Category: Reviews of Movies

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“Greta” Review

Greta: Directed by Neil Jordan. With Isabelle Huppert, Chloë Grace Moretz, Maika Monroe, Jane Perry. A young woman befriends a lonely widow who’s harboring a dark and deadly agenda toward her. This is maybe one of Moretz’s best roles and that’s coming from a guy that’s tried to watch everything she’s been in. There’s some real plot movement that happens from the first moments of the film that never stop building on the tension and anxiety of knowing that something bad is going to happen, then when it does happen, wondering when or how the other shoe is going to...

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“Cop Out” Review

Cop Out: Directed by Kevin Smith. With Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan, Juan Carlos Hernández, Cory Fernandez. Jimmy’s rare baseball card is robbed. Since it’s his only hope to pay for his daughter’s upcoming wedding, he recruits his cop partner Paul to track down the robber, a memorabilia-obsessed gangster. Many people point to this film when they say that Kevin Smith can’t hack it has a director of anything other than his own material and while I agree that his strengths are with things that he has complete editorial control over, I disagree with the idea that this is a bad...

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“Roman J. Israel, Esq.” Review

Roman J. Israel, Esq.: Directed by Dan Gilroy. With Denzel Washington, Colin Farrell, Carmen Ejogo, Lynda Gravatt. Roman J. Israel, Esq., a driven, idealistic defense attorney, finds himself in a tumultuous series of events that lead to a crisis and the necessity for extreme action. I’ve recently become somewhat addicted to tiktok and one of the more interesting things they have is random highlight clips of movies and television shows and I flipped onto one featuring Denzel Washington acting as a belligerent lawyer who gets a $5k fine from a judge who was unhappy with all the talking back that...

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“The Night Listener” Review

The Night Listener: Directed by Patrick Stettner. With Toni Collette, Robin Williams, Joe Morton, Bobby Cannavale. In the midst of his crumbling relationship, a radio show host begins speaking to his biggest fan, a young boy, via the telephone. But when questions about the boy’s identity come up, the host’s life is thrown into chaos. There’s a solid story that could be made from this premise that’s based on the idea of a true story that maybe really happened, but this version of it isn’t as appealing as it could have been. I have no complaints about Robin Williams or...

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“Smashed” Review

Smashed: Directed by James Ponsoldt. With Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aaron Paul, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally. A married couple whose bond is built on a mutual love of alcohol gets their relationship put to the test when the wife decides to get sober. I was not expecting to see both Nick Offerman and Megan Mullaly in the same film and while they don’t have much on screen time together, they both really fleshed out the rather simple premise which turns into an emotionally roller-coaster of a movie. If you’ve seen this, do you think gave him one more game? Buy On...

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“They Cloned Tyrone” Review

They Cloned Tyrone: Directed by Juel Taylor. With John Boyega, Jamie Foxx, Teyonah Parris, Kiefer Sutherland. A series of eerie events thrusts an unlikely trio onto the trail of a nefarious government conspiracy in this pulpy mystery caper. There’s a good story here shoved under a Tarantino level of racial vulgarities and stereotypes, both of which can be easily dismissed as the creative team using them to make a point, and if you’re able to do that than you’ll enjoy a perfectly fine film. There’s some pretty interesting story elements at play here, none of which are unique but are...

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“The Martian” Review

The Martian: Directed by Ridley Scott. With Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels. An astronaut becomes stranded on Mars after his team assume him dead, and must rely on his ingenuity to find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive and can survive until a potential rescue. I watched something that referenced Mars or had a scene on Mars and for the life of me I cannot remember what series it was, but it gave me the push to rewatch one of the most optimistic Mars movies ever filmed. It’s still a great experience and...

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“Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken” Review

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken: Directed by Kirk DeMicco, Faryn Pearl. With Jane Fonda, Lana Condor, Toni Collette, Colman Domingo. A shy adolescent learns that she comes from a fabled royal family of legendary sea krakens and that her destiny lies in the depths of the waters, which is bigger than she could have ever imagined. I’m pretty sure I’m not remotely in the target audience for this coming of age adventure, but I still felt like this was a fun movie. My wife felt there was a couple things that completely took her out of the film, the primary one...

