Synchronic ⭐️⭐️

Synchronic – R – 1 hr 41 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Saturday October 24, 2020
AMC Southcenter 16 – Tukwila, Washington
#40 new movie seen in theater in 2020

Two paramedic friends, Steve (Anthony Mackie) and Dennis (Jamie Dornan) encounter various people afflicted by a designer drug called synchronic. Dennis’ daughter Brianna takes the drug and disappears.

Steve finds out he’s dying and, upon an unexpected visit from the drug’s creator, learns synchronic can allow the user to travel back in time for seven minutes. Steve buys up all the synchronic in town and searches for Brianna.

The idea is somewhat fresh, which is always appreciated. Take a drug and travel back through time based on where you take the drug at? I was thinking sort of like Sound of Thunder without the machine or radical future change consequences

Time travel stories are often convoluted and difficult to parse logic-wise. This one tries to stay away from paradoxes but viewers can’t help pondering credibly how this would work. A sci-fi story needs plausible elements with the science to be more effective. Pretty much none of that exists here. Those that can get past that will probably find this more enjoyable.

The biggest problem is the most interesting parts are when Steve takes the drug, not much that’s happening in the mundane present time. The first 45 minutes of the movie are slow and difficult to get into. Kara had to bump me a few times because I was literally starting to nod off.

The last 45 minutes are significantly better, especially as Steve learns more about how synchronic works and his search for Brianna deepens. The ending, which won’t be spoiled here, is a bit on the predictable side, but it’s handled well.

There is a non sci-fi feel to the way the film is shot. Like it’s not as dark and dreary as the story. The sound effects are good and soundtrack, although a little understated is OK. The acting is nothing special, but that could be that it’s mostly Steve doing the one man show routine. He wasn’t bad, but we don’t find ourselves rooting for him quite the way we should.

Kara and I were a bit apart on this one in our just left the theater video review (see below).

Uneven pacing is what makes this one come up short and miss being recommended. It’s a compelling idea and with better execution, particularly the first half of the movie, it could have been a good movie. Alas, as presented it comes off as somewhere between bad and mediocre. Not recommended.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️ (Todd) ⭐️ (Kara)

The Empty Man ⭐️

The Empty Man – R – 2 hr 17 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Friday October 23, 2020
AMC Kent Station 14 – Kent, Washington
#39 new movie seen in theater in 2020

Four young adults are hiking in the mountains and cross a bridge that we expect to collapse, sending them to their deaths, but that’s just a set piece for the moment. Instead, one walks away from the group and falls down a chamber inside the rocks.

His friend rappels down and finds him sitting cross legged and trance-like staring at this spooky-looking human-creature skeleton, telling his friend “touch me and you’ll die.”

Being a horror movie, of course he’s going to ignore this warning, helping him out of the cave and trying to carry down the mountain, only to get tired. With weather worsening, they stay in a lodge near the bridge. Inside there, they try to figure out what’s wrong with their friend.

That’s just the beginning and it is kind of intriguing but turns out this is just a prologue to the real story which is a retired police officer turned private eye investigating the disappearance of a young woman. There’s another bridge scene and viewers are treated to a cult-like fascination with bridges, death and a mythical creature known as The Empty Man.

Oddly, The Empty Man likes to pattern his ghostly behavior on Charles Manson’s penchant for leaving messages at crime scenes. Only they aren’t witchy, they are more obvious like, “The Empty Man was here!”

This movie suffers — badly — from way too much lore, exposition and backstory. While it’s based on a graphic novel — and no, I haven’t read it — this isn’t exactly Lord of the Rings. It also is a victim of excess runtime. The story isn’t as complex as it wants to be, and yet it’s approaching 2.5 hours?!? That’s too long for, once stripped down, a pretty basic horror story.

We never get to know any characters that well except for the detective and even his characterization is thin. Instead, we’re focused on who or what is The Empty Man. At some point viewer fatigue sets in with too much mystery without action. It doesn’t have to be a nonstop killathon, but we need plot twists, turns, something, besides, hey, that’s kind of weird behavior.

