12 Films of Christmas 2019 (Part 6)

Holy shit, we’re already halfway through this silly series of mine. Time sure flies when things happen. So let’s get into it.

Some of you might recognize the movie from the image up above. Today we’re talking about “Overlord”, a 2018 action-horror movie directed by Julius Avery, and produced by J.J. Abrams. It’s about a group of American soldiers who fall behind enemy lines during World War 2, in an attempt to make a difference in the tides of war. This might sound familiar to some of you, as I have talked about this movie on the blog before… twice, as a matter of fact (and about a kajillion other times on twitter). So now I hear you groaning “Markus, how can a grim World War 2 horror movie possibly be associated with christmas?”. Well, strap in and make yourself ready for my reasoning.

What’s one of the most important parts of christmas? Bringing joy, right? Well, you know what brings me a whole lot of joy? Seeing nazi punks get blown the fuck up, shot to shit, absolutely annihilated, and other delightful synonyms for that situation. Sure, there are parts where our heroes are stuck or pinned down, struggling with their mission. But that just makes it even more satisfying and joyous to see them destroy god damn nazi assholes. Call me a sick son of a bitch if you want, but with our world being what it currently is, this kind of violent escapism is important, especially during the season of joy.

Have a good one.

Movie Review: John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)

Keanu fucking Reeves. Started out promisingly in comedies, dramas, and various action flicks. Then around 2008 he kind of dropped off the mainstream map after a few… less than critically well received movies. Then in 2014 he starred in “John Wick”, which gave his career the adrenaline boost it needed. And now he seems to be back on top. And I say, good for him. So let’s talk about his latest flick. Oh, and spoilers for the end of “John Wick: Chapter 2”, because that ties into this… sorry.

Ladies and gentlemen… “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum”.

After killing a member of the High Table, the ever tenacious John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is rendered excommunicado, with a 14 million dollar bounty on his head, and must fight for survival as he encounters trouble at every corner. So now we have our constantly moving action story. From a storytelling perspective, these movies aren’t what you’d call “high art”. But I don’t need that. It’s just our hero being relentlessly pursued in an interesting, very comic book-esque world. And that makes for a fun bit of garnish in-between all the shooty-bang-bangs and fisticuffs. The story is present enough that it adds something to the experience, but not so up its own ass that it distracts from everything else. It’s fun.

The characters in this are colorful and pretty interesting. Just like I mentioned with the plot, they feel very much like they’re ripped right out of a comic book. Keanu Reeves of course returns as title character John Wick. A man who lost everything, then is given a new chance, and then shit hits the fan again. He’s endured a lot, and I find him to be a strong and engaging action protagonist that I care about a fair bit. He even gets some decent development here too. And Reeves is really good in the role. And the supporting cast, which includes people like Ian McShane, Lance Reddick, Laurence Fishburne, Mark Dacascos, Halle Berry, Anjelica Huston, Asia Kate Dillon, and many more, is pretty fucking good.

As with the previous two movies, the score for “Parabellum” was composed by Tyler Bates and Joel J. Richard. And like the previous two movies, this score is awesome. It once again takes the approach of mixing very electronic stuff with some sick rock beats and occasional guitar screeching to make a sound that is distinctly “John Wick”. And it’s just as tense, exciting, badass, and pleasing to my ears as the last two times.

Chad Stahelski returned to direct this third entry in the franchise he helped create. And dude’s direction just gets better with each iteration. A clear focus, wonderful long takes, and a great sense of energy. The cinematography by Dan Laustsen is absolutely breathtaking, with some beautiful use of colors. And let’s talk about the thing we all watch these movies for: The action. Fuck me, it is amazing. It’s real, it’s visceral, it’s fun, it’s violent, it’s clear… it just comes together beautifully. You can see everything that happens, which also let’s you see just how much work has gone into the fucking choreography. There are also some rather creative kills throughout the movie too, and they add even more to it. It’s very well crafted, this movie.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 90% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 73/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10.

“John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” is one of the most impressive action movies of this decade, and I absolutely loved it. It has a good plot, good characters, great performances, great music, and great directing/cinematography/action. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” is a 9,89/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” is now completed.

You’d think the people constantly coming after John would take a hint that you don’t fuck with the Baba Yaga.

