Pope Francis: A Man Of His Word

Pope Francis hit the world in March of 2013, after a long period of searching. Well like two weeks, but it felt like a long time. Originally called Jorge Mario Bergoglio, he comes from Argentina (first from any America, first from the Southern Hemisphere, first Jesuit) and took the world by storm. You see, the pope before him? Kind of lame. But this Pope? This is a cool Pope. This is a modern, smart, hip, Pope. The kind of Pope you might want to introduce to your parents.

You see, this pope is cool, because he isn’t saying homosexuality is bad. He is a fan of science, and evolution, and progressive stuff. He is totally down with other religions doing their thing.

And hey, he is the first Pope Francis. He took his name from Saint Francis of Assisi, one of the most well known saints across the world. Why? Well, he was smart, wanted to make the world a better place, and seemed to have values. This Pope Francis wants to do the same. Live life in a simple way, helping out the worst and the bottom of the barrel, getting rid of his wealth and focusing on the Jesus.

This documentary, Pope Francis: A Man Of His Word, is meant to tell his beliefs on various subjects and how they all actually relate to each other. You know, making the world a better place. Damn it.

PF
Actually, not damn it. That is another goal of his. No damning of the its.

If you are Catholic, and happy with the pope, you are going to love this documentary of behind the scene Catholic stuff. Nothing drastic. No one is a lizard person unfortunately (spoiler??). We just get one on one interviews with the Pope where he explains why he is humble and a super Christian.

Now, coming from someone like me, a very nonreligious person, it has less of an appeal. I was a bit excited to see it though, because I had just seen RBG and it was an amazing documentary about an old person who was helping to make a better place. So why not one on Pope Francis, which should be about a similar topic?

Look, it was cool and all. He talked about tons of subjects. Gays, climate change, one trump bash, poverty, hunger, climate change some more. You name it. He is basically a really religious liberal and wants people to be cool to each other.

That is cool. And yeah, what else is there to say? I don’t know. Watch it if you want. It is totally average!

2 out of 4.

The Clapper

Ed Helms is still getting lead work, despite mixed reviews for his acting in most movies. He is leading big films, and he is leading films you never heard about before.

Films like The Clapper. Have you heard about it? Of course not. It came out some time in 2017, probably straight to DVD, and I found it accidentally on Netflix.

So sure, I like enough of the cast, and I like the concept, it is a good enough movie to review as any.

Date
And it features…clapping I assume.

Getting into acting can be pretty damn hard. But moving to LA is a good first step. And then you might be a waiter or have small time jobs until you get a commercial. Maybe you will be a non speaking role in the background?

Or maybe you will be like Eddie Krumble (Ed Helms), and get a job as an audience member for infomercials. He has gotten to be pretty good. He can laugh on command. He can seem intrigued. He even has had speaking roles. His overall goal is to be very nondescript, so that he doesn’t get noticed across infomercials and their real studio audience feel is seen as a scam.

And of course that is just what happens. A late night talk show host (Russell Peters) is doing a bit on a bad infomercial, and they notice poor Eddie across multiple shows, and turn it into a big deal. He is on there all the time in their clips now, and they begin a campaign to find the mysterious “Clapper.” Eddie wants nothing to do with this, he wants to go into hiding so his livelihood isn’t ruined. If he becomes famous, he can’t be in the audiences, and he will gain 15 minutes of fame and then be forgotten and poor.

He also is in love with Judy (Amanda Seyfried) a gas station attendant, who also won’t be able to handle the cameras and national fame as it disrupts her line of work.

Also starring Adam Levine, James Ransone, Leah Remini, P.J. Byrne, and Tracy Morgan.

React
The mustache helps him blend in of course.

Honestly, this was a very weird Helms to see. A more subtle, shy, strange Helms. He is normally pretty out there, or extremely weird. He is only slightly weird in this movie, and just plays a simple person extremely well. Like, really well. Like I forgot it was Helms, and instead, just assumed it was a regular person. Somehow with make up and acting he just made himself seem incredibly non-famous, and that is the most notable thing about the movie.

Everything else is pretty, well, standard. Or even below average.

