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‘Mute’: Screaming Into The Noir Where No-One Will Hear You



So Leo (Alexander Skargard) is a good man. A mute man in a futuristic world where his inability to speak makes him stand out like a beacon, prone to aggressive negotiations with his fists when things get crazy, but a good man nevertheless. This Bladerunner-like existence in the near-future of the city of Berlin, affords humanity all manner of choices to fix their physical anomalies, which means Leo could be talking tomorrow if he chose to and could pay for it. Spoilers live in the future, too!

He refuses to do either of those things, because that would be against his mother’s Amish beliefs, and he loves his mother dearly. So the accident in early life that robbed Leo of that most basic ability to make himself understood, speech, must have been part of Gods overall grand plan, or something, and this is where we find ourselves when the film begins.

It was never satisfactorily explained to me, what the hell Leo is doing working as a mute bartender here in a fancy Berlin strip club, but whatever, that’s where we are. The strip club is run by a gangster type called Maksim (Gilbert Owuor), who excuses various patrons’ handsy treatment of Naadirah, even when it happens right in front of him. Leo’s girlfriend Naadirah (Seyneb Saleh), she of the blue hair and the several important secrets she hasn’t shared yet, is a free spirit with a dark past who does her best to charm Leo into smiling happily at her loving antics. They genuinely seem to care for each-other, which makes it all the worse when Naadirah goes missing.

One might assume a man raised with Amish values would be a bit more of a pacifist, and that would be a large mistake, at least in Leo’s case. Adherence to his motherly values or not, Leo doesn’t let curses, threats, or even his own bodily harm get in the way of using rather brutal physical force to get the information he needs. Inevitably Leo turns out to be good at drawing, and of course writing his queries when he pauses long enough for that, but really, a photo of Naadirah and a menacingly silent inquiring scowl are plenty enough to at least get started in the right direction.

Meanwhile elsewhere, a pair of former military men turned black market surgeon doctors are sewing one of Maksim’s men back up and reminiscing about their adventures together. Cactus Bill (Paul Rudd) and Duck (Justin Theroux) have been together a very long time, were even lovers once, but now no longer romantically involved they stay together like life-mates anyways, even to the point of taking care of Cactus Bills’ daughter Josie (Mia-Sophie and Lea-Marie Bastin). Duck has a bit too much of a thing for kids, his side cybernetic surgery business on children and the accommodating brothel attached to the strip club allows him to wallow in some very illegal activities, which even his closest pal Cactus Bill can’t ignore forever. One has a tendency to wonder what the hell these men have to do with the over-arcing storyline of Leo and his missing Naadirah, and while it is explained eventually, the disconnection of plot points seems to poison the story a little.

So we’re watching Leo run around beating people up attempting to find information on Naadirah, and Cactus Bill and Duck do their rather violent thing too, when a bolt of storytelling lightning surprises us from a TV screen. Leo is passing a television blaring the news, and we see a story about one Sam Bell and a case of missing identity, with several men claiming to be Sam Bell standing up in the courtroom to protest.

Why does this mean anything at all? The director of Mute, Duncan Jones, made this amazing Indie film awhile back called Moon, well known by film enthusiasts for the excellent story-line and pacing, and the roster of all of a single main actor played memorably by Sam Rockwell. Having the already-made character Sam Bell show up inside Mute for all of maybe two whole minutes, establishes this new film firmly in Jones’ movie universe as part of the Moon approximate timeline. This actually helps those of us who’ve seen Moon appreciate this new movie that much more, the understanding that a good deal of this world could be our future.

Leo is plowing through known associates of Naadirah’s looking for her – idiotic Stuart (Noel Clarke) and his taunts, Luba (Robert Sheehan) and the other prostitutes, mob underling Nicky Simsek (Jannis Niewohner), even eventually Cactus Bill and Duck themselves. What happened to Naadirah and why are both great tragedies, and while Leo doesn’t waste time ruminating on them before acting, he is darkly sad as he prepares to wreak his final vengeance in his beloved blue-haired-girls name.

Duck may have neatly gotten around the mute Leo problem, but Skarsgard manages to be incredibly expressive in his silent role anyway. The character of Cactus Bill, despite being cast as Ant-Man himself Paul Rudd, is a gum-cracking asshat I just want to punch, so I guess they succeeded at that. The movie itself is strange and disconnected, even from itself, with free-floating plots that wander off into the ether while other nonsense is focused on, but the soundtrack is excellent and for the most part, the film is worth a watch at least once. Make sure you leave the sound on for the Bowie tribute.

Speak of all the evil with Mute on Netflix now!

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Finally, the Cinderella story of the Richmond Greyhounds has come to an end.



We are now in a new season for the team, and they have started off on the wrong
foot. The team is broken up and Ted has his work cut out for him. The team goes
through a slump, and Ted is now doubting his coaching ability. Ted’s personal life
has also gotten out of control, and he discovers his ex-wife Michelle has started a relationship with their therapist. The wonderkid, Nathan Shelley, the former manager of West Ham has had a change of heart and leaves his job to be with his one true love, the waitress from his favorite restaurant.

She convinces him to return to the Richmond team he started out in and it’s quite evident that
everyone wants him back and held no hard feelings. All of Lawrence’s series he has worked on with others have just that right balance of slice-of-life drama with a little bit of ridiculous comedy that reality dishes us, normal folks, every day.

