAN: That scene where the guy's getting a blowie from a bear. That feels like I'm intruding too.


    MADHERO: What does it meaaaaaaan, ask the masses, afraid that a man can simply want a blowy from a guy in a bear suit


    STICKMAN: Why they leave the door open though, Mad. WHY.


    LARRY: Welp it does provoke questions.


    STICKMAN: It provokes somethin. It's just...so weird and demented it works. Meanwhile Stephen King would rather the topiary comes to life and the hotel explodes. MASTER OF HORROR. Speaking of blowjobs from bears, what did you pick this week, Mad?


    LARRY: Wow. Probably my favorite segue we've ever done.


    MADHERO: Wow rude. Anyway, my MOTW is also a Netflix release. However, its an NETFLIX ORIGINAL! THE SCARIEST THING OF AAAAALLLLL!!!! Alright but really. I saw Hold the Dark, the newest film from Jeremy Saulnier, who's probably best known for Punks vs. Neo Nazis aka Green Room. Jeffrey Wright plays a retired naturalist who gets a call from a woman (Riley Keough) living in the Alaskan wilderness that her son has been killed by a pack of feral wolves, and she wants him to track them down and kill them. However, it becomes pretty clear that things aren't what they seem, and it all gets more complicated when her Iraq war vet husband (Alexander Skarsgard) comes home.

    What starts as a man vs nature story very quickly turns into an very different noir esque story, and Saulnier really does swing for the fences, and it can often feel like a bit of a mess. However, I do think the movie holds up well all together, thanks to some of the gorgeous cinematography and great acting. Its really nice to see Jeffrey Wright in a lead role again. Its a really bleak film, so its not going to be everyone's cup of tea, and its not as good as Green Room was, but I still give it a recommendation.


    STICKMAN: Bleak is indeed the word for this film.


    MADHERO: O it bleak. But the Alaskan wilderness seems like a pretty depressing place to begin with, like man doesn't belong there.


    LARRY: Fun fact: I have never heard of this film before you posted this so please tell me more.


    STICKMAN: Think Green Room but colder, slower and not involving any bands or neo nazis.


    LARRY: ....okay then that’s not Green Room


    MADHERO: Well like I said, its a man vs nature/arctic thriller that's pretty damn bleak. I'll say I hadn't paid that much attention to it either until I heard it was from the director from Green Room and was coming soon.


    STICKMAN: I only watched it because you told me that. You're a social media influencer.


    LARRY: I liked Green Room, so I’ll definitely check it out.


    MADHERO: I know what's up. You agree with my summary then, Stick? It got a lot weirder than I expected at first


    STICKMAN: It's not the film you expect going in for sure. It's a very bleak and violent...and kinda nihilistic story that doesn't really offer a lot of easy answers to anything, but proves to be an atmospheric and engrossing saga.


    LARRY: Not gonna lie, y’all are convincing me.


    MADHERO; Oh its super absorbing. Watch it on as big a screen you can.


    STICKMAN: Fo' sure. Like...on a cinema scre-Oh wait.


    ---------------

    MADHERO: I guess we gotta see Venom if we want to watch something in the cinema. I think that about wraps it up for episode, but the spooks will undoubtedly continue, with the perilous journey of going to space with Ryan Gosling, or the return of Mike Myers. That's right. Shrek is back.


    STICKMAN: A new Shrek film would be the SCARIEST FILM OF THE YEAR by far.


    LARRY: Damn Sticky, get up with the times.


    STICKMAN: I don't fuckin knooow, I don't watch movies. GOODBYE.


    MADHERO: We're about to endure some Bad Times.... at the El Royale, but also here. Goodbye


    LARRY: Now THATS a cliffhanger. Peace out y’all

  • At the Screwvies: Episode 117

    4 months ago

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    MADHERO: Hi everyone. Hope you're ready to talk movies, because after last episode's kinda meh output (as happens on the beginning of September) and suddenly BAM, we've got all kinds of stuff to talk about, from Oscar hopefuls (and not so hopefuls) wacky Eli Roth directed family films, and the long awaited franchise of....Angelina Jolie's Unbroken. Oh, and I guess Predator returns as well.


    STICKMAN: OH BOY. CLOCKS IN WALLS.


    MADHERO: THE HYPE STARTS HERE AND NOW FOR....whatever that movie is.


    LARRY: Don’t forget about all those rampant girls with their guns. ‘Murica loves a good violent Purge ripoff


    MADHERO: No idea what you're on about ,but we'll get to that soon enough. But first, the newwwwwws.


    NEWS

    ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY RELEASES FIRST CAPTAIN MARVEL IMAGES AND DETAILS. REVEALS FILM WILL NOT BE AN ORIGIN STORY

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    (NOTE: We talked about Captain Marvel before the trailer dropped. We'll be discussing that trailer on a later date)


    So we’re all pretty pumped for Captain Marvel, right? First female-led MCU movie, Brie Larson starring, some 90s action, all great stuff. AND the fandom is probably going to explode when Marvel drops the first official trailer. But for now, we’ll keep gawking at the exclusive photos Entertainment Weekly grabbed through a new spread, giving us our first looks at some of the movie’s sure-to-be highlights! We get to see a young Nick Fury, pre-eyepatch, a pack of Skrulls on the shore, and we got to see the return of Ronan and Korath, previously seen in Guardians of the Galaxy. Given that Captain Marvel is part of a Kree military team called “Starforce,” it makes sense that these characters would be included; maybe we’ll get a hint of backstory as to how Ronan and Korath became the outsiders they were back in Guardians.


    We also got to see Larson is uniform, both as a pilot and as Captain Marvel, but also in a Nine Inch Nails shirt, which is far more important. Besides that, other highlights include Jude Law as Badass McClearlyTheSecretVillain, Ben Mendehlson as SuitMan McClearlyASkrull, and Lashana Lynch as one of Carol Danvers’ oldest friends and a fellow pilot. Overall, they’re just pictures, we consider me excited anyway! The Skrulls look awesome, as does the production design both on Earth and in space. Plus, I’m excited to see Ronan and Korath and expand on their characters a little bit. So far, Captain Marvel looks to be another heckin’ good time from the ol’ Marvel Machine.


    STICKMAN: The Skrulls look too much like Dragonball Evolution. Like that's a joke, but it's literally the case.


    LARRY: I can’t say you’re wrong. Still tho, they look good


    MADHERO: I was about to say the same. No one must be reminded of that travesty. Aw well, at least the rest is looking good so far.


    STICKMAN: They could look betterrrrr. Other than that it's looking pretty coo. All your favourite Guardians of the Galaxy side characters RETURN....in....side roles?


    LARRY: Kinda incredible that through one picture we can already tell Jude Law is gonna turn on everyone. Almost impressive.


    STICKMAN: Or turn everyone on. Depending on the film's rating.


    MADHERO: I'm definitely curious what the deal is with that between Ronan and Korath. Hopefully it adds depth to both


    LARRY: Mah boi Djimon Honsou deserves his due.


    STICKMAN: What 90s trends were hot around that time in Space, which the generation of space 90s kids refuse to let die or admit to their flaws?


    LARRY: Wow this joke is already too deep for me lol


    MADHERO: Space 90s were a very different time. Its hard to judge on just a few images, but luckily we don't have to wait long for a trailer. I'll say I'm surprised they're not going the origin route, but Carol Danvers' origin is a bit of a mess, so i get it


    LARRY: They’ll probably do a few flashbacks. That should cover it.


    STICKMAN: Looking forward to that trailer, this feels like a significant chapter for the MCU both in establishing one of its most important characters but also just...having a female led/directed movie FINALLY. JEEZ. When the DCEU trumped you on that, you've cocked up.


    MADHERO: As EW states boldly: The Future is Female, but we'll about that!


    STICKMAN: I mean, surely it's the past that's female. The Space 90s, specifically.


    HENRY CAVILL (SUPERMAN) SEEMINGLY OUT OF DCEU AFTER TALKS WITH WARNER BROS FELL THROUGH

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    Although it's been a breezy year free of ever divisive DCEU films so far (Aquaman is on the horizon, mind), that's not to say we haven't been hearing about the plans, or lack thereof for Warner Bros'  expanded comic book universe. A promising trailer for Shazam and a not...soul-crushing trailer for Aquaman aside, we've heard about a lot of projects entering early development, a lot of which seem disconnected from continuing the expanded world itself, and had a deafening silence on the actual future for these films post-Justice League. Until now......sorta? Word has it that, after a failed contract negotiation for a Superman cameo in Shazam, Henry Cavill may be out completely as the Man of Steel, with plans for the characters standalone franchise seemingly on hold, and the actor having recently signed on for the lead in The Witcher TV series for Netflix.


    It's not confirmed at this stage, but it appears Warner Bros want to put Superman on the shelf for the time being, focusing instead of a Supergirl prequel, and Cavill doesn't want to wait out any longer for future roles in the series. After 3 massively divisive films, each with their own set of controversies surrounding Superman, it's not a surprise that the guy wants out....pile onto this the still as of yet unconfirmed/not denied allegations of Ben Affleck being out as Batman too? Ooy...what a mess.


    MADHERO: *Holds up action figure as dogs bark staring emotionless into the camera*


    STICKMAN: Surrealism is not an appropriate response to fan's questions, it seems.


    MADHERO: I have no idea what to make of Cavill's response to the whole thing. WB's was appropriate corporate vague, and Cavill's one was beyond weird.


    LARRY: I love how they tried using Supergirl to give this story validity when in reality it makes it even more ridiculous. As if the DCEU gave a rat’s ass about the lore.


    STICKMAN: Dang Larry, so cold.


    MADHERO: The Supergirl rumors are chump change compared to the rumor of Michael B. Jordan being Superman, which probably isn't happening, but that would be wild.


    STICKMAN: That would be pretty fun. I might have to unplug the internet for a few years, mind.


    MADHERO: Apparently Jordan's name is just in talks for almost every WB property (which is why he was linked with that Matrix reboot for a bit). Either way, even if he's not been supported by the films, I can't help but be bummed about this. You always feel like Cavill was a great Superman waiting to happen.


    STICKMAN: He looked the part and had the physicality, and the personality for sure. Unfortunately WB decided he needed to be ANGSTY and TORTURED.


    LARRY: I mean, I’m still not really buying this story. I’m sure Cavill is gonna get more chances to be Supes in more movies, I really don’t buy that DC would just drop him when he got a generally good response with Whedon’s rewrites. He finally started being the happy, charming Supes we all want to see from him.


    MADHERO: I don't think its about WB dropping him, but more so about renegotiations not working out. WB seems to be in no real rush to actaully make a Man of Steel 2, and Justice League 2 ain't happening either. At that point, as an actor, I'd probably look around for other opportunities


    STICKMAN: Like some sorta....Witcher TV show for Netflix where you get to have sex on a unicorn.


    LARRY: Yes but if this could balance Fallout and JL, I doubt he can’t continue doing that. Moustache be damned.


    MADHERO: We'll see what happens, because who truly knows for sure with the DCEU. At this stage, I'd feel pretty comfortable saying he's out


    STICKMAN: At least we'll always have Ben Affl-oh.


    ACADEMY PUTS UNPOPULAR “ACHIEVEMENT IN POPULAR FILM” AWARD ON HOLD TO FINETUNE RULES.

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    So a couple of episodes, we talked about the upcoming changes of the Academy Awards, including a shorter running time, starting earlier and perhaps most of all: the introduction of a new category to celebrate Achievement in Popular Film. A lot of the discussion gravitated towards that, largely because its a terrible idea, and the category was described quite vaguely. This dunking contest has made the Academy realize that this category probably was announced too early, and has officially decided to postpone the award.b


    How long that postponement will take is unclear, but lets hope its somewhere between never and the heat death of the universe. Part of this might also be attributed to Black Panther, the movie largely considered the shoe-in for that award, having no interest and wanting to go for the grand Best Picture, with Marvel Studios/Disney now readying a big For Your Consideration campaign.  So yeah, when or whether we'll see this category back remains to be seen. Personally, I wouldnt mind if it stayed in that oven and burned to death.


    STICKMAN: I guess this idea wasn't very....POPULAR...ahah aheheheh.


    LARRY: It’s just a postponement, for all we know it could start up the ceremony after this.


    MADHERO: Well we don't know. When we discussed, we speculated on what the award meant, and that they probably had an better idea. And it turns out they hadn't. Whoops


    STICKMAN: The argument still stands that the whole point of the award just seems to be to ignore popular movies in major categories, when there are plenty of deserving inclusions. There was a brief glinting hope that they might start being more diverse with their choices when the category was first extended in nominees, but now we're back to the bullshit again.


    MADHERO: I think things got complicated with Black Panther, who could've taken that award blindfolded, rejected the concept of it and also that A Star Is Born is looking like a big hit but also the main Best Picture contender. They had no idea of the criteria and that just shows how poorly thought out this idea was


    LARRY: Yeah they definitely needed more of a thorough understanding of the award if they were gonna implement it mid-season.


    STICKMAN: It's too early to call anything the main contender for any award, but the fact that it's hard to categorise what is POPULAR and what is OSCAR WORTHY just speaks fucking volumes about how far up their own asses the people in charge are.


    LARRY: I just don’t think this is much of a deterrent. I think they are ultimately going to go through with it, sadly...just not right now.


    MADHERO: GIVE MISSION IMPOSSIBLE FALLOUT A BEST PICTURE NOD


    STICKMAN: I MEAN I'D BE DOWN FOR THAT.


    LARRY: SAME. THAT CLIMAX? WOOF


    MADHERO: No need for the Popular Film category when that film deserves to be on there regardless. We'll see whether the category survives, but I'd like it gone forever.


    AWARDS SEASON OFFICIALLY BEGINS WITH VENICE AND TORONTO FILM FESTIVALS. FAVORITES LOOK TO BE A STAR IS BORN, ROMA AND FIRST MAN

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    The days are growing shorter, the leaves are starting to brown...you know what that means? It's festival season… which means OSCAR BAAiaiiiIIITTT. WOOOOOO. August ended with the Venice International Film Festival, which brought with it a slew of long-awaited premiers which resulted in mostly promising buzz for the hopeful awards contending films of the next few months. First Man, A Star is Born, The Favourite and Roma all debuted to glowing reviews, the latter of which taking the main prize at this festival, with A Star is Born leading the early Oscar charge at the same time. 22nd July also received positive reviews, whilst the big point of contention this year was the premiere of Suspiria, which garnered a massively polarising reception, with those who loved it...LOVING it, and those who dislike it despising it.


