paul_haakonsen

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Reviews

D'Artacán y los tres Mosqueperros
(2021)

This was fun to watch...
I remember watching "Dogtanian" on the TV when I was about 7 or 8 years old, every Saturday and Sunday morning. But I must admit that I didn't know what there was a 2021 CGI animated movie in the works. I stumbled upon this 2021 animated movie by random chance, and opted to sit down and watch it with my son, and let he see something that I watched when I was buy a boy.

It should be said that the 2021 CGI animated movie "Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds" definitely was in the spirit of the 1981 animated cartoon, so it was somewhat of a trip down memory lane for me. And the storyline told in "Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds" was enjoyable for both my son and I, so that was something great from writer Doug Langdale.

The voice acting in "Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds" was good, which is something of importance when you're watching an animated movie. I weren't familiar with anyone on the cast list, for better or worse. But I will say that the voice acting was suitable for the movie.

The CGI art style was also nice. They managed to keep the style of the 80s animated cartoon, while adding an updated touch to it at the same time.

"Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds" is enjoyable for old fans of the 1980s cartoon, just as it is enjoyable for newcomers unfamiliar with the characters and storyline.

I am rating "Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds" a six out of ten stars.

Shark Huntress
(2021)

Yeah, another rubbish shark movie...
Granted, I wasn't really expecting much of anything from this 2021 movie titled "Shark Huntress". I mean, the title and the movie's cover/poster was just screaming one-of-those-awful-shark movies. But still, I opted to watch it, on the odd chance that the movie would actually turn out to be a good and enjoyable movie.

Well, it wasn't. Writers Dustin Alexander III and Dante Delmare just completely failed to compile an interesting or believable storyline here. And seriously, for people that are so aware about the world environment that they are picking up plastic from the oceans, why would the main character go out on a spree of vengeance against a single shark? The chances of finding that specific shark that actually bite and killed her mom would be so low, and they would probably just end up killing a random shark. It was just so ludicrous and laughable.

Just as the storyline was rubbish, so was the majority of the acting performances. It was especially painful to watch Katrina Grey (playing Main) and the actor playing Guru performing on the screen. Their performances were so wooden and rigid that it was just painful to watch. And their inability to deliver dialogue in a convincing or natural manner just had be laughing most of the time.

Then there were the actual shark scene. Yeah, let's just move on from that.

Don't waste your time, money or effort on director John Riggins' 2021 movie "Shark Huntress". Some of us suffered, literally, through this ordeal so you don't have to. The movie's cover/poster was actually the best thing about the entire ordeal.

My rating of "Shark Huntress" lands on a most generous two out of ten stars.

Monster Island
(2004)

This was definitely something else...
Well, given the movie's cover, I was expecting that I would be in for a movie that would be an homage to the 1950s and 1960s creature features, so of course I opted to sit down and watch the 2004 movie "Monster Island". Had I heard about the movie prior to sitting down here in 2021 to watch it? No.

And I will say that writers Jack Perez and Adam Glass didn't really manage to concoct a wholesome movie. There was just something ultra cheesy and low budget about this entire movie, and not in a good sense. It was so difficult to get into the vibe of the movie and enjoy it. I suppose it was a combination of the dubious acting performances and the insanely laughably bad special effects.

The storyline in "Monster Island" wasn't exactly innovative or particularly interesting. It was all something that had been done and seen before, so the writers weren't exactly dishing out new stuff here. And I do enjoy monster movies, but the special effects in this movie definitely had emphasis on 'special', believe you me.

Visually then "Monster Island" was bad, so very, very bad. And those laughable effects just made it so very difficult to sit through this movie and take it serious. Sure, "Monster Island" is labeled as an adventure comedy horror movie, but it didn't really deliver much on any of those accounts.

The movie does have the likes of Carmen Electra and Adam West on the cast list, if that would tickle your fancy.

Ultimately, then "Monster Island" was a lousy movie experience, and certainly not one I would recommend you waste your time, money or effort on.

My rating of "Monster Island" lands on a generous three out of ten stars.

Dune: Part One
(2021)

Visually impressive, but rather unnecessary remake...
Sure, I was looking forward to getting to watch director Denis Villeneuve's take on Frank Herbert's iconic story "Dune". And yeah, I did also enjoy the 1984 version of the tale, so of course this 2021 version was something that had to be watched.

And yes, I did enjoy the 2021 rendering of "Dune", of course I did. I mean, how could I not? Despite of running for a bit more than two and a half hours, the movie was entertaining and enjoyable. And this was just the first part of the story, so we are in for more.

Visually then "Dune" was just spectacular, having pretty amazing special effects that brought the world of Arrakis to life on the screen. And if you enjoy CGI effects and great special effects, then "Dune" doesn't disappoint.

