Directed By: Millicent Shelton 
Written By: Christopher J. Moore and David Loughery
Cinematography: Ed Wu
Editor: Tirsa Hackshaw

Cast: Queen Latifah, Beau Bridges, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Mychala Lee, Shaun Dixon, Keith Jardine, Frances Lee McCain, Jesse Luken, Tababtha Shaun 

In this high-octane action thriller, a cross-country road trip becomes a highway to hell for Brenda and her family. Alone in the New Mexico desert, they have to fight for their lives when they become the targets of a mysterious killer.

This film is pretty basic in the way that you know in each instance what is going to happen. Though you go through the motions. While it never gets exciting, at least it never gets boring. 

This is a film back in the day you would have rented from a video store. As it would have a good enough cast for straight-to-video premiere goodies. 

The film’s first third at least dramatizes the family dynamic and clearly shows each of their roles and tendencies. Mostly as a result of the tragedy of losing her husband and using any of the savings on trying to keep him alive. Which unfortunately failed.

Dealing with her screwed-up brother to take the trip. Their nerve is tested early on with a couple of rednecks. In which to remind them they aren’t in their old stomping grounds. Once they end up deciding whether or not to take The money they have stumbled across is where the second act begins and the story truly starts.

Again once the big reveal of the villain happens is never quite as shocking as the film wants us to believe. What was more unbelievable is that how much power he apparently has but seems to have only a few people working for him. Yet his name sends shivers down the local’s spines even the Neo nazi that Queen Latifah’s character has to fight off. 

At least the film tries to keep the audience on it’s toes. It stays in character while having Queen Latifah running around like an Alfred Hitchcock character. Who keeps having to overcome ever-surmounting challenges. While leaving Lidacris’s character as caretaker to the kids and occasional comic relief. 

The truly shocking part of the movie is how graphically violent the ending is. After most of the film being semi-violent or more threatening

Grade: C-


Directed By: Shana Feste
Written By: Shana Feste, Kellee Terrell and Keith Josef Adkins 
Cinematography: Bartosz Nalazeek
Editor: Dominic Laperriere 

Cast: Ella Balinska, Pilou Asbaek, Clark Gregg, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Dayo Okeniyi, Betsy Brandt, Amar Sotomayor, Amanda Jaros, Amy Doyle, Ava Grey 

After what seems to be an innocent date, Cherie now faces a night of terror when her date hunts her down and tries to kill her. She now must run for her life throughout the city and escape his grasp.

This is another blumhouse thriller production and like most production companies the film can go either way.

I really had some hopes for this film as it stars Ella Balinska who I remember from CHARLIES ANGELS and was impressed with her in that film. So I was looking forward to her playing the lead in this film.

Now coming from Blumhouse, I already expected a thriller or slasher or horror of some kind. This film went way over the top and instead of it being all the more impressive for it. It went the other direction and was more ridiculous.

It has a message and plenty of ideas and tries to show a woman overcoming oppression and the male gaze shown in examples but basically personified in one character. Who instead of being just one man who seems impossible to kill. Is not only the personification of misogyny but also supernatural. 

So In other words it’s impossible to kill no matter how hard she tries and he seems to be aided and abetted by various males around him. As he allows them to always stay ahead and keep their power over females. 

Though truthfully once she meets him And her being on her period she is dripping blood and he bends over to put his fingers in the drops on the floor. That should have been all she needed to know to avoid him.

The film is lower budgeted so there are some effects but a lot of telling and reacting but not exactly showing. Like when he takes on a gang of her friends we hear the fight but are only privy to the aftermath.

The film also has scenes where characters who would seem to be important to her and the story are killed pretty quickly and senselessly for shock value. Which seems to want to give the message that no one is sacred and that this film is willing to break rules and expectations. Unfortunately not in a good way.

The film overall just feels like a waste of time. A nice premise but definitely needed to be filled out a bit more or at least added some subtlety or even humor.

Grade: D


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+


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+


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-


Written & Directed By: Rob Zombie
Based On Characters Developed By: Norm Liebmann and Ed Haas
From a format By: Al Burns & Chris Hayward 
Cinematography: Zoraida Popovic
Editor: Vanick Moradian 

Cast: Sherri Moon Zombie, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Daniel Roebuck, Richard Brake, Catherine Schell, Cassandra Petersen, Tomas Boykin, Jorge Garcia

Reboot of “The Munsters,” which followed a family of monsters who moved from Transylvania to an American suburb.

The film seems like a far-fetched idea that should be horrible, but it isn’t as bad as one would think.

The movie feels like an extended episode of the series. Set in their universe. Rather than a normal reality in having them socialize with normal society. 

