Alone

‘Alone’ is a 2020 horror/thriller staring Jules Wilcox (Bloodline), Marc Menchaca (The Outsider), and Anthony Heald (The Silence of the Lambs). Jessica (Wilcox) is recently windowed, she packs up and leaves the city to start anew. While traveling she is followed by a man (Menchaca) who ultimately abducts her and keeps her captive in a remote cabin. She must find a way to escape, her very survival depends on it.

This is a cat and mouse movie at it’s best. Think of ‘Unhinged’ and ‘What Keeps You Alive’, both are great cat and mouse movies with a demented villain, mix them together and you get ‘Alone’. A psychopath is following her on the road (‘Unhinged’), once abducted she manages to escape and is fighting for survival in the woods (‘What Keeps You Alive’). Wilcox and Menchaca both play great roles, if you look up creeper in the dictionary I’m pretty sure you would see Menchaca’s character. Thick rimmed square glasses, a mustache, and the creepy gaze. It gives you the willies just looking at him. I don’t believe in spoilers so I’ll leave it at this, the ending is great. You can currently check this one out in Redbox, I give it a 7/10.

Love and Monsters

‘Love and Monsters’ is a 2020 adventure monster film staring Dylan O’Brien (Teen Wolf), Jessica Henwick (The Defenders), Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy), and Ariana Greenblatt (Avengers: Infinity War).

The world has been hit with an asteroid causing bugs and other creatures to mutate several times their size to monstrous size. 90 percent of the human population has been wiped out within a year and, the survivors have been forced to live underground in colonies. Joel (O’Brien) decides to go to the surface and travel 85 miles (7 days) to his girlfriends colony, who he hasn’t seen in seven years. The hard part isn’t the 85 mile trek but surviving the monster infested surface.

Think of ‘Daybreak’, ‘Zombieland’, and ‘Warm Bodies’ all mixed together. It’s the end of the world (essentially), and a kid is doing whatever it takes to find his girlfriend (take ‘Daybreak’). He has a list of rules to survival (‘Zombieland’), and it has the same sense of humor as ‘Warm Bodies.’ Honestly I was surprised at how good this movie is. The monsters look a little cheesy, but that’s the only downfall. It’s fresh, funny, and a light hearted post apocalyptic movie. Plus the main character teams up with a furry four legged friend, and who wouldn’t like that? You can currently find it in Redbox, I give it a 7.5

The Croods: A New Age

First post of 2021, hopefully things will slowly get back to normal, and a big thank you to my readers. So lets kick it off with a review of ‘The Croods: A New Age’, a 2020 sequel to the 2013 film ‘The Croods’. Just like the first, this one brings an all-star cast staring Nicholas Cage (National Treasure), Emma Stone (Zombieland), Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool), Catherine Keener (The 40-Year-Old Virgin), Cloris Leachman (Young Frankenstein), Clark Duke (Kick-Ass), Leslie Mann (Knocked Up), and Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones).

‘The Croods: A New Age’ does a great job of picking up where the last one left off. Guy and the Croods are still in search for the land of tomorrow, which they believe they found at last, but is inhabited with a family named the Betterman’s. The Betterman’s are a family that is superior and more sophisticated than cavemen. The Croods and the Betterman’s may have more in common than what they realize though.

It’s rare a sequel is as good or better than the first film. This one is better, it’s funnier, and has jokes both kids and the parents will both enjoy. I found myself laughing out loud more than once. There’s also more action in this one. Overall it’s a great movie, I give it a 8/10.

Soul

‘Soul’ is Disney and Pixar’s new movie that came to Disney + Christmas day. Now we all know Pixar movies are great, but just how great ‘Soul’ is, is the question. ‘Souls’ has a hard hitting cast staring Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained), Tina Fey (30 Rock), Graham Norton (So Graham Norton), Rachel House (Moana), Richard Ayoade (The Boxtrolls), and Angela Bassett (Friday).

‘Soul’ is about Joe (Foxx) a struggling musician and part time music teacher. He’s been trying to get his big break his entire life, when he finally does, he falls into a man hole and dies. He desperately tries to escape the afterlife and ends up mentoring an unborn soul named 22(Fey). When they escape to earth, 22 gets trapped in Joe’s body, and Joe gets trapped in a cat’s body.

