Samaritan Review

These days superhero movies and television shows are plentiful. Marvel/Disney is putting out around seven  MCU projects per year now. Warner Brothers, though in flux, is still cranking out the DCEU films, and animated films. And all the streaming services are doing their fair share of superhero projects as well. That includes Amazon Prime. They have a film called Samaritan starring Sylvester Stallone opening this week, trying to capitalize on the superhero craze once again. After their success with The Boys and The Invincible.

This film has a built-in backstory with the so-called hero Samaritan and the villain Nemesis.  They had an epic battle and one was thought dead while the other was thought to have disappeared. They are brothers which is a twist in the superhero genre. One of the brothers is Joe Smith (Sylvester Stallone); he’s living a mundane existence in a little apartment in a bad section of town. He works as a garbage man to make ends meet. Until a kid, Sam Cleary (Javon Walton) and his mother Tiffany (Dascha Polanco) involve him in their personal lives. And their struggle.

Every superhero story has to have a villain and who better than Edwin (Pilou Asbaek, Overlord) his girlfriend Sil (Sophia Tatum) and his assistant/thug Reza (Moises Arias) They have a plan to take over the city and become the new Nemesis. A reporter Albert Casler (Martin Starr) has been trying to figure out what really happened on that fateful day all those years ago. The kid may have some answers for this intrepid reporter if it doesn’t kill him first. The director Julius Avery and writer Bragi F Schut have set all the pieces in place for a good superhero story except it’s not.

Samaritan is a convoluted mess of a story with characters, especially the villains I didn’t care about in the least. The kid and his family were interesting but more on the annoying side than anything. He could never choose if he was a good kid or bad until it was too late and the city was thrust into chaos. This film couldn’t decide what it was trying to be. A superhero origin story or a story with an existing backstory that advances what has already been established. It needed to pick one or the other and not both because having both in one film was too much to handle as a viewer.

Sylvester Stallone has played his fair share of good guys in films with Rambo and Rocky amongst the most notable characters of his career. He just hasn’t played an actual superhero even though those two well-known characters are superheroes in their own right. The character of Joe Smith is such a cookie-cutter character until a twist happens at the end of the film. The viewers are invested in him until then but I didn’t buy this twist one bit. The filmmakers didn’t give me enough to believe in so when the twist happened I was in shock and awe. Stallone didn’t even care about it either because he never changes his demeanor in the film. He’s this one-note character who is very bland and uninteresting.

Samaritan tries to be different while also being cookie-cutter from so many other superhero films I’ve seen before. Stallone doesn’t bring anything new to a genre that is starting to get tiresome. The acting is fine and the characters are somewhat interesting. I’m buying the story until the right up until the twist happens and then I’m completely thrown out of this film. The villains are one-note and throw-away characters. The director and writer didn’t know what kind of film they were trying to make so instead they combined a bunch of elements into one film and it’s too much and doesn’t all work. The least of which is the terrible visual effects.

1 1/2 stars 

Dan Skip Allen

Amazon Prime Video August 26th

Funny Pages Review

There have been a few movies about cartoonists before but none of them have been as weird and off the wall as Funny Pages. This film is a cross between American Splendor and a coming-of-age film. It has a period look to it that takes place back in the 80s but it’s a modern film. It just looks dirty and bland because the filmmaker was trying to depict New Jersey in this particular way. As an added note it’s not funny either which the title suggests.

Robert (Daniel Zolghadri) is a teenager, who’s an inspiring cartoonist, growing up in Princeton, New Jersey. A middle-class area. He witnesses a tragedy of a family member and that causes him to want to go out on his own and try to make something of himself. This doesn’t include college which his parents are vehemently against. He does get a job in a law office where he meets an ex-colorist from IMAGE named Wallace Shearer (Matthew Maher) comics. He’s an odd bird. He also gets a crappy apartment he shares with two older gentlemen which is a bit weird.

I don’t think I’ve seen a film that looks this ugly in years. Yes, the filmmaker Owen Kline was going for a muted look to make it look dirty and grimy but it looks really bad. I grew up in some very bad places and the apartment in this film is almost as bad as the places I lived as a kid. Who knew New Jersey could look this bad? The heat in Florida is pretty sweltering but the way those guys were sweating in that apartment brought back some bad memories of when the ac went out in my house. This dirt, sweat, and grime were very authentic. 

