Here at The Nerds Templar, we get a lot of movies sent our way to watch. Some are new, some are older. We get Blu-rays, DVDs, online screeners and everything in between. Sometimes we just don’t have time to write a 1000 words about every movie. Sometimes the movie doesn’t deserve a 1000 words. We do like to discuss the movie though and in those situations we do articles like this, Review Round-up.
Up first we have Presenting Princess Shaw. I had no idea who Princess Shaw was until this documentary. I didn’t know her story. I’m an adult, I don’t know YouTube “celebrities”. If I’m on YouTube I’m watching videos of bands I know, that’s it. I will say that overall I did like the story of the documentary. Princess Shaw was a struggling singer who chronicled a lot of her life online. A famous DJ or producer type (someone I never heard of) took samples of a bunch of YouTube videos and made them into one cohesive song that went viral. Shaw started to become famous and even traveled with the musician guy and his band performing in Israel and in the States. I don’t understand the need for people to chronicle their lives on YouTube or online. I don’t get why they crave attention and “likes” from total strangers. I’ll never understand that desire. But I will say that I respect Princess Shaw for promoting other people and supporting local artists. One scene, when she moves to Atlanta, she starts singing with a street musician and it felt 100% authentic. She wasn’t trying to steal the spotlight or anything, she was just singing with a fellow struggling musician. I respect the hell out of that. Early on she’s doing a show to a few people and before the show she goes online to tell people to come support locals. Again, I like that aspect of her. If you know Princess Shaw and her music from YouTube, you’ll probably like this a lot.
Next we have Walking Dead in the West. I’m a sucker for anything zombie and I also love westerns. This isn’t exactly the slam dunk it should be in my book, but for a movie I had never heard of, it’s pretty watchable. There’s nothing too original about it other than the dead becoming the undead because of lightning (was that the explanation?). But I did like the fact that because it’s the old west, pretty much everyone carried a gun and was ready to shoot. Plus there are Apaches in it and let’s be honest, who’s more suited to kill zombies than a bunch of Native warriors? There’s one Apache at first and then a scene later on that was pretty awesome. Tomahawks are outstanding zombie killing weapons. I also liked that there was a little person in the movie. You don’t see too many little people beyond comedic relief, but he was a fully fleshed out character and served a purpose. It’s far from a great movie and the average movie goer won’t like it, but if you are a zombie aficionado, then you need to check this one off the zombie genre checklist.
Third we have Lake Nowhere. This was a pretty cool flick. It’s crazy short, but I’m ok with that. It’s an homage to the classic slasher flicks I grew up watching. It intentionally looks like a VHS tape recording and even has fake commercials in the beginning. It’s your classic story of kids going away and a murderer in the woods. But this has a weird twist of creatures in the water that turns one of the friends into a zombie type creature. There’s everything you want in a slasher flick, nudity, blood, heads getting chopped off, good deaths, booze, drugs, some more nudity and blood. I can see this becoming a cool, little cult flick among slasher fans. The killer has a weird mask and watches the kids in the house and slowly kills them off one at a time. Just a solid homage to the movies I grew up with. Definitely recommended for horror fans.
Next we have RZ-9. This was a disappointment. I was expecting something way over the top like a Manborg or a Turbo Kid, but it doesn’t come close. It has a decent look and style that I like. I love the cheesy look of bad CGI and weapons that are clearly fake (like Nerf guns) with post-production muzzle flare. But overall I was more bored than entertained. We’ve seen similar movies. Other movies have similar plots so this didn’t do anything to really separate itself. I know low budget indie sci-fi can be hard to pull off, but this potentially could have been fun. If it wasn’t so serious and just put out a fun movie I would have liked it more. Oh well.
Fifth we have The Neon Dead. Now this is a movie made specifically for guys like myself and asst. editor Rocky Maxwell. It’s not a good movie by any means, but it’s a heck of a lot of fun. The effects and puppets are just fantastic. I mean, they are terrible, but they are fantastic to us. A hot chick hires 2 paranormal “professionals” to get rid of zombies in her house. Of course they set off more paranormal activity. It looks to have been made through crowdfunding and I’m happy to see that. I support a lot of films on crowdfunding sites and I wish more were this fun. The puppets and effects are way better than they should be in a film like this especially the major bad guy in the end. Another film the average movie goer will hate, but I’d totally watch it again and hope there’s a sequel. The filmmakers are on my radar now because they did a lot with a low budget film.
Next is Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made. For those that don’t know, for 7 years in the 1980s, teenaged filmmakers made a shot for shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark. They shot in their mom’s basement, in another house, outside, with friends playing multiple roles and everything in between. They played the same roles despite aging, getting bigger and taking up almost a decade of their youth. They did all but one shot, the plane scene with the fighting and explosion. Years later, as adults, they got the funding to do the scene. The film at that point had become a cult flick among film geeks and filmmakers. Eli Roth had seen it on a VHS tape. He got it into a film marathon among other film nerds and eventually Steven Spielberg himself saw the shot for shot remake. Overall I liked the documentary but I did expect it to be more about the filming of the movie than just the current scene. There are some scenes from the original filmmaking, but I wanted more. It’s very heavily weighted with the plane scene. If you know the film, this is a must see. If you have no idea what this is even about, it’s still pretty cool to see them as kids and trying to finish off their dream decades later.
Last we have 19-2 Season 2. This is a Canadian police drama that really brings the drama. It’s pretty realistic because the characters all have flaws and issues they are dealing with. It has action and fighting, but it’s more a character driven show than your typical procedural. Season 2 brings some drama to the precinct when they think there’s a mole in the group. There’s an active shooting and more investigation into the mole. It reminds me of a lot of British crime shows, but with one big difference. This has 10 episodes! Yeah 10. British shows seem to have 4 to 6. I wasn’t familiar with the show and haven’t seen season 1, but I liked season 2 so I’ll try to find the first season to watch. I quite liked this and it feels so much different than US cop shows which are all about crimes and solving them. You get a lot more character development here and I like that a lot.