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!

The War With Grandpa Takes #1 Spot + Stephen King “Feels Terrible” For Empty Theater

Every movie, even the best ones, eventually fall from the #1 spot.

These dim theater days it only takes $3.6 million for the weekend box office to be #1. That honor has been Tenet’s for weeks, but this last weekend it goes to Robert De Niro and company with The War With Grandpa.

Despite the loss of more than 500 Regal Theaters, total grosses went up this weekend. Led by newcomer “The War with Grandpa,” the top 10 grossed about $9.7 million. That’s up from $8.5 million last weekend. With so many library titles adding to the pot, the full take might reach $13 million. By comparison. 2019 saw $141 million on Columbus Day weekend.

Tenet No Longer #1 as The War With Grandpa Wins Weekend Box Office | IndieWire

Meanwhile, Stephen King went to theaters Saturday night — lucky guy that he was able to patronize an open theater in his area, ours are all closed around here until this Friday — and the king of horror felt “terrible for the film industry.”

Low box office sales are scaring studios in all kinds of bad ways right now, but even so, War With Grandpa showed people are still attending movies in theaters.

We will be this coming weekend too.

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!

5 Movies COMING TO THEATERS in October 2020

Theaters: October 16

Somewhat surprisingly, there is one more wide release planned in October than September.

We’ve been following the historic movie theater scene in 2020 and what a year so far, huh? Not from amazing movies coming out and huge box office numbers — what could/should/might have been in some parallel universe — from everything that seems to prevent that from happening.

Brief recap. In mid March all US theaters closed. In late August they started reopening and as of this writing at the end of September an estimated 70% of theaters have not reopened. The two major markets, New York and California still have many closures, but I keep reading that they’re planning on reopening soon. In our local area — not too far from the Seattle area where most of this all started — a bunch of theaters, like a couple dozen at least, remain shuttered. These areas are still in Phase 2 of the local government shutdown and cannot reopen theaters yet. These local restrictions are, very slowly, being relaxed and unless there are missteps with the virus, should reopen before No Time To Die (ironic title, I must admit) is scheduled to come out.

Tenet, the biggest movie since the pandemic started launched hasn’t had the US box office sales hoped for. Blame on this in part is placed on the two major markets with theaters still closed. Meanwhile.

Netflix: Oct 7

Below you’ll find the movies listed as being released in theaters before month’s end as well as the streaming and VOD movies and at the bottom the movies that were originally planned to be released in September and delayed along with the current release dates, if known.

As has been the case since the end of March 2020, all titles remain subject to change, but since we’re actually seeing movies in theaters again, if this positive trend of reopening theaters continues, we should be able to get back to a schedule of releasing these coming soon lists sooner. In the meantime there’s no point in releasing ~45 days or so before the month due to the studio changes and postponements.

For historical reference, we’re including the films originally planned along with their rescheduled release dates, several have been pushed to 2021.

2020 Theater Releases
JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUNE
JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT

If you’d like to see a list of all movies released in 2020 click here (that post is being updated throughout the year). We have a post showing all wide release movies scheduled in 2021, but as of this writing is still in draft status due to frequent changes being made. Would like to say we’re confident no further changes will be made, but that isn’t realistic currently. We’re going to post it sooner or later, probably sooner. Several movies are planned for 2021 that we had planned to see in 2020 and there are still 2021 planned titles coming to fruition — maybe.

Here, for now, let’s focus on October 2020.

All movie release dates unless otherwise indicated are for the United States, the release dates in other countries can/may/will vary.

