Tag: 1 out of 4

Twist

I often post interesting stories on how I ended up finding about a movie if it ends up being a more obscure piece. The story for Twist is rather unique for me given the circumstances.

You see, the director of Twist is Martin Owen. Martin Owen also directed a film last year called Max Cloud that I was given a screener for. But, I also interviewed Martin Owen, which is a shame, because I disliked Max Cloud a lot. It made my worst of the year list.

But in preparing for the interview, I looked up his past and future work, and also briefly talked about his upcoming movie Twist which had some actual famous people in it and a bigger budget. I wasn’t looking forward to Twist, because I disliked Max Cloud so much, but I was still curious on how it would end up.

PARKOUR
It would end up in parkour-land, apparently. 

Oh boy oh boy, our young Oliver, who is going to just go by Twist (Rafferty Law) (that’s the movie name!), is a criminal! Well, he doesn’t have a family, so that might as well be illegal.

But no, he is also a graffiti artist. He likes to spray paint the sides of buildings or whatever, illegally, because he considers himself to be an artist. And he often has to run from the law due to this fact, but the good news is, is that he is really good at parkour. Climbing up and down walls. Jumping over roofs and alleys. Shimmying up ladders. Whatever.

This gets him discovered by a gang of thieves! And they want him to help with the heist of a century. It is going to involve parkour, a lot of parkour. Also it is an art heist, so that keeps the theme in tack. But he is a new guy on a team. Can they trust the little bastard?

Also starring Noel Clarke, Lena Headey, David Williams, Jason Maza, Sophie Simnett, Franz Drameh, Rita Ora, Jade Alleyne, and of course, Michael Caine.

Michael Caine is in this movie
There is no parkour here, there isn’t even parcheesi. 

You may be asking yourself, is Michael Caine actually in this movie? Or is that a thing where he has about two scenes and that is it, so highly billed and advertised but not really in it? Nah…he is actually in it many times, as the head of the orphan art thieves. Go figure. But Michael Caine has said for years he doesn’t mind being in shitty movies, as long as he gets his pay day. That quote is paraphrased.

Twist, and let me remind you I really have no clue what the plot of the original is about, outside of an orphan wanting more food, tells a pretty dull tale. It is a heist film, and a secure painting must be found, stolen without anyone knowing, and brought back to the hideout. So a lot of shenanigans, and red hearings will be in the way, and probably some, oh what is that work, twists?  Ahh. Is that a pun technically? I hope not, because of course a heist movie will have some twists.

Twist is definitely better than the previous work, Max Cloud, and it might just be due to the budget. It looks nicer, there is some unique camera shots, and the acting isn’t as bad (although cheesy over the top acting was part of the point for Max Cloud). Twist is still overall a dull, and boring movie but at least it isn’t trash trash.

It is also quite forgettable. It took me almost two months to write this review, and who knows how long I will take to actually publish it as well.

1 out of 4.

Doors

You know what we need? More beautiful and glorious independent sci-fi film. I think Arrival counted as indie. Maybe it wasn’t. It felt indie at least.

And Doors, at least by cover art and plot, looks like something that could be confused with Arrival.

So I will go in expecting Arrival level quality, or else I riot and walk.

kids
Arrival had some kids in it, sure. 

Doors is actually a sci-fi movie with four related yet independent parts (the last one is very short). It involves suddenly these black alien entities that appear all around the world in random places. They get nicknamed as doors (even though they don’t look like doors), but you can walk into them and go somewhere. And they also talk to some people.

The first segment, Lockdown, is when they first arrive, and centers on some students taking a test. That one stars Kathy Khanh, Julianne Collins, Aric Floyd, Rory Anne Dahl, Christopher Black, and Saman Kesh.

Then a few weeks later, we have the Knockers segment, named after people who go into the doors to investigate. They have a limited amount of time to gather any intel to report back, before being trapped or losing their own minds. This one features Josh Peck and Lina Esco.

