Hey. So you know that feeling when you're witnessing history. That moment where something approaches and you just know that this is going to have a massive impact. The intensity of the hype? It can be quite overwhelming, but I can't wait for next week and all of us say: "yes, I saw the caveman claymation football movie." Truly a momentous occasion. And I guess there's some cat man walking around. Probably not a big deal.
STICKMAN: Psschh, he's not made of plasticine. Just money.
LARRY: I mean, who else is gonna relate Brexit to football??
MADHERO: Woah. Leave the politics out of this wholesome blog. They can maybe return to one of our reviews though. Maybe. ANYWAY, we missed the Super Bowl last episode, so we're gonna talk about those things now while everyone has moved on
STICKMAN: It's all about those Winter Olympics now bruh. Did you SEEE that Grinch teaser. No.
LUCASFILM FINALLY RELEASES SOLO TRAILER. ALSO ANNOUNCES THAT GAME OF THRONES SHOWRUNNERS WILL MAKE NEW SERIES OF STAR WARS MOVIES
Well, it took fucking forever, but we finally got our first look at Solo. After multiple unconfirmed rumors that Disney was preparing for this to die, we got our first look during the Super Bowl and a full trailer not too long after. It looks....like Star Wars. A lot more muted in color than I thought, which contrast the cool teaser posters they have. I'm sure it'll be fine, but the trailer didn't really take much of my scepticism away, but hey I'll probably still see it, so Disney won't care.
The bigger news came not too long after, when LucasFilm announced that they would be producing a new series of films with David Benihoff and DB Weiss, best known for showrunning all of Game of Thrones, one of the biggest tv shows of all time. Now after that, they could do pretty much anything they wanted, so to see them tackle Star Wars of all things is pretty exciting. There's been some backlash of some people who see GoT's quality has gone down in the recent seasons, and of course the feeling of Star Wars fatigue, which I'm starting to feel as well. But hey, we'll wait and see what they'll be about when Episode IX is over and done with
STICKMAN: It sure is a trailer for a Star Wars movie. This time not as visually interesting. Outstanding.
MADHERO: WHERE. ARE. THE. PORGS
LARRY: Ehrenreich hasn’t sold me yet, but other than that, not a bad trailer. Admittedly got me hyped for a movie I’ve been skeptical about.
STICKMAN: What's there to be hyped about!? Why are people won oooover?! Is all it takes just a bunch of Star Wars shapes and noises to get people bending over and taking a big ol ramming from Disney?
MADHERO: I mean, Glover as Lando looks glorious. I wish the movie was about him
STICKMAN: I think we all do. Would be an interesting story compared to Han Solo doing the kettle run or whatever.
LARRY: Yeah, honestly. SHOCKS me that they didn’t even give him a line in the trailer. It’s also a proven talent. As opposed to Ehrenreich.
MADHERO: But hey, how about that FUTURE STAR WARS?! Guess that announcement means their Confederate show is permanently on ice.
LARRY: Thank god. What a fucking stupid idea.
MADHERO: Dumb ideas aside, how do we feel about them working on it? Obviously these guys were in high demand, but Star Wars is extremely different from Game of Thrones.
LARRY: I mean, I’m fine with it. As long as they don’t come up with any stupid ideas I’m sure they can bring the size and scope needed for a SW film.
STICKMAN: I have never watched Game of Thrones so. I just expect a lot more porn in these films. Maybe Chewbacca mounting Han Solo.
STICKMAN: How, Mad? HOW!? CUZ SKY ATLANTIC POACHED IT AND I CAN'T WATCH IT. THAT'S HOOOOW.
MADHERO: Not even a cheeky dvd box purchase? Dang. That's how I've seen....andpiracy. I'm curious what they come up with and kind of story they'll tell. Should also say this'll be a different thing from what Rian Johnson is cooking up
LARRY: Yeah at least the trilogies are gonna have variety. They are reaching for outside the Skywalker saga,
MADHERO: We can speculate forever, but we'll have to wait. MOVING ON
As part of many reveals at this year's Super Bowl, we got our first look at the sixth installment in the surprisingly, consistently solid Mission Impossible franchise, following on from Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation with...Fallout. The stunt-heavy action franchise has been going from strength to strength since Mission Impossible 3, so it's fair to say expectations are high for the new one, and we finally got our first trailer....and...well...it certainly looks like a Mission Impossible film!
Following on from the events of Rogue Nation, we see Tom Cruise, along with his increasingly larger cast of regulars aside Jeremy Renner, who was too busy fighting Thanos I guess, with Henry Cavill sporting the now infamous moustache that had a hand in ruining Justice League. We got crazy fucking stunts, Tom Cruise piloting his own helicopter, explosions, gun shots, the theme tune, and of course, Ethan Hunt seemingly going rogue/off the radar or something,. I'm a big fan of these films, and the last two were really fun, so I hope this continues the solid, creative and entertaining trend they started. And hell, even if it doesn't, you won't be able to say Tom Cruise didn't give it his all, he fuckin corkscrewed a chopper and kicked the side of a building so hard he broke his ankle. That guy...he's NUTS.
