If you’re wishing for a three-way review of Disney’s latest live-action adaptation, Aladdin, then listener you’re in luck. Wish granted. Cecily, Jim, and I went to see it tonight with appropriately low expectations, but were very pleasantly surprised at how much fun and energy the movie provided. Better, the script smartly adapted the original, improving it’s pacing while also adding depth to Jafar’s intrigue and Jasmine’s character, making it smarter and more relatable to modern audiences. The Tomatometer is kinda brutal for Al and friends right now (59% as of this writing), so take our review with a grain of salt. And we’re still skeptical of the long term viability of these live-action adaptations, but we feel like this movie is proof that they aren’t necessarily doomed to be pointless wastes of time.
Jim and I have seen episode three of HBO’s Chernobyl series, “Open Wide, O Earth”, and are shaken by the graphic depiction of the Chernobyl first responders’ last days. We get to see the horror from multiple perspectives, the victims themselves, the and the friends and family who struggle to cope with this strange manner of death and the danger it poses to them. Meanwhile as the Soviets manage to contain and stop the fire, we gear up for the long war ahead; to fully contain the death and destruction of Chernobyl it will require 750k lives and three years of sacrifice. Will they be up for the challenge? And will they solve the mystery of the reactor’s destruction, so that it might never happen again? All this plus some light discussion on the relative merits of free market capitalism vs centrally planned economies in feedback. You know, kids stuff.
The Super Serious Film Fest: Fantasy reaches it’s thrilling conclusion with a look at 1998’s Willow. The brain child of one George Lucas, directed by protege Ron Howard, and starring the delightful Warwick Davis, Willow still struggles to this day to find an audience. It suffers from simultaneously being curiously dark for a family film, but far too simple, uncomplicated, and broad to hold much interest for adults. While it boasted some cutting edge special effects for our day, the best one might be the baby Elora herself, played by a suite of infants. It shouldn’t be possible for a baby to be this winsome and charming, but there it is.
Winter came and went, an evil queen was overthrown, and it was so nice we had to do it twice. “The Iron Throne” is Game of Thrones attempt to hurry up and tie up all those loose ends. Was it satisfying? That depends on how you’ve felt about the show for the past two seasons. Ultimately, this show’s final moments and it’s place in the pantheon of television will be a matter of hot debate for years to come, to say nothing of the novels and prequels and sequels we’ll be getting, and how that may change and influence how we feel. Here, we’re content to just talk about our personal thoughts on the only definitive finale of The Song and Ice and Fire. We’ll be back Friday for more SpoiLore talk, and next week we’ll have a look back at the season, and series, as a whole as we wrap things up for now.
Jim and I take a belated look at the latest installment in the John Wick saga, Chapter 3: Parabellum. JW3:B, has some of the finest action sequences we’ve ever seen, but it’s also rapidly approaching diminishing returns in terms of quantity over quality. We’re all for combat innovations including insane knife work, horse and dog augmented combat, and up-armored adversaries, but there’s only so many times you can watch Keanu kill a guy with a gun before you start checking your watch. With John Wick 4 looking to keep upping it’s ante, is this momentum sustainable? We’ll look forward to finding out!
The Instant Talk podcast is our aftershow, with our own quick thoughts about the episode followed by an interactive chat discussion with our fans, live on YouTube. The first half is released as the Instant Take podcast. The audio from the interactive section is released as a premium podcast just for our club members.
Jim, A.Ron and Cecily discuss their thoughts on the latest offerings from the gods of television.
Jim and I try to sort through everyone’s reactions and feelings about “The Bells”, as well as people’s reactions to our reactions! In a wide ranging podcast, we discuss what we’re still hoping to see in next week’s finale episode, what Dany’s descent to madness means in the context of portrayals of heroic women, thoughts on capital punishment and vengeance, and defenses and deconstructions of Arya and Jaime’s arcs. All this plus a ton of great feedback from you, the listener. Just one more episode left, we’ll see you Sunday night to discuss!
Jim and I strap on our lead shielding and check our dosimeters before doing a deep dive into the second installment of Chernobyl, the HBO miniseries about the doomed nuclear facility. In “Please Remain Calm”, the stakes increase as the lives of over 60 million Europeans are threatened by the crisis, and decisions are made that will lead to the deaths of individuals to potentially save millions.
Excalibur is one of the most ambitious tellings of the legend of King Arthur. It’s chock full of knights, castles, and excellent actors. Today we find out if Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir (?… probably) Liam Neeson, among others, can do enough heavy lifting to hold Excalibur on high or if it will be an…