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Episode 6 An Immutable Endless Cycle in Netflix Dark Season 2

Dark is one of the best Netflix original series to date. To see a description of the show and all of my episode recaps, go here.

Episode 6 An Endless Cycle

Hot take: Every Dark viewer has wanted for Jonas to get to wake up and start over fresh. Now that he has knowledge of what is possible, it's his chance to try and make things right. After being lead by Adam to enter the dark matter and return to the present-day world, he returns to the time before the series started, right before his dad's suicide. He believes if he can stop the suicide, he can set everything right again. This episode is unique in that the entire thing takes place in one time period, the year when the show began.

In 2019 - As we show begins, we see Jonas, but it's a Jonas without the neck scar. Michael/Mikkel are both still alive and co-existing in the same time period, and it's a beautiful day full of possibilities. However, we can see that life is weighing heavily on Michael. He doesn't really w…
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Lulu Wang's The Farewell (2019): A Family-Centric Ruse

Very few family comedies or dramas manage to be realistic. Often the funny ones depict family units that are overly perfect or idealistic, and the serious ones rely on lots of upsetting family drama and tears to manipulate the audience into feeling something. Lulu Wang's The Farewell does neither and manages to provide a window into one Chinese family's reality and the way they deal with a family emergency.

To be fair, the realism was bound to be there as this story is based on a real event that happened, directed by one of the people to which it happened, and many of the scenes played out exactly as shown in real life. The monologues don't seem scripted because . . . they aren't. In the film, we meet Billi (Awkwafina), a young professional Chinese woman who lives in America. She adores her Nai Nai (Shuzhen Zhao) and is understandably upset when her parents tell her that Nai Nai has 3 months to live due to cancer. The family has decided that it's best that Nai Nai…

Episode 5 Mikkel Lost and Found (and Lost) in Netflix Dark Season 2

Dark is one of the best Netflix original series to date. To see a description of the show and all of my episode recaps, go here.

Episode 5 Lost and Found

Although I break the events down into the different time periods, during the episode, all the time periods are interwoven together in a way that juxtaposes the events together.

Hot take: Most of the action in this episode takes place in our "current" time of 2020. In the 1980s, we follow Claudia and Ulrich as they try to stop the inevitable. Both of them have emotional arcs because their motivations are clearly narrow-sighted. Ulrich just wants Mikkel back and thinks if he can return his son, all will be right again. Claudia wants to stop the bad from happening to both her dad and daughter. In 1921, our gaze is firmly locked on Jonas as he tries to stop calamity from happening to him, those he lives, and the whole earthly realm. His gaze has transcended his own good to those around him. He is willing to accept he may no longe…

Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019): Whose Story Is It?

Quentin Tarantino is known for many things: foot fetishes, a love of spaghetti westerns, martial arts films, alternative histories, lengthy monologues, and copious amounts of over-the-top violence and bloodshed. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (or OUATIH, as everyone seems to be calling it) keeps many of these elements, but the violence and bloodshed are almost nonexistent. When it does enter the picture, it's that much more shocking because of its noticeable absence throughout most of the film.

Rick Dalton, a fictional character, (Leonardo DiCaprio) feels certain his career won't last much longer. His reputation has sunk due to the fact that he always plays the villains who get beat up. It doesn't help that he's also an alcoholic. He thinks his career has sunk to a new low when he is offered a chance to make Italian Westerns. His stunt double and best friend, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), drives him around and does odd jobs around the house since unfortunate circumstances h…

Riley Stearns' The Art of Self-Defense (2019) Movie Review: Do NOT Talk About Night Class

In 1999, David Fincher directed the book to movie Fight Club, a dark stylized comedy about a group of men who form a "support group" of sorts called Fight Club, where they pair up for no holds barred unarmed first fights with one another. Organized by the charismatic Tyler Durden, for a time, the meetings seem to be a good thing. Things start to spiral when the hero realizes Tyler is no good and must be stopped.

In many surface ways, The Art of Self-Defense is quite similar. Casey (Jesse Eisenberg) walks around like he is apologizing for taking up oxygen. He lives alone with his dog and works at a boring, thankless job as an accountant. One day, Jesse is attacked on the street by some unidentified motorcycle riders. He's hospitalized for his wounds and takes some times off work.

On a walk around town, he overhears a karate class and goes into observe. He feels intrigued and inspired by what he sees and decide to sign up for classes. He hopes that he can "become wha…

Episode 4 The Travelers Team Up in Netflix Dark Season 2

Dark is one of the best Netflix original series to date. To see a description of the show and all of my episode recaps, go here.

Episode 4 The Travelers
Although I break the events down into the different time periods, during the episode, all the time periods are interwoven together in a way that juxtaposes the events together.

Most of this episode occurs in the "present," which is the year 2020. Whereas much of Dark revolves around characters feeling alone and doing things as an individual, in this episode, we see characters forming alliances and trying to work together. It's a coming together, where people share what they know with others. There are two groups that form in 2020 -- the teens and the adults.

In 2053 - The guard who helped Jonas escape from his prison cell walks outside the room where the dark matter blob is contained, only to be confronted by adult Elisabeth. The guard wants to know what is the blob? Elisabeth signs to her: It's the devil. I was rea…

Ari Aster's Midsommar (2019) Movie Review: Grief, Loss, and the Importance of Community

This review has two parts: the first part is a spoiler-free summary and review. A clearly marked asterisk row is followed by an analysis with spoilers.

Although Ari Aster's film Midsommar has received tons of buzz and hype as the must-see horror film of Summer 2019, what audiences may not realize is that underneath all the disturbing imagery and creepy vibes, this film has true things to say about grief, loss and the importance of community in healing after trauma.

Dani (Florence Pugh, Lady MacBeth) is the lone survivor of her nuclear family. She carries her tenable grief like a constant companion. Oh sure, she tries to be chipper and "cool" around her boyfriend, Christian (Jack Reynor, Glassland), and his friends, Mark, Josh, and Pelle. But she craves support and understanding. She mourns alone. No one really seems to understand what she is going through.

Perhaps a trip out of town will be just the thing, so she accepts the half-hearted invitation to accompany Christia…