Tag Archives: universal pictures

Get Out (2017) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


get-out-2017-2In an age of reciprocal storytelling and an audience that clamors for something new there sometimes comes a breakthrough. The writer and directorial debut of Jordan Peele presents a fresh concept with a thrilling take on social commentary. Not only is ‘Get Out‘ a thriller but it also has a mix of comedy and a great ensemble cast. The film stars Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, and LilRel Howery. As the story goes, Chris is about to meet the parents of his new girlfriend, Rose. What starts as a warm welcome then turns to bizarre events¬†as Chris realizes he may be caught in a sinister plot.

We’ve been fortunate to have seen some great work from new and upcoming directors from these last couple of years. And this is no different as Jordan Peele takes risk in using social commentary of interracial relationships and injecting a bit of horror. After watching ‘Get Out‘ the one thing I appreciated most was how simple the concept was and didn’t overcomplicate itself. Many times movies can bombard itself with plot twists and then lose focus as to what made the movie effective in the first place. Credit also has to be given to the cast because they didn’t over do themselves nor did they fall victim as movies tend to do.

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I’m not going to go into detail as to what happens in the movie because everyone should go in with a fresh set of eyes. All I will say is that there was a great use of suspense that managed to carry all the way through the film. Not once are you looking at your watch and asking yourself if the movie is over. And again, the movie runs with great pace that allows the audience to stay on their toes. Daniel Kaluuya, who plays Chris, on many occasions was paranoid considering he was black and if you put yourself in his shoes you would be just as freaked out. That’s what made the movie unique and many people from all walks of life could connect with his character.

This was a great film and one that took me by surprise. Jordan Peele is on the right track and has a bright future in his film career. Could we see another project down the line that mirrors a similar plot? It’s too early to tell but I hope we get more of these because original features seems too much to ask now-a-days.

Rating: 8/10

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What do you guys think of ‘Get Out‘? Do you plan on watching the movie? Comment below and share your thoughts.

Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


ouija_two_xxlg-jpegThe Halloween season is looking quite bare with little scares coming out but all may not be lost as Universal returns to conjure up evil spirits in ‘Ouija: Origin of Evil‘. When Hasbro and Universal teamed up with their original outing back in 2014 with ‘Ouija’, it turned out to be a terrible bland mess of a movie. Audiences weren’t digging; however, the box-office had something else to say as a $5 million* budget landed them $103 million* globally. With a new director in Mike Flanagan, the studio looks to take the Hasbro property in the right direction and give audiences a truly terrifying experience.

Set in the 1960s, a mother of two girls is in the business of fortune telling and scamming her customers in believing they’re making connections with the deceased. However, when her youngest daughter Doris discovers the Ouija board and begins to make connections with the dead, she unwittingly sets loose a demonic spirit that not only devours her soul but endangers her family as well. The film stars Elizabeth Reaser, Annalise Basso, and Lulu Wilson.

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Having seen the original film two years ago it was one of the blandest experiences you can imagine. There was a scrambled story with plot holes that were bigger then the glass of the Ouija piece. Though the production had eerie imagery and nicely shot scenes, it couldn’t bear the weight of its faults. So going forward with Ouija 2 was not something I was looking forward to and when the trailer came out there was already a disposition that wasn’t winning me over. But leading up to its release and favorable reviews by critics I must say that ‘Ouija: Origin of Evil‘ was a vast improvement from its predecessor.

Doing a time piece in the 1960s was a good decision because we got to see an authentic look of how the Ouija board was perceived and giving it a game feel as it was originally marketed as. There also has to be credit given to the production from the lighting to the opening credits and the sequences of terror when Doris comes into contact with spirits that was followed by disturbing imagery. One scene that will be mentioned and was in the trailer was involving Doris and her body folding backwards. When you watch the film and you see exactly what’s happening to her you’ll get goosebumps.

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The acting was a plus, given the fact that the film focused on a mom and her two daughters; whereas in the last outing we didn’t get a sense of connection with the teenagers as they were hunted down one by one while being pretty much disposable. Here we get a reason to care for the characters especially when it involves Alice’s deceased husband and father to their two girls. Elizabeth Reaser plays the mom and was awesome as she tries to make a living while also trying to help people with what she considers a legit way of making a living despite how others would question her as a medium. She’s followed by Lulu Wilson who was genuinely creepy while encountering the spirits that overtakes her body.

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Now having given credit for being a better movie then the original ‘Ouija‘, there are still problems with the movie. For instance, the pacing was all over the place because it starts by taking its time and focuses a lot on Alice and her daughters reminiscing about their long lost father. Then once the possessions take place you’d think the suspense would build and build but instead it takes its time and hardly has moments of real terror. A pastor, played by Henry Thomas, is an example as someone who you’d think would play a bigger part in the movie but the opposite happens and your left shaking your head. Why certain things are happening aren’t fully explained either which was frustrating.

A surprise turnaround with genuinely terrifying imagery and better-then-expected performances, ‘Ouija: Origin of Evil‘ dishes out one of the better experiences going back to 1986’s ‘Witchboard‘ which outlasted it’s less then stellar sequels. After ‘Ouija‘ in 2014 it was stated there could be many sequels in the works. With positive word of mouth it can be safe to say another sequel will be rolled out pending the box-office result considering the lambasting of the original.

