Zach’s Zany FINAL Top 20 Films Of 2020

Hello again so soon! You probably saw this longer post coming though, as I had posted little mini blurbs for my final shittiest films of 2020 list last week. If you are a long time follower of my reviews, best of/worst of lists, what not, you’ll know that my final picks, on both lists, are very rare right before the start of the new year. Usually I will post my worst of list a week or two into January, and then my best of list the last week of January. This is because some 2020 films that qualify for the Oscars are only released in New York and LA right before the end of the year and aren’t available to the little people like me until mid January. As as we all know, this year has been quite strange because of the virus that shall not be named. There are a lot of “Best of 2020” films on mainstream critics list that you won’t see on here and you wouldn’t have seen me review the past couple of months either…mainly because they don’t release to the general public until late next month, or fuck, even late February because of the minor delay in not only the Golden Globes telecast, but the Academy Awards extending 2020 eligibility until late February this oh so special shitty year. I made the decision early on that you won’t see films like Pieces of a Woman, Nomadland, One Night In Miami, and French Exit on my lists because I don’t want to give you a best of 2020 list in late February. Because of the virus that shall not be named, you can’t even see the once blurry line separating one year’s films to the next anymore.

So from now on, even after this whole bullshit virus that shall not be named situation has went away, I will be counting films that I see that are released each year between January 1st 12:01 am and December 31st 11:59 pm central standard time on my lists. If I see a movie that was released between that ‘EXACTLY A YEAR’ period AFTER THAT PERIOD, I will still review them, but not put them on any lists because I don’t feel like pulling my hair out changing them. There are some movies that I don’t want to push off my lists even for other that are better or worse at that point. For example, I plan to see Monster Hunter with my good friend Josh on January 1st. It came out December 18th. So even if it is a giant piece of shit, the shittiest shit I have ever seen, it will not be on my 2020 or 2021 worst list. It’s just a shitty movie I’ve seen stuck in between the blur of all the other shitty movies I’ve seen in my life time that is one giant blur in itself. Another example for a potential great movie, when Nomadland eventually releases in February, and if I actually love the film, it will now be counted on my 2021 best of list. Not 2020. Because of this stupid fucking release schedule. Because these movies MUST be shown in theaters apparently and not just released on streaming for shitty, selfish, and greedy reasons. Everyone has had to adapt this year, and so am I, but on MY TERMS. Anyway, what am I doing still yapping about my rules? You’ve come to read my stupid little blurbs on movies that I’ve done reviews on already earlier in the year. Little blurbs explaining why these films are in my FINAL Top 20 of 2020 list. I promise you that I will not overstay my welcome on most of my small explanations. This is just backing up the list that you saw published a day or so ago on Facebook and Instagram with paperwork.

BLACKJACK 21: BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIE FILM and THE WRETCHED

So instead of a giant, long honorable mentions list, each year I do a “BLACKJACK 21” where, just like a Blackjack perfect 2 card hand, I pick 2 movies that I felt horrible for kicking off my Top 20 list that I would still like to give praise to.

When I first watched BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIE FILM, I laughed my fucking ass off and wanted to sing the praises of the performance that Maria Bokolova made as Borat’s daughter. And it was on my top 20 list for the last two months. Unfortunately for it, and other comedies of its kind, in subsequent viewings, the movie doesn’t quite hold up as well as it did on that first hilarious outing. You start to see the cracks in the film, such as Borat doesn’t really trick that many real people into saying really horrible shit this time around. And finding out that some sequences were staged more than you thought they were doesn’t help either. But, Maria Bokolova’s performance and the character arc of Borat accepting and loving his daughter even though she is a woman, worked better as a story than it did in the original, even though the original’s pranks and laughs still hold up and are much stronger than this sequel’s is. But I still wanted to give Sascha Baron Cohen some praise for making me laugh really hard initially in this shitty shitty year.

And now THE WRETCHED or “The little low budget horror film that could that made a boat load of money in drive-in theaters when regular theaters were closed due to the virus that shall not be named.” It’s actually a decent film and the reason why I mainly wanted to sing it’s praises even though it’s not on my top twenty list, is because after subsequent viewings, the movie is still scary and creepy as fuck, and THAT TWIST ENDING. The twist at the end makes the whole movie, as I hadn’t ever seen a twist like that before and the little tiny clues hinting at it throughout are wonderful to catch after multiple viewings. Quite brilliant. If my list were to extend, The Wretched would probably be #21 and Borat 2 would be #22. I think though they make a perfect movie Blackjack hand for a year where it seemed like the house always won. In this case, the house is the virus that shall not be named.

20. THE HUNT

Let’s call this film the little political commentary that could, shall we? This film has somehow managed to survive my list, even though it came out all the way back in March (then again there are 5 others that have as well, a couple even before March). It also was one of the last couple of films to hit theaters right before the virus that shall not be named shut them all down. When I first saw it, in a theater thankfully, I thought it was good, but not great. But after 3 or 4 subsequent viewings, viewing it each time with a new audience by my side, and getting all the little tidbits and jokes that I somehow didn’t catch before, it turned into a great 90 minute thrill ride.

19. BAD EDUCATION

The only movie on my list that probably should be considered a made for television movie (it was nominated for Emmy’s and not Oscar’s after all). It premiered on HBO exclusively, but you know what? Fuck it, it’s THAT type of year, and I decided that I enjoyed it so, so much (Hugh Jackman gives one of the best performances of his career), and the fact that it was once initially supposed to go to theaters but I think was bought by HBO even before the pandemic, that I’m including it on my list here. It’s a very enjoyable dramedy that is better watched if you don’t know anything about the real life event it is depicting.

18. BIRDS OF PREY: HARLEY QUINN

Yeah, I could spell out the whole title, but 2020 has made me lazy, so fuck it, you know what movie I’m talking about. This movie is one of those to hit theaters a little bit before the shut down that managed to survive my list (this pick used to be Bad Boys For Life, but after subsequent viewings of both, Birds of Prey easily holds up better). Margot Robbie IS HARLEY QUINN. And the more realistic and smaller, more down to Earth, story/vibe that takes place in the bigger DCEU is a delight to behold. And the plot revolving around the catalyst and need for the perfect breakfast egg sandwich? Brilliant.

17. THE LODGE

I’ll put this simply, if you love or hate mostly psychological horror movies like Hereditary and/or Midsommar, you will love or hate The Lodge. If Ari Aster had made this, it would’ve been a perfect horror seasonal trilogy. For right now it is a spiritual horror seasonal trilogy until Ari Aster’s third film comes out. A dark and brooding horror in the winter time with an insane twist.

16. FATMAN

Mel Gibson plays Santa Claus in a realistic down to Earth dark world where a little shit spoiled rich child hires a hitman, played by Walton Goggins, to bring him Santa’s head because he’s pissed he got a lump of coal in his stocking for Christmas. THAT’S ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR WHY THIS MOVIE IS ON MY LIST.

