What’s happening readers!! Happy 2023!! It’s been a while since my last written review and I apologize for that but I’m back and my first screening of the year was a fun flick!!
This past Wednesday I attended an early screening of the latest horror thriller from Blumhouse. I’m a fan of the studio so when I saw the trailer last year I was in. The PG-13 rating was a bit of a disappointment but the movie was a good time. The story is familiar (see the Child’s Play remake) but overall enjoyable in my opinion. In the film a robotics expert named Gemma becomes caretaker of her niece Cady after a tragic car accident. Gemma has a hard time bonding with Cady and helping her deal with grief so she decides to use M3GAN, an android equipped with artificial intelligence, to befriend Cady and hopefully make her happy.
Things go well between Cady and M3GAN at first, but as M3GAN learns more she becomes obsessive and deadly in her protection of Cady. What happens next….well you’ll have to find out for yourself.
I enjoyed M3GAN! It was a good time at the screening and I’d watch it again. It’s a film that’s perfect for a discount day or a matinee. I thought this movie would have an R rating but the director toned down the gore and language to make it PG-13. It still worked but I won’t be surprised if there’s an unrated cut when it released on dvd/blu-ray. Gruv.com already has the film available for pre-order.
It’s going to be a fun cinematic year! Stay tuned for my 2022 Cinematic Review….coming soon!
What’s going on readers! On Tuesday I went to the early access screening of Smile. When I saw the trailer a few weeks back I was in. I liked the premise and the scenes in the trailer looked creepy. Sosie Bacon (yes his daughter) plays Dr. Rose Cotter, who specializes in psychological treatment for patients with mental illness. A young woman is brought into Dr. Cotter’s ward because she’s claiming that an evil presence is attacking her and filling her head with horrible images. Rose dismisses her claims as paranoia but after the woman seemingly becomes possessed and kills herself Rose start to think this wasn’t a case of paranoid delusions, especially since the woman had an ominous smile on her face while committing suicide. Post-traumatic stress takes a toll on Rose but when Rose starts seeing macabre that no one else she accepts that there is an evil supernatural force. DUN DUN DUNNNNNN!!!! In order to stay alive Rose traces back to what the woman in the ward said in order figure out what this presence is and why it’s targeting her. What she finds out is disturbing, to say the least.
I liked Smile. I joked that this was a rated R version of The Ring (you’ll see why if you watch this film) but I enjoyed the slow burning creepiness. I thought the 2-hour runtime could have been cut down because a few scenes dragged. There are good spots of gore throughout the film and Bacon does a great job exhibiting despair as the terror haunts her character. There was a scene involving Rose, her sister, and her nephew that made me blurt out “OHH SNAP”. One of the jump scares got me too! Smile is decent horror thriller overall. I won’t agree with it being “scary”, but I do recommend it for discount day. I’m going to see it again. There’s an aspect of the film that I questioned so another viewing is on deck.
What’s happening readers! If you haven’t seen Thor: Love and Thunder yet then you probably shouldn’t read any further unless you don’t mind reading details of the film. Time to dive in!
In this film Thor has to confront Gorr, a being possessed by a powerful weapon called the Necrosword and using it to murder gods. After Gorr kidnaps Asgardian children Thor has to save them and stop Gorr from wiping out all gods. The situation gets complicated further when Jane Foster arrives in New Asgard wielding Mjolnir as the Mighty Thor! I’ve never been a huge fan of Thor but I liked Love and Thunder. I watched it 4 times so far. I’ve seen Thor in Dolby Cinema, IMAX, Extreme X and in regular digital format to compare presentations. I thought Love and Thunder was fun for the most part. Gorr’s intro was interesting and the opening with the Guardians of the Galaxy was cool. I chuckled when Thor went Jean Claude Van Damme on the bad guys. Bale’s portrayal of Gorr was fine but I joked about him looking more like Neff from Altered Beast. If you Google that you may get a good laugh. In the comics Gorr has a lizard/snake like appearance. I read that Bale’s look wasn’t the same as Gorr in the comics because the director thought he would favor Voldemort, the villain from the Harry Potter series. Yea I guess…..**shrugs** I wanted to see a longer fight between him and Thor also. Their scuffles throughout the film were intense but they didn’t last that long. I like that first scrap in New Asgard the best. When Thor yoked up Gorr by the throat I marked out for a few seconds! I was on the edge of my seat but the fight ended abruptly. Gorr’s shadow monsters were cool but all the monsters were just there to be battle fodder. Marvel did the same thing with the Chitauri, the Ultrons, and Hela’s legion. I liked Padme becoming the Mighty Thor but some of her lines were super lame. “EAT MY HAMMER!!”…..WOOF!! Her look was awesome and straight out the comics though. The cameos throughout the film were fun for the most part. I got a laugh out of the Asgardian play and the Zeus scene even though both scenes are silly. The running joke with the screaming goats was good and I cracked up over Thor treating Mjolnir and Stormbreaker like pets. Overall I enjoyed Love and Thunder. I thought the CGI and special effects looked great in premium format. The space effects really popped in Dolby. I watched Thor in a theater that I visited for the first time in North Carolina a couple of weeks ago. That was a fun experience. I thought it was cool that Hemsworth had his children and wife in the film. The after credit scenes open the doors for future projects so we shall see what’s next for the God of Thunder. None of Thor’s solo films have blown me away but that’s fine. 3 out of his movies 4 are enjoyable in my opinion. Dark World…..ehh. Thankfully I have the Avengers films when I want to see Thor at his best. I’m still hoping he gets his “Winter Soldier”. In a few days I’ll be joining my Defy Life bros from Take A Knee on their podcast discussing Love and Thunder so I’m going to go see it one more time to have it fresh in my mind. Look for that episode on all streaming services soon!
