Rinzy Reviews ‘The Incredibles 2’ (2018)

Release Date: June 15, 2018.

Budget/ Box-Office: $200M/ $1.235B

Starring: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Samuel L. Jackson, Huck Milner, et al.

***

The Incredibles is one of the most popular animated properties in existence. And after a 14 years hiatus, there’s no slurring people’s appetite, evident from the numbers its sequel pulled in at the box office. 

The story follows the Parr family as they try to restore public’s trust in superheroes while balancing their family life, only to combat a new foe who seeks to turn the populace against all superheroes.

Whether it’s Papa Incredible’s quirky acts as he struggles with balancing life as a househusband while his wife is the new face of superheroism, or Mama Incredible unwittingly chasing after air in the guise of tracking down the Screenslaver, or their children -Violet, Dash and Jack Jack- battling issues of their age and superpowers, there’s no shortage of fun moments in this 118 minutes flick. 

The breakout star of the first movie was the extremely lovable last born of the Parrs, Jack Jack. All the sweet emotion I felt watching him then is magnified in this one. Jack Jack is the best. With all those powers at his disposal, he’s certainly growing up to become the G.O.A.T. ๐Ÿ˜.

The Incredibles 2, just like its predecessor, is a fun movie more about family than it is about superheroism. It’s a fun ride that, in its own way, unabashedly preaches the sweet, ancient message – family above all – which is a much needed Gospel in this present time. Sequels seldomly live up to their predecessors; this one does, telling us Pixar did their homework right, and that the long wait was worth it.

PS: After Jack Jack, I love Dash next… He’s pleasantly silly. ๐Ÿ˜

Directed by: Brad Bird

Rinzy’s Rating: 4/5

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Rinzy Reviews ‘Daredevil’ Season 3 (2018)

Release Date: Oct. 19, 2018

Network: Netflix/ 13 episodes/ 50 minutes

Starring: Charlie Cox, Vincent D’onoforio, Deborah Ann Wool, Wilson Bethel, et al.

***

Without a doubt, Daredevil is the best Marvel show in the Netflix corner. Its first season was wonderful, easily undoing all the wrongs of the 2004 movie starring Ben Affleck as the titular character; its second season gave us the gift that keeps on giving in the person of The Punisher, and with that singular gesture has cemented itself into a special corner of our hearts.

At the end of the events of The Defenders, the miniseries that saw characters from all four Marvel-Netflix shows team up, we were left guessing what would become of Daredevil post Midland circle collapse; the kind of line the character would toe now that there wasn’t any Elektra or shady Hand organization to worry over. 

The Matt Murdock we meet this season is unlike any we’ve known since we first met the character five years ago. He’s troubled, heavily tormented by the tolls of his double life as the devil of Hell’s Kitchen. More than ever, the agenda on the top of his plate is stopping Fisk, albeit this time he hopes to do so more permanently.
Every villain needs a hero, and Wilson Fisk is one helluva villain! Goddamit. The guy’s a real master planner. For every step you take he’s already taken three and is far ahead of you. 

I was skeptical when I first heard Vincent D’onoforio was returning in a series regular capacity as Wilson Fisk for this season; this was because my brain, limited at that time, couldn’t fathom the reason for his return, something about him not being the only villain in Marvel’s roaster worthy of Daredevil’s attention. My joy was increased, nonetheless, when I found out Bullseye would be featuring – a part of me wanted to see everything wrong with Collin Farrel’s 2004 iteration corrected. And I got my wish.

Back to Fisk. The guy does know how to put on a show, a fact echoed by a trivial character in the gang round table gathering of episode 9. Slowly, whilst pretending to be a changed man, Fisk took his time and regained the empire he once had unchallenged dominion over. He took the game further and, through systematic planning, boxed up every key player of the FBI with a boner against him (oh, poor Special agent Nadeem. RIP!) and trapped them into doing his biddings. If for any reason you’ve had the urge to be a villain, Wilson Fisk is the man you want to be like, trust me.

