JUNG_E is a beautiful film with well done dramatic moments that is mixed in it’s ideas.

In a post-apocalyptic near-future, a researcher at an AI lab leads the effort to end a civil war by cloning the brain of a heroic soldier — her mother.

JUNG_E is directed by Yeon Sang-ho directed of Train To Busan, The King Of Pigs, Psychokinesis and a few others. And unfortunately it’s disappointing to hear this but, there just isn’t a whole lot to say about JUNG_E. 

I will say that it is an improvement over Peninsula that honestly doesn’t mean much when you remember just how disappointing Peninsula was, JUNG_E nails it when it comes to the more emotional dramatic moments that Sang-ho uses in a lot of his films. Heck that’s one of the many reasons why Train To Busan is so loved by many and is still talked about to this day, there’s one scene in particular during the third act that really hits it out of the park especially when combined with the score of the film. The score is also really strong here, it hits those emotional notes really well and it has the atmosphere to back it up too. Lastly the film is absolutely gorgeous it’s a beautiful film to look at and really adds to the overall tone it’s going for. 

What hurts JUNG_E however is mainly the lack of world building and a lot of the ideas just not fully coming together, the world of JUNG_E looks and sounds really awesome the problem is we don’t get a whole lot of in depth information about it. We get some basics but admittedly some of the basics really end up being Sci-Fi cliches, being 99 minutes also really didn’t do the movie any favors either. It definitely needed more time in the oven to properly tell the story of the world and have it’s ideas fully develop. 

Overall JUNG_E is definitely not bad and is a decent movie but could have been so much more. 

JUNG_E is available on Netflix. 

6/10 C+

Neptune Frost is a wonderful blend of many genres.

A group of escaped coltan miners forms an anti-colonialist computer hacker collective in the hilltops of Burundi. They soon attempt a takeover of the authoritarian regime that’s exploiting the region’s natural resources — and its people.

Neptune Frost is quite an interesting little movie, it combines many different type of genres and makes them it’s own. Combining Sci-Fi with musical elements is something you don’t see everyday and the movie did a pretty good job of showing that concept, the music in particular is quite great especially powerful singing voices that really capture the atmosphere well. Speaking of which the atmosphere combined with the filming leads to truly beautiful results, especially with the setting it’s done in so much detail from beginning to end. The costumes are wonderfully detailed and the acting is quite raw as well, a lot of the storytelling is done through the actions of the characters and the cinematography rather than the writing. But that definitely works in the film’s favor especially when the film gives the viewer so much to explore, Neptune Frost is not going to be for everyone but I do highly recommend checking this one out if it interests you!

Neptune Frost is available on all VOD Platforms.

8/10 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

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-

Quick Reviews: Against The Ice and After The Pandemic!

Exploring Greenland’s vast landscape for a lost map, two men must fight to survive. Based on the true story of Denmark’s 1909 polar expedition.

Against The Ice is another Netflix Original Movie misfire. The movie is based on a true story that is quite interesting, there’s some decent shots, the acting is fine enough and the first act was overall solid. What hurts the movie is it takes a true story and turns it into a run of the mill survival movie, which leads to a lot of lack of tension and some very baffling editing. With that said there were some comedic moments between the cast who genuinely had some great chemistry between one another, it’s just a huge shame that wasn’t shown in a better movie. There really is not much else to say here, if you like survival movies you might like this one. But you will probably get little to nothing from this one.

Against The Ice is available on Netflix!

5/10 C

A deadly virus sweeps the world, killing 90% of humanity. Five years later, the survivors face an enemy that is more dangerous than the virus.

Honestly After The Pandemic could have easily been a lot worse, there are some genuine moments between the two main leads and there’s a few touching moments. With that said the rest of the movie struggles to keep the viewer’s interest, the acting is very below average, the writing falls flat and the story is well based around the COVID-19 Pandemic. Which at this point is already getting to be a very tired premise, After The Pandemic unfortunately doesn’t do anything new and is just an overall very below average micro budget movie.

After The Pandemic is available on all VOD Platforms.

4/10 D+

Strawberry Mansion is a bizarre sci-fi experience!

In a future where the government records dreams and taxes them, a dream auditor gets caught up in an ageing eccentric’s dreams.

Strawberry Mansion is definitely something…and I mean that in the best possible way. Without giving anything away the film is a very trippy and bizarre film that keeps surprising you with a lot of stunning visuals and it’s own world. It takes the sci-fi genre and completely flips it upside down, the filming has this style to it that creates this atmosphere that adds so much to the film. The style it goes for is dreamlike with surreal visuals which builds the film’s world quite well and makes the film standout, the writing is really well done with some interesting dialogue between the characters and builds up moments that will make you question “what am I watching?” The final act unfortunately does lose a bit of steam and definitely feels weaker than the rest of the film, however the rest of the film is absolutely well done and takes you for a one of a kind experience!

