Reviews

‘Us’ Review

Creep on in on in. Jordan Peele follows up Get Out with a stellar sophomore performance. Lupita Nyong’o shines, but Winston Duke steals the show.

A family’s serenity turns to chaos when a group of doppelgängers begins to terrorize them.


What is your deepest fear? For some, it’s heights or spiders. Some people have fears that we can even begin to imagine, like the fear of peaches. But what about fearing oneself? Deep down we truly are our own worst enemy right? Have you ever seen someone out in public that you swore was someone you know, or stumbled upon a photo of someone who looks just like you? It can be creepy, the old adage that if you ever time travel, you are forbidden to ever see yourself because the human psyche couldn’t handle something like that. Well now imagine not only seeing a mirror reflection of yourself, but that every person is here to kill you. The concept of duality is very interesting when used correctly in the film. What if we all had our own double out there somewhere, but we just didn’t know it? Duality is a very large theme within Jordan Peele’s new movie Us, his incredible follow up to the cultural phenomenon that was Get Out.

I can’t even fathom the amount of pressure Jordan Peele must have felt when making and writing this movie. Get Out literally changed his life forever and will be regarded as one of the best horror movies of all time, and perhaps one of the best movies of this decade. Those are some rather large shoes to fill for your follow up. But, if you had one great idea, you’re bound to have more right? Well, not only is Us going to be a smash hit, in some ways he ups the ante from his previous movie. Onions have layers, Ogres have layers, this movie has many layers. Sometimes adding a ton of layers won’t always translate to success and people enjoying your movie more. In fact, peeling back too many layers can be tiresome and at times boring. There’s a ton to digest with Us, it packs a punch. The movie at times can feel psychedelic and almost hypnotic with the imagery we are given. Peele crafts some spectacular shots, one that includes shadows of our family as they walk on the beach. Like I mentioned, duality and mirror images are a large aspect of this film. Speaking of the family, let’s meet the Wilson’s shall we?

Nothing screams vacation like fighting with your family. Now being hunted down and having your doppelgänger trying to kill you is a whole other ball game. Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) Gabe (Winston Duke) Jason (Evan Alex) and Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) are just your typical American family trying to have some fun at the beach. Now, for a movie like this, there is no way I’m giving away anything, I wouldn’t do that. Just know, the trailers don’t even scratch the surface of what this movie is, which I was pleasantly surprised with. Jordan Peele did an incredible job keeping this thing hush-hush. Lupita gives one hell of a performance, one of the best that I can remember in a horror movie. She’s doing a lot here because these four are also playing their counterparts. But Winston Duke man, that’s my new guy. The way I would describe him is simple, he’s – “that’s how I would act kind of guy.” What he’s saying, how he’s acting, he’s doing all the things use average joes would do when faced with these circumstances. The best part about this whole film is how Peele is able to serve up comedy in some scary and suspenseful moments. One misstep and it could have fallen so flat on its face, but it’s the chemistry between our four leads that make it work. They really feel like a family, it’s some of the funniest moments I can ever remember in a horror movie. I want to see this again, which I will, solely for one comedic moment, because I was howling with laughter. The rest of the cast, which is pretty small was just so perfectly crafted. Elizabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker and Cali and Noelle Sheldon play family friends and they were all terrific as well. Fun fact with the twin girls, they played Emma, Ross and Rachel’s daughter in Friends, and now I made you feel old.

My only small gripe with the film was the ending like I said there is a ton to peel back, no pun intended. I wasn’t exactly sure what Peele was going for and he’s asking a lot from his audience, and either you’re going to go there with him or like myself just have maybe a few questions that seem unanswerable. I am not letting that take away from this terrific, suspenseful, master craft of cinema. Jordan Peele is the real deal, and we have just another gifted filmmaker among us and I can’t wait to see what he does next. Go see it, go see it twice, let’s support this man, because he deserves hit. Us could have the biggest box-office openings in history, couldn’t be happier for the guy.

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Us = 94/100

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‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’ Trailer

Quentin Tarantino is back and he’s bringing Leo, Brad and Margot Robbie with him. The new holy trinity!