What’s happening readers! I apologize for not posting these reviews earlier than today. I’ve been in the theater a lot these past few months so I have some thoughts and recommendations on a handful of movies! Let’s jump right in!
Everything Everywhere All At Once: In this film Michelle Yeoh plays Evelyn, a woman who is dealing with heavy issues while trying to get her taxes done. Her husband Waymond wants a divorce, her elderly father is over-demanding, and the rift between Evelyn and her daughter is growing bigger and bigger. Her life gets crazier when she finds out there is a multiverse and is told she is the only person who can stop an evil presence that wants to destroy it all. This movie is insane! You know that going in because it’s an A24 production. I had to watch this film more than once to wrap my head around everything that was going on. I dozed off the first time I saw it but don’t tell anyone that. I enjoyed how the story gives you some of everything. There’s crazy action, touching drama, humor, and scenes that may make your eyes wide. I know I said “what in the world” when I saw a goon stick a trophy up his butt so he could power up. Yea…..that happens! It was good to see Ke Huy Quan back in action portraying different versions of Waymond. You may remember him as Short Round (Temple of Doom) or Data (The Goonies). Jamie Lee Curtis is a trip in this also. Overall, I thought Everything Everywhere was good, zany flick. If you haven’t seen it you can catch it in the theater still. It should be streaming soon.
Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness: I thought this film was going to be the fallout from the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home but that wasn’t what happened. A young woman named America Chavez is being pursued by dark forces in order to steal her multiverse jumping ability, which she can’t fully control. When she jumps to Earth 616 and tells Doctor Strange what is going on Strange recruits Wanda Maximoff to help protect America. BIG MISTAKE because Wanda wants that power and she turns the situation into a terrifying cat and mouse pursuit. I’m a longtime fan of Sam Raimi so I had a smile on my face when I found out he was directing this. We get homage to Evil Dead, Spider-Man 2, and the horror element was a nice touch. You may have heard about _____, ____, ______, _____, and _____ being in this film but I won’t say those names here. I’ll say it was cool to see the multiverse opened up and explored some. Wanda in this…….MAAAANNNNNNN!!! She doesn’t play around when she goes full Scarlet Witch. I was cheering for her and I probably shouldn’t have. OH WELL!! I watched this movie in IMAX and Dolby Cinema. Both formats were fantastic! I experienced Cine Capri for the first time when I watched Doctor Strange at a Harkins Theatre in Oklahoma. Cine Capri is an 80 inch screen with Dolby projection and surround sound. That was my 5th time seeing the movie! Doc Strange is still playing in theaters but it’s only being shown in regular format now. It’s streaming on Disney+.
The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent: In this film Nicolas Cage plays Nic “EFFING” Cage. Yes you read that correctly. Actor Nic Cage has been starring in movies for years but the roles aren’t coming in these days and his expensive taste has left him in debt. Cage’s agent informs him that a rich man named Javi wants Cage to come to Spain to attend his birthday party as a special guest and he is willing to pay Cage one million dollars. What was supposed to be a fun weekend and easy payout takes a dangerous turn when CIA operatives tell Cage that Javi is a ruthless arms dealer and they need Cage to help take Javi down. What happens next is pure shenanigans! I enjoyed how meta this film is. The callbacks to movies Cage starred in and the interactions between Cage and Javi are hilarious. It was good to see that Javi is a fan of Mandy. That part of the film made me laugh. Unbearable Weight didn’t do that great at the box office but I enjoyed it. You can buy a copy now or stream it. Check it out if you’re a Nic Cage fan and you haven’t seen it yet. Side note……If you haven’t seen Mandy check that out also. Cage is INSANE in that film!
