Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: BUFFALOED

BUFFALOED came out earlier this year, right before coronavirus as a rental, but I bid my time and waited for it to come to a streaming service I currently have, and lo and behold, Hulu just got it. I’ve wanted to see it because Zoey Deutch is in it, the daughter of Back To The Future’s Lea Thompson, and no matter how crappy or sappy the project that Ms. Deutch is in, she always…ALWAYS livens it up. Not to mention she is nice to look at and I happen to have her autograph on a theatrical poster of a different movie. Whether it be the meh Flower film that came out a bit ago or that cliched yet sort of fun Netflix rom com Set It Up, she always seems like she wants to be there and always brings her A game. I’ve been hoping that a really good and better than mediocre movie showcasing her talents would come along one day and Buffaloed…is it but just barely. Got in there at literally the last minute. Not to say that Buffaloed is only okay, no it’s really good it just needed to be a little bit longer to showcase the movies subject matter a little bit deeper. Speaking of subject matter, per IMDB, it’s log line summary for Buffaloed is as follows: “Set in the underworld of debt-collecting and follows the homegrown hustler Peg Dahl, who will do anything to escape Buffalo, NY.” Obviously Zoey Deutch plays Peg Dahl and her amazingly tense fun and bonkers performance makes Buffaloed better than it has any right to be.

The movie’s conclusion is a little ham-fisted in that what all preceded it was a little one sided, and I wish it would’ve gone into some of the fictional lives/characters who were in debt that this fictional agency was calling to get money from. Instead those lives that the movie could’ve delved into, maybe make the film 10 to 15 minutes longer and tighter, are relegated to a few lines of dialogue. When the end-end of the movie happens, it didn’t quite feel earned altogether, even if it was earned for Deutch’s character arc. And Zoey Deutch isn’t the only great performance in this. Come for her, but stay for both her and Jai Courtney, who kind of got shafted several years ago career wise when he tried his hand into the franchise fizzled reboot/sequels such as the ‘meh’ A Good Day To Die Hard and the awful…abysmal Terminator Genisys. He showed a spark as Captain Boomerang in Suicide Squad, especially with how little his character is actually in that movie, but the spark is a full on flame here. His greasy, scheme wise asshole debt collector character almost steals scenes out from under Ms. Deutch. But only almost. She’s the true star of this movie and the main reason I’m recommending this film to you. Jai second, comedy third, story fourth. And the film has a nice and short run time of only an hour and 34 minutes, which you can’t really beat that nowadays, everything else being so epic and all. But like I said, another 10 minutes could’ve made the film tighter even if it made it a little longer. So if you have Hulu or are willing to shell out a couple of bucks for a rental if this whole thing sounds intriguing, I recommend giving this film a go. If you are looking at a deep dive into the inner workings of a debt collection agency, this film will give you a few pointers but ultimately it will be up to you to do more research.


Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: THE BINGE (Hulu)

THE BINGE is almost literally the same movie as Good Boys…but On Drugs. But don’t worry, the kids are 18 in this, and considering the year this takes place in, I’m surprised that they didn’t just use the characters from that movie and have that be the title of the sequel.The Binge is also a sort of, semi-parody of The Purge movies, described so eloquently in IMDB’s log line for the film: “Set in a time where all drugs and alcohol are illegal, the only day anyone can participate in the “fun” is on Binge day.” The year is 2032, where teenagers that just hit 18 don’t even know what a keg stand is anymore. You’d think maybe it should’ve been ten more years into the future (2042) for that notion to be believable, but believe me when I tell you this, to enjoy this movie, completely leave all logic and reasoning at the door before you hit PLAY. This is a teen comedy if there ever was one. There are drug jokes, dick jokes, sex jokes, crude humor up the wazoo, almost as bad if not worse of the amount there was in Good Boys. Other than The Purge angle, this movie is completely unoriginal. It’s about three friends, one who wants to ask his school Principal’s daughter (who he’s known since he was a kid) to prom. One of them just wants to go to this annual Binge party, take place in a competition there called The Gauntlet, and have sex with one of the hottest girls in school. The last one is that token weirdo that says random ass shit with dead pan delivery we’ve come accustomed to in films like this. You HAVE to watch this movie in a good mood (or at least be able to want to be in a good mood), because if you do, like I did, you are going to have a fantastic and hilarious time. If you aren’t in a good mood and don’t want to have a fantastic time, like most regular critics are with the film, you are just going to rip it a new asshole in terms of originality and the fact that the movie doesn’t do nearly enough to develop how a day like this might really play out in the real world. At least today, I don’t care how unoriginal this film was and we are living in a country that doesn’t give two fucks what it does during a pandemic right now, so I certainly don’t want to watch something that is eerily reminiscent of what we are going through. I just wanted to laugh and I haven’t laughed this hard since last month’s Palm Springs. To conclude this introductory paragraph, Hulu is KILLING IT this year with original movies. I just put The Binge on my top 20 list, and along with Palm Springs, I don’t think I see a Netflix film on there. That’s saying something.

