Huesera The Bone Woman is a terrifying pregnancy horror film.

Valeria’s joy at becoming a first-time mother is quickly taken away when she’s cursed by a sinister entity. As danger closes in, she’s forced deeper into a chilling world of dark magic that threatens to consume her.

Pregnancy horror is a sub-genre that is very hard to get right, most of the time it sort of falls in line with a lot of exorcism like horror movies which can come off being more or less the same thing. However Huesera The Bone Woman takes the concept of pregnancy horror and manages to do something completely different with it that really makes the film standout. 

The performances are all quite fantastic here, they all feel very natural and really work well together especially the film’s lead Natalia Solián who plays Valeria, she absolutely steals the show and gives one of the best performances so far this year. She really nails down this balance of giving a sweet motherly type performance while also giving an anxiety induced one as the film goes on. 

The film is ultimately about postpartum motherhood anxiety which quickly catches up with Valeria and quickly devolves into madness, the sound of cracking bones throughout the film completely catches the viewer off guard and really sets the atmosphere of the film. It’s a noise that really gets under your skin and does not leave you throughout the film. 

The way the film uses pregnancy as body horror is quite well done, it doesn’t go exactly the way you think it would like having a ton of gore and such, instead the movie uses the anxiety and the postpartum depression slowly breaks down Valeria, the direction from Michelle Garza Cervera is atmosphere, natural and incredibly well done. She really makes the concept of pregnancy horror as raw as possible. 

Huesera The Bone Woman is one of the best films of 2023 thus far, if you haven’t checked this one out please do so! 

Huesera The Bone Woman is available on Shudder. 

9/10 A


Moving On shows more fantastic Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin chemistry.

Two estranged women reunite to seek revenge against the husband of their recently deceased best friend. Along the way, they learn to make peace with the past and each other.

Moving On is the second movie of 2023 (first being 80 For Brady) to have Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as the leads and I’m honestly not complaining at all. While I do think 80 For Brady is the superior movie there’s still quite a lot to like about Moving On. 

First off the acting is overall pretty great, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are quite great and work together incredibly well. You can absolutely feel the natural connection the two have and really believe the two are lifelong friends, Malcolm McDowell actually gives one of his better performances here (seriously look at his IMDb page) this is the first time in awhile where he is actually given something to work with and does it quite well. 

Tonally the movie can be a bit all over the place there’s definitely moments that could have made for some interesting character moments but then some comedy is thrown in the middle of it, which admittedly the comedy isn’t actually that bad. There’s definitely some jokes that are genuinely funny it just holds the movie back a bit. 

The movie is on the short side with the runtime being 85 minutes long, which does take a bit away from the third act but also means it doesn’t overstay it’s welcome. Which I guess is good in this case because I definitely do think had this movie ran for a bit longer would have made this a chore to sit through, instead of being a quick and easy watch. 

Moving On is a decent little movie that might not break any new ground but if you want more Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin having great chemistry then check this one out. 

Moving On is available on all VOD platforms. 

6/10 C+

Death’s Roulette is a bad Saw clone

Seven strangers wake up in a mansion and are subjected to a macabre game: they will choose one to die, otherwise they will all be killed. In 60 minutes, they will discover the dark past that binds them.

Death’s Roulette I hadn’t even heard of until I randomly looked at the “List of Paramount+ Original Movies” Wikipedia page, I read the plot and it sounded a bit interesting so I gave it a go….and well that’s definitely what I sort of expected. 

I will say that the music is surprisingly really great here, the use of “Siboney” by Connie Francis is actually kind of atmospheric and is by far the best scene in the movie, where the characters really start to let the situation sink in on how terrifying the situation really is. The acting is overall decent, nobody really does a terrible job but at the same time nobody gives a performance to write home about. 

Honestly the main problem here is how cliched and predictable the movie really is, when you really get down to it Death’s Roulette is a Saw clone and not a very good one either. It’s nowhere near as campy or as fun as the Saw movies are, the movie is about as predictable as you would expect. If you have seen at least one of these types of movies before you have seen this one, it’s honestly nothing different. 

Finally there’s the characters which the movie attempts to give some sort of backstory to, but like the rest of the movie it’s just not interesting enough to really hold the viewer’s attention.

Death’s Roulette is available on Paramount+ 

3/10 D-

Big George Foreman is a surface level biopic.

From Olympic Gold medalist to World Heavyweight champion, boxer George Foreman leads a remarkable life. He finds his faith, retires and becomes a preacher. When financial hardship hits his family and church, George steps back in the ring and regains the championship at age 45, becoming the oldest heavyweight champion in boxing history.

George Foreman is a very interesting man that had a very inspiring boxing career where he made such a fantastic comeback, his childhood rough but he didn’t let that stop him at all. His story is truly an inspiring one that I am glad to see is still being told, however Big George Foreman unfortunately falls apart in a lot of ways that do ultimately hurt the movie badly. 

