Hitman Tries Acting in Barry

While watching promotional interviews for It Chapter 2, Bill Hader would occasionally discuss his TV show, Barry. I knew the show was airing, but I don’t have any way to watch HBO. Recently, Hulu has acquired a few popular HBO shows without purchasing the HBO add on. This included Barry. Bill Hader and Henry Winkler won Emmy’s for this series, so it must be good, right? I concur this show is worth the watch.

Barry Berkman (played by Bill Hader) is sent to LA by his assassin mentor Monroe Fuches (played by Stephen Root). While completing his assassination, he discovers an indie theater where Barry decides to start taking acting lessons. Barry is living a double life by murdering people and acting in Gene Cousineau’s (played by Henry Winkler) classes. This is a weird concept for a show, but it works.

Bill Hader becomes Barry. Barry is shown to be struggling with his career of taking lives and wanting to be someone else. Acting has become his escape. Let’s be clear, Barry isn’t a good person. In season #1 especially, there’s a scene where Barry kills someone in a car. It’s shocking because I didn’t think Barry would go there, but he does. He’s balancing a fine line between doing his job and getting caught.

As a side note, Bill Hader is a great actor in darker roles. Another good example of this besides Barry is the movie The Skeleton Twins. It stars Hader and Kristin Wiig. It’s an emotional, depressing movie, but it illustrates how Bill Hader can act in darker material.

NoHo Hank, played by Anthony Carrigan.

Barry cannot be described as a dark comedy without the appearance of NoHo Hank (played by Anthony Carrigan). NoHo Hank’s witty one-liners are hilarious even if they’re about killing or torture. Bill Hader has talked about filming behind the scenes with Anthony Carrigan and it sounds like they’re shenanigans to be had.

Barry was a quick watch. Each season has eight episodes with only two seasons. Season #3 was supposed to be out next year I believe? However, with Covid-19, this will probably be delayed. Barry was an entertaining show, to say the least. Both seasons of Barry can be found on Hulu without the purchase of the HBO add on.

Monitoring Movies with Letterboxd

My cousin is a movie watching devotee. She watches so many movies many I have never heard of before. She made a Facebook status saying how she was updating her Letterboxd account. After researching, I downloaded the Letterboxd app and it has changed the way I am watching movies while in Quarantine. I can follow friends, see their movie recommendations, and list movies on a watch list to view later. Letterboxd is my new favorite app.

I’m the type of moviegoer where I always watch movies I have seen previously. It’s difficult for me to force myself to watch something new. I don’t want to waste my time watching a movie I don’t enjoy. With Letterboxd, it’s allowed me to record all the new movies I have seen along with typing reviews or recording my reactions to a particular film. Since using Letterboxd I have watched: Vice, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Knives Out, Ex Machina, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo *Swedish Version*.

Letterboxd has renewed motivation in re-watching movies. I’m planning on re-watching the James Bond films, Marvel movies and since it’s May the Star Wars movies. I plan to log my thoughts as I finish the movies on my list. I created a list titled “The Movies That Define Me” and I have been slowly adding my favorite movies to this list.

Letterboxd is an easy to use app. It has a good interface, organized, and barely crashes on me. There are ads on Letterboxd, so while the app is free to use, there are ads now and then. For $19 a month, you can have an ad- free app or pay $49 a month to become a patron. Becoming a patron allows for backdrops on your profile along with early access to beta features. Right now, I’m not planning on paying for Letterboxd, however, it may be something I consider in the future.

If you use Letterboxd, feel free to add me! I’m BizarreBrunette. I always follow back. Letterboxd can be found on google play and the app store.

Dam Humphrey is a Serial Killer in. . . You

You Season #2 promo image.

During the mid-2000s, I was an awkward, young, middle school child. In 7th grade, the TV show Gossip Girl became an obsession in my school. Everyone watched this show. My favorite character on the show was Dan Humphrey because he was a writer and seemed less stuck up than the other characters. Dan is played by Penn Badgley. Even if you don’t know Gossip Girl Penn can be seen in other iconic films such as Easy A, John Tucker Must Die, and The Stepfather. Now Penn is playing a stalker / serial murderer in You and it’s entertaining to watch Penn act in a completely different type of role.

