Vengeance is a surprisingly darkly funny comedy thriller.

A journalist and podcaster travels from New York City to Texas to investigate the death of a woman whom he hooked up with.

Vengeance was a bit of a surprise as the trailer did not really do this movie justice, it’s a genuinely well written dark comedic thriller that explores quite a lot of themes. The characters are decently well written and the cast do a pretty good in their roles. Many characters talk about morality, relationships, regret, isolation and so on, sure it might not be in a very deep discussion but it’s enough to be noteworthy. The tonal shifts are a bit distracting at times and sometimes take away from a moment that could have been far stronger, but it’s not enough to completely take the viewer out of the movie. There’s plenty of great moments here especially with a solid cast and decent writing that may not break any new ground, but it is entertaining enough to warrant a watch.

Vengeance is available on all VOD Platforms.

7/10 B

Charlotte is decent but could have been more.

An account of German-Jewish artist Charlotte Salomon living in the south of France between 1941 and 1943.

Charlotte definitely has the right ingredients to b a really strong movie, there’s just many parts about it that hold it back from doing so. The voice acting is quite great particularly Keira Knightly who really tries the best she can with the script she’s given, the story itself is interesting and tells the true story of German-Jewish artist Charlotte Salomon during World War II. The film itself is quite dark particularly the ending which is very sad and is very effective, there’s footage at the end of a small interview of Salomon’s parents it’s incredibly touching and quite powerful as well. The problems with the movie are the script being way too weak and the animation, the animation isn’t something I would call terrible. But it really doesn’t capture the life of Charlotte Salomon and what she was going through very well, the script lacked powerful moments which is something a film like this needs. There’s the ending yes but a lot of the movie’s script was very undercooked and was very rushed as well. Charlotte isn’t a bad movie just one that could have went a lot deeper than it did.

Charlotte is available on all VOD Platforms.

6/10 C+

Quick Reviews: Look Both Ways and Movers Ultimate (2022)

On the eve of her college graduation, Natalie’s life diverges into two parallel realities: one in which she becomes pregnant and must navigate motherhood in her Texas hometown, the other in which she moves to Los Angeles to pursue her career.

Look Both Ways is a movie that is clearly trying to talk about a heavy subject (abortion) but for whatever reason doesn’t discuss it further and can’t even say the word abortion. Lil Reinhart gives a solid performance despite a script that really does not go in much depth outside of a few moments that work decently, the major problem as said before is how the movie doesn’t want to fully commit to discussing it’s heavy subject. It feels like a cop out not talking about the option of an abortion, if you are going to talk about abortion or any other heavy subject commit to it and don’t cop out, at that point why even bother?

Look Both Ways is available on Netflix.

3/10 D-

Two best bros must get off work in time to make it to their 10 year high school reunion and reconnect with the girls that got away.

Attempts to capture that early 2000s comedy classic feel but misses it’s mark. There’s a few moments that are pretty okay but a lot of it is either not funny or doesn’t use it’s premise to it’s full potential. The acting isn’t the worst and it does seem like the cast had a blast making the movie so that’s something at least, but a lot of it is largely forgettable unfortunately.

Movers Ultimate releases tomorrow on all VOD Platforms.

3/10 D-

2022 Movie Catchup: Hypochondriac, 13: The Musical, Alone Together and Cave Rescue.

Will has a loving boyfriend and a good life, but when his mentally ill mother reemerges after a 10-year absence, he descends into a dark spiral of madness, haunted by the manifestation of his childhood trauma.

Hypochondriac had everything it needed to be a solid movie it’s the way it was executed that really held it back. There was some genuinely decent moments that actually tackled mental illness in a surprisingly realistic way during the first half of the movie. It did a genuinely good job of building Zach Villa’s character and brought many ideas to the table that I was very interested to see how the movie would develop them during the rest of the movie. Unfortunately the rest of the movie completely abandons the realistic approach to mental illness and instead trades in for a very over the top cliched way that a lot of movies commonly do, a lot of the story is replaced with trying to be a slow burn that uses trippy visuals which I don’t have an issue with the idea itself. The problem is it has to at least make some sort of sense and can’t just come right out of nowhere and sadly that’s the case here, heck the trippy visuals didn’t even look that great so the payoff was really not worth it in this case. It’s a shame because the acting was pretty decent and there were a handful of moments from the writing that really delivered, if you really fixed up the second half of the movie and put it more in line with the first half. You would have a very strong movie that could be seen as a hidden gem, but as it stands Hypochondriac is unfortunately a huge missed opportunity.

