Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Ep 3.6, (Dir. Michael Goi)


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I couldn’t totally tell if I was being entertained by this episode. I’m gonna say no because it’s taken me a week to write this. I have to review Sabrina in stages like getting oral surgery. They root canal you- Sabrina Season Opener, They put bone and hardware up into your gums – mid-season Sabrina, and finally you get a new fake tooth and it’s over- Sabrina Season Finale.

If it weren’t the live tweet sessions with Lisa, I would’ve lost it long ago.  Those banter sessions make the show pretty fun; it’s a shame that the writers and directors can’t achieve that on their very own. In that same vein, if Harvey gets to be any more boring, he’s just going to be recapping his favorite scenes from “How it’s Made” on the Science Channel.  Hey Sabrina, you know what’re swell? Diving Helmets!

At least in this episode, Sabrina didn’t have to find anything. FFS, every episode has been

I miss Nick. But, Sabrina the Town. NIIIIIIIICK!  Sabrina wait….

NO, I’ve to find Judas’ silver, a stop sign, and an Easter basket and have it back at the rec center by Midnight!

Meanwhile courtly intrigue, Caliban is proposing to Sabrina to be his Queen of Hell and he’ll prove he’s on the up and up by making a crappy spell to turn Roz back from stone.  To do this, Harvey has to give up the thing he loves most – his 19th Century Danish Coin Collection.  He actually had to kiss Roz and it would make her not want to have anything to do with him anymore.  They should’ve just had Harvey try express a fully formed thought- she would’ve rolled her stone body the hell out of Greendale lickity split! The kiss didn’t work because he supposedly still loves Sabrina.  Instead, they just capture Circe and she changes everyone back from stone. Oh well.

Hilda is super-gross and nearly full-on spider. She puts a glamour on and decides to hang out with Dr Cee.  Unfortunately, she losses her glamour and he sees all of her spiderness.  He does what any fiance would do and gets her some fast food.  Why not?  While he’s gone, she eats a guy who must be 90% balloon, given the blood splatter.  When he does return, Hilda corners Dr Cee, has him fertilize her eggs (somehow yeech), and kills him.  Hilda tells her sister to come and bring a gun and Zelda kills Hilda.  Afterall, Zelda used to kill Hilda once a month; so, Zelda puts Hilda in the resurrection plot device out front and waits for Hilda’s return.

Lastly, Lilith seduces father Blackwood so that she will have a Satan baby to keep Lucifer from killing her.  Why not?

This episode was not terrible, but not great.  It kind of made me sad for Hilda and the actress herself because she rarely gets to show any range.  In this episode, we find out that she has a broadway quality voice. Oh well, Lisa’s got the next one. Tag, you’re it!

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Ep 3.5, The Devil Within, Dir: Roxanne Benjamin


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Good to see you all again.  It has been a while, but it’s not my fault; the show is hard to watch sometimes.  It lacks the first season pop, but moreover, I never thought Hell could be so boring, bureaucratic, and poorly decorated.  The Hell Set looks like if a Middle School got into Dinner Theater:

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Welcome to Hell and don’t forget to buy some lemon squares from Billy; he’s running a bake sale for our local little league soccer team – The Strikers.

Nick is going through withdrawal and has to go through spooky stuff and this is really on Sabrina’s mind. Not like Roz, who is now a statue.  The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina the TOXIC FRIEND!

This episode is again a fetch quest episode about “Regalia”. Whatever! Let’s be honest- it’s a spooky scavenger hunt.  Next week, Sabrina and Calaban will be feuding in the tacky Hell Set over the latest “Regalia”:

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In this week’s Regalia Hunt, Sabrina has to get the stop sign next the Old Man Winters – the local druggist- who is notoriously cranky! Nah, she and Calaban have to head to a lovely Vancouver Beach, I mean Golgotha where she has to steal a bowl from Pontius Pilate.  Let me explain: Jesus was crucified at Golgotha and Pontius Pilate “washes his hands” of the decision to crucify Jesus.  This act, according to Sabrina, condemned Pontius Pilate, a skeleton Roman Soldier, and Barabbas (for some reason…really, why?! He was a criminal, but he didn’t lobby for the pardon).  They all have to relive the Crucifixion for eternity.

