Review: Those Who Wish Me Dead


Hannah (Angelina Jolie) is a fire jumper in Montana who has been regulated to tower duty after a tragic turn on the job. Then there's Connor (Finn Little) a young boy whose father is a forensic accountant who discovered something big done by some very bad people. (Adian Gilen and Nicholas Hoult) He and Hannah cross paths and must find their way out of the wilderness safely. 

Taylor Sheridan is a writer/director who always has my attention so when I saw this film was coming to HBO Max, I knew I'd be watching. I'm glad that's the platform it was available to me on, because while I wouldn't rush out to see this in theaters, it was a perfectly fine at home watch.

I feel like it's been ages since I've seen Angelina Jolie in anything, and it was nice watching her again. Hannah carries a lot of baggage and Jolie portrays her well. Finn Little also holds his own. Connor is traumatized and Little plays him in a way that's always believable and never over the top. I think he has a bright future. My favorite character was Allison (Medina Senghore) a pregnant woman who runs a survival school and instead of just being a one off victim, she gets shit done. I would watch an entire film on her.

There is a lot of vagueness in the script, but I was never bored while watching this. It was perfectly paced, and I can accept that this doesn't have the same fine tuning that some of Sheridan's other films haven't. For a movie to watch at home, this was fine.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "We're leaving right now." - Hannah (Angelina Jolie)

The Weirdest Movies Blogathon


Ronyell over at The Surreal Movies and TV Blog is hosting a blogathon on their specialty - weird movies! Here are the rules.

1)  List up to 5 or 10 of the weirdest movies that you have ever seen.  If you want to list over 10 movies or below 5 movies, then you are free to do so.

2)  You don't necessarily have to list your favorite movies or movies you even like.  Just movies that you think are weird.

3)  Use the banner at the top of this page in put into your post.

4)  This blogathon runs from April 23rd - May 20th, so you need to send your submissions in by May 20th.  After that, I will make a special post where I will list all the bloggers who had participated in this blogathon!

5)  If you are interested in joining this blogathon, then please feel free to leave your link to your post here or tweet me (@rabbitearsblog)

6)  If you are participating in this blogathon through Twitter or you want to let your followers know about this blogathon, then please use the hashtag #weirdestmoviesblogathon so that way, I will know who's participating in this blogathon


And with that, let's get on to my list.


1) Troll
- Everyone talks about Troll 2 being the worst movie ever but they sleep on just how campy and hilarious the original is. WORKS BURGER forever.


2) The Rocky Horror Picture Show -
While you're dancing along to this movie at midnight showings on Halloween, do you ever stop and think just how strange the concept of this movie is? I love it.


3) Swiss Army Man -
A man marooned on an island with only a farting corpse to keep him company? You wouldn't think it works, but it absolutely does thanks to the magnificent Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe. 


4) Rubber -
This movie is about a tire that kills people with its mind. Yes, you read the right. It's dumb, but worth the watch.


5) Eraserhead -
I knew this was going to be weird going in, but I still wasn't prepared for that mutant baby. 


6) Enter The Void
- This movie is a neon acid trip.


7) The Lure -
A Polish mermaid horror musical. What more could you ask for?


8) Dogtooth -
This film was my intro into Yorgos Lanthimos and I wasn't sure what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn't....this. I think this is a fantastic movie, but it is very weird indead.


9) Deathgasm -
This is a heavy metal horror comedy from New Zealand that features a fight scene full of dildos. 


10) The Last Unicorn
- I loved watching this cartoon as a kid, but when I revisted it as an adult...honestly what the fuck is this?

Thursday Movie Picks: Period Dramas

 

This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is another re-occurring theme: Period dramas! I've grown to love these quite a bit as my movie tastes have changed. My only rule of course is to not repeat anything I've used in the previous years, so here's what I came up with.


1) The Crucible (1996) -
I've been wanting to re-watch this lately. I always enjoyed reading this in school and the 1996 version was really good. Plus, screaming "I saw Goody Proctor with the Devil!" is always a great thing to interject into a conversation.


2) Portrait of a Lady on Fire -
SNL recently did a skit on "lesbian period dramas" which was spot on for Ammonite, but not so much for Portrait of a Lady on Fire. This film is wonderful, and I will go to bat for it anyone someone tries to say it's tropey. You're wrong. This movie is just amazing. Yes, I make the rules.


3) Jane Eyre (2011) -
I love this version of Jane Eyre. I keep meaning to read the book, which I haven't gotten to at the time of this posting, but one day I will. Hopefully I enjoy it as much as I did this film.

2021 Blind Spot Series: A Hard Day's Night

 


What I knew going in: The music.