Two out of the three friends are from the recent movie Booksmart, and the main main protagonist Griffin, you might recognize as Skylar Gizondo. He stole the show in Booksmart but really stole every scene in Netflix’s great original series that was cancelled too early, Santa Clarita Diet. He plays it straight here…until he’s on drugs and alcohol. The other two teenagers, played by Dexter Darden and Eduardo Franco, get their moments to shine and made me laugh constantly. Speaking of playing it straight, Vince Vaughn is in this and he plays the school’s principal and the father of the girl that Griffin wants to ask to prom. Mr. Vaughn, even though being the ‘and’ in the opening credits, is in this much more than you initially probably think he would be. At first Vaughn plays the typical stuck up father old man role that hates the annual Binge night (although still with that stinging classic improv from him that makes you do several double takes to understand what just came out of his mouth), but as every minute of the movie ticks by, and the more scenes he is in, the Wedding Crasher comes out of him, and by the end of it he ends up being the funniest he’s ever been since that classic 2005 film. It’s just a really funny fucking movie. There is so much random shit in it, such as really funny auto-correct texting jokes, a giant bar multi-person bicycle, and cocaine in a cow’s eyeball that, for an hour and 38 minutes, made me forget about these shitty times the whole world is going through. I didn’t expect a masterpiece. Sure, you are going to have to suspend your believe in how much drugs and alcohol some of the lead characters do and somehow they still A. survive and B. seem sober the next minute. Especially involving one part of The Gauntlet competition where you have to snort as much cocaine as you can and when you aren’t snorting you have to do an Al Pacino Scarface impression. Yeah, I shit you not, that is in this movie. There is even an end of second act random drug trip lovely musical sequence. The film right now is doing TERRIBLE critically, it’s 22% on Rotten Tomatoes. This is one time where I completely disagree with the critics. They are especially being too harsh on the film, and you can tell all of them completely brought their brain into the mix when they hit the PLAY button. They are calling it irresponsible, inate, and wasted potential. I have a feeling that some of these critics just can’t be put into a good mood right now. I understand. But you have to WANT to be in a good mood to enjoy a film like this. And trust me, with 2020, every minute I want to binge on a high of good moods.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: PALM SPRINGS (Hulu)

Groundhog Day is the blueprint that all other “same day/time loop” films jump off of, correct? Asking for a friend. But being truthful, it really is. I can’t think of another time loop project that came out before Groundhog Day (upon doing some research, I found one short film and one television film that explored this concept briefly, but Groundhog Day was really the first theatrical endeavor). And all the other ones that came after, whether it be Before I Fall, Source Code, Happy Death Day among many others, only maybe Source Code has come even close to at least matching the masterful 1993 Bill Murray/Harold Ramis comedy. PALM SPRINGS just beat Source Code for me and is only a hair below Groundhog Day now. It is also now the best film of 2020 for me as well, as I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a straight to streaming title this much…since…well…EVER. It is a near perfect movie, with great set ups that provide great pay offs, huge laughs, incredible performances, and one hell of a tight 90 minute structure that I could’ve watched about an hour more of. I completely fell for this world and everything in it and know that in the future I will be watching Palm Springs over, and over, and over, and over again. I think repeat viewings will solidify how perfectly constructed this film is from start to finish. And it is likely to put a giant grin on your face, which is especially nice considering 2020 has been a total asshole to the entire world.

Per IMDB, it describes Palm Springs as: “When carefree Nyles and reluctant maid of honor Sarah have a chance encounter at a Palm Springs wedding, things get complicated as they are unable to escape the venue, themselves, or each other.” If you’ve seen any marketing for this movie, you’ll know that the “unable to escape” part is the time loop twist the story has where several individuals are reliving the same day over and over again. It’s not really even a spoiler at this point anymore because this film has been talked about so much (but the ending has not been so SHHHHH, please don’t ruin it for anyone else!). Before you start to write this off as just another “time loop” movie that has been done to death, this one is unique in that it has more than one person stuck in this time loop. So the movie explores much more territory than Groundhogs Day did and digs deeper into the relationship between two (maybe even three) people. Yes, it did explore Bill Murray’s relationship with Andie McDowell in Groundhog Day, but it was more one sided, as she had no clue that a time loop was even occurring. Andy Samberg isn’t just Andy Samberg in this movie, he actually plays much more than just another Jake Peralta/Brooklyn Nine-Nine type (although that role on television will never get old for me). This is easily a career best performance from him, as it is also for Cristin Milioti, who has come such a long way from being what would end up being the **spoiler alert for something different** disposable mother character on the sitcome How I Met Your Mother.

