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Jingle All the Way (1996)

Jingle All the Way (1996)


Arnold Schwarzenegger
Phil Hartman
Rita Wilson

Directed by Brian Levant

Jingle All the Way for me at age eleven was everything fun. It had Arnold Schwarzenegger who was landing comedy roles well at that time and Sinbad whom I recall from the TV series A Different World. I enjoyed it a hell lot back then and I am indifferent to it now.
It is not a classic Christmas movie like It’s A Wonderful Life (1964), but for me I get to enjoy it every now and again, basically because it reminds me of a cool time from my youth with my sister.

The movie plot has our lead Howard (Schwarzenegger) shown as a workaholic mattress salesman. Howard is married to Liz (Rita Wilson) and they have a son, who is obsessed with the TV character superhero Turbo-Man. After missing his son’s karate class Howard decided to fulfill his son’s wish and get him a Turbo-Man action figure. He tells his wife that he has gotten it already, believing that all he had to do was walk into a store and pick one.

When he finally gets to walk into a store he finds out that the action figure is the most sort after thing in town and it is all sold-out everywhere. It was during this search that he meets another father wanting to buy the action figure for his son, Myron (Sinbad). They soon became nemesis, following each other and trying to get the possibly last action figure of Turbo-Man in town.

The movie was inspired by the writer's Chris Columbus attempt to get his hands on a Buzz Lightyear action figure. Buzz Lightyear was a character in the Disney/Pixar animated movie of 1995, Toy Story. This is Schwarzenegger's fourth appearance as the lead in a comedy film, following Twins (1988), Kindergarten Cop (1990) and Junior (1994).

The movie was no way a box office hit, even though the studio invested well into the production. Dishing out an eight figure salary to Schwarzenegger all adding up to it’s seventy-five million production budget, the movie made over a hundred and twenty million. Although overtime the movie has become one of those regulars you see on TV during the Christmas period.

Also in the movie is Rita Wilson, the wife of Tom Hanks who plays Schwarzenegger’s wife in the movie. So if you are curious to see what she looks like, well this movie will be a helper.
So, your children will enjoy this movie and you will probably understand the feeling if you have ever been at a mall for a last minute Christmas shopping. This movie is a nostalgia quest, not something to see if you are in the mode for a nice family fun movie.

The Hunt (2020)

The Hunt (2020)


Betty Gilpin
Emma Roberts
Ethan Suplee
Hilary Swank

Directed by Craig Zobel

The Hunt is one of those movies you only get to see because someone else saw it and recommended it. The movie is fun and sort of funny, I enjoyed the way the movie played out the first thirty minutes, where you are left trying to figure out who the lead in the movie is. When you finally get to see her, you begin to wonder, why in the hell will these people decide to pick someone like her in their game?

The movie has a final fight scene that is just sweet to behold, if for anything that is enough reason to see the movie.

The Hunt is one of those movies that will fly pass the radar of many because when it comes to fantastic acting, none existed. The story line is basic and the gore is pretty much what you will expect in such movies like this.

The Hunt is one of those movies you will be shocked someone will recommend it. Which is easy to understand why when you see it. Based on the first thirty minutes of the movie, and the way the lead was acting, you are never sure how the movie was going to end. It’s form of thrill and excitement is how it will leave you guessing what will happen next, and when those things do happen it sometimes ends up funny.

Here is the plot, a group of rich people decide that they want to hunt. They chose their prey to be human. Now at first you see the humans they have chosen and you believe it must have been at random because none seem to know who the other is.

As the movie develops we see the hunt begin with many of the prey dying mercilessly. Soon you discover that it is even hard to trust anyone you see in this movie because they may be part of the hunters.

One of the prey decided that she is not going to die easily and she turned the table on the ones hunting her, she did so well enough with the aid of some of the prey with her.
One person at the handle of all this craziness is a lady called Athena (Hilary Swank). She planted herself as the final boss at the end of the game, the last battle for anyone who survives the other bosses along the way.

I can easily recommend the hunt for viewing, it is such a viewing pleasure. It is available for digital viewing, sad the movie did not get the time to stay up in the cinemas because of the current pandemic plaguing the world.

The Invisible Man (2020)

The Invisible Man (2020)


Elisabeth Moss
Aldis Hodge
Storm Reid
Harriet Dyer

Directed by Leigh Whannell

The Invisible Man, I watched this movie and I was surprised to have preferred the book version of it a hundred times over. The movie and the book are totally different nothing from the book is here in the movie only the title.

The movie had some twists, which only made the whole experience worse. Horrible writing is the main challenge of this movie.

