Wildcat is a powerful documentary about second chance.

Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, a former soldier develops a bond with a baby ocelot in the jungles of Peru.

I went into Wildcat expecting a very straightforward documentary about wild cats but instead it ended up being something quite fascinating. The documentary follows Harry a young British veteran who got back from Afghanistan who is struggling with PTSD he meets Samantha an American scientist where they both foster baby Ocelots. The first bit of the documentary is about an Ocelot named Khan who sadly suffers from a tragic fate which completely destroys Harry emotionally, then the rest of the documentary follows another Ocelot named Keanu. The way Harry’s PTSD is connected to his love for these animals is truly gut wrenching at times, there’s moments where he completely breaks down and describes what he saw in Afghanistan that completely destroyed him. He also deals with self-harm saying he wants to be happy and that Samantha (the founder of the non-profit organization that helps these animals) plus Keanu makes him happy. It’s truly heartbreaking seeing Harry in pain, luckily he really helps Keanu get released back into the wild. Wildcat is a such a beautiful documentary that’s also really heartbreaking as well, Harry really pours his heart into Keanu even when he’s at his lowest point mentally, being alone in the jungle for a long period of time could most definitely affect someone’s mental health especially given Harry’s PTSD and suicidal thoughts. As far as filmmaking goes the documentary is beautiful, the jungle is truly wonderful to look at, the many close up shots are personal and add so much power to the documentary. Despite some of the heavy topics discussed in the documentary, it leaves as a very hopeful one, the documentary leaves the viewer with this inspiring and pretty satisfying energy that really matches the film. At it’s core the documentary is very heartwarming, it gave both Harry and Keanu a second chance to adapt and come out on top.

Wildcat is available on Amazon Prime Video.

9/10 A

Streaming Reviews: it’s A Wonderful Binge and Something From Tiffany’s

Many years after their first Binge, Hags, Andrew, Sarah, and Kimi face the realities of adulthood as the annual Binge Day is moved to Christmas Eve. Amidst the chaos, Hags plans a proposal to Sarah, and Andrew deals with his rocky relationships.

The Binge: It’s A Wonderful Binge is a sequel to The Binge which came out in 2020, it was a terrible comedy that really tried to be like a sex comedy from the early 2000s except with drugs and alcohol. It’s A Wonderful Binge is basically the same idea but it’s Christmas themed….and it’s somehow better. There’s definitely better jokes this time around and I do think that the whole Christmas theme opens the door for some entertaining shenanigans to take place, Danny Trejo is pretty funny and the rest of the cast this time around are actually a lot better than they were in the first movie. With that said the movie kind of falls in the same sort of problems that a lot of sequels do and that’s being more less the same thing as their predecessor. As I said before this is just basically The Binge but Christmas, which honestly makes it more like a Christmas special rather than an sequel. Which isn’t entirely a bad thing it’s just something worth pointing out, it still has a lot of jokes that fall flat and once again doesn’t really use it’s own premise to it’s full potential. But at the very least you can say this time around that there was an attempt.

It’s A Wonderful Binge is available on Hulu.

4/10 D+

A woman gets up-ended when an engagement ring that was for someone else leads her to the person she’s meant to be with.

Something From Tiffany’s is what happens when you make an actual decent and far more competent Hallmark Christmas movie, while it’s very flawed and shares a lot of the exact same problems a lot of Christmas movies do. It’s mainly the cast who are truly charming that gives the movie the extra push it needs, Zoey Deutch is pretty decent here and really works her magic well here. She easily connects with everyone else and it’s the many bonds she has that really makes the movie work, Kendrick Sampson and Leah Jeffries in particular are very fun and give some genuine performances. As far as everything else goes it’s nothing too crazy, the writing is about how you would expect and the movie does play out in a very predictable way. But at the very least it has the charm going for it and there was some genuine love put into this one, definitely not the perfect Christmas movie but at the very least a decent one.

Something From Tiffany’s is available on Amazon Prime Video.

6/10 C+

The People We Hate At The Wedding is forgettable.

Family tensions ramp up among siblings in the week leading up to their half-sister’s wedding in the country.

The People We Hate At The Wedding is a whole lot of nothing, outside of Kristen Bell and a few moments this just does not do much at all, the premise sounds fine enough but plays out like something that might have been passable 10 years ago, now it just fits in with a lot of bad comedies that just aren’t funny at all. Despite this being released on Amazon Prime Video out of all the movies they have released and from what I’ve reviewed and seen, this one feels the most like a Lifetime/Hallmark movie. It plays out exactly how you expect it’s going to and just doesn’t give any of the characters some sort of personality outside of cliches, Kristen Bell is great here because she’s Kristen Bell and definitely tries her best. Otherwise this is just huge release date fodder.

