The Lodge was one of the movies that I was super excited to watch and it just... somehow passed me by. No local theaters were showing it back in early 2019 and by the time I got the motivation to travel to see it, it had disappeared from all theaters. So this one has been on my to-watch list for a while, and I figured a month dedicated to horror movies would be the perfect time! Which makes it such a shame that I really didn't like it.
Tag caught my attention the first time I read a summary of it and thought, "Holy shit, are they fucking serious?" Before I get to what made my jaw drop, I want to specify which Tag this actually is. It's not 2018's Tag about grown men playing a game of tag. It's not 1982's Tag: The Assassination Game with Linda Hamilton. It's not even 2015's Japanese Tag where heads explode. No, this is 2015's American Tag--or 2012, or 2014, or 2016 depending on which site you check--where McLovin gets sucked into one man's plan to spread HIV to as many people as possible.
That's right, folks! Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, AKA When They Cry is back! Going by likes that have trickled in over the months since I wrapped up the first season, it looks like this was one of the more popular TV show I've covered so it makes sense to circle back to it with October right around the corner. But instead of diving straight into season 2--When They Cry: Kai--Wikipedia convinced me I should watch Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Nekogoroshi-hen, a special that takes place between seasons 1 and 2, also known as Cat Killing Chapter. But don't let the name make you worry! This isn't a retread of Revolutionary Girl Utena episode 10, so not actual animals were harmed in the episode. And really, no one died outside of flashbacks from years ago, so this is one of the more peaceful episodes of the series, in a weird way.
You would kind of think that "What If Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark?" would be one of the first episodes of the series, since the first full trailer for the show opened with that moment. But nope! The episode that effectively nullifies the entire MCU comes two-thirds of the way through the first season. Not that I'm complaining, as the first 5 episodes have some really solid entries. But I just really wanted to see more Killmonger, you know?
Sometimes one particular moment stands out in a movie and that's all you remember. When I think the movie Plankton, it takes me a moment to remember the "plot" as I'm immediately focusing on the scene where one girl has caviar oozing out of her vagina as she shouts to the eggs that Mommy loves them. This is also the case with Remember Me, a movie starring Mr. Robert Pattinson that came out in the middle of the Twilight franchise. Before I watched this movie for the third time for this post, I couldn't remember any plot details other than the twist ending where Pattinson dies in the Twin Towers on 9/11.
Breaking the tradition of the last two What If...? posts, this is not my newest favorite episode of the series. By process of elimination I think it's actually my least favorite? But that's not the same as "the worst"--just "my fifth favorite out of five episodes." This wasn't too much of a surprise, as episode 5, "What If Zombies?!" goes all in on the reanimated dead, and I'm typically lukewarm towards zombies. And for reference, Otto; or, Up with Dead People gets a pass on how gay it is and because it came out before zombies oversaturated the media landscape.
I know I said that last week's episode, “What If the World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?” was my new favorite episode of What If...?, but that's no longer the case. "What If Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?" continues the series' fine tradition of clunky episode titles, but it delivers a compelling tale of love and loss that also actually involves the Watcher! You know, the omniscient narrator of the whole thing? He gets to actually do something! Kind of.
In the comics, What If? stories don't typically have happy endings. Sure, there are exceptions like "What If the Thing Had Continued to Mutate?" (What If? #37, 1983) where Ben Grimm ends the story back in his human body and his girlfriend regained her ability to see. But in that same issue, "What If the Beast Had Truly Become a Beast?" sees Hank McCoy get dropped off in the Savage Land--a jungle filled with dinosaurs--because he had lost all of his intelligence and humanity. The first two episodes of What If...? definitely had their sad moments, but things generally worked out better than in the MCU. Peggy Carter had the training to better foil Hydra, and T'Challa had the charisma to change the universe. But then we have this episode, "What If the World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?" which is a murder mystery. The victims? Just about every Avenger. Better grab a flashlight, 'cause it's about to get real dark!
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!"
When I first saw the trailer for Joe Bell, I thought to myself, "What kind of hetero nonsense is this?" It told too much of the story: a young gay man kills himself, and his father feels really bad about it. I joked that the real title should be A is for Ally and just assumed that it would be a movie that would make my eyes roll. But oh, dear reader, I was wrong. This movie pissed me the FUCK off.