What a great week for movie trailers! High on my most anticipated list, how can it not be? Starring some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, no pun intended and made by one of the greatest living film-makers this world has to offer. How can you not be excited for this. We haven’t gotten a Leo performance since 2015.

A small sample size of what’s to come, and I don’t think people are ready for what this movie is truly going to be. The Manson murders will be involved and yes it seems that Leo and Brad are just cracking jokes the whole time, that won’t be the case. Remember who’s behind the camera. Mr. Tarantino, he loves blood and violence, I expect this movie to turn bat-shit crazy at some point. I’ve been waiting my whole adult life for Leo and Brad to finally team up and star in movie together. This will be such an incredible ride and a joyous experience. Can’t wait for this.

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‘Toy Story 4’ Trailer

Just when you thought it was finally over. Pixar reels you back in, with a spork.

When I sat down in the theatre all those years ago to watch the very first Toy Story, who knew that over 20 years later, we would be sitting here talking about the 4th and final installment. You can’t deny that Pixar doesn’t know what they are doing. Do we honestly need a 4th Toy Story? Probably not. But somehow they have made this captivating and I’m once again invested in our beloved toys. How can you not be, once we hear those voices of Hanks and Allen, you almost can’t help but get a tad emotional.

This feels like Toy Story 2 and 3 all wrapped into one. We are going on a road trip, and finding out what it truly means to be a toy. Meeting up with some old friends, while making new ones. I’m sure the last ride with these friends will be bittersweet.

It’s pretty darn cute this Forky aspect of the film. It’s something that feels new and fresh and so far from what we have seen from previous iterations. Which makes this more interesting, because it’s a nice new spin on a franchise that could very well feel old and worn out.

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New ‘Avengers Endgame’ Trailer!

Most of the same, but that still means it’s glorious.

Remain calm everyone, the epic finale 10 years in the making is almost upon us. But first we get one last trailer. What a nice surprise to wake up too on this Thursday morning. There wasn’t any word on this coming out today, but it’s almost time, so they need to put one last tease out before the biggest showdown ever.

I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to edit one of these trailers, because well we all know that most of our fallen heroes will return but they don’t want to spoil that. We do however see that Tony Stark makes it back to Earth and is reunited with those left standing. That was probably the biggest “spoiler” from this trailer, but if you didn’t see that coming, well Quicksilver would just be disappointed in you. Very little footage was given to the team behind the trailer, that’s why it feels almost the same as the first one to drop, but you should be okay with that. I didn’t expect them to reveal anything, even something as small as Tony Stark back on Earth.

Can’t wait.

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‘Aladdin’ Trailer – YIKES

Okay, it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever seen, but it’s close, like super duper close.

This was like a car wreck that you couldn’t look away from. My god, holy shit, aye caramba. It feels like a million years ago that I actually thought this movie wouldn’t be a total dumpster fire. This is the New York Knicks of movies. I hate everything that I just witnessed in this trailer.

There is so much wrong with this adaptation, I don’t really know where to start. A British girl to play a Persian Princess perhaps? The fact they have turned Jafar into the softest villain of all time perhaps. Man, I don’t want to over do it, but part of my childhood lost its soul while watching this heap of garbage. Yes, I’ll be there opening weekend, yes it will make a boat load of money. But it seems they don’t even try. This is Hitch, but now Will Smith is a Genie. What a terrible miscast. I am in awe of just how terrible everything looks. Do not let them suck you in with catchy songs. That magic will not work on me.

Maybe I’ll be wrong. Maybe this turns out great. But everything we have seen so far has just been awful. They just released a new poster and IT DOESNT EVEN HAVE THE BLUE GENIE ON IT. This is going to be the worst movie of the year. Like if you’re going to do Aladdin, cast the right people for the roles. Why are we white washing the female lead. Just make Hitch 2 Will.

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‘Book Smart’ Trailer

I’ll sum it up for you. It’s Superbad but with two hilarious girls. Olivia Wilde about to knock it out of the park with her directorial debut.

Being a book worm in high school, can’t say that was me. Honestly I think that would have been a better title for this film, but what do I know? This was one of the two comedy trailers to drop today, and this really took me by surprise. Hot of the heels of Eighth Grade and Lady Bird, we are going hard R here for what appears do be a great time.

