Weekly update: Who are you calling a monster, pal?

Greetings, Gothamites!

We have a bumper edition this week as I have been a busy little cinema viewing bee lately. There are also a book and video game to talk about. I also visited the theatre! I love the theatre. You can check out my review of Jersey Boys here. 

So let’s get into it and I will try to keep the reviews Twitter-ish length. Though regular readers will know how much I do love a good ramble. Oh, dear. I’m already doing it, aren’t I?

 

Movie — Little (2019)

Little wasn’t a bad movie. It was entertaining, but it didn’t cover any new ground on the “person changes age dramatically overnight” trope. There were a few moments that were funny, but I never reached levels of funny that made me laugh out loud — or lol, if you will. And the funniest moments were in the trailer anyway. 

Let’s call it worth a watch if it’s on the telly but not something to go out of your way to see. 

 

Movie — Pet Sematary (2019)

I enjoyed Pet Sematary. Though I was deeply disappointed that the trailer ruined the main twist of the film and it did get a bit silly towards the end, Pet Sematary is still an enjoyable supernatural horror film. There are also some wonderful homages to the original film, the Stephen King novel they are both based on, and a certain St Bernard. 

If you want to see the film and haven’t seen the trailer — don’t. I don’t know what they were thinking putting the twist in there when the lead up to the event is so clearly set up to make you think the obvious.

 

Movie — Us (2019)

I had no plans to see Us in the cinema, but I was doing a three movie marathon at the cinemas and the timing of Us worked perfectly. I’m so glad I did. I didn’t know a lot about Us before I went in to see it, but I found it to be a fascinating story with brilliant pacing, fantastic acting with many layers, and great ambiance.

The twist ending was clever but also incredibly predictable. Us also doesn’t have a lot of rewatchability factor for me. It’s still well worth a look if you enjoy social horror like Get Out or The Purge series.

 

Movie — Hellboy (2019)

Hellboy is very fun. If you enjoy your heroes with a little bit of sass, like Deadpool, then this reboot should not be missed. The plot is pretty intricate for a new origin story, but it makes it work and doesn’t waste too much time introducing backstories, choosing instead to show and not tell.

David Harbour and Ian McShane are both thoroughly enjoyable to watch portray Hellboy and his father respectively. But let’s face it, Ian McShane could read the phone book and be impressive. Regardless, you should see Hellboy if you’re a fan of supernatural action films with a generous helping of the lols. 

 

Movie — Shazam! (2019)

Shazam! is my absolute favourite and most fun of the five movies I have recently seen in the cinema. There are so many characters introduced, but the film never feels bloated. The action is enjoyable, the acting is awesome and the general vibe is really upbeat — even in the serious parts.

The ongoing joke about not having a name for Billy Batson’s hero is also a cute dig at the copyright issues and confusion caused by the history of the character’s name in the comics.

 

Book — The Frame-Up by Meghan Scott Molin (2018)

The Frame-Up has a good story. Sexy police officer, civilian nerd involved in solving a case that has the experts stumped, and real life superhero/supervillain conflict. 

Unfortunately, I found that the story gets bogged down with a romance that feels forced, pop culture references crowbarred in whether they feel right or not, predictable plot points, red herring diversions so obvious they all but put a blinking arrow above the actual perp, a heroine that I found to be unlikeable, and a hero who is bland. Which is a shame because I wanted to love this book.

The story is engaging enough that once you get started it’s worth finishing, but it does take quite a bit of wading through the above points to get to a not super earth-shattering ending.

 

Video Game — Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! (2018)

Okay, I’ve done pretty well keeping things concise but this one is probably going to go into Ramble Town. Let’s see if we can get it into rapid fire points. 

I loved: being able to walk with Pikachu on my shoulder, being able to transfer Pokémon over from Pokémon GO, being able to fly on a Charizard, being able to have another Pokémon wander along beside me, dressing up my Pikachu, playing with Pikachu, the general simplicity the older generations of games allow with the remarkable graphics of new games, that you can see the wild Pokémon appear in the wild and choose to approach them or not, the new catching system that doesn’t involve beating your new friend to a pulp before attempting to bond with it.

I loathed: having to capture Pokémon I had transferred over from Pokémon GO as if they were a wild Pokémon, that you could give a Pokémon a golden razz berry and make an excellent throw but still not have the slightest chance of catching it. 

The new catching system has people divided, but I believe that it could be perfect with a few tweaks (for example, if I use the best berry and make an excellent throw four times in a row but still don’t catch the critter — I get understandably cross). 

Overall, Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! is one of my favourite Pokémon games after only six months. I have defeated the Elite Four, completed my Pokédex and still feel like there is so much left for me to do. Highly recommend for RPG and Pokémon fans. 

 

That’s it from me this week, Gothamites. Who here has played Pokémon: Let’s Go? Where are you at with it? Hit me up in the comments or on Twitter. Or check out my Twitter feed for more of the latest ramblings.

Tune in next week for an update that includes more pop culture chat! Same bat time, same bat channel.

– CJ

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