15. FREAKY

A entertaining as fuck new spin on the body switch movie by turning it into a Friday the 13th like horror film. It also holds a fantastic performance by Vince Vaughn, and one of the few movies to be released in theaters after they re opened up after shut down. Easy-peasy why this film is on my list.

14. LOVE AND MONSTERS

This was supposed to release Feb 2021, but Paramount upped the date and put it on streaming so they could cash in on people being bored at home. They made the right decision. The movie is entertaining as hell and probably got more eyes on it than if it would have premiered in theaters this next uncertain 2021. I loved every minute of it. Fantastic creature effects.

13. LET HIM GO

Close in its release date to Freaky, Let Him Go also managed to push past the storm and release in theaters after they reopened after the shut down. A modern day Western drama and part thriller that tells a simple story of a couple of grandparents loving their grandson so much that they want to get him away from the dangerous family he’s currently living with ( their son died and his wife married an abusive asshole). This filmed touched my soul because of my parents everlasting love to my son, their grandson, Grayson. The whole movie reminded me of them. It also had some stand up and cheer kill moments in the third act that made me emotional as well.

12. THE GENTLEMEN

The earliest released film of 2020 that is on this list, Guy Ritchie has easily made his best gangster film and general film since Snatch and made up for the very shitty Disney Aladdin remake he had his hand in in 2019. ‘Nuff said.

11. PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

The first of three very recently released movies on this list, Promising Young Woman also braved the theaters during these hard times and managed to turn the comedic revenge drama on its head with not only a powerful performance by Carey Mulligan but a gut punch of a twist ending that you won’t see coming. It will make you or break you, and since it is on this list, it obviously made me.

10. THE INVISIBLE MAN

Another film that hit theaters a little bit before everything shut down. Leigh Whannell managed to give us his best combo written and directed film yet with some expert camera shots, a slap in the face twist scene in the middle of the film that you won’t see coming, and an expertly written ending. Oh, and another wonderful performance by Elizabeth Moss.

9. THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME

This film is either really great for some people, or really meh to the rest. I’m in the great category. This film reminded me of some fantastic dramas of the 90s like Sleepers and The Shawhsank Redemption. One of Netflix’s best original films ever released for sure.

8. SYNCHRONIC

A film that not only braved the storm and released in theaters after reopening, but doubled down by not simultaneously releasing on streaming, in fact, as of this writing, there is no place to watch it (it comes out to buy, rent and stream finally January 12th). But please do watch it eventually, and don’t let anyone ruin the story for you, even though as a hint of what it’s about, it has a tiny tiny….VERY VERY TINY bit in common with my #1 pick on this list. They both do different things with their similar concepts is all I will say.

7. SPONTANEOUS

The best romantic drama of 2020 that has all along tried to be labeled as a romantic comedy, even though it’s story is about a group of students in the same year class at a high school that spontaneously combust into bloody explosions for no reason. A very well written and smart film that I guess you could also label as the best film of 2020 that has a pandemic like plot structure, even though it was made WAYYYYYY before the pandemic in 2019. Excellent performance by 13 Reasons Why’s Katherine Langford as well.

6. WONDER WOMAN 1984

Fuck the haters, I love this film. If you are one of the ones bashing it to death, then you ARE A FUCKING SIMPLETON. I don’t care, I said it. You want to be one of those little assholes that only like your superhero films with clear cut good guys and bad guys in an all out brawl at the end of the film? Be my God damn guest. I want something different, and this “Monkey’s Paw/Wish Upon A Wonder Woman” story fit that bill for me. I’m tired of the same ol’ same ol’ action sequence upon action sequence trying to save the world from a giant baddie story. It’s been done to death. Fuck some of you simpletons. Seriously.

5. THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

An Aaron Sorkin written and directed fantastic dialogue court room drama about a startling event in our nation’s history. You can ALWAYS sign me up for that stuff.

4. SOUL

If there is a clear cut winner this year of film releases, it really isn’t the writer and director of my #1 pick, it’s Disney/Pixar. That’s because, spoiler alert for my list: my #3 pick is also Disney/Pixar. They managed to release two soulful (pun intended) animated films that hit me in the feels with every single frame and made me choke up and bawl with happiness in their climaxes (not to mention Disney basically won my heart already with the 2nd near perfect season of The Mandalorian). One movie asks the question: what is our purpose in life? The other is about family and brotherly love. The latter wins because it made me think of my brothers and my son Grayson and I haven’t cried like that during a film since the end of E.T. I cried just a little at the end of this one though. They are really tied with how well made and thought provoking they are.

3. ONWARD

This came out right before theaters shut down as well. And it didn’t make that much money it’s opening weekend because of the giant fear the virus that will not be named was starting to invoke with people. Fuck that shit, I still saw it in theaters and if you want to know the reason why it is #3 on my list, read my description of #4 again. I love you Disney/Pixar. Always have, always will.

2. PALM SPRINGS

Who fucking knew that a ANDY SAMBERG starring film, one that was also released as a HULU AND NOT NETFLIX ORIGINAL would be #2 on my best of list? Seriously, not even I could’ve predicted that. This films plays with the Groundhog Day formula the best I’ve seen since that original Bill Murray film. It’s funny, touching, smart, funny, well acted, emotional, funny, hilarious, hilarious, hilarious, fun, and did I already mention funny? It’s everything that one needs in a comedy. And it holds up perfectly on multiple repeating viewings.

  1. TENET

Which brings us to my #1 pick, the most non-shocking pick of them all if you even know me well at all…Christopher Nolan’s new time concept thriller. The man loves to play with time. Memento, Interstellar, my favorite film of all time; Inception. He’s a master of the ‘What If Time Were Like This’ concepts. Here is no different. Just like my #6 pick, fuck the haters on this one too. You fucking simpletons either didn’t like it and gave it a bad review for one of several stupid reasons:

a. you were pissed that Christopher Nolan said fuck the pandemic, didn’t have his film release delayed any more and just put it out into theaters even though they were still shut down in New York and California (FUCK YOU CUOMO AND NEWSOM, I HOPE YOU CONTRACT THE VIRUS AND DIE). EVEN THOUGH NOT ONE OUTBREAK OF THE VIRUS HAS BEEN LINKED TO A REOPENED THEATER AND THEIR SAFETY PROTOCOLS AND CLEANLINESS HAVE BEEN TOP NOTCH EVER SINCE THEY REOPENED IN LATE JUNE. AGAIN, FUCK YOU ALL.

b. you didn’t understand the film, because you are a stupid motherfucking dumb ass simpleton. Yeah, again, I said it. Fuck you.

c. again, you are just that stupid and petty

Granted the sound editing and mixing could’ve been better in theaters, but this movie is still a masterpiece in my mind. I’ve seen it multiple times now and I still don’t get bored with any second of it. The regular editing of this film is perfect, the fact that there are less than 300 special effect shots in this is astonishing, almost all practical effects…just wow. That’s all I have left to say: WOW.

