Monday Morning Movie Review: You’re Next (2013)

Another weekend has rolled by, so it’s time for another Monday Morning Movie Review.  While clicking around Hulu I stumbled upon a flick I saw some years ago, though I didn’t realize it at first.

That says something about the similarity of schlocky horror flicks out there—they all have basically the same premise and plot description. Except this one, 2013’s You’re Next, is actually quite original.

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Monday Morning Movie Review: The Little Things (2021)

Over Valentine’s Day weekend I partook in a ritual that is increasingly rare:  a trip to the theater.  I’m a bit of a Regal Cinemas loyalist (thanks to their Crown Club rewards program), but they’re all closed, so AMC was good enough.

The choice of the word “ritual” is not mere metaphor:  for me, there really is a certain rhythm and order to movie-going.  It’s not the same as watching a movie on the couch (as this excursion reminded me), but truly is a whole experience.  The theater is the one place I’ll pay $7 for a Diet Coke, and I gladly plopped down $16 for a massive bag of popcorn and a jug of artificially-sweetened carbonated beverage this weekend.

Some movies are meant to be seen on the big screen—special effects-laden epics, for example—but some movies are simply better on the big screen.  The Little Things (2021), which I saw this weekend, was one such film.  It’s a movie I could have easily picked up on RedBox for a fraction of the price, but I think watching it at home would have undermined my appreciation of the film considerably.  Watching on the big screen demands one’s entire attention (especially now that theaters are operating at reduced capacity, making for fewer annoying patrons); watching at home offers myriad distractions.  If I’d seen The Little Things at home, I don’t think I would have appreciated it as much as I did.

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Monday Morning Movie Review: Witness (1985)

Just to prove that I don’t just watch cheesy horror movies (and that Hulu actually has more to offer than such films), this Monday I’m reviewing something a bit different:  the 1985 neo-noir Amish thriller Witness, starring Harrison Ford as Detective John Book, a clean cop hiding from his dirty colleagues in Pennsylvania’s Amish Country.

The movie is unique in that it contrasts the grittiness of the city with the tranquility and traditions of Amish country life.  There seemed to be a vague cultural fascination with the Amish that lasted from the 1980s up to around the turn of the century (take, for example, 1996’s Kingpin or Weird Al’s hit “Amish Paradise” from the same year).  The Amish are, indeed, interesting, but I’m not sure what accounts for this brief, generational curiosity in the rural pacifists.

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Monday Morning Movie Review: Digging Up the Marrow (2014)

My fifth trip to Universal Studios in the past eleven months is done, and I’ve put another 900 miles on my little 2017 Nissan Versa Note SV getting there and back again.  It was another great trip, but as much as I love heading down there, it will likely be awhile before I return.  Of course, I thought the same thing when I went last February before The Virus hit, and it was the most Universal Studios-filled year of my life.

After catching up on e-mails and some work after getting back, I decided to see what schlock Hulu had to offer.  The quality of Hulu as a streaming service has really taken a dive, and it’s confoundingly difficult to find specific flicks on the service.  I’ve been on a huge Hammer Films kick lately, an Hulu has one or two of their films; it would be great if there was a way I could search for films by studio, rather than just trying to search the names of Hammer’s movies and hoping I get a hit.

Like all cut-rate services, Hulu is also putting more and more content behind additional paywalls and subscription services.  Sometimes I’ll see that Hulu has a movie I’m searching for in my browser, only to log into the app to find I have to add a $12 a month subscription to HBO or Showtime to view it.  No thanks.

I suppose I can’t complain too much when I’m paying $2.15 a month, and I will note one positive of Hulu:  it has dozens (maybe hundreds; I don’t know, because, again, the service is so difficult to search and navigate) of crummy horror movies.  That’s probably a negative for many users, but it’s a gold mine for someone like me, who genuinely enjoys watching bad horror movies.

Of course, there are occasionally gems—unpolished or otherwise—amid the dross.  So it was this evening that I stumbled upon one such precious stone, blemished though it may be:  2014’s Digging Up the Marrow.

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Lazy Sunday XCVIII: More Movies III: Movie Reviews, Part III

I’m trucking my way back from Universal Studios this morning, so why not do another round of movie reviews?  This weekend’s three reviews are all flicks from 2020—a bad year for movie theaters, not to mention everything else—but a good year for movies.

Well, at least I thought so.  These three movies were all movies I enjoyed, but I’m not exactly a tough critic.  I also tend to rent movies I’m likely to enjoy, and even likelier to write about films I enjoy, so my assessment of 2020 releases could be way off.

