There’s something beautifully paradoxical about The Book of Boba Fett, worth reiterating even a year later, when similar conclusions made for the kind of “mixed reception” that leans increasingly negative with time – like True Detective season two or video games considered “the greatest ever” because of graphics. Coming into the show so late, having finished it only after the first episode of The Mandalorian season three premiered, I’d hoped to have a reaction buoyed by a complete picture, if only because the critical discourse surrounding the show had become so singular and discouraging. Something like, “Okay, now we can reevaluate the show as part of a larger story instead of on its own terms.” That was one of the big complaints, that not everyone wants to watch a spin-off in order to follow the story. Spin-off integrity. Why we’re so concerned with that "everyone" I’m not sure, and if anything, Star Wars completionism is supposed to be impossible, throwing back to its serial origins and calling the first sequel “part five.”
Mercedes Varnado, You Will Be Missed on The Mandalorian
Star Wars trains the eye to pick up on peripheral characters, when they aren’t already eye-catching. Maybe it’s that armored warrior who speaks little but strikes a mean figure. Now, is that Boba Fett or is it Koska Reeves? With an appearance in season two of The Mandalorian measured in minutes, Reeves managed to capture that essence of Star Wars with remarkable persuasion. She said cool stuff, did cool stuff, and she looked badass in blue armor. The good news that season three of The Mandalorian would not be shifting focus from Pedro Pascal’s Din Djarin, whose story appeared to be finished, was followed by the heart-breaker that Varnado wouldn’t be returning. In light of that, and barring the surprise cameo, it’s time I paid tribute to a particularly bright spark in the Star Wars universe.
Too Many Sequel-itis: Hellraiser
An auspicious start to a new feature, but one I’ve nonetheless been thinking about since starting this blog. I love the idea of movie series that go on for too long, whose later installments seem compelled to introduce bizarreties and strangeness despite that their shrinking budgets can't contain them. Problem is, I’ve never seen one of these long series in their entirety. Off the top of my head, they’re all horror, like Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, and Home Alone. This is the space where I want to talk about Jaws: The Revenge or when the slasher goes to space and Rocky wins the Cold War.
Man in Monster Suit: AVP vs. AVPR
AVP: Alien vs. Predator was, for me, a really big deal. It was gonna come out one day after my 11th birthday, and even though I had no experience with either Alien or Predator, after reading Aliens vs. Predator: Prey by Steve and S.D. Perry, I was all in. It was my first fandom. There was Godzilla before, but I didn’t know how to access Godzilla movies. With Aliens vs. Predator, there was a surprising amount of material, with games and comics and the books, which were my favorite. I fell in love with Machiko Noguchi, the human Predator. She is simply stunning, and the whole thing was so awesome – and then there are these two movies, and they’re really, really bad. But crucially, they are not equal.