The Bad Guys: I saw this in Oklahoma at an immaculate Regal Theatre!! I walked into this movie blind and left impressed! In this film a cabal of villains decide they need to change their ways after a robbery gets botched and they get arrested. The leader Wolf agrees to have the gang participate in an experimental group therapy session recommended by the Mayor but the Police Chief isn’t buying it! Can this bad bunch become the “good guys” or are they just putting up an act to stay out of prison? I really enjoyed the story and the animation. The humor lands and the cast/voicing choices were perfect. It’s a fun film for the entire family. I highly recommend checking out The Bad Guys. I picked up the 4K yesterday.
Top Gun Maverick: It’s been close to 40 years since the original Top Gun and Pete “Maverick” Mitchell is still pushing aircrafts past their limits and making his superior officers very angry! He won’t take a promotion past Captain so he can stay in the air but after a failed test flight Maverick is ordered to report back to the Top Gun program as an instructor. His job is to train a group of ace pilots for an upcoming mission that has parameters which have never been accomplished. Maverick only has a few weeks to train the pilots and the situation is further complicated when he finds out that Goose’s son Rooster is one of the trainees. This film blows the original out of the water in my opinion. I like Top Gun but TG: Maverick has a better flow and the aerial camera work and effects are AMAZING!! I’ve seen this film in IMAX, Dolby, and I experienced Regal Cinema’s “Screen X” for the first time. All three formats were visual treats. Maverick is going strong in the theater so if you are a Top Gun fan you will probably enjoy this. If you have the opportunity to experience it in a premium format go that route. You’re in for an eyegasm!!
What’s happening readers! On Tuesday night I attended an early screening of The Black Phone, the latest horror thriller from Blumhouse Productions. In this film a small town in Colorado is being plagued by a serial killer dubbed “The Grabber”, who abducts and murders boys. 5 boys have been abducted already and when Finney encounters The Grabber he ends up drugged and locked in a basement. Finney’s sister Gwen starts to have dreams that could help but the visions are quick flashes and she isn’t taken seriously until the police realize Gwen isn’t making up stories. Finney’s future is looking grim however he receives a call from a disconnected phone that may prove to be his salvation.
I liked The Black Phone. It didn’t knock me out of my seat but the story is chilling and the leads did a good job. Mason Thames and Madeleine McGraw are impressive as Finney and Gwen. Gwen is tough and steals the scene a couple of times. Ethan Hawke is super creepy as The Grabber. Those eerie masks he wears added to the horror of the character. The Black Phone gave me Stephen King vibes and it was amusing to find out King’s son Joe Hill wrote the short story of the same name. I recommend checking this film, especially if you are a fan of the supernatural. Go on discount day. The screening was a good time but you don’t need to spend more than 8 bucks on this one.
What’s going on readers! On the 13th I went to an early screening of The Northman, the latest from director Robert Eggers. I hadn’t heard much about this film prior to the screening but I’m a fan of the director’s style and the cast had some familiar names. I left the screening impressed! Filming took place in Ireland which made for some nice visuals. The plot was a slow burn but still engaging.
Our favorite blue hedgehog is back and that means another awesome adventure is in store! After the events of the first film Sonic is living peacefully with the Wachowskis even though he gets himself into trouble moonlighting as “Blue Justice”. Things are well in Green Hills but when Doctor Robotnik devises a way to escape from Mushroom Planet he resumes his evil quest to capture Sonic and steal his power. Robotnik also manages to recruit Knuckles, a warrior echidna who sounds just like Idris Elba and has ties to Sonic’s past. Sonic is outnumbered while the Wachowskis are on vacation but Miles “Tails” Prower tracks down Sonic and is inspired to lend a helping hand. Sonic receives a hidden message from Longclaw telling him to protect an ultimate power that was hidden on earth and the race is on to find the power before Robotnik can reach it!
I’ve seen Sonic 2 twice already and I’m going to see it again! My lovely Editor and I went to an early private screening last weekend. That was a good time. There was face painting for the kids and a festive photobooth set up. I was impressed with the crisp CGI, the relationship between Sonic and Tails, and all the callbacks to the games. Sonic 2 is still one of my favorite Sega Genesis games. I had it when it was first released and spent hours playing. Seeing it brought to life was nostalgic and entertaining!! All the live cast members who reprised roles were good. Jim Carrey is a trip as the evil Doctor. There’s fluff written into the narrative that probably could have been written differently to cut that 2-hour runtime down but it did make for some fun slapstick style moments. We took my nephew to see Sonic earlier today and he loved it! As a long time Sonic fan it makes me happy to see young kids enjoying the movie and all the characters. Sonic 2 is available in Dolby Cinema so I’ll definitely be seeing this one more time in the theater. If you have a subscription service or you don’t mind paying for premium then check it out in Dolby if you can. Those special effects will pop in that presentation. Regular format is fine though. Hit a matinee or Discount Tuesday. That’s never a bad choice in my book.
