Greg DeMarco ventures outside of wrestling with his review of Dave Batista’s unique buddy comedy, My Spy!
So as you obviously know, we’re stuck in the world of COVID-19, and the coronavirus has taken away many of our fun outings, including going to the movies! While I can still sneak into CrossFit (and I am violating Rule #1 right now), I haven’t been to the movies in far too long.
Many movies have been delayed due to the theaters being closed during the pandemic, but a few (including Trolls World Tour) have been released via streaming/on-demand. That plan was also used for My Spy, which was acquired by Amazon and released via Prime Video as an Amazon Original.
So last weekend I picked up some movie theater popcorn from my local Harkins Theater, fired up the ol’ Amazon Prime, and checked out My Spy with the family. And I gotta say, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
My Spy (2020)
If you haven’t seen My Spy, here is a spoilerific synopsis. And don’t worry about the spoilers, I mean it’s a family friendly comedy. You can figure out what’s gonna happen. Except the gay turncoats. And the bad ass momma move at the end. But those are small moments that only add to this really fun, cute film.
Big Dave Bautista, formerly a 6-time world champion in WWE, 2-time Royal Rumble winner, and 2020 Hall Of Famer (I am guessing it still counts lol), stars as JJ, a newer CIA operative who was formerly a Special Forces soldier in the US Army. His first mission appears to be successful, as he gets out alive and blows a lot of shit up. But he seemingly kills all of the important people in the process.
JJ is sent off on a “babysitting assignment” by boss David Kim, played by Ken Jeong (it’s every Ken Jeong role you’ve ever seen lol), and his partnered up with Bobbi, quirky tech/hacker who also happens to hero worship JJ. The assignment is in Chicago, where they have to watch Kate, the widow of David Marquez, and her 9-year old daughter Sophie. David Marquez was the brother of Victor Marquez, French arms dealer in search of nuclear bomb plans that he believes Kate is somehow in possession of.
JJ and Bobbi move into the same apartment building (and same floor) as Kate and Sophie, installing surveillance cameras so they can work on their assignment (which JJ sees as an insult, by the way). Sophie proves to be too smart for them, finding one of their cameras and tracing it back to the CIA, geolocating the IP address and making her way into their apartment.
Sophie uses this to blackmail JJ into becoming part of her life, which includes coming to her school, ice skating, a date with her mother, and more. This is also where we meet Carlos and mute Todd, the gay couple who also lives on the floor. They provide the perfect comedic interlude, but are also important later.
JJ is overtly socially awkward, including a moment where he embraces his inner Drax and tells Kate that the dinner she cooked is terrible. Kim discovers that JJ has gotten in too deep, and pulls he and Bobbi off of the assignment. Obviously, the movie can’t end here.
Victor Marquez eventually fakes his own death (in front of Kim and fellow CIA agent Christina), travels to Chicago to locate the plans (which are in the collar of Kate & Sophie’s pet), encountering JJ, Sophie, and Kate, only to have Carlos and Todd to burst in and reveal themselves as evil independent contractors sent ti disrupt this and obtain the plans themselves (but they are indeed still a couple). Bobbi predictably tries to intervene using JJ’s firearms, and predictably fails.
Victor eventually kidnaps Sophie (who obtained and hid the plans in the process) and heads off to an airfield, where JJ tries to rescue her. It’s Kate who eventually comes to the rescue, clubbing Victor before he can shoot them. JJ goes all Big Dave and pushes the plans off of a cliff, sending Victor plummeting to his death.
As a result of all this, JJ and now affirmed partner Bobbi (who JJ got a raise) are permanently assigned to Chicago, and JJ moves in with Kate and Sophie to live happily ever after.
Here are the critical responses to My Spy:
- Rotten Tomatoes critics score: 48%
- Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 66%
- Metacritic Metascore weighted average: 46%
- IMDB user score 6.3 out of 10
If you know me, you know I don’t give two shits about what movie critics think. I use trailers, cast members, writers, and directors to decide if I want to see a movie, and I am a sucker for sequels, trilogies, etc. Action movie? I’m in. Heist movie? SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY.
