Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Movie Review: Men (2022)

Cerebral British writer-director Alex Garland's latest opus Men is almost a cross between two recent psychological horror films, Darren Aronofsky's mother! and Ari Aster's Midsommar.  Like the former it is largely a parable meant to convey an easily relatable but perhaps too simplistically on-the-nose message, via nightmarishly disturbing imagery.  Like the latter it concerns a damaged woman on vacation, working through an unhealthy relationship (or in this case its aftermath). 

Men stars Jessie Buckley as Harper Marlowe, a widow who has rented a sprawling old house in the English countryside, and Rory Kinnear as the house's owner Geoffrey (among other characters).  Harper's backstory is doled out to us in dribs and drabs, and we learn that she and her husband (Paapa Essiedu) were headed for a contentious divorce when suddenly he fell from a balcony to a grisly death (Was it intentional or accidental?).  Throughout the film Harper experiences flashbacks to these horrific moments, providing some of the film's best-acted scenes.  

But quickly her vacation takes an unsettling turn as a naked, homeless man begins stalking her and at one point tries to break into the house.  Harper calls the police and the man is taken away, but her psychological trauma is far from over.  Of the plot I won't reveal any more, but this film certainly delivers the creeps in spades.

Friday, December 9, 2022

ROH Final Battle 2022 Preview & Predictions

Get ready, Ring of Honor fans, it's time for the Final Battle.....of 2022.

This Saturday afternoon marks the second ROH PPV under the Tony Khan regime, and once it's over we should finally at long last get some answers about the promotion's future programming.  Even as a longtime ROH fan I must say it's getting to be a lot, having essentially two promotions featured on AEW television.  Between having too many belts and having to find room for a whole other talent roster, it's made AEW programming very overcrowded.  I anticipate and welcome crossovers and talent exchanges between the two groups, but it needs to be done sparingly or it just gets overwhelming.  My hope is that ROH and its vast library find their new home on HBO Max.  The library alone will be so much fun to explore; I have dozens of their old DVDs but jumping around from disc to disc gets cumbersome.  Anyway, it will be interesting to see which AEW talent gets assigned to ROH full-time, if any.  It should also make Dynamite and Rampage into much more focused shows, which should help ratings.  But enough speculation, let's look at this PPV.

Swerve In Our Glory vs. Shane Taylor Promotions

I don't think I've ever seen Shane Taylor's team so I can't speak intelligently about them.  But SIOG is oddly teaming together after Keith Lee walked out on Swerve Strickland at Full Gear.  I guess they made up during that private conversation they referenced a few weeks ago.  It would be an odd move for their actual breakup to occur during this show as opposed to on Dynamite, but I suppose if you put a major AEW angle on an ROH PPV it conditions fans to not want to miss future ones.  Not really sure who to pick here - I guess Swerve?

Pick: SIOG