Vengeance is a surprisingly darkly funny comedy thriller.

A journalist and podcaster travels from New York City to Texas to investigate the death of a woman whom he hooked up with.

Vengeance was a bit of a surprise as the trailer did not really do this movie justice, it’s a genuinely well written dark comedic thriller that explores quite a lot of themes. The characters are decently well written and the cast do a pretty good in their roles. Many characters talk about morality, relationships, regret, isolation and so on, sure it might not be in a very deep discussion but it’s enough to be noteworthy. The tonal shifts are a bit distracting at times and sometimes take away from a moment that could have been far stronger, but it’s not enough to completely take the viewer out of the movie. There’s plenty of great moments here especially with a solid cast and decent writing that may not break any new ground, but it is entertaining enough to warrant a watch.

Vengeance is available on all VOD Platforms.

7/10 B

Quick Reviews: Look Both Ways and Movers Ultimate (2022)

On the eve of her college graduation, Natalie’s life diverges into two parallel realities: one in which she becomes pregnant and must navigate motherhood in her Texas hometown, the other in which she moves to Los Angeles to pursue her career.

Look Both Ways is a movie that is clearly trying to talk about a heavy subject (abortion) but for whatever reason doesn’t discuss it further and can’t even say the word abortion. Lil Reinhart gives a solid performance despite a script that really does not go in much depth outside of a few moments that work decently, the major problem as said before is how the movie doesn’t want to fully commit to discussing it’s heavy subject. It feels like a cop out not talking about the option of an abortion, if you are going to talk about abortion or any other heavy subject commit to it and don’t cop out, at that point why even bother?

Look Both Ways is available on Netflix.

3/10 D-

Two best bros must get off work in time to make it to their 10 year high school reunion and reconnect with the girls that got away.

Attempts to capture that early 2000s comedy classic feel but misses it’s mark. There’s a few moments that are pretty okay but a lot of it is either not funny or doesn’t use it’s premise to it’s full potential. The acting isn’t the worst and it does seem like the cast had a blast making the movie so that’s something at least, but a lot of it is largely forgettable unfortunately.

Movers Ultimate releases tomorrow on all VOD Platforms.

3/10 D-

Bodies Bodies Bodies a wonderfully crafted fun film with a spectacular cast.

When a group of 20-somethings gets stuck at a remote mansion during a hurricane, a party game gone very, very wrong ends with a dead body on the ground and fake friends at every turn as they try to find the killer among them.

The horror genre like all genres has evolved over the years, however no matter how much time goes by I always find horror to be the most interesting mainly due to so much talent and ideas being thrown into the ring. Bodies Bodies Bodies is a prime example of just that, it takes the whodunnit genre and completely makes it’s own in so many different ways. For starters the cast is quite incredible, Rachel Sennott once again does a fantastic job her performance in last year’s Shiva Baby was huge breakout performance and here it’s just as fantastic. Maria Bakalova, Amandla Stenberg and Myha’la Herrold were other standouts who truly did a fantastic job. What’s even better is how well the cast connected with one another, there’s this chemistry that absolutely worked between all of them and absolutely felt as natural as possible. Which leads into the Gen-Z satire elements of the film which is the first time I can say that a movie captured effortlessly, for the longest time in several films I’ve reviewed and talked about I always end up asking “did the writers even know how Gen-Z talks or acts?” But here I don’t need to ask that question because it’s very spot on and it’s hilarious as well, Sarah DeLappe did a fantastic job with the screenplay not only does she capture the whole Gen-Z humor but she further expands elements on the whodunnit genre. The same can be said for director Halina Reijn who creates a thrilling atmosphere that also has a large humorous feel to it, The gore and kills are so much fun here combined with a lot of the dramatic moments between the cast truly pushes this movie to another level. The filming is very well done with a close and tight shots it truly gives the film a much more grounded look, lastly Bodies Bodies Bodies is an example of a fun summer film that is also wonderfully crafted, hilarious and thrilling. Overall Bodies Bodies Bodies is one of the best films of the year, the cast and crew truly take the horror genre and the whodunnit genre and completely make it their own! Be sure to see this one!!

Bodies Bodies Bodies is currently in theaters!

10/10 A+

Secret Headquarters is a harmless kids movie but not much else.

A kid discovers the secret headquarters of a powerful superhero hidden beneath his home and must defend it with his group of friends when villains attack.

