Quick Review: The Alternate

A struggling filmmaker who is forced to confront his idealised self after unlocking a portal to an alternate dimension where all his dreams have come true.

Unless you haven’t seen a single Twilight Zone episode or haven’t watched a low budget Sci-Fi movie before this might not be a bad watch. Otherwise prepare for a lot of Sci-Fi tropes that really don’t add anything new to the genre, there’s some decent shots here considering the budget and the acting isn’t as bad as you would expect. But this ends up being more of a chore to finish than anything else.

The Alternate is available on all VOD platforms.

4/10 D+

Alienoid is a wild blend of ideas and elements.

Gurus in the late Goryeo dynasty try to obtain a fabled, holy sword, and humans in 2022 hunt down an alien prisoner that is locked in a human’s body. The two parties cross paths when a time-traveling portal opens up.

Alienoid is what happens when you combine so many different ideas and elements from other movies and TV Shows then proceed to go wild with it. The movie is a mess but it’s the type of mess that is a whole lot of fun and strangely has charm to it as well. There’s bits that reminded me of Power Rangers, Terminator, Transformers, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers and so on. That’s a very crazy movie that isn’t afraid to go all out, the performances are pretty solid, the writing is engaging and genuinely hilarious plus has a lot of charm as well. The main flaw comes from the almost two and a half hour running time that really stretches itself for far too long, it really starts to overstay it’s welcome but luckily it’s enjoyable for most of it. Alienoid is flawed but it has a lot of charm and is wildly entertaining that you just can’t help but like it.

Alienoid is available in theaters.

7/10 B

Neptune Frost is a wonderful blend of many genres.

A group of escaped coltan miners forms an anti-colonialist computer hacker collective in the hilltops of Burundi. They soon attempt a takeover of the authoritarian regime that’s exploiting the region’s natural resources — and its people.

Neptune Frost is quite an interesting little movie, it combines many different type of genres and makes them it’s own. Combining Sci-Fi with musical elements is something you don’t see everyday and the movie did a pretty good job of showing that concept, the music in particular is quite great especially powerful singing voices that really capture the atmosphere well. Speaking of which the atmosphere combined with the filming leads to truly beautiful results, especially with the setting it’s done in so much detail from beginning to end. The costumes are wonderfully detailed and the acting is quite raw as well, a lot of the storytelling is done through the actions of the characters and the cinematography rather than the writing. But that definitely works in the film’s favor especially when the film gives the viewer so much to explore, Neptune Frost is not going to be for everyone but I do highly recommend checking this one out if it interests you!

Neptune Frost is available on all VOD Platforms.

8/10 B+

Prey brings new life to the Predator franchise.

A skilled Comanche warrior protects her tribe from a highly evolved alien predator that hunts humans for sport, fighting against wilderness, dangerous colonisers and this mysterious creature to keep her people safe.

I can’t think of such a huge turn for a franchise in a good way more than the Predator franchise, for awhile The Predator franchise has been struggling to get a really solid film out. Outside of Predator and Predator 2 (depending on who you ask, I personally find it to be quite fun) the series is very lacking and was in dire need of another really good film. Luckily that was the case with Dan Trachtenberg’s (10 Cloverfield Lane) Installment Prey, Prey takes the series back to it’s roots and brings everything back that people loved about the series in the first place. For starters Amber Midthunder was truly brilliant here and gives a breakout performance that completely captures the spirit the film is going for, the same can be said with the rest of the cast Dakota Beavers in particular does a really fantastic job. The film itself is visually stunning and the cinematography is captivating, one of the main criticisms I’ve had with the franchise is that a lot of the films visually don’t look very great. So it’s a breath of fresh air to see Prey take advantage of it’s setting and go all out with it. Especially when you combine it with the atmosphere that Dan Trachtenberg creates, like in 10 Cloverfield Lane the atmosphere here is horrifying and suspenseful it grabs the viewer’s attention and never let’s go. Everything that Trachtenberg did masterfully in 10 Cloverfield Lane is present here and it’s just as effective. The action scenes are well shot and the kills are quite brutal and a lot of fun as well, the combination of campy like feel of the kills with a serious tone actually works quite beautifully with the film. What’s very interesting about Prey is that it’s a franchise film that has the visuals and the character’s actions tell the story which is not something you see in a lot of franchise films. It’s truly fascinating and is pretty straightforward, overall Prey is the best film of the franchise since the first movie. Amber Midthunder is truly a star that I hope to see a lot more of and I’m excited to see what Dan Trachtenberg does next.

