Category: Movie Reviews

UHF Poster
UHF Poster

You know the man, the myth, the legend, Weird Al Yankovic. But did you know that he made a movie in 1989? Oh, you did? Did you see it? Oh, you have. Twenty times? Oh, well, then this review is not for you, this is for the one person out there that is a fan but didn’t get around to watching this steaming pile of, oh, it wasn’t that bad. Let’s talk about the 1989 box office bomb that was UHF, and how it endures today, even though there’s a lot to be desired. Or not, my bad, sorry.

25th Anniversary Edition Blu Ray

For my birthday this year, I purchased the 25th Anniversary Edition Blu Ray. What I immediately noticed was that the picture wasn’t that great. Sure, it was ok, but it wasn’t nearly as good and as crisp as I was hoping for. In fact, it looked as bad as my DVD copy of “A League of Their Own”, which is a widescreen dvd. The sound, however, is vastly improved. All of the audio on this disc comes through great, where the latter didn’t do so hot. I loved that aspect of this, because a lot of the gags aren’t just visual, they are about the sound and speech.

Weird Al Exemplifies The 1980s

If you grew up in the 1980s, then you know how crazy the Saturday morning cartoons were. Well, in the midst of that block, there was Pee Wee Herman, the eccentric kid’s show host. Well that’s where I liken Weird Al to this film, he’s the wacky morning guy. He doesn’t really play it straight, he’s all over the map. For his moments of introspection, he shines, but that’s not where he needs to be in this movie. He’s often the neurotic, loud, and splashy character, only balanced by his friend Bob, played by David Bowe. Meanwhile, there are other bit characters here, and of course the villain that wants to take away the channel’s signal once it becomes famous.

Bits and Pieces Make This Movie

The plot of this movie is simple. We have a couple of slackers losing jobs, and trying to come up with what to do next. They inherit a nearly defunct UHF station and they turn things around with a new line up of random B-movies, and much more. The jokes here are a mile a minute, showing off the hilarity of the 1980s video store world. If you have been in an old video store, you know the movies that are featured here, although they are parodies, not real. Mixed in are skits, commercials, and the story of George trying to save the station by raising $75,000.

Star Ratings Don’t Matter

I could give this movie a start rating, but let’s be honest, you either love it or you hate it. Going back to watch this again, I didn’t really think it flowed that well. It’s a bit slow, and the jokes are a bit rough at times. Some of them don’t land at all. For all the one-liners, and parody, there’s a psychological issue going on that no one is talking about. But let’s say you throw that all away and just enjoy this for a slice of 1980s Americana, and you got yourself a fine movie. Just don’t use your brain, you’ll hurt yourself.

You can buy the 25th Anniversary Edition of UHF on Blu Ray by clicking here, or rent it through Amazon for cheap. Enjoy!

Articles Movie Reviews

Electric Boogaloo Documentary
Electric Boogaloo Documentary

I watch a lot of movies, hence the moniker of Video Store Blues. I have spent a lifetime watching movies of all types, and one of the mainstays that I’ve focused on was schlock. The reason why was because when I was a child I lived in the ghetto. My father and I would sneak out to watch movies, and the only theater in our area played double features, with mostly Cannon productions in place. So growing up, I saw a TON of movies that I wasn’t supposed to watch, and remembered Cannon fondly. When I grew up, I was going to work for Cannon! That didn’t happen, but alas, we get this documentary about the studio and all the things that went on. Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films is an exciting documentary about a studio that you may know, or may not know, but is all interesting in the historical context of cinema.

Bad Movies Fast

The one thing that I got from the story of Cannon’s productions is that there was a passion for movie making. At all costs, the brothers that were involved with creating movies for the brand, just wanted to put out movies at all costs. They did so with a frenetic pace, and that has been my mentality about writing. I didn’t and don’t care about quality, I care about quantity, and have been pushing myself a lot to make enough money to get by. That’s the big thing about making money online and working with writing, you have to publish a lot. Well, the Cannon guys were doing the same, with movies. They were going with quantity over quality and hiring people left and right to do things faster than anyone else. If you are a fan of the movies they put out, then you know just how good and bad that sort of push was.

