Monday, April 22, 2019

Netflix Movie Review: Someone Great

Since Netflix had added that trailer feature for their shows and movies, I have seen previews for things I had never planned on watching.  That trailer really gives you a good sense of the plot and whether I want to invest my time and energy into this show/movie.

So over the weekend, the trailer for Someone Great pops up and I immediately froze because I saw Gina Rodriguez.  And that was not a good thing.  If you have not been paying attention, Gina Rodriguez is problematic AF.  She is that woman who constantly talks over women and she has "ALL Lives Mattered" Black women on multiple occasions. And even when she was called out about it, she went on the Breakfast Club and cried some BS tears in an attempt to save whatever street credibility she had.  She even tried to pull that, "My father is part Black"( he def don't look it)!  So I fully side eye Gina Rodriguez and this movie seems like a ploy to say, "Hey, I am not the prejudice, race sensitive person that you see on TV.  Look at me, I am working WITH Black people".  It seems disingenuous and manipulative based on her previous statements and actions.

Regardless, I let the trailer run because I am a sucker for romantic comedies and the rest of the cast at least intrigued me.  Someone Great is the story of 3 almost 30-something women transitioning through major adulthood shit.  Blair, played by Brittany Snow, is in a relationship of convenience with a man she clearly does not love and is cheating with another man.  Erin, played by Dewanda Wise, is a Gay woman who refuses to settle down because she had been hurt in the past.  And Jenny, played by Gina Rodriguez has gotten the job opportunity of a lifetime with Rolling Stone.  The problem is the job would require her to move to San Fransisco and she has been in a long term relationship with Nate, played by Lakeith Stanfield.  Nate, when presented with the news of her new job thinks they should break up and not even consider doing the long distance thing which breaks Jenny;s heart and leads to each woman examining their relationships moving forward and of course a last night bash to celebrate their friendship together.

The movie is told in flashback mode to see the evolution of the relationship between Nate and Jenny and how their relationship affected the friends around them. Sadly, Blair and Erin's relationship issues are not able to be fully fleshed out as we are constantly dealing with Nate and Jenny and as their issues wrap up, a quick happy bow are put on them without any really exploration of the characters.  The movie, at 1 hour and 23 minutes really didn't leave much time left for supporting characters.

The good about this movie is the deepness of the ladies relationships and you feel that joy and angst throughout as they struggle through real life stuff.  Society will lie and tell you that you need to have all your shit together by 30 and that is a fallacy.  If anything, moving towards 30 often puts into focus the things you have not accomplished and can often lead to episodes of anxiety and depression and "what am I doing with my life" conversations.  Put on top of that a very personal relationship, with all its ups and downs... entering your 30's can often be a bigger landmine than being in your 20's and I think Someone Great captures the spirit of that!

The bad about the movie is that Jenny and Nate have zero chemistry.  I love Lakeith Stanfield and dude is a great actor but I was not feeling him in this role.  Plus, the movie struggles a lot with what it is.  Is this a comedy or a drama because its billed as a comedy but there are not a lot of laughs to be found here.

This movie was very similar in tone to another Netflix movie, Ibiza, which premiered last year.  Three women who are on a journey and we are along for the ride.  Overall, not a terrible movie, but it definitely could've been better by exploring each woman's journey more fully.  Gina Rodriguez's Jenny from the Block routine is in full swing now.  Let's see who falls for it!

The Producer

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Shazam! Review and Box Office Weekend

As Sunday closes down, the early box office numbers have Shazam coming in around the projection a month ago with about $55 million and a total closer to $60 million from the early preview weekend they did a few weeks ago.

I was fortunate enough to catch the preview and we did a spoiler review on the Marvel Hacks Podcast and you can find that link here   Marvel Hacks Shazam Review

At the time tho, my fellow Hacks had not seen the movie so it was a one-sided review and having had some time to reflect on the movie, I still feel the same way as I did when I left the cineplex.  The movie is a lot of fun and is in line with what a Shazam movie should be: Lighthearted, family centered, and fun! Lots of fun!  I found tho, in my watching and reflecting, that even tho its one of the best DCEU movies, I am 100% sure that movie was not made for me.  Now this is not a "Comic Book Guy" rant coming. Not at all.  Its more of a, " I am getting older and some of these comic book movies are not made with older viewers in mind".  And that is fine and something more I have to rectify with myself; not with DCEU.  I saw the movie with my daughter and she loved it.  She is also 12 and I feel is the real target audience of a movie like Shazam.  It plays to kids and younger audiences.  The jokes, the plot, and the character of Billy Bastion plays towards a certain demographic and I am clearly not in that demo anymore.  As a reviewer, its up to me to put that aside and review the movie for what its worth.

Our story starts off with a cold opening and a young man who is arguing with his older brother and his dad in a car ride in the 80's.  In a moment, the young man is swept away and taken to a magical place where he meets a wizard, who judges him based on his heart to see if he is worthy of being Shazam! He is not and is cast out and over the years, after being so close to that level of power, little  Thaddeus  grows into our villain in the movie, Dr. Sivana!

