Goon: Last of the Enforcers (2017)

There’s something about sports movies that just get me going. The storylines are always uplifting and you are almost guaranteed a happy ending. Even if the sequel throws up some new troubles and questions for our sports star, they almost always come out triumphant at the end.
Goon (2011), was the first time I had seen Seann William Scott play a role other than a loud-mouth, fast talking degenerate. The kind but clinically dumb Doug Glatt transforms from bouncer to hockey player and fighter extraordinaire, leading a rag tag team to semi-professional, Canadian hockey glory. He beats the crap out of every team he plays, meeting his one and only match in Ross Rhea, played be Liev Schreiber. The finale of the first movie is Rocky-esque, the two knocking each other to the ground at the exact same time in an icy punch-out.

Seann William Scott

The sequel, Last of the Enforcers, picks up with Doug ‘The Thug’ married to his girlfriend Eva, played by Alison Pill. Injuries are plaguing him and threatening his career, while a new threat in the form of Anders Cain (Wyatt Russel) proves to be too much for our hero. He is forced to retire and prepare for a life of fatherhood and desk jobs. But will the lure of the ring and the bloodshed be too much for Doug, and will his marriage be strong enough to allow him to fight and be a father?

I enjoyed this movie but like most straight to video, or now straight to Netflix, sequels, it is not as good as the first one. I found myself checking how long there was left in the film. Whereas in the first instalment, we knew Doug was stupid yet it was his kind nature and inherent goodness that drew us to him, this time around it is used for far more cheap laughs throughout. Scott doesn’t have much to do here and is just there for the fights.
Alison Pill puts in a strong performance as the suffering Eva, lending a note of seriousness to a production of cheap laughs.
Wyatt Russel is O.K. as the villain of the piece. He is hauntingly good at looking… well haunted, by his fathers domineering nature and lack of love and his own failures as a player.

Goon: Last of the Enforcers (2017)
Wyatt Russel and Seann William Scott

However, when all is said and done, I still love a sports flick, and the Highlanders’, and indeed Doug Glatt’s, journey to the playoffs is full of great hockey moments and fantastic fights.
Schreiber is a welcome addition, reprising his role as the punch-drunk and alcohol-drunk Rhea.

Rating: 3/5.

Hangover watchable: Definitely.

Dog Soldiers

This past weekend, myself and Katie went to Spike Island After Dark. That’s the name of the tour. We didn’t sneak onto Spike Island after dark. We paid money to go and hear a Q & A from horror actors, talent managers and casting directors. Get off my back, GAWD!
Liam Cunningham was the main reason I wanted to go. He was magnificent in Game of Thrones, and I had completely forgotten that he was in War of the Buttons, one of the films of my childhood. The Q&A was fantastic. We really got an insight into the changing landscape of Hollywood and how the onus of power has switched from casting directors to producers and agents.
After our tour, the talk with the guests and a small break we sat down to watch a horror film. Due to Cunningham being one of the guests, the film of choice was the 2002 cult hit, Dog Soldiers.

Set somewhere in the Scottish highlands, a routine military exercise turns into a nightmare as a unit is hunted by more than just their comrades…and the damage is deadly real.
Cunningham stars as Capt. Ryan, a delightfully morally corrupt soldier who knows more about their attackers than he lets on.
Kevin McKidd is Cooper, the fearless, calm and collected Private who refuses to believe until its almost too late.
The two leads are fantastic in this movie. McKidd embodies the spirit of what we would associate with a soldier; willing to die for his brothers in arms and not afraid to stand up to the nefarious Ryan.
After hearing Cunningham speak in his Dublin drawl,it was almost disconcerting to hear him speak in a prim and proper upper class British accent. He delights in antagonising the other characters and his smug sounding voice is perfect.

Liam Cunningham

The film itself is not necessarily scary. There are a few jump-scares that are telegraphed from a mile away. The werewolves themselves look hilarious by today’s CGI standards. However, I can see exactly why this is a cult hit. It is just the right mix of scary, funny, dark and ridiculous to make you not look at your watch for an hour and forty five minutes.
I like McKidd and Cunningham from different roles so I was delighted to see them together in this, even as foes. The supporting cast are great, providing a lot of laughs and gruesome deaths.

Rating: 3/5. The werewolves look absolutely ridiculous. Like, you know when you see girls wearing heels that are far too big for them and they’re falling all around Daunt Square at 3 in the morning? Yep.

Hangover watchable: Definitely.

Unbelievable

It is rare that a show or movie leaves me speechless. I won’t lie to you. There were a number of times during the show that I was a bit uncomfortable. The subject matter is extremely shocking and it was tough to watch at times. Rape, especially the rape of women, is a common thing that we hear of almost every day. It fills me with a great sadness to hear of any incident of rape or sexual assault, whether it be from a person I know personally or a random person on the internet who is sharing their story. This show, despite me being hooked and enjoying the storytelling and the acting, made me sad. I can only be thankful that I am just sad at what has happened and what is happening and not suffering from it myself. The women depicted in this story, from Marie, Amber, Lily and Sarah to Detectives Duvall and Rasmussen, are all heroes. The women who live with what has happened everyday, all over the world, are heroes.

Unbelievable tells the story of Marie Adler, played by Kaitlyn Dever (Booksmart). In 2008, Marie was raped at knifepoint, bound and blindfolded. The detectives who took her report didn’t believe her and Marie, after intense questioning and definite coercion, ended up saying she made the whole thing up. Living with the reputation of a false accuse, Marie’s life spirals out of control. Meanwhile, three years later, two detectives in Colorado, Duvall and Rasmussen, feel like they are both looking for the same rapist. Can they catch the monster, and is it all linked to Marie?

My lame attempt at making you want to see the show is unnecessary. If you want to watch a show that celebrates the power of the victims to hold onto their lives and the power of the female detectives who believed when so many men didn’t, then this is the show for you. If you want to watch a show based on a true story in which a violent monster is taken off the streets and his victims can live with at least a glimmer of hope for a better future, then this is the show for you. If you want to watch a show that is unafraid of exploring the brutality of rape and the aftermath of such a horrific act, then this is the show for you. If you can’t bring yourself to watch and see the toxic nature of a lot of male behaviour in the modern world, then this isn’t the show for you. But you should watch it anyways and learn.

I learned an awful lot from this show. Like any series based around the search, capture and imprisonment of a criminal, the intricacies of a police station is extremely intriguing. The different acronyms for scientific tests are interesting to hear about, as are the different hunches that detectives and their partners have. What struck me the most about this was the fact that rape victims have to relive and relay the information so many times. I know that it is important for police, detectives and doctors to have statements and to know what to look for, but I can’t begin to imagine how vulnerable the victim must feel in that moment.
I know that while I’m writing this it may come across as preachy and full of woe. A man, a big man at that, who has never felt at threat on his own walking down a dark road, or been in danger of being sexually assaulted is lamenting the plight of women and being a ‘white knight’. But it is sickening to think about and this show is important for people to watch.
As uncomfortable as it may be for some people to talk about it, the toxic traits associated with masculinity, mainly the perceived ownership of womens’ bodies or their perceived right to touch and feel women in a pub or club, need to be assessed and talked about in detail.

Rating: 5/5. Unbelievable show, pardon the pun. Go see for yourself.

Please read the Pulitzer Winning article of the true story that the show is based on.

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/12/16/an-unbelievable-story-of-rape

Extra Ordinary

Extra Ordinary (2019)

It is always a pleasure to get Irish movies into the cinema. None will ever reach the heights of Young Offenders. Given that it is set in Cork city and showcases a lot of the suburbs and the city centre, it was always going to be hard beat. Unfortunately, other Irish movies never get the audiences they deserve, at least in our cinema.
I had seen the trailer for this flick a couple of months ago and had a feeling that I would like it. It takes place in an unnamed rural Irish village. Rose, played by Maeve Higgins, is a local driving instructor with a spooky past. She doesn’t use her talents anymore but used to converse with the dead and with spirits with her late father. Martin, played by Barry Ward (Jimmy’s Hall), is a local man plagued by the spirit of his unhelpfully helpful late wife. When his daughter Sarah is placed under an evil spell by unsuccessful musician Christian Winter (Will Forte), he contacts Rose and so begins their adventure to save Sarah and get Rose her groove back.

Barry Ward and Maeve Higgins

I enjoyed this film. Like every Irish production, the plot is thick and has many different threads. This one doesn’t get too muddled up and is relatively easy to follow. The ending is a bit mad, even for a movie about ghost-whisperers in modern rural Ireland. I won’t ruin anything but you will laugh out loud and wonder whether they will show what they show. They do…tastefully!
I think that a lot of people would be surprised at how much they would enjoy this movie. The twists and turns are delightful and the performances from the principle cast are outstanding. There are a few slapstick moments and a few well constructed jokes. There are a few intense moments followed by silly interactions. The movie has it all, really.
Extra Ordinary plays out like a long episode of The Savage Eye, or Father Ted even. The comedic possibilities of Irish countryside and the folk that inhabit it are endless. You see a bit of people you know from your own road and village in this movie.
Fans of the Channel 4 smash hit Derry Girls will enjoy the cameos of Sr. Michael (Siobhan McSweeney) and Ciaran (Jamie Beamish), who play a town gossip and a self-obsessed county councillor respectively.

Will Forte and Maeve Higgins

Maeve Higgins is extremely funny as the lonely, awkward yet charming Rose. Her bumbling delivery of her lines is perfect, as Rose is constantly thrust into situations she doesn’t ever want to be in again. Higgins is definitely the star of this production.
Will Forte is also hilarious as the evil yet highly incompetent Christian Winter, constantly failing as a musician and in his quest to get back on top.
Special mention must go to Barry Ward for his turn as the many different spirits that inhabited his body.

All in all, this film was extremely enjoyable. I laughed out loud a few times which is always a good sign. I think if more people gave it a chance they would really like it but unfortunately, IT: Chapter 2 and Downton Abbey are both new releases also and will rule the roost for the next few weeks.

Rating: 4/5. Loses a point for Claudia O’Doherty’s character. I really like O’Doherty in Netlfix’s Love, but the character is just too crass and vulgar for this dry, Irish movie.

Dumplin’

Jennifer Aniston and Danielle Macdonald in Dumplin' (2018)

Last night I watched Dumplin’. I was skimming through the lists on Netflix when this caught my eye. My girlfriend sent me a song from the soundtrack, which is provided by the great Dolly Parton, so I thought of her when I saw it and said I’d give it a watch. It was the best decision in an otherwise gloomy day.
Dumplin’ tells the story of Willowdean, played by Danielle MacDonald. She is the daughter of former beauty pageant queen Rosie Dixon (Jennifer Aniston), and there could not be more difference between the two in looks and personality. Will was much closer to her aunt Lucy who instilled in her a love of Dolly Parton. Will finds a chance to rebel against her mother and all of the skinny girls and bullies at her school by entering the same pageant her mother won all those years ago, while also honoring the memory of her late aunt.

I’m sure you can tell from my brief description above that Willowdean, Will for short, is a big girl. She acts like she doesn’t care, and for the most part she doesn’t, until it comes to her Mom and the boy she likes. She feels like he can’t possibly like her back because of her weight, despite his protests of his love. Constant fights and cold silences fill the space between her and her Mom, usually started by Will because of Rosie’s perceived problem with her daughter’s weight or her use of her childhood nickname, Dumplin’. Will fights with her best friend because of her insecurities about her weight. Elle (Odeya Rush), retorts, ‘I never thought of you as fat’.
While Dumplin’ is a celebration of Dolly Parton, her music and the inspiration she brings to people, it also conveys a message of acceptance…but not in a preachy way, thank God. We are shown that once you have a good group of friends you can gain that confidence to be accepting of yourself. Obviously, the real world is a little tougher than that. Sometimes it can be hard to even look at yourself in the mirror, no matter your size. Dumplin’ does a good job of showing the trials and tribulations it takes to get to your happy place. Even in your happy place there can be dark days. There can be very dark days. It is up to you to seek help and accept help when it is given to you. You are beautiful. I’m a ride. We’re all absolute stunners.

