This may come as a shock to you, dear reader, but I'm a bit of a nerd. I know I come off as a total alpha chad, but I actually have a huge collection of roleplaying books, card games, board games, and just so much geek shit. I've been playing Dungeons & Dragons since I called my friends over, slammed the core three books on the table, and said that we're the kind of geeks who should be playing this game. As a longtime nerd, the various official D&D movies have been disappointing. The first was bad camp, the second was just bland, and the third has seemingly been scrubbed from everywhere. But not we have a big budget film with big name stars! Being a nerd is in! It's just a shame that throughout it all, I kept thinking about how D&D's parent company has been making some awful decisions lately that harm the brand.
“We’ve no choice but to embark on this perilous journey.”
The world is--arguably--a more progressive place than it was in the past. People feel safer to be their true selves--although again, that varies from place to place, so just imagine that every positive statement in this opening comes with a little asterisk next to it. And that openness is reflected in media, with queer characters appearing more and more frequently, even in stuff for kids. Enter Luca, a story about coming out and the hostility one may face in living their life.
Beethoven’s Treasure Tail (2014)
And now the end is near and so I face my final curtain. We've reached the 8th and final--as of time of writing--Beethoven movie. We started with one family, shifted to their cousins in Beethoven's 3rd, swapped over to a different cousin in Beethoven's 5th, rebooted the entire franchise in Beethoven's Big Break, and had a pointless Christmas side story of dubious canonicity in Beethoven's Christmas Adventure. Does this overly long franchise end on a bang instead of a whimper? Why would you ever seriously ask that question. Of course it doesn't.
Beethoven’s 5th (2003)
In a sane world, this would be the last Beethoven movie. Sure, in a saner world there would would only have been the original movie and none of these sequels, but either way that's not the world we live in. No, when both The Land Before Time and Air Bud franchises have 14 movies each, we clearly live under the oppressive boot of capitalism, taking your nostalgia and trying to wring as much profit out of it as it can. So here we are with Beethoven's 5th, the film that feels like a Scooby-Doo episode. Maybe that's why I didn't completely hate it?
The Suicide Squad (2021)
So my plan was to see The Suicide Squad in theaters. I had some friends lined up, we had the date all planned out, then a COVID scare dashed all our plans. This is the unfortunate world we live in, highlighted also in the fact that this fun movie is considered a box office bomb during its second week because a majority of people don't feel safe in a theater yet. I'm not sure what movies are actually thriving right now, but maybe new metrics will be needed to judge movies during this post-pandemic pandemic. Where was I? Right, The Suicide Squad, emphasis on "The!"
Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985)
Previously, I watched Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure, a made-for-TV Star Wars spin off for kids that was... fine. It was fine. I've definitely seen worse kids movies and worse Star Wars films. But then there's its sequel, Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. While the first film is a story of togetherness--children teaming up with teddy bears to save their parents--the second film is darker, but also no longer fine. Kinda bad, in fact.
The Green Knight (2021)
There's a list of movies that I was excited to see before COVID hit and everything fell to shit, and The Green Knight was one such film. I can't say that I'm a huge Arthurian legend nerd--I know the stuff covered on the animated Gargoyles series and that Sir Lancelot, the best knight ever who also fucks the king's wife, was created by the French--but it's been a passing interest. But add in a spooky atmosphere and I got hooked just by the trailer. And after what feels like years of waiting, it's finally here, ready for me to watch on a Tuesday afternoon in a nearly empty theater. Progress towards life getting back on track!
Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (1984)
It wasn't my intention to avoid the main Star Wars movies; it's just that covering all nine is an event all to itself. And then the question becomes in what order do I watch them? Chronologically (1-9)? By release (4-6, 1-3, 7-9)? Flashback mode (4&5, 1-3, 6-9)? And what about Rogue One and Solo? But that's a problem for future Chwineka, and fuck that guy. Today we're talking about Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure, a made-for-TV kids film featuring everyone's favorite Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi characters, the ewoks. What, you didn't love the ewoks? Well too bad.
National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)
It's that time of year once again, dear readers! As my state begs people not to shoot off fireworks so soon after a record-breaking heatwave and at the start of what could be one of the worst fire seasons yet, it's time to celebrate the Fourth of July! Last year I marked the occasion by watching National Treasure, so it shouldn't be too much of a surprise that this year I'm looking at National Treasure: Book of Secrets. So without further ado, LET'S KIDNAP THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!
The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
I honestly considered not reviewing The Matrix sequels during Pride Month. The original film is now widely accepted as a trans allegory--no doubt helped by the creators, Lana and Lilly Wachowski, coming out as trans women in the years since. But my goal was to at least try to watch them with a queer eye, so Pride Month is as good a time as any. Did I find overt queerness in The Matrix Reloaded? Well... not really. Drat.