GLOW (SEASON THREE) – TELEVISION REVIEW

This season shows a natural growth for the characters humanizing them more especially characters who had only been types of comedic stand-in’s. So that it reminds the audience of a similar process in ORANGE IS THE BEW BLACK.

Where each season we got to know certain characters that revealed depth usually through flashbacks.

As many characters This season seem to be growing and getting more serious plots and issues are raised, Even bash usually used for a comedic foil even gets in in the drama while also becoming a little villainous in his greed.

The Sam and Ruth storyline I can see why it is here. As it helps illustrate her needs and insecurity This season, but also feels ill timed. As over the seasons we could feel the chemistry and attraction. We knew it would come but it feels too soon for them to acknowledge it. Throwing the season off a bit. Then again as another season isn’t promised it might have been the end time for them if ever.

Not to mention maybe speeding up helps some customers corn around. Just as this season sex and nudity make a return that felt absent last season. Still not as much as season 1

Alison Brie still seems to have the strongest yet most brittle character in television. Yet she still looks amazing. How Marc Maron hasn’t won an Emmy in this role can only be because most see him naturally in that role it feel it’s not too far fro. His actual personality. Sam’s heart attack hopefully will play out more serious in the future. As it was a dramatic point this season but ultimately didn’t really Go anywhere.

When hearing Debbie’s age of 32. look no disrespect to Betty Gilpin but she looks a bit older then that.

It’s An interesting season starting off at the casino and staging glow as a stage show allows for the show to focus on their personal lives a bit more than the production of the stage show. Though for some, it felt like at times they were reaching when it came to certain characters. Having Geena Davis amongst the cast works as stunt guest starring as she had a role very little to do but made her mark and has an easy out.

This season seems to be about redefinition just as the characters try out different wrestling personas more like switching of identities a bit. So do the characters when it comes to their initial focus. They seem to change their minds to a certain degree about their goals bigger and better for some Just different for others. As just as their stage show and surroundings gets too familiar by the end they don’t know what their futures will be. They must know it will be different from what it is at that point. As the show has already let them have more then they ever expected.

The character of Melrose finally gets some depth as she slowly learns about friendship and strangely prejudice. An official coming out of a character. As well as Bash exploring or us finally wing exposed to his sexuality. They finally give Rhonda (played by singer-songwriter Kate Nash) even gets her fair share of drama even though before she was always just some girlfriend. Here she is just some wife but yields a little more Peoria and strength while being confused.

They give Cherry a subplot about a gambling problem and owing money more as her grief to a revelation and fight with her husband. Not to mention this season more or less makes and exposes Russell. That makes him seem he was a writers invention just for tension as the More seems a distraction for Ruth. Not to admit her true feelings for sam and to have someone more age appropriate and as a sexual partner/prop

There is A Little less Sam in the early episodes which introduces something then drops it which makes us wonder was this planting seeds to something More serious in future seasons?

It feels like ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, where each season we get to the backstory or many different characters to deepen them. Make the show robust but takes away some mystery or makes the Continuing adventure feels like filler or repeats, though nothing feels that deep even as events keep happening that are meant to effect and deepen the stories. It just seems that in this season wanting to give everyone a platform or some kind of forward momentum. Makes the shows seem like it’s Losing it’s Drive to a degree. As the show like most has a destination to get to,

Here it seems to go off road and take notice of It’s Surroundings while being distracted then reminded it has to finish. Which it does in a satisfying manner, but also seems like the calm before the storm to check in on all the characters. As next season might have ramifications that effect them all and want more of a reaction and see the consequences of it more.

It also makes a case for a better Season 4

Grade: B-

WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE! (2018)

Written, Directed & Edited By: Kirill Sokolov
Cinematography: Dimitry Ulyikaev

Cast: Aleksandr Kiznetsov, Vitaliy Khaev, Evgenia Kregzhde, Milhail Gorevoy, Elena Scevchenko

Andrei, a detective and the world’s most horrible father, brings together a terrible group of people in his apartment: his resentful actress daughter, an angry thug, and a cheated cop. Each one of them has a reason to want revenge..


This is a twisted macabre funny grotesque crime comedy. That stays thoroughly inventive throughout.

The story grows as the film goes along as at first it just starts off with a grand scene where we don’t necessarily know the character’s motivation but as in each scene something new is revealed we flashback to find out how it was needed up there or why certain characters are introduced.

At a certain point motivations are predictable but that still doesn’t Take away any of the intrigue and fun.

Though not as good this film will remind audiences of EVIL DEAD 2 and to a degree SUPERMAN RETURNS for the amount of cruelty and abuse one of the characters throughout the film yet still Manages to survive and also the level of violence of the earlier mentioned film. You could also see this as a feature length version of one of the rooms from the anthology FOUR ROOMS. As it is goofy Strange, violent and funny. As well  as off kilter 

As there is tons of blood she’s throughout this film but though it is a dark comedy it always seems to keep an energetic spirit throughout. Where you actually start to care about the characters no matter how dastardly. 

As wild as this film is it plays almost like a love action cartoon. The filM feels like an early coen brothers comedy. Down More as a horror film And the writing not as sharp, but even more violent.

The film goes by quickly. Though it certainly isn’t forgettable. Even as most of the film takes place mostly inside of a spacious apartment. It only travels outside of it in flashbacks.

