Tag: 3 out of 4

Voyagers

I don’t know how I can take seriously someone with the last name of Burger. Talkin’ bout Neil Burger that is, director and writer of voyagers. He has been around the block once or twice in movie land. I have reviewed a few of his films before. He did The Upside, Divergent, Limitless, and even The Illusionist way back ago, which he also wrote unlike the previous few.

None of his films I have loved, some of them I have disliked, but at least one I did like overall. It just didn’t go as far as I had hoped (but it did launch a TV show eventually, so good on him).

Now going into Voyagers, I knew nothing about it. Some movie set in space. So what? That isn’t special. Earth is in space, so everything set on Earth is also set in space. But seriously, I heard about this movie two days before watching it, only seeing a single poster, so going in almost as blind as possible to this one, and I hope this one will not muddle about and get me into that “love” territory for one of his films.

kids
Picture of me teaching how to love movies during the pandemic.

In the future, our Earth is gonna be fucked. We know this, and all the movies know it, because it is a popular topic. So we have to get off this rock and find a new rock that could support our life, but this time, try not to screw the planet up. But we haven’t gotten that sweet cryosleep technology figured out yet, so any travel to the planet would have to be real time, with those at the start not going to likely see the planet in their lifetime, with over 80 years of journey time.

So what is the human race going to do? Well, the plan is to send a big group of kids, slightly genetically picked to be smart and efficient. They will be test tube babies. They will under go schooling and training together. And then they will be sent in the rocket. And one adult (Colin Farrell) as a guide, so they can go earlier than planned, and he can help out, knowing he definitely won’t see the new planet.

And sure, things go well for a bit. But once a student discovers one of their supplements was a lie, and actually used to suppress their hormones to keep their emotions and sex drives very low, things start to get bad. Distrust begins to happen. And a death. And now with no trust, and factions, and SO MANY EMOTIONS, they are going to have to see if they even want to continue this mission at all.

Starring so many young actors and actresses! Like Tye Sheridan, Lily-Rose Depp, Fionn Whitehead, Archie Madekwe, Archie Renaux, Chante Adams, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Madison Hu, Quintessa Swindell, Viveik Kalra, and Wern Lee.

bad touch
This is not a good touch, get your puberty off of her! 

Sure enough, this ended up being one of those movies where I really got into the story and dug it, and found myself along for the ride at several points. The beginning had a good chance of dragging on too long with the set up, but it zoomed through everything pretty quickly. Before and after sexy puberty time, the aura of the ship was noticeable and getting darker.

Is this movie saying sex emotions are bad?! Nah, it is just telling a story with some thrills (and just a little little bit of sex, it is just a PG-13 flick), on a very unique ride through space. I will say the movie got really close to making a really good point about growing up, or “society” or whatever, but never seemed to land that point just right, which is probably why a lot of people left this movie annoyed.

Basically, it feels like Lord of the Flies, in space. And honestly, I had to pause it multiple times just because I was getting  stressed out for some of the characters who couldn’t get out of their situation. They were literally trapped on the same ship, and I didn’t know if the movie would end on a good or a bad note.

And hey, maybe this movie is just an allegory for pandemics. A few selfish people who don’t want to listen to the rules can ruin things for everyone. Literally the future of our species too.

Oh yeah, come on director. Gonna have a lot of test tube babies and can’t get more diversity in this film? It has like the bare minimum, but we are talking about a future colony going to settle all the humans. I’d expect a bit more of an effort.

3 out of 4.

Cherry

The Russo Brothers and Tom Holland go together like Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. Both of them have careers that sometimes intersect and sometimes produce good movies. Yes, I did come up with that comparison myself, why do you ask?

I have a big fan of the Russos since their episodes on Community, and honestly, don’t know if they have done anything bad up to this point. They have done basically all of the best Marvel movies, so it is good to see them move on to a different source material. A book I have never heard of before. And if they bring along someone hoping to break from their boyish and charming mold, then it would be hard to pick someone better than Tom Holland right now.

