Upgrade is That Fun One-Off Movie You Need in Your Life Every Couple of Years

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Grey Trace played by Logan Marshall-Green. picture via pajiba.com

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:

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Ep. 6: Strangers on a Train

Movie Geeks, it is time for me to review a movie I haven’t seen before. I explore the world terror, suspense, and circumstance in the 1951 classic Strangers on a Train, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. I am not too familiar with his films so it was nice to be able to view this movie along with my friends Shawn and James. We discuss the film from the plot, to the characters, to the cinematography. Are black and white films still relevant? Who still talks to random strangers? Also, is it really necessary to remake this film? We answer all of this and more in this episode of Movie Geek & Proud. Enjoy the show.

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Question of the Week #6

Next week on the podcast of Movie Geek & Proud I am reviewing an Alfred Hitchcock movie I have never seen before. I think I may have seen 3 or 4 of his directorial films. So comes the question of the week: How many of Hitchcock’s films have you seen? 

QotW6

Comment and share which ones you have seen and if you are familiar with his work, you should be able to tell which movie I am going to cover in Ep. 6. Take a guess in the comments or listen to the latest episode of the podcast and find out. 

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Becoming a patron you receive bonus and extended content, shout outs on our episodes, participate in polls to shape this show the way you like it, help pick out to review in future episodes and more starting as low as $1.00. Check it out.

Breaking In Review

Gabrielle Union has come a long way since she waved those Pom-Poms in the air talking about “Go Clovers” and telling us its cold in here. Since then she has always shown strength and characters in her roles as a tough woman who works hard for what she wants. Now she joins a list of women who star in their own thriller where she will play someone who kicks butt and takes names by any means necessary. A couple of examples that come to mind are Beyoncé in Obsessed and No Good Deeds with Taraji P. Henson. I recommend seeing both titles by the way. It’s Union’s turn up to bat as she stars in her own thriller where she plays a single mom who has to protect her family from home invaders in the movie Breaking In.

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Picture via latimes.com

Aside from a great performance from Gabrielle Union, the movie scripts and execution fell under many clichés and troupes most people are familiar with leaving the movie to be lost in an ocean of typical thrillers blended in with the rest and most likely soon forgotten. So close to Mother’s day, this was the perfect time to release a film like this. A single mother of two, who is visiting the home she grew up in after her Father’s passing, is interrupted by some intruders who have their own specific agenda. What makes this particular film different is that while most plotlines involves escaping the invasion, Union’s character Shaun is trying to break in and rescue her children who are kept hostage while the intruders complete their mission.

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Bad Samaritan Review

While Robert Sheehan and David Tennant are wonderful in their respective roles as good enough and evil. Their performances didn’t disguised the watered down horror thriller we received. This is disappointing to me because the trailer really gave me a sense that it would deliver a more intense thrill ride. Does that mean the film is horrible? By no means, no. I actually liked the film but just didn’t live up to its potential.

Before I get into that confusing initial reaction, let’s go back to the beginning. Bad Samaritan stars Sheehan as a struggling artist Sean Falco and part of a two man valet team in front of an Italian restaurant in Portland, Or. They come up with a clever way to make a little extra cash by using their customer’s car as a way to find their home address and break into their homes to find anything of value while the car owners are having a meal. Clever idea, why didn’t I think of that. They choose to rob the home of the king of all douchery, Cale Erendreich and discover a girl chained and strapped to a chair in his office.

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Acrimony Delivers A Compelling and Complex Story About Relationships

Just fresh off of her action packed crime thriller Proud Mary, released back in January of this year; Taraji P. Henson just can’t seem to stay off the big screen. Reunited with director Tyler Perry for their 3rd movie together 2nd playing the lead, Henson delivers a performance full of fire, passion, anger,  ill feeling, resentment, malice, hostility, and bitterness in her latest film. All of that emotion describes the term Acrimony, which is the title of the movie. They picked the perfect person to display all the above and she does it with style in this thriller. I love seeing Henson on screen big and small and while this film shows how much determination she puts into these films, this character somehow stems from a script that puts her over the top in a familiar way you see in Perry’s films.

Before I decided to write this review, I had to see it twice. I also wanted to get different perspectives on the movie from someone else. So I saw the movie twice with two different people and this movie just brings out so many thoughts and conversation. It is not cut and dry as you think. This is a very complex story. I mean, it’s about relationships and what is more complex than that. Never black and white, always a grey area. Some of the emotions I was feeling during this movie were sadness, anger, frustration, disappointment. There were just so many things that happened that could have went the other way and these two love birds could have lived happily ever after.

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Unsane (2018) Review

Unsane, the movie that promotes Apple iPhones while scaring the crap out of you is what I want to talk about today. Steven Soderbergh is trying something new with his career of filmmaking and that is filming a movie entirely with an iPhone on a 1.5 million dollar budget. Tackling my favorite genre, horror/thriller, he is bringing a disturbing and compelling story to us on the conditions of the human mind and how it can become our worst enemy if driven to the point.

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Pic via indiewire.com

Claire Foy (Netflix’s The Crown) plays Sawyer Valentini, a woman who relocated from Boston to Pennsylvania to escape the dangerous environment she experienced while being a victim of a stalker. While trying to start over she is still being haunted by this and can’t seems to let go of the fear she talks with a psychologist who convinces her to unknowingly commit herself to a behavioral center and slowly starts to realize that once you check in you can’t check out. To make matters worse, she believes that her stalker has followed her to the hospital but the question is; is she telling the truth or going insane?

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