Just a few for us this week. First is Blockers, a comedy starring Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz,and John Cena among others. It’s from the producers of Neighbors which makes sense because I feel the exact same way about this movie as I did for that. In both movies I preferred the older characters over the younger ones. I liked Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, and John Cena in this and didn’t really care about their children. The younger storyline is what we’ve seen in every teen sex-comedy, a pact to lose your virginity on prom night. Done before but this adds the parents who want to cockblock them hence the title. I didn’t care whether or not these three girls lost their virginity, but I found their parents funny in their ways to try to prevent it. Cena plays the over protective dad. Mann is the single mom. Barinholtz is the deadbeat dad trying to reconnect. They go through more adventures on prom night than their kids. Mann is one of my favorite comedic actresses. Barinholtz is always solid. And Cena, well, he may not be The Rock, but the WWE star does have charisma and a sense of timing. I’d watch it again for him. Plus you get to see more of Gary Cole than you ever wanted to. It did alright at the box office, but I liked Game Night and Tag a lot more. I can see it picking up an audience on home video and streaming though. It’s a decent enough date night flick or a good way to kill some time.
Second we have Delicious Series 2. I liked the first season so I binged these 4 episodes in one night. If you like the food and backdrop of The Trip franchise mixed with 1980s primetime soap operas then this is right up your alley. Dawn French and Emilia Fox play a chef and hotel manager respectively who were also both married to Iain Glen who died in series 1. This series is a year later and finds the chaos continuing. French’s character is getting married. Fox’s character wants to leave. They are being investigated over money. A new young chef wants to work there but he has a secret past and agenda. French’s daughter is seeing a therapist. Glen (Game of Thrones) narrates and appears at times. It’s quirky and funny and full of drama plus it has a great setting and lots of food. At only 4 episodes, it’s easy to knock out and it’s entertaining to boot.
Third we have The Last House On The Left. The film is incredibly important to the horror genre as it is the legendary Wes Craven’s debut film. Because it’s important that makes it good right? Well, not exactly. It’s not really a great film but without it we might not have A Nightmare on Elm Street or the horror genre itself. This is a restored version of the 1972 film clearly not the remake. It really has nothing to do with a house considering most of it takes place in the woods or outside of the family’s home. If you don’t know the story it’s about teens Mari and Phyllis going to a concert and trying to buy weed. They meet some shady dudes and a woman and end up in the woods having bad things done to them. It was definitely shocking for the time and you get a sense Craven had an eye, but it’s more “important” than “classic”. But this limited edition release is super impressive. It comes with three cuts of the film, film score, tons of interviews, features, commentary and so much more bonus features. If you are going to own Craven’s film, this is THE version to own.
Fourth we have Striking Out Series 2. It’s another series that I liked the first season of and ripped through this one. Series 1 found Tara (Amy Huberman) setting up a law firm in the back of a coffee shop after discovering her future husband in bed with another woman the night of her bachelorette party. It’s similar to Rake in that it has quirky cases, but it’s not as dark. It’s charming, funny and well made. Series 2 opens with a shed holding evidence catching fire and Ray being arrested on bogus charges. Episode 2 deals with a father trying to get custody of his child. Episode 3 involves a nun and an inquiry dominates the remaining episodes. It’s a nice little show that’s well acted and is easy to watch.
Last we have Ismael’s Ghosts. This was a little bit of a head scratcher for me. Marion Cotillard plays the missing wife of a movie director who has moved on from her after being gone for over 20 years. He’s in the process of making a movie and living with a new woman. That I understood, but the movie with a movie seemed to blur with Ismael’s real life and the character in the movie is based on his brother who he claims to be dead but isn’t. There’s Cotillard’s father in the film who is older and seems to be dying/losing his mind. It’s obviously a layered film, but I don’t know if I understood all the layers. I can’t tell you what was in the director’s head and what was real life. Cotillard is always good though and the cast is as well, I just wish I understood it more.