This feels like a film with a $10 budget, even the cool late night talk show host felt like an incredibly fake version of a late night talk show. It felt like it could have been made by teenagers.

The plot didn’t really grow in an exciting way, and it ended also at a relatively lame point.

It is incredibly forgettable. And remember, the higher point is just because Helms knocked mediocrity out of the park.

2 out of 4.

Deadpool 2

Before any of you take my words too seriously, let it be known that I gave the original Deadpool a 2 out of 4. Why? Some people were quite angry with me back then! They called it a fresh sight for sore superhero eyes.

And I called it sort of boring. We start with a good intro, but then when we get the flashback, it takes forever to get to the point where we get Deadpool power again. A seriously long time, that is humerous, but less funny, and just….slow. The other main issue was the weak villains. It was a very ground film, but I watch superhero films so that superheroes can fight challenges, not just generic strong people.

Either way, with the sequel, I was more excited. It was going to have a wider cast of characters, it clearly didn’t have to get bogged down in backstory for our main character. It also was going to give us Cable for the first time in modern cinema, so Deadpool 2 had something unique going on for it. And honestly, just, it needed a second try for me. This time I was already given two amazing superhero films in Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, so it had a bit of a hill to climb to get to their levels.

Ass
More ass is a nice touch though, I guess.

Deadpool 2 takes place after the events of Deadpool. I know that might sound shocking, but time is usually linear.

Unless a movie has a time travel device. Oh hey there is a time travel plot? Fuck. This movie has Cable (Josh Brolin) in it! Oh no! He is from the future, and he has a kid (Julian Dennison) to kill. If he kills the kid, his future is better for him at least. So why not?

Well, there are a lot of reasons why not. And Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) might have to protect them, although it doesn’t sound very Deadpool-y. Speaking of Deadpool-y, this plot outline is really vague, isn’t it? Yeah, because honestly, the less you know, the better.

Also starring Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beetz, Brianna Hildebrand, Bill Skarsgård, T.J. Miller, Terry Crews, Lewis Tan, Eddie Marsan, Jack Kesy, Shioli Kutsuna, Leslie Uggams, Stefan Kapicic, and Karan Soni.

And Rob Delaney as Peter.

Peter
And Peter guys, come on.

If you only had to read one statement about the film to confirm your beastly desires, then let it be this one: I think Deadpool 2 is better than Deadpool. So if you loved Deadpool, this might an even more crazy experience.

There is more action, there is more gore, there are a lot, lot more surprises, and an infinite amount more Celine Dion. It will shock you early on, throughout, and through the end. Both in terms of just how far it goes and the themes it will explore. It has probably one of the best credit scenes of all time.

And yet, it actually put me to sleep early on. Getting plot heavy isn’t a problem, but when the plot is sort of going all over the place, and it is just filled with streams of meta or lame jokes, it is easy to lose disinterest. Sure, it picks up in the second half. And yet as a full film it is just lacking again.

I do find myself more willing to re-watch this one than the first film. And future films too, given that they probably won’t have any T.J. Miller after the incidents.

Also, Peter!

2 out of 4.

Breaking In

A home invasion thriller movie is not a new concept. So trying to find new ways to revitalize the extremely specific genre has got to be hard.

That is what happened with The Purge, remember?

Well, Breaking In is a film that wants to have the home invader be the savior. The mother. Because other people have made it in her home and locked her out, so she needs to break in, to save them. It can work, although the idea seems incredibly silly. The plot would need a lot of components coming together and it can very easily just seem B grade movie material.

And yes, they are doubling this as a Mother’s Day movie too, which is great, because that sentimental crap most mothers probably don’t care for in their movies.

Fire
But I am not a mother. And I care for sentimental crap?

Shaun Russell (Gabrielle Union) is a mom just trying to do right by her kids. Her husband works a lot, and her daughter (Ajiona Alexus) is doing things with boys, but her son (Seth Carr) is relatively well adjusted still, so that’s good. She really wants to have a nice normal loving family, because she did not have a loving relationship with her father. Completely left her life basically, he was rich, and it turns out, a criminal!

