Recent Movies and TV

Come True (2021): A runaway joins a spooky sleep study. It's very moody and never quite turns into the "monster movie" or Nightmare on Elm Street that you might expect. Soundtrack by Electric Youth, with surprise Shriekback cover!

Batman Soul of the Dragon (2020): It's a fun 70s ensemble kung fu heist movie. See, DC does know how to make fun, engaging movies about their characters that aren't all grimdark garbage. But again, it's only the animation side of the company that knows how. Put column A in charge of column B. These people are already on staff.

Bloody Hell (2020): A guy talks himself out of being hogtied in a basement by cannibals, while arguing with a hallucination of himself. Snappy dialog makes it work.

Locked Down (2021): A broken-up couple in lockdown lose their damned minds (which nobody I know can identify with) and then decide to do a heist. It's fun.

Boss Level (2021): Action movie Groundhog Day. It was entertaining. You would be forgiven for avoiding it due to the presence of noted shithead Mel Gibson in a small role.

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things (2021): Groundhog Day as a low key emo rom-com. I liked it.

Monster Hunter (2020): This was everything I hoped for from a movie where Milla Jovovich fights kaiju with a comically large sword. And I mean that in a good way. I assume it's based on a video game that I have never heard of and would never play.

Teknolust (2001): Tilda Swinton wears four different wigs and harvests nerd sperm in a world where Wired Magazine metastasized into an interior decorating catalog. It's half Liquid Sky and half "if Johnny Mnemonic was directed by David Lynch". In a scene worthy of Plan 9, someone asks, "Is it possible for a computer virus to infect a human?" And Doctor Exposition shrugs and says, "Sure, why not. They say AIDS started in monkeys." This movie is... quite an artifact of its time.

Moxie (2021): Kind of feels like Mean Girls without the mean part. I liked it. Bikinikill has been prominently featured on a lot of soundtracks lately, in movies starring people who were born after the band broke up. Good for them, but it's weird...

Raya and the Last Dragon (2021): "Another dragon cartoon, really?" But in that heavily overloaded genre, this was pretty good.

Warmed Over Krautrock (2020): Normally I'm a sucker for the genre of "staff at a failing record store slack off and talk shit" but this was forgettable, with mostly wooden acting.

Red Sonja (1985): Wow, this was even worse than I remembered. When Arnold is the best actor in the movie, what are you even doing? Also he's playing Conan but it's not Conan -- they were by the same author! You couldn't negotiate a bulk deal with the Howard estate? And it misses all essential Sonjaness. Where's the angry drunk assassin in a chainmail bikini? Why must we endure a child sidekick? And why does she have a mullet? That mullet... Remember that scene in Conan where he punches out a camel? That's more her deal. No camels were punched and we were robbed of that.

Barry (2018): A hit man decides that local theatre is for him. Initially I had ignored this because it seemed to run too close to my rule against shows about lawyers, doctors or cops, but it's only slightly a cop show. Mostly it's a "Hollywood" show, which can be uncreatively navel-gazing in their own way. But this is pretty funny. The kung fu episode, in particular, was hilarious.

The Blues Brothers (1980): I hadn't seen this in years, and it's still hilarious. The practical effects -- I am still laughing at the sheer number of police cars they crashed in a giant pile, twice. "Hey", someone said, "This would be funnier if we kept going and stacked up like 25 more cars on this crash", and they were absolutely right.

Nancy Drew (2019): Season 1 kind of pissed me off because it dragged its feet so much on "are ghosts??" (spoiler, yes) but season 2 has a kind of resigned and mildly annoyed "welp I guess I'm a ghostbuster now" attitude which is better?

Resident Alien (2021): The plot is basically toned down live-action Invader Zim, with extra fambly because SyFy Channel, but Alan Tudyk has fantastic comedic timing and makes it work.

Wandavision (2021): Almost entirely perfect. Really a remarkable achievement. I'd argue that the final couple of episodes copped out a bit by having too much exposition and punchy-punchy, but overall, this was fantastic.

Debris (2021): An alien ship blew up in space and the whole world knows about it. Boringly uniform hexagonal chunks of it keep falling to earth, and the X Files team are trying to keep that part secret, I guess? I'm here for the premise, but so far this show is garbage. Instead of there being any coherent mystery or science fiction behind it, every piece of space junk is just maaaaagic in some goofball psychic, psychosexual way that lets the agents have feeeeeelings about fambly and their daddy issues.

Like Lost, it seems to have been written by people who are using a science fictional MacGuffin but have no interest in (or possibly even a hatred for) science fiction. In a world where The Expanse exists, a show like this is just doubly insulting to the audience.

I have been regularly getting to the end of my queue of movies and TV shows to watch. This didn't used to happen when we had a functioning society. If you have suggestions of shows that I should watch that I haven't covered in previous reviews, please suggest them! As always, no shows about doctors, lawyers or cops.


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