VOD / Streaming Movies Intended to be in Theaters in 2020 Will Be Eligible for Oscars

2020 Oscars nominees for Actresses in a Supporting Role — won by Laura Dern for Marriage Story

Not quite a Hallelujah moment, but a start.

Somehow I missed this one-time change by the Motion Picture Academy to allow VOD/PVOD/streaming movies that were intended to be shown in theaters and released on streaming to be eligible for Oscars in 2020.

This isn’t a large number of increased movies, if you look at the numbers, so don’t count on Amazon Originals or Netflix Originals being included, unless they truly were slated to be theater releases. Very few of them are.

Extraction ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (see: 30+ Extraction Reviews – Solid Action, Thin Character Depth and Story), for example, which could become the most watched new movie on Netflix ever with 90+ million views, would not be eligible. See, how jacked up these rules are?

For calendar year 2020, movies shown exclusively on streaming services or video-on-demand will be eligible for Oscar consideration. It only applies to movies that were always set for a theatrical release.  Academy regulations have long stipulated that movies need to run for at least one week in a commercial theater in Los Angeles before Dec. 31 to be up for awards consideration.  Even with the new temporary rule, each film will still need to be made available to potential voters on the member-only Academy Screening Room streaming site within 60 days of its streaming or VOD release. 

Will pandemic change movie watching forever?

What movies would be Oscars eligible under this new rule (this isn’t a complete list)?

  1. Trolls World Tour
  2. Scoob!
  3. The Lovebirds
  4. My Spy
  5. Artemis Fowl
  6. King Of Staten Island
  7. The High Note

Not sure any of these movies will have much in the way of Oscars chances, but hey, at least they can be considered. Personally, pandemic or not, this is 2020 and all new movies released to streaming/VOD or the movie theaters or wherever they can be screened should be eligible.

Seriously, a movie is a movie. If you create it with a cast, characters, story and shoot it on film or digitally, edit it, and then release it to an audience, why can’t that film have the same opportunity to win an Oscar as something done mostly by giant studios?

One reason is sheer numbers. There would be too many movies for the Oscar voting group to consider. I guess that’s where the numbers get whittled down and voted upon and then a pool of main candidates is put before the voting audience. Perhaps the vetting of “all new movies” is done by moviegoers. From that list becomes the smaller, more manageable list that the Academy reviews for final balloting and voting.

There are no perfect systems, but the old way of approving movies that only show in theaters is becoming increasingly pointless. The pandemic makes this new temporary change for 2020 (presumably reverting back to the old rule in 2021 if theaters are reopened) shouldn’t be the only reason the rules need revision.

We all know the next few months have very few theatrical releases scheduled (see: Delayed Screenings – Only 9 of 39 (23%) Wide Release Movies Coming to Movie Theaters (if they reopen) Through August 1, 2020 — this number has reduced even further since it was published)

June 2020 now has no new movies scheduled for theatrical release

With King of Staten Island now going to VOD and Fatale being pushed back to October 30, 2020 there are now zero new wide release movies scheduled for theaters in June 2020. There is only one for May 2020 as of this writing (Irresistible on May 29). The High Note previously scheduled for May 8 is now going to VOD/streaming on May 29 (source).

Will Irresistible hold out for its release, be pushed back or go to VOD/streaming also? Smart money says yes. If that happens, this means that no new movies will be opening in theaters in April, May or June 2020, when normally there would be 2-3 new wide release movies every week at this time.

What new movies on VOD/streaming do you think should be eligible for Oscar consideration?

7+ The Way Back Reviews – Ben Affleck as damaged basketball hero doesn’t shoot, but still scores

The Way Back ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Affleck explained that the high school basketball team in his new movie reminds him of filming “School Ties” and starring alongside Brendan Fraser, Matt Damon, Chris O’Donnell, Randall Batinkoff, Andrew Lowery and Anthony Rapp.

Ben Affleck says ‘The Way Back’ reminds him of ’90s film ‘School Ties’

… you have been warned SPOILERS ahead….

Cardboard Character Team

The basketball team, save for the star athlete, wasn’t very fleshed out with characters having many arcs. It’s clear the script wanted to focus as much energy, emphasis and time on star Affleck. I could have done with fewer scenes of him tipping back drinks at the bar and getting the guy to help him to his house and a little more stories behind the basketball players and how they were changed by the coach and playing more as a team.

