Vacation Friends

‘Vacation Friends’ is a 2021 Hulu exclusive comedy starring John Cena (The Suicide Squad), Lil Rel Howery (Uncle Drew), Yvonne Orji (Insecure), Meredith Hagner (Search Party), and Robert Wisdom (Ray).

A straight laced couple (Howery, Orji) befriend a wild couple (Cena, Hagner) while vacationing in mexico. After a wild week of partying full of drugs and drinking, the straight laced couple thinks they’ll never see the wild couple again. Until the wild couple shows up announced to their wedding, and chaos seems to follow at every turn.

As I’ve said in previous reviews, I love John Cena, and Lil Rel. They are two of the funniest actors right now. ‘Uncle Drew’, and ‘Blockers’ are both hilarious, so I had high hopes watching this one. Maybe my hopes were too high, because this one is under whelming. The comedy seemed forced, and really wasn’t that funny. I hate to say it because I was really looking forward to this one, but it’s just okay and ultimately forgettable. I give it a 5/10.

Candyman (2021)

‘Candyman’ is the sequel/remake of the 90’s classic horror film ‘Candyman’. This one stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Black Mirror), Teyonah Parris (The Photograph), and Michael Hargrove (The Express)

An Artist who is trying to find inspiration for his upcoming show finds out about the legend of Candyman. He investigates further and unknowingly unleashes Candyman.

So first off It’s a Jordan Peele movie so you know there’s going to be racial undertones. Look at his other two horror films, ‘Get Out’, and ‘Us’. Tony Todd (the original candyman) makes a cameo appearance at the end of the film saying something along the lines of you think the ones I kill are innocent but they’re not. The only ones killed in the film are white people. Just some food for thought.

So it’s not really a remake but kind of is, it follows along the lines of the first one, with someone investigating the legend of Candyman and unwittingly brings him back. This one however, also references the first one and does a great job tying this story in. Honestly it’s better than the first, more action. Abdul-Mateen II does a great job of playing the Candyman role. They also bring Tony Todd in for a scene, you can’t have Candyman without Tony Todd. Candyman tends to get overlooked when you look at the big horror villains Michael Myers, Jason, Leather Face, and Freddy Krueger. Candyman deserves his spot among them, and Jordan Peele did a great job reviving this horror franchise. I look forward to more movies to come. I give it a 7/10.

Aftermath

‘Aftermath’ is a 2021 horror/drama starring Ashley Greene (Twilight), Shawn Ashmore (X-Men), and Sharif Atkins (The Open House). A young couple whose relationship is on the rocks, buys a nice home above their means trying to get a new start. Creepy, paranormal things start happening in the house which begins to put even more strain on their rocky realtionship.

Not a lot happens in this horror movie, it relies on creepiness factor more than jump scares. Then there’s a lot of fat in the film that could be cut out. Like for Instance the husband’s relationship with his study partner, it hints that he’s going to cheat since he doesn’t trust his wife for her cheating, but nothing ever comes of it. There’s really no point as why she is written in, it doesn’t add to the story. The acting overall is pretty cheesy, the one good thing about the movie is the twist ending. It’s a simple ending but it’s done well where you don’t see it coming. I give them that, you’re not going to be able to guess it. I just wished they focused more on the character involved in the ending, because he has no part in the movie till the end. So the ending isn’t as good as it could have been. Overall it’s a so so movie, there’s better but there’s also worse. I give it a 5.5/10.

The Suicide Squad (2021)

‘The Suicide Squad’ is the second, or even the remake of the 2016 version ‘Suicide Squad’. This one is James Gunn’s version, it stars Margot Robbie (Suicide Squad), Idris Elba (Luther), John Cena (Blockers), Joel Kinnaman (Suicide Squad), Viola Davis (Suicide Squad), Daniela Melchior (Parque Mayer), David Dastmalchian (Prisoners), Sylvester Stallone (Rocky), and Pete Davidson (The King of Staten Island).

Just like the first Suicide Squad, a group of rag tag villains are brought together in order to save the world.