In terms of casted performers, then the majority of the cast were actually nicely cast for the various roles and characters. Now, I am not familiar with Timothée Chalamet (playing Paul Atreides), but he was no Kyle MacLachlan (playing the same character in the 1984 movie). This 2021 version of "Dune" also have the likes of Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin and Stellan Skarsgård on the cast list. I was really impressed with Stellan Skarsgård in the movie.

And while "Dune" is watchable and entertaining, I must admit that I was left with a sense of 'was this really a necessary remake?' once the movie ended. And then my thoughts went on to "will it be remade again in 40 years, with whatever technology is available then?'. So there was that whole whether this remake was a necessary thing or not looming over it.

And I also feel that the character gallery was a bit underdeveloped, as I felt most of the characters were only given superficial characteristics and personalities, never letting the audience really get to know the characters backgrounds, motivations and such. It just felt a bit too shallow in terms of character development and growth.

If you have the chance to watch "Dune", then do so. By all means do so, because it is an entertaining movie.

My rating of "Dune" lands on a six out of ten stars, like the 1984 movie. Sure, this 2021 movie was more pleasing to look at, but of course almost 40 years have done lots to the development of CGI in the movie business. But the 2021 version is held back by an inferior character gallery and that overwhelming sense of this being essentially just a massive waste of money and effort in terms of remaking something that didn't really need to be remade.

Chapelwaite
(2021)

Phenomenal show...
When I stumbled upon the 2021 TV series "Chapelwaite", I must admit that I was immediately interested in watching it. Why? Well, I read that it was based on Stephen King's "Jerusalem's Lot" and also it had Adrien Brody on the cast list.

I have to admit that I had actually not heard about the show prior to getting to sitting down to watch it. But let me just be the first to say that I am very happy that I did sit down to watch it, because "Chapelwaite" turned out to be really enjoyable and entertaining.

The storyline is certainly based on Stephen King's "Jerusalem's Lot", but at the same time creators Jason Filardi and Peter Filardi managed to make "Chapelwaite" so much more. If you think "Jerusalem's Lot" and add a good sense of gothic atmosphere and Lovecraftian influence, then you have the end result that is "Chapelwaite", and believe me, it works. The storyline is well-written and just as nicely brought to life on the screen.

"Chapelwaite" has a great ensemble of characters that are portrayed well nicely by a good group of actors and actresses. And the fact that there is paid a good amount of detail and attention ot the backstories and motivation of the characters really adds to the overall feel of "Chapelwaite".

It should be said that Adrien Brody is phenomenally cast for the role of Captain Charles Boone, and he is joined by the likes of Jennifer Ens, Ian Ho, Sirena Gulamgaus, Emily Hampshire, Gord Rand Hugh Thompson, Julian Richings and Steven McCarthy. But lo and behold actor Christopher Heyerdahl playing the role of Jakub. Wow, talk about an impressive character and an equally impressive performance of said character.

Visually then "Chapelwaite" is rather impressive. The atmosphere throughout the entire series is just spot on, and definitely adds a great element to the presentation of the show. And the appearance of the vampires is just fantastic and definitely is in tune with "Jerusalem's Lot".

If you enjoyed "Jerusalem's Lot" and maybe have an interest in Lovecraftian things, then you should definitely check out "Chapelwaite".

My rating of "Chapelwaite" lands on a well-deserved nine out of ten stars.

Yakuza Princess
(2021)

Fairly bland action thriller...
"Yakuza Princess" from writers Kimi Lee, Tubaldini Shelling, Fernando Toste and Vicente Amorim was somewhat of a very mixed bag of nuts. And by that I mean that some parts of the storyline were rather interesting, while others were hardly that great. But ultimately, the movie was weighed down by some rather monotonous pacing of the narrative.

Now, the storyline told in "Yakuza Princess" had some interesting enough aspects to it, but it wasn't a great movie experience from beginning to end. So it was somewhat of an ordeal to sit through the movie in its entire length and actually not starting to have one's interest in the storyline start to falter.

There were some nice action scenes and sword fighting scenes that actually made the movie bearable to sit through. But the performance of Masumi was the icing on the cake, because she was really well cast for the role of Akemi in "Yakuza Princess", and she carried the movie almost single-handedly. The movie also has a nice performance by Tsuyoshi Ihara, Eijiro Ozaki and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

"Yakuza Princess" is certainly a watchable movie, but it was a rather tedious one at the same time. And that ultimately leads to my mediocre five out of ten star rating. There are far better movies of a similar nature out there, so "Yakuza Princess" sort of just came and went without much of any ruckus.

Zone 414
(2021)

A somewhat bland sci-fi thriller...
I sat down to watch the 2021 sci-fi thriller "Zone 414" from writer Bryan Edward Hill and director Andrew Baird. I must say that I took an interest to the movie when I stumbled upon it, as the synopsis sounded interesting enough, and also because the movie has Guy Pearce on the cast list.

