Tag: 1 out of 4

You Can’t Kill Meme

Documentaries about memes? I am here for them, completely and always. As long as they are movies assuming you already understand memes enough and are not some Boomer guide to the internet.

After all, they are in our lives, and can affect things, even if you don’t want them to. Last year we got a really great documentary called Feels Good Man, about the artist behind the Pepe frog, how it was taken by the alt right and internet channers, and his attempts to get it taken back and put back onto a positive spin. That documentary also talked about how the memes were used to help Donald Trump win the 2016 election, which is solid. It might not seem true, but it was, and it isn’t the only reason he won, just a reason it helped.

Now we have You Can’t Kill Meme, a documentary about political memes and how they have affected our life. I assume it was going to have a more broad outlook on the election, an things before it and after it, and how if text was put on a graphic format it was hard to kill.

It is about that, yes. But it is also about memetic magic. A concept talked about before memes really existed, in a book, about how they can be brought out to utilize literal magic, in order to get tasks done.

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What is this CGI doing to the poor pepe frog?

Magic? What? Yeah, I assume the title part of that book “Memetic Magic: Manipulation of the Root Social Matrix and the Fabric of Reality” was more of a note on how memes can be used to change social unorder through addiction to technology and fake news or whatever. Nah, it is about how if its done enough with enough power or thought, it can make things happen, literal magic. Sort of like The Secret, honestly.

And yeah, that is what this movie is about. The director (Hayley Garrigus) does something journalists rarely do and just lets the subject people talk. She talks to people who refer to themselves as magic users, and the author of that book, and some people who believe in meme magic.

That is fine and all. This documentary has one purpose, to talk about that phenomenon. But it reeks of bullshit. Sort of makes me hate the documentary. There is no counterpoint, there is no narration calling anyone out. This is just some people’s point of view.

Now, is that inherently bad? No. One can try to be unbiased and tell a story of a group of people and let their message out while also disagreeing with that group of people, I suppose. It just doesn’t feel like that is what is going on. It feels like this is being a tool to prove something that feels really dang silly. I feel almost duped watching it.

If you want to watch a movie about the alt-right and political memes and the 2016 election, go ahead and watch Feels Good Man. That is the real recommendation here.

1 out of 4.

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain

If you are like me, a humble movie critic, you also have never heard of the name Louis Wain in your life. Are they a fashion designer? That was my first bet. But the movie does use the word electric. So maybe he was an inventor? Maybe he is someone made up because movies are allowed to tell fiction stories if they feel like it. It could be a new super hero, Electricity Man.

It turns out The Electrical Life of Louis Wain is about an artist. Did he use electricity in his art? No, not really. But he did love to draw portraits of cats. And cats doing things. And cats being silly. A cats doing cats stuff.

Alright, sounds like a good enough reason for a movie to me. Deal? Deal.

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Ah yes, the perfect family.

Louis Wain (Benedict Cumberbatch), is a typical “eccentric artist” who can barely function being a person, but does good art so people like his quirks. He is from a big family, with a lot of sisters, and supposed to be making that money, but finding a job is hard for him. You know. Because he is out there, or whatever.

But he does get a job a local newspaper finally, to do quick sketches, and they like that his stuff is on time, quality and that he doesn’t really make a fuss or gossip. But the paper owner (Toby Jones) wants to put a two page spread in a special insert of cat drawings, and that? Well that really gets popular.

Wain’s name becomes as do his original cat paintings and sketches. But that doesn’t get him out of the poor house, or out of the gossip columns, as someone who married the teacher (Claire Foy) for his sisters, what a scandal. He just wanted to do his art thing and hang out with cats though, so a kindred spirit with a lot of us now. I guess, according to the movie, his artwork helped people like cats more and start keeping them actively as pets and bringing them in the house? I don’t know anything about cat history, so sure, why not.

Also starring Phoebe Nicholls, Andrea Riseborough, Richard Ayoade, and Taika Waititi.

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Why send dick pics when you could send cat pics instead?

