February Movie Review 6-Pack (Call of the Wild, Sonic the Hedgehog, Horse Girl, Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon, and More!)

Horse Girl

Horse Girl is a Netflix original film that begins as a quirky rom-com and ends as psychological horror. It stars Alison Brie (GLOW, Community, Bojack Horseman) as Sarah, a introverted lover of crafts, horses, and a Supernatural-esque TV show. Things are going pretty good for her, but that all changes when her wack dreams and troubling family history start to infect her waking hours. The film’s first half is super charming, thanks to the excellent writing and Alison Brie’s endearing performance; the second half is an extremely tense and mind-bending thrill-ride that makes you question the film’s reality and desperately claw at any clue that could lead to the answer. It is a movie filled to the brim with stunning imagery and refreshing creativity, and it shows a true passion for film and horror that is always a joy to see. With all that said, I still wouldn’t recommend this to most people. It is a weird-ass movie. And due to its lack of concrete answers, I could see a lot of people hating it. But if this is your kind of thing, like it is mine, than you might just love this movie.

 

A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

Aardman makes some gooduns. The Wallace and Gromit shorts and movie, Chicken Run, Arthur Christmas, and Pirates! Band of Misfits! are some of the most charming and creative films you could subject your eyes and ears to. There is a certain feeling that Aardman films give that can’t be replicated, and the aforementioned flicks are like a hour and a half long happiness blast to the face. The first Shaun the Sheep Movie is also good, but it doesn’t reach the highs of the rest of their library. Flushed Away and Early Man are meh. Because I wasn’t the biggest fan of the last two movies they’ve put out, and the idea of Shaun the Sheep in space seemed forced and lame, I wasn’t super stoked for this movie. But I should’ve been. Farmageddon is one of the gooduns. It starts out a little too familiar, but after the first third of the movie, the filmmakers’ goal becomes clear: to make a love letter to Sci-Fi films. From the obvious to the incredibly subtle, this movie is chock full of references and homages. But the constant nods to Sci-Fi past never stop Farmageddon from establishing its own identity and joining the Sci-Fi Movie Pantheon itself. It does this by weaving a clever and entertaining story around rich characters that win your heart over without ever making a sound. Even the cliche Bad-FBI-Agent character is engaging! But a perfect film this is not. Some jokes are pretty run of the mill when it comes to animation, and the first little bit is much weaker than the rest of the film. It’s not as consistently clever as Aardman’s best, but it still served as a mega-entertaining reminder of what these talented British Clay Wielders can do. This one’s also on Netflix, so give it a watch.

 

Call of the Wild

This is a perfectly entertaining adventure film that is weakened by some weak storytelling and very questionable doggo CGI. The doggie looks realistic, but he moves and emotes like he’s in Oliver and Company. It doesn’t mesh well, and I never believed that I was looking at a real pupper. Harrison Ford is a very talented man, and when he gets in on the action, the film improves significantly. But despite its shortcomings, I would still recommend it for the beautiful landscapes alone. It’s a wicked pretty movie, and spending two hours in a comfy movie chair basking in Earth’s wonder wasn’t an awful way to spend an evening.

 

Sonic the Hedgehog

Jim Carrey’s brilliance and the occasional clever reference make this forgettable flick that feasts on the lowest hanging fruit bearable to watch. It’s better than the Alvin and the Chipmunks saga and The Smurfs franchise, but then again, most things are.

 

The Rhythm Section

Despite a strong start, The Rhythm Section is never badass enough to be a good action flick, nor interesting enough to be a good character study. What remains is a slew of talented actors desperately trying to find the something buried within a movie of nothing. It’s dull, it’s anticlimactic, and Blake Lively (the film’s star) deserves so much better.

Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island

Fantasy Island takes an extremely promising idea and magically transforms it into a clusterfuck of convoluted and infuriating subplots that culminates in one of the most confusing and rushed twist endings I’ve seen in a long time. It IS impressive in the way that every line of dialogue is more rage-inducing and lazy than the last. I always thought that it couldn’t get worse, but then it would pull out an insulting stereotype or a forced reference that would substitute for comedy. There isn’t a single effective scare, there isn’t a single idea that pays off, and there isn’t a single reason to see this abomination of a film that is more similar to the live-action Scooby Doo film than any of the good horror movies that Fantasy Island so often steals from. The only thing I liked about this movie is the silly way Michael Peña said “fantasy”. That is all.

 

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