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Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Child’s Play’ on Amazon Prime, a Remake That Transforms Chucky Into a Symbol of Harmful Interconnectedness



Funny how the 2019 Child’s Play remake is now streaming free for Amazon Prime subscribers, and the movie aims its satirical sights at a corporation that looks a heck of a lot like Amazon. Also funny, how most horror regurgitations barely justify their existence, but this one upgrades the original concept — a serial killer uses a voodoo curse to transfer his soul into a doll — to a relevant neo-tech angle: Chucky, welcome to the internet of things!  

The Gist: The Kaslan Corp is selling buttloads of its new electronic doll toy, Buddi, to millions of people who aren’t at all disturbed by its grody, distorted face and forcibly cheerful and subtly demented robot voice (courtesy Mark Hamill). “Home synergy” is one of Buddi’s features, which means he interacts with your phone, TV, speaker, smartposthole digger, bluetoothbrush, e-TP holder and whatever else people have connected to the internet for no logical reason. Buddi is manufactured in a dimly lit Vietnamese factory, where a worker, angry at being fired for loafing about like a total loafer, reprograms a doll, deleting its safety features, which I think means Buddi must be some sort of AI that learns things and can build upon its experiences, and therefore needs something to stop it from adopting malfeasant traits. There’s probably a movie here, exploring why someone would create a commercial product with potentially malfeasant traits that need protocols to stop them, but the dystopian-AI-movie market is kinda flooded right now.

Instead, Child’s Play (2019) explores a different flooded movie market, the one where a single mom and her kid become tangled in a horror plot. Karen (Aubrey Plaza) works at Zed Mart, a discount store that looks like an ancient abandoned Turn Style location rented out for a movie production with a tight budget. She feels bad that her 13-year-old son, Andy (Gabriel Bateman), has no friends because they just moved into an apartment that looks slightly out of the range of affordability for a Zed Mart customer service counterperson. So she snatches a defective Buddi from the return truck, and bestows the hottest toy of the year upon poor, unsuspecting Andy.

Buddi names himself Chucky, and soon connects himself to Andy’s heart by following him around everywhere and endearing both of them to the neighbor kids, Falyn (Beatrice Kitsos) and Pugg (Ty Consiglio). The kids and Chucky watch an old Texas Chainsaw movie, which gives him some ideas, especially with regards to Andy’s family cat, Mickey Rooney, who’s a shithead, and also Karen’s new boyfriend (David Lewis), a human carbuncle who drinks all her beer but won’t eat her cookies, which I think is a euphemism. Are they doomed? I ain’t saying, but maybe you can guess. What about the booger-eater of an incel of a maintenance guy (Trent Redekop) who e-spies on the apartment-building residents? Or the friendly cop down the hall, Mike (Brian Tyree Henry), and his mom (Carlease Burke)? No spoilers, but the internet of things is now the internet of death!

What Movies Will It Remind You Of?: This Child’s Play starts like E.T. and ends like Alien, with some A.I. Artificial Intelligence-isms in the middle.

Performance Worth Watching: I dunno, highlighting performances in a Chucky movie is like going to Benji’s birthday party — everyone plays second fiddle to the non-human in the room. Hamill reasserts himself as an underappreciated voiceover artist (although casting Haley Joel Osment would have been more clever). Henry is a source of solid comedy, although he’s officially not given enough to do. And Plaza does her usual detached-snark thing, which can be intermittently amusing.

Memorable Dialogue: Andy’s lament: “Pity compliments from a talking doll. That’s my life.”

Sex and Skin: Skin… ripped off a guy’s face!

Our Take: For a bad-taste violence-is-funny horror-comedy, Child’s Play Twenty Nineteen is reasonably amusing, blending sitcom scenarios with ’80s slasher stupidity and modern themes that explore, via allegory, how society’s inveterate technological interconnectedness will KILL THE HELL OUT OF US ALL! The internetification of our lives is compromising our privacy, mental health and relationships, an idea here represented by a homicidal animatronic doll pushing a guy off an extension ladder, causing gruesome compound fractures, and then using an iRototiller to rip his face off.

Some stray observations: Mike the Cop is apparently the only detective in the tri-state area, or wherever this story is set, because he shows up at all the murder scenes regardless of jurisdiction. Tonally, the film never ever ever ever ever takes itself seriously, so it’s at least consistent. Initially, it’s hard to denounce Chucky’s actions, because he only targets a-holes. And the movie ends with an irreverent scene of consumer frenzy as ding-dongs clamor and scrap for the new line of Buddi 2 dolls like it’s the Cabbage Patch Riots of 1983. Childs Play Two-Oh-One-Nine is easy-target satire, but is at least occasionally funny and light on its feet. It’s an iota of a hair better than it has any reason to be.

Our Call: STREAM IT. Color me surprised: This Child’s Play is only a slight waste of time, instead of a total waste of time. It’d lose the deathmatch against the 1988 original, though.

John Serba is a freelance writer and film critic based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Read more of his work at or follow him on Twitter: @johnserba.