It also serves as a kind of prequel. So we see how Herman came about and his romance with Lily. The film is noticeably lower budgeted than expected though that only adds to the mood and atmosphere of the film.

The film has that same kind of stale sitcomish sense of humor. Only being a bit more macabre. Though could easily be a family film. The film Is campy and too long 

The film noticeably takes place on sets. The film has the same spirit as the television shows turned into movies by having maximum audience appeal to attract more than just fans. As it tries to modernize the show. While also serving as the greatest hits. 

The humor is corny as it almost feels more vaudeville than anything. It definitely comes across as a Halloween season movie. Almost like the live-action THE FLINTSTONES movie filled with tons of puns and one-liners. 

This strangely seems like a passion project for Rob Zombie. As no one was asking for this film but he seems determined to not only make it but also an affinity. It might be him trying to try another studio property with his own touch.

As this is one of his least offensive and cleanest films as far as material. 

As the film does stay true to its version. Everyone is dedicated. No matter how silly it gets and appears to be having fun. As he is clearly dedicated to this film and series. As is his cast, which is filled with his usual players, the main cast in multiple roles. As well a good size of the supporting and background cast being Hollywood and classic television veterans. Making this all the more a labor of love. 

It only lacks the stunt casting of seeing a fairly well-known star trying out the role for an impression or their own interpretation. 

Grade: C


Directed By: David Bruckner 
Written By: Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski
Story By: Ben Collins, Luke Piotrowski and David S. Goyer 
Based On The Book By: Clive Barker
Cinematography: Eli Born 
Editor: David Marks 

Cast: Odessa A’Zion, Jamie Clayton, Adam Faison, Drew Starkey, Brandon Flynn, Goran Visnijc, Hiam Abbass 

A take on Clive Barker’s 1987 horror classic where a young woman struggling with addiction comes into possession of an ancient puzzle box, unaware that its purpose is to summon the Cenobites, a group of sadistic supernatural beings from another dimension.

The film is perfectly fine as a kind of reboot or sequel to the original series of films and certainly better than the more recent sequels. Though in certain ways it fails. 

Not entirely it’s its own fault. As the film for all the gore and new directions. It plays strictly modern and is hard to be as shocking or as disgusting as the original two films.

Those films were not only shocking but identifiable as at heart the story was a kind of pulp story with otherworldly elements. That seemed to bathe in the cruelty of the aspects. While showing a story of obsession and manipulation. Where truly the only innocent character survived. 

Then through it, all the special effects were revolutionary and revolting so much that you could feel the pain or wince as to what it was like. Sort of like when men hear stories of anything happening to genitals. 

Here the film tries not so much as the original did, but is left with something that while violent feels typical, and if this franchise needs updating they seem to be going in the right way. As they need a balance of lore, story, gore, and effects that balance each other out. As to not seem too exploitive which then has the film feeling lopsided.

Here the film is serviceable enough with the main character with a past and makes the storyline convoluted more than it needs to be. Seeming to want to have a detective story, but in the end little mystery and while cruel bit cruel enough. 

Jamie Clayton makes an interesting new pinhead. Though the chest design makeup in certain lighting reveals itself to be more of a made up than organic. Though that is a nitpick, she and the cenobite designs are on point.

What also hurts the film which is common in general is that we don’t care much for these characters. As they barely make their presence felt. The lead is ok because we spend the most time with her. When she loses her brother that is the only time the film seems to touch on something that approaches an actual emotion and is believable. The other characters you try to but could care less. Especially her boyfriend.

Give the film a try, but don’t expect to be blown away. As this is Hellraiser for a new generation but definitely won’t over-shine the original. Even today still feels shocking.

Grade: C+


Directed By: Jennifer Kaytin Robinson 
Written By: Jennifer Kaytin Robinson and Celeste Ballard 
Cinematography: Brian Burgoyne
Editor: Lori Bell and David S. Clark 

Cast: Camilla Mendes, Maya Hawke, Austin Abrams, Alisha Boe, Talia Ryder, Rish Shah, Ava Capri, Paris Berelc, Sophie Turner, Sarah Michelle Gellar 

Drea and Eleanor agree to go after one another’s bullies.

Sometimes you get pulled into a film. That was certainly the case with this film. I thought would be the typical teen comedy they have offered in the past, but was willing to give it a chance because of the Cast.

Happily, the results are surprising. The film actually Offers some uncertain aspects and keeps the audience interested. As it offers a cynical view with plenty of energy but also plenty of great one-liners. Yet it is vulnerable and emotional when needed. It’sAlso surprisingly an R-Rated Film. That deals with sec and drugs a Little More believably as it isn’t EUPHORIA, but it isn’t Disney either 

The film is a bit familiar as it takes some of the best moments and qualities of teen movies of the past that you may remember but also makes it juicy

As with most Netflix productions, It feels like it could have been broadened a bit. Instead of feeling so insular and location bound. 

