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.

Seaspiracy

‘Seaspiracy’ is a 2021 Netflix original documentary looking at the environmental impact from the fishing industry. It is made by, and stars Ali Tabrizi, a British film maker.

This is a very heavy movie, it almost made me sick to my stomach. Forewarning, parts of this film are hard to watch. The stats dropped over and over throughout the movie is mind boggling. There’s too many named to even list, and I’m not even going to try but two that stuck out to me is 1. 11,000 to 30,000 sharks are killed every hour fishing and if the sharks and whales die out we will too, 80 percent of life on this planet is in our oceans. Without realizing it, we depend on whales and sharks. 2. We keep hearing about plastics filling our oceans, plastic straws are bad right? Let’s use paper straws, plastic straws kill sea life. Well we’ve been mislead, plastic straws only make 0.03 percent of plastic pollution while fishing nets make up 47 percent of plastic pollution. Plastic straws aren’t the issue here, it would be equivalent to banning toothpicks in order to help protect the Amazon. So why aren’t we hearing about any of this? Where are the environmental groups? Where is the outrage?

This is a film I feel everyone needs to watch, if it doesn’t have you ready to run through a wall and help our oceans, I don’t know what will. For the importance of this movie alone, I give it a 10/10.

Crisis

‘Crisis’ is a 2021 drama/thriller focusing on the opioid epidemic. It tells three different stories, a once struggling addict who just lost her teenage son in a murder made to look like an overdose, a undercover cop trying to take down a big player in the opioid game, and a professor who is doing research for big pharma who comes up with some results they don’t favor.

‘Crisis’ stars Gary Oldman (Bram Stroker’s Dracula), Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger), Evangeline Lilly (Ant-Man), Greg Kinnear (Little Miss Sunshine), Indira Varma (Luther), and Guy Nadon (Vice Cache)

The drug that is used in this film is a fake drug, but it doesn’t change the fact how serious of an issue opioid abuse is, and this movie hits that mark. The professor’s university tries to have him bought off and suppress his results in favor for big pharma, since the company is a big donor to the university. Sad thing is, that is exactly what would happen in that situation. It’s a gripping movie, the story is good and so is the acting. I found this little gem in Redbox, I give it a 8/10.

The Last Blockbuster

‘The Last Blockbuster’ is a 2021 documentary about you guessed it, the last Blockbuster. Interestingly enough there is one lone store surviving in Bend Oregon. This movie not only takes a look at this store but also the rise and fall of Blockbuster, the giant, in fact ruler, in the video rental world to just one lonely store. It also features a handful of celebrities who talk about their experiences with Blockbuster. Some are just cinephiles, while others, interestingly enough, got their start by working at Blockbuster. It features Kevin Smith (Clerks), Brian Posehn (Just Shoot Me!), Doug Benson (Super High Me), Paul Scheer (Fresh Off the Boat), Samm Levine (Freaks and Geeks), Jamie Kennedy (Malibu’s Most Wanted), and Ron Funches (Trolls).

Everyone can remember the nostalgia of Blockbuster, the yellow and blue of the store, the way it looked, it’s still a picture in your mind. I honestly wasn’t a big Blockbuster fan, even though I can still remember all these things, I personally thought they were expensive. There was a ma and pa video rental store in my town called Pick-a-Flick that was more reasonable, and more of a homey feel to it. That’s what I personally think about when I think of video rental stores, not Blockbuster. Blockbuster is the stake that drove into the heart of little ma and pa video stores, and essentially wiped them all off the face of this earth. With that aside, it’s a pretty interesting film and is interesting to hear the celebrities talk about their experience with Blockbuster, and as a movie lover I can appreciate that. It’s just a little long, the run time is an hour and half, but there is only so much that can be said about Blockbuster. If they cut out about 30 min. it would be very good, as it stands, it drags some. It’s also interesting that Netflix is streaming this documentary. Netflix offered to sell their company to Blockbuster, when Blockbuster was in their height, and Netflix was still fairly new. As the story goes Blockbuster laughed Netflix right out of the room, and now look who’s laughing. It’s little bit of a jab from Netflix in streaming it. As I said it’s an interesting watch, it just drags a bit. I give it a 6/10.