One of the things Fisk is good at, as pointed out by Matt Murdock in episode 5, is exploiting people’s weaknesses. This is one talent he exploits early in the season, when he identifies Dex as a man of many talents and one with special needs. Proving once again he’s the man who has what you need when you need it, he slowly but eventually creeps his way into a special place in Dex’s heart and gets the bull at a place where he’s very comfortable to do all his biddings. 

When we first meet Special Agent Dex in episode 2, he starts out as the convential American TV hero – good looking FBI agent with very sharp shooting skills and a tongue fully laced with snarky remarks. In him, we got to meet the man behind the facade, the man who needs to stick to a regimented lifestyle in order not to lose his shit; something Fisk successfully capitalizes on in episode 5 when he got him to attack the Bulletin Newspaper dressed as the devil of Hell’s Kitchen.

Dex is so broken that he needs a purpose to function at all times; albeit broken, it still passes as functioning. This disability is the real reason Fisk is able to easily penetrate his psych because, in all fairness, Dex is really just a puppy in search of a master and in desperate need of approval. 

Dex is extremely talented, no doubt. I liked how even the smallest, seemingly harmless thing becomes a weapon in his hand. I liked the backstory the show gave to him; I like the fact that entries into the MCU continue to stand apart from. Their comic book source materials. So, even though he never gets to be called Bullseye for once (look how long it took then to call Fisk Kingpin) or that he spends the bulk of his time impersonating Daredevil, I don’t mind. I’m happy with the character, his arc, development and resolution.

Talking about characters arc with strong boners, let’s open the playbook of Karen Page. 

Ms. Page is one annoying character beautifully brought to life by the talented Deborah Ann Wool. One thing I don’t like about Karen is her compulsive need to always dive head-first, without thinking, into danger. It’s a constant thing about her character since we first met her in the first season, and it’s as though she’s learnt nothing, not even after her very, very dangerous encounters with  Frank Castle  a.k.a. The Punisher.

Karen knows how dangerous Wilson Fisk is but refuses to tread cautiously. Probably is the aftereffect of spending too much time with Matt, who himself never thinks things through. That scene where she goes to visit Fisk at his five-star prison and confesses to killing Wesley still irks me out. It was thoughtless, senseless, and, even though it’s true to character, it does more disservice to her as it paints her as a person who never learns, hence is marked for a certain gruesome someday.

Karen’s arc hurts me even more whenever I think about Foggy’s. Now, Mr. Nelson has been involved in Matt’s shit longer than Karen’s, if we’re considering their backstory, so, technically, has had more time to learn to adjust to all things Matt. That’s points for Karen. But I’d like to point out that Foggy wasn’t in any known danger then. The real drama, conflict and pains started when the series began. This season, we meet a Foggy that has learnt his lessons; a Foggy who is more cautious about throwing himself in danger; a Foggy that’s made his peace with death and life (as can be seen in his reaction after the Bulletin killings by December dressed as Daredevil). In other words, this season we met a better and improved Foggy, and I hope something like that happens to Karen, she deserves it.

I did like episode 10 that gave us a bit of her backstory. It gave us a look into the kind of relationship she has with her father and a better understanding of the principles guiding her relationship with others. 

The fight scenes on Daredevil are impeccably choreographed, we know that already. It’s one of the things that made us fall in love with the show in the first place. The passage fight scenes have been a staple of the show from the very beginning and this season is no different (checkout the prison scene of episode 4). The thing I’m more excited for has more to do with the inclusion of a character more than that of a technicality in production. The inclusion of Matt Murdock’s mom, Sister Maggie. For non-comic-book lovers, she added some much needed air of mystery in the earlier episodes; easily raising the question of why a would nun show so much interest in a self-proferred devil? 

The season does a shaky good job of tying up Daredevil’s vendetta against the Kingpin. We get to see Matt bask in all the rage and hatred he’s accumulated over the years against his nemesis and in one moment of decision and fleeting emotions decides to send him back to jail as oppose his initial decision to kill him. With this, we might still see Fisk again in the future in a prominent role; history has shown that some people, like him, are bigger than the law, the only way to silence them is death.

