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Webslinger

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About Webslinger

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  1. So, a huge event movie is dropping about 60% in its second weekend? Nice to see that we’re truly getting back to normal! Joking aside, it’s cool to see that Godzilla vs. Kong has already surpassed Tenet for the new domestic high water mark in the pandemic era. With an empty marketplace next weekend, it should hopefully level out a bit as it continues to proceed toward the $100 million domestic milestone.
  2. Of course, the first day of the young season where I'm not flipping back and forth between games, and I didn't find out about this until right after Musgrove recorded the last out. Pretty rad.
  3. I was just thinking about him and the horror stories people must have about him while watching The Assistant (with its thinly-veiled Weinstein stand-in) earlier. Damn.
  4. It’s so badass to see a double-digit daily number again. Love it! It definitely feels surreal that Godzilla vs. Kong’s 5-day gross alone is going to land so close to the total domestic grosses of the biggest pandemic era releases to date. It’s obviously benefitting from being the first big event movie as theater counts and capacities expand in a significant way.
  5. Damn straight. It was at least understandable in last year’s bizarre season, but to do it in a full regular season, especially when they’re abandoning other 2020 changes, befuddles me.
  6. Saw the number and let out a big “Hell yeah!” Not quite a double digit day, but it’s still bigger than any other opening weekend since Tom & Jerry.
  7. After all of last season's weirdness, it feels surreal - in a good way! - to be looking at a full 162-game MLB season. More than anything else, I'm just glad that we'll get much more variety in team matchups this year rather than just seeing the same teams play each other over and over and over and over. I'll be shocked if this season ends up being anything better than aggressively mediocre for either of my two teams - the Mariners and the Red Sox - but at least both of their opening day matchups fit the mold of "Well, somebody has to win" games.
  8. I mean, it makes a lot of sense that many viewers aren't gravitating toward the big awards movies despite the availability of just about all of them on one digital platform or another, be it streaming or PVOD. If you're someone whose movie-watching habits are based around watching something for the sake of fun and escapism, virtually all the major contenders are too serious to fit that bill. On top of that, I would guess that the need for escapism and the aversion to serious/challenging material have probably both been exacerbated in the midst of the pandemic. That said, I think there's also something to be said for the visibility of some of these films on their respective platforms. Perhaps it's just me, but I felt like Netflix didn't push Mank nearly as hard as its other originals bowing around the same timeframe (which I get - a stylized drama about the writing of Citizen Kane isn't an easy sell outside the film buff contingent), and I had no idea what Sound of Metal even was or where to find it until I saw other people raving about it online. Outside of streaming, it also felt like The Father barely existed until nomination morning. I did an "oh yeah, that's supposed to be coming out" double-take when my local theaters got it the weekend before nomination announcement, and sure enough, there was only one other person in the auditorium when I went to see it.
  9. Team Kong, baby. Just ignore the fact that it's based entirely on my love for Peter Jackson's irrelevant-to-this-continuinty Kong and not the 2017 flick.
  10. I did a “Wait, that movie exists?!” double take when I saw iTunes offering it on sale for its tenth anniversary. With a decade of hindsight, it feels even weirder now that there was a hit family comedy where Russell Brand, of all people, voices the Easter Bunny’s son. It’s always felt like the stuff of bizarre fever dreams. Of course, that also means we’re about to hit the ten-year anniversary of the sci-if flick it trounced at the box office, Source Code. I’m not at all sure how well that one holds up on a repeat viewing, but watching it with a modest opening weekend crowd trying to piece it together as it went along was tons of fun.
