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Movie Trailer Reviews
21 minutes | Jul 1, 2022
Movie Review: Minions The Rise of Gru
Director: Kyle Balda, Brad Ableson, Jonathan del Val Screenwriter: Matthew Fogel, Brian Lynch Starring: Steve Carell, Pierre Coffin, Alan Arkin, Taraji P. Henson, Michelle Yeoh, Julie Andrews, Russell Brand, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Danny Trejo, Lucy Lawless Runtime: 1 hour 27 minutes Synopsis: The untold story of one twelve-year-old's dream to become the world's greatest supervillain. Kriss & Ro talk about the latest film in the Despicable Me/Minions series, Minions: The Rise of Gru. Overall this movie does what it needs to do. It's entertaining enough for kids and is serviceable enough for adults. It is becoming clear that this franchise is starting to run out of runway. One of the biggest disappointments with this movie is the underutilization of the cast. There are some actors that are used for some of the villains that could have really been used better to play on the 80's time period. There's also some cring moments surrounding some Asian characters and themes that just seem like they were clunky and lazy. Again, the movie isn't bad but it's starting to feel like the studio is trying to capture the magic of the first film and keeps getting further and further away. Like what you hear? Subscribe so you don't miss an episode! Follow us on Twitter: @Phenomblak @InsanityReport @TheMTRNetwork Our shirts are now on TeePublic. https://teepublic.com/stores/mtr-network Want more podcast greatness? Sign up for a MTR Premium Account! Like what you hear? Subscribe so you don't miss an episode! Follow us on Twitter: @Phenomblak @InsanityReport @TheMTRNetwork Our shirts are now on TeePublic. https://teepublic.com/stores/mtr-network Want more podcast greatness? Sign up for a MTR Premium Account!
46 minutes | Jun 24, 2022
Movie Review: The Black Phone
Director: Scott Derrickson Screenwriter: Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill, Joe Hill (short story The Black Phone) Starring: Mason Thames, Madeleine McGraw, Ethan Hawke, Jeremy Davies, James Ransom, Miguel Cazarez Mora, E. Roger Mitchell, Troy Rudeseal Runtime: 1 hour 42 minutes Synopsis: After being abducted by a child killer and locked in a soundproof basement, a 13-year-old boy starts receiving calls on a disconnected phone from the killer's previous victims. We got the whole Movie Trailer Review gang back together to discuss the latest from director Scott Derrickson, The Black Phone. Blumhouse has been on a bit of a slide with some really questionable films as of late. Their last series of Welcome to the Blumhouse films on Amazon Prime Video were absolutely atrocious. And who could forget what happened when we all got together last time to discuss the travesty that was the Firestarter remake. So coming into The Black Phone, one couldn't blame audiences if they were a little apprehensive. Thankfully, The Black Phone A lot of things work for this movie. First, Scott Derrickson really knows how to capture horror elements in this film. It's a trend across all of his films but it really stands out in this one. The camera angles, sound editing, framing and everything comes together to really draw the audience into the situations in this film. It also helps that the cast is outstanding. Ethan Hawke has been on a tear lately with the characters and range he's been portraying in movies this year. He's perfectly cast as "The Grabber". He does a lot of "eye acting" that pairs very well with the various masks he wears. But it's not just him. This film has a really solid cast of young actors with Mason Thomas and Madeleine McGraw that pair off extremely well with the adults in this film. The Black Phone has a mix of Stranger Things with your typical Horror Thriller that works very well for it. It can be dumb at times and even predictable but it's done in a way that feels like it pays off in the end so the audiences will enjoy it. Like what you hear? Subscribe so you don't miss an episode! Follow us on Twitter: @Phenomblak @InsanityReport @TheMTRNetwork Our shirts are now on TeePublic. https://teepublic.com/stores/mtr-network Want more podcast greatness? Sign up for a MTR Premium Account!
39 minutes | Jun 21, 2022
Movie Review: Elvis
Director: Baz Luhrmann Screenwriter: Baz Luhrmannn, Sam Bromell, Craig Pearce Starring: Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Olivia DeJonge, Helen Thomson, Kelvin Harrison Jr. Runtime: 2 hour 39 minutes Synopsis: From his childhood in Tupelo, Mississippi to his rise to stardom starting in Memphis, Tennessee and his conquering of Las Vegas, Nevada, Elvis Presley becomes the first rock 'n roll star and changes the world with his music. Ro is joined by Kriss and she talks about what worked and what didn't for the latest from Baz Luhrmann. This film is a mixed bag in terms of what it brings for telling the story of Elvis. It's interesting what parts and roads they do go down and which ones they avoid all together. The cast is really the standout with Austin Butler nailing the role of Elvis. This film is more about Tom Hank's Tom Parker and he does a great job in his role as well. The cast lives up to expectations, unfortunately the story just doesn't. Like what you hear? Subscribe so you don't miss an episode! Follow us on Twitter: @Phenomblak @InsanityReport @TheMTRNetwork Our shirts are now on TeePublic. https://teepublic.com/stores/mtr-network Want more podcast greatness? Sign up for a MTR Premium Account!
