Clerks III a surprisingly heartfelt film.

After suffering a massive heart attack, Randal enlists friends and fellow clerks Dante, Elias, Jay and Silent Bob to help him make a movie about life at the Quick Stop.

Clerks III starts with what is quite possibly one of my favorite film openings of the year, the first five minutes is My Chemical Romance’s Welcome To The Black Parade. I could go on forever how this opening really sums up of what ends up happening throughout the film, but in short it‘s old times being becoming new again, the shop is back, the characters we have grown to love over the years in these movies are dancing around having a grand old time. Plus you have a few callbacks to the other movies as well that are truly great, after that we are treated to a surprisingly emotional film…which is something I completely did not expect at all. Clerks III is surprisingly very heartfelt especially with the final act that really tugs at your heartstrings, there’s of course the humor that works quite well not every joke lands of course. However most of the jokes are pretty cleverly written and really entertain the viewer which is something Kevin Smith has always been good at despite what you think of his films. He’s always been good at entertaining an audience and here is no exception, there’s a surprising amount of character moments where they talk about the old times and think about the future, not letting go of the old times and wanting to continue them. It’s actually something that can be very relatable to the viewer and could easily hit said viewer hard, there’s a genuine amount of heart put into the film that you can’t help but smile at. This is one to definitely check out!

Clerks III is available on all VOD platforms.

9/10 A

Rosaline is surprisingly strong take on Romeo and Juliet.

A comedic retelling of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” told from the point of view of Romeo’s jilted ex, Rosaline, the woman Romeo first claims to love before he falls for Juliet.

When you go by the plot of Rosaline it comes off as yet another tired take of Romeo And Juliet but this time it’s in the perspective of Rosaline who is Romeo’s previous girlfriend before he met Juliet. However the film strangely works really well, it doesn’t take itself too seriously and instead does a pretty humorous and interesting job of retelling the story, with a few changes it ends up being more of a “what if” type scenario which I am a pretty big fan of when it’s done right. And in this case it’s done pretty well, Kaitlyn Dever is fantastic as Rosaline she puts her talent all in the role and gives such a entertaining performance. Sean Teale as Dario is also pretty solid as well, the enemies to lovers element is actually done quite well here which is mainly due to the chemistry of Teale and Dever being so great. Not every single joke lands as there are some eye roll worthy moments, but those really don’t take away from the sharp and clever writing that really gives the story of Romeo and Juliet a breath of fresh air, it’s an entertaining ride from beginning to end that is far better than it has any right being.

Rosaline is available on Hulu!

8/10 B+

Raymond & Ray doesn’t have a lot of substance.

Half-brothers Raymond and Ray reunite when their estranged father dies — and discover that his final wish was for them to dig his grave. Together, the process who they’ve become as men, both because of their father and in spite of him.

Raymond & Ray is definitely a step down from Rodrigo García who previously directed For Good Days. The major issue with the movie is it really doesn’t say or do anything special outside of a few solid performances, Ethan Hawke is pretty solid, Ewan McGregor has his moments mostly when Raymond (McGregor) and Ray (Hawke) have to come to terms about their abusive father passing away and having conversations about it. The problem is those sort of scenes are not as common as you would think, Sophie Okonedo brings some life into the movie which is somewhat enjoyable. But the movie never goes beyond a few scenes that talk about the abuse, a lot of it tries to play off as a comedy which really doesn’t work especially when the tone of the movie completely doesn’t match it.

Raymond & Ray is available on Apple TV+

5/10 C

Catherine Called Birdy is decent enough thanks to Bella Ramsey.

In medieval England, the daughter of a financially destitute Lord thwarts her father’s plans to marry her off to a wealthy suitor. When the most vile suitor arrives, her parent’s love for her is tested.

After the complete mess that was Sharp Stick I had very low expectations for Lena Dunham’s second film this year Catherine Called Birdy, life is full of surprises I guess because this wasn’t terrible. For starters the main reason why the movie works is because of Bella Ramsey, without her this movie would have fallen flat quite easily. Bella Ramsey really makes the script that would otherwise be way too simple and very bare bones into something surprisingly energetic and interesting, it’s essentially criticizing the patriarchy but in medieval times which the movie does pretty fine enough at. The other side of it is a coming age film but set in medieval times, which there are some fresh ideas with the character development mainly having to do with Bella Ramsey’s character Birdy calling out the bullcrap of the patriarchy in a few humorous ways while also having serious discussions about it as well. There are times where the movie does go a bit overboard with sarcastic humor and sort of takes away from the more serious moments, but for the most part the movie does a solid job at what it’s trying to say. It’s definitely not anything groundbreaking plus there are films that are far stronger that tackle the exact same subjects as this one, but this is certainly not a bad choice if you decide to give it a look.

