This movie looks terrifying. Despite pictures being released of Pennywise, the trailer never really features a lingering shot of the monster clown. This helps build up suspense for when we get an actual reveal. Plus, that slideshow sequence was absolutely terrifying. I am not the biggest horror fan but this movie has me hyped.
When you hear that Jordan Peele is going to have a new film, your mind instantly goes to comedy. But when you hear that it is going to be a horror film, your curiosity is piqued. That was certainly the case with Get Out. It deals with a black man, Chris, in an interracial relationship going to visit his girlfriend’s parents. The issue comes with not only the stress of meeting your loved one’s parents for the first time, the extra stress of not knowing how they will perceive the interracial aspect but something is off as soon as they get there.
Peele crafts the tension perfectly. One can assume that Chris is just being a little paranoid about the situation and letting his imagination get the best of him. His girlfriend, Rose, constantly reassures him that things are okay. But when he gets there the parents are a little too nice while some of the family friends treat Chris like cattle. Then things get even stranger when Chris meets the only other black pepple and they’re all a little off kilter.
For his directorial debut, Jordan Peele, who also wrote the screenplay, has knocked it out of the park. This harkens back to more old school horror as you’re aware that something is off from the beginning but the temsion slowly ramps up before the inevitable turn that puts it into full horror movie territory. Peele also never forgets his comedic roots as humor fomes from those uncomfortable moments that we’ve all experienced in day to day life but the situation at hand. The best comedic moments come from Chris’ best friend, Rod, who frequently points out the absurdity of the situation but may actually be onto something.
The cast is also top notch. Daniel Kaluuya as Chris is the standout and this performance will put him on many people’s radar. He has to convey a series of different emotions and sometimes within seconds of each other. Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener and Caleb Landry Jones as the Armitages provide a good counter to Kaluuya. If they did not work as well as they did, the film certainly would not. Lil Rey Howery is the real breakout as Rod. The concerned friend who provides the lighthearted moments to balance out the more serious elements.
Get Out is one of the best horror movies I’ve seen in some time. It does not rely on cheap jump scares, though they are in the film. Instead a well thought out story and social commentary help underline the horror elements and create a full picture. This is a must see of the year. Though it is early in the year, my favorite movie of the year.
With all the recent news coming out about the DC Extended Universe, I’m no longer in “wait and see” mode. I’m now officially worried about this cinematic universe. I loved Man of Steel and more ambivalent towards Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and have grown to really dislike Suicide Squad. So I am more about where this universe is going. But The Flash movie has now lost two directors and getting a page one rewrite. Ben Affleck has left directorial duties on the upcoming Batman movie. Suicide Squad was such a mess because of the studio being reactionary about the reception of Batman v. Superman. The DCEU is a ship that is moving but there is no singular voice and thus it doesn’t know where it’s going.
I’ve already made my opinions about Ben Affleck stepping down as director known. The Flash losing another director and getting a page one rewrite raises some eyebrows. I can applaud the execs at Warner Bros. not rushing something as they tend to have been doing ever since the announcement of Batman v. Superman. But a complete rewrite of the script? Then there is the Shazam (aka Captain Marvel) splitting into two movies with Black Adam starring Dwaynr Johnson.
Warner Bros. is in the business to make money. Makes total sense. But their biggest problem is rushing to a billion. Man of Steel didn’t make a billion so let’s scrap a pure sequel and instead let’s introduce a new Batman, introduce Wonder Woman and lay the foundations for Justice League while also paying homage to The Dark Knight Returns and The Death of Superman. That’s a lot and probably the film’s biggest shortcoming.
It has been said time and time again that there needs to be a central figure in charge of these movies. Too many cooks in the kitchen is what’s making these discombobulated. Is there hope for the DCEU? Of course. These are some of the most beloved heroes and villains in superhero fiction. But there needs to be action done and quickly to help right thr ship.
