Saturday Fiction (2019)

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Saturday Fiction (2019)

It’s the first week of December 1941. At this point, Shanghai is partially occupied. The Japanese invaded back in 1937. However, because two-thirds of the city belongs to foreign powers, France and Great Britain, and because Japan is not yet at war with those nations, the city is divided, and there is an uneasy truce between both sides. Of course, neither party intends to keep that peace for long. Both are just itching for the chance to gain valuable Intel on the other. That’s where Yu Jin, a famous Chinese actress, enters the picture. Officially, she’s in Shanghai to star in a play directed by her long-time lover. Unofficially, however, she has many other reasons to be there. For one thing, her ex-husband has been taken prisoner. For another, her French foster father works as a spy for Paris, and he wants her to get him Intel from a Japanese general. And as if that weren’t enough, there’s a young woman following her, who may just admire her in more than a platonic manner. Will she be able to get the information she needs, and come out unscathed? Watch the movie and find out. Continue reading

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Freaks: The Long Connection Between Monsters And The Disabled In Fiction

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“I expected this reception. All men hate the wretched. How, then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, thy creature, to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us. You purpose to kill me. How dare you sport thus with life? Do your duty toward me, and I will do mine toward you and the rest of mankind. If you will comply with my conditions, I will leave them and you at peace, but if you refuse I will glut the maw of death, until it be satiated with the blood of your remaining friends. Continue reading

Abominable (2019)

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When she discovers a Yeti on the roof of her apartment, Shanghai teenager Yi decides to return him to his Himalayan home. So she sets off with her neighbors, Jin and Peng, to reunite their furry white friend with his family. But their journey won’t be an easy one, as there is a crazed billionaire who wants to capture the Yeti hot on their trail.  Continue reading

Joker (2019)

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Arthur Fleck is a sick man. Not just in the sense that he has a condition that causes him to laugh uncontrollably. He’s sick in that he is delusional. He routinely hallucinates that people on the TV are interacting with him. At the start of the film, we learn that he was previously institutionalized and that he’s on no less than seven different medications. He is a man barely holding on to sanity. So what will happen when the city program giving him his meds gets shut down, he gets fired from his job at a clown for hire company, and a group of Wall Street types attacks him, unaware that he has a gun? Watch the movie and find out. Continue reading

Guardians Of The Galaxy (To Infinity Retrospective)

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“Come and get your love!” Oh, hey there. Welcome to the To Infinity Retrospective. “Come and get your love!” A series created in preparation for Rise Of Skywalker. Each month, I review a different Space Opera, and, this time, we’re returning to the world of films that people have actually seen with Guardians of the Galaxy. What’s it about? Well… Continue reading

First Love (2019)

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When he’s diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor, orphaned boxer Leo finds himself without purpose. After visiting a fortune teller, who urges him to “fight for someone other than yourself,” Leo saves a young woman, Monica, from a man chasing her. What he doesn’t realize is that Monica, real name Yuri, is a prostitute, the man he punched, Otomo, is a corrupt cop, and that by saving the former, he’s unintentionally caught himself up in a large, extremely dangerous scheme involving stolen drugs, the yakuza, and a crazed female assassin. Now he and Monica must survive the night by avoiding the many parties coming after them. Will they? Watch the movie and find out. Continue reading

Long Day’s Journey Into Night (2019)

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When his father dies, a man from rural China (Huang Jue) returns to his hometown, and begins searching for a woman he once loved (Tang Wei). Through a fragmented series of flashbacks, he recalls how they met, had a pregnancy scare, plotted to murder her gangster boyfriend, and were eventually caught. Then, after falling asleep in a movie theater, he has a long, meandering dream about his mother, his unborn son, and a woman who looks very much like the one he’s searching for. Continue reading

Hustlers (2019)

