Zach’s Zany FINAL Top 20 Shittiest Films of 2020 (A year that is the epitome of shit)

As Obi-Wan Kenobi would say, “Hello there.” Yes, after a little longer than a month now, I’m back to writing something a bit longer than the little review blurbs that I have been putting out on Facebook and Instagram recently. If you were used to reading my stuff on here and wondering where the hell I’ve been, I’ve been still doing reviews, but on a much smaller scale, two to three sentences, with a number grade of 0 to 10 at the end (have even gone into negative numbers if I truly loathed a film this year). I just got…tired…of saying the same old shit. “Yay,” this movie was good, “boo,” it was bad. No matter what kind of spin I put on my descriptive words, it all boiled down to the same thing. I don’t know why I just stopped, I guess 2020 has finally made me tired after all these years. I also figured I would have a lot more time in my life if I made my thoughts short and simple. If you are bummed about that, I’m sorry…but you can always follow or like my Facebook page, Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews, or you can follow me on Instagram @zachszanymoviereviews. The choice is yours, and I’d be happy to give you a follow back on your business Facebook page or Instagram page if you come randomly give me a follow or like. Fuck Twitter, I got rid of that bullshit two months ago, and I don’t regret it. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. I think two social media options are enough for those that know me. But don’t worry, every once in a while I will come back. Like now. I know this is a little early but I’ve calculated what I have left to watch by New Year’s Eve and I figured it was pretty safe to go ahead and publish this list, as the only handfull of films I have left to watch don’t seem like they are bad enough to be worse than my #20 pick. I will write only a sentence or two of why these particular movies of 2020 are on my hate list, so no need to fret, it isn’t a redo of the 3 to 5 paragraph reviews that just dragged on and on of what I already wrote months ago. So without further ado, without further delay, here are my final top 20 shittiest films of 2020 and why they are a shit cake, covered in a shit frosting year due to COVID, with a shit candle on top with how utterly depressed and moody I’ve been for the past 10 months. Enjoy!

20. YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT

If you’ve ever wondered how bored you could get with a horror movie that happens to star Kevin Bacon, wonder no more. This is it. While Bacon is fine in it, it’s writer/director David Koepp that maybe needs to take a break from film making, as he gave us yet another haunted house/rental house film that manages to stand out in the sea of them in a bad way…by being utterly pointless…with snores galore.

19. MULAN

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Disney. I could end my quick blurb there but I want to put in a word of how utterly stupid it was of Disney to make this film cost $30 premiere access on their + streaming service, and then release it to regular subscribers a mere 3 months later at no extra cost. Stupid. You thought they learned their lesson when they are releasing Soul on Christmas Day for free yet they are going to try it again with Raya And The Last Dragon in March. Shameful. Oh yeah, Mulan kicks a spear mid air with super human strength into a guy’s chest mid way through the film, and then an arrow at the climax. If that makes you scrunch up your face…then I don’t need to say anything more.

18. HUBIE HALLOWEEN

Adam. Sandler. Netflix. Original. Movie. Got it? Good.

17. SECRET SOCIETY OF SECOND BORN ROYALS

Holy shit, this isn’t even worth watching for free on Disney+. Literally the worst thing that has debuted on the platform. It should’ve been buried at 2 am on a Saturday on the Disney channel.

16. KAJILLIONAIRE

I hate movies that are quirky and odd just for the sake of “art.” Artsy fartsy just for the sake of being artsy fartsy. Gets on my fucking nerves. Especially boring ones that by the time the end credits roll make you want to blow your brains out. Evan Rachel Wood’s voice in this will haunt your nightmares.

15. JOHN HENRY

Not even Ludicris’ golden jaw could save this movie with its utterly ridiculous and terrible storyline of protecting strangers that we’ve all seen too many times before, terrible misogynist dialogue, terrible action, and a terrible frowny face Terry Crews who knew exactly what kind of movie he signed up for.