MADHERO: Henry Cavill's stache took over his Instagram and its great. Totally worth destroying a cinematic universe for.
STICKMAN: I agree, mainly because that cinematic universe already sucked to begin with. THAT SAID, surprised this one hasn't become a cinematic universe, eh?
LARRY: Honestly, I like this trailer. Makes MI feel oddly fresh. Also I’m a SUCKER for anything with Simon Pegg.
MADHERO: Its a really solid trailer, yeah. Quite punchy and reminds you why I like the series in the first place
LARRY: I also like the addition of Rebecca Ferguson. She seems to fit this franchise somehow.
STICKMAN: She was in the last one. That's why she fits so well.
LARRY: Oh shit, I didn’t see that one.
MADHERO: She was phenomenal in Rogue Nation, so hopefully she'll bring the same here.
STICKMAN: Also Ethan's girlfriend from Mi3 is back. Thank god, I guess. Really wanted to know about her situation.
MADHERO: This is also the first time a director returns on a MI film. McQuarrie did really well, so I’m ok with that. Lets hope this is more than ok, for Tom Cruise's ankle's sake
STICKMAN: Tom Cruise is more Thetan than man these days.
SUPER BOWL MAKES STUDIOS RELEASE TRAILERS FOR JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING, INCLUDING NETFLIX RELEASING A MOVIE
HOLY TRAILERS BATMAN. That's right, it's time to do a brief little round-up of the many, many trailers that have hit the interwebs since the last episode. Well, needless to say, we got plenty to chew on. Skyscraper showed us so more action-packed Rock-ness, along with a terribly designed jump in the poster. Red Sparrow also came to play, aka the Black Widow movie we all deserve, along with a spankin new look at Infinity War, featuring Captain America with a newwwew shieldddddd YAYYY. The most talked about drop was probably The Cloverfield Paradox, the newest Cloververse effort which dropped mere hours later on Netflix right after the game was over!! It was an incredibly impressive stunt. Finally, we also got a new look at Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, continuing to prove why this movie shouldn’t exist.
Outside of the sports, two additional big hitters in this year’s release schedule got new trailers. The first was Deadpool 2, continuing it’s tongue-and-cheek style of self-awareness and odd nostalgic references. Plus Deadpool apparently likes Toy Story. Then, The Incredibles 2premieres an ACTUAL trailer his time, courtesy of the Olympics, and it was awesome, thank his. It showcases a new narrative direction, with Elastigirl taking on superhero duties while Mr. Incredible becomes a stay at home dad. Not gonna lie, I’m into that, and the math joke was so god damn relatable I almost physically reacted to that. Add that to a clearly skeevy Bob Odenkirk, and you have a much more satisfied customer regarding this movie.
MADHERO: Hold on a sec. WHERE'S THE DUNDEE TRAILER?!
STICKMAN: Oh wait. It was tourism all along.
LARRY: Oh, what a shame. Anyway: Hey look an Incredibles trailer finally yay!!!
MADHERO: There's too many things to discuss. I like Incredibles' Stay At Home dad angle and my boi Bob Odenkirk, but we'll see when it comes out this summer.
STICKMAN: Jurassic World 2 had....dinosuars?? Along with what seems like 4 different plot threads.
MADHERO: I like the first Jurassic World as a dumb popcorn film, but that also means I'm not all that excited for the sequel. I'm excited for Deadpool 2 though. Surprise Terry Crews is always good.
STICKMAN: Deadpool 2 looks like a Deadpool sequel. Can't say I'm jumping off the walls for that.
LARRY: Gotta appreciate the Toy Story reference.
MADHERO: It was a really fun segue. I guess the biggun is Cloverfield Paradox, which shocked basically everyone, but we'll talk about that more.....soon
STICKMAN: Whatever you think about Cloverfield Paradox...that mic drop of a release was fucking amazing. I came back from watching something and saw it and was like OOOH FUUUCCKKK.
LARRY: No, yeah, very well hidden. Surprised they managed to keep it a secret.
MADHERO: That was a really fun surprise. I imagine Cloverfield 4 just appearing in my PS4 or something.
STICKMAN: It's already here. It's inside all of us. It was friendship.
At first, Jumanji seems like one of those films that will come and go without much thought. In our Screwvies preview, I called it a film that I would probably watch it if it comes on Netflix, but wouldn't pay much attention to it. Well shows what I know, cause since then Jumanji has become a collossal hit far beyond what everyone could've expected. The film has made more than the likes of Spider-Man Homecoming and Spectre, and will surpass Spider-Man 3 to become Sony's 2nd highest grossing film ever. Its unlikely to pass Skyfall, but the fact its become Dwayne Johnson's and Kevin Hart's biggest domestic hit is something no one could've predicted.
