PRISONERS OF THE GHOSTLAND (2021)

An absolutely baffling Japanese-American neon Western wherein Nicolas Cage is strapped into a bomb suit to rescue a governor’s daughter who has gone missing and maybe ghosts did it or maybe it’s a curse?

There has to be a fascinating story behind the production. This is a hot mess. It’s weird and surreal, disjointed and kind of hilarious, but not entirely clear how much is intentional or how much is the result of some insane catastrophy.

There are no establishing shots so the whole geography of the world feels about a hundred feet from anything else. Things appear and disappear without motivation or explanation.

At one point Nicolas Cage has a ball blown off and screams “MY. TESTICLLLLLLE!!” with the strangest delivery of any line, possibly in any film. This is what you come for in a Nicolas Cage film.

And yet, it’s still wildly boring for long stretches and even its most absurd moments and creative shot work only manage to sporadically elevate it to actually compelling.

Is it good? Almost definitely not.

Was I entertained? Absolutely.

Do I recommend it? Uuuuuh… I don’t know?

THE MANDALORIAN s01 e01/02 (2019)

Only two episodes in and already the best thing to come out of STAR WARS in 20 years.

Has a really vintage feel to it, like older pulp Westerns against a SW universe backdrop and enough balance of practical effects and higher concept space stuff to keep it interesting yet still very grounded.

Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that a certain integral character is the most adorable critter ever and they’re 100% going to sell a billion toys of it.

So far, so good. Very promising.