Ready or Not

I was hoping Ready or Not would fill a very specific niche I thought I needed in my life. A movie so graphic and funny and entertaining, I could look past its flaws and just have a good quick night out at the movies.

From the advertising, that is what it looked like it was going for! It had a very strong You’re Next vibe, but with more ridiculous of a plot, and a slight game theme, to tingle my innards. Mostly full of lesser known roles would lead it to be something where many could shine and a lot of creative deaths!

But to be fair, I also assumed that The Belko Experiment would fulfill a similar niche. And it didn’t. The plot was wasted, the deaths (a majority) were boring and just, meh.

So Ready or Not could go either way, I see it!

Gun
Hell, and this image has a nice Evil Dead / Ash vibe going for it.

Grace (Samara Weaving) and Alex (Mark O’Brien) are getting married! They have only known each other for 18 months, but they are in love. And it turns out Alex is from a really, really rich family. Richer than god. Board game things, for hundreds of years, and they are wealthy af.

Grace didn’t know that! She is not a gold digger. And she knows that Alex is not close with his family, but hopes that this wedding and herself can maybe bring them closer together and bring Alex back into the fold. A good idea. They seem mad at her, but she they are having the wedding at their mansion so help appease things.

Well apparently there was just one more part of the deal to be made and everything would be peachy. They just had to gather at midnight on the night of the wedding, and do a ritual game play. And unfortunately for Grace, she drew Hide and Seek, which thanks to that families alleged deal with a devil, they have to hunt her and sacrifice her before dawn. Or else.

Grace thinks this is the worst wedding night ever. We here at Gorgon Reviews tend to agree.

Also starring Adam Brody, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell, Elyse Levesque, John Ralston, Kristian Bruun, Melanie Scrofano, and Nicky Guadagni.

Fam
Something something something in-laws, amirite? 

For a movie with a technically unique and fun concept, it really went out of its way to be as boring as possible for long stretches. Given the concept, we had plenty of points where it could have gone against the grain and it just refused.

Huge stretches in the middle have the entire extended family doing absolutely nothing (Despite starting off trying to do things) and just letting a butler attempt to fetch her. It would be one thing if that is how they started off the search, but they were all involved and then, eh, maybe he can do the impossible and find her on his own (Which should not have been doable) and save the day for them.

And it just dragged and wasn’t exciting. Because we were told that there was a ritual component that she had to be alive for, it also meant that sure, eventually the ritual would happen. It might work, it might not, who knows, but it would never get to the point where she just escapes before dawn. We were guaranteed for a set back for the ritual, and sure enough, a guarantee was made.

Early on it was more exciting, with a varied cast of characters. I do wish it went more quickly into the after wedding affairs, but that wasn’t too bad. The ending was relatively exciting as well, and quite eye popping at times. But then I think back to that middle, where there were so many family members, and how none apparently could be killed besides the occasional helper.

Again, wasted for a bigger climax, but ruined the thrills in the middle.

2 out of 4.

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

Once again, I am left with a dumb title (Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw) to try and find a solution for it. Most people would just call it Hobbs & Shaw, because that is the real title. But they had to cram Fast & Furious in there so that people knew it was connected. Not that previous titles needed both Fast and Furious in order for people to get it.

This film comes out after 8, with FF9 and FF10 (not Final Fantasy) coming out in 2020 and 2021. So, unless FF9 happens at the same time as this film, I think it is safe to say we could just call it FF8.5.

Now, I had a lot of negative reactions to this movie’s existence, just like Vin Diesel. How can I cheer on Shaw? HE KILLED HAN. HE SHOULD BE IN JAIL, or you know, killed. How many lives does he have to save for it to be okay that Han died? How many?

Samoa
Let’s get out Haka on and defend his honor.

Where is Toretto and his largely growing crew? The one that has only one person “retire” and some even come back from the dead (except for Han)?

I guess they are busy, and for some reason, the only people who are available to help the CIA are Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Shaw (Jason Statham). Note, neither of them work for the CIA. Hobbs is some sort of cop…guy…and Shaw is a criminal hiding in plain sight that we are all just cool with I guess.

