A deadbeat gambler goes on a road trip with a stranger he considers a lucky charm. A great, unassuming little movie with more than a touch of realism that works well with road movie tropes and allows Mendelsohn, in particular, the space to shine. Hugely recommended.
Month: June 2019
The Happytime Murders (2018, dir. Brian Henson)
A puppet PI and his former partner team up to solve a series of murders. It nearly works, but the emphasis on gross-out humour instead of playing the Roger Rabbit-ish concept means that some good moments, decent playing and undoubted technical expertise all get lost.
Shaft (2019, dir. Tim Story)
A preppy junior FBI agent teams up with his estranged and unreconstructed PI father. Shaft 2019 is a scattershot culture-clash comedy, with action beats, a predictable plot, and a late nod to the 70s original trilogy. Tries to do everything, and ends up not meaning anything.
Incoming (2018, dir. Eric Zaragoza)
Escaped terrorists take over the ISS, now a CIA black site. High-concept low-budget prison escape movie with an SF twist. Unfortunately, despite Adkins’ professionalism and some ambition, this is a tatty effort that doesn’t even deliver in its fight sequences.
Happy Death Day 2U (2019, dir. Christopher Landon)
Tree finds out the reason for her time loop; but she’s trapped inside it again. Decent SF-tinged sequel to the Groundhog Day-aping original, this time with an expanded cast and a greater focus on humour throughout. No classic, but still fun and inventive enough to make Part 3 a welcome prospect.
Haunter (2013, dir. Vincenzo Natali)
A teenager finds she and her family are reliving the same day, and might be ghosts. Slight but effective supernatural yarn, held together by good performances and solid direction, though it yields few surprises.
Brightburn (2019, dir. David Yarovesky)
What if General Zod landed in Kansas instead of Kal-El? In a world of three hour epics, this super-antihero movie delivers a slim and well crafted piece of horror that asks that very question, and pleasantly, leaves you wanting more. Recommended. 🙂
The Nun (2018, dir. Corin Hardy)
A priest and a novice nun investigate an ancient evil linked to a convent. Daft sidequel to The Conjuring, following from a plot thread in the second movie. Good-looking in places, but po-faced and reliant on jumpscares over much in the way of narrative logic. For series completists only.
And here’s a second opinion from the 255Review crew.
Leprechaun Returns (2018, dir. Steven Kostanski)
The building of a remote sorority house disturbs an ancient evil. OK sequel that ties directly back to the first in the long-running series. Plenty of kills, some splattery gore, and a couple of reasonable gags, even if there’s little here for series newbies.
The Kid (2019, dir. Vincent D’Onofrio)
A brother and sister, on the run from their vengeful uncle, cross paths with both Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid. Deliberately-paced Western focusing on character playing, landscape, and on actorly performances as much as on its narrative approach to an oft-told bit of genre history.