GRADE: B

KARATE KID/COBRA KAI – LEGACIES (COBRA KAI: SEASON 1) TELEVISION REVIEW

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*ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN 2018

Don’t let your past actions to define you

Growing up THE KARATE KID was my generations ROCKY especially to kids. This movie was part of a wave in the late ’80s/early ’90s to introduce widescreen letterbox movies to the general public.

The first printing of the VHS are all in letterbox; re-prints from 1994 claim to be in wide screen but are pan & scan. GHOSTBUSTERS II was another big title movie released in letterbox only in the first printing, many video stores got complaints about these titles because customer’s thought that there was half of the picture missing, many video store owners called RCA/Columbia to find out if there was a printing problem to only be told that they were meant to be this way.)

So, of course i was a fan, Especially when Part 2 came out even got the head band and was obsessed with the soundtrack especially the song Glory of love by Peter Cetrea. Back when a hit movie guaranteed a hit soundtrack. Some movies lived and died based on how popular the soundtrack was.

Yes The song it’s sappy but now hearing it it will give me pause and might bring a little tear to my eye. Sort of like in that SEINFELD episode when elaine’s boyfriend would hear the song Desperado by THE EAGLES and need to take a pause to ponder it and the feelings plus memories it brought up. Relax it’s not that serious but it reminds me of how innocent and dorky. I and many others were as kids.

The opening scene of Part II was meant to be the ending to this film, although it wasn’t shot until after the second film’s production began. In it, Kreese attacks Johnny for losing the tournament. Miyagi confronts Kreese and passively immobilizes him. Miyagi threatens to strike a deadly blow but instead comically tweaks Kreese’s nose and walks away. Members of the Cobra Kai then drop their belts around Kreese.

Both B.B. Hiller’s novelization of the film and early copies of the script have this ending.

In part 2, I was impressed by Daniel breaking the ice with his hands And too this day anything I see Yuji Okumoto who played the villain In it. (With the name Chozen!!!) I still get a scowl on my face even when playing a good guy (ok, it was a Disney channel movie JOHNNY TSUNAMI)

The writers originally were divided between doing the storyline of Part II on Miyagi’s hometown or Kreese’s revenge. As a compromise, they decided to do Part II on Miyagi to give him more focus and to Part III on Kreese’s revenge.

Ralph Macchio had an interesting career as he never seems to age and though got legitimate work the role. Never let him be free, now he seems to have embraced it or come to peace with it so that it can pay off for him. I will admit it is striking to see him play other roles when I was younger. As I so closely identified him to the infamous role, but now I have to admire his range.

Even if the only time he ever sounded different was in the movie THE OUTSIDERS ironically as a character named Johnny. Strangely the only other movie I was I obsessed with that he appeared in is the movie CROSSROADS. Which was about, blues and a Guitar competition, a beautiful guitar and the sexy Jami Gertz. Then again there was TEACHERS with Nick Nolte and UP THE ACADEMY. Still to this day the only official MAD magazine movie.

I have only been recently introduced to THE KARATE KID theory that Johnny was really the karate kid. This theory marked by an online video as well as William Zabka’s many appearances on HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER added fuel to the fire. In HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, Barney insists that William Zabka ‘s character is the titular Karate Kid, and he considers him as a personal hero because of that.

This could be based on an actual fan theory that claims that Daniel is the real bully, while Johnny is the real Karate Kid. The theory gives some plausible reasons, such as the fact that while Johnny’s behavior might not always be right, he never actually gets violent and uses his skills only for defense or de-escalation. Daniel on the other hand is always the attacker.

It is also suggested that Daniel’s motivations to learn Karate is not only to compete with Johnny, but also to take revenge on him. The basic theory is that Johnny never initiated any attack on Daniel (Played by Ralph Macchio) and while not making the best decisions was always trying to either defend himself or deescalate situations.

Daniel was the one always on the attack It Brings to mind should we judge someone for acts they committed in their youth and brand then for it their whole life? Not to mention we also have to see many situations from a different point of view. As most of the time we will never see ourselves as the villain.

The series also puts on a generational difference where the characters are outsider who learn discipline and not in some more emotional feel sorry therapy way, but more a tough love training where they give and earn respect.

Comedian Patton Oswalt once wrote on his website wrote an article about how William Zabka’s Johnny after losing the tournament changed schools and changed his name and that was why he was the bully in JUST ONE OF THE GUYS not having worked out his issues and then went off to college to be the jerky villain in BACK TO SCHOOL.

It’s an interesting article that sums up Zabka’s young acting resume and links some great 80’s movies together and shows the brilliance of Patton Oswalt’s mind. Read the Original Artlicle The man is a treasure

Over the years there have been bits to tie together The Karate Kid legend. Like the music video for the band No More Kings. Which starred and was directed by Zabka and is a Cobra Kai team reunion of all the actors who play his friends and co-stars. As well as a FUNNY OR DIE video of Ralph Macchio having to be the karate kid again.

The new series of course is bathed in nostalgia and allows for a teenage show which is also a kind of reboot and changes the image of Cobra Kai to a place to gain discipline and boost self esteem with a do or die attitude.

As most of the students are the ones being picked on and learning To fight back. Where as Larusso seems to be training the wrong kids and taking them under his wing or at least trusting those he shouldn’t.

The main point of the show seems to be about trying to undo the damage you may have caused previously but it never comes across as preachy as you can understand both sides and their reasoning. Karate kid was an underdog story and Elisabeth Shue as the love interest wasn’t hard on The eyes.