I don’t know where Pixar gets their ideas from, every movie they do always has the most original concept, and they won’t put it out unless it’s going to be a hit. Now we all know going in that a Pixar movie is going to hit hard in the feels, it’s what they do. I have to say ‘Soul’ isn’t as sad as the majority of their films. However, It still delivers a heartfelt message, and puts a smile on your face. It makes you want to go out and smell the roses, it’s a cute original movie that the whole family will enjoy. I give it a 8/10.

Fatale

‘Fatale’ is a 2020 thriller/mystery that is currently in theaters. I’m fortunate to still be in an area where movies are still being shown in theaters. There isn’t a whole of them left open but there is a few, and I’ll continue to support them as long as I can. ‘Fatale’ has a strong cast staring Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby), Michael Ealy (The Intruder), Mike Colter ( Luke Cage), Damaris Lewis (BlacKkKlansman), and Tyrin Turner (Meet the Blacks). ‘Fatale’ is about a married man (Ealy) who has a one night stand/affair with a police officer (Swank) while in Vegas. When he returns back home, to his already rocky marriage, his and his wife’s house gets broken into. The detective assigned to his case happens to be the same woman he had an affair with, and she is about to make his life a whole lot worse for him.

The trailer is a little misleading, it makes it appear as if Swank is responsible for all his problems. While she is insane, and the cause for a lot of it, she’s not the cause of all of it. The movie is a little predictable, and easy to guess the twist right off the bat, but it’s a good movie. Everyone plays a good part, Hilary Swank is a great actress who nails the psycho role. It’s non stop action and makes for an entertaining movie overall. I give it a 7/10.

A Recipe for Seduction

This is arguably the most anticipated movie of 2020. Is it the one we asked for, or the one we expected? well no. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, KFC and Lifetime paired up to make a movie. Yes, you read that right, KFC made a romantic movie. In their defense it is only a mini movie that runs 16 minutes. Why they would make this, or anyone would agree to making this, is anyone’s guess.

‘A Recipe for Seduction’ stars Mario Lopez (Saved by the Bell), Justene Alpert (Bosh), Tessa Munro (The Adventures of Craig’s List), and Chad Doreck (iCarly). A young heiress struggles (Alpert) between picking between a rich suitor (Doreck), and the new house chef (Lopez). Besides the chef’s good looks he’s also bringing 11 herbs and spices to the table.

There’s a lot to unpack here. Lifetime is already known for their cheesy movies, but now they’re teaming up with KFC? It’s all a glorified stunt to bring views to KFC, and guess what? It worked, I’m writing a review about it, and the internet is obsessed with it. Is the movie good? No, it’s a train wreck. It’s the soap opera you see in the trailer. I give KFC props though, it gets us all talking about them. For that alone I give it a 5/10.

A California Christmas

‘A California Christmas’ is a Netflix original and is currently sitting at number 1 on their top ten, which is to be expected since it is Christmas time after all. Forewarning though, this movie has nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas other than taking place around Christmas time. It has one Christmas song which is right before the credits, so if you’re looking for a Christmas movie, look somewhere else. This is your basic romantic Hallmark channel movie. It stars Lauren Swickard (Room for Murder), Josh Swickard (Roped), Ali Afshar (American Wrestler: The Wizard), David Del Rio (Pitch Perfect), and Amanda Detmer (Final Destination). ‘A California Christmas’ is about a playboy who lives a fast and carefree lifestyle, his mom threatens to cut him off unless he can get a ranch to sell their land to her company. He poses as ranch hand to try and persuade them to sell, but quickly falls in love instead.

After watching the trailer, I didn’t have a high bar for this movie, like I mentioned earlier it just appeared to be a cheesy Hallmark movie, but being Christmas time, I figured I would give it a shot. First off the main love interests are husband and wife in real life, which is pretty cool. You can actually imagine them on a ranch somewhere spending their life together. Even though it’s not a Christmas movie, this movie surprised me. It’s actually really good. The casting is great, and you find yourself actually invested in it, and rooting for them. David Del Rio plays a great part as the comic relief. If you’re looking for a good romantic movie, I recommend this one, I give it a 8/10.

