Spoilers hide in snow too!
Led by King Kano, the Black Dragon gang goes around terrorizing the wastelands of an already-defeated Earthrealm, enough to garner the attention of a very-retired Kuai Liang and a new warrior on the scene, an overconfident bravo known as Kenshi Takahashi (Manny Jacinto).
The entire story is set in the wastelands, with simple farming towns and markets so ready to be intimidated and then outright slaughtered if they fail to obey King Kano’s oh so generous offer to join his Black Dragon gang. Led by three ringleaders right out of Mad Max territory – Kabal (Keith Silverstein), Kobra (Yuri Lowenthal) and Kira (Courtenay Taylor) – the Black Dragon mercenaries take great delight in their merciless takeover of town after town, until they finally suffer an ignominious defeat at the hands of one who simply won’t kneel, Kenshi himself. And nothing would do but to come back to wreak revenge on Kenshi, aided by a Mortal Kombat-style monster known as Tremor (Imari Williams), and a much-diminished Shang Tsung (Artt Butler), now reduced to King Kano’s pet sorcerer.
Meanwhile, after a montage of monotonous simplicity on the solo farm of Kuai Liang (Ron Yuan) and a robbery of his hard-earned vegetables by our rapacious trio, the market town he sells at is in utter fear of the Black Dragon’s return, and of course it’s all Kenshi’s fault. Kuai Liang still, still, hasn’t fought back at all, matter of fact he’s been reticent to the point of silence, even while enduring beatings and humiliations. But we know, those of us familiar with Mortal Kombat and the Mortal Kombat Legends movies especially, and we’re also reminded via Kuai Liang suffering nightmarish flashbacks, that Sub-Zero’s incredible ice powers can, and have, leveled entire cities and whole armies of enemies, so perhaps his reluctance to rain an ice age on his enemies is mildly understandable.
So Kenshi Takahashi is a bravo, the self-proclaimed strongest fighter in the world, and yes, just got his arrogant little booty put through the ringer by Tremor. One sound defeat and he’s ready to toss in the proverbial towel, only to be found by a terribly sympathetic Shang Tsung, who leads him to a hidden place with a Well of Souls (such names never bode well), to get the power back to defeat his enemies and reclaim his strongest fighter in the world title. Surprising absolutely no one, Shang Tsung betrays Kenshi afresh, uncaring at his being blinded by his ancestors spirits apparently, intent on only stealing enough power to defeat King Kano. Left shattered and sightless, armed only with a magical sword that allows him to kind-of see, Kenshi literally drags himself away, and collapses on the outskirts of a particular solo farm, held by a particularly reserved not-farmer.
Elsewhere, Shang Tsung is now a-brimming with soul power and planning to lay waste to those Black Dragon baddies and especially King Kano (David Wenham), ambitious to the point of lunacy, borne on dreams of former glory. Thus commences a very Mortal Kombat style fight, where King Kano subjects Shang Tsung to a ranting diatribe about having done all this before and his lack of imagination will lead to his inevitable defeat, yet again. Despite the serious damage Kano does take he still manages to win, and we begin to wonder how the hell that actually happened, and what Kano meant by going through this nonsense, yet again.
Back on the farm, a pathetic Kenshi and a reluctant Kui Liang engage in some verbal soul-baring and come to the conclusion that even a little training would do Kenshi some good, it can’t harm him any more than he already is, right? Other than the humiliation of chasing farm chickens, of course. But while they romp a training montage that I’m guessing takes at least a few weeks, Black Dragon and King Kano are still out there, further consolidating his Kingdom through wholesale slaughter. And after the market town Kui Liang frequents is destroyed, he and his unbowed protégé decide to take the fight to Kano and his goons, over there in the unimaginatively-named K-Town, the seat of his Kingdom.
Despite being perfectly capable of laying waste to K-Town in a rather biblical fashion, Kui Liang decides to call in the marker he has with another beloved and infamous Mortal Kombat character, one who’s been languishing in a hellish afterlife since the events of the former Mortal Kombat Legends movie Scorpion’s Revenge, he was once called Hanzo but has since dubbed himself Scorpion (Patrick Seitz). And between the two of them, a newly-determined Kenshi and his soul-blade Sento, and other small if loyal extras who try to help, it’s time for a final Mortal Kombat with King Kano!
