jfgibson73

IMDb member since June 2007
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X
(2022)

I did not want to leave my seat for a moment!
This was a pretty fun little movie. I think my favorite thing about it is how well it established the setting, specifically rural Texas in 1979. They kept the locations limited, but that meant they were able to ensure everything looked and felt exactly right for the time and place. The story builds slowly, and feels very predictable for the first half or so, but you get some surprises once the action picks up. After watching, I read a few articles and realized there was a HUGE amount of stuff I missed, so I'm already looking forward to re-watching it. They clearly put a lot of care into this one, and I would say it is well worth seeing. A well above average effort for a low budget horror movie.

Dark Ride
(2006)

Dull Ride
Some teens hang out inside of a theme park ride. There is an escaped killer that happens to be hiding out there also. They get killed. I didn't totally hate this movie. The idea of using an elaborate dark ride as a setting does appeal to me. And there were some people in the cast I knew from other small roles, like the theater guy from Ghost World. I just didn't think any of it really stood out or was memorable.

Body
(2015)

meh
Didn't really get into this one. I thought the premise sounded interesting, but for whatever reason, I ended up not really caring. It did seem a little unoriginal, and there were some logic gaps, but I wouldn't have cared if the story had been more entertaining. Very middle of the road effort with nothing to recommend about it.

Licorice Pizza
(2021)

The heart wants what the heart wants
This just wasn't for me. I had assumed that anything by Paul Thomas Anderson would appeal to me, but I did not respond to this story.

I don't have any criticisms; I think the movie was well made, and I am sure there will be many viewers who thoroughly enjoy it. The story isn't very linear, but that shouldn't have bothered me. The Master was a similarly meandering narrative, but I really like that movie. I don't expect to watch Licorice Pizza again. For some reason, I did not connect to any part of this story.

Hellbender
(2021)

So much to like, and yet....
This movie had such a great setup. I was completely drawn in and invested in the lead character. The problem was that it felt like between the first few scenes and the ending, the writer was struggling for ideas. The story doesn't really move along. Then, when the final act begins, we jump ahead to a conclusion that didn't really get to develop. It feels more like a left turn; even though we are given hints that this is how it will turn out, the story doesn't logically connect the dots from here to there. I liked so much about this movie, with one standout being the awesome choice of songs. But in the end, the story let me down.

Flower
(2017)

Don't expect realism
I would say this movie was more of a drama than it is a comedy. The main character, Erica, keeps things amusing for most of the duration with her Juno-like wit, but it doesn't have many actual laugh-out-loud moments. For the most part, it's a fun story and very well paced--it draws you in right away and keeps the plot moving constantly. However, the 17-year-old female protagonist felt more like a male fantasy than an actual person. It didn't stand out as much for the first two acts, but by the time it was all wrapped up, it felt like this very much came from the mind of a white male daydreaming about the excitement of spending time with an underage Manic Pixie Dream Girl. I can't deny that it had entertaining stretches, though, so it was worth a watch.

Doki Doki Literature Club!
(2017)

Yuri is Best Girl 1000%
So, my review is clearly late to the party, so I won't be writing anything that the other reviews haven't-except my opinion of Yuri.

Like many who went into it cold, I wanted to try it because of its reputation, because the look did not seem to match its categorization as "psychological horror," and because of the mysterious content warnings. And it is free.

The only helpful thing I have to tell someone who is thinking of trying this game and who came here, for some reason, to read reviews on a movie-focused website, is that the other positive reviews are very accurate. If you're going to play, don't try to find out anything about it.

Other than that, I am a big fan of Yuri. Even though I've been into movies, comics, games, tv, and books for 40 years, her character has instantly become my favorite. Time to play some mods.

Greener Grass
(2019)

Did not enjoy
This was not for me. I will admit that I had numerous suppressed chuckles throughout, but most of the humor fell very flat. Whoever was in charge of making sure everything was bright and colorful did a great job. Not just the sets but the costuming, too. Just not my style of comedy.

