Tag: Comedy

Scrambled


Scrambled was watched early as a screener. It comes out in theaters on Friday, February 2nd!

Nellie (Leah McKendrick) is a great friend to her friends. The ones who have all gotten engaged or married at this point. She throws a great bachelorette party, and is there for them, but hey, she is also losing those friends. They are married. They do couple things. They are having babies.

Nellie is currently out of any relationship. She has had some in the past, but things didn’t work out. You know, people just playing around, not being serious, wanting kids, cheating on her. Speaking of kids, turns out that even though being 34 shouldn’t be the end of the road for her potential maternity plans, it turns out, her eggs are low, for a variety of reasons. So she is at the point if she wants to have kids, and has no current prospects to have them with her, she might need to freeze her eggs for that possibility.

But freezing is expensive. And it requires a strict regiment of being healthy. And at this point, Nellie also wants to go through her history of relationships to see if anyone was the one that got away and needs a second chance.

Also starring Andrew Santino, Ego Nwodim, Max Adler, Adam Rodriguez, Yvonne Strahovski, Lindsey Morgan, and Clancy Brown.

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I wonder if the eggs are in that box? If so, they should probably be in the freezer?

This movie was written and directed by Leah McKendrick. Hey, that’s the woman playing the lead! I honestly have never heard of her before this movie, so congrats to her on getting to make a movie and have it released theatrically. What is this, the 90’s? People can still do that? Comedies are allowed in THEATERS? Wow!

As for the film, I do enjoy that a big part of the plot was about a woman deciding to freeze her eggs, and go through the process. It wasn’t a woman rushing to have a baby with her loved ones. It wasn’t about artificial insemination. It wasn’t about adoption. It wasn’t about finding or being a surrogate. I only bring up all of these plot lines, because i have seen movies with them before (not that we can’t have more than one on a subject), but I have not seen a single one where the entire goal was to have eggs frozen for future considerations, and the processes behind it. I am all about diversity in my plot lines, and frankly, the more normal things people do that can be turned into a movie for awareness sakes, the better.

Better yet, this movie was funny. McKendrick was a great lead, in and out of her relationships, dealing with regular life and trying to change it for the better. And I especially loved her negative interactions with her family. Clancy Brown as her dad was just a wild dick and the arguments felt realistic, with chances for comedy along the way. I also want to give a shout out to Ego Nwodim, who I think I have mostly seen on SNL and small cameos in films. She was hilarious as her best friend character, popped up multiple times, and made me damn sad as well. Good to see her expanding her roles.

Scrambled gives a unique look at a common practice so many people take care of, without necessarily being obvious what is involved in that process. A worthwhile comedy for sure.

3 out of 4.

Totally Killer

This is a review for Totally Killer, out on Prime Video on October 6, 2023.

Oh Jinkies! Living in the year 2022 is so swell. Even for the people in the relatively small community. You know when it wasn’t swell? In 1987, when a masked individual, dubbed the “Sweet 16 Killer” terrorized and killed three sixteen year old ladies! That was totally uncool, and also fun fact, he was never caught.

For Jamie Hughes (Kiernan Shipka), she doesn’t care that much about it. How could it affect her life that much? Well her mother (Julie Bowen) for one. Because those three girls were her best friends, and she has been frightened ever sense. Sure, she has a nice supportive family now, and a protective husband (Lochlyn Munro), but that makes her mom overprotective of HER so Jamie can’t have any fun.

Anyways, SURPRISINGLY, the killer comes back, and comes for her mom. That is totally not cool. 35 years? What the hell dude. Because of plot reasons, Jamie actually ends up going BACK IN TIME, to 1987, a few days before the murders happen. Seems like she knows what to do, stop the killer before he can start! And thankfully, this was after Back to the Future came out, so she can reference that movie and maybe people will just totally get it.

Also starring a lot of people, some of them playing the same character in two timelines! Woo time travel! We have Olivia Holt, Charlie Gillespie, Troy Leigh-Anne Johnson, Liana Liberato, Kelcey Mawema, Ella Choi, Stephi Chin-Salvo, Anna Diaz, Jeremy Monn-Djasgnar, Nathaniel Appiah, Randall Park, Jonathan Potts, Zachary Gibson, Kimberly Huie, and Nicholas Lloyd.

