Tag Archives: movie reviews

Movie Review – Serenity (2019)

Holy crap, 3.5 readers.

Hollywood didn’t waste any time in releasing the shittiest movie of 2019.

And yet, it has some redeeming qualities.

BQB here with a review of “Serenity.”

SPOILERS ABOUND

At the outset, this film seems pretty strong for a January release.  It’s got a star studded cast, including Matthew McConaughey (“Alright, alright, alright”), Anne Hathaway, Diane Lane, Djimon Hounsou and Jason Clarke.

Moreover, it starts out as a pretty decent mystery.  Baker Dill (McConaughey) is an Iraq War veteran who unfortunately, brought the war back home with him in his mind.  Unable to shake depression, his marriage falls apart and he moves to the Caribbean style Plymouth Island.

After spending years in pursuit of an illusive and massive tuna while aboard his fishing boat, the Serenity, his ex-wife, Karen, (Hathaway) pops back into his life.  Frank (Clarke), the man she left Baker for, has turned out to be a real Dick Cheeseburger with Extra Turd Fries.  He is abusive to Karen, beating and shouting at her regularly, so much so that Karen and Baker’s son has retreated from life, shutting himself in his room and playing on his computer all day just to drown out his crappy reality.

Karen has had enough.  Frank is a gangster and Karen offers Baker 10 million of her shitty husband’s ill gotten loot if he’ll take Frank out on his boat and dump him in shark infested waters, making it look like an accident.

Initially, the film has a touch of old school noir style.  A mystery is unfolding and there are all sorts of threads held out before you.  Is Karen legit?  Is she setting Baker up?  Will Baker do it?  If he does, will he get caught?

As the movie progresses, a supernatural, science-fiction angle grows and grows.  It’s slightly hinted at in the beginning, followed by a slow build until it totally consumes the film.

Frankly, the angle is stupid.  And I have a hunch someone, somewhere behind the scenes realized the angle was stupid.  Ergo, the first half of the film is a mystery and then the last half is basically an extended episode of Twin Peaks.

I’ll admit, the old “hot babe asks a man to kill her husband” plot has been done before, so something new had to be added to make it interesting.  I won’t give away what that is, but suffice it to say, this movie has the shittiest ending since 2008’s “The Happening” in which Mark Wahlberg learns that the culprit that was causing so much mayhem was the plants all along.

Say hello to your mother for me.

STATUS:  Shitty, but shelf-worthy.  Ironically, there’s good acting here.  McConaughey is convincing as a broken man, and ladies, you get to see his butt for an unnecessarily long period of time.  Hathaway plays the scheming damsel in distress well but sorry men, you only get to see half her butt and only for a second or two, which seems highly unfair.  Jason Clarke, who usually plays respectable heroes, gets out of his comfort zone as an asshole who gets increasingly assholier until you start rooting for him to get killed.  Hounsou rounds out the cast as Baker’s first mate and conscience, trying to steer his boss towards making the tough yet moral decision.

This should have been good.  And briefly it was…until it wasn’t.  It’s an example of how a film can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and alas, earns it’s January debut.

My advice?  Wait until it comes out on cable.  Watch it for the first hour, switch the channel.  Maybe find a good rerun of “Seinfeld” or something.

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Movie Review – Win It All (2017)

Life’s just one big gamble, 3.5 readers.

BQB here with a review of Netflix’s “Win It All.”

I caught this film by accident, scrolling through Netflix’s never-ending list of offerings when all of a sudden, the premise just appealed to me.  It’s simple and from a writer’s perspective, simple is good.  Simple isn’t necessarily easy but sometimes simple doesn’t need you to keep a variety of plates spinning in the air the way more complex films do.

Eddie (Jake Johnson) is a down on his luck, degenerate gambler.  His only source of income comes from his lowly job as a parking lot attendant (but only when the Cubs are doing well and fans need spillover parking.)

Addict that he is, his life is in a downward spiral, largely because whatever money he is lucky enough to get his hands on, he immediately takes it to an underground casino club to gamble it all away.

