The Witches (2020)

Based on Roald Dahl’s 1983 classic book ‘The Witches’, the story tells the scary, funny and imaginative tale of a seven year old boy who has a run in with some real life witches!

The Witches did not need another remake, the first adaption was solid enough and got the job done…why do another one? This version of The Witches suffers from multiple problems, Anne Hathaway and Octavia Spencer do the best they can with a very poor script, some of the visuals and the makeup are kinda solid as well. But that’s seriously where it ends for me, acting wise everyone else felt way too wooden. Heck at times Octavia Spencer fell in wooden territory, the writing was just not engaging, a lot of it was typical family movie tropes that really fail to live up to the original adaption, the biggest problem this movie has is it’s too forgettable. It’s one of those movies where you watch it and then two hours later you forget 70% of what happened, outside of Anne Hathaway it really doesn’t do anything that’s going to make the viewer remember it. Chris Rock’s narration does not work at all, it feels way too out of place and does not fit the atmosphere of the actual story. A matter of fact the atmosphere of the movie is a big issue, it has no idea what it wants to be. Does it want to take itself seriously? Does it want to be some wacky family movie? It switches constantly back in forth between many different type of atmospheres, overall The Witches (2020) is completely unnecessary this is going to be one of those many cases where people are going to remember the original adaption and forget the new one as it does almost nothing to make itself standout.

4/10 D+

Love And Monsters and The Secrets We Keep (2020)

In a monster-infested world, Joel (Dylan O’Brien) learns his girlfriend is just 80 miles away. To make the dangerous journey, Joel discovers his inner hero to be with the girl of his dreams.

I had little to no expectations with Love and Monsters, it looked like a Zombieland clone, however the movie is actually not that. Sure Love and Monsters does share some similarities as Zombieland but director Michael Matthews is able to bring a lot of different elements to the table. First off the film itself has to be the sweetest apocalypse movie I’ve seen, underneath all the monsters and the villains you have Dylan O’Brian and Jessica Henwick’s chemistry which is just beautiful to watch. You actually root for both these characters and care about their relationship, so to combine a very cute chemistry in a monster apocalypse movie was really clever. The acting is pretty strong, Dylan O’Brian and Jessica Henwick are both fantastic and give tons of memorable moments, the writing is cleverly written with character moments and humor both combined it turns out to be a interesting little movie. The filming is pretty well done and really does the location of the film justice, the special effects and the monsters I have to say are pretty solid. That was one of my main concerns going into this movie but I thought they were done pretty well. I feel like what I like most about the film is it feels quick and goes straight to the point. It knows what it wants to be and what it’s set out to do. Be a quick monster apocalypse film that has some similarities to some other movies but keep things fresh as well. I definitely recommend giving Love and Monsters a watch! One of the biggest surprises of the year.

8/10 B+

In post-WWII America, a woman, rebuilding her life in the suburbs with her husband, kidnaps her neighbor and seeks vengeance for the heinous war crimes she believes he committed against her.

The Secrets We Keep is basically Roman Polanski’s Death and The Maiden, only that this movie is nowhere near as good. I thought The Secretes We Keep started off interesting and had some good ideas, however it quickly showed that this movie is just a lifeless copy of Death and The Maiden, while the acting was very decent especially from Noomi Rapace. It isn’t enough to make any of the performances believable, it all just feels way too middle of the road and very below average. The writing isn’t really great at all, it has it’s moments but those are far and few in between.. I really don’t have anything else to say, if it sounds interesting to you check it out I guess. Otherwise don’t bother.

5/10 C

The Forty-Year-Old-Version (2020)

Radha is a down-on-her-luck NY playwright, who is desperate for a breakthrough before 40. Reinventing herself as rapper RadhaMUSPrime, she vacillates between the worlds of Hip Hop and theater in order to find her true voice.

Radha Blank is a name I strongly hope I hear more in years to come because what she delivered is by far one of the best films of the year and one of the best Netflix original films. It’s worth noting that Radha Blank directed, wrote, is one of the producers AND she is the leading role in this film. The Forty-Year-Old-Version shows a woman going through so much to achieve her dream of becoming a rapper at the age of 40, she also tries to find her voice and who she is. It’s fascinating film that really touches the viewer and gives one of the most realistic performances of the year, Radha Blank’s performance is fantastic it leaves so many emotions on the viewer and feels very inspiring as well. The writing also helps by building up to several incredible moments in the film and delivers on every single level, the choice of having the film entirely in black and white was a very smart choice. It not only gives this movie a more personal feeling but it feels like you are looking into Radha Blank’s life and experience, you feel invested and root for her, it’s incredible how much a simple choice of making your film black and white can really do. Radha Blank’s chemistry between everyone else is incredible especially with Archie played by Peter Y. Kim, the two truly have a fantastic chemistry that feels like a very real friendship that you truly admire. The writing is also very raw as I said before it brings many beautiful moments that feel impactful and inspiring, overall The Forty-Year-Old-Version is a beautiful film that I truly hope gets nominated when it comes to for award nominations, I also really can’t wait to see what Radha Blank does next! I highly recommend watching this film as soon as possible because this is one you will definitely want to watch!