This whole scene was just weird! I mean Sabrina barely bats an eye when she’s talking to Barabbas.  He was there! Even if she’s all into Hell, this was the most critical moment of all Human history and she just talks to Barabbas like she’s meeting some rando at the Shake Shack.  Pilate must re-enact the Crucifixion and in order to stop it – Barabbas must steal the bowl.  Hmmm, why didn’t Barabbas think of this? He’s there for 2000 years.  Really? There’s literally 3 people on the stage.  That’s it.  He knows someone has to take the bowl.

Calaban nobly offers to be crucified so Sabrina can get Barabbas to steal the bowl and hand it off to her. This all goes off well, but Calaban is left behind, which seemed pretty obvious that he would be.  He has to spend 2000 years on a beach and then when he returns he’s all angry he was left behind and says something about him being…..MADE OF CLAY for the 1000th time.  This guy’s more into dirt than Scott’s Lawn Care.

Sabrina won this part of the scavenger hunt! YAY! However, there’s still some weirdness afoot.  Lucifer’s going around in Father Blackwood’s body and telling people to do dumb things.  LuciBlackwood gets Harvey to get the jocks together and attack the carnival and a few of them get turned into pigs.  By the by, yesterday, I braised a delicious pork tenderloin over pineapples, apples, and honey- BURRITOS ARE TONITE!!!

Hilda is turning into a large spider and NO ONE notices.  Hilda if you stop going all arachnid, just move, change your name, get lifelock, and start fresh.

The episode ends with a bunch of outcast witches being summoned to help everyone fight the pagans.  Will they win? Will Sabrina need to steal a mailbox? Who knows?

The next review will drop shortly! See you soon!

 

 

The Titan (Dir. Lennart Ruff)- Review by Case Wright


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Movies should first entertain, BUT in a pandemic, they really just need to be on the TV and better than Hallmark Channel Christmas movie background noise.  Lennart Ruff, the director, has an IMDB page similar to the film itself:  there’s moments of talent, but they’re muffled by a plot and directing style that morphs more than the lead character and he loses his fingers and genitals.

The Titan is part of an ever growing eco-disaster film sub-genre that basically want us to recycle or die. If it means these movies will stop, I will sort my plastic (no…no, I won’t).  The Earth is in collapse, but that doesn’t totally make sense either because the film says that the Earth is overpopulated, causing this eco-disaster.  However, it posits that 50%+ of the Earth population will perish….Ok….so wouldn’t we just be Populated then and return to normal over a period of centuries?  This is where I don’t get environmentalism; it has this underlying “I Told You So! Now, it’s all over and there’s nothing you can do about it! HA!” feel to it.

Professor Martin Collingwood (Tom Wilkinson) has a plan to get us off earth and survive by moving to Brooklyn… no wait… Titan the moon that’s around Saturn. But how will Professor Collingwood accomplish this task? He will do it with forced evolution and yelling a lot.  The key to his plan is Lieutenant Rick Janssen. A number of critics and dry white toast claim that Sam Worthington is a bland actor.  I don’t really see that as much as I think he’s trying to be very Gary Cooper and maybe he succeeds. Professor Collingwood arranges to have all these military heroes and Rick go through forced evolution so that they can survive the horrible conditions on Titan, lose their genitals.

As the forced evolution goes forward, Rick changes into an alien. Well? So? That’s what he was supposed to become and …. he did.  I did not understand the outrage with that.  He does end up looking like a space alien mated with a Pandora escapee, but this is about saving the species- sort of.

The last act act was as entertaining as it was disconnected from the preceding plot-line. There was killing, speeches, more killing, a quasi-love scene, anime-tentacle stuff goin on, and he kinda flies at end. It was weird.  It did have some syfy elements, but overall – it was really really dumb.

The biggest issue that I have with the film is that it goes from being directed like a documentary, which was fun to watch like an Apollo 11 behind the scenes feel.  Unfortunately, it went from that to a marriage struggle film, to an Erin Brokovich feel, to a monster movie, and then there was the whole flying around thing, tentacles doing things. It was was more all over the place than a drunken Jackson Pollack.

