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Geek Girl Riot

GGRoundup the First – Featuring New Reviews for Queen Bee, Praise This, BEEF, Chevalier, Spinning Gold, and Super Mario Bros.

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Geek Girl Riot is throwing it back this week with three of our most fantabulous episodes (just in case you missed ‘em first time round, we wouldn’t want that). While you listen and revel, keep scrolling to read a roundup of some fresh & sizzling-hot reviews we just cooked up, including: Queen Bee, Praise This, BEEF, Chevalier, Spinning Gold, and Super Mario Bros.


Tan France from Next In Fashion, Luther: Fallen Sun, Chang Can Dunk, The Last of Us, Unprisoned, The Mandalorian S3, Champions
GGR sits down with Tan France from Next In Fashion for a delightful chat. We also dive into a whole bunch of streaming goodness, including: Luther: Fallen Sun, Chang Can Dunk, The Last of Us, Unprisoned, The Mandalorian S3, and Champions.


Poker Face, Harlem, Shrinking
Never fear, your streaming update is here: Geek Girl Riot gives you the lowdown on Poker FaceHarlemShrinking, and more new TV—joined by special guest Tim Gordon of Keeping it Reel with FilmGordon.


Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Avatar: The Way of Water, Top 2022 Films, The Woman King
Geek Girl Riot gets fantastical with Guillermo del Toro’s PinocchioAvatar: The Way of Water, and our top films of 2022. Before throwing it back to our chat about The Woman King.


streaming on Netflix
reviewed by Sherin Nicole

Amy Lau (Ali Wong) and Danny Cho (Steven Yeun) are beefing. This means they are trapped in a loop of vicious one-upmanship, competing to be the last one standing with their foot on the other one’s neck. In hip-hop, this would be a battle of lyrical acerbity, but in this streaming series created by Lee Sung Jin, the hostility escalates in urine-soaked floors or classism painted in big white letters. Yet that is not the unfolding disaster or the magnetism of this series, is how accessible their descent is for us; the constipated passions, disillusionment, and faulty justifications allow them to hurl their rage at each other without daring to blow up their own lives (at least not at first).Yet detonating and rebuilding might be easier, if less fraught with schadenfreude for us. And you will be tempted to giggle while assuring yourself you would handle things better, your revenge would be more strategic, you’d be smarter when it goes bad. Maybe. This is what is clear: Anyone could have guessed Ali Wong and Steven Yeun would be dramatic catalysts, but here they push each other into a cinematic brittleness that shatters in unexpected fallout. If you guessed, you were right. BEEF is deliciously low and yet reflective of the parts of ourselves we hide. That is what makes it such a perverse reason to exhale. So, watch it. BEEF goes boom.

As a bonus: Look out for the line, “You are f’king proof that Western therapy does not work on Eastern minds.” and try not to smile.


Queen Bee by Amalie Howard
from Joy Revolution
reviewed by Sherin Nicole

Lyra, otherwise known as Lady Ela Dalvi, does exactly as Confucius suggested—“Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves”—but neither are for herself. Lyra has readied her shovel for Lady Poppy, the former friend who betrayed her, and Lord Keston, the handsome Marquess who stomped on her tender feelings. This is why she needs the second persona called Lady Dalvi, the one no one would suspect was originally the country-girl heiress they harmed. In this Regency-era YA romance that we hope will become a streaming series, Amalie Howard gives us a masquerade ball filled with Machiavellian machinations, vivid vengeance, baleful backstories, and the sweetest swoons. With all of that, you might mistake Queen Bee for fluff—but this AU (alternate universe) story, stacked with a multicultural British ton, is far from it. The story might be bound for a joyful conclusion but on the way there, Howard shows us how cruel the era of Queen Charlotte could be to women and how badly it could taint anyone who hunted status. Queen Bee is a highly enjoyable read, especially if you love girls who play the game to win.


in theaters Friday, April 7
reviewed by Sherin Nicole

Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) was a French “warrior poet”—a rival to Mozart, a fencer, a prolific composer & violinist, and a friend to Marie Antoinette. Which would make it odd that he isn’t as famed as the Austrian composer. Until you realize he was all of this and  Black in the mid to late 1700s. Then it all makes sense. Applause to director Stephen Williams and writer Stefani Robinson for a painterly historical biopic, that presents the Chevalier with the drama, romantic entanglements, and rebellious swagger of the popstar he might have been. Surrounded by a strong cast, Harrison Jr and Ronke Adekoluejo, as his mother, Nanon, center this vulnerable epic—giving it the axis that makes it whirl.


