“A Trip To The Moon”

“A group of astronomers go on an expedition to the Moon.”

Director: Georges Méliès
Writers: Georges Méliès, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells
Staring: Georges Méliès
Streaming: HBO Max
Release Date: January 14, 2022

You can watch A Trip To The Moon (1902) on a lot of different outlets and every movie lover should. I know that I am late to the party myself, but better to arrive at a fashionable time than to never arrive at all.

The 16 minutes French short silent movie follows a group of astronomers who venture to the moon in an attempt to discover a new land. Shot out a large cannon in a giant bullet, the scientists land on the moon and experience the new landscape and its natural habitants. The discoverers must find a way to get home to tell earth of their discoveries.

FULL REVIEW


“Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One”

“Batman investigates a murder spree that takes place on holidays.”

Director: Chris Palmer
Writers: Jeph Loeb, Tim Sale, Tim Sheridan
Staring: Jensen Ackles, Josh Duhamel, Naya Rivera, Troy Baker, Billy Burke
Streaming: HBO Max
Release Date: June 22, 2021

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One (2021) is based off of a mid-1990s graphic novel written by Jeph Loeb and TIm Sale. A dreary Gotham is being haunted by a killer that strikes only on calendar holidays. The killings are complicating a crime-purging campaign that is linking a young Batman (Jensen Ackles) with James Gordon (Bill Burke) and Harvey Dent (Josh Duhamel). The trio is attempting to get rid of the Falcone family and it’s leader, The Roman. Batman has to balance goals while battling familiar villains and themes.

FULL REVIEW


“Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two”

The killer known as Holiday continues to stalk the Falcone crime family while a new class of costumed criminal rises in Gotham City. Batman suspects that a former ally might be the serial killer.

Director: Chris Palmer
Writers: Jeph Loeb, Tim Sale, Tim Sheridan
Staring: Jensen Ackles, Josh Duhamel, Naya Rivera, Troy Baker, Billy Burke
Streaming: HBO Max
Release Date: July 27, 2021

A direct follow up to Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One (2021) released a month after its predecessor, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two (2021) focuses more on the Falcone crime family and how Bruce Wayne’s past connects him to the events of the present. There are not the same amount of action set pieces as in the first, but the evolution of Harvey Dent to Two Face, and the expanded exposition of Selina Kyle and Wayne ensure the audience isn’t left in the entertainment lurch.

FULL REVIEW


“Cruella”

“A live-action prequel feature film following a young Cruella de Vil.”

Director: Craig Gillespie
Writers: Dana Fox, Tony McNamara, Aline Brosh McKenna, Kelly Marcel, Steve Zissis, Dodie Smith
Staring: Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Joel Fry, Paul Water Hauser, John McCrea
Streaming: Disney+
Release Date: May 28, 2021

Cruella (2021) strings together enough entertaining aspects to make this overly long unnecessary story worthy of watching. The majority of the positive moments are owed to the charisma of one-time Oscar Winner Emma Stone and two-time Oscar Winner costume designer Jenny Beaven.

By far the best sequences in Cruella come when she is upstaging The Baroness (Emma Thompson). Cruella waltzing around and creating rock concert-esq events to show off her rambunctious outfits is the reason to see this movie. The montage of vengeful vitriol is worth the price of admission.

FULL REVIEW


“Halloween Kills”

“The saga of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode continues in the next thrilling chapter of the Halloween series.”

Director: David Gordon Green
Writers: John Carpenter, Debra Hill, Scott Teems
Staring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, James Judy Courtney, Will Patton
Streaming: Peacock
Release Date: October 15, 2021

Here is the thing about Halloween Kills (2021). It is not a Halloween movie, and by that I mean, it is not in the same vane as the original Halloween (1978) or the reboot of the franchise with Halloween (2018). The characters are the same. The decor of Michael Myers is the same. The town is the same. However, the mood, the aesthetic and the editing style choices made in Halloween Kills are foreign to what made the hits for the Halloween franchise great.

FULL REVIEW


“Malignant”

“Madison is paralyzed by shocking visions of grisly murders, and her torment worsens as she discovers that these waking dreams are in fact terrifying realities.”

Director: James Wan
Writers: James Wan, Ingrid Bisu, Akela Cooper
Staring: Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson, George Young, Jean Louisa Kelly, Michola Briana White
Streaming: HBO Max
Release Date: September 10, 2021

James Wan has escaped the conjuring universe and has stepped back into the director’s chair for an original horror movie. Malignant (2021) is his first movie since Aquaman (2018) and his first horror movie since The Conjuring 2 (2016). Can the well known director of Saw (2004)Insidious (2010) and the original The Conjuring (2013) conjure up the horror magic once again? Let’s dive into Malignant.

FULL REVIEW


“Midnight Mass | Book III: The Proverbs”

“Miraculous times leave residents stunned as Leeza pays Joe an important visit. A shocking confession reveals what really happened to Monsignor Pruitt.”

