Star Wars pays tribute to its animated roots in ‘Ahsoka’

Share: While 2023 opened with the mixed experience that was season three of “The Mandalorian,” the Star Wars saga is once again back, this time swinging for the stars with their latest show “Ahsoka.” Although this show isn’t without its flaws, its open and infectious love for both “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and “Star Wars Rebels” can just about make me look past its flaws. At its simplest, “Ahsoka” is a follow-up to “Rebels” an animated show that ran from 2014 to 2018 on …

‘Dumb Money’ is actually quite smart

Share: Following in similar footsteps to films such as “The Social Network,” and “The Big Short,” “Dumb Money” tells a tale of a very contemporary event that disrupted the entire industry it was a part of. Directed by Craig Gillespie and starring Paul Dano, Shailene Woodley, America Ferrera, Seth Rogen, and Pete Davidson among others, it is yet another example of why historical dramas should not be relegated to purely telling stories the majority of the audience wasn’t even around for.  “Dumb Money” is the …

GAME OVER! ‘Saw X’ humanizes inhuman killer, and it somehow works

Share: Where 2021’s “Spiral: From the Book of Saw” set out to imitate the feeling of a classic “Saw” movie, “Saw X” jumps up to properly give fans of the gruesome franchise just what they’ve been asking for. This one delivers a proper, bloody disgusting, and compelling entry in the long-running series. “Saw X” launches the audience back to the early ’00s, between “Saw” and “Saw II,” when cellphones still flipped up and down and search engines were in their infancy. Tobin Bell returns as …

Mitski’s new album is her most loving

Share: Gone are the days of Mitski being “The Only Heartbreaker.” Her seventh studio album, “The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We” was released earlier this month and she has transformed her work from dancebeat heartaches into an overflowing melancholy of love.  For fans of Mitski, this album announcement came as a surprise. Four years earlier, she deleted her social media and appeared to be done with music. However, Mitski was contractually obligated by her record label to release one more album. In October …

Did ‘GUTS’ beat the sophomore slump?

Share: I tried to keep this review as light as a feather and as stiff as a board, but after rocking out to Olivia Rodrigo’s sophomore studio album for the fifth time, I knew I couldn’t keep this professional. Following her triple grammy winning album “Sour,” Rodrigo took two years to release any kind of new music. On June 30, 2023, she released “vampire,” the lead single off of her new album, “GUTS.”  “vampire” cut straight to the core, singing a song of realization at …

‘Mortal Kombat 1’ refines fighting but leaves everything else fatally unfinished

Share: The latest installment of Netherrealm Studios’ “Mortal Kombat” franchise is out a mere four years after “Mortal Kombat 11” was released, rebooting the series yet again by literally taking matters back to square one. As is typical with a new “Mortal Kombat” game, fan expectations were high when the development team announced the title only four months before its release, with many unanswered questions over what would be so different from 2011’s “Mortal Kombat” reboot. Now that the game is out, the supposed fresh …

‘The Nun II’ does little to justify why you should answer its prayers

Share: The Nun II is the latest lackluster addition to the now ninth movie in the Conjuring franchise, making it part of the largest and most boring horror movie franchise to date. Continuing on where the first film left off, “The Nun II” is set five years after the events of “The Nun” and follows the life of Sister Irene, now living at a new convent, when she’s asked by the Vatican to investigate a string of demonic murders across Europe. The trail of bodies …

‘One Piece’ sets sail for success in vast seas of live-action TV

Share: The long-awaited live-action adaptation of the world’s top-selling manga, “One Piece,” has hit Netflix as of last week (August 31). But as with any adaptation, it begs the question of whether or not this is any good, or if it’s a waste of time like many attempts at live-action anime adaptations. The eight-episode season put out by Netflix squashes the negative expectations held by fans of the series and/or other anime consumers. At the moment, it is ranked 3rd in this week’s Netflix TV …

Review: Day Trip kicks off summer rave season and it was epic

Share: We made it, friends! Summer is finally here and the sun has been shining extra bright over Los Angeles. To celebrate, I rang in the first weekend of the season the right way, at Day Trip Festival.  Insomniac’s Day Trip Festival returned to Long Beach, CA right at The Queen Mary’s waterfront on June 24-45, showcasing some of EDM’s hottest house music artists as well as rising house artists. Despite Day Trip selling out of tickets all year long, this highly anticipated festival strictly …

‘Beau Is Afraid’ amuses and confuses in odd audacious odyssey

Share: There’s little to be afraid of in “Beau Is Afraid,” a surprisingly not-so-scary comedy from one of the most exciting horror directors, Ari Aster. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, it’s the sort of comedy where everyone, including the audience, is in on the joke. Everyone except for Beau, who is relentlessly tortured by any and every absurd creative choice Aster could imagine. Not every ambitious idea works in the film’s favor, yet the ungodly fever dream remains hilarious in a perverse, perturbed sense of humor. Beau …