“Beckett”

“Following a tragic car accident in Greece, an American tourist finds himself at the center of a dangerous political conspiracy and on the run for his life.”

Director: Ferdinando Cito Filomarino
Writers: Kevin A. Rice, Ferdinando Cito Filomarino
Staring: John David Washington, Boyd Holbrook, Vicky Krieps, Alicia Vikander
Release Date: August 13, 2021
Streaming: Netflix

Beckett is the equivalent to a disappointing roller coaster ride. You are locked in and ready to go and your car gets moving. You see the potential ahead of you and the anticipation is building. You get locked in and amped when your car catches onto the propulsion tracks and now you are waiting for the excitement. They roller coaster operator pushes ignition and you are lurched forward with your arms flying and your adrenaline running. The giant hill is in your view and you feel you bodyweight shift as you are carried upwards toward the pinnacle of feeling. Just as your anticipation may start to wane with the momentum of propulsion slowing down, you see the mountain crest. The roller coaster gets over the ledge…and just flatlines. There is simply no payoff to the anticipation. The roller coaster experience falls flat and you are left yearning for what could have been.

FULL REVIEW


“Black Death”

“Set during the time of the first outbreak of bubonic plague in England, a young monk is given the task of learning the truth about reports of people being brought back to life in a small village.”

Director: Christopher Smith
Writers: Dario Poloni, Christopher Smith
Staring: Eddie Redmayne, Sean Bean, Carice van Houten, John Lynch
Release Date: June 11, 2010
Streaming: HBO Max

Black Death (2010) is brutal. It is reminiscent of Bone Tomahawk (2015) in the way that it sucks you into false sense of security before dropping you in a pit of terror. A group of men, some braver than others, are on a journey they don’t fully understand. Additionally, both Black Death and Bone Tomahawk have casts that are more recognizable than one would expect.

FULL REVIEW


“End Of Days”

“At the end of the century, Satan visits New York in search of a bride. It’s up to an ex-cop who now runs an elite security outfit to stop him.”

Director: Peter Hyams
Writers: Andrew W. Marlowe
Staring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gabriel Byrne, Robin Tunney, Kevin Pollak
Streaming: Peacock
Release Date: November 24, 1999

Whoof. Tough way to end the millennium for Arnold Schwarzenegger. End Of Days is a classified as a horror and thriller on IMDB, but the only suspense in the story comes in waiting for the next piece of bad acting from the movie’s star. Schwarzenegger’s typical job isn’t delivering deep emotional resonance or acting rationally scared and in End Of Days, his limits was illuminated as part of a bad movie experience as a whole.

FULL REVIEW


“Free Solo”

“Alex Honnold attempts to become the first person to ever free solo climb El Capitan.”

Director: JImmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
Release Date: December 13, 2018
Streaming: Disney+

Free Solo (2018) is scarier than 90% of the horror movies that have been made in recent movies. There is nearly unbearable angst built up surrounding Alex Honnold’s attempt to be the first ever free solo climber of Yosemite’s El Capitan. Free Solo captures the thrill and danger of free solo climbing and pins it against the “Is what it is” mantra of its focal point Alex, creating a unique lens to view one of the worlds most dangerous activities.

FULL REVIEW


“Inferno”

“When Robert Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Dr. Sienna Brooks, and together they must race across Europe against the clock to foil a deadly global plot.”

Director: Ron Howard
Writers: Dan Brown, David Koepp
Staring: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Ben Foster, Omar Sy
Streaming: Amazon Rental
Release Date: October 28. 2016

You hate to see a franchise go out with a whimper. The Robert Langdon movie franchise closed out its time in 2016 with Inferno, and Ron Howard and company went down pitifully into the night.

Inferno is the worst of the trilogy by a wide margin, due largely in part to frantic pacing of the story. The audience is thrown into the well with Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) sitting in a hospital bed with no memory of anything that has transpired over the last 48 hours. It turns out that Langdon is in some deep shit, but with the aid of Siena Brooks (Felicty Jones), the symbologist starts to pick up the pieces of his memory.

FULL REVIEW


“Midnight Mass | Book One: Genesis”

“The tale of a small, isolated island community whose existing divisions are amplified by the return of a disgraced young man and the arrival of a charismatic priest. When Father Paul’s appearance on Crockett Island coincides with unexplained and seemingly miraculous events, a renewed religious fervor takes hold of the community – but do these miracles come at a price?”

