Tag: Dan Stevens

Earwig and the Witch

Here it comes! Studio Ghibli has crossed a line many animation companies have already crossed. They have made a CGI movie. Will they fully cross over and become completely CGI? They were probably the last major holdout that was doing a more traditional look for all of their animated releases.

And I already hate it. I will admit, looking at the stills/trailer for Earwig and the Witch, I didn’t have high hopes for the film. It doesn’t look  great at all. The animation levels look like a small independent company doing their first film ever, that happens to be CGI. Not a pretty successful animation company trying CGI. They have money, they can make it look better.

But alas, I have been iffy on Studio Ghibli movies lately anyways. I have been having a hard time getting into their whimsy and mystery. Maybe this one will fix it?

Spoilers: It wont. 
Earwig (Taylor Henderson) was left on the porch of an orphanage as a baby, from a mysterious woman. They didn’t like that her name was Earwig, and apparently from a witch, so they figured they would hide that latter fact and also call her Erica Wig.

Ten years later, she is a bit of a terror in the orphanage. She does what she wants, she whines and complains, and she knows she wont be adopted ever, so she is biding her time. That is until a scary lady, Bella Yaga (Vanessa Marshall) and a tall scary guy, The Mandrake (Richard E. Grant) waltz in and totally pick her. But why?

Well, Bella Yaga is a witch, she could sense the witchy-ness in Earwig, and she needed an extra set of hands for potion making. Earwig thinks she will learn how to do magic and will totally help out! Turns out that Bella has absolutely no intention of making it pleasant for Earwig, or teaching her magic. Just someone to gather ingredients.

Ah, this new situation sucks. Who would have known that you can just adopt a kid to get a house worker?

Also featuring the voices of Kacey Musgraves, Logan Hannan, and Dan Stevens as a cat.

“Damn, that’s a huge witch.”
There are quite a few problems with Earwig and the Witch. And honestly, the CGI is probably the least of its concerns. The CGI is still not great and notably average or below average throughout the movie, but it is not the biggest cause of concern.

Band plot – Worthless. Check out this poster graphic for the film. It is the most common form of advertisement I saw. It definitely does not represent this film. There is a brief band plot, involving history, the witch, mandrake, and Earwig’s mom. And it goes absolutely no where. It certainly doesn’t end up with them all being a band together with Earwig the lead vocals. This poster makes it look like a musical or band movie or anything, and it certainly is not. It teases some of these elements, and never does anything useful with them.

Earwig – She has no growth in this film. She is put into a trial to overcome and succeeds. The problem is, she started as a do whatever she wants child, and the movie ends the same, although definitely worse. No lessons learned. It is a terrible message. When she kept repeatedly calling the cat by her old friend’s name, I assumed it was some twist about the old friend being the cat. But no, they are two different entities. She is just a shitty kid who doesn’t care about the names of who she is talking to. They made a kids movie about a shitty kid.

The ending – By far, this is likely going to be the worst ending of a movie I have seen all year. I can easily imagine this movie making my worst list, and it is far too early to know where it land. But holy shit, this ending is such a waste.

SPOILERS ON THE ENDING. SPOILERS ON THE ENDING. Okay, here it is…It just ends! After some changes with magic occur, we get some weird time jumps, and it feels like the last hour of movie should have taken like 20-30 minutes max. It feels like the movie is about to start and do the main plot. And then with the a door opening and a mom arising, the movie is like, lololol credits. It makes absolutely no sense to have an ending there. It is like we got a prologue of an eventual story, but one I will never seek out, because of being dicked around in this film.

I hope this movie continues to get blasted, because it is truly really bad. And I hope Studio Ghibli doesn’t look at this and blame it on the CGI. Because sure, it is bad, and if it helps not make more like this, then that is swell. But fix the goddamn narrative structure, because this movie is absolutely a waste of anyone’s time who decides to watch it.

0 out of 4.

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

The last time I had an actual positive review for a movie where Will Ferrell had a leading role was in 2010 for Everything Must Go. That is basically a whole decade of meh or worst.