But I liked these three, at least.  Here are some solid 2020 picks for your enjoyment:

  • Midweek Movie Review: Fatman (2020)” – Man, I loved Fatman.  It’s a very fun premise and a great flick.  Kris Kringle may be jaded and burned out from his job delivering presents around the globe, but he’s unambiguously a good guy; the villains are unambiguously evil.  It makes for a great bit of cinema.  Highly recommended.
  • Monday Movie Review: Unhinged (2020)” – If you’re into tight psychological thrillers with a deadly chase, Unhinged fit the bill.  It also features Russell Crowe in a fat suit, which is humorous.  It’s not the greatest film, but I enjoyed it for what it was.
  • Monday Morning Movie Review: Love and Monsters (2020)” – I really enjoyed this sweet adventure/romance film.  A total screw-up who somehow has managed to survive the monster apocalypse sweeping the globe becomes a man as he crosses eighty-five miles of monster-infested territory to reach his high school girlfriend.  It hits many of the same notes as Zombieland (2009), but does so in a fresh way.  Another big recomendation.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

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SubscribeStar Saturday: Hammer Films IV: Hammer Films Collection, Volume II, Part I

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This weekend I’m continuing my series of reviews of various Hammer Studios films.  Last year I had the pleasure of reviewing (preview) of the Hammer Films Collection.  While writing that review I discovered that there is a second volume, which I immediately added to my Amazon Wishlist.

My family members came through (God forbid spend $9!), and I finally made it through this six-film collection.  I’ll say the real gems were on the first volume, but there are some good flicks on this collection, too.  Like the Hammer Films Collection, these are all Hammer Studios movies distributed through Columbia Pictures.  The collection includes the following films:  The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958), The Snorkel (1958), Never Take Candy from a Stranger (1960), Maniac (1963), Die! Die! My Darling! (1965), and Creatures the World Forgot (1971).  For this first part, I’ll be reviewing The Revenge of Frankenstein, The Snorkel, and Never Take Candy from a Stranger.

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Monday Morning Movie Review: Young Frankenstein (1974)

I’ve been on a major Hammer Films kick, which means I’ve watched a lot of schlocky, exploitation-style horror films and black-and-white psychodramas over the past few weeks.  I’ve finally worked my way through every Hammer compilation and a collection of William Castle films, but I’m still in the mood for corny horror movies.

So, as I cast about for some appropriate Sunday evening viewing, I decided to watch one of my comedic favorites, Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks’s Young Frankenstein (1974).

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Lazy Sunday XCVII: More Movies II: Movie Reviews, Part II

Last weekend I began looking back on some of my many movie reviews.  This Sunday I’m continuing that walk down movie memory lane with some more film reviews.

The flicks this weekend better reflect my cinematic preferences than last week’s crop; although I loved all three of those flicks, brainy sci-fi thrillers, vampire movies, and goofy buddy comedies probably sum up my movie-going Zeitgeist perfectly:

  • Monday Morning Movie Review: Archive (2020)” – This flick was a slow burn, but I enjoyed it quite a bit.  It’s the only movie I’ve seen (that I can remember) that depicts a robot experiencing jealously, loneliness, and isolation—and ultimately succumbing to her “robo-depression.”  Like any good sci-fi film, Archive explores questions deeper than its slick, futuristic aesthetics suggest.
  • Monday Morning Movie Review: Interview with the Vampire (1994)” – A modern classic, I believe this review was my 666th post.  *Shudder!*  It’s an appropriately demonic tale of vampires in New Orleans—a must-see flick set in the Anne Rice’s vampire universe.
  • Monday Morning Movie Review: Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020)” – The new Bill & Ted movie isn’t a great movie, and there’s no consistent logic to the time travel depicted in the film.  But that’s okay—it’s a Bill & Ted movie, after all.  What the movie does offer is tons of warmth and fun.  I really enjoyed this little picture immensely.  It was refreshingly upbeat and wholesome in an age when such films don’t seem to be made anymore.

More movie reviews to come.  Keep on watching!

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

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SubscribeStar Saturday: Hammer Films III: Universal Horror Films, Part II

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  For a full rundown of everything your subscription gets, click here.

Last week I wrote some reviews of the first four films on the The Hammer Horror Series, a collection of Hammer horror flicks.

The collection includes eight films in total:  Brides of DraculaThe Curse of the WerewolfThe Phantom of the OperaParanoiacThe Kiss of the VampireNightmareNight Creatures, and The Evil of Frankenstein.  Today I’ll be reviewing the second four films:  The Kiss of the VampireNightmareNight Creatures, and The Evil of Frankenstein.

The rest of this post on SubscribeStar might be a tad delayed; I’ll have it completed as soon as possible.

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