However, I should say that I hadn't heard anything about the movie prior to watching it, nor did I even know about it existing. So I wasn't sure what I was in for, nor did I have any expectations to the movie. So I entered the movie with an open mind and a clean slate.

And sure, aspects of "Zone 414" definitely were interesting, but the writing was just inadequate. "Zone 414" just felt like a knock off of the "Bladerunner" movie in many aspects, but at the same time managing to be original enough in its own way. However, for a futuristic thriller, then "Zone 414" just was lacking certain important elements to the storyline and to the overall feel of the movie.

The pacing of the storyline was a bit mundane and somewhat of a struggle to sit through, as there were severe slumps of period of nothing much interesting happening in the plot, and that definitely challenged my attention span of the movie. And the overall lack of futuristic environment and atmosphere, just took away so much from the movie, that was somewhat hard to buy into this being a futuristic movie with androids.

Guy Pearce was definitely nicely cast for "Zone 414" and carried the movie quite well with his performance. I am not overly much a fan of Travis Frimmel, but the way they made him look in the movie with the prosthetics and make-up was certainly interesting, and his performance was adequate, but somewhat diminished next to Guy Pearce's performance.

While "Zone 414" was watchable, it just wasn't an outstanding movie. Nor was it a particularly memorable foray into the sci-fi thriller genre. But if you enjoyed something like "Bladerunner", then chances are you will find something appealing about "Zone 414".

I found the movie to be rather bland, truth be told, and as such, my rating of "Zone 414" lands on a mediocre five out of ten stars.

Copshop
(2021)

Phenomenal action crime thriller...
I have to say that I was more than genuinely and thoroughly entertained by this 2021 action crime thriller from director Joe Carnahan. And if you enjoy that particular genre of movies, then "Copshop" is most certainly well-worth the time and effort.

The storyline, as written by Kurt McLeod, Joe Carnahan and Mark Williams, was a genuinely entertaining and well-written one with a great plot. And it had that good old classic feel to it, so the writers definitely hit the nail right on the head here. "Copshop" was enjoyable from beginning to end.

There is an abundance of great action to the movie, just as there was a great amount of narrative storytelling and character development to the movie, so there is something for just about everyone here. Again, a testimony to the great writing done for the storyline.

And it should be said that "Copshop" wouldn't have worked as nicely as it did without the stellar cast ensemble that were a part of the movie. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Gerard Butler in the movie, and it was so refreshing to see him out of the usual heroic character parts that he usually takes on. And it should be noted that he made an excellent bad guy in this movie. But Gerard Butler didn't carry the movie alone, no, he had Frank Grillo starring alongside him, and he was also putting on a fantastic performance in "Copshop". I am not particularly familiar with actress Alexis Louder, but she really put on a great performance alongside the likes of heavyweighters Grillo and Butler. But then there was Toby Huss, wow! Talk about a greatly cast actor whom totally stole the light. He was beyond phenomenal in "Copshop", and it was such a blast to see him in that particular role.

"Copshop" is a good old fashioned action crime thriller that is topped off with an abundance of action. So strap yourself in for 1 hour and 47 minutes of great entertainment.

Hands down, this movie was really an amazing surprise for me, as I hadn't expected it to be as intense as it was, nor were I expecting an action crime thriller to be so encompassing in terms of script and character gallery. So thumbs up here, way, way up.

My rating of "Copshop" lands on a very well-deserved eight out of ten stars. If you have the chance to sit down and watch "Copshop", you most certainly should do so.

Halloween Kills
(2021)

Sure, why not?...
First of all, I must admit that I have never really been much of a friend of the "Halloween" franchise, though I have seen all the movies. Might seem odd, right? Well, you're right. Sure, I've seen all the movies as I do enjoy horror movies and slasher movies, but I've just never warmed as much up to "Halloween" as I did for franchises like "Friday the 13th" and "A Nightmare On Elm Street".

So when this 2021 addition to the "Halloween" franchise was announced, I wasn't just exactly thrilled. But as I had the opportunity to watch it, of course I did sit down to do so.

And sure, "Halloween Kills" is a watchable movie, and it certainly is among the better of the "Halloween" franchise since the original movie. But I have to say, though, that this wasn't a milestone in horror cinema by any account.

The storyline told in "Halloween Kills" is adequate, although I found a bit unnecessary. But it made for adequate entertainment, given the sheer brutality of the murders committed by Michael Myers. And yeah, there were some pretty cool-looking kills in the movie, I will say that much. And those alone actually make the movie well worth watching.

Sure, I was thrilled to have Jamie Lee Curtis return to the movie - yet again - but she didn't really play that much of a big role throughout the movie, so it was somewhat disappointing. But of course it was nice to see her in the movie, and she did add a good element to the movie. Judy Greer actually put on a good performance in the movie.