On one fateful night, a rather scary looking loan shark who Eddie has tangled with in the past makes an offer.  He’s been sentenced to relatively short prison sentence and wants Eddie to hold onto a bag of money, no questions asked.  Keep the dough safe and at the end of the bid, 9 months to a year tops, the crook will reward Eddie with 10,000 bucks.

I know.  It is a rather gaping plot hole that anyone would trust a degenerate gambler with any sum of money, but then again, the loan shark may not have a large number of trustworthy people to turn to and frankly, his menacing appearance would be enough for most people to avoid screwing with him but alas, Eddie’s addiction is that severe.

Long story short, Eddie gambles away a large chunk of ill-gotten loot, and as you might imagine, the rest of the film circles around Eddie’s various attempts to get himself out of hot water.

The middle of the film has a nice message.  SPOILER ALERT, at that point, Eddie has lost a large sum yet it isn’t an insurmountable amount.  He works out a deal with his brother to take a job with the family landscaping business, and he devotes as much as he can from each paycheck towards refilling the bag of money.

In doing so, Eddie starts to feel good about himself.  He’s doing productive work.  He’s achieving goals.  His confidence soars, so much so that he meets a nice woman.  Suddenly, he’s got a job, a girlfriend, reasons for being…what a turn around.

I assume the message there is that when it comes to anything good in life, the long game always beats the short one.  You’ll get better health through daily exercise than you will through a one-time sip of that snake oil supplement you saw advertised on late night TV.  You’ll find a more meaningful relationship through a longtime partner than you will with a one night stand.  And while your paycheck doesn’t seem like much, save enough over a long period of time and you’ll get somewhere.

Alas, SPOILER ALERT AGAIN, shenanigans ensue, Eddie can’t beat his addiction and like the alcoholic who can’t shake the booze, he keeps dipping his hand into that bag and keeps losing, and losing and losing.  Like the fast food addict who knows his love of Big Macs will eventually lead to a coronary, Eddie knows that pissing away a murderous criminal’s cash is going to wind up with him six feet under but sadly, that addiction is calling and hey, surely there’s enough time to turn it all around before that inevitable bad ending right?  Come on, just feed the addiction beast one last time, ok and another last time, and one more time…just two or three or twenty last times, tops and then let’s quit cold turkey tomorrow.

I don’t want to give away the ending but there was a part of me that thought it might have defied the typical gambling movie genre by letting Eddie beat his addiction through that “build yourself up from the rock bottom day by day” routine we all hope to master.  Ironically, Eddie beats his addiction by feeding his addiction and while it made for fun viewing, I’m not sure that’s the best message for addicts out there.

Comedian Keegan Michael Key stars as Eddie’s sponsor or at least, friend, because as he notes, sponsors can only help recovering gamblers who are working the program steps and Eddie isn’t, at least at the film’s beginning.

Overall, I enjoyed this movie.  My main critique is that in many ways, it comes across as a shoddy student film.  There are many parts where the dialogue seems improvised and wrap ups of plot points seem thin but I on the whole, I liked it and I think it did have a good message, i.e. the constant ware we all face between instant gratification (do the bad thing that gives us a tiny bit of happiness right NOW and who gives a shit if it fucks up our future later) vs. forcing ourselves to be that little turtle.  He’s slow.  He’s steady.  Progress towards a happier you seems like it is taking forever and will never happen but years later, you look around and you see yourself with a nice house, a great job, a loving family and you’re happy you took the time to solve this puzzle, one little piece at a time.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Movie Review – A Dog’s Way Home (2019)

 

I’m not going to spend long on this review because overall, it’s cute and schmaltzy, basically a Hallmark movie that your kids will enjoy because…dogs!

Bella (voiced by Bryce Dallas Howard) starts out in life as a puppy living under a broken down, abandoned house.  When her mom, Mother Dog, is taken away, she is looked after by none other than Mother Cat.

Soon enough, she’s adopted by a family, including Lucas, a young medical student at a VA Hospital and his mother, a veteran who attends group therapy sessions there from time to time.  Lucas, Mom and Bella become a happy family until an evil developer interferes and through a series of hijinx, Bella ends up on her own in the wild, lost and far away from home.