Karate Kid 2

Former screenwriter Dennis Palumbo has said that he was offered the screen writing job for the film but reacted to the offer by saying he’d be “willing to do it if he (the title character, Daniel Larusso) lost the fight in the end.” Palumbo explained his reasoning: “You can’t have Mr. Miyagi tell him, ‘It doesn’t matter if you win or lose,’ for 90 minutes and then have to have him win.” Palumbo went on to say, “But that’s because I was being a moron… Now, they made four sequels to that movie, so obviously I was wrong.” (Palumbo’s remarks appear in Tales From The Script.) Though that theory I can accept.

If introduced in my youth i would have gone Insane and my brain would have exploded from my mind being blown and how much i would have argued against it. As I am sure many fans did a double take before maybe accepting it. As we get older we have more of a wider world view and maybe would have looked at the movies and evidence more.

I actually find it interesting how they can play with the ideas that might not have been bought through or maybe were and rearrange it. It might be a conspiracy or maybe the filmmakers were laughing at all along. I am sure as an actor Zabka saw it that way as motivation. As after all no villain ever thinks of themself or sees themselves this way.

According to the commentary track on the home video versions of the movie, William Zabka came up with a loose backstory for the Johnny Lawrence character, in order to better “get the feel” for playing the character. He states in the commentary that he envisioned Johnny as having no father, and that Kreese is the closest thing to a father figure he had in his life.

It was always obvious Cobra Kai member Bobby (played by the late Ron Thomas) was the best fighter. He was more dangerous and sloppy. After all he nearly broke daniel’s leg. Though his fighting style was like using a machine gun when only a patio was needed overkill in his attacks. He would most likely get tired of if he hadn’t taken his opponents out immediately.

Johnny was technical and forceful also more of a leader There are no true villains in the series. As it lays bare, it seems to showcase everyone’s motivation and what can create a monster but it is up to the person to realize what they are to become or are becoming and find the peace within themselves and to be at peace.

As the show shows various arguments and motivations and points of view. Like a standard show most of the situations are due to misunderstandings. While here the roles that were introduced in the teens from THE KARATE KID are reversed. Even though in THE KARATE KID: PART 3. The guy he faced was more of a fight by machine out to destroy if not kill. Mike Barnes was the more alpha version of Bobby. Part 3 was more of a revenge tale which seemed to focus on the long game.

Even though it seemed like all three villains could basically beat him physically. The point was for Daniel to learn all of his final lessons. Stop being a creature of impulse and to finally beat the ghosts from the past and all involved seemed to be too old to be involved in this.

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Which is why we got THE NEXT KARATE KID that was more silly. Yet seemed like a feature film attempt at this with only Pat Morita returning but has future stars Hillary Swank and Jack Black. Not to mention the reboot with Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan which felt detoothed yet culturally more open.

Learning lessons that they need to learn. Relating it yet again for a new era and a little more simple. Yet willing to meet In between. Innocent enough for kids, but more for teens, But has the same appeal for adults With each new lesson Johnny teaches in the series. It comes with a new ghost from the past being unearthed. That helps him move forward in his resurrection and helps himself improve while staying rough around the edges.

As in any recovery it doesn’t happen overnight and have to take it one day at a time as relapsing is very easy. You have to be strong but are particularly fragile at that time. The ending of the season was a kind of twist of getting what you wish for. Maybe not how you wanted it.

Especially for Johnny who in trying to do something good helped his son to find a mentor. Who will set him straight but leaves little chance for a reunion and retribution and only reinstated what Daniel already believed but with more insight.

The youth Johnny was mentoring ending up as bad as he was and his students becoming just as bad as those who picked on them for the most part. Letting the chips into their shoulder posess them. Except for a few, the power has spoiled them. The discipline he tries to reinstate leads them to power but might not be the best for all. As he doesn’t seem to teach responsibility and humility.

At least it shows both sides of the tale with a Romeo and Juliet edge, His son played by Tanner Buchanan seems more in the mold of Shawn hunter from boy meets world for the next generation trouble but good hearted somewhere

It also showcases individual versus group dynamics and being true to yourself despite peer pressure. How much personal attention can mean and how you might miss something or it gets diluted if it’s more for a group and you don’t find the strength individually to work at it and believe in yourself.

It shows the complications and pressure comes with being a leader for other and have to remember to help and lead It shows how something made for simple entertainment can last longer than expected and form a legacy that endures but never planned to and can affect people in a way you never expected and looms large in their life.

I like that both characters are right and wrong in their own ways. How a situation can be mishandled and that if going in blindly how hard it is to let go of old feelings that you can’t admit still haunt you, With Johnny more as the Everyman and the show doesn’t hold it’s predecessor or content as holy doctrine How someone can be misguided but try to come back and straighten themselves out.

What i never quite understood is that I get that there will always be someone out there better than you, but it seems Daniel defeats Johnny with a defensive move and he is therefore the true boy wonder and Daniel learns a new technique and defeats the villain in what looks more like a fight (as there is blood involved) in the third movie he gets his ass kicked from training.

Even in the final fights he pretty much gets his ass handed to him but completes one move against Mike Barnes and keeps the title. He doesn’t seem too much of a fighter more a technical fighter than anything. In the thirty years since the film was produced, numerous child psychologists and sociologists have actually theorized that Daniel was more of a bully and instigator than Johnny.