Godmothered

‘Godmothered’ is a 2020 Disney Christmas comedy staring Jillian Bell (Workaholics), Jane Curtain (3rd Rock from the Sun), Stephnie Weir (MADtv), Mary Elizabeth Ellis (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Santiago Cabrera (Transformers: The Last Knight), and Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers).

‘Godmothered’ follows the story of a fairy god mother in training (Bell) who is determined to save fairy god mothers everywhere by bringing back happily ever after to humanity once again. (Bell) finds a note from a kid wishing to find her one true love, she must now travel to earth to fulfill the girls wish. One problem though, the kid is now a grown adult with two kids who is also cynical in the love department.

The story takes place at Christmas time, but that’s about it. Other than that it has no elements of Christmas, so I wouldn’t really call it a Christmas movie. Jillian Bell plays a ditzy blonde, which she does in most of her roles. Take workaholics for instance, same role, she’s just a fair god mother in this one. Which speaking of Workaholics first Disney casts Adam Devine in a new original movie, and now Jillian Bell. Definitely interesting choices from Disney, I find both hilarious, but their comedy is pretty adult. Back to the movie at hand, other than having nothing to do with Christmas, it’s hard to get invested in the characters. They say Mackenzie’s (Fisher) husband died, and she doesn’t believe in love, and that’s about it. It doesn’t go anymore in depth than that. It focus’s on Eleanor’s (Bell) incompetence, which has it’s funny parts, but it doesn’t give the story any substance. It’s cute and it’s an okay watch, but overall it’s forgettable. You can check this one out on Disney +, I give it a 5.5/10

Uncle Frank

‘Uncle Frank’ is a 2020 Amazon prime original drama/comedy. It has a stellar cast staring Paul Bettany (A Beautiful Mind), Sophia Lillis (IT), Peter Macdissi (The Losers), Steve Zahn (Saving Silverman), Judy Greer (Ant-Man), Margo Martindale (Sneaky Pete), and Stephen Root (Office Space). ‘Uncle Frank’ follows the story of Frank (Bettany), and his 18 year old niece Beth (Lillis). Frank is an English professor at a University in New York City and his niece is a new student there. She’s always looked up to, and admired her Uncle, but there is parts of his life he’s kept hidden from his family. Once Frank’s father and Beth’s grandfather dies, they must travel to their small, redneck, town for his funeral. Frank must find a way to come out of the closet to his close minded family while struggling with his alcoholism.

The trailer I saw didn’t really give much info on what it was about, so I went into it blind. This is a pretty heavy movie, it takes place in 1973 when the world wasn’t as open to the gay community, and unfortunately they were heavily persecuted. This movie only scratches the surface on what the gay community has had to endure, but it does a good job at it. It’s a great story about love and acceptance. Paul Bettany is a great actor and should be a house hold name, every role he plays he is incredible in. ‘Wimbledon’, ‘A Beautiful Mind’, ‘A Knights Tale’, etc… Sophia Lillis is a great up and coming actress and plays a great part beside Bettany. This movie is worth seeing, I score it a 8.5/10.

Freaky

‘Freaky’ is a 2020 horror/comedy from Blumhouse staring Vince Vaughn (Wedding Crashers), Kathryn Newton (Blockers), Celeste O’ Connor (Wetlands), Misha Oserovich (The Goldfinch), and Uriah Shelton (Lifted).

‘Freaky’ is slasher horror film that is about a serial killer (Vaughn), he finds Millie (Newton), a teenage girl, sitting by herself, waiting for her ride after a football game. He chases her down and stabs her, something freaky happens and they end up switching bodies. Now Millie has 24 hours to stab the killer with the same knife, or they will permanently be stuck in each others bodies.

When I first saw this trailer it reminded me of ‘Happy Death Day’ mixed with ‘Freaky Friday’, which makes sense because Blumhouse also put out ‘Happy Death Day’. However, after watching it, it’s more like ‘Freaky Friday’ mixed with ‘Friday the 13th’. You have this big, masked, killer stalking his victims, then he switches bodies with a teenage girl. I like the fresh take on the slasher movie. It has a good story line, and Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton really nail their roles when they “switch” bodies. Vince Vaughn channels his inner David Rose, and you can see him run around acting like a teenage girl, and who doesn’t want to see that? This is a must see, I give it a 7/10.