From there, the canine goes on a two-year quest to get back home, meeting all sorts of friends along the way, from a mountain lion that becomes her BFF to a pack of dogs who knock over trash cans for sustenance to a dog abandoned by his owner and more.

Happy at times, sad at others, it’s so hokey it’ll make you puke but again, the kids will like it, because there are dogs and one of them talks.  There seems to be a growing number of movies with talking dogs and how the filmmakers have the patience to stare at a dog for hours on end with a camera until the dog performs the desired action to keep the film running, I’ll never know.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  FYI it is a follow-up to A Dog’s Purpose, another film based on W. Bruce Cameron’s work.  This dude is raking it in on his dog books.  Sometimes, all you need is a good niche, and this guy really knows how to pull at the heartstrings of pet owners.

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BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – The Dirty Dozen (1967)

They’re dirty.  There’s twelve of them!

BQB here with a review of the WW2 classic, “The Dirty Dozen.”

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Killing Nazis is a tough job, but someone has to do it, 3.5 readers.

And when it comes to a suicide mission deep in the heart of Nazi-dom, only men with nothing left to lose will do.

Enter Major Reisman (Lee Marvin), the surly soldier who gets results, but instead of the accolades he deserves, gets nothing but disdain from the brass who wax chairs with their asses but don’t know the first thing about actual combat in the field.

There’s a mansion in Germany where Hitler’s top men meet, and General Worden (Ernest Borgnine) wants them dead.  The plan?  Twelve men will parachute into the territory and kill as many Nazis as they can, by any means necessary.

Only the worst of the worst will be willing.  Men beyond redemption facing either life in prison or a date with the noose.  Reisman is ordered to recruit his men from a military prison filled with lowlives, degenerates, killers, rapists, thieves and con men – ex-soldiers who have been drummed out of the service for betraying the trust once placed in them.

Most of them are, indeed, scum without question.  Perhaps one or two were just in the wrong place at the wrong time or have an understandable excuse.  By and large though, these are men who would just as soon stab their new commanding officer in the back as opposed to work with him.

Eventually, they come around.  The majority of the film (and it’s way too long) is spent on the training.  Slowly but surely, Reisman wins the respect of these dirtballs and eventually, convinces them that he’s offering them the one and only shot they’ll ever have at redemption so they’d better take it and not screw it up.  Resiman is a better man than these men, but as his superiors often remind him, it’s a miracle he hasn’t been court martialed himself, as his methods are extreme and on the battlefield, he walks right up to the “line” and occasionally, crosses it when no one is looking.

SPOILER ALERT (though you’ve had a really long time to watch it) – 3/4th of the film is spent on the training that when it finally comes time for the big battle royale with the Nazis, you’re like, “Finally!”

Oddly enough, this film makes me feel bad for the Nazis.  I know.  I know.  They were orchestrating the downfall of humanity.  But at this particular moment, they were at a party and something about all those defenseless Nazis, cowering in a bunker as Reisman’s goon squad pours in gas and grenades and blows them all to smithereens.  I don’t know.  Yes, OK.  They were Nazis but like…their wives and mistresses were there and they’re all crying and trying to claw their way out of what will become their tomb…look I’m glad we won the war but all I’m saying is that you have to be a real bastard to kill all those people (good or evil) in one sitting and not flinch and I suppose that’s where the Dirty Dozen comes in.

Is there a point to all this?  Maybe we need to take the bastards of the world and direct their skills at lying and cheating and so on and put them to work on saving the world instead of ruining it for once?

Maybe.

And maybe today, we’re all like those generals with their fancy brass, criticizing the military from our easy chairs while we don’t have one iota of what the hell of war is really like.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – Cool Hand Luke (1967)

Sometimes nothing is a real cool hand.

BQB here with a review of the 1960’s classic, “Cool Hand Luke.”

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NOTE: You’ve had since the time period of the Vietnam War to watch this thing but if you haven’t yet, SPOILERS abound.  Go watch on Netflix, then come back here and discuss.