14. INFAMOUS

Bella Thorne is a terrible fucking actress. There, I said it. But if I was single would I sleep with her? That’s a good question. My answer has been on both sides of the fence on that. I know what side of the fence I’m on with this film though: terrible. Used to be at the top of my worst list earlier in the year, but I kept coming back to the fact that it was at least shot well. It’s social media message though is bogged down in unrealistic resolutions…and again, Bella Thorne is fucking terrible in this movie.

13. DANGEROUS LIES

If you ignore everything else about the movie, and just watch Riverdale’s Camila Mendes walk her gorgeous self around mostly an empty house for 96 minutes, you may survive it? Or you could just watch Riverdale, which I haven’t seen but can probably bet that it’s at least 10 times more entertaining than this schlock.

12. FATAL AFFAIR

Another redo of Fatal Attraction, but with African Americans and horribly written dialogue. Nia Long and Omar Epps should be ashamed of themselves for signing up for this shit.

11. FANTASY ISLAND

This had some promise before the movie starting playing, flipping the classic television show on its head by remaking into a horror/thriller with a character twist I didn’t see coming, but the execution is worse than in a butcher shop on a hot day. As I always end up saying, “Better luck next time.”

10. THE PRINCESS SWITCH: SWITCHED AGAIN

Vanessa Hudgens is definitely a better actress than Bella Thorne. But they both have such a slutty presence on their social media pages, I’m also on the fence of whether I would sleep with her or not if single. Maybe as long as I could call her Gabriella during it? Anyway, this is easily the most cash grabby, lazy, pathetic, stupid, and unnecessary sequel of 2020.

9. THE GRUDGE

STOP FUCKING REMAKING HORROR MOVIES (although this was more of a side-quel), DUMPING THEM IN CINEMAS IN JANUARY AND EXPECT THEM TO PERFORM WELL WITH AUDIENCES. THEY DON’T. BECAUSE THEY SUCK SUPERNATURAL BALLS!!!

8. THE SLEEPOVER

Just lazy and stupid kids horseshit that happens to star a couple of recognizable names such as Malin Akerman and Joe Manganiello, where the kids are supposed to be at the forefront of the film, but the celebrities just can’t help themselves and have to make it all about them. This film was so dumb I wanted a plane to crash into my house and land on me as I watched it.

7. THE MAIN EVENT

(see description for #8 but take out the recognizable names and add a WWE family friendly theme)

6. THE LAST DAYS OF AMERICAN CRIME

What was supposed to be a two and a half hour action crime epic, has hardly any action and a ridiculous premise that constantly breaks its own rules that it sets up. It tries to treat us as if we are that stupid, and I LOATHE that shit.

5. THE LAST THING HE WANTED

What was this movie? I still don’t know. Nothing is explained, Ben Affleck and Anne Hathaway look like they want to kill themselves, and it all leads to a dour and undeserved dumb ending that was “supposed” to be shocking and sad. The last thing I wanted was to have ever seen this stupid fucking movie.

4. THE SWING OF THINGS

I watched this specifically for Olivia Culpo. If you don’t know who that is, look her up and you’ll see why. Never again. Worst adult comedy of the year and maybe one of the worst in a decade. The writer/director of this needs to STOP WRITING/DIRECTING and the editor of this needs to STOP EDITING.

3. THE WAR WITH GRANDPA

Basically the kid family friendly comedy equivalent to The Swing Of Things (and the next movie on this list). Just fucking awful. Robert DeNiro, Rob Riggle, Uma Thurman, Laura Marano, Cheech Marin, and Christopher Walken should be ashamed of themselves and refund everybody’s money that paid to go see this utter disaster. In the middle of the pandemic no less.

2. THE WRONG MISSY

Oh, did I speak too soon with saying The Swing Of Things was the worst adult comedy of the year and maybe one of the worst in a decade? Both films are constantly telling the other to hold its beer. I kept switching it back and forth, but the reason why I put The Wrong Missy higher on my shit list, is because there are some friends on Facebook and in person that actually LIKE this movie and LAUGHED during it. That’s offensive to me. So I’m going to say something offensive to even the odds. If you liked The Wrong Missy, you are probably on the spectrum.