The biggest problem here is that it simply isn’t scary. It’s loud and has some very cliched jumpscares, but spooky lore and skeletons by themselves aren’t scary. Not that The Empty Man needed to go all Freddy Kruger or Jason Vorhees, but the shadowy figure doesn’t deliver enough of any personality to be scary. I guess that’s the point, it’s “empty” … but empty isn’t scary. Empty can be eerie, like go watch The Twilight Zone’s debut episode (see: TV SERIES Review: The Twilight Zone (1959) S1E1 – Where is Everybody?½ (#1 of 156)) but not even that level of awesomeness could hold a viewer beyond 30 minutes.

We were checking our clocks in the theater multiple times past the hourly mark, which had us contemplating leaving before it finished, but we pushed through and got to the end, which, unfortunately, didn’t redeem anything. The story is largely boring, not horrifying and neither of us could find much good to say, except that it wasn’t the worst horror movie we’ve seen in 2020.

Just leaving the theater, we discussed the horror of how bad it was versus it being horrifying. It’s a sad statement when Kara who generally dislikes horror films liked this more than me who loves all things horror. Loves good horror films, that is, which this one isn’t.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ½ (Todd) ⭐️ (Kara)

TV SERIES Review: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? S1E17 – That’s Snow Ghost ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Season 1
CBS (HBO Max)
January 17, 1970

Episode 17 – “That’s No Snow Ghost”

The gang wants to do some skiing and the only place, conveniently, open to go is some creepy, barely inhabited ski lodge. They talk to the owner who warns them to keep their windows locked or the Snow Ghost might get them. The snow ghost will turn them into ghosts

(Never thought about this when younger about why a Yeti would want to turn others into ghosts. As an adult, it just doesn’t sound right, but hey in 1970 maybe this was spooky)

Turns out there is a legend of a Yeti in the area, and the creature is responsible for haunting the lodge. The gang isn’t buying it, and decides to solve the mystery.

While following tracks, it leads to a chasm and they run into the Snow Ghost and, Fred exclaims, “he can fly!”

They find a cave and a monk Mr. Fu Lon Chi, from Tibet tells the gang about the ghost of the Yeti.

After all this weirdness, will the gang solve the mystery of the flying, ghostly Yeti? Why is the Yeti scaring people away from the lodge. What’s with the Tibet cave?

Summary

Yeah, this is an odd episode. Maybe the most odd story of the entire first season as it’s just a bunch of different myths mashed up. The Yeti creature would have been fine, I’m not sure why we needed the Yeti to fly or the whole idea of him turning others into ghosts, but hey.

Scooby antics are toned down as well. Although there is a fun exchange where Scooby takes Mr. Chi’s wolf’s bone.

Scooby works to save Velma from being chopped up in the sawmill

This episode is kind of weak to end the first season on. Like they threw in every remaining idea they had just in case this series wasn’t renewed for a second season. Still, it’s original Scooby Doo and the gang, so at it’s worst, it still is recommended watching. The saw mill Scooby scene alone is worth recommending.

Overall episode rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Screenrant ranks 13 different versions of Scooby Doo series. #1 is obvious, but the rankings of some of the other series throughout the year is interesting. It seems hard to believe that they are still making different versions of the show. Recently, I caught an episode of the newest Scooby Doo series on the Boomerang streaming service.

The Kid Detective ⭐️½

The Kid Detective – R – 1 hr 37 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Tuesday October 20, 2020
AMC Kent Station 14 – Kent, Washington
#38 new movie seen in theater in 2020

Ahh yes, I like a good mystery, but alas, only part of that’s true here. The title sounds like something Disney+ might be showing too, but the subject matter, beyond the flashback scenes, is very adult-oriented.

Adam Brody plays a Abe Applebaum — goofy name, yes — a Sherlock Holmes wannabe, only he deals with cases that have more sentimental value than life changing significance. To drive home this point, he solves one case and gets “free ice cream for life.” There is one case, however, that dogs him. One case he was unable to solve: the abduction and disappearance of a young girl.

