Dark Phoenix

Oh X-Men, how much we weep for thee.

X-Men so bad now, they took X-Men out of the title.

X-Men so bad, they are trying to remake their previous worst main X-Men title with the same writer.

X-Men so bad, they make a movie called Dark Phoenix and don´t have Phoenix in the movie at all.

X-Men so bad, this movie killed the X-Men.

stranger
And no amount of Albinism can save it. 

X-Men: Apocalypse took place in the 1980´s, and this one takes place in the 1990´s and features no real aging of any of the mutants. That is the real superpowers here.

At this point, they are accepted by the public, a weird timeline indeed. And after the crew was sent into space to safe a spaceship disaster. And sure enough, some space dust gets absorbed into Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) making her feel all funny inside.

It turns out Xavier (James McAvoy) may have been lying to her about her past, and hidden some of her own memories from her. That makes her sad. And mad. And willing apparently to turn her back on all of the X-Men, even killing a few of them, just to showcase how mad she is.

Also aliens.

Featuring of various amounts Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters, Halston Sage, Brian d´Arcy James, Lamar Johnson, Scott Shepherd, and Jessica Chastain.

face
X-Men so bad, their faces are breaking and not the box office records.

X-Men so bad, they keep having their greatest enemy be themselves.

X-Men so bad, that kindness saves the day, like they are care bears.

X-Men so bad, this is not the first time actors have asked for their characters to be killed in order to leave the franchise.

X-Men so bad, that they used time travel to fix the bad movies and still made more bad movies (and time paradoxes).

X-Men so bad, they have failed multiple times to make a hero turning bad in no way compelling for the viewers.

X-Men so bad, they are their own Greek tragedy in terms of a rise and fall of successful films.

X-Men so bad, their film qualities would make a better roller coaster than anything at the Island of Adventure.

X-Men so bad, I put off writing this review for months due to complete and utter apathy.

0 out of 4.

Christmas Break-In

Christmas Break-In seems to be a straight to Netflix movie that they released, without really wanting to let people know it was released.

I only found it accidentally, going deep into one of the genre lists. When I saw it, I was surprised that it carried a 2019 label with it. They didn’t put it on any sort of recommended list that I could find. I am not sure how people would know it is there?

Well, based on the description, it would probably pop up for people who searched for Home Alone and were sad to find it not on Netflix. That is my only guess. I also imagine that the list of people looking up Home Alone is relatively high.

“Oh, this is like Home Alone but a school? Fine, that’ll do.”

It turns out no, it will not do at all!

tie
The Red vs Blue series has gotten very realistic.

Izzy (Cameron Seely) wants one thing in her life for Christmas. An electric guitar. She dreams of being a rock star, and she has been taking lessons. The lessons have come from her school’s janitor (Danny Glover), who in his free time (and in her class time??) has been teaching her cords.

And you know what? Her parents (Denise Richards, Sean O’Bryan) are totally cool with it too. They are going to get her a guitar the day before Christmas when the local shop has a big big sale. It just happens to be on the same day as a big winter storm coming in, so they have to be right on time.

But apparently, Izzy’s parents are extremely forgetful of her all of the time and often forget about plans no matter how hard she reminds them. They will just work work work. What is a rich house without caring parents? So she is left at school, everyone gone, and who should arrive? Why, three criminals (Jake Van Wagoner, Katrina Begin, Douglas Spain) who are looking for shelter overnight after stealing bags of coins from a charity.

Guess she is going to have to hide from them and stop them, while hoping eventually she gets picked up.

Also starring Dawson Ehlke as the caring older brother.

phone
Got a phone, and you are a genius now, eh? 

Christmas Break-In would be like Home Alone, if Home Alone had some burglars knock on the door, the kid tell them to go away there’s people here, and then the cops arrest them.

