Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Bien. Au Revoir!
At least, the hilarious nun from The Devil Inside showed up for comic relief.
I heard someone call this the scariest movie ever. Well, that's subjective because I've told some jokes that, no lie, are the funniest jokes anyone has ever heard. See how this works? Anyways, I doubt this would rank in the top 900 scariest movies I've seen, but hey, it wasn't too bad.
I guess they're trying to fool us into thinking this ghost/demon/possession/ish movie is based on a true story. I always love that lie, but okay, if it makes it scaaaaarier for some people, so be it.
In this OOOOOOOOO scary true story, we have three girls talk with a spirit - perhaps our heroine's deceased dad! - via a more generic Ouija board than the Hasbro deluxe board "game." And, oh-no, are you ready for this? There might be an evil spirit haunting her post Ouija and putting her two younger sisters and one of the cutest little toddlers in the whole world at risk.
Seriously, he's like the kids from Jerry McGuire and Pet Semetery had a brother no one knew about. He was definitely a highlight of this feature.
I digress. Admittedly, the movie kicks into fun-gear in the 2nd half when the best scene of the movie happens. No spoilers, but it has to do with the most important meal of the day.
But it wasn't enough to save the whole movie and I've seen these fake "true" stories far too often. I just had hoped this would've brought more to the table.
Final thoughts: One of my favorite articles I've ever read on disproving Ouija boards went something like this: to easily disprove a Ouija board, have three "players" present. 1 to watch and the other 2 controlling the planchette, only both of them have to be blindfolded. THEN, you still SEE how fake these are as the two can't spell out anything blindfolded or point to words. Easy peasy.
Hotel Artemis (2018)
Not a Happy Hump Day
When I saw the trailers, I thought: What a John Wick Rip-off! When I saw the movie just now, that comparison is like saying Ghost ripped off Ghostbusters because, you know, they both have ghosts.
Because of my invalid prejudgment, I avoided seeing this for the longest time. Still, I wanted to see it, especially if it was another Continental.
Speaking of which, it's a mere 10 years (yeah, right with this tech, but still) into the future and Los Angeles is overrun by never-ending riots. Nurse Foster practically runs her own makeshift hospital to help injured criminals in the criminally overrun city outside. What we see is the Nurse going from one subplot to another and making us all the more wanting more.
I absolutely loved this. I loved Jodie Foster the most - her best acting in decades. Plus, I loved the dialogue, setup, acting, characters and the complex yet thoroughly interesting plots. Further, I loved how this was just a 94-minute movie and yet felt like a season of a TV series.
And finally, I wouldn't mind watching Hotel Artemis as a series. I would love to see what Thursday looks like.
Final thoughts: While this was more suspense than action, stay tuned for the fantastic third act where it does, finally, resemble John Wick.
And I was just saying to myself before seeing Hotel Artemis, there's not enough Asians in movies. Enter, gorgeous Kenneth Choi!
Enemy Mine (1985)
Despite the countless nods-to, I suppose the voiceover narration was for people who's never seen a Sci-Fi movie in their life?
Actually, sometimes, it was really silly. We could see what was going on the screen, or by the actor's actions, reactions and history. Still not sure why they had such obvious commentary by both Dennis Quaid and I guess, God?
The reason I picked this movie was in honor of a friend who is going through a real tough time and he had just shown this to his kids recently. I personally never saw it and since I have been watching some average to below-average horror this weekend, I thought I'd watch a well-made (well, per its cult status,) film and to honor my friend.
I definitely didn't dislike it. It was a well put together flick with pretty great practical effects. Don't get me started on the low-budget outer effects, but I suppose they only had so much money. I did recognize all of the influences this movie had (stole? "borrowed?") but it never bothered me. I'm sure they were just trying to give the audiences what they wanted in the mid-1980s...and what they normally paid for.
After a series of incredibly bad choices, a pilot in the 2090s crashes himself and his mortal enemy on a rock planet and, if you seriously haven't guessed that they eventually must learn to work together to survive, I supposed you HAVEN'T seen any Sci-Fi films.
I will say there was one huge surprise (I won't spoil) I didn't see coming and eventually became the plot of the second half of this feature. And, yeah, I was surprised. Pleasantly.
You have to SUPER-suspend your disbelief as they fast-forward and barely make me believe they worked out the language barrier or was able to get food to survive their time on the rock planet with just a handful of creatures. Also: what did those precious few Space Turtle Aliens eat?
Personally, I dig the Slashers of the 80s, but for those equal to me, but replacing Horror with Sci-Fi, you'd probably get a lot out of this, if you've never seen it. If you have, I'm sure you love it already.
Final thoughts: This was to you and your family, signed Gabe.
Chain Letter (2009)
OH! I get it. Chain-Saw. Because Jill Tuck was in this Saw clone.