28 minutes | Jun 17, 2022
Movie Review: Lightyear
Director: Angus MacLane Screenwriter: Angus MacLane, Matthew Aldrich, Jason Headley Starring: Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, Peter Sohn, Taika Waititi, Dale Soules, James Brolinn, Uzo Aduba Runtime: 1 hour 40 minutes Synopsis: While spending years attempting to return home, marooned Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear encounters an army of ruthless robots commanded by Zurg who are attempting to steal his fuel source. Kriss and Ro review the latest from Pixar, Lightyear, a new movie in the Toy Story world of films. While the film doesn't break new ground, it's one of those films where it's good and entertaining enough for the whole family. fBecause it's from Pixar, its competition is really itself. Coming off of Toy Story 4, this might not be up to that level but it's also more aimed at building up a new generation of fans in this world. There's a lot here to like and it's also sets up nicely for continuing the adventures of the Space Rangers in future movies. Listen as Ro & Kriss discuss what worked for Lightyear. Like what you hear? Subscribe so you don't miss an episode! Follow us on Twitter: @Phenomblak @InsanityReport @TheMTRNetwork Our shirts are now on TeePublic. https://teepublic.com/stores/mtr-network Want more podcast greatness? Sign up for a MTR Premium Account!
40 minutes | Jun 10, 2022
Movie Review: Jurassic World Dominion
Director: Colin Trevorrow Screenwriter: Colin Trevorrow, Emily Carmichael, Derek Connolly Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, DeWanda Wise, Mamoudou Athie Runtime: 2 hour 26 minutes Synopsis: Four years after the destruction of Isla Nublar, dinosaurs now live--and hunt--alongside humans all over the world. This fragile balance will reshape the future and determine, once and for all, whether human beings are to remain the apex predators on a planet they now share with history's most fearsome creatures in a new Era. The 1993 Jurassic Park was a classic. It revolutionize the blend of CGI and practical effects. It had a story based in science that . Unfortunately after the success of that movie, the franchise had been nothing more than expensive tech demos. That's especially true of the Jurassic World trilogy of films with each one getting progressively worse. These films are ridiculous. Utterly ridiculous with things that make absolutely no sense. Like how did large dinosaurs repopulate the entire world after a handful escaped an auction in the last film? Look, we get it. Sometimes ridiculous nonsense films are enjoyable (Hi Fast & Furious series). But it's really hard to turn your brain off for a ridiculous film that doesn't think it's ridiculous. Director Colin Trevorrow is no doubt trying to make a serious film with a coherent storyline which makes the ridiculousness of this film not a feature but clearly a bug. Look, if folks just want to see some dinosaurs then that's fine. You could cut out the few and far between horror-like scenes and put them on Youtube and get your fix. When the film does that, it works. The problem is, it's full of humans your don't care about in a story that doesn't make any sense. That's par for the course at this point. What makes Jurassic World Dominion even more egregious is the blatant and heavy handed nostalgia scenes it goes for. There are times when this film will have a character from the original Jurassic Park say or do something exactly like they did it in that movie but it doesn't land because it's such a hollow attempt. Jurassic World Dominion is the Matrix Resurrections of Jurassic Park films. This is a series that should die and not be brought back. Like what you hear? Subscribe so you don't miss an episode! Follow us on Twitter: @Phenomblak @InsanityReport @TheMTRNetwork Our shirts are now on TeePublic. https://teepublic.com/stores/mtr-network Want more podcast greatness? Sign up for a MTR Premium Account!