  1. THE PROM

I’m going to get some flack for this one, but I really don’t give a shit. Other than the performance of Jo Ellen Pellman (when if you look back at this and study it closely, even though she’s the main subject of the movie, she’s hardly in it), this movie is offensively bad. Meryl Streep is bad. Kerry Washington is bad. Andrew Rennells is bad. Keegan-Michael Key is bad. Nicole Kidman is bad. James Corden is abysmal and I now loathe him as a human being. The musical numbers are terrible, save for one that just features Pellman, which finally had the other celebrities shut the fuck up and not appear at all during it. That’s the problem with this movie. Other than the “you shouldn’t be afraid of who you are, fight for it, especially if you are a homosexual” message of the movie, there is a 2nd almost as big of message….that clearly states “celebrities shouldn’t make good causes about themselves.” YET THE MOVIE STILL MAKES IT ALL ABOUT THE CELEBRITIES AND NOT THE HIGH SCHOOL GIRL WHO IS A LESBIAN THAT IS TRYING TO GO TO HER PROM IN A BIGOTED AND CLOSE MINDED STATE AND TOWN!!! EVEN THE FUCKING POSTER TO THIS MOVIE IS ONLY CELEBRITIES AND DOES NOT FEATURE ACTRESS JO ELLEN PELLMAN!!! This whole film was a terrible ruse, and I feel sorry for anyone out there that related to Jo Ellen Pellman’s character and how scary it can be to come out to everyone you know and/or love. Especially during the dark times of High School. This movie should’ve stayed a stage play. It makes me curious how that would play out if watching it live. I can probably guarantee you, much better than this. Ryan Murphy needs to take a rest and get rid of his smugness. It’s starting to get in the way of his creativity if it hasn’t already. The Prom is a muddled and confusing mess and I’d rather watch any other movie on this list than it again. Despite its good intentions. Which are still in there despite being surrounded by the smelliest and dirtiest shit you have ever had to endure in your life.

P.S. If the year 2020 were an actual movie, which it seems like it was to some, it would definitely take the #1 spot…no question. Fuck you 2020. I hope Donald Trump rapes and butt fucks you when the door hits you both on your way out.

Thanks for reading. – Zach

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: ON THE ROCKS (Apple TV+)

ON THE ROCKS is writer/director Sofia Coppola’s only second movie that I’ve liked and enjoyed, the rest of her filmography, I either haven’t seen, like The Virgin Suicides, or outright loathe, such as the remake of The Beguiled, Somewhere, Marie Antoinette, The Bling Ring, and A Very Murray Christmas. I think Lost In Translation is her true masterpiece that will never be beaten for me, although On The Rocks is still a very decent film with Bill Murray’s best performance since that 2003 gem. The reason why On The Rocks is the only other one of Sofia’s movies that I’ve enjoyed is probably because it is its most mainstream and relatable, her other films being too abstract, boring pieces of artsy fartsy garbage that were made just for the sake of being artsy fartsy and not having any true underlying meanings. IMDB describes this film with the following: “A young mother named Laura, reconnects with her larger-than-life playboy father, named Felix, on an adventure through New York.” That adventure is following her husband, played nice and straight laced for once by overrated comedian Marlon Wayans, because both her and her father think he is cheating on her. During this journey they talk about how Laura used to be fun and not so insecure, how Felix is too secure, why the relationship and marriage with Laura’s mother failed, and how there is still very much love within the family. The movie is very predictable, including the conclusion of whether said husband is cheating on Laura or not, but the chemistry and charm of Jones and Murray is what got me through a quick ninety six minute runtime. Especially the genius of Bill Murray.

