For me, Christina Ricci’s Wednesday Addams, featuring in the two 90s Addams Family movies, was an iconic image. Her cold white face, her deliciously morbid mannerisms and her comic sense of savagery… bliss.

Finding out that there was to be a Netflix “reimagining” of the Addams Family with focus on the character of the outcast girl, i was a little trepidatious. But then i discovered that Tim Burton is taking the reigns…and i was less anxious.

I also found out that none other than the ORIGINAL Wednesday – Christina Ricci herself – was to have a cameo. As well as the casting of Catherine Zeta Jones and Luiz Guzman as the iconic Addams parents, and a role for Gwendoline Christie, who is obviously brilliant.

Let me get to it. Although the show opens with your expected Wednesday-causing-havoc-in-her-high-school-with-piranhas-in-a-swimming-pool, the direction shifts gears, throwing poor Wednesday into Nevermore School for Outcasts. So she is surrounded by equally weird kids – from Medusa boy to siren girl, via she-wolf to … well…somebody in the school can turn into a vicious animal thing. And said hideous beast is killing kids. So we need a certain intrepid young investigator on the case. Fortunately Wednesday has a taste for the macabre.

And thus begins a wonderful little detective show, peppered with talented young actors (and talented seasoned actors), swinging along with all manner of plot twists and devilishly batshit crazy antics.

Jenna Ortega – this generations Wednesday – is simply perfect. How she manages to convey so much emotion with those eyes…its a joy to watch. The girl is brimming with potential – this is the first of a very long list of successes. I’m calling it now – she’s got the Oscars / Emmys in her future, (and i don’t mean guest hosting like her hilarious spot with Aubrey Plaza), i mean on the recieving end.

The tiny little wonderful moments that shine throughout the production will make you smile, gasp and enjoy. It didn’t escape my notice that the entrance to the hidden chamber requires one to snap their fingers twice… snap snap. Oh and Thing – prepare for some scenes being stolen by a disembodied hand. I’m not going to talk about the dance. The dance is everywhere and if you fancy the best three minutes of your day search for it on YouTube. Or even better, watch the whole show and understand why its one of the best pieces of television ever.

What Wednesday absolutely excels at is its relevance. It has successfully modernised itself – the way Wednesday dresses and the use of popular music… its a touch of genius.

Its creepy and its kooky, quite clever and quite ooky, its a piece of deft perfection, in acting and direction. Jenna is amazing, sorry for the phrasing – its Netflix’s Wednesday, doodle a doo Snap Snap.

Crisis in the Cinematic Universe

I’m taking this news badly, by the way. What i found out yesterday has left a nasty taste in my mouth and i’m afraid i’m about to wax lyrical about my discontentment…

A recent blog post spoke of the HBOmax TV show “Peacemaker”, and how i enjoyed it’s violent action, witty script and subtly rounded characterisation. I even, if i recall, spoke very highly of its direction – provided skillfully by James (Guardians of the Galaxy) Gunn. I thought i was happy, pleased with the geek world and its various forms. I found myself revering Gunn himself…

And then it all came crashing down. I was betrayed. My fan instincts were torn asunder and i was full of trivial hate and anger.

To understand the full picture of my despair, i must tell you of a few things. Firstly, let us address a Netflix show, of which i am also a fan. Its called “The Witcher” – you may have heard of it. Its the story of Geralt of Rivia, an outcast monster-hunter with silver hair, yellow eyes and the acting range of a Larch. His expletive utterances and grunts are a source of pop memes the world over. His strikingly monosyllabic dialogue have earned him many fans. That, and the fact that women and men alike find him startlingly handsome. He is Henry Cavill, british actor who has played the son of Edmund Dantes, the unwanted suitor of Clare Danes, an immortal demigod, Sherlock Holmes and even Napoleon Solo. He missed out to Daniel Craig as Bond. So the stars were in alignment when he secured the role of the best superhero of all. Clark Kent. Superman.

However, due to rumoured creative differences – the word is the Witcher’s writers want to take the show in a different direction than the books – and Cavill is off, to be replaced by one of the non-Thor Hemsworths. Fans are in uproar. A petition has already been signed by nearly half a million people to have the writers fired and Cavill reinstated.

But the fans were compensated. A surprise cameo of Supes himself at the end of the recent Rock vehicle Black Adam, followed by a media message from Cavill…Superman was to return. A sequel / follow up to Snyder’s Man of Steel was in the works. I’m sure i wasnt the only person that leaped for joy.

My happiness was short lived.

Merely days later there came a shockwave through the industry. It began with the news that Wonder Woman 3 was shelved. Batgirl has been lost to time. And…the recently announced Superman movie was now in the trash pile. We weren’t going to get Henry Cavill in the cape again after all. Nor we going to get Geralt of Rivia with his dreamy demon eyes.

James Gunn has sledgehammered the DC Universe. It looks as if the entire justice league are fated to their doom. The troubled Flash movie is apparently still happening, as is Aquaman’s sequel, and thankfully we’re still getting Robert Pattinson’s second Batman movie. But no more Batman Beyond (with michael keaton!)!

Theres almost no consolation. Oh apparently there is another Superman, with a younger clark kent. But no henry cavill.

