La Isla Minima/Marshland (2014)

Medium: Movie (DVD), Sling subscription

Rating: 4.5/5 suspenseful Spanish mystery, not a whodunnit you can figure out in ten minutes

Reviewer: Welp

Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Amazon

It's 1980, not long after Franco's death, and two detectives from the city are sent to a rural Andalusian town to locate a pair of missing teenagers. It's a bum assignment to punish Juan, a heavy drinker and rule-breaker, and Pedro, a young detective whose promising city career has been cut short by politics. It sounds cliché, two disgraced cops who are polar opposites uniting to solve a case, but the marshland setting is both stunning and creepy and the story keeps you guessing.

The One (2021)

Medium: series

Rating: 0/5 this show is not a perfect match

Reviewer: Odd

Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Netflix

I recently read and loved John Marrs' The One, and was ecstatic when I found out it would soon be a series on Netflix. That excitement ended less than halfway through the first episode when it became clear that the only things it had in common with the book were the name and the general premise. There are some characters with glancing similarities like name or job, but not even squinting and covering your ears could convince you these are the same stories. I wouldn't mind if the new stories and characters were interesting, but not one lives up to their closest book counterparts, never mind exceeds them. I can see changing some things around to try and connect the separate storylines, but there had to have been better ways of doing that than...this.

Netflix bought a book that was fast paced and filed with distinct, fleshed out characters in unique situations that inspired some real thought and threw all of them away for a generic "thriller" full of bland people doing bland things that had me so bored that I couldn't even be bothered to finish it. If the book was a hot and spicy curry that made your lips burn with every bite and kept you hungry for more, the show is a stale heel of generic white bread with some mayonnaise and maybe some parsley or something sprinkled on top to try and distract you from how utterly uninspired and insipid it really is. Life is too short to waste on crap like this.

Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)

Medium: Movie

Rating: 5/5

Reviewer: lyger

Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Amazon

First, "Searching for Bobby Fischer" is one of my top 5 favorites, so I'm biased. You probably don't want to see my whole top 5, and definitely not the top 10.

All about chess. A smart and empathetic child takes a full interest in chess at 7, wants to learn and play for fun, but is also confronted with the pressure of "winning." I won't disclose the actors or actresses names, but they are joyful in their roles. Of special note is to watch the lighting and motion in the cinematography, light and dark, circling, distance and close-up shots. This makes it even more appealing, at least to me. No spoilers.

Other movies in the same realm are "The Queen's Gambit", "Pawn Sacrifice", "A Little Game", and "Magnus", hopefully the last three to also be reviewed.

Bad Trip (2021)

Medium: Movie (Netflix)

Rating: 4.5/5 fingercuffs what?!

Reviewer: jericho

Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Netflix

If pranks aren't your thing, move on now. If pranks are your thing, then this is your new jam. Eric André brings his physical humor to bear in a series of pranks that are hilarious and sometimes disgusting. The premise is a simple road trip for two friends from FL to NY to pursue a "love interest", with Tiffany Haddish playing the escaped felon protagonist chasing the guys for "stealing" her car. Several of the pranks are not only Rated R, but certainly not for young ones or those easily disgusted. If dark, sick humor born out of pranking people is appealing, this movie should keep you laughing.

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