REEL REVIEWS: How about a little blood with that comedy? | Lifestyles


Classified as a comedy, “Bullet Train” should qualify as the most blood-spurting dark comedy of all time.

Directed by David Leitch (“John Wick” “Atomic Blonde”), the gimmicky action flick boasts the incredible number of five (5!) hired assassins on board a bullet train hurdling from Tokyo to Kyoto at 200 mph.

While several of the hitman are onboard to seize a briefcase and the others have different assignments, eventually they all engage in martial arts, old time beatings, gun, knife and Samurai sword-wielding, poisoning and setting off of incendiary devices. Several of their confirmed targets continue on the train ride in “Weekend with Bernie” style.

Brad Pitt portrays Ladybug, a burnt-out killer who quotes his inner peace-spouting therapist. Inept British partners Lemon (Brian Tyree Henry) and Tangerine (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) turn the film into a violent comedy of errors.

Also in the mix are The Wolf (rapper Bad Bunny) and a not-so-innocent schoolgirl (Joey King).

Before the explosive finale, The Elder (Hiroyuki Sanada) and The White Death (Michael Shannon) come aboard to engage in the vengeance-fest. Sandra Bullock portrays Ladybug’s handler.

Rated R

3 Stars

LUCK (Apple TV+)

New animation studio Skydance presents their first feature for Apple TV+, a fantasy adventure about Sam Greenfield (voice of Eva Noblezada), who calls herself “the unluckiest person in the world.”

After a life spent in foster care, Sam turns 18, ages out of the system and leaves behind her young friend Hazel (Adelynn Spoon). More than anything, Sam wishes for some good luck and a forever family for Hazel.

While chasing a Scottish black cat named Bob (Simon Pegg) for his good luck penny, Sam enters the Land of Luck, an amazingly magical world where good luck (green) and bad luck (purple) are manufactured. She encounters leprechauns, cleanup bunnies in hazmat suits and pigs in Mission Control.

Whoopi Goldberg provides the voice for the Head of Security, and Jane Fonda is outstanding as the CEO of Good Luck aka Babe the fire-breathing dragon. Babe pines for her lost love, unicorn Jeff (Flula Borg), the facilities engineer in charge of the luck distributing machine. (Throughout the Bad Luck underground are all manner of Shreks!)

Director Peggy Holmes’ imaginative, fun-filled, Pixar-like adventure addresses deeper questions about life’s fortunes. How you handle good or bad luck seems to be the film’s lesson.

Rated G

3 Stars


Standup comedian Jo Koy follows his hit Netflix specials with a very funny fictionalized movie about his efforts to land a sitcom and his difficulties with his Filipino/American family.

Koy portrays would-be star Joe Valencia, whose claim to fame is a beer commercial.

Joe and his son Junior (Brandon Wardel) travel from LA to Daly City outside San Francisco for an Easter Sunday reunion with his boisterous Filipino family members—his feuding mom (Lydian Gaston) and his tita Theresa (Tia Carrere)— and a host of other relatives and friends.

Church services, and then lunch and dinner with all of the special Filipino dishes, are followed by karaoke and the arrival of thug Dev Deluxe (Asif Ali), attempting to collect $40,000 from the Joe’s hapless cousin Eugene (Eugene Cordero).

With the inclusion of Tiffany Haddish as cop Vanessa and Lou Diamond Phillips playing himself, “Easter Sunday” marks a memorable, laugh-filled screen debut for Jo Koy.

Rated PG-13

3 Stars

Alice Reese is a member of the Dallas Fort Worth Film Critics Association. She reviews movies, arts and entertainment for the Herald-Banner and for KETR.


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