10+ Let Him Go Reviews – Costner and Lane Shine

Kevin Costner sure seems to find, create and/or produce roles for himself featuring his style of acting. He’s got a unique voice. Kind of dry sounding, almost whiney sometimes, but it’s like he is on the verge of either crying himself or making viewers cry.

As movie houses make a bold effort to return to normal, I’m grateful for the few rare films that have managed to slip through the fence. One of the best is Let Him Go, an uneven but satisfying domestic thriller starring Kevin Costner and Diane Lane, two accomplished and mesmerizing contemporary screen icons who just keep getting better every time they hear a director yell “Action!” and the camera rolls.

Let Him Go Review: Kevin Costner & Diane Lane’s Quagmire of Horror | Observer

It’s been awhile since last posting one of these review compilations, so for those new to how they work, the details follow the comments below. Strangely, this movie was among our most favorite of the 44+ films watched in theaters in 2020. In January we watched 0 new films in theaters, because theaters have been closed in our area so far this year. On February 5th, AMC has announced they’ll be reopening theaters again. Yay!

Phase 2 in Washington State will allow movie theaters that have been closed since November 2020, to reopen in early February 2021.

… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

Kevin Costner, Diane Lane and Leslie Manville

The quality of trio of actors make this film shine. The story isn’t amazing, it’s a basic spin on a parental rights and child as leverage story, but it’s powerful enough. Grandparent love is incredibly strong. That bond is thoroughly tested here.

And just when you think they won’t go there, they do

I love it when the tension gets ratcheted tighter and tighter. There is a quiet tension in the beginning, more like an ominous feeling that something isn’t right. That feeling worsens. And worsens.

Some might think the film is slow, and it is in the beginning, but it’s a purposeful slow. By the time we reach the third act, we’re wondering if the story will go completely off the rails. It does and doesn’t.

I expected Costner’s character would go off, but didn’t see him going all in. We want him to go all guns blazing and he doesn’t disappoint.

Reviews by Others

What do others think of Let Him Go?


  1. film-authority.com: “…those seeking old-school Western gravity will enjoy the attractions here; two big, personable movie stars fighting to defend their family is easy to watch, particularly when Costner and Lane evoke the hard-scrabble back-stories of a desperate, driven couple who have already known enough pain for one life. Sure, we’ll always have streaming, but films like Let Him Go represent the last gasp of a kind of traditional cinema that’s unlikely to survive beyond the year.”
  2. For What It’s Worth / tbmeek3 (3/4): “Writer-director Thomas Bezucha rekindles the essence of a B-noir potboiler with the fast, efficient and lean in execution “Let Him Go,” based on Larry Watson’s novel, which gets a big boost from some knockout performances – in the end, the main reason to see the film.”
  3. It’s A Stampede / Alex Wiggan: “…sneaks in at the eleventh hour, to stand toe-to-toe with its peers. For me, this is one of the best films of the year, is something truly special, and is most certainly one to check out as soon as you can. “
  4. Jason’s Movie Blog (4.4/5): “…stands tall and proud as a beacon for its subgenre category as well providing a talented and enthralling tale of family and how far one would go to protect the ones that they love the most.”
  5. Keith & The Movies (4.5/5): “…hits all the right chords from its wonderfully low-key early rhythm to its effectively pulpy final third. It helps to have seasoned talents giving perfectly calibrated performances. And the story’s unexpected layers of humanity make us genuinely care while ultimately bringing out the deeper meaning to the film’s title.”
  6. Movies, Films & Flicks: “If you are in the mood for an old school thriller anchored by A+ performances, I totally recommend Let Him Go. You won’t be disappointed.”
  7. Screen Zealots (4/5): “…a compelling story full of drama and suspense that presents no easy answers to the notion that vengeance is justified when it comes to family.”
  8. Seoyong’s Private Place (3/4): “…is a rather plain genre film on the whole, but it is supported well by not only Bezucha’s competent direction but also the enjoyable performances from Costner, Lane, and Manville. Yep, the story is quite familiar to the bone, but these good performers elevate their stock materials to some degree, and I appreciate that a lot.”
  9. theidiosyncratist: “This is a well-plotted movie with an unusual plot arc that moves from family sorrow to Gothic horror, all set in the largely empty western interior from Montana to North Dakota in the early 1960s.”
  10. The Underscene: “…showcases a story and script we’ve seen plenty of times before, but Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, and some truly suspenseful action make for a perfectly enjoyable and stylistic watch.”

Not Recommended

  1. Little Movie Reviews / Sarah C (Grade: C): “Nothing stands out to me, and the overdramatic trailer doesn’t do the film any favors, but I found myself to be mildly surprised. The acting is well done, but the script suffers from a storyline that’s been done one too many times. There’s not much to say about Let Him Go. There’s only one standout, however, and that’s Manville. Sadly, when Manville isn’t onscreen, everything else just feels like a bore.”
  2. The World Of Celebrity: “…really excels in certain tense moments so it’s just a shame it didn’t sustain that for the whole running time.”

Linked above and wondering what would be cool to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quoting from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

Happy movie watching!

7+ Infidel Reviews – Dumb Decisions, Lifeless Action

Infidel ⭐️½

This movie is textbook bad. I want to take another star away and just declare it unwatchable, but there is actually a moment or two that redeem some of its existence.

The conservative answer to such Middle East-set films as “Rendition” and “Syriana,” “Infidel” is one of the widest exclusive-to-theaters U.S. releases since the pandemic closed most cinemas, reportedly opening on 2,400 screens in 1,724 locations. Originally intended to open on 9/11, the film takes a tough look at the dimension of both Christianity and Islam reluctant to co-exist with the other, and speculates as to which is better suited to “win” this standoff. It’s biased, of course, and the movie’s attitude toward Muslims could be summarized as: We will respect your religion, to a point, but the moment you try to limit our freedom, all bets are off.

‘Infidel’ Review: ‘Passion’ Star Jim Caviezel Risks Martyrdom Again – Variety

… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

Not Even Getting Into The Religious and Political Stuff

This is a faith-based movie, which might turn some moviegoers off. Not the case for us. We treat these movies like any other movie we watch unless they become too preachy. As it stands, this isn’t an issue with this film, but what is an issue is the overarching politics and religion. Not going to get into opinions on any of this, but will say that the way the main character acted in another country was stupid.

Not saying he deserved to be kidnapped and tortured, but, well, he deserved to be kidnapped at least. I’m kind of joking, but without that the story would have been boring.

Yeah, the main characters actions = dumb, dumb and dumber

If you escape captivity, why run down a busy road? You have all these little side alleys that a car won’t fit down — at least easily — and yet you run down the main road to be captured again? Of course if you’re a dumb fugitive that’s what you do. Run right back into the arms of your captors. I wanted to poke my eyes out with kernels of hot searing popcorn while watching this. Dude, really?!?!?!

The lethargic action

What was going on with the action scenes in this movie? It was like we’re in quicksand instead of moving through them with any sort of grace and pace. The sound didn’t even match some of the scenes. I didn’t get it.

There will always be fans

This isn’t Cats-level unwatchable. It’s better than some other movies we’ve seen this year in the theater, but it’s definitely trending toward the bottom of the list. The Last Shift is worse than this. The Turning, Underwater, Downhill, yeah, all worse than this. 2020 has made a particularly sucky grab bag of crappy films. This might go down as the worst year cinema has ever had. Seriously.

Look, just because we thought this movie sucked, doesn’t mean it sucks for everybody. I did find some who really enjoyed watching it (see below!). Not picking on those who liked it, but it wasn’t for either of us — at all. Follow and read the positive reviews which might inspire you to at least catch this on streaming. We can’t with any good conscience recommend paying to see this in a theater and we love watching movies in theaters. Watch Unhinged a second time instead, see Tenet for the third or fourth time. Hocus Pocus playing? Why not!

Reviews by Others

What do others think of Infidel?


  1. Multicultural Marriage: “I watched Cyrus Nowrasteh’s Infidel movie this weekend and highly recommend!”
  2. Rachel’s Reviews (6/10): “I don’t know what Christian audiences will think of Infidel? It is violent and has its share of F-bombs so I know that will turn away some people of faith. However, it is based on a true story and the action is exciting, so it has its appeal. Nevertheless, It’s a weird mixture but I was entertained enough to recommend it”
  3. That Darn Girl (3.5/5): “The storyline and action are both compelling and made for the big screen, however, you won’t have an urgency to buy it on DVD.”
  4. The Legionnaire: “I recommend it, and the swearing that Doug utters is understandable given the situation in which he finds himself. Who among us would not let loose a few f-bombs if we were being kidnapped by a terrorist organization? The point is, Caviezel is a typical Christian put into extraordinary circumstances, and God saw fit to see him through it all.”

