Reynolds Wrap (Part 1)

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With or without his trademark mustache, Burt Reynolds was a demigod on two legs and four wheels. His most crowd-pleasing sleeper was ‘Smokey & The Bandit’ but Burt was more prolific than just vehicular mayhem and Southern-fried charm. For every ‘The Longest Yard’ and ‘Deliverance’, there was a relatively minor entry in Burt’s dilating filmography. While I consider myself a Reynolds-phile, there are several titles I have neglected to see heretofore. Since his recent passing cast such a wide pallor over my fondness for his legacy, I’ve decided to hydroplane over his blockbusters and throttle through his lesser-known pictures.

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Demographic Demolition

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I understand that some movies elude my breadth of appeal. Non-Disney animated movies, Bollywood musicals, wrestling documentaries, anything by Terrence Malick. None of these are of particular interest to me or fall within my purview. Then there’s a category of movies where the demographic that they’re aimed towards is muddled, nonexistent or extremely niche. The Happytime Murders was released this past weekend and it has me musing about other movies that contain elements geared towards a select few.

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Castor’s Underrated Gems- Volunteers (1985)

Tom Hanks. The man voted to be the most trustworthy man in America. If the World War III phone was by his bedside, the country could rest easy. Finding someone who actively dislikes Tom Hanks would be like finding a needle in a haystack. Err, then again….the late Gene Siskel in his review of ‘Bachelor Party’ called him “smug” and “unfunny”. Outside of that wildly controversial opinion, most people are in consensus that Hanks is a national treasure. But his string of powerhouse award winners wasn’t the wellspring from once he spawned.

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The Reviewinator: Extinction (2018)

(I don’t usually include spoilers in my reviews, but sometimes a movie comes along that’s SUCH a waste of my time that I feel spoilers must be revealed to save others from wasting theirs. This is your first warning.)

Oh, Netflix. You may have made movie-watching easier than ever before, but that doesn’t change the fact that “Netflix Originals” are the streaming equivalent of direct-to-video: high-concept, low-budget. Take Extinction. An old-fashioned sci-fi action-adventure reminiscent of the glory days of the 80’s and 90’s. The trailer is impressive, and the actors chosen are interesting. But is the behind-the-scenes talent equally as talented?

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The Reviewinator: Mission Impossible – Fallout (2018)

After six movies, one has to wonder what’s really so impossible about these missions. Then again, 56-year-old Tom Cruise has been at this since 1996, so maybe it’s less the missions and more the person doing them. The Mission: Impossible film franchise had a bit of a rocky start, and didn’t hit its stride until the third movie. But since then, it’s been going nowhere but up. But one can only go so high until there’s Fallout.

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Castor’s Underrated Gems – Life Stinks (1991)

Life Stinks is a member of an elite group. It’s one of Mel Brooks’ final directorial efforts since his quasi-retirement into the sunset of Broadway adaptations. Although it won’t be stratified alongside such milestones as The Producers, Young Frankenstein or Blazing Saddles, Life Stinks is a daftly funny gasp of madcap warmth before the Semitic impresario would close up shop.

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The Reviewinator: Jurassic World – Fallen Kingdom (2018)

25 years is nothing to sneeze at for any franchise, particularly ones with the same monsters-on-an-island premise in every entry. Nevertheless, Jurassic World revitalized the franchise with strong, likable characters who make a welcome return in this fifth entry in the Jurassic Park saga. While the momentum from the previous movie does continue here (for the most part), one can’t help but feel that “extinction” is in this franchise’s very near future.

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Runstedler’s DVD Pick of the Month: Hereditary

This year’s Hereditary has been hailed as the scariest movie in recent years, but I don’t feel that it does this film justice. It is terrifying on a psychological level, but the traditional jump scares and scare tactics are minimal. Instead, we are left with a film that examines grief, PTSD, the loss of a loved one, dealing with the consequences, and recognising the responsibilities and role of a parent in times of crisis. I think it’s also about living with the inability to understand or read your own parent and living with the confusion and frustration. It is “scary” in the sense that from the parents’ perspective, getting the call that your child has died or coming to terms with that is scarier than any horror movie imaginable, and that’s what makes Hereditary really so visceral. On top of that, it’s a very subversive film, killing off seemingly major characters and confounding our expectations of plot progression and storyline. For me, I felt that they could have done without the whole cult subplot – it was fun, reminiscent of Rosemary’s Baby in some ways, but if the focus of the film had just been mental illness and dealing with what comes after the catalyst, I think the film would have worked just as well.

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The Reviewinator: Solo – A Star Wars Story (2018)

Star Wars movies are anything but solo. With the timelines jumping around like a porg on a hot plate, only the most devoted fans will be able to stay on target while the rest of us try to hold this rapidly expanding franchise together like people who’ve had their arms ripped off by loser Wookiees. But if you want to stay loyal, you must endure the spin-offs, so let’s see what Han Solo was doing before that time he totally shot first.

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The Reviewinator: Deadpool 2 (2018)

Deadpool 2? What the sh**?! Oh right. Deadpool 1 was a financially orgasmic experience for Fox and Marvel. Maybe because it hit all the right G’s in all the right spots. So of course they were gonna pull a number 2 out of their ass. But there’s always a bit of worry with sequels (especially the superhero kind), so let’s see whether or not this number 2 goes right in the sh***er.

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