In fairness, there was some attempts made for a couple characters, but they were more pastiche than flesh and blood. Like the kid who was always trying to make out with the girls and running late to practice. Is that all there was to his character? How about the tall forward who got kicked off the team and then invited back because he was always late to practice.

Who was that good Samaritan at the bar helping out Affleck’s character, anyway? Another character helping him out that doesn’t really have anything else to do in the movie except wait at the bar for Jack Cunningham (Affleck) to be past his limit and then help him to his house.

The Broken Marriage was a bit empty

So Jack and his wife are separated and she’s sleeping with another guy. We are left as viewers to believe this happened because Jack started drinking to deal with the death of their son. His wife must not have been able to handle the drinking and that was the cause of their separation.

I didn’t care enough to want to get them back together. It wasn’t so much a lack of chemistry, as I did believe that they were a couple, but the movie would have been better had I wanted them to get back together. Maybe that’s a bit of a romance genre inspiration, but felt that the way they were left was missing something. An emptiness.


I liked how Jack never picks up a basketball until the ending scene. We keep expecting him as the coach to take a three point shot and swish the net or drive up on the lane and dunk it, so the final scene pays off the character’s skillset fully coming out of stasis.

Reviews by Others

Here are reviews from other movie bloggers for The Way Back.


  1. Chris Longo / Den of Geek: “Affleck seems to channel his own personal demons directly into Jack in a performance that is complicated and vulnerable, slowly peeling back the shell that Jack has encased himself in until we get to the heart of the agony that drives him into the bottle every night.”
  2. DiscussingFilm: “…is a slam dunk for Ben Affleck. It is the emotionally poignant character drama that we yearn for and should be rewarded for its honest yet still entertaining depictions of a delicate subject matter.”
  3. filmfanstake: “Affleck delivers a beautiful performance. He has his past to draw from to bring Jack to life. This is the most human performance I’ve seen from him.”
  4. Moore Reviews / Tom Moore (4/5): “…eludes most of its clichés by offering viewers a more personal story that O’Connor and Affleck absolutely thrive in.”
  5. Music City Drive-in / Jacob Thronberry: “…becomes a product of its own cliches with a very “by the book” story, but is absolutely elevated by a hellacious performance by Ben Affleck. One that if the film was released later in the year, or if more of the first half gave Affleck his time to shine, we may be talking about serious award consideration.”
  6. screenaddictreviews (3.5/5): “the movie’s heart is just not found here”
  7. Wannabe Movie Critic (84/100): “in The Way Back he’s big and messy and covered in beer sweats. Affleck will break you down, he chips away at you slowly, until he himself breaks.”

Not Recommended (or on the fence)

  1. Bringin The Juice: “They either needed to focus more on the rehab or the basketball but neither felt like they got enough attention when the movie ended.”

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!

10 Movie Releases Pushed Back, Some Simply “TBA” – New Movie Review Rationing

The Outbreak continues … schools closing in the Seattle and surrounding areas for a month

Who else is bummed out by all these new movie releases being pushed back? I know, I know, public safety! I wanted to see these new movies.

Wish they would give us an opportunity to pay and stream them at home somehow. Doesn’t appear like Hollywood wants anything to do with that idea, but I can always dream.

After No Time To Die went from April to November, it was a clear sign more titles would be pushed back. Not that I’m Nostradamus or anything, but I predicted which titles to watch for (Mulan and F9 – but also keep your eyes on Black Widow) and, sure enough, some mentioned have already been pushed back, see: Even James Bond isn’t immune to coronavirus, No Time to Die pushed back to November

Forbes has a list of 10 new movies, including one that was scheduled for next week that I was hugely looking forward to seeing: A Quiet Place Part II.