The cast did a decent job Khris Davis who plays George Foreman does a pretty good job here, but is unfortunately held back from being even better due to the script just not letting this movie be more than a Wikipedia article but in a movie. That’s quite honestly the main issue here a lot of this is very surface level stuff that can be easily learned from Foreman’s Wikipedia page. 

I have to echo what some other critics have been saying but I absolutely do think that this movie would have been a lot better if it was either a documentary or a miniseries, that way they could focus on some of the biggest parts of Foreman’s life rather than quickly moving on from them. A lot of the boxing scenes are fine enough but just are severely lacking atmosphere and tension, it’s supposed some of Foreman’s big moments yet there’s very little power to them. 

While the dialogue isn’t necessarily terrible, it lacks a lot of what could have made this biopic so interesting. It plays on the line of being way too safe and doing anything memorable, Big George Foreman is also way too long with a run time of 2 hours and 13 minutes the pacing does not help in this case. There’s definitely moments here that do shine quite well, but unfortunately those are very far and few in between. 

Big George Foreman is available on all VOD platforms. 

5/10 C

White Men Can’t Jump (2023) is a pointless remake

Two ballers, opposites who are seemingly miles apart, find they might have more in common than they imagined possible.

Remember how earlier this month I talked about Cube (2021) being a very pointless remake that is barely different from the original? Well here’s another remake that follows from some of the exact same problems (only worse) White Men Can’t Jump is a remake of the 1992 film of the same name. Even if I’m not that huge on the original I still think it’s a solid movie that had a lot of great chemistry that was genuinely funny, Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson had fantastic chemistry that really felt natural so it would be very hard to try and capture that sort of chemistry again. 

White Men Can’t Jump (2023) suffers from a lot of issues and a lot of them have to do with the script and the very lacking chemistry between Jack Harlow and Sinqua Walls, Harlow and Walls are definitely at least trying to make the bond between the two work. But unfortunately it doesn’t quite work outside of a few moments that are admittedly some of the best parts about the movie. 

Their chemistry just doesn’t capture the same sort of magic that Snipes and Harrelson had in the original, as I said earlier the chemistry in the original felt natural while with this one is a lot more manufactured and really does not come together at all. As far as writing goes while it’s fine to try and not be an exact copy of the original, the changes in the script they went with are very questionable. 

Having pop culture references such as Tiktok really doesn’t fit here at all and once again comes off as wanting someone who’s watching to point their finger and say “they said Tiktok” the script also wraps up like a Disney channel original movie, such as talking about very half baked morals that if you took them out wouldn’t change a thing. 

Lastly there’s the trash talk which the original did have, but at least the original’s trash talk was executed in a somewhat raw way so the viewer could feel the impact. But here while the lines may seem harsh the viewer doesn’t feel anything due to it being executed so poorly, the power, confidence and intimidation is just not there at all to make these lines work at all. 

Overall White Men Can’t Jump (2023) is yet another example of a remake that did not need to be made, the main question when the credits rolled in my head was “why was this made?” I know it’s a cliched question to ask with a lot of bad remakes, but I think it fits appropriately here considering that this is absolutely a remake that nobody asked for. 

White Men Can’t Jump is available on Hulu. 

2/10 F

Return To Seoul is a chilling film with strong character development.

A 25-year-old French woman returns to South Korea, where she was born, for the very first time. She decides to look for her biological parents, but her journey takes a surprising turn.

Return to Seoul is definitely a very interesting film that I didn’t quite honestly know what to expect going into it, but I really loved what I saw! 

The performances are quite strong particularly Park Ji-min who gives such cold performance with a character who is hard to like, yet the film does quite a fantastic job of giving this character a lot of development and making her quite interesting. The three acts sort of represent the different parts of the character such as the first hour or so of her trying and not trying to connect with her biological father, the film leaves the viewer to answer the question whether or not she truly wants to connect with him or not. 

Then you have a lot of the second half which really shows how unmoored the main character is in her situation, it reflects that with a lot of directionless direction. Which in most cases wouldn’t usually work but I do think in this case it does work quite well, mainly due to the character herself having many different types of emotions with so much going on as well. 

The third act might not be a slam dunk as what came before it is better in comparison but it does wrap up the movie very nicely and really ends the movie on a very chilly note that will definitely leave the viewer stunned. 

Return to Seoul is available on all VOD platforms. 

8/10 B+

Crater is a coming of age movie but in space.

Caleb Channing is about to be relocated to an idyllic faraway planet following his father’s death. To fulfill his dad’s last wish before leaving, he and his three best friends hijack a rover to explore a mysterious crater.

Crater is yet another Disney+ Original Movie that a had a humongous amount of potential but falls very short when the movie tries to execute it’s themes. 

Crater has decent enough act the standout is McKenna Grace who gives a strong performance that has some character moments that help develop her character, Kid Cudi is pretty fun but there is honestly not a whole lot to say about him here. 

The main problems here are mostly the writing and world building, the writing leaves a lot more to be desired with character moments that are completely missing. Sure we are given some information about the characters but not enough to the point where the viewer will care about them, the world building is very poorly explained as well as having way too many scenes that spill out exposition for long periods of time. 