Two Reasons I wanted to see this movie, 1. James Gunn. James Gunn directed both Guardian of the Galaxy films, which both are amazing. 2. John Cena, John Cena is hilarious in everything he is in, Blocker’s is one of the funniest movies I’ve seen. So with these two involved it was a must see for me. This one is a mix between ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ and ‘Deadpool’, you have your rag team and comedic relief, mixed with gore and cursing. Not sure what I was expecting but not really this, I didn’t expect all the gore and swearing. Honestly it worked though, it was a perfect blend of action and comedy. Sylvester Stallone’s character and John Cena were hilarious. Forget the first film, that one is garbage, this is the true Suicide Squad. Like I said it’s hilarious, the characters mesh perfectly together, it’s full of action, it’s a great superhero movie. It hasn’t done well in theaters, and there’s talks that Margot Robbie is to blame, that they are looking to move on from her. Which is stupid because, Margot Robbie is awesome as Harley Quinn, she brings the character to life. Leave Margot alone, she’s not the issue. It’s probably the release to HBO Maxx, and the first one being garbage, why ticket sales have sucked. I do find it funny though, the DCU had to bring in a MCU director to put out a good movie, but hey whatever works. James Gunn and ‘The Suicide Squad’ lived up to their potential, I give it a 9/10.

The Paper Tigers

‘The Paper Tigers’ is a 2021 Action/Comedy starring Alain Uy (The Morning Show), Ron Yuan (Mulan), Mykel Shannon Jenkins (The Gods), and Matthew Page (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot).

Three martial art prodigies who are called the three tigers go their separate ways, only to be reunited years later when their sifu (master) is killed. They’re now middle aged, out of shape, and working regular jobs, they must come together to avenge their sifu’s death.

I don’t know any of the actors, and it appears to be low budget, but I figured I would watch it. This movie surprised me, it’s not a mediocre film by any means. The acting, and story is really good. It is filled with a perfect amount of action and comedy. It’s not your typical martial arts movie where it’s filled with non stop cheesiness, where they would come back middle aged and not miss a beat. This is not that film, they come back and they’re about as good as you think they would be after years of not training. You can’t help but cheering for the three tigers in this. I give it a 9/10.

Fear Street Part Three: 1666

‘Fear Street Part Three: 1666’ is the third and final installment of the 2021 horror Fear Street series on Netflix. It stars Kiana Madeira (Fear Street Part One: 1994), Ashley Zukerman (Manhattan), Gillian Jacobs (Fear Street Part Two: 1978), Olivia Scott Welch (Fear Street part One: 1994), Benjamin Flores Jr. (Fear Street Part One: 1994), and Darrell Britt- Gibson (Keanu).

In this one, we travel back to 1666 and see how Shadyside became cursed. Sarah Fier (The Witch) is blamed for brining the devil to Shady side due to her romantic relationship with Hannah Miller, but we find out it’s not The Witch who summoned the devil.

So they split the third one into two parts, the first half it’s back in time to 1666 to show how it all started , then the second half, we’re back to the first movie in order to end the curse. They did a good job tying that in because if it was all just 1666 it wouldn’t have been as good and left a lot of questions unanswered. My big complaint, like the second one, is the darkness, there’s a lot of outdoor scenes at night, and you can’t tell what’s going on. Again not sure why movies like to do this. With that being said they do a good job of tying everything together, and it’s a fun slasher horror movie. I give this one a 7/10. If you average all three parts it gives it just under a 7.5/10 as a whole, so worth checking this series out. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more Fear Street movies in the future, I at least hope so.

The Vault

‘The Vault’ is a 2021 action/heist movie starring Freddie Highmore (Bates Motel), Astrid Berges-Frisbey (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides), Sam Riley (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), Liam Cunningham (Clash of the Titans), Luis Tosar (Take My Eyes), and Axel Stein (More Ants in the Pants).

The top engineering student (Highmore) is recruited to help a team break into the Bank of Spain. The Vault is considered impenetrable, and he is the only one that may be able to come up with a solution.

This is an ‘Oceans Eleven’ mixed with ‘Mission Impossible’, they gather their perfect crew for an impossible job. Even though the concept isn’t new, this is a great film. I love Highmore, he’s a great actor, I loved him in ‘Bates Motel’. He plays the same type of character in this, minus the whole psycho aspect. The whole cast is great, and it’s written really well. It keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole the time, and small aspects that are written in end up playing major roles. Again great writing. You can check this one out on Netflix. I give it a 10/10.