Catherine Called Birdy is available on Amazon Prime Video.

6/10 C+

The Curse Of Bridge Hollow is forgettable.

A man and his daughter must team up to save their town after an ancient and mischievous spirit causes Halloween decorations to come to life and wreak havoc.

I reviewed Spirit Halloween: The Movie last week where I talked a bit about gateway horror or scary films meant for kids. The Curse Of Bridge Hollow is definitely in the same vein, funnily enough this movie is also about possessed Halloween decorations attacking people. Curse Of Bridge Hallow is definitely the better of the two mostly due to the movie actually using it’s premise decently…at least for some parts of the movie. The acting here is not great Marlon Waynes definitely tries his best and admittedly it’s one of his better performances in the comedies he’s recently done. However it’s really not enough to be noteworthy, there are definitely moments where it does feel like a Disney Channel original movie that became a Netflix original. This is also Jeff Wadlow’s most tolerable in a very long time, honestly what really hurts this movie is that it’s forgettable. It’s one of those Netflix movies where you watch it and 4 hours later you forget half of what happened, there’s fun to be had and it’s very inoffensive to kids. But between the poor acting and the terrible jokes this one will be quickly forgotten.

The Curse Of Bridge Hollow is available on Netflix.

4/10 D+

Lyle Lyle Crocodile is a blast and energetic!

When the Primm family moves to New York City, their young son, Josh, struggles to adapt to his new school and friends. All of that changes when he discovers Lyle, a singing crocodile that loves baths, caviar and great music. The two become fast friends, but when evil neighbor Mr. Grumps threatens Lyle’s existence, the Primms must band together to show the world that family can come from the most unexpected places.

Lyle Lyle Crocodile is exactly what you expect it’s going to be, it’s a very familiar story that’s been told before. A kid who is lonely finds a special friend and then wacky antics pursue, however this one is very charming and you really can’t help but smile at the movie. Shawn Mendes’s charming performance as Lyle plus his singing voice combined with the songs is genuinely a lot of fun. It’s hands down the part that completely sells this movie and really brings it altogether, Top Of The World is easily the standout song here as the scene it’s used in is an absolute blast and filled to the brim of personality, plus a lot of the other songs follow suit as well. Javier Bardem is a lot of fun as well and Brett Gelman plays a cartoony neighbor that really works here. There really isn’t much else to say here, the film is straightforward, has a ton of heart and is definitely something kids will absolutely love. It’s not going to break any new ground but it doesn’t have to.

Lyle Lyle Crocodile is currently in theaters.

6/10 C+

Hocus Pocus 2 is about the same as the first movie.

Three young women accidentally bring back the Sanderson Sisters to modern day Salem and must figure out how to stop the child-hungry witches from wreaking havoc on the world.

Hocus Pocus 2 finally releases after several years of the being on those “sequels that should have been a thing by now but haven’t” lists, there’s honestly not a whole lot to comment on here as Hocus Pocus 2 is about the same as the original. Which might be good for people who absolutely adored the first movie, I was never a huge Hocus Pocus fan it’s a fun little movie but that’s all it really was for me. Hocus Pocus 2 falls in the same line, Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy are still quite fantastic as the Sanderson sisters and are clearly having a blast, the entertaining atmosphere is still quite great and keeps a lot of the atmosphere from the first one, the flaws mostly come from the characters and the jokes really not being as strong, I get they wanted to put in the whole modern setting idea in the movie and at times it works. But other times it really mirrors what a lot of other movies do with this exact plot line, so it definitely leads to a lot of “seen that and it’s been done better before” type of moments. The overall message is charming enough and there’s some cute moments towards the end that did put a smile on my face, there’s definitely some level of charm that went into this movie that can be appreciated. It just falls a little short of being a little too identical to the first movie.