OCTOBER 2020 (5 movies)

  • The War With Grandpa – FIRST LOOK (Oct 9)
  • Honest Thief (delayed, moved from Sept 4 to Oct 9, move #2 to Oct 16)
  • 2 Hearts (delayed, Sept 11 to October 16)
  • The Empty Man – FIRST LOOK (delayed, August 7 to December 4, 2020, move #2 to Oct 23, 2020)
  • Fatale (moved AHEAD from Oct 20, 2020 to June 19, move #2 delayed to Oct 30)

    STREAMING PREMIERE
  • The Lie – FIRST LOOK (Oct 6) – Amazon Prime Video
  • Hubie Halloween – FIRST LOOK (Oct 7) – Netflix
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7 (delayed, moved from Oct 9 to Oct 16 streaming) – Netflix
  • Rebecca (Oct 21) – Netflix

    DELAYED/MOVED
    • Wonder Woman 1984 FIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from June 1 to Aug 24, 2020, move #2 to Oct 2, move #3 to December 25)
    • BIOS – (delayed, moved from October 2, 2020 to April 16, 2021) Tom Hanks
    • Venom 2 (delayed, moved from October 2, 2020 to TBA 2021, move #2 to June 25, 2021) Marvel MCU
    • Without Remorse (delayed, moved from September 18 to Oct 2, move #2 to Amazon Prime Video and “TBA 2020”)
    • Halloween Kills (delayed, moved from October 16, 2020 to Oct 15, 2021) Jamie Lee Curtis
    • Candyman (delayed, moved from June 1 to September 25, move #2 to Oct 16, move #3 to “TBA 2021”)
    • The Witches (delayed, moved from October 16, 2020 to TBA 2021) based on Roald Dahl story, has potential
    • Connected (delayed, moved from Oct 23 to “TBA 20202”)
    • Snake Eyes (delayed, moved from Oct 23 to Oct 22, 2021)
    • Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (delayed, moved from October 23, 2020 to January 22, 2021)
    • Death on the Nile (delayed, moved from Oct 9 to Oct 23, move #2 to Dec 18, 2020)

As we look through the DELAYED list above, those 11 delayed movies would have been a major boost to movie theater interest. Instead, we’ll get the five movies below … maybe.

The War With Grandpa
FIRST LOOK

(October 9)

Of the five wide release movies planned in October, this is #2 am most looking forward to seeing. It has a fun looking old vs. young vibe, especially with that wacky dodgeball scene. I like how De Niro asks the older woman if she wants to get back at the kids and she’s like “yeah!” This could be a dud or fun or … well, it could be underwhelming. I’m going to try and stay positive on this one. I mean, Christopher Walken, Robert De Niro … these guys are talented actors. Don’t lay an egg on us, please!

Honest Thief
(delayed, moved from Sept 4 to Oct 9, move #2 to Oct 16)

Somewhere I remember reading or seeing a video that Liam Neeson wanted to get out of action films. Or at least films like Taken, but maybe I’m dreaming, because this role seems very Taken-ish. Especially with his “I’m coming to get you” revenge line. I like Liam Neeson’s quiet guy goes postal routine.

With Wonder Woman pushed to Christmas day, this becomes the standout title of October in theaters. Am looking most forward to this one.

2 Hearts
(delayed, Sept 11 to October 16)

Lukewarm interest from the trailer, but of course we’ll see it regardless. This might be an OK date night movie, I don’t know.

The Empty Man
FIRST LOOK
(delayed, August 7 to December 4, 2020, move #2 to Oct 23, 2020)

No official trailer available as of this posting.

October is the perfect month for horror films. We had some good ones planned that got postponed, and no idea how this one will fare, should it go on as expected, but it’s #3 of the 5 for films I’m most looking forward to seeing in October.

I’m intrigued from the comic book aspect and more than a little surprised we don’t see a trailer for this yet. It’s like three weeks away and still no official trailer?

Fatale
(moved AHEAD from Oct 20, 2020 to June 19, move #2 delayed to Oct 30)

No official trailer available as of this posting.

I don’t know much of anything about this movie other than the plot synopsis on IMDB. That’s not enough to make it move from #5 of 5 for looking to see in October 2020.

Which of these movies, if any, are you looking forward to seeing?

Of the list of movies above released or delayed, what are you most looking forward to seeing? Are you going to wait for these movies to come to streaming or venture into theaters? If you’re still in a holding pattern, it’s all good. Let’s chat about it in the comments.

As always, wishing you all happy viewing, whatever you’re watching!

