One Cut of the Dead

One Cut of the Dead is a Japanese independent film from the last year or years, it is hard to say. It has had a weird road to distribution.

Made with mostly unknown actors and for a ridiculously cheap budget, it made back over 1,000 times its investment, which is a pretty goddamn unheard of percent for movies. I know it was hitting festivals and getting a lot of good buzz, and then at one point it was…put on Amazon!

But, it wasn’t supposed to be put on Amazon. Someone had an older unfinished copy, and just put it on Amazon prime for free. Did you know you can just do that? It is apparently really easy. And one it was on Amazon, many people rushed out to see it, and tell other’s to see it because it was a critical darling. The same day, news came out that the people who own it didn’t upload it, it was unfinished copy, and to please not watch it while it was worked out.

Well shit. That kind of screwed over a lot of things.

Anyways, at this point it is on amazon again, but for money, and the right version. So you can watch it and feel confident someone involved is getting money for it.

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Like this guy who is holding the camera!

One man had a vision. Director Higurashi (Takayuki Hamatsu) had the idea for a zombie film, an idea that would be so scary and amazing. But his shitty actors were not giving him enough emotion.

We are talking take, after take, after take, and it just is not good enough for the director.

So while he went to go cool down, and the actors relaxed and got to know each other, normal stuff between takes. But something odd happened. Some sounds from the outside. Some…limbs from outside. Oh shit, real zombies! in the middle of their zombie film!

Now the director can get some real emotions out of his cast.

Also starring Yuzuki Akiyama, Harumi Shuhama, Kazuaki Nagaya, Hiroshi Ichihara, and Mao.

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Those zombies aren’t going to double kill themselves!
One Cut of The Dead is a unique film, there is no one who can deny that. In fact, it is so unique, it is also equally hard to even talk about it because it is a film that should be discovered, not spoiled.

And yes, the idea of spoiling can be kicked around enough, but trust us, the critics, me, when we say, just gotta go in some times to see the journey.

I couldn’t believe what the film managed to do and convey. It is extremely impressive, given the lack of budget or names involved, even from a Foreign film perspective. It required a lot of work. It required planning. And it required people who were creative as fuck. People who really had a vision and executed it perfectly.

One Cut of the Dead is a comedy more than a horror, and it will be hard to find something more unique than it before or after for awhile. Not even an American remake will likely be as unique. [As of writing, no plans for American remake, but sorry for jinxing it should it change in the future].

It is definitely an experience, and I watched it directly after Train to Busan! A very different foreign zombie film that is top notch in very differeny ways. And yet, this one still was able to stand out on its own.

4 out of 4.

The Vast of Night

The Vast of Night is certainly not a film I had heard of before receiving a screener. Starring no one famous, by a first time director, with a low budget, not going to theaters.

“But nothing is going to theaters now!” Well, yeah, I know that. But this might have never gone to theaters if they were open. Instead, it is on Amazon Prime (as of Friday, May 29).

And now you know why I am just going to start the intro.

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And after this review, we will plug you back into your regularly scheduled scrolling on your social medias.

DJ Everett (Jake Horowitz) and Fay Crocker (Sierra McCormick) are two younger kiddos living out in New Mexico in the 1950’s. They are both hip in the tech world too. DJ Everett is the host of his own radio show in his local community, full of interviews of people from town and elsewhere, hoping to make it big and leave his small community. Fay is interested in the future of technology and getting better at it herself, and is his switch board operator for the show.

During one night, most of the community is caring more about a local basketball game, but the show must go on. And in the early parts of the show, Fay hears a strange noise, one she has never heard before, nor has anyone she asks. In fact, when she brings this to Everett’s attention, this becomes their new focus, playing it for others to see if they can help them figure out what made that noise.

And they get a call. A mysterious person. Saying they heard the noise before, long ago, but afraid to let that story go public. This leads to another story, more secrets, more missing people, and more disbelief.

But this is 1950’s New Mexico and a small town, what could possibly be tormenting this town?

Also starring Gail Cronauer and Bruce Davis.

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Yes, we get people talking on the phone, get hyped!

This is clearly a film on a small budget. Don’t worry, it is obvious to the viewers what must be going on really early on, and only isn’t obvious to those in the movie given the time period it is taken during. A lot of it is a set up for the ending, but despite the budget, you will get to see something for those afraid they won’t.