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“Lego Marvel Avengers: Code Red” Review

Lego Marvel Avengers: Code Red: Directed by Ken Cunningham. With Laura Bailey, Haley Joel Osment, Will Friedle, James Mathis III. The Avengers meet a dangerous new foe quite unlike anything they’ve ever encountered before. A lower quality animation than I was expecting for a Marvel LEGO movie, but about what I would expect for a direct to dvd adventure that would have limited to no advertising. There’s some really funny jokes here (a nice MC Hammer / Mjoirnir joke is my favorite) and the entire “code red” thing ends up being pretty silly but fun. Buy On Amazon!

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“Clerks II” Review

Clerks II: Directed by Kevin Smith. With Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith. A calamity at Dante and Randal’s shops sends them looking for new horizons – but they ultimately settle at the fast food empire Mooby’s. Another film by Kevin Smith that’s still as hilarious as the day I watched it, but still feel like there’s some topics here that just generally wouldn’t be approached because of how nuclear the pure racism or bigotry from the some of the characters land and we generally don’t even joke about the type of these that are joked about here....

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“Babylon 5: The Road Home” Review

Babylon 5: The Road Home: Directed by Matt Peters. With Bruce Boxleitner, Claudia Christian, Peter Jurasik, Bill Mumy. John Sheridan finds himself transported through multiple timelines and alternate realities in a quest to find his way back home. After I finished the TV series, I checked out the latest movie, choosing to skip all the other ‘made for tv movies’ and luckily “The Road Home” picks up just moments after the final episode of the original tv series, so the story flows extremely well with the order that I watched it in. It does continue some of the more silly...

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“Expend4bles” Review

Expend4bles: Directed by Scott Waugh. With Jason Statham, 50 Cent, Megan Fox, Dolph Lundgren. Armed with every weapon they can get their hands on, the Expendables are the world’s last line of defense and the team that gets called when all other options are off the table. Much worse than I was expecting, and I’m sure you know that no one was expecting much from this franchise of goofball comedians that formed a merc squad to be the “expendables” that can take care of big issues with little responsibility. Believe me when I say this was shot nearly completely on...

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“Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” Review

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story: Directed by Eric Appel. With Diedrich Bader, Daniel Radcliffe, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Richard Aaron Anderson. Explores every facet of Yankovic’s life, from his meteoric rise to fame with early hits like ‘Eat It’ and ‘Like a Surgeon’ to his torrid celebrity love affairs and famously depraved lifestyle. I didn’t think they really needed to go as hard as they did with this mostly fictional biopic, but they DID go hard! I’m particularly impressed with Daniel Radcliffe, he’s done some great work after his Potter years and this is by far among the best Buy On Amazon!

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“Clerks” Review

Clerks: Directed by Kevin Smith. With Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Marilyn Ghigliotti, Lisa Spoonauer. A day in the lives of two convenience clerks named Dante and Randal as they annoy customers, discuss movies, and play hockey on the store roof. It had been a minute since I’ve seen this and they had it on Paramount+, so I guess I’m starting another Kevin Smith marathon? Maybe just the Clerks stuff this time around and not all the films. This is the first of them though and it’s as rough as a movie can be, but shows that with a solid script...

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“Earth Moods” Review

Earth Moods: See a vast array of colorful and calming corners of the world. Travel to blue glaciers, arid deserts, lush rainforests and pulsating metropolises to escape from the cacophony of everyday life. Great to put on while you’re having a morning breakfast conversation with your wife about your day’s plans which ends with her taking a nap. Buy On Amazon!

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“The Last Voyage of the Demeter” Review

The Last Voyage of the Demeter: Directed by André Øvredal. With Corey Hawkins, Aisling Franciosi, Liam Cunningham, David Dastmalchian. A crew sailing from Varna (Bulgaria) by the Black Sea to England find that they are carrying very dangerous cargo. Now available for home viewing, and after watching it on my home system I really wish I had taken the opportunity to see this in theaters, because this thing really hit much harder than I thought it would. Sure all the trailers gave away every aspect of the film and having yet another Dracula film feels ridiculous, but I ended up...