“What about The Lego Movie? You can count The Lego Movie!” I did count that! I gave it a 2/4 and stand by that still.

So I will be clear that I fully intended to just ignore Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. Even the name hurts me a bit.

And then I got stupid one night and just put it on (I lasted like, a day). And the good news is, it could have been a lot worse!

Everyone cheer for something to make us happy…please?
ABBA changed the world forever with their performance on Eurovision. I don’t know if that is true, but that is what I gather as an American who has never seen Eurovision. It is the main band I have heard come out of it and be really world vision, so I guess so?

It certainly changed the world for Lars Erickssong (Will Ferrell), who seeing that performance as a kid claimed he would one day win Eurovision as well. And he would take Sigrit Ericksdottir (Rachel McAdams) on this decades long journey, the girl who never talked but found out she can sing!

Decades later, they are Fire Saga, with hits and electric pianos. No one really cares about them in their small village, but they get gigs as the only band to play covers and silly songs. Lars’ dad (Pierce Brosnan) is a typical disappointed dad based on his son’s dreams.

But of course, somehow they make it to Eurovision! Thanks to plot. And that is where things get slightly more difficult. Highly rated to win Alexander Lemtov (Dan Stevens) out of Russia takes a liking to Sigrit and might put the duo in jeopardy before they can even perform!

Also starring Melissanthi Mahut (who is also Kassandra in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey), Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Demi Lovato, Graham Norton, Jamie Demetriou, Alfrun Rose, Elina Alminas, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson, and Mikael Persbrandt.

Parts of this still look like the men are painted with the background.
From the various plots and subplots, some of them stuck the landing and some of them floundered. The Icelandic villain is obvious throughout the film, but over so quickly and so unnecessary that it just takes away from the rest of the movie. If all of that was cut, they would just need to have a new explanation for one aspect of the film and it would still work fine.

What does work on the “villain” scale is Stevens the Russian singer. Because he isn’t really a villain. He isn’t even a bad guy. He is just not with Ferrell’s character, but he seems genuine in wanting his own success for himself and for McAdams’ character. He says things that are correct, and I have no hate for him as a character.

The only main character one would dislike is, (unfortunately? of course?), Ferrell’s lead. He has one goal and one goal only, but for whatever reason, that means he can be a dick to those who love him. His reactions make no sense. The viewer are supposed to hate him and find him annoying, but I’m not sure why because it makes me never want to rewatch the regular parts of the movie again. His only great reoccurring joke is the hatred towards the Americans.

Ferrell’s character is so bad, it makes us sad that McAdams’ is with him at all throughout the film. McAdams carries this movie for me, her character is so innocent and fun and wholesome you just want her to succeed and hug her. We can get it by the end, and sure, missed 20-30 years of growth between them before that. But still, come on, step up your game lady.

The music is the real reason why the movie can get a higher rating overall. It is so fun and interesting. Having past winners as cameos is nice, and the “Song-a-long” scene made me feel so Euphoric (while also annoyed at how auto-tuned it was, and how badly cut it was). Our final song of the competition was wonderful and I cannot get Ja Ja Ding Dong out of my head.

I offer some disappointment that a lot of the main characters aren’t the real voices uses. Of course Ferrell’s is his, its unmistakable. McAdams’ is apparently her voice and another’s mixed together, so it is “slightly” there. Stevens’, despite being a singer, is entirely dubbed by a more operatic dude instead of mixed based on Stevens’ own wishes. Even our Greek character is someone else singing! All of the Eurovision stars and actual musicians likely really sing, but they also are autotuned, so nothing gets to feel natural.

Overall, ESC:TSOFI is a cute story, an overall loving story, a story with some comedy and a lot more heart, and fun music numbers to keep you entertained along the way. It might be the pandemic talking, but it is something that feels necessary right now.

3 out of 4.


I´ve joked in the past that Chadwick Boseman is being forced to play every famous black American throughout history. You know, Jackie Robinson, James Brown, T´Challa, and so on.

