BLACK CHRISTMAS (2019)

Directed By: Sophia Takal 
Written By: Sophia Takal, April Wolfe & Roy Lee
Cinematography: Mark Schwartzbard 
Editor: Ben Baudhuin & Jeff Betancourt 

Cast: Imogen Poots, Aleyse Shannon, Lily Donoghue, Brittany O’Grady, Cary Elwes, Caleb Eberhardt, Simon Mead, Madeline Adams, Zoe Robins, Ben Black

Hawthorne College is quieting down for the holidays. One by one, sorority girls on campus are being killed by an unknown stalker. But the killer is about to discover that this generation’s young women aren’t willing to become hapless victims as they mount a fight to the finish.


Not exactly a remake but it does involve a serial killer around Christmas when the college is empty stalking Mostly women.

The plot is Changed a bit here as it is almost an original film that might have kissed off fans of the movie. Where it seems like an ideology or a kind of feminist ideology took over more than the plot. 

That is ok if it still makes a thrilling movie but it comes off as weak. As it seems more interested in making a statement which is fine but the way it tries seems empty especially when Trying to fit it into a more blockbuster film. I applaud the message though it comes off as off-centered eventually.

As well. As the reveal of who the killers are and why with a kind of supernatural goo that I am guessing reading up On the film is toxic masculinity dripping through their veins as a kind of reaction to the Brett Kavanaugh hearings.

The metaphors feel too spot-on as they are not very subtle. The film has nerve but it also needs a bit more polish. 

One can see that the film was made for a certain audience to feel represented and to show empowerment for the female audience by watching it and can applaud the film for that point but as far as watching it and being entertaining. It had many problems and weaknesses that seems random and more ambiguous and random 

Which might be me and certain audience members might not be the right audience for this film as we were expecting something different and what is here doesn’t speak as strongly to us 

The film certainly comes off with no frills to feel more homegrown and a little more natural. The film’s style seems to have very little of it. This almost comes off as an episode of a horror television series where. 

There is a message in its heart but it seems to take over the narrative. Which would work better if not necessarily trying to be subversive. Instead burying it turns the audience off from what they were expecting and mad at what they have been served. Maybe if it was better overall I wouldn’t mind. 

Though in the end.  just as Off point as the message of the film. So is the filmmaking which seems less interested in horror and more uninterested and going through the motions when it comes to that aspect of the film.

Which feels like it has gone far off from what it was aimed at. That it feels silly and far fetched. In essence, it didn’t mix well and got too preachy.

Grade: D

SYSTEM CRASHER (2019)

Written & Directed By: Nora Fingscheidt
Cinematography: Yunus Roy Imer
Editor: Stephan Bechinger & Julia Kovalenko

Cast: Helena Zengel, Albrecht Schuch, Gabriela Maria Schmeide, Lisa Hagmeister, Melanie Straub, Maryam Zaree 

She is small but dangerous. Wherever Benni ends up, she is immediately expelled. The wild 9-year-old girl has already become what child protection services call a “system crasher”. And she is certainly not looking to change her ways. Because Benni has one single goal: to be back at home with her mommy. But Bianca is scared of her own daughter. Mrs. Bafané from child protection services is trying her best to find a permanent placement for Benni. She hires the anger management trainer Micha as Benni’s school escort and suddenly there is a seed of hope. Will Micha be able to succeed where all others despaired?


At first, wasn’t sure what to expect from this film. Seems basic at first watching a girl go through the Foster care system, but she is particularly violent and disruptive.

The film soon starts to show its hand with a character new to the case and situation. Who is tough yet caring but like the main character can’t seem to save her from herself. Even as he continuously tries and makes progress. 

When it comes to this film what is so heartbreaking is that every time it looks like the young female main character will be saved. Circumstances end up making the situation worse. 

Where it happens so many times it could almost be a running joke. Though each time it is presented it seems to be at a different level of desperation and rising emotional unraveling.

She is the major problem most times in all of these situations, but she is just a child, but more than A handful and violent who can’t seemingly calm down or manage her emotions. She is more a product of her environment and where she has been pushed by the adults in her life. 