What is Cherry about? I bet it ain’t about fruit.

spooderman
I think the Russo brothers intentionally made him look like Tobey Maguire Spider-Man here.

Cherry (Tom Holland) (I can’t really tell you if that is his first name or last or what) is a young college student, a bit off, a bit popular or cool, but still a bit out there. And he sees a girl, Emily (Ciara Bravo, also hoping to lose her kids tv channel roots) and he wants her. He has a girlfriend back at home, but she is the past, Emily is the future.

They begin to couple, and they have a time, but Emily doesn’t know if he is good for her, and decides some forced time apart is important. She goes to Montreal, so he decides to enlist, having not left in his life.

The rest of the film deals with his basic training, his time overseas, the amount of fucked up shit he sees over there, his PTSD from those events, and of course, some nice opioid and heroin addiction leading to a life of crime.

Is that not enough for you? It should be. It is quite a lot of topics for our hero (?) to hit and endure, and it is over 2 hours to make sure it has some breathing room. But not much.

Also starring Jack Reynor, Forrest Goodluck, Jeff Wahlberg, and Damon Wayans Jr.

spooderman2
Oh shit, and now he looks like Uncle Ben’s killer?

I described Cherry as a thrill ride already, but it really is a wild movie. A Wild Cherry film, if you will. I stole that joke from another, but it is okay, because I set them up for it when I was delirious. If I was a smarter man on that day, I would have made it on my own.

This film feels like it definitely was meant to get people to not think of Holland as some sweet kid (And so was the point of The Devil All The Time, right?).  We need to see if Holland can be a mega movie star on his own without the backing power of Disney behind him, and I truly do think he delivers. His character is fast talking, crass, and absolutely in love despite showing it in a weird way. I couldn’t catch a break for this film because the characters in the movie can’t catch them either. Some of the war scenes just totally made my heart sink, and were put in just to show the absurdity of everything in life and how people can just suck.

This is a much better film than the also recently released Chaos Walking, also starring Holland. It is so hard to describe outside of just the topics presented. It feels timely and fresh though nonetheless. It didn’t give me the same feelings of angst as other recent releases like Greenland, but it is still up there in quality. Not for the feint of heart. They use naughty language in this movie. t

3 out of 4.

Nobody

Who is this guy? This Nobody. This comedian. This laugh em upper. This ambulance chasing lawyer. What is her doing in this action movie? Who invited him to the party?

I will admit that going in to see Nobody, I thought this was supposed to be an action comedy. You know, a slightly more funny John Wick. Because the star is goddamn Bob Odenkirk. He isn’t an action person, there is no way they can realistically pretend he is either…can they?

What I will say though after watching it is that it is definitely not a comedy. There are amusing action parts, but at no point are you going to go on a laugh riot. Hell, John Wick is full of amusing action parts as well, but it is not a comedy. It turns out that they never advertised this movie as a comedy either, I just assumed so based on its sort of ridiculous poster. And I guess that is on me.

bus
There is nothing more serious than this face right here.

Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk) (What kind of name is Hutch Mansell?) (What kind of name is Bob Odenkirk?) (Fair point, moving on) is your typical family man. He has a wife (Connie Nielsen) and two kids (Gage Munroe, Paisley Cadorath). He goes to work every day. He rides the bus. He takes out the trash. He misses the trash. He sleeps. He jogs. It just goes on and on and on.

But one day Hutch finds himself to be the victim. A home robbery. Two people break into his house and demand money and valuables and he doesn’t have much to give him. And thanks to his son, there is a real good chance they can apprehend these criminals and keep their stuff, but Hutch misses his cue and he becomes a sort of laughing stock. Or at least everyone pities him. His family thinks less of him. Is he even a man? How dare he not do violence.