Either way, this bad guy Brixton (Idris Elba) was killed by Shaw awhile ago, but he survived enough to become a Cyborg. He has implants in him, making him strong, more bulletproof, faster, all of that. He wants to steal a super virus for his secretive boss who saved his life. However, Hattie (Vanessa Kirby) another law abiding criminal stopper, was able to stop him by running away after she injected the virus into her own body! Yay!

Now there is a ticking clock before the virus capsules dissolve and kill her, then go airborne and kill the world. And again, for whatever reason, Hobbs and Shaw are the only two men for the job, literally no one else can help, not teams of people, nothing. Well, and apparently family.

But not family in the sense that Toretto uses, just actual family.

Also starring Helen Mirren, Eiza González, Eddie Marsan, Eliana Sua, Cliff Curtis, Lori Pelenise Tuisano, and Ryan Reynolds.

MIB
Oh, here are the men in black as well.

This movie didn’t have to exist. The story it is telling is meant to set up something greater. Is that something greater going to be answered in FF9/FF10? Because it certainly isn’t in this movie. It is like a prologue, just 8 chapters in.

For a franchise since Fast Five that has been basically a superhero movie without superheroes, it is interesting that they finally decided to just give us people with super powers. Elba’s character is fast strong and a super villain, so now the stunts they want these characters to do finally make sense and have a reason for being that great. And since the threat wasn’t dealt with, they can have more super bad people in the next films, and hey, technically, maybe the good guys will get super charged.

I have too much to say and I don’t really want to spend my life writing about this movie!

It is entertaining at points, but it is very long. The ending is interesting, but I feel like the action piece before it in the factory was more exciting of an ending, and at least realistic for the universe. I really thought the movie was about to end. Somoa felt so long and extended that movie.

The screenwriter of this movie responded to the Justice for Han movement (which I will admit, I didn’t know people agreed with me on until after I saw the movie). He said he gets it, and eventually, Shaw will be redeemed I guess. The “line” in this movie about Han is total bullshit, because there is no reason for us to assume it is about Han at all. Shaw has killed dozens, maybe hundreds of people. No way he is probably thinking about Han, telling this to people who have nothing to do with Han.

And I don’t have time to wait. If Shaw doesn’t ever go to jail to answer for his crimes, and actually stay there, then saving the world isn’t good enough.

This movie is average. It is likely forgettable, and it feels really forced to put these two together. Really, no reason.

But the biggest question. Which of the two is Fast and which of the two is Furious? Because we would all probably say Shaw is faster, but also, furiouser. So why is Hobbs even here? Because we like him?

2 out of 4.

Behind Closed Doors

When people are murdered, there is a small time frame where police can accurately attempt to gather crime scene evidence. Blood samples, footprints, fingerprints, whatever. For missing kids, they usually say the first 48 hours are the most important for finding them, and that is true for murderers as well.

In 2008, for the case of 13 year old Aarushi Talwar, it may have made all of the difference. She was found murdered in her own room in the morning by her parents. They are an upper caste family in India. Wealthy enough to have servants who come to their house to clean, and one who even lives in the house. And he was missing.

So clearly it was probably the servant, who then ran. Why did he do it? No clue. But rumors could run rampant.

Unfortunately, the next day he was found murdered as well. Except he was on the roof of their home (that no one checked on day one). The door was locked, it definitely wasn’t a suicide, and now we have two murders that they have no idea how to explain. They were behind closed doors (the title!) that were locked, with no forced entry points. Did one of the two let someone in who became violent? How could the parents not have heard? And of course, seriously, was it just one of the parents?

motherknowsbest
I mean, it could have been her, I wasn’t there.

The idea of honor killings is prevelent enough in India to be a thing people latch onto. Like, if those two were in a relationship, did the dad kill them for destroying their honor? We don’t want to assume things about these dead people, but these are the stories the media picked up.

Basically, the media is in two languages, Hindi and English. The English media tended to report stories indicating the parents did it, the Hindi media tended to report stories indicating other servants did it. The caste warfare system was real. More importantly, the idea of media influence is very, very real.

