Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The Ultimate Playlist of Noise (2021)


Streaming Services: Hulu
Movie Name/Year: The Ultimate Playlist of Noise (2021)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Music
Length:  99 minutes
Rating: Unrated
Production/Distribution: American High, LD Entertainment, Hulu
Director: Bennett Lasseter
Writers: Mitchell Winkie
Actors: Madeline Brewer, Oliver Cooper, Keean Johnson, Ariela Barer, Ian Gomez, Emily Skeggs, Carol Mansell, Gordon Winarick, Carrie Louise Putrello, Heather Giangreco, Noah Winchell
Blurb from IMDb: Marcus, an audio-obsessed high school senior, learns he must undergo brain surgery that will render him deaf, and decides to seize control of his fate by recording the Ultimate Playlist of Noise.

Cat’s Point of View:
When I heard about this movie and watched its trailer in preparation for the Top 20 Movies to Look Out For in January 2021 article I had a visceral reaction to it. I immediately identified with the main character’s sense of looming impending doom related to a medical situation. I mentioned as much in the article, where this movie placed as my #12.
Looking back, I don’t think I’d change its placement even though the film wasn’t nearly what I expected.
Sure, there was a bit of a romance aspect to it, and the protagonist’s journey was as expected…I just didn’t see the twist coming. It threw me for a loop. There is an underlying current of emotion that swept me up and dashed my heart against a few rocks as the film went winding along.

Even so, there is a generally uplifting story of hope, growth, and redemption here. It ripped the bandaid right off, though to get there. I was lulled into this sense of adventure and anticipation right up until the main character realizes his own life-long delusions and some stark truths. I was not prepared. Tissues were involved.
While The Ultimate Playlist of Noise didn’t end the way I expected, it was still well worth the time spent watching it. My daughter even helped me fight off my fatigue-induced narcolepsy and watched it with me without complaint. Considering she’d usually rather be watching anime these days, I’d say that speaks for itself. 

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 50%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 76%
Metascore –  None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 2.1/10
Trust the Dice: Parental Advisory Rating – PG-13
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 3/5
Movie Trailer:

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Monster Hunter (2020)

Streaming Services: N/A
Movie Name/Year: Monster Hunter (2020)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Length: 99 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production/Distribution: Constantin Film, Impact Pictures, Capcom Company, Tencent Pictures, Toho Company, China Film Group Corporation, Constantin Film Verleih, Constantin-Film, Praesens-Film, Screen Gems, Sony Pictures Releasing Argentina, Sony Pictures Releasing, Toho Company, Towa Pictures, United International Pictures (UIP), Universal Pictures International (UPI)
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Writer: Paul W.S. Anderson, Kaname Fujioka
Actors: Milla Jovovich, Tony Jaa, T.I., Meagan Good, Diego Boneta, Josh Helman, Jin Au-Yeung, Ron Perlman, Jannik Schümann, Hirona Yamazaki, Nic Rasenti, Nanda Costa, Aaron Beelner, Schelaine Bennett, Adrián Muñoz
Blurb from IMDb: When Lt. Artemis and her loyal soldiers are transported to a new world, they engage in a desperate battle for survival against enormous enemies with incredible powers. Feature film based on the video game by Capcom.

Selina’s Point of View:
I have blue balls.
I don’t have testicles… but yes. That’s what this is. Blue balls.
There was no ending to Monster Hunter. It cut off during the climax. Nothing got resolved at all. It looks like something is going to happen, and then it doesn’t. Credits roll and we get a cute, but unnecessary, mid-credits scene.
It doesn’t even feel like the movie was leaving things open for a sequel, it feels like a part 1 – at best. Even if it was, that wouldn’t have been the place to cut it.
I started at the end with this one, because it’s the part that sticks out the most. It’s the feeling I’m left with. I’m unfulfilled and a little annoyed.
It wasn’t all bad, though.

