Series Review: Preacher – Season 2 (2017)

Last year a little show called “Preacher” premiered on AMC. Critically speaking it did well, with audiences it did well, so of course a second season would get made. And now it has finally finished, which means that I can finally review it. So here we go.

Ladies and gents… “Preacher” season 2!

After the explosive end of season 1, we find Jesse (Dominic Cooper), Tulip (Ruth Negga), and Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) on the road to try to find god… I’m not being metaphorical, they’re seriously trying to find the individual known as god. All while they’re trying to survive being chased by the Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish), who wants to kill Jesse. So now we have our plot for the season. And I’d say that it is quite good. It’s not flawless, but it’s strengths definitely outweigh it’s flaws. For the most part you have this weird, fun, and sometimes blasphemous adventure with plenty of fun mythology to it. And at times you get some pretty solid character drama. And it’s filled with a whole bunch of good twists and turns. Now, my only gripe with the plot here is that there are some mild pacing issues in maybe two episodes near the middle. But they’re not that bad… noticeable, but not deal-breaking. So overall I’d say that the plot is really good.

The characters in this are fun, colorful, and just incredibly interesting. But it’s not just the characters being the same throughout, you see them develop more and more over the season while still remaining true to what we were introduced to in season 1. Dominic Cooper returns as Jesse Custer, the troubled preacher with a special ability. Seeing him trying to find god while also dealing with his other demons is quite fascinating, and Cooper is great in the role. Ruth Negga returns as Tulip, Jesse’s girlfriend and partner in crime. She’s as badass as ever while still showing a relatable vulnerability, and Negga is great in the role. Joseph Gilgun is back as Cassidy, the Irish vampire… yeah, he’s as awesome as he was in season 1, still my favorite character in the show. He’s incredibly fun, but he’s also given some good dramatic depth this season which was fun to see. And Gilgun is of course awesome in the role. Graham McTavish returns to play the Saint of Killers, AKA the cowboy we saw every now and then in season 1. Though this time he has an arguably bigger role, and he’s honestly quite awesome. He’s a terrifying villain, an unstoppable badass who will kill Jesse Custer no matter what, and any scenes with him were quite tense. But he was also given some solid dramatic moments too, fleshing out his character a bit more. And McTavish is fantastic in the role. Ian Colletti returns as Eugene/Arseface, and he’s still great in the role. As for new people, there are a whole bunch, including Noah Taylor as… you know what, I’m not gonna spoil it if you haven’t seen it already, because it has to be seen to be believed. That said, he’s great in the role. Then in more supporting roles we have Pip Torrens, Julie Ann Emery, Ronald Guttman, Malcolm Barrett, and Amy Hill. There are more people in the show, but I’m not gonna write up every name that appears in this season. But with that said, every actor did very well in this season.

Like in the first season, the score was composed by Dave Porter, and once again he did a great job. The score is tense, dramatic, and just overall fits the show quite well and elevates a couple of moments throughout. There’s also plenty of licensed music throughout, not only being overall ear-pleasing, but also fitting the scenes they were used in very well.

The show was created by Sam Catlin, Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg and is based on a series of comics by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon (R.I.P). And the show was written/directed by Rogen/Goldberg and a whole bunch of other people. And they all did very well in those departments. The show is directed with plenty of style and energy, making sure to keep most shots interesting. It’s also a visually appealing show. And the action scenes too are quite entertaining. Sure, a couple feel a little bit clunky, but most of them are quite solid… intense, fun, and badass. This show also has plenty of humor in it… admittedly quite dark humor, but humor nonetheless. And I laughed quite a lot throughout the show, both in small chuckles and in loud, gut-busting laughter. I also feel like I have to mention that if you have a problem with copious amounts of blood/gore, then this might not be for you because fucking hell, this is gory. But if you can stomach blood and gore then you might have some fun with it.

This show/season has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 93% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 76/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,1/10.

“Preacher” season 2 is a fucking blast. It has a really good plot, great characters, great performances, great music, great directing, and great humor. My only issue with it was that an episode or two had some mild pacing issues, but it’s not horrible for me. Time for my final score. *Amen*. My final score for “Preacher” season 2 is a 9,52/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Preacher” season 2 is now completed.

