Movie Review Weekly Roundup: February 13 – February 19, 2022

Knock Knock (2015) is directed by Eli Roth. It stars Keanu Reeves, Lorenza Izzo, and Ana de Armas.

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.

All Eyez on Me (2017)

DIRECTOR: Benny Boom.
WRITERS: Jeremy Haft, Eddie Gonzalez, Steven Bagatourian.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Biography, Drama, Music.
LENGTH: 2h 19min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★☆☆☆ | WATCHED: February 13, 2022.

This movie is a highlight reel of Tupac’s life. It comes across more like a grocery list of notable events and minor details rather than a naturally cohesive and linear story.


Becoming Jane (2007)

DIRECTOR: Julian Jarrold.
WRITERS: Kevin Hood, Sarah Williams (screenplay), Jane Austen (letters).
MPAA RATING: PG
GENRES: Biography, Drama, Romance.
LENGTH: 2h 0min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★☆☆☆ | WATCHED: February 14, 2022.

Upon my second viewing of the movie, I realized my focus was distracted by the romantic tropes littered throughout the plot. I am not paying attention to the actual story. Such an honest shame. What is she doing? Writing. Can anything be done about it? No, most likely not.


Knock Knock (2015)

DIRECTOR: Eli Roth.
WRITERS: Nicolás López, Guillermo Amoedo, Eli Roth.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Horror, Drama, Thriller.
LENGTH: 1h 39min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★☆☆☆ | WATCHED: February 15, 2022.

Eli Roth is the director of this movie. And it is the least violent horror story of his I remember watching. He is more known for torture porn horror movies. Knock Knock leans more toward the porn than the torture. I would describe it more as softcore porn. As to why so many recognizable names are involved in this movie, I am not sure I would know the answer. The movie is so bad. But I will admit I only continued watching it because it features two hot women seducing Keanu Reeves. And this would be considered entertainment. Sigh.


Kiss of Death (1947)

DIRECTOR: Henry Hathaway.
WRITERS: Ben Hecht, Charles Lederer (screenplay), Eleazar Lipsky(story).
MPAA RATING: Approved
GENRES: Crime, Drama, Film Noir.
LENGTH: 1h 39min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: February 16, 2022.

Kiss of Death might be a film noir movie, but it does not feel like one to me. The story is about a convicted criminal who turns police informant. He wants to live a life of normalcy with his wife and two kids. It is a good movie and all. However, it is not on my list of top favorites, even though it is entertaining to watch.


Hard Rain (1998)

DIRECTOR: Mikael Salomon.
WRITERS: Graham Yost.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Action, Crime, Drama.
LENGTH: 1h 37min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: February 17, 2022.

This movie is one of my favorites from the late 90s. It blends the disaster genre and heist film into one movie. Do not forget about the one-hit-wonder Flood by Jars of Clay which plays over the movie’s end credits. This movie holds out as one of the last remaining productions utilizing practical effects and miniatures before the great surge of post-production computer-generated effects at the turn of the century.


First Reformed (2017)

DIRECTOR: Paul Schrader.
WRITERS: Paul Schrader.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Drama, Mystery, Thriller.
LENGTH: 1h 53min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: February 18, 2022.

This movie is one of those stories that could be misunderstood as making a grandiose statement. It is not about politics or religion; but about the basic need of humanity and self-fulfillment. The story centers on a priest; his purpose is to offer spiritual support for others. However, he needs to fill the void within himself. All hope and inspiration are gone. It makes him feel completely lacking in authenticity. He is a mere mortal grasping at anything, hoping for a step up from the absolute emotional devastation of lost hope and depression. Both of which he suffered from for a long while now.


The Lawnmower Man (1992)

DIRECTOR: Brett Leonard.
WRITERS: Brett Leonard, Gimel Everett.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Horror, Science Fiction.
LENGTH: 1h 48min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★☆☆☆ | WATCHED: February 19, 2022.

Ultimately, it is a feature-length movie that could be trimmed down to be an episode of The Outer Limits or The Twilight Zone. The acting is misguided, and the writing is mediocre. The computer-generated visual effects are shockingly simple. This movie has not aged very well at all.


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