Bill & Ted Face the Music and all the images you see in this review are owned by United Artists Releasing
Directed by Dean Parisot
There haven’t been many rays of sunshine during the last few months of lock-down, but one of them was the first trailer for Bill & Ted Face the Music. I remember hearing that Reeves and Winter were trying to make this movie back when I was in COLLEGE which at this point that was a depressingly long time ago, but after years of starts and stops, hype and silence, and Keanu Reeves regaining his A-List star clout (as well as becoming everyone’s Favorite Person Ever), the duo have finally returned to give us one more adventure with the Wyld Stallyns. Is it a beautiful trip down memory lane for all the fans that loved this franchise, or is it too little too late for all the years of anticipation? Let’s find out!!
Bill S Preston Esq and Ted Theodore Logan (Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves) have spent their entire lives trying to write the song that unites the world which apparently was NOT God Gave Rock And Roll To You. Apparently someone else wrote that song and the Wyld Stallyns haven’t come up with a better one since then despite releasing several albums over the years; some of which were decent but they fell off the charts pretty quickly and have been scraping by for some time now. At least they have loving families that support them as Bill is still married to Princess Joanna (Jayma Mays) and they have a daughter Thea (Samara Weaving) while Ted is still married to Princess Elizabeth (Erinn Hayes) and they have a daughter Billie (Brigette Lundy-Paine), but the strain is starting to get to them and they might just give up music altogether. Right as they’re discussing the end of their career, a time machine shows up in the driveway and out steps Kelly (Kristen Schaal) who is the daughter of Rufus from the previous films, and she takes them to the future where they high council of… I guess the ENTIRE EARTH informs them that their song to save the world is not only to usher in an enlightened age but to fix some horrific distortion in space and time that if they DON’T fix will end all of reality as they know it. Oh, and they have less than two hours to do it, starting… now! Without much time left to get their act together, Bill & Ted figure the best way to get the song that saves the future is to go INTO the future and the song after it’s already written by their future selves, and while that’s going on Billie & Thea are given a time machine from Kelly to try and muster up a band who will be talented enough to play the song once Bill & Ted get it. Will these two loveable has-beens find a way to save the future before time and reality folds in on itself? Will Billie & Thea turn out to be as good at traveling through space and time as their fathers were, and discover what destiny has in store for them as well? You know, we could really use a Bill & Ted miracle right now, so what are the chances that this is the MOVIE that will unite the world and save reality as we know it?
The New Mutants and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Studios
Directed by Josh Boone
I was going to the movies multiple times a week for YEARS before this pandemic hit, and one of the things I kept seeing over and again was trailers for this movie. Every few months there’d be another one but with a different release date on it, and it got so ridiculously long that I vowed to be there opening day to see what kind of nonsense they were trying to cover up in post-production. Then the world came to an end and wouldn’t you know it? One of the first movies to go to theaters AND NOWHERE ELSE happened to be this one. All was not lost however as it turns out there’s a drive in theater nearby (the ONLY place I’ll go to see a movie right now) and they actually had this movie on their schedule, and so I was able to go out and keep that promise I made to myself all those years ago without having to take an unnecessary risk of CATCHING A POTENTIALLY LIFE THREATENING DISEASE in the process! So with all that buildup, with all the shakeups at the studio, and with all the world events that have broken the world between the first teaser trailer to now, does the movie manage to be any good? Did all the extra time working on it prove to be a fruitful endeavor, or are they hoping that the threat of getting sick would be enough for them to sneak this out without anybody noticing? Let’s find out!!
