Bob’s 2018 Retrospective: 200 Mini-reviews! [Part 1: The Average]

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Strangers: Prey At Night

The ten-year-later sequel to the terrifying home invasion flick increases the acreage of the stalk, but lessens the tension. A family of four arrives an aunt’s mobile home park. It’s empty, save The Strangers (is the place failing, is everyone dead?). There are some great sequences – the pool scene mainly – but has so many logic gaps it becomes annoying. Still, those sequences and nice kills make Strangers a good view. Review here.

Summer of ‘84

From the makers of the top-the-top gore fest Turbo Kid, Summer of 84 is a very different film. Don’t expect anything like Turbo Kid. Instead, expect a slow 80s infused lackluster mystery. Comparisons to IT and Stranger Things are apt, with both those properties much better films.  Someone is killing the neighborhood kids, and a set of four boys believes a cop neighbor is the killer and attempt to come up with evidence. The issue here is that mystery. As the kids are convinced, but can find no evidence, there is a element – something like this either needs the threat in which the audience KNOWS he’s guilty and thus a threat, or needs to set up another killer they kids miss but we get. Spoilers – the kids are right, but until the very end, there isn’t a threat, leading the audience to believe another person is the killer just from “its gotta be” rather than anything in the film itself. I wanted to love it, but just fell short. Sorry.

That Summer

A prequel of sorts to Grey Gardens. Peter Beard, a consultant on the first and family friend to the Beales, talks about his life in 1973. In this examination, he comes across four reels of film from the first attempt at filming Jackie Kennedy’s cult icon cousins.  That’s the whole reason most people would check out the film – we all want more of Big Edie and Little Edie. And we do – as it’s lightly edited straight footage there isn’t the deft editing that made Grey Gardens and The Beales of Grey Gardens flow. It’s a little less fascinating when just dropped on us. But dammit, I loved seeing them again.

Tomb Raider –REVIEW HERE

Alicia Vikander is a great pick for Lara Croft, the titular heroine in the new film based upon the video game series. She tries very hard, too bad the movie around her is.. Okay. There are almost good action set pieces and almost good character moments. That’s the film biggest sin – it’s almost there in so many ways like another script polish would have pushed it to different level. I see what they are trying to do, be more down to earth but it went too far into that so not very exciting. 

Unfriended: Dark Web

I’m on the few to like the first film. It’s easy to slam found footage, especially one with a big gimmick like all-on-screens. But the first entry was entertaining enough. We all heard the collective sigh at a new entry, but it is far better than the first. Taking away the supernatural elements, this version uses the fears of the “Dark web” and incredibly powerful hackers your parents warn you about. It’s highly unlikely this scenario can play out but damned if it isn’t thrilling to watch it unfold. I was mostly onboard as the twists, turns, reveals, and deaths occurred. I was taken out by incredibly dumb decisions as one often does in this type of movie. But it was worth a viewing. Not two – despite there actually being two endings shipped to theaters. I didn’t know about that until after the movie through. Didn’t advertise it well enough.

Bob here again. There’s Part 1 for you! Stay tuned for the rest!



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