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I forget she did Sabrina and can still only think of Mad Men

Hey kids? Do you like Freaky? And Happy Death Day? Because this is definitely the movies they want you to compare it too, very much going for fun and death at the same time. Maybe some gnarly deaths, maybe some quirky references. The director, Nahnatchka Khan, is known for comedies, and not her horror, so you can tell that is clearly the bigger focus here. Always Be My Maybe was a wonderful, beautiful, and funny film.

But this is a movie that seems to just completely drop the ball on the scares aspect.

I think the only kill and chase that was only exciting was the first one in the film, when Bowen was attacked. She seemed legitimately afraid for the character. Everything else after that was just a disappointment. Even the final climatic potential scene, where our hero is trying to return to her time finally, with a killer coming towards her. It just felt bloated and didn’t actually live up to its location, where it could have been amazing.

Totally Killer is a GREAT idea for a horror/comedy. And it has the nostalgia element. The film itself looks nice, it just didn’t offer amazing kills, nor did it go beyond the low hanging fruits in terms of joke quality. It is certainly a movie, and you might still like it if you liked the other recent horror comedies. But I don’t think anyone will walk away saying its better than them, which is a shame.

2 out of 4.

There’s Something In The Barn


There’s Something in the Barn was watched as part of Fantastic Fest 2023!

Bill (Martin Starr) is taking his family to Norway! You see, his Uncle owned a cabin and land out there, but he passed away, and Bill was left the property. So why not upend his whole life to a new place to start over.

You see, Bill’s original wife died in the past. So he had gotten a new wife, Carol (Amrita Acharia), but he had two kids before that, Nora (Zoe Winther-Hansen) and Lucas (Townes Bunner). His new wife, the kids don’t really full accept as a replacement mom, but she is trying. She is into self help seminar speaking. Bill is excited to open up a bed and breakfast place with their new land.

However, and forgive me as I say this, but there appears to be something in the barn. Only Lucas sees it at first, so of course no one believes him. But a local tells him about the Barn Elves that supposedly live in the land, and how they are different than those silly American lawn gnomes. They have rules, they hate noise, they hate bright lights, and will leave you alone if you leave them alone.

So no one cares, there are parties, and sure enough, the elf gets pissed. Time to get revenge with a bunch of his elf friends. Just like they did to the last owner.

Also starring Calle Hellevang Larsen, Jeppe Beck Laursen, and Henriette Steenstrup. And of course some elves were played by actors like Kiran Shah, Paul Monaghan, and Alexander Karlsen El Younoussi.

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“I’m not even sure how the debt collectors found my new place in Norway!”

Christmas horror comedy flicks. Is this genre on the rise or what?

Now, I like the idea of a good multi-genre film. For example, we didn’t really have a lot of Christmas horror comedies, besides like, Gremlins sort of. Then eventually we got a Krampus and it became a big hit. And last year we had Violent Night.

I would put There’s Something in the Barn solely between those two movies. Better than Krampus (which was just okay for me), and not as fun as Violent Night. It IS a fun movie in its own right though. There are creative deaths, and a lot of silly moments. I mean, these elves are so dumb looking, it is hard to not find it humorous. But Starr is no David Harbour, when it comes to the physicality and outrageousness of his Santa.

Of course of course, this is not the point of Starr’s character. He is playing the classic screw up father, who is trying to make everything nice, when nothing is. In fact, this might be the first time he has ever played a dad on screen? He was a nerd on Freaks and Geeks and has been sarcastic asshole for so long, its weird that we are getting to that stage in his career.  Am I old now? (yes)

But back to the film. This film is 100% going to join the rotation of others of the similar genre. If you like comedy horrors at Christmas, you will like this one as well. I think it offers something new and interesting, including a bit of a rewatchability factor.

3 out of 4.

River


River was watched as part of Fantastic Fest 2023!

Mikoto (Riko Fujitani) works at an Inn in Kibune, Kyoto during the winter. It seems to be some sort of travel destination, a peaceful oasis for people to get away and get to know themselves. Of the guests we have business men, writers, and more.

But for Mikoto, after she goes and looks out over the river, she finds herself cleaning a room with her superior. And it seems really familiar. Some deja vu. He realizes it too. And as they clean…huh. Back at the river again?