It feels like almost nothing happens. It does take forever to just get us to the point in the story, where we have girl and criminals in the school at the same time. It requires a lot of coincidences. Her parents work together in the same building, and both forget? The snow storm hits right then? The criminals were dumb and went the wrong way for awhile? The phone dies? Everyone fucking leaves the school knowing she is sitting there waiting? Unrelated, when the hell does she have time to learn guitar from the janitor during school? I can’t imagine they are all fine with her skipping classes so often for that, especially if they are paying the janitor (the only janitor in the whole school) for a different job.

Anyways. Once the criminals get there? She does like, two things. There aren’t fun traps, there isn’t a lot of ingenuity, there is really basic stuff that wouldn’t trick…well, anyone.

And eventually, this ends, the day is saved, and hooray, guitars.

Just a complete waste of a film. They could have made it fun and cool, but they went for pointless and dull.

Lastly, no one would ever believe that Denise Richards and Sean O’Bryan could be married.

0 out of 4.

The Secret Life of Pets 2

Illumination entertainment keeps putting out movies, and they keep remaining less than stellar and below average, sometimes even bad and horrible. They rose to fame with Minions and forgot that if they want to compete with the big boys they need good stories, not just retreads of old movies.

The first Secret Life of Pets was basically just Toy Story, but with pets, and more violence to make it worse. Fun.

And in between the movies, we had all the bad Louis C.K. stuff, after they already announced The Secret Life of Pets 2! Oh no, will they recast the dog or replace him completely? They went with recasting. And they must have focused entirely on the recasting, because they couldn’t even come up with a single good story for this sequel to exist, with technically limitless possibilities.


Just dogs doing dog things.

Max (Patton Oswalt, a change!) and Duke (Eric Stonestreet) are now good pals, living together, being great. But there is going to be a change in the house. An addition??? Yes, a baby. Something that changes their lives, but something Max feels very protective over. And before the kid can go to school, they take the dogs to a farm to hang out? To have a vacation, I don’t remember at all.

While Max learns to be a better dog, he leaves a toy with Gidget (Jenny Slate) who has a whole big adventure with cats because of that.

And also Snowball (Kevin Hart), now a nice happy pet, likes to pretend he is a super hero. And by doing that, he has to help save a white tiger from a mean circus guy, which puts them on the run from these scary wolf guys who want the tiger back.

Also starring Harrison Ford, Tiffany Haddish, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Bobby Moynihan, Hannibal Buress, and Ellie Kemper.


Hey, that’s not a real cat. You’re a phony!

What do I mean when I say no single good story? Because this film needed to have three main stories instead, and loosely (read: Badly) bringing them together at the end to pretend this was a coherent thought.

It started off with our leads, but to be honest, the main story seems to really be about Snowball and the tiger. It is the plot that at least sort of brings everything together.

None of these stories on their own are enough to carry this movie. It keeps switching between plots, and honestly, the Max plot just feels like filler, and the Gidget plot has amusing moments, but not enough to be worth it. Hart’s character was the best part of the first film, and so it makes sense for him to have a bigger role, but he was less confident and exciting than the first film, for whatever reason.

I also complained that there was excessive violence in the first film, or at least violence being the solution to the problems. And well, same here. I also complained that we had too many pets driving vehicle ridiculousness, which was a theme for movies that year, and they only sort of did it this time.

Overall, this movie feels like they wanted to just make it a TV series, but were given a bigger budget and put a few ideas together. Gotta rush out those sequels, or else they might have to make more Despicable Me movies!

0 out of 4.

Dumbo

The first of the three Disney remakes this year, Dumbo has always felt like an odd choice for several reasons.

First, the original Dumbo doesn’t have a whole lot of plot going on for it. It is a simple story, so they will have to expand a lot of it in order to be worth a revisit.

Second, it was going to be directed by Tim Burton. For the most part, everything he has touched lately has been pretty shit. It has been five years since Big Eyes and 12 years since Sweeney Todd. A lot of forgettable things in between. Could he reimagine it, or will he just make it his basic Burton brand?

And thirdly, like…who the hell cares about Dumbo? Honestly? I can honestly understand most of the remakes, but I can’t imagine Dumbo was high on the list of the average viewer of something they wanted new and updated.