We see what maybe inspires her. In her mother’s overwhelming false promises and keeps on taking in the obviously wrong men. Who seems more important to her than her kids.

This movie takes you on a journey with her, an emotionally raw one by the end you feel worn out and exhausted.

The only Person she bonds with is her Walker who had an anger problem himself and after some success, she eventually becomes too much for him a grown man. Though we learn more about her through their time together. He is constantly trying to protect her though he isn’t that conventional himself 

Throughout the film, it is a wild ride. As always there seems to be hope and some peace. Through a parent or savior, something goes wrong, usually through the behavior of the child. That she ends up living up to the title of the movie as her file. Where despite the many phases and programs for different types of children meant to save her. She fails through them all and is too young for others even the rock bottom last resort she seems too strong for.

Even though she can be innocent and charming. Like with her school walker’s wife. Soon enough she presents her scary angry side. This ends up leading to one of the more nail-biting scenes of the soon 

The film presents an ending that is ambiguous but seems like she will never stop or learn her lesson. As what starts out as a tantrum shows she kind of takes joy in causing trouble.

Grade: A-

CORPORATE ANIMALS (2019)

Directed By: Patrick Brice  Written By: Sam Bain Cinematography: Tarin Anderson  Editor: Christopher Donlon 

Cast: Demi Moore, Ed Helms, Jessica Williams, Karan Soni, Nasim Pedrad, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Jennifer Kim, Calum Worthy, Martha Kelly, Dan Bakkedahl, Leland Orser 

Team-building trips are the work of the devil. And if you think that’s not true, try telling it to the staff from the edible cutlery company run by the self-centered Lucy Vanderton, sent on a day-trip that ends with all of them trapped in a cave; an ideal scenario for labor unrest to literally lead to cannibalism.


The cast is better than the material and this feels like SUPERSTORE the movie is only way darker and with a smaller cast.

It reminds me of a failed cynical web series combined into a feature that never got a chance

Maybe I liked it as it is a Film that feels sitcom-ish and has the right cynical attitude that while it doesn’t quite work as a satire of that was its aim but shows the pettiness of a group who do manage to at first turn on one another but form a group synergy by the end. Out of necessity. 

Seeing Demi Moore tackle Comedy is a welcome fix that she hasn’t ventured too often and while she fails to impress she is game and has fun with the role. As it is called upon for a star and outlandish. Sharon stone was originally supposed to play the part and she would have fit the role better but with Demi Moore is mroe unpredictable and off-center which prepares you for the film really 

Though it is to the film’s benefit that she is here as the star. She draws an audience and plays the role broad. You trust her to pick good quality material and considering the cast is recognizable as talented yet no superstars yet. She takes center stage as kind of the leader even if she is an albatross as we come to see her but the others shine around her while orbiting around her 

While Ed helms is one of the bigger names attached in the cast he isn’t In It for long then the movie is just shy of 90 minutes. 

Not recommending this movie for everyone but I had fun With it and believe most audiences will too. As It isn’t the most energetic but a film that entertains

Written by Sam Bain of the British sitcom PEEP SHOW fame (Which I will admit to being a fan of)  it has that funny yet dark sensibility of characters who appear normal at first but are secretly selfish and petty who let that show once there are no rules. Kind of the same attitude he brings to the film FOUR LIONS screenplay. 

It also helped lift me out of a bad mood. In the end, this film amounts to A broad comedy in a small space. that is more low-key. 

Grade: C+

JEXI (2019)

Written & Directed By: Jon Lucas & Scott Moore 
Cinematography: Ben Kutchins 
Editor: James Thomas 

Cast: Adam Devine, Rose Byrne, Alexandra Shipp, Ron Funches, Charlyne Yi, Michael Pena, Wanda Sykes, Justin Hartley, Kid Cudi

Phil has a major dependency issue – he’s addicted to his phone. He has no friends, he has a job writing pop culture “Top 10” lists, and his love life is non-existent. But his Facebook status is about to change. When he is forced to upgrade his phone, the latest model comes with an unexpected feature… Jexi – an A.I. life coach, virtual assistant, and cheerleader. With her help, Phil begins to get a real life. But as he becomes less dependent on his phone, Jexi’s artificial intelligence morphs into a tech nightmare determined to keep Phil all to herself, even if it means ruining his chances of finding success.


Directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, known to make comedic free for all films. Some that work and are quite funny and some that don’t, but while this one is scaled back it still has the chaos and anarchy run amuck in Certain scenes 

This is a comedy film that feels a little late to the party. As it seems to want to lampoon technology and the growing need of people to live by it. 

It also provides a movie that has a high concept story and comes off as simplistic as possible, but also trying to have a certain hipness to sell itself to a willing audience.

It feels like a script where it was better to pitch and spitball. Trying to build a Whole film around the concept. That was more fun in thinking about rather than in execution. 

As it still ends up feeling out of place to a degree like a 1990’s comedy. Even as the film is supposed to be more dependent on cutting-edge technology. Where it showcases the danger of technology, limiting it more  and the rewards of living life and experience.

Though the film Also shows what can happen when someone who is the center of your attention loses interest or has no dependence. How vengeful they can be in that loneliness.

It also in its own way shows what an addiction can do to us. Therefore love your life for your own enjoyment. 

The cast all seem to give it they’re all. As every character seems over the top to a degree. Adam Devine is a funny and able leading man, but needs to find better scripts than these subpar romantic comedies of the Netflix variety.

Alexandra Shipp is attractive as the love interest but is given nothing to really do rather than show independence early on day then fall into romance and be the most understanding cool, beautiful girl in the movie.

Though the late romantic square becomes awkward and doesn’t exactly work. Nor is it explained why Jexi is the way she is.

In the end, it was a perfectly ok time waster. As long as you know what you are getting into and don’t expect much.

Grade: D+

THE BANANA SPLITS MOVIE (2019)

Directed By: Danishka Esterhazy
Written By: Jed Blinoff & Scott Thomas 
Cinematography: Trevor Calverlay 
Editor: Michael P. Mason 

Cast: Dani Kind, Steve Lund, Celina Martin, Finlay Wojtak-Hissong, Sara Canning, Romeo Carrere, Maria Nash, Naledi Majola

A family attends a live taping of The Banana Splits television series, but are forced to survive as soon as the characters go haywire and start a killing spree around the studio.


You know what you are going to get from this type of film. Then again you might not of expecting this to be an exact big-screen version of the television show. Anyone going into this film can’t complain too much. As for how good or bad quality did you really think it would be?

As this is more a kind of reinvention. we have the characters more or less going on a murder spree. This is explained but seems a rather thin reason.

At first, the characters who are killed are generally unlikeable so you pretty much know they are going to be victims and the film doesn’t try to hide that fact, but then some rather likable and innocent characters start to get off.

The most enjoyable aspect of this film is the kills. The violence which like the show is very over the top and impressive in a ridiculous way. Keep in mind this Film was made to premiere in the Syfy network. Though bathes itself in gore.

The film plays like a dark comedy the only problem is that it really has no style. It just leaves the audience waiting for the kills. Then at first seems like a more demanding black comedy that at first is a revenge movie of sorts. Then just becomes a horror film. That flirts with killing children but then backs away from the edge that it tries to push us over.

There is an interesting part of the movie when a character cracks and becomes a totally different type. One that actually might relegate a sequel.

Though the film ends up being pretty predictable and comes off as a rushed Canadian horror feature. That is generic except for its pop-culture tie-in. That seems the best way to use the characters as we have already had a kind of animatronic live-action feature film in WILLY’S WONDERLAND

It doesn’t seem anyone including a studio was interested in trying to update it into a Family Comedy. So this seems an inventive way to go or at least a way to make a quick dollar for the franchise and bring them up to date maybe even be slightly subversive.

GRADE: D

DEERSKIN (2019)

Written, Directed, Edited  and Cinematography By: Quentin Dupieux

Cast: Jean Dujardin, Adele Haenel, Albert Delpy, Coralie Russier, Marie Bunel

A man’s obsession with his designer deerskin jacket causes him to blow his life savings and turn to crime.


Another tale of a possessed object of sorts 

The film could easily be seen as analogue to trying to make a film or in following your dream that seems impossible above all else but you do it anyway. Especially when you try to do it all alone and the crazy situations and deals you find yourself having to manage 

Only here though there is filmmaking involved it’s about the destruction of every other jacket in the world and the means he goes through on the way to this impossible task. 