Turns out the people in this Inn seem to be trapped in a time loop. Nothing they do physically stays put after just two minutes. They can break something, break each other, eat food, but in two minutes, they go back to where they were. The weather seems to change, and they remember everything before that, but the world resets them.

Getting out of this loop, with such a short time, is going to take everyone working together, and trying everything, without giving in to panic and sheer terror.

With a big cast of people, starring: Manami Honjô, Gôta Ishida, Yoshimasa Kondô, Shiori Kubo, Masahiro Kuroki, Kohei Morooka, Munenori Nagano, Haruki Nakagawa, Yoshifumi Sakai, Saori, Masashi Suwa, Yûki Torigoe, and Kazunari Tosa.

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Infinite time, but you are stuck with these bozos.
Now in case any of this sounds familiar, specifically around time and two minutes. Yes, you have to compare this to Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes. Especially because it was done by the same group and the same actors. However, with Beyond, it was a sci-fi and science tech and mathy, and it all made sense! It was them getting to speak from themselves in the future, through screens, and how they manipulated that through shenanigans. In this film, no future selves or past selves exist, just their current self. In Beyond, it was a one shot take movie with a lot of guts. In this movie, it is a lot more personal, and has a lot of heart.

Speaking of one shot take, this one clearly isn’t done in one shot. But each time iteration is done in one shot. The camera rolls, they get as far as they can, it fades, and the next singular shot takes place in our next time jump. I love it. It adds to the realism of their situation. Everyone also comes to the conclusion about the time looping thing on the third try, thinking rightfully the 2nd one was strange. But fool me three times? That is when plans start going and it gets real exciting.

How many iterations happen in this film? A good 36 if I kept my count correct. And that is a lot of times to start over an event, talk to new people, solve new problems, and try to keep people chill. I was not shocked at how violent it got at times, but I was shocked at how peaceful it also got. It made me personally think what I would try to accomplish with that time. What i would try.

And what’s more exciting about this movie is it has a very satisfactory conclusion. It ends on an expected enough note, and it tells a complete and powerful story. But in a unique and interesting way.

4 out of 4.

The Beanie Bubble


Holy shit, why are there so many brand movies this year?

Air Jordan, the movie. Tetris, the movie. Barbie, the movie. Blackberry, the movie. And now a movie about Beanie Babies?

More importantly, why are so many of those movies on that list like, really, really good movies? Is it nostalgia and brand awareness? Or is it something greater. Each great one is great for different reasons. But let’s see about The Beanie Bubble, and watch it burst in real time.

Style
I would burst with excitement if I got to look so stylish. 

This movie is so specifically about the characters, that I need to describe the plot through their lens.
We have Ty Warner (Zach Galifianakis), CEO of this TY Warner company, who made toys, and would eventually make beanie babies, and make a shit ton of money!

But then we have the women who helped him get there.

Robbie (Elizabeth Banks), one of Ty’s girlfriends, who helped him get sales on other products, increasing the wealth of his company, and helping expand it overseas.

Sheila (Sarah Snook), a later girlfriend and single mother, whose kids and her helped come up with backstories and names for very popular beanie babies at the start.

And Maya (Geraldine Viswanathan), an hourly employee who helped connect their company to the internet, the first corporation to do so with their product, and track ebay sales, and figure out how to work with the secondary market, instead of against it.

The women who made the Beanie Babies take off, and the man, who treated them like shit along the way.

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“What the fuck is the internet?”

Unfortunately for my list of brands above, The Beanie Bubble is the only one I didn’t feel deserved a 3 or 4! Just an okay 2. And that is a shame, because the story of how Beanie Babies got popular, got super popular, and then became worthless, is an interesting one. A nice microcosm of society and wealth in that story, on artificial supply and demand, and on how you can get too much of a good thing (one that is ruined by greed).

Its just the story is told sloppily, and I hate when it really takes to get to the point. The goal of the movie is to talk about these three women and hype them up, so we get three different stories. And it keeps transferring between the stories. But we got things taking places in the 80’s, and the 90’s. Despite the fact that this movie has a large YEAR shown on the screen and shows it changing when we switch, it still isn’t inherently helpful. Generally, one would see the year and assume its just going forward in time, not backwards, and forward, by a decade, back and forth.