This drawn-out, sappy, highly unoriginal movie (even for the supposed time it came out; more on that later,) is highly saved by some absolute brutal and frightening scares. One got me real good - almost a heart attack! One was bad - never try and CGI fire on a budget, okay? And the rest were pretty good. So, it pains me to give this a no-recommendation.
Well, not too much pain. The in-between scenes of The Collector, I'm sorry, the "Chain Man" kills, were actually the real pain. Remember when Saw got further down the sequel-chain and how hard those suspenseful soap opera scenes were to get through?
Yeah, I do remember "Chain Emails" (from the original chain letters before the internet.) Annoying AF, but I don't recall them lasting too long. At least not to me. Perhaps I gave up on reading emails years ago. The fact that I, to date, have 15,701 unread emails in my inbox, not to mention countless others that have been read or opened, means I hate emails.
But, here, remember the olden days of Facebook, I'm sorry, MYSPACE and people actually read emails back then. And you'd have to remember that as it's the whole point here. A group of friends get a ohhh-spooky chain letter (email) and if they don't pass it along to 5 people, they're supposed to die.
I've seen this movie countless times before this film and since and done much better. However, if you can get this movie for free online via Prime, you can watch it just for the kills. But, I warn you, hold fast to that fast-forward button. The fluff in the meantime was so hard to get through.
Final thoughts: This 2010-released movie HAD to have been delayed. Number one: they kept making MySpace jokes that I doubt the majority of people in 2010 even barely used then. And number two, I saw a poster advertising an event in 2007 - which would make more sense.
Previously, I kept looking on newspaper websites for dates and unrealistically, they didn't have a single date. Note: I was Editor-in-chief of my college newspaper and we thrived on dates. Like a drug. No way these front pages wouldn't have a date.
Itsy Bitsy (2019)
Arachno, Thank You
Thank goodness for CGI.
I have terrible arachnophobia. That and heights. So, like Spider-Man's #1 dilemma, my worst fear is to face a giant arachnid above me ready to pounce on me, or fall to my death from a great height to avoid being lunch. So, yeah, thank goodness for CGI.
Meaning: this, like 90% of all spider-horror these days is made with so-so to terrible CGI. So much so, it gets harder and harder to be afraid when the main creature looks so fake. Now, that said, for the most part, they took the no-show Jaws cue a lot and a ton of the time, the title character remained still so it looked mostly real. And I admit, one scene - no spoilers, but think: E.T. - made me jump a mile.
Speaking of miles, I guess our "heroes:" one terrible mom, one justifiably angry son and one little, shrieking girl "flee" New York in lieu of a spiderweb of danger just as they begin to start a new life in the middle of nowhere.
The effects, when it's not a moving computer spider, are pretty good, i.e. the bites and suspense is absolutely here. My skin was crawling, no joke.
But, because of the CGI - which, truthfully, isn't the worst, far from it, but still not believable - and too deep subplot on why the mother is damaged, it's not a full recommendation. At least SHERIFF Tasha Yar had some Star Trek wisdom still left in her for this movie.
Final thoughts: Oh, I yearn for the golden days of practical FX in movie. When people actually went out there and made the creature with just their hands and imagination and not sit in a room, in front of a computer and sold their sold for a few saved bucks.
The Night Sitter (2018)
The Babysitter Better Watch Out
It's as if 2016's Better Watch Out met 2017's The Babysitter and had an average child the following year as 2018's The Night Sitter.
Think Die Hard's the only "Is It a Christmas Movie?" debate out there? You haven't seen this. They practically shove Christmas down our throats with Christmas lights and lighting everywhere along with one throwaway "Merry Christmas" and a theory only Kirk Cameron would like to rebut, but that's it. If it were minor, like you see a Christmas Tree in the unfocused background or the opposite: it had everything to do with Christmas, I could see it relevant. Instead, it's just distracting.
Okay, so this movie's trying to be funny, and it is...occasionally. This movie is trying to be edgy and it isn't...ever. And it's trying to be just as cool as it's parents, the aforementioned Better Watch Out and The Babysitter, and...it's sorta. It's just way too complex for its own good. In fact, so many of the subplots either wither away, or they literally cut away from them to get to another subplot. Or the main plot? There's so many of those circling around. At least the neighbor's super cute and the best character in the movie.
Hard to break down the synopsis, but I guess the very basic story is: the title character takes on two boys for a babysitting gig and while there's more about her than we'd like to know, the kid's being terrorized by "three mothers" after his own mother's passing. These could be part of his imagination when he's trying to sleep, but the idea sure wreaks havoc on the Title's own plan.
I did my best to not spoil anything there and be warned: I only gave maybe a tenth of the plots involved here. It's almost like they had 10 writers all trying to one-up the other. And all stoned, of course.
