By: Justin Hopkins
So, this actually feels like unfamiliar waters for me. I have never watched a King Kong movie coming into this. As far as big monster movies go, can pretty much name them off the top of my head, Godzilla 1998, 2014 and…Underwater. That is about it, but with Godzilla vs King Kong on the horizon and Paulie having already covered King of The Monsters. Might as well show so love to Skull Island while I get caught up. Have read and seen both negative and positive reviews for it. With an open mind, I gave it a watch and now, lets dive in and discuss.
The movie kicks off with the sounds of gunfire and two planes crashing into an Island. An American World war 2 solider and A Japanese one and they immediately resume trying to kill one another, before they were stopped by Kong and we jump to the present day. and we join Randa and Brook of Monarch. Showing up for a meeting with Senator Willis. Wanting permission to go with LandStat on their surveying trip to explore the previous undiscovered Island known as Skull Island. While Willis isn’t sold. Thinking they were crazy people chasing fantasies, gives them the go ahead when told the Russians may get their first. Going to a group of Soldier who are celebrating the fact the war was over and they were going home, except for Colonel Packard. Upset by how the war was ending and having nothing left to fight. Dreading the idea of going, but eagerly takes the job escorting the group to the Island. While Randa and Brooks go to pick up a tracker named, James Conrad. A former SAS, who while was hesitant, but agrees to go after having a massive pay increase and a bonus if they live and we see Anti-War Photographer Mason Weaver getting the photography part from LandStat, because she wants to know what is really going on with the trip and they all meet at the pier, with tension picking up between Packard and Mason right away. On their way, learning that they are going to be using Seismic Charges to help map out the Island, if they can get through the intense storm blocking the path. Which they do as Packard delivers a speech to keep morale up as they went and they begin to drop the bombs and motions are high with what they were finding, when a tree came flying through the windshield of one of the helicopter and Kong appeared and after an intense moment, the fighting began and Kong made quick work of them. Scattering survivors in three groups, with Conrad to collect and guide his group and Packard slowly losing his mind in his, and Chapman on his own, but their is far more things to worry about then Kong and I’ll leave it there for now.
Skull Island surprisingly had a lot going on for it, which was a surprise. Felt like they had a really good balance between the human characters and the giant monsters. Each of the characters had something to sink your teeth into and intrigued to see where each of them were going, with quite a different spectrum of different Big Monsters, or Kaiju for the fancy folks. It was fun to see their take on what animals would be there, from the big yak to the birds and spiders with bamboo legs. Made the Island feel more full and lively besides Kong and the Skullcrawlers. Like the use of the Seismic Charges being what wakes up the Skullcrawlers while at the same time, making it appear Kong is just attacking them for being there and have nothing but good things to say about the story.
Normally, I hate slow motion anymore. It’s never used properly to build suspense and in some cases, feels like it is happening because ten minutes has gone by without it, but Jordan Vogt-Roberts utilized it perfectly during the first helicopter battle with Kong. To emphasize more like time slowing to a crawl as they would at the sight of a giant ape standing there. Even the music slowly fading in and out and building in suspense. Slowing down the chaotic action to really let you see what was happening in all of the chaos. Having some fantastic shots throughout. Jordan Vogt-Roberts did a great job at cinematography and loved the work the people did on the CGI.
I thought all of the Actors and Actresses did a wonderful job throughout. Tom Hiddleston brought an air of mystery about him. Even after he bargained for the money, he kept his air of caution. Knowing how dangerous this was and everything he did was fluid. and so much fun to watch. From his action scenes to comedic timing he had with John C. Riley, who was a treat. The way he interacted. How happy he was and just emotional he was. So happy to see people other than the natives. His back and forth with Nieves and learning what he missed, and through that you cared more about Marlow. The Heartbreak he suffered at losing Gunpei. Loved the fact we ended the movie with him going home to his beer, hot dog and Cubs game. Brie was perfect as Mason. She wasn’t some insane fighter or a damsel, but a photographer who could handle herself. Utilizing her skills to make friends with the villagers and genuine good, but at the same time be fully capable of surviving in the worst situations. Samuel L. Jackson gave a rather haunting performance as Packard. You want to feel bad for him, he was a proud Colonel and solider whose life was about to change forever and he felt like a loser because of how the war ended, but he goes down the darkest path and even in his final minutes, still can’t see past Kong being the enemy. While John Goodman is of course, great. To end off this section though, big shout out to the man who did the motion capture of Kong, Toby Kebbell. Round of applause for everyone.
