Discuss and Rate the Last Film You Watched

Is this the first poll?


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Ag3ma

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Yes, everything exists "if you look for them." So technically it is not true that there are literally no American action movies ever being made ever. I was talking about like somewhat mainstream-ish at least part of the culture. And no I'm not counting Battleship or Universal Soldier sequels.
There are various Wick-a-likes trickling out, e.g. Nobody, Jolt & Kate. Statham's still doing stuff (Beekeper), lots of less obvious stuff like that one with Chris Hemsworth's wife (even though it got bad reviews).
 
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Old_Hunter_77

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One Day a Lion 7/10

Finally sat down and watched this the other night. I really enjoyed it. This was essentially a vehicle that Scott Caan wrote for himself supposedly to show off his versatility. Its weird looking at his back catalogue you've probably seen him in a lot of stuff, but haven't recognized him as James Canns son. He tends to only play supporting roles. I have to say I was really impressed with his acting in this. His mannerisms and dialog is the spitting image of a young james Caan.

One Day a Lion is a low stakes crime comedy starring Scott Caan and Marianne Rendón with JK simmons and Frank Grillo supporting.

Scott Caan plays a shmuck down on his luck whos kid is in jail waiting trial on a kidnappings charge and he needs money to pay for a lawyer. Frank Grillo offers to pay for the lawyer if he kills JK simmons who has an outstanding gambling debt. Of course everything goes wrong and hijinx insues. Despite the setup this is a pretty low-stress comedy.

Normally it's maybe a 6.5/10 it's solid, but Scott Caan really elevates it. He really emanates that classic James Caan low-key energy. I found the whole thing very charming so this is one of those situations where I'd say it's fairly skippable but if you really like James Caan I think you'd enjoy this one a lot. It was closer to an 8 than a 7 for me.
Interesting I do like James Caan, I'll keep an eye for this one
 
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Piscian

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Interesting I do like James Caan, I'll keep an eye for this one
In hindsight I wish I hadn't linked that trailer. It's really off. It's not an action film by any means. Its a low-key comedy so if you watched the trailer just be aware of that. That trailer looks like the distributor put it together for redbox or something trying to play it off as some dumb action flick.
 

BrawlMan

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I was talking about like somewhat mainstream-ish at least part of the culture.
Like @Ag3ma, said before, nothings changed. Outside of the Arnies, Stallones, Van Dammes, etc. action has always carved into the more small niche. It's still their, and honestly, the one that are not mainstream(-ish) or barely somewhat tend to be better than the full mainstream anyway. You're getting what you want, so I don't see the issue.

And no I'm not counting Battleship or Universal Soldier sequels.
I know Day of Reckoning is a decade old now, but Van Damme is not even the main focus nor main character. It counts as far as I am concerned. Battleship is just Bayformers knock off no one was asking for, so I get that.

BTW, Monkey Man came out and is an American production, so there ya go. It's hot right now and doing gangbusters!

Here's plenty of action movies for you that @Ag3ma didn't mention:

  • Ninja & Ninja II: Shadow of a Tear
  • Hard Target 2
  • Triple Threat - The best Expendables movie ever made, and better than the entire franchise.
  • Close Range
  • The Accident Man & The Accident Man: Hitman's Holiday
  • Skin Trade
  • Undisputed II-IV
  • Acts of Vengeance
  • Without Remorse
  • Mayhem (2017)
  • Angel Has Fallen
  • Plane
  • Furiosa: Mad Max Saga comes out this year.
  • The Crow (2024)
  • Boy Kills World - Also comes out this year and has Bill Skarsgard as the lead role.
You're not hurting options at all. You have no excuses now.
 

thebobmaster

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Thaluikhain

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Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Boo! Boooooo! Painfully unfunny and predictable. Yeah, you've got CGI gelatinous cubes and owlbears, which is nice, but none of your characters are remotely likeable, with the exception of the druid and the evil witch, who seemed to believe they were just in a bad generic fantasy film. The bits about them were actually pretty cool, but they were relatively small parts of the movie.
 