Now, it doesn't seem like I'm giving this movie a positive review. I liked it. I really didn't have too much of a problem except, as stated, the jokes MOSTLY fell flat and when the plots deflated like an untied balloon does, I kind of cringed. It was a well-worth it horror and REALLY stepped it up in the final act. Especially with a lot of gore and good special effects. Definitely a recommendation.
Final thoughts: And now, for the next reboot of The Addams Family, I give you the next Pugsley! The kid who played Ronnie: spitting image and while his screen time here was short, it does look like he has a future. I hope he pursues it.
Eden Lake (2008)
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil Children
Man-child Jason Voorhees would be so proud...of these children.
What's with Lakes getting such a bloody rap? Lake Placid, (of course) Crystal Lake, the Lake on Naboo and so many more horror films involving lakes, Wolf Creeks and just Open Water in general. And now, the Garden, where it all began: Eden Lake.
This movie was so realistic and frightening, I swore this had to be another one of those true stories about survivors from the wilderness. I have seen my share of those (based on) true stories as well as plenty of bullies and their manipulated buddies. Most of which, were true, as well. So, it's plausible it was a true story. Whelp, it was not.
So, I'm writing this to state how effective this movie was and how much of an impact it had on me. As it began, I thought: here we go again. Couple goes off camping by the title and will get terrorized by some human or plural and it will be a race to get out, hunt or be hunted, etc. What I got was, well that. That specific subgenre of survivalist horror I do favor. What I also got was far better acting, emotions and more gore than I thought this would contain.
Oddly, I found this movie via a spoiler heavy YouTube horror movie review channel. Once I heard 2-3 sentences about this, I fast-forwarded that part of the clip show and watched this following. They were right, but still the movie produced many emotions from me and a huge recommendation as well.
Notice how I didn't provide the same spoiler they did? Don't seek out anything about this and watch it as soon as you can.
That is, if you enjoy watching a nice couple get terrorized by some human or plural who made their holiday go from romantic to literal sh/t.
Get Your Freak On
Not even close to being a remake. Doesn't even look like they had the budget to recreate the 1932 American Horror Story inspiration.
If I liked the main character little girl a fraction of what I was supposed to and they didn't spend 90% of the film having us catch up on their fantastic world-building, I'd love this movie way more. That said, I bet I could lighten up on those two complaints of mine in a second viewing. And I'm not opposed at all to seeing this again.
But, yeah, for now, I really didn't like to girl. Totally great acting. I absolutely saw a girl of her age on screen - completely believable. I just didn't like the character at all. Couldn't stand her and that's too bad. She's pretty much the glue in this exciting sci-fi action/horror.
If you like Black Mirror/Twilight Zone/10 Cloverfield Lane-type stories, I'd totally recommend this Freaky tale of a Father protecting his daughter from the outside world when all she really wants is: chocolate ice cream. Personally, I prefer Cherry Ice Cream, but I guess, to each their own...Freak.
Yeah, I'd watch these Freaks again and any sequel they throw at us.
And Like That, POOF! He's Gone
Get ready for a lot of reading. The subtitles will be on the test.
If not so incredibly predictable, I would've loved this movie all the more. And maybe it's not the movie, as it's that I've seen enough of these scripts to at least get the WHODUNIT resolved in the 1st act.
But, if you're a novice, watch this well-made, acted and tense twisty twister of suspense with an open spirit and enjoy.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019)
The Much Lessor Princess Bride
There are so many elements of a movie, one should hardly focus on just one to base an entire opinion on. But, I did say hardly.
What sets this way below the first Maleficent is the script. Boy, I just did NOT like the writing at all. Mercifully, Maleficent, herself, has some charming one-liners, but ALL other jokes but maybe two fell pretty flat. As were the special effects.
Some FX worked, namely the lush backgrounds and, of course, the star, but a ton were either comically unreal or flat-out creepy like those three bickering fairies. To be fair, they weren't just creepy; they were annoying as all hell.
Half the time this convoluted story feels like a kiddie story, much like original animated movie and then there's the other half was so full of hate, murder, slaughter and so many beings dying, it would be a tough Kill Count.
I really enjoyed the first one, especially with Angelina Jolie as the title character and I implore you, while there's some good here, namely, again, the main character Maleficent, just stick with either Disney's original Sleeping Beauty and 2014's Maleficent, or just the Sleeping Beauty animated movie. There's almost zero reason to watch this No-One-Asked-For sequel.
Final thoughts: Generally, I try and do a synopsis in the body and typically 2-3 paragraphs down. This time I didn't. Frankly it's late and it would require a lot of thought to put back together the pieces of this mess into a quick plot summary. I guess one could sum it up with: Three groups fight over peace, fight literally at war and then fight amongst themselves for both. Did I mention there was a Princess Bride? Okay, not THEE Princess Bride. That's a much better story.
Old 37 (2015)
I've Saw Better
It might be scarier if anyone knew what an Old 37 was.