Now the negatives, and… I don’t really have anything other than nitpicks and it is a monster movie. I am already stretching belief going in and as long it doesn’t go to far or make the human characters unbearable than it is fine. Coming in not looking for an academy award movie, but a fun monster movies and fun characters to pick up when the monsters are not there and Jordan delivered. I am actually more excited going into Godzilla vs King Kong than I was before by a large margin. If you haven’t seen it I would strongly suggest it. Final grade – A
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading
By Paul Anthony
Welcome to a new monthly series we recently just created and this month is the first blog of its kind. Now we know what Doppelgänger means but how much do we really see it in Hollywood? The answer may surprise when we say a lot. Now in this series we will review two films that are a lot alike but are not the same, so if it is a remake or reboot, then they do not account. It is no secret that I am big into Greek mythology and of course one of my favorite heroes is Hercules, now though the name is more associated with Greek mythology that name is actually the Roman hero rather than the Greek hero Herakles, however they are the same person but for now we will continue to refer to him as Hercules. Over the years there have been plenty of movies that aren’t reboots regarding this character however for today we are taking a look at the Legend of Hercules and Hercules both came out in 2014 and honestly only 6 month apart and by two different studios, nevertheless even back then I thought this was crazy and weird all at the same time. This must have been an actually case of who can do it better, so who did it better? Let’s first talk about the Legend of Hercules.
The Legend of Hercules or also Known as Hercules: The Legend begins, was released in January of 2014 and film had a budget of 70 million and only made around 61 million. The film starred Kellan Lutz as Hercules. Though the film was a box office bomb the audience still gave it a B-. In this film, the story starts at 1200 BC where we meet a young King Amphitryon who invades Argos and takes over the kingdom after a battle, the queen Alcmene who truly hates her husbands prays to Hera to have son whose doesn’t belong to her husband, Hera grants this request and soon after gives birth to two sons Iphicles and Hercules though he is given the fake name of Alcides. Twenty years go by and both boys grow up into different men though Iphicles becomes a cold hearted coward and Alcides grow to be a warrior and respectable person, But they are both interested in HeBe who is the princess of Crete but she only wants Hercules. The King though has set up an arrange Marriage between Iphicles and Hebe and too make sure this happens the King sends Hercules off to battle, to get him out of the picture, turns out this was nothing more than set up to kill Hercules. When it is believed that Hercules did in fact die, the king believed that the plan has worked. Hercules becomes a slave and must battle for his freedom which he does and sets his sights on returning home to stop this wedding. One night the king finds out the truth regarding Hercules’s true father which he then decides to kill his wife. When Hercules returns home and begins to free people from the King and even has some of the army behind him, he decides to take on his step dad and brother with a little help from his real dad in a form of lightening strikes from a sword. In the end it is Hercules and Hebe who marry and become king and queen even have a son together. The Movie ends with Hercules watching over his Kingdom.
Now Lets jump to the one that came out 6 months later and starred Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Hercules, the film had a budget of 100 million and mange to gross 244 million, making it an box office success. Even the reviews turned out to be better than the other film, so all seems to be well but was it truly better? Let’s look at the plot. The film is based on the comic book series Hercules: The Thracian Wars.
In This film we meet Hercules who is a leader of a band of mercenaries which include Amphiaraus, Autolycus, Tydeus, Atalanta and his nephew Iolaus. In this film people do not believe that he is the son of Zeus even though he’s very strong. Overall the film still doesn’t make it clear if he truly is or isn’t and some even dispute his 12 labors though in the end credits we learn that his team did help him with the 12 labors. one day in 358 BC, after a mission they are approached by a princess who wants them to come to Thrace and help train their army to defeat the evil warlord Rhesus. Of Course Hercules agrees. Soon he begins to train them but the King of Thrace informs them that the army must be ready now because Rhesus is close in central Thrace where the king claims that Rhesus has used magic and turn the tribe there against them. Though Hercules and the army defeats the local tribe they also lose half the army, which once they return home Hercules and his team continue to train the army, then the war starts and Hercules does manage to defeat Rhesus and they take him a prisoner, there Hercules sees the princess show pity to Rhesus and wants to know why and there Hercules learns he has been fighting on the wrong side and demands answers from the king who does admit it and tries to have Hercules killed but fails and Hercules pretty much saves the day in the end.
Okay I will have to say both of these movies were basically on par with each other. The use of CGI for the places were cheap and honestly both would have greatly benefitted from filming on location type of thing. The stories were both wrong in their own ways with certain elements being true to the mythology and I’ll give a few examples. In The Legend Hercules is a prince and doesn’t have a good relationship with Iphicles or the king. That incorrect Though Amphitryon was once a king , he didnt die as a king nor did Hercules ever become a king in fact Hercules had a great relationship with his stepdad and half brother. Hercules did marry Hebe but not until he descended to Mount Olympus to be by his father’s side, they did have kids together, though Hercules wasn’t born in 1200 BC more like 800 years later. The Rock’s film overall story wasn’t correct but more parts were correct, They did explain that he killed his first wife and children in a fit of rage that Hera caused him thus doing the 12 labors. traveling with his nephew was another correct thing but him having his own team wasn’t true though he was a part of the Argonauts. Though in 358 Bc he would have truly been dead as a human because he would be 100 plus years old, though they did get his outfit and Weapons right. In The end its the Rock’s film that wins this mostly because of the Rock’s performance, he to me saved this film! SO the winner would be Hercules (2014) though both films were basically average.