Most of it is teasing to the ending, as I just said, so we are relying on characters literally just talking to each other. Thankfully, the director decided to go with long takes for most of these conversations, so they ooze out natural pacing and behavior. One of the two main story tellers is only able to be heard on the phone, but Davis has a nice voice to listen to and helped really start the build of the tension. I know what you are thinking. A movie with people talking on the phone for awhile? Is it like Locke? Eh, not really.

It is relatively slower paced early on and really takes awhile to feel tense, but by the end tense it is despite the still relatively low stakes. The cinematographer and composer really put in good work to make the build up. It was an average movie for most of it until it built up by the end.

The leads of Horowitz and McCormick work extremely well together and do a lot of work with not just their words, but their faces as well. They have that curiosity and drive to solve their own mystery with their own individual reasons behind it.

The Vast of Night is a low key film that will build up the thrills by the end, dealing with strange sounds and radio waves, and great performances from its leads.

3 out of 4.

Scoob!

Oh hey, remember how everyone wanted a new Scooby Doo movie? Nah.

Okay, that is fair, we don’t have to ask for a movie to come out to get one. Sometimes the studios know what is up. For example, I bet people did ask for a live action Scooby-Doo movie in the late 90’s early 2000’s, and what it gave was a really cheesy strange story, with adult jokes, some obvious some not. And honestly, it sort of filled a really good niche back then. Go figure.

So even though this animated version is going full CGI, and is dealing apparently with the childhood beginnings of the gang (ehhh), as long as we got mysteries to solve and people in masks, it shouldn’t be too hard to make it work. Unless they decide to go for the “monsters are real” gag, which basically every Scooby Doo entity has been doing for the last 20 years, so it is kind of getting annoying. Please, give us weird people in masks.

Remember, if a movie has an exclamation point, it should be a musical. Scoob! should be a musical. 

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Ah yes, origin stories, like a superhero movie.

Alright, here we go! Shaggy (Will Forte) and Scooby-Doo (Frank Welker) meet on the beach when they were younger. Shaggy needed friends. Scooby-Doo needed a home.

Later on, at Halloween, some bullies mess with the duo, and some other kids help the two out! Their names are Fred (Zac Efron), Daphne (Amanda Seyfried), and Velma (Gina Rodriguez). Also right after that, they end up solving a mystery of a lot of stolen goods that no one even knew was a thing! They just had to meddle.

Alright, years later, many mysteries, they want to expand their operations. Their Mystery Machine needs work, so they want bigger clients, and higher paying jobs to become a success. And then they bring in Simon Cowell for some reason, who barely insults Shaggy and Scooby who leave as a result.

The other friends don’t go and stop them, so eventually, Shaggy and Scooby get attacked by robots. And then abducted by aliens? Nah, it is actually Blue Falcon (Mark Wahlberg), Dynomutt (Ken Jeong), and their assistant, Dee Dee Skyes (Kiersey Clemons). They know that Scooby-Doo is important for something. Because Dick Dastardly (Jason Isaacs) is looking for him and some ancient skulls, to maybe summon dog Cerebus from the underworld. Ah yes, real mythical monsters.

Also starring Christina Hendricks and Tracy Morgan.

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What nice chairs. And I feel like a hater not showing Daphne/Velma/Fred.

It is really early on in the film when you realize this is not going to be something you want to see again, and for a lot of people, that is when Simon Cowell appears. But before that, I will acknowledge they did a version of the original intro. It was okay in the singing department, really basic, but they did recreate parts of the intro and use it as a montage of solving some mysteries. That was nice.

That was also where most of the Scooby-Doo action remained. The kid mystery was very awkward, because when a ghost appeared in the house they already had their goal completed. They could have just…left, like any normal person. Having this long run through the place and eventual capture of the ghost to find it was a masked person didn’t even make sense. 

But let’s get back to Cowell. This movie came out in 2020, why the hell is Cowell in this movie. This is not 2004. Kids for the most part won’t understand that at all.

In terms of how Scooby-Doo this movie is, it is Scooby-Not. Most of the time the gang is split up (which happens a lot sure, but not to this scale). This is a superhero movie. It is about Blue Falcon, and Scooby-Doo wanting to feel more special. It has a real monster and issue to deal with, and…it is just a mess.

A lot of the voice acting felt off. I especially did not like Jeong as Dynomutt, because it just sounded like Ken Jeong, not a robot dog. 

