#NativeNerd home release reviews: 'Bloodshot,' 'The Hunt' and more

Vincent Schilling

The movie industry is changing due to COVID-19 and previously scheduled theatrical releases came out online - but were they worth $19.99?

Wow, COVID-19 is changing everything. But I didn’t have to tell you that.

Before I get started on this week’s reviews, please let me say that the journalists at Indian Country Today are all working long and exhausting hours to give you the latest on the Coronavirus. Make sure to check out our COVID-19 updates in our syllabus. Also, blessings, prayers and love, and please know this #NativeNerd is wishing you strength and prayers for you and your family’s safety and health.

See the syllabus here: Indian Country's COVID-19 syllabus

So, due to the #AloneTogether practices now occurring worldwide, I thought I should take advantage of the newest films now online that had been scheduled for release in theaters. Namely, “The Hunt” and “Bloodshot” with one of my favorite action heroes, Vin Diesel.

Another film, “The Invisible Man” also hit the online release platform, but I was able to see it a few weeks ago and already reviewed it. Here’s my review:

(Read my review here: #NativeNerd reviews: 'The Invisible Man,' 'Call of the Wild' and 'Ford v Ferrari')

I also watched the movie “Bombshell,” where female Fox News anchors and journalists call out and attempt to sue the leading Fox News executive in charge for sexual harassment, and posted the review below.

A note about my #NativeNerd scoring system

When reviewing movies, I employ the decimal system to a tenth of a point. So instead of 7 stars, I might give a 7.4 out of ten. Some movies aren’t an eight but deserve a little more than a seven.

So that’s that.

The Hunt

7.9 out of 10

My quick quote: “I had much higher hopes for this movie with a captivating concept. I think the filmmakers shied away from taking it seriously. Its corny music and comedic approach took away from the bottom line.”

The Hunt movie poster
The Hunt movie poster

Synopsis: Twelve strangers wake up in a clearing. They don't know where they are -- or how they got there. In the shadow of a dark internet conspiracy theory, ruthless elitists gather at a remote location to hunt humans for sport. But their master plan is about to be derailed when one of the hunted, Crystal, turns the tables on her pursuers.

“The Hunt” was slotted twice to hit theaters but was initially paused due to concerns over the violence in the movie. The first release was stopped as the filmmakers likely feared the violence was too close in resemblance to public shootings. Which I find respectful and certainly understand. COVID-19 concerns stopped the second release — which ultimately led to the online public release — which I watched on Amazon Prime.

I enjoy movies that go over the top, and I was looking forward to this conceptually. But ultimately, though I enjoyed some of its over the top-ness — I ended up being disappointed.

There was a true ominous tone that could have been capitalized on, but the filmmakers decided to take it into a farcical one. That was a bummer. If you are going to go there, go there.

Ok, there’s a silly pig in a dress? Then go there, take the time, invest and make it creepy. Don’t half-measure it.

Is it worth twenty bucks? Sure, if you have two or more people at least, but not for a solo trip.

The thing is, I really liked this movie, but hated that the filmmakers were afraid to take full ownership of a movie concept — where a group of advantaged people decide to hunt what they consider to be degenerate human beings — and dive into the true darkness it could have become.

The filmmakers were chickens, in my opinion.

Now available on streaming platforms.

Bloodshot

9.2 out of 10

My quick quote: “Bloodshot was a lot of fun even if some of the scenes were a little overacted. Vin Diesel lives up to his action hero status in this great Dark Horse comics adaptation”

Bloodshot movie poster
Bloodshot movie poster

Synopsis: Based on the bestselling comic book, Vin Diesel stars as Ray Garrison, a soldier recently killed in action and brought back to life as the superhero Bloodshot by the RST corporation. With an army of nanotechnology in his veins, he's an unstoppable force - stronger than ever and able to heal instantly. But in controlling his body, the company has sway over his mind and memories, too. Now, Ray doesn't know what's real and what's not - but he's on a mission to find out.

Here's the trailer, but don't watch it until you read my review

Ok, Vin Diesel did well in this movie as a super-soldier with a grudge. In his body are microscopic repair machines that allow him to take chest shots and headshots repeatedly as his body just continues to repair itself.

That is a beautiful equation for a #NativeNerd-approved action movie. I loved it.

My wife and friends make fun of me for my affinity for Vin. But admittedly I love the guy — even after I saw his hilarious breakdance video on YouTube.

Vin Diesel is awesome. He was awesome in “The Chronicles of Riddick,” and he was awesome in “Bloodshot.”

The movie is a blast, literally. There is even one scene where he is fighting with other soldiers in the midst of a truck that has dropped bags of flour all over the road. It was actually a lot of fun and cinematically a treat. I laughed at how something so seemingly ludicrous could be so cool to watch — even if no other cars seemed to need to travel through that tunnel once the accident happened — even though it was time for the morning traffic to begin.

I loved the other soldiers he fought, such as the one guy with a suit of bionic eyes or something and the other guy with fast-moving robot legs and eventually, spiderman-like arms. The falling from the building scenes and the chases in a small town were spectacular.

The only bummer was a huge secret reveal about mind games the technicians were playing on Vin — a huge running thread during the movie that I wish I had been surprised to discover … bad choice in my view to reveal such a spoiler. If you want to have a great surprise, don’t watch the trailer for an added fun element to experience when watching the movie.

Good stuff Vin, this #NativeNerd loves your movies bro.

Now available on streaming platforms.

Bombshell

8.6 out of 10

My quick quote: “Tough movie and hard to watch. Maybe it was a bit too real, maybe there was a bit too much truth about the sad stories these women experienced in their careers.”

Bombshell movie poster
Bombshell movie poster

Synopsis: The provocative real story of three whip-smart, ambitious, strong women who anchored one of America's most powerful news networks -- becoming headlines themselves when they risked everything to stand up to the man who made them famous.

I liked this movie because as a journalist it was really interesting to see how a major network newsroom is run. But for the most part, I couldn’t get past John Lithgow’s strange double chin makeup — and the subject of sexual harassment made me feel uneasy the entire time.

I appreciated very much that the movie did not resort to cheap representations of such a theme, and I felt that they handled the topic respectfully.

But overall, I just walked away from the movie with a gross feeling. Maybe it was a bit too real, maybe there was a bit too much truth about the sad stories these women experienced in their careers.

To those journalists that had to experience such horrendous behaviors, I will say I am sorry.

But let me come up for air. I have to commend the journalists for stepping up, for putting themselves out there in a scary situation where they could find themselves losing everything they had worked for.

That couldn’t have been easy, and as I said, I commend them for that.

Hats off to Charlize Theron, who did an excellent job, Nicole Kidman who channeled Juliet Huddy and to Margot Robbie who did an exceptional job of a distressed reporter. It is hard to believe she plays the Joker-loving Harley Quinn. 

Now available on streaming platforms.

Native Nerd Phone

Follow the #NativeNerd, Vincent Schilling, associate editor for Indian Country Today and a proud movie reviewer.

Have a film, product or another review request? Email me at vschilling@indiancountrytoday.com or reach out to me on social media, Twitter at @VinceSchilling and Instagram at @VinceSchilling.

Also, follow my Indian Country Today #NativeNerd account on Twitter at @ICTNativeNerd

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