2¢ After Dark, 2¢ Christmas

2¢ After Dark: Spirited

Is anyone truly unredeemable? That’s the question Spirited attempts to answer.

Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds FINALLY star in a movie together where they play the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Scrooge-like Clint respectively in this modern day take on the Classic story, A Christmas Carol.

Present is faced with retirement but pushes it off to go another round at this redeeming business choosing Unredeemable Clint as the next perp in need of redemption. Clint believes nobody can change. Present would like to prove him wrong and in the process do a little more by creating a redemption ripple effect big enough to have a global impact. But it’s hard to convince someone they can change when Present still considers himself Unredeemable even after two centuries of making up for his past. The two guys become unlikely friends and help each other where they need it most and in the end they end up providing each other’s redemption.

Spirited is a beautiful story full of flaws of the unnecessary language variety. Language includes damn, shit, bullshit, bitch, dick, and ass, along with many others. But this time, I did not care. At. All. This movie had something that the language-filled Scrooged did not: heart and soul. Plus a lot of really catchy musical numbers. Good Afternoon is my favorite! It was overflowing with the theme of redemption which is what Christmas is really about: God loving us so much that he sent Jesus to die so that he could redeem us from our sin.

The movie ended in a way I didn’t expect, but that doesn’t mean I loved it any less. It’s one of the most original movies I’ve watched in a long time. You can stream Spirited now on Apple TV. And if it doesn’t come out on DVD, I’ll be wishing Apple a Good Afternoon!

2¢ After Dark, 2¢ Christmas, Sequels

2¢ After Dark: Iron Man 3

Set after the events of the original Avengers, Tony (Robert Downey Jr.) has to deal with the mental and emotional aftermath of 2012’s Battle of New York. But once again, crap’s hitting the fan before Tony has the chance to breathe.
Back in ‘99, Tony ditches a meeting with a young inventor in favor of a one-night stand, and now Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) wants revenge. Then the mysterious Mandarin shows up and starts to destroy everyone and everything that Tony cares about and no one is safe not even Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow). Tony doesn’t have long to get to the bottom of who’s behind all the destruction before more lives are destroyed and the bomb is ticking.

Iron Man 3 is a Christmas movie, OK?! It’s my Die Hard. It’s set at Christmas so it counts! It’s also my favorite Iron Man movie. It’s got everything I like. A main character who makes morally questionable decisions who’s sarcastic and struggles with anxiety, intense fights, and explosions. Lots and lots of explosions. And the best thing Marvel ever did was pair Tony up with a ten-year-old sidekick who’s just like him.
This is one of my favorite MCU movies overall. It’s got one of my all-time favorite heroes and in my opinion, the best of the trilogy. It also has a great villain and some of the best action scenes in the MCU. When Tony’s house gets destroyed and the fight at the end with all the Iron Man suits are two of my favorite scenes. Also Pepper finally gets her time to shine as more than Tony’s girlfriend and assistant. She’s a hero in her own right. Rhodey (Don Cheedle) also has a couple action-packed standout moments as well. I also love how they dealt with anxiety in this movie. It was realistically represented and done well.

Naturally, a movie like this includes violence and language like ass, damn, hell, pissed, shit, son of a bitch, and misuse of God’s name. Once paired with damn. People get shot and blown up. Several are killed or almost killed and there’s imagery of terrorist attacks. And there’s one closed-door sex scene. Not recommended for children, but fine for older teens and adults. It gets dark, but good triumphs over evil in the end. Stream it now on Disney Plus.

2¢ After Dark, 2¢ Christmas, Sequels

2¢ After Dark: Daddy’s Home Duology

Daddy’s Home isn’t technically a Christmas movie, but there is one Christmas scene so I’m counting it. I’m ignoring that it takes in April because it’s my blog and I do whatever I want here.
Brad (Will Ferrell) has it all including a gorgeous wife and two kids. Ok so the kids aren’t his biologically, but that doesn’t matter. Unfortunately, he can’t have kids of his own, so being a stepfather is the next best thing, or it would be if the kids accepted him.
Then bio dad Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) flies in for a visit and tries to move in on Brad’s territory by trying to get his family back. This puts the two guys in a competition of dad vs. step-dad. May the best dad win.
This is a movie on fatherhood and the importance of dads in general, but a large part of the plot involves male infertility which is a total blast to watch with your own father in the room. Ask me how I know. 😜 You also get to see Will Ferrell’s butt and with his shirt off which is more than I ever personally wanted to see.

