May is a tough month for me with respect to my mental and emotional health (anniversaries for yucky things), so rather than indulge in a lot of new and fresh content, I spent most of these last few weeks watching old, comforting films and TV favourites. A lot of them are cheesy, but I needed the laughter and the nostalgia that watching these corny things fill me with. Because of this, I didn’t get around to seeing as many Asian titles as I had anticipated, but I’m not going to kick myself for it since I can be such a moody watcher to begin with, and this month’s importance bitch-slapped me out of the blue to top it off.
I don’t have many individual reviews planned for the bulk of what I watched. However, I do have a couple of recommendations posts planned for my absolute favourites, which I’m super excited to share with y’all throughout May (I’m sure a couple of them will not be a huge surprise for the regulars around here).
Anyhoo, check out everything down below. I went ahead and listed the platforms that I accessed the titles from, and I also tried to include as many content warnings as I could. If you’d like to inquire about something specific that isn’t listed (content warning-wise), please feel free to hit me up and I’ll double-check it for ya.
Force (2011) [Eros Int’l]: An Indian, Hindi-language action suspense thriller about a cop that is fiercely passionate about stopping the spread of drugs by taking down the biggest dealers in town. His journey gets viciously personal when the dealers begin targeting the cop’s closest comrades. This is a supremely violent film that is heart-breaking, but the pacing and intensity of the stakes and action make it very difficult to stop watching it. I thought it was really great as an action-thriller, but I also acknowledge this is not a film for everyone due to its pretty serious content. RECOMMENDED for fans of brutal action flicks. CW: Graphic violence, including gun violence and melee fights. Graphic blood and gore. Scenes of torture and explosions. Mention and depictions of suicide (on-screen). Graphic death including death of loves ones. Moderately strong language. Drug usage, deals, and solicitation. Depiction of corruption within police force. Mention of rape.
Force 2 (2016) [Netflix]: An Indian, Hindi-language action suspense thriller that follows the cop from the first film (above) as he’s invited to help investigate the methodical assassination of international RAW agents stationed across Europe and China. When the evidence starts to point to one of their own, the lines between black and white will get blurred to help save as many lives as possible. The suspense and high-intensity continues in this sequel, although I wished it weren’t so far removed thematically from its predecessor. I also felt it was mildly predictable once certain plot elements are revealed within the first one-third, but that formulaic essence doesn’t deter the film’s tension too much, which I appreciated. RECOMMENDED for folx that like action films, even if you haven’t seen the first title. CW: Graphic violence including gun violence and melee fighting. Graphic blood. Scenes of intense interrogation. Mention and depiction of suicide. Graphic deaths including death of loved ones. Moderately strong language. Depiction of terrorism and corruption.
War (2019) [Eros Int’l]: An Indian, Hindi-language film that follows a soldier who hunts down his mentor after his goes rogue following an unexpected assassination. I picked this up because it has one of my favourite new generation actors in it, Tiger Shroff. He’s an amazing martial artist and he tends to do most, if not all, of his own stunts, which I think is badass. I liked the story. It can be a bit convoluted, but it’s interesting to see what would drive a super patriotic soldier to turn his back on his own to go rogue. I also thought the chemistry between Tiger and Hrithik Roshan was excellent. They complemented each other as mentor and mentee, hunter and hunted so much better than I anticipated and it’s truly what makes the film such a treat to watch. RECOMMENDED for fans of both actors, and people that delight in action films about heroes going baddy. CW: Graphic violence. Graphic blood. Scenes of torture and imprisonment. Mildly strong language. Death of loved ones. Mention of suicide. Depiction of terrorism and corruption. Smoking. Alcohol consumption. Consumption of food.
The Mummy (1999) [HBO]: An action-fantasy title taking place in the 20s in Egypt, following a librarian, her useless brother, and a former war prisoner that all embark on a journey to the ancient city of Hamunaptra where they accidentally awaken a cursed mummy who sucks people dry while bringing about plagues of havoc. One of my ultimate feel-good films to watch when I need some emotional lifting up. It’s also one of the few films that I can quote from beginning to end effortlessly, which also brings me a lot of joy. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED because this film is fucking awesome. CW: Adventure action. Mild language. Death. Brief nudity.
