Tag: 2 out of 4


CATS. Who doesn’t love cats? Especially Wildcats. Just ask likely over half of the schools in the USA thinking of terrible mascots for their school. I don’t know why so many boring animals have been picked to be school mascots, but so many of them are panthers, cougars, lions, or even the more generic, Wildcat, that I just have to wonder if the Big Cat industry has its claws in the public school mascot naming industry.

For the documentary Wildcat, however, it is about an actual large cat from the wild. Namely, an ocelot (well, two of them). But I am getting a bit ahead of myself. Apparently there are no real good programs out there that can take in injured or baby large cats, raise them, and successfully reintroduce them into the wild. They end up being in reserves for the rest of their life, or zoos. They don’t survive well back in their natural habitats, because they don’t know how to hunt as well, or know the dangers. They don’t have their mamacats!

So this is a story about people trying to overcome that difficulty, raise a big ole cat, and release it back into the wild.

If he gets more tattoos, they can try and match.

This is a film about Harry and Samantha. Harry was a British soldier, and now he is still British, but done soldiering. He joined an animal reserve in Peru, which was being run by Samantha, a PhD student. The forests were a hard place to live and work, so a former soldier was a good person to help out. Well, they eventually find a young ocelot, and as part of the reserve, try to do the thing that I mentioned. Raise it to go back into the wild. But there are issues that happen, poachers and wild creatures to deal with, so it won’t be easy, and they won’t get it right on their first cat. Will it work on their second cat?

Oh also they start a relationship.

So is this just a documentary about raising an ocelot? Nope. It is also, and arguably a lot more about, PTSD! Because harry has got it, and he has got it bad. He has anger issues, depression, and more from war. Not going to lie, Harry is straight up insufferable in this film when he is having what feels like a tantrum. When he feels his lowest lows, and upset about the program not working as expected. When he becomes emotionally manipulative of Samantha, who doesn’t know how to help him. This is interspliced early on with a lot of success and cute cat videos, as one way to describe it. But by the end, it becomes a lot more about Harry and his health, than anything else.

That is the more interesting documentary of course here. I really wouldn’t care about a documentary that is solely about raising an ocelot. It having another tier towards it was a surprise overall, but still not something that felt strong with the inclusion. It was a stronger documentary, yes, but just not one that would prove to be ground breaking. It can certainly be important for those who want to see the signs and the downturn of an individual, and it leaves the documentary with some merit.

2 out of 4.

Sextortion: A Hidden Pandemic

Sextortion is a combination of two words, Sex and extortion. Extortion is usually getting money or other benefits through threats. Sextortion then, is either getting sex through threats and violence, or even, using sex as the threat, to get more things.

Neither is great, no matter who it happens to. But in particular, Sextortion: A Hidden Pandemic, is going to talk about this practice happening through the internet. Why is it happening? How is it so popular? And why it is specifically targeting the youth of America.

It is a very hard documentary and subject to talk about, but generally one of those that can help save lives. After all, if people know what to be on the look out for, and know what is going on, then you know, the bad guys might get caught? Or at the very least, your loved ones can be better protected.

Unfortunately, the people who generally need this sort of message. Like, preteens and teenagers, usually aren’t getting it from any sources. From parents, nor from schools (mostly thanks to parents), so they remain vulnerable and exploitable, even if their parents know all the knowledge to stop it. A documentary that can cross both bridges would be wonderful, and hopefully, informative.

sexy court
Don’t worry, it is also full or artistic drawings, you know, if you like art.

So what specifically is this documentary about? Honestly, most of it is about one specific case set in Virginia. Of a guy, who happened to have some big connections, being caught pretending to be a teenager on social media. He would flirt with girls, convince them to take a naked picture or something, because his camera is broken, or he will go next. Then the threatening would begin. Now he would release the picture everywhere, unless he gave them more.

