Awesome Friday Movie Podcast: ‘Muppets Haunted Mansion’ & ‘There’s Someone Inside Your House’

Awesome Friday Podcast

Greetings programs! It’s Awesome Friday, on a Sunday, because it’s a state of mind and not a time or place. This week Simon and I are talking about Disney’s new Halloween special, Muppets Haunted Mansion and Netflix’s new teen slasher, There’s Someone Inside Your House.

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Awesome Friday Movie Podcast: ‘Star Wars: Visions’ & ‘Midnight Mass’

Awesome Friday Podcast: Star Wars: Visions & Midnight Mass

Greetings programs! It’s that time again, Awesome Friday on a Sunday! Remember, it’s a state of mind and not a day of the week. In this episode, we have two new series to talk about, the latest Star Wars project Star Wars: Visions and director Mike Flanagan’s latest series for Netflix, Midnight Mass. This episode is nearly 90s minutes long, but that’s because we absolutely loved one of these series and have a lot to say about it. Join us!

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Review: ‘Star Wars: Visions’ offers some new takes on the galaxy far, far away, mostly

Star Wars: Visions

Star Wars is a franchise of epic stories, but the galaxy far, far away has always felt a little small. Planets with the population of villages, each only a short drive through hyperspace from one another. One thing that the franchise has needed for a long time is some expansion, some stories to push at the universe’s boundaries. Animation has been, for years now, the place where that has been happening, and Star Wars: Visions –a project in which Lucasfilm let several prominent anime studios tell Star Wars stories– is the latest series to do it. Mostly.

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Awesome Friday Movie Podcast: ‘Kate’ & ‘Cruella’

Awesome Friday Podcast Kate & Cruella

Greetings programs! We’re back with our 9th episode of the new Awesome Friday Podcast. This week we’re talking about one new thing and one not so new thing. First up is the new Mary Elizabeth Winstead starring action film from Netflix, Kate, which we have mixed feelings about, and second is the new-to-all-Disney+-subscribers film starring Emma Stone, Cruella, which as it turns out, we both really like.

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Review: ‘Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ is Marvel’s best new character debut in ages

SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS

It’s ok, folks; our long national nightmare is over. Marvel’s latest film is out, and we can all stop holding our breath because it’s pretty great. I know there are a ton of you out there waiting to see this, and you want to go in as blind as possible –and that’s honestly a good idea!– so if you want to bookmark this and come back later, here are the Coles Notes: it’s good! It has some great laughs! It has some absolutely dope fight scenes! Simu Liu and Awkwafina are great together! I think you’re going to like it!

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Review: ‘Vacation Friends’ is fine, and that’s fine.

VACATION FRIENDS

Stop me if you have heard this one before. A protagonist obsessed with planning, order, and things being just so, ends up in a situation where they have to spend time with a new friend who floats through life, embraces chaos, and for whom things always seem to work out. I don’t know what movie you are thinking of because there are so many possibilities, but I am talking about Vacation Friends, the new film starring Lil Rel Howrey and John Cena, which debuts on Disney+ Star (Hulu in the US) today.

To be clear, this set-up has been done so many times because when it works, you get comedy gold. However, there are two things that a film like this needs to hit that paydirt. First, you need a pair of charismatic leads who have excellent comedic timing and natural chemistry that allows them to bounce off one another seamlessly for the most comedic effect. Howrey and Cena are definitely this. Second, you need a really funny, original script. It’s a good thing that this movie has the first thing.

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Review: ‘Free Guy’ is a love letter to gaming and just the dose of summer fun we’ve been waiting for

FREE GUY

If there’s a film genre with an uneven history, it’s the video game movie. Sure, there are some good movies based on video games, but not many. Free Guy, the first big release from 20th Century Studios in a post-Disney acquisition world, posits that maybe the best way to make a video game movie is not to adapt a game directly at all.

Adapting instead of the gameplay and tropes of massively multiplayer online shooters like Fortnite and Grand Theft Auto Online, the film ends up being a love letter to gaming itself rather than any game specifically.

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Review: ‘Jungle Cruise’ is fun!

Jungle Cruise

Given the state of the world, it might be a more interesting fact that Disney hasn’t made more films based on the rides at their theme parks. I know that’s a weird thing to think about, but the future is weird. Disney is a vast, money-making empire and can monetize its properties like no other vast, money-making empire, and many of the rides in its parks are iconic.

Now, I know what you might be thinking, that it’s maybe a little cynical to make a movie based on a theme park ride, but to that, I say two things. First: tell it to the Pirates of the Caribbean, and second you can make a good movie out of anything. Here to prove that second point is Jungle Cruise, a good movie based on a theme park ride.

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Let’s talk about the end of ‘Loki’

Loki

Loki, Marvel’s latest Disney+ television series ended last night with a number of surprises, but perhaps the most surprising thing is that it was a season finale –cliffhanger and all– rather than a the end of a self contained series.

There are a few big revelations, so let’s talk about them and what they might mean and a few thoughts I have on where things might go. Yes, this article will be absolutely riddled with spoilers (and assumes you’ve watched the series).

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Review: ‘Monsters at Work’ is exactly the continuation this franchise needs

Monsters at Work

Ok, this is where I make a confession: I’ve never really liked Monsters Inc. I get why the people who love it love it, but I never have. I never watched Monsters University because the world doesn’t hold a lot of interest for me.

When I heard about Monsters at Work I thought that television might actually be the perfect place for a franchise like this. A workplace comedy about monsters in the laugh factory is probably the best possible way to explore these characters and this world. It turns out that’s probably true, even if it’s not for me.

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Review: ‘Luca’ is all about the power of friendship

Luca

Disney and Pixar have a long track record of making movies about fish out of water characters. You know the story, a shy or sheltered child who longs to explore meets another child who is out in the world and shows them things they could never imagine until they have a falling out, only to reconcile and have a happy ending.

Luca, the latest film from Pixar, is very much a film that, in the broad strokes, you’ve seen before. In the details though, you are going to find that Pixar warmth, charm, and heart.

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Tribeca 2021 Review: ‘Wolfgang’ chronicles the life of the first celebrity chef

Wolfgang

We live in a world of celebrity chefs. A world in which there are entire television channels and a subgenre of documentary dedicated to chefs and food. There were chefs on TV before all this began, but one chef incited the world of food celebrity: Wolfgang Puck.

If you’re a fan of food television, there isn’t a name more synonymous with it than Puck. If you’re going to make a documentary about the first real celebrity chef, then you definitely want the team who made Jiro Dreams of Sushi and Chef’s Table to make it.

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Review: ’Cruella’ is stylish, funny, fun, and one of the best Disney live-action updates to date

Cruella

Disney’s recent series of live-action remakes and updates of their library of classic animated films have been, to be generous, let’s say, a mixed bag. That’s not to say that they are unpopular, but most of them feel to me like they are unnecessary. This is especially true with the direct remakes, such as The Lion King or Dumbo.

Cruella takes a page from Maleficent‘s book. Rather than being a simple update of a film we already know and love (and already have a remake of), and tells the origin story of Cruella De Vil, the dog murdering villain from 101 Dalmations. This gives it more freedom to be its own thing, and the results are that it manages to capture the spirit of an animated film while adding the production value of a live-action film starring two Oscar winners.

In short, it’s one of the best of these movies so far.

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