Tag Archives: movie reviews

Movies & TV Notes, January-June 2019

Brief notes on just about everything I watched from January to June, 2019. These are not movie reviews. Read more.


ATOR THE INVINCIBLE (1984) — A sequel to a film I’ve never seen, but that’s okay because the first film was fully recapped in a twenty minute flashback montage. Weird bad guy casting.

AQUAMAN — A movie with the dramatic heft, overall aesthetic, and special effects budget of a deodorant commercial.

BARBARIAN QUEEN 2: THE EMPRESS STRIKES BACK (1992) — Straight to video release. Terrible actor playing a useless king. Lots of sword fights, zero swordplay, knowwhatimsayin?

BARRY (s1+2) — I want to like this show because I like Bill Hader so much, but as with Documentary Now!, I just can’t work up the enthusiasm to care. It’s the whole lying-on-top-of-lying Breaking Bad formula that kinda tires me out. He’s great in it though.

BETTER CALL SAUL — Watched the first five or six episodes and it seemed fine but it was pretty easy to put down. Pre-apologies to anyone who is going to get mad at me upon reading this. J/K don’t care.

BEYOND THE CURVE — Doc about flat earthers that I sort of liked. It was a fairly empathetic take.

BOOKSMART — An updated version of Can’t Hardly Wait, which was an update of fifteen 80s movies. I liked it.

NEAL BRENNAN 3 MICS — A cool stand-up concept that balanced serious and funny and dumb pretty well.

BROAD CITY (s5, 2019) — Watched most of it? Can’t recall anything about it at the moment.

CAPTAIN MARVEL (2019) — The music cues were excruciating.

COLOSSAL — What an odd and interesting movie. Completely misrepresented by the trailer.

COMEDIANS IN CARS GETTING COFFEE (2018) — Jerry talking over Tracy Morgan. The Bill Burr topics — Fords, Massachusetts, stand-up — makes that clip one of my favorites.

DIE HARD — Boy, I don’t think I’ve seen this in twenty years. It somehow holds up. At least the effects do. I still don’t get how the bad guy that got hung by a chain right below a helipad explosion made it down to ground level just to get shot by the Urkel guy, but whatever.

DARK TOWER (2017) — A well-cast, uninteresting film set in a nonsensical techno-magic world. Every single line of dialogue was overdubbed. I hope this attempt at the franchise is dead. Someone please try again with a much much smaller budget.

THE DIRT — Everything I hated about A Star Is Born, I love about The Dirt. It’s bad. The acting is poor and the writing is thin as hell. The guy that plays Vince is a cross between CC DeVille, Dana Carvey, and Kyle Mooney. Ramsay Bolton’s wig is goddamned terrible. I couldn’t tell which dude was narrating. The new song over the end credits is… oh god.

FINAL PAYBACK — A movie where every character tells you how they feel and why they’re doing what they’re doing, yet by the end you still have no idea why anyone did anything. All-star cast: Richard Grieco, that dude from Karate Kid, John Saxon, that LA Law guy, and a recognizable actor from Kill Bill & Lost who was the only good actor in the movie.

FLEABAG — Series 1 was a great joy. Series 2 took a turn that provided a different kind of joy that perhaps surpassed Series 1. Here’s a word I never use: I think this show is magnificent. For me, that just means I’m jealous as hell of the writing. Writing, acting, direction, editing. Well fucking done.

GAME OF THRONES (s8) — Me during season 8: Are the direwolves okay? Where’s Nymeria at? Me end of season 8: Good boy, Ghost.

GOOD OMENS — Truly deeply enjoyed this. Love me somathat David Tennant.

JODOROWSKY’S DUNE (rewatch) — An inspiring? intriguing? look at a creative artist and his particular cult of personality. Forgot about the rape comment uuuughgghhh.

HEARTS AND ARMOR (1983) — A good bad movie, a two-for-one Romeo & Juliet story. Really nice scenery/settings, excellent helmet and tent designs yes that’s right I said helmets and tents. Italian-made, with post-Beastmaster/pre-View To A Kill Tanya Roberts.

LADY BIRD (2017) — A great movie despite multiple references to Dave Matthews Band. Lucas Hedges must have an amazing agent or something because this, Mid90s, and Manchester By The Sea is more great filmmaking than some actors touch in an entire career.