By: Justin Hopkins
Growing up, me and my cousins spent countless hours versing each other in video games, especially Goldeneye and Mario Kart. The favorite seemed to be the Siberian Special Forces characters, so to avoid the argument, I just picked a new character, Natalya. In my childhood mind, thought it would be amusing to beat them with the girl and it carried to Mario Kart and would beat them with Peach as well. As time went on, the motivation changed but I kept picking them Female Characters. From Mortal Kombat and Tekken. When I had the option to choose would go with a female, in games like Fallout and Pokemon. Tended to gravitate more toward games with women leads. With this being Women’s History Month, figured I could take and spotlight some of my all time favorites. Considered doing a best of or toughest , but those are kind of everywhere and all kind of read the same, not to say mine is special or unique, but saying favorites can open the door with some other names and helps add a little more variety. Going off of power, style charisma, character and general knowledge. A strong enough contender may not make the list, because I just never got around to playing their game don’t know enough to put them on my list. Alright, lets jump in shall we.
Sniper wolf – Bloody Mary – Heather Mason – Zelda – Jill Valentine – Ellie – Laura Croft – Alma Wade
Again, these are all great character, but for one reason or another, I couldn’t put them in my top 5.
5. Samus Aran – Metroid Series and Super Smash Bros.
Got to pay respect to Video Games Frist Human Protagonist. A character that I know more from getting stomped on by Samus players in Smash Bros. Her entry into the world of Video Game World was legendary. A hard Bounty Hunter in some orange armor and the biggest surprise at the end where you learn Samus is a woman was such a delight and her impact is still felt today. When a new entry is announced, it’s still a big deal because of the star power she has remained.
4. Jennifer Mui – The Mercenaries Series
Okay, I may have lost some of you. I am aware that there are bigger names that could easily over take her, but not in my book. Mercenaries was one of the first games I really jumped into after not really playing much in the way of Video Games and the former Paratrooper turned Merc was a big reason for my love of those games. Even named my character in The Genwhunner Series after her. She never felt out of place in the world. Having a smart mouth and fiery temper. Believable that she was fully capable of not only running alongside the likes of Mattias and Christopher Jacobs, but outshine them as well and got me to play through this game way more times than I probably should, but had an absolute blast seeing how many things I could destroy and how much money we can drain out of the factions with Mui.
3. Bayonetta – Bayonetta Series and Smash Bros. Ultimate
Waited way to long to get into these games. Bayonetta is crazy and over the top in the most spectacular ways. Just does nothing in half measures. She holds nothing back in the slightest. Overflowing charisma, power, sexuality and all comes together in a badass fighter. She is a one woman army, with guns on her boots, which is awesome, who is not afraid to take on anyone and will trash talk while beating them down and keeps you engaged to see what she is going to do next. Saying some of the funniest things and is so close to leapfrogging to the top spot.
2. Senua – Hellblade Senua Sacrifice
Senua had to be on the list. A fighter in every sense of the word. Her plight pulled me in like almost no other. Another amazing warrior, who suffers from Psychosis. Whop believes that it is a curse that has not only plagued her but her village as well and she just brings you in and makes you feel all the pain and suffering the she experienced, except she had something good, in Dillian and that too was now gone and gets you behind her and believe that she is fully capable of tearing down the walls of Hades and fight with all she got to get his soul back and so excited for her return in Senua Saga. Been pumped since that trailer and cannot wait to experience her next story.
1.Claire Redfield – Resident Evil
I have harped on a ton about my love of Claire Redfield. I get it, this list could have been majority from the Resident Evil World. They have made some amazingly strong memorable women, but for my money, it is Claire. She has had training to take care of herself, but she isn’t a top cop or solider or super spy. A person who was thrown into a horrifying situation and took it head on. A character who has grown and evolved throughout the years. Even when she is not in the thick of things. Still working to make the world a better place to live. Her hope and humanity separates her from the Resident Evil Crowd and the fact that when she pops up in a game, they are always that more special, especially in Resident Evil 2, puts her at number 1 on my list.
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading.
By Paul Anthony
Welcome to a new week where we look at the numbers at the box office and see who took the top spot in this pandemic world that we live in right now. This week we had four new films that came out. We had the Courier, City of lies, Last Call and Dark State. Of the four new films only 1 managed to crack the top ten which came in at number 3, so let’s see the other top 9 films of this past weekend.
- Raya and the Last dragon, which took in 5,150,000 and bringing it’s total of 23,432,606 in it’s 3 week run.
- Tom and Jerry, which took in 3,800,000 and bringing it’s total to 33,700,000 in its 4 week run.
