I WANT YOU BACK (2022)

Directed By: Jason Orley
Written By: Issac Aptaker & Elizabeth Berger
Cinematography: Brian Burgoyne
Editor: Jonathan Schwartz 

Cast: Charlie Day, Jenny Slate, Scott Eastwood, Gina Rodriguez, Manny Jacinto, Pete Davidson, Jami Gertz, Clare Backo, Luke David Blum, Giselle Torres, Isabel May, Jordan Carlos 

Noah breaks up with Emma after 18 months together and Anne breaks up with Peter after 6 years. Both Noah and Anne have found new SOs. Emma, a receptionist on 14th floor, and Peter, a VP on 11th floor, find each other sobbing in the stairwell. They support each other and end forming an alliance to destroy each other’s exes’ new relationships. They cyber stalk the exes and Peter gets close to Noah while Emma gets close to Anne’s new boyfriend.


The movie is very likable as you feel sorry for the main characters even in the dastardly things they are doing. Like a romantic comedy version of strangers on a train.

It is actually a lot more enjoyable than expected. It’s not raunchy nor does it cover any new ground but it feels like a breath of fresh air and fun. 

I might be biased but how no one is falling for Jenny Slate in this movie from the beginning and she doesn’t get hit on or any offers is amazing to me.

Watching Charlie day using his manic nervous energy is always a joy.

Most of the characters have their time to shine even if Scott Eastwood’s new girlfriend played by Clark Backo is given nothing to do but be the epitome of his dream girl. While at least others in the cast come across with personalities.

Gina Rodriguez’s character isn’t horrible but has her problems yet luckily she isn’t made out to be a villain. Truly no one is though some might show a lack of character. Though she looks gorgeous throughout.

Her character even shows her territorial nature and jealousy issues. Though reveals quite a surprising physique. 

By the end, the characters are likable enough and the only real loss in the film is that when a general friendship between Charlie Day’s character and Scott Eastwood’s feels genuine, and when all so revealed it is the ending of that relationship. Which came off as the most believable.

Surprisingly one of the strongest laughs and characters comes in the form of Pete Davidson’s small role and the whole scene that his character is involved in.

Think of this as a younger more expansive update of ADDICTED TO LOVE only most of the characters are likable and thankfully the ending feels more believable.  

Grade: C+

STOP AND GO (2021)

Directed & Edited: Mallory Everton & Stephen Meek
Written By: Mallory Everton & Whitney Call
Cinematography: Brenna Empey 

Cast: Mallory Everton, Whitney Call, Julia Tolley, Anne S. Ward, Stephen Meek, Jessica Drolet, Noah Kershisnik, Jetta Juriansz 

Two directionless sisters brave a cross-country road trip to rescue their grandmother from a COVID outbreak at her nursing home.


Personally, I choose not to watch too many movies that focus on the pandemic and covid as a major part of the plot. Especially ones that are actually comedies.

I have to say this film is pretty impressive. As it does load on the covid jokes but let it be a means to an end even though it seems to need to remind us every five minutes about it. Luckily if any film will remind you of this time this might be the one.

The film is charming and full of personality mainly due to the two leads who are also screenwriters and one is the co-director of the film. 

If anything, what might get on some audience members’ nerves is that it is too quirky and sweet. Even when it does deal with dirty talk or raunch it still seems or feels PG-rated rather than R Rated.

Though I will say that the film feels more planned when it comes to the leads. As they play quick-witted sisters who seem more ready for punchlines and Jokes rather than real full-blooded characters. So that much of the film felt more like a put-on or set-up for them interacting in strange situations and/or strange people. 

Luckily some of the jokes also deal with them dealing. With their own overprotected nature, but unfortunately, by the end of the film, they haven’t truly changed that much or learned anything. Though they do go on a mission and accomplish some goals.

It might turn away certain audience members because we are watching two privileged caucasian women complain about trivial stuff for the most part and it might be hard to find an exact Audience to identify with them other than their fears, but hopefully, the comedy will win them over. As if anything this movie is rarely if ever mean spirited. 