I chose to watch My Spy, and with that choice comes the knowledge of what this movie is! It’s the “Action Star meets Cute Kid” formula, where the kid has a profound impact on the action star, and thus the story. The action star does tend to fall in love with the kid’s single parent, and that expectedly happens here. Batista does a solid job playing JJ, but it’s Chloe Coleman’s Sophie that steals the show. And that’s the way it should be.
My Spy is a funny, endearing, cute, fluffy family comedy that fills the role it’s supposed to fill. A fun little movie that makes you smile. If you go into it with the right expectations, you’ll be fine.
DeMarco’s Rating: 3.5/5 (using the Bandwagon Nerds rating scale)
Bandwagon Nerds #62 – WandaVision is Here!
The Nerds review the debut of WandaVision, discuss some casting news in the MCU, and break down Netflix’s announcement to release one new movie a week for 2021
WandaVision debuted this week on Disney Plus and the Nerds are excited and have tons of questions. Patrick, Dave and PC Tunney try and decipher what is happening with Wanda, find MCU Eater Eggs, and who is pulling all of the strings? A couple of casting tidbits have the Nerds intrigued although one rumor may not be all it’s cracked up to be. The Ray Fisher/DC story finds another twist. And the nerds react to Netflix’s announcement that they will release one movie a week in 2021. Finally, the Nerds recognize two icon celebrating birthdays.
About Bandwagon Nerds
Join Patrick O’Dowd, David Ungar, and a rotating cast of guests as they keep everyone up on all things nerd, and maybe add some new nerds along the way. It’s the Bandwagon Nerds Podcast!
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BWN Nerds’ Movie Review: Teen Titans Go! To the Movies! (2018)
The Nerds start sliding back in the timeline again as we see them tackle Teen Titans Go! To the Movies! Have we hit a weird timeline where Patrick isn’t the German judge? Whaaat?!
Welcome to this week’s edition of the Nerd Review! Every week the Nerds give you their take on a different classic from the Nerdosphere. This week Dave and Patrick review DC animated film Teen Titans Go! To the Movies!
The Flick: Teen Titans Go! To the Movies!
What’s it About: Robin of the Teen Titans desperately wants to star in his very own super hero movie, but no director will cast him. That is, until one director offers him the chance to achieve his dream. But at what cost?
Metacritic Score: 69
The Nerds’ Take on Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018):
Dave Teen Titans Go! To The Movies is so much fun. That is my overriding opinion of this week’s installment of the Nerds’ Review. It takes a popular corner of the DC Universe and delivers an animated special that is equal parts a comedy and a musical, with just enough of a positive message to make it somewhat of a learning experience, all while never losing the slap stick nature of what makes the Teen Titans Go! franchise so beloved.
Essentially, the movie is mostly about Robin and his quest for achieving a level of stature, in his own mind anyway. Robin no longer wants to be known only as a sidekick and feels the only way to accomplish this is if a movie is made about him and his Teen Titan teammates. Most of the other, more established super-heroes, such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, etc., all feel the Teen Titans are nothing more than goofsters, not to be taken seriously and certainly not worthy of having a whole movie made about them. Determined to prove them wrong, Robin sets out on a quest to convince super-hero movie director, Jade Wilson, to make a movie about them. Along the way, he tries a plethora of ideas to accomplish this goal. He first seeks out an arch-nemesis, who ends up being Slade, aka Deathstroke, who is never actually called Deathstroke in the movie but is hilariously referred to as Deadpool. The Titans travel back in time to rewrite super-hero origin stories, but this does not work out so well. After setting things right, a huge showdown with Slade convinces Jade to make the Teen Titans movie after all. But the Titans soon reveal their immaturity and Jade dumps them, but still wants to make the Robin movie. Robin turns his back on his friends all so he can see his movie made, which is the only way he feels he will amount to anything other than a joke. Naturally, Jade is not who she says she is and this creates the conflict that brings us to the concluding moments of the movie.
