Tag: 1 out of 4

Candy Cane Lane

Candy Cane Lane was watched early as a screener. It comes out on Prime Video on Friday, December 1st!

Christmas is the best season to be and exist in, according to Chris Carver (Eddie Murphy). Now, it is debatable if he married his wife just because her name, Carol (Tracee Ellis Ross), fit in with the season so well, but his three kids, Joy (Genneya Walton), Nick (Thaddeus J. Mixson), and Holly (Madison Thomas) were certainly named that way for Christmas.

Except this Christmas things are shit. Chris just got laid off. His wife might get a promotion, but he feels bad. And his street always has a giant contest for the best decorated house. He loses to his neighbor (Ken Marino) a lot, who just fills his lawn with inflatable crap, whereas Chris has hand carved wooden sculptures and lights. Well, for some reason, this year there is a cash prize of $100,000 to the best house. That is a chunk of money that can save Chris. And so he wants to make this Christmas the best he can before his oldest runs off to college.

Long story short, he ends up spending a lot of money on a giant Christmas Tree themed after the the 12 Days of Christmas, that is wooden and robotic and spins. And through more plot (eventually), that stuff all comes to life to terrorize his life until he can reclaim all of the golden rings, least he get turned into a toy. Turns out making a deal with an elf (Jillian Bell) is more like making one with the devil.

Also starring Nick Offerman, Robin Thede, Chris Redd, and David Alan Grier as Santa.

Only people with Christmas Sweaters can win Christmas decorating contests, fact.
Ah, Christmas movies. What is their goal overall? To make you excited about a holiday that you likely are excited about already? To make you feel a certain way? To make you remember it is coming up? To make you realize some people do holidays way better than you?

Hard to say. Having a main character as an adult just really love Christmas is an interesting idea. Hallmark movies do that all the time.

Honestly, at this point, I think I am just over Jillian Bell as a villain. She was also in the recently straight to streaming, Good Burger 2, as the bad guy. And has been the bad guy before in the past. And it has lost all meaning at this point. Kind of like Ken Marino playing a smug asshole. The side characters don’t do anything for me, which is more important given that Bell is in this movie a lot as a weird vengeful elf.

But what about the main family? Well, they just never really seem to deal with the issues the characters are going through. Murphy lost his job and is now spending a lot money, for a cause, and not looking for something else. That is an issue. The son is failing school class. The main plot line dealt with is the oldest daughter wanting to go to school out of state (and she is a senior, and this is December, so I guess it makes sense for this to be a last second conversation. Although she was also doing Track and Field for high school, which we all know is not in December).

Sorry, I am getting technical.

In terms of the actual plot, it is actually really bad. Collecting the golden rings in 24 hours. Is it figuring out clever puzzles? No not really. It is just aggressively themed ornaments who come into the families life at various points, and they just succeed when the challenge comes to them. They don’t have to go out from their normal activities to find them. No puzzles. Just…rings. Only a little bit of shenanigans, at the end, but hey, it is solved by counter-shenanigans so again, no worries.

Honestly, out of the side characters? I did love David Alan Grier as Santa. I wish he had a bigger part of it.

Candy Cane Lane is a safe movie, that maybe some kids will like the slight zany-ness of the situation that comes up. But it takes a long time before that even starts, and it is spread out slowly through the other slower family plots. There was potentially a good idea here, but it was played safe and slow.

1 out of 4.

Dancing Queen

This film was watched as a part of the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). Dancing Queen has its Seattle Premier on Tuesday, May 16 2023.

Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen. Surprising that they haven’t just made a movie based off of that song yet.

Oh what is this? A movie called Dancing Queen from Scandinavia? Is this the time? Well, no unfortunately not. Because this movie is from Norway, and I cannot imagine them wanting to make a nearby countries most famous song from their most famous band? Now sure, they might make a reference to the song. But it can’t be a film based on the song. Because damn it, this main character is not seventeen.

Hmm. She is also not 7. Or 27. Or 57. Just listening more incorrect ages. 