So earlier this week it was announced that Ben Affleck would not be directing the solo Batman for the DC Extended Universe. It really was not that much of a surprise considering his recent flip flopping statements about the film. How the film might not be made if the script wasn’t good enough and then how he was definitely making the film. So it was all very cluttered and just flat out confusing. But when announcing that he would not be directing the film, it was said that he would be involved as a producer and presumably his script will be used. But there are various reasons why he probably did not direct.
- Directing and starring in a film is a daunting task. Many filmmakers can and have done it before to various results. But I haven’t seen a director star in a $150 million plus action film. That has to be rough.
- Clashing with the studio. All you have to look at is Affleck’s comments about the status of the film and there is something off there.
- Live by Night was a failure. Commercially unsuccessful and critically just meh. Another big budget movie starring Affleck. This may have shook his confidence.
- Personal issues. All you have to do is read a tabloid.
So is it a shame that Ben Affleck is not directing the solo Batman movie? Who’s to say? Presumably but these things are a crap shoot. All there is to do now is focus on getting a director that can bring a unique vision to the film and also gel well with Affleck. Fingers crossed.
Well I wasn’t expecting this one. I’ve always known that Logan was going to be a different type of superhero movie. Sure you get your typical superhero fare such as cyborgs but it looks to be a really small movie. Sure a small movie with a large budget. There are a lot of open space shown such as desert and forest areas.
One of the biggest failings on the X-Men movies is that they have made Wolverine’s healing too powerful. So the solo movies have had to curb this and what better way than old age. Old age has finally caught up to Logan and his healing ability and claws don’t work like they should. One scene we see Logan actually extending a claw manually and he’s covered in scars and blood throughout.
There is the family dynamic presented in also. Professor X is the Grandpa (despite being younger than Wolverine), Logan is the reluctant father and X-23 is the child. We still don’t know if she is a direct clone of Logan as she is in the comics but the dynamic is still there. It is heavily implied that she was created to be a weapon and her creators are out to retrieve her. We know that Logan embraced his animalistic side when he was younger and regretted it later so him playing father to her is something new.
The Reavers are an interesting choice for villains in the movie. It looks like they’re the elite mooks while Dr. Xandar Rice (who may be Mr. Sinister) is the true antagonist. They are cyborgs and look to have mass resources and weapons. They would probably be dangerous to Wolverine in his prime so him being older raises the stakes. There’s no denying there will be an homage to the iconic image of Wolverine being crucified which stemmed from an encounter with The Reavers.
This is said to be the final movie for Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart as their respective characters. The bag is still out in that but if it is then it looks to be a proper send off for the characters (these versions at least) and actors. If the movie is good or not is still yet to be determined. But it looks to be a fun and different ride.
So a new year is upon us and thus that means a whole field of new movies to be released. Since it’s so early in the year, it’s a bit more questionable about the smaller releases in the year. So this list will primarily consist of the bigger movies but there will be smaller releases here and there:
10. The Founder – Honestly who hasn’t been to McDonald’s in their lifetime? So when a movie comes out about how McDonald’s was taken from a small chain to a worldwide franchise, it sparks my interest. As with most large corporations, there had to be shady dealings to get the company where it is today. Michael Keaton lately has never done wrong even in stuff like Need for Speed.
9. Logan – the suuposed final movie for Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart as Logan/Wolverine and Professor Xavier. Much about the movie is unknown except that it will be R rated and feature a little girl and the Reavers.
8. Kingsman: The Golden Circle – the sequel to the surprise hit of 2015. I highly enjoyed the first movie and wonder where the sequel is going to go. All we know is that the Kingsman will be interacting with their American equivalents.
7. Kong: Skull Island – well it is a movie about a giant ape. The largest version of Kong put to screen.
6. Spider-Man: Homecoming – Spider-Man is one of my favorite heroes and this will be his first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
5. Get Out – as someone who’s been in a lot of interracial relationships, this kinda hits close to home. I think we’ve all been there where we visit our significant other’s family and you dont know how they’ll be. Now add in a horror element and you’ve got one of my most anticipated movies.