Murray will definitely get a nomination, or at least get close to one, for best supporting actor here. He is still Bill Murray, with his improv, dry wit humor, but he does play an actual character here: a concerned and loving father that is too secure with himself leading to his own social issues with women. I wouldn’t be too surprised if most of this movie isn’t scripted, because Murray’s performance always makes it feels like it IS scripted. Trust me, I know that that sentence contradicts itself but that sentence makes more sense than you know if you know Murray’s filmography. He is just really good with words and knows what to say on the fly. Plus his facial expressions are first rate. He made the first Ghostbusters movie what it was. He is and he isn’t playing himself here, and if you give the film a chance you will know exactly what I mean. He’s THAT much in top form here. Even though this movie is ‘The Bill Murray Show’, Rahsida Jones also gives the best performance of her career. So does Marlon Wayans believe it or not, I wish that he would quite writing, directing, and starring in bullshit that makes him look like a attention craving and starving assholes, like A Haunted House or Netflix’s Sextuplets. He’s better than that, and this movie proves it. Combine these performances with some of the best Sofia Coppola dialogue since Lost In Translation and you got yourself a good movie here, although it won’t be nominated for much else Award Season wise beyond Murray and it won’t be on my top twenty films of 2020 list. But I’d watch it again soon, along with Lost In Translation, just to hold me over until next summer where Bill Murray finally returns to the franchise (canon wise, that cameo in the 2016 piece of garbage doesn’t count) that permanently stuck him to the map that Saturday Night Live put him on. Sofia Coppola’s career isn’t so rocky for me anymore, hope she keeps it up from here.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: GREYHOUND (Apple TV+)

Even though I’m a huge fan of Star Wars The Last Jedi, when describing Apple TV+’s new original film GREYHOUND to my friends, who commented that the 1 hr and 23 minute runtime was “a little short” for a World War II sea battle movie, I had to make a slight joke toward 2017’s very divisive franchise film. I told them, “it’s basically only the chase parts in The Last Jedi, but with shit actually going down.” To describe it for those who haven’t seen or refuse to see The Last Jedi, Greyhound is almost 90 minutes of Tom Hanks going around his battle boat, which is the lead in an Allied convoy trying to bring food and supplies to the British during World War II, and barking commands and orders to try to defend and fight against Nazi U-Boat wolf packs. That’s all it is. There is no character development, there are no long, dragging scenes of little moments between the crew to try and humanize them, no long uplifting speeches from Hanks before the climax of the film, you don’t see any of the Nazi’s in the flesh. It’s simply a “we got to take this important food and shit from point A to point B without being killed by Hitler’s goons, short, sea battle chase” movie. Oh, and there is a overused joke of Hanks being so busy he never ends up eating the meals that are brought to him. That’s it. That’s all you need to know.

This movie was made for the theater, especially with its loud war action designed to make you rumble in your seat and almost destroy your ear drums. It was even supposed to come out the week before Father’s Day weekend. Alas, COVID-19 said to Tom Hanks, “fuck you, I’m going to make you and your wife sick, and then I’m making the film that you wrote and acted in go straight to streaming.” If anyone has gotten the shaft other than those that have gotten sick and died, and the families of those victims by this butt fucking cock sucking virus, it is definitely Tom Hanks. There is a short scene between Tom Hanks and Elizabeth Shue near the beginning of him saying they’ll get married when he gets back, designed to show how war is tragic and separates loved ones, but then this film is off to the races and never really lets up until Hanks and his crew successfully or unsuccessfully make the journey. Other than the sea, missiles, boat action, what have you being completely CGI (don’t worry, it looks impressive), the movie was filmed on an actual boat, the USS Kidd in Baton Rouge. Which is good because it made the claustrophobic atmosphere of the tight quarters seem real and anybody who is anybody wouldn’t have believed for a second if it had been a studio stage made up to look like a real navy ship.

