Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, S2 E5, “Blackwood” (Dir: Alex Pillai) Review By Case Wright


sabrina

First of all, it’s always so fun to read Lisa’s reviews.   I hope she wants to review another one of these episodes.  She always sees things that I don’t like HERE!!!! and HERE!!!!.  It has been a true pleasure working with/for her over these years.  This series is making me already plan for my October reviews!!!  Weren’t they awesome last October?! Yes…Yes…They were.

Is this season getting better? Yes, but that’s mostly because the first episode of the second season was so very unsatisfying and disappointing. The series seems to be evolving into a Tales From The Crypt over the top fest.  I loved TFTC, but that’s not what I expected Sabrina to become.  I saw this series as a scary in your face we’re mad as hell at the patriarchy and we’re not gonna take it anymore!  The feminism is still there, but it really hits you over the head with its agenda ….every….single…episode; It comes across as a PSA sometimes.  When done right, like last season, you root for the agenda, but now I’m lectured by it.  It’s kind of annoying when you already agree.

This episode was directed by Alex Pillai (Riverdale) and he did a fine paint by numbers job with the episode.  It got the job done….fine, not great, but definitely fine like the Chicago Cubs in the 2000s or Two Buck Chuck (Charles Shaw).  The episode was all about marriage, the loss of feminine identity, and misogyny…lots and lots of misogyny.  Really, this Church of Night is a bunch of knuckle dragging dirtbags.  I get the whole- we’re evil bit, but it doesn’t really work all the time.  The characters are mostly strong women and the constant subjugation that the Church imposes seems kinda silly that anyone would put up with it let alone these powerful heroines.   Also, the constant “for Hell’s Sake” “Your Unholiness” “Your Dishonor” just makes me laugh;  I look like loon when I’m on the elliptical watching this.

In the episode, Aunt Z is getting married and she’s all jittery and worried about being exposed for stealing one of the Blackwood babies.  Also, Father Blackwood is going full-on misogynist pig. He wants the church of night to go back to its old ways of chauvinism.  His plan is to write up the basic philosophy and give it to the Anti-Pope (Ray Wise). (Side Note: God, I love Ray Wise.  He’s awesome in everything he does and was the best devil ever in Reaper. Unfortunately, he’s only in the show for a couple of minutes.) Sabrina catches wind of Blackwood’s Misogynist plan because Ambrose tells her .

The Solution: Sabrina gets her Dad’s manifesto that’s all women and men are equal, witches should marry mortals, and powertrain warranties are bullshit.  Sabrina has Nick retrieve it from the bottom of the sea.  Just as the Anti-Pope will read it, Father Blackwood has him murdered and frames Ambrose for it!!! DUN DUN DUN!!!!  Basically, all of Sabrina’s plans fail: Aunt Z and Blackwood marry, Blackwood has Aunt Z walk behind him (bleh), Ambrose is jailed, Sabrina and Nick are expelled, and Aunt Hilda becomes lactose intolerant.  Bad all the way around.

I normally don’t get into subplots, but spring is in the air.  Ms Wardwell and Adam are falling in love. It’s really sweet.  She explains that marriage is a complete destruction of a woman’s identity. Wardwell looks at Adam expecting a fight, but instead he accepts her, her values, and just wants to be with her. It’s …well….sweet.  I was a bit moved.  Satan gets jealous and wants her to kill him, but instead she makes him a ring of protection.  I hope these crazy kids make it work.

The show is moving in the right direction, but the show seems to collapse under its own weight sometimes.  It has these big themes and plots, but can’t quite deliver them this season because of the campiness, clunky dialogue, and endless subplots that grind the suspense and gravitas to dust.  Maybe this is the way Riverdale is?  I never wanted to watch that show and now I really don’t want to.  My guess is that season 1 was Ruth Chris Steakhouse and season 2 is Red Robin and yes I did get food poisoning from them once.

