The Intruder and all the images you see in this review are owned by Sony Pictures Releasing and Screen Gems
Directed by Deon Taylor
It either takes a whole lot of brains or a whole lot of nerve to try and squeeze a non-franchise thriller right between such big box office money sinks, and when talking about Screen Gems it can go either way. Yes, this is the studio that made my beloved Resident Evil movies, but also gave us the horrendous Slender Man, and frankly the rest of their filmography is just disparate; but all the credit to them for churning out low budget shlock and turning it into box office gold! They’re like the Blumhouse of the mid 2000s that’s still hanging around on the margins making ridiculous stuff like When the Bough Breaks, but also some real modern classics like last year’s Searching which you all better have seen by now! Where exactly will this movie fall in the Screen Gems canon? Well you can probably take a guess given its silly premise and wacky stunt casting, but let’s find out!!
Scott and Annie (Michael Ealy and Meagan Good) are your typical city folk who spent their entire married life in the hustle and bustle and have decided that now might be the PERFECT time to find a place a little off the beaten path and settle down to start a family. Hold your horses though! They aren’t looking for just ANY house! They want the PERFECT house that has like a bajillion rooms, a giant yard, and some real history to it! Well lucky for them that they found the one dude with the perfect house AND a strong need to sell it as soon as possible! Yes, good ol’ Charlie (Dennis Quaid) is moving to Florida to be with his daughter and has decided to sell his family home. Four generations have lived in this house, and for a rather steep price Scott and Annie can be the fifth. After some careful consideration and another look at the size of this place (they’ll have to Airbnb this mansion year round just to keep up with the payments!) they decide to purchase it and give Charlie a fat stack of cash that he can retire on! Everyone’s happy, right? Well… as it turns out there are a few loose ends here and there that Charlie needs to finish up and is still in town, but that’s not a problem, right? Well… he noticed the yard is looking a bit overgrown and thought it’d be neighborly to mow the yard, but that’s a good thing, right? Well… let’s just say that one thing leads to another, and another, and another, until Scott and Annie begin to wonder if this guy is ever gonna go to Florida, and that’s just the beginning of the weirdness that these two are being subjected to with Charlie still around! Will Scott and Annie ever get rid of this dude who CLEARLY didn’t seem ready to sell his house? What exactly does Charlie have planned, and just how far will he go to take back what he believes is rightfully his? Anyone get the feeling that this is what he did after making Movie 43? I mean sure he had money BEFORE that film, but that’s a movie so bad that it retroactively sucks away any success you may have had.
“I’m collecting for the Quaid Quality of Life Fund. Your contributions will go directly towards funding a sequel to The Rookie.”
Miss Bala and all the images you see in this review are owned by Sony Pictures Releasing
Directed by Catherine Hardwicke
I somehow managed to survive January, but that month was so bad I’m ready to just write off February and maybe even March if I get the slightest bit saltier. What can I say? Getting sick twice, watching dreck like Escape Room, and even trying to justify my enjoyment of movies that EVERYONE ELSE seems to have deemed to be terrible has done little to improve my mood over the last thirty days, but who knows! Maybe things have FINALLY turned a corner and I’ll regret being this despondent at the start of February when I go see… whatever this movie is! Seriously, I didn’t even know this movie was coming out until three days before I went to see it, and I couldn’t gleam the slightest thing from the title or the poster. At least with The Kid Who Would Be King which is another movie I knew nothing about until right before its release, you can kind of get a grasp on the general idea from the overly descriptive title and the poster having a bunch of kids wielding swords and makeshift shields! ANYWAY! Does this mysterious feature turn out to be a hidden gem waiting to be discovered, or will it turn out that ignorance was truly bliss after seeing this movie? Let’s find out!!
Gloria Fuentes (Gina Rodriguez) is a makeup artist in California who frequently travels to Tijuana so she can see her friend Suzu Ramós (Cristina Rodlo) and her little brother Chava (Sebastián Cano). This time however she comes with purpose as Suzu plans on entering the Miss Baja California pageant and could use Gloria’s expert makeup skills to make her truly shine in the competition! Sadly things don’t go quite as planned when Gloria and Suzu go to a nightclub that ends up getting attacked by the Las Estrellas gang led up by Lino Esparza (Ismael Cruz Córdova). Once the dust has settled, Suzu has completely disappeared and Gloria is kidnapped by Lino’s men as she saw too much and could now be a threat to them. Under the threat of death, she becomes an unwitting participant in further gang violence and is headed for a life of nonstop coercion if she cannot find a way out and hopefully find Suzu in the process. The best chance she seems to have is a couple of DA agents led by Agent Reich (Matt Lauria) who want to bring her up on terrorism charges due to her involvement in those unwitting crimes, but give her an out if she can plant a bug on Lino which will hopefully be enough to keep THEM from destroying her life before Lino does it first. Can Gloria find a way to escape these overwhelming forces that can utterly destroy her at the slightest of whims? Whatever happened to Suzu, and is Gloria simply chasing her tail by trying to find her in between coming up with a plan to escape and simply surviving this horrific situation she’s been forced into? Why is it that bad guys ALWAYS mess with the wrong person? You’d think just once they’d find the right person to mess with!
“I could have just spent the rest of my life being a makeup artist, but NOOOOO! You just HAD to tick me off!!”
Escape Room and all the images you see in this review are owned by Sony Pictures Releasing
Directed by Adam Robitel
Oh boy! Is it January already!? We all know that this is the BEST month for movies, am I right!? Okay, so the conventional wisdom has been that movies released in January are in a sort of deadzone where there’s next to no chance for an awards worthy movie to get recognition (especially when we’re still talking about awards for movies last year) and it’s far too early to start releasing the blockbusters since the box office is still densely packed with what came out at the tail end of last year. Whatever is coming out right now didn’t is usually doing so because there wasn’t much hope that a more valuable timeslot would have amount to much, but then that’s not necessarily the same as a movie being BAD; just not particularly marketable. After all, Proud Mary was pretty good and came out in January! Okay, so did The Commuter, but the point is that it can go either way! Will this be the rare exception of not just a good movie in January but a good HORROR movie in January!? Let’s find out!!
Six people, Zoey, Ben, Amanda, Mike, Jason, and Danny (Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll, Tyler Labine, Jay Ellis, and Nik Dodani) are given invitations for this super awesome Escape Room with the added incentive that if they manage to solve it they’ll get a ten grand prize! Well that sounds so good that you CAN’T pass it up, right!? Sure enough it turns out to be an elaborate trap where they have to solve the riddle of each room or die horrible deaths. Well that sounds like a poor way to spend your weekend (I’d certainly give this Escape Room Company a bad review on Yelp!) and it’s not like they have any idea why this is happening in the first place which is admittedly sort of a moot point if they can’t manage to find a way out before it’s too late. Can these six strangers work together in order to solve each room’s puzzle and make it to the very end of the game? What is it that connects these people together, and what does the Escape Room Company expect to get out of this in the first place? Who the heck is in charge here, anyway!?
“She may not be the most helpful, but at least she’s here nights and weekends.”