<![CDATA[Nothing To Say Here - Dave\'s Movie Reviews]]>Sun, 05 Apr 2020 19:32:14 -0400Weebly<![CDATA[Review of Future Man: Season Three]]>Mon, 06 Apr 2020 04:00:00 GMThttp://nothingtosayhere.com/daves-movie-reviews/review-of-future-man-season-three
By Dave B.
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​The third and final season of Future Man (Hulu) takes place shortly after the conclusion of Season Two. Tiger, Wolf, and Josh, thrown into the far future, have been convicted of time-crimes and sentenced to death by entertainment. After a daring escape, they are pursued through time and space while fulfilling a journey of self-discovery that will determine the fate of the multiverse.
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One of the things that I enjoy most about Future Man is that the show is both self-aware and confident enough to craft seasons around a dominant theme. That theme in this season is self-discovery, and fittingly, the season largely takes place beyond time (I know that sounds weird, but it makes sense when you see it). Therefore, a lot of the time-travel complexity that Future Man has previously excelled at, is shelved in favor of character growth in a few locations. This, combined with he fact that the season consists of only eight, half-hour long episodes instead of the 13 that were in both Seasons One and Two, make the show feel much more compact and linear, which is at times an odd choice for a show whose plot has previously felt massively sprawling and intricate.
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Season Three is often funny, and beneath its trademark seemingly juvenile humor, remains very intelligent. But the vibe of the show is drastically changed. Saving the universe is an afterthought, or at least not a goal that can be accomplished without first saving oneself. That’s a marked departure from previous seasons where the pace was sustained by the ticking clock of infinite time and limited resources. This season is more contemplative and inward focused. Its still interesting, but the pace suffers for this introspection and the season just feels less fun.
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Future Man has always been brilliantly written, and Season Three is no exception. Fans of previous seasons should check it out to see how it all ends and fans of time travel done right (unlike frustrating drivel such as “Curvature”) should definitely pick up this show from the beginning. But the energy and verve that’s infused previous seasons of this show is now largely missing, so it ends with less of a bang and more of a whisper. In some ways that’s fitting and true to the growth that the main characters have undergone. But on pure entertainment value, Future Man: Season Three is slightly disappointing.
Rating: 6.5/10
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<![CDATA[Review of I Am Not Okay With This]]>Sat, 04 Apr 2020 04:00:00 GMThttp://nothingtosayhere.com/daves-movie-reviews/review-of-i-am-not-okay-with-this
by Dave B.
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​In I Am Not Okay With This (Netflix), high school student, Sydney, is attempting to deal with the suicide of her father while navigating life as a teenager in a small town. Her relatively normal life is thrown into disarray as she discovers that, when her emotions get the better of her, she manifests incredible telekinetic abilities. 
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It’s taken me weeks to write this review because I have mixed feelings about I Am Not Okay With This. On the one hand, the show is a fairly typical coming of age story with dark comedy elements. In that respect, it performs well, if not spectacularly. It handles the subject matter of Sydney’s emotional turmoil competently. The show’s performances are good across the board. And with seven, 20-minute episodes, the season has a brisk pace that makes it easy to binge-watch.
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On the other hand, I Am Not Okay With This is often boring. Despite Sydney’s powers providing an interesting twist on the genre, the story itself doesn’t feel particularly unique. That leaves viewers waiting for the scenes in which Sydney’s powers manifest themselves, to be surprised about anything. To be honest, this is one of those shows that may have benefitted from more episodes and a longer runtime. That would allow in-depth character development (which the show does well already) with a more comprehensive look at the larger context of what’s going on with Sydney (which the show barely provides at all). The final episode is pretty much the first time that we get a glimpse at a bigger picture to the story and that’s a shame because that’s the aspect of the show that could truly set it apart.
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Overall, I Am Not Okay With This…has a lot of potential. But to paraphrase some ancient wisdom, potential just means that you haven’t accomplished anything yet. That’s how I feel about this show. I’m mostly confident that a second season would allow the show to develop into something special, but for the time being, I’m putting I Am Not Okay With This in the same, rare bucket as “Message From the King” (starring Chadwick Boseman): it deserves a decent rating, but not my recommendation.
Rating: 6/10
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<![CDATA[Premieres 2020: April 3 - April 9]]>Thu, 02 Apr 2020 04:00:00 GMThttp://nothingtosayhere.com/daves-movie-reviews/premieres-2020-april-3-april-9
By Dave B. 
