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29 minutes | Jul 5, 2021
Zola, Summer of Soul, and The Forever Purge
The Return It’s been a wild year and a half or so. I never like complaining about insignificant things, but I’ve been missing my escape. I’ve talked plenty about how much I miss going to the movies. It was my two- to three-time-a-week inoculation against the world. Sure, I can watch movies at home but there is nothing like watching on the big screen. Well, the time has come to return. I’m vaccinated, and films I want to see are releasing this summer. Let’s bring Mondays at the Movies back! This week, I’m sharing my thoughts on Zola, Summer of Soul, and The Forever Purge. Zola Adapted from A’Ziah King’s Twitter thread and directed by Janicza Bravo, Zola tells the harrowing—and somewhat hilarious—tale of a stripper who gets ends up on the wildest Florida road trip you can imagine. Zola is now playing. Summer of Soul Director Questlove and his crew lovingly unearth footage from the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival and bring together attendees, historians, musicians, and more to help provide historical context to this pivotal moment in Black history which was lost in time until now. Summer of Soul is now playing in theaters and available to stream on Hulu. The Forever Purge Director Everardo Gout brings our worst nightmare to life as ultra-nationalists create The Forever Purge. Who lives and who dies when the rules of the Purge are broken? The Forever Purge is now playing. Missed the last episode of Stay Watchin? Listen to the last episode of Stay Watchin for my thoughts on Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Stay watchin, fam. Peace! The post Zola, Summer of Soul, and The Forever Purge appeared first on Larry McAllister II Photography and Creative Services.
48 minutes | Apr 30, 2021
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: A Shield That Does Not Protect Us All
Like It’s Someone Else’s The moment Steve Rogers, aged almost beyond recognition, handed Sam Wilson, The Falcon, the shield, a smile spread across my face. As a comic lover, I knew what it meant. The Falcon, a Black man, would become Captain America. While I was excited, I had a sinking feeling that the world wasn’t ready for the change. How could the world be ready for a Black Captain America? We’re not even ready to admit Black lives matter. Buried by the pandemic and nearly a year of civil unrest, I had almost forgotten the shield changed hands until we started seeing trailers for a new show. Just Like That, We’re Supposed To Be Cool? Initially intended to be the first MCU show to premiere on Disney+, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier would premiere on March 19, 2021. Following WandaVision‘s lead, it wasn’t clear what we should expect. Would it be a straightforward series? Would it be more like the Captain America films or other Marvel properties? Slowly the picture became clear. This show would be about Sam Wilson struggling to accept his role as the heir apparent to the shield. Bucky would help Sam in this quest, and we’d be shown the dark underbelly of the system that sought to recreate Cap. A great premise, but how would they tackle race? They can’t just ignore Falcon’s Blackness, could they? He’s Not a Falcon Anymore, But He’s Still Black Luckily for us, they didn’t ignore it. In fact, the strength of the series was address race. Outside of Sam’s struggles, we’re introduced to Isaiah Bradley, the first Black Captain America. We learn of his mistreatment at the hands of the US government and struggle alongside Sam as we reconcile with this information. Though not perfect, the series has a really important conversation and introduces a dose of reality to the MCU. Given everything going on in the US at the time of release, the show achieves a level of social relevancy often missing from MCU properties. The Only Power I Have Is That I Believe We Can Do Better This week on Stay Watchin, I’ll break down why the finale of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier made me so emotional, and why I think the series is so important. If this and WandaVision are the first efforts to bring the MCU to the small screen, I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Missed the last episode of Stay Watchin? Listen to the last episode of Stay Watchin for my thoughts on Godzilla v. Kong: Dawn of Hollow Earth. Stay watchin, fam. Peace! The post The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: A Shield That Does Not Protect Us All appeared first on Larry McAllister II Photography and Creative Services.
44 minutes | Apr 5, 2021
Godzilla vs. Kong: Let Them Fight
Can I Tell You About My Lord and Savior, Godzilla? Poster for Gojira (1954) Have I ever told you how much I love Godzilla? Thanks to my mom, I grew up obsessed with that kaiju. From the moment I saw Godzilla, King of Monsters! (the American re-edit of the original), I was hooked. Admittedly, I spent most of my childhood watching the American reedits and dubs of mostly the Shōwa era Godzilla films. From 1954-1975, the King of Monsters’ core canon was born. During this time, we got the original film, where Godzilla was a walking nightmare, punishing mankind for their sins. From there its horror-filled roots, the Godzilla franchise would blossom into a near-constant war of monsters. The big green lizard with atomic breath would take on creatures like the giant ankylosaurus Anguirus, the oversized insect Mothra, and the three-headed behemoth Ghidorah, among many others. Surprisingly, Godzilla fought a very famous rival, quite early in his career and they wouldn’t have a rematch for 59 years. Let Them Fight Poster for King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) In his first color appearance, Japan’s top monster would face off with an American favorite, King Kong. While the promise of the film is exciting—as a kid, I loved it—the final product was somewhat silly and nonsensical. Revisiting the film recently, it wasn’t quite what I imagined it was when I was a kid. In some ways, that’s the challenge of these giant monster flicks from yesteryear. There is magic to experiencing this stuff when you are a kid. It’s just like playing with toys. You imagine it as being so much more realistic and intense than it was. A New Era Poster for Kong: Skull Island (2017) Now, I’m not complaining about the guys in suits. Those Shōwa era Godzilla films, show so much artistry. The suit work, miniatures, and special effects were so well realized for the time. I still find myself amazed by the ingenuity it took to realize so many classic Godzilla moments in those films. But, we have to be real here: the special effects and CG of these new films help these titans feel more impressive than ever. In Godzilla (2014), Kong: Skull Island (2017), and Godzilla King of Monsters (2019), we see these creatures realized in a way we had only imagined. And with Godzilla and Kong seeing films from the same production company, it was inevitable that we would see them come to blows once again. What’s A King to a God? Mondo poster for Godzilla vs. Kong With the preamble out of the way, let’s get to it. Godzilla vs. Kong roared onto the big screen and HBO Max nearly sixty years after the first meeting of these beasts. Though silly at times, this film cracked the kaiju code, delivering a breezy, 2-hour film with all of the giant monster action we hoped for. While not perfect by any stretch, this film was like seeing a childhood dream realized. This week on Stay Watchin, let’s talk about the slugfest and breakdown why this film succeeds where some of the other Legendary films failed. Missed the last episode of Stay Watchin? Listen to the last episode of Stay Watchin for my thoughts on Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Stay watchin, fam. Peace! The post Godzilla vs. Kong: Let Them Fight appeared first on Larry McAllister II Photography and Creative Services.
85 minutes | Mar 22, 2021
Zack Snyder’s Justice League: A Vision Realized
Part 1: What Came Before A few weeks ago, I shared why I wanted Zack Snyder’s Justice League to be good. I wanted this creator, who I’ve followed since college, to see his vision through. Sure it was a bit tongue in cheek, but I was serious. Outside of reading about the troubles the film originally faced, I love the idea of a creator getting to bring their grand vision to life. Do I love everything Zack Snyder does? No, he’s got some duds. Does he overuse slow motion and montage? Yes, absolutely. Can his work take itself too seriously? Yes, would be an understatement here. Part 2: Where Was My Head At? In some ways, admittedly, I had a morbid curiosity. Although I wanted this darker take on the Justice League to be good, did I actually believe it could be? Batman swears and uses guns. Aquaman is mean to everyone. The color palette is joyless. So many reasons and warning flags raised in my head, but I still had hope. Frankly, the promise of a cohesive vision, running from Man of Steel, through Batman v. Superman to Zack Snyder’s Justice League was intriguing. I needed to see it. And as a lover of superheroes, I was going to go into as hopeful as possible. Now I can’t lie, I got worried when some stuff started leaking out. Screenshots that looked rough, content descriptions that were curiously odd. I should have ignored them, but in the social media era, creeping doubt can be hard to escape. Part 3: And Now We Have It But here we are. Now that I’ve watched it twice, I present my jumble of thoughts in Larry McAllister II’s Stay Watchin! I think mileage will vary depending on the viewer but I found the film to be enjoyable and entertaining. Could it have still used some cuts? Absolutely. Were things added that aren’t necessary? You know it. That said, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is far more coherent, and better in almost every way, than the theatrical cut we got in 2017. (Hope you enjoyed my somewhat unnecessary parts markers!) Missed the last episode of Stay Watchin? Listen to my thoughts on Marvel’s WandaVision. Stay watchin, fam. Peace! The post Zack Snyder’s Justice League: A Vision Realized appeared first on Larry McAllister II Photography and Creative Services.
43 minutes | Mar 11, 2021
WandaVision: Is Marvel the Villain?