PsychedelicDiamond

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JFK (1991)

While the term "conspiracy theory" dates back to the 19th century, it only entered into common usage following the assassination of American president John F. Kennedy in the 1960's. The concept wasn't new, of course, millions of innocents died because people were willing to believe in claims as ridiculous as those made in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. But it's proliferation was first and foremost the reaction to an event that, upon any further inspection, seemed to inherently absurd that just about anyone who had done any research on the matter could work out an explanation that feels more plausible than the one given.

It was director Oliver Stone, the closest thing post red scare Hollywood ever had to a leftist firebrand, who put one of them to film. JFK is a fictionalized account of New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrisons investigations into the events surrounding Kennedy's murder, adapted in part from the reals Garrison's book on the matter and in part from a book called "Crossfire" by Jim Marrs, an illustrious figure who has also published books on UFO coverups, CIA experiments on ESP and 9/11 conspiracy theories.

So Stone, intending to create a "counter myth" to an official narrative that he considered fraudulent, directed a 3 and a half hour political drama filled to the brim with a distracting number of recognizable character actors (Kevin Costner, Joe Pesci, Sissy Spacek, John Candy, Gary Oldman...) to proudly postulate that the Kennedy Assassination was an inside job. If nothing else, you gotta admire the audacity of it.

The director takes material that is, at best, controversial and at worst, both highly speculative and shamelessly sensationalist, and treats it with the confidence of someone who has no doubt whatsoever that history will vindicate him one day. The performances are as over the top as the editing in framing the struggle of a righteous man who is going to uncover the truth and deliver justice, no matter what. Whether Garrison's, Marrs' and Stones' conclusions on the "who" and "how" of Kennedy's death are any more accurate than the official account is impossible to say, the movie, through the mouth of an unnamed Pentagon insider, does insist that in the end, these questions are far less important than the "why" of it all.

And this is where JFK, past all the loose ends and red herrings and colourful personalities, manages to provide a rather poignant thesis statement. The system killed Kennedy, no one in particular gave the order or signed the paper, it was act of adjustment, of sidestepping a potential inconvenience by removing its cause and waiting for the shock and the outrage to blow over. If everyone went along with it, no one specifically would ever have to take accountability and if any particular person or any particular sub network of people was indicted, everyone else could easily deny any knowledge. One of Thomas Pynchon's "Proverbs for the paranoid", as cited in his masterpiece "Gravities Rainbow" goes "you can't touch the master, but you can tickle his creatures". At the end of JFK, only a single man, probably not even very high up the ladder, is tried for conspiracy, and he gets declared innocent.

JFK is an incredibly sophisticated piece of conspiracy fiction that boldly challenges the official conclusions on a historical event that to this day raises a great many questions, only very few of which have satisfactory answers. Stone imagines a world where truth and justice are under threat, but not yet dead. JFK presents an attempt to showcase how much of the jigsaw puzzle he thinks he put together correctly in a narratively and artistically compelling way, simply because he feels the world has a right to know. I'm not able to speak for the validity of any of the conclusions brought forward in JFK, but I respect its core statements and the level of craftsmanship it employs to present them.
 

thebobmaster

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Phoenixmgs

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One Day a Lion 7/10

Finally sat down and watched this the other night. I really enjoyed it. This was essentially a vehicle that Scott Caan wrote for himself supposedly to show off his versatility. Its weird looking at his back catalogue you've probably seen him in a lot of stuff, but haven't recognized him as James Canns son. He tends to only play supporting roles. I have to say I was really impressed with his acting in this. His mannerisms and dialog is the spitting image of a young james Caan.

One Day a Lion is a low stakes crime comedy starring Scott Caan and Marianne Rendón with JK simmons and Frank Grillo supporting.