The film Moves at a brush speed and is a fun watch not to forget your troubles but it gives you something to laugh about. Hopefully, these two women make more movies like this and have a bigger platform to play on.

Grade: C+

YOU AGAIN (2010)

Directed By: Andy Flickman
Written By: Moe Jelline
Cinematography: David Hennings 
Editor: David Rennie And Keith Brachman

Cast: Kristen Bell, Odette Annable, Sigourney Weaver, Jamie Lee Curtis, Victor Garber, Betty White, James Wolk, Kristin Chenowith, Kyle Bornheimer, Christine Lakin, Patrick Duffy

When a young woman realizes her brother is about to marry the girl who bullied her in high school, she sets out to expose the fiancée’s true colors.


There was once upon a time when studios were still making romantic comedies and they kept casting Kristen bell in these movies even though I knew them not to be my particular cup of tea. I kept watching them as I am a fan of hers. At least this film has a stacked cast of names 

This is what I would call disposable cinema. As it is good in the moment and easily forgettable. Never leave too much of a lasting Impression. It’s good at the moment when you need to see something new. 

Now if anything one would hope that this film inspires not to make such simple films. Unless the mediocre is what inspired some. The film shows the talent of the actors. Who tries to make the thin material work.

The film seems like a holdover from the 1980s when there were a lot of these types of disposable entertainment hyped up. Films that had simple premises. Though somehow some of them were able to carry some kind of identity for themselves. By either the talent in front of or behind the camera. 

Director Andy Flickman knows how to make things look excellent and appealing.

The cast list has some surprisingly big male talent for a film that seems more like a paycheck only for most.

It’s nice to see a film like this as it has a good spirit and good intentions. It does what it sets out to do, not subtlety. Yet it’s elementary but I think you know that going in. So you can’t hold it totally against the film.

The acting in the flashback sections of the film is bad. As it comes off as too over the top but also just bad.

Most of the cast know better and have done better films and work but both of the female leads Kristen Bell and Odette Annabale need better roles offered to them. As these roles might look good and maybe even easy on paper. It might even be a surprise hit and up their star power, but most likely it will leave them open to making this same kind of similar film. It would be ok if they had little to no talent but they have proven that they do. 

GRADE: D+

THE TWO JAKES (1990)

Directed by: Jack Nicholson 
Written By: Robert Towne 
Cinematography: Vilmos Zsigmond 
Editor: Anne Goursaud

Cast: Jack Nicholson, Harvey Keitel, Meg Tilly, Madeline Stowe, Eli Wallach, Ruben Blades, David Keith, James Hong, Frederic Forrest, Richard Farnsworth, Tracey Walter, Joe Mantell, Perry Lopez, Rebecca Broussard, Van Dyke Parks

The sequel to Chinatown finds J.J. “Jake” Gittes investigating adultery and murder, and the money that comes from oil.


When the film was coming out I remember all the advertisements for the movie as a kid and always being impressed by its poster artwork. At the time I had never seen or heard of CHINATOWN the movie, but knew this was a sequel to something and really only interested because Jack Nicholson was in it and this was right after BATMAN and I remember him from the movie THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK. 

This sequel or update of the film classic CHINATOWN tries to continue the look and style.  It even has some returning cast members and characters. While employing some great character actors. So by all rights, the film should be noteworthy. As it has some great shows to fill.

Though it falls short very short that barely stands in the shadow of the previous film. It has a similarly twisty and twisted storyline that ends up being easy to figure out. Not to mention not as devastating. As it doesn’t pull the audience in, as much to care. It stays at arm’s distance. Not that the first film was all that warm and cuddly but it kept you on your toes. Especially when it came to the mystery. Here you just wonder how everything fits. 

This film also lacks any memorable scenes or revelations. It’s pretty mundane as it seems to try too hard. You want it to be better than it actually is. As the material is there it just feels misrepresented.

Madeline Stowe at first seems like she will be a femme fatale and be more important to the overall story. Though after awhile she seems to be here for no real reason other than as pretty dressing and more of a distraction.

The cast seems to be playing more into the mood of the movie. Which is always gloomy rather than characters. This film has no spirit really it stays flat and simple.