 

Confessions of a TV Addcit #14: When Worlds Collided – Merv Griffin Meets Andy & Edie


cracked rear viewer

Sometimes, while scrolling through the Internet doing research, I run across some truly bizarre things. Let me set the stage for you: Merv Griffin was a former Big Band singer whose biggest hit was 1950’s “I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts”. He turned to television, becoming first a game show host, then a successful talk show host (and created both WHEEL OF FORTUNE and JEOPARDY later on). Merv was a nice guy, but the very definition of a ‘square’, though he did present some rather thought-provoking guests over the years (including hippie radical Abbie Hoffman and John & Yoko Lennon).

Edie Sedgwick was an underground legend, a Warhol “Superstar” that epitomized Swingin’ 60’s culture, dubbed the New ‘It Girl’ and a Vogue Magazine ‘Youthquaker’, famous just for being famous before that was even a thing. She modeled, acted in Warhol’s underground films, had songs written about her by the…

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Here’s The Trailer For Gemini Man!


Young Will Smith tries to kill Old Will Smith in …. Gemini Man!

At least, that would appear to be the plot of this upcoming sci-fi film.  To be honest, it sounds kinda generic and it’s definitely hard not to look at that plot description and think, “Okay, so it’s Looper but instead of time travel, it’s just clones.”

Well, here’s why you maybe should be kinda sorta interested in seeing Gemini Man:

It was directed by Ang Lee!

Honestly, I will watch anything that Ang Lee directs.  He could release a three hour documentary about dermatology and I would totally ask someone to buy me a ticket.  Everyone seems to pretty much agree that Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain should have been named Best Picture over Crash.  To be honest, I would argue that, even more than Brokeback Mountain over Crash, Life of Pi deserved to win over Argo.  If nothing else, Lee certainly earned both of his directing Oscars.

(How forgotten is Argo?  I actually had to remind myself that it was the film that defeated Life of Pi at the Oscars.)

So, will Gemini Man see Ang Lee returning to the Oscar conversation?  Hmmm …. well, probably not.  I mean, it’s an Ang Lee movie but it’s also a Will Smith science fiction film. I mean, the last time that Lee tried to do a “genre” film, the end result was the Hulk, which wasn’t really appreciated until nearly a decade after it was initially released.

Still, anything is possible!  One could argue that the recent nominations of Get Out and Black Panther have proven that the Academy is no longer totally biased against well-made genre films, especially if those films have the type of thought-provoking subtext that a director like Ang Lee can bring to a project.  As always, we’ll see what happens.  For now, here’s the first trailer for Gemini Man:

Music Video of the Day: Hot Mess by Viktoria Liv (2019, dir by Michael Seidi and Viktoria Liv)


Hey, we’ve all been there.

One minute, you’re sitting in a hotel room and drinking from a bottle cheap wine and looking at a bunch of old, black-and-white photographs on the wall.  You’re looking and you’re thinking, “When were these photos taken?  Why are they in my hotel room?  Is that what the hotel used to look like?  Are the people in these pictures going to haunt my dreams?  Is this like The Shining?  Is Jack Torrance celebrating New Year’s in 1921?”  And then you look at your bottle of wine and you ask yourself, “Why do I have this?  I don’t even drink.  Is my life a music video?  Am I part of your dream or are you a part of mine?  Forget it, Lisa Marie, it is what it is….”

And then, the next thing you know, you’re hanging from the ceiling and you’re singing a song that sounds like it should have been the theme song for an old WB show.  It’s happened to all of us.  We’ve all been a hot mess.  We’ve all been haunted by thoughts of ghosts.  And we’ve all held a bottle of wine and used it as a microphone while singing a tragic song.

(It’s kind of like that episode of Degrassi where Craig and Ashley got the hotel room before going to Ashley’s father’s wedding.  And then Craig asked Ashley to marry him and, when she said she thought they should wait until they had at least graduated high school, he went back and destroyed the hotel room.  It was kind of scary but, because it was taking place in Toronto, everyone was really polite about it.)

This video is universal.

Enjoy!