If you decide to look at this movie as a whole it does not make any sense at all.
Griffin is obsessed with a girl, she runs away from him so in order to get her back (which at the end of the movie you kind of like discover that was the whole purpose of this weird plan) he decided to fake his death. Not only that he left her millions of dollars so she can be comfortable and forget about him then turn himself invisible and then stalk her. What is the point to this?
When he gives her the money today and like in less than a week he starts to hunt her. What is the point of leaving her the money?

Getting her to seem insane and locked up, how was this going to get her running back into his arms again?

How is his invisibility and stalking her while invisible tie to him getting her back? If he wanted to kill her, he had all the time in the world to. So the point of the invisibility is to be close to her and stalk her without her knowing, so where does his hurting her and causing her pain tie in to this?
The idea of him going invisible so he can stalk her is just looney toons kind of stuff.

Now unlike the book where Griffin did some chemistry to get invisible, in this movie set in the modern times, Griffin achieved this invisibility by physics. I would not say more so as not to spoil the movie.

I have been opportune to have read the book, listened to the BBC audio play about the book, and watched the old BBC series on it. Each one stood true to the book’s portrayal of Griffin as a criminally insane psychopath, who cares about being the only person to be invisible. The whole book is about him trying to learn to go back visible.

H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man was well written easy to follow and you can understand why Griffin was the way he was. This movie did not do justice to the book at all. That being said, Elizabeth Moss was magnificent in this movie, she has turned herself into an actor to watch, when her name is attached to something.

This movie has been given a digital release early, but then Universal Pictures have already made millions from this movie. It was made with a $7 million budget and as of now has grossed over $123 million in the global box office.

The movie maybe classified as good, if you refuse to look at it holistically. But if you decided to look at the big picture of this movie, it just does not make any sense at all.

Bloodshot (2020)

Bloodshot (2020)


Vin Diesel
Eiza González
Sam Heughan
Toby Kebbell
Guy Pearce

Directed by David S. F. Wilson

Bloodshot the movie was something I was looking forward to see. I was hoping a new path away from the Marvel and D.C. dominated universe was something that will gain ground and we can have a third player. Do not let the studio fool us to believing that the current corona virus is the reason this movie tanked, the movie tanked in the box office because it was just not good. If you try to compare this to anything done by D.C. and Marvel in their cinematic universe lately, it does not even hold a candle to any of them.

The character created was too much for the story with which this movie placed him and the action scenes were boring and the whole incident when played out in full, was a total waste of time.

The writers tried to start from the comic books beginning and give us a back story to Bloodshot, a way of setting up the character for more movies. The story they came up with, was too small and weak to carry the character Bloodshot. Meaning, the story did not make his existence meaningful enough to want to see another movie about him.

When it comes to the supporting cast of this movie, I wished they all got a bullet so I did not have to see them too often. Vin Diesel on the other hand was not bad as the lead.

In a nutshell, Bloodshot is about a U.S. Marine named Ray (Vin Diesel) who was killed, alongside his wife. He was brought back to life by a company named Rising Spirit Tech. They specialize in developing cybernetic enhancements for disabled soldiers. Ray’s body was donated for the experiment of bring him back from the dead. Which was achieved using some special nanite technology which also made Ray, indestructible and very strong. After some flashbacks, Ray remembers who killed him and his wife and he seeks out revenge, it was there the movie went bizarre.

Here is a character who is just seeing life for the first time and being told about the nanotech in his body and all of a sudden without any information about his abilities he is able to magical things. He discover he can download how to fly a plane and do then fly it, all this he did by hacking into some directory, from his head.
He can track a person by pinging phones all these he did from the nanobots in his head. Again, remember he did these without being told how or that he could.
He was able to hack networks and databases to find who is protecting whom. Link things together to discover locations, I was beginning to wonder, maybe I slept off and missed something that must have happened in the boring intro to this movie’s beginning.

Without giving up much, there is more to Ray’s revenge missions than he knows and very early in the movie we discover this.

Bloodshot is one movie I will not be seeing again and I beg anyone who has not to not bother.

Altered Carbon: Resleeved (2020)

Altered Carbon: Resleeved (2020)


Directed by Takeru Nakajima & Yoshiyuki Okuda

Altered Carbon: Resleeved is a full-length animated anime, based on the Netflix original cyberpunk web TV series Altered Carbon. The TV series itself is based on the 2002 novel of the same title by Richard K. Morgan.