Daddy’s Home is very funny and has a lot of heart. It also has a lot of language. All the usual hits are here including shit, ass, damn, twice paired with God’s name. A couple uses of bitch used once each by both child stars. Sounds even better when kids say it. sarcasm Several misuses of both God and Jesus along with a plethora of other unnecessary language. And despite all that, it still manages to be one of my favorite comedies. Go figure. For added viewing pleasure, just add parents. It’s not awkward. At all. This movie is both sour and sweet. How much sour you’re willing to sit through in order to get to the sweet is up to you.

Brad (Will Ferrell) and Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) had a rough road to get here but now their co-dad BFFs to the point where it’s over the top and at times annoying. The guys hatch a plan for their blended families to spend Christmas together, but didn’t plan on having both of their fathers joining them. Dusty’s dad, Kurt (Mel Gibson), constantly makes fun of his son’s progressive parenting choices, and Brad’ dad, Don (John Lithgow), is just as wholesomely annoying as he is. They rent an Airbnb together for Christmas. One big happy family. Many different personalities and parenting styles under one roof. What could possibly go wrong?

This sequel is far more family friendly than the original! I think Will Ferrell is at his best when making Christmas movies. It’s everything I loved about the original with the amount of language cut in half. Language includes the usual like damn, ass, shit, bitch, several misuses of God’s name, and several unnecessary exclamations. Daddy’s Home 2 is not as crass and just as fun the second time around. A fun but imperfect Christmas comedy for families with older children. You can rent it from online retailers or borrow it from the library.

2¢ After Dark, 2¢ Christmas

Freeform Christmas Originals Vol. 1

Kate (Amy Smart) gets set up on a blind date on Christmas Eve. Both the date and the entire day leading up to it go horribly wrong. Unfortunately for her, once the clock strikes midnight, she’s forced to relive the same day over and over again until she gets it right. It’s Groundhog Day: Christmas Edition. All’s well that ends well with her finding true love for herself and for all of her loved ones.

This movie was fun and cute. One of the better TV movies I’ve seen in a while. 12 days of repetition got a little long, but it was still enjoyable. It has some language. Most of the usual hits are heard including damn, dammit, bitch, pissed, and several misuses of God’s name. Other than that, it’s fine. Stream it now on Hulu.

Trudie:
[narrating] I’m not crazy. I’m a long way from crazy. Doing one crazy thing does not make a person crazy, though I have to admit this isn’t how I expected to be spending my Christmas… and I’m sure it’s not how David Martin planned on spending his.

Trudie’s (Melissa Joan Hart) life is falling apart. She’s 27, doesn’t have a real job and painting doesn’t pay the bills. She also doesn’t have a boyfriend at least not anymore. Not wanting to disappoint her parents again, she kidnaps unsuspecting David (Mario Lopez) at gunpoint and forces him to be her boyfriend for Christmas.

He tries everything to escape and get back to his fiancée including playing along and being the perfect boyfriend to expose Trudie to her family to reveal her for the psychopath that she is and they end up falling for each other by the end.

This movie was so much fun! Like a romance novel come to life. Mario Lopez and Melissa Joan Hart are the pairing I never knew I needed. It’s a rom-com that’s actually funny. It’s a new favorite! It’s Not Rated, but I’d rate it PG-13 for language and sexual innuendo and discussion. Language includes jackasses, Bitch-itis and bitch, What the hell, bastard, ass, damn, and misuses of God’s name. Stream it now on Prime Video.

Trudie: “Doing one crazy thing probably does make you crazy, but it also can make you happy.”
.

2¢ After Dark, 2¢ Christmas, Was it really that bad?, What the bleep was that?!

2¢ After Dark Gone Sour: Scrooged

That’s an hour and forty-six minutes of my life that I’m never getting back. Ever.

Mean-spirited TV executive Frank Cross (Bill Murray) is a modern-day Scrooge (Well, modern for 1988 anyway). He fires someone over a disagreement and treats his assistant and everyone around him like crap. He needs a visit from his dead, disintegrating boss and three ghosts to straighten him out.
Good news: I have a new least favorite movie! Bad news: I had to watch this to find out it was my least favorite movie. Scrooged is mean-spirited, crude, crass, unfunny, to borrow a word from the movie, bleak, heartless, and soulless garbage. It’s a boring trainwreck. The writers were probably higher than a fricking kite. Nothing can save this dismal disaster of a film. I’ve had colonoscopies more fun! But I do have a favorite part: The credits!
The movie is long and the lead is completely unlikable. Language includes words like bitch, shit, damn, and several misuses of God’s name, four times paired with damn along with several other off-color words. Other unnecessary elements include scantily-clad dancers and a woman making photocopies of her butt to pass around the office Christmas party. Frank’s girlfriend is seen in the bathtub, but nothing too personal is shown. She gives him a copy of the Kama Sutra and they flip through it. There’s honestly too many issues to list on Instagram. You’re better off watching something else. Something wholesome like The Santa Clause, Elf, or Arthur Christmas. Anything but this.