4 Movies COMING TO THEATERS in September 2020

The New Mutants are due in theaters August 28

Theaters have begun reopening and this month will be the first box office tentpole since the pandemic, Tenet.

The early international numbers coming in for Tenet are promising.

Below you’ll find the movies listed as being released in theaters before month’s end as well as the streaming and VOD movies and at the bottom the movies that were originally planned to be released in September and delayed along with the current release dates, if known.

As has been the case since the end of March 2020, all titles remain subject to change, but since we’re actually seeing movies in theaters again, if this positive trend of reopening theaters continues, we should be able to get back to a schedule of releasing these coming soon lists sooner.

(Before the pandemic, we posted ~45 days before the start of the month).

For historical reference, we’re including the films originally planned along with their rescheduled release dates, several have been pushed to 2021.

2020 Theater Releases
JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUNE
JUL | AUG | SEP

If you’d like to see a list of all movies released in 2020 click here (that post is being updated throughout the year).

All movie release dates unless otherwise indicated are for the United States, the release dates in other countries can/may/will vary.

SEPTEMBER 2020 (4 movies)

  • TenetFIRST LOOK (delayed, July 17 to July 31, move #2 to August 12, move #3 to “TBA”, move #4 September 3)
  • The Broken Heart’s Gallery (Sept 11)
  • Infidel (Sept 18)
  • Greenland (Sept 25)

    STREAMING PREMIERE
  • Bill & Ted Face The Music (was supposed to release Sept 1, released early Aug 28)
  • Love, Guaranteed (Sep 3) Netflix
  • Mulan – FIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from March 27 to July 24, 2020, move #2 August 21, move #3 “TBA 2020”, move #4 to Sept 4 Disney+ $29.99 VOD)
  • I’m Thinking Of Ending Things (Sep 4) Netflix
  • Cuties (Sept 9) Netflix
  • The Social Dilemma (Sept 9) Netflix
  • UNpregnant (Sept 10) HBO Max
  • Pets United (Sept 11) Netflix
  • Dad Wanted (Sept 11) Netflix
  • Antebellum – FIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from August 21 to September 18 VOD/PVOD)
  • Enola Holmes (Sept 23) Netflix
  • Welcome To Sudden Death (Sept 29) VOD

    DELAYED/MOVED
    • Honest Thief (delayed, moved from Sept 4 to October 9)
    • A Quiet Place: Part II FIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from March 20 to Sept 4, 2020, move #2 to April 23, 2021)
    • Monster Hunter (delayed, moved from September 4, 2020 to April 23, 2021)
    • The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (delayed, Sept 11, 2020 to June 4, 2021)
    • 2 Hearts (delayed, Sept 11 to October 16)
    • The King’s Man (delayed, moved from March 2020 to Sept 18, move #2 to February 26, 2021)
    • Without Remorse (delayed, moved from September 18 to Oct 2)
    • Last Night in Soho (delayed, moved from September 25, 2020 to April 23, 2021)
    • The Many Saints of Newark (delayed, moved from September 25, 2020 to March 21, 2021)
    • Praise This (delayed, changed from September 25, 2020 to TBA 2020)
    • What About Love (delayed, moved from September 25, 2020 to February 12, 2021)
    • Candyman (delayed, moved from June 1 to September 25, move #2 to October 16, 2020)

Tenet
FIRST LOOK
(delayed, move #1 July 17 to July 31, move #2 to August 12, 2020, move #3 to “TBA 2020”, move #4 to September 4, 2020)

Bill and Ted Face The Music
FIRST LOOK
(delayed, August 14 to September 1 theaters and VOD)

Mulan
FIRST LOOK
(delayed, move #1 March 27 to July 24, 2020, move #2 to August 21)

The Broken Hearts Gallery

Infidel

No trailer available.

Greenland

Which of these movies, if any, are you looking forward to seeing?

Of the list of movies above released or delayed, what are you most looking forward to seeing?