From day one, the crime scene was basically ruined do to extra guests. Everything the police did was heavily reported by the media, who would stand by in groups of 20+, trying to get anything out of witnesses, the police. Everything was scrutinized and judged and yelled about. They directly made the initial solving of anything almost impossible, and stayed as a thorn in everyone’s side demanding answers and making all practical normal procedures fall out the window.

This is a case that was passed around across various groups, different levels of police and different groups in those groups. Because of screw ups, weird results, or not following all leads. It is a messy situation, and thanks to appeals, yes, we still have no official killer on record 11 years later.

It is a really interesting story, but one I think could have used a bit less detail. 2hr40min felt two long for this two-parter (which some time ago was a 4 parter apparently?). It was very much unbiased in that I couldn’t even lean a direction to tell you who I’d believe after all the evidence.

It also still noted the struggle of the caste system, since the media made the whole thing to be about the 13 year old girl, and practically never said the name of the servant who was also killed.

I think the length and the constant switching between English/Hindi, which made it hard for me to focus, is what ruined the overall level of this documentary for me. It has a good story, about the nature of media and crime scenes, but it was also bogged down and muddled.

2 out of 4.

Hail Satan?

Eye catching titles means you will definitely acknowledge its existence.

Hail Satan? is about the founding of The Satanic Temple (in 2013) and what the group has set out to accomplish in the years that follow. First and most importantly, The Satanic Temple is different than the Church of Satan. The Church of Satan has existed since the 60’s, but doesn’t really believe in Satan. Mostly atheist members doing stuff for fun, no sacrifices, some magic.

The Satanic Temple is also non-theistic in nature and not running around believing in Satan. However, their goals are social in nature. They are actively fighting for equality, for the separation of church and state, believe in education and freedom. Not radical causes, just thinks set up in our Constitution and amendments, mostly.

They are called The Satanic Temple though for buzz reasons. It gets articles printed, it drives the point home, and sure, there use the imagery because it frankly looks cool.

talk
Horns are optional.

Did you know people still protest things like this? Just the showing of the documentary in Houston at the Alamo Drafthouse had some Christian protesters against this documentary that they have not seen, on title alone.

Except for everyone that matters, this church isn’t a real church. They are doing it to make a point and we all agree on it and its awesome. They don’t think religion should play a part in politics. And to make this obvious, they try and put their religious imagery up when Christian imagery is allowed to make it more obvious for everyone. If the ten commandments get a statue outside of a court house, then they should be able to as well. If they aren’t allowed, they will sue.

Now, putting up their statue would be rad. But they ideally would not want every group to get to have a statue, but no groups at all, so that it can remain separate. And again, this is what people are protesting about stopping for dumb reasons.

The Satantic Temple just wants people to use their brains and follow the laws set out in our constitution, and protect freedoms. And they do it in a fun way.

Now this documentary highlights some of their work and their founding, but overall, it is a rather regular documentary at the end of it. Nothing too eye catching or illuminating by the end. It didn’t change me in any way. It just felt neat. An okay documentary that would be more important for someone who has never heard of this movement before.

2 out of 4.

Adolescence

I definitely feel as a movie reviewer I am more of a sell out. Where are all the weird movies? The straight to DVD films? The C class films? I used to review it all, now it is mostly theatrical releases, Netflix releases, and the occasional VOD. At least my documentaries tend to be less famous.

Well, heres a pledge. More VOD films! I will try to do one a week.

Starting with Adolescence! It is recently on VOD and has a few people you may have seen in other films and had a limited festival run. Remember, straight to video doesn’t mean bad.


Ah yes, youth, the future, old dude. Yes.

Adam (Mickey River) is an uncomfortable high school senior. He is good at writing, but he has a bad home life. His parents (Elisabeth Röhm, Michael Milford) argue a lot, over bills, jobs, fixing the bathroom for over a month, and so on. They are poor, but surviving, and this has made his life rather long and arduous. He is relatively smart though, a great writer and an artist as well. But he doesn’t apply himself for college.

He is also inexperienced with the ladies due to his shy and nervous nature. Somehow he has a really outgoing friend in Keith (Romeo Miller) who convinces him to skip school to go out and meet ladies. He is so smooth, he tries to feed him lines, and eventually a line works! Somehow, Alice (India Eisley) finds him enduring. She invites him and Keith to hang/party with friends.