The action of the film, which is basically the whole run time, is very intense, and the climax is very well done and tight, where it comes down to Tom Hands and two U-Boats surrounding the USS Greyhound, firing missiles and then just straight coming at ’em. Hanks can act his way out of a paper bag so no problems in that area whatsoever. Hanks also wrote the screenplay, based on the novel The Good Shepherd by C.S. Forester, and even though I was never in any part of the Navy, all the lingo and orders he commands to his crew sounded legit and well researched. The director, Aaron Schneider, directed one other feature length film, called Get Low that I have seen but don’t quite remember being all that memorable. He does a good job here, his work on 1998’s squid monster movie Deep Rising giving him the most experience to be able to direct a sea war adventure. The film is a solid, decent one time watch. Nothing more, nothing less. Unfortunately its forced premiere into being an Apple TV Plus exclusive instead of the theater because of COVID-19 might be the ultimate nail in the film’s memorable re-watchablility coffin. Then that coffin will have a burial at sea…a sea filled with so much streaming content right now, it will probably be “lost in time…like tears…in rain.”

Zach’s Zany TV Binge Watchin’ Reviews: Finishing Out Some TV Seasons & Series (10 different one paragraph reviews)

Hey everyone, Zach here, instead of giving you one to two reviews a day and dragging out all my thoughts and opinions through the whole COVID-19 piece of shit summer we are going to have, making you eventually sick of reading my shit, I’ve decided to write one big segment that consists of short and quick one paragraph opinions on a bunch of television seasons (and sometimes series) that ended in 2020. These were mostly not binge-able until now because most of these were episodes that were released on the old fashioned weekly basis (with the exception of Mythic Quest, that came out when I don’t normally do many TV Binge watchin’ reviews and where COVID-19 wasn’t then an issue.) So here are 9 quick reviews on 9 series that ended in 2020 that I didn’t get a chance to chime in on:

THE GOOD PLACE SEASON 4 (SERIES ENDING) (NBC)

THE GOOD PLACE had a great first two seasons (especially the incredible twist at the end of the first season, that I will not ruin here at all) but the last two struggled to find enough storytelling worth a whole two last seasons (although they both had some great moments). The series finale was damn near perfect though. With only 50 episodes, great characters, and a fantastic performance from Ted Danson, this is easily binge-able and enjoyable. Just expect every season after the first to decline a tad in terms of originality and quality. At least it didn’t quite overstay its welcome.

THE WALKING DEAD SEASON 10 (AMC)

The Walking Dead in general has been a roller coaster of entertainment value. The first season is masterful, I did not like the farm based second season, but everything picked back up and was excellent for seasons 3, 4, 5, and 6. Then when Negan, one of the best villains ever to come across our television screens, and one of the best redemption arcs so far on the show, kills two main characters in an over hyped season 7 premiere, the show lost it’s touch for that and season 8 where it killed off Carl for no damn reason. Total snooze fest. Season 9 and 10, mainly dealing with a whole new world, Rick leaving the series and the whisperers has been getting a tad better (just a tad though), but nothing as fantastic as 3, 4, 5, and 6. Unfortunately if you want to binge this you’d have to pay attention to everything that is going on, and in the later seasons you might start to nod off. Might I suggest watching until Rick leaves the show? It was a perfect send off and you don’t need to watch the rest. I just don’t want to quit it now while I’m this far in, especially when I have the sneaking suspicion that 11 or 12 might be its last ride. Oh, and Walking Dead didn’t even finish the season finale post production in time before COVID-19 fucked us all, so it kind of ended right in the middle of a giant cliff hanger. Hopefully the last episode, set to be released later this year, makes up for the absence (although I doubt it). And no, I don’t watch the spin off shows. Fear’s first season was the worst spin off season I’ve ever seen for a television series. So no, not gonna do that.

MODERN FAMILY SEASON 11 (SERIES ENDING) (ABC)

Modern Family had a fantastic 6 or 7 seasons since the premiere but then the last four have just really been going through the motions to get to the pretty damn decent series finale. SEASON 11, like 8, 9, and 10 before it, also goes through the motions until the last couple of episodes. Perfect binge for the first 6 to 7 seasons if you are want to actually pay attention, the last four can be played in the background though and then attention should be picked back up for the finale.

