Vampire’s Kiss

I’m going old school with this one, all the way back to 1989 to “Vampire’s Kiss”. I’m actually a little surprised I haven’t seen this one before. “Vampire’s Kiss” is a 1989 Dark Comedy starring Nicholas Cage (National Treasure), Maria Conchita Alonso (The Running Man), Jennifer Beals (The Book of Eli), and Elizabeth Ashley (Just Getting Started).

A publishing executive (Cage) is bitten by a bat in his apartment, who he believes is a vampire. He starts to experience erratic behavior and starts to spiral out of control. Unfortunately for his secretary, she becomes the object of his focus.

This is easily the most ridiculous movie I have ever seen, and the whole reason is because of Nicholas Cage. It’s also one of the funniest movies I have ever seen because of him too. His acting is so over the top it is insane. All the eye popping and erratic memes you have seen of him is from this film. His facial expressions and body language are enough to make you cry with laughter. Nicholas Cage is supposed to be pretty eccentric in real life, I imagine this is how he really is just walking around. This film is going to leave you asking more questions than what it gives answers for, but just because how ridiculous he is in this, it’s worth it. It’s easily a movie I could watch over and over. I give it a 10/10. You can currently catch it on Tubi.

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Violent Night

“Violent Night” is a 2022 Christmas dark comedy/ action film starring David Harbour (Stranger Things), John Leguizamo (The Menu), Alex Hassell (The Boys), Beverly D’ Angelo (National Lampoons Christmas Vacation), and Leah Brady (The Umbrella Academy).

Santa is down on his Christmas spirit, and he gets stuck at a house that’s being robbed by a team of mercenaries. One of the house’s occupants is a little girl who still believes in Santa and needs some Christmas spirit herself. Santa now must kill the mercenaries and save the little girl and her family while trying to find the spirit of Christmas.

As I stated in my last review, it’s the season for Christmas movies, and majority are cheesy and bad. This one looked like it could go that way, Santa in a John Wick style movie killing mercenaries. It is original, so the question is, how is it? Simple, amazing. They made it work. It’s a fast-paced violent ride while still maintaining a way to capture it as a Christmas movie. Where else are you going to watch Santa Clause killing bad guys in creative ways such as with a sharpened candy cane, sledgehammer, and woodchipper while Christmas Carols play. This one is going to go down as a Christmas Classic. Even with all the violence and bloodshed, you leave feeling the Christmas spirit. David Harbour plays an excellent Santa and embodies this role. I give it a 10/10.

Smile

“Smile” is a 2022 horror starring Sosie Bacon (13 Reasons Why), Kyle Gallner (Outsiders), and Kal Penn (Harold & Kumar go to White castle).

An ER therapist (Bacon) witnesses one of her patients kill themselves in a brutal fashion in front of her after the patient claimed she was being hunted/forced by a supernatural/demonic force. It creates a pattern, whoever witness the suicide will face the same fate a week later if not sooner. Now Dr. Rose Cotter (Bacon) must find a way to break the pattern before she faces the same fate while she slowly spirals into insanity.

This movie is insane. It takes a look at the fragility of the mind and mental illness while Sosie Bacon’s life starts to spiral out of control. She begins to not be able to decipher reality from nightmare. This movie is not predictable, it’s creepy, and it will have you leaving the theater saying holy crap, and probably a feeling of unease. There are very few movies that leave me mind blown, but this is one of them. Sosie Bacon plays an amazing role, and she deserves some sort of an award for it. This is a must watch for any horror fan, it will go down as the best horror film of 2022. I give it a 10/10.

Bullet Train

“Bullet Train” is a 2022 Action/Comedy starring Brad Pitt (Fight Club), Joey King (The Princess), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass), Brian Tyree Henry (Hotel Artemis), and Michael Shannon (The Iceman).

Hired killer and recently turned pacifist (Pitt) believes he is taking a simple snatch and grab job by taking a brief case on a bullet train. What he doesn’t know is there are five other assassins on the bullet train, and they all have more in common than he thinks. Now it’s a fight for survival in order to get off at a stop.

I was excited for this movie since I saw the first trailer for it. I love Brad Pitt, and it’s full of violence. Sounds perfect, this movie did not let me down. It is two hours of nonstop violence mixed in comedic relief from Pitt, and Henry. It gives off series “Kill Bill”/ Tarantino vibes mixed with “Seven Psychopaths”, it’s awesome. It is star studded and also filled with cameos from some big names as well. It will have you glued to your chair and rooting for Pitt to hopefully find his way off the bullet train. I give it a 10/10.

Escape from Pretoria

“Escape from Pretoria” is 2020 thriller/drama starring Daniel Radcliffe (The Lost City), Daniel Webber (The Dirt), and Mark Leonard Winter (Elvis).

“Escape from Pretoria” is based on the true story of two political prisoners who escape prison in South Africa in 1979.

If you’ve read my other reviews dealing with Daniel Radcliffe, you know that I’m a huge fan, and not because of the “Harry Potter” series, but because of his offbeat obscure movies he has done since then. He always nails the role; this one is no different. “Escape from Pretoria” is a powerful movie, that has you on the edge of your seat the entire time. Even though you know it’s a true story based on the prisoners escaping you can’t help but having your heart racing the entire time. It ranks up there with the other great prison escape films such as “Shawshank Redemption”, and “Escape from Alcatraz.” It is a must watch, and you can currently catch it on Hulu. I give it a 10/10.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

“Sonic the Hedgehog 2” is the 2022 sequel to the 2020 movie “Sonic the Hedgehog.” It brings back Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation), James Marsden (X-Men), Jim Carrey (The Mask), Tika Sumpter (Ride Along), and Natasha Rothwell (Archer) while adding Idris Elba (Luther), Colleen O’Shaughnessey (Danny Phantom), and Shemar Moore (Criminal Minds).

Sonic 2 picks up where the first one left off. Dr. Robotnik is on the mushroom planet trying to find a way back to earth. He manages to open up a portal allowing Knuckles to come through, Dr. Robotnik develops an idea to get back to earth and have Knuckles help him take care of Sonic once and for all. Meanwhile, Tails comes to earth to warn Sonic and help him stop Dr. Robotnik.

If you go back and look at my review on the first one (https://kingsblog.movie.blog/2020/05/09/sonic-the-hedgehog/) you’ll see, I was surprised at how good it was, so I was looking forward to the second one. This one actually surpasses the first. It’s a two-hour movie, but it doesn’t feel like it. They do a great job of finding the perfect blend of comedy and action that the whole family will love. The addition of Idris Elba as Knuckles is great, he reminds me of Drax from “Guardians of the Galaxy”, also Natasha Rothwell plays a very funny role in this one. They tease a third one in the post credits scene, so keep an eye out for it. You can watch the second one as a stand-alone film, but I suggest seeing the first if you haven’t. There are also several nods to the video game throughout the movie. They knocked this one out of the park, I give it a 10/10. It’s just a great lighthearted watch.

The Batman

“The Batman” is a 2022 superhero action/mystery movie about you guessed it Batman. It stars Robert Pattinson (Twilight), Zoe Kravitz (The Lego Batman Movie), Jeffery Wright (Shaft), Colin Farrell (The Gentlemen), Paul Dano (The Girl Next Door), and John Turturro (Barton Fink).

The Riddler (Dano) is wreaking havoc on Gotham and killing politicians who are corrupt. Batman (Pattinson) and Commissioner Gordon (Wright) must follow the clues and stop him before it’s too late. Along the way they meet Catwoman (Kravitz) who becomes an important ally.

A lot to unpack here, it’s a three-hour movie which is long for any movie. Marvel has proven to be able to pull it off with their movies, but can DC? The only good DC movies are the Batman movies, I’m not counting “Suicide Squad” because they brought in James Gunn, a Marvel director. Whatever the formula is, DC doesn’t have it, but if any movie of theirs can pull it off, it’s Batman. So yes, it’s long but they pull off the three hours. The second thing to unpack is Robert Pattinson. Most everyone associates him with Twilight and thinks/thought he’s a bad/weird pick for Batman, me included. I heard and read reviews calling Pattinson the best Batman yet, which I thought no way, that belongs to Christian Bale. After watching it though, I have to give Pattinson his props, he is the best Batman. He absolutely destroys this role, he’s not the best Bruce Wayne, however. Luckily, we only have to see him as Bruce Wayne, out of his Batman suit for like twenty minutes out of the full three hours, so that’s good. Third is the Riddler, what is up with his costume? At first, I thought it was awful, which it kind of is, but it fits for the movie and who the Riddler is.

With all that unpacked let’s talk about the movie as a whole. This is and may be the best Batman movie yet. It captures the true essence of Batman, an outcast himself just trying to make Gotham a better place. It also focuses on James Gordon, which the true stories of Gotham he’s every bit as important in Gotham as Batman is. With the other movies, they don’t touch on it enough. They also have Falcone and Maroni in this one, which follows the story line. If you’re a fan of the CW show “Gotham” it follows the same story line pretty closely, which is awesome. All in all, “The Batman” surprised me, it may be the best movie to come out this year. I give it a 10/10.

