REVIEW: Prey (2022)

Amber Midthunder plays a young Comanche warrior who goes up against a fearsome, trophy-hunting Predator in Dan Trachtenberg’s PREY — PHOTO: Disney+ / 20th Century Studios.

Directed by Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane) — Screenplay by Patrick Aison — Story by Patrick Aison & Dan Trachtenberg.

When I was a kid, my father would often want to watch the Alien and Predator films with me. Truth be told, I was probably a little bit too young to watch them when I did, but I didn’t mind and they never gave me nightmares. Instead, for me those films helped to create a love for sci-fi action and sci-fi horror, and I really love watching them over and over again, even though not all of the films are great. As a kid, I vividly remember that, to me, mindblowing moment when an easter egg in Predator 2 revealed a connection between those two franchises.

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REVIEW: Thirteen Lives (2022)

(L to R) Thira ‘Aum’ Chutikul as Commander Kiet, Popetorn ‘Two’ Soonthornyanaku as Dr Karn, Joel Edgerton as Harry Harris, Colin Farrell as John Volanthen and Viggo Mortenson as Rick Stanton in THIRTEEN LIVES, a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. Credit: Vince Valitutti / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures © 2022 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Directed by Ron Howard — Screenplay by William Nicholson — Story by Don Macpherson and William Nicholson.

Oscar-winning filmmaker Ron Howard’s latest film, Thirteen Lives, is a survival drama that tells the true story of the 2018 Tham Luang cave rescue in Thailand. It is an incredible and well-known true story. Back then a junior football team — and their coach — were trapped inside the Tham Luang caves for 18 days after heavy rainfall flooded the cave system and made it impossible for them to get out on their own. Led by a trio of Hollywood stars (Viggo Mortensen, Colin Farrell, and Joel Edgerton) whose cave-diving characters the film primarily follows, this film documents the complicated rescue.

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First ‘Batgirl’ then ‘scripted content’: Warner Bros. Discovery’s recent decision-making is worrying

Photo: Chris Yarzab / Flickr

In recent days, it was revealed that the Warner Bros. Discovery merger had already had a huge impact on upcoming releases and the extremely popular streaming service HBO Max, arguably the service with the best content library. First, it was revealed that the upcoming Batgirl film, which had finished production, had been canceled. It was no longer to be released in theaters or on HBO Max. Then, we found out that the Scoob! sequel, an animated film due to be released later this year, had also been thrown away entirely.

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REVIEW: Ms. Marvel – Season One (2022)

(L-R): Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan and Mohan Kapur as Yusuf Khan in Marvel Studios’ MS. MARVEL, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Daniel McFadden. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Show Creator: Bisha K. Ali — Show Directors: Adil & Bilall, Meera Menon, and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.

It’s interesting to me that most of the Disney+ shows thus far have really been aimed at the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s mainstream die-hard audience. I sort of expected Disney+ to get into more shows that focused on family fun. I think Hawkeye felt like a family show, but no show has been as close to feeling like a Disney Channel show as Ms. Marvel did. Don’t misunderstand me. That isn’t a diss or a criticism. I think it’s refreshing to see a true young adult family-oriented MCU show. I also think that is the right way to introduce this fan-favorite character to the mainstream audience. I’m glad they gave her a Spider-Man: Homecoming-esque Disney+ show.

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Bite-Sized Reviews: First Half of 2022 – Must-See TV?

Britt Lower in “Severance,” now streaming on Apple TV+.

In this edition of my recurring movie and television catch-up article series titled ‘Additional Bite-Sized Reviews,’ I take a look back at the first half of the year to discuss some of the new shows that I’ve really enjoyed this year, but that I didn’t have the time to review. I think all of the shows in this article are good, but which of these shows do you absolutely have to put on your watchlist? Well, let’s have a look.

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REVIEW: The Gray Man (2022)

Ryan Gosling is Sierra Six in the Russo brothers’ THE GRAY MAN — PHOTO: Stanislav Honzik / Netflix.

Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo (Avengers: Endgame) — Screenplay by Joe Russo, Christopher Markus, and Stephen McFeely (Avengers: Infinity War).

Over the years, Netflix has struggled to create a true film franchise. Films like Bright, Extraction, The Old Guard, and Red Notice have been their first attempts to really kickstart a film franchise. Their latest attempt, The Gray Man, is an adaptation of the Mark Greaney novel of the same name. The $200 million-budgeted film is directed by the Russo brothers (of Avengers and Community fame), has a $200 million budget, and features a star-studded cast. Netflix is trying, again and again, to get a real franchise off the ground, and this very well could be it, even though it, admittedly, struggles to set itself apart from other films like it.

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REVIEW: Cha Cha Real Smooth (2022)

Cooper Raiff and Dakota Johnson in “Cha Cha Real Smooth,” now streaming on Apple TV+.

Directed by Cooper Raiff — Screenplay by Cooper Raiff.

Life is complicated. You go to school, then perhaps you go to university, and then you graduate. Life is then supposed to truly begin, but you can easily find yourself in some sort of arrested development because things don’t happen overnight. You just want to get started, and the longer it takes for things to get started, the more people in your life move ahead of you in ‘the game of life’ and they start to create things without you. Fear of missing out on that early can lead to you craving stability, to desire a life that you aren’t anywhere close to having. Maybe you don’t have the right job, maybe you don’t have the right relationship, maybe the world just isn’t letting you get started. That desperation can make you envious, it can make you oblivious to your own self-worth and your own needs. Life and the people you meet along the way can also send you mixed signals. Growing up sometimes means having to navigate those without crashing on your way. Cooper Raiff’s Cha Cha Real Smooth is about many things including those complications when life just isn’t letting you get started for whatever reason.

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REVIEW: Don’t Make Me Go (2022)

JOHN CHO and MIA ISAAC are father and daughter, respectively, in DON’T MAKE ME GO — PHOTOS: Amazon Studios.

Directed by Hannah Marks – Screenplay by Vera Herbert.

A dramedy road trip film, Don’t Make Me Go tells the story of the Park family, which consists of only the single father, Max (played by John Cho), and his teenage daughter, Wally (played by Mia Isaac). Together they embark on a cross-country road trip for the purpose of finding Wally’s estranged mother. Max has just learned that he has a terminal disease, so this is a priceless trip, on which he needs to spend his time wisely to prepare her for what is to come, bond with her, and give her lasting memories. He also has to find a way to tell his daughter what is going on with him, and, as far as she knows, she’s just going on the trip to learn how to drive and to accompany her father to his high school reunion.

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REVIEW: Better Call Saul – “Bad Choice Road”

The following is a recap and review of the ninth episode of the fifth season of Better Call Saul, available on AMC in the U. S. and on Netflix internationally. Expect story spoilers. 

In the penultimate episode of the fifth season of Better Call Saul — titled Bad Choice Road — Jimmy McGill (played by Bob Odenkirk) has returned with Lalo’s bail money, and now he has to come up with a cover story to protect him from further harm. But it isn’t easy to fool Lalo (played by Tony Dalton) or Kim (played by Rhea Seehorn). Bad Choice Road was written and directed by Thomas Schnauz, who has directed at least two episodes of every season of Better Call Saul, including Wexler v. Goodman also from this season.

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REVIEW: Better Call Saul – “Bagman”

The following is a recap and review of the eighth episode of the fifth season of Better Call Saul, available on AMC in the U. S. and on Netflix internationally. Expect story spoilers. 

In the eighth episode of the fifth season — Bagman — Jimmy McGill (played by Bob Odenkirk) travels south of the border to pick up Lalo Salamanca’s bail money. Bagman was written by Gordon Smith and directed by Breaking Bad creator, Better Call Saul co-creator, and El Camino-director Vince Gilligan.

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