Movie Review Weekly Roundup: July 18 – July 24, 2021

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions (2021) starring Taylor Russell

The following is part of a weekly compilation of movie reviews from The Buzz Track staff. These movies were watched in the previous week, and the reviews were originally posted on Letterboxd.


Escape Room: Tournament of Champions (2021)

DIRECTOR: Adam Robitel.
WRITERS: Will Honley, Maria Melnik, Daniel Tuch, Oren Uziel.
MPAA RATING: PG-13
GENRES: Horror, Action, Adventure.
LENGTH: 1h 28min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch.
★★★☆☆ | WATCHED: July 18, 2021.

This sequel is not as good as the first movie. But it is still a fun 90-minute movie to watch. Spoiler Alert: The end of the first movie, which can be referred to as an epilogue, does not come to fruition until the end of this one. It only scratches the surface, making us believe it will segue into a third installment. It looks like the Sony / Columbia Pictures movie studio has found its own Saw franchise with a more pre-teen friendly PG-13 rating.


Child 44 (2015)

DIRECTOR: Daniel Espinosa.
WRITERS: Richard Price (screenplay), Tom Rob Smith (book).
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Crime, Drama, History.
LENGTH: 2h 17min.
LANGUAGE: English, Russian.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★☆☆☆ | WATCHED: July 18, 2021.

The movie is filled with recognizable actors, a wonderfully detailed production design, and costumes. Despite the positives, the story feels boring. Tom Hardy portrays a Russian military operative who investigates a series of child murders but is bogged down by stress and governmental red tape. A side effect of the emotional turmoil spills over into his marriage. The pacing of the movie feels drawn out for the two-and-a-quarter hours’ worth of run time. Hopefully, the book on which it is based is more intriguing of a story.


Never Goin’ Back (2018)

DIRECTOR: Augustine Frizzell.
WRITERS: Augustine Frizzell.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Comedy, Crime, Drama.
LENGTH: 1h 25min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★☆☆ | WATCHED: July 19, 2021.

It feels like this movie is just the Two Broke Girls sitcom with an issued ‘R’ rating from the review board for having raunchier jokes and conversations littered throughout the story. And in the end, why the heck would they want to move to Venice Beach? It is such a tourist trap location. Whatever.


Event Horizon (1997)

DIRECTOR: Paul W.S. Anderson.
WRITERS: Philip Eisner.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Horror, Science Fiction, Thriller.
LENGTH: 1h 36min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★☆☆ | WATCHED: July 24, 2021.

The best way I could describe this movie would be to say it is a variant of Hellraiser (1987) as if it is transplanted over into the same universe as Alien (1979). It has several moments of bloody gore, which might interest the fans of horror films. And it tries to interweave the usual elements of science fiction stories that we have seen in preceding films. Event Horizon is an okay movie. I enjoyed it as mindless entertainment. It is a fun blend of horror and science fiction. However, it is not the best movie in the world. But it is good enough as a horrifically fun popcorn flick.


Nebraska (2013)

DIRECTOR: Alexander Payne.
WRITERS: Bob Nelson.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Adventure, Comedy, Drama.
LENGTH: 1h 55min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: July 24, 2021.

Such a sad tale about the twilight years of an aging man living in rural America. He is looking for something with meaning and purpose to fill the time. He held on to the past for so long it has devolved into a muffled drumbeat that aches like a dull headache that will not go away. The story is simple and carries very little in frills and excitement. It is more about the characters passing the time in the humdrum of everyday life. They want to feel something meaningful and important, something that says the best years of their life did not go to waste. This would be how I viewed the story of Nebraska.


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