It was a boring film for the most part, with some other Hanna Barbera properties thrown in for fun. It is really easy to see where the movie is going, where the conflicts will appear, and what will happen at the end. It is such a waste of a nice property. It felt like something they would try as a third or fourth film of a reboot, not right away. This was barely Scooby-Doo. Focus on the basics first.

And obviously it wasn’t a musical, but it did have a lot of modern music because that is easier to get the kids to love it. 

1 out of 4.

Selah and The Spades

Another week, and surprisingly, another new movie review.

Selah and the Spades I don’t believe was negatively impacted by the theaters going down. I didn’t hear about it until that started, but when I first heard the news, it was only to hear that it was being released on Amazon Prime instead of theaters, on April 17th.

This is not a film that you have heard of before likely, with a mostly unknown cast. It does have Jharrel Jerome as a supporting role, and he made waves last year starring as Korey Wise in When They See Us last year. You know, the kid who got screwed over the most.

And all of that has nothing to do with this movie!

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There is a lot of fierce power in that chair.
Selah (Lovie Simone) is a strong woman, a senior in high school. She goes to an elite boarding school in Pennsylvania, where most of the citizens are from wealthy families looking for a leg up into college. Other bright minds get in through scholarships and grants. Selah comes from an overachieving household, her mom wants her to go to her former school, and to load up on the best classes, the best grades, no matter what.

The school also has their own hidden clubs. They handle some of them ore illicit activities, like distracting the admin, holding parties, etc. Selah? She is the lead of The Spades group, who handle the illegal drugs and alcohol on campus. They do all of the deals, get the product, make the money. They split responsibilities and have council meetings to work together so that no more “wars” take place on campus, which usually lead to many expulsions, or worse.

When Paloma (Celeste O’Connor) comes to campus mid year, she is seen as a promising student who can join in their creepy club games, but Selah definitely takes a liking to her. Selah is strong, but hates having those under her excel. It is hard for her to trust, and she doesn’t have a backup to take over when she leaves. It is time for the grooming, and for her to sink or swim.

Also starring Jharrel Jerome, Ana Mulvoy Ten, Jesse Williams, Nekhebet Kum Juch, Francesca Noel, and Henry Hunter Hall.

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This rock rocks. 

Selah and the Spades, on one hand, is another clique teenage film. I mean, these cliques don’t circulate the entirety of the campus (although, cliques are usually small anyways). It is a boarding school, so it can pretend to be like a college film with more underage problems. The cliques have cute names!

But here are some difference.

There is one very strong scene early on where the Selah and the other cheerleaders are talking to the camera, breaking the wall, about being strong women and it was really really good. It seemingly came out of nowhere, but it had important messages that needed to be discussed.

We do also have a predominately more person of color than most school clique films. Yes, they are all for most of history super white. It is great to see representation, even if this representation for the most part still talks about people with privileged.

I really enjoyed Simone in the lead role hear. Selah is not a one dimensional character at all. She is more than a strong woman. She has fears, she has definite trust issues, and definite weakness. I definitely sort of hated her at points, and it is great to realize she is in no way the hero of the story. O’Connor comes in and gives a very great performance opposite of Simone’s, that newcomer feel while also knowing full and well who she is at the same time.

Overall, Salah and the Spades gives us a unique perspective on a tired clique, and falls firmly in a drama category to tell a serious story. It reminds me in a bit of Dear White People, due to topics only, because in terms of genre and goals, they are very wide apart.

3 out of 4.

Trolls: World Tour

And now we can talk about the biggest release since the theaters went under! Not the first new release of a movie that was supposed to go to the theaters, but the biggest at least.

Trolls: World Tour was moved around a few times on the calendar, and it turns out that they probably should have kept that date in February for making that money.

At first saying they would go straight to digital instead was almost an inspiration. But then as more and more movies got pushed back, including to future years even, and all left but Trolls. That is a bit weird right? Some other theater films changed to VOD and a lot of them were movies that were expected to bomb.

Did they not actually think Trolls: World Tour would do well, or are they sacrificing profits to bring some happiness to those stuck inside? Hard to say. The first Trolls was okay, and in general, this plot of the sequel made me super weary, but that doesn’t mean I wanted it to fail either.

onward
Ooooh, they better not say Onward, that’d help the competition.
Ah, life is wonderful again. Until it isn’t.

Queen Poppy (Anna Kendrick) is in charge of her people, every day has singing, dancing, and hugs because the Bergens are cool now and doing their own thing.  Branch (Justin Timberlake) probably wants to make Troll babies with her.