One thing leads to another, and they are hanging out a lot more, and having sex. One thing leads to another, and they are doing hardcore drugs and skipping out on life, school, and friends! Oh no!

Also starring Jere Burns and Tommy Flanagan.


Manic Pixie Dream Girl? Maybe more just Manic Girl in this movie.

Adolescence tells a familiar story, youth has rough life and it becomes rougher thanks to drugs! And unfortunately, it also tells the familiar story in a familiar way.

The more tragic character in this movie is our girl, Alice, and she is used as a plot point for our male lead to realize that drugs are bad, and sometimes people you love need to be cut from your life. Sure. But again, it is nothing new.

The acting is done well from our two leads which is the main saving grace. A lot of nice yelling and shrieking and sad drug filled moments. It is awkward at times because River definitely doesn’t look like a high school senior, he looks damn near 30 and I have no idea his age now. He might just look really old and be closer to age appropriate, but he stands out for this reason.

This film also helped answer one other question. What happens to the artists who had kid rap names? Like Lil’ Romeo? Well, he is now just Romeo Miller, one of the actors in the movie, and doing his own adult movie thing. Aooarently they can just dop the lil part of their name and go on strong!

Also, bonus shout out to the toilet scene. It was really well framed and shot, best in the film.

2 out of 4.

Annabelle Comes Home

Fuck. I didn’t see Annabelle: Creation. That was the sequel to Annabelle. I didn’t like Annabelle. I haven’t liked any offshoot of The Conjuring, but I have liked the first and second of those a whole lot.

Anyways, I heard Annabelle: Creation was better than Annabelle? No idea. But I still went to see Annabelle Comes Home in theaters anyways, because film critics don’t always do homework.

The good news is I can say that you definitely don’t have to see either of those Annabelle movies to understand this one. I’d say, seeing The Conjuring movies helps fully grasp this one better.

reflectI also haven’t seen the La Llorona, and it probably affects this movie zero. Probably.

First of all, for context, this movie takes place…at the start and/or during and/or right after The Conjuring. We get to see the Warrens (Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga) collect the doll, place it in their home, bless it and all that. And then?

Rush off to a job! So close to Judy’s (Mckenna Grace) birthday, their daughter. And they cant take her on these scary things. So instead they leave her in a house with scary things. But it is okay for a few reasons. The room of artifacts is blessed weekly, has tons of protections, and many locks. And hey, they’ve had stuff for awhile and nothing bad has happened.

Plus they have a really swell babysitter in Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman), who is kind, takes care of Judy, and knows where to stay out of. She is not new at this.

What IS new about this situation is that Mary’s friend, Daniela (Katie Sarife) decided to stop by intrigued by the creepiness of the house. Sure enough, Daniela goes where she shouldn’t, lets some things open that she shouldn’t, and now the night is about to be full of terror.

Also starring Michael Cimino as hunky neighbor kid.

da fuq
What’s this? A fear unrelated to the title of the movie?

In Captain America: Civil War, it featured over 10 superheroes and villains, introduced new characters, featured a lot of fan service and was still pretty good. It also felt like Avengers 2.5 in a way, but it also still maintained that it was a Captain America movie the whole time, despite the extended cast.

Yes this is relevant to the review.

Annabelle Comes Home seems to want to be the Captain America: Civil War of the Warren Investigative universe. It is clearly a Conjuring-esque film, besides also featuring the Warrens, but in terms of the various threats. In each Conjuring film there is one main threat, but also a couple of minor ones. However, unlike Civil War, this did not do enough to feel like an Annabelle film.

In the other two Annabelle films, she is the lead, the star, the threat. In this film, her “power” makes all these other artifacts come to life and haunt accordingly, so much that each individual artifact seems to harass their own kid. And then a couple more for fun. Annabelle herself doesn’t seem scary, she is just a doll sitting there “mentally” doing things. The Conjuring films have these extra mini-horrors now in order to find what the fans like for their spinoff movies. This felt like they were throwing a dozen things at the screen just to hope for more spinoffs.