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Following the financial crash of 2008, a group of New York strippers finds themselves out of work. With fewer Wall Street types coming in to spend money, there’s less revenue to go around. This hurts all of them, until Ramona, the chief moneymaker in their club, devises a daring scheme to get rich without dancing. The women will approach a businessman at a bar, spike his drink so that he passes out, take him to the strip club, and then, while he’s unconscious, max out his credit card. They assume that, even if the guy sees a big chunk of money missing from his bank account, he’ll be too embarrassed to admit that he spent it at a strip club. They’re correct, and, for a time, the scheme works. But, of course, as their operation gets bigger, Ramona gets more reckless, and eventually, the whole house of cards comes falling down. Continue reading

Ender’s Game (To Infinity Retrospective)

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ATTENTION! At ease, cadets. Welcome to the To Infinity Retrospective, a series created in preparation for Rise of Skywalker. Each month, you will receive reviews of different Space Operas, and it will be your job to read said reviews, like them, and share them with all your friends. Failure to do so will mean the end of the human race. This month, you’ll be looking at a critique of 2013’s Ender’s Game. What’s it about? Well… Continue reading

Everybody Is Kung Fu Fighting… But Should They Be?

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So if you’ve been paying attention to entertainment news recently, you probably saw that Marvel Studios has finally announced its first project with an Asian lead. The film, Shang-Chi & The Legend of The Ten Rings, will be released in 2021 and will star Awkwafina, Tony Leung and Simu Liu as the title character. This is a big deal. It’s what Asian American filmgoers have been demanding for years; a big Hollywood blockbuster with an Asian lead, an Asian director, and even an Asian screenwriter. It’s perfect. Or is it? See, I’m very happy that we, as Asian Americans, are getting a big superhero film of this nature. But the more I looked into the movie, the more confused, and concerned, I became. Continue reading

See You Yesterday (2019)

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Flatbush wiz-kids CJ and Sebastian have done the impossible. They’ve built real, functioning time machines. The catch is that they can only go back for 10-minute stretches before needing to return to the present. So what do they do with their first, incredibly valuable 10 minutes? Humiliate CJ’s asshole ex-boyfriend. They don’t think anything of it at first until they realize that changing the past caused the trajectory of CJ’s brother’s day to shift. And when I say “shift” I mean, he winds up getting killed by police. This devastates CJ, who decides to use her technology to go back and save him. When she does so, however, she discovers that it’s not so easy to correct the past, since every change brings about new, unforeseen consequences. Continue reading

John Carter (To Infinity Retrospective)

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(Grrrrrrrrrr!) Welcome to the To Infinity Retrospective, a series I created in preparation for Rise Of Skywalker. At the start of each month (Agh!) I review a different space opera (Shit!). And today (snarl!) we’ll be taking a look at the 2012 Disney film John Carter. What’s it about? Continue reading

Luce (2019)

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On the surface, Luce Edgar seems like the perfect son. He’s a star athlete. He’s valedictorian of his entire school. And that’s not even considering his past. He’s a former child soldier from Eritrea who, against all odds, seems to have put his trauma behind him, and formed a healthy, stable social life. “Seems” being the keyword here. See, one day, a teacher asks him to write an essay in the voice of a historical figure, and Luce delivers a piece emulating the style of Frantz Fanon, a pan-Africanist who argued that violence was necessary to settle political disputes. Disturbed, this same teacher breaks into Luce’s locker and discovers fireworks there. She alerts Luce’s parents to both of these things, and while neither of them wants to believe that their son could be capable of violence, as they do more digging, they realize that there might be more to their baby than once thought.

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Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before…

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You’re watching a movie or TV show, two characters are talking, and one of them says something offensive. The other person tells them to not say that, and then winds up saying something even more offensive.

Here are just a few examples of what I’m talking about:

FROM THE BOONDOCKS:

“Don’t say that something’s gay. It’s offensive to fags.”

FROM CRASH:

“Don’t be ignorant. They’re probably Thai or Cambodian. Totally different kinds of Chinks.”

FROM THE BIG LEBOWSKI:

“Also, dude, Chinaman is not the preferred nomenclature. Asian American, please.”

“Walter, this isn’t a guy who built the railroads here. This is a guy—“

“What the f*** are you talking about?”

“Walter, he peed on my rug!”

“He peed on the Dude’s rug.”