Brothers In Arms

The reason why Cannon worked and eventually didn’t was because the main heads of the studio wanted to make movies above all else. They just loved movie making so much, the passion drove them into a whole new level of creation. You don’t see that today. People don’t love things with the same passion, and that’s why you don’t see a lot of great movies in Hollywood. Golan and Globus are fascinating characters and amidst the schlock that comes out, they were able to do something as a team that we all can aspire to.

Great Editing, Great Story, Fascinating History

As I study history for my masters degree, I find myself wondering about motives and more. Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films is a great documentary and the motive behind it wasn’t to paint a bad picture. The production is really even handed, with a lot of interviews, a lot of clips from the movies, and a lot of insider information. Cannon was a wreck, but man did they put out some good movies. Without Cannon, I don’t know if I would’ve become a video store clerk at all.

Star Rating For Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films

At the end of the day, this is a great documentary for those that love movies. If you are a fan of movies, then you will be fascinated by the story told in this documentary. There’s so much to it, and you’ll find that there’s a cautionary tale wrapped up into this discourse of gonzo work ethics, movie operations and so much more. I loved it. I give this a 4 out of 5 stars. It’s a fascinating look at movies that didn’t make the mainstream more often than not. I have fond memories of a lot of the movies Cannon produced, that’s for sure. I wish I could’ve worked for them.

You can buy or download “Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films” by clicking here.

Did you see Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films? Drop me a line and let me know your thoughts.

Articles Movie Reviews

Next Friday
Next Friday Poster

Steve Carr gets the nod as the director of this sequel to the classic hit “Friday”, and while most people look fondly at the first, many forget about the second and of course my favorite, the third one. If you’re a fan of urban comedy, then you have to check out what Ice Cube and DJ Pooh come up with in this direct sequel of the 1995 cult classic. In reviewing this movie, I wasn’t sure how to frame it in a way that others haven’t done so already, so instead of going through a play by play, and trying to do the critical analysis, I’ll stick to what made me laugh the most about this movie, which may be different from others. Of course, your taste profile may be completely difference than mine.

Stereotypes Rule The Premise

In the 98 minutes of this movie, Ice Cube uses all the urban stereotypes that he can, but plays them up to a cartoon level. This includes the cholo stereotype that had me laughing really hard. Lil Joker is a great character, which made me laugh each time he was on the screen. Mike Epps joins the cast and he’s hilarious in the role of “Day Day”, which he turns up to an all new level in the next movie. In this one, he goes through a lot of emotional issues with a baby mama, getting fired from Pinky’s Records, and of course stealing from the cholo across the street. The stereotypes here aren’t offensive, they are just funny.

Pinky Steals The Show

One of the best parts of this movie is the role played by Clifton Powell. He plays Pinky and he does an incredible job at playing the gangster, record shop owner. The fight with him and Ice Cube also gets played up well here, and I really liked how it all came together. Pinky’s part here is great, and like I said, Clifton Powell puts together a great showcase for the character.

Star Rating For Next Friday

“Next Friday” continues the story of Craig. He moves with to his uncle’s house in Rancho Cucamonga, meanwhile Deebo breaks out of jail and wants to take him out. The story then takes a lot of comedic, sexual, and stereotypical turns before landing into the final moments. Overall, this movie is a stellar sequel, if you ask me, and Ice Cube plays off of Mike Epps so well, that you can’t help but laugh. John Witherspoon and Don “D.C” Curry play brothers so well that you will forget that they aren’t related. I’m giving “Next Friday” a 3 out of 5. It’s not perfect, but it’s a great follow up to the 1995 original. I don’t like it as much as the next sequel that hit theaters in 2002, but this was good for a laugh over the holiday break.

You can pick up “Next Friday” by clicking here, if you don’t already own it. If you’ve seen it, drop me a line on what your favorite parts were.

