We Can’t Fault a Viking Film for What it is: “The Northman” Review

★ ★ ★

Honestly, it was a Viking film. It portrayed rather accurate depiction of a time when it Vikings ruled the Nordic region, therefore however grotesque the violence was, I would say it is accurate to the time.

Of course I will watch anything with Anya Taylor-Joy, and any of the Skarsgård family. This was definitely an all star cast with a lot of fun surprise appearances and there was strong characterization throughout. 
I do believe that about 30 minutes of the movie could have been cut and it definitely could’ve benefited from a little bit faster pace.

Overall, I would say I was entertained, even though I did end up checking my watch a few times to see how much longer I would have to endure.

The Downfall of “Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness” (no spoilers)

★ ★ ★

This movie clearly had good bones and a fascinating plot. However the poor choice in its direction — by notable horror film director Sam Raimi — is what derailed this film for so many viewers and Marvel fans. What would have been a strong and fascinating look into the multiverse felt both too much while also being lackluster. The moments that intertwined the multiverse alternatives of characters we may know and love felt unimportant with the disregard of those characters within the storyline.

Also the blatant villainization of Wanda as a mother felt callous and unnecessarily evil. While I think showcasing her motherly instincts would’ve been a strong move on the part of the plot, where it fell through is in the direction of the movie. By having a horror movie director there were grotesque horrific scenes that did not lend themselves to the Marvel cinematic universe, there were moments that felt disjointed with the rest of the universe.

Some of these elements could have been interesting and possibly even well done if the director had more knowledge of the fan base and knew what people were looking for in a movie. This movie left a lot of questions for the audience, which could be interesting to explore in a follow up movie or within one of the other upcoming Marvel movies. But a lot of the final choices were entirely unnecessary and were clearly seeking shock factor and to service the fans, in all the wrong ways.

Bo Burnham’s “Inside” Comedy Special

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I’m not a typical viewer of Bo Burnham, nor do I partake in Comedy Specials. But one late afternoon, while scrolling on Netflix — this is by no means a unique experience — I came across the new “Inside” Comedy Special by Bo Burnham and without my consent it start to play the trailer. I decided to indulge and watch the trailer. And damn, if that wasn’t the most well-crafted trailer for visual media I have seen in a long while. I sat back for the evening, cheese puffs, seaweed snacks, and See’s chocolates at the ready and decided to watch the full special.

As I mentioned, I’m not a typical viewer of Comedy Specials, so I was a little surprised how entertained I was the whole way through. A few days later I went back to previous Comedy Specials of Bo’s and found that I enjoyed his most recent work the best. I know many people have joked that the forced isolation of quarantine brought forth a type of creative energy, or maybe the lack of socialization made us all reach a special kind of madness where creativity flourishes.

I now regularly hum my favorite songs from the special under my breath at work. I listen to them every day.

What made this special so… “special”? Talent, time, and a pinch of, perhaps, madness. Of course anything based off the past year and a half (2020-2021) will be relatable for a majority of the population. At least when we’re assuming the viewership are from a certain sample size.

But look I made you some content

Daddy made you your favorite, open wide

Here comes the content

It’s a beautiful day to stay inside

— Bo Burnham

My personal favorites are “Bezos I” and “Bezos II,” “FaceTime with my Mom (Tonight),” and “Problematic.” But, before you listen on Spotify, I do recommend experiencing their performance in the special first. It adds a whole extra layer to the songs, experiencing in their full chaos and art.

Perhaps the most striking was the mixture of media, while there were aesthetic film shots throughout, incorporating a vivid array of colorful lights and projections, there were also moments behind the creative process, showing mistakes and moments of silence. Whether those “behind-the-scene” moments were carefully crafted to elicit a specific response, or if they were natural goofs during the filming process, is unclear. However, for me it doesn’t matter, it’s the idea of perfection and chaos that makes the special stand-out.

To those who have yet to view the Comedy Special, I’d say I highly recommend it. Even if just to watch the opening 3 minutes, which are what drew me in. Even if comedy, stand-out, or Bo Burnham aren’t your usual “cup of tea,” this one feels a bit different and I think it’s a worth — in the least — those 3 minutes of your time.