REVIEW: KIDDING – SEASON 2

Jim Carrey in Kidding (2018)

Starring

Jim Carrey (Bruce Almighty)
Frank Langella (Masters of The Universe)
Judy Greer (Jurassic World)
Cole Allen (May I Be At Peace)
Juliet Morris
Catherine Keener (Get Out)
Justin Kirk (Molly’s Game)

Jim Carrey in Kidding (2018)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Bernard White (Silicon Valley)
Matt Gourley (Time Belt)
Dick Van Dyke (Mary Poppins)
Nicole Marie Appleby (Killer Therapy)
Tara Lipinski (7th Heaven)
Joel Swetow (THe Orville)
Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight)
Carrie Ann Inaba (Austin Powers in Goldmember)
Marie Osmond (Rooster)
Sharon Osbourne (Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties)
Eve (XXX)
Sheryl Underwood (The Bold and The Beautiful)
Mae Whitman (Scott Pilgrim vs The World)
Ariana Grande (Sam & Cat)
Lesley Stahl (Eagle Eye)
Stacy Keach (THe BOurne LEgacy)
Arnold Chun (Rampage)
Sala Baker (Braven)
Annette O’Toole (Smallville)
Matthew Hancock (Electric Love)
Andy Milder (Apollo 13)
Mariana Paola Vicente (Self/Less)
Jennie Pierson (Powerless)

Jim Carrey in Kidding (2018)Season 1 of Showtime’s Jim Carrey–led dark comedy Kidding was one of the best and most underrated television shows of 2018. The story of a children’s TV host (not Mr. Rogers, but Rogers-adjacent) whose inability to express negative emotion after a lifetime of repression is as relevant as ever in 2020, when the question of what to do with bad feelings generates unyielding discourse on mental health, trauma, and masculinity.Jim Carrey and Juliet Morris in Kidding (2018)Season 2 picks up after Jeff’s bottled rage exploded in a worst-case scenario for his character and sprints towards a remarkable exploration of what it means to acknowledge pain. It might seem hyperbolic to describe Kidding as TV’s most brilliant comedy, but the evidence is abundant in every single episode of Season 2. The writing is close to perfect, with laugh-out-loud one liners and gut-punch realizations that unravel the characters and always serve the core message of the show. None of Kidding’s dialogue comes off as a throwaway line or unimportant aside (even in the episodes featuring a talking baguette), which makes each 30-minute chapter of Jeff’s story feel dense and satisfying in a way many individual dramedy episodes lack.Jim Carrey in Kidding (2018)Season 2 picks up after Jeff’s bottled rage exploded in a worst case scenario for his character and sprints towards a remarkable exploration of what it means to acknowledge pain.  That dialogue is brought to life by Kidding’s incredible cast, with Frank Langella and Catherine Keener performing particularly well as Jeff’s father Seb and sister Deirdre. Kidding’s blended tone of magical realism and hard truth is difficult to nail and those two show up wielding sledgehammers. Keener’s exasperated reactions to the chaos surrounding her, and the position of authority she assumes to manage it, make for some of the funniest scenes of the season. As for Langella, he pulls double duty in playing Seb and also voicing the younger version of his character. Also, young actor Juliet Morris deserves an Emmy in every category for her performance as Deirdre’s potentially evil, axe-wielding daughter Maddy. Everything that comes out of that kid’s mouth toes the line between abjectly horrifying and wildly inappropriate. Her world-weary deadpan delivery is one of Kidding’s secret weapons.Jim Carrey and Judy Greer in Kidding (2018)And then there’s Jim Carrey. The Mashable review of Season 1 pointed out the similarities between Carrey and his character, two megastars whose inner life is overshadowed by the emotionally blunted comedic characters that made them famous. Kidding isn’t afraid to utilize Carrey’s recognizable comedic strengths — funny voices, rubbery expressions, and supernatural powers of rapid enunciation — to fuel the meta-comparison, and proves in Season 2 that no one could play Jeff and elicit the same depths of emotion and understanding from his audience. No one could play Jeff and elicit the same depths of emotion and understanding from his audience. Carrey can make a goofy face look devastating and make devastation look goofy. He deserves another Golden Globe nomination for Kidding, if not an Emmy this time. Preferably with a win.Ariana Grande in Kidding (2018)One of Kidding’s episodes this season will serve as the bar every other TV show must meet or surpass to become the best 30-minute comedy episode of the year. It’s only February, but the technical sophistication and emotional arc of episode 2, “Up, Down, and Everything in Between,” is just that good. In it, transitional camera work moves Jeff from the real world to the world of his television show in a bafflingly beautiful single take that gives off an illusion similar to seeing the Land of Oz in color for the first time. The rest of the episode follows him on a musical adventure that has Jeff singing, dancing, getting roasted by puppets, and finally confronting the root of his emotional repression in a finale that may or may not have made a Mashable reviewer cry three times while rewatching and once when she glanced at a completely unrelated vacation advertisement that made her think about it on the subway.Jim Carrey in Kidding (2018) Kidding is a smart show that knows its tone and feels entirely sure of what it’s doing at all times. It’s superlative television. .

