Missing (2023) – Found It

Released: 23rd February
Seen: 28th May

In 2018 a little film called Searching was released to an unsuspecting public. Now at the time we had a few films that used the “it’s happening on a computer screen” gimmick (also known as Screenlife) but none had used it quite as effectively as Searching did in order to tell a truly intense story of a kidnapping from the POV of a worried father trying to use technology in order to find his daughter. It was an undeniable hit, raking in about 75 million on a budget that was basically just a few go-pros and a pair of fairly well-known actors but with its creative presentation and twist-filled story, it managed to get enough attention that a franchise sprung forth. This is how we get the film Missing, a follow-up that proves that there is a lot more life left in this concept that can hopefully be explored.

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Knock At The Cabin (2023) – Choices

Released: 17th May
Seen: 23rd May

There is a trope in fiction known as “Bury Your Gays” which has become somewhat of a problem in certain pieces of media. The idea is depressingly simple, the idea being that there is a disproportionate number of gay characters dying, normally as a way to expand a straight character’s storyline. Now this doesn’t mean that you can never kill off a gay character, far from it. However, if you do, it should be at the same proportion as straight characters and, preferably, not be completely pointless. Knock at the Cabin is a case study in how to do this correctly while also indulging in more than a few of M Night Shyamalan’s worst tendencies as a writer/director.

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Plane (2023) – Minimal Turbulance

Released: 13th January
Seen: 21st May

January tends to be known as a dump month for releases. Basically, a film that is released this month tends to be something that the studios don’t have faith in and throw out quickly and quietly with minimal expectations. There are obviously exceptions to this idea, truly spectacular movies can come out pretty much any time but a January release is usually the spot where films go to die. It takes something kind of special to break this rule and actually make a splash… or you can be mediocre enough in the exact right ways to make back a minuscule budget and be something more than just a quick write-off.

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Glorious (2022) Is Quite Alright!

Originally posted on Soda & Telepaths September 3rd 2022

Glorious Plot

Wes (Ryan Kwanten) is having a bad day, to say the least. He’s just broken up with his girlfriend, Brenda (Sylvia Grace Crim) and in his frustration, he’s gone on a long drive and gotten unreasonably drunk at a rest stop that’s out in the middle of nowhere. After spending a few hours at the rest stop getting wasted, Wes needs to use the bathroom in the rest stop and so he gets into the only unoccupied stall.

After a while he begins talking to the mysterious person in the locked stall beside him, only to discover that the stall doesn’t have a person in it but a cosmic demigod known as Ghatanothoa (J.K. Simmons) who has brought Wes to this rest stop in order to ask for a favour, and to torment him with occasional visions of his past. 

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John Wick: Chapter Four (2023) – Mr Wick, Welcome Back

Released: 23rd March
Seen: 25th March

It’s a little stunning to think that it was only ten years ago we were first introduced to John Wick, a hitman who merely wanted to live out his life in peace with his car and his dog who ended up being attacked and having his car stolen and dog killed. Thus began the legend of John Wick which has carried through three of the best action films of the last 20 years. Each entry in the John Wick franchise feels like it’s been dared to one up the film that went before it and so far, every single time it’s pulled that off with some of the most elaborate and intense action sequences to be put on film. Well now we’re here at Chapter 4 and it must be said, they certainly TRY to one-up themselves from the last time.

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Scream 6 (2023) – Scream A Little Louder

Released: 9th March
Seen: 8th March

On June 6th Neve Campbell made an announcement that she was not going to appear in Scream 6 due to negotiations with Paramount falling through when they didn’t give her the money that she felt she was worth to the franchise. This was, quite frankly, insane to believe because Neve Campbell is the face of the Scream franchise, as important to it as phone calls and the concept of horror movie trivia so for Paramount to decide to just not give her what she is worth is abysmal on their part. It is my sincere hope that when Scream 7 comes around they actually give her what she deserves and then some because I don’t know how many films in this franchise they can make without the iconic Sidney Prescott… apparently, they can make at least one though because, despite this serious issue, Scream 6 is actually fantastic.

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Cocaine Bear (2023) – THE BEAR DID COCAINE!

Released: 23rd February
Seen: 5th March

In 1985 a 175 kg black bear in the wilderness of Tennessee came upon a bag of cocaine that had been dumped from a plane by Andrew C. Thornton II, a noted drug dealer (who, hilariously, jumped from the plane with his cocaine and died because his parachute didn’t open). Like any good bear who finds a fuckload of cocaine, this big black bear ate so much cocaine that it was later found dead from an overdose. This bear has since been taxidermied and given the glorious name of Cokey The Bear… this is a completely true story, this absolutely happened. The only thing we don’t know is what this bear did between finding the cocaine and dying from the overdose. Cocaine Bear decides to answer that question and it’s absolutely glorious.

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M3GAN (2023) – Living Doll

Released: 12th January
Seen: 19th January

In 2019, thanks to some wild legalese that still makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, MGM released the film Child’s Play which was a remake of the 80s classic of the same name. The big thing that made the new Child’s Play different (besides it being bad) was that the doll was actually a robot with advanced AI that had violence programmed into it… it was dumb and not good in many ways but the fact that it was a feature-length version of the “Someone switched this thing to evil” gag from Treehouse of Horror instead of the possession story that we loved was a big reason why. However, the idea of a child’s toy that kills due to faulty AI isn’t a half-bad idea, it just didn’t work with the Child’s Play franchise but if someone smart were to take that idea and make it original, fun, maybe a little campy and not stupid as fuck then maybe we might have something.

Pleased to report, M3GAN is original, fun, campy and not stupid as fuck, we absolutely have something here.

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The Invitation (2022) – RSVP-lease Stop Immediately

Released: 25th August
Seen: 9th December

The Invitation Info

It’s been said a few times that 2022 has just been a fantastic year for horror. It feels like every few weeks there’s another horror film coming out and a shocking amount of them have been absolutely incredible. From surprising microbudget hits like Terrifier 2 to major releases like Scream, horror this year has been on another level of quality the likes of which we haven’t seen in a long time. However, even in a year full of fantastic horror films there will always be a few major duds and it’s fair to say that The Invitation might be the biggest horror dud of 2022.

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The Menu (2022) – Eat Up

Released: 24th November
Seen: 27th November

When reading film criticism, one comparison you will often find is the critics comparing a piece of art to food. It’s so common that it’s basically a cliche, if you want to make fun of a critic you merely need to say something in a slightly upper-crust accent and compare whatever you’re talking about to a common item of food. For example “The painting’s colour palette is as vivacious as a freshly grown strawberry”, it means absolutely nothing but sounds just intellectual enough to work in most cases.

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