All of this makes him crack. He does seem to let on more than he knows about action stuff, but he wants to keep it contained. And after deciding to go after the criminals, he eventually gets himself into a bigger fight than he imagined. One that gets him involved with a dangerous Russian crime lord (Aleksey Serebryakov). Can this nobody still protect himself and his family? Is he actually a nobody?

Also starring RZAColin Salmon, and Christopher Lloyd as an 82 year old with a shot gun.

gun
And this is Odenkirk with a uhhh…. faster shot gun, idk guns. 

Do we have room in our world for another John Wick? Of course we do. After all, there have been plenty of movies before of seemingly normal guy (Who might secretly be abnormal) go on to do amazing feats of killing and vengeance. It isn’t something John Wick made up.

But with John Wick the actor was someone who we had seen in action movies before. Someone who knows Kung Fu. Not an actual regular looking joe who we know as a regular actor comedian. That is a plus. And also, the John Wick movies (2 and 3) got worse with each version, because the script blows, and they didn’t focus on the action enough.

So sure we have room for this movie, but is it good? Surprisingly yes.

It doesn’t feature narrative prose that one would look for in award winning films, it still has a weak plot. But the action is not only good, it is far more graphic and intense than I thought it would be (Watching people get stabbed and broken bones graphically, when I still thought it was a comedy, would do that). Odenkirk fucking brings it. And later on when he has help, they fucking bring it too, and it is just an amazing defense set with a spectacular finish.

I would be excited for more Nobody films, even if narratively it wouldn’t make sense for the character to continue. It didn’t make sense for John Wick either and it turned out gr — err, oh wait. It turned out bad. And will likely get worse.

Nobody was surprisingly fun and intense. A great action movie for those who want this sort of action genre. We don’t get a long one-take hallway scene, but the bus scene does feel almost just as good.

3 out of 4.

Boss Level

Alright, this is where I say things that are contradictory.
I am pretty certain, at this point, we need to calm the hell down with the “repeat a day forever” movie concept. Take an entire chill suppository.

Yeah, sure, Palm Springs came out last year and it made my top of the year list. But it tried something different, and we already got a similar movie to that one this year with The Map of Tiny Perfect Things.

And now we have Boss Level, which is supposed to be like a video game? You know, like how Edge of Tomorrow was sort of like a video game.

We definitely have too many in the genre coming too fast, which means we are about to get a slew of bad repeat day movies. Like what happened to the found footage concept. Then people will automatically hate them without giving some a shot, and some of them will rise to the top and be good.

All of this to say, I did like Boss Level, so uhhh. I guess I am happy it came out.

 

sword
I normally put regular words here, but I kind of want to put s-words instead.

 

Every morning when Roy Pulver (Frank Grillo) wakes up, it is because of an assassin standing over his bed with a sword, and a woman in his bed screaming. 

And after him, comes the helicopter. And after the helicopter, comes any number of other assassins. He has been doing this for over 100 days, he has no idea why people are going after him, he never really makes it that far in the day, and he is ready to give it all up. Unfortunately, giving it all up means just doing it again, a huge torturous shit hole.

What can he do to find the secret? What can he do to get stronger and survive? What can he do to find his ex (Naomi Watts) and see if her science shit is behind this whole thing?

Starring a lot of people, and more than I am tagging.  Rio Grillo, Rob Gronkowski, Ken Jeong, Meadow Williams, Michelle Yeoh, Selina Lo, Sheaun McKinney, Annabelle Wallis, Will Sasso, and unfortunately Mel Gibson

 

 

games
No, they don’t get to play the video game this one I guess pretends to be. 

 

The only way Boss Level works is through the charisma of the lead, Grillo. Without him, or an equally charismatic lead, this movie would be bargain bin trash.

Look. The plot is pretty low. It does explain the “why” this situation is occurring, for sure. But it doesn’t mean the explanation is that great. This is also a movie that wants classic Mel Gibson to be the big bad guy, but it feels like Gibson is barely in it. Is he the top of the bad guys? Sure. Do we need him in this movie? Not really, anyone could play that spot. And I’d definitely prefer someone who wasn’t anti-Semitic. 