Visually then "Halloween Kills" is top notch. It is a dark and gritty movie, and they definitely upped the game in terms of visceral kills that puts you right in the slaughtering gore.

"Halloween Kills" is a watchable and entertaining enough movie if you enjoy slasher movies, and it will definitely bring enjoyment to the fans of the franchise, of that I am quite sure.

My rating of "Halloween Kills" lands on a six out of ten stars.

Lina de Lima
(2019)

Enjoyable, though somewhat quirky movie...
Right, well I stumbled upon the 2019 movie "Lina de Lima" (aka "Lina from Lima") by random chance here in 2021. I had not heard about the movie, but I saw that it was labelled as a drama comedy, and so I opted to give it a view.

And I am glad that I did, because writer and director María Paz González actually managed to churn out something rather interesting and extraordinary here with "Lina de Lima". I find it somewhat hard to really slap a label on "Lina de Lima", because it is a movie that spans different genres without favorably settling into a single genre. So this was definitely something unique and different.

The storyline told in "Lina de Lima" was pretty straight forward. But it was this simplicity to the storyline and plot that was the essence of the movie and the beauty of the movie. It was so well-written by María Paz González and equally so brought to fruition on the screen.

Now, I was not at all familiar with lead actress Magaly Solier, but wow, she have an impressive talent. She really carried the movie phenomenally well with her performance, and actually single-handedly carried this movie across the finish line. Both her performances in the movie as well as the musical segments were truly spot on and filled with emotion. I was more than genuinely surprised with her performance, and this is definitely an actress who I want to get to see more of her movies.

"Lina de Lima" is not, however, a movie that will be equally appealing to just any one in the audience, as this was somewhat of an acquired taste, given the way the movie was written and filmed. Plus, the storyline might not be entertaining to all people in the audience. I gave "Lina de Lima" a chance, and glad I did so, because I certainly enjoyed this movie.

While "Lina de Lima" is a watchable and entertaining movie, this is not really a movie that bolsters enough contents to its storyline and plot to support more than a single viewing. Once you've seen it, the story just doesn't really have any more to offer, no hidden facets to the storyline here.

My rating of "Lina de Lima" lands on a well-deserved six out of ten stars.

Breakdown
(1997)

Top notch timeless thriller...
I remember watching "Breakdown" back in 1997 and found it to be a good movie. Then I happened to stumble upon the movie again in 2021, and I opted to sit down and revisit the movie. Hopefully the movie was as good as I remembered it to be.

And yeah, it was exactly as good as I remembered it to be. Writers Jonathan Mostow and Sam Montgomery definitely wrote an entertaining and thrilling script and storyline for "Breakdown", and it is a storyline that is every bit as watchable and entertaining now as it was back in 1997.

"Breakdown" is a great thriller, you know, of the good old kind like they used to make them back in the day. And director Jonathan Mostow definitely managed to concoct a thriller that has withstood the test of time marvelously. The setup of the story was nicely constructed, and director Jonathan Mostow gradually adds to the excitement as the movie progresses. And believe you me, there wasn't actually a single dull moment throughout the course of "Breakdown".

What really works for me about "Breakdown" is how realistic the whole script seems to be, and the way that the story is told and presented. It is a horrible nightmare if that would happen, and that realistic feel the movie has definitely helps to make the movie all the more thrilling.

Now, "Breakdown" has a good cast. And I must say that actor Kurt Russell really did shine in "Breakdown", because he carried the movie phenomenally with his performance, and he was so well-cast for that particular role. The movie also included a spot of and genuinely disturbing performance from J. T. Walsh, whom was every bit as good and well-cast as Kurt Russell was. The movie also have some great performances by Jack Noseworthy, M. C. Gainey and Kathleen Quinlan.

If you haven't already seen "Breakdown" before, and if you have the chance to do so, you just have to watch it. This is definitely a thriller that I can warmly recommend.

My rating of of "Breakdown" lands on a well-deserved eight out of ten stars.

Diavlo
(2021)

Too slow paced and uneventful...
Just because a movie has an interesting title doesn't mean that the movie itself will be interesting. And that was the case with the 2021 horror movie "Diavlo" (aka "The Devil's Child").

I was fortunate enough to stumble upon this horror movie from writer and director David Bohorquez by random luck, and with it being a new horror movie that I hadn't already seen, of course I opted to take the time to sit down and watch it, even without knowing what the movie was about.

And while I managed to endure the entire ordeal to the end, then "Diavlo" just offered very little entertainment to me, and it was very difficult to get submerged into the rather mundane and boring storyline as it was just so unfathomably slow paced. Actually, the storyline was lacking interesting elements to it, so it was a struggle to get through this 2021 horror movie.

Visually then there were definitely some interesting aspects to "Diavlo", but it wasn't never anything that managed to more than just poke at the embers. A shame really, because the movie would have benefitted tremendously if it had more contents visually and story-wise.