Not Recommended

  1. Stanford Murrell: “It is unfortunate that D’Souza did not simply retell, and recreate the true events. The authentic story line would be more believable than the fictious narrative. The real characters would, no doubt, be more sympathetic than the personas created by Jim Caviezel and Claudia Karvan.”
  2. Wade Reviews Stuff (4/10): “This could have been a much more interesting movie if all, or even ANY, of these plot points had ever been cashed in. Sadly, it is a lot of subpar action that suddenly just stops abruptly & then the credits roll. With a different director, this could have been a decent, intriguing movie to watch. Instead, we get something nobody is going to remember the next day.”
  3. Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: “…is…okay…I guess? With the production value, ho hum direction, some awkward moments and an out of place action climax, it seems like it should’ve been a mediocre HBO or Showtime Original movie. But I’m guessing it is getting released in theaters because there is absolutely no competition right now and it thinks it can maybe make more money that way?”

Linked above and wondering what would be cool to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quoting from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

Happy movie watching!

11+ Magic Camp Reviews – Decent Magic, Mediocre Story

Magic Camp ⭐️⭐️

When it comes to camp counselor movies, Meatballs set the comedy bar pretty high. Magic Camp is from Disney, so you know that we’re getting a family film.

Directed by Mark Waters, Disney+ comedy Magic Camp has mostly received positive reviews so far – though it may be more for kids than adults. Reviewers who critique from a parent’s perspective seem to enjoy the streaming experience, most notably the chemistry between the primary leads and how they interact with the young supporting cast. Meanwhile, reviews from larger outlets are more lukewarm, but credit the movie for being a fun distraction.

Why Magic Camp’s Reviews Are (Mostly) Positive | Screen Rant

… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

Adam Devine conjures Jack Black

Mention in my review that if you close your eyes and listen to Devine’s voice, you’ll hear Jack Black. It’s distracting. He even has the same acting mannerisms and emphasizing vocals. He’s just not as funny as Jack Black. Last saw him in Jexi ⭐️⭐️⭐️, the cell phone OS dating assistant, and he was better there than here. Think I prefer him to be more adult-oriented than in a family role.

The magic is fun

I liked the magic, although with cameras and cut scenes anything can be magical. The tricks the kids perform in the movie are realistic.

But the story … oh my, we need to talk about the story. The whole warring between the two adult magicians would have been cool if there was more tension, but instead we don’t see enough conflict coming out of the duo.

Reviews by Others

What do others think of Magic Camp?


  1. Another Millennial Reviewer: “Overall, very enjoyable, not a challenging watch, but maybe something to watch when you’re feeling down and need a pick me up. Further proof that Devine is Jack Black.”
  2. Dave / Interpreting The Stars: “…a great family film. When looking at all the originals on Disney Plus, this is instantly one of my favorites if not favorite film to watch with my kids. Doesn’t make it a masterpiece. Doesn’t even make it technically better than any of the other movies on there, but it is an easy popcorn flick for families to watch together”
  3. DC Bolling / DC’s Take: “…wasn’t the disaster I expected to be. I thought it was fine. Sure, the story is very predictable, and the laughs weren’t entirely there until later on. But it’s a family-friendly comedy offering some impressive magic tricks to entertain those who love it and has some genuine heart earned”
  4. Heather’s Hot Takes: “These magicians are not cut out for Vegas or even a cruise ship, but hey, Magic Camp is a charming and cheesy watch.”
  5. Kings Movie Reviews (6.5/10): “Devine plays a great part though, even with his comedy toned way down. ‘Magic Camp’ is a heartfelt movie that the whole family will love.”
  6. Marco Biondi: “…reminds us that no one does it like Disney. There’s a warmth to their movies you just can’t imitate and we get this plus more with Magic Camp. It’s not a classic but it shows they’re on the right track.”
  7. Often Off Topic (3.5/5): “Yes, it’s horribly predictable. It contains almost every cliche in the book. It’s not novel, new, there are no surprises. But it’s entertaining, funny enough and made me cry 1 and a half times. It would have been 2 but my husband watched this with me and was already rolling his eyes so I held it in.”
  8. Ranting and Raving Reviews: “If you are a parent looking for a film to watch with children, you do not need to worry about Magic Camp. Director Mark Waters of Freaky Friday and, uh, Mean Girls fame has clearly taken care to make a meaningful kids’ movie that doesn’t condescend and has decent values.”
  9. Trailer Trashed: “There is a lot of great humour, and some cool magic tricks, most kids will recognise themselves in at least one of the camp residents.  For kids it’s going to be a hit, with adults, probably not, but we aren’t really the target audience, are we?”
  10. Yash Bansal Movie Reviews (3/5): “…this is a harmless and family-friendly diversion that can probably appeal to a wide age range.”

Not Recommended

  1. Jerome Reviews (Grade: D-): “Magic Camp could easily be mistaken for some other underdog team movie Disney has done, if you have seen any other underdog team movie you have already seen Magic Camp. I really don’t know what else to say, it’s a terrible movie that nobody is going to remember by the end of the month.”
  2. leebutler / Movie Meister Reviews (1.5/5): “If we’re kind we can compliment the kids on being good actors who did good magic tricks… but that’s where the compliments pretty much have to end because from top to bottom Magic Camp is a combination of boring and bad that barely holds up to even a passing thought. Sure, little kids might love it but little kids also deserve a better movie than this. “

Linked above and wondering what would be the cool thing to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quoting from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

Happy movie watching!

11+ Project Power Reviews – To Be Or Not A Superhero

Project Power ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Have you seen this one yet? It’s got a somewhat intriguing take on the traditional superhero tale, treating it more as an illicit drug problem because, well, it is.

No offense to Netflix, but I would have rather seen this in the theater. Netflix needs to hurry up and buy more theaters and give their subscribers 50-75% off the regular ticket price to watch movies there (or offer another subscription tier that lets you see the movies once per day for free, like the Regal Unlimited Plan).

Ok, so I’m wishing on the last part, but if you dig superheroes, it’s time to ask yourself the big Power Pill question.

(no I’m not talking about Pac-Man)

I’ll get that question after the quote.

Project Power falls into this lineage. It will neither win an Oscar, capture the Internet zeitgeist, nor take the critical community by storm. Netflix didn’t even have Project Power showcased in the top of the page banner when I logged in to watch it Friday morning. But these capable B-movies or popcorn flicks can be fun when well or even adequately done—Project Power certainly qualifies.

Netflix’s Project Power, the most fun you won’t have at the movies this summer | Ars Technica

… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

Would you take a pill that could give you super powers for 5 minutes at the risk of death?

Asked myself this question in my review (linked at the very top of this post), but the answer is still like 90%+ no. I’d rather live powerless for another 30+years (assuming I beat the mortality tables) vs. risk being a five minute Marvel/DC comic book character.

Am curious if readers would do it, though? I mean, that’s the million dollar question this film makes viewers wonder.

Jamie Foxx ++

Foxx is in my list of actors that star in films make me want to see them more. He can cross genres but seems to have his best work in dramas. He was cast well here, because he plays the military with fierce determination character well. There’s an intensity about Foxx that I enjoy watching.

Liked the idea more than the story

This happens far too frequently with movies on Netflix. They have some really compelling story ideas that just don’t execute as well as expected.

Reviews by Others

What do others think of Project Power?


