Movie Review Weekly Roundup: September 12 – September 18, 2021

Pig (2021) is directed by Michael Sarnoski and stars Nicolas Cage

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.


The Girl Who Got Away (2021)

DIRECTOR: Michael Morrissey.
WRITERS: Michael Morrissey.
MPAA RATING: Unrated – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Horror, Thriller.
LENGTH: 1h 56min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★☆☆☆ | WATCHED: September 12, 2021.

This movie feels more like a drama with elements of horror than being a straight-up horror story. Also, it seems overwhelmingly long with nearly a full two-hour long run time. I remember a good number of horror films are very effective with a shorter run time. Some of the slasher films from the ’80s and ’90s averaged between an hour and twenty to an hour and thirty minutes in length. The Girl Who Got Away is a sub-par horror film. It does a little bit better when viewed as a dramatic story. But only by a slim margin better.


Badland (2019)

DIRECTOR: Justin Lee.
WRITERS: Justin Lee.
MPAA RATING: TV-14
GENRES: Western, Drama.
LENGTH: 1h 57min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★☆☆☆ | WATCHED: September 12, 2021.

The dialogue is poorly written, especially in the opening scene with the cameo appearance from country-western singer Trace Adkins. I like western movies, but this one was just okay. It was a couple of story vignettes thrown back to back. Only the main character is the thread that holds them all together. There are plenty of recognizable faces appearing in supporting roles, such as the horror movie legend Tony Todd who randomly appears in a couple of throwaway scenes as an American Senator. I would only recommend this movie to those who are looking to watch a bunch of western movies.


Pig (2021)

DIRECTOR: Michael Sarnoski.
WRITERS: Michael Sarnoski, Vanessa Block.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Drama, Thriller.
LENGTH: 1h 32min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: September 15, 2021.

I must admit there were many years when I did not appreciate Nicolas Cage. The “pinnacle” years when he appeared in blockbuster movies from corporate-controlled movie studios was nothing but over-the-top performances. He is always exaggerating his acting skills in those movies. It is frustrating and a bit annoying. Think of all those sudden outbursts of energy and emotion like in a few scenes from National Treasure. It was just over the top. This movie is definitely subdued in his performance. He controls the temperature of the room in every scene. It is because he keeps the performance in control and low-key. I loved it and am looking forward to the continuation of the Nicolas Cage I must admit there were many years when I did not appreciate Nicolas Cage. The “pinnacle” years when he appeared in blockbuster movies from corporate-controlled movie studios was nothing but over-the-top performances. He is always exaggerating his acting skills in those movies. It is frustrating and a bit annoying. Think of all those sudden outbursts of energy and emotion like in a few scenes from National Treasure. It was just over the top. This movie is definitely subdued in his performance. He controls the temperature of the room in every scene. It is because he keeps the performance in control and low-key. I loved it and am looking forward to the continuation of the Nicolas Cage Rennasciance.


Equal Standard (2020)

DIRECTOR: Brendan Kyle Cochrane.
WRITERS: Taheim Bryan.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Drama, Action, Crime.
LENGTH: 1h 41min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★☆☆ | WATCHED: September 17, 2021.

The movie feels more like reading an essay on intrapersonal race relations involving the New York City Police Department. Having a story with an ethical or moral point to make is welcoming because it provides purpose and direction for the plot that binds it all together. When its tone feels slightly offset, it pulls me out of the story. I have become aware of its purpose and intent. Beyond this minor hitch, I still appreciated viewing the movie. Maybe someday I will even go so far as to watch it a second time. But I am not in any rush to get around to another viewing.


Send It! (2021)

DIRECTOR: Andrew Stevens.
WRITERS: Charles McKinney.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Action, Adventure, Comedy.
LENGTH: 1h 41min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★☆☆☆☆ | WATCHED: September 18, 2021.

What the hell is this “paint by numbers” story of an after-school special? It is lowball and formulaic. And the onscreen graphics for the sportscast segments appear to have been pulled from a generic video graphics bundle and inserted into the editor’s Adobe Premiere project for the final cut of this movie. This movie is a plain-spoken, low-budget mess. It is riddled with bullet points for a plot and cardboard cutouts for characters.


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