Jeff’s Wacky SNL Review: John Krasinski/Machine Gun Kelly

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SNL: Machine Gun Kelly, John Krasinski, Heidi Gardner (CREDIT: YouTube Screenshot)

It’s the end of January, and Saturday Night Live has finally aired its first new episode of 2021. I’ll let you numerologists determine what significance those digits have as far as SNL is concerned…

Host John Krasinski and musical guest Machine Gun Kelly are both making their Studio 8H debuts (as will be all the recently announced guests for the coming weeks). Krasinski was actually supposed to host back in March 2020, but that is now neither here nor there.

Here’s where my head was at while watching this episode: most days, I wake up and write my dreams from the night before down in a dream journal, but I didn’t remember them this morning, so I didn’t have to arrange my dream scribbling around my SNL viewing as I normally do. But then later while I was running, a dream came back to me, so I had to pivot a bit. But it was a pretty easy pivot.

Vaccines are being rolled out, but the pandemic is still ongoing, so my reviews will continue to be spaced out.


Mini-Movie Review: Aliens Take Over a Very Gray Chicago in the Intermittently Promising ‘Captive State’

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CREDIT: Parrish Lewis/Focus Features

Starring: Ashton Sanders, John Goodman, James Ransone, Jonathan Majors, Machine Gun Kelly, Vera Farmiga, Alan Ruck, Kevin Dunn, David J. Height, Madeline Brewer, Ben Daniels, D.B. Sweeney, Kevin J. O’Connor, KiKi Layne, Marc Grapey

Director: Rupert Wyatt

Running Time: 110 Minutes

Rating: PG-13 for Occasional Explosions and Minorly Disturbing Sci-Fi Flourishes

Release Date: March 15, 2019

Captive State reminds me of 2010’s Skyline, a pretty awful movie that was at least fascinating for how it attempted to craft a genuinely compelling alien invasion with a fairly small budget. Captive State is a little more competent, but it has that same vibe of a director who is burning with a unique vision that he simply must deliver to the world no matter what the handicaps. That director is Rupert Wyatt, and his vision is a version of Chicago enslaved by aliens who want humans to pretend that this is actually an arrangement of unity. There’s clearly some commentary about conformism at play here, which in past instances in this genre has been about the likes of communism and consumerism. But in this case, it is not clear what the target is. (Maybe blind patriotism?) And that really sums up Captive State as a whole. You can feel that there is a plentiful mix of ideas, and even an admirably ambitious combination of genres (chase-filled actioner, paranoid thriller, even a bit of a heist flick), and the surprisingly robust cast is here to give it what they’ve got. But alas, the overall effort never quite coalesces into something with a fully fleshed-out overarching purpose.

Grade: 2.5 out of 5 Implant Trackers