2¢ After Dark, 2¢ Christmas, Uncategorized

2¢ After Dark: Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

Jingle Bells
Drax smells
Bacon runs away
Oh what fun it is to watch
Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday
Hey!

It’s Christmastime and Peter Quill AKA Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) is feeling blue. It hasn’t been easy since losing Gamora, and he’s not in a holiday spirit kinda mood. In an effort to cheer their friend up, Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and Drax (Dave Bautista) devise a poorly hatched plan to travel to Earth and kidnap Earth’s Legendary Hero, Kevin Bacon, and give him to Peter as a present. What could possibly go wrong?!?! I’ll give you a hint. Everything. Everything goes wrong.

The Guardians gang is all here for an outta this galaxy Holiday Special! It all the great things any Guardians of the Galaxy movie has: My favorite group of characters, great humor (Seriously, it’s so funny!), a fun action sequence, and fantastic music including two fun numbers original to the story: I Don’t Know What Christmas Is and Here It Is Christmastime.

I LOVED IT!!! I was smiling and laughing the entire time. It’s so much fun! And as usual, the story is heartwarming in a totally weird way that only Guardians of the Galaxy could pull off! I loved the focus on Drax and Mantis. I love these charts even more than I did before. Stream it now on Disney Plus. If you don’t, you’re really missing out!
A side note for parents: Damn is used 3 times. Shit is used once. Just a heads up in case you don’t want to expand your child’s vocabulary in a new colorful direction.

Guardians of the Galaxy 3 comes out May 5, 2023, and I can’t wait. Except I can because I’m not ready to say goodbye to any of these amazing characters yet! Be on the lookout for my reviews of Guardians 1&2 coming in the Spring.

2¢ After Dark, Two Cent Halloween

2¢ After Dark: Ghostbusters Vol. 2: Ghostbusters: Afterlife

After being evicted, Callie (Carrie Coon) and her two kids, Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and Phoebe (McKenna Grace) move to Oklahoma and into the old, broken-down farmhouse that belonged to Callie’s father, a man that the community thought was crazy. While there, the kids discover connections to the original Ghostbusters, including a personal connection and try to become Ghostbusters themselves to stop Gozer from being resurrected and completely destroying the town.
PS. To whoever cast Paul Rudd as Mr. Grooberson, the science teacher, thank you for doing the Lord’s work.
This movie is a lot of fun! It was a great continuation of the franchise while being a love letter to original Ghostbusters fans at the same time. The action scenes are a bit darker and the special effects are obviously improved from the 80s. The content issues aren’t any different then they were in the original like language including damn, hell, ass, shit, and several misuses of God’s name. There’s also a few suggestive references and scary images. The action and monster-packed third act is what pushes this movie into 2¢ After Dark territory. I think the scenes featuring Gozer and the demon possession of two characters were a bit darker than in the original. This movie was so good and surprisingly emotional. A Ghostbusters sequel was the last thing I expected to make me cry. This is a legacy sequel done right in every way possible! You can stream Ghostbusters on Starz or get it from Redbox.

2¢ After Dark, Two Cent Halloween

2¢ After Dark Only Murders in Building and Good Omens Season 1

Three strangers, Mabel (Selena Gomez), Charles (Steve Martin), and Oliver (Martin Short) meet after Tim Kono is murdered in their apartment building. They bond over their shared love of True Crime podcasts and decide to start their own, Only Murders in the Building, documenting their mission to solve the mystery behind Tim’s untimely demise. And since Tim was the least liked neighbor at the Arconia, anyone could be a suspect! And the murderer is the last person you’d expect! And that ending… well my mouth hit the floor!

This show was really enjoyable! It starts a bit slow but is full of twists and turns I never saw coming! The main trio are awesome together. There’s great chemistry between them. There’s also a bunch of great comedic moments which is great especially since two of the leads are professional comedians. It’ll be enjoyable for those, like me, who grew up watching Selena on Wizards of Waverley Place. Mabel is Alex Russo as an adult.

