Reviews

‘Knives Out’ Review

The latest “whodunit” from Rian Johnson brings an all star cast together in one of the most entertaining movies of the year.

A detective investigates the death of a patriarch of an eccentric, combative family


Nothing brings family together quite like a good old fashioned murder. That’s exactly what happens in Rian Johnson’s latest film, that stars so many famous people, it’s like a buffet of Hollywood’s elite. You’ll have a ton of fun with Knives Out, it keeps you guessing until the very end, and isn’t just a run of the mill murder mystery. With top-notch performances and fantastic cast, this is the movie to see right now in theatres. Legit the perfect date night movie.

Everything is going as usual at the Thrombey residence, it’s Harlan Thrombey’s (Christopher Plummer) 85th birthday and the entire family has gathered to celebrate. He’s an extremely wealthy man, a celebrated author and has collected a vast wealth over his life span. Here’s the thing, he’s growing weary and tired of his blood-sucking family who essentially have been leaching off him for their entire lives. His children Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis) Walt (Michael Shannon) and Joni, who is his daughter-in-law but treats her as his own (Toni Collette) are all after one thing, money. Even their own children have turned into money craving lunatics. There’s one person who Harlan wants to spend time with, his only true friend left on planet Earth, his nurse Marta (Ana de Armas). So when dear old dad dies, it’s a legit free for all on who is going to get what. That’s also not a spoiler, it’s in the trailer. Ana de Armas is so lovable and sweet throughout the movie. She might not be a giant household name, but she’ll be climbing those ranks after this.

So obviously with a murder it brings police. Not only that it brings world class detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) who has been tracked down and hired to help solve this case. Here’s the kicker, he is usure of who as contacted him and hired him, but he’s here none the less. Daniel Craig is so good here, he’s got this deep southern accent that gets you every time. Actually referred to as “CSI KFC” at one point. There’s so much talent on screen at all times, Don Johnson, LaKeith Stanfield, and then the standout of the film, Captain American himself, Mr. Chris Evans. Who plays Harlan’s grandson Ransom, who is known as the black sheep of the family. Chris Evans is so awesome in this, funny, charming, bit of a prick. It’s always nice to see actors step away from the capes and turn in a memorable performance. It’s refreshing to see Evans in a role like this, complete opposite of what we are used to as an audience, and he really comes in during the second half of the film, but he fills up the box score pretty quick with limited minutes.

Movies like Knives Out are complicated to discuss because well you don’t want to ruin or spoil a single thing. This movie is just so well made, from the production design, the whole thing is basically set in the Thrombey mansion and it’s spectacular. Everyone is having so much fun “hamming” it up with their performances. We often don’t get movies like this, and it’s one of the best “whodunit” movies in recent memory. Rian Johnson just continues to impress the hell out of me. 3 movies in a row, 3 vastly different genres and they’ve all been great. That’s a hard feat to pull off.

Try to go into Knives Out knowing as little as humanly possible. Watch maybe a trailer but not even. I guess if you’re reading this review prior to seeing the movie, you know just enough. It’s just a crap load of fun at the movies, you’ll be entertained the entire time, and it keeps you guessing the entire time, I thought I knew what was up within 10 minutes, I was so wrong. Just go see this movie so we can get more like it will ya.

Knives Out = 88/100

Reviews

‘Waves’ Review

A pulse pounding, emotional roller coaster that will leave you breathless.

Traces the journey of a suburban family – led by a well intentioned but domineering father – as they navigate love, forgiveness and coming together.


They don’t really make many films like this anymore. Waves is a literal gut-punch of raw and intense emotion, that tells the story of what happens when things suddenly fall apart in the lives of a perfect family. Everything can change in the blink of an eye, a millisecond, your entire life can shift from one extreme to the other. There are no guarantees in life and certainly no free passes. At times Waves can become a difficult watch, not due to the movie being bad but because of the context being presented. Certain scenes and certain moments will leave you floored, in fact the entire audience during my screening let out a collective gasp at the exact moment during one of the most emotionally driven scenes I’ve seen all year.