- newcomer The Courier, brought their first week total to 2,012,582.
- Chaos Walking in its third week brought in 1,925,000 and bringing it’s total to 9,693,633
- The Croods: A New Age, in it’s 17th week made 620,000 bringing it’s total to 55,244,578
- Boogie, in it’s third week made 600,000 and bringing its total to 3,262,475
- The Marksman, in it’s 10th week it brought in 480,000 dollars, bringing it’s total to 14,268,447.
- Wonder Woman 1984, in it’s 13th week brought in 460,000 and bringing it’s total to 45,560,000
- The Little Things, in its 8 week brought in 340,00 dollars and bringing it’s total to 14,708,000
- The father in it’s 4th week brought in 321,701 dollars bringing it’s total to just 969,640
We will see who takes the top spot next week because we do have five films entering the crowded field, until next week!!!
By Paul Anthony
As we continue our Journey through this franchise, it is now time to take a look at this long awaited sequel which the title doesn’t make any sense because for the most part they aren’t in America. Right off the bat after seeing this title before I knew the plot or even watched the film I had ask myself is this an omen to come regarding this film. I have stated I am not a fan sequels that have been delayed forever or not needed. It may seem like I am bashing this film before I even review it but trust me I am not but the problem is that this film was just too late. This film takes place thirty year after the first one. Now I am sure if this was 1993 or something we would all be curious of what the princess and prince was up to but not thirty years later. Now prime claims this was the number 1 film in America nd though its hard to say if that was true or not. We know the budget was 60 million and Amazon bought the rights 125 million so in so many ways I guess that means the film made money. The film brings back nearly all of the cast from the first film and adds Tracey Morgan and the ever annoying Leslie Jones and also adds Wesley Snipes as well, but let’s check out the plot shall we?
Akeem and Lisa now have been married for thirty years and have three daughters who seemed to be more of a badass than their own father who has seemed to be grown into a soft hearted person. Akeem gets summon to see his dying father who breaks the news to him that he has son and that’s important because only a son can take throne. Akeem must explain this to Lisa because this takes places days before they truly meet, though she accepts, his daughter does not because she has been training to be queen all her entire life. Nevertheless Akeem travels to New York to meet his son Lavelle whos is a smart mouth but nothing more and his mother is played by Leslie Jones. We get the back story and basically this was a quickie gone wrong. They return to Zamunda where Lavelle and his mom learns the ways of the royal family but once again Lavelle must be in arranged marriage which he doesn’t like because he is falling for the woman who baths him basically. Lavelle over hears his father making a deal though he just showed up at the wrong part of the conversation . Lavelle leaves with his mother and returns back to New York. Though Akeem finds him and gives him his blessing and they return home and there Akeem changes the laws and makes his eldest daughter heir to the throne.
So this film was a let down on a few fronts. 1 the plot seemed to be basically the plot from the first film. Which meant the jokes fell flat because they were all the same. Not too mention it had Leslie Jones in it and we had less of James Earl Jones. I guess the omen of title basically Jinxed it. Honestly it seemed to ride the back of the first film and that was about it. Now Overall this movie gets a A for effort but for a review I am giving it a D for a grade, let ‘s hope there won’t be a third one in my life time.
By Paul Anthony
I guess we can call this Eddie Murphy weekend here at SmashWriting and I say that because today I am reviewing his film and on Saturday I am reviewing the sequel to this film as well which is titled Coming 2 America, creative huh? In the 1980’s Murphy was as hot as anyone with having a good stand up career and being in hit after hit, basically for the new age people he was Kevin Hart of the 80’s. The movie stars Eddie Murphy but the cast was actually stacked with talent, you had of course Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, Shari Headley and John Amos. The film also had Louie Anderson and a younger Samuel L Jackson. Though this film didn’t need Anderson, it should be noted that the studio which is Paramount requested that there needed to be a white person in this film, and truly no there was no need for that. The film was released in the summer of 1988, the film had a budget of just 36 million and managed to make 350 million, now this is the part where I say sequel would happen but we know that is truly the case. I have to admit its been awhile since I watched the film so I needed to watch it over again. Well let’s waste no time and check out the plot.
The plot is simple Eddie Murphy plays the prince of an African country who must get married to a princess which his father has already arranged but this is not what the prince wants and during announcement he decides that he wants to find his own bride though he does not exactly say that. He basically tells his father he wants to go to America to basically have sex. So him and his servant travel to New York to begin the process though they agree that no one should know their true identity. Instead they act like they goat keepers. After failed attempts to meet the queen to be at clubs the two attend a fundraiser where the prince finds the perfect woman for him and her name is Lisa however he must fight for her love because she is already and though he managed to win her heart, he must reveal the truth to her and tell her he is a prince. At this point his father has come to America to find him and bring back home and is shocked to find out what he has been up. Once the prince tells Lisa the truth she runs away and basically he becomes sad and returns home with his family to marry his arranged bride though he is shocked to see that it is Lisa and everything ends well.