I guess one thing you learn about child pornography rings, is to get accepted into them, you can’t just upload old CP to their servers. They already know about that stuff. They need you to produce fresh new content. And one way to do that is through, you know, this method above. Because once you have trapped a teenager, they will be potentially be too scared to do anything else but comply. They wont want to tell their friends or parents, because of shame, and their goal is to reduce the amount of people know immediately. And that really sucks. And the guy they caught and put on trial and you know, convicted, did that a lot.

What is surprising to me is how much of the movie is about the trial, or similar ones, and how little is about the actual process and ways to prevent it. I mean, it is there. Sure. But it feels like it was there just because it had to be. And the focus was on the trial. This trial I cared so little about. I care that the guy was arrested and put away, but I don’t need to know every aspect of the trial or research into catching him. This documentary wanted to get into that True Crime aspect a lot more, maybe to cast a wider net.

And in terms of usefulness, there was probably a little bit of useful information here? But the documentary isn’t set up in a way that it will be appealing to preteens and young teenagers, who need to hear it the most. Parents might watch this, and might try to do something about it, but the message will likely still get muddied.

On a final note, I think it is disingenuous to throw pandemic in the title here. Ridiculous even. I don’t want anything turning Pandemic into some buzzword to get attention. From the title, I don’t know if it is implying this is more important than the non-hidden pandemic, or just trying to ride its coattails, but it does NOT need to. It is already about a serious topic. It can stand on its own feet.

2 out of 4.

Anything’s Possible

You know, I think Billy Porter might have some sort of deal with Amazon.

Last year we were given the jukebox musical Cinderella, where he played the fairy godmother. This year, he is directing his very first movie, Anything’s Possible. Both of which were straight to Amazon Prime!

As long as the outcome, is income.

I was going to ignore this one, honestly. But once I read the plot description, I figured Porter would be a pretty good director to tackle this subject, and I was excited to see where he would go with it.

A romance story, with lots of ups and down. Hyuck hyuck hyuck.

Kelsa (Eva Reign) is a senior in high school, not sure what she wants to do when she graduates. And sure, yes, she is trans. But she just wants to live her life, and at high school, not just be known as the “Trans girl.” She does have a YouTube channel where she goes over problems that happen to her in life, but it isn’t publicly known in her school, just for people on the internet. People on the internet are different, ya know?

Khal (Abubakr Ali) is also not sure what to do next year when he graduates. He wants to do art, his parents want big success for him and a big fancy school. He is on reddit a lot too, and answers love advice for people, while they help him out as well. And it turns out he likes Kelsa.

Her brains and beauty drew him in, but he is afraid of what others might think. Especially when it turns out that one of Kelsa’s friends like’s Khal, and people know that. Ugh, love triangles.

Also starring Kelly Lamor Wilson, Courtnee Carter, and Renée Elise Goldsberry.

Shitty initials though for their coupling. 

I don’t know how many teen romance movies have a trans main character in them. This feels like the first one? Maybe? Or at least first mainstream one. And usually when we get to the first of a kind of a genre, they rely a lot more on stereotypes, because it is easier to be lazy. They are already original because they are the first to do something!

And yet, the best part of this movie is that it does an amazing job of avoiding stereotypes and avoiding the obvious plot lines. I went in highly expecting very specific lines of dialogue and events, and the movie surprised me. So props to the directors, and writers, and everyone involves for not going a basic route.

Now, despite its own originality, the story is still a high school teenage romance story. It falls into normal pitfalls of that genre, making it hard to keep my interest. It also rushes through quite a lot of the regular plot as well, and by the end I was a little bit just lost at who was angry at who and why.

Not to mention, Khal’s plot line is definitely one that has been done before. Someone who wants to go to /art school/ but his parents disapproves, no matter how good they are at art? Seen that a thousands time.

While Anything’s Possible gives me something that is unique to the genre, and avoids pitfalls, it still fails to provide an overall good story at the same time.

2 out of 4.

The Bob’s Burgers Movie

As of this posting, Bob’s Burgers just finished its 12th season a few days ago, on the 22nd of May. The film, The Bob’s Burgers Movie, came out on the 27th of May. I appreciate their timing on this matter, that is some good planning.