10/10 A+

The War With Grandpa (2020)

Upset that he has to share the room he loves with his grandfather, Peter decides to declare war in an attempt to get it back.

After being delayed several times since early 2018 Tim Hill’s The War With Grandpa finally get’s released…and it’s just another ordinary family movie. The War With Grandpa does not have a whole lot in it, it’s based off a of book of the same name (I haven’t read it since I was a kid) I feel the major problem with this movie is it does nothing to differentiate itself from a lot of other family movies. Most of the jokes consits of early 2000s family movie humor you know like falling over, being sarcastic to a family member in a very unfunny way, someone’s junk is accidentally shown and much more. That’s pretty much the entire movie I just saved you 94 minutes, Robert De Niro is the only real positive here. He tries his best with a very unfunny script and not a whole lot to work with, I will say there are some charming moments between the two characters Ed and Peter. But with every few charming moments comes some very unfunny slapstick that makes you roll you eyes, the movie is at it’s best when it just has a few of the characters interacting with each other like normal people. One thing this movie really could have benefited from was a different director Tim Hill directed Garfield Tale Of Two Kitties, Alvin and The Chipmunks, Hop, the Grumpy Cat Christmas movie and a few others. I’ll give Hill far as direction this by far the best he’s done in awhile. But overall The War With Grandpa is harmless enough it’s just not a good movie and something I don’t recommend at all.

4/10 D+

Hubie Halloween and The Mortuary Collection (2020)

Despite his devotion to his hometown of Salem (and its Halloween celebration), Hubie Dubois is a figure of mockery for kids and adults alike. But this year, something is going bump in the night, and it’s up to Hubie to save Halloween.

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Believe it or not I had a very hard time deciding what rating to give Hubie Halloween, I usually rip almost any Happy Madison movie to shreds due to how horrendous they are. With this movie however…I didn’t think it was quite as bad as a lot of the others? The only two things I found absolutely horrendous were the jokes and Adam Sandler himself with that terrible voice where you genuinely can’t understand what he’s saying unless you put on subtitles. A lot of it seemed like everyone involved had fun being in the movie, there was some genuine joy between everyone involved this time around. The Cameron Boyce tribute at the end also shows how an awesome person Adam Sandler really is. I will admit there were a few jokes that worked but for the most part they didn’t land. The weird thing is the acting was honestly not that terrible, I mean yes it most certainly wasn’t good but I couldn’t help but notice that it was actually better than a lot of other Happy Madison movies especially a certain one that came out earlier this year cough Wrong Missy cough I honestly don’t have anything else to comment on, as I said as far as Happy Madison movies go this one is definitely one of the better ones, would I recommend it? Absolutely not but there has definitely been worse to come out of this year.

4/10 D+

On the cusp of retirement, an eccentric mortician recounts several of the strangest stories he’s encountered in his long career, but things take a turn for the phantasmagorical when he learns that the final story – is his own.

Really got to give credit where credit is due Shudder has really picked up it’s lineup of horror movies that lead up to Halloween. It started off on the wrong foot with Spiral and Verotika but picked up with Scare Me, The Cleansing Hour and now this movie. The Mortuary Collection is also a breath of fresh air when it comes to anthology films, I recently reviewed Books Of Blood and Tales From The Hood 3 saying they both really did not offer much at all, with this movie however the segments are all pretty creative. I really appreciated the use of practical effects it added a lot to the film and actually made the segments more interesting and fun. The acting does have it’s bad moments but for the most part it’s pretty good, the writing is definitely humorous at times and is quite interesting with all the ideas shown in the film. It’s very refreshing to see an actually really strong horror anthology film, so if your a fan of the genre I definitely recommend giving this a go!

7/10 B

A Babysitter’s Guide To Monster Hunting (2020)

A babysitter embarks on a mission to save a child who’s been abducted by monsters.

How was I not informed that this movie was directed by the same director who did Freddy’s Dead The Final Nightmare? All joking aside I’m actually surprised this didn’t turn out as bad as it could have been, A Babysitter’s Guide To Monster Hunting is a movie that’s directly aimed for a younger audience and the movie really doesn’t hide that either. For what it is the movie is not terrible, Tamara Smart is actually pretty okay in the leading role it’s just she really does not have much to work with. It’s very simplistic main character role, the same can be said for Oona Laurence she’s fine enough in her role but she really does not have a whole lot to work with. There are moments where I actually thought the direction wasn’t too bad, Rachel Talalay actually builds an actual good chemistry between Kelly and Liz the two main characters. It also plays out exactly how you think it’s going to play out, it’s a very Disney channel feel type of movie that somehow became a Netflix Original. Outside of that there really is not much else to this movie, if you have kids and are looking for something new to watch this is definitely harmless enough. As for everyone else I don’t really recommend it. But I’ll give credit where credit is due Rachel Talalay has certainly gotten a lot better since Freddy is Dead The Final Nightmare.

