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About Webslinger

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  1. I'm not expecting this movie to be a hit, but I also don't think that the existence of The Loudest Voice - the Showtime miniseries with Russell Crowe - is going to hurt it to a significant degree. As one of the few who stuck with The Loudest Voice for the first few weeks, I can attest to how that show covered relatively little of the ground this film will address. Furthermore, the show didn't get much viewership to begin with (and even I - a decidedly leftist voter - gave up on it before the Carlson-centric episodes because it was just too brutally cynical for my liking). If/when this movie is a non-starter, it won't be because of The Loudest Voice, I hope to be proven wrong because the cast is great, the director has made two really good political flicks in Recount and Game Change (and got most of the way there with the barely-above-mediocre Will Ferrell/Zack Galifianiakis political comedy The Campaign), and I'm always game for a takedown of misogyny in mass media, but I get the feeling that this one will be a non-starter.
  2. I feel like the niche appeal of the source material could make that happen. I don’t imagine that the film will have much appeal beyond the core fanbase.
  3. A The Farewell Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood A- Avengers: Endgame Booksmart Toy Story 4 Us B+ Blinded by the Light Fighting with My Family High Flying Bird How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World It: Chapter Two John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum Late Night Long Shot Midsommar The Peanut Butter Falcon Rocketman Shazam! Spider-Man: Far from Home B Always Be My Maybe Captain Marvel Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw Five Feet Apart Good Boys Happy Death Day 2U Isn't It Romantic The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part Ma Pet Sematary Pokemon: Detective Pikachu Yesterday B- Crawl Dumbo Escape Room C+ Alita: Battle Angel Glass The Goldfinch The Upside C Aladdin Angel Has Fallen Dark Phoenix Godzilla: King of the Monsters The Lion King Men in Black: International D Serenity
  4. I dunno, I have a hard time seeing a Malick movie winning Best Picture unless it’s way more conventional than his usual work.
  5. Having seen it this afternoon, I'm completely convinced that The Goldfinch should have been a TV miniseries rather than a movie. It tries to do too much even for a 2.5-hour movie and there's just not enough breathing room for everything to stick.
  6. Jeez, talk about a wild discrepancy between the two openers. That's an enormous breakout for Hustlers and an equally enormous disaster for The Goldfinch.
  7. Ugh, I still shudder at the mere mention of I-5. It was awful enough in Portland, so I can't even imagine what it must be like in Seattle...
  8. I'm pretty optimistic about the Seahawks this year. Hope that's not the kiss of death.
  9. A rousing conclusion to what director Andy Muschietti began two years ago, It: Chapter Two successfully captures the combination of dread, gallows humor, and heart that made its predecessor work so well. Though I suspect that the film’s detachment from the ‘80s nostalgia that made the first installment such a smash hit with audiences, I quite enjoyed this follow-up. It does run perhaps a touch too long at just eleven minutes short of the three-hour mark, but it’s an ambitious film that earns most of that gaudy run time with effective character development and astute exploration of how adults grapple with past trauma. The stakes feel higher now that the Loser’s Club are fortysomething-year-old adults; their bravery in facing the titular monster feels less reckless, and they engage with their mortality in such a way that their decision to fight feels weightier and more potentially dangerous because they lack the optimism and invincibility they had in their youth. The set pieces are staged with visual and aural flair, hitting their peak with a particularly engaging third act that pops more than the conclusion of the previous film. The adult cast works well with one another and succeeds in forging believable chemistry comparable with the kids in the first film. As before, if there’s a standout, it’s the sole female lead, as Jessica Chastain delivers another solid performance that makes excellent use of body language to communicate her character’s feelings. Bill Hader is also quite a bit of fun in a comic relief role, though he also channels a surprising level of depth in some of the film’s heavier scenes. And while Bill Skarsgaard feels like he has less to do despite the film’s significantly longer run time, he still appears to be having a ball hamming it up as Pennywise the dancing clown. I suspect that I will be in the minority on this count, but I found this sequel to be a worthy companion piece to what came before and one of the better adaptations of a Stephen King horror novel. B+ And that Stephen King cameo made me really freaking happy.
  10. Disappointing for It relative to expectations and the first film's performance, but it's still bound to be plenty profitable for its distributor.
  11. I don't get the sense that many people want Chappelle to be canceled. Most of the backlash seems like it's coming from the notion that the man comes across as someone who can't withstand a whiff of criticism for punching down at groups and topics just to be edgy. I think he genuinely thinks he's laughing with people (as exemplified by referring to the large gay population in Atlanta when he's doing his gay jokes in defense of Kevin Hart), but he totally comes across as laughing at them and seems on the defensive for having it pointed out. Furthermore, I think a significant amount of the backlash is also coming from people who love his previous work and know he can do better, sharper material rather than just being a comedic edgelord. If he was just a run-of-the-mill comedian making stock shock jokes, few would care because he'd just be written off as another lazy comedian not worth our time; the fact that he's doing this with a massive Netflix deal after using Chappelle's Show to punch up at racist power structures so mercilessly just makes his current approach much harder to swallow. It feels like he's traded incisive commentary on the bullies for being something of a bully himself. And honestly, there's still some funny stuff in the set. The man is still wicked talented (even if he's lost a step since his show went off the air) and that's what keeps fans coming back to his new specials even after voicing displeasure with parts of previous ones. It's kinda like watching a legendary athlete in the twilight of his career: you know he's not as good as he used to be, but you're there for the occasional flashes of that "he's still got it" brilliance. But there's a moment toward the end of Sticks and Stones where he tries to be sincere and conciliatory by saying that if he made fun of your group, it's because he identifies with its experiences in some way. Yet, throughout the entire extended bit about all the letters in the LGBTQ+ community, there's never any sense of understanding of any part of the group's experience; he's just trotting out stereotypes and exploiting them for cheap laughs.
  12. Makes me glad that the private Catholic school I went to was 100% onboard with Harry Potter when the books and early movies were all the rage in the early-'00s. I think all the adults there were honestly just ecstatic that we were interested in reading anything on our own.
  13. I went and saw The Farewell again this afternoon and a couple walked out in a huff within the first two minutes upon realizing that most of the film was going to be subtitled.
  14. I'm about 200 pages into the book and I really like what I've read thus far. I have about a combined 1,250 pages or thereabouts left between It and Goldfinch to read ahead of their respective adaptations' releases in the next two weeks. It's a Deakins flick, so I'll see it on the big screen irrespective of how the reviews turn out.
  15. Just watched that Dave Chappelle special that's been getting folks all riled up this week, and... oof. There are some decent laughs here and there, but too much of it feels like him doubling down on being edgy for edgy's sake. At least his edginess in Chappelle's Show was focused and felt like it had a purpose; this just feels like a guy repeatedly punching down and then playing the victim because viewers pointed out that punching down isn't a good look on him. (And I'm saying this as someone who loved Chappelle's Show.) I also went and saw The Peanut Butter Falcon tonight. I really wish it was getting more attention - it's a really sweet movie with some strong performances.
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