This movie is very emotional so from now on I am going to rate them twice. Once on what I thought of it and once more on whether you should watch it hungover.

Rating: 4.5/5. Loses a half point for not having Dolly make an appearance herself. The drag queens make up for it though.

Hangover: No. Don’t do it to yourself. Totes emosh in the last half an hour.

Hobbs and Shaw: Movie Review

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

Despite dealing with shitheads daily and getting complaints about said shitheads from other paying customers hourly, the cinema has its fair share of perks. Free popcorn, free soft drinks (Oscar, mate, do you want a soft drink?) and free movies are pretty good, but my favourite has to be that we have the ability to put on movies the night before they are released to the public! Is that legal? Probably not. Should I be telling you this? Definitely not. Do I care? Not at all.
Now that I’ll be back covering the very odd supervisor shift I asked my manager, Gill, to show me how the projectors work. She showed me two years ago, she showed me again yesterday and begosh and begorrah with the way I make life choices she’ll be showing me in two years time. While we ran through Hobbs and Shaw, she skipped ahead and I decided that I must see this movie based on characters that they introduce throughout. Now, I won’t spoil who these actors are because they are hilarious and give the film some fresh faces. I will tell you what I thought of the movie and why you should definitely go see it.

Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

First of all, the film is grand. You’ll enjoy the outlandishness of the action and you’ll enjoy the comedic partnership of Dwayne Johnson (Hobbs) and Jason Statham (Shaw). You’ll cringe at the emotional bits that are shoehorned in, as well as some romantic storylines that are just, meh. You’ll laugh at some of the violence and you’ll groan at some of the dialogue. But, and this is important, you will enjoy yourself. The actors that I mentioned earlier that make special appearances will have you laughing out loud, or lolling as the kids say these days.
I, personally, had a great time. I left my brain at the door and enjoyed the two hours and fifteen minutes of carnage! Yes, it is that long. Buy a large soft drink and a small soft drink (Neen, would you like a soft drink, NEEN?!). I thought that Johnson and Statham were great together. Statham was almost as funny as he was in Spy, the hilarious comedy about desk-jockey Melissa McCarthy as she is forced to go out into the field to save the world. Watch that and watch this. The Rock has made his name as the biggest action star of the last decade, and this film is no different. He’s also hilarious, and as he says in the film, people like him. Vanessa Kirby, of The Crown fame, is great in her supporting role of Hattie Shaw. She kicks ass, literally, and is the only character with a catchphrase!

Jason Statham and Vanessa Kirby in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

The movie starts big and maintains the action and carnage all the way through. There are maybe three or four quiet scenes that aren’t interrupted by or immediately followed by a car chase, a fist fight or an all out war. It is a proper popcorn movie and one that will satisfy audiences. This means it’s loud as fuck too so that’s a blessing for me as it will mask the noise of teenagers laughing and joking in the back row. Youths!

My only problem with the movie was the fact that Idris Elba’s character, Brixton, the unstoppable half man, half machine, is barely in it. Now, I realise the movie is over two hours long and villains generally get a lot less screen time than our heroes, but I thought that this would be different due to his stature as an actor. Alas, I was wrong. I understand that the film is named Hobbs and Shaw and not Brixton, but I’m still a bit put out.