Sony, a studio often portrayed as desperate for franchises, is obviously thrilled by this, and has now fast tracked a sequel which will see the return of Johnson, Hart, Karen Gillen and Jack Black. Writers Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg are in talks to write the script and Jake Kasdan will likely return to direct as well. Obviously the question is how they'll tackle the sequel, but that's for them to figure out. I still need to see what the big deal is, and I will.....on Netflix cause that's how stubborn I am.
MADHERO: Watching this movie's success is probably a wilder journey than the actual movie, but I've been baffled by how well it's doing. Really seems like people are connecting to it
STICKMAN: Nostalgia sells all things. Clowns, board games, other.
LARRY: Yeah but not normally this well and this quietly. Jumanji has literally been in the Top 5 since release.
MADHERO: I honestly don't think it was nostalgia. Because otherwise Independence Day Resurgence would've made a billion dollars. Maybe it made all that money because its.....good?
LARRY: Damn. What an idea. MOVIES BEING GOOD
STICKMAN: Okay, nostalgia and being watchable.
MADHERO: It boggles the mind. Most of the people I've talked about it said they've really enjoyed it and were surprised by it, and word of mouth has just really caught on. I imagine this would maybe make 350 million or something. Not make more money than any Spider-Man film.
STICKMAN: I didn't even like the original Jumanji that much honestly. You ain't gonna get my ass in a seat by doing a random sequel with Jack Black playing a high school girl.
LARRY: Well, another one’s coming. So buckle up.
MADHERO: Its funny. I've seen Jack Black's Bethany been called a better feminist character than Belle from the new Beauty and the Beast, which is pretty wild.
STICKMAN: Question, if Jack Black as a girl and another guy as a girl talk together about something not relating to men, does Jumanji 2 pass the Bechdel test.
MADHERO: Maybe we'll get that answer in the sequel. Moving on
Uh-oh! Sony are at it again! Despite finally getting the Spider-Man franchise back on track with Homecoming last year, they've decided they still want to keep doing its own thing as well. We've got the oddly awesome looking Enter the Spider-Verse coming at the end of the year, but before that? We're getting VENOM. The solo outing for the symbiote and its host Eddie Brock that won't have Spider-Man in it. Y'know....just like nobody wanted. And we got our first look at it this week! OH BOY!
Featured in this first brief look at VENOM is...not Venom, actually. Your only real hints at the titular gooey big boy come from said goo being in a jar for a brief shot, and then Tom Hardy's neck getting all icky gross for a brief shot. The rest of the teaser comprises of Tom Hardy putting on another wacky accent, moping around being all emo, going into a store...there's some bodies and a motercycle chase or something. And then he screams. Cue the logo which is just Venom's face...and that's it, folks. Uhhh...okaaaay? I want this to be good, the teaser wasn't awful, but it was definitely lacking in a crucial departme-WHERE THE FUCK WAS VENOM.
MADHERO: I expected nothing and somehow I'm still disappointed by this....thing
STICKMAN: I was hoping to be won over, instead I just feel like my zest for life has diminished a little. Not bad, just...expectedly mediocre.
MADHERO: I don't know who said it, but they nailed it by saying it looks like a fan trailer using a bunch of other Tom Hardy movies and sci fi to look vaguely like a Venom trailer.
STICKMAN: Oh my god, that's so accurate it hurts.
LARRY: I honestly am not as disappointed in this trailer as other people. In fact there’s a lot of merit to not showing Venom. But...yeah it doesn’t do much to make up for it.
STICKMAN: Nope. If your film is called VENOM. Show at least, like...a nipple. Jesus.
LARRY: I mean we see the symbiote.
MADHERO: I never ever thought we were going to see the Venom suit. The CG for that is probably not done, but you could've shown something. I think right now you have the problem that if the logo wasn't slapped on, you'd have no idea what it was.
LARRY: Okay but like. The suit is one big figure. It’s hard to show portions of it without it looking stupid.
STICKMAN: Show me his BUTT. I've seen Tom Hardy's butt, many times. I wanna see SOOOMETHING. Prove to me this is a Venom movie and not just Tom Hardy getting jiggy with some goop.
LARRY: Eh, I am against this movie as a whole so I have barely any stake in it.
STICKMAN: I just want a good live action Venom. Is it so much to assssk. For FUCK'S SAKE.
RIP JOHANN JOHANNSON
It is unfortunately of those times where we here At The Screwvies must address the passing of another beloved figure in cinema. Johann Johannson, revered film composer, has passed away at 48 due to unknown causes. You may recognize his work from his acclaimed scores for The Theory of Everything, Sicario, and Arrival. He would often blend electronic sounds with orchestral arrangements, creating a unique and memorable sound. He will have one posthumous release, Mary Magdalene, directed by Garth Davis. An accomplished solo musician as well, Johannson’s few notable works had a sincere impact on cinema in a very short period of time. We thank him for all he did, and send condolences to his family and friends at this time. RIP.