When he grows up, the time period where most of the film takes place, he looks hungover and disappointed in his life. I’d say suicidal-looking, but he’s not that desperate. I mean, seriously, he’s master youth sleuth Abe Applebaum. It’s almost like his name is infringing

A young woman comes to Applebaum with an intriguing mystery: find out who murdered her boyfriend. It’s only through a significant amount of bou

We’re off to figure out who abducted a girl when Applebaum was younger. She was never found dead and it’s the one and only case that Applebaum couldn’t solve. He keeps trying.

The middle killed it for me in this movie. It just meandered and became a lot of dialogue and chatting about the mystery vs. actually doing something significant to freaking solve the mystery. The first act is good and I suspected we’d be going a different direction. That’s how to hook me. Then it fell apart until the last 20 minutes or so where the mystery is solved — and, don’t worry no spoilers — I liked the ending.

So one star for the way it ended and a half star for starting out on a strong note. I just can’t give this any more love than that. Too bad, because I wanted to like this more than I did based on the opening. Kara enjoyed it more, giving it a full star higher than me. It doesn’t seem like a complete package to me, unfortunately. Not recommended.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️½ (Todd) ⭐️⭐️½ (Kara)

4+ The Last Shift Reviews – The Turd Blocking The Toilet

The Last Shift ½

Gotta love metaphors.

Early in the movie we learn that one of the bathrooms in the fictional Oscar’s Chicken & Fish is out of order because the toiled is blocked up. This has to be a metaphor for the turd that is the movie itself.

…this is basically a quiet, and quietly heartbreaking, movie about imperfect people trying to live their lives with an ounce of hope. The chasm between Stan and Jevon is large, but the shared humanity shows up in subtle ways on their faces. It never offers fake optimism or a promise of change, maybe just a possibility for one of them.

[WATCH] ‘The Last Shift’ Review: Richard Jenkins Movie Vivid, Poignant – Deadline

Strange how in the above Deadline review the word race is never mentioned. It’s a pivotal part of this movie and yet the review instead focuses on this being about a small town and differences between the characters. It’s described as “vivid” and “poignant.”

For those who have read our review, we clearly disagree.

…. you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

Comedies should be at least a little funny

Where is the humor here? Javon is not funny, he’s on probation and working at a job that he feels is severely beneath him. Stanley has worked at that job for almost 40 years and, while he takes his job seriously, he fails to gain viewers sympathy based on his actions and misdeeds.

This is more a drama that has slight — and I mean very slight — comedic moments. The comedy is mostly mean though, like the frozen hamburger patties used as hockey pucks? I asked in my review (click the link at the top of this post to read) if viewers should assume these patties were served to customers? This isn’t funny, it’s the type of visual that disturbs.

I’m not even sure how this film’s subject matter could have been made funnier. Maybe if they got different actors to play the leads and a much, much funnier script. There wasn’t much the actors could do with this overly dry and mostly boring material.

Playing The Race Card

I don’t like how this movie handles the hot-button topic of racism. It doesn’t offer any sort of solutions, or attempt to present any. It seems to tow the line of stereotypes and that severely weakens the film. It could have taken a more dramatic approach, not sold itself as a comedy (unfunny as it is) and tried to show some sort of solution between white and black main characters. Instead, the solution is to prevent something it seems to present as “normal” when maybe in some places in America there are Stanley’s and Javon’s, sure, but what change occurred for either of them?

Javon starts writing again at the end. He’s going to go on and become what … a blogger? A reporter? An activist? We can only speculate, which for some movies works brilliantly. Here, I think it is overplaying its hand. It’s not as smart as the creators behind it might think.

Reviews by Others

What do others think of The Last Shift? It’s going to be a small number this time because out of the 2,000+ blogs I follow very few seem to have reviewed this movie. I’m hoping more will comment on this post and say they saw it and post links to their reviews, if I somehow missed reading, so I can update this post.