The acting in "Diavlo" were adequate, but the actors and actresses were rather hindered by an inferior script and a bland character gallery. So they were fighting a somewhat uphill battle.

For a horror movie then "Diavlo" was just not outstanding or memorable, and it was a movie that came and went without as much as a groan or a bite. And this movie will slowly fade into the mists of oblivion and never come back out for a second viewing.

My rating of "Diavlo" lands on a generous three out of ten stars.

Zola
(2020)

That's a massive pass from me...
Well, this 2020 movie from writers Janicza Bravo, Jeremy O. Harris, Andrew Neel and Mike Roberts was listed as a comedy crime drama, and given the movie's synopsis, then I believed that this could actually be a fun watch. So I sat down to watch director Janicza Bravo's movie.

And boy was I in for a surprise. This movie was definitely not a comedy. In fact, I found the storyline really appalling and uncomfortable to sit through. I am not a person that condones prostitution or women being forced to provide services of a lewd nature against their will, and that was exactly was this movie was about. So thank you very much, but that's going to be a long, hard no thank you from me.

The acting performances in the movie were adequate, but it was definitely strange to see Colman Domingo in a movie such as "Zola". I am sure that the actors and actresses put on their best performances, but given the nature of the storyline and concept of "Zola", then it was just an uncomfortable watch.

This movie was definitely not what I was expecting, and it is certainly not a movie that I would recommend to anyone. And I wouldn't exactly classify "Zola" as being adequate entertainment. And if this really is based on some contents from Twitter, I have to shake my head in disbelief. And why would it even make the transition from a questionable social network to the big screen? Is this really the kind of image we want to portray and send to the easily influenced youth?

The language used in the movie grew very tiring listening to awfully fast. Lots of foul language and women using demeaning slurs when addressing one another.

My rating of this oddity of a movie lands on a more than generous two out of ten stars, based solely on the acting performances, because the storyline is abhorring.

Shit & Champagne
(2020)

This was definitely something else...
Well, with a title such as "Shit and Champagne", I figured that I would be for something out of the ordinary. And as the movie was labelled a comedy, I figured chances were that it might turn out to be a great movie. Sure, I hadn't heard about writer and director D'Arcy Drollinger's 2020 movie before now as I sat down to watch it, so I wasn't sure what I was in for here.

And I will say that "Shit and Champagne" definitely was something else. However, the movie is somewhat of an acquired taste, and it is not a movie that will easily find an appeal to just everyone in the audience. While I managed to sit through the entire movie, I was less than adequately entertained, as most of the comedy elements in "Shit and Champagne" fell short of hitting the mark, at least in terms of aligning with my sense of humor.

"Shit and Champagne" is a laid back and not-taking-itself-too-serious type of movie, and that was the movie's strong side, because the storyline and script was just not something that turned out all that entertaining for me.

The acting in "Shit and Champagne" was adequate, but I suppose that is how it was supposed to be, over the top and extraordinary, just as those drag queen shows tend to be. But maybe that is just exactly why the movie fell short of entertaining me in a memorable way, as I am not really much of an appreciative fan of that particular scene.

The comedy in the movie mostly fell on dry spots in terms of providing me with a good laugh, so most of the comedy in "Shit and Champagne" just was a swing and a miss for my liking.

Sure, there is an audience out there for a movie such as "Shit and Champagne", of that I am more than sure. I just wasn't in the target audience.

My rating of "Shit and Champagne" lands on a generous four out of ten stars.

One More Flip
(2021)

Nope...
I sat down to watch "One More Flip" from writers Stan Bridges and Ronnie Kirk without knowing anything about the movie. I hadn't even heard about it prior to sitting down to watch it. So I wasn't sure what I was getting into here.

And let me just be the first to say that I was definitely not the target audience for this 2021 drama titled "One More Flip". Director Jeffrey T. Brown delivered a movie that fell completely short of having any appeal to me.

The storyline told in "One More Flip" was insanely generic, and it was just downright painting stereotypical pictures of the characters in the movie and the environment that they navigated in. So it was very difficult for me to submerge myself into the movie's storyline and plot, much less take the narrative serious. I mean, this movie was about as generic as they come.

The acting performances in the movie were bland. Now, I am not saying that the actors or actresses put on bad or poor performances, but the character gallery and dialogue they had to work with was just rubbish. So they essentially had a little foundation to build anything from.

The pacing of the narrative and story was just slow, so mind-numbingly slow and uneventful. And that was one of the reasons why it was so difficult to sit through the movie. Well, that and the fact that everything in the movie seemed to be a stereotypic cliché.

While I am sure that there certainly is an audience out there for a movie such as "One More Flip", then this is not a movie that I would recommend you waste your time, money or effort on.

My rating of "One More Flip" lands on a two out of ten stars.