MADHERO: God, this is so unexpected and sad. 48 is way too young
LARRY: I remember how shocking it was to see this on my feed. So sudden and unfortunate. He was a fantastic composer.
STICKMAN: This is a real tragedy. A lot of movie composers somewhat go through the motions with what's expected for a film, but this guy always brought something new to the table.
MADHERO: He hadn't been composing for Hollywood for very long. His first Hollywood film was Denis Villeneuve's Prisoners, with whom he worked with up until Arrival. His Sicario work especially is excellent
LARRY: I think Arrival is probably his best work. Though Theory of Everything is beautiful, if more straightforward.
STICKMAN: Sicario is one of those scores that's really influenced a lot of other films and TV shows since that point. A modern day Inception. Feel like this is a guy who was just getting started, to lose him so suddenly and so young is heartbreaking.
LARRY: He did so much outside of film. What a multi-faceted talent, man. Taken away too soon.
MADHERO: He hasn't done a lot of scores, but his always stood out and you can't help but feel he was going to maybe win a Oscar someday, not that you need one for validation. Gone way too soon.
LARRY: He definitely deserved one.
STICKMAN: At least his work will live on in the films and other productions he put his mark on.
MADHERO: Alright. I l joked about it earlier, but yeah, as it turns out, we are in fact dealing with a historical release. He may not be the first black superhero, but the sheer hype for Black Panther has been....something to behold. Even as someone like me, a white guy, it can't help like you're witnessing something major. So y'know, no pressure and all. With all that hope and hype, can Black Panther actually live up to it? Or will we freeze, despite the claim he never freezes.
STICKMAN: Oh, so ...we're not dedicating the rest of the blog to Early Man? I...I thought...okay.
LARRY: HE NEVER FREEZES, MAD.
MADHERO: Sorry, Sticky. But some things take priority over British clay cavemen. And hey, you say it, WE ALL DID. So lets cut to the chase. DOES BLACK PANTHER FREEZE OR NOT?!
STICKMAN: Depends on the quality of the cinema projection I guess.
MADHERO: YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN! Do you like the angry cat man?
DIRECTOR: Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed)
STARRING: Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, Forest Whittaker, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett
SYNOPSIS: T'Challa (Boseman), after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.
STICKMAN: Mmmm....well, I do. Obviously, I already loved the big angry cat man before I went in. Was his film good? Well...yes! Whilst I don't think it's the best the MCU has to offer, it certainly has plenty of great aspects, some of which are possibly the best we've seen in this franchise.
First and foremost, the acting talent on display is supreme. There's not a dud performance to be had in here, with the real highlights being Danai Gurira and Letitia Wright in their respective, contrasting but equally entertaining and badass roles...and of course, Michael B Jordon as possibly the best MCU movie villain to date? Providing an effortlessly cool persona, energy, humour and a shit-ton of emotional resonance from the moment he appears on screen. Boseman is great in the lead too, and the world of Wakanda, a true character of its own is brought to life spectacularly, a colourful and wacky setting that I've never really seen before in a blockbuster film. My main quarrel is twofold, once you get past the great cast and vibrant setting/visuals, it's somewhat...standard superhero fare. Not bad, but nothing remarkable in terms of the general beats. Also, the opening 20 minutes or so are kinda a bit hard to get into, there's a lot of loredumping and getting used to the setting and mythology of Wakanda and all its glorious techno-bullshit. Other than that? Really good fun.
MADHERO: I agree with a lot of what you're saying. I think one of the biggest strengths of the movies lies in its characters. This is probably the best new ensemble since maybe the GOTG. From its badass female characters in Nakia, Okoye and Shuri, but also iWinston Duke as M'Baku and Andy Serkis having a grand ol time not wearing pingpong balls. The standout is Michael B. Jordan though, who is not only a great villain for his charisma, but because he manages to become surprisingly sympathetic and you completely understand his anger and frustrations. His relationship with T'Challa gave a real Professor X/Magneto vibe, but one that feels rooted in reality (we'll probably talk more about it, but I did not expect this film to talk about race relations this head on). The world of Wakanda is the true highlight though. From Ruth E. Carter's amazing costumes, Hannah Beachler's production design and Ludwig Goransson's score all make Wakanda feel real and unique in a way Asgard never did. It makes you believe in a super advanced hidden African nation allowed to flourish without colonialism, and there's something truly remarkable about it, like it was commisioned by a non-existent tourism boad.
