‘Nomadland’ is a 2020 drama starring Frances McDormand (Burn After Reading). It follows the story of Fern (McDormand), a modern day nomad who lives out of her van and travels the countryside.
This movie is about nothing, just a woman living in her van, and trying to make it another year. Not my typical type of moving, not a lot of action, actually no action. However this movie works, it’s interesting, gripping, and has you wanting to know where she goes next. It’s crazy to think there are people who choose to live like this, but they seem to be happy and carefree for the most part. ‘Nomadland’ does a good job of taking a look at this lifestyle, and seeing the friendships Fern builds a long the way. I watched it on Amazon prime, but it is still showing in some select theaters. It’s worth a watch, I give it a 7/10.
‘Coming 2 America’ is the long awaited sequel to ‘Coming to America’, which is a little out of the blue considering the first one came out in 1988, over 30 years ago. However, Eddie Murphy is the king of comedy. ‘Bowfinger’, and ‘Meet Dave’, are two of the funniest movies ever made, so anything with Eddie Murphy I’m going to watch. ‘Coming 2 America’ has a blockbuster cast starring Eddie Murphy (Bowfinger), Arsenio Hall (Coming to America), Jermaine Fowler (Crashing), Leslie Jones (Ghostbusters), Tracy Morgan (30 Rock), Wesley Snipes (White Men Can’t Jump), and James Earl Jones (The Lion King).
Prince Akeem (Murphy), now King Akeem, travels back to America once again, this time to find his illegitimate son so he will have a male heir to the throne.
I’m not sure how anticipated this movie was, like I said earlier it was out of the blue, over 30 years later, I’m not sure if anyone was expecting it. But here it is, and the first one is such a cult classic, and with this firepower of comics it has to be good right? Unfortunately, that is not the case. This one drags, it has the potential to be great, but it just isn’t. Fowler plays Murphy’s part from the first one. He plays Murphy’s son and is brought back to Africa, and he’s the young naïve one like Murphy is in the first one, but he’s no where near as funny as Murphy is, not even in the same category. So that leaves Murphy, he plays a staunchly king in this one, which has no comic relief, so that takes out classic Eddie Murphy, that is typically hilarious. Which leaves Leslie Jones, and Tracy Morgan, and surprisingly they bring nothing to the table here. To say the least this one is underwhelming and a disappointment. They even make a joke in it about not needing sequels that is messes up the first one. They should have listened to their own joke. As much as it pains me to give an Eddie Murphy film a low score, I have to give it a 5/10. If you are interested, you can check it out on Amazon Prime.
‘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.
‘Blow the Man Down’ is a 2019 drama/mystery starring Sophie Lowe (The Slap), Morgan Saylor (White Girl), June Squibb (Hubie Halloween), Margo Martindale (Sneaky Pete), Will Brittain (Kong: Skull Island), and Gayle Rankin (Perry Mason). Two sisters cover up a grizzly murder when one of the sisters accidently murders a man in self defense. They quickly learn there’s more to their sleepy seaside fishing village than meets the eye.
If you watch the trailer for ‘Blow the Man Down’ it looks really good. It’s intriguing, full of suspense, and mystery. Unfortunately, the trailer is the best part of this movie. It has an odd artsy feel to it, with singing fisherman throughout, and I get it, they’re hammering in the history of the village even with the underbelly. But this movie is slow, very slow. The story is there, but there’s no action to it, about ten minuets in when they kill the guy but that’s it. This movie is a let down, if you want you can watch it on Amazon Prime, but I would say give it a pass. It’s easily forgettable, I give it a 5/10.
‘Uncle Frank’ is a 2020 Amazon prime original drama/comedy. It has a stellar cast starring Paul Bettany (A Beautiful Mind), Sophia Lillis (IT), Peter Macdissi (The Losers), Steve Zahn (Saving Silverman), Judy Greer (Ant-Man), Margo Martindale (Sneaky Pete), and Stephen Root (Office Space). ‘Uncle Frank’ follows the story of Frank (Bettany), and his 18 year old niece Beth (Lillis). Frank is an English professor at a University in New York City and his niece is a new student there. She’s always looked up to, and admired her Uncle, but there is parts of his life he’s kept hidden from his family. Once Frank’s father and Beth’s grandfather dies, they must travel to their small, redneck, town for his funeral. Frank must find a way to come out of the closet to his close minded family while struggling with his alcoholism.