No Time To Die: Release moved from April 10 to November 25
My Spy: Release moved from March 13 to April 17
Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway: Release moved from April 3 to August 7
A Quiet Place Part II: Release moved from March 18, new release date TBA
Fast Furious: F9: Release moved from May 22, 2020 to April 2, 2021
The Lovebirds: Release moved from April 3, new release date TBA
Blue Story: Release moved from March 20, new release date TBA
Mulan: Release moved from March 27, new release date TBA
The New Mutants: Release moved from April 3, new release date TBA
Antlers: Release moved from April 17, new release date TBA

Hollywood Braces For Coronavirus Slump: The Movie Releases Pushed Back So Far

New Movie Rationing in Progress

Tonight I saw Bloodshot (review pending), but have decided to wait on watching and reviewing the other new movies until next week. I’m on vacation in Las Vegas and it appears right now like no new movies will be widely released next week in theaters — A Quiet Place Part II was scheduled, but as mentioned above, that’s now been pushed back — so we’ll catch up with The Hunt, I Still Believe, Emma and whatever else is out there playing next week.

I’m real curious what the movie theaters are going to be showing. This could provide some serious leg power to existing movies to stay playing in the theaters longer than they normally would because nothing new will be pushing them out.

The theater for a Thursday was spooky empty tonight.

As for opening wide and now playing reviews posts that we do weekly? Have to stay tuned on what happens there. Our coming soon lists are going to be all jacked up now, too, thanks to all these release date changes. If there is any silver lining to this, there should be a lot of new movies in a few months, when all this virus stuff blows over — and hopefully it does.

In the meantime, if this drought of new movies being released continues, I might need to turn to older movies and good TV shows to profile and cover in the meantime.

This virus stuff will sort itself out at some point, but keep seeing more and more movies getting canceled, moved, put on hiatus and “TBA.”

18+ Onward Reviews – Props to Disney, But Ban In Middle East over Lesbian Character Shows Intolerance Still Lives In 2020

Onward ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

During my review I intentionally avoided mentioning the one-eyed lesbian cop. She was just another character, barely supporting really, but for a Disney movie of all things to acknowledge LGBTQ is a promising step in the right direction. We’re going to be seeing a gay superhero in The Eternals sharing the first gay superhero kiss later this year.

Hopefully within the next 5-10 years LGBTQ will be featured as high profile characters in major movies and few to none will make a big deal out of it. I’m adding a bit to the (bad) chorus by mentioning it here, but am doing it because I want it to be more like when African americans became commonplace in movie roles other than as servants, slaves and prisoners.

Multiple Middle Eastern markets have banned the Disney/Pixar animated movie “Onward” for featuring an explicitly lesbian character.

Disney’s ‘Onward’ Banned In Middle East Over Lesbian Character | The Daily Wire

You can read the article to see which Middle Eastern countries banned Onward. Russia asked for a small dialogue change, but those of you elsewhere can enjoy the movie and the lesbian character that breezes by so fast you’ll hardly notice she is even there.

It’s time to dig even deeper into the newest Disney/Pixar movie, so if you haven’t seen yet, then might want to come back to this post later, as SPOILERS follow.

… you have been warned SPOILERS ahead …

All Hail The Manticore

My favorite character is the Manticore, voiced by Octavia Spencer. She runs this tavern styled like a D&D adventure game, which plays a pivotal role in the brother’s quest for the gem. The Manticore has a nice subplot and character arc. Spencer’s voice acting is solid, charismatic and humorous. You’ll laugh at the Manticore’s lines. She reminded me, in spirit, of Donkey (Eddie Murphy) in Shrek, though she’s not as quippy.

How the main voice actors (Tom Holland and Chris Pratt) recorded the dialogue — facing each other.

The Bottom Half of Dad is Deliciously Bizarre

Roald Dahl would have loved the below-the-waistline Dad character. He’s the right kind of quirk and zaniness. Several times in the theater people laughed at the lower-half human dancing, bumping into objects, and just moving around. The boys dress up Half Dad.


The quest isn’t quite as dramatic as it could have been. There is talk of a curse that never comes to pass. There could have been more risks, perhaps a character having some sort of tragedy.

I was also a little bummed out by the ending in that both boys didn’t get a chance to see Dad, nor did we get to hear what Dad told the one brother who did get to see him. So much build-up and this payoff unrealized seemed like just too much of an audience tease.

This was a fun movie for me to watch one time, but it doesn’t have much rewatch value to me. In fairness, most animated movies are one and done affairs for me, simply because the genre isn’t hugely attractive to me. There are exceptions, like some of The Simpsons episodes and Harley Quinn, mostly because they pack so darn much comedy into a short amount of time the viewer needs to rewatch to catch every single gag.

Onward isn’t that type of animated film. It’s more simplistic in the comedy and story-driven. Once you’ve seen the quest, the desire to watch it again just isn’t as much fun.