Joe Goldberg (played by Penn Badgley) is the manager of Mooney’s, a bookshop operating in NYC. As Joe is working in the store, we see a young blonde woman walk in and immediately she captures Joe’s eye. Guinevere Beck (played by Elizabeth Lail) attracts Joe’s attention enough where Joe becomes obsessive. He takes Beck’s phone and interfere’s with her life in subtle ways.

I can’t say much more than that without spoiling both seasons. Each season has a different mood to me. Season #1 feels more “bougie” whereas season #2 feels more psychotic. It keeps the story interesting between both seasons since they’re so different. During the first season, each episode tells the story between Joe and everyone in his life. As the episodes unfold, we can see Joe slowly fall into the pressure of not getting caught. Each episode leaves on a cliffhanger, which made it difficult to not spend 10+ hours watching the season in one sitting.

This series is based on the books written by Caroline Kepnes. She has two books in the series titled You and Hidden Bodies. I won’t be reading them myself as I wish season #1 turned out differently, but I heard it’s accurate to the book.

You is a satisfyingly sexy thriller on Netflix. The first two seasons are out while the third season won’t be released until sometime in 2021. Anyone who enjoys serial killer documentaries, New York culture and cliffhanging episodes will definitely need to watch this series.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)

I have been trying to watch more movies. Growing up, my mom and I would watch movies together as a way to spend meaningful time together. It sounds odd since when you watch a movie, you don’t speak during the movie. It’s when the credits flow down the screen where my mom and I would discuss the movie at length. Ever since attending college, I put watching movies on the backburner. It was tough for me to find two hours to watch one movie versus watching thirty-minute TV episodes instead. Now, I try to watch movies on the weekends when I have more time to do so. This past weekend, I watched the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen for the first time thanks to Hulu.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is based on another graphic novel produced by Alan Moore. The movie introduces various literary characters as they are forced to work together to eliminate a common threat. These characters include Alan Quartermain, Mina Harker, Dorian Gray, Tom Sawyer, The Invisible Man, Dr. Jekyll, and Captain Nemo. Sean Connery plays the titular Alan Quartermain who at the beginning of the film, causes a shootout in this rustic hotel lounge. It was badass to see Sean Connery still carry epic action sequences in his old age.

Mina Harker was another character I enjoyed seeing on screen. She has become a vampire since her adventures with Van Helsing and her fiance Jonathan. There’s this one scene where she’s in the library and she feasts on one of the men sent to eliminate the league. Plus her black, Victorian outfit was giving me major Renaissance / Cosplay inspiration.

According to Letterboxd, people vilified this movie. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen has been credited as the movie where Sean Connery retired from acting. There was drama between Sean and Stephen Norrington, the director of the film. Sean Connery when he took the role, was paid so much money, they couldn’t recruit any other famous actor to be in the movie. This is according to Wikipedia, so who knows how accurate this statement is.

Many of the complaints with this movie include the terrible CGI, plotholes, and in one review this movie is a “dumpster fire”. When I watched this movie, I didn’t think the CGI was awful. The movie was made in 2003, so it’s not going to have the best technology available. I enjoyed the action sequences. There’s a shootout in a library while recruiting Dorian Gray where I was entertained throughout the scene. This is also where Mina Harker shines which I detailed above.

I’m glad I took the time to watch this movie. I have the first volume of Alan Moore’s graphic novel being shipped to my apartment for me to read. I read a review on Letterboxd from Karen who stated, “this movie fucking slaps and that’s that on that”. Karen, I couldn’t agree more.

The Command Zone

Usually, I don’t watch gaming streamers. If I want to play video games or board games, I want to do it myself versus watching others play. However, The Command Zone Youtube channel is one of my exceptions. The Command Zone is a Magic the Gathering channel where they almost always play Commander. Commander is a format where one card is your “Commander” and your deck compliments this one creature. This is the form of Magic I play mostly because I can utilize every single card since the game’s existence in the early ’90’s. If you play Magic the Gathering, I cannot recommend this Youtube channel enough.