Since almost all movies we see get dozens of reviews

Recommended

  1. thecurvyfilmcritic / Carla Renata: “The relationship and bond that forms between Stanley and Jevon make this film totally worth the watch.  McGhie and Jenkins are masterful at banter and give these characters substance and humanity that extends well beyond the page.”
  2. Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: “hey, I laughed and was entertained throughout the nice, tight and short 90 minute run time. I am also quite happy that my last new movie viewing this weekend was in a theater and wasn’t a terrible piece of shit streaming film like Kajillionaire or the Secret Society of Second Born Royals, so there’s that.”

Not Recommended

  1. Cinema Axis: “Jenkins, who gives a wonderful turn that physically embodies a man beaten down by years of labour, and McGhie, who conveys the perfect mixture of angst and heart, are great in the film. Each bringing a rich and subtle texture to their roles. However, their fine performances only further highlight the missed opportunities for the film to present truly thought-provoking commentary. The Last Shift is a well-intentioned tale that unfortunately stays too close to the surface.”
  2. Kings Movie Reviews / Ransom D. Coslett: “There isn’t much comedy, just mostly drama, and unfortunately it’s a let down. The acting from O’Neil and McGhie is good, and they play their roles well, but the story just doesn’t go anywhere.”
  3. rogerinorlando / Movie Nation: “It’s gassy, not as nutritious as advertised, and in the end not at all filling.”

Linked above and wondering what would be cool to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quoting from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

Happy movie watching!

The War With Grandpa ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

The War With Grandpa – PG – 1 hr 34 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Sunday October 18, 2020
AMC Kent Station 14 – Kent, Washington
#37 new movie seen in theater in 2020

Robert De Niro plays the Grandpa who takes over his grandson’s room. His daughter (Uma Thurman) moves him into their house because Grandpa is getting up in age and isn’t coping well with the passing of his wife. His grandson, Peter, is forced to move upstairs into the dark, bat and mouse infested attic. This, of course, is grounds for war.

Peter draws up a declaration of war and slides it under Grandpa’s door. He signs it as the Super Soldier. The real fun starts when Grandpa doesn’t just give in, he fights back by launching a series of pranks on his own. One of the war agreements they make is not to have any collateral damage, and yet the funniest parts of the movie involve this type of damage.

One example involves Uma Thurman and a policeman who pulls up beside her car. I laughed out loud at what transpired in one of these very well-timed scenes. It’s that physical kind of comedy that worked so well on I Love Lucy. There are shades, very light admittedly, of that here.

There are cliches in the story that can almost be overlooked like the middle school bully that takes out his angst on Peter and his friends. There are Grandpa’s friends, hilariously played by Christopher Walken (if only we had more of Walken!) and Cheech Marin (of Cheech and Chong!). This movie deserves a movie with just the three of these guys played robbing banks or something like Going In Style.

I didn’t realize this was an adaptation of a novel, same name, by Robert Kimmel Smith. The screenplay is by Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember. No idea how faithful adaptation it is, differences, etc, so maybe somebody else there has read the book and can compare on that front.

Uma Thurman is competent as the mom and daughter. Rob Riggio plays Artie/Arthur the somewhat estranged son-in-law. The only characters with any real depth are Peter and Grandpa. They do grow throughout the film and while there is a fun battle between the two, both always seem to remember that they love each other.

As a movie, it worked better than I thought. This was better than the trailer, which had me thinking it would be another lame family friendly movie along the lines of Home Alone, but not nearly as good. You can hear Kara and I talking about the movie in our just left the theater car ride below. We do this after watching every new movie in theaters.

It has some genuine funny moments and provided an entertaining time at the theater. I can see why it was selling out with the reduced capacity theater. It’s the kind of feel-good movie that you can take kids to see. There aren’t a lot of other new movies out right now that are this family-friendly.

Kara really liked this and rated it higher than me. It surprised me enough to earn three stars and I added another half star for the ending that tied up several loose ends. There is also a nice message to the movie about the consequences of wars. A helpful lesson that parents can discuss with and help better educate their children on the way home.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ (Todd) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Kara)

Honest Thief ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Honest Thief – PG-13 – 1 hr 39 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Friday October 16, 2020
AMC Lakewood 12 – Lakewood, Washington
#36 new movie seen in theater in 2020

Is there any such thing as an “honest” thief? Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Some may see that kind of thievery as noble, but it’s not honest.