The film tries but it comes up as rather dull and just going through the motions. As it never takes a definite direction or offers any real distinctions.

Knowing this film had a full share of behind-the-scenes dramas between screenwriter Robert towns, Producer Robert Evans and star/director Jack Nicholson, Evans was upset after hoping to play the role of the other Jake Played by Harvey Keitel, but not only not being strong enough an actor but getting bad plastic surgery right before filming began. Then Robert towns dropped out of directing and the film was postponed until Nicholson took the reins of the project. As this was supposed to be the second of a trilogy. 

You can see what they were trying to do and attempting before time ran out, but this might have been better off than what could have been. 

Grade: C+

THE EVENING STAR (1996)

Written & Directed By: Robert Harling 
Based on the Novel by: Larry McMurtry
Cinematography: Don Burgess
Editor: David Moritz and Pricilla Nedd-Friendly 

Cast: Shirley McClaine, Juliette Lewis, Bill Paxton, Miranda Richardson, Mackenzie Astin, Scott Wolf, George Newbern, Jack Nicholson, Ben Johnson, Marion Ross, Donald Moffat, Jennifer Grant, China Kantner 

Continuing the story of Aurora Greenway in her latter years. After the death of her daughter, Aurora struggled to keep her family together, but has one grandson in jail, a rebellious granddaughter, and another grandson living just above the poverty line.


This is a follow-up to a classic that no one would have ever been completely satisfied with, but seemed to be made to satisfy an audience who might have been wondering what ever happened to the characters. Even though in the end it truly never needed to be made. 

It’s disappointing on many levels as a sequel and even as a movie. It just seems telegraphed to be melodramatic. 

The film takes us through what happened to the kids of Debra Winger’s character from TERMS OF ENDEARMENT. After having been raised by Their grandmother played by Shirley McClaine 

They all have their troubles though it seems like the daughter played by Juliette Lewis is the one she is having the most problems with. Her character and performance are way too over the top throughout. As one of the sons is serving a jail sentence and the other seems like a pushover. 

The film plays more like a melodramatic television movie. That has graphic undeserving sex scenes and plenty of bed-hopping. As McClane’s character seems irresistible to most men in the film. Giving her a younger lover who is also her psychiatrist and an adversary to compete with him. Until she learns the true reason for his attraction. Though it is nice to see Bill Paxton play a kind of romantic lead. with Scott wolf around more to be eye candy, Fantasy, and lover for all the ladies in the film

The film is over the top with sentimentality. That it seems as it gets towards the end it feels empty. 

The only truly interesting scene is Jack Nicholson’s cameo. That is when the film comes alive even for just a few moments. 

Even original writer and director James L. Brooks isn’t even back. It feels like the film tries to fit too many trends into the story that goes nowhere. 

This is a film aimed more at female movie fans and of course fans of the original. As the film feels like there is too much emotion on display.

While the main story seems to be to keep McClaine’s character constantly busy. While adding mini-aggressions for her to deal with. 

The film is missing the mixture of sharp comedy, drama, and tragedy that made the first film such a classic, noteworthy and one-of-a-kind. All this film does is remind us of how good the first film was and also desecrate Its memory with a big all-star cast. 

The film just feels secondhand with a pinch of nice dressing. 

Grade: D

THE KING OF MARVIN GARDENS (1972)

Directed By: Bob Rafelson
Written By: Jacob Brackman
Story By: Bob Rafelson And Jacob Brackman
Cinematography: Laszlo Kovacs 
Editor: John F. Link II 

Cast: Jack Nicholson, Bruce Dern, Ellen Burstyn, Julia Anne Robinson, Benjamin “Scatman” Crothers, Arnold Williams, John Ryan, Sully Boyar, Josh Mostel 

A daydreamer convinces his radio personality brother to help fund one of his get-rich-quick schemes.


Will admit it took me quite some time to finally sit down and watch this film. Once I did it was probably brought upon by the director of the film. Which is a shame as this is a very powerful film. Not perfect but astonishing fun in what it achieves and also tries to do. 