“What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate, 3.5 readers.”

It’s ironic that this iconic line is featured in a film that, from a writer’s perspective, is a veritable showcase of that age old art – “show, don’t tell.”

In fact, early on in the film, we meet a stoic guard who presides over the Southern hard labor prison camp, who hides behind a pair of mirrored aviator shades.  As the convicts toil under the hot Florida sun, he takes aim at a fast flying bird and blam!  He shoots it, causing it to drop dead right out of the sky.

QUOTE ONE CONVICT: “Why doesn’t he ever say anything?”

QUOTE ANOTHER CONVICT: “Oh, I think he just said something.”

(I may not have gotten that wording exact but close enough and I don’t have time to find the scene and get it one-hundred percent.)

Indeed, the guard had just said something.  To any felon who happened to be paying attention, the message was loud and clear.  Without speaking a word, the guard said, “If I can drop a tiny, moving target out of the sky, imagine how easily I could pop open one of your heads like a ripe casaba melon if you so much as think about running away.”

Alas, this communique is lost on Luke (Paul Newman), as are most attempts by the camp to instill in him a sense of order.

Yes, there are many rules at the prison camp.  As another guard barks in the beginning, there are rules about what to do with your soda bottles, rules about how you can smoke, rules about what time to go to bed, rules about this and that.  As an audience member, you lose track of all the rules and start to think if you were there, you might want to check with someone to find out what the rule is on sneezing before you sneeze.

On top of that, the prisoners have their own rules and codes on how to deal with one another.  Once the guards leave them on their own for the evening, Dragline (a young, lean George Kennedy who really surprised me because as a Gen Xer, I thought his life started as Frank’s sidekick in “The Naked Gun,” the top dog in camp until Luke comes along, lays out all the rules he expects to be followed.

It’s never outwardly said, and amazingly, most core themes in this film are not openly said, but it’s clear just from the look on Luke’s face that he is laughing at these rubes for living such a sad, boring, highly regulated life.

From the start of the film, it’s also clear that Luke has no plan in life.  Perhaps that’s just as well as God tends to laugh at people who do.  At any rate, when he’s caught twisting the heads off of parking meters with a wrench for no apparent reason other than when he was drunk, it seemed like a fun thing to do, he doesn’t cower when the police come, but laughs and smiles and he continues to smile in the face of authority for much of the film, unable to take their attempts to bark commands at him seriously.

No, Luke doesn’t have a plan and as one scene communicates, if life is a card game then Luke’s hand is nothing.  Even so, Luke plays that hand well as he is a master bluffer., convincing his fellow inmates that he’s got four aces when in reality, he’s got zilch.

Dragline, who goes from being Luke’s biggest critic to his almost slavishly devoted lapdog, learns this when, during a boxing match, he pounds away on Luke.  Luke, near death, has zero boxing ability and no plan to win, but based purely on sheer will, keeps getting up again, only to keep getting pounded back to the ground again.

Will you ever serve time in a prison labor camp?  Hopefully not, but the lesson is easily transferred to normal life.  We’re all told to have a plan.  Plan this.  Plan that.  We can’t plan for the unexpected curveballs that punch us with the force of Dragline’s fist.  All we can do is take the beating, fall down, and get back up again.  Hell, Dragline was teaching us this before Rocky did.  Who knew?

Indeed, the incarcerated mooks live downtrodden lives, and Luke’s various acts of insubordination bring them great joy, so much so that they start to live vicariously through him.  When he eats 50 eggs on a dare, he wins the challenge but then falls into a Jesus pose with his arms stretched out on the table.  Heavy handed imagery to be sure, but the point is that Luke could just as easily keep his nose down, do his time and be out in two years, but instead, he’s becoming a martyring himself, ruining his body and chance for freedom just so these dopes can have fun watching him doing things they are too frightened to do.

If you think about it, we all like to pretend that we are virtuous, moral people but truth be told, the best of us would descend into savagery if it weren’t for the legal system.  The majority of us get the picture early on.  We know police, courts and jails exist, so we’d better walk the straight and narrow path to avoid them.  Then there are people like Dragline, who do what they want until they get caught, get sent to the prison and then faced with a world filled with rules and rifle toting guards ready to enforce them, become obedient lap dogs.  The rules they refused to follow in civilian life are now stuffed down their throat with righteous fury.

Then there’s the rare case of Luke, who doesn’t get the message.  SPOILER ALERT: he escapes.  Again and again.  And after one attempt, the hard nosed warden famously laments, “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”

Yes, the civilians on the outside just needed to see that cop car driving down the street to get the message that breaking the law is a bad idea.  The convicts had to get their wills broken to realize that getting on a guard’s bad side is a bad idea.  But Luke, as the warden notes, will need additional convincing.

I won’t go into detail but suffice to say, after each escape attempt, the warden and company go out of their way to communicate to Luke that he needs to follow the rules and well, can even the most strong willed of men be broken?  I’ll let that be a surprise for you when you watch it.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Movie Review – The Last Laugh (2019)

Getting old sucks, 3.5 readers.

BQB here with a review of “The Last Laugh.”

Here’s something I’ve learned over the years.  No one really WANTS to check out of life.  Your grandpa doesn’t really like sitting in his rocking chair all day and eating dinner at 4.  Unfortunately, the body gives out and sooner or later, if you don’t slow down then your body will do it for you.

Al Hart and Buddy Green (Chevy Chase and Richard Dreyfuss) are two old timers who despise the retired life.  50 years ago, Buddy was an up and coming stand-up comedian who was about to make it big when he decided to put the glitz behind him and become a podiatrist, much to the disappointment of his manager, Al.

Today, Al is at the end of his talent management career, not by choice but because all of his clients got old and died.  When his granddaughter (Kate Miccuci) checks him in at an old folks’ home, he is reunited with Buddy and they decide to take to the road, booking appearances at dive comedy clubs across the country, all in the hopes of snagging every comedian’s dream, a set on one of the late night comedy shows.

It’s a road trip.  There are some decent laughs.  It’s a bit sad as it highlights how old people are basically young people trapped in bodies that are falling apart.  Andie MacDowell stars as Chevy’s love interest.  Part of me was happy to see her in a movie again and part of me realized that women may have a point about bias in the entertainment industry as Chevy and Richard look like a pair wet old farts but of course, they had to find the hottest old lady imaginable to tag along.  God forbid Chevy hooks up with someone who looks like your actual grandma.

It’s not a movie I’d rush to see but I suppose that’s the beauty of Netflix.  Just as Al gives his old friend one last shot at stardom, this streaming service is giving geezers who would normally be shipped off to the old fart home another chance to entertain.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Movie Review – The Oath (2018)

This movie is garbage.  Just total, red hot garbage.

Seriously.  I don’t know why I’m even bothering to review it but here goes.

BQB here with a review of “The Oath.”

Somewhere out there is a movie about a family of people from different sides of the political spectrum who overcome their differences over the holidays and end up all the better for it.

This film is not it.

Initially, it seemed like it was trying to be.  It takes place in a world where the government has sanctioned a supposedly non-mandatory oath, asking citizens to pledge their loyalty to the president.   Talking head pundits explain that the pledge is not required, though mounting pressures make it so that those who don’t sign will be ostracized.

Enter Ike Barinholtz and Tiffany Haddish, a liberal couple who have vowed to not sign the oath.  The deadline to sign is Black Friday and the majority of the film takes place during Thanksgiving week.

Over the course of the holiday, Ike gets angrier and angrier as he finds out everyone in his life who he thought was going to stick with him against the oath caves in and signs out of fear of retribution.

Meanwhile, in true Hollywood fashion, conservatives are portrayed as either monsters or dopes who blindly sign the pledge.  Old man in a restaurant attacks people who don’t like the pledge with his cane = monster.  Ike’s brother and sister-in-law who sign the pledge because they think it’s the patriotic thing to do = dopes.

Ironically, if there ever was an issue that would unite liberals and conservatives together, it would probably be a state sanctioned loyalty oath.

