A Classic Horror Story (2021) – A Buffet of Horror

Released: 14th July
Seen: 27th July

I’ve made it no secret on this blog that I’m a big fan of horror films, in particular the low budget slashers of the 80s. Sure, they might not be the most highbrow films that are trying to impart some essential message about the meaning of existence but they are an endless amount of fun. Even if the film isn’t technically great, chances are good there’s at least a creative effect or a funny line or something that’s going to be worth talking about later. Recently Netflix impressed the hell out of me with their Fear Street trilogy, a series of films that paid homage to different eras of the slasher genre… well, A Classic Horror Story decided it wanted to try and do that too, only in about a third of the time.

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Things Heard & Seen (2021) – Unsee This

Released: 29th April
Seen: 26th July

Things Heard & Seen Info

In 2016, author Elizabeth Brundage released All Things Cease To Appear, a book that was popular enough to receive a coveted positive book jacket quote by Stephen King so you know it had to be pretty good. It was certainly popular enough to get noticed by Netflix who began production of the film adaptation in 2019, an adaptation they would call Things Heard & Said… because I suppose calling it “Boring Romance And Spookies” would’ve been a little silly. 

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Shadow In The Cloud (2021) – Check Your Baggage

Released: 14th January
Seen: 25th July

Without a doubt in my mind, I feel confident in saying that The Twilight Zone is one of the most influential pieces of media to ever exist. Not only is it a piece that’s been redone time and time again (TV, radio, movies that end in horrific tragedy that should’ve probably ended the careers of the men who directed them) but it’s a series that every single creator is legally required to reference at some point. It’s a rich source for inspiration and possibly the most well known and often referenced segment would be Nightmare At 20,000 Feet, a piece where William Shatner is a passenger on a commercial airline and looks out to see something on the wing of the plane… and if you’ve seen that episode, congrats on also seeing Shadow in the Cloud.

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Jolt (2021) – Shockingly Silly

Released: 23rd July
Seen: 24th July

Jolt Info

The idea of an objective review is, to put it bluntly, misunderstanding the way media criticism works. It’s impossible to just objectively state if a film is good or bad because what works for some people might not work for others. I’ve been doing this now for a few years and have seen films that I would consider as close to objectively bad as possible have some incredible defenders. I once had someone tell me that you couldn’t criticise Cats if you hadn’t seen and enjoyed the original stageplay and even then, if your critique was negative, it didn’t count… FOR CATS! Cats, a film that I don’t wanna say is responsible for the coronavirus but the fact that it was the last big thing to come out before that virus hit is certainly not helping it.

All of this is to say that I’m aware that Jolt is not a technically good movie but god damn it, I enjoyed myself with it and will now try to justify that for a few paragraphs.

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Synchronic (2021) – An Interesting Time (Travel)

Released: 11th February
Seen: 23rd July

Synchronic Info

Time travel in movies is always a fun thing to try and deal with because everyone will try to logic around it. I saw this happen most recently with Endgame where a large amount of people kept trying to explain away how none of the time travel stuff made sense because it should’ve created alternative timelines and things of that nature (something that grew so large that Marvel just spent a full season of television going “look, if an alternate timeline did happen, these space cops would come and stop it”). I have a personal rule about time travel in movies, which is “It’s not a real thing, it’s literally a trick to explain why modern day people are in the past, stop overthinking it” which is possibly why I had a somewhat good time watching Synchronic which might have one of the more interesting uses of Time Travel I’ve seen in a while.

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9to5: The Story of A Movement (2021) – What A Way To Make A Doco

Released: 1st February
Seen: 22nd July

9to5 Info

The last year has not exactly been easy for anyone, but especially those in a regular nine to five job that found themselves suddenly unable to work and make the pittance they’d been making previously. Seems like finally this idea of barely getting by with a back breaking job has found a limit that can’t be ignored, since we now know that at any moment something can happen that will just force the planet to shut down for a year. What we’re seeing now, as things very slowly start approaching normal (APPROACHING, we are nowhere near normal again and stop acting like it) is workers have finally had enough of their low wages and poor treatment and are fighting back… a story that feels eerily similar to the one told in the documentary 9to5: The Story of A Movement

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Cosmic Sin (2021) – Nap Time

Released: 11th March
Seen: 21st July

Cosmic Sin Info

There was a time, long ago, when Bruce Willis wasn’t just a movie star. He was, without hyperbole, one of the most famous entertainers on the planet earth. He was the lead in Moonlighting, which was a global phenomenon, he starred in absolute classics like Die Hard, Pulp Fiction and 12 Monkeys. Hell, the man made two albums with the legendary Motown records and had a top 10 single with the Pointer Sisters as his backup singers, he was the definition of a global superstar… so why the hell is he still working now when he clearly stopped giving a fuck way back in the 2010s and hasn’t put in a decent performance since… what, Looper? He’s certainly not giving a decent performance in Cosmic Sin, but then again no one is.

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Love Weddings And Other Disasters Header

Love, Weddings and Other Disasters (2021) – Uggh

Released: 28th January
Seen: 19th July

So, currently, my home state is going through a lockdown thanks to covid, which means that I’m basically relegated to only reviewing movies I can see from home… and because I’m Australian that means anything that WB releases is not available for streaming down here, so that’s why you’re not seeing a Space Jam 2 review and might not even see a Suicide Squad review (unless I somehow find a way to make HBOMax work from down here which feels like too much effort for those films). This means I’m going to have to review Netflix movies or films that are cheap on Google Plus and that’s what led me to Love, Weddings and Other Disasters which is a film so painfully bad that it makes me regret almost everything in my life up to this exact second.

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Long Story Short (2021) – Too Late

Released: 11th February
Seen: 18th July

Long Story Short Info

I really do wish that I got to review a lot more Australian films here, it feels like I should because there should be a lot more of them available but unfortunately (due to a complex series of issues surrounding tax laws and funding bodies) there just aren’t that many made. Hell, the closest I’m gonna get to really doing Aussie films is whenever I talk about films that use us as a backlot. An actual Australian film with a fully Australian cast and crew feels rare these days (I believe the last one I did was The Dry way back at the start of the year) so when I find something like Long Story Short I feel excited to get to share a piece of Aussie culture that might have slipped through the cracks… and then I watch it and realise that it probably fell through the cracks because it’s threadbare and can fit through those cracks very easily.

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Barb And Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2021) – A Great Trip

Released: 12th February
Seen: 15th July

Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar Info

A good comedy is hard to find nowadays, it almost feels like every joke’s been told and you have to really do something pretty different to stand out among the crowd. Heck, sometimes doing something remarkably different might mean you just get released unceremoniously to VOD where people can just not notice you, despite you being a film that stars several of the biggest film stars in recent history which would’ve probably been wonderful to see in a cinema… oh well, at least Barb And Star Go to Vista Del Mar is so unique that it’s probably going to work for audiences whenever they discover it, no matter how long that takes.

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