If you aren’t one of the simpletons mentioned above, thanks for reading. I’m just going to end it there. Saying anything about how 2021 should be is a jinx in itself. Just keep watching those movies, no matter how they are released…as long as they are released! NO. MORE. DELAYS!

Zach’s Zany FINAL Top 20 Shittiest Films of 2020 (A year that is the epitome of shit)

As Obi-Wan Kenobi would say, “Hello there.” Yes, after a little longer than a month now, I’m back to writing something a bit longer than the little review blurbs that I have been putting out on Facebook and Instagram recently. If you were used to reading my stuff on here and wondering where the hell I’ve been, I’ve been still doing reviews, but on a much smaller scale, two to three sentences, with a number grade of 0 to 10 at the end (have even gone into negative numbers if I truly loathed a film this year). I just got…tired…of saying the same old shit. “Yay,” this movie was good, “boo,” it was bad. No matter what kind of spin I put on my descriptive words, it all boiled down to the same thing. I don’t know why I just stopped, I guess 2020 has finally made me tired after all these years. I also figured I would have a lot more time in my life if I made my thoughts short and simple. If you are bummed about that, I’m sorry…but you can always follow or like my Facebook page, Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews, or you can follow me on Instagram @zachszanymoviereviews. The choice is yours, and I’d be happy to give you a follow back on your business Facebook page or Instagram page if you come randomly give me a follow or like. Fuck Twitter, I got rid of that bullshit two months ago, and I don’t regret it. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. I think two social media options are enough for those that know me. But don’t worry, every once in a while I will come back. Like now. I know this is a little early but I’ve calculated what I have left to watch by New Year’s Eve and I figured it was pretty safe to go ahead and publish this list, as the only handfull of films I have left to watch don’t seem like they are bad enough to be worse than my #20 pick. I will write only a sentence or two of why these particular movies of 2020 are on my hate list, so no need to fret, it isn’t a redo of the 3 to 5 paragraph reviews that just dragged on and on of what I already wrote months ago. So without further ado, without further delay, here are my final top 20 shittiest films of 2020 and why they are a shit cake, covered in a shit frosting year due to COVID, with a shit candle on top with how utterly depressed and moody I’ve been for the past 10 months. Enjoy!

20. YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT

If you’ve ever wondered how bored you could get with a horror movie that happens to star Kevin Bacon, wonder no more. This is it. While Bacon is fine in it, it’s writer/director David Koepp that maybe needs to take a break from film making, as he gave us yet another haunted house/rental house film that manages to stand out in the sea of them in a bad way…by being utterly pointless…with snores galore.

19. MULAN

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Disney. I could end my quick blurb there but I want to put in a word of how utterly stupid it was of Disney to make this film cost $30 premiere access on their + streaming service, and then release it to regular subscribers a mere 3 months later at no extra cost. Stupid. You thought they learned their lesson when they are releasing Soul on Christmas Day for free yet they are going to try it again with Raya And The Last Dragon in March. Shameful. Oh yeah, Mulan kicks a spear mid air with super human strength into a guy’s chest mid way through the film, and then an arrow at the climax. If that makes you scrunch up your face…then I don’t need to say anything more.

18. HUBIE HALLOWEEN

Adam. Sandler. Netflix. Original. Movie. Got it? Good.

17. SECRET SOCIETY OF SECOND BORN ROYALS

Holy shit, this isn’t even worth watching for free on Disney+. Literally the worst thing that has debuted on the platform. It should’ve been buried at 2 am on a Saturday on the Disney channel.

16. KAJILLIONAIRE

I hate movies that are quirky and odd just for the sake of “art.” Artsy fartsy just for the sake of being artsy fartsy. Gets on my fucking nerves. Especially boring ones that by the time the end credits roll make you want to blow your brains out. Evan Rachel Wood’s voice in this will haunt your nightmares.

15. JOHN HENRY

Not even Ludicris’ golden jaw could save this movie with its utterly ridiculous and terrible storyline of protecting strangers that we’ve all seen too many times before, terrible misogynist dialogue, terrible action, and a terrible frowny face Terry Crews who knew exactly what kind of movie he signed up for.

14. INFAMOUS

Bella Thorne is a terrible fucking actress. There, I said it. But if I was single would I sleep with her? That’s a good question. My answer has been on both sides of the fence on that. I know what side of the fence I’m on with this film though: terrible. Used to be at the top of my worst list earlier in the year, but I kept coming back to the fact that it was at least shot well. It’s social media message though is bogged down in unrealistic resolutions…and again, Bella Thorne is fucking terrible in this movie.

13. DANGEROUS LIES

If you ignore everything else about the movie, and just watch Riverdale’s Camila Mendes walk her gorgeous self around mostly an empty house for 96 minutes, you may survive it? Or you could just watch Riverdale, which I haven’t seen but can probably bet that it’s at least 10 times more entertaining than this schlock.

12. FATAL AFFAIR

Another redo of Fatal Attraction, but with African Americans and horribly written dialogue. Nia Long and Omar Epps should be ashamed of themselves for signing up for this shit.

11. FANTASY ISLAND

This had some promise before the movie starting playing, flipping the classic television show on its head by remaking into a horror/thriller with a character twist I didn’t see coming, but the execution is worse than in a butcher shop on a hot day. As I always end up saying, “Better luck next time.”

10. THE PRINCESS SWITCH: SWITCHED AGAIN

Vanessa Hudgens is definitely a better actress than Bella Thorne. But they both have such a slutty presence on their social media pages, I’m also on the fence of whether I would sleep with her or not if single. Maybe as long as I could call her Gabriella during it? Anyway, this is easily the most cash grabby, lazy, pathetic, stupid, and unnecessary sequel of 2020.

9. THE GRUDGE

STOP FUCKING REMAKING HORROR MOVIES (although this was more of a side-quel), DUMPING THEM IN CINEMAS IN JANUARY AND EXPECT THEM TO PERFORM WELL WITH AUDIENCES. THEY DON’T. BECAUSE THEY SUCK SUPERNATURAL BALLS!!!

8. THE SLEEPOVER

Just lazy and stupid kids horseshit that happens to star a couple of recognizable names such as Malin Akerman and Joe Manganiello, where the kids are supposed to be at the forefront of the film, but the celebrities just can’t help themselves and have to make it all about them. This film was so dumb I wanted a plane to crash into my house and land on me as I watched it.