Now, I am not expecting anyone to have to see 12 seasons of a decent animated cartoon to have to get this movie. Maybe a loose familiarization with the characters, but it isn’t like those episodes all lead to very specific plot developments and a lot of growth. For honest bias reasons, I will point out I need to I have for sure seen at least half of the episodes of the show, but not gone out of my way to keep up with it lately.

I am also surprised they decided to go with a movie this early. Family Guy still hasn’t made a theatrical film. The Simpsons waited 18 years before finally coming out with a movie. I know there are lots of cartoons that decide to do a theatrical film, but those feel like the notable ones given the same station and night of new releases for their content.

More importantly when it comes to cartoon shows to film, the film has to feel necessary. A larger than a multi-part episode plot. Something to make it stand out and look different. The last thing we want is just what feels like 2-3 more additional episodes.

Yes Bob, I said that is the last thing I want. Don’t be so surprised.

Somewhere near an ocean somewhere lives the Belcher family. Bob (H. Jon Benjamin), the father and main cook at Bob’s Burgers, a restaurant he named after himself. His wife, Linda (John Roberts), who also works at the shop, and is full of love and hope. They have three kids. The oldest, Tina (Dan Mintz), is almost in high school and obsessed with butts. The next kid, Gene (Eugene Mirman), is the only boy kid, who wants to be a musician and creative. And lastly, we have Louise (Kristen Schaal), a girl who acts older than she is, with wild plans and ideas and a dark sense of humor. Together they live in an apartment above their restaurant. The kids go to school, help out with the shop, and hijinks.

So, that would be the plot for the show. But also basically the movie!

The movie itself, the restaurant is going through a bad time! You see, they are behind on their payments to the bank for their loan for restaurant equipment. And when trying to get an extension, no dice. Instead they now have 7 days to get all the money for it, while also still paying off their rent like normal. Thankfully the wharf has a big event this week, so there should be increased foot traffic. And unfortunately, a giant hole has decided to appear right in front of their store, blocking the entrance.

Dang. How are they going to make the money now?

Oh, and there also happens to be a murder mystery thing, but the kids are more involved with that one.

Also starring David Wain, Gary Cole, Kevin Kline, Larry Murphy, and Zach Galifianakis.

What a messy, messy hole that is.

The Bob’s Burgers show writers really do love their musical numbers, and put songs into their show a lot. A lot more of my favorite and memorable episodes also feature songs! It felt pretty clear that this would likely be a musical, but it was only a light musical unfortunately. From my count, it only features three unique songs, with an additional reprise of a song. There were other instrumental tunes that started up and I thought would lead to a song, but ended up just being some quirky background music. It is maybe four songs, but I don’t really remember if the final concert song had like, actual lyrics, as it was unforgettable.

Three songs is hardly enough to get a buzz from. The best song was the Carnie one. I do love the extremes in the animation they put into the characters movements. They really want to emphasize real and actual dances, and these movements highlight how awkward their bodies are actually drawn. And it really adds to the extra musical feel of these numbers, like they are really big spectacles.

Some of my least favorite episodes of Bob’s Burgers though are the ones that go heavy on the landlord, Mr. Fishoeder, and his family, which is definitely true for this plot. And honestly, even though that this movie had a MuRdEr, it did still just feel like a two or three part episode.

I won’t take away from the animation. The animation was definitely better and richer than a normal episode. The songs were longer than a normal episode. But the plot line didn’t seem to match the standards that should necessitate in a change of format for an established television show. It didn’t use the extra time to give us more music, or really more hijinks. This is just the type of movie that exists to make the fans happy with more content. Not sure if anything here will affect the TV show in the future either, but that is something that will be really shown whenever their next season starts.

2 out of 4.

Top Gun: Maverick

Danger Zone? Take My Breath Away? Great Balls of Fire and You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling? (Technically)

The original Top Gun had a pretty stacked soundtrack, especially when it had at least two very famous songs that were made for the movie. The latter two already existed, but damn it, we had pilots singing them, so they were memorable too.