Articles Movie Reviews

Shut Eye Hulu Review
Shut Eye Hulu Review

I normally don’t review full television shows, but I caught this one and literally watched it in two days. I’ve been sick this past few weeks, and am still hacking up a lung, so between articles, I’ve managed to catch some television here and there. This show started as a guilty pleasure, and slowly turned a screw in my imagination. I love magic, so the notion of a failed magician absolutely had me going. “Shut Eye” is a show that is available on HULU, and I recommend getting it for a month just to watch this showcase of drama. You’ll be surprised what is going to come through.

I Do Not Like Burn Notice

First and foremost, I don’t like Jeffrey Donovan’s previous show. I found it boring, and couldn’t watch it. This show was going to suffer the same fate, but Donovan performs in such a manner, that he had me believing that he was in fact a fake psychic. The show is about a failed magician who is now working as a psychic in Los Angeles. The story is a slow starter, then goes into a completely insane world of gypsies, psychics, and the mafia. Each character you’re introduced to has something to gain, an ulterior motive for what they are doing, and where they are going. Everything is not what it seems, and when Charlie Haverford finds a mark that could very well give him nearly 2 million dollars, he decides it’s time to get out of the psychic game.

A Beat Down That Gives Visions

Early in the show, Charlie gets a beat down so bad that it gives him visions of the future. It helps him figure out a plot to steal money, turn against the gypsies in his life, and so much more. Meanwhile there are other characters that play off like mobsters, and lots of different little things to mention. David Zayas as Eduardo Bernal is a scary turn for the detective that was in “Dexter”, and Angus Sampson plays a seriously great hothead as Fonzo. The rest of the cast do a great job in my view, but it’s Donovan’s vulnerability that makes this one so compelling, especially in the last few episodes, in which he has to figure out whether or not the morality of stealing is worth saving his son’s life over.

Like A Magic Trick

The visual design flow of “Shut Eye” is great. I loved the vivid colors, the lighting, and the acting. The camera rolls, and balances so well here, as you are dramatically taken into the world of psychics, gypsies, and a little magic. If you liked “The Prestige” then you’ll like how the whole show is framed, with a little bit of a twist here and there, and violence to throw down enough dramatic flair. This is no kid’s show that’s for sure, and HULU really did well working with TriStar Television, and others to get this going. Even with a limited cast, this show really put on a lot of elements that work so well visually, which lead up to a finale that I didn’t see coming at all.

Star Rating For Shut Eye on Hulu

Since you cannot buy this outright, I will have to settle to just letting you know that you have to get a Hulu subscription to get this show. I recommend it. As far as star ratings are concerned, I’m going to give it a 4 out of 5. It starts a little boring, slow to boil, but once it sets off, you really feel entangled in the morality, despair, and even puppy love that is sewn throughout. “Shut Eye” is a sexy drama, with a lot of elements that make you question just how fake psychics are, and just how much money is made in those parlors with the cool lights. I loved it. It has a few flaws, like pacing, but in 10 episodes, it won me over, and hopefully it won others over enough to get a second season. I recommend “Shut Eye”.

Articles Movie Reviews

Foxcatcher
Foxcatcher 2014 Poster

I read “Foxcatcher” and reviewed it here. I then saw the documentary. I now have finally saw the movie. The movie “Foxcatcher” came out in 2014. It tells the story of John du Pont and his obsession for Olympic wrestling. The plot is based on the real life story and somewhat similar to the book of the same name. The overall story in “Foxcatcher” follows 3 major characters and their push towards building a championship Olympic team on the du Pont farm, which was an 800 acre estate.

The Cast Nails It

Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, and Mark Ruffalo absolutely blew me away. These guys put on an incredible clinic of acting. Carell’s character specifically was incredible. He played the mannerisms, speech, and overall anger to a hilt. I was impressed by how incredible these guys acting was. Tatum and Ruffalo as brothers was also incredible, from the faces to the movements, to the simple speech and patterns, I was blown away completely.