Sure, we can see that Ty is being a sleazeball, but he isn’t the biggest sleazeball in all three stories until around the same time in the movie. So we get an avalanche of sleaze, with a confusing time span because of it. I wouldn’t say this is the sort of movie that needs to be told chronologically, but it would have probably been better.

For example, Ty continually gets mad about Great Britain and sales at many points throughout the film, but we don’t know why in particular, until the end of Banks’ plotline. And that is not the sort of thing that needed to be a “ah ha!” moment in the story. I don’t feel like the movie was better by keeping that a secret for so long, it didn’t have to keep hyping her ending of the storyline for a payoff.

I do think Galifianakis was unrecognizable on the promotions for this film. Something was done with his face, a fake nose? I am not sure. But you can tell it in the voice. I loved in particular Viswanathan’s plot in this movie. It is the easiest to follow, the easiest to see why she was screwed over, and the only one who has her own Wikipedia page to see what she did after the fact. Unfortunately, the other two involve relationships, and a lot of time is spent focusing on that aspect, with less on the actual company commitments, it just makes him feel more like a bad boyfriend than the scummy businessman he happens to also be.

2 out of 4.

Theater Camp

This film was watched as a part of the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). Theater Camp had its Seattle Premier during this festival.

Theater Camp is the type of film I knew almost nothing about but knew I wanted to see it right away. The title gave a lot of it away. And I knew Ben Platt was involved. And technically, I am a very simple man, and that was enough for me.

It turns out, Theater Camp used to be a short on YouTube. But it has been taken off of the platform and now I cannot watch it. Rude. It was under 20 minutes long, I heard it had tons of laughs, and happened relatively early in the Pandemic. But I guess it was good enough to make into a feature length film, and they probably reuse quite a few jokes from the short. So that is probably why it was removed, or else we might not laugh as hard at their film. Poor film studios.

Has “buy every copy of Psycho the book to not ruin the ending” vibes.

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Professional judges of the stage? Well, I am a professional judger of film. 

Woo! New year, new crop of students! Joan (Amy Sedaris) and Rita (Caroline Aaron) are seeking out new kids to invite, because they need a full camp, they need donors, because money is tight and it is dire. They don’t want to lose the camp that they have had for so long, to give a real safe space to theater kids to finally be themselves. And then? Well, Joan has a seizure and a coma and is out for the count.

But the show and the camp must go on. So Joan’s son, Troy (Jimmy Tatro), is going to lead the charge. He says he is a business minded man, even if he doesn’t understand the theater camp. And just getting rid of some of the counselors, he can get them maybe in the black again!

Thankfully their main pillar teachers return. Amos (Ben Platt) for acting, Rebecca-Diane (Molly Gordon) for music, Clive (Nathan Lee Graham) for dance, and Gigi (Owen Thiele) for costumes. And a new hire (Ayo Edebiri) for everything else.

And in a year with a lot of changes, they are going to have to put the show of their life on. Or else they might lose the camp and each other.

Also starring Noah Galvin, Jonathan Lengel, Bailee Bonick, Donovan Colan, Patti Harrison, Luke Islam, Kyndra Sanchez, and Alexander Bello. Most of these names will not look familiar, but you might recognize a few talents from 13: The Musical and John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch.

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Know what is better than kids acting? Kids acting actually well!
Theater Camp is a mockumentary, which is a genre, frankly, that is not explored enough. It is getting explored a lot more in television, with The Office format of characters talking to camera with monologues going on. But in films, it feels like the only ones that exist are the ones directed by Christopher Guest, and you know what, he is only one man! So the more people making them, the better. Assuming they are good quality.

And heck on heck, Theater Camp is some good quality.

I laughed throughout this film, and harder at the end. The quirkiness of the characters, albeit exaggerated, are exaggerated in a generally positive way that still somehow reflects the theatrical nature of a “theater kid” or “theater teacher.” There are play and musical references. There are song and dance numbers. There is just a lot of extra going on, and I am completely here for it. I do love their commitment to making this a “documentary” as well, with the text from the directors on the screen as one would expect in these situations.

