Friday 31 March 2023

REVIEW: Murder Mystery 2 - Starring Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler

Review by Jon Donnis
A 79-minute action comedy! Are you kidding me? This is film heaven for me! Throw in Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler, and surely you can't go wrong.

I have to be honest; I can't remember the first film much, but I am sure I must have seen it. But the fact that I can't remember it makes no difference to enjoying this film as the previous film is explained pretty well at the start.

After starting their own detective agency, Nick (Adam Sandler) and Audrey Spitz (Jennifer Aniston) find themselves invited to a private island by their friend, the Maharajah (Adeel Akhtar). He is marrying a French woman called Claudette (Mélanie Laurent) whom he met in Paris, France.

Everything is going well until the wedding day when the Maharajah enters the area on the back of an elephant. He has been stabbed in the back, but after he falls, we discover that it isn't the Maharajah but instead Mr. Lou (Myo Leong). The stabbing was a distraction, and the Maharajah has been kidnapped. Nick and Audrey realize that there must have been an accomplice, and that someone present must have been in on it.

The next day, the kidnapper asks for a $70m ransom.

As with any Adam Sandler film, you can expect a lot of absurd set pieces and ridiculous moments. If you are a fan of Sandler, then this film ticks all the boxes for his kind of humor. Throw in Jennifer Aniston, who is excellent in her own right and, to keep the male viewers happy, gets to show off those still amazing legs, and this is a really good little action comedy.

The film has a very strong cast, including names like Mark Strong and Adeel Akhtar.

The Good
Great action scenes, plenty of ridiculous moments that you would expect from Adam Sandler, some laugh out loud comedy moments and one liners.

The Bad
I feel like this is basically the same plot as Glass Onion from last year?

At 79 minutes this has a perfect run time, it is super easy to watch, has a great cast, great action scenes, and some good comedy.

You really cant go wrong here, if you are a fan of Sandler or Aniston then this film is must watch.

I score Murder Mystery 2 a solid 8/10

Out Now on Netflix.

REVIEW: IP Man The Awakening (2022)

Review by Jon Donnis
In what seems like an endless series of TV shows and Films to feature IP Man, we are once again back with Ip Man, most famously portrayed by legendary actor Donnie Yen in the first 4 films, and then Dennis To in Ip Man: Kung Fu Master, we have a new actor taking on the role, this time it is Tse Miu, or is that Miu Tse, Mo Tse, Tze Miu, Xia Miao, Xie Miao. Look, his name in Chinese is 謝苗, and he seems to have multiple names when translated into English. Anyway, despite being only a few years younger than Dennis To, Tse Miu is seemingly playing a much younger version of Ip Man. 

Set in the 1930s, Ip Man finds himself visiting Hong Kong for the first time, and this is a British run Hong Kong, so the Brits are firmly portrayed as the bad guys here. Brits are rounding up young Chinese women as part of a giant human trafficking ring. They have paid off the Hong Kong police and the locals don't seem to care too much as they are getting in on the action too.

One day Ip Man intervenes when he sees a kidnapping attempt, and by doing so inserts himself right in the middle of trouble and a head on collision with those evil Brits. The bad guys kidnap a friend of his, and now he has to challenge the top guy in a brutal fight, and see whose Kung Fu is best!

One interesting aspect of the film, is the use of an old British martial arts technique called Bartitsu, which outside of The Kingsman and Sherlock Holmes, I have not seen it mentioned or used in any other film, and especially not to this level.

Where as the other Ip Man films are much more serious affairs, I found that The Awakening, especially in the early parts of the film, is a much more light-hearted affair, closer in style to some Jackie Chan films, which was a nice change.

Seeing Tse Miu take on the role is a tricky one for me, he looks much younger than he is in real life, but he also looks very different to both Donnie Yen and Dennis To, who did kind of look similar. So, fans of the other films will instantly find a totally different looking actor playing the part a bit strange. But once you get passed that, I think Tse Miu does a good job playing Ip Man at a much younger age.