I’m getting a big time Superbad vibe here and ironically enough, Beanie Feldstein is Jonah Hill’s younger sister. Who was in Neighbours 2 and Lady Bird and terrific in both. The other star Kaitlyn Dever is also terrific in anything she is in. This will have a ton of laughs and I’m sure full of messages for young girls and plenty of heart to go around. I actually think Beanie Feldstein is one of the funniest Young actresses working today, and she is going to kill it here.

The premise is nothing new, but quote on quote “losers” going to their first party is always a great movie trope to grasp onto. The rest of the cast is rounded out nicely, and I hope Skyler Gisondo who you might recognize from Santa Clarita Diet plays a big role, because he’s funny as hell.

Word is spreading that Olivia Wilde crushes her directorial debut and I couldn’t be happier. Playing at SXSW right now, it’s the talk of the internet today. Potential to be 2019’s funniest comedy.

Reviews

‘Captain Marvel’ Review

When you’re going to these movies for the mid-credit scene, maybe it’s not a great sign.

Carol Danvers becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races


The good old MCU. The most reliable thing in Hollywood today, maybe in the history of Hollywood. It took them just over 20 movies to have their very first female-led superhero flick. Enter Brie Larson and her portrayal of Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel. You can always count on an MCU movie to do two things; make a ton of money, and seriously divide nerd culture. From the very get-go, I truly wasn’t on board with Brie Larson suiting up in the MCU. She’s a fine actress, an Oscar winner, and has been a staple in Hollywood for years now, but something just didn’t click with me. After seeing the movie, I personally think she lacked any sort of charisma and her whole performance was very vanilla. In a world where Marvel has perfected casting, I just think they could have found someone more suitable. She doesn’t come across as Captain Marvel or even a superhero. Where RDJ, Evans, and Hemsworth are literally walking incarnations of their characters. I think the main reason I’m not down with Captain Marvel is that for the last 12 years we have watched our Marvel heroes struggle time and time again, they have lost so much. Scarified, over and over again. After the events of the Infinity War, people were legit shook. Now, Captain Marvel is dubbed the most powerful person in all of the MCU and she will be very much responsible for defeating Thanos. Which seems so unearned, actually it is so unearned and it doesn’t even seem fair to be honest. She almost gets a happy ending, and we don’t really know where she’s been and why she has decided to wait until everything legit went to shit to show her face. This movie did a terrible job at telling us why she has been gone. In fact, she tells Nick Fury “only for emergencies.” I think aliens invading Earth through a massive portal in New York wasn’t a large enough emergency.

I just felt this whole movie was a 90s nostalgia trip, that was needed in order to have this girl in our lives before the events of Endgame play out. I even took some flack online saying I felt this was one of the weakest MCU origin films we’ve gotten. A huge blockbuster directed by a woman, starring a woman is fantastic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t talk about its flaws or be honest with how you feel about it. It’s Sunday on its opening weekend and it’s sitting with the 6th highest global opening ever with 455 million dollars, this movie is going to be fine. It’s just not what I wanted it to be. The only great aspect of this film was Sam Jackson’s and Brie Larson’s onscreen chemistry, it was actually quite fantastic. De-aging him worked really well, they should be doing this in more movies. But Jude Law is an utter waste, as one of the weakest MCU villains Yon-Rogg. You get Jude Law in your movie, you should make the most of it. Ben Mendelsohn plays Talos, and he was finally put in a great role. After a few duds in a row, it’s amazing to see him back in a fun role. I just felt the movie as a whole was choppily made, and for being so powerful, I didn’t think we even got a “cool moment” from her.

Just not a whole lot happens in her first outing, we don’t know why she decides to do what she does and really anything about her. And now we have to sit back and watch her take over the MCU? I have zero emotional investment with this character, and that’s a shame really. She doesn’t even lose anything in the movie. I just wanted it to be over so I could see the lead into Endgame. And the mid-credit scene was dope, but my biggest question after all of this. How will she interact and fit in with the rest of our heroes? Most of them might not be around at the end of Endgame, but still, she’s on the main building blocks in the MCU going forward. Even though I disliked her origin flick, I think in a group, Brie Larson could shine. I’ll find out soon enough, and I’m hanging on with the littlest of hope that this will be the case.

