Author Archives: Sidekick Reviews

Review: It Chapter Two is a satisfying fun-house horror movie

In a way, my hazy memory of 2017’s supernatural horror film It helped me to appreciate the themes in Chapter 2. Character names started to pop up in my head before they were spoken. And a brief flashback brought back to mind some of the past events along with the emotions tied to them. As referenced in It Chapter 2, our memory works to hold onto things that are meaningful to us like significant childhood moments. In other instances, traumatic memories are suppressed until a picture, object, sound or even a smell, triggers it bringing back all the old feelings that were once buried. Repressing memories is a mechanism to help people cope and avoid confronting a stressful or painful incidence. It Chapter 2 takes us back to Derry, Maine where the “Losers’ Club” have to confront what they thought they’ve left behind. Read the rest of this entry

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Is Joker the Origin Story we need?

Joker might just prove me wrong and that’s a good thing. I was skeptical of a Joker movie at first for a few reasons. But after the final trailer and some early positive reviews, I’m actually very curious about it and hope to watch it when it comes out.  

Set for release in October, Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, a clown for hire who’s taking care of his mother (Frances Conroy). Joker is a film about the transformation of a downtrodden nobody into the violence prone titular character. It’s less a comic book villain story and more of a psychological thriller centered on a disturbed, misunderstood individual.

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Review: Stranger Things Season 3 is a crazy fun summer blast

It’s often said that Stranger Things is a highly bingeable show. I totally agree. I watched multiple episodes of Season 1 and Season 2 at a time. For Season 3 I limited myself to only one episode per night and sometimes a few days break in between. I don’t know for sure if pacing myself changes the enjoyment level. It definitely wasn’t a bad thing to stretch out a great season over a few weeks. There’s also something to be said about allowing an episode to sink in and build up the anticipation for the next chapter like traditional TV viewing.

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Review: Spider-Man: Far From Home is far from spectacular

Spider-Man: Far From Home is a summer blockbuster that makes sense as a sequel and epilogue to Avengers: Endgame. Far From Home’s affable, good-nature isn’t exactly the Spider-man story that I find most compelling. It will take a 3rd or 4th installment in the franchise to build up and earn darker moments with emotional resonance. However, Far From Home’s light tone is perfectly in line with a teen-aged Peter Parker and what was previously established in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Putting aside what I personally want from a Spider-Man movie, Far From Home delivers a decent teen-comedy with ample comic-book action. Playing it relatively safe, director Jon Watts avoids the mistakes in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and moves the franchise a step in the right direction.

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Review: The Terror Season 1 – Horror takes on many forms and faces

After finding a huge audience with The Walking Dead, AMC wanted more horror based shows in their line up. AMC’s The Terror Season 1 is a great start to hopefully a successful horror anthology series. The Terror’s primary approach is crafting unique horror stories centered on real-life historic events that are shrouded in mystery. Because of the solid writing and steady pace, the tension is sustained throughout the 10 episode season. Further, the cast is fantastic, including recognizable actors from HBO’s Game of Thrones, Rome and Chernobyl.

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Review: HBO’s Chernobyl Radiates and Reflects

When I heard that HBO and Sky UK were making a series called Chernobyl, knowing nothing about it, in my imagination I thought about a story set in an alternate universe sort of like Man in the High Castle which takes a fictional twist on history. Fortunately, the actual series is better than my idea for the premise. Real events can be more incredible than fiction. Chernobyl is a five part mini-series on the nuclear plant disaster that occurred in April 1986. Centered on the people dealing with the aftermath of the explosion, Chernobyl is a compelling and terrifying historical drama.

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Netflix’s Black Summer Season 1 Review

I wasn’t looking for another zombie apocalypse series but Netflix’s Black Summer is a decent diversion. Set in the early weeks of a zombie outbreak, a group of refugees make their way out of the suburbs towards the stadium in downtown where the military will transport them to safety. Rose, one of the main characters, is hoping to reunite with her daughter at the stadium. Anyone who dies becomes a zombie. The undead are pretty scary because they run fast like in 28 Days later.

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Game of Thrones: Season 8, Episode 6 – Series Finale “The Iron Throne” Review

Game of Thrones series finale is over. And now our watch has ended.

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Game of Thrones: Season 8, Episode 5 – “The Bells” Review

“The Bells” is representative of Season 8’s Game of Thrones. The 80 minute episode has the weight of an ambitious story coming to an endgame but some questionable writing choices takes away from a completely fulfilling pay off. Still, the season’s big budget and the extra time used to make it is evident in the visually impressive production values.

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Game of Thrones: Season 8, Episode 4 – “The Last of the Starks” Review

In these last couple of seasons, more than ever, HBO’s Game of Thrones is popular entertainment, aimed to please the masses. Now, there’s nothing wrong in offering viewers an enjoyable drama and fantasy to take our minds off our daily lives. But when HBO’s Game of Thrones was at its peak, it subverted our expectations in ways that were surprising yet also offered interesting angles to explore the plot twist’s significance. These story lines were also supported by well thought-out character arcs that made sense and therefore were satisfying.

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