J.K. Simmons is also in this film, but the less that is said about his character, the better. Experience that boat load of fun on your own. But like I said, the movie is near perfect if not perfect. Right at the end, when it was about to have a huge plot thread roll loose in a depressing fashion, it doesn’t, it remembers what it needed to explain a quick bit without spoon feeding it to the audience. I literally almost screamed “oh yeah” right as the scene happened. The movie has some great twists and turns that I dare not reveal here, just to say that I didn’t see some of them coming at all. There are great set ups, pay offs, smart crude and sex humor that I haven’t seen in awhile, the works. It has a definitive set of universe rules and doesn’t break or even bend them in the slightest. I love when filmmakers stick to that shit. It has fantastic replay value, as a feel good romantic sort of sci-fi comedy that should help you get out of any funk that you are in currently. Although the great and talented Lonely Island boys (Samberg, Akiva Shaffer, Jorma Taccone) produced this film, so you could possibly call it a “Lonely Island movie”, they did not write or direct this. That would go to screenwriter Andy Siara and director Max Barbakow, neither of which I’m familiar with. Maybe one day, as I hope they can make movies as great as this one. So if you have Hulu, watch this immediately, and if you don’t have it, fucking find a friend that does or do a free trial and just watch this movie if you have to. It is a masterful and hilarious 90 minutes to distract you from the days of COVID-19, which seems to be going on forever at this point. I know I’ve said it but, again, best film of 2020 for me so far.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE

Kind of like why I did my review of Just Mercy, PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE came out in theaters early February, right before the pandemic hit. Normally I only do reviews of new stuff that comes out the year it comes out to form best of and worst of lists. Technically, Portrait is a 2019 film because it was eligible for the Academy Awards because it came out in NY and LA in December. It didn’t receive any nominations, and so I skipped it in theaters and just recently watched it on Hulu. And again, since it’s release date is blurry combined with content released in 2020 to review running out and COVID-19, I thought I would just count it as 2020 film. But just like there were reasons for Just Mercy to not quite make it on my best of list so far, heck this wouldn’t have made it on my 2019 one either, Portrait OF A Lady On Fire just missed the mark because of the movie not ending one scene earlier, what they did with the beginning, and a plot element that seemed to be taken straight from Dirty Dancing, the same plot element that didn’t make me care for that film all that much either (I’ll tell you exactly what it is later). Other than that, it is a beautiful and sweet film about love between two women in France in the late 18th century.

It the story of a forbidden affair between an aristocrat and a painter commissioned to paint her portrait. The last dude was fed up with the aristocrat woman because she wouldn’t ever pose for him so he couldn’t get her face right. The reason why this portrait needs to be done is because when it is finished her mother is sending her to Milan to get married. And you know…the woman doesn’t want to get married. Also, she’s suffering from depression because her sister killed herself by jumping off a cliff not too long ago. So they hire this other woman painter and they tell the aristocrat that she is there to go on walks with her and console her. The painter though is trying to just look at her face to do a portrait, until she isn’t, and she listens to the aristocrat, and you know, falls in love with her. The love story is tastefully done. Yes, there is nudity and some kissing, but there aren’t any full on gratuitous sex scenes, which kind of makes their love for each other earned in a way. Not like what the movie Blue Is The Warmest Color does. If you’ve ever seen THAT movie…then yeah, don’t worry, it is nothing like that. The movie is in French with English subtitles, and clocks in at an even 2 hours, but this is one period piece that actually kept my interest because of the acting, the pace of the story, and the beautiful cinematography of the sea side French landscapes.

The only real problems I had with the movie was the very beginning, a certain plot element that could’ve been completely cut out, and the ending should’ve ended one scene earlier. I can’t really reveal why it should’ve ended one scene earlier, other than to say that if you ever watch this movie, you’ll know why the scene right before the last one was more perfect than when it really decided to cut to black. The very beginning of the movie was a problem for me because I can’t stand it when movies start in the present day, and then go back in time to lead to the present. It voids a lot of mystery of where the characters might end up. And while I was wrong about the fate of one of the characters, there was no guessing about the other one, because it reveals that’s she’s alive and well right at the beginning of the film. And the frustrating thing about it is that scene could’ve played at the end and still had the same effect, maybe even more so, on the audiences emotions than where it plays at the beginning. Lastly, there is a B plot of the two women helping a young house maid get an abortion of a kid she doesn’t want. And if you’ve seen Dirty Dancing, you’ll know that was a plot thread too. That plot thread is the main reason I can’t stand Dancing, here it is done a little more tastefully, but I felt like it could’ve been cut out or re written to give more screen time to our two lead protagonists. But the movie is solid as is. If you like international feature films, I highly recommend a viewing, as it is a gorgeous movie to look at, as well as it has a decent love story of yore. I don’t know the director or any of the actresses from anything else, so I will save you a history lesson, and just say that all involved did a great job. You could watch much worse things on Hulu right now…like Shirley! This one is more on fire than that one for sure.