If it had just picked one genre instead of 30, it would’ve been a pretty great film.  Who are we kidding? You can’t leave your house and those 4800 rolls of toilet paper aren’t making you any healthier.  Really, it’s either this movie or Tiger King. I knew about people in Arkansas getting tigers for years and never sought to know more.  I might watch it eventually, but it rubs me the wrong way for now at least.  See how annoying it is when a person goes off on a tangent?  Imagine that for about two hours, but The Titan is louder than background noise and has no genitals.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, S3, Ep2 “Drag Me to Hell” (Dir Alex Pillai)


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Have you have ever been in a relationship that goes sour, but occasionally you get the hang out phone call and it’s really fun? That is what this show is.  It’s usually terrible, but every now and again, it has an episode so good that you’re like- Why can’t it be like this all the time?!!! Why’d you marry Tom?!!!! I mean…TOM?! REALLY?!

This episode through me for a curve because the director – Alex Pillai is not known for horror, but he really knows the soul of this show.  It’s supposed to be suspenseful with some shots that show that we are in comic book reality with practical effects.  The episode established the stakes early on, built up the tension, and pulled you into the characters. In short, this director has a gift for horror and should be hired right away!

The writing by Ashley Chin was really well done as well. I was seeing a lot of dramatic pieces and wondered? How did he have such a great head for horror/thrillers? Then, I saw it: The Walking Dead!!! BOOM! I hope he writes more horror; he is gifted! WHY WHY WHY can’t it be like this anymore?!!!!!!

Sabrina is getting used to her job as the new Lucifer all while juggling being a…. cheerleader? Sure, why not? Fine.  It turns out that Sabrina needs to be like Sam in Reaper and take sold souls to hell.  The first soul she meets is this elderly chess master and she….lets him go? Why? Well, this does not sit well with Hell’s bureaucracy!

So, the next soul to take is this seemingly nice ice cream van vendor.  Sabrina was about to get all mushy with him too because she is preternaturally incompetent, but this changes when he says that he should get another 7 year extension by killing a child.  In fact, he already kidnapped her, sending Sabrina (and her much happier friends when Sabrina is not around) to find the child and send the ice cream man to Hell.  Side Note: could they have gone Reservoir Dogs on the ice cream man and shortened the episode by 45 minutes? Yes, but this poor judgement is in character for Sabrina to NOT think of that because as stated before she is BAD AT EVERYTHING!

Sabrina searches and searches and when she discovers the whereabouts of the child, she ignores her friend who says she should not do the rescue alone and…. she gets captured because of course she does.  Don’t worry Sabrina finds a way o….just kidding no way not Sabrina; she needs to be rescued because she is BAD AT EVERYTHING! Despite Sabrina’s incompetence, the episode did not let up the suspense, the plot moved nicely and there is a great practical effect pay off when the ice cream man is caught.

Other events: Blackwood is captured, becomes the new vessel for Lucifer, and the Eldritch terrors are coming.  So you know what that means: Nick is back and there’s gonna be trouble. Hey na, hey na, Nick is back!

Get ready for Lisa’s reviews of 3 and 4!!!

cheer!

 

 

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, S3,Ep1, “The Hellbound Heart” (Dir. Rob Seidenglanz)


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Welcome to horrorth….Wait a minute, it’s not October….it’s …February?  Yes.  Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is like a failed marriage, aging football player, or your dad posting a video on YouTube; it should’ve stopped awhile ago.  Kiernan Shipka is a great actress, but it’s like she’s been shackled to the Detroit Tigers.  It doesn’t help that the director Rob Seidenglanz could make the Titanic sinking feel like watching C-Span.

The entire episode from the Party City inspired costumes to the bad middle school sets to the pedestrian camera angles….it was just awful.  Although I do like seeing a Lead Character as a self-centered incompetent, it’s refreshing and accurate for life.  Am I going to watch and review this season? Of course I will, but I will be sharing the pain with Lisa who will review episodes 3-6. We may even do another Livetweet … Fingers Crossed!

We left off last season with Nick trapping the devil inside his brain and got carried off to Hell to save humanity.  Well, I guess to heck with all that heroism because Sabrina misses her boyfriend and she REALLY doesn’t care about anything or anyone else.

