If you’re a child of the 90s, such as myself, there’s a lot of little things you probably remember about that decade that brings out all the nostalgic warm and fuzzy feelings.
My dad and I are both classic movie fans, it's one of the few things we bond over. We have a ritual of meticulously combing TCM’s weekly schedule and recording anything that sounds interesting. It started last summer; I was too depressed to go outside, and instead sat for hours, near-vegetative in front of the TV as Ben Mankiewicz talked about movies I’d only heard referenced in passing. I like a little bit of everything; my dad, as of late, watches anything related to WWII—typical middle-aged white dad fare—and that’s really where it starts.
The third season of Stranger Things was one wild ride and probably the craziest adventure the series has taken audiences on so far. One would think it would be hard to top Demogorgons and giant monsters from another dimension. But the Netflix series outdid itself with a compelling narrative involving the Mind Flayers' unique return and a fun, 80s inspired Russian secret lab conspiracy beneath StarCourt Mall. Yup, the latest season was pretty crazy in how it unveiled many things about the Stranger Things Universe, notably that Russia knows about the Upside Down and have discovered many gateways into it. This leads to so much speculation on where the next season will take subscribers.
Opening with a thwarted escape plan, The Peanut Butter Falcon immediately establishes its winsome comedic tone. This is a film with a great deal of Old School charm as its most heralded influence (even mentioned within the film) are the stories of Mark Twain. Not that the film is dated by any means, carrying with it a lot of modern issues about the care system and discrimination but it has an appealing nostalgic feel to it that arrives from its earthy backdrops to gentle ease us into this warm and upbeat narrative. The film focuses on dual protagonists Zack and Tyler who are both runaways from some pretty substantial issues. Zack lives in a residential home for elderly people even though he is a young adult with a learning disability, he has been left there by his family he can not care for him. Feeling understandably confined by his life he sneaks out his barred windows in nothing but his underwear and meets Tyler (portrayed with abrasiveness and underlying compassion by Shia LaBeouf). Tyler is dealing with his own grievances and inner turmoil and doesn't particularly welcome Zack with open arms, but soon enough a mutual bond between the two forms. Zack wants to go to a wrestling school owned by his idol the Salt Water Red Neck and Tyler just wants to get out of the state so the two take to the road whilst being tailed by concerned carer Eleanor. The pair have electric chemistry, and breakout Zack Gottsagen is such an energetic and expressive performer that he lights up the screen with his infectious charisma and upbeat attitude. It's also so welcome to see an actor with a learning disability to be at the forefront of a film rather than an actor without receiving this role and using it as an opportunity to give a stunt performance like Dustin Hoffman and Tom Hanks both have previously. Writer and directors Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz were even asked to give the role to an actor without a learning disability, which I find absurd and backward.
The greatest pillar holding up the entire series of My Hero Academia is All Might. He’s the classic superhero archetype. Basically imagine Superman filtered through the lens of shonen manga and you have All Might, and I think a great part of the series's core appeal lies with him, and how he’s the Superman archetype done right.
Real estate agent Sharon Elliott (Kristina Klebe) has been worried about her teenage son, Anthony (Sebastian Cabanas). Ever since her husband, and Anthony's father Mark (Michael Houston King), was mysteriously murdered, Sharon has found herself disconnected from her son. So, when classmate Dylan Warren (Tanner Buchanan) suddenly befriends Anthony and becomes a rock for her troubled son, Sharon is thrilled, and thankful for her son's new friend.
When we were kids, life seemed so much simpler... Basically all you had to worry about was keeping on the up and up with Saturday morning cartoons and brushing your teeth after your third bowl of Crunch Berries so your parents wouldn’t ride your ass about it. The adults were in charge of keeping you alive and the rest was just good livin.' Income taxes, tampons, cholesterol, and whiskey dick were still in the distant and unfathomable future.
I had an advance screening for this movie a month ago, but decided not to go because of the rain. Now that I've watched this movie at another screening, I only have one thing to say.
In an age where a new streaming service pops up out of nowhere sooner than you can fart twice, (nice, I just found a wild Disney+ up my arse!) it’s hard to find any media property that has enough cultural recognition, popularity, and pulling power—yeah, they’re basically all the same thing, but I was hoping you wouldn’t notice—to draw in enough people for a half decent "water cooler" conversation. However, the Duffer brothers’ smash hit Stranger Things has been a delight for me in that respect, even topping The Fantasy Show That Shall Not Be Named for viewership numbers and excitement levels amongst my little group of young adult peers. Nonetheless, the buzz for the Duffers’ show was not limited to just my friends. The official figures reveal that Stranger Things’ third series was Netflix’s most viewed "thing" ever within a four day time frame. This really begs the question: Why in the Upside-Down is this derivative, predictable, 80s nostalgia fest so Demodog-damn popular?