Hypochondriac is available on all VOD Platforms.

5/10 C

After moving from New York City to Indiana, a 12-year-old navigates his parents’ divorce, his impending bar mitzvah and his new school’s social circles.

From what I’ve read about 13: The Musical it absolutely butchers the Broadway musical it’s based on, cutting several songs and replacing them with new ones is one of the main criticisms I’ve seen. Which at that point why make the movie in the first place? But that’s honestly the least of this movie’s issues because some of the songs here aren’t bad, a lot of them sound the exact same unfortunately but I don’t think any of them are terrible. Mainly due to the cast having great singing voices and definitely try to give it their all, the main issues here are mostly the story being the most below average coming of age story you could think of. And the style of the movie that just comes off as an old navy commercial (particularly a back to school commercial) the choreography is great and as I said the cast truly tries to make the film work but they just aren’t given a lot to really work with. Outside of a few moments that are genuinely touching the movie’s themes go about as deep as a bad Disney Channel Original movie.

13: The Musical is available on Netflix!

3/10 D-

Two strangers wind up double-booked in the same upstate New York rental during the start of COVID-19. Exasperating the situation, the lockdown forces them both to stay and confront the unexpected feelings that develop between them.

Oh joy another COVID-19 related movie, I was honestly considering skipping on this one but Katie Holmes in the director’s chair caught my eye. Talk about tone-deaf and self centered, the movie attempts to show two strangers bonding and slowly having romantic feelings for each other during the pandemic. While having this state of ignorant bliss when the rest of the world was suffering, with Language Lessons and 7 Days were aware what they were talking about, they were actual great films and the movie wasn’t just about the main character’s issues. With Alone Together you get nothing but the main characters constantly being ignorant about the rest of the world while acting like they have it the absolute worst, Katie Holmes, Jim Sturgess and Derek Luke do a fine enough job here but there really isn’t anything to get excited over. It’s emotionally hollow and very dull in it’s execution, there’s a couple moments with Melissa Leo which are genuinely sweet. But it’s not enough to save this movie from being a huge mess.

Alone Together is available on all VOD Platforms.

2/10 F

Twelve boys and their football coach become trapped in a northern Thailand cave by flood waters, and an international team of rescue workers scramble to save them.

Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe there has never been a two movies that have been released on the same day that are about the exact same thing in recent years at least (it probably has happened before I just can’t recall it ever happening). Thirteen Lives (which I already reviewed) and Cave Rescue are about the exact same thing which is about the Tham Lung cave rescue, Cave Rescue is the definitely the weaker of the two it does have great filming and there are some claustrophobic moments that are done pretty well. But a lot of this movie feels like a much weaker version of Ron Howard’s version, the acting is not as good and the writing is just not there when it comes to powerful moments. It’s just more of the same thing as Thirteen Lives only worse.

Cave Rescue Is available on all VOD Platforms.

3/10 D-

2022 Movie Catchup: Hypochondriac, 13: The Musical, Alone Together and Cave Rescue.

Will has a loving boyfriend and a good life, but when his mentally ill mother reemerges after a 10-year absence, he descends into a dark spiral of madness, haunted by the manifestation of his childhood trauma.

Hypochondriac had everything it needed to be a solid movie it’s the way it was executed that really held it back. There was some genuinely decent moments that actually tackled mental illness in a surprisingly realistic way during the first half of the movie. It did a genuinely good job of building Zach Villa’s character and brought many ideas to the table that I was very interested to see how the movie would develop them during the rest of the movie. Unfortunately the rest of the movie completely abandons the realistic approach to mental illness and instead trades in for a very over the top cliched way that a lot of movies commonly do, a lot of the story is replaced with trying to be a slow burn that uses trippy visuals which I don’t have an issue with the idea itself. The problem is it has to at least make some sort of sense and can’t just come right out of nowhere and sadly that’s the case here, heck the trippy visuals didn’t even look that great so the payoff was really not worth it in this case. It’s a shame because the acting was pretty decent and there were a handful of moments from the writing that really delivered, if you really fixed up the second half of the movie and put it more in line with the first half. You would have a very strong movie that could be seen as a hidden gem, but as it stands Hypochondriac is unfortunately a huge missed opportunity.