But Poppy gets an invite from a Queen Barb (Rachel Bloom) to come to her World Tour. This is where we get to have the secret backstory of Trolls that never came up in the first film. You know. There are different troll kingdoms out there each with a magical string each that gives them the music to get by in life. One of Pop (our trolls). Of Funk, Classical, Country Techno, and of course, Hard Rock, where Queen Barb comes from.

So Poppy thinks that Queen Barb wants to unite all of the strings together to unite all the music genres and unite the trolls. But really, Queen Barb just wants to take all the strings to make them rock and make rock music the only music for everyone.

Oh no!

Also starring a whole lot of other voices, some new, some old: James Corden, Ron Funches, Kelly Clarkson, Anderson .Paak, Sam Rockwell, George Clinton, Mary J. Blige, Kenan Thompson, Kunal Nayyar, Flula Borg, Ester Dean, Jamie Dornan, Zooey Deschanel, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Ozzy Osbourne.

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Rock is evil. Satan is rock.
Lame new Trolls backstory aside, it turns out there is a little bit of good backstory in there as well, but it is a mid movie reveal. It turns out that the former bad guys aren’t necessarily who we thought, and I thought that would be a big turning point for the film.

I can’t wait to see where it goes from there, and from my point of view, basically nowhere. Poppy wanted to unite the Trolls together to let them experience all music. Barb wanted to unit the Trolls together to make them all listen to rock music. And despite revelations made, the ending is exactly as one would expect going into the film. Exactly.

And thus I am left disappointed.

The music is okay for the most part, we do get more genres, but I didn’t feel like were stiffed in the first one due to how diverse pop itself actually is. There is no original song like Get Back Up Again, and that is the real shame. I believe the only original song is at the end, and that is supposed to be our new Can’t Stop The Feeling. Which sure, is an original song, but no where close as exciting as Get Back Up Again. I am not counting songs where it is meant to a famous one with some changed lyrics as original, like Trolls Just Wanna Have Fun.

Overall, it is likely this movie would have done just fine in the theaters. It is better than the animated show, but relatively clunky and beyond simplistic with the plot, despite rays of deeper hope in the middle. I will call the original better despite the same grade, because this one did not make me cry.

2 out of 4.

Never Rarely Sometimes Always

 

Oh what is this? A new theatrical release but on VOD? This is the first? 

Sure, Trolls World Tour (which comes out on April 10) is a much bigger movie that was meant to come out in theaters and is instead going straight to video for families. And there have been a lot of recent movies that were in theaters for a short time having VOD releases way early to make up for the money lost.

But Never Rarely Sometimes Always hadn’t made it to theaters yet and it was supposed to, and is now getting released digitally instead. So it is the first to really do this. 

And that is brave of them, even if they are a much smaller project. Especially a project with a theme like this one that would have maybe sparked protests anyways, and we don’t want protesters to protest, because then they’d be in groups. Even if they have dumb opinions. 

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Me judging people with dumb opinions. 

Autumn (Sidney Flanigan) is just a girl, living in a world, that isn’t the nicest to teenage girls. She has a job as a grocery clerk, where she and her cousin, Skylar (Talia Ryder) are definitely getting harassed by a boss.

Autumn is mad a lot of the times. Her parents (Ryan Eggold, Sharon Van Etten) don’t seem to give her a lot of attention due to their plentiful amount of kids, and her dad is a full on ass towards her. She has emotions, is getting bullied, and doesn’t know why she is so angry.

And then she finds out she is pregnant. About ten weeks. But she lives in Pennsylvania, in a small community, and the only place that was free for her to use was an organization that would never let abortions happen, complete with all the lie filled propaganda. And a parent would have to be involved.

So Autumn does what any girl would do. Sets an appointment in New York City, steals money from her dipshit bosses, and along with her cousin, go to get the deed done quickly and quietly, with hopefully no problems along the way. (There will be problems along the way).

Also starring Théodore Pellerin.

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Just two teenage girls on a fun filled middle of week NYC trip to get an abortion. I’m surprised this jolly movie wasn’t made decades ago. 

 

I had this thought when I first saw the movie, I swear. It isn’t hyperbolic because of the closing of theaters. But this is my favorite movie of the year. So far.