While his only confident other than talking to his jacket is hiring a local bartender to edit his films and also since by her to help fund his expenditure. 

Though once he goes extreme in his quest it goes overboard but truly by that point it has no more  place to go 

As even his weapon fo choice is oversized and ridiculously absurd though it does lend itself to showing how a serial killer might think and in his own mind regulate his actions in her make sense to himself 

Maybe i just don’t understand french 

When it comes to the The films of Quentin Dupieux

I love his style and loved his first film runner and I guess I keep coming back to his films so that there will be another unorthodox one like that but I have also noticed that was his most mainstream and genre film. 

His films that have coen after that have stayed absurdist and have elements the to have enjoyed the closest to come to enjoyable since his first has been WRONG. As the other films do far I have found elements of the fun and entertaining but as a whole hasn’t enjoyed the films. A usually there is funny material done awkwardly 

Here the lead character is so loathsome in his obsession that is also absurd but half the fun of the fil. Is watching the lengths he will go to achieve his obsession that makes him the singular comedic character while all around are mroe in reality. So it becomes funny to a pony watching his schemes as they get deeper and more outrageous. Though even for a film so short it starts to feel monotonous. Luckily something happens usually to doing them up a bit.

Though there is also that his soundtracks are eclectic and electrifying and the best parts of his films. 

The jacket can be seen as his souvenirs/evidence of his kills as well as the reason. 

Though also when on This quest for a dream to meet someone who believes in your vision. So that you are. No longer alone. Usually, you attract more people to achieve and believe in the dream but here it becomes so gonzo all it becomes is a team trying to make a great movie that they both believe In.

There is a comeuppance in the end that results in a sequel of sorts or continuation of story, that will not die as easily. 

It has a good premise but feels like it falls short maybe because it is small scale. 

Grade: C

THE WHISTLERS (2019)

Written & Directed By: Corneliu Porumboiu
Cinematography: Tudor Mircea
Editor: Roxana Szel

Cast: Vlad Ivanov, Catrinel Martin, Rodica Lazar, Augustif Villaronga, Sabin Tembrea, Istvan Teglas, Cristobel Pinto, Antonio Buil 

Not everything is as it seems for Cristi, a policeman who plays both sides of the law. Embarking with the beautiful Gilda on a high-stakes heist, both will have to navigate the twists and turns of corruption, treachery, and deception.


A calm and composed film noir that is a slow burn throughout. That involves quite a bit of players even though it starts out more intimate. It grows with each new detail.

It’s a neo-noir that is not as comedic as presented within the trailers. While it has dark humor it is more a thriller. 

The film plays out non-linear at first but is presented and put together with different timelines as we flash forward, back, and then sometimes current time. Told lien this for the audience to get more intrigued and keep the story moving forward in a way that adheres to what the audience is familiar with. 

The film comes alive in the third act with twists and turns that allow for some surprises, but still never quite speeds along or leaves details by the wayside.

The film does offer a femme fatale abs one hell of a seduction scene. Even though other than that scene. It never quite explains why the two characters bond enough to overly look out for one another, especially her considering her position. 

The film offers more of a character study of sorts. Even though with so many characters it offers quirk in the language being studied abs used for this caper. Though seems more there to explore the situation and relationships more than being integral to the plot overall.

Though at first the film might be light shearers but have a tough attitude. It soon shows itself to be violent and dangerous also. Where no one Is truly safe or can be completely trusted.

As everyone has their own agenda here including the so-called good guys. While the film offers style it also seems at times to be overly artistic for such a simple premise.

Though we never quite get any answers for why the lead is so tightly wound or got so involved in the first place. As for its many introductions, the film seems only interested in the lead mostly. Who only really changes more out of circumstances. Not organically or emotionally compelled to.

The film is a great jaw-dropping modern interpretation of femme fatale in the form of actress Catrinel Martin still some questions or connection and plans of characters.

She has a great and strong entrance. Where she is illustrious and iconic, but through the rest of the film, he becomes more of a background character losing the Great strength she was shown as having only to become revitalized by the end. 