LARRY: To me, Black Panther is another solid Marvel effort. Admittedly, it suffers from a mixed bag of a first half, with some great scenes and some meh scenes. Also some minimal plot contrivances. Whatever it’s fine. But when the second half kicks in, hooooo boy do we start to get to top tier Marvel territory. Strong thematic work and excellent direction reach amazing levels, with already strong performances and gorgeous visuals. I had a blast with it and I’m happy to see an auteur filmmaker take a shot at a Marvel blockbuster without going too overboard. Two thumbs up from this guy.
MADHERO: If you don't mind, Larry? What did you think was meh about the first half? Because I can understand finding the first part a bit odd (though it makes sense) and the stuff after maybe boring, but I loved seeing Wakanda come to live in that moment and it simply allows to world to be and breather, which you don't really get with other Marvel films. I honestly didn't mind the 2 minute lore dump since its really well animated.
LARRY: Yeah it feels a tad disjointed, I don’t really love the first action fight sequence or the first tribal fight sequence.
STICKMAN: The animation was lovely but I'm not a fan of world-building in the form of detached prequel sequences. My main issue was just it being like WOAH HEY HERE'S THE ENTIRE MYTHOLOGY and then setting up stuff for later, but that was 20 minutes out of the two hours and 10 I think.
MADHERO: See, I loved the tribal scene cause it was like nothing I had seen before. That's something that always comes back to me: wow, I really haven't seen it. You could argue that it ultimately becomes a straightforward narrative, but I loved to see the world just be, let Wakanda feel like a real place with a real culture
LARRY: Nah, let me be clear: I LOVE WAKANDA. It is oozing with lore and character and color. It’s amazing. I just don’t like how the first tribal fight sequence is shot and edited.
STICKMAN: I thought the action was fine, but not really the MCU at its peak in terms of choreography. The ritual scenes were cool because of the visuals and atmosphere. Also I got to see a lot of buff shirtless dudes.
MADHERO: The Korea part of the movie is probably the most comic booky, though its really more like James Bond. Its not the best action, but the end battle is a lot of fun for.....reasons.
STICKMAN: See I really liked that sequence, kinda wish the film had done a bit more of those.
LARRY: I actually loved the casino scene.
MADHERO: What I'm surprised by, and I hope this is something we'll see more of in the future, is how separate it feels from the MCU while still very much being a part of it. We often fear the MCU can feel like homework assignment and having to keep up with everything to make sense of it, but Black Panther, besides a couple nods and characters from other films, feels remarkably separate. You do not need to have seen the other films to make sense of it (though it adds a lot of value to certain moments). And there's parts where it feels like a Ryan Coogler film and not just a cog to the machine. With that and Thor Ragnarok, we're seeing an era of Marvel letting their directors do their thing, which I guess they can do now that they're guarenteed money makers
LARRY: Oh yes, this is certainly very contained.
STICKMAN: I feel like we've felt that with several MCU films so I don't really see why this is a big deal. There's cosmic space adventures, mind-bending magic, stripped back espionage stuff...it's all connected by references and little tie-ins. Spider-Man and Civil War are really more outliers than anything.
MADHERO: Well we did with Thor, but there's not much in the way of nods to other films or mentions of other Avengers. Its part of a trend that I hope continues.
STICKMAN: I'm all for standalone films within the MCU that aren't required to go OH HEY IRON MAN'S OVER THERE, GUYS.
MADHERO: Well, with Infinity War....who knows who's going to lead the pack after that. Were you guys surprised as well at how surprisingly political it got? Obviously that can happen with royalty and government, but it tackled some issues I never expected a blockbuster to tackle.
LARRY: I mean, I found it impossible to not be political. Especially considering this film’s place in the pop culture zeitgeist.
STICKMAN: I wasn't super surprised, if any Marvel film was going to get embroiled in politics, it was going to be this one. The latest run of the Black Panther comics is more political drama than comic book action, really.
LARRY: I think it tackled all of these themes very, very well. A very multi-sided argument portrayed in many different ways.
STICKMAN: The climatic scene between Black Panther the villain was particularly stirring, not to mention having one of the most stirrrrring mid-credits scenes for the MCU. Minus that weird bit about Wales.
MADHERO: Obviously I'm not going to experience this movie in a way the think pieces are going to make want to experience it. I hope we're going to get to a point in time where Black Panther is something special, but for now it really is in the best way. Representation in a empowering way that will inspire millions, an amazing batch of characters who'll surely grow in future sequels, and a world I can't wait to reexperience at some point. I don't know where this ranks among the MCU films (its becoming harder and harder) but its a stunning achievement in almost every way and worthy of the hype. Long may the king reign.
LARRY: Overall I don’t think this is a masterpiece by any stretch, but I think it’s an important film that delivers on quality messages. And, obviously, a lot of people are enjoying and connecting to this film, so I’m happy about that, even with a stark contrast of quality between the first and second half. Also all hail Ryan Coogler. That man is a god.