In fact, our main character, Mina (Liv Elvira Kippersund Larsson) is uhhh, 7th grade age. Which eludes me at this moment. She likes school, and getting good grades, and hanging out with her friend Markus (Sturla Harbitz). Besties. But then at the start of the year, a new kid arrives, E.D. Win (Viljar Knutsen Bjaadal), from Olso! Why has he moved to a small town? Not actually sure, but he is internet famous for being a young hip hop dancer with tons of followers. So all of the girlies say heyyy, including Mina.

So once Mina finds out, that same day, that he is going to do auditions for a youth hip hop dance crew, she decides she has to audition. You know, with no experience whatsover. But E.D. Win smiled at her and made her dance in a circle and didn’t mock her, so it is true love. And she will go and audition with no experience. And sure, she might not have a stereotypical dancers body. Or like, thin. Or like, full of endurance.

But she has gumption. And she has love.

Also starring Cengiz Al, Anders Baasmo, Andrea Bræin Hovig, Anne Marit Jacobsen, and Ylva Røsten-Haga.

Whenever I look at myself in the mirror, I am always stuck looking at myself.

From the trailer, and the storyline, it looked like this movie wanted to be Norway’s answer to Little Miss Sunshine. I love Little Miss Sunshine! It is perfection in film. And unfortunately, this story is a lot more basic than Little Miss Sunshine. A bit by the numbers, with okay performances, but nothing as great as I had expected and hoped.

The story is where the main problems lie. It is easier to explain with direct spoilers which I will avoid here but, there is a lot of stuff that just doesn’t make sense based on how it was described. Like, the final competition was no where similar to what it was advertised early on. It makes me confused at why E.D. Win even wanted a dance crew for, since it didn’t seem to even use dance crews? It was all like, middle school duo groups only? They described it as a big national competition, with dance crews, and not even specifically kid based. So the final result is very strange.

I will also say that some characters leave the narrative at, frankly, random parts for motivation, with no great reason or foreshadowing behind them. It feels hollow. The whole ending feels hollow and forced, given the events that lead up to it.

I am all fine for body positivity films, sure. And I am glad it talked about them, and had one character be an absolute dick about it, in order to drive the narrative towards that and the extremes that one’s body can not endure. But Dancing Queen still ends up being a very basic film, with a plot you can predict, and no real shocks along the way.

1 out of 4.

On a Wing and a Prayer

On a Wing and a Prayer is a catch phrase. It means you are likely fucked. You don’t have the talent, or resources, or training, or something to make it through the situation. You know, like a plane that only has one wing. So how can it fly and land? Well, it is going to need that prayer element. Hope the universe can guide them to safety. Hopefully luck is on their side.

A film like this could be about anything. Hell, most films involve odds like this where the heroes overcome despite not having the right resources and need a lot of luck. But why not use that phrase for a literal movie about a plane problem? Heck, any plane disaster movie could have used it as a title. Like. Plane. United 93. All of them.

But it would be nice if it was about a one winged plane. Unfortunately for the movie On A Wing and a Prayer, the plane will have both wings the whole time, so the lack of resources will come from another place. And the prayer will come from Jesus, I guess.

Damn, no one is in that seat. Looks like it will have to be filled with the holy spirit. 

This film is a lot about Doug White (Dennis Quaid), a pharmacist. He has a wife (Heather Graham) and some kids, but really, the relationship we care about is the one he has with his brother, Jeff (Brett Rice). They are best buds, they do a random BBQ cook off together and win? Despite the fact that they just are regular people. This is meant to be a character trait I imagine.

Anyway they hang out, and days later after they go back home, Jeff dies! A shocker for sure. So they go to the funeral, and are flying back home in a tiny private plane with a pilot and just their family. When not many minutes after take off, the pilot dies as well! Damn, maybe Doug is just a jinx. Men around him just dying.

Now they are already in the air, and the autopilot is on, so they have time. But what if he needs the autopilot off because the safest thing would be to turn around to try and land? Doug has been taking pilot lessons. Not really. He did his first ever lesson, which has almost no actual training. So he lacks the experience to get it done. It takes a lot of people working together at nearby traffic control, and people outside of that, to give him any hope of success.