Hypochondriac is available on all VOD Platforms.

5/10 C

After moving from New York City to Indiana, a 12-year-old navigates his parents’ divorce, his impending bar mitzvah and his new school’s social circles.

From what I’ve read about 13: The Musical it absolutely butchers the Broadway musical it’s based on, cutting several songs and replacing them with new ones is one of the main criticisms I’ve seen. Which at that point why make the movie in the first place? But that’s honestly the least of this movie’s issues because some of the songs here aren’t bad, a lot of them sound the exact same unfortunately but I don’t think any of them are terrible. Mainly due to the cast having great singing voices and definitely try to give it their all, the main issues here are mostly the story being the most below average coming of age story you could think of. And the style of the movie that just comes off as an old navy commercial (particularly a back to school commercial) the choreography is great and as I said the cast truly tries to make the film work but they just aren’t given a lot to really work with. Outside of a few moments that are genuinely touching the movie’s themes go about as deep as a bad Disney Channel Original movie.

13: The Musical is available on Netflix!

3/10 D-

Two strangers wind up double-booked in the same upstate New York rental during the start of COVID-19. Exasperating the situation, the lockdown forces them both to stay and confront the unexpected feelings that develop between them.

Oh joy another COVID-19 related movie, I was honestly considering skipping on this one but Katie Holmes in the director’s chair caught my eye. Talk about tone-deaf and self centered, the movie attempts to show two strangers bonding and slowly having romantic feelings for each other during the pandemic. While having this state of ignorant bliss when the rest of the world was suffering, with Language Lessons and 7 Days were aware what they were talking about, they were actual great films and the movie wasn’t just about the main character’s issues. With Alone Together you get nothing but the main characters constantly being ignorant about the rest of the world while acting like they have it the absolute worst, Katie Holmes, Jim Sturgess and Derek Luke do a fine enough job here but there really isn’t anything to get excited over. It’s emotionally hollow and very dull in it’s execution, there’s a couple moments with Melissa Leo which are genuinely sweet. But it’s not enough to save this movie from being a huge mess.

Alone Together is available on all VOD Platforms.

2/10 F

Twelve boys and their football coach become trapped in a northern Thailand cave by flood waters, and an international team of rescue workers scramble to save them.

Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe there has never been a two movies that have been released on the same day that are about the exact same thing in recent years at least (it probably has happened before I just can’t recall it ever happening). Thirteen Lives (which I already reviewed) and Cave Rescue are about the exact same thing which is about the Tham Lung cave rescue, Cave Rescue is the definitely the weaker of the two it does have great filming and there are some claustrophobic moments that are done pretty well. But a lot of this movie feels like a much weaker version of Ron Howard’s version, the acting is not as good and the writing is just not there when it comes to powerful moments. It’s just more of the same thing as Thirteen Lives only worse.

Cave Rescue Is available on all VOD Platforms.

3/10 D-

Camping Trip is a trip not worth going on.

In the summer of 2020, two couples go on a remote camping trip after months of a mandatory COVID -19 lockdown. At a nearby drop-off point, two goons decide to go rogue, inadvertently implicating the unwitting campers. What started as a fun-filled vacation turns into a test of loyalty and survival. Suddenly, the pandemic is the least of their worries.

With a poster like this you would think Camping Trip might be a slasher film. That’s not the case here, instead it’s a group of friends who bump into some goons and you can pretty much guess what happens from there. Camping Trip is really nothing special as far as thrillers or horror movies go, it’s a movie that takes place during Summer 2020 where COVID-19 is mentioned outside of that the pandemic really doesn’t do or cause anything significant to happen. There’s a few moments that have pretty okay atmosphere but those are so far and few in between that it doesn’t even matter at one point.

Camping Trip releases tomorrow on all VOD Platforms.

3/10 D-

Bodies Bodies Bodies a wonderfully crafted fun film with a spectacular cast.

When a group of 20-somethings gets stuck at a remote mansion during a hurricane, a party game gone very, very wrong ends with a dead body on the ground and fake friends at every turn as they try to find the killer among them.

The horror genre like all genres has evolved over the years, however no matter how much time goes by I always find horror to be the most interesting mainly due to so much talent and ideas being thrown into the ring. Bodies Bodies Bodies is a prime example of just that, it takes the whodunnit genre and completely makes it’s own in so many different ways. For starters the cast is quite incredible, Rachel Sennott once again does a fantastic job her performance in last year’s Shiva Baby was huge breakout performance and here it’s just as fantastic. Maria Bakalova, Amandla Stenberg and Myha’la Herrold were other standouts who truly did a fantastic job. What’s even better is how well the cast connected with one another, there’s this chemistry that absolutely worked between all of them and absolutely felt as natural as possible. Which leads into the Gen-Z satire elements of the film which is the first time I can say that a movie captured effortlessly, for the longest time in several films I’ve reviewed and talked about I always end up asking “did the writers even know how Gen-Z talks or acts?” But here I don’t need to ask that question because it’s very spot on and it’s hilarious as well, Sarah DeLappe did a fantastic job with the screenplay not only does she capture the whole Gen-Z humor but she further expands elements on the whodunnit genre. The same can be said for director Halina Reijn who creates a thrilling atmosphere that also has a large humorous feel to it, The gore and kills are so much fun here combined with a lot of the dramatic moments between the cast truly pushes this movie to another level. The filming is very well done with a close and tight shots it truly gives the film a much more grounded look, lastly Bodies Bodies Bodies is an example of a fun summer film that is also wonderfully crafted, hilarious and thrilling. Overall Bodies Bodies Bodies is one of the best films of the year, the cast and crew truly take the horror genre and the whodunnit genre and completely make it their own! Be sure to see this one!!

Bodies Bodies Bodies is currently in theaters!

10/10 A+

Day Shift is a genuinely fun B horror action film.

A hardworking dad out to provide for his daughter uses a boring pool-cleaning job as a front for his real gig: hunting and killing vampires.

It’s honestly amazing to me how Day Shift a silly action horror B movie which has a scene where Snoop Dogg carries a machine gun and blasts a handful of vampires, ends up being far more better visually and far more fun than The Gray Man and Red Notice which are overly expensive and terrible. Day Shift definitely has this rental store type feel too it which is part of the charm, you don’t know what to expect and most of the results are a lot of fun. There’s some really solid action scenes combined with some gore that is solid as well, Jamie Foxx is really solid here as the leading role. The guy has so much charm and definitely knows how to put on entertaining ride from beginning to end and that’s definitely shown here, Snoop Dogg is also pretty great as well and fits quite well in the movie. Day Shift does have it’s writing flaws such as the villain in particular not being very memorable, however that doesn’t stop the movie from being genuinely fun. It’s not anything ground breaking and it’s most definitely not going to add anything new to the genre. But if you are missing the types of films Netflix use to put out back when they first started I recommend checking this one out.

Day Shift is available on Netflix.

7/10 B

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

Secret Headquarters is a harmless kids movie but not much else.

A kid discovers the secret headquarters of a powerful superhero hidden beneath his home and must defend it with his group of friends when villains attack.

Secret Headquarters is basically if you took Spy Kids and Sky High then made it forgettable. I can easily see why this movie didn’t end up releasing in theaters like it was originally going to, there are some good bits here such as Walker Scobell, Owen Wilson (even though he wasn’t in it all that much), Keith L. Williams and Abby James Witherspoon were great and they all genuinely seemed like they were having a blast with this movie. So at least the passion was there it’s mostly the writing that hurts this movie, I will say that it is a completely harmless movie for kids there’s some jokes in here that actually worked quite well and reminded me of the type of humor that Spy Kids had. However the plot is a bit too predictable and the villains are very one note characters that feel like they teleported from a very early 2000s family movie, Secret Headquarters is at least not as bad as it could have been. I’m sure there will be an audience for this movie I’m just not one of them.

Secret Headquarters is available on Paramount+

4/10 D+