That doesn’t include the people who say no to every remake.

Our main-est adult character is Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell), an amputee from World War I (not called that during the movie) has returned home for work, and well, is going to work for the circus. His old boss (Danny DeVito) gives him the job to take care of the pregnant elephant, and Ms. Jumbo gives birth under his watch to a strange, large ear having elephant baby.

What a weirdo! And when they show him off eventually, the crowd makes fun of him, calls him Dumbo, and that makes his mom so mad, she gets angry and causes a ruckus, so they have to get rid of her. Damn.

Well, Holt’s kids are with him, and Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) take a liking to Dumbo. Shit, they find out he can fly if he has a feather. That sounds fun. That sounds like something that can be exploitable!

And exploit the circus does! More and more stunts, bigger and bigger audiences, more and more money!

Also featuring Michael Keaton, Eva Green, and Alan Arkin.


This frame went on to inspire the film Joker.

The original Dumbo came out in 1941, so that means two things. Honestly, a lot of people have probably never seen it. And sure, 78 years is probably long enough to wait for a remake. Much longer wait for more films. I won’t hurt them for that.

For those that saw the original, there is not a lot of film after Dumbo both learns to fly and learns to do it whenever he feels like it. So a lot of this film takes place after that, which is great. I need expanded stories.

However, they sure picked a dull way to expand his story. Just more exploitation and sadness, and corporations taking over corporations as some weird meta explaining what Disney is doing to everything.

The cast of characters are completely ones that no one will care about. Our lead girl to help inspire the youth of the world has the personality of “liking science” and apparently that is good enough.

And honestly, this whole thing was unappealing to look at. It felt too dark physically at times.The animation never grappled with me, and yes, this film oozes Burton.

I would say this is the biggest live action mistake Disney has done, but I would watch this film a dozen more times before I ever watch either of the Alice films again. Which are directed or produced by Burton too. Ah, now we know where the major problem lies.

0 out of 4.

Poms

“You know what we need? More movies about cheer leading.” – No one.

After Bring It On, our movies about cheer leading have been pretty sparse. Not of Bring It On films, we had five more of those that no one cared about. Since then, we had Sugar & Spice, which was more about crime, and Fired Up! which was…interesting.

So now we have Poms! Let’s do cheer leading, but make the cheers not exciting, and have old people do it. Go for that demographic wedge that is underrepresented.


Box office success guaranteed!

Martha (Diane Keaton) is going to die. Well, we are all going to die. But she is going to die sooner rather than later.

She has the cancer, it is a heavy level, and chemo isn’t a high guarantee of success at this point. So she says bump that, I’m just gonna die peacefully, and take care of my things so my family won’t have to. She sells her items, and goes to a retirement community to die.

Well, the head of the retirement community, Vicki (Celia Weston) says they have a reputation to uphold, so she needs to join one of their many clubs in order to remain active. And eventually, Martha gives in to her neighbors friendliness and gains Sheryl (Jacki Weaver) as a comrade. And due to reasons, they make a cheerleading club, because it’s never too late to follow your dreams.

Unless people are going to be haters for no damn reason.

Also starring Alisha Boe, Charlie Tahan, Rhea Perlman, Phyllis Somerville, Pam Grier, Patricia French, Ginny MacColl, Carol Sutton, and Bruce McGill.


Face down, back up, that’s the way I like to —

Without a doubt, the only feeling I got from Poms is the same feeling you get when you have a pile of chores you don’t want to do. I didn’t want to finish the movie, I assumed it would never get better, and it never did.

Let’s be clear, the main conflict of this movie is some ladies want to do some basic cheerleader routines, and the head bitch of the retirement community is jealous of that fact and doesn’t want them to continue. That is it. They have various sports clubs, and dance clubs, and exercise and fitness clubs, but cheerleading is somehow drawing a line too far.

A lot of the conflict comes from that. We also have an upset son who doesn’t want his future money being wasted at all. He is a lame secondary conflict. And that is about it.

Some women want to cheerlead, and some other people say no. They end up cheerleading. And all aspects of viralness the movie try to add in are completely ridiculous. A very much waste of everyone’s time.

0 out of 4.

Unplanned

Ted Cruz likes this movie, Unplanned. Ted Cruz hyped this movie as it came out in theaters. Ted Cruz talked about how wonderful it was to see this very powerful movie early. Ted Cruz encouraged people to see this movie to see the truth about abortion. Ted Cruz was happy to see its numbers. Ted Cruz hyped the movie again when it came out on DVD.

I think it is certain to say that any movie Ted Cruz decides to talk about is pretty damn bad. In at least the last 3-4 years, I haven’t seen Ted Cruz talk about any movie, at all, ever, as a regular person or a senator. And he obsessed over this one.

Clearly, Ted Cruz was given some financial incentive for this film.

It is also clear that any movie that Ted Cruz likes is likely a colossal waste of time.

operating table
Ted Cruz is just another part of the cog.

You want an abortion movie? Well you got it! This film decides the best thing for it to do is give us part of the ending first, so it can do something graphic, and then give us the long story of her life before then. And in this scene, Abby Johnson (Ashley Bratcher), director of a Planned Parenthood, has to help with an abortion by just holding an Ultrasound. And during the process, she believes the fetus is running away/trying to escape, so she realizes she is terrible and time to quit.

Before that moment though? Abby as a college student always believed in women rights. She actually had two abortions, once from an accident, and the other time from a marriage that ended up not being a good fit and she needed to escape. So she appreciated Planned Parenthood despite apparently everyone in her family being extremely religious and anti-abortion.

So she also decided to volunteer with the company. She walked women from their cars to the doors to not have to deal with the protesters. Eventually she worked her way up, got an official job, then became a counselor to help people decide what to do, and eventually also run the dang facility.

The whole time, her new husband (Brooks Ryan) is incredibly disappointed with her. There is almost never a scene of him just being happy. His religion means that she is wrong and he hates her and is kind of a dick. Not physically. But constantly judging? Definitely a dick.

Oh, and Abby’s boss, who is also climbing up the corporate ladder, Cheryl (Robia Scott) is apparently just driven by profits and loves loves love abortions. But Abby got in this job to help women who need it, but prevent them from getting to the abortion step if possible. You know, the mission of Planned Parenthood. to help women at all costs along the way.

And, spoilers, after the beginning scene, and after all this other mess and being judged, Abby quits her jobs and joins a protest group, deciding to also now shout at those women who leave their cars, but use her position of former director to give more credit to her words.

harassment
A turncoat, if you will.

In this movie, Planned Parenthood is a big boogeyman of a corporation that is driven to make lots of money. They apparently thrive off of abortions, and the more women who get abortions, the more rich they get, and the more powerful they get. They don’t care about women, they care about getting those fetuses out for that paycheck.

They are compared to Big Oil and Pharmacy companies, and driven by huge donors to get this anti-Christian agenda off and running, because of dealing with all of these bad people! And of course the boss character is just a manifestation of all of this. Needs more abortions, needs only loyalty, needs money! And it is ridiculous.

This is all supposed to be a true story. And sure, maybe Abby had a bad boss and attributed things to the whole company? That’s fucked up. But the “disasters” shown in this film, the medical emergencies, and whatever, that seem to make it look terrible, also take place over 9 years I think. If that is the case, then it seems like for the most part a nice ship has been run. All companies have hiccups.

I don’t want to say Abby Johnson is a terrible person. She was driven to this eventually to societal peer pressure. Besides hearing protesters daily for years, her husband was always extremely disappointed with her, and her parents hated her as well. Of course she’d eventually stop and “see the light”. What is messed up is instead of just abandoning it, she tried to use her former authority to convince people it was bad, when really it was just her religious doctrine getting in the way, not her authority and knowledge.