Here we see calm, yet dangerous guy Liam Neeson playing Tom, a marine demolition specialist, that gets out of service, filled with PSTD and faced with various personal tragedies that compel him to steal from banks. Not for the money, mind you, but the rush. The first bank is a revenge job, the others, well, they are to the tune of $9 million in adrenaline.

He meets Annie, a spicy manager of a storage place played red head Kate Walsh. She seeks to rent him a not-so-“smelly” storage unit to not so covertly stash the cash in moving boxes, but this begins a year of romance that we don’t get to see, but can imagine must be immensely fulfilling to turn conflicted thief into a hopeless romantic.

Ahh yes, fast forward to a year later and it’s time for Tom to come clean. He’s going to turn himself into the FBI. The In and Out Bandit, as the cops and media have coined, wants to give all the money he never spent back to the feds in exchange for a minimum sentence. After all, nobody ever got physically hurt by his elaborate heists, The In and Out Bandit was merely stealing money “that never belonged to anyone.”

While Tom tries to turn himself in, of course it needs to be to two corrupt feds, wanting to steal the money and cover up the crime. Good thing the Terminator (Robert Patrick) is the boss. Or maybe not so much, once we see how our steely-eyed morph from the early 90s classic handles the mundane tasks of assigning bored federal officers to check out if Tom is the real In and Out Bandit or just another glory seeker.

If you’re saying to yourself, “come on” then this movie might not be for you.

However, if you’re like, OK, this is bizarre story-wise but somewhat trying to be different, then this might be the ticket for you to ride. In some respects, the movie gets a little better than the story, but mostly it doesn’t. It’s popcorn escapism, with at times some decent dramatic acting.

What I liked about this story were the more subtle things that the actors tried to do with an odd script and the various character sketches. Also the fact that we’re seeing actors we know from other movie and TV roles like that guy from Burn Notice (Jeffery Donovan) as the direct supervisor, underneath Terminator Robert Patrick. Burn Notice Donovan roams around in Sherlock Holmes mode with his cute dog that he got in the divorce (she took the house instead of the dog!), trying to figure out whether or not Liam Neeson is innocent or guilty of doing much worse than the In and Out Bandit.

There’s also Addison Montgomery from Grey’s Anatomy, Kate Walsh, as a not so convincing love interest for Neeson’s character Tom. Their kisses have as much passion as family members giving each other a welcoming, yet uncomfortable looking to others peck on the lips. Sadly, Neeson has almost zero romantic chemistry with Walsh. He displayed more in Taken. We’ll get to Neeson’s performance shortly, but we really need to talk more about Annie’s origins and this alleged tryst.

Seriously, this is the macguffin sans sidetrack romance to keep us worrying about what happens to sardonic, yet sweet Annie. Might have been more believable if we got some flashback moments or real time scenes that showed how these two became lovers, but hey, we don’t need that sort of realism. Maybe that has already been done on a Lifetime movie a thousand times, but viewers need some more meat to get emotionally invested in these two as a couple. As it stands, it’s just a reason for Tom to want to turn himself in, but it could have been any of a dozen other reasons with as much emotional zeal.

Another “come on!” note: is her character’s name. Is it really Annie Wilkes?

I did a doubletake on the name, because that’s the famous psycho character from Misery played by Kathy Bates.

Maybe the writer wanted to draw viewers out of the story or just pay homage to a famous character name, but it’s distracting because the Annie in Honest Thief is literally nothing like the Annie Wilkes from Misery. If Annie had more to do in the movie than be at risk from one of the more psycho corrupt cops, that could have taken this story off the rails.

At last we come to Liam Neeson’s performance. It’s his Taken role, only with the violence taken out.

It’s logical, but vexing from an entertainment standpoint, that Neeson is far less violent here and trying to be more cerebral. His character ultimately left me feeling like all that money must have felt just sitting in boxes collecting dust. Why won’t anybody spend me, move me around, buy something with me? Why am I just sitting in Annie Wilkes managed storage facility, but hey it doesn’t smell in here, at least.