This all comes to a head in the potential series finale where Ted announced to
Rebecca that he will be returning to the States to his family after his mother tells
him that his son misses him. This puts the Richmond owner into quite a state of denial; doing everything from offering Ted the position of being the highest-paid coach in the league to selling the team after he leaves. The team is also affected by this decision as they perform a number from the musical The Sound of Music that is a more than touching farewell to this family.

This bleeds into their playing as in the final title match the first half is met with
bumbling and possible injuries to their star player Jamie.
After an energizing pep talk and a circle back to the first motivator in the
beginning, a sign Ted made up that said “BELIEVE”, the team dominate the second
half and win with a rousing closing scene that is reminiscent of any 80’s party
movie. It’s a fitting end for this pandemic darling that emotionally carried us through. It is
a must-see series even if you don’t like soccer (football).

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No Question Mark Box Here; Super Mario Delivers a 1-Up in Theaters



If you were born in the ’80s, ’90s, or literally ANY decade after those, you know about Super Mario. A cultural phenomenon was brought to life on the big screen this last weekend. One that has not only stood the test of time but reinvented itself time and time again. This wasn’t even the first time it’s been made into a movie but, well, let’s be honest.. some of us choose not to acknowledge the LIVE action adaptation of the beloved game from 30 years ago. 

It was pretty bad… But this was animation. ILLUMINATION animation at that. The Universal company that brought us Gru and his Minions, showed us the Secret Life of Pets, and gave us a reason to SING! Still, I had my reservations and even some concerns, especially when the casting was announced. 

 Eyebrows were raised. As big of stars as they were on paper, could they really deliver on voicing characters from a staple of our childhood? They did.

Chris Pratt and Charlie Day may not be Italian, and Jack Black may not be a King or Turtle creature from the Mushroom Kingdom, but they make the characters their own all while paying homage to the lore of a video game. 

From the jump, the story reintroduces us to the brothers that just want to save Brooklyn one clogged sink at a time. We feel an instant connection and relate to these “underdogs of the plumbing world”. The movie is riddled with easter eggs, each of which tugs on the heartstrings of every generation of Mario fandom. And the soundtrack was beautifully put together to not only make us feel like we’re taking a walkthrough of the game but like an experience all its own with some familiar favorites thrown in.

Every word in the movie is pure eye candy for both those that are casual fans, and those analyzing every frame to see what they’ll catch next. Bowser’s ship, the Mushroom Kingdom, Kong’s arena, and the Rainbow Road.. They’re all meant to give us just enough of a “new” look at these amazing worlds, but stay true to how we remember them.

The movie itself moves along at the perfect pace. Although, if you don’t really know ANYTHING about the Super Mario Bros, you may have gotten a little lost and felt left behind in the green tunnel. But that’s ok! It’s an adventure of the imagination and a classic story of a boy that meets a girl and tries to save the world from a monster that wants to destroy it.

What’s funny is that you could easily say this is a story about two characters who couldn’t be more opposite if they tried, battling to win the heart of a princess. Who would’ve thought that the King of the Koopas was just trying to impress his crush?

And that song? Ohhh THAT song! It’s my new ringtone and deserves the Oscar for Best Original Song.

Back to the movie. 

Universal and Illumination clearly understood the assignment. Is it missing some things or could things have been done differently or even better? Absolutely! We’re the worst critics of the things we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts. But if you’re up for going on a 90-minute adventure through amazing worlds, with awesome music, and characters that’ll make you smile and laugh, then this is the perfect movie to spring you into that warm summer feeling.

Plus there’s the whole part with karts and shells, and banana peels and oh my goodness how amazing was that?? It’s enough to make you want to stand up and cheer, then go home and destroy your friends and family on your favorite track haha.

The bottom line, it pays homage in all the right ways to the little guy with the mustache, while giving us something new and exciting. Take the kids and go see Super Mario Bros. You’ll be glad you did!

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Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023



Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Opening Act Saturday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. on North 200A. Talent confirmed so far to participate in the post-screening panel is Natalie Alyn Lind (Big Sky, The Goldbergs, Gotham) as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and longtime RWBY cast member Lindsay Jones (Camp Camp) as Ruby, Kara Eberle ( RWBY: Ice Queendom) as Weiss, Arryn Zech (Detective Now Dead) as Blake and Barbara Dunkelman (Blood Fest) as Yang – along with Jeannie Tirado (Soul, Saints Row) as Green Lantern and Tru Valentino (The Rookie, The Cuphead Show!) as a cyborg. Also attending the panel will be producer/director Kerry Shawcross (series RWBY) and writer Meghan Fitzmartin (Supernatural, Justice Society: World War II).

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023 with the big screen debut from DC Animated Films: highlights this year include the world premieres of the highly anticipated Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham and Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Part One the weekend of March 24-26 in Anaheim, California. Both screenings will be followed by panel discussions with actors and creators. Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham premieres at The Arena on Friday, March 24 at 6 p.m. Tati Gabrielle (Kaleidoscope, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Uncharted) as Kai Li Cain, Christopher Gorham (The Lincoln Lawyer, Insatiable) as Oliver Queen, David Dastmalchian (Dune, Suicide Squad, Ant-Man) as Grendon, producer/co-director Sam Liu (The Death and the Return of Superman), co-director Christopher Berkeley (Young Justice) and screenwriter Jase Ricci (Teen Titans Go! and DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem Across the Multiverse).

Both films will have encore screenings in the Arena on Sunday, March 26. Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One will screen at 12:15pm, followed by Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham at 2:00pm

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