The Slow Burning Fire

Another element to the movie that I loved was the pacing. This was paced effortlessly, slowly, and throughout incredible visual style. You get a sense for how big the du Pont family estate was. But you also get a depth of character from each person, and how their daily lives were changed. You have mundane elements, and you have grandiose elements altogether. There’s a beauty here, and the acting makes it even better. The production team nailed the visual design flow of the movie, and the pacing was grand for me. I loved the way the movie took time to build the tension and final moments.

Star Rating For “Foxcatcher”

I’m giving “Foxcatcher” a 4 out of 5. There is so much to love here. The production, the drama, the tension and the ending all fit so well. This goes hand in hand with the book, and the documentary. This story is so larger than life, and yet it’s so simple at times. You are drawn into a world of wrestling, and that becomes the metaphor for life you need at a time like today. Life is a metaphor for sports and vice versa in many ways. I loved this movie. It’s an incredible movie with a lot of subtle elements, and great overall acting. I give it a 4 out of 5, you should see it. I saw it via Blu Ray and the visuals were amazing. Carell is haunting here. Great movie.

“Foxcatcher” is available of Blu Ray by clicking here via Amazon online.

Did you see “Foxcatcher”? Drop me a comment and let me know what you thought of it.

Movie Reviews

Sneakerheadz Documentary
Sneakerheadz Documentary

I’m not a collector of shoes. In fact, I got into an argument with my wife over collecting. I don’t understand it any more. I collected a lot of things when I was in my youth, but after 2011, I choose not to collect anything. There’s a fine line between hording and collecting, and I choose not to pursue it at all. Instead, I am focused on other things. “Sneakerheadz” is a documentary about collecting shoes and it explores a variety of different things about shoes in general. This is not the same documentary as “Just For Kicks”, which I previously talked about on another website. Overall, this is an interesting film, but there’s a lot that it missed.

Money and Money

First and foremost, you should know that collecting shoes in any iteration costs a lot of money. The documentary does a good job of interviewing people from all walks of life, but the notion of money is the one thing that got me. Every single person that was obsessed with shoes, also had money. They gloss over the fact that each option costs a great deal of money, and the average consumer cannot purchase shoes. Then they get into flipping culture, and making money, which kind of shines light on a part of shoe culture that other people just don’t understand.

Well Paced Visuals

As far as visuals are concerned, this is a good overall documentary. It’s well put together, it’s easy to watch, it has some great pacing, and the interviews are from relevant people that collect shoes. However, there are moments where you get a disjointed element. There is a mix of news clippings, interviews from famous people, and a revisionist history about how companies came into several different areas. For instance, they show Nike SB and their involvement in the skate scene, but do not talk about the failed ventures that the brand had when trying to break into skateboarding in the past. They bought their way in, and threw their money around, simple as that. I didn’t like that revisionist history, but then again, winners write the stories.

Death and Slavery

“Sneakerheadz” talks about dying for shoes. There’s a sadness there, and there are interviews with parents that have lost children to this culture of collecting. It’s always a sad thing to hear, and it’s even harder to swallow the fact that the shoe industry doesn’t really push forward. There are a few callous interviews from people that claim that it’s not the shoe companies fault for deaths. That was not fun to watch, and it just made me more cynical about collecting things.

I did not like the fact that this whole documentary did not highlight the working conditions for those that are making shoes. I read “No Logo” again, and reviewed it here, and was appalled by how many things have not changed in factories around the world. Slave labor makes these shoes, and people support these companies with a devotion that is cult like. I hated that they didn’t mention it at all. What a load of B.S.

Star Rating For “Sneakerheadz”

My gripes aside, “Sneakerheadz” is a good overall documentary. However, I do not feel the same way about collecting as others do. I think it’s hoarding, and taking advantage of people by reselling elements at such inflated prices. That aside, I’m going to give this a 3 out of 5, as it does illustrate pop culture in a good overall manner. I guess from an anthropological standpoint, it’s a good documentary, but that’s about all I can say about it.

You can buy “Sneakerheadz” on dvd by clicking here, and getting it from Amazon.com

Did you see “Sneakerheadz”? Did you like it? Do you collect sneakers? Drop me a Line.