  1. DOC / EYG / Embrace Your Geekness: “…there is enough clever writing here and there, and the performances are really good that you can excuse the negatives connected to the plot.”
  2. Franz Patrick: “…delivers C+ entertainment when it is apparent the template is capable of delivering at higher levels.”
  3. Giadreams / The Movie My Life: “Watch Project Power.for a different take on the humans with superpowers story. I’m convinced that there are elements that will likely surprise you, in a good way.”
  4. JustJen / Sometimes Objective Opinions: “The concept of an unpredictable pill that grants you a random superpower… or kills you, is thrilling. However, despite the action and the rising stakes, I was rarely as stressed about the characters lives as I probably should have been.”
  5. Keith & The Movies (3.5/5): “…comes along during a time when we all could use a little escapism. It ends up being a fun, high-energy offering of big screen caliber action, timely dashes of humor, and a lively chemistry between its three stars. I also admire it for being a superhero(ish) movie that doesn’t adhere to any genre formula nor does it waste our time with yet another origin story.”
  6. madommasi: “What elevates this film is the centering of a young black girl (the ageless, brilliant Fishback) in the adventure. She is smarter than the adults and by turns courageous and compassionate. Fishback is luminous, bringing the blend of vulnerability and steel that she brought to her character Darlene in the Deuce.”
  7. Matt Hurt: “…an entertaining and fun action movie with some very impressive set pieces to enjoy.”
  8. No More Workhorse: “More intelligent than your average action film, well-paced and with three strong and well rounded main characters this should satisfy even the most ardent fan of the ‘in your face’ summer blockbuster.”
  9. The DC Review Blog: “A decent flick, but probably not a movie I’ll be rushing to re-watch anytime soon.”

Not Recommended

  1. Anish Oza (Grade: C-): “This movie is just entertaining but predictable screenplay and shabby writing make it a one time watch. Action sequences are also not up to the mark. The only things that stand out are the characters and background music.”
  2. Darren / The M0vie Blog: “The paranoid subtext in Project Power never truly has space to percolate as the characters bounce from one sequence to the next. There’s a short sequence in which Frank points out to Robin that all they have is Art’s conspiracy theories, and that those theories are unverifiable, but Project Power doesn’t leave any space for the uncertainty or ambiguity on which paranoid thrillers thrive.”
  3. Irfan Nordin: “…high-octane sci-fi-action-thriller about a drug-blighted New Orleans which boasts wild and crazy action sequences as well as a star-making performance in its black female lead; the film is never as good as its biggest and best ideas.”
  4. Moshfish Reviews: “This was a failure as a superhero movie, a failure as a deep-dive into race relations, and most importantly, a failure as a fun movie.”

Linked above and wondering what would be the cool thing to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quoting from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

Happy movie watching!

15+ An American Pickle Reviews – Two Seth Rogens For The Price of One

An American Pickle ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

Seth Rogen is a very good writer and, after seeing his newest film, he also can skillfully play an early 1900 foreign doppelganger.

Imagine how bizarre it would be to act against yourself at two completely different times when you can’t see yourself? Rogen does just that — and pulls it off like it’s no big deal.

In order for Seth Rogen to have an actual beard as Herschel, the entirety of An American Pickle was filmed with the actor as the pickle-brined character and then filmed again with a clean-shaved Rogen playing a present-day man from Brooklyn. When on set, Rogen had a stand-in that he would often play off of for the scenes. It was an especially challenging shoot for the actor, especially in moments when the characters share the frame and their conversations also need to look organic.

Seth Rogen Hilariously ‘Tried To Get Out’ Of Playing Both Roles In American Pickle – CINEMABLEND

… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

A different kind of time travel

Time travel stories are usually full of holes. This is a somewhat fresh idea behind time travel in the sense that Herschel was simply preserved. It’s a totally ridiculous idea and yet the absurdity kind of works.

Speaking of logic, just throw it out and have fun

If you must absolutely have logic in your comedies, you’ll find holes aplenty here. The good news is most of the gaffes are to make the story funny, Like how Ben keeps sabotaging Herschel, constantly one-upping his earlier effort until the big one that get him kicked out of America.

Herschel > Ben

Herschel, the 1919 frozen in time character is much more likable than Ben, the whiny, manipulative present day app designer. The conflict between the two, and Herschel’s unawareness is what keeps the film moving along.

Pickle hunger?

Is it just me that gets hungry for pickles watching this movie? It’s gross the way Herschel makes the pickles, but there is so much discussion about pickles during the movie that I found myself wanting to snack on them. If this had played in a movie theater it would have been a smart marketing idea to team up with a pickle company for the concession. It’s the type of food you could snack on while watching a movie.

Argh, that wrapped up in a bow ending

The picture? Really? The hand drawn picture?

Reviews by Others

What do others think of An American Pickle?


  1. Caution Spoilers / Sarah Cartland: “What An American Pickle deliberately misses out serves to show how fake news and personality has come to dominate facts. The huge story of Herschel’s survival in the brine is dealt with at a single news conference where questions about the science are answered in the flimsiest way, to the satisfaction of all journalists present – while his individuality and idiosyncrasies make him first blog-worthy and then network news-worthy”
  2. Cookie and Screen: “…is a comforting movie with a lot of heart. Helmed by two greatly different performances by Seth Rogen, this is definitely one film to relish.”
  3. DC Bolling / DC’s Take (Grade: C+): “…doesn’t always work when the laughs don’t come in as often, but it’s still enjoyable to watch mainly because of the duel performances from Seth Rogen, showing us what he can do as a performer. He’s enough to try it.”
  4. Flip Screen: “For Rogen’s acting alone, An American Pickle is worth the watch. Rogen seems to be taking a page out of Adam Sandler’s book, taking on dramatic roles sparingly, but like Sandler, the results are amazing when they finally come.”
  5. Giadreams / Te Movie My Life: “The humour in An American Pickle may well be your kind of humour. In which case, give it a chance. Just remember that you’ll need to suspend your disbelief completely and utterly.”
  6. Howard For Film: “Even with its shortcomings, AN AMERICAN PICKLE is still reasonably entertaining. It’s available now on HBO Max. And, by the way, as someone who regularly makes his own pickles, I can tell you that you need more than cucumbers, salt and water. At least the literary Herschel knows what the correct ingredients are.”
  7. Jerome Reviews (8/10): “This was definitely a different type of Seth Rogan movie that could have easily went wrong but that’s not the case here! Check this one out!!”
  8. Soham Bogchi: “It’s almost too thin to sustain its premise for the running time — a scant 90 minutes — and sometimes feels more like a stretched-out sketch than a fully developed feature.”
  9. Tall Writer (3/4): “…is a great chance to experience Seth Rogen’s talents. For audiences concerned about the content, this film is the first he’s produced that wasn’t rated R so wade in this pickle vat, you’ll enjoy yourself.”
  10. The Craggus: “It’s all the more remarkable because it uses such a ridiculous gimmick to set up its gentle culture-clash story, a ridiculousness the film both acknowledges and dismisses in a wonderful wink to the fourth wall.”
  11. Trailer Trashed: “Not usually a comedy fan, or a Seth Rogan fan.  So I was surprised by how much I liked this film.  Some bits were a bit overdone, but it was good for a few chuckles.”

Not Recommended

  1. Mark Hobin / Fast Film Reviews (2.5/5): “…is neither a tale where people behave rationally nor one where things develop in a coherent manner.  The slapdash nature of the story is irksome.”
  2. Matthew Liedke (2/5): “…begins with some promise but the film as a whole consistently stumbles. There are a few laughs to be had and Rogen deserves some credit, but this one mostly misses the mark.
  3. Maz / The Nerds Uncanny (Grade: C): “…is an okay film that could have been great. While there are some entertaining moments here and there, I can’t help feeling that the movie wasted a good premise for a comedy film”
  4. MoodyB / Cinema Cynic (5/10): “…despite featuring a surprisingly engaging and diverse dual performance from Seth Rogen, An American Pickle is a watchable enough, but extremely light, generic and forgettable film.”
  5. Nathan Major – Major Film Reviews: “Rogan is capable of much more, and you can even glimpse that potential in moments here, it’s just buried beneath the usual fluff and filler that make up the usual Seth Rogan vehicle, taking an incredibly interesting premise, and making it thoroughly forgettable.” (ed. – Rogen’s name is spelled with an ‘e’, not an ‘a’, but left the quote as written)
  6. Phil The Bear’s Film Reviews: “It is letdown by its struggle for an ending and settles on one that is just as quaint and quiet as what has gone before. Enjoyable but not essential.”

Linked above and wondering what would be the cool thing to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quoting from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

Happy movie watching!

21+ The Old Guard Reviews – Cliched, Ear Bleeding Soundtrack, Promising Premise

The Old Guard ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

This film would not have been as good without Charlize Theron. It’s based on a graphic novel, which I haven’t read, but seems to harvest all too familiar tropes. Are these creatures werewolves or lycanthropic in origin?