This animation is way better than the second series of Altered Carbon the TV show, and it is set before the happenings of the first series of the TV series. Can it be a standalone watch without seeing the TV series? I do not think so, they try to make it like so with enough explanation to what led to the present situation of Takeshi, but there is not enough info to watch this animation without feeling like something is missing.

The story is easy to follow, if you have seen the first series. The ending makes you know there is still more adventure they can pack in before this anime meets up with the first series of the TV Series. The fight scenes are bloody, intense and fun. The animation is cool, but doesn't play well when the fight scenes turn bloody.

To give you the plot of this show, we have to dive a little into the plot of the first series. The world of Altered Carbon is in the future, in this future people have the ability to live for hundreds of years. Their consciousness can be transferred from one body to another.
There is this device called Stack, where the consciousness is placed. This Stack contains the person's memories and experiences. This Stack can then be placed in a body, which are now called Sleeves. Humans have not only find away to defeat death, but there have also overcome the stars taken over planets and transforming them to places where humans live.

Now in this future which is like in the 2300s, these sleeves can be augmented to be faster, stronger and even to be part robotic. Altered Carbon focuses on a man named Takeshi Kovacs. Without giving out too much information about Takeshi so as not to ruining anyone who wants to see the TV series, let us dive into this animation.

Takeshi has been sleeved into another body, with the aid of a friend who wants him to investigate the Yakuza as well as protect a young girl. The girl is the tattoo artist of the Yakuza and she believes her life is in danger there in the Yakuza. She tries to run away from that life to the man who just sleeved Takeshi, when her path Takeshi crossed. He saved her and while there were leaving together she runs away from him and into the hands of the CTAC a mercenary unit. There they were attached when the girl (Gena) in the unit along with Takeshi were the only ones standing. Both decided to join hands to protect the girl and take her back to the Yakuza base.
It was there, that we discover there is more to this girls tattooing than she is telling us and there is more to Gena , than we know.

Like I said this is more like it when it comes to Altered Carbon the first series of the TV show.

The first series focuses on what happened in the book to which it was based, where Takeshi acted like a detective to solve a case. When he was brought back after his stack has been shelved for years.

The first series was magnificently done, keeping quite close to the book’s story line. Much like in this animation Takeshi was calm and in control. In the second series he was all out of control, Takeshi of the second series was aggressive, impulsive and angry at everyone and everything for no reason. They left the whole detective thing behind and gave us a show so deep into sci-fi than needed. Then a Takeshi so emotionally out of control than you would expect a man of his caliber to be.

This animation is worth delving into if you liked the first series of Altered Carbon.

101 Dalmatians (1996)

101 Dalmatians (1996)


Glenn Close
Jeff Daniels
Joely Richardson
Joan Plowright
Hugh Laurie

Directed by

It is not every day you get to see a movie filled with the warmth and joy of naivety – where thing so unlikely to happen, happens with the good people find each other, fall madly in love and get married. When such movies come along, with a screenplay tuned to almost perfection just the way the late John Hughes is known to do, you can but marvel at his work. Written and produced by John Hughes, this 1996 screenplay is based on Disney’s 1961 animation, 101 Dalmatians which was based on Dodie Smith’s 1956 novel, The Hundred and One Dalmatians. They decided to remove the talking dogs, the singing and in its place filled the movie with actions. Just have to respect the work done by the dog trainers, although the puppetry was not the best.
The movie is fantastic and no matter how old I get, seeing this movie any time of my life is always a welcome.
The movie plot places Roger (Jeff Daniel) as a video game maker (in the animation he wrote music) and Anita (Joely Richardson) works for Cruella (Glenn Close) in her fashion studio. Like in the animation Pongo (Roger’s dalmatian dog) spot Anita and her dalmatian in the park, he chased after them and many things led to something and both of them got married.
Now the two dogs are now expecting puppies, and gave birth to fifteen of them. Cruella shows up at their house and offers to by them all for a substantial amount of money, Roger and Anita refuses and Cruella left angry.
Cruella still wanting to have the puppies so she can make fur out of them, decided to hire Jasper (Hugh Laurie) and his partner Horace to steal and get as many Dalmatian puppies they could find, including that of Roger and Anita. How the animals all came together to save these pups, what Roger and Anita did to get them back, is all in this movie I want you to see again.

The casting is just as good as the screenplay and the directing is top notch. There is no way you will forget some fantastic characters like Glenn Close as Cruella DeVil or Hugh Laurie as Jasper. Not saying the other cast did not leave up to their roles in this movie, but (especially) Glenn Close was magnificent in her role as Cruella.
The movie was a huge box office success and that led to a sequel (which was nowhere as good as this). Close magnificent performance earned her a Golden Globe nomination.
The movie is getting a prequel set to be release sometime in 2021. I guess Disney does not want to do a remake to a movie that is so well done. A remake will be a daunting task to surpass what this movie represents, when it comes to classic Disney live-action remake of their classic animations.
If you have not seen this movie at all, well, there is still time now that you still have life to go remedy that error.