Louis Wain was a troubled artist in some amount, that much we know. But do we need another troubled artist film? Not really. And definitely not if the focus of the film barely goes into it.

To me, the filmmakers treated Wain’s “quirks” as something amusing or even, quaint, and the fact that any sort of real psychological problems that someone had was ignored or made to seem terrifying. Later in life he was in a mental institution for schizophrenia, and critics could “see it in his artwork” whereas in the last twenty years there have been claims that clearly he was just Autistic and society sucked. And I don’t think this film dealt with that in any meaningful way at all. It did make sure we knew that people gossiped though, and that he had a hard time dealing with people.

Maybe it is just me, but the “quirks” he had seem like the closest thing to an antagonist in this film, because they are what prevented him from being an ultra successful painter that everyone knew, who was rich, versus a famous person who lived in squalor because of society. Case in point, they called this film “The Electrical Life of” to note his love/obsession with electricity, which I assume isn’t made up for a movie. But his life itself didn’t feel electrical at all in the movie that had this title.

Cumberbatch was fine in this movie, Foy was barely in it, and none of the other characters mattered enough to me to warrant speaking about.

I actually think the art itself though is pretty damn cool. And again, not sure if it warrants its own movie given how poorly they treat his life just to tell his story. There isn’t anything I can really take away from this movie except his name as the guy who drew cat pictures in the 1800’s/1900’s that I probably have seen at some point in my life.

1 out of 4.

Percy vs. Goliath

Percy vs. Goliath came out some time ago, and it is only called this title in America. In Canada, where the film takes place, and other parts of the world, it is just called Percy.

I don’t pretend to know anything about market research, but I guess that vs. Goliath tagline is to appeal to those fundamental Christians to get them to watch this movie. They might think Percy, in America, is like Percy Jackson, and those people are heretics!

Yep, that is the only reason I can come up with for why there needs to be a different movie title. 

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Walken Hard: The Christopher Walken Cowboy Story. 

Percy Schmeiser (Christopher Walken) surely does sound like a made up name, but this one is a true story. Set in Canada! So you know it is true in spirit and true in heart.

Ahem. Percy is a farmer. He is really old. He has been farming for a long time, with his wife (Roberta Maxwell), and he thinks he does a good job. He has used his own seeds the whole time, never going into that corporate stuff that claim to have better growing seeds for a price. And he does what every farmer does. He saves his strongest and best crops to harvest those seeds so that he can plant them the next year, so his crops can be as strong as possible.

However, things aren’t as they seem. A company who makes GMO seeds claims he has been using their seeds illegally for years for profit, without paying them ever, so they are bringing the lawsuits. And they have proof. Proof on the DNA level, where their patents on their modified strains show up in his crops.

Percy has never bought from them, and the likely story is that they were planted in his farm thanks to the wind from neighbor farms in the past. But is that enough for them to claim royalties, when he is using a product through no fault of his own? Looks like he is going to have to take this battle to court, even though the corporations have money and technically the law on their side. And now Percy is like a folk hero for all of these individual farmers, trying to stand up to the corporate man. That’s a lot of pressure.

Also starring Adam Beach, Christina Ricci, Luke Kirby, Martin Donovan, and Zach Braff.

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Braff, if you lose this case, you will feel really, really, really, sorry

Walken hasn’t had a good acting job since he was in the music video for Weapon of Choice, by Fatboy Slim. That is a fact. He is in movies I like over the last two decades, but he is often one of the worst parts. Like Hairspray, I like it, but by far Walken drags it down. He drags them all down, and some of these films he seems to be playing just a strange parody of himself with his word choice. I blame the cowbells skit. 

And for this movie? Well, it is more of the same. I can’t possibly say it is well acted, because Walken seems lost the whole film. He is playing a man over his head, sure, but it doesn’t help if he is seemingly acting like his normal self the whole time as well. That isn’t acting. That is just reading lines. 

