2022 TV & Movie Reviews: The Kids in the Hall & Men

A good one and a great one.

The Kids in the Hall (Season 6)

Some of my favorite memories from grade school involve getting home from school, fixing a fat kid snack, and jumping in front of the tv to watch Kids in the Hall on Comedy Central. I wouldn’t discover Mr. Show for a couple more years and while I did love the Will Ferrell/Molly Shannon SNL era, nothing could compare to the beautifully detailed and hilariously real characters the kids created. A lot of them were female characters, which to anyone who knows me, is something I personally do a lot of, the reason is because of Kids in the Hall. So when Amazon was like “hey, we’re rebooting this” I thought, oh God, I loved what this was in the 90s, but it’s thirty-something years later, why not just let it die? Their other IFC reboot was a big disappointment to me and the Brain Candy movie was 100% garbage. I had little faith, but of course, I watched all eight episodes. And let me tell you, it might not be exactly what it was from 1991-1995, but this new string of episodes represent the Kids at their most daring and interesting while being sporadically laugh-out-loud funny. Sure, some sketches don’t hit, that’s the nature of sketch comedy, but even the ones that don’t score big laughs are so goddamn interesting and off-the-wall it’s still riveting to watch. They manage to bring back nearly all of their classic staple characters along with a few new ones and some ridiculous concepts. Most surprisingly, there’s a lot of naked male dick, mostly from the Kids themselves, utilized in really funny ways including a bank robbery sketch that had me scream laughing from my couch. These guys haven’t lost any of their edge and they remain some of the best and most nuanced actors in the sketch comedy game. Bring on Season 7! Grade: B+ (Amazon Prime)

Men

I’m really pretty lukewarm on Alex Garland as a filmmaker. I really loved Annihilation but I thought, and still think, that Ex Machina is maybe one of the most overrated science-fiction movies of the past 30 years. My mom swears by Devs, but with all the great TV out there, I just haven’t had a chance to watch it. And let’s be honest, as serviceable as the 28 (Units of Time) Later… movies are, The Beach sucks shit. That brings us to Men, his most frustrating movie yet. This is because it hints at how fucking great it could have been, if only if it wasn’t so one-note. The best way to describe it is as 2/3 of a completed idea for a movie. You get all you need to understand from the trailer – some men are out there and they’ll fuck with you to get what they want – which is ultimately you on a big sex platter. Sure, some are nicer than others, but men (or at least the ones Rory Kinnear plays in Men) will stop at nothing to get ya! BOOO! The film never expands on this idea, and at 100 minutes in length, it really needed a twist or even just a variation on the argument against these scary men. It doesn’t heighten as much as offer variations on similar ideas, despite the power of the performances. Jessie Buckley and Rory Kinnear, as the titular “men”, are both outstanding, and do so much heavy lifting in this, that it seems completely unfair to them. Jessie Buckley adds real depth and gravitas to a paper-thin role that’s built more as an amalgamation of several women than a specific human character, but Rory Kinnear is the real standout here, creating several lived-in baddies to differing degrees, my favorite of which is the buck-toothed, goofy Geoffrey who scored some big laughs in my theater. There’s a couple of really inspired sequences like the tunnel echo music scene, the fantastic opening that begins with Buckley getting startled by a music cue, and of course, the go-for-broke, polarizing and graphic ending. But ultimately this feels like two great performances in a collection of well-conceived scenes strung together by a one-note narrative that needed to eventually pivot to give it more depth. Sometimes it feels inspired, other times it feels almost like a parody of an A24 horror movie. One thing is for sure though, you won’t soon forget it. Grade: B- (In Theaters)

Also Streaming or In Theaters

TV

Heartstopper on Netflix

Heartstopper (Season 1)Netflix

Russian Doll (Season 2) Netflix

Pachinko (Season 1)AppleTV+

Severance (Season 1) – AppleTV+

Ozark (Season 4, Part Two)Netflix

The Righetous Gemstones on HBOMax

Euphoria (Season 2)HBOMax

The Righteous Gemstones (Season 2) HBOMax

Somebody Somewhere (Season 1)HBOMax

Bad VeganNetflix

Worst Roommate EverNetflix

Film

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert‘s Everything Everywhere All At Once

Everything Everywhere All at Once (A-) – In Theaters

Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness (C+) – In Theaters

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (B-) – In Theaters

Old (C-) – HBOMax

Candyman (B) – Amazon Prime

Ilya Naishuller‘s Nobody on HBOMax

Nobody (B-) – HBOMax

The Matrix Resurrections (B) – HBOMax

Drive My Car (A) – HBOMax

Nightmare Alley (D+) – HBOMax and Hulu

The Eyes of Tammy Faye (B) – HBOMax

Adolf Hitler‘s The Kissing Booth 3 on Netflix

The Lost Daughter (B) – Netflix

Don’t Look Up (C-) – Netflix

Malcolm & Marie (C-) – Netflix

The Power of the Dog (A-)- Netflix

The Kissing Booth 3 (F) – Netflix

Freddy’s Nightmares

Freddy’s Nightmares (Season 1)Screambox

Freddy’s Nightmares (Season 2) Screambox

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