Dani Moonstar (Blu Hunt) finds herself stuck inside of a hospital of some sorts with a bunch of other young people under the watchful eyes of Dr. Reyes (Alice Braga) who informs her that her family is dead and that she’s here because she PROBABLY caused it. Why? Well because she’s a mutant of course, and so is everyone else here! We’ve got Sam (Charlie Heaton) who can go fast and make things explode, Illyana (Anya Taylor-Joy) who… has some sort of teleportation and sword fighting powers, Roberto (Henry Zaga) who’s the most dudebro dude ever and also might have fire powers, and Rahne (Massie Williams) who is… well she’s just a werewolf. I didn’t realize that fell under MUTANT powers, but I guess you can call anything a mutant power if you try hard enough. In any case, they’re all stuck in here with the discount Nurse Ratched who’s trying to get them to learn to control their powers through… group therapy sessions I guess, and clearly has some sinister motivations for keeping them all there that they’re vaguely aware of but none too concerned about. Dani, still trying to figure out exactly what happened to her father and not even knowing what her own super power is, tries to make the most of this very bizarre situation which only gets more disturbing once everyone starts having terrifying dreams or something relating to their past traumas which is certainly not making the overall dingy atmosphere of this place any more cheery. What exactly are Dani’s powers and are they in any way connected to the strange goings on at the hospital? What does Dr. Reyes have planned for them once she’s deemed them to be “better”, and is it somehow worse than having stay here? Are they actually stuck in some sort of Groundhog’s Day time loop which is why it feels like this movie’s been around for a hundred years!?
An American Pickle and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros. Pictures
Directed by Brandon Trost
For weeks I’ve been grumbling about the slow drip of releases the last few months, but now I find myself spoiled for choice as I’ve not only got Black is King to still watch on Disney+, I find out there’s a Seth Rogen movie on HBO Max as well! Even with his performance in Long Shot coming off as obnoxious and juvenile, I’ve always had a soft spot for the guy ever since I saw Knocked Up which is a movie I love and have seen so many times that I’d probably put in my top ten comedies ever made. He’s never really reached THAT level of brilliance since then (especially working without Judd Apatow), but I’m always interested to see what he does and he’ll surprise you every once in a while something great like The Night Before and Sausage Party. Does this latest outing from the guy end up being one of his best performances yet, or is there a reason they’re not saving this one until theaters open back up? Let’s find out!!
Herschel Greenbaum (Seth Rogen) is a simple man from the Eastern European village of Schlupsk who moves to America with his loving wife Sarah (Sarah Snook) to start a new life and establish himself and his family as part of the American Dream. He gets a job bashing rats with a stick at a Pickle Factory which certainly pays more than his ditch-digging job back in Schlupsk, and despite the massive xenophobia against Jewish people in this country, things couldn’t be looking any brighter! That is until Herschel falls into a pickle vat mere moments before the factory is closed down and his body is left forgotten for a hundred years until some kids stumble into the factory and open the vat; freeing Herschel who was perfectly preserved in the pickle brine and therefore hasn’t aged a day because of SCIENCE! On the plus side, he now lives in a world with better food, less Polio, and better sticks to bash rats with. On the other hand, everyone he knows and loves is dead. Six of one, half a dozen of the other I suppose, but what might just tip the scales into this being a net positive is that he has one living relative that has agreed to take him in; his great-grandson Ben Greenbaum (also Seth Rogen). With his great-grandson being the last connection he has to the life he had before, will Herschel be able to move forward with his life and find fulfillment in this strange new world? Can Ben help his great grandfather through this challenging time, and are there perhaps challenges of his own that he will now be forced to confront? Does this movie get utterly derailed for no good reason after a while!? You tell me; does a pickle taste good on a hamburger!?
Tread and all the images you see in this review are owned by Netflix
Directed by Paul Solet
Another week, another bout of isolation, restlessness, and binge-watching coupled with a release calendar with more holes than our government’s COVID-19 response strategy. It’s funny because it’s relevant AND devastating! So without much to talk about other than that Beyoncé movie that I haven’t gotten around to, I decided to try my hand at something I’ve never done for this site before, and that’s review a DOCUMENTARY! Well okay, I SAY a documentary, but let’s be honest; this is just as much a narrative adaptation as it is that, with the copious amounts of reenactments and the spectacle of its final act, but nonetheless, I’m still gonna count this as uncharted waters for me! Is this a fun, informative, and at times heartbreaking portrayal of a man pushed to his limits, or does this fail to make its too wacky to be fake premise all that interesting? Let’s find out!!
Marvin Heemeyer lived in Granby Colorado for over a decade; running a successful muffler shop, driving his snowmobile on the weekends, and all-around getting along with his friends and neighbors. What no one seemed to know, or only suspected without confirming, is that underneath his pleasant exterior stowed a rage that would fuel him to do something drastic on June 4, 2004. If you’re not familiar with the story like me then I won’t give it ALL away here, but let’s just say that it involved heavy machinery, a lot of property damage, and a design aesthetic somewhere between Mad Max and the Wacky Races. The documentary takes us from the start of his time in Granby to the day of THE INCIDENT with interviews of people who were there at the time and, perhaps most enlightening, the words of Marvin Heemeyer himself who left an audio manifesto of sorts to tell his own side of the story of how he got to where he ultimately ended up. Just how far will one man go to rectify the slights and misfortunes that he believes the world has handed him? Is there more to the story than one man’s out of control persecution complex that led to this horrifying yet bizarre event? Heck, maybe everything was just fine but this guy saw Falling Down on cable one too many times!
Fatal Affair and all the images you see in this review are owned by Netflix
Directed by Peter Sullivan
I’ve seen my fair share of Black Romance Thrillers in my time, even Tyler Perry’s… interesting take on the genre, and if nothing else they tend to be ENGAGING if not always GOOD. Well… maybe not The Perfect Guy which I recall being rather dull on top of being not especially well made, but in any case, as soon as I learned that Netflix was releasing one of these under a suspect title (if The Asylum hasn’t already made a knock-off thrill with this same name, I will be VERY disappointed) and starring Omar Epps, I was there ready to see it unfold! Heck, one of my biggest regrets from last year is that his theatrical film Traffik came and went before I got a chance to see it, so perhaps this is my chance to redeem myself and give this man the credit he so rightfully deserves! Does Netflix have yet another hit to brag about in this era where streaming is king, or is this just another mediocre outing that’s sole purpose is to bolster Netflix’s catalog? Let’s find out!!
The life of Ellie Warren (Nia Long) has turned a corner and there’s nothing but blue skies ahead! Her husband (Stephen Bishop) was hurt recently but is finally recovering, they got the big beautiful beach house they’ve always wanted, and as soon as this big case is over at the law firm, she’s going to start her own practice so she can finally be a literal Girl Boss instead of just being the figurative one at the office! Heck, things get even better when an old college friend of hers named David Hammond (Omar Epps) is hired by the law firm and they get to catch up on old times! Boy, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? It’s like a whole lot of life has slipped away between her carefree college days and her grown-up life where her own daughter (Aubrey Cleland) is the one in college now. In fact, things are getting kind of stale, aren’t they; especially with her husband who’s kind of a mope ever since the accident. Maybe David has something to offer Ellie… IS WHAT I WOULD BE SAYING IF SHE WASN’T A PERSON OF SUCH HIGH VIRTUE!! Sure, she makes out with him at a dance club, but she regrets it immediately and cuts all contact with David just to make it clear that she’s NOT INTERESTED! That’s not good enough for David though who’s got a chip on his shoulder and a degree in Information Security, so for the next few weeks, he makes her life a living hell; calling her constantly, finding ways to ingratiate himself into her social circle, and even making fake screenshots of text conversations that apparently everyone would be willing to believe in a heartbeat. Will Ellie be able to escape from the tightening grip of David’s obsession? Why has he chosen now to make his big move on her, and is there something in his past that’s even darker than what we’re seeing now? Who wants to bet this dude’s Twitter feed has more red flags than a MGTOW forum?
My Spy and all the images you see in this review are owned by Amazon Studios & STXfilms
Directed by Peter Segal
The New Mutants is STILL the reigning champ of movies repeatedly missing their release dates (perhaps only being outdone by Amityville: The Awakening), but this film just kept getting pushed further and further back, so much so that I remember seeing posters for this in probably APRIL of last year; back when movie theaters were still open and the world only had a hundred things bringing us to the brink of destruction instead of a hundred and one. As much as I love Dave Bautista as a character actor (GO SEE HOTEL ARTEMIS ALREADY), he hasn’t quite found his groove as far as starring roles with him threatening to make the same KID-FRIENDLY mistakes The Rock did early on in his career and that John Cena is already kicking butt at right now. Is this a surprisingly fun take on a tired formula fueled by another great performance from Dave Bautista, or will this be yet another movie to put on WORST MOVIES STARRING A WRESTLER lists that I’m sure are all over YouTube already? Let’s find out!!
JJ (Dave Bautista) is a hotshot young (I guess?) CIA agent who has the kind of special forces background they’re looking for but doesn’t have the finesse or spycraft to make the most out of his role there. When a mission in Russia goes bad where JJ has to kill everyone in a very clichéd action scene, his boss (Ken Jeong) sends him and one of the techies Bobbi (Kristen Schaal) on a do-nothing assignment as his last chance to prove that he’s cut out for this. All they need to do is keep an eye on A young girl named Sophie (Chloe Coleman) and her mother Kate (Parisa Fitz-Henley) who recently moved to the States after Sophie’s father was murdered under suspicious circumstances that could be connected to an arms dealer in the region, but no sooner have they set up shop do they get found out by the girl and so to keep his job JJ has to do whatever the girl wants him to do so she’ll keep quiet about all this; including teaching her how to be a spy which seems like a dubious prospect considering how bad JJ clearly is at it. Can JJ keep this house of cards from falling over by keeping Sophie entertained and keeping an eye on the family? Will JJ be the kind of spy his government needs him to be, or will he get to close to the targets and endanger their lives in the process? If you got made by a nine-year-old, shouldn’t that be a sign that you should be looking for a new career path?
Da 5 Bloods and all the images you see in this review are owned by Netflix
Directed by Spike Lee
It’s not often that a film gets released at the EXACT moment it should be, but leave it to Spike Lee to make a movie worth talking about at a time when its message couldn’t be more relevant. I’ve certainly liked more of Spike Lee’s movie’s than I haven’t with Chi-Raq being a downright masterpiece and it’s like movie studios are giving us anything else worth watching at this period of time (including Disney who thought putting Artemis Fowl on Disney+ was a better idea than just chucking it in a garbage can), so consider me pumped to see something important instead of just spending another evening watching reruns and staring at the ceiling! Is Spike Lee’s timely examination of Black people’s relationship to the Vietnam War and by extension the systems created it which are still in place to this day, or is Lee like the rest of us and finds himself missing a step in these unusual times? Let’s find out!!
Nearly fifty years after their tour in Vietnam, the remaining members of The Bloods return to Vietnam to reconnect, remember the good times, and find their fallen comrade Stormin’ Norman (Chadwick Boseman) who died during the war and whose body is still out there. Our surviving members are Paul, Otis, Eddie, and Melvin (Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, and Isiah Whitlock Jr) as well as an unexpected fifth member David (Jonathan Majors) who’s the son of Paul and wants to keep an eye on him during this trip. Now that’s all MOSTLY true, but there are some details missing such as the fact that The Bloods buried a whole bunch of gold back then and are out here to find it along with Stormin’ Norman to secure their retirements, though saying that to the US government who’s gold it is they’re digging up (it was supposed to be delivered to the Vietnamese government that was declared a loss after the plane crashed), so they omitted that part when they appealed to both countries’ governments to explore the area. And so the journey begins, with our heroes telling stories of their time in the war, confronting the demons of their past, and hopefully leaving the country far richer than they entered it. Will The Bloods find what they are looking for in this country they left long ago, and will it be what they came to find in the first place? What hardships will they face along the way, and will their struggles ultimately be in vain? How the heck is it that the ONE dude to die in the war was Black Panther!? Isn’t he bulletproof!?