This is due to many of the scenes involving Daniel “standing up for himself” in fact being acts of retaliation against something Johnny has perceived to have done to Ali. Johnny is also observed, in many of the earlier confrontation with Daniel, trying to leave and walk away from conflicts from Daniel, only to have Daniel stop him and, in one scene, sucker punch him. Daniel’s shower prank on Halloween also seems to be completely unprovoked.

Lastly, Daniel having little to no knowledge of karate tournament procedures actually makes him a danger to others in that he could injure someone by not knowing the allowed moves in a tournament setting. Not to mention in these three films. It is never quite explained how the span of time revolves around these films. As they are made in a 5 year span but Ralph Macchio obviously was looking older and yet it seems these films take place over a 1 – 2 year period.

This franchise has an interesting history as far as John G Avildesn being part of the ROCKY franchise and THE KARATE KID movies. it’s not the only coincidences the soundtrack song of “You’re the Best” BY Joe Esposito was originally written for ROCKY III which explains the lyric “History repeats itself”. The song had been rejected in favor of SURVIVOR’S “Eye of the Tiger”. Ironically, Survivor also performed the theme song (“The Moment Of Truth”) for The Karate Kid.

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By KARATE KID: PART 3 Ralph Macchio was already looking a little old for the role at least I think the timeline of films. Which is why though his transformation in part 3, his friendship with Robyn Lively’s character kind of works. They are never romantic as it would have seemed a bit creepy.

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Though also what is rather ridiculous is that it’s all about revenge and you have these characters in their 40’s picking on essentially a teenager torturing him practically. Break his will before a tournament this all seems rather silly, especially as they also seem to hate Asians after fighting in Vietnam. Yet choose to teach a fighting style from Asia.

I guess you can chalk that up to cultural assimilation, bringing a new forefront to the films of gentrification of an ancient art and culture to a degree. While being a product of it itself It seems rather questionable as the first film seemed like a one off movie, But they started filming the sequel 10 days after the first film premiered and that they had 2 and 3’s plotlines on the agenda and choose the revenge plot for 3.

So the bonding plot went first and made the most money out of all three films. Watching the movies now I can see the problems but the first two are still classic to me. Not to mention that Daniel like Rocky and Hulk Hogan to a degree, is never the best fighter.

As like the other two he spends most of the movies getting his ass kicked and then only seems to win in the last moments. Where he gets some kind of second wind. He breaks ice in the second film but in a montage in the third film is breaking multiple bricks at the same time with ease.

The many homages and dedications. it has made it into the lexicon of iconic characters for a generation even with the simple title And the music artist Bat For Lashes even devotes a song to the character Daniel.

The movies made Ralph Macchio a star and heartthrob. It seems to be his biggest starring role, other then CROSSROADS and Then MY COUSIN VINNY. He wasn’t even the first choice he got the role after Charlie Sheen and Sean Penn both turned down the role initially and Both D.B. Sweeney and C. Thomas Howell almost starred in with Mako as Mr. Miyagi. (Mako was already Committed to Making CONAN THE DESTROYER. Though eventually would play a role l.ike Mr. Miyagi in the movie SIDEKICKS)

Going into the second season will be interesting how it proceeds considering Where Johnny and his student are at

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TELEVISION REVIEW: COBRA KAI (SEASON 2): THE LEGACY OF KARATE KID CONTINUES

Originally written in November 2019

Just finished season 2 of COBRA KAI. All I can say is damn!!!!!!!! Now that’s an ending and a cliff hanger. #Highlyrecommended especially if ever a fan of THE KARATE KID

This show how amazed me as each new episode feels like a new chapter in the continuing story. Which a show should feel like. Even though some episodes aren’t as strong they keep adding to either the plot or the characters. While the show tries to provide a kind of shifting morals and how in doing what is seen as the right thing can cost you. Just as for the sake of confidence you still have to be careful and somewhat humble. Yes I will admit there is a certain nostalgia when it comes to this series and the series of films, but also it gives off a feeling of safety and warmth. Yes even though it’s a show that heavenly features martial arts. Which it also tries to teach about responsibility. Even if not always a happy ending it manages to leave you with a smile on your face. As you delve deeper.

This is the perfect show it seems for teenagers as it shows the trials and tribulations in a cleaner way then the reality and nihilistic but still good EUPHORIA. This is a more sanitized version that allows for naughty language and behavior but isn’t preaching against it and deals with it in a simpler way that still feels like entertainment but you learn to care. As we watch stories of trust, love, friendship and the same old Romantic rivalries. As Miyagi do builds it’s army of supposedly more open minded and liberal students. Who are in it more the art and lessons. It so much the discipline. Even making side character Eli more a regular this season. Though still waiting for the character of Ayisha to have a story or at least finally make a decision as to who to be more loyal to.

As most characters aren’t purely good or evil. We are allowed to see them vulnerable as well as wicked, wrong. Right, good, bad, tough and actually remorseful. While still at the core being powered by the rivalry and misunderstandings of Daniel Larusso and Johnny Lawrence as they grow as characters yet still come back to a stale mate and vendetta against one another.

Not only in mindset and personal belief but also in lessons. Even though they have the same characteristics and a shared history. What the show has always been built on and still excels at is showing a different point of view from what we believe we know or have learned. As it offers us a new way to look at actions and the repercussions to them. It also exposes that those we think of as right or heroes can be wrong and exhibit the worst decisions in action. As they seem to forget their own advice and mantra in order to survive or win.