Stream Child’s Play (2019) on Amazon Prime


Disney Plus Mulan Fails to Make an Impact




Disney Plus’s most anticipated movie of the year was Live-Action Mulan, the infamous remake of the 1998 version of the Disney classic Mulan. With a budget of almost $200 million and alot of hard work involved, the film release’s expectations and excitement were at an all-time high. Disney’s marketing team left no stone unturned in promoting the film throughout the world as Mulan was one of the most influential female protagonists in a Disney movie. 

Mulan was known for her power and courage to take a step towards change and create a name for herself instead of becoming a burden for her family. She brought them honor but not through finding a compatible suitor, but through her bravery in fighting amongst the opposite gender when it was considered a taboo. 

But did the real Mulan walk in the footsteps of the animated one? Did it create an impact as strong as the classic version, which people love and adore even after 23 years? Sadly, no. The live-Action Mulan was nothing like the 1998 Mulan because it was not supposed to be that way. 

The old Chinese folklore inspired the Live-Action Mulan. The Balad of Mulan, which was different, more serious, and portrayed a much more feminist approach by eliminating any romantic or cartoonish elements or characters from the remake. 

The elimination of the character of Mushu came as a surprise for all the die-hard Mulan fans who were anticipating the voice-over of Eddie Murphy in a better-animated dragon who is by Mulan’s side, aiding in tough times. We did see a dragon, but it was a silent companion only coming in need. The remake also got rid of all the eventful songs which were hummed as we watched the animated version all the time.

Another setback was the mediocre release of Mulan during the Pandemic, which basically ruined the official March release. Mulan eventually made the screen on September 4 on Disney+ Premier Access, a pay-to-view for $30 across the US. In contrast, countries where Covid-19 was under control, saw a theater release like China. But that hardly made 50% of the total movie budget. Disney hoped to make some dollars in China by accurately depicting the Chinese culture and actors, but that didn’t happen either. 

Viewers with access to Disney+ also did not venture enough on the Premier Access service. What further disappointed the release was Mulan’s availability on multiple torrents and platforms for free in HD quality on its release. VPN users worldwide watched the movie for free without paying a whopping amount of $30 for a single film, while the whole service along with other streaming services cost ⅓ of the price. 

Live-Action Mulan was also under scrutiny for shooting in the Xinjiang, the region of China where Uighur Muslims were detained and imprisoned in concentration camps. This sparked outrage over the entire social media, where Muslims worldwide protested against the Chinese government’s actions. Disney+ did not state an official apology on their platform, nor did they acknowledge their wrongdoings, probably to stay clear of the Chinese government’s atrocity. 

Meanwhile, even within China, Mulan failed to impact the Chinese audience as they have a much better take and approach to recreating any Chinese epic or myths. Their cinema is far more advanced in portraying their culture with local actors and a local production house. As we all know, China has a strict censorship policy on international content, and they have an alternate of their own. It applies here as well. 

Lastly, the ill-natured tweet of the lead actress Liu Yifei, openly supporting the Hong Kong Police’s atrocities when China was implementing new security policies on Hong Kong, claiming it as a part of the Chinese government. The Hong Kong police came under fire for mistreating peaceful protestors and using harsh means to disperse the crowd. This tweet leads to #boycottmulan across the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Thailand. 

Liu Yifei made no outright apology. 

Despite so much anticipation, live-action Mulan came under alot of controversy and failed to make a solid impression on the audience, despite holding a strong message for its feminist audience. Wrong timing and a few wrong decisions cost Disney millions of dollars and somewhat tarnished the reputation of their remake sagas. 

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5 Underrated Shows on Netflix USA You Must Watch Right Now!




American Netflix is home to hundreds of TV shows across multiple genres. Still, it could be hard at times to find something binge-worthy on it. Now we all have that one friend that’s perfectly content with re-watching their favorite TV series, but the rest of us normies find it a tad boring. We’re on a never-ending hunt for the next big show hoping to inject some excitement into our otherwise mundane existence. However, with so much to choose from, it’s only natural that a few gems go unnoticed when scrolling through the recommendations. 

Don’t sweat it! After spending endless hours of research, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 underrated shows on Netflix USA that are definitely worth your time.

Can’t access US Netflix in your home country? There is an easy way around. Just download a Netflix VPN, connect to a US server, and start streaming. 

  1. 1994

Genre: Documentary

Season(s): 1 season; 5 episodes

Year of release: 2019

1994 is a modest 5-episode docu-series offering the perfect guilt-free, binge-watching experience. The show revolves around a promising presidential candidate in Mexico who stands to threaten the status quo. Seen as a threat by the powerful elite, he gets shot during one of his televised political rallies. If the events of the first episode seem unusual, then what follows is downright bizarre. 

Viewers are in store for surreal events backed by actual interviews and real-life footage that ups the ante with each passing episode. 1994 is a fascinating, informative, and rich account of one of the most turbulent times in Mexico. It not only gives viewers a glimpse of the past but also a story that follows a narrative very close to what we’re seeing in our present political climate.

