Monthly Archives: July 2022

BQB Reviews Star Trek: Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan (1982)


Say it with me, 3.5 readers. “KHAN!”

So exhilarating.

Before I get to this review, let me discuss this little project.

I’m a recent subscriber of Paramount Plus and to be honest, I was thinking about not re-subscribing. However, Paramount makes Star Trek, so if you are a Trekkie, you’ll find all the movies and TV shows here, ready to stream where no stream has streamed before.

I’d say I’m at best half a Trekkie, maybe even a quarter Trekkie. The films were big in the 1980s when I was a kid and I have fond memories going to see them with my ‘rents, who sadly, are now dead. So that’s not fun, but it was fun when they were alive, except when you watch the films and realize half the cast are freaking dead now too. Ah, but maybe they aren’t dead. Maybe they’re just off living it up in that Undiscovered Country somewhere.

Wow that got morbid fast. Anyway, in the great annals of sci-fi flicks/TV, Star Trek is the father, but then Star Wars is the kid that grew up, did good, and bought its dear old Dad a new house. Oh, you thought they were in competition? Well, they were. But look at it this way. Without Star Trek getting viewers interested in space, you wouldn’t have had George Lucas tearing up the screen with kick ass special effects, then you wouldn’t have had the 1980s era studios pouring big bucks into sci-fi space opera fests. Some were schlock like Flash Gordon (though Ted the Teddy Bear liked it), some were middling like Battlestar Galactica (the original had a cult following though it didn’t quite kick ass until the 2004 reboot).

Ahh, but Paramount already had its space based intellectual property, it just needed Star Wars to pave the way to showing what can be done with special effects and wammo, the once cancelled 1960s show was back on film in new action backed blockbusters, albeit with a cast that ranged from middle-aged to elderly.

Anyway, my project is to review old Star Trek movies and shows from time to time. Why start with Wrath of Khan? A) it’s the best and b) it starts off a three movie arc where all the flicks are tied together.

Here, we have Admiral Kirk not really enjoying life behind a desk. He was made to be out in the space field, exploring new worlds and better yet, exploring fine ass tri-breasted green space babes. The aging Enterprise is now a training vessel and Kirk’s old BFF Spock is training the cadets. Blah blah blah, there’s a distress call from Ceti Alpha Whatever. Kirk’s old flame Dr. Carol Marcus and his heretofore unknown son David are leading the Genesis experiment, which boils down to shooting a special torpedo at a dead planet so as to resurrect it and make it lush and beautiful with life.

Meanwhile, vile genetically altered to be a super strong supervillain Khan (the always swarthy Ricardo Montalban) and his group of genetically superior super-underlings have been marooned on a dead planet for years, having been exiled there by Kirk during the original show for their crimes of d-baggery in trying to steal the Enterprise. Basically, these super-people have a long history of being forcibly exiled after using their powers for evil and so, mean as exile is, they totes deserve it.

Long story short, Chekov and his new Captain Terrell beam down to this planet to investigate, only to become Khan’s unwitting slaves thanks to disgusting bugs that can be placed into the brain via the ear canal, rendering the subject amenable to all commands. I still remember being a little kid in the movie theater and being totally grossed out by this scene.

Blah, blah, blah, Khan takes control of the Genesis device, turns it into a weapon (if it grows new life wherever it erupts, it could repave an existing society with trees and fauna).

Bottomline – Spock croaks in the ensuing chaos but not forever? That brings us to Star Trek 3: The Search for Spock.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy. Kudos to the film for finding ways to embrace the cast’s age rather than ignore it. Here, Kirk is an elder Federation statesman but despises the role because he’s still young at heart and as long as the body is willing, the mind will always crave adventure (often even when the body is unwilling).

Spock’s a cadet trainer. The rest of the cast get roped into the mission in various ways. It does tie into the original series. There is an episode where Ricardo Montalban plays Khan and tries to oust Kirk as Enterprise captain.

Though it seems unlikely Kirk went this long without knowing he had an adult son, it does tie in with the character, i.e. he was a dude who bagged babes throughout the galaxy, never stopping to give them an intergalactic call to see how they were doing or if they had any lifeforms growing inside them that were his.