29 minutes | Jun 2, 2022
Director: Chloe Okuno Screenwriter: Zachary Ford, Chloe Okuno Starring: Maika Monroe, Karl Glusman, Madalina Anea, Chloe Okuno, Burn Gorman, Gabriela Butuc, Tudor Petrut Runtime: 1 hour 36 minutes SXSW Synopsis: set in the midst of a citywide panic over an active serial killer, a young woman moves into a new apartment with her partner and is tormented by the feeling that she is being stalked by an unseen watcher in an adjacent building. (This review was originally part of MTR’s 2022 festival coverage.) ** Watcher, director Chloe Okuno’s feature debut, follows Julia (Maika Monroe) and Francis (Karl Glusman), a young couple just arrived in Bucharest, Romania for Francis’ new job. Julia doesn’t speak Romanian or know the country. Almost immediately, she finds herself adrift in the city with an increasingly unavailable husband. She spends most days listening to language lessons and otherwise wandering around at loose ends. Francis does little to help his wife adjust. He’s quick to speak in Romanian, cutting her out of conversations by often failing to translate. He makes no attempt to orient her in the city or their new lives. The first night in their home, she notices the silhouette of a man standing at a window in the building across from theirs. He appears to be looking at her. Days later, in an attempt to convince herself she’s imagining things, Julia waves when she sees him. The man raises a hand and waves back. If this setup has a decidedly Hitchcockian feel, have no fear you’re not imagining it. The hints of voyeurism and Rear Window vibes echo thematically throughout the film. There’s even a very meta moment early on where Julia can’t shake the feeling of being stalked inside a theater while watching Stanley Donen's Charade. Okuno plays with visual perspectives with overhead shots, shots from below, and three-quarter angles to build an ever growing specter of doubt in what Julia’s actually experiencing. Her approach invites the audience to transfer their own anxieties and fears onto the main character. It’s not unique but unlike its predecessor films in the genre (think Hereditary or Repulsion), Okuno uses Julia’s seeming aimlessness to credibly make room for doubt without completely leaving the character as an empty cipher. In Monroe's capable hands, Julia’s got depth in her distressed gaze. Her growing listlessness and lack of focus aid in distorting time and recollection. Paranoia is self-replenishing. Once something trips that switch, it's like a constant itch at the base of your skull; a twitch between your shoulder blades. If the feeling lingers long enough, you can find yourself practically jumping at shadows, flinching away from people, and avoiding places where you can’t put your back to a wall. Thread that paranoia into a story centering a woman convinced she’s being watched (and possibly followed) who can’t get anyone to take her seriously and you’ve got the perfect nightmare fuel. As Julia’s sense of being followed increases, Francis begins to fully discount her unsettled feelings, casting her further adrift. It doesn’t help that there’s an actual serial killer, called the Spider, preying on women in the city. Pretty soon, she’s sleeping poorly and coming off as a blurry eyed hysteric to the people around her. So when her only friend, Irina (Madalina Anea), goes missing from the building; no one’s willing to take her seriously. Whenever she tries to articulate what she’s feeling, it comes out sounding hesitant and unconvincing. To others, the situation begins to look more and more like an unhinged American woman targeting a solitary local man. Monroe’s performance convincingly pushes you into questioning her reliability as a narrator. As incidents and inexplicable encounters keep happening even Julia begins to doubt herself. But if you, like me, automatically say, “oh no” whenever you see Burn Gorman’s name on a cast list; then you know, Julia should definitely trust her gut.
70 minutes | May 15, 2022
Movie Review: Firestarter
Movies that adapt Stephen King novels don't have a great track record. Firestarter seems to be proud to not only continue that tradition but works hard to make it one of the worst. Someone said, let's take one of King's novels that was already made into a bad film in the 80's, get the guy who wrote the terrible Halloween Kills to write the screen play and then rush through any story so that the plot is incoherent at best. That pretty much sums up the 2022 Firestarter. Zac Efron really needs better people. He's not a bad actor but he's continually given projects and direction that just don't work. Apparently no one told him he was playing the father to Charlie, not her annoyed big brother. To be fair to him, the script didn't seem to really want to write his character that way anyway. The script is rushed and half thought out and it does a disservice to everyone involved from the actors to the audience. At some point we need to have a conversation about how Blumhouse seems to be making the laziest excuses for horror films lately. Cause this just isn't it. Listen as Ro, Brandon and Kriss talk about how much of an absolute shit show this film is. Like what you hear? Subscribe so you don't miss an episode! Follow us on Twitter: @Phenomblak @InsanityReport @TheMTRNetwork Our shirts are now on TeePublic. https://teepublic.com/stores/mtr-network Want more podcast greatness? Sign up for a MTR Premium Account!
64 minutes | May 4, 2022
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Review
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness proves that Marvel Studios is really interested in pushing the boundaries of what people think of their films and is not interested in just sticking to the same old formula. For those that had criticisms of MCU films that they never took risks and were formulaic, this is definitely a film that is challenging that viewpoint. This means we get a film that isn't perfect and polished and definitely relies on having knowledge of the Disney+ shows (but that should have been a given). But it's still good and very entertaining. Sam Raimi's first Marvel Studios film definitely leans hard into horror. We've seen Marvel dabble before into other genres' but Doctor Strange 2 dives feet first into it. There are not only downright frightful moments but there's also a surprising amount of murder on the screen. Yes, murder. A lot of people die (in horrific ways) in this film. Cumberbatch and Olsen do a great job in this film with Olsen continuing the great emotional performance she had in WandaVision . This film is not perfect by any means. For all the horror elements from Raimi, there are some scripting and directing decisions that don't land. Also this film moves at a breakneck pace. This might be one of the fastest paced MCU movies to date. While it's definitely exhilarating, the pace also doesn't give the audience a moment to breathe and really take in all that's happening. It's really hard to talk about this film and some of the characters (Like America Chavez) without spoiling anything because of the plot points so, the best advice is to just go see it as soon as you can. Like what you hear? Subscribe so you don't miss an episode! Follow us on Twitter: @Phenomblak @InsanityReport @TheMTRNetwork Our shirts are now on TeePublic. https://teepublic.com/stores/mtr-network Want more podcast greatness? Sign up for a MTR Premium Account!