Movie Reviews

American Ultra Blu Ray Cover
American Ultra Blu Ray Cover

I’ve seen a lot of movies, but nothing has been as terrible as the pairing of Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart. Now, their pairing in “Adventureland” wasn’t half bad, but this was an atrocious, piece of garbage movie. No seriously, “American Ultra” definitely let me down. A friend of mine told me to watch it, and that it would be good. But this Max Landis picture is actually one of the main reasons why I hate a lot of modern movies. But hey, maybe I’m wrong, let’s consider a few notes.

Jesse Eisenberg Is A Whining Mess

Eisenberg has yet to impress me. He’s a broke ass Michael Cera with longer hair. In fact, there’s nothing about his acting that is redeeming in my book. He plays a stoner here, and yet he doesn’t act like one. In fact, he acts like he is in every other movie he has been in, which isn’t a good thing. The story follows his character that is turned into a killing machine thanks to a rogue CIA agent. In fact, the government has been creating super soldiers and letting them live dormant. He’s paired with another agent, but he doesn’t know it, played by Kristen Stewart. Yes, Kristen Stewart is playing a CIA agent. Let that sink in. Just let it sink in.

A Boring Action Movie

This movie has nothing special to it. It’s just a display of tropes that you would expect from any action comedy. However, the comedy elements aren’t really there. Max Landis may have written some jokes in here, but the only saving grace to the notion is that John Leguizamo steals the show, even if he is cut short through the mid-section of the movie. Other than that, the movie bored me, and it bored thousands of people as it had 43 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Star Rating For “American Ultra”

“American Ultra” is not the worst movie I’ve ever seen. However, this is a boring actioner. I liked the visuals. The visual elements are great here, and Nima Nourizadeh does well in direction, but let’s face it, he doesn’t exactly have the best actors here. Eisenberg sucks, Stewart is boring, but the movie has some good points to it. The soundtrack works, Michael Bonvillain’s cinematography is great, and that’s about it. 96 minutes I won’t get back, but hey, that’s what happens these days, right? Oh well. I give this movie 2 out of 5 stars.

You can disagree with me and purchase “American Ultra” on blu ray by clicking here, or ignore it like I would.

Did you see “American Ultra”? Drop me a line in the comments and let me know what you thought.

Movie Reviews

Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey
Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey Poster

“Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey” came out in 1991, and I was one of the lucky idiots to go to the movie theater and watch it. There are a lot of different things that you can say about the movie, but there was one recurring theme that I found throughout this one, and it’s the fact that it would never go well today. In fact, if you were to promote and release a movie of this absurdity in 2016, the critics and fans would completely crap on it. Even in 1991, it didn’t exactly get a huge treatment of success, but you know what? Who cares, those that saw it, loved it, right? Well, I took a look back at this today, since my apartment complex left me stranded waiting for an inspection between the hours of 1 and 5 today.

The Future Is Perfect

Ah yes, a utopia is set up, but the future is not all well. The music of the Wyld Stallyns must be stopped, and so a quest is launched to stop Bill and Ted from playing the battle of the bands in San Dimas. That’s it. Rufus tries to stop De Nomolos but instead of going head to head, jumps on the phone booth from the first film and goes back in time. Two clones are sent to stop Bill and Ted, killing them off, only to have to meet up with “Death”. When they meet up with the grim reaper, they change his name to Melvin, and they win a chance to get their souls back. This of course brings upon some serious absurdity, including making robot clones, meeting up with troll like aliens called Station, and of course, the ridiculous nature of what you’d expect from a movie called “Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey”.

The Creative Side

At first glance, you’re going to hate this movie. If you haven’t seen in a long time, you are not going to immediately remember a lot of it. As the movie progresses you are either going to take the side of loving it or hating it. I found the script by Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon to be workable, and the cinematography of Oliver Wood to be outstanding. That’s right, there were some incredible shots during the “hell” dream sequences that were absolutely grand. In fact, those were the best parts of the movie. As Bill and Ted have to face off against their own versions of hell, the visuals change to a more “artistic” sequencing. Imagine the dreams from “Nightmare on Elm Street” without Freddy, and you get an idea as to how these play out.