Movie Review: Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

WE GOT A HOLLYWOOD BUDGET MONSTER MASH FEATURING CLASSIC KAIJU, HOW COULD ONE NOT BE EXCITED ABOUT IT. *Calms down*. So let’s talk about this movie.

Ladies and gents… “Godzilla: King of the Monsters”.

When multiple ancient beasts awake from their slumber, the crypto-zoological agency Monarch have to find a way to stop them. Be it on their own or with the help of the titanic lizard known as Godzilla. Let’s cut to the fucking chase, this plot isn’t deep or nuanced. In the moments where it tries developing the human element of the story, it’s kinda dull. But whenever it’s about these ancient creatures having it out for each other, it’s a fucking blast. So plot-wise it’s a bit of a mixed bag. I mean, no one comes to a monster movie for plot, but when there’s a lot of time spent trying to develop it, it can get a bit distracting. So overall… mixed bag.

The characters in this… yeah, I didn’t care. Again, they tried giving them some development, but in the end it’s kind of shallow and cliched. And the cast does a fine enough job with their performances. There isn’t anyone here that I’d say is bad, just some who are better than others. My favorite was probably Charles Dance, who always had a bit of a self-aware glint in his eye, which made him kinda fun to watch whenever he showed up. The rest of the cast, including people like Kyle Chandler, Ken Watanabe, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Thomas Middleditch, Ziyi Zhang, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, and various other actors was good. They all played it very straight, but no one was bad.

The score for the movie was composed by Bear McCreary, and I loved it. A lot of big, bold brass, a lot of panicky strings, some chorals… it all fit incredibly well with the kaiju calamity going on throughout the movie. And while I won’t spoil which, some of the tracks are absolute treats for… various reasons. Damn good stuff.

The movie was directed and co-written by Michael Dougherty, who I think did a great job with it. He has a great sense of energy and pacing, which keeps the moving driving along, never really getting boring and too slow at any point. And like with Gareth Edwards before him, he knows how to convey the scale of all the shit that goes on. And credit to the visual effects team for really bringing these creatures to life. The detail, the movement, it all looks fantastic. And man, the cinematography by Lawrence Sher is breathtaking. Some truly awe-inspiring shots exist in this movie. And when it isn’t breathtaking, it still looks quite good. All the technical aspects really come together wonderfully. Especially during the monster action, which I had a ton of fun with.

The movie just came out, so this data will change a bit over time. But as of writing, the movie has gotten quite the mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 38% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 47/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,7/10.

Look, this isn’t one of the greatest movies ever made. But I still had a lot of fun with “Godzilla: King of the Monsters”. It has a mixed bag plot, meh characters, really good performances, fantastic music, and fantastic writing/directing/cinematography/visual effects/action. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” is an 8,74/10. So while flawed, it’s still worth buying.

My review of “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” is completed.

Ooooooh no. They say he’s got to go, GO GO GODZILLA!

Great Music #28

Hello there! Time for me to once again talk about some music I like. Got nothing else to say here. Let’s jump into the song!

So for today’s edition of “Great Music” we have something relatively new. Today we’re talking about Joe Bonamassa’s “Redemption”. Now, this isn’t the first time that Bonamassa has been mentioned/written about on this blog. As a matter of fact, I went back and checked, and this is the fourth time that he’s featured in a post of mine. For those who don’t know, Joe Bonamassa is an American blues singer/guitarist. I first discovered him a couple of years ago when spotify recommended one of his songs to me. And since then I’ve been a fan. Hell, his last studio effort “Blues of Desperation” made it quite high on my favorite albums of 2016 list. And now we are talking about his newest song (which I found out about today, and it’s been out for like a month, and I feel ashamed to be this late since I love his music so much). So here we have Joe making a song about seeking redemption… simple as that, the title basically describes it. The song has a cool mix of acoustic and electric guitar work, finding an interesting blend of blues, rock, and a pinch of country. It’s basically like something you’d hear in an episode of “Justified”. But yeah, as this series suggests, it’s another great song. From the chord progressions, to the instrumentals, to Bonamassa’s vocals, and to the awesome guitar solo that blends a bit of “Kashmir” with a bit of its own awesomeness. What’s also awesome with this song is that it helps announce Bonamassa’s next studio album (titled “Redemption”), set to be released on September 21st of this year. So yeah, a great song that gets me excited for a hopefully awesome album.

