Bloody Mondays – Kevin Smith Returns to Horror

This is the first in a series I am experimenting with here at Talking Stars where I review a horror film I have seen each Monday. I call it Bloody Mondays. I hope you’ll read these posts, RT them and leave a comment. Thanks in advance. Be sure to check out Darren and I’s horror podcast episode at the footer of this post. Enjoy.

Holidays is an anthology of horror stories NOW STREAMING on Netflix. The short films share the theme of holidays including a twisted Easter and fu**ed up St. Patrick’s Day. They range from creepy and unsettling to gory and outright macabre. Anthologies can be great because they get to the conflict and solution much faster than other genre films. There are some truly scary anthology horror films out there, but can this one compete? Let me tell you what I think.

Among the directors is Kevin Smith of Tusk fame. Since that is one of my favorite horror films from 2014, I had high hopes for what he did her. I’ll go ahead and say there isn’t anything as horror-comical as Tusk but there is some stuff just about as twisted. In one, religious folk may be offended. If you decide to give it a go, keep your mind open with the jaws of life. I think I’ll be a recovering religious person my whole life and I loved it. Traditionalists should steer clear. The first three are generally vanilla.

The 5th, Halloween, stars Kevin Smith’s daughter Harley Quinn Smith and gets into sex webcams. The girls say fuck quite a bit, which is not necessarily bad depending on how much you enjoy hearing that from cute girls. Basically the 5th takes you into the twisted, vengeful mind of Kevin Smith. I’ll hold back on details but I can safely tell you we see an asshole get his without spoiling anything.

I’m a big horror fan. I love watching what can be done in this genre. Kevin Smith pushes the limits and gets great results in my opinion. Smith’s contribution may be seen by some as unimaginable but when you’re dealing in vengeance art, you never know what will appeal to people. I’m reminded of the rape scene in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

The 6th, Christmas, stars Seth Green. It’s fun to watch but not unique to me. See Brainstorm 1983 for more info on that (what’s a little remake posing as plagiarism between friends?). Oh, there’s a little sleight of hand from Dexter playing in there as well. For the genre of anthology horror, I’d say this one is worth my time. How open minded do you have to be? Well, enough see a climax per sequence which, if you think about it, better than the single big one we’re usually limited to. The final sequence takes place on New Year’s Eve and I will call it the most predictable. The anthology could be better in places but it also could be a lot worse overall. My verdict: Worth watching.

Wondering what you’ll see? Let me know in the comments. Then, get on Netflix where it’s currently streaming and see for yourself

Darren and I have reviewed many horror films on the podcast. Here’s our popular episode where we discuss the best horror films of 2016:

Talking Stars Episode 53 Cinema Manager – Sports Heptathlon Draft

NON-Spoiler Show. Continuing the sports blogathon hosted by Kira and Josh, we are going to have ourselves a good old fashion draft to select 7 sports movies to show in a fictional cinema to show over one week to see who gets the most tickets sold, each player will have to pick 7 different sports too. We would like you to come and vote for who you think has made the best team.


Host – Darren – Movie Reviews 101


Damien – Riley on Film
Kira – Film and TV 101
Josh – Reffing Movies

The Teams


  • Nacho Libre
  • Here Comes the Boom
  • Breaking away
  • McFarland USA
  • Kicking and Screaming
  • Rudy
  • Big Blue


  • Invicitus
  • Eddie the Eagle
  • Any Given Sunday
  • Rush
  • The Fighter
  • The Wrestler
  • Cool Runnings


  • Warrior
  • Creed
  • The Crash Reel
  • Dodgeball
  • Gridiron Gang
  • Foxcatcher
  • Shaolin Soccer


  • Cars
  • The Big Lebowski
  • Remember the Titans
  • Point Break
  • Blades of Glory
  • Escape to Victory
  • The Descent

Reckless (2015)

Movie Reviews 101

recklessDirector: Mora Stephens

Writer: Mora Stephens, Joel Viertel (Screenplay)

Starring: Patrick Wilson, Lena Headey, Ray Winstone, Richard Dreyfuss, John Cho, Dianna Agron, Christopher McDonald, Alexandra Breckenridge


Plot: A family man has it all until he risks losing everything due to his inability to fight off his obsessive temptation for other women.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Strong Thriller


Story: Reckless starts as we meet Federal Prosecutor Sam Ellis (Wilson) who is on the verge of a bright political future. When Sam’s latest case may require the witness to be a high earning former escort he finds himself drawn into the website and with his wife Jeannie (Headey) away takes the risk and calling for an escort.

When Sam decides to move on with his political career to become District Attorney but his obsession…

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#52 Repo the Genetic Opera – Film Club – Darren’s Pick

Spoiler Show. In what is my (Darren) second choice for the Film Club, I picked one of my guilty pleasures, Repo! The Genetic Opera.

repoThis film centers around the idea that in the near future you can get body part transplants for a price but when you stop paying you will have them taken from you, all while having an opera background to the whole story. it would be fair to say we have mixed opinions on this film so come and see who did or didn’t enjoy this film.

Host – Darren – Movie Reviews 101


Damien – Riley on Film
Kira – Film and TV 101

Films Covered

  • Repo the Genetic Opera

Talking Stars Episode 51 – Actor Focus Bill Paxton

Today we return to an actor focus, we focus on the late, great Bill Paxton who sadly passed away earlier this year.


In this show we may get into a few spoilers but we are trying to avoid any major ones. We are looking at this great actor’s work through the years with Movie Rob joining us for the discussion. Rob and myself both pick a film to try and sell to Kira to watch.

Host – Darren – Movie Reviews 101



With a special message from – Damien – Riley on Film

Films Covered

  • Aliens
  • Near Dark
  • Twister
  • Titanic
  • Frailty
  • Tombstone
  • Nightcrawler
  • Apollo 13
  • Thunderbirds
  • True Lies

#50 Movie Fights!

We’re pleased to present you with a discussion of sport films Million Dollar Baby and Hoosiers in a mock sports competition format.

img_1714-2Today we had Josh from Reffing Movies hosting the show. It’s a fiesty one with Kira and Damien battling it out over their respective films. Both films had to be in keeping with the sports theme of Kira and Josh’s current “Play to the Whistle” Blogathon. In one corner, Damien has Hoosiers, a basketball drama starring Gene Hackman and Barbara Hershey.

Damien and Kira talk trash like professional wrestlers in he show, it’s a lot of fun (for us anyway). Hope you’ll have a listen! Tell us what you think. We would really like to get some comments from you listeners so please don’t be shy and if you think you’d like to be on our podcast, let us know that as well! Thank you very much for listening and participating through commenting.

#49 Quentin Tarantino

Tarantino has many amazing films. We discuss some of them in terms of his style and technique as a director. This was fun, I think it gave a sense of how his work reaches people in all parts of the globe in powerful ways. Kira hosted this show. We covered the films below. -Damien

Kira (Host) – Reservoir Dogs
Damien – Pulp Fiction
Audrey – Inglorious Bastards
Darren – Deathproof
Josh – Django

Please leave us a comment!

#48 Chariots of Fire – Film Club Discussion

The notes for this episode were prepared by Damien. It’s my turn to present and lead the podcast with a favorite film. “Chariots of Fire is a 1981 British historical drama film. It tells the fact-based story of two athletes in the 1924 Olympics: Eric Liddell, a devout Scottish Christian who runs for the glory of God, and Harold Abrahams, an English Jew who runs to overcome prejudice.” -Wikipedia Also joining him as usual are Darren, Kira and a special guest appearance by Sabrina a new friend of the show.



“[imdblive:plot]” -IMDB



Directed by


Written by


Other Info

IMDB Rating: [imdblive:rating]

Ironically I have been pushing the team for shorter shows. Since I started doing that, I have led some of the longest episodes. Maybe shorter isn’t necessarily better. We’ll see how our unique style of show continues to evolve. This one had a lot of meaning to me and so I allowed myself to elaborate longer than usual. The running time is just over a hour, so it’s not that long.

As a quick aside here at the get-go I want to recommend our own Kira’s sport movie themed blogathon Play to the Whistle currently taking submissions.


She is partnering with Josh of Reffing Movies, also a friend of Talking Stars, we’ve had him on a couple times and hope to see him here more.

The Panel:
Damien Riley (Hosting today)
Kira Comerford
Darren Lucas

Special Guest:

The panel went around and shared their impressions by answering questions.

Here are a few questions we cover in the episode: Abrahams was not accustomed to losing and didn’t take it very well. He referred to his last Olympic race as “. . . ten lonely seconds to justify my whole existence.” What did he mean by this? What was running to him? Was this a healthy attitude?

Was Liddell correct in refusing to run on Sunday in a “respectful but firm resolve to do what was right?” The Prince of Wales asked him to be patriotic and run on Sunday for the benefit of his country. Here, two parts of the same Pillar of Character conflict. Think about what Liddell said about why he ran. What choice would you have made? Why?

