Category Archives: Movie Reviews

Maniac on Netflix

That was a trip.

  1. I now would love to have an entire series following Emma Stone as a surly drunk Half-Elf Ranger.
  2. Jonah Hill is a much better actor than I ever gave him credit.
  3. The world before they went into the study pulled me in. Subtle cyberpunk that blended New York and Tokyo in wonderful 80s flavor.
  4. This is too much for Snorri!

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Ghostbusters 2016

I grew up with the original movies, the cartoon, and the EXTREME cartoon. It is part of my childhood.

The 2016 version was good. It was a reboot and a current take on the idea. The problem was that it could have been so much better. It could be fixed rather simply too.

  1. Not a reboot
    It should have been a sequel. Ghostbusters 2 shows that even a short time after the first people have forgotten the Ghostbusters and think they are a hoax. It’s been twenty-seven years. Ghostbusters wouldn’t even been a joke, no one would care. If they are lucky they would be some sort of meme.
  2. It’s been quiet
    Since 1989 ghosts have been scarce. Anyone who claims to have seen a ghost isn’t thought of more than a person yelling at pigeons for stealing their shoes.
  3. Keep the Plot
    The main characters are still the same. Years ago they put out a book, it’s regained popularity, and all that. Same plot points.
  4. Cameos
    The old cast showing up makes sense now. Have one of them buy Ecto One from a haggard Venkman. Ray has turned the old station into a failed Ghostbusters museum. Winston could still be the uncle, but now it’s actually Winston. They could have a nice little memorial for Egon too. Something tasteful, like his framed uniform with a plaque under it. The old crew is too old to get back in on the action when ghosts come back, but maybe have Ray geek out over the proton-packs.
  5. That’s It
    Not that hard. A few steps to acknowledge the movies before without it just being nods. Ghostbusters 2016 would be part of the series instead of a reboot. The foundation laid down by the previous movies is still intact and could even show up in some way in the future.


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Star Trek- Discovery Ep 1 & 2 Review

Very little spoilers ahead. Honestly, if you’re paying attention, they aren’t much in the way of spoilers.

I was able to watch the first two episodes and, in general, it was good.

Michelle Yeoh had me worried from the previews. She came off as stilted and uninterested, but that wasn’t the case in the actual episodes. Doug Jones was kind of wasted. I love his work, but the character of Lt. Saru was underwhelming. Sonequa Martin-Green was awesome. She played Michael Burnham with great energy.

The Klingons were interesting. I wasn’t sure about their new look, but I kind of get it. Hate to use this analogy, but it’s like the Star Wars Special Editions. They were able to go in and make changes that they wanted with the available technology. Did I like it? Not really, but I’m still planning on watching more of the show.

Slightly spoiler-ish below. You have been warned.

Captain Georgiu (Michelle Yeoh) is only around for the first two episodes. The previews tease Michael Burnham getting her own command.

It’s a bait & switch.

The ‘season preview’ at the end of the second episode shows her joining another crew with Jason Isaacs as the captain. It felt cheap.

Here’s this really cool character. Check out her story. See her motivations. Now look at this guy you know nothing about. He’s the captain.


Michael (why is her name Michael) is sent to prison and there’s a war going on with the Klingons. Unless Jason Isaacs is just kind of there, I don’t want to know about him. There was some hints at something more going on with his ship. The parts of the preview with Michael interested me. Her in prison, her being transferred to a ship, that sort of thing.

Here’s an idea. She’s in prison, there’s a war going on, and they are running out of people. The Federation is losing. They don’t have enough crew to fill the ships. Here’s Michael, she was on the edge of her own command, and survived the initial battle. Reluctantly, they give her a ship and then the adventure starts.

Character arc intact, even if the court martial thing is dumb, and she gets her own ship. She’s a captain, as the previews promised. I came up with that as I was writing this. It wasn’t hard.

I’m going to give the show a few more episodes. Please don’t screw it up.

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Kid Movies

As a parent I have the pleasure of watching a lot of movies aimed at kids. Sometimes it’s the same movie repeatedly. I don’t mind, most of the time, and I understand. There are movies that to this day I can repeat verbatim because I watched them so much as a kid. The problem I’m finding is that my wife and I like to discuss the movies.  We try to rationalize the world they are set in and fill in the holes. It can be fun. There is one movie though that annoys the hell out of me.


For those who don’t know, it’s a movie about a dog who doesn’t know it’s an actor. It thinks that it really is a superpowered dog who has to protect his person. Things go wacky when Bolt escapes to find his person.

Sounds fun right?

Considering the people who made it know how movies work, it isn’t. Ignoring the multiple animal cruelty laws they would break every time the camera rolls and the fact that Bolt somehow survives being locked in a box filled with packing peanuts & shipped from Hollywood to NYC, it is completely it still has plenty of problems. The movie opens with an action scene that spans a city. It’s quickly revealed that it was a set and all the cars were props. Everything about it was setup, even the backdrop is fake. The punchline of the joke is that the shot is ruined by a boom-mic poking into the scene.

My daughter has rediscovered her love of this movie & it’s back in rotation. I’m tempted to steal a page from my parents book & just have it disappear.

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The Last Witch Hunter – Movie Review

The Last Witch Hunter, in theaters now, is the latest Vin Diesel flick. If you haven’t seen the trailers, it’s an action fantasy set in modern New York City. Kaulder is an 800 year old Witch Hunter who has been cursed with immortality.

