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Black Widow (2021)
ScarJo and Florence Pugh, who knew?
This is the Black Widow movie we have all waited for, and while it lacked in some respects, it made it up in many others. Taking place between Civil War and Infinity Wars, it shows Natasha on the run for breaking the accord. The majority of the movie is spent with Natasha going after the organization that created her.
It starts off with a flashback to when Natasha was a kid and gives us a very small look at her family life. Great job casting Mila Jovavich's daughter as the young Black Widow!
Florence kinda outshone ScarJo in some scenes, but hey that is OK. If you are a Mavel fan, then you are sure to love this movie.
Psych: The Break-Up (2014)
The perfect ending to a nearly perfect show
I just watched the entire series for the third time. Each time I find more reasons to love the show, and the finale is just full of reasons.
I will not talk about what transpires in the episode because if you have watched the show through, then you know there is a crime and Shawn and Gus pull a miracle out of their butts and solve it.
What this episode is to me is a representation of the purity of all relationships and the difficulty in saying goodbye. Shawn attempts this with DVD farewells to all the people he knows, but it also feels like it is aimed at we the viewers. For eight years this show was welcomed and loved by a lot of people and the writers took the time to say goodbye to us all.
I will say that Lassie has the series' best moment when he refuses to listen the Shawn admit that he is not really a psychic, but to me, Lassie was always the one with the biggest, yet most guarded heart.
So goodbye to all of my friends that made up the world of Psych. I will happily revisit you over and over in the future and still shed a few tears when I rewatch this episode.
Friends: The Reunion (2021)
For any fan, this is perfection
The reunion that we all wanted is finally here. This is one hour and forty-four minutes that we get to spend with the core cast members of a show that has stood the test of time and still makes people laugh and cry.
There are table reads of some of the best scenes and a reenactment of the famous trivia game scene, with a lot of the guest stars interspersed throughout. I would say that this is a must see for anyone that loves this show. From the opening part to the last part, a smile never left my face.
How It Ends (2018)
Ambiguous ending but still good
Will and Samantha, a mixed race couple find out that they are pregnant. They live in Seattle and Will heads back East to visit with Sam's parents with the idea of asking for her hand in marriage. There is a lot of tension between Will and Tom, Sam's dad. At first it seems like it may be because of the fact that Will is white, but it turns out that Will did something egregious to Tom's boat years ago.
The day after his visit and while on the phone with Sam, some event happens and they are disconnected. The event causes the entire country to suffer a black out and rumors swirl as to what had happened on the west coast. Will and Tom decide to drive to Seattle to rescue Samantha. On the way there they battle the effects of the event and people that are hell bent on taking their car and gas.
This movie is almost non-stop action and Forrest Whitaker shines in his roll. My only complaint is the ending. It is, as my title suggests ambiguous. It causes the viewer to have to imagine what happens, and that may not really be a bad thing. This movie will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout most of it and despite the low ratings given by many, I feel it is worth a watch.
Anna Kendrick was the only shining star here
On a two year mission to Mars with a three person crew, a fourth person is discovered unconscious in the ceiling. Rescuing this man destroys a unit that is designed to scrub the air of CO2 and puts the mission at risk. They will run out of breathable air two weeks before they arrive on Mars, killing all four of the people. The team, along with the people back on Earth struggle to come up with a plan to save everyone's life.
The good parts of this are few and far between, but Anna Kendrick shines. She is typically associated with comedic roles and does a great job handling the lead role in this drama. The cinematography is also great here.
The bad, oh the bad. While it is true that there every space launch accounts for every gram of weight, I find it difficult to believe that the people in charge would not have sent along more than enough oxygen and spare parts to repair anything that would potentially break. They were to be away from any support for two years and that is terrible planning. Also, it is never explained how the man found himself sealed in the ceiling or how he got injured. The food supply was never at risk, so again, they would send along enough food for more than three people but not enough oxygen. What if there was a small leak that lost them a bunch of atmosphere?
The worst. About halfway through the movie, I looked at my fiancé and told her exactly who would die and why. She even asked me if I had seen or read about this movie. Sadly, no. It is just that Hollywood keep recycling the same old story tropes. The last movie I saw where I did not predict the ending was The Mist, and I loved being surprised!
So all in all not an unwatchable movie, just do not expect to be riveted to the screen.