Strawberry Mansion is available on all VOD Platforms.

8/10 B+

Sundance Review: After Yang is a meditative Sci-Fi Film that captures family emotions!

In a near future, a family reckons with questions of love, connection, and loss after their A.I. helper unexpectedly breaks down.

After Yang is a film I’ve been wanting to watch for a very long time, for awhile it went without a release date. It premiered at Cannes 2021 and then just kind of disappeared for awhile until it was announced it will be shown at Sundance 2022. The wait did not disappoint because After Yang is truly something special, first off the film itself is both hypnotic and meditative everything from the cinematography, writing, acting and direction it really takes you into it’s own world that you follow really closely. The performances were all incredibly strong here particularly Colin Farrell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja and Haley Lu Richardson. They all give a raw performance that really brings you into the film leaving you in a meditative state, plus the characters are given some really strong development that helps build the world of the film. The cinematography does a fantastic job of giving information about the world of the film, it pays attention to every single detail and adds to the story being told. The writing tackles family themes in very unique and interesting ways, it talks about the emotions of a family and goes much more in depth with those themes. After Yang is a much different Sci-Fi film that is bound to make you feel tons of emotions, make you think really hard about what the characters and each of the scenes and what the film means overall. After Yang is a beautifully told story that Kogonada absolutely mastered easily one of the best films so far this year.

After Yang will be released in theaters and on Showtime March 4th!

10/10 A+

Most Anticipated Films Of February 2022

Already February huh? Also I’ve decided that I will be leaving out films I already saw early so Worst Person In The World, Catch The Fair One and a lot of others were excluded from the list.

1. The Sky is Everywhere – February 11th (Apple TV+) 

2. KIMI – February 10th (HBO Max)

3. Studio 666 – February 25th (Theaters)

4. Hellbender – February 24th (Shudder)

5. Mothering Sunday – February 22nd (Theaters)

6. Jackass Forever – February 4th (Theaters)

7. The Desperate Hour – February 25th (VOD)

8. Strawberry Mansion – February 25th (VOD)

9. A Banquet – February 18th (VOD)

10. Alone With you – February 4th (Theaters) and February 8th (VOD)

11. Moonfall – February 4th (Theaters)

12. Marry Me – February 11th Theaters and Peacock

13. The In Between – February 11th (Paramount+)

Sundance Review: Something In The Dirt is a compelling and trippy film that’s flawed!

When neighbors John and Levi witness supernatural events in their La apartment building, they realize documenting the paranormal could inject some fame and fortune into their wasted lives.

Something In The Dirt is definitely a film that I’m going to have to rewatch when it officially comes out, because I still have no idea if this worked for me or not. Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead are both directors I absolutely respect even if I don’t like all of their work they take the horror and sci-fi genre and do something completely new with them. They continue doing that here with Something In The Dirt, the performances are quite great the leading roles being the directors, the writing is actually pretty strong and does lead into some very compelling moments, finally the cinematography compliments the film actually quite well it fits this mysterious trippy theme the movie is going for. The main flaw with Something In The Dirt is it does lose you at times, there are moments where it completely takes you out of the movie it’s mostly due to giving the viewer a little too much information at a time, plus this is a example of a movie where you really have to connect with it. Unfortunately I didn’t really connect with it all that well, the story was interesting but completely lost me during a lot of moments. I absolutely appreciate it for what it is even if I’m not entirely sure what it truly is.

Something In The Dirt currently has no release date.

6/10 C+

Sundance Review: Dual has good ideas but the execution is lacking.

A woman (Karen Gillan) who, upon receiving a terminal diagnosis, opts for a cloning procedure to ease her loss on her friends and family. When she makes a sudden and miraculous recovery, her attempts to have her clone decommissioned fail and lead to a court-mandated duel to the death.

Dual is by far the most disappointing film from Sundance, it was one of my most anticipated of the festival and unfortunately it’s just not strong enough. Granted there are some good bits here Karen Gillian’s deadpan performance actually worked pretty well here despite the humor being a major issue and Aaron Paul is also really great as well. The cinematography is quite great and makes the film look pretty big, but unfortunately the movie doesn’t take advantage of that and really holds itself back from doing anything interesting. The opening scene is quite great, it gives a taste of the movie’s world the first half of the movie I have to say was quite interesting. I liked the many ideas the movie was going for and at times they worked unfortunately the end result of the build up is very disappointing, the ending feels like a complete cop out and makes the rest of the movie seem rather pointless. Some people are going to love the humor however it just wasn’t for me at all, I understand what they were trying to go for with this emotionless acting and type of humor. But a lot of it just wasn’t funny or didn’t lead into something special, somewhere in Dual there is a good movie but it’s just refusing to show itself unfortunately. I’m sure some people might get something out of this one, perhaps I’ll give this one another watch when it releases to audiences but for now this was massively disappointing.

Dual currently has no release date but is set to be released this year.

5/10 C