The fight scenes are all of the highest quality, and like I mentioned, some of those early scenes are very Jackie Chan like in the use of objects and surroundings, which I did enjoy.

The film is only 1h20m, so a great length to keep the action moving along at a fast pace. A satisfying if predictable ending, as well a decent story helps the film tick every box you would want it to.

The Good
Fun Chinese martial arts film, with some excellent choreography, and strong performances.

The Bad
Some of the early fight scenes in the film are a bit choppy camera wise but do improve towards the end.

A good film for people new to the franchise as well as fans of the other 5 films.

I score IP Man The Awakening a solid 8/10

In UK Cinemas 5 May 2023
Out on DVD June 5th

Sunday 26 March 2023

REVIEW: Kill Her Goats (2023) - Starring Kane Hodder, Arielle Raycene and Ellie Gonsalves

Review by Jon Donnis
I grew up in the days of the 1980s slasher film, most of these types of films were pretty straightforward, scantily clad, ridiculously attractive women, getting picked off by a murderous killer one by one in inventive manners. That's it. And it was fun because these types of film never took themselves too seriously. Unfortunately, such films are rare in the 2020s, but out of nowhere comes Kill Her Goats, a strangely titled slasher that could have been made in the 1980s. Even better the murderous killer is played by Kane Hodder, yes THAT Kane Hodder, one of the biggest stars of the 80s, better known as portraying Jason Vorhees. Well now he has a big goat head instead of a hockey mask.

The film starts off with the murder of a couple of campers by "Goatface", he kills them using huge hedge trimmers, so plenty of blood and lots of bare skin.

We then get a reversal of time effect and an "earlier that day" note on screen. We get to meet Reese (Monica Sims) and Missy (Ellie Gonsalvever) who are gossiping about their friend Audra (Arielle Raycene) who has just come to town. Queue another "earlier that day".....

For the next 40 minutes, the film is basically attractive women on the beach and then in the Tupp House that the bloke killed in the opening scene had bought his daughter Audra. The house is cursed, and at the start of the film there is some storytelling about the history of the house going all the way back to the 17th century and the Tupp family.

Once we get towards the one-hour mark, things start to pick up again, as Goatface finally starts appearing again, and seemingly he also has the ability to invade people's nightmares?

Once Goatface is in the house, with his hedge trimmers which now have lit sparklers on for some reason, things start to get good again. Lots of near naked women running about and getting killed on proper 80s slasher style.

The Good
A slasher film truly in the style of the classics of the 1980s. Also worth mentioning is that there is no CGI in this film, all the effects are "Practical FX", so clever makeup basically. The women in the film are all stunning, and Kane Hodder truly is the king of the slasher film.

There are REAL goats in the film, that are super cute.

The bloopers at the end are hilarious!

The Bad
At about 90 minutes the film feels a little long. It could easily have a run time of 80 minutes, cut some of the bland stuff in the middle featuring the girls in the house and it would make no difference to the film.

I am a fan of the 80s style slasher. I am a fan of attractive blonde Playboy pin ups. I am a fan of jump scares. And this film has it all.

Ok the film is too long and there is little plot and a bit too much filler, but this is not a film to be taken seriously, it has plenty of light-hearted moments, as well as inventive kills.
For an independent film with 100% practical FX, I was impressed.

I score Kill Her Goats a slasherific 8/10

Full Release coming at the end of April.

Saturday 25 March 2023

REVIEW: The Siege (2023) - Starring Daniel Stisen, Yennis Cheung and Lauren Okadigbo

Review by Jon Donnis
Walker (Daniel Stisen), an international assassin, gets exposed during a mission and is sent to "Reassignment Center 42" to assume a new identity, something he has seemingly done many times before. I am guessing that his identity gets blown quiet often. While staying at the facility, a vicious assault team led by Keates (Samantha Schnitzler), raids the compound in search of a missing person, Juliet (Yennis Cheung) as well as her bodyguard/protector Elda (Lauren Okadigbo), as ordered by their boss. In order to make it through the night, after initially deciding he didn't want to get involved Walker reluctantly teams up with Elda, also a skilled hitwoman, and Juliet.