But holy shit. Thurgood Marshall as well?

What is his agent doing? Is he trying to mold the youth of America into thinking everyone in History is Chadwick Boseman? Maybe Boseman is playing some long plan to eventually run for president himself. With his past roles he will seem like a trendsetter, someone with soul, a ruler, and someone who knows the fuck out of some laws.

I don´t know when we should start being scared by all of this. Maybe in two more real bio roles. Maybe if he ever plays Eminem in a biopic.

Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?

Thurgood Marshall (Boseman) is super famous. He did a lot of things as a lawyer, went to the Supreme Court a lot, did the whole Brown vs Board of Education thing, and even decided to move in and live in the Supreme Court.

But this movie is about before all that, just when he was working with the NAACP, looking for any case that might have racial bias to help free innocent men or women. Especially those who could not afford their own council of choosing.

Thurgood is now in Connecticut, where a limousine driver (Sterling K. Brown) allegedly raped and tried to kill his boss´ wife (Kate Hudson). A real shocker of a trial, but he claims his innocence. They imagine they are just grabbing any black gentleman and they have a civil rights case on their hands.

In order for Marshall to get on the case, they need to join the team of someone who has passed the bar on the state, and through some shenanigans, got a local insurance guy (Joah Gad) to take on the case so that something could be done. The judge (James Cromwell) isn´t having any of their shit either, so doesn´t let Marshall do any of the talking, just behind the scenes help.

Yep, this is a battle against racism. A battle against injustice.

Also starring Dan Stevens and Keesha Sharp.

Inconspicuous thugs are inconspicuous.

You know who deserves a movie about their lives? Thurgood Marshall, for sure!

You know what this movie gave us? A movie about Marshall and Sam Friedman, the local insurance lawyer. You see, Friedman later went on to do more civil rights cases too! And he had to do most of the fronting of this trial, due to racism. So it is a movie about how this white dude overcame his personal lawyering fears and branched out to be a better person.

That is cool and all, but I really don’t give a fuck about Sam Friedman. I came to see this movie because it was about Thurgood Marshall. I didn’t expect a double biopic about him and some white guy. This may be one of Marshall’s biggest and earliest cases, but I really do think they did a giant disservice to him. In fact, they mentioned in this film he had already argued in front of the Supreme court multiple times. We know he did it later. And, for crying out loud, he was there for Brown v The Board of Education!

Why the hell did they pick a case where he isn’t really the main star or focus? Why?

Oh yeah, because they needed a white loveable lead to make sure white people saw this movie too. Gotcha.

This movie is very okay. The acting is fine, the case has its moments, and some characters cry. Some people yell, some justice is served. But goddamn it, the focus is so far away from Marshall in a movie that carries his name, it is just unacceptable.

2 out of 4.


Colossal is one of those films that I knew I couldn’t wait to see from the first trailer and concept leak. The idea sounded original, and originality in films is a rarity.

But it also had two of my favorite people! Anne Hathaway, who has been making a lot of stronger choices lately in her career, and Jason Sudeikis, who is normally pushed off as a side character and still rarely given his chance to shine.

So why not shine with giant monsters attacking South Korea? Who is excited? Just me?

This guy is totally excited!

Gloria’s (Anne Hathaway) life is shit. She got out of her small town to live in a big city, but she lost her sweet writing job and hasn’t found work in a year. She has been living with her boyfriend, Tim (Dan Stevens) who has had a stable job and a stable life. But Gloria has decided to spend most of her days sleeping, because she is up all night with some friends drinking, getting nothing done. Thanks to her lack of willingness to change and lies, she gets kicked out of the apartment and finds herself broke and alone.

So of course she heads back to her old home town, that she left so long ago. She can stay at her parents old place, because they still own it and it is empty. But hey, she will get an inflatable mattress and figure it out.

It doesn’t take long for her to run into an old friend, Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), who gives her a place to hang out (his bar), some house supplies, and a part time job. Heck, she gets some new friends in “crazy man” Garth (Tim Blake Nelson) and Joel (Austin Stowell).