Prey is available on Hulu!

10/10 A+

Nope is a perfect blend of several genres in a large spectacle.

Two siblings who run a California horse ranch discover something wonderful and sinister in the skies above, while the owner of an adjacent theme park tries to profit from the mysterious, otherworldly phenomenon.

Jordan Peele continues to show how he can take the horror genre in several different directions, Nope is Peele’s third film having Get Out and Us under your belt is truly fantastic but how on earth do you top all of that? By creating something that may seem straightforward at first but is quite expensive and massive when you get into it. For starters the cast here are brilliant, Daniel Kaluuya is once again fantastic here and is a absolute powerhouse of an actor as usual, the exact same can be said for Keke Palmer. I believe I have said this before in one review but it needs to be said again, whatever role Palmer is in she always ends up delivering a fascinating performance and here is no different, in fact I would go far as to say this is her best performance yet. Steven Yeun is also quite great here even if he isn’t really a major character here, there’s a lot of moments with his character Ricky that are truly some of the best moments in the film and really expand his character. Lastly there’s Brandon Perea and Michael Wincott who are also really great as well, both play really fun characters and are actually quite hilarious as well. Nope is Peele’s biggest film yet it’s a massive film that explores quite a lot from the setting that the film takes place a horse ranch near a theme park in a desert, the atmosphere is masterfully done. It constantly has the viewer looking around for clues as to what’s going to happen, in fact while the movie does of course have a huge script there’s a lot of moments where the filming tells the story. A ton of quiet moments really put the film in the viewer’s mind to digest it all, the score is incredibly booming especially during the final act that really shows just how powerful the score is. Peele also does a fantastic job of combining several different genres and other directors as well as films like Jaws. Such genres include horror, sci-fi, western and thriller it’s not easy combining so many different genres but Peele and everyone involved do it effortlessly. The sci-fi elements are far different than what is usually done with the genre it’s impressive, as far as director styles or director inspirations there’s a huge mix of Steven Spielberg, Stanley Kubrick, M.Night Shyamalan, Alfred Hitchcock and John Carpenter. Spielberg mainly comes from the third act being a huge spectacle and the creature of the film sharing lots of similarities to Jaws. Hitchcock and Carpenter come in with the suspense of the film (some could argue the score is partly Spielberg and Carpenter), Shyamalan comes in with some of the characters and a few of the shots, finally there’s Kubrick who is definitely the cinematography (beautifully done here). But what makes this even better is Peele took each of those genres and directing styles I just mentioned and made every single one of them his own, that is something that is so hard to do. Overall Nope is truly a fantastic film that really reminds me on why I love film so much, it’s such a well done film that will keep you on the edge of your seat! See this film!!

Nope is available in theaters.

10/10 A+

Quick Reviews: Glasshouse and Death Hunt!

Confined to their glasshouse, a family survives the shred, a toxin that erases memory. However, when the sisters are seduced by a stranger, their peace is shattered a past best left buried is stirred.

Glasshouse is definitely a better than expected, the movie plays out like a post apocalyptic version of The Beguiled but manages to make a few elements it’s own. The themes of exploring trauma through memories is quite creative and actually executed pretty well, there’s a bit folk horror thrown in there that adds too it as well. Writing wise there’s some ideas that could have been expanded upon a bit more as the movie does present a bunch at a time, but for what Glasshouse is it’s a very decent movie with well done characters.

Glasshouse releases tomorrow on all VOD Platforms.

6/10 C+

A land developer and his girlfriend are hunted on a remote island for sport by three deranged locals.

Death Hunt is your nothing special about it “bunch of people hunt for some other people” you have seen this done before in far better movies. With that said Death Hunt isn’t necessarily bad, there’s definitely some entertainment to be had and the setting actually takes advantage of the premise quite well. But everything else is unfortunately very beat by beat.

Death Hunt releases tomorrow on all VOD Platforms.

4/10 D+

Quick Reviews: Glasshouse and Death Hunt!

Confined to their glasshouse, a family survives the shred, a toxin that erases memory. However, when the sisters are seduced by a stranger, their peace is shattered a past best left buried is stirred.

