Black Widow

 

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Black Widow achieved an almost impossible task – this movie made me actually care what happened to a character I didn’t give a shit about before.

I didn’t hate Black Widow (or ScarJo) in previous MCU entries, I didn’t feel anything at all. She was just…there. Black Widow was a set decoration for the most part…when she wasn’t the butt of slut jokes, anyway. ScarJo’s “Swan Song” though, gave a depth to the character that wasn’t there previously. In explaining the “red in her ledger”, they made her sacrifice really hurt.

Florence Pugh was a revelation as Yelena, AKA Black Widow’s Baby Sis. I’ve been obsessed with her since Midsommar. Having a little sister myself, the dynamic between Natasha and Yelena was perfection. My little sister is ALWAYS quick to tell me when I’m being a poseur.

The hysterectomy gag was redemptive after Nat’s dramatic “I’m a monster,” in Ultron. Being uterally-challenged myself, it’s really not that big a deal, Nat.

Why was I expecting Ewan McGregor to be in this? He wasn’t.

We actually paid the $30 Disney Premier Access Fee to watch Black Widow at home on the Monday after release, but it would’ve been worth paying to see in the theater…except for all the COVID, of course. I’m looking forward to more of MCU Phase 4, even if I have to wear a mask for 2 hours to enjoy it.

Army of the Dead

 

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I never thought – as a parent – that I’d have to warn my children of the dangers of “road head” over dinner, but here we are in 2021 and Zack Snyder just made me have that conversation!

Sure, there are plotholes you could drive a hummer through…but Army of the Dead is a load of fun, from beginning to end! I am absolutely a Vegas aficionado and thoroughly enjoyed the work they did to make fallen Vegas feel real. The credits were absolutely the best part of the whole film. I giggled like a madman as soon as I heard Richard Cheese – welcome back from Dawn of the Dead! All of the music was on point. Not only was my favorite Elvis song, Suspicious Minds, featured prominently, but there were some spicy covers I’d never heard before. Excuse me while I pause and make an Amazon Music  playlist for this movie…

No spoilers, but it was a TREAT to see Garret Dillahunt play against type in a genre he’s so known for. He became the absolute heart and soul of Fear the Walking Dead and the show just won’t be the same without him. I also never knew how much I needed to see a zombie tiger, a definite Walking Dead missed opportunity. In fact, there were a few other nods to The Walking Dead: Easy Peazy Lemon Squeezy, Dieter’s bat. I also loved that Army of the Dead brought us an entirely new type of zombies – smart, fucking zombies! That comma was intentional, because these zombies are smart and HAVE SEX. Although we don’t get to see it…trust me, they are totally doing it. (I just remembered the zombie sex in Dead Alive! Oops!)

Let’s talk about the late addition of Tig Notaro to the cast…her character was one of the funniest and I really cannot imagine Chris D’Elia in her place. The technology was so seamless that we wouldn’t have known she was added in later…can we please digitally replace all sexual predators with Tig Notaro? Let’s make #tigtoo happen!

I’m looking forward to the inevitable sequel, but also the other pieces of this universe. I’ve read that Zack Snyder is building a whole “Dead” universe for Netflix, including an Anime prequel about the fall of Vegas and a prequel about Dieter’s safecracking career. One can hope that James Gunn finds some time in his busy schedule to collaborate…

Wonder Woman 1984

 

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It wasn’t THAT bad…but yeah, it was definitely not a good movie, per se…or even a mediocre one, because its failures were spectacular in scope…dammit, okay, I’m dancing around it. Wonder Woman 1984 was bad.

Bad is purely subjective when it comes to the DCEU…it surely wasn’t the worst – see Batman v Superman for example – but since the first Wonder Woman is clearly the best so far, it makes it all the more obvious that WW84 just doesn’t stack up. It’s a rehash of old plots…almost as if Superman 2 arrived to an 80s themed party with an Infinity Stone in one hand and a Monkey’s Paw in the other. That’s as spoilery as I will get, as there may be a few out there who haven’t seen it yet.

Kristen Wiig was wasted as Cheetah. Her character was the most fun to watch, even though her character arc was ridiculous. She was doing the best she could with the horrible material she got.

