Farewell, Filmstruck. On Nov. 29, the sublime streaming service — home to the Criterion Collection and Turner Classic Movies archives — shuttered its virtual doors, dealing a blow to cinephiles everywhere. Now how am I going to watch Nobuhiko Ôbayashi's House and "Fishing with John" in one sitting?!?
I had more than two years to prepare myself for Pokémon Detective Pikachu, the first live-action film in the unstoppable franchise's history, but after gazing deep into Pikachu's coal-black eyes (and, to paraphrase Nietzsche, having them gaze back into me,) I realized no amount of time could've prepared me for this horror. Just look at that thing — it's like it knows your darkest secrets. Somehow, the voice of Ryan Reynolds and the adorable Sherlock Holmes hat only made IRL Pikachu more unsettling, BTW.
See that terrifying dude right there? That's Brock Lesnar, the current WWE Universal Champion ... who is also currently missing in action. You see, after spending most of the year wrestling the same match with the same three opponents and threatening to leave WWE for UFC (where was a former champ), Brock had a change of heart, returning to pro wrestling on a part-time schedule. Naturally, WWE made him champ yet again, guaranteeing that one of their top titles was all but absent from their top weekly show, "WWE Raw." And you can imagine how annoying that is to us fans of grown men fake fighting in their underwear.
Annihilation may have been my favorite movie of the year; an art-house action flick that was also super smart, socially relevant, psychedelic, and totally terrifying. Of course, no one saw it, as it opened with a paltry $11 million (behind stuff like Game Night and Peter Rabbit) before disappearing from theaters. Guess you guys had to watch another Marvel movie.
As you can probably gather from the title, silence played a big part in A Quiet Place, which was a cool idea ... but made for an excruciating moviegoing experience. Unless you wanted to listen to a constant cacophony of soda slurps, seat shifts, nacho-chip crunches, throat clears, and stray nostril whistles. TBH, the amount of strange bodily functions I overheard was the scariest thing about this movie.
Look, "The Haunting of Hill House" was great ... for the first seven-ish episodes. But, in keeping with recent streaming trends, Netflix stretched it out to an insurmountable ten hour-long installments, which had me feeling like Violet McGraw by the end. You know why "Bodyguard" was great? Because it was six episodes long.
Hey, did you miss the latest shady stunt Azlan pulled on Nicole? How about that dinner-time punch up between Pedro and the family Chantel? Don't worry, the producers of "90 Day Fiancé" will find a way of recapping everything that just happened 76 times before the next commercial break, which is why each episode of this show is approximately 5 hours long. Or at least feels that way.
Did you ever watch "Girls" and think, "What if these characters were older, more annoying, and forced to forage for survival?" Then "Camping" is the show for you. Lena Dunham's adaptation of a British cult hit painted pretty much everything with a wide brush, yet somehow still managed to miss plenty of spots ... like the parts where the jokes were supposed to go.