Comic Book Review – The Terrifics Part 2

The Terrifics Part 2
Reviewing The Terrifics #15-30
Written by Gene Luen Yang (with Mark Russell & James Asmus)
Art by Stephen Segovia, Joe Bennett, Doc Shaner, Jose Luis, Dexter Vines, Ray McCarthy, Matt Santorelli, Scott Hanna, Richard Friend, Jordi Tarragona, Sergio Davila, Max Raynor, Dan Mora, Vincente Cifuentes, and Brent Peeple

The Terrifics’ second half builds on its first without a hitch, despite onboarding a new writer. Gene Luen Yang is a comics writer I don’t know too much about. He penned a run on Superman that was part of the curtain call for the New 52 reboot. I have enjoyed what I’ve read of his run on the follow-up The New Superman, a series where a Chinese citizen is imbued with the power of the Man of Steel. I wasn’t sure what Yang’s interpretation of The Terrifics would be, whether he would lean into the Fantastic Four pastiche or try to carve out something unique. But, it’s clear, that once word came that the series would be canceled, Yang decided to pull out all the stops and have fun with the whole thing.

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Movie Review – Psycho Goreman

Psycho Goreman (2020)
Written & Directed by Steven Kostanski

1980s/90s nostalgia is running rampant in popular culture. Whether its new streaming series that evoke the mood of the period or new versions of classic action figures released into the wild or reboots of franchises that are beloved, America just cannot get enough of crawling into a cocoon of childhood memories instead of confronting that ever-present horror of this moment in time. Psycho Goreman is a violent beating from the past, refusing to allow things to be so fuzzy and friendly. Instead, we get the bloody horrifying Saturday morning cartoon we all sort of really dreamt about, a hilarious and absurdist take on the Power Rangers, E.T., and many other corporate childhood darlings.

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Movie Review – Lapsis

Lapsis (2020)
Written & Directed by Noah Hutton

In recent years, the gig economy has sadly become more prevalent, starting in large urban centers and working its way out to rural environs. It is predicated on people unable to find steady, well-paying work, particularly those who are desperate. This desperation often comes out of unexpected tragedy, and for Americans, that is linked with medical debt. If you’ve spent time in honest conversation with someone who drives for Uber or does InstaCart, you’ll quickly learn how hard it is to stay above water even with these gigs. Their wages are often lower than expected, and the public they serve can be anything but kind. Lapsis uses the dregs of the gig economy as a jumping-off point for its science-fiction satire.

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Movie Review – The Killing of Two Lovers

The Killing of Two Lovers (2020)
Written & Directed by Robert Machoian

From the title, you likely have some expectations. This is going to be a film with violence centered around a relationship of some kind. And you would sort of be correct, but The Killing of Two Lovers is a much more complicated film than that. It’s a story told from a very particular perspective with a purpose. I came across a review from the British Film Institute publication Sight & Sound about this movie that completely shocked me. They read the picture as an obscured defense of the central character, and that baffled me. After watching the movie, Ariana and I had a totally different read than many others, immediately discussing how the ending left us feeling very unsettled. 

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TV Review – I May Destroy You

I May Destroy You (2020)
Written & Directed by Michaela Coel

I had a hard time finishing this series. It’s a heartbreaking mini-series written by Michaela Coel, who should’ve gotten all the praise but was snubbed for any Emmys when it was released in 2020.

The title of the show questions who it is that Arabella (Michaela Cole) might destroy. Will she destroy her friends? Her enemies? Her career? Herself?

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TV Review – Work in Progress Season 1

Work in Progress Season 1 (Showtime)
Written by Abby McEnany & Tim Mason & Lilly Wachowski
Directed by Tim Mason

Work in Progress is a show that is made with love and thought. At first glance, someone might assume it is the queer response to Curb Your Enthusiasm, but it isn’t.

Abby McEnany brings to us on screen a heavy, queer representation onto television that is much needed. Abby writes alongside her writing partner Tim Mason, and she stares in it too.

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Patron Pick – The Donut King

This is a special reward available to Patreon patrons who pledge at the $10 or $20 a month levels. Each month those patrons will get to pick a film for me to review. They also get to include some of their own thoughts about the movie, if they choose. This Pick comes from Matt Harris.

The Donut King (2020)
Written by Carol Martori
Directed by Alice Gu

When my patron Matt first picked The Donut King, I wasn’t sure what angle to take for the review. This was before I watched the film, but it became evident to me how to talk about the documentary during my viewing. The film centers around the “too good to be true” promise of “the American Dream” and the impact chasing this unattainable myth has, particularly on immigrants & refugees, desperate to make something of their lives and raise up their families. The cost of the pursuit is poison in the veins, a direct product of the ravenous inhumane Capitalism American specializes in fomenting. 

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Movie Review – Baby Done

Baby Done (2020)
Written by Sophie Henderson
Directed by Curtis Vowell

Baby Done is a 2020 film of a young couple who work as arborists and plans to live their lives as much as possible. Zoe (Rose Matafeo) tries to hide from her boyfriend Tim (Matthew Lewis) that she’s pregnant, but he finds out either way.

My interest in this film was the knowledge that Taika Waiti had produced it. He’s putting his money where his mouth is when it comes to presentation with Matafeo being half-Maori and hiring regulars that have been in Taika Waiti’s movies such as Rachel House.

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TV Review – Starstruck

Starstruck (HBO Max)
Written by Rose Matafeo and Alice Snedden
Directed by Karen Maine

As we continue with me watching things, you might be looking at this and wondering ‘another romcom?’ and my answer would be: If you pay me (link to patreon), I might consider something else, but for now, mama’s gotta do what feels right.

Starstruck is a BBC-Three show picked up by HBO, starring Rose Matafeo as Jessie and Nikesh Patel as Tom Kapoor. It feels like one of those fan-fics you would encounter on Tumblr while bored one night, except Jessie would be either ‘you’ or Y/N (your name) and has less sex in it.

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Movie Review – The Lovebirds

The Lovebirds (2020)
Written by Aaron Abrams and Brendan Gall
Directed by Michael Showalter

We’ve all been there, scrolling through Netflix and wondering what to watch. Sometimes it’s like playing Russian Roulette to find what’s right for you. With some of us lucky enough to work from home, sometimes being entertained during quiet times is necessary. Honestly, why work more? The work environment within the USA doesn’t bring us reason to go above and beyond, especially when the benefit doesn’t trickle down.

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