Alien 3

While not the most notable or favorite when typically discussed in the Alien canon, Alien 3 is a strong entry within the collection nonetheless. Directed by David Fincher (House of Cards, Mindhunter), the film feels like it belongs with the rest of the films in the series but also has it’s own signature and style. The film has been around since 1992 so this review will contain some spoilers here and there so be forewarned if you haven’t seen it yet. Fortunately, HBO has the entire collection including the director’s cut of the first film which I highly recommend. There

Step To The Line

Step To The Line is a VR documentary produced in part by Defy Ventures which is an organization that helps prisoners rehabilitate through education and other programs. Presented through the virtual reality experience, the film has a whole different impact than watching it on a flat screen by comparison. What makes it different is that the prison experience seems more humanized when you’re standing in the middle of it. I felt claustrophobic during the scenes inside the prison cells as the project is shot in a maximum-security prison in California. I also felt sympathy for the prisoners as being placed

A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls is one of those films you might only need to see once, but it’s also a film that you should make sure you see at least once. The subject matter is difficult but the presentation of it is what makes it so compelling… The story focuses on a boy named Conor and his mother who is slowly dying from a terminal disease. One of the main points of the movie is how Conor is processing his mother’s passing and the both of them facing this harsh reality. That’s the hard part of watching this beautiful piece, but

I, Tonya

I was a senior in high school when Tonya Harding started gaining national attention so it was cool to see this story play out fully as I knew a good bit of detail here but there was a lot I didn’t realize. It’s funny how your attitude is shaped by your own projections based on what you think happened. But then, you get more information and things shift. My opinion about Tonya Harding is one of those things that shifted. In the past I felt resentment towards her, now I feel sympathy mixed in there a bit too… Granted, I

Kong: Skull Island

Some films are just made for the entertainment of it all. They don’t need an Oscar-worthy script or Meryl Streep doing something amazing; no, sometimes you just want a giant gorilla fighting other giant monsters and that’s enough. Such is the case with Kong: Skull Island. Not a big script here, scientists going to an uncharted island to discover ancient blah, blah, blah. They need mercenaries with big weapons because, you know, problems. Samuel L. Jackson is in here doing what Samuel L. Jackson does and what else do you need to know? One thing they don’t do is leave

John Wick: Chapter 2

John Wick Chapter 2 is pretty much the same as the first John Wick film. It’s Keanu Reeves killing his way through the “story” until the end of the movie. So basically this is violence porn. Now, I’m not really knocking the film or the action genre per-se but you just should know what you’re going to get when you sit down and bring this one up on HBO. So, the plot line goes like this – John Wick is supposedly retired, living the good life. That is until someone wants to hire him for his services but then when

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

I’m torn, on one hand, this franchise has been the most important to me overall. LOTR is right up there too, but this one started it; me wanting to be a filmmaker and showing what was possible beyond studios and red tape, and creating something that never existed. And now, since Disney, and since the director who shall not be named (his initials are JJ), got their hands on it, it’s stuck in a loop of not moving forward really, more just like being stuck on repeat. Bitch about Lucas all you want, the bottom line is the stories were

Warcraft: The Beginning

Based on the game by Blizzard, who also produced the film, Warcraft is definitely for players of the MMO or fans of the fantasy genre. If you’re someone who jumped on the Lord of the Rings bandwagon as a poser just because it was popular, you’re going to hate this film. If you fall into the former category, you’re probably going to dig it, I know I did but I was also an avid player of the game for a few years. Set in the world of Azeroth, the orc race find themselves in an exodus leaving their dying world

Get Out

Written and directed by Key & Peele’s Jordan Peele, you might be expecting Get Out to be comedic, don’t, it’s not. While Get Out has some levity here and there, it’s a straight up horror/thriller that has a subtle but obvious intensity to it. While the premise isn’t original, the way it’s executed and the interpretation of the concept is, which is one of the reasons you’ll want to check this movie out. I don’t want to go into any detail due to spoilers but suffice it to say that the characters are very well imagined and flushed out as

Justice League

An alien force invading the Earth, a cube like object that holds unimaginable power and acts as a portal to another dimension, a villain who serves a greater villain in the shadows and a team of heroes who has to get their shit together and bring down the bad guys. I’m describing The Avengers, right? Well, yes, but I’m also describing the Justice League storyline as well. Despite the film’s unoriginal approach, it’s still fun to watch. It’s not the best film in the DC universe, that title goes to Wonder Woman, but it’s not nearly as abysmal as Batman