Definitely an inspired film. Not the action Oriented kind. Yet it keeps you invested.

Grade: B

THE HUSTLE (2019)

Directed By: Chris Addison 
Written By: Stanley Shapiro, Paul Henning, Dale Launer & Jac Schaeffer 
Cinematography: Michael Coulter 
Editor: Anthony Boys 

Cast: Anne Hathaway, Rebel Wilson, Alex Sharp, Tim Blake Nelson, Timothy Simons 

In this remake of 1988’s “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” 2 con-women hustle in a small French Riviera town – one for small amounts from average men, and one for higher amounts wealthier men. They bet on what looks like an easy target. The winner gets $500K from him, and the loser leaves town forever.


This is an example of when a film Shows the best jokes of the film in the trailer. Which weren’t very funny, to begin with, but at least leaves the audience intrigued. 

This film is a female remake of the comedy DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS. With Anne Hathaway playing mroe the aristocratic Worldly con woman and Rebel Wilson playing more the sloppy con woman who could stand to learn from Hathaway’s character.

There comes a point in watching the film. Where you can understand the studio loving this idea and getting two stars to be In it but then the script comes along and no one noticed any problems? Or felt it wasn’t with it in the end. Nobody while filming thought this could be better? 

As the film comes across as one extended sitcom as far as set-up’s and its broad mroe physical humor. Leading to many awkward moments in what are supposed to be wide comedic sequences. 

Anne Hathaway is having the time of her life with various over-the-top foreign ridiculousness accents and she looks breathtaking throughout. As always the height of fashion and coming across elegant as a fashion magazine ad. Though there is one scene where she uses a voice that I wish the film or her character had been mroe like that. When she says she likes a bracelet because of how shiny it is 

Rebel Wilson goes over the top. As her character seems constantly sex-starved and crass, but while she can be funny. Many times here she is either the butt of the home or just goes overboard or is used that way. 

They both could have benefited from a better script. Even if half the audience remembers the original film And the twists and turns the film feels lazy in how it gets there.

Even with the update of making their big mark, a Mark Zukerberg Esque tech millionaire who has social anxiety feels a bit too spot-on and modern. 

Though the two female co-Stars do have good chemistry. It also feels like they are trying to squeeze humor from an unfunny movie. Nothing in this film ever feels believable. 

For as cynical as the film tries to be it goes too easily for more a light touch. So that it never rises or comes close to the laughs or being as memorable as the original film. This just feels like an Unneeded modernized update that came perhaps too soon. Coincidently after a successful musical broadway run of the original.

One will say that the film looks beautiful as all the surroundings are picturesque. The film does contain one brief touching moment.

Grade: D 

TERMINATOR: DARK FATE (2019)

Directed By: Tim Miller
Written By: David S. Goyer, Justin Rhodes & Billy Ray
Story By: James Cameron, Charles Eglee, Josh Friedman, David S. Goyer & Justin Rhodes
Based on characters Created by: James Cameron & Gale Anne Hurd
Cinematography: Ken Seng
Editor: Julian Clarke

Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Gabriel Luna, Tom Hopper, Fraser Jones 

A young female Mexican worker, Dani Ramos, is hunted down by a virtually indestructible terminator from the future called a REV-9. However, she is protected by an enhanced human named Grace who is also from the future. They flee from the unstoppable terminator and, out of the blue, Sarah Connor helps them on the road. All three head to Laredo, Texas, where Grace has the coordinates of possible support and where they meet a T-800 who is living in an isolated location with his family. The group teams up to try to destroy the REV-9.


When it comes to this franchise. We are back at the well. Which once again feels I needed but does provide impressive action sequences and special effects throughout.

This film doesn’t have as much star power as the recent additions. It seems that is what the filmmakers choose to emphasize. 

Though this sequel does add some diversity. You can’t help but wonder if it more of a marketing decision. Rather than a natural addition of more people of color.

While this is a welcome return for Linda Hamilton’s character to the franchise and being more female-oriented in the middle of the action, Then in films past.

For a film that is over two hours, the film starts off the action pretty quickly. 