Especially as a master stroke brining in Martin Kove as John Kreese. So that it feels like an almost complete reunion. Even keeping some Parts of Karate Kid 3 in the mix. As far as a shared history even bringing back Johnny original crew of friends from the first film and giving one cast member (who unfortunately died recently) a respectful send off and a last chance to play a role that defined him for many movie fans.

As well as being remembered as the bad ass best fighter of the bunch or at least the most dangerous when it came to plain old fighting vicious also the addition to the cast comedic relief of Paul Walter Hauser (BLACKK KLANSMAN, I TONYA) who had more of a bit role in season 1 who manages to always play somewhat villainous losers who are usually likeable because he seems to play them As hilarious.

As we watch the battle it seems for the souls of Miguel and Robbie. How one adult can be more accepting as he knows what it’s like to be more confused and in trouble. While the upstanding one claims to care and be the bigger man, but is willing to dump someone in their care at the first sign of trouble coming to close to his family. Looking more at his student as an ideal and project then a person.

While i won’t go as far as saying it Makes you look at the original or prequel films differently. It might give you more insight as far as the first film goes. The only minor critique is that when the characters get injuries the cuts and bruises look more well placed and like make-up. The last episode was so action packed and full Of angst and emotion it felt more like the movie HWASANGO (VOLCANO HIGH)

Hayden Schlossberg & Jon Hurwitz should be commended as they clearly show their love and respect for the material and the history of the film franchise. This shows they have come a long way from the HAROLD & KUMAR films. As here just like when working on AMERICAN REUNION,

They Show that they can add depth as well as entertainment to a series of films and characters they didn’t originate and hit all the notes. With more success here. As they not only build but further the tale to an almost epic feeling story that has taken on a life of it’s own.

THE DICTATOR (2012)

Directed by: Larry Charles
Written By: Sacha Baron Cohen, Alec Berg, David Mandel & Jeff Schaffer
Cinematography By: Lawrence Sher
Editor: Greg Hayden & Eric Kissack

Cast: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris, Ben Kingsley, Bobby Lee, Aasif Mandavi, Jason Mantzoukas, Joey Slotnick, Kevin Corrigan, Chris Elliott, Kathryn Hahn, Megan Fox, Ian Roberts, Jon Glaser, Chris Parnell, Chris Gethard, Fred Armisen, J.B. Smoove 


The Republic of Wadiya is ruled by an eccentric and oppressive leader named Hafez Aladeen. Aladeen is summoned to New York to a UN assembly to address concerns about his country’s nuclear weapons program, but the trip goes awry. 


It seems most of the time the only real comedy in this film is more the shocking aspects of the material. As the regular, more comic nature gags seem like they go well on paper, but physically fall flat.

The film plays like a Saturday Night Live skit character who gets their own film But struggles to fill out the premise. So that the film feels like a collection of skits tied together with a rather thin plotline. Soon the envelope is pushed so far all the outlandish details become common. You start to wonder if anything will be considered sacred. 

Unfortunately when it comes to Sasha Baron Cohen who is a gifted comedic performer. His best ability that has so far been shown is his ability to stay in character while improvising around and off of real people not in on the joke, With hilarious awkward, and shocking moments. As others around him seem to drop their guard and open up themselves mostly to his questions and suggestions that have worked for him so far. While he has defined characters he also became more recognizable. So with small roles in other films the natural next plateau was to try to create feature films with characters though more scripted. Though try to feature the same type off the cuff comedy. With a certain looseness in the filmmaking leaving room for happy accidents. In this film he seems to be the only one allowed to do anything really funny, others try but are either cameos that go nowhere or just weak. So this film feels almost like a vanity project. 

He is funny and a good performer, but he is also better than this material. Which only seems to only be shocking to be shocking. No real reason it can’t be funny without going to such extremes. It’s like stand-up who’s act is full of offensive and shocking scenarios. Just no real jokes or sense of humor. Though everything said is supposed to be in some type of humor. Which is a shame especially when you have a cast that is full of funny actors. 

It feels like a mash-up of Different Charlie Chaplin scenarios and scenes from his films only updated badly. –It seems that Sasha Baron Cohen is the closest that we have to a modern Peter Sellers as he totally allows himself to truly be lost in character and there seems to not be any breaking and not know where one ends and where another begins. Also, his films tend to revolve not only around characters that he plays but almost exclusively around him and his character. There are other comedians and characters but most of the humor revolves around only his and others’ reactions to him. 

His previous films that play more off of hidden cameras and regular people reacting to his antics are a bit more powerful as they reflect more of a social satire with a reality. This film is more sketch than anything else scripted satire that is made to look off-kilter but is obviously more formulaic. It’s a shame as the film shows peaks of comedic brilliance and some interesting ideas that are quickly dropped for more traditional comedy in the form of just trying to make the jokes way too offensive and shock humor. 
Which seems to be on the rise in the form of comedy instead of humorous jokes and situations. Comedies seem to be more of a barometer of how much they can get away with that is off-color. There are of course exceptions, but Comedies seem to be going the way of horror with torture porn. The more shocking and graphic it seems the better. 

Like the film, it seems to be inspired by just a bit Charlie Chaplin’s THE GREAT DICTATOR it has a great speech at the end that tries to inform and send a message. It’s more didactic and not inspiring like its influence. 