Glasshouse is definitely a better than expected, the movie plays out like a post apocalyptic version of The Beguiled but manages to make a few elements it’s own. The themes of exploring trauma through memories is quite creative and actually executed pretty well, there’s a bit folk horror thrown in there that adds too it as well. Writing wise there’s some ideas that could have been expanded upon a bit more as the movie does present a bunch at a time, but for what Glasshouse is it’s a very decent movie with well done characters.

Glasshouse releases tomorrow on all VOD Platforms.

6/10 C+

A land developer and his girlfriend are hunted on a remote island for sport by three deranged locals.

Death Hunt is your nothing special about it “bunch of people hunt for some other people” you have seen this done before in far better movies. With that said Death Hunt isn’t necessarily bad, there’s definitely some entertainment to be had and the setting actually takes advantage of the premise quite well. But everything else is unfortunately very beat by beat.

Death Hunt releases tomorrow on all VOD Platforms.

4/10 D+

Rubikon is almost a good movie.

Following a catastrophe on Earth, the planet is covered in a toxic fog. The crew in the space station, must decide whether to risk their lives to get home and search for survivors, or stay safe in the station’s “algae symbiosis system”.

Rubikon takes the survival movie formula but does it in space, something that could have worked quite well if it weren’t for the flaws sticking out like a sore thumb. It does get the confined space element right and the acting from the leads Julia Franz Richer, George Blagden and Mark Ivanir is not that bad. The major problem here is the writing is just not strong enough to engage the viewer and introduces ideas but never fully explores them, what’s happening on earth isn’t relevant to what’s happening with the crew it’s just background noise for the plot to advance and only comes into play towards the second half of the movie when the crew argues with one another. Which is sadly a chunk of the movie, it would be one thing if the arguments were meaningful or had more to them, but most of it consists of arguments that have been said and done before in better films. There’s definitely some interesting moments with emotion, such as with George Blagden’s character Gavin and Julia Franz Richer’s character Hannah has some great moments. But a lot of this is a beat by beat survival movie, which is a shame because this could have been something interesting had the writing been expanded upon a lot more and not be as surface level as it was.

Rubikon is available on all VOD Platforms.

5/10 C

Obi-Wan Kenobi is a decent series filled with enjoyable battles.

The Jedi Master contends with the consequences of his greatest defeat — the downfall and corruption of his one-time friend and apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, who turned to the dark side as evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is the newest Star Wars series that finished recently, the series takes place ten years after Revenge Of The Sith. We follow Obi-Wan Kenobi who’s went into hiding for awhile but is brought back up once a task to protect Princess Leia is given. I’ll start with what the series does right and the most obvious is the acting, everyone involved does a really solid job. Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan is once again brilliant, Vivien Lyra Blair as Princess Leia is actually pretty charming and captures some of the mannerisms that Leia would go on to have. Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader is fantastic and James Earl Jones doing his iconic voice for Vader is brilliant as ever, this series really makes Vader quite terrifying and shows just how intimidating he always has been as a villain. Lastly there’s Moses Ingram who does a solid job as Reva, the filming is quite nice combined with the atmosphere the film gives. If there’s a major thing the series lacked on is it doesn’t really feel complete, there’s some characters that could have easily gotten more development had it not been only 6 episodes. There’s definitely parts of the writing where they hint at the idea of diving a little deeper but never fully go through with it, the finale is definitely the standout as there is a very strong final battle that the series has been building up to. Some of the action scenes during the series are quite great, one notable one is Obi-Wan first meeting Darth Vader. That’s the one that truly made Vader terrifying, overall Obi-Wan Kenobi is not a bad series! It’s by far one of the better Star Wars TV series to come out and is pretty enjoyable for what it is.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is available on Disney+

7/10 B

Cryo is a below average Cube clone.

After awakening from a cryogenic sleep, five scientists awaken trapped in an underground facility with no memories of their past. As they ucover the truth, the scientists find themselves being hunted by someone.

Not a whole lot to comment on here, Cryo is a student film and there was clearly a huge amount of effort put into it that’s very commendable. The atmosphere is quite great and I do like the premise of it, even if it’s very much like The Cube, the major problems are the paper thin characters who just don’t have a whole lot going for them. And the running time which is for whatever reason nearly 2 hours long, combine that with some very messy pacing and you get a huge mixed bag of a movie. The acting is at least decent and the writing is actually not that bad, it’s just when it comes to character development is where the movie really lacks.

Cryo is available on all VOD Platforms.

5/10 C