One of the best episodes of Game Knights. Found on the Game Knights Youtube Channel.

Hosted by Josh Lee Kwai and Jimmy Wong, they bring two other players onto their show to play a round of Commander. These players vary, but I like how they bring a variety of players with different play styles to their videos. I’m currently watching the episode where they bring a fan onto their show to play. This episode has been my favorite as the fan they chose is super good at the game and giving both Josh and Jimmy a run for their money.

Each episode of “Game Knights” where they play against each other can range from 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. I don’t have the attention span to watch an episode in one sitting, so I watch 10 – 15 minutes of each episode whenever I have free time. I have the Game Knights playlist in one of my internet tabs, so I can return to it at any time.

Discovering The Command Zone / Game Knights has inspired me to start deck-building again. I’m building a red/green big creatures deck with the new cards from the Theros Beyond Death set. I haven’t built a deck in at least 3-4 years, so it’s exciting to be inspired to return to crafting my deck. This inspiration has come from the Command Zone and I’m thankful for discovering their gaming space.

I have had a love/hate relationship with Magic the Gathering for a while and watching The Command Zone has invigorated my love for the game. It’s not often where I become this invested in gathering cards from my collection. If you’re a Magic the Gathering player, this is a Youtube channel you need to subscribe to. They do have a Command Zone podcast if you prefer podcasts over Youtube channels. The Command Zone can be found on Youtube or through their podcast available on Stitcher or Apple Podcasts.

Fleabag is Cleverly Written, Inventive Comedy

If you have been active on Twitter in the past six months, you have probably seen some tweets about a “hot priest”. Andrew Scott from BBC Sherlock is the one to blame for this trend. He stars as the love interest in the Amazon Prime TV show, Fleabag. This “hot priest” trend is what got me into watching Fleabag to begin with. Fleabag is a cleverly written, inventive comedy and Phoebe Waller-Bridge deserves all the acting awards.

This is a Youtube video where Andrew Scott talks about the “infamous” hot priest scene in Fleabag. No spoilers unless you want to go watch the show without knowing anything.

Fleabag stars. . . Fleabag. Fleabag is a confused, sexually active woman played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Fleabag lives in London where she runs a guinea pig cafe that’s failing miserably. Her co-owner and best friend died after committing suicide after discovering her boyfriend had been cheating on her. Each episode reveals more about Fleabag’s life and her troubled relationships with her family. Oliva Coleman plays Fleabag’s manipulative and annoying step-mom. Both Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Olivia Colman do such a great job in creating this difficult family dynamic.

Fleabag is one of my favorite female characters ever. Found on GIPHY.

One of the main messages in the show is being able to own your mistakes. Fleabag makes a major mistake which I won’t reveal because it’s a big spoiler. This mistake haunts Fleabag and she struggles with forgiving herself and moving on. The last episode of season #1 got to me and I started crying along with Fleabag as she starts to unravel with the decisions she made.

Now I have to mention “hot priest”. The chemistry between Andrew Scott and Phoebe Waller-Bridge is unreal. The way they act together makes you genuinely believe they could make it as a couple despite the fact that hot priest can’t have sex. These two are my favorite OTP of 2020 and the year has barely begun.

Fleabag is only two seasons long with six episodes per season, so it’s a quick watch. Phoebe Waller-Bridge took home a a Golden Globe for this role and Fleabag won the Golden Globe for Best Television series. If this doesn’t convince you to watch the show, I’m not sure what will. I will leave you with a GIF of “hot priest” though because why not?

Fleabag and “Hot Priest” from GIPHY.

Girls & Can We Enjoy Unlikable Characters?

Girls.jpg

After seeing The Rise of Skywalker twice, I wanted more Adam Driver media to consume. His portrayal of Kylo Ren was outstanding. One of Adam Driver’s first roles was in the HBO series Girls written by Lena Dunham. After getting access to Amazon Prime, I decided to dive right into watching this show. Many of the main characters in Girls are extremely unlikable. This made me wonder: to what extent do our characters have to be “likeable” to be able to sympathize with them?