Scott Caan plays a shmuck down on his luck whos kid is in jail waiting trial on a kidnappings charge and he needs money to pay for a lawyer. Frank Grillo offers to pay for the lawyer if he kills JK simmons who has an outstanding gambling debt. Of course everything goes wrong and hijinx insues. Despite the setup this is a pretty low-stress comedy.

Normally it's maybe a 6.5/10 it's solid, but Scott Caan really elevates it. He really emanates that classic James Caan low-key energy. I found the whole thing very charming so this is one of those situations where I'd say it's fairly skippable but if you really like James Caan I think you'd enjoy this one a lot. It was closer to an 8 than a 7 for me.

I gave it a watch because I like Scott Caan. I'd probably give it like a 6/10 though, worthwhile watch that isn't overly long for no reason like so many movies nowadays. My main issue is that Scott Caan's issue with his son doesn't seem nearly as imperative as he makes it out to be, the son is a juvenile first of all and I would think any court appointed attorney would be able to competently do what happened at the end anyway.
 
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Finally finished M:I - DR pt. 1. Was at the part where they meet Gabriel. Other than the neat sandstorm scene and comical car chase in the first half I enjoyed the second half quite a bit more. The whole lead up to the big bike stunt and what followed was pure bliss and a high point for choreography in the series. Unrealistic, sure, but the entertainment value was grin inducing. It had me thinking they must’ve seen the Uncharted 2 opening and thought, “Cool. Let’s crank that up to 11!”

If I could level one nitpick it’d be the soundtrack, much like the plot development itself, felt rather derivative and phoned in. It’s almost like they’ve merely become the glue that holds the Tom Cruise stunt show together. Kinda expected though after over half a dozen of them, with apparently no end in sight. I supposed at least this one feels a bit more exemplary in terms of the stakes being big enough to split into two parts.

Anyways yeah, bring on pt. 2. I’m genuinely curious to see how long Cruise can stay in the saddle. He apparently wants to keep doing these into his 80’s if able, which would be entertaining in itself.
 
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thebobmaster

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Casual Shinji

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I just watched Poor Things and it was pretty fun. I only really heard talk of this film as 'the movie where a woman with a baby's brain has sex' and I guess that is what it is, but it really wasn't as shocking or exploitative as I expected. At the start of the movie the baby-brained woman, Bella, very much acts like a baby, but by the time this sexual awaking occurs she has morphed into more of a Pinocchio character than an adult-sized toddler. And once you realize an actual baby's brain wouldn't have the hormones to actually produce sexual arousal it's clear you're not supposed to take this concept literally. For a movie with as eyebrow-raising a concept as this it really avoids Bella's character being sexually abused or taking advantage of. That's how it came across to me at least, though maybe that says more about me.

I had expected more body horror than the movie initially presented me with, what with Willem Dafoe's character being a Frankenstein creation himself and Bella raised around splayed cadavers. Dafoe's casual anecdotes about the horrendous torture he suffered at the hands of his father as a child was more shocking than anything else in this movie. And it was a surprise to see him framed as really not that awful a man, despite the acts he commited and initially being fiercely hesitant to letting Bella out into the world.

Emma Stone as Bella is exceptional, but then she has already proven herself a very good actor. The real surprise to me was Mark Ruffalo, who's natural laid back gormless charm never has directors requiring him to do much acting other than be himself, but here he finally gets to put some elbow grease into a role.

I was gearing myself up as I pressed play, expecting a lot more confrontational imagery and scenarios, but this really was just a quirky slice-of-life comedy in the end. It doesn't have the same uncomfortable vibe as a Brazil has for example, which I bring up seeing as this movie gave me some heavy Terry Gilliam vibes. It was a great watch that didn't feel its 2+ hours.

