“The Empty Man”

“On the trail of a missing girl, an ex-cop comes across a secretive group attempting to summon a terrifying supernatural entity.”

Director: David Prior
Writers: David Prior, Cullen Bunn
Staring: James Badge Dale, Marin Ireland, Sasha Frolova
Streaming: HBO Max
Release Date: October 23, 2020

Right from the get-go, anyone can tell that The Empty Man is made with care and skill. The opening 10 minutes before the title screen is not just simple exposition. Director and writer David Prior creates a mini movie that would be scary and entertaining on its own and weaves it into the story with an anticipated amount of finesse.

FULL REVIEW


“John Wick Chapter 2”

“After returning to the criminal underworld to repay a debt, John Wick discovers that a large bounty has been put on his life.

Director: Chad Stahelski
Writers: Derek Kolstad
Staring: Keanu Reeves, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ian McShane
Streaming: Peacock
Release Date: February 10, 2017

No need for this “review” to be long. I love John Wick Chapter 2 (2017). It is my favorite of the Wick franchise thus far, and it is in the pantheon for best action movies I have ever experienced.

John Wick Chapter 2 picks up right after its 2014 predecessor and does not let up once the gas pedal is pushed. The opening sequence is violent, bloody mayhem. Bodies flying everywhere and cars destroyed at every turn. Wick’s body is an indestructible temple of vengeance as he slowly reveals himself to his enemies and to the audience. The whole thing is shot like a western and a spy kung fu movie. The opening shots of the city setting the scene showing the scope of things while this tussle is going be held in a small, dank, recess of the chaos. Wick not showing his face till a dramatic two-face-esq reveal, which is mirrored on later in the movie with the darkness covering his other half.

FULL REVIEW


“Rogue”

An American journalist on assignment in the Australian outback encounters a man-eating crocodile while trapped on a rapidly flooding mud island.

Director: Greg McLean
Writers: Greg McLean
Staring: Michael Vartan, Radha Mitchell, Sam Worthington
Streaming: Vudu
Release Date: November 8, 2007

I am sucker for some indie level monster movies. I am also sucker for eye grabbing movie posters. Rogue checks off both of those boxes. Add in a director that I have heard of before, and this movie checks all my preferences for a random rainy day background movie.

FULL REVIEW


“The Raven”

Dr. Vollin is a brilliant but unstable surgeon with a morbid obsession for instruments of torture. He saves the life of Jean Thatcher, a beautiful young socialite injured in an automobile accident and becomes increasingly attracted to her.

Director: Lew Landers
Writers: Edgar Allen Poe, David Boehm, Guy Endore
Staring: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lester Matthews
Streaming: Peacock
Release Date: July 8, 1935

The Raven is based off Edgar Allen Poe’s famous poem of the same name. Most people when they hear the title, The Raven, their immediate thoughts go to the poorly received 2012 adaption of the ode. It behooves people to go into the past, to 1935, to when Bela Lugosi was the king creep and advocate of creepiness on screen.

FULL REVIEW


“Spiral: From The Book Of Saw”

“A criminal mastermind unleashes a twisted form of justice in Spiral, the terrifying new chapter from the book of Saw.”

Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
Writers: Henry Gilroy, Steven Melching, Scott Murphy
Staring: Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Max Minghella, Marisol Nichols
Streaming: VUDU Rental
Release Date: May 14, 2021

Expectations were not high for Spiral: From The Book Of Saw, yet it still falls below expectations. Despite staring the not-of-seen but incredibly talented Chris Rock, this attempted reinvigoration of the Saw franchise is rushed, muddled mess.

One of the biggest differences between the typical Saw sequels compared to Spiral: The Book Of Saw is that this most recent torture-inducing story is character driven. Detective Zeke Banks (Chris Rock) is an oft hated on cop who is seen as a rat within his department. Banks must battle back his need to be alone when Captain Angie Garza (Marisol Nichols) gives him a new rookie partner, Detective William Schnek (Max Minghella). Don’t forget to throw in there a testy relationship between Zeke and his father, who is played by Samuel L. Jackson.

FULL REVIEW


“Star Wars: The Clone Wars”

After the Republic’s victory on Christophsis, Anakin and his new apprentice Ahsoka Tano must rescue the kidnapped son of Jabba the Hutt. Political intrigue complicates their mission.

Director: Dave Filoni
Writers: Henry Gilroy, Steven Melching, Scott Murphy
Staring: Matt Lanter, Ashley Eckstein, James Arnold Taylor
Streaming: Disney+
Release Date: August 15, 2008

There isn’t much to Star Wars: The Clone Wars. This is a kids movie, plain and simple.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a prequel to the Clone Wars TV show that was on the air for 12 years for seven seasons and 133 episodes. The show, under the helm of Dave Filoni, evolved over time into an amazing piece of Star Wars canon. This movie however, is a reminder of where the show began and how far it has come.

FULL REVIEW


“Vertigo”

“A former police detective juggles wrestling with his personal demons and becoming obsessed with a hauntingly beautiful woman.”

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writers: Alec Coppel, Samuel A. Taylor, Peirre Boileau, Thomas Narcejac, Maxwell Anderson
Staring: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore
Streaming: Amazon Prime
Release Date: May 22, 1958

Vertigo is the story of a retired San Francisco detective John Ferguson (James Stewart) and his entanglements while trying to help out his friend, Galvin Elster (Tom Helmore). Galvin hires Ferguson, known as Scottie to friends, to follow his wife, Madeleine Elster (Kim Novak). Galvin thinks that Madeleine is possessed by someone not herself and therefore his wife is a danger to herself without knowing it. Thus the web is laid out, and Scottie is the one who gets caught in something he can’t quite figure out. Vertigo weaves through drama and romance that, maybe unknowingly, places the audience in uncomfortable shoes.

FULL RELEASE


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“Hail, Caesar!” | Wonderful Writing Without A Purpose

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