The age of digital media has created a plethora of new terminology that we have been quick to accept, from “Doomscrolling” to “Going Viral” we’ve just taken on these terms as a part of our regular lexicon. One of the most fascinating terms that’s been really jump started by the digital media age is “Influencer” where someone basically spruiks goods and services using an online persona for their audience.
In 2018 a little film called Searching was released to an unsuspecting public. Now at the time we had a few films that used the “it’s happening on a computer screen” gimmick (also known as Screenlife) but none had used it quite as effectively as Searching did in order to tell a truly intense story of a kidnapping from the POV of a worried father trying to use technology in order to find his daughter. It was an undeniable hit, raking in about 75 million on a budget that was basically just a few go-pros and a pair of fairly well-known actors but with its creative presentation and twist-filled story, it managed to get enough attention that a franchise sprung forth. This is how we get the film Missing, a follow-up that proves that there is a lot more life left in this concept that can hopefully be explored.
There is a trope in fiction known as “Bury Your Gays” which has become somewhat of a problem in certain pieces of media. The idea is depressingly simple, the idea being that there is a disproportionate number of gay characters dying, normally as a way to expand a straight character’s storyline. Now this doesn’t mean that you can never kill off a gay character, far from it. However, if you do, it should be at the same proportion as straight characters and, preferably, not be completely pointless. Knock at the Cabin is a case study in how to do this correctly while also indulging in more than a few of M Night Shyamalan’s worst tendencies as a writer/director.
When people talk about the Disney Renaissance, they are talking about a very specific period of time from 1989 to 1999 when Disney released hit after hit with stunning regularity. Ten films over a ten-year period that would revive the Disney brand in a way that basically set the stage for its eventual dominance over the industry today. It could be argued that without the Disney Renaissance, we wouldn’t have the MCU that dominates the landscape today.
Even the worst film in the Disney Renaissance is better than most other films from the same time period, it’s truly a remarkable time in cinema history and it all started with a simple film about a mermaid who wanted to be where the people were… and because Disney has decided exploiting it’s back catalog is a substitute for good film making, we now have a remake of The Little Mermaid, the film that started this Renaissance. In somewhat of a miracle, it’s not actually that bad.
When it comes to stars of the 80s and 90s, it’s almost undeniable that one of the biggest names in the industry was Michael J Fox. He caught the world’s attention playing Alex P Keaton in the sitcom Family Ties (which would get him 3 consecutive Emmy awards, a rare feat in itself) and then cemented his place in film history with the iconic Back to the Future trilogy. Throughout the 80s and 90s you could not escape Michael J Fox, he was one of the biggest names around and was often the thing that was used to sell a movie to an audience. You weren’t going to go see Doc Hollywood because you were interested in films about surgeons, you were going because it was a Michael J Fox film and he was a big damn deal to pretty much everyone. Even his return to television in the late 90s was a big deal, with Spin City being a huge hit and netting him his fourth Emmy. The key point is that Michael was the original short king, someone who was considered unstoppable… and then his hand started to shake.
January tends to be known as a dump month for releases. Basically, a film that is released this month tends to be something that the studios don’t have faith in and throw out quickly and quietly with minimal expectations. There are obviously exceptions to this idea, truly spectacular movies can come out pretty much any time but a January release is usually the spot where films go to die. It takes something kind of special to break this rule and actually make a splash… or you can be mediocre enough in the exact right ways to make back a minuscule budget and be something more than just a quick write-off.
On Jan 1st, 2022 the character of Winnie the Pooh entered the public domain. To be very specific, because this stuff is more needlessly complicated than it should be, the first book by A.A. Milne that was published in 1926 is now available for anyone to use however they like. The characters, plots, dialogue and everything in those pages can now be used in any way you like. Of course, you must be careful to avoid using the elements that Disney used for their adaptations (AKA, Winnie the Pooh can’t wear a red shirt because that’s a Disney thing) and you can’t use elements from any of the subsequent books (Aka Tigger won’t be public domain until 2024 because he doesn’t appear until the 1926 book “The House At Pooh Corner”) but if you stick with those rules you can do anything you want with the bear of very little brain.
The Fast and the Furious franchise has developed something of a reputation over the years. At first, that reputation was that these were the films to see cool car tricks and hot women in skimpy outfits, maybe with a little bit of a heist thrown in for dramatic tension. Now the Fast and Furious movies are where you go to see physics be violently pegged by a souped-up automobile powered by the laws of “Fuck you, this looks cool”. It’s somewhat of a dramatic shift over the years but it’s honestly been for the best, the franchise was kind of dull and boring in the beginning and now it’s almost impossible not to salivate in anticipation for what insanely stupid thing is going to be done next behind the wheel of a car.
Originally posted on Soda & Telepaths September 3rd 2022
Wes (Ryan Kwanten) is having a bad day, to say the least. He’s just broken up with his girlfriend, Brenda (Sylvia Grace Crim) and in his frustration, he’s gone on a long drive and gotten unreasonably drunk at a rest stop that’s out in the middle of nowhere. After spending a few hours at the rest stop getting wasted, Wes needs to use the bathroom in the rest stop and so he gets into the only unoccupied stall.
After a while he begins talking to the mysterious person in the locked stall beside him, only to discover that the stall doesn’t have a person in it but a cosmic demigod known as Ghatanothoa (J.K. Simmons) who has brought Wes to this rest stop in order to ask for a favour, and to torment him with occasional visions of his past.
Originally posted on Soda & Telepaths May 17th 2022
Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness Plot
Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness picks up not too long after the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home. with Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) trying to return to some kind of normalcy which means he has to do something he’d been dreading… attend the wedding of Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams). Of course, because no hero from the MCU is capable of having anything remotely resembling a day off, the wedding is interrupted when a giant cycloptic octopus appears in town, chasing a young girl named America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez).
Once Strange, with an assist from the Sorcerer Supreme Wong (Benedict Wong), has dealt with the octopus he learns that America has the power to hope through dimensions, a power so great that in order to try and help America he must get some assistance from Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen). Sadly for Doctor Strange, the moment he tries to bring Wanda into the situation is the moment when things turn from bad to absolutely nightmarish.