From top to bottom, the cast seems to just get the assignment of this movie, and they go all out. Adults and child actors. Love seeing the little thespians thrive in their natural state.

What started as a fun COVID project (I don’t know when it was filmed or whatever, nor do I feel like looking it up), led to what I would call a hilarious romp of a film. And even better yet, one that seemingly cannot become franchised and will just exist as its own bright spot in the world.

4 out of 4.

Egghead & Twinkie

This film was watched as a part of the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). Egghead & Tinkie had its Seattle Premier at the festival and is currently on the virtual fest. See an interview with the director Egghead & Twinkie, here!

Are you an Egghead? Or are you a Twinkie? These are battlelines that have never been drawn before, but I am drawing them here today. Which side of the camp do you fall on?

Oh, I guess you might not know what side each of them really represent. Which is fair, you likely haven’t seen the movie. But the movie is called Egghead & Twinkie, so I at least know the point of it is that the pair is important. We don’t need to pick sides, we need to pick both of them. And ignore the strange doppelganger pairs like Eggkie and Twinhead.

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Yep, this is the Eggkie and Twinhead pair for sure. 
Twinkie (Sabrina Jieafa) is living her life in her summer after high school, and finally realizing what she is about. She is gay, and doesn’t care who knows it. Well, she hasn’t told the people in her life. Her conservative parents (Kelley Mauro, J. Scott Browning) don’t know, and she assumes her best friend, Egghead (Louis Tomeo) knows, but for sure people on the internet know! Especially BD, which is short for BigDykeEnergy (Ayden Lee), the current love of her life.

But BD lives in Texas, and Twinkie lives in Florida. Life is unfair. They can talk all they want on the internet, but they can’t be close to each other, so its almost like Twinkie can’t even tell for real if she is a lesbian! But, an opportunities arrives. An invite, to a club, where BD is DJing, a complete lesbian night. But Twinkie doesn’t drive, and its a long ways away.

Sounds like a great time to convince Egghead to drive her, who recently found out about her sexuality, and still crushes on her hard. But maybe this bonding trip is important before he runs off to college. Even if their parents say no, what can they do to stop them? If they got wheels and they are on the road, and they got money, looks like they will just have to wait to punish them when they get back. And hopefully, along the way, they can find themselves before it’s too late.

Also starring Roger Greco and Asahi Hirano.

movie
When movies have people watch movies, is there anything better?
There are indie movies, and then there are indie movies. The first sort of indie movie has a very specific set of goals. It will be award winning, it will be a character study, it will have a lot of natural lighting. You will likely have a lot of shots of characters walking, often from behind. You won’t have lots of CGI, and you will likely cry over what seems like ordinary circumstances.

And then there is indie films that literally look like they were made by first time folks, with little experience. The lighting might be weird, the acting might not be great, the story will be unique and quirky. And it might be terrible, and maybe no one will watch it. It doesn’t have to be terrible, there is just a better chance of that occurring.

Egghead & Twinkie is the second sort of indie film, but thankfully, it isn’t terrible. Everything about it gives off an aura of fun and cuteness. The people making it were having fun, the story was fun. It felt like everyone involved maybe on their first film, and it is okay, because it invites the viewers on the experience.

There is nothing groundbreaking from the story here. Road trip film, best friends with one way crushes, shenanigans along the way and betrayals. But the movie does feel like a very Gen Z film. It was made by Gen Zers and acted by them and it shows. I am noting this as a positive. Just the way they spoke, the references, and all of that, was arguable refreshing because most films only do that in a mocking way and not in a genuine way. The animation between them adds to it as well, fitting the characters, and giving that same high energy aspect towards the whole film.

Egghead & Twinkie, a film made by Gen Z, with Gen Z people, for Gen Z people, and it is refreshing in those takes alone.

3 out of 4.

I Like Movies

These films were watched as a part of the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). I Like Movies is the official CLOSING FILM and has its Seattle Premier on Sunday, May 22 2023. Check out my interview with Chandler Levack here

Do you like movies? I know I like movies. Hell, I might love them. I might be in love with them, if you ask my wife. But if you like movies, or like the idea of movies, then I got a movie for you.

