rivertam26

IMDb member since July 2006
    Highlights
    2017 Oscars
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    2016 Oscars
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    2015 Oscars
    Lifetime Total
    500+
    Poll Taker
    10x
    IMDb Member
    15 years

Reviews

Let It Snow
(2020)

Striking scenery but a confused execution
This film is a well made but slightly confused survival horror film. It centers on a young American couple who go skiing in Russia and end up being hunted by a psycho on a snowmobile. The movie doesn't really bring anything new to the genre and to it's own detriment it takes itself way too seriously. That being said there is alot of great stuff here it just never really gets to where it's going until the final scene leaving the audience with cinematic blue balls.

***/5

Castle Freak
(2020)

More than you'd expect
Fangoria and Full Moon tackle the remake of Stuart Gordon's nasty classic. Most remakes are unnecessary although they can be entertaining but in this case it's almost an entirely different film and if you thought the original was mean spirited you're in for a gory, old school practical effects treat that has fun paying homage to the italian horror of the 80s mixed with the universe of lovecraft. This time around a young blind orphan woman discovers that she's inheriting a castle from her mother who just passed. She travels to the location with her slimy but sexy boyfriend with the intention of discovering more about her family and selling. They are joined by their trashy friends and one by one they start getting horribly mutilated by the "freak" in the castle. And trust their demises are incredibly shocking. There's more to it than that and the film is surprisingly complex. I wouldn't say it's a great movie. But I applaud it's ambition and the sheer amount of horror love that went into it. So if you're a genre fan of particularly this type of film you're in for a weird, twisted, treat. All others beware.

***.5/5

Alone
(2020)

Simplistic and intense
Originally a festival fave in 2018, this film became a sizable success during the pandemic benefitting from great reviews ( 94% RT) and a solid audience score. The film is an intense, sometimes frustrating, simplistic theater that focuses on a young woman moving cross country who comes up against as serial killer. It's a survival thriller that takes a bit to find it's stride but when it does is quite impressive. Filmed beautifully with a solid lead performance this stylish horror flick is slick, escapist entertainment. I expect great things from the director and actress moving forward.

***.5/5

Spiral
(2019)

Brilliant
This movie is brilliant. A gay couple moves to suburbia in 1995 and ends up enduring homophobia and prejudice seemingly but something more dark may be afoot. The movie is packed with symbolism and twists leading up to a mega creepy, inspired finale. Chapman is amazing in the lead. He makes every moment feel genuine. Kurtis David Harder injects the proceedings with an impressive amount of smarts and edge of your seat dread inducing atmosphere. Everything about this film is impressive from the gorgeous cinematography to the haunting score. It's without a doubt the best horror film to feature a gay lead but it's also one of the best films of the year!

****.5/5

The Prom
(2020)

Awesome! The best film of the year.
2020 has been a drag to say the least. Everyone is down from the years events and the pandemic and the holidays seem to be a bust. So here comes Ryan Murphy's joyous old school musical based on the broadway show. Featuring a barrage of wonderful stars. The film centers on a young gay woman whose not being allowed to fully participate in her prom by the PTA. So some broadway celebrities with bad pr travel to the town to rectify the situation for some supposed selfless headlines. The movie is just a blast of positive energy with great performances by Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Andrew Randall, Michael Keegan, newcomer Jo Ellen Pellman and most surprisingly James Gorden who delivers a wonderful and engaging performance. Directed with creative zest by Ryan Murphy of Glee and American Horror Story. The film features dazzling choreography, a great soundtrack and wonderful musical numbers. I wish I could have seen this in theaters but it's still an amazing cinematic experience. It's funny and sad and it's just the experience we need right now. An energetic, inspired, campy, fun explosion of epic proportions. One of the best films of the year.