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“The Burrowers” Review

The Burrowers: Directed by J.T. Petty. With Clancy Brown, David Busse, Harley Coriz, Jocelin Donahue. In the Wild West a rescue party sets out to find a family of settlers that has vanished from their home under mysterious circumstances. If you’ve seen Tremors, you get the idea here, but coupling it with cowboys was an inspired move that held together for the first 30 minutes or so of the film, but sadly fell apart with overly aggressive “cowboys vs indians” story tropes that completely took me out of the narrative. The creature designs were pretty damn inspired though! Buy On...

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“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: Directed by James Gunn. With Chukwudi Iwuji, Bradley Cooper, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista. Still reeling from the loss of Gamora, Peter Quill rallies his team to defend the universe and one of their own – a mission that could mean the end of the Guardians if not successful. I finally worked up the emotional courage to watch this again and it’s still just as emotionally exhausting as the first time. Buy On Amazon!

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“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” Review

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever: Directed by Ryan Coogler. With Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke. The people of Wakanda fight to protect their home from intervening world powers as they mourn the death of King T’Challa. Watched again in celebration of having it in my collection. The more that I see this film, the more I enjoy it. Buy On Amazon!

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“Haunted Mansion” Review

Haunted Mansion: Directed by Justin Simien. With LaKeith Stanfield, Rosario Dawson, Owen Wilson, Tiffany Haddish. A single mom named Gabbie hires a tour guide, a psychic, a priest and a historian to help exorcise her newly bought mansion after discovering it is inhabited by ghosts. The third movie of the first night of my HORROR MARATHON is the 2023 “Haunted Mansion” film, this one taking itself much more seriously with some distinctly unsettling elements to it, with mentions of children killing themselves, dead parents, and corpse brides. Everyone involved is playing to their strengths and my only complaint is that...

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“Muppets Haunted Mansion” Review

Muppets Haunted Mansion: Directed by Kirk R. Thatcher. With Will Arnett, Taraji P. Henson, Darren Criss, Yvette Nicole Brown. On Halloween night, Gonzo is challenged to spend one night in The Haunted Mansion. I remember seeing this back in 2021, really enjoying it, then tryicng to get my wife to watch, but failing spectacularly. She’s taking part in my HORROR MARATHON this year though, so last night was finally the night, and I’ happy to report that she fully enjoyed the experience, much like I did when I seent it previously. We still haven’t had enough quality content for the...

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“The Haunted Mansion” Review

The Haunted Mansion: Directed by Rob Minkoff. With Eddie Murphy, Terence Stamp, Nathaniel Parker, Marsha Thomason. A realtor and his wife and children are summoned to a mansion, which they soon discover is haunted, and while they attempt to escape, he learns an important lesson about the family he has neglected. This year’s HORROR MARATHON is starting with the first “Haunted Mansion film from 2003 with Eddie Murphy, it takes itself serious enough that some of the scares are legitimate enough, but remembers that it’s based off a Disney walking simulator, so there’s nothing that’s going to make you poop...

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“The Big White” Review

The Big White: Directed by Mark Mylod. With Robin Williams, Holly Hunter, Giovanni Ribisi, Tim Blake Nelson. To remedy his financial problems, a travel agent has his eye on a frozen corpse, which just happens to be sought after by two hitmen. A goofy ball dark comedy with a soundtrack that doesn’t fit either of the moods that they’ve somewhat successfully mashed together, that’s about the most I can complain about, the rest of the film is competently done, but it’s my impression this one didn’t do as well as Robin’s other films, so if you want to see a...