The third segment, 100 or so day after the doors, we focus on Jamal, a lone scientist who thinks he has figured out how to actual communicate with the doors. Hearing them and letting them hear him. Starring Kyp Malone, Kristina Lear, Bira Vanara, and Wilson Bethel.

The last segment is a quick zoom interview, with a conspiracy DJ and a famous alien scientist, featuring Darius Levanté.

knockers
Even got fun containment costumes. Will it make me cry? 

Doors was nothing like Arrival, of course, and I only have myself to blame for that. With four different stories though, unfortunately, it would require most of them to be good -awesome for the movie to be worth it. From my count we have two average stories, and two below average stories, which is a huge disappointment.

The first two were the okay ones. In the school, it had a couple nice moments, but that was about it. It kept up the mystery which is nice. The second story, with the knockers, had the potential to be fun. It had a lot of mind fuckery going on inside the doors. But mind fuckery for mind fuckery’s sake is not worth it if there is no real purpose behind it. I mean, maybe the purpose is evil aliens. It however still needs something to give it meaning or reason and it chooses not to.

What I am saying is, I can’t overall like it, if I don’t eventually find out a reason for what was going on. And they don’t give a good reason, besides Alien space magic tech and that is it, which is a sort of boring answer.

The last two stories? Well, one didn’t seem interesting. It had a guy be able to communicate back and forth with a door for others to hear. But we also already knew they could communicate in some way. Was that more interesting? Nope. More just silly door shenanigans. And the last one felt like it wanted to be a scene out of a Paranormal  Activity movie.

Doors could have been great. It could have tried to give any answers to it. It could have gone for some deep psychology. But it went for a couple of scares and a couple of snoozes instead. Yawn.

1 out of 4.

Slaxx

Ever since Rubber came out, we have all been thinking the same thing. When is the next “horror” film involving a normally non sentient object coming to life going to come out and blow us all away?

Rubber was weird. Rubber was ground breaking. Rubber had some existential questions that were never going to get answered, and it lead to a lot of confusion.

But what about Pants? People usually like pants, and people usually like rubbers (hehhh). Some people really hate pants. Can we have pants go on a killing spree and hurting people? That is what some Canadians asked themselves I guess, most likely really late one night, and that is now why Slaxx is in our lives and wants to party. But not at a pantsless party. They would hate that discrimination.

slurp
Is it absorbent? Can it soak up blood stains and not show?

Libby McClean (Romane Denis), who definitely has a name like that, is a bright eyed, bushy tailed young lady who is ready to make her mark on the world! How? Well, she just got a job at the ~~coolest~~ trendy fashion store ever. It is the best. Everyone likes it, and they have great sales and cutting designs and they do good for the world too. They really care about life and helping others and, well, fashion.

She gets to work on a very important night for them, because they are about to do a new product launch! This is something really special, a one size fits all pair of jeans. One that more perfectly forms to fit the wearer and learns their shape quickly. Its all in the fibers, or something.

And sure enough, once the door is locked, and someone wears the product early, they find themself quietly offed. And then the pants moves around to strike again.

There is a lot riding on this night for the store and its stakeholders. But maybe this is a pair of pants with a conscious? Maybe it is trying to right some wrong? Maybe this is about how the fashion industry is ruining the lives of people around the world? Who knows!

Also starring Erica Anderson, Hanneke Talbot, Stephen Bogaert, Brett Donahue, Sehar Bhojani, Kenny Wong, and Tianna Nori.

pants army
I’m gonna fight ’em all,
A nine pants army couldn’t hold me back. 

Well well well. I went into Staxx excited. I saw the poster and I knew that I wanted it. I knew that I needed it. I was ready.

And yet, here I am, extremely disappointed. It was a comedy horror, but the comedy elements were just forgotten about it. I guess it was light hearted a bit. Was that the comedy? Was it because of pants killing them it was just hoping that was hilarious enough? Was it supposed to be the level of extreme that some people felt about pants, or the influencer’s presence? Was it because the pants danced to Indian music? I don’t know, I just know I never laughed and thus the disappointment.

