[EXPRESSO] Knives Out: Glass Onion (2022) | Greece Getaway

Managed to catch this one in theathers during its premiere week, before it arrives on Netflix, as i planned to since i also saw the first movie in theathers.

This follow up arrives with some delay, as you could guess since the movie it’s set during full COVID-19 pandemic swing, not that it matters much outside of the intro part, which has world famous detective Benoit Blanc receiving the mysterious invitation (via a puzzle-operated special box delivered to him) to a secluded private island in Greece, where tech mogul is holding a private getaway with some of his old friends, inviting them to solve the mystery… of his own murder.

And before you go on a tangent, this was in the trailer and actually isn’t the big crux of the plot, at all, which indeed continues the type of comedy mistery affair that subverts or surprises the viewer by working with the classic elements of the murder mystery, the expectations it brings, while bringing in a new set of horrible people as potential suspects when the murders start happening, keeping the theme of “eating the rich and eat em hard” while delivering plenty of twists, reveals, laughs and damn satisfying bombast too, in some part.

There’s very little way to discuss the movie in any more detail without giving away or hinting at what actually happens in it, but i will say that this time Benoit Blanc it’s “proper” gay now.

Does it matter? Not really, as Bautista it’s playing a nerd streamer.

Now that i have distracted you, i can say that indeed Glass Onion it’s a pretty good follow up to the first movie, not a redo, but a new chapter/story, and i’m quite glad there will be more mysteries for Benoit Blanc to solve in the future.

[EXPRESSO] Prey For The Devil (2022) | Mid-sorcism

As much i’m very much kinda fed up with horror movies about haunting or possessions and/or about exorcisms… i’m still a horror fan/buff, so i’m up to support horror movies when they come in theathers, even if there’s the chance i’m walking into a turd. You never know, etc.

And this one didn’t look too bad from the trailers… nor did it look stunning, but whatever.

The plot of Prey For The Devil sees the Vatican secretly reopen schools for exorcists, in response to the numerous cases of demonic possessions, so they can fight back this reborn tide of evil.

But sadly for sister Ann, a young pious woman, it’s only men who are instructed to practice exorcisms, though her convintion in being gifted exactly for that purpose/role leads her to be noticed by a professor/priest that indeed believes in her gift, letting her attend the exorcism classes and perform the rituals when needed.

This leads to Ann meeting a powerful demonic force via one of the patients in care there, which spreads to the whole institute, and the demon itself has ties with Ann’s traumatic past…

Aside from the school/church/hospital setting and the more progressive idea of “female exorcists”, all of this sounds very familiar, overly so, and it’s not like there big surprises, i mean, we do have the demon possessing a little girl, the jumpscares, all the shizzle you expect to see.

Yes, indeed, but i won’t deny i was actually somewhat invested in the story, the characters are surprisingly likeable, acting it’s quite decent, the possession stuff has some flair, stuff happens at a good pace, and the movie isn’t overly long, quite the opposite.

It’s a predictable, mediocre and kinda throw-away exorcism film, run-of-the-mill even, but it’s perfectly watchable, you can do FAR, FAR worse.

[EXPRESSO] Diabolik 2: Ginko Attacks! (2022) | Color Cinecomic Photoplay

After the Diabolik revival movie of 2021 was surprisingly succesfull, we now have the sequel, Ginko Attacks, with inspector Ginko pressing its dogged hunt for master criminal Diabolik, managing to find its hidden lair, and eventually collaborating with a betrayed Eva Kant.

Though Diabolik himself was recast, here being played by Giacomo Gianniotti instead of Luca Marinelli from the 2019 movie.

As of why, Gianniotti does look almost identical to Diabolik as depicted in the original comics, but it’s a bad trade-off as Marinelli was by FAR a better actor, and a better Diabolik.

He doesn’t even feel like the same character either, but then again almost no character in Ginko Attacks has a semblance of personality, just existing as barren narrative gears.

Cumbersome pacing (for a 2 hours and 20 minutes movie) doesn’t help, nor does having Monica Bellucci in the cast.

Dialogues are pretty awful too, and tipify the whole problem with the movie, as it feels excessively faithful to the source material, making one wonder if they lifted the text verbatim from the comics, without ever considering how (or if) they would work in an actual film, or to actually update the literal decades old material for modern cinema standards.

So it’s no wonder the plot it’s also bad, utterly predictable from the get go regardless, with the twists/reveals actually making thing worse, because the entire narrative relies on almost every “character” being way too fuckin stupid to predict what the audience did hours ago.

