July 2021 Reviews

[A summary of my movie and TV reviews from last month, posted to Attrition.org, mixed in with other reviews.]

The Tomorrow War (2021)
Medium: Movie (Amazon)
Rating: 0.5/5 don’t wait until tomorrow to ignore this trash
Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer
This movie was going swimmingly when everything was just regular life in today’s time. The second the “tomorrow” part started it went to shit. From that point on it was a series of overdone clichés from hundreds of Sci-Fi movies before it mixed in with clichés from hundreds of war movies. I think the blame is on the writers who wrote a series of scenes that relied on us forgetting about logic, continuity, and time travel. The comic relief? Not funny. The heart-warming moments? Not warming. This movie is trash.

The Watch (2020)
Medium: TV (BBC)
Rating: 4.4/5 worth the .. irreverent policing
Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer
This is not a show about superheroes. In fact, barely heroes at all but they find their way. The series is based on a world and characters created by Terry Pratchett, who I haven’t read. The series was a little rough to get into not knowing anything about it and the characters were odd at first, then I appreciated them as over-the-top quirky weirdos that find their way together as they “police” the city. The casting is superior and each actor really embraces their role, bringing something special to their character. Season one offers a fun story that is wrapped up neatly at the end, of course with a teaser that it will return.

Debris S1 (2021)
Medium: TV (Peacock)
Rating: 2.5/5 potentially good show lost in all the pieces
Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer
Two episodes in and the show was interesting. I immediately formed ideas of what I thought would come later in the season but in one case they did it in the first episode. It set a great pace and suggested a promising show with some creativity. I could suspend disbelief on the whole alien technology thing but couldn’t when it came to the “protocols” used to investigate alien debris. Then, about half way through the series, it began to spiral out of control with sub-plots and ideas that simply weren’t compelling. Add to that an attempt to bring some kind of sexual tension between the two main characters that just wasn’t there, and it’s easy to understand why the show was canceled after one season.

Black Widow (2021)
Medium: Movie (Disney+)
Rating: 1 / 5 i’d rather watch the peacock spider
Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer
Marvel whipped out its script; the script they use to write movie scripts for MCU films. Formulaic, predictable, and have gotten boring. Black Widow has potential for a more interesting back story and tie-in to the current timeline and Marvel fell way short on that I think. Comedic character? Check. Over-engineered fight scenes that aren’t clever? Check. Basically, instead of making the character more interesting and getting us more invested, we’re left with a movie that didn’t really matter if it came out. Personally, I find the Black Widow character entirely more interesting after the first she appeared in and a lot less so after this one. Finally, I hope the camera crew didn’t injure their backs bending over to get all the shots highlighting the women’s asses.

Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (2021)
Medium: Movie
Rating: 2.5 / 5 The word ‘fuck’ is 1/3rd of the plot
Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer
If you saw the first movie, you know exactly what to expect with this one. Over-the top gun fights, Ryan Reynolds being himself as you try to divorce your mind from thinking “Deadpool”, and apparently an attempt to break the record for the use of the word “fuck”. As with many sequels, they try to make it more compelling by adding some big name actors. In this case, Morgan Freeman, who didn’t really add much to the movie. So this is good mindless entertainment while you work on your puzzle or cross-stitch or sort your Legos.

June 2021 Reviews

[A summary of my movie and TV reviews from last month, posted to Attrition.org, mixed in with other reviews.]

Stowaway (2021)
Medium: Movie (Netflix)
Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer
Rating: 3 / 5 Shot for the stars, fell short
This movie had a lot going for it; a tiny cast (four people), decent budget, and a human drama as the engine. It stars Anna Kendrick, Daniel Dae Kim, Toni Collette, and the standout Shamier Anderson. Perhaps it is that the three characters are reserved scientists and/or astronauts making Anderson’s performance more vibrant. Somehow in every scene he invoked a world of emotion that made me feel when he was happy or sad. The movie was on track to be pretty amazing until the last third where it went downhill, falling into several traps that near-term Sci-Fi movies do. But ignoring that aspect, it still just went out into left field and broke down completely on characters whose actions just stopped making sense. It’s good for a quiet movie to fall asleep to and I hope to see Anderson in more movies. [Update: After writing this, before publishing, I saw I get my wish!]

Infinite (2021)
Medium: Movie (Paramount+)
Rating: 1 / 5 My contempt for the man who recommended this is infinite
Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer
Just after starting the movie, during the opening voice over, I wrote down that this movie “spells out this is ‘Wanted‘ meets ‘The Old Guard‘”. Damn I nailed it. It even had some fun unique guns and bullets just like Wanted! Mark Walberg demonstrates that he has just given up on movies in my opinion. Rather than over-acting like he did in some earlier in his career, now he has resigned himself to be this flat character with no acting range, poorly manufactured emotion, and 100% reliance on his body. Like every action movie for too many years, the ending was ridiculous. Suspend disbelief on reincarnation? Sure! A motorcycle jumping off a cliff and landing on the wing of a plane flying below? Nope. The only redeeming part of this movie was Chiwetel Ejiofor having fun as the villain.

Lupin, Part 2 (2021)
Medium: TV (Netflix)
Rating: 3.5 / 5 n’est-il pas censé être un voleur?
Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer
When we last left off, Lupin was barely a tale about a thief who pulled heists. After the second season, he still isn’t one. Instead, it’s basically a cat-and-mouse game with the bad guy(s) in an attempt to get his kidnapped son back, then expose the bad guy for doing bad things. The last episode is supposed to be the climax where all is revealed and it falls way short. Not a single part of that episode had originality; instead it was pieces cobbled together from other movies along with several missed opportunities to end it better. The upside is that this season does put a nice bow around the story arc giving a fairly clean ending despite a credits teaser saying it would return. I hope in part 3 we get to finally see him do something remotely interesting as far as being a thief.

Synchronic (2019)
Medium: Movie (Netflix)
Rating: 4 / 5 Pretty fun and trippy
Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer
Points to this movie for some originality and a neat premise. The time is now(ish) and a new designer drug has the ability to make you experience wild things. Instead of police, the movie is seen and experienced through the eyes of two paramedics which is a great change and appropriate. Anthony Mackie stars as one of the paramedics and does a good job in this movie, unlike some others around this time and since (he appears to star in 38% of all movies lately). A ways into the movie we learn that this drug, Synchronic, isn’t just warping perception in your mind. Instead, it allows you to briefly travel back in time. The catch? For a very short period of time, and how far back you go depends on where you are when you take the drug. It’s a good watch.