One of the most anticipated movies of the year has finally been released. Just from the trailer, to the buzz from critics and audiences, and of course the plot has everyone intrigued with what is so special about Sorry to Bother You. Let’s not forget that it stars one of the best up and coming actors in the game right now and that’s Lakeith Stanfield. Stanfield has been blowing up with is performances in last year’s Get Out and while not critically acclaimed movie, his performance in Netflix’s Death Note was great. How did his performance and this latest film from Director Boots Riley turn out to be?
Instead of a trilogy, The Purge is now officially a franchise. Surpassing the trilogy milestone, Blumhouse Productions has decided to give us an origin to the dangerous and violent phenomenon we have become a part of since 2013 when the first film was released. This franchise continues to grow with each installment feeling more closer and closer to the real thing and stepping out of the horror fantastical world it has created. Advertised and promoted as an anti-Trump film from the poster of his orange/red hat “making America great again” to a lot of the themes in the films, using the purge as a device to control the population and also thin the numbers to the low income and ethnic population in the U.S. Now comes the question, do we like that these movies are speaking more towards social and economic commentary or would we like to keep it as a fictional tale showcasing a world that is nowhere near our future for entertainment value?
I saw two new comedies over the past weekend and both films happened to give the opposite effect that I was expecting when going in. While one was underwhelming considering the cast is one of the best ensembles I have seen in a while, the other I think will be one of underrated movies of 2018. Can you guess which is which? People watch and view movies for their own reasons and what they want to pull from it. I do my best to go into each film with an open mind and remember that while my opinion is being presented for everyone to see doesn’t make it the only opinion nor do I represent the opinion of others. This review will be a true testament to how I review movies from an entertainment value perspective.
Playing a little catch up on here, I wanted to combine a few movies I have seen in the past couple of weeks and keep the momentum going on my entertainment scale for critiquing movies. I have heard mix reviews of all three titles I plan to write about in this post and that is Life of the Party, Solo, and Tully. As I saw each film I was already with expectations of what I will see and with one of them a twist. Sometimes that can change how you watch a film and also the final verdict. So how did these movies pan out?
I had the pleasure of attending the L.A. premiere of the latest sci-fi/horror/action movie Upgrade written and directed by Leigh Whannell. It was nice to be able to watch this film on the big screen with the cast and crew of the film as well as other eager fans who couldn’t wait to watch this unique storytelling combined with heavy exhilarating action. This film exceeded expectations and it wasn’t until after I left that I realized I needed this movie in my life more than I thought.
Mostly known for his writing Whannell has been involved in some of the genre changing film in the past decade. Whether its acting, writing, or directing, he has been a part of the horror genre with Saw and the Insidious Franchise as well as writing smaller titles like Dead Silence and horror comedy Cooties, which I think everyone should check out. Now on his second director/writer project after Insidious: Chapter 3 comes the techno/thriller Upgrade, a story set in a Dystopian future where technology is used to complete normal and mundane task but also serve as a solution in preventing or stopping crime in a timely matter. A man who has been paralyzed after a brutal mugging is given the opportunity to walk and take revenge on those who did this to him with the help of a new piece of technology that hasn’t been used on another human being. With his new-found ability to walk along with the help of an AI that enhances his body, he sets out to get justice for what has happened to him.
I know what you are thinking, what is unique about this film. It’s basically Robocop, The Crow, or any other revenge movie out there. Fair enough, doesn’t mean the format doesn’t work if you give it just a little twist. This is what stood out for me in this movie:
Even though the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy has come and pass, we still can’t escape it. The book has managed to creep up on us when we least expected. Bill Holderman’s directorial debut managed to remind us of the erotic guilty pleasure in the latest rom-com Book Club. Written by Holderman along with Erin Simms gives us a movie you have seen many times before with a great and well-known cast telling the story that even in the world of filmmaking and acting, age is only a number.
Diane Keaton (Something’s Gotta Give), along with wonderful actresses Jane Fonda (Grace and Frankie), Candice Bergen (TV’s Murphy Brown, Miss Congeniality), and Mary Steenburgen (TV’s Last Man on Earth) are four best friends who meet for a monthly book club and have their lives changed once the book of the month is “50 Shades of Grey”.
Keep in mind folks that this spoiler free review will be from the mind of someone who doesn’t follow the comic book lore that well and has only experience this character through the first installment of the franchise. I had a lot of laughs from Deadpool 2 but there was just something missing from it that I can’t put my finger on that would make this a better movie than the first. With all the Deadpool reviews via blog post, podcast, websites, etc. I am sure you have heard in great length how this movie pans out to fans if it’s a good follow up from the first. I am late to the game and I saw this movie right when it was released last Friday. Seeing as Deadpool back in 2016 was my favorite movie of that year, this sequel had a lot to live up to.
The sequel, from Director David Leitch with writing team including Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, is very clever this time around regarding the story. If you all remember from the first one, the story and its lead character, Deadpool played by Ryan Reynolds, is bat shit crazy. Given its Rated R status, basically they could have done almost anything they wanted. This time they actually gave you a story and some character development. I honestly didn’t think that was possible but Deadpool actually went through some growth while deciding to protect a young mutant with lethal powers from a futuristic time traveler Cable, who has come back to kill him before he can become the deadly killer he is destined to be. To pass the torch of the franchise along, Deadpool has decided to put together a team of heroes to help him save this young boys life and continue the franchise afterwards. You are also perplexed as to who the villain of the film actually is. I found that to be very interesting but for some, because it wasn’t clear in the film could translate to a sloppy unorganized script. I actually didn’t mind that it wasn’t as cut and dry. It fit into the overall message of the story so it worked for me. There is also a surprised character that pops up that I didn’t see coming at all and I liked it.