“Donnie, you’re out of your element. Dude, the Chinaman is not the issue here!” Continue reading

The Farewell (2019)

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What would you do if someone you loved was dying, but you also couldn’t tell them? Would you stay away, for fear of revealing the secret? Or would you go to them, just so you could be at their side, one last time? These are the questions asked in The Farewell, a new movie starring Awkwafina, and directed by Lulu Wang. Based on Wang’s own experiences when she discovered that her grandmother had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, but her family was going to keep that fact a secret, the movie is powerful, poignant and a bunch of other p words that definitely mean good. My heart is aching just thinking about this movie. Wherever you are, go and watch this flick. It is worth your time. Continue reading

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (2019)

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It’s 1969, and Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a fading, Western actor, struggling to maintain relevance in a rapidly changing Hollywood. His only friend is his driver, and longtime stunt man, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), a Vietnam vet whom it is heavily implied murdered his wife. The two spend their days driving around LA, getting drunk, watching Rick’s various TV appearances, and debating about whether or not the latter should take an offer to make Spaghetti Westerns in Europe. Meanwhile, Hollywood director Roman Polanski and his wife, Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), have just moved into the house beside Dalton. Dalton sees in Polanski a chance to become legitimate again, and eagerly tries to get in their good graces. Something that could throw a wrench in his plans, however, is a small, delusional band of Hippies living out in a place called Spawn Ranch, who may or may not be hatching a murder scheme. Continue reading

The Art Of Self-Defense (2019)

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While walking home from the store one night, mild-mannered accountant Casey Davies is beaten by a biker gang. This traumatizes him, and he begins desperately searching for some means to defend himself. First, he goes to a gun store, but when he learns about all the dangers associated with firearm ownership—an increased likelihood of suicide, and a greater chance of getting shot—he decides it’s not for him. Then, while walking through a rundown strip mall, he sees a karate class, taught by a charismatic, enigmatic figure known only as “sensei.” Sensei is everything Casey is not—confident, aggressive, charming—so naturally, Casey believes that he can become so as well by enrolling in courses. Over the next few months, Sensei molds him into his idea of manhood, not just by teaching him karate, but by instructing him on what music to listen to—Metal—and what language to learn—German. Desperate to please his new teacher, Casey goes along with everything the man says, even when the requests get much more violent, and considerably less legal. Continue reading

Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter (2014)

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We’ve all seen movies that advertise themselves as “based on a true story.” But what happens when someone actually believes that claim? Kumiko, a friendless, unmarried office worker in Tokyo, has convinced herself that the Coen Brothers film Fargo, wherein a criminal buries a suitcase full of money in the North Dakota snow, is real. So much so that she steals her boss’s credit card, abandons her apartment and pet rabbit, and journeys to the US to find the “treasure.” She barely speaks English, and has no real plan of how to find the fictional loot. But she’s determined, and won’t let anything, be it the cold, or the fact that the treasure isn’t real, stop her. What will happen? Watch the movie to find out. Continue reading

Avatar (To Infinity Retrospective)

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Welcome, brothers and sisters, to the To Infinity Retrospective, a series I created in preparation for Rise Of Skywalker. On the first day of each month, I review a different space opera. Why, you ask? Simple. I do it to send the sky people a message. I do it to tell them that they can’t take whatever they want, that they can be stopped, and that this, this is our land! And what better way to convey that message than through a review of this month’s film, Avatar. What’s it about? Well…
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In A New York Minute (2019)

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A food critic, struggling with bulimia, and parental pressure to get married. An actress, seeking escape from a loveless marriage through an affair. A prostitute, attempting to leave the life behind, only to be consistently pulled back by her step-mother. Three women. Three separate lives, all of which become intertwined in ways that they don’t initially realize. How so? Watch the movie and find out. Continue reading

Plus One (2019)

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To survive a summer jam-packed with weddings, including those of their father and sister respectively, single friends Ben and Alice agree to be each other’s “Plus One” at every event. But what happens when spending so much time together causes them to fall in love?  Continue reading

Always Be My Maybe (2019)