Think of the most convoluted, confusing and frankly, boring plot of the worst of the Saw series and you'll have yourself your own Old 37 including all the same Saw-gore and bad acting you can tolerate. Mercifully, it's not the same plot, but all of the outer edges are the same despite having such a dull blade to begin with.
I guess the main plot is SUPPOSED to be about two evil Tucker & Dales who use an ambulance to prey on innocent victim victims...of car crashes, but is turned into some not-so-teen drama straight outta I Know What You Did Last Summer. Actually, make that: it's more like the parody of that movie from within Scary Movie.
In truth, there are about 28 flashbacks making up a good half of the runtime from both the killers driving the Old 37 (the ambulance's name, I believe, who knows?) and "teen's" POV and those made my mind wander so much, I have no real idea what this mess is about.
But, hey, when is it NOT great to have horror screen legends: Bill Moseley and Kane Hodder in front of the camera and very nice gore graphics? Also, no-spoilers, but I LOVED the very end. To be honest, it didn't fit the scene before, but it still was a pretty good final shot. (And the scene before, I totally got the reference, Mr. Hodder. I sure did.)
But, no amount of a Masked Hodder, a Bored Bill, gore and a great finale will save this all-over-the-place horror film. I didn't even get to the weird mother/daughter relationship.
At least, I think they were mother and daughter. They really looked like a handful of years apart in age. I'm so confused.
Final thoughts: Maybe this is just past my generation. I am an Old 46-year-old, myself.
Fire and Slice
Now, I'm REALLY sad I pissed off Jason. I mean, Kane.
What this man has been through...I can't even begin to imagine. Before seeing this, I knew he was a burn victim, but not to any extent as what he describes in this incredible documentary. How ANYONE could survive what he went through is a miracle. I even had to double back and listen to his ordeal a second time to get it all in.
(Side Note: I do, however, know of the twitching. I've had very bad back pains, sun burns, chicken pox, Valley Fever and stomach aches all while never being able to rest comfortably enough to sleep. He describes this, amongst many more painful experiences, and because I've also had the "FINALLY! Drifting off to sleep..." mode violently and immediately interrupted by "the twitch" or jerk, it was a connection I could make with his story to know how true it all was.)
When I say now that I haven't given you a tenth of his story above so you can experience his words and testimony for yourself, know I am being truthful. I do want you to hear from him in this great documentary.
I seriously thought the title of this movie was just a snappy, quick and recognizable phrase associated with Kane Hodder's career path. No. It's one of the most accurate titles I've ever heard. Bravo.
And bravo to this film as well. I learned so much and appreciated so much more about this man. The man behind the infamous mask. I even have his (and mine as well) favorite look/mask of Jason, the one from his Part VII: The New Blood, hanging at the end of my bed. Seriously.
This film's not so much his roles, though that does take a good percentage of screen time. You can learn more about those, but mostly Jason Voorhees, in the other awesome documentary: Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th. This would be a great companion to that film, though it's already a hefty 7 hours and adding another almost 2-hours here...yeah, I guess it's worth it.
Totally recommend this heartfelt story of a man who's made mistakes, lived to tell others about them and come out a much better person who can, and does, inspire others. And others did come; there were numerous clip conversations with so many more horror icons and welcomed faces and voices.
Despite all I've said above, I couldn't get past one "choice" made by the director: Kane's Cutaways. Mostly in the first half you'll witness the scenes quickly transitioning from people telling their stories/testimonials to Kane wandering around a hospital that's supposed to be sterile and in the desert. And not just wandering, he looks pretty much senile and not sure where he's at or how he got there. Sadly, these scenes were distracting and unintentionally hilarious right smack dab in the middle of a heartful speech or remembrance. After the, no joke, 15th time, I knew this would be a regular and I best get used to it. I wasn't wrong.
With that, and no real "other side of the story" - probably because Kane also executive produced this, I'd still highly recommend this movie.
Final thoughts: I said in the beginning that I pissed off Kane Hodder. Well, that did happen way back in 2014 when I first met him, sadly. Also previously stated, I was having a little issue with my back and I was in line to purchase Kane's book at the very first Mad Monster convention in Phoenix, Arizona. It was also my first convention, horror or any sort. Anyways, the Elvira: Mistress of the Dark Photo Op/signing I pre-purchased was coming near, the line was getting long for that, my back was acting up and Kane was entertaining fans in front of me, telling this what seemed like to me: a very long story and it tried my patience. Unfortunately, and despite me telling myself, he's not doing anything wrong, I still showed my discomforts. And Kane did not miss any of my body language.
I still purchased his (expensive to me) autobiography and autograph within, but he never seemed to recover his annoyance with my impatience. I did feel bad that's the one interaction with the man who would play one of my all-time favorite characters on screen.
And now, years later, after seeing this documentary and what he suffered in life, I feel even worse. Kane, if you do read this, please accept my apology. Though, hopefully, you won't remember this even happening.
