Tag: Drama

The Never List

Never have I ever….made a list.

Actually, now that I made that dumb first sentence, I will note that there has been a few horror films based on dumb drinking games. We’ve had Truth or Dare. Would You Rather. Has there been a strange horror movie made on Never Have I Ever? Someone needs to get on that if not.

The Never List is not a horror film, or based on a dumb teenage drinking game. But it is horrible, and it is dumb, but I will get more on that later.

kiss
Hey look, they cloned Olivia Munn and made her young again. 

Eva (Fivel Stewart) and Liz (Brenna D’Amico) are best friends. Known each other their whole lives. Eva is a bit of an overachiever and doer-, Liz is a bit more wild, but they hang out, pretend to be rock stars, draw and like the same things. It is a good relationship.

It was good. Until Liz had to go and die one night, presumably in a car crash (they don’t really explicitly say). Eva is now devastated. Her best friend. Gone. During her junior year of high school, which is usually one of the top 4 hardest years in high school. Eva has a lot going on. She agreed to run for class president for her senior year. She is trying to pick out a junior prom theme. She is trying to get good grades for colleges. Her parents (Keiko Agena, Matt Corboy), especially her mom, are making sure she is always doing things to make her life in the future better.

Well, Liz and Eva had made up cartoon characters that they drew in stories. They were actually more badass than either of them. And they would make up things for them to do, that neither of them would ever dream of doing. It made up their Never List, because they are good girls, damn it. In a moment of weakness, Eva decides to sexually assault someone running in the park, one of the items on the list! (Well, it was to pinch a stranger’s ass, and she did it, so I am not wrong with my description).

Liz has a lot going on, and she wants to just throw it all away to be an artist. She wants to raise money for a summer program with her favorite graphic novelist, because her parents would never agree to that. And sure, if she gets stuff done on the list, that would also be swell. Who cares if she throws away the rest of her life in the process. Grief is weird I guess?

Also starring Andrew Kai, Anna Grace Barlow, Jonathan Bennett, and Ryan Cargill.

consolting
Hey, you know what really helps with grief? Cocaine. 

Normally this sort of film, which plays out like a made for TV movie, would be the type of thing I still probably would have avoided and given a 1 out of 4 if I had to see it. It isn’t fun, or dramatic, not sure which way it really wants to go. It is pretty damn basic. The things on the list range from harmless, to sexual assault. Not just ass pinching. She needs to trick someone into taking Viagra to embarrass him in public. This leads to a bunch of homophobic slurs being used, and the movie does a really poor job of quelling that aspect. Like…really poor.

The acting was really low across the board. Especially when it came to the sad scenes about the characters death. Just absolutely unbelievable acting. It was also true in the extremely predictable pot brownie scene. And the extremely predictable lies to protect people scenes. Yeah, that is all this is.  Predictable garbage.

But what really put me over the hump to make this a 0 instead of a 1, was the bad audio in two music based scenes. There is a concert scene, and then later on during junior prom, a live singing scene. Both of them sounded so fake and clearly just audio being played it allowed for zero emersion. The club had no noise and chatter and rough sounds, and people talking or cheering or shouting. It was bizarre. And the ending fun scene went from regular talking to, oh, this singer is a superstar, different voice, music appears, background vocals, you name it.

I don’t think I am petty here. It was just already a bad movie. And just things like what I mentioned above, combined with the acting and assault stuff, in this year, just seems like a bad movie from the 90’s coming out 20 years too late. Shit, maybe that actually is a young Olivia Munn? Who knows.

0 out of 4.

Twist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 out of 4.

Doors

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

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

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

kids
Arrival had some kids in it, sure. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 out of 4.

Taking the Fall

Would you go to prison for other people? Would I? Ehhh, I really doubt it. I don’t think I could last in prison. I’d freak out like that fresh fish in Shawshank probably.

I have seen people take the blame for others actions before, doing quite the noble thing. One kid in my high school got busted for weed, that belonged to him and his roommate. He said it all belonged to him, not the roommate, and so he got kicked out of school, while his roommate got to graduate. Crazy noble.

I’m not noble.

Taking The Fall is about a guy who was just so nice he did something just like that and what happened next.

prisoner
Being stuck in prison so young. Better hit the button labeled Turbo, kid

Tyler (Munro Chambers) is getting out of prison after six long years! Hooray! He has a felony charge, because of a whole lot of weed. This was in college, where they got to party all day. It wasn’t really his weed, and it wasn’t even his idea, but he took the fall (The movie name!) so his friends could graduate and make something of themselves.