Have a good one and enjoy!

Movie Review: Justice League (2017)

Cinematic universes. Something every studio is trying to pull off after Marvel’s success with it. Most notably we’ve had DC/Warner Bros trying to catch up with their own DC Extended Universe. And it’s been a bit hit and miss for critics and general audiences alike. So let’s see if their big team-up movie is any good.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Justice League”.

When our world is threatened by the evil alien Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds), Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) have to create a team of superpowered individuals to try to stop this dangerous new enemy. And that’s really all this is about. Okay, there’s a bit more to it, but I prefer to keep plot details relatively vague. Now is this a good plot? For the most part I’d say so. It’s a very straight-forward plot compared to some of the earlier outings in this franchise. I think my only problem with it is that it feels a bit choppy during the first act, like it’s been cut down to fit in a two hour runtime (which it most likely has). But that choppy start aside, this is a fun, fast-paced, and highly enjoyable comic book adventure plot.

The characters in this vary a bit in their depth, but I found most of them to at least be quite enjoyable. Ben Affleck reprises his role as Batman/Bruce Wayne, and we can tell that he has changed a bit since “BvS”. After what happened at the end of that movie, he has become a somewhat more light-hearted, less homicidal hero. And I liked seeing him as he worked to getting the team together to stop the end of the world. And Affleck is once again great in the role. Next we once again have Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. She’s once again a fiercely inspiring, fun, and warm character that I’d follow to hell and back. Seeing her working to get the team together and all that is really interesting, and she’s once again a really cool character. And Gadot is once again great in the role. Next up we have Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash. He gets some decent character development, but for the most part he’s there to be the comic relief, and he works really well for that while still getting some badass moments. And I thought Miller was great in the role. Next we have Ray Fisher as Cyborg, the genius, yet damaged mechanical member of the gang. He gets a decent amount of character development here and I thought he was a really cool character. And Fisher was really good in the role. Next we have Jason Momoa as Aquaman, the half man/half Atlantean warrior. He is very much a superpowered version of Jason Momoa, and I think it kind of works because I find that persona quite enjoyable. So yeah, Momoa was really good in the role. Henry Cavill returns as Superman, and the little we see of him here is my favorite appearance of the character in this franchise. And Cavill was really good in the role. Now, let’s talk Steppenwolf (no, not the band). As a villain he’s… fine, I guess. He’s a big CGI monster with some lines hinting at some deeper stuff, but ultimately ends up becoming kind of generic. Thought Ciarán Hinds did a really good job voicing him though, suitably menacing. We also get supporting performances from people like Jeremy Irons, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Billy Crudup, Connie Nielsen, J.K. Simmons, Amber Heard, Joe Morton, and more… all doing well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Danny Elfman, and it was pretty good. Nothing special, heroic big brass tunes with some strings thrown in for added effect. It’s far from bad, and the various tracks work well within their respective scenes. And for those wondering about that “Danny Elfman to use Batman and Superman themes in the score”, it does occur, but it’s more snuck in rather than just overtly used as their own tracks… and I think it works surprisingly well.

The movie was directed by Zack Snyder… and Joss Whedon. As most people probably know, this movie had a very troubled production, with Snyder having to leave the project due to a personal tragedy, so Joss Whedon had to come in and do some reshoots. These things considered, the direction here is quite consistent. When a new director comes in to do reshoots, it could feel like a different movie in parts, but it’s remarkable how consistent it feels here. So is the direction in general any good? Yeah. It’s good, it flows pretty nicely, there’s some good shots here. And the action I quite liked. Now, it didn’t leave the same impact as the action in “Wonder Woman”, but it was easy to follow and I had quite a lot of fun with it. What I liked most about it was seeing the various heroes show off their abilities, with The Flash and his speedforce being the standout. And the visual effects here are for the most part damn good. Some things look a little off at times, from some backgrounds, to closeups of Steppenwolf (BORN TO BE WIIIIIILD!), to even Cyborg at times. But like I said, for the most part the effects look great (again, The Flash having some of the best ones).

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 40% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 45/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,6/10.

Despite a few flaws (that probably stem from production issues), I had a lot of fun with “Justice League”. It has a good plot, good characters, good music, and good directing/action/visual effects/humor. As previously mentioned, the plot is a bit choppy at the start, the villain is a bit bland, and the effects could be less than stellar at times. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Justice League” is an 8,52/10. So while flawed, I’d still say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “Justice League” is now completed.