This is an annoying religious film, because 97% of the people who watch it will be those who already are anti-abortion. The other 3% are going to be people who thought it was about something else, or people like me. It won’t change a mind, it is just one of the Christian films where Christians stroke their own egos about how right they are to be Christians. A lot more of them are popping up in big amounts lately, but they are not great films, and Ted Cruz is a goddamn idiot.

Wait. No. He is not an idiot. I don’t fathom he believes all this. He is just motivated to be on this side, politically and financially (most likely), and so he is running with it. He knows it sucks too. He knows.

0 out of 4.

Skin

It is going to be very easy to get the movie, Skin, confused with the Oscar winning Short Film, Skin. After all, they both are about tattoos, Nazis, and race relations. They are about indoctrining the youth to hate. They are about revenge. They share a main actress. And they are written/directed by the same guy, Guy Nattiv.

Wait, a short and a film of the same name about similar topics with similar actors from the same person…and they are not the same thing?

Nope! The movie (which this review is for) is based on the TV documentary from 8 years ago called Erasing Hate. So this is a true story. The short is just an idea that they ran with and people really liked. I can’t tell you what was made first, but the short definitely was released first.

And I think this bares repeating. Despite all of the similarities, these stories are in no way related. They are different ideas, the film is not a long version of the short. It is just so bizarre. If it confuses people, it will really only confuse people int he know.

short
NO! That’s a shot from the short film! Not this one! No!
Our story is about a man named Bryon Widner (Jamie Bell), who was a teenager when he was recruited to join the skinheads in the Midwest. He found a place that accepted him, and he went with their ideology, and he helped with counter protests and marches against other races. Pretty much a shit person.

But then he met Julie Price (Danielle Macdonald), a woman with three kids and no man in her life, just trying to raise them right. She isn’t even like a looker, but he liked her personality and wanted to get to know her.

This relationship led to him joining their family and expanding it, while drifting away from the movement that had captivated him for decades. He didn’t really believe any of this nonsense. But he couldn’t get a good job with all these tattoos and mess on his body.

So he removed them. Hour by painfully expensive hour. Thanks to generous anonymous grants and activists groups encouraging people to see the error of their ways and change and have a way to normalcy. But the group doesn’t want him to leave…

Also starring Daniel Henshall, Bill Camp, and Mike Colter.

tats
Oh he just looks like a tamer Zombie Boy.

Now given the theme of this movie, you are probably shocked to see the rating. Does Gorgon Reviews hate people who fix their lives and stop being so racist/xenophobic?

No, he just doesn’t like this movie.

It. Was. So. Boring. Oh my god.

I didn’t feel any of the leads giving a captivating performance, I didn’t care about the man who saw the light and was lucky enough to get to fix it. It felt a lot like white privilege, that he was given a second chance, against so many people of color who barely even get a first chance.

This movie is another case where I feel the real story is better than the fictionalized movie version. I have not seen the documentary it is based on, but I bet the truth is better even if it is more messy. Real accounts and real lives affected. This one could never captivate me and felt like it was an eternity long.

And let’s be clear, there is a person in here more deserving of the movie. Daryle Jenkins (played by Colter), the African American man who started the One People’s Project, to publish information about hate groups and the far right, as warnings and to not let their hate go unnoticed. He is fighting for all of these important things, and was a key person to help Byron. But damn, Byron should just be a part of the greater movie of activist Jenkins. I am ready for that movie right goddamn now.

It is basically Green Book, but not as egregious with its choice of leads.

0 out of 4.

Gloria Bell

Many years ago, I saw a trailer for a movie called Gloria. It was a Spanish movie, but it had a lot of buzz and it looked fun. I decided I would put an effort into watching it. I thought about it for a few weeks, then I forgot about it, and went on with my life.

A couple of years ago, a different film came out called A Fantastic Woman. You may have heard of it, it won some awards. I definitely made sure to see it, given its nomination, and I saw it was by the director of Gloria. “Oh yeah! Gloria!” That movie I meant to see and forgot about. I should get on that and see it eventually. And then I forgot about it.