I personally hadn’t seen the original Top Gun until a couple of weeks ago. And yet, I knew everything about what happened in the movie. I knew how it would end, I knew who would die (spoilers?), I knew how the volleyball would game. Top Gun has been completely culturally osmosised, which I am going to count as a word here. But really I wanted to finally watch it to make jokes like they do in Flight of the Conchords, how everything is like Top Gun.

Like a lot of people, I went in expecting the sequel film, Top Gun: Maverick, to be utter shit. Sequels several decades later, based on a movie that had a very weak plot, aren’t usually allowed to be good, let alone better. But I guess everyone agrees, Maverick is a better film than the original.

Never get into a four way with jets. Unlike, I guess, you are a jet too?

Remember how Top Gun ended? Maverick (Tom Cruise) said he wanted to stay at Top Gun and teach pilots? Well, apparently that didn’t last long, because he became a test pilot instead, so he can fly experimental new aircraft. He has a need for speed. And for putting his life on the line. But its modern day, and he has to get on with the fact that most of the planes are going to be drones now, and they are wasting money on new pilot planes. Apparently Iceman (Val Kilmer) being one of the main admirals is the only reason he is still on the payroll.

But now he has to go to one final outpost. He has to go back to Top Gun, because he needs to train former Top Gun graduates, most of which are firsts in their class. The best of the best. Even though he crashed and burned as a teacher, he is the only one who they have available left to teach them, as the only one who has similar experience flying under these conditions. It is a complicated plan, to take out a nuclear bomb facility before it is turned online. It involves going fast and low, twists and turns, avoiding anti-aircraft missiles, and some tight up and down maneuvers at the end. Also they have to have two different direct hits on the target, with basically only two shots overall to get both hits. Great.

Maverick, reluctantly agrees, because he also doesn’t want to quit flying, not yet. And he can still have fun with this. But things will sour and overcomplicate when he finds out one of the pilots in the program is Rooster (Miles Teller), son of Goose, whom Maverick still feels responsible for his death even though he was cleared of wrong doing. And for sure, Rooster hates Maverick, and thinks he is going to not go on the mission, even if he has earned it, if Maverick pulls him for guilt.

Lives are on the line, guilt is in full force, and a 60 year old man is going to have to prove he can make some hard decisions this time.

Also starring Ed Harris, Glen Powell, Greg Tarzan Davis, Jay Ellis, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Lewis Pullman, and Monica Barbaro.

Still legally obligated to post a mustache picture if they show up.

Is Top Gun: Maverick better than Top Gun? Yes. But you have to understand, and this will be hard for a lot of people. Top Gun is not a great movie. It can be memorable, and exciting for the time, but it technically wasn’t even a great movie in the 1980’s even if it made a lot of money. It was a propaganda tool, with a cool soundtrack, and a really, really, dumb plot.

So Top Gun: Maverick should be easily a better film. Does it rely on nostalgia? Yes, it starts off with Danger Zone again. I was worried all the main hits would be replayed, but they only did half of them. One of its issues was taking its time dealing with the fact that the first film ended with him going into teaching, and the sequel clearly not wanting that to be the case, so that he could come back decades later. They had to have him fail and run away, and some other suspicious backstory they crammed in with new actors/actresses over the run time of this film.

I will say, him becoming a test pilot definitely feels a lot more true to his character, so I will give the sequel that. Having to deal with the complicated decision of sending his former best friend’s son to his potential death, or refusing to let him go even if he earned it, was a great decision to grapple with. It did carry a lot more weight than I was expecting for this sequel film.

And yet, some of the decisions in the sequel feel hollow. After all, having a whole film where he is told he needs to know when to let go and to move on, when to let someone else to take the controls and fly, and his character struggling with that acceptance the whole film? Again, makes sense. Buuut, if they throw it all away for One Last Mission™ then did it really matter? It reminded me of the last Bad Boys movie, making something actually interesting with Martin Lawrence being a pacifist, just to get rid of it when convenient and make a generic action film.

Again, Top Gun: Maverick is better than its predecessor. The fight scenes are actually watchable, the maneuvers are exciting, and it is overall more entertaining. That does not make it a top tier film, just an okay entertainment flick.