This film is weak on a lot of fronts. The acting is a big one. The plot is another. The courtroom drama is pretty tame, and only a small portion of it. I came for kick ass legal case courtroom proceedings, like I would for most films that deal with trials, and it just treated it like it was no big deal, despite being a very big deal. Maybe it had the chill Canadian energy going on throughout it. None of the fun theatrics. 

Percy wins, by the way, as you would expect based on the title and it is history. He wins, at a cost, but he wins. And corporations learned their lesson and never messed with the poor little farmers again. Right? Well…

1 out of 4.

Things Heard & Seen

When I see things and when I hear things, I tend to believe them. They are some strong senses. I use those two more than the rest of the basic five senses. Smell, Touch, Taste? Not stuff that matters for the most part when it comes to believing.

Sure, we do have a lot more senses, like a sense of time, or sense of balance. But we are lead to believe if we can see and hear something, we should trust it and believe it.

So for Things Heard & Seen, I imagine, there are going to be unbelievable things that get heard and seen, and the characters in it will have to believe it, even if they too find it unbelievable.

Fuck yeah, I really broke down that title there.

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Fuck yeah, the sun really did get partially in both of their eyes.

It is 1979 and Catherine (Amanda Seyfried) and her husband, George (James Norton), are finally ready to move on to the next stage of their life. Is it children? Nope. They already have a daughter (Ana Sophia Heger), and she is a regular kid. No. George got a job!

More importantly, he finished his PhD in Art History (Woo), really exciting stuff, but it took him awhile. So now they can leave New York City and go to small town New York for him to be an exciting professor of Art History.

And of course, their house has history, but George didn’t want to tell Catherine about it. Catherine gets superstitious, about ghosts, gods, and the dead. He doesn’t need that. Turns out the whole community is mostly religious. Well, it is the 1970’s, so nonbelievers are less out open.

But sure enough, George kind of sucks. Immediately flirts with some students, spends a lot of time away from Catherine. Catherine’s only reprieve is some neighbor kids who help watch their daughter and are helping fix up aspects of the house.

As time continues on, George gets work, more secrets come out for Catherine, and you know, dark stuff.

Also starring Alex Neustaedter, F. Murray Abraham, Jack Gore, Natalia Dyer, and Rhea Seehorn.

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Candles mean Séance which means WHAT IS BEHIND THAT GUY?

Things Heard & Seen definitely kept my attention…in the beginning of the film. I was really excited to get to know these characters, honestly. The husband turning out to be a sleazeball wasn’t surprising and happened really early on. I expected that.

And then large swaths of time after that were just showing that he is actually worse than we thought and a sleazeball in many other elements too, not just relationship wise. A liar, and a cheat, and an adulterer he is I tell you.

This movie ended up providing zero excitement the more things were being revealed. The sort of thing that classifies as twists happened, but they made the film actually seem duller the further it went along. And this is just the mans story! Our main character’s story barely moves at all, outside of an increase in her own paranoia.

The ending itself would be considered a huge let down if I didn’t already lose most interest before that point. (It can’t be a huge let down if it isn’t a big drop, so just a regular let down). It takes more that nice cameras to make a nice movie. Things Heard & Seen should remain unheard and unseen. Clever joke, I know.

1 out of 4.

Benny Loves You

Another killer doll. Why do dolls love to kill? Because they are given to children who might be rough with them. We all know that is the right answer. That is why we got Toy Story 3, right? 

The real answer is because it is fun to take something known for being cute and put it in non-cute situations. Like killing. That is appealing. It is jarring. It stands out.

Well, it used to stand out. It has been done a lot, so there needs to be a great reason for another killer toy to come to life without just feeling like another copy cat iteration. Technically it doesn’t have to prove its existence in order to be made. That sounds mean. But it does have to prove it is a worthy addition to cinema by my own snooty little standards. If it feels like more of the same thing, why should I bother.

Benny Loves You? That’s good to hear. I would hate it if Benny was completely apathetic to my existence. 

