Entertainment Rex: December 2021

Hey, my movie diary screenshot fits in one image for the first half of this month!

I hit my 200th movie for the year, and suddenly watching movies started feeling just a LITTLE BIT less imperative. I have found my laurels; I have rested on them.

The weird thing is… I haven’t done much else this month, either, so this is going to be a very short article today!


MOVIES

An innocuous, if nice and even, ten flicks to start out December.Definitely not the absurd pace I had set for myself in October and November, but actually still ahead of what I was doing, say, back in the summer. You have to ween yourself off of movies, I guess.

Imagine, if you will, the quality level you EXPECT from a movie called Pro Wrestlers Vs Zombies. Now believe me when I tell you it is so, so much worse than that. It’s barely a movie; it’s more like a string of heavy metal music videos with a loosely connected plot. It looks like it’s shot on a camcorder. I’m pretty sure Shane Douglas produced this just to get Rowdy Roddy Piper to have to call him his best friend on film.

In a movie that should have had fantastically cheesy bit after bit, all we had here were two passably fun lines. The first is when Shane Douglas’ nephew calls him Uncle Shane, to which Douglas spits back, “That’s The Franchise to you!”, which I could totally see from Shane. And then when Kurt Angle has a cameo and starts attacking zombies, he says “Pittsburghers know how to handle the living dead”.

Everything else here sucked. And was terribly made.

Honeydew was my 200th movie on the year, and boy, I really wish it wasn’t. It was a random spin of the Shudder wheel I call “Will It Be 4 Stars Or 1 Star?!”. It’s about a couple whose car breaks down, so they take refuge in an old lady’s home. It also has the most singularly bizarre score to a movie I’ve ever heard. Occasionally the score is just… scatting? And other times it is throat singing? And when it isn’t those things, it’s just weird nonsense noises. It felt like the movie was actively trying to take me out of the experience.

It got… maybe somewhat a little bit kind of better in the back half? But by then, I’d long since checked out mentally.

I will cover Dredd in depth in a future episode of the Stew World Order podcast, so stay subscribed to that for my review!

Our other 2-star entry was the original Prom Night which, as far as slasher movies go, wasn’t a terrible teen dramedy. Leslie Nielsen is in it, and I’m sorry: the Naked Gun movies have ensured that I can never take him seriously in a movie. Every time he was on screen, I just said “It’s Enrico Palazzo!” or “Like a midget at a urinal, I was going to have to stay on my toes” or “This is our hill! And these are our beans!”.

All I’m saying is it would have been loads better if Frank Drebin had been involved in catching the killer.

Two and a half stars to cinematic release Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City, which was a frightfully frustrating movie. It’s not… “good”. But the movie would go stretches of minutes a a time, where I’d get REALLY INVESTED! I liked the dual locations and sets of characters! The horror setting was good and this felt less like a music video than the original RE movie! But then… it would do something insipid and just ruin everything for a while.

The dialogue was straight up terrible; among the worse in ANY of the 200+ movies I’ve seen this year. It’s like the studio stood over the screenwriter’s shoulder and said “HAVE THEM REFER TO THEIR NAMES AGAIN SO THE AUDIENCE REMEMBERS WHICH CHARACTERS THEY ARE FROM THE GAME! Oh! Have them ask Leon S. Kennedy what the S stands for! Have someone say ‘Jill Valentine’ again! Now have them do it again!”.

Whoof. And yet… like I said… it would suddenly get quite compelling for a bit at times.

Closer is a movie that might not actually merit a 3.5, but I did enjoy it, and the Clive Owens goes from sympathetic to detestable like he is shot out of a fucking cannon. He turns so hard in that movie, and you can tell Owens is just reveling in it. The scene with him and Jude Law in Owens’ character’s office? HOLY SHIT. He was Lex Luthor-ing it up there. And I loved it.

I always thought all four main characters were assholes here, but upon a rewatch, Natalie Portman spends the entire movie being sweet but getting shit upon. But then there is the weird twist ending… so I don’t know what was going on.

Shoot 'Em Up | Second time Clive Owen has killed someone wit… | Flickr

More Clive Owens goodness in the form of Shoot ‘Em Up, which I’ve seen a ton and always love. Owens’ Smith character shares DNA from Bugs Bunny, Ash Williams, and Rambo. Combime that with Paul Giammati just going HAM as the antagonist? I’ll never not love this flick.

Watching Dredd after so recently having seen Shoot Em Up really handicapped poor Dredd, man.

Better Watch Out was something I was informed of by friends while doing a horror trivia livestream. The phrase “pleasantly surprised” was tossed about in regards to it, and yeah… I can agree to that. It’s about a babysitter and who young charge who has a crush on her fending off a home invasion at Christmas time.

It’s very Die Hard… does the movie HAVE to take place at Christmas? I can’t recall any reason why they made that choice. But you know what? It’s plenty enjoyable that I never dwelled on that during the movie.

If you have Shudder (there it is again!) check that one out.

But not Honeydew.

Or, whatever! Watch Honeydew. You are your own boss!

22 Jump St, the sequel to 21 Jump Street obviously, is probably just about as good as its predecessor. Lord and Miller handle meta humor really well, to the point where it gets you almost every time, but it doesn’t feel forced or like it’s interrupting the flow of the movie. “The captain’s new office is like a Cube of Ice”; I laughed at that. Good job, flick.

If you liked the original, you should if that one as well.

Does that just leave me with Parasite? Which I FINALLY watched for a second time just to confirm it deserved the bump up from 4.5 to 5.0? It does. It’s probably my favorite Best Picture Winner ever at this point. I remain enthralled by Bong Joon-ho’s ability to blend moods and genres, and while he definitely seems to be making movies about classism OVER AND OVER AND OVER, he is doing so impeccably, so I don’t even care.


And that’s it for the beginning of the last month of 2021, wow! What a fast year that was. I still think it’s October half the time.

Until next time… take care!

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