A hectic day in the life of the Beatles is made worse on top of everything else, they can't keep Paul McCartney's grandfather (Wilfred Brambill) in check.

Despite being a big fan of The Beatles' music for my entire adulthood, I've been dragging my feet at seeing their 5 movies. I assumed they were just extended videos and that really didn't entice me when I could just listen to their albums. But I knew I wanted to remedy that, so I chose this one to be my first foray into the Beatles movies.

And that's exactly what they are...extended music videos with a bit of plot. I'm quite surprised this was nominated for its screenplay to be honest. Was this very experimental at the time? I feel like I'm in a bit of an awkward place with this because movie wise, it's not great...but it's The Beatles! I love their music, and I'm happy to spend an hour with them running around aimlessly and just listening. 

Frankly, I needed this short time with the Beatles to unwind. Life has been very busy and stressful lately. I haven't had a lot of time to sit and watch movies, much less write reviews on them. I've been feeling a little discouraged, so I don't have a ton to say, but it did the trick. It's currently available to stream on HBO Max.

Recommended: Yes, if you're a Beatles fan.

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "Well, everyone's entitled to two, aren't they?" - Paul McCartney

Thursday Movie Picks: Oscar Winners - Best Director

 

It's another Oscar theme over at Wandering Through The Shelves and this week we're focusing on the directors. As usual, I feel a stronger connection to the more recent Oscar winners just because I've seen more of their bodies of work. Here are three directors I love to talk about.


1) Bong Joon-Ho: Parasite -
This is probably one of the most invested Best Director races I've ever been in. While Bong was somewhat of a front runner, there was still a very real chance Sam Mendes would win this and I'm just happy Bong prevailed with such a wonderful film.


2) Ang Lee: Brokeback Mountain -
I think about this movie a lot, and how perfectly Lee captured everything. Of course the actors are great, but Lee was tasked with making this sad, melancholy story look beautiful and move it along without ever making it boring. I love what he did here.


3) Chloe Zhao: Nomadland -
Of course I have to mention Zhao's historic win. I'm so happy for her. The best part of Nomadland for me was the way she directed it. She crafted a beautiful picture and she deserved to close out the night with her Best Picture win. I hate that was robbed from her. 

What I watched on TV in April

April flew by and because of that, this post is going up a bit later than usual. Here's what I was watching on the small screen last month.


Falcon and the Winter Solider -
I really enjoyed this over all. I thought the ending felt rushed, much like the Wandavision finale, but that's the reality of COVID happening on the tail end of finishing a TV show. Mostly, I like the possibilities this created. Sam looks amazing in his Captain America suit. (minus the head piece, they need to re-work that) He and Bucky have moved forward, there's much to be explored with Sharon, and I know we'll see Julia Louis Dreyfus again. 


Attack on Titan -
They're now on a break before they finish up the final season, but the manga ended and it was so terrible that I feel like I owe the Game of Thrones showrunners an apology. I'm not even sure I want to watch it when it comes back.


Mare of East Town -
We're only a few episodes in, but I'm already invested. I just hope this doesn't go the way of The Outsider and have an awful finale.


Frank of Ireland -
I was looking for something dumb to laugh at, and this is certainly dumb, but I'm not sure if it's funny. It has its moments, but it's very weird.

Indie Gems: Rent-A-Pal


In 1990, David (Brian Landis Folkins) is a 40 something living with his mother, Lucille (Kathleen Brady) who suffers from dementia. She needs constant care, so he can't work. He stays with her all day and subscribes to a VHS dating service where he watches tapes, and calls in to try to get matched. One day when he re-records his own tape, he stumbles upon a VHS called "Rent-A-Pal." A pre-recorded chat with Andy (Wil Wheaton) then David slowly begins to obsess over.

On paper, I probably wouldn't have bothered with this but I saw a trailer on another movie I had rented and I immediately took notice of how unsettling it looked. And it succeeds at that. I feel like the market for 80's nostalgia is very oversaturated at this point so I liked that this film leaned heavily into the 90's. 

David does lean into incel territory but his position over all is very unfortunate so it makes sense that he's exactly the type of person the Rent-A-Pal video is marketed towards. I expected the film to go a little further with this concept, and that's the biggest flaw. There's a lot of build, and then the climax is over very quickly. 

Folkins is very convincing in the lead role but it's Brady who I thought was wonderful. I thought she played someone suffering from dementia very convincingly and she has a lot of rough scenes she's required to do. I was the most impressed with her.

While this might not be a perfect film, if you liked semi-horror films such as Creep or May, this one might be for you too.

Watched on: DVD Netflix

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "I need Andy!" - David (Brian Landis Folkins)