2 out of 4.

The Bad Guys

What’s this? An animated film from Dreamworks that I was actually looking forward to, that didn’t have anything do with Dragons or Pandas? This must be a mistake. Dreamworks has been given me trash for years!

The main reason I was a little bit excited about The Bad Guys as a film, we because I knew it was based off of a popular series of graphic novels for kids. I only knew that because I think I own half of them. I haven’t read them, but I heard it was funny. Characters that were perceived as bad, trying to do good, and failing along the way, but hey, at least their heart was in the right place. That seems like a nice story.

Also, after watching the trailer, I enjoyed the animation style they went with. Not a standard CGI, but something maybe inspired by Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse. It is kind of like cel-shading, while being very active and distinct. The characters certainly pop.

The last time I cared about a new property from Dreamworks was Home, strangely enough, and that one ended up only being okay.

I can already tell this film will get into some kinky shit.

Set strangely in real life Las Angeles, California, we are in a world with both humans and anthropomorphic animals coexisting together. There are also regular animals I guess, but we won’t talk about them right now.

We are going to talk about a group known entirely as The Bad Guys. Mr. Wolf (Sam Rockwell), Mr. Snake (Marc Maron), Mr. Shark (Craig Robinson), Mr. Piranha (Anthony Ramos), and Ms. Tarantula (Awkwafina). Yeah, their names are just their animal name for whatever reason. They are notorious for stealing things, but the newly elected Governor, Diane Foxington (Zazie Beetz), decides to announce that she feels bad for the Bad Guys, as they are clearly just misunderstood animals who need help.

Huh? How dare she take that approach with them! Time to steal a really famous award, given out specifically to NICE members of society. This next one is going to Professor Rupert Marmalade IV (Richard Ayoada), a pretty swell guy. Unfortunately, while going for the trophy, Mr. Wolf accidentally is put in a position to…HELP someone. Ugh. And strangely enough, it feels good. It is a feeling he wants again, to chase.

After they get arrested, Mr. Wolf convinces the authorities that they can be taught to be good, and enlist the help of Rupert to show them the way. Mr. Wolf also convinces his friends that they can do it just to have a bigger and better heist later. But Does Mr. Wolf want to actually turn over a new leaf?

Also starring Alex Borstein.

Yep, still looks like a kinky film.

While the animation for The Bad Guys was certainly a plus, the plot is what ends up making this mostly an okay movie. The plot is standard, and pretty obvious, and I am not sure if it is entirely based on the books. This movie serves as an origin film for them I guess, as it is about The Bad Guys when they choose to be bad, and then eventually, choose to be good, whereas the books are about them already trying to be good.

The twists you can see coming, and honestly, most of the conclusions.

And then here is where I can get nitpicky about the world building. This is a world where animals and people coexist as…humanoids. Sure. But I find it uncomfortable that the leads all just have generic names. Mr. or Ms. and their animal name. That is completely ridiculous, because we know there are more Wolves and Sharks in the world, it isn’t just one of each kind. There’s no reason for the generic names, outside of code names for their team, but they literally just have those names no matter what. The only other two main animals have regular names, so there is no reason for that distinction.

On that note, this world also has regular animals. What? Huh? How can that seem to be? The story of Wicked tried to tackle that similar idea, of both bipedal talkative animals along with regular animals, and they did a much better job than this film, because it was just ignored. How are there regular Guinea pigs when there is a main character that is also a Guinea pig. I am uncomfortable with this.

I am also uncomfortable that there are apparently scientists who do testing on animals, when again, see the above point. I believe all the scientists are shown to be human. I definitely am pretty sure every single cop in the movie, of which there are hundreds, is also a human. This film could go into some pretty deep places with this territory, but it is just all background and not important, despite the strange and uncomfortable implications.

Another plus though, is the voice work. I thought Rockwell and Maron knocked it out as the main two villains. I was surprised Ramos and Robinson used very different voices in the movie too. There was an attempt to be a character, not just featuring their normal way of talking. It is great when actors, you know…act.