Netflix’s “The Old Guard,” on the surface, seems like it gives us what the summer has been missing. It’s a starry, big-budget adaptation of a graphic novel about a band of immortal warriors led by Charlize Theron. And to a large degree, it supplies much of the absent superhero stuff. Visceral action sequences. Torrents of bullets. A blatant setup of future installments.

Movie review: In ‘The Old Guard,’ the comic movie gets an overhaul | Lifestyle | gloucestertimes.com

… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

Screenplay by the creator of the comic series

It’s usually a bonus whenever the original creator of the source material writes the screenplay.

Irrelevant pop-synth music

Whomever decided upon the soundtrack needs not be hired for the sequel, if there is one (more on that below). It’s loud and brash, but not in a fitting way. It’s like you’re trying to have a conversation at a bar and the music is too loud and doesn’t fit the scene.

Multiple times the music in this film actually took me out of the story. That rarely happens even once that music disrupts me like this, but it happened here multiple times. Terrible.

Sequel is setup

The ending leaves this open for more movies featuring these characters. Whether or not there is a sequel, it’s ready for one in the future. I wonder about movies like this that maybe play it safe with the stories and characters so that there can be more movies. Less risk = less interest, but then this is fairly commonplace in comic book adaptations.

Reviewed by Others

What do others think of The Old Guard?


  1. badblokebob: “Despite the poor dialogue and certain familiarities of concept, The Old Guard is more blandly acceptable than 6 Underground.”
  2. Brett / Graphic Policy: “…an entertaining film that doesn’t use its twist in too many ways to make the concept not seem interesting. It also adds just enough reasons as to why it doesn’t. It’s the rare actBaion film that has some moral questions underneath and themes to it that makes it a bit more than the fantastic action sequences.”
  3. Cinefiles / Alex Brannon: “This film’s premise is intriguing, but, despite some well-directed sequences, the execution of its narrative is clunky.”
  4. Critics w/o Credentials (Grade: C+): “…was decent but its lack of character empathy, development, and emotional investment kept too much distance from being able to fully enjoy the entire film. It strives to be more than the sum of its parts but can never break from beyond the tropes that were used to help the story but end up hindering it from being different.”
  5. Doc / EYG / Embrace Your Geekness: “I enjoyed this movie and I feel as if the film does a really strong job of adapting the comic to the screen.  Part of that, I am sure, is that Greg Rucka wrote this screenplay.  Neither the film or the comic dives deeply into how this happens to these people, but that was not important.  There are references to their past, just enough to not load the movie.”
  6. Ferdosa Abdi / Screen Queens: “is a finely tuned action thriller with a stellar ensemble, great writing and directing. It can only go up from here and hopefully, Netflix takes the initiative to see what is possible with building this story out, hopefully with this same creative team.”
  7. Irfan Nordin / Irfan Reviews Films (8/10): “The Old Guard is occasionally restricted by genre conventions, but director Gina Prince-Bythewood brings a sophisticated vision to the superhero genre and some knockout action sequences led by Charlize Theron.”
  8. Kate Sanchez / But Why Tho? A Geek Community: “Now, here are some plot issues and the exposition used throughout the film is slightly heavy-handed. That said, The Old Guard shines in nearly every other aspect, including in adapting a much loved graphic novel with enough accuracy to satisfy fans yet enough difference to make it feel fresh. The film is also a great watch regardless fo your familiarity with the original graphic novel.”
  9. Moshfish Reviews: “Overall this was more The Losers than The Avengers, but in terms of the more “realistic” superhero comic adaptions it was definitely one of the better ones. A standout cast and hard hitting action punctuate and elevate what could have easily been a standard comic book adaption.”
  10. No More Workhorse: “Not as earnest as it wants to be, but not as silly as its premise suggests, in a summer lacking the usual blockbusters due to the current CoVid crisis this definitely fills a gap and clocking in at under two hours it doesn’t outstay its welcome.”
  11. The Not Left Handed Either Film Guide: “Part of the reason I rate this film, aside from Kiki Layne, is due to how diverse it is. As well as having a formidable woman as the great leader of these legendary fighters it also has a number of central players who are black and three of the heroes who are gay. All of this is also done as it should be, completely incidentally. None of this is about being a woman, being black or being gay, it just has people who happened to be those things. I wish this wasn’t something to be celebrated but it definitely still is and films like this move us toward a time when it won’t be. “
  12. TL;DR Movie Reviews & Analysis (3.5/5): “A solid action flick, with an interesting premise, that lands from start to finish.”
  13. Trailer Trashed: “So I am still not certain about the plot.  But the characters, writing and direction are all excellent, that it will be ranked as one of my favourite Netflix films I have seen this year.”

Not Recommended (or on the fence)

  1. Darren / The M0vie Blog: “None of the central ideas in The Old Guard are ever truly explored or developed, because that might mean that some other angle would get a short shrift. The result is an action film that is largely functional, which isn’t entirely satisfying but is also never completely frustrating. It’s a solid and sturdy film that largely avoids a potential identity crisis by declining to commit to a single identity.”
  2. Franz Patrick / Franz Patrick’s Film Archive (1/4): “I felt no purpose in this, no passion, no deep thought or even a modicum of originality. It’s just junk food—not even the tasty kind but one that’s flavorless, leaving a chalky taste in the mouth.”
  3. Keith & The Movies (2/5): “…director Gina Prince-Bythewood can’t wrangle it all together and Rucka’s script leaves too many questions while offering characters who need more heft. So you’re left with the action which offers a smattering of ‘wow’ moments with an occasional touch of style. Sadly there aren’t enough of them to rescue the film from its more mediocre genre impression.”
  4. MoodyB / The Cinema Cynic (4/10): “…a disjointed narrative and lazy script that lack any focus or originality means this one has to ultimately go down as a wasted opportunity – though just about watchable, it is overlong, predictable and highly forgettable. This has to go down as yet another wannabe Netflix franchise that may finish before it has even started!”
  5. nathanzoebl (Grade: C): “…lacks the same transformative ability and fight choreography. It’s just thoroughly fine, at best, and I kept wondering if they were saving themselves for a big finish. Sorry to disappoint, it’s just more office hallways with limited gunplay. The energy level is lacking and the music choice throughout the film affects this as well, with the same kind of downer tracks playing again and again.”
  6. Peggy at the Movies (Grade: C+): “In truth, it’s yet another Netflix release that falls into the usual category; not a classic by any stretch, but definitely a passable and watchable two hours.”
  7. Phil The Bear’s Film Reviews: “With a clear set up for a sequel and a new set of comics to base it on perhaps The Old Guard will grow into a memorable franchise. Right now its an entertaining diversion.”
  8. SCOTT WILLIAM FOLEY: “It’s too long, too contrived, too cliched, too obvious, and the dialogue is too lazy.”
  9. Writergurlny: “That being said, the movie was merely ok. It was somewhere in between underwhelming and not a bad way to spend two hours of my movie watching time.”

Linked above and wondering what would be the cool thing to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quoting from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

Happy movie watching!

30+ My Spy Reviews – Plagued by Been There, Done That

My Spy ⭐️⭐️½

Another movie that probably wouldn’t have spent much time in theater, nor made that much money, was purchased by Amazon and is available for streaming on Prime Video to subscribers. I hope whatever Amazon paid was reasonable enough.

In some ways this movie reminded me of the totally unrelated story Playing With Fire, only instead of John Cena in a firehouse, we’ve got Dave Bautista as a CIA agent. Instead of multiple children, we have one 9-year-old girl.

But before breaking this movie down in more detail, a warning is required for those who do want to see this movie (my spoiler-free review is linked above if you want to read that). If you have already seen the movie or don’t care if it’s spoiled, feel free to continue reading.

… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

Let’s start with something positive.

Friendly adult and child chemistry between Bautista and Chloe Coleman

There is a warmth in the chemistry on screen between Dave Bautista and child actress Chloe Coleman. It’s even clearer in this interview with both of them.

Sadly, the chemistry in the movie comes more from the child actress Coleman than Bautista. He may have been really proud of this movie, but his acting most of the time is like watching a wooden statue. Really, truly zombie-like.

Is it a spy thriller or an outsider kid meets brawny CIA operative movie?

As mentioned at the start of this post, the focus of this film is a mess. Who is it aimed at? At times it seemed like it was a family movie and at times it was going for a spy thriller. As presented, it was a little Kindergarten Cop and some Playing With Fire.

This would have been a bust at the box office

Not what Bautista wants to hear, and we’ll never know for certain, but this movie wouldn’t have done that well at the box office. It’s too bad, because I could tell he was really, really trying here. I liked Bautista’s effort, just not the results.