Hocus Pocus 2 is available on Disney+

5/10 C

Most Anticipated Films Of October 2022!

September flew by pretty quickly so now we are reaching the home stretch! October is my favorite month of the year and like previous years this month has a lot of good stuff to look forward to! As usual I’ll go over the movies I’ve already seen that I recommend and then we will get into the list.

Piggy – October 7th (Theaters I believe) and October 14th (VOD) – A Disturbing little movie Spanish and French horror movie that I saw back at Sundance 2022, it has some pretty neat commentary on bullying and some effective atmosphere!

Bitch Ass – October 14th (VOD) – Bitch Ass is one of those it’s so bad it’s hilarious movies, I gave it a 6/10 simply because I had such a fun time with it because it understands how to have fun. It’s a fun little slasher movie that I recommend watching with friends.

Slash/Back – October 21st (VOD) A simple but decent little sci-fi movie it has a lot of Attack The Block vibes to it so this is one to check out if you liked that one.

Now on to the list!

29. Bring It On: Cheer Or Die – October 8th (Syfy Channel) – Yes you read that right the Bring It On series is taking a new direction and going into the horror genre. This will be the seventh installment in the series (I have yet to see any but the first movie might check the series out this week) I don’t expect this movie to be good since it is going to premiere on the Syfy channel, but this is a case of my curiosity being very interested.

28. Spirit Of Halloween: The Movie – October 11th (VOD) – I appreciate these types of horror movies still being a thing, you know the kid friendly horror (although it is rated PG-13 the trailer has a Goosebumps like feel to it) I’m also a bit interested to see how they use the premise!

27. Old Man – October 14th (VOD)

26. Black Adam – October 21st (Theaters) – The only reason why I’m excited is because I like the whole premise of a film focusing on an Anti-Hero and fighting the heroes, the very least I hope Black Adam is a fun time as a lot of the comic book films this year have been a mess in terms of quality.

25. Rosaline – October 14th (Hulu)

24. Lyle Lyle Crocodile – October 7th (Theaters) – Potentially could be a lot of fun, I’m also very into the idea of Shawn Mendes voicing a crocodile.

23. Mr. Harrigan’s Phone – October 5th (Netflix) – Another Stephen King adaption, hopefully this one is better than the last one we got this year (Firestarter 2022)

22. Werewolf By Night – October 7th (Disney+) – One of the few things Marvel has coming up that I’m actually interested in, the trailer was a lot of fun and felt a bit campy here’s to hoping the same can be said for the movie.

21. Dark Glasses – October 13th (Shudder)

20. Wendell & Wild – October 28th (Netflix)

19. Run Sweetheart Run – October 28th (Amazon Prime Video)

18. Significant Other – October 7th (Paramount+) – Maika Monroe has already hit it out of the park with Watcher which released a back in June, the trailer seems promising with this one!

17. Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind – October 11th (VOD) – So far the animated Mortal Kombat movies have been quite fun Scorpion’s Revenge (2020) was a very solid film that did the franchise justice and Battle Of The Realms (2021) while not as good as the previous movie it was still a solid fun time! Here’s hoping Snow Blind is just as good.

16. God’s Country – October 14th (VOD)

15. Till – October 14th (Theaters) – There’s been a lot of talk about Danielle Deadwyler’s performance, the film had it’s first reactions over the weekend and while the movie itself is apparently great but is on the weak side at times Deadwyler’s performance is apparently fantastic. Which makes me all the more excited.

14. Holy Spider – October 28th (Theaters)

13. Stars At Noon – October 14th (Theaters and VOD platforms) – Haven’t heard the best things about this movie but between Claire Denis and Margaret Qualley I can’t help but be excited for this one.

12. The Good Nurse – October 26th (Netflix)

11. Halloween Ends – October 14th (Theaters and Peacock) – I’m one of those people who loved Halloween Kills so I’m pretty excited for Halloween Ends, it will be interesting to see how the film closes the whole Laurie Strode and Michael Myers chapter!

10. V/H/S/99 – October 20th (Shudder) – After a really solid sequel from last year (V/H/S/94) I’m very interested to see how this one will be, as long as it stays away from being like VHS Viral this should be great.

