Malum (2023) – Scaring Outside the Cop Shop

So normally I would be typing about how my newest review is on Soda & Telepaths… well, they’re merging with Phasr Media so now sometimes my articles will pop up over there, including this review of a movie called Malum which is a remake of another movie called Last Shift and I had a large number of thoughts about it.

Ghosted (2023) – Leave On Read

Released: 21st April
Seen: 24th April

Sometimes a film feels like it should be basically impossible to mess up, a combination of a great director, great writers and great actors that seems like at the bare minimum it should produce a piece of fun, harmless entertainment that’ll deliver on what it promises. Say you have the director of one of the best biopic films ever, gave him a film written by the people who wrote two major superhero franchise films and a pair of actors who have proven to have chemistry before who are also wildly popular and insanely talented. That sounds like a recipe for success, a surefire way to make something that’s at least on the surface level enjoyable… so what the hell went wrong with Ghostedyou to make it as dull as it is?

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Tetris (2023) – Fittingly Exciting

Released: 31st March
Seen: 22nd April

In 1985, back in the USSR, a man named Alexey Pajitnov was tasked with testing out a new piece of hardware to figure out what it was capable of. Of the many things he tried, one thing he did was make a game where a set of blocks fell from the sky in random shapes consisting of four squares and if you lined them up, those blocks would disappear. That game was called Tetris and for a game that is such a ubiquitous part of gaming, the story of how it ended up managing to be released outside the Soviet Union (that’s how long ago this was, Russia was still the Soviet Union at the time) is absolutely bonkers and told wonderfully in the movie Tetris… shame because I was hoping the Tetris movie would be an insane attempt to turn the actual game into a narrative but hey, a biopic works too.

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Evil Dead Rise (2023) – Groovy

Released: 20th April
Seen: 20th April

Evil Dead Rise Info

In 1979, Sam Raimi ran off into the forest with a bunch of his friends (including the chin-tastic Bruce Campbell) to make a feature length version of his short film Within The Woods. It was an insane idea made on a microbudget with effects that Sam made up on the fly, people got injured on set and for some reason they decided to strap a camera to a plank of wood and have two guys run through the swamp carrying it to get the shot. It was the kind of filmmaking that would make insurance agents weep and it ended up creating the 1981 film The Evil Dead.

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Air (2023) – Let’s Get Some Shoes

Released: 5th April
Seen: 17th April

Air Info

In the history of sports, there are a handful of people who are so talented at what they do that it transcends the world of sports and they just become a part of the culture, and there is no one in history who exemplifies that more than Michael Jordan. Even if you don’t know a damn thing about basketball, even if you’ve never seen a single game and couldn’t give a single solitary crap about any of it you know who Michael Jordan was. He is widely considered to be the greatest basketball player of all time, some might even argue that he’s the greatest sportsman of all time. 

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The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023) – Let’s-a go.

Released: 5th April
Seen: 12th April

When it comes to the world of video games, there is no character quite as well-known and iconic as Mario. For 40 years the short Italian with the red hat has been lighting up video game consoles and being the blueprint for an entire genre of games that he still basically runs to this day, and probably will until the universe implodes and we all die. He is such an icon that it’s kind of surprising that there’s only been a single movie made about him and it is, to be charitable, a tortuous trip through 90s consumerist dystopian fiction wrapped in an absurdist nightmare.

It’s a film that people mostly enjoy in the way most cult films are enjoyed, because they’re incredibly strange and mockable and it’s impossible to believe that someone actually made this happen. It’s an adaptation that was so bad that it put an end to the idea of Nintendo games getting made into movies up until the 2019 release of Detective Pikachu proved that they could actually work, leading to Nintendo giving the Mario Brothers one more chance… thank goodness.

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Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (2023) – Natural 20

Released: 30th March
Seen: 30th March

In 1974, the very first edition of Dungeons & Dragons was published and it pretty quickly became a mainstay of pop culture. Every decade seems to change how people look at it, be it back in the 80s when it was a very large part of the Satanic Panic bullshit or in the 2000s when we were talking about the first film adaptation that carried the name or even the 2010s when Stranger Things reminded people of why they enjoyed playing this game back in the 80s when the adults said it was evil and satanic. Even now it still maintains high popularity with an untold number of web shows and podcasts dedicated to variations on this classic tabletop RPG… I’ve never played it once, so I went into this movie completely blind and had a great time but who knows how a fanboy might react to this.

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