Okay now this film is suppose to be a comedy and to be honest I did catch myself laughing at few jokes. “The royal penis is clean” was funny line as well as the good morning neighbors, I never been a fan of Murphy being different characters though they had their moments. With it being a comedy I didn’t expect much of anything else regarding the plot. In the end honestly it was a hit but I am giving it a B but still enjoyed watching it!!
By: Justin Hopkins
I am being a bit overdramatic when it comes to this rather rocky pitstop on the Road To Wrestlemania. The first PPV under the Peacock Flag, for the U.S, and while the In-Ring Wrestling part is going to be fantastic. The booking on the other hand, seems to be even more haphazard than usual and Fastlane just feels like an unwanted waste of time. Of course, I will watch because, like I said, I do think the Wrestling part is still good, and since I am watching, might as well try to put my thinking cap on and try to figure out who will win and who will lose.
Braun Strowman vs Shane McMahon
Going to start with a match that may not even be happening. They announced it on Raw, but it is not in their site. So, it has either been cancelled or someone hasn’t updated the page. Honestly, I don’t care and neither do they. Braun should be doing more and I can go without seeing Shane get in the ring again. Even if the match goes on, it’ll end with something to set up for mania. My guess, Dabba-Kato gets involved and sets up a handicap match.
Women’s Tag Team Championship Match – Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair vs Nia Jaxs and Shayna Baszler with Reginald (Champions)
Remember how much fun we were having and could be having had they actually had Billie Kay join the Riott Squad. An actual team that could be so much more than what we have been given. We could be having a hoss battle with two of the most prestigious NXT Women’s Champions in Asuka and Baszler at mania. Remember the excited feeling of Sasha vs Bianca Headlining Night 1 of Mania. This story has honestly felt like punishment for the fans that have no way to feel rewarded by the end. The Women’s Tag belts deserve better. Sasha and Bianca deserve a better feud. While I hope that Nia and Shayna retain and we give the belts to the Riott’s at Mania. What I think will happen is Reginald turns on Nia and costs them the victory, to help solidify Sasha’s heel turn in the next few weeks, and we may not even get a women’s tag match at mania.
Winners and new Tag Team Champions-Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair
Intercontinental Championship Match – Apollo Crews vs Big E (Champion)
Finally, the worst is behind us and we come to a match that I am actually looking forward to. Big E has been on a tear and is always one of the most entertaining and dynamic wrestlers they have and Apollo, while always good in the ring, finally getting to show a heel persona that to match his in-rig side and expect them top tear it up in the ring, but I also expect to have another screwy finish and not have an out right winner and my guess is Big E is going to get Disqualified to set up a bigger match for Mania. Which would tie into him talking about going old testament on him last week.
Winner by Disqualification – Apollo Crews
Drew McIntyre vs Sheamus
I almost wish that they had held off on the Miz cash-in and Bobby Lashley taking the belt till after Mania. Sheamus and Drew have been having some stellar matches, especially Sheamus who is on a tear as of late. Could have made for a classic at Mania. While, on Paper, I do think Drew is clearly going to win this. Going to pick the Celtic Warrior to plant the seeds for a triple threat at Mania.
Winner – Sheamus
Randy Orton Vs Alex Bliss
To those who have read my previous wrestling blogs or my fantasy booking which Asuka to take the belt from Kofi, knows that I have talked highly of wanting to see Intergender Matches. Done right, with the likes of an Asuka, Rhea Ripley or even a Charlotte. Think they could make compelling and just as good matches as a regular match. This is not one of those times. It’ll be more promo than match and just a way to bring Bray back.
Winner – Alexa Bliss, I guess
Universal Championship Match – Daniel Bryan vs Roman Reigns
Edge is going to be special Enforcer and while it will be a really good match. Which is obvious when it comes to Bryan and Roman. While the triple threat for the WWE Championship at Mania is pure speculation, I would be shocked if it doesn’t happen here and that will come off the back of Edge costing Bryan the match here.
Winner and still Universal Champion – Roman Reigns
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
The Craft, like so, so many other movies it seems, has been a movie that I have been wanting to watch for longer then it probably should have been. I think about it, tell myself that I am going to watch, and end up forgetting about it. So, when I set about trying to find a good classic movie to review for Women’s History Month. Knowing very well, that I was not going to be doing a Rom-Com. The Craft came rushing to the front of the line and with the talented line-up The Craft felt like the perfect choice. So lets see if the long wait was worth it.
