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Review: Monkey Man

Official synopsis:  An anonymous young man (Dev Patel) unleashes a campaign of vengeance against the corrupt leaders who murdered his mother and continue to systemically victimize the poor and powerless. Dev Patel said it's not enough to grace us with his presence in front of the camera, he wants to give it a shot behind the camera too. And so we get his Jordan Peele produced first time feature, Monkey Man . A film that's bound to bring comparisons to the John Wick series. This film has a lot to say about the rich and the powerful, especially the ones who use religion to push their agenda and harm those they deem beneath them. That's what makes Monkey Man stand out from your every day "Dude goes on a killing rampage" film. Patel's not reinventing the wheel here, but by giving us this story with an Indian man front and center, the Western world is at least getting something new.  And he's good as a director! Definitely a bit green. There's far too muc

Series Review: American Nightmare

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No, this is not a documentary on the wrestler Cody Rhodes. Just a poorly named 3-part series about a truly harrowing crime. In 2015 Denise Huskins and Aaron Quinn were fast asleep when men broke into their home, drugged them and took Denise. Aaron of course went to the police, and found himself the prime suspect after what he described seemed stranger than fiction. Denise re-appears in 2 days, completely traumatized and the police now accuse them of doing this all for attention. It shouldn't take you long to guess who's in the wrong here. At least once a year I watch a true crime documentary that is so insane, I can't believe I didn't know about it before hitting play. American Nightmare is that for me. Was this all over the news? Maybe just locally, because I have no memory of it. What Denise and Aaron went through is awful, and the fact that they are able to calmly talk about it now is a miracle itself.  At a brisk three 45 minute episodes, this makes for an easy sho

Series Review: Tokyo Vice

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Back in 2022, I kept getting Youtube ads for a TV show on HBO called Tokyo Vice. It was the only place I saw ads for this show, and I didn't see anyone talking about it on my Twitter timeline. Normally, a show with Ansel Elgort, card carrying member of the Very Punchable Face Club ™ wouldn't sway me, but something about it did.  Now here we are in 2024, and the finale of season 2 just aired last night. It's safe to say that Tokyo Vice has become one of my favorite new shows of recent memory. If you love journalism stories, this might be for you too. A quick run down of who's who and what actors are involved.- Jake (Elgort) is an American journalist living in Tokyo. He becomes the first foreign reporter at The Meicho. He's our lead. Then there's Detective Katagiri (Ken Wantanabe) who Jake begins to work with on a story. Other main players include Samantha (Rachel Keller) another American living in Tokyo working at a club. Her Yakuza love interest Sato, ( Shô Kasa

Review: Road House

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Official synopsis: Ex-UFC fighter Dalton (Jake Gyllenhaal) takes a job as a bouncer at a Florida Keys roadhouse, only to discover that this paradise is not all it seems. I never saw the original Road House so I can't compare it to that, but I can say that Godzilla x Kong didn't even last a full weekend as the dumbest movie I've seen in a while. I will give credit where credits due, the fight scenes in this are pretty cool and Gyllenhaal got incredibly jacked for this role, contributing to plenty of thirst traps that I will not complain about. The script is pretty basic, but that's not the part that suffers the most. It's the uneven acting. Gyllenhaal is good for what this is. He has nice comedic timing, only he doesn't get to use much of it against the actors that could properly match it, like Jessica Williams (who should be in this movie way more than she is) and Lukas Gage. Arturo Castro gives him something at least, but it's not enough.  Conor McGregor

Review: Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

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Official synopsis:  Two ancient titans, Godzilla and Kong, clash in an epic battle as humans unravel their intertwined origins and connection to Skull Island's mysteries. I'm still waiting for Godzilla Minus One to be available to watch, so I decided to tide myself over with this. I've liked most of the new Godzilla movies. They're entertaining enough and this one is no different. Which is great because this might be one of the dumbest films I've seen in a long time. Everything that happens in this script is so convenient. Ancient indigenous language? Don't worry. We got a translator for that. Telepathy? Don't worry, we got someone for that too! Huge robot arm fit perfectly for Kong? Hey, it just happens to be right where we are and we have a vet that can also fly an extremely advanced piece of air craft! But all of those things just add to the chuckles I was already getting from this. Godzilla essentially throws a tantrum and takes a nap in the Colosseum. K

Series Review: 3 Body Problem

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Official synopsis:  A fateful decision made in 1960s China reverberates in the present, where a group of scientists partner with a detective to confront an existential planetary threat. I've been cautiously excited for this series since its announcement. On one side, the series creators let me down massively by rushing the ending of my beloved Game of Thrones, but here they have a completed 3 book series to work with. One that I've also read. So how did they do? I really enjoyed the first season, which is available to stream now on Netflix. I think the changes they made work overall. Instead of following one person with a ton of internal dialogue, he's essentially split into several different people. We get Saul, (Jovan Adepo) Jin, (Jess Hong) Auggie (Eiza Gonzalez), Will (Alex Sharp), and Jack. (John Bradley) Benedict Wong plays fan favorite Da Shi (though they never call him "Da." He's "Clarence" here, despite being credited otherwise. Ye Wenjie is

2024 Blind Spot Series: Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

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Official synopsis:  A recently widowed woman (Ellen Burstyn) is on the road with her precocious young son (Alfred Lutter III), determined to make a new life for herself as a singer. In my quest to watch Scorsese's older works, I've finally landed on this film, and honestly I should've started with it because I've enjoyed it far more than I did  Raging Bull or Mean Streets . Ellen Burstyn is a gem, and Alice is going through it as a character. One minute she's happy and hopefully, then reality comes crashing down on her. Not to mention she has terrible taste in men and a son who definitely talks too much. She's dealing with a lot, and I'm not surprised at all that Burstyn took home an Oscar for this. I liked the little things it said about female friendships. Alice's goodbye scene with her friend Bea at the beginning is the film's most emotional moment. Alice eventually becoming friends with her fellow waitresses is another highlight. Even the scene