There is so much about this movie that, as I said earlier, is just fun. True, the humor is quite adolescent at times. Then again, it is supposed to be when one considers the primary audience. After all, fart jokes and pooping in a prop toilet on a movie set are pretty funny for the demographic the movie was designed to reach. But there is more clever humor to be found as well and some of the best parts of the movie are when DC pokes fun at itself, including a great scene between Batman and Superman asking each other what the other’s mother’s name is and Green Lantern lamenting the disaster that was the Ryan Reynolds led movie. Particularly fantastic are the cameos by none other than Marvel head honcho, Stan Lee (prior to his passing), who knowingly makes a cameo in a DC movie because, hey, he loved cameos. There is also a mention by the Titans of raiding the set of Spider-Man for more food. It is all great stuff as most of us in the know know that the “competition” between DC and Marvel, for decades, has been quite friendly, to say the least.
The voice casting is superb, with the highlights being Will Arnet as Slade, Kristen Bell as Jade Wilson, Nicolas Cage as Superman, and all of the regulars from the Teen Titans Go! Series. Lost amidst all the fun is also a lesson that is being taught about the power of friendship, about team work, and that it is more important how you see yourself than how others around you might perceive you. The musical numbers are good and will put a smile on your face. There are subtle nods here and there to the actual Teen Titans comic, especially the involvement of Deathstroke, who has a, shall we say, complicated relationship with the Teen Titans. In fact, only the most jaded of persons will watch this movie and not come out thoroughly entertained. If you are looking for a very light, and immensely fun, super-hero-based movie, then give Teen Titans Go! To The Movies a try.
Dave’s Rating: 3.75/5
Patrick: Michael Bolton voices a singing white tiger, Stan Lee makes a cameo in a DC movie, and the Teen Titans murder a young Aquaman(temporarily). This is but a taste of the antics you will get when you check out Teen Titans Go! To the Movies. A film spinoff of the popular Cartoon Network show, Teen Titans Go! To the Movie is a delightful parody superhero films that both children and adults will enjoy.
The movie begin with the Teen Titans (Robin, Starfire, Beast Boy, Cyborg, and Raven) attempting to gain access to the premiere of the next big budget Batman movie. During the coming attractions Robin hopes to learn the next major superhero will be about him. Unfortunately, Robin learns that everyone from Alfred from Batman’s utility belt will be in a movie, but he will not. The other Titans endeavor to help Robin achieve his dream by going with him to Hollywood. There Robin meets director Jade Wilson who tell Robin he needs more to be a lead in a superhero movie, like a nemesis. Enter Slade, a supervillain the Titans thwart earlier in the movie as he tries to steal a crystal. Robin and the gang realize a nemesis like Slade could be just what Robin needs to get the superhero movie lead he has always dreamed of.
The plot of Teen Titan Go! To The Movies is fun enough, but the writing takes the film to a whole ne level. Aaron Horvath parodies everything under the sun. Eighties movies? Parodied. Super Hero Movies? Parodied. Stan Lee cameos? Parodied. And it is all very smartly done. There is a particularly memorable montage poking fun at tragic origin stories where the Titans travel in time to prevent heroes from ever becoming heroes. The hole montage left me gasping for air. I don’t want to spoil too much, but Superman’s baby booty is involved. There’s even a Back to the Future parody within the Superhero origin parody. It really is cleverly done. Then there is the veritable who’s who of DC cameos. From the Atom to Swamp Thing all the way to the little known Challengers of the Unknown, the entire DC Universe seems to make an appearance.
The voice cast is anchored by the Teen Titans Go! Cast from the series. Scott Menville carries the load voicing Robin. Will Arnett and Kristen Bell provide the other primary voice work as Slade and Jade Wilson. Both are terrific, but Arnett really steals the show. The cameos are not limited to the animated appearances, however. Patton Oswald, Nicholas Cage, Stan Lee, and, as I mentioned in my open, Michael Bolton all lend their voice talents to various characters.
Teen Titan Go! To the Movies really is a fun time. Adults can enjoy the smart writing laced with some nifty doses of nostalgia. Kids will love the antics of their favorite small screen heroes on the big screen. You won’t walk away from this one disappointed
Patrick’s Rating: 4.63/5.0
Overall Nerds’ Rating for Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018): 4.19/5.0
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