At about 85 minutes, this is the perfect run time for an action film. Despite this being a relatively low budget film, it is chock full of action scenes and stunts, I was pleasantly surprised, as all the scenes were well shot, and came across believable, even if everyone seemed to have an endless amount of bullets at times.

The film moves along at a decent pace, and although it is far from original, considering the budget, I thought they did a good job. There were no recognisable faces in the cast, which is a shame as it might make it harder to sell the film. Why do you think Bruce Willis gets shoe horned into small parts in so many films!

If this film does well, I could imagine they will knock out some sequels. The Walker character looks great, and is easy to get behind.

The Good
Perfect run time, non stop action, and some light hearted moments spread throughout the film which raised a smile out of this old cynic.

The Bad
The plot is lacking and there are no real back stories to some of the characters which made them hard to care about at times.

An 85-minute action film, that ticks most of the boxes for me. Is it a classic? No. Could it spawn some more low budget action films? Yes.

I score The Siege a very respectable 7.5/10

At Cinemas now and on digital at and

Tuesday 21 March 2023

REVIEW: Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey (2023) - Starring Craig David Dowsett, Chris Cordell and Nikolai Leon

Review by Jon Donnis
I heard about this film a while back and was intrigued. With the first Winnie the Pooh book having gone into public domain in the US on 1 January 2022, it means that the characters are no longer under strict ownership, so anyone can use them. So what better way to use such beloved children's characters than to have them as evil murderous monsters!

Years ago, a young Christopher Robin made friends with a group of anthropomorphic creatures in the Hundred Acre Wood, including Winnie-the-Pooh (Craig David Dowsett), Piglet (Chris Cordell), Eeyore, Rabbit, and Owl. When Christopher went to college, he stopped visiting, leaving his animal friends to fend for themselves. With winter approaching, and without Christopher's guidance, the animals were unable to find food and resorted to extreme measures, killing and eating Eeyore. This traumatic event caused the group to develop a deep hatred for humanity and Christopher for abandoning them. They made a pact to abandon their humanity and return to their feral instincts, vowing never to speak again.

Years later, Christopher (Nikolai Leon) and his girlfriend/wife (not sure which), Mary (Paula Coiz), return to the Hundred Acre Wood to reunite with his old friends, Christopher has told Mary about his childhood friends, but she just believes them to be imagined. However, they find the place in a desolate state. Despite Mary's warnings to leave, Christopher continues to investigate and is attacked by an adult sized Piglet, who strangles Mary to death with a chain. Pooh and Piglet then drag Christopher back into the woods.

Later, a group of university students, Maria (Maria Taylor), Jess (Natasha Rose Mills), Alice (Amber Doig-Thorne), Zoe (Danielle Ronald), and Lara (Natasha Tosini), rent a cabin in the Hundred Acre Wood at the suggestion of Maria's therapist. Tina, one of Maria's friends, gets lost on the way to the cabin and is chased by Pooh into an abandoned factory, where he kills her with a woodchipper. Meanwhile, Christopher is being held prisoner by Pooh in his treehouse, where he s brutally whipped with Eeyore's tail. Christopher sees Mary's corpse in the corner of the room, and Pooh showers him with her blood.

As you can tell this is not your classic Christopher Robin and Pooh tale. Made on a budget of just £100,000 and shot in just 10 days, this is an interesting little horror film.

This is a straight forward horror film, not a comedy. It reminded me in parts of the Friday the 13th films, in the way that you have young people being picked off by a seemingly unstoppable killer.

There is also some nice animation to tell some parts of the story, this is a nice touch that not only saves them a lot of money, but gives the film an extra creepy feel.

The Good
Pooh is the main killer in this film, and he gets to perform some imaginative kills, which is what you want. Despite the low budget, the filmmakers have done a good job with the set pieces, the visual effects and the general atmosphere of the film, it can be a bit dark at times, but that is understandable, as is an easy way to cover up some of the budgetary restraints.

Nikolai Leon is convincing as the adult Christopher Robin, and they left enough open at the end for a sequel.

I also think it is worth mentioning how refreshing it is to hear some regional accents in a film, I am not sure how ad libbed the film is, but some of the dialog came across as very real.

With a run time of about 82 minutes, it is the perfect length.

The Bad
As mentioned, the film is a little dark at times, and it is hard to see what is going on. It is pretty obvious that Piglet and Pooh are just men in suits with masks on, but there is an effort to make them look somewhat realistic, but with the budget being what it is, it is obviously hard to pull that off.

I thought this was a decent little horror film, and when you consider the subject matter, and the budget, I thought they did an excellent job, pulling off a good little horror film. I am actually quite interested in if they do a sequel and if so I hope they have a larger budget.

I enjoyed this film. I like a good horror, this is British with a British cast, and should be applauded for doing a good job.

I score Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey a solid 7.5/10

Out now in Cinemas.

Pre-order on Home Entertainment or watch on Prime at

Monday 20 March 2023

REVIEW: Dead Bride (2023) - Starring Jennifer Mischiati and Christoph Hülsen

Review by Jon Donnis
Dead Bride is a new "spine-tingling supernatural horror" from Italian writer-director Francesco Picone.

Alyson (Jennifer Mischiati) inherits her childhood home after the suicide death of her estranged father, who had given her up for adoption at the age of 9. Alyson and her husband, Richard (Christoph Hülsen), along with their infant child, want a fresh start, so they decide to move into the inherited house where she grew up. Now, why you would want a fresh start in your childhood home is a question for another day, but as soon as they move in, things start to go wrong. Alyson is haunted by memories of an unhappy childhood; she was abused by her mother, who had mental health issues and ended up in an asylum, which was the main cause of her being given up for adoption. So when Richard goes away on a work trip, strange things start to happen. Alyson decides to explore the old house and starts to see ghosts not long after she stops taking her medicine.

Eventually, a priest (Sean James Sutton) is called to the house to exorcise the demons. Despite Alyson being an atheist, she goes along with it. Before you know it, the child has been taken, and a psychic medium (Michael Segal) is called who reveals that the house is haunted by a pregnant bride who was murdered. This spirit has called upon a demon called Asmodeus (a prince of demons and hell) who has granted the wish of the murdered bride to return from the dead, and that is when all hell breaks loose.

This is a pretty straightforward supernatural horror film that ticks all the boxes: creepy music, jump scares, possessions, and so on. At bang on 80 minutes, it hits the magical runtime for a horror film.

Jennifer Mischiati puts in a strong performance as Alyson and is convincing in her role as a haunted woman with mommy issues.

The film is very atmospheric, the music is just about right, and it helps bring up the tension. The jump scares are well-timed and not overused, and the ending is decent if a bit predictable.

The Good
Very well filmed, everything looks great. A simple and straightforward plot that is easy to follow. Strong performance by Jennifer Mischiati. And some decent jump scares which seem rare in horror films these days.

The Bad
Dodgy dubbing of some of the characters does stick out a bit, but doesn't spoil the film.

Sometimes you just want a simple horror film, with ghosts, possessions and jump scares, and Dead Bride delivers on all three.

I enjoyed the film, a perfect run time, easy to watch.

I score Dead Bride a solid 8.5/10

On UK digital on 20 March 2023, courtesy of Trinity Creative.