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"Premieres" will feature official trailers and synopses from what I feel looks like the most interesting (or the only, in some cases) original programming coming out in the subsequent week on Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and elsewhere. In no way to these previews represent recommendations or reviews. My intent is to post this segment each Thursday or Friday, but we'll see. Enjoy!
Coffee & Kareem - Netflix, April 3
Synopsis:
"
While police officer James Coffee (Ed Helms) enjoys his new relationship with Vanessa Manning (Taraji P. Henson), her beloved 12-year-old son Kareem (Terrence Little Gardenhigh) plots their break-up. Attempting to scare away his mom’s boyfriend for good, Kareem tries to hire criminal fugitives to take him out but accidentally exposes a secret network of criminal activity, making his family its latest target. To protect Vanessa, Kareem teams up with Coffee – the partner he never wanted – for a dangerous chase across Detroit. From director Michael Dowse (Stuber, Goon), COFFEE & KAREEM is an action-comedy about forging unexpected bonds, one four-letter insult at a time. Co-starring Betty Gilpin, RonReaco Lee, Andrew Bachelor and David Alan Grier."
Future Man: Season Three - Hulu, April 3
Synopsis:
​"
Convicted of time crimes and sentenced to death by entertainment, Josh, Tiger, and Wolf become fugitives, on the run through time, trying desperately to evade capture while clearing their names and fixing the big mess of history they’ve made along the way."
Tales From the Loop: Season One - Amazon Prime, April 3
Synopsis:
​"
Inspired by the wondrous paintings of Simon Stålenhag, Tales from the Loop explores the mind-bending adventures of the people who live above the Loop, a machine built to unlock and explore the mysteries of the universe – making things previously relegated to science fiction, possible."
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<![CDATA[Review of Star Trek: Picard]]>Mon, 30 Mar 2020 04:00:00 GMThttp://nothingtosayhere.com/daves-movie-reviews/review-of-star-trek-picard
By Dave B.
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​In Star Trek: Picard (CBS All-Access) the venerable Captain Jean-Luc Picard finds his forced retirement brutally interrupted by the arrival of a mysterious young woman who has a connection to one of Picard’s closest friends. She’s being hunted by a covert Romulan agency that has infiltrated the highest reaches of Starfleet. Picard takes it upon himself to fulfill a sense of obligation to his old friend and go a mission to protect the young woman’s sister, while uncovering the nature and scope of a genocidal conspiracy that could have dire consequences for all life in the galaxy.
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I’d describe Picard as a redemption/mortality tale with large dollops of nostalgia for long-time fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It’s overarching story is fine. Picard’s journey to make up for past mistakes while nearing the end of his life is certainly relatable, and I find the scale of the threats that he and his makeshift crew face to be sufficiently dire to be interesting, without being so large as to be implausibly insurmountable. Visually, the show excels. It’s clear that a lot of time and effort went into making the show as optically appealing and technologically impressive as possible within  the confines of Star Trek’s preexisting universe. And for the most part, the performances range from acceptable to quite good. I’ll give a special shoutout to Jeri Ryan as Seven. Her performance is inspired.
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But Picard suffers from three problems, all related to writing. For starters, the show’s dark tone is somewhat off-putting, at least in the context of such and iconic and respected character as Jean-Luc Picard. While the tone is similar to that found in Star Trek Discovery: Season One and Season Two, it often feels less appropriate given that the direct roots of Picard are in a show that was based on the spirit of exploration and wonder. Exploration and wonder have very little place in Picard. Next, Picard’s writers frequently put people in situations (minor and major) that they wouldn’t reasonably be expected to be in. That’s a major pet peeve of mine. For example, our heroes sitting around a campfire in the finale with their mortal enemy clearly serves no purpose beyond an attempt to convey atmosphere to viewers. Things like that are amateurish and directly contribute to my third complaint, namely that the show struggles throughout the season to maintain a tight narrative and plot pacing. I understand that Picard is more of a contemplative show than an action one, and generally, I appreciate that. But it often gets bogged down in dialogue that, instead of compellingly furthering character development, often feels like philosophical navel-gazing. Picard needs to show more, directly say less, and have some confidence that it’s audience is intelligent enough to put various pieces together for itself. 