All in all, Kirk’s shouting of “KHAN!” when he realizes his old enemy has beaten him makes the movie. It is a meditation on revenge and whether it is ever the right option, for there are many moments where Khan has the upper hand. He and his hench-people can escape and live great lives, but like Captain Ahab (referenced in the film) he simply cannot stop hunting the white whale that is Kirk.

In conclusion, “KHAN!”

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Shop Buddy is Live!

Hey 3.5 readers.

Your old pal, BQB, here.

Well, I finally did it. I finally self-published a full-length novel. Previously, I have put up short stories and a book of writing prompts, but now I can officially call myself a novelist.

What is it about?

During the height of the pandemic, like many of you, I survived on food deliveries. You download the app. You put down what you want but um…well let’s just say pre-pandemic, it worked out better. The shopper would actually bring the bags into the house, lug them into the kitchen, go over with you any errors and settle up.

Post pandemic? They just whip at your door going 90 mph down the road and if you got 10 percent of anything right, you’re lucky.

I was amazed at how orders that seemed very clear turned out so wrong. Order an apple? You might get an apple or you might get an apple pie, an apple turnover, an Apple computer, a CD of Fiona Apple’s greatest hits, a bottle of Snapple, or maybe even something that has no tangential connection to apples at all and you just sit there wondering how the shopper saw “apple” and how they made the series of mental backflips that led to them delivering a pair of hiking boots to your door.

Anyway, fun thing about being an aspiring writer. You see a potential for a story in everything. The idea formed. What if you were an employee for an online shopping service? What if you had a customer who was ordering weird, suspicious stuff?

A year post college graduation, Steve Anderson can’t find a job even with a BS in Philosophy from a college of ill repute. Desperate for dough, he slings grocery bags for the online shopping service Shop Buddy. When a strange old man begins ordering the bizarre – knives, power tools, axes, chains, rope, etc. Steve’s ex-girlfriend turned current boss is very suspicious while Steve remains blissfully oblivious.

Anyway, it was fun to write and all in all, it took about a year. I hope you fine 3.5 readers will lend all 7 of your eyes to it.

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Movie Trailer – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Hey 3.5 readers.

Your old pal, BQB here.

The new trailer for Black Panda: Wakanda Forever is here.

As you know, Chadwick Boseman died way too young and right at the moment when his success in the first BP movie meant sequels and other roles were a lock, propelling him into super-duper stardom.

But he’s still a super-duper star in the hearts of us fans and it looks like Marvel/Disney has found a way to honor him while carrying on. It looks like the women of Wakanda, BP’s mother, girlfriend, sister and bodyguard govern the kingdom in the wake of T’Challa’s death.

We do see those famous claws unleashed at the end of the film, so who dons the Black Panther mask? Theories: one of the women, perhaps his sister who, wouldn’t she be next in line for the throne? Then again it appears there is a birth so maybe flash forward to the future where that child becomes an adult and takes over.

I always gave props to the original because despite being a comic book movie, it tackled serious issues and unlike most comic book movies, the stakes were pretty high. Most other comic flicks, characters are blown up only for someone to invent a magic device that puts them back together or something, but in this franchise, there were actual consequences to bad actions.

This comes at a time when Marvel needs it. The Eternals? Stink-a-roo. Dr. Strange and the Multiverse? OK, but it was the first Marvel movie I waited till it was on streaming and I’m not rushing out to see Thor: Love and Thunder either. I’d see this in the theater though.

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Better Call Saul Prediction – Saul Becomes Saul Again

Hey 3.5 readers.

Your old pal, BQB here.

Can you believe it? Better Call Saul just entered the last half of its final season, and unless there’s an impending reboot or sequel or prequel we don’t know about (always possible) this will mark the end of the Breaking Badaverse.

I’ll expand later but right now, I want to predict that Saul will be Saul again. Right now, he’s Gene, hiding out in Omaha on the run from the law after being the lawyer for chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin Heisenberg.

If you check out the promos, you see Gene in black and white slipping on a red suit jacket. Meaning? “Gene’s” life is always shown in drab black and white. “Saul” was once very flamboyant. He lived for arguments and action and courtroom drama and intrigue and stacking that cheese and outwitting his opponents.

But as Gene, he just goes to work, comes home, and tries his best to go unnoticed, hoping the police won’t pick him up. The show is in color when it shows Saul’s earlier life, the one where he was a fast talking ambulance chaser and having a great time.

SPOILER – If you have seen Breaking Bad and the later Jesse-centric El Camino Netflix film, you know pretty much anyone who could testify against Saul is either dead (pretty much everyone) or on the run (Jesse). So, is there anyone left to testify against him?

He could very easily step out of the shadows and reclaim his lawyer fame, blathering about how dare the criminal justice system railroad him into going into hiding. That’s what I get out of the promo photo. For Saul, being a civilian is drab gray. Being a lawyer is color. It seems like a hint he’s slipping that lawyer coat he loves on to ride again.

The thing that always made this show stand out is how it illustrated crime does not pay. It really, really does not. Over the course of the original, Walt and friends and enemies all pay a high price eventually, even those who got too close and didn’t distance themselves before it was too late. This isn’t one of those shows that whips out a happy ending or absolves the wrongdoer. Crime is a horrible life and it catches up to you.

But Saul? Arguably in that gray area. Definitely did illegal, immoral and crooked stuff, but he’d say he did it all in the name of defending his clients. I don’t think that would fly in the real world but in the world of TV lawyers, I could see Vince Gilligan possibly letting Saul off the hook.

Then again, there’s the argument that Saul has done wrong and like all wrongdoers, doesn’t matter their reasons, if it was understandable how they got into it or if they’re even somewhat likeable, those who do bad on this show get punished.

Then again, isn’t a guy who loved to talk being forced into exiled silence enough punishment?

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Lee Marvin and Benedict Cumberbatch – Time Travel Twins?

Hey 3.5 readers.

Your old pal, BQB here.

Every once in a blue moon, I check out that old classic, The Dirty Dozen. If you’ve never seen it, it’s a 1960s flick where the unorthodox yet results achieving Major Reisman is assigned by the top brass to take on the wildest of suicide missions, that being training and commanding a group of psycho degenerate criminally convicted ex-soldiers (yet technically still military property as they are serving time in military jail and sentenced for execution) on an absurdly dangerous mission to blow up the mother of all Nazi targets during WWII. If they survive, they’ll get a pardon and yadda, yadda, yadda.

I saw this years ago, but as I watched it again recently, I was like, “Holy shit. Did Benedict Cumberbatch travel back to the 1960s and assume the guise of Lee Marvin?” These two have similar faces, similar voices, the resemblance, speech, tone, all very similar.

Unfortunately, we live in an age where if you notice something, chances are others have too and sure enough, there are posts about the uncanny similarities.

You be the judge. Here’s a clip of the Lee-ster in action. Tell me you don’t see traces of our beloved modern-day Dr. Strange.

The movie itself is 3/4 a lot of fun whereas the last 1/4, well, I hate to give a spoiler but it’s action and explosions that were quite spectacular for its day plus, well, horror, as in Nazis at a party retreat are murdered with ruthless efficiency and like I get the irony of the inventors of ruthlessly efficient murder being murdered with ruthless efficiency but still, many of the casualties of war here are women who were just there to be Nazi arm candy and ok, serves them right for cavorting with Nazis but look all I’m saying is the way in which they are killed – i.e. locked in a tight space and knowing it’s coming and having to wait for it, all the screams and tortured cries, if you have a heart you’ll be like, yikes.

OK, I know they are Nazis. Could they have released the lady Nazis and put them in lady Nazi jail? I think most of them were there as prostitutes so like, do we even know for sure if they agreed with Nazi dogma? A working girl has to get her dough any way she can get it after all.

The first 3/4 we see many legendary actors at a young age. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Donald Sutherland any younger, or Charles Bronson. And while you probably only know Telly Savalas as good guy, tough cop Kojak, he plays a psycho rapist pervert who believes God has enlisted him to punish women and well, you can’t help but hope maybe he’ll be taken out along with the Nazis by the end.

Typical action movie tropes i.e. the brass berate Reisman for taking so many risks yet they are bureaucrats who sit on their butts all day and have no idea what it is like out in the field. Come to think of it, this movie probably invented a lot of the action movie tropes we see in action films today.

Sidenote 1: This movie is one of the last times Hollywood allowed a man with gray hair to be a kick-ass tough guy.

Sidenote 2: Throughout the film, whenever Reisman wants to get his soldiers’ attention, he blasts at their feet with a machine gun, which seems like it should totally violate several OSHA standards.

I lost track! Tell me if you think maybe Lee Marvin is Benedict’s secret grandfather or something.

Oh, if you need a Benedict clip for reference, not sure if this is the best one but I found this recent performance on SNL as one half of an experimental Chuck E Cheese band was pretty funny:

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Movie Review – Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022)

Banana, 3.5 readers.

Very banana, indeed.

I gotta be honest, the last few installments of this franchise were rather lackluster, IMO. I found that sad because the original, about professional supervillain Gru who, with the assistance of his little yellow goofball minions, learns he has a heart of gold, despite being encrusted in an evil layer, is a pretty great flick.

Then you had Despicable Me 2 and 3 and Minions and eh, though they had their moments, they were by and large forgettable cash grabs.

And while this film is, as all films are, about sucking up more moolah, it does have the heart of the original.

It’s the 1970s and young Gru (Steve Carrell) dreams of becoming a great supervillain. By accident, he is invited to interview with evil villain group, the Vicious Six. Shenanigans ensue and low and behold, Little Gru ends up taking his favorite villain band on with the assistance of his all time favorite villain, Wild Knuckles (Alan Arkin in perhaps the voice over role he was born to play).

Oh, and the little yellow schmucks are forever in the background, moving the story forward.

I could stop this review here, but I feel a need to comment on the whole Lightyear fiasco. I probably shouldn’t because I haven’t seen Lightyear but apparently, no one else did either (rimshot – too soon?)

All I can comment on is the Lightyear trailer seemed rather serious for a kid’s movie. Conservative commentators have been lambasting it as an example of “go woke, go broke” but I have a hunch Disney just went way too serious with this one. Buzz Lightyear, after all, is part of the Toy Story franchise. The running joke is that he is a very serious spaceman with a big ego who takes himself way too seriously and thus suffers big time mental anguish throughout the franchise as he comes to grips with the fact that he isn’t a super awesome astronaut but in fact, just a piece of plastic. His lasers are just little lights. His rockets are just easily lost plastic projectiles. He yearns to explore the greatest reaches of the galaxy but alas, just exists to chill in Andy’s toy box.

There was a Lightyear cartoon show that lampooned Buzz’s egotism and bumbling “I’m so awesome I don’t realize I accidentally trip over everything and luck my way into awesomeness” style and a modern day film that captured this style might have been better received. So going serious with a gritty, spaceman having to save the day with an interstellar twist where all his friends grow old while he goes on missions, eh. Too dark for this usually jovial character.

Compare it with this Minions movie that raked in boku cash while Lightyear tanked. From the opening scene where a young Gru clears out a sold out theater by detonating a fart gas bomb so he can get a better seat at a 1970s showing of Jaws (in a gas mask), you know this is a movie designed to make kids laugh, heck, to even make adults laugh.

I’m not saying there isn’t room for serious kids’ film. Frozen, for example, is a kids’ movie with serious themes that was done well and left room for silliness along the way.

All in all, this is me predicting that Dreamworks is on the way to eating Disney’s lunch if Disney keeps going on this serious, no room for fun path. Gru includes a preview for an upcoming Puss in Boots flick which also seems quite hysterical and as it plays up jokes about Puss having to break out of a horrible life of being one of a crazed cat lady’s hundreds of pets to resume a life of adventuring, you just get a sense that Dreamworks understands the first rule of a kids movie is make ’em laugh. No one at Disney seems to understand that these days.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Better Call Saul Series Finale Predictions

Hey 3.5 readers.

I enjoyed this show at first but must admit I let it fall by the wayside for years. Then upon hearing it was ending this year, I went on a binge and got all caught up.


My main criticism is after season 3, when Chuck is killed off, the show descends into wacky fan fiction territory. It’s definitely for the hard core Breaking Bad fans, with every little aspect of BB getting expounded on. I’m not sure all of it was needed. For example, did we ever care how Hector got his little bell? I had already assumed someone just gave it to him to help him communicate through dings so I’m not sure there was anything else we needed to know. And Gus’ crew constructing the underground meth lab. I mean, sure, I suppose it’s interesting but why don’t we just spend a whole season on watching Walt’s tumor grow while we’re at it?

Anyway, for those who caught the mid-season finale, it was very tragic and shocking. Longtime Jimmy nemesis Howard Hamlin was in the wrong place at the wrong time and maybe that’s all I should say about that.

Perhaps in future posts I’ll go into my thoughts about other parts of the series but for now, my predictions as to how the show will end.

#1 – “Gene” gets to be Saul again.

In black and white vignettes, we see Jimmy/Saul as Gene, a mild mannered nobody managing a Cinnabon in Omaha, Nebraska. Living the life of an average schmuck was Jimmy’s worse nightmare and now it has come true. Once boisterous and full of life, he now keeps his head down and avoids all manner of personal connection, just trying to get through the day without being noticed.

We’re never quite sure when the Gene days happen or how much time has passed. Is it years after the Heisenberg debacle? Is it right after?

If it is right after, then seeing as how Walt dies and Jesse goes on the run and all the Nazis are dead and Gus is dead and all the major cartel players are dead and all the Madrigal players are dead Hank and Gomie are to our continued shock and horror, dead and loyal Francesca will play dumb, is there anyone out there left who could testify against him? If not, is there anything stopping him from dipping into that diamond bag, coming out of hiding, opening a new law office and Sauling it up once more? Maybe in a big league market like New York or LA this time?

I’ve been checking out theories and no one has predicted this scenario so I’m going to. It would be awesome.

#2 – Walt Whacks the Guy Who Recognized Saul

Word has it that Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston will reprise their Jesse and Walt rules for guest starring roles on the end of the series. Not quite sure how that would work. If the Gene days are right after the whole mess, I can only picture it as somehow they both stop by Nebraska on their respective ways out.

Gene tells the vac salesman/professional evil-doer relocator (the late Robert Forster) he’ll take care of the problem himself. For those who don’t remember, the problem is a former ABQ resident moved to Omaha who recognizes Saul and apparently intends to make his life miserable. Could “handling it” mean a phone call to Walt telling him he owes Saul one and he’d better handle this problem for him? Maybe on his way back to ABQ to harass Gretchen and Elliot and commit mass amounts of Nazi murder, he stopped on Omaha to take that menacing cabbie out to do his old lawyer a solid.

I don’t know how Jesse would get involved though, yo. Stopping in Omaha while on the run from ABQ to Alaska seems like a detour the disappearer wouldn’t have made. Then again if it is years and years later, maybe Jesse visits Saul for…some reason. Doubt it is to kill the cabbie. Jesse as we know doesn’t like doing such things.

#3 – Reunite with Kim

From the start of the series, we assume the Jimmy and Kimmy romance doesn’t last because after all, Kim wasn’t seen at all in Breaking Bad. There is a fun fan theory that she was behind the scenes all the time, perhaps as the mastermind behind Saul’s crooked tax dodging scheme “Ice Station Zebra Associates.” After Saul visited Walt and Jesse, he’d go to his love for advice on how to help these dumb yahoo meth cooks stay out of jail and she was the real maestro behind Saul’s operation but just stayed out of the limelight to not get her hands dirty.

Eh, that seems unlikely, though anything is possible. A safe assumption, what with the Lalo mess, is Jim and Kim breakup. Whether it’s just sort of a low scale breakup where Kim says she doesn’t want to be crooked anymore and goes back to a quiet law abiding life and never sees Jimmy again, or perhaps something bad happens that she herself must enlist the disappearer’s services, we don’t know…yet. Keep in mind though according to the show, Kim grew up in the Nebraska area so perhaps she went home to live with her mom and so when Gene says he’ll take care of the cabbie, he means he’s going to call his old flame who is also in hiding to bail his ass out one last time.

But then again it’s possible she just stayed in ABQ and went back to a normal life and just kept Jimmy out of it.

There’s always the possibility that something horrible happens. Maybe Kim dies by the end of the series. That would truly be awful but BCS and BB have never shied away from embracing the fact that a life of crime comes with truly disastrous and horrifying consequences.

However, if Gene and Kim could reunite in hiding that would be awesome. Maybe even come out of hiding. Didn’t she call herself Giselle when she and Jimmy did their scams? Maybe Jimmy and Giselle ride again. Maybe Saul gets to be Saul again and Kimmy is his co-counsel Better Call Giselle. Better Tell Giselle?

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Movie Review – Jerry and Marge Go Large (2022)

Well, it’s official. I’m a Paramount Plus subscriber now.

How did that happen? This freaking movie.

Let’s discuss, 3.5 readers.