Reviews by Others

Let’s see what others think about Onward.


  1. alexlynch695 / David A. Lynch: “There are flashes of ingenuity that occasionally rise above the general lack of storytelling risk, including one exhilarating sequence that sees the boys trying to escape a hardened gang of spiked collar-wearing fairies”
  2. Cinerama Film Online / Neil Baker (4.5/5): “Paying homage to Indiana JonesDungeons and Dragons and Lord of the Rings in every scene. While its stunning animation leaps from the screen, wrapping the audience in a blanket of beautiful orchestrated fantasy.”
  3. Critical Hit / Sam Spiller: “I can’t say that I really want to view Onward a second time. It is a very competently made, gorgeous-looking and well-executed kids film. With so much garbage aimed at a younger audience out there, I’m glad the bar is set so high with Pixar films. This one just doesn’t go far above it.”
  4. Darren / the m0vie blog: “…is consistently fun throughout its runtime. As with a lot of Pixar films, the animation is top notch and there is a great deal of care in the way that the world is put together”
  5. DiscussingFilm: “…might not offer anything too new, but it is still a wonderfully solid addition to Pixar’s already-impressive resume”
  6. Duffy Reviews / Oscar Duffy (8.5/10): “…is a fantastic addition to the Pixar canon, boasting an immensely smart and visually stunning story”
  7. filmfanstake: “At first it functions like any adventure film would. You’re thinking it’s going to be conventional, in some ways it is. However if you have a brother this movie will feel special to you.”
  8. For The Love of Movies / Olly Dyche: “This movie is for me one of Disneys greats and an instant classic, with its excellent stroy, pitch perfect voice cast and exciting imagery.”
  9. Frank Lourence: “This is a Pixar film but other than the heart felt moments, it actually felt more like Dreamwork with a lot of humor and references.”
  10. Irfan Nordin (8.5/10): “It may suffer in comparison to Pixar’s classics, but Onward makes effective use of the studio’s formula and stands on its own merits as a funny, heartwarming, dazzlingly animated adventure”
  11. Major Film Reviews / Nathan Major: “There’s enough to recommend here, but it’s not their best, is what I’m trying to say. Worth a look for certain, but I doubt it’ll be one you’ll revisit time and time again.”
  12. Movie Metropolis / Adam Brannon: “While Onward won’t be troubling the very top ranks of the studio’s filmography, it definitely won’t be troubling the bottom rungs of that ladder either.”
  13. M.N Miller / Ready Steady Cut: “…is a sweetly funny and engrossing animated adventure. Scanlon’s screenplay captures endearing themes of fathers and sons, deep regret, and second chances that are universal for everyone”
  14. Music City Drive-in: “…is the step back in the right direction for Pixar that shows us the magic lost and the wonders it takes to find them. The animation is beautiful, and Chris Pratt and Tom Holland both are excellent breathing life into their characters.”
  15. That Shelf / Courtney Small: “…is filled with its share of up and downs, but it is ultimately a satisfying quest worth taking.”
  16. The Movie and Me / jeddthejedi (3.5/5): “…plot may be an old-fashioned hero’s journey and its fantasy elements might be familiar even though they’re blended with modern day trappings, but there’s sincerity and joy in this tale of brotherhood and bereavement. This is not quite Pixar’s best, but it’s still going to find a devoted audience.”
  17. X-Geeks: “a classic Pixar film. It delivers fun and frolics whilst conveying a really lovely message and gives us two leading characters that I definitely want to see more from.”

Not Recommended (or on the fence)

  1. The Illuminerdi: “…has been gestating for 6 years, and while the love and care put into the film are evident on the screen, the end result still could have used more time.”
  2. Matthew Paul’s Movie Reviews: “…is a good movie; it is entertaining and creative in certain parts, but its use of the same formula that Disney and Pixar films have relied on for the last ten-plus years is starting to grow tiresome.”

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!

February 2020 – 9 Movies Ranked MOST to LEAST Entertaining

Am a little tardy getting this posted due to being on vacation, but February 2020 for movies in theaters was an improvement over January with one movie really standing out.

An unexpected bright sign, in fact, for our movie of the month: The Invisible Man and that speedy blue hedgehog Sonic was both fast and fun.

