Each week I watch many different new releases, and I wanted to share my thoughts on each of the movies that I watch. So, Today I kickoff my Ricky’s Roundup series to help you find some movies to watch weekly.
Shook – Available on Shudder Friday 02/19
When Mia, a social media star, becomes the target of an online terror campaign, she has to solve a series of tests to prevent people she cares about from getting murdered. But is it real? Or is it just a game at her expense?
The movie begins with a rather slow-build and a ton of mystery surrounding what is going on. Mia is at Nicole’s house looking after Nicole’s dog, and a series of strange events, including a phone call from a Kellan who is toying with Mia.
As we are to unpack the story, what starts as a prank begins to look deeper inside Mia’s troubles and how she wasn’t there for her Mother. Although the film is a bit of a mess in the middle portion of the film, it gets rather interesting when we get to the root of the movie. I liked where it went, and it took the idea of a prank and turned into more of a serious plot behind what was unfolding.
Although the execution was a bit rough at the end as it felt like it dragged on for a little too long, the film overall is solid. The mystery that Jennifer Harrington built was done well. At times you have no idea what is happening vs. what isn’t.
Overall, I loved the concept of the film, but the execution wasn’t all there.
100 Days to Live – Streaming on VOD
When a serial killer abducts a young woman’s fiancé, she must race against the clock to discover the identity of the killer – and his motive.
Early on, we find out that the serial killer is known as ‘The Savior’ who kidnaps individuals who have attempted to kill themselves. Upon Rebecca finding out that her husband was abducted, we begin to unpack the story that leads to his disappearance.
Victor and Rebecca work for a company that talks to people on the verge of suicide, and Victor begins to take his job a little too seriously. It was here when they both saw a victim dead at a house because Victor didn’t think the cops were doing their job, and this leads to the suicide attempt by Victor.
One of the better aspects of the film was Ravin Gandhi’s writing. He added some nice twists and turns to the film that kept you guessing what was next. The kidnapping genre is quite stale and overdone, but Gandhi did an excellent job of mixing it up to provide something fresh.
Finally, as we reach the end, it feels a little long and gets a bit off track a little but overall, I enjoyed the movie. The writing stands out, but a solid performance from Gideon Emery and Heidi Johanningmeier carried the film to the level that made you care.
The Independents – Streaming on VOD
THE INDEPENDENTS is a musical comedy/drama about three solo-artists who collide at the same crossroads and discover harmony. Thus is born “RGB” (at least until they come up with a better band name) and what follows is their roller-coaster-ride journey across America for a one last shot at musical glory.
Our journey begins with an introduction to Rich, a musician playing his guitar on his coach, pantless. In the middle of the playing, we hear a knock above, and his neighbor above isn’t fond of his midday jam interrupting her nap. Next, we meet Greg, who likes to play some music himself.
The boys are trying to attempt a run together, and it doesn’t go as planned. Thus, it puts a wrinkle in their plans, and they go about their lives separately. A letter brings the boys together; once it does during lunch, they stumble across a stage with some singers, and the rest begins a beautiful journey.
Although the journey is bumpy, Greg Naughton’s story comes off as authentic, personal, and raw. Because of this, you are connected to the emotional journey within the band. I loved the layers of the story and how he laid them out for us.
Last, as we reach those final moments, you can’t help but smile because even after the bomb, the boys were just fine.
Saint Maud – Available on VOD and EPIX
Follows a pious nurse who becomes dangerously obsessed with saving the soul of her dying patient.
What an absolute haunting of a film. Rose Glass’s writing and direction is well-timed, and how she slow built us into the mind of Maud and her incredibly troubling journey through her faith was beautiful.
Morfydd Clark was outright perfect in this film, and as you watch her, you get glimpses of a young Jodie Foster throughout the film. Her performance is creepy, haunting, mesmerizing, and perfect. I am excited to see what she does next.
The masterful score carried this film even when you weren’t sure where the film was going. Adam Bzowski deserves to be recognized for such powerful and moving work. Overall, Saint Maud is a great first turn by Rose Glass, she sinks her claws into this world, and I am excited to see more from her.