Young kids or teenagers need role models. They should turn to their parents as role models, but sometimes parental figures can be overbearing. So kids turn to other role models like teachers, coaches, or bosses as people they look up to. The kid in this film started looking up to the wrong man. He’s just a creepy old guy who lies and is a scam artist. This is not the man this kid should be looking up to at all. Where ad his parents aren’t saints but they do care about him and he doesn’t realize it. Most kids don’t these days.

This film had an interesting premise about a kid who wanted to be a cartoonist. He hung out at a comic book store and read them and his life was good. Until he got in his own head and started to overthink what was actually a good thing he had going on in his life. I can relate to this story in a way except for the well-to-do parents. My brother and I had similar childhoods as comic book fans and collectors. We lived in tough places like this as kids. It’s not an easy life. The execution of the story was the failing aspect of this film.

The acting was ok but the delivery of the dialogue, which wasn’t funny, was not good at all. This script was atrocious and even the most seasoned thespian couldn’t have done justice to these words. The film looked ugly and felt dirty and the overall execution of this film was pure trash. I was very unhappy when it was over because I had wasted an hour and a half of my time on this pure garbage. This film had the potential to be something good but it wasn’t and the direction and writing were awful. I don’t go out of my way to see bad films, this may be the worst film I’ve seen this year so far. 


Dan Skip Allen

VOD August 26th

The Invitation Review

There have been a lot of films that feature a man or woman who is trying to find himself or herself and so he or she gets wrapped up in some kind of adventure or conspiracy inadvertently. And usually, they have a friend who is like a conscience type of character. The film Get Out by Jordan Peele comes to mind most recently as an example of this plot. The Invitation, not the 2015 film of the same name, is another film in this subgenre of horror. 

After a girl who hangs herself and breaks a ceramic head, the film starts to focus on its main character. Evie Jackson (Nathalie Emmanuel) After she has endured the loss of her mother she is working as a server at a restaurant and she gets a swag bag with a DNA Test called Find Yourself. A long-lost cousin, Oliver Alexander (Hugh Skinner) reaches out to her. When they finally meet he invites her to a wedding in Yorkshire, England. 

She agrees to fly to England and when she gets to Yorkshire she is introduced to the extended family. The Lord of the manor house, known as New Carfax, is Walter Deville (Thomas Doherty) Like most English manors this house has servants such as Mr. Field (Sean Pertwee) the head butler, and other maids and so forth. The inner workings of this house are typical for this area of England. The Emmanuel character is completely enamored by this entire world. 

The film has an expansive cast of characters and some of the other ones besides the main ones are the bridesmaid’s Victoria & Lucy (Stephanie Corneliussen, Alana Boden); they are a bit creepy, and jealous of Evie. There are plenty of maids and footmen as well. Also Ms. Swift (Carol Ann Crawford) is the head of the woman servants. There are many family members and local townspeople in the cast like Jonathan and Mina Harker (Jeremy Wheeler, Elizabeth Counsel) 

The technical aspects of the film are some of the best parts. The cinematography by Autumn Aiken is beautiful. She has made this film definitely something very good to look at in every scene. The house and all its various rooms are shot impeccably. Along with the house comes the clothes everyone wears. The dresses and suits are fit for a big sprawling English wedding such as that which is in this movie. And the hair and makeup look the part as well. The filmmakers spared no expense on these aspects of the film.

With all the good must also come the bad and unfortunately, there is a lot of bad in this film. The story by Blair Butler and the director Jessica Thompson takes too long to develop. Once it finally kicks into gear it falls back on way too many tropes used in films such as this. The main plot points are very predictable and anybody who has seen a vampire film before could have figured them out about halfway through the film. I sure did. It wasn’t hard to see through this paper-thin plot.

At the forefront, The Invitation had good intentions of being a film that was going to be an entertaining thriller with popular tropes used in horror films for the Halloween season. This film looks very good and the technical aspects are that of competent people in their field of expertise. The direction is fine, but the writing is not very good. The story is very pedestrian and most of the plot points are predictable and telegraphed a mile away. It’s sad because this film had the makings of something special but it fell apart in the execution. I look forward to seeing Nathalie Emmanuel in films but she was wasted in this one. 