Have you heard about I Like Movies? It is from Canada! And based on the film title alone, I knew it was the type of film I needed to see, as soon as possible. Describing what it is about is just a waste of time on me. I like movies and want to watch movies about liking movies. If that is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.

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This is just a picture someone took of me in a movie theater, what the hell?

Lawrence Kweller (Isaiah Lehtinen) is a senior in high school, and he knows what he wants in his life. He wants to leave Canada, go to NYU, and join their film program. Then he wants to direct films and become super famous and have love in the world.

But there are a few problems. He is notably not rich, and NYU is expensive. He could just go to a Canadian school and be much better off, but he doesn’t want to be a Canadian director. He also doesn’t have a lot of experience outside of film classes in his school. He can’t even watch every movie he wants to watch. So, he is ready to finally help his future career and he gets a job. At a movie rental store!

Now, not only can he start earning fat stacks of cash to go to school. But he can talk about film with coworkers. With customers. And see more movies (for free!). Things are really looking up for Lawrence. Ain’t nothing bad gonna happen to him now.

Also starring Krista Bridges, Percy Hynes White, Alex Ateah, Tavaree Daniel-Simms, and Romina D’Ugo as his boss at work.

dad
Look at these happy people. Clearly they all want to talk about movies 24/7. 

If I had a fear about I Like Movies going into it, is that it would be a movie made for people who were really into movies. And let’s be clear, I am fine when that happens! I am into movies, so I will get it, and usually get hyped around it. And while I Like Movies carries that sort of vibe, and it will make plenty of movie references, it is also just a standalone good movie. On its own. Even if you are a normie not already at 250 films for the year (whoops).

What we have in this picture is a main character who will infuriate you and make him love him the next scene. He has some issues, that he has certainly not worked through in any positive way. But yet I understand where he is coming from every time. I understand his best friend, and his boss, and his mother. A film where everyone still feels like a real person, even when some more egregious events happen along the way.

And in general, it also gives me back some of that nostalgia of not just working in a movie rental store, but also being a shopper in a movie rental store. When you had time to choose and there were a finite, yet good amount of options. This is a film that wants you to remember those good times, and maybe even, the bad times you had with these stores and their late fees.

I Like Movies is a simple film, telling a simple story, about a main character who does not like simplicity in the films he watches. He is not here for re-releases of Shrek, he is here for cinema. When it becomes available, it is a movie worth watching in a theater, with others. It isn’t just a coming of age story in the like of late 90s coming of age stories. It is about the industry and how it changes people, for better or for worse, the struggles within it, and how despite it all, we keep crawling back towards the movies we love.

4 out of 4.

Ride On

New Jackie Chan movie?!

Hooray! It has been some amount of time. Honestly, I think I just naturally assumed at this point he retired. As of this moment, he is 69 years old (nice) and spent his life doing action films and hardcore stunt work. It must take a tole on his body and at some point, you gotta stop pushing yourself so hard and actually enjoy the fruits of your labor. You know, unless the retirement age keeps going up. But that is another topic.

This time Jackie Chan is seemingly picking a new sort of costar. A horse. A horse he is, presumably, going to Ride On. Thus the title.

But over the last fifteen years, there was no guarantee we would get classic Jackie Chan action. He is in more drama films and films where he has a small role. So this could have all been a ruse, who knows!

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There is a mask, what if it is not Chan behind the mask?

First of all, this was not a ruse! Lao Luo (Jackie Chan) is an old man, who is mostly staying out of people’s way. He has a daughter, Xiao Bao (Haocun Liu), who wants him to just be chill and careful. It turns out he used to be a stuntman for films. So he had to do hard tasks, and his body took a beating. Huh, sounds familiar. But eventually, at some point, a mishap did happen, and it took a big toll on Luo, where he for sure had to stop.

This led to other issues. And eventually, many debts.

So now he is just is raising a horse, notably Red Hare, basically his best friend. They train together and trust each other. So when some debt collectors come and try to attack Luo, he is able to fight them off, with the help of his horse, and some recordings have this go viral.

Turns out, this was just what he needed to get back into the game. An older man, sure, but the horse? Hell yeah. They can do exciting horse action stunts, doesn’t matter his age.

Where does that leave us? An old man, who was already injured before, putting his body on the line again. And still debt issues and legal issues at the same time. Too much for a retired life.