The Voyeurs
(2021)

What's really going on?
I thought this was a very entertaining movie. Not the best written story, but it kept my interest all the way through. I am sure some viewers would say that many of the reveals in the third act are too implausible, but somehow, the outrageous plot twists didn't bother me. I wouldn't say this movie has a star-making performance, but I think Sydney Sweeney did a fine job of carrying things along. Yes, the story is derivative, and there are probably going to be gaping plot holes if you really think about it, but you don't need to do that. Just enjoy some light, disposable entertainment. It can be hard to find that sometimes.

Free Guy
(2021)

Hugely entertaining and inventive with great humor
This was a very well done film. It is full of detail and amazing visuals. It's a great story performed very well by an amazing cast. It stays fun every moment it plays. Not only that, but it will impress you early and continue upping the ante all the way through. It's hard to believe this is a big budget Hollywood film, but an amazing amount of care went into it. It's also very funny--the kind of humor we've come to expect from Ryan Reynolds. Highly recommended.

Rent-a-Pal
(2020)

Very original and surprising
This was a pretty good little story. I admire the lead actor for taking this role--it's not very flattering. The writing did a great job getting me to care about the central character, as well as his romantic interest. After showing all the obstacles this man faces daily, it was a real relief when he met this woman, who was so sweet and caring. When I was watching, I had questions about what this man was experiencing when he watched the special tape. When it finished, I felt like I understood what had been happening all along. Some nice surprises in this one. Well done.

The Edge of Seventeen
(2016)

Wish I Had Liked It More
I did not enjoy this story as much as most viewers seem to. There isn't really anything wrong with it, I just didn't respond to it very strongly. The humor probably wasn't in line with my taste in comedy. Hailee is great, so she kept it interesting, but I was never really caught up or invested in what was happening. This should have been a character I really cared about. Also, Kyra Sedgwick didn't work at all for me, but that wouldn't have mattered if I had been into it. Kind of feels like a more watered down version of Juno.

Night Night
(2021)

Inflated score from fake reviews
This was terrible. I gave it a chance because it had a score of 6.2 on this site. However, I took a look at the breakdown of the votes. The people who post to this site regularly gave it an average of 3. The look of this film is that of a low-end made for tv movie--visually bland. The acting does nothing to add to the enjoyment, although I can kind of see some potential in Brenna D'Amico. The story is completely unsatisfying with a cop-out ending. At about 45 minutes in, I was still somewhat interested in seeing where this went, but once the answers came, it fell apart completely. This should never have been made.

Pleasure
(2021)

Average drama with a few extreme moments
I didn't think this story was all that compelling or satisfyingly told. There were some details that were memorable, but I really didn't get invested in where it was going. I will agree that the lead actress did an amazing job, and most everyone else brought a realism to their roles, especially since they work in the adult film industry in real life. But I didn't feel like there was much connection between the scenes. Yes, the overall goal of the main character remains consistent, but I didn't feel like we were shown what motivated her to make the specific choices she did much of the time. The effect is that the story doesn't really progress and build believably. Even though it has an outstanding central performance, I felt this was a fairly average drama overall which happened to have a few scenes that were difficult to watch.

Uncle Peckerhead
(2020)

You guys are in a band???!!???!!
I didn't enjoy this movie nearly as much as I thought I would, given the set-up. It's about a punk band who goes on the road with an older man who has a dangerous secret. It starts out interestingly enough, and there are some satisfying sequences, but eventually the character decisions get frustrating, personalities change suddenly, and the story fizzles. It thought it ended up very average overall, and I would say you wouldn't really miss much if you skipped it.

The Final
(2010)

An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind
I enjoyed this movie a little bit more than the average low-budget horror. The story is about high schoolers who have been bullied and how they get revenge on the other students. We see a little bit of some of the victims' lives, both in school and at home, to give us an idea why they would be willing to do something so extreme. However, the story is done more dramatically than realistically--once the bullies are restrained, the leader of the victims becomes a monologuing villain stock character. Some of the torture tactics used at first are filmed to look very painful, but as the movie goes along, some of them get less attention, making the choices not feel as consequential. The action doesn't really build or create tension, it just moves along. I was satisfied with the ending, though, which is where a lot of thrillers fall short, so this one felt fairly complete. I would give it a recommendation for fans of the genre.

