Review of Movie Titles
By: Jason Bechard

Hey, I Watched This!

Reviewing Movies I've watched recently.

Howdy Y'all!

I'm back, and got a couple good ones for ya! Thanks to a random YouTube video of movie trailers, these flicks came on my radar, and since I had never heard of either of them prior, they definitely meet my criteria for this review column.

First up, Bodied (2017).

Written by Alex Larsen and Joseph Kahn. Directed by Kahn, as well. Produced by Eminem, and starring Calum Worthy (American Vandal, Various Disney shows)and Jackie Long (ATL, Idlewild, The Comebacks), and featuring numerous real Battle Rap Artists.

Here's the IMDB synopsis, "A progressive graduate student finds success and sparks outrage when his interest in battle rap as a thesis subject becomes a competitive obsession."

This is the first movie distributed through YouTube Red.

A comedy/drama/musical (Yes, rap counts as music!) this movie is fantastic. Visually crisp, but shows the dirty/grimy "underworld" that is competitive Battle Rap. Hilarious for it's satirical look at PC (Politically Correct) culture, and the inherently brutal, extremely non–PC, roasting of the Battle Rap game. If you're an overly sensitive "snowflake", that offends easily, and cannot accept humor for what it is, you will HATE this flick. However, as the story progresses, we see the personal cost it can take, to succeed in this ridiculous "world". Truly engaging, brutally funny, and realistically delivered, this movie crushes!

Calum Worthy plays the lead, "Adam", and it just feels natural. I wonder how much "acting" he really had to do. So flawless. This awkward ginger fan–boy, who's wariness when he gets into a battle, is so genuine, but when he throws himself into the battle, it's effortless. A truly great performance. Jackie Long's "Behn Grymm" (his Rap name of course), is deceptive and surprising. He's the Battle Rap Champion mentoring Adam, and the two become fast friends. Behn brings Adam into his "real" life, breaking a personal rule, and exposing his vulnerable family life. Naturally, Adam and Behn must face off in a battle, but at what REAL cost?

I'll be honest, Bodied (2017) is, quite possibly. my favorite "under the radar" flick, I have ever come across. Again, the story is really engaging, and the humor is both brutal for the roasting, and poignant for it's satire of today's society.

I give Bodied (2017) 5 STARS!!

Next up, a comedy/horror/musical (Actual singing), Anna and the Apocalypse (2017).

Written by Alan McDonald and Ryan McHenry, directed by John McPhail, and starring a relatively unknown cast, Ella Hunt, Malcolm Cumming, Sarah Swire, Christopher Leveaux, and Ben Wiggins.

Here's the IMDB synopsis, "A zombie apocalypse threatens the sleepy town of Little Haven – at Christmas – forcing Anna and her friends to fight, slash and sing their way to survival, facing the undead in a desperate race to reach their loved ones. But they soon discover that no one is safe in this new world, and with civilization falling apart around them, the only people they can truly rely on are each other."

Billed as "Shaun of the Dead meets La–La Land", this flick is SO much fun! High School angst, a fear of the what's to come after graduation, unrequited love, all delivered in the midst of the Zombie Apocalypse, with infectiously catchy musical numbers. What's not to love? It's ridiculously silly, cheesy as all get–out, with just enough zombie gore to not be over the–top.

Look, I love musicals (I dabble with a local theater company), I love quirky comedies (probably my favorite genre), and I love cheesy horror flicks (some exceptions have been found), but until someone FINALLY makes a film version of Evil Dead: The Musical, this flick checks a lot of my boxes, and that's not bad at all!

Honestly, the acting in this flick is not bad at all. No one actor or character really stands out from the crowd. Everyone played their parts well, hitting their particular stereotype of the high school population, dead on. That's a good thing in my book. When all the players are on the same page, and no one tries to overshadow the rest, it really makes for a good ensemble effort.

Sure, this flick plays out like a high quality musical theater production, but that "High quality" really delivers a fun experience. One that I am quite sure I'll be revisiting regularly.

I give Anna and the Apocalypse (2017) 4 out of 5 stars!

Please, don't forget to leave a message right here on the Hey, I Watched This! pages, if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions. I'd really like to hear from you!

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