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Grizzly II: Revenge

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Grizzly II: Revenge

The Stage Is Set... And The Dinner Is Served.

20201 h 14 min
Overview

All hell breaks loose when a giant grizzly, reacting to the slaughter of her cubs by poachers, attacks a massive rock concert in the National Park. [This sequel to "Grizzly" (1976) was left unfinished after production wrapped prematurely in 1983, and was not officially released until 2020, though a bootleg workprint version had been in circulation for some years prior to this.]

Metadata
Director André Szöts
Runtime 1 h 14 min
Release Date 17 February 2020
Details
Movie Media VoD
Movie Status Available
Movie Rating Not that bad

I have seen a lot of creature features, they’re my favorite type of movie, and you know, there really aren’t that many films about killer bears. Nature horror tends to stick to crocodiles and sharks (especially after Sharknado came out). Other animals are rare, even something that is an obvious big threat like a bear. So, it’s refreshing to see an animal that’s so rarely used as the monster. And that’s just about the only positive thing I have to say about this film.

My god, where do I even start for the rest. First, some history. The original Grizzly movie was released in 1976 and was basically Jaws with a bear instead of a shark. While it was a truly terrible film (it’s a creature feature, were you expecting The Godfather?), it did well enough to spawn a sequel. Kind of. They didn’t actually finish filming this movie back in the 80s, but the unfinished version did get leaked. It circulated for years because a few big names (George Clooney, Laura Dern, Charlie Sheen, Louise Fletcher, and others) were in it before they were big names. Which isn’t too unusual, a lot of actors & actresses get their start in low-budget horror.

But the film itself is truly awful. I loved every second of it because I’m a masochist when it comes to cinematography. Normal people will probably feel their brain cells dying as they watch this film. It basically just cuts between the town setting up for a music festival and the bear killing people in the woods, badly. Kudos to the town mayor, who apparently used the mayor from Jaws as a role model. That’s right, ripping off Jaws doesn’t stop at the first Grizzly, it extends to the sequel!

If you like campy creature features, Grizzly II will be perfect for you. Everyone else, avoid at all costs.

May 30, 2021

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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Poster for the movie "Star Wars: The Last Jedi"

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The Saga Continues

20172 h 32 min
Overview

Rey develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares to do battle with the First Order.

Metadata
Director Rian Johnson
Runtime 2 h 32 min
Release Date 13 December 2017
Details
Movie Media Cinema
Movie Status Available
Movie Rating Very good

Star Wars: The Last Jedi has received a lot of analysis in the short time since its release. Some have loved it, some have hated it, and a fair number are somewhere in-between. I put myself in the third category, though leaning more towards the “love it” side of things. For all the haters out there, let me say this right off the bat: Yes, the film did have issues. It was not a perfect cinematic masterpiece. But it was nowhere close to having the issues of the prequels. Everything you can complain about in The Last Jedi had an equivalent, yet dumber, scene in the prequels (comparisons will not be made in this review for the sake of avoiding spoilers).

Considering how much The Force Awakens mimicked A New Hope, many people expected The Last Jedi to be reminiscent of The Empire Strikes Back. While there are reused thematic elements, The Last Jedi is not a soft reboot like the previous film. You probably could successfully argue the point that it is, but that is not how it struck me.

The Last Jedi seemed to focus a lot more on character development than plot. As far as plot progression goes, there really is not too much here. But the character development is fantastic. You can feel the new generation of actors getting these roles set up for the next film. The Force Awakens told us who these people are. The Last Jedi shows us who they are going to be. Episode IX will likely take that to its conclusion as destiny is a fairly prevalent theme in Star Wars.

There does not really seem to be a general public consensus on what this film should be, or have been. Long-time fans of the old Expanded Universe (novels, comics, video games, etc.) want to see more of those elements implemented. Some people want more of the same from the original movies. Others do not seem to know what they want and are somehow still upset. But it feels like this film set out what it was meant to do; ushering out the older, Lucas-era concepts to bring us to the new age of Disney. Star Wars has never been this grand, perfect thing people seem to envision. Parts of the old Expanded Universe sucked and needed to go. The films have used newer, unknown actors. The plot tends to be full of holes. The Force is mysterious and largely unexplained (or at least works best that way; damn you midichlorians!). At the end of the day, these are campy sci-fi family films. Enjoy it for what it is, not what you think it should be.

December 31, 2017