Also, this film in no way feels like a video game at any point. The title implies it, the intro implies it, the screen they show when a new day implies it, but it never feels like a video game from the show of it. We don’t have…well, any video game aspects at all that one would expect. It feels a bit strange to imply it all while providing no actual video game elements in the story, and that is disappointing. 

But again. I still gave it a 3 out of 4 despite its many flaws because I had tons of fun. Grillo went full Grillo here. He was extreme, he was loud, crass, and somehow really deadly, until he died himself. I think a lot of the assassins could have been better given distinct personalities, but most are pretty basic. 

A fun movie. But hey. Stop doing these things. For a little bit. I don’t need to see trapped in a day films for some time. Let’s make it until the end of the year, okay? 

 

 

3 out of 4.

 

The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Lee Daniels has never been known to be shy about the types of movies he wants to do. He did Precious, which was groundbreaking in lead and topic (which is unfortunate, because it should not have been ground breaking) and The Butler, which was like the Forrest Gump of Butlers.

And now, he wants to tackle on a bio film about Billie Holiday, famous American singer from the 30’s to the 50’s. A film about music with music but not a musical. Apparently he was reluctant to cast Andra Day in the titular role, because she is a singer not an actress, but was blown away by a quick acting real she put together. And I am so glad she did.

I hate it when bios cast purely actors who cannot sing in films as singers. You can tell the difference and it really bugs me. And yes that is still one of my issues with Bohemian Rhapsody, a film that had a lot of issues. Let singers play singers. Don’t give me recordings of the original artist someone pretending. I want someone who can sing like them too.

Now who was he going to cast as America in The United States vs. Billie Holiday?

singing
Sing like, look like, all of the above. We need perfect castings!

At this point in the movie, Billie Holiday (Andra Day) was already pretty famous. Why? Well, she was a good singer sure, but her soulful an sorrowful song Strange Fruit really got to people. It was a song about the southern states doing lynching and hangings of free black citizens, and Holiday obviously had a problem with it.

However, the people in charge, the government, the FBI, her show promoters and venue owners had a problem with the song, not with what the song was about. Weirdly mixed priorities. They wanted to put a stop to her song in whatever way they could. They couldn’t arrest her for singing or ban a song, But they could arrest her for other things.

And then began the long campaign to try and ruin Billie Holiday’s life, because they didn’t want her to sing a song or cause a revolution. So they put some moles in her close circle. They got her arrested on drug charges mostly and some conduct things. They really had it out for her and kept being pretty big jerks about it. Fucking FBI.

Also starring Tyler James Williams, Garrett Hedlund, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Rob Morgan, Leslie Jordan, Natasha Lyonne, and Trevante Rhodes.

rain
That is the tears of white upper class people feeling oppressed by a song. 

The story of Billie Holiday is not unique and unfortunately familiar, despite being a unique and fantastic individual herself.

In fact, thanks to recent films, I am learning the the US FBI was kind of huge dicks in the early and mid 1900’s. Probably after that too. Are they dicks now? I have no idea, but they were definitely more aggressive dicks then. (Although if they are being aggressive dicks now, we will have to wait until files become publicized and we might have to deal with this for decades).

Anyways, they are huge dicks confirmed. It is confirmed here. It is confirmed in Judas and the Black Messiah. It is confirmed in MLK/FBI, all movies released within a month or so of each other. Very interesting this very apparent and strong theme. Who else did they screw over? How have they negatively impacted the growth of American and our history?

Back to the movie. Day absolutely destroys it as Billie Holiday, and that is the main aspect to talk about. The voice, the singing, the swagger, she was great. She really puts it all out there for this performance, you can tell it is personal.

It is long movie, but one that will likely lose luster over time, especially due to its similar (unfortunate) themes to other recent films. I learned a lot about a musical artist who I can say I definitely didn’t know much about before. And at least we have that going for us.