STICKMAN: I really liked this film. I was a little disappointed that it didn't have more memorable action sequences, and despite breaking new ground for the MCU in terms of thematics, failed to offer an original narrative once you get past all the presentational/character positives. But I mean...those are what make this such a good film. Not only do you have a layered and inspirational lead hero, but possibly the MCU's best ensemble supporting cast, and maybe its best villain. There's some surprisingly emotional scenes throughout, and although the action scenes are rarely that spectacular, they always have a weight to them because of your connection with the characters, both good and 'bad'. Foremost it's a fantastic and fully realised achievement, bringing the world of Wakanda and the diverse and likeable citizens within it to life, with spectacular results. It's not cream of the crop MCU, but it's well worth a watch.
MADHERO: Well that's that. BUT WAIT, WE'RE NOT COMPLETELY DONE WITH REVIEWS! We talked about football playing claymation cavemen, and of course that refers to Early Man, Aardman's new claymation feature and their first original work since Pirates! Stickman, notorious Aardman hater but lover of football, is the only one that watched it. So hey, is it any good?(edited)
DIRECTOR: Nick Park (Chicken Run, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit)
STARRING: Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston, Maisie Williams, Timothy Spal, Richard Ayoade
SYNOPSIS: A caveman named Dug (Redmayne), along with his pet sidekick Hognob, unites his tribe to save their valley home when it is claimed by Lord Nooth (Hiddleston) and his Bronze Age City
STICKMAN: Soooo...as you all know, I really love my football, and despite my dislike of Aardm-Oh wait, that's not right. Yes. I somewhat like Aardman productions, they've been a huge inspiration on me my entire life, I love them to bits, and I was very excited for their latest feature, with Nick Park, creator of Wallace & Gromit and directing genius back at the helm for the first time since 2009. Early Man is a really fun and enjoyable film, but sadly it's not quite up to the standards we seek from this studio, particularly this director. Whilst it's frequently very funny, and full of charm, heart and the usual Aardman touches and details throughout, it's unfortunately a very by the numbers underdog narrative that lacks the same compelling characters and story that say, Chicken Run or Curse of the Wererabbit had. It's not bad by any means, but it's not their best by any stretch. I'd put it above Shaun the Sheep, but below the other stop motion features, which is a shame given how long you have to wait for these to come along, but...I'm not saying it was bad at all, just not an instant classic like Nick Park's previous works. That said? If your local screenings of Black Panther are all sold out? Can't go wrong, really. This is a really fun and charming romp.
MADHERO: That's a bit of a bummer that you didn't like it as much as you could've. Is that partly because of the football? I like both Aardman and football, so will I get more out of it?
STICKMAN: Honestly it's not so much to do with the football itself, although the use of football as a main plot mechanic means the film lacks the creative action sequences people have maybe come to expect. Toy train chases, pie machines, Queen Victoria and her mechanical battle dress...this film lacks something to that caliber. In fact it doesn't really have much action at all. It's just the football sequence that comprises the end of the film is just kinda...drab?
MADHERO: Its probably still the best football film ever made, cause...well....that's not a list filled with classics.
LARRY: Well I’m sorry to hear it’s disappointing
STICKMAN: I just hold Aardman to a high standard is all. Maybe those going in with lower expectations may find themselves enjoying it a lot more.
LARRY: I’m a fan of Aardman, so it sucks to see something not living up to potential.
MADHERO: Tom Hiddleston looks like he at least has a lot of fun with his attempt at a Allo Allo French accent
STICKMAN: Honestly I had my doubts about the performances from the trailer, but they all do a great job in the film. You really can't tell it's Hiddleston which means you just focus on the character. Same with Eddie the Red Mane, who's actually pretty good.
MADHERO: So that's Early Man. Stll pretty good, but doesn't live up to Aardman's high standards. Alright, now time for the usual: talking bullshit about movies we haven't seen yet.
STICKMAN: I will say....it has one scene with a messenger pigeon that's really funny and creative, and I wish the film had more scenes like that. Also...there's an aspect of the film which I guess is technically spoilers relating to that which...was really underplayed. Oops! Still, good stuff.
DIRECTOR: Alex Garland (Ex Machina)
STARRING: Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny
SYNOPSIS: A biologist (Portman) signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don't apply.
STICKMAN: OOohhh. I'm so maaaad
MADHERO: AHHHHHHHHHHH, MY MOST ANTICIPATED MOVIE OF 2018.....and I can't see it in theaters. Fuck
LARRY: I would say I'm excited to see it theaters but I feel the wounds are still fresh.
STICKMAN: Not only do I have to wait to see it, I have to wait to see it...on a TV. And some of the reviews are like THIS IS WHAT THE BIG SCREEN WAS MADE FOR.
MADHERO: Hey now. Don't blame Netflix. Blame Paramount for selling it off. But anyway, I'm still very much ready for Alex Garland's new film. Loved Ex Machina, and people have already said this is on the same level
STICKMAN: I'm so stoked. Which is what makes the situation so agonizing.