Also starring Rongguang Yu, Kevin Guo, Jing Wu, and Joey Yung.

horse
Is there anything stronger than the bond between a man and his horse?

Ride On is a film that has a lot going on with it. In fact, I would say, too much.

In one obvious way it feels like a love letter to Jackie Chan’s career, just hiding it behind a new face. It is really easy to see this plot aspect, especially when it comes to the character trying to protect the horse, yet still push the horse to more and more dangerous stunts, despite the obvious limitations. The initial disgust and anger towards using CGI for a stunt, even though it was one that clearly would hurt. And of course another moment looking at a montage of the characters “past stunts” when they were younger.

That is the movie I was hoping to see, while still getting the benefit of some interesting cool fight and stunt work. Yes I wanted it both ways.  But I knew that at least the fights and stunts throughout the film would actually be helped with CGI and safety would be a concern, because it is not the 80s anymore and there would be no chance of disaster.

And so I was happy with the fun fights and stunts and classic Jackie Chan humor with these fisticuffs, just also with a horse.

Unfortunately, the film is bogged down with the legal and debt story. That is likely another aspect of stunt work they wanted to highlight. These people are movie stars, whose bodies decay and don’t get the riches the face stars get. And they have legal problems that can tear their lives apart. But that aspect of the film just wasn’t given to us as well as the other exciting parts. It slowed down the film, and didn’t really give the best context.

I wondered of course if this film, Ride On, was meant to be a retirement film for Chan. But IMDB showed 7 titles currently in Upcoming, it means that Chan had a couple year break, maybe from just COVID concerns, and now he is still going forth and ready to do his thing.

2 out of 4.

Poundcake

Poundcake is part of Make Believe Seattle, and it is playing on Sunday, March 26, 2023. 

Heh. Poundcake.

If you want to make an attention grabbing movie, it always starts with an attention grabbing title. And poundcake would certainly make most people curious about your film.

I mean, there is a chance it is about actual cakes. Which would for sure be a win overall. But it could also be slang and go a lot of different ways. And I am here to let you know, it certainly goes those ways.

mask
Immediately, it is one of the more negative of those ways based on this image.

A new killer is out on the loose! Apparently. It is amazing that one could even find that out since it is in New York City, but these deaths are a bit different.

First of all there is a pattern. Everyone at that point had been a straight white male. Not too surprising there, I guess. They all had been strangled as part of their death. So there is some level of pattern there. Oh, and they also had been raped. Yep.

So despite no one seeing the killer, all of these happening in isolation, there is a clear theme and focus. And it has the city in, well, has them curious. Is this okay? Is this revenge? Is this a form of justice?

Who is to say overall, but those who have some level of minority are feeling a lot more safe about themselves during these times, for sure.

Starring Onur Turkel (also the director), Eva Dorrepaal, and Ron Brice. A lot of others too, but this isn’t on IMDB yet and I am limited in finding people.

work
People should talk more about serial killers at the workplace. 

To start off, this movie was a lot funnier than I thought it had the right to be. I mean, it was very low budget and its visual framings were never that creative. But it has got personality, friends. A lot of it. A lot of weird, oozing personality.

A large percentage of the film is framed through podcast recordings. Various different groups talking about current events in their lives and cities. Most of them themed around gender, race, or some sort of drug using identity. And from that we got to hear the discussions of “other New Yorkers” about their thoughts and feelings during these attacks, and how they affect their views on other people. The podcasters are real characters too, not just a narrative device, and their lives are explored for a bit in the film, including when groups break apart, change members, or share guests for interviews. Outside of the whole, murdering of white dudes angle, it was basically the other main plot in the film.

A film that also had some strange subplots, like the director playing a character really certain in his sexuality while exploring new things sexually. It related to the rest of the story, a little.

Honestly, the ending of the film, during the memorial, had me in all sorts of giggles. Quite a lot of scenes, but the ending went full ridiculous and I am happy that the film embraced the ridiculousness of the story. The write up on the festival site calls the director, “one of the most astute and fearless satirists of his generation,” which is obviously written by his team/PR group, but it is definitely some level of fearless satire going on here. In films we want originality, and if anything, Poundcake has some originality.

3 out of 4.