3 out of 4.

Coming 2 America

I know we have had an influx of “sequels a decade or two later” over the last few years, really starting with Dumb and Dumber To, but this one I think has to be the longest gap in the trend?

Coming to America graced our lives with humor and witticism in 1988, before a young Gorgon Reviewer could even be born. And now, 33 years later, its sequel is ready to go (although sure, it meant to come out last year).

Now this one is a much bigger sequel than the others because it had a much bigger original cast that was important to the story, and hell, everyone if they are alive that matters to the story is returning. So it has that going for it. I will say however I hate that they did call it Coming 2 America, because in real life it is impossible to say the difference without hand gestures or extra words, but in text life I guess it is fine.

Can they bring back the previous rains of Africa with this film? Will it matter in today’s world?

king
60% of the time it is good to be the king, all the time.
And we are back to Zamunda, where decades ago a young Prince Akeem Joffer (Eddie Murphy) returned with his bride (Shari Headley) from Queens, New York.  He has since fathered three girls, and his oldest, Meeka (KiKi Layne) is a wonderful and powerful woman, but the Zamunda laws require a male heir. Akeem is worried about that, given the imminent death of his father (James Earl Jones) and fully taking over the King hood.

The problem is, Nextdoria is now being run by a powerful and charismatic ruler, General Izzi (Wesley Snipes) who wants to marry his son into the royal line. But Akeem believes in true love! And if he says no, Izzi might kill him and take over!

Well, according to his good friend Semmi (Arsenio Hall), one night in Queens long ago, he tried to hook up Akeem with a bride right away! Akeem does not remember this situation due to drugs. Well, sure enough she (Leslie Jones) had a baby, who is an adult male (Jermaine Fowler) and might be the answer to his countries woes! Especially if he will agree to marry Izzi’s daughter.

Also starring basically everyone, including many from the original cast, if they were still alive: John Amos, Louie Anderson, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Clint Smith, Paul Bates, Nomzamo Mbatha, Bella Murphy, Akiley Love, Rotimi, Teyana Taylor, and Tracy Morgan.

fancy outfits
Nextdoria got mighty prosperous and powerful in a few decades.
Out of sequels a few decades later, I think Coming 2 America has to be considered the best to try it, because it really did deliver. Whether it is as funny as the original or will be seen as timeless as the original that is hard to say, but it is still clearly filled with the same heart and soul (glow) that made the first one work. It isn’t just references to the last movie (of which there is quite a few) or meta jokes about sequels (in which there is one). It is a continuation of a story and a reflection over the decades, asking our characters to better themselves and fulfill promises they claimed they would give us.

I laughed out loud several times, and I was watching it alone by myself, so that says a few things. My favorite new character was General Izzi. He came in and commanded the screen like a real life, slightly more aggressive Prince Ali. They brought the music in and the dances and it was a sight to behold. It is amusing that just two years ago we were noting how strange it was that Wesley Snipes and Eddie Murphy had never been in a movie together with Dolemite Is My Name, and we all realized that chemistry worked and needed to be expanded.

All of the classic character return and give us growth and familiarity. Big shout out also to Paul Bates as Oha with a surprising vocal range.

It is also full of musical guests to increase the nostalgia factor, each one surprised me and added to the extravagance. The last one had me in stitches though near the end, that is for certain.

Coming 2 America is funny and familiar and fits like an old glove (assuming you didn’t gain the Pandemic 50). I was doubtful it would work given all of the ones that failed before it, and damn was I wrong. The bar is now set very high for the next old late sequel, which I think is Sister Act 3. But the first two Sister Acts weren’t as good as Coming to America, so it might already be a losing battle.

3 out of 4.

I Care A Lot

I hope this movie is something seen by all. I hope it remains in the conversation for decades to come. I hope people refer back to it with quotes and references and we remember its name.