The movie starts off with three girls holding a ritual of some sorts, followed by a wild title card and we jump to Sarah and her family arriving to their new home. Moving from San Francisco. On her first day at Catholic School, we see the three from the beginning. Nancy, Bonnie and Rochelle, and they are in disagreement about whether or not they need a fourth to complete the circle. Nancy being against it and Bonnie pushing for it. While Bonnie was in French class with Sarah. She sees her levitating a pencil up on its point and believes she is the fourth and Nancy immediately scares her off. At lunch when Chris comes to flirt with her, lets her in on who they were. Calling the supposed witches along with several other insulting words. Inviting her to watch his football practice, which she does, but from far away and the girls find her. Telling her of some of the awful things he has done and that he is only using her. Inviting Sarah to come along with them. Which she begrudgingly does. Going off to a shop based around Wiccan belief, candle, spells, charms and such. Sarah doesn’t believe to much of it, but is talked into buying a few book from the Shop Owner. After they leave, the homeless man who was in her house the day before bumps into her and starts chasing her. Screaming about how he dreamed she was dead. starting to chase her across the street. When the three other notice what is happening and they all see him get hit by a car. Which causes them to flee. Once they get to a safe place in the woods are excited. They believe that they caused it because all four of them hoped he would get hit to save Sarah and we learn a bit more about their beliefs. Believe in what they call Manon, which is everything around them. The Earth, plants spirits and life energies and through it, can help them and make everything better. A thought that turns Sarah away. Not believing the pain can just go away and leaves. Going to Chris. When she declines his invitation to go back to his house, she find out the next day, Chris told everyone that she is the lousiest he has ever slept with and treats her terribly when she confronts him on it. Making it seem like she is a clingy creep. As a group the three come together and for a ritual, where she places a Love Spell on Chris and it works. So, they come together for more and the power begins to get to them and this is where I will leave it for now.
This movie does a fantastic job at building the four girls. None of them starting out as evil, just people who are hurting. The pain, both physically and mentally Bonnie goes through from the burn scars on her back. Rochelle being bullied because of her race. Nancy coming off as strong in public, but feeling powerless at home to help her Mom and not having any way to make it better and Sarah still suffering over not having her Mom and the Stunt Chris puled solidifying her even more as an outcast she felt like. They felt like they were desperate to find power, a way to make their pains go away of fell some sort of justice that they never get and are elated when it happens and crushed when it goes south and shows the ugly side of when power corrupts and how toxic it can be.
While this movie did have some CGI, which could be hit or miss, but they had some really great practical effects and prosthetics at work. Camera angle from under the car when the homeless man got hit by a car. An angle that I was not ready for. The blistering scalp on Lizzie and even the burn scars on Bonnie looked good.
The four women involved did such a fantastic job and all seemed to have amazing chemistry with one another. I often forget how good Neve Campbell is. Feeling her pain during the gene therapy session and the desperation of her pleading with Manon during the spell to please take her scars and are elated for her when it happens. Actually soul crushing to see her go bad at the end. Playing so well off of Rachel True’s Rochelle. Who, despite her own issues, felt like had the potential to be the level headed one of the three. Robin Tunney played Sarah to perfection and making herself the perfect foil to Fairuza Balk’s Nancy. Fairuza stole the show with her performance. She was so over the top and seeing her loosing herself to her powers was a sight to behold. Before we move to the next, got to spotlight Christine Taylor’s Laura Lizzie, the racist bully. Her performance in the showers was near redemption worthy. She was a rude, nasty person to Rochelle but Laura did so well in the fetal position with hair coming out in her hands and it just should she learned and Laura did so well. Which brings us to the negative.
It almost feels like they wanted Rochelle to turn on Nancy. Which caused her character to lose a bit of shine toward the end because of her flipping emotions. Had the scene in the shower and see the remorse on Rochelle, but that night she is invading Sarah’s dreams and threatening her in the bathroom. Than she doesn’t want to go upstairs because she thinks they went to far. Only, to come back the next day and taunt her. A Rochelle could have been something interesting and it ended up hurting her character for not picking a lane.
So, as we round this out. What grade will I be giving it. It is definitely a must see if you haven’t and worthy of anyone’s collection. The more and more I think about it, the more I think that it is top tier. Great story, with deep dives into society ills from four different perspectives. Some horrifying and a suspenseful climax. Even has a good kill. So, only one way to go. Final Grade – S
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
As I was scrolling through Tubi, looking for a movie. Gave this movie a passing glance. Was about to move on, but clicked to read the synopsis and was glad I did. One look at who directed was all I needed to be sold. Tom Woodruff JR, man behind the mask of some of my favorite monsters and creatures and excellent Special Effects Artists. Immediately getting hyped up to see how he would do as a director. Lets not waste any time and jump right in, shall we.