2 out of 4.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

They call him Sonic! Cause he is faster than sound, he’s always jumping around.
Blue hedgehog Sonic! With Incredible speed, he’s moving his feet.

The inevitable has finally happened, we have been given Sonic the Hedgehog 2. And hey look, it doesn’t have a subtitle. How nice of it to name itself after the second game exactly, while also having a poster look very similar to the game cartridge.

The first film, which released right before pandemic things, came out to VOD services faster as a result, and was one of those early bright spots for movie watchers with families, along with Trolls: World Tour and Onward. And for sure, the film did fine, especially when compared to other video game movies. After they fixed the CGI monstrosity that was the original, they put a pretty good story, despite the increased human elements to the plot (which every film always has to do). I was relatively excited to see what they would do with a sequel, and continuing on with the franchise.

How annoying would drinking anything with froth be with that ‘stashe?

Set…some amount of time after the first film, Sonic (Ben Schwartz) is still hanging out in Green Hills and living a calm life of quiet. Except when he goes to random cities to attempt to fight crime real quick, causing damage in the process. Tom (James Marsden) and Maddie (Tika Sumpter) are now surrogate parents for him, and want to steer him into good decisions, to make sure he uses his great power responsibly. They also wish he could have any friends that are similar to him.

Good news! A fox with two tails shows up, and his nickname is Tails (Colleen O’Shaughnessey), and he is here to warn him of a threat. Oh okay, bad news. Crap. It turns out Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) has found a way to get off of that mushroom planet. With the help of a strong Echidna nicknamed Knuckles (Idris Elba), they have returned to Earth. Robotnik wants revenge on Sonic, and Knuckles has his own reason to hunt down the hedgehog.

Can. Sonic. Become. A. True. Hero. And save the day, again? With a bigger threat than the last time?

Also starring Natasha Rothwell, Shemar Moore, Adam Pally, and Lee Majdoub.

Oh yeah, here is an image of the film’s stars doing some exciting standing.

Honestly, as expected, the sequel to this movie was mostly just okay. Here are some plusses though! For those who are big fans of the game series, this film has a lot more references to the series and its lore than the previous film. It is jacked up with more. Including special moves between the various characters. The Chaos Emerald and its various parts. And a couple more that I won’t say for spoilers, but were very exciting for the audience. The last credit scene in particular, despite being really predictable, made the audience behind me go crazy with excitement. I hadn’t heard sudden cheers so loud sine Avengers: Endgame.

I also like that they were able to better downplay Marsden/Sumpter’s involvement by having more Sonic characters show up. They now got less screen time, which is preferable. They aren’t bad, but they aren’t what anyone cares about in a Sonic film. Carrey, however, could play Robotnik for 10 more movies and I won’t get sick of him. I hope his mustache gets bigger and bigger with each subsequent film.

Schwartz continued to be excellent as the Sonic voice (and I was surprised that they put in a Parks and Recreation reference due to him, but I loved it). It was awesome that Tails was voiced by his current voice actress, and Elba as Knuckles brought a lot of sexy to the role that he claimed he wasn’t going for, but still happened. Knuckles as a character was strange. Because we know he isn’t really the bad guy. So we know his arc will change in the movie. But at one point he became basically Drax from Guardians of the Galaxy with how he handled things literally, but yet it still felt funny.

The plot itself is the weaker elements. I still think there was far too much of a human element. The Hawaii scenes felt like filler, waiting for it to get to the good stuff. I don’t care about the government and its response to Sonic. That was last movie, move on. It didn’t have a lot of action sequences for something that should have had quite a few. A lot of them also feature prolonged chase scenes. Maybe that is just because of Sonic needing to be a speed force, and thus a lot of chases. But several of them involve him being in or driving a vehicle. I am not here to watch a fast running creature drive a truck. What? Why would Sonic do that?

Sonic the Hedgehog excels when it goes into the gaming lore and references, and lets us down when it focuses on the human characters and their drama.

2 out of 4.


