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Friday, July 23, 2021

Black Widow a hit Taskmaster sucks!!!


Well, after waiting an extra year because of the pandemic, Black Widow finally came out. It's a great Marvel movie, an excellent action movie but not a great spy film. There are some very odd choices in this film that need to be discussed. There are some odd choices made in character development that don't sit well with me. I cannot call it a bad movie, but I can call it inconsistent. Is it worth the 30 bucks premium, or is it worth a 10 buck Tuesday? Let's talk about Scarlet's last ride.

When she was a kid, her "parents" had to get up and leave the country like their lives were on the line. Giving you the sense of the cold war spy movie, but it's the mid 90's. When they landed in Cube, the Russian Government gave her "parents a job well done. It was all a farce: the parents were actually spies, and the kids were in training. After a job well done, the parents were sent to their next mission, and Natasha and Yelena were sent to the red room program to become Black Widows. They go into a montage of child trafficking and assassin training with a slow and disturbing cover of "smells like teen spirit." I have to admit this was very disturbing. It was like the beginning of Pirates of the Caribbean at the world's end where the British army hung a child at the gallows, well played Disney. 

The film takes place after the Civil War, and Nat is living in seclusion in Norway. Until she's on an errand driving, and her truck gets blown up by Taskmaster. What bothered me about it was before the attack, a scene introducing Taskmaster took away the badass of the reveal. It was a Briefing where they were watching footage of Nat doing her thing. This isn't the first spy movie for the MCU either. Look at Captain America: The Winter soldier. Villain Intros are vital to setting a tone. 

Speaking on the tone, the movie jumps from realism spy to a typical Marvel action movie. The most significant example of it is Taskmaster.


How can Taskmaster be a part of the Red Room, a program that makes spies and assassins that move with discretion get thrown out the door when this shiny suit bad guy shows up. Now mind you, Taskmaster is supposed to be the Cream of the crop in assassinations and spying. So explain to me how chasing Nat, and her sister in broad daylight is discrete.

It's more on the lines of something the Winter Soldier would do. Which I'm sure I'm gonna make a reference to again.

On the plus side, I enjoyed the actors very much. Scarlett did a great job with her character here, especially this being her last ride. Yelena is played by Florence Pugh, who I last saw in Midsommar, which is criminally good. The movie goes out of its way to hint that she is gonna be around. David Harbour plays Alexi the Red Guardian, a Russian Version of Captain America. He was like the lovable Dumb dad on a sitcom. My only issue was when it came time for him to fight, he mostly got his ass whooped. I was rooting for him after what happened In Hellboy. As far as acting, I think he did great. Ironically he'll be in Russia again for the next season of Stranger Things.


Taskmaster's portrayal was horrible. It has nothing to do with the actress. It has everything to do with the writing. There was no reason whatsoever to change the character to such an extreme.

No, it's not about the character being played by a woman. It is the fact that she's pretty much a voiceless robot taking orders from Dreykov. On top of that, she's his daughter that survived a bomb set by Natasha years ago.

Between that and the complete Lack of the character from the comics, this had me pissed off that these plot twists were pointless, in my opinion, just like the idea that the Red Room was a floating sky fortress, just the hellicarrier in the Winter Soldier. Dreykov plays a token Russian villain that can be in any movie. But here he is, Taskmaster's father, who weaponized her after the bombing. Which sounds pretty familiar.

But in our case, it has a happy ending. 

I think the biggest issue I have is that they could not stick to the spy movie they wanted to do in the first place. Instead, they began to go back to the Marvel formula, and this is the end result. Don't get me wrong, I had a fun time watching it, and I suggest you watch it as well. But I recommend watching it from the comfort of your home for 30 bucks or go to the theatre. The after-credits scene was what I expected. The new Widow will be in the Hawkeye series coming soon. It's just nice to see an MCU movie again, even if it didn't know what it wanted to be.