****.5/5

All My Life
(2020)

Cliched but endearing
2020 has brought us many things film wise. It hasn't been the greatest year and there's really no need to rush out to the theaters for this. But the film is a reminder of a simpler time when entertaining three hankie romantic dramas such as this would crowd multiplexes. Conceptually it's pretty generic and all the cliches are in place but the attractive and talented stars make it worth the watch. Jessica Rothe of Happy Death Day and Harry Shum Jr. Of Glee have awesome chemistry. The film tells the true story of a couple who are about to get married when they discover one of them has cancer. The movie is funny, moving and sad and as an added bonus at the end we meet the real couple. Sure I wished for just a bit more originality but was happy with this endearing little gem.

***.5/5

Happiest Season
(2020)

Great movie
Originally intended for theatrical release this charming LGBT Christmas movie explores the struggles many of us gay people face when it comes to our families and the holiday season. Starring Kristen Stewart as one half of a lesbian couple who is invited by her girlfriend played by Mackenzie Davis of Terminator Dark Fate to spend the holidays with her family. Along the way she tells her that the family doesn't know shes gay or that she's bringing her girlfriend. Funny scenarios as well as heart wrenching ones ensue. The movie is quite refined in the way it explores its subject matter and for that reason, that's what sets it apart. The brilliant Dan Levy of the phenomenal Schitts Creek stars as Stewart's gay bff. Mary Steenburgen (book club), Allison Brie (Glow), Victor Garber and an awesome Aubrey Plaza also star. The film is director confidently by one of my favorite actresses Clea Duvall. It's definitely a must see.

****.25/5

The Christmas House
(2020)

Progressive but ultimately generic
Billed as the first LGBT Hallmark Christmas movie "House" is a little bit of a disappointment when stacked against that statement. Still any step in the right direction should be celebrated. The movie tells of a family who decides to ressurect the tradition of opening the Christmas house. In grand, privileged Hallmark tradition, a rich family spends thousands of dollars to move everything out of their house and set up an ultra festive experience. Along the way there are some generic subplots which include a high school sweetheart, a tv show and an adoption. Just to name a few. It's a predictable but entertaining enough watch if you find these tropes entertaining. Sadly the gay couple are side characters although they are given a decent amount of screen time as well as a few lip smacking scenes. I am however impressed in which the material is presented it's just accepted and that my friends is progressive and for that this otherwise generic piece of Christmas fluff should be applauded.

***/5

Spontaneous
(2020)

Awesomeness
Awesome, original teen flick about kids that start to explode senior year is charming, hilarious, a little scary and wonderfully refreshing. Starring Katheryn Langford (Love Simon) as a young woman who finds love with a charming loner played by a charming Charlie Plummer during this odd epidemic. The movie treats it's subject matter in a very genuine, smart way so it's never a full horror tinged comedy but more of a horrible event happening to funny people. Engaging and edge of your seat, its definitely one of the year's best films.

****.5/5

Love and Monsters
(2020)

Awesome
Cutie Dylan O'Brien of MTV'S Teen Wolf and the Maze Runner franchise stars in this dystopian Horror fantasy. Some time in the future an asteroid heads towards the earth and is blown up but the nuclear fallout ends up mutating all bug and animal life which puts humans at the bottom of the food chain. Joel (O'Brien) discovers that his girlfriend is alive and 85 miles away. So he leaves his colony and makes the trek there fighting monsters and befriending a dog along the way. The movie feels very refreshing in its subject matter and execution. It's got charm, style and a charasmatic, engaging leading man. Although I never fully bought into the romance I loved the live action "Manga" feel of the material. It's fun, energetic and feels very much like something new.

****/5 Eric: ***.75/5

Run
(2020)

Intense
Originally intended for release in theaters this smart, intense thriller was sold to hulu and premiered Friday. The brilliant Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story) stars as the mother of a supposedly sick child that she's spent 17 years taking care of her. The young woman Chloe, played by solid newcomer Kiera Allen begins to suspect her mother may be the one keeping her sick. The movie is intense and edge of your seat filled with clever twists and turns. Although the material is familiar its executed creatively by Aneesh Chaganty of the criminally underseen Searching. This would have been great in theaters but is still damn good at home.

