Movie Review: The Cloverfield Paradox

Hey, everybody

Paul here!

We knew a new Cloverfield film was coming in the near future under the title of “God Particle“ or “The god Particle“. But JJ Abrams in the folks over it Bad Robot surprised us all Super Bowl night with a trailer for their new film in the Cloverfield anthology titled “The Cloverfield Paradox”.  Even more surprising was the fact that the movie would be premiering immediately after the game on Netflix. I loved this and I thought it was a pleasant surprise. Even though the reveiws have been pretty negative, I must say I think  the movie is worth checking out. So please listen to my review of “The Cloverfield Paradox” below. At the very least the movie leaves the franchise with a lot of interesting directions to go in. I keep it spoiler free up until the 18 minute 30 second mark and from there I go full spoilers.  In case you’d like to revisit the previous two Cloverfield films below I have the Amazon affiliate links for Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane.  We appreciate anytime you use our Amazon affiliate link links because it helps support World’s Best Media. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the movie in the comments below. Listen here or subscribe on iTunes

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/13979507

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Check out our links to grab the first 2 Cloverfield movies on Amazon below!:

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Super Bowl Movie Trailers!!! (Updating)

Hey, everyone

If you’re like me one of the highlights of watching The Super Bowl is watching all the awesome new movie trailers. I’ll be updating this page as each new trailer comes out, so keep it here at World’s Best Media!

-Paul

UPDATE: The Cloverfield Paradox will be premiering on Netflix TONIGHT after the game! I love stuff like this. Great surprise.

UPDATE: I think Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Mission Impossible Fallout have been my favorite trailers so far.

UPDATE: After Solo I didn’t think we’d get another big trailer from Disney, but BOOM! Avengers: Infinity War! Not a lot to it, but I’ll take anything I can get when it comes to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. 

FINAL THOUGHTS: So we put another Super Bowl behind us. Regardless of your thoughts on the game, I thought we got a really strong showing for movie trailers. Better than I expected in fact. I didn’t think we’d get a look at both Avengers: Infinity War and Solo, which was a pleasant surprise. Like I said before I think Jurassic World and Mission Impossible: Fallout were the real standouts. Plus, we get a Cloverfield movie literally right now as a little gift from the folks at Bad Robot. I really like this “Twilight Zone-Anthology” vibe of these Cloverfield movies. I know I’ll be watching that tonight, so look for a review in the near future. Tomorrow morning we’ll have part 2 of our look at the career of Steven Spielberg on the latest episode of “The World’s Best Podcast with Paul & Tim” so make sure you check that out too. Thanks for following along with me tonight everybody!

-Paul

 

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom 

 

Solo: A Star Wars Story

 

Mission Impossible: Fallout

The Cloverfield Paradox

A Quiet Place

 

Jack Ryan (New Amazon Prime series)

 

Westworld (Season 2 on HBO)

Avengers: Infinity War ( Avengers Fucking Assemble! Fuck. Yeah.)

 

Time Travel in the Show Travelers on Netflix

I want to tell you all about a show that I’ve literally heard no one talking about, but I don’t want to spoil it.  So please bare with me.

The Netflix show Travelers, has some of the most compelling time-travel I’ve seen in a long time.  The premise, is that people are coming back from some far off, terrible future, in hopes of fixing it.  In that regard it’s pretty standard, but everything else really stands out for me.

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The travelers have their consciousness placed in the heads of ordinary people in 2016-2017 (there have been 2 seasons so far), at the moments before they were going to die.  The point of this being, that they’re not killing someone to make room, they’re just borrowing what would otherwise be an empty shell.  Without getting too into spoiler territory, this process doesn’t always workout for them, and that creates a lot of the interesting aspects of the show.  (I really want to tell you, but if I do I’ll be doing you a disservice).

The plot about saving the future, really takes a back seat, to the stories of the characters, who have to adapt not only to a world that they don’t recognize, but to roles and relationships they are thrust into by means of their “host’s” previous life.  One thing I will tell you, is that these characters come from a future in which famine has ravaged their food supply, and so any time a new ‘Traveler’ is brought into the show, they really explore their relationship with food.  It might not sound that interesting, but food, both the experience of tasting, as well as all of the addictive nature of modern food and sugar, show how they aren’t ready for, or able to adjust while eating in front of non-travelers.  It’s a small weakness in their ‘act’ that they all have to perform.