Thor: Ragnarok

This is one of the best Marvel movies ever! Such a fun film! It was a blast to catch this one in the theater, I highly recommend it if you still have the opportunity… The story of this 3rd installment in the Thor series of Marvel films centers around Asgard and the legend of Ragnarok which represents a time of upheaval, change and ultimate destruction for the realm of the god of thunder. Delivering this chaos is Thor’s long lost sister Hela, the goddess of death after she is released from her imprisonment by their father Odin. Hela (played by

1922

Another Netflix original based on a Stephen King novella, 1922 is the first one that real nails both the quality of a King story with the quality of well produced delivery. Where Gerald’s Game fell a bit flat at times, 1922 kept me glued to the screen the whole time. One of the main reasons this film is so compelling is due to the powerhouse performance of Thomas Jane. Set in Nebraska farmland during the 20’s, the film presents a much different landscape authentically executed reminding us of a time before modern appliances, the internet, cars that had windows and

The Snowman

This one seemed to have all the right ingredients in place – Martin Scorsese as an executive producer, Michael Fassbender as the lead and some strong talent in support with J.K. Simmons and Chloe Sevigny as part of the lineup. Alas, even with the right ingredients, the dish you’re cooking may still get burnt. The Snowman follows anti-hero cop/investigator(?) Harry Hole (yes, his last name really is Hole) as he investigates a serial killer who leaves a snowman behind as his calling card. Besides the snowman image, there are also other patterns in the killer’s behavior and who he targets.

The Hateful Eight

The Hateful Eight is one of the wildest, weirdest westerns I’ve ever seen. It’s great by the way and Tarantino’s eighth film to boot. Centered around unsavory characters, the story to me seemed to be a story about karma or what-goes-around-comes-around, however you choose to phrase it. Regardless, each person in this fateful tale is revealed to be a pretty terrible person. The only exceptions are the side characters who are basically just victim fodder for the bad asses and all the main players here are bad asses. While the film is nearly 3 hours long, it’s not mired in

Gerald’s Game

Based on the Stephen King book Netflix delivers Gerald’s Game which is among the first of King’s books to get produced specifically for the streaming behemoth. Producing a King book can be quite an expensive endeavor considering the demands and ambitions of some of his stories. They were smart to pick this one as it takes place mainly in a bedroom and isn’t super heavy on effects like the giant failure that was The Dark Tower. The story centers around a couple who are trying to spice things up a bit in their life (and in the bedroom) so they

Blade Runner 2049

I read that Blade Runner 2049 wasn’t doing so hot on it’s opening weekend, that the numbers were far lower than expected. At the same time, I heard from early views that the film lived beyond expectations in terms of depth and quality. And then I heard that it was nearly 3 hours long and knew why the mixed reviews. The hardcore fans of the original (when it was a cult classic) were the people showing up in theaters, but it was too much for the casual movie-goer who maybe caught the first film on cable once. And then I

Assassin’s Creed

Produced by game company Ubisoft, the Assassin’s Creed film stays true to the storyline from the popular game series but with a character of its own rather than pulling right from the game. Ultimately it’s a version of the same thing but with new characters that parallel the originals. And because the film is true to the game, I would guess that’s why it didn’t do well theatrically, it’s a fan film. And for me, since I am a fan of the franchise, I thought it was great… The story follows Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) as he dives into the

Jerry Before Seinfeld

I don’t typically review standup specials unless there’s something unique about them. With that being said, I did want to throw a review of Jerry Before Seinfeld at you because it is of course, unique in addition to being entertaining and funny. What’s different about it is that the special isn’t just some stand up act that’s been recorded at a big theater or club, it’s more of a retrospective performance of Seinfeld’s history. That history is about what his career was like prior to the behemoth that became the Seinfeld TV show. This isn’t about TV, it’s about how

IT

Before you read my review please know that I did read the original Stephen King book and saw the first version with Tim Curry when it came out and that I’m high desensitized to horror these days. The only horror (besides the movie The Strangers) that genuinely scares me is through virtual reality. The IT VR promo on Littlstar and Jaunt is something not to be missed if you have access to virtual reality. But I digress… Every 27 years or so people in the small town of Derry, Maine, people start disappearing. The group hit hardest is children and

Jaco

As a bass player, I was influenced by players such as Geddy Lee from Rush, Iron Madien’s Steve Harris and Geezer Butler from Black Sabbath among others. But there’s one guy that established the benchmark for everyone; one who not only set the bar but raised it to a dizzying height, and that was Jaco Pastorius. Most likely you haven’t heard of Jaco as bass players are not usually the stand out rock stars of the group. But, if you ever heard of jazz legends Weather Report or you’re a fan of Joni Mitchell, you’ve heard some of Jaco’s work.