  1. Rise of Empires: Ottoman

Genre: Drama

Season(s): 1 season; 6 episodes

Year of release: 2020

Following the wildly popular show Ertugrul—at least in the eastern part of the world—Rise of Empires: Ottoman features a historic mix of immaculate production value and dramatic re-enactment of the 1453 fall of Constantinople. A Turkish production, the show is entirely in English and revolves around the life of a young Ottoman Sultan named Mehmet. It shows how the 21-year old leader risks everything to conquer a city his father and so many others failed to take before him.

This point marked a crucial juncture in history: The fall of the Roman Empire and the transition of a local regional entity to that of a global superpower. While the show does have its set of drawbacks (such as the frequent History Channel-type flashbacks), the appeal of our protagonist is sure to have viewers in for a memorable ride. 

  1. Wild Wild Country

Genre: Documentary

Season(s): 1 season; 6 episodes

Year of release: 2018

The mere mention of Wild Wild Country in front of veteran Netflix viewers is sure to garner you some respect points. Based on a true story, Wild Wild Country tells the tale of an Indian cult that’s decided to relocate to Oregon. What ensues is a series of unusual events as the locals struggle to come to terms with the new inhabits and in particular, the eccentric leader of this cult: Bhagwan. This mini-series manages to capture and re-tell a significant—albeit unusual—event in American history and media and retell it in a way that’s sure to leave some viewers scratching their heads!

  1. Lenox Hill

Genre: Documentary

Season(s): 1 season; 9 episodes

Year of release: 2020

For those looking to embark on a roller-coaster ride of emotions, look no further than Lenox Hill. While we do recommend this docu-series especially if you’re a fan of Grey’s Anatomy or ER, Lenox Hill is not your average watch. It’s a far cry from what you’d call a feel-good series as it reveals the brutal reality associated with people diagnosed with really bad things.

Set in New York, the show follows the story of an ER physician, an OB-GYN, and two brain surgeons that are part of a small-time hospital competing with bigger establishments. It lifts the curtain from the otherwise romanticized emergency-ward that we’ve grown accustomed to and accurately depicts the struggles of both patients and doctors.

This highly emotional series might not sit well with everyone but if you want to watch a story about individuals that sacrifice everything to save others then this one’s for you.

  1. Borderline

Genre: Comedy

Season(s): 2 seasons; 12 episodes

Year of release: 2016

The Office is the most viewed show on Netflix according to Chicago Tribune which is a pity because its contract is set to expire on January 1, 2021. Enter Borderline, a British comedy series and ‘mockumentary’ of sorts that follows a similar pattern and humor as The Office. Set in the fictional Northend Airport instead of an office, viewers are quickly introduced to a slew of funny and ridiculous personalities.

The best part of the series is that it has its own version of Pam, Dwight, Jim, and a Michael type-boss. It also doesn’t try too hard to resemble its more popular counterpart and a few episodes are enough to make you wonder why more people aren’t watching it!

Agree with our list? Know of some underrated shows that need more love? Let us know in the comments section below!

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The Advantages of Online Casino Welcome Bonuses




When it comes to online gambling, the industry is thriving in 2020. Although casinos are banned in many countries, people still find ways to enjoy their favorite games of chance. However, considering the level of competition on the market, it may be difficult for a beginner to find a good online platform and take advantage of all offers. In this article, you will learn the benefits of casinos’ welcome bonuses.

What Is a Sign-Up Bonus?

As we have already established, the industry is growing rapidly and companies are desperately looking for new ways to attract customers. A welcome bonus is often used by online casinos to get new leads and players in the future. However, the best casino bonuses can be easily used to the player’s advantage. Here are the main reasons you should not neglect this offer.

  1. It saves your money

Quite obvious, right? Well, this is the main reason why you should always use welcome bonuses in online gambling: it is always better to not risk your own money. It is especially true for beginners. Since they have no experience, it is fairly common for beginners to lose their initial investment and be done with gambling for good. However, if you use your welcome bonus as a way of getting the basics skills, the chances of success will rise significantly.

  1. It allows you to try several games

Another common issue beginners face is a lack of understanding of which types of games they want to try: slots, roulette, baccarat, blackjack, etc. If you use your sign-up bonus, you will be able to play several games and choose the ones you like better. Moreover, you can take advantage of a welcome bonus on several online gambling platforms. That way you will try out even more options.

  1. It will make future gambling more profitable

Besides beneficial sign-up bonuses, good online casinos usually have great loyalty programs. For instance, the company may double up to five first deposits on the platform. If you invest 100 USD, you will get 200 USD to your account. More money — more games — more chances of winning.

Although a welcome bonus is a great way of upping your gambling game, there are a few things you should pay attention to. Firstly, a good bonus does not equal a good platform. Before choosing a casino, make sure that the company is legal and trustworthy. Since there are many scams right now, it is essential if you want to save your money. Moreover, check the available deposit/withdrawal methods and their terms.

We hope that this article has shown the true power of online casinos’ welcome bonuses and how you can use them to your own advantage. Follow our tips while choosing a platform and enjoy the best gambling experience.

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