And yes, the last few weeks have had movies pushed out, some of which already pushed to next year. There is going to be a big lull in films for the rest of the year, so I have no clue what this sort of landscape will bring for cinema. This might remain my favorite movie of the year, the only one that I have given this rating to so far.

Now, this movie is not funny. It is a realistic take on the subject, it is serious, and some not great things happen. The scene where the title comes from definitely wrecked me emotionally. And that is why my intro wasn’t spent making fun of it like I originally planned.

I love that this film comes out the year after the terrible, propaganda induced Unplanned movie (sponsored by Ted Cruz). That one made my worst of the year list (spoilers). It took everything from the anti-abortion list playbook and tried to make it seem like a true story in incredibly deceptive ways. 

This film is quiet. It is just a story. And yes, an abortion happens. Does that make it pro abortion? Maybe. What it really does is highlight how shitty these various state by state laws are that make it incredibly hard for people to get out of a tough situation. And that isn’t cool.

4 out of 4.

 

Bloodshot

Hey, hey, heyheyhey. Vin Diesel. You’re looking kind of rough there. Are you stressed out? Are you getting enough sleep? Because you are looking a little…Bloodshot there.

Hyuck hyuck hyuck.

Of course Bloodshot is based on a comic, and no one really is aware of that. If it ain’t Marvel, DC, or even Dark Horse, ain’t no one give a damn. And sure, through some of the images, it looks like Diesel looks like the comic, so they are going for the same thing here.

See, if you didn’t read my words, you would have just assumed this is Diesel living out another of his Sci-Fi/Fantasy fantasies. Giving him cool powers and letting him run around like he bribed the DM of his campaign. Alas, this isn’t OG made up stuff, but a sourced material made up stuff.

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Every punch is sourced.
Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel) is one of those elite soldiers of America, who is good at killing and not being killed. He just returned from vague mission, where he did good things for America, and now he can go on vacation with his wife (Talulah Riley). But uh oh. Ray doing good, means bad guys are mad at him.

This one bad guy, Martin Axe (Toby Kebbell), dances his way in to their life and kills the wife, and kills Ray for not giving them good information. And end of movie!

Oh wait, no. Some company, RTS, brings Ray back to life, full of nanobots. Now he is a super soldier. Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce) has brought him back to life, knowing only he died in war and didn’t have anyone claim his body. Ray’s memories are gone and he has a new purpose.

But, if he tries hard, maybe memories will return to him and he can get revenge on that dancing madman. That’d be swell, now that he is a superhero.

Also starring Alex Hernandez, Sam Heughan, Eiza González, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, and Lamorne Morris.

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All the bots, all the time, always ready to party. 
Do you like emotional robots? Because then I have a film to not recommend. Because apparently being made of nanobots for your blood means you will stop feeling anything and somehow turn wooden, not metal.

Diesel smiles a couple times in this movie, generally when he is with his wife, and that is it. Everything else is super serious and stern. This movie takes itself far more seriously than the events on the screen should allow. I need some passion or winks or something to keep me more interested in the very weak plot.

The film I am giving an average rating for only due to originality. The plot could have gone a lot of ways, realistically, and it didn’t go the dumbest way. Audiences, whether they want to or not, have to pay a little bit attention and can’t just be impressed by some punches.

I will also highlight two scenes in particular. The flour fight scene was probably the coolest scene. The lighting gave it some fun visuals that really amplified the moment. And two, the elevator Spider-man deleted scene. Where Doc Ock is involved as well. This sounds ridiculous, and it is ridiculous, but I appreciate them doing this long fight scene in the bright light and not hide it all in the darkness.

But this film has weak acting all around. Average effects. A poor plot. And some okay twists. Somehow exactly what I expected without watching the trailer or knowing anything about the movie going in, weird huh?

2 out of 4.

The Hunt

Before all of the hubbub, I just naturally assumed that The Hunt was a remake of the Danish movie, also called The Hunt. Because it was famous, got nominated for awards, and so of course it will be remade by America at some point.

And that film was about maybe a pedophile, but maybe not, teaching at a school. Apparently this movie is about hunting people as a game, a very unoriginal story!

And apparently, due to its violence, it was taken off the schedule until further notice. And further notice means March 13th, because we haven’t had a big gun disaster in awhile, so it is okay to have a movie with violence.

I mean, minus the fact that people died, it has a pretty good PR campaign to get people talking about the movie. I will assume that was not their goal this whole time.