Black Widow Final Grade: B-

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Space Jam gets Slammed (A Salty Review)

 ( The following article will contain Lebron Memes)

Space Jam: A New Legacy is an awful movie, so is the original. There I said it, but there was something likable about it. There are things to like about this one as well, but they are very far in between. This movie should have been a Slam dunk, but somehow it was a brick. Yes, I get that it's a family film, and the target audience is kids, but it doesn't have to be poorly written. Lebron James might be the king of the court, but this movie just has him standing in Jordan's shadow.

The movie begins with Lebron James preparing his sons for basketball camp. While his eldest is primed and ready, his middle son Darius isn't interested at all. He is more focused on making a video game that is more along the lines of NBA Jam. Lebron, always being pushed to be the best, tries to use the same tactic on his son to no avail. Meanwhile, at Warner Bros studios, they are preparing to upgrade their streaming service by featuring Lebron James. Digitally adding him to preexisting titles like Game of Thrones, The Matrix, etc., etc. The whole plan was conceived by an A.I. have known as Al G. Rhythm ( algorithm ). Who wants to be famous?

The A.I. played by Don Cheadle. Lebron brings his son to the meeting to hear their pitch. It does not go well; he says that whoever made this is stupid, pissing off the program. Al kidnaps them and puts LeBron in looney toon land on the server verse aka (HBOMAX). He meets a lonely Bugs Bunny who tells him Al convinced the other toons to visit the other worlds like Roadrunner on Fury Road. Lebron wants to get together a new dream team using Superman, The Flash & King Kong, and many others. Bugs naturally want to bring back the tunes. Will they win the game, or will Lebron save Bugs Bunny? …… I don't really care. The movie might be formulaic,

but it's boring.

I'm all for family films, but this isn't good. The server verse, aka (HBOMAX), is an awful version of the Oasis from Ready Player One, ironically another Warner bros movie. I feel like the writers tried to take that premise and make it their own, but it comes off like a cheap knockoff. They both have moments featuring the Iron Giant and King Kong. The jokes fall flat. Kids are more intelligent than this. That's why Mitchells vs. the Machines is such a big hit across the board; the jokes work for everyone. They should have hired writers who work in comedy. Malcolm D Lee has directed great comedies like Girls Trip and Undercover Brother; they both had great comedic writers behind them where Space Jam has Lebron looking.

The best thing about the movie is the visual effects. 

I had to ignore the characters in the background cause the more you look at them, the worse they get. (Side Note: the guys on the right of the goon squad member are from a Clockwork Orange, a group a robbing, killing, raping lunatics, but yall wanna cancel Pepe Le Peu) This time around, the Goon Squad is based on current dominators of the court, male and female.


The Tune squad looks excellent with a C.G. update as well. I like Lolas look. I'm sure Zendaya didn't like the oversexualized design from before. Besides it for the children, right? I understand that this is just supposed to be a merchandising machine. I get that, but damn, spend a few more dollars on a comedic writer. The IMDB for this has six people on it!! If I was Lebron, I would have gone to another team.  

This is a crash and fails on multiple levels that not even a Rick and Morty cameo could save, and trust me, they tried. This movie feels soulless. It's missing something that the original had outside of just jokes. It feels like an extended advertisement for things on HBO MAX. It also feels soulless due to the lack of connection through music. Let's keep it real; one of the biggest draws for the original Space Jam was the soundtrack. "Fly Like an Eagle" by Seal, "Hit em High" with Busta Rhymes, Coolio, and L.L. Cool J, and in the new soundtrack, we have "Goin' Looney with Big Freeda." The new one has Lil uzi, Vert, doing his own version of "pump up the jam," which is okay but pales compared to "Basketball Jones" by Barry White and Chris Rock, a joke record. The artists on the new one are good Lil baby, Lil Wayne, Joyner Lucas, and John legend, but their songs are forgettable.

Meanwhile, people recently stopped having kids sing "I believe I can fly" by R Kelly, and it's not because of the song's quality. On the contrary, it seems like everything this movie did put it directly behind the original in almost every way. But hey, at least Lebron is a better actor.  


They had a decent blueprint, but the execution was its doom. I'm just so thankful it was on HBO MAX (which was literally the villain in the movie!!) cause I would not spend a dime on this film, the only thing it cost me was time, and there are no refunds on that. 

Space Jam: A New Legacy Final Grade : D- 

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