The film has a love story that doesn’t work nor is it really needed, but since it seems that most films today have one whether they are needed are not have one involved in the film. Why not this one? 

Grade: D

THE FORCE IS WITH YOU…

Star Wars

I would like to say I am a later stage Star Wars fan.

I grew up watching the films and being a real big fan. I had the toys, the sheets and even read the comic books. It as I got older was still always a fan but then saw people who literally lived and breathed the films and knew my love for it was never that great. So over the years being a movie fan had my phases in other interests and always came back to cinema.

So later in life as the prequels hit and were disappointing to me. It did make me realize how much I still Loved the films and franchise or more the characters and how much the Jedi code had shaped me morally and in my passions. The Kevin smiths films also really helped awaken me to it. I can’t Say all the films are perfect or that I enjoyed how they turned out but I can’t exActly offer answers to how they can improve and just accept them for how they turned out.

It was the first time I had seen a world that was totally different than The one we lived in but was still live action. Not to mention most of the Mai. Characters looked human. So they were human inhabitants of a new or alien world. Sure it didn’t work when you think about physics but at that age you really aren’t considering that. You are too busy amazed by the spectacle. Sure super heroes had their realms but those always vaguely looked like places you knew existed like New York or California or the Midwest. A spaceship didn’t look like anything that was vaguely familiar. Maybe public transportation which also had creatures that looked new to you.

Which might be why this came along first over Star Trek. Though also Star Wars was more fun where as Star Trek was more intellectual.

I believe I am a fan of how powerful it became how so many are influenced and find community in them. Not to mention how so many can watch the same thing and get the same out of them but also watch them and get something diffee central stories and rent.

As well as watching the series change

Through so many hands and bring something different to the table. This cast galaxy far far away where anything can happen. Each story remains epic and told grandly while having little details that are relateable.

So while being futuristic or at least fantasy based and otherworldly. It still harkens back to the past of knights, Swordsman, princess’s medieval and mythology.

Only now at my age can I say fully that I am a fan but not fanatic. Maybe it’s a bit of nostalgia overall or just looking back at influences and motivations.

Not to mention the score which even if you Don’t Like the films Are instantly recognizable. Also great music and motivators. Trust me try working out to it.

It also just is a story that is relatable and shows people or makes them believe that no matter where they come from they can be whatever they want and try.

It is basically also the beginning of storytelling to me. As it has the classic story structure.

That is what also helped to build imagination. As there was no reference point so your imagination could go anywhere.

WOKE (2020) – TELEVISION REVIEW

The premise of the show is that the mains character, Keef is an African-American cartoonist on the verge of mainstream success when an unexpected incident changes his life. After he is falsely arrested and attacked by a police officer. He suffers from PTSD and soon finds inanimate objects talking to him and giving him advice or living up to stereotypes that end up with him have by a public meltdown and him trying to revitalize and rebuild his life after.

Only having 8 episodes so far in season 1. This show has definitely made it’s mark. The show is highly satirical but has heart to a degree

Here the main story is the issues where other stories, relationships are more in the side and in between the main issues of race. Even the cute animated figures talking to the main character that only he can see are making points not completely spread out. These messages are good and bad.

While not always about blunt statements. Sometimes the show offers some finesse and subtlety:

Some episodes bring up issues on the side of the main story. So it’s not overpowering but still there for that and future episodes.

While it is an engrossing television show that takes it’s time to let the characters develop and explore the slow breakdown of the lead character. So that it’s not cured in an episode or two. This feels like the beginning of the story the early chapters of you will.

This does feel like it could have been a movie and told the same tale, but would have a lot less wiggle room to explore the characters and their environments not give side characters enough time to shine and gestate.

As another strong part of the show is the mroe supporting cast. Which the show might not revolve around but does leave the show mroe to feel like an ensemble. As the show works more when it is a group effort of the characters.

Also if it has just been a movie it wouldn’t have been as much fun and entertaining. Nor as much as an enriching experience.

The show doesn’t work by taking on big issues it more observes them at times in minute detail so it can be dissected and explored. Then more take on the bigger subjects.

I am glad that Lamorne Morris is in the lead as he has always had a likeable screen presence and has usually been hilarious in whatever he has been in. Though always gave off an impression that he was smarter then the material or situations he was usually given on shows like THE NEW GIRL or even the film DESPERADOS.

Just as I am happy that Blake Andersen found another show to be on that uses his strange comedic energy and lets him play a it different then his character or workaholics thoug. Still heavy weed humor around his character. Similarly his character working in an ensemble and being the more outrageous character.

At least the show is confronting subjects and topics. Most flirt with but never fully satirize it go into too much detail with and it shows that itMs not only white people but that African Americans and other people of college can be just as guilty in these conversations and circumstances though the minority character will be the one who has to pay for it in the end.

Tackling subjects such as cultural appropriation, Interracial relationships, polyamory, lgbtq, sneaker collecting, white privilege, crime

Showing the many levels and Intricacies itMs not always black and white though might find itself always going back to that.

It points out problems and points of view but not always making the victim totally innocent nor the perpetrator totally evil.

Definitely worth a watch. Not only to witness but hopefully to watch it grow. Though it seems when a show particularly an African American based one seems to get it right and hit the nail on the head and feel refreshing as it has soenthing fresh to say that most of the audience can identify with (CHAPPELLE’S SHOW, BLACK DYNAMITE (ANIMATED) and THE BOONDOCKS) it either gets watered down or canceled before it’s time.

EUROTRIP (2004)

Written & Directed By: Jeff Schaffer, Alec Berg & David Mandel
Cinematography By: David Eggby
Editor: Roger Bondelli

Cast: Scott Mechlowicz, Jacob Pitts, Michelle Trachtenberg, Travis Wester, Fred Armisen, Kristen Kruek, Lucy Lawless, Joanna Lumley, Vinnie Jones, Diedrich Bader, Matt Damon, Jessica Boehrs, Rade Serbedzija, Steve Hytner, Pat Kilbane, Jana Pallaske 

When Scotty’s German online pen pal suggests they meet, he initially freaks out. But then he discovers that she’s gorgeous, and heads out with three friends after graduation to meet her. As they travel across Europe, the four friends have comical misadventures.


This film seems to want to be a satire of the thought of traveling to Europe and the myths in American Teenagers’ minds about urban legends they have heard of the place. Not to mention adults, but here more inspired by the carnal and drugs. While also trying to be an AMERICAN PIE inspired 1980’s teen movie.

This is definitely a movie of its time as it seems kind of lost though wants to put a spin on that common theme of a trip to a foreign land before you buckle down for the future. A familiar coming of age cliche for movies and sometimes in life. This movie isn’t aimed to witness profound discoveries while expanding the character’s minds, but more in comedic stereotypes and culture-clash comedy.

Where half the time the film seems more aimed at sex and drug humor with not as much nudity as one would think but does have enough nudity as a requirement.

The film has inspired moments that seem to be episodic depending on the country or region they are Into and combined. With some guest starring recognizable actors.

One of whom Fred Armisen totally steals his scenes in an all too brief Role. That works best in the small dose offered.

It seeks to try and break or push taboos that sometimes work but also come off as trying to be too eager in their aim. The film isn’t sincere enough to feel original but ends up feeling like it achieves what it set out for. As it is a teen comedy that is more juvenile but gives enough to its audience to be satisfying.

In a way, the film feels like ideas that were for an AMERICAN PIE sequel if Jim had pursued the exchange student Nadia back to Russia and the hijinks that would have ensued only without the same characters.

The film has the 90’s and 2000 equivalent of a teen sex comedy where like sometimes in reality sex and nudity is talked about more than experienced or shown.

The film’s popularity is helped by the catchy tune and a kind of unofficial anthem SCOTTY DOESN’T KNOW. which plays a pivotal role early in the film and throughout.

While the teen cast is mixed In With the hijinks. The other characters the adult ones do most of the comedic heavy lifting. As the teen cast does get involved but they more react to the cause of any comedy. As naive Americans who are at times ugly Americans inadvertently.

Michelle Trachtenberg at the time is the only real recognizable member of the main ensemble cast. This seems to be a film or Role that was more designed to break her out more into sexy adult roles. As at times, she is meant to be funny and eye candy at the same time.

This is a film that didn’t make much of a mark when it came out but over the years has gained an audience of appreciation. Maybe because of it trying to be a riff of inspiration that wasn’t appreciated in its own time so the next generation raises it to a certain level and can take ownership of it. Especially when it has so many noteworthy actors who cameo out of nowhere and seem to be relieved to be given freedom and room To break out of their more Cooke cutter and wholesome roles they are used to playing on television and movie teen roles that were more on the PG-13 roles.

The film plays more episodic and reminds one of the film National Lampoon’s European Vacation with the wild vast comedic stereotypes the film plays into that could also help sell to foreign audiences showing they have a sense of humor about themselves. As the film is over the top and as the characters are so young they try not to be but end up becoming the ugly Americans. By the end, though the film seems to have sex on its mind more than anything else.

 Grade: C

GODZILLA: KING OF MONSTERS (2019)

Directed By: Michael Dougherty
Written By: Michael Dougherty & Zach Shields
Story By: Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields & Max Borenstein
Cinematography: Lawrence Sher
Editor: Roger Barton, Bob Duscay & Richard Pearson

Cast: Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Charles Dance, Ken Wantanabe, Ziyi Zhang, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Aisha Hinds, Thomas Middleditch, O’Shea Jackson Jr., David Straitharn, CCH Pounder, Joe Morton, Anthony Ramos

The crypto-zoological agency Monarch faces off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah.


The trailer made it look like a different type of film. Where it seemed like he formed a bond with Millie Bobby Brown’s character.

Now while this movie is cliche-ridden. It seems to have the mentality of if it ain’t broke why fix it and makes everything feel familiar. Especially since the film and title character is already well known. 

I can admit to not necessarily being a big fan of these films and have only seen a handful of them. Though I have seen the recent franchise of films. Plus it doesn’t help when also having seen the clones of this film. 

What is of interest is the casts of these films. Which are recognizable to get audiences interested or at least not make them so disposable and asks you to care about their peril more without having to write too much personal material for them. Here we get an international cast to interest and sell to foreign markets. 

The cast is here more for the human interest element and explains the mysterious monster nature that is like the animal kingdom. Which by now we watch and study, but sometimes as they are violent and excuse them. As it is in their nature. The same here with the monsters live amongst us and cause damage but when left alone. Just do what comes naturally.

With the grand casts, it feels like the modern equivalent of disaster movies from the 1969’s and ’70s. Where there is plenty of destruction to property. Mass deaths where you wonder who will live or die amongst the stars. While rooting for certain people to perish not because of the character they play.

The film feels like a battle ROYALE of matches for Godzilla to face off against. The greatest hits of enemies. Even though there is the main opponent. This again makes this feel like a wrestling card and how when you watch it. It feels like life and death only here the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Whereas in wrestling it’s the fate of the league wrestling world. This movie also allows them to set up sequels for other enemies for him to face.

Just as in wrestling she takes a major beating at first then comes through or at least goes full Hulk Hogan and adding the drama that is needed. There is even tag-teaming. As essentially this is a movie about a dinosaur fighting lizards and an alien.

The warm up fights seem to be a case of sending minions to weaken him. After the first battle. Where you know it can’t be over. As there are some after fight getting licks in to start a rivalry.

The film isn’t as visually interesting or stylish as the previous GODZILLA film. Though this one seems to have a love of blue filters. 

Again this is a better film to experience or watch on a big screen. As even for a popcorn movie this wants you to have more experience or interact with it. This is a film to have more fun with as it doesn’t move as fast and takes its time with the story but offers more of a science fiction element.

The film tries to be smart even with it’s more special effects, action-oriented scenes, and material. It’s a bit long and definitely bloated but stays entertaining 

As we wait for the build-up until the finale showdown, really the main event. Luckily the film never feels boring or bogged down even with a lot of exposition. Though luckily not THE MATRIX sequel’s level of exposition.

Will admit it feels strange like. G.I. JOE movie with this being Cobra’s newest plan and a joe’s family somehow involved and by the end must use their own monster Godzilla to battle the evil monsters that cobra has unleashed. 

Each new monster feels like a new toy or action figure and each presentation/Birth/Opening is an introduction of their nature and powers As well as strengths. They also provide mini practice bouts as Godzilla is like a gunslinger who shows up for fights and to save humans these monsters are the heels and he is a fan favorite trying to stop their reign or just trying to stop similar to his kind trespassing on his property and domain. So essentially like the animal kingdom marking his property. 

The monsters he faces seem like Pokémon. Collectible and have to Catch them all

Though Vera Farmiga’s character theory and plan don’t sound so crazy. Even if more a product of Stockholm syndrome to a degree. Just the means to go about it. Sort of like in AVENGERS: END GAME. Where it just seems a bit harsh. 

Her theory is right but the follow-through seems to become like a tournament for the title, with all the dramatic entrances. You have a doctor mind reader mad scientist type who is bent on a plan of world domination or would change the natural order of things. 

Many films have done less to affect the audience so you can appreciate the attentiveness and concern 

This is Kyle chandler’s second giant monster film. Interesting the sequel is GODZILLA Vs. KING KONG. He was in a remake of the later’s film. 

Grade: B-

X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX (2019)

Written & Directed By: Simon Kinberg
Cinematography: Mauro Fiore 
Editor: Lee Smith 

Cast: James McAvoy, Nicholas Hault, Jennifer Lawrence, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Michael Fassbender, Alexandra Shipp, Evan Peters, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jessica Chastain, Halton Sage, Brian D’Arcy James, Lamar Johnson, Scott Shepherd, Ari Rassendoh 

Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix, causing the X-Men to decide if her life is worth more than all of humanity.


This feels like a homework assignment that had to be done but none has any energy or interest in the project. At least if it was extra credit you know why it was being done and there might have been effort.

One of the most beloved and highly anticipated X-Men stories finally makes it to the big screen and it fails horribly. It doesn’t even feel like anyone is trying to make this compelling. More just finishing off these series of films that actually go past a trilogy. So this was set up in the last film and now just feels extra.

You can tell this started as something that was planned as a two part film. As the story feels way too grand to be told in such a short and small manner. The pain of squeezing together an epic into one. That leaves a lot to be desired and plenty of things cut down that should have been expanded upon.

It feels like kids playing grown up on a huge playground. As they are out of their depth and fields.

This franchise a reboot of the original trilogy of films that had already felt work by their film. Here it feels the same or rather it feels like it jumped the shark with the Previous film APOCALYPSE. As each new film in the series feels made to add young fresh faces to the franchise. Who comes off weakly as familiar classic characters and for fans of the original comic books plays too much with the timelines and continuity with these all Of a sudden new origins.

The film and the franchise play too fast and loose with the known history of the characters and the storylines from the comic books. It would be one thing if the film managed to change it for the better but here it’s Much worse and no real emotion behind it. As we were introduced to this character in this iteration in the last movie and the death of a beloved character feels only here to make some kind of impact and seems strategic from the beginning.

Some characters come off as satisfying in their own, but always feel restrained or never as sting as any of the comic books

The absence of Hugh Jackman as wolverine is felt. Even Jennifer Lawrence seems eager to close out her character arc. As she proves to be the only memorable part of the film. Especially her fate, She provides the only actual emotional resonance. 

The film is built more around Sophie Turner’s character Jean grey who becomes possessed with the power she can’t entirely control and ends up coming off like an intergalactic femme fatale. It’s more a young adult version as the characters and the film come off as juvenile and simplistic.

This is a story that should feel epic and yet it feels smaller, episodic, and put together by a marketing team. At least the X-Men apocalypse movie felt a little stylized and bad. This doesn’t even have that. 

Even his fall is unnatural though the film does have impressive special effects that at this point also kind of feel routine. 

GRADE: D