Stories keep going on with no endings as they lead to another one. Yet never drop what came before. This film isn’t so much plot-oriented as character Oriented and the film allows for each of them to have their own little stories and dramas going along with one another and the narrative. 

Jack Nicholson here playing against type. As here he is more subtle, quiet, and sad as a character. He is the thinker of the two brothers. Even though they are both storytellers. Bruce Dern plays the more loud charismatic one. The problem is that they both tend to believe each other’s stories too much and soon find themselves in over their heads.

The film allows Jack Nicholson to show his range fully. 

Some might find this film slow or maybe even dull, but there are moments when the film comes alive. Though the other moments that are slower, bear more character building and help to build and showcase the characters’ dynamic. As well as illustrate the story. 

The film does offer an unexpected ending. Not much of it or the film is too predictable, at first but seems to like to throw misdirection.

Like Bruce Dern’s character. As none of the characters seems to really want to admit to what is happening or truly talk about it. 

This film is an increasing rarity of acting indulgence and taking chances with professional actors. Where they get to develop a character. As this film is more of a character study with a story to guide them to their fates. 

So that we can see their full emotional spectrum. As well as their true colors by the end. 

As the film is made up of simple moments that are lived in. 

A scheme that seems to be an ideal built of their mutual dreams. A palace or idea that they keep feeding into and want to control. A pipe dream to escape into to break up the monotony they are trying to escape.

Slowly getting seduced against better judgment and dragging two females along who are eye candy and intimates. Dangling sex and partnerships in front of the other brother, but have their own drama going on. So that the situation seems like a cult at times.

Ellen Burstyn’s Character slowly has a mental breakdown. As she realizes she might be being pushed aside for the younger model. 

The illusions drift, as both brothers are natural liars. Storytellers of some sort, one does professionally one does naturally to survive. Though all built on lies. Only one chooses to believe his own until the end. While others around them fall for it almost. As that is how charming and strong their devotion is.

The film is almost a ghost story. As these characters are free yet seem bound to their surrounding which is Atlantic City before it got renovated. So everything looks worn and beat down like the character’s Souls

An added bonus to The film is watching now legendary Actors we are used to seeing older in their younger days here.

Grade: B-

CHRISTMAS BLOODY CHRISTMAS (2022)

Written & Directed By: Joe Begos
Cinematography: Brian Sowell 
Editor: Josh Ethier 

Cast: Riley Dandy, Sam Delich, Jonah Ray, Dora Madison, Jeremy Gardner, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Abraham Benrubi, Graham Skipper, Kansas Bowling 

It’s Christmas Eve and Tori just wants to get drunk and party, but when a robotic Santa Claus at a nearby toy store goes haywire and begins a rampant killing spree through her small town, she’s forced into a battle for survival.


A punk rock trashy horror film, that indulges in all that is a naughty bit of violence and gore excessively. That plays as a slasher massacre for an hour.

While the first thirty minutes is what seems like an endless set-up of characters. As the reason for the killer, Santa Claus comes and goes so fast that it’s almost an afterthought. Then the film just goes forward with nary a hint of backstory.

It is obviously meant to be more of a love letter to 80’s horror films set during the holidays. Though it seems more like a quick exercise in excess.

A kind of anti-Christmas movie that does match the director Joe Begos’s style and interest. Which I am usually a fan of, but oddly doesn’t feel like it works this time all the way through. 

The Death scenes are more excessive than creative or too noteworthy. Luckily the film moves quickly and might remind the audience of a kind of rock n roll Rob Zombie horror film only without the more artistic flourishes and visions of grandeur. Though the director Begos does add slight sci-fi flavor or b-movie indulgence by making the killer Santa practically a more terrifying Terminator, only in a horror film. 

The film is modern but could be made in the 1980s trashy. So that it feels a bit retro. It seems like It’s going for fun at least in the first half of the film. As the first 20 minutes seem like exposition little of which ends up mattering. 

It seems an attempt to explore a friendship on the verge of becoming more. 

The film has low-budget action that keeps the audience interested with a high body count. That proves that no one is safe or sacred.