But hey, maybe Jesus will take the wheel?

Also starring Jesse Metcalfe, E. Roger Mitchell, Abigail Rhyne, Jessi Case, and Rocky Myers.

Oh nevermind, seat’s taken, Jesus. 

It is important to point out that sure, this film is based on a real story. And hey, anytime a real person who survives a crash and lands, despite not being a pilot, good on them. I love to hear it. I am super glad they didn’t die. But not every one of these stories needs to be made into a film.

This film has incredibly low stakes. I mean yeah, the life of the family on the plane. But it still feels like the film was filled with filler. [Editor’s note: That was an interesting sentence]. I wouldn’t say that we needed some kids nearby listening on a monitor. Did that help much? Nah. It just took away from the plane, which had not a lot of actual content to fill out the film. Heck, the beginning of the film was so awkward. The BBQ cookout win looked like it was all done in one take, no one really was caring much during that part of filming.

The idea of “Jesus taking the wheel” I always find to be a strange one in general, in real life. But to have that be a literal moment for this movie? It is certainly an interesting choice. On a Wing and a Prayer is a sort of religious movie. It doesn’t go as hard as something made by Alex Kendrick, so it feels a least a little bit realistic. But letting the end of the film rely on this sort of moment just, honestly, made me sigh and roll my eyes.

On a Wing and a Prayer is a drama film, not a thriller. It tells a relatively simple story, where we know everyone will be fine by the end. But even if it isn’t a thriller, it should have some level of thrills in it to keep my attention. But unfortunately, it never could.

1 out of 4.


Pursued is part of Make Believe Seattle, and it is having its world premier on Saturday, March 25, 2023. 

Pursued is one of the many films getting its world premier at Make Believe Festival in Seattle this week. What personally drew me in was not the few actor names I actually recognized, but the teenage sleuth feel of it all. I am sure it would have normal horror and thriller vibes throughout it. But high school students finding clues, and finding a killer? At the threat of their own lives? That could be fun.

I mean, I used to be a teacher. The high school students I know, for the most part, were very apathetic, even when it came to passing their classes, so it is always nice to see there are some students out there, even if they are fictional characters, who have passions and desires in SOMETHING.

Besides. Horror film that take place with high school students usually means we get to have deaths in the school, and hey, public schooling at this point already feels like death.

Is this old guy a clue? Is it her dad? Is it a killer? 

Lark (Madison Lawlor) is a high school girl, just trying to live her life, go to parties, and kick ass. Like everyone else. But one night she sneaks out, and when her dad was driving on the way to get her, he got into a car accident. Shit. Now her dad is dead, and it is sort of her fault. She has to carry that guilt.

Some time later, still in high school, we have her actively dating and doing things now, trying to live her best life. Her mom (Molly Ringwald), is finally in the dating game, and dating Mark Franc (Angus Macfadyen). Hey, that is a pretty generic sounding name. In general, Lark doesn’t like the sound of him, so she does her own googling.

And somehow, strangely enough, this leads her on a dark path. Where she finds out the identity of another Mark Franc, who just so happens to be a serial killer. But first she needs proof! She needs help! That way justice can be had. But soon Lark gets far too over her head, and her friends start dying, and she starts to get threats, and well. Hope she doesn’t ruin her mom’s new found happiness by also getting murdered, ya know?

Also starring Joel Courtney, Paul Sorvino, Sam Trammell, Miesha Tate, and Taylor Blackwell.

Same question. Is he the killer? He could easily just be a teacher getting home after working with assholes.

Lark in this movie is no Nancy Drew, but to be fair, the movie didn’t advertise that element at all either. It is just something I wanted. Did the lead solve some clues, and do some nice breaking and entering to solve a murder? Oh, you betcha.

But she also was still a teenager, who made bad decisions, and dug herself into a hole she did not know how to get out of.