Come Together…

Movie Review: Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

“Avengers: Infinity War” is almost here, and I am incredibly excited. So let’s talk about one of the latest entries into the MCU.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Thor: Ragnarok”.

After he gets banished to the planet of Sakaar, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has to find a way to return to Asgard to stop the evil Hela (Cate Blanchett) and the doomsday event known as Ragnarok. So now we have our Marvel space adventure. And I really liked it. The plot here is fun and keeps a fast pace that keeps it from dragging. In a lot of ways I prefer it to the other “Thor” plots, because it aims for a fun comic book adventure rather than trying to be convoluted (a la “The Dark World) or Shakespearean (a la the first one). But as much as I enjoy the plot here, I do have a problem with it. My problem is that it feels a little disjointed at times, since it tries to both do “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Planet Hulk” in it’s entire thing. Yes, I enjoyed it all, but those bits almost feel a bit disconnected, which makes me have to knock it down a little bit. But with that said, it’s still a really fun plot with a decent emotional core to it.

The characters in this are all entertaining and interesting in some way. First up we have Chris Hemsworth reprising his role as the titular god of thunder. Here we see a somewhat different side of Thor, a changed Thor, a Thor that has learned to lighten up a bit. And while he is generally a more lighthearted person compared to previous movies, he still feels like the same character as before, only having gone through some evolution. And he’s a really enjoyable character. And Hemsworth is great in the role. Next up we once again have Tom Hiddleston as Loki, god of mischief and adoptive brother of Thor. He’s still a sneaky fucker, but you can still tell that he does kind of care about his brother. He’s still such an enjoyable presence. and Hiddleston is great in the role. Next up we have Cate Blanchett as Hela, the villain of the story. She is the goddess of death who has come to claim Asgard for herself. She’s a suitably intimidating villain with an interesting connection to the characters. While not the strongest Marvel villain, she works quite well for the story here. And Blanchett is really good in the role. Then we have Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, a badass lady that Thor runs into on Sakaar. Not gonna say too much as her story is unveiled in the movie, and it’s pretty cool. But like I said, she’s a total badass. And Thompson is great in the role. Then we have Mark Ruffalo returning as Bruce Banner/Hulk. He’s been on Sakaar for quite a while, and they play around with that in a few interesting ways in the movie. And Ruffalo is really good in the role. Then throughout the movie we get supporting work from people like Karl Urban, Anthony Hopkins, Jeff Goldblum, Taika Waititi, Idris Elba, Clancy Brown, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel House, and many more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Mark Mothersbaugh, and I really liked it. Part of it is of course the big, dramatic, and emotional orchestral tunes that one would expect from a big comic book action movie like this. But then there are tracks here that take inspiration from 80s synth soundtracks, which makes this score stand out a bit, and just adds to the overall fun factor. And there’s a licensed song used in this movie, and if you don’t know what it is, I will not ruin it. But let’s just say that when they use it, I got chills. A great song that was used amazingly. Yeah, this movie has some great music.

This movie was directed by Taika Waititi, and I think he did a really good job with it. His directing here is fast and filled with tons of energy, making the movie feel really fun and breezy. The action scenes too are a lot of fun, with a lot of Taika’s energy being brought into them. The visual effects too are great. Yes, there’s like a moment or two of less than stellar green screen, but those moments are brief, and not too bad, so I’ll let it slide. This movie also features some of the most beautiful shots I’ve seen in a Marvel movie. This movie also has a lot of comedy in it, so much that this movie is even classified as a comedy. And is it funny? Yeah, I laughed. From chuckles to belly laughs. It’s an insanely funny movie.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 92% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 74/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,9/10.

“Thor: Ragnarok” is a really fun space adventure, and by far the best “Thor” movie. It has a good plot, really good characters, great performances, really good music, really good directing/visual effects, and hilarious comedy. As previously mentioned, my one flaw with the movie is that it can feel a bit disjointed when going between certain plot points, but it doesn’t ruin it for me. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Thor: Ragnarok” is a 9,20/10. So I’d say that it’s definitely worth buying.

My review of “Thor: Ragnarok” is now completed.

“AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!”. 