5/10 C

Spontaneous (2020)

Get ready for the outrageous coming-of-age love story about growing up…and blowing up. When students in their school begin exploding (literally), seniors Mara and Dylan struggle to survive in a world where each moment may be their last.

Spontaneous is quite honestly one of the biggest surprises in 2020 (when it comes to film), on the surface it may seem like another high school movie with a bizarre premise of students literally exploding. However there is much more to the film the whole exploding idea can be seen as representing school shootings, those who accidentally overdosed or climate change, in the film Katherine Langford, Charlie Plummer and many others are worried, depressed, scared, develop anxiety because of seeing their friends die, which in a lot of ways is how the younger generation is reacting to the three topics I named earlier. That could be me reading a lot into the film but it definitely shares a lot of connections. As for the acting it’s pretty incredible Charlie Plummer and Katherine Langford are both fantastic, especially Langford who has really shown she has some serious talent it really makes me excited to see what she will do next! The writing is also really well done, with tons of emotional, heartwarming, cute and some surprisingly depressing moments it really adds power to the film and by the end it leaves a pretty big impression on the viewer. Spontaneous also feels very grounded when it comes to the writing, it feels like they actually got writers who know how teenagers talk and act (which only adds to what I said earlier) overall Spontaneous is a unique film that I definitely recommend giving a watch!!

9/10 A

American Pie Girl’s Rules

It’s Senior year at East Great Falls. Annie, Kayla, Michelle, and Stephanie decide to harness their girl power and band together to get what they want their last year of high school.

I’m seriously impressed of how many of American Pie films there are, this movie makes the 9th film of the franchise. I went into this movie not expecting much at all, however I actually found this movie to be pretty okay? I thought the cast did a fine enough job with what that they had, there were a few okay jokes that I actually liked. However the movie does fall into the trap this franchise has been suffering from for a long time now…being the exact same thing over and over again! While it is better than most of the other spinoff films, it feels almost identical to some of the main series movies. I mostly liked this film mainly due to Madison Pettis, Lizze Broadway, Natasha Behnam and Piper Curda their chemistry between each other worked really well and was the best thing about this film by far! Overall if you are a die hard fan of the franchise you will love this movie, it does it’s job fine enough and could have been easily worse so at least there’s that.

6/10 C+

A Rainy Day In New York (2020)

A young couple arrives in New York for a weekend where they are met with bad weather and a series of adventures.

So it’s finally time to actually sit down and talk about this film huh? A Rainy Day In New York has faced delays ever since 2018, you have probably heard of this movie being on release schedules only to be taken off afterwards. It was delayed mostly due to two factors, one the #Metoo movement (rightfully so) and two it was having a hard time finding someone to actually release it in America. So how is the actual film? Well Selena Gomez is actually the best acted in the film and she’s genuinely great too, I was actually very surprised if I’m going to be quite honest. I haven’t really cared much for her film roles other then Spring Breakers (by far her best) and Fundamentals Of Caregiving but she did a solid job. Elle Fanning definitely comes in a close second, she worked with what she had and for the most part did pretty well. Timothee Chalamet however…was pretty terrible, I really don’t know how to describe his acting in this movie but it felt like he really didn’t care at all. It kind of felt like he was held at gun point, it was some of the worst acting by him I’ve seen. The movie itself is just not interesting, it’s a great movie if you want to fall asleep. Waiting for something to actually happen in this movie is like waiting for your turn at a amusement park ride, it’s also one of those films where clearly the writers have no idea how 20 something years old know how to talk, a lot of the lines just don’t feel believable at all. What else can I really say? A Rainy Day In New York it’s a terrible movie that nobody is going to look back at, it’s always going to be known as “that one Woody Allen film that got constantly delayed and has Selena Gomez in it.”

3/10 D-

Eternal Beauty (2020)

After Jane (Sally Hawkins) falls into a state of despair over her schizophrenia, she encounters new sources of love and life with surprising results.

Eternal Beauty is truly something special, it takes a very heavy subject that is really hard to master in film and turns into something hard hitting and beautiful at the same time, Sally Hawkins character Jane has schizophrenia and we see her struggling with it throughout the film. What I really appreciate is how realistic the portrayal of schizophrenia is, Craig Roberts did a magnificent job when it comes to making it as real as possible. There are tons of touching moments from the chemistry of Sally Hawkins and David Thewlis, the writing feels as natural as possible, the family struggles are believable and emotional. Jane’s relationship with her family feels very real, it shows the harsh reality of how some families or people in general treat people with schizophrenia. It’s extremely sad but at the same time the film does have a lot of heartwarming moments, the acting all around is fantastic Sally Hawkins is absolutely perfect and as I said before gives a very realistic performance, David Thewlis is fantastic as well as Penelope Wilton!! Craig Roberts as the director is flawless, he truly knows how to create a very raw experience and how to tell a sad but beautiful story that it’s emotional and quite honestly inspiring at times. Overall Eternal Beauty is a film that you always think about as soon as it ends, give Eternal Beauty a watch as soon as you can!!

10/10 A+