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“X-Men Origins: Wolverine” Review

X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Directed by Gavin Hood. With Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Danny Huston, Will.i.am. The early years of James Logan, featuring his rivalry with his brother Victor Creed, his service in the special forces team Weapon X, and his experimentation into the metal-lined mutant Wolverine. One of the few x-men movies that hasn’t been released on 4k disc yet, so when I saw a “3 disc limited edition” for just $5 at a local flea market, I quickly inspected the main bluray disk and bought it. The first disc is the HD version, then there’s dvd version, then third...

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“Luckiest Girl Alive” Review

Luckiest Girl Alive: Directed by Mike Barker. With Mila Kunis, Chiara Aurelia, Finn Wittrock, Connie Britton. A woman in New York, who seems to have things under control, is faced with a trauma that makes her life unravel. A well done look at a woman wrapped up in several situations that have national attention right now with a sexual assault, a school shooting, and a woman feeling out of place in her own life after surviving both events. Mila Kunis is great as a survivor that’s taken life head on but despite her best efforts still not feeling fully in...

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“The Captains” Review

The Captains: Directed by William Shatner. With William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew. The Captains is a feature length documentary film written and directed by William Shatner. The film follows Shatner as he interviews the other actors who have portrayed Starship captains within the illustrious science-fiction franchise. A short look at the actors that played captains on the various Star Trek series, all through the lens of the first captain, William Shatner. His interviews range from the surreal with Avery Brooks to the emotional with Patrick Stewart to a friendly chat with the extremely personable Scott Bacula, then...

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“Prey” Review

Prey: Directed by Dan Trachtenberg. With Amber Midthunder, Dakota Beavers, Dane DiLiegro, Stormee Kipp. Naru, a skilled warrior of the Comanche Nation, fights to protect her tribe against one of the first highly-evolved Predators to land on Earth. Now out on 4k disk, this movie features some of the most gorgeous and awesome looking clouds I’ve ever seen in a film. The story is pretty light and easy to follow and everything makes sense, which may seem like a backhanded compliment, but considering how the last few Predator movies have gone, I’m happy to see the move back to a...

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“The Blackening” Review

The Blackening: Directed by Tim Story. With Grace Byers, Jermaine Fowler, Melvin Gregg, X Mayo. Seven friends go away for the weekend and end up trapped in a cabin with a killer who has a vendetta. Will their street smarts and knowledge of horror movies help them stay alive? Probably not. I expected it to be a racially insensitive horror comedy and that’s pretty much what we got, though I didn’t find the attempts at humor to be all that effective. Buy On Amazon!

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“Interstellar” Review

Interstellar: Directed by Christopher Nolan. With Ellen Burstyn, Matthew McConaughey, Mackenzie Foy, John Lithgow. When Earth becomes uninhabitable in the future, a farmer and ex-NASA pilot, Joseph Cooper, is tasked to pilot a spacecraft, along with a team of researchers, to find a new planet for humans. Received free as a part of the Universal Studios reward program, I think this is one of the only ways that this film would end up in my collection, because while it’s a great film in many aspects I think it fumbles some of the more important elements and for the love of...

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“Good Chemistry: The Story of Elemental” Review

Good Chemistry: The Story of Elemental: Directed by Tony Kaplan. With Peter Sohn. Pixar director Peter Sohn takes viewers on a humorous personal journey through the inspiration behind Disney and Pixar’s feature film “Elemental.” Did you cry a little bit at the end of “Elemental” ? You’ll likely cry a little bit more with this look behind the stories that inspired the movie itself! Buy On Amazon!

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“Elemental” Review

Elemental: Directed by Peter Sohn. With Leah Lewis, Mamoudou Athie, Ronnie Del Carmen, Shila Ommi. Follows Ember and Wade, in a city where fire-, water-, earth- and air-residents live together. Now it’s on Disney Plus! And I watched it there! It’s a great movie with some really fun visuals and a heart warming story that I loved to see again. Buy On Amazon!

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“No One Will Save You” Review

No One Will Save You: Directed by Brian Duffield. With Kaitlyn Dever, Elizabeth Kaluev, Zack Duhame, Lauren L. Murray. An exiled anxiety-ridden homebody must battle an alien who’s found its way into her home. This movie has an interesting twitch that takes over an hour to pay off, but it’s a unique one that I haven’t seen very much of. The story isn’t all that unique but I appreciate the way they go about it and would love to see more horror / suspense movies like this one. Buy On Amazon!

