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.

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 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 starring 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 starring 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.

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.

BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM

‘BORAT: SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILMĀ ‘ is the sequel to ‘Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan’ or which everyone knows as ‘Borat’, I didn’t even know the first ‘Borat’ had that long of a title, I just knew it simply as ‘Borat’. It’s been fourteen years since the first ‘Borat’. This is a sequel I didn’t know was coming but, it was one we all needed. Other than staring Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat himself, we get introduced to Maria Bakalova, who plays Borat’s daughter Sandra Jessica Parker Sagdiyev. Borat 2 starts out as explaining where Borat has been the past 14 years, after returning back to Kazakhstan, his country is so ashamed of him for putting them in bad light that they send him to the Gulag. Kazakhstan now wants to get in America’s good grace by sending Borat back to America to bring Mike Pence a gift. Not any gift though, Kazakhstan’s top celebrity monkey. Sandra Jessica Parker Sagdiyev sneaks into the crate the monkey is stored in on it’s way to America. She eats the monkey in order to survive, so now with no monkey Borat must offer Mike Pence his daughter instead.

I could argue the two most influential movies of my generation are ‘Napoleon Dynamite’, and ‘Borat’, both came out when I was in high school, and like both, kids were walking around doing the voices and quoting the movie. Still to this day both are still quoted and the Borat voice is still a thing. So when Borat 2 came out, I had to watch it, and I was not alone. Opening weekend over 1.6 million houses tuned in to watch Borat 2, in the words of Borat I would say that was a “great success”. Like the first one Borat is crude and has a lot of wtf moments, but that’s just Borat. This one gets more political and takes a lot of jabs at the republican party, and one thing I do have to say is it is dirty how they tried to trap Rudy Giuliani. You have to see the scene to know what I’m talking about, he was laying back tucking his shirt in. It’s clear as day nothing more. Overall this movie is great, it’s hilarious, and major props to Sacha Baron Cohen on being able to still trick people in 2020 especially after his sky rocket to fame after the first Borat. I give it an 8/10.

The Owners

Since it’s Spooktober, I’m going to continue with the scary/horror movies, even though that’s the majority of what I watch anyway. ‘The Owners’ is a 2020 horror movie from England starring Maisie Williams (The New Mutants), Sylvester McCoy (Doctor Who), Rita Tushingham (Doctor Zhivago), and Andrew Ellis (Clink). Three friends decide to rob an elderly couples house, who are loaded, one of the friends girlfriends unwillingly gets involved when the elderly couple comes home earlier than expected. Things quickly go from bad to worse when the elderly couple decides to fight back.

There are several movies where robbers break in and it quickly goes wrong for them. For instance ‘Becky’, that I recently reviewed, or even the classic ‘Home Alone’ is the same presence. What separates ‘The Owners’ is the elderly couple turns out to be evil, and I mean evil. You’re cheering for the robbers to get away the whole time. This movie screws with your head, and has you glued to the TV wanting to find out what happens, and what exactly the elderly couple is hiding. I love horror movies that do this versus pointless gore and killing, a good horror film needs a strong plot behind it. The only downfall with ‘The Owners’ is it basically finishes up a hour in, then the last half hour feels dragged out, and it takes a weird turn towards the end. Overall it’s a solid horror movie and is worth checking out. The Plot is good, The acting is good, and it keeps you intrigued. You can check this one out at your local Redbox. I give it an 8/10.

The King of Staten Island

‘The King of Staten Island’ is a 2020 comedy/drama starring Pete Davidson, which it’s semi based off his life. It also stars Bel Powley (Wildling), Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny), Maude Apatow (Knocked Up), Bill Burr (F is for Family), and Steve Buscemi (Reservoir Dogs).

I’ll start of by saying Pete Davidson is a controversial guy, you either love him or hate him. I personally love him, he seems like such a down to earth guy, and I find his don’t give a crap humor hilarious. I first found out about Pete Davidson when Barstool Sports started making fun of him for having “Butthole eyes”, which Davidson addressed in his Netflix comedy special, it didn’t even phase him. Along side Davidson, ‘The King of Staten Island’ stars comedic powerhouse Bill Burr. Burr is on the raunchy side of comedy but is another hilarious comic, so naturally I figured this movie would be hilarious. It’s a bit on the long side it’s almost two and a half hours, and it’s different that what I was expecting. It’s not very funny, it has a few funny moments, but it is more on the drama side. Tomei, Davidson, and Burr really nail there roles, especially Davidson, you can’t help but love him and just want to give the guy a hug after this movie. It’s a must see this summer, I give it a 8/10.

Fantasy Island

‘Fantasy Island’ is a 2020 horror/mystery movie based off of the 70’s show with the same name. Guests come to an island where their biggest fantasy comes true, no matter how impossible it may be. Once the fantasy starts it must play out till the end, no matter how deadly it may be. ‘Fantasy Island’ stars Michael Pena (Jexi, Ant-Man), Maggie Q (Designated Survivor), Lucy Hale (Truth or Dare), Austin Stowell (Catch-22), Portia Doubleday (Carrie), Jimmy Ouyang (Crazy Rich Asians), Ryan Hansen (Veronica Mars), Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy), and Charlotte McKinney (Baywatch).

‘Fantasy Island’ is produced by Blumhouse, which they’ve put out some pretty good movies in the past such as ‘Get Out’, ‘Glass’, ‘Happy Death Day’, and many others, so I was pretty excited about this one. The reviews on IMDb, and Rotten Tomatoes are pretty low though, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. ‘Fantasy Island’ surpassed my expectations. I’ve said in other reviews I don’t like to give spoilers, I hate when it happens to me, so I don’t do it. With that said, all I can say it is full of twists. Just when you think you have it figured out, it hits you with another one. It has the same feel as the movie ‘Escape Room’. It even teases at the end that there may be a second one. Honestly it’s a great movie. I give it a 8/10.

Triple Frontier

‘Triple Frontier’ is a 2019 Netflix original. I say it every time, Netflix always kills it with their original movies, unlike most of the other movies they stream. ‘Triple Frontier’ isn’t any different. ‘Triple Frontier’ is about a group of special force operatives who are brought back together by one of their members, when he decides to take down a drug king pin and keep his 250 million hiding in his jungle fortress. Problem is, it’s easy taking the 250 million, but it’s much harder making it out of the jungle with it.

‘Triple Frontier’ has a good cast starring Ben Afflek (The Way Back), Oscar Issac (Ex Machina), Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy), Garrett Hedlund (Dirt Music), Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian), and Adria Arjona (6 Underground).

I love seeing Ben Afflek getting back into more roles. He’s a great actor, and his movies are normally always good. ‘Triple Frontier’ is a non stop adrenaline rush from start to finish. When you don’t think anything else can go wrong, it does. ‘Triple Frontier’ is a must watch, I give it a 8/10.