39 minutes | Apr 22, 2022
Movie Review: The Northman
Director: Robert Eggers Writers: Sjón, Robert Eggers Cast: Alexander Skarsgård (Amleth), Nicole Kidman (Queen Gudrúnn), Claes Bang (Fjölnir The Brotherless), Anya Taylor-Joy (Olga of the Birch Forest), Willem Dafoe (Heimir The Fool) Synopsis: From visionary director Robert Eggers comes The Northman, an action-filled epic that follows a young Viking prince on his quest to avenge his father's murder. Ro & Kriss review and discuss The Northman. Like what you hear? Subscribe so you don't miss an episode! Follow us on Twitter: @Phenomblak @InsanityReport @TheMTRNetwork Our shirts are now on TeePublic. https://teepublic.com/stores/mtr-network Want more podcast greatness? Sign up for a MTR Premium Account!
24 minutes | Apr 22, 2022
Movie Review: The Duke
Director: Roger Michell Writer: Richard Bean, Clive Coleman Cast: Jim Broadbent (Kempton Bunton), Helen Mirren (Dorothy Bunton), Fionn Whitehead (Jackie Bunton) Synopsis: In 1961, Kempton Bunton, a 60 year old taxi driver, steals Goya's portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London. Ro and Kriss review the film The Duke. Like what you hear? Subscribe so you don't miss an episode! Follow us on Twitter: @Phenomblak @InsanityReport @TheMTRNetwork Our shirts are now on TeePublic. https://teepublic.com/stores/mtr-network Want more podcast greatness? Sign up for a MTR Premium Account!
39 minutes | Apr 18, 2022
Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts - The Secrets of Dumbledore
Director: David Yates Writer: Steve Kloves, J.K. Rowling Cast: Eddie Redmayne (Newt Scamander), Jude Law (Albus Dumbledore), Katherine Waterston (Tina Goldstein), Mads Mikkelsen (Gellert Grindelwald), Ezra Miller (Credennce Barebone) Synopsis: Albus Dumbledore assigns Newt and his allies with a mission related to the rising power of Grindelwald. Ro reviews Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore while Kriss chimes in about how trash JK Rowling is. Like what you hear? Subscribe so you don't miss an episode! Follow us on Twitter: @Phenomblak @InsanityReport @TheMTRNetwork Our shirts are now on TeePublic. https://teepublic.com/stores/mtr-network Want more podcast greatness? Sign up for a MTR Premium Account!
28 minutes | Apr 18, 2022
Movie Review: All The Old Knives
Director: Janus Metz Writer: Olen Steinhauer Cast: Chris Pine (Henry Pelham), Thandiwe Newton (Celia Harrison), Laurence Fishburne (Vick Wallinger), Jonathan Pryce (Bill Compton) Synopsis: Two CIA agents and ex-lovers (Chris Pine and Thandiwe Newton) are brought back together years after a failed rescue attempt and forced to blur the lines between profession and passion in this deeply riveting tale of global espionage, moral dilemma and deadly betrayal. Ro & Kriss review All the Old Knives, available now on Amazon Prime Video. Like what you hear? Subscribe so you don't miss an episode! Follow us on Twitter: @Phenomblak @InsanityReport @TheMTRNetwork Our shirts are now on TeePublic. https://teepublic.com/stores/mtr-network Want more podcast greatness? Sign up for a MTR Premium Account!