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“The Creator” Review

The Creator: Directed by Gareth Edwards. With John David Washington, Madeleine Yuna Voyles, Gemma Chan, Allison Janney. Against the backdrop of a war between humans and robots with artificial intelligence, a former soldier finds the secret weapon, a robot in the form of a young child. There’s a lot to like about this film, it has a gorgeous visual pallet, an interesting back story, an amazing world built for the characters, and a premise that really made me want to see it opening day, but sadly I don’t think it delivered on the high expectations. My main complaint is where...

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“Dredd” Review

Dredd: Directed by Pete Travis. With Karl Urban, Rachel Wood, Andile Mngadi, Porteus Xandau. In a violent, futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner, a cop teams with a trainee to take down a gang that deals the reality-altering drug, SLO-MO. Watched again because I was bored and needed a pick me up. Buy On Amazon!

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“The Lego Batman Movie” Review

The Lego Batman Movie: Directed by Chris McKay. With Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes. A cooler-than-ever Bruce Wayne must deal with the usual suspects as they plan to rule Gotham City, while discovering that he has accidentally adopted a teenage orphan who wishes to become his sidekick. I decided that I needed to check this out again since I had seen the two “LEGO Movie” movies and I think this LEGO Batman is the superior LEGO Batman, I’m not sure how a sequel could be made in the same vein as this one was with the full...

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“Lego Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite” Review

Lego Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite: Directed by Jon Burton. With Clancy Brown, Troy Baker, Christopher Corey Smith, Charlie Schlatter. When the Joker and Lex Luthor form an alliance, Batman must team up with the Justice League in order to stop them. This came in a weird movie bundle of like 30 animated DC movies that was being sold for just $10 a few months back on Vudu and I’m just now getting around to watching anything from the bundle. I think I’ve actually seen this one in the past, as the story was familiar. Many of...

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“Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” Review

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: Directed by Simon West. With Angelina Jolie, Jon Voight, Iain Glen, Noah Taylor. Video game adventurer Lara Croft comes to life in a movie where she races against time and villains to recover powerful ancient artifacts. Received free in this month’s Universal rewards program, it’s a fun movie that looks pretty good in 4k/hdr. Buy On Amazon!

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“Batman Begins” Review

After witnessing his parents’ death, Bruce learns the art of fighting to confront injustice. When he returns to Gotham as Batman, he must stop a secret society that intends to destroy the city. An exceptionally long time ago I bought two LEGO Batmobiles from Target (I think it was over a year ago!), they were the cars from the 2022 Film and the tumblr from Batman Begins. I built the 2022 car while watching the second LEGO film, and got most of the Tumblr done during this film, which still holds up as a serious story of an emotionally broken...

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“Big Hero 6” Review

A special bond develops between plus-sized inflatable robot Baymax and prodigy Hiro Hamada, who together team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes. One more entry for my Stan Lee collection, this 4k disk was free on the Disney Rewards page, so I scooped it up as soon as I saw it. It’s still a fun movie and has a typical “dead family” story line that Disney loves to use for plot development. Buy On Amazon!

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“The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” Review

It’s been five years since everything was awesome and the citizens are facing a huge new threat: Lego Duplo invaders from outer space, wrecking everything faster than they can rebuild. This was a pretty ok sequel to the first LEGO Movie, there’s a particular energy that carries on from the first but I fear that the special spark that’s required for the movie to be fully appealing was diminished in their rush to capture lightening in the bottle after the huge success of the first film. The puns are all a bit forced and the “in lego” story didn’t really...

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“Batman” Review

The Dark Knight of Gotham City begins his war on crime with his first major enemy being Jack Napier, a criminal who becomes the clownishly homicidal Joker. I can tell you exactly where I got this wonderful toy! For my birthday my wife got me a LEGO Batmobile set that I’d had my eyes on for a while, so while I was putting it together I watched the film that inspired this version of the car. Buy On Amazon!