Unfortunately for this hole, it felt more laughable than scary. There is always a suspicion of disbelief in these films, you know, murderers who are strong and apparently the best at covering up their tracks. But there was too much in this film for me to get over that fact, unfortunately. It wasn’t giving a film with supernatural elements, so having the murderer go “Halloween Kills” on a group of people who were bigger, stronger, and had him already trapped felt more annoying than anything, at what felt like a good an appropriate ending. [Editor’s Note: That scene in Halloween Kills I hated so much, and this movie is not really that close]. But the film instead needed to continue, and go further. It already felt like it was dragging at that point, but to make it go even more further felt like an awkward decision.

If it broke some cliches in the process, it would have helped. But instead we got still a pretty standard ending, after a less than exciting film. Even though it ended on a weak note, its mediocrity of a story wasn’t going to save it either. I would not pursue Pursued into theaters at any time soon.

1 out of 4.

The People We Hate At The Wedding

I have had to write this title, The People We Hate At The Wedding, at least 10 times now in my life. And every time, it just feels wrong. I don’t mind long titles, but the “We” really throws me off, because who are the we? Are we the viewer, the we? Are we acknowledging that the leads in the film are the people we hate?

Because the title feels like something that the character should be saying. But at the same time, it is clear from the poster, that the main characters are the characters that should be hated. Are they hating on even more characters? Are they aware they they should be hated for their behavior?

I think it might be a better title if We was replaced by You. Then it has more of a documentary feel. We know we are watching and supposed to hate them. It is a movie showcasing them!

It turns out that my grumbles towards the title, despite loving the three leads, was just the start of my issues.


Hey look, it’s those people we all agree we hate.


Donna (Allison Janney) and Henrique (Isaach De Bankolé) got married and had a kid in London, named Eloise (Cynthia Addai-Robinson). But their relationship didn’t last, so they broke up and Donna went back to America, where she got married again (Andy Daly), and had two kids, Alice (Kristen Bell) and Paul (Ben Platt). They would get to see Eloise when she visited once a year, and got to do American cuisine like Taco Bell. They were an okay family, but Eloise was rich, and Alice/Paul were not, and it seemed to just get worse over the years.

So now that they are adults, and miserable in their lives. Alice is in a strange relationship with her boss (Jorma Taccone), who is rich, but also, you know, married. Ben is in a relationship with Dominic (Karan Soni), who apparently wants to experiment with a more open relationship. Their mom, Donna, is single again. And she doesn’t really talk to any of her kids.

But they all get an invite to Eloise’s wedding. She will pay for a lot of the trip too, but she wants her whole family there. However, her extended family is upset with her, or the situation for various reasons. And when miserable people conglomerate together, where they feel more miserable, then you’re gonna have a bad time.


more people
Here are more people. Should we hate them too? 

Comedies can be hit and miss, depending on the subject matter. Wedding movies are similar. For example, six years ago we got Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (oh hey, something else starring Pitch Perfect alumni). It wasn’t loved overall, but I had a good time with it and laughed a long with. Unfortunately with this film, I just could never care about their experiences. 

The protagonists are in sad situations, but none of them feel relatable. So I don’t care about their downward trend then eventual growth throughout the film. Instead it is more of a “well, miserable people deserve to be miserable” sort of attitude I had. “Oh no!…anyways”

It just feels like absolutely no joke landed. I don’t know if it is because of how unoriginal the story felt, or if it was just poorly paced or what. I do know that I wasn’t shocked at any point of the film. Once it was fully set up, it was predictable where would be by the end of the movie. 

There are no stand outs from the cast. It is nice that they let Ben Platt be gay on screen, which hasn’t happened a lot. But the movie itself is as forgettable. Just like the actual phrasing of the title. 


1 out of 4.


A Life on the Farm / Chop & Steele


What’s this, a double review? Yes, I sometimes review more than one thing, if they are part of a series, for special reviews. But here are two unrelated documentaries showing at Fantastic Fest. Or maybe, they are related?

You see, with A Life on the Farm, it is about some old VHS tapes made in the 1990s, about Charles Carson. He was an old man with a farm, in England, who decide to start filming what can only be described as promotion films about his farm, and life on it.