Also he is dead. So she has his many assets, and bills. Including a giant mansion that she grew up in. It has some upgrades with technology and security, because her dad was paranoid. But she is there for one thing. To clean it up and get it sold! Get rid of those bad memories growing up, get paid, and go on with their lives.

Unfortunately, other people don’t want the same goals as her. You see, a group of criminals (Billy Burke, Richard Cabral, Levi Meaden, Mark Furze) that are loose connections to each other have been learning over time that the old man in the mansion had a safe with some big money in it. They planned on a simple go in, break in and out situation. They didn’t expect a family to deal with. This complicates everything, and when they lock the mother out of the house, she is not going to let them hurt her babies.

Also starring Jason George, Christa Miller, and Damien Leake.

Spiderman
Good thing she took those Spider-Man yoga classes.

The twists that Breaking In offers the genre are relatively entertaining. And that is probably a good way to describe the whole film. Relatively entertaining. It isn’t a strong plot and it isn’t strong acting overall, but it is a bit of fun.

Unfortunately, the really fun moments were ruined by technical issues and not fully thought out writing. When we have an crazy defensive house, and they talk about all of its features and plans, you would expect for them to work. They said that if anyone gets close to the building, then it would set off specific lights to spot her. And they did eventually, but not later in the movie when she first started sneaking. They had awesome motion sensing technology in the house, but for some reason it could only sense a tiny drone flying around, and not the other two humans walking around.

The ending became very weak, both with the coincidences, the dialogue, and just the final outcomes.

Really, I just wish it was smarter. We have a cool concept, really, and done with smart writers could have given an overall great film. I am fine with the criminals and the characters making dumb decisions. That just makes sense given their situations and the unexpectedness of it all. And also, Union does a good job as the lead.

But the film does not live up to its concept and will be forgettable in a month or so.

2 out of 4.

First Match

Shit, did you read my 6 Balloons review? I just had an introduction that would work for this film as well, First Match.

Except First Match came out a couple months ago on Netflix, while 6 Balloons was only a couple weeks ago. And for First Match, I actually watched it right when it came out on Netflix.

So why the late review? Eh. I forgot. And it got pushed back week after week after week. Another movie I watched the same day. I haven’t even wrote that review yet either, so that one might take another few weeks!

Don’t let any of that deter from this review. Unless I get some details wrong. Then blame it on memory loss because I am old as fuck.

Tussle
I am pretty sure they are not in the same weight class.

Monique (Elvire Emanuelle) is a problem girl, but really, is it her fault? She is living in a foster home with a foster mom (Kim Ramirez), but she gets moved around a lot. Because of her own problems, because of her temporary homes, and because of her parents messing up her life and getting involved in crime.

She has her issues of course, but she is coming around. For example, her sudden interest in the school wrestling team. She feels like she can fight, so why not put it to a different skill set. They don’t have a woman’s wrestling team, so as long as she can tough it out, she would have to wrestle the boys.

None of this has to do with her father coming back into her life of course. Her dad (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) was a wrestler, and she is saying he is her coach, but won’t show up to her games and doesn’t want to take her back into his home. Maybe if she wrestles real good, she can win his heart as well?

Or maybe he will just use her like she is always used.

Starring Colman Domingo, Jared Kemp, and Jharrel Jerome.

Wrustle
This school is different from the East Compton Clovers, but close.

First Match is not a movie made for people like me to relate to or to necessarily enjoy, but to see a different sort of culture and view in the US. Lower socioeconomic class films are pretty common, but they always feel like sort of fantasies at time, and rarely have an extremely realistic portrayal. First Match probably is extremely realistic.

I don’t recall a lot about this film after a couple of months (my bad!). I do remember that this is the rating I picked, probably due to its slower moments, and a bit more of a lackluster ending than I would have liked.

But again, going for realism doesn’t always mean it will be very entertaining.

It is okay acted, an okay story, but not one that will change my own life in any meaningful way.

2 out of 4.

Greetings from Krampus

This is one of the many reviews that have come out of WorldFest in Houston. Check the WorldFest tag to see them all!

The idea of Krampus, coming from a humble American, is fascinating. An evil Santa Clause? A beast that steals away naughty kids? Why worry about coal when your goddamn life can be on the line?

