Movie Review Weekly Roundup: August 15 – August 21, 2021

Free Guy (2021) is directed by Shawn Levy, and features Jodie Comer.

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.


Take Back (2021)

DIRECTOR: Christian Sesma.
WRITERS: Zach Zerries.
MPAA RATING: Unrated – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Action, Thriller.
LENGTH: 1h 29min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★☆☆☆☆ | WATCHED: August 15, 2021.

Just plain cheap, really. Sure thing, this movie contains a couple of recognizable names appearing in it, such as Michael Jai White and Mickey Rourke. But this does not guarantee the movie is worth my time. Its story is filled with drudgery and rehashed plotlines that would have been emotionally tolling and impactful for a television episode from the Eighties or Nineties, but not for a feature-length movie released in 2021. With all the crappy movies I have watched recently with Mickey Rourke making an appearance in it, I notice the ratio for every release of something like The Wrestler compared to another “crappy movie” is a pretty wide margin.


The Misfits (2021)

DIRECTOR: Renny Harlin.
WRITERS: Kurt Wimmer, Robert Henny.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Action, Adventure, Thriller.
LENGTH: 1h 34min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★☆☆☆ | WATCHED: August 15, 2021.

The entire movie seems a bit too much of the same old expository routine. It is about a group of criminally inclined social outcasts who could only accomplish self-fulfillment through various acts of ethically or morally questionable acts to obtain a profitable gain. The end. This particular movie features two actors I am familiar with, but enjoyably for other reasons. Pierce Brosnan is an actor that I will associate with two things: James Bond and Dante’s Peak (1997). The latter is a movie that I will treasure. Forever! Then there would be the appearance of Jamie Chung in a supporting role for this movie. I have a crush on her and cannot be harsh for most of her acting work. On a side note, this movie includes Tim Roth, who has given 110% in Pulp Fiction and Planet of the Apes (2001), but here it would seem his character is just in existence. It is nothing worth remembering once the movie is finished. Major points are given to the style and flair of the movie, but its story is bland and non-eventful.


Free Guy (2021)

DIRECTOR: Shawn Levy.
WRITERS: Matt Lieberman, Zak Penn.
MPAA RATING: PG-13
GENRES: Action, Comedy.
LENGTH: 1h 55min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: August 15, 2021.

This movie is fun-filled, good times. Ryan Reynolds is funny as always. And I have a crush on Jodie Comer, as always. It is a good movie for families with teenagers. Although the foul language, double entendres, and slightly insinuated sexual references may not be suitable for the younger crowd. I had fun watching the movie and would not mind a second viewing.


Till Death (2021)

DIRECTOR: S.K. Dale.
WRITERS: Jason Carvey.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Horror, Thriller.
LENGTH: 1h 29min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★☆☆ | WATCHED: August 15, 2021.

The circumstances that propel this storyline along are pretty messed up. Talk about a really crappy marriage. Megan Fox sure plays quite the trooper of a character with plenty of determination and gumption. There are several moments of graphic violence, so viewers beware.


Spiral: From the Book of Saw (2021)

DIRECTOR: Darren Lynn Bousman.
WRITERS: Josh Stolberg, Pete Goldfinger.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Horror, Crime, Mystery.
LENGTH: 1h 33min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★☆☆☆ | WATCHED: August 17, 2021.

Let me start with a point of appreciation about this movie. I am thrilled the producers decided to expand the universe into a different storytelling style than the preceding installments. This movie is more of a police procedural than an escape room for victims on the receiving end of a sociopath. However, the revelation of the villain’s identity was not really surprising. The spiel he gives to each of his victims feels anti-climactic and boring. I have not decided yet if it was the choice of wording or the voice filter they used for the tape recordings. It just seems bland and unthreatening. As a standalone horror movie, I might have given it a better rating score. When comparing it to the context of the entire franchise, this movie is not one of the finest additions in the series.


Here Today (2021)

DIRECTOR: Billy Crystal.
WRITERS: Billy Crystal (screenplay), Alan Zweibel (story).
MPAA RATING: PG-13
GENRES: Comedy, Drama.
LENGTH: 1h 57min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★☆☆☆ | WATCHED: August 21, 2021.

Although I like Billy Crystal and Tiffany Haddish as performers, I had a bit of trouble really enjoying this movie. The story is about an aging comedy writer suffering from dementia, which is really a Debbie Downer sort of story. Of course, the humdrum of his daily routine is sparked to life by a youthful woman about half his age. From a broad perspective, the story of this movie feels like a well-trodden path. It does not feel fresh, and new and we have gone down its road many times before.


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