First, going to take Nick out of Hell, puts everyone at risk who is strong-armed into going with her on this unnecessary adventure. Second, if they get Nick back and he dies, Lucifer is unleashed upon our world.  Third, I don’t need a third; this is dumb.

Sabrina decides that she wants to go to Hell and get Nick out. Fine. She of course does the reasonable thing and just takes herself into Hell and doesn’t risk her friends lives.  No, she risks everyone: Harvey, Theo, and Rosalind.  Side Note: Rosalind was blind for a while, but can see now…that’s weird.  Sabrina pushes her friends around and then they agree to go to Hell with her.  One note, the second Sabrina isn’t around all of her friends they start singing and start a band.  They need to read some self-help books about toxic friends.

The group goes into hell and it really looks like a British Columbia beach. They run into Theo’s uncle who’s being tortured in Hell. Of course, Sabrina insists that they stop and help Theo’s uncle. NO, Sabrina’s an Owner of Lonely Heart and she’s gotta get Nick back or there’s gonna be trouble hey na hey na. During the journey, we see that Lilith is ruling Hell in a Party City outfit and 10 dollar crown.  For some reason, Lilith is angry at Sabrina and it’s not clear why.  There’s also this boring intrigue competition for the throne of hell and can you blame them?! It’s British Columbia beach front!!!!

Sabrina confronts Lilith… because I just don’t know why. Sigh. Sabrina ascends to the Hell Throne – I’m assuming that’s what it’s called.  However, Sabrina is just going to run Hell part-time like an Uber side-hustle because she’s got debate team, mathletes, and 4H; so, this is the LAST extra-curricular. Period.  Lilith will advise Sabrina in her part-time Hell-gig.  This is the best of the worst: Sabrina gets Nick out of hell and them…. puts him in a … dungeon. Yep, after all that, she puts him in a dungeon.  Fine. There’s a lot of exposition that there’s some “Old Ones” coming to town and I keep thinking it’s going to be Wilford Brimley.  Maybe, Sabrina will come down with Dia-beetus? Beach party

The Perfection, Review By Case Wright


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Let me begin by writing that I love watching Netflix and I REALLY love livetweeting with Lisa and the rest of the Shattered Lens staff. We can coordinate times well and it’s easy to sync up.  This time, I was given the movie choosing authority and perhaps it will be my last.  I heard that The Perfection was a bit gory, but I figured come on, this is Shattered Lens- we Rocktober the October over here with our Horrorthon!  When I saw that Steven Weber was in it, I felt like ok, this is going to be like a Tales From the Crypt experience.  Well……….not so much.

The Perfection has trashy components to it and some cheaply built sets and the director REALLY wants you to know that they splurged and actually filmed in China! The best way to describe The Perfection is as an unaware, pretentious, and boring episode of Tales From the Crypt.  It had the victim goes to victimizer TFTC theme and the over the top gore, but it was always trying to be serious and important when it was just an overly long TFTC episode without any humor.

The plot is pretty straight-forward: Charlotte is a prodigy Cellist who left her art to care for her dying mother for ten-years.  When she tries to return to her life, she finds that a younger classmate Lizzy has attained the Cello fame that she sought.  She sees her old Mentor Anton (Steven Weber) and Charlotte is now the clear has-been.  Charlotte executes a plan to destroy Lizzy forever.  Charlotte meets Lizzy, seduces Lizzy, drugs Lizzy, and convinces Lizzy to chop her hand off.  Yep, another Hollywood girl meets girl, girl drugs girl, girl gets girl to chop her hand off story.  The Perfection was actually the original script for Love Actually.  The “To Me You Are Perfect” scene was just going to be Andrew Lincoln throwing severed hands at people – “To Me you are a perfect…Target” *throws hand at Juliet*.

Just when you think this movie will be a fun version of Black Swan it takes a turn for the dumb, gross.  Yes, I get that this was made by a post-Weinstein Miramax and it was showing how fame could encourage and condone horrible behavior, but it was done with so much exposition that it really caused the film to jerk from long explanations to gore and long explanations to gore and long explanations to trying a Subway Cold Cut Combo – even terrible movies get hungry.