And that’s actually literally the whole problem, how this whole defeated Earthrealm business began in the first place, with time. Not the erosion of casual neglect and cheerful genocide that the Mortal Kombat Emperors and other villains are famous for, no, this is a much more simple and even idiotic explanation, that makes perfect sense when you think about it, given that the character Kano is far from a genius, wizard, or even the finest warrior in Mortal Kombat. (Fight me on it; he’s not.)
What happens in the final after all that Kombat, given Kenshi’s new mission and resolve, and the promises Kui Liang made to Hanzo and to himself, is a very Mortal Kombat style ending. Which is to say, sort-of-kind-of-not-really resolved, and we know we’ll see our beloved Kombatants in another adventure, likely featuring at least one spine-ripping moment!
Intensely violent, horrifically gross but really if you don’t already know the level of gore in Mortal Kombat from the beloved video games still on-going what are you even doing here, Snow Blind also has tons of courage and morals, valor from unexpected sources, and an underlying message of faith in oneself that anyone can appreciate.
Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind comes out from Warner Bros Home Entertainment digital retailers on Oct. 9th, and out on Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra on Oct. 11th 2022!
Joy Ride Is An Extremely Raunchy And Hilarious Comedy
Joy Ride is an extremely raunchy and hilarious comedy that takes the mantle of ensemble risky
comedies that at times, leave your mouth on the floor. Joy Ride focuses on two best friends
Audrey and Lolo (Ashley Sullivan and Sherry Cola) end up getting roped up into a trip to Asia,
they end up on gals pal cross-continent trek to find Audrey’s long lost birth mother so she
doesn’t lose a huge business deal.
The chemistry in this movie is superb. Every character has their moment to shine and there’s
rarely a scene where you don’t get a belly laugh. I was shocked at how crazy and bold this
movie got, continually pushing the line to get a laugh. The movie does a good job of getting to
the point and getting to the scenes that really make you chuckle. There are some editing choices where the story flies by some stuff, and it feels a little incomplete, but never at the expense of really enjoying being around for the journey.
I thought that this was a sleeper for this year and certainly a movie worth watching with your
friends some weekend. It’s great to throw on if you want a laugh and really just enjoy some
great actors riffing off each other. The focus on culture was a nice touch and really elevated the movie to another level. While I would say if you’re easily offended, this movie is not for you – if you’re looking for a no holds barred comedy, Joy Ride is a trip worth taking.
The Last Voyage of the Demeter: Double-knock on wood!
Adapted and written largely from the Captain’s Log chapter of Bram Stoker’s magnum opus Dracula, The Last Voyage of the Demeter tells the story of Dracula’s journey by ship from Carpathia to London, and what happened to her crew in the interim.
So here we are in Bulgaria, middle of 1897, and Captain Eliot (Liam Cunningham) of the Russian schooner Demeter is here to take on some strange cargo from some unknown client and transport it to Carfax Abbey in London. In need of some extra hands, the Captain sends out his capable Second Wojchek (David Dastmalchian) to scout for some, and initially the roving black doctor and aspiring philosopher Clemens (Corey Hawkins) is passed over in favor of more work-roughened men. The adorable cabin boy of the Demeter, Toby (Woody Norman), narrowly misses being crushed by the mysterious dragon-marked crates being loaded onto the ship, saved by Clemens himself and switched out with the superstitious sailors running from the Demeter like they had been poisoned by the sign of Dracul. And now, armed with some nine or so crewmen, Doc Clemens, and Captain Eliot himself, the twenty-four strange what looks like coffins adorned with dragon signs brought mostly safely aboard, the Demeter can make for open water and the Hell that awaits them there.
The duty of showing Clemens around the ship falls to a cheerful Toby, who proudly shows him the living areas, the Captain’s quarters, the very-large cargo hold, the galley and kitchen where the overly-devout Joseph (Jon Jon Briones) cooks the crews meals, the various above decks, even the sails, and the rigging are all at least touched on, and the livestock pens that Toby himself is in charge of, including the handsome good-boy doggy Huckleberry, or just Huck. We the audience get a very clear feeling of what it’s like to actually be aboard the Demeter, just how large she really is, and what living on a ship for months at sea is really like, the reality and practicality and the dangers of it.
Everyone more or less settles in for a hopefully uneventful voyage, taking mess around the common table and exchanging ideas or aspirations for when they arrive in London early thanks to the fair winds, and receive a handsome bonus for their troubles. But that involves being alive and making it to London to spend said bonus and pay, and the coffin crates spilling dark soil from the motherland and disgorging all sorts of other nasty secrets, have some serious plans to the contrary.
