News of the World

‘News of the World’ was one of the last movies to round out 2020, it’s an action/drama starring Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump), and Helena Zengel (System Crasher). A civil war veteran who makes his money travelling town to town reading the news, stumbles across a little girl who was kidnapped by a Kiowa tribe. With no family and no other choice he agrees to take her four hundred miles to her next of kin. There are plenty of dangers and obstacles that await them ahead.

So we all know that anything with Tom Hanks in it is going to be good, he’s one of the greatest actors to date. He hasn’t been in a bad movie, and he can play any role. So the real question is how good is this movie? There’s honestly not a whole lot of action in this movie, just a couple of scenes where on their journey things hit the fan but that’s about it. The rest relies on the story and character development, nothing wrong with that it’s just a bit of a slow burn. Big props to Zengel, she plays a young girl who is scarred from everything she has been through and doesn’t understand English, just Kiowa. For being so young, she’s a good actress and holds her own alongside Hanks. I’m sure, and I hope we see more of her in the future. Overall, I was hoping for more out of it, but it’s still a great movie. It reminds me of a Disney film, a feel good movie. I give it a 8/10.

The Virtuoso

‘The Virtuoso’ is 2021 Action Crime/Thriller starring Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs), Anson Mount (Hell on Wheels), Abbie Cornish (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), and David Morse (The Green Mile). A hitman (Mount) is hired for a job, but the only details he is given is a time and place with vague details of the hit. He must now figure out who he’s hired to kill before things go sideways.

This movie has pretty low scores across the board, including IMDb, which I’ve said it in other reviews IMDb typically lines up with my scores. I typically check the ratings before the movie just to see if I agree with it in the end, with an IMDb score of 4.5/10, I wasn’t expecting much, but the description sounded good so I figured I would give it a shot. The movie is set up a little different than most, Anson Mount doesn’t have much dialogue. Instead he narrates what’s going on throughout most of the movie, which is a bit different, but I personally love Anson Mount, so I got really excited when I saw he was starring in this. He’s the ultimate bad ass in ‘Hell on Wheels’ and his personality is similar in this. I read an article one time saying how Mount doesn’t like talking, so as ‘Hell on Wheels’ progressed he gave himself less and less lines. So him not having many lines in this, I find comical, it’s perfect for Mount.

Outside the narration, the movie is a bit cheesy with the action and what dialogue there is from the other characters. They try twists and turns to keep you guessing, kind of like ‘The Usual Suspects’, just not the same level of depth. My wife found the movie just okay, I personally liked it. I think a lot of it was just because of Anson Mount, and my excitement to see him outside of ‘Hell on Wheels’. So my review may be a bit on the biased side, if another actor played the hitman role, I probably wouldn’t have liked it as much. The cheesiest of the movie was probably Anthony Hopkins character, even said, the story is still pretty good, and has you thinking who’s who and what’s going on. For this movie, IMDb is low in my opinion. I give it a 7/10.

Concrete Cowboy

‘Concrete Cowboy’ is a 2021 Netflix original drama based off the book ‘Ghetto Cowboy’, it stars Idris Elba (Luther), Lorraine Toussaint (Orange is the New Black), Caleb McLaughlin (Stranger Things), Jharrel Jerome (Mr. Mercedes), and Method Man (How High). A troubled youth (McLaughlin) from Detroit is sent to live with his estranged dad in Philly, who is a black cowboy, living in a community of black cowboys. He soon learns to love his dad’s lifestyle, but starts to fall in with the wrong crowd in Philly. He now must choose which path to go down.

The cool thing about this movie is, it’s based on a true story. When you think of Philadelphia, you probably think of Freedom, Rocky, the Philadelphia Eagles, and cheese steaks. One thing you probably don’t think about is horses. Apparently there use to be several communities of black cowboys and horses, and one by one they got shut down, and developed over, until only one remained, the Fletcher Street Stables. This by itself makes the movie worth watching, plus they actually have a couple of the cowboys star in the movie, and you get to hear them talk about it in the credits. Really cool stuff, now let’s talk about the movie itself. McLaughlin is a great up and coming actor, it’s good to see him in stuff, and who doesn’t love Idris Elba? The man is awesome in everything he plays. So much in fact, he’s being casted as the next James Bond. They do a good job starring side by side in this film. Outside of them, Jerome plays a great job as the troubled friend, Smush, who has already ventured down the wrong path. Method Man plays a great part as well, as a cop, which I always find comical when a rapper plays some sort of legal job in a movie or show. It’s a heart touching movie, and isn’t a tear jerker like most dramas. I tend to not like the real sad movies. Overall it’s a must watch. I give it a 9/10.

Mortal Kombat (2021)

‘Mortal Kombat’ is a 2021 action movie starring Lewis Tan (Wu Assassians), Jessica McNamee (The Meg), Josh Lawson (Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues), Joe Taslim (Fast & Furious 6), Mehcad Brooks (True Blood), and Hiroyuki Sanada (The Wolverine). So we all know Mortal Kombat is based off the popular video game from the 90’s, and was made into a popular movie from 1995 that has had a cult like following. In this version, Earths greatest warriors, the one’s with the dragon mark, are being hunted by Outworld’s best warrior, Sub-Zero, in order to ensure Outworld wins the Mortal Kombat tournament. Earth’s greatest warriors must now team up and defeat Outworld, and Sub-zero before they’re all killed off.

