Malcom & Marie

Malcom & Marie is a character driven story, revolving around a destructive and emotionally draining argument that takes place after an awards ceremony where Malcom, an up and coming filmmaker, played by John David Washington, forgets to thank his girlfriend Marie, a model and former drug addict, who is played by Zendaya. This leads to a series of hurtful and I will use my friends term “spirit murdering” arguments where the two lovers bring up past events and trauma to gain an argumentative advantage over the other. The characters themselves do not have much redeeming about them, and its hard to see how their relationship could survive even one night of such vicious emotional assaults. Yet somehow this defective couple thrives on the conflict, and go from loving one moment, to fighting and loving again throughout the course of a night.

Although the characters are exhausting, the artistic presentation, and great acting, make the film worth watching. Choosing to shoot the film in black in white, with a flair for 60s styles nostalgia in a modern setting was a creative and visually appealing choice. The house the couple stayed in was awesome, but the acting is really what makes the film shine. Washington really showcases a range of believable emotions, as he embraces the role of the narcissistic, loving and emotionally abusing boyfriend, who means well, but cannot help attempting to destroy his girlfriend Marie’s psyche in their arguments. Initially, Zendaya appeared uncomfortable in this adult themed role initially, but maybe that was just my own discomfort seeing Spiderman’s high school girlfriend become a woman. Zendaya attacked this role with relish as she played the supportive girlfriend who, also had a series of emotional breakdowns as she swayed from loving to hating her boyfriend Malcom throughout the film. The movie takes place solely in the house and only has two characters, which was great artistic choice. This creates a sense of claustrophobia, as Malcom and Marie continually orbit each other in small spaces, although they have a large house and yard, they could use to get away from one another.

I would definitely spend the cash to see this one, just due to the acting, but you will be drained by the end of the film. Grade B.

Wandavision

Marvel is back…with a…sitcom?! Yes you heard correctly, two of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes from the Avengers, Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) are back, starring in a sitcom. Now when I first heard of this concept, I definitely said, “this sounds stupid”. When I saw the trailer for Wandavision, I definitely said, “this looks stupid.” Needless to say, when Disney Plus released two episodes this weekend, despite my feelings, I watched Wandavision anyway, because hey, it’s Wanda and Vision from the Avengers! So for those of you who don’t know, Wanda, the Scarlet Witch and Vision a powerful robot made by Tony “Ironman” Stark himself are superheroes from the Avenger films. In the Marvel films, Vison and Wanda are romantically linked, and Wandavision continues this romance, although Vision was killed in Avengers: Infinity War…right? Hmmm a mystery.

Wanda and Vision appear to be trapped in some form of 50s/60s reality where they are living life, like a sitcom. Wanda and Vision appear to be oblivious to this fact, but clues and circumstances begin to happen that begin to make them question their reality. Wanda appears to be more aware than Vision, but she realizes something is amiss when a colorful toy helicopter crashes into the yard of her black and white world. However, her main priority is to focus on the love and companionship she shares with Vision, although neither one of them can remember when they got married, or any important details about their lives. This is the story so far in the two episodes released.

Wandavision is truly a sitcom that borrows unashamedly from classics like Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, The Dick Van Dyke show and probably a host of others, along with it being shown in black and white. The question is why? Why would Marvel do this to fans? Well, like I said there is a mystery, but will anyone stick around to see what the mystery is? If a viewer turns on this show and sees Wanda and Vision prancing around in black and white, doing 50 and 60 style sitcom pranks, and scenarios will they roll their eyes and turn the show off? I would be hard pressed to see a regular viewer want to stick around and watch this. I struggle to see young Marvel fans stick around to watch Wandavision. I myself, have become intrigued, so I know I will stick around to the end. The creator of this show will either be classified as a mad genius or fool, for bringing such a unique and creative show to streaming. The question is…are we ready for it? If you are invested in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, then definitely SPEND THE CASH, to see this because it definitely ties in, but where and how remains to be seen. Regular non-MCU fans may want to MAKE THE DASH.