24 minutes | Apr 15, 2022
Movie Review: Dual
Riley Stearns' Dual crams a lot into 95 minutes but never feels overstuffed. It's listed as a Sci-Fi Thriller but is also pulls off a dry sense of humor really well thanks to lead Karen Gillan. Its biggest accomplishment is providing meta, societal commentary without ever feeling overly pretentious or preachy. The plot of the movie is very simple. Sarah (Gillan) is living a very depressing and unfulfilled life when she is diagnosed with a terminal illness. To ease the transition for her mother, she opts for the Replacement program that allows dying people to clone themselves so that their clone can continue on with their life. The problem is...Sarah makes a miraculous recovery and is no longer dying. By law her clone has the right to not be "decommissioned" and the way this is handled is by a televised duel to the death where the winner gets to live on as Sarah. This movie is less about some Hunger Games style duel and more about what it means to live a life. Stearns could have made this film really boring and uninteresting but instead uses awkward situations with hilarious dialogue to make this film a joy to watch. Gillan works well as Sarah (and Sarah's Double). Her last few films have had her really lean into her deadpan expressions and humor and its worked very well for each film. In this one, she's acting against herself in many cases and that just makes it even more impressive. It helps that her character is also very unlikeable. There are times when you start wanting to root for her double as you come to the realization that Sarah kinda sucks. Dual definitely is worth checking out. Again, despite the opening, don't expect some action-heavy scenes like Hunger Games or Battle Royale. It's definitely not that kind of film. Like what you hear? Subscribe so you don't miss an episode! Follow us on Twitter: @Phenomblak @InsanityReport @TheMTRNetwork Our shirts are now on TeePublic. https://teepublic.com/stores/mtr-network Want more podcast greatness? Sign up for a MTR Premium Account!
37 minutes | Mar 20, 2022
Halo Season 1 Episodes 1 & 2 Review
We all know that movies and TV shows based off of video games have an uphill battle. To be blunt, most absolutely suck. But things are slowly starting to change. The Halo series on Paramount+ is a great example of this. Years ago this would have been a 100 minute movie that was nothing but over-the-top fan service with a terrible story that felt like a rushed money grab. Instead Paramount+ has decided to bank on drawing folks in with ultra violence, a familiar yet unique story and making this adaptation a mini-series that is already guaranteed to go 2 seasons so it has time to grow. It's a smart calculation that makes for an interesting show that presents more positives than negatives in the first 2 episodes. One thing should be made clear. This is NOT your kid's Master Chief. If you have a problem with ultra violence then you don't want to watch this. The opening 10 minutes presents one of the best introduction of the main characters as Master Chief and his squad take out the Convenant that just massacred a town. And by "massacre" we mean killed just about every man, woman and child. As a matter of fact the first people killed in this show are some young teens that literally get picked apart. This series is definitely not just about showing violent alien deaths. The backdrop of the UNC taking on the Covenant is the UNC's own violent campaign to put down a resistance from border colonies that want their own independence. It's very clear that this is a violent universe. Pablo Schreiber makes a pretty solid Master Chief. Schreiber can be very dry and mechanical at times but that's exactly what his role calls for. The rest of the cast is a mixed bag with some feel perfect for the role while others may need a bit more time to settle in. This is mostly due to the story that takes pieces of existing Halo lore while still trying to make something unique. It's ambitious and it remains to be seen if they can pull it off both story-wise and with this cast. The first two episodes of Halo are far from perfect. After the action packed opening of episode 1, things slow down a bit to try to fill out the world and set the scene a bit better. Halo feels like a mix of Starship Troopers and The Expanse. And that's enough to at least warrant checking out the full season. Halo premieres on Paramount+ on March 24th. Follow more of our Film Festival Reviews and Coverage on our Press Page Page: https://press.mtrnetwork.net Follow us on Social Media: MTRNetwork MTRNetwork @TheMTRNetwork
23 minutes | Mar 9, 2022
Movie Review: Turning Red
Director: Domee Shi Screenwriters: Julia Cho (screenplay), Domee Shi (screenplay), Sarah Streicher (story) Starring: Rosalie Chiang, Sandra Oh, Ava Morse Cinematographer: Mahyar Abousaeedi, Jonathan Pytko Runtime: 110 minutes ** Turning Red centers thirteen-year-old Meilin (Rosalie Chiang) as she enters that in-between phase mother's insist on calling a "magical" time in a young girl's life, puberty. On one level, its an in-your-face allegory: Preteen wakes the morning after her first bout of raging hormones as a giant red panda. Tripping around to hide her shapeshift convinces her mom Ming, voiced by Sandra Oh, that she's gotten her first period. Cue hilarity, hijinks, and those horribly embarrassing moments that can break a mother-daughter bond if not handled just right. Shi's animation background ensures that Turning Red doesn't miss a trick. There's movement, action and important clues in every frame. Mei and her friends are smartly drawn and highly relatable. The story direction and character design keep things accessible for young viewers while still swinging for the emotional fences. There's vibrant color, and a pace-setting soundtrack that make for an engaging and enjoyable experience. The best part? The magical and the mundane are so intertwined a vivid picture of a family deeply connected to their personal history, culture, and one another unfolds in ways that makes the most of common experiences that play crucial part in growing up. Mei's inner panda is part of a larger legacy that marks a true rite of passage for the women in her mother's family. In the midst of navigating school, learning to control her panda while and conniving to spend time with her friends, Mei finds a way to live her best life; but must pull away from her mother (and her expectations) to do it. And here's where Turning Red builds the quiet parts of this coming-of-age story into one revolving around generational knowledge, matrilineal power, womanhood, and choice. So on another, more subtle, level this semi-autobiographical story offers up more nuanced lessons about honoring family by choosing to honor yourself. Of course, those lessons come with a side of boy band mania and secret fundraising but that just means the jokes and laughs are plentiful. Thankfully, Turning Red, never forgets that the hard part of growing up is holding on to family without sacrificing yourself to do it. It's not just a primer for guiding a young girl through the emotional highs and lows of puberty. Pixar's tapped into what worked so well in Inside Out by letting director Domee Shi turns a Chinese Canadian girl's discovering she can turn into a giant red panda into a touching tale about legacy, friendship, and learning to love everything that makes you, you with charm, wit and a heavy dose of middle-school earnestness. Listen as Kriss and Ro get into the themes and reasons this beautifully crafted coming of age story is certain to resonate with the entire family. Turning Red premieres in select theaters and on Disney+ March 11, 2022 Like what you hear? Subscribe so you don't miss an episode! Follow us on Twitter: @Phenomblak @InsanityReport @TheMTRNetwork Our shirts are now on TeePublic. https://teepublic.com/stores/mtr-network Want more podcast greatness? Sign up for a MTR Premium Account!
37 minutes | Mar 5, 2022
Movie Review: The Cursed
Director: Sean Ellis Screenwriters: Sean Ellis Starring: Boyd Holbrook, Kelly Reilly, Alistair Petrie Cinematographer: Sean Ellis Runtime: 111 minutes Sean Ellis successfully pulls off a film hat trick by directing, writing and serving as cinematographer of The Cursed and the result is a creepy and terrifying gothic werewolf tale that could give audiences nightmares. The Cursed produces a tight story in under 2 hours but also leaves enough room for the audience to want more. There are so many questions and aspects of this story that could be told but are instead left up to the audience to interpret. In other movies, that could be seen as a downside but for The Cursed it's a testament to how good the story is. It also helps that the real villain in this film isn't the hairless, terrifying werewolf-like creature but the more realistic greedy, rich and powerful French landowner that brings this terror onto his town and family due to his own horrific deeds. This is definitely one of those films where you're rooting for the creature. It helps that at no point does Ellis insult the audience's intelligence by going through the typical denial phase that happens in super natural movies like this where a significant portion of the movie is spent trying to convince characters that the threat is real. This isn't one of those films that hides the monster until the last possible moment. Ellis definitely uses anticipation extremely well to add to the frightening full reveal. The creature itself is a unique take on the idea of a werewolf with it also bending some of the rules typically associated with the creature. A creature that's not beholden to only appearing at night or the full moon adds to the level of sheer terror. 2022 is shaping up to be a great year for horror films and TV shows. Listen as Kriss and Ro talk about what makes The Cursed so good and why you should check it out. Like what you hear? Subscribe so you don't miss an episode! Follow us on Twitter: @Phenomblak @InsanityReport @TheMTRNetwork Our shirts are now on TeePublic. https://teepublic.com/stores/mtr-network Want more podcast greatness? Sign up for a MTR Premium Account!
22 minutes | Mar 4, 2022
Movie Review: After Yang
Director: Kogonada Screenwriters: Kogonada Starring: Colin Farrell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Justin H. Min, Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja, Haley Lu Richardson Sundance Synopsis: When Yang — a lifelike, artificially intelligent android that Jake and Kyra buy as a companion for their adopted daughter — abruptly stops functioning, Jake just wants him repaired quickly and cheaply. But having purchased Yang “certified refurbished” from a now-defunct store, he’s led first to a conspiracy theorist technician and then a technology museum curator, who discovers that Yang was actually recording memories. Jake’s quest eventually becomes one of existential introspection and contemplating his own life, as it passes him by. Snapshot Review: Writer/Director Kogonada understands that the futuristic can serve as a perfect frame for the quietly despondent and emotionally vibrant. After Yang takes an engrossing short story and adapts it into a breathtakingly gorgeous sci-fi film aimed right at the parts of our psyche we don't pay nearly enough attention. Here, the technology acts as a soft component of this vivid backdrop and a gateway through which the audience becomes immersed in the narrative. For all the story's sadness it's just as hopeful a journey into what holds a family together. This is a family in transition and watching them come to terms with the consequences of their unwitting choices offers compelling insight into identity, family and grief. Kogonada's sense of fun is readily apparent in what might be the best title sequence ever in a film. Yet, After Yang superbly translates the essence of loss, and deepens the allegory about our dependence and attachment to technology at the heart of Weinstein's story. This is an adaptation with heart and soul. *this review is updated from The MTR Network's Sundance 2022 coverage. Like what you hear? Subscribe so you don't miss an episode! Follow us on Twitter: @Phenomblak @InsanityReport @TheMTRNetwork Our shirts are now on TeePublic. https://teepublic.com/stores/mtr-network Want more podcast greatness? Sign up for a MTR Premium Account!
50 minutes | Feb 28, 2022
Movie Review: The Batman
The Batman feels like WB making the strategic and smart decision to go back to what has worked for their live action Batman movies. This means a more grounded Batman with less of the super hero elements but a solid story that will get both critic and audience praise. For better or worse, this film feels like the natural progression from Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Matt Reeves took a lot of the elements and themes from Nolan's trilogy and added them to a neo-noir detective story that overall works. If you remember that this is Year Two Batman and that this film is really meant as set up to flesh out Gotham and the world this Batman will operate in, then the shortcomings can be overlooked to form a good movie with a potential for a great franchise. There are several things that work for The Batman. First, first is the story and focus on the detective aspect of Batman. The story is built around being a detective thriller and despite pacing and a way too long run time, it's a good entry point to this new Batman and Gotham. If you view this film as the setup for the rest of the franchise then what Reeves does is build out a Gotham that feels like it's a character itself, which is an important part of any Batman story. In many ways the themes of Gotham and corruption are lifted straight from what Nolan's trilogy focused on with slight changes. Some might not appreciate how similar they are but you can't really fault a film for going with what works. Pattinson can hold his own as Batman but finds himself outacted by Zoë Kravitz and Jeffery Wright. It's not really his fault as the direction he's given for the character. Again, with the focus being on this being a Batman only 2 years into his war on crime, the character itself isn't supposed to be well rounded. For what he's asked to do it works and even better, at no point does he feel like he shouldn't be there. There are a few things that hold this film back from being great. The runtime for The Batman is the biggest negative against it. This film is about 30-45 minutes too long. A better job editing could have made this story tighter with better pacing. The longer runtime could be forgiven if the film went for a more well rounded character development for Batman and given us more of Patttinson as Bruce Wayne. Instead what we get is a film that ends and then continues to on and on and on. The lighting in the film is also really bad (in 2022, can we please light Black people better on film? please). Just because a film is a neo-noir film doesn't mean it has to be shot in pitch black. There are scenes in this film that are lighted so poorly it's really hard to see what's happening on the screen. Which is unacceptable. Lastly, the fight scenes with Batman are uninspiring. For all the things Batman v Superman did wrong, the warehouse fight scene with Batman is the gold standard for how Batman should be fighting. There are times in this film where you can see how clunky the Batsuit is and it just doesn't work for any serious hand-to-hand fighting. But again, it's clearly not the focus. Overall The Batman does what it needs to do. There are plenty of good things and the negatives are things that can be fixed moving forward. No, this isn't the Batman many have been waiting for. But at this point, it's pretty much settled that if you want the comic Batman you'd be better off picking up a comic or playing one of the Arkham games. The Batman is more in the tradition of Nolan's Batman and all things considered, that's not too bad. Like what you hear? Subscribe so you don't miss an episode! Follow us on Twitter: @Phenomblak @InsanityReport @TheMTRNetwork Our shirts are now on TeePublic. https://teepublic.com/stores/mtr-network Want more podcast greatness? Sign up for a MTR Premium Account!
26 minutes | Feb 28, 2022
From Season 1 Episodes 1 to 4
Showtime's Yellowjackets, an early 2022 break out, (re)set the bar for a dynamic genre-blended series. Now, EPIX's hopes to pick up the baton with its new slow-burning horror series From. Just in time, because thanks to shows like The Boys, and The Expanse, people are rediscovering the joys of not binge watching. There's something about being able to let an show sit with you, mess with your head for an entire week. And From definitely intends to mess with your head. From turns a rundown small town in the middle of nowhere into the living hellscape a hodgepodge ensemble find themselves trapped in. There are monsters, mayhem, small-town politics, and world-weary townspeople just trying to make it through the day...and night. Yes, it's a horror mystery box. But think more Salem's Lot and less Lost. From Airdate: 9 p.m. Sunday, on EPIX Photo Credit: Chris Reardon/EPIX Cast: Harold Perrineau, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Eion Bailey, Hannah Cheramy, Simon Webster, Ricky He, Chloe Van Landschoot, Shaun Majumder, Corteon Moore, Pegah Ghafoori, David Alipay, Elizabeth Saunders, Elizabeth Moy, Avery Konrad Long Day's Journey Into Night Synopsis: The Matthews’ family road trip takes a horrifying turn when they are detoured to a small pastoral town from which they cannot leave. When their family RV crashes, Sheriff Boyd Stevens and other residents rush to save them before the sun goes down. The Way Things Are Now Synopsis: At Colony House, Tabitha and Julie grapple with their new nightmarish reality; out in the forest, Jim, Boyd and Kristi struggle to treat Ethan's injuries; tragedy strikes from an unexpected source as a new threat arises in the town. Choosing Day Synopsis: The Matthews family must choose which of the two settlements they will join; Jade comes to terms with his situation; Boyd is faced with an impossible decision that strikes at the very heart of life in the town. A Rock and a Farway Synopsis: Julie finds comfort in her new friends; Jim and Tabitha deal with their struggling marriage; Ethan ventures off into the forest with Victor; Father Khatri urges Boyd to embrace his role as leader; Sara receives another horrifying directive ** The show starts with a visibly tense and disheveled Boyd Stevens (Harold Perrineau) hoofing it down main street sending out a clarion call with an old hand bell. You're not exactly sure what's the hurry but the sense of impending danger grows as he moves through town and the sun slips slow over the horizon. The blend of bleak lighting, seemingly broken down buildings, and eerie soundscape this isn't a happy, thriving small town. These people are scrambling to get inside, lock doors and checking windows like a wicked wind's about to blow through. The small details set the stage for what's to come, a man passed out drunk on the floor, a woman waiting anxiously on a porch across town before ushering a young girl inside and slamming the door on a curse. People in different homes all patting a talisman hanging by the entry before pull down shades and closing curtains. As the camera travels about town giving glimpses of harassed-looking townspeople sheltering in place. That growing sense of doom comes to a head when a ghostly looking grandma convinces a child to open a window. Demonstrates that something monstrous stalks the town's inhabitants ever night. The consequences for falling prey to its scheming are, gruesome. From builds it's mystery from the ground up The point of view shifts to a family on a road trip. The Morrison family traveling a back road by RV destination unclear. A fallen tree in the road pushes them off course, and into this no name town. As they roll down the main thoroughfare, the entire town's decidedly unwelcoming. It's a grim and unsettling introduction to a community divided and a deadly mystery. One that unfolds step by ominous step. There's family conflict, murder, mayhem and mystery. The cast of characters is varied and every variety of walki...
60 minutes | Feb 20, 2022
Snowpiercer Season 3 Episodes 1 to 4
I don't know if Snowpiercer is a good show. I don't. There are things this show does that are annoying and feel like poor writing. However, after the last 2 years of living with COVID and seeing just how dumb people are in real life, the problem with Snowpiercer might be it's hitting too close to home. Either way, it's Season 3 and we're here for the mess. It seems like every season we start off saying the same thing: Andre Layton is stupid and should not be in charge. And the first 4 episodes of this season seem to back this up. Whether it's intentional or not, the Snowpiercer TV show really shows what happens when the wrong people assume leadership while ignoring far more capable people around them. Looking at some of the themes that are popping up this season, we have to believe it's intentional. Especially after episode 4. Alex realizing that she's an extremely capable and gifted engineer on her own who doesn't need Wilford. That plays great against the backdrop of Layton and the inner circle making the same mistakes again and lying to the train (Thereby taking a page out of Wilford's book) instead of just being honest. In what feels like something that's pulled straight out of what we've been dealing with in reality for the last 2 years, Snowpiercer shows what happens when a) the wrong people are in charge b) the people in charge think so little of the people that trust them, that they lie instead of trying to explain the truth. We know this is all going to come crashing down. There's so many reasons. Layton is out of his mind due to suffering from oxygen deprivation (Aye man. You can't promise people New Eden when you've only seen it in your head after you almost died from a lack of oxygen) Asha is also crazy (and maybe ate people) Ruth should be in charge but once again isn't really in the inner circle. Pike sees this and this of course is gonna cause problems Wilford is still alive. Why? We have no idea. Shoutout to Roche for trying to do what needed to be done Zarah still got Layton wrapped around her finger because he's an idiot and so many other things This is going to go bad and we can't wait to see the chaos. Also, Osweiller? Your dick is not your friend. Clearly because you're now married to the serial killer that used to cut men's dicks off. Good luck man. We'll be back around episode 7 to talk about the next three episodes. Like what you hear? Subscribe so you don't miss an episode! Follow us on Twitter: @BookBlerd @InsanityReport @TheMTRNetwork Our shirts are now on TeePublic. https://teepublic.com/stores/mtr-network Want more podcast greatness? Sign up for a MTR Premium Account!
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