Trey Edward Shults writer and director has crafted something so beautiful, so powerful so well-made it’s remarkable he was just 30 years old when he filmed it. The opening scene is so beautiful and so happy, you know from the very opening moments that this experience will be something you remember. Waves is essentially two different movies in one. A Moonlight blueprint as you will, where it tells two different stories, each complimenting each other, while neither could exist without the other. The first half of the film follows Tyler (Kelvin Harrison Jr) in his quest to please his father Ronald (Sterling K Brown). His father is trying to push his son not because he wants to but because he has too. You see Ronald believes they have to work 1000 times harder than anyone else to get anywhere in life. Being now successful himself he wants to install that knowledge and work ethic into his son. Even if that means Tyler does almost anything to make sure he doesn’t disappoint his dad. Their relationship is a complicated one, because it appears they spend a lot of time together, yet they are never really truly bonding as a father and son should. Waves is definitely one of those films where the less you know going in the better the experience is going to be. Even the trailer does a fantastic job at providing a background but doesn’t spoil anything, the movie I thought I was going to see and the movie I ended up watching were completely different things, and I’m glad.

When tragedy strikes it’s a ripple effect for those closest to you. That’s where the second part of the movie comes in. It deals with Tyler’s sister Emily (Taylor Russell) who finds herself lost and without anyone to connect to. Waves does a fantastic job at showcasing how a tragic event can follow you not just in a personal manner, but in an online way as well. How you can’t really escape something from your past. Soon Emily meets Luke (Lucas Hedges) and they quickly bond and it’s the driving force for the second half of this film. It’s such a shift in everything we are watching in the first hour and in most cases when films do this, it just doesn’t work. For me, this works so incredibly well and really puts a nice bow on the entire thing. Hedges and Russell just have terrific chemistry, seeing Hedges act as a goofy high school kid was charming and he sweeps Emily off her feet just when she thinks all hope is lost. When a family is shattered to pieces it takes time to put it back together. It’s piece by piece but sure enough everything will fall back into place.

Waves is tricky to discuss because you don’t want to spoil anything and going in blind will lead to the most satisfying experience. Sterling K Brown is a tour de force yet again, every time he is on screen it’s a treat. I honestly can’t say enough good things about this movie and I certainly can’t wait to talk about it with anyone who sees it. There’s a 20 minute stretch that is just heart breaking material and I haven’t stopped thinking about since I walked out of the theatre. This is right now the leader in the clubhouse for my favourite movie of the year.

Waves = 96/100

News

‘The Way Back’ Trailer

Ben Affleck + Basketball = recipe for success

Well, that a gut punch early on in the morning. Art imitating life. Ben Affleck is losing the cape and cowl for good and substituting it for a clip board. We all know about his own personal struggles with alcohol abuse and that’s why this movie has a real shot of being nothing short of spectacular, at least his performance.

Who would be Ben Affleck’s basketball comparison? What a question, because in The Way Back he was once a high school star and I haven’t stopped thinking about that. Ben re-teams with Gavin O’Connor director of Warrior and The Accountant, and you already know this will pack a serious emotional punch. Ben Affleck in a sports movie, love to see it. A mix between Coach Carter and Half Nelson perhaps, this overall just looks really good. The world hasn’t had a great quote on quote sports movie in a long time and hopefully this can break that streak.

You know this role probably means a lot to Affleck and him playing it close to his own chest, and I’m excited to see what he does with this material. It doesn’t look like just another cliche sports movie, because of the serious weight the trailer carries. It’s great to see Ben branching out and trying new things and more importantly being in a movie. He didn’t have a theatrical release in all of 2019.

It’s always great to have this man back in our lives, such a talent.

News

New & Improved ‘Sonic The Hedgehog’ Trailer

Okay, sometimes maybe it is a good thing to listen to internet crybabies. This new design has everyone thinking positive thoughts about Sonic.

We all cried and they listened. It finally worked and yes I’m sure people had to work countless hours of overtime and put a ton of hard work into changing the design of Sonic, but it’s a complete success!