2 guns
Ah fuck yeah, two guns!
Everyone knows about Manorgate. You know, the conspiracy? The one that says the rich liberal elite once a year steal “deplorables” from the society, to round up and kill them like they are animals. Deplorables can just be anyone they don’t agree with.

You know. Card carrying republicans, gun nuts, conspiracy podcasters, anti-immigration, anti-gay, anti-abortion people. Any of those types. They just want to round them up in a small group and easily pick them off with traps and weapons, and slowly, this will be the rich’s way of getting rid of the poor and shifting our country blue.

Everyone. Knows. About. This. It has to be true!

That’s why when our cast of characters wake up, gagged, and find guns, they immediately know what is up when they start getting picked off. Can they survive? Can they put an end to this program once and for all?

A big cast of characters, on both sides of this hunt, including in no particular order: Ike Barinholtz, Wayne Duvall, Ethan Suplee, Betty Gilpin, Hilary Swank, Emma Roberts, Christopher Berry, Sturgill Simpson, Kate Nowlin, Amy Madigan, Reed Birney, Glenn Howerton, Steve Coulter, Dean J. West, Vince Pisani, Teri Wyble, and Steve Mokate.

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Shit, the military is involved as well? Better just add them to the Republicans side! 
For a film about rounding up people and killing them (allegedly), they really knew how to drag things out and make it really boring. This is the sort of film that promises a lot of deaths, on both sides, and this is wasted on fast group kills that don’t leave a lot left for the viewer.

This works in favor of the film early on, when people are dying when you might not expect it. Big names, with barely any lines, it is hard to know just who the main character is going to be. A lot of traps and explosions and more.

And then when we have only a handful left, it stalls really hard. Later on, a large percentage of the “bad guys” go out right around the same time, once again, why so fast? They needed to much better pace out the killing and keep it diverse.

In the second half of the film, I was left with a lot of slower conversations, like they really needed to pad the running time of this movie to make it last 90 minutes. I shouldn’t be falling asleep as they get to the point.

And yet here I am. The Hunt is all hype and not enough substance. It doesn’t go far enough on the killing, nor really anywhere with its message. This is a film that would only work as a short. Could have told the same sort of story in about 20 minutes and saved all of us time with a much better experience overall.

1 out of 4.

Greed

Greed is probably my 2nd favorite game show of all time. I think it had a good balance of trivia, team work, back stabbery, and good money prizes. I am annoyed it didn’t take off more. My favorite would be Survivor, if that counts as a game show.

However, this doesn’t have anything to do with the game show, outside of the concept of needing…uhh, money. And Greed.

I couldn’t tell what I was really getting into when I accepted the invite. It had an orange dude on the cover, so I didn’t know if it was going for Trump parody, a different person, a mockumentary or what. I did know it was going to be British, which means strange humor.

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This doesn’t look like British humor! These are clearly Brazilian outfits!

Sir Richard McCreadie (Steve Coogan), or Greedy McCreadie from his non-fans, is a dick. An older, relatively wealthy, dick. He grabbed himself by his bootstraps, had already a large sum of money, and turned himself into a fashion icon.

Sure, most of his companies failed. Most of them went bankrupt and somehow the assets went to his family. His wife (Isla Fisher) was able to profit off of them the most, and a lot of it went into Tax Free havens. He borrowed money from the banks to pay for companies, that then went into the companies debt, not his own. He knew the system and knew how to make it work for him and his own, no one else.

>Well McCreadie is about to turn 60. He is annoyed about the bad press, the investigations, and the negativity. He is going to throw a giant bash for himself, regardless of what conditions his workers face. He is going to have the best party, in Greece, with all the stops pulled out. He also has a writer (David Mitchell) doing his life story. He has a lot of random workers like Amanda (Dinita Gohil) whose mom works in his factory, and a son (Asa Butterfield) who can’t stand him.

Yep, this party is going to be the best or the worst.

Also starring Sarah

Solemani, Tim Key, Asim Chaudhry, Ollie Locke, Kareem Alkabbani, Pearl Mackie, Jamie Blackley, Shanina Shaik, Jonny Sweet, Sophie Cookson, and Shirley Henderson.

trial
He’s not Trump. He is more competent.

Greed was weird. It had good moments, and lame moments. I want to be positive and focus mostly on the good.

I enjoyed the strangeness of Mitchell’s character, the writer, who was above it all and awkwardly placed at the same time. Name dropping literary references, not being sure how to handle the lavish dicks all around. He is our character going through the same emotions the audience go through, except he has a bit more say in what happens by the end.

