Tag Archives: 2018

The First Purge (2018) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


the first purgeIt’s the one night America gets to celebrate and unify as a nation. No it’s not the Fourth of July but a new tradition that sparked attention around the world, the Purge. After three films the franchise goes back to its roots and explores the origins of the night that changed the country forever. This marks the fourth entry in the series by Universal and stars Y’lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, and Marisa Tomei. Will you survive the night?

The Purge franchise is unique in the sense that when it first arrived to audiences in 2013 it caught many people’s attention. Though it stumbled in execution the one thing it had going for it was the concept. It being that for one night a year, for 12 consecutive hours, citizens are allowed to commit any crime; including murder without penalty. The movie however cheated itself by staying confined within a home as a family fights off intruders and an un-welcomed guest. The sequel, Purge: Anarchy would take full advantage of what didn’t work for the first film and turned into a fun action thriller. Then finally, ‘Purge: Election Year‘ delved into the politics behind purge night and saw a battle for survival as an appointed candidate races to end the night of the purge. It leads us now to the origins of the purge and how this yearly tradition came to be.

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As a new party rises to power an experiment is introduced to showcase the benefits of American citizens acting out. With a monetary reward citizens of Staten Island are given the opportunity to participate in this controlled experiment. But as the night descends upon the island its citizens are in a fight for survival and the real motives behind the event begins to unravel.

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With anticipation I went into the movie with low expectations and the possibility of being let down. The marketing didn’t sell me completely as the trailer led me to believe it was a purge movie but also felt like it could be a street drama. And as one could expect my fears became reality as the movie was a little unbalanced. So much has been speculated regarding the New Founding Fathers of America and how the party rose to power; along with the idea behind the purge itself. What started out as promising very early on in the opening of the film it later descends into familiar territory. And that’s where it became a wasted opportunity.

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So much of the film is focused on character development and each of the story lines that it slows down the movie. If we had to compare films it would have to be that ‘Purge: Anarchy‘ did a much better job in managing three or four story arcs without sacrificing the pacing. The main focus in ‘The First Purge‘ should have been on the people behind the purge and not of the citizens of Staten Island. Because we have already been exposed to a purge night in the previous films it defeats the purpose in repeating a similar plot but with different purge victims. This answers my initial problem with the marketing of the movie and the trailer as it focuses a lot on the victims and not the origins aspect.

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Let’s focus now on the people behind the scenes as we’re introduced to the lead architect of the experiment, Dr. Updale (Marisa Tomei). When the movie focused on her character and the motive behind the purge as it was unfolding was fascinating. Unfortunately, the movie decides to do something at the mid-way point and it cheats the audience which to me wasn’t cool. Again, the focus is unbalanced and felt wasted when characters just suddenly disappear.

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By the films end the movie concludes the night of the purge with the survivors of the experiment. And to make matters worse the movie decides to forgo the aftermath as to enacting the purge as an annual event. However if you stay for the credits there is a quick snip it of how the purge is born. Again, the movie suffers from a wasted opportunity in focusing on the perpetrators behind the purge.

To rank ‘The First Purge‘ it would come 3rd or 4th in the series behind 2013’s ‘The Purge‘. The movie was such a disappointment and was foretelling in the trailer as already explained. It’s not to say there’s nothing to enjoy but you walk out of the movie wanting more. Maybe the television series will address the New Founding Fathers in more detail. As a fan of the franchise I would recommend to go watch because of the origins component. But for the general audience I would wait till it comes out on demand or DVD.

Rating: 6/10

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Are you planning on watching ‘The First Purge‘? How would you rank the films in the franchise? Comment below and share your thoughts.

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A Quiet Place (2018) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


a-quiet-place-movie-posterA family taking refuge in the outskirts of town are surrounded by creatures that hunt by sound. Their new way of life becomes challenged as obstacles begin to mount with survival on the line. The film is directed by actor John Krasinski and stars himself with fellow actress Emily Blunt.

There has been an uptick in actors turned director in the last few years; a good example, Joel Edgerton who made his directorial debut with ‘The Gift‘ in 2015. The film was met with praise by critics and was favored by audiences. A promising start that would make way for other actors to get their fair chance. With ‘A Quiet Place‘, actor John Krasinski takes a rather simple idea and turns into a suspenseful and smart piece of work.

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From a cinematic perspective the film was gorgeous to look at with amazing cinematography. The attention to detail also made the movie that more rewarding as you truly felt what was at stake given the circumstances the characters had to live through. For a good majority of the movie there was little to no use of background music thus replaced by natural sounds. Doing so allows the viewer to stay in suspense while hammering in the idea of what can be taken for granted in the everyday life of humanity. As creatures seem to be taking over the world they are attracted to sound. By committing noise it gets their attention and thus leads to an attack. To live in a new age of silence will challenge everything you once lived and the new reality that comes with it.

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The acting is top notch with both Emily Blunt and John Krasinski as their chemistry makes the viewer believe everything that is happening throughout. Never was there a moment when you questioned their motives because of how careful they were to prepare for if or when a threat was imminent. The children in the film, played by Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe, were great as each of them had their own personal struggles; especially during the opening sequence as a loved one suffers an early demise. From that event it carries on throughout the movie and eventually brings closure by the film’s end.

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Some of the best moments came from when the wife, Evelyn Abbott, had to bare a child while chaos ensued. The suspense kept building and building and wouldn’t let go. More importantly however never did the film feel like it had to go out of its way in exposing what or where the creatures came from. A typical cliche that many movies fall victim to and thus destroys the mystery behind their existence. No exposition or voice-over from any of the characters at any point during the film. It was just a matter of living in that moment of time and experiencing the disruption of life that befall the family. The ending also brought a little bit of laughs with much satisfaction as credits began to roll.

From an actor turned director, John Krasinski is well on his way to becoming a much appreciated asset. ‘A Quiet Place‘ is an example of cinema done right and that continues to prove that less is more.

Rating: 8/10

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Are you planning on watching ‘A Quiet Place‘ in theaters? If having seen the movie, what did you think of it? Comment below and share your thoughts.