The trailer is pretty much the same one we got months ago, but it’s been upgraded and it even feels more fresh. Like there’s been life pumped back into this film. The voice work of Ben Schwartz always worked and everyone is excited to see what Jim Carey does in this role. Now we have almost a flawless Sonic design to go along with all of this. Could be a recipe for success. Who knows, but after all the hard work it would be cruel and rude not to reward the people by going to see their movie.

Sonic sprints into theatres this Valentines Day!

News

‘Scoob’ Trailer

This property is finally going back to its roots, where it rightfully belongs, animation.

After the semi-success of the live-action adaptations, Scooby-Doo has been on a serious hiatus, until now. Let’s all pile in the Mystery Machine and embark on a righteous adventure. The gang is all here including everyone’s favourite talking dog, Scooby-Doo. We are even getting an origin story of sorts about how the team came to be and more important how Scoob and Shaggy ended up in each other’s lives.

It’s already pretty obvious this looks heartfelt and hilarious, and could be a serious box-office success. With a talented cast, some great animation and it’s a well known property being given the proper treatment. Everything about this trailer just screams cute, it feels good to have Scoob back in our lives. 2020 is shaping up to be one great year for animation!

Reviews

‘Jojo Rabbit’ Review

Who knew the movie with the most heart this year would deal with children wanting to be Natzi.

A young boy in Hitler’s army finds out his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home.


Somewhere out there Hitler is rolling in his grave, due to laughing so hard. The reason? Taika Waititi’s latest comedy satire about young boys waning to join the ranks of Hitler’s army all while discovering there is way more to life than simply becoming at Natzi. Coming off the massive success of Thor: Ragnorok, Taika is trading in his cape for a swastika. A film about love, friendship, forming new and unique bonds and most importantly, never judging a book by its cover.

Jojo is a ten year old boy who is growing up in Germany. Unlike most little boys, who enjoy climbing trees, being with friends and all around just being a kid, Jojo takes life pretty serious. He has mission, become Hitler’s right hand man, his best friend, he wants to do something to gain the respect from their “great leader.” When he attends a Natzi Boy Scouts kind of camp and injures himself, he finds himself lonely and disfigured. Ashamed of his new looks, he confides in the comfort of his own home, where his mother Rosie (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie) a young Jewish runaway. Jojo quickly becomes very conflicted with his feelings, because everything he has ever learned about Jewish people has not been pleasant, yet here sits this girl he befriends almost immediately. He learns that his mother is one of the few true good people in his life and has a hard time understanding why she doesn’t support their country in the war. They become closer than ever, once Jojo finally understands his mother’s intentions and realizes how special she is.

Jojo takes up a job helping his former instructor Captain Klenzendorf (Sam Rockwell) do things all around their little town. They also form a bond, as Jojo who’s father is away, sees him as a father figure and goes to him for advice. Sam Rockwell actually doesn’t play a crazy racist in a movie for once! More of a low-key flamboyant army Captain, he also much like Jojo’s mother has a kind heart. He just doesn’t show it. He wants what’s best for Jojo and tries to guide him towards being just a regular ten-year-old kid. They end up sharing a few heartfelt moments together, one in particular at the end of the film where you truly see the good in the Captain, and was always looking out for Jojo. For a movie I found to be so funny, the most I’ve laughed at a movie in 2019, it certainly has some touching moments, and has one of the biggest 180 emotional turns I can remember in a movie. Things go from so happy and delightful to gut-wrenching in about 5 seconds, it was almost hard to watch.

Obviously most of the laughs are coming from the man himself, the director and the stand out performance of the film, Taika. He’s playing Hitler, but just serves has Jojo’s imaginary friend, so the things that happen between them, well, you can imagine. Every time he was on screen, you’re laughing, even if he’s not talking, one scene in general when he’s in a swimming pool. Just the facial expressions alone are making the audience giggle. The back and forth that occurs between Jojo and his mind Hitler comes to a pretty epic conclusion. At times, this can deal with some serious issues, but it’s a satire, and you also have moments where ten year olds are carrying rocket launchers around, so big, it takes two of them to move it. Another standout is Jojo’s best friend, well second best friend next to Hitler obviously is Yorki (Archie Yates) who almost steals every scene he is in. Just a loveable character. It’s when they’re together you realize just how silly this whole movie can be and even though they are suppose to be Natzi, they are just goody ten year old kids, who will believe anything they hear.

