Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire – A Review

[Editor’s Note: Spoiler rich, as per usual]

This was bound to happen.

Despite how much I fucking hated Afterlife, it made enough money to warrant a sequel. Yet again, I was on the wrong side of history.

The trailer came out and I was highly whelmed.

My biggest takeaway was at least it wasn’t Gozer or Vigo…. hopefully. New villain…Ill take new villain.

To say I didn’t expect much was an understatement. Jason Reitman seems intent on just completely brutalizing his dad’s legacy, and getting the guy who directed the Poltergeist remake wasn’t going to help matters.

.I went into it expecting less than nothing.

And I got that, in the weirdest fucking way possible.

not good

Ok lets start with what is good here. Art design is not bad. Instead of filming in the firehouse in LA (where the interiors previously were shot), they just rebuilt the whole fucker on a soundstage…and they did a real good job with it.

The big bad actually looks good and has itself a decent little backstory. Ice God from back in the day pissed at the world. I’m fine with it.

Ernie Hudson actually showed up and did some ACTING.

Alright, thats all the praise. Lets get to the shit.

This fucking movie feels like 5 movies stuffed into two hours. I actually told a friend of mine it was two hours 45 min… I was SHOCKED when I saw we were at a 2 hour runtime.

I cant tell if the screenwriters were having an argument with each other, or if this was supposed to be a TV show, or what the hell it is. We have Altman level of new characters and sets here. And none of them fully developed. This movie is an overstuffed poboy of mediocre writing, acting and directing. It’s like the pitch was “What if we did Torchwood, Lockwood & Co, an episode of The Real Ghostbusters, and topped that off with like Knight Rider level dialogue.”

Its a mess with no defined direction.

Oh and the fucking score. Why cant they get a different score? Don’t get me wrong, I love Elmer Bernstein’s original Ghostbusters score, but we GOT to be able to do something different. This is the 2nd movie in a row that begins with the same fucking theme hit from the original Ghostbusters movie. Do better.

And also, it really feels like no one but Ernie Hudson and maybe Dan Aykroyd really wanted to be there. We have a lot of low-key, unenergized performances across the board. Like, I am used to Bill Murray not wanting to be there, but one would think Paul Rudd could show up for this one.

The script just cant commit to anything. We have this whole research center they developed but it only shows up in a scene or two. McKenna Grace has a relationship with a ghost but that falls on its face. The family is in a fight with the William Atherton who some how left the EPA and is now the mayor.

Neither the screenwriter or the director could make me care.

The ending feels like an ending to an episode of The Real Ghostbusters. It just ends and stay tuned for next week.

It’s an offering of fucking boring on a plate of why did a buy a theater ticket to see this.

BUT, they didn’t fucking rape the corpse of Harold Ramis this time, so its better than afterlife.

1.5/4 – Boring. Do better. I mean I don’t know if this will make enough money to do anything with it. I would rather just see it go with the time. But something tells me Sony wont let it go. We will see.

Invincible Shield – A Review

Judas Priest feels like they have been there since the dawn of metal, which is of course the dawn of man. However, they seem to have this uncanny knack of figuring out what a better version of themselves fit for the times is like, without compromising what made them great in the first place.

They did it in the 80s with their immortal classic Screaming for Vengeance, the 90s with another fucking classic, Painkiller, and out of fucking nowhere, they released one of the best metal albums of the 2010s with Firepower, that even caught fantano by surprise.

And now we have, Invincible Shield, an album that I picked up in the same way I picked up Firepower. I still got some metal friends…and you start to hear those murmurings… “Priest got a new album comin…” “You should check out the single man….its fuckin great…”

So, I got it.

And of course they fucking did it.

That was the single leading into the album, and right there you are like…holy shit they still got it. Nice 80s synth lead straight into the ass kicking. How the fuck does Rob Halford still sound this good? How can they make metal this good? I know they got some young blood (54, young for these cats) in there now, but holy shit…

I mean it sounds like a 2020s Priest album. And again, you may be thinking to yourself, “Yeah this track is good, but it cant keep going.” Panic Attack is the album opener. Here’s the next track you are hit with.

Oh yeah, they got it.

The album is fucking old school metal album of ass kickers. We got some shit kicking fucking tracks here. Like I know Sneap put life in here, but how does this band sound THIS young. High energy. Writing fucking metal-ass metal lyrics about demons, dragons, myths & legends, selling your soul, etc.

Just about every track on this album sounds like something that would make Beavis & Butthead go “YES” and start headbanging the second it started playing.

It’s a fucking metal album. Don’t have to make no pretense about it. No bullshit. No excuses.