Actually, I have a much bigger problem with the finished product. Towards the end of the movie, Hobbs returns to Samoa, his homeland, where he meets all of his estranged brothers. They continually call each other ‘uso’, which is the Samoan word for ‘brother’. Now, the wrestling tag team partnership of Jey and Jimmy Uso are called the ‘Usos’. Their ring names are Jey and Jimmy Uso which means that the WWE are calling one of their most long serving pairs the ‘Brothers Brothers’, or Jey Brother and Jimmy Brother. Upon firther research, I have found, dear reader, that the Uso ‘brothers’, are strangers who were made a team for the WWE because they looked alike. Jesus H. Christ. For some reason, I feel like I have been duped. I can’t stop thinking about the fact that I’ve been calling a pair of athletes the Brothers Brothers for a long long time. And that I still watch wrestling. And that I’m broke. I need to lie down.

Image result for the uso brothers
The Brothers Brothers

Go see Hobbs and Shaw!

Trailer Watch

I had a bit of a break in the lovely land of Italy last weekend, so apologies for the lack of posts. If anyone cares. Do I even care? Yeah, I suppose. Sorry, me. No problem, man. OK, cool. Will we get on with the post? Yeah, let’s rock it.

Cats

Oh. Dear. God. I’ll hold my hands up and say that I had no idea they were making a Cats movie. I’ve never seen the musical or any adaptations of it. I know it is world famous and allegedly a work of art. However, this trailer is so terrifying that I don’t think I’ll ever go see the stage production. Have a look for yourself and keep a bottle of whiskey near by. You’ll need it.

Maverick

Tom Cruise returns as Maverick in this sequel to the 80’s classic. Cruise is almost 60 and looks unreal. Jennifer Connolly is and always will be a stone cold fox. Jon Hamm is also in there with his chiselled jaw. I might skip this movie for my self-esteem.

The King’s Man

The third installment in the Kingsman chronicles seems to be a much darker and more serious affair than the first two films. I’ll let you decide for yourself but the backdrop of World War I is a lot bleaker than cellphones causing you to go mad or drugs paralysing you. However, the cast is impressive and with Ralph Fiennes as the head of this timeline’s Kingsman, we’re definitely in for a stunningly shot movie full of outstanding performances and action scenes.

Catch me Monday for another Trailer Watch if ye want. If not, it’s happening anyways so get bloody used to it ya clems. Peace and Love.

Swiped – Netlfix review

If I don’t like something I won’t review it. I won’t recommend it and I won’t watch the rest of it. But, unbeknownst to me I stumbled upon a cursed movie. A movie so bad that I couldn’t tear my eyes away. I must share it with you and implore you to watch it whenever you get the chance. You’ll laugh yourself sore.

Swiped, starring teen heartthrob Noah Centineo is the WORST movie I have ever watched. It narrowly pips The Dark is Rising (2007), a movie me and my 13-year old friends walked out of. Just to clarify, I was 13 at the time too, I just wanted to give some context. I messed up. I don’t hang out with 13 year olds.
The reason it pips that to the post of biggest piece of shit movie I’ve ever seen is because I watched the whole thing. We walked out of The Seeker and had no regrets. But this time, me and my brother couldn’t take our eyes off of this absolute trainwreck.

This teen rom-com-dram tells the story of James, a talented by socially awkward coder who starts his first year of college. His roommate is ladies man Lance who, with his two friends whose names I’ve forgotten, recruit James to create an app for them that will blow all other dating apps out of the water. The quartet become wildly successful but James doesn’t agree with the ethics so keeps his involvement quiet. He becomes even more disillusioned when he knows his Mom is using the app and deletes the data, trying to help women realise that they don’t need apps for love. They need to trust themselves.