The Ghosts of Borley Rectory
(2021)

Ghost movie without much of any fright or spooks...
When I got the chance to sit down and watch "The Ghosts of Borley Rectory" I did so immediately. Why? Well, first of all, the movie has Julian Sands on the cast list, and also it being a horror movie that I hadn't already seen.

However, I only knew about "The Ghosts of Borley Rectory" because I had seen it on Julian Sands IMDb list, but aside from that, then I had heard nothing about this movie. So I wasn't really sure what I was in for here, nor really knowing anything about it, aside from it being a horror movie.

Well, "The Ghosts of Borley Rectory" wasn't really all that great of a movie. And even for a horror movie then its plot and storyline was fairly bland, if not actually downright generic. This was essentially just a run-of-the-mill haunted house movie, and not a particularly great one at that.

There was nothing scary to be seen in "The Ghosts of Borley Rectory", unless you are a rookie and a newcomer to the horror genre. For a seasoned veteran such as myself then "The Ghosts of Borley Rectory", as written by Christopher Jolley and Steven M. Smith, was a mere stroll in the park.

Visually then "The Ghosts of Borley Rectory" wasn't particularly thrilling or great. There were a few special effects here and there, but they weren't on any noteworthy level, and came off merely as being watchable. So don't sit down to watch this movie with the intentions of seeing something amazing or super scary.

Director Steven M. Smith didn't really revolutionize the horror genre here with "The Ghosts of Borley Rectory", nor did he bring anything new or interesting to the haunted house subgenre.

The acting performances in "The Ghosts of Borley Rectory" were bland. There wasn't any particular great performances here, and even Julian Sands seemed to run on auto-pilot, and he wasn't given all that much screen time anyway.

"The Ghosts of Borley Rectory" was not a horror movie that left me with any great impression, and it is one that will slowly fade into the mists of oblivion and I will never take another gander at it. Yeah, it was just that bland and mundane.

My rating of "The Ghosts of Borley Rectory" lands on a generous three out of ten stars.

Night Shift
(1982)

Had potential for something greater...
I had the opportunity to sit down and watch the 1982 comedy "Night Shift" here in 2021. And oddly enough, then I had never actually heard about the movie prior to now, as I sat down to watch it.

I will say that I was expecting something from director Ron Howard with this comedy, as it had some pretty good names on the cast list. But sadly so, then writers Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel just managed to churn out a mediocre script for the movie.

The storyline told in "Night Shift" was pretty straight forward, I will give it that much, but the contents to the storyline were just a bit shallow and felt somewhat rushed. I feel that the movie wasn't given the time and effort that was needed to make it a wholehearted movie experience. And while it was certainly watchable, it just wasn't particularly outstanding or memorable.

With names like Henry Winkler, Michael Keaton and Shelley Long on the cast list, you definitely had a strong and solid ensemble of performers for a 1982 movie. And there is no doubt about the fact that Michael Keaton really carried the movie with his wacky character and energetic performance.

I sat through the entire movie, but I wasn't particularly entertained, and this is certainly not a movie that I will be returning to watch a second time.

My rating of "Night Shift" lands on a mediocre five out of ten stars.

Apache Junction
(2021)

Somewhat slow paced and uneventful...
Western movies have never really been my go-to type of movies, although every now and again I will sit down to watch one. And as I had the opportunity to sit down and watch Justin Lee's 2021 Western titled "Apache Junction", I did so, mostly because I saw that the movie had Thomas Jane on the cast list.

I will say that the storyline told in "Apache Junction" is pretty straight forward and easy to follow. However, it was so simplistic that it was sort of bordering on being a bit boring actually. Nothing much really happened throughout the course of the movie, so it was somewhat of an ordeal to sit through "Apache Junction" in all its entire run time.

The atmosphere in "Apache Junction" was good, and it definitely felt like you were there in a gritty frontier town back in day. And that particular atmosphere was adding a lot to the movie. Just a shame that the storyline itself was so mundane and rather uneventful.

Of all the actors and actresses on the cast list in "Apache Junction" then I was only familiar with Thomas Jane and Stuart Townsend. However, I will say that they definitely had put together a nice group of actors and actresses to portray the characters in the movie, and the performers did good jobs. Just a shame that they were somewhat hindered by an inferior script.

"Apache Junction" doesn't really have that archetypical Western feel to it, which was a shame, because it could have brightened up the movie in a much needed way.

While "Apache Junction" is watchable, it was hardly an outstanding Western movie, nor a particularly memorable one. And I actually doubt that I will ever return to watch "Apache Junction" a second time.

My rating of "Apache Junction" lands on a generous four out of ten stars.

Jolt
(2021)

Quite entertaining...
Well, this was actually a nice surprise of a movie.

