May 20, 2020
Only one rule: NO SPOILERS ... unless you notify people about it beforehand
You can just list a movie title. You can give a little tidbit on your thoughts. If you really feel like it, write full-blown reviews.

Let's see, recently I watched:

1. One Cut of the Dead - A Japanese zombie movie. For the first 30 minutes, I was confused as heck, but enjoying it well enough. Then, after that, the movie's tone and themes shift considerably, and it all starts to make sense. It was a wonderful, wonderful movie. I recommend it! If you have a subscription to Scream Factory! streaming service, it's available there. I used a VPN with Amazon Prime, and used the 7-day trial so I could finally watch it. I loved this movie.

2. Lost in London - A 2017 movie written, directed by, and starring Woody Harrelson. It was filmed live in the streets and buildings of London, encompassing a disastrous night in the city with one misadventure after another. I respect the concept; it was a logistical nightmare putting it all together, and at release it streamed live in select theaters. Overall, the movie itself is "alright". It was a novel experiment that could have gone haywire, but ultimately came together. I respect it for that.

3. Guest of Honour - Dave Thewlis is a food health inspector, and his daughter tells the back history of their family struggles to a priest. It wasn't all that great. Some scenes are interesting, but meh... watch "One Cut of the Dead" instead.

4. The Zero Theorem - A 2013 movie by Terry Gilliam, starring Christoph Waltz as a genius computer theorist who wants to solve the question of our existence in the universe. I thought it was pretty abysmal. Gilliam was one of my absolute favorite directors for years. Then he did "Tideland", and every movie from then onward sucked donkey balls.

5. Relic - A 2020 movie from Australia, about a mother and daughter who go to grandmother's house because she has been missing for a while. The poor grandma has dementia... and there's some seriously demented stuff going on up in that house. It wasn't bad; there was some good ambient tension, and it played up the "slow-burn" concept of psychological horror, getting more odd and outrageous by the final act. If you liked "The Babadook", then this might be worth checking out.

6. Yes, God, Yes - This one has that older sister from "Stranger Things". She goes to a church camp, and is struggling with the new discovery of masturbation, and how everyone tells her that she'll be going to hell. It isn't a straight up church/religion-bashing movie. The main message that I got from it was: Puberty is frustrating and confusing; people are imperfect, and bound to falter from being the best they can be. Again, it was another middle-of-the-road kind of flick. Not bad, and my favorite part was at around the 50-minute mark, but it wouldn't be as good without watching the movie up TO that point. I like that it tried to present the issues of trying to live up to church standards and remaining pure in the eyes of God, while also not straight up bashing religion while doing so. If you like movies like this, it's decent. I would rather pop in "Saved!" for the better laughs but similar themes.

7. Swallow - I saw the title and was like "YES, GOD, YES!" Then I watched the movie, it was literally about swallowing things, just not the things I was expecting to see get swallowed. It's a very simple premise: A bored and ignored housewife in a rich family tries to deal with her depression by swallowing strange objects. I felt the attempts at serious drama with subtle themes completely lacked subtlety. Thus, there were many scenes where we are supposed to feel her suffering, and soak in the nuanced communication cues... but it was too obvious and forced. The last 10-15 minutes kind of broke my suspension of disbelief, forcing key character arcs into overdrive, jamming their attempts to bring catharsis to the main character (or lack thereof) down my throat, leaving a lump in it.

8. The Old Guard - OK then, another Charlize Theron action movie. OK then. It was alright. Nothing new to tell with this story, but hey I don't mind a cliche-ridden action story if the journey is fun. This was "alright". Take it or leave it. I would recommend this one over "Extraction" any day of the week, and all the seconds in between.

9. Da 5 Bloods - One of the worst movies I have ever seen. My complaints could be its own thread. I could do a running commentary on this 2.5 hour travesty and still have more to say after the credits finish rolling. I'm ggooing inntoo con-con-vulsions j-just thinking aboutit.... aaaahhh!!

10. VHYes - A movie filmed entirely on VHS and betamax cameras/tapes. Vacuous and uninteresting, it was written and directed by Susan Sarrandon and Tim Robbins' son. So, they have cameos. It does a series of vignettes, as if we're watching a VHS tape that has been recorded over several times, featuring dated clips of commercials, public access shows, and other 80s-style "gems" while following an 11-year old boy filming stuff with his new camcorder. Then, it has this stupid-ass ending that fails miserably in its attempt to tie all these seemingly unrelated themes into a cohesive whole. I did not like this movie.
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Staff member
Apr 23, 2020
The Internet
I haven't really had the time to watch any movies lately. But I did watch the first few minutes of Da 5 Bloods and thought it was horrible, no desire to go back and watch anymore of it. I did watch The Old Guard, that was interesting enough to at least pass some time on my recent flight. Nothing else seems to have caught my attention recently.