I was rather disappointed at the very end though when the general was just crawling around on all-fours like a goat instead of him having his head stitched to the goat's body. Considering all the switched animal heads I was sure this is what was being promised, but unfortunately not. :(
 
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Xprimentyl

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For a movie with as eyebrow-raising a concept as this it really avoids Bella's character being sexually abused or taking advantage of.
I wouldn't say it avoided the concept; it's was pretty much the premise. The men who came into her life saw an opportunity to take advantage of a a woman who's effectively a clueless nymphomaniac. Where the tide turns is as she develops, she begins to view personal relationships through a very clinical lens, and sex as a means to an end, and the men lose their advantage of her dependency upon them. Because she enjoyed the sex doesn't mean she wasn't taken advantage of; she didn't know what she was doing. I mean, she turned to prostitution; aside from Pretty Woman, I can't think of any film that romanticizes the trade or tries to spin it as female empowerment like this one did. Sex addiction is a real thing, and it's possible for those with the opportunity to take advantage of that, but the movie spends too much run time being whimsical and funny to address the gravity of the actual situation.
 
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Johnny Novgorod

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I was rather disappointed at the very end though when the general was just crawling around on all-fours like a goat instead of him having his head stitched to the goat's body. Considering all the switched animal heads I was sure this is what was being promised, but unfortunately not. :(
Incidentally this is the second of two movies where that actor plays someone whose body gets usurped and puppeted by another being.

He's the poor bastard Andrea Riseborough takes over in Possessor.
 

Casual Shinji

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I wouldn't say it avoided the concept; it's was pretty much the premise. The men who came into her life saw an opportunity to take advantage of a a woman who's effectively a clueless nymphomaniac. Where the tide turns is as she develops, she begins to view personal relationships through a very clinical lens, and sex as a means to an end, and the men lose their advantage of her dependency upon them. Because she enjoyed the sex doesn't mean she wasn't taken advantage of; she didn't know what she was doing. I mean, she turned to prostitution; aside from Pretty Woman, I can't think of any film that romanticizes the trade or tries to spin it as female empowerment like this one did. Sex addiction is a real thing, and it's possible for those with the opportunity to take advantage of that, but the movie spends too much run time being whimsical and funny to address the gravity of the actual situation.
That's how those relationships start, and plant in the mind of the viewer this anxiety for what she's getting herself into, but then we see her be pretty much in complete control of the situation. When Dafoe's character wants to keep her inside she throws (literally) a tantrum till she's allowed outside, when he's against her leaving with Ruffalo's character she's like 'I'll hate you if you don't' and he yields. Ruffalo intends to take advantage of her, but is shown to never actually be in control of her, apart maybe from that one instance where he locks her in a box. As for the prostitution, this is presented as neither postive or negative, just a job to her. Certainly not romanticized. If it was I don't think we'd be seeing as many unflattering naked male physiques. And once she gets bored of it, and seemingly has acquired the education to pursue a carreer as a doctor, she leaves with no hassle. She's no sex addict either, since we already see her shift to wanting to read more when she's still with Ruffalo on the ship.

Even when she's in the most dangerous situation we see her in, with the general, more specifically him wanting to chloroform her for female circumcision, she pretty effortlessly navigates her way out of it and gets the best of him in the process.

All these moments are abusive, or in the case of prostitution can be abusive, and in any other movie they would be presented as such, but in Poor Things the female lead takes control of these situations instead.
 
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PsychedelicDiamond

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Oppenheimer (2023)

A serial adaptation of the Fallout video game series came out on Amazon the other day. I don't particularly care to ever watch it, but it reminded me that I've still been meaning to watch Christopher Nolans movie about J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project that spelled the birth of nuclear weaponry.

I mean, I liked it better than Barbie. It's no secret by any means that I dislike Christopher Nolan and that I was at least a little bit biased against Oppenheimer. I was never gonna love this. And I didn't. But taken on its own merits, Oppenheimer is is an interesting look at a historical turning point that's less remarkable for anything it reveals about the events it depicts or the people it involves as it does about the modern perspective on them.