7. THE MAIN EVENT

(see description for #8 but take out the recognizable names and add a WWE family friendly theme)

6. THE LAST DAYS OF AMERICAN CRIME

What was supposed to be a two and a half hour action crime epic, has hardly any action and a ridiculous premise that constantly breaks its own rules that it sets up. It tries to treat us as if we are that stupid, and I LOATHE that shit.

5. THE LAST THING HE WANTED

What was this movie? I still don’t know. Nothing is explained, Ben Affleck and Anne Hathaway look like they want to kill themselves, and it all leads to a dour and undeserved dumb ending that was “supposed” to be shocking and sad. The last thing I wanted was to have ever seen this stupid fucking movie.

4. THE SWING OF THINGS

I watched this specifically for Olivia Culpo. If you don’t know who that is, look her up and you’ll see why. Never again. Worst adult comedy of the year and maybe one of the worst in a decade. The writer/director of this needs to STOP WRITING/DIRECTING and the editor of this needs to STOP EDITING.

3. THE WAR WITH GRANDPA

Basically the kid family friendly comedy equivalent to The Swing Of Things (and the next movie on this list). Just fucking awful. Robert DeNiro, Rob Riggle, Uma Thurman, Laura Marano, Cheech Marin, and Christopher Walken should be ashamed of themselves and refund everybody’s money that paid to go see this utter disaster. In the middle of the pandemic no less.

2. THE WRONG MISSY

Oh, did I speak too soon with saying The Swing Of Things was the worst adult comedy of the year and maybe one of the worst in a decade? Both films are constantly telling the other to hold its beer. I kept switching it back and forth, but the reason why I put The Wrong Missy higher on my shit list, is because there are some friends on Facebook and in person that actually LIKE this movie and LAUGHED during it. That’s offensive to me. So I’m going to say something offensive to even the odds. If you liked The Wrong Missy, you are probably on the spectrum.

  1. THE PROM

I’m going to get some flack for this one, but I really don’t give a shit. Other than the performance of Jo Ellen Pellman (when if you look back at this and study it closely, even though she’s the main subject of the movie, she’s hardly in it), this movie is offensively bad. Meryl Streep is bad. Kerry Washington is bad. Andrew Rennells is bad. Keegan-Michael Key is bad. Nicole Kidman is bad. James Corden is abysmal and I now loathe him as a human being. The musical numbers are terrible, save for one that just features Pellman, which finally had the other celebrities shut the fuck up and not appear at all during it. That’s the problem with this movie. Other than the “you shouldn’t be afraid of who you are, fight for it, especially if you are a homosexual” message of the movie, there is a 2nd almost as big of message….that clearly states “celebrities shouldn’t make good causes about themselves.” YET THE MOVIE STILL MAKES IT ALL ABOUT THE CELEBRITIES AND NOT THE HIGH SCHOOL GIRL WHO IS A LESBIAN THAT IS TRYING TO GO TO HER PROM IN A BIGOTED AND CLOSE MINDED STATE AND TOWN!!! EVEN THE FUCKING POSTER TO THIS MOVIE IS ONLY CELEBRITIES AND DOES NOT FEATURE ACTRESS JO ELLEN PELLMAN!!! This whole film was a terrible ruse, and I feel sorry for anyone out there that related to Jo Ellen Pellman’s character and how scary it can be to come out to everyone you know and/or love. Especially during the dark times of High School. This movie should’ve stayed a stage play. It makes me curious how that would play out if watching it live. I can probably guarantee you, much better than this. Ryan Murphy needs to take a rest and get rid of his smugness. It’s starting to get in the way of his creativity if it hasn’t already. The Prom is a muddled and confusing mess and I’d rather watch any other movie on this list than it again. Despite its good intentions. Which are still in there despite being surrounded by the smelliest and dirtiest shit you have ever had to endure in your life.

P.S. If the year 2020 were an actual movie, which it seems like it was to some, it would definitely take the #1 spot…no question. Fuck you 2020. I hope Donald Trump rapes and butt fucks you when the door hits you both on your way out.

Thanks for reading. – Zach

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM (Amazon Prime)

Do not let anyone spoil any of the pranks that Sacha Baron Cohen pulls on people (mainly Republicans) in BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM, the new follow up to the 2006 comedy classic. The title is much longer than that, and goes through several hilarious changes throughout the sequel, but this is what Amazon Prime is calling the movie in order to market and promote it successfully. I also know that the Rudy Giuliani bit was spoiled for a lot of us a couple of days ago, but I assure you, that wasn’t even close to the funniest or shocking thing to happen in this movie. BORAT 2, for 96 minutes, made me forget what year it was. I also assure you that I will not spoil any of the pranks or the ending to the actual narrative thread this movie surprisingly has. I’m just going to let you know, in some obscure details, whether I:

A. Laughed my ass off

B. Laughed my fucking ass off

C. Laughed my motherfucking ass off

or

D. All of the motherfucking above.

This is a simple test. If you don’t correctly answer, you are as dumb as some of the people that pranks are pulled on in this movie.

IMDB describes Borat Subsequent Movie film perfectly: “A follow-up film to the 2006 comedy centering on the real-life adventures of a fictional Kazakh television journalist named Borat.” However, while the first one was mainly just a bunch of skits tied together with an “okay I guess” Borat wanting to bed and marry Pamela Anderson plot thread, the narrative here is so much more satisfying. Turns out Borat has a daughter, who he reluctantly takes along with him on his journey in America in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 elections. Borat’s mission? To deliver a famous smart Kazakstan monkey to Republican Vice President Mike Pence. If he has ‘GREAT SUCCESS’ in his mission, than his country will no longer see him as a disgrace for making their nation look embarrassing back in 2006. While the pranks on unsuspecting real life people is the main draw to watch most of Cohen’s films, the whole father/daughter heart of this movies’ plot was actually really satisfying here, and was an improvement over the unfocused, but still funny as fuck way the first movie was tied together. Funny wise, I say that both films are on par with each other, and make a great double feature…but a fantastic triple feature if paired with Bruno, still my favorite film of Cohen’s. Why is Bruno still my favorite? Because there is no way that 2009 film could be made today with how overly sensitive and pussified this nation has become. No way. And that’s why it still makes me laugh, no matter if its the 10th or 20th time I’ve seen it, because it’s offensive as hell. These Borat films won’t make me laugh as hard the 10th or 20th times I watch them, but they will at least get many a chuckle and one big guffaw.