The Last Days of American Crime and all the images you see in this review are owned by Netflix
Directed by Olivier Megaton
With the world descending into righteous fury at the systems that have failed them for generations, there hasn’t been a whole lot of film news out there that has kept me on a regular routine which will certainly be a lurch if things DO ever get back to normal and they finally start releasing those movies we were supposed to get months ago. The only thing I’ve seen AT ALL about film in the last week or so (besides the Bill and Ted trailer which dropped the day I’m writing this) is some movie on Netflix getting the coveted ZERO PERCENT ON ROTTEN TOMATOES award, so here we are I guess; I’m gonna waste my time watching a movie that everyone already knows is terrible and it’s somehow going to be the most productive thing I’ve done since I, a grown-ass man, vomited up two thousand words telling you why the Scooby-Doo movie wasn’t very good. Can this movie with a very unwieldy title at least be better than THAT movie; especially since this has the edge of NOT charging you an arm and a leg to see it? Let’s find out!!
The movie follows a man named Graham Bricke (Édgar Ramírez) who certainly acts like such as he joylessly and emotionlessly goes from one horrific violent crime to another in what I can only assume is a near-future Michigan that’s about three months and a few missed orders from Deer Park from turning into a Mad Max hellscape. Things are about to be changed for the better, at least as far as the government is concerned, as they’ve developed a SUPER SCIENCE MIND CONTROL SIGNAL that will prevent anyone from knowingly committing a crime which I’m quite certain is what those 5G conspiracy theorists believe is actually going to happen. In any case, the people in this movie haven’t figured out how tin foil hats work and so they’ve resigned themselves to losing their free will; at least in the United States. Canada hasn’t developed a MIND CONTROL RAY and so the border has become fully militarized as people get shot to pieces trying to cross; all of which sounds like the filmmakers are trying to make a point but darned if I can find out what the heck this movie is trying to say! Bottom line is, Bricke gets recruited by some dude named Kevin Cash (Michael Pitt) for one last heist to steal a whole bunch of money from a government vault in the city before booking it for the Canadian border mere minutes before the government turns on their MIND CONTROL RAY and who have helpfully provided everyone with a countdown clock to the second as to when that will happen. Joining the crew is Cash’s girlfriend Shelby Dupree (Anna Brewster) who may or may not be the brains of this operation, and throw into that a conspiracy involving the death of Bricke’s brother to make a perfect storm of bad planning and bad timing for this heist that has to go off without a hitch! Can Bricke outrun his own past and set himself up for a nifty little retirement in the land of hockey and poutine? Does Cash have an ulterior motive to all of this that could get in the way of Bricke’s meticulous professionalism and throw this whole operation into chaos? If you were going to follow anyone into a ridiculously convoluted heist, would it REALLY be a guy who looks like an off-brand Jason Mewes?
Scoob! and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros. Pictures
Directed by Tony Cervone
With releases being what they are and LIFE being what it is, I’ve certainly fallen into a bit of a funk lately which is perhaps the biggest reason I was really looking forward to this movie; something that I can put on my calendar and look forward to instead of just the endless pile of stuff that’s already here but I couldn’t muster up the energy to work on. Now Warner Bros’ recent output of the Hanna-Barbara licenses has certainly been interesting to see, particularly those comic books they released a few years back, and so bringing Scooby-Doo back to the big screen in the midst of all this… shall we say CREATIVITY, does have a certain amount of appeal. I don’t know how popular it is right now, but the Scooby franchise has proven to be remarkably resilient and is in constant flux with new and drastically different series coming out every few years, so perhaps with such a rock-solid property to work with, Warner Bros can do something truly unique! Is this the start of Scooby-Doo’s resurgence to the peak of popular culture, or will the concepts prove to outdated for modern audiences to latch onto outside of Saturday morning cartoon reruns? Let’s find out!!