  11. Finally got the time to sit down and give this a proper-ish review. Simply put, Minari is a stunning film that finds beauty and grace in every single scene. Writer-director Lee Isaac Chung constructs a stirring, intimate tale of a family working toward realizing the American Dream in 1980s Arkansas, and it somehow manages to feel at once singular and universal. Nothing about the film is showy, yet it arrested my attention from start to finish because of how warm, honest, and endlessly optimistic it is. It is honest about the struggles the parents have in seeing eye-to-eye on how to best pursue a prosperous existence in Arkansas, yet it ultimately affirms the family's shared strength and resolve. It's also so honest and authentic in each and every scene that even some developments that might have seemed melodramatic in lesser films have noticeable and earned impact here. Under Chung's excellent direction, the acting is quietly powerful, as the performers deliver some of the best overall work of any film in 2020 while drawing relatively little attention to what they're doing. The two leads, Steven Yeun and Yeri Han, are terrific in their roles. Yeun, who already has mightily impressive supporting performances in Burning and Sorry to Bother You under his belt, does a stellar job of walking the line between being admirably ambitious and foolhardy, selling audiences on Jacob's optimism while also embracing the qualities that suggest that his optimism could be somewhat short-sighted. Han is brilliantly expressive as wife and mother Monica, communicating a wealth of meaning through gestures and turns of phrase; she also succeeds in feeling like a pragmatic voice of reason to her husband's flights of fancy. As the young son through whom we experience much of the narrative, Alan Kim gives one of the best child actor performances of recent memory; he feels natural and carries his scenes with ease. The standout, however, is Yuh-jung Youn as the grandmother who comes to live with the family. Youn gets some of the film's biggest laughs, and she's such an engaging presence from her very first scene that it's all too easy to see why she makes such a profound difference for the family over the course of the film. From the very first scene to the last, everything about Minari feels true and moving. Chung is confident enough in his material to allow it to speak for itself with minimal fuss, and the final result is a brilliant film that lingers with the viewer long after it ends. Excluding the recording of Hamilton - which hardly feels fair to use as a point of comparison given its highly questionable nature as a true "film" in the traditional sense - I feel confident saying that Minari is my favorite film of 2020. A
  12. Solid for Nobody under the circumstances. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how Godzilla v. Kong fares next weekend. I’m starved for another double digit opener (as are we all, I would guess).
  13. Cool to see that Nomadland won PGA. Minari is my personal Best Picture pick, but Nomadland is definitely a winner I can get behind.
  14. Despite not having really followed the race this year, I’ve actually seen just about all the big movies, including all eight of the Best Picture nominees. The one I’ll probably make the biggest point of seeing is Another Round, though I’m also something like 15-ish minutes into Pieces of a Woman on Netflix (just didn’t have the energy to deal with that subject matter the day I started it and haven’t gone back to it since).
  15. As the latest addition in the strong run their animation department has been on for over a decade now, Raya and the Last Dragon is another highly enjoyable, highly effective animated outing from Disney. With a fairly ambitious narrative scope and a decision to focus primarily on friendship, trust, and grief, it’s probably the biggest swing they’ve taken since Zootopia, and while its somewhat rushed treatment of its many ambitious aims puts it just a slight rung below the top tier of their 2010s output, it’s a highly enjoyable and emotionally satisfying affair. The animation is gorgeous, with appealing character design and quite a few landscape shots that will look particularly impressive to viewers who opt to see it on the big screen. There are also some very impressively animated action scenes that show off the animators’ skills with character movement and use of their surroundings. The story itself, while a bit rushed given how much it tries to do (enough so that it honestly could have easily been a big-budget television project instead), hits its emotional and comedic beats skillfully. In the title role, Kelly Marie Tran finally gets a post-Last Jedi role worthy of her talent (well, her voice talent, in this case) and delivers upon it by making Raya an engaging and compelling character. Unsurprisingly, the buddy dynamic between the title characters, Raya and dragon Sisu, is one of the highlights of the film, thanks to Tran and Awkwafina. The latter is perfectly cast as Sisu, and the animators cleverly capture parts of Awkwafina’s appearance and mannerisms to accompany the lovably energetic voice work she puts forth. The other character relationships could have stood to be traced just a bit further, but the Raya/Sisu bond is so strong that it carries the film and allows the film’s ultimate messages about trust and unity to feel organic. Though it is not opening in ideal circumstances and many of its viewers will likely end up settling for watching it at home, Raya and the Last Dragon is another visually stunning and emotionally resonant entry in Disney Animation Studios’ current winning streak. B+
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