Tag Archives: Movie Reviews

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: Netflix’s NAKED

No, Netflix did not premiere a porno, this is Marlon’s Wayan’s new film called NAKED that premiered on Netflix about a month and a half ago. Why am I reviewing it now? Because Happy Death Day comes into theaters next week and I am kind of obsessed with those films about day/other specific amount of time redo’s. Films like Groundhog Day, Edge of Tomorrow, and Before I Fall, films where the main character gets to live a certain amount of time over and over and over and over again until they figure out what they did wrong and try to make things right. While the three films I mentioned above span basically entire 24 hours, this film gives its character only an hour and a half to figure out what he is doing wrong.

And the reason why the film is called Naked is because the main character wakes up naked in an elevator of a hotel every time he starts his hour and a half over. The main character is supposed to get married that day and he has to do everything possible to make it to his wedding while also figuring out why exactly this is happening to him. And while usually what is wrong and why people are reliving these amounts of times usually has to do with that these characters need to fix themselves as people in general, usually the journey and all the possible scenarios make the film at least somewhat enjoyable even if all the cliches are as present as a dead pixel on a television screen.

The reason why I’m recommending this film mostly is that this is Marlon Wayan’s best film since the original Scary Movie. Marlon Wayan’s has talent, but instead of really trying to harness in on it, he makes stupid spoof movies like the Paranormal bullshit and the Fifty Shades crap riffs he’s made recently. This movie actually shows some of the earlier comic talent he showed in the side to late 90s. Now don’t get me wrong, this movie isn’t a comedic masterpiece by any means, it is just a really good 90 minutes to pass the time on Netflix.

It’s enjoyable in the journey, to figure out why he is naked in the elevator, and even when the conclusion is very predictable and cliched as all get out, all the scenarios that make his relive that hour and a half over and over and over again are unique and humorous and I found myself laughing probably more than I should. Saying this is a cute Marlon Wayan’s film would almost seem impossible and hard to believe, but it really is. The reason it probably works so well is that Marlon only came up with the story and didn’t write the screenplay. Maybe he should do it more often. Like I said, this movie isn’t fantastic, just a little cute way to pass the time. You could do much worse on Netflix.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US

Who knew that a sex scene could ruin an entire movie? I guess unless you are a movie like Showgirls which is basically one dumb giant sex scene. But alas, a sex scene and everything that comes after it completely ruins anything THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US gives its audience in the survivalrific (I know that’s not a word) first two thirds of the film. Then the film goes all Lord of the Rings on us with about 10 different endings in a 20 minute epilogue that should’ve been only 5 to 7 minutes long. We all know that Idris Elba and Kate Winslet can act the pants off anything, but not even they can save the absolutely horrific dialogue and character motivation it gives in the last third of the movie. For me, the mountain to climb was the screenplay, and I only got about half way up before I just said, “fuck it” and turned around.

I was about to blame the screenplay writer (which I guess I still can, because technically he/she could’ve changed the material) when I saw that the movie is based on the novel, and doing a tiny bit more research, the exact same stuff that happens in the movie happens in the novel, so it isn’t entirely the screenplay writers fault. The movie is about two people, one on the way to her wedding, and the other on the way to operate on a 10 year old boy’s brain tumor, try to beat the storm and get a private charter plane through a terrible winter storm, end up crashing on top of a mountain, and having to survive.

Good set up and 50% good execution (especially the survival techniques), I just didn’t believe that the emotions that transpired between these two individuals in peril was believable or earned. Their friendship between the two of them is very, very well acted and believable. But when the sex scene occurs, everything, including logic, good dialogue, and common sense, is thrown into the wind.

If the movie went a different route, where they still fell in love through the whole ordeal but didn’t necessarily do the nasty or even kiss, I might’ve believed it more. But the sex scene in question is just very awkward and unearned of my emotions. Sorry if I’m spoiling that there is a sex scene in the film but you could’ve probably spotted that something was going to happen based on the trailers which spoil the entire film. I won’t hint at whether they survive or not or tell you anything else about the film other than the fact that the most believable character development in the film was the dog.

And even the dog surviving as long as it does makes no sense, wouldn’t his paws have been frost bitten by a certain amount of time? Whatever, that logic is thrown to the wind as well. Also, when Kate Winslet goes through the ice (this is shown in the trailers) into the cold water below, I started laughing and thinking about Titanic, and how the tables have turned on Rose, which the filmmakers probably didn’t want you associating¬†with this film like that.

