The Introvert’s Nightmare Is Aronofsky’s Mother!

Darren Aronofsky’s latest motion picture is sure to launch a thousand film school theses, so allow this to become one of your citations! Mother! is a tricky film to talk about because, much like FILLER!, every sentence will look wrong unless you manage to place the title at the end. Then it just looks like you’re shouting, which is preferable to not knowing where punctuation goes. After the The Wages Of Cinema podcast collaboreview (They let me discuss a movie that’s not based on a comic book or sci-fi!), it’ll be all SPOILERS. The story is fairly simple, but it’s stuffed to the gills with so many metaphors & ambiguous themes. The most nonspoilery synopsis I can give is “Renowned poet Javier Bardem invites creepy strangers into his giant house much to the chagrin of his devoted yet neglected wife, Jennifer Lawrence.” The characters are credited with descriptions, so I can just refer to the cast by their real names with impunity. It’s a movie that transcends its pretension by going all out.

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Preacher Season 2: Heretic Boogaloo

I’m happy to say that Preacher season two is an improvement over the first. The great stuff carries over, the dead weight is mostly gone, the pacing is less languorous, & there’s plenty of added intrigue. AMC even adapted a few of the more outrageous scenes by Ennis & Dillon. If you’d like to remain unspoiled, skip to the end where  I bid adieu to one of my favorite YouTube channels.

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Great Disturbances In The Force

Colin Trevorrow has been booted from Untitled Star Wars Sequel: Episode IX. People who’ve had the misfortune of seeing The Book of Henry tell me this is fantastic news. (That’s not to say there isn’t a deep pool of worse directors they can plug into this too big to fail conclusion.) He’s the fourth director (Remember Josh Trank’s aborted Boba Fett film?) to be let go by Disney’s Lucasfilm. WB gets dissed for its DC plans being in a state of apparent entropy, but obviously this phenomenon is not exclusive. If fans are going to come to Lucasfilm’s defense for trying to right the mega-franchise ship to avoid cinematic icebergs, maybe grant WB/DC some of that courtesy too? Or rag on them both?

 Michael K. Williams’s performance has been cut from A Star Wars Story: Untitled Han Solo Film (Why isn’t it just Han Solo?) because he couldn’t fit extensive reshoots into his packed schedule. Rather than axe the character completely, replacement director Ron Howard has replaced him with Paul Bettany in the quickest instance of whitewashing. I’m hoping this half-animal character is a Selonian because Han Solo punching a giant otter in the tummy is actually something I’d like to see. At least he’s going full nepotism by giving Clint Howard a role so he can be in both of the big Star franchises.  If Rogue One can be a non-swashbuckling war movie, why wouldn’t Lucasfilm let Lord & Miller make this a comedy? Millennial Falcon & Red Letter Media deserve some Imperial credits for cracking the screenplay. I’ve got a bad feeling about this.

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No Theme This Week!

So there’s no through-line to this week’s blog! You like hearing anecdotes about my glossy-pelted kitty, right? Someone in the neighborhood honked their horn during my cat’s lunch, & she immediately left her meal to go to the door as if she expected her ride had arrived.

I found dirty footprints on my kitchen floor. The prints had four toes, but my cat has six. DUN DUN DUN! Is my kitty clever enough to disguise her footprints or has some normal-toed feline gotten into the house?

My brother-in-law said there’s no value in a conversation about whether my cat looks like King Kong:

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Mentally superimpose a helicopter over the mouse.

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Resident Evil Has Finally Left The Building

Fifteen years later, the Resident Evil film series is finally ending with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter! I’m unduly excited by this momentous event! If you’d prefer to experience it completely unspoiled, scroll past to get to my third in a series of pre-Toy Fair wish lists. Yep, two things that nobody else has been eager for in one big package!

