Movie Roundup – Online Releases 2018

Welcome to a Movie Roundup! A movie roundup features a few films that I didn’t feel like making full reviews for, but needed to get basic reviews out there for completionist reasons. It also helps me deal with my backlog. It may have a theme, and today’s theme is Online Releases 2018! Basically, things that started out on the internet, ideally a streaming website, because it is a loose theme, and I will take it.

Being on a movie round up doesn’t mean a movie is inherently bad, or good, or meh. I can feature any rating on here! So don’t assume the worst! I will also just post the reviews in alphabetical order.


Online Releases 2018

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Can we go wrong with the Coen brothers? Yes, we totally can. But I can’t help but feel something wonderful when they continually try to do something different, or make the normal a lot more eccentric. This time, they went back to the former, while also going back to some of those old timey western roots, which are arguably their best movies. Except this time, it is straight to Netflix, and an Anthology movie with six short films instead. The only connection? Western.

This ends up working really well, even if I can say I didn’t love every part of the anthology. Unfortunately, the best and most fun was the first of the stories, and probably me least favorite was number two. I really enjoyed the one about the prospectors and the woman with her not dog too. When it works, it really works, and when it doesn’t work, it is still well made and a bit beautiful, if not full of fuckery. This is not a happy movie, and it can easily be watched in parts, and deserves praise for its individual shorts that work out amazingly well.

3 out of 4.

Ballad
None of these people share a scene with the others.

The Kissing Booth

On the other hand, Netflix has made it clear its strategy isn’t to appeal to just the best movie ever, but to instead go for all the demographics so that they all have something to watch, which is fair. Netflix having a shit movie doesn’t mean that Netflix is bad, I just don’t have to watch it…if I am a normal movie goer.

But this movie is something else, and it has crawled out of the pits of hell thanks to some teenage girl. Yeah, it is based on a book, written by a teenage girl, on some website, and now its a movie. An uninspired romance movie, that seems to rely on the kissing booth as a feature, despite not being featured too heavily in the grand scope. It features a love interest who is super controlling, threatening, and uses his fists to solve problems. Ah, what good values to instill in our youth.

0 out of 4.

Kissing
Help, help, I’m trapped in a 90s movie.

My Dinner with Hervé

Over on HBO, they also like to do movies, and shows, and documentaries. In this one, we have dudes as the stars, with one of them being one of their biggest stars of their biggest show. Makes sense. Peter Dinklage playing a biographical role, of possibly the most famous little person in history (before Peter Dinklage and Verne Troyer), Hervé Villechaize. Made famous for being in Fantasy Island and The Man With The Golden Gun.

Now, this is all according to a journalist, but it is based on the night out on the town with Hervé, where he also recounts his whole life story leading up to the point, his rises, and his many many downfalls. Dinklage does an amazing job of transforming himself, or what I know about himself, and this is an extremely touching tale of a childhood of abuse and sadness, while still trying to make something about it. It never seems to go deep enough into the sadder parts though, and probably skirts around important details. I just knew that it started off way better than it eventually ended.

2 out of 4.

DINNer
And that is also true about life, I suppose.

Slice

Slice might not technically fit this theme, because it came out on VOD, but hey, my themes are loose, and I want it in this post. Slice is the type of movie that is just so out there, it is hard to believe that it even exists. Vampires, werewolves, zombies, ghosts, murder mystery, pizza store, witches, and such a strange plot and concept. It is the type of movie that when describing it you know will have a cult following and probably LARPing in the future.

But in all honestly, it just doesn’t work out well. The only redeeming factor is that it definitely feels original. It just is a weird mash of ideas that aren’t fully explained because it isn’t fully thought through. It is cool, it is weird, but it is definitely not good.

1 out of 4.

sLIce
Although, it made me want pizza, so good job there.