By the way, my friends from the We Have a Hulk podcast interviewed Graham McTavish (The Saint of Killers) a handful of weeks back, and I highly recommend checking it out.

Movie Review: Pilgrimage (2017)

Usually I am for hiking and wandering around in nature. But in this situation I might just stay home. This journey seems a bit… dangerous.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Pilgrimage”.

13th century Ireland. A group of monks have to transport a holy relic across the land. And the further they go, the more dangerous their journey becomes, and the more their alliances are questioned. So that’s our plot. And for the most part I think it is pretty good. It does take an interesting look at faith and how blindly a person is willing to follow it, despite disheartening dangers. My main gripe with the plot is the pacing. Sure, it is a deliberately slow-paced movie, but the first half drags it’s feet quite a lot and borders on boring a whole bunch of times. Then in the second half it picks up a bit, becoming a bit more interesting and moving a bit more steadily. So overall it is pretty good.

The characters for the most part are admittedly kind of uninteresting, but I still felt like I could follow them throughout just fine thanks to the actors. As you probably guessed from the picture at the top, Tom Holland is the star of this movie, and he does a really good job, having to play a young and inexperienced monk that has to go along on this journey. Applause to him as well since he has to speak both English and Gaelic in this movie. We also get Jon Bernthal as a mute with a mysterious past that is following along on this journey. He’s probably the most interesting character since we get clues throughout the movie as to what his past was. And Bernthal is great in the role, despite not really saying anything throughout. We also get Stanley Weber as another monk who’s following along on this journey, and while his character wasn’t the most interesting, I think Weber did a good job here. We also get Richard Armitage as a French knight that our “heroes” meet during the journey, and he’s really good in the role. All the actors do well here.

The score for the movie was composed by Stephen McKeon and it is quite good. It’s atmospheric and really helps to create an uneasy mood throughout the movie. Plus, it has some really cool choral tracks throughout that really elevated certain scenes.

This movie was directed by Brendan Muldowney and I think he did a pretty good job. His direction manages to really sell the 13th century Ireland setting, and the uneasy mood that the plot requires. It also looks quite good, with several shots making me go “Wow”. Now, while this isn’t really an action movie, it does have a couple of action scenes in it. And they are… okay. I wish that they’d have used a steady camera instead of the handheld style that they use in those scenes, would have made them a bit more engaging. But they’re not the worst that I’ve seen. You get what’s going on. You see the hits, you see the blood, even if there’s some shake in the camera.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 69% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 60/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5,8/10.

“Pilgrimage” is a pretty good adventure/drama. It has a pretty good plot, meh characters, great performances, really good music, and good directing. As previously stated, my problems with this movie come from the pacing in the first half, the characters not being very interesting, and the shake in the action. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Pilgrimage” is a 7,99/10. So while quite flawed, I would say that it is worth renting.

My review of “Pilgrimage” is now completed.

Remember that time Spider-Man, Punisher, and Thorin Oakenshield went on a medieval adventure?

Announcing The Month of Spooks 2017!!!

Ladies, gentlemen, and others… I am very proud to announce, for the third year in a row… THE MONTH OF SPOOKS!

For those of you who are new/not aware, The Month of Spooks is my special little “series” that I do every October since 2015. And since October will be here pretty soon, I thought it was time to finally make an official announcement about it… and here it is. So what exactly will happen during the Month of Spooks? Well, I don’t have any set-in-stone plans, but I have some vague ideas, mainly about a couple of horror movies that I want to review. Other than that, I have no specific plans for it (Lucky for me that there’s time left for me to think about it). Last year I was lucky to have a couple of people join in on it, with them making posts on their blogs in the name of the Spooks. And I’m hoping to get some people along for the ride this year as well. Now, I don’t have anywhere that people can sign up for it as of writing this, but I might be able to fix something for that. In the meantime, if you are interested in signing up for The Month of Spooks, you could always send a DM my way on twitter (@TheMarckoguy), if you have a twitter account. If you don’t… then maybe have some patience.

Well, that’s really all I had to say. Not a lot of things I could say in this announcement. So… prepare your butts for The Month of Spooks!
Have a good one.

