BARE BONES: BINGO HELL (2021)

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BINGO HELL (2021)

Flick takes place in the barrio neighborhood of Oak Springs where feisty and stubborn elder Lupita (Adriana Barraza), and her friends, are growing frustrated with the changes going on around them. It comes to a boil when their favorite place, the bingo hall, is bought by a mysterious man (Richard Brake). Gentrification is the least of Lupita’s worries, as her friends are soon drawn to this charismatic, but sinister man. What fate does he have in store for them and can Lupita stop him?

Welcome to The Blumhouse movie is directed by Gigi Saul Guerrero from her script with Shane McKenzie and Perry Blackshear and is a loud, obnoxious and dull flick. Guerrero directs with the subtlety of a chainsaw, as the viewer is bludgeoned over the head with it’s messages about gentrification and eminent domain that have been presented far more effectively in other recent films. If that isn’t enough to get your attention, there are scenes bathed in garish neon and all sorts multicolored spurting fluids and bombastic violence. Problem is, once Guerrero has your attention, she really doesn’t know what to do with it, as the film is boring, silly, overly preachy and Lupita is so obnoxious, she’s hard to endear to even when the points she is making are right. The tone is all over the place and one wonders if this was supposed to be a comedy or horror. Either way, it fails as both and as social commentary, too. Very little to recommend here as even the usually reliable Richard Brake is reduced to a ho-hum villain.

-MonsterZero NJ

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BARE BONES: RAMBO-LAST BLOOD (2019)

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RAMBO: LAST BLOOD (2019)

Completely unnecessary sequel finds Viet Nam veteran John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) now living on his late father’s ranch…or underneath it, as he prefers to lurk in a series of tunnels he’s built to one of the actual rooms. He lives with his father’s former live-in caretaker Maria (Adriana Barraza) and her hot granddaughter Gabriela (Yvette Monreal) and is on meds for post-traumatic stress disorder. When Gabriela travels to Mexico to find her father, she is kidnapped by a Mexican cartel for sex trafficking. This has Rambo putting down his meds and picking up his weapons to rescue Gabriela and take on vicious cartel lord Hugo Martinez (Sergio Peris-Mencheta) and his army of thugs.

After the last film took the character full circle, there was no need to drag him back into action again, but, here we are. Flick is routinely directed by Adrian Grunberg from a bad script by Stallone and Matthew Cirulnick. Not sure what the intent here was, but the film paints a very unflattering portrayal of both Mexican’s and Mexico itself. Stallone’s script vilifies the country and most of it’s people, one assumes in the hopes that we’ll feel no sympathy when the super soldier brutally and bloodily dispatches an army of cartel members in the booby-trapped maze beneath his ranch. You’d think slimy cartel leaders and their thugs are villainous enough, but aside from Maria and Gabriela, no one from south of the border is portrayed as anything but a lowlife or creep. Even without the hateful tone of the flick, it’s simply a routine and dull movie with generic bad guys and horror flick level gore when Rambo goes all Jigsaw in elimination of his prey. Hopefully the film’s subtitle is true to it’s word and Rambo has finally retired his pointy objects. They should have quit while they were ahead.

-MonsterZero NJ

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