2 stars 

Dan Skip Allen

In theaters on August 26th

Three Thousand Years of Longing Review

George Miller is coming off of one of the biggest hits of his career with 2016’s Mad Max: Fury Road. It won six Academy Awards and spawned another film in the Max Max franchise, Furiosa. But action epics aren’t the only thing that Miller excels at making. His latest film, Three Thousand Years of Longing, is quite different from anything he’s done before.

Althea Binnie (Tilda Swinton) is a literary scholar on tour in Istanbul, Turkey. While there, she goes shopping and buys a mysterious little bottle. She takes the bottle back to her hotel room, and after she takes a shower, she decides to clean some dirt off the bottle, inadvertently opening it. What happens next is unbelievable. A giant man is now in her room, and she threatens to call the authorities if he doesn’t leave. He eventually convinces her he is a Djinn (Idris Elba) who’s been stuck in a bottle for thousands of years. He also explains the rules of her wishes and that she must wish for her heart’s desires.

Yes, George Miller has directed a film about a genie. This isn’t Disney’s Aladdin, though. It is an existential journey through his life and how one thing has eluded him through the ages. That one thing also endears him to Swinton’s character: love. That’s where this film gets into the meat and potatoes of what it’s trying to say. Love, lost love, and trying to find love are not as simple as they sound. 

This film is a philosophical look at a Djinn cursed with living life forever by being stuck in a bottle for many years at a time. It shows his occasional forays out of the bottle. What is life like for this genie, and how is his life affected by those who open his bottle? That’s where Swinton’s character comes in. She isn’t like any of his other masters. She’s very smart and brings up questions that help the Djinn think about his existence. Her life is of no coincidence except when she utters her first wish.

Even though this film is basically set in one location, it does span generations. With that comes the various places the Djinn has been in time. There are some beautiful sets and locations that this film goes to. The costumes and hair design are fantastic. This film’s production value and design are some of the best of the year so far. Miller is known for making his films look otherworldly, and this one, at times, is no different. I felt like I was back in time at some of the moments in this film.

Even though this film has a bigger cast, it is pretty much a two-hander most of the time. The heart of this film is the relationship between Swinton and Elba. They have a rapport with one another that is damn near perfect. They seem to have been working together for years because of how good they are together opposite each other in this film. They are able to play off of different cues that each has in the conversation. This makes the exposition scenes much more effective in the context of the film. Their scenes together are incredible. 

Between all the historical aspects of this film and the exposition scenes in that hotel room, this film is trying to tell a story of love lost and found. I can relate to this, and that’s the main theme I grasped onto the most while watching it. Love is fleeting, but it is also hard to find in the first place. I couldn’t bear living thousands of years without finding love bad enough. I’ve lived almost half a century without it. It’s not easy being lonely. 

Three Thousand Years of Longing has the main story of a woman who finds and opens a bottle with a Djinn in it. The period aspects of the film were quite beautiful to look at. The production design, costumes, and hairstyles were on point throughout the historical parts of the film. Miller decides to parlay his fame as a director of the Mad Max franchise into being able to make a literal love letter, and it’s a masterpiece of filmmaking. It has a great message of love and trying to find love, something I could relate to. Love isn’t easy to find for some. Hopefully, most of us won’t have to go thousands of years to find it.

4 1/2 stars

Dan Skip Allen

Sean Boelman Founder/EIC disappointment media

Five Days at Memorial Review

Films and tv shows about real-life events can be a little difficult to depict because of how they are recorded, as in written down and documented. Sometimes these stories turn out very good and sometimes they don’t. The key is how the creators of the said show and or film are invested in telling this story and being meticulous in their storytelling. The creators of Five Days at Memorial pulled out all the stops to make this show as authentic as possible considering the tragic events that took place at that hospital during this period.

This series takes place during and after the hurricane Katrina disaster. At first, the news media and the employees of the hospitals thought they had made it out of this disaster without a scratch. That was until the levies started breaking and the water from the gulf of Mexico started flowing into the city limits of New Orleans. This caused the doctors and nurses to come up with a plan to try to keep the patients safe and or try to evacuate them if possible. Things didn’t turn out very well after this. 