Series Review: Hap and Leonard – Season 3 (2018)

Some of you may or may not remember that I started watching/reviewing this show in the second half of last year. And I quite liked those first two seasons. So now we’re here, season 3 all wrapped up. So let’s get into it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Hap and Leonard: The Two Bear Mambo”.

When their friend/lawyer Florida (Tiffany Mack) goes missing, Hap (James Purefoy) and Leonard (Michael K. Williams) get sent to investigate what happened to her. Only problem is that to do this they have to travel to Grovetown, a tightly knit community that doesn’t take too kindly to people of color (and their sympathizers). So now we have our plot. And I think that it’s pretty damn good. What I like about “Hap and Leonard” as a show in general is that it can discuss serious and difficult subject matter, while still being able to have a fun and pulpy tone throughout, and this season is no exception. “The Two Bear Mambo” (this season’s subtitle) deals with a lot of heavy themes like racism and corruption, while still giving us the fun buddy crime-drama that one expects from the show. It’s a tense and layered plot that I really enjoyed following.

The characters in this are layered, unique, and quite interesting. James Purefoy returns as Hap Collins, the east Texas worker with a penchant for southern ladies. He’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he’s a good man and quite an entertaining character. I also like how they explores his psyche throughout the season, with a lot of it dealing with his fear over maybe losing Florida. And Purefoy is great in the role. Then we have Michael K. Williams as Leonard Pine, the black, gay, Vietnam vet best friend of Hap. He’s tough, but he’s also charming, and has some demons of his own to battle, and I really like him as a character. And Williams is of course great in the role. I also feel like I once again have to compliment the chemistry between Purefoy and Williams, because it’s fantastic. Then we have Tiffany Mack as Florida Grange, lawyer and former love interest of Hap. While we get less of her this season than in the previous one, we do still get some solid stuff with her. She’s a badass. And Mack is really good in the role. Then we get supporting turns from people like Cranston Johnson, Andrew Dice Clay, Evan Gamble, Corbin Bernsen, Laura Allen, Jesse C. Boyd, Douglas M. Griffin, Sydney Wease, Louis Gossett Jr, Pat Healy, and more. All doing very well in their respective roles. ’tis a well acted season.

As with the previous two seasons, the score was composed by Jeff Grace, and once again he knocked it out of the park. His score helps build a lot of suspense, while also letting some tracks capture the fun, swamp-noir style of the show (thanks to some good guitar tracks). There’s also a good amount of licensed tracks used throughout, and they all work very well within their respective scenes. A lot of good music here.

Based on a series of novels by Joe R. Lansdale, the show was created by Jim Mickle & Nick Damici (and written/directed by them and a bunch of other cool people). And while I haven’t read the books, I still feel like this is a very well realized world that they’ve created here. And the directing is really good, with a lot of tightly directed scenes that build a decent amount of tension. There’s also a few action throughout the season, and they’re quite entertaining. The show’s signature dark humor also makes a welcome return, and it made me laugh.

This show/season has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 100% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 79/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10.

“Hap and Leonard: The Two Bear Mambo” is another solid season of this quirky little show. It has a really good plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing/writing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Hap and Leonard: The Two Bear Mambo” is a 9,80/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Hap and Leonard: The Two Bear Mambo” is now completed.

Ass needs some kickin’.

12 Films of Christmas (Part 11)

We are at the penultimate part of this silly series of mine. Have you enjoyed reading these? Because I’ve enjoyed writing them and would like to hear from you what you think. Anyhow, let’s get into the main event here.

Some say it’s not a christmas movie. And to those I say stop arguing against the truth… “Die Hard” is a christmas movie! John McClane (Bruce Willis) is a New York cop who has traveled to Los Angeles to see his wife (Bonnie Bedelia) and kids for christmas. However his visit gets a bit more troublesome when a group of terrorists led by the charismatic Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) attack the christmas party that John has found himself at. So now John has to take out these terrorists with nothing but a gun and his wits. And yeah, I fucking love “Die Hard”. Directed by John McTiernan, this 1988 movie is a masterpiece of action filmmaking. It’s exciting and tense, while still having a sense of fun to it. The movie has an almost claustrophobic feeling with John sneaking around in vents and elevator shafts around the Nakatomi building, trying to find a way to stop these terrorists. It’s also nice to watch a movie where Bruce Willis actually gives a shit about acting. His performance here is great as the beat and somewhat bitter New York cop who gets dragged into such a tense and scary situation, making for some really entertaining scenes. And rest in peace Alan Rickman, you were great as Hans Gruber, sir. One of the best movie villains of all time. Blood, cursing, guns, explosions, fun and interesting characters… “Die Hard” is an action classic and one of the greatest christmas movies ever.