REVIEW: MEN IN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL

Starring

Chris Hemsworth (Avengers: Endgame)
Tessa Thompson (Westworld)
Kumail Nanjiani (Life as We Know It)
Liam Neeson (Taken)
Rafe Spall (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom)
Rebecca Ferguson (The Girl On The Train)
Emma Thompson (Johnny English Strikes Again)
Kayvan Novak (Early Man)
Tim Blaney (The Muppets)
Spencer Wilding (Wrath of The Titans)
Stephen Wright (Hex)
Andy Beckwith (Game of Thrones)
Donald Glover (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Ariana Grande (Sam & Cat)

Chris Hemsworth in Men in Black: International (2019)In 2016, Agents H and High T of the MiB travel to Paris to stop an invasion of the Hive – a parasitic race who invade planets by merging with the DNA of the conquered species – at the Eiffel Tower using a wormhole included in the original migration to Earth. Twenty years earlier in 1996 Brooklyn, Molly Wright witnesses her parents being neuralysed by agents of Men in Black while she helps an alien escape, avoiding neuralysation herself. Twenty-three years later in 2019, rejected from FBI and CIA due to her “delusions” regarding alien life, Molly tracks down an alien landing and follows MiB agents to MiB headquarters in New York City. Caught entering the agency, Molly makes an impression on Agent O, arguing that she has proven her skills and has no life outside her search for the agency. She is awarded probationary agent status as “Agent M” and assigned to the organisation’s London branch.Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson in Men in Black: International (2019)There, M meets High T, head of the London branch, and Agent H. M learns about H and T’s past; H has since developed a God complex, unconcerned with his duties and only keeping his job due to High T covering for him. M arranges for herself to be assigned to assist H in his meeting with Vungus the Ugly, his close friend and alien royalty. During their night out with Vungus, they are accosted by mysterious alien twins able to manifest as pure energy. These energy aliens fatally injure Vungus, who gives M a strange crystal before he dies, claiming that H has changed since they last met and cannot be trusted. M points out that few people knew Vungus’ location, and that he was likely betrayed by one of the agents present when High T assigned H to guard him. Nervous at the possibility of a traitor within MiB, High T assigns Agents C and M to conduct an investigation while H is demoted to desk duty, with evidence suggesting that the alien energy twins had DNA traces of the Hive.Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson in Men in Black: International (2019)H convinces M to join him in following a lead to Marrakesh, where they recover “Pawny”, the last survivor of a small group of aliens attacked by the Twins. In averting his honour suicide, Pawny subsequently pledges his loyalty to M. They are trapped by MiB agents coordinated by C, who recovered video footage of Vungus passing the crystal to M and believes she is the traitor. With the aid of alien contacts Nasr and Bassam, H escapes with M and Pawny on a rocket-powered bike, and they learn that Vungus’ crystal is an ultimate weapon powered by a compressed blue giant. After the crash during their escape, they repair the damaged bike. Bassam steals the weapon and takes it to Riza Stavros, an alien arms dealer and H’s ex-girlfriend. Travelling to Riza’s island fortress near Naples, the trio attempts to infiltrate the base, but are caught by Riza and Luca Brasi, now Riza’s second-in-command. Luca is discovered as the alien M rescued as a child. Luca returns the favour by allowing them to leave with the weapon while he keeps Riza contained. The three are then cornered by the Twins, who are killed by High T and a group of agents who had been trailing M and H.Although the case appears solved, H and M review the evidence and realise that the Twins’ phrases of doing anything to save their planet suggests they required the weapon to use not as their allies but ‘‘against’’ the Hive, especially when the only evidence of Hive DNA was provided by High T. They discover High T has deleted the case file and did not send the weapon to evidence. C also realises High T’s deception and allows H and M to follow High T to the Eiffel Tower. As they travel to the wormhole, M’s questioning of H’s memory of the Hive’s defeat reveals he was neuralysed. High T reveals himself as the converted mole of the Hive and activates a wormhole to draw them to Earth. However H draws out High T’s true personality long enough for him to relinquish the ultimate weapon, allowing M to acquire the weapon, destroying High T, the wormhole and the Hive infestation trying to reach Earth. With the truth and tragedy of High T’s assimilation into a Hive spy exposed, Agent O joins H and M in Paris, where she grants M full agent status and appoints H probationary head of MiB’s London branch.Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson in Men in Black: International (2019)I regret not seeing this in theaters. I went by some low scores because people shouted about to much CGI, silly looking aliens, dumb downed story, plot hole issues…etc. Turns out none of that was really an issue. If anything most of this is normal for MIB movies. Weird aliens, CGI fest, loopholes…etc. No one goes to see these movies for deep story or Oscary worth performances. I wasn’t sure also about seeing it because I wanted Will and Tommy. But that story officially ended in the last movie. This takes place in the London branch of MIB. Though you do see “parts” that have to do with NYC briefly. Chris and Tessa have really great chemistry. Probably because of them acting together in Thor Ragnarok. It’s a fun story set in the Men In Black universe.