The People We Hate At The Wedding is available on Amazon Prime Video.

2/10 F

Run Sweetheart Run is entertaining yet could have been more.

After what begins as dinner with a client, a single mom finds herself hunted by a monstrous and seemingly unstoppable assailant.

Run Sweetheart Run is a film that is not subtle at all, it establishes very early on that it’s a #MeToo type of film. Which I’m definitely all for and at times the movie uses that quite well, Ella Balinska gives such a fantastic and fun performance here, she really gives it her all here and completely steals the show in every single way possible. The “RUN” title card sequences when Cherie (Balinska) is in danger are very fun and creative, mixed with some thrilling atmosphere as well a very solid score to go with it. The vampire elements I have to say are solid and actually do a few things differently, it’s just a tad frustrating that they aren’t used to the full potential. Ultimately what stops this movie from being even better is the script, as I said before it’s not subtle at all which leads to many problems as the movie goes on, the dialogue from the other characters is on the weak side and none of them really have any memorable or distinct personalities outside of their respective ones they are given. The third act does have a twist that is quite engaging but unfortunately is a bit too late to really sink in or to do anything memorable with. Run Sweetheart Run clearly had a lot of potential to be great and I truly hope Ella Balinska is given a better horror film to work with in the near future.

Run Sweetheart Run is available on Amazon Prime Video.

6/10 C+

Goodnight Mommy (2022) a watered down remake.

Twin brothers arrive at their mother’s house and begin to suspect that something isn’t right.

The trend of America remaking disturbing foreign films has always been a bad idea (outside of Funny Games but that’s a shot for shot remake) 99% of the time the end result is a very watered down and completely butchered version. Prime examples are the remakes of Old Boy, Martyrs and Inside, Goodnight Mommy is the newest one and luckily it’s nowhere near as bad but once again it’s a very watered down version of the original. Goodnight Mommy came out in 2014 (2015 for America) and was a pretty disturbing film that had tons of atmosphere. The movie is definitely not for everyone but I like it quite a lot, fast forward to the remake and it just sort of exists. Naomi Watts is of course really solid she’s hands down the best part of the movie and at times captures what made the original disturbing. The filming combined with the setting are also pretty solid and once again do capture the spirit of the original, the problem comes in with the movie being heavily watered down such as taking away torture scenes that are very important to the story especially during the final act. It’s a key part of what made the twist of the original so great without it the movie doesn’t have the atmosphere or disturbing nature that the original did, the rest of the remake fails to justify it’s existence outside of a few moments where it seems like the movie is going to attempt to try and capture what made the original great but ends up falling short. The movie ultimately ends up being a very watered down version of the original that might not be terrible as there is some level of attempt to get the spirit of the original in here. It’s also definitely better than the other watered down foreign disturbing movie remakes I mentioned earlier, but that is really not saying much unfortunately. If you are going to watch one version of Goodnight Mommy watched the original.

Goodnight Mommy is available on Amazon Prime Video.

5/10 C

Most Anticipated Films Of September 2022!

August flew by and the summer movie season is over. 2022 still continues be an incredibly strong year for film and it’s only going to get better with upcoming releases for the last 4 months. September is usually a month that isn’t quite packed and is also sometimes a dumping ground, however this year it looks quite great (minus this week outside of Honk For Jesus Save Your Soul there is almost nothing releasing).

As always here’s some films that I’ve already seen at festivals that are coming out in September that I highly recommend checking out.

Speak No Evil – September 9th (Theaters) and September 15th (Shudder) if you like disturbing films make sure to check this one out. It’s a batshit insane movie that goes off the rails quickly, also be sure to go into it knowing as little as possible.

Riotsville USA – September 16th (Theaters and VOD Platforms) A very interesting film that’s entirely archival footage of how protests began to rise in the 60s, it’s a very haunting and powerful film that’s actually quite important. Definitely one of the most interesting films so far this year. If you are into protest history I recommend this one.

Sissy – September 29th (Shudder) Another really solid slasher film that’s going to release this year, fun characters, great kills, fun gore and so on. It’s everything you would want in a slasher film!!

Now on to the list itself!

23. Jeepers Creepers: Reborn – September 19th (Theaters) As far as I know Victor Salva has no involvement with this one, it also helps that it looks like a far better movie than the last Jeepers Creepers. 