With Chop & Steele, it is about a fictional duo named Chop & Steele. But the people who play this fake body building champion duo, Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett, are actually friends for decades who have made history pranking local TV news stations and collecting VHS tapes. You know, tapes they have shown at their Found Footage Festivals on tour, with audiences laughing about the absurdity of things people filmed from television or in their own homes.

One of those VHS tapes they found, being the A Life on the Farm series, which was one of their biggest hits. And hey, that is the other documentary! Boom, connection, let’s talk about both.

Oh my god, so many skeletons on this farm. 

Charles Carson is the archived star of A Life on the Farm. He has won people over through his edited shots and set up scenes around his farm, using very limited technology at the time, and doing it at his old age when most people would assume he would know very little.

But more importantly, because like him for the things he did. Like, having his dead mother, pre burial, on a wheel chair around the farm, filming her saying goodbye to the land. A lot of folks would be creeped out by a dead body, but not him. He is death positive, and just wants to ensure that they get to pay their last respects.

In terms of the footage, I bet the actual unedited stuff is great, especially with a nice MC putting it in better context, and with a group of folks. But a documentary about the footage, its history, and it being broken down, did not make it seem more exciting. It just felt weird and uncomfortable split up this way, not the jolly interesting time I was hoping and expecting.

These guys are swoll. 

Now, in this documentary we can learn more about Nick and Joe. It is how they got started, their first festivals, and their first pranks! Like pretending to be an expert Yo-Yo expert, while not being an expert Yo-yoer. And more importantly, their Chop & Steele persona, which got them real big and famous because…they were sued over it!

Yep, a parent company of a TV station, once they found out they were a prank team, sued them for Fraud and more. They wanted it to be settled, and to apologize to the station, but the pair of course did not, and wanted to go all the way with it. It did become a talking point on other morning news shows, noting that this just shows that journalists didn’t do their first job. And also, eventually it did lead them to getting to America’s Got Talent, which was a claim they made to get on the shows!

But honestly, a lot more is just about the duo and their lives. Their friendship. Their direction in life. What their future plans on. Is it acting, or writing, or splitting up eventually? It brings a lot of heart into this documentary, much more than I expected about a few pranksters. And much more than I expected after watching the former documentary in this review.

It breaches a lot of good topics, while also being funny in its own right. I can’t wait to see what Nick and Joe do in the future, and if they plan on going any new direction with their antics, or if they dial it all in and retire.

1 out of 4. / 3 out of 4.

See How They Run

A lot of times to start these reviews, I will talk about the title as an effective or ineffective tool, or how people might perceive the movie. This time it isn’t a joke. It is all honesty. See How They Run sounds like a horror film. It just does. Or maybe even a war film.

I would have never guessed a Comedy/Mystery movie. I certainly would never have guessed it was something Agatha Christie adjacent. What does that mean? You will soon find out.

You will also find out why this stacked cast, full of actors I love, did very little for me unfortunately throughout the picture.

This is most of the cast! Not even the biggest names! One or more of these characters might die!

In the 1950’s, there was TV and Movies, but let’s be clear, it wasn’t the top tier stuff we know about now. So what did people do? Well, there wasn’t a war, so they went to plays!

One popular playwright was Agatha Christie, whom you have heard of before. She wrote a lot of murder mystery plays, which had the audience guessing and sworn to secrecy that they wouldn’t spoil the ending of the play. After all, then people wouldn’t come and see them!

One play in particular, The Mouse Trap, was doing very well, and it got a lot of people excited about murder mysteries. It may have been even based on a real story. It is doing so well, a few people have the great idea to turn it into a film. People are watching films now, so why not let a lot more see it on a bigger scale? Great idea!

Until people start dying, who are associated with the film. No, this is not Scream 3. This is See How They Run. Now we have an Inspector (Sam Rockwell) and his rookie assistant (Saoirse Ronan) are going to try and find the killer. While also dealing with apathy and inexperience. And some intrigue, sure.

Also starring Shirley Henderson, Adrien Brody, David Oyelowo, Ruth Wilson, Reece Shearsmith, Charlie Cooper, and Harris Dickinson as a young Richard Attenborough.