Overall, Captain Marvel falls in the middle of the pack for MCU movies, I’m dialing back some of my critiques of the film because I do think overtime Brie Larson can grow into this role. She’s got a lot to prove to me in Endgame, I just think it’s not right and so unearned that she gets to come in now and be the hero. I hope this is all handle so well next month. I just think it fell short of my expectations

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Captain Marvel = 67/100

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‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 Trailer

The world is simply not ready for this. ANYONE BUT JAMIE PLEASE GOD.

What a gigantic bomb to drop on this fine Tuesday afternoon. My god. It’s been 24 months since we last saw these characters and it’s about to be the bloodiest six weeks of our television watching lives. Game of Thrones truly the last great television phenomenon, maybe ever.

I will say it time and time again, the world just ain’t ready for what’s about to transpire. I know I’m not. People we love will die, and it’s going to be the greatest television spectacle this world has ever seen.

What a tease. I am SHOCKED they had a trailer for season 8, they don’t need to lift a damn finger. The whole world will be watching. We are talking Moon Landing here. If you don’t watch. Now is the time to catch up. You do not want to be left out of this conversation.

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‘Shazam’ Trailer Sparkles

Shazam is going to be so much fun. Zachary Levi is so perfectly casted. Further proof that Eminem makes everything better

Been waiting a long time for the second trailer to DC’s new upcoming superhero flick. When are only a month away from the release of Shazam, the 15 year old kid turned into an all-mighty budget Superman. I mean that in the nicest way possible. In fact the highlight of the trailer was Billy trying to leap a tall building in a single bound, only to crash into it, and apologize to everyone. Found that to be hilarious.

They aren’t showing us a ton of action, because either there ain’t going to be a whole lot or they just don’t want to ruin anything for us. I’m okay with either outcome, because we have enough CGI slug-fests coming out this year. I’m looking forward to them telling us the story of how a 15 year old kid would react and behave if he gained extraordinary powers. It’s like the light-hearted Chronicle if you ask me. Toss in some Elf and Big vibes and I think Warner Brothers has a serious hit on their hands. The cast is so flawless, Zach Levi is about to blow people away, with his wittiness and his kid like charm.

After the massive box-office success of Aquaman and all the Batfleck drama I think this is exactly what the DCEU needs right now. Some good old fashioned family fun. Shazam appears to be powerful and will only gain more power, don’t forget that Dwayne Johnson will be his arch-nemesis in Black Adam. Don’t think we will get any appearance from him, but that will soon be on the horizon.

Everything so far looks great and they haven’t even shown us much. Another hit is coming down the pipeline for DC.

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New ‘Hellboy’ Trailer

The reboot of Hellboy looks like some good old devilish fun.

There are so many movies coming out in 2019, I honestly completely forgot that the new Hellboy was one of them. I don’t want to take anything away from it, but in a year with a Joker movie, Endgame and the new Spider-Man, it’s really hard to keep track of all the superhero flicks coming out. Now, after saying that, and having this trailer reminding me that we are in fact getting a Hellboy reboot, what can I say, I’m kind of excited.

It has some massive shoes to fill, the previous Hellboy movies were not box-office juggernauts, but they had Guillermo Del Toro’s flawless visuals and a charming lead in Ron Perlman. Two things that will he hard to follow up, but man David Harbour looks just as comfortable in this role as his counterpart did. One thing the previous instalments didn’t have was a rated R version. It seems so perfect having Hellboy rated R, and we even get a little taste of that in this trailer. They just seem to go hand-in-hand pretty seamlessly and I was digging this thing. Way better than the first trailer, and when the lead of your movie works to pretty much perfection, well it goes a long way for your film. It also always helps to have Ian McShane attached to your film, that man is so damn fun to watch.

This could also turn out to be just a complete mess and a CGI slug-fest, but I actually think we will have a very entertaining movie on our hands. The future lies in the box-office, I just think Hellboy is an awesome and fun character and I enjoy watching him beat things up. Pretty simple.