Watching Westworld – Season Two Preview!

The long awaited sophomore season of HBO’s Westworld returns this weekend, and we’ve been champing at the bit.  We discuss the open questions from last season, the tantalizing glimpses of the future we’ve seen from the trailers so far, and discuss upcoming format changes and our policy on spoilers and speculation. Why is William’s past still relevant to the story? What is the door, and how are we supposed to find it? Are Dolores and Maeve running diametrically opposed armies? What is Delos up to with their secret project? Is a robot searching for it’s artificial daughter any more sad and pointless than anything we do in our day to day lives?  Why or why not?  These and many more questions are entertained as we await answers!

Bald Movies – A Quiet Place (2018)

Jim and I went to see the new horror/suspense film, A Quiet Place, directed by and starring John Krasinski, who is joined by his co-star Emily Blunt.  Both are extremely effective at wringing genuine fear and emotion from the audience as they interact with a cast of really talented young actors.  There are problems we have with the film, some of them big ones, but the bottom line is the movie offers a very unique theater experience, it’s extremely tense and scary, and the parts that have to work really work well.

Bald Movies – Ready Player One (2018)

We saw Steven Spielberg’s 80’s nostalgic fun fest, Ready Player One, and we were surprised that it managed to be a good film.  We’d heard nothing but shaky things leading up to it, but with our appropriately set expectations, we had a lot of fun with it.  It’s not perfect, the ending in particular is a bit of a mess, but it works if you want it to work, and if you’re in this movie’s target demo, you’re going to want it to work.  Since we’re both pretty much at ground zero of that target, we can’t say how well it would hold up if you’re safely outside the film’s nostalgia blast wave.

Bald Movies – Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018)

Jim and I saw a movie about giant robots punching even bigger monsters, and it was even dumber than we thought it would be.  Jim and I have no small amount of affection for the first Pacific Rim.  But hoo-boy, Pacific Rim: Uprising might up the robot on monster punching action slightly, but removes all of the spunk and charm of the original to give us a loud, boring, and thoroughly by the numbers action movie.  My 11 year old loved it, though, so if you have one of those around, or are one of those in heart and mind, by all means, don’t let us stop you from seeing Pacific Rim 2. Everybody else should steer well clear.

Bald Movies – Red Sparrow (2018)

Tonight we were supposed to see A Wrinkle in Time, but we were upstaged by A Wrinkle in Ticket Pre-sales, so we called an audible and saw the movie we were supposed to see last week, Red Sparrow.  Starring Jennifer Lawrence as a Russian ballerina turned deadly secret agent, and Joel Edgerton as just a dumb*ss American spy it manages to be lurid without being interesting.  We’ll tell you what we thought about the movie up front, then talk about upcoming movies and trailers for a bit, but if you want our full spoiler-filled take you’ll have to be a Club Member! 

Bald Movies – Annihilation (2018)

We’ve just seen Annihilation, and boy are our minds blown.  Written and directed by Alex Garland and starring Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaacs, Tessa Thompson, and Jennifer Jason Leigh, it features a plot that it is alien, wondrous, unfathomable, and terrifying, with visuals to match.  It compares favorably to The Arrival, and is the kind of movie we wanted Alien: Covenant to be.  It’s just too bad that Paramount had so little faith in the film, in our eyes they had something special on their hands, and we feel sorry for the international audience that is going to see this for the first time on the small screen.  For everybody in the US, Canada, and China, go see this film!

Bald Movies – Black Panther (2018)

Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther is a great super hero film, and an even better launching point into interesting discussions about the politics of colonialism and liberation.  Starring Chadwick Boseman as the Panther himself, and Michael B. Jordan as the best Marvel villain since Magneto, the movie is a constant challenge to one’s complacency and sense of justice.  Wakanda looks amazing, the cast is fantastic, the world they are building is both visually and philosophically amazing, to the point that one of the films weaknesses is that we were desperate to learn and know more.