The film is schizophrenic and isn’t sure which direction it wants to go in.  It’s billed as a comedy, but my funny bone was never tickled.  It eventually turns into a violent, dramatic quasi-thriller, or at least it wants to be but the premise is so ridiculous that it makes who wonder what substance was being smoked by whoever green lit it.  Worse, comedic elements are weaved into the mayhem, which just comes off as gross and stupid.

To the film’s credit, Ike works himself into a lather throughout the first half of the film, culminating into a crescendo where he loses it at Thanksgiving dinner, chews out his family of oath loving conservatives (and liberals who caved) and tells them they’re all pigs who should be hanged.  Point made.  If you get yourself so worked up over your political leanings that you start talking about breaking out the nooses for your own family, you might want to chill out and realize you’ve become the ogre that you claim to despise.

It could have ended there as a somewhat lackluster, forgettable film but then two agents from a government agency that administers the oath show up.  Blah, blah, blah, mistakes are made and Ike and family end up in a brawl that ends with the agents severely wounded and held hostage.

At this point, you can almost hear whatever attempts at comedy had been made getting sucked out of the film.  There are some jokes throughout the second half that fall utterly flat because, Jesus Christ and holy shit, there are two government agents who have been beaten half to death in the living room and yet somehow (SPOILER ALERT) no one ends up going to jail. Worse, some of the beatings are so hardcore that you wonder how they ended up in a comedy film because really, they’re the stuff of horror flicks.

I hate to give bad reviews of movies.  After all, I’ve never made a movie before, so who am I to judge?  This one sucks.  And blows.  It sucks and blows.

Is there a movie where a big, extended family that features a mix of die hard, conservative MAGA hat wearing Trump fans and hardcore, liberal pussy hat wearing resisters come together over the holidays and learn to love each other despite their disagreements?  There is.

I doubt Hollywood could ever make it because both sides would have to be treated equally.  That would require a script where jokes are made about BOTH liberals and conservatives AND conservatives would have to be portrayed as something more than the stereotypical hillbilly boogie man.

Moreover, characters would have to be allowed to discuss the major issues of the day and characters on BOTH sides of the aisle would have to be portrayed in a manner such that the audience could understand what life experiences the characters had that led them to that conclusion.

Hollywood could never do it.  “Orange man=bad.  Conservatives = hillbilly moonshine swigging boogie man who wants to kidnap all your non-white friends and hogtie them with the Confederate flag.  The End.”

It’s too bad because if a legit comedy that gave us the ins and outs of a mixed family of conservatives and liberals could be made, it would be award winning stuff.

Again, this film isn’t it and it’s too bad because it could have been.

STATUS: Not shelf-worthy.  The worst of 2018.  Try not to blame Tiffany Haddish.  She does her best to shine amidst a movie that is a pile of shit.

 

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Movie Review – Bumblebee (2018)

This review is more than meets the eye, 3.5 readers.

BQB here with a review of “Bumblebee.”

The first “Transformers” film wowed us and then the rest have been garbage.  Admittedly, it is a tough situation.  Focus too much on the humans and the nerds get upset.  Focus too much on the robots and it becomes just a very expensive CGI cartoon.

I’m not sure “Bumblebee” is good in comparison to other films but in comparison to the rest of the Transformer movies, it shines.  On the surface, it is the same old story told over again, namely that yet another wayward teenager (Hailee Steinfeld) seeks out a broken down car in a junkyard in the hopes of driving it to a new life, only to discover the car is a Transformer (and usually Bumblebee).

It’s shortly after the fall of Cybertron and Bumblee is scouting out Earth, waiting for Optimus and pals to arrive. He and Hailee will have to team up to fight Decepticons and John Cena who is an Army dude who isn’t quite sure what to think about transformers and, oh holy shit, do you really care?

It sucked less than the other films in the series.  However, I think at some point Hollywood either needs to can it with the Transformers, or re-start anew and figure out a way to embrace some decent plots whilst not becoming too silly.

