Friday, March 29, 2024

With Love and a Major Organ (2024)

 
 
Movie Name/Year: With Love and a Major Organ (2024)
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Sci-fi 
Length:  1h 31min 
Rating: Unrated 
Director: Kim Albright 
Writer: Julia Lederer 
Actors: Anna Maguire, Hamza Haq, Veena Sood, Arghavan Jenati, Laara Sadiq, Ryan Beil, Ker├źn Burkett, Enid-Raye Adams,Miho Suzuki, Ken Godmere, Linda Pollard, Jennifer Copping, Michael Daingerfield, Lynda Boyd 
 
IMDb Blurb: In an alternate world where hearts are made of objects and suppressing emotions is self-care, a lonely woman rips out her own heart for the man she loves, only to discover that he has run away with it.
 
 
Cat’s Point of View: 
I was fascinated with the trailer for With Love and a Major Organ. The premise of this movie pairing humanity turning their life decisions over to an AI and the deeper fantastical sci-fi element of a heart being an easily removable object was a combination that definitely caught my interest. It felt like a fresh idea amidst a sea of recycled ones.
 
The trailer gave me just enough of a taste of those elements where I knew I wanted to learn more, and yet I wasn’t sure how strong the story was on top of that intriguing world-building.
 
When I sat down and watched With Love and a Major Organ, it all made glorious sense – and without needing further expansion on the setting or other world elements. There was strength in the simplicity here.
 
 
I didn’t expect this film to have as much of an emotional kick as it did. I resonated with more than I’d like to admit within this story. Whether it was the heartache or the wild choices of flying out of the nest and making new discoveries… there were so many layers and solid depth. The narrative even touched on themes of parental anxiety and a dystopian look at a society which reinforced, if not rewarded, the suppression of emotion.
 
There were plenty of fun elements within With Love and a Major Organ, too. I was giggling off and on throughout.
 
 
Let’s talk about cast. I loved Anna Maguire (The Hummingbird Project, Violation, The War Below) as Anabel. I was not entirely familiar with her work prior to this production, but you can bet I’ll be keeping my eye out for her now. She captured the emotional pendulum swings of her character so well – from whimsy to heartless.
 
I was, however, already familiar with Hamza Haq (My Salinger Year, Delia's Gone, Crashing Eid). I have really been enjoying his work on the medical drama, Transplant (2020-). With Love and a Major Organ showed me a new level of his range, and I am here for it.
 
 
With Love and a Major Organ wasn’t what I was expecting, but it was a pleasant surprise. I would gladly recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys a quirky rollercoaster ride with a sprinkling of humor.
 
With Love and a Major Organ is set for a limited theatrical release beginning today, March 29th; and will become available with a wider release in mid-April. 
 
 
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score –  85%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None 
Metascore – None 
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 7.7/10  
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 4/5

Trust the Dice: Parental Advisory Rating – PG-13
 
Movie Trailer:

Monday, March 25, 2024

Pro Wrestlers vs Zombies (2014)

 
 
Streaming Service: Amazon Prime
Movie Name/Year: Pro Wrestlers vs Zombies (2014) 
Genre: Horror, Action, Comedy 
Length:  1h 31min 
Rating: Unrated 
Director: Cody Knotts 
Writer: Cody Knotts 
Actors: Roddy Piper, Jim Duggan, Matt Hardy, Reby Hardy, Shane Douglas, Adrienne Fischer, Taya Parker, Shannon M. Hart, Ashton Amherst, Michael Cichowicz, Matthew Rush, Thomas Rodman, Kurt Angle, Lienn Swearingen, Drew Ripepi, Camera Chatham Bartolotta, Cody Knotts, Dante Bartolotta, Andrew Clovis, Michael H. Richmond, Dana Winn Madar, Cody Michaels, Brandon Graver, Ryan Mitchell, Ryan Reign, Thomas Schreckengost, Marcus Mercante Staley, Chris Taylor, Sylvester 'Bear' Terkay, Richard John Walters, Frank Yuvan Jr., Randy Allen, Jennifer Blaze, Tom Bradley, Dirk Cunningham, Jason Scott Delzell, Ryan Edmonds, Scott A Miller, Rob Stanley, Joseph c Walker Jr., Mike Walker, Larry Whistler 
 
IMDb Blurb: Famous Wrestlers are pitted against hordes of undead when they unknowingly walk into a death trap. 
 
