Tag Archives: Andrea Alfaro

Film Review: Violent Night

By Andrea Alfaro

New R-rated action-comedy, Violent Night, was recently released in theaters this December 2nd.

David Harbour, known for his role as Jim Hopper on Stranger Things, portrays a beatdown Santa Claus ready to throw in the towel and give up on Christmas, but an unexpected hostage situation leads him to becoming a family’s only hope of survival.

 

Violent Night was recently released in theaters, and I can tell you now it caught me by surprise. I stepped into that theater expecting to watch the usual action film full of cringy one-liners and the same old boring action sequences. Instead I was pleasantly surprised to be met with an action-comedy that featured some genuinely funny moments and action full of creative kills, perfect for this holiday season.

Not only did it have Christmas themed mayhem, but it had a wholesome message of understanding one’s self worth and forgiving ourselves for our past mistakes, because the steps we take to repent is what really defines us. 

This movie is worth a rating of four and a half stars. Besides the occasional one-liner, this movie was a refreshing take on the usual oversaturated action-comedies we see in the cinema nowadays. I recommend catching this in theaters this holiday season, because nothing says happy holidays like watching Santa Claus smash in the heads of those on his naught list

TV Review: Wednesday (on Netflix)

By Andrea Alfaro

Now streaming only on Netflix, the much anticipated horror-comedy, Wednesday, has made its debut on the 23rd of November with well known director, Tim Burton, directing the entirety of this series’ first season. 

This 8-episode show is based on the iconic Addams Family, created by Charles Addams. It follows the only daughter of the Addams, Wednesday, played by Jenna Ortega throughout her investigation into the secrets of her new school for outcasts, Nevermore Academy.

It features all the elements someone can ask for from a horror comedy targeted towards teens. Satirical humor, a gloomy but beautiful atmosphere, and a story full of entertaining, but predictable, twists. Unfortunately, what this series lacked was a full cast who had both the chemistry and equal acting ability to share a screen. Along with a monster who looked strangely like an ugly snapchat filter.

What really makes a show great is the cast. They have the important job of bringing fictional characters to life and immersing an audience into the narrative. Without a good cast a movie could completely fall apart and become a laughing stock rather than a respected form of media. A great example of this is The Room, which is probably the only drama/romance everyone can agree deserves to be labeled as a comedy with how terrible the whole production was, especially with its horrendous acting.

Wednesday is definitely not as bad as The Room. It includes a line up of very talented actors, like Jenna Ortega and Gwendoline Christie, who plays Nevermore’s principal. Actors like them are what made the show so interesting to watch. 

Some of the cast sadly did miss the mark, such as Luis Guzmán, who plays Gomez Addams. He looked great, physically, for the role, but as I saw his portrayal of Gomez, I realized that it felt as if he was cosplaying as Gomez rather than being Gomez. His performance lacked energy and enthusiasm which made him seem out of place and his lines forced. The absence of chemistry between Guzman and his co-star Catherine Zeta-Jones, who played Morticia Addams, didn’t help his already poor execution either.

Along with the acting comes the issue of the CGI. The show featured a beautiful setting and nice wardrobe that really displayed each character’s personality. Filming in such a place that creates such a dark ambience and acquiring clothes that match each character exactly must have cost a pretty penny, which is why I’m assuming the CGI took a hit. The supposedly terrifying monster in the show had a big part in breaking my immersion. Whenever it made an appearance instead of feeling scared I found myself being more puzzled as to why it looked like a zombie from the Plants vs Zombies games. When I was supposed to be gasping because of shock I was instead gasping for air when I couldn’t stop laughing at how strange and unreal it looked. 

With the Addams Family being such well known figures in pop culture, I would think the casting would be spot on and the CGI would be great. The lack of chemistry, passable CGI, and good acting from certain people was disappointing.

However, overall the negatives didn’t outweigh the positives. It was honestly a great show with a storyline that kept me on the edge of my seat.

Practically everyone and their pets know or have at least heard of the Addams Family, so I viewed this season with some high expectations. I’m happy to say that they didn’t entirely disappoint me.

In my opinion it was a show worthy of 4 stars. Was it perfect? No. Was it an amazing show? Absolutely. Hopefully if there’s a 2nd season it will be worthy of a full five star review. Until then 4 stars seems like the perfect score for Netflix’s new show Wednesday.

TV Review: She-Hulk on Disney+

By Andrea Alfaro

Now streaming only on Disney+, She-Hulk, becomes the next installment in the ever growing MCU franchise. 

Featuring cameos from fan favorite Marvel characters and a certain well known rapper, Meghan thee Stallion, this nine-episode series will be sure to keep you thoroughly entertained, despite its flaws.

We are first introduced to our protagonist, Jennifer Walters AKA She-Hulk, who is played by Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany. She is an LA based lawyer who just so happens to be the cousin of Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), everyone’s favorite green Avenger, Hulk. Due to a near collision with a spaceship Banner’s blood mixes with hers, prompting her transformation into a Hulk. 

After her transformation she is fired from her job due to an incident involving Titania (Priyanka Chopra), She-Hulk’s glamorous rival throughout the series. Lucky for her though she is employed to be the face of the Superhuman Law Division at GL and KH law firm. 

This new job leads to her representing past MCU villain Abomination, Emil Blonksy, (Tim Roth) in his parole hearing. He is a well known character to anyone who’s watched the Incredible Hulk movie, as he is Hulk’s past nemesis.

MCU fan favorite, Wong (Benedict Wong), also makes a cameo as both witness and client of She-Hulk. Wong is a character most recognized from the Doctor Strange movies. 

One of the most anticipated cameos however was of fellow lawyer and hero, Daredevil, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox). Murdock is most known for his own series, suitably called Daredevil.

This show makes She-Hulk her very own character despite her association with the Hulk. She isn’t a rip-off of him, but instead her very own stand alone character with her own story and personality. 

However, she seems to have not been treated with the same amount of care as every other Marvel character. Many complained before the release of She-Hulk about the character herself looking horribly made and obviously CGI’d. With all the criticism one may think they would improve her character design before the release, especially with the amount of money at their disposal. Spoiler alert, they didn’t. 

This makes it obvious that this show was rushed to be released before the CGI could be properly made to be up to the standard of other Marvel shows and movies. 

To sum it all up, despite its questionable CGI, She-Hulk is a fun show that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s perfect for an audience looking for a decent comedy to binge. Some episodes can seem a bit unnecessary, but as a whole She-Hulk is a good show worthy of a chance.

Andrea Alfaro

Andrea Alfaro is currently a junior at John Glenn High School and the Entertainment and Food editor of The Shoemaker Bugle. She resides in Norwalk with her parents and brothers. In her free time she participates in boxing matches against her brothers, draws, and listens to true crime podcasts. One of her favorite things to do is to watch shows and movies, from trashy reality television to 1950’s rom coms–she is willing to watch it all, no matter how much her eyes bleed. Andrea’s favorite news sources include Los Angeles Times and Twitter, because everyone knows everything on Twitter is 100% true.