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Picard isn’t a bad show. But it’s burdened by its attempts to bring back a fan-favorite character, while introducing the world of Star Trek to a new audience. With the exception of the final episode, the show often feels like it isn’t exactly sure what it wants to be and doesn’t understand its target audience as well as it should. I definitely recommend Picard for those who have any interest in the Star Trek universe. But, I image that, while many fans will appreciate being reintroduced to that universe and seeing how it has developed, the show’s dark tone and its occasionally meandering plot may leave some viewers with a vague (but real and justified) sense of disappointment. Here’s hoping that the second season is an improvement. Live long and prosper, my friends.  
Rating: 6/10
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<![CDATA[Premieres 2020: March 27 - April 2]]>Thu, 26 Mar 2020 04:00:00 GMThttp://nothingtosayhere.com/daves-movie-reviews/premieres-2020-march-27-april-2
By Dave B.
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"Premieres" will feature official trailers and synopses from what I feel looks like the most interesting (or the only, in some cases) original programming coming out in the subsequent week on Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and elsewhere. In no way to these previews represent recommendations or reviews. My intent is to post this segment each Thursday or Friday, but we'll see. Enjoy!
Ozark: Season Three - Netflix, March 27
Synopsis:
"​It's six months later, the casino is up and running, but Marty and Wendy are fighting for control of the family's destiny. Marty preaches keeping the status quo. Aided by an alliance with Helen and drug cartel leader Omar Navarro, Wendy plots for expansion. But when Wendy's brother Ben comes into town, everyone's lives are thrown into chaos."
Uncorked - Netflix, March 27
Synopsis:
"
Fueled by his love for wine, Elijah enrolls in a course to become a master sommelier, an elite designation given only to a handful who are able to pass its notoriously difficult exam. It’s a dream that upends the expectations of his father, Louis (Courtney B. Vance), who insists Elijah take over the popular Memphis barbeque joint that’s been passed down from father to son since its inception. Elijah struggles with the demands of school and a new relationship, while Louis wrestles with the feelings of his son rejecting the family business until a tragedy forces both of them to slow things down. Written and directed by Prentice Penny (Insecure), and starring Mamoudou Athie, Courtney B. Vance, and Niecy Nash, Uncorked is a hilarious and touching drama about a father and son who have to finally learn to listen to one another."
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<![CDATA[Review of Avenue 5]]>Tue, 24 Mar 2020 04:00:00 GMThttp://nothingtosayhere.com/daves-movie-reviews/review-of-avenue-5
By Dave B.
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Avenue 5 (HBO) takes place on a luxury space yacht on a cruise around the solar system. When an accident knocks the ship off course, adding three years to the voyage, the thousands of passengers look to the ship’s captain and crew for guidance. But as it becomes clear that those running the ship have more style than substance, madcap chaos ensues.
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If I had to describe Avenue 5 in five words, I’d say it’s largely “morbid humor about literal poop”. So your opinion about extremely dark bathroom humor will go a long way towards determining how you feel about this show. Personally, I think it’s fantastic. The cast, led by Hugh Laurie, is a riot. They have great chemistry and even better comedic timing. And the writing is a weird combination of intelligent and stupid at the same time. It’s a tough bonding to pull off, but the show’s writers largely succeed at doing so. At times, particularly in the latter half of the season, the show had me laughing so hard that I couldn’t breathe.
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That said, Avenue 5 isn’t necessarily going to be popular amongst those looking for a comedy that’s lighthearted or highbrow. If you can’t find humor in concepts like suicide by severe stupidity, a murderous computer as President, or seeing the Pope’s visage in a laser-illuminated cloud of floating feces, you may intensely dislike this show.
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Avenue 5 takes a lot of comedic swings and, to me, the show has many more hits than misses. The 9-episode season takes a few episodes to find a consistent voice, but when it finally does, the show truly shines. When you add a truly fantastic cast,  an interesting outer space setting, and a brisk pace (each episode is only about 30 minutes long) Avenue 5 is a must-watch for fans of irreverent and morbidly dark humor.
Rating: 7.5/10
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<![CDATA[Premieres 2020: March 20 - March 26]]>Thu, 19 Mar 2020 04:00:00 GMThttp://nothingtosayhere.com/daves-movie-reviews/premieres-2020-march-20-march-26
By Dave B.
