End of the Road

“End of the Road” is a 2022 Netflix original thriller starring Queen Latifah (Set It Off), Ludacris (2 Fast 2 Furious), and Beau Bridges (My Name is Earl).

A mom, her brother, and two kids are moving to Texas after the passing of her husband to try to start a new life. While staying overnight in a seedy motel on their way to Texas, they hear a gunshot go off in the room beside theirs. When they rush over, they find a dead man and duffel bag full of money. The brother takes the duffel bag of money to give them a better life. Now they’re caught up in a dangerous game with a dangerous man who wants his money back.

I love Queen Latifah and Ludacris both, and the plot sounded pretty good. The acting’s good but it’s predictable. I called who “Mr. Cross” was early on in the film, and some off the scenes are laughable. Like for Instance where Queen Latifah has her hands zip tied together but still manages to beat up a group of white supremacists. Not very believable. It’s not a bad movie just not a thriller. I give 6/10.

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Intrusion

“The Intrusion” is a 2021 Netflix original thriller starring Frieda Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire), Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus), and Megan Elisabeth Kelly (Who Needs You).

A Woman (Pinto) and her husband (Marshall-Green) move to a small town into a house he designed for them. A break in occurs where her husband kills the intruders. She soon finds out the break in wasn’t random, and her husband isn’t who she thinks he is. He is hiding something dark and sinister.

The acting from Pinto and Marshall-Green is very good, both play great parts. The movie itself though is a little slow and predictable, I predicted early on what was going on when they made a reference to the pipes. It does have a few heart racing moments but overall, it is pretty slow for a thriller. I give it a 6/10.

The Invitation

“The Invitation” is a 2022 horror/thriller starring Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones), Thomas Doherty (Descendants 3), Stephanie Corneliussen (Mr. Robot), Alana Boden (I am Elizabeth Smart), and Sean Pertwee (Gotham).

A struggling artist from NY takes a DNA test and finds out she’s related to a wealthy family in England when her cousin from England contacts her and shows up. He invites her to a wedding in England and she accepts. The wedding is being held by an even wealthier family with a giant manor, the head of the household is around her age, single, and seems like the perfect gentleman. Although, he’s hiding a dark secret she’s soon about to find out.

I like a good vampire movie, but they’re hit or miss. This one has the aesthetics. 16th century style manor, England, suave characters. It’s set up to be great, where it lacks though is the first half is super boring. The second half is really good from the dinner scene on where she discovers they’re vampires. It’s just the lead up is so dull. If they had a better lead up it would be a high scoring movie, but where it is it just makes it okay to good. I give it a 6/10.

The Lost City

“The Lost City” is a 2022 RomCom/Adventure movie with a blockbuster cast starring Sandra Bullock (Bird Box), Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street), Daniel Radcliffe (Horns), Brad Pitt (Burn After Reading), Da’Vine Joy Randolph (Office Christmas Party), and Oscar Nunez (The Office).

A Romantic Adventure writer (Bullock) is captured by a billionaire (Radcliffe) who thinks she holds the secret to finding a treasure in the Lost City of D. Her cover model (Tatum) comes up with a plan to save her and prove to her that he’s more than just a pretty face.

I love the casting in this one, I’m a huge fan of Radcliffe, Tatum, and Pitt. All are hilarious and great actors. So, I had high hopes for this one, it looks hilarious in the trailer. Unfortunately, this one is a disappointment. It’s one of those movies where the majority of the funny parts are shown in the trailer, sure there’s a few funny spots here and there, but overall, it’s not that funny. I found myself bored a few times. It’s not due to the acting, everyone is solid, it just falls a little flat. Overall, I give it a 6/10.

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.

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.

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot

‘Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot’ is a 2018 biography/comedy starring Joaquin Phoenix (Joker), Jonah Hill (Superbad), Jack Black (Nacho Libre), and Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). This Biopic follows the true story of John Callahan (Phoenix) who struggles with alcoholism, he is involved in a drunk driving accident that leaves him paralyzed from the chest down and leaves him wheelchair bound. He joins AA and starts drawing cartoons and becomes an award winning cartoonist with a new outlook on life.

This has a great cast with Phoenix, Hill, and Black, but I was expecting a little more out of it. Phoenix plays an amazing role, as usual, but it’s a slow movie. It’s inspiring what Callahan overcomes and what he manages to become. Not a bad watch, good story just on the slow side. If you want to check it out, it’s currently on Amazon Prime, I give it a 6/10.

A Promising Young Woman

‘A Promising Young Woman’ is a 2020 crime/thriller starring Carey Mulligan (The Great Gatsby), Bo Burnham (The Big Sick), Alison Brie (GLOW), Chris Lowell (GLOW), and Max Greenfield (New Girl). A promising young woman (Mulligan) drops out of med school to take care of her childhood best friend when she is gang raped at a party and is forced to drop out of school when the school turns a blind eye to the event. She now swears vengeance on anyone and everyone involved in her friends rape, and also all bad men in general.

This is a pretty dark film, but an interesting, an original concept. Mulligan pretends to be drunk every night at a different club or bar, and leaves with a guy who volunteer’s to take her home. When the said guy doesn’t take her home but instead to his home and tries to take advantage of her, that’s when she strikes. It’s a real and scary topic that isn’t addressed enough, and kudos to ‘A Promising Young Woman’ on addressing it. It’s a topic that people do tend to turn a blind eye to and even shoot it down in a lot of situations when a woman does cry rape. The biggest problem I had with this film is Mulligan playing a 30 year old, she looks to be about 45 in this movie. I don’t know if they made her look older because everything that’s happened to her character or she really looks 45, but it was difficult to imagine her as a 30 year old. Also the movie is a little anticlimactic until the end of the movie, it does have a great ending, but other than that it just kind of floats a long. I give it a 6/10.

The Empty Man

‘The Empty Man’ is a 2020 horror movie starring James Badge Dale (The Kitchen), Stephen Root (Office Space), Sasha Frolova (Red Sparrow), and Marin Ireland ( Sneaky Pete). The Empty Man is a supernatural spirit that is basically manifested from bad thoughts. You summon the empty man by blowing into an empty bottle on a bridge. The first day you hear the empty man, the second day you see him, and the third he gets you. When a group of disappearances occur, a one time detective looks into it, only to find out he may have bitten off more than he can chew.

I went and saw this one on Halloween night and what’s a better way to spend Halloween than watching a scary movie. ‘The Empty Man’ is an interesting one, it really doesn’t fit the horror genre. It’s more of a crime/mystery movie with a splash of supernatural substance thrown into it, it reminds me a little of ‘The Grudge’. The story is great and the acting is solid, the problem is the run time. It’s just shy of being a two and a half hour movie, which is crazy for a movie labeled a horror film, I can’t think of another one with that run length. Even a really scary one, if it’s not a very solid story, it’ll lose peoples interest. This is what happens with ‘The Empty Man’, it’s a great story but not strong enough for the run time. If they trimmed the fat, it would be an amazing film, but it’s about 45 min or so too long. Because of that it’s a mixed film that makes you just kind of shrug and say ehh at the end. I give it a 6/10