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“Okay, Benny Loves You. But do you give a flying fuck about Benny?” – A Night At The Roxbury…ish

Dolls can be evil. But we will get to that. Instead we will focus on Jack (Karl Holt), who still lives at the same house with his famous. He thinks it is okay. Free rent. His job doesn’t pay well, he helps design toys, but he isn’t that great at it. At home, his parents still treat him like a kid, and he basically acts like one too. But in his 30’s, on his birthday, he finally gets the house to himself! You know, after his parents both die in a freak accident. 

It isn’t even a year later that his house is now decrepit and falling apart, because he doesn’t know how to function as an adult. He is behind on all bills, he doesn’t clean well, he is about to lose his job. But then he finds Benny packed away. A toy from his youth. Well, he doesn’t need that anymore.

Trying to get rid of Benny turns out to be something harder than expected. Benny has a mind of his own. He wants to protect Jack from anything that might hurt him, or anything that might try to replace Benny. Anything that Jack seemingly loves, or anything that is a threat to Jack, Benny will try to end, with extreme accuracy. Not a good time to finally find a lady, nor is it a good time to grow up, it seems!

Also starring Anthony Styles, Claire Cartwright, Darren Benedict, George Collie, Greg Barnett, and James Parsons

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Bunny isn’t a killer. That knife clearly cut something like a lasagna. 

The beginning of this review might sound a little bit bitter, but that isn’t the goal there. It is just to note what I am looking for in another killer doll story. Is there any originality?

Well, this movie is directed, written, and stars Karl Holt, who is a first time director from the UK who had this idea and put it on himself  with some other actors. It is ambitious for anyone to do something like this, let alone a first time director. And in that scope, it isn’t that bad. Maybe a little bit better than you’d expect from someone on their first attempts. But in the grand scheme of cinema, this was hard for me to enjoy. 

It feels like its been awhile since I saw the movie before I was finally able to write it. But I feel like a few scenes early on really feel disconnected from the rest of the narrative. The death of his parents did come out of nowhere and was quite gruesome, but that ended up being the highlight of the movie for me. It is just another situation of trying to do a comedy/horror film that doesn’t seem to excel in either genre, despite its best attempts.

The main character is hard to care about and so are the side characters. Live, die, whatever. Doll wins or loses doesn’t matter to me by the end, because I became indifferent to the whole picture. It is just such a hard line to balance that comedy/horror genre. But I know I can leave double disappointed if nothing scares me and nothing makes me laugh. Again, outside of the ridiculous parents death scene, which shocked me. Just nothing could surpass it, leaving me disappointed for most of the rest of the film. 

1 out of 4.

Thunder Force

“Shit we better get into that super hero genre game” – Netflix, probably, after losing their Marvel Shows. They didn’t want to get bamboozled again, so they figured they would just buy a movie by someone who was making their own. Enter Ben Falcone, ready for his next bi-yearly (usually) basic comedy starring his wife, Melissa McCarthy.

Their last film, Superintelligence, made my worst of the year list. I don’t remember fully how the other ones did, but I don’t recall it ever being met with high amounts of laughter or praise either, so there is that. 

Honestly, based on the cover of Thunder Force, it just seems like a movie they would put out entirely to make fat jokes with their heroes? I fucking hope not. I can hope they can do better than that overall. But I still wouldn’t put it past them given the people involved with it. 

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Pickle jokes too. Definitely gotta have some pickle jokes. 

Back in the 80’s, some sun shit happened, that gave some people super powers! Unfortunately, this only went to people who would be classified as sociopaths, which wasn’t a good thing for anyone out there. They were named Miscreants, and began to take a toll on society, and make things unbearbale. 

At this time, young Lydia and Emily became unlikely friends. Lydia was crass, but protected Emily, who was smart. Emily’s parents were killed by Miscreants, and she had to live with her grandparents. Emily dreamed of one day figuring out how to give powers to the good guys, and that was her life goals.

