Heyyyy….so it’s been a minute. Had some live events, work stuff and basically a lot of stuff happening.

Whoops.

These are in the order in which I watched them over the past couple months.


Halloween (2018)

  • Much more enjoyable on the rewatch
  • Listened to the audiobook rendition of the movie and it was excellent
  • Okay, I am now excited again for the sequel coming out this year. I was too hard on this movie the first time

STANKO RATING: C+ (2.5/5 Stars)


Mank (2020)

  • Good god the dialogue this movie. This screenplay is sharper than a knife in a five-star kitchen.
  • I don’t get all the hype for Amanda Seyfried; she was good, not great
  • This movie looks incredible. Like wow. Screw people who don’t like black & white.
  • The best two scenes in the movie are the birthday party banter at the start and then scene-stealing dinner soliloquy delivered by Mank that seared the movie industry and everyone involved

STANKO RATING: A- (4.5/5 Stars)


Pieces Of A Women (2020)

  • The opening 20 minutes of this movie is the scariest and most stressful thing I have seen in the calendar year 2021.
  • Multiple reviews I have read have said that this movie falls apart in the second half but I think the momentum carries through well
  • Vanessa Kirby…dynamite.
  • This marriage relationship and the realness of it reminded me of the “Before” trilogy

STANKO RATING: A (4.0/5 Stars)


Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal (2021)

  • Objectively, I know this movie is not great, but it is educational
  • This is the perfect movie to show in a school to keep the kids entertained and at least team them enough
  • The “live reenactments” remind me of the History Channel

STANKO RATING: B- (3.0/5 Stars)


Buddy Games (2019)

  • Went into this movie knowing it would not be good. I was right.
  • Directorial debut from Josh Duhamel; still obvious kinks to work out but he is still very handsome
  • Duffy (Dax Shapard) and Bender (Nick Swardson) where the two least interesting characters and I just really never find Nick Swardson funny. The role I think of when picturing Swardson’s face is Grandma’s Boy (###).

STANKO RATING: D (2.0/5 Stars)


King Kong (1933)

  • This. Movie. Was. Awesome.
  • Can you imagine how terrifying this movie was to the audience of the day?
  • The scene of Kong breaking into the native’s village breaking down the wall is perfect. Had to pull my girlfriend away from cooking to rewind it and show her.
  • Was nice hearing the classic line at the end of this movie.
  • This is the best King Kong

STANKO RATING: A (4.5/5 Stars)


Zach Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

  • This was…good? Like I enjoyed it…quite a bit?
    • EXCEPT FOR THE EPILOGUE! This was a terrible addition that was only there for the fans
  • Best improvement was Steppenwolf actually getting depth and we learn he is a cog in the machine
  • I still think Ben Affleck was a perfectly fine Batman. In fact, I’d call him good.
  • While all the CGI did not look great, this movie is lightyears better than the original.

STANKO RATING: B (3.5/5 Stars)


Godzilla (2014)

  • Rewatched Godzilla to get ready for when Godzilla vs. Kong (2021).
  • While I didn’t enjoy this rewatch as much as I thought I would, it is still the better half of the “Monster” universe; this and Kong: Skull Island (2017).
  • What has happened to Aaron Taylor Johnson’s career?
  • This movie was dark, and by that I literally mean it. The final moments are all in the pitch of night. It’s a setting thing, but I like to see what is happening easily

STANKO RATING: C+ (2.5/5 Stars)


Sound Of Metal (2020)

  • This is a good movie. It is a high-quality flick. Not sure if Amazon Prime was planning on having this be an award contender, but damn it deserves it.
  • I like how Sound Of Metal dove into the problem of Ruben (Riz Ahmed). Speaking of Mr. Ahmed…he is superb. I know this isn’t breaking news, but that doesn’t make it less true.
  • It was awesome to see Paul Raci get nominated for an Oscar for his supporting role as Joe. No one expected him to win, but that doesn’t matter; he was the spoon stirring Ruben’s soup of character development.
  • The effectiveness of this movie is made tangible when Ruben gets the surgery to fix his ears. As an audience, it is hard to quantify the tangible feeling of watching someone destroy their journey by doing something they are convinced will help them.