A Killer Soundtrack

If you’re not a big fan of the movie, then you will at least love the soundtrack. The soundtrack features Slaughter, Winger, Kiss, Neverland, Richie Kotzen, Steve Vai, Faith No More, Megadeth, Primus, King’s X, and Love on Ice! That’s right, you get a ton of great rock music, including some tracks that are deep in the catalog of these bands. Of course, you may think that this butt rock selection isn’t for you, but hey, I’m a fan of the 1980s and 1990s rock scene, and these are classic examples of the stuff that was about to get pummeled by grunge. Just listen to the soundtrack, there’s a reason why All Music gave it a 3 out of 5.

Star Rating For “Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey”

It is no longer 1991, George Carlin is gone, and this movie is still around, right? Well, it’s not exactly on anyone’s top 10 list, but you know what? There’s a lot to offer in this sequel to the original movie. It’s 93 minutes long, it features some great humor, and it’s absolutely a throwback to the 1990s with all of the colorful clothing, the cars, and the southern California, surfer charm. I give this a 3 out of 5 overall, as it will not find appeal amidst everyone, it just won’t. A lot of former fans are going to hate “Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey” today, it’s that simple.

You can order “Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey” on DVD by clicking here, and see why I still think it holds up a bit.

Have you seen “Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey” recently? Drop me a line in the comments below and let me know what your thoughts are on this excellent movie.

Movie Reviews

St. Vincent Movie Poster
St. Vincent Movie Poster

“St. Vincent” is one of those independent films that came out and you didn’t hear about it much. Some people saw it, but it wasn’t as high regarded as some “Ghostbusters” pundits would have you believe. Why do I say that? Well, because Bill Murray is in it, and that’s one of the biggest reasons why the new “Ghostbusters” got so much flack. This movie is one of those movies that has so much heart, your eyes will close shut from the tears, if you have a heart. I had to stand up and walk a bit, because there were moments in this movie that hit so hard, I couldn’t sit still.

The Hardship of Loss

You are introduced to several main characters, placed together by fate. Vincent, a curmudgeon is having a hard time coping with the death of his wife Sandy. A single parent and her son move in next door and the old man bonds with the kid. He’s a grumpy guy, and the kid softens his heart a little. This movie hits home the hard realities of losing a spouse to Alzheimer’s, having an addiction to drinking, gambling, and more as a coping mechanism. This big element is one of the main reasons why the movie starts to hit home, but it’s not until the second and third act that you realize something bigger is at work.

The Nerd

The nerd, the geek, the little guy is the secondary character that makes this so grand. Oliver, a 12-year-old little kid goes to a new school where things are difficult for him. He’s bullied. Vincent teaches him how to fight. He takes on the bully and things start to look up for him as he ends up befriending the bully. Vince and Oliver become quick friends, until Vincent gets the news that his wife (who is in a care facility) dies. At that point, Vincent pushes the kid away, and has to deal with the issues that come with loss yet again.

The Flawed Hero

There’s a juxtaposition of faith, love, and sadness that envelopes the movie. Without spoiling the plot, there’s heart to the script. Bill Murray plays depressed so well. His work here is so good with Melissa McCarthy and Chris O’Dowd filling out the roles. I also appreciated Naomi Watts playing a European sex worker. The flawed hero is on point here. There’s soul to it. You want to hate the guy at times, but in the end, you end up realizing that there’s humanity at play here, and that’s what makes this such a good, moving film.

Star Rating For “St. Vincent”

What I love about this movie is the simplicity of the visuals. The visuals are great. The camera movements, artistic shots, and centerpieces are great. The lighting, the sound, the music, and all of the different sequences fit together like a good puzzle. It’s this type of work that makes movies like “St. Vincent” such a shining example of good cinema. Directed by Theodore Melfi, and cinematography credits going to John Lindley, this is a well-produced, well edited, interesting slice of Americana. I loved it. Bill Murray does great here. He steals the show, and Jaeden Liberher does really well as Oliver. I give this movie a 4 out of 5. It’s only 102 minutes, but it has such a deep soul to it, that you can’t help but enjoy this one. It’s got heart, what can I say? Bill Murry shines in this dramatic comedic, story about life, loss, death, and the way that we see ourselves versus what others may see. I loved it. Not since “Rushmore” has Bill Murray done the sad thing so well.