Some good scenes

At times I was entertained and well, like the scene where Sophie (Coleman) discovers J.J (Bautista) is running a surveillance option and live streams him, threatening to post to all her social media. Timely, funny scene.

Reviews By Others

What do others think about My Spy?


  1. Berning Away: “…it’s not absolutely fantastic, but it is an entertainingly enjoyable and decent flick that is just right to while away a couple of hours (or less) during this quarantine.”
  2. Cath Talks: “The movie is a good one which reeks of action, adventure, comedy and a little romance. The movie has some swear words so don’t leave kids alone to watch it. It’s a great movie”
  3. Darren Lucas / Movie Reviews 101: “…an entertaining comedy that the family could enjoy, it will get enough laughs and continues to show Dave Bautista becoming a bigger name in the action comedy world.”
  4. Ed Sum / Otaku no Culture: “My Spy with my little eye is a story comparable to Jackie Chan’s Spy Next Door. Both involve a CIA operative trying to maintain his cover while dealing with kids”
  5. EYG / Embrace Your Geekness: “I have to say that I got some Kindergarten Cop vibe from the film.  Much of the story is very similar to that Schwarzenegger flick.  Dave Bautista carries the film, showing some absolute star quality.”
  6. Film Epoch (Grade: B-): “Primarily due to Bautista’s humble, likable personality, My Spy mostly works in spite of its many cliches. Kristen Schaal provides ample comic support as his new techie partner in the field, and there is charm to spare when the lonely spy meets the leery, bite-sized genius (Chloe Coleman), the both of them producing unexpected laughs for such a pedestrian script.”
  7. filmfanstake: “It’s nothing special, no twists or turns here from the generic spy comedy plot. You’re here for the laughs and the action and My Spy delivers both in spades”
  8. jasonbleau / Cinema Spotlight (3/5): “…didn’t disappoint or enthrall me and that’s kind of what I expected. In the end I actually found it more enjoyable than frustrating due to its charming cast that make the few bright moments work just enough to balance out the rest of the story which, in itself, isn’t exactly boring but also isn’t very memorable.”
  9. Josh Lasser / The TV and Film Guy’s Reviews (3/5): “…succeeds more than it fails. It will endlessly please kids and will cause adults to chuckle repeatedly. It is a film which exists well outside the bounds of our reality and yet still is at its best when focusing on real relationships. It even works when that relationship is centered on the unreal, like JJ teaching Sophie spy craft.”
  10. licorcerub: “…is actually quite enjoyable. Despite no big laughs and its typical premise, My Spy has a lot of likable faces, chiefly the young girl, Chloe Coleman, playing Sophie, and is much more pleasant than I anticipated.”
  11. Mirza Baig / Welcome to Movie Ark! “…a wholly predictable action comedy that will be considered largely enjoyable and fun by its target audience.”
  12. One Movie, Our Views (2/4): “It’s predictable and clichéd and we know exactly where it’s going to end up, but My Spy still isn’t the worst thing out there for families and is kept mostly watchable thanks to the likeable interplay between Bautista and Coleman.”
  13. Phil The Bear’s Film Reviews: “Ultimately what the film has winning amounts of is humour and heart. Bautista is genuinely brilliant at looking shocked by events happening around him and the likes of Schaal and Ken Jeong (as his boss) add there trademark humour.”
  14. redmangoreviews: “…is a simple, straight forward movie and its ability to entertain you will probably rely on how much you enjoyed other films like it. For me, it was an easy entertaining way to pass some time.”
  15. RockAtTheMovies (6.5/10): “Overall, its a film where nothing new happens and is predictable. However, in a time of very little going on it works to kill time and further shows that Batista (much like other former professional wrestlers) might have a good time in the film industry.”
  16. Sarah Cartland / Caution Spoilers: “My Spy‘s tonal imbalance may leave adults frustrated but the film’s mixture of clever tween who doesn’t fit in, broad comedy, cute dog and the odd huge explosion means it should work well for a younger age group (I think my 10 year old will love it).”
  17. Sarah Taviani: “It’s not a laugh-a-minute film, but there were definitely some chuckles in the audience. This is a light, fun feature that has something for kids and adults alike.”
  18. Stephen Bowman / The East Madison Review (8.5/10): “Dave Bautista was golden in this comedic role, but the little girl is amazing too. Her character is three-dimensional and she does an amazing job with the many aspects involved in the complicated role. I would really like to see a sequel bringing these two back together.”
  19. The Sardonic Romantic: “Although it is clear to see an intent to make this more than the conventional hardman does comedy picture, it never really breaks the shackles it seems to intentionally strap to itself. To say I enjoyed My Spy might, for that reason be going a little too far but if I had to pick between this and the other films of its kind, I’d gladly watch this again.”
  20. Trailer Trashed: “It won’t blow you away, its predictable and repetitive, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a good time”
  21. QTAS Reviews: “…is a film for younger audiences, so the humour is targeted appropriately. However, overall it is a middle-of-the-road family comedy at best. It is absolutely a movie you can take your popcorn-munching children to and they will have a fantastic time, but if you are looking for anything more, don’t invest too long in this one.”

Not Recommended

  1. Daniel M. Kimmel / NorthShoreMovies.net (1.5/5): “…a movie that may distract uncritical younger viewers, but is not very good. Given its violent content, parents will be well advised to take a look and see if they deem it appropriate viewing for their own children.•••”
  2. Howard for Film: “Sure, you can argue that it’s a family film and perhaps I’m not the target demographic but the film also contains some words that I wouldn’t want a young child to hear and there’s one scene where a dismembered head goes flying through the air. (These days, though, kids are exposed to so much more than I was at that age so you may feel differently.)”
  3. Irfan Nordin / Irfan Reviews Films (5/10): “My Spy plugs Dave Bautista into the “charismatic action star meets cute kid” formula, with generally painless albeit decidedly mediocre results.”
  4. Joe Baker / Dallas Film News: “I only wish its exaggerated action subplots were replaced by a more simple story of a young girl and her hapless father-figure. There’s a complex story somewhere in there, it’s just hidden by plot mechanics and over-ambitious, dumb action-film zeal.”
  5. Kate Jackson / Sorry, never heard of it!: “Maybe if you’ve got kids then they will enjoy this, but other than that, meh.”
  6. Keith Loves Movies (50%): “Though nostalgically enjoyable, My Spy is comprised more of shlock, pandering, and hollow jokes than the heart or humour it believes it has.”
  7. Luke / Another Millennial Reviewer (2/5): “…despite some highpoints like the comedy as well as great prop choices, this film is cringey and feels about 20 years too late. It is not an action film and despite a valiant effort from Bautista and Schaal it is not much of a comedy film either.”
  8. nathanzoebl: “…little moments are enough to convince me there was a superior draft of this script before it was dulled and softened in the rewrite process for mass consumption. It’s not going to be a great film experience but as formulas go, Bautista plus precocious kid is winning enough to satisfy for 90 minutes.”
  9. Peter Cox / The Lost Highway Hotel: “It’s not too much, but its indicative of a movie that feels as though its been stitched together from various sources to create 90 minutes of ‘content’, rather like your more typical for-hire Netflix Original that somehow got lost and wandered its way into theatres. When it inevitably lands on the streaming platform its anonymity might finally feel at home. But in the multiplex, it isn’t really clear who this is for.”
  10. WillCBlogs (4/10): “All in all, My Spy had potential even with shotty writing and acting. The comedy felt proper and if some elements of the script were rearranged, the end product would be more appealing.”

Linked above and wondering what would be the cool thing to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quoting from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

Happy movie watching!

21+ Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga Reviews – Even Will Ferrell Didn’t Know Much About The Long-running Contest

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga ⭐️⭐️

Guess I feel in better company that Will Ferrell, who co-wrote and starred in, this film didn’t know very much about the long-running Eurovision Song Contest either. So much upon researching that he thought it would make a “great” movie.

“I watched mesmerised for the entire three hours. Ironically, that year a Swede won: Charlotte Nilsson. I was just blown away by the spectacle, the camp. Everything you guys [in the UK] are used to, we didn’t have anything like that, in America. I literally went, ‘That would make a great movie.’”

“It’s kind of a funny story…” Will Ferrell on his Eurovision movie for Netflix

This film did succeed in making me more interested in watching the contest. I enjoyed American Idol, The Voice and other singing contests. This contest seems to have the focus of the world outside of America, which is intriguing.

