What We're Watching: April 9, 2021

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Brock: "I remember enjoying the FOX television show from the early 90s based on the movie Alien Nation (1988), however the source material is a surprisingly generic action cop flick. They squandered a great premise, with little to no character development or social commentary; This movie really could have used some of both. Strong bet M. Night Shyamalan has seen this movie. Then, Andra Day is as good as you have heard in The United States vs. Billie Holliday (2020), however the scattershot narrative, two-dimensional supporting characters, strange editing choices, and pedestrian dialogue and scene set-ups makes this film come across underdeveloped. Yet another Hollywood biopic where an incredible lead performance is stuck in an average-at-best film."

Jakob: "In case one thinks an animated movie must be lighthearted and family friendly, 2018's La Casa Lobo (The Wolf House) draws inspiration from a real-life isolated colony (Colonia Dignidad) in Chile established by German Nazis who fled after WWII and later assisted the country’s military dictator, General Pinochet, torture and murder dissidents. The film follows a young German girl who flees the colony and is pursued by 'The Wolf' to return her. However, she finds refuge in an isolated home with only two pigs living inside which makes this the most twisted version of The Three Little Pigs. Not only is the story dark and haunting but the animation is as well. Created by painting its images on walls of a house instead of animation cels and using stop-motion to animate horrifically twisted paper mache creatures, the style makes this one of the most disturbing 'cartoons' I’ve come across."

Justin: "I seem to get 'stuck' in the content of a particular streaming service for weeks at a time. For example, when I'm watching a series on Disney+ I tend to click around and see what else there is to watch, and I'll watch movies I've seen hundreds of times (Star Wars) and some that I haven't seen since I was a kid (The Apple Dumpling GangThe Black Hole, etc). So recently I've been in HBO Max land and have two things to recommend! First is the six-part docuseries Q: Into the Storm (2021), which delves into the world of Q-Anon, how it started, and who the filmmakers think it might actually be. It's a good watch and does a good job of explaining the crazy phenomenon to those of us that have been lucky enough to steer clear of 8Chan. Second is the sophomore season of JG Quintel's animated series Close Enough. Any fan of Regular Showshould absolutely be watching Close Enough as it's loaded with the same humor and style as its predecessor but also shows that JG has evolved and sharpened his skills."

Stuart: "Controlled substances are the star of my weekend entertainment... hey, I'm just talking about drug movies people! First, Mads Mikkelson stays drunk to test a theory that elevated blood alcohol levels improve job and social performance in the 2020 Oscar-nominated dramedy Another Round (something thoroughly discredited by the past year of work-from-home COVID policies I'd think). And then a shipment of cocaine passes through many hands on its journey from Mexico to Europe in the eight-part Amazon Prime miniseries Zero Zero Zero."

Jason: Desperado (1995) will give you nostalgia for the indie 90s, though it’s obvious now (as it was then) that Robert Rodriguez had a better eye for staging gunplay than writing screenplays in early those days. The director’s sophomore effort holds up thanks to the aforementioned shootouts, cameo appearances, and the so-hot-it’s-ridiculous chemistry between Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek. It's so much fun to go back and see everyone at the start of their Hollywood careers. The band would get back together in 2003’s Once Upon a Time In Mexico, which might be my next weekend watch.”

Heath: "Sometimes it’s better to not revisit films you remember liking as a kid. Case in point - 1988’s trainwreck of a comedy Hot to Trot, in which a talking horse (voiced by John Candy) befriends a hapless broker (Bobcat Goldthwait) and makes him rich by giving him stock tips. I love Goldthwait, but who on earth decided he was leading man material? I am baffled that I enjoyed this movie when I was 10 years old, and the only laughs this debacle has are courtesy of the great Dabney Coleman, who proves that no matter how bad the movie, he’ll still emerge unscathed somehow."

Santiago: "I'm a big fan of Eddie Murphy as a standup comedian, but I never watched any of his classic comedies, so I decided to rectify that and watch Beverly Hills Cop (1984). It was really good! Eddie Murphy is the film's biggest strength, not only is he very funny but he knows when to drop the comedy act and be a serious detective, which makes him more than a one-trick pony. In fact, the whole movie shifts from being a funny comedy to a straight thriller without ever having too much of a tonal whiplash. Also, props to Judge Reinhold and John Ashton as Axel's partners, they were really funny and were a good balancing act to Murphy. I wasn't a fan of the use of pop songs in the first half, but that main instrumental theme is catchy as hell! The script isn't exactly original but it succeeds at what it's trying to be: a really funny comedy with good characters."

Adam: "Last week I revisited my teenage years with Not Another Teen Movie, and this week I got nostalgic for pro wrestling. I’ve always found behind the scenes to be more interesting than the in-ring story, so decided to check out Andre the Giant (2018). The documentary does a great job of showing not only a different side of just Andre, but also a host of other famous faces. Seeing Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon getting emotional at the memory of Andre’s passing was touching, and the film does a lovely job of highlighting the man behind the legend. Even if you are not a wrestling fan, and only have a passing interest, you will not be lost as the film allows time for context to get you in to the mindset of fans of the time. All in all, coming in at around 84 minutes (including credits), you will definitely get value for the time invested. If you are looking for a way to spend some time and learn a little about a great figure in wrestling history, give this one a go!"