No Man of God

“No Man of God” is a 2021 crime movie starring Elijah Wood (Lord of the Rings), Luke Kirby (A Dog’s Purpose), Aleksa Palladino (Boardwalk Empire), and Robert Patrick (The X-Files). This is based on the true story of FBI agent Bill Hagmaier (Wood), and infamous serial killer Ted Bundy (Kirby).

Bill Hagmaier was one of the first analysists whose job was to profile serial killers in hopes to better understand how killers think and to help create a profile. Hagmaier was the only one Bundy would talk to while in prison, this movie focuses on their interviews and relationship built over the last four years before Bundy was executed.

It’s a very slow burn, it’s basically Elijah Wood and Luke Kirby sitting in an interrogation room for an hour and forty minutes talking. So keep that in mind going in, if you’re looking for a movie with a lot of action in it, this is not it. I have to say this, Luke Kirby plays the best Bundy, I’ve seen. He has his look, mannerisms, speech, everything down. Almost to the point you forget he’s not the real Bundy. Even though there isn’t much action, it’s a great movie, and an interesting watch. I give it an 8/10.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ is a 2021 Action/Superhero movie, and is Marvel’s newest addition to the MCU. It stars Simu Liu (Kim’s Convenience), Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians), Tony Chiu-Wai Leung (The Grandmaster), Florian Munteanu (Creed II), and Ben Kingsley (The Dictator).

The ten rings are ten rings that whoever posses them will have god like powers and immortality. Shang-Chi’s dad has possessed the rings for the last couple thousand years. Now Shang-chi must face his past and try to stop his dad from using the rings for evil.

I’ve never heard of Shang-Chi, but that’s not really saying anything considering most of the super hero’s I know from Marvel all come from Marvel movies, and the MCU. Honestly, if I didn’t know it was a Marvel movie, I wouldn’t have been able to tell. It looks and feels just like a Kung-Fu movie, it has the use of natural elements such as leaves, and nature and has a ‘Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon feel to it. It’s packed full of action and has comedic relief from Awkwafina, and Kingsley. They do however do a tie in with ‘Dr. Strange’ which is pretty cool. So keep and eye out for Shang-Chi being with the Avengers in the future. Like all Marvel movies this one is good, just go in expecting more of a Kung-Fu style movie over their typical superhero movie. I give it an 8/10.

A Classic Horror Story

‘A Classic Horror Story’ is a 2021 Netflix original horror movie starring Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz (Rings), Alida Baldari Calabria (Pinocchio), and Francesco Russo (My Brilliant Friend).

A group of passengers sharing a ride in a RV crash and end up in the woods. Only thing around is an abandoned cabin, no matter how hard they try to find their way out of the woods they keep ending back up at the cabin, where something sinister awaits them.

This one reminds me of ‘Wrong Turn’, ‘Midsommar’, and ‘Welcome Home’ all rolled into one. It’s the classic story, a group gets lost in the woods, and start getting killed off (‘Wrong Turn’), then it turns into a weird festival type setting (‘Midsommar’), and finishes off with a ‘Welcome Home’ type vibe, I can’t go into that part without giving too much away, and I hate spoilers. This one is made in Italy so it’s dubbed over. The words don’t always match the mouths and it causes some of the acting to be off. That’s my biggest complaint with it, once there’s about twenty minutes left of the film, it is amazing. The ending is perfect, and makes the whole movie worth watching. I give it an 8/10.

Level 16

‘Level 16’ is a 2018 sci-fi/thriller starring Katie Douglas (Ginny & Georgia), Celina Martin (Izombie), Sara Canning ( The Vampire Diaries), and Peter Outerbridge (Lucky Number Slevin).

Several girls are at mysteries boarding school where you keep going up levels until you reach the final level, level 16. Once they reach level 16 they are ready to be adopted to their perfect families. Two girls realize something is horribly wrong, something very sinister, and they plan to escape.

‘Level 16’ is basically a mix between Stephen King’s ‘The Institute’ and ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’ It takes a little bit of time to figure out what is going on, but you can figure out an idea what’s going on. They do a good job of keeping you guessing up till that point, and it’s a good watch. You can currently find it on Netflix, I give it a 8/10.

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.

A Quiet Place Part II

‘A Quiet Place Part II’ is the sequel to 2018 Sci-Fi/Horror movie ‘A Quiet Place’. It brings back the original cast of Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada), Noah Jupe (Honey Boy), Millicent Simmonds (Wonderstruck), and John Krasinski (The Office). While adding heavy hitters Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders), and Djimon Hounsou (Guardians of the Galaxy).

The Abbot Family must face a new challenge by leaving their home. They run into an old family friend (Murphy) who helps the family as they look for a utopia in order to survive.

So the first one is extremely good, so the question is how good is this one. It starts out as a little bit of a prequel as it shows the day they aliens arrived, after that it jumps into the sequel and picks back up where the first one left off. So Krasinski is only in it for about ten minutes or so then Murphy takes over as the male lead, honestly I would rather have Murphy, who doesn’t want Tommy Shelby over Jim? It starts out a little bit slow but the movie does take off and is full of action. We are left in the end of the first one that Simmonds is our main heroine as she as figured out how to stop the aliens, and the second one still goes that direction. It isn’t resolved in this one but is set up for another, so we’re looking at a trilogy possibly more. I honestly liked this one better than the first. I give it an 8/10. I’m excited to check out part III.

News of the World

‘News of the World’ was one of the last movies to round out 2020, it’s an action/drama starring Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump), and Helena Zengel (System Crasher). A civil war veteran who makes his money travelling town to town reading the news, stumbles across a little girl who was kidnapped by a Kiowa tribe. With no family and no other choice he agrees to take her four hundred miles to her next of kin. There are plenty of dangers and obstacles that await them ahead.

So we all know that anything with Tom Hanks in it is going to be good, he’s one of the greatest actors to date. He hasn’t been in a bad movie, and he can play any role. So the real question is how good is this movie? There’s honestly not a whole lot of action in this movie, just a couple of scenes where on their journey things hit the fan but that’s about it. The rest relies on the story and character development, nothing wrong with that it’s just a bit of a slow burn. Big props to Zengel, she plays a young girl who is scarred from everything she has been through and doesn’t understand English, just Kiowa. For being so young, she’s a good actress and holds her own alongside Hanks. I’m sure, and I hope we see more of her in the future. Overall, I was hoping for more out of it, but it’s still a great movie. It reminds me of a Disney film, a feel good movie. I give it a 8/10.

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.

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.