Zach’s Zany TV Binge Watchin’ Reviews: THE GREAT SEASON 1 (Hulu)

HUZZAH!!! Get used to that word, you are going to be hearing a lot of it if you check out the great new television show on Hulu called…well…THE GREAT. If you are a constant reader of my reviews, you know I’m not too fond of period piece movies, any kind of that kind of content in general…I hated history class in school. But The Great, very much a period piece, is different in many, many ways, one of which is that when the title card comes up on each episode, it has an asterisk above the t, and then below it says “an occasionally true story.” Very much a fictionalized true story then, because this television show has all the characters almost talking, and especially cursing at each other, like we do today. There’s even loads of dick and fart jokes for me to enjoy! The Great stars Nicholas Hoult and Elle Fanning in what and Wikipedia describes as “A royal woman living in rural Prussia during the 18th century is forced to choose between her own personal happiness and the future of Russia, when she marries an Emperor. It is a satirical, comedic drama about the rise of the longest-reigning female ruler in Russia’s history. The series is fictionalized and portrays her youth and marriage with Emperor Peter and focus on the plot to kill her depraved and dangerous husband.” That woman is Catherine The Great (hadn’t heard of this historical figure until now), but whatever category it decides to enter when Emmy nominations come about (either drama or comedy) both Hoult and Fanning much deserve to be in the lead actor and actress categories. They have never been better, their performances alone worth checking out the show. I have a feeling though that it will enter the drama category, kind of like Better Call Saul does, even though I found myself laughing much more than being shocked or awed or sad at either of these two shows. If you are still in quarantine and not one of the fucking idiots heading out to un-social distancing like beaches and parties this past Memorial Day weekend, I highly suggest checking this one out, you will have a shit load of fun while also sort of semi-experiencing a nice, yet very fictional, history lesson.

This review is probably not going to be that long, as I don’t know much about the history of Catherine the Great to do a comparison, but then again, if something is as entertaining as this, you shouldn’t really care and just take in the overall jist of what happens as semi-true and about the other 90% with a grain of salt. If you are a stickler as a history buff, this might not be for you. While there is some drama, in this there is tons of sex, sex jokes, fart jokes, dick jokes, squabbles that will remind you of a lot of the bullshit millenials fight over these days, etc. etc. etc. That’s about 40% of why you should watch this, the overarching story of the attempted coup of Peter (Hoult) is 10% of why you should watch this, and then the last 50% are the performances, especially from leads Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult. They are hilarious and have never been better, and hopefully the Emmy’s recognize that come eventual award season. This series I think is what the film The Favourite tried to set out and accomplish but ultimately failed. I know that film was critically lauded, but I just didn’t care for it. When going to the theater, I was expecting a modern take on the period piece movie formula. I got some of that, but mostly weirdness and dread that I couldn’t explain the basis for that overshadowed it. This show, which coincidentally Nicholas Hoult has roles in both, succeeds 100% of the time and then some. And I just did some more research before finishing up this review, and come to find out that the screenplay writer Tony McNamara, who had a direct hand in all 10 episodes of the series, also co-wrote The Favourite. Maybe he did The Great because he was unsatisfied with how that turned out personally? Maybe the weirdness from The Favourite came from the other co-writer or director Yorgos Lanthimos? Who knows? It doesn’t matter, the fact of the matter is that I would watch period piece films every day if they were like this. However, I do know not to expect that, as most want an accurate depiction of the times. This was just set out to capture audiences’ attention with a fun and different take on it all. And in that regards, it is great. Huzzah!!!