And then, finally, I got an invite to see Gloria Bell. That sounds familiar. And sure enough the trailer brings back the memories of the Gloria trailer, song and all. Oh no, an American remake? Sort of.

Does it count as an American remake if the remake is done by the same director and in his vision? Does it automatically make it inferior still?

pool
Well, in this case, probably. 
Gloria Bell (Julianne Moore) is in her upper middle ages, basically old, without being, you know, old. She has kids, they are adults and starting their families. She is divorced, she works, she likes disco, and she wants to have a fun life.

But something keeps getting in the way. You know, herself. She sees so many faults in others, and her anxieties get in the way of finding happiness.

Despite this, she finds Arnold (John Tuturro), a man who likes disco and is also divorced. This feels like true love, in her later live, but there are issues. Issues with Arnold’s family and their dependence on him. It gets in the way of their happiness. And no matter what, he can’t abandon his kids and ex just for happiness.

So what’s a girl to dance? I dunno. Dance, dance, dance the night away.

Also starring Michael Cera, Holland Taylor, Brad Garrett, and Caren Pistorius.

hotel
Ah yes, Vegas, city of love, city by the bay./em>

Okay, technically, I don’t know if Gloria Bell is worse than Gloria, since I haven’t seen Gloria. And unfortunately, now that I have seen Gloria Bell, I probably won’t see Gloria ever. It might be better. It might be the same. I don’t know and won’t know because Gloria Bell has turned me so far off from this story, that the last thing I want to see is the story again, but this time with subtitles.

Basically, this is a film that is inspired by the song Gloria. It is a nice song, very catchy, and they use it in the film. And that is the whole story. There isn’t much else of depth. It is not only frustrating to watch this character act that way, but it is boring. I never feel any reason to hope better for her, given her ability to dig her own holes.

Sure being lonely sucks, but she probably just has to be lonely it looks like.

Gloria Bell is forgettable, and bad. I don’t know if it is actually as bad as my rating, but I did feel like hours of my life were wasted at the end.

0 out of 4.

Movie Roundup – Documentaries 2018 Part 1

Welcome to a Movie Roundup! A movie roundup features a few films that I didn’t feel like making full reviews for, but needed to get basic reviews out there for completionist reasons. It also helps me deal with my backlog. It may have a theme, and today’s theme is Documentaries 2018 (Part 1)! Basically, the documentaries I watched and didn’t yet write about, and need to really review, or else.

Being on a movie round up doesn’t mean a movie is inherently bad, or good, or meh. I can feature any rating on here! So don’t assume the worst! I will also just post the reviews in alphabetical order.


Documentaries 2018 Part 1

The Bleeding Edge

The Bleeding Edge is a Netflix medical documentary, and one I assumed was targeted towards Women. You know, because of bleeding.

And sure it isn’t about periods, but it is definitely geared towards women in some aspect, as two of the three technologies would only go into women. Long story short, there are a lot of “cutting edge” technologies out there that can save lives, be put into people, to solve problems. You know, like the pacemaker. However, the medical technology field is the least overseen of the official fields, unlike food and drugs. Anyone can get their device approved, especially if you just say its the same as a previously approved device, but one change. You can daisy chain approvals, and get to a point where what you are claiming was approved, was only approved from something else now discontinued for not working.

That is scary, people can get hurt, watch what you put in your body, and check the testing. That is what this documentary teaches, which is fine, but I can’t fully explain its science. I will assume dozens of real people testimony about other side effects should be heard, and this documentary gives them a voice, it is just a bit boring.

2 out of 4.

Bleeding

Death of a Nation

Look who it is. Dinesh D’Souza, this fucker. This guy who breaks the law, gets pardoned by Trump, and keeps making these documentaries.

I wanted to watch this one in the theaters and review right away, but still, I knew how it would be, and knew how angry I would be, and didn’t want to give it any more money. So I yes, waited, until I could see it for free, and then blast it, and here is the blasting.