Why do I care so strongly about this film? Just because of the title. It is a bit awkward. I Care A Lot. Oh okay.

But the awkwardness is fine. Because it has the words “a lot” in it, and maybe, maybe, if people see this movie and write it out and get it in their brain, they will stop trying to create the “alot” creature from hyperbole and a half.

One of those pet peeves is all.

wall
“I’ve heard of ‘Binders of Women’ before, but this is ridiculous!” 

Getting old can be hard. Your brain can leave you behind, your memories can fade, you can become violent and really needy, but if you have no one to help you, what are you supposed to do? You kids, if you have them, might be able to take care of you. Or they may be too busy. You might get put in a home, but your kids may be too busy to handle your affairs, your doctors, and all of that.

So sometimes, you will get a court appointed guardian who will legally serve your best interests. These interests sometimes go against the interests of your family, but maybe that family might be trying to milk you dry and increase their inheritance? An unbiased third party is often useful.

Now if the unbiased third party is ALSO trying to scam you, then there is a problem.

Meet Marla Grayson (Rosamund Pike). She is that person trying to scam you. She knows the doctors, the judges, and is often trying to get appointed to people she can legally milk dry while getting kickbacks and looking like they are caring for their appointees. And in this film, she lands a big whale. Someone with no family to bug her and a lot of wealth.

But it turns out that Jennifer Petersor (Dianne Wiest) is not who she appears to be. And she does have a son (Peter Dinklage), who just so happens to be a mob boss in hiding, who doesn’t appreciate what is happening to his mother.

Also starring Alicia Witt, Chris Messina, Eiza González, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Macon Blair, and Nicholas Logan.

beard
If a photo shows strong facial hair game, I must always comment on said facial hair. 
Rosamund Pike knows how to play a sinister lady character for sure. Have you seen Gone Girl? You should see Gone Girl. It is great. Her character isn’t as conniving and evil as Amy, but it is still a really evil character who has close to no morals in I Care A Lot. It is like the movie title is…a lie! So it is easy to see why she won a Golden Globe for her performance in this film. But I wouldn’t be lying if I didn’t mention I would have preferred Maria Bakalova. Oh well, as long as Music didn’t win anything, we are all winners.

I Care A Lot is a very intense film and one that won’t be for everyone. There are very strong shifts in terms of what kind of film it is, especially the larger second act. There is a chance you might love the beginning and hate the rest, and other similar situations. I was fine with all of them, and I prefer my films to keep me guessing, even on tone. It never rustles my jimmies.

I really enjoyed Pike in her role, and is the only one worth mentioning. Even Dinklage couldn’t match her, but he did have more limited screentime.

Honestly, this movie’s existence is a strange one for those who hate moral issues. We have bad person vs bad person. There isn’t a clear person to cheer for, even if they are the antagonist, they are still a shitty human being. I now assume that things like this movie depict happen in America on the regular, and well, I hope John Oliver does a special on it so I can get the facts and start caring more.

Because it is on Netflix, this one is pretty easy to recommend for at least offering us something new. Mob stories are played out, but this is clearly a fresh take.

3 out of 4.

Wrong Turn

SIX WRONG TURN MOVIES. Did you know (before this one) there were six wrong turn movies? I know there was 3 or 4, but even I lost track of them after awhile.

I distinctly remember watching the first Wrong Turn film, or at least parts of it, with the wonderful Eliza Dushku, in a time where I rarely watched any horror films. It was gross, and it (for me) helped signal a turn in horror movies at the time that decided having a final girl or survivor was dumb, and instead focused on killing the entire cast.