And after a night of drinking and sleeping all morning, she wakes up to find that Seoul, South Korea got totally fucked up by a giant monster. And after few nights of attacks, she starts to notice that its mannerisms seem familiar. Could…could she be controlling the monster? But why? How? Those hundreds of dead people…

It is hard to reconcile your emotions when you know you wiped out hundreds, but no idea how.

If you watch a trailer for Colossal, it will look like a Comedy with some Sci-Fi elements, but it is so much more than that. As far as I can tell and hope, no trailer really just spoils the whole thing, but they all give the same sort of vibe.

Apparently this is the year of genre-bending films blowing me away, as this is only my 4th 4 out of 4 on the website from 2017 films, and 3 of them don’t get easily defined by one genre. Split, Get Out, and now this, all have multiple elements and tonal shifts that keep you on your feet and help reflect a grander film experience. Some would dock points off of Colossal for that, by being “scatterbrained” but that is only an issue if the film does not succeed on the multiple levels it tries to reach. But Colossal handles the later film drama extremely well, and the early film comedy/awkwardness/mystery elements.

Acting is top notch for our leads of Hathaway and Sudeikis. Hathaway made me hate her character, until it didn’t anymore (growth!), but I always hated her hair. Sudeikis had a lot more subtle great moments early on, before rising up to a level I have not seen before with him by the end.

Colossal is a film that is better the less you know about it, and I ensure you, I barely talked about any of the many intricacies of the plot. But spoilers be out there, so go out and swiftly see this film which deals with important subject matters in a rather unique way.

4 out of 4.

Beauty and the Beast

Wow, how do you introduce a tale as old as time? Something as true as it can be? You just gotta speak from the heart.

I do love the animated Beauty and the Beast film. It celebrates intelligence! It has one of my favorite introduction songs. Gaston is fascinating, with his own great song. But I have always had issues for it. So I better get it off my chest now:

The main takeaway from Beauty and the Beast is bullshit. The prince was punished for not seeing someone’s true beauty, so he was turned into an ugly creature. To learn his lesson, he needs to fall in love and be loved in return, with a nice kiss too, before he turns 21. (Which of course means he was punished as a kid, joy). So how does it eventually happen? By getting the perfect person in his life. She is smart, kind, but also the hottest chick in the village. To really drive the point home, she should have been not matched the perfect standard of beauty. It is kind of crap. Shrek and Shallow Hal end up driving the point home better.

Okay, no more of that. I also appreciate that Gaston is set up as a typical old school Disney Prince, who just wants love because they are beautiful, so it sort of shows Disney going away from their older film tropes.

What I am really getting at is that I am excited for the live action version of Beauty and the Beast. I was not excited for the live action Cinderella, because the plot of Cinderella is shit and celebrates obedience to mean people and doing chores until a prince can take you away. Fuck that.

Give that bitch a book. Bitches love books.

In some nondescript village in old timey France, there was a castle. None of this is Paris, we know that for certain. There was a prince (Dan Stevens), who lived in the castle, and he was mean. He was so mean to some haggy bitch, that the haggy bitch turned him into a really hairy dude and all of his servants into utensils and shit. What in the fuck!

Now years later, they have almost given up hope at becoming human again. The Beast has to not just fall in love, but have someone love him back. They are depressed, cold, and a spell was put on the area for people to forget about their existence. So that doesn’t help either.

Thankfully, there is a really freaky girl in that poor provincial nearby town. Belle (Emma Watson), a girl who was trained to use that brain of hers, an inventor, a girl who likes books and is somehow still decent looking. Some shit goes down with her dad (Kevin Kline). He finds himself locked up in this castle forever. Thankfully, their horse was also trained to use its brain and he is able to take her to the castle and HOLY FUCK, A BEAST!