Look, my review isn’t going to sway you one way or the other whether you are going to watch this film or not. You can’t be on the fence, because there is no fence. You’ve already decided. You are either going to watch it and laugh your ass off, or you aren’t going to watch it and be a pussy, then bitch and moan in a deep dark corner of your pathetic soul while the rest of us laughingly discuss it. Even though this movie is really one sided politically, a lot of die hard Republicans are not going to like it and possibly be offended, I still think that even if you are a conservative, and have a sense of humor in most things, that you’ll be able to get through it with ease. Yes, Jeremy, that was aimed at you. The young woman who plays Borat’s daughter in this, the actresses’ name is Maria Bakalova, is excellent in this and almost steals scenes out from under him. She was so funny and a delight to watch. I also liked that the way the movie handles the obvious elephant in the room: how do you prank unsuspecting people when Borat has become a famous household name? Simple, as Borat, Cohen dresses up in a disguise that already is already a disguise itself! What was also really amusing was that, from some of the stuff that happens in this movie (and calendars on the walls), that the movie was planned and was filming BEFORE the pandemic hit back in January. The COVID-19 massive spread mid filming just seemed to be a lucky happenstance for Cohen and company to get more out of the premise and story. It makes you wonder what other things would’ve been in it if COVID-19 and the pandemic had never come to pass. ESPECIALLY THE ENDING. Maybe Sacha could shed some light on it in future interviews or maybe even do a commentary for the film and add it to Amazon Prime later. Who knows? In the meantime, the answer to my multiple choice test question was D. as Borat 2 was…VERY NICE! But can we not wait so long next time for a third Borat…or (crossing fingers) a 2nd Bruno? Jak si mas!

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: EVIL EYE (Amazon Prime)

Well, we have come to the end of the first month of 4 “Welcome To The Blumhouse” films exclusively for Amazon Prime, and to be honest, each one was worse than the last. Enough where I’m going to do something rare at the end of this review and give them all letter grades. Just cheap mass produced potato chips that we’ve tasted all before. Not stale, such as Blumhouse’s Into The Dark Hulu exclusive movies, but a taste we start to get bored and tired of quickly after only a few chips. EVIL EYE is easily the worst because just like Nocturne, it is a rip off of another movie. Namely, it’s a spiritual, supernatural, reincarnation, Indian male rip off of Fatal Attraction. Not only that, but the two lead female protagonists talk on the phone and think it is ‘acting’ for over half the short 90 minute run time and then only have two scenes physically together at the end where we are supposed to care what happens to them due to said phone conversations, especially because they are mother and daughter. Due to the cheapness of the film I doubt that those two actresses were really talking to each other and their scenes were of course filmed separately, causing me not to get invested in them. And yes, I know that there is a pretty good screenplay reason for why they only talk on the phone, the daughter lives in the States and the mother lives somewhere in India, but what the movie needed to do was have all the actors and actresses near the same location, I don’t care where, it just needed to happen. That way there could’ve been more physically there scenes with both the protagonists and the male antagonist, where more tension would’ve been built, more suspense, which would’ve made me invested in not only the story, but everything about it.

I guess you could say that my evil ‘film’ eye was being too harsh on the film and my attention waned. IMDB describes Evil Eye with the following: “A superstitious mother is convinced that her daughter’s new boyfriend is the reincarnation of a man who tried to kill her 30 years ago.” What the movie fails at considerably is the execution of whether or not said new boyfriend of the daughter is really the reincarnation of the mother’s abusive ex-fiancee. Kind of spoiler alert, but you know that he really is, because if he wasn’t, there wouldn’t be a fucking movie. The story then goes about the cliched route of everybody thinking that the mother is crazy and that she should see a doctor to get her paranoia and superstitious nature put to rest. And of course, just as she agrees to get help, is when the “big reveal” happens. Now I liked the reveal/revelation, especially what happens right after the mother likes a picture on her daughter’s Instagram before she discovers the half way decent McGuffin object in the photo. The reason why I wasn’t into what was happening when the movie wanted me to be is that all the mother’s interactions with the daughter and the antagonist fiancee were over the phone (and only one brief use of a split screen), and all those moments, all that dialogue and ‘acting’, which again, were half the movies run time, felt “phoned in.” Yes, pun intended.

When the mother, played by Sarita Choudhury, was off the phone and talking to her husband or others, her acting was quite solid, especially when she seemed to be going off the rails mentally and didn’t have a phone to her ear. The daughter, Sunita Mani, less so, as she seemed just a little too ignorant for what was happening all around her. And you just know there is going to be a scene where the daughter finds out who her fiancee really is, but the way it is handled is kind of awkward, as the male antagonist was very careful and precise up until then, and his slip ups to his discovery ended up feeling forced and a bit out of character. The movie is extremely predictable, chunks of dialogue from screenplay writer Madhuri Shekar, who hasn’t done much else (this movie was based off an Audible original, it probably should’ve been kept that way), felt clunky and inauthentic (especially the parts over the phone) and there was no visual flair from directors Elan Dassani and Rajeev Dassani, who I’m not familiar with either, as they have mostly done shorts. It felt like it should’ve been a Blumhouse Lifetime movie, not something exclusive to prime. It all felt fake. I also think I’m being extra super hard on this movie because Netflix already tried to rip off and do a reverse gender and race Fatal Attraction earlier this year with Fatal Affair, which currently is in my top twenty worst of the year list. This movie is much better than that one, due to that the movie did have something to say about Indian culture, love and marriage expectations, and what the ‘evil eye’ is to their people, but it was still disappointing because even with those factors, it was just another beat by beat rip off of other and better movies with no sense of unique style. I don’t know if my eye will be able to take more “Welcome To The Blumhouse” movies in the near future…will have to probably wait and see what other eyes think of them first before proceeding to give them a chance.

Amazon Prime’s “Blumhouse Presents” Film Ratings:

  1. The Lie: C+
  2. Black Box: C
  3. Nocturne: C-
  4. Evil Eye: D+

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: NOCTURNE (Amazon Prime)

NOCTURNE is just a rip off of Black Swan, just replace the ballerina horror aspects of the latter film with piano playing and you get the former. Blumhouse productions is very frustrating in general. Only one in twenty of their films produced by mastermind Jason Blum is worth anything to write home about, and that one in twenty usually debuts in a theater. The other nineteen are usually direct to streaming (with one or two somehow getting theatrical distribution), cheap little projects, and it shows. Most of these Blumhouse produced films range from being only okay to down right fucking abysmal. The Amazon Prime exclusive ones, these newly introduced ‘Welcome To The Blumhouse’ ones, where they will put out 4 films in one month every several months, are the only okay ones. The Hulu exclusive ones, the one film per month going on two years now, labeled the “Into The Dark’ series, are the abysmal ones. So it is really not that all surprising that Nocturne is in the only okay category. However, while it might be in the only okay category when talking about its overall execution, the thought of it being beat by beat (literally, even the ending) of a much superior film makes you want to fit it right next to the abysmal file. Don’t get me wrong, it is very admirable if you are able to green light and make a motion picture on a small budget, but if you are a production company that mass produces them to no end, kind of like how author James Patterson is able to release 10 books all in the span of a year (I stopped reading his schlock awhile ago), then most of your content is just going to be bland, no excitement or surprises. IMDB describes Nocturne with the following: “An incredibly gifted pianist makes a Faustian bargain to overtake her older sister at a prestigious institution for classical musicians.” Don’t get me wrong, the movie is certainly watchable, but it doesn’t bring anything new to the genre table.