Praise This
streaming on Peacock
reviewed by Sherin Nicole

This latest Will Packer comedy, directed by Tina Gordon, gives Chloe Bailey the chance to take lead as the sassy Sam, a LA singer-songwriter who doesn’t know when to pump her brakes. Praise This goes for the classic trope of the talented newbie who breathes new life into a failing enterprise but ends up growing as much as they change things. This time around it’s a praise team that stays losing in competition. The combination of Bailey and her bubbly foil, Anjelika Washington, gives this cute but casual movie the right amount of spark to make it enjoyable (even when there are more characters than room for development). And it’s good to see Quavo play the superstar Ty with surprises. 


The Super Mario Bros. Movie on Twitter: "Training Complete. Bring on the adventure. #SuperMarioMovie https://t.co/6NGaRvTDjH" / Twitter

Super Mario Bros.
in theater now
reviewed by N. Renee Brown

This movie is great—for everyone—the kids are going to love the cute story, the funny jokes, and the action, and the adults are going to love everything else. The nostalgia was strong for me, and everything I saw made me squeal with glee…everything from the music to the Kid Icarus cameo (my personal favorite from back in the day).  All the love the creators put into this movie pours out of it!  

Honestly, I’ve never seen a group of adults laugh so much at a movie…and when it was done no one left.  It was so good no one wanted it to be over.  If that isn’t an endorsement I don’t know what is!

When speaking on Super Mario Bros., Julian added this, “This movie does well by making a fun and coherent story with heart and feels like a celebration of the franchise by tying as much of the many facets of the franchise all together in a banger of the animated film.”

Rated: A


Spinning Gold
in theater now
reviewed by Julian Lytle

Spinning Gold is not good folks. This film that is sold as the story of Casablanca Records is about Neil Bogart, one of the founders, and from the way, the film tells the driving force behind this label and the artists on it and somehow their music. I sat in the theater, mostly confused about what I was watching. I wondered if this was a musical that was on Broadway or Off-Broadway for a short run. I wondered because the film starts with Jeremy Jordan as Neil bursting into a Black Church as a choir sings Oh, Happy Day with him joining them. Yet I think I would’ve heard about a musical with a songbook that includes the work of Gladys Knight and the Pips, KISS, The Isley Brothers, The Village People, and more. So no, it’s not that. Hmmm, I thought – are they trying to do a movie that then leads to a musical play? Maybe the sets in the film aren’t that great, and the hair isn’t that good, and the characters are quite broad but not in a good way, like when you’re watching some musical theater, and it needs to reach the back of the house. Well, it’s not good at that either. So what is this movie, and how did I end up in the seat watching it?

So Spinning Gold, as I said, is focused on the life of Neil Bogart, written, directed, and produced by Timothy Scott Bogart, Neil’s son, and after seeing this, you can see a person’s child made it as it lionizes them to an almost demigod like degree. The film covers Neil’s life and career in music while it also makes his friends and colleagues into sidekicks visually, even if the words say otherwise. It also glazes over the man’s gambling problems and hardcore drug use. It turns his infidelity into some romantic conflict in this man’s heart, as his true love is his music ambition to bring these artists’ music into the world. It’s not really fair to all the people involved and the actors in the film because you can see that they were trying with a script that doesn’t work and directing along with a budget that made me feel like I was watching a Hallmark or Lifetime film in the theater. I know this movie had more money than any of those companies’ TV movies. The casting in this film for the legendary artists visually doesn’t work, but all these folks, actual recording artists, can sing and perform, but they just don’t really fit who they are playing. 

I sat and wondered why he made a story that wasn’t about the label’s creation or the business stuff as a whole but more about the romantic elements of this man’s life. Why were Ronald Isley and Gladys Knight just story props to show that he was somehow better at Black music than the people who made Black music? KISS is barely more than a prop since they have a bit more agency and a plotline with Neil and the rest of the company, but only the two most famous members have that. It’s disheartening, and I think they should’ve done more by all closer to something like what Cadillac Records did in mixing the personal, the group, and the music business together better than this did. And I’m not saying that was high-level cinema, but it was very much better made than this movie. Everyone deserved better, even Neil Bogart. 

Rated: D


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