‘Pearl’ Film Review

Pearl may be the most unique villain origin story ever put to screen. We only got to know the character of Pearl as the creepy old lady from X, which was released earlier this year. She doesn’t have the same iconic status as the Joker, or a Disney villain, yet her backstory serves as an intense, if not, compelling feature. Written by director Ti West and star Mia Goth (who both collaborated on X) during the pandemic, Pearl was given the green light and shot in secret, back-to-back, with X; an unusual move for sure, but a welcome one at that. While X had the grainy feel of a 70s horror movie in the vein of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Pearl was made with the technicolor CinemaScope style of a 50s or 60s movie in mind. Beneath Eliot Rockett’s dreamy cinematography lies an unsettling nature that could only come from a slasher film. The character of Pearl (Once again played by Goth) is a young woman with hopes and dreams, yet hiding within the farm getup, innocent Southern drawl, and schoolgirl smile is a sense that something is not right. All we can do is just wait for a firecracker to go off.

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‘Pinocchio’ (2022) Film Review

Pinocchio is one of the most beloved movies in Disney history, and the latest to get a live-action remake. Brought to us by director Robert Zemeckis (who gave us his version of The Witches two years back), and starring Tom Hanks as Geppetto. Zemeckis’ Pinocchio tries to be the same as the original 1940 animated film, from the look and feel of the characters, yet falls short in terms of heart and soul. From the start, it seemed like a live-action remake of such a beloved classic like Pinocchio was a bad idea. What with all the different versions of Carlo Collodi’s novel The Adventures of Pinocchio out there (plus Guillermo Del Toro’s stop-motion feature set to be released on Netflix sometime this year). Disney also wants a piece of the wooden pie as the studio has been known to keep churning out those remakes. Yet this version looked to be the Disney-est of them all. For some reason, however, I do not hear people clamoring to check out the latest in Disney’s live-action remake roster, despite being dumped on Disney+, where families can check it out for free if they have the service.

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‘Orphan: First Kill’ Film Review

Thirteen years after the first Orphan came out, a prequel has finally been released. Isabelle Fuhrmann, who played Esther in the first film, is now old enough to play the character again. If you can remember, Esther turned out to be a thirty-three-year old Russian immigrant named Leena Klammer, who posed as a nine-year-old in order to seduce the family patriarch. The idea of a prequel with Fuhrmann returning seemed like a no-brainer. Yet the only reason I see First Kill existing is just so we can see this now twenty-five-year-old play this character again. As someone who watched Orphan in order to prepare for First Kill, I thought it was fine, despite leaning into the generic evil-child film tropes. I only heard tell of it being a somewhat underrated cult classic. After watching First Kill, I can vouch for Orphan by saying that it was the better film that needed no follow-up.

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A Look Back at ‘Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat’ – The Movie that Killed Future Live-Action Dr. Seuss Adaptations!

After the major success of Ron Howard’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Universal took it upon themselves to adapt another beloved book by Dr. Seuss, the classic story of The Cat in the Hat. Unlike The Grinch however, Bo Welch’s adaptation was a flop, not just critically, but financially as well. I remember wanting to see this movie at age 9 as I loved the source material. But I had heard so many bad things about it. Parents said it was too crass to be shown to children, while Audrey Geisel (Seuss’ wife) thought it was so terrible that she refused any of Seuss’ further works to be adapted for live-action. When I saw it in the store, I ended up putting it in my mom’s cart and she bought it for me, despite her warning. I seemed to like The Cat in the Hat enough, but as I grew older, I ended up dismissing it as an abomination to what Seuss worked on. In many ways, that is true. A lot of the humor was mainly for adults, but not in a clever way that kids could miss, yet adults could appreciate, but in a way that went overboard. I could not understand how it did not get a PG-13 rating. At the behest of my three-year-old son, I decided to revisit this movie on Netflix. I almost refused, but I gave in for the sake of my child. I had not seen this film in years, so I figured “What the hell”. Upon watching, I knew I had to do a write-up to determine whether The Cat in the Hat is as bad as I remember, or if it was just misunderstood.