Words On Bathroom Walls ⭐️½

Words On Bathroom Walls ⭐️½
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Saturday August 22, 2020
Regal 16 Cinemas – Lacey, Washington
#28 new movie seen in theaters in 2020

Introducing Adam Petrazelli (Charlie Plummer), a schizophrenic teen student and our struggling protagonist. He’s been kicked out of high school for a meltdown caused by his medical condition, embarrassed and humiliated, his mother puts him in a religious school and on new medication that’s supposed to keep Adam’s condition in check.

Adam dreams to become a chef, but the new meds he’s taking are having conflicting side effects for his career choice. He meets the valedictorian Maya (Taylor Russell), who helps tutor him and a budding friendship ensues. Maya has a few secrets of her own that she tries to conceal.

Firstly, it was nice to see schizophrenia addressed in a movie. The subject matter, a person who sees people that aren’t there and voices seems more fit for a horror movie than a drama, but there is potential to tell an engrossing story about a character with a mental illness. Unfortunately, the way the story unfolds, particularly the first third of the movie is very dry. I mean like paint is chipping dry.

The voice inside Adam’s head? My goodness, it’s like Darth Vader with his helmet submerged in water. It’s not spooky or scary or dramatic, it’s annoying. Every time that voice came on, I wanted to poke my eye out with the straw in my soda. Then there are the people that appear for Adam … we never really understand what they are doing. One guy carries a bat and seems poised to use it for violence or hit a baseball. A woman character vision is more caring, perhaps to show Adam’s softer inner side? I don’t know. It just seemed like whenever Adam had a schizophrenic episode, the film became something else. It was very jarring and disjointed.

Maybe that’s the filmmaker’s way of showing how disruptive and debilitating schizophrenia is like for those it inflicts? I did feel for Adam during these episodes, but at the same time these episodes poorly fit the film the way they were portrayed. Maybe if it had started out in some sort of treatment facility and there was some exploration of these characters in Adam’s head they would have fit the narrative better.

Instead, these characters were intrusive to the story of friendship and acceptance between Adam and Maya. How they both overcame their personal situations? There is also a boyfriend of the mother, a cardboard antagonist we’ve seen before in other movies. Would have been better to have two loving family characters. The mother being pregnant is another subplot that subtracts more than adds. We’re supposed to feel that Adam’s mom is trading him out for a “normal” child, I think, but that plot thread is unnecessary and distracting.

After the first third which threatened to put us both to sleep, the movie became more interesting, particularly the interplay between Adam and Maya. They are very likable characters and we want something to build between them.

This is one of those movies that has characters and a story with potential but doesn’t execute in a very entertaining and interesting way. The acting is decent, the sounds (other than the annoying voice) and camera work is OK, it’s just how the scenes are compiled and unfold for the audience that are not very exciting. At times when I should have been more interested in Adam beating his medical condition with meds or through sheer willpower, I was more engaged by Maya’s struggles and conflicts. I don’t think that was the desired goal of the film.

Our first recorded video failed to record, so here was just left the theater attempt #2 (I’d give this 1.5 stars too!)

It’s refreshing to see stories about mental illness and how to cope and overcome, but this could have been done in a more compelling, dramatic and entertaining way. I’m not suggesting it had to go the horror route, but it would have been more exciting if the visions and characters had some sort of tie-in to what was actually happening to Adam. Even if that’s not the way the illness works, a little bit of creative embellishment would have helped.

Neither Kara or I enjoyed or were entertained by this movie and, therefore, do not recommend.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️½

Unhinged ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

Unhinged ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Saturday August 22, 2020
Regal 16 Cinemas – Lacey, Washington
#27 new movie seen in theaters in 2020

Night.

A portly Russell Crowe plays Tom Cooper, a man on medication, sweating, and the portrait of the perfectly titled movie. Cooper is unbalanced, tethering between madness and sanity, iron-gripping his truck’s steering wheel.

Viewers don’t know why, is he about to have a heart attack? Is he constipated? He pops a pill or two, grabs a hammer and goes into a house and starts attacking those inside. Screaming ensues, followed by blood spattering death, then Cooper burns the house down.

That’s only the opening five minutes.