February 2020 – movies in theater ranked MOST to LEAST Entertaining
Click title to read a no-spoilers review.
VR = Video Review

  1. The Invisible Man (2020) ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ [VR] – FIRST LOOK
  2. Sonic The Hedgehog ⭐️⭐️⭐️ [VR] – FIRST LOOK
  3. Impractical Jokers: The Movie ⭐️⭐️⭐️ [VR] – FIRST LOOK
  4. The Call of the Wild ⭐️⭐️⭐️ [VR] – FIRST LOOK
  5. Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey ⭐️⭐️½ [VR] – FIRST LOOK
  6. The Photograph ⭐️⭐️½ [VR] – FIRST LOOK
  7. Fantasy Island ⭐️⭐️ [VR] – FIRST LOOK
  8. Brahms: The Boy II ⭐️⭐️ [VR] – FIRST LOOK
  9. Downhill ⭐️½ [VR] – FIRST LOOK

February 2020 – Movie Theater Expenses
$90 – for movie theater snacks & food ($15 x 6, we received 3 movie popcorn and sodas using our Regal Crown Club points)
$44 for movie tickets (unlimited price for both wife & I)
$45 – 9 movies x $5 average gas/travel expense
= $179 / 12 movies = $14.92 for both of us movie theater entertainment expense per visit, even with the “free” unlimited movies.

= $403 for 2020 Total YTD Expenses (Jan: $224)

Pleasant Surprise

As mentioned, The Invisible Man so far is the highlight of 2020, especially for horror movies. It wasn’t without issues, but it was far better than any of the other horror offerings so far this year. Sonic The Hedgehog wasn’t amazing, but for a videogame movie it ranks up there with the best we’ve ever seen (keep in mind, most videogame movies are terrible).

Met Expectations

From the trailer and the clips seen of Impractical Jokers: The Movie, it delivered. A bit cheesy and not all of the pranks landed, but enough laughs to justify a good time.

The Call of The Wild CGI Buck wasn’t as bad as some were saying. The movie was OK, albeit very sanitized over the 1972 version (expected for Disney). Not sure I’m ready for Harrison Ford in another Indiana Jones, especially with news that Steven Spielberg isn’t directing.

The Photograph was a little underwhelming, but pretty much met expectations for a Valentine’s Day romance.


Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey wasn’t as good as expected. The animated series, meanwhile, remains one of the best adult animated series I’ve ever seen. Maybe after Suicide Squad 2, we’ll get another Harley movie that is just Harley and not her with the Birds of Prey. It’s not a bad movie, it was just upstaged by the animated TV show. I liked Margot Robbie as Harley, and if you do too maybe that is enough to check this one out.

Brahms: The Boy II and Downhill were both lousy movies. With Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the latter should have been at least a little funny (it wasn’t). The doll in Brahms is all that it had going for it. Wouldn’t waste your time streaming either of these.

Fantasy Island was the biggest disappointment of the month. Could have been so much more and yet was less. A convoluted story that if you took away the opening scene and the fact that it was on an island where fantasies come true is about the only thing that lives up to the title. Luckily, for Blumhouse they rebounded in a big way at the end of the month with The Invisible Man.

What did you think of February 2020 movies? Any favorites or standouts? It’s OK if we disagree on movies. Let’s discuss how the month went in the comments.

21+ Brahms: The Boy II Reviews – Even The Actors Were Creeped Out By The Doll

Brahms: The Boy II ⭐️⭐️

Without the doll, this movie is nothing. A creepy doll design in this movie is pretty all it has going for it. Even the actor, Christoopher Convery who plays Jude was weirded out by Brahms:

“When I first met Brahms, he was so creepy,” recalled Convery. “He had silicone skin, and in the first movie, he was made out of porcelain skin. It’s kind of like he got an upgrade. And then his eyes were so glassy and lifelike. It was so creepy.”

The Boy II’s Christopher Convery recalls his first meeting with Brahms

The only thing worse than a creepy doll, is one inexplicably buried in the woods. Who would bury a doll anyway? And his clothes buried with it just kind of adds to the strangeness.

… you have been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

Brahms is the Best Part of the Movie

Let’s start with the good: Brahms. That’s it. Brahms is the high point of this movie. He doesn’t even do anything and he’s creepy. Actually, he opens his mouth at one point in the movie and a bunch of flying creatures emerge. That’s just one stupid jumpscare movie, but will admit it jolted me. Might also have been the loud music.

