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  1. Been catching up on South Park. I watched the three episodes of this season and the Streaming Wars specials that I missed last year. The specials have never really done it for me and the Streaming Wars is not much of a step up from the previous specials. That being said, the new season of South Park has been pretty good so far. It has returned to a more episodic format and I feel like it is a return to form. I hope they keep experimenting with other formats (like a seasonal arc), but that they are also confident enough to only do this when they have a clear idea/desire to do so.
  2. I went to see Creed III in IMAX earlier today. I still have trouble believing this franchise is real. If you would have told me before the release of the first one that these films would not only be good, but actually surpass the Rocky franchise from which it spawned (and of which I am a tremendous fan), I would not have believed you. And yet they do. Pound-for-pound or even in a direct line up (Creed 1 v. Rocky; Creed II v. Rocky II, etc.) the Creed franchise takes home the gold. This third instalment is no exception. In fact it is a magnificent film and it might even be my favourite film in the entire franchise. It contains all the classic elements I have come to adore about a Rocky film, but it manages to make the story feel even more personal by daring to delve into darker territory. The story of two friends/brothers struggling with past trauma and not being able to manage it in a constructive way is heart-wrenching. The excellent story is furthered by complex performances from all the main cast members. Michael B. Jordan has always been terrific as Creed, but this film actually manages to flesh out Tessa Thompson's character. The same goes for Phylicia Rashad's Mary-Anne Creed, who gets some beautiful scenes with her son. Stealing the show however is Jonathan Majors. i have said before that the man is a star in the making and I stick to that. So far, he's been good in all the atrocious stuff I have seen him in, but here, in this film I feel we finally get to see what the man can accomplish when he's not fighting against a mediocre story. He might be the best antagonist this franchise ever had. More intimidating than Clubber Lang, more openly hostile than Apollo in the beginning and much more of an active player than Drago was. On top of the performances and the story, I also have to shower praise on the director. This film has some superbly interesting shots in it and I know I now really want to see Michael B. Jordan helm more films. It's such an accomplished feature that it really pops out visually. He's done an excellent job. The fights also hit hard and if you watch it in IMAX, it feels like you are right there with the actors in the ring. Great experience in sort of the same way that Top Gun: Maverick was. I might even go again if it plays in IMAX long enough. One final thing I really liked was the score. Great musical scores throughout and the only thing I was really missing was
  3. Dude... If I'm Rothfuss I'm calling that guy and ask him to ghostwrite A Door of Stone for me
  4. I watched a bunch of stuff yesterday, including: The Harley Quinn Valentine Day special. I love the fact that this series is now popular enough to warrant specials. That being said, it was very forgettable as far as Harley Quinn episodes go. Would recommend it if you are really into the series, but otherwise perfectly okay to skip. The new episode from The Mandalorian. I was real glad that it only lasted for twenty minutes. That felt like mercy to me, so not a great sign for the series as a whole. If I didn't see this with friends, I think I would quit. Hopefully that feeling changes over the course of the season. Then I watched Logan Lucky, one of those films from the last couple of years that I never got around to. It wasn't a great night of entertainment for me and I think this was probably the worst thing I saw that evening. Everyone aside from Riley Keogh was really poor in it, the humour was non-existent (apart from one extended hilarious joke about TWOW) and even by the low, low standards of heist movies I thought the plot was convoluted. I'm also pretty sure that this film was the first that tried to give us Daniel Craig's take on a good ol' boy and I believe we all concur that it needs to stop. We finished off with a pallet cleanser of Rick & Morty. Specifically the episode in which they make fun of heist movies. We followed it up with the dragon episode which is not really seen as a good episode, but I still loved tremendously with it.