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16 years after an awkward falling out, childhood sweethearts Sasha and Marcus find themselves in vastly different socio-economic situations. While Sasha has become a celebrity chef, opening a chain of successful Asian fusion restaurants, Marcus has stayed in his childhood home and done next to nothing to promote his band, despite them being quite good. So what happens when they meet each other again? Watch the movie and find out. Continue reading

Titan A.E. (To Infinity Retrospective)

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Yo yo! What up, my peeps? Welcome back to the Too Infinity Retrospective, a series I created in preparation for Rise Of Skywalker. Each month, I, like, totally review a different space opera. And this month, we’re going back to the year 2000, the raddest time ever, ya’ll, and taking a look at Titan A.E. What’s it about? Well… Continue reading

Brightburn (2019)

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Tori and Kyle have long dreamt of being parents. But, try as they might, they’ve never been able to conceive. Then one night, a ship crash-lands in the woods behind their farm, and they discover a baby inside. Believing this to be a gift from above, the couple adopts the child and name him Brandon. All seems well, until Brandon hits puberty, and starts to exhibit superhuman abilities, including flight, strength, invulnerability, and heat vision. More disturbing than that, though, Brandon starts behaving violently, killing their chickens, breaking a classmates hand, and, eventually, just hurting anyone who displeases him. Tori and Kyle do their best to rein him in, but it might be too late, as Brandon now views himself as a predator and the whole world as his prey. Continue reading

High Life (2019)

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In the future, death-row inmates are given the choice of either rotting in jail, or going up into space and participating in an experiment. One prisoner (Robert Pattinson) chooses the latter and is put on board a ship with a psychopathic doctor (Juliette Binoche), who is obsessed with creating a child through artificial insemination. It’s never revealed why she wants to do this since it’s never explicitly stated that humans can’t have children the old-fashioned way, but whatever. Sexual contact between the passengers is prohibited, which, as one might expect, drives certain people crazy. So crazy that, eventually, they start killing each other. In the end, Pattinson and his daughter, who was created by Binoche through very questionable means, are left alone on the shuttle, drifting through space. And… yeah. That’s it. Continue reading

John Wick: Chapter 3 (2019)

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Picking up precisely where the last film left off, John Wick: Chapter 3 sees our stoic, dog-loving hit-man on the run from, well, everyone. He broke the rules of the assassins guild, and he now has a massive price on his head. But he’s not out of options. He does have some allies, including the director of a special ballet academy (Anjelica Huston), who grants him safe passage to Morocco. Once there, John seeks out the assistance of Sofia (Halle Berry), a woman whose daughter he saved years ago, and who knows the location of “The Elder,” the leader of the assassins guild who can hopefully remove the price from his head. But before he can get there, he’s going to have to shoot, stab, and even book, yes, book, hundreds of people to death. And, in the end, will it be worth it? Watch the movie to find out. Continue reading

Pokemon: Detective Pikachu (2019)

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When his father goes missing and is presumed dead, former Pokemon trainer Sam journeys to Rhyme City, a high-tech utopia where humans and the multi-colored, super-powered animals live in harmony. There, while searching through his dad’s apartment, he encounters a Pikachu, who, shockingly, can speak English. Pikachu claims to have known Sam’s father and says that the man is not, in fact, dead. Realizing that there may be a chance to save his dad, Sam teams up with the talking, lightning-tailed mouse, and sets off to unravel the mystery of his father’s disappearance. Continue reading

Shadow (2019)

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Set during the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history, Shadow tells the story of Ziyu, an ambitious but feeble lord who, in an attempt to conquer a walled city, hatches a scheme involving his wife, Xiao Ai, his body double, Jingzhou, and lots and lots of umbrellas. And if that sounds vague, it’s only because the actual plot is so convoluted that it’s not worth trying to explain. However, that does not mean that you shouldn’t seek out this film if it’s playing at a theater near you. Continue reading

Brightburn, And The Troubling Trend Of “Evil Superman” Stories

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So, in case you guys haven’t seen the trailer for Brightburn, the upcoming James Gunn sci-fi/horror flick, here’s the rundownIt’s basically “evil Superman.” No, they never say the name Superman in the trailer. But the story is about a little boy who lands on Earth, is raised by a kindly couple in the countryside, exhibits powers as he grows up, and wears a red cape. Except here, he kills people instead of saving them. Continue reading

