The Round-Up #3 (May 22)
The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe - The Unheard Tapes (2022)
Adds nothing to what everybody already knew and even less evidence of even that much. Waste of time, frankly. It's like watching an episode of ancient aliens on YouTube that's three years old and asking yourself that if it was as ground-breaking as the thumbnail would have you believe, wouldn't we know about it already?
Danger! Danger! aka Hunters (2021)
No budget adventure featuring the accidentally haphazard derring-do of Johnathan Danger. Also known as Hunters in the UK for some reason. Almost ironically poor, if we're being positive and none too harsh. This is mostly dreadful, with a thin plot of Danger man looking for a time machine before the Russians get their commie mitts on it. The acting is mostly average, but sinks regularly into awful with a terrible script, the continuity is non-existent and the lighting is notable by its apparent absence. Not worth your time, so feel free to let this one pass you by.
Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness (2022)
Somewhat ironically, there is a very high probability that in one of these alleged multiverses, there is a better version of this film. Some great performances here, as well as some welcome and not so welcome, rather more perplexing, cameos. All bells and whistles and its looks glorious, but Marvel have always been about length and not girth, so nothing new there. Cumberbatch can do no wrong in my lowly opinion, regardless of what is thrown at him and subsequently he has to be at his best here. Quite some way from what Marvel does best, but still, they are the best at what they do. Praise, albeit back-handed, I'll admit.
AKA A Righteous Man, a simple, polished mob bio-pic starring the erstwhile and impressive Harvey Keitel as Lansky, alleged mob Accountant and Sam Worthington as the writer of Lansky's story. Hints briefly at Once Upon A Time occasionally, with regular flashbacks which are some times brutal, but this doesn't enjoy the gravitas of many of its peers.
Meltdown: Three Mile Island (2022)
Big corporations do very bad things. This and many other exciting revelations from entertainment's very biggest corporation.
The Lost City (2022)
Mostly harmless jungle adventure with Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum. Bullock continues to remind me just how good she is in everything she turns up in and the same is true here. It's irreverent and funny often but will never test your resolve, patience or brain cells. It struck me that it takes quite the man to put Tatum to shame, but Brad Pitt does it here, without really even trying that hard.
Has the IP roundabout for this come around again already? What next, another Salem's Lot? If you've seen the first version of this from 1984 starring Drew Barrymore, then I don't know what to tell you, except here we go again. The original film didn't really do justice to the book and this goes no way to improving Stephen King's ratio of adaptation success stories. A point for the score and one for the effort, but if you miss it entirely, you're no worse off.
Everything, Everywhere, All At Once (2022)
Asian acid trip that went over my head. Nice acting, but its cluttered and messy with what seems like a mind of its own. I am definitely in the minority here but I didn't appreciate the multiverse anarchy in the least and bar the occasional scene, this was lost on me. Looking at all of the other reviews espousing wonderful, gushing praise and so often, I am left wondering if it's me that is looking at this the wrong way. It's fair to say it wore me out just watching it, but that was because I found it tiresome and not exciting. FYI, I had to watch it twice in two days just to be sure. I feel I should come back to this in a couple of years and see if it changes my mind. Budget Kick-Ass/Bill & Ted hybrid. Just plain odd.
Dark Cloud (2022)
I think it would be pertinent to point out at this stage that this is 'featuring Emily Atack' in it's loosest sense of the word. Adding 'the voice of' would have made this feel a whole lot more honest. Here Atack plays a new and exciting AI looking after a girl in a remote house after an accident and subsequent aggressive memory loss. Of course, this budget conscious effort turns a little awry when the AI in question becomes a little too 'clingy'. Not tech enough to impress and certainly not acted well enough to either. This isn't as compelling as Ex Machina and Atack is no Scarlett Johansson in Her, by a notable stretch. Feels like a crap Doctor Who episode, to be honest.
And You Call Yourself a Christian? (2022)
Honestly, the sound is almost as bad as the acting. You have to agree that the message behind it is an honourable if deluded one even if the film has immense difficulty getting that message across as the audience has to contend with so much that is wrong with this.
Cruel Instruction (2022) - TV movie that feels a little too contrived and convenient, despite allegedly being based on a true story. If that is the case, then this is more than a little grim. Not just because of the questionable performances but the unbelievable approach by the parents of these victims not to complete due diligence on an institution that they would be sending their child to. Drags at under an hour and a half.
How can a fifty-something, white, male reviewer even have something to say about this? I feel like I'm treading on toes even watching it. I know there is a message here which feels like it shouldn't have to be re-iterated, although it clearly does. Great soundtrack, the acting is fine and it's easy to watch, but shame on all of us, really, that despite its dark comedy, this is still all too real.