But it isn’t just the sex scene that ruins the movie, the sex scene is just the catalyst. Everything that happens after it is sort of unbelievable and goes on wayyyy too long. There are a ton of scenes the movie could’ve ended on but instead it goes for the really bad dialogue, sappy, oh woe my heart is thee, sappy, anti-climatic ending. The last third of the film completely made me giving the film a worthwhile climb to a worthwhile recommendation. If you are a girl that just got broken up with her boyfriend/girlfriend and you have a pint of ice cream and need to just cry, this film is for you. Otherwise, find another, better summit to scale.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: DEATH NOTE (2017) (Netflix American Version)

Yeah, so I know about DEATH NOTE, but I don’t know much about Death Note, if you get my drift, so I don’t know if my review is very valid. I know it is a manga series and a very beloved 2006 Japanese live action thriller, but I have never read the series, nor seen the original film. I just know that it was controversial in that it basically white washed it for the American Version and that they guy that did You’re Next, The Guest and the recent reboot of Blair Witch did it, so I decided to give it a go and check it out. I also know that it starred Willem Dafoe for motion capturing and voice Ryuk, and that guy from Fault of Our Stars/Paper Towns/Home Again played the main character and the older girl from The Nice Guys plays his girlfriend. What was my ultimate opinion? Eh.

It was okay, not having seen or read any of the other original stuff. I bet if I was caught up with all of that I probably would have hated this version though, like I have heard from so many others. The plot if you don’t know, deals with a kid that inherits a book that when you write the name of someone and think of their face while writing it in the book, they will die. You can also write how they die and shit and that shit will happen to them as you write it. There are other rules for the book as well, but it is too much to get into. Just know that when I was hearing all these rules, I knew that a bunch of them together would bring out some kind of Rube Goldberg twist ending, and I was correct in my assumption.

Some of the kills (mainly the first decapitation) are pretty early and graphic and cool. And the main way that Light Turner tries to use the book in a semi-decent way was a good idea. I just thought that narratively everything was too quick and it didn’t come together that well, especially in a mere 100 minutes. I think the movie might’ve been more fleshed out if it were 30 minutes longer. The movie also ends really abruptly, which I thought was kind of weird and also kind of a cheat. The acting is good all around, especially with Dafoe’s work and Margaret Qualley, Nat Wolff, Shea Wingham, and especially the guy that plays L, who is a detective on the trail of Light Turner. (who was one of those unfortunate people in the movie GET OUT). It’s just that there was really no fleshing out of any character motivations, development, and everything was rushed to all hell. It felt like I was watching a short film.

But I’m sure if I read the manga or saw the original Japanese live action films I would love the series and give this American version the finger. All I can say about not having seen anything else and just this American version is that you could do better things with your time, but it might make a decent background watch.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: BETTER WATCH OUT (Video On Demand)

This is going to be a very short review because I can’t really review BETTER WATCH OUT without ruining the entire thing. In fact, the only part of the plot I can tell you about is the log line on almost every single movie website which is, “On a quiet suburban street, a babysitter must defend a twelve-year-old boy from intruders, only to discover it’s far from a normal home invasion.” I bet you NOT to watch the trailer to this movie if you have any interest to this at all. I’m going to recommend you either pay the $6 to rent it video on demand, or illegally download it, and just start watching. If I were to describe it based on comparing it to other horror/thrillers I would say it is The Cabin In The Woods of home invasion thrillers.

If you have seen one home invasion thriller you have seen them all. Except this one, this flips it on it’s head about a third of the way through the movie, and never lets up, leading to one sadistic, clever, and disturbing thrillers I’ve seen over the years. I actually bought the movie on iTunes for just three dollars more (I had credit that was about to expire), and I have already watched it twice, and loved it just as much both times.

I can’t really describe the acting without giving anything away either. I’ll just say that it mostly has kid actors in it (the boy and girl from The Visit, and Peter Pan from the recent Hugh Jackman version of Pan) and they are all freaking terrific. Patrick Warburton and Virginia Madsen are in it too and even though their roles are really small they are good in this too.

There is everything in this thriller/horror film, genuine jump scares, genuine creepiness, genuine insanity. It’s a quick 85 minute film too, and it doesn’t let up at all. If I had one complaint, and I have to be vague here, but I would have liked the movie to have planted more motivation to one of the characters earlier in the film to make some insane things that happen be a little more believable.

That’s all I can say. In fact, that is my review. I loved this movie, and I can’t fathom why it wasn’t released in theaters between Halloween and Christmas (it’s more of a Christmas film in the vein of Krampus). And other critics can’t fathom it either, it is sitting on a well deserved 88% on Rotten Tomatoes right now. If you like horror films and thrillers, go watch this immediately. It is one unique wild ride.