The conditions of the hospital started to deteriorate. The air conditioning went out and so did the electricity. Due to the electrical grid in the city and surrounding areas going out. People started to get concerned about what was going to happen to the patient during this trying time for everyone involved. Also, there were some questionable characters outside the hospital until authorities came and wanted everyone to get out of the hospital. That was the key to how this tragedy truly unfolded after the hurricane.

The miniseries was developed, written, and directed by John Ridley and Carlton Cuse based on the 2013 book by Sheri Fink of the same name. These creators did a great job bringing this story to life on Apple TV +. All the pain and suffering and bad decision-making that went on during this time are in full effect in this series. Even the other side of the coin. The lawyers who have to investigate this tragedy are brought to life very well and all the investigative tricks they can muster are shown in the show. These creators don’t leave any rock unturned.

While telling this story Ridley and Cuse assemble an amazing cast of actors doctors led by Vera Farmiga as Dr. Anna Pou, Cherry Jones as Susan Mulderick, Robert Pine as Dr. Horace Waltz, and Cornelius Smith Jr as Dr. Bryant King. Some of the nurses are played by Adepero Oduye as Karen Wynn and Julie Ann Emery as Diane Robichaux. There are a couple more actors that play the lawyers in the series and they are Michael Gaston as Author Butch Schafer and Molly E Hager as Virginia Rider. All of these actors do a stellar job bringing this story to life and it shows in their performances. 

From a technical aspect, I couldn’t find any flaws in this show regarding the medical technique used throughout the mini-series. With all the doctors and nurses featured here, there is quite a bit of medical work done by all. This has to be done with perfect execution. Or those who are watching can catch anything that isn’t realistic or authentic. There are a lot of shows about doctors and from my point of view, this series was well depicted from this aspect as well. The creators were very thorough in their job on this story.

Five Days at Memorial depicted some tragic events in the follow-up of Hurricane Katrina. Ridley and Cuse are both very effective filmmakers and creators in their own right. What they made with this miniseries is a story of how a lack of decisions and leadership led to tough times for those involved including the patients. The writing is fantastic and the entire depiction of this story was first rate including the acting and direction. Apple TV + has a winner on its hands with this difficult series to watch. It’s not for the faint of heart at all points. Those that do watch it will be rewarded with a great show about this truly tragic event.

4 ½ stars 

Dan Skip Allen

Beast Review

Creature features are a mainstay of the horror genre. Jaws has been the gold standard of all creature features since it premiered in 1974. Since Jaws, there has been the occasional Anaconda or Crawl that has come out and touched on this level of what creature features can be. Beast, unlike The Ghost and the Darkness, doesn’t hit the highs of these other creature features. It’s mildly just another late entry in the doldrums of summer that is August.

Dr. Nate Samuels (Idris Elba) is the father of two teen girls, Meredith “Mer” (Iyana Halley) and Nora (Leah Jefferies). Elba’s character is a single father. His wife died, and as a means of recovery, he takes the girls to a game preserve in South Africa run by a family friend, Martin Battles (Sharlto Copley). He takes the family to the bush to see all the wildlife. After some poachers kill a family of lions, one lion survives and comes after anyone he sees, good or bad. The family is now in a fight for survival.

Elba and company do their best to make this material worthwhile and as dramatic as it can be, but from the very beginning, some of the sequences don’t work. Especially those involving people trying to fight a lion. There just wouldn’t be any survival of man versus beast in this scenario. As great of an actor as Elba is, even he couldn’t survive this. And when certain things happen involving violence toward the lion in the film, you just have to shake your head in disbelief. Yes, it’s raw and visceral at points in the movie, but at what cost?

The director Balthasar Kormakur pulls out all the stops in the 93-minute run time of this film. That being said, there were moments when this film felt slow and plodding along. When the action picked up, it was on like Donkey Kong. It just wasn’t always filled with action sequences. There were times when characters were sitting around waiting while other characters were doing something dramatic, and then a time displacement happened, and you were left to ask how that could have happened. 

I think the editing could have been better in these sequences. Still, the overall look of the film was breathtaking. There were some gorgeous scenes of vistas and various creeks and hills littered throughout the film. Every animal you can think of in Africa showed up at one time or another. The CGI on the main lion was pretty damn good, and overall the CGI was very good on the rest of the animals in the film. The technical aspects were serviceable.