Fast Color

I have circled around this movie showing on Amazon Prime, for a few months. The premise seemed interesting, but I always seemed to find something better to watch instead. Last night I finally clicked the link and gave it a shot. I liked the backdrop world for Fast Color, which involved the Earth going through an 8 year drought, in which no rain has fallen on the planet. The film is set in present day, and the world is on the verge of collapse with grocery stories barely stocked with any food stuffs and water selling for high prices. Although the world is teetering, everything is much like we know today, everything still functions, there is law and order, but there is just less, and everything is dirty. Think the COVID toilet paper shortage, but with everything. Now this by far was the most interesting aspect of the film. Now the film starts off with Ruth (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) on the run, from who knows what, and she takes temporary shelter in a seedy hotel. All of a sudden she begins to seizure, and a tremendous earthquake, rocks the hotel and surrounding areas. Eventually we discover she is being pursued by the government who is aware of her abilities, and are attempting to capture her for experiments. (The movie never explains any of this.) Ruth returns to her mom’s house that she left years ago when she was addicted to drugs. There is tension in the household because we learn that Ruth also had a daughter that she abandoned when she left her mom’s house. The movie then sheds light on the fact that Ruth’s powers are generational, and are passed down from mother to daughter. The power manifests as colors, which they can use to reconstruct and build things. For a reason we learn later, Ruth’s powers are blocked, which cause her seizures and the earthquakes. The rest of the movie, is more about the reconnection of Ruth with her mother, and her now pre-teen daughter. She attempts to reconcile with her mom, while trying to teach her daughter to avoid the mistakes she made. I liked the premise of the film, but it moved slowly, and left many story angles dangling that would have been exciting to pursue. How did the government learn about her? Why was she running? What led to the drought? So many questions, but the creators of the movie seemed more interested in the reconnecting relationship with Ruth and her family, than exploring the bigger issues. Nothing wrong with that, but if left me feeling that the film was incomplete. YOU CAN SAVE THE CASH AND DASH ON THIS ONE! Grade D+

raising dion

Raising Dion can be found on Netflix. Although I enjoyed the first 9 episode season, I can see how adults would not want to invest the time to watch this show. Raising Dion is made primarily for kids, in elementary, early middle school, or for adult big kids like myself who just like a decent superhero yarn. Dion (Ja’Siah Young) is a 7 year old boy, whose father allegedly drowned under some strange circumstances. Dion is raised by his mother Nicole (Alisha Wainwright), who is struggling to keep the household and job together, while she mourns the loss of her husband Mark (Michael B. Jordan). Dion begins to manifest special abilities and his mom, is not sure how to handle it. Nicole eventually turns to her deceased husband’s best friend, Pat (Jason Ritter) who watches over Dion as the godfather, and ensures that Dion has a father type figure in his life. Just like any superhero show, if there is someone with budding superpowers, then of course there has to be a villain, and Raising Dion does not disappoint in this area either. I found the villain concept to be rather creative and intriguing, and it has a pretty good payoff at the end of the season. The show is definitely about Dion, but to me the focus is on Nicole and her difficulty accepting the reality of her situation, and that life is much more complicated than it already is. As much as I enjoyed watching this series, and my wife enjoyed it too, I did find Dion and Pat the godfather to be rather annoying at times. Despite these annoyances, and the kid friendly approach, I found it to be engaging, and very interesting towards the end. However, would I recommend you purchase a Netflix subscription just to see Raising Dion? No! SAVE THE CASH AND MAKE THE DASH! Grade C+.

Doctor Sleep

Doctor Sleep is actually a sequel to The Shining, so if you haven’t seen The Shining or are not familiar with it, then this movie will have a lot going on that you are not going to understand. Although there is a lot going on, a new person seeing this film for the first time, will realize that the movie is referencing a past event, which may create interest in seeing The Shining, or it may not. Doctor Sleep takes places decades after the events at the Overlook Hotel where Jack Torrance lost his mind to the ghosts of the hotel. Jack’s son Danny, (Ewan McGregor) has the gift of the Shining, and he is now a grown man and an alcoholic. The Shining is some form of telepathy. Danny comes across a young girl named Abra Stone (Kyliegh Curran) who is also endowed with the Shining, and the two begin to communicate via writing on a black board using their mental powers. What they don’t realize, is that there is a group of people, led by a woman named Rose who feed on the Shining. Rose and her “Crew” spend much of the movie tracking down kids with the Shining and feeding on them. Rose discovers that Abra exists, and she realizes Abra is one of the most powerful wielders of the Shining she have ever seen. The crew begins to track Abra’s whereabouts, so they can have a feast of feasts on her. Abra with the help of Danny proves to be more capable than Rose or the Crew imagined, and a game of cat and mouse ensues. By itself, the movie doesn’t bring much new to the table with this genre. In a sense, the villains in this movie are vampires, but they don’t drink blood, they inhale “steam” the actual power that is the Shining. Rose and her crew look like traveling gypsies, and they are not scary. The only thing special that you see about them is that their eyes glow when they feed. The film eventually makes its way back to the Overlook Hotel for the grand finale, but the ending is never really in doubt and there are no real surprises. This is not a scary movie, nor is it really suspenseful. Typically, I would dismiss this film, however, if you are a fan of Stephen King and the worlds he has created via his books, then you know everything he has written has some connection to a larger universe. Since I read the Dark Tower series, I spent much of the movie wondering about the connection these vampire like creatures had to the overall Dark Tower Universe. There were so many ideas in this film that I would like to see explored. Where did Rose and the Crew come from? How does the Shining work? What will Abra do next? So many questions, but no answers. My wife and I enjoyed watching it, but you could definitely Save the Cash and Dash on this one. Grade C-.