REVIEW: ZOOLANDER 2

CAST

Ben Stiller (Along Came Polly)
Owen Wilson (Wedding Crashers)
Penelope Cruz (Open Your Eyes)
Will Ferrell (Everything Must Go)
Christine Taylor (Tropic Thunder)
Justin Theroux (American Psycho)
Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness)
Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil)
Kristen Wiig (The Martian)
Jerry Stiller (The Heartbreak Kid)
Billy Zane (The Scorpion King 3)
Antonio Te Maioha (Spartacus: Blood and Sand)
Kiefer Sutherland (Pompeii)
Fred Armisen (Easy A)
Andy Dick (Dude, Wheres My Car ?)
Olivia Munn (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Christina Hendricks (Drive)
Willie Nelson (The Dukes of Hazzard)
Katy Perry (The Smurfs)
Sting (Dune)
John Malkovich (Red)
Susan Sarandon (Tammy)
Nazanin Boniadi (How I Met Your Mother)
Ariana Grande (Sam & Cat)
Alexander Skarsgård (Legend of Tarzan)
Lenny Kravitz (The Hunger Games)
Demi Lovato (Camp Rock)

At Fashion Interpol, Valentina Valencia examines the expressions of recently assassinated pop singers’ last images and discovers they match Derek Zoolander’s trademark look, “Blue Steel”. A flashback reveals that the Derek Zoolander Center For Kids Who Can’t Read Good collapsed, killing Matilda Jeffries and injuring Hansel McDonald. Derek later lost custody of his son, Derek Zoolander Jr., and announced his retirement from modeling and subsequent reclusion. Derek now lives alone in “extreme northern” New Jersey. Billy Zane visits and gives him an invitation to the House of Atoz fashion show by Alexanya Atoz, and persuades him to return to a regular lifestyle in order to regain custody of his son. In the “uncharted Malibu territories”, Hansel returns to his home after dinner and is informed by his orgy that they are all pregnant and that he is the father. He is later given the same invitation by Zane. After reuniting, Derek and Hansel are tracked down by Valentina, who asks them to help Interpol uncover who is behind the systematic assassinations.

At the fashion show, Derek and Hansel are surprised to find that the ever-changing fashion world is now dominated by the likes of Don Atari and the androgynous All. They are put on the runway in “Old” and “Lame” outfits and are doused by a large bucket of prunes. Afterwards, Alexanya congratulates them on their performance. With Valentina’s help, Derek discovers his son is residing at a local orphanage. They find him, but Derek is distraught by his son’s obesity. After Matilda’s ghost asks him to protect their son, Hansel convinces Derek to accept Derek Jr. After meeting the Headmaster, Derek takes his son around Rome. However, Derek Jr. becomes disgruntled with his father and returns to the orphanage. Hansel receives an anonymous call, requesting that he travel to St. Peter’s Basilica at midnight. He, Derek, and Valentina go to the church and meet with Sting, who tells them the tale of Adam and Eve and the little-known Steve, who many rockstars have died to protect. It is said that Steve is the common ancestor of all models and that he and his closest descendant (Derek Jr.) hold the bloodline of the Fountain of Youth.MV5BMTIyOTcxOTM3OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwODg4ODk2._V1_Derek returns to the orphanage, only to find it in disrepair and his son and the Headmaster gone. He travels to Jacobim Mugatu’s isolated prison, but is captured, while Mugatu escapes. Mugatu leaves on a helicopter while Hansel stows away by hiding on top of the propeller. Derek and Valentina swim back to Rome while Hansel infiltrates the House of Atoz. He witnesses Mugatu reuniting with Alexanya and killing Don Atari. Hansel finds Derek Jr. imprisoned and reunites with Derek and Valentina at the IncrediBALL. They enter a bathhouse through a rear entrance and witness Derek Jr. strapped to a table.

Mugatu and many of the world’s fashion designers prepare to cut out Derek Jr.’s heart and consume his blood, believing it to grant them eternal youth as it contains the blood of Steve. Derek, Hansel, and Valentina stop Mugatu from proceeding and he reveals that he brought together the world’s fashion designers to kill them as revenge for leaving him imprisoned. Alexanya, who is actually Katinka Ingabogovinanana, attacks Valentina, while Mugatu tells Derek that he was behind the destruction of his Center by hiring the construction crew to build a faulty base. He then throws an explosive towards the lava. Derek manages to stop it with “Magnum”, but he struggles to keep it suspended in mid-air. Sting arrives and reveals that he is Hansel’s father, and they, along with Derek Jr., successfully hurl the explosive back at Mugatu, killing him. Derek Jr. forgives his father for his mother’s death and Derek and Valentina confess their love for each other. Matilda’s ghost gives them her blessing and says that Mugatu live-streamed the event.

Six months later, Derek and Hansel have returned to modeling. Derek and Valentina have a daughter named Darlene, while Derek Jr. is now in a relationship with Malala Yousafzai. Hansel returns to living with his orgy and is now the father of 10 children.


Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell reprise their sillinesses from last time, and it is a pleasure to see Penelope Cruz being every bit as silly, and fully prepared to make herself look daft. A great sequel.