Annabelle Comes Home had a good sense of dread around it. But at the same time, I knew how the fate of all the characters would be by the end. It feels like a waste. This big evil powerful spirit doesn’t seem to really have an endgame here. Eventually they are just able to win, and scary stuff just remains scary, and I don’t know at what point was she ever planning on “winning” and getting the things she needed.

It has good scares. The plot is wack and the villain is wack. Just give me The Conjuring 3 already, please.

2 out of 4.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum? Oh fuck that. That title is awful. Is this a book? For a movie, your subtitle should be the words, or Chapter 3, but not both. And yes, it is different if the word chapter wasn’t there. But this title uses a colon and a dash? Who has got time for this?

This movie is now called John Wick 3, as everyone will end up calling it anyways.

Recap! John Wick was amazing! John Wick 2 expanded the universe and was weird and had extremely long fights in some tunnel. I don’t remember a lot about that movie, besides so much universe building, but it ended with Mr. Wick going on the run with everyone going to come after him with no help. I don’t remember how many dogs were involved.

doggos
Two times the dogs, two times the revenge…?
John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is in New York City. Is that where the last one ended? I guess, it must have. Okay.

He has an hour to deal with his shit before he is excommunicated and can no longer use any of the services this band of guns for hire offer. Medical, dental, vision, banks, safe spots, gun places. Nothing. And a $14 million price tag on his head means every miscreant will risk it all to take him down.

Even his old friends (Ian McShane, Lance Reddick, Laurence Fishburne) cannot really assist him. Sucks to suck.

Instead he has to call in old favors, that are super serious and above the excommunication. He wants to get to the top of the organization and reason with them so he can just live out his life and be normal. And along the way hundreds must die.

Also starring Halle Berry, Mark Dacascos, Asia Kate Dillon, and Jason Mantzoukas.

Horsies
A horse is really just a big doggo.

John Wick 3 is a roller coaster. There are highs, and lows, and frankly, by the end of this review I might change this rating based on how I feel. And unless I explicitly state it, you wouldn’t know it was changed, because this is a static writing page and not a video.

First of all, I liked the action more than John Wick 2. Early on a fight scene occurred in an antique weapon shop and was amazing. It was a bit egregious, but amusing, awesome, and painful to watch. The sound guy won’t win any awards for using the same breaking class sound over and over. It set the pace early on and I expected it would then become a non stop action movie that just had Wick going through waves of henchmen and bad guys until no one in the world remained.

But it did not do that. It was slower. There were several scenes of Wick having to convince people to help him, despite repercussions. Then we got an extended shootout that was only interesting because of dogs, because everything else was long takes and head shots and it wasn’t too creative in the long run. Then more slow, then more long fight scenes with boring battles. And finally, finally, the last last set of fights was so painful to watch, because apparently Wick lost all sorts of fighting ability and went through at least 10 walls of glass. These things would explode at a touch when the plot mattered, but other times barely crack if punched/kicked/hit with a weapon.

I understand that paragraph is uncomfortable to read, but looking back at the film, that is what I feel. It was visually pretty to look like, but the beginning was far better than the end, with the movie having no reason to be over two hours long.

The biggest problem I have with the movie though is that There is virtually no difference between the Wick at the beginning and the end of the film. This movie spent over two hours failing to tell a complete story. It decided to tease another film instead, leaving this one just…filler? The only problems solved are ones that were introduced in the film itself, not ones that the whole story has been working towards.

And that is messed up, given the makers of this franchise claiming before the second movie that it was “always a planned trilogy” despite the first being a completely fine stand alone movie and this one also ignoring that statement.

1 out of 4.

The Best of Enemies

True stories are sometimes fun. Sometimes they are true…ish and give us a topic like Green Book, which is barely about the actual Green Book and pretty damn disappointing.

Other times we get true stories that are like The Favourite, which are probably extremely fictionalized but based on real events and well acted so we let it pass.

And then we get something like The Best of Enemies. Another true story that seems to actually be based on real people and events, without making things offensive or skirting the issues that are important to the subject. Wait, this shows a Klansman in a favorable light? Alright, maybe not completely inoffensive.

Papers
And I got the tweets all ready to prove it.