That is about as much as I really know about the idea. It was flirted with a bit in Rare Exports, we recently had the horror-comedy Krampus as well. It seems Krampus fever is hitting America stronger than ever, and we are eating it up.

Needless to say, I was very excited to be watching Greetings From Krampus, a documentary from the Austrian area, an actual source on their customs and belief of Krampus. How it has grown through the tiny villages and the national phenomenon that has grown for many to have a worthwhile sort of career in it as well.

Krampus
Horny little buggers they are.

It turns out there is a lot I didn’t know about Krampus. Exciting! Did you know there were a lot of creatures like Krampus, that are not Krampus, but come out at the same time as Krampus? Krampus is basically a demonic pet of St. Nicholas. But they also have the Perchten, which are other humanoid esque creatures. And basically, they get weeks of celebration after the Krampus.

But for the most part, these things are celebrated with Krampus Run events. First of all, to get rid of all the past shenanigans where people would dress up and cause problems, the Krampus ideas were outlawed for some time. Only the ruralist villages still did it. But they had official troops who would get together, have rules, to dress up and do appropriate mischief for the holidays, and not just any weirdo in a mask. That way they have some form of checks and balance!

Anyways, basically each villages has a troupe, with some amount of members, to dress up, make their own costumes and masks and rules and funds as a part time job. They travel to these different Runs, where there could be 60-80 different troupes going through a special path while onlookers cheer and get spanked and whatever.

A huge event, many of them all in a few week span, while the rest of the time is spent making sure Krampus awareness happens. Like teaching kids that Krampus isn’t real and to know its a person in there and NOT use it as a tool to frighten kids into behaving.

Overall, there is a lot of useful information in this movie. However, what it lacks on is the lore itself. It does talk about it some, but I thought it would go a lot more into the lore aspects of it. This is basically Krampus Run, the movie. We see so many clips of them, and groups talking about them and their traditions. It is extremely repetitive, especially when it goes back to topics they covered 40 minutes prior.

Cool information, very unique, just not diverse enough and easily boring in the last half hour as you wonder how much longer it will be until finished.

2 out of 4.

Disobedience

This is one of the many reviews that have come out of WorldFest in Houston. Check the WorldFest tag to see them all!

WorldFest isn’t known for its big releases. No, it is an independent movie festival, so seeing one of those giant movies that is going to win an Oscars would probably be very rare.

On that note, for the film Disobedience, it is probably the first time I heard of a movie months before I knew it would be at WorldFest. It was directed by Sebastián Lelio, who directed Gloria a few years ago (haven’t seen yet still, but a remake soon with him still at the helm for America), and A Fantastic Woman, which just won best foreign film.

Needless to say, I was excited about his next film. Hell, very provocative posters for this film have gone up and maybe that is why it is famous (okay, that is the reason). Let’s bring on the sexy times.

Group
Nothing sexier than candles, flames, beards, and dark clothing.

The story opens up with Rav Krushka (Anton Lesser) is giving a sermon about the differences between Man, Angels, and Beasts, and the idea of choice. Oh, this is totally a synagogue as well, very very conservative Jewish. Somewhere in Great Britain, a little local community. The women sitting on the second story only. And then he goes and dies.

His one and only daughter, Ronit Krushka (Rachel Weisz) is living in NYC. She left the community she grew up in, abandoned her family, to live alone. She is a bit of disgrace. No one talks to her anymore. But someone sent a message through the grapevine that her father was dead, their Rabbi and spiritual leader, so she heads back over ready to face her past and her peers.

The ceremonies take place at the home of Dovid Kuperman (Alessandro Nivola), Rav’s spiritual son, whom he took in when he was in his teen years to begin his devout training, so sort of a brother to Ronit. He is now married to Esti (Rachel McAdams), a big shocker to Ronit. They invite her to stay in their guest room while she deals with her father’s loss and the annoyance from the community.

We learn of course that some members of the group had an intense past. This past is why Ronit ended up leaving their community, seemingly never to return. How dare she mess that up, right?

Kiss
Rachel and Rachel standing on a street. R-A-C-H-E-L-I-N-G.