MA

A group of high school teens find a woman who is willing to buy them alcohol and let them party in her basement. They dub her MA, and her basement becomes the hotspot for all the local high school teens. The parties are fun at first, and she is pretty cool for an old lady, but she starts to get too attached to them and wants to party more than them. When they start to brush her off, MA shows flashes of a dark side. They realize too late that MA has an agenda, and it doesn’t bode well for them. MA is a not a grisly horror movie, but you could definitely see something like this happening in the real world. Its pretty straightforward, but it is a good couple’s movie, that will entertain you. Spend your Cash on this one. Grade A.

The Third Day

The Third Day is a six episode limited series, that is one of the weirdest shows I have ever watched. Jude Law plays a character named Sam, who lives in England. Sam is out near a river mourning the death of his son, who had been murdered years before by an immigrant. As he reflects on his sons death, he is startled by the voice of children. He goes to investigate and stumbles on a teenager named Epona who has just attempted suicide by hanging herself. Sam saves her, and takes her home. Epona lives on a small island called Osea, which is only accessible by a 2 mile long winding, causeway. A causeway is a road that goes across a water way, that is accessible for a time before being covered by water. The causeway in Osea is open for four hours and then it is closed because the road is then completely covered by water. (Special note- the island of Osea and the causeway really exists!) Once Sam arrives on the island, the people act strangely towards him, and seem to hide Epona when he tries to check on her, which makes him suspicious. Epona’s father seems bent on hurting him for some reason, and Sam prepares to leave the island, only to be trapped when the causeway recedes. Sam soon discovers that there is more to the island of Osea and its inhabitants than he could ever have imagined. Although he wants to depart the island, and leave the mysteries of Osea unsolved, every attempt to leave the island is thwarted. After three episodes, you may wonder where the show is going, but if you power through to the sixth episode, the ending will be satisfying to say the least. If you have exhausted all of your shows, and are looking for something to take you through the weekend, then it is okay to Spend the Cash on this one. Grade C+.

The Midnight sky

George Clooney directs and stars in this film as an astrophysicist named Augustine who monitors the heavens for a returning spaceship the Aether, which was on a deep space mission to discover a habitable planet for humanity. While in the Artic, the Earth suffers a catastrophe, and the human race is dying. Many of the researchers at the outpost choose to leave the facility, so they can spend their remaining days alive with their families. Augustine chooses to stay, so he can warn the Aether to turn around and go back to the planet they have discovered. Augustine soon discovers that he is not alone, and a young girl has somehow stayed behind. Now he has to watch her, and keep her safe as he has to trek across the frozen wasteland of the Artic to another research base miles away that has the proper equipment that will allow him to communicate with the incoming space vessel. The movie follows both Augustine on the ground, and the crew on the spaceship who are oblivious to the events that have unfolded on Earth. This is not a popcorn movie, but a strong character driven tale, that finds elements of hope, joy and friendship in brief moments as the characters struggle to survive the dangers on Earth and in space. Spend the Cash on this one! Grade B+