A lot of this documentary is saying the same things he has said in past documentaries. No one gives a shit about Thomas Jefferson and it isn’t relevant to now. The past is not now, and right now Republicans are racist and shitty. Very simple. He badly tries to tear down Democrats and there is nothing new in this documentary at all. He isn’t even trying, he just needs his documentary every 2 years to take from Republicans, to give it back to Republicans. Hard pass.

0 out of 4.

Dinesh

Fahrenheit 11/9

Speaking of political documentaries, we have Fahrenheit 11/9, a sequel or sort. I will say the title is very clever, since it is about the election, and that happened on 11/9. Fantastic work on titles, Michael Moore.

A lot of people don’t like him and that is fair. He is brash and in your face and annoying. But this is not just an inverse of the previous documentary. Like one that only Liberals will like or anything. It is definitely in its sort of own path, and plenty of liberals won’t like it, either. Moore does a better job of shitting on current Democratic leadership and practices over the last decade than D’Souza has in his last few movies. There are real truths here and they are important and useful for us to move forward.

Overall again, not a great piece of work, but it is better, and highlights some interesting aspects of the Flint water crisis as well.

2 out of 4.

Fahrenheit

Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind

I think that this is one of the first movies I watched that started my giant backlog of things to review. I saw it, couldn’t figure out how to write about it, and it just sat there on my list, forever, waiting and waiting, and then other films joined it, and here we are today.

Robin Williams is fucking amazing. Everyone knows it, or should know it, and if they like him they should see it. It gives a nice life arc, the darkest times, the better times, his family, and so on. And it goes over his passing, the aftermath, and some of the reasons why it occurred. It made me realize some of the friendships he had with some other big names that I never knew, and they tell some touching anecdotes. I watched it, I loved it, and surprisingly it didn’t make me cry.

It still feels odd as a documentary, and was never close to being as impactful as something like RBG and Won’t You Be My Neighbor?. Which is odd, because as a viewer, I would say I actually had a relationship with Williams unlike the other two, but still couldn’t get as engrossed in this documentary on his life.

3 out of 4.

Robwilliams

Shirkers

There are documentaries, and then there is Shirkers. Shirkers is weird, and haunting. It draws you in, while seemingly being about nothing.

I had no idea why it hypnotized me when it seemed that it was about the making of an independent movie far away, like, how could it be good? Why should I care? And at the end, it is still hard to answer that question, even when you find out who the documentary actually ends up being about. The amount of footage of the film is incredible, and it seems like the type of movie I definitely would not have enjoyed.

And yet, I could not look away. The only suggestion for a documentary like Shirkers is to just watch the documentary. Give it a try. See it. If it doesn’t look good after about 10 minutes, then bail, but really any information on it outside of what I gave is just something to be discovered.

3 out of 4.

Shirkers

Overall, there are lots of documentaries out there that I have seen this year, and more that I have (because this is just part 1). But I put some of the bigger names in this one, because I am ashamed they didn’t have reviews already. Not that part 2, or 3 will be bad, but hey, they will come out soon enough.

Movie Roundup – Online Releases 2018

Welcome to a Movie Roundup! A movie roundup features a few films that I didn’t feel like making full reviews for, but needed to get basic reviews out there for completionist reasons. It also helps me deal with my backlog. It may have a theme, and today’s theme is Online Releases 2018! Basically, things that started out on the internet, ideally a streaming website, because it is a loose theme, and I will take it.

Being on a movie round up doesn’t mean a movie is inherently bad, or good, or meh. I can feature any rating on here! So don’t assume the worst! I will also just post the reviews in alphabetical order.


Online Releases 2018

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Can we go wrong with the Coen brothers? Yes, we totally can. But I can’t help but feel something wonderful when they continually try to do something different, or make the normal a lot more eccentric. This time, they went back to the former, while also going back to some of those old timey western roots, which are arguably their best movies. Except this time, it is straight to Netflix, and an Anthology movie with six short films instead. The only connection? Western.