The film was gorgeous. In fact, it works better as an hour-and-a-half commercial for the CGI team than an actual story.
The monsters felt super real. They were terrifying and designed incredibly well.
There were also some really great fight scenes… not enough of them to excuse the fact that I didn’t care about whether or not any of the characters survived.
That brings me to the next point: it had no heart. It didn’t go into the relationships enough, and most of what it did go into involved ridiculous trope-y script work. There were plot holes galore and just no reason to care.
Then, it winds up taking away the ending. If they had given us some kind of beautifully crafted, action-packed ending, it might have raised my opinion of it some. Instead, it left me feeling nothing. Like I wasted my money.
Monster Hunter is the epitome of style over substance. I will be surprised if it is not the biggest disappointment of the year where movies are concerned.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 49%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 70%
Metascore – 44/100
Metacritic User Score – 4.0/10
IMDB Score – 5.3/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating – 2/5
P.S.: Short mid-credit’s scene.
Movie Trailer:

Monday, January 18, 2021

Sharkenstein (2016)


Streaming Services: Amazon Prime, VUDU, Tubi
Movie Name/Year: Sharkenstein (2016)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Length: 85 minutes
Rating: Unrated
Production/Distribution: Wild Eye Releasing
Director: Mark Polonia
Writers: J.K. Farlew
Actors: Greta Volkova, Ken Van Sant, Titus Himmelberger, James Carolus, Jeff Kirkendall, Yolie Canales, Bruce Applegate, Kathryn Sue Young, Nathan McNamara, Todd Carpenter, Christopher Beacom, Chyenne Bostwick, Adam Murtland, Austin Dragovich, Cody Getz, Kline Kaufer, Brian Rezek
Blurb from IMDb: Sixty years after the end of World War II, a small ocean town is plagued by a blood-thirsty creature that was built and reanimated by using the parts of the greatest sea-killers: the Sharkenstein monster.

Selina’s Point of View:

It’s pretty rare that something comes in below expectations when I already don’t expect much.
With a title like Sharkenstein, you can pretty much guess what I thought it would be. I knew the highest possible expectations were for something ‘so bad it’s good’, but the visual on the Amazon page guaranteed I knew it wouldn’t meet even that standard.
What I got fell below ‘bad’, though.
It had graphics that looked like they were made in Paint, a ridiculous plot, and accents that make any other movie accent look phenomenal by comparison. It was one of those perfect storms of crap that could have equaled out to something if there’d been any jokes.

Unfortunately, it took itself SO seriously.

It felt like they thought they were making a serious Jaws-like film. The acting and script were super campy, but there were no jokes. None of it was funny. Any laughter I had was definitely AT the creative team and not with them.
Even the Asylum puts out better quality trash than this.
As bad as it was, though, Psychotic! (2016) Was still worse… so it won’t be getting the rare and dreaded zero rating from me.

Cat’s Point of View:

When we’re set to watch a crazy B-movie, I really try not to have high expectations. Scratch that. I try not to have many expectations. I hold out hope that the film will at least be entertaining. I cling to the fervent wish that there will be something that elevates the production above its humble shoestring budget limitations. 

With a title like Sharkenstein, I figured that the effects might be a little sketchy but it should be good for at least a few laughs. 

Not only did I not laugh, I almost wanted to cry because I felt obligated to watch the whole excruciating thing. 

I practically rooted for the shark to win, hoping that it would bring the whole travesty to an end. None of the protagonists were likable. There were plot holes big enough to sail the Titanic through. The dialogue was atrocious. Everything was awkward. 

Could someone explain why that sideways hat was even a thing? Were the main trio of characters supposed to be teens? They were referred to as ‘kids’ by the salty ‘old’ harbor-master. Why for the love of Bob were they all middle-aged actors? The female lead was whiny and had no spine. Further, there was an utter lack of wit and humor. 

My advice for anyone deciding to watch this movie is simple. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. Unless you want to just experience how bad it is first hand, there’s nothing but disappointment and a waste of time waiting for you with this film. 

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 9%
Metascore –  None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 2.1/10
Trust the Dice: Parental Advisory Rating – PG-13
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating – 1/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 0/5
Movie Trailer: