Pointless Nonsense

Posted in movies by Bill on July 23, 2021

joltJolt is Amazon’s new Crank-type movie with Kate Beckinsale, and it’s not very good at all. It has the kind of premise that easily lends itself to over-the-top, fast-paced action, but then doesn’t really deliver. There’s only one scene that really hit the over-the-top notes, and for maybe 15 seconds. The action felt sluggish (the director had never done an action movie before, so maybe it’s on her, maybe it’s on the editing). And the snarky dialogue felt forced.

Posted in tv by Bill on July 21, 2021

surrealestateSurrealEstate is a new SyFy original series with two of the lesser cast members of Schitt’s Creek. It’s a horror show, about a real estate agency that specializes in haunted houses, and horror isn’t really my thing but the concept is silly enough, and some of the actors comedic enough, that I hoped for a light-hearted tone and to not waste all its time on spooky/scary stuff that doesn’t appeal to me. And it… sorta matched my hopes? Enough that I didn’t dislike it, and I’ll give it another episode or two, but I don’t expect to be a fan.

Posted in movies by Bill on July 20, 2021

gunpowdermilkshakeGunpowder Milkshake is Netflix’s new-ish movie that is almost entirely John Wick but with women. The same sort of neon noir look, the same crime plays by a set of rules thing (but with a library and a diner instead of a hotel), and the same premise where an assassin has a simple goal and kills a ton of people in order to accomplish it. While it loses points in the originality department, it’s otherwise pretty entertaining.

Posted in movies by Bill on July 14, 2021

Army of the Dead is Zack Snyder’s fairly stupid zombie heist movie on Netflix. Aside from action sequences, visuals, and occasional jokes, I can’t imagine what someone would enjoy about it. And it’s 2.5 hours along, so that’s a lot to ask of action sequences, visuals, and occasional jokes. Spoilers kinda, but in the end, nothing that happens matters except as setup for a sequel.

You could probably edit this down to a pretty decent mindless, fast-paced action movie that runs 90 minutes or so, but as it is, the bloat kinda kills it.

Posted in tv by Bill on July 12, 2021

whitelotusThe White Lotus is an HBO miniseries that I basically only knew that it had Sydney Sweeney and Alexandra Daddario in it, and I’m superficial enough to check something out based on the presence of two really hot actresses. It’s about a group of people visiting Hawaiian resort and its employees, theoretically a dark comedy but not really all that funny. But there’s a little bit of intrigue, and while the Sydney Sweeney content hasn’t really paid off in the cheesecake department, the Alexandra Daddario content has. So I’m on board.

Posted in tv by Bill on July 11, 2021

Wellington Paranormal is a spinoff of the What We Do In the Shadows movie that aired in New Zealand a few years back, and is now airing on CW. It’s a familiar sensibility from the movie, FotC, or anything else. It’s low, low budget, but the mockumentary format lets them cheat a bit by having the paranormal stuff happen slightly out of focus or out of frame or whatever, so it works. It’s maybe not extremely funny, but it’s routinely amusing.

Posted in tv by Bill on July 10, 2021

frankenholeMary Shelley’s Frankenhole is Dino Stamatopoulos’s Adult Swim stop-motion series from 2010. His previous stop-motion series, Moral Orel, is an all-time favorite, but I hadn’t had a chance to check this out until recently. Sadly, it pales in comparison to his previous show. The comedy doesn’t really work for me, the horror jokes (with the exception of the Nosferatu character that just moves his mouth, followed by silent movie intertitles with his dialogue) are lost on me, I assume?

Unlike Orel, this only brings any emotional weight in one episode, the second to last of the series, when Ken Jeong voices literally every character (down to the Starburns Industry vanity card at the end). Which is actually a pretty amazing episode (the emotion comes from Ken Jeong the person, rather than any of the characters), but the only one of any note.

Posted in tv by Bill on July 10, 2021

leverage-redemptionLeverage: Redemption is IMDbTV’s revival of the formerly-TNT series that was simultaneously kind of a ripoff of Ocean’s 11 and Hustle, but also developed a unique charm through the characters. The central premise is unchanged: an irredeemably shitty person is introduced, a team attempts to ruin the shitty person’s life, it appears as if the plan has gone awry, but we learn through flashbacks that the plan appearing to go awry was the plan all along, and the shitty person gets their comeuppance. But the cast has changed, not really for the better. It’s not a huge difference, and Leverage: Redemption is very watchable, but it’s a step down from the original.

Two oddities about the cast changes: normally these shows move on from cast changes, and rarely mention their departed members. But here, they are mentioned in almost every episode. And then I felt like it was odd for a revival, they seemed to focus too much on the new cast members. It would make sense to me to give each one an episode to highlight them, give us as the audience a reason to accept the new additions, but we’ve only got 8 episodes with a handful of character we presumably love and haven’t seen in years, so it’s strange to see them take a back seat. I think Sophie, the boringest returning cast member, is the only one who gets as much story as the two newbies. I guess it’s technically a 16 episode season, with this only being the first 8, so maybe they can get more for the old cast to do in the back half.

It’s the first thing I’ve watched on IMDbTV (that appears to be how they’re capitalizing it), which is nearly identical to amazon prime video, except it’s free and ad-supported, but I found it strange that IMDb didn’t have complete cast listings for their own show when it launched. It also has the same video player as prime video, but they don’t have scene-by-scene xray data about the actors on screen like prime originals do.

Posted in movies by Bill on July 10, 2021

blackwidowBlack Widow is Marvel’s latest, and probably by ordinary standards it’s a solid B/B+ action movie, but it definitely qualifies as one of the weaker of Marvel’s movies. The nature of the character means it can’t go for the default, quip-heavy Marvel tone, but it couldn’t reach the same highs as other, more serious Marvel movies like Winter Soldier

David Harbour, who in a success for spoiler-avoidance, I didn’t know was in this, is the real highlight of the movie in what could have been a simple comic relief role, but turned out to be a great character. Whenever he wasn’t on screen, it felt like either exposition or explosions.

I do wonder if Russian people are pissed that in a movie full of Russian characters there’s like one Russian actor in the whole thing. I like Ray Winstone, but he’s an odd choice for a Russian guy. 

Posted in movies by Bill on July 5, 2021

No Sudden Move is Steven Soderbergh’s new crime movie on HBO Max. An all-star cast of men, Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, John Hamm, David Harbour, Brendan Fraser, Kieran Culkin, and Bill Duke, but no-name women for some reason. It doesn’t live up to the names attached, though. It’s not bad, but there’s nothing exceptional about plot or characters or dialogue to explain why all these people felt like coming together for this.