The movie kicks off with Andre cornering a little girl named, Lisa, his girlfriend’s Daughter, in a basement. Being stopped by Atum Vine. Who stopped it by saying he couldn’t allow him to kill her there, because it was bad for business, and he would have to kill her somewhere else. During which, Sara makes her escape and Andre simply leaves. When he does, we see the demon, that Vine really is. Moving from there, we see Cornelia reading a women’s Tarot Cards, informing her of her Husband cheating on her. Turning the next card to give her more, the women is startled, by the same thing Cornelia is, and that is the card turning to shattered black glass. Something she wasn’t suppose to see and Cornelia killed her. Meanwhile, Atum is coming back upstairs. Texting someone about having his weed, but no one answered the door. Cornelia quickly pulling him in to tell him what was going on. That the glass wasn’t blue which meant a new Interpreter, has entered the fray, or something worse and wanting him to keep his eyes open. Leaving her apartment, slowly going down the hall and snooping on all of the neighbors, who are all suffering in their own ways. When he is greeted by more demons, who owe him money and are not really playing ball. Just as he got back home, someone knocks and we get a bizarre montage of people coming to buy drugs from him, two of the neighbors who had been fighting earlier escalated far out of control to where one is locked in a closet and the guy is threating to kill himself if she doesn’t open the door. Uncomfortable tension forming between Andre and Sara and the Demons ae in their apartment eating it all up. It ends when Vine realizes that the guy never read his message about the weed and goes downstairs to check on him. Spotting blood on the floor and into Sara again. Who was collecting her doll and going to runaway. He tries to talk her into staying because as he puts it, life isn’t much better out there, but she calls him out. Having the power to stop Andre, and he is actually worse than Andrea because he doesn’t do anything. Before it can go any further her Mother violently drags her away and he goes on and finds Dooley murdered and blacks out. Having a dream of Andre cornering Lisa in a dark room, under a bright light. About to attack her when Vine saves her, and kills Andre. When he wakes up, finds that the people are acting differently. Andre is being a loving Step Dad to Lisa. Seeing her off to school. Dressed and going to go looking for a job. The angry couple are now lovey dovey and the demons are freaking out. With no one suffering they didn’t have misery to feed off of and would starve, without. Meeting up with Cornelia and she warns them of a disease that is affecting the humans and they must stay inside their apartment until they find out what is going on. Despite her vehemently claiming that it is a disease and showing him the Oracle Bones. Vine isn’t believing it. Showing her the body of Dooley and he pulls a red feather from a wound, but Cornelia again, isn’t buying it. Going off to find a cure and that is where I am going to leave it for now.
This movie was wild. I didn’t understand what was going on for the first day, but they were rather quick to fill in the blanks as they went and I rather liked that. They kept you guessing to what was going on and did a good job at building speculation. Showing that it wasn’t the people who were causing this but the demons and them descending into chaos because of it. Enjoyed the fact that no one was really “good.”. We saw Vine slowly change but right up to the end, he was a bad guy. Who was just as guilty as everyone else was. A true demon and I appreciated that. Too often they just call the lead a bad guy but this really brought us one.
Really loved the prosthetics and make up. Special Effects team really delivered throughout. I loved the costumes and make-up, on Vine and Cornelia. The roots and horns on Vine could have been a bit much, but they did a wonderful job at blending them into his head and around his cheeks and eyes. The shading of blue on Cornelia and swapping eyes at the end. Had some magnificent camera shots of them going between human and demon, but they did not hold back on seeing the demons in costume. Most of the movie was their demon form and hats off to everyone for making them look fantastic.
Tobias Jelinek was brilliant as Vine. Starting with a cold, calculating menace at the beginning. Expertly controlling the apartment, even the non-demons. He stooped the attack on Sara, only because he needed the suffer to continue, but as we see him warming up. Growing compassion until he succumbed in a heart wrenching plea to keep Cornelia from attacking Sara and when the shoe drops and we find out really happen you feel so bad for him. Than you had Keely Alona, who just hit you right in the feels. Selling her fear of Andre and her Mother to a tee. Making you hate Vine for not helping her. Danielle C. Ryan did a great job as the demon Cornelia. Having great chemistry with Tobias. The two feeling like monsters when they were together and feeling tension of love and hate and every argument felt raw and animalistic and they added so much depth to each other.
This movie does have some flaws. Something needed to be touched up here and there, but for Tom Woodruff Jr.’s directorial debut. It was certainly a fun ride. A different kind of story with a surprise twist at the end, that I would absolutely up for more movies from this world. Think they have something really special and different and would strongly suggest giving this one a watch.
As always I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
So, I am kind of surprised it took this long to do a proper prediction for AEW. If push come to shove, may be a bigger fan of AEW than WWE at times and have just dragged my feet on doing one of these, but that changes now, with Revolution this weekend, and some massive matches set and a huge signing to be announced. Lets dive in and see if I can try and predict what may go down at Revolution.
Buy-In Pre Show Tag Team Match – Doctor Britt Baker and Rebel vs Riho and Thunder Rosa
It is kind of a surprise to see this match on a Pre-Show, but it has a feel of must need to see, which is exciting for a Pre-Show. Rosa and Britt in a pretty lengthy feud. That has only seen one match between them that ended with Britt cheating her way to get the win over her. There is some question about whether or not Rebel will even be involved in the match due to injury and Britt may be picking a new partner, but either way, I am picking Rosa and Riho for the win to set up a rubber match between Rosa and Britt down the road.
