A Quiet Place (2018) makes a loud impression. See what I did? Fun with antonyms

by Banned Library in

I'll admit it, I laughed out loud at the opening to this flick. It's in the trailer, sort of, so spoiler alert or whatever but when that kid got ate I put out a nice loud "ha!" I'm not saying I'm not damaged, I'm just saying that shit was funny after a dozen trailers of build up. It's nice to be surprised once in awhile.

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The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016) really kinda scared me in an old fun way

by Banned Library in

Horror often gets its balls cut off. Many of the entries in the genre are just this side of comedy, relegated even to jokes like the Chuckie scene in Ready Player One. True horror, the existential dread of life, seems to have been pushed aside in favor of jump scares and cheering when teenagers get hacked apart. Few movies contemplate a horror like the Autopsy of Jane Doe.

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Thoroughbreds (2017) will make you believe rich girls can kill again

by Banned Library in

What is it about bored rich white girls that makes you want to see them murder the shit out of people? Or get murdered themselves? Or are just a thing to be reckoned with? Mean Girls, Heathers, Sorority Massacre IV… All these movies exist to show us that the rich and affluent have problems, too, y'all. Can I tell you a secret? I love the shit out of them and Thoroughbreds might be the best ever.

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Blair Witch (2016) made camping a whole lot more interesting yet isn't the best

by Banned Library in

One night after a hurricane I had fled to the mountains. Deep in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains, I lay down in an old cabin tent my dad gave me. It leaks a little, but it's clear tonight. A few campsites away, a baby cries. The mother soothes the baby with a low humming rendition of "What A Wonderful World." And then a thing ate it. That's the Blair Witch.

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Passengers (2016) made us mad because it made us hate Chris Pratt, right?

by Banned Library in

What do you do when a movie actively wants you to hate the main character? They cast a charming person then have him make a decidedly human yet wrong decision and then leave us to deal with it. I haven't been this conflicted since that Jude Law remake of Alfie. Damn you, Chris Pratt. You could have been a good villain.

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Bad Lieutenant (1992) will make all those other crime movie "crazy" cops seem like poseurs

by Banned Library in

How many movies are there about good police officers? Just regular people that just so happen to get involved in a story. I can think of just one: Only the Lonely starring John Candy that's a romantic comedy wherein Candy happens to be a Chicago police officer, a regular beat cop. Every other movie is about a crazy cop that doesn't play by the rules. Bad Lieutenant is the concentrate version of that police officer.

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14. Blackway (2015) Movie Review: Where did this come from?

by Banned Library in

When movies get released, they often have some fan fair. Somebody, somewhere, spent money and they are going to damn sure let you know. Except in rare occasions a few big stars get a film and it just fades away.

    Blackway stars Julia Stiles as a waitress in the Pacific Northwest trying to blend in to her mother's hometown after inheriting the house. She's made an enemy of Blackway (Liotta) a former cop now drug kingpin who is stalking her. The police can't help her so she goes to logger Anthony Hopkins for help.

    Yeah, I wrote that description and I don't believe it. This movie forces you to suspend your disbelief that the only part that makes sense is Ray Liotta as a crazy violent nutbag. Julia Stiles still looks like she should be ordering Jason Bourne around rather than waitressing. Anthony Hopkins as a far from a revenge-bent Pacific Northwest logger than I can imagine. And the plot is so simple and straightforward that it becomes a slow, boring slog by the end.

    Should you watch this movie? Yeah, why not. Another lazy Sunday afternoon hangover movie, the only thing this movie has going for it is nobody has heard of it. Then when someone else sees it and says "did you see that movie where Anthony Hopkins plays a logger who revenge-kills Ray Liotta with Julia Stiles?" you can say, "Yeah. Kinda boring."

9. The Vault (2017) Movie Review: A Mash'em Up Horror Crime Movie That Banks on Your Attention Shifting

by Banned Library in

Taking old things and spinning them into new gold is pretty much what people have been doing for millions of years. Fire guy in the cave guy just played on what fire in the field guy was working with. Wheel guy leaped forward the tech of dragging stuff. Citizen Kane dared to ask the question: can we make film students more pretentious? Then there's movies like The Vault trying to bank on movies like From Dusk Til Dawn.

    It's bank robbing time. With only two recognizable cast members in James Franco and Clifton Collins, Jr (as well as that woman from that show Drive Nathan Fillion was in. You know her), the vault has believe that you will care if our bank robbers make it out alive. Because watch out, y'all, this bank got murder ghosts. Then the assholes get murdered and the hot girls live. Because horror movie.

    The mixing genre is not new, like I said. This movie wants to be From Dusk Til Dawn but has no one charismatic enough like George Clooney or good enough effects to pay off the B-movie premise. What we are left with is an unlikeable cast with shifting alliances that systematically get killed like every other horror/slasher movie.

    As a bank heist movie, it does work though. As an Elmore Leonard fan, I enjoy unlikeable assholes pulling off a crime and doing weird shit. As a horror movie, it also works in the same way House on Haunted Hill (1999) did in that I wanted everyone to die and the monster ghost thing to kill them. Mashed together, though, and the ideas fall apart because I'm not invested in either scenario enough.

    Also, I fell asleep and missed ten minutes in the middle and caught right back up. In a movie banked on twists, that's a bad sign. Also a bad sign, the ending cliche that's a mess of, "Oh, he was a ghost the whole time? So what?" being beaten out by me realizing while reading the credits just now that the lead was Clint Eastwood's daughter.

8. Insidious: The Last Key (2018): I Guess You Could Skip It If I Saw the Others

by Banned Library

Horror movie sequels are hard to make. Do you rehash the original or do a new thing? Bring back the old characters or start with new people? Continue the story or just do whatever?

    I have no idea what this Insidious: The Last Key did. I never saw the other (three?) movies, so I can't say. But I can say that this one is B-grade horror at its best.

    An old lady who can see ghosts gets a job to go back to her old home so she can confront some ghosts of her own. See what we, the movie and I, did there? Because her dad was abusive so she has trauma and that can be seen as metaphorical ghosts and there's real ghosts. It's supes cogent.

    The jump scares are few, the jokes are peppered, and nothing really does great. Like, no great was had. Some fine happened. Some okay squeaked in there. They got me on one twist, double downed and kinda wasted it. Then threw in another and I stopped caring.

    In this movie, humans are the real monsters. Except when a demon is tricking or manipulating them? The whole thing is just a mess that plods along. I wish I could say it is at least fun, but I checked my phone during this one which is a sin in my world that gets you banned to hell where you watch this movie.

    Still, if you can't find anything on streaming one hungover day, yeah, there's better movies.

4. The Paperboy (2012) Movie Review: Sweaty, Pulpy, and Just This Side of Wrong

by Banned Library in

Netflix likes to recommend stuff for me to watch based on my previous watching. I watch a lot of crazy stuff, so I get recommended a lot of crazy stuff. This is the culmination of my love for John Cusack and Matthew McConaughey as well as that time my girlfriend watched Zac Efron movies on my profile.

     What the hell is this movie and where the hell has it been? This is the wildest trainwreck I've ever watched and not had to listen to on podcasts. I've been trying to sum up the plot in my head all day and all I can come up with is: people sweat and are gross and Nicole Kidman has enough money to do whatever the fuck she wants.

     A sheriff is murdered so McConaughey comes home with his newspaper partner to investigate the crime. His family runs the local paper with the titular paperboy (Efron) and Scott "Somebody at Netflix missed me" Glenn. They meet up with Kidman who's been romancing a prisoner (Cusak) who might know something about the crime. I think. Shit went off the rails pretty quick and I needed a whiskey.

     This movie feels like the bastard cousin of A Time to Kill, the cousin you bring up from the basement on holidays and hope he doesn't hump grandma's leg. It's sweaty and weird and I kinda liked it when it didn't feel like it was winking at me, giving me an elbow like a drunk uncle saying "check that shit out, huh?"

The drunk uncle also happens to be the guy who got nominated for Precious and lauded for The Butler. Weird movie.

Piranha 3D (2010) Movie Review that proves people love boobs. I mean, fish. Wait, no, boobs.

by Banned Library

Long ago in my life, an older cousin or friend or creepy guy, I don't remember who it was actually. We were in an alley. Anyway. He sat me down and we watched a Porky's and Friday the 13th double feature. After that, I realized that you can have a boner and be scared at the same time.

    Piranha 3D fails at the scares, but it reaches for the boner at every turn. As Stephen King once sorta said, when you can't horrify, scare them, and when you can't to that go for the gross out. What better way to gross out an audience than small fish monsters.

    It's spring break and the town of wherever the fuck is having boob day on the water. There's a kid who wants to see boobs, his mom slash sheriff who wants to protect people while hanging with a scientist, and a boob-video maker weirdo who used to be the fat kid from Stand By Me. Where can you go wrong?

    If you come to Piranha 3D looking for characters or plot or that normal movie crap, then check your bags at the door. Why did you even bring bags? You're a weirdo. Just sit down and watch the naked people get eaten with the rest of us. Maybe get fucked up first. With friends, if you have any. I watched this alone.