22. Smile – September 30th (Theaters) it looks absolutely ridiculous but at the same time sort of looks fun as well!

21. Saloum – September 8th (Shudder)

20. Goodnight Mommy – September 16th (Amazon Prime Video) I definitely think there’s potential for this to be good, it has Naomi Watts and the filming looks really nice. However the original 2014 movie is such a great film that captured disturbing atmosphere, after seeing America’s attempt to remake disturbing movies before such as Martyrs, Inside and Oldboy (all the remakes were garbage) It’s likely this could be another dud. Despite that I am interested to see what they can do.

19. Who Invited Them? – September 1st (Shudder)

18. Jane – September 16th (Creator+)

17. My Best Friend’s Exorcism – September 30th (Amazon Prime Video) Was very surprised to see that the movie actually looks like a whole lot of fun. Elsie Fisher is in one of the leading roles!

16. The Greatest Beer Run Ever – September 30th (Apple TV+)

15. The Girl At The Window – September 27th (VOD)

14. Mona Lisa and The Blood Moon – September 30th (VOD)

13. Raven’s Hollow – September 22nd (Shudder)

12. Burial – September 2nd (VOD)

11. Vesper – September 30th (VOD)

10. The Woman King – September 16th (Theaters) One of the films I’ve been waiting for all year, Viola Davis looks incredible here and could end up giving one of the best performances of the year!

9. Do Revenge – September 16th (Netflix) Looks like an incredible amount of fun plus Maya Hawke is here to completely own it!

8. God’s Country – September 16th (Theaters)

7. God’s Creatures – September 30th (Theaters and VOD Platforms) Heard incredibly great things about this one and the trailer was quite great immediately introducing the mysterious atmosphere that I’m assuming will be in the film.

6. Marcel The Shell With Shoes On – September 6th (VOD) Finally this is coming to VOD platforms, heard nothing but good things about this one!

5. Moonage Daydream – September 16th (Theaters) – A Documentary on David Bowie that’s going to have unreleased footage from Bowie’s personal archives including live concert footage. I’m a big fan of lost media or unreleased media so this one immediately got my attention especially since I’m a fan of Bowie’s music!

4. Barbarian – September 9th (Theaters) The films has been described as “this year’s Malignant” and “a truly bizarre experience” and so on. First reactions for Barbarian were fantastic and sounds like one of this year’s unexpected fantastic films, really looking forward to this one.

3. Blonde – September 16th (Theaters) and September 28th (Netflix) Netflix has a very strong lineup for the rest of the year and Blonde is definitely one of them. Ana de Armas could score a Best Actress Nomination just from the trailers she captures a lot about Marilyn Monroe, the film is also going to be rated NC-17 a decision that’s not often done nowadays. It’s a film I’ve been looking forward to for a very long time ever since it was announced, it’s also great to see Andrew Dominick back with another film.

2. Don’t Worry Darling – September 23rd (Theaters) – Olivia Wilde directors something completely different, after Booksmart (fantastic film) she moves into the thriller/horror/drama area which is always fantastic. This is another film I’ve been excited for since it was announced, Florence Pugh is one of the leads and it seems to be like Darren Aronofsky’s film Mother! First reactions are September 5th at the Venice Film Festival so we will know how it is very soon!

1. Pearl – September 16th (Theaters) Ti West has already given horror fans X a fantastic slasher film that completely captured the 70s and 80s slasher era. Pearl serves as a prequel with Mia Goth returning as the lead who will not doubt hit it out of the park yet again. X is still one of my absolute favorite films of the year and I have no doubt Ti West will hit another homerun!

And that’s it for the list! Lots of great stuff here that I’m truly excited for!!

Samaritan is a generic superhero story.

A young boy learns that a superhero who was thought to have gone missing after an epic battle twenty years ago may in fact still be around.

I was actually pretty excited for Samaritan despite the plot reading exactly like a generic superhero story, I wanted to see how Julius Avery (director of Overlord and Son Of A Gun) would tackle the superhero genre. Unfortunately the movie itself is a very generic one, the story of a kid unexpectedly meeting a superhero has been done numerous times before and it’s not any different here. Javon Walton at least gives a fun performance that gives the movie spirit and Sylvester Stallone is really solid here as he usually is, the few action scenes that there are not bad but not anything to write home about. Had this movie come out several years ago like in the 90s there would be a lot more leeway, the main issues here are mostly the villains who are very one note and for half the movie barely do anything. Then you have the writing which I’ve said before is written in the most generic way possible, the movie hits a lot of the typical superhero movie beats that have been done far better elsewhere. There’s some decent moments with Stallone and Walton who bond over the course of the movie which leads to some great moments, but a lot Samaritan is very forgettable and sort of sits among such a crowded genre. Overall Samaritan isn’t bad, there’s definitely some heart and the acting is at least solid. But it’s not enough to really standout.