Shaggy Rogers (Iain Armitage and Will Forte) is a lonely kid with no friends… for some reason, until he finds a stray dog who can talk but no one seems to have much of a problem with. He names the dog Scooby (Frank Welker) and eventually meets three other kids named Fred, Daphne, and Velma (Pierce Gagnon and Zac Efron, Mckenna Grace and Amanda Seyfried, and Ariana Greenblatt and Gina Rodriguez) who by happenstance they end up solving a mystery with. And thus the origin story has been told, in less than ten minutes! What do they fill the remaining eighty with? Well it turns out that The Blue Falcon, or at least his son Brian (Mark Wahlberg) is trying to stop the evil Dick Dastardly (Jason Isaacs) from doing… something, and it somehow involves Scooby (presumably because he’s SUCH a good boy) which means he snatches Shaggy and Scooby away from whatever it was they were doing and are now sidekicks on a superhero adventure! Blue Falcon is helped by his female pilot Dee Dee (Kiersey Clemons) and his dad’s robot dog Dynomutt (Ken Jeong) who are basically the two keeping this operation afloat while Brian stumbles his way through the adventure, and with the help of Scooby being… so very important I guess, they will race Dick Dastardly across the globe from collecting the Magical MacGuffins that will spell doom for the world! Meanwhile, Fred, Daphne, and Velma are wondering why they aren’t a part of this movie and so try to “solve the mystery” of where Scooby and Shaggy went, only to wind up in a larger than life adventure far beyond investigating a ghost who’ll end up being a guy in a Halloween mask! Will our heroes overcome the pure malevolent evil of a man named Dick with a beautiful mustache? Will Scooby’s new status as BEST DOG EVER make Shaggy into a jealous jerk for half the movie for extremely petty reasons? If we’re gonna do this cinematic universe stuff with Hanna-Barbera, can we at least put Harvey Birdman into it? Better yet, Phil Ken Sebben! At least that would be SOMETHING about this movie worth talking about!
Capone and all the images you see in this review are owned by Vertical Entertainment
Directed by Josh Trank
Well that’s a name I didn’t expect to see! It’s been a while since Josh Trank’s last film Fant-Four-Stick which was by all accounts a misguided mess, but I never thought he was a BAD director; just someone who’s reach exceeded his grasp much like Colin “Book of Henry” Trevorrow who was dropped from Star Wars but at least is getting another swing at Jurassic Park at some point. Honestly, I hadn’t even heard about this movie until the reviews started pouring in on my YouTube feed, and since there’s not a whole lot else going on right now, why not give it a shot? Is this a solid film and a notable return for the director of Chronicle, or has Trank somehow declined even further after Fantastic Four was such a nightmare to work on? Let’s find out!!
Notorious mobster Alfonse Capone (Tom Hardy) was released from jail seven years after he was sentenced for Tax Evasion due to his failing health. He then spent several years under the care of his wife (Linda Cardellini) and some of his old friends in Florida whiling away the days while his condition got worse and his mind began to deteriorate. With not much time left, some of the people in his life start to wonder if there’s one last bit of cash stashed away somewhere, most notably the FBI who have been keeping him under surveillance since his release, but ultimately this is a story of a man slowly dying and reflecting on his life; trying to find some peace in his final years and lamenting the continued loss of his faculties as the paresis ravages his mind. Will we learn what makes this legendary gangster tick as we watch him struggle through the final years of his life? Will the people around him get what they’re looking for, and how far are they willing to go to get it? Will Tom Hardy get that Oscar gold with this mumbling performance of a man who craps the bed and yells at things!? I mean we gave Jeff Bridges an Oscar for that, so why not him?