Though it’s hard to get angry because it’s such an alienating, empty experience, with some style backed…by absolutely zero substance, and it’s very disappointing since the first movie was flawed, yes, but also WAY better.

So i’m not exactly looking forward to the third one already in the works.

Awful. Disappointingly awful.

[EXPRESSO] The Menù (2022) | A Meal To Remember

Went in blind and i can say this is a delightful surprise of a release, i mean, a black comedy horror thriller about haute cuisine with a stellar cast in it? Of course i’m in.

The premise of The Menù sees a dozen of influential, wealthy or otherwise high society people get invited to an exclusive dinner party on a remote island by worlwide famous and extravagant chef (played by Ralph Fiennes), eager to see what this year’s menù has in store for them.

Among them there a couple that will be enthralled not only the incredibly elaborated, inventive and maniacally detailed meals, but also by the many shocking events that make the already weird dinner go even more south.

And not always in ways you’d expect.

No, thankfully this one doesn’t go through the fairly overtrodden, predictable “cannibalism route”, not that it would have made quite sense to see Ralph Fiennes asks its dinner guests if they ever eaten “an egyptian FeAsT”, it’s not that kind of movie, it’s indeed a dark comedy horror that presents a robust mix of familiar elements, like the sympathetic villain that planned an elaborate revenge scheme that also steer into cult territory (not in the sense of waiting decades for critics to revaluate it, but the literal one), and also a touch of The Most Dangerous Game to it.

I’m not gonna go in further details to avoid spoiling the whole movie, but i will say it’s also fairly funny in his rampant pisstaking of haute cuisine and its pecularities, from the chef/ringmaster/performer/divinity, the kind of peculiar yet expected clientele it attracts, the behaviours and expectations they come with, while retaining wit through the mostly symphatic gaggle of people that maybe didn’t deserve it that badly.

A pretty robust, strong serving indeed, recommended.

[EXPRESSO] Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) | Vibranium Wars

For the record: i did enjoy the first Black Panther movie quite a lot when i saw it in theathers.

But i also saw how flippant is the quality of the MCU theathrical offerings, so expectations are as low as they have been for years. Especially with the passing of Chadwick Boseman, which is also honored and diegetically considered, as the death of T’Challa leaves Wakanda open to other nations trying to rob them of the Vibranium, forcing the reigning queen, the princess Shuri ( sister of the late T’Challa) and the remaining warrior women to fight for their land as Namor (i guess a different one from the Aquaman lore, despite the identical name) the king of a secret underwater-dwelling meso-american tribe rises up to force Wakanda into war.

After they take their sweet time, let’s be blunt, this one it’s almost 3 hours long, and boy you’ll feel it. It’s not even correct to say the movie it’s unnecessarily long, but it does take its time to set up various subplots and elaborate on the themes of legacy, inheritance and will that connect the Phase 4 Marvel movies together, as the characters deal with the emotional baggage left to them, which it’s fine but it feels like them ruminating/depending on the first movie to make you care this time too.

It’s the same issue plenty of these new Marvel movie have, and Wakanda Forever it’s no exception, arguably a little worse, which is a shame since the plot has some promise but never feels properly coherent, the cast it’s great, the villain is quite decent, but i found myself not really that invested in the new characters, the new kingdom and the new struggles Wakanda and its warriors face.

It’s a decent but unimpressive (and kinda bloated) sequel.

Dino Dicember postponed yet again, 12 Days Of Dino Dicember will be back

I really didn’t want to make this post, but after i sat down and did some planning, i had to eventually come to the conclusion i won’t be able to make a full-sized Dino Dicember like i wanted, with daily reviews as it should be, and trying to force it with my increasingly busy work schedule will just drive me insane, hence unable to pull it off anyway.

Also, i hold off on posting this, but it would be worse if i “unleashed” this announcements in very late November.

But i also REALLY hate to do nothing dino related, so yep, 12 Days Of Dino Dicembers will be back, so bring your dinosaurs canonicals ready for some liturgical nonsense. Literally, in some cases.

In the meantime, please enjoy tomorrow’s EXPRESSO review of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

[EXPRESSO] One Piece Film Red (2022) | Idol Live Stream

Managed to catch a subbed preview screening in cinemas here, and actually catched another esclusive screening for the tie-in anime episodes meant to complement One Piece Film Red.

Not that you really need to see those going into the new One Piece movie, you don’t.

As the marketing and title (logo included) strongly implied, it’s a movie that involves series fan favourite Shanks, indirectly, as it’s about the pirate crew reaching a mysterious island where the first live event of the world’s most popular singer, Uta, will take place.