MYTHIC QUEST: RAVEN’S BANQUET SEASON 1 (Apple TV +)

If you bought and only if you bought a new Apple product recently and got a free Apple TV+ subscription for a year would I recommend binge watching this series. Not to say it isn’t good, I really enjoyed it. It’s like a work place office comedy (kind of like The Office) except it isn’t documentary style, there are no confessions to the cameras, but add in more crude humor and language and there you have it. The pilot is okay, but then episode 2 is hilarious and each episode only gets better until the very end. With only ten episodes, its a quick and very easy enjoyable binge watch. It’s from the creators of It’s Always Sunny In Philedelphia, with Mac and Rickety Cricket, except they play entirely different, more sympathetic characters, and some of the episodes are even co written by Mac and Charlie. It’s about the launch of an expansion to a popular MMORPG game, and the crazy shit that happens behind the scenes. I loved it a little to be honest. The only reason why I’m saying only watch it is if you have free Apple TV+ is because it isn’t worth getting a paid subscription to only watch this show. Well…I guess if you can pay for a month and get through all 10 episodes in good time, and then find something else maybe exclusive to watch, like The Morning Show, it may be worth it for just a month. Not for me though, fuck all this streaming subscription shit, it is getting very tiresome.

SUPERSTORE SEASON 5 (NBC)

Superstore had a great first three seasons. Season 4 was meh, and season 5 was meh. The funniest parts of the show is when it deals with weird customer stuff we sometimes see in big department chain stores like Wal-Mart and Target all the time. It stops being funny when the show gets too bogged down in its relationships and the talks of organizing a union for Cloud 9 get very tiresome. Binge the first three seasons and pay attention, the 4th and this current one (that also had to end early because of COVID-Buttfucking-19) can be aired in the background and you wouldn’t miss much. Colton Dunn as Garrett has been the MVP for every season thus far though.

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE SEASON 7 (NBC)

Brooklyn Nine-Nine has always been solid. Every season. You can actually pay attention to it and laugh or have it on in the background and still laugh. It’s always been a zany fun series that hits about 90-95% of its jokes every time. Every cast member on there is brilliant (although Andy Samberg is still Andy Samberg, he uses his one note goofy talents to his advantage in this series), but Andre Braugher has been robbed of an Emmy multiple times for his supporting role as Captain Holt. Maybe this is his year as he’s had multiple spotlight stealing moments this year, more than the past couple of seasons combined? Season 7 is fantastic. And while I will say it was better than last season (I would probably argue that Season 6 might be my least favorite even though they are all solid to me), when it transitions from Fox to NBC because Fox didn’t want to give it another chance, the show found it’s footing yet again and is still masterfully smart and funny. It was a smart move keeping it to only 13 episodes a season now. Always keep them wanting more. They are renewed for Season 8, and I’m figuring it’s probably its last due to its ratings, but man if they can keep this momentum and go out on top, we’re in for a truly special final season (if cancelled).

FAMILY GUY SEASON 18 (FOX)

Family Guy has always been 50% hit jokes and 50% miss jokes. Those figures fluctuate a little each season but not by much. Season 18 is no different. Some of the ones that hit can make or break the episode. This is the perfect binge series since there are a shit ton of episodes, but more of a “on in the background” binge than actually paying attention to it. It’s always nice though hearing all of Seth McFarlane’s voice acting. There’s just something about him…

CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM SEASON 10 (HBO)

You never know when you are going to get a new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Season 8 ended in 2011 and then Season 9 premiered in 2017, and then Season 10 just ended 2020. Until Season 8 there had never been more than a two year gap in between seasons. Honestly it is just whenever creator Larry David feels like he has some material that he can do a full ten episodes with. Season 9 was funny but stumbled a bit in its execution, but I’m happy to say that Season 10 was a giant step forward back to the fantastic early seasons of yore (3 and 4 to be exact). I laughed hard every single episode this season. To me, Curb Your Enthusiasm makes it seem like Seinfeld never ever left the air. It’s an extension because Larry David, creator of both shows, explores similar things of being a show about “nothing” and complaining about the little things in life all the way through. If you are a Seinfeld fan and haven’t watched one episode of this series shame on you. Do it immediately, if you’ve never watched either, binge Seinfeld first and then binge this. An excellent one two binge punch for what will probably be a very boring COVID-19 fear summer.

THE OUTSIDER SEASON 1 (HBO)

The reason I decided to watch The Outsider because a couple of years ago Stephen King’s novel was first release, and I read it very fast and mostly loved it, except for the anti-climatic ending. The series is okay, but unfortunately it stretches all the material in the book, and adds a few other things, for far too long. This was a ten episode first season (for people that are saying it couldn’t have a second season, if you read the Holly Gibney short 200 page story in King’s new collection of novellas, If It Bleeds, then you can see how they could milk this show for all its worth). This really should’ve been only 6 to 8 episodes. Some of the material is stretched wayyyy too thin. This honestly could’ve been an incredible 2 hr and 15 minute movie. And just like the ending to the book, the ending to the show is a bit anti-climatic as well. Will watch if there is a second season, but kind of hoping there isn’t one. I would recommend reading the novel and skipping the series altogether. And the fact that it doesn’t connect Holly Gibney to her previous adventures with Bill Hodges in the Hodges trilogy of Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers, and End of Watch was a damn shame. Not even a hint. Again, just read the book.

PARKS AND RECREATION CHARITY SPECIAL

Finaly a couple of quick thoughts of that special charity PARKS AND RECREATION episode that aired last week. If there was no COVID-19, we never would’ve gotten this episode, which honestly, it could’ve gone either way. All the actors in real life are sheltering in place, so the story line (that thankfully doesn’t break any canon the show established in its main series run) deals with COVID-19 becoming canon for that television universe and Leslie Knope is a little sad and depressed trying to keep in contact with her co-workers and friends throughout this very tough time. I liked that everyone that were main players on the series show up. It would’ve been glaringly obvious if there was a major no show. And the story line was, I guess fine, it had its charming moments (mainly callback to better moments in the main series) but the parts that really stole the quick 22 minute special were the fake commercials with Jean Ralphio and Counselman Jamm and Dennis Feinstein. Especially the Dennis Feinstein cologne commercial. That was fucking brilliant. So while it was nice we got one more adventure with Knope and co. and the episode didn’t manage to tarnish the main series, it wasn’t really necessary to revisit the characters in the end and I hope they don’t try and reboot the series. But hey, it raised $3 million dollars for charity during this virus crisis so what the fuck do I know, right?

Special #11 (I basically forgot and updated this post…): RAY DONOVAN SEASON 7 (SERIES ENDING?)

The reason why I put a question mark on Series Ending for Ray Donovan Season 7 is that even though it was just recently cancelled on Showtime (resulting in the series ending on a very frustrating and depressing cliffhanger), there have been talks by the show runner doing a final season or TV movie to wrap up everything on Showtime or shop it to a different Network. The first four seasons of Ray Donovan are incredibly great. Season 5 is easily the worst for spoiler-y reasons I won’t divulge, season 6 is a little better but then the last season was kind of ho-hum, especially after that downer ending. I recommend binge watching the first four seasons, stop there, and pretend that the end of season 4 was the end of the show. Kind of like how I recommend you stop watching Showtime’s Dexter after season 5 and pretend it ended there. It pretty much has an ending at that point so no harm and no foul not completing the rest. Liev Schrieber is amazing to watch a a fixer for the Hollywood elite. But this is one show that definitely overstayed its welcome, and it was do to the fact that Ray’s family got away clean too much.

