Mini-Reviews #23

Again, some short opinion pieces about movies and TV shows that I watched over the last couple of months.

Film

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
It was fun, although maybe a bit less fun than the first time.
Peppermint
Utterly forgettable shitty vengeance film!
Glass
The unexpected sequel of Split and Unbreakable. It was not really bad, but in a sort of way also not needed and not really delivering (what/how I anticipated). Especially the ending was pretty frustrating.
Unfinished Business
From the trailer, I expected a campy, juvenile slapstick comedy, but it was much darker than that. Still not a great movie, but not bad either.
Happy Death Day 2 U
Not really a sequel that the world needed. It’s alright (if you liked the first one), but no need to turn this into a franchise with even more parts (but which I fear will happen, considering the ending of this one).
Vice
Impressive performance by Christian Bale, but to be honest, I didn’t care or pay attention to most of it: These parts of US-internal politics/history is too far removed from me.
Captain Marvel
Another episode in the MCU, as needed for the growth of the franchise and to pave the way to “Avengers: Endgame”. Other than that, not really remarkable.
Get Hard
Had some funny scenes, but (again) not a great comedy. It also doesn’t help that I’m not the biggest fan of Will Ferrell (a very one-note actor/comedian, IMHO).
Red Heat
Seen it again, after many, many years. Let’s just say that, except for a few memorable scenese (Arnie in Russia!) it’s a very mediocre buddy cop flick that also didn’t age very well.
Commando
Seen it again, after many, many years. Also, a child of its time. If you knew or can relate to it, it has some nostalgic entertainment value – otherwise, rather not.
Tron: Legacy
Watched it again, still like it. Too bad that we didn’t get more stuff from the Tron universe. Of course it’s campy as hell, especially considering that nowadays computers are part of everyone’s daily life. On the other hand: Just because seemingly everyone knows how to handle a smartphone doesn’t mean they also know much about the inner working of these devices 😄
Brawl in Cell Block 99
Well, slow burner with the usual ultra-brutal explosions expected from a S. Craig Zahler film. I’m torn about it: Not really good, but it was kind of mesmerizing.
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
OK, that was the last one for me. The first one had a certain freshness, but part 2 and 3 are just treading water.
Green Book
Terrible and boring. Even the expected plot points for such a socially-conscious Oscar-baiting movie were missing.
Alita: Battle Angel
Yawn. Not my cup of tea.
Hellboy: Call of Darkness
Not better and not even on the same level as Del Toro’s previous two entries.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Suprisingly entertaining during most of the runtime, especially considering it’s the fifth entry of this franchise. On the other hand: It was not really needed and I certainly don’t need more (for a long time); let it rest a while.
Avengers: Endgame
Oh well, kind of what was to be expected, kind of not. Hard to put it in a few words.
In general, I see it as just yet another episode in the MCU (yes, even if this is sold as the “End of Phase Whatever")…
Shaft (2019)
Quite entertaining (which is high praise for a Netflix production).

TV

Van Helsing — Season 1-3
Fast-forwarded and skipped most of it. It had some trash and camp entertainment factors at times, but not much more of value.
Star Trek: Enterprise — Season 4
This final season focused mostly on plots that would span over two or three episodes, instead of one season-long plot.

Not all of these stories work, but I appreciate the idea behind it. Comparing these ‘mini arcs’ with the (almost) fully serial storytelling of the current Discovery show, or with the “Alien of the week”/procedual way of TOS and TNG in the past and the interwoven/intermediate storytelling of of DS9, this was a good compromise.

All in all, the season was OK; better in some aspects, and worse in others, than previous ones. I was relieved that they finally left the Temporal Cold War/Xindi behind (that story never worked for me anyway).

So, the show was now still (or again) in a mode of self-discovery, which on the one hand could be seen as a good thing (instead of repeating itself for five or six years), on the other hand I imagine that you will loose casual viewers that way, when the direction is constantly being changed.

From my point of view, things could have been improved over the next seasons, but sadly the show was canceled herafter. (Oh, and regarding the infamous very last episode: Yes, it was a disgrace to the show and its cast.)

Russian Doll — Season 1
Oh well… I endured the first half of this season, then started to fast-forwarding it. Didn’t like any of the characters and the weird story didn’t go the way I wanted it to go.
Star Trek: Discovery — Season 2
I can’t put it better than the fine gentlemen of RedLetterMedia did in their “re:View”: They analyze and dismantle it very accurately.

It’s just a terrible, terrible show. Even if it wouldn’t have the ‘Star Trek’ brand attached to it (which is tarnished by this show), it would still be just another terrible, terrible sci-fi show.

And if you wonder: Yes, of course I will watch also the third season — it’s Star Trek, I can’t help myself… (Although, I did skip VOY and ENT after a few episodes, years ago. I did catch up with Enterprise in the meantime and plan to do the same with Voyager…)