Each week, the Now Playing Podcast crew shares their latest recommends (and not recommends).
Found Cobra Kai Season 5 (2022) to be a satisfying season of this Karate Kid revival series. I give full credit to the writers who found believable and entertaining ways to create character growth and arcs, tie-up plot threads, end long rivalries, give the audience the moments they want to see, and the clever and satisfying ways they found to weave in characters and dialogue from Karate Kid Part III. Many series fail to stick the landing, but not Cobra Kai. While they have seeds in place for a season 6, I think this season would be a great way to go out. But, as we all know, Cobra Kai never dies…
More than 15 years after convenience store jockeys Dante and Randal finally grew up, director Kevin Smith pulls the rug out from under progress with the unbearably redundant and, frankly, depressing Clerks III (2022). Smith rewrote the script after a 2018 heart attack, incorporating his experience into the new film, with salty Randal having his own brush with death and realizing that he wants to make a movie about his life at the Quick Stop. The “movie” ends up being 1994’s Clerks (with a bit of Clerks II thrown in there), with nearly every non-actor from that first film returning to read their lines over again. It’s a gag that gets old within minutes. Meanwhile, Smith has [SPOILER] turned Dante into a widower, leaving him just as directionless and full of self-loathing as he was in the first two films. It’s sad to see the character evolution that brightened the ending of Clerks II has been completely undone in the name of meta jokes and “who cares?” celebrity cameos. Even Jason Mewes can’t elicit the same laughter, especially not when he’s repeating the same jokes from two movies ago. It didn’t have to end this way, and that’s the worst part. No, the worst part is Smith retconned a plot element from Clerks II, I suspect just so he could give his wife another cameo in this one.
Nope (2022) finally came out in Argentina and I thought it was really good. Striking visuals and Daniel Kaluuya in top form make this one of the best films I’ve seen this year. Of course the Get Out and Us comparisons are inevitable and while it doesn’t live up to them it’s still great. Strong Recommend.