    TIFF followed up soon after, with some of the same films receiving similar acclaim, but Barry Jenkins joining in the acclaim club thanks to his new film 'If Beale Street Could Talk' and Steve McQueen also garnering large praise for his dark thriller 'Widows' . Surprisingly, the winner of the important TIFF People’s Choice Award was Peter Farrelly’s Green Book, so expect to hear more from that. Outside of the awards season, one of the bigger film premiers at TIFF was the new Halloween film, which garnered largely glowing reviews, a promising start for a film that's not out for another month and is already sporting a healthy assortment of praise. It's too early at this point to call who the frontrunners are for the awards in early 2019, but with so many highly anticipated and varying films getting high degrees of praise, it's going to be a fun road to the Oscars for sure.


    MADHERO: Oscar Season Hoooooooo


    STICKMAN: Halloween for Best Picture? You heard it here first folks.


    MADHERO: I'd be down for that honestly. Maybe Jamie Lee Curtis for Best Actress? The campaign starts here


    LARRY: Festival season is so, so strong this year.


    MADHERO: Roma is apparently Mexico's official send in for Best Foreign Language film, so it'll at least get that probably. Gonna be very interesting how the Academy will react to the wave of quality Netflix releases


    STICKMAN: With a huff and a puff and a not giving any of them nominations, probably.

    Hey Larr: Phooey. Not nominating Netflix films at this point is just ignorant, especially if they already qualify.


    MADHERO: It does look like its going to be a good race. Surprised to see A Star Is Born get so much buzz though.


    STICKMAN: I thought it looked pretty droll but then the Academy loves shit like this.


    LARRY: They sure love films about art. They also love Bradley Cooper.


    MADHERO: I feel its hard to judge just based on the trailers, but I'm curious. I'm also expecting of plenty of La La Land/Three Billboards style hot takes


    STICKMAN: It's gonna be a fun few months, some real ones to watch out for, both in the awards path and out of it.


    TOY COMPANY MATTEL SETS UP FILM DIVISION. TAKES BACK RIGHTS FOR BARBIE AND HE-MAN

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    Toy companies producing movies isn’t anything new, and now, a new opponent is ready to enter the ring with a fresh start. Mattel, the company behind beloved toy properties like Barbie and He-Man, is ready to get a piece of the franchise-pie with their new and official “Mattel Films” division, headed by “Dallas Buyers Club” producer and experienced film professional Robbie Brenner. This most likely means that the previously planned Barbie film with Sony Pictures will be canned, along with the He-Man movie that hasn’t seemed to gain much traction. And...that’s about all this means. Predictions for film projects? Maybe Polly Pocket? Hot Wheels? I dunno. Hopefully Mattel hasn’t bitten off more than they can chew. Don’t be DC, Mattel. Don’t be DC.


    STICKMAN: I'm not looking forward to any of these.


    MADHERO”I think a Master of the Universe movie has potential. If they did something like Thor Ragnarok, I think that could be really cool. Everything else.....ehh. Though to be fair, I don't know too many other Mattel properties that I could see as a movie.


    STICKMAN: I don't know if Mattel have the experience to make anything interesting or creative with these properties. They just wanna sell toys.


    LARRY: I just wanna see the Hot Wheels demolition derby movie. Like, the Fast films but past 11. That’s the only potential I see in this.


    MADHERO: Oh yeah, they own Hot Wheels. That could easily be used for a Fast and Furious knockoff


    STICKMAN: Thomas the Tank Engine versus Hot Wheels: Dawn of Justice.


    MADHERO: Its not really like Hasbro who own stuff like Transformers and GI Joe where you can see a film version. Becomes a little harder when He Man is the only one you really have, but I guess that also means She Ra, and Barbie continues to make the big bucks


    STICKMAN: Barbie had a film in the works prior to this situation so it'll be interesting to see what becomes of that


    MADHERO: Probably what Sony made at some point will be scrapped and they'll start with something more straightforward and less meta? Sony's version looked to be going pretty meta


    STICKMAN: Sony making movies is never a good idea, let's face it.


    LARRY: To be fair, Barbie has made countless animated films. I could see Barbie making huge bucks for a female demographic, and if they wanna be progressive with it, that would be even more on brand.


    STICKMAN: BARBIE SUCKS, STRAIGHT WHITE PRIVILEGE. TRAINS ALL THE WAY.


    MADHERO: We'll see what the Thomas the Tank Engine movie will look like soon enough. Moving on


    RIP BURT REYNOLDS

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    Its not often that we lose an icon, but I feel like that label is very much appropriate to Burt Reynolds, who passed away earlier in the month due to an heart attack. At one point in time, particularly the 70s, Reynolds was the biggest movie star in the world, with iconic films such as The Longest Yard (which played up his former college football days), Deliverance and of course Smokey and the Bandit, and later on for Boogie Nights, for which he almost won a Oscar. Afterwards, he became more known as a former icon, popping up in everything from GTA: Vice City to Archer. He was also cast in Quentin Tarantino's new film Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, but sadly passed before he could shoot any of his scenes. I did not experience Reynolds in his prime, but its hard to not see the impact he left on that era. We wish his family and friends nothing but the best in this difficult time.


    STICKMAN: Can't say I'm the most familiar with his body of work, but you can't deny he's an iconic institution of 70s culture, and his death will be felt by a lot of people.


    LARRY: Smokey and the Bandit defined the genre for me when I saw it, really sad to see he’s passed. His moustache reigned supreme.


    STICKMAN: Sometimes moustaches can be a force for good.


    MADHERO: I think there's definitely a case of a generation gap here and that we mostly experienced Reynolds through ironic/unironic admiration. Archer comes to mind.


    LARRY: Yeah, I definitely agree with that, but my generation oughta get a history lesson.


    STICKMAN: Archer was a good prompter on his cultural impact yes.


    MADHERO: To be fair to Reynolds, he was aware of his rep. He often picked roles to have fun, and didn't really challenge himself (though Deliverance and Boogie Nights were great performances in dark movies). One of his last movies, The Last Movie Star, does sorta reflect on that legacy.


    LARRY: Yeah I feel like The Last Movie Star is kinda the perfect sendoff for him. I saw the film and I’d say it pays tribute to him in a big way. And to similar stars of his generation and their lasting impact moving forward.


    STICKMAN: I'm not sure about perfect but the name certainly carries with it a poignancy now.


    MADHERO: Not sure how big his role in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood would've been, but its a shame he didn't get to shoot that. Imagine it was small, but it would've been nice.


    STICKMAN: That would've been an interesting way to bow out his career, yeah. Quite the legacy.


    MADHERO: RIP Burt. On a career filled with some amazing highs.


    LARRY: May he Rest In Peace.


    -------------

    MADHERO: Alright, that's it for the news, but we've got a new hot and piping review for you ready to go. Shane Black has had an interesting trajectory as a writer/director, and one of his very first jobs was punching up and being the very first victim on the Predator. So it seems fitting he's directing a new Predator 30 years later. I haven't seen it, but Sticky and Larry have, so it'll be a fun discussion cause man. The reaction is all over the place.


    STICKMAN: It's a piping hot something for sure.


    LARRY: Somebody sure was piping something.


    MADHERO: Oh boy. So anyway, guys. How is this film now that it stars less actual predators?


    REVIEW

    THE PREDATOR

    DIRECTOR: Shane Black (Iron Man 3, The Nice Guys)

    STARRING: Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Olivia Munn, Keegan-Michael Key, Sterling K. Brown, Thomas Jane

    SYNOPSIS: When a young boy (Tremblay) accidentally triggers the universe's most lethal hunters' return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers (Holbrook, Rhodes etc.) and a disgruntled science teacher (Munn) can prevent the end of the human race.

    STICKMAN: WelLlllLl....honestly, the Predator franchise has never been the most acclaimed, has it?  Besides the original at least. I've still managed to enjoy Predator 2, Predators and AvP in varying amounts. So, because of that I went into THE PREDATOR with reasonable hopes despite the mixed to negative reception.


    And well...it's definitely...something. A mess doesn't even begin to describe it, but that's not to say it doesn't have a lot of plus points. Chiefly, the main cast, once they've been settled in at least, is pretty entertaining and likeable, and there's a lot of fun lines from the 'Loonies' as they're called. Action/Gore wise it's also pretty great, the film doesn't take itself seriously and as such goes pretty OTT with the violence, which...well that's what you want from a Predator film really. It's nice to see practical Predator costumes back too...for the most part.


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    It's entertaining throughout, but it's a hot mess otherwise. The editing is all over the place, basic choppy cuts aside, things frequently just sorta happen  without explanation, there's a vehicle acquired midway through that is just sorta...there and never explained. A character dies and the cut is so quick you barely realise what's just happened. The 3rd act is a hot mess, clearly...hastily cobbled together from reshoots, and the final scene, clearly chopped from a mid-credits scene is a joke of a conclusion.


    LARRY: Yeah, gotta echo a lot of what Sticky is saying here. I enjoyed myself watching The Predator, and have enjoyed the majority of the franchise since the Schwarzenegger days, but this latest addition feels like Fox got exactly what Shane Black's Predator would look like, realized maybe that's not what they ultimately wanted, and attempted to hack together something resembling a balance which...is less-than-achieved. There's a lot of interesting, subversive ideas at play here but it's all diluted with everything else the studio wanted, and so it ends up being...yeah, a mess. 


    The story is convoluted, the characters are kinda a hodge-podge, and the writing is expository as shit. That being said, everything outside of that is pretty solid. Outside of some relatively bland cinematography, the action is a lot of fun, and the Predator kills are as gruesome and amazing as you could possibly ask for. The production and prop design for the actual Predator is also pretty sleek, with the Super-Predator looking absolutely ridonkulous. So, yeah, it's a fun romp but ultimately leaves a lot to be desired.


    MADHERO: Sounds like its fun, but quite the mess. That's unfortunate to hear, especially with Black's directing track record


    STICKMAN: There's some big decisions regarding the lore of the franchise that's gonna piss a LOT of people off. At the least it tries something new but....not without mistakes.


    LARRY: This movie doesn't exactly respect the Predator universe as a whole. It makes a lot of bold choices that may or may not really service the franchise.


    MADHERO: With Black you can expect the film to not take itself all too seriously, but it sounds like this movie might be a step too far with Fox trying to hit the brakes


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    LARRY: See the thing about Black is that he is clearly trying to add these new ideas about what the Predators are and their relationship to humans. If the studio hadn't been involved, I think Black coulda pulled it off. Sensitive subjects and subversive postmodern commentaries are classic Black.


    STICKMAN: It would've still be controversial, but at least fully coherent.


    MADHERO: I haven't seen the film, so I can't judge. Most of the criticism seems to be related the third act.


    STICKMAN: Third act is very dull. Knowing how it was originally intended to be before reshoots? Would've been a lot crazier.


    LARRY: It's dull but it's also really convoluted Tries to tie up all the established stuff and ends up dropping the ball. but it probably comes closest to being an actual Predator movie than the first two thirds.


    MADHERO: How fun is it before all that? Any good kills?


    LARRY: You can tell by the gruesome kills that Black was having a BALL with Predator. The violence and gore in this movie is easily it's biggest strength.


    STICKMAN: There are some fun kills, and a lot of gore, which is nice for sure. The best kill is the one that's hardest to see, which is a shame.


    MADHERO: Alright. Anything you still wanna say for the wrap up, because it sounds like that if you want to go see it, you have to keep in mind a lot of asterisks. Is it worth checking out in theaters or would you wait for a home release?


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    LARRY: If you want some bloody good action, it's definitely worth ticket price, and it's got some solid laughs too, I'd say. But....yeah just know that it's gonna lack anything resembling depth.


    STICKMAN: I'd honestly say wait until a home release....I've been comparing it in my mind to Alien Covenant, which was another messy franchise film from 20th Century...that one could argue was from the saaame franchise? But at least in Alien Covenants case it looked really nice and had a solid first half run. The Predator just looks kinda bland and may piss people off too much to enjoy at that kinda price. It's a lot of fun,  and you won't come out feeling completely shortchanged, but it's a big let down and a huge mess. Definitely the weakest of the core Predator films.


    -----------

    MADHERO: Alright. A mixed bag for sure. Now to see what other mixed bags there are in theaters. Or maybe there are some nice bags.


    STICKMAN: There's a mixed bag of bags.


    LARRY: A bagged mix of mixes.


    MOVIES

    THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS

    DIRECTOR: Eli Roth (Knock Knock, Death Wish)

    STARRING: Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro, Sunny Suljic, Kyle MacLachlan

    SYNOPSIS: A young orphan named Lewis Barnavelt (Vacarro) aids his magical uncle (Black) in locating a clock with the power to bring about the end of the world.

    LARRY: I'm just happy Jack Black has work. That's my main takeaway.


    STICKMAN: I'm not.


    MADHERO: A family film starring Jack Black about wizards and stuff directed by..... Eli Roth?


    STICKMAN: This looks like effort went into it. But it just looks kinda...generic at the same time?


    MADHERO: It looks fine, but with Jack Black, the pumpkin and even a dummy keep reminding me a bit of Goosebumps.


    STICKMAN: Oh yeah. Also doesn't look very...scary for a horror film. Family or not.


    LARRY: I guess Black's into the spooky, mystical kids fare.


    MADHERO: The weird thing is that we'll soon talk Goosebumps 2 which doesn't have Jack Black. Anyway, it looks like quirky family fun and not much else. I feel this could potentially surprise though.


    STICKMAN: I was hoping for something great, but....it looks pretty meh. Oh well.


    LARRY: I dunno, Jack Black and Cate Blanchett? Could be a sleeper goodie.


    A SIMPLE FAVOR

    DIRECTOR: Paul Feig (Spy, Ghostbusters)

    STARRING: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding, Andrew Rannells, Linda Cardellini

    SYNOPSIS: A mommy blogger (Kendrick) seeks to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of her best friend (Lively).

    STICKMAN: This looks pretty fun.


    MADHERO: Like everyone else, I have no real idea what to make of this film, but damn does Blake Lively look good in suits.


    LARRY: "From the DARKER SIDE of director Paul Feig" Excuse me while I gag.


    MADHERO: The edge is real, but this does look a little edgier than the usual Feig fair. A lot of Gone Girl comparisons


    LARRY: But yeah, this movie looks interesting, I just hate that stupid self-awareness as though he's earned it.


    STICKMAN: Are you not a Feigfanatic, Larry.


    LARRY: Very much not. Bridesmaids is good, Spy is pretty bad and Ghostbusters was borderline garbage.


    MADHERO: I will not take this slander of Spy. Ghostbusters was pretty bad, so I'm glad this is something of a comeback and something different


    STICKMAN: Mainly I'm glad it's something different, since this looks actually watchable.


    LARRY: Yeah it looks like an interesting watch, mostly because it's so ambiguous. Like I don't know much about it but it looks stylistic enough that I'm curious to know more about it.


    MADHERO: It goes to a lot of weird places apparently. So yeah, good job marketing team on not spoiling anything


    STICKMAN: The trailer impressed me which I can't say Paul Feig has ever managed before. So that in of itself is IMPRESSIVE.


    WHITE BOY RICK

    DIRECTOR: Yann Demange (’71)

    STARRING: Matthew McConaughey, Richie Merritt, Bel Powley, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Brian Tyree Henry

    SYNOPSIS: In 1980s Detroit, Richard Wershe Jr. (Merritt) was a street hustler, FBI informant and drug kingpin—all before he turned sixteen.

    MADHERO: I'M WHITE BOY RIIIIIICK


    LARRY: Good one.


    STICKMAN: Pickle Rick is an internet war crime.


    LARRY: They seem to be marketing McConaughey a lot even tho...he's probably not in the movie all that much. It's centered on the kid, so...


    STICKMAN: The titular whitey.


    MADHERO: Rick and Morty jokes aside, the story behind it is wild. The movie apparently is not so much


    STICKMAN: It looked like it had all the markings of an average crime caper with a star side-character and all. A real Triple 9. A real Killer Joe.


    LARRY: A real Mud. Wait...Anyway yeah maybe I'll go see this I dunno.


    MADHERO: Killer Joe at least had William Friedkin directing it. Anyway, yeah. This looks pretty average


    STICKMAN: I'll give this one a pass. Seen too many edgy crime movies to bother with the average ones.


    LIFE ITSELF

    DIRECTOR: Dan Fogelman (Danny Collins, This Is Us)

    DIRECTOR: Dan Fogelman (Danny Collins, This is Us)

    STARRING: Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Mandy Patinkin, Olivia Cooke, Laia Costa, Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas)

    SYNOPSIS: As a young New York couple (Isaac, Wilde) goes from college romance to marriage and the birth of their first child (Cooke), the unexpected twists of their journey create reverberations that echo over continents and through lifetimes.

    MADHERO: Oooooooo, i'm here for this overly sentimental shit.


    LARRY: I am...not.


    STICKMAN: Do you ever feel like Olivia Wilde and Oscar Isaac only signed onto this film to make out with each other.


    MADHERO: But Larry, what if I told you the audience at TIFF has compared this to Book of Henry and Collateral Beauty


    LARRY: OH BOY. Except #EndHateWatching So


    STICKMAN: This is Henry's Book of Collateral Life Beauty.


    MADHERO: From the guy that brought you This is Us, that show very popular in the USA for..... reasons? I've never seen it


    LARRY: It's popular for the same reasons you just said. It's overtly sentimental.


    STICKMAN: This is Us is the prequel to This is It, the Michael Jackson documentary.


    MADHERO: Well that explains the popularity. Otherwise yeah, I'm here for this dreck


    LARRY: I mean, I'll rent it one of these days if it's really THAT bad.


    STICKMAN: I'm booking a plane ticket to get as far away from this shit as possible.


    MANDY

    DIRECTOR: Panos Cosmatos (Beyond the Black Rainbow)

    STARRING: Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache, Bill Duke

    SYNOPSIS: Red Miller (Cage), a broken and haunted man hunts an unhinged religious sect (Roache) who slaughtered the love of his life (Riseborough).

    STICKMAN: Aww yeah. Here's my kinda shit.


    LARRY: Oh here we GO. NIC CAGE


    MADHERO: AND NOW FOR SOMETHING ABSOLUTELY FUCKING METAL


    STICKMAN: From the director of Beyond the Black Rainbow...a film that came out 8 years ago and never released in the UK.


    MADHERO: A lot of people are saying this feels like a big comeback for Cage, and its one of his wilder roles, so that should be amazing


    STICKMAN: This director loves his red tints and I'm here for it. Also c-c-c-c-cHAINSAW BATTLE.


    MADHERO: Cage with a giant battleaxe, crazy cultists. Its going to VOD very soon after the release so it should be easy to check out hopefully


    STICKMAN: It's not out here until mid-October, and I assume it'll be a similar VOD situation....but the important thing is...this film's actually releasing in the UK. NOICE.


    MADHERO: Its in limited release here so I might need to wait for VOD as well, but I'll definitely give it a look


    LARRY: This seems like the kind of movie to experience in theaters tho. Like, to scope it out.


    STICKMAN: Well I don't live in New York Larry. SOOOOO I don't get that choice.


    LARRY: Fair enough.


    THE SISTERS BROTHERS

    DIRECTOR: Jacques Audiard (Rust and Bone, Dheepan)

    STARRING: Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly, Jake Gyllenhaal, Riz Ahmed, Rutget Hauer

    SYNOPSIS: Eli and Charlie Sisters (Phoenix, Reilly), two hitmen brothers on the trail of a chemist (Ahmed) with a unique secret formula for prospecting gold wanted by their boss.

    MADHERO: The title makes it sound like a quirky comedy, and hey, it turns out its kind of that.


    STICKMAN: This has the hallmarks of something at one pointed considered an awards  contender that just quietly got...released just before awards release season. Y'knooow. Quirky western, strong leads.


    LARRY: It looks pretty quirky but also dark. Kinda sardonic.


    MADHERO: There's probably some darkness and seriousness in there, but Phoenix and Reilly look like they're having fun.


    LARRY: Yeah but it's got a grit to it, that's what interests me. Also, JAKEY GYLLENHAAL


    STICKMAN: The double act I never thought I needed.I was wondering where he'd gotten to.


    MADHERO: Busy wearing a fishbowl on his head maybe?


    STICKMAN: I hope so. I really do.


    -----------

    MADHERO: Alright, that's it for all the film releases this week, but hey, that still gives us some time for MOVIE OF THE WEEK!


    STICKMAN: AAAAAGGHH. Match of the Week.


    LARRY: Yeah MOTW or whatever.


    MADHERO: Larry, how can you act so blasé about one of our main subjects. Unacceptable. For that you have to present yours first


    STICKMAN: HAAA HAAA. YOOOU HAVE TO WRIIITE.


    MOVIE OF THE WEEK

    LARRY: Alright, well the only new movie I have seen as of late is Predator, which we already talked about, so I'd like to throw it back to a film that I always love to revisit, Edgar Wright's "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World," which is now on Netflix!! The nerdiest of Wright's filmography, I think that, while it has some issues, this is a really inspired film that takes an already stylistic comic book series and adapts it to the screen with energy, panache, and personality.

    Most people agree that the visuals in this film are mesmerizing, and the action is shot very dynamically. They feel like Smash Bros. fights sometimes, each punch packs a wallop. Plus, it's hysterically funny, Wright's quirky and offbeat humor is here in spades and is edited oh so sleekly. Admittedly, Scott is a relatively problematic character, and some of the stereotypes regarding vegans and the manic-pixie dream girl don't hold up as strongly, but besides for that, this is a super enjoyable movie that I lowkey want to rewatch this very second. But we're doing Screwvies now so let's just talk about it a little, hmmm?


    STICKMAN: This film certainly has a lot of style to spare.


    MADHERO: I actually haven't seen this movie in quite some time, so its neat to see it coming to Netflix


    STICKMAN: I do think it's main issue is that Scott Pilgrim is a whiny shit and his arc feels unearned. BUT....it looks really nice and is very funny too.


    LARRY: Yeah that's what I meant by "problematic." He's sorta given the hero role despite the very, VERY shitty things he does.


    MADHERO: I feel like there's some parts in that movie that wouldn't be very 2018, and Scott Pilgrim is never really punished for his shittiness, but that's more a problem with the movie than with the graphic novel. Still, hard to focus on that with all the colors


    STICKMAN: It's very colourful. And the music is great too. Editing got that  Edgar Wright PAZAAAZZ


    LARRY: Colorful, lots of big words and bold punches. Also, pre-MCU Chris Evans sure is a character.


    MADHERO: When someone pointed out he looks like a American Kazuma Kiryu from Yakuza in that film, I can't unsee it anymore. He's definitely the most fun ex of the bunch


    STICKMAN: Oh me too. That's so...so crazy....mhmm.


    LARRY: Wellllllll Brandon Routh I also like.


    STICKMAN: I can relate to being bifurious.


    MADHERO: What is it Sticky, my deep cut too much? How about your movie of the week? That any more mainstream


    LARRY: probs shit WOOPS DID I DO THAT


    STICKMAN: In the year of our lord 20 and 18, the state of Netflix's movie output is pretty clear. Quantity over quality. Sure, some of the stuff they've put out, or are about to put out is great...but a large majority of it is total shit, and often something bought on the cheap from a studio looking to avoid a box office disaster. With that said, it makes it a little hard to get excited for some weird cross-country family animated movie that turns up on the service. But Netflix actually payed a pretty penny for the rights to Next Gen....and well, it's got problems, but honestly? It's pretty good.


    Basically, imagine if every inanimate object in the world turned into Baymax from Big Hero 6...and then Disney went off the rails and let their films involve beating the shit out of children, suicide bombings and a dog that can't stop swearing (Which tbf is bleeped, but still).  The animation is actually really impressive, visually striking and colourful throughout...and it's one of the first animated movies to be entirely made in Blender. It has an odd blend of anarchic meta humour, dark action sequences, Disney sentimentality and poorly thought out commentary on modern society...but as a whole, it's a constantly entertaining, endearing action romp that, whilst a little dark and violent for most younger children, still provides worthwhile viewing for anyone else.... plus, it's on Netflix....you already own it, y'all.


    LARRY: What the hell lol Suicide bombings?


    STICKMAN: I mean, it's not like...Homeland, there's a twist but it is basically suicide bombings.


    LARRY: Damn. Sounds like this is #maturecontent


    MADHERO: That's how you know its from the same people that made 9


    STICKMAN: It's reasonably family friendly. 9 was quite unique despite its flaws, this feels a bit more like a hodgepodge of several other more standard blockbuster things.


    MADHERO: I do kinda like how in this movie everything is automated to the point of it being creepy. I know you mentioned the toilet on twitter


    STICKMAN: The living, talking, chipper toilet was....an interesting concept. I'm not sure I'd be into that, I know SOOOOME people would be.


    LARRY: Damn this sounds like it has more depth than I imagined.


    STICKMAN: There's some depth to it, oddly, yeah. Not in that department though. I will say the main character is immensely unlikable and extremely #problematic for the majority of the film.


    MADHERO: Yeah, I've heard that complaint. Also apparently not-Baymax is voiced by John 

    Krasinski. Guess he's finally allowed to use it after A Quiet Place


    LARRY: Good one.


    STICKMAN: Out of the two Krasinksskii films this year, I know which you should watch fiiirsst. But this one ain't that bad either, give it a look PERHAPS. Speaking of things to maybe watch.....uhh....Mad?


    MADHERO: Alright, unlike you two deciding to Netflix and chill, I decided to go and see a movie in the THEATER! A lot has been made of the latest Spike Lee joint Blackkklansman, and its actually the first time I've seen one of his films in theaters, and it was definitely worth it. I knew I was in for a really wild true story (though how much of what's real in the film is up for debate), and in that sense it did not disappoint. A lot of that is helped with the acting, with John David Washington inherting some good acting genes and Adam Driver making a serious case for Best Supporting Actor. He's great.

    Besides also being very funny, sometimes uncomfortably so, and it often portrays the Klan as a bunch of idiots, its not afraid to point out the evil and death this ideology has brought us. Not too mention an ending that basically left my theatre so quiet that you could hear a pin drop, showing that we're still dealing with these dangerous idiots. So yeah, its fun, funny and important. Go see it if you haven't yet.


    STICKMAN: Cinemas are for CHUMPS. HAH. LOOOOSER.....I could've seen this film, or American Animals...but I saw The Predator instead. Why must I be such a sci-fi horror nerd.


    MADHERO: Give me your lunch money, pipsqueak. That or spend it watching true art!


    STICKMAN: Says you, you never even saw a Predator decapitate a guy.


    LARRY: Yeah I enjoyed this film quite a bit.


    MADHERO: How did the last segment go for your screening Larry? I was with an pretty much exclusively white audience, and it was still incredibly fucking awkward.


    LARRY: Well I actually saw an early theatre crew screening, which was a very diverse group. But it was still very, very quiet at the end. Personally all of this true story controversy doesn't irk me so much considering that movies change up details like this all the time and nobody would've known about it if Boots Riley hadn't said anything.


    STICKMAN: I wish I knew what was being spoken about. I wish I was more.... w o k e .


    MADHERO: well go see the film and then you know


    STICKMAN: But the moonneyyy.


    LARRY: Personally I agree with most of what you said, I think this film does a great job balancing drama and comedy, as well as nuance in the many political sides this movie explores. I also don't exactly think that the KKK guys in this movie are really as dumb as everyone thinks this film portrays them...there's maybe like one or two dummies. And...yeah the film certainly laughs at their expense. But there are countless disturbing moments that portray them as high-functioning members of society.


    MADHERO: Also I was really surprised that the actress who plays Patrice is also Liz from Spider-Man homecoming. Also one of the Klan members is Paul Walter Hauser and has cemented him as a new fave character actor


    STICKMAN: Isn't Topher Grace in this also.


    LARRY: He is!! He's David Duke.


    STICKMAN: I last saw him in...Predators. Which was a loooong time ago.


    -----------

    MADHERO: Go see it, you won't regret it. I think that about wraps it up. I guess now we go and just roll around..... like a turd.... in the wind.


    STICKMAN: Is the Sonic film out next week!?


    MADHERO: Nah that ain't till next year. But we've got a Shadow the Hedgehog movie now. It might as well be now. Prepare your takes, folks. Its gonna a fun goopy ride


    STICKMAN: I've never been so aroused by goopy bois yet enraged by shitty films in my life. GOODBYE.


    LARRY: *Shivers.* B-bb-b-b-buh bye....

  • At the Screwvies: Episode 116

    5 months ago

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    MADHERO: Well gang, the summer's officially over. The air is cooling (finally), the kids are going back to school and Hollywood officially stop giving a fuck for like 2 weeks and just send out whatever they happen to have lying around and put it in theaters. Yeah, except for a spooky nun (which is more than we usually get), there's not a whole lot to talk about. Good moment to catch up with stuff you've missed though.


    STICKMAN: No children, cool air, and spoopy films. Aight, I'm already happy. Let's go.


    LARRY: Can you believe some of this Summer Slump TM stuff is actually good? THAT makes me happy.


    STICKMAN: Hey, hey, Nun of us know the quality for sure.


    MADHERO: We'll go Searching for them soon. But lets go through some news first.


    NEWS

    DANNY BOYLE OUT AS BOND 25 DIRECTOR DUE TO CREATIVE DIFFERENCES

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    And here we thought James Gunn being fired was going to be the only shock directorial exit of the last couple months. Back in March of this year, we talked about the gears of Daniel Craig's final outing as James Bond starting to get into motion, biggest news of all was that the director had been found in the Oscar winning Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 28 Days Later etc). Production was scheduled to start in October of this year, for a release of late October 2019 in the UK. And that was the last we heard about it for a while. Now, towards the literal backend of August, it's all fallen to pieces. Danny Boyle is out, and so the writer along with him thanks to that old chestnut, 'Creative Differences', leaving production in turmoil, and release delays of potentially an entire year in order to get things back on track.


    Back in March  we did indeed wonder if he was the best fit for this sorta film, Boyle is at his best doing what he does best...which is bold and weird. Two things a Bond film would generally try very hard not to be. Although no official news has come out regarding the specifics of why Boyle walked, but speculation has ranged from his casting choice for the villain, to standing opposed to killing Craig's Bond off at the end of the movie, bringing his era of stories to a definitive conclusion. Indeed, we don't even know if a delay is happening or not yet, it's just a safe assumption to make, given the scale of changes that need to be made to get production back on track.


    LARRY: Damn.


    STICKMAN: Damn...ielcraig.


    MADHERO: This feels very surprising and not very surprising all the same.


    LARRY: Honestly I don’t think it’s the biggest loss. Still stinks that we won’t see Boyle’s take on Bond.


    STICKMAN: He never felt like a good fit for a blockbuster franchise, but I was hoping to see him put his mark on it at the same time.


    LARRY: But Bond is such an iconic property that almost any take on it would interest me. Also, anything to wash the taste of Spectre out of my mouth.


    MADHERO: He was an interesting director for sure, and I'd have been interested in his take, but I guess they're being careful.


    STICKMAN: Does make you wonder who's gonna replace him. In Disney's case, they always go for A SAFE PAIR OF HANDS....which doesn't necessarily breed the best end results. Last time a safe pair of hands was at the helm we got Quantum of Solace, and most people hate that film.


    MADHERO: The names I've seen pop up as replacements are David McKenzie, Yann Demange and Edgar Wright, who left a Marvel property over creative difference so I can’t imagine him doing Bond.


    LARRY: I am HERE for McKenzie. Hell or High Water was awesome.


    STICKMAN: My dream director is still Christopher Nolan. He is ...so perfect for a Bond film.


    MADHERO: I would much rather see him be at the start of a new one than jump in at the end. He's got nothing on the plate now so who knows. They better hurry up through if they want to make that November 2019 date.


    LARRY: Yeah they really need to figure that out. If Craig is on board, it’s impossible to overlook this as his final outing.


    MADHERO: I don't think they can make it, with how big Bond productions are, but not my problem. We'll get it eventually. Who'll bring it to us shall be known soon-ish. I've heard James Gunn is availible


    STICKMAN: I'd watch that honestly.


    CRAZY RICH ASIANS INCREDIBLY SUCCESSFUL HIT WORLDWIDE. SEQUEL HAS BEEN GREENLIT BY WARNER BROS

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    When a genre hasn't performed well or hasn't made all the money, its easy to say that they're completely dead, or in the case of romantic comedies, relegated to Netflix. Hell, that is almost what happened to Crazy Rich Asians, but director John Chu was adamant on getting an theatrical release, less so for the genre's sake, but for Asian cinemagoers who rarely get to see themselves on screen in the West. And the gamble as paid off, as CRA is now pretty much the last major hit of the summer movie season. It had an pretty great opening weekend, with 26,2 million (after opening on Wednesday with 35 million). That doesn't seem a lot, but on the second weekend, it grossed 25 million again, with the film only dropping 6%. Normally speaking, a film drops by about 50%. That's Craaaaaaaapretty good.


    Warner Bros is laughing all the way to the bank, and with its success, has now greenlit a sequel based on author Kevin Kwan's continuation China Rich Girlfriend, who'll be adapting the book for screen adaptation. Actors Constance Wu, Henry Golding and Michelle Yeoh all have options for a sequel, but there's a good chance that list of names will grow. Its a great achievement for the genre and for Asian American cinema, which is having a couple solid weeks thanks to both this staying first for the third time in a row and Searching looking to surprise. Good job.


    LARRY: It’s almost as if representation sells. Who knew?


    STICKMAN: It's not even representation selling specifically, it's just...offering something to people who haven't been offered much of anything before. Like...wow I can't believe catering to a undercatered market means you get a lot of money.


    LARRY: That’s what I’m saying. Representation does cater to the audience, usually.


    STICKMAN: It's ...crAAAAazzy...how RIIiICh they've become...AsssiiIans.


    MADHERO: Apparently 38% of its opening audience was of Asian descent. The last time it was similarly high was like 20ish percent for The Foreigner, that Jackie Chan movie you forgot about.


    STICKMAN: Jackie Chan Adventures movie when.


    LARRY: I enjoyed that movie. I still remember...


    STICKMAN: I think this year's been a real eye opener for mass appeal diversity in cinema. And I really hope that means we're going to see different voices and different cultures on the big screen in a big way...in all kinds of genres.


    MADHERO: Its good to see something like this be so successful. Personally the movie doesn't interest me besides the Asia/Singapore backdrop having lived there briefly, but I think its a great win to see a movie like this making money.


    LARRY: With this, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, and Searching, August has been the month of well done, Asian-led films getting popular. It’s good times.


    STICKMAN: I couldn't give less of a damn about this movie personally, romcoms and the ilk just aren't my scene. But heeey, cool for those who're into it.


    MADHERO: I'm always up for more Constance Wu or Michelle Yeoh. Speaking of which...


    DIRECTOR DUO DANIELS (SWISS ARMY MAN) LINE UP NEXT FILM “EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE AT ONCE”. MICHELLE YEOH AND AWKAFINA TO STAR.

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    So, as you may or may not know, I adore the film "Swiss Army Man," and I consider it to be one of the best films of its year as well as one of the most creative and unique films of its decade. So color me happily surprised when, back in 2017, it was announced that the film's directorial duo, Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan (known as DANIELS), officially signed on to their next feature. The film, entitled "Everything Everywhere All at Once," is being produced by, and is essentially happening because of, Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo, furthering their efforts to explore new projects post-Marvel.


    The film is a sci-fi action film featuring some good ol' interdimensional fun times, and is currently negotiating to have "Crazy Rich Asians" stars Michelle Yeoh and Awkwafina to join the cast, in what role though is yet to be seen. The majority of details regarding the film's plot have been kept under wraps, but all I know is that it's fucking DANIELS, which means I will buy my ticket to whatever zany, disgusting, insane adventure they have whipped up. And with the Russos overseeing it, hopefully that will keep them somewhat practically grounded. Consider my ticket already mentally purchased.


    STICKMAN: Daniels, from Alien Covenant? Remember....remember Daniels? Anyone?


    MADHERO: Hell yeah, looking forward to more of that Daniels content.


    LARRY: Fuck yes you are.


    STICKMAN: These are the guys who made a film about a farting corpse, they’re gonna have to do a lot to impress me. At least a few Godzillas.


    LARRY: Ugh, Stix, if only you knew the brilliance of Swiss Army Man. Please just WATCH IT.


    STICKMAN: Harry Potter and the existential fart corpse.


    MADHERO: You gotta be pretty crazy to let your debut film center surrounding flatulent dead Harry Potter and one that actually has some stuff to say about the human condition.  You know its gonna be wacky, but I love the addition of Michelle Yeoh. Awkafina I haven't seen in much so can't say anything, but Yeoh has been going through a career resurgence it seems


    STICKMAN: Yeoh's awesome. I hope she's not a corpse in this, that'd be a waste.


    LARRY: Awkwafina was aight in Ocean’s 8. I’d be down for her to get a more prominent role.


    MADHERO: She was apparently one of the highlights in Crazy Rich Asians, so she seems to have a promising career ahead. Needless to say I'm excited for whatever crazy shit this is going to be.


    LARRY: I can’t help but get excited for SCI FI ACTION DANIELS LETS GOOOOOOOO


    STICKMAN: Daniels was in a Sci-Fi action movie last year...ALIEN COVENANT. y...yaaaay.


    DEATH NOTE SEQUEL MOVING FORWARD AT NETFLIX. UNKNOWN IF CAST/DIRECTOR WILL RETURN

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    Given 2017 ended with the seemingly eternal nightmare that is the backlash over The Last Jedi, it's easy to forget that there was a host of other releases that drew the immediate ire of the internet just from existing, most of them anime adaptations, let's face it.  One such adaptation was Adam Wingard's Death Note, a western cinematic take on the much loved cult anime series, something that was treated as a war crime even before the film's chilly reception came to pass following its Netflix release, both from fans of the anime and the uninitiated. With that reception in mind, you'd be quick to assume that the initial desires to make a series of Death Note movies would be promptly put out to pasture, right?


    Well...at the time of release Wingard himself had said Netflix considered the release a success and were mulling over a sequel...and now we have official confirmation, albeit as a footnote in a larger press statement from the streaming juggernaut that Death Note will be receiving a sequel at some point, in some form. At this stage that's all we know,  with Wingard maybe unable to return as director depending on the production schedule, given his commitments to 2020's Godzilla vs Kong. Presumably we'll hear more about this down the line, Netflix's policy on films definitely seems to be quantity over quality lately, but personally I found the original to be stupid but good fun all the same. A little overhated, but hardly good either. Let's hope the sequel is better.


    LARRY: Aw fuck all of this.


    MADHERO: And this is why you don't hate-watch on Netflix cause they'll get the wrong idea what with ratings mostly gone.


    STICKMAN: Have you seen the anime.


    LARRY: I didn’t see DN because IT LOOKED BAD #STOPHATEWATCHING. Also yes I have seen some of the anime, and i like it.


    STICKMAN: Sounds like the only person who actually watched it didn't haaate it...just saaaying.


    MADHERO: This movie has been on my list for a while now, but I ended up never bothering with it after some of the reviews and there simply being too many other things to watch on Netflix. I can't keep up, man. I saw the anime, but I'm pretty mixed on it tbh.


    STICKMAN: I found it to be inoffensive entertainment. Nicely filmed, great soundtrack, some fun moments. Lacks the depth and character complexity of the anime, but was it's own thing...was alright. People have this scathing hatred for it but nobody bothered to watch it. So...I feel it's hard to justify the hatred at that stage.


    LARRY: Okay, fair is fair. If it’s good, it’s good.


    STICKMAN: It's not. Sometimes films are just 'okay'. And they don't warrant praise or brutality.


    MADHERO: Well that's a given with the translation to movie. And obviously people did watch it to justify their dislike. I have no strong feelings about it either way and the fact its getting a sequel is more surprising and funny to me than anger inducing.


    STICKMAN: Well the first film always felt like a starting point for something...like the first episode I guess. Maybe now the pieces are in motion it might prove more interesting. But...maybe not.


    MADHERO: Have you seen some of the other Netflix Original films? They don't give a damn.


    STICKMAN: Netflix just shit out movies lately, they got like, 200 coming out this year and most of them are pants. Hopefully Wingard will come back


    MADHERO: He's too busy pushing his monster toys against each other, but we'll see.


    WARNER BROS ANIMATION WORKING ON LOONEY TUNES ANIMATED MOVIE “COYOTE VS ACME”

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    Despite being a staple of plenty of generations' childhoods, the Looney Tunes feel like they've gotten a raw deal as of late. There briefly was that Looney Tunes show back in 2011, but that got canceled after 2 seasons, and now it seems like most of the rumblings surrounding Looney Tunes comes from the eventual Space Jam 2. Warner Bros, who own the property, have been trying to get projects off the ground, including a Marvin the Martian live-action/animated movie back in 2009, but none of it really sparked the revival. So it makes sense that they now attempt to make a movie out of one of their more foolishly determined characters: Wile E. Coyote.


    The premise of Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoons are fairly simple and don't need much explanation: Coyote wants to get Road Runner for food, and tries catching through increasingly elaborate contraptions from the ACME Corporation, with hilarious and painful results. The animated movie, written by Jon and Josh Silverman (Deadbeat, Always Sunny) and to be produced by LEGO Batman director Chris McCay is titled Coyote VS. ACME, which may suggest more of a courtroom parody rather than the classic chase. That's just speculation on my part. I'm a big fan of the Looney Tunes as a kid, so I'm all in favor of some sort of revival, even if I'm sceptical of my own thought out premise. At least some funny people are involved.


    STICKMAN: Meep Meep.


    MADHERO: I wonder what role ol' Road Runner gets to play in this. Maybe he can get a lifetime supply of birdseed out of it.


    STICKMAN: Judging from previous Looney Tunes features, it's probably gonna be very meta, and maybe not super great, but....at least this one's animated, not a hybrid.


    LARRY: See I’m all aboard for some quality Looney Tunes entertainment. But like...movies tho?


    MADHERO: Oh no doubt. You kinda almost have to to stretch it out to a 80-90 minute film. That definitely makes Coyote a weird one since he's a silent characters pretty much all the time.


    STICKMAN: I really hope they don't give him a voice. Like, please don't do that.


    LARRY: The characters have always thrived more in short spurts. They’re more of a variety hour of comedy so why make one film about one or two characters?


    MADHERO: But Larry, what about cinematic 90's classic, Space Jam?


    LARRY: It’s the same reason why the rumored Pepe Le Pew movie wouldn’t work; because the characters are best in tandem. Space Jam is fun but not your average Looney Tunes film


    MADHERO: Pepe le Pew would get crucified in the MeToo era. We could go too far and suddenly get a Loonatics Unleashed movie.


    LARRY: Holy Moses, I forgot that existed.That shit was nuts.


    MADHERO: With the superhero craze..... you never know. But no, lets not do that.


    STICKMAN: I'd honestly be down for a voiceless quirky animated film with Coyote's existential mid-life crisis from never being able to achieve his dreams.


    LARRY: Even WALL-E only did voiceless shit for 30 min.


    STICKMAN: Guess what film did no voices for the  whole 90? SHAUN THE SHEEP, SON.


    DWAYNE JOHNSON SIGNS ON TO PLAY HAWAIIAN KING KAMEHAMEHA IN BRAVEHEART INSPIRED MOVIE BY ROBERT ZEMECKIS

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    Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson continues to make moves in Hollywood, with this one being particularly interesting. THR reports that he will star as King Kamehameha I in a brand new historical epic from New Line Cinemas and Seven Bucks Productions, Johnson's production company. Entitled "The King," it will tell the story of Kamehameha's role in uniting the Hawaiian islands that were once at war with each other, fulfilling a prophecy bestowed upon him at birth. It is being described as large in scope and high in prestige, with some suggesting this may be Johnson aiming for awards glory, which would be appropriate given the team behind it.


    So far, Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?) is in the director's chair, and Randall Wallace (writer of Braveheart and Hacksaw Ridge) penning the script. So, yeah, this is a big deal, especially given that this is a passion project that Johnson has been pursuing for the better part of two decades. Given this and his co-starring role in Moana, it looks like Johnson is doing his best to pursue projects that tell stories of Polynesian people, which is awesome for representation, and will hopefully produce more quality work. Plus, I'm down for some Hawaiian Braveheart with The Rock...cuz that sounds amazing.


    MADHERO: Finally, the Dragonball movie that we all deserve after Evolution. Finally we know where Master Roshi learned the Kamehameha


    STICKMAN: Hawanime. Is this like Moana where he turns into birds and shit.


    MADHERO: But for realsies, this actually sounds like a cool premise.


    LARRY: It’s gonna be Polynesian Braveheart. What’s not to love.


    STICKMAN: I'd be more enticed if not for Robert Zemeckis, who hasn't really produced a smash hit in a long while.


    LARRY: That’s true, but he is a good director. He has vision, and no Uncanny Valley...yet.


    MADHERO: Flight was pretty good, but he's definitely not as exciting. Still a good pick, and I think this also might be a good showcase for Dwayne Johnson as an actor, not just an action hero.


    STICKMAN: I don't know if Dwayne's got the chops for something like this, but proooove me wrong. He gave a good dramatic performance in Faster, which was pretty goooood.


    LARRY: Well we’ll wait to see if Marwen is any good. Yeah it’d be nice to see Johnson flex those muscles. If he has them...


    MADHERO: I mean, he's got plenty of others to compensate.


    -----------------

    MADHERO: Alright, that about does it for all the news. Not the most exciting of weeks, but hey what can you do. Now it might be a bit of a dry spell, but we do actually have a review for you guys! Well, Stickman has, as he's the only one here that saw techno-thriller Searching, a movie that takes place solely on a computer screen.... or does it?


    LARRY: Ooh this’ll be interesting to hear about. Cuz I’m interested to see this too.


    STICKMAN: It does. I wanted to watch Upgrade but fuck you Cineworld yet again.


    MADHERO: Oh dang. Well Sticky, is this computer screen movie worth seeing ON THE BIG SCREEN?! Or should you go and wait to watch it on your laptop for the real experience. Take it away.


    LARRY: Possibly the first movie ever to best experience on a laptop....


    REVIEW

    SEARCHING

    DIRECTOR: Aneesh Chaganty (directorial debut)

    STARRING: John Cho, Michelle La, Debra Messing, Sara Sohn

    SYNOPSIS: After his 16-year-old daughter (La) goes missing, a desperate father (Cho) breaks into her laptop to look for clues to find her.

    STICKMAN: Searching is an interesting film. Although its most touted feature is the format in which its presented, namely through the screens of various computers, laptops, phones and tablets, it's not the first film to do this (Unfriended for example), so it needs a bit more than just that gimmick to survive. So, does it? Well...yes, mostly.


    The film itself is a pretty standard, fast paced thriller along those lines. What makes it stand out is indeed the format presented, which is done very authentically. Everything, barring a couple copyright free swap-in websites, is completely believable and realistic, right down to the noises the various computers make upon booting up.  It's impressive how many ways the film finds to keep telling its story through this very limited focus, despite going off in so many  different places, and for the most part, does so without feeling too forced.  It's an interesting commentary on just how integral these devices are to our everyday lives. Emails, texts, phone calls, face-to-face video talks, live streaming, news consumption...it's all there, and it's not always based on the internet stuff either.


    Beyond this unique and engrossing presentation , the film is pretty good, well acted, emotionally engaging and the slow reveals and various twists and turns make it a very entertaining. Its not very original or derivative in parts. The opening sequence in particular screams Up for example. On a whole, what makes this film especially entertaining is its format, but the strong performances and mostly predictable, but still engrossing narrative help too. Not a masterpiece, but you definitely could do worse for popcorn thriller entertainment.


    LARRY: Apparently the director of this film used to do advertisements for tech companies. So I’m glad to see someone who knows their shit handling how the internet looks cinematically. I can’t begin to tell you how many movies fuck this kinda shit up all the time.


    STICKMAN: Just computers in general, honestly. Almost all the OS platforms are covered at some stage.


    MADHERO: Sounds like the best thing about it is the way it presents its storytelling as well as John Cho, who has to be centre stage pretty much all the damn time. How does he do carrying this film?


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    STICKMAN: John Cho really carries the film's narrative yeah, he's the emotional core of everything.


    LARRY: How’s Debra Messing?


    STICKMAN: A lot of the supporting cast is just kinda...there? Messing is okay too, she's the only other person to get a prominent screentime, but it's Cho who gives the standout performance. In some ways it reminded me of Buried with its limited cast, most of which is only heard, not seen.


    LARRY: Gotcha. Love seeing him get the spotlight.


    MADHERO: I guess with the overall premise in mind, do you think its worth seeing in theatres?


    STICKMAN: Ahh, all films benefit from the cinema, but this probably is one that you can see outside of it. There are little details on the screen at times that give hints towards later twists...which maybe you'd miss on a TV screen, but for the most part, you'd be fine. Was funny seeing Windows XP on a cinema screen, though.


    LARRY: It is funny to consider that this may actually benefit from a computer screen as the vessel. Considering it is made to represent experiencing things through a screen.


    MADHERO: Ah, good ol' Windows XP. The memories. Sounds like a  really neat thriller that might not do much new naratively, but a lot more aesthetically and visually. Its kinda remarkable to pull off.


    STICKMAN: Well what's interesting is that the film doesn't just use a stationary screen. It does zoom in and pan out and around, it's not a static experience.


    LARRY: Still tho, no other film besides maybe Unfriended can say anything close to that. Almost every film is intended to be seen and benefits from a cinematic experience.


    STICKMAN: This is definitely THE computer-screen film to watch.


    MADHERO: Alright, any last thoughts you want to get out there before we wrap up?


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    STICKMAN: Final thoughts are that I'd keep your expectations in check for the story itself, but you'll likely have a good time regardless. Also...Pokemon is weirdly integral to the narrative so that's something.


    LARRY: I’m definitely gonna check this out in theaters.


    ------------

    MADHERO: Oooooooooooh, now you've got my interest. The real Pokemon movie before Detective Pikachu next summer. Alright, that does it for Searching. Now its time for the other movies out in theaters, and boy howdy do we have not a whole lot to show.


    STICKMAN: OTHER MOVIES? PSCHAW. FUCK 'EM


    LARRY: Let’s get these morsels over with.


    MOVIE

    THE NUN

    DIRECTOR: Corin Hardy (The Hallow)

    STARRING: Demian Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet, Charlotte Hope, Bonnie Aarons

    SYNOPSIS: In 1952 Romania, a nun, a Catholic priest and a novice (Fermiga, Bichir, Hope) investigate the mysterious suicidal death of a nun at the Cârța Monastery.

    STICKMAN: NUN NUN NUUUuUuuUN.


    MADHERO: Welp, its all of us going back to Sunday School and learn how to scare people through Youtube Ads


    LARRY: I am still dumbfounded in the existence of a Conjuring Cinematic Universe of all things...


    STICKMAN: The spin-off to the sequel to The Conjuring. That's a prequel.


    MADHERO: They make a lot of money and are cheap. What's there not to get?


    STICKMAN: I'm dumbfounded by the marketing to this film...we haven't actually had a real trailer for this film yet. And it's out in, ohhh....5 days?


    LARRY: Keeping it ambiguous Stix, c’mon.


    STICKMAN: Yeah but there's ambiguous and then there's. What is this movie.


    MADHERO: There's a spooky nun in it and that's all you need to know. It adds to the myyyyyyyyyyyystery


    LARRY: At the cinema I work at, the cardboard standee thing has literally 10 spooky nuns on it.


    STICKMAN: Honestly the Nun in Conjuring 2 was one of the least scary parts, but there you go. If this film is good I'll go watch it, Conjuring 1  and 2 are fantastic, and the Annabelle prequel was a lot of fun too.


    MADHERO: Directed by Corin Hardy, who's Crow project very recently went up in smoke, so for him I hope this is a good showing.


    PEPPERMINT

    DIRECTOR: Pierre Morel (Taken, The Gunman)

    STARRING: Jennifer Garner, John Gallagher Jr, John Ortiz, Method Man

    SYNOPSIS: When Riley North's (Garner) husband and daughter are killed in a drive-by shooting by members of a cartel and the killers walk free, she takes matters into her own hands and seeks vigilante justice against those who destroyed her life.

    MADHERO: Death Wish: Jennifer Garner Edition


    STICKMAN: I mean, basically.


    LARRY: I never saw Jennifer Garner as the Death Wish-type.


    MADHERO: I guess its more interesting then it just being another Bruce Willis vehicle. Normally this part would be played by him or a Liam Neeson, so its a nice change of pace. Garner is one of those actresses that deserves more work than trying to get Ben Affleck get his shit together.


    LARRY: Remember when she was a mom in Love, Simon?


    STICKMAN: Is this the sequel to Love, Simon.


    LARRY: I hope not.


    MADHERO: No, cause I didn't see that. She did have some action moments in Daredevil/Elektra, but the less said about that the better.


    STICKMAN: Things didn't work out so good for Simon. Or is that the boyfriend? I ain't seen that film.


    MADHERO: We ain't talking Love, Simon. Anyway this movie looks ok, I guess. It really is just Death Wish but with a woman., which I guess is at least something different


    STICKMAN: At least  the haunted husk of Bruce Willis doesn't linger over this film.


    LARRY: He’s too busy bring a superhero with Sam Jackson


    STICKMAN: More like a superzeroooo. Oh shiieet.


    KIN

    DIRECTOR: Jonathan and Josh Baker (directorial debut)

    STARRING: Myles Truitt, Jack Reynor, Zoe Kravitz, Dennis Quaid, James Franco, Carrie Coon

    SYNOPSIS: Chased by a vengeful criminal (Franco), the feds (Coon) and a gang of otherworldly soldiers, a recently released ex-con (Reynor) and his adopted teenage brother (Truitt) are forced to go on the run with a weapon of mysterious origin as their only protection.

    STICKMAN: I like the alien helmet guys. I have a cool helmet fetish.


    LARRY: More like, KID. W-w-with a gun!!! Not my best....This looks okay.


    MADHERO: I'm starting to feel like the "From the producers of Stranger Things and Arrival" is some sort of death sentence. We saw it with Darkest Minds and now this.


    LARRY: Wah-oh.


    STICKMAN: It's up there with FROM THE PRODUCER OF THE WALKING DEAD for sure.


    MADHERO: I do actually like the look of the film in the trailers. I feel like this has cult movie written all over it. The reviews have been mixed, but more positive among audiences that saw it.


    LARRY: It just doesn’t have enough for me honestly. Looks kinda generic.


    STICKMAN: I like the look of the film yeah, and the music in the trailer is pretty cool. And I like space robo helmet bois with cool guns that zoop over police cars. If it turns up on Netflix maybe I'll give it a bash. I've watched worst Netflix films.


    LARRY: Yeah it’s a rental kinda movie.


    MADHERO: I do feel like this has Netflix movie/series all over it. Maybe its the Stranger Things tag.


    STICKMAN: Needs more of that sick sick Stranger Things intro music.


    OPERATION FINALE

    DIRECTOR: Chris Weitz (The Twilight Saga: New Moon, A Better Life)

    STARRING: Oscar Isaac, Ben Kingsley, Lior Raz, Melanie Laurent, Nick Kroll, Joe Alwyn, Haley Lu Richardson

    SYNOPSIS: 15 years after World War II, a team of secret agents (Isaac, Raz, Kroll etc.) are brought together to track down Adolf Eichmann (Kingsley), the infamous Nazi architect of the Holocaust.

    MADHERO: Oscar Isaac: Nazi hunter should probably be a thing I should be more excited for than I am.


    STICKMAN: Now, this is an interesting real life story. I watched a documentary short about the actual events and they're really fascinating, this film seems a bit too hollywoody though.


    LARRY: Nick Kroll doing drama? Now that’s a sight. Oh yeah, and Nazis or whatever...


    MADHERO: He did good in Loving,  so he has acting chops. There's a pretty decent cast in this, and the story behind it is wild.


    STICKMAN: It's a really crazy story yeah. I'd recommend just reading up on it instead of watching this film.


    LARRY: Totally forgot about Loving. Yeah the cast is good, and as someone very interested in WWII on film, I feel almost obligated to give it a shot. But...I dunno, I guess it just seems a little sensationalized?


    STICKMAN: I'd seek out the documentary short if it's still around honestly. That was great.


    MADHERO: I feel like this is probably best served watching a documentary on than the movie which probably cleans some of the harder edges off of it.


    LARRY: Yeah I’d imagine so.


    STICKMAN: The documentary short just presents the facts and doesn't make a big epic drama out of it. And that's good enough honestly. Short was called 'The Driver is Red'


    LARRY: I’ve read up a lot on Eichmann and his career so seeing it in a narrative form could be captivating. But yeah, I’d rather watch a doc on it.


    -----------

    MADHERO: Alright, that's it for movies coming out. Like we said, not a lot to discuss, but hey, that's what MOVIE OF THE WEEK IS FOR! And hey, new month, so expect a million new Netflix movies suddenly on the feed.


    LARRY: Damn...


    MADHERO: Yep, why go for a expensive movie when you can stay at home and just chill. The perfect cinematic experience.


    STICKMAN: I don't have to see anyone that way.


    MADHERO: Indeed. So Stickman, what movie did you watch to avoid everyone else?


    MOVIE OF THE WEEK


    STICKMAN: WELLLLLL....what I watched was the horror movie that made the big mistake of opening on the same day as A Quiet Place here in the UK, and promptly died. Ghost Stories, a British horror based on a cult stage performance by a group of British comedians, is a strange, strange film, and not perfect by any means. It follows a debunker of the paranormal as he's challenged by his childhood inspiration to disprove the three spoopy cases that made that childhood inspiration start to believe in ghosts and the devil himself.

    It plays as a bit of an anthology, telling three short horror stories featuring different characters, wrapped around the narrative of this investigation. Needless to say, not everything is at its seems, and it's not going to end the way you think it will. On a whole, it's an interesting film with some fun moments and solid acting. Not fully successful in its finale, but successful enough to be enjoyable.  That's basically the film on a whole, entertaining, but not fully formed. If you're looking for something different and fun for your horror viewings, you can do worse than Ghost Stories.


    LARRY: The posters for this film are WILD.


    MADHERO: Was this the movie with Martin Freeman with giant devil horns on the poster?


    STICKMAN: Yes it is. The posters are fucking awesome. There's nothing in the film as good as those posters, sadly.


    MADHERO: Ah, yeah those were some neat posters, and I'm sad to say I haven't seen anything from this movie otherwise.


    LARRY: Same. Sounds insane tho.


    STICKMAN: I think this is going to end up a cult favourite in the years to come, especially if it ends up on Netflix.


    LARRY: That name, Netflix, has come up AGAIN. Must be some big thing or something.


    MADHERO: Hmm, why would you say that, Larry? Is it relevant to your Movie of the Week?


    LARRY: My movie is To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, the latest in a slew of Netflix-based romantic comedies that have been taking the world by storm. This one also happens to star Lana Condor, a Vietnamese-American actress, another win for representation. It revolves around her character having five secretly written love letters mysteriously sent to each respective subject, which leads to one of the five to strike a deal with her to act as his fake girlfriend in order to make his ex-girlfriend jealous.......yeah so the main thing the whole movie advertised has very little to do with the actual plot. But whatever.

    The film itself begins rather promisingly. Condor is a great lead, who actually tackles a character who isn’t your average passive, head-over-heels romcom protagonist. It does sadly succumb to the stupid “misunderstanding” trope and gets to an painfully obvious ending. Aw well. The film is still relatively well shot and competently done, it just could’ve been so much more given its general intelligence and tone. Hopefully this is a step forward in Netflix actually honing in on subversive, compelling entries into the genre.


    MADHERO: Damn, the Asian American crowd has been killing it this past month.


    LARRY: That’s what I’m sayinggggggg


    STICKMAN: Why can't Asian-Americans make a horror movie for a change. Stop rom-comming.


    MADHERO: I saw this in the background as my sister was watching it and it looked like cute fluff. Its quite funny to see a lot of people go head over heels for this movie.


    STICKMAN: If I wanted cute fluff  I'd look up some furry porn, I dunno.


    LARRY: It is cute fluff in a lot of ways, but in others it provides some genuine drama. I just wish the climax wasn’t so badddddd


    STICKMAN: You haven't sold me on this film I gotta say.


    MADHERO: Glad to see Lana Condor get more work because her name is cool as shit and should be on more posters and she deserved more to do in X-Men Apocalypse.


    LARRY: I’m not trying to sell it. I didn’t even plan on watching it until I saw all the hype. I’m just saying it shows promise in regards to Netflix’s new mission.


    STICKMAN: What a great MOTW. Whaaaaat's neeeeEEEexxxxxxt


    MADHERO: Oh, well, sorry to disappoint, but with me not seeing Blackkklansman until Monday, I instead am going to talk about Tag, the summer comedy you probably have already forgotten about. The story (which the movie's advertising very much wants you to know its based on a true story) is about a group who have been playing the same game of tag for the past 30 years, with the game having been used to stay in touch over such a long period of time. Its obviously a fun story, and there's moments where the movie does  manage to get that out, particularly thanks to its cast, with Jon Hamm and Hannibal Burress being highlights.


    That said, the movie feels trapped in a very traditional American comedy, and whenever the movie decides to get serious, it can't help but feel like you're watching a completely different film. It can't really decide what it wants to go for at points and it makes it odd when things suddenly become deadly serious. Still, for the most part you can simply turn your brain off and have a couple of chuckles. This story probably deserved a better movie, but what we got was ok, I guess.


    STICKMAN: Woopiiiiie. Insert Hawkeye joke here.


    MADHERO: I will say that the CG on Jeremy Renner's arms is quite impressive. I wouldn't have known they were broken if nobody told me.


    LARRY: It’s completely seamless.


    STICKMAN: We truly have entered a new era of breaking actors limbs as much as we want, and still being able to seamlessly edit that out.


    MADHERO: Its the most remarkable thing out of this otherwise farily unremarkable movie.


    LARRY: I mean, I had fun with it.


    STICKMAN: We've really dropped the ball on MOTW today.


    LARRY: Found the ending to have a surprising amount of heart. And the action to be surprisingly solid.


    STICKMAN: I hate wacky comedies that get soppy on me. That's not what I came for! I DIDN'T COME TO FEEL.


    LARRY: Yeah but it’s not cheesy It’s genuinely good.


    MADHERO: I found the ending to have the same issue with it being weirdly dark. That might've worked better if it hadn't gone wacky during most of the runtime.


    STICKMAN: I hate it when games of Tag turn dark. Like you tag someone so hard they fall off a cliff.


    LARRY: It’s a bit more than that. It got me, that’s all I’ll say, no spoilers.


    STICKMAN: One rental, a Netflix and a 'should be on Netflix' rental. Good job boys.


    -------------

    MADHERO: Sorry. Next time, we'll be more hype for our Movie of the Week. Its gonna hopefully help that there's a Predator on the loose who really wants quality movie recommendations or else he'll rip your spine out. So you know, stakes.


    STICKMAN: Bill Cosby escaped from jail!?


    LARRY: Again, it’s the Summer Slump™️


    MADHERO: Sure. Also a giant crabhead looking alien, but Bill Cosby as well. Gotta watch out. Later!


    STICKMAN: GOODBYE


    LARRY: Adios!!

  • Venomous MARVEL Outlook

    5 months ago

    Paul-1122

    Similar to how Avengers: Inflinity War was a main focal point for my MARVEL fanbase earlier this year, Venom will be the main focal point for it for the later 3rd of the year, & since Spider-Man won't be in it, I'll stat to wonder how Venom's origins (& Eddie Brock's) will be different in this movie than they are in the comics, because I've always found the symbiote aspects of Spider-Man to be quiite interesting & in a way (& different than Spider-Man 3) the upcoming Venom movie will bring the 1990's aspects of MARVEL's favourite symbiote to life in live-action format & to me, this feels like something that should've been a part of The Amazing Spider-Man films if they did continue making motr of them after the 2nd one in 2014, but I feel that Venom will have the same feeling that they had, except with no Spider-Man in it which makees me wonder "What will Venom be like without Spider-Man?", but no matter how it turn out, Venom will be yet another good MARVEL movie (even if it's not set in the MCU) to enjoy, even if I decide to go see it in the theater a second time, which I probably will just like I did with both Amazing Spider-Man movies.

  • At the Screwvies: Episode 115

    5 months ago

    g1Features

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    MADHERO: What's up guys, hope you're enjoying the end of your summer vacation. Hopefully its spent in Singapore surrounded by insanely wealthy socialites and living a life of luxury. Instead of us, trapped in a crappy dimly lit apartment, trying desperately to clean up all the puppet jizz that's literally everywhere and went on for way too long. Its a felt Jackson Pollock if there ever was one. So yeah, I had hoped for a slightly better end to the summer season, but here we are.


    LARRY: Damn that was quite a descriptive intro, Mad. Not sure I’m happy about it.


    STICKMAN: Puppet Jizz is our lives now, we might as well accept that.


    MADHERO: Once you've seen a puppet blow its load, its hard to forget. Anyway, we might as well take a break and go talk about some news.


    LARRY: *shudders*


    NEWS

    ACADEMY AWARDS ANNOUNCE 3 HOUR RUN TIME AND NEW CATEGORY OF BEST POPULAR FILM FOLLOWING DECLINING RATINGS

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    Normally, we wouldn't be talking the Oscars until at least October, but recent changes have sounded off the biggest change to the Academy since 2009, when they expanded the Best Picture nominees from 5 to a maximum of 10. That change, initially implemented to get more known films in the biggest category, has largely failed, and the show in general continues to decline in ratings, with the latest show scoring the lowest ratings in their history. This has led to some pretty major changes which have been received... let's say mixed.


    Under pressure from ABC, the show will be cut to 3 hours, as well as from 2020 on, will be held earlier in the year. That shorter length will mean that some award winners and speeches will be done whilst commercials are going on and will appear later at some point in the broadcast. While I don't think anyone will disagree with the length, its shitty that some smaller awards will not be allowed to shine to millions. The more egregious decision, comes in the form of a new category: Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film, meant to highlight the blockbusters that generally have an hard time getting nominated. Pretty much everyone has dunked on this decision, with it being a pretty blatant attempt to get films like Black Panther on the ballot which is otherwise a less sure thing. As of right now, its hard to say what the award even means, but it can't help but sound condescending to both normal and unorthodox Best Picture nominees. Look forward to our predictions at the end of the year.


    LARRY: I’m still waiting to hear exactly what that award even means, to be honest. But on paper, it doesn’t sound like a good idea.


    STICKMAN: Siiiiiigh. The Oscars just don't get it.


    MADHERO: O those poor blockbusters. Now we finally get to see Vin Diesel win a Oscar for Fast 10.


    STICKMAN: Everyone's asked them to take mainstream cinema more seriously, instead they're throwing it the world’s worst  bone.


    MADHERO: Its doing what the Best Picture award was meant to do when it expanded, which it did in the beginning (Districht 9, Avatar, Toy Story 3) but only made room for more "arty" films. Which should be fine, the best films should be nominated, but it didn't help matters.


    STICKMAN: The best films should be nominated, but I think we can all agree that they generally aren't. Some? Maybe. But not most.


    LARRY: The best films from the general consensus, sure. Arthouse films generally always have a strong showing.


    MADHERO: Its still really difficult to know what this category is going to entail. That's up for speculation, and the Academy has stated that films nominated for this new category can still get nominated for Best Picture, but that road feels a lot more difficult now.


    LARRY: Yeah, again, so many factors could determine what this award means. I’m waiting to hear those before I blow a gasket. But I can see why people aren’t happy.


    STICKMAN: My main thing right now is presenting some of the awards outside of the show. That's fucking stupid.


    LARRY: Yeah I HATE that. That’s upsetting me more, honestly. The Tonys do that and it’s so annoying.


    MADHERO: It sucks for the lesser categories who won't get a chance to shine, so that ABC can add more staged invasions of cinemas with hot dog cannons.


    STICKMAN: There shouldn't be "lesser categories" though. The awards are a celebration of cinema and the people who make them. Not just Brad Pitt getting a free pizza.


    LARRY: Exactly. Every category is worthy of being showcased.


    MADHERO: I can't pretend to care as much about Short Documentary as I do the main categories, but it’s still nice for those people to get recognition, like the winner of Best Short doing her speech in sign language.


    STICKMAN: It's not about what one person cares about, though. It's about the achievement of reaching that level of recognition, and also shining a spotlight on less celebrated corners of the medium. I FEEL.


    LARRY: If someone is getting an award, it deserves to be recognized as a part of the ceremony. Period. This is only going to create a more thorough dichotomy between types of awards, which sucks because everyone in the industry works hard.


    STICKMAN: Instead of adding a Popular FIlms category they should be adding Stunt Work or Motion Capture .


    MADHERO: We're going to see what happens in terms of ratings. Its obvious thosr have continued to decline which is why it has happened. Will this change things? i doubt it, but we'll see in late February.


    SONY DETAILS PLANS FOR SPIDER-MAN FILMS. SILVER SABLE/BLACK CAT MOVIE NOW 2 SEPARATE FILMS. VENOM LOOKING TO BE PG-13 FOR POTENTIAL CROSSOVER

    So, we’ve known for a while now that, despite the trailers receiving mixed reactions and the actual film not having even been released yet (oy...), Sony is putting its bets on Venom to kickstart a brand new cinematic universe focused on the many supporting baddies in Spider-Man’s rogues gallery. We knew they were working on several different projects, but perhaps we didn’t realize just how deep this delusion goes. Somehow, they seem to be topping their last ridiculous effort to MCU the Spidey universe, which was canned after ASM2 was a commercial and critical failure.


    Besides for our goopy friend’s cinematic return, which is now probably going to be PG-13 instead of R to potentially crossover with Spidey’s escapades in the MCU, we got Morbius starring Jared Leto, the previously announced “Silver and Black” movie, focusing on Silver Sable and Black Cat, will now be two solo films, with original director Gina Prince-Bythewood most likely going from director to producer. As far as new stuff, Richard Wenk is writing a solo film for Kraven the Hunter (now THAT’S a movie I would pay to see), we are also seeing Sony pushing diversity in a trio of solo films for Silk, a Korean-Amerixan female superhero, Jackpot, an older heroine (and, depending on which identity they choose, a lesbian), and Nightwatch (not much there but he’s cool I guess). While all of these plans sound ridiculously out of nowhere story-wise and have barely even begun development, at least there’s diversity I guess. The bottom line is that clearly Sony has learned nothing since their last fuck up, and if Venom turns out to be as shitty as it looks, we’re looking at yet another cinematic universe going up in flames...or down in goop...I dunno.


    STICKMAN: Make it stoOoOOop.


    MADHERO: Extreme Detective Cooper voice: ITS HAPPENING AGAIN!


    STICKMAN: Why can't they wait and see what the response to Venom is before making 50,000 film plans and shoving teasers for them all into their movies. Did they learn nothingggg from Amazing Spider-Man?


    LARRY: Apparently not. Literally nothing.


    MADHERO: Just you wait when they revive that Aunt May spy prequel thing


    STICKMANLast Saturday at 10:37 PM

    Oooyyy. I will say, the focus on diversity is great, I think that's important, although I feel for Sony it's more them sniffing the cash train that was Black Panther, but there you go.


    LARRY: What’s hysterical to me is that, with the Fox merger, it’s only becoming clearer that Sony has no reason to own the characters it has the rights to. They simply don’t understand how to do the cinematic universe. It’s so fucking frustrating.


    MADHERO: I mean, they own the license still. Its very much a miracle that Spidey is in the MCU, but the way they're handling this now just screams like they're reviving their Amazing Spider-Man plans, which crashed in a wall.


    STICKMAN: Amazing Spider-Man as a series was really dogged down by the need to establish a UNIVERSE with over-arching mysteries and characters who will become more important later on. Except it didn't work because they didn't make a good enough film with that.


    LARRY: I loved that stupid plot line about the Sinister Six in ASM2. It was so pompous, it was almost like watching a trainwreck happen before it actually happened.


    STICKMAN: Venom looks to be another car crash, prove me wrong, Sony,  I'd love for it to be great, but yeah. Unlikely.


    MADHERO: I feel like Venom is probably going to be its own self-established thing with major sequel bait, but that the films are going to be separate for now. I do find it hilarious they're trying to go PG 13 now.


    LARRY: It looks like a total misfire. Going PG-13? What a joke. You joke about him dismembering people limb from limb and then just like...cutaway? Bullshit.


    STICKMAN: Especially after the trailer's edgy obsession with body parts.


    MADHERO: To be fair, they never promised a R-rating. It just seems like that was the initial plan and they backed out. There's some pretty edgy content in the trailers and that'll be softened, like a turd.... in the wind.


    LARRY: A goopy black turd.


    JAMES GUNN NOT GOING TO BE RE-HIRED BY DISNEY. WILL LIKELY STILL USE HIS SCRIPT AS BASIS

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    A couple episodes ago, we talked about the disappointing news that was James Gunn being fired as director of GotG Vol 3 following a resurfacing of offensive tweets by a right-wing campaign to get him discredited. It's fair to say the story has been a source of constant interest from the various entertainment news outlets of the world, and whilst not much has actually changed, there's still a lot more to unpack. There was apparently some pressure from Marvel Studios towards the heads at Disney to reinstate him as director, including the whole Guardians cast signing a letter. For one fleeting moment, rehiring seemed a possibility, with studio head Alan Horn meeting with James Gunn to discuss things, but he’s ultimately decided to stick to their gun(n)s and not rehire him for the position.


    However, in a move that somewhat negates any moral high ground the studio has by sacking him as director, they still intend to use his script, which does mean he'll still both be credited, and paid by the studio, but seems weird after everything that’s happened. Dave Bautista specifically being very vocal and scathing about the situation, threatening to quit. Despite this, Disney seem to be refusing to budge on the issue,. For Gunn though, there's plenty of interest from other studio's, so he'll find new work, but that does not change the fact how much of a shame this is.


    MADHERO: God, this has only been going on for a month but already feels like forever.


    LARRY: They will use his script but not have him on as director? So...acknowledge his place in the film’s production and credit him yet act as tho he’s this disreputable, offensive person that doesn’t hold Disney’s values?


    STICKMAN: Movies sure are a thing.


    MADHERO: Its a complicated scenario, and it'll likely still use his script albeit with some polishing. Its still a first draft. They can't use it without reaching a settlement with Gunn, but the chance of him directing seems to be officially over.


    LARRY: Alan Horn can go suck Venom’s big tongue for all I care. The man is a hypocritical asshole with no backbone. This is the same dude who banned publications from going to see early critic screenings because of good journalism. I can’t say I’m surprised but I can I’m angry as hell.


    STICKMAN:  Are you telling me Disney aren't the house of magic and wonder and are instead a money-grabbing, cynical corporation teeming with greed and corruption?


    MADHERO: It continues to suck. The reason why especially.  It was all so very unnecessary


    STICKMAN: This situation sucks, especially now they're not even taking any moral high ground and are instead being stubborn about a rash and uncoordinated termination of a major player in their biggest live action franchise. But there you go, Christopher Robin out now in cinemas.


    LARRY: Alan Horn, the man who succumbed to an alt-right rapist and his stupid smear campaign.    


    MADHERO: Oof. Nothing more to add there.


    STICKMAN: None of us are getting jobs at Disney in the future now.


    CHRIS PINE AND CHRIS HEMSWORTH SEEMINGLY OUT OF STAR TREK 4 AFTER PARAMOUNT TRIES TO LOWER SALARY

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    For fans hoping to see two Hollywood Chris’ on screen together at last, those dreams may never see the light of day, sadly. We know that there's a Star Trek 4 in development, having recently hired a hired a director in SJ Clarkson: the first woman to direct one of the films. We also knew it was going to involve some time travel, which would let Chris Hemsworth return as Kirk's father, whom he played before his breaktrhough as Thor.


    However, it now seems that negotiations have fallen through for both Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth The studio is attempting to lower the Chris’ pay cuts due to the last film, Star Trek Beyond, underperforming, but the Chrises won’t budge. And it’s not hard to see why: Pine and Hemsworth are both big players in massive franchises, so to have their pay cuts lowered for a franchise that may not even be worth their time? That’s no good. Thankfully, the remaining mainstay cast members are likely to return, like Zoe Saldana and Jon Cho. But will the series’ main character have to be recast? We’ll have to wait and see.


    MADHERO: Well this sucks. Was really hoping for a Star Trek 4 and it was surprising they went through when Beyond underperformed


    STICKMAN: Can't wait to see what timeline altering bullshit they come up with for Kirk suddenly looking like another vaguely attractive white man.


    MADHERO: Hohoho, Chris Pine is not vaguely attractive. I guess with Wonder Woman he has another franchise to fall back on.


    LARRY: I mean...this won’t stop ST4 I feel. The episodic format makes things a lot more flexible. I can see them leaving Kirk behind and introducing some new protagonist.


    STICKMAN: I feel like there are more people than you'd expect that would be mad about a recast.


    MADHERO: There were people mad when this movie happened, and hell, they just casted a new Spock in Discovery. We know that Chekov won't be recast after Yelchin's death, but either way its a complex scenario. You can’t really skimp on budget with something like Star Trek,


    LARRY: But they sure can try. It’s even funnier cuz it’s the company’s fault Beyond underperformed. It was marketed poorly.


    STICKMAN: There's a lot more space action film competition now then there was when the first Star Trek film came out. Gotta stand out or be fantastic, and Beyond was...okay.


    MADHERO: It’s a shame that it underperformed when it’s probably the best in the trilogy. That Sabotage sequence remains fucking awesome.


    STICKMAN: Sabotage bit was great. Rest of it was....fine.


    MADHERO: We'll always have Discovery, the return of Picard, and that weird Tarantino thing that may or may not happen.


    LARRY: That’s true, it’s not like ST is dead. It’s kinda going through a resurgence.


    STICKMAN: Star Trek Discovery took a weird ass turn in the last half of the season, but it kinda worked. Maybe this next Star Trek movie should take risks and not play it safe or repeat previous stories. Or just...y'know, not boothherr.


    MADHERO: Or go where no one has gone before.


    BEN SCHWARTZ CAST AS SONIC THE HEDGEHOG IN LIVE-ACTION MOVIE

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    It remains hard to believe, but we are getting an Sonic the Hedgehog movie in 2019. We all lost our collective minds when we heard that Jim Carrey was going to play Ivo Robotnik/Doctor Eggman, and we've now seen set photos showing the movie takes place in Green Hill and there will be a chase scene in San Francisco, maybe something similar to City Escape in Sonic Adventure 2. Of course, one of the bigger questions still remained: who would be playing Sonic? Would Roger Craig Smith reprise his role, or would we get some stunt casting and see Jaleel White return? Not the case, as the role has now gone to Ben Schwartz, who's probably best known for being Jean Ralphio in Parks and Recreation.


    Considering Jean Ralphio was an annoying little prick trying way too hard to be cool, its good casting. Schwartz seems really excited about it on his Twitter account, which can't help but be endearing. It also continues his weird crusade to play every blue-tinted characters from 90's childhood, playing Leonardo in the new Ninja Turtles series, Dewey in the Ducktales reboot, and he was a Smurf in the Lost Village. While my excitement for the film mainly revolves around the inevitable meltdown of the Sonic fandom, I can't deny this is pretty good casting. Now to see what he actually looks like.


    STICKMAN: AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA


    MADHERO: As Ben Schwartz said: I'M SONNNNNNNNNNNNIC!


    STICKMAN: Set photos showed Sonic driving a Range Rover or something and I just...this film gonna be a glorious trainwreck.


    LARRY: I don’t really know Ben Schwartz super well. But from what I’ve seen, he is kinda funny. Would make for a good voice role.


    MADHERO: He's great as an annoying douchebag in Parks and Rec, and that at least are some parts of Sonic's characters. He's also a pretty good voice actor, so he's actually a pretty good choice imo.


    STICKMAN: I feel Roger Craig Smith was an obvious choice to make, he's the modern Sonic voice actor and does a great job, but oh wellllll.


    LARRY: This movie clearly has no intention of replicating modern Sonic lol. At least not in actually interesting ways.


    STICKMAN: WHAT'S THE PPOOOINTT. WHY DO VIDEO GAME MOVIES HAVE TO BE THEIR OWN STUPID THING NOBODY ASKED FOOOOR.


    LARRY: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Jim Carrey as Doctor Robotnik has my ticket purchased. This movie could look like the dirtiest turd and I would pay for a ticket.


    MADHERO: I'd have probably gone for Roger Craig Smith as well, but I think Schwartz is a good choice. But hey, I'm just sitting from afar waiting for the bomb to go off


    STICKMAN: I am also waiting for the fireworks but doing so without paying to see the movie. This and Detective Pikachu make 2019 the year of Live Action/CGI mascot video game movies. And I mean...that's a thing?


    MADHERO: 90's video game movies we should've gotten 15 years ago.


    STICKMAN: Can't wait to hear your reasoning for being all on board with a stupid Sonic movie where Green Hill is an American town and Sonic drives an SUV but are also massively opposed to the mere existence of Detective PIkachu, Larry.


    LARRY: Jim. Carrey. Period. Does it look like I’m acknowledging my decision here is rational?


    MADHERO: I'll be sittign from afar, thinking about my former Sonic fan days and laugh.


    STICKMAN: Sonic is dumb and anyone who likes Sonic games is dumb. 


    ALFONSO CUARON DROPS TRAILER FOR NEW FILM ROMA

    As the Summer season draws to a close, we inevitably, as film nerds  start to turn our attention to Oscarbait season. With that potent October-December period approaching rapidly, and the big film festivals gearing up their tantalizing lineups of acclaimed directors and rising talents, we of course, start to get our first look at these potential awards frontrunners. Last episode we talked about Barry Jenkins' 'If Beale Street Could Talk', which is looking very nice indeed...this week we've got our first look at Alfonso Cuaron's next movie, Roma. The director of Children of Men and Gravity takes his time making films, but they tend to come out of it pretty damn well, and this seems to be no exception.


    Promising to be a far more personal and intimate film than his previous two releases, Roma is a black and white, Spanish language production that aims to have a limited theater release (Presumably for awards eligibility) followed by a release on the increasingly robust Netflix, who seem to have their hands on several of the biggest contenders for the coming months. The film is set in 1970s Mexico, and is based on Cuaron's own experiences growing up in a middle class home during an escalating and ultimately bloody clash between government forces and student protesters. The trailer showcases some beautiful visuals, and some of the gritty street-level chaos he previously showcased in the spectacular Children of Men. On a whole this is clearly a smaller scale, niche affair compared to his previous sci-fi blockbuster, Gravity, but it's looking very bit as promising at this moment.


    MADHERO: Man, this was a gorgeous trailer. I honestly didn't know this movie was going to be black and white honestly.


    STICKMAN: I'm always here for black and white films that utilise the contrast to make great visuals.


    MADHERO: It definitely looks to be Cuaron's most personal film, which is funny after such a big film like Gravity. He takes his time, but he always delivers.


    LARRY: Yeah it’s a good trailer. Makes me curious to learn what the actual plot is about considering the trailer does nothing to show me. But hey, it beats black and white waves for 30 seconds.


    STICKMAN: I explained what the premise is, bruh.


    LARRY: Yeah the trailer doesn’t do that. That’s my point.


    STICKMAN: It conveys a mood and hints towards a time of cultural tension.


    MADHERO: Its a bit more interpretative. It’s really weird how slow Cuaron works. I really thought there was something between Children of Men and Gravity, but nope. Then again, the latter took quite a while to get made. Going back to Mexico, to essentially his childhood is gonna be an interesting experience.


    LARRY: Aesthetically it’s nice, but I wanted a few more concrete details. I’m mixed with Cuaron personally, so I’m hoping this return to his roots makes for something less pretentious and more personal.


    STICKMAN: I feel it said plenty without any words, which was cool. But there you go. I love Cuaron, even his Harry Potter film was the best one.


    LARRY: I wasn’t a huge fan of Gravity. But I do like Children of Men and Azkaban.


    MADHERO: To me, Cuaron hasn't gone wrong for me yet. Its gonna be a different ride from him, but I'm sure it'll be amazing.


    ---------------

    MADHERO: Alright, I think that's about it in terms of news. The end of August is upon us, and we actually have an event movie to end the summer with a bang. Just a bummer that event ain't for us. Damn you under-served market who finally get to see themselves on screen! I have nothing for me, a white man!


    STICKMAN: We have an event movie? Is it Godzilla?


    LARRY: I say it’s an event movie for everyone!!


    MADHERO: I'm of course referring to puppets everywhere who finally get to see themselves on screen, and I guess Asian people as well get something nice.


    LARRY: We can all celebrate representation!! Those puppets need love!!


    STICKMAN: #MakePuppetsJizzAgain


    MADHERO: ....Let's talk about the Asian movie first.


    MOVIES

    CRAZY RICH ASIANS

    DIRECTOR: Jon Chu (Jem and the Holograms, Now You See Me 2)

    STARRING: Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Michelle Yeoh, Awkwafina, Ken Jeong, Lisa Lu, Chris Pang, Sonoya Mizuno

    SYNOPSIS: Chinese American economics professor Rachel Chu (Wu) accompanies her boyfriend (Golding) to Singapore for his best friend's (Pang) wedding, only to become thrust into the lives of Asia's rich and famous.

    LARRY: Visual splendor and representation? Nice.


    STICKMAN: See, this film isn't not for me because of who it's about, it's not for me because it's a romantic comedy. Looks very nice visually, for sure.


    MADHERO: So as someone who grew partially in Asia, its funny to see this film come to life in such extravagant fashion.


    LARRY: Yeah, it’s a romcom, but after Love, Simon, I’ve come to accept the importance of the genre if it means good representation, and I’m here to support that.


    MADHERO: Yeah, its funny, with the traditional having largely been relegated to Netflix. Apparently they were very interested in distributing this, but the director really wanted a theatrical release


    LARRY: And for good reason.


    STICKMAN: I think it's great these films exist but I'm a lonely man without anyone to hold me at night and I care not for the romance of others.


    LARRY: If that doesn’t summarize Sticky perfectly, I don’t know what does.


    MADHERO: Its basically the Asian version of Black Panther. Its great that it not only does representation well, but that its also a pretty good romantic comedy.


    STICKMAN: I bet it has better CGI than Black Panther.


    MADHERO: Don't need no CG when you have Michelle Yeoh.


    LARRY: How did we get two Akwafina movies this year...?


    MADHERO: Well when you need as much Asian actors as you can, it just sorta happens. Like I said, its not for me, but I'm glad so many people get to see themselves represented. And hey, my sister liked it.


    STICKMAN: Representation is important, films that aren't romantic comedies are more important, though.


    MILE 22

    DIRECTOR: Peter Berg (Deepwater Horizon, Patriots Day)

    STARRING: Mark Wahlberg, John Malkovich, Lauren Cohan, Iko Uwais, Ronda Rousey

    SYNOPSIS: An elite American intelligence officer (Wahlberg), aided by a top-secret tactical command unit, tries to smuggle a mysterious police officer (Uwais) with sensitive information out of Indonesia.

    STICKMAN: The Overwatch movie we've all been waiting for.


    LARRY: Oh hey, Mark Wahlberg.


    MADHERO: I guess the 22 refers to the Rotten Tomatoes score


    STICKMAN: OOHH SHIT B-B-BUURRN. What a perfectly good waste of Iko Uwais.


    LARRY: Now I just wanna rewatch The Raid.


    MADHERO: Mark Wahlberg can play a lot of things. A genius is not one of them. Also wasting Iko Uwais through shitty editing should be a war crime. I saw some clips and its Taken 3 levels of cuts.


    STICKMAN: Disgusting. The Raid 2 is where it's really at. Get that man a John Wick movie stat.


    MADHERO: This is the 4th Peter Berg/Mark Wahlberg joint, and maybe its time to call it quits on this relationship.


    STICKMAN: Mark Wahlberg should try some brighter colours one day. Less black leather, maybe a nice pink number?


    LARRY: A few warm blues. A neon purple?


    MADHERO: Lets eat a Wahlburger and get outta here.


    THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS

    DIRECTOR: Brian Henson (Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Treasure Island)

    STARRING: Bill Barretta, Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, Joel McHale, Elizabeth Banks

    SYNOPSIS: In a world where puppets exist but are reviled by society, puppet private investigator, Phil Phillips (Bill Barretta), reunites with his ex-partner Detective Connie Edwards (Melissa McCarthy) to find a serial killer who murdered Phil's brother and is now targeting the cast members of the 1980s television series The Happytime Gang.

    MADHERO: Oh man, what a journey this has been.


    STICKMAN: If you can call plummeting off a cliff a journey.


    MADHERO; One part of me is amazed this movie is actually coming out. The other is annoyed that it looks kinda bad.


    STICKMAN: The trailers are just so embarrassing and edgy. This is a disaster.


    LARRY: I know this isn’t really clever at all, but yeah, this movie looks really bad.


    STICKMAN: Mellisa McCarthy, like...you want to give her a chance  and not just immediately assume everything she's in sucks? But then...she stars in films like this? It's like a warning sign.


    LARRY: McCarthy self-enables her own shitty spiral of films. She collaborates with similar filmmakers multiple times, and sticks to a relatively similar style of humor in each film.


    MADHERO: I don't think you can accuse of being safe with a project like this, but yeah, not a fan. The original pitch sounded really clever and interesting in that it took a hardboiled noir approach. That seems all gone in favor of way more puppet jizz.


    STICKMAN: We don't get many puppet films, can we like, not make them awful when we do them? Lets make a puppet horror movie where the humans are the monster.


    MADHERO: Stickman, you should probably check out Puppet Master soon.


    ALPHA

    DIRECTOR: Albert Hughes (From Hell, The Book of Eli)

    STARRING: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Leonor Varela, Jens Hulten, Johannes Johanesson

    SYNOPSIS: After a Steppe bison hunting expedition 20,000 years ago in Europe goes awry, a young man (Smit-McPhee) struggles against the elements to find his way home, all the while developing a friendship with a wolf.

    LARRY: Ooh doggies.


    STICKMAN: Oh good another dog movie.


    MADHERO: Boy meets dog meets Ice Age meets The Revenant


    LARRY: What a mixture.


    MADHERO: Apparently this movie is actually pretty good. I get the feeling this probably sat on a shelf and they're only releasing it now to be rid of it


    STICKMAN: Also it looks nice visually but other than that it seems very generic and obviously heavy on the MAN'S BEST FRIEND sentimentality which is very overdone. Marley and BC.


    MADHERO: It does look very pretty in the trailers. Also apparently the actors don’t speak English, which is a nice risky move.


    LARRY: I have a friend who saw it and surprisingly liked it, so I may give it a shot. Not on the top of my list, tho.


    STICKMAN: I figured they weren't speaking English since nobody talks in the trailer apart from an obviously forced in narration.


    MADHERO: That felt very old school. It was weird.


    STICKMAN: Anyway this movie looks okay and it's got doggies in it so.


    A.X.L.

    DIRECTOR: Oliver Daly (directorial debut)

    STARRING: Alex Neustaedter, Becky G, Thomas Jane, Dominic Rains

    SYNOPSIS: A.X.L. is a top-secret, robotic dog who develops a special friendship with Miles (Neustaedter) and will go to any length to protect his new companion.

    MADHERO: The first man/dog relationship? FUCK THAT! GIVE ME ROBO-DOG!


    STICKMAN: The sequel to Alpha, but like, the 8th installment in the series where things got a bit out of hand. And they end up in space or whatever.


    LARRY: On the other hand....... I’m just surprised the name AXL made it past the writer’s room.


    STICKMAN: Shoulda called it Bark and BYTE.


    MADHERO: This again feels like someone that sat on a shelf and is only now coming out to be rid of it. Also no surprise its coming from Global Road, a studio that's begging to die.


    STICKMAN: I mean the robot dog is cute I guess. I'm getting Monster Truck vibes though.


    LARRY: It’s pretty ferocious looking. Not very cute.


    STICKMAN: Nah. You shouldn't judge a robot by its weaponry Larry, did you learn nothing from The Iron Giant.


    MADHERO: Its very much a grown up Monster Trucks, but it probably wasn't as pointlessly expensive.


    STICKMAN: You better believe we got sick bike tricks, robot dogs, you betcha. Don't even worry about it.


    MADHERO: You can either watch prehistoric doggo's or future doggo's. What a time to be alive.


    LARRY: I choose no doggos, thanks.


    STICKMAN: I'm really more of a cat person.


    ---------------

    MADHERO: Alright, no dogs then. Then maybe we'll go for MOVIE OF THE WEEK


    STICKMAN: OoOoOOHH? WHAT DOG FILMS DO WE HAVE HERE THEN?


    MADHERO: I don't think there's any dogs involved  in my movie. Don't really know if its also the case for you guys.


    LARRY: There are....I think no dogs. I honestly cannot recall.


    MADHERO: Maybe they're hidden under all those hoods. I guess that's kind of a tease of what you're talking about, so maybe you go first.


    LARRY: Wowwwwwwwww. Alright, well here goes nothing...


    MOVIE OF THE WEEK

    LARRY: My MOTW is the ridiculously spelled BlacKkKlansman, the latest Spike Lee joint. As I’m sure we all know, Lee can be a bit hit or miss because of how politically volatile and strongly stylistic his filmmaking is. However, I can attest that this is one of his better joints, and arguably a return to form to the nuanced, powerful days of “She’s Gotta Have It” and “Do The Right Thing.”

    Naturally, a story about a black cop infiltrating the KKK seems to be pretty straightforward, but believe it not, Lee doesn’t paint one side as a clear hero, bringing multiple sides of the discussion into the light, from cops, to Jews, to black protestors, and not shying away from seeing the shades of gray. Beyond this, there is also incredibly poignant, almost disturbing juxtaposition that makes for some of the most intense and captivating scenes of the year. Beyond this, it has an excellent cast, smart cinematography, pitch-perfect pacing, and an ending that, while a bit too indulgent in my opinion, will surely leave people speechless. Along with Blindspotting, this is a film that takes its politics and uses them to portray an interesting, hilarious, and action-packed narrative.


    MADHERO: Ooooooooh, things about to get spicy in here.


    LARRY: I mean...it’s good. It’s very good.


    STICKMAN: I can't work out if this is a comedy or not. Trailer gave off comedy vibes but I've been hearing a lot of people talk about how shocking and upsetting it is.


    LARRY: It has comedic elements for sure, but it is rooted in drama.


    MADHERO: I figured as much. A lot of Spike's movies still have some comedy in them. Do the Right Thing is also a drama steeped with a lot of comedy.


    STICKMAN: I guess the drama just tilted on the comedic angle a lot.


    LARRY: Yes, especially when it comes to David Duke.


    MADHERO: Speaking of the Dukester. How's Topher Grace? I hear he and Adam Driver might be up for Best Supporting Actor.


    STICKMAN: Venom himself up for an Oscar? What crazy times.


    LARRY: I think Driver comes much closer than Grace. No question.


    MADHERO: I'm gonna see this film as soon as I can. I don't think it'll have the same response as it'll have in the States, but that's stating the obvious.


    STICKMAN: I'm pretty sure it's not screening at my cinema but then what else is new. Guess I'll wait and seeee.


    LARRY: Hopefully you’ll get the chance to see it!!


    STICKMAN: SPEAKING OF...uhh....what's your film Mad.


    MADHERO: Well. Its up to me to bring it back to the mainstream and go for something the whole world can enjoy. Does a movie like Avengers Infinity War even need introduction? Chances are that you've probably seen it, enjoyed all the memes and are chomping to bits for the eventual Avengers 4 to come in 2019.

    Its been a film where we had to dedicate an entire spoiler special to, and for good reason. A lot happens in Infinity War, and it really does feel  like its the endgame, even when we'll get a whole other batch of Marvel movies afterwards. It breaks so many rules in the movie playbook: it doesn't really have a set protagonist/main character, and it ends in a really unexpected fashion. So by this point, you already know whether you're with this film or not. Its gonna be impenetrable for anyone that's not been on the MCU ride, but for the millions that are ,its a great time that leaves you begging for more.


    STICKMAN: Never heard of it.


    LARRY: Avengers? Sounds like some arthouse indie.


    MADHERO: Oh. Well, guys, there's this thing called the MCU. There's 20 of them, and you need to see at least half to get this movie sooooo..... GOOD LUCK!


    LARRY: Meh, I’ll pass.


    STICKMAN: I'll have to check it out some time I dunno. Not really my thing.


    MADHERO: Well when you do, lemme know what you think. These films are really funny, but this one is definitely more of a bummer that won't make you feel so good, but it has some great action along the way.


    STICKMAN: I'll stick to the DCEU I thin-I CAN'T EVEN JOKE ABOUT THAT.


    LARRY: I mean, it’s not like this film has both John Brolin AND RDJ. I mean, that may make me reconsider.


    MADHERO: Quite a few actors, yeah. Too many some would say. Anyway, what's your MOTW Sticky? Is it something we've all heard of?


    STICKMAN: OH LOOK, IT'S A QUIET PLACE. The hit horror movie of 2018....well....it's a hit movie anyway, whether or not you consider it horror, or merely an intense sci-fi drama is up for debate, and the real hit HORROR of the year so far has to be Hereditary...but...there's one thing you can't deny about A Quiet Place, which is that it's very good indeed.

    Starring that guy from The Office and Emily Blunt as parents trying to protect their children, both born and unborn in a post-apocalyptic America, where aliens that hunt based on even the smallest detectable sounds have invaded and wiped out most of the population. Those that survive have to live in basically total silence, making for a very unique and constantly tense cinematic experience, which made for a fantastic, oddly surreal time at the cinema, and I'm sure will still work well now it's on the ol' home videos. Again, as a horror film it's somewhat lacking, I feel, but as a drama, and a high concept sci-fi film? It's really great stuff, and well worth a watch, providing you can deal with the tension, and the feels.


    LARRY: So, yeah, this movie is damn good.


    MADHERO: Oh hey, I've heard about this movie, which may or may not be good considering you're meant to be quiet.


    STICKMAN: It's all very hush hush. But not like the movie, Hush.


    MADHERO: It remains really weird that it was John Krasinski directed this film. It’s definitely something you expect from a new genre filmmaker. Not Jim of the Office.


    LARRY: Yeah, I agree that this movie makes for a very unique filmgoing experience. Actually forces the audience to shut up.


    STICKMAN: He does a good job in the directing seat, but also gives a great lead performance. He's a real go gette.r that Jim.


    LARRY: I absolutely loved Krasinski in this film. Hard to imagine him as macho but then you give him a beard


    STICKMAN: Now he's a real daddy type.


    MADHERO: Slight weakness to nails tho.


    STICKMAN: Oof. Chekov's Nail. But yeah, just imagine The Last of Us with the sound turned off and you've got a good idea of this movies tone.


    LARRY: Perfect description, honestly. Except no infection and zombies and stuffz


    -----------------

    MADHERO: Cool. I think that about wraps up everything. Its time to go back to school as Hollywood faces the September Slump. Guess we'll just go to this not at all creepy Sunday School.


    LARRY: Uh oh


    STICKMAN: There are Nun scarier schools than that.


    MADHERO: Well its either that or....... damn.... September Slump is gonna make this difficult to discuss. We'll make it work though. Laaaaaaaaater


    STICKMAN: INSERT JUMPSCARE HERE GOODBYE


    LARRY: GOTTA TURN MY VOLUME DOWN OH WAIT BYE