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I can honestly say that I am surprised I didn't dislike this movie more. It's far from being a good film, but I didn't think it was as bad as it was hyped up to be.
If you take The Happytime Murders and remove the puppets it would just be a run of the mill late night comedy. I doubt we'd even be talking about it because it's kind of dull, and tame. Adding puppets into this tired story didn't really even make it better. I mean there is no bite to this. It feels like they decided to make a muppets movie but with some lewd jokes, and not actually that many. In fact, the lewdest stuff all had to do with bodily fluids, which is already a cliche of late night comedy. I thought that with Henson behind this they would have taken the time to satirize the muppets, and sesame street, all the things that were their bread and butter but seem to have fallen through the cracks in the new generation of TV and movies. Yet, I think that already exists with Meet The Feebles. They love making Muppet movies where they go on the road, why not make a Road Trip style comedy where four Puppets go on a drug-fueled sex crazed road trip. I mean it would have been better than this.
So, in the end, The Happytime Murders are not as bad as I thought but the remain tame and far from good. You're still better off skipping this one.
Yeah, I admit this one lost me quickly.
After saying that though, I do feel like I need to mention I am not really a fan of musicals, especially ones that take place in high school. So, no matter how I tried to stay open-minded about this film, after the second samey sounding song about how adults don't understand high school problems (Parents Just Don't Understand!) I was lost forever.
That wasn't my only issue with Anna and the Z's, although it was my biggest issue. Again mentioning not liking musicals or movies and shows with songs in them for the most part. A lot of that has to do with not enjoying listening to bland songs made for the films themselves. As much as I dislike songs in Disney films, I admit they feel like there is a variety of styles and topics. Anna and the Big A feels just like a long episode of Glee without any covers. I mean where is the style to them. I will say the duet with the kids dressed as penguins was amazing though, so there is that. Yet, I am left wondering why the song about being a big amazing zombie killer wasn't more campy and goofy like the Rock singing about how great he is in Moana. Why wasn't there a song at the beginning where the CDC sing about how the virus is getting out of control? A song sung by the soldiers being eaten by the Zs? Why don't the zombies have a fucking song!!!!!!!!!
This movie lacked character, fun, comedy, camp, and really anything interesting. It's High School: The Zombie Musical. Empty Brain Calories.
Sometimes I have no idea what to say about a film after watching it. Then after waiting until the next day, I can't figure it out either. My writing of this BlacKkKlansman review feels like that.
I did really like this film, I am honestly surprised there are not more films like this being made in the heat of today's racially charged climate. Yet, while watching this film, which shows glimpses of powerful imagery, camaraderie, and evil, I found myself a bit detached from the emotional weight of this movie. In fact, I will say other than that real-life footage at the end of the film BlacKkKlansman felt like a bit of a let down at parts. To be fair, this issue is probably on me. I was expecting a film that was going to give me that sick stomach feeling that I got watching that end of movie real footage. Yet, I didn't. I did not want to see race violence to the extreme but I had expected it with the subject matter of this movie. There are scenes that are generally frightening, though they are mixed in with a lot of light-hearted moments, and sometimes they just took me out of the experience.
Ugh, reading this back makes me feel like I am advocating for more violence, which I am not. I just felt like the emotional impact of this was lost a bit in the light-hearted moments. Also, Ron's white guy voice sounds like Eddie Giffin's white guy voice in Undercover Brother, which didn't help.
Other than the mixed emotions of the tone, I have nothing to complain about. The casting, the direction, the story itself all works and as I said before I enjoyed it for the most part. I just felt a bit underwhelmed at times. Still, this is an easy recommend. There is a lot too it, and hopefully, you will enjoy it more than I did.
Watched this one on a whim, as I hadn't ever heard of it before. A solid cast and hopefulness for a killer golem helped me pick it. Yet, sadly no actual golem just a fancy name for a murderer.
I admit that this one was a bit better then I expected, but there was something missing from it that kept it from greatness. The casting was fine, and I did enjoy the time period of this. The Limehouse Golem is just too predictable to like. I feel like if you have seen any Jack the Ripper ripoff movie then you've experienced everything this has to offer. It doesn't help that the investigation only worked with the movie constantly dipping into flashbacks, even though you pretty much know who the killer is very early into the film. It makes the movie seem longer than it is, and wastes some solid performances.
I do wonder how The Limehouse Golem would have turned out if they had used a different structure for the film. Maybe the viewers knowing who the murderer is right from the get-go, but watching their dastardly plan play out through the wonderful theater performances that already existed in the film. Sure it stops being a mystery, but then the movie could have played up the more entertaining parts and made it all like a bizarre performance. I think that would have worked better for me. Same movie, just done chronologically sans flashbacks.
Still, this movie is worth a watch if you're into the time period and like a well-acted crime drama. Don't expect a mystery because this one is a bit too easily solved.
Sometimes I feel that one of the greatest strengths of the horror genre is its ability to churn out countless horror films made by countless people who all love it. Yet, it can also feel like a very big weakness as well. A lot of those movies are most likely in the middle to the low-end of the quality pile. It's a hard genre to lock down as a lot of the time, they have ideas and themes that are so enticing but in honesty have a low percent of actually being part of a good film. This is what has been on my mind after watching a couple of unknown to me horrors on Netflix like Mara. Sadly, Mara is so bland and lifeless that there is very little to like about it, themes and all.
Mara is about Sleep Paralysis and how it is really an ancient demon coming to choke you to death after an indeterminate amount of time. A psychologist tries to stop it, but mostly just bumbles around the plot until the typical new age horror ending happens. I also feel like a broken record even typing this again. Mara, like a lot of dull horrors, nowadays is too long. Seriously. It seems to be an epidemic of horror thrillers that are incapable of telling their story in 90 minutes or less. Now that doesn't mean I don't like a good long, slow burn horror. But the story has to be there for it to work. Mara, like many before it, goes on way too long. The meat and potatoes of this movie are cleaned off the plate by the 70-minute mark, and we are left sitting at the table while Aunt Susan talks about her cats for another 38 minutes before mom and dad allow us to go to our rooms and play. I know this seems like a rant, but I am truly looking forward to the less is more era of horror I hope is coming.
Oh, yeah, the rest of my review. Quickly, Mara is dark, dingy and dull. Well not terribly acted, the cast has little to do but make choked faces as they die, or yell at each other about demons and sleeping. This is an easy pass from me. You are better off watching something else.