STANKO RATING: B+ (4.0/5 Stars)


The House Of The Devil (2009)

  • Well did not expect Greta Gerwig to get shot in the head…that was when I knew I was in for a ride
  • This movie has an eeriness too it; it is uneven at times, but it is still omnipresent
  • The sliminess and grittiness of The House Of The Devil made it better than it had any right to do.
  • The tagline for this movie stinks: “Talk On The Phone. Finish Your Homework. Watch TV. Die.”

STANKO RATING: B (3.5/5 Stars)


Godzilla Vs. Kong (2021)

  • I wish I saw Godzilla Vs. Kong in theaters. I wish I would have seen Kong and Godzilla destroying one another in IMAX. It would have added something better to the experience.
  • This is a personal thing; movies with horrendous dialogue are really rough for me to watch. Such was the case with Godzilla: King Of The Monsters (2019), and to a lesser extent, Godzilla Vs. Kong.
  • The MechaGodzilla reveal was predictable when watching the movie, but still effective. I appreciated how the trailers and previews did not spoil the surprise.
  • I need to see Millie Bobby Brown do things outside the teenage angst genre…

STANKO RATING: C- (2.0/5 Stars)


Henry V (1989)

  • I watched Henry V because it is well renowned and represented on “All-Time” movie and performances lists. It should be stated that movies are subjective and just because it is well respected doesn’t mean one has to like it…
  • Kenneth Branagh both directed and led this movie, and it is quite an achievement. In particular, the acting aspect.
  • Henry V is long. Very long. With lots of talking. A true stage adaption, it is something that is not for everyone.
  • The best scene of the movie came with Henry V in incognito and commiserating with local, regular soldiers by the fire and realizing the human aspect of leading.

STANKO RATING: B- (3.0/5 Stars)


The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019)

  • Only watched this because of Barstool’s Lights Camera Podcast review and it was needed in order to listen to the podcast.
  • No, I did not see the first one to compare. Won’t be seeking it out a lot either.
  • With that being said, this movie was better than I thought it’d be. The worst part of the movie…Tiffany Haddish. I do not find her funny. It is a blind spot of mine.

STANKO RATING: C (2.5/5 Stars)


Blade (1998)

  • Wesley Snipes makes Blade so freaking cool.
  • The opening of this movie is one of the best for a comic book movie. Just throws you into the world and says, “soak in it.”
  • In rewatching the movie this time around, I was more impressed with Stephen Dorff as Deacon Frost.
  • The one thing that did not change for me this time around was how weak the final battle is. I wish it had more punch, however Deacon turning into the bad version of bubble boy still looks and feels silly.

STANKO RATING: B (3.5/5 Stars)


Blade 2 (2002)

  • Well did not know that this movie was made four years after the original. Surprised a bit the audience was still there with the gap.
  • In the rewatch, I was surprised with myself that I didn’t enjoy this sequel as much as I remembered. When I first saw the movie, I remember thinking Blade 2 was clearly better than the original; maybe it’s not as much better.
  • The best aspect of Blade 2 is the relationship between the Hero and his “gang” hunting down the more dangerous vampires. There are quips and jabs thrown, but the antagonistic nature of (Reinhardt) Ron Perlman makes things worth it.
  • This movie is quintessential turn of the century in terms of the disses, barbs, slow-mo and everything like that.
  • This movie introduced me, and a lot of people, to Guillermo del Toro.

STANKO RATING: B+ (3.5/5 Stars)


Mortal Kombat (1995)

  • I watched this movie after talking about it with my girlfriend’s brother. It was the perfect time to prep for the newer version of Mortal Kombat.
  • I saw this in all seriousness, the best part of this movie is the opening MORTAL KOMBATTTTTTTT!!!!
  • I have learned this movie was a box office success, but man oh man I can only imagine that certain fans were upset that this movie was rated PG-13.