Setting this in a conservative Jewish community with very little out of it first took me awhile to figure out where this film was set. It is a modern film, it just took until the last 20-30 minutes before someone pulled out a cell phone for any reason. It could have been in the 60’s/70’s, or it could have been modern, given their conservative nature, who knows!

The three main leads give really good acting performances. Weisz is the powerhouse here, Nivola has his moments at the end, and for the most part McAdams is a quiet force building over time. They all feel very vulnerable and real in their roles, giving an extra umph to the story.

It just took forever for the story to really grow and move forward. It was definitely boring. I am fine with a slow burn story, but it was hard to keep my eyes open early on and even by the end there was still some struggles.

I like that we got an in depth look at a community that is old dealing with “modern issues”, and it seems to be something that the director is playing with lately. It is something worth being told, but the payout doesn’t feel necessarily worth it.

2 out of 4.

Ghost Stories

Ah spooks! A story about ghosts.

This movie is not to be confused with A Ghost Story, which came out last year, which I loved, which was very polarizing, and very indie.

No, this is Ghost Stories! Without the A article and the addition of the letter ´s´ things are quite different now. With this film, this British film, we are promised not one story, but multiple stories!

Maybe it is just two stories, maybe it is a hundred! With plurality, the sky´s the limit.

And of course, if this was called Ghosts Story, then it would be one story about multiple ghosts. Learn your grammar, folks.

Pair
This pair means two of them, although together, they may look like a single pear.

Professor Goodman (Andy Nyman) has a strange name, yes, but he is off to help people. How? By exposing liars! Liars and word thieves. You know, those who claim that ghosts are real, that want to deceive the public, or the ones that claim they can speak to dead loves, or even just psychics in general. Hell, he has a show to defraud them too, publicly, and has gotten himself famous.

He always dreamed of being this sort of researcher. Growing up he watched Charles Cameron (Leonard Byrne) on TV, who did similar things but more old school and subtle. However, he mysteriously disappeared at some point for decades.

Needless to say, sometimes the past comes back when you least expect it. And when it does, sometimes you are given three cases to look over and research, in order to really see if the supernatural exists and your exposing of frauds has been for naught. And sometimes your brain just wants to play tricks on you.

Starring Martin Freeman, Paul Warren, Paul Whitehouse, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, and Alex Lawther (who was in one of the best Black Mirror episodes, Shut Up and Dance).

Face
This hole covers its whole face and doesn´t look too wholesome.

I will give one thing to Ghost Stories. First of all, it is well shot, it is framed, it feels very sexy. The three stories are relatively intense, have their own levels of spooks and frights, but there is something missing.

A reason for these stories to feel more super serious than any other story is very much lacking. And they explain that eventually, but without knowing it ahead of time, it was just a gnawing feeling on me each time. Just like the professor, we aren´t sure why any of this matters.

Like I said, eventually we see why it matters, and that reason ends up being extremely lackluster. The ending of this film is shit. It feels like a prank. Like an edgy high school student wrote it without experiencing anything original in their life. I cannot describe enough how shit this ending is.

And honestly, if it could have just tied the stories for a good explanation and not just gone for some quick scares, it might have been worth something. The rating given is given only because of it still looking quite nice, having some nice moments, and honestly, Freeman was a blast in this movie.

2 out of 4.

The Endless

I almost forgot to watch The Endless. The screener was given to me almost a whole month ago, and its been very busy. So I have found myself going “Oh, I have five weeks, time to wait until later!”

Needless to say, I did feel panicked when I finally saw it. But at least I didn’t forget to write this review (although this intro could use a lot more work).

This is not a film that has garnered a lot of attention, but from those who have seen it, the buzz has generally been positive.

 Bros
Because really it is just about bros being bros.

Justin Smith (Justin Benson) and his younger brother Aaron (Aaron Moorhead) a few years ago escaped! What did they escape? Why, a death cult, which is one they really only knew. It was Justin who arranged it. Aaron was a bit too brainwashed. Justin got them out, got them back to the real world and they were a bit famous for some time. I mean, I guess people thought they were weird, but at least they were alive.