The lessons the characters learn seem obvious but at least are doled out in a harsher way. As usual, the parents or any adults with actual power seem either nonexistent or very much in the background or mentioned her never shown.

Noticeably Inspired by other films and while predicting what it does get general surprises it’s nice to have a rated R teen comedy once in a while though how that works Is something that a Family has to worry about

The cast is all aces though at first their characters all Seem like types. Eventually, the film Humanizes them a bit more. Just as thankfully the cast is diverse, Could use a little more splash of color but beggars can’t Be choosers 

Nice to see Sarah Michelle Gellar in this film. Only wish she had more to do. As she is a spectacular actress and this fits into her younger star past. 

Austin Abrams is perfect as an entitled questionable big man on campus who is ultimately a cad. 

While Maya Hawke is wonderful. Camilla Mendes takes the cake and eats it too. This film should Make her a star. As she has the talent and looks. She’s good in comedy, fashionable vulnerability, Good, Evil, and drama. Hopefully, this leads to bigger and better roles. 

The film is not only better than expected. its better than it deserves and could easily be a new teen favorite for the audience. 

Grade: B


Written & Directed By: Owen Kline 
Cinematography: Sean Price Williams and Hunter Zimny
Editor: Owen Kline And Erin DeWitt 

Cast: Daniel Zolghadri, Matthew Maher, Josh Pais, Maria Dizzia, Miles Emanuel, Stephen Adly Gurgis, Marcus DeBonis, Michael Townsend Wright 

A bitingly funny coming-of-age story of a teenage cartoonist who rejects the comforts of his suburban life in a misguided quest for his soul.

This is a film that seemed to be treading the same ground as ART SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL and GHOST WORLD. This film is more realistic but has the same kind of downtrodden dark humor.

This film is much more downbeat than those films.

As those films seem more cynical yet a bit more stylized. This seems rawer and victims of circumstances. Though this is just as funny at times. As mostly the joke is on the lead character. Who brings all Of this upon himself 

Only in this film, there are no winners it Is more of a comedic meltdown. Of a young man who believes that he must suffer to be a true artist, From his privileged upbringing. He tries to be rebellious and anything troubled or dirty deep. 

As expected he slowly Gets a wake-up call. That the audience from the beginning knows is coming. We want to root for him in his naive nature. As he wants to experience life. We see his continuing downfall. As he enthusiastically moves forward into a horror story of idealism.

Each character, he comes across seems crazy skewed in some sort of way.

The characters and film are somewhat grotesque at times. As it all seems grimy. The Aesthetic here is usually Close up And to Go for warts and all quality. 

Basically wanting to always want to show us the ugly side of the characters. While also showing that every person is flawed in some way. 

Even as this film is a coming-of-age story that offers few of answers. As the film makes its points but offers very little to make its Mark.

Coincidently it comes off as a graphic novel story of It’s own especially with its own drab presentation and darkly ironic sense of humor.

Grade: C+


Directed By: Graham Moore
Written By: Graham Moore & Jonathan McClain
Cinematography: Dick Pope
Editor: William Goldenberg 

Cast: Mark Rylance, Zoey Deutch, Dylan O’Brien, Johnny Flynn, Simon Russell Beale, Alan Mehdizadeh, Nikki Amuka-Bird 

An expert cutter must outwit a dangerous group of mobsters in order to survive a fateful night.

The film makes a nice attempt at trying to breathe life into a throwback gangster tale. The cast is willing to throw their hearts and efforts into it to seem authentic.

The film takes place mainly in one location and is dialogue-heavy. So that it feels more suited for the stage rather than the screen. The constant twists the characters and story take will keep the audience’s interest. The double crosses galore. Which is one of the film’s strengths. As if not for that the film might have been more of a display in dress-up and been somewhat stiff.

What saves the film overall is the performance of the lead Mark Rylance who takes over the role and the film. As he stays focused and is so mesmerizing to behold that you wish the rest of the film was up to his level. 

This also leaves the cast just trying to catch up to him In Strength and charisma. Even if sometimes it feels like the younger cast members get lost in their costumes and various period-era accents. That places them more trying in the land of make-believe but good enough to keep the film going 

The film is more of a dark tale but never feels like it wallows in it. It is a nice presentation but doesn’t rise to the level overall that various parts of it do. So it feels unbalanced but a pleasant experience. 

Grade: B-