Samaritan is available on Amazon Prime Video.

5/10 C

Thirteen Lives captures claustrophobia expertly.

A rescue mission is assembled in Thailand where a group of young boys and their soccer coach are trapped in a system of underground caves that are flooding.

Thirteen Lives is based on the Tham Luang cave rescue which occurred in June and July 2018 where twelve members of junior association football team and their coach were trapped. If you recall last year a documentary called The Rescue was about this very subject (highly recommend checking that out) so seeing this movie release not even less then a year after The Rescue came out is actually a huge risk, luckily Thirteen Lives has a lot going for it. The cast in particular do a really great job here Colin Farrell, Viggo Mortensen and Joel Edgerton in particular hit it out of the park really well and give some pretty raw performances. The claustrophobic feel during the diving scenes as well as the cave scenes are very effective due to the atmosphere and Ron Howard’s direction he does such an excellent job of capturing claustrophobia and how it really feels. We get to hear different perspectives from the many people involved which is quite great, the main criticism mostly comes from wanting to see more of the football team and their coach. Expand on how they were feeling during all of this and more of the families as well, but overall Thirteen Lives is very solid! You will definitely get more out of The Rescue but if you are still interested in the story itself I do recommend checking this one out.

Thirteen Lives is available on Amazon Prime Video.

7/10 B

Anything‘s Possible is a genuinely sweet directorial debut from Billy Porter!

A high school student with a crush summons the courage to ask a transsexual teen out on a date, knowing the drama it could cause.

Anything’s Possible is directed by Billy Porter and wow this was a surprise, from the trailers it looked like this was going to be another high school comedy. While it does follow beat by beat plot points what makes this one standout is mainly the cast and that it is a genuinely lovable film, for starters credit must be given for casting Eva Reign a trans woman to play a trans woman. Reign’s performance is truly fantastic here it comes off as very raw and really captures the high school like feel that a lot of other high school movies have failed to do. In the fact the movie itself does a really good job in that aspect, the writing is actually really well done here and gives Kelsa (Reign) and Khal (Ali) some really strong character development. Speaking of which the chemistry between Eva Reign and Abubakr Ali (who is also quite great) is really strong and feels really natural, it’s such a sweet and lovable bond that really gives the movie a sense of realism. The movie does have a few jumping the shark moments, I truly don’t think the movie needed a mean girl type character Courtnee Carter is decent in the role but the whole subplot didn’t need to be there. Outside of that the rest of the movie is very lovable and really feels very down to earth, it’s a fun movie that shows a lot of talent from Billy Porter as a director and Eva Reign (who I cannot wait to see more from) plus Abubakr Ali as actors!

Anything’s Possible is available on Amazon Prime Video!

8/10 B+

Don’t Make Me Go is a showcase of a beautiful father and daughter bonding.

A terminally ill man and his teenage daughter embark on a road trip from California to New Orleans for his 20th college reunion. While there, he secretly hopes she can reunite with the mother who left them long ago.

The opening line of Don’t Make Me Go is definitely true “You’re not going to like the way this story ends, but I think you’re going to like this story”. Because the rest of the film is truly heartwarming and incredibly raw, John Cho once again shows that he’s currently one of the best actors working today. He plays Max Park who has a terminal disease and wants to connect with his daughter Wally Park who is played by Mia Isaac, this is Mia Isaac’s debut as an actress and she truly hits out of the park, she brings this down to earth style to her performance that captures the behavior and actions of a teenager. The father and daughter chemistry between John Cho and Mia Isaac is truly fantastic here, there’s a lot of emotional moments, a lot of quiet moments and a lot of heartwarming moments that show the many sides of a father and daughter. The writing keeps things grounded while throwing in a few parts that aren’t very grounded but they still fit the story that’s being told, Hannah Marks who previously directed Mark, Mary & Some Other People does a really solid job here. One thing that Marks is truly great at with only two films into her career, is that she’s fantastic at building relationships between the characters in her films it was shown quite a bit in Mark, Mary & Some Other People and it was most definitely shown in Don’t Make Me Go. The only main criticism is the last 10 minutes, the ending really comes out of nowhere and is a gut punch (not in a good way), despite that Don’t Make Me Go is a really solid film that I do highly recommend checking out.

Don’t Make Me Go is available on Amazon Prime Video.

8/10 B+