Beast isn’t a bad film — it just isn’t on the level of some other creature features, like the much better The Ghost and the Darkness. This film never reached the scare factor I wanted, and even though there was a lot of bloodshed, I never felt these people were in real danger as far as a survival aspect. The ending was pretty predictable, which was the final thing that dragged the film down.

2 1/2 stars

Dan Skip Allen

Sean Boelman Founder/EIC disappointment media

She-Hulk Attorney at Law Review

Marvel and Disney have spread their wings in many different directions since they established the Disney+ streaming service. Marvel would have shows that fit into their cinematic universe on the streaming service. WandaVisionMoon Knight, and Ms. Marvel are three distinctly different types of properties that Marvel has created in the past. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law might be the most vastly different thing they’ve done yet: a half-hour legal comedy.

Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany), the cousin of Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), is driving a car when they inexplicably crash due to a spaceship appearing on the road in front of them. This causes Bruce to bleed profusely, and his blood gets on his cousin, causing her to Hulk out. Absorbing his blood turns her into a copy of her cousin, but she still needs to learn the ropes of what it takes to be a superhero. She just wants to return to her job as a lawyer, but the world has other plans.

Jessica Gao, Kat Corio, and Anu Valia have created a show like none before in the MCU. This show has a feel of legal comedies like Ally McBeal and Murphy Brown. That being said, the two distinguishing factors are that the lead character is a 6-foot 7-inch green Hulk and her tendency to break the fourth wall and talk to the viewers watching the show, similar to how she did in the comic book series. The show is based partly on the John Byrne run from the ’80s.

Tatiana Maslany has won an Emmy award for the myriad of characters she played on the sci-fi show Orphan Black from 2013-2017. She has done a few more roles in Perry Mason and as an evangelist and the girlfriend of a Boston Marathon bombing victim in Stronger. The part of Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk might be the most challenging of her career. She has to do a lot of mocap work and, as mentioned, break the fourth wall. The series mixes many different genres to give her a tough character to play. Like the master actress she is, she takes it all in stride and delivers scene after scene. This might be the best character I’ve seen this far in a Disney+ show.

This series shows the character as down-to-earth and relatable to those similar to her. She is in a world of women who are more career driven and on a path of success as far as being a professional but struggles in the dating world. Trying to find a man on her level isn’t easy for her. Swiping right and left can be a full-time job. This is where this show separates itself from other shows like it. The comedy that comes from the dating game is pretty funny.

Many people had a big issue when the trailers were released for this show: the CGI and the uncanny valley. People were down on the show before they could ever see an episode. I will be honest, the CGI isn’t great, but from what I’ve watched so far, the story distracts me from it after the first few times I saw it. I just ignored it and started being more concerned with the story and direction of the episodes and how they all fit in together. That was my main concern. I don’t think it’s an issue if all the other aspects of the show work, and they do.

After watching four episodes, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is a fun show. The breaking of the fourth wall is an added element that is funny when it happens. The writing, direction, and acting, especially by Maslany, are the strong parts of the show. Fans of the character and the MCU should get past the CGI and uncanny valley and enjoy the more personal aspects of the show. Yes, it’s geared to career women and how they navigate through a world of men who want to control everything, but it says a lot about how intelligent and educated women can handle themselves in this world that wants to put them down. This is one of the best shows Marvel/Disney has put out thus far for Disney+. I can’t wait to watch the final five episodes of the series.

4 stars

Dan Skip Allen

Sean Boelman Founder/EIC disappointment media

Glorious Review

We’ve all had a day when we feel like giving up and either drinking ourselves into a stupor or ending it because life is too tough to handle. Maybe our wife/girlfriend left us, we got fired from our job, or worse yet, we were having problems with our co-workers and bosses, so we may have quit instead. In Glorious, that’s the basic premise of bringing on of what turns out to be something totally strange and off the wall.

Wes (Ryan Kwanten, True Blood) is a down-on-his-luck guy who, while driving in some undisclosed location, starts to fall asleep behind the wheel. He decided to pull over onto a rest area off the side of the road. While there, he gets drunk and burns his belongings. When he wakes up from one heck of a hangover, he feels the urge to vomit, so he runs into the restroom and sticks his head into a toilet. When he gets up, a voice (J.K. Simmons) from the stall next to him starts talking.

