Movie Review Weekly Roundup: January 23 – January 29, 2022

The Lighthouse (2019) is directed by Robert Eggers, featuring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe.

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 Lighthouse (2019)

DIRECTOR: Robert Eggers.
WRITERS: Robert Eggers, Max Eggers.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Drama, Fantasy, Horror.
LENGTH: 1h 49min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: January 23, 2022.

Before putting on the cowl to formally become The Batman, Bruce Wayne must better understand the mindset of those who he will be going up against out on the streets of Gotham. He decides to take up a residency at a northeast harbor lighthouse for several months during a torrential storm that separates him away from the rest of the world, save for one individual, the drunken lighthouse keeper, who is positioned to run the property as his superior. This experience allows him the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of going bat crap crazy while under emotional and mental strain. As if he was not already traumatized enough from a young age by the death of his parents. He refers to this new approach to better understand himself and the criminals of Gotham as method acting.


Needful Things (1993)

DIRECTOR: Fraser C. Heston.
WRITERS: W.D. Richter (screenplay), Stephen King (book).
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Crime, Drama, Fantasy, Horror.
LENGTH: 2h 0min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: January 24, 2022.

The original novel on which the movie is based would be one of my favorite Stephen King stories. It is a tremendously long story, nearly a thousand pages depending on which publication you pick up. It is a sure thing the movie will be trimming the story down a bit if it is to fit within a two-hour time frame. With that said, I like this movie adaptation quite a bit. The filmmakers have incorporated several of the main story points from the book into the movie. But it still feels a little bit like an abridged version.


Wendy and Lucy (2008)

DIRECTOR: Kelly Reichardt.
WRITERS: Kelly Reichardt, Jonathan Raymond.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Drama.
LENGTH: 1h 20min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★☆☆☆ | WATCHED: January 25, 2022.

With only $525 to her name, Wendy tries to save five dollars by shoplifting a few cans of food for her dog. However, she is arrested for shoplifting. Her car breaks down. Her dog is taken to the animal shelter. For the majority of the movie, it is just Wendy drifting around town in search of her dog while she burns through her meager funds. Nobody in the town is helpful without it costing her a bit more money. Ultimately, she loses just about everything. She just wants to save five dollars on dog food.


We Have Always Lived in the Castle (2018)

DIRECTOR: Stacie Passon.
WRITERS: Mark Kruger (screenplay), Shirley Jackson (book).
MPAA RATING: Unrated – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Drama, Mystery, Thriller.
LENGTH: 1h 35min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: January 26, 2022.

What I enjoyed the most about this movie would be the acting. Taissa Farmiga has done a wonderful job creating a believable character who is nervously shy and ridden with social anxiety. The entire family is odd, but each of the actors makes it believably so and brings life to the characters. Well, Crispin Glover always appears to be strange and unusual in real life, but it was great to have him in the movie playing the aloof older uncle who no outsider knows if he has a screw loose upstairs or trying to play mind games just to see how gullible you might be in believing his stories.


Blackway (2015)

DIRECTOR: Daniel Alfredson.
WRITERS: Joe Gangemi, Gregory Jacobs (screenplay), Castle Freeman Jr. (book).
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Drama, Thriller.
LENGTH: 1h 30min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★☆☆ | WATCHED: January 27, 2022.

There is a tremendous amount of story exposition used in this movie to describe the bad guy. This factor alone drags on for a large portion of the story. The audience must listen to several different characters ramble on and on about how terrifying the town bully is. He is a very toxic person. Almost no one wants to put this guy in his place. The positive takeaway of the movie is the acting performances.


A Christmas Carol (2019)

DIRECTOR: Nick Murphy.
WRITERS: Steven Knight (teleplay), Charles Dickens (novella).
MPAA RATING: TV-MA – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Drama, Fantasy.
LENGTH: 2h 53min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★☆☆ | WATCHED: January 28, 2022.

I appreciate the production quality of this adaptation, alongside the acting and directing. However, the writing is lukewarm. The script is a departure from the familiarity we know so well. There are more obscenities littered in the dialogue. Marley’s Ghost is horrific for those who do not want to see a horror movie. Maybe a repeat viewing will change my perspective on this adaptation.


Battlefield Earth (2000)

DIRECTOR: Roger Christian.
WRITERS: Corey Mandell, J.D. Shapiro (screenplay), L. Ron Hubbard (book).
MPAA RATING: PG-13
GENRES: Science Fiction, Action, Adventure.
LENGTH: 1h 58min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★☆☆☆☆ | WATCHED: January 29, 2022.

My gosh, I almost forgot about how a big budget could add a spit polish shine to the utter garbage of a story! Let someone else have a mulligan with the adaptation. A mini-series adaptation might be more of an ideal translation. And maybe minimizing any involvement with the church of Scientology would be even better.


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