When I sat down to watch the 2021 Amazon original movie titled "Jolt", I wasn't really sure what I was getting myself into. I hadn't heard about the movie prior to sitting down to watch it. But with it being a movie that I hadn't already seen, and it having Kate Beckinsale on the cast list, of course I had to watch it.

As it turned out then writer Scott Wascha actually managed to put together a wholesome storyline and plot that made for an entertaining movie. Sort of if you think "Crank 2" but with a twist, then you have "Jolt".

I was genuinely entertained by what director Tanya Wexler managed to do with Scott Wascha's script. The movie was fast paced, had an interesting concept and interesting characters, and it was actually good old fun from start to end.

It was nice to see Kate Beckinsale in a role as she played in "Jolt", and she was nicely cast for the movie. But the movie also have some interesting casted performers, such as Stanley Tucci, Bobby Cannavale, Susan Sarandon and David Bradley on the cast list.

If you enjoy a fast paced action thriller, where you just lean back, munch on the snacks while enjoying a fast paced ride, then "Jolt" is definitely a movie well-worth watching.

My rating of "Jolt" lands on a six out of ten stars.

Killer in Law
(2018)

A bland attempt at a thriller...
When I sat down to watch this 2018 thriller titled "Killer in Law", I must admit that I wasn't really harboring much of any great expectations. Why? Well, given the movie's synopsis, then it just sounded like yet another run of the mill made for TV thrillers.

But still, I opted to sit down and watch director Danny J. Boyle's 2018 thriller.

And while "Killer in Law" is watchable, it just happened that writers Nick Barzini and Danny J. Boyle managed to fall in to a very generic runt of writing, so "Killer in Law" turned out to be exactly what I had believed it to be; a run-of-the-mill-and-a-dime-a-dozen type of thriller. So yeah, don't expect to be in for a grand thriller experience here, as it was pretty straight forward and generic.

The acting performances in "Killer in Law" were adequate, though it was clear to see that the script, dialogue and character gallery was holding the actresses and actors back somewhat.

"Killer in Law" is the type of thriller where you know the outcome of the movie from the very beginning, and director Danny J. Boyle does not throw you any curve balls along the way, nor does he deviate from the very structured narrative. And that made for a somewhat bland and generic thriller.

My rating of "Killer in Law" lands on a bland and less than mediocre four out of ten stars. If you enjoy thrillers, then there are far better options readily available out there.

Kate
(2021)

Now this was rather entertaining...
When I sat down to watch the 2021 action crime movie titled "Kate" from writer Umair Aleem and director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, I must admit that I had been told that the movie wasn't all that great. But still, I opted to sit down to watch it and rate the movie based on my own impressions of what I saw.

And let me say that I am glad that I did, because "Kate" turned out to be a rather entertaining movie for me. There was just something dynamic about the storyline that worked out quite well, and I will say that there wasn't a dull moment throughout the course of the movie.

The story told in "Kate", as written by Umair Aleem, was well-written and nicely paced. It was a storyline that was easy to follow and actually takes you on an adrenaline-filled thrill ride. So the writer managed to put together a very wholesome and entertaining storyline here.

I was immediately submerged and drawn into the setting and the plot of "Kate", so the movie turned out to be rather enjoyable for me.

Visually then "Kate" is a great movie, especially with the setting of the whole thing. And the whole chase and shootout scene in the back alleys was just amazing, it was like watching an intense shooter game.

"Kate" has a great cast ensemble that includes the likes of Mary Elizabeth Winstead (playing Kate), Miku Patricia Martineau (playing Ani), Woody Harrelson (playing Varrick) and Jun Kunimura (playing Kijima). So you are in for a great treat in terms of cast. And the actors and actresses definitely performed well in the movie and brought their characters to life on the screen in a fulfilling manner.

I was more than genuinely entertained by "Kate", and it feels like a good old fashioned action crime movie, one that you can watch more than just once.

My rating of "Kate" lands on a seven out of ten stars.

Karen
(2021)

A somewhat tacky and predictable movie...
Well, while the core essence of this 2021 movie titled "Karen" is one that is fueled and spawned by elements of todays society, and by things that unfortunately do take place, then the movie - as written and directed by Coke Daniels - feels a bit tacky.

Now, I am not saying that the storyline here is irrelevant or anything, but after having sat through the entire movie, I must admit that I feel that I have been left with a somewhat foul taste in my mouth, as this movie does paint some pretty archetypical stereotypes on the screen, and it goes for both sides of the story here.

From an entertainment point of view then "Karen" was a less than mediocre movie, as the storyline and plot was as predictable and generic as they come. So there isn't much of any surprises or ups and downs to be had as you sit through a rather linear and monotonous storyline. Sure, the storyline does have social issues that it tries to portray, but is it necessary to make a movie about something you can just as easily see every day by just turning on the news?