Sunday 19 March 2023

REVIEW: Righteous Thieves (2023) - Starring Cam Gigandet, Jaina Lee Ortiz and Lisa Vidal

Review by Jon Donnis
I love me a good heist film, but recently ones that have been released have been rather lacking, so upon notice of a new heist film being released, I found myself being cautiously optimistic.

Annabel (played by Lisa Vidal) leads a covert group dedicated to retrieving priceless artworks, she gathers a team of unconventional art thieves to recover stolen Monet, Picasso, Degas, and Van Gogh pieces that were taken by Nazis during World War II and are now owned by neo-Nazi billionaire oligarch Otto Huizen (played by Brian Cousins). As the heist draws near, the team's loyalties are put to the test when they discover the true motivation behind Annabel's quest to find these lost treasures.

Now usually I would go into more detail about the story, but really folks the above is all you need to know. 

I am a big fan of Jaina Lee Ortiz who plays one of crew of thieves in this called Lucille, she is the hacker of the story. And sadly, she is probably the only interesting character in the whole film. You see, you need two main elements for a good heist film, the first one being "smarts", in other words the heist needs to be clever, there needs to be twists and turns, back up plans to the back-up plans, things that happen off camera which you only find out about later, sadly this film has none of that. There is simply no clever element to the "Righteous Thieves". The second thing a good heist film needs is interesting and likeable characters. And with the exception of the Lucille character, everyone else is just really generic. It is a tick box cast. And without these two elements the film ends up being rather un-engaging. Don't get me wrong, I like the set up, I like the story as a whole, it is just so poorly executed, with such a dull cast and dull writing, that you will end up either turning the film off, or getting distracted on your phone.

The Good
It is always great to see Jaina Lee Ortiz on your screens, she is an excellent actress, currently most well-known for appearing in Station 19. She deserves better than this.

The general set up to the heist is decent, I like the plot, there is a good film to be made from that.

The Bad
Dull, uninspiring and unlikeable characters. No twists and turns, nothing clever about the thieves. Just an average film.

I found myself really disappointed with this film, at 88 minutes it is almost got the perfect run time, yet it felt so much longer.

A good plot idea, spoiled by a low budget and terrible writing.

I sadly score Righteous Thieves a 3/10. 

Out on Apple TV -

Saturday 18 March 2023

REVIEW: Supercell (2023) - Starring Skeet Ulrich, Anne Heche, Daniel Diemer, Jordan Kristine Seamón and Alec Baldwin.

Review by Jon Donnis
I wanted to check out Supercell mainly because it was one of the last films that Anne Heche starred in before her untimely death. And despite the fact the god awful Alec Baldwin also stars, I thought I would check it out regardless.

West Texas and we start by watching a young boy's father during a dangerous storm chase in West Texas, of course for this film to mean anything, the father has to die. He does indeed die when he gets caught up in a tornado.

We then jump 10 years into the future and Anne Heche's plays Dr. Quinn Brody, the widow of the aforementioned killed father. Her son William Brody (Daniel Diemer) is now grown up and wants to be like his dad. And his ultimate dream is to chase and witness a great storm, as well as to better understand the motivations of his father.

Unfortunately Alec Baldwin is also in this film, luckily he doesn't appear in the first 30 minutes, but he is in the rest, he plays a stuck up owner of a tour company, his name is Zane Rogers. He is in the business of storm chasing for the money.

Eventually a load of people chase a storm, its gets bad, and to be honest I lost interest in this film long ago.

It is truly one of the dullest films I have ever watched in my life. Only the last 15 minutes or so have any kind of interesting storm action. Twister, this is not.
Alec Baldwin is as vile on screen as he is in real life, at least he never killed anyone making this film.

The characters are all uninteresting, the story is ok, but the low budget means that everything is crappy CGI and green screen.

Everything is predictable, the dialog could have been written by a first year student at high school.

The Good
Alec Baldwins character gets killed, so you can kind of enjoy that, although he does get a nice moment to scream just as the tornado takes him away.