I’ve been a fan of A24 and their films since 2015 when I saw Ex Machina in the theater. Since then, I’ve hit the theater to watch a few of their releases and even added some A24 films to my collection. When I saw the trailer for X, I was in. It looked creepy and I liked the old school grindhouse style it was shot in. I hit AMC to check out X last Thursday. I was a tad disappointed once the credits started rolling but we’ll come back to that…..
The film follows a small production crew who are using an elderly couple’s farmhouse to film an adult movie. Wayne, the film’s producer, thinks this movie will take the home video market by storm and make millions. The owner of the farmhouse does not like this group of strangers using his place, but he needs the money, and he tells the crew they better not bother his wife. Filming commences and things seems to be going well but the crew doesn’t know that they are being watched and when the sun goes down things turn for the worse. It gets bloody. Super bloody. The question is who will make it through the night? DUN DUNN DUNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!
When the film was finished I looked at a buddy of mine who was with me and said “All that happened because of THAT? BOOOOOOOO!!” We laughed. This doesn’t mean I didn’t like the film. I thought each cast member played their part well on screen and it’s cool to see Jenna Ortega becoming a “Scream Queen” (she also stars in Scream (2022) and Studio 666). I appreciated the filming style. It looked like a movie that was shot in the late 70s. The gore…..on point for the most part. There was a death scene that I found to be silly and predictable but other death scenes made me say “DANNNNNNGGGGG”. The story/plot really didn’t move me though. I thought the motivation behind the killings was ridiculous. So ridiculous to the point that it made me chuckle. X was cool enough but not a movie I’ll rush to see again. More of a one and done as far as watching in the theater. I don’t see myself buying a copy either. I was talking to someone about not liking the story and his response was “I probably won’t see it now.” DON’T BE LIKE THAT!! I NEVER tell anyone not to see a movie. I will say if you are interested in seeing X and you haven’t yet then see it on discount day. If you don’t use a theater subscription service you don’t need to pay more than 7 bucks to see this film.
It’s been 25 years since Ghostface made the phone call to Casey Becker, setting off a series of murders that would be emulated by other killers and turning Scream into a horror franchise. Now Ghostface is back in Woodsboro with new victims to claim! Who is going to make it out alive? Who’s the killer? Killers? Why is Ghostface back after all this time? DUN DUNNN DUNNNNNNNN!!!!!
I’m a big fan of the Scream franchise. Scream and Scream 2 are my favorites of the series. Part 3 is cool but I felt like that was a decent point to wrap up the series. 4 has some awesome kills but the story didn’t grab me. It fit the time that it was released but I don’t revisit that one unless I’m watching all of them together.
When I saw that there was a new Scream movie coming I was in! Our surviving legacy characters were coming back and would be joined by a new cast. The taglines touted the film as “Fresh” and “Original” so that got me amped up. After my first viewing I was on the fence. I liked the kills and the murder mystery of it all but I didn’t feel like the story was original. It felt like ground from Scream 3 and 4 were being retread. That’s all I’ll say there. I did enjoy how the new characters had ties to characters from the previous entries. The new lead Sam, played by Melissa Martinez, is solid. She portrays a good balance of strength and fear. For me this series is all about Ghostface. It’s always a good time seeing the masked villain on screen. I loved the gore but there were a couple of parts of this film that made me turn my nose up. I was at the theater with some friends and I leaned over to my pal and said “BS!!!” during one of those scenes. I won’t say what happened because it will spoil the scene. Just know I was not impressed! There were nicely set up scenes that provided good chills and the ultra-meta moments were amusing. Overall, I enjoyed the film. I was not blown away but I watched it a couple more times to see if there were clues I didn’t pick up on the first viewing. Scream 5 cleaned up at the box office so Scream 6 has officially been greenlit. Production starts this summer so we shall see. Scream is still playing in the major theater chains so if you are a fan of the series and haven’t seen it yet check it out on discount day. It’s also available to stream on the Paramount+ app.
Major SHOUT OUT to my brother from another mother Thezz Grimes. I’ve known this guy for close to 15 years and Scream is the first movie we watched in the theater. He doesn’t go to the theater but watching Scream was his idea……