So his best friend Justin (Roland Beck III) picks him up and takes him to a nice rented house for a small get together. It was supposed to just be him, and one more, but they invited a few others to have a bit bigger of a party.

One of his older friends Peter (Chris Sturgeon) with his new fiancé (Kristin Zimber), his ex (Katie Gill) and her boyfriend (Jonathan Dylan King), and another friend (Avalon Penrose) who is a mom now!

Now Tyler can uncomfortably, reconnect with everyone he was close with at the same time, and listen to complain about their lives, how they feel stuck, how little they have done since he went away, and all of the bad decisions they made and continue to make. But come on. Tyler went to prison. Get over it.

millenials
Ah yes college. Where people drank beers uhhh….beers!

The main reason I wanted to see this movie is to figure out the rest of the description. Guy comes back from prison but and is ready to be happy, but… “only to discover that they’ve nearly all veered off course under the pressure of millennial culture.” What’s this? Millennial culture? What does that mean? Are they going to eat Avocados with Toast? Is this something about crippling student loans?

I was ready to be angry at the presumed anger at the main character. And honestly, his backlash went at them a little over half way through the movie, and it was so totally not work it. Yes. He was in prison. And he is mad because his friends don’t have jobs that they like. That they are burdened with child. That they feel trapped in relationships and don’t want to make their lives better.

It isn’t even a good rant. It is disappointing.

And I am surprised there is so much movie left after that. It is a low budget flick, it is designed to be full of long takes and conversations, but they really needed a lot more to drive the point home. Which is I guess….follow your dream and take risks? What is some debt if you already have student loan debt. Or something like that.

But again, it was extremely tame in topics. I don’t know. They really needed something more to add to the pressure the main character felt. Maybe a couple more characters with some other issues to pile it on. But he got mad at like, three old friends and one new person he doesn’t like. Overall not worth the time or story.

2 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.

Sensation

I got a feeling, inside my bones. It goes electric when I turn it…on? (Wait, it should be electric before being turned on. To be turn onable one would assume you have electric capabilities already, but what do I know).

Sorry, I am not here to criticize Mr. Timberlake, that was a different review. I am here to talk about different feelings a person might have, or at least, different sensations.

The movie Sensation is made in not-America (this time Canada!)  and it is an independent film that deals with themes of superhero potential and potential virtual worlds. What is real? What is not? It can be the next mind explosion or it can be a drop in the water and no one care for it. Which will it be…which will it be…which will it be…

bench
Ah yes, time to get on roofs, look out on the city, and think about feelings. 

Andrew Cooper (Eugene Simon), no relationship to Anderson Cooper (probably), does have some questions about his genetics. He submitted his DNA to a testing facility, to find out about his medical history and real history, all of that, and apparently things have gone awry since then.

Long story short, he is special. More special than the other special people. He might even have some super powers. He might be able to see that his reality isn’t a reality, and be able to distort things because shit isn’t real anyways. Can he get powers from emotions? We shall see!

But what even is reality? Maybe everything is a lie and this shit is fake.

These mind fucks also feature Emily Wyatt, Jennifer Martin, Marybeth Havens, Alastair G. Cumming, Anil Desai, Kai Francis Lewis, Alex Reid, and Lorraine Tai.

bus
Is this bus real? If it is a real bus, where did the roof go? Hmm?!

If that plot description sounded vague, that is because 98% of this film went in my brain and out the other. It never once made me care about the people in it, or what they were saying. I remember only a few scenes, just days later, and the ending, but it is not like it is an ending I want to remember.

This movie takes ideas from other films, crams a few of them together, and leaves nothing desirable at the same time. I wouldn’t say the ending is predictable in that I knew how it would end. But it was predictable in that I knew it wouldn’t feel satisfying or justify the time spent watching Sensation.

Fuck. I went in a little excited based on the plot line of this one. No one made me know of this films existence, I found out about it on my own from a VOD release site. I didn’t go in wanting it to be bad. But it was just so full of drivel and rehashed other plots that it had no chance of keeping my interest.

You all probably won’t see it, because you probably didn’t know it even existed, so this warning won’t mean much. But definitely do not waste your time.

0 out of 4.

Shiva Baby

There is a chance that this movie might have snuck on by me, and that would have been a travesty. It came out last weekend, both in theaters and on VOD. Shiva Baby is based on a short film of the same name with the same lead from a couple of years prior. People liked the concept, and hey, it was expanded, with some bigger names added to the cast overall. It went from 8 minutes to 77 minutes. Definitely a full length movie now, but shorter than most movies that are released, meaning it will still feel short in some aspects.