The internet has decided that Wonder Woman raped that poor guy who was unfortunate enough to host the personality of Steve Trevor. It’s an interesting ethical question to be sure – which entity is more important, the mind or the body it presently inhabits. I’m assuming the screenwriter intended the ethical dilemma, or why not have a naked Steve Trevor fall out of the sky? Even so, this brings up questions for any piece of media with body-swapping. Was Sam Beckett getting folks raped in every episode of Quantum Leap (maybe)? Ooooh, was Elizabeth Perkins a child molester in Big (yikes, but kinda)? Wait..was Steve Trevor sexually assaulting his host body every time he took his dick out to pee??? Ultimately, it matters little whether Wonder Woman raped that guy or not…she’s the daughter of Zeus, a god known for having his way with every living creature that crossed his path. How can you apply human laws to a god?

There were a few joyful moments in the film. The invisible jet was fun, although I have a hard time believing that The Smithsonian keeps fueled jets in the backlot and an even harder time believing that WWI era Steve Trevor could fly one. The after-credits scene made me giddy…I shrieked!

An ideal ending for ME would’ve been Bruce Wayne wishing his parents back to life, only to have them disappear 15 minutes later, which in turn, is what drives him to become Batman, in order to KILL Wonder Woman. Yes, THAT would’ve been an interesting twist.

I’d love to say that I have high hopes for the already greenlighted Wonder Woman 3, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Richard Pryor might show up…

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

 

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Gary Oldman just makes every film better, doesn’t he? I mean, Bram Stoker’s Dracula notwithstanding, he is AMAZING.

Is it totally out of line to say that I think Sirius Black is sexy? I think it’s just Gary Oldman with long hair and a goatee…even though he’s one of the best actors of our generation…he’s hardly ever – ok, mostly never – sexy. Mason Verger? No. Zorg? No. Beethoven? Maybe.

Let me settle down – this is a children’s film, after all.

I think my favorite part was when Hermione punched Draco in the face. To me, Hermione is a much more interesting character than Harry Potter. As a mudblood, she’s subject to just as much – if not more – bullying and hardship as Harry. Yes, sure, she’s got parents – but they’re fucking dentists. Snape fucking straight up ignores her – she knows all the answers and he harrasses Harry instead. She’s been turned into a cat (or dog). She’s been frozen. She solves the mystery of the pipes. She saves the day in this film. I’m just saying, Hermione Granger is the real hero here.

I can’t believe I missed Dobby.

This one is my favorite Harry Potter so far…but then again, I still have 5 films to go.

Dead Ant

 

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Never pee on an ant on sacred Native American lands after taking cursed peyote.

I mean, that’s just common sense, right? Well, apparently, the members of 80s Glam Rock Band Sonic Grave do not have any common sense. And especially don’t buy Peyote from the guy who played Horse on Twin Peaks. He will totally fuck you over.

I only recorded this because Sean Astin & Jake Busey are in the band…and their manager is Tom Arnold. And still, with those low expectations, I was still disappointed.

The film was pretty boring and dumb, but there are moments that had me guffawing. The end is pretty funny because you finally get to hear the band play. They suck so bad, that the giant killer ants commit suicide to escape their shitty music. Sonic Grave does have a song that isn’t shitty – it’s called “Side Boob” and it’s a pretty good jam.

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

 

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I’ve done it! I’ve watched all of the Infinity Saga films…Well, technically, Far from Home was the last one that I watched, but whatever…

My husband took the kids to go see it in the theater – I don’t exactly remember why I didn’t go see GotG2 with them…I probably wanted to take a nap. Even though it was a fun film, I stand beside my nap decision.

I want to like Chris Pratt so bad…but then an article comes out about his membership in an anti-LGBT church or his bizarro biblical diets or wearing highly offensive alt-right T-shirts…and I just cringe. Sigh. I truly enjoy him as Starlord, but I feel guilty about it, because he appears to be a major douche in real life.

Only Kurt Russell would impregnate someone behind a Dairy Queen – and look like a sexy beast doing it. His de-aging was beautiful – I am trying to think of Kurt Russell in 1980. The Thing was 1982, pretty close.

I feel like the arc with Gamora and Nebula really made me understand their dynamic in Infinity War a lot better. As in Ant-Man and the Wasp, viewing was REQUIRED to understand Endgame, but it added to the experience.

