Greetings, Programs!

I have realized that I have been getting behind on my ever-growing backlog of films in my collection. I decided to try to get in as many films as possible every week. I completed the following five during the past week. Most of them were not good, and one of them is a new sequel to a classic film from the last article.

Let’s have a look!

Red Sparrow (2018)

After seeing Red Sparrow, I now understand why some have said that this should have been the origin story for Natalia Alianovna Romanova, aka Black Widow.

“Ballerina Dominika Egorova is recruited to ‘Sparrow School,’ a Russian intelligence service where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. Her first mission, targeting a C.I.A. agent, threatens to unravel the security of both nations.”

This is a hard movie to enjoy. Although the novel from which the film was based on, takes place in 2013, 20th Century Fox wanted it to be set in the 70s. When director Francis Lawrence came on board, he had the story switched back to a modern era. To me, the film can’t decide if it is set during the Cold War with the old USSR or in 2018.

Russian president Vladimir Putin is a key figure in the book, but Fox had his storyline removed from the start. He was never going to be part of the film regardless of the director.

Perhaps my general dislike for Jenifer Lawrence tainted my feelings about this movie, but I could not warm up to her character. I found most of the players in the film unlikable and did not care if they lived or died.

Yes, there is a lot of nudity in this film, but the scenes are not sexual, they are rather troubling. Plus there was this whole sleazy sexual thing with Dominika’s uncle. Note, she was the target of his advances and his leering eyes, and she may have used that to her advantage. It was something she was taught in the Sparrow School!

If you miss the old school type of Cold War spy thriller, or you want to see JLaw naughty bits, give this movie a shot.

I don’t ever plan on seeing it again.

3 / 5 Goblins

Dune (1984)

When word got out that Denis Villeneuve was going to try another take on this story, I had to seek out an HD version of the 1984 film. I have this on DVD, and even the dubious DVD-18 “Alan Smithee/Judas Booth” Extended Edition, but never watched it in HD. I have to say, WOW!, what a beautiful job Universal did for this release. It’s never looked better.

“A Duke’s son leads desert warriors against the galactic emperor and his father’s evil nemesis when they assassinate his father and free their desert world from the emperor’s rule.”

David Lynch filmed four hours of footage for this movie. He was told by the producers that the maximum length he could have was 2h17. An ax had to be used to chop the movie almost in half. This was one of the many problems this production had.

I could do a full article on this movie, there is so much backstory on this film. There was a documentary made of the first failed attempt to film this story, Jodorowsky’s Dune. I think that there should be one made about this movie as well. Sean Young had filmed a lot of the production on an 8mm camera she brought on set. There is probably some good footage there to see.

David Lynch regrets making this film, he felt that he was stabbed in the back by the studio/producers and wants nothing more to do with it. Universal has gone to him about using the extra footage and make a proper Directors Cut, but he will not do it. Hence the Extended Edition that used some of the deleted scenes. David hated what the studio did and had his name removed as the director and writer from that version of the movie.

Despite all the turmoil, David did manage to produce a steller looking movie that was able to get a lot of Frank Herbert’s story on screen. Unfortunately, the film underperformed and the chances of the planned trilogy died with this film.

I have always considered this film the gateway drug to Frank Herbert’s world. It was what got me to devour all of his books around 1985. I have not gone back to them since, but plan to do so soon. I have heard that the books written by Frank’s son are not very good, however.

As a film, I can concede that it was a failure, but I consider it a noble failure. I would really like David to take one more look at this and make the story he wanted. The movie could also use some updated f/x as they apparently ran out of money during production.

The film had a stellar cast, Jürgen Prochnow, Max von Sydow, Patrick Stewart, Kenneth McMillan, Kyle MacLachlan, Linda Hunt, Brad Dourif, José Ferrer, Virginia Madsen, Dean Stockwell, Alicia Witt, Sting, Sean Young, and Richard Jordan. Plus several other actors you would see on other Lynch productions including the Twin Peaks revival.

If you have not seen this film, or have not seen it in HD, check it out. It’s never looked so good.

Some disturbing scenes for the small fry, otherwise family friendly.

