Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: 7500 (Amazon Prime)

Ryan Reynolds in a box. Colin Ferrell in a phone booth. And now Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a cockpit. That’s Buried, Phone Booth, and now 7500. What do these three movies have in common? Almost their entire run times take place in these little claustrophobic places and all three leading men are in some sort of predicament to get out of them. And while 7500, which debuted exclusively on Amazon Prime a couple of weeks ago, is probably my least favorite of the three, it is still a very effective little thriller, although some of the choices the screenwriters make are questionable. At first these “advance the plot” choices seem to be very realistic and bold, but then they have characters make really stupid decisions in order to make the movie longer. This movie is about 92 minutes, and 10 could’ve easily been cut out of it. I know that many filmmakers with short films try to get to that solid and tight common 90 minute mark, but if you don’t have the material, you don’t have the material. There is one choice that Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character makes in the movie that will have you screaming your head off, shouting “why, why didn’t you do that?” over and over again. I can answer that question for all of us, it was strictly to extend the run time unnecessarily.

Per, it describes 7500 as: “When terrorists try to seize control of a Berlin-Paris flight, a soft-spoken young American co-pilot struggles to save the lives of the passengers and crew while forging a surprising connection with one of the hijackers.” A lot of the film is eerily realistic. The way the hijackers try to take over the plane is genius, especially in a world where it is near impossible to get guns, knives, or any other kind of weapon aboard a plane. A lot of the decisions they make and then the decisions that Joseph Gordon-Levitt makes in the process of these 90 minutes are hauntingly brilliant, except for one. Basically, without giving anything away, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has a chance to kill one of the hijackers while he is knocked out, but instead just straps him into the dead head passenger seat. And it’s not really straps in more than it is buckling him up…where if JGL pays attention to the controls to try and find a way to land the plane safely, and then the terrorist wakes up…see what I’m getting at? Should’ve just killed that fucker. I would’ve. Other than that one really frustrating decision (I can think of plenty of ways to have advanced the plot to where it was without doing that), the rest of the movie is very solid.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt acts his ass off, and gives us one of his best performances ever. The film also takes some necessary risks. No character is safe in this, which is something I appreciated as well. The camera shots, angles, what have you, make the entire journey feel really claustrophobic to not just the characters, but to you on your couch at home. This isn’t a Hollywood-ized cockpit, where there is more room than necessary. They filmed inside a real cockpit, which as you know, doesn’t really have that much room. They way director Patrick Vollrath captured everything without cutting anything out of the frame at important times in the movie is unbelievable. Really good work on all sides. If I had one more complaint, is that I didn’t really care for Joseph Gordon-Levitt forging a surprising connection with one of the hijackers. If anything felt out of place in that movie, it was that and the dumb decision he made not to kill one of them early on. The acting when they were forging that connection seemed realistic and true enough, but I don’t know if I could see that happening in the situation that played out, seemed a little too convenient for me, but then again, that just could be me. Anyway, for a solid 92 minute film that mostly takes place in one location, it is a very tight and realistic thriller, just expect one or two moments of forced turbulence to take you off course for a couple of unneeded extra minutes.


Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: MY SPY (Amazon Prime)

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDyet another movie that didn’t get to premiere in theaters because of the asshole known as COVID-19. Without me dragging this review into extreme boredom by re-stating my theory in detail of why these studios are choosing to release these films straight to streaming instead of just waiting for theaters to reopen back up, I’ll just sum it up in 4 words: They aren’t any good. And that theory has been proven time and time again, except for one exception: The King Of Staten Island. I heard Trolls: World Tour sucked, I’m told that You Should Have Left sucked, the grapevine has told me that The High Note with Dakota Johnson wasn’t that great, I thought Scoob! was a massive disappointment, I thought The Lovebirds was mediocre, and I’m about to review another $19.99 premium rental after this that wasn’t very good, have I covered everything thus far? Now here we are at MY SPY, that instead of waiting for theaters to re open, was just dumped this past weekend on Amazon Prime. And unfortunately, it adds onto the pile of new premium VOD releases that haven’t been any good. But this review is going to come with a very special disclaimer: this film was never meant for me (Trolls: World Tour probably wasn’t either to be fair). But then that raises the question…who is this film really for?