The Straw Hats come to party, Luffy it’s revealed not only being a childhood friend of Uta, but girl herself being the daughter of Shanks, one of the Four Emperors Of The Sea, which attracts other pirates – as well as the Marines – on the island of music, Elegia.

And despite the obvious fact this is also a vehicle for rising j-pop singer Ado, whom provides all the soundtracks (giving Kohei Tanaka some well deserved rest)… it’s also a surpringly good script, with Uta being a very good original character, some intriguing surprises that also justify in terms of narrative the many musical pieces, which are also very intriguing visually and incredibly well animated, while the songs themselves are quite catchy.

Definitely a more original and interesting script than the all-stars extravaganza of 2019’s Stampede (while it’s also the first film appearance for many relatively newer characters like Katakuri), and a fitting return for Goro Taniguchi (Code Geass, Gun X Sword, Planetes) to the series, decades after his One Piece Ganzack’s OVA by Production IG.

Sure, it leverages Shanks’ legacy/importance in the series to rope in fans, but it does not overrely on nostalgia alone, at all, making Film Red a surprisingly strong (and varied) entry in One Piece’s filmography.

Metal Tornado (2011) [REVIEW] | Gold Joe approved

Let’s talk about the only movie like this that can actually claim it ISNT ripping off Sharkenado. Sure, it was released on DVD in various territories after Sharkenado proved to be an incredibly popular surprise hit, but it released two years prior and wasn’t even made by The Asylum, but from the fairly unknown Capital Productions, which otherwise did a dozen of TV movies about office & school thriller dramas, with Metal Tornado being their only disaster movie.

With a title like that, it does seem pointless to go over the plot, but we’ll do it anyway as pro-forma, i mean, it’s not quite trying to cash into the Asylum wheelhouse.

Continua a leggere “Metal Tornado (2011) [REVIEW] | Gold Joe approved”

[EXPRESSO] Dampyr (2022) | Bonelli: The Masquerade

While i made clear i was very familiar with Dylan Dog’s source material in the review of Dylan Dog Dead Of Night, i can say quite the opposite for this new adaptation of an italian comic book series distribuited by Bonelli Editore, Dampyr, debutting at this year’s Lucca Comics & Games with renewed aspirations of a Bonelli MCU-thing.

So if you were looking for an in-depth review from a fan of the series, i’m not the guy this time, even if the situation it’s convenient for the sake of a more unbiased piece.

Set in the war torn Balkans during the early 1990s, Dampyr it’s about Harlan, a guy that manages to survive by posing as a dhampir (a half-human half-vampire hybrid in slavic folklore) for superstitious small villages, but it ends up dragged into the war as a unit of soldiers is attacked by vampires and Halan is brought there to help as a last resort. Little does he know he IS an actual dhampir, and the horrible dreams he constantly has are hints to his actual origins…

The vampire lore isn’t anything amazing but ain’t totally copy and pasted either, it has some inventions of its own (you can tell this was based on a comic book, regardless), acting by the international cast it’s fairly decent, the war-torn Balkans are a nicely bleak setting, production values aren’t shabby at all, the movie it’s definitely more than just “presentable”.

Overall, Dampyr it’s a fun, quite decent film, fairly entertaining but not much more, especially with some very cliched turns the story takes and the ouvert sequelbaiting. And the slightly confusing fact that two important characters basically look almost identical, like gothic vampire armored Alan Rickmans (or italian singer Renato Zero, for the “homies”) despite being played by different actors.

Zombie VS Ninja AKA Zombie Rivals (1989) [REVIEW] | Coffin Ho

You know i don’t even need an excuse to review these old Godfrey Ho movies aside from the fact i just love to do so. But its still (technically) the spookie-ookie season, so you better believe i have some properly themed (or more spuriously-connected) reviews of garbage from the nearly infinite pile of Godfrey Ho 80s output, and we already reviewed the infamous Robo Vampire, so let’s indulge.

I’m gonna just call it Zombie VS Ninja, since it’s original title and the one it’s known as mostly, though in my UK DVD release by Vengeance Video it was retitled as Zombie Rivals on the box, Zombie Rivals: The Super Ninja Master on the disc, and “Zodiac America – The Super Master” in the actual film, which is the usual transfer from VHS, with 3 extra minutes of black nothing at the end, just so the film can technically reach 90 minutes. As usual for these.

So, we already start with some strong “Ho-isms”, not bad, and this one of the few Pierre Kirby feature entries in Filmarts/IDF catalogue, so we start off on the right foot.

Continua a leggere “Zombie VS Ninja AKA Zombie Rivals (1989) [REVIEW] | Coffin Ho”