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 The River Thief. This is getting a limited theatrical release and VOD release on October 14th. Joel Courtney (Super 8) plays a wanderer that lands in a small river town. He doesn’t believe in money so he steals things and leaves things for people in exchange for food and other items. One night he sees a drug deal happening, steals the van and grabs the money. He befriends an old man and develops a crush on his granddaughter while trying to evade being caught with all the money. The bad guys are in cahoots with the local law and try catching the young thief. Courtney is good in it and he’s definitely grown since his Super 8 days. Bas Rutten plays the bad guy and I like Bas. I don’t think I’d watch the movie again, but it’s at least watchable. I don’t understand how people let him steal stuff though. One scene he grabs a drink out of a guy’s hand and the guy doesn’t do anything. How do you not punch him in the face and dump your drink on him? It doesn’t have your typical Hollywood ending which I appreciated. Don’t expect much and you might enjoy it. Fans of Courtney will like it.
Next we have Who Gets the Dog? I’m clearly not the target audience for this. I’m not much of an animal person and the film is about a couple fighting over who gets to keep the dog after breaking up. It stars Alicia Silverstone and Ryan Kwanten (True Blood). It’s your typical low end rom-com. I’m more surprised it didn’t go straight to Lifetime or Hallmark. My sister watches those channels, she’d watch this. Silverstone and Kwanten are fine, but they aren’t given much beyond stereotypical banter and scenes. I guess if you like dogs you could like this. You know exactly how it’s going to end so you just watch the “shenanigans” until then. Definitely for the Marley & Me crowd.
Third is The Last King. This is pretty good and looks fantastic on Blu-ray. It’s based on a true story about a Scandinavian king who is murdered and two soldiers set out to find his infant heir. I watch the TV show Vikings so I liked this. It’s not quite as grand as Game of Thrones, but it’s a solid action fantasy type film. The fight sequences are pretty good and the backdrop is amazing. The snow, the sky, the mountains, the land, look fantastic. Plus it’s cool that they used skis to get around and fight. It makes sense that it would be a mode of transportation, but it never really crossed my mind. They get around the mountains using downhill and also go cross country. They also used skis to get to battles and fight. Wardrobe and weaponry are era appropriate. If you like Vikings, Norse history or fantasy films, I highly recommend this one.
Next is Phantom of the Theatre. This is a very stylish Asian supernatural film that I pretty much dug. Asian horror can be hit or miss for me, but this time the ghosts make sense. It’s about a haunted theater that a young filmmaker wants to use to shoot a horror movie in. A family of trapeze artists had been burned alive in the theater and their ghosts allegedly haunt the place which had been empty for years. Of course there’s a big twist I won’t even hint at, but I will say that it worked and made sense. The backdrop and wardrobe look very old Hollywood and the acting is quite good as well. The supernatural aspect works too. The ghosts aren’t too fake looking and there’s no real jump-scares which I’m happy about it. It never drags or feels too slow and the direction/pacing keep you guessing. Another one I recommend.
Last we have The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes Classic Carol. This 6 DVD box set consists of 14 episodes hand-picked by Carol Burnett herself. I’ve been watching a lot of classic TV lately like Bob Hope and Lucille Ball and this is just as good. This has some fantastic spoof and sketches including her iconic commercials. Decades later, those still hold up. Plus the show had amazing guests. From Lucy herself to George Carlin, Ray Charles, Robert Goulet and more. People seem to still love Lucy today and Burnett actually seems to not get as much love. I think this was actually funnier than the Lucy stuff I’ve watched recently. The movie parodies are hilarious and are funnier than anything SNL is doing today. Highly recommended for fans and if you aren’t familiar with Burnett’s work, check it out.