REVIEW: ‘Ready or Not’ is a fun way to end summer 2019

Before this movie whenever I heard the phrase “Ready or Not” I thought of the Fugees song. Now, I might think of a very bloody wedding reception.

“Ready or Not” follows the character Grace, played by Samara Weaving, on her wedding day. While nerves are nothing new for a person on their wedding day, Grace is having a bit more anxiety than usual because she happens to be marrying into a massively wealthy family.

She’s calmed down a bit, though, by her fiance Alex (Mark O’Brien) and her new family, who provide pleasantries and reassurance. That is until it comes time for the family tradition of having a game at midnight. The family decides to play a game of Hide and Seek, with Grace being the person to hide. At first Grace just thinks it’s a silly quirk, until it turns out the family is actually hunting her as part of a sacrificial ritual. As a result, Grace’s wedding night turns into a fight for survival.

Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Ready or Not’ is a fun way to end summer 2019”

Advertisements

REVIEW: ‘Meters Down’ sequel doesn’t rise too much in quality

Young characters do something they shouldn’t and end up having to deal with a force of nature. Pretty straightforward stuff for a shark movie.

Going into a little more detail here, “47 Meters Down: Uncaged” is a sequel to 2017’s “47 Meters Down,” which I didn’t see. Despite not being brushed up on my “47 Meters” lore, though, this one is pretty easy to dive right into.

The movie follows four teenage girls, with the main characters being step-sisters Mia (Sophie Nelisse) and Sasha (Corinne Foxx). Their father is a diving explorer who is researching an ancient underwater city.

On one afternoon, the two girls and their friends decide to check the location out for themselves, but in doing so, they come across a shark that’s evolved to live, and hunt, in the dark. As a result, the four now have to try and survive with limited oxygen in a what’s basically an underwater maze.

Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Meters Down’ sequel doesn’t rise too much in quality”

REVIEW: ‘Blinded by the Light’ is blinded by cliches

Bruce Springsteen’s music works well in movies, as shown in “Jerry Maguire” and “The Wrestler.” But if just one Springsteen song in a movie isn’t enough for a person, they may find the jackpot in “Blinded by the Light.”

Set in late 80s Britain during the time of Margaret Thatcher’s leadership, “Blinded by the Light” follows the story of teenage student Javed Khan (Viveik Kalra) under a lot of stress. In the midst of a recession, his parents Malik (Kulvinder Ghir) and Noor (Meera Ganatra) who immigrated from Pakistan are struggling to make ends meet.

In the face of financial hardships, signs of racism and pure teenage angst, Javed searches for some escapism. He ends up finding it in the music of Bruce Springsteen. After hearing a few tapes, he becomes hooked and turns into a mega-fan, with the music even inspiring him to become a writer. However, his new style and swagger runs into conflict with the ways of his father.

Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Blinded by the Light’ is blinded by cliches”

REVIEW: ‘Bernadette’s’ mystery isn’t worth checking out

Director Richard Linklater is a great talent in the film industry. The “Before Sunrise” trilogy, “Boyhood,” 2011’s “Bernie” and even 2017’s “Last Flag Flying,” have all been solid entries to his filmography in this reviewer’s opinion.

However, when it comes to “Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” the filmmaker, along with the cast and crew, drop the ball.

Bernadette, played by Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett, is a retired architect who now spends most of her time trying to restore the home where her family now resides. Her leaving the industry, though, has led to her enjoying life less and less, and it doesn’t help that she’s not exactly sociable.

The latter is especially portrayed by her having a bad relationships with other women in her neighborhood and her marriage becoming strained. As the movie progresses, these stress factors eventually become to much and Bernadette ends up leaving to pursue a sort of self discovery journey. By itself that’s not a particularly bad thing, except she doesn’t end up telling anybody.

Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Bernadette’s’ mystery isn’t worth checking out”

REVIEW: ‘Fallen’ series rises back up with third installment

Alright, listen up. This movie features a fugitive. What this piece will entail is a hard target review of every character, plot detail, and the set design of every White House, hen house, out house and dog house on screen.

“Angel Has Fallen” once again features U.S. Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), who now protects President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman). In the previous movies, Trumbull was House Speaker while the president was Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart). But now, Trumbull is running the country and he’s under the protection of a super agent.

It’s an action movie, though, so of course something has to go wrong. In this case, a massive attack with dozens of drones rigged to blow are set loose on the President and his security detail while on a trip away from D.C. In the aftermath of the attack, the only survivors are Trumbull and Banning, making the latter the prime suspect. Banning, being innocent, quickly sees he’s being set-up and goes on a journey to clear his name and protect the president from the next attack.

Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Fallen’ series rises back up with third installment”

REVIEW: ‘Good Boys,’ good comedy

Those transitional years between the elementary level and high school level can be a rough time for kids, and that’s especially true for the three characters featured in “Good Boys.”

The movie stars Jacob Tremblay as Max, Keith Williams as Lucas and Brady Noon as Thor. The three best friends are on the more nerdy side of things in their school and as a result aren’t shown to be with the “in crowd.” However, opportunity arises when Max and his friends are invited to a party where there may be, gasp, kissing.

The trio is hyped to go, but days before the party, an incident involving a broken drone and drugs causes them to skip school and go on a quest of sorts to set everything right without their parents finding out.

Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Good Boys,’ good comedy”

REVIEW: Tarantino’s fantasy version of ‘Hollywood’ is mostly worth checking out

The year 2016 brought audiences films like “La La Land,” “Hail, Caesar,” and “The Nice Guys,” featuring stories ranging from crime to comedy to drama in Los Angeles. Perhaps Director Quentin Tarantino was inspired by that year in film, because his latest feature “Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood” contains all three.

The movie primarily follows two fictional characters working in the Los Angeles area. Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) is an actor known for his work in western TV and a few action B-movies. Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), meanwhile, is his stunt double and best friend. Unfortunately for Rick, he’s not in high demand anymore and finds himself doing smaller roles, often portraying the villain of the week.

Rick still lives in a nice house, though, and his neighbor just so happens to be Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie). As Rick’s career has been on a decline, Tate meanwhile has a career taking off in the year 1969. With all of this going on, there’s a third element lingering in the background, the Manson Family cult taking up residence in LA.

Continue reading “REVIEW: Tarantino’s fantasy version of ‘Hollywood’ is mostly worth checking out”

REVIEW: Real life ‘Lion King’ is mostly lifeless

All of my worries were confirmed.

Those who have watched the 1994 animated classic will find themselves in familiar territory here. James Earl Jones plays the role of Mufasa again in “The Lion King,” and as the title implies, is a lion who’s king of a large amount of land. Mufasa’s Pride Lands are thriving thanks to his leadership and he now has a son, Simba to inherit the kingdom.

Unfortunately, the monarchy is thrown into chaos by Mufasa’s plotting brother Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor), who wants to take the throne. This leaves Simba (JD McCary and later Donald Glover) in a period of exile.

Continue reading “REVIEW: Real life ‘Lion King’ is mostly lifeless”

REVIEW: ‘Crawl’ delivers solid creature entertainment

Florida Gators, well known for their basketball and football abilities, along with terrorizing families in hurricanes.

The types of gators featured in “Crawl” refer to the latter, although a horror movie with Tim Tebow would be entertaining.

Anyway, “Crawl” tells the story of Haley (Kaya Scodelario), a college swimmer who’s just wrapping up practice as a dangerous hurricane starts moving in on Florida. The campus and pretty much everyone else in the area opt to evacuate, but Haley finds out her dad Dave (Barry Pepper) hasn’t been answering his phone and could still be in the path of the storm.

Haley travels to her home town and in fact does find her dad at her childhood house. The problem is that Dave has been severely injured in a crawl space by an alligator which is still around the area. With the storm producing floods as time goes on, Haley and her father are in a fight for survival, both against rising water and more gators brought in as a result.

Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Crawl’ delivers solid creature entertainment”

REVIEW: ‘Midsommar’ is as stylish as it is suspenseful

Whoa nelly does this one get wild.

Florence Pugh plays Dani in “Midsommar,” the second feature film from director Ari Aster who last year helmed the fantastic “Hereditary.” Dani is a college student who, in the first act, goes through a major tragedy in her life. The subsequent depression Dani goes through becomes a point of stress between her and her boyfriend Christian (Jack Reynor).

However, she gets an opportunity to get away for awhile by traveling abroad to Sweden to spend time at a rural town by way of an invitation from their friend Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren). Dani, Christian, along with their friends Josh (William Jackson Harper) and Mark (Will Poulter) decide to go with Pelle for the trip, both to study the culture and have some fun. While the town they go to seems to be just a calm place holding a midsummer festival, though, the lead characters soon learn about some rather disturbing rituals by the locals.

Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Midsommar’ is as stylish as it is suspenseful”