Daredevil killing Fisk will become a defining moment for the character and take the show in a whole new creative direction.

Stray observations:

1. We never get a backstory of how Dex got his Bullseye talent.

2. It’s interesting to see Vanessa is actually an evil person.

3. We don’t get to see Matt on his red uniform, not even once.

4. Wilson Fisk’s monologous responses when asked a question is dope.

5. Dex and Matt’s fight scenes are a delight to watch.

6. It’s funny how Matt’s seen through Vanessa’s deceitfully calm facade; just like her, husband, Fisk, he knows she too is evil.

7. The final shot of the season tells us Bullseye’s still lives. Wicked. ๐Ÿ˜‹
Rinzy’s Rating: 4/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘Light As A Feather’ Season One (2018)

Release Date: Oct. 12, 2018

Network: Hulu/ 10 episodes/ 25 minutes

Starring: Liana Liberato, Peyton List, Haley Ramm, Dylan Sprayberry, Brianne Tju, Ajiona Alexus, et al.

***

2018 is a good year for popular games turning malicious and killing off teens one after the other -obnoxious and well-behaved alike. First, it was Truth or Dare, and, now, it’s the turn of not-so-popular Light as a feather, stiff as a board.

๐ŸŽถ She’s dying. She’s dying. She’s dead. ๐ŸŽต

‘Light as a Feather’ is a 10-episode horror TV show that features a game gone wrong, when a group of teenage friends begin dying off just as predicted and need to solve the mystery before theyโ€™re all gone. 

 Five people play the game, but only one person survives to play again with another set of five. Spooky, right?

The show makes it clear from the start who the villain is… Death. But even the greatest mystery of the beyond needs a person to help it interact physically, and in this light we’re introduced to Violet, the new, mystery girl. 

When Violet first comes on scene she’s introduced as a fragile girl helpless in the presence of bullies. This quickly changes towards the end of the first episode when her creative stories during the game tells us a bit of how fucked up her mind really is. As the show progresses, episode after episode, we understand, but aren’t really sure how messed up she is until the events of episode-8 when her grandmother collapses and she’s made vulnerable. I hoped there was a better twist to her story, something different from a helpless teenager submitting to the will of a greater power.

The only reason Violet was able to breakthrough the girl’s ranks. She was able to do so by capitalizing on their secrets and emotionally blackmailing them with it: think Candace and Isaac vs. Olivia or Alex and Jenna vs. McKenna. The moral of this story is secrets are never cool; they do more harm than good.

Although ‘Light as a feather’ passes itself as a horror show it easily comes across as angst-ridden. It also features a love triangle, which, thankfully, wasn’t dragged on for too long. It narrowly escapes The CW story treatment, I’d have hated if it behaved totally like another installment of Pretty Little Liar. 

Viewers who don’t fancy hardcore horror will be delighted to know that Light as a Feather isn’t the type of show that stays with you long after the end credits roll. It’s easily forgettable. Asides a few scare here and there, there’s almost nothing to worry about, I think. But that doesn’t mean an occasional thrill isn’t guaranteed while watching. ๐Ÿ˜

McKenna is easily my favorite character. She’s my show lead because she gets the highest screentime and best backstory. Yeah, I liked the dead twin thing fighting for her from the great beyond. McKenna is compassionate, and that part of her shines throughout the story. It occasionally gets her in trouble as can be seen in minor clashes with her mother and that time in the season finale she decides to trust Violet against the better judgement of her remaining living friends. Tragedy was the catalyst that began her story arc -the death of her sister- and that same tragedy helped save the lives of her friends. At the end of the day, the price she gets to pay seems to be her soul; we’re not really sure how this happened, we’ll just wait until the show returns for a second season.

At first, I thought the show was a one-time thing, a miniseries. But after that season finale packed with juicy, somewhat unwarranted cliffhangers, a sophomore season looks inevitable; that’s if Hulu deems it worthy. I, for one, will like to know who took Henry. My money’s on Mark’s sister. 

Side note: It’s good to see Dylan Sprayberry back on screens. He was cool on Teen wolf.