The MA rating in this case just means they can swear more. A lot more. Including frequent use of the F-bomb. All the usual PG-13 favorites are here as well like shit and damn just used with greater frequency. There are several misuses of God’s name. You see the gun wound in Tim’s head, and for Conservative Christians, episode seven centers around the lesbian security guard. Other than that there aren’t any other moral issues to navigate. This is 2¢ After Dark title meant for adults only. This review is for season 1. You can steam both seasons on Hulu and there’s a third on the way. PS. This is my all-time favorite layout I’ve ever made! I made it over a year ago, and I finally get to use it! Yay!

The Great Plan is ineffable…or is it?

The Angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) and Demon Crowley (David Tennant) have become entirely too comfortable with their lives on Earth so when they’re summoned to help bring about the End Times naturally they’re reluctant to do so.
Together they come up with their own plan to put a stop to the upcoming Armageddon including influencing the antichrist to be neither good or evil in the hopes that he won’t trigger the Ultimate End. The unlikely friends and ultimate odd couple team up with the eleven year old antichrist to stop Heaven and Hell from having the War to end all Wars.
Based off the book of the same name by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, the show is a true adaptation of the book that includes fun extras that would’ve been included in a Good Omens sequel had it actually been written.
David Tennant and Michael Sheen are a match made in Heaven with equally unmatched chemistry making Good Omens Highly Enjoyable to watch. I suppose if I was a good Christian I would denounce the show for being sacrilegious garbage and stay away from it. However, unfortunately for me I’ve got a love for twisted fantasy tales and enjoyed the show immensely. There’s a lot about the show I could talk about and someday soon I will when I have more time to do so. All I can say for now is that it’s fiction. Fantasy. It doesn’t try to be Gospel Truth and is perfectly aware of what it is: Satirical fantasy. If you take it as Gospel truth, that’s on you. You’re going to have to follow your own convictions on this one. It’s an interesting character study if nothing else: A demon who isn’t all bad and an Angel who isn’t all good. I find that fascinating.

The show’s got some language. Shit is used frequently along with various uses of damn and hell. God’s name is misused and there are surprisingly only 3 F-Bombs. There’s also a sex scene. You see nothing of importance. It’s one hell of a ride! You can stream it now on Amazon Prime. And I’m looking forward to Season Two premiering next Summer and fingers crossed for a Season Three.

2¢ After Dark, Two Cent Halloween

2¢ After Dark: Moonknight and Werewolf By Night Reviews

Ulysses Bloodstone has died. His death brings the monster hunters together to pay their last respects and for one last hunt to see who will inherit the blood stone and the supernatural power it grants to the one who possesses it. It’ll be a hunt to the death, a bloody one at that, and what the hunters don’t know is that there’s already a monster in their midst.

This is Marvel’s second official foray into the horror genre after Multiverse of Madness and dipping its toes in the shallow end with WandaVision. I normally stay as far away from the genre. It’s not my thing. No thank you. I don’t do scary movies. But Marvel’s expansion into the supernatural and Monsterverse have made it impossible to stay away completely.
Gael Garcia Bernal shines bright as Jack Russell/Werewolf By Night, and I need to see more of this character and actor immediately. I loved the relationship he had with Elsa Bloodstone (Laura Donnelly) and need to see more of that as well. Does it turn romantic? I need to know! And I need to know now!

This special is in black and white, paying homage to horror movies of the 30s and 40s. It’s creepy and dark. Violent and bloody. More bloody than is typical of the MCU while still managing to stay within the confines of a TV-14 rating. There’s violent action scenes. A ritual involving the bloodstone and an incantation is performed to force Jack to turn into a werewolf before the full moon, and then the violence gets turned up a couple notches. It’s bloody. There’s blood spatters on the walls and dripping on the camera lens. Jack bites a guard’s ear off. Blood gushes. Someone loses their head. A couple of people get incinerated by Man-Thing who makes an impressive cameo appearance. I grimaced. My mouth dropped open. I didn’t keep a straight face for most of the 54-minute special. If it had been in color instead of black and white, I wouldn’t have been able to watch. It’s too bad my mom wasn’t here to see it. And despite all that, I enjoyed it. A lot. I wish it’d been a little darker, but then it would’ve earned a TV-MA rating. The only crime I thought this special committed was that it was too short! Congratulations, Marvel, you got me on board with monsters! Normally, I wouldn’t say Marvel isn’t for kids anyway, but this special is especially not. This bit of fun is for the teens and adults. I look forward to seeing these characters again and to seeing what else Marvel can achieve through their Special Presentations. You can stream Werewolf By Night on Disney Plus.

