‘Underwater’ Delivers Deep-Sea Monsters, While Merely Hinting at Something More Insidious

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CREDIT: Alan Markfield/Twentieth Century Fox

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Vincent Cassel, T.J. Miller, Mamoudou Athie, Jessica Henwick, John Gallagher Jr.

Director: William Eubank

Running Time: 95 Minutes

Rating: PG-13 for Attacks On and From Sci-Fi Horror Monsters

Release Date: January 10, 2020

The opening of Underwater promises intense pressure and pitch black scenarios, but honestly? It could’ve had even more pressure and been even more pitch black. That’s not to say that those prone to extreme claustrophobia should give this one a chance. It is, after all, about deep-sea researchers who have to walk to safety across the ocean floor after their vessel becomes damaged by an apparent earthquake. But it’s almost a little too bright, a little too out in the open. The creepy-crawlies that turn out to be lurking in their path are effectively monstrous, but the point of escape appears clearly within reach such that I was never fully worried. Maybe not everyone would make it through alive, but surely some of them would. The ingenuity and grit devised for getting around the beasts are fairly satisfying, but I found myself craving, or at least anticipating, more danger and mystery.

Going right along with the vibe of shining more light than expected, both the opening and end credits inform us that this misadventure will remain very much classified when all is said and done. But the thing is, we’re seeing the classified story. This whole movie is a peak behind the redaction! So why let us know that there is a cover-up when we’re already within the covers? Perhaps there is meant to be an implication, in thoroughly true blue X-Files spirit, that in the real world there are actually terrors in the deep running amok that most folks have no idea about because certain people have decided we’re not supposed to know about any of that. Alas, all that conspiracy flavor is merely the thinnest spread of icing. But by golly, if you’re going to tease us about what your monster is really all about, then please follow through with it.

Underwater is Recommended If You Like: Overlord, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, The X-Files but compressed

Grade: 2.5 out of 5 Stuff Bunnies

‘Charlie’s Angels’ Doesn’t Do Much to Justify Its Existence in 2019, Except When It Gets Really Silly

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CREDIT: Chiabella James/Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Entertainment

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska, Elizabeth Banks, Patrick Stewart, Djimon Hounsou, Sam Claflin, Noah Centineo, Nat Faxon

Director: Elizabeth Banks

Running Time: 119 Minutes

Rating: PG-13 for Deafening Explosions and a Lot of Flexible Legwork

Release Date: November 15, 2019

Globetrotting in 2019: who needs it? I, for one, cannot say I find it particularly necessary after watching the 2019 edition of Charlie’s Angels. As three gadget-toting, butt-kicking, espionage-deploying young women chase a McGuffin around multiple continents, what do they, or any person of any age for that matter, have to offer us that we haven’t been offered before? Maybe something new is theoretically out there somewhere, but what I see are mostly a bunch of competently (and frequently goofily) staged action scenes. I’ve never previously seen any Charlie’s Angels TV episode or movie in its entirety, but the main feeling this one gave me was a nagging sense of “been there, done that.” (Although, it is worth noting, there is nary a whiff of the “three little girls” paternalistic energy of the original.)

Despite that shortcoming, I suspect that Elizabeth Banks, who wrote and directed and also stars as Bosley (or rather, one of the Bosleys), is not necessarily too worried by the plot being overly paint-by-numbers. As long as our new batch of Angels (Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Sabinska) get to show off some personality, there can be a feature-length rasion d’être. For the most part, they just go where the story demands that they go, but occasionally there are flashes of extreme goofball energy. Naomi Scott wears a fantastic red dress because why not? K-Stew makes “beep boop” noises while cracking a safe just for the hell of it. And then during the credits there is an onslaught of cameos: a few make obvious sense for this movie, but most of them are breathtakingly, delightfully random. So at least there’s a little bit of fun to get these angels flying.

Charlie’s Angels is Recommended If You Like: Flirting with Noah Centineo, Original pop soundtracks

Grade: 2.5 out of 5 Bosleys

Jeff’s Wacky SNL Review: Kristen Stewart/Coldplay

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CREDIT: Rosalind O’Connor/NBC

Hello world, it’s time for me to post my review of the fifth episode of the forty-fifth season of Saturday Night Live. Kristen Stewart is hosting for the second time ever. I thought she was promoting Seberg, which is looking like it’ll be a pretty small release, even as far as small releases go. But then I remembered that she’s also going to be in the latest edition of Charlie’s Angels, which comes out soon. And Coldplay (the coldest of bands? certainly not the most playful) is the musical guest for, wow, the sixth time. That’ll have you thinking about the passage of time.

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This Is a Movie Review: Lizzie

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CREDIT: Courtesy of Saban Films and Roadside Attractions

I give Lizzie 3 out of 5 Axe Chops: http://newscult.com/movie-review-lizzie-brings-queer-subtext-fore-latest-telling-ms-bordens-ax-murders/

SNL Review February 4, 2017: Kristen Stewart/Alessia Cara

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SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "Kristen Stewart" Episode 1717 -- Pictured: (l-r) Host Kristen Stewart, Vanessa Bayer during the "Totinos" sketch on January 31, 2017 -- (Photo by: Rosalind O'Connor/NBC)

My letter grades for each sketch and segment is below. My in-depth review is on NewsCult: http://newscult.com/snl-love-itkeep-itleave-it-kristen-stewartalessia-cara/

Oval Office Phone Calls – B+

Kristen Stewart’s Monologue – B-

Welcome to the United States – B

UConn Dry Friday – C

Totino’s – B

White House Press Briefing – B-

Alessia Cara performs “Scars to Your Beautiful” – B

Weekend Update
Michael and Colin – B
David Ortiz – B

Family Feud Super Bowl Edition – C

Meet Cute (BEST OF THE NIGHT) – B+

Alessia Cara performs “River of Tears” – B-

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory – C-