Movie Review Weekly Roundup: August 8 – August 14, 2021

The Suicide Squad (2021) is written and directed by James Gunn.

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.


Initiation (2020)

DIRECTOR: John Berardo.
WRITERS: John Berardo, Lindsay LaVanchy, Brian Frager.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Horror, Crime, Mystery.
LENGTH: 1h 36min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★☆☆☆☆ | WATCHED: August 8, 2021.

It feels like a third of the movie is just the characters sending text messages back and forth to each other. Another third is dialogue actually spoken out loud between these characters. Then a final third is just horror mediocrity. Adding it all together makes me want to regret I even watched the movie at all. Boy, how much I appreciate the original Black Christmas movie. Imagine the absurdity of the dialogue if someone in this movie had said, “The texts are coming from inside the house!


The God Committee (2021)

DIRECTOR: Austin Stark.
WRITERS: Austin Stark (screenplay), Mark St. Germain (play).
MPAA RATING: Unrated – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Drama.
LENGTH: 1h 38min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★☆☆ | WATCHED: August 8, 2021.

Almost immediately, I struggled with any growing interest in this story because of the casting choice for the main characters. Julia Stiles and Kelsey Grammer are supposed to be involved in a romantic relationship together?! She is eight days younger than I am. And he is close to my mother’s age. I have never considered getting involved in a relationship with anyone close in age to either of my parents. After forcing myself to accept this questionable decision with the casting of the lead actors, I then had to reckon with the wig they put on Kelsey Grammer. I mean, come on! Strike two. Ugh. Beyond these questionable choices, the story itself is decent and okay.


The Suicide Squad (2021)

DIRECTOR: James Gunn.
WRITERS: James Gunn.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Action, Adventure, Comedy.
LENGTH: 2h 12min.
LANGUAGE: English, Spanish.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or HBO Max.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: August 8, 2021.

Thank you, James, for a definitive R-rated, live-action comic book movie. A couple of the characters from the preceding movie made their way into this one. But mostly to exist as universal continuity. Some of the newer characters heavily marketed with this movie are sadly just a passing fancy. These roles could have been reserved as placeholders for cameo appearances by the director’s friends. I enjoyed the movie. I am hoping for a third movie.


Concussion (2015)

DIRECTOR: Peter Landesman.
WRITERS: Peter Landesman (screenplay), Jeanne Marie Laskas (article).
MPAA RATING: PG-13
GENRES: Drama, Sport, Biography.
LENGTH: 2h 3min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★☆☆ | WATCHED: August 9, 2021.

This movie is an interesting story about the business side of American football. The well-to-do businessmen who control the National Football League will do everything they can to keep the money-making wheels churning every Sunday. Will Smith has given a solid performance in the lead role for the movie. Good for him. The movie ends with a featured news clip about the death of retired football player Junior Seau. I was living in San Diego at the time of his death. His passing was a hard emotional hit for the community. He was a highly respected and treasured figure in San Diego.


The Monuments Men (2014)

DIRECTOR: George Clooney.
WRITERS: George Clooney & Grant Heslov (screenplay), Robert M. Edsel & Bret Witter (book).
MPAA RATING: PG-13
GENRES: Comedy, Drama, History.
LENGTH: 1h 58min.
LANGUAGE: English, German, Russian, French, Dutch.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★☆☆ | WATCHED: August 9, 2021.

Well, at least I enjoyed the movie and all the actors who appear in it. There is just something special about a George Clooney movie. I cannot pinpoint what it is exactly. But they usually have a certain tone or flair about them I like. Sure thing, this movie is a bit lighthearted. And it is not really heavy-handed in nature. But I had fun viewing it.


Queen Bees (2021)

DIRECTOR: Michael Lembeck.
WRITERS: Donald Martin (screenplay), Harrison Powell (book).
MPAA RATING: PG-13
GENRES: Comedy, Drama, Romance.
LENGTH: 1h 40min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★☆☆ | WATCHED: August 14, 2021.

The script is down the line of mediocrity. There is nothing special to be said about its story or characters. However, I do like the actors who appear in the movie. There are plenty of familiar faces in it, and each one has a long historical acting career with numerous appearances in movies and television broadcasts. The movie has sentimental charm because of its acting choices. And that is what I like about it the most.


Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two (2021)

DIRECTOR: Chris Palmer.
WRITERS: Tim Sheridan (screenplay), Jeph Loeb (book).
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Animation, Action, Crime.
LENGTH: 1h 27min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: August 14, 2021.

Well, at least I had fun watching the movie. I have been getting a kick out of all these DC Comics animated movies from Warner Bros. ever since the 90s. Batman: The Animated Series is a great program. In this movie, it is great to see Mad Hatter again. The closest I have gotten to see his reappearance since the animated series would be the recurring role of Alice in the live-action Batwoman show over on The CW.


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