Enter a woman who has overslept named Rachel Hunter (Caren Pistorious). Upon taking her son Kyle (Gabriel Bateman) to school late, running into traffic, she is waiting behind a truck at a green light. She has some passenger anger and honks at the truck to get moving. Nothing happens, so she honks louder. Ultimately, she pulls her car around the truck and, lo and behold, it’s Dom Deluise in Russell Crowe’s profusely sweating frame.

(one asks: why did Russell Crowe need to put so much weight on for this role?)

Tom Cooper rolls down his window beside Rachel and asks for an apology. A simple, friendly tap on the horn would have sufficed, after all. Rachel basically shrugs him off impatiently, which causes him to tell her she’s about to have a really bad day.

And so that’s the setup for what follows in Unhinged, a story that reminded me at times of Rutger Hauer in The Hitcher, as far as pacing, malevolent behavior and intentions. Only instead of a hitchhiker, Crowe is playing a road raged, broken man. We get some kind of explanation during an intense diner scene between Rachel’s divorce attorney and Cooper who intercepts the meeting after swiping Rachel’s cell phone. Cooper is going to make Rachel and everybody she knows suffer his wrath because she didn’t honk courteously at him.

If you can get past the fact that strangers on the road snap for the darndest of reasons the film is a lesson in tension. There are some good vehicle crash scenes, like one where a policeman is hit and attempts to radio for help only to be squashed by a dump truck (cringe!).

Tom Cooper’s relentless obsession with torturing Rachel leaves viewers fearful for Rachel and her son, Kyle. As stated in our just left the theater video – no spoiler – review below, Tom Cooper’s reasoning for going nuts isn’t explained very thoroughly to viewers. There is a vagueness to it that, while there is an explanation in the diner why he’s so angry at the world, it would have had a little more power and perhaps even a wee bit of empathy had we had at least one small setup scene, flashback, or cutaway that drilled this home a bit more.

Also, I liked how Tom Cooper used 2020 technology to show the horrors involved there. More and more stalkers in movies are using technology. That’s realistic, although it might date the film somewhat as time goes on and something more secure and better comes along.

This is an entertaining film if you can just let go and run with it. Those that prefer to overthink films and look for every conceivable plot hole will probably be bothered a few times, but Kara and I both found this to be a mostly fun, sometimes brutal, thrill ride. It’s not too graphically bloody, but it’s violent.

It won’t win any awards for anybody involved with the film, but it succeeds at telling a taut tale about a man who is wrecked emotionally and seeks to punish a stranger and those she loves and knows. Is it worth seeing in theaters — assuming it’s safe to do so in your area, of course? Yes. Recommended.

Rating (out of 5 possible stars): ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – Good

The Movie Reopening Experience

This was our first new movie seen in theaters since The Hunt back in March 2020 in Las Vegas (see: 20+ The Hunt Reviews – Not as politically charged, but not that good either) and our 27th new movie watched in theaters in 2020. The experience in August 2020 was not that different from theaters back in March. I realize that might sound a bit anti-climactic, but the theaters were already practicing social distancing with seating in March,

There were maybe 20-25 people in the theater. Most were not wearing masks covering their faces, but had masks near and/or around their faces. It was more like once everybody was in the theater the masks came off. We didn’t wear masks while watching the film either, eating popcorn and drinks just doesn’t work with a mask on.

This wasn’t our very first trip back to the movie theaters since reopening. The day before we took our grandchildren to see Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back on Friday August 21, that is currently running at the same theater. The kids didn’t make it through the entire film, but it was fun to see a little bit of that awesome movie again. They had it showing on their ScreenX format theater — but not in ScreenX format unfortunately. Tons of seats in that gigantic theater and, again, a very small crowd of maybe 30 people tops. This was the very first showing of this movie at the theater since it reopened in the afternoon.

Readers might note that this is the very first movie review ever posted to this blog. I know, that might seem odd considering the name of the blog. With our one year blog anniversary approaching fast, we’ve decided we’re now going to post reviews of movies watched in theaters at this blog first, before posting the shorter Letterboxd version. The reviews here will be longer than the version posted to Letterboxd. That will be more of the summary, perhaps a mostly copy/paste from here. You’re not missing anything there if you’ve read here, I guess, is the point.