First, it’s the livestock, innocent and shrieking in their locked pens as a monster takes great furious bites out of their necks, and of course, the creature just straight up ruins poor doggy Huck. Then there’s the fully grown girl that gets dislodged from an open coffin-crate, covered in bite scars and as pale as death, she eventually starts interacting and talking after several blood transfusions from Doc Clemens, Toby learns her name is Anna (Aisling Franciosi). And then, as the weather turns foul and the winds begin to be a serious problem, the attacks turn toward the remaining humans onboard the Demeter.
Most people these days are familiar with Dracula, that gorgeous cunning vampire Elder who can supposedly transform into a bat or a wolf, seducing women to voluntarily offer up their veins like an unholy sacrament, a being at once beautiful and powerful, but also horrific and murderous if given half a heartbeat to smell your blood. This is not Dracula.
Instead, the creature that hunts the humans occupying the Demeter is an absolute monster, not a single human feature left to it, barely even recognizable as humanoid-shaped, instead boasting not just full-length bat wings but an entire exo-skin of bat membranes that can be used for feeding, a mouth full of needle-like teeth akin to a predator of the deepest darkest parts of the ocean, those yellowed Nosferatu eyes that will not tolerate light in any way, and of course giant pointy bat-ears. This is a thing, a grotesque straight from the depths of Hell, and no amount of glamor magic can make this Dracula (Javier Botet) seem like anything other than what he, is – a parasitic demon who only wants your blood. There is no reasoning with it, no trapping it, not even really any talking to it (kinda hard to talk when your throat has been ripped out), and, like the much more frightening Dracula stories of old, no amount of pure faith behind a symbol does anything other than give false hope.
Coming face to face with an actual abomination does different things to different people. The formerly delightfully foul-mouthed Abrams (Chris Walley) dissolves into a blubbering mess; poor Larsen (Martin Furulund) didn’t even get to see his own death coming; and it turns out Olgaren (Stefan Kapicic) wants to live so badly, he’ll suffer becoming a blank-eyed Renfield if that’s what it takes. All of Cook Joseph’s purported pure faith didn’t stop him from trying to take the coward’s way out and didn’t save him anyway when the sound of unnatural bat wings descended on him. I find that kind of irony delicious. Dear Anna, resigned to her fate to be eternal food for the horror that terrorized her village, nevertheless wants to try and save whoever is left of the Demeter with her own sacrifice, and there aren’t many. Wojchek of course wants to kill Dracula, but for all his logic and solid practical nature, has no experience whatsoever with this sort of thing, and sure doesn’t want to sacrifice the Demeter, the beloved ship he called home that was promised to him by Captain Eliot himself, in order to destroy that demon. Even poor sweet Toby isn’t safe from the creature’s clutches, and what happens to the cabin boy of the Demeter is what finally sends Captain Eliot over the blooming edge. And who could blame him? For this sort of thing to happen during the last voyage of such a proud, solid ship as the Demeter, is some serious bullsh*t.
To leave such a film open for a potential sequel, especially when called the last voyage of something, was a pretty hefty ask, and somehow the filmmakers managed it. I personally think a different version of Van Helsing, the infamous vampire hunter, teaming up with a certain black doctor who nurses a serious grudge against Dracula, could be a kickass sequel. Until then, experience the doomed final journey of the Demeter and her poor crew in all it’s bloodstained glory, in theaters now!
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Is A Dizzying Traversal Across A Multiverse
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is a dizzying traversal across a multiverse including
almost every Peter Parker we’ve ever seen in media. Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) struggles
to adapt to being Spider-Man and a student, and a son when an old friend, Gwen Stacy (Hailee
Steinfield) reappears in his life, causing everything to turn upside down as he discovers there’s
an entire world of Spider-People from every single possible dimension.
The movie is a visual treat and demands multiple viewings. The voice acting is superb, with
many surprises on who voices who, as the number of Spider-people is truly remarkable. The
movie perfectly captures the struggle of what it takes to be a hero and the real personal cost
that it charges. Despite a longer than average run time, this movie will fly by.
While some parts in the middle may seem like they may drag a bit, the movie never loves what it’s about and what the core of it is truly about. One of the best superhero sequels of all time, this is a must-watch again and again. The movie packs jokes and heart, with some amazing action sequences that leave you begging for more.