I’m not going to lie, I didn’t have high hopes for this, the trailers were just okay, and I wasn’t super interested in seeing it, but boy was I wrong. Jojo Rabbit blew me away, and without doubt enters my top 5 films of the year so far. The humour, the heart and the laughs is enough for anyone. If you like Taika’s brand of comedy and want to see Hitler act like an idiot then this movie will be for you. Top notch performances all-around, a great story and an even better message, this film can pack a punch emotionally at times, and have you howling in the very next scene. Jojo Rabbit is a must see.

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Jojo Rabbit = 84/100

Reviews

‘The Lighthouse’ Review

Strap in for an unlikely pairing of William DaFoe and Robert Pattinson as lighthouse keepers who drive each other insane, all while drinking and farting up a storm. It’s a remarkable film.

The hypotonic and hallucinatory tale of two lighthouse keepers on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1980s.


Boy, these two guys must have just stunk. Levels of smell I can’t even fathom. One of the first takeaways from Robert Eggers newest movie, The Lighthouse, which finds two men stranded at a lighthouse, where everything isn’t as it seems. There is so much to unpack from The Lighthouse as it deals with many themes, and takes a lot of its mythos from Greek Mythology. Curiosity, obsession and insanity, all 3 of these things drive these men. The Lighthouse is the central figure of this story. Thomas Wake (DaFoe) is the keeper while Ephraim Winslow (Pattinson) is the new comer who mostly acts as a house wife. He does everything except see whatever is inside the lantern room. He is forbidden from going inside, and that is what ultimately drives him to madness.

It acts as a forbidden object, where Icarus once flew to closely to the sun or how Adam and Eve ate the fruit, there is a mythological factor to whatever is inside, and no one truly knows the power behind it. As these men bond over alcohol and argue over everything else, including farts, the chemistry between was palpable.

One thing I should mention, it’s a pretty big detail, this film is in black and white, and it elevates it, in ways colours simply could not do. It makes for a more surreal experience and makes things seem more eerie and more bizarre. These two men, are isolated, trapped on this rock for weeks. Their only outlet is one another, and the only time they are truly bonding is when they are both getting hammered drunk. It’s what brings them together and what tares them apart. Both Pattinson and DaFoe give carrer defining performances, I was blown away by the pair. DaFoe’s character acts much like a god would, with his biblical monologues, his beard and his overall presence. While Pattinson is driven further into madness with each passing scene. The answer he is seeking most, what’s atop the lighthouse, will drive him to his breaking point. Parts of this film reminded me of The Shinning, where being alone and isolated can drive a person mad, being cut off from resources and any form of communication. And actually the one scare in it, works so well and reminded me of one of the more iconic scares in all of horror, from Psycho. Jump scares work so much better without the use of sound, and just everything about the making of this film is pretty much flawless. The score, which beats you to death, with the overbearing sound of a foghorn, never stops. The set design, the use of water, the script. I just thought everything worked so well, but it’s one of those movies where everything sort of has a double meaning and really makes you think.

Even the ending, which can be broken down, and with further watches, answers will be revealed, it’s hard to decipher what Eggers is trying to say. One thing is certain, do not, and I mean do not, mess with seagulls. That will come back to haunt you in a big way.

The Lighthouse = 90/100.

News

Final ‘Rise of Skywalker’ Trailer

Buckle up people, Kylo Ren is back. I’ve never rooted harder for a villain in my life

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Holy space battle Batman! It’s the one night of the year, where jocks and nerds unite, and nothing brings people together better than Star Wars. The newest and final trailer just dropped during Monday Night Football. You wonder who knows less about their subject, jocks and Star Wars or nerds and football.

What a doozy of a trailer that was, the finale, the final showdown, countless decades of fandom have been waiting for this exact moment. Whether you love the newest trilogy or not, it’s all coming to a close sooner than a lightspeed warp. So regardless of your feelings, enjoy this because you truly don’t realize what you’ve had till it’s gone.