Our just left the theater no-spoiler video review will usually be posted a short time before this so that we can include the video embedded in these posts. We also plan to link back from the videos to here as well, so those watching can read the more detailed text review and comment here.

7 Movies COMING TO THEATERS in August 2020 with 9 Rescheduled

The New Mutants are due in theaters August 28

Can’t wait any longer to post what’s coming in August, can we?

Today, the first of August, theaters should have been open all across the United States. With the exception of some drive-ins and scattered independent theaters, that’s not the reality.

The new date for the big three theater chains to reopen 80% of the theater – as of this writing anyway — is scheduled to be August 21 (see: Regal Cinemas now saying August 21 it will reopen in US, Tenet goes international first, then US).

Below you’ll find the movies listed as being released in theaters before month’s end as well as the streaming and VOD movies and at the bottom the movies that were originally planned to be released in August and delayed along with the current release dates, if known.

As has been the case since the end of March 2020, all titles are very subject to change.

For historical reference, I’m including the films originally planned along with their rescheduled release dates, several have been pushed to 2021.

2020 Theater Releases
JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUNE
JUL | AUG

If you’d like to see a list of all movies released in 2020 click here (that post is being updated throughout the year).

All movie release dates unless otherwise indicated are for the United States, the release dates in other countries can/may/will vary.

August 2020 Movies

  • *Endless – FIRST LOOK – (August 14) – *Theater and premiere on VOD/PVOD
  • Unhinged – FIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from July 1 to July 31, move #2 to “August 2020 TBA”, move #3 to August 21, 2020)
  • Antebellum (August 21)
  • The Courier (August 28)
  • The New Mutants – FIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from April 13 to TBA, move #2 to August 28, 2020)
  • *Hard Kill – FIRST LOOK (August 28) – *Theater and premiere on VOD/PVOD
  • Spell (August 28) [LIMITED]

    STREAMING PREMIERE
  • An American Pickle – FIRST LOOK – (Aug 6) HBO Max
  • The Secret Garden – FIRST LOOK (moved up from August 14 to August 7 – premiere on streaming)
  • Boyz In The Wood – FIRST LOOK – (Aug 7) Amazon Prime Video
  • The Tax Collector (Aug 7) Applet TV+
  • Project Power (Aug 14) Netflix
  • Endless – FIRST LOOK (Aug 14) VOD / also in theaters
  • Boy’s State (Aug 14) Apple TV+
  • The One and Only Ivan (Aug 21) Disney+
  • Chemical Hearts (Aug 21) Amazon Prime Video
  • Hard Kill – FIRST LOOK – (Aug 28) VOD / also in theaters

    DELAYED/MOVED
    • The Empty ManFIRST LOOK (delayed, August 7 to December 4, 2020)
    • The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the RunFIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from May 22 to July 31, 2020, movie #2 to August 7, 2020, move #3 to 2021 VOD)
    • Let Him Go (delayed, move from August 21 to November 6)
    • Infinite (delayed from August 7, 2020 to May 28, 2021)
    • Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (delayed, move #1 February 2020, move #2 from April to August 7, 2020, move #3 to January 15, 2021)
    • TenetFIRST LOOK (delayed, July 17 to July 31, move #2 to August 12, move #3 to “TBA”, move #4 to September 4)
    • Bill & Ted Face The MusicFIRST LOOK (delayed, August 14 to September 1 theaters and VOD)
    • MulanFIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from March 27 to July 24, 2020, move #2 August 21, move #3 “TBA 2020”)
    • Wonder Woman 1984FIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from June 1 to Aug 24, 2020, move #2 to October 2)

The Empty Man
FIRST LOOK
(delayed, August 7 to December 4, 2020)

The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run
(delayed, moved from May 22 to July 31, 2020, movie #2 to August 7, 2020)

Let Him Go
(delayed, move from August 21 to November 6)

Infiite
(delayed from August 7, 2020 to May 28, 2021)

