“Funko” is not a flash in the pan and it’s not a fad. It wants us to know that, and that it loves us, the fans. It’s been around for twenty years, manufacturing bobble heads and dolls in the background. Most recently it broke in to the mainstream consciousness with its series of Funko Pop Dolls, a long line of dolls with big heads, black eyes, and no mouths that have become humongous, coveted collector items far and wide. The Funko Pop craze has even managed to save some waning businesses with its broad line of dolls that range between anything from Batman, to The Sandlot, to The Golden Girls. “Making Fun” is a documentary by category, but in reality it’s a big promotional reel for stock holders of the company in the midst of its massive popularity.
Andre Gower’s “Wolfman’s Got Nards” is a fantastic, long overdue look at the making of, and legacy of “The Monster Squad,” one of the best horror movies of the eighties and one of my favorite films of all time. Anyone who knows me, knows I love “Monster Squad,” just love it. So “Wolfman’s Got Nards” was ninety minutes of pure bliss celebrating this unique horror comedy. “Wolfman’s Got Nards” is not only a testament to the importance of the video age, but how “The Monster Squad” turned in to a classic underdog tale.
Every horror fans knows of The Monster Squad by now, but that wasn’t always the case. Back when it came out, The Monster Squad played against The Lost Boys in theaters and flopped. That doesn’t mean that it didn’t become a bonafide cult favorite over the years.
This documentary tells of the life and work of playwright Terrence McNally, who during his 60 years of career wrote many plays including Ragtime and Master Class. The film also tell of the LGBT rights movement, his life through addiction, recovery, love, and a desire to be more, to work more, to be his best possible at all those things.
After the sheer duds that were “Jersey Boys,” and “Sully,” I was definitely ready for “The 15:17 to Paris” to be a riveting and emotional tale of true heroism in a dark world. The story of the Sacramento Hometown heroes is one of the great modern stories of heroism and courage in the face of sheer danger. And I could have thought of at least a dozen ways I would have loved to learn about this tale rather than a glorified television movie that’s pretty much a huge misstep in every direction. “The 15:17 to Paris” teeters back and forth between pure saccharine nonsense and baffling choices in filmmaking that kept me rolling my eyes and groaning throughout its run time.
Steven Tyler, lead singer of Aerosmith, judge on American Idol, multi-soundtrack participant, actor, and generally interesting human being is followed here by filmmaker Casey Tebo who had previously spent a decade with Aerosmith, recording their travels and work. Here the camera and focus is on Tyler and his new work as a country singer. His new band that he handpicked talked about how they were selected and offered the jobs they have now, famous fans from Slash to horror director Adam Green discuss the impact of Tyler, Aerosmith, and their music on them, on the music industry as a whole, and why it makes sense for Tyler to now be turning to country music. The film shows that this genre move is more than just a stunt or an ego trip, it’s a genuine project from the heart, for the love of music, and for the love of performing. The film is a good look into Steven Tyler and who is.