Up first this week is The Suspect. This 5 episode series is about a psychologist who at first is hired by the police to help with a case. When it turns out he has a connection to the murdered woman, the police turn their eyes towards him. He thinks he’s being set up by a patient, but can’t put the pieces together to figure out why and who else is involved. Another former patient is killed and the events snowball. Overall I liked it and thought Aidan Turner was good in the lead role, but the lead detective character was terrible. Once he assumes the doctor is guilty the detective is a waste. He becomes one dimensional in his drive to catch the doctor until later in the series. The detective character annoyed me so much because he wouldn’t look at any evidence that might contradict his belief and would just lay out how the doctor was tricking everyone when he wasn’t. I didn’t mind the series and binged it over two days, but that lead detective almost ruined it for me. I did guess the one twist with a brother character as well, but that didn’t ruin anything. If you like quick British crime dramas you’ll like this.

Second we have Scare Package II: Rad Chad’s Revenge. I thought I had seen the first film, but turns out I hadn’t. You don’t necessarily need to, but I think it would have helped me understand who some of the characters were especially Rad Chad. It’s an anthology film wrapped in a sort of parody film with some good kills. Characters from the first film and new characters (I’m assuming) show up for Rad Chad’s funeral, but get stuck in an escape room type situation which is somewhat like the Saw franchise. They also watch made up movies (the anthology part) to figure out ways to escape. The gore and effects kept me entertained despite not knowing the characters. I’m not sure if Rich Sommer (Mad Men) or Graham Skipper are in the first film, but I recognize both. If you liked the first film I recommend this. If, like me, you haven’t seen it I do recommend watching the first one before this so you have a better understanding of who these people are. If you like Shudder horror you’ll dig it.

Third we have A Lot of Nothing which is the perfect title for the movie because by the end, the film is a lot of nothing. I’m actually baffled by this one and have talked to two different people about it since watching it. This might be a little spoiler-y because I need to go over a bit, but I’ll do my best to stay as vague as possible. It starts off with a well-off-ish black couple getting outraged over another white cop shooting. They want to do a social media post, but decide to confront the white cop who lives next door. But they don’t at that point. You’re thinking the film will be about social justice and when the wife kidnaps the white cop at gun point that’s where it goes. But then the brother and future baby mama show up, find out about the cop and they all try to decide what to do about the kidnapping. Then it takes a hard left when the truth about the shooting comes out and it loses any type of social justice element to it. The wife character comes across as nuts and only reacts. The husband at first is pretty stable, but by the end loses it. If they were trying to make a social awareness point with the film, it didn’t work. The characters simply lose focus and the twist on the shooting backfires completely making the white cop look like the only person in the movie who pays for his actions. It was a mess to me and it should have played out much different. It had a lot of unnecessary elements like an affair that makes the film wander off target as well.

Next we have Chess Story which is a World War II era film about an Austrian man being held as a prisoner at a hotel taken over by the Germans. He has banking account information the Nazis want, but won’t give it up. They hold him captive and try to break him down, but he finds a book on chess and escapes into that world. I use that word escape intentionally because there’s a sub-story about the man on a boat escaping to America with his wife after his release or it might be a figment of his imagination. The lead actor is very good in the role and ultimately the film really isn’t about chess. It’s about finding something that keeps you human during war/prison.

The Mission is a documentary about young missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I’m not a religious man so I got nothing out the film in those terms, but I do think it’s a pretty good look behind the curtains if you will. We’ve never been given this much access before as we see a group of young missionaries sent to Finland on an almost 2 year program. They leave their families, friends and lives behind in the States to try to gain more followers. It’s pretty honest and shows the highs and lows of these kids who never lose faith. Most people ignore them as they approach and I agree with ignoring them, but I’ll give them credit for trying. They all come back stronger in their beliefs so good for them.

The last two releases come from Mill Creek Entertainment. First is County Line: No Fear. I think this is the third movie in the series I’ve seen so far. This time sees Tom Wopat retiring as sheriff with Denim Richards (Yellowstone) replacing him. The sheriff just over the line has her father get in trouble with Casper Van Dien’s character in Atlanta and it all comes back to town. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before, but Wopat is good in the role. You know there will be a happy ending and maybe a death or two. I like Richards on Yellowstone and he’s solid here. Van Dien is a bit over the top in his bad guy ways though. I was also pretty surprised to see Don Most as the sheriff’s dad.

Last we have Action Movie Night: 4-Film Collection. The films are Conspiracy, The Contractor, The Hard Corps and Vertical Limit. These have been in similar collections before and none are groundbreaking action flicks, but include stars like Wesley Snipes, Val Kilmer and Jean Claude Van-Damme. Conspiracy finds Kilmer as a former Marine whose friend goes missing in a small border town in Arizona. I probably hadn’t seen it since it came out like 15 years ago. In The Contractor Snipes plays a hired gun who gets double crossed and needs the help from a young girl to clear his name. JCVD is a hired guard for a former champ turned businessman in The Hard Corps. The former champ thinks a man he helped put in prison will seek revenge on him and JCVD is there to protect him. I completely forgot Vivica A. Fox was in it. Last is Vertical Limit which sees Chris O’Donnell as a retired mountain climber who goes out to rescue his sister and her team. Bill Paxton is great in it even if the film was predictable.

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