Queen of Katwe (2016)

Medium: Movie (Netflix DVD)

Rating: 4/5 If only movies about Africa didn't make me so hungry

Reviewer: Data Golem

Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer

This was a thoroughly enjoyable film to look at and to listen to. The cinematography is brilliantly festooned with color and emotion. The actors have all turned in sublime, believable, and tastefully understated performances. The characters are refreshingly real after a long and tiresome string of Marvel gouges.

But the story and direction is endlessly cliche. Family is important. Education matters. Landlords are assholes. Teachers are underpaid and underappreciated. Rich people are snobs. Life is hard, life in Africa doubly so, and everyone loves an underdog. Thankfully there isn't much in the way of tedious romantic interest. (I'm looking at you, Star Wars franchise.)

It's a good movie. A great one if you're still young enough to need some fairly obvious life lessons.

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (2021)

Medium: TV (Disney+)

Rating: 4/5 Exceeded Expectations

Reviewer: martums

Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer

Disney+ released the season finale of Falcon and Winter Soldier Friday, and I am searching for my missing socks which were knocked off. I was all set to throw some shade at Disney+ for embarrassing themselves with a pitiful six-episode run and then, in the middle of the season finale, someone started chopping onions in the same room as I was watching it in. Mercy! The embarrassment is mine, and the glory is theirs. It would be impossible to do this without some admittedly brilliant writing--some powerful themes interwoven with complications of living in a post-Blip world are explored. Supporting cast was essential in the delivery of the noteworthy material, including Adepero Oduye, Carl Lumbly, and Erin Kellyman (!!!). Highly, highly recommended.

Barbaren / Barbarians (2020)

Medium: TV (Netflix)

Rating: 4/5 nothing like potato cakes, jalapeno poppers, and a beefy sandwich for breakfast

Reviewer: jericho

Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Netflix || Trailer

This six episode series plays out the battle of the Teutoburg Forest between Germanic tribes and a Roman Empire legion occupying their territory. The big point of intrigue is that an officer in the legion was German-born and taken by the Romans as a child. His allegiance is in question fairly early, setting us to wonder which side he will help. The show starts out a bit slow to introduce the players, establish each side, and eventually build up to the historic battle. The Germanic tribes end up led by Thusnelda, wonderfully played by Jeanne Goursaud, under a tenuous supposition but proves her loyalty and dedication to the tribes shortly before battle. The story is simple, acting good, and the story climax is worth the wait.

A Knight's Tale (2001)

Medium: Movie (Netflix)

Rating: 5/5 the tale gets better every time you watch it

Reviewer: jericho

Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer

I started re-watching this movie again recently), and I was reminded how it is such a fun movie. I love how they 'modernized' it a bit with clever music integration. Queen's "We Will Rock You" at one point in the lists while waiting for a knight and then again for David Bowie's "Golden Years" during the banquet and dance scene. Since jousting might be a bit boring watching it over and over, the cinematography was well-done with lead-ins to the jousts and well-executed slow motion pauses. Overall this movie brings the laughs and definitely the feels, so make sure you have onions nearby to cast blame elsewhere.

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