I've seen JFK the other day and on face value it's temping to compare them, both star studded prestige dramas about major turning points in American history told in a novelistic, nonlinear fashion. What Oppenheimer made me think of much moreso, though, was Glazer's Zone of Interest that I saw earlier this year. Don't take it the wrong way, this isn't some backhanded attempt on my part to claim the equivalence of Robert Oppenheimer and Rudolf Höss. What I'm getting at is that much like Zone of Interest, what's most interesting about Oppenheimer is what it doesn show.

Unlike Zone of Interest, I'm unsure, though, to what extent this was the intended effect. It's very difficult not to feel some degree of whiplash over the great emphasis Oppenheimer places on the schemes of bickering bureaucrats and egocentric scientists, many of whose names you are likely to forget the moment the credits are over, while leaving the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki comfortably off screen. The impression I got is that Christopher Nolan expected me to find them genuinely engaging, gussied up as they are with numerous heavy-handed attempts at snappy dialogue that at their worst, bring to mind Aaron Sorkin. The Social Network, in particular.

Much like I'm not quite sure just how much sympathy I was expected to have with the character of Oppenheimer, and the struggle to defend himself against accusations of communist sympathies brought about by vindictive former colleagues that the last act of the movie focusses on. Normally I'd be willing to give the movie some credit for the way it treats Oppenheimer as an ambiguous figure and never quite makes him a likeable character, despite being the protagonist. I'm just not quite willing to take for granted that this was intentional, though, considering I don't think Christopher Nolan ever managed to make a single character likeable in his entire career.

It's not that I'm unwilling to give Oppenheimer credit where it's due. It's a whole lot less ugly than the average Nolan movie and the acting is impeccable. There are brief moments where Oppenheimer drops it's detachment from the reality of its subject matters and depicts Robert Oppenheimer haunted by visions of his own guilt, moments in which it, very briefly, threatens to be really good. A threat on which it never really makes good but it certainly offers a glimpse of what it could have been.

Not to stray too far from the movie as such to the history it adapts, but it did make me look up a couple of things. If not the movie itself, than at least many of its characters put forward the thesis that once nuclear powers potential applications in weapons development became evident, it was inevitable that it'd be used that way eventually. Related to this, many of the characters motivations to participate in the nuclear weapons project are based on a perceived arms race with Germany and the fear it might be able to develop functional nuclear bombs before the Allies would be. A plot point that made me wonder just how close the Third Reich was to having the A-Bomb, superficial research of which points to the answer being "Not very". Germany was liberated before the first atomic bomb had been successfully tested, now were there any serious efforts towards nuclear warfare in Japan, at that point.

All of which is to say, it's difficult not to view Americas nuclear program as a sort of original sin, or to absolve anyone involved with it from guilt, even when the assumption that if it hadn't happened there and then, it would have eventually happened elsewhere is almost definitely correct. I'm enough of a professional not to trail off on a tangent about my opinions on the nuclear strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki or on the Cold War but suffice to say, the guilt that haunted Robert Oppenheimer is one projected backwards from a point far beyond his own lifetime.

I find the subject of guilt fascinating and I find Oppenheimer fascinating whenever it attempts to engage with it. Much like Barbie, the movie that, by some arbitrary coincidence, it will always be associated with, it hesitates to really embrace the genuinely uncomfortable parts of its own subject matter. And I oftentimes couldn't help but be frustrated with what it chose to focus on instead. I didn't come out hating this movie, but neither did I come out liking more than parts of it. Do feel free to take it with a grain of salt, I really don't gel with Christopher Nolan as a director, my feelings toward this are mostly lukewarm.
 

thebobmaster

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Dwarvenhobble

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Been a while since I've posted in this thread so here goes

Redline


(Own Copy on Bluray)



Rating: 7/10

Tagline for my review: Death Race: Intergalactic.