Nightmare Alley

Here we go, first review for 2022. Going to start it off right with “Nightmare Alley”. It’s a 2021 mystery from the mind of Guillermo Del Toro, it has a fantastic cast starring Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook), Cate Blanchett (The Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring), Toni Collette (The Sixth Sense), Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man), Richard Jenkins (Burn After Reading), Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Ron Perlman (Hellboy), and Holt McCallany (Mindhunter).

This film takes place is the 1930’s and early 1940’s and follows the story of Stanton Carlisle (Cooper), a man with a troubled past who joins up with the circus as a laborer. He works his way up in the circus and learns the ins and outs of a mentalist, and soon becomes the hottest act around. He’s playing the best clubs, and hotels around, doing two shows a day. He ends up getting greedy and biting off more than he can chew when a rich and powerful man hires his services to have him contact his dead wife. Playing with fire, Stanton starts believing his own con.

I’m a big fan of Del Toro, I love his directing style. A dark gothic type feel that relies heavily on visuals. Same thing could be said about this film, you see his style throughout. It’s a slow burn, a 2.5 hour movie, but it keeps you glued to the screen the entire time. Everyone plays a great role, especially Cooper. As he gets consumed by greed and the darkness inside him continues to grow, it will keep you guessing what is going to happen. Cooper deserves an Oscar for this role, start your new year out right by seeing this one. I give it a 10/10.

Spider-Man: No Way Home

“Spider-Man: No Way Home” (2021) is the newest installment in the Marvel Spider-Man series. This is easily the most hyped up Marvel movie since End Game and Infinity War, and is staying sold out everywhere. They bring out the big guns with this one starring Tom Holland (Spider-Man: Homecoming), Zendaya (Spider-Man: Homecoming), Jacob Batalon (Spider-Man: Homecoming), Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange), John Favreau (Iron Man), Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained), Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man), Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2), Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man), and Tobey Maguire (Spider-Man).

Like I said earlier, huge cast, and the biggest Spiderman to date. In case you didn’t know what it’s about, it picks up where the last one left off where everyone knows Spider-Man’s true identity. Peter Parker (Holland) turns to Doctor Strange (Cumberbatch) to come up with a spell to make everyone forget his identity, Peter won’t quit talking and messes up Doctor Strange’s spell, which accidentally rips a tear into reality and opens up the multiverse. Meaning it opens up different realities bringing the majority of the Spider-Man villains from all the Spider-Man movies into this one. Also allowing the two other Spider-Man’s (Garfield, and Maguire) to enter this one and help. Can the three of them save this universe and send the villains back to their own realities?

This is huge for Spider-Man and MCU fans, this is the biggest same movie crossover to date, and is opening doors for the other superhero movies to follow suit. So, like any Marvel movie I review it’s not a question of is it good but how good is it? As I’ve already mentioned, it’s huge for Spider-Man fans. It’s a little different than what I was thinking, but it’s still great. I was expecting a little more mayham than what was delievered, but the Nostalgia factor alone is worth seeing it. The entire theater started clapping when Garfield and Maguire entered the movie. It was really cool to see all the villains together and their respected superhero, and like I said it opens the door for the rest of the MCU and the multiverse, so be on the lookout for that. *cough Doctor Strange cough*. Plus, the big fight scene was pretty epic. I give it a 10/10.

There’s Someone Inside Your House

‘There’s Someone Inside Your House’ is a 2021 Netflix original horror starring Sydney Park (The Walking Dead), Theodore Pellerin (Genesis), Asjha Cooper (Everybody Wants Some!!), Dale Whibley (Ice), and Diego Josef (The Ballad of Lefty Brown).

There’s a masked killer going around and killing off teens all awhile exposing their darkest secrets.

This is your teen slasher style flick, it reminds me of a “Friday the 13th”, mixed with “I Know What You Did Last Summer”. You have your masked killer going around killing teens, mixed with knowing their darkest secrets. Horror movies are a hit or miss, there’s isn’t too many just okay ones. Either they’re great or they’re terrible. I have to admit, this one is really good. It has good characters that draw you in, and it does a really good job of keeping you guessing. Several times I thought I had the killer figured out, then changed my mind. This is a great slasher flick, and just in time for Halloween. I give it a 10/10.