Tuesday, November 17, 2020

'Jiu Jitsu' (2020) Movie Review

nicolas cage in jiu jitsu
A movie starring Nicolas Cage, Alain Moussi, Tony Jaa, Frank Grillo, JuJu Chan, Marie Avgeropoulos, and Rick Yune, about a group of elite fighters who must use martial arts to defeat an alien invader, directed by one of the masterminds behind the recent Kickboxer films. That’s probably enough information for viewers to decide whether or not to see Jiu Jitsu, a film that delivers precisely what one might expect, waffling between awful and awesome.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

'Freaky' (2020) Movie Review


For his last two movies, Happy Death Day and Happy Death Day 2U, director Christopher Landon took a Groundhog-Day-but-horror approach. With his latest, Freaky, he uses the well-worn Freaky Friday body swap conceit but gives it a slasher spin. Instead of a mother and daughter changing places, a teen girl and vicious serial killer flip flop bodies and lives. While the resulting film isn’t always 100% successful—the plot is easily predictable and once the concept becomes apparent early on and  contains zero surprises—it’s an effective, screwdriver-stabbing, corpse-sawing good time.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

'The Dark And The Wicked' (2020) Movie Review


A remote, isolated farm; a dying family patriarch; estranged adult children; a mentally unravelling mother; wolves. The Dark and the Wicked, the new movie from The Strangers director Bryan Bertino, is just one horror story red flag after another. Leaning hard on mood and atmosphere, the result is a creepy, visceral horror tale that sticks around in a deep, hidden place.

'Koko-Di Koko-Da' (2018) Movie Review


This is an updated version of an earlier review.

We’ve seen the Groundhog-Day-as-horror conceit before, most recently with the Happy Death Day movies. But in Swedish oddity Koko-di Koko-da, writer/director Johannes Nyholm takes the concept to straight-up psychological nightmare territory. (This is also one of two films at the North Bend Film Festival to use this approach.) Twisted and terrifying, it offers a time-loop of grief, death, and adorable animated shadow puppet bunnies and birds, which he also manages to turn scary and unnerving as all hell.