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“The Lego Movie” Review

An ordinary LEGO construction worker, thought to be the prophesied as “special”, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil tyrant from gluing the LEGO universe into eternal stasis. I went to see this is theaters again this last Sunday as the kick off to my official birthday schedule, I saw it in theaters when it was first released, saw it at home a few time, and enjoyed it all those times and for some reason they brought it back to theaters. It’s not a ten year anniversary yet, so I don’t know what prompted the reshowings, but...

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“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” Review

Miles Morales catapults across the Multiverse, where he encounters a team of Spider-People charged with protecting its very existence. When the heroes clash on how to handle a new threat, Miles must redefine what it means to be a hero. I started off my birthday weekend by watching part 2 of the Spider-verse films, which ends on a cliffhanger, something that when we originally watched the film really surprised my wife. I wasn’t surprised, but I was still pretty disappointed by how they did that. Other than that one small disappointment this is a fine film that continues the energy...

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Air

Follows the history of sports marketing executive Sonny Vaccaro, and how he led Nike in its pursuit of the greatest athlete in the history of basketball, Michael Jordan. A well enough done story about the rich white guys that got even more rich off the fame of Michael Jordon. It’s not framed like that, with the impression that it’s an underdog story, but it’s clear that while Nike wasn’t the massive company it’s become now, it was still large enough to be in the same game as the top 5 shoe companies. Buy On Amazon!

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“Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi” Review

The Star Wars saga continues as new heroes and galactic legends go on an epic adventure, unlocking mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past. The only way this movie would end up in my physical collection is if I got it for free, and since the Disney rewards store had it for free that’s how I got it in my physical collection. I had to watch it again to make sure, but yeah I still don’t like 2/3 of the film. All the stuff on the salt planet was pretty ok, but the rest of it was...

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“Tremors” Review

Natives of a small isolated town defend themselves against strange underground creatures which are killing them one by one. This first Tremors film was the one that got the franchise started and while it’s a novel concept, it really does fall apart once you start thinking about the physics of how these creatures are moving around undisturbed soil like they are in the film. Ignoring that small physics problem, I still enjoyed the movie. Buy On Amazon!

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“The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” Review

In an alternate Victorian Age world, a group of famous contemporary fantasy, science fiction, and adventure characters team up on a secret mission. No idea why I watched this, it was on Tubi and for some reason it called out to me, asking me to see if it was still as bad as I remembered. Not that it’s a great film, but I think it has some merits that I didn’t appreciate in the past. Those merits don’t really make up for just how bland I felt afterwards though. Buy On Amazon!

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“Heat” Review

A group of high-end professional thieves start to feel the heat from the LAPD when they unknowingly leave a clue at their latest heist. Amazon had it for $8, so now I have it in my physical 4k collection. It still stands as one of the best surround sound movies with some of the most realistic gun play in a movie setting and I believe it was the only time that both Pacino and De Niro shared scenes together, or at least it was the first time. Buy On Amazon!

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“The Rocketeer” Review

A young pilot stumbles onto a prototype jetpack that allows him to become a high-flying masked hero. After seeing the film about 20 times and having a ton of Rocketeer statues, comics, and toys, I realized that I didn’t actually own the movie on physical media, something that came to mind a few years ago, so it went onto my personal movie wishlist and it’s time finally came up a couple months ago and I just now got around to watching the disc. I still love everything about the film from the rocket itself to the romance and rugged adventure...

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“Halo Legends” Review

The universe of the Halo video game series is expanded in seven short animated films from Japan’s greatest anime directors and studios. I actually forgot I bought this back in July when it was on sale, but happily stumbled on it again when looking through my Vudu library for something quick to watch, and what’s quicker than seven short films? They’re all pretty damn good and have animation ranging from confusing watercolor fuzziness to hyper realistic cgi with stories involving Ronin or fast charge sprints to get back a lost package. I wish we were getting more content like this...

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