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Classics with the Classic

Extra Butter with Bart Wilson presented by Tiffin Drive-In Theater Archives for 2023-09

A Haunting in Venice

The world-renowned detective Hercule Poirot is back in A Haunting in Venice. Directed by and starring in the lead role as the detective is Kenneth Branagh. This is the third installment of the series based on the Agatha Christie novels.

 

In this new installment, Detective Poirot is living quietly in Venice while enjoying retirement from detective work. That’s until an old friend, Ariadne Oliver (Tina Fey), who is a mystery novel writer finds Poirot and asks him to join her in a seance. The séance takes place on Halloween at an orphanage turned into a home where a grieving mother, Rowena Drake (Kelly Reilly), wants to reconnect with her deceased daughter who jumped out of a window due to being haunted by the spirits of orphans that once lived in that house. Running the séance is Mrs. Reynolds (Michelle Yeoh) who is attempting to connect with Rowena’s daughter. Joining the late-night event is Rowena’s daughter’s doctor Leslie Ferrier (Jamie Dorna), the maid Olga Seminoff (Camille Cottin), the doctor’s son Leopold Ferrier (Jude Hill), and Poirot’s security guard Vitale Portfoglio (Riccardo Samarcio). As the séance is happening Poirot can piece together the fake spiritual occurrences until something unexplained happens. This then makes Poirot question if the afterlife exists. While reflecting on this, a murder is committed. Poirot must now shut down the house to figure out who the murderer is, but was the murder committed by someone at the séance or was it one of the deceased orphans?

 

Right off the bat this film is a lot better than the past two films. The other films felt very flat and predictable. In this film the first murder happens, and you really have no idea who did it. The whole reason why you just don’t know is because of the spiritual aspect to the story. The film makes you believe that maybe one of the spirits did commit the murder because of what happens during the séance. I think that was done very well. I did like the environment they were in with all the darkened hallways, and everything was lit by candlelight. It makes the home feel like a haunted house and the architecture of the home adds more creepiness to the story. Now, is this a horror film? No, this is not a horror film but there are jump scares throughout. So, if you did bring someone that’s 13 years old you don’t need to worry about possibly traumatizing them at the theater. I think the acting in this was well done by everyone, but I wasn’t a big fan with how fast the movie went by. I felt like the movie needed thirty more minutes to really expand on the mystery of the murder, but the reveal at the end was shocking.

 

I did find myself having a good time watching this film, especially at the theater. I think you should see this at least once in theaters to really get the full experience of what the film offers. Especially with Halloween right around the corner, this would be a good movie to start the spooky season off with.

 

Rating: 3.5 out 5

The Nun II

Valak returns to wreak havoc on an all-girl boarding school in France with The Nun II. Directed by Michael Chaves best known for The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It and The Curse of La Llorona.

 

The film takes us back to 1956 France when a priest is murdered through a heinous act that serves as a warning to the Vatican of Valak’s return. Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) is tasked with finding this demon once more and defeating it for good. Joining her along the way is Sister Debra (Storm Reid) who watches out for Irene in case she is in trouble. Popping back up from the first film is Maurice (Jonas Bloquet) who helped Irene defeat Valak in the first film. The only issue is Maurice is possessed by the demon and he is torturing an all-girl boarding school without realizing it. Irene will eventually learn about why Valak is at this school and what the demon intends to do.

 

We are once again sent back to The Conjuring universe in The Nun II. I had a way better time watching this film compared to the first one. I think that the story had a lot more beef compared to its counterpart that relied on jump scares the whole time. The jump scares in the new film were done a lot better than the first one. They really packed a punch, and the gore and intensity were brought up a notch showing how powerful Valak really is. The acting was a lot better as well.

The last film felt very mellow dramatic and not realistic. I felt the anguish of the characters when dealing with this psychotic demon. Now, the story was a tad predictable at times which took me out of the film sometimes. There was less CGI done in this film than the first, but I still don’t like seeing CGI in horror films. It must be done well for me to stay interested. I also felt like the detective aspect of the story was done way too fast to just fast forward the movie to the final act.

 

So, what is the final verdict on this film? Well, I would say if you’re an avid horror movie fan that you should see this in theaters at least once. If you want to just scare your friend that hates horror movies wait until it comes out on digital and do it, then. This is also perfect timing for Halloween. It’s a good sub average film that can give all the scares of a typical horror film with a little uniqueness to it.

 

Rating: 3 out 5

Strays

A rag tag group of dogs embark on a journey of revenge and comedic mischief in Strays which is an R rated version of Homeward Bound.

 

The film follows a dog named Reggie (Will Ferrell) as plans to get revenge on his owner, Doug (Will Forte), for abandoning him because he doesn’t really love him. Reggie teams up with Bug (Jamie Foxx), Maggie (Isla Fisher), and Hunter (Randall Parker) who all agree to help him. While making the journey back to his owner’s home Reggie will learn about what it’s like to be a stray dog with the help of fellow stray Bug. He’ll also learn about the importance of friendship and knowing his worth. While learning all this the group will find themselves in some sticky situations that are action packed to disturbing.

 

What can I say about this film? This is not a film that you would want to bring your kids to. From the very beginning to the very end, it has extremely raunchy from jokes in certain scenes that take place. The story is very straight forward, and a lot of the comedy seemed somewhat familiar from other R rated films I have seen over the years. There were some moments where I laughed out loud, but most of the time I wasn’t that engaged. I think the selling point of the film is the adorable dogs that have famous people voicing them as they just act completely immature. Sometimes that works for certain films, but this was a film that didn’t do that in a clever way.

 

I wouldn’t waste your money on this film by either seeing it in theater, renting it digitally, or buying it on DVD. This is one of those films you could wait two years to find it on a streaming service for free and then watch it. Just make sure you don’t let any children watch it.

 

Rating 2 out of 5

 

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