Dragged Across Concrete – I've been waiting for a release on this movie for a bit since watching S. Craig Zahler's previous films, Bone Tomahawk and Brawl in Cell Block 99. His stories are simple, but executed with such vibrancy and aggressiveness. His actions scenes always add that extra “umpf” - for example: Jennifer Carpenter's character is obviously suffering from postpartum depression, and the last thing she asks her husband before returning to work after a first failed attempt that same day, is to touch her child one more time. Carpenter's character goes back to work at a bank, only to get robbed moments after entering the building. She reaches for something only to get her hands shot to shit.
HER FUCKING FINGERS ARE SHOT TO SHIT.
And of course, her last thoughts are of her baby. Damn. But as the title of this film may suggest, it is a slow burn. It also plays like an adapted screenplay of a novel, where extra little details that were in the book are cut out in the film, but instead, this film leaves EVERYTHING in it. It may be a tough watch for some due to length, but it's well worth it at the end.
Aftermath – Edward Furlong is in this movie. OF COURSE I'M WATCHING IT.
The Silence – Stanley Tucci was great in this film, but it wasn't enough to help the movie escape the “Netflix Original” label of generic flicks and storytelling.
Aladdin – The film was a little too cookie cutter for my taste despite having Will Smith as the Genie and Guy Ritchie directing. The new songs aren't really memorable, and not too many new changes to the new songs for me to care. I didn't go into the film hoping for a nostalgia, but rather a fresh new take on the original Aladdin. Not enough for me to care, but if you've never seen the original film, this might work for you.
Bright Burn – A Super Villain version of the Superman lore. If this kid is really pure evil, any sequels would have to us into the dark side. I mean DARK. But if you want an ending, I'd imagine it'd turn out something like Session Twenty of Cowboy Bebop – just watch that.
The Highwaymen – Who knew Woody Harrleson and Kevin Costner would make such a great on-screen duo? Well, you pair anyone with Harrelson or Costner, you're going to have a great movie. It was like watching The Untouchables meets Gangster Squad, a dark gangster flick with a good story and action to boot. If there is a template for a great Netflix Original, this would be it.
The Head Hunter – Artsy horror flick, Vikings meets Evil Dead, worthy of several views.
ALL THE QUEEN'S HORSES - An interesting documentary, on Netflix, of all places, about a woman who ripped off millions from her small town for like 20 years and spent it on lavish living and fucking...HORSES. Yup. You can't make that shit up, without being laughed at, as that is the worst villain ever.
WELCOME TO MARWEN - What a disappointing piece of crap by the guy who brought you FOREST GUMP and BACK TO THE FUTURE. The film lacks nuance and subtlety, constantly beating you over the head and kicking you in the face with awesome "dream sequence-y" animation in hopes of distracting you from the fact that this is barely a movie; there is not enough story to merit a short, let alone a feature.
I like the premise, and I like how they try to allow the viewers to experience PTSD, which are basically the only good things about the film. But, it ultimately fails to deliver on the story's premise, or to get you on the side of the Protagonist; they go out of their way to "TELL" you why he is NOT weird, and how wearing heels, as a man, and collecting women's shoes is totally NORMAL, but what they "SHOW" you is completely contrary: Dude, is WEIRD as fuck. He behaves creepily, he makes fucking dolls of his female neighbors and creates these narratives casting them as his saviors and love interests in a way that feels completely subjugating for the females on any level beyond the surface.
MARWEN is literally a world populated by women who exist to protect his fragile male ego (and also attack it, as the villain is a woman, based on his ex-wife or some shit, who is a sloppy, on-the-nose metaphor for his pill addiction lol) and then the movie has the balls to say that "Women make the world go 'round", or some such obligatory, wannabe-woke drivel, all the while showing you that a woman's "true value" stems from the role she plays in a man's life, and his imaginary, narrative landscapes.
On the whole, this is a thirsty-ass movie by a once-awesome director who is losing touch with his audience, and doesn't quite understand female empowerment or systemic misogyny, but wants desperately to remain relevant.
FUCK YOU, MOVIE, for making me, of all people, play the feminist card.
MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS - Looked dope; Lady Bird and I, Tonya are dope actors, but this film goes out of its way to be boring, and remind you that women are powerful, and were in charge of men and countries and blah, blah, blah, without bothering to show you shit.
Who did this film think its audience was? The trailer was clear, two powerful woman, with the fate of their countries and crowns at stake, try to avoid all out war by trying to find a middle-ground that their male counterparts would probably not be able to achieve because men are warmongers and idiots. But, guess what, these women are just as petty, stubborn, and stupid as any man in power ever.
Thanks for showing us powerful women. Or, rather, TELLING us they are powerful.
THE SIXTH SENSE - Oh god, like everyone else, I loved this movie.
And you know what?
I still do.
Breaks from its own internal logic aside, and GENERAL LOGIC, the movie is still creepy and suspenseful as fuck, with powerhouse performances by all of the leads.
I think Shymalan is an awesome director who understands tension and suspense and cinema as a whole, I think he just struggles with integrating logic and ego, but it doesn't negate his overall ability as a filmmaker.
BUT...I still refuse to see GLASS.
CREED II - Not bad. Not as good as the first, but I love what they did with Ivan Drago, and his son. Not sure I'd ever watch this film again, but I'm glad I decided to, I was on the fence because of the overly gimmicky premise (that appealed primarily to the 8 year old in me) and the lack of Ryan Coogler at the helm, but as far as dead-horse-beating goes, this is one of the better offerings.
BLACK HAWK DOWN - Still love it.
FREDDY VS. JASON - Still fucking love it.
THE HEAD HUNTER - An achievement in horror cinema. The film lets itself, its character, and its premise exist without feeling the need to explain shit. The atmosphere is wonderfully bleak and tense and the lead (and basically ONLY character) chews up the scenery masterfully, allowing you into his obsession and ushering you into madness.
This film is that perfect and rare crossroad where arthouse meets genre and succeeds.
AVENGERS: ENDGAME - I liked it, overall. The time traveling wasn't as fun as it could've been, and was just a plot-point, which was disappointing because there is sooooo much for them to be able to draw from in terms of all of the MCU that we have invested in over the past decade or so.
The climax was the strong point, and the resolution ALMOST fell into the RETURN OF THE KING trap, where the fucking story doesn't know it's fucking over and just WON'T END, but we are rewarded with a send off worthy of Chris Evans and Steve Rodgers, so a ballsy call that ultimately paid off.
Captain Marvel, though? Ugh. However, I did like that scene with all the powerful heroines getting their superhero poses on, right before rushing the whatever the fuck to the equivalent of the "end zone". That was bad ass, and if Brie Larson would stop rubbing my fucking face in smug, forced, female empowerment, I could enjoy these actual moments that showcase empowered females better.
But, y'know, #girlsruleboysdrool or whatever.
ALSO... "I'm inevitable..." says Thanos, to which a moribund Tony Stark replies, "Yeah, and I'm...IRONMAN." before pulling the trigger on the gauntlet, assuring the salvation of the universe.
Academy, you better get your shit together and nominate this film for SOMETHING. There are BLACKS, and GAYS, and WOMEN all over the place in it, so find SOMETHING to nominate, please.
All the queen's horses