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The show focuses on one team of ‘travelers,’ who work toward individual missions as they are assigned.  One of the things that I find really cool about the team, is that you have a leader, an engineer, a weapons expert, a medic, but also a historian, who has one of the coolest functions.  Essentially, the historian is in charge of remembering all the deaths and events in the area, so that they can go help new traveler’s transition, or look for differences that they may make in the time-line.  Philip, the historian, also has to face the idea that as they change the time-line he becomes less essential, and less helpful to their missions, which creates something of an existential crisis for him.

Ultimately, the characters learning that they can’t just travel back and accomplish their missions without lives interfering becomes the meat of the show.  Each character ends up with a particular set of challenges that were unforeseen from the future, and they have to adjust and keep going.

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I’m only a few episodes into season 2, but the show remains really interesting in this perfect fusion of character and device. What I would suggest to you, is that you watch the first episode, which I consider to be one of the best first episodes I’ve ever seen.  It had me instantly hooked and wanting more.  That being said, I can’t really tell you anything about why I was hooked from the start without spoiling it for you.  I hope you enjoy.

Also, as a side note, and a shameless plug, if you’re looking for time-travel fiction, check out my new time-travel blog, which I’ve been working on since October.

TRAILER: Altered Carbon

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Here’s a very cool trailer for a new series Netflix premiering this year starring Joel Kinnemam from “The Killing”and “Suicide Squad”. I almost thought this was a movie because the special effects and production value were so great. Netflix really seems to be going after it lately with it’s movies. As one of the people who ended up really liking Bright, it’s really cool to see Netflix taking risks and putting out really great looking films. So, I can’t wait to see this movie. My one criticism is that It looks a little too Blade Runner, but I guess it’s based on a beloved book and apparently it’s pretty faithful to the source material. Check it out:

PODCASTS: Tim Reviews Netflix’s Mindhunter & Paul (Kind Of) Reviews SyFy’s The Magicians

 

Hey, everyone!

It’s Paul

I wish had posted these earlier, but this week on “The World’s Best Podcast with Paul & Tim”, Tim and I each separately recorded solo episodes reviewing two very different, but very cool shows. Tim reviewd the first season of Netflix’s Mindhunter. It’s a great review and a very funny podcast, so check it out below.  I intended to review SyFy’s excellent series The Magicians, which I do, but I also get off the rails a little bit and talk about pop culture news of the week. They’re both a lot of fun and we hope you enjoy them as much as we love making them. As always listen here or subscribe on iTunes. Also keep a look out for a special announcement because “The World’s Best Podcast with Paul & Tim” will soon be available on Spotify! Here are the episodes below:

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Tim’s Review of Netflix’s Mindhunter:

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/13744247

 

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Paul’s Review (kind of) of SyFy’s The Magicians:

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/13771425

 

MOVIE REVIEW: Bright

 

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Written by Paul Wright

Bright, the new film starring Will Smith and directed by David Ayer, is notable for being Netflix’s first major foray into big screen quality blockbuster film making. When I first heard what the movie was about when Netflix announced it and when they released the first trailers, I immediately loved the concept. Bright is a fantasy/buddy cop action movie that takes place in a contemporary Los Angelos that feels extremely similar to our own, but with elves, orcs, fairies, dragons, and all kinds of other fantasy creatures living along side humans. It’s almost like if we saw what Middle Earth had become in 2017. Will Smith plays LAPD officer Daryl Ward, saddled with the unenviable task of being partnered with the first Orc police officer, Nick Jakoby played by Joel Edgerton in full make up. The humans hate Jakoby because he’s an Orc, the Orcs hate Jakoby because they think he’s a traitor to their race, and even Will Smith’s Ward is on the LAPD shit list just for working with the guy. On a random call, Ward and Jakoby stumble across a scared elf girl, named Tikka with a magic wand, which is a much bigger deal than it sounds. These wands are not only very rare, but so powerful and dangerous that only a few elves and very, very few humans can touch the wand directly without exploding. People who can use the wands are called “Brights”, hence the film’s title. But anyone can use it as long as they have protective gloves or something. Word quickly gets out to many interested parties that a magic wand is up for grabs and the shit hits the fan, with Ward, Jakoby, and Tikka just trying to make it through the night without getting killed. So, this movie is basically End Of The Watch meets Tolkien.

