Haven’t done a straight up review in a long while, and since Crazy Rich Asians is #CulturallySignificant, it’s the perfect film for me to return with. Are these crazy rich Asians crazy good? The short answer is yes, the long answer is mostly yes. This film really succeeded as a story about an American confronting the disapproving mother of her boyfriend and navigating her way through what is basically the Singaporean aristocracy, but I’m not sure if it was a great romance. It was a fantastic film sure, but not for the reasons I feel like the advertisers were selling us.
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Two big shows out now about assassins, and I actually like them both despite the fact that I’ve really grown sick of the assassin trope in fiction as of late. These killers for hire with hearts of gold that we’re supposed to sympathize with have gotten to feel stale and inauthentic. Obviously they should be written as morally complex, but often that complexity can feel self-indulgent, and sometimes even grating. Thankfully, these two shows, Barry and Killing Eve, avoid that by adding interesting twists to the characterization of their assassins.
Continue reading “Assassination Nation!”
I recently finished watching Marvel’s: The Punisher, the Netflix TV series starring Jon Bernthal’s Frank Castle, and boy did it surprise me. I’ve had my fill of Netflix Marvel shows less because of their quantity and more because of their quality as of late. Daredevil‘s second season disappointed me, and Iron Fist and The Defenders were met with critical failure. Still, if there was one good thing about Daredevil‘s second season, it was Bernthal’s Punisher, and seeing a show revolving around that character had its appeal for that alone. Make no mistake though, I did not have high expectations for a number of reasons.
Continue reading “Thank God ‘The Punisher’ isn’t About ‘Punishing’”
Game of Thrones is a show that’s famous for a lot of things, but one of them is its huge stable of characters. There are a ton of them and it was hard whittling them down enough to make a top ten list. My criteria for this list isn’t just who I personally like the most (because if it was, Walder Frey would slither his way into the mix), it’s also who I feel has the most depth, who’s most entertaining, and who is consistently compelling. That last part is important because if the show has any problems, it’s that it has a ton of storylines for a lot of the characters and much of the time, these characters spend a season or two being super boring. The very best characters on this show are interesting more often than they’re not, and when each of the principle characters are often doing wildly different things, that’s hard to maintain.
Continue reading “The Top Ten Characters on Game of Thrones”
It’s been a while since I’ve last done one of these, but it’s about time I start writing about some of the things on my mind these days. These Mind Spill articles, much like the current US government, is an assortment of losers in a way. They’re different ideas and thought trains that I think are interesting, but not quite so interesting that they deserve to be developed further into their own article. So here are some things I’ve been thinking about that you now know I believe aren’t worthy of more than a few seconds of your time.
Continue reading “Mind Spill: August 27th 2017”
I’ve written before about how The Good Fight shares problems with The Good Wife, so I thought it’d be only fair if I went over its strengths, and since it’s me, I’ll also sprinkle in some criticisms here and there because every positive note to this show seems to be a double-edged sword if you analyze it as excessively as I do.
Continue reading “How The Good Fight Shares Strengths with The Good Wife”
Unsurprisingly to my most loyal blog followers, I watched The Good Fight‘s first season (the new spin-off series to The Good Wife) every week, and for the most part it was a very entertaining show. Unfortunately though, there was a creeping sense that disaster was just around the corner. The original Good Wife managed to be phenomenal for 5 seasons, and that’s truly impressive, but the problems that eventually overwhelmed it were always there, lurking in the background, festering. We tried to ignore them, we tried to write them off as growing pains but the same problems kept popping up until eventually, it was too late. Worryingly, I see them in The Good Fight too, perhaps not as pronounced as they were during the latter days of The Good Wife, but enough to have me worry.
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An adaption of Agatha Christie’s masterpiece and perhaps the most famous murder mystery of all time: And Then There Were None.
I love murder mysteries. I love them in movies, I love them in books, I love them in videogames, but most of all, I love them in TV shows. I’m not talking about a simple case of the week, I’m talking about a single, significant case that permeates the season of a TV show and is given around a dozen or more episodes to develop and expand and twist and turn, all leading to the inevitable reveal of whodunit. A good season long murder mystery has led to some of the greatest TV seasons of all time, like with the first two seasons of Veronica Mars, a series I believe perfected the season long murder mystery arc. Nothing feels quite like the rush of putting together the clues and solving the case yourself, and seeing your suspicions confirmed in the electrifying murderer reveal, a moment that should always be a highlight of a show’s season. Unfortunately there are shows that don’t quite grasp this, that completely botch the killer reveal and leave you feeling deflated. Two recent shows that come to mind are Riverdale and Trial and Error. You may think, wait a minute, Trial and Error is a comedy, why does it matter if the killer reveal is good? Well, because revealing a murderer should be powerful no matter the circumstances. Murder, killing another member of your own species, is one of the most human things out there. You can draw so much emotion, and yes, even humour, from it. The taking of another life and why the mastermind of the crime chose to act the way they did should be explored on a character worthy of such exploration. Every murder is a story, and botching the murderer is like botching the protagonist. Since shows seem to be screwing this up recently, I’ve decided to write my own criteria for how to properly handle a murder mystery through the use of 5 important, absolutely correct, inarguable rules that without a doubt must be followed.
Continue reading “The 5 Rules to Murder Mystery Culprits”
I see a lot of movies over my summers, and I want to make it a habit to write down my thoughts on them all when my summer is over. Well, it’s long after summer and I haven’t written anything in a while, the reason for this is simple: That I’m lazy and unmotivated even when it comes to things I enjoy doing. It’s time for me to turn a new leaf! I’ll start by finally writing this post about my thoughts on these movies, something anyone still reading this definitely cares about.
Continue reading “My Summer 2016 Movie Thoughts”
The FX TV show The People v. O.J. Simpson argues that the O.J. Simpson trial basically predicted social discourse in America for the next 20 years. The painful, and often times confusing, intersectional conflicts between white people, black people, and the women that comprise half of both groups, all would come to define so much of what we’re so acutely aware of today. It was all there, clear as day, in what everyone was calling “The Trial of the Century” (a moniker that is looking less and less like hyperbole with each passing year). Today, we are seeing a storm on the same wavelength of that legendary trial heading towards the Oscars next year. Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation tells an important story about America’s dark history, but it also reclaims a meaningful title from the original 1915 Birth of a Nation, a racist propaganda film that also happens to be one of the most influential films ever created. The original Birth of a Nation was a technically incredible breakthrough in film making technique and directing, but it also happens to be a horribly bigoted story about how the KKK was really a heroic force in America. By all accounts, what Nate Parker is doing, especially in light of the Oscars controversy of this year, is a great thing on the surface, but since the universe is a random and cruel thing, Nate Parker – A black man who co-wrote, directed, and starred in a movie about the racial injustice of America’s past which includes his fictionalized wife being gang raped by white men, is himself an accused rapist (along with his black friend who he co-wrote the film with, making them alleged gang rapists) whose trial was an intensely harrowing experience for all parties involved, but mostly for the victim who eventually took her own life after its conclusion and Parker’s acquittal. Clearly, there’s a lot to talk about here.
Continue reading “Birth of a Nation, Rape, the Oscars, and Why We Need to Stop Defending the Wrong Black Men”