Christian Hutcherson, Nathan Gamble, Noah Centineo, and Shelby Wulfert in Swiped (2018)
Hannah reading, which is unusual for her

I think I realised that this movie was going to be trash when James asks his love interest, Hannah, what she is reading. Now, this is just after she told him she wants him to leave her alone but he follows her down the hall, asking her about her book. Hannah finally responds and tells him that she’s reading Pride and Prejudice. “Oh, Jane Austen,” James replies with no emotion because he’s a terrible actor.
“Oh, my God, you know Jane Austen?”. He’s a fucking first year college student in North America, Hannah, yes he knows who Jane Austen is.
Now, James and Hannah are badly written characters (Hannah literally goes around reading all the time and even in scenes that she is participating in and conversing in, every time someone talks to her she rips her head out of the book with a look of vague surprise as if she wasn’t aware where she was), but the whole cast is just horrible. Noah Centineo didn’t seem bad in To All the Boys I loved Before, and I actually liked that movie but in this one, despite being the best actor, he’s still the worst somehow. Maybe its because I know he can do better. Maybe I’m just disappointed.
Also, the actor who plays James, the main character, looks exactly like an old friend from secondary school and I’d just laugh and laugh every time he came on screen. This movie didn’t stand a chance.

Kendall Ryan Sanders and Noah Centineo in Swiped (2018)

There were so many laughably bad scenes dotted throughout the movie. The extras and background actors were abysmal, but the main characters were always worse.
I’ve already mentioned Hannah’s need to read but one scene in particular had me howling. So, just after deleting all the data for the dating app, James seeks refuge in the girl’s sorority house (first mention in the entire movie that they are all in the same sorority by the way, and this is with about 20 minutes left). Hannah greets him at the door, lets him in, introduces him to all the girls and intently listens to the start of James’s speech about women empowerment. The camera pans to James for the rest of his speech, he sees the other girls nodding and then ask Hannah what she thinks. Hannah is now reading and pulls her head away from the book, as if she wasn’t aware James was talking. Its almost as if she wasn’t in the scene just before and stumbled in to the living room while being engrossed in the same Jane Austen novel from the start of the year.

Another scene that made no sense was the one in which James’ sister, who has been extremely horrible to him all movie long and most probably his entire life, says she’ll miss him a little bit when he goes back to college. She hugs him and looks lovingly at him. This is off the back of constantly telling him he has no friends and will be a loser forever. She even cuts short his mother’s goodbye to him at the start of the college year because she had a party to go to. I just don’t even know about this film.

If you want to have a bit of fun with this movie, have a look out for Hannah reading in every scene she’s in. It’s almost Waldoesque. Pause the movie and if there’s a character studying or with a book, that’s our stereotypical studious love-interest who the main character doesn’t really have a hope with but will end up with anyways.

Another gem of a scene is when Lance reveals to the world that James is the actual creator of the dating app in an attempt to do something. They never actually say what their intention is. It is very odd. I assume it is to stop him getting friendly with the girls which the guys feel they have ownership over. That must be it.
Anyways, the whole world knows that James is the master coder who created Jungle (sorry, I never mentioned the name of the app. The awfulness of this movie consumes me). James’ Computer Science teacher, upon hearing the news, whips her glasses off her face, staring into the distance, perplexed by the news. It’s phenomenal acting, akin to the scene where Chaz Palminteri drops his coffee cup as Keyser Soze limps off into the distance.

Kendall Ryan Sanders and Kristen Johnston in Swiped
Keyser Soze and Dave Kujan


Also, Lance is the biggest piece of shit in the movie but is given a redemption arc. He outs James as the creator of Jungle to destroy him and tries to force him to work for him when he doesn’t want to anymore. After trying to destroy James and never apologising for it, he decides he wants to treat one of the girls better and asks her on a date. She agrees and he immediately makes a joke about their marriage. Like, run sis, he’s gonna use and abuse you. He’s in love with Lara Jean and everyone knows it!

One thing I do feel bad about in this movie is that as the directors name came up on the screen at the very end I flipped the bird on each hand and yelled ‘F**k you Director Fishman’, and me and my brother laughed and laughed. Just then, an in memorian sign to her parents popped up on the screen and I just deflated. As shit as the movie was and as shit as the production value was, it is still someone’s work that is up on Netlfix and I should respect that.

0/10.

Stranger Things 3: Tokyo Drift

Image result for stranger things

Please forgive my title. Whenever I see a sequel or a spinoff I always try and give it the ‘Electric Boogaloo’ treatment or assign it a title from one of the many Fast & Furious Movies. It’s a disease that I will not be seeking help for because it makes me laugh every time.
Anyways, I’m here to tell you about the majesty of Stranger Things 3. I won’t lie, I wasn’t that hopeful going into this season. I mean, how many times can the demigorgon or the mind-flayer terrorise the town of Hawkins without the townsfolk or the people of America taking notice. Every year there was a new story explaining away the deaths of a significant number of members of the community. I think, then, that you’ll forgive me for not waiting with baited breath for Eleven and her comrades. I think, then, that I should hold my hand up and apologise because it was the best season yet.

This season expanded its horizons. The younger kids are growing up and pairing off while the older kids are trying to figure out what to do with their life. The danger has moved away from Hawkins lab and migrated to the Starcourt mall while it is no longer just corrupt Americans that Hopper and the gang have to fight. The Russians have found their own source to the Upside-Down and are trying to break in. It’s what will break out as a result that will be the problem.
I really enjoyed the fact that they explored the kids development and showed them as they tried to navigate relationships and girls. I didn’t care for all the smooching they showed between Mike and Eleven but that’s just me. There are several hilarious scenes between Mike and Lucas in which the latter tries to explain how girls behave when he has no clue himself. He just has a girlfriend for a few months longer than Mike.
This season delved deeper into Hopper and Joyce’s will they/won’t they charade, with comical results in the form of Murray Bauman, the eccentric man who sheltered Nancy and Jonathan in Season 2.
This season also packed some serious emotional punches. While the last two seasons seemed formulaic almost, in the fact that I knew there was no credible danger to the main cast members, this year they differed from type and really let loose with the deaths. I’ll go into detail later.
Overall, a fantastic season and one that will live long in the memories of fans. Unless, of course, you binge watched it and have forgotten most details as it all turns into one massive blur of character, plot and theatre.

Breakout

D’Acre Montgomery, known for his portrayal of Jason in Power Rangers (2017) gave a powerful performance as the tortured Billy. In Season 2 we just saw an angry young man intent on fighting with the local guys and making out with the local girls. He was a colossal douche to his little sister, Max, and was generally unlikable. He was never involved in any of the dealings with the monsters and to the best of my recollection was just used as a device to get the kids to stand up for themselves.
He arrives in season 3 as the hunky lifeguard at the pool. He is the eye candy for every single female in there, especially Mike and Nancy’s mom. He has the town of Hawkins and every female in it at his feet. Unfortunately, he is infected by the mind-flayer and used to do the monster’s dark bidding around the town. His turn as the demented destroyer that Billy evolves into is mesmerising and there seems to be no way out for Eleven and the gang. His final scene in the final episode is beautiful, yet devastating to watch. Montgomery already has plenty of credits under his acting belt but he really showed his acting chops throughout these eight episodes.

Dacre Montgomery in Stranger Things (2016)
Dacre Montgomery as Billy

Millie-Bobby Brown turned in another electric performance as Eleven, or Elle. I didn’t see her in Godzilla because I had no interest in the movie, but I heard nobody really came out of that movie looking great. However, if she goes on to other shows and features while putting in the types of performances she has while playing the pre-teen superhero, she will be one of the best actresses of her generation.
In the penultimate episode she is almost struck down and must rely on her friends to save her. Her depiction of unbearable pain and despair was so real that I almost forgot it was a t.v. show for a moment. The agony was etched onto her face and just showed that as well as being the best character in the show, bar Hopper, she is the best performer.

Sadie Sink and Millie Bobby Brown in Stranger Things (2016)
Millie Bobby Brown and Sadie Sink as Eleven and Max

Final Goodbye?