4. Thor: Ragnarok – Thor + Hulk to stop the destruction of everything. Count me in
3. Wonder Woman – the premiere female superhero finally getting her own movie
2. Star Wars: Episode VIII – it’s no secret that I’m a Star Wars nut. So here we are with the continuing adventures of the Skywalker saga
1. Justice League – I’m a fan of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice despite its flaws. The Justice League is my favorite superhero team. So even though people have been iffy on the DC Extended Universe, it will still be interesting to see how the premiere team of the DC Universe comes together on the big screen for the first time.
10. La La Land – not what I was expecting
9. Fences – a film carried by strong performances with two powerhouse actors in the lead
8. The Nice Guys – a welcome throwback
7. Rogue One – putting the war in Star Wars
6. Hell or High Water – an exploration of the middle America
5. 13th – an exploration of how far America has come and how far it hasn’t
4. Captain America: Civil War – it’s either Captain America 3 or Iron Man 4 or Avengers 2.5 but what a great film
3. Zootopia – an animated film with some deep pathos
2. Arrival – the alien invasion movie much more than about an invasion
1. Moonlight – the exploration about the black man in America
10. Suicide Squad – what a bland movie. I’ve seen it twice and nothing about it resonates
9. X-Men: Apocalypse – what a snooze fest
8. Assassin’s Creed – the movie adaptation of a dying video game franchise
7. Boo! A Madea Halloween – Tyler Perry doing Tyler Perry things
6. Yoga Hosers – well this was a thing
5. Zoolander No. 2 – the sequel no one wanted
4. Ride Along 2 – Kevin Hart screaming for 90 minutes
3. Alice Through The Looking Glass – another sequel no one wanted
2. Gods of Egypt – the not so mighty Gods
1. Independence Day: Resurgence – the sequel that everyone thought they wanted but realized they didn’t
“Jason Bored is more like it”
Jason Bourne marks the long awaited return of Matt Damon in the title role. He also brings along with him director Paul Greengrass to the Bourne franchise. Their last movie in the franchise was in 2007. The world is a completely different place from when that movie was released. So has Jason Bourne also changed since his last appearance? Frankly, no. That’s part of the problem.
It has been nine years since The Bourne Ultimatum and about a decade in universe time since that movie. Jason Bourne has gone into hiding once again and living a quiet yet violent life. His life is in turmoil once again when Nicky Parsons returns with new information. The CIA is also after him once again and along with them they are bringing a new program for assassins. If this sounds familiar then you’re not wrong. The film is too familiar and ultimately to its detriment.
It has become old hat when a bunch of people stop and stare at a screen with a picture of Bourne and it says, ” (fill in blank) That’s Jason Bourne”. This is the fifth film and even the movie where Jason Bourne was not even in, it was was an old trope. There are the familiar car chases, action scenes that are hard to follow, an enigmatic fellow assassin who hunts Bourne and a shadowy government conspiracy are all here once again. Nothing is new. It also shows on actors such as Matt Damon who doesn’t seem too interested in the role. Bourne has always been something of a stoic person but it looks like Damon is tired in the role.
The direction and plot are tired also. The movie does not seem to know what it wants to be. One part it’s the return of Jason Bourne and what he knows or doesn’t know. The fact that the movie has to bring in father issues that were nowhere hinted at in previous movies doesn’t entirely work and seems like forced drama and more of a hand waving technique to make Bourne more redeemable for being a government killer. There is also a subplot about people’s rights in the digital age with a tech mogul. This all seems in response to the Edward Snowden incident in real life as the real life man’s name is dropped several times. The movie wants to be a methodical action movie while mixing in real life politics and it doesn’t entirely work. It seems like the creators wanted to make one movie but were forced to put Bourne into the movie.