So this is the seventh Wrong Turn film, but the numbers are dropped. No, they are going bigger with this one. Theoretically a theatrical release. This is a reboot. Oooh. Taking the franchise in a different direction. Gone from the West Virginia hills with cannibalistic rednecks (assuming that is what films 2-6 were about as well) and we are now in….different Appalachia mountain hills with a society blocked off from the rest of America. Got cha.

millenials
Just six young people going out on a hike, hooray!
Cabin in the woods, oooh ooooh, Cabin in the woods, yeah yeahhhh. Wait. No. Not a cabin in the woods. A trail in the woods. A trail in the woods that six fun millennials who have various amounts of experience plan on hiking, all of that Appalachian trail. Jen (Charlotte Vega) and her boyfriend, Darius (Adain Bradley). Milla (Emma Dumont) and her boyfriend Adam (Dylan McTee). And we have a gay couple!  Luis (Adrian Favela) and Gary (Vardaan Arora)! Yay!

Well, they are warned to keep to the trail, but damn it, they heard about some war memorial off in the woods and want to check it out. They do see a plaque for  the land declaring a free society for some group of people, but whatever. Oh, and traps also get let go and some of them die. That really sucks. Also their phones go missing. And then they also get captured.

Turns out, we got a whole village and community living on their own, off the grid, away from the government. They believe in helping each other out. Everyone works and plans and contributes, and everyone can take in on the food and feasting and joy. A wonderful, socialistic commune. But with their own rules and trials.

Gonna be a hard situation to get out of. Thankfully Jen’s dad (Matthew Modine) is actively searching for her, and hopefully he won’t be too late.

Also starring Daisy Head, Bill Sage, and Tim DeZarn.

boomers
Sweet hunting outfits. But can you see CAPITALISM coming?
The Wrong Turn reboot feels like several movies crammed into each other. We got teens in the woods surviving traps and getting caught. We got the village life changes that occur to our survivors. And we got the after.

And honestly, this is a plus. If the whole film the first act, of surviving being hunted in the woods and avoiding traps and people in fur coats, it would have been pretty darn forgettable. This added more elements, it didn’t make the people in the mountain to be purely bad people. Sure, they did some bad things and their rules were harsh, but they weren’t fully bad maybe?

For the most part, this kept my interest and kept me caring about what would happen to our poor twenty somethings caught up in this mess.

But what I really want to write about is the ending, because it is downright amazing. In the last 10-15 minutes, we get a big change of pace which leads us to an interesting ending. It is the type of ending that sets up a sequel. Normally this sort of thing would upset me, but it handles it all so well, that it feels good and I got excited about where a Wrong Turn 2 could go. It would keep me guessing.

But that wasn’t the end. Wrong Turn decided to keep on going. The entire credits is part of the film too, and that set up sequel doesn’t happen. No, the movie is going to end with a real ending that seemingly ends the plot then and there and I am all for it. It is one thing to set up for a sequel that feels deserved. It is another mind blowing feat to set it up, and also take it away so quickly with a different ending. It was fantastic.

The acting is fine, the deaths are whatever, the morals are there (for a bit), but the ending knocks it out of the park.

3 out of 4.

Saint Maud

Saint Maud was one of two highly anticipated horror films that /almost/ came out in 2020 before that shit hit the fan. The other was Antlers, which is coming out in October of this year. Both of them were set to come out in April of 2020, but got delayed multiple times.

Saint Maud, however, being a British film, did end up coming out in the UK late 2020 I believe, and then did the theater VOD thing in America in February of 2021.

The trailers honestly didn’t do a whole lot for me, but I was still excited for this one, because it was being released by A24 and they rarely let me down, and usually give horrors with some layers to it. So give me dat religious scares without nuns or exorcisms!

pray
Ah yes, prayer, the scariest religious practice indeed.
Maud (Morfydd Clark) is a personal care nurse and currently living in a small English town by the sea. She used to be Katie, but she failed to save a life and went through some hard times mentally. She decided to go harder into that Catholicism and change her name to Maud, for reasons. Now she deals with patients one on one.

She is now the main caretakers of Amanda (Jennifer Ehle), an older dancer from America. She has that stage four cancer and is mostly in a wheel chair now just waiting to die. And she is an atheist! Oh no!