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"Premieres" will feature official trailers and synopses from what I feel looks like the most interesting (or the only, in some cases) original programming coming out in the subsequent week on Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and elsewhere. In no way to these previews represent recommendations or reviews. My intent is to post this segment each Thursday or Friday, but we'll see. Enjoy!
The Platform - Netflix, March 20
Synopsis:
​"
Inside a vertical prison system, inmates are assigned to a level and forced to ration food from a platform that moves between the floors. Directed by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia, The Platform is a twisted social allegory about mankind at its darkest and hungriest." 
Self Made - Netflix, March 20
Synopsis:
​"
Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer stars as Madam C.J. Walker, the trailblazing African American haircare entrepreneur who was America’s first female self-made millionaire. Inspired by the book, On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker, written by Walker’s great-great-granddaughter A’Lelia Bundles, the Netflix four-part limited series brings the uplifting story of this cultural icon to the screen for the first time. Against all odds, Walker overcame post-slavery racial and gender biases, personal betrayals, and business rivalries to build a ground-breaking brand that revolutionized black haircare, as she simultaneously fought for social change."
Blow The Man Down - Amazon Prime, March 20
Synopsis:
​"
Welcome to Easter Cove, a salty fishing village on the far reaches of Maine’s rocky coast. Grieving the loss of their mother and facing an uncertain future, Mary Beth & Priscilla Connolly cover up a gruesome run-in with a dangerous man. To conceal their crime, the sisters must go deeper into Easter Cove’s underbelly and uncover the town matriarchs' darkest secrets."
Unorthodox - Netflix, March 26
Synopsis:
​"
In pursuit of self-determination, a young woman leaves her ultra orthodox Jewish community in New York City to start a new life in Berlin. But just as she starts to find her own way, the past begins to catch up with her. 
A Netflix Original Series inspired by Deborah Feldman's New York Times Bestselling book ‘Unorthodox’ starring Shira Haas, Jeff Wilbusch and Amit Rahav."
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<![CDATA[Review of Kingdom: Season Two]]>Mon, 16 Mar 2020 04:00:00 GMThttp://nothingtosayhere.com/daves-movie-reviews/review-of-kingdom-season-two
By Dave B.
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​The second season of Netflix’s Kingdom picks up right where the first season’s intense cliffhanger ended. The zombies have developed the ability to function in the daylight and attack in force before the Prince and his comrades have had time to establish their defenses. Meanwhile, the Queen’s heinous plan to guarantee secure the throne progresses, paving the way for a three-sided showdown between the Prince, the Queen, and the Undead.
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​For the most part, Kingdom: Season Two is great. It has enough drama, intrigue, and action to satisfy nearly any fan of zombies, political thrillers, or historical dramas. The 6 episode season is full of truly moving moments and some amazing acts of heroism. The overly large cast and some occasional unexplained jumping from one scene to another are relatively minor quibbles that don’t detract from the overall quality of the show. As far as the writing quality, the first season was written with a swaggering bravado, by people who knew they had a surprise hit on their hands and were certain the show would be renewed. Season two is somewhat different in style. It’s written with a confidence that that the disparate plot threads can be wrapped up in a consistent, concise, compelling manner, and in a short amount of time…At least until the final episode.
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To be blunt, the second half of the last episode nearly ruined the entire season for me. Where most of the season is intelligent, forthright, and engaging, the finale stumbles. The plot turns on a dime to feel manufactured instead of organic. Characters begin acting rather foolishly, simply to set up more drama. Personally, I can overlook that to some degree. What’s less forgivable, is that the writing style changes from one of confidently moving towards a conclusion, to staggering towards a setup for another season. The change is all the more glaring because its really the only tonal misstep I’ve seen in either season of this show. 
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Kingdom: Season Two is good. Very good. It successfully builds upon a fantastic, fast-paced first season and matures into a thoughtful, dynamic show that is extremely easy to binge watch. But despite maintaining its compelling action and pace, the writing quality diminishes right when it needs to shine most. I can see a third season being just as entertaining as the prior two. I just wish that the final step to get to that third season were written with the skill that Kingdom has amply demonstrated that it’s capable of. 
Rating: 7.5/10
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<![CDATA[Premieres 2020: March 13 - March 19]]>Thu, 12 Mar 2020 04:00:00 GMThttp://nothingtosayhere.com/daves-movie-reviews/premieres-2020-march-13-march-19
By Dave B.
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"Premieres" will feature official trailers and synopses from what I feel looks like the most interesting (or the only, in some cases) original programming coming out in the subsequent week on Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and elsewhere. In no way to these previews represent recommendations or reviews. My intent is to post this segment each Thursday or Friday, but we'll see. Enjoy!
Kingdom: Season Two - Netflix, March 13
Synopsis:
​"
As winter approaches, the battle between the living and the undead in Joseon is just beginning. The royal court is teeming with snakes, the zombies are coming, and the crown prince has a nation to save. The worst is yet to come, and everyone will need to choose a side without knowing who they can really trust."
Agatha Christie's The Pale Horse - Amazon Prime, March 13
Synopsis:
"​Based on the Agatha Christie novel of the same name, it follows the story of Mark Easterbrook whose name appears on a list found inside the shoe of a dead woman. He begins an investigation into how and why his name came to appear on the list which leads him to The Pale Horse, the home of three rumored witches."
Bloodshot - In Theaters, March 13
Synopsis:
​"
Based on the bestselling comic book, Vin Diesel stars as Ray Garrison, a soldier recently killed in action and brought back to life as the superhero Bloodshot by the RST corporation.  With an army of nanotechnology in his veins, he’s an unstoppable force –stronger than ever and able to heal instantly.  But in controlling his body, the company has sway over his mind and memories, too.  Now, Ray doesn’t know what’s real and what’s not – but he’s on a mission to find out."
Human Nature - In Theaters, March 13
Synopsis:
"
A breakthrough called CRISPR has given us unprecedented control over the basic building blocks of life. It opens the door to curing diseases, reshaping the biosphere, and designing our own children. Human Nature is a provocative exploration of CRISPR’s far-reaching implications, through the eyes of the scientists who discovered it, the families it’s affecting, and the bioengineers who are testing its limits. How will this new power change our relationship with nature? What will it mean for human evolution? To begin to answer these questions we must look back billions of years and peer into an uncertain future."
Altered Carbon: Resleeved - Netflix, March 19
Synopsis:
​"
This anime feature spin-off, set in the same universe of the Netflix original live-action sci-fi series will explore new elements of the story mythology."
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<![CDATA[Review of Castlevania Season Three]]>Mon, 09 Mar 2020 04:00:00 GMThttp://nothingtosayhere.com/daves-movie-reviews/review-of-castlevania-season-three
By Dave B.
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The third season of Netflix’s Castlevania takes place about a month after Dracula’s defeat. Eastern Europe is in chaos with various vampire and human factions vying for power. Trevor and Sypha roam the countryside killing demons and doing their small part to make the world a safer place. Meanwhile, Alucard wallows in loneliness, searching for purpose after accomplishing his lifelong goal of slaying his father, Dracula. As the vampire king’s loyalists plot their revenge against his betrayers, Trevor and Sypha find themselves battling religious zealots whose sole goal is Dracula’s return.
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I had mixed feelings about the second season of Castlevania. I have none about this one. It’s unambiguously brilliant. It has great animation, vibrant dialogue, and interesting plotlines, while maintaining an engaging pace. As usual, Castlevania’s fight scenes are ridiculously awesome. They’re bloody and violent, but don’t feel gratuitous. And unlike in Season Two, they are fairly frequent throughout the season. Increasing the episode count from eight to 10 enables Castlevania to reach a new height of quality by allowing rich, complex, and compelling character development in an organic way. By the time the season ends, even new characters feel as if you’ve been watching them for years. 
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My only major complaint about season three of Castlevania is that the audio quality is garbage. The balance is way off, so when background music is playing during major fight scenes, all dialogue is effectively inaudible. It got so bad during the final two episodes that I had to turn on the closed captioning to finish out the series. If not for this inexplicable and inexcusable problem, I’d be giving this show a perfect 10.
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Castlevania: Season Three is fantastic in nearly every way. It’s consistently engaging, with an intricate plot, enjoyable characters (both protagonists and antagonists), and some of the best fight scenes that I’ve scene in an animation in a very long time. For those who watched the first two seasons, this is likely to be your favorite one. For those who are new to the series, this season is excellent enough that you should watch the series from the beginning, so that you can fully enjoy and immerse yourself in a show that has become a masterpiece. Castlevania: Season Three is absolutely, undeniably, a triumph. 
Rating: 9/10
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