3.5 / 5 Goblins

Polar (2019)

This one will not be for everyone’s taste, if you enjoyed the SYFY series Happy!, you will probably like this.

“The world’s top assassin, Duncan Vizla, is settling into retirement when his former employer marks him as a liability to the firm. Against his will, he finds himself back in the game going head to head with an army of younger killers.”

I compare it to Happy! as it too has over-the-top violence that is cartoon-like. There are two words that prevent me from giving this movie a higher rating:

Matt Lucas

I have only seen this “actor” in the Doctor Who Peter Capaldi era and was not too crazy about his character. Now I will avoid anything he is in. To coin a British term, he is “rubbish”, this movie would have been so much better with another real actor in the role as Blut.

Most of the other characters are pretty bad in this, utterly forgettable actually. The only reason to watch this is to see Mads Mikkelsen. He is quite the bad-ass in this and he could easily fit in the world of John Wick.

Frumpy looking Vanessa Hudgens does not bring much to the table, unfortunately. Not too sure about her future roles either. Hopefully, for her, they make a series of films so she can find work.

The movie utilized high-contrast colors and gave the movie a unique look, what you see in the trailer is how the whole movie looked.

For me, the best part of Polar, and when the cartoonish aspect of the film ended, was when the twist to the story was revealed. I wish it had used this tone throughout the entire movie, it would have been a much more enjoyable production.

A good portion of the movie was shot in the Toronto, Canada area. I found myself looking and identifying locations and buildings that always seem to be used in every production done around here.

Besides the campy graphic violence, Polar has a gratuitous sex scene and has a lot of profanity. Not for the young or squeamish.

2.5 / 5 Goblins

Glass (2019)

Just to not have it spoiled for me, I quickly sought out Glass to see it before all of the sites, including ours, spilled the beans.

“Security guard David Dunn uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, a disturbed man who has twenty-four personalities.”

I was glad to see it spoiler free and enjoyed it greatly. Was it perfect? Not at all, in fact, I would say that it was not what I was expecting/wanting. But in reflection, I thought that M. Night Shyamalan was very daring with this conclusion of the Unbreakable series.

This film could potentially start a new series in this universe, Shyamalan should consider this as a possibility.

4 / 5 Goblins

The Car Road To Revenge (2019)

Well, so much for that “sequel”, this dumpster fire of a DTV Movie is a disgrace. It took over 40 years to go back to this world and this is what they make? From the filmmakers of Death Race 2050, we look at The Car: Road To Revenge.

“In a dilapidated cyberpunk city plagued by crime and corruption, an unscrupulous District Attorney is savagely murdered and tossed out of a building onto his brand new car. Mysteriously, the District Attorney and his car come back to life as a single being with a thirst for vengeance. The eerie driver-less car embarks on a vicious rampage exacting revenge on the criminals who murdered him.”

More in line with a crappy Crow sequel then the original film, this dreck has a scumbag District Attorney James Caddock, (BSG’s Jaimie Balmber), tortured and killed by being thrown out of a building to land on his brand new Lazarus One, (yes, that’s the name of the car).

This DA was trying to stop crime in his city, and in this dystopian future, justice is served immediately with instant executions; the defendant is enclosed in a glass tube at the courthouse and gets promptly exploded inside.

The leader of a cyber-human gang called “The Night” wants this DA killed as he has a data chip with all of his illegal transactions on it. His lead henchmen look like they are 80s rejects, (including Adam Ant and Brigitte Nielsen wannabes), and act like this is their first time ever.

Once the DA’s brains are splattered over the car, (literally), he possesses it and begins to run anyone over that gets in its way.

Throw into this mix, Caddock’s ex, Daria, (Kathleen Munroe), whom he was stalking when he had a body and continues to as a car! Plus reckless cop Rainer, (Defiance‘s Grant Bowler), who happens to be Daria’s new squeeze and another target of Caddock since James still wants Daria.

The only thing about this movie they didn’t shy away from was what would happen to body parts when they get run over by a car. All but one kill is shown in graphic, gory detail. Several heads get popped in this one.

Lots of violence/gore, nudity and profanity, not for the kiddies!

1 / 5 Goblins (one star for the use of practical F/X for some of the kills)