I will do my best to keep spoilers to a minimum.

The movie starts out in with OG Kaulder and some of his fellow Vikings hunting down The Witch Queen. The opening sequence rang true to 13th Warrior, which I enjoy, and had some really cool parts in it. Kaulder gets cursed with immortality and it cuts to modern day.

There are so many parts of this movie that could have gone wrong. They could have made Kaulder too serious and pout over everything. They could have made him tech-phobic, or just someone who slaughters witches without a thought. They didn’t and I was so incredibly happy.

Vin Diesel plays Kaulder cool. He’s lived for years, he’s seen the world change, and he’s changed with it. He mourns those he’s lost, but that doesn’t define his character. So many times a character that’s long lived is put in scenes where they just mope around.

This is a fun movie. I’d suggest seeing it in the theater. It’s kind of like Constantine, but I liked this movie better. The Witch Bar was really cool. I’d like to see a sequel, or two, to expand the world they touched on.

There could have been a few little things that pushed the movie from a fun movie to a truly great one. The witch world could have been explored more. Elijah Wood and Michael Caine could have done with a bit more screen time, their stories were kind of rushed. Rose Leslie really shines -speaking of, she’d make a great Rachel Morgan if they ever do a Dead Witch Walking movie. Honestly, this movie could have done with another twenty minutes on run-time.

Verdict: See it. I look forward to owning it.

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Dark Was The Night – Movie Review

Dark Was The Night – Released 2014
Starring: Kevin Durand and Lukas Haas

An evil is unleashed in a small town when a logging company sets up shop in the neighboring woods.


This is an atmospheric movie with a slow burn. The run time clocks in around an hour and a half. Kevin Durand plays a small town sheriff whose family has suffered the lose of a child. His wife has moved out to deal with the stress. If you’re looking for a quick monster flick with cheap jump scares and nudity then don’t pick this up. There are a lot of scenes with quiet reflection. Luckily, the actors carry those scenes quite well.

While the characters build around the small town there are signs stacking up that don’t look good. The opening scene shows something attacking loggers. Then a horse goes missing. Footprints show up all over town. A little later we find out that the pets in the area are gone. After that there’s a mass migration of birds headed in the wrong direction.

There are a few parts of clunky exposition. How the story of the lose plays out is delivered at an odd time and honestly cutting it out wouldn’t have hurt the story. Sure, it would have left questions, but the audience can fill in the holes on their own. Something happened, the child is gone, and it’s eating away at their marriage. The diner scene later on fits better than the forced conversation. Kevin Durand is a big guy. Seeing him hunched over in a booth was inadvertently funny. Not enough to kill the mood, it might have just been me.

The tension throughout the film is spot on. These are people you know, not just faceless fodder to fill up a body count. There are a couple of jump scares, but I wouldn’t call them cheap. A few scenes ring close to a few other movies. Some interior scenes have an almost Jurassic Park feel to them. The forest scenes almost have a Predator feel. Only instead of a highly trained team of Special Forces, it’s some hunters.

I really like this movie. The characters in it feel like real people. Instead of the usual horror movie where they split up and decide to get drunk instead of call for help, they think about things. They try to rationalize it. They try to figure out what’s going on and when the information starts pointing to something they don’t understand, they are understandably freaked out. For f***s sake, one of the hunters has a deer cam! It’s almost like the screenwriter took actual people into account. I looked up the writer: Tyler Hisel. He’s done three movies, one is a short film, and the other is a found footage set in Africa.

My only real critique about the movie is that all the daytime scenes are washed in blue. I get that it helps subtly translate the sheriffs outlook, but the scenes at night don’t have the same treatment which makes it a little inconsistent.

Final Verdict:
Watch It. There are plenty of worse movies that waste an hour and a half.

Link to the trailer:

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My Guilty Pleasure Movies

Here is a little list I thought I would compile. It’s a set of movies that I’ve enjoyed that don’t get a lot of love.


1. Battle: Los Angeles
Directed by Jonathan Liebesman (who is directing the new Ninja Turtle Movie) and filled with a strong cast. The story follows a squad of USMC soldiers as they face an alien invasion. Aaron Eckhart plays a great haunted soldier and the supporting cast is well done. These guys aren’t some super-soldier GI Joe crap, they’re just soldiers, and it works. It’s like Black Hawk Down meets War of the Worlds. Are there some hokey parts? Yeah, the civilians they meet up with are a little tacked on, but I enjoyed the film.


2. Ghosts of Mars
This one is truly a guilty pleasure for me, I know it’s bad, but I can’t help watching it if I can. It’s a B-Movie and I love it, but I can’t go into watching it thinking it’s good. Does that make sense? It’s like if I go in remembering that I enjoy the film then it’s a disappointment, but if I go in with the idea that it’s a hokey 70s action movie in space, then I’m okay with it. Plus Jason Statham as a horn-dog is pretty funny.


3. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
How is this movie not loved by all? Great soundtrack, awesome fight scenes, and it’s funny. I watch this movie once a month or more. Chris Evans and Brandon Routh steal the scenes they’re in, but Michael Cera plays a good lost soul.


4. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
This is how ‘found footage’ movie should be. If you haven’t seen it, I won’t spoil the plot, but it mixes mocumentary style with traditional filming. Watch it, love it. If you liked Cabin in the Woods, you’ll like this one.


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