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway
(delayed, move #1 February 2020, move #2 from April to August 7, 2020, move #3 to January 15, 2021)

Tenet
FIRST LOOK
(delayed, move #1 July 17 to July 31, move #2 to August 12, 2020, move #3 to “TBA 2020”, move #4 to September 4, 2020)

Bill and Ted Face The Music
FIRST LOOK
(delayed, August 14 to September 1 theaters and VOD)

Mulan
FIRST LOOK
(delayed, move #1 March 27 to July 24, 2020, move #2 to August 21)

Wonder Woman 1984
FIRST LOOK

(delayed, moved from June 1 to Aug 24, 2020, move #2 to October 2)

Which of these movies, if any, are you looking forward to seeing?

Of the list of movies above delayed for theatrical release, I’m most interested in seeing are Wonder Woman 1984, Bill and Ted Face The Music and Tenet (for the second month in a row).

What are yours?

1 Movie COMING TO THEATERS in July 2020, 12 Rescheduled

With only one day left in June, we can’t delay this post any longer, waiting for more studio movie changes.

We’ve had enough studio movie changes in the past few months to last the next 5 years. Once theaters actually reopen this will start to calm down, but until they do, we can expect more of the same in the future.

(don’t say this!)

Leading this post with the box art of the only wide release movie in theaters left planned in July.

Such an apt title for how some folks are probably feeling around the world in these troubled times.

Let’s face it, July 2020 in movie theaters – how many will even reopen — is going to be an extremely unusual month. Possibly a month many of us will never see in our lives again. A month with only one wide release new movie — assuming that movie is not delayed, of course. A chance to see some great movies we may not have ever seen on the big screen before.

Yes, classic movies in large numbers returning at one time to the big screen!

If you’re wondering what other movies will be screening in theaters, if they are open, in July, see: Regal Cinemas Announces Classic Movie Screenings Starting July 10 (IF they reopen): Rocky, Jaws, The Empire Strikes Back, The Dark Knight, Jurassic Park and more

There were 12 more planned to be released as summer is a big time for movie theaters. We all know why this regular scheduling has been delayed.

For historical reference, I’m including the films originally planned along with their rescheduled release dates, several have been pushed to 2021.

2020 Theater Releases
JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUNE
JULY

If you’d like to see a list of all movies released in 2020 click here (that post is being updated throughout the year).

All movie release dates unless otherwise indicated are for the United States, the release dates in other countries may vary.

July 2020 Movies

  • Unhinged – FIRST LOOK (delayed, move #1 July 1 to July 31)

    STREAMING
  • Greyhound – FIRST LOOK – July 10 – AppleTV+

Previously scheduled to open in theaters in July 2020, but delayed

  • Free Guy (delayed, moved from July 3 to December 11, 2020)
  • Minions: The Rise of Gru (delayed, moved from July 3, 2020 to July 2, 2021)
  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife (delayed, moved from July 10, 2020 to March 5, 2021)
  • The Forever Purge Movie (delayed, moved from July 10 to “TBA”)
  • Bob’s Burgers: The Movie (delayed, moved from July 17, 2020 to April 9, 2021)
  • Jungle Cruise (delayed, moved from July 24, 2020 to July 31, 2021)
  • Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar [LIMITED] (delayed, moved from July 31, 2020 to July 16, 2021)
  • Rumble (delayed, moved from July 31, 2020 to January 29, 2021)
  • The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run (delayed, moved from May 22 to July 31, 2020, movie #2 to August 7, 2020)
  • MorbiusFIRST LOOK (delayed, moved from July 31, 2020 to March 19, 2021)
  • Tenet (delayed, move #1 July 17 to July 31, move #2 to August 12, 2020)
  • MulanFIRST LOOK (delayed, move #1 March 27 to July 24, 2020, move #2 to August 21)

Free Guy
(delayed, moved from July 3 to December 11, 2020)

Minions 2: The Rise of Gru
(delayed, moved from July 3, 2020 to July 2, 2021)

Ghostbusters: Afterlife
(delayed, moved from July 10, 2020 to March 5, 2021)

The Forever Purge Movie
(delayed, moved from July 10 to “TBA”)

No official trailer has been released as of this writing.