The Fifth Element (To Infinity Retrospective)

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HEY! HI! HOW’S IT GOING? WELCOME TO THE TO INFINITY RETROSPECTIVE, A SERIES I CREATED IN PREPARATION FOR STAR WARS 9. WHICH WE NOW KNOW IS CALLED “RISE OF SKYWALKER.” ANYWAY, ON THE FIRST DAY OF EACH MONTH, I REVIEW A DIFFERENT SPACE OPERA, AND, THIS MONTH, WE’LL BE LOOKING AT THE FIFTH ELEMENT, A WACKY, WILD AND WEIRD OFFERING FROM 1997. What’s it about? Well… Continue reading

Stray (2019)

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When a woman is found burned to death in a warehouse, the police think they’ve got a cut and dry arson case. Except there are two problems with that theory. One, there’s no evidence of a fire being lit. And two, an autopsy reveals that the victim, a Miss Kyoko Oshiro, wasn’t burned to death. She was petrified. And how can a woman who was alive and kicking the previous night, according to her daughter Nori, have been dead for thousands of years? This leads Detective Murphy, an officer struggling with the fallout from her own daughter’s death, to investigate the Oshiro family, and, in so doing, uncover some remarkable, seemingly fantastical things about them. What things? Watch the movie and find out. Continue reading

The Perfect Date (2019)

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When a friend offers to pay him to take his cousin to homecoming, ambitious high schooler Brooks Rattigan gets an idea. What if he set up an app where girls who need escorts would hire him to be their “perfect date?” Not in the sense that he’d be having sex with them, seeing as that’s super illegal, but in the sense that they can tell him on the app how they want him to dress and behave. Brooks figures that if he makes enough money being a “stand-in” he can afford to pay for Yale, his dream college. But what happens when he winds up falling for one of his clients? Watch the movie and find out. Continue reading

Shazam! (2019)

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Everyone dreams of being a superhero. But what does it take to actually become one? Well, in the case of Billy Batson, a 14-year-old foster kid looking for his mom, all it takes is uttering a single word: Shazam! Doing so transforms him into a grown man, with flight, super strength, hyper speed, and the ability to shoot lightning from his fingers. And yet this grown-up version of Billy retains his childlike mind, so, naturally, he does all the things a teenager with superpowers would actually do. Namely, show off for girls and make money. But he’ll have to grow up fast because there’s a villain on the loose, and he’s looking to take Billy’s powers, and use them for things far less innocent and fun. Can Billy and his foster family stop him in time? Watch the movie to find out. Continue reading

Starship Troopers (To Infinity Retrospective)

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starship troopers - cinema quad movie poster (4).jpgWelcome, citizens, to the To Infinity Retrospective, a series created in preparation for Star Wars 9. On the first day of each month, a different Space Opera will be reviewed. And it is your civic duty to read them all. This month, we’ll be covering the 1997 action-satire, Starship Troopers, a film as dense with subtext as it is with blood and boobs. Would you like to know more?
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Dragged Across Concrete (2019)

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When they’re caught on tape crushing a handcuffed suspect’s face into the pavement, racist, corrupt police officers Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn are put on unpaid leave. Enraged that “the entertainment industry, formerly known as the news” has treated them “unfairly,” and believing that they have “the skills and the right to acquire proper compensation” the men decide to follow a tip from one of their criminal connections and rip off a bank heist. Of course, everything goes south when the robbers kill the tellers and take a woman hostage so our “heroes” won’t have as easy of time stealing the gold they believe they’re entitled to. Will they make it out alive? Watch the movie to find out. (Or don’t. You’ll be fine if you skip this one). Continue reading

Us (2019)

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In 1986, Adelaide Thomas went into a funhouse in Santa Cruz and saw something horrifying. She’s never said what that thing was, but it’s clear that she’s done everything in her power to avoid going near that place. How unfortunate for her when her husband, Gabe, and two children, Zora and Jason, insist that they go to Santa Cruz to visit friends. And that misfortune only grows when the very thing Adelaide saw in that funhouse all those years ago, an evil doppelgänger, arrives with clones of the whole family, looking to kill them all. Will they survive? Watch the movie and find out. Continue reading