Let’s talk more about the details of the film, but first a SPOILER warning …

… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

It’s all about the music, yes?

If you like the music played during this contest, that will increase your interest in the overall production. Most of the music I didn’t care for which made it harder for me to get into a film which has very musical-like origins. I did enjoy the opening keyboard scene with Ferrell in the viking (?) outfit. Is he singing by making blow-like sounds? LOL. Yeah, that’s funny.

A golden opportunity for Will Ferrell to go all cowbell was missed. It would have been hilarious to see his Icelandic character use a cowbell. This would pay homage to one of Ferrell’s funniest comedic moments.

The prescription for Eurovision is, literally, more cowbell, baby!

My goodness, the length … for a comedy!

Comedy movies are not supposed to be this long. They broke the rules, which I would applaud if the story deserved it, but this did not.

Some scenes were funny, but too little too late

The hamster wheel scene was funny. Alas, what few scenes were funny were scattered apart and couldn’t hold the rest together.

James Bond as a crusty Icelandic father? No thanks

While it has humor value as described in that bolded headline, Pierce Brosnan didn’t make a good, crusty father character. Firstly, the character was criminally one-dimensional. Second, he was just too cruel. Why is Lars trying to earn this guy’s affections throughout his entire life? There was a setup and rationale, but it didn’t work for this viewer. I would rather see the character as more of a Mr. Burns from The Simpsons type character. I mean, if we’re going for parody, why not go all out. This movie doesn’t go far enough, like if it was an Adam Sandler movie, it would have gone all the way. This plays it safe too much.

I did like the fishing boat scene where Brosnan’s character finally cracks and admits that he’s proud of Lars.

The contest results scene was entertaining

Think my favorite part of the film were when the Eurovision contest results were read and Will Ferrell had already skipped out, thinking Iceland would never get any points. The reaction to the crowd and audience. This scene made slogging through the rest of the movie worthwhile. Still don’t recommend it, but at least this scene showed it was all leading somewhere productive.

Reviews By Others

What are other movie reviewers saying about Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga?


  1. tensecondsfromnow / film-authority.com: ” At a time when the pandemic has managed to divide the world into competing, suspicious countries, Eurovision Song Contest invites us to laugh at our own divisions; it’s funny, the songs are on point, and the whole genial package earns a ‘Jaja Ding Dong’ from this laughter-starved critic.”
  2. Alex Finch / Comedy To Watch: “Writers Will Ferrell and Andrew Steele have clearly done a lot of research in to the contest and are aware of it’s naff reputation among many, even if in many ways it’s a little too respectful of it.”
  3. Alex Wiggan / It’s A Stampede! “…is exactly what audiences need right now – two hours of pure escapism. It won’t win awards for originality, but in a year seriously devoid of humour, this movie knows its audience and ensures a good time for all, with a dash of ABBA thrown in for good measure.”
  4. badblokebob (3/5): “Sporadically funny; often dated; with tired and rehashed routines; longer than Alexander Lemtov’s penis; and surprisingly emotional at the end… Actually, maybe The Story of Fire Saga is like Eurovision after all.”
  5. Bouquets & Brickbats: “I have to admit I am mightily entertained by ESCTSOFS and even feel somewhat moved by its final act. I was also delighted to note that much of the action is set in my home city of Edinburgh (it’s the host for the Eurovision final). Furthermore it’s good to see Ferrell back on some kind of form. If I’m honest, it’s a long time since any of his efforts have made me laugh.”
  6. Cameron Black / The Blog Complainer: “Sometimes I need something pretty average to let my brain relax and not be challenged by what I’m watching. But at the end of the day if you enjoyed yourself while watching the movie then it must be worthy enough to call it a good film.”
  7. Chelichan Blog: “Unfortunately, if you’re expecting a knock-out Ferrell comedy then you’ll be dissatisfied. It’s a mediocre comedy that relies too much on gimmicks, but worth watching if you’re looking for something new to watch on Netflix.”
  8. Film Carnage (7/10): “Many may not gel with its offbeat comedy and peculiar nature but for those that do, it will provide a much-needed brief respite from the world’s current troubles. Trying to capture the insanity that is Eurovision is a tall task and while Dobkin’s take may be indulgent and clumsy at times, it does a brilliant job of instilling the spirit of the contest.”
  9. Hannah Wales / The World Of Celebrity: “It may be tonally all over the place and it didn’t give me those much-needed laugh-out-loud moments, but I defy you not to have a smile plastered across your face watching some of these bonkers performances.”
  10. HCMovieReviews: “The comedy doesn’t always hit the mark but there’s heart to get wrapped up in certain points and come the grand finale sequence, a song dowsed in Nordic roots becomes way more impacting and possibly stirring that I’d have imagined.”
  11. luisreviewer / World Of Entertainment: “I can recommend the film for a Friday night if you are at home and looking for a good movie to see on Netflix, it is funny and sweet in some ways.”
  12. Movies Unchained: “There’s an underlying chaotic brilliance to this film that we simply don’t see all that often, and while it’s certainly a film that has its flaws, that’s to be expected from a film focused on the cultural embodiment of high-camp, with Eurovision Song Contest being an absolute blast in every conceivable way, and an earnest work of comedy that is as bizarre as it is thoroughly entertaining, and absolutely just a bundle of unbridled joy from beginning to end.”
  13. Often Off Topic: “This is a movie most will scoff at, but I found it a clever mix of pure comedy and feel good, follow your dreams and it paid off. It opens with a fantastically funny musical number and then takes a while to find it’s feet, but after the first half-hour I was sold.”
  14. TL;DR Movie Reviews: “It tries to aim for that Eurovision absurdity, but Fire Sage mostly missed the target.”
  15. Trailer Trashed: “There was a lot of forced comedy, that the film could have done without, and Will Ferrell is basically playing the same character he has been playing for the last ten years, just with a funny accent.  But there were some great moments in this film.”

Not Recommended

  1. Dan Meier / Screen Goblin: “Ferrell seems to think a silly accent (literally everyone in the film does one) will make up for the nul-points script and no-point story, padded out to two hours with Eurovision cameos – including Sweden’s Loreen, Austria’s Conchita Wurst and ABBA’s Pierce Brosnan.”
  2. Doc / EYG / Embrace Your Geekness: “There are a few moments of fun.  Of course, there are also boat explosions, Icelandic elves, shots at America tourists, insane driving, and an oversized hamster wheel.  So much idiocy and not enough laughs from it.”
  3. Darren / The M0vie Blog: “There’s a better movie somewhere within The Story of Fire Saga, waiting to get out, but it’s ultimately suffocated by a template that has been done before and much better.”
  4. Ferdosa Abdi / Screen Queens: “Maybe just maybe, Will Ferrell is losing his touch. I don’t want to be the kind of person who denigrates the work of a comedic genius, especially one who truly still has a lot to give, however, this is a far cry from Ferrell’s previous writing efforts.”
  5. Frankie Gilmore / DiscussingFilm: “In the end, it’s hard to know what to make of such a strange movie that is at once a 2-hour ad for a real-life competition and also a sweet little story of two funny people singing catchy songs and falling in love. In a way, there’s something almost comforting about it. You’ll laugh a little, tap your feet more than you might expect, and maybe come away feeling a little happier than you did before.”
  6. Geeks of Color / Rihaana Stark: “Overall, it’s hard to recommend this movie. It’s two hours of tired jokes that ultimately lead to nowhere. If anything, just check out the soundtrack that comes out Friday as well”
  7. Katya the Doofus, Kniga the Worm: “All in all, this is not worth your time and energy, but at least it’s a Netflix movie so you don’t have to spend additional funds in order to watch it. Your time would be much better spent watching Blades of glory, an actual comedy about another ridiculous event – figure skating and a great Will Ferrell performance.”
  8. Let’s talk about movies: “I just wish the film itself had more funny jokes up its sleeve. I’m sure the idea of having two goofballs participate in the Eurovision Contest sounded like a good bet at first. Too bad it didn’t turn out better.”
  9. MoodyB / Cinema Cynic: “…the film’s overlong running time and lacklustre storytelling means it is unlikely to have many redeeming features.
  10. Orca Flotta: “…wasn’t a totally bad film, as was entertaining and not boring. Even charming in parts. And that already means a lot for American-made movies of today. But it could’ve  been so much better, with more bite and anarchistic nonsense. Fire Saga could’ve been a second (or third in this regard) Anchorman. But it missed that particular mark by a country mile.”
  11. writergurlny: “The inspirational half of the film works just fine. But the absurdist comedy falls flat on it’s face. I should have been laughing out loud, but I wasn’t.”