Using that goddamn brain of hers, she is able to trick her dad into taking his place, planning to escape in the future. You know, because she is so youthful. But then she falls in love. Oh, way too early. A lot of strife happens. But after a good old fashioned food orgy, she starts to love the place, and thinks about calling it home. Plus, it can clean itself, with the magical slave item army and all.

Also starring Ewan McGregor as a candelabra, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as a duster, Ian McKellen as a clock, Emma Thompson as a teapot, Stanley Tucci as a piano, Audra McDonald as a dresser, Luke Evans as a tall, dark, strong, handsome brute, Josh Gad as his miniature life mate, and also Hattie Morahan as a begger.

Gaston’s face cannot be shown because Gorgon Reviews is not a big enough website.

Remember Cinderella? That film I already mentioned? Again, it was okay. It was colorful. Shit story. Good dresses. A terrible idea for a first run. It was like the Universal Monsters series trying to give us Dracula Untold as the start of their shared Universe. But now they gotta get The Mummy to save their asses. Yes, I recognize we have had a few other live action films since Cinderella, but this is the first one since then to be about a Disney Princess!

Beauty and the Beast delivers, and it delivers hard.

Of course, we get the best parts from the original. Bonjour is fascinating, with a village of real people, and we still get the “Please Let Me Through!” line. Be Our Guest is an explosion of extravagance. The Gaston song starts off awkward for me, but grows into its own, feels like a giant party, and has a few surprises. (Although, the chorus of that song is also almost impossible to understand)

But we also get a whole lot new! An expanded introduction, more backstory on the Beast and Belle’s lives before the film and their parents, bigger connections to the castle and the village and why it is a big surprise, Belle being a stronger female character, and more. AND! Alan Goddamn Menken, the Disney musical genius, came back to rewrite some of his songs from two decades ago, plus a few new ones. Three at that. Day in the Sun and Evermore are great additions to the film and Evermore had me crying. And don’t worry, the Human Again song added to the animated film does not take place in this movie.

I am annoyed that at the timing of this review, I have to wait a week to hear some of the newer songs again, just to see if I like them as much as I am writing.

Beauty and the Beast is not just a remake. It is also a re imagining. With more backstories, more lines for side yet important characters, everyone feels more fleshed out. Even Gaston and especially LeFou. We get some good call backs, and good changes to match the times. It was an incredible job done by the team, who treated their source material with respect, and really matched what made the first film great 26 years ago.

4 out of 4.

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

It has been awhile since Night At The Museum: Secret of the Tomb came out, but I am finally now ready to talk about it. Why did I wait so long?

Well, I had never seen the first two movies, Night at the Museum and Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. I have owned the two Night at the Museum movies, which came out out in 2006 and 2009, since 2012. I just haven’t “found the time” to see them. Never in the right mood.

A few things helped put me in that mood. One, Robin Williams died, very sad, I really needed to see more of his movies. Two, the kids were about to go home for the summer and we had a long Memorial day weekend where I didn’t have anything to show them. So it was easy to watch one, then the next a few days apart, and finally, FINALLY, the third and last movie.

Fair warning, I thought the first movie was kind of terrible, and the second one had its moments, but was overall okay.

But those movies lacked a dreamy knight in shining armor.

Years later, that museum is still popular! Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is opening up more cheating night things. This time, constellations. Well, shit goes badly and he gets fired. Why? The magical tablet is acting all fucky. People are freaking out, getting meaner. Who knows what is going on?? Well, apparently the parents (Ben Kingsley, Anjali Jay) of Ahkmenrah do! Yes, but they are in a museum in London.

So the gang gets together, tablet in hand, to go to a new museum at night and find out how to fix the tablet. Pretty simple plot actually. His son, Nick (Skyler Gisondo), played by a new guy, is also going to come. For reasons. You know, get him back on track and shit.

Oh hey, and we also have Rebel Wilson playing the London night guard. And Dan Stevens, yes, that Dan Stevens, as Lancelot. Sure, he is a fictional character, apparently in a museum, but go with it, assholes.