In present day, Billy Bastion is an orphan in search of his real mother.  He has bounced around from foster home to foster home and after an incident with the law is placed with the Vasquez family and even though he has no intention of staying there, circumstances place him in a position to not only stay, but grow, especially to his younger foster brother, Freddy Freeman. While there relationship is initially contentious , Freddy grounds the movie purely in comic book mode as he is a living encyclopedia of the DCEU universe ( the movie is set in a world where Man of Steel and Batman  V Superman have already happened)

Billy winds up getting the power of Shazam and all the early shenanigans of learning about his powers are cute and the jokes really play well with the teenagers.  Of course, this is a super hero movie and once Dr. Sivana finds out that Shazam exists, he is out to steal his powers which he feels are rightfully his.

The CGI in this movie, especially with the demon villains that follow  DR Sivana around are kind awful.  The movie culminates with a big battle in and around Philadelphia.  Again, Shazam is about family and we do get the big Marvel Family reveal at the end of the movie and again, its fun and will play well to younger audiences.

For me, I liked the movie but I hear people over praising a bit in my opinion.  Its not the dark, drek that Snyder imposed upon DC comic and movie fans and I thank them for that.  But also, in attempting to not be drek at all, it may have been a little too light on drama and the villain is kinda awful.  That will always be an issue for Shazam as his rogue gallery is pretty weak outside of Black Adam.

Overall, fun movie!  Definitely not great like people are praising it to be.  If you are a younger fan( under 30), you will probably love it!! It was truly made for you!!

The Producer

First Look: Morbius

Our friends over at Heroic Hollywood had an Instagram photo of Jared Leto on the set of the Spider-Man spin off movie, Morbius.  We have been clear @brothascomics that any movie involving Spider-Man villains without Spider-Man is going to stink.  I know Venom made a bunch of money but that movie is not very good.  Sony does not care!  They just wanna keep pumping out theses bastard movies and people keep falling for it!

Hit the link to read the article and check out the on set photo!
Morbius Set Photo

The Producer

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Trailers Before Shazam

I was fortunate to see an early screening of Shazam yesterday!  These are the trailer before the movie premiered!

Pokemon: Detective Pikachu

I am of a certain age that I was too old when Pokemon became so popular.  I mean I know about it and maybe watched the cartoon once or twice, but I never was actually into it.  The Pokemon I know the most is Pikachu and I really don't know that much about it. So the idea of this movie for me is a list cause since my kids are also not into Pokemon.  Plus, its got Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Pikachu and I am pretty much Fuck Ryan Reynolds outside of Deadpool and Just Friends!  Hard pass for me!!

Godzilla King of the Monsters

Godzilla has had so many relaunches over the years, its hard to get excited about another one.  The last Godzilla movie was actually pretty good, tho and this sequel brings back many of Godzilla's greatest monsters from the past.  Movie looks great and all the monsters look awesome, too.
My kids were not down with the first Godzilla but are all in on this one so its a full thumbs up for me!!

The Producer

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Marvel Hacks Season 5, ep 6

Marvel Hacks Podcast

This is the finale of Season 5 of the Marvel Hacks!  I was lucky enough to screen Shazam yesterday so we have a review here.  Plus in Blerd Notes we talk the box office for Captain Marvel. the "dark" Flash movie in development, the Endgame trailer, and the final acquisition of Fox by Disney.

We also review Amazing Nightcrawler and NextGen in the Age of X-Man and we continue our review of Winter Soldier.

Fun listen with your boys the Sandman, Brother Beavis, and The Producer from Brothascomics

The Producer

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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Trailers Before Captain Marvel

One of my favorite things to do is to check out the trailers before the movie begins to get a sense of what is coming out over the next few months.  I saw Captain Marvel last week and even tho I was hoping and praying for an Avengers: End Game trailer that did not come, I did see some trailers that may pull me back into the local cineplex. First up

Best of Enemies

Let me tell you something I am sick of.... make white people feel good about being racist movies.  From Green Book to Driving Ms. Daisy to The Upside, to this movie about a Black woman and a white man who somehow find common ground on race in North Carolina.  Man, whether based on actual events or not, these movies only serve the purpose of making white people feel good for 2 hours and then they go back to their white neighborhoods and white friends and never work to interact to deconstruct a white system designed to benefit them on the daily.  Fuck this movie and fuck everyone associated with it.


For me this is a solid, "Thank you, next".  The original Dumbo, while sad and emotionally, is also racist AF with them damn crows and I am not sure, but I know somehow, someway, director Tim Burton gonna keep the racism alive with this movie as he has not been a fan of the Negro in his movies.  Hard pass and honestly, I do not need to see live action versions of Disney "classics".  