May 20, 2020
OK, I'll do another go-around. Why not?
Recently, I watched:

1. Nick Fury: Agent of Shield (1998) - This is the be-all, end-all, kickstarter beginning of the MCU as we know it today. Strangely enough, Nick Fury is white... I wonder what happened before that caused him to look this way. It must've happened a year or so after meeting Captain Marvel, and he was reverted back to his normal self some time after. Either way, this dude looks a lot like that guy who was the super-famous German singer...? I've seen videos of him driving around in a badass Pontiac Trans Am, and spent time on the beaches acting like a lifeguard? What's-his-face? Anyway...
This is the most realistic, big budgeted, box officey compendium of action-packed pandemonium. I have no words to rightly describe what I watched. It's that inexplicable. The acting; ohmygod. Almost as good as Captain America (1990)!

2. Tesla (2020) - This is a story about Tesla, starring Ethan Hawk. It was really, really, really bad. It was shockingly bad. So bad, that I kind of wish Tesla lived a little longer so that he could electrocute the world and destroy our existence as a species on this planet. Then, I would never have known that this movie existed.

3. Butt Boy (2020) - I thought this was an autobiography about @Undisclos3d butt I was wrong. There is no one with that name in this flick. It starts out kinda oddly, and it isn't a comedy. It's a low budget movie about a bored IT specialist who gets a prostate exam... and was pleasantly surprised by the results. He then starts putting lots of weird things up his butt, and he can't stop. It starts to consume him. Many may think "Oh, so it's a man's version of Swallow, then? Butt with more action?" - Although that's what you were certainly thinking, it isn't true. Soon, a toddler goes missing and he helps neighbors look for him. That's the first eight minutes.
Cut to nine years later, and this guy is dealing with personal issues, feeling down in the dumps, and going to AA to deal with his "addiction", (and yes, one of the participants is a - uhm - 'bum'). He meets a detective, and then... shit starts to really hit the fan. This movie trickles into a direction I did not expect, and delves deep into the dark asspects of this man's psyche. The detective actor is pretty good. Also, this movie wasn't a complete disasster like I was expecting. I won't give spoilers, but it turns into an odd, unique, but flawed adventure tail. It was a little too long, but regardless, it had a rather explosive ending. So that's something.

4. Sputnik (2020) - A Russian movie about two astronauts that come back to earth after a space mission in 1983. But they aren't alone. Meanwhile, a man asks a diligent and dedicated neuropsychologist to assist with the surviving cosmonaut, because he's suffering from partial amnesia. It begins to dovetail into deeper sci-fi territory with horror-like twists. Overall, I think it wasn't bad. It felt 20 minutes too long. I also think the final act was too cliched, not fulfilling its initial efforts to seem like a deeper and more meaningful story than what they ended up with. If you feel like wasting some time, and you are a big fan of horror sci-fi, then it might be worth giving it a chance.

5. Project Power (2020) - Jamie Foxx jumps into the Netflix Movie Bandwagon. And like most high-profile Netflix movies, it's just "meh". Better than Bright, and MUCH MUCH better than Bird Box, but it's also a predictable, watchable, unremarkable action movie with ho-hum action setpieces. There is a whole action sequence that tried so desperately to be "edgy" and "cool"... they got the "cool" part right, because a lady is inside a frozen container as mayhem erupts all around her. Another take it or leave it movie... that is ALSO too long! Why not just make a 1hour 33min version of this movie? It's two hours. Lame.

6. What About Bob? (1991) - I last saw this when it came out in theater. I didn't care for it all that much. Watching it again, as an old man, and I still didn't like it. I have no idea how this movie became a well-known movie that is still quoted to this day. I think part of the issue is that I have problems with comedies that 1) have a stalker and no one does enough (or anything) to get rid of them, or comedies that 2) have tons of awkward crap happen to the lead and he/she doesn't do enough to just walk away from constant disaster (like Meet the Parents). So, that's probably part of the problem.

7. Tremors (1990) - It's been a while since I watched Tremors. It's still great! What a fun, well-paced piece of cheesy greatness! I don't have much else to say. It's an old movie now, but it holds up REALLY well. Also great to see a movie that uses puppets, miniatures, and large sized creature effects without CGI. The goo is real! The puppets are not typically convincing, but it works phenomenally well for this movie's tone.

8. Lords of Salem (2012) - This is the only Rob Zombie movie that I didn't completely hate. The cast was amazing in this. Bruce Davison always brings it, as does the other veterans of this movie, like Meg Foster and Dee Wallace. This is more of a story than those damned "Devil's Rejects" movies, full of obnoxious killers who are supposed to be scary because they kill and torture everyone but laugh while doing it. There is also a lot of great imagery, and some wonderful cinematography. I wouldn't say I liked it, but I respect its ambiance.
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May 20, 2020
My latest batch of films is:

Mulan (2020) - This highly anticipated, remarkable Disney adventure is FINALLY able to be watched! Disney+ streaming service accidentally revealed that it will be $30 right now, but in December it'll be free for subscribers. Well anyway, I wasn't all that hyped for it. It was atrocious. This was a stupid, idiotic, pandering pile of CGI-infested trash.
In case you didn't get it in the first 5 scenes over 20 minutes, every scene will remind the audience that Mulan is a girl. Girls are only good for marriage. They have no rights, no skill, nor talents. She joins the army as a man, but is the all-time hottest man that looks and sounds like a woman that I've ever seen. Somehow, everyone is convinced that she's just a really sexy bombshell of a dude. Every scene up until around the 50 minute mark reminds the audience that men think it funny how Mulan (as a man) says that 'he' wants a woman that is smart, funny, and looks don't matter.
Some of the sets look nice, but unfortunately it is shamefully marred by digital backlots galore. Most of the greenscreen work is so pathetic that I wondered if this wasn't made for The CW.
Meanwhile, I had to sit through several embarrassing fight sequences, with flat and inspirationless mega-fantasy level CGI choreography. Add to that completely nonsensical battle logic, with things that probably sound like it would be cool to do if you are 5 years old and trying to look cool, but for the movie it merely comes across as mind-boggling brain twisters fighting against my inner logic.
But don't worry, we finally learn that Mulan is a woman. And she can kick ass! It was already established in the very beginning of the movie that she is so OP that there is virtually no arc for her struggle as a warrior. Thus, the only challenge to her fight scenes are trying my best to stop screaming "WHAT?!", or "Ohmygod", or "F********K YOU!!!!!", or "What the hell? Why do that?" - over and over and over again...
Nevermind the story itself. It is written by slices pieced together out of a hat, with widespread cliches in plot details, and in dialog. This was a failure from the screenplay all the way 'up' to its creation. Hell, even the marketing two days before release was a disaster. Guess that about sums up my thoughts.

Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020) - First, I have no idea why this movie is PG-13. It almost would pass for G, IMO. PG certainly.
Anyhoo, I wasn't expecting much from this. Also, I feel I didn't get much from it.
The good:
The cast had positive energy, and I can tell that they enjoyed being part of it. This is a wonderful movie for kids. It is very kind-hearted, and seeks to be pure, honest, and embracing of any and all people and cultures - just like Bill and Ted.
What I loved most about "Bogus Journey" was the reinforcement of what was established in the first movie - Bill and Ted may be kinda dumb and oblivious, but they have a childlike lack of prejudice that is contagious. That's what ended up winning Death's heart and wanting their attention... Bill and Ted, at heart, are some of the most openly honest and tolerant people, like, for like EVER, dude! STATION!

The bad:
Nothing appealed to me. I hated the music. I didn't like the wafer-thin plotlines (either the future scenes with Bill and Ted, or the first movie rehash scenes with their daughters). I don't care that it looks like a DTV production with horrible greenscreens and bad digital backlots... but it is completely incongruent in tone, appearance, and energy from the first two movies. It also severely lacks innovative humor and attitude. I don't care much for "Bogus Journey", but I can go on for a very long time discussing its merits. It has zero lack of creativity, and it went above and beyond to try and do something very "out there". It has a stamp of originality to it, bringing Bill and Ted to heaven and hell and back in the most gonzo, "Bill and Tedd-y" kinda way.
This movie felt like a lazy rehash of the first movie, but without the core sense of spontaneity and off-the-cuff wackiness. "Face the Music" felt forced, and cheap. It didn't have any energy. It has some nice vignettes amongst the cobbled together skits, but amounts to nothing of value once it's over. I just... it didn't work at all.
I enjoyed the first 10 minutes. I was happy to see Keanu wanting to revisit what made him famous, and am happy that he is willing to embrace his origins, even though since then he has re-established himself as Neo and John Wick. That, to me, is the best part of it.
I can't say I'm disappointed, because I was already hesitant to think it was going to be good. But there are times when I get pleasantly surprised and/or blown away by something I thought would fail, so I watch anything. This wasn't one of those moments.

Tremors II: Aftershocks (1996) - This straight to video release almost made it to the theaters, but Kevin Bacon decided to back out. Budget went from $17 million, down to $4 million. Fred Ward was great in it, though. Heck, this movie was actually pretty good. Especially considering the budget constraints, as well as the question of why even do another Tremors movie at all? It's nothing spectacular, but it manages to maintain the fun, humor, and familiarity of what made the first movie work so well. I expected a terrible movie, but this one actually turned out alright! However, it can only get worse from here...

Tremors 3: Back to Perfection (2001) - This series now becomes a Burt Gummer (Michael Gross) franchise. He returns to the town of Perfection right when there are more Graboids. I have to admit... this wasn't too bad, either! Look, if you never see this movie, your life will go on and you shouldn't feel like you've missed anything. But also, Burt Gummer is fun to watch.

Tremors 4: The Legend Begins (2004) - Alright, finally this series is falling into the shitter. This is a prequel, taking place 100 years prior. Perfection was originally called "Rejection Valley". Burt Gummer's ancestor is in this... played by Michael Gross. Surprisingly, this movie ALSO was not too shabby. A quaint little low budget western with some Graboids. Color me pleased, I didn't hate it.

Tremors 5: Bloodlines (2015) - I had expected the Tremors franchise to fall farther into terrible movie viewing experiences. I was thinking it would be akin to the torture I put myself through when I watched all the Leprechaun movies in order, or any other atrocious horror movie series (*cough* Hellraiser). Here we are, over a decade later, and this latest Burt Gummer installment was - fun. For the first 10 minutes I thought "OK here we go, they are now in Africa - this is like Leprechaun in the Hood! Oh, and they aren't showing the Graboids actually attacking, it's just a camera showing its point of view. Alright, this will fail hard." It actually got better as it went along. Good acting, comprehensible visual narrative, decent editing... heck, if you make it this far, you can expect the same level of satisfaction.

Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell (2018) - Pretty much the same thoughts going into this one are what I was thinking about parts II, 3, 4, and 5. Instead of Africa, now Burt Gummer and Friends head to the Canadian Arctic. A lot of the running gags and trivia from the entire series continues its thread here. Also, Michael Gross is so familiar with Burt Gummer now that he has really honed in the humor. He goes all out in this one, and I had a couple really genuine guffaws.

Fearless (1993) - This Peter Wier movie starring Jeff Bridges has always been a favorite of mine. However, I hadn't actually watched it since maybe the year 2000. Reason being, I loved it so much I didn't want to spoil the memory of the movie if I ended up seeing it again later in life. The other reason is, this movie is heartbreaking.
Well, it holds up really damned well. Rosie Perez deserved the Oscar that year, not ugly-face Paquin for The Piano. This movie is hard to watch. I feel like I want to break down in tears almost every 10 or 15 minutes. The times I don't feel that way are the times I am actually breaking down in tears. OK, I exaggerate a little bit. But only a little bit. What a great film.

Peninsula (2020) - This sequel to Train to Busan makes Train to Busan look like Lawrence of Arabia. I spewed plenty of vitriol over Mulan at the beginning of this post, but Peninsula makes Mulan a more viable viewing option. I don't even have words to express my absolute distaste for this movie's obvious cash-grab motivations.
The acting is terrible. The storyline is even worse. To top it off, almost 70% of the movie is spent with extended chase sequences with CGI that makes many Asylum Pictures movies look like polished gems. I hated this movie so much. Soooo much. Damnit, I hate this movie.

Ava (2020) - Bleh. Meh. Kinda like one would expect from a sub-par female action hitman movie with experienced actors gracing the screen. Buttchin lady as Ava was alright. The fight scenes aren't all that amazing. In fact, most of the time I kept wondering why she was never utilizing proper cover; couldn't shoot well until it was time for the script to allow her to do so; didn't kill people when she had the chance even though that was her goal; and had dangerously incompetent firearms handling that kept making me wonder how this lady ever survived her first mission.
Other than that, I just tried to go along with it and accept it for what it is; a bad but watchable dumb action movie with forced drama.
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