Decades later, these two eventually grew apart. Now barely functioning as an adult, Lydia (Melissa McCarthy) is an adult construction worker and has nothing important to say about her life. Emily (Octavia Spencer) is rich, a scientist, a mom, and really close to getting some super powers. Once they get reconnected, unfortunately, Lydia gets given the special juice to make her super powered, so now she is in the experiment. Their first goal is to just control these powers, but stopping crime seems like a necessity. In fact, the Chicago mayor election is happening, and one of the Miscreants, The King (Bobby Cannavale) has been in charge of the city to put a leash on the other super powers, but he doesn’t like the idea of any sort of super heroes trying to stop them, or him. 

Also starring Jason Bateman, Pom Klementieff, Melissa Leo, Taylor Mosby, Marcella Lowery, Melissa Ponzio, and Ben Falcone, of course. 

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Actual footage of Cerebro trying to find more Melissa’s to put into this movie. 

This film doesn’t really need a long in depth review to fully understand it, I imagine, but I will still go for it for a bit. First off, on the fat joke department, there was only actually one, which was surprising. I think I only laughed at one joke the whole film, a dinner scene freak out about sea food, because it was a good set up with the characters. At the same time, that scene was very slow and messed a lot with the pacing of the film. Why add that romance at all to the story? Not enough filler?

I was hoping as these two ladies were costars that it would feel like Spencer was getting a bit out of these supporting actress roles where she is there just to help the protagonist realize their true potential, or some shit. But it doesn’t. Despite the costarring, she still feels like second fiddle to McCarthy’s character, and thus is just supporting the crass member of the team into being the star. They also decided to do almost nothing with her powers. One gets super strength, the other can turn invisible and then…taze people. That is about it. Weak.

McCarthy’s character isn’t just annoying, but I have to wonder why she didn’t get powers as a kid. Her character, although not fully a sociopath, is a huge asshole. When this is a movie about good people getting powers to stop crime, but one of them isn’t really good? It is very uncomfortable. McCarthy’s character is showboaty and egotistical. She also uses her powers to get free food from places that were just getting robbed? Like. It left a big sour taste in my mouth, as she prevented a robbery, while then technically robbing at a smaller scale. 

This film has very low stakes, and these people who have superpowers rarely act like sociopaths. Is this something that affected the whole world or Chicago? Because in 20-30 some years, I would expect a whole lot more bad stuff going on than just mostly normal Chicago with the occasional gas station getting robbed. What is happening else where? Actual bad stuff? 

Low concept, low thought out film, but thankfully the humor isn’t completely bottom of the barrel. 

1 out of 4.

Without Remorse

Something surprising to me is that there are only six Tom Clancy films out there, with the first one being The Hunt for Red October in 1990. I have seen only one of them. I saw the last one before Without Remorse, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, which I remember almost nothing about.

There are a lot of books by Tom Clancy, and they all have these same characters. And based on what I have seen in this film and in the last one, I still have no desire to watch any more of them, and certainly never read one of the books. A lot of pew pew spy action thrillers I guess. I am sure everyone get betrayed a dozen times and somehow gives a lot more bullet deaths than they end up receiving. Huge body counts. Catastrophic deaths.

This is all an assumption. Hell, maybe the first one was really tame.

But Without Remorse is going straight to amazon, probably because they have a successful Tom Clancy show, and now they want successful movies as well. Make money while you can, that is my motto.

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Also to avoid old shrimp. That’s another motto. 
John Kelly (Michael B. Jordan) is a Navy Seal, part of an elite team of soldiers, and is good at his job. He is good at the killing of bad guys and terrorists, while protecting the innocents, and going in and out of a job quickly with minimum damage. So, a normal movie soldier of a seal. You know.

Well, after a mission, that was quite a success, it turns out it secretly wasn’t a success after all! Months later, his team is assassinated by Russian soldiers on American grounds. They go after John too, but they can only get his pregnant wife (Lauren London), as John survives. A Russian attack on American soil is a pretty big deal. Especially if it was ordered by a Russian operative (Brett Gelman), who they thought was dead. Ahh, America fooled again.

Now John is going to have to go on a secret revenge mission, get them back without starting a new world war. He has to make them pay for killing his friends and PREGNANT WIFE, you know?