The reason I ask that question is that this movie is rated PG-13 and has a pretty hefty amount of explosions, people getting shot and killed, stabbed, accidental knife throw injuries, and it even has a very shoddy looking CGI decapitated head flying across a screen. Yet, the movie is basically a love child of Cop And A Half & Kindergarten Cop (both superior to this, IMO), with enough goofy innocent shenanigans & banter between Bautista and child actress Chloe Coleman to make it a little less harmful than the two movies I just mentioned. So what, in my opinion only of course, is the age ranges of this movie? Now remember, before I answer that question, any movie that you put out on the market, the age range needs to expand more than a 10 year period. With My Spy, I’d say the age of enjoyment would only be from ages 6 to 10, and be only really appropriate with its PG-13 rating from ages 8 to 10. 10 years and older, will think that this film is silly and stupid, unless you are a teenager or an adult with a child like heart of gold. So when you do the math, that is only a 4 year range of enjoyment, with a 2 year range of appropriateness. Needless to say, that is not a very marketable movie for Hollywood studios. Because as I watched this with very minor enjoyment at a couple of scenes, I had trouble seeing this film make any sort of money whatsoever if it had debuted in theaters. Hence, I guess that’s why it was ultimately released on Amazon Prime.

But there were plenty of scenes while watching this where they could’ve cut some of the violence to get that coveted PG rating I think they were going for. There was unnecessary language at parts that could’ve been cut out. They didn’t need the decapitation gag for sure. And some of the deaths could’ve happened off screen. Due to the nature of the plot per, it really shouldn’t have been as violent as it was: “A hardened CIA operative finds himself at the mercy of a precocious 9-year-old girl, having been sent undercover to surveil her family.” That sounds like a goofy family friendly fun. Well it is goofy, a little too much for believability sake sometimes, but it isn’t that family friendly. Well, it is and it isn’t, you all with families will be the ultimate judge. I’m just reviewing the movie based on what I thought of it alone: it was a cheesy, cliched filled, nothing you haven’t seen before in a movie like this, dumb, one time-watch. It had a couple of moments of chuckled originality, but isn’t that great in terms of quality by any means. Dave Bautista at least looks like he wanted to be there, this is the most tolerable I’ve ever been in regards to the performance of Ken Jeong, Kristen Schaal is still playing her annoying character from The Last Man On Earth, and kid actor Chloe Coleman steals all of the scenes she is in.

The film is directed okay, although a lot of the action scenes are very CGI sketchy and kind of bland in terms of location shooting and choreography. This needed to be directed by an action director that can also do a bit of comedy, of which Peter Segal is the latter but not the former. He’s directed only two of, what you would call, “action pictures.” The Naked Gun 3 and Get Smart, both of which weren’t very good. I’d say this is on par with those. An okay effort, but mainly fruitless. There is a lot more of you out there that will totally disagree with me on this, and that is okay, like I said, this movie wasn’t made for me. I was just bored on a Saturday afternoon and I figured, okay, if I watch this with my wife in the room, this would’ve been like paying $20 on a night out at the theater, but it is now for free since it went straight to streaming. That’s what this film will ultimately be known for to me, that it saved me $20. Will I revisit it after a little time has passed and when Grayson is a little older? Maybe between those ages I talked about above. It also depends on his taste at the time. But will I ever seek this movie out again for pure enjoyment? Absolutely fucking not. Look on the bright side, at least it was better than Dave Bautista’s last film, which was a little R rated comedy called Stuber. How a PG-13 kids film was better than that garbage, I will never know. I spy, with my little eye, a film that will be forgotten in a few months time.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: THE VAST OF NIGHT (Amazon Prime)