There is a lot of hype surrounding this movie, I’ve seen memes, video clips, posts, etc.. all hyping this movie on social media. I think the majority of it, is just the nostalgia fact of the 90s. I remember when the 1995 version came out, I saw it when I was about 8 years old, then went around the house kicking and punching and twirling around, like I was next up to compete in the tournament and fight to the death. I’ll never forget that, It wasn’t a quality movie by any means, but we all watched it for the fight scenes. Honestly, it sums up this version as well, I wouldn’t describe it as a quality movie, but the fight scenes are awesome. They did a great job nailing the nostalgia, it has a 90s feel to it the entire film. From the music, to the writing on the opening scene, to the scenery itself. If I didn’t know it was made in 2021, I would have sworn it was a 90’s movie. The acting is good, and it is filled with funny part (mostly from Kanos), the fight scenes are awesome, but overall, the story is a little cheesy and it’s more or less the nostalgia that makes it. If it wasn’t for that, not much would separate it from a fighting/action movie you could find on cable TV. I went and saw it in theaters, if that’s not an option for you, you can watch it on HBO Max. I give it a 6.5/10.

His House

‘His House’ is a 2020 Netflix original horror/thriller starring Sope Dirisu (Gangs of London), Wunmi Mosaku (Luther), and Matt Smith (Doctor Who). A refugee couple leaves their war torn home of South Sudan by fleeing to England. They must go through the system and stay at a government chosen house until they are cleared by the English government and can become full citizens. Only something evil is lurking within the house, something that doesn’t want them there.

The trailer looked a little weird, but it has 100 percent rating on rotten tomatoes, which I typically don’t go off rotten tomatoes, their scores tend to not always be accurate. IMDB gives it a 6.5/10, which I typically go off of IMBD, their scores tend to align with mine, but I figured I would give it a shot. It starts off the bat with ‘Mother’ type feels, something weird is going on, you’re just not sure what. ‘Mother’ is extremely weird and is not a good movie whatsoever, so luckily ‘His House’ doesn’t follow that direction. It is actually a pretty deep movie, I wouldn’t describe it as a horror, but more of a psychological thriller. you see what’s going on with the witch in their house, but the movie is about what you don’t see, about their personal demons, about what they’re battling on the inside. Once you find out what exactly why the husband has his inner demons, it changes the whole movie. It’s pretty messed up. ‘His House’ genuinely surprised me, like I said it’s a pretty deep film. I give it a solid 9/10.

The White Tiger

‘ The White Tiger’ is 2021 Netflix original drama starring Adarsh Gourav (Die Trying), Rajkummar Rao (Newton), Vijay Maurya (Gully Boy), and Priyanka Chopra (Baywatch). A poor Indian man becomes a driver for a wealthy family, when he sees how the upper-class live he strives to break out of the rooster coop that is poverty and make something of himself.

‘ The White Tiger’ is up for an Oscar for best adapted screenplay in the 93rd Oscars, which happens to be this Sunday. So after Sunday it may be an Oscar winner, not just a nominee. The majority of Oscar nominated movies are really good, not all of them though. Some are just artsy terrible films that are nominated, that’s just how it is. So where does ‘White Tiger’ fall? Honestly, it’s a pretty good movie, it’s dark, it’s gritty, it’s a rag to riches story, and who doesn’t love a good rag to riches story? The accent’s are a little thick, which is okay, it does take place in India. Just be prepared to turn on the subtitles. It’s also a bit of a slow burn, the run time is a little over two hours, which it’s a great story, but not a lot of action. So you feel the full two hours at times. The biggest shock and awe of this movie is how they treat the driver (Gourav), you’re pretty much appalled at it the whole movie. Overall, it’s worth checking out. I give it a 7.5/10.

Willy’s Wonderland

‘Willy’s Wonderland’ is a 2021 horror movie staring Nicholas Cage (National Treasure), Emily Tosta (Party of Five), Beth Grant (Donnie Darko), Ric Reitz (Safe Haven), Caylee Cowan (Bad Detectives), and Terayle Hill (House of Payne).

A quiet loner’s car (Cage) breaks down in a tiny rural town. The mechanic only accepts cash to fix the car, which the loner naturally doesn’t have, to pay off the debt he agrees to spend the night and clean up Willy’s Wonderland (think Chuck E. Cheese), an abandoned family fun center. Little does he know the animatronic band comes to life to feast on human blood, and he’s just a sacrifice.

I’ve been waiting for this movie to come to Redbox, I was really excited when this was first released. It was 20 dollars to watch on streaming sites, I’m all for supporting movies, especially since the movie industry has taken a huge hit due to the pandemic. With that said though, Nicholas Cage has fallen out of the A list celeb group into the B list Category. I can’t think of any of his movies that haven’t gone straight to DVD in the past few years, so 20 dollars for a B horror movie staring Nicholas Cage is a little steep. Alright back to the movie.