The definition of nocturne is “is a musical composition that is inspired by, or evocative of, the night.” Night equals dark. A dark movie usually doesn’t have a happy ending. Remember how I said this movie is a rip off of Black Swan? Has the dawn of light risen in your thoughts in what I’m trying to get you to see? Yeah, thought so. The movie is way too predictable and even if Black Swan hadn’t come before it, the very beginning of the film shows the entire story’s hand. There are several chances the film has to surprise viewers and flip all preconceived notions on their heads, but the film doesn’t take any of them. There are two things that are good in the movie, and only two: 1. The cinematography and shots are impressive and 2. The leads Sydney Sweeney and Madison Iseman give impressive performances. Although I would’ve like to see Sweeney play the sister and Iseman play the gifted pianist that made a Faustian bargain. Sydney Sweeney hasn’t really ever played (from what I’ve seen) the wholesome good girl, and while she is fine here, her transformation from a righteous yet shy girl into a jealous sort holding contempt for everyone wasn’t quite as day and night as I would’ve liked it to be. Madison Iseman has played both the good and bad girl (The Fuck It List/Jumanji) in different projects and I think maybe if they had switched roles, their character arcs would’ve been more clear. And don’t go in expecting a full on horror movie. There are absolutely no jump scares or tension, and it is definitely less artsy fartsy (the good kind for me) than Black Swan was. It’s more psychological. But due to the fact that there are no surprises in writer/director Zu Quirke‘s screenplay (she should maybe only stick to directing next time), the only deep rooted question you should be asking your id is why you decided to press play on this title in the first place.

Zach’s Zany TV Binge Watchin’ Reviews: THE BOYS SEASON 2 (Amazon Prime)

If THE BOYS SEASON 2 made any mistakes from coming off an incredible first season is that they should’ve released all 8 episodes at once like they did last time, and not this “3 episodes the first week then one per week for five weeks” bullshit. Hey Amazon, we are used to binge watching, get with the program. We know why you did it, it’s to get more and more ratings and views each and every week. But enough is enough, next time, for Season 3, just release all the episodes at once, you’ll thank me later instead of bitching about being review bombed by trolls simply because you tried to take advantage of fans during a pandemic. That being said, I still thought the second season of The Boys was really good, just not as masterful as the first season, and that’s because instead of having all 8 fantastic and solid episodes like the first season had, this season only had 5, with three episodes where it didn’t seem like much was happening to advance the plot/story. But that may just be me. If you are living under a rock and don’t know what The Boys even is, it’s a very popular original television series on Amazon Prime, based on a popular comic book series, that IMDB describes with the following: “A group of vigilantes sets out to take down corrupt superheroes who abuse their superpowers.” In my other way of describing it, it’s the most realistic take on superheroes in our real world that I have ever seen. Even more realistic than Zack Snyder’s DCEU. Of course all superheroes wouldn’t be high and mighty like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc. Some of them would be just as nasty, evil, psychotic, perverted and corrupt like some of our celebrities and politicians in modern day. It’s a delicious idea that is executed brilliantly here with over-the-top action and violence wrapped around a “supe-terrorists”, conspiracy, and revenge plot.

The main overall story is best described on Wikipedia, “The story follows a small squad, informally known as “The Boys”, led by Butcher and also consisting of Mother’s Milk, the Frenchman, the Female, and new addition “Wee” Hughie Campbell, who are charged with monitoring the superhero community, often leading to gruesome confrontations and dreadful results; in parallel, a key subplot follows Annie “Starlight” January, a young and naive superhero who joins the Seven, the most prestigious – and corrupted – superhero group in the world and The Boys’ most powerful enemies.” Without any spoilers there are some plot threads left over from Season 1 that trickle their way into Season 2, along with new threads and new characters such as the vicious Stormfront and a former asshole seeking redemption, Lamplighter. Speaking of the latter, when he eventually shows up (Episode 5), played magnificently by Fox’s X-Men Iceman Shawn Ashmore (gotta love the coincedence on this) that’s when The Boys Season 2 gets masterful and special. The solid episodes are easily 3, 5, 6, 7, and 8. Episodes 1, 2, and 4 are what are called ‘bridge episodes’ to get to the better content later in the season, but they can be kind of a drag with plenty of pacing issues where nothing really significant happens. Where I end up do loving where the story ends up going this season, with the end game finally revealed around the end of the 6th episode, the story and plot are easily upstaged and stolen by the acting from all involved and the gleefully fun, over-the-top, gory, and shocking violence. For example, a face is ripped off, people spontaneously combust, heads explode, and one of our “Boys” is almost choked to death by another super’s giant cock. Yeah, that scene is shockingly hilarious as you’d expect it to be.

Tip of the hat mainly to Anthony Starr as Homelander and Aya Cash as Stormfront this season. While everybody is solid, those two stand out from the pack, especially the former. I don’t understand why Starr wasn’t nominated for a supporting Emmy last season, but if he isn’t for this season, something is truly wrong with the television organization. Homelander is a character that you love to hate and Starr’s performance is so pitch perfect, insane, and bizarre that it would be really hard at this point to imagine anyone else in the role. He is THAT brilliant. I think I enjoyed this season finale more than Season 1. There are several shocking character twists that happen that don’t co-align with what happens in the comics (note: I have not read the comics but know the gist of what happens) and that is a good thing. While enthusiasts of the comic book series might scoff at the changes, I would like The Boys to be its own thing and be unpredictable. This season finale is certainly that. And I was screaming things at my television such as, “YES!” “HOLY FUCK!” “GOD DAMN FUCK YEAH!” and haven’t been that into an episode of television in quite awhile. It also uses The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” song perfectly, especially if you read between the lines with it when it comes to what certain characters will be without at the start of next season. The finale also felt like a series finale but then one last minute twist, that I didn’t see coming, hints at what is to come, and I’m very excited about Season 3 and where it will take us. I would just recommend the writers try not to make any bridge episodes and try to advance the plot, even just a little bit, in each and every episode like the first season. Even though the 2nd one didn’t quite match its predecessor, The Boys still very much fucking rocks, and was a nice distraction from this, what Billy Butcher would probably say, “Cunt year.”