I almost think that I liked Vol. 2 more than Vol. 1 – is that the consensus? Or is it because of “The Hof”? The world may never know. (They know.) I am 200% OBSESSED with the video for Guardians Inferno by The Sneepers (AKA James Gunn & pals). I’ve watched it about 100 times and you should, too.

Spider-Man: Far from Home

 

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Just a few weeks after opening, we lucked into a private showing one morning last week…matinee prices, too. Going to the Movie Theater is GREAT without all the people!

I wasn’t feeling patient, so I was glad there were only four previews to sit through: Midway (maybe the only WWII film that’s piqued my interest), Blinded by the Light (it just looks WEIRD), Jumanji 2 (the kids are going bananas over this one – demanding to see it as soon as it comes out), and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (why is there a trailer for this in front of a PG-13 film – and does anyone even give a shit about Tarantino any more?)…

Far from Home was really fun – I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it, wait – didn’t I say the same thing about the first one? There were just so many laugh-out-loud moments, from the bad Whitney Houston PowerPoint, to Peter Tingle, to “I love Led Zeppelin!” I loved that the film took care to circle back to Iron Man and touch on not only the evolution of Tony, but all those around him. Never forget, Tony Stark was a dick, even up to the very end. I like that Marvel let Tony be a dick AND be redeemed – the two aren’t mutually exclusive. What more can I say that isn’t totally spoiler-y? Hmmm…not a goddamn thing. I especially don’t want to ruin the post-credits scenes, they are magnifique.

Jake Gyllenhaal, I’ve never been a big fan. I don’t hate him or anything…he just doesn’t moisten my mailslot. He was a good fit for Mysterio though, although I think Tobey Maguire would’ve been a hilarious choice for the role. It would’ve been a total stunt-cast, but so?

Like the first one, the soundtrack was really smashing. A good dose of The Ramones, plus The Specials and The Jam and some fun Euro tunes. I really gotta give it to whoever put this collection of tunes together – I put together a quick and dirty playlist on Amazon Music – thanks TuneFind!

Oh! And just like Homecoming, Far from Home dovetailed neatly into our recent NYC vacation. Our hotel, The New Yorker, was a block or so from Madison Square Garden, which my kids immediately recognized in a scene, having walked right by it days earlier. We even popped into that very same Duane Reede to buy bottled water! Why is Spider-Man following us on vacation???

Far from Home was a fitting postscript to Endgame, giving the audience a window into how the world rebounded after the unsnap, while also reminding us that not everyone loved/loves The Avengers. The post-credits scenes didn’t necessarily set up future films, as much as they set up a whole new Marvel Universe for Phase 4, with all new rules, new heroes, new villains. I’m looking forward to Phase 4…except for having to watch a whole boring ass movie about Black Widow, that is…

Ant-Man and the Wasp

 

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Thanks to my kids’ Netflix account, we all finally got to watch Ant-Man and the Wasp. You heard me right – my kids mutinied and set up their own Netflix account for the summer. (I canceled my account when we moved out to the Double D Ranch, land of 1.5mbps internet.) It is a testament to their character and financial acumen that they were able to agree to each contribute $4/month to share an account, all without any involvement of my husband or I. The best part – if they ever start fighting about it, I can just throw up my hands and walk away. My son may have made a great mistake though – Netflix has ALL the Buddies movies – and my daughter LOVES them. It’s gonna be a rough summer for him…

Oh, and about Ant-Man and the Wasp…the story picks up a bit after Civil War, near the end of Scott Lang’s house arrest. Although I knew that the story centered on finding Janet Van Dyne, I had somehow managed to avoid any other spoilers (other than the obvious Endgame tie-ins). The film was a fun ride with a lot of unexpected gifts.

My favorite gift? Luis’ grandma’s jukebox that only played Morrisey songs. I feel like she’s a woman I could relate to. In fact, everything having to do with Luis is a gift. I hope he gets his suit, powers or not.

Walton Goggins was another gift. Unfortunately, I always get him confused with Simon Ogg (The Walking Dead), who is coincidentally also a gift.

Baba Yaga. Gift.

Randall Park (also a gift) gets to be in the DCEU AND the MCU! No fair!

PS, I hate magic tricks, especially sleight of hand, but Scott Lang’s card tricks were also a gift.