Immediately hearing about a movie named Master, I get a little bit of unease. I think that is the goal. It certainly harkens up slavery in America’s past, especially given the main poster for this film.

Actually going into this movie, I have no clue what it is about. It could have been a period piece, a horror, a drama, or it could be a very surprising comedy, honestly. Lacking a better introduction, I am going on to the review.

Don’t glare at me, I don’t research every movie coming out, I swear.

Let’s go to college! Namely, Ancaster College! Does it sound like a really white college? That is what we are going for here. A really white old historic college somewhere in the northeast. You know, what of those type of colleges. An Ivy league.

Jasmine (Zoe Renee) is a new freshman, ready to learn and live and laugh and love. But she is getting a lot of stares. She sticks out. For obvious reasons. Plus, people keep talking about her room. It is a cursed room some say. It is where a girl killed herself in the past. Not fun at all.

Jasmine has to deal with the normal college pressures, while also, apparently, being one of the only black people on campus. There are a few black teachers around though. Gail Bishop (Regina Hall) and Sascha (Kara Young), the latter who is a faculty member trying to go for tenure, and one of Jasmine’s teachers.

Things start getting more controversial, when Jasmine is failing her essay, about race issues no less, and she starts to get more and more vivid nightmares on this campus.

Maybe…this campus, is really just a big cult? Who knows. If so, the College Board should be informed.

When going out for a run, it is important to bring a buddy, because racists are out there, yo. 

It was hard to tell what Master was going for, in its run time. Is it going for a real supernatural horror, causing the events of the film? Or at the events of the film just metaphors, for what the characters experience, with micro- and macro-aggressions against them? Or maybe some level of in between?

Now, I will keep the truth to that question a secret of course. But I will say I was disappointed with the direction it ended up taking. It told a fine spooky movie of sorts, but I don’t think it really delved enough into the actual problems going on in the movie. They were alluded to, and I feel for a lot of people it will just go right over their heads. I am not saying that being subtle is bad, no. It is just that it isn’t really subtle either. It just seems to bring things up, and then ignore them later.

This is a movie that really feels like it was made to be streamed, where it might find an audience. But it lacked a lot of things that could have made it really stand out, as some sort of horror themed Dear White People. But we just got a pretty tame movie overall, with some fine acting and okay plot. This is one now doomed to go to streaming and be forgotten in a few days.

2 out of 4.

Adventures in Success

You might be wondering what a documentary mockumentary with the name Adventures in Success is about. Is it about getting a job? It is about running your own business? Is it about bettering your life to achieve all of your goals/

Or, is it about achieving a 12 hour orgasm?

Well. Arguably they would say if you can do that latter, you can maybe do anything in life.

This group in the Catskills, who definitely don’t consider themselves to be a cult, want to live in their own special community, with love, growth, and harmony. They do have a woman founder, of course. Peggy (Lexie Mountain) preaches to them about discovering who they really are and how they can grow, and of course, how can they experience an orgasm for several hours. Not the men, just the ladies. The men don’t need to be orgasming up in this group, that is selfish. They all need to learn what Jilling Off really means.

And this group is still fresh and new and recruiting members. They are trying to grow their numbers and get the message out there, by designing pamphlets, and maybe even going to a conference or two.

Will they succeed, or will their efforts flatten out like a penis post orgasm?

Also starring Alec Jones-Trujillo, Asia Lee Boostani, Drew Freed, Khan Baykal, Mo Stark, Nell Sherman, Nina Tarr, Robby Rackleff, and Yaz Perea.

Holding hands always made me orgasm for at least 10 minutes.

I’ve always said mockumentaries are my jam, and we really need more of them. I am surprised we don’t have an onslaught of these as films coming out, with the recent decades success of shows like The Office, Parks and Recreation, and Modern Family, all done in a documentary like setting. Mockumentaries are usually still a different style, but it could be time for a major mockumentary to finally take the world by storm, like all of the Christopher Guest ones and, well, I literally can’t think of more examples unfortunately.