I love Bryan Cranston and have been binging Breaking Bad as of late. Somehow, the internet oompa loompas who feed tailored ads to my computer must know this because they have been peppering me with ads for this film. Frankly, the best description of it is if the Hallmark Channel made a sweet, charming version of Breaking Bad that old ladies can enjoy, but still has enough humor for everyone else too.

Based on a true story, retired cereal factory worker Jerry Selbee has had a lifelong gift for number crunching that no one has ever appreciated. Adjusting to retired life, he feels useless and unproductive until he finds a flaw in a lotto game. After performing some calculations (and trust me, the film tries to explain it but you might be mentally better off if you just nod and politely agree that the math works and means the things that the characters say it means) Jerry figures out a way to game the system.

Alas, when his home state of Michigan discontinues his favorite lotto game, he and wife Marge (Anette Bening) spice up their stale marriage by making monthly trips to the Bay State, purchasing tens of thousands of lotto tickets at a time, to the point where they become BFFs with rural MA convenience store owner Bill (Rainn Wilson.)

Ahh, but the Selbees are altruists at heart. Noticing that their little town of Evart is down in the dumps of an economic downturn, they convince their friends and neighbors to pool their resources, creating a corporation that does nothing but buy lotto tickets, pays taxes on the winnings and distributes profits amongst the shareholding townsfolk. In the process, the newly rich Evartians are able to invest boku buckaroos in their fair burg, opening up shops and fixing up locations that had been rotting away unused.

Steve (Larry Wilmore) serves as the Selbees’ co-conspirating accountant, the joke being that no one else in town prior to the lotto wins had much money so he had to take on a second job because no one in town had any money to account for.

Naturally, any decent film needs a point of contention right? That’s where a group of smarmy Harvard students come in. These whiz kids have also figured out how to game the lotto. The Michigan townsfolk and Cambridge brainiacs butt heads, for if one side drops out, then that increases the winnings for the other and all’s fair in love, war, and playing the lotto, right?

STATUS: Shelf-worthy, though this is the oldest I’ve seen Bryan Cranston. He plays a grandfather here, an old who is having a hard time adjusting to the so-called golden years. I’m not knocking old age it’s just it seems like yesterday Bryan was cooking meth with Jesse as Walt and now he’s playing grandpas who have to wrestle snacks away from their grandkids to prevent them from finding out said snacks are a secret cash stash.

Hey, it convinced me to sign up for Paramount Plus and I felt it was worth it after seeing it, so if that isn’t a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is. Chalk up another role for Cranston as a older person looking back on life, feeling like they missed out by not taking this or that shot, and finding some unique way to make big bucks before time runs out. At least Jerry did something legal here. Walt? Not so much.

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Movie Review – Jurassic World: Dominion (2022)


People spend so much time thinking about how to do it they never stopped to think about if they should do it, that is to say, to make this movie, 3.5 readers.

BQB here with a review of the latest installment to the ongoing prehistoric monsters meet modern times saga.

At the outset, let me say this: I didn’t think it was as bad as the critics are saying, but I do think the concept of modern day dinos is played out and it’s going to be a long time, if ever, when writers think of a new setting to put our giant scaly predecessors in to make them interesting. The previous film stunk the big one, making me think that was all she wrote to this franchise, but by God, they managed to make one last flick that is passable.

The plot? Owen and Claire (Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard) are hiding out from the law and dinos with their clone kid who set the dinos free in an act of defiance against the villains of the last picture and don’t ask me to explain it any better than that because if I try, my eyes will glaze over.

Somehow, they go down the rabbit hole of uncovering a plot to control the world’s food supply courtesy of Dodgson (I always thought he was Dobson) the dude that Wayne Knight aka Newman aka Dennis Nedry sold the shaving cream can full of dino dna samples to in the last one. It was never mentioned in any of the other movies, but apparently this evildoer spent the last 30 some odd years starting and running his own evil biological company, though to the outsider, he comes across as a typical Tim Cook-esque Silicon Valley mogul.

Yes, these bad dudes have managed to use dino DNA tech to create prehistoric bugs designed to devour all the world’s crops except the bad guys’ crops and ergo, yadda yadda yadda, the villain will control all the food and you’ll have to sell your right testicle to get a damn candy bar.