And there are all the returning characters of course. We still have Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams), Octavius (Steve Coogan), Jedediah (Owen Wilson), Ahkmenrah (Rami Malek), Attila the Hun (Patrick Gallagher), Sacajawea (Mizuo Peck), and even Dr. McPhee (Ricky Gervais). Hell, we also have the old geezers back played by Dick Van Dyke, Bill Cobbs, and Mickey Rooney (who also is dead now).

Just a bunch of eccentric Americans and killers hanging out, riding a bus.

The overall problem with this franchise are the inconsistencies. And the inconsistencies are all shrouded behind a mysterious Egyptian tablet and magic, so that any of them can just be written off. But no, it is incredibly annoying.

For instance, why do some things come alive and others not? Statue and wax people? Fine. But in this movie there is a display of Pompeii, and it even explodes and has its own lava and everything. What? The things are supposed to be alive people or animals or creatures. They are just making things up as they go.

The tablet was losing its power and so people were slowly reverting back to their original forms. Apparently people who get transformed for the first time didn’t turn back slowly because it was their first night. They are apparently just making up rules on the fly because why not. In this movie, they say people act a lot weirder right when they transform and get used to the change eventually. This wasn’t true at all in the second movie, as we saw tons of people come alive and go straight into character and being fine with it.

A more structured, less clusterfuck, is all I ask.

Now this one has some interesting jokes and I laughed a few times. Despite the fact that the main new character was a fictional person who makes no sense to be a museum exhibit, Lancelot was killer. Rebel Wilson also did a good job. But the issue with the tablet was lame, as was the “threat” behind it all. It all seemed poorly done, where conflict continued to be created for the stupidest reasons.

2 out of 4.

A Walk Among The Tombstones

Liam Neeson fatigue.

I think we are all feeling it, and I think we are all sick of it.

I can’t even think of any original jokes about Neeson being some strange action/drama badass. At least I don’t think that A Walk Among The Tombstones features anyone in his family being in danger. Maybe. But it does have a terrible title.

The reason it took me so long to watch is due to how little I cared about his movies right now. What I guess I am really saying is that I am totally going to be biased with this review. I wish there was a way around it. The only solution I know is that Neeson just needs to fucking stop it for like. A year and a half. That will help.

How strong is my fatigue? I’d rather the kid sidekick character stay over Neeson.

Matt (Neeson) used to be a cop in the earl 90s, but isn’t anymore. Now it is the future. Now it is almost the year 2000! He is a recovering alcoholic and a nobody.

For some reason (I forgot), this guy Peter (Boyd Holbrook) comes up to him asking him to help out with a case. A case involving Peter’s brother, Kenny (Dan Stevens) a drug dealer. Doesn’t sound good. But what sounds worse is that Kenny’s wife was kidnapped. He had to pay $400,000 for the ransom, but it turns out they killed her anyways. So Kenny is mad and he wants revenge.

The only reason Matt accepts is because of the despicable acts they did. So he assumes they have done it before in the past and will keep on doing it. Might as well stop them.

He is going to get the help of local kid (Astro) too, even if he doesn’t want it!

And uhhh, the bad guys are played by Adam David Thompson and David Harbour. It isn’t a mystery, so that isn’t a spoiler.

“See, I picked a picture of them on the phone, because most of the this movie is just talking.” – Overly explains the plot dude.

A Walk Among The Tombstones is a dark movie. I don’t mean that necessarily in the adult subject matter way. No, I just feel like the entire thing takes place at night. I don’t think that is true, but I just can’t remember anything in particular that happened during the day.

So it has that gloomy feel the entire time. Aesthetically, it fits the mood it wants to show, but that doesn’t make it interesting.

Why? Because this film fucking drags. I have it tagged as an action movie, but that is definitely not its focus. This is hardcore, balls to the wall, in your face, drama. Not good drama. Just fucking talking and being an investigator and shit. Maybe like two action scenes both near the end.

And then it just dragged some more.

This movie might have been a good mystery novel or whatever the fuck it was. But hot damn, I’d be hard pressed to find a more boring cop/PI based movie from 2014.