I’m not sure if I should spoil this piece of trash or not.  It’s really not worth your time. Instead of watching this film you could eat a sandwich, do your taxes, plot revenge. However, it is nice to see that Steven Weber is still working – there’s that.

 

Run Lola Run


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Run Lola Run has been on my film bucket list since I had hair.  It was one of those films that you heard about from the cooler people you knew.  It was the movie that the cool girls who babysat you when you were little talked about.  It was pure Gen-X and I always looked up to that generation.  Yes up- I’m not an X-er, but they were damn cool.  Lola embodies that generation.  She’s so self-secure and tough and cool and hip and if you don’t like her- Whatever!

Yes, Gen-X women had a go F-yourself streak that if you didn’t like them, piss off.  I was the beginning of the Millennial/Y generation who I guess got into avocado sandwiches or whatever they say about us.  X was the generation that knew they were getting passed over because there was a bigger generation coming and the boomers did not want to get out of the way, but X embraced the suck of it all.

It is really sucky that Lola is in love with Manni who is a really mediocre criminal.  Manni also loses things; such as, a bag of 100,000 Marks (60,000 USD) that belongs to a gangster. Oopsy!  He is like the Anti-Lola: whiny, dumb, insecure, and unlike Lola -NO screaming telekinesis powers AT ALL! Yes, when she screams, it destroys or moves objects. Honestly, I couldn’t figure out why she liked Manni so much – FFS she has superpowers.

When Manni tells Lola that he lost the gangster’s money and says that he will rob a grocery store if she doesn’t get to him in twenty minutes, Lola literally RUNS into action. Yes, there is A LOT of running in this film.  She runs in hallways, on sidewalks, on streets, away from cops, and accidentally towards cops.  As she runs past people, we get a glimpse of the extras’ lives in THIS timeline and boy are these extras a bunch of cretins.

Timeline?! WHAT?! Yes, this movie is ALL about time travel.  Lola needs to get the day right or she or her boyfriend or David Duchovny will die. I’m assuming Duchovny too because he was a 1990s GOD! She time trips three times to get it, to get it, to get it right child. I was going to reference some 1998 songs, but I looked them up and The Thong Song just sounds sad.

The movie blends light surrealism with action and really believable performances.  You have this guttural feeling that this is a woman on her own, fighting her own fight, and you better get out of her way. Also, she’s the only person in the film who is pure-hearted.  Her dad is a philandering banker asshat, her boyfriend is a milquetoast, and the people she bumps into show glimpses of their sinful lives.  Lola is literally running around evil.  She has great running form too; I ran track in high school and she’s got talent.

I hope she wins and saves her loser boyfriend.

Merry Christmas!!!

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Titans, S2 Ep 2&3, “Rose” “Ghosts” Review by Case Wright


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Halloween is over and now it’s time for all good persons to rally together and watch Titans! This season is following a tried and true method of bringing the gang back together, but they are emotionally apart and will hopefully return together.  This season’s Big Bad is Deathstroke (Esai Morales) and it’s AWESOME!

“Rose” is about well Rose who is in peril.  She’s missing an eye and is getting chased by the police.  Dick intervenes and takes her in for some reason, but it turns out Rose is Deathstroke’s daughter…Dun Dun Dun!!!! She also has a lot of snark, which the show needs more of.  It also has Jason Todd as a budding superhero looking for acceptance by Dick Grayson as he tries to fit into the Titans.  I’m glad that Curran Walters is a series regular, BUT I feel like his talent and his character is being wasted; he should be on his own show and have him evolve into the anti-hero- Red Hood.

Where’s the rest of our heroes? Hank and Dawn are out in Wyoming trying to go straight by running a horse riding camp for addicts.  Apparently, their need to fight crime was feeding Hank’s addiction.  But, is Dawn hanging up the cape and spandex???? NOPE! She’s out beating meth cookers within an inch of their lives! Yes, she’s returned to badassery.  Their utopia crashes down when their car explodes.  Why did the car go boom?  Deathstroke sprung Doctor Light from prison. He can manipulate energy and blow things up.

