Category: movie review

sense8 – Wachowskis Deliver 8 Perfectly Woven Origin Stories

Sense8 Series by NetflixThere are moments when something comes along and shines through the piles of science fiction at our disposal. Sense8, a Netflix original series, not only shines through, but pushes the boundaries of the superhero genre in a way I haven’t seen since I heard the phrase, “Who watches the Watchmen?”

I am so confident that you’ll fall victim to the amazing and unique storytelling that I only need to push the first episode. It opens with Angel who is drugged, trying to hide herself from some unseen bad guy. When her lover and partner Jonas comes into the scene, we quickly realize she’s seeing him in her mind. She’s discovered by a man we only know as Whispers who not only kills her but goes out of his way to make it look like a fire. The hint of telepathy touches my heart and I’m sucked in enough to see how they show off these “powers.”

What happens next not only sucks me in, but thrills me. Eight people are born on the August 8th, known as Sensates, people who share a telepathic bond. The group of eight consists of a vastly different people with at least one who will resonate with the viewer. An African bus driver, a Korean business woman, a Chicago cop, an Indian bride to be, a trans hackivist, an Icelandic DJ, a locksmith crook, a gay movie actor make up a cast so diverse the question is explored, “Would you want to share their thoughts?” And while some stories take focus and partners and triangles are developed, each of them has a rich story that seeks to explore their individuality amongst the telepathic collective.

If the story isn’t enough to trap you, (I was already beginning to ponder how much sleep I was about to lose) the visuals within the storytelling are done so well, the Wachowskis’ appear to have this story perfected. As we move from one character to the next, changing mental states or even landscapes, the camera moves in a way where we are transported with them in a seamless manner that not only prevents us from being jarred but gives us a true sense of what the Sensates must be experiencing as they hop from one mind to the next. The first episode pushes this concept to a degree that I can only describe as, “Perfected storytelling for those with ADD.” There is a moment where you feel safe to walk to your fridge and grab your next Coke or check your text messages. Fear of missing a transition from one character to the next keeps you focused on the screen. You only manage to break away when you realize it’s 2:30AM and you still have to show up to work in the morning.

Not sold yet? I was so captivated by the individual character’s struggles and reliance on one another I nearly forgot the show also has a “big bad” that we can expect to see throughout the series development. Whispers, a Sensate who we only know has the ability to invade clusters other than his own upon eyesight shrouded in mystery and only lightly touched upon during the first season. While I originally thought this would be a one season show, come to find out it was always intended to consist of four seasons, all of which have been green lit. In a world with early cancellations, we will see the final show down between our characters and their mysterious nemesis.

Overall, if you haven’t seen it. Do it. Close your laptop, turn off your phone, and prepare for a character driven superhuman story. While the special effects aren’t going to make this a blockbuster, its captivating storylines and well-developed characters will give you something major motion pictures seems determined to avoid. Sense8 is original in every aspect, and now I sit here typing, counting down the days until I can binge watch the second season on Netflix.


Deadpool: A Movie Adult Geeks Needed

The Merc with a Mouth title goes to writers of this movie. It definitely lived up to the tagline, and I have to admit, based on how many jabs were made, the only person who hated Green Lantern more than me is Ryan Reynolds. With the serious amount of publicity given to this movie, I was worried that the hype was being made in an attempt to sidestep an upcoming disaster. Let us not forget Fox is also responsible for the Fantastic reboot, hell, let’s not forget they made the first two either. Deadpool delivers exactly what it promises, chaos with witty dialogue.

I originally only wanted to see the movie because my favorite X-Man had enough screen time in the commercial I figured it would be worth the price of admission. And while the studio confessed budget cuts which I think entirely revolve around the piss-poor Computer Graphics involved with Colossus, I was satiated by the frequent tie-ins to the X-Men universe. While Deadpool has indeed been connected with X-Men, his most notable involvement has been with Wolverine’s Wetworks team, X-Force. I appreciated that they kept the focus of his X-related puns to the existing franchise and not dangling possible tidbits of information about upcoming movies. It allowed us, the viewer, and the fan, to cackle at the Stewart/McAvoy timeline paradox.

From the opening credits of the movie, you knew exactly what the tone would be: bloody. The open credits alone were one of my favorite jokes, not letting a moment go buy without the signature Deadpool snark. The movie opens almost exactly where the advertising left us, a smart use of both marketing, and not spoiling enough of the movie that we felt we didn’t receive anything new. We enter the story amidst the car flip (which we originally saw as CGFX years ago), not taking time to waste on back story. This does however create a bit of situation later in the movie as we continue to flash back to the origin story that seems to go for the majority of the movie. While an innovative method of breaking up the origin story, it did seem to last a bit too long for my taste. I wanted more killing and more dick jokes.

The villain in this movie is a complete throwaway. He stems from the comic universe and proves that not all villains in a comic book deserve screen time. Both unimpressive as an evil mastermind, and as a visual on-screen, the final fight with the villain left me bored and waiting for it to be over so we could get back to the wittiest dialogue I’ve seen in a movie in a long time (let alone a superhero movie.) The fact the motivation for this movie stems from a man trying to get his good looks back is completely overlooked due to the fantastic writing. Where the Deadpool/Ajax fight was lackluster, the Colossus/Angel final stand-off left me delighted as two powerhouses slugged it out.

While Colossus might not have itched my X scratch, Negasonic Teenage Warhead did all that and more. Introduced as the charge of Colossus, her short, detached, borderline sociopathic tendencies (she is a teenager after all) made the perfect juxtaposition with Deadpool. The visuals for her abilities were well crafted and while secondary to her delivery of an almost entirely unknown mutant, I was content. I wanted to listen to an entire conversation between them. I would have listened them discuss politics.

The best part of the entire movie? The Easter Eggs. There were so many pop culture, superhero, comic book references that even I had to go and hunt them all down. From names on signs, to the signature appearance of our favorite creator, they are a dime a dozen. And with the after credits scene promising a chunk of the puzzle for what’s next, I can say this fanboy is excited to see the next big team up. More guns. More witty dialogue. More trying to explain how a man from the future born to parents too young to have children in the upcoming Apocalypse movie while introducing his evil clone. Yeah. I’m sold.

Overall, the movie was worth the price of admission and Blu-ray is already purchased from Amazon!