Spider-Man: Far From Home

I am a huge Spider-Man fan and I loved Homecoming much more than my podcasting co-hosts. However, this trailer and the lead up to this movie got me feeling kinda uneasy.  Maybe it not being set in New York?  Maybe the addition of Nick Fury? Maybe the Happy and Aunt May thing?  I don't know, but this looks problematic to me on first glance and the full trailer did not make me feel any better.  I hope I am wrong.

Frozen 2( Electric Boogaloo)

Its become kinda the norm now for people to kinda diss Frozen; like I hear people saying that the movie was not all that good and that kinda talk was not happening when it came out a few years ago.  I mean did they play "Let it Go" to death?  Hell yes, but overall, that movie is solid and holds up over multiple viewings( trust me I know- my daughter makes me watch it still).  This teaser trailer didn't do or say much but I am not gonna sit here and lie to y'all like I am not gonna be there opening night!  Bring it on Elsa!!

Ugly Dolls

The only reason I know about Ugly Dolls is that Marvel Hacks Podcast co host Brother Beavis gave one to my kids when they were little.  They always kinda freaked me out a bit and the trailer is creepy, too.  Not creepy scary, creepy like I don't think Ima pay real ass money to watch some Ugly Dolls find their true meaning and purpose in life.  Feels like a Redbox or a Netflix watch for me and even then, it may not happen!

Dark Phoenix

Sigh.... If you have watched or read or listened to anything Brothascomics has done over the last 2 years, you know full well that we have no use for this movie.  Now with the Fox-Disney merger complete, this movie seems even more unnecessary.  It looks like a beat for beat remake or The Last Stand and that movie is straight ass cheeks.  The EFX look bad, Sophie Turner is a bad actress, Storm is still light skinnded, and Mystique has morphed into Jennifer Lawrence.  Maybe there is a good movie in there....maybe.  But I doubt it and thank god the Fox Mutant nightmare ends with this stinker.

The Producer

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Triple Frontier

From time to time as a Netflix subscriber you get these, "You may like" notices from Netflix and I always assume that its based upon your previous viewing history and for the most part, Netflix be wrong as hell for me because my viewing habits is weird AF.  Sometimes I am watching cartoons, other times I binge the New Girl, and I am forever watching Spanish novellas on that thing so its a shot in the dark on what I may like.

About a week ago, tho I received a notice about the movie Triple Frontier and I was even more curious as to why it made it into my inbox.  As a general rule, I do not watch action/adventure movies because they tend to not hold my interest so I am sure it was not because flagged for that reason.  Then I looked at the stars of the movie; most notably Oscar Issac and Ben Affleck and I'm thinking, "oh yeah, now I see why it flagged".  I have probably watched the Last Jedi 50 bazillion times on Netflix and the Force Awakens another 50 bazillion so anything with Oscar Issac constantly makes its way onto my suggestions list.

First let me say before this review begins is that I am not a huge fan of violence, even fake violence in movies.  Its just not my taste.  But i forged ahead and watched this movie because I was intrigued by the stars of the movie, that not only included Issac and Affleck, but also Charlie Hunnam, Pedro Pascal, and Garrett Hedlund.  A quite sizable list of Hollywood hunks might I say and definitely a reason to press play without knowing anything about the movie.

Our plot centers around a drug lord who has taken control of an area in an unnamed portion of South America( its Colombia, they just don't say it).  Issac, playing Santiago, is working with a US government agency charged with trying to take down this drug lord.  He has enlisted a beautiful informant who has been feeding him information with the hopes of freeing her brother from prison.

Santiago has been working this government operation for many years and is looking to get out, but by doing so, he would like to make one more big score by taking down the drug lord AND stealing all that drug lords money.

He recruits his crew of mercenaries that he has worked with over the years played by Hunman, Pascal, Hedlund, and a gun shy Ben Affleck who has been out of the game for many years after being shot.  Afflecks character, Tom, is living an unfulfilled life in the private sector selling houses and going through a divorce that is stretching his finances and his patience.  The thought of one last big score intrigues him and even tho he wants to refuse, he agrees, along with the others to do this one last job.

This sets up a segment of the movie with that siege of the drug lords mansion to get the money and its a very tense and intriguing scene that does delve into much gun violence so if you are of the squeamish nature, there will be some moments where you are turning your head.  Once the job is done, our motley crue needs to escape and unfortunately for them, there are some pitfalls in their escape plan.

I do not want to spoil too much, but I will say that the last quarter of the movie often gets bogged down in the minutiae of not actually having a villain in the story.  Yes the drug dealer is a bad person, but there is no real antagonist and as the movie is moving to its ultimate climax, you are left feeling anxious as to how this story will end because no matter how you slice it, Santiago and crew are not good guys!

Overall, a fun movie.  Maybe a little too long by the end, but not too bad.  I think its a perfect Netflix movie in the sense that its more watchable from home on your big screen tv than paying $15 and watching it on the big screen.  The characters are all likeable, even tho they are doing a despicable thing.


The Producer

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