Love, Death & Robots (Season 1, 2019)

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What if the world were ruled by yogurt? What if a couple had a civilization in their fridge? What if the military recruited werewolves to hunt terrorists? These questions and more are asked and answered in Love, Death & Robots, a brand-new Netflix anthology series. Consisting of 18 animated shorts from different directors, the stories have no narrative connections, and all feature different tones and art styles. The only real thing linking them is the motif of science fiction, and even that’s tenuous, since several of the stories, like the aforementioned werewolf film, would more comfortably fit in the fantasy genre. Even so, the series is engaging enough, with plenty of unique ideas and slick visuals to keep you invested. According to the show’s producers, David Fincher, and Tim Miller, their only objective was to “make something cool.” And, in my opinion, they more than succeeded in that regard. Continue reading

Captive State (2019)

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Nine years after an alien invasion, humanity has been “unified” under a new order of “Legislators.” Crime is low. Employment is high. War is all but nonexistent. And, you know, every human being has a tracker implanted in their throat so that the Legislators can monitor their activities at all times. But, shockingly enough, not everyone is satisfied with this new arrangement. There is a small resistance group, The Phoenix, operating out of Chicago, who hope to spark a revolt. Over a 24-hour period, several stories, including The Phoenix’s plot to assassinate a group of Legislators, a Chicago PD Officer’s efforts to hunt the group down, and the brother of one of the Phoenix members’ attempts to get out, converge. Do any of them succeed? Watch the movie and find out. Continue reading

Captain Marvel (2019)

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Crash-landing on Earth in 1995, Vers, an extraterrestrial warrior from the planet Hala, begins to have nightmares, dreams of a life she might have once had. See, she’s been told that she is a Kree soldier, locked in an eternal war with the shape-shifting Skrull, but these dreams suggest that she may have actually once been Carol Danvers, a human air force pilot. Her commander, Yon-Rogg, tells her to ignore these visions, insisting that they are implants put there by the Skrull, who did tamper with Vers’ memories while she was captured. But before she can ask too many questions, Skrulls show up, hoping to catch her again, and she winds up running into a young government agent by the name of Nick Fury, and they all chase each other across the country for… some reason. Continue reading

Deadly Class (Season 1, 2019)

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It’s the late 80s, and Marcus is a homeless teen with a deep hatred for Ronald Reagan. See, Reagan closed the insane asylums, and let lots of mentally ill people, including one who killed Marcus’s mom and dad, out on the street. Now, all Marcus wants is revenge. That, and to avoid the police, since the boy’s home he lived in mysteriously burned down, and Marcus was the only survivor. This last fact is what attracts the attention of Master Lin, the principal of King’s Dominion, a private school that teaches the children of criminals and assassins on how to be the best killers. Lin offers Marcus a place at his institution, and Marcus accepts, learning things like how to brew poison, shoot guns, and other assassination vitals, and all while navigating bullies, girls, and all the other high school tropes. Continue reading

Dune (To Infinity Retrospective)

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Welcome back to the To Infinity Retrospective, a series I created in preparation for Star Wars 9. On the first day of each month, leading up till December, I’ll be reviewing a different Space Opera. Last month, I covered The Last Starfighter, a film which I consider to be an overlooked gem. This month, I’m tackling Dune, a movie that I’m… less excited for. What’s it about? Well… Continue reading

Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

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In the future, a catastrophic war has left the Earth devastated. Now, the last remaining humans live in a trash-covered, overcrowded metropolis, Iron City, which sits below a floating utopia, Zalem. Iron City’s inhabitants dream of going up to Zalem, but are not permitted to. And so, they do everything in their power, stealing, bounty-hunting, gladiatorial combat, to enter the flying paradise. In the midst of all this, Dr. Ido, a scientist who came down from Zalem years ago, finds a cyborg girl in the trash, realizes she’s still alive, and so rebuilds her. The girl, whom he names Alita after his deceased daughter, can’t remember her past, but possesses incredible abilities, including knowledge of the long-dead martial art Panzer Kunst, which was used by soldiers during the war. Things only get more complicated when Nova, a man up on Zalem, begins recruiting people down on the ground, including gangsters, bounty hunters and hit men, to bring him Alita’s heart. Will she survive? Will she find out who she is? Well… Continue reading

Is Constance Wu A Trailblazer?