The acting performances in "Karen" were good, and lead performers Taryn Manning (playing Karen), Cory Hardrict (playing Malik) and Jasmine Burke (playing Imani) definitely carry the movie quite well with their performances throughout the course of the movie.

I am rating "Karen" a less than mediocre four out of ten stars. Sure, the movie is watchable, but it just feels like a movie that is cashing in on something that the media is already doing a job of portraying every day.

Prisoners of the Ghostland
(2021)

This was pretty far out there...
Sure, the poster/cover for "Prisoners of the Ghostland" definitely looks really interesting, I will say that much. And yeah, I opted to sit down and watch this 2021 movie given the fact that it was a new movie that I hadn't already seen, and also because it has Bill Moseley on the cast list.

Well, "Prisoners of the Ghostland" is a strange movie, even for a Nicolas Cage movie. Even by his standards, then this movie is out there, way, way out there. From the whacked out storyline to the insanely bizarre imagery, props, costumes and sets.

I found the storyline in "Prisoners of the Ghostland", as written by Aaron Hendry and Reza Sixo Safai, to be very odd and bizarre. It was so far out there that the movie suffered from it, as it grew annoyingly and frustratingly tough to sit through, as most of the things made little to no sense, or was just so wacky that you just don't get it.

The acting in the movie was as to be expected. I wish that Bill Moseley would have been given more on-screen time, because he was - hands down - the best thing about the movie. Sure, it was nice to see Sofia Boutella on the screen, but she seemed to be running on auto-pilot. And this was, for better or worse, just another notch in the strange movie career of Nicolas Cage.

The characters and the dialogue throughout the course of "Prisoners of the Ghostland" was pretty bad, and that reflected rather poorly on the overall movie.

I am sure that there is an audience out there for director Sion Sono's movie "Prisoners of the Ghostland". But as it happened to be, then I wasn't the target audience. And I can't claim to have found much enjoyment or entertainment in this particular movie.

My rating of "Prisoners of the Ghostland" lands on a generous two out of ten stars.

Muppets Haunted Mansion
(2021)

Great family Halloween fun...
I haven't seen anything with the Muppets in ages, so when I stumbled upon this 2021 TV special titled "Muppets Haunted Mansion", I just had to sit down and watch it. Especially given the title and the theme of the special.

Yeah Disney definitely delivered a wholesome Muppets movie for the entire family here. As if there ever was any doubt about it. I mean, this being a Disney production and being The Muppets. So that was a win-win right there.

The storyline told in "Muppets Haunted Mansion" was enjoyable, and it was a story that offered something to both me and my son, so there is something for all ages here, both kids and adults alike. And I will say that "Muppets Haunted Mansion" makes for a great family movie suitable for viewing around the time of Halloween.

Visually then "Muppets Haunted Mansion" is great. Lots of nice details and even have some funny nods to other scary movies throughout the course of the story.

The setting of "Muppets Haunted Mansion" was great, as was the props and scenes. Lots of great details and nice touches to be found and see, especially if you are a fan of the Muppets.

The voice acting was good, as it usually is with these types of productions. And they also had a good ensemble of actual actors and actresses live in the movie - no pun intended.

My rating of "Muppets Haunted Mansion" lands on a well-deserved six out of ten stars.

Monkie Kid: A Hero Is Born
(2020)

Hyper fast paced LEGO action...
Well, I am familiar with the classic tale of the Monkey King according to Chinese folktales, so of course I sat down with my son to watch this 2020 LEGO take on the legend. And with it being a LEGO movie, I must admit that I didn't even doubt that we would be in for a dud.

And "Monkie Kid: A Hero Is Born" is entertaining, it sure is. And it was really refreshing to see a LEGO animated movie in an actual drawn style presentation, and not just being another CGI animated movie. So that was rather uplifting to see.

The storyline told here is easy to follow and it offers contents that is entertaining for children and adults alike. Of course, with it being LEGO, this is mostly aimed at a younger audience. But I was every bit as entertained as my son was.

The animation and art style used in "Monkie Kid: A Hero Is Born" is good. Lots of great things taking place on the screen. And the art style was great. It had that classic LEGO thing going on, while also keeping the art style that is seen in the LEGO magazines from the LEGO fan club that my son receives. So that was definitely good.

I will say, though, that this animated movie is fast paced. Very fast paced. There is not a single slow moment throughout the course of the movie, so it is a tongue-in-cheek experience here as you sit back and go on a hyperspeed roller coaster trip in the LEGO universe.

The voice acting in "Monkie Kid: A Hero Is Born" was good. And with it being an animated movie, of course having a proper voice cast ensemble is crucial. I wasn't familiar with anyone here, aside from Gwendoline Yeo, but I didn't recognize her voice, just her name.

All in all, then "Monkie Kid: A Hero Is Born" is entertaining and enjoyable.

My rating of "Monkie Kid: A Hero Is Born" lands on a six out of ten stars.

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