You can buy “St. Vincent” on blu-ray by clicking here, and ordering it from amazon.com.

Did you see “St. Vincent”? If so, drop me a line and let me know what you think. 

Movie Reviews

bojack horseman drinking as usual
Bojack Horseman Season 3

I’ve been watching Bojack Horseman since it first hit Netflix, and recently was able to finally finish Season 3. I didn’t binge watch it, mind you. I had to watch it between sessions of reading, and watching other shows. I wanted to offer some thoughts about the show and what some may be calling the best season of the show yet. There are a lot of comedic moments, but the writers of the show really double downed on the emotional state of Bojack throughout several major story arcs.

Self-Destructive Addiction

The whole showcase in Season 3 is about addiction. It’s about addiction and it’s not always played up for laughs. While there are moments where it’s funny, the reality of the matter is that the writers are speaking about depression and addiction, mixed with shame. The shame of the addict that is recognizing they are doing something bad, really pushes through this season. I just finished reading “Choke” and Chuck Palahniuk really pushes that psychology button, and I see it in this show. The addiction element is so strong here that things start to really fall apart for Bojack.

The Turn Around of Career

I loved the Princess Caroline story arc this season. She grows so much from this show, and no longer has to worry about Vincent from the past. Her company is crumbling, she’s realizing that she’s not going to be able to save it, and amidst the chaos Bojack fires her. His pursuit of an Oscar nomination for Secretariat has left him with a new manager, and agent, although she’s not really into pushing the envelope aside from getting his nomination. Things look good as he gets universally praised for that role. But the big thing I loved here is the dichotomy of loving what you do and hating what you do, having to do it.

I feel that in my life often. I hate writing sometimes. I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to be a video store clerk. I have 2 degrees, and nearly 20 years’ experience in technology. Yet I can’t find a job that pays me more than what I make now. So I continue to hustle writing, loathing it all the way, and finding a way to cope. The characters are realistic in that manner. Caroline, Bojack, Mr. Peanut Butter, and others highlight life and making money so well it’s weird. To the point where all major characters have definitive career displacement or rises, it’s quite the arc.

Innovative Animation Design

I loved the innovative design of Season 3. The continuity is spot on. The D in Hollywood is still missing, and the show continues to harp on the past. Todd grows, and realizes that Bojack is not a good friend. Mr. Peanut Butter gets startling news about his brother, Diane realizes that she is not happy, but has to settle, Bojack pursues some amazing choices, and the animation follows suit. The animation of the underwater episode is by far the best episode of any television show I’ve seen in a long time. Not since “Lillehammer” have I been enthralled with the production of a show like Season 3 of Bojack Horseman.

Stellar Depression Narrative and Hopelessness

I battle depression. I battle anxiety. Bojack is written as though he’s me, and he is you. He is depressed and he knows it. I don’t do drugs, I don’t cope the same way, but the things that he says is absolutely spot on with how I feel. I could be given an Oscar, and you know what? It wouldn’t matter. I wouldn’t feel it. When I’m depressed, I don’t feel like I’m worth anything that is given to me. It’s a struggle that is highlighted so well this season. I love that the writing team doesn’t shy away from doubling down on how depression truly is.

Star Rating For Bojack Horseman Season 3

Season 3 of Bojack Horseman gets a 5 out of 5. This is another stellar show by Netflix. They are really good at putting together compelling narratives, great writing, and production. The production of the show this time around is spot on. The arcs are great, and it kept me going episode after episode. There are some shocking twists, some stellar comedic moments, and great references to Hollywood and beyond. If you have Netflix, I recommend this one. If not for the comedy, for the realistic look at depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. I am Bojack, you are Bojack, what a show!

Did you see Season 3 of Bojack Horseman? Drop me a comment, let me know.

Articles Movie Reviews