Zach’s Zany TV Binge Watchin’ Reviews: DAVE SEASON 1 (FX/HULU)

Just so you know this going into my review, I had no fucking clue who Lil’ Dickey or Dave Burd was until my brother recommended watching DAVE SEASON 1 during quarantine. But I do know who co-creator/writer Jeff Schaffer is, who has done numerous fantastic projects such as: Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Bruno, Eurotrip….yet unfortunately provided the screenplay to Mike Myers’ The Cat In The Hat…oops. But anyway, setting that one misstep aside, I ultimately decided to dig in because of his involvement, and I’m glad I did, this show is excellent. Watched all 10 episodes in a little over 24 hrs (this series wasn’t released all at once, it started in March and just ended a couple of weeks ago), and am happy it was announced that a Season 2 was coming eventually, even though Season 1 feels pretty self contained and could’ve ended there. Going back and doing some research on Lil’ Dickey, can’t say I’m a huge fan of his work outside of this show, but I do understand the appeal, but to be fair I’ve only seen two of his videos so far, maybe I need to do some more back cataloging to get fully on board. But I am fully on board the show, as Dave Burd’s writing on this series far surpasses what I’ve seen of his older stuff on You Tube. What confuses me a little bit is when I recently posted on social media that I was digging the show, some of the comments listed several of the episodes being, and I directly quote, “Weak AF”. Especially some messaged me a specific episode to explain where they were coming from…and I have to disagree on their analysis completely. But that is what this review is for. Sorry, I know if it would’ve been humorous and ironic if I had done another rhyme poem on this, especially for those fans reading this that are also huge fans of Lil’ Dickey, but I save those for movies/television shows that truly suck ass, and this is the exact opposite of sucks ass.

Dave is on FX/Hulu and describes it as, “The series stars a fictionalized version of Lil’ Dickey, a neurotic mid 20’s suburbanite who is convinced he’s destined to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Now he’s got to prove it to everyone else.” It fails to mention that he is White & Jewish, which is a big factor in how he is treated in his career by others. Also, some (if not most) of his content might be very weird and pretty offensive to some. Again, while I might not be the biggest fan of his previous work (I don’t hate it, it’s just not my cup of tea, kind of like content that tries to sing regular dialogue and count that as music, aka Les Miserables), the show worked for me 100%. It’s freaking hilarious, the pilot titled “The Gander’, the 3rd episode titled ‘Hypospadias’ and the season finale titled ‘Jail’ probably getting the biggest laughs out of me all of 2020 so far, and when it isn’t funny, it’s heartfelt, focusing intently on character depth and development. Speaking of depth and development, when looking up or hearing about what people think of the show, many do up liking it overall, but have cited some of the episodes being, “weak as fuck,” specifically referencing Episode 5 entitled, ‘Hype Man.’ Ummmm…I don’t know what you were talking about, but that was one of the strongest (if not THE strongest) episodes of this series so far and maybe one of the strongest half hour television comedy episodes I’ve seen so far this year. Sure, it didn’t have that many laughs, and Lil’ Dickey himself was barely featured in it, and instead it focused on his real life hype man named Gata, but man, was that a fantastically written half hour. I don’t really want to give much away, but the episode concludes with one of the most tear inducing confessions I have ever witnessed on television. It felt honest and realistic. That episode moved me, and I can’t say even half as much about other episodes of television these days.

See, the problem sometimes is that when you tell someone that a half hour program is a comedy, and they go into it thinking it is a straight one, and they don’t end up getting minute by minute laughs, sometimes they will end up being really disappointed. Maybe it was the marketing of the show, or the marketing of Lil’ Dickey outside of the show, I don’t know, I didn’t see much marketing (if any) for Dave because I don’t have cable with commercials anymore. It’s streaming services without them or bust for me. At any rate, marketing or not, with any show, comedy, drama, etc., you need to have an open mind. Sometimes a comedy can be more than just a crude humor laugh a minute fest and sometimes a drama can be more than depressing moments of people screaming at each other with a pinch of violence every now and then. Sometimes what you think will be a cheesy romantic chick flick turns out to even outsmart your expectations with some side steps that subvert your expectations. Sometimes, and most of those sometimes are in the best ways possible, they can transcend. Dave might not be the laugh a minute comedy you hope for, but it is the dramedy filled character depth and developmental story that you need right now. When all ten episodes were said and done, I felt like I knew these characters, knew they’re layers, and knew that none of them were one dimensional. Needless to say I can’t wait for Season 2.

And even though it sounds like he’s about to lisp every other word, Lil’ Dickey can act and he has this sense of presence about him. If I were to compare this show to something else, I would say that this show feel a bit like Curb Your Enthusiasm, if Larry David were a much younger Jewish rapper. Larry David isn’t much of an actor in the beginning seasons, but some on years later, Larry David is a warm felt presence on that show. Here, by the end of episode ten, Lil’ Dickey already has a warm presence with me, and it’s just the first season. Everyone around him, even including his real hype man, Gata, do fantastic jobs with their acting chops. They surround themselves with some veterans like Christine Ko, Taylor Misiak, and Andrew Santino, and it seems like they have been acting for years, even though its their freshman run. In the end, if you are reading this, and are thinking about giving this show a chance, please give it to the end of episode three. That’s all I ask, then, if that hilarious episode along intrigues you, but you hope to find more out of the comedy than just really funny and smartly written sex jokes and situation, continue till episode 5. If episode 5 doesn’t win you over, than there is nothing more the show could off you and you should just quit. And it’s okay, everyone has different tastes, but don’t not like the show, or think it is “weak AF” just because you go into it with the wrong expectations. If you’ve read my review, and are going to check it out, I hope I’ve given you the correct ones. If you end up enjoying it as much as I did, then mission accomplished.