Secret Headquarters is basically if you took Spy Kids and Sky High then made it forgettable. I can easily see why this movie didn’t end up releasing in theaters like it was originally going to, there are some good bits here such as Walker Scobell, Owen Wilson (even though he wasn’t in it all that much), Keith L. Williams and Abby James Witherspoon were great and they all genuinely seemed like they were having a blast with this movie. So at least the passion was there it’s mostly the writing that hurts this movie, I will say that it is a completely harmless movie for kids there’s some jokes in here that actually worked quite well and reminded me of the type of humor that Spy Kids had. However the plot is a bit too predictable and the villains are very one note characters that feel like they teleported from a very early 2000s family movie, Secret Headquarters is at least not as bad as it could have been. I’m sure there will be an audience for this movie I’m just not one of them.

Secret Headquarters is available on Paramount+

4/10 D+

Luck runs out of luck.

The story of Sam Greenfield, the unluckiest person in the world. Suddenly finding herself in the never-before-seen Land of Luck, she must unite with the magical creatures there to turn her luck around.

Luck is one of those unfortunate cases where the movie has a really interesting premise going on it’s just the presentation and writing that completely holds it back. The movie has a lot of Pixar inspirations (mainly due to John Lasseter being one of the producers) what the movie does get right is the voice cast and some of the animation is charming as well. It might not be anything extra special but there are some charming bits about it, keyword being some because the animation at times felt like it needed a bit of extra time to complete which is a bit baffling to see. The writing starts to fall apart quite quickly a lot of the movie is spent on a very uninteresting fetch quest that every once and awhile has a few nice moments between the main characters Sam (Eva Noblezada) and Bob (Simon Pegg) the rest of the movie attempts to try some world building completely forgets to make it compelling or interesting. The Land Of Luck comes off as just another world with a few beautiful and charming shots of animation to it, the writing unfortunately doesn’t go much deeper than “this is the land of luck where bad luck can’t enter otherwise it will be ruined” it’s a shame because there’s potential for really great idea’s here but it’s very clear this movie needed a rewrite as it felt very incomplete.

Luck is available on Apple TV+

4/10 D+

Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris is a charming little movie.

In 1950s London, a widowed cleaning lady falls madly in love with a couture Dior dress, deciding she must have one of her own. After working to raise the funds to pursue her dream, she embarks on an adventure to Paris that will change not only her own outlook — but the very future of the House of Dior.

Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris is simplistic yet still really interesting and quite great at the same time, it’s a super sweet and wholesome movie that establishes it’s goal right from the start that being to fall in love with the film. Lesley Manville in the leading role is spectacular, she’s very fitting in her role and truly knocks it out of the park as the leading role. Isabelle Huppert is also quite fantastic here as well, like Manville she completely steals every scene she’s in and truly goes all out in the role. The writing is simple yet very charming, the film really shows the beauty of being simplistic it particularly works here mainly due to the cast and the film itself coming together to create something wholesome. The costume design combined with the cinematography has a lot to look at that really captures the viewer’s eye and it’s the little details that make the film go the extra mile as well. Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris might not break any new ground but it doesn’t have to, it’s a simple and easy watch that’s genuinely charming.

Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris is available on all VOD Platforms.

7/10 B

Minions: Rise Of Gru is surprisingly entertaining!

In the 1970s, young Gru tries to join a group of supervillains called the Vicious 6 after they oust their leader — the legendary fighter Wild Knuckles. When the interview turns disastrous, Gru and his Minions go on the run with the Vicious 6 hot on their tails. Luckily, he finds an unlikely source for guidance. Wild Knuckles himself and soon discovers that even bad guys need a little help from their friends.

If you told me back when Minions: Rise Of Gru was announced that I would end up liking this movie, I would look at you like you have five heads. But as I’ve said multiple times in the past I like surprises and Minions: Rise Of Gru definitely surprised me, the first Minions I did not like at the slightest outside of the soundtrack it was a prime example of illumination just wanting to sell merchandise with no soul in the movie. This one however while it does have a paper thin plot at times, there’s actually a lot more care put into trying to tell a story and make the characters actually have personalities. Sure the characters aren’t great but at least there’s something being told here, what keeps the movie afloat is that it’s entertaining there’s a number of memorable scenes that take full advantage of the soundtrack (which has no business being this good) to create some genuinely fun moments. The movie also doesn’t overstay it’s welcome either, the pacing is fast and the film itself is quite energetic as well. The animation is quite great with a lot of attention to detail and there’s some genuinely funny moments as well, not every joke lands but there’s a lot more comedic timing this time around. Overall Minions: Rise Of Gru isn’t anything groundbreaking but it is a genuinely fun film that’s great for kids and adults.