See, I kept the biggest names hidden. Oh what a mystery that was!

This film is going for some sort of meta look on Agatha Christie plays, by having a murder mystery involved with the making of an Agatha Christie film. A real murder during fake murders! It is something that has been done before, so while feeling like it could be a unique look, it isn’t actually too unique. Now we have to compare it to just meta murder films and plays. At the same time, we have to compare it to actual Agatha Christie plays.

That is a lot of comparisons it needs to overcome. Unfortunately, it fails on those levels.

In terms of positives, I can say this movie is really well shot and costumed. It has a great visual look to it, and it is clearly using some good cameras and interesting scenes. I also think Ronan’s character was interesting, and that this one felt a bit more unique when compared to the majority of her other roles. Again, the spunky new cop who is smart and gets things figured out is not a new archetype either. It is just unique for her own body of work.

In terms of everything else, I am just left disappointed. From the eventual reveal, to the death scenes, to the jokes (this is a comedy, technically), and to even Sam Rockwell. I love Sam Rockwell. But much like his character didn’t want to be there, it felt like he didn’t want to be there either.

See How They Run is just a snooze. The jokes fall as flat as the bodies that eventual hit the floor. Its meta qualities don’t even feel like a unique enough reason to give it a watch out of curiosity.

1 out of 4.

Clerks III

Twenty-eight years ago, Clerks was released into the world, and I would like to think that the world changed a bit. It helped independent films gain some notoriety, right? It certainly helped Harvey Weinstein, but that is a different story. I watched this film years later, somewhere as a teenager, after already seeing Mallrats at the time.

Sixteen years ago, Clerks II was released! I was able to see that movie the day it had came out. We had to drive an hour to see it, my brother and I, and there wasn’t a lot of people in the theaters. It was certainly a good time. The sequel had similarities with the first film, but certainly stood on its own. And plus, they could afford to Rosario Dawson money, who was actually famous!

The release of Clerks III has taken a long time to come. I know at some point, a script was written for a film, but that did not happen. At a different time, it was turned into a screenplay where the goal was to have it performed on stage for some amount of time, and then shown in theaters in some sort of Fathom event. That also did not come to fruition.

It took Kevin Smith almost dying for him to make Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. But using that same influence, he decided to then make Clerks III about his experiences as well. Even though, theoretically, Clerks was about some of his experiences. And well, that means are getting what they call one of them/there Meta films.


Damn, the stoners are back to doing drugs. Ain’t that a shame.


At the end of Clerks II, Dante (Brian O’Halleran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson) bought the Quick Stop that had burned down with Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob’s (Kevin Smith) movie money. They hired Elias (Trevor Fehrman) as one of their employees. And of course, Dante finally was able to realize what he wanted in a love life with Becky (Rosario Dawson), whom was pregnant with a child and now engaged.

So where are we at the new movie? Well, the same amount of time has passed and everyone is still at the same store, doing the same job. Except the job is more fun. For example, they can play hockey on the roof without it being a big deal, because they are the owners.

Unfortunately, Randal ends up having a heart attack and almost dies. [Hey, like Kevin Smith!…] Well, Randal doesn’t like that. Sure he might have to change some of his lifestyle, but since he almost died, he wants to make sure he leaves some impact on the world. Instead of just sitting around all day watching movies, he wants to make a movie. He must have learned enough about it now to make a good one right? And why not just make it about what he knows best, working a convenience store as a clerk serving the public.

And Elias worships Satan now.

Also starring Marilyn Ghigliotti and Austin Zajur


“This job would be great if it wasn’t for all the goddamn movie critics.” – Kevin Smith, probably.


How did Clerks III do? Did it nail the landing? Was it poignant yet funny? Was it sad and finale? Was it just dick and fart jokes? The Before trilogy is wonderful, telling the story of two people every 9 years in their life. Starring the same two actors, and the same director. Is the Clerks trilogy technically doing the same thing, over a longer time frame? Yes. But each part does not feel worthwhile, I am afraid.