At least Inherent Vice had…weirdness.

1 out of 4.

The Cobbler

When I grow up, I want to be a cobbler. I don’t think anyone has said that in at least 150 years.

But at least it is a funny word.

Times are strange when you find Adam Sandler in a VOD movie with very limited theater release. His movies have practically printed money the last few years with the minimum amount of effort. Sure he sold out, but he can’t hear the complaints due to the hundred dollar bills falling out of his ears. And plus all of his friends get parts in his movies, and he uses the same crew. He is at least a good guy in that regard.

The Cobbler is about magic though. Or something. I dunno. Bring it on.

“‘Bring it on’ Adam said, as he slowly slid the red heels on for the first time.”

Max Simkin (Sandler) lives in modern day New York. He lives a boring life in down town, running the shop that his father (Dustin Hoffman) abandoned. He doesn’t really enjoy it, but he needs money. He also has to take care of his mother (Lynn Cohen), whom he lives with. There are protests lead by Carmen Herrara (Melonie Diaz), trying to protect the residents and store owners from higher rents, driving them from the area and forcing to sell their livelihoods for cash.

You know what. That sounds nice to Max.

But first he has to deal with some rude customers. Like this guy Leon (Method Man) who needs some shoes repaired that day to pick up that night. Well, Max’s main machine breaks. Shit. He finds a manual one hiding in a back and makes it from that. And wouldn’t you know it, eventually he finds out that machine is magical. SPARKLES AND EVERYTHING. Well, no sparkles. But in boredom, Max puts on the guy’s shoes waiting for him, and he transforms into that guy. Aw shit, shape changing powers. After all, Max is the owner of their soles.

How will he use this power? For good? For evil? For sex? To be a super HERO? No. Not the last one. Kind of all in between.

Also featuring Steve Buscemi as the neighbor barber, and a whole lot of other people, like Dan Stevens, Ellen Barkin, and Elena Kampouris.

For a guy who fixes shoes for a living, there are quite a lot of shots of him being shocked at having shoes.

Despite the movies flaws, I don’t think that they are the fault of Mr. Sandler. I know, that may sound crazy, but it is true. The problems must all lie instead with the directing, script, and whoever made decisions behind the scenes. Because honestly, Sandler was fine in this role. Disgruntled Jewish middle aged worker, poor and bored with life. He fit the bill really well. His character also made sense for his new powers. He isn’t a great guy. He uses his power for as many shenanigans as he can figure out, until his shenanigans run away with him.

But despite the decent enough pun/premise, the movie just fell completely flat.

The movie didn’t know what it wanted to be. A comedy, a drama, a dark comedy. Its indecisiveness rested on the main characters indecisiveness. Shit, it feels like a family movie for the most part, outside of some partial nudity, attempted sex, and murder scenes. Basically everything outside of that is extremely family friendly outside of a few moments. Kind of super awkward.

The movie also dragged. It only took 20 or so minutes before we got to both the power and realization of how to get said power, but everything else was extremely slow. Not to mention not really funny. At all.

Damn it! This movie could have gone to so many good places. And everything is just so damn drab and boring about it.

1 out of 4.

The Guest

Honestly, there is a good chance of me never seeing The Guest until probably…well, never, if it wasn’t recommended to me by at least two other people.

It is just such a busy schedule, so many movies, only so many days a week, I would have ignored it like some straight to DVD trash on the bottom row at Wal-Mart.

Even the plot line is out of a cliched, over done pile of crap. But these people told me not to worry, just go into it and let the plot happen.

So I made sure I was loose and relaxed and watched The Guest on a Saturday night alone. You don’t have to watch it the same way if you don’t want to, but I am just setting the mood up for you all. Can you dig?

Unrelated: How do they shoot scenes with mirrors? And even harder with tons of mirrors? TELL ME!