LASERHAWK (1997) — Mark Hamill’s there for awhile, helping a knock-off Kirk Cameron, Layne Staley lite, and a cute girl defend Earth from special effects.

LEFTOVERS (s1) — I’m obsessed with how the “a bunch of people DISAPPEARED!” trope/premise keeps getting recycled. I like the police chief dude and Christopher Eccleston (even hiding his accent). The ‘flashback’ episode near the end of season one IS PURE ‘LOST’ AND I LOVED IT.

LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIT OF THAT RANG (2001, rewatch) — The effects hold up, except for the thing in the water near the gate. The score remains atrocious and lays its fetid stink on all who hear it, as does Elijah Wood’s voice.

LOTR 2: THE TOWERS DOS (rewatch) — Recommended: skip every single Frodo/Sam/Gollum scene. The movie gets much better and much shorter.

THE LORDS OF MAGICK — A movie that makes you question what a movie is, and if you’re watching one, or if you’re watching a local theater company play with a camcorder.

LUNAR COP — Well, we tried watching Lunar Cop on YouTube but instead it ended up being a movie called PSYCHO COP, so we watched Psycho Cop. It was a bad horror movie in that way where everyone is acting like they’re in a horror movie, you know? After we were like ‘We gotta see Lunar Cop!’ so we found a different upload but that one turned out for some goddamned reason to be ALIEN INTRUDER with Billy Dee Williams so we watched half of that and I guess the alien intruder is a ‘sexy lady’? Anyway, I can’t wait to see Lunar Cop. It’s my unicorn now. My Rushmore. My Rosebud?

MALIBU EXPRESS – Boobs, narrated.


THE MUMMY (2017) — Tom Cruise running. Goddamned zombies. Ugh.

NIGHT SCHOOL — I apparently reached my Kevin Hart limit. Went to sleep halfway through.

OBLIVION (2013) — (rewatch) What an interesting, well-done, slightly confusing movie this is. Designs are nice. If you told me every protagonist from every Tom Cruise movie was named Jack Harper, I would believe you.

PEN15 (s1) — Cringy good. Their need for approval makes me die a little and I had to stop watching.


RESULTS (2015) — I watched half of this movie and didn’t care too much. I used to be very drawn to Kevin Corrigan as an actor but here he just seems sleepy. Cobie Smulders has a weird name and a successful career and I applaud that.

RUSSIAN DOLL (2019) — “Finest show of 2019,” he said in February.

SHAMELESS (s1) — Watched the first couple episodes and was not engaged.

SPACE CHASE — If an untalented Nathan Lane had played Han Solo in a high school stage production of Star Wars.

SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE — Pretty dang good post-meta adventure. Really solid mashup of animation styles. Entertaining as hell. Is this a Marvel movie? Do I like a Marvel movie? Wait is this DC? Wait I don’t care.

SPLIT (2016) — Watched the first fifteen minutes and the last five and felt I’d seen enough. I ain’t got time for this mischief.

A STAR IS BORN — A movie about creative musicians that doesn’t get a single aspect of creativity or musicianship correct. Sexist to the point of not only failing the Bechdel Test, but actually making it surrender in frustration. Time is mush, the characters are scarecrows stuffed with tropes, and the lens flares have lens flares. We cheered when our streaming video stalled. We cheered again when Eddie Vedder killed himself. There is a nice green guitar in this truly fucking awful melodramatic piece of shit film. It’s a 1964 Gibson Memphis. I googled it. Now I’m looking at positive reviews of this movie and my head might explode. Dear Fuck.

TIME CHASERS — A time travel story with bad acting you’d suspect but a few little plot things that were actually okay. Main dude was weird. Super buff nerd with insane chin. Did… did I *like* it?

TREME (s1) — A good show that is somehow too easy to put down. Great cast, okay characters. Incredibly good soundtrack. An attractive woman in a romantic relationship with a be-soul-patched Steve Zahn seems completely implausible.

THE TRIP TO SPAIN — I don’t love these movies but I like them. I think I would kill someone doing impressions around me that much.

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (s1) — I like the series more than the film, 100% across the board. Fantastic.

Movies & TV Notes, July-December 2018

Brief notes on just about everything I watched from July to December 2018. Read more reviews.

A WRINKLE IN TIME (2018) — Distracting camera movement. Precocious brother. Completely useless side-boy. A plot climax so anticlimactic, I literally didn’t realize it had occurred until it was over.

ALIENS VS. PREDATOR: REQUIEM (2007) — A really terrible montage of people getting murdered. Like, kids and pregnant women. A really charming rom-com. One of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.

ANCHORMAN — Required rewatch every couple of years.

FRED ARMISEN’S ‘STANDUP FOR DRUMMERS’ — When anti-humor becomes so anti- that you’re just watching a dude fiddle around with drums for an hour because someone said he could. Continue reading

Movies & TV Notes, January-June 2018

Brief notes on just about everything I watched from January to June 2018. Read more reviews.

ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN (1976) – A good double-feature with 2017’s The Post. Hoffman and Redford play some sort of unlikeable dudes. At least in the ‘film protagonist’ sense. Colorful desks and chairs. Jason Robards is no Tom Hanks.

ANNIHILATION (2018) – Really beautiful design. The plot was really simple. I think I liked it.

THE ARTIST IS PRESENT (2012) – A dedicated and interesting artist I knew pretty much nothing about other than whatever broke through my social media bubble back in 2010. Overall a very good doc.

ATLANTA (s1 & s2) – Presented as a straight drama, making all the humor and strange surreal bits hit even harder. Really well done show. Donald Glover & Lakeith Stanfield are both killing it. The free piano episode is some amazing bizzonkers shit, for real. Continue reading

Movie & TV Notes, July-December 2017

Brief notes on just about everything I watched from July to December, 2017. Read more reviews.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1984) – If two beings were to represent the extremities of the talent spectrum, George C. Scott would sit on one end and that shite Tiny Tim would sit on the other.

AZIZ ANSARI’S BURIED ALIVE (2013) – A good set. ‘Dating in the city’ isn’t really my genre, but a good set.

AZIZ ANSARI’S MADISON SQUARE (2015) – Too many crowd polls via clapping.

ARE YOU HERE – It’s as if Zach Galifianakis and Owen Wilson and Amy Poehler all filmed their scenes separately, reading from different scripts, and then the Mad Men guy just sorta edited together a movie on his laptop. Terrible soundtrack.

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT (season 3) – is not as good as seasons 1 and 2. Continue reading

Movie & TV Notes, January-June 2017

Brief notes on just about everything I watched from January to June 2017. Read more reviews.

A SPECK OF DUST – Sarah Silverman’s latest Netflix standup special. The story about her sister in the bathroom is very moving.

ARENA – Space fighting on a space station.

ARRIVAL – Good science fiction. Went in with low expectations and really enjoyed it.

BABY MAMA – Sometimes I forget that Tina Fey is not Liz Lemon and I am sad when reminded. I think I saw this when it came out? Dead boring; bad acting, gave up twenty minutes in. Is there a baby in it?

BASKETS (s2) – Chip seems to be becoming less of the main character, and less interesting. I still laughed a lot, and Louie A. is great, but the show seems to be drifting a bit in a way I might not stick with. Continue reading

Movie Review: Cherry 2000 (1987)

Here’s a film review of Cherry 2000, which I wrote way-back-when for the noshadowkick.com website (this should not be confused with the Boston band Cherry 2000, which was blessed with excellent cover art by Mister Reusch). I’m posting it here because my friend Kustom Kitten was just live-tweeting a viewing of the film, and I was flooded with blurry VHS memories of this bona fide film classic. So, now, in 2012, please enjoy this movie review I wrote in 2001 for a movie from 1987 with the year 2000 in the title even though it was set in the year 2017… Continue reading

My Kung Fu Movie Reviews From A Decade Ago

I had a sickness in the early aughts, and that sickness was watching bootlegged VHS dubs of mid/late 90s Hong Kong kung fu, mostly of the Jet Li, Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeoh, Donnie Yen variety. It was a time when these movies were relatively rare and hard-to-find—sometimes lousy quality, often sold under several different names, often poorly subtitled. These are not the best movies, nor the worst. They’re just the ones I could get my hands on at the time. Continue reading