Linked above and wondering what would be the cool thing to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quoting from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

Happy movie watching!

6+ Lost Bullet Reviews – French Car Crime Action, So-so Story

Lost Bullet ⭐️⭐️½

French car action a la Fast & Furious. Some really good car stunts on what looks more big budget than it probably was. I enjoyed the car scenes, but once they were out of the car and everything had to rely on the story? Not so much.

Lost Bullet is a classic story of an innocent man trying to clear his name from all the corrupt authority figures. That kind of plot is universal, and Netflix also gives you the choice to watch it in original French with subtitles, dubbed into English or other languages.  

‘Lost Bullet’ Movie Review: The French and the Furious

… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

Cool car action

I’ve only seen a few of the Fast & Furious film franchise, but this seems very heavily inspired by that. The cars are what kept me watching this film and admittedly, I’m not a big car action fan. If only it could have more story to it like Ford v Ferrari, this could have really won me over.

Speaking of that …

The story and acting is pretty bland

We’ve seen the basic plot done before. Man wrongly imprisoned with conditional release to help the police. His motivation becomes to prove his innocence.

Yes, that’s about it, story-wise.

In the beginning, I was reminded of a Sylvester Stallone movie, Lock Up, that was based in prison and had a sideplot involving working on cars. Stallone was a mechanic.

Here we have a mechanic, but instead of being in prison with the cops turned against him, he’s on the outside with the police turned on him. Similar story, only Lock Up is better.

Maybe a fault of the script, but the acting isn’t very good in this film either. I found myself barely caring that the protagonist cleared his name. I was more interested in what cool things he could do with the cars, the chase scenes, the car on car action.

Liked the ending

The ending raised my star rating by a full star and made me almost want to recommend. As I read through a small few reviews written by others, it seemed most enjoyed this more than I. There’s a lot of interest in car action films. Overall, I couldn’t find that many reviews written which tells me that not many of the 2,000 blogs I follow have watched this.

Reviews By Others

What do others think about Lost Bullet?


  1. Dude the cleaner / Cinephile: “Inventive stunts in this one with great car chases but the thing is here the character did not get to develop further and in more detail. It is an action crime thriller that stand out and does a good job to entertain. I kind of liked it.”
  2. MoodyB / The Cinema Cynic: “…certainly never provides any genuine shocks or surprises, and will also not linger long in the memory, but it has enough thrills and spills to be an immensely enjoyable and easy to watch action thriller.”
  3. rogerinorlando / Movie Nation: “This gonzo Netflix Original by Guillaume Pierret (his “Matriche” was nothing like this) has visceral, heart-pounding car chases that compare — favorably — with the very best the “Fast and Furious” franchise has ever offered.”
  4. Speaking Volumes / Gulraj Bedi: “Guillaume Pierret’s direction provides the viewers with a lot of thrill and excitement. The execution is fast-paced and follows a water-light plot that leaves no room for interpretation.”
  5. The Tomstardis Movie Blog: “I thought that the plot whilst not original was done superbly and the pace was spot on and the running time was just right. It’s not going to win many awards but I thought for a Netflix film it was one of their strongest films in quite a while.”
  6. Trailer Trashed: “Maybe it was a good thing the story focuses on the action sequences so much.  Because without them, there would be very little substance to the film at all.”

Not Recommended

  1. Jonathon Wilson / Ready Steady Cut: “…its singular focus makes it a decent proposition as the kind of unchallenging mush-brained entertainment you throw on after a long day at work or something. It doesn’t stand out in its field but it also doesn’t disgrace itself. That, though, is the kindest thing that can be said about it.”

Linked above and wondering what would be the cool thing to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quoting from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

Happy movie watching!

35+ Da 5 Bloods Reviews – Finally, an Oscar Contender

Da 5 Bloods ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

If you haven’t seen Spike Lee’s latest joint, then get to it, already. It’s a good one. It’s been riding high on Netflix’s top 10, so a lot of people are watching and, as you’ll see at the end of this post, garnering critical praise.

Oscar-worthy? The movie year might only be half over, but so far the Oscar competition isn’t strong. Even if it was, this movie should still be among the nominations for Best Director.

Best Director: It’s long overdue for a black director to win this elusive prize. Barry Jenkins won Best Picture for “Moonlight,” not director. Jenkins and Lee are among the six black directors nominated for the directing Oscar. John Singleton was the first (“Boyz ‘n the Hood”), followed by Lee Daniels (“Precious”), Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”) and Jordan Peele (“Get Out”).

Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods Puts Him in Oscar Race, With 10 Months to Go | IndieWire

Now, it’s time to get into SPOILER territory. Because I don’t want to ruin the movie for those who haven’t seen yet, our site’s official warning is due.

…. you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

That Stepping On A Landmine Scene

There are several powerful scenes in this film, but one of them involves one of the four Vietnam vets giving a speech while walking backward and holding gold, only to step on a landmine. Then the son of another steps on one, but he realizes it and his father ties rope around him and gives an impassioned speech about beating the mine, referencing the speed of a world class runner.

It’s one of the most tense, dramatic and ludicrous scenes ever filmed. It’s absurd and implausible, but intentionally so. The irony is thick and smart. War films are rarely known for these type of cinematic moments, especially in the aftermath, in the present, not what happened during the war itself.

These remnant mines are problematic on so many levels, but the film doesn’t dwell or preach about the subject and that makes it even more poetic. Moviegoers don’t need preaching, we need more excellent filmmaking showing, not telling, like this. Applause.

Could have done without the MAGA and Trump bashing, but it fit the story at least

One of the characters wears a Make American Great Again (MAGA) hat and there are several President Trump bashing moments. While I see how and why those were done, they were a bit distracting at moment, breaking the fourth wall intentionally. Spike Lee could have been more effective using more subtle references to the President to mock him, but it wasn’t over the top and unnecessary, it did fit the movie.

(Important disclaimer: I’m not sticking up for President Trump in the paragraph above, Simply stating it was distracting inside a fictional movie being reminded of a non-fictional political figure. It could have been any political figure — Obama, Clinton, Bush, etc., not just the current American President. And of all the things Trump can be blamed for, Vietnam is not one of them).

Gold In Them Thar Hills

We all have favorite parts of films. One of my most favorite, the thing that just kept me coming back to this story, was the gold. Inanimate, passionless, cliched in comparison to another famous film, and yet it just sat there waiting to be claimed. I soooo wanted the vets to get that gold and live happily ever after. I mean, they’d suffered enough mentally and physically from the trauma of war. I’m sure at least in part the gold was there to sucker in viewers like me. It worked.

While I came for the gold, I stayed for the performances, the obstacles and tragedy. Some riveting acting and I just had to know how this would end. It delivered.

Reviews By Others

Here’s what others are saying about Da 5 Bloods:


