Just a movie check-in of what I have watched over the past couple days. From the 1978 style horror of Piranha to the delightfully violent Guns Akimbo, In between all these I also watched The Old Guard, which I did not like at all and am still SHOCKED that people enjoyed.

Piranha
Director: Joe Dante
Writers: Richard Robinson, John Sayles
Actors: Bradford Dillman, Heater Menzies-Urich, Kevin McCarthy
Release Date: August 3, 1978

Biggest takeaways from Piranha:

  • The stakes rise in dramatic fashion over the course of this movie. From a young couple, to a camp and then all of a sudden, the entire world touching oceans!
  • I think I caught onto the fact that this was a little bit of a satirical movie too late. The overbearing government barging in didn’t cue it for me right away; it was only once the events leading directly up to the camp interaction.
  • It was rather shocking when all the kids died at the helms of all the hungry piranhas. It was a drastic step I didn’t expect and it was honestly very welcome. I just wish the first 2/3 of the movie gripped me as much as the last act.
  • The ending to the movie does not leave the audience on a happy note, and again that is welcomed. It is a lesser version of how The Thing (1982) ended, but that same we don’t know what’s around the next bend.
  • The sound design for the piranhas is searing. It’ll stick with you.

STANKO RATING: D (1.5/5 Stars)

“Piranha” IMDB
“Piranha” Rotten Tomatoes


Miss Meadows
Director: Karen Leigh Hopkins
Writers: Karen Leigh Hopkins
Actors: Katie Holmes, James Badge Dale, Callan Mulvey
Release Date: November 14, 2014

Biggest takeaways from Miss Meadows:

  • I was really expecting more from Miss Meadows. I wanted more from this rather original idea. It was like being in a really nice car but with a flat tire; an interesting concept that never got up to full speed.
  • The biggest twist in the movie is finding out that Miss Meadows’ mother is actually dead, and those phone calls were to no one in particular. Mother Meadows is played by Jean Smart who I last saw in HBO’s Watchmen, so was happy to see her again.
  • They ratcheted up the cheesiness with Callan Mulvey’s character. He is the villain that takes center stage at the movie’s climax and from the get-go they place the BAD GUY label on him. They also make him even more despicable being mean to a dog. Not a way to win over any fans.
  • The best scene in the movie comes when Heather sneaks into Miss Meadows’ house and they share a heart-to-heart. We see the fragility of the live Miss Meadows is trying to live through the lens of the conversation.
  • The Sheriff (James Badge Dale) is annoying. He is willing to go through some many pot holes to make Miss Meadows happy and appear so innocent in his eyes. I was just annoyed by him, immensly.
  • Every single cop in this small town are stupid. I mean come on.

STANKO RATING: D (1.5/5 Stars)

Miss Meadows” IMDB
“Miss Meadows” Rotten Tomatoes


Ghost Team
Director: Oliver Irving
Writers: Oliver Irving, Peter Warren
Actors: Jon Heder, David Krumholtz, Justin Long, Amy Sedaris, Melonie Diez
Release Date: July 21, 2016

Biggest takeaways from Ghost Team:

  • Expectations going into this movie were lower than low. It has a bunch of recognizable faces but the premise and trailer made me know it was going to be background viewing.
  • This may seem mean, but what happened to Jon Heder? This may be the first movie I have seen him in since Blades Of Glory (2007)? He plays Louis, the man in charge of this rag tag group. He is perfectly fine in this movie, but no means the highlight.
  • The best character in the movie is its mopiest, Stan. Played by David Krumholtz, he has some of the best depressingly funny lines of the movie.
  • Paul W. Downs plays the most annoying character of Ghost Team. The tech guy Zak deserves everything bad that happens to him. Just rude.
  • For a low budget movie with not much of anything to look into, Ghost Team appeased me as background noise. Picked my head up and watched diligently for minutes at a time. It is not good by any meas, but for what its floor is, I’d say it does a little skip above that.

STANKO RATING: D+ (2.0/5 Stars)

“Ghost Team” IMDB
Ghost Team” Rotten Tomatoes


Guns Akimno
Director: Jason Lei Howden
Writers: Jason Lei Howden
Actors: Daniel Rodcliffe, Samara Weaving, Rhys Darby
Release Date: February 28, 2020

Biggest takeaways from Guns Akimbo:

  • This movie is not for everyone, but it was for me. Guns Akimbo reminded me of a combination of Nerve (2016), Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010), Death Race (2008), and Mayhem (2017).
  • Daniel Radcliffe really has a talent for the comedic roles. He was enjoyable in this one as the reluctant loser forced into a crazy situation.
  • I am in love with Samara Weaving. It all started with Ready Or Not (2019) but now I see and adore the connections to The Babysitter (2017) and Mayhem. I am all aboard the Weaving train.
  • The opening 30 minutes of the movie are arguably the strongest of the entire story. It throws you into the environment of Miles’ (Daniel Radcliffe) story and gives you all the context you need to know whether or not you’ll by into the madness of Guns Akimbo.
  • The ending of the movie falls apart a little with a bit too many convenient connections. The movie is not about the plot, but it does detract from the satisfaction. One random little tid-bit that irked me was how the drones of Skizm would appear and disappear whenever convenient.
  • For all the violence and blood in this movie, the grossest scene was Miles eating the hot dog.

STANKO RATING: B (4.0/5 Stars)

“Guns Akimbo” IMDB
Guns Akimbo” Rotten Tomatoes

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