Ann Atwater (Taraji P. Henson) is a single mother and an activist living in Durham, NC. She runs Operation Breakthrough, which is to help poor black folks not get completely fucked over by the white man. And it is always a battle. Fighting for good homes to live in, fighting for decency, fighting for better schools. It is a full time job and one she will proudly take until it is fixed.

And then we have C.P. Ellis (Sam Rockwell), a poor white man who also happens to be the leader of the Durham chapter of the KKK. I should probably mention that this takes place in 1971, after the Civil Rights Act was passed and desegregation occurred. It had not occurred everywhere. For example, Durham! They still had white schools and black schools. And shockingly to no one, the black schools were older, overcrowded, with old supplies and not enough money compared to the white schools.

Well, one of the main elementary schools gets damaged in a fire, with most of it being unusable except a few classes. Clearly now they need to segregate, it is only fair. Nope. Council says to use those 8 classes and make them go to schools in shifts instead of disrupt another school.

The cowards that be in charge above that, when a lawsuit from the NAACP appears, decide to organize a “charette”. A term made by Bill Riddick (Babou Ceesay), where he comes in to organize the community to discuss the issues for a few weeks and have a senate vote on resolutions. Anything they overall decide to do, Durham will do. Even if that means segregation. And Riddick wants to make sure this is real and worthwhile, so he decides that Ann and C.P. should be the co-chairs of this event, overhear everything and give each side equal ground. Surely, this will lead to peace and harmony.

Also starring Wes Bentley, Gilbert Glenn Brown, Anne Heche, Bruce McGill, John Gallagher Jr., and Nicholas Logan.

Convo
This could get nominated for costume given the body suit Henson had to put on for this look.

Ack. Where to begin.

Well, Rockwell is being typecasted as a racist turned racist we can not hate fully at this point. From Three Billboards, to this, to…Vice (Kanye West says so). That’s not something he should continue.

I was worried about this film because from the title and looks of it, it almost made it seem like it is going to imply that people of these people are important and should be heard. And uhh, one of them is a racist KKK leader. The other is fighting for survival. That is the sort of story that puts a bad taste in your mouth before it gets started, so it is a hard thing for people to just accept and want to see. But yes, by the end, [SPOILERS] the guy saw the light in real life and did the right thing and helped schools segregate, turning his back on the KKK. He should be celebrated for that, but most of the film is putting him in a slightly positive light before the moment, as the change occurs and again, it feel uncomfortable.

Technically, this movie has a white savior problem. And that is hard to avoid when given the real story, a white guy did save the situation. It is a hard thing to balance, when it has to fully embrace the white savior as part of the real narrative.

Honestly, trying to accept this film as a story is hard, and only works and can be acceptable because it is real. If this was fiction, it would be a complete shitshow of a plot. This makes it hard to talk about as a reviewer, from purely a movie standpoint.

So let’s just finish by comparing it to Green Book. The acting in Green Book is better. The camera work in Green Book is crisper. But the plot is so far from reality and insulting, it does not get a pass for its story and its actual true bits are not worthy of praise. While The Best of Enemies is rougher around the edges, it at least sticks to the facts and is pretty informative of a story on this topic. It is one that likely would have been better done as a documentary though, to really get the feel for these people and not put us in the middle of this awkward narrative.

2 out of 4.

Greta

Halo, ich heiße Greta. Ja ja ja. I totally know german. I mean, ich spreche Deutsch.

Greta isn’t even about a German! But, I of course think of Hansel and Greta, who may not have been German either, but it is something I like to pretend.

Greta is a movie I knew nothing about going into, expect that it would probably be creepy.

“Creepy like a Greta on a Wednesday afternoon,” Hannibal, probably.

Stare
Ah yes, let’s stare at each other. That’s totally being Greta.

Frances McCullen (Chloë Grace Moretz), who is not Greta, is a Bostonian pretending to be a New Yorker. She is supposed to have a good spirit, trust people, be all loving. You know, not a typical New Yorker (or person from Boston. Should have made her from the Midwest). She is living in a loft with her friend, Erica Penn (Maika Monroe), whose family is rich and pays for the place.

Still though, New York is an experience. No real goals, just to get a job, see where life takes her.

And then she finds a bag on the train. A nice bag, with a wallet, some money, some random pills and shit. And so being the nice girl that she is, she finds the address and returns it in person to one Greta Hideg (Isabelle Huppert), which is of course an anagram for Egghead Rit.

She is old, lonely, but friendly, and Frances feels bad for her. So they share information, she helps her get a dog, and before she knows it, they are now having dinner dates and walks because they enjoy each others company. But Frances will quickly find out that Greta isn’t what she is claiming to be, and she might have other plans for Frances.

Floor
Typical stuff, like cleaning floors with your body.

Greta is not like normal villains. She is older, she is frail, and she is able to hold a lot in to herself. We see so much of her personality come out when she is doing the bad stuff, when she can fight through pain, when she dances around the house in a chaotic situation, her just sheer insanity.

Greta is a slower moving film, but it draws you in by having Moretz’s character determine something weird is going on really early and trying to avoid Greta as a lot of the film’s action. The ending gets a bit wild too, when we fully see what Greta is doing, has been doing, and more.

The ending is a bit of a crowd pleaser and goes a bit by the numbers, however. I thought it was a bit uninspired based on the rest of the film. It also does move at a relatively slow pace overall. I mean, we don’t have a high body count, and Greta isn’t very physical throughout most of it, so it is the creepiness of smaller actions that has to entertain the viewer. I personally felt myself battling with falling asleep in the middle of the movie, until certain events really picked things up.

Greta is still a good change of pace, and hopefully a good direction for thrillers in the future.

2 out of 4.

Fighting With My Family

Fighting With My Family is a topic that combines a few things: real life story, wrestling, and British people doing silly things. We haven’t had a title like this in awhile.

Directed by Stephen Merchant, who I had the pleasure of interviewing after the movie and you can read the interview here, it is the story of wrestler Paige. How she grew up in bumfuck England and somehow made it to the WWE, despite not being their typical female wrestler.

I can’t imagine if we had any actual bio films actually based on wrestlers. Documentaries, sure, but like a young Hulk Hogan movie? A young Rock? A young Macho Man Randy Savage? It is relatively interesting that the first one to get one is a woman wrestler named Paige, who is probably only big in the wrestling circuits.

Dreams
This is what dreams are made of.

Saraya Knight (Florence Pugh) did not have dreams of growing up to be a wrestling super star, she was indifferent to it. Sure she trained for it like every regular kid. Wait, what?

Oh, her parents are “professional” wrestlers. Her dad (Nick Frost) and mom (Lena Headey) run a very small wrestling company in their small community. Helps them stay clean off of drugs and violence. They train people, they put on shows, they have a good time. Saraya’s older brother, Zak (Jack Lowden), did have the dream his whole life. And thanks to a video, they both are going to have a chance to audition for the WWE!

And then they are going to have to deal with the fact that Saraya, who is going by Paige, made it to the next round of training, and Zak is still stuck at home. She took his dream. And the dream and training in America is going to be tough, lonely and destroy their whole dynamic.

But can she make it? (she can, we know that). And if she can make it, can she be a star? (also yes.) But what does she have to accomplish first? (okay good question).

Also starring Dwayne Johnson and Vince Vaughn.

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“First we kick each others ass, then we kick all of the other asses.”

Fighting With The Family is an enjoyable film but very much by the numbers. A long shot trains, gets betters, and does the unthinkable, and people love her. Along the way were hardships, that made her want to change, quit, and more, but she conquered them. Hooray!

So you aren’t getting anything new from the plot, just the setting. Wrestlers, British trailer trash, and Vince Vaughn playing himself as a talent coordinator.

However, it is clear the actors are really going all in for it. No one is trying to half ass this movie, there is high energy, especially from Headey/Frost. It is great to see The Rock be the Rock again and go all Rocky with it.

Pugh carries a lot of the film as well, and does a really good job for a young actress.

I think this film suffers a bit from trying to put too much story into a short amount of time. Things are rushed, and her struggles don’t seem super apparent. A lot of problems are more obvious communication issues so the audience just has to struggle until she gets her shit together.

But overall, not the worst movie about a WWE star that I have never heard about before.

2 out of 4.

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