The weakest part of the record is the fact that it is a full hour. Every album these days suffers from the Taylor Swift syndrome of shoving every fucking track you made on the record. But even the weak stuff on this album is strong.

Check this out. I think this is the weakest song on the album.

So, it starts off generic. A little bland. Feels almost like a 90s era Ozzy record. Then, fucking 3:02 in, you get a fucking sweet ass guitar solo with all those nice fucking riff work touches.

Just when you are out they pull you back in.

Really this is the album’s only major fault. Otherwise, if you want a fucking metal album to kick ass and drive you into the sun, you got it right here.

And now, my favorite track on the record.

How are they still making fucking great ass kicking music. Guaranteed background track of future gaming hours. Great shit.

3.5/4 – You cut a few of those weaker tracks. Move the bomb solos to other songs, and you got an all time masterpiece to stand up with the rest of Judas Priest’s masterpieces. As it stands now, best metal album I’ve heard so far this year and a contender to album of the year.

Kick. Ass.

True Detective: Night Country – A Review

This was bound to happen. I have already extolled the virtues of the first season of this show, and I have seen every season since.

Quick thoughts on the other ones, Season 2 was a trainwreck filled with half good ideas, some decent performances, and a whole lot of random ass acts of smart people writing. Season 3 was much more toned down, digestible, and also too long.

Neither of those two lived up to the glory of that first run. In fact, I would say that the first season should have been its own thing and that’s it.

Enter Night Country, what is basically a full reset in development. Nick Pizz is out, and enter Issa López, a filmmaker known for making a bunch of horror/thriller titles.

But thats not what is really new here. In the build up to this show, the marketing department really leaned in hard on it connecting back to the first season.

So, naturally, I am thinking…how the fuck are they going to manage that…Nick Pizz couldn’t even manage it. They must have something decent cooked up.

They didn’t.

I want to start by side stepping yet another Great Internet Fight happening over this show. A ton of people are pissed that this thing sort of mooched on Season 1’s quoted quotables to basically promote something that has nothing to do with that, while Max celebrates the ratings. Big time.

Lets just skip all that.

Let’s focus on what it is. Issa Lopez had a movie idea that she pitched to HBO, and they were the ones to told her to True Detective it up.

With that in mind, everything else makes sense.

This is a six episode show that should have been a two hour movie with more time cooking around the ending. Instead you have six episodes where the only detecting occurs in the first and last, and alot of like…weak character building in the middle.

Writing a TV show takes a separate skillset from a movie, and those skills aren’t working.

Ok, so what does work. The show LOOKS great. Substituting Iceland for Alaska worked enough for this. Cinematography is spot on.

I actually think the performances are not bad, probably because they casted the shit out of the show.

And honestly thats what helps the show float along….

What doesn’t work, the fucking script…it’s just disjointed… you are stuck in an incompetent police department trying to investigate a 5-6 person homicide and its just 5 episodes of hanging around incompetence. It’s not even in an interesting or a fun way. Its just boring.

And I get that the text here is talking about how we (Americans) abuse native communities. Totally agree, but that can be and has been done in more interesting ways. Reservation Dogs covers that in a much better way every week.

Actually I want to give a shout out to Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner. I kept thinking about that movie as I was watching this show. Its not supernatural or a detective thing. But its the last time I saw artic-adjacent areas filmed so well. And also a native story, but Inuit this time. A much better experience if you are into these kind of big landscapes and want to hear Inuit folk legends.

What I am getting at is do not settle for substandard writing and narrative. Always consume the good stuff and leave mediocrity behind. This show does none of those parties any kind of service, and the ending is the worst kind of uncreative play on these themes.

The show does a terrible job of conveying any type of emotion besides anger so we don’t get to connect as an audience to anyone on the screen. You are supposed to just accept things as they happen, and that’s not how writing works.

One last thing I want to cover is the little tropes that clearly the showrunner loves that just fucking pisses me off. For example, Issa loves her fucking unearned jump scare. Loves it. Just the laziest, people pointing at the screen coming into frame from a swish pan and a music sting hits.

I mean like 2-5 an episode. It’s stupid and it sucks every time.

Can we also kill the trend of having a slowed down moody version of a pop song? This one features the Beatles’ version of Twist and Shout done like 5 different ways. Acoustic. Chopped and Screwed as if it was done by DJ Screw himself.

Stop it. It doesn’t help, and it is not profound.

1.5/4 – This could have been done well. This show/movie could have been at least 3/4 if not higher. Strip the True Detective shit out, let the script cook for a bit longer, keep the same cast and location, and you got a stew going.

As it stands now, its just…forgettable. And that’s a damn shame.

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