LARRY: Yeah I'm super excited. I'm also excited to see Natalie Portman in another leading role.
STICKMAN: I mean. Her being in it is inconsequential to me, personally.
MADHERO: Heard she's good in this as well, like always, but I'm mostly there for Garland.
STICKMAN: I'm here for Garland and I'm here for the source material which I hear is fucking nuts.
LARRY: Bringing in some FRESH CROC
MADHERO: No spoilers here...I think? Moving on
DIRECTOR: John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein (Vacation)
STARRING: Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Kyle Chandler, Billy Magnussen, Jeffrey Wright
SYNOPSIS: A group of friends (Bateman, McAdams etc.) meet regularly for their game night, and one night they find themselves investigating an actual murder mystery.
STICKMAN: More like LAME Night. Ahaaaah.
LARRY: Hoooo boy, what even is this movie.
MADHERO: This looks....surprisingly fun? I dunno I kinda enjoy the dark comedy aspect of it.
STICKMAN: I love a good dark comedy. I love...a good one. Jason Bateman isn't really a selling point. I'll be honest.
MADHERO: Watch Ozark mah dude. Bateman's a good acting man.
LARRY: Yeah Bateman can handle some darker, dramatic stuff. This just looks...odd.
STICKMAN: There's too much on Netflix, maybe they should shed a little weight and put Annihilation in cinemas.
MADHERO: Well he's by nature a comedian. I dunno, I think this looks like fun. The directors of this are also working on Flashpoint and were 2(of the 6 credited) writers on Spider-Man Homecoming.
STICKMAN: It's got a dog on the poster, so that's something. Not my kinda dog, but. I mean. A dog all the same.
MADHERO: Its a cute lil doggy
LARRY: It also has a Sorry piece in a burglar mask. So. Hard to gauge.
DIRECTOR: Duncan Jones (Source Code, Warcraft)
STARRING: Alexander Skarsgard, Paul Rudd, Justin Theroux, Seyneb Saleh
SYNOPSIS: Leo Beiler (Skarsgard), a mute bartender, searches for his missing girlfriend, Naadirah (Saleh), in the rolling city of immigrants where two American surgeons (Rudd, Theroux) are the only recurring clues
STICKMAN: Oohhhhhhhh boooy. This is really my week.
LARRY: DUN-CAN! DUN-CAN! DUN-CAN!
MADHERO: This is the movie Duncan Jones has been wanting to make for literally ever. Warcraft was a misstep, but he's done excellent work with his 2 small scale sci fi stories, so I'm all for this
STICKMAN: This week is a case of Good Netflix, Fuck Netflix. If it weren't for Netflix this film would never exist...
LARRY Yeah if this is closer to Source Code than I'm fucking ready.
STICKMAN: This could go either way, and Duncan's been pretty forward with his awareness that some people are gonna hate it, so it's going to be interesting to see how it turns out.
MADHERO: I think it might be closer to Moon in all honesty, especially since its supposedly takes place in the same universe
STICKMAN: Also watch MOON, Larry. MOON is a classic.
LARRY: I know, I know.
MADHERO: You still have a week. Speaking of which.....HOW ABOUT SOME MOVIE OF THE WEEK. NAILED THAT SEGUE!
STICKMAN: AAHHH FUCK The Black Panther lives.
MADHERO: Well.....we could all be lazy and just pick that as our MOTW, but we could also give some other movies their time in the sun. Including one that'll continue our love/hate relation with Netflix
STICKMAN: How about that Early Man huh Y'all...go see Early Man?
LARRY: I just might honestly...I dunno.
MADHERO: So Sticky. What's your Non-Black Panther Movie of the Week?
MOVIE OF THE WEEK
STICKMAN: Uhh...well...shit. Let’s talk about a massively divisive movie, HUH? As we said earlier, The Cloverfield Paradox just came outta nowhere literally hours after we finished writing the previous episode of Screwvies, and being a big Cloverfield fan I stayed up until the Super Bowl finished in the US to watch the movie.
And what did I think? WELL...it's...okaaaay? A lot of fun, with a interesting premise, it doesn't really nail the landing and it never fully explores the potential of what it has to offer, but despite the massively negative critical reception, I'd say it was pretty good despite this. Hard to talk about it without spoiling the fun, part of what made this exciting was going in knowing basically nothing, but all I'll say is it's nothing like either Cloverfield movie before it, it's not as good as either of them, but offers a fun, visceral sci-fi adventure with some great performances, funny moments and memorable ....events, shall we say. In my eyes, this film was decent, it didn't deserve the mauling it got, even if it weren't that great either.
MADHERO: We talked about it with the trailers, but regardless of the quality of the actual film, I'm amazed they actually went and released a movie like that.
