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Movie Reviews: Upgrade, Rideshare, Book Club

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It’s time to review some movies again. We’ve got three movies for you and make sure to rate all them for yourself on a scale of 0-100 to add to our movie rating database (coming soon)For an explanation of the rating system and what to expect from our reviews, click this link to our first blog. Today’s reviews include: ‘Upgrade’, ‘Rideshare’ and ‘Book Club’.

Upgrade

Jeff Lowe (88/100): Oh Blumhouse, just when I thought you couldn’t possibly make another movie, you go and make something like ‘Upgrade’ and totally redeem yourself! Blumhouse is the Adam Dunn of movie studios in a sense that it’ll more than likely strikeout, but every now and then it’ll hit an absolute fucking bomb to straightaway center.

‘Upgrade’ is basically a ‘6 Million Dollar Man’ horror movie, which I believe the director was even quoted as saying. This movie is flat out awesome and a rare example that you don’t need a perfect script or actor to be a fantastic movie. The acting and script aren’t awful, but it has a few hiccups here and there. But considering this movie is fairly low budget, like most Blumhouse movies, at $4.5 million and has a B-movie vibe, none of the previously mentioned “issues” matter at all.

As you can see in the trailer below, this movie is a very gory action-thriller about a guy who has a futuristic chip implanted in his spine. The artificial intelligence in the chip can control his body and make him virtually superman. The fight scenes are outstanding in terms of choreography and visuals and have a very ‘John Wick’ feel about them. The story is also top notch with twist and turns and a fucking killer ending. This is a big-time, highly recommended movie from me and a great change of pace with summer blockbusters.

KenJac (88/100): This movie was like a very well produced, but sort of predictable episode of ‘Black Mirror’. There’s a ton of heart-pounding action and suspense that keeps you guessing, and some solid acting for what is admittedly a B-movie. For a Blumhouse joint, it also had a very tasteful amount of gore. It was brutal, but not to a point where that aspect was the main draw. It was also very well paced at only 1 hour 35 minutes, which is absolutely perfect for this type of movie. There’s no point where you feel like it’s dragging or where you’re waiting for it to end.

Personally, I think Logan Marshall-Green absolutely killed what must have been a pretty challenging role considering most of his interactions are with a computer system in his brain. I really hope that Tom Hardy’s dynamic with Venom is something similar to how he managed it. Also, can we talk about how AWESOME the locked on camera shots were?

So cool. ‘Upgrade’ isn’t ‘John Wick’ level by any means, but it definitely brings sort of a new spin to the action-revenge genre. I’d say definitely a must-see for any action fans.

Rideshare

Jeff (1/100): Worst movie of the year so far and easily the frontrunner for the title by year’s end. Let’s be clear about something: this is a low-budget, independently made B-movie. It may be a little unfair to be critical, but, nevertheless, here we are doing so anyway. Why even give the movie 1 point at all? It’s because of the concept, I truly like the concept of a murderous Uber driver. In 2018, a good horror movie about the topic, or at least a serviceable one, should exist. Unfortunately, this movie was far from being middle of the road.

The script, the acting, the story, everything really, was just a big swing and a miss. Being a free movie on Amazon Prime is the only thing that makes this watchable. Going to the theatre and paying money for this would be a real low point as a moviegoer. Though, to be fair, I did see ‘The Bye Bye Man’ and ‘Wish Upon’ in theaters (both 1/100 for me), so I guess I have done it before. There’s an actual line in this movie where the murderer goes “Aloha, bitch,” after choking her to death with one of those dancing hula girls you put on your dashboard.

I went in questioning if this would be along the lines of a movie that takes itself seriously, a movie that is intentionally bad or a movie like ‘The Room’. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what this film is, but I do feel like they put effort into it being serious. There’s a twist at the end that really seals the deal on the rating and my feelings about what this movie amounts to be. I would say this is worth a watch just based on how horrendous it is, but a lot of our listeners have said they couldn’t get through the first 20 minutes.

KenJac (3/100): Terrible. Terrible. What an absolute shit execution of what absolutely should be a solid concept. Basically, everyone uses rideshare apps and has that built in fear of their driver being a psychopath. An Uber driver shot his passenger like 3 days ago! How they managed to take that primal fear and turn it into this laughably bad comedy, even with a crowdfunded budget, is beyond me.

It was poorly shot, every single acting job was terrible, and it felt like it was written by a 45-year-old producer. Each passenger the guy picked up is a more contrived version of a shitty boomer preconception about millennials. There’s the cheating rich brat, the emo, the daddy’s girl, the Instagram star, and the girl who’s offended about everything, and a few more. That, combined with the shit dialogue, abysmal pacing, and terrible effects just make this unwatchable. But I guess that’s what you get when you cast a YouTube star who goes by “MaxNoSleeves” in a starring role.

BookClub

Jeff (56/100): I saw this movie alone. I see movies alone now and then, but this one was different. Never have I attended a super horny movie about older women reading porn novels. But hey, our job here is to review anything and everything.

Look, it isn’t awful by any means. The cast is actually outstanding, with Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Mary Steenburgen (shout out Ted Danson), Craig T. Nelson, Andy Garcia, Richard Dreyfuss and Ed Begley Jr. The intended audience will love this movie, it’s a fun, good time for those who will want to see the movie. It’s very basic, though, so there isn’t a ton of really great things to say about it. It’d have been nice to have a more substantial story with a good script and some tonal weight to it with this cast, but I’ll just move on from this one.

Oh, yeah, Craig T. Nelson, also known as Mr. Incredible, gets a huge boner in the movie.


We want to see what your movie ratings are for the year 2018. Click the links below to submit your rating for everything released so far this year.

January: https://goo.gl/forms/nNzX19HbebeQMUAA3
February: https://goo.gl/forms/DWG9TJMISLzUunsu2
March: https://goo.gl/forms/k0dL5ozOrhwJ2Bk03
April: https://goo.gl/forms/Z218hqWq3XGyqi9C3
May: https://goo.gl/forms/f5aYcpJHnBMmkcs52
June: https://goo.gl/forms/1sfizEF3LCTcXFrh2

You can subscribe to Lights, Camera, Pod and listen to our new episode, drop early Thursday morning, where we will go in-depth about ‘Upgrade’ and ‘Rideshare’.