Rambo: Last Blood (2019)
Taken from Liam
Trust me, John; if he calls you, don't take his call. See, he's got a very particular set of skills...
Not sure the beef with this movie. It was 100% what I expected from beginning to end. Well, aside from one surprise mid-way and how much of a rip-off this is of Taken, I was satisfied because I expected no more, no less.
Synopsis: Taken, South of the Border. More specifically, Vet John Rambo watches over his maid and maid's daughter as if she was his own. When she rebels against her guardian's wishes not to seek out her real father in Mexico, she gets kidnapped and placed in the call girl trafficking school. If you ever heard of John Rambo, you know he's not gonna stand for that!
Did this feel like the last Rambo saga? Sure. Was it Sly's Rocky Balboa? Oh, hell no. It wasn't even as good as 2008's Rambo and that was just serviceable at best. But, because it was everything you know you'll see, it's worth a viewing on Prime.
But, not for kiddies. This outdid several Saw movies on the gore and excessive death scenes. Shocked this wasn't NC-17. If that is still a thing.
Final thoughts: Maybe this would be a great companion to Taken. Just make sure you watch this first and save the best for last.
I Am Mother (2019)
I would watch this first in a double feature with Ex Machina because...you gotta save the best for last.
Heck, while you're at it, make it a triple feature with this still first and now adding: Passengers in the middle. All three movies are incredibly similar in tone, setting, subgenre and structure. I would say to add The Terminator, but the only one that truly fits was Terminator: Salvation and I would never recommend that movie.
(You could also include in The Matrix Series, 10 Cloverfield Lane and Alien: Covenant and make it a very long evening.)
So, if you're fond of Ex Machina, Passengers and the rest sans T4/Alien:C, get your butt down to watch it all over again, but expect less. Not to say this was bad, but by the 2-hour end time, you will wonder why said butt is asleep.
Mother! (Oops, sorry, this movie reference actually DOESN'T fit...trying again...) A robot "Mother" creates a new baby in a computerized bunker post apocalypse. Apparently, we need to start over since we did it again: blew up civilization as we always do in these movies. That baby grows into a teen and has a nice bond with her machine-mommy when a mysterious, wounded and distrusting 3rd female knocks at the bunker door. And now, the lying game's afoot. Who can you trust?
I didn't hate this. I didn't necessarily really like it. It was fine. The sets and technology were excellent, acting fine and suspense there. It's just...okay. But, be aware, one of the opening texts makes it kinda easy to figure out where this is headed. Or came from, more accurately.
Barely a recommendation. But, again, if those movies I mentioned above are your bag, by all means. Just be prepared.
Final thoughts: I spent the entire screen time of the 3rd female character played by Hilary Swank thinking she was Jennifer Garner. Heck, in my defense, they could be twins. Not sure how any of this relevant, but I guess I'm pointing out: we all make mistakes.
Alex Strangelove (2018)
"Sir. You can't come out here. This is the War Room!"
What a touching, sweet High School coming out story. And it reminds me: while every story is different, the predictable, yet satisfying, conclusion is always present. Kinda like other high school stories based around the winning football team.
An 18-year-old "straight" A Senior/Student President is roundabout suckered into losing his virginity to his best friend-turned-girlfriend and before the big event can happen, a gorgeous gay ex-High School graduate (same of-age as the Senior) appears to throw a wrench in his perfectly-planned life. This student, Not-Andrew-Garfield's Peter Parker, must choose between who he is and which condom will fit best.
It's a nice little rom-com-rom that's funny at times and has the making of a John Hughes' 80s remake. It's not quite up to those movies, but has its own soul and the acting is pretty darn good for no one I've heard of/seen before.
While not perfect and I did like the ending, it all felt like it was at 80%. Almost there, but no real complaints and hopefully it helps some kids or, even, adults.
Especially the wonderful end credits scene.
Final thoughts: 100 points to anyone who got my two references in my intro quote and a bonus 1,000 for WHY.
The Being (1983)
Being like C.H.U.D.: Secret of the Ooze
Happy Easter, you One-Eyed Willy Monster.
As a bona fide horror fan, especially from the 80s, I'm shocked I missed this one. I've known about it my whole life, but never got to it. And wow, I'm pretty shocked how much they put into this.
The biggest positives stem from how many times they showed the penis creature, or at least, parts of the penis creature. Like right from the beginning, every couple of minutes until the great penis monster's climax.
Now, the acting, editing at times, continuity and people's unnatural reaction to green ooze all over the town or the monster's appearances are all bad, but I was actually entertained through to the end...even when I couldn't really comprehend how many penis monsters there were, if there were more than one or their powers.
I will have to also point out that I suspect the studio invited morons to its test screenings. In the beginning, there were a lot of odd narration (over a radio DJ - hard to hear both!) and voice overs to explain the thoughts of our husky lead detective. I bet they added these in post because, I assume, the test audience had less-than-desirable I.Q.s.
Some of the subplots I found amusing: Mayor Spuds Mackenzie and his extremely limited Jaws ripoff scenes and the townsfolk's objection to smut coming into their very Southern-acting town in Idaho. Specifically, they're scared of a massage parlor opening as they might be massaging something else...
(Insert penis monster reference here.)
It's not perfect, but I would've enjoyed the heck out of this as a kid for how many times we saw the monster in a creature feature. If you're like me with cheesy 80's monster movies, watch this.
Final Thoughts: It was a major coincidence I decided to watch this on Easter-Eve and I didn't even know it was a holiday film. Huh, they should really market this as such. I can't think of another Rated-R Easter Horror movie, other than The Passion of the Christ.
Killer Sofa (2019)
Well I have watched possessed/killer movies about houses, dolls, cars, trucks, machines, manglers, masks, mall security robots, flutes, clown outfits, elevators/lifts, sand, beds and car tires. Why not a recliner?
And please note: I said "recliner," not sofa. What a misleading title! We've been duped!
I don't mind these wacky killer inanimate object films as long as they're inventive. Rubber, the killer tire movie, was probably my all-time favorite since it was wildly creative on its own, but just when it could get stale, BAM! the movie splits into two. Brilliant.
Killer "Sofa," not so much. Frankly, there were very few and far between scenes involving the easy chair. I will say, a few of them, though predictable, were cute and funny and a tad scary.
For better or worse, the movie took itself serious and I do like a movie that picks one tone and commits to it. Either be goofy at times, but still with horror, like Rubber, or never let your guard down and be 100% straight with the concept.
(That is, except for some of the mobile scenes involving...springs and buttons. Why wold a chair like that have those big buttons, except for being comical eyes for a possessed chair?)
It would be okay for all the above, but the majority of the movie is so convoluted with far to many characters, subplots, direction and by the time the third act came around, I had hardly a clue what was going on or anybody motives.
If it were fun, I'd recommend it. If it were serious and mostly about the chair not sofa, I'd recommend it. Sadly, it fit neither and gets no recommendation.
Final Thoughts: Don't let the poster fool you. I wish it was that creative and scary!
The Real Frozen II
Adam Green should be...gracious someone wanted to make an indirect sequel to his Frozen.
I like the same sub-genre film, Open Water and yes, I totally dug its frightful sequel, and even though this technically isn't also a franchise, it might as well been. 4 peeps are stuck, New Year's Eve, 100 meters off the ground, during a blizzard in a gondola lift. Kinda the same thing, with less shelter, in Adam Green's Frozen about 3 stuck on a ski lift for days.
For some reason, this one struct more of a cord with me since I am deathly afraid of heights and these victims were far less restrained and always on the edge of falling. I can't tell you how many heart attacks I narrowly avoided while watching this.
It's not all praise I had for this, sadly. I'm hoping there was a subtitled version because the dubbed version was so hard to deal with. Their voices were incredibly annoying and fit none of the characters. Almost a mockery of them. I'd rather read my movies than deal with 5th rate dubbing voices.
Also, it's painfully obvious this film had a severely low budget. I can recall three main scenes of great peril and all of them were no-show, cut-aways, the last being in the climax. And this wasn't Jaws; this wasn't because of suspense. It was downright budgetary.
You know how Hollywood loves to remake foreign films by the dozens? America, if you're listening, REMAKE THIS. Heck, a $5 million budget probably could cover all we needed to see.
Despite poor quality and predictability, if you're afraid of heights and love movies that scare you: watch this.
Final Thoughts: The character who gave me the most anxiety with my Falling Fear, was gorgeous. I know several men in my life that look like him, only all non-white. Of course, that doesn't matter; I'll take any of them. All of them, if given the chance.
The Stand (1994)
Top Ten Standing Observations from 1994's The Stand:
1. I had forgotten how much of a soap opera padded Christian miniseries this Pre-Pure Flix was.
2. The Super-Flu kills at speeds ranging from: everyday activities to when the script needed people to die.
3. "Stand" is a relative term. Sure, they were "standing" in the finale...
4. It's easy to catch and bar-b-que an animal when you're immobile in a desert pit with a broken leg.
5. With his obsession of Vegas's Plaza over the high-end places, I'm shocked the Dark Man didn't morph into Biff Tannen.
6. It's hard to look at Nadine Cross and NOT say "Oh, yo, oh, yo. Catch this!"
7. Wow, Stephen King looked like a young adult. Can you dig it?
8. 99.4% of humans were wiped out leaving 33,774,000 people in 1994. Which seems like a lot, especially when you only see a couple of hundred survivors.