I told ye that I would go into detail about the emotional punches that are landed on your heart and soul throughout this season. It was tough guys. It was like Game of Thrones Season 3 when most of the Starks die. Except a bit more lighthearted throughout the rest of the show and not all doom and gloom.
In the final episode, as the final battle with the shadow monster rages on elsewhere, Joyce and Hopper have a chance to end it once and for all. Due to Russians and other unforeseen circumstances, Hopper gets caught on the wrong side of an explosion that will close the gap between worlds forever. Our Dad-bod hero is gone and it seems like there is no way back for David Harbour in the show. It wasn’t his death that got me, although that was devastating; it was his final look at Joyce and into the camera and the emotion that he showed. As his eyes welled up a chill went up my spine and I realised that Hopper had no way out. He would finally give his all to save Eleven, Hawkins and Joyce.
Now, there is a cut scene at the end which shows a prisoner being sacrificed to one of the demidogs from season 2. The scene is set in Russia in a military compound and as the guards approach a certain cell that is blocked from view, they say, “No, not the American.” Certain speculation has gone up online in which the ‘American’ could be Hopper who was somehow rescued from the blast or miraculously survived.
If the Police Chief is to return in the next season, he would have to be changed somehow by the blast and would not be himself. It could be a totally different American but for the moment we have to believe that Harbour will return for another outing as chain smoking legend Jim Hopper.

Winona Ryder and David Harbour in Stranger Things (2016)
Winona Ryder and David Harbour as Joyce and Hopper

What Next?

Will, Jonathan and Joyce are moving away from Hawkins and Elle is going with them. The rest of the gang are staying put. How will the story be played out next time? We know there is a creature in Russia used to eat prisoners and that that creature will most likely facilitate the spread of the monsters again.
Despite the explosion and the inference that the portal to the Upside Down is gone forever, we get no verbal confirmation that this has happened.
Where did the Russians get the demidog?
Will Elle get her powers back? Does she even want them back? She has a chance at a proper normal life now. Well, as normal as being psychologically tortured up until her teens, not getting a chance to know her mother and losing the only caring father she ever knew can be.
Will Mike grow out of being a shithead teenager? Pressing questions indeed.

Verdict

A solid 8/10 for this season. Loses a few marks for all the smooching I was subjected to and that we didn’t get to see more of Wheeler’s mom in a swimsuit. I am but a man.

Trailer Watch – Disney Edition

The world of the cinema is awash with remakes and sequels, and this week’s Trailer Watch is no different. Disney, long the proprietor of heartwarming, animated tales, has now become a relentless machine intent on remaking every single one into a live-action blockbuster. So, naturally, here is three trailers recently released by the corporation.

Image result for movie reel

Mulan (teaser)

The latest in Disney’s attempts to keep their finger in the pie is the remake of the 1998 animated hit, Mulan. The trailer dropped Sunday to millions of views and a clear indication of how well the film will do when it is released.
However, die-hard Disneyites (new knickname I’m trying out for all you Disneyites out there) would do well to read the description for the video on Youtube. This movie is based on the 6th century poem, the Ballad of Mulan. While the animated version is dear to many of us, this one will take a different direction; one more true to the original ballad and more sensitive to Chinese culture and history. I, for one, cannot wait for Spring 2020 and can’t wait to see Yifei Liu as Mulan kick ass.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

I was pleasantly surprised when Maleficent (2014) turned out to be a rather good movie. I wasn’t convinced that a villain’s origin story would be appealing as a Disney movie but it was dark, hopeful and filled with enough emotion that I thought it worked very well.
The trailer for the sequel dropped yesterday and it looks fantastic. More family drama looks in store for Maleficent and Aurora when the young princess is sought out for marriage. Michelle Pfeiffer plays a definite villain judging by her glances to the distance as a plan forms behind those wonderful eyes.
There is a twist in the tale as the trailer gives away pretty much the whole story. But I won’t. So have a look.

Frozen II

2 Frozen 2 Feckin’ Cold will be released towards the end of this year. Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Josh Gad and Jonathan Groff will reprise their roles in the sequel to the 2013 smash hit which drove parents crazy. This time around Anna, Else, Kristoff and Sven head off to save Arendelle and the world while discovering the origins of Elsa’s powers. Stay strong, Moms and Dads. Stay strong.