As for Adventures in Success, this comedy film seems like it has some actual good ideas in it, but I don’t feel like it gets fully explored enough. There are some wonderful jokes, including my favorite being the member who didn’t know that men weren’t supposed to orgasm, and kept bringing it up.

It did highlight the confusion and frustration of starting any organization, of course. And its quick descend into disorder was not actually expected in the small time we had with this group.

I guess, if I had to restate the complaints in another way, I would say…Adventures in Success did not go hard enough in its topic, nor was the climax satisfying, but the foreplay was decent.

2 out of 4.

The Cursed

I could be wrong, but I believe it is stated in the constitution that every 2 years we need at least three werewolf movies. That can be a movie about werewolves specifically, or that feature them in anyway. Hotel Transylvania: Transformania and Werewolves Within, I believe, are our last two, so now we have The Cursed to make sure that three minimum is met. Strangely enough, this one comes from France. Did you know the French cared about werewolves? I didn’t know.

This movie used to have a different title, Eight For Silver. I don’t fully know what in the heck that even means, but it does sound mysterious, so I like the original title. It would have fit this movie nicely. So does The Cursed, sure, but The Cursed could mean a lot of different things. It isn’t necessarily werewolf specific.

On an unrelated note, werewolf means a human turning into a wolf like beast. But all the other weres don’t work the same way. Werebear is a bear wolf cross thing, not a human turning into a bear. Super weird on that.

Sweet teeth you got there. Are you a cyberpunk werewolf?

Something evil in these woods! Time to go way back. To a time before most electricity, somewhere in the late 1800’s. Where? I don’t know, somewhere in Europe. People in a village go have a battle with some traveling groups, and quite a few people die, but the village wins. This actually curses their land, and makes a lot of uncomfortable things start to happen.

What kind of things? Well, like nightmares. Extra fog too, if I had to imagine. People go missing, and people also show up dead. That is a bigger problem. People maybe have seen monsters in the woods as well. Scary stuff. Are they being hunted by some beast?

Well the slightly good news is an expert is on the way. John McBride (Boyd Holbrook) is a visiting pathologist, and he has seen similar things before. He will try to help them put an end to this madness in their territory, or you know, die with the rest of them.

Also starring Kelly Reilly, Alistair Petrie, Roxane Duran, Nigel Betts, Stuart Bowman, Simon Kunz, Tommy Rodger, and Áine Rose Daly.

I am pretty sure most werewolves hate fire and shout about it often.

When it comes to curses, this is a pretty good one to wreck a small village hundreds of years ago. And it seemed to work quick.  So it was effective. But still, that last title would have been more fun, even if the reference is more awkward.

I am doing my best to be sensitive to the Romani people, who are referred to as the Roma in here. They don’t use the slur, which is great! But also, they are the “bad guys” here who curse our white regular villagers with their magic and stuff, after they are killed. That is probably not cool. They shouldn’t have done that. It is not like the curse was done to show that our main characters are truly the bad people all along (Although that is one interpretation you could make, I don’t think that was strongly argued enough though). The Romani people have had enough going bad with them throughout history in terms of negative connotations, so we should really be leaving them alone by now, honestly.

In terms of actual scares, I do think The Cursed did a wonderful job building the atmosphere for the setting. It was very tense. It also was gross. They didn’t do traditional werewolf things, that is for sure. At parts we have strange almost alien like aspects to it. I definitely had to look away at various parts, not at all pleased with the effects that went on with some of the grosser scenes. It isn’t even a movie trying to gross the viewers out, it just definitely succeeded for me.

In terms of the plot, it is pretty standard. None of the actors stand out to me more than anyone else. This is a bit of a downer.

I think the film excels at its use of effects, atmosphere, and world building. It tells a bit of an original story in the way the curse works, but not in the plot to deal with said curse. It both gains points for some creativity, and loses it for a lack of creativity in other areas.

I don’t know if werewolf enthusiasts will enjoy this movie either, given how much it deviates from the norm. Depends on how deviant they are in general. My best advice would be to go in not really knowing what to expect, and you will likely have some surprises along the way.

2 out of 4.