  1. tensecondsfromnow / film-authority: “…slowly graduates from political sub-text to essential text, a crucial, dramatic, meaty Vietnam movie that successfully attempts to redress a genuine historical imbalance in cinema.”
  2. PatrickWhy / The Ebert Test: “As is sometimes the case (IMHO) with Lee’s work, it goes a little long, overstating its point in certain places, but then again, they are, perhaps, points that warrant restatement.”
  3. All Things Movies UK: “…deserves many nominations. Especially for Spike Lee’s direction and Delroy Lindo’s acting performance. For me, it’s a near perfect war movie. Not necessarily set around war, but dealing with the aftermath and pain from a gruesome war.”
  4. CJ / Film Mafia: “In tone and temperament, the film reverberates with BlacKkKlansman, offeringhumour and the ‘good hang’ joys of a delightfully cohesive ensemble along with genre thrills, black history, socio-political critique and complex moral reckoning.”
  5. Darren Lucas / Movie Reviews 101 (4.5/5): “This is a performance heavy movie, that does show us the unity of brotherhood from war in a way that only Spike Lee can, showing a new light on the soldiers that would have been forgotten in time.
  6. Darren / The M0vie Blog: “…isn’t quite as compelling or as dynamic as BlacKkKlansman. Its runtime is a little too long, and its plot is a little too conventional. However, Lee is working with a strong cast that helps bring forth the humanism in this foreign adventure. Still, it’s hard to resist the movie’s charm”
  7. DC Bolling / DCs Take (Grade: B+): “Lee’s latest joint happens to be his most mature effort with his beautiful direction, great ensemble, especially an Oscar-worthy performance from Lindo, and a captivating story that could’ve been true, for all I know.”
  8. Doc / EYG / Embrace Your Geekness (5/5): “I’m not sure there could have been a more effective or relevant movie to be dropped on Netflix today than Spike Lee’s next film, Da 5 Bloods. Beautiful.  Painful.  Poignant.  Shocking.  Pertinent.”
  9. FILMAHOLIC (4.5/5): “Spike Lee’s latest Joint is not perfect and might be a bit heavy handed for some, but for those willing to take the ride with him, it’s a moving and epic experience that is poised to become a classic and one of the year’s best films. Don’t miss it.”
  10. Franz Patrick’s Film Archives (4/4): “I couldn’t help but think, “Spike Lee was the only person who could have made this” because the work possesses so much flavor and personality, the experience leaps out of the screen to slap us and shake us; it is alive, humorous, tragic, ironic, and timely.”
  11. Henry’s Movie Reviews: “The cast has amazing chemistry and I could not get enough of the performances. Academy you better be putting this on your list because it is a high-quality film that deserves the recognition.”
  12. Humanizing The Vacuum (Grade: B+): “A congeries of influences and outright borrowings held together by Lee’s commitment to his own kind of temporal reality, Da 5 Bloods uses several decades worth of cinematic detritus to illustrate the futility of being a black man in these United States.”
  13. Irfan Nordin / IrFan Reviews Films (7.5/10): “Fierce energy and ambition course through Da 5 Bloods, coming together to fuel one of Spike Lee’s most urgent and impactful films.”
  14. Island Movie Blogs: “I genuinely think, this is the best movie Spike Lee has ever made, and its still fully in his wheelhouse, so its a really interesting combination of his style of movie, with something I think is a little more commercial. “
  15. Jon Spencer Reviews: “…I cannot praise Lee’s film more for they way he uses the many aspect ratios to determine which period it is set in, the performances, film-making techniques, and the message he is trying to send. ‘Da 5 Bloods’ is an important film, no doubt, as it uses archival footage that make it seem documentary-esque, and brutal imagery that will haunt and disturb on an emotional level.”
  16. Josh Lasser / The TV and Film Guy’s Reviews (5/5): “Spike Lee is a filmmaker who has repeatedly told us about racial injustice and strife and repeatedly told us to do better. With “Da 5 Bloods,” he delivers the message again and does so in even more potent form”
  17. Keith / Keith & The Movies (3.5/5): “It’s a fascinating buffet of potent themes and meaningful social commentary, soaked in rich style and classic cinema flavor.”
  18. Let’s Talk About Movies: “…couldn’t be more thought provoking, but they’re carefully wrapped in a mainstream package, which makes them accessible to almost everyone. And “Da 5 Bloods” is no exception: it’s a good story told with passion, humor, and a keen eye for detail.”
  19. Leo Rydel / Geekly Goods (9/10): “In all honesty, I loved this movie. I laughed, cried, and was shocked by what I saw. The movie is so phenomenal, that it’s hard for me to put into words what I watched”
  20. Martin Towers / The Film Towers: “What a privilege, in short, to get to enjoy such a monument of a film, a treat for the eyes, with a range of great performances. Everyone with a Netflix account should make this their next watch.”
  21. Michael J. Cinema: “…is long and twisty, but never predictable. There are some groaners—the handful of references to The Treasure of the Sierra Madre feel forced—but like any Lee movie, it moves so fast and contains so much, you never dwell on a misstep long.”
  22. Often Off Topic (4/5): “I had high hopes for this. I think it’s the kind of movie where every viewer will have a different experience but for me, this was a slow burner that lagged to begin with but more than paid off in the end.”
  23. Palmer Rubin / TV and City: “It’s very much a Spike Lee joint at its core, best and worst of his tendencies all wrapped up into one. If you love his work, then you’ll really love this. If you dislike him for whatever reason, you’re probably never going to enjoy this.”
  24. Randall A. Golden / Midlife Crisis Crossover: “Lee adroitly sets up Da 5 Bloods as a tense postwar drama whose final acts accelerate through commercial suspense-thriller mechanics while never stopping the commentary. After the first twenty minutes’ camaraderie I began secretly hoping the film would just be 2½ hours of these same four actors chatting over a series of dinners, but alas, such pleasures are fleeting and left behind when stuff gets real.”
  25. Richard Denis / Graphic Policy: “…is a powerhouse of emotion, politics, and black history that easily fits in with the Black Lives Matter movement currently voicing their anger on the streets today, but it never takes for granted that it’s first and foremost a Vietnam War movie.”
  26. thatfilmbloguk: “There’s one quote that boils down the point Lee is trying to make with Da 5 Bloods. Delivered by Vinh (Johnny Nguyen), he says, ‘After you’ve been in a war, you understand it never really ends. Whether it’s in your mind or in reality. There are just degrees.’”
  27. Trailer Trashed: “…is an important film, it’s eye opening, uncomfortable, at times very funny and emotional.  It may not be my favourite film I have seen this year, but I can’t deny it’s poignancy. “

Not Recommended

  1. Benn Bell / Ghost Dog (5/10): “The movie suffers from poor writing and mediocre directing. Spike throws everything he has into this movie including the kitchen sink. Part Treasure of the Sierra Madre and part Apocalypse Now, it never does find its own footing.”
  2. Bouquets & Brickbats: “…has already been garlanded with high praise from several quarters, but for me, at least, it’s not up there with Lee’s finest work. What’s more, with a running time of two hours and thirty four minutes, there are sections here that feel more gruelling than they needed to.”
  3. Dick Stanley / The Texas Scribbler: “…a drama of a return to Vietnam by four black combat veterans now in their sixties, pretty much left me cold. Not just because of the politics (the one Trump supporter is PTSD crazy and gets it in the end, presumably for his sin of voting the wrong way) but by the way the veterans on their return to the country decades after the conflict ended keep attracting angry Vietnamese who lost kin in the American war.”
  4. The Dragon Lady Files: “If we are to have new films about real wars, they should tell us something new because it is time to expand our understanding of war and its participants beyond the white protagonist. Yet in his ambitious effort, Spike failed both women and the Vietnamese in “Da 5 Bloods,” and “Da 5 Bloods” frames this as black versus white in a world where women and Asians are background players and it surely is a time to look beyond that binary.”
  5. Eddie / Jordan & Eddie (The Movie Guys) (2/5): “A hugely disappointing effort from Lee, Da 5 Bloods may have found its share of critical acclaim but while its themes and subject matter should be commended, as a film; this Netflix release is as unpolished and unfocused as they come.”
  6. leesbj / Vagabond Shoes: “It’s nonsensical not because the story of vets revisiting the country in search of answers and redemption is far fetched; ridiculous because on a human level, on the level of fiction, nothing is credible.”
  7. MoodyB / The Cinema Cynic: “It is very often the case in films that less can indeed be more, and perhaps Lee should have remembered this, as Da 5 Bloods tries to be too many things and take on too many themes, and so in the end becomes an unsatisfying bloated mess of a film.”
  8. nicklacey / The Case for Global Film: “Lee throws in numerous references to Apocalypse Now!, the helicopters in the sun and The Ride of the Valkyries in particular, and uses footage from Civil Rights police violence and numerous black voices including Mohammed Ali and Martin Luther King Jr. All these work brilliantly but I was so alienated by the film from the time they find the gold that I had to force myself to keep watching. “
  9. notlefthandedfilmguy: “I don’t think it mixes the small story and the big picture together as well as BlackKklansman and some of the plot developments are too heavily signposted (Chekov’s gun is a different type of weapon in this film and it is over used). I also think that the notion that for these men the war never ended plays out too literally, for both sides.”
  10. SCOTT WILLIAM FOLEY: “I truthfully wanted to love Da 5 Bloods. I entered the movie without a shred of objectivity–I was fully prepared to write a rave review, especially because critics seem to adore it. But it would be a disservice to Spike Lee himself if I denied my criticisms. It’s still a very watchable film, however, with extremely important messages.”

Linked above and wondering what would be the cool thing to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quoting from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

Happy movie watching!