Light as a feather doesn’t have the glam treatment most shows in this age easily command. Its budget might not be much, but it does have a decent production to boast of.

Rinzy’s Rating: 3.5/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘Sorry To Bother You’ (2018)

Release Date: July 6, 2018.

Starring: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Omari Hardwick, Armie Hammer, Steven Yeun, Terry Crews, et al.

***

Sorry To Bother You is my kind of movie. The weird and beautiful kind. 

Set in an alternative universe, the movie tells the story of Cassius ‘Cash’ Green (Lakeith Stanfield), a young African-American telemarketer who develops a white accent to thrive at his new job. Fortitude seems to smile on him and he continues to rise up the ladder, until the point where he needs to make a choice – make money at the expense of humanity or join his friends in their protest for a better work pay. 


The way things went from a zero to one hundred is really quite shocking and, by extension, amusing. It’s a dark-comedy after all. And because the movie doesn’t take itself too serious even in the light of seemingly serious issues, it scores more points for keeping things light, simple, yet refreshingly new.

One the thing about starring in a TV show is the inability and, most times, unavailability to feature in other projects. So, understandably, I was very excited when I found out Lakeith of FX’s Atlanta had been cast as lead for this project. Same way I was excited to see Omari Hardwick (Power) and Steve Yeun (The Walking Dead) were also involved. Tessa Thompson, too, shines here just like in every project she’s been in recent years.

The horse thing was amusing. I thought the CGI was decent for its low budget

If you ask me, Sorry To Bother You is the movie revelation of the year 2018 just like Get Out was last year. After that surprise ending there’s possibility for a sequel and I can’t wait to see if this becomes a franchise.

Directed by: Boots Riley

Rinzy’s Rating: 4/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘Venom’ (2018)

Release Date: Oct. 5, 2018.

Starring: Tom Hardy, Riz Ahmed, Michelle Williams, et al.

***

When Venom starts, we meet Eddie Brooks – careless, ambitious reporter with a soft heart for doing the right thing. This, I believe, eventually made him a worthy host to achieve symbiosis when Venom comes calling.

Tom Hardy easily shines as Eddie Brooks/ Venom. His acting prowess has never been under doubt; years-and-years of delivering outstanding movie and TV roles has earned him the trust of many viewers worldwide. So, when it announced he was the one Sony had selected to un-do and better-do everything Topher Grace did with Eddie/Venom in Spider-Man 3 audience couldn’t be more elated. 

In Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brooks we see a man burdened by the problems of the world, which, ironically, he mostly brought upon himself. And by combining with the symbiote, he gets a chance to right his deep wrongs even though it’s mostly through screwed ways. 

The relationship between Eddie and Venom is one of the beautiful things about this movie. It’s wonderful. It’s believable. And you spend every ensuing second d hoping to see more of them and their relationship dramas. 

 I believe the drama that surrounded venom’s release did more good than harm for it. It’s one of those cases where an unexpected movie review drives more people to go confirm if what they heard is indeed true, only to be stunned with the fact that it isn’t half as bad as what was stated. This unexpected publicity has helped Venom greatly, driving sales to the point that it’s sure to be a commercial success. 

Once more, Venom has helped raise an age old question: what really makes a movie a hit, audience reception or critics consensus? 

Many critics cited the movie’s CGI as one f its weak point, but I thought it was just fine. Finely decent. The bulk of its weakness is made obvious duirng the Venom vs. Riot brawl, but it’s possible to ignore and enjoy the movie.

The music, cinematography, fight choreography, too, were also finely decent. ๐Ÿ˜

Every hero (or antihero in this case ๐Ÿ˜) needs a villain to mess around with. In this case, for Eddie/Venom that’s Riz Ahmed’s  and his Life Foundation experiments. Just like Mr. Hardy, Ahmed, too, shines in his role. Ever since I first saw him on HBO’s The Night Of I’ve been a big fan. He’s incredibly talented and I can’t wait for him to continue to do greater things. 

