The Sopranos Season 3 (HBO Max) Written by David Chase, Todd A. Kessler, Henry J. Bronchtein, Robin Green, Mitchell Burgess, Terence Winter, Salvatore J. Stabile, Lawrence Konner, Michael Imperioli, Frank Renzulli Directed by Allen Coulter, Tim Van Patten, John Patterson, Jack Bender, Dan Attias, Steve Buscemi
The first thing I immediately noticed watching this season’s premiere was that the look & tone had changed. In my review of season one, I noted that I had a sort of confusion when seeing promos for the series about whether it was a dramedy or a mob show. I think in season three, David Chase has become very comfortable with the creativity afforded to him by being on HBO and starts leaning into the darker moments even more. That doesn’t mean the show’s sense of humor goes out the drain; it’s just that the show really starts to show us how bad Tony’s world can get. The shadows and darker lighting also serve as a metaphor for how Tony is sinking further into his habits, chained to his position of the boss and actually less free now.
Well, the last week has clearly shown us we are in the apocalypse here in the United States. COVID cases are spiraling out of control, climate change is fueling wildfires and hurricanes that are devastating swathes of the country, abortion is all but banned in Texas, with liberals screaming at leftists instead of conservatives. I am fully convinced that America is finished in all capacities. It’s simply a matter of time until the people who live here come to that realization. On to the wonderings for this shithole of a week.
The Best Horror of The Year Vol. 11 (2019) edited by Ellen Datlow
It had been a while since I took a deep dive into some new horror, so I decided to check out one of the fantastic Best Horror of the Year collections. These are edited by the prolific Ellen Datlow, a person who has composed some excellent horror anthologies since the 1980s and served as the editor-in-chief of Omni magazine. Like all anthologies, this is a mixed bag of stories that will depend on the individual reader’s tastes. I wouldn’t say there is anything bad here, but I enjoyed specific stories more than others based on my personal preferences.
Baraka (1992) Written by Constantine Nicholas and Genevieve Nicholas Directed by Ron Fricke
When Seth told me that his brother had selected a movie to be reviewed, I wasn’t surprised. The shocker came that he had chosen me to do it, and as the title was given, for a brief moment, I thought my brother-in-law was forcing me to watch a movie about Barack Obama because he wanted to test me.
Luckily, I was wrong, but still, a little perplexed as Seth further explained it to me. I am not a cinephile. I’m just a woman who likes what she likes.
Teen Titans by Geoff Johns Part 4 (of 4) Reviewing stories found in Teen Titans v3 #32-46 Written by Geoff Johns and Adam Beechen Art by Todd Nauck, Tony S. Daniel, Carlos Ferreira, Peter Snejbjerg, Al Barrionuevo
This is around the point that Johns was spread pretty thin at DC. He wrote The Flash, JSA, Hawkman, Action Comics, Infinite Crisis, and was part of the collective that penned the weekly series 52. Even though he’s one of my favorite writers of the pre-New 52 era, I have to admit this Titans work feels very rushed. I get the sense he had some big stories he wanted to tell and was trying to get them all out but possibly got burnt out on the book. Significant changes were happening with DC on the multimedia front, so I think his attention was shifting to other things.
Teen Titans by Geoff Johns Part 3 Reviewing stories found in Teen Titans v3 #20-26, 29-31 & Outsiders #24-25 Written by Geoff Johns (with Judd Winick) Art by Mike McKone, Marlo Alquiza, Tom Grummett, Matthew Clark, Art Thibert, Tony S. Daniel, Carlos D’Anda, Scott Shaw, Scott Roberts, Nelson, Richard Bonk, and Todd Nauck
Johns jumps into these issues, which serve as the bridge between the Identity Crisis & Infinite Crisis periods in the DC Universe. The company had gone all-in on centering its shared universe around the fallout of the former and the lead-in to the latter in a way that didn’t always flow. Johns was the chief architect of the whole thing, and I’ve always found it interesting how his writing during this time can feel very in sync with the larger picture but then have moments where he appears to be overwhelmed with how many plates to keep spinning. The opening issue here is a direct tie-in to the events of Identity Crisis and is one of the few epilogues to that event that seamlessly transitions into new stories.
Sweet Girl (2021) Written by Philip Eisner & Gregg Hurwitz Directed by Brian Andrew Mendoza
Netflix original movies/shows can be hit or miss. There are times when their movies feel like the thing you settled for when you rent something. You’re left with the subpar version of what you wanted. You stare at the title, think you’ve seen the trailer, but everything is a blur as things melt one into the other. All titles are similar, the colors, nothing bright or new.