Movie Review Weekly Roundup: September 5 – September 11, 2021

Revanche (2008) is written and directed by Götz Spielmann.

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.


American Violet (2008)

DIRECTOR: Tim Disney.
WRITERS: Bill Haney.
MPAA RATING: PG-13
GENRES: Drama.
LENGTH: 1h 43min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★☆☆☆ | WATCHED: September 5, 2021.

The American judicial system has been intentionally disfavoring minorities and poor people for centuries. We know this already. American Violet comes across like an elementary school book report about the disservice and injustice against black families getting pushed through the criminal courts in the south.


Revanche (2008)

DIRECTOR: Götz Spielmann.
WRITERS: Götz Spielmann.
MPAA RATING: Unrated – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Crime, Drama, Romance.
LENGTH: 2h 1min.
LANGUAGE: German, Russian.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: September 5, 2021.

First off, there is a lot of sex right from the start. But it is more realistic than the usual overly romanticized presentation of sex in American movies. Second, this would have to be the least violent revenge movie I have ever seen. It is so low-key that even the scenes with the pinnacle moments of violent behavior are very tame. American moviemakers should be taking notes while watching this movie on how to be an effective storyteller that does not require tons of flash-boom loud noises and intrusive action sequences.


Edge of the World (2021)

DIRECTOR: Michael Haussman.
WRITERS: Rob Allyn.
MPAA RATING: Unrated – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Adventure, Drama, Historical.
LENGTH: 1h 44min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★☆☆ | WATCHED: September 6, 2021.

The visual photography for this movie is done by cinematographer Jaime Feliu-Torres and is outstanding to watch. Too bad the movie’s story is a bit slow in tempo and a bit shallow in depth here and there. The entire plot is hitched on the shoulders of a white English dude who went native in a remote jungle village back in the 1800s; whoop-de-do and fra-la-la. Around the halfway point, I realized that I was only really watching the movie for the cinematography. Postscript: You All Everybody!


It’s Kind of a Funny Story (2010)

DIRECTOR: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck.
WRITERS: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck (screenplay), Ned Vizzini (book).
MPAA RATING: PG-13
GENRES: Comedy, Drama, Romance.
LENGTH: 1h 41min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★☆☆☆☆ | WATCHED: September 11, 2021.

The tone of this movie does not contain an ounce of respect or empathy for anyone experiencing issues with mental illness. The entire plot uses depression and suicide as a catalyst. But it is quickly disposed of and only brought up again like a carrot dangling on a stick. The main character is miraculously healed from his emotional and mental baggage when he falls in love with a fellow patient at a psychiatric hospital where he checked himself in for suicide watch. The movie is disrespectful for such a mediocre payoff. It is comparable to bad advice given to you by a drunken relative. Take that advice with a grain of salt and then quickly ignore it.


The Gateway (2021)

DIRECTOR: Michele Civetta.
WRITERS: Alex Felix Bendaña, Andrew Levitas, Michele Civetta.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Crime, Drama, Thriller.
LENGTH: 1h 31min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★☆☆ | WATCHED: September 11, 2021.

The movie is filled with plenty of story tropes we have seen before in similar movies. But I like the tone, style, and production quality with this one. Shea Whigham gives a solid acting performance in it, too. Although I went into the viewing of The Gateway with low expectations, I enjoyed it nonetheless.


Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman (2021)

DIRECTOR: Daniel Farrands.
WRITERS: Daniel Farrands.
MPAA RATING: Unrated – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Crime, Drama.
LENGTH: 1h 50min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★☆☆ | WATCHED: September 11, 2021.

I recently watched The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson (2020). It is directed by the same guy who helmed this movie: Daniel Farrands. Based upon his filmography, it is obvious he is interested in murderers with an anger management issue. Anyway, I liked this movie just a hair better than the one about Nicole Brown Simpson. However, I would not place this one anywhere on my top ten favorite movies of all time. It is worth a watch on a randomly dull, rainy evening at home.


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