Zach’s Zany TV Binge Watchin’ Reviews: SOLAR OPPOSITES SEASON 1 (Hulu)

Let me make this short and sweet for ya: if you do not like or watch Rick and Morty, then you will not like SOLAR OPPOSITES SEASON 1 that just premiered this past Friday on Hulu. It’s from one of the creators of Rick and Morty, Justin Roiland, the one that does a lot of voices on that show too (one of the showrunners, Mike McMahan, came in with him on this) and other than being less meta and a shit ton more language and amped up violence to the nth degree, it’s the same fucking show just with different characters. However, I fucking love Rick and Morty, so I really enjoyed Solar Opposites. Not as much as Rick and Morty, but I watched all 8 episodes released at the same time in about less than 24 hours, they were short and quick, and I laughed my ass off. And I think I can also say this: I think if you have any interest in this show and want to watch it, you’ll have to watch a couple of seasons of Rick and Morty first, just to ease you into that humor. This series assumes that you are here because you are a Rick and Morty fan, so that humor is just fast and furious, a hand full of joke a minute, no time for you to catch up. Rick and Morty started out a little slow at the beginning (not boring, but was just had a generic set up) and eased you into the jokes. Rick and Morty is one Season 4, and I think starting with Season 2 it pulled no punches. You either get the humor, sometimes very meta, or you don’t. And if you’ve tried all that, and you don’t, then stay far, far away from Solar Opposites. It literally has nothing different to offer you other than different characters and different weird alien science-y adventures. But I knew that going in, and that was all I was asking for, and came out of it wanting more episodes now, but am unsure of its potential on Hulu, so I won’t give my hopes up for a Season 2. **goes to check internet** Never mind, it’s already been renewed for Season 2, YAY!!!!

Another warning, this show is an extreme TV-MA, and even though it is a cartoon, it is NOT for kids. There is cursing, sex, nudity, the whole she bang-a-bang. Also, there are many pop culture references you are going to have to go back and do some research on to completely get the joke. For episode one, I would suggest looking up an old Disney program called Disney’s Fuzzbucket. Just trust me on that one. Solar Opposites is about a family of aliens (two adult males and one male and female child, not the males offspring either btw) that move to middle America, where they debate whether life is better there or on their home planet (even though their home planet is revealed to have been blown up by a meteor in the opening credits), have fun and crazy, sometimes very violent and science-y adventures, and there is also this giant B-plot in the show about people living inside “The Wall,” which is basically a community inside the alien’s home filled with a bunch of asshole humans who were shrunk to tiny sizes because they were mean to the boy or girl alien. With the B-plot being a giant size of the story, and a linear narrative itself, you can’t just jump in and watch random episodes (yet), kind of like what you can with Rick and Morty. Which is the only disadvantage, but if you watch the whole thing in order at first, and ever want to watch specific episodes again, it will be no problem for you to do so, seeing as you already know the whole story. But this isn’t The Simpsons or Family Guy where pretty much there is no continuation, there are consequences here, and the characters sometimes mention what happened in a previous episode to show their current train of thought.

The voice acting here, just like Rick & Morty, is incredible. Justin Roiland and Silicon Valley’s Thomas Middleditch bring zaniness yet their characters are also unique, distinct, and colorful. You will love going on adventures with Korvo & Terry. You feel like they are your best friends at the end of the 8 episodes, and all the other voice work, including the two kids, is near as perfect. Nowadays, in order for me to watch an animated show, you gotta be more than just over staying your welcome by about 10 years and don’t try hard much anymore (The Simpsons), jokes that don’t relate to the plot at all and rely on pop culture shit that just happened a week ago (Family Guy), or ones that try to be random for random’s sake (most of what is on Cartoon Network nowadays). You gotta be smart while being funny and your show ultimately has to have some kind of point, and the more you have to dig into the subtext to get to that point, the better. Rick and Morty and South Park fit that bill. Solar Opposites season 1, near the end of it, shows that it ultimately has something to say and might even have bigger laughs and a deeper subtext when it comes back in season 2 and then maybe even beyond. Would Hulu have been smarter if they had released this one week at a time for the next two months? Maybe. Because the watch was entirely too fast. Maybe next time we could get 10 to 13 episodes, just a little bit longer. I think either way, the word of mouth on this is still going to be about the same, especially if Rick and Morty fans get together and end up watching it and then giving endless discussions to it on endless message boards. Hulu’s Solar Opposites has a lot of attraction, and I can’t wait to get more of it down the line.