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: BLACK BOX (Amazon Prime)

You ever watched one of those movies where you guess what is going on and what will happen the rest of the movie about a third of the way into it? And then once ALL of your predictions start coming true, one by one, even though the movie is still a half way decent one time watch, you kind of zone out a bit and you emotionally lose investment in the characters and what is happening on screen? That’s BLACK BOX, which is basically just Get Out (funny, because it’s from Blumhouse, the producers of that movie too) but on a much smaller, more personal scale and absolutely no racial undertones (in fact I think there was only one white character in this and she has about two lines). Yeah, I probably just gave a clue to many twists and turns within this film, but there is really no way to describe how I feel without hinting to you why I lost interest, even though there was nothing wrong with the execution of the story, what was wrong is that it didn’t go anywhere that other movies haven’t been to before. SSDD, Same Shit, Different Day. Black Box is part of a Blumhouse set of four ‘Welcome To The Blumhouse’ movies that the first two, where this and The Lie (reviewed it yesterday) came out Tuesday, and then Nocturne and Evil Eye come out next Tuesday. IMDB describes the movie with the following: “After losing his wife and his memory in a car accident, a single father undergoes an agonizing experimental treatment that causes him to question who he really is.” What really kind of irks me about the whole thing is that it stars one of my top ten favorite rising actors, Mamoudou Athie, and he’s just not getting the more than solid projects that he is capable of being masterful in. I mean…maybe in another two years, as he apparently has a substantial role in Jurassic World: Dominion?

And you know you always got to get into a blockbuster movie before you are offered other and better roles I guess nowadays. He has starred in much more smaller fare throughout his whole career. He was in Underwater that came out in January of this year, but he was in the film no more than 10 minutes before getting killed off. I know him from and started gaining keen interest into his career from one of his first independent feature debuts, called Patti Cakes, where he plays the weird love interest. He was also the only good thing about Brie Larson’s directorial debut Unicorn Store, and his best film so far, was earlier this year on Netflix, called Uncorked. Highly recommend you check either the latter out or Patti Cakes. He’s good in Black Box too, probably the best thing about the movie as it does stretch his range as an actor, it’s just the script and story around him is very plain and dry, so much so that the plot could be used in a beat by beat example in a Screenwriting For Dummies 101 book. The movie basically slaps you in the face early on of what is going on before it is revealed midway through, and the clues definitely could’ve been more subtle. I hate it when movies scream in your face in order for you to “get it” once it shows you it’s hand after the river card. Then once all is revealed, I pointed at the screen and said, “okay now this character is going to do this and this and this and this, and this other character is eventually going to come into the fray and do this and this and this and this, and then redemption story arc complete, obligatory sequel scene, end credits.” And I was 100% on the mark.

The film also stars Clarie Huxtable herself, Phylicia Rashad, and as the doctor trying to help this man gain his memories back she was adequate, but then once some things come into the light, she seemed a little too low key and under qualified for the role. Though maybe it’s just me on that one. The acting is good all around other than that, and when he enters the black box, his memory like sequences that come back to the protagonist are nice and creepy like any Blumhouse movie should be, there just wasn’t enough of them. There are only two, when there should’ve been 4 or 5, and the movie also should’ve been a bit longer than an hr and 40 minutes, where they could’ve saved the big reveal a little bit more than just halfway into it. They hired that dude that can contort his body all around to be an evil entity in the memory sequences, Troy James (used him better in the Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark movie), there just wasn’t enough of him to make a creepy enough impact like he’s been in other movies. In summation, you’ve seen different iterations of this movie done plenty of times before, and done much better, which is probably why this film went straight to streaming instead of into theaters, regardless of the pandemic, in my opinion, it is where it needs to be. The film very much lags in the second half of the film when the protagonist goes to visit one of the people he sees in his unearthed memories. It was a 15 minute scene that needed to be about only half that. When you have a movie about trying to conjure up lost memories, you need just more than two for the audience to get emotionally invested with what is happening. Only two feels like a budgetary and screenwriting cop out, and for a movie titled Black Box, it was a little disappointing to open up and discover no surprises.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: THE LIE (Amazon Prime)

THE LIE’s twist ending, which I predicted a mile away, might make or break your opinion of the whole film, and that ending will unfortunately overshadow how many stupid actions the characters make during the course of it. There are many idiotic mistakes and decisions that A. don’t make any logical sense and B. cause too many plot holes. For me, even though I predicted the ending, it was still frustrating because some of the scenes earlier in the film contradicted the reveal when revealed. The movie was written and directed by Veena Sud, who I just gave great praise to in Quibi’s The Stranger and I loved her television show The Killing, and while the way the film is shot, the desperate tone, the dark mood, atmosphere, and acting are all top notch, the screenplay for me was a giant problem here. You will constantly be screaming at the screen the correct decisions the characters needed to make and then wondering if anyone is legitimately that idiotic in real life (spoiler alert: there is, anybody deeply involved in politics). There are no politics in this however, only moral dilemmas, but the characters are so horribly underwritten that their moral decisions are unfocused, blurry, confusing, and make no sense in contrast to scenes that have just played out for the audience. This was filmed in 2018 and has been sitting on Blumhouse’s shelf for a couple of years, nobody really knowing what to do with it. Nothing like a pandemic delaying the blockbusters to just dump stuff like this on streaming services to give lazy pussies something to watch, am I right???

IMDB describes THE LIE, originally titled ‘Between Earth and Sky’ (WTAF?!?), with the following: “A father and daughter are on their way to dance camp when they spot the girl’s best friend on the side of the road. When they stop to offer the friend a ride, their good intentions soon result in terrible consequences.” Since the inciting incident happens no longer than ten minutes in, I’m just going to tell you what happens so you can gain some context into my review and the stupid decisions and things that happen afterward. The daughter and friend get the father to stop the car to go off to pee in the middle of a snowy forest and bridge that happens to be on the side of the road of the route they are taking, and the daughter, after a minor argument in the car moments earlier, pushes said friend into the chilly river and lake below. The rest of the movie is the father (played by Peter Sarsgaard) and the mother (Mireille Enos) trying to cover up what happened so that way their daughter (played by Joey King) won’t go to jail for murder and ruin her future. The stupid decisions literally start right after you hear a scream from the forest and the father comes upon his daughter on the bridge alone (he was respecting their privacy and waiting by the car for them to do their business, so he doesn’t see what happened). From there you get dumb decisions and actions such as:

1. When one character runs away from another in their neighborhood and seemingly gets away, the character that ran off immediately afterward starts walking slowly down the middle of the road in their neighborhood.

2. A character doesn’t answer the front door from a other angry character and thinks he/she can’t be seen in the house even though the windows behind he/she are all open for the world to see. Any sane person, if wanting to see if anyone is home combined with being really angry, can and WILL just go around to the back of the house to see if anyone is hiding.

3. The parents constantly tell their daughter to stay put, not to show herself, don’t come outside, etc etc other smart things that the daughter constantly disobeys not two seconds later.

4. Possible evidence at the crime scene is not only left and not looked for stupidly but the evidence that hasn’t been disturbed and needs to stay there is moronically taken back home by one of the characters.

5. The parents don’t interrogate the daughter correctly and ask the right questions, and the police are really really really dumb and their investigation is borderline malpractice here.

There are many more than just those five listed, and I don’t want to go into spoiler territory, but you should catch my drift. There are a few good things about this film, as I have mentioned earlier. It’s filmed really well. The mood, atmosphere, and tone is dark and dreary. The situation that would present a huge sense of dread among those involved in the real world is perfectly replicated here I think. All three key players, Sarsgaard, Enos, and King are all top notch here and their acting is great as always. The movie is certainly watchable, because even though I had a problem with it I can’t deny I was entertained for 95 minutes and wanted to see everything play out. And in a film that could’ve been written and handled much better than this was, the twist probably would’ve worked for me (I bet you can guess what the twist is already, I’ve provided enough clues as to what it is). But alas, it didn’t because of the contradictions to what came before combined with some pretty big plot holes. What it all really bogs down to is whether or not I give this a recommendation. While I was entertained, I really just can’t give it one, because when I try and think back fondly on it, the stupid character decisions and the loose screenplay keeps sinking into my brain to the point where I can no longer lie to myself. The truth is that it’s a frustrating miss and mess, plain and simple.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: GET DUKED! (Amazon Prime)

I can almost guarantee you that you haven’t heard of this movie. GET DUKED! is the new critically acclaimed Amazon Prime Video original movie that per IMDB describes it as: “An anarchic, hip-hop inspired comedy that follows four city boys on a wilderness trek as they try to escape a mysterious huntsman.” Wikipedia has a little better of a description: “Deep in the Scottish Highlands on a camping trip competition, four city boys try to escape a mysterious huntsman while the police trail behind, failing to provide assistance” To describe it a little bit better, in my own way, in order for you completely get the gist of it, it’s a British comedy take on The Most Dangerous Game…in a way. It’s in the 90’s on Rotten Tomatoes right about now, but for me, that seems a little too high. Its current IMDB score of 6.7 is a little more of where I would put it. I just think it needed to be, and pardon me for using my blog name as a point of criticism here, zanier. It is zany though, as most of the comedy works…such as an accidental killing, a make shift bomb, rabbit shit pellets, insane drug trips, and a tense ritualistic sacrifice set to a funny original rap song. I just don’t think that the jokes landed as hard as they needed to. They made me chuckle but I wanted to really laugh out loud…is it possible all my laughs were already wasted for today after watching Hulu’s The Binge, and I should’ve maybe saved this for another day when I had time on my hands? Maybe.

But then again, British/English humor is hit or miss for me, it either hits lightly, or it’s a meh miss, it has never been truly awful nor has it ever been truly belly busting laugh worthy (with the rare exception of masterful films like Edgar Wright’s Cornetto Trilogy). So you could say, this isn’t a meh miss, it’s a brief “thumbs up” from afar hit. Just don’t expect me to get up off my fat ass and shower this film with praise up close.It’s a decent one time watch, nothing more, nothing less, and much better than what bullshit Netflix has been churning out so far this year. And I’m definitely not this films target audience. English and British people are. And that’s perfectly okay, Get Duked! should be that film for them. The only recognizable name in this would be English comedian Eddie Izzard, who plays the huntsman aka ‘The Duke’, and along with a woman apprentice, try to kill these four boys. He is fine here, although the mask he wears most of the movie distracts from any audience member being able to tell if he made a solid performance or not facially. The four boys do a solid acting job though, playing off each other really well, couldn’t even tell that some of it was probably improv. The last 30 minutes, other than that tense rap little sequence, is easily the best part of the movie. Which the first fifty something minutes of the movie would’ve been as strong. I think this is writer Ninian Doff’s first feature, because it doesn’t pull up much information about his career, and if so, it’s a fine first feature to have. It’s shot very well, and the drug trip sequences were fun and unqiue to watch. Just have the visual sight gags occur more and land harder. Watch some Edgar Wright movies, he knows how to film those with expert precision. Or watch the British film Attack The Block, that small sci-fi extravaganza blended tension and comedy EXTREMELY well. Your sophomore feature should improve upon this one, otherwise next time I might tell you to get fucked.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: CHEMICAL HEARTS (Amazon Prime)

Good lord I can’t wait to go back to the theater tomorrow. If Unhinged is only half a percent better than Amazon Prime’s new original movie, CHEMICAL HEARTS, I’ll be relieved. This film is the definition of sappy depressing teen angst for the sake of being sappy depressing teen angst. It’s a simple story that doesn’t have any new real revelations and it has been done a ton of times in better, older films. It brings absolutely nothing new to the table. The acting is fine, yet when your movie’s best feature is the score and musical choices, you might have a problem. This is a teen romance drama that is adapted from a novel, of which I can guarantee you the novel has something deeper and more to say than this movie did. The film also has a few interesting things to say about the chemicals in our brain and body and the movie didn’t end the way I thought it was going to, but that was it. Everything else is just standard: boy is a virgin that hasn’t had anything exciting happen in his life; beautiful girl with a walking cane obviously has a damaged past and a couple of emotional secrets; she is resistant at first, they fall in love, yada yada yada, shit happens, some light at the end of the tunnel, the end. You. Have. Seen. It. All. Before. This film makes A Walk To Remember look like a masterpiece. Could the movie had been better if the novelist actually wrote a screenplay off her novel? Probably, but the director took a stab at it, and it feels like his heart wasn’t into it, the creative chemicals in his imagination on autopilot.

Does it mean anything when I say this is Riverdale’s Lili Reinhart’s best performance? Not really. She’s an okay actress, but she is too old to be still playing these high school characters. Especially after I saw her in Hustlers last year. Her and Austin Abrams, who plays the male protagonist, are the same age, but while he looks like he still has a year or two left of pulling off high school roles, she’s about two years too late. Per IMDB, it describes Chemical Hearts as: “A high school transfer student finds a new passion when she begins to work on the school’s newspaper.” That log line is a bit misleading as it is more about the boy’s story finding out her story than the whole movie being from her point of view. Either way, it is all just teen angst bullshit with cliched dialogue, other than the few lines about chemicals in our system, that you’ve seen and heard all before. It’s nothing new, so if you eat up that shit with each and every viewing, you are probably going to like this movie. Out of two movies about teen angst that release this weekend, the other, Words On Bathroom Walls, is much more worth your time. And the studio that is producing that movie knows that, as Words On Bathroom Walls is actually getting a theatrical release (even though it would’ve worked as a perfect video on demand release as well), while Chemical Hearts is just being dumped on Amazon Prime. This movie deserves that fate, as it wouldn’t have had any type of reaction if it had released theatrically like it originally intended to. It’s a poor man’s “insert another better romance drama here.” The thing is, I don’t know if it’s going to even have a good chemical reaction on Amazon’s streaming platform, as it is just a beaker of water really, with the burner set on low.