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‘Nope’ Film Review

Jordan Peele may not have a huge directing resume, yet his stamp on horror is so profound, that whenever his name is attached to a new film, the question one asks is “What is he doing next?” Peele made it big with his directorial debut Get Out, which added racial commentary to its horror setting. While his second feature, Us, used the same type of commentary to tackle class. His latest feature, Nope, doesn’t seem as commentary-focused as his previous films, though it has something to say. Instead, it makes for a spectacle that has to be seen to be believed. Nope has the makings of a science-fiction epic akin to a Steven Spielberg film with the suspense of a horror film. However you want to describe it, Peele sure has a knack of conceiving pure tension through bits of quiet and lonesome outings, only matched by his film-making prowess. The camera, being our guide, instills feelings that something may be out there lurking, or making us feel trapped in a really uncomfortable situation. I would say that with each film, Peele proves to be as competent of a horror director as John Carpenter or Mike Flanagan.

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A Look Back on ‘Ted’ (2012) – Seth MacFarlane’s Directorial Debut

Back in 2012, I graduated high school! I thought that it would be the best year of my life, since I was embracing adulthood, entering the world on my own as I left my academic years behind. One of the things I did to feel more like my age was go to my first R-rated movie by myself. As soon as I had the money, as I didn’t have a job at the time, I went to my local Regal theater and checked out Ted. Now Ted was a special movie for me, due to the fact that it was the first R-rated movie I had seen in a theater since Watchmen, back in 2009. The only exception was that I was completely on my own, without a parent to accompany me. I couldn’t even believe my actual age as I sat through Ted in all its raunchy glory, yet for the first time, I felt like a real adult. Funny enough that it was a movie about a talking teddy bear with the voice of Seth MacFarlane, who also wrote, produced, and directed this movie.

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‘Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe’ Film Review

After 26 years (and one reboot series later), Beavis and Butt-Head return, though instead of a cinematic outing, they have made their way to the streaming world of Paramount+. For its 25th anniversary, I covered my thoughts on Beavis and Butt-Head Do America, one of my favorite comedies. Needless to say, it still held up with its dimwitted approach to a thrilling plot. Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe shows us that the boys still have what it takes in a world afraid to dip its toes in offensive territory. Not much has changed about Mike Judge’s iconic creations, for they are just as rude and sexual as ever; laughing at over every bit of innuendo they could possibly notice. It is the comedy we need to get through the roughness of 2022.

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‘The Bob’s Burgers Movie’ Film Review

The best way to describe The Bob’s Burgers Movie is that it is a delight! From the moment we get our first musical number, it is clear that we are in for something special. Either that, or it sure is nice to see a 2D-animated feature on our big screen. Whatever the case, The Bob’s Burgers Movie is a perfect way to ring in the summer, and then some. I am not someone who has heavily watched the Fox series from which this film spun itself from, so I cannot call myself a fan, yet after watching Bob’s, I find myself wanting to immerse myself into its quirky world. For those who are not aware, Bob’s Burgers takes place in a fast-food burger joint run by the Belcher family, led by patriarch Bob (Voice of H. Jon Benjamin), with the help of his overly-positive wife, Linda (Voice of John Roberts), and his three children, the fun-loving Gene (Voice of Eugene Mirman), mischievous Louise (Voice of Kristen Schaal), and deep-voiced, socially-awkward Tina (Voice of Dan Mintz) as they deal with all sorts of mishaps. While the show was aimed for adults, one thing that separates the Belchers from the likes of Family Guy‘s Griffin family, or the titular Simpsons is how much the Belcher family loves each other, and manages to stand by each other, even when the chips are down. You could even say that, despite its crude humor, you could probably watch this show around your kids, as it is not raunchy enough to require putting them to bed.

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A Look Back on ‘Fritz the Cat’ (1972) – The First Adult Animated Movie

When Fritz the Cat, first came out in 1972, it broke new ground for what animation could do in terms of being exclusively for adults. There was sex, nudity, violence, and language that many had found controversial at the time; it even became the first animated movie to receive an X rating. Yet, despite its crude and graphic nature, it became a success at the box-office and paved the way for more grown-up cartoons like The Simpsons, Family Guy, and South Park to name a few. Who do we have to thank for, for such a rudely ambitious feature? It is none other than Ralph Bakshi, who would later go on to make Heavy Traffic, Wizards, The Lord of the Rings (There was an animated film, believe it or not), and Cool World.

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‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ Film Review

After the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has a pretty big order to deliver with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which is the first solo outing for Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange since his first film came out in 2016. I loved Doctor Strange and was really looking forward to Multiverse of Madness, especially with director Sam Raimi filling in for Scott Derrickson, who left the project due to creative differences. With the madness on display, it seems that Raimi was a perfect choice to direct Multiverse of Madness as it boasts some of the elements of his previous films, along with the style and flair that the Evil Dead/Spider-Man director has been known to incorporate in his work.

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