Winner – Riho and Thunder Rosa
Casino Tag Team Battle Royal Winner gets a Tag Team Title Match – PAC and Rey Fenix vs Bear Country vs The Varsity Blondes vs Alan Angels and 10 vs Stu Grayson and Evil Uno vs John Silver and Alex Reynolds vs Cezar Bononi and Peter Avalon vs Pride and Powerful vs Mike and Matt Sydal vs The Butcher and The Blade vs SCU vs Private Party vs The Gunn Club vs Natural Nightmares Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall vs Jungle Express
So, same may think that they do too many Battle Royals, but I am not there yet. I love a good Battle Royal and there are so many teams that I want to win this. Would be great to see The Dark Order get a title match. Fenix and PAC are fantastic and with a pick I am going to make later, they could easily start the wheels going on Death Triangle getting all the gold, but I think it is going to Pride and Powerful which will set the stage for the separation of Inner Circle.
Winner – Pride and Powerful
AEW Tag Team Championship – Chris Jericho and MJF vs The Young Bucks ( Champions)
This should be a fun and heated match-up and I am sensing a title change. Think the stage is being set for a title change to set up the split of The Inner Circle. MJF and Jericho getting the belt to transition to Proud and Powerful. While the Young Bucks go on to start toward an Impact Tag Team Title Match against Gallows and Anderson. Although wouldn’t be to broken up if the Young Bucks keep the belts for a bit longer.
Winners and New Tag Team Champions – Chris Jericho and MJF
Face Of The Revolution Ladder Match – Cody Rhodes vs Scorpio Sky vs Penta El Zero Miedo vs Lance Archer vs Max Caster vs TBA
I have nearly convinced myself that this could be Lance Archer. He has been on a massive push as of late and been closing the show a lot as of late. The match of Archer vs Darby would be fantastic that could go either way. You got Scorpio Sky playing a little more of a heel this past week though and that would be great to see some fresh blood getting the win. Max Caster has a feel of a genuine underdog feel here and when his rap on everyone should be epic, and Cody could always win this and we didn’t even talk about the mystery entry and I have no clue who that could be, but as far as my pick goes, it doesn’t really matter, because I am going with Penta. He is amazing and I am more then ready for him to get the win here, beat Darby and take the belt to Death Triangle.
Winner – Penta El Zero Miedo
Miro and Kip Sabian vs Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor
I have been enjoying this feud in general and will be a nice break from all the carnage that is on this show. I believe that Orange and Chuck are going to get the win over Kip making a mistake which will send Miro over the edge and destroy Kip to start his solo run.
Winners – Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor
AEW Women’s Championship Match – Ryo Mizunami vs Hikaru Shida (Champion)
Coming off the wildly fun and surprising Women’s Tournament. Which I loved nearly every minute of it. Really getting to see some more of their women’s wrestlers going out their and knocking it out of the park. While Ryo was not my picking going in (That would be Leyla Hirsch. I think she is awesome and want to see her just tie up everyone into knots.) Ryo is going to be my pick in this match. Can have really open up to some fresher feuds and breath some new life back into the Women’s Division and hope That AEW keeps pushing them even more following.
Winner and new Women’s Champion – Ryo Mizunami
Hangman Adam Page vs Matt Hardy
This has been a fun rivalry and love the fact they have money riding on the match. Nice change of pace to add to this rivalry. Adds a bit of flair that we don’t see anymore. Think Page is going to win and get justice for the attacks on The Dark Order and BTE after this. See him and The Dark Order, Partying with Matt’s money is going to be wild.
Winner – Hangman Adam Page
Street Fight Brian Cage and Ricky Starks vs Darby Allen and Sting
I am happy that Sting is going to be able to get a match that he is proud of. After his less than stellar WWE run, but I am going to be glad when this is over. It’s been a bit overdone, but this could be great for everyone involved, especially Darby and that is what matters. Not a chance Sting loses.
Winners- Darby Allen and Sting
AEW Championship Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch – Jon Moxley vs Kenny Omega (Champion)
I don’t even know what to say about this match. Barbed wire ropes, that are armed with explosive. Platforms around three sides with more barbed wire and explosives. A thirty minute countdown and at the end of the countdown, all the explosives detonate. This feud has been a long time brewing and with unsanctioned match already done. Can see why they would want to elevate the stakes, but wow did they ever do that. It is an insane match to bring back into the fold and may be too much but I think they can pull this off. It’s Omega and Mox. Two insane guys who want to go out there and put on the best performance that they can and even with this stipulation, think they can go out there and make it work. Winner will be Omega so Mox can go be a Dad.
Winner and still champion – Kenny Omega
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading.