Tenet (2020) – A Review

Tenet Poster

IMDB’s description:

Armed with only one word, Tenet, and fighting for the survival of the entire world, a Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time.

First and foremost, Tenet is a spy thriller, with a scifi / time travel? element intermixed. The movie opens with The Protagonist, played very well by John David Washington, having a mission go bad. After being presumed dead, he is tasked to a secret society to help save the world from an apocalypse. Everyone in this movie assumes ‘nuclear apocalypse’, but we aren’t so lucky.

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The Mandalorian (Pilot)

There are literally at least 5 other websites that have done an article on the new Mandalorian Disney+ series, and I don’t want to repeat what they said. So here are the things all the other websites won’t tell you about the show.

  • If you go into this series expecting to see a mandolin playing Manchurian eating oranges, you will be disappointed.
  • Everyone claims that Pedro Pascal is the Mandalorian, but that could be a lie. We never see the actor’s face, so it literally could be anyone, from Daniel Logan to Jeremy Bullock to Rebel Wilson.
  • One of the bounties collected by said title character says he was hoping to get home in time for Life Day, which means that is either a sick sick joke, or the end of Star Wars.
  • The Mandalorian starts out ba ba ba ba ba ba bad to the bone, but then kind of transitions into a less competent version. This means he is following in the footsteps of Boba Fett.
  • The two most important places to protect your body are your head and your shoulders, based on the placement of the special armor. This is taken from the book of Dredd.
  • It is a contractual requirement of every Star Wars property that there always be a desert planet in it. This is similar to the video game requirement that every Star Wars game must contain a Rancor.
  • The Mandalorian is a derivative work, in that it borrows, copies, or outright steals things from all the previous Star Wars movies.

Yesterday (2019) – A Review

IMDB’s description:

A struggling musician realizes he’s the only person on Earth who can remember The Beatles after waking up in an alternate timeline where they never existed.

That description accurately sums up the premise of the movie. Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) isn’t just struggling, after a ho-hum reception at a local carnival he decides to call it quits. That evening a global blackout occurs for three seconds. Jack happens to be riding his bike at the time and is struck by a bus. He wakes up in intensive care a few days later. After a lengthy recovery he is discharged from the hospital. His groupie/manager/romantic comedy love interest (one-sided) Ellie Appleton (Lily James) gives him a new guitar. He isn’t really interested in playing it, because he called it quits, but decides that “a great guitar deserves a great song” and proceeds to play “Yesterday” by The Beatles.

The song is deeply emotional for his friends, because they’ve never heard it before. He thinks they are pulling a prank on him. How could they know not who John, Ringo, George, and Paul are? He goes home and discovers all history of The Beatles has been erased. How can he use this for fun and profit?

From here the movie becomes your standard romantic comedy.  The science fiction element of the movie is only casually looked at again, throughout the movie Jack finds a few more things missing that he remembers, usually for laughs. Also some musician named Ed Sheeran is in this movie, my wife assures me he is someone of note in the music business.

Overall I liked the movie, nice lighthearted comedy, and what are apparently a bunch of Beatles songs, although I only recognized about half of them. This movie was probably made by people for whom the Beatles were a major influence, and believe their songs are just as meaningful today to the world as they were in their own time. But for even a so-so Beatles fan like me, the movie was enjoyable.

Men in Black: International a Spoiler Free Review

What can I say about this movie other than…Meh?

That pretty much sums the movie up for me. Everything about the movie felt pretty generic. It really adds nothing to the franchise. Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson are not nearly as charming or funny as they were in Thor: Ragnarok.

There are new aliens and old aliens and all the tropes we expect from a Men in Black movie, and the fate of the world is at stake (probably? Agent K said that was always the case) and… yeah. I mean, if you are a super Men in Black fan, maybe this movie is awesome, but otherwise, it isn’t particularly fun or action-packed.

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