Abraham Lincoln

Ken and Robin Consume Media: Scream VI, Furies, and Exploding Teenagers

April 18th, 2023 | Robin

Ken and Robin Consume Media is brought to you by the discriminating and good-looking backers of the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff Patreon. Each week we provide capsule reviews of the books, movies, TV seasons and more we cram into our hyper-analytical sensoriums. Join the Patreon to help pick the items we’ll talk about in greater depth on a little podcast segment we like to call Tell Me More.


Furies (Film, Vietnam, Veronica Ngo, 2023) Desperate young woman (Dong Anh Quynh) earns her place in a squad of female martial artists determined to bring violent reprisal to the sex trafficking gangsters of Ho Chi Minh City. Neon-lit hard action puts women at the center of the traditionally masculine thematic territory of the heroic bloodshed subgenre.—RDL

If We Were Villains (Fiction, M.L. Rio, 2017) Ten years after going to prison for killing his classmate, former drama student Oliver Marks tells his arresting officer what really happened that night at Dellecher Classical Conservatory. Shakespeare, the college novel, the murder story, and the theater novel crash together in rising waves of action, passion, and revelation. It’s not quite Donna Tartt’s Pinnacle The Secret History, but that’s the closest comparison I can make. –KH

Lingui, the Sacred Bonds (Film, Chad, Mahamat Saleh Haroun, 2022) Devout, poor Muslim single mom (Achouackh Abakar Souleymane) reluctantly assists her defiant teen daughter (Rihane Khalil Alio) in seeking an abortion, which is illegal in Chad. Specificity of place and culture and a lively color palette distinguish this neorealist social drama.—RDL

Manchurian Tiger (Film, South Korea, Lee Doo-Yong, 1974) Dapper, laconic taekwondo fighter (Han Yong-Cheol aka Ian Han) arrives in Japanese-occupied Harbin to play two rival gangsters against one another. Sly martial arts riff on Yojimbo and Fistful of Dollars features a Korean political angle and Han’s beguilingly laidback ass-whupping style.—RDL

Spontaneous (Film, US, Brian Duffield, 2020) When members of her class of high school seniors succumb to a plague that causes them to suddenly explode in showers of blood and viscera, sardonic Mara (Kate Langford) tries to embrace life and first love with adorable geek Dylan (Charlie Plummer.) Teen dramedy goes surprisingly hard at its body horror premise.—RDL

The Westerner (Film, US, William Wyler, 1940) Honorable saddle tramp (Gary Cooper) tries to mediate between homesteaders and vigilante cattlemen led by hanging judge Roy Bean (Walter Brennan.) The gay relationship between the leads barely counts as subtextual in this friends-turned-foes western drama.—RDL


Banacek Season 2 (Television, US, NBC, George Eckstein, 1973-1974) Self-satisfied freelance investigator of impossible crimes Banacek (George Peppard) now has an ongoing foil in ex-lover and rival investigator Carlie Kirkland (Christine Belford) who mostly only yells at Banacek and slows things down even further. However, the puzzles and guest stars remain fun and thrilling, especially in the episode where Banacek gets romanced by Linda Evans while trying to find a race horse that vanished mid-gallop. –KH

Scream VI (Film, US, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, 2023) The four survivors of the previous Ghostface killing spree (Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Jasmine Savoy Brown, Mason Gooding) move to New York City for college, but a new Ghostface follows them there. Not quite as tight a mystery as the previous movie, with a hot-and-cold cruelty that doesn’t really cohere. But the urban stalks, as predictable as they are, still work pretty well, the writers show the weight of the franchise interestingly, and Ortega’s lively presence carries the movie over the Good line on her tiny back. –KH

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