WandaVision has got me reflecting on the MCU again. I like Marvel, I really do. I grew up reading the comics and for the last decade-plus, the movies have been a fun escape. From a cinematic experience though, the films can be somewhat lacking. A big part of this for me is that Marvel plays it too safe. Despite all of the weird characters and worlds they have, they never push things far enough. Sure, films like Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, and Thor: Ragnarok were a step in the right direction, but they are still safe in their own way. I think that dedication to playing it safe is what made me so curious about what the House of Ideas would do with the WandaVision series. The trailers showed off a strange sitcom-inspired aesthetic and the return of a character we knew was dead. Why is this show in black and white? How has Vision returned? There were so many questions but there was also the promise of something truly unique and different from all of the Marvel films and shows that came before it. WandaVision was a beacon of hope, signaling that Marvel might not always play it safe. Maybe I had too much trust. To be fair, seven of the nine episodes were a breath of fresh air, playing with expectations and setting up a truly interesting mystery. The eighth episode was a little exposition-heavy, but it still works. It felt at home with what came before. But the finale is a different story. It left such a sour taste in my mouth that I forgot how good the rest tasted. WandaVision was kneecapped right at the finish line. I can’t help but want to place blame. With all of that in mind, this week on Stay Watchin, I share my thoughts on the highs and lows of WandaVision and why I had such an issue with the finale. Missed the last episode of Stay Watchin? Listen now to hear why I hope that Zack Snyder’s Justice League is good… even though it probably won’t be. Stay watchin, fam. Peace! The post WandaVision: Is Marvel the Villain? appeared first on Larry McAllister II Photography and Creative Services.
32 minutes | Feb 25, 2021
Zack Snyder’s Justice League: Geez, I Hope It’s Good
We never thought we would see the day. On March 18, 2021, the “Snyder Cut” will be released. The fabled movie has been argued about for years. Some said it never existed. For others, it was an unfinished, assembly cut. But for a few, it was undoubtedly real. Love him or hate him, Zack Snyder is a visionary. As a director, he has a knack for creating breathtaking visuals and unforgettable moments. Unfortunately, tragedy and an overly involved studio prevented Snyder from bringing his vision for Justice League to theaters. Instead, we got a mess of a movie, tonally inconsistent with the entries he produced before. Lucky for us, HBO Max needs subscribers. Last year, it was announced Snyder was coming back to bring his version of Justice League to the service. Unsure of the form it would take for months, it was recently revealed that Zack Snyder’s Justice League would be released as a 4-hour movie on HBO Max. In this version of the film, we’ll see a host of changes from the theatrical release. Character backstories will be expanded, new villains will be introduced, and scenes excluded from the theatrical release will be restored. On top of that, the film will be Rated “R” and Snyder promises that Batman will drop the F-bomb. Geez, I really hope this is good… On this week’s bonus episode of Stay Watchin, I’ll share why I’m holding out hope for Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Oh, before I forget, read the harrowing story behind what happened with Justice League in Vanity Fair. Check out the last episode of Stay Watchin for my reviews for Minari and Nomadland. Stay watchin, fam. Peace! The post Zack Snyder’s Justice League: Geez, I Hope It’s Good appeared first on Larry McAllister II Photography and Creative Services.
42 minutes | Feb 22, 2021
Minari and Nomadland: Reflecting on the American Dream
This week was absorbed with heavy films. I can’t help but to think about what it means to make it in America. To think about what the “American Dream” means to different people. I can’t stop thinking about all of the different people in this country and all of the different ways that people live their lives. The films that got me thinking about this are Minari and Nomadland. Minari, written and directed by Lee Isaac Chung, is a semi-autobiographical film that tells the story of a Korean family searching for their piece of the American dream. Nomadland, directed and written for the screen by Chloe Zhao, based on the book of the same name by Jessica Bruder, gives us a look inside the lives of modern-day American nomads. Both of these films will stick with me. They both show us things we don’t think about. They expose us to new ideas of what it means to be free. This week on Stay Watchin’ Mondays at the Movies, I’ll dive into my thoughts on Minari and Nomadland. Did you miss last week’s episode? Listen to my reviews of Judas and the Black Messiah and TATB: Always and Forever. New bonus episodes are coming soon! Stay watchin’, fam! Peace! The post Minari and Nomadland: Reflecting on the American Dream appeared first on Larry McAllister II Photography and Creative Services.
56 minutes | Feb 15, 2021
Mondays at the Movies: To All the Boys: Always and Forever & Judas and the Black Messiah
February is a month to celebrate love and Black history. This past weekend we got movies focused on both of these elements. On Netflix, we have the final film in the beloved teen romance series, To All the Boys: Always and Forever. It’s sad to say goodbye to Lara Jean and Peter but all good things must come to an end. On HBO Max and in theaters, we are transported to the 1960s with one of my most anticipated films of the year, the gut-wrenching, and incredibly relevant, Judas and the Black Messiah. Struggle films can be hard to watch but all too necessary. This week on Mondays at the Movies, I’ll share my thoughts on both of these films. The movies couldn’t be more different, so this should be an interesting episode. If you missed last week’s Mondays at the Movies, check it out for reviews of The Little Things and Malcolm & Marie. The post Mondays at the Movies: To All the Boys: Always and Forever & Judas and the Black Messiah appeared first on Larry McAllister II Photography and Creative Services.