Extra Special #12 (again, I can’t believe I forgot this one): MCMILLION$ (HBO)

If you haven’t watched this documentary yet on the “detailed account of the McDonald’s Monopoly game scam during the 1990s as told by the participants in the case, including the prizewinners and the FBI agents involved” per IMDB yet, you don’t know what you are missing. It was absolutely astonishing that these people stealing the Monopoly game pieces were able to get away with it for that long and that just a memo on some FBI agents desk unraveled the whole thing. A lot of the people involved in the scam are interviewed and their stories are astonishing. It saves how the main perpetrator was able to steal the game pieces in the last episode of the 6 episode docu-series, and rightfully so, as your jaw with already be agape with what all came after, then once you find out, through the floor and into the Earth. There is one colorful FBI agent you are going to laugh along with and maybe even feel sorry for some of the people reluctantly brought into the scam, but it is a fantastic little one off series that should be turned into a feature length movie. There is enough material that can be condensed to easily do it, a two hour kind of thing. My only complaint: the series was a little too long and got a little tedious by the end, it could’ve been easily chopped down to 3 to 4 episodes. But still a wild ride that might make you want to actually eat McDonald’s while you watch. I know I did.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: THE BANKER (Apple TV+)

Two Avengers & an X-Men walk into a bank…I can already guess right now that more than 80% of you that read my reviews probably don’t have Apple TV+. I see their streaming service being closed after another year or two of content that doesn’t peak any one’s interest. Eh…make that 95% of you that read my reviews probably don’t have it. Even Apple is freaking out because many people that have bought a new Apple product aren’t taking them up on signing up for the service for a year for free. The only reason I have Apple TV+ is because I got a new iPhone back in December. I bet some of you didn’t even know that and have bought a new Apple product. It has (I guess, I don’t watch it) The Morning Show that stars Jennifer Aniston, it has Mythic Quest Raven’s Banquet series that was created by the It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (which I did watch all of and its the best thing the streaming service has to offer) and now it has this new original movie THE BANKER, starring Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie, and Nicholas Hoult. It has other shit, like a Jason Mamoa TV series called…See…or something like that, but it all looks like drivel to me. Now while it took about 20 minutes to really get going (out of a two hour runtime), The Banker is really quite good. And where I was thinking I’d have nothing to review for awhile, thank the Movie God’s I was wrong.

THE BANKER has a very interesting true story premise, borrowing the simple tag line on IMDB: “In the 1960s two African-American entrepreneurs hire a working-class white man to pretend to be the head of their business empire while they pose as a janitor and chauffeur.” Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson are the two entrepreneurs and Nicholas Hoult plays the working-class white man. Their business empire consists of being two of the first African American bankers in the United States. They start off by buying and owning buildings that these banks are in, that won’t give them the time of day when they need it, and then eventually sliding directly into banking itself, all while having this white man, who is not racist and considers them friends, be the face of the company. Because no one would take them seriously in the first place…because look at what unfortunate time period they were stuck in. And they also do some of their main business in Texas at the time…yikes. Anyway, like I said earlier, the movie starts off a little slow with Anthony Mackie as a genius, but again, white people judge him by the color of his skin so won’t take him seriously, but about 20 minutes in, after Mackie has met Jackson’s character and they get Nicholas Hoult involved in their scheme and try to groom him so that he can walk the walk and talk the talk, the movie gets extremely entertaining and fun.

Do yourself a favor and don’t do any research on what happened to any of the characters. I didn’t and enjoyed the movie much more that I didn’t know what was going to happen in the end. The movie is funny, entertaining, smart, and moving at times. I liked that it didn’t treat the audience like they were morons and didn’t try to explain every single thing about the math in their business or what terms meant. You either know what they are talking about or you Google it if you want to understand. Tired of movies spoon feeding information to their audience, and it seems like writer/director George Nolfi (Ocean’s Twelve, Adjustment Bureau) knew that and decided we didn’t need hand holding. I’m glad he did, as I was looking up terms left and right, trying AND wanting to understand more of what these characters were doing math and money wise. The movie is of course superbly acted. Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson do a great job as they usually do, Nia Long has a good small part as Mackie’s wife, but the scene stealer here is Nicholas Hoult, especially the grooming and conning other white men (in a way) scenes. I think this is Apple TV+’s first original movie that they bought. If they were to keep bulking up the screening service with more films of the quality and many more interesting TV shows other than Mystic Quest, they might be able to survive. Hence the word might, you can take that to the bank.