Those poor, lonely $9 million bones.

Curiously, our initial just left the theater reaction was this was better than Neeson just going off and taking revenge. You can tell in the video below that we enjoyed it, but at the same time a guiltier pleasure would have been watching Neeson go Russell Crowe Unhinged, fiercely using his demolitions background for cunning revenge. I won’t spoil ultimately what happens with the character or the resolution of the movie, but gave it points for not just giving us another Taken. The trailer, however, promised at least some of that type of movie (Neeson’s character says a la Taken, “I’m coming for you”).

Warts aside, we felt entertained as we left the theater. On that scale alone, this is a recommended movie. It wasn’t a great movie and the rating we gave just leaving the theaters was higher than the star rating I’m leaving in the full text review here. I took away a half star after thinking over if the movie was that good. It wasn’t.

This was our 36th time watching a movie in theaters in 2020, but first at an AMC theater

It just felt good watching familiar faces in a story that isn’t too cliched. It was entertaining enough, even if it’s not quite the movie the trailer promises. We got our money’s worth. We gave it the same rating as Unhinged, but upon reflection, I think Unhinged at least emotionally is better. That film has several “come on!” moments too, but it maintains tension throughout the film. Russell Crowe is a better actor with a mediocre script than Liam Neeson, at least when comparing these two newer films in the theaters.

Honest Thief just bounces us around a little too much, making us mad at the police — like the world needs any more stories like that in these times — puzzled at times by story and character development, and yet surprised enough at times to keep watching. There are a few lingering parts where the story could have been tightened up more, but overall it does mostly what it sets out to do: keep us entertained. It’s not going to win any awards and it will be forgotten not long after watching, but it’s good enough. Just be warned, Neeson fans, if you’re looking for another Taken, you best rewatch that instead.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️⭐️

TV SERIES Review: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? S1E16 – A Night of Fright is No Delight ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Season 1
CBS (HBO Max)
January 10, 1970

Episode 16 – “A Night of Fright is No Delight”

The mystery gang is boating to a creepy mansion on an island because he’s an heir to a million dollar fortune. The catch, the gang find out, is that he must spend a night in the haunted house. If he doesn’t stay then he doesn’t share in the inheritance.

The names of the characters in this are more than a bit leading “Mr. Crawls” and “Mr. Creeps” lol, yeah, those are normal names. The nice thing about this episode is there are a lot of possible characters offered, so that solving the mystery of who is really haunting the house provide more possibilities than most episodes.

There are a few signature gags like when Scooby, Shaggy and Velma discover a cave filled with old confederate items and a suit flies up and at them. They run away at first until Scooby gathers courage and unmasks the source.

Haunted clothes? Scoob is scared and then turns brave … and unmasks the flying culprit!

Is it one of the other heirs responsible for haunting the group, wanting to keep more of the prized loot? Why do they have to stay the night? What’s with the secret passages under the house? These questions and more are answered on this ghostly episode.

Summary

Good cast of characters and possible villains, some humorous gags and Scooby and Shaggy’s antics front and center.

Overall episode rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

7+ Infidel Reviews – Dumb Decisions, Lifeless Action

Infidel ⭐️½

This movie is textbook bad. I want to take another star away and just declare it unwatchable, but there is actually a moment or two that redeem some of its existence.

The conservative answer to such Middle East-set films as “Rendition” and “Syriana,” “Infidel” is one of the widest exclusive-to-theaters U.S. releases since the pandemic closed most cinemas, reportedly opening on 2,400 screens in 1,724 locations. Originally intended to open on 9/11, the film takes a tough look at the dimension of both Christianity and Islam reluctant to co-exist with the other, and speculates as to which is better suited to “win” this standoff. It’s biased, of course, and the movie’s attitude toward Muslims could be summarized as: We will respect your religion, to a point, but the moment you try to limit our freedom, all bets are off.

