You have to appreciate the giant balls on Gravitas Ventures and their release of (long thought lost, but now completed) 1983’s “Grizzly II: Revenge” (aka “Grizzly II: The Concert”). Not only have they centered their marketing on the fact that the movie features a very young George Clooney, Charlie Sheen, and Laura Dern, but the aforementioned trio even get top billing in the opening (and closing) credits. As expected, the trio is in the movie, sure. But for about four minutes, tops, and then we’re thrown in to the silly narrative.
Movies that are based on or around youtube personalities usually, for lack of a better word: suck. They’re awful, they’re terrible, and only mostly just vanity projects for the creators. So imagine what a shock it was to see “Ashens and the Polybius Heist” and find out that it’s actually quite good. I genuinely giggled during most of the film and loved how it all felt like a hilarious mutant amalgam of “Spaced,” “Ocean’s Eleven,” and “The Hot Rock,” in the end.
Chris De Pretis’ indie horror scifi film has its heart in the right place, but at the end of the day, I can’t say he re-invents the wheel here. I was never quite sure if “Death Blood 4” was intended as a meta-horror movie or not, as it puts up this gimmick of it being a sequel to three movies that never quite existed. It goes about this “Grindhouse” novelty until the introduction of the actual narrative where it’s played fairly straight faced and with a stern tone bereft of any notable satirical content.
When Robert Rodriguez is in kids movie mode, he tends to create some of the most syrupy sweet, loud, tepid movies for his intended audience that though they have a lot of the good intention behind them are pretty much destroyed by the climax. That’s the case with “We Can Be Heroes,” a movie so derivative and tired that it destroys a lot of the charming characters and conflicts in the process.
Yet another year, yet another legacy sequel from a movie franchise that we all thought was dead for so many years. It’s a cynical approach but so many of these decades later sequels have stunk—which is probably why it’s shocking to see that “Bill and Ted Face the Music” doesn’t actually suck. In all fairness while it’s not a laugh riot, I appreciated its genuine message about love, the power of music, and appreciating what we have while we have it.
2020’s been twelve months of pure chaos, but hopefully you can find some peace in viewing some great movies. For Thanksgiving while you’re chomping down on turkey, or tofurkey, or turducken, or whatever horrifying facsimile of turkey that you can concoct, be sure to stay home, and check out these five great movies about food.
Sasha Baron Cohen has remained one of the most scornful critics of the modern American political scene and has taken to destroying the status quo whenever possible. He’s been especially vicious in 2020 with his incredibly controversial “Who is America?” limited series, which he then follows up with the “Borat” sequel. This movie is not at all a cash grab, if fans were worried, it’s instead yet another case of Cohen pulling down the curtain in an America most of us doesn’t know exists. Or at least likes to pretend doesn’t exist.
Yutaka Kohira’s “Sonny Chiba’s Dragon Princess” (Or “Dragon Princess,” or “Lady Karate,” or “Assassin Woman’s Fist”) is a misleading title often being boasted as a Sonny Chiba film, even though he has nothing more than a glorified cameo. The actual star, Etsuko Shiomi headlines as a girl whose father Agaki (Chiba) is confronted by two martial arts masters who challenge him to a fight, intent on taking his position as top karate master.