****/5 Eric: ****.5/5

Freaky
(2020)

Bloody good fun
Christopher Landon of Happy Death Day gives us the horror version of Freaky Friday in this clever genre mashup. Vince Vaughn in his best comedic role since Wedding Crashers plays a campy serial killer with a wooden mask and a bunch of weapons that likes to murder teens in increasingly goretastic ways. The movie is fun but and I mean this in the best way it feels like a Disney horror flick. It has a big heart and a bunch of comedy that mostly hits. Katherine Newton is okay in the lead. She's engaging when she's Millie but as the killer she's just not believable. That being said the film is filled with colorful characters, stylish cinematography and a sense of fun. It never quite reaches the potential it promises but it's a bloody good time nonetheless.

****/5 Eric: 4.5/5

Follow Me
(2020)

Intense but familiar
Saw this little gem last night. Originally titled Follow me, No Escape is like a mixture of Escape Room and Hostel as a group of youtubers find themselves in a horrific escape room in Moscow. It's nothing you haven't seen before but it's fun and clever with some insanely suspenseful trap sequences. Plus it stars sexy ass Keegan Allen and Teen Wolf's Holland Roden. The performances are tight and even though it ends up somewhere familiar the journey is refreshing and well executed.

***.75/5 Eric: 4.25/5

Mulan
(2020)

Inspired
MULAN (2020)

I finally got to see this movie last night after months of anticipation and it mostly lived up to my expectations. Directed by Niki Caro of Zookeeper's Wife this live action adaptation falls on the better side of the recent trend. Not that it says much considering the recent cinematic tragedies Aladdin (2019) and Lion King (2019) are part of the group. Most of the film is actually pretty great. Caro directs the proceedings with a questionable zest at times The film is at it's strongest when it's more serious but delves into a goofy, cartoonish tone at times. That being said there's alot to love here from the beautiful cinematography to the gorgeous score, the inspired costume, make-up and set design. The central performance from Yifei Liu is accomplished and engaging. In the end it's mostly a great film even when it's at it's cheesiest. It may be not be flawless and in fact it's far from it but it's a worthy adaptation that never quite lives up to the original or it's potential but is a successful venture on it's own fantastical terms.

****/5

Antebellum
(2020)

Generic
So I finally got around to seeing this and I can see why it got such bad reviews and some people are offended by it. I myself just thought it was meh. Intriguing concept, overly mediocre execution with some unintentionally goofy moments, strained performances but gorgeous cinematography and a great score. As implausible as it is conceptually it's ambitious and does spark conversation but it's kind of all over the place and never decides on what kind of movie it wants to be to it's own detriment. With a little more focus it could've been something more substantial and not so generic.

**.5/5 Eric: 3/5

W lesie dzis nie zasnie nikt
(2020)

Awful and boring
This Polish movie is just awful. It's sort of like a Wrong Turn sequel. It's very boring and I'm guessing it's supposed to be a horror comedy but the humor is completely lost in translation.

*/5

Nocturne
(2020)

Intriguing
The 4th and final film in the Blumhouse/Amazon collab "Welcome to Blumhouse" is the least effective of the four. That being said it's still a decent but slightly generic shocker. The movie is a mix of Black Swan with a dash of Hereditary. It centers on a young woman whose one of two talented pianists currently enrolled in a performing arts school who are both twins. After the suicide of the school's top talent, it leaves an opening for one of them to be featured in an end of the year concert. One of them seems to have it all while the other constantly struggles. That is until she gets hold of the dead girls notebook and begins experiencing delusions, pushing herself and hurting her sister. This was a really hard one to get into but it's well made with good performances and the subject matter that explores the stress teens feel is intriguing and relevant. Although it never quite reaches the heights of it's creepy potential. The effort is admirable and overall interesting enough to merit a light reccomend.

***/5

Evil Eye
(2020)

Solid and refreshing
This is my second Blumhouse/Amazon Halloween movie and I'm 2 for 2. This fun little genre hybrid centers on a young Indian woman and her mom who suspects her daughter's new fiancee is the reincarnation of her evil dead lover. Approaching the material from the cultural standpoint gives it a new refreshing feel and that ending is pretty satisfying. Although it's never really scary it is creepy and suspenseful. And the movie is stacked with solid performances, creative cinematography and inspired direction.