I am a great fan of Christopher Reeve. A hero and a role model. I loved Brandon Routh, my superman. I’ve met the man and we’ve posed as Captain Cold and The Atom. I was retiscent to accept Cavill’s new, darker Superman… but i did. And now he’s been taken from me.

I ask the world; if you’re going to do this to me, give me Man from Uncle 2…

Its not all doom and gloom. We’re getting a Warhammer movie in the future, and i just read a rumour that he’s in the reboot of Highlander. WHAT? WHY AM I HEARING ABOUT THIS NOW!!!


The Gray Man (2022)

Ryan Gosling is one of those actors. Most people love him, a small portion think of him as stony faced and boring. I’m in the former category. Chris Evans. Most people love him. I don’t think there is a second group. The Russo directors are given a f**king massive budget (for a Netflix film) and so they get both the above superstars plus a couple hundred thousand to spend on immense explosions and car chases. The dialogue is punchy and often funny. But the plot was lost somewhere in the CIA archives, probably nestled next to the Ark, or the Book of Secrets, or something. So instead we get the generic macguffin plot of every spy / government conspiracy time since time immemorial.

But I cared not.

If I was looking for the most stonking original plot of all time I’d maybe begrudge it a complaint; but in this instance I am not. It’s a hugely enjoyable blockbuster with leads positively glowing with charisma and chemistry, and the fight scenes are simply sublime john wicky-wicky-wa-wa.

Every bad guy fires with the aiming skill of a blind stormtrooper and the main villain isn’t even the primary villain – no, that honour falls to ‘the old man’, who never makes an appearance. Sorry, cliché meter just went off the scale.

What annoys me about these kind of films is that someone was actually hired and paid good money to write the plot. And yet its so full of cliches. Now, I refuse to believe the writer was genuinely unaware of just about every other film in the genre so why did he/she write, knowingly, such a generic slice of cinematic nonsense. I struggle to write short stories daily simply because I suddenly hit a moment when I’ve repeated a plot twist from another movie, and can’t keep going.

However, theres a bottom line here, and that’s this film is highly enjoyable. Don’t go in expecting it to make Oscar history. Expect an annoying amount of CGI-enhanced stuntwork (this is no James Bond film, so this is going to be Fast and Furious nonsence).

But again, cut away all the silliness and allow your brain to enjoy Hollywood’s trope – meaningless escapist action. From the thunderous opening music cue to the rapturous kick-ass finale, its mindless awesomeness.

Give the sequel a plot and you’ll blow the roof off.

Cobra Kai is made up of Omega Particles

If i need to explain the subject title then you’ll just have to wing it and learn via context and observational extrapolation.

I was a Karate Kid child; i remember re-enacting Daniel-san’s kick in front of an entire classroom after i saw the film on TV over a holiday period (which makes me think it must have been the UK television premiere – maybe over a Christmas? (i’ll do a quick internet search, hang on)…so it came out in 1984, then probably 4/5 years later a TV release? So we’re talking maybe 88 or 89. Anyway. I remember loving the second one more, and being fascinated by the location filming, and then i remember hating the bit when Miyagi cries, myself affected by the film. And i remember the music.

The finale of the first film is a piece of 80s moviemaking that will last forever.

However, when i first heard about Cobra Kai i just didn’t really lap it up, despite it somehow managing to grab the original actors. Maybe i thought it would be a piss-take, a parody, and not worthy of my attention.

How wrong i was.

Cobra Kai is that gem in a trashpile, that diamond in the rough, that gadwall in the mallards. Its a sequel that is very, very much aware of its history, but with skilled filmmakers behind the camera, clever writers and performances that are so human it restores your faith in Hollywood.

Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) is living on hard times. His defeat to Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) left him living a spiralling, tentative life of failures and mistakes and booze. LaRusso has created himself a good life, thriving and with a wonderful loving family.

Johnny finds himself rejuvenating the infamous Karate dojo Cobra Kai, and through his efforts we see the glorious rise of self-esteem in his students… but coincidences and unfortunate circumstances seem to entangle themselves that no ones lives are going to be normal again.

Its an incredibly human show. Things don’t go as planned, and the wonderful Bromeo and Juliet friendship betwix Lawrence and LaRusso is so well-constructed you find your own hands clenching to karate punch fists after every conversation.

The acting is so good it hurts. Zabka’s human performance is tingling, and Macchio’s warm fatherly attitude mixes sublimely with his tempered moods.

The kids are perfect; each one their own, carefully created performances, each one showing such well written and portrayed arcs of character development.

And the music. 80’s nostalgic synth tones and chinese pipe music, with Twisted Sister, Metallica and Rock and Roll classics playing perfect backdrop to numerous montages, Rocky style.

But its also so modern. Game of Thrones references in the script – even a doctor who reference (jodie whitaker is apparently bad-ass) – oh its just so good. And i’m only midway through season 3.

Humour; its tremendously funny. Facepalms, clever scripts, hilarious timing and one-liners… “hash brown team cobra kai! and send it to the internet!”

  • sincerity
  • music
  • plot
  • script
  • nostalgia
  • originality
  • humour
  • drama
  • brilliant teenage / YA actors
  • brilliant original actors from the franchise
  • knowing, loving passion for the originals but not relying on them for its brilliance

The above are my omega particles.

The best TV show this decade, i think. It actually pains me to watch it, because i feel that i’ll never be able to re-inact the way i felt the first time round.