This ends up working really well, even if I can say I didn’t love every part of the anthology. Unfortunately, the best and most fun was the first of the stories, and probably me least favorite was number two. I really enjoyed the one about the prospectors and the woman with her not dog too. When it works, it really works, and when it doesn’t work, it is still well made and a bit beautiful, if not full of fuckery. This is not a happy movie, and it can easily be watched in parts, and deserves praise for its individual shorts that work out amazingly well.

3 out of 4.

Ballad
None of these people share a scene with the others.

The Kissing Booth

On the other hand, Netflix has made it clear its strategy isn’t to appeal to just the best movie ever, but to instead go for all the demographics so that they all have something to watch, which is fair. Netflix having a shit movie doesn’t mean that Netflix is bad, I just don’t have to watch it…if I am a normal movie goer.

But this movie is something else, and it has crawled out of the pits of hell thanks to some teenage girl. Yeah, it is based on a book, written by a teenage girl, on some website, and now its a movie. An uninspired romance movie, that seems to rely on the kissing booth as a feature, despite not being featured too heavily in the grand scope. It features a love interest who is super controlling, threatening, and uses his fists to solve problems. Ah, what good values to instill in our youth.

0 out of 4.

Kissing
Help, help, I’m trapped in a 90s movie.

My Dinner with Hervé

Over on HBO, they also like to do movies, and shows, and documentaries. In this one, we have dudes as the stars, with one of them being one of their biggest stars of their biggest show. Makes sense. Peter Dinklage playing a biographical role, of possibly the most famous little person in history (before Peter Dinklage and Verne Troyer), Hervé Villechaize. Made famous for being in Fantasy Island and The Man With The Golden Gun.

Now, this is all according to a journalist, but it is based on the night out on the town with Hervé, where he also recounts his whole life story leading up to the point, his rises, and his many many downfalls. Dinklage does an amazing job of transforming himself, or what I know about himself, and this is an extremely touching tale of a childhood of abuse and sadness, while still trying to make something about it. It never seems to go deep enough into the sadder parts though, and probably skirts around important details. I just knew that it started off way better than it eventually ended.

2 out of 4.

DINNer
And that is also true about life, I suppose.

Slice

Slice might not technically fit this theme, because it came out on VOD, but hey, my themes are loose, and I want it in this post. Slice is the type of movie that is just so out there, it is hard to believe that it even exists. Vampires, werewolves, zombies, ghosts, murder mystery, pizza store, witches, and such a strange plot and concept. It is the type of movie that when describing it you know will have a cult following and probably LARPing in the future.

But in all honestly, it just doesn’t work out well. The only redeeming factor is that it definitely feels original. It just is a weird mash of ideas that aren’t fully explained because it isn’t fully thought through. It is cool, it is weird, but it is definitely not good.

1 out of 4.

sLIce
Although, it made me want pizza, so good job there.

The Tale

Finally, another HBO movie (sorry Hulu), that I didn’t even know came out this last summer. I would have never known it existed if it didn’t get nominated for a Spirit award. I mean, it has a big name in it, and it is about sexual abuse when someone was a child. Sure, a fictional tale, but a tale that resonates due to how often similar “tales” have been told by other girls in relation to their coaches while growing up. Hell, the gymnastics scandal was in 2018, maybe even going on after this movie. It is very relevant.

Dern plays someone very vulnerable and stubborn at the same time. It doesn’t end with fireworks, but plays it in a more realistic way. More importantly, the girl who plays the younger version is amazing at her role. Her acting, in normal kid way, amplifies the creepiness of everything. It puts the viewer in a dark place and really helps bring the hate towards these sexual predators.

3 out of 4.

tale
These two adults are now on my despise list, well done!

Overall, steaming platforms put out a lot of duds, and some successes. And especially Netflix, because I will never catch up on on their new releases. Or, maybe I will, if I just keep the review format like this and not larger. But these ones caught my eye for some reason or another and I chose them to watch to review, and never got around to actually writing.

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