wonder woman 1984

I loved the first Wonder Woman movie, and I enjoyed Wonder Woman’s roles in Batman vs. Superman and Justice League. Unfortunately, Wonder Woman 1984, drops the ball on what could have been another outstanding outing for Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. The film takes place in 1984. The director gets everything right, the clothing, cars, attitudes, music, culture, everything screams 1980s. This was one of the coolest aspects of the movie. The story revolves around an artifact called the Dream Stone, which grants wishes to a person, but exacts a price in exchange. Wonder Woman, her friend Minerva (Kristen Wiig) and the main villain, Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) make wishes that began to have effects on themselves and people around them. Wonder Woman’s wish brings back her old flame Steve Trevor from the first Wonder Woman movie. Maxwell Lord starts to make wishes to make him the most powerful person on Earth with Wonder Woman in hot pursuit. Although, why didn’t Maxwell just wish all his enemies to be gone, including Wonder Woman? Minerva makes a wish that leads her to becoming Tigris. Her storyline just seemed to center on her gaining power over a man that harassed her on the street. Wonder Woman had potential, but the story just didn’t work. Nevertheless, Gal Gadot is still awesome as Wonder Woman, but she didn’t have much to work with. The most interesting story line in the film, actually was the interaction between Maxwell Lord and his young son, who was vying for his attention. The last ten minutes when Maxwell realizes his son may be killed and he sacrifices everything to get to him tugged on my heart strings, but that is about all that elevated my emotions with this film. Audiences have higher expectations for their superhero fare these days and Wonder Woman doesn’t deliver. Just because the movie is made in the 1980s doesn’t mean it has to follow 1980s superhero storytelling. Wonder Woman 1984 is like a mix of Superman III with Richard Pryor, Batman Forever, with Jim Carrey, and the Amazing Spider Man 2 with Jamie Foxx. All three of those movies tried to make their movies funny by bringing in comedians, and they failed. Wonder Woman follows this same path, without a comedian, and the results are the same…fail! Wonder Woman 1984 is too hokey, and the story too weak to spend cash on! MAKE THE DASH! Grade D.

soul

SOUL is a quaint story of a Jazz musician who has never gotten his big break, and goes through life as a part time music teacher with unfulfilled potential. Minutes into the story, Joe comes to a crossroad, where he is given the offer of a full time job as a middle school band teacher, or a once and a life time opportunity to play with a well renowned Jazz saxophonist. Unfortunately, Joe dies before he gets to make his choice, and on his way to the “Great Beyond”, he escapes and arrives to the “Great Before”, where conspires with 22, a pre-soul that has not been placed in a body to escape back to Earth to get his body back. Some funny hijinks occur, which involve a body switch with a cat, and a soulful tale is born! SOUL has beautiful music and a nice moral story about selfishness, giving to others and pursuing your purpose in life. It didn’t knock my socks off, but it had some funny moments, good story and great animation. I would SPEND THE CASH on this film. Grade B

Ma rainey’s black bottom

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a movie that tells the story of Ma Rainey (Viola Davis), a sultry, Harlem Renaissance singer in the late 1920s, from the South who comes to Chicago to make a record with Hot Rhythm Recordings. The film is based on the real life Ma Rainey, who was unknown to me until I saw this film. In the movie, Ma Rainey has achieved success, and good financial standing as she enters the twilight of her career. She is fiery, demanding, insecure, but confident in her ability to sing, and knows that her voice is the commodity that gives her leverage when dealing with the record label. She doesn’t tolerate any foolishness from the white label executives, nor her own band members who at times attempt to impose their own will on her vision of what her music should be. Her band is made up of four colorful individuals, Cutler, Toledo, Slow Drag and Levee. The movie is really about Levee (Chadwick Boseman) and his struggle to gain the limelight as a trumpeter for Ma Rainey’s band. Levee is an ambitious and talented musician, who wants to lead his own band, but his own tragic experience with racism leads to catastrophic conflict within the band itself. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom comes across as a one act play with two primary sets, the band room and recording studio, where the tense interactions take place between Ma Rainey, the record label executives, Levee and his band mates. This leads to some powerful stories on how these individuals have struggled and adapted to survive the racism, predatory practices of music labels and the regular human turmoil that comes from personal interaction in 1920s America. One could place this in modern times and see similar results! You will want to SPEND THE CASH on this one. The acting is powerful! Grade B

The Undoing

I had heard a lot of hype about The Undoing, but it didn’t strike me as a show that was up my alley. I was wrong! The Undoing is a six episode murder mystery starting Nicole Kidman as Grace and Hugh Grant as Jonathan her husband. Grace meets a woman named Elena at a PTO style school fundraising meeting, and next thing you know the woman has been murdered. Somehow Grace’s husband Jonathan becomes a suspect, and the race is on to prove his innocence. Although this is a story that has been done a number of times, the acting is superb and the story is tense, which makes for an enjoyable six hours of television as you try to figure out Whodunit. If you have HBO Max, definitely SPEND THE CASH on this series.

Underwater

Underwater gets rolling five minutes into the movie, with explosions and water cascading everywhere as Norah (Kristen Stewart), who minutes before was brushing her teeth, attempts to escape the seven mile sea deep mining facility where she works and calls home. After several near death experiences, she reunites with surviving crew members, and they make their plan to escape the doomed underwater mining rig. This all occurs in the first ten minutes! The survivors discover deep sea diving gear and use that to exit the collapsing rig. Once they get outside, they realize that there is more going on than they thought, and their sigh of relief upon getting away from the mining rig is short lived. Norah and her fellow survivors attempt to traverse one mile of treacherous landscape in the Mariana Trench, the deepest part on the Earth, trying to find sanctuary on another mining station. During their near pitch black journey across the ocean floor, they attempt to fend off an unknown foe that picks them off one by one. Underwater is a claustrophobic, action pick that borrows heavily from Alien and The Abyss, but it is well worth SPENDING THE CASH on this film.