‘Infidel’ Review: ‘Passion’ Star Jim Caviezel Risks Martyrdom Again – Variety

… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

Not Even Getting Into The Religious and Political Stuff

This is a faith-based movie, which might turn some moviegoers off. Not the case for us. We treat these movies like any other movie we watch unless they become too preachy. As it stands, this isn’t an issue with this film, but what is an issue is the overarching politics and religion. Not going to get into opinions on any of this, but will say that the way the main character acted in another country was stupid.

Not saying he deserved to be kidnapped and tortured, but, well, he deserved to be kidnapped at least. I’m kind of joking, but without that the story would have been boring.

Yeah, the main characters actions = dumb, dumb and dumber

If you escape captivity, why run down a busy road? You have all these little side alleys that a car won’t fit down — at least easily — and yet you run down the main road to be captured again? Of course if you’re a dumb fugitive that’s what you do. Run right back into the arms of your captors. I wanted to poke my eyes out with kernels of hot searing popcorn while watching this. Dude, really?!?!?!

The lethargic action

What was going on with the action scenes in this movie? It was like we’re in quicksand instead of moving through them with any sort of grace and pace. The sound didn’t even match some of the scenes. I didn’t get it.

There will always be fans

This isn’t Cats-level unwatchable. It’s better than some other movies we’ve seen this year in the theater, but it’s definitely trending toward the bottom of the list. The Last Shift is worse than this. The Turning, Underwater, Downhill, yeah, all worse than this. 2020 has made a particularly sucky grab bag of crappy films. This might go down as the worst year cinema has ever had. Seriously.

Look, just because we thought this movie sucked, doesn’t mean it sucks for everybody. I did find some who really enjoyed watching it (see below!). Not picking on those who liked it, but it wasn’t for either of us — at all. Follow and read the positive reviews which might inspire you to at least catch this on streaming. We can’t with any good conscience recommend paying to see this in a theater and we love watching movies in theaters. Watch Unhinged a second time instead, see Tenet for the third or fourth time. Hocus Pocus playing? Why not!

Reviews by Others

What do others think of Infidel?

Recommended

  1. Multicultural Marriage: “I watched Cyrus Nowrasteh’s Infidel movie this weekend and highly recommend!”
  2. Rachel’s Reviews (6/10): “I don’t know what Christian audiences will think of Infidel? It is violent and has its share of F-bombs so I know that will turn away some people of faith. However, it is based on a true story and the action is exciting, so it has its appeal. Nevertheless, It’s a weird mixture but I was entertained enough to recommend it”
  3. That Darn Girl (3.5/5): “The storyline and action are both compelling and made for the big screen, however, you won’t have an urgency to buy it on DVD.”
  4. The Legionnaire: “I recommend it, and the swearing that Doug utters is understandable given the situation in which he finds himself. Who among us would not let loose a few f-bombs if we were being kidnapped by a terrorist organization? The point is, Caviezel is a typical Christian put into extraordinary circumstances, and God saw fit to see him through it all.”

Not Recommended

  1. Stanford Murrell: “It is unfortunate that D’Souza did not simply retell, and recreate the true events. The authentic story line would be more believable than the fictious narrative. The real characters would, no doubt, be more sympathetic than the personas created by Jim Caviezel and Claudia Karvan.”
  2. Wade Reviews Stuff (4/10): “This could have been a much more interesting movie if all, or even ANY, of these plot points had ever been cashed in. Sadly, it is a lot of subpar action that suddenly just stops abruptly & then the credits roll. With a different director, this could have been a decent, intriguing movie to watch. Instead, we get something nobody is going to remember the next day.”
  3. Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: “…is…okay…I guess? With the production value, ho hum direction, some awkward moments and an out of place action climax, it seems like it should’ve been a mediocre HBO or Showtime Original movie. But I’m guessing it is getting released in theaters because there is absolutely no competition right now and it thinks it can maybe make more money that way?”

Linked above and wondering what would be cool to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quoting from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

Happy movie watching!

10+ The Broken Hearts Gallery Reviews – a much needed timely, feel good romcom

The Broken Hearts Gallery ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 

It was the profound wisdom of The Beatles that wrote “All you need is love.” John, Paul, George and Ringo, lovely, legendary musicians.

