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

Spiderhead has a lot of ideas but falls short.

Two inmates form a connection while grappling with their pasts in a state-of-the-art penitentiary run by a brilliant visionary who experiments on his subjects with mind-altering drugs.

Spiderhead is Joseph Kosinski’s second movie this year (first being Top Gun Maverick) and while this movie is far more creative than a lot of Netflix Sci-Fi/Thriller original movies, it still misses the mark. The best part about it is the performances by far, Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller and more do a really solid job of having fun with the script they were given. Plus I do think the world building was surprisingly not bad especially for a Netflix original of this type of genre, the main issue is mainly the writing that doesn’t give the creative ideas Room to breathe and instead turns it into a bit of a mess. Especially when the third act rolls around where it completely falls apart, I’m sure there’s several people who will find a lot of fun to be had with this one. Spiderhead has a lot of ideas and is very ambitious but doesn’t use said ideas in the best possible way.

Spiderhead is available on Netflix!

5/10 C

Crimes Of The Future is a hauntingly beautiful film from David Cronenberg.

As the human species adapts to a synthetic environment, the body undergoes new transformations and mutations. Accompanied by his partner, celebrity performance artist Saul Tenser showcases the metamorphosis of his organs. Meanwhile, a mysterious group tries to use Saul’s notoriety to shed light on the next phase of human evolution.

Crimes Of The Future is David Cronenberg’s newest film since 2014 and while this might not be his most gory or disturbing film, it still is disturbing in a few interesting ways. For starters the film has the classic Cronenberg style that is so loved from his films and it’s excellent to see it back in full force, it’s the dark and mysterious atmosphere that compliments the world the film is taking place in. With this world surgery is the new sex and the world itself compliments that with a lot of architecture that actually tells the story of the world. While some might argue that there wasn’t enough world building, the film builds the world visually in a more non traditional way, there’s tons of shots here that really speak for themselves. The cinematography tells a lot of the story with some gorgeous shots that are captivating, plus you have the characters who really represent the film in quite interesting ways. The performances from the cast are some of the best so far this year, Viggo Mortensen and Léa Seydoux have great chemistry between one another and give both terrifying yet raw performances as well. But the standout here is Kristen Stewart who most definitely represents the film’s world, she gives this hauntingly beautiful performance that is truly hypnotic in every single way possible. Whenever she appears on screen she takes full advantage of her time on screen and goes all out, especially combined with Cronenberg’s direction and the mysterious atmosphere it just adds more to Stewart’s character and performance. Cronenberg’s direction is masterful with every sense of the word, he paints a picture that is both mysterious and unsettling. Finally there’s the body horror scenes that are truly fantastic and very well designed as well, Cronenberg does something completely different here with the body horror which is make it connect to the people of the film’s world and why they are so into it. Crimes Of The Future is also the perfect film to start with if you want to get into disturbing cinema or Cronenberg’s work! Overall Crimes Of The Future is incredible and is something that you absolutely must see knowing as little as possible, hands down my favorite film so far this year.

Crimes of The Future is currently in theaters, it will release on all VOD Platforms June 21st!

10/10 A+

Jurassic World: Dominion is another weak installment in the Jurassic Park franchise.

Four years after the destruction of Isla Nublar, dinosaurs now live and hunt alongside humans all over the world. This fragile balance will reshape the future and determine, once and for all, whether human beings are to remain the apex predators on a planet they now share with history’s most fearsome creatures.

Jurassic World: Dominion is the final film of the Jurassic World trilogy, while Dominion is definitely better than Fallen Kingdom by a lot that is really not saying much at all. The few positives come from DeWanda Wise and Jeff Goldblum (who’s actually a main character unlike in Fallen Kingdom) who try to give this movie as much life as possible, lastly there’s a few fun chase/action scenes that are serviceable but nothing to write home about. The rest of the movie however is one gigantic mess that is a very weak way to close the trilogy, the performances from everyone other than Wise and Goldblum are either terrible or soulless, it’s nice to see Laura Dern and Sam Neil return but they are restricted to a very weak script that becomes a gigantic mess and strangely don’t feel as important as they did in the first Jurassic Park. The “villain” is played by Campbell Scott who is honestly very forgettable, the villain serves little to no purpose outside of being included for the sake of being included. We know very little about him and the I guess twist of him being the villain is so predictable that the movie doesn’t even try to hide it from the first scene he’s introduced. The performance Scott is terrible and way too over the top, I’m not exactly sure what they were trying to go for here but whatever it was it did not work. Another huge issue with Dominion is that it’s an unfocused mess that can’t decide what it wants to be, does it want to actually be about the dinosaurs or does it want to be about these collection of characters rescuing Maisie? Which leads into my next point the movie is very formulaic as in it basically runs down like this…chase scene, dialogue, chase scene, dialogue until the movie decides to wrap things up and end. The writing combined with it being formulaic is incredibly tiring and becomes way too repetitive for it’s own good, overall Jurassic World: Dominion is a very weak movie to close the trilogy with. Between being way too unfocused and forgettable there’s nothing here that comes together and is just another addition to the terrible sequels of this series.

Jurassic World Dominion is currently in theaters!

3/10 D-

Everything Everywhere All At Once is a masterpiece that will leave you stunned!

When an interdimensional rupture unravels reality, an unlikely hero must channel her newfound powers to fight bizarre and bewildering dangers from the multiverse as the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

Everything Everywhere All At Once is what happens when you are absolutely committed to your craft in this case film. In 2016 Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert shocked tons of people with Swiss Army Man a film with an absolutely bizarre premise with a quite meaningful message as well, Everything Everywhere All At Once manages to be even more bizarre in several different ways. For starters the performances here are phenomenal Michelle Yeoh gives such a strangely raw and fascinating performance that at times really moves you to tears, Ke Huy Quan gives one of my favorite performances of the year. The absolute insanity his performance gives off is mind blowing between the action scenes he’s involved in to the dialogue it’s truly incredible. Stephanie Hsu, Jamie Lee Curtis and James Hong are also really strong as well each of which giving some of the best and most fun performances so far this year. The film itself is a multiverse film but that’s just scratching the surface, the film goes very in depth with the premise and lands into some very emotional moments and themes. Such as moving on, not wanting to let go, wishing you could have made other choices and so on. Each of these themes is handled with absolute care and completely makes this film into something special, the editing combined with the action scenes are truly some of the best I’ve seen in a film. It’s very fast paced and keeps the scenes fresh and interesting, they have their own unique style to them as well that make you want to see even more of these scenes. The direction from the Daniels is just masterful in every sense of the word, this is the very definition of balancing humor, action and emotional moments each of them don’t outweigh the others. They all play a very important part to the story and all compliment each other very well, there’s so many scenes that really capture what it feels like to think about how you wanted something different and also learning to let go and move on. These are real situations people often struggle with and the way the film portrayed them feels incredibly raw despite being a multiverse film. I’m going to end the review here mostly due to the film being hard to talk about with spoiling which I don’t want to do. Overall Everything Everywhere All At Once is truly a masterpiece, everything you have heard about this film is absolutely right! It’s by far not only one of my favorites of the year but one of my favorites of the decade (so far). Be sure to check this one out it’s absolutely worth the experience!

Everything Everywhere All At Once is currently in theaters!

10/10 A+

Moonshot is a decent romantic comedy that is filled with great chemistry!

In a future where Mars is terraformed, two college students sneak onboard a space shuttle from Earth to Mars in order to be united with their significant others.

Something that I quite like so far this year when it comes to film is that the romantic comedy genre is having a sort of comeback in terms of quality, Marry Me, I Want You Back and now Moonshot. Moonshot is a movie that could have easily been a very below average romantic comedy movie but the highs make this one standout. Lana Condor does a really solid job here, and easily the best part of the film. The same can be said with Cole Sprouse and the two together have great chemistry between one another, which really makes the movie work quite well. Despite the sci-fi setting the movie doesn’t break any new ground and the side characters are very standard but that’s not enough to take away the movie’s charm, it’s entertaining and actually builds Sophie’s (Lana Condor) and Walt’s (Cole Sprouse) characters to the point where the viewer actually cares for the chemistry. If you are a fan of romantic comedies this is definitely something worth checking out, it’s a cute little movie that could have went a little more in depth but as it stands is a pretty decent watch!

Moonshot is available on HBO Max!

6/10 C+

SXSW Review: Slash/Back (2022)

When Maika and her ragtag friends discover an alien invasion in their tiny arctic hamlet, it’s up to them to save the day. Utilizing their makeshift weapons and horror movie knowledge, the alien realizes you don’t mess with girls from Pang.

I really don’t have much to say about Slash/Back but the movie itself is a very straightforward Sci-Fi movie, a group of teenage girls fight aliens while protecting their home. The cast look like they had a blast making the movie which is always great to see, plus the performances are all pretty solid as well! The same can be said for the music, it’s genuinely fun and brings the film a lot of entertainment value to it. The film definitely reminds me of Attack The Block so if you liked that movie you are more than likely going to like this one. The biggest flaw is the movie not really doing anything noteworthy, however it really isn’t trying to do that. It’s the very definition of a Indie film where a small group came together and made a film plus worked with what they had. And for that the movie definitely deserves credit, it’s a decent enough time to recommend.

Slash/Back currently has no release date.

6/10 C+