Friday, April 19, 2024

Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022)

Streaming Service: Netflix 
Movie Name/Year: Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022)
Genre: Comedy, Horror, Thriller
Length:  1h 34min
Rating: R
Director: Halina Reijn
Writers: Sarah DeLappe, Kristen Roupenian
Actors: Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Myha'la, Rachel Sennott, Chase Sui Wonders, Pete Davidson, Lee Pace, Conner O'Malley
IMDb Blurb: When a group of rich 20-somethings plan a hurricane party at a remote family mansion, a party game turns deadly in this fresh and funny look at backstabbing, fake friends, and one party gone very, very wrong.
Cat’s Point of View:
Bodies Bodies Bodies had an intriguing trailer. I was pulled in right away and it promised to give a decidedly Gen-Zish spin on horror-comedy. Selina was also thinking along the same lines, as she said the following within her #8 listing of Bodies Bodies Bodies on August 2022's Top 20 article:

“The whole flick feels very elder-gen-Z, and I do not hate that idea. The trailer looks funny, of our time, and brutal. It’s exactly what I would want from a horror-comedy.”

As an aside, it was my own #13 pick, and I couldn't wait to watch.

We were both also interested in this movie based on casting, as well. While Selina is more of a Pete Davidson (The King of Staten Island, Good Mourning, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts) fan than I am, I was intrigued as to how Lee Pace's (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Guardians of the Galaxy, Halt and Catch Fire) character fit in with this younger crowd. 

Amandla Stenberg (The Darkest Minds, Dear Evan Hansen, Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse) and Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, The Bubble, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3) were also relatively known variables going into this film and didn't disappoint. Even though I wasn't as familiar with Myha'la (Industry, Black Mirror, Leave the World Behind), Rachel Sennott (Call Your Mother, Bottoms, I Used to be Funny), and Chase Sui Wonders (Wake, Out of the Blue, City on Fire) at the time, it didn't matter for this production. They caught my attention with Bodies Bodies Bodies as they inhabited these roles of privileged youth within this story so well. Saying that out loud doesn't exactly seem to translate as a compliment, given the personalities of some of these characters on-screen, but it is what it is – and, indeed, meant as a compliment. I digress...

If you were to ask me what Bodies Bodies Bodies was really about, I'd have to say it was something along the lines of a live-action version of “Among Us,” which is a who-done-it murder mystery multi-player video game that Selina and I very much enjoy. Of course, this game was played out with drugged up and intoxicated college-age young adults rather than a space crew fending off alien impostors through social deduction.

This all takes place during a hurricane party. For those that haven't heard of those before... it's a real thing that typically takes place in Florida or along the Gulf Coast when the incoming tropical weather isn't expected to be too strong – on the scale of massive tropical storms, that is. Category 1 you say? Batten down the hatches to minimize property damage but then pull out the booze. At least, that's generally how it goes. My immediate area within Louisiana is generally too land-locked to get storms of that intensity, and if we do it's generally after it's already decimated a huge swath of one or more states on the way to us, and we're busy with sand bags and hiding from twisters. Needless to say, I haven't personally partaken in such shenanigans, but I know some friends who have.

Storms have a way of amping up anxiety in already tense situations. When you add recreational drug use and alcohol to that mix and then layer on a game where everyone becomes the murder suspect – and wait, there's more – and THEN there's real death involved on top of that? It's a dangerous cocktail with side effects of paranoia, hasty decisions, and poor reasoning. What could go wrong, right?

I recently watched an interview with the director, Holland native Halina Reijn (Instinct, Red Light, For the Birds), and a good number of the cast where they revealed that while shooting this movie that takes place during a powerful storm, they had to take shelter in the basement due to a storm warning. I believe that it enhanced how the cast were able to respond to and vibe with that aspect of the setting very well.
Bodies Bodies Bodies had tension, comedy, and carnage that had me on the edge of my seat, even though most of the characters weren't very likable. There was so much face-palming on my part, too.

The ending left me speechless for a few moments. Everything I thought I'd figured out went completely out the window. This wasn't my first watch-through of Bodies Bodies Bodies, either. This second time around I watched with my daughter, who is only a few years off of the character's ages. It was fun to see her reaction to the twist, since I knew what was coming this time.