A thriller with few thrills
This is the story of a man that is having a really bad day and decides to mete out his own form of justice against those her feel slighted him. While at a traffic light, a mother and her son are behind him and running late. She lays on the horn and then goes around him. The man demands an apology, which he does not receive and this begins a game of cat and mouse with deadly consequences.
Mr. Crowe does his usual great job at portraying the character known as The Man and there are a couple of tense moments laced throughout. However, this film falls short on providing any actual thrills. I never felt that the protagonist or her son were ever in any mortal danger and telegraphed the ending almost as soon as the movie started. Falling Down with Michael Douglas was a far superior film about a man reaching his wit's end and that movie is over twenty years old.
Overall, a decent enough movie that you should watch if you are a Crowe fan.
Beware the space vampires
This movie came out when I was 12 and I think I saw it that same year when it released to home video. I can say with all honesty that the big draw for me back then was the copious amounts of Ms. May exposed on screen.
It has since grown into a favorite of mine for a few reasons. This came out during what I like to call he golden age of horror. There is scarcely a horror movie made during the 80s that I do not like.
The spaceship Churchill, in a joint NASA and ESA mission to go study Hailey's comet discover a ship hidden by the comet. Inside the ship they discover a bunch of desiccated aliens and three perfect humans, one woman and two men. They return to the ship with the 3 humans and one dead alien. When the Churchill returns to Earth it is found to have burned inside and lost all hands. The three humans that were found on the ship in the comet are still safe inside the containers where they were found. They are brought to Earth where the female wakes up and sucks the life out of a guard. Follow the British intelligence agencies as they try to unravel the mystery behind this space girl.
The special effects are dated and the acting is as well, though Sir Patrick Stewart is in it. But I still love this movie for what it is. That is a campy, fun sci/fy horror.
Not sure how to rate this
Casey and her two best friends, Jill and Kristen go away on a bridal party/vacation one week before Casey is to marry Jared. They visit a locals only beach and Casey get's bitten by an unseen bug in the water. This begins her slow transformation into a sort of queen bug. Think the fly, only with a different spin.
None of the actors are great, though Elma Begovic does a decent job as Casey. The writing is not the strongest, nor is the directing or editing. This movie plods along and feel padded for run time in spots. What this movie does have going for it, and it has it in spades, is phenomenal practical effects. There is absolutely no CGI in this, and that alone makes it a 7 star movie. While anyone that has ever seen Orbeez will instantly recognize them here, they are still well used to create what the writer wanted.
This is decent enough for what it is, a low budget horror, but I did struggle to remain interested in it during the run time.
Slugs, muerte viscosa (1988)
A killer B indeed
Slugs is a fun-filled romp through 80's creature horror that is more comical that it is horrifying. In a sleepy little town in New York that does not really exist, the residents are being killed and eaten by something unknown. It turns out that there was once a toxic waste site at the town's edge that caused slugs to mutate and become carnivorous. Watch the cast of American actors and Italian actors whose English is so bad that they needed to be dubbed fight these ridiculously slow moving assailants.
Shut off your mind and enjoy the roughly one and a half hour ride. You will laugh at how fake the blood is and how insane the premise, but you will never be bored.
The Frozen Ground (2013)
A somber and gritty look at a true crime
This is the true, if only slightly embellished story of a serial killer in Alaska that was active in the seventies and eighties. He targeted young, slim, brunette prostitutes and strippers. He would take them to his home, hold them for a week while he repeatedly raped them and then fly them on his private plane to the wild where he would hunt and kill them.
With the exception of Vanessa Hudgens, this movie is expertly cast and acted. I do not like her, or her acting ability. That did not detract from the expertly told story here. I would highly recommend this movie.
This movie follows the tragic life of Shara, a fifteen year old girl whose mother has resorted to prostitution in order to support them. Her mom shacks up with any man that will have her, which leads to Shara being the victim of an attempted rape. They leave that house and end up at another where Shara meets a boy and they fall in love. Things go south between them and having no other life skills, Shara turns to prostitution as well. She ends up working for a high end agency where she is exploited.