The general story idea is half decent.

The Bad
The writing, the acting, the directing, the visual effects, and the film is WAY too long at about 95 minutes. This film should be no longer than 75-80 minutes, and even that would still be a slog to watch.

The worst film of 2023 by far. I score Supercell a 2/10

Avoid. Do not waste a moment of your time on this trash.

If however you have kidnapped a terrorist and want to torture him, you can get the film at Apple TV -

Tuesday 14 March 2023

REVIEW: Cocaine Bear (2023) - Starring Keri Russell, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Christian Convery, Alden Ehrenreich, Brooklynn Prince, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Margo Martindale, and Ray Liotta

Review by Jon Donnis
The story of Cocaine Bear is a true and unusual one. In 1985, a black bear in Georgia accidentally consumed over 70 pounds of cocaine that had been dropped from a drug smuggler's plane. The bear was found dead a few days later, and an autopsy revealed that it had high levels of cocaine in its system.

The bear's story began when a drug smuggler named Andrew Thornton died in a plane crash while transporting large quantities of cocaine. During the flight, some of the drug bags fell out of the plane and landed in the forest.

The incident inspired a number of pop culture references, including a song by country singer Sturgill Simpson and a movie, this movie!

The year is 1985, Andrew C. Thornton II (Matthew Rhys), a drug smuggler, accidentally drops a shipment of cocaine from his plane while attempting to parachute out with a drug-filled duffel bag. Sadly, he knocks himself unconscious on the doorframe, falling to his death. His body is discovered in Knoxville, Tennessee, and is identified by Bob (Isiah Whitlock Jr.), a local detective, who suspects the cocaine is from St. Louis drug kingpin Syd White (the late great Ray Liotta). The rest of the shipment is missing.

Meanwhile, in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, an American black bear consumes some of the cocaine, becoming highly aggressive and attacking two hikers, Elsa (Hannah Hoekstra) and Olaf (Kristofer Hivju), ultimately killing Elsa.

Dee Dee (Brooklynn Prince), a middle schooler in northeast Georgia, lives with her mother, nurse Sari (Keri Russell). One day, Dee Dee and her friend Henry (Christian Convery) skip school to paint a picture of the falls in the forest. While on the trail, they stumble upon a lost brick of cocaine, ingest some, and are then attacked by the bear. Sari, park ranger Liz (Margo Martindale), and wildlife activist Peter (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) venture into the forest to search for the kids. They find Henry hiding in a tree, but the bear attacks, slashing Liz in the process and killing Peter, who was coated in cocaine. The bear ignores Henry, and Sari and Henry flee deeper into the forest. Liz sends for help.

The rest of the film is basically Sari searching for the kids, as well as Cocaine Bear attacking and killing people. The film is quite gory, but it is a horror comedy, so everything does get a bit silly at times.

At its heart, this is a monster movie, but instead of some supernatural monster, you have something that everyone is familiar with, that being a huge bear. Now put that bear on cocaine, and you have a crazed killer bear.

The film never takes itself too seriously, and Keri Russell is strong as the main lead. The two child actors are also convincing in their parts, and Ray Liotta as the St. Louis drug kingpin is perfect casting. The film is dedicated to him too, since it was one of the last he filmed before his sad death.

This is a fun film; you will probably only ever watch it once, but it is enjoyable. The visual effects of the bear are decent, if not up to the standards of Jurassic Park.

The Good
Fun and silly horror comedy. The bear is the real star. Strong perfomances all round. The 90 minute run time feels a little long for a film of this kind, I would have got it down to 80 minutes.

The Bad
The film gets a little repetitive, and we perhaps don't get enough of the bear.

It's a film about a bear on cocaine killing people, it delivers exactly what it tells you it will, and in a fun and gory way.

I score Cocaine Bear a solid 8/10

Out Now in selected cinemas and on digital at Apple TV -

You can also pre-order the home entertainment release at