Clearly Maud was sent here by God, not just so care for this lady, but to save her soul before her demise as well. A challenge and a reason for being.

Also starring Lily Knight, Lily Frazer, and Turlough Convery.

float
Okay, I didn’t talk about possessions earlier, so I guess this is okay.
Saint Maud is certainly not going to be the scariest horror movie ever made. It is definitely a slow build, and has some moments, but don’t expect a lot of jumping out of your seats moments.

You can expect surprises, for sure. And some weird moments and interesting dialogue and scenes along the way.

To me, this is a film that is absolutely saved by the ending. Depending on where the story took us, this could have been nothing, but I loved the ending so dang much. The entire conclusion of Maud’s story in this film is worth the build up. Even down to the last second of the movie still has some level of surprises left in it for the viewer, so it is important to pay attention and listen to it all.

Religious horrors are either really easy to make or hard to make, I really cannot tell. A lot of shitty ones come out, so the ideas must be easy, but making them excel and worth watching is the real story here. And I think Saint Maud tells a small enough story that makes it one worth telling and one that gives us a unique spin on the whole thing to really make it stand out.

3 out of 4.

Flora & Ulysses

Flora & Ulysses is the latest movie released straight to Disney Plus, and maybe would have gone to theaters if it didn’t exist? Hard to say.

This one is based on a popular book series, so it has a following already, but it is not a giant franchise everyone knows about.

It also involves superheroes. So Disney wants to win at the superhero game, so it is probably why they picked it up. And hey, now they can easily make references to Wolverine in the film and it doesn’t have to go through any weird legal loopholes.

Gotta be good to control everything.

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Maybe feels better than being a little girl with a squirrel in a box.
Flora (Matilda Lawler) is a superhero lover and a cynic (that latter fact she will say over and over again). She is pretty smart too. Her mom (Alyson Hannigan) is a romance novelist in a funk, probably due to her recent divorce. Her dad (Ben Schwartz) is a comic illustrator and creator, but he can’t get any of his work published and is going full midlife crisis and doesn’t know how to even.

But Flora is surviving it all. And she believes heroes might be out there. Not from hope, but through observations. And when she saves a squirrel from a vacuum cleaner that was behaving weirdly with straight up squirrel based CPR (yes, imagine it, yes), she thinks this might be his radioactive vat. Especially because he is strong, can maybe fly, and can type in English.

So Flora wants him to prove himself and find his purpose, but it seems like everyone is out to get her having a squirrel companion. Especially an animal control agent (Danny Pudi) who has a specific vendetta against squirrels.

So, is he really a superhero squirrel? Or was the real superhero squirrel the friends they made along the way?

Also starring Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, Anna Deavere Smith, Bobby Moynihan, and Kate Micucci.

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I apparently was living just to eventually see Abed wrestle a CGI cat. 
DuckTales! Whoo-ooo! I have barely seen any of the new franchise that I know is ending soon, but it has had good reviews from kids and adults alike. And did you know that most of the main cast is in this film? Pudi/Schwartz/Moynihan/Micucci all have roles big or small. The only big name missing is David Tennant. It is a weird ole Disney Umbrella reunion.

Flora & Ulysses is an ideal family film. It has slapstick comedy and verbal comedy. It has good natured characters for the most part. People want others to succeed and want the best for everyone else. The squirrel is cute and destructive. It has references and jokes that only older people will get, without them being like “oooh adult jokes”. It was good fun for me and my kids of all ages.

I definitely enjoyed Pudi playing a cartoon villain like role. It was weird and fun to see Schwartz as just a good guy dad trying to protect his daughter. It was good to see Hannigan really just doing anything outside of host work since How I Met Your Mother. A fun cast with an interesting topic.

There is not much negative to say about the movie at all. I agree it probably wouldn’t have made a lot of money in the theaters, but seems like a perfect one to watch on screen at your home. It is a movie that I just gave a chance and it definitely hit those good feels throughout the run time.

3 out of 4.