Other actors of note include Gohil, Key, and Chaudhry, who all give us realistic feeling characters. And sure. Coogan as our asshole rich man, with his slick and creative slurs. The rest of the cast isn’t given a lot to work with, outside of being unbearable rich people for the most part, doing dick things and living fake lives. It is more of a script issue than anything, but none of them stand out in a positive way to elevate the film.

The film gets really weird with the end. Often, real stories give us text updates at the end to let us know about the real characters after the events of the film. This one did that as well, except it is about fake people. Instead it talked about real issues, with a lot more weight and passion that didn’t seem to match the scrutiny during the actual film.

Sure, it had rich people doing bad things, and they noted it as bad. It still didn’t seem like such a big deal in the context of ridiculous characters. So it felt like a harder attack at the end. They should have done a better job at being more explicit with the message they were really going for overall.

On its own, its is an okay movie, with some interesting elements. In retrospect, especially how it was filmed, it might have been even better as an actual mockumentary, as it already had a lot of good elements there.

2 out of 4.

Emma.

Okay, so. Listen up. Emma is a book made by Jane Austen. It is likely not one of her most famous books, because it doesn’t feature alliteration in the title and is only one word.

Emma. with a period is a movie version of that book, of which we have already had movie versions, just not in a while.

One of the last times this was done as a movie was, of course, the movie Clueless! Oh you didn’t know it was based on Emma? Most people didn’t. I technically did not. I knew it was based on something but I kept forgetting what book that was. I read that fact several times, and you know what? In one ear and out the other.

But hey, now I saw a movie called Emma. so I can finally remember the Clueless fact.

sheeran
Bold move to get an Ed Sheeran looking guy for the lead.
Emma (Anna Taylor-Joy) is a woman with a lot of time on her hands. Tons. She has no schooling to keep her busy, she has not siblings in her home. She lives in it alone with her older father (Bill Nighy) who doesn’t really want her to leave. He views the marriage of his eldest daughter as a mistake, and their house is empty without her now, so he is fine with Emma just staying around, not looking for a husband.

Emma doesn’t have time for a man right now. She is rich, so she has very few people who could really help her station in life, so she makes her own fun. For example, she really likes to play match maker with people in the village. She really feels like she knows these villagers, poor and rich, and can find those star crossed lovers who would never have met without her help.

Her current plan? To match her friend, Harriet (Mia Goth) with the big eared but sort of cute priest (Josh O’Connor) in town. Her neighbor, a George Knightley (Johnny Flynn) thinks that Harriet should marry a local and honest farmer instead, so they both attempt to lure her in various directions, regardless of her own thoughts on the matter.

As for Emma? She might find love some day. Maybe Frank Churchill (Callum Turner) someone who is actually more wealthy and mysterious, who continuously does not visit their town because he is often “busy.” Yes, she should focus on him and no one else. That is the best bet.

Also starring Myra McFadyen, Rupert Graves, Gemma Whelan, Amber Anderson, Miranda Hart, Tanya Reynolds, Isis Hainsworth, Vanessa M. Owen, and Suzy Bloom.

love
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Drama food.
If you don’t think you would like this movie, just go ahead and ask yourself if you like’d Clueless. If you did, you might enjoy watching this movie just to compare it to Clueless to see how Clueless handled this old book. That is fun by itself.

Another pro for this movie is the colors and costumes. It is draped in decadence for the time period. The costumes pop, the outfits are awesome, and it makes me want to go to a Victorian era ball again in my life.

Music was also a strange highlight that I didn’t expect. They use very time appropriate music as the backdrop, much like a modern film might. As a scene transition. And yet it feels so strange, just having it going on in the back like it is a pop song that helps with a scene transition. It fascinated me, and I thought for sure, eventually, they’d show that church choir or whatever belting out these tunes, and they never appeared. It was a weird feeling, but a weird feeling I enjoyed.

The story itself doesn’t feel like it has the biggest amount of structure beneath it. It is obviously not a new story, given its old source, so that is one big reason why it will feel outdated. However, even taking that into context, the love story isn’t the strongest love story and a story that is a bit of a downer. I didn’t believe their love enough. Needed more time to grow it.

Hope they don’t get divorced a year after marriage. Anyways, now I am going to rewatch Clueless.

3 out of 4.