The voice is that of a space oddity that asks him for help with something, but that’s when this film turns really crazy and goes in a wild, horrific sci-fi direction. The voice starts to get philosophical with the man, but all the man wants to do is escape from this nightmare he believes he’s in. The man begins to think about his life and why he ended up in the restroom in a rest area. He wishes he was with his girlfriend/wife instead. The entity in the stall has other plans for him, though.

This film isn’t for the squeamish. It had some very bloody scenes of a man getting killed and torn limb from limb. The blood flowed like a water faucet. The leading man realizes that the space entity in the stall means business. What he can’t figure out is why the entity chose him for this purpose. What did he do to deserve this incredible honor that’s not really an honor, but more like a detriment? He thinks he’s a nobody; why should he be chosen for some almighty job like this? Sometimes you are just in the right place at the wrong time.

The director Rebekah McKendry and co-writers Joshua Hall and David Ian McKendry try to weave a story of existentialism into a bloody horror film, and it works to some extent. The philosophical ideas it tries to discuss make sense, but the overall way they try to tell the story falls short of their lofty expectations. The gory nature of the film takes away from the high and mighty thought-provoking tale.

J.K. Simmons has played a lot of various types of characters in his career. I don’t think he’s ever played one such as this, though. His voice is so distinctive that he was the obvious choice to place a faceless entity hiding out in a bathroom stall. His voice reverberates at times, and when he’s mad or unhappy, he gets very loud. It’s a surprising feeling while watching the film. He definitely commands the screen in these moments. As a viewer, you just have to sit back in awe of him.

Glorious has a concept that, at first glance, doesn’t seem to work. The writers and director are hamstrung with the location of this rest area bathroom. The voice of Simmons and the absurdity of the story make it work in the end. This idea deserves credit even though the whole film as a whole isn’t all that satisfying. Sometimes filmmakers deserve a pat on the back for a good effort, and this one is that, if not anything else.

3 1/2 stars

Dan Skip Allen

Sean Boelman Founder/EIC disappointment media

Bodies Bodies Bodies Review

There have been plenty of horror films where a group of young people meets up in a single location. This horror trope is so old it’s hardly an original idea for a movie… that is, until now. You have a young couple meeting their friends at a secluded mansion on a mountain during a hurricane. I haven’t seen this before, and that’s the premise of Bodies Bodies Bodies.

Sophie and Dee (Amandla Sternberg and Maria Bakalova) are two young lovers on a winding Mountain Road going to a friend’s house on the top of a mountain. When they get there, they are welcomed and embraced by their friends. The friends include David (Pete Davidson), whose house it is, his girlfriend Emma (Chase Lui Wonders), Alice (Rachel Sennott), her boyfriend Greg (Lee Pace), and Jordan (Myhala Herrold). This group has a lot of history together that starts to come out in the wash when they play a game of Bodies, Bodies, Bodies.

These types of films like to play off of the backstories of the characters involved in the movie. These characters’ backstories are extensive and lead to a lot of drama. Ex-lovers and new short-term lovers are all up in each other’s faces! And people that haven’t been seen in a while because they’ve been jilted show up unannounced. This kind of drama is what the film is anchored on until it turns crazy. When the hurricane comes, all hell breaks loose.

This film leans in on all the horror tropes of the past but has a comedic side that is pretty funny, mainly due to Pete Davidson’s character, who throws out one-liners like they are candy. He is definitely on the lighter side if you want to call it that of the film. It balances both comedy and drama perfectly. Right when there is a tense moment, something funny is said or done to break the tension. That’s the balance I’m talking about. This film threads the line when it needs to be dramatic or funny. The writers, Sarah Delappe and Kristen Rouperian, deserve all the credit for this. They wrote an ingenious script.

The thing I thought that was a little overdone in the film was the jargon that young people say these days, like gaslight and so forth. These phrases were a little overdone in the film; whether scripted or ad-libbed, they took me out of what was a pretty entertaining film. It makes everything feel so overdramatized.

