5-sentence review of ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’

1.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is just OK, about the same level of “OK” that “Black Widow” was earlier this year — good enough to watch, not spectacular enough to inspire me to buy the associated Funko Pops.

2.

I recognize the cultural significance of having an Asian hero and lead cast in a Marvel movie if for no other reason than every professional reviewer, news story, and the mighty Disney’s publicity machine pushed that narrative hard for months leading up to the release of the film..

3.

To what degree this is a successful realization of the aspirations of Asian-Americans or Asians worldwide who always wanted to see someone who looked like them in a superhero movie, I cannot say because I am white and most of the superhero movies have had white guys in them.

4.

I think — and I’m being wishy-washy on purpose here, because I really don’t know — Marvel did a good job because there’s loads of Far East folklore characters in several scenes that I’ve scarcely scene, but I get the sense that people from that cultural tradition would recognize the way Blacks and Africans saw pieces of African traditions throughout “Black Panther.”

5.

As to the movie itself, it’s a martial arts picture with Marvel trimmings — lots of mostly bloodless violence, a big CGI blob monster at the end, a new hero who just begins to realize his worth, and two post-credit scenes with cameos from the other Marvel films — so if you like kung-fu flicks and Marvel movies, this is a fine night’s entertainment, but if you’re worried about the Delta variant, I’m not sure this is the pic to break your quarantine for because it’ll be on Disney+ soon.


Daniel P. Finney writes columns for ParagraphStacker.com, a free, reader-supported website. Please consider donating to help me cover personal expenses as I continue writing while I pursue my master’s degree and teacher certification.
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5-sentence review of ‘Jolt’

1.

Everybody seems to have a movie like “Jolt” on their streaming service these days — one in which a beautiful woman (or multiple beautiful women in the case of Netflix’s “Gunpowder Milkshake”) with a traumatic background who beats up and kills a lot of people as therapy.

2.

“Jolt” steams on Amazon Prime and stars Kate Beckinsale as Lindy, a woman with unusually high adrenaline levels and a condition that makes her flip out and beat people up.

3.

A creepy psychiatrist (Stanley Tucci) rigs up a device that allows Lindy to shock herself — hence the title “Jolt” — into preventing her Hulk-outs.

4.

Lindy meets and shags a cute guy who is murdered the next day and she sets about on a revenge quest using her adrenalin superpower to beat up and kill lots of people.

5.

“Jolt” offers a few twists, a few laughs – though at times it’s a bit too tongue-in-cheek, and Beckinsale charms her way through middling material to make this as good a use of 94 minutes as you can expect from a late summer release on a streaming service.


Daniel P. Finney writes columns for ParagraphStacker.com, a free, reader-supported website. Please consider donating to help me cover personal expenses as I continue writing while I pursue my master’s degree and teacher certification.
Post: 1217 24th St., Apt. 36, Des Moines, 50311.
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5-sentence review of ‘Gunpowder Milkshake’

1.

Gunpowder Milkshake” shatters the senses with a violent slow-motion ballet of violence with impossibly beautiful women beating the toxic masculinity out of men — exceptionally dumb men — all in shades of neon lights.

2.

The Netflix original steamer stars Karen Gillan as an assassin abandoned by her mother, played by Lena Headey, also an assassin, who guns down the wrong gangster’s kid on assignment for the mysterious “Firm” and then accidentally kills the father of an 8-year-old girl — sorry, 8 and three quarters — being held hostage by more bad guys.

3.

The film borrows from its slick action predecessors — the library filled with guns to be checked out by people in the game and a diner where violence is off limits feels like a direct rip-off of the John Wick franchise.

4.

The writers make a clumsy effort to include a subtheme about a girl power squad of impossibly beautiful professional murderers is somehow part of the feminist cause, but this can largely be ignored because no one presses play on “Gunpowder Milkshake” trying to be a better citizen.

5.

“Gunpowder Milkshake” is the most fun I’ve had at a “watch, don’t think” movie in a good long while and Gillan, the ginger Scott whose action credits include “Doctor Who” and the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise, proves she’s the kick-ass action hero who needs more lead roles.


Daniel P. Finney writes columns for ParagraphStacker.com, a free, reader-supported website. Please consider donating to help me cover personal expenses as I continue writing while I pursue my master’s degree and teacher certification.
Post: 1217 24th St., Apt. 36, Des Moines, 50311.
Zelle: newsmanone@gmail.com.
Venmo@newsmanone.
PayPalpaypal.me/paragraphstacker.