The film feels more like a film to watch to pass the time. A popcorn movie of sorts may be nice to play in the background. As it is easy to follow visually.

The film isn’t too inspired or inspiring. It actually feels like a quickie. It’s a movie, movie.  Nothing too deep is meant to be taken seriously. 

The conversations feel like Twitter-type ones. Where the dialogue is supposed to be cool but it never does. Even with hip characters. 

These horror films are supposed to be Empowering for women. All these skilled so-called warrior men in horror films. Who can barely stop the monster or slasher, maybe not even cause a dent, but a so-called regular woman who uses her head ends up defeating them in the end. Becoming the final girl. 

That character used to be kept virginal to make them Saintly or sex but diluting thoughts or bloodstream as well as a duality that was special or made them different. Usually, a way to please religious rights or moral codes is by being exploitative but the one pure makes it to the end. Even after the trauma of losing friends and/or family with great losses. A weird extreme scared straight. Here the female is sexual 

In the end, this should be a fun dream fantasy project, but it’s bogged down in bad dialogue. To lead to some uneventful hookup and a long introduction for disposable Characters where only one truly lasts.

Grade: D+

SCREAMERS (1995)

Directed By: Christian Duguay
Written By: Dan O’Bannon & Miguel Tejada Flores
Based On the Short Story “SECOND VARIETY” By: Philip K. Dick 
Cinematography: Rodney Gibbons 
Editor: Yves Longlois 

Cast: Peter Weller, Jennifer Rubin, Roy Dupuis, Andy Lauer, Charles Powell

A military commander stationed off the planet during an interplanetary war travels through the devastated landscape to negotiate a peace treaty but discovers that the primitive robots they built to kill enemy combatants have gained sentience.


I remember seeing this trailer many times before movies in 1994 and when it finally came out. It barely gets a release. I didn’t even get to catch it at the discount theater. Once I managed to see it on cable. 

when it comes to Sci-Fi if the story fails you. You usually hope that the special effects will carry you through. Now when this film was made CGI was just beginning but even looking at this film in that context the effects are horrible. About the same quality of SyFy TV movies.

Watching the trailer the film looked a bit thrilling yet simplistic. I was intrigued over the years to finally watch this film as I have not always been a fan of sci-fi films. So I figured to give this one a chance, bad decision.

One of the things that lured me to watch the film was the stars. Peter Weller has a strong look with a mysterious presence. Yet a leading man charm. Who never got his chance in the spotlight and Jennifer Rubin. Who seemed more cast in b-movies whose career I have followed since the movie THE CRUSH. Followed her from career highs and the many lows of her career. This is one of them.

Their budget seems to have gone into bad special effects. Bad investments all around, as the locations seem to be three sets and the desert.

The acting is laughable other than the main two cast members, especially the villain of the film.

The twists and turns are predictable. The ending guarantees a shock but is not as big as the film thinks it does.

In between the action scenes, the film seems to be trying to be satirical and send a message that comes off as empty. This is a shame Since the film had Been more realized and had a major overhaul, especially behind the scenes. The film could have had a chance to be good or at least somewhat decent. Better than what it is now. Unintentionally laughable. A waste of time that actually leaves room for a sequel.

Scenes such as how Peter Weller character goes on and on about how much he loves his wife and family But seems easily tempted away

Grade: F

FLIGHT 7500 (2014)

Directed By: Takashi Shimizu
Written By: Craig Rosenberg 
Cinematography: David Tattersall
Editor: Sean Valla 

Cast: Ryan Kwanten, Amy Smart, Leslie Bibb, Jamie Chung, Scout Taylor-Compton, Jerry Ferrara, Christian Serratos, Johnathon Schaech, David Banner, Nicky Whelan 

Flight 7500 departs Los Angeles International Airport bound for Tokyo. As the overnight flight makes its way over the Pacific Ocean during its ten-hour course, the passengers encounter what appears to be a supernatural force in the cabin.


This is a movie that was filmed years ago and only is now getting released due to whatever reasons. This becomes obvious as the film goes along. 

This was a film I had my eye on over the years as the premise sounded interesting then the film seemed to disappear. 