Zach’s Zany TV Binge Watchin’ Reviews: FUTURE MAN SEASON 3 (Hulu)

“Wow, how the mighty have fallen.” That’s what I usually say when either a sequel to a beloved movie sucks ass, or how subsequent seasons in a television show completely tarnish what came before. I said that phrase about halfway into FUTURE MAN SEASON 3. Let’s be clear here: the first season of FUTURE MAN is a pretty damn near perfect sci-fi comedy. The storyline and time travel was crystal clear, the laughs were huge and earned, the characters had fantastic chemistry…literally everything works in that season. And then you get to Season 2, which for me was a disappointment right from the get go. They abandon all three of the main characters in this really boring future fuck up waste land story line and then the writers had the gall to separate them for about half the season, when their chemistry was critical in the fantastic season before. But then toward the end, the series found its groove, with that last 4 or 5 episodes (out of a 13 episode season, the first season was also 13 episodes) being hilarious and brilliant. Then this first two episodes of the new season I thought the momentum picked up from the end of the previous season. But then episode 3 hits, and all the way through the last shortened final 8 episodes, it all comes crashing down, with a ho hum kind of ending that makes you feel as if you wasted your time.

Season one felt like it had all the money in the world in accordance to its budget. There were people everywhere and the effects were decent for a Hulu Original. But then season two hit, there are less people everywhere, and it seems their production became really cheap for whatever reason. The effects weren’t as good, they couldn’t hire as many extras, and for their dumb wasteland storyline it seemed like they got a cheap permit to film out in the middle of nowhere. Maybe the first season didn’t do as well as they had hoped viewer wise, but enough to warrant a second, and then the second season did worse, but Hulu wanted to writers to wrap up the story, hence a very short 3rd season. Season 3 is as cheap as it comes television production wise. They enact another story line where they are stuck out in the middle of a nowhere forest quarry for 2 to 3 episodes and then when they are out in public near the end, when the year 2000 is about to hit, AT A COLLEGE DORM MIND YOU, there is not a soul or extra in sight. It just felt so damn cheap, and the effects this time are extremely laughable. Perhaps most of the budget went toward its stars and then a beefed up role for Seth Rogen, who co-executive produced the series? I don’t know, but I feel as though the lessened budget that Hulu gave the show did them no favors with the writers department. I’m 100% sure this wasn’t their original vision in how the show progressed or ended.

If you don’t know what this series is about, IMDB’s log line makes it simple: “Josh Futturman, a janitor by day and a gamer by night, is recruited by mysterious visitors to travel through time to prevent the extinction of humanity.” It’s basically a rude and crude retelling, re-imagining, what have you, of The Last Starfighter, in which this loser is recruited because he beats this unbeatable video game that was really just a test for who could end up saving a very desolate and depressing future. And the third season has the gall to bring up a question on everyone’s minds since the first episode, and without getting into spoilers, cuts off the characters explanation as a joke (basically the writers had no idea, so they turned the whole thing into a cut off joke just to get a laugh out of the audience and try to make them forget that we were asking this question since the first season in the first place. You’ll know what this question is if you’ve been loyal to the series in the first place. They bring it up one scene before the show ends here. It’s stupid and lazy. Part of the reason why I think the writers unfortunately had to go in another direction was not only because of budget, but because in the first season one of the actors, Glenne Headley, who play’s Josh’s mom, died in real life. I think the writers had plans for future seasons really involving his parents, but had to scratch that and write around her death. Which I understand, but they should’ve thought of something better. The main problem other than the cheap production value is that the series again keeps this characters in one location for two to three episodes, and those locations become boring fast. They introduce a new place called Haven, and without getting into spoilers, the concept was a neat one, but the execution was very shoddy.

