Big Tuck’s Streaming Scoop-Up: Week of 7/11

This week Big Tuck is bringing you some of the best, brightest, and most bizarre picks from the streaming verse! To Stay UP TO DATE on all of his reviews, feel free to follow him on Letterboxd here.

Lucky for all you BTF’s (Big Tuck Fans) out there, I’ve been catching up and shotgunning PILES of streaming movies, so I’m going to try to hit on as many as I can here!! I’ll go in order from MOST RECENTLY WATCHED by your boy BT.

NETFLIX

Spiderhead

So it took me until AFTER I watched the movie to realized why this was getting so much buzz (and I still believe it’s solely because it’s what Netflix WANTS you to see), then I come to find out it is directed by the same person who directed Top Gun: Maverick, THE movie of the summer/year. Small world, or INTENTIONAL CONSPIRACY!

Anyway, back to the movie at hand. As you have figured out I’m a pretty cynical guy, and I have to say that this not only smells like a “straight to Netflix dump movie”, it REEKS like it to the point that this may be the most Netflixy movie to ever Netflixed. Popular Disney (Note: NOT Marvel #cynic) star doing a weird accent or with a strange wardrobe? CHECK. A B-list star as the lead and literally NO one else you have ever heard of as the background cast? CHECK. Flimsy Sci-Fi story about ‘Modern’ issues like choice, government control, or a super drug? CHECKMATE. I bet it would be a fun date movie as there’s nothing really offensive or to get in an argument over….outside of that I fell asleep the first time I watched it so take that for what it’s worth.

RATING: 2/5

Vampires AKA John Carpenter’s Vampires

I think I had seen this one on TV when I was younger and SUPER deep in my Vampire obsession (yes, I know I was/am a weirdo), and I think I got thrown off because it seems like a schlocky action movie, and not about vampires at all. Now that I’m older, wiser, and generally better-looking, I realized that it is a schlocky action movie AND IT’S AWESOME.

Look I’ll be honest: a lot of the dialogue is problematic AT BEST, some of the castings leaves a lot to desire (looking at you, Danny Baldwin), and there is a lot less “Vampire” than “feral animals that have no REAL motivation of their own”. All that is true. BUT how many movies can you see James Wood unloading his pistol into the face of a vampiress that is being dragged out into the daylight by a Jeep?? Underworld wishes it was that cool!

Thank again to the boys at Blank Check (the BEST movie Podcast IMHO), I recently went through a massive John Carpenter rewatch and was quite blown away by much of his catalog. For better or worse, he has a truly distinctive style he brings into every movie, and why I’m not sure if Vampires falls into the “best of” category, it is still a very engrossing watch.

RATING: 3/5+, 3.5/5+ IF YOU’RE HUNGOVER

AMAZON PRIME

Candyman (2021)

So, real talk: Your boy here isn’t the biggest horror head on a film blog. Besides my annual Spooktober, which I do every October (where for the month I only watch horror/spooky movies), I don’t really get drawn into the scary stuff. I think it’s a combo of how I feel the genre has become fairly homogenous as of late, and how most of the “mainstream” horror options feel like they just dumped on streaming services.

SO imagine my surprise when I went GUNG-HO on the trailers for Candyman last year. I even watched the original to get ready for it (I gave it a 3/5 which in retrospect is probably a little generous) and predicted that it would be THE movie of the fall season. All that hype and…..I never saw it. I was dating someone at the time who really wanted to see it together and the timing never worked out, and then it was 2022, etc. SO imagine my chagrin when I was loading up Prime to find out they had it! Was my wait worth it? Did I indeed put the old film in its proper place?

Well, yes and no. Don’t get me wrong this is a GOOD movie, maybe just not a great one. The camera work, acting, and overall mise-en-scène (Thanks, Liberal Arts Degree!) were fantastic, and the last scene coupled with the INCREDIBLE credits scene (done in that hurky-jerky paper cutout style from the trailer) really brought it home….it was just the stuff in the middle that was not as tight. Without going into spoilers I feel like the film bent over backward trying to tie into the previous mythos, which was somewhat heartbreaking when I expected something COMPLETELY fresh and new to the series. It had been a while since I had seen the original, so I’m definitely planning on doing a double feature this October, and even with that said I’d still give it a hearty recommendation, knowing that ultimately the honey was worth the sting. BOOM #BeeReference

RATING: 3.5/5+

HBO-MAX

The Card Counter

This has FINALLY come to a streaming site, and I’ll be honest I’m very upset with myself that I didn’t see this earlier. Recently I’ve been stuck in a sea of mediocrity, and this has been the most recent movie to break into the Top category. BOY did it deserve it!

If you are looking for an action-packed romp where Guy Get’s Girl, there’s a clear path of the storytelling, and everything turns out hunky-dory for everyone involved, this is not the movie for you. If you like scenes of intense brooding and Sad, Lonely men paying the price for sins they may have committed in the past, then this is a slam dunk. If you’re a fan of Oscar Issac’s real (aka non-Disney) acting, Slam Dunk. If you like Taxi Driver, Drive, First Reformed, or American Gigolo, SLAM DUNK. I will admit that there are some slow scenes and it can be A LITTLE formulaic, but it was a movie that I put my phone in the other room so I could soak it up, distraction free, and I will tell you it was the right way to watch it.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the original plot involved some other sort of sport, gambling, or activity, which would have been fine as the plot serves the characters instead of the other way around. Regardless, this would be a fantastic pick for a group of friends who are looking for a Scorsese-esque picture, except without the needle drops and mob ties.

RATING: 4/5+

Author: Sam Tucker

Sam "Big Tuck" Tucker is a film reviewer with a passion for Noires of all kinds and occasionally dips his toes into story-rich single player games. When not flipping through streaming platforms and trying to track down the classics on JustWatch, he is a fellow host of the Magic: the Gathering Channel CMDTOWER (www.cmdtower.com) and enjoys everything outdoors in Charlotte. Find him on Twitter @bigtucktweeting.

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