Movie Review: Batman and Harley Quinn (2017)

I absolutely love DC animation. Whether it is their direct-to-video movies or their shows, the DC animated stuff will always have a place in my heart. But sometimes even great people make mistakes.

Ladies and gents… “Batman and Harley Quinn”.

When plant-based villains Poison Ivy (Paget Brewster) and the Floronic Man (Kevin Michael Richardson) team up to try to turn everything into plants, Batman (Kevin Conroy) and Nightwing (Loren Lester) are forced to team up with Harley Quinn (Melissa Rauch) to try and stop the shrubby scoundrels. And while this could be a fun plot on paper, in execution it is quite bad. It’s awkward and is filled with weird tonal shifts. For the most part it is meant as a screwball comedy (which doesn’t work), but then at times it tries to be a serious and dramatic continuation of “Batman: The Animated Series” (hence the weird tonal shifts). And none of it works. Not on their own, and not together. It’s all awkward, dull, and not fun. It’s a bad plot.

The characters are for the most part portrayed as they should be and on a purely surface level work just fine. But in the long run they feel off. And that has nothing to do with the actors, but more with the writing. Kevin Conroy of course does an excellent job voicing Batman (because he IS Batman). He works for the most part, because he’s portrayed as Batman should, but then there are moments that feel weirdly out of character. Melissa Rauch voices Harley Quinn in this, and her general delivery is good, she makes a fine Harley Quinn. Problem is that the lines she’s given are awful and cringe-worthy. They try to make her funny and charming and relatable, but she just comes off as annoying. Loren Lester does a good job as Nightwing, being the more lighthearted side of the Batfamily coin. But like with Harley (and the other characters in this movie), the writing for him is foten bad and quite off. Paget Brewster as Posion Ivy, she was good, but writing was off. Kevin Michael Richardson was of course great as Floronic Man, but his writing was quite off (you notice a pattern here?). And that’s really the theme here. Good performances, bad writing.

The score for the movie was composed by Michael McCuistion, Lolita Ritmanis, and Kristopher Carter. And it was… okay. While some tracks here were okay and even catchy, they often felt off. They clearly wanted to emulate the old animated “Batman” series with most things here, but the score here never really captured that. It just felt off. Though I have to admit, hearing voice actor Rob Paulsen sing “Don’t Pull Your Love” was quite fun. Weird, but fun.

This movie was directed by DC animation veteran Sam Liu, and meeeeeeh. The animation here looks kind of bad. It looks cheap(er than usual) and often looks stiff and awkward. It also lacks a lot of the detail from the old animated series. If you’re going to emulate that old style, make sure you get a lot of the detail and nuance that was featured in that art style. This looks kind of bad. Action scenes flow okay though, looking fine. And let’s talk about the humor since this is intended in large part as a comedy… it’s so unfunny. I think I chuckled at one point, but other than that I didn’t laugh at all. It was cringey and awkward and bad. Christ…

This movie hasn’t been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 57% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t exist. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,0/10.

Like I said in the beginning, I love DC animation… But “Batman and Harley Quinn” is bad, and I can’t really justify any aspect of it. It has a bad plot, meh characters, good performances, okay music, meh animation/direction, and unfunny humor. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Batman and Harley Quinn” is a 4,22/10. So yeah, it’s bad. Skip it.

My review of “Batman and Harley Quinn” is now done.

Having to say bad things about DC animation hurts my soul.

“Hostiles” trailer

Hello there, guys! Time for more trailer talk. So let’s just get into it.

We now have our first trailer for “Hostiles”, a new western movie. So let’s talk about what this is. So “Hostiles” stars Christian Bale as an army captain who apparently has to escort some native Americans through some really dangerous territory, and since this is a movie, shit will hit the fan. So does this look good? Yeah, it does. It looks like it will take elements from a couple of other westerns that I like. It looks like it will have the grit and gloom of “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford “(still a mouthful, Jesus fucking Christ), and the intensity of “3:10 to Yuma”. Which is quite funny because that movie had Christian Bale and Ben Foster in it, and if you look on imdb you’ll see that “Hostiles” has both of ’em too. The movie also stars Rosamund Pike, which is fun to see. And it is directed by Scott Cooper who made the really good “Crazy Heart”, the kind of underrated “Out of the Furnace”, and “Black Mass” which I have not seen. But hey, 2 out of 3 is good. So yeah, I’m excited for this. “Hostiles” has no official release date other than a couple of festivals that it’s playing at this month. But I guess it might be a late 2017/early 2018 movie.

What are your thoughts? Are you excited for “Hostiles”? And what’s your favorite Scott Cooper movie? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer!

“Wheelman” teaser trailer!

Hello there, my friends! Time for some trailer talk! So here we go!

We have now gotten our first look at Netflix original movie “Wheelman”. So what’s this all about then? Well, Frank Grillo stars as a badass getaway driver who gets pulled into a really bad situation. And that’s really all we know, and that’s all we need. Getaway driver, bad situation, action, Frank Grillo. Now, I’ve actually had this movie in my sights for a while mainly due to a couple of things. For one, it stars the aforementioned Frank Grillo, one of the most badass actors working today. And it was produced by both Grillo and Joe Carnahan, the man who made the excellent “The Grey” and the really fun “Stretch” (which I recently reviewed *Nudge nudge wink wink*). So since I follow their social media feeds I’ve known about this project for a while, and now we finally have our first look at it. And while there isn’t a lot of footage to go on, I would still say that I’m excited. I’m always up for a good action movie, and a bit of Frank Grillo. Sure, the director, Jeremy Rush, hasn’t directed a movie prior to this, but I am still quite interested in this. “Wheelman” is set to be released on October 20th, only on Netflix.

What are your thoughts on this? Are you excited for “Wheelman”? And what’s your favorite movie about/heavily featuring a getaway driver? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy the teaser!

Movie Review: Stretch (2014)

Based on everything that happens in movies and TV, I get the feeling that I shouldn’t ever go to Los Angeles. Seems a bit dangerous and unpredictable.

Ladies and gents… “Stretch”.

We follow a guy known as “Stretch” (Patrick Wilson), a down-on-his-luck limo driver in Los Angeles. In the past he had a problem with gambling addiction and currently struggles to pay off his bookie. So to get money to pay it off he takes on a new client, an extremely eccentric man (Chris Pine), which leads to the craziest night of his entire life. So now we have our plot. And I’d say it’s good. Sure, it isn’t exactly what I’d call award worthy or groundbreaking, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s a relatively straight-forward crime plot filled with all kinds of craziness. And it was really fun seeing where this job would take Stretch next. It’s weird, it’s kind of silly, but it’s a lot of fun.

The characters in this are fun, interesting, and incredibly colorful. Stretch is a failed actor currently working as a limo driver, and he has a slightly cynical outlook on life. And you see him go through a bit of an arc in this movie and it’s actually kind of fun witnessing. And Patrick Wilson is great in the role. Jessica Alba plays Charlie, Stretch’s dispatcher/colleague, and she’s good in the role. Chris Pine plays Roger Karos, the extremely eccentric person that Stretch gets tasked with driving around. He’s weird, he’s off-kilter, and he’s the least Chris Pine that Chris Pine has ever been in a movie. And Pine is great in the role. Then we have Ed Helms in a role that I will not explain because it’s best experienced on your own, because it’s weird and quite funny. But Helms does a really good job. And then there are a whole bunch of solid supporting performances from people like James Badge Dale, Jason Mantzoukas, and Brooklyn Decker. There are also some fun cameos in this movie that I will not spoil.

The score for this movie was composed by Ludwig Göransson and it was good. It’s stylish and lean a lot into techno/electronica. It kind of reminds me of the score to “Drive” at times, but with a less retro feel to it, having a much more modern sound. And while I generally don’t like listening to that kind of music, I feel like it worked quite well for the movie. There were some licensed tracks used throughout as well that worked well in their scenes.

This movie was directed by Joe Carnahan and I think he did a good job. The movie looks good and his direction gives the movie a lot of energy which keeps it at a brisk pace, keeping it from getting boring or slow. And since this is a comedy we should talk about the humor in this movie. And while I think it can divide people, I found it quite funny. It’s weird, dark, and kind of fucked up, which made me laugh quite a bit throughout. Combine that with Carnahan’s energetic direction and you get a lot of fun. Trust me, I did the math.

This movie wasn’t really a big release, so it barely exists on the sites I usually use here. But on Rotten Tomatoes it has an 86% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a page, but no score. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,5/10.

“Stretch” won’t win any awards, but it is quite a fun movie. It has a really good plot, great characters, great performances, really good music, really directing, and really funny humor. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Stretch” is a 9,55/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Stretch” is now completed.

I need more Patrick Wilson in my life.

Movie Review: Death Note (2006)

With the recent release of the American Netflix movie adaptation of “Death Note”, I thought it was time for me to check out the first live action adaptation of Tsugumi Ohba’s manga. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Death Note”.

Light Yagami (Tatsuya Fujiwara) is a highly intelligent young man with a bright future ahead of him. And one day he finds a notebook that just fell from the sky. And it turns out that Light can kill pretty much anyone he wants by writing the person’s name in the notebook. So he uses this opportunity to become a mysterious vigilante simply know as Kira, killing criminals and fugitives left and right. This attracts the attention of mysterious investigator L (Ken’ichi Matsuyama), triggering a game of cat and mouse where they try to figure out each other’s identities to eliminate the other one. So now we have our plot. And is it any good? For the most part, sure. And I say that because it’s not without it’s flaws. The basic premise is great, and a lot of the developments in the story are good. Problem is that the plot at times also manages to drag, rush, and feel disjointed… all at once. This happens of course happens because they try to cram about nine episodes of anime into a two hour long movie. So some scenes feel like they’re rushed through, and some parts don’t have the smoothest transition which is the reason for some bits feeling a bit disjointed. And the dragging is because some scenes are just a bit slow, and not in a good way. But there’s still enough intrigue in the plot to keep it from being all out bad. It’s fine.

The characters here are pretty interesting. Light (like I said) is a highly intelligent young man, top of his class. So what happens when you give such a person a notebook that can kill people with the stroke of a pen? A really fascinating, smug, and slightly scary guy. I was rooting for him, but I also felt that he was a bit of a smug ass… which is what makes him so interesting. And Tatsuya Fujiwara is really good in the role. L, the eccentric and highly skilled detective that is hunting for Kira. He’s weird, he’s funny, and he’s just an interesting character. And Ken’ichi Matsuyama is really good in the role. Then we have Ryuk, the apple-loving god of death following Light around. He’s as cartoonishly hyper as he should be without sacrificing any of the creepy aspects of the character, which is great. He’s voiced by Shidô Nakamura, and he does a really good job capturing the feel of Ryuk. Then there’s a whole bunch of supporting characters/performances that I won’t go over in detail because I don’t have the time or will to do so, but let’s just say that they do a good job.

The score was composed by Kenji Kawai and I think he did a good job. The score is pretty eerie and helps create a feeling of unease in the movie. And it’s just overall well composed. Now, mild spoiler I guess, though it isn’t about a story scene, but rather the end credits. During the end credits they play the Red Hot Chili Peppers song “Dani Calfornia”. I have nothing against it (it’s a great song), but it felt a bit random and I just had to bring it up. I have no opinion about it being used other than… weird. Oh well.

This movie was directed by Shûsuke Kaneko and he did an okay job. His directing feels a bit bland for the most part, though at a couple points he uses some pretty nifty camera tricks elevating those moments. But for the most part his directing was pretty bland. Also, can we talk about Ryuk? Not as a character, but his look in this movie. They decided to make him a fully CG character, and while his design is spot-on from the manga and anime, it doesn’t look very good. It’s like bringing a cartoon into a serious live action set… bit jarring. It’s not the biggest problem for me, but I did feel like it was worth noting.

While this movie doesn’t have too much of a presence on the sites I use, it does exist to some extent. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 78% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t exist at all. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,9/10.

“Death Note” is a pretty good live action adaptation of the manga/anime. It has an okay plot, good characters, really good performances, good music, and okay directing. My only flaws with it comes from the plot feeling a bit messy (as I explained earlier), and Ryuk looking a bit… meh. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Death Note” is a 7,77/10. So while flawed, it is worth a rental.

My review of “Death Note” is now completed.

Don’t expect a review of the sequel. Maybe expect a review of the Netflix movie… maybe.