STANKO RATING: D (1.5/5 Stars)


Q: Into The Storm (2021)

  • This is a remarkably interesting and educational watch. I can not credit HBO MAX enough, and Cullen Hoback, for creating something that is firmly stitched in the present but also inked with themes that are timeless.
  • Q: Into The Storm is made up of characters that are seemingly fake, but are all too real. A moment that true life is stranger than fiction.
  • I won’t spoil it here, but the fact that we learned something at the end of this show that was tangible is refreshing and honestly surprising.

STANKO RATING: A- (4.0/5 Stars)


Promising Young Woman (2020)

  • There is no denying this. Promising Young Woman may not have been the best movie nominated at The Academy Awards, but this is by far one of the most talked about.
  • The ending Promising Young Woman is…weird. It is unsatisfying, which I think is the point. But I am confused by Cassandra (Carey Mulligan) relying on a unit of justice she showed a massive lack of distrust far setting up the movie?
  • Carey Mulligan was awesome. I can easily see why this screenplay (award winning, yup) was enticing to take because it is so different.
  • Is Bo Burnham a good actor? I think so. I really liked him as Ryan.
  • Again. The ending. It is nuts. It will leave you in massive confusion.

STANKO RATING: B (4.0/5 Stars)


The Man With The Iron Fists (2012)

  • I remember I needed a very dumb action movie, and The Man With The Iron Fists delivered.
  • Russell Crowe is having a hell of a time. Don’t know if he was acting or just living he best life.
  • It is very, very confusing why the movie centered around the literal man with the iron fists when his story was the least explored and the most scoring.
  • Guys. There is a sequel. The Man With The Iron Fists 2. I may have to find this.
  • RZA has tried his hand a directing…and he shouldn’t give his other based off the results.

STANKO RATING: D (2.0/5 Stars)


The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)

  • I watched this movie after a 3chi gummy and I was a happy man. I may have fallen asleep with 30 minutes to go and had to finish it in the morning, but it was worth it.
  • John Goodman’s voice is amazing. Patrick Warburton’s voice is genius. David Spade’s…is purposely annoying.
  • WRONG LEVERRRRRRRRRR
  • Guys. There is a sequel. Kronk’s New Groove.

STANKO RATING: C+ (3.0/5 Stars)


The Blackcoats Daughter (2015)

  • This movie is veryyyy creepy.
  • The ending, the last 15 minutes, was very well done and the last sequence is a nice loop for the time warping done in the movie.
  • A classic example of the evil being hidden is scarier than the evil in plain view.
  • This is a nice streaming discovery. Recommend it for horror and thriller movie fans.

STANKO RATING: B- (3.0/5 Stars)


Let Them All Talk (2020)

  • Sure, Meryl Streep is good…but she is not the best part of this movie. Candice Bergen EATS UP THE SCREEEEENNN every time she is on. She is a miserable character and must be awful to hang out with, but damn she gives a fantastic performance.
  • Credit to Deborah Eisenberg for the script and Steven Soderbergh for matching its mood. For a movie that is basically in one setting, it does not get boring.
  • I did not expect what happened to Alice (Meryl Streep) at the end of Let Them All Talk. It was a sad realization, but it made sense for the story and did but a somber boy on it all.
  • At the time I watched this, it was the second straight movie I saw that surpassed my expectations which made me a happy man.

STANKO RATING: B (3.5/5 Stars)


Mortal Kombat (2021)

  • I was EXTREMELY excited to see Mortal Kombat. Massive credit to anyone who walked on the promotional materials for the movie and HBO MAX, because it worked on me.
  • This movie being rated R must have been a huge sigh of relief for all involved because there is no need to dance along a grew line.
  • Okay, the expositional speech from Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee) was the most “video game” part of the movie. OH, and it conveniently burns down after the speech. Just perfect.
  • There are some similar things to the original Mortal Kombat (2002) movie, but there are some key differences. HOWEVER, the most common denominator is that Kano, played by Josh Lawson in this modern remake, is the best part of the movie. Hands down. He may go over the top looking for comedy but WHO CARES.
  • The best action in Mortal Kombat comes in the first fight. No wonder they shared it early.
  • I wish the ending wasn’t rushed so much for each of the protagonist. They each got to do their fatality, but with almost no build up. Blood and guts is great, but use action to tell the story and not supplement an urge.

STANKO RATING: C+ (3.0/5 Stars)


News Of The World (2020)

  • Oh, this is a Tom Hanks movie. I mean everything about it is Tom Hanks. Elderly man leading a lost youthful soul to a home and a sense of hominess
  • Dariusz Wolski, the cinematographer for this movie, made it look INCREDIBLE. I know a western landscape is “easy” to make look solid, however there are some vistas and set pieces scenes that are very, very good.
  • Some credit needs to be given to Helena Zengel who played Johanna in the movie; playing a traumatized child who doesn’t know the English language.
  • News Of The World is one of the better western movies I have seen in recent years. I think since Hostiles in (2017) or Hell Or High Water (2016).

STANKO RATING: A- (4.0/5)


White Eye (2019)

  • The cinematography in this movie is incredible. One take. The setting is encapsulating, and index card of characters fits the fleeting emotions of the central figure.
  • I LOVEEEE the ending to White Tiger. The ultimate FUCK IT statement. It is both depressing and inspiring.
  • This movie inspired me to watch more short films. Snack size expert storytelling.

STANKO RATING: A- (4.0/5 Stars)


1BR (2019)

  • I love the idea of 1BR, but the execution was a bit faulty.
  • Nicole Brydon Bloom (Sarah) made the most of this leading role. I will admit I think she is beautiful, but on a more objective stance, Bloom plays the dead-eyed lost puppy follower vibe very well.
  • I have not seen a lot of things with Taylor Nichols in it, but he was a solid cult leader.
  • Most importantly, THIS IS WHY OVER FRIENDLY PEOPLE SCARE ME. Introverted self is now coming out.
  • The ending is a perplexing one. Personally, not sure if it adds too the mystery of the story or takes away from it. I think it is up for the viewer.

STANKO RATING: C (2.0/5 Stars)


Synchronic (2019)

  • Most people liked Synchronic, huh? Rather surprising to me when I went and checked out Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB after the fact. I did not like this movie.
  • The dialogue in this movie is terrible. None of the conversations between Steve (Anthony Mackie) and Dennis (Jamie Dornan) are palatable. They all seem forced and none of the emotion behind the arguments or resolution are earned.
  • I have a hot take. Is Anthony Mackie a good actor? Trying to recall movies he has been in, there are not a lot that stick out. I really disliked Outside The Wire (2021) and thought he was very boring in the Marvel Avenger’s movies. This is now a point for me to find more movies Mackie is in.
  • Also, who would take this drug?? I mean its nuts. Like seems way to dangerous.

STANKO RATING: D (1.5/5 Stars)


The Blair Witch Project (1999)

  • The Blair Witch Project is excellent. It is the golden example of found footage movies. Hands down, the best of the bunch. Even upon rewatch there is still so much dread and despair oozing out of every scene.
  • The biggest thing I noticed in rewatching is how well they softly implant the terrible things that happen in the woods. The kids disappearing, the hanging out in the corner. Those first 15 minutes set up all the scares.
  • To have only these three actors take part on this movie, I really want to know how many takes each shot took. Was it one-take wonders with actual frustration?
  • The forest in Blair Witch is so Northeast that it hurts. Nostalgia for me.
  • May need to do a list of any found footage movies I have seen and rank them.
  • The Blair Witch Project is a must see for an horror movie fan.

STANKO RATING: A (4.5/5 Stars)


M (1931)

  • I loved M. Plain and simple. M shows that you don’t need color, special effects, CGI, or any of that mumbo jumbo to make an amazing story.
  • Since this movie was made in 1931 and is foreign to a lot of people (literally), M centers around a German City where a child killer is the loose and the police are having no luck, therefore the criminal underworld also takes a crack at catching him.
  • There is so much tension in M. When Hans Beckert (Peter Lorre) is hiding from the police and the criminal bigrade chasing in the storage closet, that is just gripping stuff. The non-verbal acting from Locke and the use of his eyes is earie and characterizing of a serial killer.
  • The ending of M with the court of Beckert’s peers brings the viewer to goosebumps. The direct cut, to the quiet, onlooking and judgmental crowd is a shot that has stayed with me over the last months. The only thing that matches it in terms of a talking point I’d love to touch on is Promising Young Woman.
  • It is a personal guarantee that anyone who watches M will be whistling “In The Hall Of The Mountain King.”

STANKO RATING: A- (4.5/5 Stars)


Band Of Brothers (2001)

  • It turns out HBO makes good shows. Who knew?
  • Band Of Brothers came at the request of my girlfriend and ohhh how I need to thank her for it. Band Of Brothers is one of the best TV shows I have every watched.
  • Damien Lewis was superb as Richard D. Winters. I mean leadership classes should be taught after his character (based on real life which is crazy!)
  • Every single episode of Band Of Brothers was amazing, but if I had to pick my favorite three: The Breaking Point (Ep. 7), Why We Fight (Ep. 9) and Carentan (Ep. 3).

STANKO RATING: A (5.0/5 Stars)


The Mitchells Vs. The Machines (2021)

  • Okay, before people yell at me for this grade, I did enjoy The Mitchells Vs. The Machines. I just didn’t love it. It was the small things like the cat filter gag that brought this movie down from what could have been really good.
  • I think I have a little bit of a problem being jaded against kid-driven movies. Sometimes they are simple, which is their point, but it takes it a little away from me.
  • The one thing about The Mitchells Vs. The Machines is that it looks awesome. Sony Pictures’ style of animation is visually striking and far more engrossing that Pixar at the moment.
  • Linda Mitchell (Maya Rudolph) is the sneaky best part of the movie. When she turns into a warrior mad woman at the climax I was hooting and engrossed. Her kids and husband being scared and in awe at the same time is all too real.
  • I think my rating of this movie is too low as I am writing this. The touching scene with the father (Danny McBride) letting go of his artistic side was moving.
  • This voice cast is LOADED!!! My God. Olivia Coleman, Eric Andre, Fred Armisen, Beck Bennett, Chrissy Teigen, John Legend, BLAKE GRIFFIN???

STANKO RATING: C+ (2.5/5)


Deadly Illusions (2021)

  • This movie stinks. Skip it.
  • Hallmark would not air this movie.
  • Deadly Illusions is a soap opera not picked up by the third-rate Spanish channel.

STANKO RATING: F (0.5/5 Stars)


Pride And Prejudice And Zombies (2016)

  • I did not expect Lily James when I loaded up this movie.
  • This is such a weird concept, right? It is hard to picture why it was greenlit for a movie? I think part of what makes this so hard to fathom is that Pride & Prejudice (2005) was such an expected fun and emotional watch.
  • Matt Smith being the creepy cousin was a good fit. Also, quite different than the short and stocky cousin in the 2005 version.
  • One of the biggest problems for me with Pride And Prejudice And Zombies is that I never felt any of the characters were in true danger. I know there was a story to follow, but if they could take liberties adding zombies to Jane Austin’s tale, why not add in some other surprises?

STANKO RATING: D+ (2.0/5 Stars)


My Octopus Teacher (2020)

  • First thing about My Octopus Teacher is that it was beautifully shot. It is not just a unique environment, but the type of shots featuring the octopus and its environment were beautiful.
  • I will admit that I have not seen a lot of the documentaries that qualified for the 2021 Academy Awards, but I am surprised that this took home the award. It is not a movie that is speaking to a bigger, broader problem. Seems a little to micro rather than macro for that prestige? I don’t know, maybe it’s just me.
  • Here is my simple pitch: if you like nature and science, you will love My Octopus Teacher. Otherwise, you will appreciate it.

STANKO RATING: B+ (3.5/5 Stars)


Justice League: Gods And Monsters (2015)

  • Ahhh, one of my pallet cleansers. A DC animated adventure.
  • The alternate timeline and different personnas of Superman, Wonder Woman and most notably Batman make Justice League: Gods And Monsters different than the rest.
  • Looking at the IMDB I notice that Michael C. Hall voiced Batman and now I am just curious how Showtime is going to continue Dexter.

STANKO RATING: C+ (2.5/5 Stars)


Stowaway (2021)

  • My immediate thought is that Stowaway is a lot like the 2017 failed horror movie Life. Both are science fiction movies with decent casts that will pressure you to press play but in the end the movie itself is disappointing.
  • Stowaway stars four people; three of which everyone has seen. The only one that may be new to some is Shamier Anderson who plays the stowaway himself, Michael Adams.
  • The closing sequence of Stowaway is propelled by the classic space problem…a solar flare! It has been done before and it will be done again. The frustrating part of this movie is that it was used as a crux at the end of the best moment in the movie. It was a bummer of a close.
  • There was one shot that sticks with me from Stowaway: when Zoe Levenson (Anna Kendrick) finds out that the rest of the algae has died. It is a slight camera movement around the body of David Kim (Daniel Dae Kim) and Marina Barnett (Toni Collette).

STANKO RATING: C+ (2.5/5 Stars)


Two Distant Strangers (2020)

  • This movie packs the meanest of punches. If you don’t need to take two deep breathes after watching Two Distant Strangers then you need to check yourself.
  • Shout out to Andrew Howard for being super, SUPER evil. So easy to hate him. Howard plays Merk, the racist and evil cop who is the bane of Carter’s (Joey Bada$$’s) existence.
  • There is a character in this movie named Corporate Chump. Amazing. Simply amazing.
  • Two Distant Strangers won Best Live Action Short at The Oscars and I totally get it. This is a “risky” movie, meaning that it is taking a swing at the hope of making an impact. There is no doubt that Two Distant Strangers make takes its hack and mashes its message out of the park.
  • Also the writing is so good. The subtle hint to the broken apartment numbers to then have that come back and be a crux for a later rewind event…good stuff

STANKO RATING: A (4.0/5 Stars)


Rememory (2017)

  • This movie suffered from the worst symptom: Boredom.
  • The twist at the end of the movie is actually solid, I did not see it coming. Maybe it was because it was hard for me to pay attention the entire time because my mind was wandering, but still it got me when the memory played out.
  • Rememory has been on my queue list for three years it seems across three different streaming platforms; safe to say I am disappointed after finally watching it.
  • Seeing Anton Yelchin in this movie makes me want to rewatch Green Room (2015) and be the exact opposite of bored.

STANKO RATING: D+ (2.0/5 Stars)


Thunder Force (2021)

  • What an abomination of a movie. That is my gut reaction. Thunder Force tried applying bad slapstick comedy to the superhero genre and it is just a mistake.
  • Was this movie made for kids? If it was, why were there no kids in it? Youngest character is a high school aged kid who graduated early?
  • Jason Bateman, why do you do this when you have the capability to make The Outsider?
  • Bobby Cannavale had the best time making this. I think his only direction was to be AS LOUD AS POSSIBLE.
  • I have lost all faith to Melissa McCarthy to be in more good movies than not.

Stanko Rating: F (1.0/5 Stars)


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