Sabrina S2 Ep1, Epiphany, Review with Spoilers by Case Wright


sabrina

October came early this year! It’s time to once again get down with the baddest witch this side of Massachusetts.  As you know from my previous reviews of this show, I’m a bit biased: I am a fan.  In fact, I was looking forward to this next installment since October. Well, I can say without a doubt that the Season 2 Premiere of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, “Epiphany”, was an episode that was made.

A lot of shows go through a Sophomore Slump- the underwhelming return of a beloved show.  By the end of the episode, all the characters that were the most interesting were diminished.  It was still fun to watch and is very entertaining and it’s not Season 2 Stranger Things terrible, but I hold this show to a higher standard: and I mean it!!!!

Season 1 was all about failure and corruption.  Sabrina set out to save her town and herself.  Not only did she endanger her town, she became so corrupted by ego and hubris that the price was her very soul.  It was Shakespearean with a David Lynch vibe.  Season 2 was less than, not to say it can’t or won’t get back on track because it likely will, but this was not great.

The episode was written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Showrunner) and directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan who did ….. okay. The direction had the suspense of wet toast.  Not everyone can do suspense and horror and this was sub-awesome.  It sufficed as a recap episode, but not much more.

The plot is that Sabrina wanted to become the “Top Boy” of the witch academy and her love interest Nick is the favorite because he’s a dude.  Suzie who is now Theo wanted to try out for the all-boys basketball team.  I was excited to see them fight the patriarchy and all that, but they did so in the weakest way possible: they cheated.  Sabrina needed to complete three trials versus Nick.  The first one: she won because the Weird Sisters (including Zelda) who for no reason at all like Sabrina now and gave her the answers.  This really bugged because it was not fair to her character.  She’s Sabrina! She’s supposed to be this badass; anyone can win by cheating.

This theme is further reinforced by Sabrina fixing a basketball game so Suzie could win.  Suzie wanted to get on the boy’s team, which is a fair challenge and a good one for this show to tackle, but she was legit terrible at the sport and could only win because Sabrina cheated for her.  This is not empowering. It showed that Sabrina had no faith in Suzie and most importantly it made Suzie look stupid because she never noticed that she went from the beginning of the game from being the Generals to the Globetrotters?!  Suzie was diminished, Sabrina was diminished, and I was insulted by it.  It would have been so much better if Suzie was like WTF?! Why am I so great all of a sudden and then saw that Sabrina was cheating for her, the smile fades from her face, and then Suzie walks off the court.  This would have set up some good conflict with Sabrina, especially since she doesn’t really have any foes right now.

Roberto Sacasa needs to understand the characters he created.  Suzie, Ros, and even Harvey to a MUCH lesser degree were very aware of what was going on around them throughout season 1, making Sabrina’s unnoticed intervention on Suzie’s behalf a lot tougher sell.

There was a subplot of  Evil Three King Demons trying to mess with Sabrina because they were afraid she would ascend.  This could get interesting.  My hopes are high on that one.   This series is still fun, but if it continues down this lazy path it will be more of a guilty pleasure that I watch on the elliptical or something on while I fold the laundry.

 

 

4 Shots From 4 Roger Corman Films: X: The Man With X-Ray Eyes, The Masque of the Red Death, St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, The Trip


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.

Let us all wish a happy 93rd birthday to the one and only Roger Corman!

As a director and a producer, Roger Corman is one of the towering figures in the history of American cinema.  At a time when the major studios dominated the industry, Roger Corman set off on his own fiercely independent path.  At a time when most filmmakers were either apolitical or predictably middle-of-the-road in their liberalism, Corman was an outspoken progressive.  At a time when mainstream Hollywood refused to give opportunities to new talent, Corman was giving work to people like Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, and Jack Nicholson.

Here are….

4 Shots From 4 Roger Corman Films

X: The Man With X-Ray Eyes (1963, dir by Roger Corman)

The Masque of the Red Death (1964, dir by Roger Corman)

St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (1967, dir by Roger Corman)

The Trip (1967, dir by Roger Corman)

Happy Birthday Bette Davis: THE LETTER (Warner Brothers 1940)


cracked rear viewer

Film noir buffs usually point to 1940’s STRANGER ON THE THIRD FLOOR as the first of the genre. Others cite 1941’s THE MALTESE FALCON as the film that launched the movement. But a case could certainly be made for William Wyler’s THE LETTER, released three months after STRANGER, but containing all the elements of what would be come to called film noir by future movie buffs. THE LETTER also features a bravura performance by Miss Bette Davis , who was born on this date in 1905, as one hell of a femme fatale.

The movie starts off with a bang (literally) as Bette’s character Leslie Crosbie emerges from her Malaysian plantation home pumping six slugs into Geoff Hammond under a moonlit night sky. The native workers are sent to fetch Leslie’s husband, rubber plantation supervisor Robert, from the fields. He brings along their attorney Howard Joyce, and it’s a…

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Music Video of the Day: Hurt Feelings by Flight of the Conchords (2009, dir by James Bobin)


Way back in 2009, this music video premiered during my favorite episode of Flight of the Conchords, The Tough Brets.  That’s the episode where Bret performs a controversial rap, in which he attacks several other rappers.  (“Snoop Dogg is not very good.  Ice Cube in not very good….”)  When Murray suggests that Bret may have hurt the feelings of the rappers that he called out, Bret forms a gang for protection.

Or, at very least, Bret tries to form a gang.  It doesn’t go particularly well, though character actor Seymour Cassel does join up at the one point.)

However, before forming the gang, Bret and Jermaine perform an entire song about hurt feelings.  This song is also known as Tears of a Rapper and there’s actually several different versions of it floating around.  For instance, in a more recent version, the Maid in Manhattan reference is replaced with a joke about how much Bret loves Zac Efron.  One thing that always remains the same is that Jermaine’s family forgot to wish him a happy birthday.  Poor Jermaine!

Anyway, I like this music video.  I like the fact that when Bret sees that his friends have gone to see Maid in Manhattan without him, Jermaine just happens to be there, trying to hide his face.  For the record, Maid in Manhattan is actually a perfect reference because it’s the type of bland film that you would be embarrassed to discover someone had specifically gone out of their way not to see with you.  It’s the one where Jennifer Lopez plays a maid and Ralph Fiennes plays a politician.  At one point, Jennifer Lopez nearly sits down on a magazine that’s got a picture of Ralph Fiennes on the cover and she tells him, “Whoops, I nearly sat on your face.”

Add to that, everyone’s had hurt feelings at some point in their life and therefore, everyone can relate to this song.  For instance, I’ve recently been making an effort to obey all posted traffic laws.  Would it kill someone to say, “Wow, Lisa, you actually stopped for that red light!  We’re proud of you!?”

I’ve got hurt feelings …. I’ve got hurt feelings….

For the record, I also love Murray’s comment at the end of this clip.  “All good examples.”

Enjoy!