The message is fine. It raises some good points about the fashion industry and exploitation and how corporations try to seem woke but often lie about what they do in real life. Just hide and deflect and promise to change while changing to a different harder to detect bad method. You know.

But honestly the message really didn’t deliver by the end either. Not even the message of extreme commercialism and the need for something new. I thought the ending was pretty poor. Even the explanation for the pants was relatively poor, but it was better than I figured it would be going in. I literally thought it was supposed to be demonic, so that is a plus.

Slaxx didn’t deliver anything to me that it seemed to promise. It wasn’t funny or scary, it was just weird, but not in a good way. And with this conclusion, I can say, I still am not a fan of pants at all.

1 out of 4.

Yes Day

I don’t think there is a lot that has to be said about the movie Yes Day before going into the movie Yes Day. We know what it is about, and a lot of people can probably assume the hijinks involved.

So let’s talk about the director. Miguel Arteta. He has previous family film experience with Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, where it also featured Jennifer Garner in the mom role, and a lot of shenanigans happening to a family during a day. Looking at other films, there are a lot of misses. Youth in Revolt, Cedar Rapids, last year’s Like a Boss (which was pretty bad, but didn’t make my worst of the year list, but almost did). Not a great track record, for a movie I am already sus about.

cars
Glitter and costumes are a plus for Yes Days.
You know who used to be cool? Allison (Jennifer Garner).  She used to go skydiving, travel the world, and say yes to lots of things. That is how she got married, by saying yes, to Carlos Torres (Edgar Ramirez). But now they are older, and they are parents. Allison has to say no a lot of the time, to make sure her kids are safe and don’t die. She hates that. Carlos has to say no at work at lot, as a lawyer and head person, and he hates that too. So he makes sure to be more fun at home and let his wife take all the heat.

And sure, now their kids (Jenna Ortega, Julian Lerner, Everly Carganilla) all hate their mom. Two of them submitted this information as school assignments and projects too, which is pretty fucked up. And because of a school counselor (Nat Faxon), Allison determined to be the cool person agrees for a Yes Day.

This is a day where the kids can’t be told, outside of some agreed upon ground rules. Like distances and costs. And they make an additional bet with the oldest daughter, that if the mom ever cracks, then the 14 year old daughter can go to a local music fest with friends and no parents. Yuck.

Oh what golly shenanigans will there be?

Also featuring Fortune Feimster and Arturo Castro.

armies
I believe three of these outfits already surpassed their proposed budgets.
The reason for the Yes Day is for the kids to feel like there is autonomy over their lives. A holiday for them for kids. And I immediately take some issues with that, because most holidays are already for kids. The pageantry of Easter and Christmas and Halloween and all of that is just kid fun frenzies. Even the more adult oriented holiday’s have kid appropriate activities to get them hooked young. So we are starting with a sort of gross representation on what kids can do for holidays.

Secondly, as mentioned in the second photo, holy shit, the rules are a lie. They tell us the budget constraints (and later on in the movie she gets rid of the rules yes), but the scene with the outfits takes place before anything was lifted. They gave a dumb excuse for how so many people were gathered for the event to. They could have just made it a real thing already going to happen with them joining in on that day, that would make sense. But to get hundred people, and outfits for all of them, and the family? Damn that is dumb. And the game didn’t seem to make much sense either? People could be eliminated if hit I think, but only if the ref saw and felt like calling it? I don’t get it.

Going to Magic Mountain was a bad twist too. Ain’t no body trying to go to a theme part in the afternoon, when the lines are the worst. Why would any child be happy with that? They know they’d get there and get on two rides and their day would be over. Why the hell is the mom freaking out about a regular rollercoaster when she used to skydive?

A lot of unplanned shenanigans also occurred at the end. We got dad trying to bail. We got theme park. We got jail. We got unaccompanied minors. The house party was fine. But I have never seen a kid every give a shit about some foam coming out of a tiny or large volcano. Ever. Anytime it is done in real life it is disappointing. But they love have little kids in movies and shows think it is the coolest thing ever.

The final concert scene was kind of cute. It took too long to be very effective I think, and apparently H.E.R. is a real artist?

More things that annoyed me. In the beginning of the movie, Carlos didn’t stand up for his wife at all. Holy shit, the video made about her was terrible, and he like reluctantly told the kids to apologize or say it wasn’t true. They didn’t, wife left sad, and he did jack shit. Damn man, time for some Hulk energy. Be the goddamn bad guy (no, his stint at the end of the movie did not give him any credit). Feel bad for Garner. She gave up 100% of herself for her kids and family, and even her husband walks all over her after 14 years of kids.

1 out of 4.

Tom & Jerry

And now for the movie everyone has been clamoring for…Tom & Jerry!

But you know, animated versions interacting with real people! Yeah! That is what we want for sure!

Okay, but for real. Space Jam was a hit. No way this has to mean an auto flop. I guess if there is a good reason behind it, it should be fine. What better way to fill your film with A-listers to help sell the product than by letting them interact with CGI technology?

fight
If the angst is fake, we must dispose of the cartoons.
Kayla (Chloe Grace Moretz) is a down on her luck, but smart woman, just needing a break and an income in New York City. She ends up conning her way into a sweet hotel gig, and honestly, she is probably qualified if she can convince enough people she is knowledgeable in my eyes.

But this luxurious hotel is hosting the biggest wedding of the year this weekend. Two really big social media influences (Colin Jost / Pallavi Sharda) and they are rich and it will be the tits. Can I use that term in a kids movie review?

Anyways, another hotel liaison, Terence (Michael Pena) doesn’t trust her at all, and thinks she is up to something. So he will watch out for her and hope she doesn’t ruin things. Oh also there is a cat named Tom and a mouse named Jerry I guess, they are involved in all of this for some reason.

Also starring Rob Delaney, Patsy Ferran, Jordan Bolger, Ken Jeong, Daniel Adegboyega, Nicky Jam, Lil Rel Howery, Utkarsh Ambudkar, and Bobby Cannavale.

gasp
“I am shocked, shocked! To find you two causing problems.” – Chloe, probably
What is the normal plot of Tom & Jerry? Tom is a house cat, Jerry is a home invader who starts to live in their owners house and Tom is supposed to kill him for the owner I assume. Jerry is clearly not a pet. And mice can live a lot of places and aren’t entitled to human houses or anything like that. But I think the cartoons ignore a lot of that and just make the back and forth seem natural and fine.

So what about the movie? Well, we know that Jerry isn’t a rich mouse so can’t get a sexy apartment and eventually sneaks into a fancy hotel and is seen by guests and they want him out. That makes sense. This is a fine establishment with a no pets policy already. We also see Tom making money in the park as a piano playing cat. He also pretends to be blind for more sympathy tips maybe. Kind of bad. He should be able to rely on just his cat piano self, its already impressive. Then Jerry comes up and puts his own jar out as a dancing mouse and tips go to him.

Why are the tips going to Jerry? What’s more impressive, a dancing mouse or even a non-blind cat playing piano? One is just straight up reactions. So Tom gets notably angry at him for this, but Jerry keeps winning.

Alright, so like, I don’t know what they are doing to make us on Jerry’s side? Because the one constant is of course that Tom tries to get Jerry and Jerry wins and survives and Tom gets hurt. But in the cartoon Tom is just doing his job assigned to him? In this movie, Tom gets hired by the hotel to help get Jerry out of there before the wedding and guests find out about a mouse problem. Again, a job.

Sure, the animals in this world are all animated, but they also are animals. People eat meat. Jerry isn’t inherently a special mouse. He is someone who broke into a business as a trespasser and won’t leave. And everyone is fine with the fact that cats eat mice. There are zero problems here from Tom.

And yet, that is what we get repeatedly. The same shenanigans. Tom continually losing and getting hurt in terrible ways.

The fact that this is set in the real world makes things a bit worse. The wanton destruction of their surroundings, in the park, in NYC, in the hotel lobby. It is ridiculous as he humans just stand by and have continual WTF looks on their faces. My own kids laughed early on at some of the shenanigans, but once the real world implications continued to occur and compound, they didn’t. It is hard to laugh over seeing things get destroyed and violence even on the cartoon scale.

So we have a majority conflict where the bigger jerk continues to win (and obviously this is not a story where the bad guy eventually loses). We get violence after violence. And a plot that kind of includes them.

Sure, the movie eventually tries to give us a message of togetherness and harmony. But it doesn’t feel earned at all. And it all just feels like a mistake.

0 out of 4.

Cosmic Sin

To sin is divine and to err is human. Is that a quote? Probably.

Strictly speaking, sinning probably refers generally to doing bad stuff in the Christian religion that their god said was a no-no. Whether it is one of ten things or one out of hundreds is debatable. So what would a Cosmic Sin be?

Can you be a Christian on another planet? Does their god care if you keep the Sabbath holy if you are on another planet with different lengths in days? Do you have to keep track of Earth Sunday’s regardless of the time or day of your planet?

Or is a Cosmic Sin just a generic term to mean something so bad, that it is bad on a galaxy plus level? What could be that bad? A double forgetting of the Sabbath maybe?

bruce
Is wearing space armor after some space holiday a cosmic sin?

After some initial plot, it turns out we are hundreds of years in the future, the world united due to some past nonsense as a federation power. And now? Now there are aliens that we have to deal with.

Initially they don’t know if they are good or bad, but the aliens do start attacking our side, so of course, they must be bad. Ideally, this won’t start a big war between planets, that is costly and sucks. Can’t we just end the war really quick with a small force? That’d be nice.

That is why they get James Ford (Bruce Willis). They want him to un-retire so he can lead a small team of people to the planet and maybe put an end to this thing. And hopefully they don’t start an interstellar war by going, that would be the opposite of their planned outcomes.

Also starring Frank Grillo, Brandon Thomas Lee, Corey Large, C.J. Perry, Lochlyn Munro, Perrey Reeves, Costas Mandylor, Eva De Dominici, and Adelaide Kane.

army
The good news about space armor is that you don’t have to protect your head.

That was probably one of the worst plot descriptions I have ever written. I definitely watched Cosmic Sin. But it is not a plot that sticks with me. The movie felt like a complete drag. Hours later, after I had seen it, I realized I forgot almost every aspect of the film. I remembered the ending in the bar, and one scene when the aliens first start attacking,  and that is about it. That isn’t enough for a great plot analysis.

But the gist is there. And hey, you know I was bored as all could be.

For a moment I did think this might be something where Grillo/Willis was noted as the leads, while also barely being in it. That is only partially true. They are for sure in it, and have main parts. But I will also say that that there for sure a lot of scenes, relatively long in length, where they are not present as all. They were probably limited in some amount for actual time to do shoots, but the film did the best they could around it, if I had to imagine any scenario.

Overall, Cosmic Sin is forgettable enough that I would probably forget to write the review if it came out a week later. I had high hopes, because damn it, this movie had Lochlyn Munro, and I like the guy. His part was limited too.

1 out of 4.

Chaos Walking

Chaos Walking is obviously not the only movie to be delayed recently, but it is notable that it was delayed before the Pandemic! It finished shooting in late 2017, but they announced it needed reshoots in mid 2018 due to people hating it, and they had to wait a whole year to do reshoots, thanks to the leads being in major franchises and having full schedules.

Then it was delayed March 2020, and you know the rest there.

It turns out this is based on a book, The Knife of Never Letting Go, in the Chaos Walking trilogy. I really like that title though. It reminds me of Never Let Me Go. And it puts the future of this trilogy into question. Too many YA novels have an issue where the trilogy name is used for the first book, meaning future books/films have awkward naming conventions. And for this, they used the trilogy name instead of the book name.

Huh. Interesting. Okay. Well, future movie’s will worry about that issue then, if they get any.

running
Okay, this is Chaos Running actually.

Todd (Tom Holland) is just a kid living a world that has gotten pretty fucked over. First of all, no women! Boooo. Second of all, only men! Boooo!

Now this world isn’t our world, it is New World. And at some point a virus came and killed everyone on it called The Noise. The Noise was fatal to women, and for men it just made it so their inner thoughts were all audible to those around them, and creating a visible cloud around their head. Also there is some alien stuff.

Todd is set to being a new warrior or scout or whatever, as he gets older and learns to better control his thoughts. But then he discovers a crash landing on his planet and finds, a girl?! Viola (Daisy Ridley) and a crew crashed down, not good, but she is the only survivor, and they have no clue about this Noise stuff.

And a few plot shenanigans later, Todd and Viola are on the run from his city, who want to capture the girl, and look up settlements that are rumored to exist, even though Todd thought he was in the only real community left in the world.

Also starring Demián Bichir, David Oyelowo, Kurt Sutter, Cynthia Erivo, Mads Mikkelsen, Nick Jonas, and Bethany Anne Lind.

thoughts
No, he is not thinking of the movie The Color Purple

Jeez, I wonder what they changes with this version versus their initial version? I hope it wasn’t adding in MORE ACTION because honestly, that was one of their weaker points. The action, and fighting, especially near the end. I was a much bigger fan of the drama and suspense before that. You can have a big fight between communities without needing to bog us down in the fighting.

I am not anti violence, it just felt like a lot more at the end versus any point earlier, even if the threat was already there. I was more curious about the mystery, and the aliens, and the virus, all of that, and it just never delved enough for me.

The acting is fine, but for a movie with stars like that, this is not good enough.  I do think Bachir probably did the best of the bunch, but he was also limited in his role.

This is supposed to be a fantastic book and trilogy, and honestly at this point, I can’t see how the book would be good for me. I feel like the movie not really being great, while also telling me about the secrets (unless they are different) would ruin the appeal of the book and I have no reason at all to seek it out. I certainly don’t read everything, and I try not to read things before movie adaptations, but I do get quite annoyed when a movie takes away my desire to ever read the story.

A potentially riveting plot line that is ruined with mediocrity and forgettableness.

1 out of 4.

Bliss

If ignorance is bliss, what does that mean for the movie Bliss? Is it also ignorance?

The is a good question, and honestly, the movie Bliss is definitely going for this quote when it picked the title. You can live your life happy. You can live your life normal. But what if there is more out there? What if you are in a simulation and trapped? Would you want to know that? You wouldn’t be blissful in that regard.

But bliss can be brought by different ways. Through narcotics, for example, that just wipe away your worries, and make you forget about the bad.

Huh, maybe this film is about both.

hayek
I don’t know what is happening here, but ACAB.
Greg Wittle (Owen Wilson) is some sort of person with a job and a family. He isn’t that successful at either. He is divorced. And even though he has a big job in in his firm, his performance has been notably slipping lately.  In fact, his boss wants to talk to him about that specifically, and fires him.Aw shucks.

Well, an argument happens with his boss, and Greg books it out of the building to hide out across the street, where he meets Isabel Clemens (Salma Hayek), a girl from his drawings. She helps him get out of a few jams, so he trusts her now, and is whisked away in the city.

Sure, she may be some level of homeless, but she says she does it to live off the grid. She knows that they are living in a simulation and that Greg is one of the few real people in the simulation for a visit along with her. She proves it by giving him a pill that gives him the power to mess with the world around them, like they are kinetic. Oh shit. This must be real!

But what about Greg’s kids (Nesta Cooper, Jorge Lendeborg Jr.)? Are they really fake? Will being on the streets, hiding from the world improve his life? Can he escape this situation?

Also starring Bill Nye.

walk
You mean to tell me the Bill Nye? The Science Guy? Is in this film? Wow!

Bliss wants to be a movie that has it both ways and keeps itself open to interpretation to keep the conversation going. Never fully giving an answer. But honestly, after watching it, I can only see one answer. Is it drugs? Is it a simulation?

This isn’t a spoiler, it is my just thoughts on the film. But when watching this movie, throughout, the only thing I can ever think about is that this movie is about drugs and drug addiction. It just has the simulation angle as a hook to get people to watch it, and hey, people addicted can totally live their reality thinking their reality isn’t real. (Damn, what a sentence that was).

And when examining this film as a movie about the dangers of drug addiction, and seeking out help, and letting them overtake your life, this is a much better film. If you examine it as a movie about being in a simulation it is pretty bad. It doesn’t have a great ending, despite believing it to be a simulation still, and uhhh, I just don’t get a lot out of this thought process.

So why the low rating? Well, there is a certain simulation scene, that takes up way too much of the movie. It is like, the entire second and maybe part of the third act. There is no reason to be in that mode for so long. It is so boring. It is uninteresting. It is like ten minutes of content that they just stretch over 30-40 and it slows the movie down. It is really quick early on and stays that way for a good chunk. A slow down could be helpful, but not if we are just sitting there wondering what is the point and waiting to get back to the actual story (because we all know its coming).

Wilson and Hayek are okay at the acting in this one, this is probably one of Hayek’s better in the last few years, but she also has been in a lot of shit lately, so that doesn’t say a lot. The film does a good job of having us feel for the daughter character, and we can all be so lucky to have a kid like her.

1 out of 4.

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things

Let’s say we had the title as a real item. You know, The Map of Tiny Perfect Things.

What does that mean? Is it a treasure map thing that takes you on an adventure? One tiny prefect thing to the next? Or is it just like a regular map, but instead of street names (or in addition to street names), it has some perfect things along the way.

What a useless sounding map, holy damn.

I mean, these things that are perfect. They are tiny? And I guess they are plentiful enough to make a map? I don’t know why I’d want a map like this.

love?
“Oooh, I love it when you talk to me like a cartographer.”
Mark (Kyle Allen) wakes up one summer morning, during a time when he has summer school, and has an interesting morning. He knows stuff in the crossword, he knows what his sister will say, and he has breakfast timed perfectly. Heck, traveling around his town, he flows seamlessly around traffic and people, helping people along the way, things are going great. It is because, sure enough, Mark has been here before.

He is stuck in a time loop. Pretty normal situation for anyone to be in really, nothing weird to see here. Except he is a teenager, with limited income, and resources, so he feels pretty stuck. And while trying to go on a date with this one girl whom he barely knows (getting closer and closer each time maybe?) he spies another girl, whom he never saw in that part of town at that point of the day.

Her name is Margaret (Kathryn Newton) and, sure enough, she is also in a time loop on the same day. Great! Mark wants to hang out, someone they can share experiences about. They can meet up. They can feel less repetitive! And of course, Mark is going to fall for her, because he is a horndog and wants that physical touch, but she is uninterested.

Well, Mark has the idea that to get out of the loop, they should have a perfect day, mapping out the perfect events around town, those weird moments where something perfect occurs all the time around them in life, but now they are going to try and find them and map them (and redraw the map daily). I mean, sure, why the fuck not, you got eternity I guess?

Also starring Jermaine Harris, Josh Hamilton, Cleo Fraser, and Anna Mikami.

helmet
This must be that big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff. 
Oh hey. Did you like Palm Springs last year? The R rated movie of a similar subject matter, with two people stuck in the same day? Then you’ll love this movie! Then you might like or might hate this film.

And for me, it definitely falls in the latter. Part of Palm Springs being great was the uniqueness of the concept, having a second person in the loop, after it was already going on for a long time, and having an expert of the day.  And obviously this movie has the same concept, but it is a lot more toned down. You know, because of the age of the protagonists, and the rating.

So it is nowhere close to being a funny film, it is just a very uncomfortable romance with a “sci-fi” element. It isn’t original, but it is well shot I guess?

I will say by the end, they start to go for something profound. Just a bit. And it all deals with the Margaret character and her struggles, but they haphazardly put it together, and things get solved because of it. Oh okay. Kind of not only fumbled throughout the execution, but the ending as well? It didn’t drive the point home at all well enough, and just sort of ended. And of course, the plot about the map of little perfect things, the title, is exhaustingly boring.

One final nitpick. The “moon date” scene I hated so much. Besides feeling extremely creepy because he is just trying to court Margaret against her already stated wishes, but it is just…impossible to have done given their constraints of time. They use one line to explain it, but it isn’t believable, and that is important even during a fantasy film.

Definitely one to skip and pretend didn’t really happen.

1 out of 4.

The Marksman

For my (checks notes) second film of 2021, I was given a movie called The Marksman. I guess it would be about a guy who is good at shooting, or fond of shooting, or one who shoots occasionally?

Oh shit, it is a Liam Neeson action movie! That definitely has a bad track record from me. Ever since the first Taken, it has been either bad or ignored from my website. I can’t handle the cuts, the bad staging, any of that. I can have Liam Neeson as a serious star, I just can’t even have him as a serious action star, not anymore.

And honestly, I knew nothing going into this movie, so it didn’t surprise me that it was a January release.

little gun
Give a boy a gun, and he’ll gun for a day. Teach a boy to gun, and he will gun at least for a day.

Jim Hanson (Liam Neeson), former US Marine and current old dude, is living in Arizona near the Mexico border. He has been mostly working at a Ranch of his own the last few years with his wife. But when she got sick, the ranch didn’t do as well, the bills piled up, and then he eventually lost the light of his life. Now those foreclosing son-of-a-guns are going to take his house, and then what? Probably nothing great!

He is a pretty dark place in his life, unable to get extra work either, when he happens upon Rosa (Teresa Ruiz) and her son, Miguel (Jacob Perez) literally right after they crawl through a hole in the border fence. He wants to call it in, because Rosa was hurt, but after doing so, a few cartel members start firing on him, and now suddenly he is in jeopardy!

Jim is able to get out of there, but not able to save Rosa, and is now left not sure what to do with the kid. They were heading up to Chicago where there is family, and some bad dudes are apparently after him. Can he help the kid, or let the authorities just send him back to Mexico?

Also starring Katheryn Winnick and Juan Pablo Raba.

big gun
This gun is way bigger than the last gun, why did you not teach the boy this gun?

The Marksmen is not a classic, straight up Neeson action movie. No, it has dramatic components, and a plot here. A guy trying to get this kid to Chicago, with some people who want to kill him and take him back, for some reason. Occasionally they get close to stopping them, and then they get really close to stopping him, and then eventually it ends. By the way, the problems resolved at the end of the movie involve the kid, not the crimes committed, or the ranch money problems, but hey, that was just intro movie problems I guess.

Neeson’s acting is pretty average for what he has done lately. He has to play a stern older gentlemen technically way above his head, but also, with a certain set of skills that might help him out. He is kind of a dick for large parts of the movie, and I wouldn’t say that changes much by the end. It is like this movie was made for Clint Eastwood, but he didn’t feel like it.

I’m not sure what the overall message of the film is after seeing it, except that there isn’t one. Life can be difficult and strange some times, but you have to follow your heart? Hard to tell. I just know that if you want to see this movie for action, you will be disappointed. If you want to see it for a great story and acting, you will be disappointed.

However, if you want to see it for a quick shout out to Sierra Vista, Arizona (A city I lived in once before), you might get some glee out of it.

1 out of 4.