Minions: Rise Of Gru is available on all VOD Platforms.

7/10 B

Paws Of Fury: The Legend Of Hank is a dull attempt at being Blazing Saddles for kids.

A down-on-his-luck hound finds himself in a town full of cats who need a hero to defend them from a ruthless villain’s evil plot to wipe their village off the map. With help from a reluctant trainer, the underdog must assume the role of fearsome samurai and team up with the felines to save the day. The only problem is they all hate dogs.

This is one of these scenarios where the production history of a movie is far more interesting than the movie itself. Because when you get down to it Paws Of Fury: The Legend Of Hank is basically Blazing Saddles for kids and with cats and dogs, to sum up the history of this movie it was originally supposed to release all the way back in April 14th 2017. The major reason why it was delayed so many times was changes in the distributors, Nickelodeon Movies was eventually the one who released it and here we are today. The movie itself as I said before is basically Blazing Saddles, the only thing that makes this movie at least tolerable is the cast Samuel L. Jackson is decent despite some really bad jokes he’s given, Ricky Gervais as the villain is actually not terrible, Michelle Yeoh is also fine enough (although she doesn’t get a whole lot to do) and Mel Brooks is always nice to see as well. Everything else falls under the “typical bad animated movie” category, very outdated jokes (there’s a Gangnam Style joke in here) and animation that really gives the vibe of $5 Walmart bin. There’s also some fourth wall breaking jokes that are just not funny there’s even one where one character talks about the running time, overall Paws Of Fury: The Legend Of Hank is terrible and just does not have a whole lot to it.

Paws Of Fury: The Legend Of Hank is available on all VOD Platforms.

3/10 D-

Bullet Train is a trainwreck.

Ladybug is an unlucky assassin who’s determined to do his job peacefully after one too many gigs has gone off the rails. Fate, however, may have other plans as his latest mission puts him on a collision course with lethal adversaries from around the globe all with connected yet conflicting objectives on the world’s fastest train.

Bullet Train is what happens when you take John Wick and add painfully unfunny jokes into it, the only good thing about Bullet Train being finally released is that I don’t have to endure seeing the obnoxious trailer every single time I go see a movie. Okay I’m joking (kind of) Aaron Taylor Johnson and Bryan Tyree Henry are the only ones I can say that at least got a few laughs out of me, and I genuinely liked their characters as well. Everyone else though? Wasted potential…a huge amount of it, I like the idea the movie is going for a bunch of different characters interacting with each other in mostly one location. Bad Times At The El Royale in particular did this very well. Bullet Train however does not do most of these characters any favors, a lot of them are very one note and have very little development outside of their personality. Brad Pitt plays a very typical comedic hero that doesn’t take things seriously except when the plot goes down, It’s almost insulting how the movie completely wasted Zazie Beetz and Karen Fukuhara both of which are very talented actresses (good god Beetz’s performance is not good) but are restricted to complete joke characters. Michael Shannon’s character “The White Death” feels like he’s in the wrong movie and is just an overall one not villain, the jokes as I said before are painfully unfunny. There’s a cameo that is one of the most desperate attempts for a laugh I’ve seen in a movie so far this year, I will say the music is fine enough I really like Sukiyaki and Holding Out For A Hero and the moments the songs were used are in fact some of the better ones. But other than that there just isn’t anything here that is very strong, it’s a dull action movie with a few positives that aren’t enough to save it from being a trainwreck.

Bullet Train is available in theaters.

3/10 D-

No Okay is a smart commentary about social media with brilliant performances.

A misguided young woman who is desperate for friends and fame fakes a trip to Paris to update her social media presence. A terrifying incident takes place in the real world, which becomes a part of the imaginary trip and offers all she wants.

Not Okay is a really solid film that’s a commentary about social media, such as activism and how being held accountable is actually pretty important. The film is mostly strong the performances department with Zoey Deutch who gives a well done performance that is both charming and quite hilarious as well. Mia Isaac (who was in Don’t Make Me Go) steals every single scene she’s in, there’s particular moments here that she really shows her talent and actually give the viewer some goosebumps, when Deutch and Isaac are on screen together it’s truly amazing. The combination of both talents takes the film to a new level and truly captures a range of emotions as well, the direction from Quinn Shephard is truly well done. It’s energetic, raw and actually sums up what a lot of people on social media act like (and to this day still do). Although there’s some parts the movie could have elaborated a bit more on, for a majority of the movie it was very well written, acted and directed!

Not Okay is available on Hulu!

8/10 B+