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

Let’s start at the ending. The final 10 minutes of Book III: The Proverbs, saved what was a very average episode of TV. The speech filled hour concluded with some answers to some key questions and a reveal that I would really love to take credit for as a prophesier myself.

Through a classic allegory of the cave type tale, we find out exactly what happened to Monsignor Pruitt. Father Paul is Monsignor Pruitt, and he became so through very curious means. The elderly Pruitt, who was more sick than the people of Crockett would accept, wandered into the desert on his exodus to the holy land. While aimlessly walking, a sandstorm arrives and the holy man must escape into a lost cave. The ruins are holy in nature, and they are not abandoned.

FULL REVIEW


“Midnight Mass | Book IV: Lamentations”

Erin turns to Riley after receiving upsetting news. Father Paul starts experiencing disturbing side effects. Bev makes a startling discovery.

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

Through a classic allegory of the cave type tale, we find out exactly what happened to Monsignor Pruitt. Father Paul is Monsignor Pruitt, and he became so through very curious means. The elderly Pruitt, who was more sick than the people of Crockett would accept, wandered into the desert on his exodus to the holy land. While aimlessly walking, a sandstorm arrives and the holy man must escape into a lost cave. The ruins are holy in nature, and they are not abandoned.

We see this battle of wills vs. wants in what is the most pivotal turning point of Midnight Mass thus far. After Leeza stands up to drunk Joe Collie (Robert Longstreet), the newly minted Alcoholics Anonymous member stops by the home of Father Paul/Monsignor Pruitt (Hamish Linklater). Through a series of misfortunate events, Collie ends up bleeding out on the floor. Father Paul kneels down next to the hurt man, and in a haunting visual, the priestly man veers past this injured sheep and begins slurping the blood. Major credit to Robert Longstreet for acting through his seizure and still showing betrayal and shock in his eyes.

FULL REVIEW


“Midnight Mass | Book V: Gospel”

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

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

Religion is an addiction. Faith is a symptom.

That is what Mike Flanagan is nailing home in Episode Five of Midnight Mass. The chapter, which is entitled The Gospel, focuses on Riley and Monsignor Pruitt following the events of the prior episode. Riley is now one of many missing people on Crockett Island and Sheriff Shabazz is slowly becoming aware of the situation. While Joe Collie and his drug dealer are dead, Riley is not deceased in the logical sense. His heart is still ticking, but his soul is in a battle for itself at the Rec Center.

FULL REVIEW


“Midnight Mass | Episode VI: Act Of The Apostles”

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

“A fervent Bev calls for faith on the night of Easter vigil. Sarah reveals the results of a troubling experiment, along with a sobering theory.”

Here we have it. Here we have the bloodbath that Midnight Mass has been building up to.

Act Of The Apostles is the bloodiest and most visually disturbing episode of the entire season. The dread that has been slowly building up through five episodes come to a head with Monsignor Pruitt and his delusions persuading his flock of followers to do the unthinkable.

It is Easter mass. A time to celebrate resurrection and revelations. A time to believe in miracles. Monsignor Pruitt, with the aid of Bev and his most dedicated followers, has catered the Crockett Island community (undenounced to them) to bend the knee and have utmost faith for this event that he has been building towards.

FULL REVIEW


“Minari”

“A Korean family starts a farm in 1980s Arkansas.”

Director: Lee Isaac Chiung
Writer: Lee Isaac Chung
Staring: Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Alan S. Kim, Noel Cho, Yuh-Jung Youn
Streaming: Vudu Rental
Release Date: February 12, 2021

Wrapping my thoughts around Minari, it’s hard to not touch on everything that everyone has said already. Minari is a real, heartfelt and all-to-real story of a family in the 1980s trying to accomplish the American Dream on a farm in Arkansas. This is a semi-biographical story of writer and director Lee Isaac Chung and it’s easy to see the personal experiences squeezed into the script. The touchstones of the story are cemented in realism.

FULL REVIEW


“No Time To Die”

“James Bond has left active service. His peace is short-lived when Felix Leiter, an old friend from the CIA, turns up asking for help, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.”

Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Writers: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Ian Fleming
Staring: Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Rami Malek, Lashana Lynch, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Winshaw, Naomie Harris, Christoph Waltz
THEATERS!
Release Date: October 8, 2021

It has finally happened. No Time To Die has finally come to theaters. Was it worth the wait?

Hell yea it was.

No Time To Die begins with Bond in retirement and in love with Madeleine (Léa Seydoux). The bliss of happiness explodes and Bond’s restored faith in the idea of happily ever after is destroyed once again. Living the life of solo luxury, Bond is brought back into the fray by old CIA friend Felix Leiter when he is asked to track down a lead involving Spectre. His desire for redemption and knowledge of the enemy gets complicated when MI6 intertwines itself. The sauciness of an old legend coming home is spicy when a new 007 enters the fray and an old enemy of Spectre, Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) and Madeleine. The world is in the balance and the legacy of Bond is teetering. Time for a certain hero to save the day.

