’12 oz. Mouse: Invictus’ Opens a New Chapter

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Back in June of aught five, Adult Swim opened up the world of 12 oz. Mouse, a low budget high concept show from the mind of Matt Maiellaro.

Poorly drawn on its own scripts and simply animated, with dialogue so fast and seemingly meaningless you might think this another anti-comedy venture rife with quotable lines and not much else. You might think wrong.

12oz Mouse, while on the surface is dumb and brash, there is far more below the surface.

Following Mouse “Fitz” Fitzgerald, an alcoholic, shape-shifting mouse taking on various odd jobs to acquire alcohol, we find a through-line of deception, simulations and family life lost.

The show, while full of intrigue and curiosity moved at a snail’s pace. Bits of plot sussed out over time reveal a clearer picture for anyone invested enough to draw anything from this anomaly of late night cartoons.

AND NOW IT’S BACK.

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On the night of October 14th, Adult Swim revived 12 oz. Mouse with a 22 minute special entitled ‘Invictus’.

Upon his return, we find Fitz demonstrating some newly learned Yo-yo tricks, which come in handy when squaring off with the Rectangular Businessman and Shark (no, I’m not being vague) who have a hand in possibly suppressing his memories of a different and better life.

Old favorites like Peanut Cop, Golden Joe, The New Guy, Man/Woman and more all appear in some capacity adding to the chaos of this new chapter in Fitz’ effort to figure out just what, if anything, is going on.

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As to not bog you down with more specifics, I leave you with great news:

12 oz. Mouse is returning to Adult Swim with 10 new episodes in 2020.

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Channel Zero Has Opened ‘The Dream Door’

 

 

Nick Antosca is tuning us into Channel Zero a little earlier than expected. The fourth season of this under-current SyFy hit is opening ‘The Dream Door’ with its first episode premiering online ahead of the full October 26th release.

Based again on a well known Creepypasta, this time it’s “I found a hidden door…” by Charlotte Bywater. The story as written details the strange discovery of a previously unnoticed door in the basement of a house where a married couple had been living for the last 5 years.

Upon further investigation, they release someone, something, into the world and are left with the notion that it was a grave mistake.

Evidence of strange symbols and dried blood only reinforce the unease the door has brought.

In his usual fashion, Antosca has taken the germ of the story and bred it out into what is sure to be a beautifully horrifying experience.

Tom and Jillian, newly married life long friends, move into Tom’s childhood home after many years of being away.

Renovations, new house sex, a new dog, and friendly gatherings are frozen at the appearance of a door in their basement, seemingly from nowhere.

Tensions rise as secrets are uncovered.

Jillian feels the pressure of Tom’s strange behavior and odd phone calls to a mysterious woman.

Tom reassures his wife, with a certain edge, that nothing is amiss and she is simply projecting unrequited anger she holds for her similarly unfaithful father.

The “Dream Door”, once opened, lets loose a strange entity, taken the form of “Pretzel Jack”, an imaginary friend Jillian birthed as a child through drawings.

Pretzel Jack is not imaginary. Pretzel Jack is no friend.

The first episode,  “Ashes On My Pillow”, available now on Syfy.com, unpacks a lot into the old house and leaves much room for even more to be discovered.

Though we will have to wait a little while longer to see what else lurks in the basement of suspicious minds, I for one cannot wait to open the door just a little further.

Channel Zero: The Dream Door, releases all six installments on October 26th through SyFy.com.

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Captain Marvel Official Trailer Released!

Check out the brand new trailer for Marvel’s Captain Marvel featuring Brie Larson as the captain herself!

Set to be released March 8th 2019, Captain Marvel takes place in the 1990s and follows the story of one Carol Danvers after she falls to earth. The trailer includes alien war, a young Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), and a whole lot of fighter jets.

Sound off, and let us know what you think of the trailer over on Twitter: twitter.com/nerdhallblog

‘Eighth Grade’ About as Bad as You Remember

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Comedian, and now writer/director Bo Burnham has released his first feature Eighth Grade, starring Elsie Fisher as awkward, in-between Kayla Day.

Kayla is trying like almost anyone her age to be cool and fit in in the fast paced, technology-laden world of teens today. We watch, many times, as Kayla creates videos for her YouTube channel: advice on things like being yourself and fitting in. These videos highlight the ways in which Kayla makes an effort to find these things in life and within herself.

Throughout, we are privy to awkward conversations with Dad (Josh Hamilton), the muted sharp glares to and from ‘popular’ girl Kennedy and a handful of awesomely socially tragic clashes with equally awkward and removed teen boys. Everyone in their own world amid a sea of extremely thick atmosphere that feels all too familiar, compressed and leaves you gasping.

A note here on the score: It comes far too often, too loud. The chosen songs sound hastily made and are in such jarring contrast with the film itself, it further warps whatever is left to be gleaned from on screen. There is no matching of emotion or intention, merely blaring beats better used elsewhere.

The direction style doesn’t favor glamour shots, opting instead for a well lived-in feel. The costumes and scenery are muted, everyday colorful: very grounded in reality, glittered with iPhones and punctuated by so many uhms and ahs.

Burnham clearly has an adept feel for the material, but this is also his downfall. The strangest bit comes during an active shooter drill (yes, of course) followed almost immediately by an earthquake preparedness drill. This evasion tactic practice leads to some reaching attempts at innocent flirting tinged with a hint of the salacious, terrifying trouble it could bring. On many occasions we are set up with something that pushes beyond the grainy film of the movie into interesting and gripping territory, only for it to be deflated moments after; this uneven rise and fall gives the movie a meandering feel that never quite reaches the apex of understanding it needs to drive home just what is important here.

To say this movie has merit is to say a lot, outside of style and deadly accurate tone, the structure crumbles in on itself and the message, if there is one, is lost. Moments of reflection and success are muddled through and perhaps that is the point, however, this makes for a trying and very painful watch that doesn’t seem to know which audience it wants to pull in.

Is this meant to be a burdened nostalgia cringefest for those that have grown through the struggles of young adulthood? Or is there a message amid the noise for the ones coming up in the now? This film is rated ‘R’, so the latter seems a stretch at best. Presenting the dredge of middle school without resolve is certainly bold, but this film stumbles more than it strides.

If the idea of a mostly accurate depiction of the slow ache of growing pains sounds intriguing, give this one a watch when it comes to DVD or the streaming service of your choice.

A24, highly regarded production company, and noted comedian Bo Burnham have taken us to school, and it isn’t pretty.

 

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