Here’s my take: Even though Venom eats lots of people during the course of this movie, Venom is a richly entertaining movie. Ignore the critics on this one and go make up your own damn mind for once. ๐Ÿ˜

Remember to sit through the post credit scenes… There will be Carnage. ๐Ÿ˜Œ

Director: Ruben Fleischer

Rinzy’s Rating: 3.5/5

Hulu’s ‘Into The Dark’ Is The New ‘Black Mirror’.

Ever since Ryan Murphy brought us ‘American Horror Story‘, anthology series have been on the rise. A new market for the once dying television format. In the years since its first season -Murder House- other shows like Fargo and True Detectives have wetted raging appetites for this age old format. 

Since 2013, when ‘Black Mirror’ arrived on Netflix, the format was taken to a whole new level. Instead of the season reboot of story and characters as was familiar with the other ones, ‘Black Mirror’ gave us anthology on a episodic level. For new TV fans, this provided the opportunity to delve into any critically acclaimed episode without the bane of having to see countless ones before it to follow the story. This, to me, has been the selling point of the web-series.

So, when it came to my notice that Hulu was producing a similar, but unique content; one where the stories are episode-contained and, this time, with a holiday twist, I was elated. 


‘Into The Dark‘ is the answer to my prayer for something anthologically refreshing. The feature length first episode -The Body- tells the story of a hitman who runs into a snag trying to deliver a corpse to his contractor on Halloween night. The bulk of the episode shows him trying to tie up loose ends he unwittingly created for himself and his employer.
From a narrative angle, The Body doesn’t really try or pretend to be ambitious; old, recycled plot handled in same, old cliche manner. The Boogeyman successfully hunts down everyone who got in his way. The thing I liked about this plot was the surprise twist at the end.

Honestly, there’s nothing spectacular about The Body, but that doesn’t make it an unbearable watch. I sat through it and came out the other end without feeling like I’d wasted 80 mins. + of my life. I believe the show has potentials. Every month an episode is released gives it the opportunity to tell a horror story inspired by a popular holiday from that month. That gives it the opportunity to be everything Black Mirror isn’t.

Rinzy’s Ratings: 3/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘The Nun’ (2018)

Release Date: September 7, 2018.

Budget Box-Office: $22M/ $330.2M

Starring: Taissa Farmiga, Demian Bichir, Jonas Bloquet, Charlotte Hope, Bonnie Aarons etc.

***

The Nun tells the tale of the fan-favorite demon that stole the show in ‘The Conjuring 2’. But it’s ironic that Valak doesn’t get to shine that much in her own solo outing.

It won’t be farfetched for one to enter the movie theater expecting to be scared to sh*ts by the face of what’s arguably the scariest fictional demon, but surprisingly we don’t get to see much of Valak’s true face until the final act. She/him/it spends most of the movie shrouded in darkness, causing scares from distances.

Facials aside, The Nun tried, successfully, to pull out genuine scare(s) from viewers every now and then. The actress who brought Valak (Bonnie Aarons) to life did a good job… Her charisma still gets props for doing a good job.

The main question I’m sure you might be wondering is if The Nun is a great movie?

Well, I wouldn’t call it great. It being the weakest entry in the franchise still doesn’t make it a bad movie. 

I just believe it could’ve been better. It should’ve featured more of Valak’s face (I know it sounds silly ๐Ÿ˜) and really give us a motivation for Valak’s actions. Now, I know some people might be gearing up to counter my last point by saying something along the line of what other motivation would a demon need asides wanting to possess people for the fun of it to further the expansion of the world below, but I believe as a character, even demons need motivations to explain their actions.

On a plus side, I genuinely liked the way the movie connected to the larger Conjuring’ universe. The appearance of Ed and Lorraine made me happy, even though it lasted only seconds.

I mustn’t fail to commend Taissa Farmiga’s performance as Sister Irene; she was one of the bright spots of the film for me, every moment she was on screen was a delight to behold.
The Nun definitely isn’t winning any critical acclam for being anything near outstanding, but it’s sure to draw an occasional smirk on your face if you’re a die-hard horror film lover, and a resounding ovation if you’re a casual filmgoer. I believe that’s fair.

Rinzy’s Rating: 3/5