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Behind the scenes includes an interesting mixed bag of guys who’ve done both amazing and terrible work. Star Will Smith has some classics under his belts and some of the worst movies I’ve seen (After Earth is an abortion of a film). David Ayer directed End of The Watch and Fury as well as writing Training Day, but he gave us the travesty that was Suicide Squad. The film’s writer, Max Landis, is a controversial figure, but a brilliant writer under the right circumstances. He wrote the film

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Chronicle and two of the best comic books I’ve read in recent memory: Superman: American Alien and Green Valley. But he’s had his share of clunkers, having written Victor Frankenstein and Mr. Right (he also wrote American Ultra which I kind of liked). So, based on the people working behind the scenes, we could get something that is incredible or a piece of shit.

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Fortunately, I really enjoyed Bright, but it’s not for everyone. One of the best aspects of this film is it’s world building. It’s crafted one of the more interesting movie universes I’ve seen in a long time and I really hope we see a sequel, even just to see them go deeper into this world. I don’t think that there’s ever been anything quite like Bright. Yes. there have been many shitty urban fantasy, action films taking place in modern day (Like the Underworld series for example). What makes Bright unique is that in other (usually shitty) fantasy/supernatural actions films, the fantasy element is always part of this hidden, secret world or society which is kept hidden from mankind. There’s no divide between humans and fantasy creatures in Bright, no secret world to be uncovered. The movie has a great lived in feel, with details that make the world feel very authentic. A lot of thought was put into, what would a contemporary Los Angelos where humans and fantasy creatures who’ve lived among one another for thousands of years look like? And it shows onscreen. The movie does a fantastic job of doing some of the best world building I’ve seen on film in awhile, without getting bogged down in exposition. Once the movie gets going it doesn’t really slow down.

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I really liked Will Smith and Joel Edgerton as partners. Yes, it’s a troupe we’ve seen many, many, many times before, but I still enjoyed watching them on screen together (even though I knew where every beat in their relationship would go). I definitely want to see where their story goes after seeing how things play out in the movie. Unfortunately, there are a few great character actors that are completely under used, including the villain played by Noomi Rapace.

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There are some fun action sequences, but most of it isn’t anything you haven’t seen before. The real draws here are Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, and the excellent world building and mythology that the movie creates. The film tries its hand at some social commentary with the way the different races (elves, human, orcs) are treated in society. As well as the prejudice and hatred Jakoby is faced with when he joins the police force. Some of it kind of works, especially the Jakoby cop stuff, but the movie doesn’t strive to go that deep into these ideas.

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This movie was conceived as a multi film story and I’m pretty sure Netflix has already given the sequel a green light. There are little bits throughout the film that hint at where a sequel may go. I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much if this was a theatrical release, I most likely would have wanted something more. Honestly, it would probably work much better as a TV series. However, despite it’s flaws I really hope we get a series if these flicks.

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This movie has (for the most part) received a critical thrashing that it absolutely does not deserve. It’s by no means high art, but it certainly isn’t bad. Basically, If you’re not into these types of flicks or you didn’t like the trailer, there’s nothing in Bright that’s going to win you over. But if you saw the trailer and were intrigued, or you enjoy fantasy/action/buddy cop movies, I’d say keep your expectations in check and definitely check out Bright. Odds are you’ll have a good time with it. Bright is definitely something fun to watch over the Christmas weekend. I know I enjoyed it.

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(Joel Edgerton who played Nick Jakoby with his make up. AKA “Oh, yeah. That guy”)

 

Bright is available on Netflix now.

Bright: 7.5/10

As always, thanks for reading!