The Peterson family is pretty sad because the oldest son died, fighting for the best country in a war overseas. David (Dan Stevens) was a member of his unit who just shows up one day. All he has on him is a duffle bag, but he came by to pay his respects to the family because Caleb was one of his best buddies and he promised him he would help look out for his family. He doesn’t want to impede, but Caleb’s parents (Leland Orser, Sheila Kelley) insist that he stay for awhile, free of charge, before he heads out again.

Cool, it is like he is Caleb. But not really.

Also, how much do they know about David? Basically nothing. What if he has those PTSDs and decides to kill everyone one night? That’d be crazy right? Right?

Heh. Heheheh. Hehhhh.

The other members of the family are daughter Anna (Maika Monroe) and son Luke (Brendan Meyer). Also featuring a daughter’s best friend (Tabatha Shaun), government agent (Lance Reddick) and two other dudes (Chase Williamson, Joel David Moore).

At least the guest can help with the interior decoration.

The Guest is clearly a spiritual successor of Houseguest. They took their time on it in order to not tarnish the memory of Phil Hartman.

Also, everything about the plot and idea behind The Guest seems cliched. Did I already mention that? It is amazing though that somehow the movie doesn’t feel cliched. It feels fresh and actually remains interesting throughout. David is an interesting individual and his layers of madness creep out pretty slowly though out the film, so it is exciting to see just how dark it can go by the end.

The action is also very smooth. Like butter. Yes.

What more can I say? The Guest entertained, and hey, good job Dan Stevens.

3 out of 4.


I don’t even remember why I first heard about Vamps. I think I heard it coming out to theaters, it never did, I was “sad”, then I moved on with my life as a normal human being.

But after watching Vamp U, I was trying to think of other shitty vampire movies. Holy crap, there is a lot of shitty vampire movie. Not even counting the Twilight Parodies, like Vampires Suck.

Thankfully I remembered it existed, and was able to rent it for like, a quarter or something. No one gave a fuck about this movie. I got the title though. Presumably, it is supposed to make you think of the word Tramps. If not, whoops, I am an asshole.

Well, you know. If the shoe fits.

Goody (Alicia Silverstone) and Stacy (Krysten Ritter) are two vampires living the high life in New York City. They love going tot he clubs, and spending their nights living it up. Why not, they are both roughly 20 year old girls, just looking for fun?

Well, Goody was bit in the 1800s by Cisserus (Sigourney Weaver), who later bite Stacy in the late 1980s. Big difference. But Goody doesn’t want it to be weird, so doesn’t tell Stacy that fact. They consider themselves to be ELFs, or Eternal Life Forms, vampire is tacky. They also don’t feed on human blood, it is not pleasant. Rat blood will do.

Goody gets worried when she finds out that if their creator ever dies, then they will revert back to their real age. Not a big deal for Stacy, but for Goody, that would end her life. Shit. This only matters because a Dr. Van Helsing (Wallace Shawn) is in town specifically to look for Cisserus. Shit.

To make matters worse, Stacy has fallen in love with a guy in her night class, Joey. JOEY VAN HELSING (Dan Stevens). He also may have made her pregnant. I won’t go into that.

Malcolm McDowell and Justin Kirk also play some pretty important vampires. Richard Lewis plays an ex lover of Goody’s from the 1960s who has returned into her life. Extra weird.

“Night, bitch. Let’s get some sausage. Blood sausage. And penis.”

Huh, this was directed and written by Amy Heckerling who brought us Clueless. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. That explains Silverstone and Shawn in the film, I guess.

I will say that the movie got better as time went on, up until the end. The beginning was shit right off the back, but eventually it found its footing. It is a shame the ending was just super tacky and not really exciting in any way.

The film is meant to be comedic, but everything basically falls flat. They go for the easy puns and small references, but nothing is able to stick.

Finally, the acting is just ugh. Ugh and a half. I strive for descriptive descriptions here. Krysten Ritter might be one of the worst actresses out there today. Stop giving her roles. They are bad.

Join me next week, when I somehow find another shitty vampire movie to get disgruntled over.

1 out of 4.