I unilaterally admitted the first Resident Evil to the ranks of the Good Video Game Films along with the original Mortal Kombat & Silent Hill. Rather than attempting a direct adaptation of Capcom’s BioHazard games, it was intended to be a side story running parallel with a unique protagonist, Alice. As sequels progressed, however, more key characters from the game franchise were imported over even though she was an amalgam of their traits. Smushed between Alice & several less memorable new redshirts, the canon ones didn’t have much room to develop. (Claire Redfield & Albert Wesker are the only canon characters in this as Wesker conveniently killed the rest off-screen in ravaged Washington, D.C.) For hardcore fans of the games, watching these movies must be like watching X-Men films are for me.

A key reason why Milla Jovovich’s career revolves around her playing an action heroine is that she’s damn good at it! (I still think she would be more credible as Black Widow than ScarJo.) Unlike Underworld’s stoic Selene, her Alice is allowed a broader range of emotions & vulnerabilities. Her former superpowers have been diminished to standard action movie protagonist levels, but it’s still utterly believable she can wreck anyone. In the the annoying instances when she does have trouble in a fight, I wasn’t sure if the movie didn’t make her foes seem formidable or whether she was just fatigued by all the previous ass-kickings she (& her stunt doubles) handed out. My favorite scene is when Alice (bearing a striking resemblance to Metal Gear Solid’s Meryl Silverberg) gets strung upside-down & still defeats a squad of Umbrella Corp goons.

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Originally slated for 2016, Sony delayed its release until after Inauguration Day.

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Does Underworld: Blood Wars Underwhelm?

Nobody wanted to see Underworld: Blood Wars with me. I was forced to see it all by myself. (Will this be my fate again when Resident Evil: The Final Chapter rolls into theaters at month’s end?) Apparently every civilized nation got to see it last year, so we’ll cut right to the SPOILERS.

The Underworld movies have never been masterpieces, but they do enough to please me. Legitimutant vampire Kate Beckinsale starring as Selene is one of them. She proves women can be stoic hypercompetent ass-kickers grumpy over their missing loved ones & being betrayed by her former allies just as well as men. Unfortunately that archetype is already played out, even if it’s slightly more novel for this gender. Even with vampire David getting his own subplot, it’s still incontrovertibly her movie.

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Did Gotham & (Green) Arrow Reverse Polarities?

For a spell during season two of Gotham, Riddler & Penguin were rooming together & singing show tunes adorably as best friends are wont to do. This season upped the queerbait ante by having these two ex-Arkham inmates (DC would make a killing selling Arkham Asylum certificates of sanity signed by Hugo Strange!) be incredibly supportive & tender to each other during Coblepot’s successful mayoral campaign. The ambiguous bromance turned romance when Penguin realized he loves Riddler. I was surprised Gotham made the subtextual homoeroticism text since hooking up two of Batman’s top rogues on prime time TV would be the hugest deal since Korrasami. (I can count who isn’t a murdery bastard in this series on one hand, so another gay villain couple doesn’t seem homophobic in context.) It even looked like Riddler would reciprocate Penguin’s affections … until he stood up the Mayor’s candlelit dinner for a stranger that looks exactly like the ex-girlfriend he killed. GRODD DAMN IT, GOTHAM!

Arkham’s Razor says Kristen Kringle’s dead ringer is Clayface hired by Tabitha to break up Oswald & Ed. Or this Isabella is Kristen’s long lost twin who is going to be the show’s quasi-suicidal take on Bookworm. Wait … Bella & Edward? This is a Twilight riff too?

Hopefully this will just be a short road-bump in Penguin & Riddler being happy together. This show could use a romance that’s healthy, stable, & Gordon-free.  Unlike Hannibal Lecter & Will Graham, Penguin & Riddler would be a mainstream gay pairing that’s not toxic as Hell. (Hannibal was fantastic show, but that relationship was monstrously abusive.) I am worried they’ll use a woman-shaped plot contrivance to turn these best buddies into bitter enemies. Don’t you dare ruin this, Gotham!

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