What are your thoughts about “Die Hard”? And what’s your favorite of the sequels? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Yippe-ki-yay, motherfucker… I mean, have a good one!

Series Review: The Punisher – Season 1 (2017)

I don’t really think I need to make an introduction for this. I’ve talked about this show several times on this blog before, every time reminding you of my excitement for the show. So let’s just get into the review and see if this show is any good.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is season 1 of… “The Punisher”!

After he has seemingly killed the people responsible for the death of his family, Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) soon uncovers a deep and complex conspiracy that somehow relates back to his past as a soldier. So now Frank has to find out what the hell is going on while a Homeland Security agent (Amber Rose Revah) gets a whiff of him being back in town. So now we have our comic book thriller. And is this plot any good? Yeah, it is. It’s not a fast-paced action/revenge plot, but it’s a slightly slower conspiracy thriller that features Punisher, and I think the plot here is very intriguing. My only gripe with it is in one of the early episodes. It’s not bad, but the pacing at one point dragged a little bit. But overall here we have a surprisingly deep plot that isn’t afraid to tackle dark and socially relevant themes regarding guns, violence, vigilantism, PTSD, black ops, family, and it is all incredibly engaging and intriguing. ’tis a great plot.

The characters here are flawed, damaged, layered, and just really interesting. Jon Bernthal (like in season 2 of “Daredevil”) plays Frank Castle/The Punisher, former soldier turned violent vigilante. Already in “Daredevil” he got a fair amount of development as a character, and they somehow managed to cram in a bit more here. As we follow him through the season we see how the war, death of his family, and the vigilantism has taken a toll on him and how it messes with his mind a bit. And it is all incredibly engaging. He’s of course also a motherfucking badass, but that didn’t need to be mentioned. And Bernthal is once again fantastic in the role. Amber Rose Revah plays Dinah Madani, the Homeland Security agent on Frank’s trail. She’s a tough and determined woman who wants to find Frank and possibly get justice. But she’s not just some brash and unstoppable idiot, as she at times is shown as vulnerable, but in a good way. And Revah is great in the role. Ebon Moss-Bachrach plays David Lieberman (AKA Micro), a skilled hacker and whistleblower that Frank teams up with to try to solve this conspiracy. And he brings a much needed levity to the dark and grim tale of “The Punisher” without coming off as forced or out of place. He is funny, but he is also a serious character with a good dramatic arc. And Moss-Bachrach is great in the role. Then we have Ben Barnes as Billy Russo, Frank old best friend that I will not talk too much about since it’s too easy to get a bit spoiler-y with him. But he has somewhat of an arc and Barnes is great in the role. And then (to not ramble or give too many character details here) in various supporting performances we have people like Jamie Ray Newman, Kobi Frumer, Deborah Ann Woll, Paul Schulze, Michael Nathanson, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Jason R. Moore, Daniel Webber, Kelli Barrett, C. Thomas Howell, and they all are great in this. Really, it’s a great cast.

The score for the show was composed by Tyler Bates, and it was great. What we have here is a tense, exciting, dramatic, emotional, badass, and just overall interesting score that takes heavy influence from rock and blues to create a fairly unique sound for a show like this. It’s not straight-up rock or blues, but there are traces of it in the score and I like that, makes it sound almost a bit western-y at times. And it all works very well for the show. There are also a couple of licensed tracks used throughout and they all work well in their respective scenes.

The show was created by Steve Lightfoot and written/directed by a whole bunch of different people (with Lightfoot having written a couple of episodes). And I think they did a good job here. While it’s not as action-packed as the trailer made it out to be, there is still action here. And when action happens it is exciting, badass, and brutal. Not just brutal as in a lot of blood being spilled, but brutal as in the violence having a real impact here. And it’s not just gunshots penetrating bodies, there’s also close quarters fighting, and knives, and various other things used throughout to create the memorable and brutal as fuck violence. And the directing and such in the less action-based scenes is good too… got a little sidetracked there, I usually save action for after overall directing… oh well, c’est la vie.