All of the questions you’ve wanted to be answered will finally be revealed (hopefully) as JJ Abrams steps back in the director’s chair to finish what he started. If Disney hadn’t already made enough money at the box-office this year, tack on another billion-plus because this thing is going to be huge. JJ is promising us the biggest space battle in a Star Wars movie, or it at least seems that way, the fight we have all been waiting for between Kylo and Rey, and the answer to the question on everyone’s mind, how the heck as Palpatine been alive for so long, and how did he survive?

In classic Star Wars fashion, they have teased a lot. Palpatine is back, and they showed the slightest glimpse of him, well perhaps. He’s teasing that all of these people coming together is meant to be, so again could be alluding to Rey and Kylo, who knows. Everyone will have to find out for themselves on December 20th, when this movie either destroys more childhoods or brings peace to the force once and for all!

Check out the trailer below!

Reviews

‘Joker’ Review

Dive deep into the mythos of one of the most iconic and beloved comic book villains of all time. Joaquin Phoenix transcends into another atmosphere while playing the Clown Prince of Crime, but it’s not enough to save this film.

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A gritty character study of Arthur Fleck, a man disregarded by society.


The Joker sure likes his cigarettes. He might not even be around long enough for Batman to punch him in his face, lung cancer might be the cause of death for this clown. Joker, written and directed by Todd Phillips, stars Joaquin Phoenix as Batman’s arch-nemesis, The Joker. What a complete whirlwind this movie as caused. So much controversy going into the release of Joker, but I will not be going into any of that here in this review. Another day, another comic-book movie that has divided the masses. Some are praising this to be a ‘masterpiece’, while others think it’s rather forgettable. I find myself somewhere in the middle.

A 1970’s character study about someone who is mentally ill. Struggling with everyday life, Arthur Fleck feels rejected and neglected from the outside world. He thinks up until a certain point that his life is, in fact, a travesty. Cut off from the world, Arthur feels alone and has a hard time connecting with anyone. Joker examines what it’s like to be severely mentally ill and how the outside world, not only treats you but perceives you. This is his origin story, how a simple man becomes the greatest foe to our Caped Crusader. It’s a haunting and dark tale, one that we’ve never seen told in a movie. Arthur has a hard time finding any joy in the world, that is until confronted with a decision to finally stand up for himself, and not let high-class society push him around anymore. Once Arthur breaks that point, once he is submerged into the deep end, there is no going back for this man. Anarchy, madness, mass hysteria are the driving force behind this man, he simply wants no order in the world. Chaos is his form of pleasure, and towards the end of this film, he’s neck-deep in it.

Honestly, Joaquin Phoenix is a revelation, he’s brilliant in every aspect of this role. He took this seriously, and it pays off for him. That doesn’t mean he makes for a great Joker, and that’s my biggest problem with the film, I could never get behind him or even take him seriously. I’m not taking anything away from his awe-inspiring work here, but I just don’t think at the end of the day, he was a great Joker. Call me crazy, but that’s how I felt. The movie for being so twisted, and dark and chaotic, I never felt a sense of horror or shock from what I was seeing on the screen. The tone of the movie at times is all over the place, especially in scenes where the tension is high and you know something terrible is about to happen, it never struck any sort of fear or intrigue on my part. Arthur has a disorder, where at times, he has an uncontrollable laughing attack, a homage to The Man Who Laughs, and this occurs a lot throughout the film. I disliked every aspect of his Joker laugh, I thought as the movie went on, his laugh would evolve and evoke more actual laughter, than a laugh that felt almost forced. It’s hard to explain, but I was so turned off by it, I felt it was taking me out of the entire movie.