9. While slow Tom spells everything M-O-O-N, I'd still correct him. I'd have to.
10. King's book, which happens to be my favorite of his, is hyper long, as is the miniseries, but this can literally be cut down to a two to three-hour movie. Not all of the drama and repetitive dreams were necessary.
Frozen II (2019)
The Last Airsucker
Granted, in the first third I wished this over, but curious to proceed. Fast-forward an hour, when the first climax ended, I checked the time and saw there were 21 minutes left. I almost cut myself with an ice cube.
I wasn't at all a fan of the first Frozen, in fact, I only saw it once, when it debuted 7 years ago. I thought the soundtrack sucked and it was a carbon copy of multiples of other stories. But, it did have Olaf, a few good jokes and a nice twist ending.
This has none of those, except Olaf. Sure, it's beautiful to look at, but again, the soundtrack's mediocre to downright bad, the story's all over the place, I really don't like any of the characters but Olaf and Anna - can't even stand the lead: Elsa. She even made the same mistakes this time and is mostly unbearable to watch or listen to.
Unpopular opinion: I didn't like either Frozen and if Disney puts them in their vault and lose the key, the world's a better place.
Angel Has Fallen (2019)
But, Always Gets Up
Trust me, this isn't a great movie, and the 2nd half is 2x the movie the 1st half is, but it's solid 50/50. It's recommended and yet, nothing groundbreaking and feels like a 90s action movie all over again.
This is a weird one. It's not even for fans of the original two. I guess all you have to take from those movies is that "Angel" is always loyal to the President. And you don't need two movies for that; this is pounded into your head more times than the character gets pounded in his head.
Too bad it's so damn long. The first half hour is hyper-slow and sets up both the most obvious "secret" villains and a John McClane from Die Hard with a Vengeance. It's almost worth just knowing that what I just told you and skipping the first half-hour so it's only the 90-minute movie it should've been.
The action, few and far in between is okay, but its not until Nick Nolte shows up that it's fun. Never, ever thought I'd say that. And, on the subject, how on Earth does Nick Nolte look and act the exact same in 2003's Hulk and here in 2019's Angel Has Fallen?
I digress. Since the world's on lockdown, watch this. You should have two hours to kill.
Wonder Valley (2017)
It's No Wonder...Really.
I think this movie is all about the director getting a shot to prove herself and others this can be done. And I agree and back 100% more women directors. It's sadly one-sided and really, there are many VERY talented women directors who DO need more shots. And in this movie, the director's not very bad, it's well shot and interesting looking throughout. What's wrong with the movie is the bonkers script and terrible acting. I can see where the ideas were for this film, but they were so all-over the place and maybe scenes were cut that made the movie WAY less coherent. Most unfortunate was the fact all four lead women characters were insuperable to relate to, dull, bratty and you could not find yourself rooting for any of them. So we're left with a very short movie with nothing to say or be happy we met new characters.
Toy Story 4 (2019)
Four Times a Charm
When the inevitable Part 5 comes out, I NEED to see it in theatres. If there ARE theatres in 2035.
I curse this movie I granted 9 stars out of 10 and barely fell behind #2 as my 3rd favorite of the series. (Seriously, it was so close to a tie with #2, more later.) I know, I shouldn't be mad with a movie I rated so highly and it's not the movie's fault. I just happen to pass out THREE times while trying to watch it. And I even nodded off this 4th time...Either it's the movie's fault or I'm not getting enough sleep...
I DIGRESS! This movie is amazing. But, just like Part 3, it doesn't become amazing until the 2nd half. For both Parts 3 and 4, I liked the movie just fine with some smirks, laughs and "AWWW!"'s from me in the first half, but then the movies kick into high gear to finish off the adventures. Only, this time, in a sequel frankly NO ONE ASKED FOR (including myself,) the last 50 minutes topped all of part 3 by a landslide.
Toy Story 4 reminds us, once again, of the other 3 chapters and then brings us up to speed. Only, now, there's a trashy new plaything and Woody has to spend a large chunk of the time convincing it (Forky) to be the toy "new" kid Bonnie loves. Meanwhile, Woody has to find HIS new place with some old and new friends/enemies. Actually, explaining the plot for this kid's movie is just as complicated as the movie, itself. In fact, I'm shocked in how many characters, plot twists, stories, messages and details are in here for a KID'S movie.
Nevertheless, everything worked. Everyone fit nicely together and the messages were easy to follow and I loved how the arch of Woody's story - it's really his story, after all - plays out. While most moviegoer fans felt enormous nostalgic at the end of Part 3...I felt this was the true story of Woody's belonging. (Part 3's, in fairness, was the end of Andy's story, this: Woody's.)
I wasn't on board when this was announced and then almost immediately released following. It was a great trilogy that ended perfectly. But, I did love how they went one step further to complete Woody's story. Now, I'm NOT onboard for another chapter, but as long as they include Woody and Buzz again, I will watch it.
Just that time, in the theatre. And with plenty of sleep. And sober.