Fear Street Part 2: 1978

‘Fear Street Part 2: 1978’ is the second instalment of the Fear Street horror series, it stars Sadie Sink (Stranger Things), Emily Rudd (Dynasty), Ryan Simpkins (A Single Man), McCabe Slye (Destroyer), Ted Sutherland (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), and Drew Scheid (Words on Bathroom Walls).

The year is 1978, it’s summer time at camp Nightwing, all is fun and games until the witch posses one of the camp consolers. Now it’s a fight for survival as an axe wielding maniac wrecks havoc in camp Nightwing.

This one picks up directly from where the first one left off, and answers questions that we had from the first one. Who is C. Berman, what is her relationship with Sherriff Goode, and what do they have to do with the witch? This one answers those questions, this one is their story. This one is great, it has all the feels of a 80’s slasher movie, Friday the 13th vibes, an axe wielding maniac is running around killing campers. How can it not be good right? The thing stopping this movie though is it’s dark scenes, a lot of the movie takes place at night or in a cave, so it’s really hard to tell what’s going on. I always hate when movies do that, what’s the point of adding dark scenes if you can’t tell what’s going on? Other than that it’s another solid movie, and it sets up for the third one ‘Fear Street Part 3: 1666’ where we get to see the witch’s story. I can’t wait to check it out, I give this one a 7/10.

Fear Street Part One 1994

‘Fear Street Part One 1994’ is Netflix’s newest horror movie series based off the ‘Fear Street’ books by R.L. Stine. ‘Fear Street Part One 1994’ is the first one in the trilogy, starring Kiana Madeira (Sacred Lies), Olivia Scott Welch (Modern Family), Benjamin Flores Jr. (Rim of the World), Julia Rehwald (Where’s Darren?), Fred Hechinger (News of the World), and Maya Hawke (Stranger Things).

A group of teenage friends from Shadyside, are hunted by a group of killers who are possessed by a witch that has been wreaking havoc on the town for three hundred years.

I’m a huge R.L. Stine fan, I grew up reading ‘Goosebumps’, ‘Fear Street’, ‘Ghosts of Fear Street’, and the ‘Goosebumps 2000’ series. I even still have the original 100 ‘Goosebumps” packed up, so when I saw Netflix was doing a ‘Fear Street’ adaption, I had to watch it. It’s not quite what I was expecting, this is pretty much your teen slasher flick but on steroids. Not one killer is after a group of teens but three are. It’s a little more graphic, and gory than what I would expect from a R.L. Stine adaptation, but it makes for a great slasher flick. A cool Easter egg too is in the beginning when they’re in the bookstore, the books shown are ‘Fear Street’ covers, just has a fake authors name on them. I’m looking forward to watching the next two, I give it a 8/10.

Army of the Dead

So I’m a little late watching this one, and getting a review out. ‘Army of the Dead’ was shortly released after Zach Snyder’s cut of ‘The Justice League’ was released to HBO Max, I didn’t watch it but it was met with very strong reviews. So needless to say, there was a lot of anticipation for this film. ‘Army of the Dead’ is Zach Snyder’s newest film, a 2021 action/thriller starring Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy), Ella Purnell (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children), Ana De La Reguera (The Forever Purge), Omari Hardwick (Power), Matthias Schweighofer (What a Man), and Nora Arnezeder (Zoo).

When Las Vegas is overran by zombies, a billionaire businessman hires a team to get into Vegas, break into a casino vault, and extract 200 million dollars.

Zach Snyder is coming off a huge win with ‘Justice League’, and my boy Bautista is in this, so I had to see it. The trailer it looks really good, non stop shoot em up style Zombie movie. However, this is a little different than what I was expecting. Not quite as much action as what I thought there would be, and the main issue for that is it’s run time. It’s a 2.5 hour movie, that is ridiculously long. The acting is good, the CGI is great, it’s just the run time. I feel the story changed directions three different times just to fill the run time. There could have easily been an hour cut out of this and it would have been a great film. The only thing that really saves this one is it’s ending. It has a great ending, that sets it up for a second one. I just hope if they do choose to do a second one they cut out all the fat and make it a strong movie in an 1.5 hour run time. You can currently catch this one on Netflix, I give it a 6/10.