THE VAST OF NIGHT mainly gets away with it’s mostly “telling but not showing” premise because of it’s small small small small ass budget. I think less than $50,000, don’t directly quote me on that. If this had anything over a million, the long sequences of talking and telling a story without showing the audience any flashbacks would’ve been completely unforgivable. That being said, the dialogue from those scenes are believable and decent, so much so that those of you that mainly listened to the radio growing up would probably get a nostalgia high from it, those of you that didn’t, think of those FDR “Fireside Chats” you learned about in history class, and you can get the picture of what I’m talking about. The main reason to watch this movie isn’t because of the story or characters or acting, it’s because of some of the amazing camera shots. Near the very beginning where it follows a charismatic radio DJ in, out and around his high school before a big basketball game, and then somewhere near the middle where the camera sweeps through the town a couple of times, all one shot takes. They are AMAZING camera shots. Most of you casual moviegoers though, you’ll watch this film, probably wonder why in the fucking hell I’m giving it a recommendation, because truth be told, a lot of you will be bored and probably shut it off halfway through. But I’m giving this a pass, because even though the characterization was underwhelming, and also the story and ending a bit so-so as well, this low-fi sci-fi movie is a nice little homage to all the ones that came before, and 1950s era itself. describes The Vast Of Night as: “In the twilight of the 1950s, on one fateful night in New Mexico, young switchboard operator Fay and charismatic radio DJ Everett discover a strange audio frequency that could change their small town and the future forever.” What I liked immediately when the movie started was a little homage to The Twilight Zone, as a Rod Sterling type voice tweaks the words of the opening of that TV show and instead frames the story as an episode of the fictional ‘Paradox Theater.’ It’s a little unfortunate that the movie doesn’t really capture a stretched out episode of The Twilight Zone and instead relegates everything to what would’ve been a cool yet small little broadcast in the vein of H.G. Wells’ The War of The Worlds when Mr. Wells’ read his story over the radio, and freaked out a bunch of people at the time. Not that that was ultimately bad, just a little disappointing. The story could’ve been tweaked to make it out like a feature of The Twilight Zone, however, that would’ve required flashbacks and the budget would’ve absolutely skyrocketed. There are several long sequences of still camera dialogues that will either make you or break you with liking this film. Two of the longest, between 5 – 10 minutes each, consists of an Army vet recollecting when he heard that signal for the first time over his career, and an older lady recollecting how she heard the audio frequency that lead to her son eventually being taken by the ‘people in the sky.’ This is all spaced out with the two leads, Fay and Everett, freaking out about said signal and going different places to investigate. The two leads do do a fine job of acting, nothing wrong in that department, but yet nothing special either. And it isn’t special because we really don’t get to know the characters all that well, it’s one-note development at its most disappointing. And at a short 89 minutes, those long dialogue scenes seem to stretch on forever.

Like I said before, the main reason to watch it are for a couple of the amazing camera dolly shots this film has, especially when it goes through the entire small town, in and out of the school and to swear the two characters work, it’s amazing how they pulled that off. And then the beginning where Everett is going through the school before he does his nightly broadcast. Take that camera work, get a high budget and a solid story, and director Andrew Patterson could be going places. They got the 50’s costumes and feel correct, they just needed to add more meat to the sandwich. But the bread is fresh baked out of the oven, the shots really are quite unique. And the story is decent, it just isn’t fleshed out, and again, it’s because of the budget. All roads of reasoning lead to the budget on this one for me. That’s why I’m giving this a recommendation, because when I was in college wanting to make movies at one time (see where I am now though), I really appreciated the things that students could come up with filming, with absolutely no money at all. $50,000 might sound like a lot to you, but it really isn’t. And the fact that this was made on that tight a budget, with some above average camera shots, is honestly a little breathtaking. Tomorrow I am going to post a review of a movie called The Wretched, that is dominating drive-in theaters right now and VOD, with not as small of a budget at this, but small enough that the visuals of that film are striking as well. The different between that and The Vast Of Night is that The Wretched has a giant twist I didn’t see coming and I was invested in the story more. But if you are a person that likes all of film, that appreciates and goes beyond just story or characters or visuals, then you might want to give this one a try. Just don’t expect a vastness of content.

Zach’s Zany TV Binge Watchin’ Reviews: UPLOAD SEASON 1 (Amazon Prime)

You know what the perfect shows to binge during this shitty COVID-19 time that we are trying to get through with a forced smile on our faces? Half hour comedies. They are 100% perfect. Not too long, not too short, binge-able over a weekend where you don’t forget about them immediately afterward. Never Have I Ever, that just debuted the beginning of last week on Netflix is a recent example of what I’m talking about. And while I still prefer that new show more, you can add UPLOAD SEASON 1, that just debuted on Amazon Prime Video during the weekend, to that list. It’s also a quick 10 episodes, albeit the first one is a rare 45 minutes, because it’s a pilot and it tries to establish the set up without it feeling rushed but while also trying to get it out of the way. My wife and I devoured it over the weekend of its release, and it left us craving more episodes, what more could you ask for? Well…maybe not so much of a depressing downer of a cliffhanger ending, which this had. Most binge worthy shows that release all of their episodes at one usually have a season arc that is completely wrapped up with only a hint or two of what is to come. Upload pushed a cliffhanger on us mid story. But maybe because The Office (U.S.) and Parks and Recreation (Greg Daniels) already has everything mapped out and knows it all can’t go back 4 or 5 seasons? He realizes with a high concept comedy, which this very much is, that you can’t over stay your welcome. At least, I hope he realizes it…considering that both The Office and Parks and Recreation both certainly over stayed theirs.

