Movies Reviews

Wild Sci-Fi Review: The VelociPastor (2019)

Directed by Brendan Steere. Written by Brendan Steere. Starring Greg Cohan, Alyssa Kempinski, and Daniel Steere.

The Spring of Sci-Fi Review #4.

In this life, we’re going to come across a film title that’s going to catch our attention. I stumbled upon this movie while scrolling through my feed on Reddit. I laughed immediately with intrigue in the back of my mind. Before I watched this movie to review, I looked up articles about the movie. The film’s director, Brendan Steere, did an interview with Forbes about the movie. He states that he drew inspiration for the film when he tried to type “velociraptor” into Google, but it auto corrected to “veloci pastor.” The goof inspired him to create this bonkers B-movie with only a budget of $35,000. I was excited for what’s to come.

VelociPastor focuses on Pastor Doug Jones (Greg Cohan), whose parents were killed in front of him by a car explosion. Instead of a shot of the burning car, we get a gag with a title card that says, “VFX: Car on fire.” The film immediately is letting the audience know to not take this film seriously. After the death of his parents, Doug heads to China where he earns the ability to turn into a dinosaur. He decides to use his newfound power to fight crime…and ninjas.

Dinosaur versus ninjas.

The film is going for the outlandish to induce great, effective comedy. VelociPastor has fantastic quotes and dumb, memorable scenes that will stay with audiences after the movie’s over. Two scenes come to my mind as examples. Early in the film, audiences meet a supporting character by the name of Frankie Mermaid. Frankie Mermaid is a pimp, who asks one of his prostitutes why do they call him by that name. She responds, “because you’re swimming in bitches.” I was dead. I completely lost it. I had to pause the movie and let the laughter out. The next scene that was comical was a Vietnam flashback scene. It’s a flashback sequence where supporting character, Father Stewart (Daniel Steere), remembers his time at war. In the sequence, his lovely girlfriend randomly shows up out of nowhere on the battlefield and gets blown up by a mine. Father Stewart stands there in shock, while his war buddies talk about the mine casually. Such good shit, dudes.

Greg Cohan needs to be commended for putting forth the effort in this whacky movie. He goes all out with the dinosaur transformation scenes. The dinosaur is a giant, rubbery-looking suit that they made. It’s not Jurassic Park quality. It’s Walmart/Dollar General quality. They make the most of the dinosaur with it decapitating people and gouging people’s eyes. As for the fight scenes, they’re hilarious watching someone running around in a dinosaur outfit, who’s knocking over people dressed as ninjas. This movie deserves a shot of getting airtime on Syfy or another network.

If you enjoy absurdity, this film is for you. If you don’t like comedy, you will find this movie to be stupid and not worth your time. I recommend it for lovers of B-movies.

Overall rating: 4/5.

Movies Reviews

Review: Chef (2014)

After we watched several episodes of The Mandalorian, we wanted to look at the other works of director/writer/actor Jon Favreau. Jon Favreau is known by mainstream audiences for his work on the first two Iron Man films and for being an architect in the creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We decided to dive into Favreau’s lesser-known films that he has created. We stumbled upon Chef, an indie film that Favreau made in 2014. Favreau stars alongside fellow Marvel cohorts Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson in this picture about a chef, who moves to Miami to start a food-truck business.

Chef features a stellar ensemble of actors in this film. Favreau plays Carl Casper, who’s a chef that works in a prestigious Los Angeles restaurant. Casper quits from the restaurant after the owner, played by Dustin Hoffman, pushes him too far. Hoffman brings a ferocious side that highlights the tension between owner and Casper. Johansson, John Leguizamo, Sofia Vergara, Downey Jr., and Bobby Cannavale bring energy, humor, and compassion to the food flick. When Casper arrives in Miami, he opens the food truck in a manner of self-discovery to figure out what makes him happy as a chef. The move to Miami rekindles his passion for cooking, love, and life.

One of the many highlights of the film is the concentration on social media. Casper becomes somewhat obsessed with reviews from his critics. The film acknowledges the toxicity and the trouble that comes with being active on social media platforms, such as Twitter. Casper lets a particular critic, Ramsey Michel (Oliver Platt), get to his head. Casper retaliates online, which isn’t the best idea. In our society today, celebrities have to watch every word that they choose or every picture that they post. It’s easy in today’s society for celebrities to be offended by fans or critics. It’s also the same for the fans and the critics if the celebrity lashes out in return.

Another highlight is the beauty of food. Food is an amazing thing that brings us together. It’s delicious and it’s for our survival. Favreau portrays the beauty of food craftmanship, taste, and how it makes us happy. Seriously, if Favreau didn’t have Mando, he could make it hosting and doing his own food show. This film will cause hunger.

Overall rating: 4/5. A heartwarming film that will make viewers hungry for their favorite food.