Five Short Leftover Reviews

Sometimes there’s too much stuff to review, so here are some other things that you should check out or avoid.

CENTRAL PARK (Season 2) – Apple+ Review

The musical from the team behind Bob’s Burgers is back and, honestly, better than ever. The first few episodes of the next season have dropped and they contain a ton of great songs, great writing, and a lot more insight than I would have expected. One of the episodes contains a near perfect twist ending and one contains a level of introspection and emotional honesty that really hit me deeply. If you haven’t given this a shot yet, you need to.

CHAOS WALKING – Theatrical Review

This movie starts off with the interesting premise of a planet where the inhabitants are infected by “noise,” a psychic field that renders their thoughts out loud and even in images. Aliens killed off all of the women a generation ago. Tom Holland plays a young man on this planet when Daisy Ridley crashes onto it. Now, he has to protect her from the men who want to kill her entire mothership for their supplies. It’s not a bad movie, but it rarely plays the premise up as well as it could. It has some twists in it, but all of them are too obvious for the amount of build-up. Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley are good in it, though, and there are some great supporting cast members.

Oh, and John Wick Warning. There is a terrible dog killing.

RAY (Miniseries) – Netflix Review

This is a miniseries of films based on the short stories of acclaimed Indian director Satyajit Ray. They all have elements of seeming fantasy, but not all of them end up actually having fantastic worlds. The key to the series is that it is often focused on personal changes deriving from internal reflection triggered by external events, either because a person starts to believe that they no longer remember their past or because they meet a person that they didn’t realize they had a connection with. They’re all pretty different, so even if you don’t like one of them, maybe give the next one a try. I thought this was a fun series.

Really well-done anthology.

THE SEVENTH DAY – Netflix Review

Have you ever thought “we need another terrible version of the exorcist?” Because if you haven’t, then you are sane. Also, this movie isn’t for you. Starring Guy Pearce, who has clearly hit some hard times, as a veteran exorcist who is the Vatican’s resident rebel and Vadhir Derbez as the young and naive priest who is trying to find out the truth about demonic possession, the movie kind of falls apart early on. It almost seems like it is going to confront some of the inner workings of the Catholic Church, but instead basically says “the church is great because demons are very real.” 

Sure, we touch and murder some children, but we also are saving the world, so… we cool?

FATHERHOOD – Netflix Review

Kevin Hart plays Matthew Logelin, a man whose wife dies suddenly during childbirth, leaving him a single father. For a while, his mother and mother-in-law help out, but after they leave, he struggles before managing to get used to single parenting. Years later, Matthew’s daughter Maddy (Melody Hurd) starts having problems at school at the same time that Matthew tries dating again and is having more issues at work. It’s a solid movie mostly because it takes a lot of the issues very seriously and addresses some sides of single parenting that many movies skip. It’s just ultimately not a very interesting story.

Probably still worth watching if you like cute movies about raising kids.

Central Park: A Musical Masterpiece – Apple+ Review

Another hit from the Bob’s Burgers team.

SUMMARY

Owen Tillerman (Leslie Odom, Jr.) is the manager of Central Park in New York City. He’s married to reporter Paige Hunter (Kathryn “Agatha All Along” Hahn) and the father of young kids Molly and Cole (Kristen Bell and Tituss Burgess). The family lives inside of the Edendale Castle in the park and are watched over by the narrating busker Birdie (Josh Gad). Unfortunately, it turns out that local businesswoman Bitsy Brandenham (Stanley Tucci), along with her henchwoman/assistant Helen (Daveed Diggs), has decided to start scheming in order to purchase Central Park and turn it into a series of apartment buildings. The Tillermans not only have to deal with their own problems, but now they have to overcome Bitsy’s plans to destroy their lives. Fortunately, they have the power of song… and also a ton of cameos by famous singers.

I would watch this cast in literally anything. Give them a WandaVision spin-off.

END SUMMARY

I was told this show was mediocre and thus didn’t watch it (also, didn’t have Apple+ until recently). The person who told me that clearly had no joy in their soul. This show is everything I wanted and more. Aside from having an absolutely dynamite cast that has multiple Tony and Emmy award winners, the show’s music is absolutely amazing. It includes a wide variety of musical styles, ranging from the big band numbers of old Broadway to the hip-hop influenced music of Hamilton, and it does all of them well. It’s amazing to realize that there are 46 songs in a 10 episode half-hour show, but somehow they managed to pull it off. It helps that people like Cyndi Lauper, Alan Menken, Darren Criss, Aimee Mann, and even Fiona Apple contributed songs to the show.

Stanley Tucci and Daveed Diggs as two old ladies with schemes. Amazing.

The characters are pretty varied, although all of them are quirky, much like on Bob’s Burgers. While the Tillermans don’t quite stand out as much as the Belchers, they definitely have a lot of the same weirdness mixed with genuineness to make them eventually become just as lovable. The number of songs does sometimes hinder both the character development and the plot development, but the odds are good you’ll be too hooked on them to care. The guest characters are usually amazing, ranging from people like a tour guide of the deleted scenes of Home Alone 2 to a busker who competes with Birdie for narrating duties. It’s actually a great element that the narrator (who has omniscience over everything that’s happening) also interacts with the characters. It’s like something out of a Greek comedy.

Josh Gad probably sings about people’s lives all the time.

Overall, just a great show. Highly recommend. 

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

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