STICKMAN: It was pretty ballsy. In retrospect maybe something of a cover-up, but hey ho. JJ Abrams climaxed the moment the TV spot landed.
MADHERO: I think Paramount probably knew this would bomb if they released it in theaters, so making Netflix pay 50 mllion (effectively making a small profit of it) proved to be a smart move
LARRY: I guess, it's setting a troubling precedent though.
STICKMAN: It was damage control, but enjoyably ballsy damage control, and I enjoyed the movie so it was win-win, really. Can't say I've ever watched a film knowing nothing about it, having only learned the NAME of the film hours prior. I mean, in this day and age? How often do you go into something completely blind?
LARRY: Rarely. And it mostly correlates to a great viewing experience.
MADHERO: Only in games and Beyonce dropping Lemonade, but never in film, so it was fun seeing that implemented. Anyway, Larry. Whats your non-Black Panther MOTW?
LARRY: My MOTW is Coco, the latest entry in the Pixar library, and most certainly a worthy addition. I can't lie, I didn't think much of this film initially, but once I heard reviews claiming it to be top-tier Pixar fare, I knew I had to see it. And yeah, it's damn great.
Gorgeous animation with vibrant colors, fun characters who feel genuine, powerful and heartwarming music, a story that throws some twists and turns without it being arbitrary, but most importantly, a world that feels wholly and completely its own. Oh, and it's funny. And imaginative. And it made my best friend cry. It's not perfect, for a few small nitpicks regarding story and world-building build up to some spottiness, but the pros far outweigh the cons. Coco is definitely another shining example of why Pixar is the best in the biz.
MADHERO: Awww yeah, my nr. 5 movie of last year.
LARRY: Yeah, made my Top 20 post-2017.
STICKMAN: More like Nono. As in no, I didn’t see it. I wussed out
MADHERO: Were the skellymen too scary?
STICKMAN: Yes. Those eyes. What's going on there.
MADHERO: I said before that the movie didn't really interest me beforehand, but by the end it really got me and it goes into some pretty dark and unexpected directions.
LARRY: Oh, absolutely. The third act throws you for a LOOP. I won't say what it does, but MAN. It made many friends of mine cry like babies.
MADHERO: The last minutes of the movie were pretty damn hard to sit through. It made me sad, but oddly good as well.
STICKMAN: I don't know man, I feel like it needs a 20 minute prologue with a singing snowman.
LARRY: Ya see that's what was missing.
STICKMAN: What did you do Mad. Was it Blade Runner 2049.
MADHERO: NO..........yes. My MOTW is a film that's near and dear to me because...well, it was my favorite movie of 2017, which I've made no secret was Blade Runner 2049, the sequel I long said should not have been made, but boy if Denis Villeneuve made me shut my big fat mouth and show me how wrong I was.
I've talked about the movie at length, and I'm only talking about it now cause the Blu Ray just came out here in a fancy pants steelbook made by Mondo, which also comes with those shorts they made to add to the world-building. If you love brainy science fiction that makes a shithole world look absolutely gorgeous thanks to Deakins' camerawork and the amazing production design. It may not be for everyone, but it was exactly my shit.
STICKMAN: I'm still maaaad that the sexy ass Blu Ray was only available in the UK at HMV and with the 4K release which means I'd have to pay £20 extra for it. And I mean, that's expensive for porn.
MADHERO: Not sure if it was in the UK, but here there was a collector's edition with a replica of K's blaster, which was super tempting but also 120 euros which is kinda much
STICKMAN: They had a £40 special edition that came with Blade Runner whiskey glasses here. If I drank whiskey and had any money, I'd be thrilled.
LARRY: Hey I liked this movie a lot. Wasn't in my Top 10 but damn is it inspired.
MADHERO: Good for you.
LARRY: ...well geez Mad okay.
STICKMAN: I'm just kinda skirting around the fact that this is the 50th time we've spoken about the movie film. It was my film of the YEARRR. I rewatched it recently too and rest assured, I still loved it. My fears about it not standing up second time through were incorrect.
LARRY: If anything I figured it would only get better.(edited)
STICKMAN: Not quite as good as seeing it in IMAX...even if it broke. I was concerned without the twists being unknown it wouldn't be as engrossing, I was incorrect.
MADHERO: Indeed. Well, that about wraps up this colossus of a show. We'll be back with another comic book movie with Black Widow. Weird they recast ScarJo with Jennifer Lawrence though, but I guess its a prequel or something
STICKMAN: Is there an island of dogs, too?
LARRY: Ooh boy. Islands
MADHERO: Doggo Island is in sight too, as well as mopey Bruce Willis. And hey, maybe before all that, we have Oscar Predictions. Depends on production and all that.
STICKMAN: Gee...well...I'd feel pretty fucking STUPID if I missed out on reading THE NEXT EPISODE OF CINEMAT-At the Screwives. That's the one we do.