All told, Bodies Bodies Bodies was a solid comedy-horror offering that had many layers to it deeper than the surface mayhem surrounding young adults behaving badly while not mature enough to be left unsupervised. I wouldn't mind watching it again, if the mood struck and am not shy about giving it a recommendation.
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 85%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 69%
Metascore – 69%
Metacritic User Score – 5.7/10
IMDB Score – 6.2/10

Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 4.5/5

Movie Trailer:

Monday, April 15, 2024

Bray Wyatt: Becoming Immortal (2024)


Streaming Service: Peacock
Movie Name/Year: Bray Wyatt: Becoming Immortal (2024)
Genre: Documentary
Length: 2h 3min
Rating: TV-14
Director: Steve Conoscenti
Writer: Matt Braine, Steve Conoscenti, Ben Houser
Blurb from IMDb: The story behind one of the most revered and mysterious characters in WWE history and the man himself, Windham Rotunda, has never been documented, until now.
Selina’s Point of View:
Trust the dice doesn’t often cover documentaries. Both Cat and I have ADHD and most documentaries will put us to sleep. Even quicker if it’s on a random subject that neither of us have any interest in or emotional connection to. We’ve been able to do some, mostly on subjects we’re very close to.
So, that begs the question: why this one?
When I was young, I followed the WWE religiously. As a child, my uncle used to take me to the shows – even to a convention once. As a teen, I had weekly gatherings with my friends and pizza in order to watch RAW. I fell off of it for reasons I don’t think I’ll go into here. For a long time, it was just something that stayed on my periphery. It was interesting, but not something I could bring myself to watch again. I still listened to our friends at he Basement Bookers Podcast, of course. One of them was a regular at my pizza RAWs, after all, but that was where my interaction with professional wrestling ceased. The dulcet tones of banter between Basement Jer and Rich the Riz.
Until recently.
After a Royal Rumble party, I started to get interested again. The last time I watched, female wrestling was relegated to bra & panty, wet & wild, and the occasional evening gown matches. It felt less like wrestling and more like a page from a porn magazine. What I saw at the Royal Rumble this year was anything but that. It reignited my interest.
Naturally, I’ve been looking to the Basement Bookers to get my feet wet on the new WWE.
I learned all about the new storylines and factions. Triple H’s new role in the company. Who the heels and faces are and why I should care. Most of it I was able to pick up from watching the shows and the occasional one liner from Rich or Jer.
The subject of Bray Wyatt proved to be a bit more complex.
During a visit with Rich the Riz, he suggested watching Bray Wyatt: Becoming Immortal. I was skeptical. Although interested in the subject, it was still a documentary. I decided I’d give it a chance.
The documentary is solid. There’s none of that monotone, Ben Stein style narration that makes my eyelids heavy. Each guest has a unique perspective of Bray Wyatt and is undeniably a large part of his story. Either they were family, a boss, a friend, a mentor, or someone he mentored. There were no fluff interviews conducted with people that had barely a tertiary connection with him – as can sometimes occur.
What sold me on it, however, was not the content. It was the reactions I saw in my viewing buddy.
I’m an outsider. I wasn’t around for any of Bray Wyatt’s time in the WWE. I didn’t get to see his fireflies as the phenomena occurred, I didn’t follow the Fiend. If I had been watching at the time, I would have adored him, but that doesn’t make me the target demographic for Bray Wyatt: Becoming Immortal. People like Rich the Riz are the target demographic.
And the effect this documentary had on him was beyond anything I expected. In fact, I asked him to write a few words and, instead, he took over Cat’s portion of today’s review. (Don’t worry, she’s happy for a break.)
Basement Bookers’ very own Rich the Riz’s Point of View:
Bray Wyatt: Becoming Immortal was a documentary that I was greatly looking forward to watching but was equally anxious about. Anyone that saw his work in WWE, whether you loved it or hated it, knew that the man behind the character was of a different breed. His was one of the most truly unique minds ever to perform in pro wrestling, having created four distinctly unique characters - five if you include the Uncle Howdy character that he created for his brother to use alongside him.
Bray Wyatt’s relatively short but legendary career was highlighted by interactions and matches with other well-respected greats in the industry, including Randy Orton, John Cena, and the Undertaker. This documentary covers his pre-WWE life growing up as the son of a former WWE performer, his college football aspirations, his WWE career, his untimely passing, and the legacy he left behind. We even get a glimpse into what the future would’ve held for the late, great superstar.
Like many WWE-produced video projects, I found Bray Wyatt: Becoming Immortal to be quite thorough, particularly with respect to how in-depth it dives into the personal life of Windham Rotunda (the man who portrayed Bray Wyatt). I also felt it was very tastefully done, featuring interviews with his family and peers, and narrated by an icon in the wrestling industry, the Undertaker.
Whether he was loved, feared, or misunderstood, the Bray Wyatt character will always live on in the hearts and minds of WWE fans worldwide, and this documentary is a fitting tribute to his legacy.
Follow the buzzards…
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 100%
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 8.7/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 5/5
Trust the Dice: Rich’s Rating 5/5
Movie Trailer: