WiW: I'm So Behind Edition, Part III

After many moons, I finally have a chance to sit down and write what is becoming a never ending series because my backlog is bottomless, part trés of What I'm Watching, the I'm So Behind Edition. Ok, let's get into the next batch of gooey goodness.

Movies

Beyond Skyline

Ok, so I have a thing for B movies. It's probably just something that harkens back to Saturday mornings of my childhood where I just sat in front of television for hours while my cereal got soggy, but I love just watching randomness, even if it's not that great.

I found Beyond Skyline in large part because of the mighty Iko Uwais who is one of my favorite action actors in the world right now. I'll pretty much watch anything with him in it. And in this particular case, I'm glad a did.

At its core, Beyond Skyline is a cheesy sci fi drama built around a father trying to save his son from alien invaders. Been there, right? But what separates this from most movies of this ilk is the quality of the action scenes, the unexpectedly high production value and the charm of the characters. No, the writing is.. not great, but the combination of stuff it does well makes this a wildly entertaining movie to watch. Ha, no you'll never confuse this one with a good film, but everyone involved embraces what it is, and that is what makes it a good watch.

Free Fire

For me, there is nothing like a good crime noire. There is just something very compelling about a drama that explores the motivations and relationships of duplicitous characters. It's just fun to sit back and watch it unfold.

This is the strength of Free Fire. The plot isn't anything you haven't seen before: a gun deal gone wrong. The compelling part is how a particularly strong cast express a myriad of emotions as each character grapples with a situation that just keeps getting worse.

Yeah, they're all all bad people. Yeah, they are doing things that they shouldn't. And yes, you can probably predict the ending, but the magic is that you want to see what happens anyway. The film does a great job of just keeping the viewer involved. And it's just quite fun to watch scoundrels get what's coming to them.

Mayhem

Ok, look. I'm not going to lie to you. Mayhem is not a good film. The plot is a mess, the characters are so so, and the cinematography is not bad, but doesn't particularly standout in any particular way. It, at best, is an extremely average film.

So why am I talking about it? Because it is saved by the unrelenting charm of Steve Yeun. This is his movie.

No, he's not the only one in the project that puts in a good performance, but they are all built around the work of Yeun. He is the force that almost single handedly makes a film that is yet another take on the zombie epidemic genre that is barely worth watching to a bloody, ridiculous and sloppy action piece that could become a cult favorite for everyone one involved.

By no means will this ever be Yeun's best film, but it shows he has the talent to carry one that happens to be bad. You can't teach that kind of charisma.

Shows

Claws

Let's start at the top. If you do not know who Niecy Nash is, take this opportunity to get a bit more familiar with one of the most underrated talents in the acting game today. Her body of work speaks for itself and yes, you should watch her in anything you can find her in. Got it? Ok.

Claws is a crime comedy drama built around Ms. Nash, who heads up a very strong cast that portrays the trials and tribulations of a group of women running a nail salon in Florida.

I know, I know. I thought the same thing too, but if you take the plunge like I did, you'll be treated to a slickly produced story that is brutal, very adult, hilarious and poignant in ways that seem to contradict its glossy exterior. It's definitely messy and dramatic, but it's done from a foundation that we can all relate to: people just trying to live the best way they can.

Check it out. Thank me later.

Frontier

If you follow me over on Social, you know I talk a lot about history and how it affects the societies and cultures we inhabit today. I also talk about efforts by certain people to revision what actually happened to cover up the brutal reality of what actually went down.

By no means should Frontier be considered an actual historical document. I mean, it's tv after all. But the compelling thing about the show is that it tells a tale about North American history that does not prioritize the white westernized version of it. This single fact separates the episodic from so many historical dramas that came before it. It's not a smarmy take on white people's version of history.

No, it's not perfect and it's a bit cheesy here and there, but the show treats the subject matter seriously and doesn't shy away from the brutality Natives experienced at hands of Westerners that were invading their lands. And it shows them fighting back, which is something you don't see a lot in the breadth of Western television.

Oh yeah and it stars some guy named Jason Mamoa or whatever.

The Good Place

I don't watch network television. I just find the blandness of prolonged mediocrity that the network tv keeps pumping out completely uninteresting. They just don't make stories that I care about.

However, I gotta make an exception for The Good Place. I was very impressed at how it presents itself as a quirky comedy about the nature of morality, but morphs steadily into a conversation about what makes people good vs bad and if those distinctions even matter as we all try to be the best that we can be.

Yes, it's whimsical and cute, but it has quite a few moments that make you take a pause and really think about how we view morality and investigate if the truths we adhere to as people are as universal as we think they are. Yeah, it's kind of scary like that.

Definitely what I was not expecting from a show on one of the Big Three.

End

Ok, that's it for round three. Feel free to rap to be about what you think over on Social. Don't be afraid. I don't bite. Well, most of the time.