– Paul

Podcast: The Punisher Season 1 Review! With Tim!

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Hey guys,

Check out Tim‘s thought-provoking and entertaining review of the first season of The Punisher on Netflix. Not only is it a great deep dive into the show, but Tim also brings up some interesting moral and philosophical topics that go hand in hand with the subject matter. It’s a good one! Listen here or subscribe on iTunes:

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/13611078

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What I Want to See: Trollhunters

 

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You might not have heard of Dreamworks’ animated show Trollhunters on Netflix.  Until I talked to Paul about potentially writing about it on here, I wasn’t aware of anyone I knew who had watched it, other than myself.  But it’s a great show, and I cannot recommend it enough.  I started watching it, because I wanted to watch something that would keep my son’s attention (he was 9 months old when we began season 1) but wasn’t so inane that I would go blank behind the eyes.  So, when I saw the poster on Netflix, and it boasted that it was created by Guillermo del Toro (director of Hellboy 1 & 2, Pan’s Labyrinth, and Pacific Rim) I thought it might be a good fit for us.

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Trollhunters, is an action adventure cartoon that I think pretty much all ages can enjoy.  It tells the story of Jim Lake Jr. who becomes the first human ever to become a trollhunter, when the previous trollhunter is killed in action.  (These aren’t really spoilers as it’s kind of all revealed in the first 5 minutes of episode one.)  Jim is in high school, and much like other YA fiction, he is thrust into a world that mixes his normal growing up troubles with life and death stakes.  In this way, it’s not too original, but it is fun!

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Trollhunters, thrives in it’s characters.  Jim is less steadfast than a typical Harry Potter kind of protagonist, but is a more believable teen for it, and it makes the call to responsibility even more impressive.  Toby, his best friend, plays on the typical scared side-kick trope, while at the same time being a total bad-ass, which shines through in his ability to help out with Jim’s training, and his own desire to do the right thing.  Blinky and AAARRRGGHH!!! (that’s how IMDb spells it) are my two favorite characters, because they are the trolls who are tasked with helping Jim to become the trollhunter that the good troll community needs him to be.  Blinky is voiced by Kelsey Grammer, and it is endlessly amusing to hear him read lines that seem so silly, with such gravitas.

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So, what do I want to see with Trollhunters?  Well, in order to answer that, I need to explain something.  Jim, is voiced by Anton Yelchin, who died in an accident more than a year ago.  Yelchin had finished recording season one by the time he died, but until recently, I hadn’t realized that he had also recorded (not sure if it’s complete or there is some patchwork with another actor) season two.

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Yelchin does a great job voicing Jim, but I don’t think he has to be the voice.  That is where I come to my point.  I’m glad we get two seasons of Anton Yelchin, but I really hope, that Trollhunters is going where it naturally would have, had Yelchin lived.  His death was tragic, and I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way, but as far as the story is concerned, I don’t want it to shift to reflect his death.

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It’s something that many TV shows, and movies have to deal with, this idea that if someone dies, they have to figure out how to move on with their story, and unfortunately it seems to rarely work out well.  When Heath Ledger died for example, he was working on the Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, and in order to finish the movie, they recast with Jude Law, Johnny Depp, and Colin Farrell.  Because of the nature of the story, it didn’t seem to have too significant of an effect on the movie (which seemed like it may have been a mess regardless) but look at the other posthumous Ledger movie, The Dark Knight.  Sure, Ledger had finished The Dark Knight, and so that movie remains untarnished by the flaws of a mid production death, but as a franchise, what would the third film have been had Ledger lived?  It’s something I’ve wondered since before The Dark Knight Rises was released.

The point is this, Anton Yelchin is great in this role, but ultimately, we don’t have a Ledger situation, where recasting seems sacrilegious, we have a voice over of a teenage character, and there are a lot of ways of adjusting to a new actor, without being disrespectful to Yelchin, and without having to shift the storyline, or the tone of the story.

Check out Trollhunters on Netflix if you watch the first episode, you’ll get the feel for the show, and I think you’ll fall in love with it!  Season two comes out on December 15.

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