Was Abrahams correct in being sensitive to anti-Semitic comments by others?

What was a part you especially liked about this film? disliked?

Then the blog film critics gave their ratings.

Sabrina’s answers to questions about Chariots and specifically the lead actor Ian Charleson. Sabrina is the curator and owner of an Ian Charleson appreciation site. Ian plays Eric Liddell in the film and sadly passed away too soon at the age of 40 of AIDS. He was a remarkable talent. She kindly answered some questions about him and Chariots for our broadcast.

Questions for Sabrina:
1. Please tell us about yourself and your twitter page about Ian Charleson.

2. You mentioned the film is “unforgettable.” I would agree. What makes it special do you think?

3. What are your favorite scenes with Charleson?

4. Clearly there is irony in a gay man playing Liddell. What can a Culture if #equality get from this film by way of message?

5. Tell us about Charleson other work apart from this films. What do you think are his best performances?

We thank Sabrina for adding to the show. The sites she mentioned are linked here:
Sabrina’s blog:
The tribute page:

Next the critics did a “Whatchya Been Watching.”

Finally in the concluding segment. My final thoughts on the film and our discussion, I thank the panel, any give other announcements.

#47 Logan Review



“In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X somewhere on the Mexican border. However, Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are upended when a young mutant arrives, pursued by dark forces.” -IMDB


Hugh Jackman Logan
Patrick Stewart Charles
Dafne Keen Laura
Boyd Holbrook Pierce

Directed by

James Mangold

Written by

James Mangold, Scott Frank

Other Info

Action, Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Fri 03 Mar 2017 UTC
IMDB Rating: 8.5

This show will contain Spoilers
In this show we discuss the movie Logan, X-Men Universe and just who could take over as Wolverine in the future.
Darren – Movie Reviews 101
Becky – Film Music Central
Jason – Jason’s Movie Blog

Talking Stars – Summer Movie Preview

This show we each have pick what we think will be the top 9 Box Office successes of the Summer of 2017 (April to August), we are also going to pick the 3 movies we think will bomb in the Box Office. All our results are judged on the US Box Office results.

Darren – Movie Reviews 101
Becky – Film Music Central
Damien – Riley Film Reviews
Kira – Film and TV 101
Josh – Reffing Movies
Dan and Laura – Film Ink Podcast
The Lists
1. Spiderman: Homecoming
2. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
3. Wonder Woman
4. Despicable Me 3
5. Pirates of the Caribbean 5 Dead Men Tell No Tales
6. The Fate of the Furious
7. War For the Planet of the Apes
8. Dunkirk
9. Baywatch
1. The Mummy
2. Sandy Wexler
3. King Arthur
1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
2. Alien Covenant
3. Spiderman: Homecoming
4. Wonder Woman
5. War for the Planet of Apes
6. Dunkirk
7. The Fate of the Furious
8. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tale Know Tales
9. Valerian and the City of the 1000 Planets
1. The Mummy
2. Transformers: The Last Knight
3. King Arthur
1. Alien Covenant
2. Wonder Woman
3. Despicable Me 3
4. Baby Driver
5. It Comes at Night
6. The Mummy
7. The Dark Tower
8. Annabelle 2
9. War for the Planet of the Apes
1. King Arthur
2. Baywatch
3. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
1. Dunkirk
2. Alien: Covenant
3. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
4. Baby Driver
5. The Zookeepers Wife
6. Belko Experiment
7. Atomic Blonde
8. The Hitman’s Bodyguard
9. The Beguiled
1. The Emoji Movie
2. The House
3. Unlocked
1. Spiderman: Homecoming
2. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
3. Wonder Woman
4. Alien Covenant
5. The Fate of the Furious
6. The Emoji Movie
7. Baywatch
8. Atomic Blonde
9. Free Fire
1. Smurfs The Lost Village
2. Cars 3
3. Rough Night
1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
2. The Fate of the Furious
3. Transformers: The Last Knight
4. Spiderman: Homecoming
5. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell no Tales
6. King Arthur
7. Terminator 2 3D
8. All Eyes on Me
9. Alien Covenant
1. Smurfs Lost Village
2. The Mummy
3. Baywatch
1. Spiderman: Homecoming
2. Despicable Me 3
3. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
4. Transformers The Last Knight
5. The Fate of the Furious
6. Cars 3
7. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
8. Wonder Woman
9. War For the Planet of the Apes
1. Valerian and the City of 1000 Planets
2. Emoji Movie
3. King Arthur