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Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham (2023)

Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham (2023)

Doom as in Dr. Doom, I presume...?

I presumed wrong! Whatever I could've presumed would've been wrong. This wasn't like any Batman movie I'd seen before - atmosphere-wise a little reminiscent of Gotham by Gaslight maybe - but story-wise it's a new take entirely on the franchise you know and love.

The sins of the father are heaped upon the son...

That's the root of it all.

In the cast list you'll find new variants of most iconic Batman characters of old. Penguin, Poison Ivy, Robin, Harvey... so many are there in a new form. Some that were good are now bad. Some vice versa. Some you won't recognize - at least I'm pretty sure I'm missing a bundle.

On the one hand I'm not a huge fan of spin-off's like this, in that they provide an endless opportunity to build upon worlds that already exist with a pre-existing base of fans that'll be there for each one, even if they don't stay true to their origins at all, that'll appreciate the content even if it's sub-par just because they love the franchise. But on the other hand it's definitely more fun when a franchise tries something new - ties to the old though it may have - than to know what to expect from the getgo.

Except maybe just that it'll be grand and unpredictable.

The story's good. The atmosphere's great. It's chaotic, but it does come full circle, and as a fan of the franchise... it's just fun! It's new. It's different. It's a little all over the place and lacking character depth and continuity but it's also wholesome and - since it is a spin-off - conclusive.

I like the supernatural element too. The mystery. The characters.

These spin-off's really are a lot of fun to watch. Each one a new adventure entirely. It's like reliving the original again and again, in a way.

It may not be all perfect but: refreshing. And rich. In atmosphere, characters and variation.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Money Shot: The Pornhub Story (2023)

Money Shot: The Pornhub Story (2023)

Asa Akira, Siri Dahl, Cherie DeVille, Gwen Adora, Noelle Perdue, and more - pornstars, reporters and employees...

It's a movie of scandals and innovations both, that ultimately paints the owners of PornHub at least in an unpleasant light.

For a moment I thought it'd end up being a promo for them, then I thought it'd be a campaign against them, but as it turns out it's a surprisingly objective take on the industry as a whole. And PornHub specifically.

It makes an effort to differentiate sex workers from management.
For those that actively work for their paycheck, and those who've been mistreated in order for others to earn theirs. Before all those unverified videos went down... don't know what I'm talking about? Neither did I. Watch this and get informed. ;)

There may have been some PornHub headlines in the news looking back, I didn't pay them much mind. They didn't last long. Wonder if they had the financial resources to keep things on the low low...

Though it's not entirely uncensored it is a graphic documentary too. Unexpectedly so sometimes - though suitably considering the premise. You'll see some skin. You'll see assortments of dildos and butt plugs casually set on a shelf in back of an interview like an alien lifeform - a bouquet of sinful devices - sprouting out in all shapes and sizes...

It's a good documentary.

It speaks of the recent OnlyFans scandal too - which I hadn't heard of either.

Fighting for sex worker rights is a good case, and a good fight.

I did not realize the Internet was suddenly as heavily regulated as it currently is either... we need new payment providers no? Mastercard and Visa monopolizing the market is dangerous. They've basically become the gatekeepers of all online content.

With the war between Russia and Ukraine it was suddenly apparent how much influence they have on the world also. Russian content creators basically had their revenue streams severed entirely. Banks enforced sanctions and weren't a viable alternative, and cryptocurrencies used credit cards or transfers for any initial exchange.

Fortunately there are work-arounds, but it's not easy, and people don't want to pay for things if they have to go out of their way to do so.

These credit card providers really have an excessive level of control on the global market, but that's beside the main points of this documentary...

This movie definitely made me a fan of Siri Dahl, Gwen Adora and that red-haired girl. Wish Asa would've spoken a bit more - maybe speaking's not her forte though.

Porn really is the canary in the coal mine of free speech, as they say.

It always has been, before the Internet was a thing, with social rights and liberation. With freedom of expression, and equality, and open relationships. So when they crack down on porn...

Shouldn't be that you have to shut down every form of communication to prevent any crime from ever happening. What kind of world would that be.

Props Netflix on allowing and making this. Sex sells, for sure, but sex... is apparently pretty important too.

This was surprisingly eye-opening. For real.

It's starts a simple documentary, and ends a wake-up call for the world today. Where nothing's really free after all. But let's keep it as free as we can, shall we?

Great watch.

 rated 4.5/5: almost awesome

Winnie The Pooh: Blood And Honey (2023)

Winnie The Pooh: Blood And Honey (2023)

Turning Winnie The Pooh into a horror movie? A tale of cute, childish critters that you presumed were but a matter and manner of imagination to fiendish evils, betrayed by the handsome Chris Robins who went away to collage and left them in their vile and peerless states?

In theory the idea works but... the execution's disappointing.

Winnie's clearly but a man in a mask, most actors can't act, and it all ends up being more violence and gore than any manner of real horror.

The sceneries are decayed and horror-worthy, the props are solid, but no manner of visual wizardry can redeem the cast... or directing? Not sure where it falters, but it just isn't that good.

I guess Chris is alright though. And some of the girls. And some of those girls! Woo. But in the end... it's just not that good.

Not that captivating but for the gruesome. Not the mood.

 rated 2.5/5: almost not bad

Furies (2023)

Furies (2023)

A mysterious woman trains a trio of girls to take revenge on a criminal gang that abuses females. The three lady warriors risk everything to challenge this corrupt empire.

It starts like a female empowerment movie.

I'm thinking it'll be cliché. Girls VS the world. All with dark and abused pasts ready to take down the man, literally. A girl of the gutter's picked up by a strong lady with a will to change the world, by taking down the triad that run pretty much all guns, drugs and prostitution in the city.

They're a dangerous bundle.

Though the flare for female empowerment's definitely there it's dark though. It starts dark, and gets darker, as it turns out that their tale for betterment's really more so about vengeance, and just when this lost soul is finding a home the foundations thereof start to crumble...

The fighting choreography's not the greatest, some bits are clearly sped up, and a lot of kicks and punches lack weight or complexity, but it's good enough. They have one really good explosion - seems like a real one with a little CGI for extra effect - and unfortunately a lot of not-that-great looking CGI otherwise, including a very fake-looking bike ride.

The strong point of it all is the cast though.

They might not seem like much initially. A set of outcasts like any other, without any greater talent for emotional showcase or rage, but as it goes... it grows. It seems mediocre for so long, but then in the very final scene I'm suddenly at a loss of breath; following along intently. What a savage lady. Jacqueline (Veronica Ngo) carries the scene, and the final fight's a good one.

I get goosebumps of remembrance just writing about that part...

It's by all means not a perfect movie.

For the most part it doesn't stand out much. It may be grimy and gritty and stylistically colorful in a way like Sin City or similarly stylistic flicks, but it also often feels unnecessarily messy and overacted.

I guess they got me after all though.

Thought it'd be one of many but I think I'll remember their story after all.

In the end... it's all in the end. Maybe earlier. Maybe somewhere along the way it starts bringing me in without me noticing. The moments I consider cheesy. The guy with the overly anime-looking haircut. Elements I feel are fake and flawed. It's all part of the atmosphere after all, and in the end...

There's just no mercy. Nothing superficial. No wasted words. No reason, either. It's just the way of the world, and I wasn't expecting it. Even good movies rarely have perfect ends. Color me impressed then.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Miley Cyrus - Endless Summer Vacation (2023)

Miley Cyrus - Endless Summer Vacation (2023)

Part of the Backyard Sessions series...

It starts with a tour. A beautiful pagoda by the pool. A terrace. Red brick stairs through a veil of greenery. A lovely white marble platter of musicality by a crisp California lawn and white palisades. Suits and Miley, tattooed and tattered, clad like a Rockstar, though almost too thin for the fabrics at first, sunshine shining through, revealing all...

Jump to bits of backstory on the making of the album.

Mix it with performances.

Vary the dresses. Spice it up a bit. Elegant and easy. Sensual, hippy-like, harried sometimes, heart on her sleeve.

Who would've thought I'd become a Miley fan allofasudden?

I caught her on her recent Metallica performance via reaction videos, and Chris Cornell after that, and a Joe Rogan podcast a while before it...

I'm getting drawn in guys. I'm turning. It's beautiful, fascinating, personal, artsy... possibly a little superficial or sultry sometimes, but I don't mind.

I like the way it goes from morning to night too. The cinematic evolution of all - even if some songs are definitely way more emotional; heartfelt than others, the concert itself really takes you through the day this way.

It feels like you're living it. Like you're not just there but a part of it. The cameras are smooth and lively. It's never stale. You move with the music.

I like how the shots of everyone but Miley evolve along with the performance too, from focus just on the instruments and musicality to faces and figures there too.

Somehow it's like you're part of the family before it all ends. Kinda.

It's playful, it's personal, it's perky and partially surfacial, but also partially deeper than you think it'll be... was pleasantly surprised with this one.

It's not too long either.

Great show.

 rated 4.5/5: almost awesome

Underbelly (2022)

Underbelly (2022)

A short social-realist drama about an apprentice butcher in Dundee, Scotland.

Brought to life via Kickstarter. Here. I contributed.

It's a dark one this one... but better than expected. You get a connection. You feel for and with the characters. It does what a movie's meant to - even if it's just a short film.

I can't say it's a movie I enjoyed but... it makes you feel.

In that regard they did it well.

 rated 3.5/5: not bad at all

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