This is indeed a sad tale that I am sure bears a lot of similarities to actual stories. The story is good and you legitimately feel for Shara, but the acting is far from good and the nudity feels a lot on the exploitative side. Jessica Taylor Haid, who portrays Shara was around 20 when this was filmed, but she has a face that could very easily pass for 15 or 16, and her constant nudity gave the film a dirty feel. Given the subject matter I feel that the writer/director could have approached the nudity a bit differently.
This film comes in as average for me.
Far from a 10 star, but also better than it's average rating
This movie follows one main character, Noelle. She is an art major that is struggling to evolve. She decided to go to a party to meet up with a guy from class that she finds attractive and ends up getting raped. Her claims summarily dismissed, she goes to confront her rapist and ends up killing him by accident. This sends her down a path where she exacts revenge on rapists for other women, though they do not know she is doing it.
This is another take of the revenge movie, less rough than the I Spit On Your Grave movies. Francesca Eastwood does a phenomenal job in this movie as does the supporting cast. She just outshines them by a lot.
There is some nudity from both genders here and a lot of talk and imagery of rape. If that sort of thing does not bother you, then gives this a view.
Better than I expected
This is the story of two brothers, one clearly a sociopath and one that is either on the autistic spectrum or has some kind of mental deficiency. If they said I missed it. The pair pose as paramedics and take the patients back to their home where they harvest their organs and sell them on the black market. One night they pick up a woman who clearly resembles someone from their past and instead of killing her, they keep her alive. I do not wish to say more as it will all be spoilers.
The body horror is quite good. This was clearly a low budget movie, but the gore was very decent.
The three main characters are actually pretty decent actors, especially the guy that plays Jeffery, the autistic brother.
The story is not like one I have encountered before and keeps your interest.
The nudity, while not copious, is very pleasant to look at.
All the axillary characters were played by people that were so bad I would assume they were found on the street and asked if they wanted to be in a movie.
The suspension of disbelief is kind of hard to do here. It would not be possible for these guys to do this sort of thing for very long without being caught. How many people can be picked up in an ambulance and then decide to vanish before someone caught on?
The merkin. Oh my God, it could not have been more obvious.
If you are a fan of horror and suspense, I would say that you should give this a watch, though do not expect anything grandiose.
Alien meets Deep Star Six Meets Cloverfield
For reasons unknown, there is a disaster at the bottom of the Marianna trench. Thought to be an earthquake, it sets into motion a disaster that causes the survivors of a drilling team to have to evacuate the station. Faced with a nuclear core meltdown, they contrive a plan to walk a mile across the ocean floor to the actual drill. Along the way they are besieged by something that wants them for lunch.
I have never liked Kristen Stewart. I think that she is a terrible actress, but in this, I liked her. This movie has elements of Alien, Deep Star Six and Cloverfield, all wrapped up and tied together into a tense and thrilling movie. I like this a lot more than anticipated. The writing is good, the cinematography is excellent and the music lends to the creepy nature of what we are watching. I am a huge horror/sci-fy fan and this satisfied both genres. Good movie here.
Cobra Kai (2018)
I was reluctant to watch this series, I am not going to lie. I loved all of the movies, even the terrible attempt at a reboot with Jackie Chan. In the end the hype over this series won out and my curiosity led to me watching just the first episode. That was last week and I am almost done the third season. It is that good, I cannot pry myself from it.
This series takes a good hard look at the lives of Johnny Lawrence and Daniel Laruso more than three decades after that fateful night at the end of the Karate Kid. What I love most about this movie is it takes Johnny from the role of a generic villain and shows the human side of him, and it does it so well that you will often find yourself rooting for him.
Johnny reopens the Cobra Kai dojo after his neighbor gets jumped by several kids outside of a convenience store. He wants to do better than his sensei did by him and soon finds his class attendance swelling with other marginalized kids that just want to end the bullying. As life often does though, events happen to hamper his success.
In response to Johnny opening his dojo, Daniel opens up Miagi-do karate and teaches his sensei's brand of karate to his daughter and Johnny's son. Daniel has turned into a success in life, and he credits all of it to the teachings of Mr. Miagi.
This series does an excellent job of running us all down memory lane and blending that with modern times. I could not recommend this enough!
Slasher: 3am to 6am (2019)
Decent final episode to a decent season
This review is more for the season than the episode, though I will touch on that as well. I have seen quite a few people hating on this season and I am not quite sure as to why. Certainly the first season was the best and probably will not be topped, but this one had a lot to offer. The writing has improved as has the choice in actors since season one, though the story is not as rich.
