THE NEW MUTANTS (2020)

It’s hard to tell at what point of this film’s absurdly protracted release things started coming apart — clearly there was a distinct vision at one point and all the mess of its production just muddied that so much that what we got was just sort of a flat, disjointed and indecisive jumble of ideas that don’t cohere together at all.

Nothing in its premise stands up to the slightest bit of scrutiny, and the fact that it’s trying to squeeze five superhero origins and a romance and a horror film and a teen drama all into a tight 94min does nothing any favours at all.

100% would have been better served as a limited TV series where any one of those concepts could have had a moment to breath outside of rushed expository dialogue. As it is, each of the characters gets an introduction, a scene where they Don’t Want To Talk About Their Trauma, a manifestation of said trauma and then a moment of overcoming it in the climactic battle. On paper it sounds like everyone gets an arc but really it’s just a fill-in-the-blanks, paint-by-numbers rollout with zero nuance and a staggering lack of clarity or explanation.

I’m familiar with the comic run it’s based on and even still I struggled to keep focus. Some of the visual effects and design are cool but they’re not in service of anything.

Not even bad enough for a fun drunk watch, just skip it like you would all the late-game X-Men movies that aren’t Logan.

LEGION (s01-03)

It’s hard to pin Legion down, since it’s very proudly one of the least superhero-y comicbook-based TV series of the past decade despite being populated by very comicbooky characters and ideas.

It’s more of a psychedelic mind trip through gorgeous production design, S-tier cinematography and a plot and cast of characters that absolutely delight in and embrace all the weirdest things that the genre has to offer.

The cast is clearly having a ball, and it goes to show yet again how underutilised Dan Stevens is in the broader scheme of things.

Sure, there are action sequences and the like, but more often the central conflicts are resolved by compassion and strange conversations and a few times by psychic dance-battles. Oh, and a hippy cult smokes happiness from the udders of a gigantic pig at one point.

Yeah. It’s weird.

And that’s all to the benefit, because it’s not trying to be a regular sort of X-Men show, it’s a character study of a persona fragmented by trauma, wrapped in a dream-like 1960s aesthetic and often a very Lynchian desire to be willfully obtuse.

It’s unsettling and dark at times, gorgeous and strange and wonderful at others. The pacing overall is fairly off-kilter, but if you’re willing to forgive its self-indulgence you’ll find a tonne of reasons to fall in love with it.

It runs just long enough to tie itself up nicely without overstaying, but I wish more shows were this willing to embrace the absurdity of their own premises.

Highly recommended.

MEPHISTO IN HADES // TRIUMPH & TORMENT

iPAD // PROCREATE

Digital painting study from MARVEL / Mike Mignola’s TRIUMPH & TORMENT graphic novel, wherein Drs Doom and Strange voyage into Hades to reclaim the soul of Doom’s mother from Mephisto.

This also marks my 100th post here over years and several iterations of the page. Thanks to everyone who’s stuck around and welcome to those who’ve just found me now, noodling away in my quiet little corner of the internet :)

REVIEW SPECTACULAR 5: 2019 EDITION

If you’re just now dropping in on these:

I’ve been doing quick reviews/recommendations via FB for years but have finally decided to move them over to the blog here.
There are five collections dating back to 2016 posted now, but from here on out each new review will get its own post so follow my various social medias for notifications!
I try to stay mostly spoiler free and give my impressions and broad recommendations over any in-depth discussions of plot etc. So much of the fun is going into a film or series knowing very little, but there’s always exceptions.
No ratings as they’re too reductive.
I don’t always watch things right when they come out and I don’t always watch everything.
Sometimes I’ll have rewatched something and have noted what I thought that time.

Here’s all of my 2019 watches so far, starting from the most recent:

IT: CHAPTER TWO (2019)
GLOW s03 (2019)
DARK PHOENIX (2019)
MINDHUNTER s02 (2019)
MEN IN BLACK INTERNATIONAL (2019)
ROBIN HOOD: MEN IN TIGHTS (1993)
INVADER ZIM: ENTER THE FLORPUS (2019)
TRAIN TO BUSAN (2016)
THE BOYS s01 (2019)
ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD (2019)
THE WAILING (2016)
THE LION KING (2019)
DUMBO (2019)
DETECTIVE PIKACHU (2019)
HELLBOY (2019)
HALLOWEEN (2018)
SHAZAM! (2019)
STRANGER THINGS s03 (2019)
MIDSOMMAR (2019)
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (2019)
OVERLORD (2018)
BLACKKKLANSMAN (2018)
VEEP (s01-07)
CHERNOBYL (2019)
JOHN WICK 3: PARABELLUM (2019)
GODZILLA: KING OF MONSTERS (2019)
ALADDIN (2019)
AVENGERS: ENDGAME (2019)
mY GAME OF THRONS REVEIW (2019)
BUMBLEBEE (2019)
PET SEMATARY (2019)
ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT s05 (2019)
AQUAMAN (2018)
BLOOD MERIDIAN or THE EVENING REDNESS IN THE WEST – Cormac McCarthy (1985)
US (2019)
LOVE, DEATH & ROBOTS (2019)
MUPPET TREASURE ISLAND (1996)
CAPTAIN MARVEL (2019)
RUSSIAN DOLL s01 (2019)
ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL (2019)
LOST IN SPACE s01 (2018)
VELVET BUZZSAW (2019)
GHOST STORIES (2018)
BLACK MIRROR: BANDERSNATCH (2018)
THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS (2018)
MOWGLI (2018)

Enjoy!

Continue reading “REVIEW SPECTACULAR 5: 2019 EDITION”