Also starring Jodie Turner-Smith, Guy Pearce, Jacob Scipio, Jack Kesy, Jamie Bell, and Todd Lasance.

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A man in a hand is worth a gun in the other.

I don’t think I have ever cared less about the death of a fictional pregnant woman than in this movie. I am not saying she deserved it or anything. But we barely get to know her as a character before it happens. And it happens early in the movie. After that, there is some grief and determination to get revenge, but it isn’t too believable. Jordan is too good of an actor to not have him focus on that anger grief sadness more and use it to tear the bad guys a new one.

Okay, the bad guys are teared into a new one. But it feels plastic. It feels like a generic action movie, because that is all that Without Remorse ends up being. A generic action film. I guess it being based on a Tom Clancy novel should have given that away. Not that I have first hand experience with any of the source material, like I already said, but lets go on and assume the plots are normally weak.

Despite Jordan being a good actor normally, there is little here outside of the standard action. Is there conspiracy twists? Sure. But they don’t make things more interesting. I don’t care about things setting up for future films when they can’t bother to get the first one right.

Without Remorse has action in a lot of dark places, so you’ll get to use your imagination, alongside many bullets for those who just like the action to be mindless while pretending it is more than mindless. (Note, this is not more than mindless). The people excited for this movie due to the previous ones or the books will probably like it as well, let’s leave it at that.

1 out of 4.

Trust

You love her,

but she loves him.

And he loves somebody else.

You just can’t win.

Love can stink, certainly, but what about if you have already found love? Do all of your problems go away, and you live happily ever after? Eh. Maybe.

Because now you have to be with someone forever, and have to trust them when you are apart. And if you cannot Trust someone, can you truly love them?

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Oh hey, here are two of the four main characters!

Brooke (Victoria Justice) and Owen (Matthew Daddario)are a couple and lovers and everything is just, just swell. Owen is some level of famous, a new reporter. Brooke handles art deals and runs galleries. You know, a very white couple with careers featured more often in films and TV shows than in real life.

Brooke thinks Owen has been acting weird, because well, he has been. He goes out drinking a bunch and meets people. He may have met a girl. Owen also doesn’t trust Brooke as much, because she has to travel for her job. And her new client, and up and comer, Ansgar (Lucien Laviscount), is suave and lovely and people want him, it happens. He also does mostly paintings of naked ladies, especially ones he has slept with.

But Brooke also doesn’t trust Owen! She ends up hiring a service in order to check out his faithfulness. A P.I. is one thing. She wants to see if he would actually cheat on her if someone flirted. Using this service, she hires Amy (Katherine McNamara) to see she can seduce him for sex, but she won’t do that of course, just get it on camera that he is totally down to fuck strangers. But but but…she also actually wants to fuck Owen though, because they have previously met it turns out and now she might go all the way.

All of these relationships are bad and doomed.

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Oh hey, here are two of the main four characters!

I could have sworn when I watched this that no famous people were actually in this. Justice is famous for things. I know it is Disney related, and I only recognize her name, not her of course. McNamara is in a bunch of CW shows (which explains her character a lot in this movie). And of course Daddario isn’t famous, but his sister is (And he is also in CW shows).

Trust plays out like a sexier CW show that can show some naked lady paintings. None of the characters have any depth to them. Everyone is pretty and everyone is shallow. No one can be described as a good person in this movie. And some of these traits doesn’t always equate to a bad film. You can have a great movie about all bad and flawed people. But this doesn’t fall into the character.

The acting is so off in this film. No one character feels believable, and the melodrama is saturated across every surface. That isn’t a great description, because sometimes melodramas have exciting moments, or moments of intense feeling, even if poorly acted. I feel like this is just four characters floating blankly through their momentary existence, and just are reading lines and getting a small paycheck. Nothing is genuine and the plot is weak.

So, just so I don’t continue to shit on CW, I will say the CW shows usually have some fun moments. But this one is void of anything interesting. It is worse than the average CW show.

1 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.

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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.