What’s with the name and why do I keep wanting to add an ‘a’ to it? Brahams. Like it’s a ham mixed with a doll (that might actually have made this more farcical like Thankskilling). Why not spelled Broms?

Just don’t think too hard on this movie and you’ll be safe.

Stupid Decisions in horror films are the norm, but this is ridiculous

If you’re having problems adapting in the city, having troubles with reality, where do you move? Out to some creepy house in the middle of nowhere with a doll buried in the woods nearby? Yeah, that makes perfect sense — and yet it is exactly what happens here.

Suspending your disbelief is required in horror, but also suspending any sort of logic is necessary when watching.

Instead of making this mediocre sequel, why not an adaptation of another story?

Heck, just throw a dart at any top bestselling horror novel and adapt that. You’d be doing better than this movie. I don’t understand these studios. About the only one that seems to have any common filmmaking business sense is Blumhouse and they are still very hit and miss.

Where are the good screenplays? They simply have to be out there.


I was all in on this one, regardless if it was good or bad simply because it was widely released. Have zero desire to see the original movie this was based on, but maybe if it comes to a streaming channel we subscribe to I’ll attempt to watch it. Some of the other reviews I read, say the first one was OK.

Reviews by Others

Here’s what others think of Brahms: The Boy II.


  1. jmunney’s blog: “…it makes me optimistic that The Boy could become a long-running low-budget horror series”
  2. Logan Coleman Film Reviews (7/10): “…I haven’t seen the original film, but this would be a good creepy jump scare horror movie for newbies. I appreciated the gothic atmosphere. The costume design was good. I am going against most other film critics.”

Not Recommended (or on the fence)

  1. An Idiot And His Films (2/10): “It’s just a cheap cash in on a movie which nobody cared about or even remembered to begin with.”
  2. B & S About Movies: “…engages in world building and trying to place a reason for all the madness, but in my opinion, the unanswered nature of the first film was a much more horrific experience.”
  3. Dyl’s Movie Stuff (3/10): “…took everything that I thought worked in the first movie, threw it out, and left us with the generic, boring, unscary, creepy doll movie we thought we were getting the first time.”
  4. Edward’s Film Reviews (1.5/4): “…is a horror film that doesn’t offer much that heavily relies on cliches. The repetitiveness of many scenes make the film seen longer than it should be. Quite honestly, this a forgettable film that doesn’t evoke much emotion or a reaction to the film.”
  5. Eliah De Castro: “…is a mass of dead energy, with its cheap jumpscares so frequent it could be compared to the explosions in a Michael Bay film.”
  6. Halloween Year Round / Dave Pierdomenico: “It just reeks of a cheap cash grab.  And what’s most unfortunate is Katie Holmes gives a pretty decent performance, as does the young Christopher Convery.  Their talents of acting deserve a much better script than this one!”
  7. Keith Noakes / KeithLovesMovies (18%): “…is a laughably dull and irritatingly-derivative effort takes the original film in an even more ridiculous direction.”
  8. In Their Own League (2.5/5): “Many interesting tangents–from the gaslighting of women to the perversion of innocent youth by malevolent forces, both real and supernatural–are touched upon, but never satisfyingly explored.”
  9. Mark Hobin / Fast Film Review: “…is so thoroughly generic, mundane, banal, mediocre, uninteresting that to write a longer review would essentially be a creative exercise in using a thesaurus.  Sadly the narrative is a complete zero.”
  10. Mirza Baig: “…is a misguided horror sequel which disregards its original and overdoes it with poor scares.”
  11. Moore Reviews / Tom Moore (1/5): “It’s the kind of horror sequel that no one wants as it doesn’t even respect the solid elements of the original. It’s devoid of fun scares, interesting characters, unique ideas, and is simply not worth anyone’s time.”
  12. Movie Minutes / Jordan Peterson: “Now personally I don’t like to whip out the phrase “cash grab” because every movie is on some level an attempt to make money. That said, if ever a movie qualified for the title, it’s Brahms: The Boy II.”
  13. Nightmare on Film Street: “…is a strange follow-up. Everything that made the first movie so successful is fundamentally undone in this ill-conceived sequel.”
  14. Often Off Topic (2/5): “Let’s take a vacation to a house in the middle of the woods next door to a creepy mansion. We won’t Google it first, either. Also – if my daughter ever found a doll like Brahms buried in the woods? You can bet your ass I would set it on fire the second I saw it.”
  15. Olivia Hill / Moviebabble: “…completely abandons the outcome of the first film and dumps an unnecessary story on an audience who never asked for a sequel in the first place.”
  16. Startled Sloth Reviews: “…is a tax evasion project, a money laundering scheme, or both. I swear, that’s the only explanation for how something this lazy and careless gets made in the first place.”
  17. Surgeons of Horror: “The scares are absent. The thrill factor is non-existent. And my interest waned before the half hour mark, as I had no care or interest in what happened to the characters.”
  18. Ten Stars or Less (1/10): “I only went to watch this (in a theatre all to myself) because I needed to know how bad it was.”
  19. The Grump Of Horror (1/5): “While the film is well made generally, there’s nothing here to grip onto.”
  20. The Reviewer’s Unite / Matt Vetrano: “Skip this movie and wait for a GOOD horror movie to come out this year.  They can’t hide forever, darn it!” (Ed. The Invisible Man has cometh!)
  21. The Velvet Cinephile: “…never justifies its existence.”