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So I follow Constance Wu on Instagram, and I saw a video she posted recently where she was talking about how, soon, she’d be shooting the 100th episode of Fresh Off The Boat. That was a big deal for her because, one, that’s the most episodes of anything she’s ever shot, and two, it will officially mark the longest run for any show with a majority Asian cast in US TV history. Continue reading

Cold Pursuit (2019)

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When his son, Kyle, winds up dead from an apparent heroin overdose, Colorado snowplow driver Nel Coxman becomes depressed. He grows distant from his wife, Grace, and is contemplating suicide when one of his son’s co-workers, Dante, reveals that Kyle’s death wasn’t an accident. Kyle stole some drugs from the local kingpin, Viking, and Viking had him killed. Realizing the truth, Nel arms himself, and begins picking off Viking’s men, one by one. Unfortunately for him, Viking believes these murders to be the work of another, Native American gang, and soon a fullfledged turf war is in swing, with the outmatched Nel at the center. Continue reading

The Last Starfighter (To Infinity Retrospective)

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Welcome, one and all, to the To Infinity Retrospective, a series I created in preparation for Star Wars 9. On the first day of each month, leading up till December, I’ll be reviewing a different Space Opera. And first up, we have a real diamond in the rough, a flick I’d never have heard of if not for a fellow Screenwriter, The Last Starfighter. What’s it about? Well…

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The Kid Who Would Be King (2019)

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One night, while running away from bullies, young Alex Elliot stumbles into a construction yard. There, he finds a sword lodged in a stone, and being a curious 12-year-old, decides to pull it out. Upon doing so, he discovers some Latin written on the hilt, which, when entered into Google Translate, reads “Sword of Arthur.” Alex is skeptical at first, thinking it impossible for this to be the real Excalibur, but when demonic warriors try to kill him, and an eccentric young man, claiming to be Merlin, tells him that he must assemble a group of knights to stop the evil Morgan Le Fay, or else the world will end, he starts to reconsider. Continue reading

Destroyer (2018)

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17 years after a bank robbery gone wrong, an alcoholic, ethically-compromised LAPD officer tracks down the man who orchestrated the crime. As she does so, we learn about her relationship with her partner while she was undercover. We learn about her relationship with her daughter in the present. And, most importantly, we learn that when she sets her mind on something, nothing will stop her; not bullets, not bruises, not anything. Continue reading

Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

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25 years after a nanny made their lives whimsical, the Banks family has, once again, fallen on hard times. Michael, a widowed father of three, is struggling to keep the bank from repossessing his house, while his sister Jane, a labor organizer, is doing all she can to keep Michael from breaking down. Just when it seems like all hope is lost, Mary Poppins, the very same nanny who filled their lives with magic and musical numbers, descends from the heavens, intent on saving the family from despair with the power of song and dance. What else? Continue reading

Mandy (2018)

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Deep in the wilderness of the Pacific North-West, Red, a humble woodcutter, lives a quiet, peaceful existence with his wife, Mandy. Their days consist of work, watching old sci-fi movies, and reading trashy fantasy novels while they snuggle in bed. In short, all the best things in life. But one day, as Mandy is walking home, she catches the eye of Jeremiah, a failed folk singer turned cult leader, who, thanks to his twisted interpretation of the gospel, believes that God has created everything on this Earth for his pleasure. As a result, he summons a gang of demonic bikers to bring her into his fold. When Jeremiah tries to seduce her, however, she laughs at him, and, in a rage, burns her to death before Red’s own eyes. This destroys the man, who, now having nothing to lose, gathers weapons, and sets out to take vengeance upon the ones who murdered his love. Continue reading