I do feel that this season especially tries to climb up on a platform and teach us the viewers a morality lesson, but so hasn't every piece of media we have consumed over our lives, some are just better at hiding the obviousness of it than others.
I did figure out who the killer was pretty early on, though there were enough red herrings thrown in to keep me from being 100% certain, so kudos to the writers on that. This episode does a nice job at tying up all the mystery that the season has presented and even allows for the redemption of some characters, though I personally did not care to see them redeemed. Just a great over-all series here.
Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)
What just happened?
Just a brief preface here, I thought the first Wonder Woman with Gal Gadot was perhaps the best super hero movie not just from DC, but in recent times. It was intelligently written, supremely acted and heartfelt. I was beyond excited when I heard this movie was coming out. This movie, with the exception of one scene, was none of that.
For whatever reason this movie was set in the mid 80s, and all of their "glory", and parts of it felt like it was filmed in the 80s. Watch in amazement as Wonder Woman who took on an entire battle field of Germans and the fully automatic weapons as well as the God of war Aries, struggles to defeat a woman that wants to be a cat and a dude that grants wishes. Yeah, you read that right.
While the acting by all the leads was good, none of it was great. I do not know what DC has against putting out good movies, I really don't, but the evidence is substantial that they do. As I am a huge WW fan, I will probably add this to my movie collection, but I will only watch it when I need to be reminded of how badly it sucked.
I feel I must address the "special" effects here. In this day and age, with a movie as grandiose as this with a budget so large, no one should ever be able to tell that effects of any kind were used. Without spoiling things there is a scene where it is very clear that a gun is made of rubber, a scene where a dummy was used and it fooled no one, and a lot of the CGI is absolutely fake looking. I feel that if I can sit through Avatar or T2, movies that are ancient in comparison to this, that I should not be able to pick out suck flaws without even trying.
I give it a five star rating because as I said the acting is good, but also because the story and special effect were just weak. Watch this if you're a fan of WW, but not for any other reason.
Horror anthology as it should be
Move aside American Horror Story, there is a new king in the anthology world.
At the time I write this I have only seen the first two seasons, but my review would have been the same after just the first episode to season one. This is a Canadian made anthology series about serial killers. The writers do an excellent job with the plot and keeping you guessing as to the true identity of the killer in each season. As the title implies it is a series about someone murdering people a lot like the horror movies of the eighties. Where AHS is superior in the casting department, this series in far superior in the gore and story telling. The only exception to this is the second season of AHS which I do not feel will ever be bested by any series ever, but I digress.
For everyone that is complaining about the casting, as I stated before this is a Canadian made series, so I am sure that they casted Canadian actors first, and those actors do a great job in their roles. If you are a true horror fan, then I cannot ay enough good about this and I suggest you drop everything and watch it poste haste. I did not give it ten stars only because it is close to perfect but not quite there.
Cabin Fever (2016)
I did not hate this.
Cabin Fever is a movie about five friends that rent a cabin on a body of water in some Podunk town where the locals are all a bit on the eccentric side, to be polite. On their first night a diseased man tries to enter the cabin and when denied entry tries to steal their car. They force him to leave through violence, but before long the members of the group start showing signs that they too have the disease.
I saw the original forever ago when it first came out and pretty much forgot about it. Going through Netflix, I saw this and decided to watch it. It was pretty close to a shot for shot copy of the first film, but I must say that the special effects were better. If you are not someone that is part of the cult that loves the original and have not seen that one for years, then this one will not disappoint you. Pretty solid horror movie here.
W lesie dzis nie zasnie nikt (2020)
Good low budget horror
I found this on Netflix and since it has been a while since I last saw a decent horror, I decided to give it a go. The story is centralized on five teens and their counselor at a camp where parents send their tech addicted kids for a forced detox. On the first night of them camping in the woods away from the larger group they are besieged by a pair of unnaturally large and deformed men that are driven by the need to kill.
This is described as a slasher film, but it is more along the lines of Wrong Turn or The Hills Have Eyes.
So the positives; First the gore factor is pretty high for a newer movie and the effects are all definitely practical. This being the first Polish produced film I have ever seen, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the acting. Over all the effects are good, though there were some issues with a severed head and the prosthetics that the killers wear.