Osmosis Jones (2001)

Osmosis Jones (2001)


Chris Rock
Laurence Fishburne
David Hyde Pierce
Brandy Norwood
William Shatner
Bill Murray

Directed by Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly | Animation: Tom Sito and Piet Kroon

Way back in 2001 the voice of Chris Rock came screaming at us right from inside Bill Murray as the white blood cell Osmosis Jones.
This animation and live-action mix was not a big hit back then neither was it a crowd puller at the box office too as it did not making enough money to pull back its budget. This is the only take of this movie there is, and this take for me is good enough family fun.
Seeing it again nineteen years after, I still feel it is a nice movie to get you to think about your health, while entertaining you along the way.

With wonderful voice acting, placed right beside nice acting of a jerk by Bill Murray (playing Frank in this movie), the movie takes place half the time inside Frank and the other half outside him. The live action happens outside with Bill Murray and the animation shows us what is going inside, with nice voice casting. The animation here is average, but it does the job.
We get to see how the things he does on the outside affect him on the inside and how the things happening inside of him affect the outside. The focus of this movie is one of Frank’s white blood cell called Osmosis Jones and his partner a flu drug named Drix.

Frank is not a healthy individual, he eats what he likes, his house is a mess and he is like a toddler who puts anything into his mouth without thinking of where it came from. Frank ate an egg that no one in their right mind could eat and in doing so ingested a rogue virus, named Thrax.
Thrax has been killing people all around, trying to make a name for himself by getting better at killing his mark in fewer days than the previous one.
Thrax has one aim, make the body think that the human has one problem, while the body is focusing on curing those symptoms, he his free to do his work. Osmosis spot’s Thrax and starts to investigate the situation, but he is a rogue white blood cell. He is very impulsive, acting first and thinking later.
When he spots Thrax he goes after him, but he is alone on this battle as his impulsive actions are making it hard to get everyone onboard his mission.

I seem to enjoy this movie every time I see it, I can understand that this is not meant to be one of those box office blow out, but I guess this is what Disney watched to know what they should not do to make sure that the Pixar/Disney movie, Inside Out was a box office hit.

Spenser Confidential (2020)

Spenser Confidential (2020)


Mark Wahlberg
Winston Duke
Alan Arkin
Iliza Shlesinger

Directed by Peter Berg

Netflix has done better and Spenser Confidential felt (quoting Bilbo Baggins) “thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”

Netflix are in the market for making movie sequels (examples are 2017’s Bright with Will Smith and 2019’s 6 Underground with Ryan Reynolds) that will keep their subscribers coming back for more. Spenser Confidential is one of such endeavors, it ends with room for a possible sequel, but the film it self was average at best.
The movie producers seem to have an aim in mind to make the movie longer than ninety minutes. This movie is filled with so much unneeded fluff that you can just skip through the time wasters and not miss a thing. This would have best been package as a forty-five minutes series episode, than a whole waste done for this movie.

I have never been on the Mark Wahlberg train, and this movie has not helped in easing me on it.

Wasted characters, too much talk and little to irrelevant action, this sort of buddy cop comedy thriller is based on Spenser: For Hire TV series from the mid 80s. Which were based on a series of books written by Robert B. Parker. This here film though is an adaptation of Wonderland, one of the novel series written by Ace Atkins based on the Robert B. Parker's character Spenser.

Spenser (Mark Wahlberg) just got out of jail after being locked up for five years for beating up his superior officer. He gets to stay with his mentor and that night the said superior officer is murdered. At first Spenser was a suspect, but evidence led all roads to another cop Terrence as the killer. Terrence was later found dead by suicide in his car.
Spenser knew Terrence before he got locked up and he decided to do all he can to prove that he is innocent, but digging into the case led Spenser to discover more than he expected.

I can understand why this was probably made into a movie. Based on the screenplay and the whole plot – if Netflix had done their style and released ten episodes of this, after episode one people will stop watching. This is not the kind of thing you will like to binge, even if each episode had to deal with Spenser trying to correct a different wrong made by the police.

If there is a sequel to this movie released in a later year, there is a high enough possibility that I may see it, hoping for better material, before bowing out completely. Regardless of that, this movie itself is not worth recommending.