Steven Grant (Oscar Issac) lives a simple life as a clerk in an Egyptian History Museum gift shop. Strange unexplainable things start to happen like hearing voices and blacking out and waking up surrounded by dead bodies with no idea what happened. He discovers that he has Dissociative Identity Disorder and is the host body of Mark Spector and also the avatar of the Egyptian moon god Khonshu serving justice as the deity sees fit as his Moon Knight
Mark and Steven must learn to work together along with Mark’s wife Layla (May Calamawy)to save the world from Ammit’s version of justice by defeating the goddess her and her avatar Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke). Mark and Steven learn more about their origin in the process. PS. It’s heartbreaking.

This show was awesome and my second favorite MCU show behind WandaVision. It’s the most violent MCU show to date and it’s darkest pushing the boundaries of a TV-14 Rating. It’s super fun if you’re into Egyptian mythology and religion. It’s really violent. People get shot and stabbed. There’s hand to hand combat. It’s bloody and you get to watch someone being mummified alive and having an organ removed (I felt a little queasy). There’s a bunch of language with Shit being heard the most along with hell, damn, misuses of God’s name and a partial f-bomb.

As a Christian, I came away from the series with a sense of thankfulness that God doesn’t handle justice the way that the Egyptian gods do. That the God we serve is merciful when we don’t deserve it while the Egyptian ones are cutthroat and ruthless. For example Ammit hands out justice before a crime is ever committed. I’m so glad God isn’t like that or we’d all be in trouble! There’s a devotional in there somewhere I think I’ll write one.

The Supernatural side of the MCU is being built out nicely and I can’t wait to see what’s next! I’d love to see a season 2 in the future. You can stream it now on Disney Plus.

2¢ After Dark, Sequels, Two Cent Halloween

2¢ After Dark: The Mask and Hotel Transylvania 4

After his rental car breaks down, shy bank clerk Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey) finds a mysterious mask one night floating in the sea. He tries it on when he gets home and the mask transforms him into a cartoony superhero, complete with animated antics, and brings his inner personality including newfound confidence and romantic side to the surface. He has two simple goals for using his newly acquired powers: To put a stop to the gangsters robbing the bank and win over the girl of dreams, lounge singer Tina Carlyle (Cameron Diaz).

It’s ironic that in real life, people wear masks to obscure who they are, but in the movie, the mask brings out the best in Stanley while bringing out the worst in the main gangster, Dorian (Peter Greene).

Jim Carrey brings his A-game and his trademark animated physical comedy as the titular character of The Mask and in my opinion is one of his best performances. You can even hear and see a bit of what he would bring to another well-known green character years later. Hint: He hates Christmas!

The Mask is funny and a ton of fun, but isn’t meant for kids. Language is frequent including such classics as damn, what the hell, son of a bitch, and several misuses of God’s name. There’s also a lot of gun violence, some for comedic reasons, and some with the intention of hurting certain characters. Whoever wears the mask can be shot at and not permanently hurt or killed. This might give kids the wrong impression. There’s a little bit of innuendo as well. This movie is fine for teens and adults, but parents will want to wait until younger kids are older for them to watch. You can stream it til the end of this month on Tubi or rent it on Amazon.

All good things must unfortunately come to an end.

Dracula (Brian Hull) is planning on retiring and giving the hotel to Johnny (Andy Samberg) and Mavis (Selena Gomez) but changes his mind when Johhny starts listing all the changes he’ll make to the hotel. To make matters worse, he lies about his reasons for changing his mind, Johnny goes to Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan) for help. He wants to become a monster so that he can keep the hotel and fit in with the rest of Mavis’s family. His wish is granted, but it comes with a price: becoming a crazed, mindless beast forever. Due to the magic crystal backfiring, the monsters become humans. “It’s like Freaky Friday, but on a Tuesday though!” They have a limited amount of time to fix things before their Freaky Friday on a Tuesday becomes permanent.

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania was a great end to one of my favorite movie series. It’s so much fun! The Freaky Friday plot is perfect for animation. Brian Hull replaces Adam Sandler and is so good I can’t tell the difference! It’s too bad there won’t be any more Hotel Transylvania movies. I think they could easily keep the franchise, but four is a good place to stop. At least they ended on a high note. You can stream it now on Amazon Prime.