Before I go through answering this question, I wanted to provide background on this show. Girls is a Sex in the City for this generation. It tells the story of four 20 something’s living in NYC after graduating from college. Hannah (played by Lena Dunham), Marnie (played by Allison Williams), Jessa (played by Jemima Kirke) and Shoshanna (played by Zozia Mamet) are the main characters this show focuses on. The girls go through break ups, hookups and career shakeups throughout the series.

Each of the four girls are unlikable in a different way. Hannah can be selfish in regards to how she views her relationships. Marnie can be super judgemental. Jessa is flaky and Shoshanna talks extremely fast to the point where it’s hard to carry a conversation with her. These flaws can be annoying to witness at certain times. It became difficult to continue on in the series because I never felt I could relate to their struggles.

There are a couple shows I like where the characters aren’t likeable, but I’m not sure what makes Girls different. For example, I love to watch The Big Bang Theory. However, if you pay closer attention to the male four friends, they make fatphobic jokes towards Howard’s mother and act misogynistic towards women they find attractive. I like the show, but the characters can be awful at times.

One reason why I believe Girls became hard to watch was because I didn’t see the girls maturing into better human beings. Hannah can’t take personal critisism when she goes off to graduate school. Marnie sleeps with men in relationships while Jessa (despite being an addict) is rude to her friends. Shoshanna is probably the most likable girl in the bunch, but I don’t see her maturing either. For me, I don’t want “perfect” characters in media, but I want to see them learn from their mistakes and become better human beings. I didn’t feel this way from watching Girls. 

Let’s go back to Adam Driver’s character. His character is also named Adam and for most of the show he’s dating Hannah. Adam’s character initially is a douchebag who only sees Hannah as a hookup. He’s a slob and has quite a bit of growing up to do. As the seasons progress, Adam starts to develop. In season #2 we find out Adam is in AA because of his problem with drinking. This information makes me love Adam’s character. When Hannah is having an OCD episode, Adam makes his way across NYC to comfort her. Adam isn’t a perfect character, but he’s the only character who has grown up over the course of the seasons.

I stopped watching Girls mid way through season #4 because I discovered this show wasn’t for me. I don’t regret watching the show because I believe Girls does a couple things right. The sex positivity in this show is what makes watching the first couple of seasons worth it. Lena Dunham doesn’t have the sterotypical Hollywood body and it’s refreshing to see a different body type on TV. Some of the sex scenes were hard to watch while other scenes felt accurate.

If you want to watch Girls because of Adam Driver, go for it. I recommend watching seasons #1-#3 because that’s where you will see the best of Adam Driver.

The Last Jedi Revisited: Two Years Later

I’m sure everyone is tired of seeing Star Wars related content. With the release of Star Wars: the Rise of Skywalker, almost every website I have come across has something to say about the ending to this saga. The beauty of Star Wars is the ability for fans to come together to discuss this fandom. Since the launch of Disney+, many movies & TV shows are going to be leaving Netflix which includes Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I decided to take a moment and re-watch the movie because I hadn’t seen it since I went to see it in theaters two years ago. As I re-watch this movie, my attitude toward the film has been altered. I believe Star Wars: The Last Jedi is an impecabble film.

One main disappointment I had with The Last Jedi was how Supreme Leader Snoke was killed by Kylo Ren. I felt we didn’t get to know enough about Snoke. Snoke was a character being teased as this all mighty being, but I don’t know enough about him as a villain to fear him. The symbolism I missed with Snoke’s demise is how this drives character development for Kylo Ren. Snoke’s death represents the death of the person responsible for abusing Kylo Ren for years. Snoke’s death is more about how this impacts Kylo’s character and now I have completely changed my mind about this scene.

Another complaint with The Last Jedi is with Rose. With the second viewing of this movie, Rose has quickly become a favorite part of this movie. Rose’s backstory is fleshed out extremely well where I start to feel for her. With the war going on, Rose doesn’t get a chance to mourn her sister because she has to remain strong in order to survive. In the course of two and a half hours, Rose saves Finn’s life, she forces Finn to see past the privilege of Canto Bright and she gives Finn clarity on how they’re going to break into the First Order’s main ship. Honestly, Finn wouldn’t have gotten far without her, so I can’t understand the hate surrounding her character. I will defend Rose forever.