9. Terrifier 2 – October 6th (Theaters) – A sequel that I’ve been waiting for awhile now, early reactions say it’s just as good if not better than the first movie!

8. Armageddon Time – October 28th (Theaters) – Between the cast, James Gray and the trailer there is so much to look forward to with this film.

7. All Quiet On The Western Front – October 28th (Netflix)

6. The Banshees Of Inisherin – October 21st (Theaters)

5. Hellraiser – October 7th (Hulu) – After the first reactions which came out recently, I’m very excited for this one! It looks like a breath of fresh air for the series that it most definitely needs.

4. Aftersun – October 21st (Theaters)

3. Decision To Leave – October 14th (Theaters)

2. Triangle Of Sadness – October 7th (Theaters)

1. TAR – October 7th (Theaters)…..just looks absolutely stunning!!

Which films are you excited for?

My Best Friend’s Exorcism is a mash of 80s horror nostalgia bait and unfunny humor.

In 1988 best friends Abby and Gretchen navigate boys, pop culture and a paranormal force clinging to Gretchen. With help from a mall exorcist, Abby is determined to compel the demon back to the pits of hell — if it doesn’t kill Gretchen first.

My Best Friend’s Exorcism has some really interesting ideas but doesn’t do nearly enough with them, Elsie Fisher and Amiah Miller are hands down the best part of the movie. They work with the script they are given and make the most of it, there’s some decent shots here and there that compliment the movie fine enough as well. The main issue here is the writing which has no idea what it wants to be…a horror movie or a horror comedy, the comedy is just not funny at all. A lot of it is jokes that try yo bring this 80s horror movie feel to it but completely fall flat due to this whole 80s horror vibes being very overdone at this point. It’s perfectly fine to have an 80s horror movie throwback film but you can’t just expect it to succeed without doing anything with it. It just sort of exists here and underneath all of that is a familiar exorcism story we have seen countless times before, it’s a shame because I hear the book the movie is based on is quite enjoyable and had the writing been a lot more focused this could have ended up being a very fun movie.

My Best Friend’s Exorcism is available on Amazon Prime Video.

4/10 D+

The Greatest Beer Run Ever is a decent movie about a wild true story.

In 1967, John “Chickie” Donohue leaves New York to track down his army buddies in Vietnam and share a few beers with them, but instead is confronted with the horrors of the war.

I went to the “Regal Mystery Screening” which basically the premise is that it’s a movie that hasn’t been released yet, when I saw the Apple TV+ logo pop up on the screen I knew immediately what it was going to be. The Greatest Beer Run Ever tells the crazy true story of John “Chickie” Donohue during the Vietnam war the guy decided to go deliver his friends who are fighting in the war beer in Vietnam to show that his town supports them. It’s a truly interesting story that that I found quite fascinating, the movie does a decent job of telling the story. Zac Efron is truly great here, while it did take about 20 minutes to get use to his performance (it comes off as annoying during the first 10 minutes) after that he delivers so much charm to his performance, Russell Crowe plays Arthur Coates a photographer/journalist during the war, while he doesn’t get a huge part up until the third act he still quite incredible. He really puts in a lot of power and emotion that really sells his part, speaking of the third act that’s by far the strongest part about it. During the third act Donohue learns a lot about the great horrors of war, such as politicians/the government lying and witnessing civilians being killed. There’s some very powerful moments here that are truly fantastic and actually made me shed a tear, what is a bit baffling however is how the majority of the movie plays out as a comedy. Sure there’s some war stuff in between the comedy, but those particular scenes are played for laughs unlike the ones in the third act. I completely understand what the movie was trying to go for here, but I don’t think it balances out all that well. For what the comedy is there are some pretty decent jokes here that did get a few laughs out of me, to be completely fair though I would imagine it would be sort of a challenge to make a movie about a guy going to Vietnam to deliver beer to his friends without using comedy. So it’s not necessarily the comedy that’s the problem it’s mostly some of the jokes not being very funny and the third act being far more interesting in comparison. Overall The Greatest Beer Run Ever is a decent movie about a pretty insane true story, I definitely think the movie could have elaborated more on Donohue’s change from being pro war to questioning what is going on during wars, as it does feel like the movie ends right when we are about to get some more information on that.

The Greatest Beer Run Ever releases tomorrow on Apple TV+

6/10 C+