Werewolves Within – A Movie Review

I honestly had no idea this movie was based on a video game, nor did I really know anything about it. I wanted to see it for one simple reason, and one reason only–Sam Richardson.

In my opinion, Sam Richardson is one of the funniest guys out there. I first discovered him on VEEP, and that’s where he won me over for life. Apparently, I’m not the only one. His IMDB page suggests he’s getting plenty of work!

Werewolves Within is about a very nice–maybe too nice–forest ranger (Richardson) sent to a small town called Beaverfield. This tiny town is warring with itself due to a proposed gas line that wants to run right through the middle of it. Half the town wants the money, half the town wants to preserve the envrionment.

Richardson’s character, Finn Wheeler, quickly befriends a new postal worker named Cecily Moore, played by Milana Vayntrub (the former AT&T lady). Richardson and Vayntrub have superb chemistry with each other, and Vayntrub proved far funnier than I ever suspected.

Besides the pipeline controversy, the town soon appears to suffer from a violent creature picking off residents, pets, and generators. That creature? A werewolf!

Before long, Richardson, Vayntrub, and a host of hilarious actors are trapped in a bed and breakfast as the werewolf prowls outside. Personally, I got major Clue vibes at this point, and that’s a total compliment. Of course, as you expect, they quickly begin to suspect one another as the actual werewolf. At that point the film quickly reaches a climax and draws to a close.

I have to say that I found Werewolves Within highly entertaining with some truly funny moments. However, be warned, at times it’s surprisingly violent and even a little scary. Furthermore, I actually became invested in the mystery concerning the werewolf’s true identity. Not to worry, it is revealed by movie’s end.

If you like horror and comedy, and you want a quick, 90-minute film, I recommend Werewolves Within. Richardson is great, as always, and Vayntrub proves she’s got comedy chops as well. (And after researching her IMDB page, I feel stupid for writing that last bit about her. She’s been on fire for years and years.)

The Tomorrow War – A Movie Review

I honestly had no idea what to expect from The Tomorrow War. Chris Pratt is always a little hit or miss with me. I love Sam Richardson, but I’ve only seen him in funny movies. I also love J.K. Simmons. I only knew Betty Gilpin from GLOW, a dramedy. I’d never heard of Yvonne Strahovski. The director, Chris McKay, sounded familiar, but I couldn’t quite place his name.

Anyway, I figured what the heck. The trailer showed time travel and monsters, so that’s really all it took for me to give it a shot. (In addition to Sam Richardson, of course.)

Though The Tomorrow War is FAR from perfect, I still very much enjoyed it.

The premise is that soldiers from the future come to the present in order to recruit ordinary citizens to fight aliens back in the future. They’ve literally run out of people, so now they are drafting those from our era in order to keep fighting. Chris Pratt, a science teacher and former combat soldier, is one such draftee. He must leave behind his little daughter and loving wife in order to save the future, and none of them believe they’ll ever see each other again.

Once Pratt’s character arrives in the future, things get both visually spectacular and a little hard to accept. On the one hand, the special effects look amazing with horrifyingly beautiful aliens. On the other, I simply could not believe that a platoon of regular men and women from 2021 would be able to fire an automatic weapon, much less operate as a cohesive unit. After all, they had virtually no training and still wore their street clothes.

However, after that initial hiccup, the movie took some very interesting twists and turns. Yes, The Tomorrow War is part comedy, part sci-fi action film, part drama, part horror movie, part war flick, part family saga, and part social commentary, but it’s ALL entertaining. Really, in the end, isn’t that what you want?

By the way–Chris McKay? He directed The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie. Things are making more sense now, right?

Truthfully, The Tomorrow War triggered far more emotions that I anticipated. I don’t care for Chris Pratt as a sex symbol, but I really liked him as a dad just trying to do the right thing. I also found the dynamic between J.K. Simmons and Chris Pratt quite interesting. And, as you know, Sam Richardson owned every scene that featured him. Unfortunately, Betty Gilpin found herself underutilized. If you want to see her full range, check out GLOW.

Furthermore, I mentioned that I didn’t know Yvonne Strahovski. She ends up doing a LOT of emotional work in this film, and she pulled it off well. I still don’t know where she came from, but I think she’s got a solid future in acting ahead of her. (UPDATE: I’ve since realized that she is Serena Joy Waterford from The Handmaid’s Tale. No wonder she’s so good! Obviously, she’s already had a very successful career and will continue to do so.)

The Tomorrow War is literally all over the place. Yet, I have to say that it delivered a fairly tightknit story that, as far as these kinds of stories go, mostly made sense. Obviously, when time travel is involved, nothing makes sense, but you know what I mean.

One more thing–The Tomorrow War looks great. The effects are amazing, the aliens appear grounded in reality, and the cinematography is visually striking. Sometimes these heavy effects movies don’t quite look right on the small screen, but not so with The Tomorrow War. Amazon got it just right for our living rooms.

If you like action movies, Chris Pratt, time travel stories, J.K. Simmons, special effects, or monster movies, I think you’ll get a kick out of The Tomorrow War. If nothing else, just watch it for Sam Richardson.