The major problem with this film is that film is all built up almost like a prequel. Though seems to falter when it comes to an ending as it seems like the filmmakers were forced to change it or couldn’t come up with a satisfactory ending. 

As the ending seems to try to be profound, but then goes for a cliche cheap scare.

What the film has in its favor are recognizable actors. Which gets you excited about their appearance. Though here the film gives them random character roles for no reason as none of it makes a difference in the film. Or gives us a reason to care. Even in the film’s direction, it chooses to focus on characters randomly. Not Even as victims. So that while it might seem more realistic if this was a slasher film. The film ends up being it seems just as less than everything else in the film. 

Strangely though the film manages early on to play up the suspense and even some thrilling aspects from time to time throughout then after a certain point it just runs out of steam. As it then just seems to go in the wrong direction.

As the film has some moments of horror and seems to go that way. Then it seems to want to work off of some strange conspiracy and enlightening moments like some unused plots of the TELEVISION show LOST 

It is strange as even on the DVD it has previews for films coming out this year as well as films like THE LAST EXORCISM 2.

In the end, the film is not worth it. 

Grade: D+

THE MAN FROM TORONTO (2022)

Directed By: Patrick Hughes 
Written By: Robbie Fox and Craig Bremmer 
Story By: Robbie Fox, Craig Bremmer and Jason Rosenthal 
Cinematography: Rob Hardy
Editor: Craig Alpert 

Cast: Kevin Hart, Woody Harrelson, Jasmine Matthews, Kaley Cuoco, Ellen Barkin, Pierson Fode, Jeancarlos Canela 

The world’s deadliest assassin and New York’s biggest screw-up are mistaken for each other at an Airbnb rental.


The film was originally supposed to Co-Star Jason Statham. Which would make more sense as a more dream combo. Not that woody Harrelson isn’t good. It just feels like he is a replacement. As he does what the role requires but hasn’t even known for too many action roles in quite a while.

So while his role is supposed to be more action-oriented. He only seems to use these skills on other assassins. As his character is so synonymous that he rarely has to use violence before they confess everything. Even as we know he has the finesse to actually do the things they fear. So it is more about intimidation. 

Kevin hart tries but it feels like again he is playing a similar role to most of his others. A kind of sad sack dreamer who gets motivated in the middle of the film to do what he needs to do to finally accomplish his mission and be successful. 

Though even here hart’s heart doesn’t seem as much into it. As he does create an annoying character who never seems to shut his mouth and say everything he is thinking, but again he knows he has played this type of role before and there is only so much of a variant that he can do with it.

At this point, it would be nice if Kevin Hart made a film that was just him as the star no more mismatched buddy comedies. Let him be center stage and truly make his mark. That might actually be noteworthy. As it would showcase his talents more and not seem so much like he is dependent on others to sell himself. 

The film’s action scenes try to be exciting even as most characters other than the leads and bigger cast names seem disposable. They never offer any kind of challenge. As the audience knows how each situation most likely will turn out.

There are some exceptions; the airplane fight and the gym fight actually enliven the movie and are a bit easier especially after other action sequences seem to fizzle.

Just as it would have been nice for more comedic scenes where Woody Harrelson is nervous around the opposite sex and opening up around new people. Just as more could have been done when it came to the

Handsome FBI agent who Kevin hart’s character is jealous of, allowing us to see why he should be jealous would have been funnier.

Director Patrick Hughes has made some silly yet violent guilty pleasure action comedies before with THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD films. Though those were much more hardcore in language and violence. This one is played safer and PG-13 so it can only go so far and doesn’t feel like it goes far enough in some scenes. So the film Lacks bite in action and In comedy. The material just never feels that strong 

Overall if you are a Kevin hart fan you will enjoy the movie. The film just feels like the typical Netflix big-budget team-up movie with very little reason or strength in the storytelling. 

Woody Harrelson is bland here can tell he was a replacement in casting. 

The film is serviceable but not as fun as you think it will be or it could have been. As Kevin hart does his usual schtick and the material feels too familiar for all involved

Grade: C-