34 minutes | Feb 8, 2021
Mondays at the Movies: The Little Things and Malcolm & Marie
If you’re like me, you miss going to the movie theater. Lucky for us, streaming services have a bunch of new movies they are dropping for us all to enjoy. This week on Stay Watchin, Mondays at the Movies is back! In this installment, I’ll share my thoughts on a couple of new movies that dropped on HBO Max and Netflix. First, I break down what I thought about The Little Things, a new crime drama starring Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, and Jared Leto. After that, I’ll share what worked and didn’t work in Sam Levinson’s new film, Malcolm & Marie, which stars John David Washington and Zendaya. Stay tuned, Mondays at the Movies will be back every Monday as long as there are interesting new films that I want to talk about! Regular episodes will release midweek every other week. If you missed it, listen to my last episode, focused on what I’m looking forward to in 2021. Stay Watchin, fam! Peace! The post Mondays at the Movies: The Little Things and Malcolm & Marie appeared first on Larry McAllister II Photography and Creative Services.
44 minutes | Feb 3, 2021
What I’m Looking Forward To In 2021
2020 was a long year and its BS has definitely spilled into 2021. But with every crappy bit, there is some gold to look forward to this year. This week on Stay Watchin, I’ll share the movies, video games, and tv shows I’m looking forward to the most in 2021. What are you looking forward to this year? The post What I’m Looking Forward To In 2021 appeared first on Larry McAllister II Photography and Creative Services.
60 minutes | Dec 31, 2020
A Few of My Favorite Things From 2020
For the final episode of 2020 (or first of 2021?), I'll share my favorite pieces of entertainment from 2020! The post A Few of My Favorite Things From 2020 appeared first on Larry McAllister II Photography and Creative Services.
38 minutes | Dec 24, 2020
Force Ghosts of Star Wars Past, Present, and Future: The Mandalorian and What’s Next for Star Wars
On a bonus episode of Stay Watchin, let's talk about season 2 of The Mandalorian and the new Star Wars shows and movies coming our way. The post Force Ghosts of Star Wars Past, Present, and Future: The Mandalorian and What’s Next for Star Wars appeared first on Larry McAllister II Photography and Creative Services.
33 minutes | Dec 17, 2020
My Spotify Wrapped Is Wack! Do I Suck at Listening to Music?
This week on Stay Watchin', I'll share my thoughts on Spotify, Spotify Wrapped, and my own music listening habits. The post My Spotify Wrapped Is Wack! Do I Suck at Listening to Music? appeared first on Larry McAllister II Photography and Creative Services.
18 minutes | Dec 3, 2020
Warner Bros. Goes All In on HBO Max
Movies releasing in theaters and on HBO Max at the same time? On this Stay Watchin' bonus episode we discuss the latest news from Warner Bros. The post Warner Bros. Goes All In on HBO Max appeared first on Larry McAllister II Photography and Creative Services.
52 minutes | Nov 30, 2020
The Future of Video Games is Here… But What’s Next?
This week on Stay Watchin', let's talk about the new generation of video game consoles and what's in store fot the future of video games. The post The Future of Video Games is Here… But What’s Next? appeared first on Larry McAllister II Photography and Creative Services.
58 minutes | Nov 3, 2020
So, Quibi Died… What Makes a Good Streaming Service?
Now that Quibi is dead and buried, this week on Stay Watchin', let's talk about what makes a good streaming service. The post So, Quibi Died… What Makes a Good Streaming Service? appeared first on Larry McAllister II Photography and Creative Services.
48 minutes | Oct 14, 2020
Can Movie Theaters (and Movies) Survive This?
This week on the Stay Watchin', let's discuss whether or not movie theaters, and movies for that matter, can survive the pandemic. The post Can Movie Theaters (and Movies) Survive This? appeared first on Larry McAllister II Photography and Creative Services.
29 minutes | Jul 13, 2020
Is this a Reboot, Remake or Sequel? Why I Love Requels
This week on Stay Watchin', I'll share my take on what a requel (a remakes/reboots that acts like sequels) is and tell you why I really love them. The post Is this a Reboot, Remake or Sequel? Why I Love Requels appeared first on Larry McAllister II Photography and Creative Services.
26 minutes | Jun 29, 2020
Mondays Not at the Movies
This week on Stay Watchin', I share what I'm feeling not being able to go to the movies and how it has affected how it may affect aspects of producing the podcast going forward. The post Mondays Not at the Movies appeared first on Larry McAllister II Photography and Creative Services.
43 minutes | Jun 3, 2020
Wounds Need Air: I Shouldn’t Have to Convince You That Black Lives Matter
This week on Stay Watchin', I share my reaction to what's going on in America, express why Black Lives Matter, and tell you some shows to watch. The post Wounds Need Air: I Shouldn’t Have to Convince You That Black Lives Matter appeared first on Larry McAllister II Photography and Creative Services.
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