Borrowing now from Wikipedia: Upload “is set in a future where “humans are able to ‘upload’ themselves into their preferred choice of afterlife. When Nathan (Robbie Ammell) meets his early death, he is greeted by Nora (Andy Allo) in his version of heaven. The series follows the two as Nathan grows accustomed to life away from his loved ones, and the alive Nora struggles to stay afloat working her job alongside Nathan in the afterlife.” There is more much to it than that, but I think it’s listed that way it can avoid spoilers. I think I can expand without revealing anything as well. There series brings up other questions such as, “Can Nathan stay attached to his still alive girlfriend so she will keep paying his hefty afterlife bills?” “Was there more to Nathan’s death than possibly meets the eye because of his career before being uploaded?” Also there are a bunch of crazy side characters with their own little arcs along the way, but that is too much to get into. The series main ethical questions are “what if?” ones meant to cause debates over loved ones who happy to also watch the show and countless message boards everywhere. What exactly is alive? If you are dead but your consciousness can still stream to your loved ones, are you really dead? These are all brought up in hilarious fashion, and yet it doesn’t try to hit you over the head with it’s multiple layered messages. All of it is very subtle and set ups are paid off as you go, accompanied with fantastic sight gags. While it is a comedy, some of it does go to the dramatic side of things, but not enough to get too dramatic…well, except for maybe the depressing cliffhanger (my only complaint with the show).

The acting elevates the show from good to great status. The chemistry between Robbie Amell and his “angel” Andy Allo is impalpable. Whoever hired those two deserves a motherfucking raise. You might not know Andy Allo, she hasn’t been in much except the CW show Black Lightening and a very small part in Pitch Perfect 3, but you might recognized Robbie Amell. He is cousins with Arrow’s Stephen Amell (in fact he even has a small role in the whole CW/Arrowverse), and has been in other feature films such as The Babysitter and The Duff. I’ve always liked the guy, and in this role, he’s the most likable and charming he’s ever been. I hope this opens some doors for many other projects for him to chew the scenery on. All of the side characters are great too, even Nathan’s girlfriend, played by Allegra Edwards, is someone you end up loving to hate for how dumb shit is. It’s a feel good hilarious comedy that gets funnier and funnier with each episode, but it’s a high concept one that also makes you think, which is always very appreciate for someone that hates to turn off their brain before pressing play. And while I didn’t care for the ending (mostly due to the fact that the sad and depressing tone didn’t really fit the rest of the series, although it did have one big laugh at the very very end, and also I want more episodes now), I really do hope that Amazon sees they have another hit show on their hands (Bosch being the other one) and that after this whole COVID-19 mess if over, they “upload” new episodes in the near future.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: BLOW THE MAN DOWN (Amazon Prime)

Whoa, in my previous review of the new Netflix film Tigerland, I had just bitched that I have to slog through 10 original streaming service movies where there are usually 8 pieces of dog shit and only 2 at least half way decent ones. 10 to 2 is a terrible ratio when dealing with 90 minute to 120 minute movies. And I am only talking half way decent two movies. What is the ratio on near or perfect masterpieces? Probably 1 in 100. The last original streaming movie that blew my mind near masterpiece wise was probably El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. BLOW THE MAN DOWN, released back on March 20th on Amazon Prime, joins Tigerland as one of those 2 half way decent diamonds in the shitty, shitty rough. This begs the question: Am I know going to have to slog through another eight shitty ones before I get to two hits in a row again or was this the tenth one in one cycle and so everything is reset, where I could possibly get a rare third in a row? Ah the possibilities. Anyway, to the movie I’m actually reviewing here, it is quite decent, a solid, actually original dark tale that is a tight 90 minutes with no fluff or filler. Again, like my complaint with Tigertail, could watched a half our more to this little universe, maybe some plot threads added such as a possible relationship between the cop and one of the sisters in this, or more background to the town’s uhhhh, without spoiling anything, age old dirty business. But what is contradictory about me wanting more is that this film has a smart way of giving you only enough information here and there for you to eventually fit all the puzzle pieces together to get a somewhat visible essence by the story’s end. It doesn’t paint a full picture for you and it doesn’t spoon feed you shit like a lot of other movies would. So me asking for more might ruin one of the perks the film has going for it. An extra half hour would say, blow all its strengths down.