I was not in love with the ending – the “laying of hands” part got big eye-rolls from me. The word “quantum” itself became a deus ex machina in Endgame, but it I guess I’m not smart enough to understand what “quantum powers” are. I’ve even seen every episode of The Big Bang Theory and I STILL don’t get it. I guess I’m just dumb.

Looking forward to the next Ant-Man installment. Will Cassie get a chance to be his partner?

Avengers: Endgame

 

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I don’t even know how to write a review about Endgame that doesn’t contain at least 50 spoilers, so instead…you’ll get feelings and emotions. I know, I know – not like me at all.

We went and saw Endgame on opening weekend, which we NEVER do – but my son made a good case for avoiding spoilers – Infinity War was totally spoiled for him at school. Junior High is a fucking warzone, ya’ll. Even though we planned ahead and got tickets for Sunday, he managed to get spoiled on Friday – some assface “friend” leaked a death. I tried, son…I tried.

I checked my heartrate (via fitbit) while viewing and it was a wild ride. It just kept going up and up and up. The action just never let up. I laughed a lot more than I expected. I cried just the right amount, which is once. I won’t spoil the film by saying what, except to say it was somewhere in the middle and it was a hug and OMG, I AM CRYING JUST THINKING ABOUT IT.

Endgame was so good, it gave me a to-do list…

To do list #1 – make my son watch The Big Lebowski with me, then rewatch Endgame. Hell, maybe we should watch ALL of the Coen Brothers’ films for good measure.

The Community cameos made me SQUEAL! (Kinda spoiler-y, but I’m not perfect.) To do list #2, persuade both kids to watch Community on Amazon Prime. I’ve been bugging the boy for years to binge watch it, but he won’t do it.

To do list #3, see if my VHS copy of National Lampoon’s Senior Trip still works, so I can revisit my 1996 crush on Jeremy Renner.

Funny story real quick – right before we left to see Endgame, my husband had Fantastic 4 2 on in the background…my daughter was so fucking confused. She asked, “Since when could Captain America do that?” as Johnny Storm was torching around. That gave us a good laugh – she had no idea that Chris Evans was ever another superhero. That brings me to #4 – rewatch Not Another Teen Movie, so I can see America’s Ass™ in a whipped cream bikini.

Endgame gave everyone the ending they deserved. I mean, never before has there been a 22 (or is it 23) movie build-up like this, with expectations built up for so many character arcs. Full disclosure – it’s just 20 movies for me, haven’t watched GotG2 or AM&W yet – even so, I felt so invested in this universe – sure, James Bond has over 20 movies, but who is emotionally invested in James Bond? It’s weeks later and the family is STILL discussing it. I’m actually considering taking the kids to see it again, to pick up any goodies we may have missed the first time. I always thought there would only ever be one 5 BOB movie, but I feel compelled to change my mind and bestow the coveted 5 BOB rating upon Endgame.

The Lost Boys

 

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Would you believe I practically had to threaten my crotchgoblins to sit down on the couch with me and watch The Lost Boys?

For the boy, I wanted him to see the greasy sax man. He’s a budding musician – with several saxophones – and I wanted him to enjoy the greasy musical icon. The girl though…she has recently started devouring young adult vampire romance novels, plus all the Twilight movies. Which is fine…but…but…I cannot handle the fact that her only vampire knowledge is that glittery pussy in Twilight. I’ve got to help her before it’s too late!

Strangely enough, I don’t have any sentimental memories about seeing The Lost Boys as a kid. I know I saw it and enjoyed it, being a “Two Coreys” aficionado – but no big life moments I associate with the film. I did get a chuckle, remembering the WILD filming stories depicted in the Two Coreys movie, however.

My favorite theory floating around right now is that Sam is gay and vampires are gay and the 80s were gay and the film is a metaphor for sexual awakening. There are hundreds of articles and posts about it (here’s a link to one of my favorites).  That weird bubble bath scene kinda cements it for me…

Ultimately, I feel like my mission was a success – both children “said” they enjoyed the film. The girl is now rabidly consuming all the vampire flicks she can get her hands on. We’ve already watched Interview with the Vampire and From Dusk Til Dawn is next. (Undecided as to whether I’ll torture them with BSD.) The boy…well…he’s decided that he wants to bleach his hair white-blond like Keifer Sutherland. At least they both now understand why I have skulls and antlers hanging on all the walls – you never know when you’re gonna need to impale a vampire in your living room!