So how did I hear about Shiva Baby?

Just word of mouth. Another friend said they heard it was “More Stressful than Uncut Gems.”

Whoa. Calm on down now. Uncut Gems was by far one of the most stressful movie experiences I have ever had in my life. It involved guns and death, gambling and high stakes, women and jewelry, athletes and bookies.

Just by comparing the two, you have my attention.

parents
The face you make when you don’t inherit your parent’s height.

Danielle (Rachel Sennott) was just trying to get her sex on, when she gets a voice mail from her mom reminding her of a funeral that day. Fuck. Okay. She missed that, but she is expected to show up for the Shiva, and be there for hours, talking with all of her relatives, and old friends. But everyone there is so nosy. They pry. They want to know if she has a job lined up. How is college. What her major is. Who is she dating if anyone. And she has to answer these questions, with her parents (Polly Draper, Fred Melamed) there who know some of the truths too, so she can’t just lie.

But you know who also shows up? The guy (Danny Deferrari), she was sleeping with, who gives her money for things. Her “job” that she says she has for her parents and friends to get off her back. Turns out she was lying to him. He was lying to her too. Turns out he has a wife (Dianna Agron), and a kid.

And to top all of this off, her best friend Maya (Molly Gordon) is here, and she is seemingly being a complete bitch to her in all of her moments of woe.

Cramped spaces. Relatives. Family friends. Food. Old people. Babies. Who wants to be trapped in this situation when your entire reality is crumbling?

walk
It is hard to see someone looking more miserable than our lead here.

To start with the comparison, no, it is not more stressful than Uncut Gems. That was an unreasonable bar to start at for any movie, so I quickly adjusted my expectation on stress levels early on and it was a wise decision.

Because Shiva Baby was still quite stressful. The run time being under 80 minutes was perfect for the situation we were in at the Shiva. The level of claustrophobia felt very real and very high. The viewer will feel stuck in that house with all these people that you also, do not want to talk to. Not just because of Covid, or your own levels of social anxiety, because you know you also won’t have any answers to their damn questions. Each one making our lead character, and us, feeling uncomfortable. Their disappointment in their tone and eyes.

And that is only one aspect. All of the drama about the job, college, the relationship, just really adds up. The main reason this all works so well has to be the score used throughout the film, full of quick violin bursts, almost feeling like a horror film at times from the sound alone. The acting across the leads as well is great. Timing and realistic conversation is what makes this thing work, and they put their skills together to make it work great.

Emma Seligman, the director, showcased a strong film for her first feature length project. I don’t know how much of the movie drew on her own experiences growing up, but you can tell this story was handled by someone who wanted to make sure that various messages were given care. That grief is strange. That sex work is not only okay, but not a big deal. That sexuality in general can be a spectrum and that relationships aren’t always straightforward and need time to work out for some.

Shiva Baby is an overall great film to add to the “Stressful Jewish Cinema” collection. Not above Uncut Gems. But slightly beside it. Let’s get some more in this genre, please?

4 out of 4.

Crisis

There is a Crisis in America! And no, don’t go running to Ted Cruz, he won’t care.

But I should be more specific — there are a lot of active crisis’ in America. One crisis at a time is for small time nations. We have problems that span hundreds of years, so we are pretty good at having bad things happen, whether they are naturally occurring, or due to systematic issues.

Which crisis is this one going to tackle? Well, let’s just say that it involves the cops.

coppers
That literally narrows it down zero. 

See, drugs are bad, mmkay. And this is a movie that is going to talk about all of the badness of drugs, specifically, Opioid based drugs, since they are the hot commodity now that is fucking up things more than other substances.

What we have is three slightly interconnecting stories.

There is Agent Jake Kelly (Armie Hammer), who has been undergoing drug stings and trying to get not just the local dealers, but the suppliers, which requires the long wait and time.

There is Claire Reimann (Evangeline Lilly), a mother, whose son, who wasn’t perfect, was found overdosed with the drugs, and she didn’t even know or he had drugs before in his life!

And of course, Dr. Tyrone Brower (Gary Oldman) who is a professor of medicine stuff, and is helping do clinical trials for drugs as part of his research. And he is finding a new opioid, that is supposed to be less addictive, might not be as advertised.

Also, some other people and criminals and cops and more! Starring Greg Kinnear, Michelle Rodriguez, Luke Evans, Veronica Ferres, Kid Cudi, and Lily-Rose Depp.

professor sad
Someone covering up science? Unheard of!

Ahhh drugs! We have to fight the drugs, the war on drugs is killing us!