There are two very specific moments that I certainly cannot talk about. One found out early on, and one dealing with the film’s climax. The earlier one annoyed me greatly, and changed the context of the film. The latter one made me cry, and yet at the same time, it felt cheap. It felt like something I have seen before. Heck, part of it feels like it was ripped straight out of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Unlike Clerks II, where I cried due to great love on the screen, this film had me crying from sadness, but sadness that did not feel earned, nor did it feel like it was even well respected by the material. A very odd position to be in, given the creator’s closeness to this franchise.

Outside of those two specific spoilery moments, most of the movie was watching these older characters try to film and create, what is essentially, the clerks movie. Using friends of theirs from the past to do similar roles inspired by their own fictional real events. What that means is that we got to see a LOT of cameos from the first film, reprising their same roles, and doing the same scenes. That is pretty interesting. Sure. But at the same time, the hardships that came with filming, and the specific things that popped up, were all real experiences as well. And they are all well known and well documented experiences. Because if there is anything Kevin Smith likes doing, it is telling stories from his life. So I was seeing scenes I have already heard before and read before, making the whole thing lose its edge really quickly. I didn’t care about seeing an episode of SModcast, I wanted to see a new movie. 

There are other elements of the trilogy that this one doesn’t follow. I am not saying it has to, but it does help stylistically set the Clerks movies apart. This film does not take place over a day, it takes place over many many weeks. A small annoyance, but notable nonetheless.

The Elias plot line with his crypto friend was incredibly wasted. I don’t think either made me laugh at all. 

The problems with Clerks III is that instead of telling a good new story, Smith instead chose to tell an old story. And when a lot of your movie is literally rehashed jokes from the first one, it is hard to care. At least in the Jay and Silent Bob Reboot I got closure for Chasing Amy, so it doesn’t need some bad sequel. For this specific series, I should have stopped after it peaked with the interspecies erotica. 


1 out of 4.



Finally, a reboot of Breakin’. We haven’t had a break dancing themed film in awhile. Maybe one of the Step-Up films?

I wish I could begin the review like that honestly. I really would enjoy a film about break dancing, even though I know they won’t try to make it a good story.

Instead, Breaking is about a bank robbery. Or at least, someone who has a bomb in the bank, with a very specific set of demands, and he will not stop until he gets his way. Maybe unless he reaches his…Breaking Point?

And, it features this handsome fellow in one of his final roles. 

Brian Brown-Easley (John Boyega) has gone through some things. He is a former Marine soldier, but now he is just a regular guy, going through hard times. Including money troubles. We seem looking really beat up at the start of the movie. But over what?

We shall see…

The point of the matter is, that later he goes to the bank to do something really basic. No problems, all good. That is, until he asks for a paper, and writes a note to the teller that he has a bomb.

He allows people to call the cops, and most of them to evacuate. The teller (Selenis Leyvis) and manager (Nicole Beharie) are the only two staying behind. Brian is very apologetic and sorry. He says he won’t be hurting him if he has to let the bomb go. He just needs to make some demands.

What kind of demands? Well. He wants $832. That specific amount. And he doesn’t want it from the bank. He wants his money from the VA that he says was denied to him recently. It is the principle.

Also starring Connie Britton, Jeffrey Donovan, London Covington, Olivia Washington, and Michael Kenneth Williams.

Bringing a bomb to a bank is a good way to be alliterative. 

One thing you might want to know going into this movie is that it is based on a true story. And because of that, it is limited in really what it can tell in this movie, if it wants to be accurate. From the plot of this film, it looks like it was going for accuracy. I would not recommend looking up the actual events before hand, nor the article that became famous talking about the events. Obviously they are spoilers, but even the title of the article is a spoiler.

This film is dealing with a real, and serious issue. It is dealing with PTSD, and of course, police violence against black people, and their difference responses based on the color of ones skin most of the time. It is serious and worth being talked about.

But at the same time, I am a movie reviewer, and reviewing the movie itself. Once we get to the bank scene, which starts relatively early in the film, it feels like Boyega is giving a sort of impression of Denzel Washington in John Q. At least it made me elicit it. A guy holding up people for a good cause potentially. But there isn’t a lot that happens in this story. Just some talking, and escalations, until the whole thing ends. The true story is a powerful one sure, but the emotions weren’t with me along for the ride. And that was devastating.