Flight Attendant

I didn’t know what to expect when I saw the picture of Flight Attendant on HBO Max. This isn’t a show that I normally would watch, but the plot line intrigued me and I wanted to watch something that my wife and I could both enjoy. The series follows Cassie, Kaley Cuoco, a wild flight attendant whose life is filled with drinking and pleasure seeking. During a flight, she meets a passenger and has a brief kissing affair with him in the airplane lavatory before resuming her flight attendant duties. When the plane lands, she hooks up with the passenger, named Alex, Darios from Game of Thrones, and they have a dalliance in a penthouse hotel. Cassie wakes up the next morning and discovers Alex in bed next to her with his throat slit and blood everywhere. Cassie then begins to make one bumbling foolish decision after another as she attempts to cover up that she was with the dead man. Her various actions throughout the first three episodes, which make little to know sense, leads to some funny scenes. Flight Attendant is a mix of a mature themed dramedy, mystery, thriller. My wife and I are three episodes in so far, and I am in it for the duration. It’s funny because Cassie is very much like an even more over the top version of Penny from the Big Bang Theory, except she definitely has a dark side that is just beginning to be explored. SPEND THE CASH on this one.

Spell

If you like Omari Hardwick from POWER, then his presence alone will be enough for you to see this film. SPELL is actually a pretty good mystery/horror film. Hardwick’s character Marquis is a wealthy business man who learns his father, whom he hated because of abuse has died. Marquis flies his family, wife, daughter and son in his private plane to the funeral, but they crash during a storm. He wakes up in a bed, on the farm of an older couple Eloise and Earl, who said they found him in the crash. He asks for his family, but they say that nobody was with him. Marquis soon discovers that the couple practices some form of Christian/Voodoo and he witnesses and experiences some strange and painful events at the hands of Eloise and the Boogedy that she makes of him. The movie reminds me of play Misty for Me or the classic Misery, but with a supernatural twist. You figure out what is going on pretty early, but watching Marquis try to get out of his situation is engaging. You can definitely SPEND THE CASH on this film, but make sure it is the rental price and not the full price of admission.

Kindred

Kindred is a weird slow moving thriller about a young woman named Charlotte who becomes pregnant. Charlotte doesn’t want the baby, due to her mom being mentally ill and not a good mother, but her boyfriend is excited about having the baby. As Charlotte mulls over whether she is going to terminate the pregnancy, her boyfriend is killed in a tragic accident. The boyfriend’s mother and step brother, who are wealthy and live in a mansion take Charlotte in to live after she begins to experience hallucinations and losses of time. Over time Charlotte discovers that she is not necessarily a guest, but a prisoner as they try to keep her bedridden until she comes to term. The mystery of the film for the viewer is to figure out if Charlotte is becoming mentally unstable or is the family doing something to her. The movie was intriguing, had a good story, but it just dragged a bit. I would DASH from this film and wait until its free on one of the movie channels or streaming networks.

The MandAlorian season 2: Ashoka Tano (Episode 5)

Live Action Ashoka
Clone Wars Ashoka

I have heard many people who are just general fans of Star Wars say they have enjoyed the Mandalorian, but true deep fans of Star Wars have found a true love for the show, and season 2 has continued to bring exciting Star Wars level experiences. If you have been a fan of the animated Star Wars Clone Wars and Rebels, then the last three episodes of the Mandalorian 3-5, are going to take you to Star Wars heaven. The big payoff comes in episode 5 as one of the most popular characters from the Star Wars animated universe makes her live action debut, and I am not talking about the awesome Bo Katan played by Katee Sackhoff who did a remarkable job portraying Bo Katan, the character she played in the animated Clone Wars and Rebels. True Star Wars fans rejoice! Ashoka Tano has arrived in all of her live action glory and she is amazing! Rosario Dawson does a fantastic job of bringing Ashoka to life. I have to admit I got emotional watching the first few minutes of the episode seeing a live Ashoka Tano wielding her twin light sabers. The history and the universe that has been created beyond the movies is rich, colorful and full of amazing stories, and now the animated and live action Star Wars Universe are finally connected. Hats off to Dave Filoni, John Favereau and George Lucas for having the grit to bring her to live action.

The actual episode itself was good as the Mandalorian, and Baby Yoda meet Ashoka as she battles a local warlord called the Magistrate. The Mandalorian’s quest and purpose from the beginning has been to deliver Baby Yoda to a Jedi. However, The Mandalorian learns a few things, one of which is Baby Yoda’s real name, and that his story his much deeper than he could have imagined. After helping Ashoka with the Magistrate, The Mandalorian discovers that his quest is not at an end, but is only just beginning. For fans of Star Wars lore, this episode is chock full of Easter eggs and information related to the Clone Wars and Rebels. Definitely SPEND THE CASH to see this!

Wayne: an amazon prime series

A friend of mine recommended this wild show. I liked it, although I struggled trying to fit the program into a particular genre. I would classify this show as an action packed, road trip, innocent teen romance, dramedy, mixed in with some extreme violence. The premise of the show is a about a 16 year old boy named Wayne who lives in Brockton, Massachusetts. Wayne is the neighborhood protector of those who are treated poorly and he uses his fists and other means to give payback to those who mistreat others. Although Wayne stands up for people, it doesn’t mean he is this super fighter. He is often getting pummeled for his efforts, but that never stops him. As a matter of fact, I am starting to believe he suffers from Congenital Insensitivity, a disease where a person doesn’t feel pain. Wayne meets a 15 year old girl named Del, who has her own issues with her family and the death of her mom. After an awkward meeting over buying and selling cookies, and an even weirder interaction in his bedroom, they decided to date. Wayne’s father dies of cancer, and after giving him a Vikings funeral in his home, yes it is strange, Wayne and Del decide to travel by dirt bike to Florida, where his mom, who abandon him at five resides with her boyfriend who stole Wayne’s dad’s 1979 Gold Camero. Wayne’s mission is to go down to Florida and retrieve the Camero, which his dad had wanted to pass down to him. Along the journey Wayne and Del meet a host of colorful and funny characters, while being pursued by Del’s obsessively protective father, and her two older twin brothers. They are also being followed by the depressed school principal that hates kids and his job with Wayne’s friend Orlando, and also two funny, but strange police officers from Brockton, Mass. Wayne and Del meet a few other colorful characters that make this one of the most memorable, fun, tragic, and violent shows I have seen, yet the love between Wayne and Del is innocent and free of any sex whatsoever. In order to classify it in my mind, to me this show is very much like a highly rated R version of, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (except no super hero powers here), Shameless (excluding the shamelessness and sex) and weirdly Everybody Hates Chris. I know it is a strange combination but it works. The budding romance between Wayne and Del is cute, powerful and it just works and I was pulling for them throughout the show. It runs 10 episodes, and I blew threw them in one day, yes that is a lot of tv, but I still managed to get in 20K steps! Wayne is truly a show I would SPEND THE CASH on!

Titans tv show

Let me start by saying Titans is not the lovable, funny and friendly show like you would see with Teen Titans Go, or the original Teen Titans cartoon. This is a gritty, mature themed Titans show that takes place in the DC Universe and it shares a connection with the Doom Patrol TV show. Titans follows Robin, the former Boy Wonder. Robin has grown disgruntled with his time with Batman and he has moved off on his own to Detroit to serve as a police officer and fight crime at night. However, no longer does he just fight to incapacitate the bad guy, he brutalizes criminals to the point of death! One scene in particular, which shows you the direction the series is moving in occurs when he is fighting a group of criminals and they are looking around in fear saying “Where is Batman?!”, and Robin replies callously “F@#% Batman!” as he beats the mess out of them. Dick Grayson (Robin) struggles with his dual nature, and realizes that he is beginning to like the violence more than just helping people. This is what makes the show interesting, it explores the motivations, and trauma of the characters and how their experiences shaped them. Robin primarily plays his real self Dick Grayson, as he tries to help a young girl named Raven who has demonic like abilities, but is on the run from “The Organization” that is trying to use her as a portal to bring her Father to Earth. Robin and Raven come across Kory who has amnesia, but has fire powers (Starfire for fans of Teen Titans), and Gar (Beast Boy) who help Robin protect Raven. It is not just a superhero show, it is a character driven show. I really love the real world take, that DC has taken with its properties, and the episodes are dark, brutal and bloody, but to me that is the reality of what getting into a fight with a real superhero or highly trained fighter would look like. This show is rated M for Mature and has some Game of Thrones and The Boys level sexuality and violence, so it is not for kids at all! However, if you love DC heroes or the genre, SPEND THE CASH!

Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek: Discovery season 3 has entered the 32nd Century with a bang! The first two seasons of the show were hit and miss, but so far this season Discovery has found its space legs and is striding into the future. Sonequa Green, who plays Commander Michael Burnham, has led her starship Discovery and crew from the 23rd century through a wormhole to the 32nd century to escape “Control” a sentient computer program that was hell bent on destroying all life in the known galaxy. Think Skynet from Terminator on steroids! Now in the 32nd century, 900 plus years from everything they have known, the crew of Discovery discovers that the Federation and Starfleet they once knew is a shell of its former self. A catastrophe called the “Burn” has destroyed the majority of Starfleet vessels and the Federation has shrunk from 350 member worlds to 38 planets. Once valued allies have now become enemies. Burnham and the Discovery crew try to navigate in this galaxy while trying to figure out the mystery behind the “Burn”.

As a true fan of the entire Star Trek franchise, I thought Discovery was out of place in the 23rd Century, existing merely 10 years before the launch of Captain Kirk’s five year mission into the unknown. Discovery’s technology, uniforms and everything about it just did not fit in the established canon. Although they explained it away, by stating that Discovery was a state of the art unique science vessel, it just didn’t work. Putting Discovery into the 32nd century was a great move! It allows the writers to truly work on expanding the Star Trek Universe without being closed in by established canon! Definitely spend the cash on Star Trek: Discovery season 3!

Doom Patrol

A few years ago, Marvel blew away fans of superhero films by presenting a series of streamed superhero shows on Netflix that had realistic portrayals of heroes, with actual consequences, trauma and adult situations. The DC Universe has followed along with DOOM Patrol. Set in a universe where the Justice League and Batman exists, Doom Patrol is an odd grouping of individuals with powers that have traumatic experiences that led to their acquisition of powers. They are not really a superhero team, but a band of misfits that are recovering from their emotional and life altering experiences under the care of their Chief. The team consists of the Robot, a former Nascar driver, Larry Trainor, a former Air Force Pilot, Crazy Jane, a young twenty something with 64 personalities, Rita Farr a former actress, and the well known hero Cyborg. Under the care of The Chief, these five people try to heal their mental and emotional issues, while dealing with their tragic pasts, and present, and the various supervillians that pop up that are not necessarily after them, but their leader The Chief. The show is very quirky, dark and character driven, but it doesn’t take itself seriously whatsoever. I blew through the first season and a half in a few days! The first season villain, Mr. Nobody was hilarious. To me it is kind of a mix of THE BOYS and Umbrella Academy. It isn’t better than The Boys, but I like it better than the Umbrella Academy! If you are into this genre then definitely SPEND THE CASH!

Hamilton the Review

Hamilton the world renowned Broadway Musical has made it to Disney Plus. Despite all of the hype, I was skeptical, because I admit I am not a big musical person. Now I will say that the West Side Story is my favorite musical of all time, and I have seen some good productions, but seeing a musical is not at the top of the list. Well I sat down and watched Hamilton, and it is OUTSTANDING, FANTASTIC, and REMARKABLE! Lin-Manuel Miranda, the center piece of the musical as Hamilton is also the creator, story writer composer and actor! The entire cast of Hamilton was amazing! Hamilton is the most exciting history lesson I have ever experienced, and I am a former Social Studies teacher! The musical uses creative combinations of rap, singing, rhythmic music and dance to tell an engaging and thorough review of the story and legacy of Alexander Hamilton one of the Founding Fathers. The musical story was so entertaining, I was bouncing and dancing on the couch for the entire two plus hour run time. Not only was it entertaining, but it peaked my interest in delving more into the history of Hamilton. This is how history should be taught! Grab a seat and SPEND THE CASH on Hamilton!

Antebellum Movie Review

The movie trailer for this film streaming on On Demand intrigued me, so I willing plunked down $20 to my internet service provider, so my wife and I could check it out. Antebellum stars Janelle Monae who plays a character called Eden, an enslaved black woman picking cotton on a plantation in the deep South during the Civil War. She endures a number of abuses at the hand of the General, and the underlings under his command. The film sets up like a classic movie showing the atrocities of slavery during the Civil War era until, Eden has a flashback and she is in modern day America with her family, hosting speaking engagements and living a very comfortable life! Record scratch, is this the Twilight Zone?! The idea behind this alone was the best part of the movie. I won’t ruin it, but Antebellum has a very creative story concept, but for some reason the film seemed to drag, the acting, besides Monae seemed mediocre, and it just didn’t pull me in. Should you spend your hard earned cash on this film? SAVE YOUR CASH and MAKE THE DASH on this one! It is worth seeing, but wait until its free!

DASH!

