Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids: Wrapping Up the 20/20 Experience

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE + THE TENNESSEE KIDS

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DIRECTED BY: Jonathan Demme

STARRING: Justin Timberlake

GENRE: Music

YEAR: 2016

COUNTRY: United States

Justin Timberlake and the Tennessee Kids

Justin Timberlake and the Tennessee Kids

The concert film Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids premiered on Netflix on October 12, 2016. Prior to premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, Timberlake dedicated the film to Prince. “His influence is all over everyone’s music and there’s so much that I feel like I’ve maybe consciously and unconsciously borrowed from him that it felt right,” he told E! “It just feels right to dedicate the film to him.” The concert film showcases the final date of the 20/20 tour at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Okay Timberlake, what do you have to offer after all this time? The actual concert opens with one of his older hits “Pusher Lover Girl”. But how did Timberlake perform? He was completely in his element, nailing every single beat and moment while completing entrancing the audience. “Unlike several other modern concert films, like Taylor Swift’s The 1989 World Tour LIVE or Justin Bieber’s BelieveJustin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids did not rely on flashy visuals and excessive edits. The film completely relies on the pure talent and skill of the cast.

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 14:  Musician  Justin Timberlake performs on stage at Barclays Center on December 14, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for M2M Construction)

Throughout the concert, Timberlake and his entourage were constantly shown smiling at each other in between singing lines, laughing at each other’s crazy dance moves and applauding each other’s riffs. To say that the group was comfortable with one another is an understatement — it was clear that they were a family, and the love they shared on stage was tangible. These emotions could be felt both on the screen and at the show.

While the film was advertised as a documentary with a decent amount of behind the scenes footage, there were only a few minutes in the beginning and closing moments of the film. This, however, did not take away from the film, as the concert itself was a treat.”

PROS:

  • Very career-spanning set list.
  • Showcase of emotions.
  • Timberlake at his finest.

CONS:

  • Not so much a documentary than a concert.

SCORE: 8.5 / 10

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Gremlins: Furry Bundles of Comedic Horror

GREMLINS

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DIRECTED BY: Joe Dante

STARRING: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton, Polly Holliday, Frances Lee McCain

GENRE: Comedy

YEAR: 1984

COUNTRY: United States

o-gremlins-facebookMiniature green monsters tear through the small town of Kingston Falls. Hijinks ensue as a mild-mannered bank teller releases these hideous loonies after gaining a new pet and violating two of three simple rules: No water (violated), no food after midnight (violated), and no bright light. Hilarious mayhem and destruction in a town straight out of Norman Rockwell. So, when your washing machine blows up or your TV goes on the fritz, before you call the repair man, turn on all the lights and look under all the beds. ‘Cause you never can tell, there just might be a gremlin in your house.

From Horror Freak News:

Gremlins was a huge hit in 1984, and eventually did spawn a sequel, although not until 1990. Kind of a comedy, kind of a kids movie and yet very dark and a bit violent, Gremlins is horror is the Steven Spielberg style. This film helped secure the reputation of director Joe Dante as a “Master of Horror”, following The Howling and The Twilight Zone: The Movie as a popular trio of films by this director over a few years. The popularity of is due to a couple of factors, including the very cute and funny creatures (no CGI in the 80s) and the humor of the mean gremlins, particularly the ringleader who sports a white Mohawk.

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Gremlins is one of those films that the more “mature” among us remember seeing as kids and loving, and maybe haven’t watched again since. Interestingly, sitting down with Gizmo and the evil bunch again after all of these years was just as enjoyable as the first time years ago – maybe even more enjoyable as I reveled in the physical FX instead of the CGI fare we have been bombarded with of late. This is a film that must be seen at least a few times, and the darkness that makes this inappropriate for children is icing on the cake.

PROS:

  • Decent cast performance.
  • Adorable non-CGI Gremlins.
  • Interesting story.

CONS:

  • A little too campy, even for the 80s.

SCORE: 8.0 / 10

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Santa’s Slay: When Santa Finally Snaps

SANTA’S SLAY

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DIRECTED BY: David Steiman

STARRING: Bill Goldberg, Douglas Smith, Emilie de Ravin, Robert Culp, Saul Rubinek, Dave Thomas

GENRE: Black comedy, Horror

YEAR: 2005

COUNTRY: Canada, United States

640In the Christmas Eve of 2005, Santa Claus (Bill Goldberg) arrives in Hell Township killing the locals. The teenager Nicholas Yuleson (Douglas Smith) finds that his grandfather (Robert Culp) is actually an angel that defeated the devil’s son in a bet, and the evil creature has spent the last one thousand years playing a good Santa Claus, giving toys to the children. Now that the bet is over, Santa Claus wants revenge. Nicholas and his girlfriend Mary Mackenzie (Emilie de Ravin) try to escape from the killer and find a way to stop him until the end of Christmas.

From Horror News:

“It is without a doubt an odd movie and while some people may argue that it tries a little too hard at times I have to disagree. I actually dig the premise and love the fact that it is actually Santa himself going around and hacking people to bits as opposed to just some ordinary guy wearing the costume. His origin story is weird as hell but in a way I think that it works. I thought that it was cool that the people behind it tried to do something a little different with the character and if you ask me making him an evil creature who loves to kill people was a great idea (I even liked the whole deal with the curling contest because it is just goofy and weird enough to work). For a demented person like me it was a nice change of pace to see Santa stabbing people to death with a candy cane for once as opposed to sliding down a chimney to deliver gifts to all the good little boys and girls of the world. I’ll admit that the plot is more than a little silly (boy, that’s an understatement) but that is part of the movie’s charm.

santa-slay-with-santa

I enjoyed Santa’s Slay. I am a little surprised that it doesn’t have a bigger following as I think that it is a pretty kickass little movie. It isn’t perfect and there are times when it is a little too corny for its own good but overall it is just a fun, brainless movie that has a ton of violence in it (I also thought it was cool that there are several pretty awesome cameos by people such as Fran Drescher, James Caan, and Rebecca Gayheart to name a few in it as well). Give it a chance this Christmas, just make sure that you don’t take it too seriously or you won’t enjoy it at all.”

PROS:

  • Solid direction.
  • So bad it is good.

CONS:

  • Overly campy.
  • Cast performances.

SCORE: 5.0 / 10

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