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!

FIRST LOOK: Coming 2 America

No poster for Coming 2 America yet

This one is 32 years old. 32 years between sequels has to be up there in the record books, especially when so many of the original cast are returning. Pretty much every single minor character with any sort of significant part except for Eric LaSalle, the horny sister and Samuel L. Jackson are returning.

Plus Wesley Snipes and Tracy Morgan have joined to play new parts. Sign me up.

Am a huge fan of the original Coming To America starring Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall. You’ll note the box art is not for the new movie and there isn’t any trailer here, but I’m profiling what we know so far this early and I’ll have more coverage as the release date gets closer.

This comedy came out when more R-rated, edgy comedies were being released. Eddie Murphy has states that this sequel will not be R rated and instead be PG-13, I guess to expand the potential audience.

Sort of have mixed feelings about it not carrying the same R rating as the original. Murphy just isn’t as edgy as he once was and now we’re seeing horror movies try to do the same thing: telling more watered down PG-13 stories just to make sure they don’t get an R rating.

Again, it is amazing to see so many of the cast from the original movie coming back three decades later. Pretty much everybody involved in the first movie including: Arsenio Hall as Akeem’s best friend Semmi, Shari Headley as Lisa McDowell, John Amos as Cleo McDowell, James Earl Jones as King Jaffe Joffer, Vanessa Bell Calloway as Imani Izzi (the daughter that Akeem did not marry in the original movie). Paul Bates as Oha, Louie Anderson as Maurice (the employee at McDowell’s restaurant that was trying to move up in management).

As far as plot and story goes …

About to be crowned king upon the passing of King Jaffee (James Earl Jones), Akeem is made to swear on his father’s deathbed that he’ll return to America in order to complete a specific task: a reunion with the son he never knew he had (Jermaine Fowler), in the hopes of bringing him home to Zamunda, where he’ll become a prince.

Coming 2 America: Your Guide to the Long-Awaited Sequel

This movie sounds like it’s going to be a ton of fun. I can’t remember many sequels that have had so many of the original actors/actresses in it from the original movie so many years later.

32 years later!

Yikes, it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long, does it? There has been no trailer for the film posted yet. This movie and West Side Story directed by Steven Spielberg are pretty much the Star Wars movie of December 2020, since there are no other major wide release movies scheduled for December 18, 2020 as of this writing. It’s early in the year though, so movie dates can be moved around.

Coming 2 America is coming to theaters on December 18, 2020.

NOW PLAYING REVIEWS: The Invisible Man (2020)

Week #9 of 2020 (2/27-3/1/2020) and only one wide release movie to see. It’s from Bluhouse, a reboot of a classic Universal monster tale and called …

The Invisible Man ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

This movie took us both by surprise. Kara isn’t a big fan of horror and she actually gave this four stars in our video review (see below).

It doesn’t take the path of the scientist as the main character. Smart move considering recreating the awesome role Claude Rains played in the 1933 version would give difficult, if not impossible, comparisons.