Now, years later, they have mostly forgotten a lot about the place. They still see a psychiatrist, but they assume their old friends are now dead and gone.

However, they receive a small tape, and on it a message from camp. What? They aren’t dead yet? This is cray cray!

After some debates, some pondering, they agree to go back and visit their old family. See how they are doing. Just to stay a day or whatever and head back out. They will not be forced to remain or anything cult-y.

And yet, here we are. In a movie about this, so things may no be entirely on the uppity up.

Also starring Callie Hernandez, Tate Ellington, Lew Temple, James Jordan, and Kira Powell.

Rock
All cults should be required to have some sort of sign out front indicating their chicanery.

I honestly wasn’t really sure what to expect with a film like The Endless. The plot description intrigued me, and I knew the directors (/leads) from their segment in V/H/S Viral called Bonestorm. Could they do a longer film and keep my interest?

Well, the cult surely was strange with a lot of mystery behind it. Some very creepy things occurred, but it felt like a more subtle version of creepy. Not people suddenly appearing behind them creepy or jump scare creepy. Just odd creepy.

The film definitely ends with a bang, but it is quite a long fuse. Things happen, things get explained, and yet the brothers remain and things get weirder and potentially dumber.

I know I personally was hoping for a much bigger horror element. It was far to subdued, I never felt drawn into the story, but I appreciate that they went for something new.

2 out of 4.

Super Troopers 2

Super Troopers came out 17 years ago. 17 years! That is insane.

It was Broken Lizard’s first hit and some people still love it the most to this day. Personally, Beerfest is my favorite (Which also promised a sequel which looks way less fun), but they also had Club Dread and The Slammin’ Salmon (my second favorite). Either way, they have a specific humor and have tackled different subjects, all of which can appeal to different audiences.

The production of this one took a long time though, but internet persistence has pushed on. Hell, they had to make an Indiegogo campaign to get movie funding, and surpassed their goal. They did a neat thing, I believe the first film to do this, offering actually theater tickets when it came out, not just digital copies in the future.

There is an audience for Super Troopers 2, and finally they have delivered it to them, for better or for worse.

Lowe
Looks like this group has sunk to a new all time Lowe.

The sequel is set a few years after the first film. The first film ended with our heroes (Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Erik Stolhanske, Paul Soter) not as actual police officers, doing things in Vermont. Well, it turns out that time is done. Due to an incident with Fred Savage. They are off the force and doing /other/ jobs.

But not for long! You see, when Canada and USA had their borders lined out, in turns out there was a mistake near Vermont. The official border stones put in were seemingly ignored, and a small town that has been in the Canada side for hundreds of years should actually have been on US soil. With this new land, through a chaotic transition period, they have the need for a temporary police force to help with the transition.

So they are rehired for a couple of weeks, and sure, if they do good enough, they can be full time and work this new area. It just turns out that these Canadians, finding out they are switching countries are not the happiest tools in the shed. Nice Canadian is a myth. They are basically going into a war zone.

We have Rob Lowe as the mayor, Emmanuelle Chriqui is some sort of town leader as well. We also have Brian Cox returning as the captain, and introducing Will Sasso, Tyler Labine, and Hayes MacArthur as Mounties.

Mountie
Guess they might have to just MOUNT up and take this head on. Hockey puck. Maple Leafs. Sorry.

Honestly, I thought this movie would be a train wreck. Maybe a moose wreck, the Canadian version. Comedy sequel two decades later? They have never really worked, even for a more modern one like this one.

But still, it wasn’t that bad. That is the best praise I am going to say. There were a few scenes that had me laughing really hard. Specifically the scenes involving “sorry” and “reverse French dialogue” were the best. I enjoyed that it did have a lot of Canadian jokes, and not just the standard normal Canadian jokes. Yes, they still had those, but some of them were more obscure, and varied.

The three lads who played the Mounties went really hard for the French-Canadian accent, so most of what they said was amusing on that basic level.

Of course the plot is weak, the acting is weak, and the twists are obvious. They aren’t as important for those who are rushing to see this film though. It has its moments, but it is far away from a great comedy on all levels.

2 out of 4.

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