So this is basically ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ turned into a movie, if you’re unfamiliar with ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ it is a horror survival game where you play as a night employee at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, a fictional family fun center. Like this movie, the animatronics come to life at night, and you must defend yourself. Someone is a fan of this game and ran with it, and turned it into a movie, just amped up. This is the type of movie, you’re either going to like it or hate it. It’s a weird concept, Nicholas cage doesn’t say a word the entire movie, legit not one word, and Caylee Cowan plays a dumb bimbo who looks like she came out of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’. Not to mention once the animatronics start attacking Nicholas Cage, they look like bad mascot outfits. So yes, it’s weird. Surprisingly though, I really liked this film. The thing that bugged me the most was Caylee Cowan’s character, it was pointless, but watching a silent Nicholas Cage fight possessed animatronics to death is pretty awesome. I could easily see this movie becoming a cult classic. It’s not a quality movie, it’s like ‘Killer Klowns from Outer Space’ it’s so terrible and looks so bad that it actually is good, and Killer Klowns is a cult classic. Like I said it’s a weird movie and not for everyone, but I enjoyed it, I give it a 7/10. B list Nick Cage did not disappoint me.

What Lies Below

‘What Lies Below’ is currently Netflix’s number 1 movie on the top ten. It’s a 2020 thriller starring Ema Horvath (Don’t Look Deeper), Trey Tucker (The Space Between Us), and Mena Suvari (American Beauty). A teenage girl (Horvath) returns home from summer camp, and finds out her mom (Suvari) is dating a new man (Tucker) who she intends on marrying. He seems perfect, almost too perfect to be human.

So the movie doesn’t have any big names in it, which is okay a lot of good movies don’t. This one starts out pretty cheesy though, so I knew we were in for a ride. The story is slow, very slow. It’s easy to guess what’s going on, and it’s just weird. This isn’t a very long review because there’s not a lot to say about it other than this movie, well sucks. I would suggest giving it a hard pass, I give it a 3/10.

Bad Trip

‘Bad Trip’ is a 2021 comedy starring Eric Andre (The Eric Andre Show), Lil Rel Howery (Uncle Drew), Tiffany Haddish (Uncle Drew), and Michaela Conlin (Bones). ‘Bad Trip’ is a mix of a scripted movie and hidden camera pranks, think of ‘Impractical Jokers the Movie’. Two best friends, Bud (Lil Rel), and Chris (Andre) steal Bud’s sister’s (Haddish) car to take a road trip to New York city so Chris can try to win over his high school crush (Conlin.)

So we’ve seen movies like this before where they mix a scripted story in with actual hidden camera pranks. Again think of ‘Impractical Jokers the Movie’ and ‘Borat’, ‘Borat’ is pretty much the first movie to do this and then the others followed suit. I personally would prefer them do one or the other, either make it a script or just hidden camera pranks kind of like ‘Jackass’ did, but I give ‘Bad Trip’ this, they make it work. There are several laugh out loud moments in this film where I found myself cracking up. I’m personally a big fan of Tiffany Haddish, and Lil Rel, they’re both hilarious. Especially when they work together like in ‘Uncle Drew’. As equally hilarious as this movie is, it’s vulgar and crude. Sexual scenes, vulgarity, drug use, nudity, you name it, it’s probably in this movie, but that’s Eric Andre’s sense of humor. I don’t always like it, but he is a funny dude. So if you get offended easily, this movie is not for you, I give it a 8/10 though. It’s currently streaming on Netflix.

Nobody

‘Nobody’ is a 2021 action/thriller by the same people that put out the ‘John Wick’ series. ‘Nobody’ stars Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad), Aleksey Serbryakov (Van Goghs), Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future), and RZA (The Man with the Iron Fists).

‘Nobody’ is about a retired “auditor” (Odenkirk), a man who is a last resort for the big three letter agencies, when they can’t solve a problem he’s sent in, and no one is left alive. He thinks he has finally put that life behind him when his house is broken into, one of the items stolen is his young daughter’s cat bracelet. He’s now hell bent at getting it back no matter what the cost, and he inadvertently gets the Russian mob after him.

So this movie is identical to ‘John Wick’, which we all knew it would be, it is brought to us by the same people who did ‘John Wick’. Just swap Keanu Reeves with Bob Odenkirk, and instead of Keanu killing a bunch of Russians over his dog, it’s Bob Odenkirk killing a bunch of Russians over his daughter’s cat bracelet. So long story short if you love ‘John Wick’ you’re going to love ‘Nobody’, but honestly I think it’s even better and I’ll tell you why. I love Bob Odenkirk, he is arguably the best character is ‘Breaking Bad’, and of course ‘Better Call Saul.’ So watching Saul Goodman kill a bunch of Russians is amazing, then throw Christopher Lloyd and RZA in the mix is truly incredible. Where are you going to get to see these three in an action movie killing a bunch of people? No where, that’s where. I give it a 10/10.