This show just came out, but it has already gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 67% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 54/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 9,6/10 (though this is very likely to change).

Season 1 of “The Punisher” is pretty damn great. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing/action. My only flaw was the slight pacing problem in one episode, but it doesn’t really bring it down too much for me. Time for my final score. *One batch, two batch, penny and dime*. My final score for “The Punisher” season 1 is a 9,52/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The Punisher” season 1 is now completed.

I really want to get into the comics.

Movie Review: Wonder Woman (2017)

With the impending release of “Justice League”, I thought that it was time to finally get around to watching/reviewing this movie. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Wonder Woman”.

After an American soldier named Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crashes on the mysterious island of Themyscira, he finds himself at the mercy of the Amazons, the group of warrior women inhabiting the island. And he soon brings Diana (Gal Gadot), the princess of the island, to Europe to help in the fight against the Germans during World War 1. So now we have our origin story. And I honestly thought this was a solid plot. There is a bit of a fish out of water element to it, with Diana coming to our world and experiencing World War 1, as well as things people at the time took for granted. But it’s not just a fun little “Oh, she’s not from here” type of story, as it is also an interesting look into her origin and how she has to learn to be Wonder Woman, and there’s a surprising amount of emotion in that journey. The final act is the weakest, as it becomes kind of like the other DCEU movies, but I also feel like this movie earns it by having a great story for the rest of the runtime. Really, this is a good, emotional, not messy, and fun plot.

The characters here are fun and interesting and for the most part quite layered. Gal Gadot reprises her role as Wonder Woman (after 2016’s “Batman v Superman”), and I have to say that I really liked the character here. In “BvS” she was just a fun little addition that didn’t add anything of value, but here she becomes a real character. You see Diana grow as a character here, from a somewhat naive person who wants to see the world and doesn’t know shit about it, to something more. And unlike the DCEU other “heroes”, she’s not broody. She’s fun and optimistic and just incredibly likable. She gets a lot of great character development here and I think Gadot was great in the role. Chris Pine plays Steve Trevor, the soldier who crashes on Themyscira and acts as a sort of guide/love interest for Diana. And what I liked is that he’s not just some one-note person that is either total badass or a helpless idiot, he feels like a legit person here who helps a lot in the development of Diana’s character. And Pine is great in the role. Danny Huston plays one of the movie’s villains, and he’s a bit cartoony. He seems like he’s just evil for the sake of evil (muahaha). He gives a good performance, but the character isn’t very well developed… but I will not dock any points from the movie because I did kind of enjoy him here. Then I’m not gonna go in-depth with more characters, but I can say that the rest of them are pretty interesting. I’ll at least give you the list of actors instead. Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, David Thewlis, Ewen Bremner, Eugene Brave Rock, Saïd Taghmaoui, Lucy Davis, Elena Anaya… and they’re all great. This is seriously a talented cast.

The score for the movie was composed by Rupert Gregson-Williams and I thought it was great. It’s big, epic, dramatic, fun, triumphant, awe-inspiring, and just overall worked very well for the movie, often elevating scenes throughout the movie. It is probably my favorite of the DCEU scores so far.

This movie was directed by Patty Jenkins and I thought she did a great job with it. Her direction has a lot of energy to it, keeping it from getting boring. And that is important, because this is an almost 2,5 hour long movie, but I never felt that it dragged, often due to Jenkins’ energy-filled direction. And holy shit, colors! There are actual colors in this DC movie! Let’s talk about the action. While there’s a ton of slow-motion in this (which I hoped they’d use less of in future movies), it didn’t bother me too much and I enjoyed the action scenes. And by enjoyed I mean that there are some fucking awesome action scenes in this. There’s one scene especially that is in a battlefield (people who’ve seen this know which scene I mean) that is one of the best action set pieces of the year. AS for visual effects in this movie, they range from terrific to meh. There were a couple moments where stuff looked less than stellar, but I’m not gonna take points away because they weren’t really that big a distraction, but I thought it could be worth mentioning.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 92% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 76/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/100.

“Wonder Woman” is a great movie. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Wonder Woman” is a 9,76/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Wonder Woman” is now completed.

Dear “Justice League”. Please be good.