Spider-Man: No Way Home
(2021)

A lot of fun
I thought this was probably the most entertaining Spider-Man live action movie that has been made. Even at 2 1/2 hours, it left me wanting more. The characters were way more likable here than their other appearances, and I was way more invested in this story. One thing that bothered me was how the plot depended on an incredibly goofy character decision. I didn't think there was any way a person would ever choose that route--even a fictional superhero. Also, I wasn't as enamored with the villains as most people seem to be. But the high points more than made up for that. Definitely worth watching back.

Val
(2021)

Felt more like a forgettable episode of an anthology series
They absolutely did NOT have enough material for a full length movie. The story had me mildly interested early on as I waited for clues as to what was going on. I did not feel the payoff was even close to being worth the time I spent watching. Much of the movie revolves around the interplay between two main characters. I really didn't want to spend time with either one of them. What really bothered me though is how repetitive it got in the last act. I would recommend skipping it.

The Feast
(2021)

Slowest of Slow Burns
I will admit that the extremely slow pace tested my patience at times, but I thought the payoff was worth it. I assume the characters were intentionally written to be unlikable, but for me, the result was that I wasn't very interested in them. I also don't think the story does a good enough job connecting the transgressions they made with the consequences. Still, it did have the feeling that something was building, and that is mostly what kept my interest. I'm not going to recommend The Feast, but I did get some enjoyment out of it.

Slumber Party Massacre
(2021)

They didn't really try too hard, did they?
This movie attempts to subvert the formula of 80s slasher movies where young women are killed off one at a time. I thought it was a very lazy effort. It isn't written well enough to actually feel like a new take on a familiar formula. It is mostly just reused tropes and extremely unfunny humor. The girls are somewhat likeable, but they eventually make all the stupid decisions horror movies rely on. It felt like they came up with a concept worth exploring, but just wanted to get it done rather than put in the work to justify its existence. Very lame.

Duel on the River
(2021)

Life or Death on the River
I really did enjoy this movie. They chose to do something very smart with this thriller: they made the villain a boater. Which makes total sense, because most boaters are entitled a-holes who think they can do whatever they want. I actually grew up fairly close to where this was set, and while I didn't recognize any specific landmarks, the area is very much like the ones I spend a lot of time in. The movie starts off showing us how the main character is content to sit around doing nothing his whole life, yet somehow they still make him likable. He gets a genuine arc. It's not paced at a breakneck speed, but doesn't drag either. I was glad I got to see it.

Dogface: A TrapHouse Horror
(2021)

A low budget horror movie
You have to know this is an extremely low budget horror movie with amateurish acting and barely any plot. You understand that, right? Because none of that should be surprising to anyone who chooses to watch something like this. Dogface doesn't do anything original or memorable, but it is entertaining enough. The story makes no sense, but it's still fun to see the characters get freaked out by all the crazy stuff that goes on. Also, I enjoyed the dialog. Easy enough to watch once.

8-Bit Christmas
(2021)

Disposable Holiday Offering
This movie was easy to watch, but never rose above decent. It wasn't slow or boring, but it has nothing original or outstanding about it. A story focusing on childhood in the 80s should have really connected with me, but I was never really invested much. I didn't laugh or connect with any of the characters. In the last few moments, the movie decides that it wants to be about the relationship between a boy and his father. The problems are that it doesn't do much with this before the end, and I don't find Steve Zahn the least bit believable as a parent. It worked well as something to play in the background while I worked on holiday preparations. I would never recommend it, though, and can't imagine ever watching it back again.

1BR
(2019)

Mediocre Thriller
This was another average thriller. Nothing about it was especially original or memorable, but it was easy to watch and didn't completely fall apart in the third act. The acting is fine. The story is decent. The setting, an apartment complex in L. A., isn't especially atmospheric or picturesque, but it was good enough. Not too slow, but no real highlights. Worth a watch.

Antlers
(2021)

Middling Effort
I think most viewers will find things they enjoy as well as criticisms with this movie. The problems include overused tropes, ridiculous character decisions, and not enough originality. The story tries to introduce too many themes without making any of them really necessary to the narrative. On the plus side, there are some nice visuals, well done effects, and a fair amount of nasty stuff to look at. I did not regret watching it, but I don't expect to revisit it either.

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