The actors all do to the best they can with the roles they are given. Julia Stiles returns as Nicki Parsons and despite being the one returning cast member, she feels wasted. Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander and Vincent Cassel play the main antagonists. Each of these actors have varying scales of ambiguity around them as you can see certain points of view but it’s still the same thing we have seen in other movies from the series. There is nothing wrong with them but it seems like there could have been more done with the characters.
The biggest flaw with the movie is how safe it wants to be. It suffers from a case of “Remember this thing you loved from the old movies” and stumbles because of it. Jason Bourne is not a bad film. There are entertaining moments throughout. But there is nothing new about the film either. If you love the franchise, it might certainly work for you. It just didn’t work for me.
“Ghostbusters (2016) is a better version of Pixels which was a ripoff of Ghostbusters (1984)
Ghostbusters is the 2016 reboot of the Ghostbusters franchise that started in 1984. This film has been in development since the second film was released in 1989. It has seen many changes before finally finding a director in Paul Feig. Feig and screenwriter, Katie Dippold, settled to go for a complete continuity break and start fresh. Thus brings about the new Ghostbusters which is an all female crew. The four Ghostbusters are played by Melissa McCarty, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. So how is this film? It’s okay.
The plot of the film is basically the same as the 1984 film. This is a new team composed of two people who are versed in the paranormal but shunned, someone who shares in their belief and somewhat oft kilter and a layman who all join forces to take on the new threat to New York City. This was pretty much a safe bet and hard not to see why they did it but it still feels like something new could have been done. Though like the original film, the chemistry between the four helps elevate the film than what it could have been.
Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig have the best chemistry out of the two. This is probably due to working together before in Bridesmaids and also having the same director from that film in Feig. Melissa McCarthy was the biggest question mark to me as I have never been a fan of her work and she has a noticeable gimmick that is unfunny to me. But she plays it straight along with Wiig which was something unexpected. Unfortunately they really have nothing to do after the first act but they are solid performers. Leslie Jones was probably the biggest surprise as I have only seen her in bit parts outside of Saturday Night Live. She works really well with the rest of the cast and has much more to do compared to her counterpart in the 1984 film. Kate McKinnon is the only one who didn’t sell me completely. I didn’t think she was bad but she seemed to be in an entirely different movie which sometimes work and sometimes didn’t.
The rest of the cast also falls in line with McKinnon as they are all broad and outlandish. Chris Hemsworth gets the noticeable role as the secretary to the new Ghostbusters who is a complete idiot. It’s subtly implied that he’s gotten by in life due to his good looks. It was refreshing to see Hemsworth’s comedy chops but his character is a little too dumb sometimes. Andy Garcia as the Mayor also shows his comedy chops and makes you wonder why he hasn’t had too many comedic roles in the past. In fact he gets one of the biggest laughs towards the end of the movie but more on that later. The rest of the cast are just there and not worth much. In fact the villain is entirely forgettable and going into the movie I did not even know who the villain was and leaving, I realized why. He’s just a nothing character. Though the form the villain takes does answer a big question I’ve had about the Ghostbusters for some time.
So where does the problem start? About halfway through the film, once the Ghostbusters become an official team. After that, the movie is formulaic and and predictable. The third act is a complete mess. It rips off the ending of the 1984 movie and has destruction that is seen in superhero films. Paul Feig is a talented comedic director but when it comes to action, he probably should have gotten a better second unit director. It just becomes a series of computer generated ghosts and clutter. What doesn’t help is that there are no set rules for how to deal with ghosts like in the 1984 film. The third act is not very fun but Andy Garcia’s Mayor does get a moment where I found myself laughing.
Ghostbusters is not a bad film but it is also not a great film. I am not a big fan of the original film in 1984 so I can say that I did not have a bias going into the film. The cast helps elevate the film as you can easily see where it would fall apart if it a lesser cast of Ghostbusters. If there is a sequel, you can see where it would shine as most of the hard work is out of the way now. If you are a fan of the Ghostbusters in general or the four women, I will think you will enjoy this. But I can’t highly recommend it myself.