As this is a franchise they keep trying to continue. It reminds one of the line from MEAN GIRLS “Stop Trying to make fetch happen” especially if no one is requesting more of these movies. Instead of creating its own mythology of different timelines that makes the series feel like a choose your own adventure story. Depending on when you came into the franchise. Though the first film and T2 seem to be holy scripture for the franchise.

At least this time as usual they try a new film only after it seems special effects technology has been updated. Unlike a few of the sequels especially the last 2 and the third film. It feels like after the third film it’s the same book or tale rewritten by a different author.

This story Could easily be seen as a metaphor for an attack on women’s reproduction. Though not the government. As the main character is targeted for bringing up/birthing a child though the sides are changed with the villains wanting the child aborted.

Maybe it lasts as though it is an action film with some scientific elements. It works as a slasher film of sorts with a recurring final girl. Always on the run against an impossible assailant who will kill anything in its path. Just to terminate one person. We watch just to see how it will happen and the kills involved. Though usually see them coming. There is usually the element of surprise which also brings in an element of horror.

Especially with this fin as the body count rises with efficiency. It feels more violent as gorier as most of the deaths are by impalement.

Though at least this sequel feels less monotonous and more entertaining. Even with a lot less humor until Arnold Schwarzenegger shows up. As he always does. These films usually somehow also involving Arnold Schwartzenegger’s terminator in some form. Only one of the sequels didn’t have his total involvement.

So his appearance here is not shocking. This also relies a lot less on John Connor. As he is iconic in the role of the terminator. These films will always rise and fall with his involvement not giving credit to the lesser sequels weakens the better ones. This is the one that should have come after the second or third film.

This is where all of the budgets went as scenes outside of it come off small scale. Simple but also feels the most relatable.

The film also seems like the simplest out of all the films in the franchise. All the films feel epic in scope. Though This one seems to focus more on the action sequences. So that there already less questions about the plot and the story.

It still seems to have all the central roles. Only here they are all mostly switched to female characters. Who seem to serve the same purpose as when it was male characters.

This film Still feels like a bit much. Though at least while trying to impress you. It makes its Mark. It gives you a lot for your investment. That is its own reboot though as we are all familiar it doesn’t feel as fresh or advanced.

Grade: B-

THE GHOST WHO WALKS (2019)

Directed By: Cody Stokes
Written By: Cody Stokes & Ben Bostick
Cinematography: Michael Lockridge 

Cast: Garland Scott, Frank Mosley, Alexia Rasmussen, Gil Darnell, Dasha Nekrasova, Nattalyee Randall, Peter Mayer 

After five years in prison, guards lead Nolan to his freedom. But Nolan’s ticket out came courtesy of ratting on his former boss. A death sentence for any man. His goal: find Lena and Amy-his ex and their five-year-old daughter he’s never met-and get them out of the city, to a new life together, before the ghosts of his past can track him down and kill him.


I Hadn’t heard anything about this film and decided to take a chance Was pleasantly surprised. 

This film doesn’t have a cast of well-known actors. Which leaves the audience not necessarily having any expectations. It’s nice to go into certain films blind from time to time. Though makes it more thrilling than anything goes. There are no rules. No one is safe. 

The film is a done and dirty pulp tale of love, escape and revenge. While it doesn’t offer much you haven’t seen before it does hold your interest and wishing the lead character the best.

The film feels like a film that was adapted from a short story or a graphic novel. As there seems to be much more left unsaid or hinted at than shown at times. That gives the audience a hint that the material is deeper than what we are presented with. 

Everyone the main character comes across or comes into contact with and actually helps him. Seems to pay their own price.

The action scenes feel realistic and not too glamorous or showing off. Though oddly they do contain a bit of humor. The only time the film seems to show any.

The film, like the main character, gives it a try and is successful more times than not. Even as the villains feel familiar and one-note, but you can understand most of the character’s points of view and motivations.

The film is impressively done with a more limited budget. What is achieved is good even in the middle of the film’s Limitations and of him, bonding with others helps the film feel more earnest at times. As it takes time to build moments and characters. 

Though familiar the film never feels monotonous. Though it is a dark and bleak tale as by the end it truly shows itself to be a tragedy. 

Grade: C+