Welcome Exiles to this week’s What’s On The Grill?, the weekly mini-review corner where we get to blast about whatever we’ve caught recently, feasted on with our eyes as some say.
This week on the grill: Last couple weeks I have discussed some of the best and worst of the year, so this week I will get caught up on what I have been watching the few weeks (which is a lot). Also I made a movie New Years resolution to watch more of the “classics”. Meaning films from the 60’s and earlier. I haven’t seen or wanted to see a lot from this time period but I’m trying to expand my horizons. Keep me honest Exiles! Enjoy!
“A story that chronicles a year in the life of a middle-class family’s maid in Mexico City in the early 1970s.”
3.75/5- Technically impressive and one of the best directed films of the year but nothing interesting in this whatsoever.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)
“Harry, Ron, and Hermione search for Voldemort’s remaining Horcruxes in their effort to destroy the Dark Lord as the final battle rages on at Hogwarts.”
3.25/5- The best of the bunch but that’s not saying much. Here are some of my random comments from my roast on the Everything and Nothing thread this weekend-
“I still don’t understand why anyone would be afraid of old Voldie.”
“Is that where he lost his nose?”
“Could they really not think of anything cooler than the wand to use? What about a magical cane? At least you could looking pretty pimpin walking around with a cane between duels.”
“Why do I have a Scooby doo vibe from this right now?”
“When does the fun arrive?”
“Little stick duel!!!”
“Haha one of the twins died.”
“That twist was interesting.”
“I dozed off.”
“Voldemort has to be one of the most overrated villains of all-time. Pansy.”
At Close Range (1986)
“In 1978 Pennsylvania, an absentee father is reacquainted with his estranged teenage sons who become intrigued with his romanticized life of crime.”
4/5- Sean Penn and Christopher Walken just kill it here. A story about misguided youth wrapped up in a bleak family mellow drama. A rough and engaging story from beginning to end. An 80’s all star cast of actors that peaked in the 80’s- Mary Stuart Masterson, Chris Penn, Crispin Glover, the Evil guy from Fright Night among others.
Goodnight Mommy (2014)
“Twin boys move to a new home with their mother after she has face changing cosmetic surgery, but under her bandages is someone the children don’t recognize.”
4/5- Slow and tension filled that is engaging with just the three main actors who do a fantastic job. Most of the time kids in movies (especially in horror) are simply obnoxious but these twins do a tremendous job of carrying the film. My biggest complaint is not the twist itself (you know one is coming so this isn’t a spoiler) but I believe it didn’t need one.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)
“Six tales of life and violence in the Old West, following a singing gunslinger, a bank robber, a traveling impresario, an elderly prospector, a wagon train, and a perverse pair of bounty hunters.”
3.75/5- Had this been the least bit interesting after the first segment, I would rank this as one of the best of the year. Cinematography and directing is of the charts with solid performances all around but it was just a bore for the majority of the film. The opening sequence is worth watching alone though.
“A frustrated, angst-ridden teenage girl awakens something in the woods when she naively performs an occult ritual to evoke a witch to kill her mother.”
3.25/5- Effective with solid atmosphere for it’s small budget. Decent enough performances but just didn’t grab me the way it could have.
Ghost Stories (2017)
“Skeptical professor Phillip Goodman embarks on a trip to the terrifying after finding a file with details of three unexplained cases of apparitions.”
3.25/5- I think I’m just not that big of a fan of anthology type films. There are some I enjoy but overall I’m just not all that entertained. This is no different. It has it’s moments with some solid acting but while scares are few and far between, the movie does have some style to it.
“Alice, an ambitious camgirl, wakes up one day to discover she’s been replaced on her show with an exact replica of herself.”
2.5/5- A much too long Black Mirror episode about identity theft. I really didn’t find anything substantial here but some might. Disgusting people doing disgusting things. It’s tough to care about the lead and what is happening to her. Nothing to attach to here.
“After a famous author is rescued from a car crash by a fan of his novels, he comes to realize that the care he is receiving is only the beginning of a nightmare of captivity and abuse.”
4.25/5- An all-time performance from Kathy Bates that is paired wonderfully with James Caan. Tense and unsettling with the right amount humor. It also has one of the most memorable and stomach turning scenes in movie history which you can read about here.
A Simple Favor (2018)
“Stephanie is a single mother with a parenting vlog who befriends Emily, a secretive upper-class woman who has a child at the same elementary school. When Emily goes missing, Stephanie takes it upon herself to investigate.”
2.5/5- This was cute for about 30 minutes with Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively playing polar opposites but soon became mind numbingly boring. There is something as too many twist and this is evidence of that with way too much exposition and flashbacks and more talking and more twist and so on and so on.
“After his 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a desperate father breaks into her laptop to look for clues to find her.”
4/5- Speaking of twist, this is how it is done. Hint here and there and then bring it home. John Cho carries this unique look into a parents worst fear. Simplistic and powerful. A must watch of 2018.
Mission: Impossible-Fallout (2018)
“Ethan Hunt and his IMF team, along with some familiar allies, race against time after a mission gone wrong.”
2.5/5- I no likey these films!
“When Eddie Brock acquires the powers of a symbiote, he will have to release his alter-ego “Venom” to save his life.”
3.75/5- I was thoroughly surprised by how much I enjoyed this. I wasn’t expecting much going in but this was an entertaining and fun ride. A different kid of buddy movie with some fun action scenes and left me wanting more.
“When strange events occur in a neighborhood in Buenos Aires, a doctor specializing in the paranormal, her colleague, and an ex police officer decide to investigate further.”
4/5-You know those action movies where when the action starts it’s a mile a minute to the end? Well that Terrified with it’s scares. It is a barrage of frightening sounds and imagery from beginning to end that is fitting of its title. A fun must see.
“An impressionable teenage girl from a dead-end town and her older greaser boyfriend embark on a killing spree in the South Dakota badlands.”
3.5/5- My first foray into the work of Terrence Malick which happens to be his debut. From a technical aspect I’m impressed but other than that this isn’t my cup of tea. Sissy Spacek and Martin Sheen play well with each other although I have never really cared for either.
Mean Streets (1973)
“A small-time hood aspires to work his way up the ranks of a local mob.”
3.25/5- I feel like I’m supposed to love this but I just don’t. I can definitely see the signs of what make Martin Scorsese one of the best directors ever but I just wanted all the characters to shoot each other halfway through the movie. Not one of my favorites from Scorsese.
The Apartment (1960)
“A man tries to rise in his company by letting its executives use his apartment for trysts, but complications and a romance of his own ensue.”
4.25/5- A rom-com that didn’t really make me laugh but had me engaged the whole time. I think this is the first Jack Lemmon film I have seen that didn’t involve grumpy old men but he and Shirley McLaine were fantastic together. It was quite shocking to see sex flaunted like this in a 1960 rom-com type film.
Bob’s Burgers- Season 1 and 2
I don’t know why I put off watching this for so long but it is a fun treat. It’s hilarious how H. Jon Benjamin’s voice works for this chubby and hairy loser and is perfect for the suave and handsome Archer. The kids are the best part of this as well.
That’s it for another What’s On The Grill?, folks!
Tell us about what YOU’VE been watching lately in the comments below! Any great shows that caught you off guard or movies that rocked your world?
Sound off in the comments!