Half Brothers

‘Half Brothers’ is a 2020 comedy that just came to DVD earlier this month, it stars Luis Gerardo Mendez (Charlie’s Angels), Connor Del Rio (This Isn’t Working), and Juan Pablo Espinosa (Narcos). A staunchly Mexican aviation executive finds out he has a half brother in America, from his dad who he hasn’t seen since he was a young boy. The two go on a road trip together to find out the story of their recently deceased dad.

I remember when this movie was in theaters, it looked hilarious. Unfortunately, it didn’t stay in theaters long in my area, so I checked it out from Redbox last week. This movie is mismarketed, it’s marketed as a comedy, but it’s more of a drama. All the funny parts are in the trailer and that’s about it, the rest of the movie tries to tug at your heart strings. It’s a good story and the acting is good, it’s just different than what it portrays. The whole movie revolves, and explains why the dad never returns to Mexico to his family, after starting another family in America. Even with everything it explains, I still think he could have returned to Mexico, but then we wouldn’t a movie now would we. I give it a 6/10, not a bad movie, but not the comedy that was expected.

Yes Day

‘Yes Day’ is Netflix’s new 2021 family comedy starring Jennifer Garner (Peppermint), Edgar Ramirez (Gold), Jenna Ortega (You), Julian Lerner (Leo the Lionhearted), and Everly Carganilla. A mom (Garner), and dad (Ramirez) give their kids a yes day, where they can’t say no, but yes to all the kids requests, with a few ground rules of course.

So the plot sounds identical to Jim Carrey’s movie ‘Yes Man’ where he decides to say yes to everything and give up saying no. This is just the watered down family version. The trailer looks pretty good, and I like the concept, but the movie doesn’t deliver. It’s one of those where all the best parts are in trailer, and not too funny past that. It’s a good family movie that your kids will probably enjoy, but just not a good stand alone movie. Fun fact though, Jennifer Garner actually has yes days with her kids in real life, which is pretty cool, and would be a cool thing to try. The movie though, I give it a 5.5/10.

Wrong Turn (2021)

‘Wrong Turn’ is a 2021 horror/thriller starring Charlotte Vega (The Misfits Club), Adain Bradley (Riverdale), Bill Sage (American Psycho), Daisy Head (Underworld: Blood Wars), and Matthew Modine (Stranger Things). A group of young friends hike the Appalachian trail. While in a small redneck town, that part of it runs through, they stray off the designated trail. They end up getting lost and end up running into a primitive colony that was setup before the civil war to divide themselves from America and the direction it was headed. The colony has the woods booby trapped. If they survive the booby traps, the colony uses deadly force to get them out of their woods.

I didn’t even know they were making a new ‘Wrong Turn’ movie, I never saw a trailer or anything about it. I first heard about it a few weeks ago when I was looking at what movies were in theaters. I saw this was playing, figured it was worth seeing, I liked the original 2003 film, but when I went to purchase the tickets they were sixteen dollars apiece, which is weird considering in my area, tickets are about nine dollars apiece. It also only stayed in theaters in my area for like two days, so maybe that’s why the prices were almost double, so I gave it a pass, and checked it out on Redbox. This one has a two hour run time, think of the horror movie ‘The Empty Man’, that also had a 2 hour run time. Like I said in ‘The Empty Man’, two hours for a horror movie is way too long. Even if it’s really scary, you’re eventually going to get bored with the story being that long. Horror movies just aren’t made to be that long, it’s not in their formula. So it already has that going against it, then it’s just weird. The movie goes in one direction, and then goes in a different one. They’re not only hunting the kids, but then they make one their bride and then it has kind of a fantasy type feel to it. I think it could be really good, if they cut out about 30 mins, and got some better actors. The actors and actresses aren’t bad but a little cheesy in parts. Overall it’s an okay film, I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it, but if it was on I’d probably watch it. I give it a 5.5/10.