Some movies come along at the right time. For romcoms — those love-inspired jaunts — on date night, that is every weekend. This particular one makes you feel good about the human spirit and we definitely need more of that in 2020. It’s been a wrecked year so far.

Lucy’s gallerist idol Eva Woolf (Bernadette Peters) sums the theme up well: “Pain, my dear, is inevitable; it’s what you do with it that matters.” That message feels especially relevant in the midst of a pandemic where people have been relying on art to get through quarantine.

‘The Broken Hearts Gallery’ Is Exactly What the World Needs Right Now

… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

Emotional Hoarding

The whole idea of keepsakes from prior romances is the central focal point, and it’s a good one in the dedicated delivery of Lucy (Geraldine Viswanathan). Her portrayal is so crisp, clean and fast that we never have time to linger around and get bored with the concept.

Humor is mixed

The comedy part — the “com” in romcom — isn’t laugh out loud funny, but it made me smile in a few parts. I looked over at Kara several times and she was smiling. She was sold on this one.

My favorite side character is the boyfriend of the roommate that doesn’t talk.

Reviews by Others

What do others think of The Broken Hearts Gallery?

Recommended

  1. Carla Renata: “…is fresh, fun, full of rapid fire dialogue and cheap laughs, but entertains and reminds us all that the thing that breaks you is the very thing that ultimately makes you whole.”
  2. Hannah Wales / The World of Celebrity: “Most romcoms are predictable as hell and The Broken Hearts Gallery is no different. Krinsky tries hard to make this not cheesy and she does well until the ending. But she deserves praise for her superb writing and character creation as well as the subplot about Lucy’s mother, which makes this film feel less fluffy and lightweight. “
  3. Hayley Reviews: “For a few hours I got to forget the worries of the world and following this I felt positively pumped and raring to go. It also make me long for a night of dancing – I sure can’t wait for those sorts of nights to come back.”
  4. Kate Sanchez / But Why Tho? A Geek Community: “…is a phenomenal romantic comedy that embodies everything that is right in the genre and side steps many of the problematic issues in it as well.”
  5. No More Workhorse: “Funnily enough, the idea is not as quirky and ‘right on’ as the writer and director may think.  There is actually a long-established Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb which explores the same thing. “
  6. Often Off Topic: “…let me tell you how much I adored this movie. It is SO CUTE. I’m going to try and refrain from gushing about how much I fell in love with Dacre Montgomery but you guys. I loved him enough in Stranger Things but there’s something about him here I can’t explain. His eyes! How can a man be so…pretty? I digress. One of the many things I love about this movie is its lead, Geraldine Viswanathan.”
  7. Rathpeacon Rambler: “All in all, I would recommend this movie to anybody who likes rom-coms. There are plenty of laughs, a bit of lovin’ and a few emotional scenes that will tick your boxes. A bit predictable, but aren’t all romantic comedies??”
  8. Red Mango Reviews: “…hits every rom-com cliche in the book. Quirky female lead with artsy job, super good-looking love interest, weirdo best friends who always put her first, blah, blah, blah. It’s predictable as it gets…and DAMMIT I LOVED THIS MOVIE!”
  9. Salt Lake Film Review: “The script is sharp and consistently funny and the direction is, well, good enough. It’s admittedly kind of formulaic and predictable, but that’s something I didn’t mind at all.”
  10. Trailer Trashed: “Overall, I left the cinema this evening with a really uplifting feeling.  This film made me feel good and I had a blast watching it.”

Not Recommended

  1. Tower City Media: “The concept of starting a gallery of heartbreaks as art. Give objects a deep connection to show people aren’t alone in pain, is strong. The fact the movie had to say out loud what Lucy’s deal has been the whole time feels too easy, but it’s use is well measured and help make it the uplifting film it is, but it is still centered on very millennial feelings. From the fact the gallery grew from social media, and the focus of grief older generations don’t feel the same, it has a target demographic that it won’t hit in theaters.”

Linked above and wondering what would be cool to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quoting from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

Happy movie watching!