BARE BONES: COLOR OUT OF SPACE (2020)

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COLOR OUT OF SPACE (2020)

Flick is based on H.P. Lovecraft’s The Colour Out of Space and takes place in a secluded house in rural Arkham, Massachusetts. The home is occupied by the Gardner family, father Nathan (Nicolas Cage), mom Theresa (Joely Richardson), Wiccan teen daughter, Lavinia (Madeleine Arthur), teen son, Benny (Brendan Meyer) and young Jack ( Julian Hilliard). What appears to be a meteorite lands on the eccentric family’s property one night, emitting a purple glow and having a strange effect on all of them. Two days later, and after being struck by lightening, the meteor seems to have vanished, but strange things begin to occur. The object is not gone, however, but has found it’s way into the family well and water and begins to change the animal life around them…and begins to change the Gardeners as well.

Creepy flick is directed by South African director Richard Stanley who is most famous for being the first director on the disastrous 1996 The Island of Dr. Moreau remake and for the apocalyptic, music video-esque Hardware. Color has some very bizarre and surreal sequences, some very unsettling prosthetic creatures and make-up, and Nicolas Cage being…well, Nicolas Cage. The SPFX are quite good and the flick does play a bit like John Carpenter’s The Thing, but with alpacas, which isn’t a bad thing. The movie does start out slowly, giving us a chance to get to know this already strange family, but once it gets going, it’s quite spooky and sometimes borders on hallucinogenic. It’s not perfect, Cage’s over-the-top gets obtrusive at times and the family seems a little too weird, even before the alien entity shows up. It makes their personality transformations less startling as they are already an odd bunch. H.P. Lovecraft doesn’t seem to be the easiest author to adapt and being unfamiliar with this tale it’s hard to say just how good a job they did. Taken as it is, it’s a trippy, creepy and effective enough movie and Stanley proves he hasn’t lost his visual flare, either. Worth a look! Flick also features Tommy Chong as…surprise!…a stoner squatting on the Gardener land.

-MonsterZero NJ

3 star rating

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BARE BONES: JAY AND SILENT BOB REBOOT (2019)

 

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JAY AND SILENT BOB REBOOT (2019)

Flick finds nothing much has changed since we last saw Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith) in Kevin Smith’s 2006 Clerks II. They are still hanging out by the Quick Stop and smoking weed, though they are now growing and selling it, too. The dense duo are caught and an unscrupulous lawyer (Justin Long) gets them to sign away their names, so, a reboot of the Bluntman and Chronic movie, entitled Bluntman V Chronic, can commence. They hear a major sequence will be filmed at L.A.’s Chronic-Con and so, in true reboot fashion, the two hit the road again to stop production. Along the way Jay finds out that former love Justice (Shannon Elizabeth) bore him a child, who is now a rebellious teenager (Harley Quinn Smith) who comes along for the trip.

Kevin Smith writes and directs this latest adventure of his two slacker, stoner characters and for the first third, at least, it’s kinda nostalgic fun. Sadly the second third gets bogged down in the whole Jay finds out he’s a dad storyline and then when his daughter Millennium Faulken joins him on the quest for Chronic-Con, he tries to bond with the angry teen, without telling her who he really is. The melodrama drags the fun down a bit and the attempts at bonding aren’t nearly as funny as they should be. No better example than when he and Silent Bob have to rescue her and her racially diverse friends from a Ku Klux Klan chapter, whose Grand Wizard is played by professional wrestler/singer Chris Jericho, no less. It’s unnecessary and unfunny and only slows things down further. The third act really stalls as Jay, Silent Bob and the girls hit the convention to stop the film’s director…big surprise…Kevin Smith and it becomes a Kevin Smith ego-stroking, love letter to himself with cameos from former Smith film cast members that sadly only goes to show how old everyone has gotten since the 90s, when Smith and their characters was relevant. The stale dialog bits between these characters also prove that everyone involved is getting a bit too old for this schtick and maybe it’s time to move on from this whole, painfully dated Clerks based universe*. Smith and his returning to these characters, is like an over-the-hill singer from an 80s hair band that still sings about teenage girls. It’s sad and a bit creepy at this point.

*With a rumored Mallrats sequel and Clerks III on the way, this is, however, highly unlikely.

-MonsterZero NJ

2 and 1-2 star rating

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