Slight Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker Spoilers

 

 

 

 

 

 

You have been Warned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After watching the Last Jedi, it’s not surprising to see General Hux become a spy for the rebels. He hates Kylo because he wasn’t devoted to him as a leader. He was devoted to Snoke. Hux doesn’t see any reason to remain loyal to a leader he doesn’t believe in. This doesn’t need to be explained more in Rise of Skywalker because this is already present in The Last Jedi. 

 

 

 

 

End of Spoilers

 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Rise of Skywalker. I do believe the movie is flawed, but I enjoyed my time watching the finale to the Skywalker franchise. I’m not planning on writing a negative review of the film at this time, but there are plenty of those reviews out there for you to enjoy. I would love to know why you loved The Last Jedi in the comments below.

No Time to Die – James Bond Trailer

I have written about the James Bond film franchise before as being a “problematic fandom”. Dr. No, the first Bond film, was released in 1962 around the time when the Civil Rights Movement was happening in the U.S. Many of the Bond films are horrendously sexist and racist. With the diverse casting of Rami Malek and Lashana Lynch, I have hope that this Bond film will be epic.

Rami Malek being cast as a Bond villain is so spot on. Why hasn’t he been considered for a Bond villain before? He plays a man named Safin who is hinted at being involved with Spectre. For those who aren’t aware, Spectre is a terrorist organization that’s been featured in past Bond movies. This organization hasn’t been touched since the 1970’s Bond films, but Daniel Craig’s era is starting to bring this to the movie screen. Rami Malek’s face is scarred and he’s heard narrating the last half of the trailer. I showed my friend this trailer because she’s a big Rami Malek fan and she’s excited to see this movie with me.

Lashana Lynch was cast as Nomi a “00” agent who started when Bond retired. I approve of any casting decision that would cause Ian Fleming to roll in his grave. Fleming wrote his Bond novels in the 1950’s and to me, they are unreadable. The amount of offensive content has turned me off to reading any of them. Yes, I understand they take place in the 1950’s, but can that be used as an excuse? Anyway, Lynch is seen throughout most of the trailer and she seems as capable as Bond.

No Time to Die is being directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga who I had never heard of before this Bond film. He directed the first season of True Detective on HBO. True Detective is a show I haven’t watched yet, but has received excellent reviews. I have faith in Fukunaga to make a solid Bond film.

There’s no doubt that the Bond film franchise has problematic elements in prior film adapatations. However, it seems the film franchise is making steps in the right direction. I’m curious to see how this movie performs and how these characters are utilized throughout the plot. April 8th 2020 can’t come fast enough.

 

Wonder Woman 1984

When I watched the “No Man’s Land” scene from Wonder Woman (2017), I had chills go down my spine. This truly starred a female superhero and despite Steve’s appearance in the scene, Diana held her own. As a DC comics fan, it gave me hope as to whether or not DC could establish their own superhero universe. As soon as I saw the announcement of the Wonder Woman 1984 trailer being released, I kept my tabs on social media, so I wouldn’t miss it. This trailer was epic.

When Kristin Wiig was first cast as The Cheetah, many fans were unconvinced. Personally, I trust the casting behind this film and I didn’t want to pass judgement until a trailer was released. I believe Kristin Wiig was a great choice for this role and I liked her overall look in the short moments within the trailer.

Steve Trevor is back! Gal Gadot and Chris Pine’s chemistry felt authentic in the first film, so I’m glad to see he’s back in some capacity. I’m intrigued as to how they will explain how he survived and appear “youthful” in the 1980’s. Comics are a weird medium as in various comic characters get killed and then are brought back, so bringing back Steve Trevor doesn’t feel odd to me.

Wonder Woman is one of my favorite superhero movies. Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot are a power duo in superhero filmmaking. This trailer has gotten me more excited for this movie and it’s giving me a reason to look forward to 2020.