This is a new tale about this character, but another thing I disliked a lot, was how terrible of a criminal he was. The Joker is supposed to be this criminal mastermind, someone who can intellectually go toe-to-toe with Batman, he is the master of grand schemes, huge plots that push Batman to his brink. Where Fleck can barely think 5 minutes into his future, and walk 10 feet without causing some sort of damage to either himself or someone close by. Like he is playing everything he is doing by ear, expect his one planned out ploy that comes to a pretty horrific conclusion towards the end of the film. Again, this is a new take on the character and this is how Phillips wanted to portray him, I just thought it was a misstep. Whereas, how they show his descent into madness, how when the literal curtain is pulled and Joker is essentially finally revealed his almost done to perfection. It’s slow and cathartic, where his mind is slowly breaking. He’s quote on quote “bent out of shape” mentally and physically. Not only his is mind breaking and contorting, but so is his body. Phillips does an incredible job at showing just how weird and twisted his body is, Joaquin is contorting his body and it was the most disturbing part about his performance. His body is so skinny and weak and empty, as his mind goes, so does his body and I thought that was an interesting theme.

Another aspect of the film that they do unbelievable service to, is the depiction of Gotham City. In every Batman tale, Gotham City is a character in itself, it becomes one with the movie. Where we are so used to seeing it through the eyes of the rich and powerful, through Bruce Wayne and Batman, while here we are seeing the very underbelly through the eyes of Arthur. It’s gross, dirty and a place where all hope is lost. Gotham is a disease and it’s dying. So when your body is infected, there’s only one thing to do and that’s fight back. The anti-virus just so happens to be Arthur, the symbol of hope for these people that feel they have been thrown away by the upper-class society of Gotham. Little do they know, this symbol they are rooting for is the worst thing that will ever happen to Gotham.

There’s a ton to unpack about this film, many layers, and themes, mostly surrounding mental health and how we ignore it for the most part. Joker has a quote, “The worst part of having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don’t” was something that really stuck out for me. The world just wants him to be normal, they want everyone to be normal, and believe that mental illness is something one can shake off. When you ignore something, it tends to bubble up, it boils to a certain point where it’s no longer safe. The untreated disease will destroy the body, the infection will spread, and that’s exactly what happens to Arthur. There’s a great scene with Bruce Wayne, the Batman stuff is somewhat explored here, wherein this universe, the Joker is the reason why he will eventually dawn the mask. It’s a shame we won’t ever get to see that interaction, and when this movie was announced I wondered how seeing the Joker not interact with Batman, be in the world without Batman would work. I believe they need each other, I believe they feed off each other, and I just don’t think one works without the other.

I wanted to love this movie, but it falls flat, the first 30 minutes drags and I felt overall there are a solid 10 good minutes in here? The score by Hildur Guonadottir is chilling, hauntingly beautiful and one of the best of the year. This is a real film, there are no green screens, something that is expected with a comic-book movie, but not here. The cinematography is stunning, so many enriched shots, so many images that kind of burn into your mind and soul. All of this is not enough to save the movie. There are some great things happening here, but overall, I think it’s pretty hollow and empty. It’s the biggest flaw, the director. In more capable hands, I feel like the elements are changed and the tone and the vibe when things are gritty could have struck a more powerful cord. It’s going to be a massive hit, and people will love this movie, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

JOKER = 66/100

News

‘Richard Jewell’ Trailer

The year just doesn’t feel complete without a Clint Eastwood movie.

Seems like just yesterday this movie was even announced, let alone started production. Oh wait, this film literally starting filming in June and we already have a trailer for it. Clint Eastwood seriously doesn’t mess around when it comes to banging out his production schedule. When you think about it, it’s quite something having a movie trailer come out and have this much footage only 3 months after it’s start date.

The latest Eastwood flick, follows Richard Jewell, the hero of the 1996 Atlanta Bombings. Based on the incredible true story, once again, the film seems intriguing enough, and it’s always fascinating to see a man that is Eastwood’s age, pump out a film each year, remarkable really.

Chalked full of talented people, Jon Hamm, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates and Paul Walter Hauser, playing the lead role. Not completely a household name yet, but I loved him in I Tonya and he’s been taking great roles ever since.

The thing about most of Eastwood’s films is you never really know what you’re going to get. Since he makes a movie every year it can be difficult to stay consistent, but whenever Jon Hamm is playing a hard nosed cop, I’m all in. I think this looks better than last years, The Mule.