Director: Mike Flanagan
Writer: Mike Flanagan
Staring: Kate Siegel, Zach Gilford, Kristin Lehman, Samantha Sloyan, Igby Rigney, Rahul Kohli, Annarah Cymone, Annabeth Gish, Alex Essoe, Rahul Abburi, Matt Biedel, Michael Trucci, Crystal Balint, Louis Oliver, Henry Thomas, Hamish Linklater, Andrew Gush, Quinton Boisclaire
Streaming: Netflix
Release Date: September 24, 2021

We have a new horror mini series on Netflix from the trusted hands of Mike Flanagan. The director of The Haunting On Hill House (2018) and The Haunting Of Bly Manor (2020) is now at the helm of his own original story which is surely going to delight and scare audiences.

Midnight Mass is a seven episode tale that takes place on a remote island set in Maine. The small town of less than 150 people is set in its ways but is thrown for a loop when Riley Flynn (Zach Gilford) returns to town, followed shortly by a new paster, Father Paul (Hamish Linklater). Things begin to change in the small community and soon the faithful and religious foundations everyone holds true begin to crack.

FULL REVIEW


“Midnight Mass | Book Two: The Psalms”

“The tale of a small, isolated island community whose existing divisions are amplified by the return of a disgraced young man and the arrival of a charismatic priest. When Father Paul’s appearance on Crockett Island coincides with unexplained and seemingly miraculous events, a renewed religious fervor takes hold of the community – but do these miracles come at a price?”

Director: Mike Flanagan
Writer: Mike Flanagan
Staring: Kate Siegel, Zach Gilford, Kristin Lehman, Samantha Sloyan, Igby Rigney, Rahul Kohli, Annarah Cymone, Annabeth Gish, Alex Essoe, Rahul Abburi, Matt Biedel, Michael Trucci, Crystal Balint, Louis Oliver, Henry Thomas, Hamish Linklater, Andrew Gush, Quinton Boisclaire
Streaming: Netflix
Release Date: September 24, 2021

Mike Flanagan, you clever fucking son of a bitch.

I am jumping right to the most intriguing and expertly made sequence in episode two, The Psalms.

Father Paul is hosting a private Alcoholics Anonymous for Riley Flynn in the Monsignour Pruitt Rec Center. He offered this olive branch to Riley at the Crock Pot Luck so the newly freed man wouldn’t have to waste a day going into the main land. A nice gesture, but obvious invisible strings are attached.

FULL REVIEW


“A Quiet Place Part II”

“Following the events at home, the Abbott family now face the terrors of the outside world. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realize the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats lurking beyond the sand path.”

Director: John Krasinski
Writers: John Krasinski, Bryan Woods, Scott Beck
Staring: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Cillian Murphy, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe
Streaming: Rental
Release Date: May 28, 2021

We have returned to the land of the still and quiet. After the critical and box office and box office success of A Quiet Place (2018), this sequel has been highly anticipated. Luckily for the fans and for all involved in the soon to be franchise, A Quiet Place Part II (2021) brushes off doubts and trots forward with exhilarating thrills and top-notch performances.

FULL REVIEW


“Sunset Boulevard”

“A screenwriter develops a dangerous relationship with a faded film star determined to make a triumphant return.”

Director: Frank Lloyd
Writers: Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, D.M. Marshman Jr.
Staring: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich Von Stroheim, Nancy Olson
Streaming: Amazon Prime
Release Date: August 4, 1950

Sunset Boulevard (1950) won three Oscars and was nominated for 11 total awards in 1951. It is in the NBR top films for 1950, and is ranked No. 12 on AFI’s top 100 movies all-time. Sunset Boulevard is well made, well acted and well written.

However, in this man’s humble opinion, Sunset Boulevard suffers from the same afflictions of Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson); the magic has worn off and while the reputation is strong, the memory is stronger than the reality.

FULL REVIEW


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“Midnight Mass” Episode Seven Review

Here is my hot take. Midnight Mass – Book VII: Revelation is the worst episode of the entire series. In the conclusion of this seven episode mini-series, the inhabitants of Crockett Island face their fate and come to grips with the repercussions regarding their miracle. Book VI: Act Of The Apostles sprayed blood everywhere and […]

NFL Week 8 Picks

So for some reason in week seven there was no rhyme or reason to my picks. There are three avenues where I make selections, and in each one I went over .500, but with different picks in each. Why? I have no clue. A weak slate on paper and six teams on a bay maybe […]

“Let Him Go” | Costner & Lane Levitate Surprisingly Dark Drama

“A retired sheriff and his wife, grieving over the death of their son, set out to find their only grandson.” Director: Thomas BezuchaWriters: Thomas Bezucha, Larry WatsonStaring: Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Kayli Carter, Ryan Bruce, Lesley ManvilleWhere To Watch: HBO MaxRelease Date: November 6, 2020 Don’t go into Let Him Go expecting anything. That is […]

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