December 2020

People Suck in Indiana

by Alan Rapp on December 30, 2020

in Home Video

  • Title: The Prom
  • IMDb: link

The Prom movie reviewAdapted from the stage musical, The Prom sends a group of Broadway performers (Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, and Andrew Rannells) to Indiana looking for a cause to turn around public opinion about their narcissistic nature. What they find is a teenage high school student (Jo Ellen Pellman) denied the right to take her girlfriend (Ariana DeBose) to the prom.

Directed by Ryan Murphy, The Prom is a bawdy life-affirming story populated by mostly paper-thin characters walking through the plot to set-up the next song and dance number. While Corden has received the most criticism for a stereotypical performance, other than the two girls in love, none of the characters have any more depth than a damp sponge. Pellman turns out to be one of the best casting choices as the beautiful young woman who wants nothing more than to be herself, and DeBose manages to steal a moment with her performance of “Alyssa Greene.”

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The Strangely Intimate Reality of Time Travel

by Alan Rapp on December 30, 2020

in Essays 

Like Stories of Old examines the strangely intimate reality of time travel.

Star Trek: Discovery – Scavengers

by Alan Rapp on December 30, 2020

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Star Trek: Discovery – Scavengers
  • wiki: link

I’m growing weary of “Michael breaks the rules” episodes. In “Scavengers,” Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green) ignores her orders and goes off in search of Book (David Ajala) who was captured while searching for another black box, on a salvage planet (sadly not named Junkion). The facility makes use of The Running Man prisoner-control technology, and may have another box with information about the Burn. Michael and Philippa (Michelle Yeoh) are able to retrieve Book and the intel, while also rescuing other enslaved workers. However, the conflict makes Michael aware of Philippa’s condition and also has lasting ramifications on her role on the ship as she finds herself demoted for ignoring Saru‘s (Doug Jones) orders and threatening the Federation’s acceptance of Discovery. The only subplots, as the mission Michael missed isn’t shown on-screen, are the ship’s upgrades and the show setting up a friendship between Nhan (Rachael Ancheril) and Stamets (Anthony Rapp).

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Batman Beyond #50

by Alan Rapp on December 29, 2020

in Comics

Batman Beyond #50 comic reviewThe latest volume of Batman Beyond concludes with Batman framed for multiple attacks around Gotham City by Inque, one of which puts Bruce Wayne and Terry’s younger brother in the hospital. Wonder Woman arrives to help solve the mystery, and clear Batman’s name (thankfully we’re saved from a lengthy heroic misunderstanding as Diana sizes up Terry in short order).

Inque was one of the stand-out villains from Batman Beyond and although her motivations seem a bit muddled (blaming Bruce Wayne for preventing the villain a chance to cure her condition) she’s put to good use against the formidable duo of Batman and Wonder Woman.

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HBO’s Perry Mason – Chapter One

by Alan Rapp on December 29, 2020

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Perry Mason – Chapter One
  • IMDb: link

HBO's Perry Mason - Chapter One television review

Bearing little to no resemblance to either Erle Stanley Gardner’s original novels nor CBS’ long-running television show, the first episode of HBO’s Perry Mason reimagines the famous defense lawyer Perry Mason as a low-rent private detective (Matthew Rhys) who only steps into the courtroom once, as a witness. Down on his luck, with questionable morals, and in need of money (that he unsuccessfully attempts to extort from a client), Mason accepts a job from an old friend (John Lithgow) to look into a case involving the kidnapping and ransom of a baby that goes horribly wrong.

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