The negatives; The movie is like every other horror that has come before, the groups is slowly killed until there is but one lone survivor, and you can tell who that will be pretty much from the beginning. The only other negative I could see was the afore mentioned issues with the effects, up and until the ending. There is a scene at the end after you think the movie is done. I would say that you should skip watching that scene as it detracts from the rest of the movie
All in all this was an enjoyable entry into the horror franchise.
Jurassic Park (1993)
Great movie despite the fact that the book was far superior
Doctors and paleontologist/paleo biologist Ellie Sattler and Alan Grant are invited by one John Hammond to inspect a biological reserve that is "right up their alley". Reluctant at first, Hammond makes them a monetary offer that they cannot refuse and they join up with Hammond's lawyer Gennaro and a mathematician Ian Malcolm. They are whisked away to a small Island by Costa Rica where Hammond's scientists have cloned dinosaurs. The team is at first swept up in the magic of the place, but a disgruntled employee with designs on getting rich by selling pilfered dinosaur embryos soon sets events in motion that sees the dinosaurs freed from their enclosures. What follows is a edge of your seat thrill ride as the cast tries to avoid becoming dinner to a host of carnivores.
This movie still holds up even though it is approaching three decades since it was released. The special effects are phenomenal and the cast is superior. It is easy to get sucked into the story even if you have seen this movie thirty times.
If you have read the book but never seen the movie, you will be disappointed by some of the choices that were made when adapting the screenplay, but it does hold pretty close to the source material. Overall one of my favorite movies.
A History of Violence (2005)
Great character study
We are introduced to Tom Stall, played with greatness my Vigo Mortensen, a mild mannered owner of a small restaurant in a small town. He is married to a lawyer named Edie and played by the lovely Mario Bello. They have two kids and seem like the perfect nuclear family. One day a duo of would be robbers come into the restaurant with more than taking money and goods on their minds. Thinking that the pair means to ends everyone's lives, Tom leaps into action and dispatches the pair, with seemingly unbelievable ease. This brings the unwanted attention of the press as Tom is lauded as a hero. Gaining national attention it is not long before someone shows up in town, calling Tom by a different name and alleging that Tom had wronged him. It is clear that this man had malice in his heart. Could this be a simple case of mistaken identity or has Tom been hiding a secret past where he led a life of violence?
This movie is a gripping thriller with an excellent cast. I have only seen this a few times and once I am done writing this review will seek out an buy a copy. The acting is on point and the pacing is just slow enough to keep it interesting without the action being the central theme. Highly recommend this movie.
Erin Brockovich (2000)
Julia Roberts best movie
If you have not seen this movie, I assume that you live under a rock. This is the mostly factual story of Erin Brockovich. She is a struggling single mom of three kids. The story starts out with her getting into an accident and hiring a lawyer. Ultimately she loses her case because of her surly attitude and foul mouth. Unable to find work and flat broke from her accident, Erin begins to pester her lawyer Ed Massery until he agrees to hire her in a minimalistic role in his small firm. When Erin is given a seemingly simple task on a real estate case she stumbles upon one of the biggest cases of industrial poisoning and the ensuing cover-up. As they dig further and further the depth of PG&E's negligence becomes massive.
This is a great movie on so many levels. Ms. Roberts shines in this role as never before and the supporting cast is equally as amazing. What this company did, and what so many more like it have done, is beyond reprehensible, yet they are still allowed to operate and make money. This is a great movie and everyone should watch it at least once.
Black Rock (2012)
I do not get the terrible reviews
This is the story of three women that were once really close friends that decide to get together on a remote island in Maine to reconnect. Very swiftly their idyllic trip falls apart when they run into some men with nefarious intentions. The women must come together like never before to survive and outwit their hunters.
This is not a great movie, but it is definitely good. As other reviewers pointed out, it is formulaic, but aren't 95% of the movies out there? The three lead actresses do a great job and there are some legitimate tense moments.This is a great movie for you to shut down your brain and go on a thrill ride.
Freddy Got Fingered (2001)
What? I found it funny
I have always liked Tom Green and thought this movie was quite funny. It is not a 10 star film as others would have you believe, but is certainly is not a one star film either. If you enjoy Adam Sandler in his earlier movies, then you should like this one just fine.