Quick Review: The Mitchells vs. The Machines (2021)

2021-05-07 - Reading time: 2 minutes

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The Mitchells vs. The Machines just might be my new favorite animated film.

Or at least it slots into my Top 3 with ease. This is possibly the funniest and most creative film I've seen in a long time.

The characters take almost no time to get to know and love. There's an insane energy to the film. 

It's almost like... ugh, this is a VERY strained analogy that I'm not entirely comfortable with, but I can't get it out of my head: the happily "outsider" vibe of The Addams Family crossed with the family unity of the Belchers from Bob's Burgers. (Hell, the mom is even named 'Lin'.) Then mix in a dash of Gravity Falls, and lots of energy drinks.

And then send them all on a road trip to save the world.

The comedy is often quite hyperkinetic but there isn't a dud in the batch. For a lesser film a fast pace of "random" and pop culture might be a negative, but The Mitchells own it and thread that needle with ease. It never becomes obnoxious.

Honestly, I can't praise it enough. I LOVED this flick and I'm kind of clawing the desk to throw it on again.

I sincerely hope they consider follow-ups in the style of a "The Mitchells vs...." series, keeping the same writers. Because they've REALLY got something special here.

5/5

https://letterboxd.com/drfortyseven/film/the-mitchells-vs-the-machines/


Quick Review: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

2021-04-24 - Reading time: 6 minutes
Loved everything with Sam and Bucky. Especially Sam's journey, and the stuff with Isaiah Bradley.
 
Walker was amazing, too. And not that I don't think he was beyond redemption, but it was rushed. I mean, he teams up easily with the guys who BROKE HIS ARM and took the Cap mantle from him the last episode (though I get some time has passed).
These two storylines seemed to be the most important parts of the show, and received the most attention.
They were almost perfect.
 
But everything with Sharon and the Flag Smashers (hey, band name!) felt mediocre. At best, shoehorned in. The best guess I'm hearing going around is that the Flag Smasher narrative possibly centered around a pandemic, and well... given the COVID situation, they had to hastily butcher it up into something... incoherent.
 
But regardless, it was weak. And unfortunately the entire series wrapped it's overall narrative on that brittle skeleton.
 
The real MVP, though? The Baron. Give him his own series, please. Just all Zemo all the time. He was the most fun I had with the show. Unfortunately it felt like he was there just to setup a go at the Thunderbolts later, because he had almost no real impact on the story (his butler's hilarious moment in the finale aside).
 
That said, looking forward to a second season, if they do it. The title characters made it worth watching, and I'd happily give it another shot with a new, hopefully better constructed story. One that doesn't get butchered up in editing like this one appears to have been.

Bring on Loki!

3/5


Review: J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and The Church of the SubGenius (2019)

2021-04-19 - Reading time: 2 minutes
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As a backer, it took a surprising amount of time to finally get access to the film.

And then when I finally received access, I sat on it even longer.

Some might consider that appropriate for the subject matter: I was void of slack and mad, and then received the slack at my leisure once I was given a choice.

That said, I'd had high expectations for the film -- my only concern being that the title would make it difficult to search for, or worse, drown out other Church propaganda.

But I was wrong on both counts: it's easy enough to search for, if you quote the title exactly.

And this documentary exceeded my expectations.

Sure, the Church "comes clean", finally. But if you've paid even a modest amount of attention to the Hour of Slack radio show, or other Church related materials over the years, there isn't REALLY a whole lot new here. If you're not a "Bobbie" and had a reasonably good sense of humor, you were already in on the joke.

But it's nice to have it "for the record" and all in one place. And the presentation just oozes quality, with some lovely animations interspersed among the heaps of old VHS recordings.

This is a terrific doc. I'm not sure about the appeal for those not already familiar with "Bob", but maybe it will awaken something in you. 😉

5/5

https://letterboxd.com/drfortyseven/film/jr-bob-dobbs-and-the-church-of-the-subgenius/


X-Day Countdown

2021-04-04 - Reading time: ~1 minute

A couple years ago, I created an Android Wear (now "Wear OS") watchface (on Google Play) that threw the gaze of "Bob" upon you while you read the time. If you tapped the clock, it would also show you a countdown to that magic hour of 7am on July 5th when you get whisked away just in time for the end of the world.

Wear OS sucks. But I enjoyed working on the watchface. And I wanted some exercise with Svelte. So here it is!

XDayCountdown.com!

I'm going to refine this a bit as time goes on. And I'm sure there's some subtle (or not so subtle) bugs in there.

There's no SECRETS yet (or are there?), but I hope to add something fun to help usher in The Moment when it comes. ;)

Source, of course, is available over here: https://github.com/Fortyseven/XDayCountdownSite/

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Quick Review: Snyder's Justice League (Spoiler-free)

2021-03-19 - Reading time: 3 minutes

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Reposted from Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/drfortyseven/film/zack-snyders-justice-league/

I've been very much critical of the whole "Release the Snyder Cut" movement. It's supporters were, more often than not, entitled, angry, vocal assholes.

Imagine my dread when the studio decided to capitalize on that movement and make it happen to bolster HBO Max.

Much to my surprise, this actually takes a mediocre movie and makes numerous improvements. Dare I say this is a much better film than Whedon's attempt with Justice League in 2017. It's by no means free of flaws, but the narrative flows better. The new content does a lot of fleshing out, too. 

And even though I'm, by far, not a fan of Snyder's visual style -- I heard someone refer to it as a "motorcycle grease" aesthetic. Visually this film fits better with the previous entries. (I do miss Whedon's saturation, at least.)

Was it worth the $70 million fucking dollars to fix the film? Absolutely not. Good lord! 

temp.jpg But the deed is done. No use complaining about THAT at this point.

The only real black mark on this take: it's FOUR hours long, with no real justification for that length other than to let you soak in the film's grease for long stretches as music fills the void. 

The length is going to make future viewings prohibitive. It'll keep this from making it the de facto version of Justice League, I think. And that's a shame, because it really is a "patch" that fixes a lot.

Finally, against all odds, I can actually say: I'd like to see Snyder do a sequel film. I dislike his style, but I'm finding myself unexpectedly invested now. He's turned me around on how I feel about this film in general.

That's nothing short of a personal miracle.

4/5