Yet again, has the perfect log line without spoiling any of the dark and moody little small town tale: “Two Maine local town girls attempt to cover up a gruesome run-in with a dangerous man. To conceal their crime, the sisters must go deep into the criminal underbelly of their hometown, uncovering the town’s darkest secrets.” This film sucks you in to this little towns world, and it is quite remarkable with how short the run time is that these handful of characters get complete arcs and none of them have only one dimensional personalities. The only real actress you might know in this is Margo Martindale, who was on The American, Justified, and a bunch of other stuff you might’ve seen, and if you know her, you know she’s a hell of an actress. Here is no different as she plays Enid, the owner of Oceanview Hotel, the key to one of the small town’s dirty secrets. Since I see a lot of movies and know a lot of people, I do know who play the two sisters. One of them is Morgan Saylor, who was Brody’s daughter on the first several season’s of Homeland. She was good on that show, and she’s good here too. She plays the black sheep sister very very convincingly but with enough of a moral compass to be somewhat redeemable. The other smart and work striving sister is played by Sophie Lowe, who played Alice in the failed Once Upon A Time in Wonderland spin off series that went absolutely nowhere and a couple of other small things I’ve seen her in. She’s a hell of an actress and it is a shame she hasn’t been in many high profile stuff throughout her career. Good thing she’s only 29 years old, and still has plenty of time to get that spotlight in the one role that could produce a jump start to stardom and never look back.

The story is simple, dark, and easily kept me entertained thru the short run time. I’ve been hearing comparisons to it being a “Maine Breaking Bad” type deal, but that comparison is completely unfair. First of all, the only thing that should ever be compared to Breaking Bad is the spin off series Better Call Saul. Secondly, it is it’s own thing. It’s own spun spider web tale of intrigue with a little dash of deception. It’s meticulously told, with its own stamp of uniqueness where it shouldn’t really be compared to anything other than another witty crime caper. Gun to my head, maybe I could’ve seen this whole story play out in an 8 to 9 episode season of Fargo on FX, just much less humor than you are used to seeing on that series, but I stand by my claim that its its own thing and if there are any homages to any other film like it, it’s very subtle and not noticeable at all. The movie was directed by two women by the names of Danielle Krudy and Bridget Savage Cole, who both have done a bunch of shorts that I haven’t seen (but would like to now), while the former was miscellaneous technical crew on a bunch of older high profile films almost a decade ago. However, whatever learning experiences they have managed to get with their previous job titles, it completely works here. This movie is dark, moody, interesting, with its own palette, flavor, and atmosphere. Definitely one of the best original movies that Amazon Prime has offered that went straight to its streaming service, and I don’t see another one blowing their title just received from me down for quite awhile.

Zach’s Zany TV Binge Watchin’ Reviews: BOSCH SEASON 6 (Amazon Prime & kind of a review of the series as a whole)

I’m not sure if I’ve ever reviewed BOSCH on my blog, I might’ve done Season 4 and 5 really quickly as quick blurbs on a Facebook status update (don’t think I ever even mentioned 1-3), but never a review such as this, so since I watched all 10 new episodes in a matter of 5 days, and there isn’t much to review anymore, let me talk about SEASON 6! Already renewed for one last season after this one (providing that this cocksucking buzz kill of a virus ever goes away and they can go into production), I’m happy to say that Season 6 does not just feel like a bridge season to its final go around. It is its own thing, tying up loose ends that were introduced late the previous season while bringing up some new mini cases/disputs that are solved in a couple of episodes and some threads introduced in the last couple of episodes that will mold themselves into the next and final season. All wrapped around giant and satisfying character arcs. That’s BOSCH in a nut shell. Every season has been this way. This isn’t like the Marvel Universe where they just plant stuff for a big endgame. No season has been better than the last and I can’t for the life of me think of my least favorite season. It’s like a company that pays its credit off in 30 days, never early, never late. Always constant and steady. Though I’d have to say if I were to go back and rank all the seasons (basically I’d have to watch them all again to determine any type of comparison) I would probably rank this one high up there as I probably watched Season 6 the fastest out of any other season (though because I’ve had time on my hands with quarantine more than my “gotta watch the next one now” vast enjoyment of the season). Basically…if you’ve never watched the show but my review piqued your interest, and you have a shit ton of time on your hands because of bitch ass COVID-19, I highly recommend that you watch these very tight and entertaining 60 episodes all together (10 a season).