Utopia

A friend of mine recommended Utopia to me yesterday morning, which is airing on Amazon Prime. I finished the 8 episode season in 24 hours! The intro soundtrack is creepy and sets the tone, for this mysterious thriller which, I warn you has some grisly scenes. Utopia is a story about a group of friends who have never met, but they interact via internet chat rooms and text messaging. They read a macabre comic book titled Dystopia, which seems to portend real viral outbreaks in the present world. When the friends learn there is a sequel to Dystopia called Utopia, which is being offered for sale at a comic book convention, they all agree to meet up, and attempt to purchase the comic book, so they can unlock the secrets of Utopia. Unbeknownst to them, many people want the comic, and a few of the people that want it have a hidden agenda, and will use any means to obtain the comic. The friends are thrust into a chilling race for their lives as they try to survive and discover who wrote Utopia and why. If you are a fan of The Good Doctor, you will get a chuckle out of one of the characters, just imagine The Good Doctor gone bad. If you already have Amazon Prime, you will get your moneys worth with Utopia! SPEND THE CASH!

Spend the Cash!

Lovecraft Country

Where did this show come from?! Imagine living in the South during the Jim Crow era in the 1950s, and being black. Frightening enough, but then add in magic, and monsters, and you have one heck of an intriguing and scary show, that has a Twilight Zone feel if it was filmed as a horror show. The show which airs on HBO, follows Atticus Freeman (Tic), who travels with his Uncle George and friend Letitia on the road as they map locations in the Southern states that are friendly or tolerate black people, think the Green Book. During their travels, they come across a truly terrifying racist sheriff, who along with his deputies, harass and threaten them until an even bigger threat rears its ugly head in the dark woods of the South. The adventure and mystery truly begins as Tic tries to survive the racism and violence of the Jim Crow South, while discovering his role in the machinations of a wealthy white family that seems to have magical powers. To say that this film shows a realistic portrayal of the South during the era of Jim Crow is an understatement. The tension is intense as our heroes travel from one town to the next trying to survive each encounter with the white community, until they run into the sheriff and realize there are even more horrible things than a murderous sheriff. This show plays on HBO and is four episodes in. The relationships between the characters is believable and heart wrenching as they try to find themselves in this new world. Tic who is a military veteran harbors a lot of anger, as he deals with his past relationship with his father, racism, and his attempts to understand his role with magic, but fortunately his anger is tempered by his Uncle and Letitia. I can relate to his character because he is an avid science fiction reader, and the opening scene Tic is reading “The Princess of Mars” by Edgar Rice Burroughs on the bus. This scene is parrallel to my own father, who was an army vet, and found “The Princess of Mars” on the bus, which got him into reading. My dad then shared the book with me when I was twelve and that got me into reading science fiction. Give Lovecraft Country a chance! Its heavy, has some explicit sex scenes and violence, but it is one of the most creative shows out there! SPEND the CASH!

The Boys

You may be missing the best show on television right now if you are not watching The Boys on Amazon Prime! The Boys is a superhero show unlike anything you have ever seen! This is not DC, with Justice League, nor is this your family friendly Marvel Universe. This is a downright horrifying reality, that is the most realistic portrayal of superpowered beings that have ever been seen in movies or television! The reality in this world is centered on the idea that superpowered people exist in the United States and are controlled by a corporation called Vought. America’s most powerful superheroes are called the 7, and they go on missions, make movies, go on speaking engagements etc. It all seems good, until you realize there is a dark underbelly to their business. Just like people in real life the so called superheroes are people who indulge in their wildest whims because they have the power to do so, and a powerful corporation to cover up their shameful and even murderous activities. The protagonist in the film is a normal manned named Hughie, who is a gentle soul who has a girl friend. After the first ten minutes into season 1, his entire world and view of his superheroes is turned upside down. During season 1, he attempts to right the wrongs that were done to him by doing the right thing, but he eventually teams up with a group of deadly normal misfits, and things go from bad to worse. Season 2 continues Hughie’s misadventures as he struggles to stay alive and do what is right although he is up against America’s most powerful superheroes.

This is not a show for kids! There is gratuitous sex, violence and mayhem throughout the various episodes, yet there are some funny moments despite the gruesome factor. Unlike the movies, cartoons, and comic books, The Boys shows you the true effect of what being struck, hit or lasered by a superpowered person can do to the human body. If you are squeamish, this show may not be for you. This show is a combination of Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Dark Night, and a funny comedy rolled into one, and I love every minute of it. Its fun watching the show and being terrified whenever the good guys show up! Definitely SPEND the CASH on this one!