Bob’s Burgers: The Movie
(delayed, moved from July 17, 2020 to April 9, 2021)

No official trailer has been released as of this writing.

Jungle Cruise
(delayed, moved from July 24, 2020 to July 31, 2021)

Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar
(delayed, moved from July 31, 2020 to July 16, 2021)

No official trailer has been released as of this writing.

Rumble
(delayed, moved from July 31, 2020 to January 29, 2021)

The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run
(delayed, moved from May 22 to July 31, 2020, movie #2 to August 7, 2020)

Morbius
FIRST LOOK
(delayed, moved from July 31, 2020 to March 19, 2021)

Tenet
FIRST LOOK
(delayed, move #1 July 17 to July 31, move #2 to August 12, 2020)

Mulan
FIRST LOOK
(delayed, move #1 March 27 to July 24, 2020, move #2 to August 21)

Which of these movies, if any, are you looking forward to seeing?

Of the list of movies above, I’m most interested in seeing are Tenet, Ghostbusters 2: Afterlife, Morbius and The Forever Purge (those Purge movies have been fun). Planning to see them all whenever they make it to the theaters, but we all have our favorites. What are yours?

Independent Theaters Testing Virtual Screenings

Before you get super excited by the words “virtual theater” (like me), as some are billing it, the reality is it is essentially $12 VOD for movies that should be showing in independent theaters. If they weren’t closed.

The title to the theater shown above, “virtual screenings”, is more apt.

Though some “virtual theater” screenings began rolling out around March 20, the weekend of March 27 has the first full crop of movies available to watch, from slick noir to sardonic comedies to repertory titles from the 1970s to Oscar nominees. If you’re looking to see something new and exciting this weekend — and support independent theater at the same time — then here are 15 options available right now.

15 movies you can buy a “virtual ticket” to this weekend – Vox

The problem with this idea is it goes only part of the way. It’s not as virtual as even very dated tech currently currently allows.

What about an Oculus virtual reality app version of your theaters? Oculus/Facebook where are you right now? See: Watching Movies on Oculus Go

What these independent theater owners should be doing is personalizing the movie watching experience. How about scheduled watch-a-longs where a host has a chat during the virtual screening (see: 2nd Annual Halloween Mystery Movie Event Features 4 Shudder Movies)? Or maybe, the ability for a 3D virtual panoramic tour of your independent theater, choose your seat and then the movie plays, a la Second Life theaters.

Virtual Reality 3D Theaters emulate the social experience of the movie theater

The other part of this that is undesirable is the theater owners should already have been doing this. Waiting for the pandemic makes the “virtual screening” pitch seem — and probably is — desperate. If they were embracing virtual reality all along, including handicapped and disabled patrons who cannot as easily attend regular screenings, then this promotion of their virtual theater now would be more genuine and worthwhile. They would be supporting those moviegoers who wanted to come more often to their theater but weren’t as easily able to do so.

So, that’s why I think simply making movies available for VOD at $12 a rental and labeling them “virtual screening” just doesn’t go far enough.

I’m not a theater owner, but giving all of them this free advice: start investigating this tech and embracing it into your business ASAP. Make your patrons feel like the theater is still open, the lifeblood is there, the only thing missing are brand new wide release movies (and you should be plotting and planning to get those pictures screening — like Trolls World Tour that’s coming this Friday, yes, how about a Trolls World Tour viewing party?!).

Good business ideas are out there begging to be grabbed by the creative, the innovative, the wise. Those independent theater owners have a chance at surviving the pandemic.

The virtual playbook already exists. This might be one time where forced social distancing promotes virtual reality as an opportunity it’s never experienced before.

Virtual Screenings – what do YOU think?

Would/will you support your local independent theater through virtual screenings? Or do you, like me, think $12 (or so) VOD rentals, even when the theater gets to keep a meatier chunk of the ticket sale, isn’t quite enough in 2020?