What’s frustrating is Crater does wrap up pretty nicely, there’s some beautiful and emotional scenes during the final moments of the movie that actually could pull your heartstrings. But due to the very bumpy road to get to that point it really holds Crater back from being a decent movie. 

Crater can be summed up as a coming of age movie but in space that has a lot of failed potential, there’s a good movie in here somewhere it’s just not showing up unfortunately. 

Crater is available on Disney+

4/10 D+

The Magic Flute has it’s moments of interesting tunes.

Follows 17-year-old Tim Walker as he travels from London to the Austrian Alps to attend the legendary Mozart boarding school. There, he discovers a centuries-old forgotten passageway into the fantastic world of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.”

The Magic Flute is a German musical fantasy film that is based on the 1791 opera of the same name, I have to give credit where credit is due this movie is completely not what I expected. 

The movie is an opera which I have to say some of the singing voices are quite great, there really isn’t anything here that I’m going to remember for years to come or actively listen to. But it does get the job done and at the very least is a bit different from other fantasy movies, Jack Wolfe is definitely standout when it comes to acting, I can absolutely see his career evolve as it goes on. 

What mainly hurts this movie is that it does go on for way too long it’s 124 minutes long and unfortunately the pacing doesn’t really help at all, some scenes overstay their welcome. The opera scenes are by far the most interesting but the rest of the movie falls into the “seen it and done far better” category. 

With that said I don’t think The Magic Flute is necessarily bad, it’s competently made, has some decent filming and the writing does have some great moments that do have some emotion to it. A lot of it just falls in very familiar territory that is outclassed by several other movies. 

The Magic Flute is available on all VOD platforms. 

5/10 C

Beautiful Disaster is just a disaster.

Travis Maddox spends his nights fighting in underground boxing matches, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by a freshman’s resistance to his appeal, Travis offers her a simple bet: if he loses his next fight, he must remain sex-free for a month. If he wins, she must live in his apartment for the same amount of time.

It’s worth pointing out that I was originally not going to review Beautiful Disaster due to not knowing it even existed, that is until I saw some of my peers have watched it and said that it’s a gigantic mess…which quite honestly doesn’t even begin to describe it. 

Beautiful Disaster is yet another movie based on a story that was posted on Wattpad, which funnily enough Voltage pictures which releases the After movies released this one. Roger Kumble the director of After We Collided is in the director’s chair for this movie. What’s funny about Beautiful Disaster is it almost feels like a parody of the After movies and yet it’s released by the same studio as those movies. 

Beautiful Disaster is horrendous yet there’s a lot of unintentionally hilarious moments that truly make you wonder what anyone behind this movie was thinking, heck there’s a After cameo in it that’s truly just there for no other reason than to just say “hey remember that previous movie I directed?” Dylan Sprouse can give the occasional decent moment here and there but due to the script a lot of what he tries to do falls apart quickly. 

The chemistry between Dylan Sprouse and Virginia Gardner is truly awful, Gardner really tries her hardest to bring some sort of genuine emotion but it ends up either being unintentionally funny or completely one note. For some reason midway through the movie they try to shift genres for some reason, they throw in this sort of serious crime type of plot that really just has no business being here. You can easily tell that this was written on Wattpad. 

Which I’ve said this before in my reviews for the After movies, but that’s one of the main reason’s why adapting Wattpad stories into film just doesn’t work. A lot of the stories are just fanfiction, collection of thoughts for writers just starting out or written for fun. 

Overall Beautiful Disaster is a mess and quite the disaster, it’s fun to poke fun at with friends due to how awful it is but that’s really it. 

Beautiful Disaster is available on all VOD platforms. 

1/10 F

Sweetwater isn’t a slamdunk

Nathaniel “Sweetwater” Clifton, star attraction of the Harlem Globetrotters, changes the game of basketball when he becomes the first African American player to sign a contract with the NBA in the fall of 1950.

The last person I expected to direct a movie about Nat Coffin the first African American to sign a contract with the NBA was Martin Guigui the director who did the 9/11 movie with Charlie Sheen and Whoopi Goldberg. Sweetwater might actually be the best movie in his career but given the quality of this movie that’s not saying a whole lot. 

Sweetwater has good intentions and really tries to the tell the story of Nat Coffin the best it can, the main problem here is Martin Guigui’s script and direction, there’s so many moments where you can tell the cast are trying to bring genuine emotion to their performances. But unfortunately that’s just not happening due to a lot of over acting or just flat out awful moments that completely take the viewer out of the movie. 

Sweetwater suffers from a lot of typical biopic story beats and if you are familiar with the sports film genre you aren’t going to get anything new here either, the third act lacks a lot of strength as well as being very underwhelming. It doesn’t really strike as a final game, if you took the clip of the game and showed it to someone without context I can assure you that nobody would guess it’s the final game. 

Sweetwater is available on all VOD platforms. 

3/10 D-