Hello, and welcome to the first of a new series on The Blogging DJ. Every month, I will be summarising my thoughts on every film watched for the first time and compare it with the critics’ summary on Rotten Tomatoes.
If you have any recommendations on films you think I will enjoy, or have any feedback for the site in general, please feel free to leave a comment below, or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org – your suggestions will help to shape future content and is always greatly appreciated.
Without further ado, here are the films I watched in March 2022 and my thoughts on each:
Starring: Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Sophia Ali
Runtime: 1h 56m
My Review: This film was a good watch for someone like myself, who was a big fan of the video game series the film is based on. Therefore, I appreciated the references to the games, especially the brilliant opening sequence, with the way it was shot and its place within the narrative. The characterisations of Nate and Sully, played by Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg respectively, are surprisingly strong and faithful to the source material, though the back-and-forth dialogue could be jarring or corny to newcomers. The action sequences were effective and provided some good visuals, especially in the opening and the climax. Arguably the weaker aspects of the film stem from the narrative as, owing to a good portion of the film being dedicated to the origin story, it lacks the depth and intrigue the games had – the lack of a otherworldly or supernatural element was apparent especially. This is however one of the stronger video game adaptations from the past couple of decades, and provides some good moments to viewers new to the series or greeting it as an old friend.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐½
Critics Consensus (Rotten Tomatoes): Promisingly cast but misleadingly titled, Uncharted mines its bestselling source material to produce a disappointing echo of superior adventure films.
Tomatometer (Rotten Tomatoes): 40% (Rotten)
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Danielle Harris, Wendy Foxworth
Runtime: 1h 36m
My Review: Taking place one year after the events of Halloween IV, the opening fifteen minutes or so is arguably the only good part of the film, showing the impact the trauma of the previous film has had on the now mute child protagonist Jamie (once again played gamely by Danielle Harris), and an comatose and near-death Michael being nursed by an elderly hermit (and pet parrot). The remaining 1hr 20m? At best, it is a mess, with a returning character being treated poorly, annoying new characters being brought in as cannon fodder with their stupid antics, and Michael himself being seen far too often and seemingly losing his ability to scare. Even Donald Pleasence, as previously scene-stealing character Dr. Loomis, looks tired and bereft of energy here. New aspects of lore were brought in, but doesn’t save the fifth Halloween film from being aimless, lifeless and honestly a bit pointless.
My Rating: ⭐½
Critics Consensus (Rotten Tomatoes): Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers finds the series embracing crude slasher conventions with pedestrian scares, disposable characters, and aimless plotting.
Tomatometer (Rotten Tomatoes): 12% (Rotten)
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022)
Starring: Sarah Yarkin, Elsie Kate Fisher, Mark Burnham
Runtime: 1h 23m
My Review: This most recent sequel of the 1974 horror masterpiece, Texas Chainsaw Massacre is under 80 minutes excluding credits, but still manages to have an over-stretched plot. Leatherface himself appears less than a quarter of an hour in and constantly throughout, pretty much robbing this iconic killer of the potential for scares. What follows the opening is, aside from a couple of interesting set pieces where tension is maintained, your run-of-the-mill slasher with characters being pursued by Leatherface – the final act in particular overuses this element and becomes stale and dour. In a subplot akin to 2018’s Halloween, the survivor of the 1974 original, Sally Hardesty, returns to find Leatherface and enact her revenge for the murders of her friends; in comparison to Halloween, Sally is not given the treatment she deserves. If you want a horror film with some decently tense moments and graphic kills of obnoxious and judgmental city folk, then this is for you. Don’t expect this to remain in your memory for long after watching.
My Rating: ⭐⭐½
Critics Consensus (Rotten Tomatoes): Texas Chainsaw Massacre doesn’t skimp on the gore, but Leatherface may have irrevocably lost his ability to terrify.
Tomatometer (Rotten Tomatoes): 32% (Rotten)
Starring: Warwick Davis, Jennifer Aniston, Ken Olandt
Runtime: 1h 32m
My Review: I’m just relieved that the directors, after hearing the thoughts of Warwick Davis, decided to take this film in a more comedic direction – the alternative would be too horrendous to imagine. As the titular creature of Irish folklore, Davis is the only one who seems to understand the kind of film he is starring in, and as a result is holding this up from being a disaster. The human characters, including a certain Jennifer Aniston in her debut leading role, range from bland to annoying, and you spend most of the film hoping that the Leprechaun will be able to wreck havoc on these irritations. The entire second half of the film is essentially five characters running around a small farmhouse, as the movie’s initial self-aware fun gives way to fatigued and repetitive scenes. Sadly, no pot of gold at the end of this rainbow, but is an easy watch if you accept that this is just a stupid film.
My Rating: ⭐⭐½
Critics Consensus (Rotten Tomatoes): The basic problem with ‘Leprechaun’ is that it just isn’t scary, not even a little bit, not for the tiniest second, and that’s the result of a basic failure at the conception stage.
Tomatometer (Rotten Tomatoes): 27% (Rotten)
Jennifer’s Body (2009)
Starring: Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Simmons
Runtime: 1h 41m
My Review: Jennifer’s Body was heavily critiqued upon its release and that may be because it was ahead of the curve when it comes to horror movies that features women, and should have been for women, had it not been for the heavily sexualised marketing campaign. Look deeper than the surface level, and you can see some evidence of a discussion on the male gaze, the female ownership of her own body and the bond of female friendship – being written and directed by women, its heartening to see this movie gaining more traction in recent years. Both Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried are excellent in their portrayals of Jennifer and Needy, the soundtrack has many bangers, and the dialogue mostly stays away from cliches. This is not a masterpiece, but is better than the initial reception gave it credit for, as it does well with the central themes that differentiate it from many 00s horror movies.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐½
Critics Consensus (Rotten Tomatoes): Jennifer’s Body features occasionally clever dialogue, but its horror/comedy premise ultimately fails to be consistently funny or scary enough to satisfy.
Tomatometer (Rotten Tomatoes): 45% (Rotten)
Thank you for taking the time to read this post on films I watched in March 2022. If you enjoyed this post, please leave a like, and subscribe to The Blogging DJ to be notified by email when new posts are published.