I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) [HBO]: A slasher, horror film that follows a bunch of drunken teens who are celebrating their last summer together before heading off to college where they will pretend to be responsible adults. On the way home, they get into an accident and make some less-than responsible choices in the aftermath, which comes back to bite them in the arse a year later. I know I watched the shit out of this last month, but it’s another comfort watch. So, I watched it two more times this month. I feel like I only need to watch it another couple of times to have all the lines memorised, which makes me rather giddy. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for people that enjoy slasher movies, especially the classics from the 90s, after all, they don’t make them quite like this anymore. CW: Cursing. Graphic violence and blood. Graphic deaths (murder). Mention of suicide. Brief scenes with dead animals. Alcohol consumption by minors. Drunk Driving. Sexism.
The Lord of the Rings: Film Trilogy – Extended Editions (2001) [HBO]: An epic fantasy trilogy about a humble little Hobbit from the cosy little Shire who sets out on an epic journey with his gardener chum to destroy the powerful One Ring and save the realms from the Dark Lord of malevolence, Sauron, before the world falls into darkness. I like to rewatch these films once a year or so. While I have very strong, negative feelings about them as book adaptations, I do respect them and appreciate them as film interpretations of the original trilogy, and in that sense, I would RECOMMEND them for sure to fans of epic fantasies (just keep in mind that they are definitely problematic). CW: Graphic fantasy violence including body mutilation. Graphic death. Depiction of dead animals and decay. Violent destruction of nature. Preparation and consumption of food. Depiction of smoking and alcohol consumption.
AVP: Alien vs Predator (2004) [HBO]: A sci-fi horror about an archaeological expedition that heads to an island in Antarctica where they shall find themselves caught in the middle of a brutal fight between two badass creatures. The next item on the list of comfort watches. This film is just so much fucking fun. It’s brutal and violent and unapologetic with its cheesy lines. Plus, the main character is a kick-ass Black woman, which we desperately need more of in horror media. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for fans of cheesy sci-fi horror and people that don’t mind an addition to the Alien franchise that doesn’t take itself too seriously. CW: Graphic violence, blood, gore, and death. Graphic monster violence. Strong language.
Hollow Man (2000) [Starz]: A sci-fi thriller about a research doctor that is experimenting invisibility. Things take a ghastly turn when the doctor decides to indulge in his own experimentations. I remember watching this years ago when it first released, but I didn’t remember anything else beyond that. One night when I couldn’t sleep I started it up on a whim. I like how it starts off as a decent suspense thriller type flick and then mutates into a bloody slasher-esque mess by its finale. While it was entertaining to a degree, I feel like there are much better sci-fi titles out there with more cohesive craftsmanship to it. Overall, I’m INDIFFERENT about recommending it. CW: Scientific experimentation on animals and humans. Disturbing animal death. Moderate nudity. Strong language. Graphic human deaths including graphic blood, gore, and violence. Sexual molestation (on-screen). Unwanted sexual advances (on-screen). Sexual assault (on-screen). Rape (off-screen). Sexism and misogyny. Racism. Smoking. Depiction of alcohol consumption.
It (2017) [HBO]: A horror film based off Stephen King’s novel of the same name, it revolves around a small town where children disappear and go missing shortly after seeing red balloons or a tall, white-faced clown asshole. I fucking hate clowns. They freak me out like all kinds of Hell. The only reason I watched this (and it’s sequel) is because I lost a bet and my cousin made me do it. I will admit that I loved the wit, sass, and humour that the kiddoes exhibited. It kept the film from getting too creepy and helped it to be rather amusing. Even so, it’s gross. That clown is fucking gross. Fuck that clown. Fuck all clowns. Grossy, gross, grossity nope. Unfortunately, I do RECOMMEND this for folx that like creeptastic yet humorously enjoyable horror. CW: Graphic language. Graphic scenes of blood, gore, and violence. Strong disturbing imagery. Graphic deaths including death of a child. Child molestation (off-screen). Child abuse (physical). Bullying. Ableism. On-screen deaths of sheep. Underage smoking. Alcohol consumption. Anti-Black racism. Sexism.
It: Chapter 2 (2019) [HBO]: The continuation of the first film, but it takes place 27 years later, following the kids as adults. I did not like this film at all. It didn’t have the same sense of wit and sass that made me forget about the clowns (somewhat) in film one. It was unnecessarily convoluted and dragged out. I even lost my sense of tension and ended up being horridly bored for the vast majority of the film. Safe to say that I definitely DO NOT RECOMMEND this sequel. Just watch the first one and you’ll be golden. CW: Suicide (on-screen). Graphic language. Graphic scenes of blood, gore, and violence. Strong disturbing imagery. Graphic death. Domestic violence. Alcohol consumption. Preparation and consumption of food. Smoking.
House on Haunted Hill (1999) [Shudder]: A supernatural horror film about a group of random people that are invited to spend the night at a supposedly haunted mansion that used to be an insane asylum where patients were experimented upon. If they survive the night, then they each get one million bucks. I haven’t seen this film in ages, and I was curious as to how well it would hold up twenty years later. While the computer generated special effects definitely feel outdated, the rest of it wasn’t too bad. It provokes strong psychological discomfort with its super disturbing imagery of patients being poked and prodded and electrocuted. The jump scares are timed well, but aren’t too scary if you’re paying attention to what’s going on. All in all, I’d RECOMMEND this to watchers of supernatural, psychological horror. CW: Scenes of graphic physical torture and experimentation on asylum patients. Graphic scenes of psychological torture. Graphic blood and gore including body mutilation. Graphic language. Alcohol consumption. Smoking.
The Nanny Seasons 4, 5, & 6 (1996) [HBO]: A sitcom about a fashionable, Jewish bridal consultant who gets fired and kicked out on her rump when her boyfriend dumps her for his mistress. She travels to a wealthy neighbourhood in Manhattan to sell cosmetics but then gets hired as a nanny by a desperate millionaire, who’s also a widowed father, to help care for his three children. Wrapping up the second half of this actually made me rather emotional. I remember watching it with my mum when I was a kid and that evocation of sentimentality brought me to tears. While the nostalgia turned me into a hot gooey mess, I thoroughly enjoyed the trip down memory lane. It was probably the most comforting of experiences I’ve had all month long, and as such, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this series to people who haven’t seen it. It’s not perfect and can be problematic by contemporary standards, but it’s still a great sitcom. Content warnings vary by episode but generally consist of: consumption of alcohol. Preparation and consumption of food (lots). Brief smoking, including underage smoking. Sibling rivalry. Dysfunctional family dynamics. Fatphobia. Child psychopathy. Sexual innuendo and sexual content (mild, no nudity). Brief discussion of dead loved ones. Bullying between two characters that absolutely hate each other. Depiction of miscarriage and pregnancy scares.
Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous (2021) [Netflix]: This animated sci-fi, action-adventure Netflix Original follows six teens who all win the chance to attend a special summer camp at Jurassic World on Isla Nublar. However, when a few of the dinosaurs end up venturing out of their pens, this cool summer event turns into a fight for survival as chaos ensues. I semi-recently wrote a post recommending this series to people who hadn’t seen it yet in anticipation of the latest season. The third season had more terror-inducing moments and focused a bit more on the moralities of mucking around with dino DNA that I thought was neat and fun, but I’m kind of wondering if it has run its course? My hope is that the fourth season shall be its last because it’s so well-written and so well-crafted that I would hate for it to outstay its welcome and turn into something horrible. All in all, though, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for people of all ages that love dinosaurs or the Jurassic Park/World franchise. Content warnings vary by episode, but generally consist of: Action adventure violence. Child abandonment. Death (mostly off-screen, very little blood, via dinosaurs eating humans). Depiction of closed off enclosures (claustrophobia inducing). Depiction of gun usage. Attempted animal poaching. Scenes involving scared kids. Scenes with dinosaurs chasing children. Depiction of near-death via poison.
Mare of Easttown (2021) [HBO]: A suspense, crime drama about a small-town detective that works diligently to solve the murder of a young teen, which may or may not be connected to a string of young teen disappearances. I only watched this because I like Kate Winslet’s acting a lot. Realising it was a crime show about a town full of dysfunctional folx with a shite ton of baggage was all extra toppings. It’s slower-paced than most other procedural shows, but it was excellently done. I think it has moments where it can feel like it’s way too complicated but as the pieces slowly fall into place and everything becomes clearer, that web starts to feel more and more shocking and well planned out by the finale. I ended up really liking this limited series when my expectations for it weren’t so good. Plus, it was nice to get the culprit(s) wrong. That’s always a fun and satisfying feeling. If you are someone that has a fondness for slow-burn crime shows that’s very character-centric rather than crime-centric, then I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this to you. It tackles a lot of discomforting topics though, such as suicide and mental health, so just proceed cautiously if you decide to pick it up. Content warnings vary by episode but mostly consist of: Graphic language. Graphic gun violence. Blood. Smoking including underage smoking and vaping. Alcohol consumption including underage drinking. Drug usage. Suicide (on-screen) and ongoing mention of suicide. Discussions of mental illnesses. Murder. Deaths (via overdose, car accident, and murder) including death of a child. Nudity. Statutory rape. Brief scene of sexual intercourse (consensual). Bullying and physical assault of a young girl. Kidnapping and imprisonment. Mention of infidelity. Child neglect. Preparation and consumption of food.
Beauty and the Beast Season 1 (2012) [Netflix]: A crime procedural drama about a young lady who was saved by a beast on the night her mother and her were gunned down. Eight years later, she becomes a detective to help people and search for her saviour, which takes her down some murky and malignant truths she wasn’t prepared to face. I began this at the beginning of the month and picked away at an episode here and there while I worked or completed chores around the house. It’s not a super mind-blowing series by far, but it has some interesting moments to it. I also love the chemistry between the two leads, and there’s a nostalgia factor for me as well since I had a huge crush on Kristin Kreuk growing up. RECOMMENDED for people that like crime procedurals with a small sci-fi kick and stuff that’s not too graphic all around. Content warnings vary by episode but generally include: Violence and action. Blood. Deaths. Human experimentation. Brief sexual content (no nudity). Infidelity. Mild language. Alcohol consumption. Consumption of food.
The Vampire Diaries Season 1 (2009) [Netflix]: Two vampire brothers return to their home-town of Mystic Falls when they encounter a young human woman that looks exactly like their deceased girlfriend from over a hundred and sixty years ago. The last title on this list is a re-watching. This is straight up cheesy, comfort watching right here. I used to be addicted to this damned serial when I was in my early twenties. Ian Somerhalder was a big ball of deliciousness, as was Nina Dobrev. I used to crush on them both quite vehemently. Ah… good moments. I’ve seen the first few seasons of this so many times, I can quote most of the episodes. I like to put this in when I need extra noise or voices in the background while I read comics, work on writing, or am stuck on bedrest with nothing mobile games to entertain me. I’d RECOMMEND this to watchers of teenage romantic yet dark and vicious vampire fiction. Trust me, it can be corny, but at least it ain’t no goddamn Twilight… yuck. Content warnings vary by episode but generally include: Action and violence. Moderate blood and gore. Mild language. Imprisonment. Torture. Brief sexual content (no nudity). Deaths. Mention of parental death. Brief scene of attempted sexual assault. Brief fatphobia. Alcohol and narcotics consumption and smoking by minors (and adults). Preparation and consumption of food. Abusive relationships amid teens.
NCIS Seasons 5 & 6 (2007) [Netflix]: A crime drama about the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the many military-related crimes that they solve. I’m very slowly making my way through this as I work towards the more recent seasons and episodes. This is another series, like The Vampire Diaries, that I can put in as background noise while I partake in other activities since I’ve seen it so many times. Although, my recent trek through this has shown me how pro-Israel and anti-Palestine this series can be and, quite frankly, it pisses me the fuck off in numerous ways. So, as such, my regularly highly recommended rating is going down a bit to INDIFFERENT. Content warnings vary by episode, but generally include: Gun violence. Mild language. Blood. Deaths. Sexism. Misogyny. Racism. Brief sexual content (no nudity).
I don’t have any specific watching plans for June at all. My Abbu’s birthday is in June and my best friend in the whole world is visiting me sometime in the month as well. Because of that I don’t want to create any expectations that I may not be able to stick too. Although, if I were to make a small hopeful list, then it would consist of retro anime. I don’t know why, but I love watching older anime serials during the summertime. It’s an awesome aesthetic.
With that, before I bid you adieu, I’d like to make a request for horror film and TV show suggestions! I have access to Shudder and most major streaming sites, as an FYI. I’m on the prowl for a project that I’m working on, so if you have any favourites, please drop them for me in the comments. I’d be super grateful, my chums.