Bosch is based off of Michael Connolly’s fantastic novels that feature the L.A.P.D. homicide detective named Harry (Hieronymus, named after the painter) Bosch (if you have some time to kill, read all of those novels starting with The Black Echo, they are fantastic police procedurals, the most realistic ones I’ve read). The tv series is more like companion pieces to the novels than actual page by page adaptations, so you can both read and watch and no really be spoiled by too many similarities (although there are definitely some). Season 7 takes its cues from an older Bosch novel, ‘The Overlook’ and a much more recent one, ‘Dark Sacred Night.” Harry has two main pursuits of justice this season: he’s trying to track down the killer of a woman’s daughter that he met last season when he was going undercover as a drug mule, and also trying to find 32 missing pieces of cesium that were stolen from a Los Angeles hospital that they are afraid might be used in a dirty bomb. If you are worried that that just sounds like typical old episodes of Jack Bauer and 24, don’t be. Bosch is probably the realist police procedural show I have ever seen on television. The whole force takes its time and detectives do (and you see them) do actual detective/police work to mount enough evidence to get the criminals justly behind bars. There isn’t some random person doing work ‘behind the scenes’ like in NCIS, Castle, what have you that just comes out of the background to deliver a startling piece of evidence/revelation at the last minute that changes the entire case outlook. So while you think that the police work might be slow, to me, all of its taking time just makes it feel that more rich, believable, and authentic.

Kind of like Michael Connolly’s books that I’ve obsessed over ever since my father introduced me to them. And not just his Bosch series, all of them. Connolly creates fantastic attention to detail in detective work, where you didn’t know filling out a police report in the mind of one of the characters could be so damn entertaining! At first it was hard for me to adjust to Titus Welliver playing Bosch (as I had a different image of him in my head when reading the novels), but man, after the first season or two, he’s all I see when reading the books now. He’s got the character nailed to a T. In fact, everyone is good here. This show isn’t just about Bosch, it’s about several different characters, sometimes with their own little stories completely separate from him. Bosch’s daughter, police chief, direct lieutenant, his partner, etc. etc. all get little stories within the season that just bulk up their character development arcs and make the show just have that much more impact as a whole. If there was a weak link to all these stories, would definitely be Bosch’s partner’s (named Jerry Edgar, whose character is much more mature in this than he is in the books). Not to say it is bad, it was just his story dealing with people who killed his confidential informant just wasn’t as interesting as the others, and sometimes it was a bit difficult to follow with all the moving pieces in play. Still decent though.

If I had any complaint about the filming of it is that some scenes linger a couple of seconds longer than they should, sometimes with weird character expressions, reacting to a situation. That’s just a nit pick really, my own personal bullshit complaint, as I realize it is probably to make all their performances more realistic and grounded in the long run. The biggest strength of the series is that it doesn’t get too…well 24ish or Homelandish (even though both are still two of my favorite series of all time). Nothing is bombastic, nothing with an actual countdown clock to signal impending doom for the city and/or characters. It just feels…real. It feels like the books, and isn’t that the best compliment in the end, where you can say that both the novels and the medium they are based on compliment each other very well and that you don’t at all even close to hate the adaptation? But in fact, almost love it just as much? You can tell that Bosch is produced on the cheap end, there aren’t that many, if at all, explosions or fancy gun shooting with unique camera angles…but in the end…you don’t want Michael Bay bullshit in stuff like this anyway. You want it simple, tight, concise, and realistic. Bosch Season 6, and the entire series as a whole, has exactly that. And you just feel criminal if you even ask for just the slightest bit more.

Zach’s Zany TV Binge Watchin’ Reviews: THE BOYS (Amazon Prime, no spoilers)

Were you expecting something else? Maybe a review of the wildly and negatively talked about 4th season of Veronica Mars? I’m in a mood to review decent things today, so my scathing review of that time wasting trash will have to await a different mood for a different day. Let’s talk about something that was just released last week and I watched all 8 tightly woven narrative episodes within a three day time span, THE BOYS, where you can catch it on Amazon Prime Video. The Boys is the refreshingly different comic book television show based on a comic book that has a drastically different take on superheroes and how they would be perceived in our modern day. I want to underline the word drastically a billion times. It is up there with Bosch and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel as one of the streaming platforms best shows.