Premise: Best point of comparison I could come up with is Death Race because the whole premise is as anti gravity vehicles take over far more that more traditional motor racing is is dominated by 1 single race the redline race where various vehicles with added weapons race to a unique track layout to become basically intergalactic champions and this is a no holds barred race to the death for peoples entertainment. I say vehicles because this isn't just 4 wheeled cars but 2 wheeled things, vehicles with tracks and hover cars (distinct from Anti gravity cars). The films follows JP whose engineer (with JPs Knowledge) sabotages his car to fix a race making sure he doesn't win to help pay back debts to the mob and get money to pay JP's bail bond from previously being released from prison after being caught fixing a previous race only for JP to end up potentially qualifying for the Redline race as other races drop out. The reason other racers are dropping out? The race is to take place on but without the permission of the militaristic paranoid Roboworld whose president has vowed to blow the Redline mothership out of orbit and if that fails have his military forces take down the racers.

JP loves racing and his Engineer loves the idea of more money from the mob by helping fix the Redline race all this slightly complicated by the true reason JP wants to race and win to try and win over fellow racer Sonoshee McLaren whom he's had a crush on since he was young and saw her learning to race to prove herself on a track which inspired him to become a racer to try and win her over by proving himself as a racer too.


Thoughts: Quite a cool idea with the race while political intrigue happens in the background as Roboworld might have more reason to not want the galactically broadcast race happening in their territory. The racer designs all feel pretty cool and unique from a more mercenary Batman inspired bounty hunter and sidekick to the Cyborg racer Machinehead who connects to how vehicles and others besides.

The reason it doesn't score higher is I'd say it leaves at least part of the JP plot hanging and it very much feels like there was a 10 minute bit after the race that should have happened rather than just the race ends, a winner is declared (but not given a trophy even just declared) and then it ends.

It's a fun time that feels very much like it took some inspiration from the Fast and Furious films with shots of people flicking switches and inside engine shots of the nitro injection happening and speed and rev gauges shooting up. A fun enough time with very cool to see hand drawn animation. I'd say it's one I'd be happy to watch again sometime but it's not one I'd put on a must watch list I'd want to show to other people to wow them with cool and unusual films.
 

Dwarvenhobble

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Going Postal

(Bluray own copy)


Rating: 10/10

Tagline: Signed, sealed, delivered on it

Premise: A con artist escapes execution and is given a 2nd chance in life on the condition he re-opens the post office in one of the major cities in the fantasy land of Discworld only to find it may be more than he bargained for with a string of previous deaths, underhanded business rivals from the clacks system (as system best described as the telegram but using towers and lights to send the signals rather than wires) and possible more to life than making a quick buck.

Thoughts: I think it comes as the greatest shame that my first real introduction to Terry Pratchett's work was the butchering of his City Watch series by BBC America, a show I watched while nearly as drunk as their version of Sam Vimes but for all the butchering it proves that the solid core of Terry Pratchett's writing was good enough to make me go "if this is the butchering of it then I might like the actual version" turns out a I have been and while I've not been delving into the books I have been looking into other media from some of the BBC audio plays (which happily didn't butcher the material) to more recently the made for TV movie adaptations of the work starting withThe Hogfather and tracking down blurays or DVDs for the others.

Going Postal represents a made for tv movie which from the scope, scale and effort put in really could compete with films that have seen cinema releases for quality and end result (and it's a shame it's not available to watch or buy on any streaming service).

Masterfully done, brilliantly funny and 3 hours of very fine storytelling and enjoyment about revenge, greed and redemption.

Social and political talk: yes this film is getting one because it really does deserve it as Terry Pratchett's observations and commentary upon the state of the world through such works and there themes are very well done and interesting.

The Aspects about the idea of how criminality of any shade even financial crimes and fraud do real world harm was very well done.
The themes of the harms monopolies cause and the importance of free market competition were really enjoyable to see played out along with the idea of the importance of governments being able to try and provide competition if none other is there was cool to see play out.
The themes of how some businesses operate to fool people and justify their attempts to price gouge more if run by the wrong people was done in a fun and cool way.

There's something far more enjoyable to me about social commentary that gets you to laugh and then when you stop laughing to think about it without it being an explicit Brechtian piece where Orange Man bad is the punchline.