One source of criticism might be that, you know, if there’s a villainous plot afoot, it should involve killer dinos instead of killer bugs, but the dinos are still present. Another source of criticism is that the last film ended with a teaser of a new world where dinosaurs have run amuck. I thought we’d see more of that and we do, just not in the ways we thought. Here, dinos do cross paths with and endanger humans but in most cases, it’s kind of like when a bear gets lost and wanders around a suburban neighborhood, “Damn it! That brontosaurus is getting too close to the city! Better call the cops!”

To be sure, there are evil dino breeders, underground dino black market clubs, and the evil corporation’s dino sanctuary to give you the visual dino feast you crave, but yeah, I thought based on the last film, this one would be all about a world destroyed by T-Rexes wreaking havoc on major metropolitan areas, chomping up everything in sight.

Then again, I mean, dinos being released into the world would be dangerous, but in reality I suppose we have the army, police, national guard and enough gun toting rednecks to take these beasts out and the remaining stragglers would be an annoyance and/or relegated to the black market. So I guess kudos to this flick for embracing that reality but then again this film is the last place I go to for reality. I wanted to see T-Rexes stomping all over downtown, damn it!

Bonus points for bringing the original cast back together. Laura Dern, Sam Neil and Jeff Goldblum all reprise their roles as Doctors Ellie Satler, Grant and Malcolm and much to the film’s credit, these aren’t brief cameos. While many franchises trot out their older stars for a quick walk-on, this trio is very integral to the plot. They get a lot of lines/scenes and have screentime for well over half the movie so if you’re nostalgic for the first film, look no further.

DeWanda Wise and Mamoudou Athie round out the cast as a pilot whose plane gets turned into pyterodactyl lunch and a whistleblower who fights the evil corporation, respectively.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy. It seems this will be it for Jurassic films for a while and that’s probably for the best. I applaud the film for its overall message of “while scientific breakthroughs are awesome, let’s be careful while we’re playing God” but seriously, how many times can some idiot mess with dino dna before the government steps in and bans everyone from starting dino dna labs?

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Movie Review – Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness (2022)

Hey 3.5 readers. Do you know that somewhere out there, there’s a world where this blog has 3.5 million readers?

Anything is possible in the multiverse.

BQB here with a review of the MCU’s latest.

At the end of Avengers: Endgame, I thought Marvel had written themselves into a corner. Iron-Man is dead. Captain America old, etc, etc. But now that the MCU has fully head-on embraced multiverse theory as reality, anything is possible.

In short, Iron-Man can come back as Iron-Woman, Iron-Dog, Iron-Clown, Iron-Mime, Iron-Anyone or Anything or more likely, just another actor playing the Iron Dude. All theory on my part but I suspect this is where Marvel is going, so as the longtime actors of this franchise commit the cardinal Hollywood sin of growing old or gasp, demanding more money, Marvel can just yank a different version of the same hero from another dimension.

Also removes the necessity for reboots. We always hate reboots where our beloved story stops and restarts anew, right? The story can just continue forever and ever now.

Admittedly, that didn’t happen in this movie but I think that’s where the franchise is headed. And multiverse theory, in this movie, allowed for an awesome character to join in despite his movies never working (John Krakinski as Mr. Fantastic) or to bring a character owned by one studio to a movie made by another studio (Sir Patrick Steward stops by as Professor X despite dying in Logan because um, he’s probably Professor X from another universe.)

The plot? It is terribly confusing and convoluted, but as far as I can tell, multiverse traveler America Chavez (Xochitil Gomez) is protected by an alternate Dr. Strange when he is ganked by incoming monsters who want America for her mysterious multiverse traversing powers. In our world, she seeks out assistance from our Dr. Strange, who in turn asks for fellow magic wielder Wanda Maximoff for assistance. Alas, she double crosses our favorite sorcerer because she wants America’s power so she can travel to a world where her kids from Wandavision are alive so she can be their mom again. That’s the long and short of it and there’s a lot of special effects and magic fights and so on.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy. It wasn’t the best MCU movie and sadly, it’s the first MCU film that I waited until it was on streaming to see. A bit confusing. Also plotholes like how did America get her power? But fun and a sign of where the MCU is going. It does feel like we are in Marvel’s scraping the bottom of the barrel phase but if they handle this multiverse stuff well it’s possible that 100 years from now, this story could still be going on, just younger versions of our heroes being yanked from another dimension whenever our favorite actors age out. Don’t let your boss watch this movie lest he or she find a younger alternate version of you to replace you at work for less money.

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