This episode dovetails perfectly into Ghosts- Episode 3.  The old Titans- Donna, Hank, and Dawn are back at the HQ and learn that Doctor Light is on the loose, Deathstroke is after them, Dick is harboring Deathstroke’s daughter, and the sushi he fed them came from a gas station.  Basically, everything is terrible and Dick is so busy trying to be a Dad that he forgot that he had to also be an angry badass.  Who is Doctor Light?  He’s a Mad Max looking supervillain who according to the comics is a serial sex offender and murderer.

The old gang tries to find Doctor Light and excludes any of the New Titans from the fight. Why? Because Dick’s trying to protect them and do things differently from Batman, but he didn’t bother to tell the New Titans that the last time they tangled with Deathstroke, it was a disaster. They hint at the disaster that they keep teasing at, forcing us to guess how terrible it was.

There is a secondary story of Starfire being pulled back home to be Queen.  Honestly, I hate this subplot.  She brings so much to the show and this subplot feels like a sidelining to me.

While Dick is trying to be a TV Dad, Jason is determined to prove himself.  He and Beast Boy go after Doctor Light and they find him, but IT’S A TRAP!!!! Jason gives a good fight, but is captured by Deathstroke!!!! OH NO!

These episodes fit together well and act as a great vehicle to ramp up the tension and suspense.  The cast is really bringing it again this season and Esai Morales was born to play this role.  He encapsulates the quiet rage and evil brilliantly!

 

 

Halloween 2018, Review by Case Wright


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Happy Halloween!!!  I have reviewed A LOT of Halloween movies! They’re pretty… pretty good  This one’s goodThis one’s not bad this one’s probably my best. This Halloween movie was …. well … fine.  There’s a spectrum of Halloween franchise films. Some are amazing, some are epically terrible, and some are fine.  Not terrible, just ok.  This is in the meh category, but like much of life itself- kinda dull and disappointing as you slowly degrade towards the infinite.

Michael in an insane asylum and about to be transferred….again, but to make it different this time annoying podcasters interview him first.  So…. it’s kinda new? But really, this guy escapes custody more than El Chapo, but they keep moving him around movie after movie after movie. I know that this movie is supposed to disregard all the ones after the first one, but that really is just an excuse to recycle the old tropes.  I wish they’d taken another route like they did in H20, which is still amazing and holds up really well.

The big change is that Laurie Strode has been waiting for Michael’s inevitable escape.  She turned her home in a fortress with all kinds of booby traps.  She has an arsenal that my grandma would’ve been proud to see.  Unfortunately, it drove Laurie to raise her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) like a special forces recruit and always afraid and a quasi-prisoner.  Karen, now an adult with a family of her own, wants nothing to do with her gung ho mom, but her Karen’s daughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) wants the family to reunite by inviting her to mom to dinner and it goes…yikes.

The unsung character of the movie that provides the only comic relief was Karen’s husband Ray (Toby Huss) who got not a tear from anyone when Michael made short work of him.  Really, no one cared at all about the dad getting killed, not the wife or the daughter; only Michael seemed to care and he murdered the guy.  Poor dads, we’re just cast aside like old meat- no one cares.

The movie have A LOT of bad decisions; if bad boxers lead with their chins, these guys led with their necks.  I guess that’s why it was tough for me to feel sympathetic for the victims because they were so dumb that I figured something else would’ve gotten these walking Darwin Awards: stopping on railroad tracks, taking a selfie in a lion enclosure at a zoo, or getting eaten by a Labrador Retriever…somehow.

In any case, I would get this on netflix; it was …fine.

 

Night of the Slasher, Review by Case Wright


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The short is a treat like chicken nuggets or playing Wing Commander III.  It needs to establish a backstory and a plot without a lot expedition, but keep the popcorn popping! Alter is a fun treat! It has an entire section on Horror Comedy.  I love a good scary suspense The Ring nailbiter, but An American Werewolf in London style horror comedy are just what the doctor ordered today.

This one hit all of the horror tropes, but it WAS A TRAP!!! Janelle, the protagonist, wanted revenge on the psycho who disfigured her and she used the horror checklist to lure him in to her spider web for the kill.  I really liked this twist because mixed girl power with exploitation.  Thumbs up!