The trailer I saw didn’t really give much info on what it was about, so I went into it blind. This is a pretty heavy movie, it takes place in 1973 when the world wasn’t as open to the gay community, and unfortunately they were heavily persecuted. This movie only scratches the surface on what the gay community has had to endure, but it does a good job at it. It’s a great story about love and acceptance. Paul Bettany is a great actor and should be a house hold name, every role he plays he is incredible in. ‘Wimbledon’, ‘A Beautiful Mind’, ‘A Knights Tale’, etc… Sophia Lillis is a great up and coming actress and plays a great part beside Bettany. This movie is worth seeing, I score it a 8.5/10.
‘Get Duked!’ is a 2020 Amazon Prime original English horror/comedy starring Jonathan Aris (The End of the F***ing World), Samuel Bottomley (Tyrannosaur), Viraj Juneja (Pandora), Rian Gordon (Final Score), and Lewis Gribben (T2 Trainspotting). Four teenage boys are sent to compete in the Duke of Edinburgh Award trek across the highlands in order to help turn their lives around. While hiking across the highlands the boys start getting hunted by a mysterious man and woman.
There isn’t a lot of good horror/comedies out there, and I always compare them to ‘Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil’. While most don’t stack up to it, ‘Get Duked!’ actually does. It’s original, witty, and funny. There were several parts where I laughed out loud. It has the perfect blend of horror mixed with comedy. This one is worth the watch, i give it a 9/10.
‘BORAT: SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM ‘ 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.
‘Population 436’ is a 2006 mystery/horror starring Jeremy Sisto (Clueless), Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit), Charlotte Sullivan (Rookie Blue), and Frank Adamson (Dolores Claiborne). A census taker (Sisto) is sent to the small town of Rockwell Falls, whos population has remained at 436 for the past century. He quickly learns the small town is hiding something sinister.
This has a real Stephen King-esque feel, think ‘Salem’s Lot’ and ‘Children of the Corn’ mixed with ‘The Wicker Man’. It’s not a real well known movie and appears to be on the low budget side, but for being a B horror movie it’s pretty solid. The story line is good, and so is the acting. Even though Stephen King didn’t have anything to do with this film, if you’re a fan of his style, you’ll enjoy this movie. You can find this hidden gem on Amazon Prime. I give it a 7/10.
My Spy is a 2020 family comedy/ romantic comedy starring the man himself Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) and co staring Kristen Schaal (Bob’s Burgers). This is one I have been wanting to see all year since I first saw it previewed, unfortunately with the shutdown this movie didn’t make it to theaters and my plans of seeing it were put on hold. Good news though, you can now stream it on Amazon Prime.
Along side Bautista and Schaal, ‘My Spy’ also stars Parisa Fitz-Henley (Fantasy Island), Ken Jeong (The Hangover), Chloe Coleman (Big Little Lies), Nicola Correia-Damude (Shadowhunters), and Greg Bryk (Shoot ‘Em Up). ‘My Spy’ follows CIA agents JJ (Bautista) and Bobbi (Schaal). While they are undercover they are found out by 9 year old Sophie (Coleman). In order to keep Sophie quiet JJ becomes her friend and trains her on how to become a spy.
Anything with Bautista is going to be good, the guy is hilarious, and ‘My Spy’ is no exception. It wasn’t as funny as some of past movies like ‘Stuber’, and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, but it still has it’s funny parts. Overall it’s a feel good movie that the entire family will enjoy. I give it a 8.5/10.
‘Troop Zero’ is a 2020 Amazon exclusive family comedy. It takes place in rural Georgia in 1977, following the story of misfit little girl who dreams of space. She finds out a golden record is being put together of voice recordings that will be transmitted into space. The winning Birdie Scouts troop of the jamboree will be recorded on the golden record. She must now put together a rag tag group of other misfits in order to be able to compete at the jamboree.
‘Troop Zero’ stars Viola Davis (Widows, The Help), McKenna Grace (Gifted), Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show), Mike Epps ( Next Friday, Friday after Next), and Allison Janney (I, Tonya).
With the rag tag team bonding, and realizing their differences make them special, makes ‘Troop Zero’ a feel good movie for the whole family. It reminds me of other movies such as ‘Little Giants’, or ‘The Little Rascals’. Who doesn’t love a good underdog story with a loveable cast of misfits? I give it a 6.5/10.