Reviews

Movie Review: THE CURSE OF HOBBES HOUSE

THE CURSE OF HOBBES HOUSE | ©2020 4Digital Media

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Mhairi Calvey, Waleed Elgadi, Makenna Guyler, Kevin Leslie, Emma Spurgin Hussey, Jo Price Writer: Wolf-Peter Arand, story by Juliane Block & Wolf-Peter Arand Director: Juliane Block Distributor: 4Digital Media Release Date: December 15, 2020 THE CURSE OF HOBBES HOUSE begins with an elaborate narrated prologue, voiced over still artwork illustrations. It’s a bit confusing, at first, because we hear about a “great war” with big explosions, but this turns out not to be the Great War, i.e., World War I. Instead, it’s a pre-history event in what is now England. An evil king called Dormant kills […]Read On »

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Movie Review: ARCHENEMY

ARCHENEMY Movie Poster | ©2020 RLJE Films

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Joe Manganiello, Skylan Brooks, Zolee Griggs, Paul Scheer, Amy Seimetz, Glenn Howerton, Jessica Allain Writer: Adam Egypt Mortimer, story by Adam Egypt Mortimer & Lucas Passmore Director: Adam Egypt Mortimer Distributor: RLJE Films Release Date: December 11, 2020 ARCHENEMY is one of those movies that invites us to guess what’s going on for most of its running time. Is the man who calls himself Max Fist (Joe Manganiello) really a superhero from another dimension whose powers don’t work in this world? Or is Max a delusional homeless person, whose mental issues are being made worse by […]Read On »

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Movie Review: WANDER DARKLY

WANDER DARKLY movie poster | ©2020 Lionsgate

Rating: R Stars: Sienna Miller, Diego Luna, Beth Grant, Vanessa Bayer, Brett Rice, Aimee Carrero, Tory Kittles, James Landry Hebert, Dan Gill, Ethan Cohn, Lamont Thompson Writer: Tara Miele Director: Tara Miele Distributor: Lionsgate Release Date: December 11, 2020 WANDER DARKLY is one of those movies where even to explain the premise may be to spoil it. So, we’ll go with the set-up. Adrienne (Sienna Miller) and Matteo (Diego Luna) are an unmarried couple living together in Los Angeles with their adorable baby daughter, Ellie. They’ve recently bought a house. Matteo and Adrienne’s mother, Patty (Beth Grant), can’t stand each […]Read On »

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Movie Review: BLACK PUMPKIN

BLACK PUMPKIN movie poster | ©2020 Uncork’d Entertainment

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Ellie Patrikios, Grayson Thorne Kilpatrick, Dogen Eyeler, Curt Clendenin, Matt Rife, Ryan Poole, Connor Weil, Tasha Dixon, Jordyn Lucas, Gemma Brooke Allen, Malaak Hattab, Alix Schwartz, Brittany Belt, Jacques Derosina, Drew Ochsner, Sundeep Konero, Wesley J. Szabo, Timothy Wade, Shaeda Maghaddam, Joseph Barone, Christopher Demaci, Jo Osmond Writer: Ryan McGonagle Director: Ryan McGonagle Distributor: Uncork’d Entertainment Release Date: December 8, 2020 BLACK PUMPKIN bills itself as “a twisted tall tale.” It’s a Halloween movie, complete with a HALLOWEEN-esque score (by Chris Kooreman & Edo Plasschaert, performed by Beat Royalty), coming out just in time for … […]Read On »

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Movie Review: VANGUARD

VANGUARD Movie Poster | ©2020 Gravitas Ventures

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Jackie Chan, Yang Yang, Lun Ai, Mu Qimiya, Ruohan Xu, Jackson Lou, Eyad Hourani, Zhengting Zhu Writer: Stanley Tong Director: Stanley Tong Distributor: Gravitas Ventures Release Date: November 20, 2020 VANGUARD proves that sometimes they do still make ‘em like that. At least, director/writer Stanley Tong and topliner Jackie Chan have made something that feels like one of those big, splashy international derring-do actioners from the ‘70s and ‘80s. The difference is that the heroes, instead of being American or British, are Chinese. Chan plays Tang Huating, the CEO of the private security firm Vanguard. Despite the […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE HONEYMOON PHASE