Would I recommend watching this series at all? Probably just the first season, and ignore the cliffhanger. The first season is fantastic. The second season is meh until the very end, and the third season is hugely disappointing after a decent first two episodes (really an only episode and a half). It’s not terrible, terrible, it just feels very, very, very cheap all around and I don’t think what came to be was necessarily what the writers had planned as an endgame. They keep the three leads together mostly throughout this season, which their chemistry is their only saving grace. Josh Hutcherson (Hunger Games), Eliza Coupe (Happy Endings), and Derek Wilson (Preacher), don’t lose sight of their characters and even learn to make their arcs grow this season. And while I was really disappointed with how it all ended, I have sort of come to terms that it was probably the best the writers could come up with the budget that was given to them. When these companies have the writers write themselves out of a corner with a really small budget, sometimes (most of the time) it might’ve been better if they just quit while they were ahead. Yes, I’m saying that I wish this show was cancelled after season one. And with these last 8 episodes just dumped on Hulu this past weekend without any fucking marketing promoting the show was coming back, I guarantee you we were probably this close of not receiving a final season at all, but someone gave everyone involved sympathy money to wrap it up. Just ultimately really disappointing, and other than the first season, this show will be forgotten in time soon, with no future rewatches.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: BIG TIME ADOLESCENCE (Hulu)

Two reviews in one day after this COVID-19 pandemic? Fuck yeah son! I thought I’d maybe review something that you can watch in the safety of your own home this time! On my non paranoid lunch (that consisted of me eating alone in my cubicle), I checked out BIG TIME ADOLESCENCE on Hulu starring Pete Davidson (the stoner youngling on SNL) because they dropped it a week early to maybe boost people’s moods up, because it is a comedy. And it isn’t. Pete Davidson reminds a lot of people of Adam Sandler, but Sandler was definitely less druggy, depressed, and tattooed. However, when audiences didn’t start taking Adam Sandler seriously until maybe Punch Drunk Love, utilizing Sandler’s comedic talents in the best way possible, mixing it with some drama, Big Time Adolescence is Pete Davidson’s first leading feature film (he had a very bit part in a Netflix film a year or so ago), and to me, this is his Punch Drunk Love. Pete Davidson is basically his comedic yet depressing self in this, but he uses the script and material to his advantage to give those watching something more. What I’m trying to say is, don’t be surprised if he’s in something like Uncut Gems in much less time than it took Sandler to get to that level. Even though in the end, the movie is basic coming of age tale plot wise very predictable, the humor, the acting, and those few dramatic moments make it get a big recommendation from me. Come on, check it out, escape from the bullshit of today!

I can describe the plot this easily: imagine if they remade Big Daddy, mix in a little Superbad and Knocked Up, but that old Adam Sandler movie was more serious and less over the top, and it was a dude in his mid 20s hanging out and befriending a 16 year old kid instead of a (which the father type mentor with a much older best friend). And it involved selling drugs. That’s this movie. It’s safe to say that the clinch pin in making this all believable is the set up to how Davidson’s character hangs out with this 16 year old, played very convincingly by Griffin Gluck, who you may know from Netflix’s American Vandal or Locke & Key. Well it is. Gluck’s character thinks his sister’s boyfriend, Davidson, is cool, hangs out a lot with him and his sister, and Davidson just treats him like a normal human being, doesn’t talk down to him. Gluck’s sister eventually dumps Davidson, but Gluck doesn’t want to lose basically the only friendship that he has, and asks if he can still hang out with Davidson even though he’s not dating his sister anymore, and Davidson says sure. And everything is good until one of Gluck’s classmates asks if he can get alcohol for a party that he is having and Davidson gets not only that, but some “choice” weed to sell to the minors. Of course, Gluck doing that is a huge hit, and he is suddenly in wide demand, his eye on a girl classmate that is just as shy as he is, and him and Davidson hanging and bonding more than ever. It’s when harder drugs come into play where things start to go very wrong.

I found the movie to be a very enjoyable. nice and tight hour and 30 minutes, no filler. I laughed my ass off at parts and admired the acting, especially from Davidson, quite a bit. And while the story could’ve used a couple of more wrenches thrown into it, it is unique enough in its own way to make all the predictable plot points forgivable. This movie is pure escapism from the crap we are dealing with right now. Jon Cryer has a bit part playing Gluck’s father, and he does so well, it’ll make you put his endless role in Two and A Half men in the rear view mirror. Newtime writer/director Jason Orley does a pretty good job for a first time filmmaker, everything isn’t so nice and bright picture wise as it would be in a normal comedy like this, and instead add some grit that complements the rest of the glitz and glam well. It feels like this could’ve really happened, and I would love to do some research to see if he just wrote this based off personally experience, because I have a feeling, when you look up his picture on IMDB, that he might’ve been Gluck’s character when he was a kid. So to keep these surprise streaming reviews short, I’m going to end it here so you can check it out if interested and get out of these COVIDerwhatever blues and have a good laugh and a good time. We need it right now. I might’ve not like Pete Davidson’s recent Netflix stand up special much, but this certainly more than made up for it, and showing that, in the future, if he does more adult projects, just like a real adult, we’ll start to take him more seriously.