FULL RELEASE


“Snake Eyes”: G.I. Joe Origins”

“A G.I. Joe spin-off centered around the character of Snake Eyes.”

Director: Robert Schwentke
Writers: Evan Spiliotopoulos, Joe Shrapnel, Anna Waterhouse
Staring: Henry Golding, Andrew Koji, Haruka Abe, Takehiro Hira, Iko Uwais
THEATERS!
Release Date: July 23, 2021

Where Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins went wrong was when it decided it wanted to be a G.I. Joe movie. Folks, that’s not a good thing when you want to start a new cinematic universe.

Snake Eyes stars Henry Golding and follows Snake Eyes on his rise from obscure crime-committing cage fighter to a deadly G.I. Joe ally. On his rise to maturity Snake Eyes meets with crime gangs, shady characters and an ancient Japanese group called the Arashikage. Snake Eyes is brought into the secret club and is taught on how to be a ninja warrior, but his journey is made rocky with broke allegiance and relationships. Will Snake Eyes shape up to the challenges he faces, or will he bow to temptations?

FULL RELEASE


“Terror By Night”

“When the fabled Star of Rhodesia diamond is stolen on a London to Edinburgh train and the son of its owner is murdered, Sherlock Holmes must discover which of his suspicious fellow passengers is responsible.”

Director: Roy William Neill
Writers: Frank Gruber, Arthur Conan Doyle
Staring: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Alan Mowbray
Streaming: Amazon Prime
Release Date: February 1, 1946

Sometimes you just need to watch a good detective story. It is phenomenal that Amazon Prime is now housing numerous Sherlock Holmes movies venturing across decades. The older movies are short, swift, and perfect late night snackable entertainment.

Terror By Night (1946) wastes none of its 55 minute run-time. Basil Rathbone plays a sassy Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce plays a more dim-witted version of Dr John H. Watson than I anticipated, and together they must work to solve a murder and find out who has stole an illustrious jewel by the name of the Star Of Rhodesia.

FULL RELEASE


“When A Stranger Calls”

“A psychopathic killer terrorizes a babysitter, then returns seven years later to menace her again.”

Director: Fred Walton
Writers: Steve Feke, Fred Walton
Staring: Carol Kane, Charles Durning, Rutanya Alda, William Boyett, Tony Beckley
Streaming: Amazon Prime
Release Date: October 26, 1979

You do not need to show violence on screen in order to create terror. When A Stranger Calls has an air of uneasiness imprinted throughout and forcefully puts the audience in the blender in the first 15 minutes. Credit to director Fred Walton and writers Steve Feke and Walton for creating something that is simple and effective.

FULL REVIEW


“X2: X-Men United”

“When anti-mutant Colonel William Stryker kidnaps Professor X and attacks his school, the X-Men must ally with their archenemy Magneto to stop him.”

Director: Bryan Singer
Writers: Zak Penn, David Hayter, Bryan Singer
Staring: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Anna Paquin, Bryan Cox, Alan Cumming, Shawn Ashmore
Streaming: Disney+
Release Date: May 2, 2003

There is an absolute crap-ton of stuff crammed into X2: X-Men United (2003). There are numerous storylines intertwining with one another that also overlap with mind-warping and telepathy warfare. New characters are introduced and pledges are broken. Hints are storylines to come are dripped intravenously along the winding road.

FULL REVIEW


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“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” Trailer Reaction

“After nearly 50 years of hiding, Leatherface returns to terrorize a group of idealistic young friends who accidentally disrupt his carefully shielded world in a remote Texas town.” Director: David Blue GarciaWriters: David Blue Garcia, Fede Alvarez, Rodo SayaguesStaring: Alice Krige, Elsie Fisher, Nell Hudson, Sarah Yarkin, Mark Burnham (Bunch of other people I don’t […]

NFL Week 14 Picks

Week 13 Recap Straight Up: 10-4Against The Spread: 6-8Mortal Lock: 0-1 (Baltimore -4.0) Thursday, December 9 Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Minnesota Vikings (-3.0) Straight Up: Minnesota VikingsAgainst The Spread: Minnesota Vikings (-3.0) Sunday, December 12 Atlanta falcons vs. carolina panthers (-2.5) Straight Up: Atlanta FalconsAgainst The Spread: Atlanta Falcons (+2.5) baltimore ravens vs. cleveland browns (-2.5) […]

“The Cincinnati Kid” | Poker Movie Done Right

“An up-and-coming poker player tries to prove himself in a high-stakes match against a long-time master of the game.” Director: Norman JewisonWriters: Richard Jessup, Ring Lardner Jr. Terry SouthernStaring: Steve McQueen, Ann-Margret, Edward G. Robinson, Karl Malden, Tuesday Weld, Joan Blondell, Rip TornRelease Date: October 30, 1965Streaming: HBO Max The Cincinnati Kid (1965) is the […]

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