THE HONEYMOON PHASE movie poster | ©2020 Dark Sky Films

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Jim Schubin, Chloe Carroll, Francois Chau, Tara Westwood Writer: Phillip G. Carroll Jr. Director: Phillip G. Carroll Jr. Distributor: Dark Sky Films Release Date: August 21, 2020 (theatrical); September 29, 2020 (Blu-ray & DVD) THE HONEYMOON PHASE refers literally to the initial period in a happy marriage, when the newlyweds are besotted with each other. We know up front that something has gone wrong in some phase of the central relationship. THE HONEYMOON PHASE opens with  a young man, Tom (Jim Schubin), addressing the camera to report that his wife has committed suicide on their wedding […]Read On »

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Movie Review: ANYTHING FOR JACKSON

ANYTHING FOR JACKSON movie poster | ©2020 Shudder/Vortex Media

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Sheila McCarthy, Julian Richings, Konstantina Mantelos, Josh Cruddas, Yannick Bisson, Lanette Ware, Daxton William Lund Writer: Keith Cooper Director: Justin G. Dyck Distributor: Shudder/Vortex Media Release Date: December 3, 2020 ANYTHING FOR JACKSON is described in its publicity materials as a “reverse exorcism” story. That’s broadly true, although not quite what we might envision. Older couple Audrey (Sheila McCarthy) and Henry Walsh (Julian Richings) are Satanists, but they’re not trying to find a vessel for their Dark Lord or any of his minions. They just want to bring their little grandson Jackson (Daxton William Lund) back […]Read On »

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Movie Review: BEAST MODE

BEAST MODE movie poster | ©2020 Devilworks

Rating: Not Rated Stars: C. Thomas Howell, James Duval, Carrie Finklea, Spain Willingham, Leslie Easterbrook, Robert Costanzo, Daz Crawford, Teddy Margas, James Hong, Ray Wise, Aliana Matheis, Douglas Bennett Writers: Chris W. Freeman & Spain Willingham & Drew Fortune Directors: Chris W. Freeman & Spain Willingham Distributor: Devilworks Release Date: December 1, 2020 To paraphrase a famous quote, dying is easy, comedy is hard, parodying Hollywood and trying to do horror at the same time on a low budget is super-hard. Credit BEAST MODE for giving it a go, even if it doesn’t hit the mark much of the time. […]Read On »

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Movie Review: ZAPPA

ZAPPA movie poster | ©2020 Magnolia Pictures

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Frank Zappa, Gail Zappa, Bunk Gardner, Ruth Underwood, Steve Vai, Mike Keneally, Pamela Des Barres Director: Alex Winter Distributor: Magnolia Pictures Release Date: November 27, 2020 ZAPPA, as its title suggests, is a documentary about the late rocker/composer Frank Zappa (1940-1993). There is something valiant about the way writer/director Alex Winter has assembled a mass of archival footage, integrated it with new interviews, set the mood with unrelated but thematically relevant clips, and gotten it into coherent form. ZAPPA isn’t one of those documentaries where we are primed for blinding new revelations, or even explanations of […]Read On »

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TV Review: SUPERNATURAL – Season 15 – “Carry On” – Series Finale

Jared Padalecki as Sam and Jensen Ackles as Dean in SUPERNATURAL - Season 15 - "Carry On" | ©2020 The CW Network/Robert Falconer

Stars: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Jim Beaver Writer: Andrew Dabb, series created by Eric Kripke Director: Robert Singer Network: The CW, Thursday @ 8 PM Original Airdate: November 19, 2020 SUPERNATURAL does several smart things with its series finale. The first and most important is to end in a way that doesn’t make longtime fans want to kill themselves or other people. That aside, SUPERNATURAL spreads its denouement over two hours, the documentary “The Long Road Home,” and the actual last episode, “Carry On.” Reversing what might be the expected order, the say-goodbye doc, “The Long Road Home,” runs first. […]Read On »

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