The different concept? The Boys is about superheroes and the real nitty-gritty behind the scenes of their ‘heroic’ endeavors. In this world, super people are downright negligent, daft, create a shit ton of collateral damage and sometimes, are really evil sons of bitches. How evil? Murdering and rape evil. Yeah, scary right? Anyway, one day a young adult named Hugh Campbell (played by Jack Quaid, son of Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid no less!) is walking down the sidewalk with his girlfriend Robin when she suddenly disappears in a cloud of blood and guts with Hughie still holding her hands. A fast travel superhero named A-Train just ran through her in a hurry, stops for a second to just say he can’t stop, and keeps going. Hughie wants payback, but the huge company named Vought, that sponsors a bunch of superheroes including The Seven (imagine a corporate owned Justice League), wants to just give Hughie a $48,000 check in damages as long as he signs a non-disclosure agreement. Distraught, Hughie runs into Billy Butcher (played by the great Karl Urban), a guys who claims he is FBI tasked in bringing down these negligent super people once and for all by making them actually responsible and atone for their giant mistakes.

Hughie joins him but little does he know that Billy is more of an unconventional tactic freelancer with an unconventional team (hence the title, The Boys) doing whatever it fucking takes to bring down these inept super people. Hughie actually starts to befriend one of The Seven, the newly initiated Starlight (who isn’t like the others) and Billy has his own reasons why he wants to take the supes down, but the lesser said about those two story lines, the better. In fact, I’m really not going to talk about plot anymore, as the pot boiling story is a great journey and is better left unspoiled. Other than Billy and Hughie. The Boys also include Frenchie, a French mercentary; Mother’s Milk, a dangerous yet polite and well spoken man that doesn’t really want to rejoin the gang after past exploits; and there is a female member of the boys, but the less about Kimiko, played superbly by Karen Fukuhara, with more to do her than her role in DC’s Suicide Squad, the better.

I want to go off track here for a second and say how much I love these new television series that are only 8 to 10 episodes. Almost literally no filler to get it to 13 to 16 episodes, it really is refreshing. You can get a very tight story and a bunch of fully developed character arcs without having to add inane filler D, E, or F subplots or any repetitive narrative dialogue. You either pay attention to the show or have to rewind, there is no recap. Now while 8 episodes can seem rushed like Stranger Things Season 3, with The Boys, it’s absolutely perfect. It was fun, fresh, didn’t feel bloated yet had me craving more in a more conventional healthy way unlike say infuriating cliffhangers such as Veronica Mars Season 4 or even aspects of Stranger Things Season 3.

When watching The Boys, you might get the feeling that this depiction of real superheroes in our modern day world hits a little too close to home. All the capitalism, corporate sponsorship, red tape, lies, manipulations, secrets, and political agendas, feel very similar with what we are going through now. And that’s the great part about it, that feeling of realism this television series brings even though you have more than 200 superheroes flying about. It certainly depicts things better than Hancock with Will Smith did. I love how all the superheroes in this are satires of the ones in real DC Comics. For example, Homelander is a satire on Superman, The Deep is a satire on Aquaman, A-Train is a satire on The Flash, Queen Maeve is a satire on Wonder Woman, and so on and so forth. And the action in the action scenes is realistic too. When Homelander uses his laser beams heat vision to slice through ‘bad guys’ he really does ‘slice’ through them. You get flying blood, dismembered parts, the works.

And the acting is all there too. Like I said, Karl Urban is fantastic in this and is the linchpin of the series. But EVERYONE does a good job, such as Laz Alonso’s cool yet calm demeanor as Mother’s Milk, Jack Quaid is phenomenally nervous yet bold as Hughie, and Erin Moriarty sizzles with new found bravery as the newest member of The Seven, Starlight. All of the acting and action always teeters the line between over-the-top comic book-y to abstract realism and the tone is perfectly balanced. If you are sick and tired of the formula that Marvel and DC films have brought time and again to the theatrical experience, this show slaps you in the face with a new twisty take on the genre. These 8 episodes are certainly worth anyone’s time if interested. Hey, the show was already renewed for season 2 before the premiere of this first season and they start production soon, so if that doesn’t grab your attention, I don’t know what will. You will have a fun time with The Boys, I guarantee it.