Ironically, the 1980s kid show was heady for its day.  It was all about the fight for limited resources (the transformers need energy to run and Decepticons want to steal it from Earth) and about the responsible exercise of power (Decepticons believe that as twenty-foot tall robots they are destined to rule over humanity whereas Autobots believe that just because they could crush the humans doesn’t mean they should.)

Somewhere, there’s a good Transformers movie, but it hasn’t been made yet.  This came a little closer though, largely because this particular human, set in a 1980s world, had a more compelling story than the other humans, i.e. Shia and Wahlberg.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Movie Review – Outlaw King (2018)

Hey 3.5 readers.

Gotta break it to you, I’m getting old.  Also, it’s the holidays, so I’m eating too much.  The combo means I watch a movie and then boom, I fall asleep and miss twenty minutes here and there and am too lazy to roll it back.

That’s what I did with this film and lost large chunks of time.  Overall, I think it was good.  Sadly, because of my slumber this will be a lousy review.

Remember Mel Gibson’s “Braveheart?”  This is more or less the sequel.  In the aftermath of William Wallace’s defeat during a Scottish vs. English war, the Lords of Scotland surrender and pledge loyalty to King Edward of England.

The truce doesn’t last long as the lords are merely placating their elder lord.  I don’t know his name but he was in Game of Thrones, as is King Edward and no I’m not looking up their names because remember I said this would be a bad review.

When the elder lord dies, his son, Robert the Bruce (Chris Pine) is all like, “Deal’s off, fuck face” and then he runs around Scotland for the rest of the movie either getting his ass kicked or recruiting Scots to fight the English.

Meanwhile, King Edward has a son who is a doofus and it’s one of those toxic father/son relationships where the father always dumps on the son and no matter what the son does, it is never enough, so the son wants to prove himself worthy so he goes apeshit and runs all over Scotland, killing Scots and hanging them and burning up their castles and houses and shit to punish them for siding with Robert.

Ultimately, I don’t know how Robert wins because like I said, every so often I’d fall asleep, lose twenty minutes, then when I’d wake up, more people would be dead.

Note this film has some nice scenes of the Scottish country side but also intense battle scenes.  In fact, I think we take modern warfare for granted.  Yes, I know modern warfare is tough and can be brutal, but just a reminder that roughly 600 years ago, dudes were hacking each other with axes and murdering swans as sacrifices to God so that he would great them the strength to hack their enemies to pieces.  Entrails.  Loss of limbs.  I mean, holy shit.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Maybe some day I’ll watch it with a Diet Coke so I will stay awake.

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Movie Review – Bird Box (2018)

Birds!  In Boxes!

BQB here with a review of the Netflix film, “Bird Box.”

Is it a zombie movie?  No.  It’s somewhat reminiscent of that genre, but also different entirely.

The delightful Sandra Bullock plays Malorie, an expecting pregnant mother (your guess is good as mine because I love Sandy but I assumed her vag had gone sandy years ago but maybe not.  You never know.)

On her way home from a doctor visit, there’s an outbreak of some kind of mysterious force that causes people to commit suicide.  The film establishes all sorts of rules, the most pertinent being that people can’t be outside without a blindfold on.  If they stay indoors, they’re fine, but outside, if their eyes are open then they’ll see something that will make them kill themselves in the most violent, terrifying ways possible, often taking out others with them along the way.

Meanwhile, birds serve as the proverbial canary in the coal mine as they serve as early warning systems, freaking out in their cages and letting humans know that evil is afoot.

Sandy ends up in a house full of survivors, so there’s a bit of a “Walking Dead” feel for a bit.  Sarah Paulson, John Malkovich, B.D. Wong, Trevante Rhodes and others round out the cast.  They go on typical supply runs, somehow managing to navigate the outside world with their eyes closed.

Eventually, Sandy has to make a blind river run in a rowboat with two kids in tow, an unlikely task if there ever was one.

Overall, it’s a good flick.  Scary.  Has a less is more vibe.  It’s less about CGI monsters and gore and more about seeing people’s reactions to the evil playing out before them.  The first few minutes where chaos breaks out really set the scene and get the film moving.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Check it out on Netflix.

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