 
Cat’s Point of View:
I’ll be honest, I don’t think I even knew that Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies even existed prior to a month or so ago. It’s not entirely surprising, considering the movie is a little on the obscure side. Though, it was a little unexpected, considering how big a fan I’ve been of the late, great "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (Adventures of a Pizza Guy, Portal to Hell!!!, The Green Fairy) ever since I was little. My dad introduced me to ‘wrasslin’ in the 80s, and Piper was one of my all-time faves.  He used an accent, wore a kilt and a leather jacket, and played bagpipes. His character was so much fun and really put the entertainment factor into the Sports Entertainment production.
 
The quote "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum." Is something that has embedded itself into pop culture. I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve heard it repeated or paraphrased in various productions as well as just in general. It was a line by Piper’s character, Nada from They Live (1988). Whether someone knew Roddy Piper from wrestling or not, he left an indelible mark on us all through his love of entertainment.
 
 
It was a different quote that caught my attention regarding Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies. A good friend of Trust the Dice, who goes by BasementJer of The Basement Bookers blog, gave us this recommendation:
"Alright, peeps 'Pro Wrestlers vs Zombies'?  Cheesy, yes. Laughable, definitely. But hey, it's wrestlers vs zombies! What else do you need? Just mindless fun, piledrivers, and Shane Douglas being...well, Shane Douglas. This ain't Shakespeare but the late great Roddy Piper was damn good not bad considering his part was originally written for Mick Foley, worked out better in my opinion."

 

 
Honestly, I don’t think I can sum up this movie any better. Jer just distilled the essence of the experience watching Pro Wrestlers vs Zombies right there. It was absolutely nutty and just as corny as you would imagine. The film plays into all the stereotypes and wrestling tropes – from goofy and dim new talent to backstage infighting.  Power bombs, elbow drops, and wrestling tropes, oh my!
 
All told, there were some real gem moments of hilarity amidst the face-palming and eye-roll inducing ones. I think the setting of the decommissioned prison was also a brilliant touch, and am saddened that the castle-like structure has since been torn down rather than repurposed somehow.
  Though, I think I got the most from seeing Piper on the screen again – even if it was bittersweet, given his passing in 2015. 
 
 
He wasn’t the only well-known wrestler involved, however. "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan (Legends of the Mid-South Wrestling, The Axeman of Henderson County, Midnight Massacre) and his trusty 2x4 made a valiant appearance, as well as “hardcore-wrestling legend” Matt Hardy (The 99, Impact Wrestling: No Surrender, AEW Dark: Elevation). Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle (Chasing Molly, Emergency: LA, The Epidemic) was even on board for this crazy escapade. I had a giggle when he unleashed one of his signature moves. Of course, as Jer mentioned, Shane Douglas (Hardcore Homecoming: November Reign, Ultimate Death Match 3, House of Hardcore 37) was continuing his well-known role as a heel.
 
Pro Wrestlers vs Zombies is a movie where the sole purpose of its existence is entertainment value. It’s not meant to be a super serious zombie horror. This is the very sort of film you get a bunch of friends together and turn the tropes into drinking games or just laugh over popcorn with.
 
Of course, it helps if you know something about wrestling to really get the references and the characters involved. I am not sure anyone unfamiliar with professional wrestling would get quite as much out of it. I still had a blast experiencing this movie, and am glad I gave it a shot.
 
 
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 19%
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 3.2/10
 
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 4/5
 
Trust the Dice: Parental Advisory Rating – R
 
P.S. - If you'd like a little insight into how this movie came to be, I ran across an interesting article with an interview with the writer/director. You can find it here.
 
Movie Trailer: