MOVIE REVIEW | Cold Pursuit

Image result for cold pursuitFeeling like watching a stupid no brain action movie one recent Friday night, we sat down to watch Cold Pursuit starring Liam Neeson and Laura Dern. Here is the description just in case you’ve never heard of this film:

The quiet family life of Nels Coxman, a snowplow driver, is upended after his son’s murder. Nels begins a vengeful hunt for Viking, the drug lord he holds responsible for the killing, eliminating Viking’s associates one by one. As Nels draws closer to Viking, his actions bring even more unexpected and violent consequences, as he proves that revenge is all in the execution.

Based on the trailer this should have been a turn off your brain revenge romp with Neeson in full geri-action ass kicking mode. The reality is it’s a bit of a messy attempt at an action black comedy. The trouble is it’s not funny enough to be a comedy, and there is not enough action for it to be an action movie. It feels like there is something missing the whole time.

With a run time just short of two hours it felt like it dragged, and had we watched this on Netflix or Amazon, we likely would have turned it off.

It’s not Neeson’s best work, Dern disappears completely part way through, and it just limps along and fails to engage.

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VLOG 341 | A Dream I Had (New York, Child Jesus, and Seth Rogen)

The one with the weird little trip into dreamland…

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MOVIE REVIEW | Bob Lazar: Area 51 and Flying Saucers

Related imageAfter hearing the story of Bob Lazar on The Joe Rogan Experience, it got me intrigued enough to watch the associated documentary on Netflix called Bob Lazar: Area 51 and Flying Saucers. Who is Bob Lazar? What is his story? Here is the description:

Area 51, flying saucers from another world – and the program to create a fierce technology. Bob Lazar remains the singular most famous and controversial name in the world of UFOs. The reason you know about Area 51 is because Lazar came forward and told you about it. His disclosures have turned his life upside-down and he has tried to stay out of the spotlight. For this reason, he has never let any filmmaker into the private world of his daily life – that is – until now. Corbell’s film explores Lazar’s claims through the lens of thirty years – providing rare and never before revealed footage – guaranteed to alter the landscape of the debate.

It sounds intriguing, and Lazar’s story definitely is, but the execution of this documentary falls far short of being satisfying. There is just a lot that messes with the flow of it all. Here’s just a few things:

The initial interview with George Knapp was in an echo filled indoor pool room, it boggles the mind that anyone thought this was a good idea. Then there is the unnecessary narration, done by, of all people, Mickey Rourke – unnecessary because it serves no purpose or addition to the overall narrative of the film. It’s just inserted haphazardly sometimes to transit sections. They really should have cut all that out and the accompanying psychotropic Clockwork Orange-esque clips; this would improve it considerably and also, helpfully, trim the runtime considerably.

It almost feels like it’s the second part of a two part series and that you missed watching the first one. This documentary feels like a follow up piece that assumes you know Lazar’s story. But that’s the problem, if you don’t know Lazar’s story then you’re going to feel somewhat lost throughout, and the director makes little effort to coherently fill you in.

It needs to focus more on Bob himself – that is where things are the most interesting, but the director keeps injecting himself for no real reason that adds nothing, in fact probably a quarter of the film is literally him on the phone talking to investigative reporter George Knapp.

Lazar is weirdly compelling, but the flashy edits and mumbled philosophy only serve to annoy you.

In summary, I’d like to paraphrase another review it read: It’s a potentially very interesting story that’s told in a really confusing way, interspersed with Mickey Rourke reading from fortune cookies.

My summary is – I think you’ll learn a lot more by listening to Lazar’s appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience.

TV REVIEW | Black Mirror (Season 5)

Black Mirror has become somewhat of a cultural phenomenon since first arriving on Netflix a few years ago. Not only did it break the mould by being an anthology series, but each story packed a punch that would often leave you feeling uncomfortable, and wondering how you would have reacted in the situations facing the characters.

The fifth season arrived on Netflix in recent times and, like the first season, was only three episodes long, and like the other seasons it’s a bit of a mixed bag.

Image result for black mirror season 5 poster

The first and best is called Striking Vipers and looks at what happens when two guys make a very deep connection while playing a video game. It was both funny and thought provoking at the same time.

The second episode, called Smithereens was also pretty good, but its connection to technology was loose at best, and it plays more as a straight drama set in the near future.

The third and final episode, is absolutely the worst of the three. It is entitled Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too and for some reason stars Miley Cyrus. It just felt empty and really lacked the deep searching questions often raised by other entries in the anthology.

There are some very clever minds behind this series, and its ability to cross genres and styles means that you never know what is coming, and each episode is a brand new adventure. And while this fifth season may not reach the heights of some of the previous ones, if you like having your mind bent and broken while you consider deep philosophical questions, Black Mirror deserves your attention.