That sentence is meant to sound extreme, because the war of drugs has been a big failure for many reasons that this review has no reason to get into. But that doesn’t mean this movie doesn’t make good points, because it does. This opioid thing mostly sucks because the makers of it claimed it was great, without knowing the addictive properties (or maybe they did?!) and got a lot of people hooked on painkillers, doctor prescribed.

But I do have a hard time getting really annoyed at the real life aspects they want me to be pissed at, when also parts of it are made up. I know for legal reasons, they probably couldn’t name a real drug. But did this professor research story actually happen? Like for something else? If so, that does bring an extra level of fuckery to the mix. I know in my life opioids are addicting and not as advertised, but it is hard to draw that conclusion when it is also paired with exaggerated or potentially made up plotlines.

What truth should I go out and shout?!

Overall, the plot is okay. I do wish it had some more edited out of it, as it dragged in parts for me, and strangely, the cop parts were the weakest for me. I did get sort of lost before the end. I couldn’t remember who backstabbed or pissed off who. Is that on me? Maybe. But Crisis could have been more entertaining as well.

2 out of 4.

Godzilla vs. Kong

Godzilla. King Kong. Lizard. Ape. Will buildings get destroyed? Yes. Buildings will get destroyed.

The attempts to combine these franchises (well, one recent Kong Movie and two recent Godzilla movies) into one ultimate destruction battle was a lofty one, but clearly not one unheard of in our connected universes strategy of films. It was a guarantee, I imagine, to one day occur. I tried to come in ready for it, but honestly, I still never saw Godzilla: King of Monsters from two years ago, and at this point, I can’t imagine I will.

I was hoping that seeing the other two intro films would be enough, but it looks like this film made mostly throw backs to that last one, versus the other two. Damn it.

In Godzilla vs. Kong, the director promised there would be an obvious winner and not some bullshit tie overall. That is an important claim to make and really one of the main reasons I decided to even watch this one.

blast
Oh, Rave Godzilla has to be one of my favorite Godzillas. 

Rawr! Let’s get it on! Wait, no, not yet. First of all, Godzilla has been firmly established as some sort of Alpha Predator, whose sole purpose and existence is meant to make sure no other threats ruin the world. Godzilla doesn’t want to destroy, it wants to keep the balance and go back to the depths.

Kong though is another alpha predator thing. So some people are worried that this means Godzilla is going to come and destroy him at some point, so they have him in hiding, sort of.

There are also some corporations doing corporation things. There is a theory of a Hallow Earth where these beasts must have come from, that is likely to have huge power sources. So some companies want that power. Some want to just return Kong to his home. Some want to destroy all the monsters. You know, typical stuff.

Overall, they are going to have to fight, multiple times, and we are going to have to see things get fucked up along the way.

Also starring some humans like Alexander Skarsgård, Brian Tyree Henry, Demián Bichir, Eiza González, Julian Dennison, Kaylee Hottle, Kyle Chandler, Lance Reddick, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, and Shun Oguri.

kong
Is this his “fuck around, find out” face?

Hey? Do you like monsters fighting? Then this film has some of that! Honestly, I did think there would be more fighting overall, so I am surprised that there wasn’t even more. But I guess only two main monsters can wail on each other for awhile. There are some minor monsters in the Hallow Earth area too, but they don’t do much for the action or the plot.

Of course the plot is weak. And again, I am disappointed about how much of it is based on the King of Monsters film, just because I hadn’t seen it. Literally any returning characters (outside of the giant ones) were from that movie. It did have some surprises in store, which helped keep things interesting. But at least early on, the slowness of the plot, and even the first battle, failed to keep things super interesting for me.

Now one major plus is that the fight scenes were all incredible visible and detailed, and I loved that. Giant monster fights and CGI have usually meant a lot of dark fights, or messy blurs, where your mind has to put in the action, but that only happened a little bit in the first major fight, due to the underwater aspect. The major fights that mattered where very clear and that added a huge amount of awesome to the film.

And what about the winner? Did the director lie? No. Not really. I can understand the moment they are saying that there would be clearly one winner, no takeaways. But we still had to fall into some similar versus film tropes that I also wanted out of my movie. From what the director said is the definitive answer, I agree with who was chosen, as it is the one that makes the most sense.  However, again, still, they make it super definitive either. It isn’t as final as I would have hoped based on the remarks, so really, the director remarks set up my expectations to be higher than they would have been otherwise.

Godzilla vs. Kong is still a lot of fun, especially in the last third. Just have to slog through the human stuff, and the early battles.

2 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.

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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.