Another problem with the film was that it looked great until the lights ended up going out during the storm. The cinematography wasn’t good during these scenes. I could hardly see what was happening because there wasn’t enough lighting in these scenes. Whether this was a conscious decision by the director Halina Reijn or not, who knows. I just thought that the darker scenes were too dark. The daylight scenes looked great, though. Maybe she wanted to have a contrast in the various scenes to make them look entirely different.

The film relies on a twist at the end that is contingent on the rest of the film being as believable as possible as far as the story, plot, and characters realistic behavior go. That is the part of the film that works involving the twist. The twist brings everything home in the end and makes the film that much more satisfying to me. I can get past some of the other things I mentioned as long as this all comes together. It did.

Bodies Bodies Bodies has a premise and concept that is familiar to a lot of people. Despite that, the story is interesting except for a few modern takes on characters. The cinematography is very dark at night, and it’s hard to see at times, even though characters use cellphone lights to see where they’re going. The actors, mostly established stars, do a good job balancing the line between comedy and drama, which keeps the viewer on their feet throughout the film. This film hinges on a twist that if it didn’t have, the film would be a complete waste of time, but because of the modern take on the film, it works. This is one of the craziest endings you’ll see all year, and I completely bought it hook, line, and sinker.

3 1/2 stars

Dan Skip Allen

Sean Boelman Founder/EIC disappointment media

Day Shift Review

Vampire movies have come in all shapes and sizes over the decades. Of course, the classic Bela Lugosi Dracula and Nosferatu starring Max Shreck are the standards of this genre. Interview with a VampireBram Stoker’s DraculaThe Lost Boys, and Fright Night brought the genre to a whole new generation of film lovers and horror enthusiasts. The latest vampire film, Day Shift, wouldn’t be considered one of the best in the genre by any stretch of the imagination.

Bud Jablonski (Jamie Foxx) is a pool cleaner on the outside to his daughter and baby momma and he works as a a vampire hunter as his day job. His wife, Jocelyn (Meagan Good), has threatened him with taking their daughter Page (Zion Broadnax) to Florida unless he comes up with a large sum of money in three days. The only way he knows how is to kill vampires, in which he sells their teeth to the highest bidder. 

“Day Shift” is a term where vampire workers work for a Union which assigns jobs and shifts. Day Shift is considered the worst shift because vampires are primarily active at night. In this case, the main character and his handler, Seth (Dave Franco), work during the day to try to kill vampires in broad daylight in sunny California. In the case of the film, there is a vampire who operates in the daytime. Her name is Audrey (Karla Souza), and she’s a realtor. When Foxx’s character inadvertently kills her daughter, he gets on her radar.

This film sets up the rules of the world pretty succinctly. The Union is a very interesting place, and its myriad of rules are numbered. Whereas other vampire films have rules, they don’t have laws of the land, and a governing body like this film does. That’s the fascinating part of this film. Except for these rules and bylaws and so forth get in the way of the film. The Franco character is an annoyance and totally a waste of time as far as the film goes. 

The best part of the film is its action scenes, which start immediately. As I mentioned, the Foxx character kills an old woman (who is not really that old… it’s too much to explain). That scene was pretty cool to start the film with. There are a few more action scenes, one involving a house with vampires coming out of the wazoo everywhere you can think of. This scene was pretty awesome. The vampires looked and moved pretty cool. That’s the best thing I can say about this film, though.

Despite the beginning, the film he rest of the film drags for an entire hour setting up the world, and those annoying rules and some characters I wished hadn’t been introduced. It wasn’t a fun experience following Foxx’s character around for an hour, basically doing nothing. He was takling to various people, including his ex-wife, a pawn shop owner, and the head of the Union. It wasn’t a good look for this guy that is supposed to be a badass. This wasn’t good for the character or the film.

Despite a few cool fight scenes and a car chase, Day Shift was a dull, slow, methodical mess of a film. The lead character wasn’t what is called a redeeming man, even though the film would like to portray him that way. Jamie Foxx is an Oscar winner for portraying Ray Charles in Ray, but he has been demoted to an actor who takes these types of roles where there isn’t anything good about them. Dave Franco is the least talented brother in that family, which shows in this film. The villain is one note, and despite her speaking Spanish, she doesn’t bring anything new or original to the role. This film is a bad example of what this genre can and should be: much better. 

1 1/2 stars

Dan Skip Allen

Sean Boelman Founder/EIC disappointment media