Final thoughts: Here are the movies ranked. Keep in mind, for the first time in my ranking, there was ALMOST a tie (#s 2 and 4. They were SOOOO close!!)
1 Toy Story 2 Toy Story 2 3 Toy Story 4 4 Toy Story 3
Quick Recap. When #4, one I DID want to eventually see, but missed in theatres, FINALLY come available on Disney+, I decided on a marathon that opening weekend's Saturday. I did manage to get through Parts 1-3 and part of #4 before, again, passing out. My thoughts:
Toy Story 1 (9/10 Stars,) which has always been my favorite, made me cringe this time with the graphics. I forgot how far we've come from the first Pixar feature length. Now, that said, it still remains as my favorite for my own nostalgia and it did make me laugh, smile and wonder the most of the four movies. In my opinion, it's the most creative, despite its limitations with graphics and BARELY falls behind...
Toy Story 2 (9/10 Stars) is absolutely amazing in the LEAPS and BOUNDS of growth in computer animation. I've heard the stories about them losing most of the footage and scrambling to complete the movie on time and that it was supposed to be direct-to-video at first. It's incredible that they finished this on time, showed how beautiful Pixar could be and that the story, laughs and ingenious ideas could increase. PLUS, it featured my favorite Pixar song (and one of my all-time favorite movie songs): "When She Loved Me." (Makes me cry every time!) This movie is near perfect and if not for a just slightly more creative and fresh original film, it barely makes it my 2nd favorite. Side note: I've hated Jessie for decades now. This viewing marks the first time I not only accepted her, but liked and understood her. Thank goodness, there's no room for hate in our hearts!
Toy Story 4 (9/5 Stars.) See Above.
And finally, but not least: Toy Story 3 (8/10 Stars.) Don't get me wrong with the one entry with a half-star less review than the others. This franchise still remains as one of the best ever with creativity, heart, depth, animation and characters. But, this one didn't do it for me this time. It felt too long with too many endings - a pet peeve of mine. I understand they thought it would be the last so they tried to wrap everything up, but at times, this movie felt like it wouldn't end and while everyone OHHH'd and AWWW'd at the tug-hearted ending, I was like, END ALREADY! That all said, the 8/10 star rating should speak for itself. I really did like this movie, including the heart, comedy, Spanish Buzz and "You Almost Went There!" fiery finale. No discount at all and this series is not complete without watching this with the rest.
Into the Dark: My Valentine (2020)
I swear: Into the Dark is the next Black Mirror.
What the heck happened? Just like Black Mirror, the last two episodes/movies, Midnight Kiss and My Valentine should end the series right now. Even if more are already in the can, delete them.
And while I mention it, I wish they'd stop calling them "episodes." If it's 90 minutes, full production value, stand alone and is produced as a movie...it's a movie. I'm not wasting my 90 minutes per episode for any normal TV show.
I digress, this MOVIE is the Black Mirror equivalent to that series' last episode: Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too AND a blatant Scott Pilgrim vs. the World rip-off. Well, without any of the humor, acting, originality, depth or charm. The ONE thing going for this movie was the music.
I would literally consider buying the soundtrack for this awful movie. It was incredible. I suspect this was just a vehicle to promote the songwriter and great singer on screen.
Basically, there's an enormously convoluted plot of a stolen identity, physical/emotional relationship abuse and reclaiming fame. Really, if you watch this, you must already be a fan of the Into the Dark series and like this kind of music.
Warning: this is NOT horror, despite being in a horror series. While there's gore and blood, I think the creators thought that qualified. Well, spoiler, it's also NOT a musical despite there being music performed in it.
Skip it. See if the soundtrack's available and actually buy that cold.
Final thoughts: Wow. I must've fallen asleep more than a few times and had to keep rewinding it. Despite so much on screen, this did NOT keep my interest enough to stay awake.
Into the Dark: Midnight Kiss (2019)
Queer as F'd
Tonight, on a very slasher Queer as Folk, the gang continue to have sex, show off buns and get slaughtered.
I'm probably wildly biased here due to all the great male nudity and slasher tropes because...this "movie" really isn't that good. It has decent acting, sets and its competently made, but the storyline(s) shoot out like firecrackers - never landing where anyone intended.
And damn it takes so long for it to be a slasher.
For the past 7 New Years a group of intertwining gay romance buddies get together to party, but 2019's finale has someone bent on crashing the party.
What a coincidence I randomly pick this "Into the Dark" "TV" movie on Hulu to watch tonight. It's right up my alley, so to speak, but unfortunately, it's so shallow and aimless in all three acts and mostly in the final third.
Hurray for team-Blumhouse for straight-up making a non-apologetic gay horror film, especially since there are so few of them. But, maybe next time we can add a few more rewrites before filming begins?
Final thoughts: This DID make me miss Queer as Folk, though. Wish that'd come back again.