The Last O.G. Season Finale Could've Been Better

Let’s sum up TBS’ sitcom The Last O.G.: Tracy Morgan can anchor a show with varied personalities but his character, Trey, is scattered. Tiffany Haddish is woefully underused and her character, Shay, underwritten. The tenth episode, the season one finale, doesn’t wipe the slate completely clean for Trey.

In the season finale named “Clemenza,” Trey decides he wants revenge on Wavy for snitching on him. Trey, inspired by the Godfather films, plots a murder with his fellow ex-cons at the halfway house. Referencing The Godfather in this episode and in the pilot would be a witty reference if I cared so little about Italian mob movies and shows. That goes awry when Big Country couldn’t cleanly hide the gun in the coffee shop bathroom where there’s a hidden camera (more on that later).

Before Trey does the deed, he visits Shay’s house one more time. Shay is distraught that her husband, Josh, hasn’t come home last night. With the help of social engineering access to Josh’s credit card info, Trey finds Josh in a bar shirtless almost going out his mind relapsing to his old heroin addiction. After Trey and Josh have a talk and Trey shows off his new Air Jordans (Josh lets that credit card purchase slide), Trey is off to confront Wavy. Continue reading “The Last O.G. Season Finale Could’ve Been Better”

Status From Yonder - May 15, 2018 at 12:11PM


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So, The Shape of Water Is Apparently A Big Oscar Winner

Now’s the time for Fox to eagerly tout their upcoming Blu-ray release!

Famous people got fancy and prepared for adulation at the 90th Academy Awards happened last night. The Shape of Water, directed by Guillermo del Toro, won four Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Score, and Best Production Design. Such major successes will carry momentum when Shape’s DVD/Blu-ray/4K comes out on 16 March.

I didn’t watch last night’s Oscars, but followed the event’s winners. Haven’t cared about its ceremony or presentation since David Letterman hosted. (Ah, the innocent days when Letterman and Adam Sandler were the height of comedy.) However, I’m happy to see Jordan Peele win Best Original Screenplay and Blade Runner 2049 win two Oscars: Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects. Continue reading “So, The Shape of Water Is Apparently A Big Oscar Winner”

TNT's Alienist Swoops Us Into Gilded Age New York

A review of the first two episodes of The Alienist. Screener provided by Turner Broadcasting for review purposes.

The Alienist is TNT’s new alluring mystery set in gloomy 1896 New York. Though it’s interesting to piece the mystery together week by week, TNT’s historical drama, based on Caleb Carr’s novel, would be a future binge-watcher’s favorite. Alienist has lots of atmosphere, doesn’t spare us the cruelty of the Gilded Age, and has main characters who fill the needed personality trait checkboxes but may break out of being two-dimensional in later episodes.

Sometimes The Alienist gets bogged into familiar serial killer mystery stuff, but it’s a show I’ll find a way to watch to the end. I want to know how this version of New York City functions. I want to get to know the city’s inhabitants. How deep down the strange rabbit hole will our sleuths (played solidly by Daniel Br├╝hl, Luke Evans, and Dakota Fanning) go? Where’s our memetic badass version of Teddy Roosevelt? Continue reading “TNT’s Alienist Swoops Us Into Gilded Age New York”

The Atoning Review

The filmmakers provided a screener for review. This review avoids mentioning major spoilers.

The horror-suspense film The Atoning, directed by Michael Williams, gives a distorted view of an American family. The first act of the movie show this family, mother Vera, father Ray, and son Sam going through the motions inside of their home. Witnessing routine after routine is odd enough until the family sees strange visions of other people. Later, the movie shows who has to do some actual atoning, including confronting some coal-black demons, and why. Continue reading “The Atoning Review”

Accidental Courtesy Review

Unlike his profession as a musician, Daryl Davis’ methods of fighting racism isn’t always a crowd pleaser. Accidental Courtesy, the documentary featuring Davis, covers his befriending some Ku Klux Klan members and the impact of his actions. It’s a fascinating watch for how Davis thinks outside the volatile box of race relations.

As a younger (millennial) Black man, I have some mild ambivalence to Davis’ work. He has had success in turning some of his hood-and-robe-wearing friends away from the Ku Klux Klan and its sociopathic hate. For that, I am grateful that Davis illustrating face-to-face social interaction can make a difference. However, it’s a one-man movement about crossing the aisle meaning it’s slower kind of change, doesn’t end the Klan, and can send mixed signals. Some of the tensest moments of Accidental Courtesy is when Davis talks those who don’t approve of his methods, such as a representative of the Southern Poverty Law Center and a meeting with two younger Black protesters in Baltimore. Also, Courtesy throws in footage of Donald Trump in a seemingly last-minute attempt of relevance. Davis remains hopeful while living on the brink of the Trump presidency, but how Davis deals with the alt-right would require an update a few years down the line.

Accidental Courtesy is sometimes hard to watch, but I find Davis’ effort a net positive for improving race relations. It has shown me, someone who practically lives online, how we, in general, should value getting to know each other in the flesh. Americans should be exposed to more films showing the fight against racism in action.

Cents Movie Review

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From an advance screener copy provided by the filmmakers.

Middle school provided some of the worst moments of my childhood. Kids were reaching peak immaturity before high school came along when we all had to make important decisions about launching our adult lives. Cents, written and directed by Christopher Boone, captures the atmosphere where kids only think they have things figured out. While Cents is free of profanity and explicit stuff, there’s plenty of bad behavior.

Math whiz Sammy Baca (Julia Flores) concocts a major tweak to her school’s penny drive program. She convinces the students operating the drive to tell one other person a day to give a penny, that other person gets another to give a penny, and so on. Sam didn’t think up a pyramid scheme out of the goodness of her heart; her taking a cut of the proceeds beats selling gum on school grounds. Penny by penny, Sammy’s saves up for a brand new toy. Sammy’s intelligent, but only at the end of the movie she shows empathy, contrition, and even a bit of wisdom.

These girls aren’t criminal masterminds, so complications arise in executing the plan and egos are bruised. Because I had trouble keeping up with names, I made names for the other members of the group: ex-BFF, Mean Queen Selena Gomez lookalike, and MQSG’s lackey. The young ladies do fine portraying basic character types, but cartoonish MQSG acts as though she’s on The Suite Life of iCarly or whatever. Continue reading “Cents Movie Review”