Rating: 6.3/10

What do you guys think of ‘Ouija: Origin of Evil‘? Are you planning on watching the movie? Comment below and share your thoughts.

Source: BoxOfficeMojo

Hail, Caesar! (2016) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


MV5BMjQyODc3MTI2NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDMxMjU2NzE@._V1_UY1200_CR64,0,630,1200_AL_From the directors who brought us ‘No Country for Old Men‘ and ‘True Grit‘ comes a 50’s telling about a studio executive trying to keep everything in line as communists kidnap their lead actor in Baird Whitlock. The movie has a star studded cast with Josh Brolin, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, and George Clooney.

The easiest way to explain ‘Hail, Caesar!‘ is the plot point of George Clooney being kidnapped and held ransom to the demands of communists who want to expose Hollywood for its propaganda. Although the main plot is on Clooney and Josh Brolin we’re also introduced to different plot points where we follow actors with struggles in their own right. There really isn’t a simple way of explaining the film because none of it really ties into one another. It’s one of those things where audiences may be put off by the un-cohesive plot.

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Aside from main story arc between Eddie Mannix and Baird Whitlock, one of the other side stories involved Rodeo actor Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich) who goes from western to drama. It comes as a new experience for Doyle, who with an obvious accent, finds the transition a little bit difficult. Easily the best side story where you couldn’t help but laugh at Doyle’s attempt to play a serious scene when his accent and demeanor is glaringly off. Another scene that stood out was when Eddie Mannix met with religious men and wanted their input on Capital Production’s newest film ‘Hail Caesar‘. There’s a moment when the conversation about how the movie’s representation of the son of God that turns hilarious as they each argue.

The movie is getting many praise while others are pointing out the flaws of an unfocused script. I fall in the middle because as there were many moments of laughter there just wasn’t much to go on as to an understanding. Production value is great with drop-ins to Hollywood shoot scenes. It’s difficult to comment on the acting because none of the side plots came together thus ultimately leaving it to a scene by scene basis. Very entertaining with plenty to laugh at, audiences may find ‘Hail Caesar!‘ a mystery at the end.

Rating: 6/10

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What do you guys think? Do you plan on watching ‘Hail Caesar‘? Comment below and share your thoughts.

Ride Along 2 (2016) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


Ride-Along-2-PosterPatrol Officer Ben Barber is about to marry to James Payton’s sister Angela. But when an encrypted hardware leads to a drug dealer it forces James to go to Miami, however he’s not so sure about Ben tagging along. Ben wants to prove himself to James that he’s cut out to be a police officer and to Angela that he can be taken seriously. Director Tim Story returns to the helm the sequel after a successful $154.5 million* run at the box office with 2014’s ‘Ride Along‘. Both Ice Cube and Kevin Hart come back along with a few additions in Olivia Munn and Ken Jeong.

Though he may be type casted as we’ve seen in the last few go arounds, Kevin Hart is a good entertainer that with the right people he can pull off some good fun. Same can be said for Ice Cube and with both personalities your sure to get some good laughs, right? With ‘Ride Along 2‘ you get the typical good friends with one of them being the smartest and the other not so much. Let’s be honest, if we had officers like Ben Barber we’d all be in trouble and the faith in the law would be in question. Where I found a disconnect was the chemistry between Hart and Ice Cube. At times you found there relationship to be at odds and for much of the first half of the movie the focus was put on Ben’s wedding while the villain in this case was saved for the second half. When things shifted to Miami is when the fun is to be had.

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Unfortunately for the sequel it’s a step back from what we got in the original. There really wasn’t a story to it or even to serve a purpose. What’s meant to be a comedy the movie tried to be dramatic with the wedding angle and it didn’t fare so well. There wasn’t a problem with Ice Cube because he plays a decent undercover detective and when things went down you could take him serious. However Kevin Hart’s character just didn’t mix well and feels more like a miscast. One of the funniest moments took place when Barber, Payton, and Maya (played by Olivia Munn) arrive at the home of Antonio Pope (Benjamin Bratt) where an event is taking place while undercover. A dispute over their names not being on the party list leads to a few punches between Payton and Barber that to me was the funniest bit of the entire movie. As a whole the laughs just wasn’t enough to salvage the fun which is too bad because I expected a little more.

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In what could’ve been a great follow-up to the first ‘Ride Along‘, we’re left with a thin plot and not much to enjoy. The theater I went to had a couple of laughs from the audience but for the majority of the runtime it was dead silent. One thing that was cool to watch was a quick appearance by Tyrese Gibson who in the ¬†beginning rolls in with James Payton in what felt like a ‘Fast and the Furious‘ moment so that’s something to keep an eye out for. What had potential to be a great follow-up turned out to disappoint. Nothing could’ve salvaged the film and won’t leave you with much to remember.

Rating: 4/10

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What do you guys think? Do you plan to watch ‘Ride Along 2‘? Comment below and give us your thoughts.

*Source: Box Office Mojo