Mune: Guardian of the Moon (2015)

“Mune: Guardian of the Moon” draws obvious influences from the likes of Studio Ghibli and Laika, and it’s a rather entertaining gem of an animated fantasy that I couldn’t help but enjoy with a wide smile. After “The Emoji Movie,” it’s very calming to know that there are still studios out there trying to deliver quality family animated entertainment. Dubbed over from the original French track, “Mune” translates well for domestic audiences, and I didn’t have a very tough time following what is a pretty nifty premise based around mysticism, nature, and the like. It also sports the classic hero’s journey trope, which isn’t so bad when it’s handled subtly.

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The Emoji Movie (2017)

What I’m sure was going to set the platform for a Sony movie/ad universe following up with a The “Tic Tac Toe Movie,” The “Peek a Boo Movie,” and “The Jingle car keys in front our Faces Movie,” “The Emoji Movie” (aka “The Sony Press Kit”) is the height of laziness to the point where the script was probably written on a napkin at a some overpriced coffee shop in Beverly Hills. “The Emoji Movie” is not just bad, but it’s offensively boring, and tedious. It’s “Doogal” bad. It’s “A Shark Tale” bad. There are just so many bafflingly stupid and moronic moments in “The Emoji Movie,” that I can’t believe any actual writer put all of this down on page with sincerity or the goal of turning any of this in to a pop culture craze.

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Teen Wolf Too (1987): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray]

There’s a considerable drop off in quality with “Teen Wolf Too” with what is essentially the same movie with a premise that was cut and pasted. Michael J. Fox opted out of this follow up, setting the stage for the film debut of Jason Bateman, who took the first and last sequel of this oddly popular series. I remember watching this movie as a kid quite often, since the channel I always watched never had the original. Years later, “Teen Wolf Too” isn’t a very good movie, and as a follow up should be watched by fans that are either Jason Bateman fanatics, or absolutely have to watch every sequel of a movie series. Hey, it’s not as bad as any of “The Howling” sequels. That’s about as big an endorsement I’m wiling to give it.

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Vampire Cleanup Department (Gao geung jing dou fu) (2017) [Fantasia International Film Festival 2017]

The Vampire Cleanup Department is a task force that deals with Goeng Si, Chinese vampires, while being disguised as a regular trash and cleanup department.  Not long after Tim Cheung joins his uncle on the force, he meets with a sweet vampire named Summer who changes how he wants to do things.

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Teen Wolf (1985): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray]

Before it became a homoerotic horror series on MTV, “Teen Wolf” was the epitome of eighties cheese that mixed a teen coming of age comedy with horror tropes. The idea of being a werewolf is of course a metaphor for puberty, as Michael J. Fox takes a baffling but oddly fun turn in his career after the success of “Back to the Future.” The 1985 “Teen Wolf” hasn’t aged very well, but it’s still a fun novelty of the decade where almost nothing was off limits it meant possibly drawing a laugh. Surely, the idea of a werewolf becoming a star basketball player is absurd, but not offensive as a comedy based around a corpse, or a college student wearing black face. But I digress.

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The Bye Bye Man (2017)

It’s “The Bye Bye Man,” or as I call it “Honey, We Ripped Off Slenderman.” In all honesty, “The Bye Bye Man” actually looks like a weak Senator Palpatine cosplayer who died from toxic poisoning from his face make up and became a demon who likes to rip off his shtick from The Babadook, Freddy Krueger, and your every day mime. I’ve experienced scarier stories in young adult sections at public libraries, and could come up with a monster ten times more imposing, and with a name that doesn’t automatically inspire me to chortle under my breath. A movie this bad could only inspire me to gather my thoughts of bewilderment in an itemized list.

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Tragedy Girls (2017) [Fantasia International Film Festival 2017]

Did you see “Scream 4”? Do you remember the finale and surprise reveal, as well as the reasoning for the murderer’s devious deeds? Well, then you’ve seen “Tragedy Girls.” It feels a lot like Tyler MacIntyre loved the finale to “Scream 4” so much that he took that one twenty minute explanation, and transformed it in to a ninety minute movie that presents glimmers of brilliance, but stumbles quite often. While many will liken “Tragedy Girls” to “Heathers,” it’s actually about as smug and annoyingly self-satisfied as films like “Detention” and “Easy A.”

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68 Kill (2017) [Fantasia International Film Festival 2017]

A man living in an abusive relationship is put through the ringer and finds his inner strength to survive and move on following a wild and crazy night and day.

Based on the novel by Bryan Smith, written and directed by Trent Haaga, 68 Kill is an insane ride filled by crazy, lunatic characters.  The whole thing seems completely nuts and ludicrous but it works.  Somehow, Haaga took all the most ridiculous characters and situations and makes them work in a sort of white-trash opera.  Here all the characters do dumb things for dumb reasons and they almost all are assholes and lunatics, yet the film is crazy fun to watch and has a story that moves at a good, fast pace and leads to a satisfactory ending.  Haaga took all of the most unlikely elements to make one of those film that should not work yet does so beautifully.

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