Cadaver and 32 Malasana Street (2020)

In the starving aftermath of a nuclear disaster, a family of three attends a charitable event at hotel, which takes a dark turn when when people start to disappear.

Cadaver is definitely not terrible, but it’s a movie full of wasted potential. There was definitely some sort of effort put into as the cinematography is actually decent and the movie has the atmosphere working for it, the problem is the acting and writing are just on the weak side. The movie becomes very predictable by the final act to the point where you can guess the ending, overall really nothing else worth mentioning. It’s one of those horror movies you will never think back to again after watching.

5/10 C

A family moving to a new house to live the dream of the big city. A house where dreams turn in nightmares.

I really spoke too soon I said Shudder picked up with Scare Me and The Mortuary Collection only to fall right back down again. This is the second to last movie on Shudder’s lineup leading up to Halloween (at the time this was written who knows they can add something at the last minute) 32 Malasana Street is pretty much every haunted house movie you have seen before, it’s sad because this is based on a true story (apparently) the problem is the movie does absolutely nothing to make itself standout from the rest of the crowd, then you have the transphobia which does absolutely nothing to impact the story. It honestly begs the question…did anybody look at it before it was released? I will give the movie this the filming is pretty nice and I do like the setting, the acting is fine enough but the writing just plays way too safe and doesn’t do anything to help this movie standout. I really don’t have anything else to say what could honestly there be more to say? There’s far better haunted house films out there that outclass this movie in every single way possible.

3/10 D-

The Trial Of The Chicago 7 (2020)

Based on the infamous 1969 trial of seven defendants charged by the federal government with conspiracy and more, arising from the countercultural protests in Chicago at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The trial transfixed the nation and sparked a conversation about mayhem intended to undermine the U.S. government.

The Trial Of The Chicago 7 was definitely one of my most anticipated films of the year, it’s about the 1968 trial of seven men who along with several protestors protested the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Several different things happened all at once Martin Luther King Jr (killed April 4th 1968) and Robert F. Kennedy (killed June 6th 1968) were both assassinated, The Vietnam War was taking place during the time and much more. Now on to the film itself which is quite powerful, one of the strongest things about this film is the acting and the writing, Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jeremy Strong, Mark Rylance and Frank Langella were the standouts. They all truly did a fantastic job, they all portrayed the actual people quite well and not to mention they looked exactly like them too. The writing I was very impressed by, yes there are some cinematic moments that didn’t actually take place but from what I counted I believe there were only two or three incidents, one of which is really not a huge change. Plus the scenes themselves are still quite great, the music is really well done especially combined with the filming and the tension in the courtroom it leads to several powerful speeches. The Trial Of The Chicago 7 is also has the fastest 2 hours and 10 minutes in a movie I have seen in awhile, mostly due to how invested you get into the film. The court case has a lot turns and so many events that happened to the point where you feel like this was a very short film. The ending is going to be a hit or miss for some people, but for me I thought it was pretty well done. The build up to that moment was perfect and the delivery was both mesmerizing and beautiful! The Trial Of The Chicago 7 makes us look back at a fascinating piece of history that is very relevant today, in fact when you finish the film you are pretty much left saying “not much as really changed at all” it truly is a special type of film! When it comes time for award nominations this will definitely be a frontrunner! Give this one a watch!!

10/10 A+

Clouds (2020)

Young musician Zach Sobiech discovers his cancer has spread, leaving him just a few months to live. With limited time, he follows his dream and makes an album, unaware that it will soon be a viral music phenomenon.

I really wish Disney advertised this movie a whole lot better, the most I saw it being advertised was a quick ad on TV when I was watching the Billboard Music Awards. Clouds is a pretty solid movie that really surprised me, it’s based off of a true story about a teenager who discovers his cancer has spread and only has a few months left to live. Knowing this he follows his dreams to make a music album, it’s a very sad but inspiring story. It really helps that the acting is really solid, Fin Argus, Sabrina Carpenter and Madison Iseman are all really strong in their roles. The music is wonderful it fits the tone of the film perfectly and really makes you feel all types of emotions, the direction from Justin Baldoni is also really great as well, he previously directed Five Feet Apart which I thought was just okay so this is a huge step up. A lot of people are going to compare this to I Still Believe but I do feel like Clouds is the far better film, I Still Believe definitely had it’s moments but I feel like it’s just nowhere near as strong as Clouds. Clouds has a lot of heart and soul put into it, the only main criticism I do have is that it did not need to be 121 minutes long. I’m not even entirely sure what the choice was to make it that long, but thankfully the pacing is nice and smooth so it doesn’t feel extremely long! Overall Clouds is a really great film and one I definitely recommend!!

8/10 B+

Kajillionaire (2020)

A woman’s life is turned upside down when her criminal parents invite an outsider to join them on a major heist they’re planning.