****/5

Between Earth and Sky
(2018)

Fantastic performances
BLUMHOUSE'S THE LIE (2020)

I finally decided to check out one of Blumhouse/Amazon's 4 Halloween flicks and it did not disappoint. Now I just wanna say up front that I can see alot of people hating this and I totally understand why. The movie centers around Kayla played by an awesome Joey King (Conjuring) whom pushes her friend off a bridge and her dedicated but divorced parents played by Peter Sarsgard (Skeleton Key) and Mirielle Enos (The Killing) who are fantastic do anything they can to try and protect her as it spirals out of control. I have to say that I pretty much called the twist when it first started but it was done really well. To further elaborate without spoiling I will say that like "Scream" it shows the lengths of what bored, rich, privileged kids are capable of. The movie isn't really a horror film but more of a dramatic thriller and it really works in my opinion. The logic might be questionable but it is teenagers after all. The film is shot nicely with solid, haunting performances all around and confident direction.

****/5

Eating Out: The Open Weekend
(2011)

Best one yet
Zack and Benji open up their relationship while at an open weekend. Naughtiness ensues and Casey arrives to stir things up. I don't know if it's because I'm more invested at this point after 4 other films, but these films really do just get better and better. Sure the acting is still atrocious but the guys are hotter, the movie is funnier, sexier and more engaging. Plus it has the biggest heart of the whole series. If it ends on this chapter it's definitely on a high note.

7/10

Eating Out: Drama Camp
(2011)

Funnier and sexier
The boys end up at drama camp with a whole bunch of new studs with the sexual hijinks to match. This is even better than the others. Although these aren't great films they're very entertaining. Sometimes intentionally so and sometimes not. This time around relationship lines are pushed and the main continuing couple is challenged. There's of course even more eye candy this time around and despite some truly awful performances its funnier and sexier than the others.

7/10

Eating Out: All You Can Eat
(2009)

The best one yet
A woman helps a gay friend find love with his crush on a dating website by posting his profile with a pic of her hot ex. But problems arise when her ex arrives and they have to keep the charade up. Although it's really more of the same this is the best entry yet. The two leads have good chemistry, although all of the performances leave something to be desired. There's lots more eye candy this time around and the movies even more raunchy. Hunky Chris Salvatore is a welcome edition and underneath all the whoriness is a heart.

7/10

Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds
(2006)

Better than the first
A gay man and his two girl friends hatch a plan to discover a sexy male model's orientation. Kyle the male member of the trio takes the model to a seminar about "going straight" and hijinks ensue. This is a bit more entertaining than the first and like that one it's funny and sexy with a bunch of eye candy. Although it's all quite predictable its more than amusing and is another somewhat successful entry in the growing queer sex comedy franchise.

6.5/10

Xanadu
(1980)

A visual but empty feast
Olivia Newton John headlines this queer musical classic about a muse that falls in love with her target. A fabulous record album artist who decides with a stranger to open up a roller skating rink with magical results. Or at least I think that is what it's about. The whole movie is like being high on shrooms. It's super colorful and wonderfully gay. But besides a visual feast and a great soundtrack nothing's really going on. It tries desperately to connect the muicals of yesterday and modern day at the time but never finds the right vibe. The charachters are pretty but lack personality and depth and so does the story. On that aspect it was really hard for me to be completely engaged. That being said my fiancee and best friend love this movie and will probably murder me after reading it, so I'll end on a positive note. It's pretty and fun. <3

Budget: $20M Box Office: $23M

6/10

Killer Unicorn
(2018)

Fun, campy ride
A serial killer dressed as a hot unicorn strikes horror in West Hollywood when he targets a group of friends. It's a fairly generic setup with a queer twist. The acting is not great but the movie is surprisingly fun with some cool kills. The movie obviously struggles with budgetary constraints but makes good on what it has which includes a super campy and fun villain.

6.5/10

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