Instead, this tells the story of Adrian’s wife, Cecilla (played skillfully by Elisabeth Moss), as the main character and how she deals with an abusive genius husband. In my review I called it, The Invisible Stalker, because that’s the story in a nutshell and it works well. His invisible torment of Cecilla is gripping. Camerawork of empty chairs and other furniture are creepy.

Cecilla’s harrowing, haunting journey is tense and thrilling. You want to see someone there … but they aren’t.

Our video review of The Invisible Man (2020)

This is a winner from Universal and Blumhouse and recommended. It’s getting many well deserved good reviews from others. If you’ve seen it or want to, tell us about it in the comments.

Want to see what else we recommend NOW PLAYING at the theater?

Listed below are movies we’ve seen at the theaters recently and liked (maybe they are available in your area still) that are recommended. Any movie rated at least 3-stars is recommended. You should read any 3-star review (click the title), because sometimes we do qualify those recommendations, meaning we were entertained, but it doesn’t mean that the film was that good.

4-star movies are highly recommended and films rated as 4 1/2 or 5 stars are must see.

  1. 1917 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 
  2. Little Women ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  3. Knives Out ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  4. The Invisible Man ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ (current week)
  5. Uncut Gems ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  6. Parasite⭐️⭐️⭐️
  7. Frozen II ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  8. Bad Boys For Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  9. Sonic The Hedgehog ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  10. The Call Of The Wild ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  11. Bad Boys For Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  12. The Last Full Measure ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  13. Dolittle ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happy movie watching to you!


No bovine BS. This movie appears to have moo-ved from LIMITED release to a wide release.

At least that’s what Box Office Mojo shows, Movie Insider — the other service I refer to — says it is still a limited release. I checked out the Regal Cinemas website and there are currently no showings for it locally in our area, so maybe Movie Insider is accurate.

A24 gives us unique premise movies, I’ll concede that. Remember that Adam Sandler movie, Uncut Gems? Sandler was great in that frenetic thriller.

Just check out that spellbinding (!) box art. It’s a cow on a boat in the middle of a lake.

Yes A24 has queued up a cow film called First Cow and wants to milk our interest. I first talked about this here: 9 Movies COMING TO THEATERS in March 2020 — laughing somewhat uncontrollably at the trailer. Here, watch this:

First Cow official trailer

Still laughing here at that trailer. Maybe it’s a serious period piece on a cow, but it spells comedy gold to me.

First Cow is opening in theaters on March 6, 2020.


Friday the 13th is a great month to release a new horror movie. No real tie-in to a comedy spy thriller.

Why does this plot seem so familiar? Young snarky girl with deadly CIA Agent. It’s the old story of youth (inexperience) meets stoic, tatted up military experience.

My Spy follows JJ a hardened CIA operative (Dave Bautista) who has been demoted and finds himself at the mercy of a precocious 9-year-old girl, named Sophie (Chloe Coleman) where he has been sent undercover begrudgingly to surveil her family. When Sophie discovers hidden cameras in her apartment she uses her tech savviness to locate where the surveillance operation is set. In exchange for not blowing JJ’s cover Sophie convinces him to spend time with her and teach her to be a spy. Despite his reluctance JJ finds he is no match for Sophie’s disarming charm and wit.

Movie Insider Story Info

Trailer reactions after the video.

My Spy official trailer

Trailer reactions:

  • Dave Bautista’s character is not that good with people … but he’s good at blowing stuff up and bashing bad guys. Been there, done that
  • The Rock could just as easily have been in this movie .. or John Cena … or … well, just about any other big body actor (Vin Diesel!)
  • Hey, Ken Jeong is in this, he’s funny! Liked.
  • Why does Sophie want him to teach her how to be a spy?
  • Lie detector test scene, hmm.
  • Dodgeball!!!! You get the sense he’s about to bring the pain

Looks like this movie has some potential. Am I super excited about seeing it? Bloodshot and The Hunt are also being released this same day and I have much greater interest in seeing those. This could surprise and have more to this than the trailer, which seems like all too familiar scenes: blowing up a car, tough CIA agent beating up the bad guys, awkward girl meets tough CIA guy and he helps her become more socially acceptable, or at least dangerous and she gives him a lesson in acting/being more human and compassionate. Yes, I hope there’s more to it than this.

My Spy opens wide in theaters on March 13, 2020.