Kajillionaire is definitely an interesting movie, for starters Evan Rachel Wood and Gina Rodriguez are both fantastic in their roles especially Evan Rachel Wood who really brings a lot of depth in her role, the direction from Miranda July is pretty strong she tells a very interesting story that’s very captivating. My main criticism with the film is at does go through this very weird tone shift towards the end, I definitely understand what the movie was trying to go for but I really don’t think there was enough build up to that tone shift, it feels very out of place and sort of just came out of nowhere. But besides that Kajillionaire is a very interesting film, this is going to be one of those films that is not going to be for everyone. But I do at least recommend giving it a look if it interests you.

8/10 B+

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+

Charm City Kings (2020)

Fourteen-year-old Mouse desperately wants to join the Midnight Clique, an infamous group of Baltimore dirt-bike riders who rule the summertime streets.

Charm City Kings is hard hitting coming of age story, it’s about facing hard truths and choices that we definitely would never want to face. Charm City Kings showcases some extremely fantastic acting from Jahi Di’Allo Winston, Meek Mill and everyone else involved! The writing is some top notch material that all blends together really well to create a wonderful story, it delivers on all levels especially when it focuses on finding out hard truths that as I said before we would never want to face in person, the direction feels very raw it’s one of those’s films that feels naturally written and the performances feel the same as well! Meek Mill is a huge surprise, the range of emotions and power he puts into his performance is incredible! Charm City Kings is definitely a must watch, it’s sort of hard to talk about without spoiling which I don’t want to do that! But believe me when I say this is a fantastic film!

9/10 A

The Lie and Black Box (2020) The first two films of the “Welcome to the Blumhouse” eight film series!

A father and daughter are on their way to dance camp when they spot the girl’s best friend on the side of the road. When they stop to offer the friend a ride, their good intentions soon result in terrible consequences.

The Lie is the first film of the “Welcome To The Blumhouse” eight film series four of them being released this year and the other four presumably being released next year. The Lie is a very appropriate title because the advertising is a damn lie, this is not a horror film. This is a terrible thriller that has one of the most ridiculous twists I have seen this year, scratch that one of the worst I’ve seen in awhile (more on that soon) first off the only positive I can give this movie is the filming, it’s actually quite decent and does give the film at least some sort of atmosphere. However everything else is horrendous, Joey King is terrible which I really hate to say because I do really like Joey King. The problem is her choice in roles and this is honestly one of the worst, everyone else in the film isn’t good either…don’t even get me started on the writing. I can’t believe someone actually looked at this and said “Looks great!!!” There are at points where The Lie tries to be much more than it really is and that’s when it’s at it’s worst, it plays out about as well as soap opera. Lastly there’s the ending which is horrendous as I said before, it’s one of those twist endings where you just want to hit your head against the wall. I really don’t know what else to say, its no wonder this movie was shelved…give this one a huge skip.

1/10 F

After losing his wife and his memory in a car accident, a single father undergoes an agonizing experimental treatment that causes him to question who he really is.

The second film in the “Welcome To The Blumhouse” eight film series, luckily Black Box is far better than The Lie. The premise of Black Box has been done before, but at least a lot working for it. Mainly the acting which is really solid Mamoudou Athie does a very solid job in the leading role, the writing is very solid and does deliver some very strong character moments mostly from Mamoudou Athie’s character Nolan. Unlike The Lie I can definitely say that Black Box is a horror movie, it has some haunting moments with a dark atmosphere that works really well in this movie’s favor. It’s also refreshing to see actually well written characters unlike The Lie, while the characters in Black Box might not be groundbreaking they do have depth to them and are interesting all around. I do feel like Black Box could have explored a little more and tried something a little more new with it’s premise, but for the most part this is a very solid film that I would recommend!!

7/10 B

Save Yourselves and Wolf Of Snow Hallow (2020)

A young Brooklyn couple heads to an upstate cabin to unplug from their phones and reconnect with each other. Blissfully unaware of their surroundings, they are left to their own devices as the planet falls under attack.

Save Yourselves! Is an interesting one, it’s different take on the alien abduction genre and has two fantastic leads. Sunita Mani and John Paul Reynolds both do a fantastic job in their roles, the chemistry between the two is both cute and hilarious. The writing really helps the two make many clever jokes, ideas and helps create a very interesting plot. I do feel that the second half is of the film isn’t quite as strong as the first half simply due to it becoming a little more familiar and I do wish the film went into the whole “dependence on technology” a lot more. But from what was shown this was a very solid movie that I definitely recommend giving a go.

7/10 B

Terror grips a small mountain town as bodies are discovered after each full moon. Losing sleep, raising a teenage daughter, and caring for his ailing father, officer Marshall struggles to remind himself there’s no such thing as werewolves.

The Wolf Of Snow Hallow is a weird but interesting hybrid of different genres, it’s one of the better horror comedies that offer a ton of laughs and have a pretty solid chemistry with the characters, Jim Cummings does a fantastic job in his role as well as directing and writing the film. The film is a ton of fun, it’s a different take on the werewolf movie genre and brings in some new ideas to the table that are quite interesting. The location combined with the filming really brings a lot of life into the film and gives it this thrilling but at the same time comedic atmosphere (thanks to the writing) give this one a look!

7/10 B