  5. I was in the same headspace as your wife concerning goodwill for the franchise and I also found the beginning quite difficult. I guess we're so conditioned to expect a certain thing from SW now that it is hard to adjust to a different take. I did restart it eventually however, after more than a month of break due to travel at the recommendation of @Corvinus85 and others, which was very fortunate for me as it picks up considerable speed from episode 4 onwards to become one of the best TV-show of last year. There is a famous actor from LOTR who is included in later episodes whose arc in particular floored me. In fact, his last scene in the first season was probably my favourite moment of television in 2022. So there is something to look forward to definitely
  6. A friend talked me into watching another season of The Mandalorian. In preparation for watching the episode together tomorrow, I finally watched the three Mandalorian episodes embedded in The Book of Boba Fett. I have to say that I'm not entirely looking forward to season three of The Mandalorian based on these episodes. I'm not saying anything shocking when I state that this is clearly no Andor. What I find striking however, is that whenever I watch The Mandalorian, I come away with a feeling of wasted potential. The Mandalorian is a pretty cool character (visually) and the emotional connection at the core of the story works well. It's just so unfortunate that the emotional storyline of Grogu and Mando is played out on such an idiotic canvas. The world just feels fake. There is no depth to anything. There are also no stakes and most of what works is just reminiscent of better properties outside of Disney Star Wars So yeah, The Mandalorian season 3 is facing an uphill battle to convince me. It's just maddening to know that they can produce an Andor if they set their mind to it and then just choose not to do so. Plus est en vous Disney.
  7. No. Nothing whatsoever 5c5ad7259e42b911d3055365.jpg (1000×669) (ghostwhalelondon.com)
  8. I went to see Cocaine Bear over the weekend. It was way better than a movie with that title should be (A friend of mine described it as "it's like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter except for the fact that it's also a good movie). It's definitely not a cinematic master piece, but it was a great time at the movies for me. The actors are all solid, which is not that surprising when you look at the cast. Keri Russel, Ray Liotta, Kristofer Hivju, Margo Martindale, Matthew Rhys, Isiah Whitlock Jr. and Ice Cube's kid. That's an impressive line up for a film with such a jokey concept. I'm assuming Elizabeth Banks pulled a lot of strings to get this many veteran actors together for this type of a crazy concept film. The action is pretty good, the bear CGI is well done and aside from the fact that it has some really funny moments, it also has some pretty good dramatic beats (in particular, the cop's storyline was quite touching imo). So yeah, definitely would recommend seeing it.
  9. Oh, nice, that is sooner than I anticipated Although it will be difficult to decide whether to binge this or watch it on a weekly basis. So far I have done the binging strategy and I feel like the series is wonderful for that.
  10. They cannot be stupid enough to remake the LOTR trilogy. Who in their right mind would even go near an idea that is bound to fail. Extended universe stuff sure, that might actually lead to a few interesting films between all the shite.
  11. Does anyone have more info on this? There was an article on the Guardian about it, but I felt like it did a poor job explaining what exactly WB could attempt to do given all the rights issues.
  12. I watched Scorsese's The Color of Money (1986) a few days ago. It stars Tom Cruise, Paul Newman and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and is a follow-up to 1961's The Hustler in which Paul Newman played the younger version of his poolshark Fast Eddie Felson character in this film. I tried to watch The Hustler a few months ago, but the film somehow failed to grab me. I therefore decided against watching The Color of Money, but luckily I picked it up again. This is a fantastic film in my book. Scorsese himself isn't a fan of it as it is probably the least personal film he's ever made, but I think the performances really sell it. Paul Newman is tremendous as the aging Fast Eddie Felso, who slowly falls back into his addiction to pool and finds meaning in that. Mastrantonio is great in her role as well, although I do feel that the script did her no favours by reducing her to a more stereotypical girlfriend character at the end of the film. Tom Cruise basically plays himself in this film, which is rather funny to see. So definitely another of the early Cruise films that deserve to be watched again.
  13. I finished my tussle with the LOTR Extended Editions with The Return of the King. Ultimately, my assessment remains broadly similar to the one I have had for the previous two extended editions. It's nice that they exist and if you are a big fan, you definitely have to have seen them at least once, but I would say that the theatrical cut is superior. As to the extended edition of tRoK specifically, I do think it is the best of the bunch. The fact that Saruman's fate is not resolved in the theatrical cut is quite odd and it's a good thing that the extended cut rectifies it. The scene with the Mouth of Sauron is rather cool, although I get why it was cut, as it makes Aragorn look like a bit of a war criminal. I also think that the added material makes the ending of tRoK's extended cut feel less bloated than the theatrical cut where the ending just keeps on going in comparison to what came before. All in all, I was very glad to be able to revisit this franchise. I would recommend people not to do it in 4K however. For some reason everything looked more childlike than I remembered. It doesn't surprise me now that PJ would end up creating The Hobbit. Like George Lucas, he was hemmed in by the state of technology which provided a check on his worst impulses as a film maker.
  14. Not sure how I will be able to see this, but it looks interesting:
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