The Tale

Finally, another HBO movie (sorry Hulu), that I didn’t even know came out this last summer. I would have never known it existed if it didn’t get nominated for a Spirit award. I mean, it has a big name in it, and it is about sexual abuse when someone was a child. Sure, a fictional tale, but a tale that resonates due to how often similar “tales” have been told by other girls in relation to their coaches while growing up. Hell, the gymnastics scandal was in 2018, maybe even going on after this movie. It is very relevant.

Dern plays someone very vulnerable and stubborn at the same time. It doesn’t end with fireworks, but plays it in a more realistic way. More importantly, the girl who plays the younger version is amazing at her role. Her acting, in normal kid way, amplifies the creepiness of everything. It puts the viewer in a dark place and really helps bring the hate towards these sexual predators.

3 out of 4.

tale
These two adults are now on my despise list, well done!

Overall, steaming platforms put out a lot of duds, and some successes. And especially Netflix, because I will never catch up on on their new releases. Or, maybe I will, if I just keep the review format like this and not larger. But these ones caught my eye for some reason or another and I chose them to watch to review, and never got around to actually writing.

Seven Psychopaths

When I first heard about the film Seven Psychopaths, I was definitely excited. This movie is directed by Martin McDonagh, the guy who brought us In Bruges four years ago.

If you haven’t seen In Bruges, you definitely should. It is a dark comedy, and a pretty unique movie experience. But no pressure on McDonagh to recreate the magic of his last movie or anything.

Desert Stand off
Pictured above: Unique experience.

Marty (Colin Farrell) is a struggling screen writer and now alcoholic. He had some success, but he cant find the motivation for his next film, which is way past its deadline! Plus, his girlfriend is a bitch, maybe. His best friend, Billy (Sam Rockwell), an out of work actor really wants to help him on his new movie called Seven Psychopaths, so he puts an ad in the local paper calling all psychopaths to contact Marty and tell him their story. Ah jeez, thanks.

At the same time, Billy is working with an old friend of his, Hans (Christopher Walken) on a small time dog kidnapping business. Kidnap dogs from rich looking people, wait for them to post a reward, and boom, profit! Hans is working on money to pay for his wife’s cancer treatment (Linda Bright Clay). Unfortunately, they end up kidnapping the wrong man’s dog. Charlie (Woody Harrelson), a high ranking member of the local Italian mob loves his dog more than anything, and will kill anyone in his way to get him back!

Right. While all of that is going on, Marty is getting caught up in these shenanigans while also hearing stories from other psychopaths, such as Zachariah (Tom Waits), a Dexter sort of psychopath, and a pretty pissed off former member of the Vietcong(Long Nguyen). Not only does Marty have to survive the full wrath of the local mob, thanks to his friends attempts to help inspire the screenplay any way possible, but also stop drinking so gosh darn much!

Waiting Room
You know where alcohol gets you? In the hospital. That’s the real moral of this whole movie.

If I am going to compare here, I can say that Seven Psychopaths is a bit more crazier than In Bruges, and you’d expect that with a film that had psychopath in the title. Unfortunately for myself, I had the displeasure of sitting behind a woman who cackled at every small amusing thing, ruining a bit of the humor for myself, but I still found it pretty damn funny. This film had large amounts of normal comedy and “dark comedy”, easily willing to make both groups happy (and potentially uncomfortable if you just want comedy). Basically, if you hate death, stay away.

But the person who really made this movie I think was Sam Rockwell, out of all the actors. His character just felt leagues above the rest of the cast, not that they were bad, just no where as near as awesome and crazy as his. He forces you to watch him every time he is on screen.

I think the only thing I didn’t really enjoy was the “movie in a movie” aspect of it. The movie, Seven Psychopaths, is about a guy trying to write a movie called Psychopaths, and very strange movie like circumstances occurring to his life as a result. Don’t get me wrong, the things that occurred were pretty fantastic, I just almost wanted a 100% real movie instead for a higher shenanigan potential. Definitely a great movie to watch with the friends however, with a fun time guaranteed.

3 out of 4.