Boyega wasn’t acting bad, nor the rest of the cast. Jeffrey Donovan’s character was a little weird in the grand scheme of things. But it didn’t seem to go far about the issues that the movie wanted to talk about. It all felt very surface level. It is really easy to make me cry when a movie has a father doing something “for his daughter” and there are emotional build ups, but this one couldn’t get to me in that level.

I think I would rather have a documentary about this subject, and the greater problems reflected in the film. Because this time keeping the story relatively accurate meant it didn’t have a lot to work with. And for one more note, I really wish it kept its original title, 892. That would have felt more unique.

1 out of 4.


Did John Lasseter fuck around with employees and sexually harass people while working for Disney/Pixar?

Well, most assuredly yes. He even admitted to it and called them missteps. That is pretty poorly worded. What a fuck. So he got booted out of Disney/Pixar, which makes sense. But damn it, he has /talent/ so he can’t not have a job. How will he live off of his previous riches?

So Skydance Animation was made! Okay, it was made before that controversy. But they hired Lasseter to run it, because they wanted a big name I guess. And that is the intro you get to have for their first animated film, Luck! Which is premiering straight to Apple+.

Oh, but this movie has dragons. Why isn’t it on HBO?

Luck is a story about Sam (Eva Noblezada), whom you might have already guessed, is unlucky. She is clumsy, she is late, her stuff stops working, she falls, she gets pains, but damn it she is 18 now, and about to live life on her own. Her own apartment, her own basic job. Why is that? Oh yeah, because she was also in a foster home. Yep, her unluckiness meant she was also there for years and never got taken in by a “forever family”, and just had to live a sad life alone. Yep, we are going depressing with this real quick.

But leaving the home meant that that Hazel (Adelynn Spoon) is now alone. A newer foster kid in the home. Sam makes sure she should still visit so often, so she won’t be alone, and hopes she has better luck.

Sure enough, she runs into a black cat, who drops a coin (ah, must be a lucky penny), and then Sam has good luck! She blames it on the coin of course, and wants to give it to Hazel so she can be adopted (fuuuck, that’s too depressing for me). But, once again, she is unlucky and loses it after intentionally setting it down.

That is when she runs into the cat again and….well, the rest is history. You know, after she follows it to a secret Luck world where Good Luck is created and fostered, with a polar opposite Bad Luck side that brings bad luck into the world, with a smorgasbord of diverse characters.

Also starring Colin O’Donoghue, Flula Borg, Jane Fonda, Lil Rel Howery, Maurice J. Irvin, Simon Pegg (as the cat!), John Ratzenberger, and Whoopi Goldberg.

Oh shit, emotions rising. Characters are hugging!

Honestly, this movie made me cry. But it is seriously hard not to. The first ten minutes are extremely sad. I feel so bad, that the took something kind of whimsical like having good or bad luck and equating it to something so serious like having someone fucking adopt you. Normally the stakes for this type of thing are missing a shot in a big sports game, or question in a competition. But sorry, your unusual unluckiness prevented parents from wanting to have you in their life? And often not show up at all for visits? Goddamn, calm down movie people.

Honestly, writing that makes me a bit more annoyed as it all comes together.

For the film itself, it is pretty damn basic. It feels like a lot of other generic kid fantasy films. Go to a magical realm. Have a diverse cast of different characters and magical beasts to look at. Have to go from point to point to collect things, to get closer and closer to a goal. And learn a lesson, that is really obvious from us the viewer. Just a standard, unimaginative story line. Even if it is in a new world we haven’t been before, it doesn’t do anything particular shocking with that world.

Overall, Luck is really lazy. For a child, it might be nicely distracting. But its tone is off, and honestly leaving a bad taste in my mouth to cheapen foster kids and adoption into good and bad luck. Sure the film made me cry, like twice, but it did so by being very manipulative with some real tragedies that didn’t actually matter for a lot of the story.

1 out of 4.